Friday, July 28, 2017

High Speed Rail not Exempt from CEQA

Ohhh... SHINY!
SAN FRANCISCO — U.S. law does not allow state-owned rail projects to completely bypass California’s strict environmental regulations, the state Supreme Court said Thursday in a decision that ensures further legal complications for the planned $64 billion bullet train between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The high court overturned a lower court ruling and gave renewed hope to those who have used the California Environmental Quality Act to challenge the high-speed rail project championed by Gov. Jerry Brown.
“It basically says that California has a right to control its own railroads and decide whether they should be required to consider carefully the environmental impacts of their projects,” said Stuart Flashman, who represents several San Francisco Bay Area cities in a lawsuit that claims the bullet train project violates the state’s environmental law.

Oh what a tangled web we weave... 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Sacramento a-go-go, Going, Going, Gone

Excerpt from SacBee story on outmigration:
Many go outside the state. A record 5 million Californians left between 2004 and 2013.
The most popular metropolitan areas – Reno, Las Vegas and Phoenix – are relatively close, affordable and familiar.
Texas has proven hugely popular with Californians. About 600,000 residents left for Texas between 2004 and 2013, the most of any state. But Michael said he was surprised Austin had outranked much larger and less-expensive cities such as Houston, Dallas and San Antonio in receiving Sacramento transplants during 2015.
It's funny to watch people inside an echo chamber discuss why others are leaving the echo chamber.


Read more here:

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Quick Garden Update

Real post a bit later but the garden is finally starting to yield results.  That's a white cucumber, some black cobras, regular peppers,a white pepper and about a quarter of the tomato varieties I planted.  No duplicates in the picture. 
Don't touch the Black Cobra peppers barehanded. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Anti-gentrification Activists

Targeted Boyle Heights cafe hit by vandal
Anti-gentrification activists have marked the shop as a symbol of displacement.

By Ruben Vives
A small coffee shop at the center of multiple anti-gentrification protests in Boyle Heights was vandalized Wednesday, according to its owners.
Footage from surveillance video at Weird Wave Coffee showed a person — clad in black clothing and a black mask — stepping out of an alley, then quickly using what might have been a slingshot to shoot an object at the shop’s logo. The object cracked the coffee shop’s glass door.
It’s not the first time a business has been vandalized in the community. In November, someone scrawled profanity in front of an art gallery. The month before that, police said three acts of vandalism involving galleries had taken place. No details were provided.
A growing arts scene has taken root in the industrial section of the Eastside neighborhood, which is heavily Latino. Some residents say they worry the galleries will change the neighborhood, increase rent and push out working-class families.
Along Cesar Chavez Avenue, activists fear the coffee shop will do the same for businesses.
“It’s disheartening,” said Rachel Chang, 31, a Boyle Heights resident and frequent customer.
Granville Ampong, 47, said he has seen the neighborhood change for the better and hopes it continues.
“Social change is coming,” Ampong said.
“We’re blessed, blessed, blessed to be here,” Defa said.


How do you compromise or negotiate with people like this? 

48 Years Ago

How much would it cost and how long would it take to duplicate a feat that was done without composites or computers all that long ago?  Could it be duplicated? 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Cermets Rule

I know that everyone reading shares my interests so this won't be news to anyone but I just had to comment. 

Ablation-resistant carbide Zr0.8Ti0.2C0.74B0.26 for 

oxidizing environments up to 3,000 °C

 Isn't that exciting?  What it means is that hypersonic aircraft are far more practical.  

"Current candidate UHTCs for use in extreme environments are limited and it is worthwhile exploring the potential of new single-phase ceramics in terms of reduced evaporation and better oxidation resistance," says Professor Ping Xiao, Professor of Materials Science at Manchester. "In addition, it has been shown that introducing such ceramics into carbon fiber-reinforced carbon matrix composites may be an effective way of improving thermal-shock resistance."

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

CoreLogic Loan Performance Apr '17

First the good news.  Delinquencies are continuing to trend down.


Now the bad news.  Delinquencies are continuing to evermore not heal.
If the link works the Full Report is here.  CoreLogic is a valuable resource. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Sacramento Dodges the Boom/Bust?

From the SacBee:

Past booms resulted in more than 20,000 homes being built during peak years in the Sacramento region. In 2011, the low point of the housing market’s meltdown, only 2,000 homes were constructed.
Last year, 7,000 single-family homes were built, a 33 percent increase over 2015, according to the latest figures from the University of the Pacific.
The current year is shaping up even better, but housing growth will remain well below the historical average of around 12,000 homes a year, according to the latest UOP forecast. It projects 9,600 houses being built in 2017.
What’s surprising about that figure is that past recovery cycles took from two to seven years to go from bust to boom, when at least 15,000 houses were added each year. The Great Recession technically ended in 2009, eight years ago, yet construction remains relatively low.
 Equally interesting on the same web page is a video bemoaning the shortage of housing construction workers.

The 9ft trellis extensions are working well. 

Read more here:

Friday, July 14, 2017

Why California is Screwed

> The appeals court affirmed Shubb’s [Senior U.S. District Judge William B. Shubb] findings, writing that “almost all of the evidence of alleged fraud” already had been delivered to Sierra Pacific through documents provided by the government before the company agreed to settle the case.

Got that?  The appeal is invalid because the victim was aware they were being extorted and should not have agreed to the extortion.

Here is the lede:

> A federal appeals court on Thursday rejected claims by Sierra Pacific Industries that government prosecutors in Sacramento engaged in fraud and deception when they arranged a $100 million settlement over the massive Moonlight fire that torched 65,000 acres in 2007.

A bulldozer accidentally started the fire.  Price $100m from the deepest pocket.  SacBee LINK

Read more here:

Read more here:
Got that

Classic Habenero. 

Black Cobra 30,000 Scoville.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

"Peak" U.S. Crude Oil Production

The reddit thread got real nasty the other day.  Seems some people don't like long held beliefs like the Hubbert Curve contravened.

I fully expect additional records to be set once market conditions support more extraction. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Dated Dowager Demands Dollars

Before you start laughing keep in mind this is a mistake... errr I mean estate.  As an estate, all 1.1 acres, the price shouldn't be all that important.   Now, it this were an upscale middle class tract home from 1988 then you'd have a point.

2114 Applewood Ln, Santa Rosa Valley, CA 93012

6 beds 5 baths 6,196 sqft

Rather than bore you with he expansive grounds and opulent accommodations I'll just show the bathrooms:

 Price history:

06/30/17Listed for sale$2,200,000-18.5%$355



08/06/99Sold$1,062,500+23.5%$171 Record

CO2 Interactive

Now you can zoom in anywhere in the world and discover the local atmospheric CO2 content.  What?  You thought it was relatively evenly mixed and everybody got 400ppm?  Not hardly.  Even if you don't care, the animation is too cool.

Interactive Global CO2

Be sure to swing the globe around for Southern Africa and China too.

Hiking at 9000ft. 

Hiking at 114°. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

California Revenue Report Jun '17

For Immediate Release                                                                       7/10/2017                                                                                                   
CA Controller Reports Revenues
$2.68 Billion Short of 2016-17 Budget Act

SACRAMENTO—California total revenues of $16.63 billion for June fell short of projections in the governor’s revised budget released two months ago by 2.5 percent, State Controller Betty T. Yee reported today.

The 2017-18 fiscal year began July 1.  For the fiscal year that ended June 30, total revenues of $121.91 billion missed May Revision estimates by $295.7 million, or 0.2 percent.  The fiscal year total was $2.68 billion lower than anticipated in the 2016-17 budget signed last summer, with all of the “big three” revenue sources missing the mark.   

For June, personal income tax (PIT) receipts of $10.94 billion were $161.0 million shy of May estimates, or 1.5 percent.  For the fiscal year, PIT receipts of $82.72 billion were $1.05 billion lower than projections in the FY 2016-17 Budget Act, but lagged May estimates by just $196.3 million, or 0.2 percent.
June corporation tax receipts of $2.42 billion were $344.4 million lower than anticipated in the May Revision, or 12.5 percent.  The fiscal year total of $10.11 billion in corporation taxes was $885.6 million lower than FY 2016-17 Budget Act
projections and $283.1 million less than expected in the May Revision. 

Retail sales and use tax receipts of $2.32 billion for June were $57.2 million, or 2.5 percent, higher than May estimates.  For FY 2016-17, total sales tax receipts of $24.71 billion missed the original Budget Act projections by $1.03 billion; they topped May Revision assumptions by $126.7 million, or 0.5 percent.

California has not pursued external borrowing since FY 2014-15.  The state ended last fiscal year with unused borrowable resources of $36.98 billion, which was $3.99 billion more than predicted in the governor’s May Revision.  Outstanding loans of $4.84 billion were $1.64 billion lower than the Department of Finance’s May estimates.  This loan balance consists of borrowing from the state’s internal special funds.

Bold added above.  Seems that the exodus of the productive class has commenced. 

More vaca photos click to view:

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Busy Fire Season Likely

Some local news pics of the "Whitter Fire" started near Lake Cachuma and possibly headed over the mountains to the coast.

For up to date information I prefer the Incident Web pages:

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Tesla Stock Begins its Descent

On June 21st I wrote:
Long time readers know I have good instincts for when something is wrong.  They also know I really want historical parallels to bolster my suspicions.  Tesla bothers me...
TSLA stock closed that day at $376.40

July 8th update:

TSLA stock closed for the week at $314.22

This time I think Goldman Sachs has it right.  They recently lowered guidance from $190 to $180.  And I believe an overshoot is likely. 

And for Cinco:
4000 year old New England stonework. 

Friday, July 07, 2017

Home Prices Interactive

In terms of how the overall housing market has been doing lately, it's recovering but not yet recovered, says William Wheaton, a housing economist at MIT.
"There's a lot of discussion right now about how sales should be more robust and they're not, given where we are in this stage of the economic recovery," he says. Americans are buying the same number of homes they were 18 years ago. And Wheaton says the population has grown since, so sales should be stronger.

Interesting fireworks photo.