• JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 62

slide28The U.S. State Department last week temporarily relaxed rules for travelers to Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean. Under new Homeland Security Measures travelers between the US and those countries and regions could get out of the country- but not back in without a valid US Passport. The result, massive back ups for the passport system with many travelers questioning their travel plans. Last week it was announced that those rules would be relaxed and the US government said travelers who have a receipt showing they have applied for a passport and a government-issued ID would be allowed back in the United States.
slide22The California Legislature on Tuesday approved what they hope will give the state a greater voice in the race for the White House by moving the state's presidential primary from June to February. The Assembly approved the bill 46-28, along party lines, and now the bill sits on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk. Schwarzenegger has said he supports the concept of the new law. The effort to move the primary has been cast by its supporters as an attempt to force presidential candidates to campaign in California, rather than merely coming to the state to raise money. Opponents said moving the primary to February is merely a smoke screen for the personal agendas of lawmakers who want to extend their terms. A proposed measure that would go on a February ballot would allow legislators to serve longer in their respective houses.
slide14Small businesses in Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tuolumne counties may now apply for low interest disaster loans from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA).  “These disaster loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by the extremely low temperatures and drought in Amador and Calaveras counties beginning January 1, 2007,” said Alfred E. Judd, Director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center - West. Small businesses may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) of up to $1.5 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred.
Monday, 12 February 2007 00:52

Cloud Seeding

Even with the nearly two inches of rain we received over the weekend, more falling some areas of the state, California will still need about double its normal precipitation for the rest of the winter and spring to catch up with a normal year, said Department of Water Resources hydrologist Maury Roos. And that brings up discussions of cloud seeding. When conditions are right cloud seeding across California can bolster the state's runoff by perhaps 3 percent to 4 percent. That could be important this year, with the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada only at about 40 percent of normal. "When you get into a dry year, every drop is valuable," hydrologist Roos said.
Tuesday, 30 January 2007 03:00

More Teens Buckling Up

slide22More teenagers in California are buckling up according to a recent study.  Figures from the study indicate 90.8 percent of the state’s high school students use their seat belts when driving or riding in a vehicle. In the study conducted for the federal government by California State University, Fresno, 100 California High Schools were randomly sampled.  In addition to the 2.5 percent statewide increase in seat belt use from the previous year, the study found that females are more likely to buckle up than their male counterparts.  The high rate for 2006 was 99.8 percent for Alameda County. “There’s still a challenge ahead of us,” said CHP Commissioner Mike Brown.  “Despite the statewide increase of seat belt usage among teenagers, more work needs to be done to increase use among all Californians.”

slide2slide3 Yesterday a man trying to get a “fix-it ticket” signed off got much more when CHP Amador Unit Community Outreach Officer John C. Hardey was outside the CHP Offices and observed the man drive into the CHP parking lot, park, and then make a bee line for the front door. As the man approached the front door Officer Hardey noticed he was walking with a staggered gate. Sgt. Roderick Sloan met the met the man at the front counter, who had business in the form of a sign off of a ticket he had received previously. 

Sgt. Sloan noticed that the man smelled of alcohol as well as displaying other objective symptoms of intoxication. Beat Officer Brendan Hallam was called to the Offices and conducted a series of pre-demonstrated field sobriety tests, which William Main of Ione, failed. Main was subsequently determined to be at twice the legal limit for alcohol according to the CHP. Officer Hallam arrested Main and transported him to the Amador County Jail. “The moral of the story is, don’t come to the Highway Patrol when you’re deuced,” said Officer Hardey.

slide41Yesterday Gov. Schwarzenegger signed an Executive Order now mandating a Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) for the state of California. The order seeks to reduce the carbon component of fuels for passenger vehicles by at least 10 percent by the year 2020. The reduction carbon emissions is an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the state’s dependency on fossil type fuels.  "Reducing the carbon content of transportation fuels sold in California by just 10 percent means we will replace 20 percent of our gasoline consumption with lower-carbon fuels, more than triple the size of the state's renewable fuels market, and add seven million alternative fuel vehicles to our roads," Schwarzenegger said in a press release.
slide10Many of the Eldorado National Forest’s developed recreation sites were built 30-50 years ago. Since then, visitor preferences and demographics have changed and some sites no longer serve their projected recreation demands. Some facilities are in poor shape and are not meeting visitors’ expectations. Now, in an effort to respond to these conditions, as well as considering the national direction, the forest is implementing the Recreation Site Facility Master Planning (RSFMP) process for developed recreation sites.  The process will take approximately one year and will involve public input. The RSFMP is an analysis tool that was developed for use nationally to help forests align their developed recreation sites with the unique characteristics of the particular forest, projected recreational demands, visitor expectations, and anticipated revenue.
slide10.pngCaltrans, the California Highway Patrol, and California State Association of Counties Thursday announced a bold set of 152 actions designed to reduce serious injuries and fatalities 10 percent on California’s roadways by 2010. Actions were created with goals geared toward reducing head-on collisions and run-off-the-road crashes, improving safety at intersections and interchanges, and enhancing safety for pedestrians and bicycles. Local Caltrans representatives and California Highway Patrol members were among 300 safety stakeholders from 80 different organizations attending yesterday’s SHSP safety summit in Anaheim. In addition to the four lead agencies, stakeholders from cities, counties, state agencies, private sector businesses, and grass-roots organizations attended.  Another summit will be held in Sacramento on May 7, 2008.
Friday, 02 May 2008 01:42

Enforcing Decade Old Regulations

slide19.pngSan Joaquin Valley air regulators approved a plan Wednesday to clean up the region's soot-laden air so that it meets federal pollution standards set more than a decade ago. California's farm belt has some of the highest levels of airborne dust, smoke and soot in the country. In all, 26 of California's 52 counties with air-quality monitoring stations received failing grades for either high ozone or particle pollution days, according to an American Lung Association Report. Amador, Calaveras and Sacramento Counties were tops on the list. San Joaquin valley air is blamed for contributing to our local air problems, one Amador Air Control official said. The San Joaquin district's governing board voted 8-3 in favor of a plan that could keep families from using their fireplaces for up to 35 days each winter and require local employers to have a portion of their workers carpool.

slide21.pngEnvironmentalists said the proposal didn't go far enough, and unfurled white prayer flags outside the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District's meeting in Fresno to illustrate the premature deaths associated with the valley's polluted air. Community members wore paper dust masks as they testified about the effects of particulate matter pollution, which has been linked to respiratory problems, heart attacks and lung cancer. The plan is meant to comply with standards set in 1997 under the federal Clean Air Act that measure the highest levels of one kind of particulate pollution allowed over one year.

More rigorous standards were adopted in 2006, an issue that air regulators will have to address after meeting 1997 levels. Farmers speaking at Wednesday's meeting warned that a stricter plan would have risked job losses in the valley, the nation's most productive region for fruits and vegetables. Air quality advocates said the approved plan could have done more to regulate dairies, wineries and diesel pumps on farms, some of the many sources that contribute to the tiny specks of pollution. If the California Air Resources Board sanctions the plan, it will head to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for final approval.