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Power

CA's First Molten Salt Energy Plant Approved 270

An anonymous reader writes "This year we've seen molten salt power plants start to pick up steam around the world, and now the technology is heating up stateside — California just approved its first molten salt energy plant. Designed by SolarReserve, the plant uses heliostats to focus thermal energy on a power tower filled with salt, which is able to reach very high temperatures (over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit) and can hold heat for an extraordinary length of time. Heat from this reserve of molten salt can then be pumped through a steam generator to provide on-demand energy long after the sun has set."
Government

CA City Mulls Evading the Law On Red-Light Cameras 366

TechDirt is running a piece on Corona, CA, where officials are considering ignoring a California law that authorizes red-light cameras — cutting the state and the county out of their portion of the take — in order to increase the city's revenue. The story was first reported a week ago. The majority of tickets are being (automatically) issued for "California stops" before a right turn on red, which studies have shown rarely contribute to an accident. TechDirt notes the apparent unconstitutionality of what Corona proposes to do: "The problem here is that Corona is shredding the Sixth Amendment of the US Constitution, the right to a trial by jury. By reclassifying a moving violation... to an administrative violation... Corona is doing something really nefarious. In order to appeal an administrative citation you have to admit guilt, pay the full fine, and then apply for a hearing in front of an administrative official, not a judge in a court. The city could simply deny all hearings for administrative violations or schedule them far out in advance knowing full well that they have your money, which you had to pay before you could appeal."

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