CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 19, 2013 |
FRESNO -- After the Monday lunch rush at Angelo's Drive-In , a man in a blue work shirt came in and laid a thick manila envelope on the counter, asking for the owners' signatures. Kay Lim and Ken Chea thought they were signing the papers to sell the 1950s diner to the state to make way for high-speed rail. They agreed to accept an offer of $160,000 for a burger joint that opened in 1954 and holds nostalgic appeal for generations of Central Valley families. Later, they realized the deal was not yet final: The papers represented a second, state-authorized appraisal, boosting the price for their restaurant's land and building to $140,000, from $100,000.
August 16, 2013 |
Visionary technological proposals generally trace a life cycle of three stages. First comes the thrill of the unveiling (the "gee-whiz" stage); then there's the hard work of research and development to convert rough sketches into practical form; finally comes the crash, when the original dream has to confront cold, hard reality. Let's hope there aren't any passengers aboard when Elon Musk's Hyperloop hits stage three. If you've been a sentient creature during the last week, you've heard something about the Hyperloop.
August 12, 2013 |
It's easy for Californians to get breathless about Elon Musk's futuristic Hyperloop, considering how much bad news they've gotten about the high-speed rail line they voted for in 2008. So when Musk revealed details of his idea Monday afternoon in a blog post , Golden Staters could be forgiven for wishing they could have a do-over on that ballot initiative. But regardless of its superior coolness factor, Musk's idea faces some of the same hurdles that have been so problematic for the train project -- plus a few unique ones.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 23, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- A government watchdog Tuesday sought a congressional investigation into California Rep. David Valadao's efforts to halt the state's high-speed rail project, saying the freshman failed to tell colleagues that the project could affect the property values of his family's Central Valley farmland. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to launch a probe into whether the Republican lawmaker "abused his position … to benefit his and his family's financial interests.
July 15, 2013 |
Never one to think small, tech mogul Elon Musk -- founder of Tesla Motors and Space X -- says he's working on a "fifth mode" of transportation that can zip you from Los Angeles to San Francisco in half an hour. "Will publish Hyperloop alpha design by Aug 12. Critical feedback for improvements would be much appreciated," Musk said in a tweet, which he prefers to the news release or the interview. A Tesla spokeswoman said Musk would have no further comment. The Hyperloop, Musk has said previously and cryptically, would resemble a "cross between a Concorde and a railgun and an air hockey table.
June 27, 2013 |
Chinese teacher, politician and philosopher Confucius (551 - 479 BC) will be celebrated when a new Shangri-La Hotel opens later this summer in Qufu, his birthplace. Shangri-La Hotel Qufu , scheduled to open Aug. 1, will pay homage by blending Confucian principles, Chinese traditions and contemporary style to reflect the city's history, said Jason Xu, general manager. The hotel's façade, designed to resemble a traditional Chinese pavilion, has roofs topped by gray tiers of flying eaves.