Field Poll: Californians split on drought measures

Millerton Lake in Fresno County formed by the Friant Dam. Photo: K.J. Kolb

Nearly all California voters (88%) believe the state is undergoing a serious water shortage. However, there is no clear consensus about whether the situation is due more to a lack of water storage and supply facilities in the state, or users not using existing supplies efficiently enough. Statewide, 27% cite the former, 37% the latter and another 24% say both are equally responsible.

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Opinions

Making a case against fracking

The San Ardo oil field, Monterey. Photo: Loco Steve, Wikimedia

Fracking is taking place in urban and rural communities throughout the state, and continues to be a regular practice in California’s ocean waters. Concerned about potential impacts, Congresswoman Lois Capps has called for a moratorium on fracking in federal waters until more is understood about the risks of the practice.

News

Fight for Yamada seat: A tale of two counties

Tracks in the Napa wine country at St. Helena. Photo: Hank Shiffman.

Thanks to newly redrawn district boundaries, Napa County has a chance to put its first lawmaker in the state capitol in more than a generation. The race to replace termed-out 4th District Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis, promises to be hotly contested, featuring family connections, Democrats going head-to-head and a scramble for campaign funds.

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ARB, Tesla at odds over rebate cuts for electric vehicles

New Teslas at the company's factory in Fremont. Photo: Steve Jurvetson

Electric vehicles costing more than $60,000 may be eliminated from a major rebate program and the rebates themselves would be reduced to a fifth of their current level – moves that would cut popular Tesla Motors’ models from the rebates.

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Senate scandals dim voters’ view of Legislature

State Capitol, Sacramento. Photo: Wikimedia

In the aftermath of the corruption scandals now affecting three State Senators, California voters have changed their views about the performance of the Legislature. During the week immediately prior to Yee’s arrest, 46% of voters approved and 40% disapproved of the Legislature’s performance, a finding that showed continuing improvement from previous Field Polls conducted over the past two years.

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Of Orcas, Atkins and the new Assembly

A killer whale performs at SeaWorld. Photo: Ed Schipul

Politics in California’s Capitol is rarely black and white – even when dealing with orcas. Earlier this week, a bill that would ban animal parks from keeping killer whales in captivity met an unceremonious death in the Assembly Parks and Wildlife Committee. The bill was reduced to a “study bill,” which is how lawmakers often handle issues they want to disappear.

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Field Poll: Brown on a roll

Voter approval of the job that Democrat Jerry Brown is doing as Governor has reached a new high. At present, 59% of registered voters approve of his performance in office, nearly twice the proportion (32%) who disapprove. Brown also holds a huge preference lead when likely voters in the June open primary election are asked whom they would support if the election were being held today.

News

Farms feel drought’s wrath

A view of the California drought from Marine One during President Obama's recent visit. Photo: White House

California’s severe drought is having a profound effect on farming and an unprecedented amount of acreage likely will be left fallow, the Brown administration’s top agriculture official says. Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross told an Assembly budget subcommittee that “no doubt there will be a tremendous impact on agriculture this year.”

News

Capitol debate brewing over beer

A stout beckons at a craft brewer's tasting. Photo: Maxy M., Shutterstock.

A debate is brewing in Sacramento over regulating California beer. “There has been a concern that there has been inadequate enforcement staff available,” said Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro, D-Arcata, whose district includes at least 15 breweries. The issue is whether the state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has enough people to effectively regulate brewers, especially the increasingly popular craft brewing industry.

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