Archive for the ‘California’ Category

Gov. Brown Straight Talk on the Budget

June 13, 2011 Comments off

The Republicans are being obstructionists not allowing Californians to vote whether they want tax extensions. We are entitled to vote and must insist Republicans back our right to vote on any and all issues.


San Onofre Plans Major Emergency Test

April 7, 2011 Comments off

I heard this this morning on the local San Diego news. What I heard on Channel 10 news was the main thrust of the test was to check the POWER SYSTEMS. My readers know I have been harping on this subject as an interuption of power for more than four hours will set off a cascade of events similar to the Fukushima disaster in Japan.

Read more about it or listen to our local KPBS station — click here

One of the largest emergency tests in years will be conducted at the San Onofre nuclear power plant next week. Operators want to know if we’re prepared for a natural disaster.

About 200 workers will be simulating how to shutdown the plant north of San Diego and secure radioactive fuel. Gil Alexander is with Southern California Edison the company in charge of San Onofre. He said this will be the largest drill of its kind to insure public safety.

“We believe the plant is safe (from) any type of natural disaster,” he said.

Southwest Water Agencies Under Siege

April 1, 2011 Comments off


Water is life. There simply is not enough fresh water to meet the needs of the Southwestern United States. Thus, my interest in rainwater recapture.

I was raised in California and for a time lived in Arizona in the 70s. A couple years before I returned to California I voted on the CAP — Central Arizona Project. It has taken on a critical role in fresh water storage as the Southwest is in its 12th year of drought.

When you live in the desert, you come to appreciate water in ways you could not imagine. When it is 100+ degrees for weeks on end, water is the lifeline. When hiking into the Superstition Mountains and there is no greenery, water become a keen focus – what you carry is what will sustain you. On hot days I used to drive up to Canyon and Apache lakes. They were a respite for the oppressive heat.

When I lived in Arizona there was developing political and social interest in concerted water conservation, water usage, and water management. The Central Arizona Project was the result of that interest.

Central Arizona Project is designed to bring about 1.5 million acre-feet of Colorado River water per year to Pima, Pinal and Maricopa counties. CAP carries water from Lake Havasu near Parker to the southern boundary of the San Xavier Indian Reservation southwest of Tucson. It is a 336-mile long system of aqueducts, tunnels, pumping plants and pipelines and is the largest single resource of renewable water supplies in the state of Arizona.

In 1971, the Central Arizona Water Conservation District was created to provide a means for Arizona to repay the federal government for the reimbursable costs of construction and to manage and operate CAP. Construction began at Lake Havasu in 1973 and was completed twenty years later south of Tucson. The entire project cost over $4 billion to construct.

In the WSJ this week was this article: Wet Winter Can’t Slake West’s Thirst.

A couple excerpts:

Water managers warn that Lake Mead, the West’s largest and most important reservoir, remains perilously near the level of 1,075 feet at which the U.S. Secretary of the Interior would likely declare a water shortage, for the first time in the nearly century-old history of the Colorado River system. Such a shortage would parch Nevada, Arizona and California with severe water-use restrictions. There alone, some 20 million people depend on Lake Mead’s supplies.

Water agencies are scrambling to avert a hot dry disaster. The Central Arizona Project has stockpiled four million acre-feet of its Colorado River water in underground aquifers, said David Modeer, general manager of the water agency in Phoenix. The Southern Nevada Water Authority in 2009 began a $780 million project to build a third intake facility from Lake Mead as part of a plan to keep siphoning water to Las Vegas if the two existing intakes, which are at a higher level, end up too low to pump declining water levels. That project, which entails digging a tunnel three miles under the lake, is set to be completed in 2014.

Already, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which serves 19 million people, has lost nearly half a million acre-feet, or half of what it imports annually from the Colorado. Federal officials ordered the agency in 2003 to stop using water from the river that had been designated as a surplus prior to the drought, said Jeff Kightlinger, general manager of the district.

The Southern California district, which gets half its imported water from the Colorado, has since made up the shortfall through conservation and efficiency measures, but Mr. Kightlinger said the outlook is worrisome.

Read entire article, click here

Sources: CAP web site, click here

Wikipedia, click here

Small Amounts of Radiation in Various U.S. States Rainwater

March 27, 2011 1 comment

MARCH 29, 2011: USA TODAY: At least 15 states have found trace amounts of radiation from the crippled nuclear plant in Japan, but officials say the levels of radioactivity are much too low to prompt health concerns.

I have been planning on setting up two rainwater barrels on the side of my house to supplement my gardens, especially my new veggie and berry gardens. I am having second thoughts what with the Japan radiation wafting over here as far as Massachusetts. While the amounts are “minuscule”, I am concerned with the accumulation and increased concentration over the long term.

San Francisco Chronicle (AP) reports: Health officials said Sunday that one sample of Massachusetts rainwater has registered very low concentrations of radiation, most likely from the Japanese nuclear power plant damaged earlier this month by an earthquake and tsunami.

John Auerbach, the Massachusetts commissioner of public health, said that radioiodine-131 found in the sample _ one of more than 100 that have been taken around the country _ has a short life of only eight days. He said the drinking water supply in the state was unaffected and officials do not expect any health concerns.

Nevada and other Western states also have reported minuscule amounts of radiation, but scientists say those presented no health risks.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health said the in-state sample was taken in the past week, but they did not say where. The testing is part of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency network that monitors for radioactivity.

State officials said similar testing was done in California, Pennsylvania, Washington and other states, and showed comparable levels of I-131 in rain.

Read entire article, click here

Books On Tap: Reimagining the California Lawn

March 27, 2011 Comments off

Reimagining the California Lawn:Water-conserving Plants, Practices, and Designs by Carol Bornstein, David Fross and Bart O’Brien, three of California’s star horticulturalists.

Buy it now, click here

Product Description
Reimagining the California Lawn features water-conserving plants from around the world and offers design ideas and practical solutions to help you create a vibrant garden that complements our mediterranean climate. From greenswards and meadows to succulent and kitchen gardens, this book presents alternatives to the traditional lawn that can reduce water use, beautify the landscape, and attract birds and butterflies. The authors of Reimagining the California Lawn, Carol Bornstein, David Fross, and Bart O Brien, are visionary horticulturists who wrote the award-winning book California Native Plants for the Garden. With this new publication, they share their passion for water-wise plants and landscapes to help Californians discover the many possibilities and pleasures that come with reimagining the lawn.

If you are thinking about removing or reducing your lawn, this inspiring book is the perfect companion to help you begin the process. Its detailed text provides information about how to plan, install, and maintain an attractive landscape that can replace your lawn and describes hundreds of water-thrifty plants from California and other mediterranean climates of the world. Reimagining the California Lawn is illustrated with more than 300 color photographs and offers a variety of plant palettes to choose from as you begin the process of creating a more sustainable landscape.

Gov. Brown Signs Bills With Major Cuts – More to Come Without Tax Extension

March 24, 2011 1 comment

Bottom line folks, is if we do not extend tax cuts many people will be suffering, literally. Not only will public education suffer and the colleges, but the disabled, the elderly, the poor, and disenfranchised. We need to pressure Republicans to allow Californians to vote to extend the tax cuts. Shared sacrifice for our neighbors, family, and friends is vital at this time.

Sacramento Bee reports:
Gov. Jerry Brown today signed bills making billions of cuts in California’s budget, raising community college fees and slicing support for the developmentally disabled and mentally ill.

The package raises community college fees from $26 per unit to $36 per unit and defers $2.1 billion in payments to K-12 schools to 2012-13.

All told, the measures address at least $8 billion of the state’s $26.6 billion defiicit.

“We’ve gone a significant part of the way,” Brown said after signing the bills. “It’s not the kind of thing I like doing … but when you have a deficit you have to do something.”

Read more:

Let the People Vote! Gov.Brown’s Video Request for Special Ballot Measure

March 22, 2011 Comments off

Please share with others to urge Republicans to allow this special ballot measure to allow us to vote on extension of taxes in California to help balance our budget. Let the people vote!

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