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Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Monday, March 6th, 2017.

WWII veteran takes flight in B-17 bomber for 99th birthday

Veterans & soldiers

“It’s old memories, old memories.”

Some memories never fade.

“It seems like yesterday in a way.”

For Sergeant Eugene Leonard, the time he spent in Pearl Harbor remains a part of him forever.

“When you hit my age, time slows up,” said Leonard.

Looking out the window of a B-17 Bomber made him feel like he was in 1941.

“There was combat. We had to fly into Guadalcanal. They had control over Guadalcanal and we had to slip in with fire protection,” said Leonard.

At 99-years-old, the sergeant made his maiden voyage on the sentimental journey Saturday.

“Of course I spent thousands of hours in the R4D and C46’s,” said Leonard.

He joined the Marines in 1936. He also served in the Air Force. A renowned mechanic for 76 years, he was shot during war and survived.

“I’d say indirectly, he saved about 40 lives with his maintenance on airplanes and preventing pilots from making mistakes,” said Guy Coulombe.

Two years ago, Coulombe befriended the Sergeant during a monthly meeting of Pearl Harbor survivors in San Diego, where the war hero lived at the time.

MORE

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/03/06/wwii-veteran-takes-flight-in-b-17-bomber-for-99th-birthday.html

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Republicans in Maine, Utah want Trump to undo monuments

Dept. of INTERIOR, Federal gov & land grabs, President Trump and officials

Published March 06, 2017

Republican leaders in Maine and Utah are asking President Donald Trump to step into uncharted territory and rescind national monument designations made by his predecessor.

The Antiquities Act of 1906 doesn’t give the president power to undo a designation, and no president has ever taken such a step. But Trump isn’t like other presidents.

Former President Barack Obama used his power under the act to permanently preserve more land and water using national monument designations than any other president. The land is generally off limits to timber harvesting, mining and pipelines, and commercial development.

Obama created the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine last summer on 87,500 acres of donated forestland. The expanse includes part of the Penobscot River and stunning views of Mount Katahdin, Maine’s tallest mountain. In Utah, the former president created Bears Ears National Monument on 1.3 million acres of land that’s sacred to Native Americans and is home to tens of thousands of archaeological sites, including ancient cliff dwellings.

Trump’s staff is now reviewing those decisions by the Obama administration to determine economic impacts, whether the law was followed and whether there was appropriate consultation with local officials, the White House told The Associated Press.

Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage is opposed to the designation, and says federal ownership could stymie industrial development; and Republican leaders in Utah contend the monument designation adds another layer of unnecessary federal control in a state where there’s already heavy federal ownership.

The Utah Legislature approved a resolution signed by the governor calling on Trump to rescind the monument there. In Maine, LePage asked the president last week to intervene.

Newly sworn-in Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has said he’ll fight the sale or transfer of public lands. But he also believes states should be able to weigh in. The National Parks Conservation Association has vowed to sue if Trump, the Interior Department or Congress tries to remove the special designations.

“Wherever the attack comes from, we’re ready to fight, and we know the public is ready to fight if someone comes after our national parks and monuments,” National Parks Conversation Association spokeswoman Kristen Brengel said.

In Maine, the prospect of undoing the designation is further complicated by deed stipulations requiring the National Park Service to control the land and a $40 million endowment to support the monument, said Lucas St. Clair, son of Burt’s Bees co-founder Roxanne Quimby, who acquired the land.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/03/06/republicans-in-maine-utah-want-trump-to-undo-monuments.html

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Sac Bee Editorial: After Oroville, a flood policy for both deluge and drought

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, California Rivers, California water

EDITORIAL: After Oroville, a flood policy for both deluge and drought

Sacramento Bee

One hundred fifty-six years ago, on the night before Christmas, a wave of epic storms rushed in from the Pacific Ocean, pummeling Gold Rush California with great sheets of violent rain. For more than 40 days and 40 nights, the rivers of the Sierra Nevada raged, swollen with melted snow. Mining camps, bridges and saloons were swept away like toys.

Levees crumbled. Thousands died. An entire Chinese mining community perished in the Yuba River. The Central Valley became an inland sea, submerging farms, villages and whole herds of livestock. In the Sacramento Valley, telegraph poles stood under water 30 feet deep.

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LaMalfa, Garamendi introduce bill boosting Sites Reservoir

California Rivers, California water, Doug LaMalfa Congressman CA

LaMalfa, Garamendi introduce bill boosting Sites Reservoir

Chico Enterprise-Record

Two north state congressmen have introduced joint legislation to help get Sites Reservoir built. The proposed reservoir west of Maxwell in Colusa and Glenn counties has been under review for decades, and could get some state funding under Proposition 1, a $7.5 billion water bond approved by voters in 2014.

But the status of necessary federal and state approvals will determine which projects actually get funds. The bill announced Friday by Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale, and John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, would accelerate the federal review of Sites Reservoir and improve its chances.

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Modesto Bee Editorial: What are we supposed to do with all this water?

Air, Climate & Weather, California Rivers, California water

EDITORIAL: What are we supposed to do with all this water?

Modesto Bee

Danger could be headed our way. Again. Those living near the San Joaquin and Tuolumne rivers west of Modesto have already seen high water, and they’re going to see much more. A week of higher temperatures in the mountains could turn snow into runoff. That would be nice if we had some place to put the water, but we don’t. The state is dragging out the process of spending the $2.5 billion voters approved in 2014 for more storage.

Our reservoirs are full, or close to it. That’s especially true of Don Pedro on the Tuolumne River. Built to hold 2,030,000 acre-feet, it had 1,980,360 as of Friday – leaving a 2 percent cushion. Knowing there’s 17 feet of snow in Tuolumne Meadows and an estimated 2 million acre-feet of frozen water in the watershed, dam managers would like to increase flows now to avoid an emergency later.

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Riverbanks collapse after Oroville Dam spillway shut off

Air, Climate & Weather, California Rivers, Dams other than Klamath

Riverbanks collapse after Oroville Dam spillway shut off

San Francisco Chronicle

When state water officials scaled back their mass dumping of water from the damaged Oroville Dam this week, they knew the riverbed below would dry up enough to allow the removal of vast piles of debris from the fractured main spillway.

But they apparently did not anticipate a side effect of their decision to stop feeding the gushing Feather River — a rapid drop in river level that, according to downstream landowners, caused miles of embankment to come crashing down.

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Federal Agents Told to STAND DOWN in Bunkerville

Bundy Battle - Nevada, Bureau of Land Management, Constitution, CORRUPTION, Courts, CRIMINAL, Federal gov & land grabs

The six defendants on trial were determined to be the “least culpable,” yet could spend the rest of their lives in prison.

LAS VEGAS — Law-enforcement officers were ordered by the federal special agent in charge to cease “all operations” hours before an armed standoff at a Nevada ranch reached its tension-filled zenith in 2014.

But they did not. Three law-enforcement officers testified in federal court Thursday that they maintained their positions throughout the night and into the next day, anticipating a bloody gunfight at Bundy Ranch.

None of the officers explained in court why they were ordered to engage anti-government protesters — and open fire with less than lethal weapons — after being told at least twice to stand down, abandon their efforts to round up private cattle on federal land and leave.

This was one of the first times law-enforcement officials have publicly acknowledged the government orders to back down, drawing attention to a little-known detail about the high-profile confrontation.

The six-day standoff reached a climax on April 12, 2014, as hundreds of protesters formed a line across a wash near Interstate 15 about 80 miles north of Las Vegas. Armed men took up positions on the overpass, sighting their rifles at federal agents below.

“All operations had ceased? All operations were done?” Las Vegas lawyer Richard Tanasi asked McBride on cross-examination. “Despite that operations were over, despite your requests to fall back, your requests were being denied?”

Tanasi represents Steven Stewart, one of six defendants charged with conspiracy, extortion, assault and obstruction for taking up arms to stop the Bureau of Land Management from seizing cattle owned by rancher Cliven Bundy.

The six men, from Arizona, Idaho and Oklahoma, are the first of 17 defendants to go on trial on charges stemming from the Bundy Ranch standoff. Although federal prosecutors designated them as the “least culpable,” the defendants face identical charges and could spend the rest of their lives in prison if convicted.

April 11 order: Pack up and leave

Federal authorities testified Thursday about an April 11 briefing to cease operations.

They said Dan Love, BLM special agent in charge of operations, said authorities were going to release Bundy’s cattle, pack up and leave the wash. They said a news release signaling the standoff was over would be sent out the next day.

Instead, the situation intensified through the night. National Parks police officers and rangers, who served on a regional operations team called to the Bundy Ranch, testified that they believed an attack was imminent.

McBride said supervisors ordered her team to take up defensive positions through the night and prepare for an attack on the incident command post that never came.

The next day, on April 12, supervisors ordered her to advance with three team members and fire non-lethal gas and pepper spray at protesters.

She said they approached the line of 100 protesters in the wash in a tactical “stack formation.” McBride was in the lead behind a ballistic shield, followed by an officer armed with a gun loaded with pepper rounds, a third carrying a gas-canister launcher and a rifleman for protection.

“The four of us were given OK (to fire),” McBride said, adding that they disregarded the order because they feared the pop of the gas rounds would be mistaken for gunfire and spark a shooting war.

“While we were standing there in the stack, we discussed it,” she said. “We would have shots fired against us.”

She said her team twice requested permission to fall back and her supervisor denied their request.

Thursday wrapped up the second week of testimony by government witnesses in one of the West’s most high-profile land-use cases.

For decades, the BLM repeatedly ordered rancher Cliven Bundy to remove his cattle from federal lands and in 2014 obtained a court order to seize his cattle as payment for more than $1 million in unpaid grazing fees.

Bundy issued a social-media battle cry. Hundreds of supporters, including members of several militia groups, streamed to the ranch from several Western states, including Nevada, Arizona, Idaho and Oklahoma.

Prosecutors counter that the protesters are lawbreakers who illegally pointed weapons at law-enforcement officers and conspired to block a lawful court order.

The defendants argue that conduct by reckless government agents led to the standoff. They said federal agents incited the violence against people exercising their constitutionally protected rights to assemble and bear arms.

The trial expected to continue for weeks

Federal Agents Told to STAND DOWN in Bunkerville

 

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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