Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Rain to return Thursday, stay for weekend

From the National Weather Service:
Wet Weather Returns Late Thursday through Sunday

Impacts

Travel hazards due to slick roads, especially over Sierra passes
Urban and small stream flooding possible
Slight potential for debris flows near burn scars
Slight chance for thunderstorms (Friday afternoon)
Areas of fog...some dense(Wednesday-Thursday mornings)

Forecast Confidence
High
Low confidence in debris flows near recent burn scars

Timing and Strength
Arrives late Thursday...a few heavy precipitation bands possible through Sunday.
Snow and Rain: See Graphics.
Snow levels above 7000 feet Friday falling to 4000 feet Saturday night.

Weather Summary
A winter storm will move through northern California late Thursday through Sunday. Initially high snow levels will fall rapidly Saturday. Expect travel delays into the weekend, please refer to attached graphics for detailed information.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Sierra Pacific Industries to close mill in Arcata

From Sierra Pacific Industries:
Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) today announced it will close its sawmill in Arcata, CA.

“This is a particularly sad day for Sierra Pacific and for my family” said A.A. “Red” Emmerson, Chairman and President Emeritus of SPI. “Our company started in the Arcata area when my father and I leased our first mill there in 1949 near Jacoby Creek.”

“We went on to build the Arcata mill on the Samoa Peninsula, which we’ve run steady since 1951” he noted.

About 123 crew members will be affected by the closure. According to SPI, reduced harvests of suitable timber and regulatory burdens are the primary reason for the closure. That, combined with a difficult lumber market have profoundly impacted operations in Arcata.

“A fall-off in the amount of suitable timber for sale in this area, coupled with flat home construction in the U.S., and increased lumber imports from Canada have all played a role in our decision to close the mill” said SPI spokesman Mark Pawlicki.

“But, make no mistake, the largest factor was that the type and size of logs that this mill cuts are simply not available in ample supply to continue to run the mill” he added. “When combined, these factors leave us no choice but to close the plant” said Pawlicki.

In an effort to keep the Arcata mill running, SPI has been transporting logs from the interior of California, and has barged logs from British Columbia and Washington. However, those efforts proved to be uneconomical.

Sierra Pacific is a strong, growing company and has job openings at other locations. Crew members are being encouraged to consider opportunities at these locations, and relocation assistance will be offered for each person who is approved to transfer.

Sierra Pacific Industries is a third-generation family-owned forest products company based in Anderson, California employing over 4,500 crew members. The company owns and manages 1.9 million acres of timberland in California and Washington, and is among largest lumber producers in the U.S. Sierra Pacific has 13 other sawmills operating in California and Washington, and has started construction of a new mill in Shelton, WA. The company also has window, renewable power, sales, and lumber remanufacturing facilities in operation in multiple states.

Sierra Pacific is committed to managing its lands in a responsible and sustainable manner to protect the environment while providing quality wood products for consumers.

Friday, January 15, 2016

'Parade of storms' aimed at Northern California

The raindrops and snowflakes just keep coming. From the National Weather Service:
Parade of Storms Impacting Northern California

Impacts

Urban/street flooding from clogged storm drains/culverts
Travel delays mountains, snow levels 5000 rising to above 7000 feet
Debris flow possible over Lake County burn scars

Forecast Confidence

High for rain and mountain snow
Medium for burn scar flooding
Medium for exact timing and precipitation amounts of each system

Timing and Strength
Tonight-Saturday
Light snow above 5000 feet after midnight...snow levels rising to above 6500 Saturday morning...accumulations 2-5 inches
Sunday - Monday
High snow levels above 6500 ft...accumulations 4-8 inches up to pass level, a foot over peaks
Hazardous travel over highest elevations
Heaviest precipitation Sunday...especially for Lake County burn scars.
Next week - Wet weather likely, but timing details still uncertain

Weather Summary
After a brief break in the wet pattern today, a weak Pacific system will move through NorCal Tonight and Saturday with only light rain/snow. A much stronger system will move in Sunday with heavy rain especially over Lake County, where burn scar flooding is possible and a Flash Flood Watch has been issued for Sunday morning through Monday morning. Most of the accumulating snow with this system will be 7000 feet and above. Numerous weather systems are expected next week, but the details are uncertain. Stay tuned for further updates.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Cattle groups urge House to disapprove 'Waters' rule

From the NCBA:
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and Public Lands Council, along with 42 state affiliate organizations, today sent a letter to the House of Representatives urging support of Senate Joint Resolution 22, disapproval of the EPA and Army Corps’ “waters of the United States” rule. NCBA President Philip Ellis, said withdrawal or defunding of WOTUS remains a top priority for cattlemen.

“The WOTUS rule is one of the most onerous land grabs undertaken by any regulator,” said Ellis. “The WOTUS rule extends beyond Congressional intent and would affect not only ranchers, but every land use stakeholder nationwide. This rule is not about preserving our nation’s resources, it’s about an overzealous regulatory administration.”

In November, the Senate voted in 53-44 in bi-partisan support of S.J.Res. 22. Since that time, the Government Accountability Office released their legal opinion finding that the EPA violated federal law by engaging in covert propaganda and grassroots lobbying in support of the WOTUS rule.

“Both chambers of Congress have acted in a bi-partisan way to block the WOTUS rule,” said Ellis. “With the GAO’s confirmation of the flaws in the rulemaking process and illegal actions by the EPA, it is time to withdraw this rule. Ranchers have been spared from the effect of this rule through a temporary stay by the courts, but it’s time for Congress to act.”

Friday, January 8, 2016

Wages drop in so-called 'blistering' economy

One of the more insidious ways the federal government coordinates agenda-driven stories with some news organizations is with the monthly jobs report, which are really estimates designed to elicit breathless headlines of a booming economy even as millions of Americans have sat unemployed for years. How do you manufacture 5 percent unemployment? By not counting people who can't find jobs.

Today's Labor Department report that the economy added 292,000 jobs in December achieved its intended outcome, with one local headline bellowing that companies are hiring "at a blistering pace." However, Mike Flynn of Breitbart News adds some context that's always missing from the state-influenced media accounts.
Average hourly wages in December actually fell to $25.24, down a penny from November. The average number of hours worked was also unchanged. To use a technical term, these are weird results. Average hours worked and wages ordinarily rise in the face of strong job growth, as a tightening labor market forces employers to increase pay or get more work out of existing workers.

Part of the explanation could be that while the economy added 2.7 million jobs in all of 2015, this is down considerably from the 3.1 million added in 2014. The labor force participation rate, i.e. the number of adults with a job or looking for work is still at an historically low rate of 62.6 percent.

Another part of the explanation is that job growth doesn’t occur in a vacuum. Every year, the adult population of the country increases, requiring strong job growth simply to keep pace with population change. In 2015, the adult population in the U.S. grew by 2.9 million people. The 2.7 million jobs the Labor Department said were added last year, then, didn’t keep pace with the growth of the population.

This suggests there is still a lot of weakness in the labor market. The economy is gaining jobs, but not faster than the population is growing, so there isn’t pressure to lift wages or increase hours. The net result is that average weekly take-home pay in the month of December actually fell slightly. [...]

The Labor Department reported that the manufacturing sector gained just 30k jobs in all of 2015, down considerably from the 215k jobs gained in 2014. Most of the job gains reported Friday, in fact, were in temporary services, construction, leisure and hospitality and health care.

There is another note of caution in Friday’s jobs report. In December 2014, the economy gained around 330k jobs. Even though this year’s gain was higher than expected, it was still down from the year before.
So failing to provide enough jobs to keep up with population growth is akin to "hiring at a blistering pace"? Only in certain newsrooms when a Democrat is in the White House and his would-be successor is struggling in the polls.