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OPINION: No on Prop. 53: It’s a Cumbersome Mess

Wealthy Stockton farmer Dean Cortopassi thinks politicians regularly pile up debt that the public would object to if it had the chance. This led him to fund a signature-gathering campaign that placed Proposition 53 on the Nov. 8 ballot. The measure mandates that voters must approve revenue bonds for public works projects if they exceed $2 billion and if the projects are funded, managed or owned by the state government or by a joint agency formed with the state. Revenue bonds are paid off by ratepayers and project users. General obligation bonds, paid out of government general funds, aren’t covered.

Proposals for Delta Habitat Restoration

In an effort to quicken the pace of habitat restoration in California’s biggest estuary, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) invited private companies, non-profit groups and individuals to submit proposals to create wetlands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
Through a first-of-its-kind Request for Proposal (RFP), DWR seeks partners to help fulfill its obligations under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

First Fall Weather of 2016 Brings Powerful Winds, Rain and Snow to California

Californians got their first dose of fall weather Tuesday as snow, rain and cooler temperatures gripped the state early this week.

Northern California experienced thunderstorms and showers that brought less than an inch of rain across Butte and Plumas counties Monday, while communities south of Lake Tahoe received a bit of snow early Tuesday. The precipitation is not enough to affect travel, according to the National Weather Service in Sacramento.

San Diegans Are Doing Their Part to Save Water, Even Without Mandatory Restrictions

A new report shows San Diegans are still doing their part to conserve water, even though the state’s mandatory restrictions have been lifted. In May of last year, Governor Jerry Brown implemented mandatory 25 percent cutbacks for everyone across California. Then, this past May, he revised the across-the-board restrictions and decided that local water districts could set whatever conservation targets they felt were appropriate, if they had enough supplies to meet the demands.

OPINION: Another View: State Needs Better Data to Make Sound Decisions

California is suffering through five years of drought. Though our reservoirs aren’t full, the state Legislature has been flooded with proposals to deal with the drought’s impact and to address the Golden State’s future water needs. While the effects of the drought are highly visible — brown lawns, fallowed fields, declining river flows and low reservoirs — what you can’t see is the lack of easily accessible data that’s necessary to effectively manage the state’s water. California does not suffer from a lack of data on water.

Warm Water ‘Blob’ Off Northwest Coast Returns

There is an ominous presence in the waters off the Pacific Northwest and it has the potential to play havoc with ocean wildlife and could interfere with your winter plans. “The Blob,” a mass of warm water floating off the coast of northern Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Alaska, is back, writes University of Washington atmospheric science professor Cliff Mass. But, in fact, the phenomenon never really left. Formed in 2013, Mass writes that the warm pool of ocean water occurs due to sustained high pressure over the region.

BLOG: North Valley: Recycling Urban Wastewater for Farms and Wildlife

California’s ongoing drought has sparked a lot of interest in recycled water – basically, cleaning treated sewage to the highest level to make it suitable for other uses. One of the biggest new projects is the North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program, a collaboration among numerous agencies in the North San Joaquin Valley. The project will take tertiary-treated sewage from the cities of Modesto, Turlock and Ceres and route it through new pipelines into the Delta Mendota Canal, owned by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Snow at Sonora Pass

Winter made an early appearance Tuesday morning when snow fell on Sonora Pass and the craggy, highest heights of east Tuolumne County.Michael Todd Jones of Sonora was driving to work in the Bishop area, heading east up Highway 108 to the top of the 9,624-foot pass, the second-highest paved route over the Sierra Nevada range. With snowflakes coming down, dusting the ground and clinging to trees in the 6 a.m. hour, Jones used his iPhone 6 to snap a couple photos and texted them to his wife, Allison Jones, who was 65 miles west, down the hill in Sonora.