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Scott Valley Protect Our Water – POW – in Siskiyou County, California
Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Wednesday, July 4th, 2012.
Jul 4, 2012
Jul 4, 2012
Published: Monday, Jul. 2, 2012 – 12:15 pm
Last Modified: Monday, Jul. 2, 2012 – 2:12 pm
A 63-year-old man was attacked by a mountain lion near Nevada City early Sunday while sleeping alongside a tributary of the Yuba River.
The California Department of Fish and Game confirmed the unusual attack after investigating the scene and the man’s injuries.
Fish and Game said the man, who is from the Bay Area, was traveling through Nevada County on a planned hiking trip when he decided to stop for the night to sleep. He laid a sleeping bag out on the ground and went to sleep. Around 1 a.m., he was attacked in the sleeping bag by a mountain lion for what he described as 90 seconds to 2 minutes.
The man said the animal bit and clawed him through the sleeping bag, through a cap he was wearing and through his clothes. The lion ceased the attack, looked at him from 15 feet away for another 15 to 30 seconds, then ran into the night.
The man drove himself to a hospital in Grass Valley, where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries and later released.
Game wardens responded to the hospital and verified that the man suffered severe scratches and puncture wounds. They collected several articles of clothing and the sleeping bag, which were analyzed at Fish and Game’s forensics laboratory in Sacramento.
At the scene, wardens found mountain lion tracks. They used trained dogs in an attempt to track the lion but were unsuccessful. However, they did find the remains of a domestic cat which had injuries consistent with a mountain lion attack.
Read more here:
Jul 4, 2012
From Klamath Basin Crisis.org
Yes, it is Lee Greenwood singing his banner song and our fervent prayer!
Jul 4, 2012
Published: Wednesday, Jul. 4, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 1A
Nevada wildlife officials have issued the first ever commercial permit for crayfish harvest in Lake Tahoe, allowing the Tahoe Lobster Co. to go after some of the 220 million crustaceans living in the lake.
The fishing is expected to be a boon for the economy, tourism, cuisine and lake clarity. Waste products from the nonnative crayfish – or crawdads – foster the shallow-water algae growth that clouds the lake’s crystalline waters.
The crayfish will be sold for local eating, replacing other, less-reliable supplies and possibly imports from China, such as those used at Isleton’s Cajun Festival in June.
“Nothing’s more local than Tahoe,” said Ben Deinken, a chef for the Brewer’s Cabinet in Reno. “We want to get ahold of that.”
Even some chefs in Sacramento would like a chance to use Tahoe crayfish, but the clarity issue is what’s driving the move by the Nevada Department of Wildlife.
“Algae growth is a major factor in Tahoe’s declining clarity,” said Sudeep Chandra, a lake scientist at the University of Nevada, Reno. “What we are finding is that the crayfish stimulate algae growth.”
Biologists believe that signal crayfish, native to streams that flow to the Pacific, were introduced into Lake Tahoe in the 1800s. They’ve thrived – and doubled in population since the 1960s, according to Chandra.
His research helped drive the decision to open the lake to commercial crayfish harvest.
“Our main focus is clarity,” said Justin Pulliam of the Tahoe Lobster Co. “If we can pull these crayfish out and manage the resource, that’s going to be ideal.”
His company needs local permits, but Pulliam hopes to begin fishing this month.
Taking an invasive species out of the lake and selling it for food would be almost like discovering that yellow star thistle – the spiky invasive plant that covers about 14 million acres in California – could be harvested for salad.
Charles Goldman, the dean of Tahoe biologists, captured 65,000 crayfish in the Tahoe area years ago as part of his research efforts. He shipped them to Scandinavia, where European native crayfish had been decimated by a plague. Goldman compared it to sending California grapevine stock to France in the 19th century to replace pest-damaged vines.
Goldman, a founder of the International Association of Astacology – crawdad studies – also likes to eat them. A website promoting the consumption of invasive species includes his recipe, which involves boiling them in a stock flavored with onion, dill, peppercorn, lemon and wine.
“That is my recipe for doing crayfish, really in the French fashion,” Goldman said.
Deinken, the Reno chef, said he plans to simply boil them and put them on the table in a tin bucket, “just like we have ‘em at home” in his native Louisiana.
Pulliam and his uncle Fred Jackson are working out where best to put traps and how to bait them, and what kinds of traps will minimize catches of other species.
“Things like chicken wings work great,” Goldman said, but if other nonnative fish or small crayfish are used as bait, it’s that much better for the lake.
The scientist said he has seen crayfish on the lake floor consuming items as unappetizing as a discarded copy of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Unlike what you might see in Maine with lobster traps, the Tahoe traps won’t have a float on the surface. Floats have to be 15 feet deep, at least, to avoid being a navigational hazard, Pulliam said.
Fishing will begin only in Nevada, but Assemblywoman Beth Gaines, R-Rocklin, would like to see it expanded to the California side. She introduced AB 2504 in an attempt to reverse a state ban on the practice.
“If we can encourage private business and clean the lake up, hey, there’s a double winner there,” said Dave Titus, chief of staff for Gaines.
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Jul 4, 2012
July 3, 2012
By Katy Grimes
When Anthony Maglica founded his machine shop in 1955 as a one-man operation, he never dreamed of the success he would have, nor would he ever imagine that the state in which he lived would slowly kill off his business one day.
Maglica, the creator of the wildly popular and reliable Maglite flashlight, started his machine shop in his garage. He turned that business into an empire, and has sold 420 million hard aluminum-encased flashlights since 1979. And he has not raised the price of the best selling flashlight since.
But California lawyers have fought Maglica over his claim that his flashlights are “Made in America.”
Born in the USA
Maglica, born in New York, moved with his mother to her native Croatia during the Depression and lived there through World War II, and the ravages of war. He returned to the United States at age 22, where after working different jobs, he saved $125 to purchase a metal lathe and start his own machining business.
“I didn’t build this business by myself,” Maglica told me during a tour of his magnificent plant in Ontario, CA. “The employees built it with me.” Against all odds in California’s business-killing climate, according to Maglica, his employees are the primary reason he remains in business.
But Maglica said, that since the last Presidential election, his business hasn’t been profitable. He attributes the business downturn to politics, the sputtering economy, and cheap facsimiles of his product allowed into the country without the stringent regulations he is faced with.
There was a time Maglica could proudly state “Made in America” on his product labels. But he says that California has an unattainable, absurdly strict law requiring that 100 percent of the product be manufactured in America, in order to state this on the product label.
“I have always tried to make all product parts in my own U.S. factory,” Maglica said. “But globalization and the emergence of new manufacturing centers have changed the cost and availability of some components I now have to import.” Maglica said that some parts are just not available from any other American manufacturer, or are cost prohibitive for his company to produce.
Because the Maglite company has to import a very small percentage of its parts, California state law requires that the company omit the label that states that the product is “Made in the U.S.A.,” despite the fact that Mag Instrument is a U.S. company.
“Unless 100 percent of a product is made in the United States, California’s ridiculous Business and Professions Code provision prohibits my company from using ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ on the packaging,” Maglica explained.
When touring Maglica’s immense facility, it became abundantly clear that he not only manufacturers the many components of more than 20 different flashlights, Maglica has purchased, and turned around, several financially distressed component parts companies in order to keep components available for his line of flashlights. He has brought all of this additional work to his plant in Ontario.
But even this has not helped him in California.
Click on link at top for rest of article.
Jul 4, 2012
Posted: 07/02/2012 03:07:45 PM PDT
Updated: 07/02/2012 05:06:49 PM PDT
Pacific Gas & Electric is seeking to raise rates by more than $2 billion over three years, arguing it needs the money in part to upgrade its gas and electricity networks and hire an additional 2,200 employees.
The San Francisco-based utility made the request Monday when it submitted a draft of its 2014 general rate case, the first step in a long process to set natural gas and electricity rates for utility customers.
“Safe, reliable and affordable energy is the foundation of our economy,” PG&E President Chris Johns said in a four-minute video about the proposed rate hikes on PG&E’s website. “It’s what this rate case is all about.”
If the request is approved by state regulators with the California
Public Utilities Commission, the typical PG&E customer who gets both gas and electric service from the utility would see their monthly bill increase by an average of $12 a month, or $144 a year, beginning Jan. 1, 2014.
“PG&E’s own numbers for average bill increases are staggering — about $150 a year,” said Mindy Spatt of the consumer advocacy group TURN. “The general rate case is the main place where PG&E says ‘This is what it will cost us to run the utility.’ The good news for consumers is that TURN will be going over this with a fine-tooth comb.”
Utility rate cases, which are typically filed every three years, are highly complex proceedings before state regulators. The five-member PUC is not expected to vote on
PG&E’s general rate case until the end of 2013.
“This shouldn’t just be an argument about cost,” Tom Bottorff, PG&E’s senior vice president of regulatory relations, said in an interview Monday. “The discussion is, what’s necessary to make the system safe?”
PG&E is seeking $1.25 billion in 2014, $500 million in 2015 and $500 million in 2016 to cover additional infrastructure improvements and increased cost of labor and materials.
Of the $1.25 billion, $459 million would pay for the replacement of miles of older gas lines, new technology to improve gas leak detection and a new gas distribution control facility. PG&E plans to replace 180 miles of gas distribution lines per year, compared with just 30 miles currently, a sixfold increase.
Those issues stem from the deadly September 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion, which raised questions about PG&E’s maintenance of its natural gas pipeline network, record-keeping and how it responded to the disaster. PG&E plans to continue working with Sunnyvale-based Picarro, a startup whose gas leak detection technology is allowing PG&E to more quickly identify and repair gas leaks. Every report of a suspicious gas odor will be also be treated as an emergency response call.
Roughly $791 million would go to the electric side to pay for the cost of connecting new residential and business customers, replacing cables and station equipment and adding new transformers. The utility will also increase patrols and take other measures to mitigate wildfire risk.
PG&E has about 20,000 employees, but wants to hire 2,200 more dedicated to improving system safety, reliability and customer service. About 180 additional customer service representatives would be added to beef up staffing at the utility’s various call centers.
“Currently, 80 percent of phone calls from customers are answered within 60 seconds,” Bottorff said. “We want to improve that response time to 30 seconds.”
PG&E uses a complex electrical rate plan with four levels, or tiers, of billing, which vary by region and season of the year. Tier 1, or baseline customers, use a minimum level of electricity. Customers are charged an increasingly higher rate as their electricity use rises above the baseline through tiers 2, 3 and 4. The more electricity you use, the higher rate you pay — a system designed to reward energy conservation.
Customers can find out what tier they’re in, how much electricity they use each month and the charges for it on their monthly PG&E bill, under the area marked “Electric Account Detail.”
If approved, electric bills for the typical residential customer would increase about $5 a month, to about $95 a month. Natural gas bills for the typical residential customer would increase about $7 a month, to about $53 a month.
The proposed rate increase would also improve dam safety modifications at PG&E’s hydroelectric facilities and implement new safety Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulations at the Diablo Canyon nuclear facility in San Luis Obispo County.
Contact Dana Hull at 408-920-2706. Follow her at Twitter.com/danahull.