News Panel: Budget Update, Bay Area Transit, Fire Season, and more
As home care workers and their clients protested at the state Capitol, legislative Democrats sent their second budget plan to Gov. Brown earlier this week. Though it does not include hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts to welfare and other social programs that the governor demanded, Democratic lawmakers say that both houses plan to vote before the midnight deadline on June 15 to avoid losing their salaries. Republicans boycotted the budget hearing Thursday saying the process lacks transparency. It's been a big week for transportation in the Bay Area. A West Oakland fire shut down BART service on Thursday, creating havoc for East Bay commuters. CalTrans struck back at the Sacramento Bee's allegations of improper inspections on the Bay Bridge's new eastern span structure. Meanwhile, excavation began this week on San Francisco's Central Subway tunnel, despite the fact that federal funding for the majority of the $1.6 billion project is still pending approval. California fire season is off to an early and active start, due to a record dry winter, rising temperatures and gusty winds. Firefighters have already responded to twice as many wildfires as they had by this time last year. According a new UC Berkeley study, the West will be increasingly prone to wildfires over the next three decades, due to the effects of climate change.
- Marisa Lagos, San Francisco Chronicle
- Will Reisman, San Francisco Examiner
- Tom Vacar, KTVU
Also on KQED.org this week ...
Drought Watch 2015: Record-Low Sierra Snowpack
The Sierra Nevada snowpack, which typically supplies nearly a third of California's water, is showing the lowest water content on record: 6 percent of the long-term average for April 1. That shatters last year's low-water mark of 25 percent (tied with 1977).
"Boomtown" History of the San Francisco Bay Area
KQED's "Boomtown" series will seek to identify what is happening in real time in the current boom, and also draw out the causes and possible solutions to the conflicts and pressures between the old and the new.