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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Author Archive: Larry Weitzman

2014 Kia Cadenza: Luxury without the tax

  When Kia came to the United States  some 20 years ago, its only product was a no-frills compact called the Sephia priced for thousands less than brand T or H. Now they have gone not just one better, but perhaps infinitely better with the all new Cadenza, and, no, I am not talking about […]

The balancing act: Admitting the truth

Some people are so upset with countervailing opinions that they feel the only solution is to silence them. That was written by a Harvard Crimson biweekly columnist named Sandra Y.L. Korn, who said exactly that in her recent column “The Thin Red Line.” Korn wrote, “No academic question is ever ‘free’ from political realities. If […]

The balancing act: Inequality

Income inequality is all the rage and it has become the latest assault on our freedom. Although it has been mentioned before, it became more prominent when President Obama made the point to reduce income inequality in his State of the Union speech recently. The idea that everyone is created equal did not mean that […]

2014 Toyota Corolla: Compact size, midsize back seat

Leading with a perhaps less than exciting title says a lot about the all new Corolla, now in its 11th generation. If you are looking for a snappy small car that can double as you weekend track or autocross play car, you should look somewhere else. But if you are looking for a comfortable, reliable […]

2014 Mitsubishi Outlander GT: guilt-free performance

Mitsubishi is certainly not a newcomer to making state-of-the-art vehicles with cars like the class-leading EVO super rally car. Having been a leader in high performance all-wheel drive systems (Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4), its new Outlander GT with its high tech Super All-Wheel Control system should continue to dazzle rally enthusiasts. But it should also make […]

The balancing act: Obamacare strikes again

Unless you have been living in a cave, most everyone above room temperature has heard about the new Congressional Budget Office report that over the next few years, Obamacare is going to cost the equivalent of about 2.5 million jobs. We already know that Obamacare is going to cost hundreds of billions of dollars more […]

Scion IQ: Toyota’s first go-kart, er.. mini car

How does one build a four-passenger car that is only 120 inches long with an 80-inch wheel base? Ask Toyota. But it has been done before and over 5 million were built over 40 years. It was called the Austin and Morris Mini. It was designed by Alex Issigonis after he was given a design […]

2014 Hyundai Sonata — making Beethoven jealous

Now in its fourth year of production, this sixth generation Sonata is still making some of the sweetest music that Hyundai has ever created as a result of its continued improvement to an already benchmark design. Hyundai claims there have been more than 50 major sub-systems that are new or redesigned. By now the design […]

The balancing act: How to get around welfare

Nearly 50 years ago, President Lyndon Baines Johnson declared the creation of the Great Society in his State of the Union Speech on Jan. 4, 1965. Its purpose was to end poverty, create a program of civil rights and new health care legislation. But six months before, he already got his War on Poverty bill […]

2014 Hyundai Sonata: Making Beethoven jealous

Now in its fourth year of production, this sixth generation Sonata is still making some of the sweetest music that Hyundai has ever created as a result of its continued improvement to an already benchmark design. Hyundai claims there have been more than 50 major sub-systems that are new or redesigned. By now the design […]

At Eskaton Village Placerville, the sky is no limit

Sitting high on a hill above Broadway is an Eskaton multiservice retirement community called Eskaton Village Placerville. It is located on what appears to be a private street but it is in reality Blairs Lane. When you reach the end you will find a modern, picturesque village of beautiful cottages and apartments. While development started […]

Dr. Yong Kim and the ART of chiropractic therapy

When Dr. Yong Kim, owner of Performance Chiropractic and Sports Care, was at San Jose State University, his course of study was far afield from becoming a Doctor of Chiropractic — it was aeronautical engineering. But because of an experience during a gym work out as a teenager, Dr. Kim’s professional career took him from […]

2014 Jeep Patriot, a real Jeep

Most everyone knows the birth of this legendary brand. It was the vehicle of choice for General Patton in World War II. A rugged, do-anything, go-anywhere vehicle that Five Star General  of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower praised time and again saying, “The Jeep, the Dakota (DC-3) and the Landing Craft were the three tools […]

Fiat 500e: Is it electrifying?

Along with the what could be defined as a mini-compact super car, the Fiat 500, Fiat offers this same car as a pure EV. So how does it stand up to the $16,700, 101 hp gasoline conventional model? In a nutshell, if it were not for a high price, limited range and timely refueling issues, […]

January 17, 2014 | Posted in Roadbeat | 3 Replies

The balancing act: White Christmas

For 74 tourists, scientists, researchers and crew members aboard the Russian ice-strenghtened ship Akademik Shokalskiy, it has been a White Christmas. It wasn’t supposed to be that way. It is the middle of summer in the Southern Hemisphere, but Mother Nature has said otherwise. It is ironic that this ship designed for arctic and antarctic […]

2014 Chevrolet Spark EV has sparkling performance, but…

Pure electric cars are becoming more prolific. The Chevy Spark EV is the newest entrant along the electron highway. It is basically a Chevy Spark mini-compact reengineered for electric propulsion . It was not designed to be pretty; it was designed to be practical: maximum room in a minimal space or footprint. The outcome was […]

The balancing act: Lies, more lies and damn lies

In a quest to convince the public that humans are contributing to global warming or climate change by burning fossil fuels that add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, President Obama has said that global warming (or climate change) is going to cause more severe and extreme weather like hurricanes and tornadoes and cause massive forest […]

Fiat 500: Fabulous fun at 45 mpg

It has been a long time since Fiats were sold in the United States. Being Italian, they were certainly stylish, but they had plenty of teething problems and the brand faded into U.S. oblivion some 25 years ago. Fast forward to the recent U.S. auto meltdown; Fiat saved Chrysler (whose sales are now chart toppers […]

The balancing act: Butterflies are not free

Every year on the first day of November Monarch butterflies arrive by the millions to the fir forests of central Mexico, except this year. Normally more than 60 million appear like magic, but this year they didn’t arrive until a week later and then in record low numbers, some saying fewer than 3 million. In […]

The balancing act: Voodoo science

If you haven’t heard by now, a terrible typhoon named Haiyan struck in the central Philippine island of Leyte killing upwards of 5,000 people. Leyte is some 350 miles to the southeast of the capital city of Manila which is on the largest island of the Philippines, Luzon. Some are claiming it was the most […]

The balancing act: His lips are moving

Con men are well aware of the old adage of when they are lying. Now that adage can be applied to our president. In more than a hundred maybe a thousand speeches the president said of his plan for universal health care, “If you like your health insurance plan and/or your doctor you can or […]

The balancing act: The sky is falling; no, the seas are rising

Most everyone knows the story of Chicken Little who cried the sky is falling. Well, the sky didn’t fall and when something really bad happened, no one believed him. Now just the opposite is going to happen. In October, as reported by the stalwart of propaganda, the New York Times, and republished by the purveyor […]

The balancing act: From claptrap to the preposterous

If the IPCC didn’t scare you, then the latest claptrap from a biological geographer named Camilo Mora who claims to be associated with the University of Hawaii should. It says that by 2047, the whole world will be engulfed in off-the-chart heat. His study says the intense heat will start in Kingston, Jamaica, in just […]

The balancing act: The IPCC swings and misses

Let’s get one thing straight that you can take to the bank: The IPCC is not a baseball team, but if it were they would be in last place doubtful as to winning any games, even if they were playing in Little League (no insult to Little League intended). IPCC is an acronym for the […]

October 17, 2013 | Posted in Opinion | 5 Replies

Hard landing at Cameron Airport

It was a bumpy early morningTuesday for the pilot of a light sport airplane that landed so hard the aircraft had to be removed from the taxiway with the aid of a forklift. While the aircraft appears to have suffered little damage, it was unable to move whether a result of its fixed landing gear […]

California Capital Airshow takes off

Thrills and no spills marked the 8th two-day California Capital Airshow. And at 10 years old (the initial airshow was in 2004), the show’s Executive Director Darcy Brewer has put together a major national airshow pulling in amazing airplanes and the nation’s top airshow performers like Kirby Chambliss, Mike Goulian and Kyle Franklin, to name a few.

With the government shutdown, no military presence was available. But Brewer used that to her advantage. Who needs the Blue Angels when you can get the 11-jet Canadian Snowbird team? The shutdown cancelled other shows dependent on a huge government presence and …

Motorcyclist magazine tapped local couple for Alps tour

Steve and Heidi Gish of Shingle Springs are motorcycle enthusiasts who love to ride and who have traveled the world to do it. Heidi Gish, who has ridden dirt bikes off-road and has her own Honda XR200, only rides as a passenger on the street with husband Steve.

Last spring Steve, a program manager at Intel, received an e-mail from Motorcyclist magazine (America’s oldest publication of its type and which just celebrated its 100th year of publishing) that in conjunction with Edelweiss Bike Travel, an Austrian-based motorcycle touring company, which is also the largest of its type in the world, asking its readers to apply for a trip of a lifetime for 10 people who would travel to Europe to tour the Alps on motorcycles.

Edelweiss classifies its trips as easy, moderate and tough.

The balancing act: Free money

Jerry Brown thinks green is free so he just signed a new California minimum wage bill that raises the minimum wage from $8 an hour to $10 an hour instead of allowing the best arbiter of labor’s worth, the free market, to operate. Without going into a lengthy economic discussion of why wage and price […]

The balancing act: Guns and funerals

About 15 years ago the Balancing Act did a column or two on the relationship of guns to crime. Even today, 15 years after the publishing of the definitive book on the subject by Professor John R. Lott Jr., “More Guns, Less Crime,” the mantra of the mainstream media continues to be that “more guns […]

Italy on Wheels is rolling

Blue covered the sky, but the grounds of the Murer House Museum and park were covered with red, white and green for the second annual Italy on Wheels held Sept. 14.  The red, white and green refers to Italian cars, motorcycles, scooters and bicycles that were painted in all colors except for one very nice […]

Burgman 400, 650: A tale of 2 cities

With gas prices pushing $4 a gallon, people are still looking for economical transportation. When gas prices spiked in 2008, motor scooters became the craze. Gas prices are nearly at their 2008 prices again and scooters are again becoming popular. Even BMW has introduced a 650 Maxi or Super Scooter to the U. S. market […]

2013 Hyundai Elantra: You’ve come a long way, baby

It has been over 25 years since Hyundai made its first foray in the United States selling cars, starting with the Hyundai Excel, designed by famed Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro. My brother had one for years and he loved how well the front-wheel drive worked in the Sierra snow and he could park it anywhere. […]

Socko Mustang debuts at Monterey

Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway is all about history. During the late 1960s and 1970s Trans Am Racing was all the rage with Mustangs battling Camaros battling Barracudas. The theme this year at the Historical Car Races was Corvette and its racing history, but it was Steve Saleen whose world debut of his Heritage Mustang detailed […]

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