Living La Vida Local
Sacramento (49%).

On a national average, the study concludes that each motorist pays about $401 annually in additional vehicle maintenance costs due to poor roads, but in California the cost is higher. Each motorist in Los Angeles pays an additional costs of $671. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's decision to fully fund Proposition 42 for next year and allocate more than $1.3 billion to transportation projects comes just in time to aid California's streets and roads.


California became the most populous state in the nation in 1963, when it surpassed New York’s head count. The Golden State’s growth from 10.6 million people in 1950 to 17.3 million people 13 years later could be attributed in large measure to an influx of war veterans, some 2.5 million of whom lived in the state in the mid-1960s


In the last few years, 75 percent of home-price appreciation can be attributed to land price increases, not inflation in the actual structures, according to the Harvard Center for Housing Studies. Land pricing is being driven up by land-use restrictions in large metro-areas. So it follows that speculative housing bubbles are balanced out by onerous land-use policies.
--Glenn Roberts Jr., Inman News


People in the country have poor credit-score knowledge. Two out of three consumers mistakenly believe their credit score measures their financial ability to repay loans (based on factors such as income) rather than their risk of not repaying loans, say Consumer Federation of America and Providian Financial in poll results released in September. Half believe, incorrectly, that married couples receive a combined score, and only 12 percent know what constitutes a good score.

Get your free credit report. Thanks to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) each year, each consumer is entitled to one free copy of his or her credit report from each of the three credit bureaus - Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Check out or call 1-877-322-8228.



Studies have shown apartment development doesn't overburden public schools and municipal education budgets, according to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders. The survey showed an average of 37 school-aged children per 100 multifamily households compared with an average of 62 children per 100 single-family households.



America's first traffic signal was installed in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1914; it used the illuminated words "STOP" and "MOVE." Around 1920, a Detroit policeman named William Potts came up with the familiar red/yellow/green signal. Since that time, there's been no fundamental improvement in the way signals work. In fact, these early signals were probably smarter than most modern ones-they were operated by a man in a sort of elevated phone booth overlooking the intersection. He decided who came and went based on the traffic flow at that moment.

Today, the very latest in signal controls is a system called SCOOT ("split cycle offset optimization technique," in case you were wondering). Its manufacturer, the mighty Siemens, bills it as a "dynamic, online, real-time method of signal control." In other words, it works just like that guy in the glass booth. And it only took them 85 years to come up with it.

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