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A bill has been introduced by California lawmakers to protect water resources in Calif. deserts. Assembly member Laura Friedman’s Assembly Bill 1000, or the California Desert Protection Act, aims to strengthen safeguards for desert groundwater so water transfers don’t negatively impact natural or cultural resources. David Lamfrom, the California deserts director for the National Parks Conservation Association, says the bill came at the right time because the Mojave Desert faces urgent threats.

Cut :16 "Those include the Cadiz project, which stands to pump at least 16 billion gallons of water a year and to ship it out of the California desert. And we’re also concerned about the impact that having, really, a loophole in water policy, what that could mean for the California desert moving forward."

Tag: The Trump administration recently paved the way for the Cadiz Water Project to move forward without a federal environmental review. The project to extract and export water from Mojave Desert aquifers and sell the water to Southern Californians has raised serious concerns that it could deplete desert springs vital to wildlife there.

Second Cut: Frazier Haney is conservation director for the Mojave Desert Land Trust. He says the Cadiz project faced an uphill battle during the Obama administration but has found a clearer path to approval under the new president. Since President Trump nominated David Berhardt, a lobbyist for Cadiz, for the number two position in the Department of the Interior.

Cut :16 "There are deep financial ties to people that Donald Trump has nominated to his Cabinet and the Cadiz water-pumping project. So, it’s troubling that an administration with financial ties to a project could be pushing a project along."

Third Cut: Lamfrom says even by Cadiz’s calculations, its water extraction project isn’t sustainable. He says if the federal government won’t provide better oversight of this project, California should.

Cut :10 "It’s vital that the state of California step up and make sure that the science is actually good and that we understand exactly what those impacts will be because there’s a lot at stake here."

Tag: The bill will be heard in the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee next Tuesday (7/11).

A lawsuit’s been settled after 4 years by the Lake County Board of Supervisors and Lakeside Heights Homeowners. The Homeowners Association and its property owners filed suit in November 2013 saying the County’s infrastructure caused a landslide. The county apparently knew about the land movement in the spring of 2013 when water and sewer lines were threatened and private structures and residences there were damaged or destroyed. Hill Road East was also partially blocked by the slide. The damage claims against the county totaled $230 million, but the settlement reached was only $4.5 million. At the same time, the county says it was not the water or sewer system that caused the landslide. Since the county’s been dealing with several major disasters, they’re going to get a loan to make the settlement payment.

11 people ended up in the hospital after a bus from the Graton Casino crashed into two other cars on the Golden Gate Bridge. The CHP reports the crash at lunchtime yesterday north of the toll plaza. The bus was headed towards San Francisco at the time a pickup truck in front of it rear-ended another car that was stopped as it got close to the toll plaza. There were 49 people on the bus that hit the truck which then hit the car. The 11 people hurt had minor injuries. 8 of them were on the bus. Part of the bridge had to be closed down for about an hour.

Politicians on both sides of the aisle are reaching out to a colleague who says he’s received death threats for blocking the single payer healthcare bill from moving forward. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon says one tweet to him said someone should check his schedule for baseball practice, a veiled threat related to the recent shooting of Congressman Steve Scalise during a congressional baseball game practice. Now labor unions, at least one gubernatorial candidate and other legislators are criticizing the tone of the campaign by the California Nurses Association as they try to get Rendon to change his mind. There were other threats and memes online, one featured a California bear with a knife with Rendon’s name on it stuck in its back. Assembly Democrats sent out an open letter against the “bullying tactics, threats of violence and death threats” and Republicans agreed saying there’s no place for violence.

A man accused in the murder of his 20 year old daughter has pleaded not guilty. Steven Miller accused in the death of Hannah Welch in Hidden Valley Lake May 30th. He was in court last week for the shooting death and for another charge of exhibiting a weapon. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office reported Miller fired on Welch and hit her at least one time before leaving their home. Then Miller’s mother called to report the shooting, saying Miller shot his daughter. Miller’s due back in court the middle of August.

Road work starts in Mendocino County after several residents in Potter Valley complained. As many as 300 people had voiced their concerns about numerous potholes to the Board of Supervisors two weeks ago. The Dept. of Transportation being blamed for neglecting to improve East Road, leading residents to take West Road instead, so now the conditions on that street are in need of attention. The petition calls the conditions deplorable and asks for the road to be completely repaved and for a culvert to be replaced. Now the dept. of transportation will send crews to start patching the potholes and place a temporary patch on the culvert.

Quick work of a fire in Lakeport in a residential area. A trailer could be seen with thick, black smoke coming out of it on Hartley Street. Firefighters put the one acre fire out pretty quick, with about one eighth of an acre being charred. They say they don’t know what caused the trailer fire, but say no other homes were affected. Officials say there was a patch of very dry grass, but they say it could have been caused by an electrical malfunction too. Two horses and two dogs were unharmed. Firefighters stayed on the scene several hours to make sure there were no hot spots.

The Calif. Supreme Court has ruled judges in the state have broad authority not to shorten terms for those sentenced under the three strikes law even after recent laws to reduce the prison population. The court ruled Monday judges could say no to requests to cut prison terms for those qualifying under a 2012 law to reform the three-strikes repeat-offender law. The suit after a couple of new laws, one to allow three-strike inmates to get sentence reductions if a third offense was not serious nor violent. And another to deny inmates a sentence reduction if they were considered an unreasonable risk like in crimes including murder, a sexually violent offense, child molestation or others punishable by life in prison or the death penalty.

Another candidate jumps into the Calif. governor’s race. Former Republican Assemblyman David Hadley of Manhattan Beach has announced plans to run next year. Hadley spoke with the Associated Press about his plans to run against several others who had already announced their intention, including 2 other Republicans so far, John Cox and Assemblyman Travis Allen. Democrats: Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, state Treasurer John Chiang and former superintendent of public instruction Delaine Eastin. The top two candidates will move forward after a primary election next year.

A fund has been started by the Habematolel (Hah-bee-muh-toe-lel) Pomo tribe of Upper Lake for the family of a domestic violence assault last week. Police say Vanessa Yvette Niko was killed, leaving her children orphaned after their father, Willy Tujays Timmons was named as her suspected killer. The Tribal Chair announced they’ve started the Vanessa Niko Memorial Fund, to help her family. It’s at the Lakeport branch of Mendo Lake Credit Union. Timmons is in jail with bail set at more than $1.1 million.

A wolf pack tracked in Lassen County, the first of its kind in years. Trail cameras picked up images of two wolves last summer and fall. Biologists from the U-S Forest Service tracked the male to a famous wolf pack in Oregon. Biologists tried trapping the animals last month and captured a female and collared her. They also examined the animal and took genetic and other biological samples, then released her. They say the operation went smoothly and the wolf was in excellent condition. They also say it appeared she had recently given birth. Soon after they found wolf pup tracks and captured images of three pups on camera. This is the second pack of gray wolves known in Calif since the 1920’s. Gray wolves are listed as endangered both in California and federally.

A police dog instrumental in bringing down a couple of people in a massive marijuana garden raid. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports finding several trespass grows on three parcels, one owned by a local, the other two by Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Deputies and the K-9 Doc arrested a transient from the area at one of the gardens, Celcilio Bautista. The dog bit Bautista after alerting he may have a gun and the man squirted the dog with a hose. He was treated for bite wounds and arrested on several charges including suspicion of marijuana cultivation, having a stolen gun, conspiracy to commit a felony and resisting arrest. His brother was arrested at a nearby garden, Marcelino Bautista, also a transient of Potter Valley tried to run, but Doc nabbed the guy. He had a major head injury after a fall, then was booked on possession of marijuana for sale and more.

A man in Covelo’s been arrested after multiple reports of vandalism connected to a burglary. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports businesses in the town reported vandalism June 14th and cops say it was not random. They say attempts to disable the businesses security system to steal from the business caused $4,000 damage. Cops working with area businesses and residents after multiple burglaries and thefts and found surveillance footage showing someone damaging electric service panels and fences using bolt cutters. Cops say David Lee Joaquin Jr. of Covelo was to blame. He was arrested and found to be on probation for similar crimes and wanted for probation violations.

A man from Hopland and a woman from Fort Bragg have been arrested after police saw meth and syringes in their car. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports deputies on patrol July 4th in downtown Mendocino saw the pair, and found the man, identified as Pete Kavanaugh of Hopland, was on probation without a valid driver’s license. The woman was identified as Hannah Cavello. Cops found 10 grams of meth, a smoking pipe and two used syringes and say the pair were in Mendocino to sell meth. They were taken to jail on suspicion of possession of meth for sale, and Kavanaugh was also charged with suspicion of violation of probation.

A volunteer sheriff’s deputy in Kentucky, who owns an ambulance company, settles a lawsuit claiming he pulled over a competitor’s driver to intimidate them while they tried to transport a patient. Darrell McIntosh has not admitted he did anything wrong for the June 2016 traffic stop and apparently his insurance company paid, not him. The driver of the ambulance he pulled over sued saying McIntosh had no legal justification to stop the Ambulance and a judge dismissed the case after the settlement was reached. McIntosh says he pulled the other driver over for careless driving and for doing something on his cell phone. The driver said McIntosh was stalking drivers, some even took photos of him.

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