A swim in the Merced River could cost $4,000 if rescue is required.
Sierra Sun Times file photo
February 20, 2017 – Currently Lake McClure is slightly above 90 percent of its capacity and 15 feet below the reservoir’s maximum storage level. As is normal, water is continuing to be released from the reservoir’s primary outlet through New Exchequer Power House at the base of the dam under direction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Merced Irrigation District (MID) owns and operates New Exchequer Dam on the Merced River, which creates Lake McClure.
Contrary to information provided in a news report, there were no “levee breeches” along the Merced River on Thursday night. Water overflowing from a private ditch lead to a temporary road closure on Merced Falls Road near Snelling.
Lake McClure is a multi-purpose reservoir, providing flood protection, water storage and recreation. It has a capacity of 1 million acre feet and is located in the foothills of Mariposa County.
As is normal when Lake McClure exceeds approximately 67 percent of its capacity during flood-control months, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers directs MID’s water releases from the reservoir. These releases are being made to provide space for storm runoff reaching the reservoir. So far, 2017 is the wettest year on record in terms of both snowpack and precipitation in the Merced River watershed. Water releases have continued to be made since mid-January from New Exchequer Dam through the direction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The average inflow to Lake McClure over the past 24 hours has been approximately 12,500 cubic feet per second (CFS). MID is currently releasing flows of up to 7,000 CFS through MID’s primary outlet at the base of New Exchequer Dam.
Lake McClure’s primary release system for water is through the hydroelectric project at the base of New Exchequer Dam. It also has two emergency spillways if Lake McClure exceeds operational limits: a gated spillway is able to provide controlled releases if needed. A second ungated spillway could also be used for emergency releases.
Additionally, MID remains in daily contact with the local Office of Emergency Services. MID expects to continue releasing high outflows of water downstream of the reservoir for several months to accommodate flows of melting snow and future precipitation.
At various points along the Merced River, privately owned and operated diversion ditches are maintained by landowners with riparian water rights on the river. On Thursday night flows in the river overtopped one of the private ditch gates near the Snelling area. That water eventually made its way to Merced Falls Road east of the town of Snelling. Although these are private ditches and outside the jurisdiction or control of Merced Irrigation District, MID water crews immediately responded to an OES request and assisted to divert water back to the Merced River with the approval of the landowner. Overnight Thursday and well into Friday, MID continued to support local efforts to shore up and plug areas of concerns along the private ditches in areas at which they diverge from the main stem of the Merced River.
Update: Preparations To Open Spillway At Don Pedro Reservoir
Update at 8:10am: As part of the plan to use the controlled spillway at Don Pedro Reservoir, a portion of Bonds Flat Road within the spillway channel itself might be removed to avoid the release of roadway material into the Tuolumne River. The Tuolumne County Office of Emergency Services adds that the move will also help facilitate restoration of the road segment sometime this summer.
Bonds Flat Road is currently closed between J-59 and Highway 132. As of this morning, the Don Pedro Recreation Agency staff have closed the launch ramps at the reservoir, and there will be no recreational boating on the lake until further notice. Boats currently docked on the lake may remain in place.
The Turlock Irrigation District says that the controlled spillway may be used after 3pm today. We’ll pass along further information as it becomes available.
For whatever period Bonds Flat Road is closed, all traffic that would normally use the road will need to plan on using alternate routes. The only major alternate routes available will be Highway 49 to Highway 132 or La Grange Road (J-59) to Highway 132. Travelers are reminded that: I) repairs to the James E. Roberts Bridge on Highway 120 will continue to require periodic nighttime closures; and 2) Marshes Flat Road from Highway 49 to the top of Kelly Grade has been closed indefinitely due to storm damage.
Original story posted at 6:55am: Don Pedro, CA — In anticipation of Don Pedro Reservoir reaching capacity, the Turlock Irrigation District is preparing to open the controlled spillway gates as early as 3pm today.
This is an update to an earlier story. The irrigation district stresses that it will not occur before 3pm. Landowners and growers along the Tuolumne River are advised to take steps to protect property and livestock as Tuolumne River levels are expected to rise rapidly. The Turlock Irrigation District reports that the CHP has closed a stretch of Bonds Flat Road between J-59 and Highway 132 so that concrete barriers could be placed on the road near the proximity of the Don Pedro Reservoir spillway channel. The irrigation district has been monitoring today’s forecast, which has been increasingly volatile. The reservoir could approach its maximum capacity, of 830 ft., by late today. We’ll pass along more information as it becomes available. To read more about the current weather conditions, click here.
MERCED FALLS FLOODING ABC News Video link
Merced Irrigation District Approves Budget and 2017 Water Season – Reports Lake McClure Is Facing The Likelihood Of The Wettest Year On Record
Sierra Sun Times file photo
Actions taken to benefit local groundwater in eastern Merced County
February 11, 2017 – In a host of actions yesterday, the Merced Irrigation District Board of Directors approved the FY 2018 budget and set the in-district water rate for MID growers. The Board also approved a temporary water transfer to local growers outside District boundaries.
The water rate for MID growers was set at $33 per acre foot. There are no restrictions on how much water may be purchased this year by in-District growers. Outside growers will pay $75 per acre foot.
Additional information on the upcoming irrigation season will be made available in the coming weeks.
Following five consecutive years of drought, Lake McClure is facing the likelihood of the wettest year on record. The reservoir is currently 80 percent full and holding about 800,000 acre feet. At this time last year the, reservoir was about 15 percent full, holding approximately 151,000 acre feet.
Inflow to the reservoir is currently about 28,000 cubic feet per second (CFS) and MID is making floodcontrol releases of approximately 5,000 CFS to provide space for storm runoff and snowmelt.
Board actions related to the budget and water availability are typically made later in spring. However, based on the large volume of water in Lake McClure – and continuing high flows into the reservoir – the Board accelerated the schedule for establishing the irrigation season and setting the annual budget.
“There is adequate surface-water supply for MID growers as well as other local growers just outside the District’s boundaries,” said MID General Manager John Sweigard. “We want to take full advantage of this surface water for the benefit of growers and for the benefit local groundwater in eastern Merced County.”
By providing all the needed surface water to MID growers from Lake McClure, they will not have to depend on individual wells to pump groundwater – which has been heavily relied on by agriculture and cities alike during the past five years of drought. Further, selling water to in-basin growers who neighbor MID’s boundaries provides them an opportunity to turn off their wells. These actions to benefit groundwater are in addition to the recharge that occurs from MID’s water deliveries each year: throughout the irrigation season, MID’s operations result in up to 140,000 acre feet of groundwater replenishment as water flows through unlined waterways and through the District’s recharge basins. The recharge of 140,000 acre feet is the equivalent of diverting 14 percent of Lake McClure into the local groundwater basin, which is used by the cities of Merced, Atwater, Livingston, as well as rural domestic wells. Management of groundwater is even more crucial at this time with the state’s recently enacted Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.
The Board adopted a $107.6 million budget for FY 2018, beginning April 1. Overall, the ratio of revenue to expenses remains essentially the same as the previous year’s budget. The 2017 budget represents an increase of $19.4 million in revenue over the FY 2017 budget. This is based based on a host of factors, including hydroelectric production, water availability for purchase by MID growers and in-Basin local water transfers. At the same time, operating expenses have increased by $13.5 million compared to FY 2017. This represents legal costs associated with regulatory and legal challenges to MID’s water rights, as well as millions of dollars in annual debt payments associated with the ongoing relicensing of the New Exchequer Hydroelectric Project.
CHECK OUT THIS LINK TO: BLACK RIFLE COFFEE INTERVIEW
DWR “Robust” Sierra Snowpack
Sacramento, CA – The Department of Water Resources finds a “very good” Sierra snowpack for its second manual reading of the year.
Out of 101 stations reporting in, the average snow water content is 30.6” and 173 percent of normal for this date and 109 percent of the April average. DWR spokesperson Frank Gehrke had this reaction, “We’re just ecstatic about this. We are just so excited to see a big snowpack with, all in all, a great January from a snow accumulation standpoint.”
All three regions showed impressive measurements for January. The northern Sierra water content was 26 inches and 144 percent of the multi-decade average for the date. The central and southern Sierra readings were 32 inches, 173 percent of average and 32 inches, 200 percent of average respectively. Gehrke notes that the wet October definitely “pre-charged” the ground’s surface, stressing, “The runoff from this snowpack is going to be more efficient and effective since we had a stormy October. It was a real boost to both the forest environment and also reservoir storage.”
Currently, New Melones Reservoir is at 72 percent of the historical average for the date and Don Pedro is 128 percent. This is not the first time there has been a strong start to the water year followed by a dismal ending. Regarding how California would fair if the state gets no more snow, Gehrke acknowledged, “If we get into March, if we don’t have storm activity, it’s kind of a double whammy…A long stretch in March with no storm activity would start to eat away at the snowpack, especially in the lower elevations…The downside is if we do have early melt, say starting in March, some of the water would have to be released because they’re still having to maintain flood control space in some of the big reservoirs.”
The Sierra Nevada snowpack typically supplies 30% of California’s water during a given year.
January 23, 2017
MID releases stormwater to recharge groundwater sapped amid drought
January’s storms have filled Lake McClure past its historical average, prompting water releases to help replenish groundwater, the Merced Irrigation District reported.
Lake McClure was about 73 percent of capacity Monday. That contrasts with the reservoir’s record low water level of 6 percent just two years ago.
MID is releasing water per federal requirements to ensure space is available in the reservoir to hold floodwater. MID is releasing about 2,000 cubic feet per second while about 7,500 cfs flows into the reservoir. The last time MID released water for flood control was in 2011, before the drought.
“The drought of the past five years had severely strained groundwater in eastern Merced County,” said John Sweigard, MID’s general manager. “The groundwater recharge is a benefit to both MID growers and our community as a whole.”
MID has two groundwater recharge basins in which stormwater is being captured – one in Winton-Cressey and one in El Nido.
In most years, MID replenishes up to 140,000 acre-feet of groundwater through deliveries of Lake McClure surface water to growers in eastern Merced County. That adds up to about 14 percent of Lake McClure’s capacity, or the capacity of Lake Yosemite. The water percolates back into the groundwater as it flows through 700 miles of MID’s waterways.
About 25 acre-feet of water is replenished in the Winton-Cressey basin per day, and the El Nido basin helps replenish about 18 acre-feet of groundwater per day with storm runoff from Mariposa Creek.
“Obviously, all of this water flowing through local streams and waterways is benefiting our community’s groundwater,” Sweigard said. “In instances where we can divert some of this stormwater into our extremely permeable groundwater recharge basins, we want to ensure we are doing everything possible to benefit the groundwater.”
Groundwater in eastern Merced County is used by cities such as Merced, by rural residents with wells and for agricultural purposes.
During the drought years, MID provided either no irrigation water or very small allocations from Lake McClure.
MID officials say it’s too early to predict how much water it will deliver to farmers during the irrigation season. The district will be able to store more water in Lake McClure as spring approaches and flood space requirements ease, but district officials are not counting on the wet weather continuing, said Mike Jensen, a spokesman with MID.
“Throughout the drought, we did, in fact, see more than one ‘false start’ where it appeared the weather outlook was improving but the storms ceased,” he said.
MID’s staff will continue to analyze reservoir conditions as spring nears, but ultimately the board of directors has the final say of how much water will be diverted for irrigation.
“However, at this time, we anticipate having ample supply to meet all of our growers’ needs this year,” Jensen said.
Brianna Calix: 209-385-2477
Saturday, December 31, 2016
FOURTH REVISED NOTICE
COMMENT DEADLINE EXTENDED AND REMINDER OF FINAL PUBLIC HEARING DAY
NOTICE OF FILING AND RECIRCULATION, NOTICE OF OPPORTUNITY FOR PUBLIC COMMENT AND NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON
AMENDMENT TO THE WATER QUALITY CONTROL PLAN FOR THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY/SACRAMENTO-SAN JOAQUIN DELTA ESTUARY AND SUPPORTING
DRAFT REVISED SUBSTITUTE ENVIRONMENTAL DOCUMENT
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) will receive public comments on the proposed updates (Plan Amendment) to the Water Quality Control Plan for the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Estuary
(Bay-Delta Plan) and the recirculated draft revised Substitute Environmental Document (SED) in accordance with this notice. The proposed updates include new and revised San Joaquin River flow objectives for the protection of fish and wildlife beneficial uses, a revised salinity water quality objective for the protection of southern Delta agricultural beneficial uses, as well as a program of implementation for those objectives. The State Water Board is proposing to update the Bay-Delta Plan in accordance with a regulatory program exempt under section 21080.5 of the Public Resources Code from the requirement to prepare an environmental impact report (EIR) under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) (Public Resources Code, § 21000 et seq.) and with other applicable laws and regulations.
The State Water Board initially provided this notice on September 15, 2016, and revised the notice on October 7, October 18, and December 9, 2016. The notice, as revised, remains in effect except for the change in the comment deadline and the change to the room location for the January 3, 2017 hearing, as noted below.
COMMENT PERIOD EXTENDED
The time to submit written comments on the proposed Plan Amendment and SED has been extended until 12:00 noon on March 17, 2017. Procedures for submitting written comments are described below.
REMINDER OF PUBLIC HEARING DAY
As stated in the third revised notice, dated December 9, 2016, the public hearing to receive public comments on the proposed Plan Amendment and the SED began on November 29, 2016 and continued on December 16, 19, and 20, 2016. The public hearing will conclude at:
January 3, 2017 – 9:00 a.m.
Joe Serna Jr. – CalEPA Headquarters Building
Byron Sher Auditorium
1001 I Street, Second Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
Webcast available at: https://video.calepa.ca.gov/.
For information regarding project background; hearing procedural matters; future notifications;
building parking, accessibility, and security; and additional information, please see the third
revised notice at the following link:
SUBMISSION OF WRITTEN COMMENTS
The State Water Board will accept both written and oral comments on the proposed Plan
Amendment and the SED. Written comments must be received no later than 12:00 noon on
March 17, 2017, and addressed and submitted to:
Jeanine Townsend, Clerk to the Board
State Water Resources Control Board
1001 I Street, 24th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814-0100
Comment letters may be submitted electronically, in pdf text format (if less than 15 megabytes
in total size) to the Clerk to the Board via e-mail at email@example.com.
Please indicate in the subject line: “Comment Letter – 2016 Bay-Delta Plan Amendment &
SED.” You may also submit your comments by fax at (916) 341-5620. Electronic submission is
preferred, but not required.
Couriers delivering comment letters must check in with lobby security personnel, who can
contact Jeanine Townsend at (916) 341-5600.
Please direct questions about this notice to Katheryn Landau at (916) 341-5588 or by email at
Katheryn.Landau@waterboards.ca.gov, or to Timothy Nelson at (916) 445-5987 or by email at
Additional information on the public hearing can be found at the State Water Board’s website at
December 22, 2016
Date Jeanine Townsend
Clerk to the Board
Saturday, December 17, 2016
Officials urge residents to speak out Monday on Bay-Delta plan
The Merced-area community will have one local opportunity to speak directly to officials from the State Water Resources Control Board about the controversial Bay-Delta plan, and that one chance will come Monday.
The Merced County Board of Supervisors, Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced, and other elected officials are urging residents to attend Monday’s meeting and speak out against the plan.
As proposed, the Bay-Delta plan would increase flows on the Merced River in an effort to revive declining salmon populations. Critics, however, say more water flowing into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta would mean less for irrigation, forcing farmers to continue pumping groundwater, sending less to groundwater replenishment, impacting local drinking water and, ultimately, taking a huge toll on Merced County’s economy.
During Monday’s hearing at the Merced Theatre, water board officials will hear about two hours of presentations before accepting public comment. (The venue has changed from the Merced Multicultural Arts Center.)
The Merced Irrigation District has proposed an alternative to the Bay-Delta proposals, called the S.A.F.E. Plan. The plan proposes supporting salmon populations by increasing water releases to support migrating salmon, targeting predatory bass, restoring river habitat that was dredged a century ago and modernizing the Merced River’s salmon hatchery.
“It’s absolutely imperative that the state water board see a strong presence from the community and MID growers,” John Sweigard, MID’s general manager, said in a statement. “Once this water is lost from our community, it will never return. This will harm everything from mortgage and car payments to college education and retirement plans.”
“I ask that you please join me in person at the hearings to voice your opposition to the water board’s plan,” Gray said in an emailed statement. “As you know, this plan will have devastating effects on our economy, our drinking water, and our quality of life. It is imperative that we make a strong showing at the meetings. Members of the public will be able to make brief comments and those comments will become part of the official record.”
If you go
When: 9 a.m. Monday
Where: Merced Theatre, 301 W. Main St. in Merced
Submit a written comment
Those who are unable to make the public hearing can submit written comments to the water board until Jan. 17, 2017.
Letters can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent by regular mail to:
Jeanine Townsend, clerk to the board
State Water Resources Control Board
1001 I St., 24th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814-0100
Friday, December 16, 2016
from the MARIPOSA GAZETTE:
Does Dollar General make ‘cents’ in area?
You can bet your bottom dollar the proposal to build a Dollar General in the Don Pedro area is going to create plenty of passion from both opponents and supporters.
Does it make “cents” for the community?
An estimated 300-500 people attended a Tuolumne County Planning Commission meeting in November. At that meeting, the site development permit for the project was rejected by the commission by a 5-1 vote.
However, store developer Joe Dell of Cross Development, based in Carrollton, Texas, asked that the decision be appealed.
The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors are now in the process of scheduling a special appeal meeting to determine whether the proposed store will be built.
The meeting was slated for February, but due to a scheduling conflict at Lake Don Pedro High School, the date is “still up in the air,” said Bev Shane, Community Resources Agency director for Tuolumne County.
“It may be in late January,” Shane said. “There are some dates in January where the gym is available. The facility has certainly lent itself as a great venue. It’s just down the street from the project site and in the area where the people most interested in the project live.”
Reasons for appeal
In a letter to the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors dated Nov. 23, 2016, which was acquired by the Gazette, Dell wrote the appeal “is being filed on the basis that we feel the Planning Commission did not review all of the details” of the proposal, and instead “based their findings for denial on emotions and a fear of competition.”
Dell also responded to a paragraph in the report by the planning commission, which read: “We’re not here to choose winners and losers, but the problem in this case is if any big corporation came here and put in money to build a store and then a few years from now closed it, the devastation to the community would be complete.”
Dell responded to this by writing, “This statement is based solely on assumption and not on fact. We believe findings of fact, means, facts. For this reason, we feel the denial was in fact, not based on actual findings of fact, but instead on emotional and assumptive feelings…”
Calls placed to representatives from Cross Development and Dollar General were not returned.
Some in the community are concerned about the effect of bringing in a 91,000 square-foot Dollar General would have on the community.
The site that Dollar General wants to develop is currently a mobile home park, and families would be forced to relocate if the application is approved.
“They would be removing the RV park,” Shane said.
In addition, the Don Pedro Market, which has been a fixture in the community for several decades, would be affected.
According to attorney George Harper, a solo practitioner from Madera who is representing the Don Pedro Market, the proposed store would be built “on the very next door lot” to the market, which is at Highway 132 and Las Palmas Way.
“They would literally be back to back,” Harper said.
Harper said “I think everybody understands that if Dollar General comes in, there’s not enough business for two grocery stores.”
“It necessarily means one of the two stores will go out of business,” Harper said. “I think the fear is the local market that has been there a long time will be the one that will go out of business. The local residents don’t want that. That store means a lot to them for other reasons than groceries.”
Harper said the store has a “long history of generosity in the community going back to the previous owners.” He said when organizations in the community need something, the store has been a “willing participant.”
He added the store has been there for over 30 years.
“It’s a local gathering place,” Harper said.
Don Pedro Market has gasoline pumps, a hardware store, a deli and a post office, and Harper said the local residents use those pumps because the next nearest pumps are “quite a distance away.”
Harper pointed out the hardware store which is attached to the market “cannot support itself standing alone.”
“The hardware store has no staff,” Harper said. “When people need hardware, whoever is on duty at the grocery store opens the hardware store. … It saves them from having to drive from Sonora or Merced.”
Harper said the issue is “not just grocery store versus grocery store.” The stakes are higher than that.
“If Don Pedro Market goes out of business and the Dollar General is there, they will lose all these services,” Harper said. “They’ll lose the sense of history of a local gathering place.”
Harper said “many of the ones” who move to the Lake Don Pedro area move there “specifically because they wanted to be in a rural type of environment.”
“They feel like box stores are contrary to the environment they sought out when they moved there,” Harper said.
Finally, Harper said the planning commission’s decision was based on the fact the commission and the board of supervisors are to consider “potential negative impact” to the local community.
He said the commission made their decision “based on the testimony” of the people who showed up and determined there would be a “significant negative impact on this small community” if this application was approved.
Craig Lawson has owned the building that houses the Don Pedro Market for almost 20 years.
He said supporters of the Dollar General store are “claiming they’re not going to have that much product on their shelves that (matches what) the market has,” but in actuality, he claimed, 90 percent of the products will be similar.
“The bottom line is the Dollar General will put the Don Pedro Market out of business,” Lawson said.
Lawson reiterated that should the Don Pedro Market go out of business, “the gas pumps will be pulled.”
He said supporters of the Dollar General store are “not getting the big picture here.”
“They’re looking out for themselves, and that’s it,” Lawson said.
“There’s nothing wrong with competition,” Lawson said, but “if the area can’t support it, what are we doing?”
The developers will need three votes in favor of the project for it to move forward.
Shane said lawsuits could be filed by either side following the decision.
She said in order to file a lawsuit, “you must first exhaust your administrative remedy,” which in this case is taking the matter before the board of supervisors, and “anything beyond that, it goes into the legal court process.”
“Is there a chance? There’s always a chance,” Shane said.
Decision could affect Mariposa County shoppers
Although the proposed Dollar General store would be located in Tuolumne County, it could still affect Mariposa County shoppers, many of whom pass through the Lake Don Pedro area. Part of the Lake Don Pedro community lies within Mariposa County.
Mariposa Board of Supervisors District 2 representative Merlin Jones said he understands it is “quite a volatile” discussion going on right now about the proposed Dollar General store.
Jones said he believes most people in Coulterville, a 22-mile drive from Lake Don Pedro, do their shopping elsewhere.
“I would say the people in Don Pedro use it, (but) the people in Coulterville probably go to Sonora,” Jones said. “That’s where the majority of them will go. Not many come down to the Don Pedro Market down there.”
Shane said the public meeting is not “limited to” Tuolumne County citizens. She said anyone, including Mariposa County citizens, can “provide input.”
“It truly is a public hearing,” Shane said.
When the hearing time and date are set, the Gazette will provide the information in a future publication.
Matt Johnson is Sports and Education Editor of the Mariposa Gazette and can be reached at email@example.com.
Merced Irrigation District: Recently Passed Federal WIIN-WRDA Legislation Marks a Major Milestone in Goals of Raising the Spillways at New Exchequer Dam
Statement on federal drought legislation
December 14, 2016 – The recently passed federal WIIN-WRDA legislation marks a major milestone in Merced Irrigation District’s goals of raising the spillways at New Exchequer Dam. Two crucial provisions are provided within the legislation that are intended to help move the project forward.
One provision authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to accept non-federal funding to pay for review of water infrastructure projects which improve storm-water capture.
A second provision authorizes the Army Corps of Engineers to prioritize a review of reservoir operations manuals in drought states upon request of the governor.
“The authorizations included in this legislation are of significant importance in our ongoing effort to eventually complete the New Exchequer Storage Enhancement Project,” said Hicham ElTal, MID Deputy General Manager of Water Supply Rights and Supply. ElTal is the lead MID engineer overseeing the New Exchequer spillway effort. “Significant work remains. However, MID is absolutely better positioned to move forward with the project as a result of this legislation.”
MID has been working on the New Exchequer Spillway Enhancement for several years. Lake McClure has a water storage capacity of approximately 1 million acre feet of water. The reservoir provides water to our community’s agriculture, local environment, replenishes groundwater and protects the groundwater quality relied upon by all residents and communities in our basin for drinking water. The project would raise the spillway gates of New Exchequer Dam, allowing for up to an additional 57,000 acre feet of carryover water storage.
“We are absolutely grateful for the work done by our local Congress Member Jim Costa. He and his staff have remained engaged with MID throughout this effort,” said ElTal. “We also appreciate the support we have received from other members of the Valley delegation of congressional representatives. Further, we greatly appreciate the efforts of Senator Dianne Feinstein. We look forward to all of their continued support as we proceed on this project.”
ElTal noted that in spite of many beneficial provisions to other water users in the state, MID remains geographically challenged and would only benefit indirectly from the large WIIN/WRDA bill.
“Unlike many other communities and agricultural water users, we do not have a connection to the state or federal water projects,” he said. “We are completely dependent on our locally owned and managed reservoir, Lake McClure, on the Merced River. The unpredictability of California’s wet and dry years makes this storage enhancement all that more important.”
Although greatly benefiting from the federal legislation, MID remains mired in a contentious battle over the future use of New Exchequer Dam as the State Water Resources Control Board seeks major diversions of water from Lake McClure toward the Bay Delta.
PPIC Report Finds Vast Majority of Students Entering California’s Community Colleges Are Identified as Unprepared for College and Placed in Remedial Courses
Few of the 80 Percent of Students Deemed Unprepared Go on To Earn a Degree or Certificate
November 12, 2016 – SAN FRANCISCO —The vast majority of students entering California’s community colleges are identified as unprepared for college and placed in remedial courses, known as developmental education. These classes aim to provide students with the skills they need to succeed in college-level work. But in its current form, developmental education may be one of the biggest obstacles to success in the state’s community colleges. Most of the hundreds of thousands of students who enroll in these classes each year never move on to earn a degree or certificate, or transfer to a four-year college.
These are among the key findings of a report released by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).
The report finds that 80 percent of entering students take at least one developmental course in math, English, or both. Students are placed as many as four levels below college-level coursework. Math is the greater challenge for entering students: 65 percent of developmental education students enroll in a developmental math course, compared to 54 percent in developmental English. Most developmental math students (73%) begin the sequence of classes at least two levels below college level.
Latino, African American, and low-income students are overrepresented in developmental courses: 87 percent of both Latino and African American students enroll in developmental education, compared to 70 percent of Asian American and 74 percent of white students. Among low-income students, 86 percent enroll in developmental coursework.
The report provides a statistical portrait of developmental education in the state’s 113 community colleges, which make up the largest public higher education system in the country. It focuses on students who started their college careers in the 2009–10 academic year and who attempted at least one developmental math or English course. The authors tracked students for six years. The report finds that:
- Developmental course sequences are lengthy, delaying students’ college careers. Students placed into developmental math take an average of 2.5 semesters to complete the sequence, while students in developmental English average 1.9 semesters. These courses cannot be applied toward a degree.
- Attrition is high. Only 44 percent of developmental math students successfully complete the sequence, while 60 percent of developmental English students do so. Students who start lower in the sequence are much more likely to drop out: only 17 percent of students who start four levels below college-level math complete the sequence, while 31 percent of developmental English students do so.
- Most developmental education students do not advance to college coursework or succeed in it. Only about 27 percent of students who take a developmental math course eventually complete a college math course with a grade of C or better. Fewer than half—44 percent—of developmental English students do so.
- Long-term outcomes are even worse. Just 16 percent of developmental education students earn a certificate or associate degree within six years, and 24 percent successfully transfer to four-year colleges.
“Developmental education that is not effective comes at a high cost to students—not only in tuition and fees for courses that do not count toward a degree, but also in time and lost income,” said Marisol Cuellar Mejia, PPIC research associate and a coauthor of the report. “It is also costly to California, which needs more college-educated workers and relies on community colleges as an entry point to higher education.”
The report, Preparing Students for Success in California’s Community Colleges, is coauthored by Olga Rodriguez, PPIC research fellow, and Hans Johnson, senior research fellow and director of the PPIC Higher Education Center.
There is also good news in the report. Concerns about equity and poor results have prompted two-thirds of the state’s community colleges to start implementing reforms. A number of colleges are aligning developmental courses with students’ preferred programs of study or have redesigned course sequences—for example, compressing two-semester sequences into a single semester.
However, so far these reforms have affected a small proportion of students. Enrollment in redesigned courses represented only 8.3 percent of total enrollment in developmental math courses in 2014–15. While there is promising evidence to support developmental math reforms in California, more research is needed to assess whether they improve student outcomes over the long term and narrow achievement gaps.
An accompanying PPIC report, Determining College Readiness in California’s Community Colleges: A Survey of Assessment and Placement Policies, looks at assessment and placement policies and efforts to improve them. It finds wide variation in the way students are identified as college ready and thus not required to take remedial courses. For example, while more than half of colleges use the Accuplacer test to assess college readiness in math, cut-off scores qualifying students as college ready ranged from 25 to 96 out of 120. A student scoring 58 would be placed out of remedial courses at only half of these colleges. Reform efforts focus on promoting greater consistency and accuracy through a common assessment and multiple measures, such as high school grades, to supplement placement tests.
“Assessment and placement policies should help students reach their academic goals—not stand in their way,” said Rodriguez. “A more equitable and efficient system to determine college readiness is a vital step that will benefit millions of students across the state.”
Both PPIC reports are supported with funding from The Sutton Family Fund.
The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research. We are a public charity. We do not take or support positions on any ballot measure or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor do we endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. Research publications reflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of our funders or of the staff, officers, advisory councils, or board of directors of the Public Policy Institute of California.
I Stand With Trump
By Congressman Tom McClintock
October 11, 2016 – Donald Trump wasn’t my first or even second choice for President, but I can certainly tell the difference between a fire and a fireman. And when a fireman is trying to save my house from burning down, the fact he uses lewd and vulgar language in private conversations with other guys doesn’t change the nature of the emergency.
Ironically, Trump’s words spoken many years ago precisely describe Bill Clinton’s behavior over many years, which Hillary Clinton has actively excused, enabled and abetted. How odd that the same Democratic mouthpieces who defended Clinton’s disgraceful deeds are incensed at Trump’s disgraceful words.
We will soon see if this grand diversion succeeds. If it does, it will have obscured several self-evident truths that will decide the future of our families and our nation for decades to come.
Although this election will determine the President for the next four years, it will determine the Supreme Court for the next generation. The average length of service on the Supreme Court is 16 years. If every justice lives to his or her actuarial age, the next President will appoint four Supreme Court justices, starting with the Scalia vacancy.
The Citizens United case protects the First Amendment right of any group of Americans to pool its resources to participate in the public policy debate. The Heller case protects the Second Amendment right of individual Americans to defend themselves with firearms. Clinton and Justice Ginsberg have both made clear that these freedoms will be the first to go once a lock-step leftist majority is installed.
Millions of illegal immigrants have been allowed to enter our country in defiance of our laws, making a mockery of the many legal immigrants who have done everything our country has asked. Is there any doubt by any voter anywhere on the political spectrum that if Donald Trump is elected President, illegal immigration will come to a screeching halt? And is there any doubt that if Hillary Clinton is elected, it will continue?
Does anyone doubt that Hillary Clinton will preside over a massive round of tax increases and that Donald Trump will cut taxes dramatically? Both have said so repeatedly.
Ronald Reagan took office at a time of double-digit unemployment, inflation and interest rates. He rolled back the tax and regulatory burdens that were crushing the economy and produced one of the most prosperous eras in American history. So did John F. Kennedy, whose locker-room conversations we can only imagine. Donald Trump, surrounded by many of Reagan’s economic advisors, is determined to follow Reagan’s prescription for prosperity; Hillary Clinton is pledged to do just the opposite.
And that’s the great question: not whether Trump is a choirboy – he’s never claimed to be. The question is whether our nation can afford to go another four years down the road it has been on. Does anyone doubt that Hillary Clinton will continue the policies that have brought us to this moment? Or that Donald Trump will change them?
Every American has had an up-close and personal experience with the Obama economy and no politician or pundit is going to convince them it is otherwise. They know the condition of the job market and whether their standard of living or quality of life has improved under these policies.
There is no ducking these questions. In parliamentary practice, to abstain from voting is the same as voting with the prevailing side. Ogden Nash put it this way: “They have such delicate palates, they can find no one worthy of their ballots. Then when someone terrible gets elected, they say, ‘There, that’s just what I expected.’”
I can fully understand why the Clinton campaign and the leftist media (but I repeat myself) are making every attempt to divert attention away from these self-evident truths. But I cannot understand why so many hand-wringing Republican leaders can’t bear to stand up in the most important presidential election in our lifetimes.
Centuries ago, Thomas Paine wrote words to rally our nation in its first crisis – words Republican leaders should bear in mind today: “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country. But he who stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”
FROM MARIPOSA GAZETTE
North County events center brings in commerce
Editor’s note: This is the first in a two-partseries about the Mariposa Event Center. Seenext week’s edition of the Gazette for detailsabout a ranch sorting event that will be held inhonor of a Marine who passed away in a caraccident.
The husband and wife, who own and manage the Mariposa Event Center in the Don Pedro area, have taken an ordinary house and barn and turned it into one of the hot spots in Northern Mariposa County.
The couple originally moved from the Bay Area to Bootjack. In June of 2001, they moved to La Grange.
“I fell in love with the barn,” said Marla of the property where they now live.
When they first purchased the property, only the house and the barn were there.
But Marla was competing quite a bit, barrel racing three days a week. In a desire to practice more, the couple decided to construct an arena.
“Originally the arena was put in for us,” Marla said.
The process started in 2003 with the pad being cut for the arena. In 2005, the sand which makes up part of the arena’s surface was brought in. Around that same time, Ken put up fencing for the arena, as well as short light poles for illumination.
At first, the couple made the arena bigger than it really needed to be at 200 by 300 feet, but they eventually scaled it down to 150 by 300 feet.
“We looked at it and went, ‘Wait a minute, that’s really big,’” Marla said. “It’s (now) considered a standard course riding arena.”
As time went on, the couple met many of their neighbors and realized there was a need for the community to have a place to come and ride, and to “have some fun,” Marla said.
Ken pointed out there are several miles of a trail system that runs in the surrounding area.
“There are a lot of trails,” Ken said.
Over the next few years, through hard work and help from a few key connections — including District 2 County Supervisor Merlin Jones, the couple had a fully operational arena constructed.
“We knew he was really horse-friendly,” Marla said. “We approached him and had a meeting with him. He committed to help us navigate all the paperwork. … He’s a huge advocate. Even today he’s a huge sponsor and supporter of what we’re trying to do here. We’re extremely thankful to him for everything he’s done.”
“He got us meetings with all the right people at the County,” Ken said.
The result of the hard work is a place that now brings the community together and offers “honest fun” and a family friendly” environment,” Marla said.
Promoting education and competition
The event center is an equestrian, livestock and K9 facility created for training, education and competition for riders of all ages, levels and disciplines. It is open seasonally from May to November.
One day, the event center hosts veterinarian lectures on how to manage back road emergencies while riding horses. On other days, it hosts vaccine clinics.
“We really want to put forward a lot of education out here,” Marla said.
On the competition side, the event center hosts everything from cowboy challenges — timed obstacle events — to cattle sortings, English and Western schooling shows, barrel races, cowboy mounted shooting and more.
One of the most popular offerings from the event center are the open ride nights on Friday nights.
“In the summer, it’s nice for them to come out in the evenings when it’s cooler,” Marla said.
The event center has now been holding events for three years.
The first year, Ken put up shade structures for spectators. The second year, trees were installed. Last winter, an announcer booth was constructed, and taller light poles were installed to illuminate the arena better.
“Thank God I have some wonderful, local friends that are electricians and linemen, and they came out and we did it all ourselves,” Ken said.
In addition, just this year, Ken and Marla put in a second well, which they hope to use to irrigate a pasture nearby the arena to help reduce dust. The hope is to turn it into a green pasture where horses can eat.
In the future, they hope to build another shade structure to make spectators more comfortable.
“It’s still a work in progress,” Marla said with a laugh.
If you build it, they will come
Despite being in a place that some might consider out of the way, Ken and Marla said it’s not uncommon for them to welcome spectators and competitors from several hours away.
“We have the locals as close as a half-mile away that come and are our regulars,” Marla said. “But we have people from Hollister, the Bay Area, Shaver Lake, Fresno, Clovis.”
Part of the enjoyment for Ken and Marla comes from seeing competitors get “better and better” over the years.
“It’s really rewarding,” Marla said. “You see some amazing horses, amazing riders. You see great sportsmanship and horsemanship.”
Marla said “really awesome people have stepped forward who really want to see” the event center succeed.
“We’re just really thankful for all of them,” Marla said. “And the community, they’ve been great. They’re very supportive.”
The Mariposa Event Center is located at 2759 Ranchito Drive in La Grange. It offers over five acres of parking and also offers warm-up areas.
For more on the event center, visit its Facebook page or www.mariposaeventcenter.com.
Matt Johnson is Sports and Education Editor of the Mariposa Gazette and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marshes Fire Reaches 65% Containment
Moccasin, CA — Progress continues to be made battling the Marshes Fire near Moccasin. CAL Fire Spoksperson Lindy Shoff reports the fire is now 1,080 acres and 65% contained.
CAL Fire reports that around 1,230 firefighters are assigned to the incident, 99 engines, 36 crews, 17 water tenders, nine dozers and four helicopters. Nearly 100 different agencies, from three states, have sent personnel.
The fire has been burning in a challenging area to access and much of it had not burned in over 30 years, which led to a build-up of dead vegetation. Officials report that firefighters have also been dealing with hot and dry temperatures, periods of heavy winds, rattlesnakes and yellow jackets.
All previously closed roads are back open, and evacuation orders have been lifted. Click here to read an earlier story about the cause of the fire. It ignited at 12:20pm this past Monday.
Update: Additional Containment Reached On 1,000 Acre Marshes Fire
Update at 9:10am: Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Andrea Benson reports that Marshes Flat Road is now open to the general public if accessed from Blanchard Road. There are two ways to access Marshes Flat Road. Blanchard Road comes out on the Don Pedro community side, and it is clear and open.
Original story posted at 8:20am: Moccasin, CA — CAL Fire reports the Marshes Fire is up to 30% containment and it is holding at 1,000 acres.
Crews are making progress, as the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office reports all earlier evacuation orders and advisories have been lifted. Highway 49 remains closed from Moccasin to Coulterville due to firefighting activity, according to the CHP. Marshes Flat Road re-opened last night only to residents that live in that area. PG&E has restored power to the area and the Red Cross shelter at the Hacienda in La Grange is now closed.
Around 850 firefighters remain on scene this morning, including 79 engines, 30 crews, 27 dozers, nine water tenders, six air tankers and six helicopters. Resources are being utilized from 68 different agencies. Crews will continue to work today towards constructing additional containment lines. Fire suppression has been difficult due to the steep and rugged terrain, combined with dry and hot conditions. What ignited the fire, at 12:20pm on Monday, remains under investigation. It is burning near the intersection of Marshes Flat Road and Highway 49 near Moccasin.
Click here for a recap of the fire’s progression from yesterday.
HELLO FELLOW LDPCSD MUSHROOMS!
TODAY IS SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25th, 2016
California farmers drilling wells as groundwater limits loom
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Farmers in central California are drilling more and deeper wells than ever before to pump water for their fruit orchards and sprawling fields following government imposed limits on surface water.
The Sacramento Bee reports Sunday (http://bit.ly/2cDfmrW) that two years after Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill designed to limit groundwater pumping, new wells are going in faster and deeper than ever.
An analysis by the newspaper found farmers dug about 2,500 wells in the San Joaquin Valley last year alone, the highest number on record. That was five times the annual average for the previous 30 years.
Farmers say they will continue drilling and pumping because it’s the only way to keep their farms afloat.
Thursday, April 14th, 2016:
GCSD takes heat for delay on release of minutes
Some customers and a board member at Groveland Community Services District are upset that minutes from the January meeting when a controversial water rate increase was approved have yet to be released.
They say that because the Groveland CSD board of directors approved the increase by minute action, there is now no documentation justifying the higher rates they began being billed for on April 1.
In response, Bob Swan, the Groveland CSD board president, said Wednesday he is authorizing release of draft minutes from the Jan. 13 special board meeting in question. Swan said the draft minutes should be available to the public today.
Some opposed increase from outset
Criticism of the rate increase and how the district tried to justify it began before the Groveland CSD board of directors voted on it at the Jan. 13 meeting.
Property owner Virgil McVicker told district management and the board of directors that evening he intended file a lawsuit claiming the district was in violation of Proposition 218, the 1996 law intended to limit the ways local governments can increase taxes, fees and charges.
Board member Steve Perreira told other board members the rate study was incomplete and he voted against the rate increase for that reason.
The district board acknowledged in March that a recent rate study failed to include an estimated $44 million in needed upgrades for aging Pine Mountain Lake water pipes.
The district has billed the rate increase as averaging 38 percent for average water customers, and some people say they are being billed a lot more than that.
Now critics of the rate increase have seized on the lack of minutes from the Jan. 13 meeting and portrayed it as an issue of transparency.
“I don’t think you can charge people for something that’s not documented,” Groveland CSD customer Kay Crow said Wednesday. “You’re not giving them a resolution. You’re not giving them an ordinance. You’re not giving them minutes. It’s not documented.”
Mark Thornton, a former county supervisor who represented the Groveland area, said he was not sure if there were any Public Records Act or Brown Act violations stemming from the lack of minutes from Jan. 13 meeting.
But he says he is paying nearly double for water now compared to last year, and he wants to know why.
“My bill is like 100 percent more than last year,” Thornton said Wednesday. “I’m a customer in the dark about the actual specifics of this water rate hike. Operating from a fixed income perspective I need to know why my bill is substantially increased. They’re a public agency dealing with public funds and they’re public officials. I want public disclosure on their actions.”
Perreira said he’s been on the Groveland CSD board nine years, and the district has been slow about releasing minutes for some time now. The missing Jan. 13 minutes became an issue Monday when district staff sought approval for minutes from 18 different meetings, dating back to May 27, 2015, through March 2, 2016.
“They did not include minutes from the Jan. 13 rate hearing,” Perreira said. “They skipped it because they’re probably trying to figure out how to write it up to eliminate admitting they made mistakes in the rate study. They’re probably trying to figure out how to address that.”
The board did not approve accepting the minutes Monday, Perreira said. He said he voted against accepting them because he hadn’t had time to read them.
Minutes not addressed in Brown Act
Carlyn Drivdahl, deputy counsel for Tuolumne County, gives seminars for public officials on the Brown Act, which addresses open meetings and ensures public access to decision-making processes in local government.
Asked for perspective on the situation in Groveland, Drivdahl emphasized the county is not involved in any way. Drivdahl said in general that the Brown Act does not address minutes at local agency meetings, and it does not address when minutes need to be approved.
Pete Kampa is former general manager for Tuolumne Utilities District and current general manager for Lake Don Pedro Community Services District. He also runs Kampa Community Solutions, which provides consulting services for special districts, including water agencies.
Kampa is versed on the California Public Records Act, Prop 218 and the Brown Act. Asked about documentation of the action approving the rate increase in Groveland, Kampa examined Groveland CSD’s existing water ordinance and other documents.
“When a board takes action at a meeting, there is a requirement in California government code for the board secretary to record those actions,” Kampa said. “By recording it doesn’t specify audio or video. But it’s known you need a written record of your meetings.”
When it comes to rate increases, there is not a requirement for a new ordinance, nor is there a requirement for a resolution, Kampa said.
“A board can be take it by a minute order,” Kampa said. “Minutes are required of every meeting and every board action. But there is no requirement for exactly when the minutes are adopted or how they are adopted.”
Dan Schroeder, an attorney for Groveland CSD, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
‘Nobody likes rate increases’
Jennifer Flores, the Groveland CSD office manager and district secretary, said Wednesday the Jan. 13 minutes were in the process of being transcribed.
“I was a year behind and just got caught up,” Flores said. “But anybody can come in and request a copy of the audio from the meeting. Nobody made this an issue until Monday. It’s not like the district is hiding anything. We had no previous request for the minutes before the April 11 meeting.”
Draft minutes from the Jan. 13 rate increase meeting will be released today, Swan, the Groveland CSD board president, said Wednesday afternoon.
“Nobody ever likes when rates go up,” Swan said. “Why would they? That’s normal. But we do believe in the idea we are trying to be properly transparent about this. So getting these minutes out in a timely manner, we’re not happy about it but we’re doing our best to get them out there.”
The board expected to have the Jan. 13 minutes ready for approval and public disclosure Monday, Swan said. Meanwhile Swan said the Groveland CSD board of directors stands by the current rate increase.
“It’s a pretty significant rate increase and we understand people are upset about it,” Swan said. “At least three board members are customers. We have to make sure the district remains operational into the future and we believe the rate increase is justified. That’s what the vote indicated. We believe that as a board.”
Flores said the next meeting of the Groveland CSD board of directors is tentatively scheduled at 10 a.m. April 27.
Groveland CSD provides treated water to about 3,500 customers. The district gets all its water from the Hetch Hetchy System, which is owned and operated by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. For more information about Groveland Community Services District visit www.gcsd.org online.
SATURDAY, April 9th, 2016
Update: Wet Weather Wreaked A Little Havoc In Mother Lode
Update at 8:30 p.m.: A P&E crew is working to fix an electrical outage caused after a vehicle hit a power pole in the Lake Don Pedro area just after 4 a.m. 75 customer woke up to no lights this morning and the company has yet to give an estimated time of repair.
A public works crew continue to saw and clear away debris from a huge tree that smashed down closing a section of Banner Street near Shaws Flat Road in Sonora. Police report the road will remain closed for the next couple of hours.
Update at 6:35 p.m.: The CHP reports no injuries in a crash on Racetrack Road around 4:30 a.m. involving a Jeep down an embankment. The roadway was closed for about an hour as a tow crew removed the debris. There were no injuries in the crash. A public works crew has arrived on scene where a tree fell across Banner Road in Sonora, closing the roadway. A tractor and dump truck has been called in to help with removal of the tree, which could take several hours. Additionally, a PG&E crew is at the scene assessing the situation of a power outage in the Lake Don Pedro area impacting 75 customer. No estimated time of repair has been given.
Original post at 6:18 a.m.: The rain has been falling steady overnight and heavy at times creating problems in the Mother Lode.
In Calaveras County, the CHP is on the scene of some flooding near San Andreas on Highway 12 west of Highway 49. The roadway is open but motorists should use caution and slow down. A Caltrans crews is heading to the scene to assess the situation.
In Tuolumne County, a Jeep went off the roadway and down a 30-foot embankment on Jamestown Road near Racetrack Road around 4:31 a.m. CHP officers are on the scene and the road has been shut down as tow crews work to remove the wreckage. There is no word on injuries or if the wet, slick roads may have played a role. A large tree has come crashing down blocking both lanes in the 94 block of Banner Drive near Shaws Flat Road in Sonora. Sonora Police officers are on the scene and a public works crew is heading to the scene.
Friday, APRIL 8th, 2016
CHECK OUT THE MERCED RIVER FLOW!
(WHAT’S HEADED TOWARDS LAKE McCLURE!)
FRIDAY, APRIL 1st, 2016
NO APRIL FOOL’S GARBAGE IN THIS POSTER I PHOTOGRAPHED AT THE USDA RURAL DEVELOPMENT OFFICE IN MODESTO EARLIER THIS WEEK:
MONDAY, March 28, 2016
The Lake McClure water level has risen significantly although still below season average. Here is some news about the MERCED IRRIGATION DISTRICT and what they are planning to release for farmers…..WHAT WILL MID RELEASE FOR FARMERS IN THE FUTURE? CHECK OUT THE MID NEWS UPDATE
Monday, March 21st, 2016
From the Mariposa Gazette-
Storms fill rain gauges to almost 10” for March
After a weekend of torrential rain, Mariposa’s rainfall totals were boosted by almost three inches.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the total for Friday through Monday was 2.98 inches.
That rain brought the County’s total rainfall for March to 8.76 inches, according to the Western Regional Climate Center.
Add that to the 2.22 inches in February, 8.45 inches in January and 5.16 in December, and the amount of rainfall looks good for County.
But the El Niño, which weather forecasters have said is fueling the storms, is starting to weaken, and hasn’t brought the amount of rainfall that was forecast last autumn for California.
The rains that came last weekend brought slick roads and a few fender benders to the County, but overall there was little damage from the storms.
Mariposa County Public Works said crews were busy, but didn’t have to deal with anything unusual.
Other areas of the West Coast weren’t so lucky. A man was killed in Washington when a tree crushed his car.
Closer to home, a California Highway Patrol officer was killed late Sunday on Interstate 80 near Donner Summit. He was struck by an out-of-control car while he was out of his vehicle. The weather was so bad at the time the officer had to be taken by ambulance instead of a helicopter.
The precipitation is forecast to disappear for a while, according to the National Weather Service. The next chance of rain is Sunday and Monday. Sunday’s storm may bring about a third of an inch and Monday is forecast to see about half an inch.
Other than those storms, the forecast through Wednesday, March 23, is for sunny days and highs in the high 60s or low 70s.
Lake McClure has seen its storage rise with the recent rainfall, although it’s still lower than normal, with a total storage of 217,822 acre feet. The lake can hold more than one million acre feet.
Other reservoirs across the state are also reporting higher levels from the recent storms. Shasta is at 75 percent of capacity, and 99 percent of historical average.
Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area, which used to be known as Badger Pass, has reported several feet of snow for skiers.
The storms last weekend brought flood warnings across the state, but little damage was done.
MARCH 20th 2016
OK, actually have some “new News“!
FINALLY found an official “legitimate document” that describes what was actually approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) regarding the district water service boundary on January 21st, 1981! Application number, decision number, signed Order the whole enchilada! Check it out here: WHAT THE CPUC ACTUALLY APPROVED RE DISTRICT SERVICE BOUNDARY
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the Sierra Nevada from 11 AM Monday to 5 AM Tuesday.
A storm system moving across Northern California Monday into Tuesday will bring periods of moderate snow above 4,500 feet and gusty winds.
Total snow accumulations will range from four to eight inches above 4,500 feet.
Snow levels will begin around 5,500 feet on Monday morning before lowering to 4,000 feet by Tuesday morning.
A Winter Weather Advisory means that periods of snow will cause primarily travel difficulties. Be prepared for snow covered roads, chain controls and limited visibilities. Use caution while driving.
March 9, 2016
Well, actually no. More like
This is NON-BREAKING news because the process of securing information from folks who do not want you to possess it is designed to provide time for the recipient to research and produce the requested information. (Of course sometimes the 10 day response period is just used to delay and frustrate because there is no intent to produce the information in the first place.) lol – they hope you get frustrated and give up.
NOT-NEWS because it is the same old story of those with something to hide (see above).
“the [MERCED IRRIGATION] District believes that all documents responsive to your Public Records Act request have been furnished”
I believe the topic deserves its own location on the opening menu and that is where I will post future comments about this very polite and intentionally non-responsive response. (aka B.S.)
Yup, I will be posting much more about this under: FOILED F.O.I.A.
But until then I wonder…..
Why would MID be reluctant to provide the monthly compliance reports it required from the LDPCSD to protect itself from potential SWRCB enforcement action for not assuring L11395 restrictions on Merced River water Place of Use were being obeyed by the LDPCSD?
Tuesday, MARCH 8, 2016
? LAKE McCLURE
The bass bite continues to be very good for spotted bass with jigs or plastics on the shakey head or drop-shot. The lake is kicking out quality spots despite the stained water from the rapid inflow. The water level is coming up 1 to 2 feet per day, and it has risen 7 feet this past week to 670.85 feet and 19% of capacity. The Barrett Cove North Ramp is open, and there are numerous no-wake zones throughout the lake. Maintenance work is being completed on one of the gates at the dam.
? LAKE McSWAIN
High winds arrived over the weekend, but this didn’t stop the shoreline fishermen from showing up in storm windows. Blue/chrome Kastmasters, garlic rainbow trout dough bait, or Power Eggs are working, and nightcrawlers are also an option. The lake has risen to the normal water level, but maintenance work on the Exchequer Dam at Lake McClure continues. The water clarity is limited due to the inflow from McClure, and bass have entered the lake through the water releases and warmer overall temperatures
March 5th, 2016:
Here we go again! Massive amounts of “typical course training material” included as supporting data on how to change the financial reporting to the LDPCSD customer. Sorry, but I certainly don’t believe KAMPA/BOARD intend to make it easier for customers to understand exactly where the money has, and will continue to be spent.
Especially with the Board’s recent support in the continuance of expanding special benefit water service to properties KAMPA was involved with twenty years ago. [You know, the four years of LDPCSD previous employment that is often overlooked in advertisements about his water career?]
NOTICE THE METHOD OF OPERATION HERE?
PETE KAMPA (AND CORPORATION) ASSUME GM DUTIES FOR YET ANOTHER COMMUNITY SERVICES DISTRICT!
Wow, doesn’t this information make you feel extra warm and special about your special district management”?
PETE KAMPA on the very day a special meeting was hurriedly being put together here in Lake Don Pedro – (meeting to be held after a four day court weekend for the purpose of QUICKLY & QUIETLY rescinding a prohibitive 2013 resolution preventing further outside Merced Irrigation District Place of Use water service with ground well water), accepts other district employment with the Los Osos Community Services District.
[Ohhhh, FLASHBACK!] I see why PETE KAMPA didn’t double check the Feb 16th Special Meeting agenda packet supporting data material for correctness….he wasn’t even here. He was too busy picking up some more for-profit employment at the LOS OSOS CSD to make sure “Closed Session” aka “confidential” information didn’t accidentally get included.
“Remote GM Services” may actually have some drawbacks to the traditional GM residing and working here in the community.
Gosh….wonder what resources the LOS OSOS CSD might possess that could be exploited for profit with a Pete Kampa solution and a permissive Board of Directors”? (The directors certainly not necessarily negligent or corrupt. No doubt many well-meaning directors trying to do the best for their community have been “carried away with the Kampa flow of management style and objectives”.)
Wonder if he’ll also “bump” the compensation initially agreed upon once work starts for that district as well? Here’s the link to this new special district employment. Too bad what he was doing here was just being discovered.
State Senator Gets Five Years For Racketeering
San Francisco, CA — A judge has sentenced former California state senator Leland Yee in a racketeering case to five years despite prosecutors calling for lengthier sentence.
In July 67-year-old Yee, who has been free while awaiting sentencing, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to engage in racketeering. On Wednesday during his sentencing, Senior District Court Judge Charles Breyer called the weapons allegations against Yee, a gun control advocate, “unfathomable.” He charged it was frightening that Yee would be willing to go entirely against his public position on guns in exchange for money.
In a plea deal, Yee admitted to accepting thousands of dollars in bribes and discussed helping an undercover FBI agent buy automatic weapons from the Philippines. Prosecutors wanted an eight-year sentence to reflect the extent of Yee’s crimes. Yee’s attorneys argued for a lighter sentence citing that Yee had a history of public service and his wife was ill.
A probe of organized crime in San Francisco’s Chinatown led to Yee’s and dozens of other arrests, including gang leaders Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, who a jury found guilty of murder and racketeering in January.