Posts Tagged: summer
A drought-stricken tree at sunset. (Photo: PG_Traveler, via Shutterstock)
With the rainy season come and gone, drought’s withered hand remained firmly fixed on California this month, as it has been, with few exceptions, for the last decade. Woes pile up. Rain didn’t save us, the snowpack is all but gone, the Coastal Commission says no desalinating sea water, and urban-interface fires have already begun.
Photo illustration of the coronavirus in California. (Photo: Maridav, via Shutterstock)
COVID-19 cases in California are spiking dramatically — more than 6,600 new cases on Tuesday alone — and scientists predict California will double its transmission rate every four to five weeks. On Wednesday, the death toll spiked to 98, bringing to 5,725 the total number of deaths so far.
An angler at Lake George in the Mammoth Lakes recreation area. (Photo: Justin Mair, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: Recreational fishing has always been the greatest form of social distancing, long before the coronavirus pandemic mandated it. Gov. Gavin Newsom faces the immediate challenge of protecting the health and welfare of our state’s citizenry, it is not too early for his administration to give careful consideration to how to rebuild California’s outdoor tourism industry.
A man shielded against the rain looks across L.A. from the Hollywood Hills. (Photo: Shutterstock)
Despite the torrential rains of the last few weeks, experts say it’s too early to tell whether California’s interminable drought is really over. It will be necessary to monitor rainfall through at least March to make an assessment.
A vaccination in progress. (Photo: Komsan Loonprom)
OPINION: The immunization rate for incoming kindergarten students has jumped this year by more than 2 percentage points—to approximately 93 percent. This is news we should all be proud of. But anyone who cares about the health of our state and the welfare of our communities should not rest on the success of SB 277 – there is still more work to be done.
Voters and potential voters at a political rally. (Photo: Joseph Sohm, via Shutterstock)
The California Voter File is a massive and constantly changing dataset. At the end of the 2012 election cycle, it grew to over 18 million voters. But with recent purges from county election files, it has dropped down to its current 17 million. As we near a major statewide election, we expect to see an uptick in registration and growth of the overall voter file. The state’s registration is likely — again — to exceed 18 million, and potentially even reach 19 million by November.
Calpensions: The CalSTRS board voted this month to “watch” a new cost-neutral bill in Congress that would reduce what has been an unpleasant surprise for some teachers and a shock to others — joining CalSTRS can cut Social Security benefits. Two federal laws enacted to avoid Social Security overpayment and inequity are mainly aimed at government employees who receive a pension but no Social Security.
Field Poll: Voter support has diminished for Propositions 45 and 46, two health–related ballot initiatives on the upcoming California general election. Currently, 41% of likely voters are inclined to vote Yes on Prop. 45, the Health Insurance Rate Changes initiative, 26% are on the No side, while a growing proportion (33%) are undecided.
An old wind-driven pump that tapped groundwater on a California ranch. Photo: Steven Frame)
As the warm temperatures melt California’s meager snowpack, turning rivers into streams and streams into mere trickles, communities and farmers across the state will be increasingly turning to groundwater to meet customer demand and to keep crops and livestock alive. But there’s a problem: Many will be drawing from aquifers already depleted and long under stress as groundwater levels in many basins across the state are reportedly at historic lows.