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Measles Outbreak That Began in December Now Over

The California measles outbreak that began in December 2014 is over, it was announced today by Dr. Karen Smith, director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and state health officer.

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Jehovah's Witnesses don't have to warn congregants of child abusers, court says

Candace Conti drew worldwide attention in her fight against the Jehovah’s Witnesses when a jury awarded her $28 million in damages – the largest verdict for a single victim of child abuse against a religious organization in U.S. history.

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250 Native Elk Die Inside Fenced-in Area at Point Reyes National Seashore

The National Park Service has acknowledged that that more than 250 tule elk died inside the fenced Pierce Point Elk Preserve at California’s Point Reyes National Seashore from 2012 to 2014, likely due to lack of access to year-round water. While nearly half the elk inside the fenced area died, free-roaming Point Reyes elk herds with access to water increased by nearly a third during the same period.

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Commissioner Jones and patients urge Covered California to make life-saving drugs affordable for Californians with severe illness

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, patients and consumers urged the Covered California board to amend its proposal to allow health insurers to require Californians to pay unaffordable out-of-pocket costs to obtain specialty drugs needed to treat chronic illness.

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CalEPA Doubles Grants for Environmental Justice

California Secretary for Environmental Protection Matthew Rodriquez today announced more than $500,000 in grants to 28 organizations to improve environmental and health conditions and promote public engagement in California communities disproportionately burdened by pollution.

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New Report: Who Pays Taxes in California?

Released for Tax Day — April 15 — a new Budget Center report shows that the lowest-income families in the state pay a greater share of their incomes in state and local taxes, on average, than other families, including those at the very top of the income ladder. Who Pays Taxes in California? underscores that this is true even with Proposition 30's temporary tax increases, which were largely targeted to the state's wealthiest residents.

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59 percent of California physicians support Affordable Care Act, UCLA study shows

UCLA researchers have found that 77 percent of California primary care and specialty physicians understand the basics of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and 59 percent support it. The survey, conducted by doctors from the UCLA department of family medicine, was published in the peer-reviewed journal Family Medicine.

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California #1 State in Total Diesel Cars in Operation & #1 in Total Hybrid Passenger Vehicles

Despite lower gasoline and diesel fuel prices in the second half of 2014, the numbers of fuel-efficient clean diesel and hybrid cars and SUVs both showed overall double-digit increases in 2014, according to a Diesel Technology Forum analysis of the latest Vehicles in Operation (VIO) data compiled by IHS Automotive.

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Strong Winds Prompt CAL FIRE to Increase Staffing

With gusty dry winds forecast for Southern California, CAL FIRE has increased its staffing and is urging the public to be extra cautious. The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for much of Southern California due to Santa Anas and low humidity. Starting this afternoon high winds with gusts of 60 mph are expected from the south coast of Santa Barbara and the Grapevine and moving down into the LA Basin through Thursday.

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One Arrested for Arson in Siskiyou County

CAL FIRE law enforcement officers arrested James William Wyatt, 35, from Callahan, late Monday evening on one count of arson. He was booked into the Siskiyou County Jail.

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Consumer Advisory from AG Kamala Harris: Be Careful of Immigration Scams During Tax Season

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris urges you to be careful if a tax preparer offers to help you prepare and file your immigration forms or asks you to pay fines directly to them. Individuals and businesses that prepare tax returns may not be authorized to assist you with immigration services.

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Some Coastal Communities May Not Have Time for Tsunami Evacuation

Tens of thousands of people along the U.S. Pacific Northwest coastline may not have enough time to evacuate low-lying areas before tsunami waves arrive, according to a new publication by researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey, University of Colorado Boulder, and California State University, Sacramento.

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Tunnels Opponents: BDCP Is Now Just a Water Grab

Restore the Delta (RTD), a coalition of anti-tunnels organizations and individuals, today responded to the governor’s abandonment of conservation and restoration, and move to permit a “tunnels only” BDCP. RTD responded to reports in the Contra Costa Times and other media.

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California's Controversial Twin Tunnels Water-export Plan Abandons Fish Protection, Public Participation

California’s $25 billion twin tunnels project to divert water from the San Francisco Bay-Delta to Southern California and industrial agribusinesses no longer includes provisions to protect habitat for endangered salmon and smelt and more than 50 other imperiled species, according to a report by the San Jose Mercury News. According to the article, the Brown administration has now removed the habitat conservation component from the project, which is now focused solely on tunnel building.

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Forest Service: Expired Nestle water permit a priority
Full story: Desert Sun

Nestlé is bottling water from the heart of California's drought - and the Forest Service is finally going to look into it
Full story: Salon.com

Dan Bacher: California water restrictions must include Nestlé, Big Ag and Big Oil

The mainstream media, state officials and corporate "environmental" groups have for years tried to portray California as the "green" leader of the nation. In reality, California suffers from some of the greatest environmental degradation of any state in the nation, since corporate agribusiness, the oil industry and other big money interests control the majority of the state's politicians and exert inordinate influence over the state's environmental policies.

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Researchers Test Smartphones for Earthquake Warning

Smartphones and other personal electronic devices could, in regions where they are in widespread use, function as early warning systems for large earthquakes according to newly reported research. This technology could serve regions of the world that cannot afford higher quality, but more expensive, conventional earthquake early warning systems, or could contribute to those systems.

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As California Goes Dry, Rep. Kevin McCarthy Puts His Head in the Sand, Says Earthjustice

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is trying to hide from his party’s record of failing to take action on climate change, which has exacerbated California’s drought. Apparently unaware of the immense irony, the second most powerful House Republican recently told The Hill, “The saddest thing [about the drought] is we warned this day would come, and now this day is here.”

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Mike Reynolds Named Superintendent of Death Valley National Park

Mike Reynolds has been named as the new superintendent of Death Valley National Park, located in eastern California and western Nevada. He replaces Kathy Billings who recently retired. Reynolds will begin his new assignment on May 31, 2015, managing a staff of 125 full-time employees and an annual budget of approximately $9 million.

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Snowpack Melts Early Across the West

West-wide snowpack is melting earlier than usual, according to data from the fourth 2015 forecast by the United States Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

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Drought Unprecedented and So Must Be the Response, Speakers Stress at ACWA Drought Briefing

California is facing the challenge of a generation with this fourth year of drought and residents must work together to conserve water, while officials devise equitable and efficient plans to steer the state through the crisis.

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Should - or could - California break up PG&E?
Full story: SF Chronicle

Energy Commission Approves Water Appliance Standards to Save More Than 100 Billion Gallons Per Year

Due to the severity of California's drought, the state's experts have been managing water resources to deal with the effects of the drought and prepare for the next one. As part of the solution, the California Energy Commission approved standards for water appliances which will save more than 10 billion gallons of water in the first year. Over time, the water savings is estimated to reach 105 billion gallons per year - a savings of more than three times the annual amount of water used by the City of San Francisco.

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CAL FIRE and California National Guard Train in the Air

As California enters its fourth year of drought, CAL FIRE and the California National Guard will be holding their annual fire aviation training in preparation for the peak fire season ahead. The training this year will be held April 10-12, 2015 at the CAL FIRE Academy in Ione and Lake Pardee in Amador County.

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Research Animal Adoption Bill Passes California Assembly

AB 147, authored by Assemblymember Matt Dababneh (D – Woodland Hills), has passed through the California State Assembly and is headed to the Senate. This bill requires that California research laboratories receiving tax-payer funding offer healthy dogs and cats no longer needed for research purposes to non-profit animal rescue organizations before being euthanized.

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Moving levees can increase groundwater supply

Strange as it sounds, flood control can be part of the solution to managing California’s droughts. University of California scientists have shown that making more room for floodwaters can improve the state’s groundwater supplies and fisheries.

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CPUC Penalizes PG&E $1.6 Billion For Pipeline Violations

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today imposed the largest penalty it has ever assessed by ordering Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) shareholders to pay $1.6 billion for the unsafe operation of its gas transmission system, including the pipeline rupture in San Bruno, Calif., in 2010.

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California's solar incentive program has had only modest impact on adoption rates

Since 2007, California has had one of the most aggressive incentive programs in the country for putting solar-electric panels on the rooftops of homes and businesses. Its $2.2 billion California Solar Initiative (CSI)has provided a per-watt rebate for installing residential and commercial photovoltaic systems. During this period, the solar industry in the state has experienced double-digit growth and to date has installed more than 245,000 systems capable of producing 2,365 megawatts of electricity.

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Republicans Are Saying Environmentalists Caused California's Drought. Here's Why They're Wrong
Full story: Think Progress

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