ACLU and Center for Popular Democracy File FOIA Lawsuit Over Efforts to Limit Municipalities' Foreclosure Prevention Options
Published Dec 5, 2013 - 11:26:51 AM
The American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Popular Democracy today filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to compel the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to provide details about the agency's relationship with the financial industry and its efforts to block municipalities from using eminent domain to prevent foreclosures.
Community Groups Urge Air District to Protect Bay Area Health and Safety from Proposed Toxic Tar Sands Oil Projects
Published Dec 5, 2013 - 8:57:21 AM
Bay Area residents, worker and community groups are calling on the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to support the community and worker-proposed recommendations to protect environmental health and safety from new toxic dirty oil projects.
Cal OES: Baby It's Cold Outside
Published Dec 5, 2013 - 7:18:45 AM
Winter weather has arrived and for the next few days the National Weather Service has posted freeze warnings and hard freeze warnings throughout the coastal, southeastern deserts and interior areas of California lasting into Friday morning. These conditions could damage crops and could kill other sensitive vegetation. A weather system is expected to bring widespread precipitation across California on Friday and Saturday, with heavy accumulating snow in the mountains, and potentially some accumulating snow down to the valley floor across northern California.
Field Poll | Brown's job approval up among registered voters
Published Dec 5, 2013 - 7:07:13 AM
Governor Jerry Brown is currently riding high in voter popularity. Nearly six in ten registered voters (58%) statewide approve of the job he is doing, with just 33% disapproving. This represents an increase of seven points in the Governor's approval rating since July.
Klamath Tribes and Upper Klamath Basin Irrigators Sign Agreement in Principle in Process to Settle Klamath Basin Water Disputes
Published Dec 4, 2013 - 7:38:01 AM
On December 2, 2013 Klamath Tribal Chairman Don Gentry and representatives of the Upper Klamath Basin “Off-Project” Irrigators met at the Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls, Oregon to sign an Agreement in Principle (AIP).
Report warns of climate change 'tipping points' within our lifetime
Published Dec 4, 2013 - 7:17:15 AM
UC Berkeley's Tony Barnosky joined climate scientists this morning at a press conference at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., to summarize a new report issued today focusing on the short-term effects of climate change and the need to monitor them closely.
A Battle within the CPUC: Vote Set for Thursday on Cell Phone Privacy
Published Dec 4, 2013 - 7:06:42 AM
Consumer Federation of California (CFC), The Utility Reform Network (TURN), and Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC), are calling on the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to revamp outdated telecom privacy rules.
CA Assembly GOP Puts Up Fake California Health Exchange Site
Full story: Crooks and Liars
Governor Brown Appeals Denial of Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for Rim Fire
Published Dec 3, 2013 - 1:22:22 PM
In a letter sent last night to President Barack Obama, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. renewed the state's call for federal assistance due to the impacts of the Rim Fire, appealing the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) previous denial of a major disaster declaration.
Dan Bacher: State will hold public meetings on EIR for fracking regulations
Published Dec 3, 2013 - 8:35:39 AM
The California Department of Conservation (DOC) will hold five scoping meetings throughout the state in December and January on the scope and content of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for statewide "well stimulation activities," including hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and acidizing.
Field Poll | More California voters are becoming critical of the job Barack Obama is doing as President
Published Dec 3, 2013 - 6:57:51 AM
The latest Field Poll finds that while 51% of California voters approve of the President's overall performance, a growing proportion (43%) disapprove. This represents an increase of 8 percentage points in the proportion disapproving since July. While the growth in the number of Californians disapproving spans most demographic subgroups, some of the greatest increases have occurred among voter segments who have been among the President's strongest supporters. This includes independent voters with no party preference (+16), Latinos (+16), union-affiliated households (+18), and women (+13).
Jury Returns Guilty Verdict for Nationwide Foreclosure Rescue Scam
Published Dec 3, 2013 - 5:37:02 AM
After a five-week trial, a federal jury in Sacramento returned guilty verdicts against Charles Head, 36, of Pittsburgh, Pa., (formerly of Los Angeles); Benjamin Budoff, 46, of Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Domonic McCarns, 39, of Irvine, Calif.; United States Attorney Benjamin Wagner announced.
Covered California Launches Self-Service Website for the Small Business Health Options Program
Published Dec 2, 2013 - 12:02:31 PM
Covered California™ today officially launched the full self-enrollment function of the Small Business Health Options (SHOP) online marketplace. This significant new function on the Covered California website will enable small businesses to fully enroll for coverage that may begin as early as Jan. 1, 2014.
Conservation, Environmental Justice, and Industry Sue State over Agricultural Pollution
Published Dec 2, 2013 - 10:34:33 AM
Last Wednesday, a coalition of five nonprofit organizations and an elderly woman on a fixed income in Monterey County, Antonia Manzo, who cannot drink water from her tap because it is contaminated with agricultural waste, filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court challenging the Central Coast Conditional Waiver of Waste Discharge Requirements for Discharges from Irrigated Agriculture (also known as the Ag Waiver). The coalition contends that the Ag Waiver is so weak it does not comply with State Law. The organizations (Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, The Otter Project, Environmental Justice Coalition for Water, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations, and California Sportfishing Protection Alliance) represent a broad alliance of conservation, environmental justice, and industry united in protecting clean water.
Dan Lundgren and John Van de Kamp: Reform San Francisco's water system and return Hetch Hetchy Valley to the American people
Full story: Sacramento Bee
Jerry Brown followed to events, heckled by California environmentalists over fracking
Full story: Sacramento Bee
Op-Ed: Leila Monroe: First Rains Flush Plastic Pollution to the Ocean (VIDEO)
Published Nov 29, 2013 - 8:42:58 AM
Benjamin Kay is a school teacher from Santa Monica: this week he released a video documenting the disgusting waste – mostly plastic pollution – that flowed into Santa Monica Bay from the “second flush” at the start of California’s rainy season. Benjamin’s goal is to raise the awareness of his students and engage them in protecting the community’s threatened beaches and waters.
Wilderness Land Trust Purchase Protects Home Range of Endangered California Condor
Published Nov 29, 2013 - 8:41:10 AM
The Wilderness Land Trust transferred to the Los Padres National Forest and permanently protected a 160-acre private property located on a gorgeous ridge top trail overlooking the Pacific Ocean inside the Ventana Wilderness. Adding the property to the Wilderness protects trail access and view and prevents both future residential development and motorized access in the home range for the endangered California condor. Magnificent condors frequently soar along the ridge trail. The property is located on the central California coast in the Santa Lucia range, about 35 air miles southeast of Monterey near Big Sur, California.
Nation's largest school police force, in L.A., will stop ticketing kids 12 and younger
Published Nov 29, 2013 - 8:39:47 AM
Responding to demand for reforms, the nation's largest school police force — in Los Angeles — will stop issuing tickets to students 12-years-old or younger for minor infractions allegedly committed on or near campuses during school hours.
Don't Frack L.A.'s Future,' Urges Billboard Targeting Oil Industry Air Pollution
Published Nov 29, 2013 - 8:38:14 AM
A striking new billboard on Westwood Boulevard warns Los Angeles residents that fracking, acidization and other dirty forms of oil production pollute the air and endanger the health of children and other vulnerable people. The billboard, sponsored by the Center for Biological Diversity, reads "Don't Frack L.A.'s Future" and directs readers to www.FrackingPollutesCalifornia.org.
DWR Experimental Winter Outlook for Water Year 2014 Sees Mostly Dry Conditions for California
Published Nov 29, 2013 - 8:29:46 AM
As part of ongoing work to develop seasonal water supply forecasting ability, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) annually convenes researchers to develop an experimental winter outlook forecast, and to review other factors that may assist in improving forecasting skill at lead times ranging from several weeks to a year. The forecast for water year 2014 (October 1 – September 30) is of particular interest since water years 2012 and 2013 were both dry, and 2014 brings the possibility of a third dry year.
Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Releases Hate Crime Data
Published Nov 29, 2013 - 8:28:59 AM
Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced that the number of reported hate crimes in California decreased 12.8 percent in 2012. There were 930 hate crime events reported statewide in 2012, a decrease from the 1,060 hate crimes reported in 2011.
Owners of Infamous Calif. Slaughterhouse Pay Millions to Settle Government Fraud Case
Published Nov 27, 2013 - 12:57:04 PM
A final settlement has been reached with the remaining defendants in a major False Claims Act lawsuit filed by The Humane Society of the United States against the owners and investors responsible for the 2008 downed animal abuse scandal in Chino, Calif. The HSUS' investigation into the mistreatment of animals at the country's second largest ground beef supplier to the National School Lunch Program led to the largest meat recall in the nation's history and the bankruptcy of several of the companies responsible.
Fisheries Service to Protect Whales and Dolphins From Navy Sonar in Pacific Northwest
Published Nov 27, 2013 - 11:15:02 AM
The National Marine Fisheries Service has eight months to issue a new plan to protect thousands of whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and sea lions from ocean noise and other threats generated by U.S. Navy warfare training exercises in waters ranging from Northern California to Canada.
Unhappy meals? Majority of very young children in California eat fast food at least once a week
Published Nov 26, 2013 - 7:30:58 AM
A surprisingly large percentage of very young children in California, including 70 percent of Latino children, eat fast food regularly, according to a new policy brief by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.
Commercial Dungeness Crab Season Opens Dec. 1 in Northern California
Published Nov 26, 2013 - 7:04:11 AM
The Northern California Dungeness crab season will open on Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013 north of the Mendocino County line. The Director has established a 64-hour gear setting period for the season when crab trap gear can be set no earlier than 8 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 28.
Malibu Teachers Demand Broader Toxic Testing at School
Published Nov 26, 2013 - 6:47:52 AM
A public school campus one block from the Pacific Ocean in Malibu, California is enmeshed in a toxic contamination quandary with teachers insisting on more information as to the substances to which they and their students may be exposed. Today, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), representing teachers in the Malibu Middle and High Schools and Juan Cabrillo Elementary School, demanded a full site assessment which, at a minimum, meets U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) protocols.
Studies Find Methane Emissions in California and U.S. 1.5 Times Greater Than Expected
Published Nov 25, 2013 - 12:27:32 PM
Current official inventories of methane emissions, a potent greenhouse gas released from landfills, livestock ranches and oil and gas facilities, may be underestimated both nationally and in California by a factor of about 1.5, according to new research from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and others.
Lawsuit Filed to Save San Diego's Vanishing Burrowing Owls and Wetlands
Published Nov 25, 2013 - 7:33:07 AM
A coalition of conservation and environmental justice groups filed a legal challenge today to the city of San Diego's development proposal that would destroy sensitive wetland and burrowing owl habitat at the Brown Field Municipal Airport. The lawsuit follows outrage within the environmental community last year after a report surfaced documenting the destruction and poisoning of burrowing owl homes at the Brown Field airport. San Diego now proposes to develop industrial, commercial and aviation facilities at Brown Field in the rapidly expanding border area of Otay Mesa.
New California Regulation Enables Fire Safety Without Toxic Flame Retardants
Published Nov 25, 2013 - 6:52:29 AM
Physicians, scientists, consumer and parent advocates, firefighters, furniture manufacturers and retailers celebrated a hard fought change in California regulations that now enables furniture made for sale for the state to meet a fire safety standard without the use of toxic flame retardant chemicals. Governor Jerry Brown's Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation (BEARHFTI) announced the new regulation today.