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Sacramento Bee Cunningly Attacks Tom McClintock

In a column ostensibly lambasting local district attorneys around the state for failing to prosecute legislators who live outside the districts they represent, Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee lives up to his paper’s penchant for looking out for Democrats. 25 Aug 2014

Experts: Napa Quake Could Have Been Far Worse

CBS 2 Los Angeles reports that seismologists say that their early warning systems did alert them that the Napa Valley earthquake was imminent, but the good news was that the quake struck at 3:20 a.m., when most people were asleep. 25 Aug 2014

Napa Earthquake Could Raise Wine Prices

The magnitude 6.0 earthquake that struck Napa in the early hours of Sunday morning may not have done much damage, relatively speaking. Yet several wineries reported extensive damage to existing collections of valuable vintages, as well as to winemaking infrastructure such as oak barrels. The result could be that California wines currently in production rise will in price and value, since they will be rare on local and international markets. 25 Aug 2014

Top 10 Earthquakes in California, by Magnitude

The U.S. Geological Survey reports that there have been ten earthquakes in California stronger than magnitude 7.0 since the biggest ever recorded, the estimated 7.9 Fort Tejon earthquake, struck in 1857. By comparison, the Napa earthquake of 2014--a mere 6.0--hardly registers. Here are the top 10 quakes, by size, ascending 24 Aug 2014

Over 120 Injured in Napa Quake

NAPA, Calif. (AP) -- The strongest earthquake in 25 years struck the heart of California's wine country early Sunday, igniting gas-fed fires, damaging some of the region's famed wineries and historic buildings, and sending more than 120 people to hospitals. 24 Aug 2014

State of Emergency in NorCal After Quake; 49ers Play On

California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency on Sunday, following a magnitude-6.0 earthquake that struck at 3:20 a.m. and was the region's strongest in 25 years. The San Francisco 49ers announced early in the day that their game at the new Levi's Stadium against the visiting San Diego Chargers would still be held. 24 Aug 2014

Padilla's Plastic Bag Ban Looms Before Legislature

State Bill (SB) 270, introduced by State Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) in January to ban disposable plastic check-out bags from grocery stores, may come to a vote by midnight Aug. 31, according to the Los Angeles Times. Padilla, who is also the Democratic Party's nominee for Secretary of State, had said that the millions of bags used every year “cost state and local governments at least $25 million,” amended his original version to curry favor with the grocery industry. 24 Aug 2014

SF Chronicle: Desperate Farmers Turning to 'Water Witches'

The severe California drought is prompting farmers and vintners to hire dowsers, AKA “water witches,” to locate water underground, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The harshness of the drought has cut the normal quantity of water delivered to farmers, forcing them to use their wells. But with the wells running dry, and the much-higher cost of hiring geologists, dowsers are finding themselves overwhelmed with requests. 24 Aug 2014

SF Bay Drinks Freely as San Joaquin Wells Run Dry

Water scarcity is becoming increasingly acute in select California regions. In East Porterville, residential wells have begun running dry, spurring emergency deliveries of bottled water to thirsty San Joaquin Valley residents. In contrast, there is an abundant supply of fresh, no-need-to-filter Hetch Hetchy water consistently funneled from a Yosemite Valley reservoir to residents of the San Francisco Bay Area. 24 Aug 2014

SpaceX Rocket Self-Destructs All Over Texas

SpaceX suffered its first missile failure when one of their F9R rockets aborted its mission and auto-destructed over Texas shortly after takeoff on August 22. One observer video shows debris falling from the sky just after the explosion. No one was hurt in the blast, but the loss comes as the latest in a string of disastrous events facing the company and its iconic leader Elon Musk, including mass lay-offs in California and worker lawsuits. 24 Aug 2014

California Utility Customers Must Pay $331.8 Million for CO2 Auction

California environmentalists were giddy after the market for pollution credits traded up in price to a new high on record volume. But rather than a sign of greater enthusiasm to fight CO2, the California legislature quietly passed in 2012 a law that allows private utilities to pay the state for credits at any price, slap on a very nice profit, and then make their public customers foot the bill. 23 Aug 2014

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