Tax Relief Available for Business Owners Affected by Aliso Canyon Gas Leak
Published Feb 8, 2016 - 4:25:29 PM
The California State Board of Equalization (BOE) has announced that business owners and fee payers impacted by the gas leak in Aliso Canyon may request an extension to file their tax returns and for relief from penalties and/or interest on some taxes and fees. The gas leak was discovered on October 23, 2015, and Governor Jerry Brown declared a State of Emergency on January 6, 2016. A handful of other state agencies have mobilized to protect public health and safety, and to address many other issues stemming from the leak.
California Finalizes Important Emergency Rules in Response to Aliso Canyon Disaster
Published Feb 8, 2016 - 12:54:49 PM
On Friday, California’s oil and gas regulators approved a new set of emergency requirements to begin modernizing natural gas storage safety practices and help prevent another disaster like the one at Aliso Canyon. The new regulations, called for by Gov. Jerry Brown in January and drafted by the Department of Conservation's Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR), include key provisions recommended by Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and are a significant first step toward keeping California communities safe from future disasters.
California Congressman Introduces Bill to Reduce Seabird Deaths
Published Feb 7, 2016 - 9:18:34 AM
“Hook, line and sinker is literally how hundreds of thousands of seabirds die every year,” said David Yarnold, president and CEO of the National Audubon Society. “With more than half of the world’s albatross and petrel species facing extinction, time to protect these incredible birds from such needless deaths. This legislation makes sense for birds and makes sense for people, and we call on members of Congress to get it across the finish line.”
New BLS Data: California Women’s to Men’s Earnings Ratio 4th Highest in Nation
Published Feb 4, 2016 - 1:34:14 PM
In 2014, California women who were full-time wage and salary workers had median usual weekly earnings of $785, or 89.3 percent of the $879 median usual weekly earnings for their male counterparts, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that the women’s to men’s earnings ratio in California in 2014 was similar to the ratio in the previous year. Nationwide, women earned $719 per week, or 82.5 percent of the $871 median for men.
More monarchs reported in Northern California this year, but monarchs are not yet recovered
Published Feb 4, 2016 - 10:42:19 AM
Results from a survey of monarch butterfly overwintering sites in California show that there are more monarchs overwintering in the state this year than last. Volunteers with the Xerces Society’s Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count visited 187 sites and tallied a total of 271,924 monarchs. Although more monarchs were counted than last year, the average number of monarchs per site is not significantly different, and this year’s population estimate represents a 39% decline from the long term average. The number of monarchs counted this year is but a fraction of the 1.2 million monarchs recorded in the late 90s.
Field Poll: Voters see a close linkage between kids regularly drinking sugary beverages and their developing serious health conditions
Published Feb 4, 2016 - 9:38:44 AM
California voters continue to consider unhealthy eating and a lack of physical activity the single greatest health risk facing the state's children. Greater than seven in ten see a close linkage between a child regularly drinking sugary beverages and their developing long-term health conditions like Type-2 diabetes.
Pacific Ocean devours Pacifica cliffs in aerial photos over decades
Full story: SF Chronicle
Governor Brown Signs AB 21
Published Feb 3, 2016 - 4:49:14 PM
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced that he has signed the following bill:
AB 21 by Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) – Medical marijuana: cultivation licenses.
Santa Ana Community Blocks Immigrant Detention Expansion Plan
Published Feb 3, 2016 - 10:52:00 AM
After hours of testimony from community members who one after another denounced a proposal to raise revenue by expanding the ICE contract to detain immigrants at Santa Ana’s jail, those who rallied succeeded in seeing to the City Council voting to reject the plan, and moved forward to seek an end the jail contract as well as local law enforcement’s submission to deportation agents’ notification program, PEP-Comm.
Boxer, Feinstein Praise Inclusion of Measure to Launch Federal Review of Aliso Canyon Gas Leak
Published Feb 3, 2016 - 7:51:02 AM
U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein (both D-CA) today praised the inclusion of their amendment addressing the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak in the bipartisan energy bill, which is currently being considered on the Senate floor. The measure was approved by a voice vote last night.
State Water Board Adopts Extended Emergency Water Conservation Regulation
Published Feb 3, 2016 - 6:59:23 AM
With California still experiencing severe drought despite recent rains, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) today adopted an extended and revised emergency regulation to ensure that urban water conservation continues in 2016.
Governor Brown Issues Statement on Death of Three California Conservation Corps Members
Published Feb 2, 2016 - 4:20:55 PM
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued the following statement regarding the deaths of California Conservation Corps (CCC) members Justin Vanmeter, Rhonda Shackelford and Serena Guadarrama:
Op-Ed: Rachel Zwillinger: Not Enough Water for Wildlife in Senator Feinstein's New Drought Bill
Published Feb 2, 2016 - 3:16:24 PM
Chinook salmon are incredible creatures. After spending almost three years at sea, they make their way back to the rivers in which they hatched to spawn the next generation. In California each year, Chinook salmon swim beneath the Golden Gate Bridge and into the San Francisco Bay, making their way towards their spawning grounds on the Sacramento River.
California Snowpack Holds More Water than Last Year But Drought Conditions Continue
Published Feb 2, 2016 - 2:44:36 PM
Results of the winter’s second media-oriented manual snow survey by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) confirmed what Californians have been saying for weeks: It’s raining and snowing much more this winter than last.
CA Medical Association announces support for responsible marijuana ballot initiative
Published Feb 2, 2016 - 2:10:05 PM
Today, the California Medical Association (CMA) – representing more than 41,000 physician members statewide – announced its formal endorsement of the ballot measure known as the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act.
AG Kamala Harris Lodges Lawsuit Over the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak, Citing Violations of State Health and Safety Laws
Published Feb 2, 2016 - 1:19:24 PM
Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced that she has lodged a lawsuit against Southern California Gas Company for violations of California law in connection with a massive methane leak from its Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility. In addition to filing suit in her independent capacity as Attorney General, Harris’s lawsuit also includes her client, the California Air Resources Board. The natural gas leak has caused a public health and statewide environmental emergency, which has sickened residents of Porter Ranch and compelled them to relocate.
Parties Agree to New Path to Advance Klamath Agreement
Published Feb 2, 2016 - 1:15:44 PM
Today, the States of Oregon and California, PacifiCorp and the federal government – through the U.S. Departments of the Interior and Commerce – announced an agreement-in-principle to move forward with amending the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (KHSA).
Out-of-State Plastic Companies Gave Nearly $1 Million in January to Fight Plastic Bag Ban
Published Feb 2, 2016 - 8:03:43 AM
Out-of-state companies poured another $879,616 into their campaign to overturn California's statewide plastic bag ban in January 2016, according to new data from the California Secretary of State. Out-of-state companies now have contributed 98.8 percent of the donations for efforts to defeat the ban, which will be on the November 2016 ballot.
California Department of Public Health Reminds Public to Guard Against Mosquito Bites
Published Feb 1, 2016 - 4:06:36 PM
California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith today advised that although there is no evidence of mosquitoes carrying Zika virus in California, people should always take steps to avoid mosquito bites, including removing standing water and wearing insect repellent when necessary. Californians should also be advised of international travel alerts for the countries where Zika virus is circulating.
CAL FIRE Awards Fire Prevention Grants in High Tree Mortality Areas
Published Feb 1, 2016 - 11:26:10 AM
With massive tree mortality across California, CAL FIRE announced Monday it has awarded 19 State Responsibility Area Fire Prevention Fund grants in six counties that have been greatly affected by tree mortality. Over $1.7 million was approved for local projects focused on the removal of dead and dying trees in order to reduce the wildfire threat around homes within the counties of Fresno, Kern, Madera, Mariposa, Tulare and Tuolumne.
Folsom Lake rises to 44% of capacity after reaching record low of 14% in 2015
Published Feb 1, 2016 - 7:30:16 AM
Folsom Lake, the Sacramento metropolitan area’s backyard landlocked king salmon, rainbow trout and black bass fishery, reached its lowest-ever water level in November 2015 when it plunged to only 140,523 acre feet of water, 14 percent of capacity. That surpasses the previous low water level of 140,600 acre feet reached in November 1977.
At End of Covered CA Enrollment Period, Advocates Urge Ending Exclusion of Undocumented, Uninsured Adults
Published Jan 31, 2016 - 10:30:12 AM
With January 31st marking the close of Covered California’s third “Open Enrollment” period, a statewide coalition of advocates, called the Health For All coalition, urged for inclusion of undocumented and uninsured Californians who have been unjustly locked out from purchasing and accessing health plans in the statewide health exchange.
Landmark disclosure bill, California DISCLOSE Act, AB 700, Passes Assembly
Published Jan 31, 2016 - 10:17:22 AM
With a bipartisan vote in the State Assembly today, California moved one step closer to enacting the nation's most comprehensive election disclosure law. Assembly Bill 700, authored by Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles) and sponsored by the California Clean Money Campaign, requires all non-candidate campaign committees to clearly and prominently disclose the identity of their top three true funders on their campaign advertisements.
Op-Ed: Mercury News editorial: Stop the Delta tunnel water madness
Full story: Mercury News
California Energy Commission Adopts First-of-its-Kind LED Lighting Efficiency Standards
Published Jan 28, 2016 - 10:58:08 AM
The California Energy Commission voted unanimously today to adopt regulations that set efficiency standards for light bulbs that use light emitting diodes (LED).
Legislature Repeals March 1 Deadline
Published Jan 28, 2016 - 10:18:05 AM
Today the California State Assembly unanimously (66-0) passed AB 21, Assemblyman Wood’s emergency measure to repeal the March 1st deadline included in last year’s Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act.
AG Kamala Harris Convenes Law Enforcement, Planned Parenthood to Address Uptick in Threats and Violence Against Reproductive Health Clinics
Published Jan 28, 2016 - 6:16:22 AM
Attorney General Kamala Harris today convened local, state and federal law enforcement leaders and Planned Parenthood clinic directors to discuss the recent uptick in threats and violence against reproductive health clinics and ways to increase coordination to better protect patients and health care workers. The event consisted of a briefing for law enforcement officials on the current threats and a discussion of best practices to prevent and respond to them.
Historic settlement to end CA indefinite solitary confinement finalized in court
Published Jan 27, 2016 - 6:37:44 PM
On Tuesday, Federal Judge Claudia Wilken approved the final agreement to end indefinite solitary confinement in California calling it humane, innovative and fair. Prisoners celebrated the settlement agreement, whose terms were agreed on last September, claiming it as a victory that bolstered their struggle for human rights.
Op-Ed: Brigid McCormack: The California Coastal Commission’s integrity is at stake
Published Jan 27, 2016 - 5:56:09 PM
California's spectacular coastline is one of the world’s most impressive natural landscapes. At 3,427 miles long, it is home to millions of birds that migrate along the Pacific Flyway each year. Our state’s history of protecting our coastlines for wildlife and people is unparalleled in the United States and reflects the strong conservation ethic held by its residents.
CDFW Using Helicopters to Survey Wildlife in Modoc, Lassen Counties
Published Jan 27, 2016 - 8:18:05 AM
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has begun conducting a series of deer surveys in northern California this week using a helicopter. The survey work began Monday, Jan. 25 in Modoc County. Unless delayed by weather, surveys for deer will end this week in Modoc County and will resume in late February in Lassen County.