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2012 Archive

State permit paves way for CCWD, golf course to end watering dispute
The permit allows CCWD to discharge tertiary treated effluent directly into one storage pond at the golf course and gives CCWD the ability to empty the recycled water storage pond every year. --Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, December 28, 2012

Dangerous precedent?
If dozens of California environmental groups are correct, then what happens to a small, half-mile section of the Merced River near McClure Lake Reservoir could be an omen of things to come for many other rivers. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, December 27, 2012

Salamander plan includes recovery
Requirements to mitigate for impacts on tiger salamander habitat have been a sticking point for numerous developments in western Calaveras County in recent years. Much of the land surrounding Copperopolis and Valley Springs is considered prime territory for the tiny amphibian. Click here for article—The Union Democrat, December 27, 2012

Forest project productive in 2012
The Amador-Calaveras Consensus Group Cornerstone Project, one of 23 projects nationwide to be awarded a total of $40 million through the federal Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Act, is designed to restore long-neglected forest lands. Click here for article—The Union Democrat, December 26, 2012

Calaveras water district taking ownership of Wallace customers
Come January, the 100 customers in the Wallace Community Services District will get their water and sewer bills from Calaveras County Water District. "This is the best Christmas present ever," Patsy Bailey, president of the Wallace service district board said before the vote. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, December 25, 2012

Lawsuit settlement forces recovery plan for tiger salamander
Under the settlement, the Wildlife Service has to come up with a recovery plan by 2017 for the Central California population of the salamander, which is in eastern San Joaquin County and the nearby foothills as well as other sites in inland California. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, December 23, 2012

Ex-Trinitas owners move to keep suit alive
The former owners of the former Trinitas golf course have taken legal steps to keep alive a $12 million federal lawsuit against Calaveras County officials. Mike and Michelle Nemee no longer own the 280 acres of land south of Wallace where they built and operated a golf course. But they still hope to collect money…–Click here for article—The Stockton Record, December 20, 2012

Equipment failure at VS station caused outage
"It was a trial to get through it Ok," said a store spokesman. "It was also a trial for the whole town since there were no grocery stores open here, or in San Andreas or Jackson." In all, power was out for 35,600 electrical utility customers in Amador and Calaveras counties, Ehlers said. Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, December 19, 2012

Landlocked properties a problem
Owners facing access issues may have to turn to the courts Many property owners have absolutely no access to their land. That's a problem, according to County Surveyor Roger Pitto. –Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, December 18, 2012

Group drops Bear appeal
A Twain Harte-based environmental organization has withdrawn its appeal of a U.S. Forest Service approval for a major expansion of the Bear Valley Mountain Resort. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, December 18, 2012

County planners say no to Sawmill project
Calaveras County planning commissioners voted 3-2 last week to deny Copperopolis' controversial Sawmill Lake housing development. …Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center Executive Director John Buckley…likened the effort to "(forcing) a square project through a round hole."–Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, December 18, 2012

Problems derail 800-home lode project
"There is no way I can see that we can approve this project under the current General Plan," Planning Commissioner Michelle Plotnik said. "Please do not allow the General Plan process to be sabotaged and sidetracked," said Colleen Platt of MyValleySprings.com. "The guiding principle is 'plans before projects.' " –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, December 16, 2012

Copper subdivision divisive
The divisive proposed Sawmill Lake subdivision in Copperopolis split Calaveras County planning commissioners 3-2 Thursday in a vote to deny the 580-home project that would be built next to the Copperopolis Town Square…"It's taking 150 acres out of natural resource (zoning) and into an urban use," McLaughlin said. "That's going from one of the lowest use levels to potentially one of the highest." Click here for article—The Union Democrat, December 14, 2012

Gwin Mine may reopen
"If I could prove the county will do the permitting, the next guy will have faith to reopen the next mine," Pitto said. "This county has so much mineral wealth. It could be like a new Saudi Arabia here, only with nicer people."–Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, December 14, 2012

Road fix plans hit big bump
The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors tried to fill a few potholes this week. They failed, in large part, because of opposition from affected homeowners on Rancho Calaveras' Buena Vista Court, "I hope people recognize the colossal strategic blunder of spending a lot of time angry that your road isn't being fixed and then rejecting the opportunity to have it fixed with dollars you've already committed,"…–Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, December 14, 2012

Caltran working on safety improvements at trio of intersections
Three of the Valley Springs area's most dangerous intersections are due for safety upgrades within the next few years… work is under way to enhance safety on State Route 26 intersections at Vista Del Lago Drive, St. Andrews Road and Country View Drive. .–Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, December 14, 2012

CCWD looks ahead to rate hikes
Tuesday's workshop looks to build on earlier discussions surrounding CCWD's long-in-the-works 10 percent water and sewer rate increase, one that would apply district-wide over each of the next five years.–Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, December 14, 2012

Wallace transfer accepted
A year-long process to transfer water and sewer services managed by the Wallace Community Services District to the Calaveras County Water District system reached fruition Tuesday just as CCWD's possible annexation of the Blue Lake Springs Mutual Water Company went off the table. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, December 13, 2012

Downtown traffic solution moves closer to reality
The first phase of work to improve the downtown State Route 12/26 intersection began last week...The bottleneck at the downtown Valley Springs intersection is expected to be a thing of the past by the fall of 2013 when the second phase of work is completed.–Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, December 12, 2012

Fire districts move ahead with consolidation plans
Foothill and Jenny Lind fire protection districts in the next two weeks are poised to take another step in their consolidation process… If all goes according to plan, the two districts could be consolidated by mid-2013, said Consolidated Fire Chief Kim Olson. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, December 7, 2012

Group sues over quarry
IONE - At 94, Fraser West refers to himself as "an old cowboy."…part of the Ione Valley Land, Air, and Water Defense Alliance, a group that's suing to overturn Amador County's approval of a quarry that over the next 50 years would mine and crush a 250-foot-tall ridge just south of his ranch. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, December 1, 2012

Responses differ for road fees
This is a tale of two road fees. One, Calaveras County officials thought might be controversial because they were planning to increase it. It wasn't. In contrast, when supervisors were poised to approve a change that would have allowed money that has been collected for decades to be spent fixing a long-neglected street near Valley Springs, they learned that residents there oppose doing the road repairs. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, December 12, 2012

Sparks fly over Sawmill
"I see this project as a huge distraction from completing the general plan,"…"It would be tragic for the county to have to get into litigation over something like this when they should be focusing on the general plan. … This project can wait." –Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, December 11, 2012

State awards $45,000 for new Arnold bike path
The bikeway will connect to the existing 16-mile Arnold Rim Trail and improve non-motorized transportation in Arnold. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, December 10, 2012

Guiding force ending 28 years of public service
When Tryon leaves office at the end of this month, he will have served for seven full terms, a total of 28 years… At the same time, County Administrative Officer Jeanne Boyce is also leaving… Tryon said the changing Board of Supervisors was a factor. "The election took out the CAO as well," Tryon said. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, December 10, 2012

Rural homes' fire fee official
More than 23,000 in Lode to pay annual tax The California Board of Forestry on Wednesday made permanent the widely disliked "fire prevention fee" that forces the owners of more than 800,000 rural homes in California to pay a $115 to $150 annual tax. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, December 6, 2012

Delta plan nears end; districts optimistic
The latest draft of a major state plan dealing with management of Delta watersheds looks better for the Mother Lode than previous ones, according to an expert working with local water agencies. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, December 4, 2012

Justices Broaden the Basis for Damages Over Floods
The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that people whose property was damaged by intermittent flooding caused by the government may seek compensation… "Today's modest decision," Justice Ginsburg wrote, selecting the apt metaphor, "augurs no deluge of takings liability." –Click here for article—The New York Times, December 4, 2012

New rules to protect high fire hazard areas
SB 1241 requires cities and counties to adopt a long-term comprehensive general plan that includes a large section concerning wildland and urban fires. The bill will also require very high fire hazard zones and state responsibility areas to update their safety elements before Jan. 1, 2015 –Click here for article—The Amador Ledger Dispatch, November 15, 2012

Newcomers eager to take board seats
"I was dismayed there was even discussion of putting (the general plan) off until January," Ponte said. "The general plan is very important as to whether there's going to be jobs or not jobs, growth or not growth, in the county." Edson... sees stakeholders in Valley Springs settling differences over a long-sought community plan by the end of next year... –Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, November 20, 2012

Supervisors spending $300,000 on GP update
"In my opinion, this should have been continued until January when the new supervisors come on the board," Tofanelli said after the vote. "This may not be the vision of the new board and they might want to change things..." –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, November 16, 2012

Sparks fly over slow-moving general plan
"I'm going to finish out my term and I'm going to take responsibility for the things that come up on my watch," retiring District 2 representative Wilensky said of the proposed delay. "To punt, or take a powder, on something that's already been delayed this long is just compounding a problem..." –Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, November 16, 2012

Suit will shut resort down, owners say
Depending on how you look at it, Lake Tulloch Resort has either partied to death or been sentenced to death for partying. The resort has been famed over the past four years for its series of "Bump" parties. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, November 17, 2012

Planners aim to cut back concert red tape
A recently proposed retooling of Calaveras County wine tasting and concert event permits is headed back to the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors after winning a final blessing from planning commissioners last week. –Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, November 16, 2012

Tulloch rental rules approved
Efforts to contain the clamor surrounding Lake Tulloch vacation rentals won a nod from Calaveras County planning commissioners last week, part of a 4-1 vote that sends additional proposed rental regulations on to the Board of Supervisors...Planners are looking to charge a $2,033 fee for each rental permit... –Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, November 13, 2012

How to Survive Societal Collapse in Suburbia
"It's not the end of the world,"… It's about showing the gun-toting mountain man in his camouflage and the suburban soccer mom in her minivan that they want the same thing: peace of mind.—Click here for article—The New York Times, November 16, 2012

Supervisors OK $300K agreement
Three outgoing supervisors split their votes Tuesday on a narrowly approved $299,960 contract intended to complete the update to Calaveras County's General Plan land use document, with cross words defining their debate. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, November 14, 2012

Divided Calaveras board moves to update general plan
Tuesday, they voted to spend an additional $299,960 to hire Raney Planning & Management of Sacramento to finish key environmental studies and the General Plan documents. The vote was 3-2, with lame duck Supervisors Tom Tryon and Gary Tofanelli opposed. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, November 14, 2012

$299,960 consultant on agenda
The long-awaited update to Calaveras County's general plan land use document is likely to need some outside help..."The Board of Supervisors directed staff to complete the General Plan Update within 12 months..." –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, November 12, 2012

Work expected to begin soon on flood-prone creek
Calaveras County has the green light to begin yearly flood-control maintenance along Cosgrove Creek... crews from CalFire's Vallecito Conservation Camp can perform the work between now and February... –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, November 14, 2012

New Index Shows Federal Agencies Fail to Meet Salmon Restoration Goal
Federal law requiring almost a million salmon ignored at great expense to Bay-Delta ecosystem and fishing industry – The Central Valley Chinook salmon fishery has suffered a dramatic collapse over the past decade...—Click here for article—NRDC media release, November 13, 2012

Judge settles water dispute
The decision released Oct. 30 by Judge Thomas Smith sees the Calaveras County Water District retain sole jurisdiction over reservoir water rights first established under a 2008 agreement that required [La Contenta] course owners to irrigate with recycled CCWD wastewater in exchange for $1.8 million in sewage capacity credits. –Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, November 6, 2012

La Contenta: Golf course water ruling
A Calaveras County Superior Court judge ruled La Contenta Golf Club will have to make do with recycled water from Calaveras County Water District to irrigate the course. The county's largest water provider does not owe damages to La Contenta Golf Club...–Click here for article—The Union Democrat, November 1, 2012

Williamson Act cuts threaten ranchland, conservation areas
"California rangelands not only provide forage for cattle, they encompass unique ecosystems that provide habitat for threatened and endangered species. They also form most of the major drainage basins of the state, constantly filtering and purifying the water supply."—Click here for article—Western Farm Press, October 31, 2012

Dead Bald Eagle at Hogan likely mutilated before recovery
...Three laws make it a federal offense and illegal to take, possess, sell, purchase, barter, offer to sell, purchase or barter, transport, export or import, any Bald or Golden Eagle, alive or dead, including any part, nest, or egg... Felony convictions carry a maximum fine of $250,000 or two years of imprisonment. In addition, rewards are provided for information leading to arrest and conviction of violators. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, October 31, 2012

Group appeals Bear Valley plan
"Our center is highly aware that the Bear Valley Mountain Resort is important to businesses and the overall economy of Alpine County and the Highway 4 corridor in Calaveras County," said CSERC Executive Director John Buckley. "We believe that a solution to this legal appeal is certainly possible if the Forest Service actually wants a solution." –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, October 31, 2012

The Countywide Road Impact Mitigation (RIM) Fee Program 2012 Review
Calaveras County's RIM Fee Program funds transportation improvements required to mitigate the impacts of new development on the regional road system... Public Works has prepared an annual report on the status of the fund accounts. There will be a RIM Fee Public Hearing November 13, 2012. Calaveras County Public Works Website

Tulloch homeowners wary of new permit
[Editor's note: The article confuses two separate ordinances, which makes it difficult for the reader. The quotes were in relation to the special events ordinance and not the short term vacation rental ordinance]
"I would hope that you don't approve it," Lake Tulloch Resort owner Bernadette Cattaneo told Goulart at a Planning Commission meeting last week... Colleen Platt of Valley Springs... "I'm glad to see that a business owner is here that is impacted by the ordinance," Platt said. "I think this is the third hearing we've had on this and we need people to show up and hear their stories." –Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, October 30, 2012

Drilling for Delta tunnel studies blocked in court
Test drilling for Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed twin tunnels must wait until next spring, despite state officials' warning in court documents that any delay could drive up the cost of the now $14 billion project, or even render it infeasible. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, October 30, 2012

Rafting pioneer to be honored by Friends of the River
Longtime Calaveras County resident George Wendt was honored Friday by Friends of the River in San Francisco... Wendt, founder and president of the O.A.R.S. family of companies... is a pioneer in the adventure travel industry. –Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, October 30, 2012

Why Coke cares about Mokelumne
It is 170 miles from the headwaters of the Mokelumne River to the Bay Area plant where Coca-Cola makes millions of bottled beverages every year. But the world's largest soft drink company said it has a vested interest in that river. And it has backed that up with a $200,000 check. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, October 28, 2012

Dead Bald Eagle found on shoreline at New Hogan Lake
A Bald Eagle was found dead Tuesday afternoon along the shoreline at Wrinkle Cove. The Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for operation and maintenance of the dam and recreation area, Durando said... it would be speculation to say whether the death of the bird was connected to an earlier report about suspected poachers at the lake. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, October 26, 2012

Stanislaus salmon see boost
The number of salmon running up the Stanislaus River during the fall has increased in recent years, studies show... "The population is trending up, but underlying management issues haven't been resolved yet," he said. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, October 26, 2012

County bails on water agency after failed compromise
Calaveras County supervisors pulled out of the region's largest water planning board this week after failing to reach a compromise on membership dues owed to the Tuolumne-Stanislaus Integrated Regional Water Management Plan. –Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, October 26, 2012

Calaveras exits water plan group
Calaveras County will withdraw from a planning effort required to secure state grants for watershed projects on the Stanislaus River... The IRWMP is the mechanism required by the state Department of Water Resources to qualify for grants for infrastructure projects that improve water quality and reliability and prevent flooding. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, October 24, 2012

Utility board considers 50 percent water rate hike over five years
A proposed rate increase would hike water bills in San Andreas, Mokelumne Hill, Rail Road Flat, Glencoe and Paloma more than 50 percent during the next five years. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, October 24, 2012

Lawsuit Seeks to Force Impact Analyses Before Fracking for Oil, Gas in California
Four environmental advocacy groups filed a lawsuit Oct. 16 to force a California state regulator to conduct environmental impact analyses for oil and gas fields before hydraulic fracturing occurs. Click here for article—Bloomberg, October 17, 2012

Editorial: CalRecycle has to limit fraud, collect its debt
CalRecycle, the state's quarter-century-old beverage container recycling program, is in big trouble. While the number of bottles and cans diverted from landfills in California is up dramatically, rampant fraud and mismanagement is depleting the state's recycling fund. Click here for article—The Sacramento Bee, October 15, 2012

Anti-tax group sues to block California's rural fire fee
The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association announced Thursday that it is suing to end a $150 annual state fire fee imposed on California's rural residents and obtain refunds for those who have already paid. Click here for article—The Sacramento Bee, October 5, 2012

Fire 'fee' heats up taxpayers
Calaveras County Assessor Leslie Davis believes the State Fire Prevention Fee that arrived in mailboxes last month violates the California Constitution. Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, October 2, 2012

Bear sightings earlier this week in Rancho Calaveras
Rancho Calaveras residents apparently have a new neighbor or two on the wildlife side. The Calaveras County Sheriff's Department dispatch center received a call at 8:04 a.m. Tuesday about a bear seen on Friedman Way and three hours later another call came in about two bears sighted in the vicinity of Dalee Road. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, October 19, 2012

County warms to solar project
A major solar-generation farm being proposed off O'Byrnes Ferry Road... According to the state Department of Conservation, this is the second solar project that has been proposed through the state program... "You have to demonstrate the land that you want to do (the project on) isn't really great agricultural land," Laird said. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, October 19, 2012

A Solar Project Recommendation
The company Ecoplexus Inc. out of the Bay Area is hoping to install 5,976 photovoltaic solar panels on over 14 acres owned by T-Five Ranches... Last year the state of California amended the Conservation Act, better known as the Williamson Act, to allow property owners to apply for solar easements on agriculture land.–Click here for article—MyMotherLode.com, October 18, 2012

State errs in billing homeowners for fire fees
Errors in the record gathering process have led to thousands of property owners mistakenly getting double billed for the State Responsibility Area fire fee. Most of the double bills were sent to residents in mobile and manufactured homes... –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, October 15, 2012

Water rights group sparks a skirmish
"Rural counties should not divest themselves from their interests," Wilensky said... Tryon shared that view, noting IRWMP's importance as the rural county's water rights representative in Sacramento..."I think it would be a tragic mistake to walk away from either the Mokelumne or the Stanislaus on the principle that we need to all be speaking with one voice," he added. Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, October 12, 2012

Experts say densely settled Modesto is way of future
Convincing valley folks to live closer together has not been easy, but planning experts insist that's the way of the future. "You're just not going to be able to afford sprawl," warned Mike Dozier, who leads the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley. –Click here for article—The Modesto Bee, October 10, 2012

Bill would require cost study of Delta tunnels
"If they're going to build something, what's it going to cost and what's the benefit?" Garamendi said last week. "This is something the Republicans scream they've got to have on every project - 'Do a cost-benefit analysis.' OK, we agree. Let's do it." –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, October 7, 2012

Calaveras River plan progresses
The "habitat conservation plan," as it's known under federal law, would allow Stockton East to continue diverting Calaveras water even if steelhead - a federally protected species - are harmed in the process. In exchange for that allowance, Stockton East would agree to improve conditions in the river. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, October 5, 2012

Elderberry beetle up for de-listing
Development projects in the Mother Lode may have one less hurdle to clear if a federal agency decides to adopt a newly proposed rule that would remove the valley elderberry longhorn beetle from the endangered species list. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, October 3, 2012

Valley elderberry longhorn beetle may fall from 'threatened' list
Federal wildlife officials say the valley elderberry longhorn beetle, a native of the Sacramento Valley, no longer needs Endangered Species Act protection. The inch-long, red-and- black beetle has been listed as a threatened species since 1980, a result of land development and levee construction that eliminated more than 90 percent of the Central Valley's riparian habitat. –Click here for article—The Sacramento Bee, October 2, 2012

3 seats open on Calaveras board
Land use issues loom large in this year's races for three seats on the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors. Which candidates voters choose could determine whether the county is able to resolve more than half a decade of gridlock that has often pitted planners against property rights advocates and has frustrated developers and conservationists alike. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, October 2, 2012

'Sludge' to be gone this week
With the clock running out, the Murphys Sanitary District will switch to two local companies to dispose of a pile of sludge that has become a growing burden on the beleaguered district. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, October 2, 2012

Mud flies over sludge
Murphys Sanitary District may have as much as double the sewage sludge it anticipated removing and up to $60,000 in additional costs to be incurred as a result in coming weeks. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, Sept. 28, 2012

Lode homes hard to cover
A state insurance organization survey found Tuolumne and Calaveras counties have among the highest percentages of homes at a high to extreme risk for wildfires when compared to other parts of the state — a finding which could affect insurance rates and insurability. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, Sept. 28, 2012

District puts arts center on hold
Plans to move forward with construction of a 501-seat performing arts center at Calaveras High School have been put on hold. Calaveras Unified School District trustees back in May voted 4-1 to move forward with the long awaited performing arts center, which was the centerpiece of a $13.5 million bond measure approved by voters in 2006. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, Sept. 28, 2012

Bumps could get the boot at Lake Tulloch
Calaveras County has sued Lake Tulloch Resort to put a stop to "bump parties" it claims are not consistent with the Copperopolis venue's zoning. The county filed suit Sept. 4... –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, Sept. 28, 2012

Troubled waters for 'Bump' festivals
Popular Tulloch event target of lawsuit
Calaveras County is looking to quiet Lake Tulloch Resort's oft-debated Bump parties in court, seeking a permanent injunction against events the county describes as a "public nuisance." The Sept. 4 lawsuit centers on whether Bump parties, which routinely draw between 1,500 and 3,000 attendees, qualify as a legal land use under the resort's decades-old administrative use permit. Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, Sept. 28, 2012

County eyes limits on target shooting
Calaveras County supervisors asked Tuesday for a chance to review possible code amendments to limit time of day and noise allowed in a target shooting ordinance... Target shooting was effectively exempted from a noise ordinance approved unanimously this month. The noise law, which goes into effect Oct. 25, refers regulation of such shooting to... –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, Sept. 26, 2012

Calaveras County hires new land planner
The final budget for Calaveras County through next June includes a high-level planner added at the 11th hour Tuesday in a 5-0 vote... The "Planner IV" position is intended to help the county complete a years-long General Plan land-use document update. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, Sept. 26, 2012

Resort's Snow Won't Be Pure This Year; It'll Be Sewage
FLAGSTAFF , Ariz. — Klee Benally, a member of the Navajo tribe, has gone to the mountains just north of here to pray, and he has gone to get arrested. ...For 10 years, the soft-spoken activist has fought a ski resort's expansion plans in the San Francisco Peaks that include clear-cutting 74 acres of forest and piping treated sewage effluent onto a mountain to make snow. –Click here for article—The New York Times, September 24, 2012

Stalled projects move forward
City adjusts developer fees, lifts obligations
LODI - Two major west Lodi housing developments appear to be back on track, but without millions in previously agreed to benefits for the city that were outlined in the home builder's original development agreement that was signed prior to the housing collapse. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, Sept. 24, 2012

Sawmill tests water issues, county says
...the pitched battle between the developer and Calaveras County officials over a Copperopolis area water resources plan approved in 2008. The plan, part of a state-mandated water supply assessment that includes the 800-home Sawmill Lake proposal, currently allows the Calaveras County Water District to draw on 6,000 acre feet of water from Lake Tulloch. County staff reported that completion of Castle & Cooke's earlier-approved subdivisions at Canyon Ranch and Tuscany Hills would put the area 1,200 acre feet above that mark. Building out the Sawmill Lake project would add 650 acre feet on top of that. Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, Sept. 21, 2012

Copper developers indicted on fraud charges
Two former Copperopolis developers have been indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with an alleged mortgage fraud scheme involving 19 homes, including nine in the southern Calaveras County town. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, Sept. 21, 2012

Calaveras D1 candidates show stripes
The two candidates in the runoff for Calaveras County Board of Supervisors District 1 fielded questions on economic development, the general plan document for land use and infrastructure in a forum hosted Wednesday night by the Calaveras County Chamber of Commerce. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, Sept. 20, 2012

Wagon Trail engineering contract awarded
Calaveras County supervisors revisited the fractious Wagon Trail project last week, inking a four-year, $1.25 million engineering services contract with Folsom-based Dokken Engineering. The proposed straightening of a roughly 5-mile long stretch of highway near Pool Station Road has long raised hackles among affected landowners... Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, Sept. 18, 2012

Sawmill showdown postponed
Developers of Copperopolis' 800-home Sawmill Lake project made their case to Calaveras County planning commissioners last week, earning a three-month continuance on a... mixed-use residential project developer Castle and Cooke, Calaveras, hopes will house two hotels, several parks and, eventually, some 40,000 new county residents. –Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, Sept. 18, 2012

Vote on Lode project delayed
The faces of Calaveras County planning commissioners showed visible relief Thursday afternoon as they found a way to delay for three months making any decisions on the 800-home Sawmill Lake development proposed for Copperopolis... The project would remove 8,000 oak trees. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, Sept. 14, 2012

County budget looks better
It appears the final budget for Calaveras County that will take the local government up through June 2013 will be somewhat more robust than was expected, allowing for the potential increase of staffing in some depleted departments. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, Sept. 12, 2012

Work at substation a $40 mil upgrade
A $40 million upgrade and expansion project is under way at the Valley Springs PG&E Substation and other PG&E facilities in the area to provide greater reliability. PG&E spokesperson Brandi Ehlers said the Valley Springs facility at State Route 26 and Double Springs Road in Toyon previously had only one transformer and a second one has been installed. If there is a problem or an outage, the electric load can be switched from one transformer to the other and restore power faster to customers, she said about the upgrade. In addition to the Valley Springs substation, the $40 million project includes work at the PG&E Tiger Creek Hydro Plant in Amador County near Pioneer. General Electric is the project contractor and work is expected to continue through the fall of next year. The Valley Springs News/ September 12, 2012

Planners consider Copper homes
An 800-home development adjacent to Copperopolis Town Square tied up in environmental and legal questions will come to the Calaveras County Planning Commission on Thursday. County planners have recommended the panel deny "without prejudice" an application dating back to 2006 from Los Angeles-based mega-developer Castle and Cooke. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, Sept. 11, 2012

Legal battle looms between Calaveras County, developer
Development giant Castle & Cooke is threatening to sue the Calaveras County government if officials don't promptly process the company's application to build 800 homes in Copperopolis. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, Sept. 7, 2012

Sawmill plan makes slow progress
Calaveras County planners weighed-in on Copperopolis' oft-debated Sawmill project last week, issuing a 17-page staff report critical of the development's impact on the county's decades-old general plan. The report, scheduled for a Planning Commission hearing next week... –Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, Sept. 7, 2012

Mountain lion visit wake-up call for Lode residents
The community was reminded of the sometimes-tense relations between lions and humans last month when a Calaveras County sheriff's deputy reported coming face to face with a lion in the middle of San Andreas. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, Sept. 7, 2012

Quarry deal ends lawsuit
The lengthy legal battle over the a west-county quarry is over, and at least one member of the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors is not happy about the agreement...publicly calling the latter groups' legal opposition to the Cooperstown Quarry "un-American" and "extortion." –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, Sept. 5, 2012

Air quality improving in foothills
Air quality in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties has improved to meet federal standards, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday. The counties are among nine areas in California to meet the 1997 national health-based air quality standard for smog... –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, Sept. 4, 2012

Calaveras oaks cause for concern
Oak trees across the county are prematurely browning due to heat stress.
A thirsty summer in the Mother Lode means rolling brown outs for Calaveras County's 36,000 acres of tree habitat, where whole oak clusters are turning reddish brown under weeks of unbroken blue skies. ...trees are susceptible to browning caused by heat stress and below average rainfall. None more so than the blue oak, a species with shallow roots and few defenses... –Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, Sept. 4, 2012

Golf suit bounced to new court
The former owners of the ill-fated Trinitas golf course will likely have their $12 million civil rights suit against Calaveras County moved from a federal bankruptcy court to the U.S. District Court for Eastern California in Fresno. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, August 30, 2012

Noise law closer to approval
Proponents, foes sound off one more time
Typically loud debate on Calaveras County noise levels reached a quiet coda this week as supervisors moved to adopt an as-amended noise ordinance set for final approval Sept. 11. –Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, August 31, 2012

Noise regs return Sept. 11
Each of the Calaveras County supervisors Tuesday expressed support for instituting a controversial noise ordinance. Though given the list of amendments to the proposal they agreed upon... –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, August 29, 2012

Animal Services moved
Animal Services will transfer from control of the Calaveras County Sheriff's Department back to the Environmental Management Agency after seven years starting Oct. 1. County supervisors ... will seek a long-term public-private partnership with the nonprofit Calaveras Humane Society to manage animal services. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, August 29, 2012

Valley Springs firm makes transition to solar power
Diversified Refrigeration Co. headquarters located on Main Street in Valley Springs has gone solar... In addition to paying PG&E for little or no electricity use, federal tax incentives allow the company to write off a substantial portion of the costs of the system... owner Dan Cline said he expects to break even on his $68,000 investment in about two years. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, August 17, 2012

Draft Noise Ordinance and Staff Report 8-28-12 BOS
Planning recommends the Board adopt code amendments to Title 9 for a proposed Noise Ordinance at the Board Meeting August 28, 2012.—Click here for Report and Ordinance—Board of Supervisors Agenda, August 28, 2012

Noise law back to board
Expected adoption of a countywide noise ordinance could cause quite a racket at the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors' chambers Tuesday. The move would apply a 55-decibel cap to daytime residential noise levels and a 45-decibel limit at night.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 24, 2012

Bid to overhaul California Environmental Quality Act falls short
A late-hour bid to overhaul the California Environmental Quality Act fell apart Thursday, with Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg saying... "The Senate will not take up comprehensive CEQA reform in the last days of the legislative session" –Click here for article—The Sacramento Bee, August 24, 2012

Hound Hunting Bill Passes Assembly
A bill that would outlaw the use of dogs to hunt bears and bobcats cleared a hurdle towards becoming law. SB 1221 was approved in the Assembly yesterday with a 44-29 vote. –Click here for article—MyMotherLode.com, August 23, 2012

Water board ramps up its water rights enforcement work
Because the vast majority of reservoirs and stockponds were constructed after 1914, each must have the appropriate permit, license or registration if it diverts water from a stream... it appears that there are a significant number of reservoirs and stockponds that may not have the proper authorization.–Click here for article—AgAlert.com/ California Farm Bureau Federation, August 22, 2012

Delta fight hits big screen
Restore the Delta screened its new documentary, "Over Troubled Waters," to a crowd of more than 300 people inside Stockton's Empire Theatre. The 45-minute film may be the biggest accomplishment for the advocacy group in its six-year fight against a peripheral canal. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, August 21, 2012

Water, sewer districts rake in grant funds
Money helps keep rates from soaring

Calaveras County water and sewer districts have won more than $13 million in grant funding over the past three years, according to the state Water Resources Control Board. Special districts in Valley Springs and Mokelumne Hill...—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 21, 2012

Dozens arrested at Tulloch party
Dozens of people were arrested Saturday night at an event hosted by Lake Tulloch Resort that drew more than 2,000 partygoers...The Sheriff's Office said 24 people were arrested at the event on charges ranging from felony drug possession to public intoxication. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, August 21, 2012

More than 30 arrested at Lake Tulloch festival
The combination of a warm summer night, more than 1,700 people and a "different" crowd led to more than 30 arrests at the Bump Fest held Saturday at Lake Tulloch...—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 21, 2012

Years-long road battle continues
Frog zone stalls Gillam Road repairs

Gillam Road is a cramped, rutted stretch of asphalt connecting Paloma to Highway 12. Some parts are about as even as a cattle crossing. —Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 21, 2012

Supervisors support hound hunting
Calaveras County is officially against laws that would prohibit the use of dogs in hunting bears and bobcats. County supervisors agreed in a 4-0 vote, with Supervisor Darren Spellman abstaining... –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, August 17, 2012

County garbage costs piling up
Property tax bump looming Calaveras County supervisors eyed the county dump as a source of recycling solutions Tuesday, sizing-up a ballot measure that would patch the county's landfill budget through a 28 percent bump in existing property tax fees. —Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 17, 2012

Arnold bike trail divides residents
A bike trail between Oak Circle and Pine Drive is moving ahead despite some objections from nearby residents... Calaveras County Supervisor Merita Callaway, who represents Arnold, said the many concerns have been heard and she believes they can be adequately addressed in the final design of the segment. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, August 17, 2012

VS in O'Reilly, McDonald's future
O'Reilly Auto Parts, which has nearly 3,500 stores in 38 states, is expected to break ground at a new Valley Springs location within the next 60 days and McDonald's is also looking at moving to town. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, August 17, 2012

Calaveras leaders begin studying reforms of special events
Calaveras County may soon crack down on whomping and bumping, even as community leaders seek to ease regulations on stomping and jumping. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, August 14, 2012

California fire fee ignites anger as bills go out
More than 800,000 Californians who own property in wildfire country will begin receiving bills this week for a new annual fire-protection fee, rekindling outrage among rural residents and leading to a likely lawsuit seeking to overturn the surcharge. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, August 13, 2012

Struggling Lode district reluctantly agrees to weigh water rate hike
The lift pumps that keep raw sewage from backing up in neighborhoods all over Calaveras County are wearing out and the county's largest water and sewer utility district doesn't have money to fix them. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, August 11, 2012

Tighter regs for events weighed
"Lodi is shutting down those type of events," she said. "We have the ability to have those type of activities where it does not impact your neighbors." Don Parker, whose 272-acre Dodasa Ranch in Burson hosts a pumpkin patch and occasional weddings, looks forward to expansion in that realm. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, August 10, 2012

Re-working of special event review gets "green light"
Special events should receive the "right incentives for doing good and the right disincentives for screwing up," District 2 Supervisor Steve Wilensky said as the county planning department received the green light to tweak the zoning code. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, August 10, 2012

Special event permits may get easier to get
A simpler, lower cost approach to special events won glowing reviews from Calaveras County supervisors at a special meeting held with county planners Thursday. —Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 10, 2012

Supervisors, planners to discuss special event regs
There are likely anywhere from a half dozen to a dozen events taking place throughout the county in any given week... Depending on the type of event and zoning of the property where the event is held, a permit from the planning department may or may not be required. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, August 8, 2012

Water district puts off rate increases
"If it were a perfect world we could look at a 10 percent a year (increase) for the next five years," she said. "That's not going to happen, and that's why we want to do a really careful job with the rate study. We're very sensitive to economic conditions and we don't want to overburden ratepayers."—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 7, 2012

Transportation plan sees rough roads
Calaveras County roads lack passing opportunities, adequate right-of-way and roughly $340 million in needed paving improvements, according to the county's long-awaited Regional Transportation Plan.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 7, 2012

Popular Mokelumne stretch to open for rafting, kayak trips
By spring, schoolchildren, grandparents and pretty much anyone else who wants will be able to sign up for rafting trips on a 6-mile section of the Mokelumne River from Electra Powerhouse to Middle Bar. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, August 5, 2012

Commercial rafting gets mostly a thumbs up
Few concerns were raised at a public meeting held in Amador County Tuesday regarding a three-year pilot study of commercial recreation on the Mokelumne River. The program would include opportunities for commercial rafting, kayaking lessons and guided fishing excursions. —Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 3, 2012

Officials, Public Discuss Commercial Rafting on Upper Mokelumne River
In a public input session Tuesday, the Bureau of Land Management heard from scores of locals on what they would like studied before permitting commercial river guide operations on the Upper Mokelumne River. –Click here for article—TSPNTV, August 2, 2012

Property values slip less
The total value of assessed property in Calaveras County continued to fall this year, though at a slower rate than the year prior. Figures released by County Assessor Leslie Davis this week placed the gross secured property tax roll at $5.46 billion in 2012, a 4.37 percent drop from 2011. The drop is less than the 5.08 percent lost between 2010 and 2011. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, August 2, 2012

Calaveras planning on future congestion
Traffic jams may be in Calaveras County's future. A regional transportation plan issued recently by the Calaveras Council of Governments indicates that over the next 23 years, many of the county's roads and highways could be increasingly clogged. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, August 1, 2012

Relief on the way at crossroad
The start of school can be an exciting time, but for motorists driving through Valley Springs, it means adding a few more minutes to the morning and afternoon commutes. However, the bottleneck...could be a thing of the past by the fall of 2013. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, August 1, 2012

Property values in Calaveras County a mixed blessing
This year's bad news about Calaveras County property values is actually good news because it isn't as bad as expected. "Our budget will see an additional $584,881 in revenue"... –Click here for article—Stockton Record, August 1, 2012

River rafting plan gets mixed reviews
A proposed three-year trial run of limited commercial rafting trips on the Electra-Middle Bar run of the Mokelumne River has nearby residents excited about educational and economic opportunities while others are concerned about the impact on narrow roads and a pristine environment. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, August 1, 2012

Moke River rafting idea is being floated
Thrill-seekers may be able to pay to get wet and wild on a scenic stretch of the Mokelumne River as soon as next summer. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, July 27, 2012

Proposed noise ordinance goes back to the drawing board
A proposed noise ordinance is expected to return to the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors in a month, but noise isn't the only issue concerning one man who spoke in favor of the proposal... –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, July 27, 2012

Noise tweaks in lode
A proposed noise ordinance..was returned to staff for some tweaking and is expected to come back before the board in about a month. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, July 26, 2012

Resort owner brushes off critics
The owner of Lake Tulloch Resort said Wednesday that she is well within her rights to host parties for more than 2,000 at the Copperopolis site and has done so responsibly. The resort has drawn criticism and complaints from neighbors regarding noise, traffic and arrests generated by "bump" parties. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, July 26, 2012

Ruckus made over Tulloch noise
Tulloch Reservoir is at the heart of the debate regarding a proposed Calaveras County noise ordinance... The challenge for county planners is to craft a law that is uniform for the whole county, and that addresses concerns on the crowded lake without being overly burdensome...–Click here for article—The Union Democrat, July 25, 2012

Supervisor, CUSD at odds over JL project
A $1 million project to improve student safety walking to and from the Jenny Lind Elementary School received the green light Tuesday from the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors to go to bid, but not without controversy. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, July 25, 2012

County to slash public bus routes
Cutbacks to Calaveras Transit service approved Tuesday by the county Board of Supervisors are designed to improve the system's fare recovery ratio necessary to keep receiving state funding.–Click here for article—The Union Democrat, July 25, 2012

Calaveras hears what residents are saying about noise
Ordinance being crafted to fine those who violate sound codes Calaveras County's elected leaders have made noise about noise for years. Tuesday, they may quietly do something about it. Finally.–Click here for article—Stockton Record, July 22, 2012

Commercial rafters set sights on the Moke
If the feasibility study does not reveal any major problems and community support is realized, commercial trips could take place as early as this fall... —Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 20, 2012

Trinitas closes one chapter, opens another
Trinitas' former owners made another push for legal standing last week, taking a fight...all the way to 9th District Court of Appeals...$13,000 in unpaid property taxes will be billed against new owners.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 20, 2012

County looks to enter electricity business
The county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to seek legislative changes that could allow Tuolumne and Calaveras counties to sell excess hydroelectric power from the New Melones dam directly to other customers.—Click here for article—The Union Democrat, July 18, 2012

Rancho association working to expand membership base
The Rancho Calaveras Property Owners Association has been serving the subdivision since 1974, and while the name could imply exclusivity to some, membership is open to residents and non-residents. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, July 11, 2012

BLM looking at commercial activities on the Moke River
The Bureau of Land Management will hold a public meeting Tuesday, July 31, in Jackson to take public comments on a feasibility study for commercial activities on the Mokelumne River from Electra Road to the Middle Bar takeout. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the Jackson City Council Chambers, 33 Broadway, said Jeff Horn, outdoor recreation planner in the BLM's Mother Lode Field Office. Comments will be taken until Aug. 15 and can be sent to BLM Mother Lode Field Office, attention Jeff Horn, 5152 Hillsdale Circle, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762 or emailed to jhorn@blm.gov. For more information, contact Horn at (916) 941-3130. The Valley Springs News, July 18, 2012

BLM seeks input
Although there are some commercial rafting trips offered on upper portions of the Stanislaus River, no commercial trips are offered on the Mokelumne. Outdoor Adventure River Specialists, an international river rafting firm based in Angels Camp...–Click here for article—Stockton Record, July 15, 2012

Gold Strike homeowners lose suit against builder
The developer of the Gold Strike Heights Subdivision will not be forced to build a clubhouse, and the association may be forced to pay substantial legal fees, according to a 3rd Appellate District Court ruling filed Friday... On July 13 of this year, the court denied the appeal on the grounds that the bond had not been triggered because the clubhouse did not have to be built until the second phase of development began, which was never started.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 17, 2012

State guts public meeting law to save cash
State legislators cast a long shadow over California's sunshine law last month, scuttling key parts of the Brown Act in an effort to salvage the state's tenuous spending plan... "I would encourage all agencies to ignore whatever ails the state on (the Brown Act)," Wilensky said.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 17, 2012

Ex-Trinitas owners want agritourism ruling tossed
SAN FRANCISCO - The former owners of the Trinitas golf course filed with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this week in a bid to overturn a decision last year by a lower court that golf is not a legal form of agritourism in Calaveras County. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, July 13, 2012

CCWD eyes hike in rates
"The bottom line is we cannot grow ourselves out of our fiscal problems,"... Not only will the district not see significant growth in the next five years, Director Jeff Davidson, who owns a construction business, said he expects little or no growth for 15 to 20 years. Davidson said it will be important to structure the rate increase so there is not too high a penalty placed on heavy water users. "I want to use our water rights to the fullest," he said. "I want people to have a lawn and water it and not feel guilty."—Click here for article—The Union Democrat, July 12, 2012

Delta water tunnel project fails cost test
A proposal to build water conveyance tunnels under the Sacramento Delta has been found to be non-economically or financially justified by the Business Forecasting Center at the University of the Pacific.–Click here for article—The Business Journal, July 12, 2012

Calaveras Ag output rises
Cattle remained king. With a total value of $7.6 million, cows and calves were by far the single most valuable agricultural commodity. Rising prices for cattle allowed county producers to increase their dollar take at the same time that they sold fewer head. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, July 11, 2012

County adds a deputy in vote
A minor windfall of federal cash will help replenish the diminished ranks of the Calaveras County Sheriff's Department patrol force... Though the vote was unanimous, Supervisor Tom Tryon expressed reservations, saying the funding mechanism was not public information at the time Supervisor Gary Tofanelli, the board chairman, first brought it for consideration in a special meeting last week.—Click here for article—The Union Democrat, July 11, 2012

Timber payments get Obama's OK
Rural counties will continue to receive federal timber payments for at least one more year after President Obama signed a one-year extension of the Secure Rural Schools program into law Friday... Calaveras County, which contains 80,297 acres of Stanislaus National Forest, received more than $204,000 in 2011, according to the U.S. Forest Service.—Click here for article—The Union Democrat, July 11, 2012

Report blasts housing agency
Area cities and counties should have guarded themselves against liabilities created by the financial collapse of a local affordable-housing agency last year, the Tuolumne County Civil Grand Jury reported last week.—Click here for article—The Union Democrat, July 10, 2012

Hospital officials hail Obamacare verdict
In rural counties like Calaveras, the Affordable Care Act will aid in the expansion of the medical workforce by providing incentives to primary care physicians who decide to practice in rural and underserved regions.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 10, 2012

Fiber optics arrive
Faster speeds ahead on the Internet superhighway Calaveras County residents will be moving a lot faster, at least when it comes to using the Internet, once the installation of a fiber optic cable is completed next year.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 10, 2012

Wolf dog owner fighting legal challenges
Cathie Depner's dogs are all vaccinated. They spend their days frolicking with children. Strangers coming through the front door get their hands licked. But Depner and her family fear they may soon face the heartbreak of either sending the animals out of Calaveras County or having them forcibly removed. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, July 8, 2012

New Burson subdivision seeks public comment
A salamander listed as a threatened endangered species has been found on the site of a planned Burson subdivision... Bartolome designed the subdivision to permanently retain all aquatic habitats and to preserve open space corridors that would serve as an overland migration route for various animals.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 6, 2012

Supervisors clash over funding additional deputy
District 1 Supervisor Gary Tofanelli's attempt to add another deputy to the sheriff's department hit a roadblock at Thursday's special meeting of the county Board of Supervisors. Tofanelli was unable to get the required four-fifths vote... –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, July 6, 2012

Fire districts take major step toward merger
Foothill and Jenny Lind fire protection districts on Sunday merged their operations into what is now called the Calaveras Consolidated Fire Protection Joint Powers Authority. So what does that mean for the residents of the two districts? –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, July 4, 2012

Grand jury: New animal shelter a needed facility
Nearly 40 percent of the shelter's budget has evaporated in three years... Last week's grand jury report put those cuts into sharp relief, as jurors found just two staffers working against a backlog of 450 calls at the budget-blighted facility. —Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 3, 2012

Assessor rejects jury figures
Calaveras County Assessor Leslie Davis disagrees strongly with a finding by the county's Grand Jury late last week that her error cost the county $500,000. The report was off by, according to Davis, almost $500,000. —Click here for article—The Union Democrat, July 2, 2012

Tax today, tourists tomorrow?
Leaders in Calaveras County's tourism industry are considering taxing themselves to pay for expanded marketing of the area's forests, lakes, wineries and resorts. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, July 2, 2012

Forest Service ecologist expects California 'super fires'
Intense and deeply destructive "super fires," like Colorado's current Waldo Canyon fire, which has claimed two lives and burned 350 homes, are almost assured in Northern California's future, according to a U.S. Forest Service scientist.—Click here for article—The Sacramento Bee, July 1, 2012

Calaveras grand jury calls for term limits
The grand jury reported that its investigation into the supervisors was prompted by a resident's complaint alleging "conflict of interest, appearance of impropriety and breach of ethics." –Click here for article—Stockton Record, June 29, 2012

Grand Jury: Supervisors behaving badly
[Calaveras County Civil Grand Jury report] It's a document scathingly critical of county supervisors, complimentary toward many line workers, and eye-popping when it comes to management misfires. —Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 28, 2012

Calaveras County approves tenuous budget
After four straight years of cuts, county departments are for the most part a shadow of what they once were. Sheriff deputies no longer have time to respond to burglary reports. Health workers can't keep up with sexually transmitted disease outbreaks. Roadside weeds go unsprayed. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, June 27, 2012

Public mood is tense, fearful
STOCKTON - A Valley Springs vintner who bills himself as an "international political and business consultant" floated his own idea to help the city avoid insolvency: a huge cost-free loan. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, June 27, 2012

West Coast sea levels rising
The West Coast will see an ocean several inches higher in coming decades, with most of California expected to get sea levels a half-foot higher by 2030, according to a report released Friday. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, June 23, 2012

Late fall completion for work on Highway 26
The $15.8 million project calls for widening, realigning and repaving a 3.1-mile stretch of the highway... Of particular importance to Calaveras County officials is work to improve safety at the intersection of State Route 26 and Burson Road.–Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, June 22, 2012

Bear Valley layoffs send chill across Mother Lode
Struggling resort pivotal to tourism, nearby businesses .After a wretched winter with little snow and too-few customers, Bear Valley Mountain ski resort this week laid off almost all of its year round employees. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, June 22, 2012

Housing draws county's attention
According to Sheila Shanahan...the demand for affordable rental units is solid. It goes beyond the very-low income residents who rely on social services...According to a 2012 study, housing wage for Tuolumne County is about $17.87 per hour per two-bedroom household at fair-market rent. At the same time, the mean renter earns an hourly wage of $10.85.—Click here for article—The Union Democrat, June 21, 2012

Vacant commercial properties abound
Many area realtors say the economic crisis of the past few years has dealt a blow to commercial real estate in the Mother Lode as fewer people have the capital to open new businesses and loans are increasingly more difficult to obtain.—Click here for article—The Union Democrat, June 20, 2012

Unemployment down in Lode
Most of the job gains in Calaveras County were in state and local governments, the service sector and in industries related to mining, logging and construction.—Click here for article—The Union Democrat, June 20, 2012

Judge tosses out agritourism case
United States District Court Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill dismissed an appeal filed by the former owners of Trinitas Golf Course Friday on the grounds they no longer own the property and the appeal is no longer a "live controversy."—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 26, 2012

Judge says Nemees' claims moot
A federal district court has dismissed the legal appeal of former Trinitas golf course owners Mike and Michelle Nemee, who were hoping to overturn a U.S. Bankruptcy Court decision that Calaveras County was within its rights to ban golf on land zoned for agriculture. "–Click here for article—Stockton Record, June 26, 2012

Festival riles neighbors, Lode officials
Calaveras County officials say they denied the festival's request for a permit but organizers held it anyway, prompting thousands of dollars in costs to taxpayers as sheriff's deputies and other staff were called to the scene over the weekend of June 8-10.–Click here for article—Stockton Record, June 24, 2012

Don Pedro zoning change wins
"The number of services out there are paltry, if any," said Steven McCann, a nearby property owner. "We don't believe this proposal is consistent with the general plan of the county."..."If the board approves this, it's basically rewarding bad behavior," Thomason said. "We've all complied with the (zoning)."—Click here for article—The Union Democrat, June 21, 2012

Safety takes center stage at budget talks
"Am I a little upset? Yes I am," Calaveras County Sheriff Gary Kuntz told the board. "(The Sheriff's) don't have any money and I'm sick of it. The people on the street are sick of and tired of it, sick of being victimized."—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 19, 2012

Social services stagger under budget blows
"We've gone from a budget held together by baling wire to one held together with twine," Boyce said. "It's sobering. I wish I could tell you we have lots of money to divvy-up and to meet unmet needs but we certainly do not."—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 19, 2012

The hills are alive
"It used to be farmers and ranchers didn't want endangered species on their land... But over the last 50 years, land management has changed. It's becoming more sustainable... The elk are compatible with all these other uses."..."We have a list of 80 people who want to shoot a bull, and most of them aren't local..."–Click here for article—Stockton Record, June 18, 2012

Calaveras budget is bare-bones
Calaveras County government will be just one large wildland fire away from going broke under a preliminary budget that won the informal blessing Friday of the county's Board of Supervisors...preliminary budget would already be unbalanced if officials had included money they plan to spend starting in December to hire staff for a new jail due to be completed in October 2013. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, June 16, 2012

Garbage and roads face cuts
On solid waste, the county faces a $5.3 million shortfall toward the p
lanned opening of a new cell at its Rock Creek landfill due to shifting funds to balance annual budgets. Without sufficient funding, the county may have to close landfill and truck waste out of the area as soon as 2018...—Click here for article—The Union Democrat, June 15, 2012

Sheriff slams Lode leaders over budget
After four years of cuts, staff in almost all county departments report being cut to the bone. Facing flat revenues from local taxes and declines in state and federal grants, virtually all departments are facing further cuts. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, June 14, 2012

Sheriff home burgled
Kuntz tied the rising burglary rate to methamphetamine use, the poor economy and understaffing at the Sheriff's Office. —Click here for article—The Union Democrat, June 13, 2012

Calif. biologist improves ranch habitats for hunting
The purpose is to provide guided hunting trips, which give ranchers another income stream, Long said. Some landowners have also hired the company to enhance habitat for wildlife preserves or for their own private hunts, he said.—Click here for article—Capital Press, June 5, 2012

Golf course sold by bank
"We plan on using it basically for farming," Dami said. "We may look toward vineyards — we already have the equipment — and possibly cattle grazing."—Click here for article—The Union Democrat, June 7, 2012

Trinitas parcel sold to Fresno couple
On the eve of what may well have been the final day of golf at Trinitas golf course near Wallace, the Community Bank of San Joaquin...sold the course's 160-acre parcel for $1.175 million to Fresno couple Lance and Renee Dami.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 5, 2012

Bank sells part of Trinitas to Fresno family with Linden ties
"We're not in the business to run the golf course," Butterfield said. "Banks, as you know, need to get rid of their problem assets sooner rather than later. It is a relief. We can all move on, hopefully." –Click here for article—Stockton Record, June 5, 2012

Access to river water denied—SJ district landowners will use more groundwater this summer
On a map, the North San Joaquin Water Conservation District appears torn in two by the meandering Mokelumne River. This year, however, the district won't get a drop from the river that runs through it. The East Bay Municipal Utility District, which exports Mokelumne River water to 1.3 million people, says there's not enough to satisfy everyone–Click here for article—Stockton Record, June 5, 2012

Copper critters to cramp growth?
A host of protected species could stand in the way of the major growth planned for Copperopolis. The town has been projected to expand to as many as 40,000 residents...—Click here for article—The Union Democrat, June 5, 2012

Lode officials hang out shingle
County looks to bolster stagnant economy

One of the most ambitious projects is a combined industrial center, trade school and college campus proposed by businessman Tom Coe on land he owns just north of Valley Springs."–Click here for article—Stockton Record, June 3, 2012

Record year for California wetland restoration
"The win for ranching and agriculture, with the development potential removed, the ranch will always remain in ranching and ag... And the win for people is by creating wetlands upstream that hold water that would otherwise flood residents downstream..."—Click here for article—Capitol Public Radio, June 4, 2012

Murphys housing blocked?
The Murphys Sanitary District, having surpassed its sewage-system capacity, is considering instituting a building moratorium.—Click here for article—The Union Democrat, June 1, 2012

Aerospace might test in Calaveras
Aerospace Corp. representatives are considering construction of a high-speed communications system in Calaveras County that could help during emergencies and boost economic development."–Click here for article—Stockton Record, May 28, 2012

Regional economic development district IDs projects
A five-year comprehensive economic development strategy has been developed by a board representing economic development in the central Sierra region. "It's hard to develop economically without roads, water, sewer, power and technology," Hartline said.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, May 25, 2012

Water official leaving Calaveras
Joone Lopez is leaving her position as general manager of Calaveras County Water District to accept the same job at a much larger water district in Southern California.--Click here for article--Stockton Record, May 22, 2012

Nefarious one-world plot afoot in lode?
The Taxpayers Association last month issued a booklet explaining its viewpoint. "Agenda 21* in Calaveras County"... "Frankly, I don't buy it. For me, sustainable means, and always has meant, capable of being supported over time..."–Click here for article—Stockton Record, May 20, 2012

*for more thoughts on Agenda 21, go to Point of View

Trinitas' former owner to work for the bank
"There's been an agreement to hire Mr. Nemee to maintain it (Trinitas) for a period of time so it doesn't just become pasture land," Malcolm Gross... California Bankruptcy Court ..., told the court.—Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, May 11, 2012

Trintas owners now bank employees
The Trinitas golf course will cease operation by June 1, according to documents filed in federal court, and it appears the man who once owned and operated it will instead be caring for its lawns.–Click here for article—Stockton Record, May 10, 2012

Solar is school's bright idea
This spring, solar panels have become a primary learning tool at New Energy Academy, after the San Joaquin County Office of Education installed carport panels across a 2-acre parking lot at the south Stockton complex.–Click here for article—Stockton Record, May 11, 2012

Rural counties bristle at septic regs
The state of California could move forward next month on new regulations for septic sewage systems, but not without some pushback from area agencies.—Click here for article—The Union Democrat, May 9, 2012

Fire administrations combine coverage
"It's a more efficient way to deliver service. It's a more efficient way to back each other up," said Kim Olson, who, effective Tuesday, began serving as chief of both the Jenny Lind and Foothill fire protection districts.–Click here for article—Stockton Record, April 2, 2012

Tulloch noise debate flares
Copper Cove at Lake Tulloch homeowners appeared at a Calaveras County Board of Supervisors study session last week to argue both sides of whether there should be stricter regulation on ... short-term rental properties.—Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, May 1, 2012

Fire fee foes work legislative angles
As the state works to finish new fire regulations that will include an annual fee for property owners in rural areas, opponents are still working on overturning the fee ... the state Board of Equalization will likely start sending out bills for the new fire fee in August.—Click here for article—The Union Democrat, May 1, 2012

Rental noise to continue at Lake Tulloch
The beat-thumping, paddle-boating good times will roar full throttle for at least another summer... For years, neighbors have complained of continuous, window-rattling noise... For the third time in four years, the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors has studied the issue and vowed to do something about it. It's already too late for new regulations this year, supervisors admitted. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, April 28, 2012

Design review board for Moke Hill
In a hotly contested issue among board members and public, Calaveras County's Board of Supervisors voted 3 to 2 Tuesday to form a Mokelumne Hill Design Review Committee. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 27, 2012

Report: Calaveras has bad air
The American Lung Association released its State of the Air 2012 report this week, giving Calaveras County a failing Ozone grade and a "B" grade in particle pollution. The report states that people most at risk for the harmful effects of unhealthy air quality overall include infants, children and teens, seniors age 65 and older... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 27, 2012

EBMUD proposal to raise Pardee Dam drowns in vote
The proposal to raise Pardee Dam and drown a popular whitewater run where the Mokelumne River crosses Highway 49 is officially dead... "EBMUD has taken a stand to protect Delta inflow and water quality. West-of-Delta storage is a forward-thinking approach that should be front and center for the entire Bay Area" –Click here for article—Stockton Record, April 30, 2012

EBMUD officially drops Pardee Reservoir expansion
The proposed Pardee expansion would have flooded the Mokelumne River's Middle Bar reach below Highway 49 and part of the Electra Run upstream. –Click here for news release—FC/CSPA/FOR, April 25, 2012

Suit seeks to protect imperiled amphibian
A prominent environmental group is suing the federal government to gain better protection of the threatened California tiger salamander. The salamander, known to exist in areas of western Calaveras County, has been at the center of numerous debates in the past decade on development in the fastest-growing end of the county. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, April 24, 2012

Lode complex to be renovated for mentally ill, working poor
A dilapidated apartment complex in San Andreas appears to be headed for reconstruction and management by Visionary Home Builders, the Stockton based nonprofit organization that builds homes and manages apartment complexes... –Click here for article—Stockton Record, April 22, 2012

MyValleySprings makes government your business
Long before the Tea Party appeared on the national scene, small groups of Calaveras citizens were actively working to preserve and enhance our beautiful county... One of the groups I've watched is My Valley Springs, an organization that grew out of a town hall meeting several years ago... –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, April 20, 2012

Calaveras home sales heating up
Home sales are increasing in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties, but the housing market is still not what it used to be. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, April 20, 2012

Chiefs discuss new era for local fire protection
The transition coming to west Calaveras fire protection service was explained Wednesday... Retiring Foothill Fire District Chief Mike Siligo and Jenny Lind Chief Kim Olson outlined the changes taking place within their fire protection districts beginning May 1. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, April 20, 2012

Bank reaps Trinitas property
After going once, then going twice, the 280-acre Trinitas golf course property is now gone to a new owner: Community Bank of San Joaquin. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, April 18, 2012

Bank takes possession of Trinitas
A Stockton bank will take possession of the Trinitas golf course property near Wallace for $1.38 million after no bids were placed Tuesday in a public auction... A last-minute hearing in federal court Monday found against the couple's attempt to prevent the sale. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, April 18, 2012

Preserving our California landscapes
Boots and Birkenstocks tread common ground when it comes to certain conservation issues, so it's not surprising that ranchers and major environmental organizations have joined forces to promote a vision of the West... –Click here for article—San Francisco Chronicle, April 16, 2012

Federal agency sued over salamander
The Center for Biological Diversity this week filed a lawsuit to force the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to come up with a plan for the recovery of the California tiger salamander. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, April 14, 2012

Supervisors push 12/26 intersection proposal forward
A proposal to improve traffic flow at the downtown Valley Springs intersection of State Route 12/26 passed a major milestone Tuesday when the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved... –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, April 13, 2012

Public auction for Trinitas scheduled for April 17
Although a bank has already seized ownership of more than half of the Trinitas golf course near Wallace, the entire property is scheduled to go to a foreclosure auction again on April 17 on the plaza in front of the Calaveras County Courthouse in San Andreas. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, April 7, 2012

Group merges recreation, land use
More than a half-century ago, Wayne Long started the free-market environmentalism business, helping landowners to improve their management practices to benefit wildlife.... "Hunter fees pay the costs of a five-year management plan..." –Click here for article—Stockton Record, April 4, 2012

EBMUD likely to drop Pardee Reservoir expansion
Opponents of a controversial proposed expansion to Pardee Reservoir in northern Calaveras County expect that portion of a long-range East Bay Municipal Utility District water supply plan to be eliminated when the district directors vote on it next month. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, April 4, 2012

Affordable housing plan gaining favor
Calaveras County supervisors unanimously voiced support for a 30-unit affordable housing complex that may be making its way to San Andreas. The complex, which would provide 26 units for low-income families and four units for mental health clients... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 30, 2012

Safe route to Jenny Lind Elementary gets key vote
The board unanimously approved a $65,000 contribution from the County Service Area No. 1, Rancho Calaveras fund as a local match for the sidewalk. The CSA-1 advisory road committee earlier this month voted in favor of the action. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, March 28, 2012

County OKs low-income apartments
What is proposed for Hilltop, currently facing foreclosure and repeatedly described as "dilapidated" during the workshop, is a major remodel. "It's in a sad condition," said Carol Ornelas, CEO of Visionary Home Builders... –Click here for article—Union Democrat, March 28, 2012

Report: Rent is too high for many
The California Coalition for Rural Housing found that 55 percent of county renters are unable to reasonably afford a typical two-bedroom apartment. The findings were based on a nationwide comparison of housing costs and employee wages compiled this month by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, March 22, 2012

Stockton: The town the housing boom broke
With or without bankruptcy, the fiscal crisis has destroyed Stockton's dreams of glory and left it with a grim litany of urban woes... It's hard to overstate the depth of the housing crisis in Stockton. According to online foreclosure marketplace RealtyTrac Inc, Stockton last year had the second-highest foreclosure rate of all large U.S. metro areas... –Click here for article— Reuters, March 19, 2012

Trinitas sale unlikely until April
A foreclosure auction of the 120-acre property that contains most holes on the Trinitas golf course near Wallace has again been delayed and is unlikely to take place before mid-April. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, March 19, 2012

Trinitas civil rights decision put off
A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge who had threatened to dismiss a $12 million civil rights lawsuit filed against Calaveras County by the owners of the Trinitas golf course decided Wednesday to give Trinitas owners Mike and Michelle Nemee more time to make their case. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, March 15, 2012

County will seek $250K for land plans [Copperopolis]
Willis said tying traffic and land use planning together is not only wise but necessary. "Is the board committed to coordinating land use and circulation this time? I certainly hope so because that's the lawsuit we lost last time, about 20 years ago," she said. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, March 14, 2012

No rush for second access road
When the next big fire sweeps across the Forest Meadows subdivision, residents may not have an escape route if the road entrance is blocked. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, March 13, 2012

FEMA offers few solutions on flood maps
"It was assumed that everything would be based on good solid science," Willis said. "What we have found out since is that that's not the case. The FEMA maps are based on science. The DWR awareness zones are exactly that – awareness zones." –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 13, 2012

County puts a spur under development applications
Under the new sunset clause, county staff members can eliminate applications if developers fail to respond to Planning Department inquiries within three to six months. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 13, 2012

Rural homeowners irate over California's new $150 annual fire protection fee
An emergency state mandate to charge 800,000 rural homeowners up to $150 a year for Cal Fire's wildlands fire prevention services is drawing opposition in rural counties. –Click here for article—Sacramento Bee, March 11, 2012

Forest Service Ecological Restoration Video Podcast Series
Calaveras County, CA Supervisor Steve Wilensky discusses the connection between ecosystem restoration, sustainable economies and healthy communities. Episode 4: Restoring Economy, Community and Environment

Trinitas remains in limbo
The fate of the bankrupt and foreclosed Trinitas golf course near Wallace remained in limbo Friday after a bank delayed a foreclosure auction for the remaining 120-acre portion of the course. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, March 10, 2012

County restrictions on so-called mother-in-law quarters
Calaveras County officials are considering code changes that would make it easier to build a cozy cottage for grandma behind the main house. Right now, county rules in some cases ban construction of additions or accessory dwellings... –Click here for article—Stockton Record, March 8, 2012

Bank claims Trinitas, but golfing continues
A foreclosure auction on the Trinitas golf course near Wallace took place Friday with no parties on hand to bid.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 6, 2012

Bank owns part of Trinitas after zero bid auction
Part of the Trinitas golf course property went up for sale at a foreclosure auction Friday on the Calaveras County Superior Court plaza in San Andreas. There were no bidders, which means that Community Bank of San Joaquin now owns a 160-acre chunk of the golf course.—Click here for article—Stockton Record, March 3, 2012

Calaveras adds clause in code
Real estate development applications will no longer live forever in Calaveras County... Supervisors last week voted unanimously to put a sunset clause into county code so that projects that are inactive will eventually be taken off the books.—Click here for article—Stockton Record, March 5, 2012

CCWD lays off long-time employee
"The hardest job of any general manager is to make tough decisions during difficult times," ...The district is currently facing an existing deficit of $935,000 on an operating budget of more than $16 million.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 5, 2012

Flood map foul up?
Calaveras County Planning Director Rebecca Willis said that many people in the county are now being told that they are in a flood zone. "When you look deeper into their properties, maybe a corner of their property is in one, but not their house...Or FEMA mapping didn't take into consideration the vertical terrain."—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 28, 2012

Trinitas: The game goes on
The Bankruptcy Court injunction prohibiting golf operations at Trinitas golf course near Wallace has been suspended by a U.S. District Court judge until an appeal filed by course owners Michael and Michelle Nemee can be heard.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 24, 2012

Lungren damns Hetch Hetchy
The decision to dam the Tuolumne River and flood the Hetch Hetchy Valley is nearly a century old, and a foothill congressman thinks it's time to reassess.—Click here for article—Union Democrat, February 24, 2012

Has Lode real estate market reached the bottom?
Foreclosures statewide were at their lowest level in four years by the end of 2011, according to the foreclosure tracking firm RealtyTrac.—Click here for article—Union Democrat, February 22, 2012

New GP map draws divisions over lot size minimums
Calaveras County's long overdue General Plan update took a step forward Tuesday as the first draft of a new land use map came under public and Board of Supervisor scrutiny.—Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, February 17, 2012

Wagon Trail: 'a very public process'
I was instrumental in having the Board of Supervisors give a high priority to the project when the board retained a firm to lobby Congress for projects in our county... At the conclusion of the public process, the county and the COG board will select a locally preferred route.—Click here for Opinion—Calaveras Enterprise, February 17, 2012

Ranchers stand off against road builders
According to Valente, firing McSorley annihilated all trust the county had previously built with ranchers. Valente, Spence, Tiscornia and others vowed to band together and refuse to allow Caltrans or any public agency on their land.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 17, 2012

Cash-poor agency gets $50K grant
Tuolumne, Calaveras, Mariposa, Alpine and Amador counties as well as Sonora, Angels Camp and five Amador cities will be eligible for infrastructure funding through the grant.—Click here for article—Union Democrat, February 17, 2012

Board divided over corraling ranchettes
"Are you saying that because the horse is out of the barn, we should let it gallop all over the place?" Callaway said.—Click here for article—Stockton Record, February 16, 2012

County plugs away at land use planning
...the current General Plan would allow for growth to 200,000 to 400,000 people, with woefully inadequate infrastructure to serve the population.—Click here for article—Union Democrat, February 16, 2012

Ranchers vow showdown on Wagon Trail
The environmental process will examine a northern and southern alignment to determine which road can be completed at a lower cost...However, the documentation process does not analyze the affects the road would have on grazing land, in some cases splitting valuable flat lands in half.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 14, 2012

Offspring of Calaveras River salmon may be left high and dry
"The tragedy of this is that everybody's celebrating the fact that there's fish on the river, but we don't have things set up properly to steer them up where they can spawn," said Jeremy Terhune, head of the environmental group Friends of the Calaveras River.—Click here for article—Stockton Record, February 13, 2012

Federal judge says Trinitas foreclosure sale can proceed
"At the end of the day there is no effective reorganization in this case. There is only the Nemees litigating with Calaveras County..."--Click here for article--Union Democrat, February 10, 2012

Judge rules against Trinitas
Sargis' ruling gives the Nemees a 14-day window to either file an appeal with the U.S. District Court in Fresno, or negotiate an agreement with the bank.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 10, 2012

Judge rules bank can try to unload Trinitas property at March sale
It is still possible that a higher court could halt the auction pending appeal of the agritourism case.—Click here for article—Stockton Record, February 10, 2012

Board to look at planning map
Calaveras County supervisors will review the first draft of the General Plan Land Use map at their Feb. 14 meeting. "We called a spade a spade," Willis said, referring to the subdivisions that fall under the residential category.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 9, 2012

As 'Yuck Factor' Subsides, Treated Wastewater Flows From Taps
"Ten million dogs can't be wrong." With climate change threatening to diminish water supplies in the fast-growing Southwest, more cities are considering the potential of reclaimed water.—Click here for article—The New York Times, February 9, 2012

Rules, money blocking dam projects, officials say
Michael Gabaldon...Bureau of Reclamation, offered similar observations on why few new dams are built now. "Most of the easy projects were built a long time ago..."—Click here for article—Stockton Record, February 9, 2012

Court overturns forest plan
The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has overturned a Bush-era forest management plan that increased the amount of logging allowed in national forests in the Sierra Nevada.—Click here for article—Stockton Record, February 9, 2012

Collaborative forest project grant seen as boon for economy
Over the next ten years, the Cornerstone Project is anticipated to bring in more than $43 million in federal and partner funds. Among other benefits, the project will generate 204 jobs, harvest 1.7 million board feet of timber...—Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, February 8, 2012

Solving the Delta's identity crisis
Normally, voters might measure the benefits of "reliable" water against the costs, including environmental damage. But they can't assess damage to a place they think doesn't exist.—Click here for article—Stockton Record, February 5, 2012

Nostalgic trip down Delta drifts too far from facts--Op/Ed
If we truly want to revitalize the Delta we need to address all of the sources of the Delta's decline, rather than simply point fingers or assert that the only actions needed are adjustments in someone else's behavior.—Click here for Opinion—Stockton Record, February 5, 2012

'Planet' discovers the Gold Country
The Gold Country recently got a tip of the hat from Lonely Planet, a worldwide travel publisher that included the region in a list of Top 10 U.S. Travel Destinations in 2012.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 3, 2012

Central Sierra water content 20 percent of normal
Though it may not surprise many Mother Lode residents, a new state survey has found that the Sierra Nevada snowpack is well below normal for this time of year.—Click here for article—Union Democrat, February 3, 2012

Forest Industries of Amador, Calaveras getting $16 million boost
Economically depressed Amador and Calaveras counties are about to receive millions of dollars in forest-restoration funding from the federal government.—Click here for article—Stockton Record, February 3, 2012

Forest grant to pour millions into region
A coalition of 42 agencies in Amador and Calaveras counties has been chosen to receive a $1.4 million grant annually for 10 years to work on forest restoration.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 2, 2012

Property tax dive hurts CCWD
"The budget did not include any spending on capital improvement projects, which "for an agency of our size (is) almost unheard of today," Lopez said.—Click here for article—Union Democrat, February 1, 2012

Bus funding could evaporate
School districts in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties are facing the grim prospect of shouldering the entire cost of busing students if a provision in Gov. Jerry Brown's next state budget passes without revision.—Click here for article—Union Democrat, February 1, 2012

Judge Oks Trinitas use until Feb. 21
Had Sargis not granted the temporary stay Wednesday, it is unclear whether the county would have enforced the halt of golf at Trinitas.—Click here for article—Union Democrat, January 26, 2012

Fuels treatment reduces fire danger, helps local economy
A fire fuels treatment demonstration project in Calaveras County by the Bureau of Land Management's Mother Lode Field Office has helped reduce fire danger while supporting the local economy. –Click here for article—BLM News.bytes Extra, January 23, 2012

Where's the beef? How an old business can create new jobs
"The whole issue is essentially we can't eat meat we see grazing on the side of the road," Sean said. "There is a dearth of local livestock, slaughter and processing facilities."—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 24, 2012

Eagles wow boating birders at Pardee Reservoir
Suddenly shouts of excitement erupted from the several eagle-eyed spotters sitting in the bow. The majestic silhouette of a sub-adult bald eagle sitting atop a blue oak soon came into view.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 20, 2012

Trinitas decisions lie ahead
After nearly three years of motions, appeals, and proceedings, the Trinitas saga appears to be coming to a head... The next six weeks promise to be lively ones for everyone involved. Below is a list of upcoming dates to keep an eye on.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 17, 2012

Supervisor believes intersection proposal OK despite criticism
Nearly five dozen area residents took the opportunity Wednesday night to get a glimpse of proposed improvements to alleviate morning and afternoon traffic jams at the downtown Valley Springs intersection of State Route 12/26.—Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, January 13, 2012

Salmon numbers booming
A record number of fall-run Chinook salmon returned to the Mokelumne River to spawn in 2011, just three years after salmon populations plummeted across the Central Valley.—Click here for article—Stockton Record, January 6, 2012

Nemees appeal federal judge's Trinitas decision
The judge agreed with the county in saying golf doesn't qualify as "agritourism."—Click here for article—Union Democrat, January 3, 2012

Future of neglected golf course uncertain
It should be almost time to celebrate at Meadowmont Golf Course in Arnold. The cozy 9-hole course would have turned 50 in 2012... However, it has remained closed for more than a year...Click here for article—Union Democrat, January 2, 2012

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