Once a recurring punch line in Johnny Carson’s monologues, the agriculture-and-oil town of Bakersfield, California–home to the country’s most prolific carrot farm–is not the most obvious example of a West Coast startup hub.
But the Central Valley city, population 400,000, has vaulted onto this year’s Surge Cities list by outperforming 46 other metro areas–including the Bay Area, Boston, and Seattle–in net job and business creation in the past year.
“Incredible things are happening here,” says Irma Olguin Jr., co-founder and CEO of Bitwise Industries, a Fresno-based tech academy and software startup that’s helped create about 1,000 jobs in the area. It’s opening a Bakersfield location in 2020. “We’re seeing validation from VCs and investment banks, and there is a momentum around local revitalization.”
One of Bill Ware’s various jobs in recent years was as a part-time insurance salesman. In that role, he has helped people prepare for unexpected hardships—burglaries, falling trees, car accidents, medical emergencies, and even death. But Ware recently faced the unexpected himself when his income took a dive.
Early this year a tax consultancy that works to resolve problems with the IRS and state agencies hit a trough and, in April, he says, the consultancy suddenly cut his income by 60%. Soon after, as the credit card bills piled up, he realized he needed to take action.
The internet industry is suing the state of California over its days-old net neutrality law.
The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday by major trade groups representing broadband companies, is the second major lawsuit filed against the state over the law — the first was brought by the Justice Department.
On Sunday evening, California Governor Jerry Brown signed what is considered to be the strictest net neutrality law in the country. Under the law, internet service providers will not be allowed to block or slow specific types of content or applications, or charge apps or companies fees for faster access to customers.
Dry conditions, high temperatures, and strong winds have once more spawned several large and destructive wildfires across the state of California. Thousands of firefighters are now battling multiple blazes that have burned hundreds of thousands of acres in the past few weeks, and recently claimed at least eight lives. Gathered below: a collection of images of those affected by these recent fires, and some of the dramatic scenes of destruction left in their wake.
Wells Fargo is being investigated for alleged identity theft linked to the bank’s fake account scandal.
The California attorney general served Wells Fargo with a search warrant on October 5 seeking a heap of documents linked to the bank’s creation of as many as 2 million unauthorized accounts, CNNMoney confirmed.
The L.A. Times first reported the existence of the search warrant, the latest in a string of legal challenges facing Wells Fargo (WFC).
The search warrant said there is “probable cause” to believe Wells Fargo employees committed “identity theft” by using unlawfully obtained customer information to open bank accounts, credit cards and other products that customers didn’t request.
The California investigation is being run by Attorney General Kamala Harris, who is running for U.S. Senate.
A federal judge has rejected a proposed $100 million settlement between Uber and its drivers.
The deal between Uber and drivers in California and Massachusetts did not compensate drivers enough, the judge ruled.
The April settlement was three years in the making. Its rejection could force Uber to dig deeper to reach a deal.
The lawsuits had charged that the drivers should be treated as employees, rather than independent contractors. That would have entitled the drivers to a variety of benefits, including overtime and health insurance. It also might have put Uber on the hook for some of the drivers expenses, such as gas and tolls.
THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI River watershed is awash with rainwater. Houses flooded, roads washed away, and peoples’ lives in soggy ruin. The only logical thing to do is blame California.
Seriously. Sort of. The weather system that parked near the Lower Mississippi watershed arrived after a California drive-by. But the Golden State’s massive massifs squeezed most of the moisture out of the system. It would have been fine if it hadn’t straddled Mexico for an extended bout and replenished its moisture from the humid waters on either side of the isthmian nation.
Frank Sinatra, the epitome of cool, said that if you can make it in New York City, you can make it anywhere. But what if you can’t make it there? Well, then, you’ll probably run away to California, like so many others before you.
With its ample sunshine and eco-friendly reputation, California does provide New York with some stiff competition when it comes to doing what’s right for the environment. But while Cali may have the, like, totally organic-free-range-vegan-gluten-free reputation, New York has done more to lead the way to a cleaner future. With its no-nonsense attitude and nose-to-the-grindstone work ethic, New York has been turning the Golden State green (with envy) by making serious greenbacks and by doing a great job of going green.
California has dropped plans to halve petroleum use in vehicles by 2030, after intense oil industry lobbying.
Governor Jerry Brown and other senior lawmakers had included the proposal in a climate change bill, but were forced to retreat amid growing opposition.
State senate leader Kevin de Leon, who supported the cut, accused oil firms of deploying “scare tactics”.
The leaders have vowed to push ahead with other reforms, including boosting renewable electricity use.
“I’d say oil has won the skirmish, but they’ve lost the bigger battle,” Mr Brown said.
California’s epic drought is pushing Big Oil to solve a problem it’s struggled with for decades: what to do with the billions of gallons of wastewater that gush out of wells every year.
Golden State drillers have pumped much of that liquid back underground into disposal wells. Now, amid a four-year dry spell, more companies are looking to recycle their water or sell it to parched farms as the industry tries to get ahead of environmental lawsuits and new regulations.
The trend could have implications for oil patches across the country. With fracking boosting the industry’s thirst for water, companies have run into conflicts from Texas to Colorado to Pennsylvania. California could be an incubator for conservation efforts that have so far failed to gain traction elsewhere in the U.S.