Wednesday, December 13, 2017

It'll take weeks to learn extent of wildfire losses

Southern California fires have harmed avocados, forage, livestock

By Kevin Hecteman
Ag Alert

The rash of late-autumn wildfires in Southern California has harmed avocados, forage and other crops, and killed or displaced livestock, but it will be weeks before the extent of agricultural losses will be known. The Thomas Fire, which broke out Dec. 4 near Santa Paula, burned rapidly across hillsides all the way to Ventura—a distance of about a dozen miles—in "just a matter of hours," said John Krist, chief executive of the Farm Bureau of Ventura County. Read more.
RELATED: Wildfire resources for strawberry growing areas Calif. Strawberry Commission
USDA offers help to fire-affected farmers and ranchers Farm Service Agency

State water board hears concerns about regulation
By Ching Lee
Ag Alert

With the diverse mix of crops grown in the state and the complex nature of different farming systems, California farmers and their advocates told the State Water Resources Control Board that its one-size-fits-all approach to regulating water quality remains burdensome, expensive and infeasible for many farmers. They shared their concerns during a public workshop on a proposal to revise waste discharge requirements for the East San Joaquin River watershed that would have statewide impact on all irrigated lands regulatory programs. Read more.

California crop progress report
Farmers, consumers celebrate National Poinsettia Day East Valley Times
FDA launches education campaign to urge adult smokers to quit East Valley Times
COMMENTARY: New California law adds 'call before you dig' options Ag Alert

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Organizations cite benefits of healthy soils

CDFA, Farm Bureau, other groups mark Healthy Soils Week

By Jessica Chiartas

On the fifth anniversary of the United Nations' recognition of Dec. 5 as World Soils Day and just in time for the California Department of Food and Agriculture's awarding of $5.23 million in funding to promote the adoption of soil health conservation practices, the California's Healthy Soil Initiative celebrated its first ever California Healthy Soils Week. From Dec. 4-7, public and private organizations hosted a variety of panels, webinars, and tours to better demonstrate what soil health actually is, what it looks like, how to promote it, as well as barriers to adoption and on-farm challenges. Read more.
RELATED: CDFA Healthy Soils program awards $5.23 million in grants CDFA

Paper: Faulty dams often go years without being repaired

State Assemblyman James Gallagher got the independent review of the Department of Water Resources' dam management that he has asked for. It wasn't done by independent consultants but by reporters for the Sacramento Bee. According to an investigation by former Record Searchlight staffer Ryan Sabalow and his natural resources reporting partner Dale Kasler, owners of some of California’s most important dams often allow deficiencies to linger for years even though these shortcomings get flagged in annual inspection reports. Read their full story.
RELATED: Oroville Dam spillway failure equals failed state water policy Western FarmPress

Meet the California Farm Bureau's new president, officers
Beginning farmers invited to specialty crop training on Bay Area's edge UCANR
Contest gives cowboy poets opportunity to win trip to 2019 Cattle Convention in New Orleans NCBA
BLM has job openings for seasonal firefighters stationed in Northern California East Valley Times
CHARLIE DANIELS: Could America come together again like we did to win WWII? CNS News

Monday, December 11, 2017

UC touts smart harvest of Christmas trees

Carefully selecting pines, cedars, firs good for mountain landscape

By Jeannette Warnert

Most California forests have too many trees, so carefully selecting pines, cedars or firs in natural areas to enjoy for the Christmas season is good for the mountain landscape. “It's a great idea to cut down young trees for fire safety and vegetation management,” said Susie Kocher, UC Cooperative Extension forestryadvisor in the Central Sierra. “The earlier you do it, the less work it is to manage the trees in the long run.” Read more.

'Real' Christmas trees support farmers and the environment

By Jeannette Warnert

Most real Christmas trees sold in California are raised on farms, creating jobs and boosting the economies in rural areas. That's just one reason UC Cooperative Extension advisor Lynn Wunderlich encourages the use of fresh-cut Christmas trees during the holiday season. "This is an age-old debate," Wunderlich said. Read more.

From the fire zone: A farmer's perspective

From the UC Food Observer
I’m a resident of Ventura who evacuated earlier this week as a result of the #ThomasFire. I have been able to return to an intact home, unlike dozens of my friends, whose homes have been destroyed. Thousands remain under evacuation order, there is a boil water advisory and air quality is poor. Containment remains elusive. The scene is surreal. Read more.
RELATED: UC Cooperative Extension wildfire resources UCCE
Oregon sends strike team, equipment to California blazes Capital Press
'Firefighting at Christmas' could become normal in California AP
Rebuttal: Why Gov. Brown's 'new normal' argument is insane Daily Caller

Illegal pot grows prompt Trinity warning on drinking water Trinity Journal
Plumas supervisors continue commercial cannabis moratorium Plumas News
Lassen supervisors won't rush on cannabis licensing Lassen News
NCBA welcomes updates to beef standards NCBA
SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY: Tax reform for American farmers and agriculture Capital Press

Friday, December 8, 2017

Steve Forbes heralds agriculture's 'renaissance'

Former candidate gives keynote at Almond Conference

By Tim Hearden
For the Capital Press

SACRAMENTO -- Agriculture has always led the world in developing technology and is now in a "renaissance" driven by opportunities in automation, media magnate and former presidential candidate Steve Forbes told an audience. High technology's budding romance with farming is still "in its infancy" and is sure to blossom in future years with advances in irrigation systems, data-analyzing software and robotics, Forbes said during a luncheon speech at the annual Almond Conference. The advances will help farms not only feed a growing world population, but also continue to offer the food choices demanded by an expanding middle class, he told the gathering at the Sacramento Convention Center. Read the full story at
RELATED: The 2017 Almond Conference in pictures See below

Chlorpyrifos to be listed as a toxicant under Proposition 65
From Citrus Mutual
The Developmental and Reproductive Toxicity Identification Committee made a decision to list chlorpyrifos under Proposition 65 as a developmental toxicant. California Citrus Mutual and several other agricultural associations submitted comments in opposition to the product’s potential listing, arguing that any additional actions that could potentially limit the use of the product without scientific justification are unacceptable. Read more.
RELATED: CCM director: Chlorpyrifos decision will hurt family farms Citrus Mutual

Citrus growers cope with weather, wildfires
From Citrus Mutual
In the Central Valley, sub-freezing temperatures failed to materialize as forecast last night, dipping only into the low 30s in the early morning hours. Central Valley citrus growers report conditions were ideal for crop at this point in the season given the mild conditions to-date. Meanwhile, widespread wildfires in Ventura County appear to have impacted the local citrus industry. Read more.
RELATED: Farmers assess damage from Ventura County fire CFBF
Farm Service Agency to meet with Ventura growers Citrus Mutual

Valadao, House Republicans urge DACA fix before year's end Rep. Valadao
State sues Redding developer over watershed damage Trinity Journal
CDFW awards $39.7 million for watershed, ecosystem projects CDFW
CAPITAL PRESS EDITORIAL: Call the fire department -- there's manure on your farm Capital Press

The 2017 Almond Conference in pictures

By Tim Hearden
NorCalAg Editor

SACRAMENTO -- This week I attended the annual Almond Conference, for which nearly 4,000 growers and handlers gathered Tuesday through Thursday at the Sacramento Convention Center. Here are some of the sights.

In the photos, from the top: Tim Birmingham of the Almond Board of California speaks in a seminar on food safety; tips on setting up a food safety plan are shown on a screen; crews set up for a massive trade show; Almond Board president Richard Waycott and chairman Mike Mason give a state-of-the-industry presentation; University of California Cooperative Extension Red Bluff adviser Allan Fulton (far right) takes part in a panel on water use efficiency; media magnate and former presidential candidate Steve Forbes gives the keynote address at a luncheon; and Dieter Kundig of Napasol Food Safety Technologies stands in a booth at the trade show.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Almond research to focus on co-products

Scientists looking for more uses of hulls, shells, wood

By Tim Hearden
For the Capital Press
SACRAMENTO — With production costs increasing and more trees coming into production, the Almond Board of California is looking to get the most out of each orchard. The organization is using a portion of a temporary 1-cent assessment increase to research new uses for hulls, shells and woody biomass as well as opening new markets for the nut, industry leaders said. For instance, researchers are looking into feeding hulls to insects and using their larvae as chicken feed, and using shells to firm up the recycled plastics that are used for such items as nursery flats, said board president and chief executive officer Richard Waycott. The efforts come amid a sense of urgency in the industry as new plantings continue to enter production. Read the full story at

California almond sustainability program recognized globally

From SAI Platform
SACRAMENTO -- The Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform (SAI Platform) and Almond Board of California (ABC) announced Wednesday the outcome of a benchmarking effort with the ABC’s California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP) and SAI Platform’s Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA). CASP almond growing and processing practice assessments paired with the U.S. and California regulatory systems results in a FSA 2.0 Gold level equivalency. Read more.

UC scientists announce breakthrough in Asian citrus psyllid research

By Kathy Keatley Garvey

The Asian citrus psyllid, the most devastating threat to the worldwide citrus industry, may have met its match. In a ground-breaking discovery encompassing six years of research, an international team of scientists announced they've identified the sex pheromone of the pest, which feeds on citrus and transmits the bacteria that causes the deadly citrus greening disease known as Huanglongbing (HLB). Read more.

Farmers worry about impact of tax reform bills
Ag Alert
Reclamation, DWR release beta version of planning tool DWR
House passes Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act Rep. LaMalfa
LaMalfa supports declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital Rep. LaMalfa
PAUL WENGER: Future of farming depends on advocacy Ag Alert

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Tehama Farm Bureau wins statewide award

Won for educational programs, bus tour, groundwater committee

From the CFBF
The Tehama County Farm Bureau earned the County of the Year award for counties with 500 to 799 members during the California Farm Bureau Federation's 99th annual meeting in Anaheim. The Red Bluff office organized educational workshops and training sessions for its members, arranged a bus tour of local agriculture for elected officials, cooperated in creation of a new groundwater committee, helped organize a Farm Day program for all Tehama County fourth graders, provided grants to teachers who incorporate agricultural topics in classroom instruction, and also celebrated its centennial. Read more.

Commodity group to team with TV chef to promote use of almond milk

From the Almond Board
SACRAMENTO -- The Almond Board of California is partnering with Chef Dan Churchill of Scripps Networks’ Feast with Friends and ABC’s Good Morning America on easy and craveable recipes to make with almond milk. Churchill will share new ideas for breakfast, dinner and dessert each week on Instagram. And the best part? The final recipes will be crowdsourced based on votes. Follow Dan Churchill (@dan_churchill) on Instagram for weekly announcements with different recipe options to choose from. Read more.
RELATED: Board envisions 'farm of the future' with $4.8 million research investment Almond Board

Student spotlight: Chico State senior follows in father's farming footsteps

From CSU-Chico
Senior crops, horticulture, and land resource management major Martin Cossio never expected to pursue a college education. Cossio grew up watching his dad’s hard work and diligence in the vegetable fields in Santa Maria, California. The elder Cossio maintained a close relationship with his boss, giving Martin the opportunity to spend time on the farm and see how it operated. When Cossio graduated from Santa Maria High School, he followed in his father’s footsteps in working on the same farm he had been around his whole life. Read more.
RELATED: College of Agriculture welcomes new rangeland management club CSU-Chico

Citrus Mutual, senator team to give big fruit donation to food bank
Citrus Mutual
Research continues to support prunes' protective role Dried Plum Board
CDFA announces vacancies on Certified Farmers Market Advisory Committee CDFA
CDFA announces vacancy on the Shell Egg Advisory Committee CDFA
BILL O'REILLY: It's a wonderful country

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

CFBF's Wenger touts 'long-term, unified action'

Wenger kicks off annual gathering in Anaheim

From the CFBF
ANAHEIM -- Securing the future of California agriculture will require consistent, long-term and unified efforts, California Farm Bureau Federation President Paul Wenger said Monday. Wenger spoke during his annual address at the 99th CFBF Annual Meeting here. Instant communication as represented by smartphone technology, Wenger said, can lure people into thinking that public policies affecting farms and ranches could be resolved quickly through social media, for example. But the most effective way to sway public policy, he said, “is long-term, consistent, working with individuals, taking them on tours on farms, supporting them politically, getting them out and educating them about agriculture. It’s not fast, it’s not easy, but those who work the hardest the longest and invest the most are probably going to be successful.” Read more.
RELATED: Hayakawa receives Farm Bureau Distinguished Service Award CFBF
Farm Bureau honors Jim and Joan Lopes for distinguished service CFBF
Nine graduate from Leadership Farm Bureau program CFBF
California Farm Bureau, John Deere announce new discount partnership CFBF

Steve Forbes, food safety to highlight annual Almond Conference in Sacramento

By Tim Hearden
NorCalAg Editor

SACRAMENTO -- Hundreds of almond growers and processors from throughout California will gather here over the next three days for the annual Almond Conference at the Sacramento Convention Center. The meeting will feature a keynote address on Wednesday by former presidential candidate Steve Forbes, who has used his media platform to bring together innovators from Silicon Valley and the Salinas and Central valleys. For the last three years, Forbes has organized the Ag Tech Summit in Salinas, which "serves as a melting pot for innovative ideas and individuals," according to conference organizers. Here are the meeting highlights. Here is the full agenda. For coverage of the convention, watch here and at

Cattlemen on national monument reductions: 'Egregious example of federal overreach corrected' NCBA
Christmas spirit fills the town of Palo Cedro East Valley Times
Palo Cedro Country Christmas participant thanks committee East Valley Times
Fresh facts on retail California Citrus Mutual
Development of molecular breeding in the Walnut Improvement Program California Walnuts
NEWT GINGRICH: Tax bill debate shifts to conference committee Fox News

Monday, December 4, 2017

State to go after employers who work with feds

Voluntarily giving access to ICE agent could bring big fines

California's new "sanctuary state" package of laws include one that calls for employers who voluntarily cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customers Enforcement agents to be fined up to $10,000. Assembly Bill 450, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in October, also requires that employers provide notice to employees and their authorized representative of certain immigration enforcement actions. The law also puts restrictions on how and when an employer can verify an employee's work eligibility. "It is very important that employers become familiar with the requirements of the new law to ensure they are prepared when immigration enforcement agents arrive at the workplace and avoid falling into potential liability pitfalls," California Citrus Mutual advises its members. Read the organization's full report.
RELATED: AB 450: California's law of unintended immigration consequences Seyfarth Shaw LLP
California Employers Subject to State-Specific Obligations Under New Immigration Law JD Supra LLC

Visit mountain mandarin orchards for tasty treats

By Penny Leff

Nestled in the rolling foothills of Placer County, just northeast of Sacramento, are more than 35 beautiful small family farms growing mandarin oranges. The warm days and cool nights in Penryn, Newcastle, Loomis, Lincoln and Auburn make this area a perfect place to grow sweet, juicy, seedless mandarins. Welsh settlers in the town of Penryn first planted Satusuma mandarin orchards in the 1880s; some of their descendants are still tending Satsuma groves today. These original growers have been joined by other families in providing tree- ripened, hand-picked fruit to Placer County and beyond. Read more.

Weather speeds winter vegetable harvest Ag Alert
CDFA awards nearly $80,000 to improve agricultural fertilizer management and water quality CDFA
California Soils Week to begin today, promote healthy soils CDFA
Cannabis licensing training workshop to be held Dec. 12 in Oroville CDFA
NADINE BAILEY: Young Men and Fire Family Water Alliance

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Freezing overnight lows could damage crops

From the National Weather Service
Cold overnight temperatures are expected early this week with lows near freezing in the valley and in the teens across the Sierra Nevada. Crops and other sensitive vegetation could see damage as could outdoor livestock and pets. Breezy offshore winds possible Monday. Gusts up to 25 mph possible across the valley and up to 35 mph along mountain ridgetops. Widespread impacts are not expected with these winds.

Frost could cause damage to crops & other sensitive vegetation
Protect outdoor livestock & pets

Forecast Confidence

Timing and Strength
Near freezing valley temperatures Monday & Tuesday night
Breezy offshore winds Monday
Valley gusts 15-25 mph
Mountain ridgetop gusts 25 to 35 mph

Friday, December 1, 2017

Meetings next week to discuss Sites project

Gatherings part of EIR/EIS process

From news releases
The Sites Project Authority and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation are hosting two public meetings to solicit input on the draft environmental documents for the planned Sites Reservoir west of Maxwell. The meetings will be held Tuesday in Sacramento and Thursday in Maxwell. Read more.

DWR: Oroville Dam's emergency spillway to be finished in January
The Department of Water Resources provided an update on construction activities on the Lake Oroville Spillways Emergency Recovery Project. Work continues at the emergency spillway. The underground secant pile wall is on schedule for completion in January 2018. Read more.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Welcome to the all new NorCalAg

By Tim Hearden
NorCalAg Editor

Beginning today, a change in my relationship with the Capital Press has led to a change in this blog. My long-time blog, the Jefferson Journal, has given way to NorCalAg, a one-stop shop for links to my published articles as well as agricultural and rural-issues headlines from the north state and beyond. Read my post below.

UC extension's supporters give over $85,000 on Giving Tuesday UCANR
Redding's annual lighted Christmas parade set for Saturday East Valley Times
2017 marks a decade of mandatory almond pasteurization in California Almond Board
Proposal would delay WOTUS rule for two years Ag Alert
BELTWAY BEEF PODCAST: Rancher discusses his WOTUS testimony on Capitol Hill NCBA
FOOD AND FARM NEWS: U.S. Census of Agriculture kicks off CFBF
COMMENTARY: Legislation would strengthen Buy American rule Ag Alert

Thursday, November 30, 2017

EDITOR'S NOTE: Welcome to the new NorCalAg

By Tim Hearden
NorCalAg Editor

Beginning today, a change in my relationship with the Capital Press has led to a change in this blog. My long-time blog, the Jefferson Journal, has given way to NorCalAg, a one-stop shop for links to my published articles as well as agricultural and rural-issues headlines from the north state and beyond.

As a sign that the challenges facing the news industry affect even the best outlets, budget constraints have prompted the Capital Press to discontinue its staff presence in California and focus on its core area, which is the Pacific Northwest. The paper isn't pulling out of California entirely, however. The upshot is that I am transitioning from an employee to an outside contractor, and I will enthusiastically continue to cover events and write stories for them on a freelance basis, beginning with next week's Almond Conference in Sacramento. I will be providing content for their upcoming special section on innovative research and will continue to do Western Innovator features, among other stories.

This new arrangement will free me up to write on a contract basis for other agriculture and community publications and organizations as well, and I already have several exciting projects in the works. You'll be hearing about those in the coming weeks.

As a result of all of this, this blog will become a stand-alone news website that will provide links to my articles in the Capital Press and various other publications as well as a rundown of news about agriculture-related and rural issues. In the sidebars and below are regularly updating feeds with local, national and agricultural news. Feel free to make this website your homepage.

I am extremely grateful for the opportunity and experience the Capital Press has given me over the last nine years, as I am also grateful to be able to continue to work with them in this new capacity. I still believe that audience-driven niche outlets like the Capital Press are the future of journalism. The conscientious, independent news outlets that strive to help their audiences be successful are an oasis in the veritable desert that is the current politically charged media landscape, and they're worthy of support. I look forward to continuing to support them with my work in the months and years ahead.

Initial state water allocation set at 15 percent

From a news release:
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today announced an initial water allocation of ­­15 percent for most State Water Project (SWP) contractors for the 2018 calendar year. That allocation will likely change depending on rain and snowfall received this winter.

“It’s hard to know what mother nature will have in store for us this year, but it’s safe to say California is in a better place than we were during the recent drought,” said DWR Director Grant Davis. “Planning for the year and providing more accurate early estimates for water managers so they can better plan for the year is just one of the many reasons the state needs to improve our forecasting ability.”

The state’s major reservoirs are currently holding much more than their historical averages. Shasta Lake north of Redding, the federal Central Valley Project’s (CVP) largest reservoir, now holds 3.2 million acre-feet (AF), 71 percent of its 4.5-million AF capacity and 119 percent of its historical average. San Luis Reservoir, a critical south-of-Delta storage facility for both the SWP and CVP, now holds 1.5 million AF, 74 percent of its 2 million AF capacity and 124 percent of its historical average for the date. New Melones now holds 83 percent of its 2.4 million AF capacity and 148 percent of its average for this date. Lake Oroville however, currently holds 59 percent of its historical average this time of year. Water was released beginning in spring to provide adequate flood protection during reconstruction of the main spillway.

Last year, the Department’s initial allocation was 20 percent. By the end of Water Year 2017, allocations reached 85 percent due to the abundant rainfall during the year. During the recent drought, the initial allocation was as low as 5 percent in 2014.

Nearly all areas served by the SWP have sources of water other than the allocation, among them streams, groundwater, and local reservoirs. DWR is hopeful that today’s SWP allocation, made before the wettest months, will increase as storms bring rain and snow to the state.

Historical December 1 Allocations:

2017: 20 percent
2016: 10 percent
2015: 10 percent
2014: 5 percent
2013: 30 percent
2012: 60 percent
2011: 25 percent
2010: 5 percent
2009: 15 percent
2008: 25 percent
2007: 60 percent

DWR’s California Data Exchange Center website shows current water conditions at the state’s largest reservoirs and weather stations.


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Gov. Brown to light Shasta tree at state Capitol

From the East Valley Times:
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and First Lady Anne Gust Brown will host the 86th Annual Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Thursday, December 7th on the West Steps of the State Capitol. This year’s tree is a 65-foot-tall white fir from the Latour Demonstration State Forest located near Redding in Shasta County.
Read the full story here.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Science behind biological opinions reviewed

From a news release:
The Bureau of Reclamation will hold its biennial science review on the biological opinions associated with the long-term operations of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project from Dec. 5 to Dec. 7, 2017, in Sacramento.

Reclamation, National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service use this biennial science review to examine prior year’s water operations and regulatory provisions prescribed by their respective Reasonable and Prudent Alternative (RPAs) actions. The goal is to develop lessons learned, incorporate new science, and make appropriate, scientifically justified adjustments to the implementation of the RPA actions and to better inform water operations in future years. The review also allows public input regarding the NMFS and USFWS Biological Opinion (BiOp) on the long-term operation of the CVP and SWP. The BiOps and their RPA actions were designed by NMFS and the USFWS to avoid the likelihood of jeopardy to listed species and adverse modification of critical habitat.

The California Department of Water Resources also participates in the review because it operates the SWP. The Delta Stewardship Council will host the meeting and assist in facilitation.

2017 Long-term Operations Biological Opinions Science Review

Holiday Inn Downtown Sacramento
El Dorado Room
300 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

December 5, 2017 – 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. PST
December 6, 2017 – 8:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. PST
December 7, 2017 – 2 p.m. – 4:40 p.m. PST

For additional details on presentation schedule, agenda, presenters, topics, please refer to the following webpage:

Monday, November 27, 2017

Lawmaker: Ruling keeps farmworkers 'captive'

From a news release:
Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) made the following statement today following the ruling from California’s Supreme Court on the Mandatory Mediation and Conciliation law which allows the state to force pay and contracts onto farmworkers and employers without their input or vote.

“The United Farm Workers union has had a powerful grip on California for decades. The unfair laws they’ve put in place make farmworkers powerless in deciding their own fate - stripping them of the same employee rights afforded to every other worker in this state. Today’s decision by the Supreme Court unjustly allows one of these laws to continue.

"These laws have been passed by California’s Democrat-controlled legislature for decades and have been enforced by unelected, unaccountable members at the Agriculture Labor Relations Board. California farmworkers deserve the same opportunities as every other worker. This ruling makes them second class workers.”

Assemblyman Patterson’s Fair Contracts for CA Farmworkers Act (AB 1389) was killed by the Assembly Labor Committee in 2015. It would have given farmworkers rights they currently don’t have; the right to attend and monitor all mandatory mediation meetings held by the ALRB so they can understand the terms of their contract, and the ability to vote to approve or decline the terms of that contract. The bill would have also required the ALRB to nullify a union contract if the union abandons the workers for a period of three or more years.

Assemblyman Patterson (R-Fresno) represents the 23rd Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes communities in Fresno and Tulare County.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Strawberries are America's favorite fresh fruit

From the California Strawberry Commission:
Strawberries are America’s favorite fresh fruit, according to a recent survey of primary grocery shoppers. Without the aid of a list, roughly one-third (32 percent) of respondents identified strawberries as their favorite fresh fruit, with bananas (9 percent) and watermelons (8 percent) taking second and third place, respectively.

The California Strawberry Commission has focused its recent marketing efforts on educating consumers about the health benefits of strawberries, which include being high in vitamin C and antioxidants and low in sugar, and the survey results indicate these messages are resonating with consumers.

“It’s good to know that Americans are choosing strawberries for their families,” said Leslie Redmond, PhD MS RDN, at the California Strawberry Commission. “Studies show eating just eight strawberries a day may help prevent chronic disease and some cancers, so the results of this survey are encouraging.”

The survey also identified a spike in consumer purchase intent, with 90 percent of respondents indicating that they “definitely would buy” or “probably would buy” fresh strawberries, an 8 percent increase as compared to 2013.
The survey comes as production in California has boomed in 2017. With more than a month left in the year, growers and their crews have brought in nearly 200 million trays of strawberries from the field, which assures them of another record.

For my story, check soon.

Monday, November 20, 2017

UCANR promotes 'unselfies' as part of fundraising effort

From a news release:
On Nov. 28, UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources will participate in #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving powered by our social networks. Celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season.

Although not as well-known as the shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday appeals to people who are swept up in the spirit of giving at the end of the year. Participants post "unselfies" on social media, as opposed to selfies, stating why they donate. By posting these photos on social media about why they give on #GivingTuesday, donors and volunteers celebrate and encourage giving.

Anyone can post an "unselfie." Simply visit, download and print an unselfie sign that says, "I #UNselfie for ____ #GivingTuesday," "Together, we can reach for California’s greatest potential on this #GivingTuesday" and "I’m donating to UCANR this #GivingTuesday because…" Participants can hold the sign below their face and snap an unselfie to post on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and other social media with the hashtags #GivingTuesday and #UCANReach.

For UC ANR, #GivingTuesday is an opportunity to raise funds for UC Cooperative Extension county programs, research and extension centers and statewide programs. As a result of the ongoing effects of the drought, recent wildfires and persistent pockets of poverty, California’s needs in the coming year will be great, and year-end giving presents an opportunity for donors to assist.

"UC Cooperative Extension professionals have a deep passion for their work and a dedication to the communities they serve," said Glenda Humiston. University of California vice president for agriculture and natural resources. "While most deliver their research and programs quietly every day, it is especially incredible to witness their response to disaster; for example, recent wildfires saw local UCCE offices responding immediately with vital information for coping with the fires, care for livestock and pets, as well as service in food banks and other volunteer needs."

In Sonoma County, as residents evacuated during the fires, UC Cooperative Extension staff and 4-H members helped rescue livestock. In Solano County, wildfire took the homes of 17 UC Master Gardener volunteers so the UC Master Gardener Program connected them with volunteers throughout the state who wanted to provide relief.

"UC Master Gardener volunteers are true to their generous nature and have offered tremendous support to fellow volunteers who have lost homes in the fires. With compassionate hearts, they have offered lodging, supplies and words of support," said Missy Gable, UC Master Gardener Program director. "In the future, we will look to replant what was lost and find healing in the care and establishment of new landscapes and wild spaces."

For UC ANR stakeholders, #GivingTuesday is an opportunity to support the many research and outreach programs that strengthen California communities each day and more importantly, during times of crisis.

"The value of the programs cannot be overstated," Chico farmer Rory Crowley wrote in the Chico Enterprise-Record. "Agriculture is the main economic driver in Butte County, and it is extremely important to support our farmers and ranchers through these initiatives. This year we have a unique opportunity to give back to our Butte County researchers and agriculturists."

Over $64,000 was raised on #GivingTuesday last year to support UC ANR programs including the 4-H Youth Development Program and UC Master Gardener Program.

"Last year, the 4-H Foundation recorded a 430 percent increase in donations over the previous fiscal year, raising over $30,000 in one day from 37 counties!" said Mary Ciricillo, director of annual giving for UC ANR. This was due in large part to a match challenge from an anonymous donor.

"This year, I’m excited to share that we will have two match challenge funds. One supporting the California 4-H Foundation and one for all UC ANR." said Ciricillo.

Clicking "Make a Gift" at reveals links to all UC ANR programs, research and extension centers and UCCE offices so donors may designate the programs or locations to which they wish to donate.
The California FFA is also tying a fundraiser to Giving Tuesday.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Gallagher calls out Newsom for politicizing shooting

From a news release:
Today, Assemblymember James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) released a video calling out Acting Governor Gavin Newsom for the statement he issued yesterday in response to the mass shooting in Rancho Tehama. Gallagher represents Rancho Tehama in the California State Assembly.

Below is the transcribed text of the video message:
Dear Acting Governor Newsom:

I want to say thank you for your heartfelt condolences for the victims of this violent rampage that was carried out against my constituents in the community of Rancho Tehama. As you could imagine this has been a tough couple of days for us. Our North State community is still reeling from this senseless act and is anxious for all of the facts to come out.

What is not appreciated is using our tragedy for your own personal political agenda. While you point the finger at Congress, perhaps you might ask yourself whether California’s policies that you support played a role in this tragedy.

Your disastrous prison realignment scheme for instance, has dumped tens of thousands of criminals into our local county jails and onto our streets. Our jail is full and our law enforcement resources are overtaxed. The fact that you are hamstringing local law enforcement has nothing to do with Congress.

We can all agree that this monster had no business possessing firearms. Even his own family has said so. But where was your Department of Justice? The state APPS program is designed for California DOJ officers to remove all firearms from dangerous persons who have either a felony, restraining order or mental illness. This guy had a restraining order and was reportedly shooting off guns all the time. He was clearly mentally ill. Did the DOJ do its due diligence?

Maybe you should also ask yourself why California has chosen to make our schools soft the ultimate target. Laws that you support have taken away the ability for trained individuals to conceal carry on campus. Why didn't this madman respect that in California, our schools are "gun free zones"? Maybe he didn't see the sign as he was ramming down the school gate. As you travel around California campaigning protected by armed guards, does it ever cross your mind that our children deserve the same protection?

While you veil your agenda with concern for a town you have never heard of, let alone visited, maybe you should consider that in your own City of San Francisco young women are gunned down on the pier by illegal immigrant felons, fully protected by a Sanctuary City policy that you have now made statewide. In other words Acting Governor Gavin, maybe it’s not the guns or Congress, maybe it's your policies.

Again, I thank you for your condolences. We will all feel safer when we truly put the public's safety ahead of political posturing.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Farm groups sue California over glyphosate classification

From the National Association of Wheat Growers:
Agriculture groups from across the country today joined forces to file a lawsuit in federal court against the State of California for ignoring science and conclusions from regulatory bodies around the world in a fundamentally flawed regulatory classification of Glyphosate, an environmentally-safe and widely-used herbicide. The coalition’s case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.

“The unified voice of this diverse coalition of agriculture and business groups illustrates the devastating impact California’s flawed action would have across the country,” said Gordon Stoner, President of the National Association of Wheat Growers, the lead plaintiff in the case. “California’s erroneous warning about glyphosate is unconstitutional and would result in higher food costs, crushing blows to state and agricultural economies and lost revenue up and down the entire supply chain."

Fellow agricultural association plaintiffs in the case include Associated Industries of Missouri, the Iowa Soybean Association, Agribusiness Association of Iowa, Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Missouri Farm Bureau, the National Corn Growers Association, North Dakota Grain Growers Association, South Dakota Agri-Business Association and the United States Durum Growers Association.cleardot

At issue is California’s July action ignoring their own scientific reviews, as well as studies conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and every other leading regulatory body around the world and falsely classifying the environmentally-benign herbicide as a probable carcinogen.” This erroneous warning is based entirely on a highly-controversial and deeply flawed finding by a non-regulatory, French-based foreign body called IARC.

As a result of California’s Prop 65 false warning, manufacturers of products containing glyphosate, or residues thereof, sold in California will need to affix a false and misleading warning label to their products. This violates the First Amendment, which protects individuals and businesses from compelled false speech. As a result, farmers, manufactures and distributors of products that are legally permitted under strictly enforced federal regulations, would have to place a warning label on those products they know to be false.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Lawmakers call for unity after Tehama County shootings

Tehama County's two representatives in the Legislature voiced prayers for victims and called for unity after this morning's series of random shootings in Rancho Tehama that killed five people and wounded others.

Assembly Republican Leader Brian Dahle of Bieber released this statement:

“My prayers are with the innocent victims, their families, and those who are hospitalized from the Tehama shooting. Let our Northern California community come together as one for those affected in this horrible time. We are #TehamaStrong.”

Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Tehama, put out this statement:

“My heart goes out to the victims and loved ones affected by Tuesday morning’s horrific shooting in Rancho Tehama.

“We are heartbroken over this senseless violence, and will be praying for the speedy recovery of those injured and for the emotional peace for those affected.

“We lift up in prayer those killed and wounded, their families and loved ones, and the first responders and others who put their lives on the line to protect and save innocent lives.”

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

State imposes new restrictions on pesticides near schools

From a news release:
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has adopted new rules to further protect young students from pesticide exposure. The rules, which take effect on January 1, 2018, regulate the use of agricultural pesticides near schools and licensed child day-care facilities.

“These rules will help to further protect the health of children, teachers and school staff from unintended pesticide exposure,” said Brian Leahy, DPR director. “They build on our existing strict regulations and give an additional layer of protection that is now consistent across the state.” See video here

The new regulation was adopted following an extensive process to gather public and stakeholder input during the past two years. DPR conducted three formal hearings and 15 public workshops in five locations around the state to gather input and reviewed more than 19,000 public comments.

The new regulation:

· Prohibits many pesticide applications within a quarter mile of public K-12 schools and licensed child day-care facilities during school hours, Monday through Friday between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. This includes all applications by aircraft, sprinklers, air-blast sprayers, and all fumigant applications. In addition, most dust and powder pesticide applications, such as sulfur, will also be prohibited during this time.

· Requires California growers to provide annual notification to public K-12 schools and licensed day-care facilities, as well as county agricultural commissioners, of the pesticides expected to be used within a quarter mile of these schools and facilities in the upcoming year.

Although California has strict regulations governing the use of pesticides, population growth has created a growing number of situations where schools and day-care facilities are located near or directly adjacent to working farms, increasing the potential for unintended exposures to pesticides.

Many California counties have adopted local rules related to pesticide applications near schools and day-care centers, but until now, the state did not have a consistent, statewide standard. The regulation is expected to affect about 4,100 public K-12 schools and licensed child day-care facilities and approximately 2,500 growers in California.

In addition to tightening restrictions, the regulation is designed to encourage greater communication between growers and schools or licensed daycare facilities. By providing more information on nearby pesticide applications and increasing communication, the new rules are expected to help schools and day-care centers in responding to potential incidents and inquiries from parents.

The regulation also allows a school, a grower and the county agricultural commissioner to devise alternative application restrictions that provide an equal or greater level of protection to those provided by the regulation.
Farm groups including California Citrus Mutual opposed the regulation, arguing it was unnecessary. For my story, check soon.

Friday, November 3, 2017

NWS update: Season's first big storm to last through Mon.

From the National Weather Service:
Two waves of precipitation are expected: today - Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon into Monday. Significant rainfall is possible in the Central Valley and Foothills with the first wave of precipitation, and may cause localized flooding due to leaf-clogged drains and ash flows in areas of recent fires. Several feet of snow are forecast over the higher terrain which will impact mountain travel. Snow levels will initially be near pass levels Friday, but lower to around 5000 feet by Sunday. Significantly cooler temperatures are expected, as well as some breezy winds with the first storm today and Saturday. The second wave of precipitation looks less significant. A new timing loop was included and shows the two waves and the break in the precipitation. This is from a more "coarse" model which goes through Monday.

Chain controls and travel delays over Sierra passes
Slick roads
Localized street flooding from leaf-clogged drains
Rainfall may result in ash flows around recently burned areas

Forecast Confidence

Timing and Strength
1st wave moves through today into Saturday evening
2nd, but weaker wave, moves through Sunday afternoon into Monday
Snow: Two rounds today through Saturday night and Sunday afternoon into Monday
Snow levels: near pass levels Friday, lowering to 5000 feet by Sunday
Winds: Breezy southerly winds today through Saturday morning.
Possible Veterans Day storm late next week (Thursday and Friday)

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

North state lawmakers protest Nov. 1 gas tax increase

From the office of state Sen. Jim Nielsen:
On November 1, the largest gas tax increase in California history will go into effect. Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale), Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Tehama), and Assemblymember James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) joined their constituents and local leaders in Chico to protest the $52 billion transportation tax increase.

“We have enough money to fix our roads without raising gas taxes,” said Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Tehama), Vice Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee and Caucus Chairman. “The problem is that, for years, Democrats have systematically been diverting billions of dollars from transportation. They are doing the same thing with this new tax: millions are already being redirected to park maintenance and lifeguard recruitment programs instead of being used to fix our roads, bridges and highways.

“Californians already pay too much at the pump! Many of my constituents live in rural areas and won’t be able to afford this onerous gas and car tax.

“We don’t need more taxes – we need Democrats to make fixing our roads a priority and stop diverting transportation funding to their own pet projects.”

"Don’t buy the lie. We can absolutely fix our roads without raising taxes,” said Assemblymember James Gallagher (R-Yuba City). “State spending has increased by $39 billion since 2011. And not a dime of new revenues coming in have been spent on our roads. It’s a matter of priorities.”

BACKGROUND: Earlier this year Sacramento Democrats approved Senate Bill 1, the largest gas tax in California history. Beginning November 1, Californians will pay a gas tax of 12 cents more per gallon of gasoline and 20 cents more per gallon of diesel and a car tax of up to $175 more each year for vehicle registration.

Monday, October 30, 2017

NWS: Rain and mountain snow to come later this week

From the National Weather Service:
Pacific storm system will move through later this week bringing widespread rain in the Central Valley and Foothills, and mountain snow. Precipitation could begin in the mountains by Thursday afternoon, with widespread rain and mountain snow across Interior Northern California Friday into Saturday. Snow levels will initially be above 6000 feet Friday, but lower to 4000 to 5000 feet Saturday behind the front. Several feet of snow is forecast over the higher terrain impacting travel. Significant rainfall is possible in the Central Valley and Foothills which may cause ash flows in areas of recent fires and localized flooding to leaf-clogged drains. Cooling trend this week with significantly cooler temperatures and breezy conditions when the storm system moves through.

Potential chain controls and travel disruption over Sierra passes
Longer commute times possible from rain slicked roads and leaf-clogged drains
Rainfall may result in ash flows around recently burned areas

Forecast Confidence
High for cool and wet conditions
Medium for rain and snow amounts and timing

Timing and Strength
Storm moves through Thursday afternoon into Sunday morning
Snow levels drop below passes Saturday.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Wolf pack makes California's first confirmed livestock kill

From a news release:
California has experienced its first confirmed livestock depredation by wolves since the gray wolf returned to the state in 2011.

A livestock loss determination report issued Oct. 20 by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed that one week earlier, Oct. 13, the Lassen Pack of wolves killed a cow on private property in western Lassen County. Data from a GPS tracking device worn by the breeding female of the Lassen Pack—known as LAS01F—confirms the wolf was present at the site for at least six hours on the night the 600-pound yearling heifer was killed.

According to the CDFW report, “wolf tracks were observed within the area,” including “kick marks and disturbed ground consistent with a struggle.” It was evident that wolves had killed the heifer, the report said, because of the location and nature of the bite marks, many of which were more than an inch deep.

“Frustratingly, current California law provides ranchers and CDFW very few tools for deterring and managing wolves,” California Cattlemen’s Association President Dave Daley said. “Under current law, we have extremely limited options for protecting our livestock.”

Livestock groups also criticized CDFW for declining to announce the wolf kill.

“It’s important for Californians to understand the full implications of the wolf’s return,” California Farm Bureau Federation President Paul Wenger said. “CDFW has been more than willing to notify the public when it identifies a new pack or when wolves have pups. People need to recognize wolves not as cute woodland creatures but as predators that kill.”

CFBF and CCA have sued the California Fish and Game Commission to overturn its decision to list the gray wolf as an endangered species in California, which would allow more flexibility in wolf management.

Although the Oct. 13 incident marked the first confirmed livestock kill by a wolf, suspected kills occurred on four other occasions between Sept. 19 and Sept. 30, each reported by the same Lassen County rancher whose cow suffered the confirmed kill this month. CDFW did not confirm any of those incidents, but GPS data and eyewitness reports place the Lassen Pack near the cattle at the time.

The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of more than 48,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of more than 6.2 million Farm Bureau members. The California Cattlemen’s Association represents more than 1,700 cattle ranchers in California and has been serving cattle ranchers and beef producers since 1917.
Look for more details at soon.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Trump aside, NFL's rift with fans was long in the making

A long-time football fan I know is a perfect example of just how much trouble the NFL is in with its most loyal fan base. He is a Green Bay Packers shareholder who's been a subscriber to DirecTV's NFL Sunday Ticket for 20 years. He played football in college, so he's always been quick to wave off suggestions that the sport is "too dangerous." In fact he goes out regularly to watch relatives' or church friends' high school and youth football games. But he's also an Army veteran, so watching some of the world's most highly paid athletes kneel during the national anthem struck him to his core.

The other day he was talking about all the injuries that have occurred lately in NFL games. And when I asked him about suggestions that the Packers sign Colin Kaepernick to fill in for injured quarterback Aaron Rodgers, he said he'd never watch another game if that happened.

If the NFL can lose that fan, it may not be long for this world.

While some may try to tell you differently, the reason the NFL has fallen out of favor with so many Americans has very little to do with the national anthem or President Donald Trump per se. This year's controversy merely shined a spotlight on a much bigger problem for the NFL, and that is its unwillingness to address an image crisis that has dogged the league for well over a decade and its willingness to be totally out of touch with the average fan.

What the anti-Americam demonstrations did do is provide the last straw for fans who've grown disgusted with the league. When they go to write the NFL's epitaph years from now, historians may record the point of no return for many fans as the moment league Commissioner Roger Goodell criticized Trump for "an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players." Whatever individual fans may think of Trump, the statement for many of them showed that Goodell views his sports league as more important than the president of the United States, the fans and America itself. Since then, he has only made matters worse.

John Nolte writes in Breitbart News:
In Goodell’s provincial world, in his deluded thinking, shaped by ESPN and CNN, he was fooled into believing America is enamored with identity politics and social justice. And so, although every other form of personal expression is banned by the NFL, Goodell actually believed it was a good idea to give the okay for spoiled millionaires to publicly express their hatred and contempt for America. Completely out of touch with the common man and fan, Goodell fell for the media’s fake reality and did irreparable damage to the NFL.

My wife is a perfect example. Since childhood, thanks to a tradition handed down by her father, the Green Bay Packers has been one of the great passions of her life — until this season. And this is what should really terrify Goodell…

My wife’s lost passion is not a political statement or protest. Her passion died a natural death as she watched something she once loved betray her country. She is not angry. She just stopped caring.
In an age when people are re-evaluating their relationships with corporate America, most football fans I know demand that the sports leagues they watch stay out of politics, period. No demonstrations, no funding advocacy groups, no lobbying Congress, just football. And they will not accept anything but that.

And although Goodell would rather everyone just shut up about the protests, fans are making their demands loud and clear. From Breitbart News:
Main Street Patriots are rallying fellow citizens to show their support across the United States for the American flag and the national anthem on Veteran’s Day weekend as a way to send a message about the importance of standing and saluting during the playing of the national anthem at NFL football games. [...]

“I have watched professional football since the time there were two separate leagues – AFL and NFL in the late 60’s,” Debbie Dooley, co-founder of the group told Breitbart News. “Sports has always been an arena where we are united in support of our favorite teams.”

“We are not Democrats or Republicans, we are simply fans,” Dooley said, adding that the NFL players are “seeking to change that by attempting to shove their political views down the throats of fans.”

Dooley is hoping people will fly flags everywhere over the weekend and on Veterans Day — even if it’s not in an NFL stadium.

“I urge patriotic Americans to exercise their First Amendment rights and boycott the NFL and their sponsors,” Dooley said.
Many other fans are just walking away. Ratings aren't just cratering nationally, but also in such football hotbeds as Dallas, Pittsburgh and New England. Local businesses are pulling their ads from local affiliates. Stadiums are half-empty. The NFL is now viewed as one of the most divisive brands in America. And fan interest in other sports, like hockey, is booming.

And the NFL doesn't care, because the people who do its thinking believe they're more important than you. Again, from Breitbart:
At least one NFL owner is sure that the national anthem protests have driven fans away. Giants owner John Mara told Breer that “there’s no question” that the protests are hurting the league. But Mara thinks that the protests are more important than the fans.

“But this is an important social issue. And sometimes you have to put the interests of the business behind the interest of issues that are more important than that,” Mara said.
But while the anthem issue is front and center now, the start of the downward spiral in the NFL's ratings actually precedes it. As the Atlantic reports, the general trend is down in almost every window for the last four years. The Atlantic largely blames cord-cutting for this trend, forgetting that more than 90 percent of regular-season games and 100 percent of playoff games are on free, over-the-air television.

The chasm between the NFL and its fans is actually the result of a slow process that began nearly two decades ago, as the Super Bowl's often offensive commercials and annual embarrassments over its halftime entertainment sent a signal that the nation's most popular sporting event wasn't family friendly anymore. That message was reinforced in a big way in 2008, when the NFL actually threatened to sue individual churches for showing the Super Bowl on large screens. Though the league later backed down, that ended the annual party at our church, and many other churches.

Fans have watched cheating scandals, domestic violence and other off-the-field criminal behavior and the NFL's slow response to the concussion issue further damage the league's credibility. The NFL has threatened to pull the Super Bowl out of Arizona if it passed a religious rights bill, threatened to pull the Super Bowl out of Texas over a bathroom bill, nixed the Cowboys' plan to wear a helmet decal to honor slain police officers, threatened fines against players who wanted to wear cleats to commemorate the 15th anniversary of 9-11, and most recently, pushed for a bill in Congress to reduce sentences for drug offenders.

Steve Deace of Conservative Review explains it this way:
[T]he average NFL salary is about $2 million per season. Meanwhile, only 1 out of 4 fans of the NFL make over $100,000 per year. Which means 75 percent of NFL fans don’t even make 5 percent of what the average NFL player makes in a year. These are people largely living paycheck to paycheck, who look forward to their NFL Sundays as a release from and a reward for a hard week of work.

Thus, the last thing they’re going to tolerate is someone making the gross domestic product of [a] third world country lecturing them that America sucks and everyone’s a racist. They go to the NFL for refuge from societal problems they don’t have the luxury of whining about, not to be lectured to. Granted, those protesting would say their message is more nuanced than that, but that also displays arrogance in that they don’t even know their own audience.

These are roofers, data entry clerks, construction workers, service workers, etc., who would give parts of their anatomy to be paid that kind of money to play a game for a living and to receive the cheers, accolades, and perks of such stardom on top of the riches. Therefore, the players doing the protesting come off as pampered celebrities to them. More profit than prophet, if you know what I mean, and it’s backfiring as a result. [...]

The NFL is violating the first two rules of business — the customer is always right and don’t crap where you live — and has already suffered financially as a result. If it continues to go down this road, we may find out that shield isn’t as impenetrable as we once thought.
But here's the most important takeaway. This rift between the league and fans likely won't kill the NFL next year or the year after, but it takes away the life raft the NFL will need when the time bomb explodes. That time bomb is the six-year class action filed by former players over concussions that will cost the league at least $1 billion, the lingering resentment from former players, and the fallout in communities as fewer and fewer parents sign their kids up for football. The NFL is alienating the very people -- its most loyal fans -- whose continued support would soften the blow, both financially and in terms of providing young players who grew up watching football on Sundays.

As the talent pool recedes and the quality of play diminishes, so, too, will the revenue stream, making the NFL's demise only a matter of time. In a death of a thousand cuts, the anthem controversy is only one.