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Field Poll: Heavy support for Prop. 1 (Water Bonds). Big swing to the no side on Prop. 45 (Health Insurance Rate Changes) and Prop. 46 (Drug Testing of Doctors/Medical Negligence Lawsuits). Continuing support for Prop. 47 (Criminal Sentences)

In its final statewide survey before next Tuesday’s election, The Field Poll finds continuing strong support for Proposition 1, the state water bonds ballot measure. One week before the election 54% of likely voters say they will be voting Yes, just 22% are intending to vote No, while 24% are undecided. These results are similar to a Field Poll completed earlier this fall.

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State Health Director Urges Californians to Get Flu Vaccine

With the influenza season now upon us, Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and state health officer, today urges Californians to get a flu shot. While flu activity in California remains low with no laboratory confirmed outbreaks or deaths, now is the time to get immunized.

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Controller Expands Public Pay Database with Fairs & Expositions, First 5 Commissions

State Controller John Chiang today expanded his public pay data website to include 2013 salary, benefits and other compensation data for individuals employed by Community College Districts across the State, Fairs and Expositions and First 5 Commissions. All told, today’s update includes 142,007 employees earning approximately $4 billion.

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U.S. Attorney Names District Election Officer for November 4 General Election

United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced today that Assistant United States Attorney Kevin C. Khasigian will serve as District Election Officer (DEO) for the Eastern District of California for the November 4, 2014, general elections. The DEO is responsible for overseeing complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses in consultation with Justice Department Headquarters in Washington.

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High-quality drug testing helps protect the integrity of California horse racing

With big names like California Chrome, Bayern and Shared Belief taking the field for the Breeder’s Cup Classic on Nov. 1, it’s a safe bet that drug testing in American horse racing will be an ongoing topic.

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AG Kamala D. Harris Releases Data Breach Report; 18.5 Million Californians' Personal Information Put at Risk

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today released the second annual report detailing the 167 data breaches reported to the Attorney General’s office in 2013 that impacted18.5 million Californians by putting their personal information at risk. The report is accompanied by recommendations from the Attorney General for consumers, businesses and lawmakers on how to protect against data breaches and prevent them in the future.

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New Report: Action Needed Now to Fix Climate Change Preparedness Deficit

Climate impacts are hitting home faster than governments are adapting, but it’s not too late to protect our communities with cost-effective, nature-based approaches for risk reduction, according to a new report from the National Wildlife Federation, Allied World Assurance Company Holdings, LG, and Earth Economics. Natural Defenses from Hurricanes and Floods: Protecting America’s Communities and Ecosystems in an Era of Extreme Weather takes an in-depth look at the growing risks we face from these potentially-catastrophic natural hazards, the policy solutions that can safeguard people, property and wildlife habitats, and local case studies that point the way forward. It calls on America to substantially increase our investments in proactive risk reduction measures at a “Marshall Plan” scale that takes into consideration the growing risks from more intense storms, flooding and sea level rise.

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Homeowners Are Encouraged To Prepare Their Trees for Winter Season In Case Rain Is Scarce

California’s drought is having a visible impact on lawns throughout the state as homeowners reduce their outdoor watering. Lawns can be brought back to life relatively quickly, but once a tree dies, its loss is irreversible.

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Napa, Solano County Residents to Receive Federal Individual, Household Aid Following South Napa Earthquake

Today the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that the Major Disaster declaration for the South Napa earthquake will also include the Individuals and Households Program under the Stafford Act. This amendment makes assistance available to help homeowners and renters recover from the earthquake.

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California Dungeness Crab Season to Open Nov. 1, 2014

California's Dungeness crab sport fishery opens statewide this Saturday, Nov. 1. Every year at this time, recreational crab fishers eagerly set out in pursuit of these tasty crustaceans. Some set hoop nets and crab traps from boats and piers while others fish crab loop traps on the end of a fishing rod. Still others will dive in to take the crabs by hand. Regardless of the method, Dungeness crabs are one of California's most popular shellfish.

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Rep. Garamendi Urges Action on Wildfire Funding in Letter to House Leaders

Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA-03), a former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi urging an immediate vote on wildfire funding when Congress returns to Washington during the November-December “lame duck” session.

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Forest Service Agrees to Reconsider Wilderness Protection in Los Padres National Forest

Conservation groups today praised a decision by the U.S. Forest Service to consider stronger protections for wildlife and wildlands across 221,579 acres throughout the Los Padres National Forest in the remote backcountry of Santa Barbara, Ventura and Kern counties.

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CHP 'Shifts Gears' with new, revised teen driver program

Collisions remain the number one killer of American teenagers, killing almost as many drivers as passengers, and killing more kids than homicide or suicide. The same holds true in California. Saving teen lives through education is a mission of the California Highway Patrol (CHP), which is providing a new, revitalized “Start Smart” teen safe driving program.

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Op-Ed: Miriam Rotkin-Ellman: Burden of the Boom: Who Will Pay the Price for Fracking in California?

From polluted skies to contaminated drinking water and hazardous waste, communities of color in California get way more than their fair share. If the oil and gas industry gets their way, drilling – and the environmental and health threats from fracking, acidizing, and other technologies – will be piled onto communities already staggering under smoggy skies and unsafe water.

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State Task Force Takes Aim at Criminal Tax Evasion

Tax evasion robs California of roughly $8.5 billion every year—funds which are vital to public services such as education, healthcare, and public safety. As a partner of the Tax Recovery and Criminal Enforcement (TRaCE) Task Force, the Board of Equalization recently introduced and is host to the new TRaCE website. The TRaCE Task Force unites state and federal resources to collaboratively investigate and prosecute people and businesses operating in the underground economy.

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California's State Budget - Infographic

This infographic presents information about the current state budget (2014-15) and compares the level of spending and revenues assumed in the current budget to historical levels since 1950-51. As a share of personal income—one broad measure of the size of the California economy—state spending has been relatively flat since the late 1970s. Spending on health and human services and corrections programs has generally increased over the period, while spending on higher education and transportation programs has generally decreased. Since 1950-51, the personal income tax has replaced the sales and use tax as the predominant source of General Fund revenue.

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Federal District Court Judge To Hear Testimony Questioning Marijuana's Schedule I Status

Testimony regarding the constitutionality of the federal statute designating marijuana as a Schedule I Controlled Substance will be taken on Monday, October 27 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California in the case of United States v. Pickard, et. al., No.2:11-CR-0449-KJM.

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Parks in California, Utah, and Oregon tagged with rock paintings that officials call vandalism
Full story: Orgonlive

A parched farm town is sinking due to overpumping by farmers, and so are its residents' hearts
Full story: LA Times


'Bomb trains': A crude awakening for Richmond, Calif.
Full story: AL Jazeera


Op-Ed: Robert Reich: Berkeley vs. Big Soda (VIDEO)

I got a call the other day from a stooge of Big Soda who was doing a “push poll” — trying to get me and all my neighbors to vote against Berkeley’s proposed one-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary soft drinks.

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DTSC Files Complaint Against the U.S. Army

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has filed a civil complaint against the United States Army (Army) for numerous violations of California’s hazardous waste control laws at the Riverbank Army Ammunition Plant.

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Scientists work to save endangered desert mammal

Amargosa voles, small rodents that inhabit rare marshes of the Mojave Desert, have faced dire circumstances in recent years. Loss of habitat, extreme drought and climate change brought this subspecies of the California vole to near extinction, leaving only a few hundred clinging to existence. It is now one of the most critically endangered mammals in North America. Its luck may be changing with the birth of the first set of pups from a new captive breeding program at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

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Sacramento Crude Transport Project Stopped Dead In Its Tracks

Just one month after Earthjustice filed a lawsuit on behalf of Sierra Club challenging the Sacramento air district for rubber-stamping permits allowing Inter-State Oil Company to transfer Bakken crude oil from rail to truck without public or environmental review, the agency reversed course telling the oil company to cease all crude trans-loading operations. Today, Inter-State responded in a letter to the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District saying the company will stop handling crude as of November 14.

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California Law Allows Time Off to Vote on Election Day

To ensure all eligible voters can get to the polls, California law provides employees up to two hours off to vote under certain circumstances. Polling places will be open between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on November 4.

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UC Davis identifies dams with too-low flows for fish

Scientists have identified 181 California dams that may need to increase water flows to protect native fish downstream. The screening tool developed by the Center for Watershed Sciences at the University of California, Davis, to select "high-priority" dams may be particularly useful during drought years amid competing demands for water.

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Hoist with His Own Petard: Jerry Brown Reveals True Intent of Proposition One

After months of misrepresenting the true purpose of Proposition 1, Governor Jerry Brown inadvertently undermined his own message at a recent Stanford water conference. He claimed the measure would provide components missing from the State Water Project “enacted by my father.” These components, Brown ominously intoned, would “deal with the Delta.”

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Dublin CHP officer suspected of secretly forwarding DUI suspect's nude photos to his own phone
Full story: Contra Costa Times


Scientists, Fishermen, Water Advocates and Artists Convene at Berkeley Marina to Oppose Proposition 1

Opponents of Proposition 1 gathered today at the Berkeley Marina to speak out against Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond on the November ballot. With the San Francisco Bay as a backdrop and the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance, water and fisheries scientists, a fisherman and water advocates made their case: Prop 1 will harm fisheries and waterways, and won’t bring drought relief or solve the state’s long-term water crisis.

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The Wilderness Society and Partners List Additional Tours to California's Desert Treasures That Should Be Preserved

To highlight the remarkable heritage, wildlife and recreation of the California Desert, The Wilderness Society announced additional tours with partners to explore California’s Desert Treasures.

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