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The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California decides it too wants the twin tunnels project after all. The project known as the “Water Fix” to cost as much as 11-billion dollars for the two tunnels under the delta that would bring Sacramento River water to the Central Valley and southern California. Supporters, including Governor Jerry Brown, say it is an investment in the future that will make water supplies more reliable and guard against drought. But Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla with Restore the Delta says the project would be a disaster for water quality, and for salmon in the delta.

Cut 14345 :21 "We’ve been taking out 50 percent of the water when science tells us we should be taking out 25 percent. And so, how do you make up for that water? You build the recycling projects in southern California. You do mass conservation and recycling, and put in the water-reuse infrastructure and programs, and really get efficient with water use."

Tag: The district also rejected a more cautious alternative plan, of just over five-billion dollars for a single tunnel. Many spoke at the hearing against both water projects, saying southern California ratepayers shouldn’t be charged more to pay for a multi-billion-dollar project that primarily benefits water districts in the Central Valley that serve large-scale agriculture – districts that have declined to pitch in to pay for the tunnels.

Second Cut: The deal did not put a cap on what M-W-D will pay, so the costs also could go significantly higher. Adam Scow with the nonprofit group Food and WaterWatch says the project doesn’t bring any new water down south – it just shifts who has the power to control it.

Cut 15345 :17 "Whether it’s the one tunnel or the two-tunnel, it’s a colossal waste of money for southern California. We’re talking about billions of dollars to essentially deliver the same water that southern California is already getting from the delta. (:11) It’s simply a money grab and a power grab by the Metropolitan Water District."

Tag1: Conservation groups are vowing to fight this decision in the courts. The M–W-D will now try to convince other water districts to pitch in, and may look to private investors.

Still more work on fire recovery and cleanup by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors. At the board meeting this week, supes talked about fire affected areas and approved spending $25,000 more on a contract for a consultant doing emergency project management. The board also confirmed it would be answering some resident complaints by going to related state agencies. The contractor working on emergency management says the Army Corp has not provided results of soil testing, so some residents are unclear how to move forward. County staff also saying the Office Of Emergency Services has also not provided soil sample results. And the County Recovery Services Director told the supervisors they’re training county employees on recovery efforts too.

Lawmakers in the state senate have come up with some new protocols to alert the public about emergencies after the October firestorm. State Senator Mike McGuire addressing the Governmental Organization Committee on the October 8th fires saying not everyone got a warning and that lives depend on the Legislature and Governor to quickly come up with a solution for statewide emergency alert standards to be adopted. The committee voted unanimously on a new system after legislation was introduced by McGuire, and Senators Bill Dodd and Jerry Hill, along with co-authors Assemblymembers Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, Marc Levine, and Jim Wood. The bill would mean the state has to pay for wireless emergency alert systems in every county or city in the state without one.

Lake County has a new Water Resources director. For now, it’s temporary, the new interim director is David Cowan who was the Water Resources program coordinator in the county. He’s got a Master of Science in aquatic biology and over 2 decades of experience in watershed protection, water program management, aquatic biology and fisheries. He’s taking over the job from Phil Moy.

A packed meeting planned for the Middletown Area Town Hall. The meeting tomorrow night at the Community Center at 7 PM with a visit from Senator Mike McGuire, a Harbin Hot Springs status update and info on the Dollar General project. As you may recall Harbin Hot Springs was totally destroyed in the Valley fire, so the town hall will hear the latest info on the resort’s rebuild. MATH is made up of folks in Anderson Springs, Cobb, the Coyote Valley (including Hidden Valley Lake), Long Valley and Middletown.

In case you didn’t realize, there was a special election this week for an increased fire fee for the Northshore Fire Protection District. But Measure E failed. The measure for more money to keep the district running in the future needed a supermajority of 66.7 percent to pass. Lake Co News reports the preliminary results last night the Lake County Registrar of Voters Office released showed all 12 precincts reporting and the measure only hitting 54 percent of the vote in favor, and just under 46 percent against it. There was a low turnout too, with less than 1,600 votes, mostly absentees.

Congressman Mike Thompson and his Northern Calif. colleague Jared Huffman have announced a $212 million dollar grant for disaster relief related to the October fires. The money by way of a Community Development Block Grant for Disaster Relief. The money thru the latest budget which Thompson says he worked on for the community which was deeply impacted by the disaster. He says he’s going to keep working to help rebuild. And Huffman says the communities the two of them represent were hit hard, he says he’s happy to see California get much-needed federal support for which he will also continue to advocate during the long road to recovery. The money to go to various needs including, housing, economic revitalization, and improvements to infrastructure.

A man missing from Eureka and the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help finding him. 22 year old Bronson Marcel Tarrio’s mother reported him missing yesterday. The Sheriff’s dept. reports Tarrio was last seen about noon Sunday leaving his home, headed to her house, also in Eureka, but he never showed up. He’s described as a white man, 6 foot 2, with strawberry blond, shoulder-length hair and a beard and hazel eyes, who drives a 1995 Subaru Station Wagon that has a rack on top. They’re asking anyone who may have seen him to call the Sheriff’s Office.

An $85,000 contract has been awarded to the City of Willits for dam work. The City Council has approved diverting money from the Water Enterprise fund for an engineering consultant to do the work required by the State Department of Water Resources just in case of a dam breach at either the Morris or Centennial reservoirs. The maps to basically show what would happen in the event of a flood. The work over several months with staff reaching out to four engineering companies to help sketch out the maps. The two dams apparently classified as “high hazard”.

A kidney doctor from Lakeport accused of sexual battery has pleaded not guilty. Nephrologist Mohamad Moutaz Almawaldi accused of sexual assault against a co-worker in August of 2017. The woman worked in his office telling deputies Almawaldi forcefully kissed her and pulled down her shirt. Almawaldi arrested last November and booked into jail on $20,000 bail, and was released. He’s got a preliminary hearing set for May 8th in the case.

A lawsuit’s being filed against the Trump administration by several conservationists who say the government’s not protecting humpback whales from fishing gear, ship strikes and oil spills. The Center for Biological Diversity, Turtle Island Restoration Network and Wishtoyo Foundation going public with their lawsuit against the Trump administration for, quote “failing to protect humpback whale habitat in the Pacific Ocean.” They filed in federal district court in San Francisco last week. In 2016 two humpback populations were listed as endangered, and one more was listed as threatened. The groups say the fed have to protect their habitat with urgent action.

A man from Santa Rosa busted after he hit a police patrol car and was found with a load of weed. Police say Ramon Mora-Galvez was driving drunk, with a blood-alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit. When they searched his car, they found 70 pounds of processed marijuana in his backseat plus a tiny bag of cocaine in his sock. The cop the guy hit went to the hospital, but did not need treatment and Mora-Galvez went to jail on several charges including causing injury while driving drunk, violating probation, transporting marijuana for sale and possessing cocaine.

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