Equality California Rejects Scouts' Failure to Embrace Full Equality
Published May 24, 2013 - 8:43:17 AM
The Boy Scouts of America have voted to allow openly gay youth to remain Boy Scouts, while continuing to exclude lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from leadership. This means Scouts who have dedicated years to their troops will still be kicked out when they turn 18. The Boy Scouts of America remain the largest youth group to discriminate against LGBT people.
Heal the Bay's 2013 Beach Report Card
Published May 24, 2013 - 8:41:40 AM
Californians heading to the shoreline this summer can take heart in yet another rise in beach water quality, according to the 23rd annual Beach Report Card®. Overall, only 14 of the beaches (3%) monitored statewide received D or F grades during summer dry weather, when most beachgoers typically use the ocean. High bacteria counts at these sites are linked to such potential illnesses as stomach flu, ear infections and major skin rashes. Some 413 beaches, or 93%, received A or B grades during the summer (April-October 2012). That figure marks a 1% uptick from the previous report.
Covered California Announces Plans and Rates for 2014
Published May 23, 2013 - 5:08:21 PM
Covered California™ today announced 13 diverse health insurance plans that will offer in 2014, affordable, quality health care coverage to millions of Californians. The plans reflect a mix of large non-profit and commercial plan leaders, along with well-known Medi-Cal and regional plans.
Wanted: Host Homes for Important Quake Instruments in the greater Pleasanton/Dublin/San Ramon area
Published May 23, 2013 - 8:07:37 AM
About 30 seismic sensors are seeking a place to hang out for up to three years in the greater Pleasanton/Dublin/San Ramon, Calif., area.
These sensors will help U.S. Geological Survey scientists conduct the next step in vital research to better understand how earthquakes behave in and around the East San Francisco Bay.
California Denies Protections to Tiny, Climate-threatened Mammals
Published May 23, 2013 - 8:06:21 AM
The California Fish and Game Commission voted today to deny protection to the American pika under the California Endangered Species Act despite grave threats from global warming. Today's decision comes in response to a scientific petition submitted by the Center for Biological Diversity in 2007 urging the state to protect the tiny, temperature-sensitive alpine mammal from climate change.
57,000 Distracted Driving Month Tickets in April; Cell Phone Usage Rate Down
Published May 23, 2013 - 7:56:39 AM
More than 57,000 drivers were ticketed for handheld cell phone talking or texting during April's Distracted Driving Awareness Month, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) and the California Highway Patrol (CHP). The citations written by CHP officers as well as over 250 local law enforcement agencies across the state match the number handed to drivers in last year's April campaign. The monthly number of cell phone tickets outside of this special high visibility enforcement averages 36,000 violations. Over 3,500 citations were handed out for other types of distracted driving violations.
State releases regulations for recycling old mercury thermostats
Published May 23, 2013 - 7:54:12 AM
The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) today released final regulations for the collection and recycling of used thermostats containing toxic mercury.
Tesla Repays Department of Energy Loan Nine Years Early
Published May 22, 2013 - 2:47:08 PM
Tesla Motors announced that it has paid off the entire loan awarded to the company by the Department of Energy in 2010. In addition to payments made in 2012 and Q1 2013, today's wire of almost half a billion dollars ($451.8M) repays the full loan facility with interest. Following this payment, Tesla will be the only American car company to have fully repaid the government.
Los Angeles Rebukes Citizens United Decision - Calls for Constitutional Amendment to Get Big Money out of Politics
Published May 22, 2013 - 10:21:20 AM
Voters in Los Angeles approved Proposition C on Tuesday by a margin of 76.6% to , instructing Congress to support a constitutional amendment that would overturn the ruling by five Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court in Citizens United v. FEC that allowed for unlimited corporate spending in elections.
Op-Ed: Viji Sundaram: Governor Brown, Counties Need Money to Keep California Healthy
Published May 22, 2013 - 9:52:21 AM
Under California Gov. Jerry Brown's revised budget, counties stand to lose crucial health care funding that would leave millions of people without access to care.
State Agency Committee Hosts California Green Fair at State Capitol on May 29
Published May 22, 2013 - 9:49:33 AM
The state Capitol will be bustling with live music, environmentally focused exhibits, and activities for kids and adults alike at the third annual California Green Fair on May 29.
Governor Brown Issues Proclamation Declaring "Harvey Milk Day"
Published May 22, 2013 - 9:42:15 AM
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued a proclamation declaring May 22, 2013 as "Harvey Milk Day" in the State of California.
Over 4 Million Californians to Kick-Off 3-Day Weekend With a Getaway, Says AAA
Published May 22, 2013 - 9:25:46 AM
AAA's travel survey projects that just over 4.0 million Californians plan on traveling 50 miles or more this Memorial Day holiday weekend. This represents a slight decrease of -2.1 percent from last year.
Salmon Advocates Challenge Weak Pesticide Controls in Central Valley
Published May 22, 2013 - 7:33:48 AM
Fishing groups acted Monday to strengthen regulation in California of two widely used pesticides known to harm salmon. More than one million pounds of the two pesticides are used annually to kill insects on a variety of crops in California and much of it washes off fields or drifts from the air into salmon-bearing streams.
National Survey Shows More Californians Engaging in Wildlife-Dependent Recreation
Published May 22, 2013 - 6:43:50 AM
Californian's passion for wildlife and outdoor recreation continues to be a major boost to the economy, according to survey data released recently by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Gov. Brown Deploys Six California Urban Search & Rescue Specialists to Oklahoma
Published May 21, 2013 - 12:52:20 PM
In the wake of the devastating tornado that hit Oklahoma yesterday, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today directed the California Emergency Management Agency (CalEMA) to deploy specialists from California's Urban Search & Rescue teams to assist in response and recovery efforts.
Suit to End Era of Ruinous ORV Open-Riding at Ocotillo Wells
Published May 21, 2013 - 12:45:18 PM
The California Department of Parks & Recreation has let off-road vehicles run amok in its largest off-road park, in violation of state resource protection laws, according to a lawsuit filed today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and the Desert Protective Council (DPC). If successful, the suit would end ORV "open-riding" beyond designated trails and require the park to implement strategies to protect the park's rich archaeological resources and desert environment.
CHP Out in "Full Force" this Memorial Day Weekend with One Goal in Mind, To Save Lives
Published May 21, 2013 - 11:08:21 AM
Memorial Day is a time to show our appreciation for the men and women who fought, and those who still are fighting, for our country. Many Californians will celebrate this occasion, which also kicks off the summer travel season, with social gatherings, outdoor events, and barbeques. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) encourages you to enjoy the holiday but always designate a non-drinking driver and buckle up.
CPUC Staff Enter Settlement Agreement of $37 Million With Southern California Edison Over 2007 Malibu Fire
Published May 21, 2013 - 10:52:21 AM
The California Public Utilities Commission's (CPUC) Safety and Enforcement Division today filed for CPUC Commissioner consideration a $37 million settlement agreement with Southern California Edison (SCE) that would resolve all issues regarding the October 2007 Malibu Canyon Fire with respect to SCE. Of the $37 million in shareholder funds, $20 million would be a penalty paid to the State of California's General Fund and $17 million would be spent on pole loading assessments and resulting remediation work in Malibu Canyon and surrounding areas.
Governor Brown Issues Executive Order to Streamline Approvals for Water Transfers to Protect California's Farms
Published May 21, 2013 - 10:51:20 AM
With near record-low precipitation in California this year, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued an Executive Order to streamline approvals for voluntary water transfers to assist California's agricultural industry.
Brady Campaign Applauds California's Microstamp Law
Published May 21, 2013 - 8:36:50 AM
After years of countless delays, the cutting-edge 'Microstamping' law in California has recently gone into effect. The law requires all new semi-automatic handguns to come equipped with technology that stamps each bullet casing with intentional markings that indicate the make, model and serial number of the firearm. The legislation, authored by former Assembly Member Mike Feuer, was signed into law in 2007 by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, but the implementation was delayed due to patent issues over the years. The Brady Campaign and its California Chapters were instrumental in securing passage of the legislation and the bill was their top priority in 2007. The legislation was also supported by 65 police chiefs and sheriffs throughout the state.
West Coast Senators to CFTC: Energy Swap Markets Continue to Avoid Oversight
Published May 21, 2013 - 8:29:20 AM
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairman of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, together with Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley (both D-Ore.), and Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell (both D-Wash.), today sent a letter to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) asking if proposed new rules exempting energy traders from regulation will undermine the Dodd-Frank law and prevent oversight of energy markets.
Op-Ed: Harvey Wasserman: San Onofre at the No Nukes Brink
Published May 20, 2013 - 2:54:29 PM
But a funny thing has happened on the way to the restart: a no nukes groundswell has turned this routine rubber stamping into an epic battle the grassroots just might win.
Blue Water Task Force Report Reveals Trends In Coastal Water Quality
Published May 20, 2013 - 12:22:34 PM
Summer is right around the corner and this means that many people will soon flock to the beach. To help make sure your day at the beach does not make you sick, the Surfrider Foundation and Emergen-C Blue are releasing the Second Annual Blue Water Task Force Annual Report to share water quality results from the Foundation's volunteer-run water testing labs. Below is a summary of the 2012 report's top findings:
Phillip Ung: California Common Cause Calls for End to Pay-to-Play Appointments in Legislature; Propose Solutions
Published May 20, 2013 - 10:16:33 AM
The Center of Investigative Reporting published an in-depth story on how Assembly Committee chairmanships and leadership posts were handed out to members as a reward for meeting fundraising quotas and sending money to highly contested races.
Lawsuit Against Highway Agencies Targets Deaths of Migratory Swallows
Published May 20, 2013 - 8:38:38 AM
Conservation and animal protection groups filed a lawsuit Friday against the California Department of Transportation, U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration for causing and allowing the deaths of migratory cliff swallows nesting under bridges at a highway widening project in Petaluma, Calif. The agencies refuse to remove deadly netting installed at bridge overpasses as part of a Caltrans highway widening project along Highway 101 in the Marin-Sonoma Narrows. The netting has killed and injured more than 100 swallows in a one-month period.
The Fix Was In: Crime in College Hoops
Published May 20, 2013 - 8:00:31 AM
Following a three-year FBI investigation dubbed Operation Hook Shot, eight people—including former University of San Diego (USD) basketball star Brandon Johnson, the school's all-time point and assist leader—were convicted and sentenced to federal prison terms for taking part in a sports bribery conspiracy. The eighth and final defendant, illegal bookmaker Richard Francis Garmo, was sentenced last month.
Deer Hair-loss Syndrome Challenges California Researchers
Published May 20, 2013 - 7:09:19 AM
Wildlife experts are calling the issue "hair loss" but the real problem appears to be from the infestation of non-native lice and in some cases, a heavy infestation of internal parasites. Symptoms range from a scruffy looking hair coat to near complete baldness. Hair–loss syndrome is also associated with poor nutritional condition, making it difficult for fawns to survive to replace the normal mortality in mature deer.
Dan Bacher: Three fracking moratorium bills pass Assembly Resources Committee, then go into Appropriations suspense file
Published May 20, 2013 - 7:06:52 AM
Despite intense political pressure by the oil industry, the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on April 29 approved three bills proposing to halt fracking (hydraulic fracturing), a controversial method of oil and natural gas extraction, in California.
Exhibit celebrates and educates about the Salton Sea, then and now
Full story: My Desert.com