Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Norman Mineta: U.S. Needs High-Speed Rail

In a video interview with the website The Railist, former U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta touted the economic benefits of bullet trains and warned that the United States is rapidly falling behind other nations in developing a high-speed rail infrastructure.

Here is the video:

Video: Building the Chevy Volt

Video of the new plug-in electric hybrid Chevrolet Volt being built from start to finish at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant in Michigan, United States of America.

And today General Motors announced they are adding 1,000 jobs in electric vehicle development. These will be engineers and researchers based in Michigan who will help develop hybrids into electric vehicles with extended range, like the Chevy Volt.

And it has been a good week for GM on the awards front, as the Volt was named 2011 Motor Trend Car of the Year.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

L.A. County Bans Plastic Bags

In a victory for people, the planet, our oceans, turtles and other marine life, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors last Tuesday voted to enact one of the nation's most aggressive bans on plastic bags. The ban covers all unincorporated areas of L.A. County -- an area with over one million residents -- and applies to grocery and convenient stores. An exception will be made for plastic bags carrying vegetables or raw meat so they aren't contaminated by touching other groceries.

More news headlines:

L.A., Cleveland, Muncie, 13 other U.S. areas violate new lead standard, EPA says
Sixteen areas, including Los Angeles, Tampa and Cleveland, have unhealthful amounts of lead in the air that violate national standards, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday.

Orange County hits pay dirt with clean-tech industry
The area is attracting many companies focusing on green energy and transportation. It already boasts about 300 such firms with 20,000 jobs, business groups say.

Ballpark, apartments win governor’s award
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday praised Petco Park and the Los Vecinos apartment complex in Chula Vista for having voluntarily made “extraordinary contributions to California’s environment and economy.”

San Diego recycling rate jumps again
San Diego has hit a new high-water mark for recycling — 66 percent of the waste stream in 2009 — according numbers released Monday by the city.

Wilshire Bus Lane Battle on the Horizon?
The planned Wilshire bus-only lanes, which stretch 8.7 miles along from Westlake to West LA (but skips Beverly Hills), made a leap forward on Monday when Metro released its staff recommendations for the rush-hour lanes. Metro's board will vote on the plan on December 9th, with hopes of moving the $31 million project to a 2012 opening--it's intended to shave around 15 minutes off a crosstown commute and get 10 percent of drivers to switch to the bus. Well, like most transit projects here, this is one is not without controversy.

Death on Gold Line platform began as shopping trip
Betty Sugiyama, 84, had taken up shopping since she retired from a career in Little Tokyo bookstores, her sister Mary says. Then a stranger shoved her onto the train tracks.

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