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Controversial North River Farms Development Postponed Again

Angry residents shouted, cursed and booed the Oceanside City Council after its 3-2 vote Wednesday to again postpone a decision on whether Integral Communities should be allowed to build hundreds of homes, a hotel and retail shops in the city’s last remaining agricultural region. The city’s planning staff and Planning Commission have three times recommended the council deny the North River Farms project, most recently on a 6-0 vote May 6. Each time, the developer has subsequently pulled the project off a City Council agenda to rework it in hopes of getting an approval. “Please do not postpone this,” said resident Jane Marshall before Wednesday’s decision.

Bureau Of Reclamation Bumps Westside Water Allocation To 70 Percent

The Bureau of Reclamation updated its 2019 allocation for the Central Valley Project South-of-Delta, increasing the westside water allocation to 70 percent of the contract total. “The storms experienced in the Central Valley during the past week are unusual this late in the year, bringing the month’s precipitation to over twice its average,” said Mid-Pacific Regional Director Ernest Conant in a statement. “The late storms provided an added boost to the already above average precipitation for 2019. Snowpack throughout the state is still about 150% of average for this time of year.” This is the third increase of 2019 for the agricultural water service contractors.

An Abandoned Mine Near Joshua Tree Could Host A Massive Hydropower Project

An abandoned iron mine on the doorstep of Joshua Tree National Park could be repurposed as a massive hydroelectric power plant under a bill with bipartisan support in the state Legislature. Senate Bill 772, which was approved by a panel of lawmakers last week with no dissenting votes, would require California to build energy projects that can store large amounts of power for long periods of time. It’s a type of technology the state is likely to need as utility companies buy more and more energy from solar and wind farms, which generate electricity only when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing.

Rain, Hail, Lightning, Thunder: Spring In Southern California Isn’t Supposed To Be Like This

Californians gearing up for a long Memorial Day weekend full of sun were sorely disappointed Wednesday. Rain, wind and lightning battered the state as locals braved cooler temperatures that even delivered hail. The hail may have had some residents questioning the point of living in Southern California if there is hail in late spring. The rain jammed up afternoon commutes, and lightning closed all beaches stretching from Dockweiler State Beach to Malibu for a little under two hours starting about 2:30 p.m.

 

Huntington Beach Desalination Plant: How It Might Have Been Operating By Now

Poseidon Water started pumping drinking water from its Carlsbad desalination plant 3 1/2 years ago, but the location of that first desalination plant might have been in Huntington Beach instead. Plans for Poseidon operations at both locations were launched in 1998, but company officials prioritized the Carlsbad site in 2006, according to company Vice President Scott Maloni. The slower timeline for Huntington Beach resulted in it facing new, stricter regulations and additional delays. The controversial plant still needs two major permits, opponents remain steadfast and a recent water-supply study raised questions about the cost and need for the project.

Experts Warn 5G Could Disrupt Weather Forecasting

San Diego will soon have a 5G wireless network system thanks to major companies like Verizon, AT&T, and Qualcomm working to establish it. With 5G, speeds will be 20 times faster than what is possible on current 4G and LTE systems. “Speed is everything,” said Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “And it is going to fundamentally change how we use the internet.” But experts are concerned the frequencies on the broadband spectrum needed for 5G will interfere with those used for weather forecasting.

California Senate Passes Bill Targeting Controversial Water Project, State Assembly Next

The California Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would require additional environmental review for groundwater transfers that would affect desert areas, which would put a major roadblock in front of a controversial water project proposed in the Mojave Desert by Cadiz Inc. The company has been trying to pump 16.3 billion gallons of groundwater out of the desert’s aquifer and transport it to the Colorado River Aqueduct.

The Science Behind Why California Has Been Soaked By Storms This May

Blame it on the jet stream.The high-altitude river of fast-moving air running from the Pacific across the United States is one of the key factors playing into California’s unusually wet and snowy May. By late spring, the Pacific jet stream is typically rushing over the Northwest, but this year its trajectory never shifted to the north and remains over California, hurling storms from the Pacific Ocean onshore.

EPA Curbs Use Of 12 Bee-Harming Pesticides

The Environmental Protection Agency has canceled registration of a dozen pesticides, from a class of chemicals known to harm bees.The cancellations are effective as of May 20 for 12 neonicotinoid-based products produced by Syngenta, Valent, and Bayer. The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act requires pesticides sold or distributed in the U.S. to be registered by the EPA. Under a December settlement agreement linked to an Endangered Species Act challenge by environmental groups, the companies voluntarily agreed to petition EPA to cancel 12 out of 59 products containing the active ingredients clothianidin and thiamethoxam.