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Governor Brown Issues Statement on Death of San Diego Police Officer

“Anne and I were deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of Officer Jonathan DeGuzman, who was shot and killed in the line of duty. Each day officers risk their lives to keep our communities safe and Officer DeGuzman’s brave service and sacrifice will not be forgotten. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Officer DeGuzman’s family and friends, members of the San Diego Police Department and all law enforcement mourning the loss of this dedicated public servant.”

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SeaWorld Drops Lawsuit Against Coastal Commission Challenging Restrictions on Captive Orca Program

SeaWorld has requested dismissal of its lawsuit against the California Coastal Commission challenging conditions placed on its permit to expand tanks at the San Diego facility as part of their Blue World project. Those conditions required SeaWorld to end its captive breeding and transfer of orcas at the San Diego facility. With SeaWorld’s request, the suit is officially dismissed. While SeaWorld had stated an intention to end their captive orca breeding program and abandon the Blue World project, it had not yet dropped its December 2015 lawsuit defending those efforts.

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Climate Change’s Fingerprints All Over California Wildfires

Reports this week from the front lines of the Sand Fire in Southern California painted the scene as apocalyptic. The drought-fueled blaze was explosive, fast-moving and devastating, burning through 38,000 acres in the Santa Clarita Valley and forcing the evacuation of more than 10,000 homes.

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Watchdog Groups Settle First-Ever Prop 65 Lawsuit to Clean Up Polluting Oil and Gas Wastewater Pits

A settlement agreement announced today between watchdog groups Association of Irritated Residents, Clean Water Fund and Center for Environmental Health, and oil and gas wastewater disposal company, Valley Water Management (Valley) will require the company to stop discharging toxic chemicals into groundwater at two of its facilities east of Bakersfield. Valley, the single largest operator of unlined oil and gas wastewater pits in California, agreed to the settlement with the groups after they filed suit under the state’s Prop 65 safe drinking water law. The settlement with Valley, which operates 462 oil and gas wastewater pits at 28 facilities, is the first Prop 65 lawsuit to limit toxic oil and gas wastewater discharge into disposal pits.

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Dan Bacher: Delta Tunnels: Restoring An Estuary by Diverting Its Water?

After covering fish, water, and environmental justice issues in California and the West for over 30 years as an investigative journalist, I’ve concluded that the California Water Fix, the new name for the Delta Tunnels, is the most environmentally devastating public works project I've ever encountered.

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Legal Action Launched to Protect Western Snowy Plovers From California Beach Resort

Environmental groups today sent a formal notice of intent to sue Security National Guarantee, the developer behind the Monterey Bay Shores Resort, a sprawling resort planned along the Monterey Bay that will bring thousands of visitors and harm a rare bird species, the western snowy plover. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has repeatedly criticized the development and argued that “take” — that is, the death or injury — of western snowy plovers will likely result from construction and use of the resort.

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100% of vulnerable Tricolored Blackbird colonies on farmland saved

Through cooperative agreements with farmers in California’s Central Valley, a historic one hundred percent of rare Tricolored Blackbird colonies on agricultural fields were protected during the 2016 harvest season. Working with the USDA California Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and their Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) Tricolored Blackbird Project, Audubon California helped seven farmers delay the silage harvest, saving roughly 57,000 birds on 378 acres.

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Chiang and County Treasurers Move to Stop 'Pay-to-Play' School Bond Campaigns

State Treasurer John Chiang and a coalition of county treasurers and tax collectors today moved to stop questionable bankrolling of campaign activities in local bond election campaigns.

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Acting Governor Torlakson Declares State of Emergency in Los Angeles and Monterey Counties

Acting Governor Tom Torlakson today issued emergency proclamations for Los Angeles and Monterey counties due to the effects of the Sand and Soberanes fires, which have burned tens of thousands of acres of land, threatened thousands of homes and other structures and caused the evacuation of residents.

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Soberanes Fire satellite image

In late July 2016, wildfire burned along Soberanes Creek, Garrapata State Park, and north of Big Sur in Monterey County, California. On July 24, 2016, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite captured this image of the Soberanes fire.

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Sand Fire Burn Scar (satellite imagery)

The Sand Fire in Southern California has already left its scorch mark on the landscape. The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the Landsat 8 satellite acquired these images of the burn scar while the fire still raged on July 24, 2016.

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FEMA Fire Management Assistance Granted For Sand Fire

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to assist the state of California to combat the Sand Fire burning in Los Angeles County.

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Central Valley Heat Wave Means Extra Caution With Kids in Hot Cars

Yesterday in Dallas, a three year old boy lost his life in a car during 100 degree heat. It will be much hotter than that in the Central Valley for the rest of the week, just the type of weather that can seriously injure or kill a child trapped inside a parked car. The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), state and local officials caution parents and caregivers to make sure children are never left in cars and can never find their way into an unattended car.

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Commercial Fishing & Conservation Groups Join Native American Tribes’ Legal Action to Protect Klamath Salmon and Fishing Communities

Prominent commercial fishing groups and conservation organization Klamath Riverkeeper took initial legal steps to compel the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to protect juvenile coho salmon after back-to-back years of potentially deadly disease outbreaks on the Klamath River.

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Groups applaud proposal to cut methane pollution from California oil & gas facilities

On July 21st, the California Air Resources Board first met to publicly consider its proposed rule to limit methane and associated toxic pollution from oil and gas facilities. While CARB still has the opportunity to strengthen the rule in a few key ways, environmental groups from around the state and the country lauded the rule as an example to follow for other states and the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

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K9 stabbed while assisting in marijuana eradication efforts

On July 21, 2016 at approximately 7 a.m. the Trinity County Sheriff's Dispatch Center was notified that a K9 had been stabbed and a helicopter was being requested at their location. The Dispatch Center was notified by the Trinity County Sheriff's Deputy who was working with the U.S. Forest Service in a remote location in Trinity County eradicating marijuana. The K9 who was injured was identified as K9 Ice with the U.S. Forest Service.

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Big Pharma Showers Millions on California Doctors

Federal records show drug and medical-device manufacturers in 2015 made payments of more than a quarter of a billion dollars that – in one way or another - went directly or indirectly into the pockets of tens of thousands of California doctors, even as the leadership of the California Medical Association decided to oppose Prop. 61, the November ballot measure to cap prescription drug prices.

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Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Joins U.S. and 12 other State Attorneys General in Filing Antitrust Lawsuit to Block Merger of Insurance Companies Anthem and Cigna

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced that California, along with 11 other states and the District of Columbia, has joined the United States Department of Justice in filing a civil antitrust lawsuit to block the proposed $48.3 billion merger of two major insurance companies, Anthem and Cigna.

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CDPH Reports Increased West Nile Virus Activity Statewide

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is reporting increased West Nile virus activity across the state and is investigating numerous suspect cases in humans. While the first human case has not been confirmed by CDPH, a resident of Los Angeles County has symptoms consistent with West Nile virus disease. Initial tests on that patient indicate a probable West Nile virus diagnosis, which requires further testing for confirmation.

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Group clones California’s huge trees to fight climate change
Full story: Washington Post


Blue-green algae bloom in Lake Britton, caution urged in water contact

Due to its potential health risks, federal, state and county agencies are urging swimmers, boaters and recreational users to avoid direct contact with or use of waters containing blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), which is now beginning to bloom in Lake Britton. Lake Britton is located in northern California in Shasta County.

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San Diego Passes Plastic Bag Ban, Boosts Prop 67

The San Diego Council City voted 6-3 today to become the 150th community in the state to ban single-use plastic bags from grocery stores and convenience stores, joining the state’s other major cities in enacting a ban.

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Over 15,000 Acres in Mendocino Now County Protected Through Partnership

As part of CAL FIRE’s Forest Legacy Program 15,620 acres are now protected from development under the Eel River Peninsula Conservation Project. Three separate properties Summer Camp Ranch, Garcia Creek Ranch, and Foster Mountain Ranch collectively make up the conservation easement. Landowners are encouraged to continue to manage their natural resources for sustainable timber production harvesting, hunting, fishing, grazing, and recreation.

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PG&E to Increase Flows Again for Whitewater Recreation on Rock Creek Reach of North Fork Feather River

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will again increase water flows for whitewater recreation in the Rock Creek Reach of the North Fork Feather River in Plumas County for the second time this summer.

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California Grocery Shoppers Call on Gov. Brown to Stop Irrigating California Crops with Oil Waste

As millions of Californians do their weekend grocery shopping, concerned consumers are gathering at grocery stores across the state Saturday to talk to fellow shoppers about a disturbing practice that could threaten the safety of their fruits and vegetables: minimally treated wastewater from oil drilling is being used to irrigate California’s crops. Deeply concerned that water officials are planning to expand the practice without confirming its safety, community members are collecting signatures for a petition calling on the governor and State Water Board to ban this practice that could be jeopardizing the health of the millions of consumers who eat California-grown food. The petition has over 276,000 signatures, not counting those collected today.

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LGBT Advocates and Scholars Applaud New California History-Social Science Framework

The California State Board of Education announced yesterday that it has adopted a new History-Social Science Framework. The Framework sets out guidelines for K-12 schools to implement content standards for history and social science instruction. Among the many changes made to the Framework, LGBT people and their contributions to California and US history are accurately represented for the first time.

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California Officially Lists Common Pesticide Atrazine as Reproductive Toxin

California today listed atrazine — the second-most widely used pesticide in the United States — under Proposition 65 as a chemical known to be linked to birth defects, reduced male fertility and reproductive toxicities in women. Products containing atrazine will now require a warning label before they can be sold in the state.

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Dan Bacher: Brown Hires Bruce Babbitt As New Point Man For Delta Tunnels

Governor Jerry Brown has enlisted Bruce Babbitt, the former Secretary of Interior under the Clinton administration and former Governor of Arizona, to serve as a “special advisor” to the Brown administration on California WaterFix and other Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta matters.

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Blue-green algae blooming in Pit River Arm of Shasta Lake; Caution Urged in Water Contact

Due to its potential health risks, federal, state and county agencies are urging swimmers, boaters and recreational users to avoid direct contact with or use of waters containing blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), now blooming in a reach of the Pit River Arm of Shasta Lake in Northern California.

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Field Poll: Contrasting views about the overall direction of the state and the nation

There are big differences between how California voters view the direction of the state and the direction of the nation. By a 52% to 39% most voters here believe the state is generally moving in the right direction. This represents the second consecutive Field Poll in which a majority has described the state as heading in the right direction. These results are a marked departure from the recent past. The last prior year in which a majority of Californians described the state as moving in the right direction was sixteen years ago in the year 2000.

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