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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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The state water board missed the mark

Uploaded: Feb 21, 2017
The state water board has egg—or should I say mud—all over its collective face.
Earlier this month, board members refused to lift the drought restrictions on Californians. By keeping them in place until the traditional review time in April, they ignored pleas from water agencies to eliminate the restrictions now.
Board members refused to lift the restrictions despite January rains and snows at near record levels. This month’s deluges pushed levels to records.
Imagine talking drought when 100,000 cubic-feet per second of water is gushing out the spillway at Oroville Dam and rivers and creeks are flooding around Northern California.
Yes, it is wise to use water prudently and drought resistant landscaping makes sense for our climate. But, the board needs to be real with the public or it loses whatever credibility it mighit have

The Los Angeles Times recently published an interesting article that pointed out Californians are using 2.6 percent less electricity than they did in 2008, but are now paying $6.8 billion more for power because regulators have approved higher rates to pay for construction of new facilities.
It’s another example of how poorly the state’s Public Utilities Commission has served consumers and businesses. The average cost of electricity in the state (and this is going to go up) is 15.42 per kilowatt hour versus 10.41 cents for the rest of the county. Cost in California, adjusted for inflation, are up 12 percent since 2008 compared to a 3 percent decline across the rest of the country.
We saw this while traveling in the Carolinas for business last month, I was reminded again about what a premium we pay to live in coastal California.
We filled up the rental car with unleaded gas for $1.90/gallon. The cheapest gas I found in the valley was $2.50, the week after we returned.
Playing golf at the historic Pinehurst resort in North Carolina, we stopped for refreshments at the “halfway houses.” Sandwiches and/or hot dogs were $4. A large bowl of freshly made chili was just $5.
Staying in the historic Carolina hotel, we ordered room service-- $32 for a 9-ounce Maine lobster tail, mashed potatoes and vegetables.
And then there was the real estate. Home sites on a Jack Nicklaus signature course (think Ruby Hill Country Club in Pleasanton) started at $80,000 with homes starting at $400,000. In other words, you can have a home on a golf course in a gated community for about the cost of a lot in Ruby Hill.


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