Posts Tagged: kern

News

Disputed autopsies fuel effort for independent coroners

A dead body in a county morgue. (Photo: John Gomez)

Can law enforcement be trusted to fairly review law enforcement-involved shootings? Some state senators think not, citing the example of San Joaquin County, which saw two forensic pathologists resign after claiming that Sheriff Steve Moore pressured them to change their findings in officer-involved deaths. The pathologists claimed the sheriff pressured them to classify the deaths as accidents.

News

California pesticide use high, covers vast acreage

Pesticide warning signs in a California field that is ready for planting. (Photo:Tom Grundy, via Shutterstock)

FairWarning: Farmers in California, the nation’s top agricultural state, are applying near-record levels of pesticides despite the rising popularity of organic produce and concerns about the health of farmworkers and rural schoolchildren. The latest figures, released in April by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation and covering 2016, show that 209 million pounds of pesticide active ingredients were used in agriculture.

News

California sanctuary law draws fire

Road sign illustration by Rex Wholster, via Shutterstock

Los Alamitos Mayor Troy Edgar never imagined that the city’s action to exempt itself from California’s controversial sanctuary law would spark a movement. But that’s what has happened. Following a March vote by the city council, at least six counties and numerous other cities across the state — all with strong Republican registration — have announced opposition to Senate Bill 54, the California Values Act.

News

Asbestos-like mineral raises concern in arid West, including California

Recent research is focusing new attention on an asbestos-like mineral, blamed for staggering rates of a deadly cancer in Turkey, that also is found in the rocks and soil of 13 Western states, including California. The U.S. Geological Survey has identified 95 sites where the mineral, erionite, exists. Nine of the identified locations are in California.

News

Household water costs fluctuate sharply

Boats cluster together at drought-ravaged Shasta Lake. (Photo: David Greitzer).

People across California pay dramatically different amounts for the same amount of water, with price tags set by individual agencies from Crescent City to El Centro. North or south, inland or coastal, what Californians pay for their water is locally driven. Ultimately, retail water’s value is determined in a way similar to real estate – location, location, location.

News

Drought, oil price decline pummel Kern

Pumpjacks in a Kern County oil field, November 2013. (Photo: Christopher Halloran)

Oil and water don’t mix, but in Kern County they’ve joined to create a double-whammy. Already confronting a drought of historic proportions, Kern County — the nation’s No. 2 agricultural county — also faces a severe financial hit because of falling oil prices. The county is home to more than two-thirds of California’s oil production.

News

Voters shun election in droves

The state Capitol, Sacramento. (Photo: Wikimedia)

Election 2014 An early tally shows that fewer than one in five of California’s registered voters cast ballots in this week’s primary, continuing a downward trend that has bedeviled the state’s elections. A county-by-county report from the secretary of state’s office noted that 3.24 million people voted out of the 17.72 million registered, or about 18.3 percent. When compared with the total number of eligible voters in California, those who actually cast ballots dwindled to 13.34 percent.

News

Oil severance tax at center stage

Pumpjacks in a Kern County oil field, November 2013. (Photo: Christopher Halloran)

It has been killed repeatedly in the state Legislature or at the ballot box, but the backers of an oil severance tax hope 2014 is the year to get it done, to the tune of $2 billion annually. But history is not on their side. Above: Pumpjacks in Kern County, November 2013. (Photo: Christopher Halloran)

News

‘Fracking’ at heart of dispute over Calif. oil exploration

There’s a lot more than farming going on in California’s vast Central Valley.

 

The Valley may be the richest farm belt in the world, but from Kern to Stanislaus counties it’s also Ground Zero for the debate over “fracking”

 

Nearly a dozen new pieces of legislation are under study in the Capitol to

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