Analysis

How bad is water management in California?

Oroville Lake. (Photo by Pauk, via Wikipedia)

California’s combination of climate, native ecosystems, and human uses makes water management inherently hard, unsatisfactory, and evolving. California is doomed to have difficult and controversial water problems. No matter how successful we are.

Opinion

Low auction result helps legal case for cap-and-trade

A smog-tinged view in black and white of Century City, Beverly Hills and West Los Angeles. (Photo: Trekandshoot, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: When the California Air Resources Board released the results of its May auction of carbon allowances, audible gasps from around the state could be heard from the space station. I kid – but only just a little. The auction results did in fact create a great shock: many had expected at least half a billion dollars to be collected at the quarterly auction, but the auction generated only about ten million dollars. But here’s the truth: The super-low May auction result should actually help the State’s legal defense of cap-and-trade.

News

For three counties, vote-by-mail is only option

Vintage Illustration of Mr. ZIP, modified by Tim Foster/Capitol Weekly

Increasingly, California voters use the mailbox, not the ballot box. But in three of California’s 58 counties — Plumas, Alpine and Sierra — there was no other choice but mail-in voting. And they like it that way.

News

CA120: Poll shows angry two-thirds back Judge Persky recall

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky. (Photo: Jason Doiy/The Recorder via AP)

To further explore the issue of Judge Persky’s possible recall, we conducted a poll of 776 registered voters within the county who would be passing judgement on a recall if it were to qualify for a future ballot. And, rather than a few loud voices of protest, our poll finds that two-thirds (67%) of Santa Clara County voters support a recall. Women, and especially younger women, are at the center of the storm with a more than 4-to-1 support.

News

Coastal Commission vote rattles far north

The lighthouse off Front Street in Crescent City, Del Norte County. (Photo: Joseph Sohm)

After hours of passionate testimony, almost exclusively in support of beleaguered executive director Charles Lester, the Coastal Commission voted 7-5 to fire him. Four months later and 600 miles to the north, the aftershocks of the Commission’s political earthquake are still being felt: On June 7, Martha McClure, a commissioner who voted to fire Lester, lost the Del Norte County supervisor seat that she has held for the past 20 years.

Opinion

Defining a groundwater management system

Watering crops in California's Central Valley. (Photo: CRSHELARE, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: In the past 30 years, perhaps no legislative effort to bolster the state’s water policy has received as much attention as the management of groundwater. This effort lead to the expansion of water district powers, the creation of special act districts with unique powers, the authorization of voluntary plans and finally culminated in the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).

Recent News

State urges feds to OK immigrants’ health coverage

A physician flanked by the California flag. (Illustration: Niyazz, via Shutterstock).

Hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants in California would be able to buy insurance through the state healthcare coverage marketplace if the federal government accepts a newly signed state law to exempt them from the federal rule. On June 10, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation requiring Covered California to ask the federal government for a waiver to let an estimated 390,000 undocumented immigrants buy health insurance – as long as they do it with their own money.

Opinion

An effort to give ER doctors unfettered power 

The entrance to a hospital emergency room. (Photo: Johnson Photography, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Our California Legislature is considering a bill — AB 1300 by Assemblymember Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, D-Los Angeles — that would allow emergency room (ER) physicians to release psychiatric patients brought into their ER’s on a psychiatric detention, known as a “5150”, without any input from a psychiatrist. Currently, when a patient in psychiatric crisis is brought to an ER on a “5150”, the hospital discharges the patient to a psychiatric facility where that patient receives a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation.

Recent News

State budget fuels major new construction

The state Capitol in Sacramento, viewed from 10th Street toward the West Steps.(Photo: Timothy Boomer)

On deadline, lawmakers are poised to act on the most extensive state building construction projects in Sacramento in decades. The $1.3 billion plan, about $200 million less than proposed earlier by Gov. Brown as part of his 2016-17 budget, was placed in legislation Monday before the Senate budget committee, where it awaits action.

Opinion

CA’s energy conservation blueprint

A walk across the flat lands of the Mojave Desert. (Photo: B. Christopher)

OPINION: Imagine a day when California produces almost 100% of its energy from clean, renewable sources such as solar, wind, and geothermal. How many lives would be saved as result of lower cancer and asthma rates? How would this help mitigate extreme weather events, public health risks, and economic problems from climate change? The benefits to California’s health would be enormous. The good news is that California is leading the way.

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