Migrant laborers work a Salinas, Calif., strawberry farm during harvest season. (Photo: David Litman, via Shutterstock)
For the second time in recent months, the U.S. Department of Labor has extracted penalties from a California farm business blamed for the deadly crash of a vehicle transporting migrant field workers to their jobs. The Labor Department announced this month that Fisher Ranch LLC — a major produce farm near Calexico, close to the Mexican border — has agreed to pay $49,104 for violating the Migrant Seasonal Workers Protection Act. The case stemmed from a March 2017 van crash that killed one laborer and hurt six others.
Shasta Lake in August 2014. (Photo: David Greitzer, Shutterstock)
As the state suffers through its fourth year of drought, most Californians say the lack of water is the single most important environmental issue facing the state, a dramatic increase over the number who expressed similar concerns a year ago. A survey by the nonprofit Public Policy Institute of California reported that 58 percent of Californians ranked the drought as the top issue — up 23 points from July 2014 and up 50 points from July 2011.