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slide26Amador County, and the rest of the greater Sacramento area, is on its way to breaking a rainfall record set more than 100 years ago: The record for the driest January since at least 1888-89. “Right now, we stand at .07 (inches). If we don’t see at least eight-hundredths of an inch between now and the 31st, we will break the record for the least amount of precipitation in the month for the month of January,”  Jared Leighton of the National Weather Service in Sacramento told News10.According to Leighton, the reason for the dry weather is a meteorological bumper or balloon sitting right along the California coastline, blocking wet weather systems from moving into the region. “There’s a high pressure ridge just off the coast of California that is pushing all the moisture coming out of the Pacific to the north, in turn, keeping us pretty dry,” said Leighton.
Fido BillCalifornia Republican Assemblyman Bill Maze says dog lovers could still bring Fido along – but he’d be relegated to the passenger seat – or the backseat. Maze’s bill would make driving with any animal on your lap illegal. “When you have small animals and they’re jumping around, they could get under your feet which could obstruct your use of the braking system, or even the throttle system, they could…entangle in the steering wheel which creates a real hazard.” Maze says he came up with the bill after seeing drivers with dogs hanging out the driver-side window. The bill does not specify how to keep animals restrained. Maze says the fine for the offense could be up to 146 dollars. He’s likely to face opposition from members of his own party....who have called similar measures examples of “nanny government.”
slide22A report recently released from the Labor Market Division of California's Employment Development Department shows there are a total of 13,020 employed people in Amador County and about 88 percent of those are employed in a service providing industry. The May 2007 Labor Market totals for Amador County show little change in employment figures with categories of Local Government, State Government, and Service providing industries. Most categories showed about a two percent growth rate, with the exception of construction and information related jobs which both showed declines in employment numbers. Local government employment was down 10 employees from 3290 to 3280, while state government jobs rose about 3 percent. The report does show, however, that the employment rate in Amador County remains below that same rate in Calaveras and Tuolumne County. Amador County’s unemployment rate is about 5.6 percent. Tuolumne County has a rate of 6.1 percent with Calaveras just slightly higher at 6.2 percent. The full report can be viewed at
Monday, 14 May 2007 04:28

Good News for the Sates Budget

slide25There may be good news about the state budget this year. Good news that was unexpected because of what was forecast as a downtrend year for the state fiscally. However, because billions of extra dollars unexpectedly flowed into state coffers last month things are looking up. That's not to say the budget debate will be easy.
slide3Congressman Dan Lungren (R-CA), has introduced legislation, HR 1654, to amend the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). This bill will require the Secretary of the Interior to determine that a gaming establishment will not cause harm to the surrounding community in order for any lands to be designated newly as exempt from the general prohibition on new tribal gaming.
slide11Senator Dave Cox’s efforts to protect communities from the adverse effects of prisons moved one step closer to reality yesterday.  SB 878 by Senator Dave Cox passed its first hurdle by receiving a unanimous vote by members of the Senate Public Safety Committee. “Members of the Senate Public Safety Committee should be applauded for helping small communities,” said Senator Dave Cox.  “I am encouraged by today’s action to put the needs of local communities first.  In light of past history, it is important that the State of California live up to its promises.” SB 878 requires the State of California to include mitigation measures when building or expanding state prisons.  These measures would make the affected communities with current prisons and proposed expanded facilities whole in terms of transportation, education, social service and environmental impacts. Cox’s measure stemmed from having five prisons in his district and seeing first-hand the impacts prisons have on surrounding communities.  SB 878 will now move to the Senate Environmental Quality Committee.
slide14Pacific Gas and Electric Company has announced it has made its 2006 franchise fee and franchise fee surcharge payments totaling more than $39 million to 48 counties in which it operates. The 2006 franchise fee and franchise fee surcharge payments total $16 million for gas and about $23 million for electric service. The 2006 franchise fee and surcharge payments represent an increase of about $2.1 million over the 2005 payments primarily due to increased natural gas prices following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2006.  “PG&E has been a part of northern and central California landscape for more than 100 years, and our commitment to support the communities in which we do business has never been stronger,” said Nancy E. McFadden, PG&E’s senior vice president of public affairs. “PG&E’s payment of property taxes, franchise fees and other taxes and fees is a constant source of revenue local governments can count on to support the many important services residents expect such as police and fire protection, education, public health, and environmental services.”
Friday, 30 March 2007 02:07

Sierra Snow Pack Disappointing

slide24State officials on Tuesday took an official Sierra snow survey for the season. The findings indicate that snow pack, a critical part of California's water supply, is far below normal, ranging from 55 percent of the average in the north to 40 percent of average in the southern Sierras. Department of Water Resource officials say there is still enough water in California's reservoirs to assure normal deliveries of water to cities and farmers this summer, but the lower than normal expected runoff amounts means that reservoirs will be abnormally low in the fall.
slide25It’s official, today Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger moved California's presidential primary to Feb. 5, in an attempt to give our state, the nation's most populous, a greater say over the nominating process. "Now California is important again in presidential nominating politics ... and we will get the respect that California deserves," Schwarzenegger said during a bill-signing ceremony outside the historic Leland Stanford Mansion, a former governor's residence and orphanage. California has not played a prominent role in a presidential primary since 1972, when George McGovern beat Hubert Humphrey for the Democratic nomination. Schwarzenegger is hoping that by moving the presidential primary from June to early February, the state will again play a significant role. The presidential primary is not likely to be the only question before voters next February. The ballot also might feature a package of political reforms that Schwarzenegger is hoping to craft with the Democrat-controlled state Legislature.
Friday, 16 February 2007 00:52

Real Estate Season Opened Last Month

slide22The 2007 Sacramento-area real estate season opened last month with 2,522 greater Sacramento area home sellers closing escrow successfully. That is the lowest January number since 1998, according to La Jolla-based DataQuick Information Systems. January's total of 2522 compared to 3,113 December closings of new and existing homes in Amador, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties and 2,999 in January 2006, DataQuick reported. The December to January decline reflects a normal seasonal pattern, DataQuick said. January's escrow closings reflect homes sales initiated in late 2006. The Bay Area and Southern California also reported the fewest January closings since the late 1990s, according to DataQuick. Median sales prices, meanwhile, continued a months-long trend of being lower than the same time a year ago in seven of eight Sacramento-area counties. Only Nevada County with 107 closings saw higher sales prices than January 2006.