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California: First Release Under New Child Offender Laws

The first person to be resentenced under recently enacted laws in California relating to child offenders is due to be released the week of March 16, 2015, Human Rights Watch, the University of Southern California (USC) Post-Conviction Project, and the law firm of Irell & Manella LLP said today. Enforcement of the new laws is an indication that the United States is moving closer to the rest of the world in its approach to sentencing for youth, the groups said.

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Californians Say Their Neighbors Aren't Doing Enough About Drought

Large majorities of Californians say the supply of water in their part of the state is a big problem and that people in their regions are not doing enough to respond to the drought, according to a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) with funding from The James Irvine Foundation.

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HRC Hails Attorney General Harris' Efforts to Stop 'Sodomite Suppression Act' from Advancing

Today, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, hailed California Attorney General Kamala Harris for seeking to stop an abhorrent and unconstitutional proposed ballot initiative that would seek to criminalize same-sex relationships and potentially threaten those convicted with death.

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Recreational Ocean Salmon Fishing Season Will Open April 4

The recreational salmon fishing season is slated to begin in the Fort Bragg, San Francisco and Monterey South regions of the California coast on Saturday, April 4, 2015. In spite of the record drought, the outlook for this year's season is promising, due to an abundance of both Sacramento and Klamath River Chinook salmon.

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“End of Life Option Act” Clears First Committee

Legislation carried by Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel) and Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis) to expand end of life options available to Californians passed out of the Senate Health Committee on a 6 to 2 vote today. Senate Bill (SB) 128, the End of Life Option Act, will allow a mentally competent, terminally ill adult in California in the final stages of life to request aid-in-dying medication from a physician. SB 128 now heads to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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California State PTA announces support for immunization bill

California State PTA, the state’s largest children’s advocacy organization, has taken a support position on Senate Bill 277 (Pan).

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Home on the California Range, Year 2100: Land Use and Climate Change Could Impact Wildlife, Water Supplies

Grassland habitats on rangelands in California’s Central Valley and surrounding foothills could decline by as much as 37 percent by 2100 due to changes in land use and climate, according to new scientific projections by the U.S. Geological Survey.

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DWR Report Describes Past and Ongoing Droughts

Severe droughts are nothing new to California, home to the highest variable precipitation in the United States. In the midst of a fourth dry year, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has released an in-depth report comparing the severity and impacts of California’s most significant droughts, which stretched from 1929 to 1934, 1976 to 1977 and 1987 to 1992. The report also details the ongoing drought, which began in 2012.

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Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Issues Statement on Proposed Ballot Initiative

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today issued the following statement on her decision to file an action for declaratory relief seeking judicial authorization to not issue a title and summary for the so-called Sodomite Suppression Act:

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Human Rights Groups Denounce Chevron CEO John Watson Over Citizenship Honor

More than 35 environmental and human rights groups are denouncing the San Francisco Commonwealth Club's decision to bestow Chevron CEO John Watson with a citizenship award slated to be presented April 2nd at its annual gala.

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California Secretary of State Alex Padilla says Oregon's New Motor Voter Law Makes Sense for California

As California struggles to address historic low voter turnout, new Secretary of State Alex Padilla sees promise in a new Motor Voter law signed into law last week by Oregon Governor Kate Brown.

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Californians in Hazmat Suits to Protest Oil Industry Aquifer Exemption Workshop

Hazmat suit-wearing demonstrators with Californians Against Fracking will protest today outside a state-run “aquifer exemption” workshop in Long Beach aimed at helping oil companies get federal permission to dump oil waste into California’s underground water. The protest starts at noon at the Holiday Inn Long Beach Airport, 2640 N. Lakewood Blvd., Long Beach.

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As groundwater dwindles, lawmakers seek access to confidential well logs

It’s not a secret that California is facing a groundwater crisis.

But something else is: a vast repository of state records that scientists and water policy specialists say could dramatically improve our understanding of California’s groundwater resources if they were made public.

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Army Corps, California and SAFCA release draft plans for $1.46 billion in Sacramento levee work

Recommendations for $1.46 billion in future improvements for Sacramento’s flood infrastructure are now open for public comment, described in two related reports by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District, state of California and the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency.

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Activist counters California's insane 'shoot the sodomites' measure with 'Intolerant Jackass Act'
Full story: Raw Story

Why 'Right-to-Die' is 2016's Most Consequential California Issue
Full story: City Watch LA

Communities Across California to Hold Coordinated Actions to End Solitary Confinement

Today, a number of community organizations, families and loved ones of people in solitary, and advocates across California will be mobilizing for a day of Statewide Coordinated Actions to End Solitary Confinement. The effort was initiated by the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition (PHSS), with many groups and community members joining in and endorsing the mobilizations.

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Threat to marine life adds to California’s woes

California, currently in the grip of a devastating drought and facing an increasingly parched future, has just been dealt another blow. Not only is the land less productive, but the state’s fisheries could also be about to feel the heat.

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The barbaric, unconsitutional horrors of California's prison overcrowding
Full story: Raw Story

The South Korean 57 - Delivered From the Clutches of the Dog Meat Trade

This week, we turned around the fortunes of 57 dogs set to be butchered after a short, brutish life on a dog meat farm in South Korea, and shepherded them to the United States. They’ll be treated and cared for at the East Bay SPCA, Marin Humane Society, Sacramento SPCA, and San Francisco SPCA, before being adopted out to loving homes. Among the group were beagles, poodles, Korean Jindos and large Tosas who have spent their entire lives in small, filthy, crowded cages, waiting to be killed. As they arrived in San Francisco, tails wagged, barking resumed and many kisses were given. The smallest gesture of affection was met with unbridled enthusiasm. These lucky 57, including adorable pups like Elly in this video, should never lack again for any human kindness.

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Op-Ed: Lisbeth Melendez Rivera: Love Thy Neighbor? For Archbishop Cordileone and the Archdiocese of San Francisco, Not So Much

The latest example of the archdiocese’s disregard for human dignity? It installed a timed sprinkler system at four entrances to St. Mary’s Cathedral to drench homeless people taking refuge there. In a statement issued by the archdiocese following news reports critical of the sprinklers, church officials said the system was intended to, quite literally, flush out debris.

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Study Shows Gaping Holes in Safety Net for California's Uninsured

The safety net for uninsured Californians is full of holes – and those holes are much bigger for the state’s undocumented people.

That’s one of the main findings of a new study by the statewide health care advocacy coalition Health Access. The organization’s executive director Anthony Wright says the "uneven safety net" puts the state’s remaining uninsured in a position to “live sicker, die younger, and be one emergency away from financial ruin.”

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The Otter Project Wins Water Pollution Case

Today, the Monterey County Superior Court ruled the Monterey County Water Resources Agency is a polluter and is required to obtain permits for waste discharge from the Regional Water Quality Control Board. The Monterey County Water Resources Agency has denied they have any responsibility for protecting water quality despite the fact their stated mission is: “Monterey County Water Resources Agency Manages, Protects, and Enhances the Quantity and Quality of Water and Provides Specified Flood Control Services for Present and Future Generations of Monterey County.”

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Ninety BP Underground Storage Tank Sites Banned from Cleanup Reimbursement Following Legal Settlement

As part of a settlement agreement, the State Water Resources Control Board has permanently disqualified 90 of British Petroleum North America’s (BPNA) underground storage tank (UST) cleanup sites from the Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund for allegedly claiming reimbursement through false or misleading statements.

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Governor Brown, Legislative Leaders Announce $1 Billion Emergency Drought Package

Mobilizing state resources to face another year of extreme dry conditions, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today joined Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, and Republican Leaders Senator Bob Huff and Assemblymember Kristin Olsen to announce legislation to help local communities cope with the ongoing, devastating drought. The $1 billion package will expedite bond funding to make the state more resilient to the disastrous effects of climate change and help ensure that all Californians have access to local water supplies.

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Consumer Watchdog Cites Shortcomings In Driverless Car Technology

Consumer Watchdog today warned the California Department of Motor Vehicles that it must not allow Google and others with a vested interest in developing driverless vehicles to push the DMV into issuing rules regulating the public use of robot cars on highways that are inadequate to protect public safety.

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Chris Lehnertz Appointed as Superintendent of Golden Gate National Recreation Area

National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis has appointed Christine S. Lehnertz as superintendent of Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Lehnertz, currently regional director for the bureau’s Pacific West Region, will assume her new post at the beginning of May. She replaces Frank Dean who retired in February. Deputy Regional Director Patty Neubacher will serve as Acting Regional Director for the region until a permanent replacement is selected.

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CDPH Warns People Not to Eat Five Varieties of Trader Joe’s Brand Walnuts Due to Possible Salmonella Contamination

California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Acting State Health Officer Dr. James Watt today warned people not to eat five varieties of Trader Joe’s brand raw walnuts because the products may be contaminated with Salmonella. No illnesses have been linked to these products as of this date.

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Fishermen, Delta Leaders: Exporters 'Destroy Delta Smelt'

Restore the Delta (RTD) and other opponents of Gov. Brown’s rush to build massive underground Tunnels that would drain the Delta of freshwater and doom sustainable farms, and salmon and other Pacific fisheries, today responded to the finding that Delta Smelt may be extinct. The latest state trawl survey found just six smelt to date. The smelt may be reaching the point of no return if swift action is not taken. The tunnels opponents criticized a move by the State Water Board to further weaken Delta outflow and water quality standards, making even more likely the decimation of this one-time most abundant Delta species, and winter-run Chinook salmon this year. The Delta smelt is the species that indicates overall health of the estuary.

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State Water Board Re-Adopts Emergency Regulations for Minimum Fish Flow Protections and Water Rights Reporting

The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) today re-adopted an emergency regulation that authorizes the curtailment of water diversions in three Sacramento River tributaries if minimum flows that serve some of the last self-sustaining populations of threatened fish are not met.

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