9:16am

Mon June 11, 2012
Politics

Connecting the Dots: Top news stories for June 11, 2012

(LA Times) // High-Speed Rail construction is facing challenges over its environmental impact on both air quality and endangered species. Concerns include the problematic air quality in the San Joaquin Valley where about 1 out of 7 children have been diagnosed with asthma, and federal biologists say 11 endangered species will be impacted. State and federal agencies will be examining these effects over the next several months, issuing findings that could affect the cost and schedule of construction. That is on top of delays caused by environmental lawsuits brought by the powerful California agriculture industry...

(San Jose Mercury News) // While High Speed Rail faces numerous setbacks, there is good news for the Caltrain system. One year since the transit system had to be bailed out to prevent massive closures, ridership is up 11 percent, allowing it to add six more train trips per week. To prevent the funding roller coasters, Caltrain is advocating for permanent funding measures that will be voted on in 2013...

(LA Times) // Roller coasters may be in store for whoever replaces three of California’s most influential education Chancellors. Charles B. Reed and Jack Scott, Chancellors of California State University and the California Community Colleges, and UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau will all be retiring, making may wonder who will take over when all three education systems are facing such challenging times...

(San Francisco Chronicle) // One way to respond to budget cuts in higher education is to cut programs with low enrollment. A new federal study claims numerous degree programs at California’s public universities with fewer than 10 graduates are endemic of program bloat and could be cut or offered online in order to improve efficiency...

(California Watch) // A new report shows rates of cancer among adults in California have declined 9 percent in the past 20 years, but that cases among children have increased by 12 percent. Massive studies are underway to explain the unknown reasons for why more kids are getting sick, most of which are cases of Leukemia. Studies include examining households that use pesticides during pregnancy and if the father smoked before a baby was conceived...

(Santa Cruz Sentinel) // Where contributing factors to cancer are hard to predict, there's a new software enabling the prediction of crime. PredPol is a new crime-predicting software generated by two Santa Cruz entrepreneurs and is gaining popularity among police departments. It projects when and where future crimes are likely to occur, similar to the technology used to predict aftershocks from earthquakes. It has already been credited with helping the LAPD reduce burglaries by 36 percent in one of its divisions.

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