California ISO breaks new solar production record
Published Mar 10, 2014 - 3:13:36 PM
Solar power production hit a new record of 4,093 megawatts on Saturday, March 8, 2014. The previous record was 3,926 megawatts (MW) set the previous day on March 7. Electricity generated from solar has more than doubled from June 7, 2012 when the California Independent System Operator Corporation (ISO) recorded 2,071 MW of peak production — and output has more than quadrupled from the summer of 2012. The new record generation can instantaneously power about 3 million homes.
Op-Ed: Captain Paul Watson: Do Not Be Manipulated by SeaWorld
Published Mar 10, 2014 - 12:44:24 PM
SeaWorld is a soulless corporation that mistreats and abuses its animals and has been responsible for the death of one trainer and injuries to others.
Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and Legislative Leaders Unveil Truancy Legislation
Published Mar 10, 2014 - 11:15:33 AM
Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced a package of legislation to help local school districts and communities address California's elementary school truancy crisis. Each year, an estimated one million elementary school students are truant and 250,000 elementary school students miss 18 or more school days at a cost of $1.4 billion in lost funds to California school districts.
Confirmed Flu Deaths Reported in State Reach 318
Published Mar 10, 2014 - 6:52:26 AM
Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and state health officer, announced today the number of confirmed influenza-related deaths in persons under 65 years of age reported in the state has increased by 16, to a total of 318 confirmed deaths for the 2013-14 season. Six of the 318 are pediatric deaths. There are an additional 26 deaths under investigation, not yet confirmed.
California drought: More than 255,000 homes and businesses still don't have water meters statewide
Full story: Mercury News
Lawsuit Fights to Save River, Wildlife From Sprawling Newhall Ranch Project
Published Mar 7, 2014 - 9:15:56 AM
A group of public-interest organizations sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is in federal court today over the agencies' approval of permits for the sprawling Newhall Ranch development. The development is one of the largest residential projects ever approved in California and would transform more than 2,000 acres along the Santa Clara River from rugged open space and agricultural land into a sprawling new suburban city.
Below average flood potential expected for California this spring
Published Mar 7, 2014 - 7:22:08 AM
The spring flood potential outlook is below average for all basins in California and the upper Klamath Lake basin in Oregon. Low soil moisture conditions due to prolonged drought and/or below normal snowpacks are minimizing the potential for flooding this spring. Watersheds in the region are forecast to endure a third consecutive year of below average spring runoff.
Op-Ed: Joe Romm: Climatologist Who Predicted California Drought 10 Years Ago Says It May Soon Be 'Even More Dire'
Full story: Think Progress
CalPERS Moves to Implement Lower Pension of Former Vernon Official
Published Mar 6, 2014 - 8:21:38 PM
The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) announced today that it is lowering the pension of convicted felon and former City of Vernon official Bruce Malkenhorst, following a court ruling last week that supports the Pension Fund's belief that it must recover money owed to the system.
Chiang Unveils Plan to Reduce State's $64.6 Billion Retiree Health Care Liability
Published Mar 6, 2014 - 8:20:09 PM
State Controller John Chiang today released a new report showing the unfunded liability of providing health and dental benefits for state retirees under the current funding policy is $64.6 billion. The amount, known as the actuarial accrued liability, represents the present value of benefits earned as of June 30, 2013, that is expected to be paid over the lifetime of current and future retirees.
More than half of Californians vote by mail
Published Mar 6, 2014 - 2:24:47 PM
For the first time ever, more than half of all California voters in 2012 voted by mail, and in most regions of the state, more than 60 percent dropped their ballots in the mailbox rather than the polls, according to a new University of California, Davis, policy paper.
Court Strikes Down Environmental Review of Controversial Kern Water Bank
Published Mar 6, 2014 - 12:10:38 PM
In a pair of rulings on Wednesday, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy M. Frawley struck down the environmental review of the operation of the Kern Water Bank, the country's largest underground water-banking operation and the subject of nearly two decades of controversy and litigation. In a victory for environmentalists, sportfishers, Delta farmers and State Water Project ratepayers, Judge Frawley found that the Department of Water Resources failed to properly consider the impacts of the operation of the Kern Water Bank by San Joaquin Valley agribusiness interests when it prepared its environmental review in 2010.
Time Changes Brings Reminder to Check Smoke Alarms
Published Mar 6, 2014 - 12:07:43 PM
With Daylight Saving Time beginning on Sunday March 9, CAL FIRE officials are reminding all Californians to ensure they have working smoke alarms in their homes. Studies have shown that most homes have smoke alarms, however nearly two-thirds of home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no working smoke alarms.
Rains Ease Calif. Drought, Make Wildfire Outlook Grimmer
Published Mar 6, 2014 - 12:01:59 PM
The massive Pacific storms that streamed onto the California shoreline dropped a lot of rain, but they did little to ease long-term drought conditions and may end up exacerbating what is already expected to be a disastrous wildfire season.
San Francisco moves closer to banning plastic water bottles
Full story: Planet Ark
California Consumers May Now File Claims in Computer Chip Settlement
Published Mar 5, 2014 - 5:50:58 PM
Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced that consumers may now file claims to recover money in a $310 million multi-state settlement with major manufacturers of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) computer chips over price fixing allegations.
Three Men Plead Guilty to Causing Severe Environmental Damage by Cultivating Marijuana on Ecological Reserve
Published Mar 5, 2014 - 2:52:26 PM
Chou Vang, Vang Pao Yang, and Pao Vang of Eureka, Calif. pleaded guilty in federal court in San Francisco yesterday to willfully injuring federal property stemming from a marijuana grow the three men cultivated on protected federal lands, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.
Dan Bacher: Salmon Committee Slams Peripheral Tunnel Plan
Published Mar 5, 2014 - 7:54:12 AM
A state advisory panel including scientists, Tribal leaders, commercial fishermen and recreational anglers on February 26 blasted the Bay Delta Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels for leading to the decline of imperiled stocks of Central Valley salmon.
Court Rejects Fishing Industry Lawsuit to Revive 'No Otter Zone'
Published Mar 5, 2014 - 7:52:52 AM
The Otter Project, Environmental Defense Center, and Los Angeles Waterkeeper celebrated a court decision yesterday rejecting a fishing industry lawsuit challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (FWS) December, 2012 decision officially ending the "no-otter zone." This important FWS decision allows threatened southern sea otters to begin to regain a foothold in their natural range in Southern California—an outcome vital to the recovery of the species. The lawsuit, filed by the California Sea Urchin Commission (CSUC), alleged that FWS did not have authority to end the "no-otter zone." In dismissing CSUC's lawsuit yesterday, Judge Gee found that the lawsuit was in fact a direct challenge to a 1987 rule requiring FWS to end the program if it met several specific criteria, and thus was brought 20 years too late.
National Park Tourism in California Creates more than $1.5 billion in Economic Benefit
Published Mar 5, 2014 - 7:13:12 AM
A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that more than 36 million visitors to national parks in California spent over $1.5 billion and supported 20,287 jobs in the state in 2012.
San Rafael Passes California’s 100th Plastic Bag Ban
Published Mar 4, 2014 - 9:20:38 AM
The City Council voted unanimously tonight to ban single-use plastic shopping bags citywide. San Rafael is the 100th California community to ban plastic bags. Nearly 1 in 3 Californians, 12.3 million in all, now live somewhere with a plastic bag ban.
Big Bear Lake's Iconic Tour Boat Goes Under Water Due to Weather
Published Mar 3, 2014 - 6:57:17 AM
Big Bear Lake's iconic tour boat The Big Bear Pirate Ship sank sometime during the night of Friday, February 28, between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. the next morning. The sunken ship was discovered at Holloway's Marina, where it is docked, Saturday, March 1 at 8 a.m. by a Holloway's Marina employee. The cause of the sinking was due to severe weather on Friday evening with rain, snow and intense winds.
Governor Brown Signs Drought Legislation
Published Mar 1, 2014 - 1:36:58 PM
As California grapples with the driest period in its history, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today signed legislation to assist drought-affected communities and provide funding to better use local water supplies.
USGS: Flooding impact in California
Published Feb 28, 2014 - 9:24:53 PM
Minor to moderate flooding through-out California today as the second storm in as many days impacted the state.
A deep low spinning off the coast most of the day sent waves of precipitation through out the drought stricken state.
Confirmed Flu Deaths Reported in State Reach 302
Published Feb 28, 2014 - 10:49:46 AM
Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and state health officer, announced today the number of confirmed influenza related deaths in persons under 65 years of age reported in the state has increased by 24 to a total of 302 confirmed deaths for the 2013-14 season. Six of the 302 are pediatric deaths. There are an additional 19 deaths under investigation, not yet confirmed.
Consumer Watchdog Requests Radiological Inspection at Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard
Published Feb 28, 2014 - 10:19:51 AM
Consumer Watchdog has called for a state investigation of the cleanup of Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco for large amounts of soil that may have been dug up in a radioactively impacted parcel without being checked for contamination and then sent off site for possible disposal in landfills unlicensed to take low-level radioactive waste.
In California, Great Recession pushes scores of adult children home, and older parents pay
Published Feb 28, 2014 - 7:09:56 AM
Californians anticipating an empty nest in their golden years are now faced with a rocky reality: The Great Recession and its jobless recovery have forced many adult children home, increasing household expenses by 50 percent or more for many families, according to a new study by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development.
Federal Judge Stops Lake Elsinore Religious War Memorial
Published Feb 28, 2014 - 5:24:47 AM
A federal judge has ruled that a planned religious war memorial by the city of Lake Elsinore, CA at the city-owned baseball stadium can't be built because it "violates both the U.S. Constitution's Establishment Clause and California's Establishment and No Preference Clauses." The planned monument depicts a soldier kneeling in prayer before a Christian cross.
U.S. Immigration Services Denies Applicant Based on Secular Beliefs
Published Feb 28, 2014 - 5:07:24 AM
A California resident applying for U.S. citizenship has had her application denied because immigration officials did not accept as valid a conscientious objector, declaration to "bear arms" in defense of the U.S. because it is secular in nature. The American Humanist Association's Appignani Humanist Legal Center is representing Adriana Ramirez in her appeal.
Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Appeals Ninth Circuit Concealed Weapons Permit Ruling
Published Feb 27, 2014 - 4:55:38 PM
Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today filed a petition in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, on behalf of the State of California, urging the court to review and reverse its decision in Peruta v. County of San Diego.