Monday, January 16, 2017

Corruption, gas prices fueling unrest at Mexico border

While the U.S. corporate media is busy trying to organize nationwide protests of Donald Trump's inauguration, few are paying attention to the actual protests in Mexico over rising gas prices and corruption that are growing in intensity. The Shasta Lantern's Red Smith passes along a report that details the unrest at Mexico's border with California over our southern neighbor's failing reforms.

As Nick Bernabe writes in Antimedia:
The U.S. media has remained mostly mute on the situation in Mexico, even as the unfolding civil unrest has closed the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego, California, several times in the past week. Ongoing “gasolinazo” protests in Mexico over a 20 percent rise in gas prices have led to over 400 arrests, 250 looted stores, and six deaths. Roads are being blockaded, borders closed, and government buildings are being sacked. Protests have remained relatively peaceful overall, except for several isolated violent acts, which activists have blamed on government infiltrators.

The few mainstream news reports that have covered the situation blame rising gas prices but fail to examine several other factors that are pushing Mexico to the brink of revolution.
Inflation, "narco-state" corruption and "neoliberal policies" that have left the working class behind are some of the factors behind the unrest, the article contends.

Today in the Times: Scholarships, coaches, fundraising

Among the latest headlines in the East Valley Times:
Community Foundation announces spring 2017 scholarship opportunities
Shasta Regional Community Foundation would like to remind students pursuing higher education that online applications are available for a growing number of scholarship opportunities. Students can now research these financial aid programs and application deadlines on the website at www.shastarcf.org under the Grants & Scholarships tab.

Lions All-Star Football announce 2017 coaches
Lions All-Star Football has announced this year’s coach selections for the 40th Annual North vs. South game slated for Saturday, June 17, 2017 at Harrison Stadium in Oroville. The North 11-Man team coach will be Tony Pavlic of Mt. Shasta High School; South 11-Man team coach will be Mark Cooley of Pleasant Valley High School.

Shingletown Medical Center shares North State Giving Tuesday results
The staff and board members of the Shingletown Medical Center (SMC) express a huge thank you to everyone involved in our first participation with the North State Giving Tuesday / Holiday fundraising effort. It was through your partnership with our rural medical center that we are happy to announce SMC raised over $5,500.00.
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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Next wet pattern to arrive by Wednesday, stay awhile


From the National Weather Service:
Dry weather with patchy dense Valley fog will continue through Tuesday. River and stream levels are still elevated, but are gradually receding. Confidence is increasing that another extended wet pattern will impact Northern California starting Wednesday. The precipitation and snow graphics on this email focus on the first storm system which arrives by early Wednesday with widespread precipitation and some gusty winds through Thursday. Snow levels will start above pass levels Wednesday morning but lower towards the foothills on Thursday. A second wave of precipitation will swing through interior NorCal on Friday with lingering showers into Saturday as snow levels lower further. Models suggest that the wet pattern could continue into early next week with a third wave arriving Sunday into Monday. It's important to take advantage of the upcoming dry days to assess storm damage from our previous week and continue inspections on levees before we return to another extended wet pattern.

Impacts
Renewed flooding concerns
Downed trees and power lines due to saturated soil and gusty winds
Mountain travel hazards from snow (chain controls, delays, accidents)
Reduced visibility from morning Valley fog

Forecast Confidence
High on return to wet pattern
Medium on timing, amounts, snow levels

Timing and Strength
Dry weather through Tuesday with patchy morning Valley fog
River and streams levels are still elevated, will continue to gradually recede
Take advantage of dry days to assess storm damage, prepare for next storm
First System Wednesday - Thursday
Heaviest Wednesday afternoon into early Thursday morning
Snow levels:
Wednesday morning - above 7000 feet
Wednesday evening - lowering below pass levels around 5000-6000 feet
Thursday - lowering to 3500-4000 feet
Breezy to locally gusty winds
Second System Friday with lingering showers on Saturday
Heaviest precipitation on Friday
Snow levels ~3000 feet on Friday, lowering to 1500-2000 feet by Saturday morning
Breezy to locally gusty winds
Third System possible on Sunday-Monday
For updates, check here and at CapitalPress.com.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Supreme Court to hear water suit; ranchers' group cheers


The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to assign a court to hear the suit against the federal government's "Waters of the United States" rule. From the Pacific Legal Foundation:
As we noted here, our challenge to the government’s expansive and controversial rule redefining “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) raises two important questions: (1) is the rule valid and (2) which is the proper venue for challenging such a rule–the federal district courts or the federal courts of appeals. The first question is being litigated in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. The second question will now be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Today the Supreme Court granted our request to hear the case. It will be heard in April and decided by June of this year. The fact that the court has taken the case bodes well for our position that the Clean Water Act authorizes jurisdictional challenges in the federal district (trial) courts and need not be brought only in a court of appeals. The issue is important because it is unclear where and when regulated landowners can go to challenge federal rules interpreting the Clean Water Act. Filing a claim in the wrong court can result in losing the right to challenge the rule at all. The position we advocate maximizes the opportunity for the regulated public to challenge rules that define the scope of the Act.

Our brief urging the court to take the case can be read here. We will be filing another brief, on the merits of the case, in a couple of months.
The nation's largest beef industry group is pleased that the Supreme Court is intervening. From a news release:
Scott Yager, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association environmental counsel, today released the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to grant the cert petition for the industry coalition lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency on its “waters of the United States” rule:

“The Supreme Court’s decision to hear our appeal is a victory for America’s cattle producers and all private property owners across the country. It shows that the Court has a continued interest in private property rights and we look forward to oral arguments this spring.”
The Capital Press' Carol Ryan Dumas is gathering input on what's next. Check our website soon.

LaMalfa to return to ag, natural resources committees

From a news release:
Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) issued the following statement after receiving his committee assignments for the 115th Congress. LaMalfa will continue serving on the House Committee on Agriculture and the House Committee on Natural Resources, while also adding the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

LaMalfa said: “I am very pleased to announce I will be joining the Transportation and Infrastructure committee in addition to my responsibilities on the Agriculture and Natural Resources committees. I believe the work done on all three committees will greatly benefit Northern California priorities on highways, levies, flood control and water storage as well as our work with Agriculture and Resources, such as forestry management. The best chance for jobs is in our own backyard resources. Oversight of federal regulators is a big part of my responsibility that I look forward to.”

Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster said: “I am pleased to welcome Congressman LaMalfa to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Through the years, we’ve worked together on various issues of importance to his home state of California, and he has worked hard to improve Northern California and our nation’s infrastructure. He will be a valuable addition to the committee.”

The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has jurisdiction over all modes of transportation: aviation, maritime and waterborne transportation, highways, bridges, mass transit, and railroads. The Committee also oversees other aspects of our national infrastructure, such as clean water and waste water management, the transport of resources by pipeline, flood damage reduction, the management of federally owned real estate and public buildings, the development of economically depressed rural and urban areas, disaster preparedness and response, and hazardous materials transportation. It includes a broad oversight portfolio of many federal agencies, including the Department of Transportation, the U.S. Coast Guard, Amtrak, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the General Services Administration, the Army Corps of Engineers, and others.

The House Committee on Natural Resources considers legislation about American energy production, mineral lands and mining, fisheries and wildlife, public lands, oceans, Native Americans, irrigation and reclamation.

The House Committee on Agriculture oversees policy regarding the production of: food, fiber, and timber products, as well as rural development and food security. It also sets policy on farm credit, biotechnology, and commodities exchanges.

Nielsen named again to lead shrinking GOP caucus

From a news release:
The north state's veteran lawmaker – Senator Jim Nielsen – once again was unanimously elected by his colleagues to serve as chairman of the Republican Caucus.

“I’m honored to be selected by my colleagues to serve as Caucus Chairman during this new session of the Legislature” said Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Tehama). "Working alongside Leader Fuller and Republican senators, we will continue to advocate for reforming California's regulatory policies that are stifling job creation and long overdue investments in critical infrastructure like new water storage and our roads - issues that will serve all the people of California."

“This leadership position also affords me the opportunity to push for issues that matter to Northstate citizens like building Sites Reservoir and fixing our roads and highways,” Senator Nielsen added.

“As a well-respected member of the California Legislature, Senator Nielsen is an accomplished legislator and a long-standing member of the Senate Republican Caucus. His re-election as Caucus Chairman will serve us well and he will do a great job,” said Senate Republican Leader Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield).

North state residents are now well-positioned to have their voices heard as both of the region’s state lawmakers are chairs of their respective caucuses. Senator Nielsen along with Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) will help direct the policy, issues and communications for Republicans.

Given his experience, Senator Nielsen will continue to oversee the fiscal and policy operations of the Senate Republicans' professional consultants.

Elected to the State Senate in January 2013 and re-elected in 2014, Senator Nielsen represents the Fourth Senate District, which includes the counties of Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Placer, Sutter, Tehama and Yuba. To view his biography in its entirety, please click here.

Senator Jim Nielsen represents the Fourth Senate District, which includes the counties of Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Tehama and Yuba. To contact Senator Nielsen, please call him at 916.651.4004, or via email at senator.nielsen@senate.ca.gov.
The Democrats currently have a 27-13 advantage in the Senate.

Forestry group: Siskiyou monument violates O&C Act

From a news release:
Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities, an organization supporting the active management of federally-owned forest lands, had the following to say regarding President Obama's use of the Antiquities Act to expand the size of Cascade Siskiyou National Monument:

“President Obama’s use of the Antiquities Act to expand the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument is a violation of the O&C Act, and yet another blow to rural, forested communities in Southwest Oregon.

“It is extremely disappointing to those who support multiple use management of our federal lands. By making this unilateral decision, the Obama Administration ignored citizens who are concerned about how this expansion will affect private property, public access, local economy and businesses, mitigation against catastrophic wildfire, drought and other impacts. Further reductions in timber harvests on O&C lands will also threaten the ability of rural counties to provide essential public services like sheriff patrols and jails for violent criminals.

“Unfortunately, these types of last-minute, half-baked decisions erode public trust in government and make communities directly impacted by the designation feel ignored and unheard. There is limited support in Southern Oregon for this expansion. Joining the many citizens who have expressed concerns and opposition to this plan include counties, area legislators, the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce and others.

“Now more than ever, we need the incoming Trump Administration and the new Congress to fix our broken system of federal land management, and especially to achieve a long-term solution of the management of Western Oregon O&C lands.”
Here is Mateusz Perkowski's report on the reaction from ranchers at CapitalPress.com.