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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

Caltrans boondoggles; director to be re-confirmed

Today, it appears the California Senate will reconfirm Malcolm Dougherty, the director of Caltrans. This will be done after only one Senate hearing, where instead of asking Dougherty to answer for the giant problems in his agency, lawmakers were silent or complimentary.

What timing. I hope Senators are paying attention today. Because yesterday, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission announced the opening of the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge may be delayed a few more weeks or even months. The latest delay of the 10-year construction project is due to the discovery of more than 30 faulty giant bolts holding the bridge together — apparently they need to be replaced before the bridge can open to the public.

Under construction for more than a decade, the Bay Bridge project has not only taken much longer to build than planned, cost overruns have escalated the total cost to build it… Read More

Katy Grimes

Caltrans director about to be quietly reconfirmed

Caltrans is an agency in trouble. The most recent buffoonery involves putting California motorists at risk, with the 30 broken bolts discovered on the newly renovated San Francisco Bay Bridge. And apparently Caltrans knew about this.

A recently released report from the California League of Cities , California State Association of Counties and other transportation organizations found only 56 percent of California’s local streets and roads were deemed to be in “good” condition, and 49 of the state’s 58 counties were rated “At Risk” or in “Poor’ condition.

“By ‘streets and roads,’ the report is also referring to bridges and essential components like sidewalks, storm drains, curbs and traffic signs,” the AllGov California website… Read More

Bill Leonard

Where is Your Faith?

No this is not a theological essay. But I can go there if you want me to.

I am constantly amazed at the blind faith that so many people have in government. Government can and does make colossal mistakes. So do businesses, charities, and religious organizations but the big difference is that these other institutions are not monopolies. A business does you wrong and you move on. A government does you wrong and you have no choice but to get in line again.

The post office has stolen from me. I ordered a lamp and did not check the shipper. When it did not arrive I found out that it was shipped USPS the monopoly bureaucracy. By their own website I was able to track the shipment to the local postal station. At that point it disappears never delivered. I called the office and later submitted a postal theft complaint form. Nothing. Not even the courtesy of an acknowledgement.

CalTrans is risking lives. Sherry and I just returned from a trip to Spokane. Traveling I-5 in the summer is always a challenge. I appreciate that summer is the best time for road work but I also see how CalTrans is not held accountable for its errors. Too often there were… Read More

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