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2013 Archive

Driest year on record—drought fears intensify with little prospect of relief ahead
The lack of rain is also hitting cattlemen hard. The foothills east of Stockton are still largely dried out, forcing many to buy expensive hay and other food for livestock that normally would feed on grass. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, December 31, 2013

Denial likely for proposed storage facility
A commercial project being proposed along Highway 4 near Forest Meadows came to a screeching halt in December when the Calaveras County Planning Commission made it clear that the development would be denied. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, December 31, 2013

Property values to see minimal gains
County coffers unlikely to see boost

The county's tax assessor made a quick announcement at the end of the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors meeting, Dec. 10, and it was more bad news for the county's financial outlook. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, December 24, 2013

Fiber to give county Internet major boost
Most in rural areas have few options beyond slow connections and limited uses, but supersonic speeds are just around the corner, which is good news for many. "Technology is taking a big jump in Calaveras," said Merita Callaway, county supervisor for District 3... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, November 8, 2013

County population declines as state numbers are on the rise
"It's likely that jobs have a lot to do with the declining population," Malson said. "In California, job growth is happening in urban areas, and as a result, younger people are moving to other counties." –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, December 20, 2013

Shift in growth policy signaled
One of Stockton's new leaders stood up at last week's meeting of the Planning Commission and announced that in Stockton, the era of sprawl must end. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, December 18, 2013

Growth needs to be best for city
"If anything, I still think we're too big for our britches and some belt-tightening is needed. If we're talking about adding lots, we better be talking about subtracting lots somewhere else." –Click here for Editorial—The Stockton Record, December 18, 2013

Planners vote against more homes
A citizens commission has said no for now to building more homes on the edge of Stockton, a bankrupt city with hundreds of boarded-up foreclosures left over from the economic recession. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, December 14, 2013

Supervisors reject added revenue
The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors convened Tuesday, Dec. 10, for a quick meeting in which supervisors decided to turn down yet another revenue option being proposed by a county department. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, December 13, 2013

The importance of controlling water
...No matter what any reader believes about the reasons for the recent trends toward hotter weather and less of a snowpack, a warming climate is a significant threat when it comes to California's snowpack-based water supply. –Click here for Op-Ed—Calaveras Enterprise, December 17, 2013

Water agencies leery of possible drought year
Mother Lode representatives in the state legislature have joined dozens of other lawmakers calling on Gov. Jerry Brown and President Barack Obama to declare a drought emergency in California. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, December 12, 2013

CCWD to host water summit in January
The Calaveras County Water District announced Wednesday it will host a Federal Water Summit next month in San Andreas. The summit, sponsored by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-San Francisco, will focus on "water-centric forest management policies"...– Click here for article—Union Democrat, December 12, 2013

Faster Internet online in foothills
Calaveras and Tuolumne counties rank among the lowest of all California counties in regard to having access to high-speed broadband Internet. However, progress is being made to bring the technology to the Central Sierra. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, December 11, 2013

Supervisors talk budget, goals at roundtable
"I'm looking forward, and I'm seeing we're going to be going into very contentious budget discussions and General Plan discussions," said Lori Norton, county administrative officer. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, December 6, 2013

Parrotts Ferry apartments dropped
The developers abandoned the project as the result of a lawsuit filed in June by Tuolumne County Citizens for Responsible Growth, a group claiming that the county skirted state environmental laws when it allowed the complex to move forward without more thorough studies of potential traffic, wildlife and groundwater impacts. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, December 4, 2013

Sinking Valley land complicates water issues
The reason for the sinking is groundwater overdrafting... Think a stack of giant clay pancakes with water in between. As the water is removed, the pancakes collapse onto each other. Permanently. –Click here for column—The Stockton Record, November 24, 2013

Sinking even in drought
The earth sank at a rate of nearly 1 foot per year in a portion of the San Joaquin Valley during the state's most recent drought, scientists announced Thursday, adding that the problem is likely to persist and could threaten large aqueducts... –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, November 22, 2013

Cities may get just 5 percent of Delta water requests next year
...state water officials announced Wednesday that some cities from the Bay Area to San Diego may receive just 5 percent of the water they have requested next year. The conservative estimate is likely to improve if winter storms drop sufficient snow in the Sierra Nevada. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, November 21, 2013

Some BOS documents can be destroyed sooner
"One of the things it will do is allow us to destroy documents that are no longer required by government code to keep in a hard copy form or to keep at all," said Diane Severud, clerk of the board. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, November 15, 2013

Supervisors turn down fee increase
Two weeks after hearing a presentation from government officials that the county's finances are in need of increased revenue, the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors opted not to increase [RIM] fees at its Nov. 12 meeting. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, November 15, 2013

Students participate in county government
High school students have a lot to worry about these days. And they have a lot of dreams too. Five student groups from Calaveras High School approached the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors during its meeting Tuesday night, and they shared some of their dreams as well as the concerns they have for the community. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, November 1, 2013

Calaveras agendas to be posted later
Colleen Platt, the secretary of the land-use watchdog group MyValleySprings.com... said that delaying the [Board of Supervisor] agendas to Friday afternoons will harm transparency...making it impossible to get meeting information into newspapers during the work week before the meeting. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, October 31, 2013

Work removes another barrier for migrating Calaveras River fish
There is much work still to be done on the often forgotten Calaveras, and at the moment, no more money to do it. Officials have identified two more barriers that are considered a high priority for removal, but there are close to two dozen others as well. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, October 30, 2013

Calaveras kids share thoughts on future
The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors discussed a variety of topics Tuesday during a special three-hour night meeting... Many Calaveras High School students in attendance spoke...on topics ranging from wanting to protect the Mokelumne River for future generations to their desire to build a skate park in Valley Springs. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, October 30, 2013

Calaveras officials send out revenue SOS
Calaveras County supervisors had glum expressions Tuesday night as they studied county finances. The math is simple: County leaders are spending about $7 million more than they are taking in in revenue during the 2013-14 fiscal year. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, October 30, 2013

CCWD officials wary of state plan
The Association of California Water Agencies published its opinions on statewide water issues earlier this month, and not everyone in Calaveras County is enthusiastic about the conclusions. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 29, 2013

Water School brings vocational training to county
"A lot of young people get prestigious degrees and accumulate tons of debt and the jobs aren't available to them," Coe said. "There is a tremendous vacuum and need for craftsmen... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 29, 2013

Born to run: California valley quail
California quail, common year-round residents in Calaveras County, live near open woodlands and brushy areas along permanent water sources. Although this bird coexists well at the edges of urban areas, its population is declining in some areas as human populations increase. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 25, 2013

Destruction signals renewal
The wrecking ball has been swinging for nearly two weeks at the old Calaveras Cement plant outside San Andreas... For many county residents, the destruction of the silos is a step in the right direction and an opportunity for renewal after the decline. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 25, 2013

Boom goes bust in Calaveras
Crews this week are demolishing and hauling away one of the last visible reminders of the Calaveras Cement plant that provided material for construction of such major landmarks as the California Aqueduct, the Bay Bridge and Pardee Dam. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, October 23, 2013

Costly lesson of Rim Fire: forests need to be thinned
But politics, funding often get in way of preventative measures, experts say
If you burn it, they will come. That movie-based logic is how federal dollars get allocated for forests, say foresters, scientists, environmentalists and others familiar with how fire risk gets handled in the Sierra. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, October 16, 2013

Harrington brought back to familiar role
"I know from experience from the last two times...– I learned you can't do everything," Harrington said. "You have to pick a few things to get resolved." Beyond the general plan, another issue he'd like to help resolve is the perception from some that the department is at a standstill with project applications. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 15, 2013

Water school just the start of vocational training vision
A key piece of Coe's vision - a school to train water utility plant operators - began holding classes on an elementary school campus in town over summer and is expected to move in a few months to the 640 acres of industrial-zoned land Coe owns just north of Valley Springs. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, October 14, 2013

Changing course
San Joaquin County officials this week proposed abandoning a plan to build a reservoir in the rolling hills east of Stockton, a project that was touted for years as being critical to the region's future water supply... Besides the emergence of water from other sources, Wagner said there were practical hurdles to building the Duck Creek reservoir. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, October 11, 2013

Intersection work delayed
Construction on a long-awaited improvement to the intersection of Highways 12 and 26 in Valley Springs is now expected to begin in 2015 after new California Department of Transportation rules forced additional work on the right-of-way acquisition stage of the project. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, October 11, 2013

Mom-and-Pop hardware store thriving
In an age when many mom-and-pop hardware stores have been crushed by competition from big boxes, the Sender family of Mountain Ranch is not just surviving, but thriving... Doors opened Tuesday at the new location on Highway 26 at the site of the former Valley Springs Home Center. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, October 9, 2013

CCWD to revisit sprinkler policy
The Calaveras County Water District Board met Wednesday morning and discussed the role fire-suppression systems now play in home construction. "This is about cost," said Director Jeff Davidson. "It's an issue before us because it's too expensive." –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 11, 2013

Sprinkler law dampens area construction
Home building is often cited as a primary indicator for the condition of the economy, but California's sprinkler law has added an additional hurdle to an already crowded construction track... It's kind of hard to get people to build a home, and then they're tacking another $4,000, $5,000, $6,000 on top of that just for sprinklers." –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 8, 2013

Economy stops Red Apple Ranch development
For decades, owners of orchards, pastures and forests in Calaveras County subdivided their land to create house lots..."I don't know when the value of the land is going to justify building a house on it," said Red Apple Ranch developer John Schrader. "I don't see it happening in the next year or two at least." –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, October 5, 2013

Coe Center starts water technology training
The Coe Trade & Technology Center in Valley Springs, in cooperation with Calaveras Unified School District of Madera County has started a "water school" with online, video conferencing, hands-on and classroom instruction at Jenny Lind Elementary School. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, September 27, 2013

Rancho Calaveras expands its borders
Rancho Calaveras increased in size Sept. 17 after the Calaveras County Local Agency Formation Commission voted to add more than 500 acres to the subdivision's boundary. The commission... approved a request from Michael Gurev, who represents Calaveras River Estates...–Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, September 24, 2013

Harrington back as interim Calaveras planning chief
But whether he can help usher in a new era of stability on the county's Planning Department is another question. "I hope he has evolved," said Joyce Techel, a long-time activist on land use issues and the chairwoman of MyValleySprings.com.–Click here for article—The Stockton Record, September 26, 2013

Interim planning director picked
Calaveras County is looking for a new face to fill the director's chair at the Planning Department on a permanent basis but an old face will do for now.–Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, September 20, 2013

Crazy Horse stalled at the starting gate
Crazy Horse Estates, a proposed subdivision on Pool Station Road, has been in the works since 2008, but Thursday, the development was stopped in its tracks by a unanimous decision by the Board of Supervisors to deny the applicants' appeal. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, September 17, 2013

Rim Fire will have long-term impacts
The devastation of the Rim Fire cannot be measured only in dollars from expenditures – now almost $100 million – to fight it. The fire also destroyed private and commercial structures, devalued real estate and created large-scale revenue losses for many businesses inside of Yosemite and its gateway communities. This natural disaster's most extreme impact was on the forest itself, including the area's wildlife as animals suffered severe stress, destruction of habitat and loss of life. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, September 10, 2013

A different view on the Rim Fire: Congress partly to blame
Whenever there are major tragic events, such as the huge Rim Fire, they grab the public's attention and provide an opportunity for some people to get on a soapbox to promote their interest. –Click here for Guest Opinion—Calaveras Enterprise, September 10, 2013

Record burn has wildlife on the run
The Rim Fire in Tuolumne County has consumed more than 240,000 acres and is 80 percent contained...While the economic devastation is undeniable, the long-range impact on wildlife is of even greater concern. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, September 6, 2013

Toxic mine containment needs upgrade
Mining brought the masses to the Mother Lode, but it was often an environmentally unfriendly process and water quality paid the price in the 1930s and '60s, when a dam near Campo Seco was breeched and the polluted water from the Penn Mine leaked into the Mokelumne River. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, September 6, 2013

State trashes county recycling efforts
Staffers at the Calaveras County Public Works Department were left scratching their heads after receiving a compliance letter from CalRecycle late last month informing them...the state could impose a fine of $10,000 per day...–Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, September 6, 2013

Meeting minutes to get facelift
In a 3-2 split decision, the board voted to approve a new form of official minutes for its meetings. District 2 Supervisor Chris Wright and District 5 Supervisor Darren Spellman were the dissenting votes. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, September 3, 2013

Yosemite fire shows water resources at risk
To guarantee reliability of the states water resources, Steve Frisch of the Sierra Business Council advocates for investment in the Sierra Nevada and associated watersheds, source of 60 percent of California's developed water.—Click here for Op-Ed—San Francisco Chronicle, August 27

New pot shop revives medical marijuana debate
A medical marijuana dispensary based in Stockton opened a satellite store in Valley Springs last week and caused county officials to consider taking a closer look at Calaveras County codes... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 23, 2013

Calaveras catches up with backlog of permits
Calaveras County's top planning official today will report some good news to the county's elected Board of Supervisors: a backlog of development and land use applications dating to the boom years before 2008 has been cleared and her department is now promptly processing new applications. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, August 13, 2013

Another Calaveras planner resigns
Calaveras County Planning Director Rebecca Willis will resign the position she has held for the past two years effective Sept. 13. Willis submitted a letter of resignation Thursday ... She was the sixth head of the department in seven years. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, August 20, 2013

Planning Director to resign
"There has been tremendous progress in the county," she said. "I am glad I could be part of a transformation from 'the dark years' in the department to a much brighter future." –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 20, 2013

Planning Department Projects Update
Have you heard there is a project "backlog" at the Planning Department? You may be surprised to hear the backlog is no more—all project are "current" and the backlog has been eliminated. –Click here for Planning Project Update, August 13, 2013

Respected Calaveras Planning Director resigns
Calaveras County Planning Director Rebecca Willis has announced she will resign effective Sept. 13...Willis is the sixth person to serve as the county's top planning official in the past seven years, a reflection of the bitter political struggles that erupted even before the local housing market collapsed in 2008.–Click here for article—The Stockton Record, August 17, 2013

Optimism high in Planning Department
Big backlog a thing of past

Applications to the Calaveras County Planning Department are being processed smoother, prioritized better and approved faster... "I think there's a perception out there that the Planning Department is an obstacle, and I think the reality is that that is changing." –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 16, 2013

Toxic mine site in Lode needs fix
Cottonwoods now grow in the once-barren gulch leading from the Penn Mine, and fish no longer die by the thousands when rain runoff washes from the mine into nearby Camanche Reservoir. But there's still plenty of evidence of the mine's toxic past... –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, August 15, 2013

Planning Commission rejects Pool Station subdivision
"The property owners wanted an answer one way or another," she said. "It's saving them a tremendous amount of work, when the key issue cannot be resolved." –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 13, 2013

Decision on proposed Calaveras development may shape growth
The proposed Crazy Horse Estates housing development may only be four lots but its fate could influence whether businesses and homes can grow elsewhere... "Our county is full of those (substandard) roads and we don't have the money to improve them, so we are kind of stuck," Edson said. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, August 10, 2013

The tiger salamander: leading mankind
If you are lucky enough to discover a California tiger salamander near where you live, be careful not to disturb this delicate creature for it heralds a diverse and healthy environment. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 9, 2013

Honeybees still dying throughout Calaveras County and the nation
Paloma resident Diane Kriletich of Paloma Pollinators has raised honeybees for more than 20 years. She said within the past five years or so, she has noticed a decline in her hives. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 9, 2013

Tulloch sewer leak capped by county
A sewer leak in a pipe running under Lake Tulloch was detected last month, but questions about how long the sewage seeped linger in the aftermath. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 9, 2013

Lode water district finally gets comfy
...John Gomes remembers using a Shop Vac attached to a timer to pump floodwater out of the basement that housed Calaveras County Water District's computer servers... So Gomes and many other district staffers are smiling this week as they settle into a new 14,000-square foot headquarters completed this summer.–Click here for article—The Stockton Record, August 8, 2013

Ecologists turn to planned grazing to revive soil
The Nature Conservancy and cattle ranchers are studying whether mimicking the natural patterns of grazing animals can make grasslands more productive. --Click here for article and video—NPR Morning Edition, August 5, 2013

Ag pesticides found in frogs in the Sierra
Locally, tests conducted on frogs at the Spicer Sno-Park near Highway 4 west of Bear Valley detected pyraclostrobin and tebuconazole... as well as DDE, a byproduct of the compound DDT. At Ebbetts Pass on Highway 108... the frogs had all three of those compounds as well as simazine, an herbicide. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, August 5, 2013

Recycle: Turning trash into treasure
"If people don't divert, the landfill fills up quicker," Knapp said. "I want residents to take ownership of the landfill. … As soon as we're done, we'll have to truck our trash (because construction of another landfill is prohibited), and that's not cost effective."–Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 2, 2013

Board backs 'historic' school
Action summary

The board discussed the possibility of implementing a new action summary... Members of the public voiced their opposition..."A lot of people rely on those minutes," said Valley Springs resident Colleen Platt. "This example (of the new format) we were given does not tell us what happens in the meetings." –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 2, 2013

County, 1-4-5 Club at odds over ADA compliance
Cabilo and Godfrey have a ramp leading from the parking lot to the club, but say county building officials insist a second ramp should be added to the California Street entrance...and said they were led to believe the single ramp was sufficient. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, Friday, August 2, 2013

Shift to night meetings gets a thumbs-up from public
Maybe night time is the right time for the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors... Measured by the fact that there were few empty seats in the board chambers, the experiment was a success. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, August 1, 2013

Supervisors seek to involve community with night meeting
The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors held its first evening meeting Tuesday night at the Government Center, where more than 50 residents packed into the boardroom... periodic night meetings, which will allow students and residents in the county to attend when they otherwise could not... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 31, 2013

Arnold Rim Trail gains ground
The trail is now about half complete, extending for 17 miles, from White Pines to Avery, and includes expansive views west to the Central Valley and Mount Diablo... –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, July 26, 2013

Board gets update from conservancy group
The mountains, forests and waterways of Calaveras County have been getting a boost over the past few years, and the economy has benefited as well... The Sierra Nevada Conservancy opened up Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting by presenting a variety of initiatives within the county the group has facilitated... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 12, 2013

Fears over water rise from drop to stream
New Melones set to hit 18-year low; farmers prepare for very dry future

From the bathtub rings around our reservoirs, to the salty Delta lapping up against our levees, there is ample evidence that in the span of just two years California's water supply has shifted from wealth to want. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, July 28, 2013

Copper blaze a reminder of dangerous, dry fire season
Firefighters rushed to Copperopolis to stamp out burning vegetation twice this week, a clear sign of the high fire danger the bone-dry county faces after two years of record low rainfalls. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 26, 2013

Board weighs in on waste disposal
Supervisors talked trash and rate hikes at the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday. The former constitutes business as usual, while the latter is a little less likely...–Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 26, 2013

Campstool Ranch 'eased' into perpetual conservancy
Tim Lane, an attorney in Danville, was awarded $3.1 million dollars from the Pacific Forest Trust and Sierra Nevada Conservancy in exchange for promising to forever ban all commercial activity from his 2,170 acre ranch in the county's north eastern end. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 23, 2013

Bumper harvest reported
Ranchers and farmers are pleased with this year's crop report, which indicates Calaveras County production experienced a significant jump of 24.7 percent this year. "2012 was a good year for Calaveras County agriculture..." –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 23, 2013

Resident fights utility rate hikes
The Calaveras County Water District voted to raise its rates July 10, but some residents aren't ready to swallow it. They're looking...for a way to combat what they perceive as an unjust increase. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 23, 2013

MID: Wells threaten soil in Stanislaus County
[T]he idea of regulating pumps represents "the most politically sensitive subject there is." Although most other states control groundwater use, California does not and state officials have left the issue up to individual counties."(County leaders') backs are against the wall..." –Click here for article—The Modesto Bee, July 23, 2013

Some worry flood law will be a disaster
Basically, local governments will be prohibited from approving new developments in "flood hazard zones" - in Stockton, that's most everywhere - unless they can show the area has 200-year protection, or can show progress toward meeting that goal. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, July 21, 2013

Building Department optimistic about construction rebound
Weak demand for new construction since the housing collapse has left many builders without work over the past five years, but low permit fees in Calaveras County and an increase in consumer confidence may mark the beginning of a construction rebound. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 19, 2013

Yellow-legged frog finds controversy
A proposal is underway by the California Fish and Wildlife Service to add the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog (rana sierrae) to the endangered species list... "They're found at higher elevation water bodies, more or less above 5,000 feet,"... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 19, 2013

Weather dry but water supplies called steady
Local water districts don't anticipate needing to impose mandatory conservation this summer, despite a recent heat wave and water-level restrictions...the "big question" now is what happens next year. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, July 17, 2013

Local districts in talks to bank surface water
It's a dry year. There was barely four inches of rain from January to June. Many growers have no choice but to pump their own water out of the ground for irrigation. It's times like these that people start thinking about groundwater banking. –Click here for article—The Lodi News-Sentinel, July 12, 2013

Solar panel farm is rising in the west
When completed, the solar farm will generate enough power for 500 homes... Nevin said the Mother Lode could see more projects like this if the state continues to push for renewable energy development, with its open land and plenty of sun. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, July 16, 2013

Tinder-dry county in danger of catastrophic fire
"The properties (close to the fire) had good clearance," he said. "If they were maintained badly, houses may have caught fire. Between five or six houses, the immediate clearance between them was fine." –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 16, 2013

New CCWD Ordinance 2013-01 Modifying Rates
Click here for Ordinance with new water and wastewater rate schedules

CCWD approves rate hikes
Director Bob Dean voted against accepting the modified rate plan immediately because he wanted to see a staff report on what implications it would have..."We just immediately shot ourselves in the foot and we still have to walk down the road"... –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, July 11, 2013

CCWD approves rate increase
Davidson proposed a 5-year rate plan that would limit increases to the first three years for water, and to the first two years for wastewater, with a cap of $90 per month for subsequent years. This would entail an increase for ratepayers of 57 percent for water, and 33 percent for wastewater...–Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 12, 2013

'Bump parties' out at Tulloch
Calaveras County leaders agreed Tuesday to settle a lawsuit against Lake Tulloch Resort brought on by "bump parties" with a spring break-type atmosphere... "The bumps have moved...to Stockton and are up to 13,000 or 14,000 people..." –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, July 10, 2013

Next round of fire fee bills arriving soon
Most residents to pay $150
Homeowners in Calaveras County will need to keep their checkbooks open, as the latest round of bills for fire prevention are scheduled to arrive in mailboxes in the coming weeks. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 5, 2013

Grand jury would like county to pursue alternate route for Gillam
Gillam Road residents for years have been complaining about the lack of maintenance on the road and it was a citizen's complaint that sparked the grand jury investigation. The problem has been the road is protected habitat... –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, June 26, 2013

PG&E ready to start pipeline project
One of PG&E's natural gas pipelines runs from San Andreas through West Calaveras County before reaching Isleton. The utility company is about to begin clearing easements over the pipeline and property owners are being notified... –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, June 26, 2013

Calaveras ranchland to remain preserved
One of the largest remaining working ranches in Calaveras County will remain so for generations to come after completion of a conservation easement deal earlier this month. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, June 28, 2013

Pact protects Sierra ranchland, upper Calaveras River
Stockton's future drinking water supply is a little more secure because Tim Lane was willing to give up some of his property rights. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, June 15, 2013

Water rate hikes remain controversial
CCWD calls increases essential
The proposed Calaveras County Water District five-year rate increases have garnered the ire of district ratepayers as being excessive and unnecessary. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 21, 2013

Got Water? Keeping It Flowing Could Get Expensive
America's water system—its treatment plants and pipes—is in need of very serious repair..."Every two minutes there's a water pipe breaking in the U.S.," he said. "We've been putting band aids on this, but we can't do that anymore." –Click here for article—CNBC, June 14, 2013

Inside Calaveras County's biggest water district
Questions and answers and "Just the Facts" about the Calaveras County Water District (CCWD) –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 14, 2013

Two homes lost in Rancho fire
A wildfire in Rancho Calaveras fueled by moderate winds ravaged a brushy hillside, destroyed two homes and a garage, and led to an evacuation of many nearby houses Monday. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 7, 2013

CCWD rate plan panned
Recognizing how unpopular the rate hikes are, the board asked for staff to bring policy proposals at an upcoming meeting to ensure new revenue from an approved increase remains devoted only to infrastructure upgrades. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, June 13, 2013

Calaveras board told to tighten their belts
County Administrative Officer Lori Norton said that despite some glimmers of economic hope on the national and state levels, the county's General Fund revenues will likely be about $2 million less in the coming year... –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, June 12, 2013

Is Mother Lode's appeal dwindling?
Population drop hits funding for schools, services
The population of the Mother Lode continued to shrink the past two years, according to recently released state and federal estimates. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, June 10, 2013

Stockton to sell land at Hogan
The Stockton City Council is considering selling more than 1,800 acres of pastureland around New Hogan Reservoir as part of its effort to pay ongoing Chapter 9 bankruptcy costs. Some have referred to the land as "prime lakefront property." –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 7, 2013

Calaveras Council budgets for roads
"We have definitely more need, more projects than we have revenue coming into the region," said Melissa Eads, executive director of the Council of Governments, the entity that performs transportation planning and funnels state and federal dollars to projects in the county. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, June 6, 2013

Coughable vs. walkable
If city planning forces people into cars; or if people can't conveniently access healthy foods; or if they are unable - or scared - to walk or to bike, or to hang out at parks and plazas, community heath plunges... –Click here for column—The Stockton Record, June 5, 2013

Home Center sale in escrow
Valley Springs is "a large community and needs somebody who can do a good job for them," Sender said. "We want something for the community to be proud of and we want to get the right people in there." –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, June 5, 2013

Sender's to buy Valley Springs Home Center
Valley Springs residents are grinning from ear to ear with the news that Sender's Market is in escrow to buy the Valley Springs Home Center... "We're 30 of the 90 days into escrow, and everything is good so far," Squire said. "It looks like on or around Aug. 4 they will be taking it over." –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 4, 2013

CCWD says it will hold town hall meetings
Responding to heavy criticism about its plans to raise water and waste-water rates, the Calaveras County Water District will hold several town hall meetings in Arnold, Valley Springs and Copperopolis in coming weeks. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 4, 2013

No conservation plan in the works
To save Calaveras County's financial credibility and avoid a lawsuit, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to return just over $10,000 in grant money to the Sierra Nevada Conservancy after failing to execute habitat conservation work initially approved in 2008. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, May 31, 2013

Calaveras to return $10K in failed habitat plan effort
Work funded by grant was never fully completed Although it stung to have to return the money, the bigger problem is that Calaveras never managed to create a habitat conservation plan... Without such a plan, every individual development must perform costly studies that can tangle, delay and sometimes even kill otherwise worthy projects. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, May 29, 2013

Planned water-rate increases draw ire
Calaveras County Water District's decision to raise water and wastewater rates by nearly 70 percent over a five-year period has resulted in turbulence among the district's ratepayers... If a majority of the district's customers provide written protest letters to CCWD by July 10, the rate hikes will not take effect. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, May 31, 2013

Foothills populations continue to shrink
Experts say the reasons likely combine economic and demographic factors. More rural communities have lost people seeking jobs... while the older populations in many rural communities are not replaced. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, May 29, 2013

Water district's rate hike information posted
Current monthly wastewater rates are $67.50 and would climb to about $110 by 2018. Water charges are dependent on meter size but all are set to increase nearly 70 percent by 2018. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, May 28, 2013

Smart Growth can boost city finances, too
Build smart, save money...denser, more compact communities save money by building less infrastructure and spending less on future police and fire protection, while also earning more tax revenue across a smaller area. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, May 26, 2013

Foothill-Jenny Lind fire merger approved
Consolidation of Foothill and Jenny Lind fire protection districts into one entity should be completed by July1 when the new fiscal year begins...service delivery standards have improved since the joint powers authority began operation in July of last year. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, May 22, 2013

CCWD hosts Sierra watershed talk
"Managing the run-off...is the foundation of any adaptive management approach being embraced by the numerous 'solutions' being advocated for the delta..."–Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, May 21, 2013

Public blasts TUD fee subsidy
The Tuolumne Utilities District will continue to examine whether it makes sense to lower connection and capacity fees for future developers in an attempt to spur growth... Speakers used terms like "sweetheart deal"...a "reverse Robin Hood-ism" where the developers would receive benefits paid for by ratepayers. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, May 15, 2013

New general plan pushed back a year
Calaveras County should have a completely updated general plan by November of 2014 – probably... A whole host of "things" still threaten the timely delivery of the plan, including countywide buildout numbers... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, May 17, 2013

Calaveras' blueprint hits another roadblock
Pretty much everyone involved, including the developers, environmental groups and county leaders, agrees they want the finished plan to stand up in court. "I want to thank the Calaveras Planning Coalition for their letter and input," Callaway said... –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, May 16, 2013

Lack of growth sparks bank to close VS branch
Valley Springs will become a one-bank town when Bank of Rio Vista closes its branch at 2 Nove Way on July 3o. The bank opened its doors in January 2006, but after seven years in operation could not attract enough business... –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, May 10, 2013

Supervisors face deficit of $2 million
Calaveras County supervisors had harsh words Tuesday for Administrative Office staff after a special presentation of the next fiscal year's draft budget..."This doesn't bode well," said District 3 Supervisor Merita Callaway in her closing comments.–Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, May 10, 2013

New deadline for general plan
Planning Department staff members will present a new timeline and scope of work plan to supervisors and seek direction regarding amending the county's contract with Raney Planning...–Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, May 10, 2013

New planning commissioner signs on
Valley Springs resident and businesswoman Karen Sisk was appointed to serve District 5 on the Calaveras County Planning Commission... "Going to those community meetings started it," she said. "I came from the Bay Area and I didn't like the way it grew." –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, May 7, 2013

Water element gains steam
After a failed initial attempt to add a water element into Calaveras County's general plan, General Manager Mitch Dion of the Calaveras County Water District hopes to breathe new life into the effort. "The water element is essential because water is closely tied to economic growth and development..." –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, May 7, 2013

CCWD setting ceiling for rate hikes
The board Thursday approved a notice to be mailed out to customers in about two weeks laying out a proposal to increase monthly water bills up to 25 percent in the coming year and a cumulative 71 percent by mid-2017. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, May 6, 2013

CCWD set to raise its rates
20 percent boost first year
Board member and former CCWD President Don Stump said that years of neglecting capital expenditure upgrades has forced the district's hand. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 30, 2013

New push to increase housing
Calaveras County is seeking to make housing more available and more affordable to residents who need it most. That was one of the main findings in an annual status report... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 30, 2013

General plan won't be on time
Back in the fall of 2012, supervisors set a 12-month deadline, a time frame Willis described as "hugely optimistic and accelerated" and District 2 Supervisor Chris Wright characterized as a "politically motivated" move by the former board. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 26, 2013

Water manager lays out vision
Freshman Calaveras County Water District General Manager Mitch Dion has been fascinated by water since his days as a young man adventuring in the Sierra Nevada..."We need to really embrace adaptive management," he continued. "We can't afford to sit back and study and study and study."–Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 26, 2013

Copper holds town hall meeting with a twist
Supervisor Ponte was pleased with the turnout..."Hopefully other districts might do the same kind of thing. It's important that we provide some level of outreach to our communities," she said.–Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 26, 2013

CCWD on verge of rate hikes
The district needs to fund about $40 million to $45 million in improvements...The highest sewer system priority is to upgrade pumps and additional storage near Tulloch Reservoir in Copperopolis –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, April 23, 2013

Fire districts fight tight budgets
Extra precautions for fire safety may be prudent this summer. Lacking money, the 11 fire service districts in Calaveras County are struggling to make needed upgrades and to hire reliable paid staff. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 23, 2013

Builders constructing environmental agreements
Near the peak of last decade's building boom, air quality officials approved an innovative yet controversial rule holding developers accountable for new pollution caused by growth. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, April 23, 2013

Nemee civil rights case dismissed
The case, which is an appeal from a loss in a lower court, was dismissed without prejudice by Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill, after San Andreas attorney Ken Foley missed a deadline...–Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 23, 2013

$12M suit against Calaveras dismissed
A would-be Wallace-area developer's $12 million lawsuit against Calaveras County and its former employees, for alleged civil rights violations, has been dismissed by a U.S. District Court judge. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, April 18, 2013

County lags in building rebound
A Bureau of Labor Statistics report released earlier this month noted a single bright spot for March's Employment Report – construction-related jobs are trending upward across the nation, and Calaveras County is no exception. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 16, 2013

Tulloch vacation-rental regs back
Willis said the publication is now lined up for a vote on the ordinance at the next supervisors' meeting April 23. If approved, it will take effect on May 23. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, April 15, 2013

'Hopper' to connect residents to retail
A trip on public transit to the grocery store might become a little less convoluted in Calaveras County... and the final route would connect Rancho Calaveras to in-county retail and grocery services and beyond, also ending in Jackson. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 12, 2013

Wagon Trail project still moseys along
Yet another public meeting was held to discuss the contentious Wagon Trail Realignment Project Wednesday evening in Copperopolis. The project affects a roughly 6.5-mile winding stretch of Highway 4 between Copperopolis and Angels Camp. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 12, 2013

Work set for 2018 on winding Highway 4
About 100 people attended an open house with project planners and engineers Wednesday night to hear and see the latest on the project estimated at $56 million to complete. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, April 11, 2013

Supervisors to add extra night meeting
In order to further encourage attendance during the evening... the meetings will deal with specific topics likely to draw crowds. July's meeting will center on the General Plan update. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 12, 2013

Calaveras board adds on meetings
The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors is preparing to meet more often and sometimes in the evenings... four board members agreed when a board member chooses to abstain from a vote...they will be recorded as having voted with the majority. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, April 10, 2013

Animal Services making 'huge, huge' strides
The "future" involves a potential new 17,000-square-foot building complete with formal adoption viewing areas and space to house large animals next to the new county courthouse and jail. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 12, 2013

New site for Cal animal shelter eyed
The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday directed Animal Services management to focus on a parcel of land next to the new courthouse as the site for a new animal shelter.–Click here for article—The Union Democrat, April 10, 2013

New animal shelter isn't going very far
It now looks like a new, modern Calaveras County animal shelter will rise just a stone's throw away from the dilapidated concrete block building that houses the present shelter. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, April 10, 2013

TUD wants promised NM water
Some Tuolumne Utilities District leaders want to see water from New Melones in local hands... Board members said they want to find a way to pursue that water despite the fact that state and federal agencies now say it is no longer available.–Click here for article—The Union Democrat, April 10, 2013

Rebounding Home Prices
The housing bubble burst around 2006, and the Calaveras County Association of Realtors reports that prices made strong gains over the first quarter of this year. Median property values jumped by 17.5% over the past quarter, and 24.52% compared to the same quarter of last year. –Click here for article—MyMotherLode.com, April 5, 2013

Angels Council discusses, defines tree ordinance
Reesman said although a city's general plan needs a protected tree ordinance, she suggested Angels Camp's "not be so burdensome that the city couldn't enforce it." –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 5, 2013

CCWD chief warns of water grab
Concern is growing about the future of water supplies throughout the foothills, especially in light of a new Central Valley Delta water plan being rolled out and a continuing population increase throughout the state. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 5, 2013

Report: Calaveras 'Cash Cow' needs reining in
If your neighbor puts up an enormous, ugly and illegal sign that spoils the view from your front window, you might have to just live with it for a while. At least that's true if you live in Calaveras County. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, April 3, 2013

Report: Building code not enforced
Building code enforcement officials are overwhelmed in Calaveras County despite the fact the county should have ample funds to do something about it, according to an interim Grand Jury report released late last week. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, April 2, 2013

Code Compliance fails to do its job, grand jury says
Overworked staff faces pile of complaints
"Designed for disaster," was the phrase used by Calaveras County's Chief Building Official Jeff White in regards to the high volume of code complaints the Building Department addresses regularly. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 2, 2013

Calaveras OKs bike path despite sharp criticism
Calaveras County is going ahead with plans to build a sidewalk and bicycle path to Jenny Lind Elementary School despite a bitter dispute with school officials over the path. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, March 31, 2013

Disputed school path OK'd
Deadline forces county to act

Calaveras County's Public Works Department was given the go ahead Tuesday to proceed with the first phase of a federally funded Safe Routes to School project for Jenny Lind Elementary School despite a lack of support from Calaveras Unified School District. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 29, 2013

Supervisors hear call for more jobs
"I didn't hear a lot of commonality," said Chamber of Commerce President Jeff Davidson at the session's conclusion... "We do have some very talented and smart people in this county and I would ask that those folks come forward and get involved. We're talking about our future here," said Edson. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 29, 2013

Calaveras' sagging economy spurs gathering of business leaders, officials
Cliff Edson, one of the newest members of the Board of Supervisors, knows firsthand the dismal economic conditions in Calaveras County... –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, March 28, 2013

Calaveras wants to bolster economy
The economic situation of Calaveras County leaves a lot to be desired. "Today, the county's shrinking," Davidson said. "Who are we shrinking? We're shrinking our workforce." –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, March 27, 2013

Board adopts Tulloch rental ordinance
The new ordinance requires all short-term rental property owners in Lake Tulloch subdivisions to file an administrative use permit prior to renting their properties. Permits can be revoked if property managers fail to control their tenants...–Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 29, 2013

Tulloch rental regulations approved
It will take effect in one month, but at that point rental owners have three months to apply for permits, and capacity and off-street parking rules will not be in effect for the first year. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, March 27, 2013

Ordinance may keep peace at vacation hub
Homeowners in Lake Tulloch area will need special permit for renters After years of discussion and months of revisions, Calaveras County has a new ordinance regulating the popular waterfront vacation rental houses on the shores of Lake Tulloch near Copperopolis. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, March 27, 2013

Valley Springs growth projected for a steep decline
The Valley Springs area, which along with Rancho Calaveras has been the juggernaut of Calaveras County's population growth the past three decades, has been earmarked for relatively little growth under a proposed General Plan Land Use Map discussed Tuesday... –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, March 22, 2013

County puts its future on the map
General plan takes a big step forward
As promised, Calaveras County's emerging general plan envisions more open space on the outskirts of larger, core communities...Yellow was the designated color of rural housing tracts that largely lay outside existing town centers. Instead, the new map transformed these lands to green and they are now labeled "resource production" lands. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 22, 2013

Calaveras sees more green in future
The "sea of yellow" is on its way out. Calaveras County officials use that term for areas marked in yellow on planning maps that have long designated huge swaths of the county for future rural housing tracts. Instead, a new map being created... designates those areas in green... –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, March 21, 2013

Calaveras leaders tackle land plan
Years-old discontent about a policy long chided as Calaveras' "40 acres and a mule" and planning for the Valley Springs area were voiced at a public hearing Tuesday on the latest draft land use map... –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, March 20, 2013

California Ranchers Worried About Drought
...about two-thirds of the state is dealing with less than half of the average rainfall... Cattle and calves are the state's fifth leading commodity. Click here for article—CAP Radio, March 20, 2013

S.J. County General Plan—Land-use hearings cover wide swath of ground
As officials continue to update the San Joaquin County General Plan, more property owners Tuesday made their pitches to add homes where there is now farmland, put industry where there are homes, add new retail centers or otherwise change how land is used... –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, March 20, 2013

Shrinking county still eyes growth
Calaveras County is now shrinking but is planning for an estimated 80,539 more residents in the next 22 years, according to calculations in a staff report on the ongoing General Plan land use guide update released late last week. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, March 18, 2013

General plan's land use map to debut Tuesday
The communities of Copperopolis, Valley Springs, San Andreas and District 2... are now included. "This is the kick off to proceed with developing general plan goals, policies and the requisite general plan elements. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 15, 2013

County eases rules on residential building
Property owners looking to add a second small home or tenant space to their property will navigate through a much simpler bureaucratic process... supervisors unanimously adopted a proposed zoning amendment to allow accessory dwellings by right in any parcel zoned as single-family residential. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 15, 2013

Report: CEQA Helping, Not Hindering Renewable Development
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), California's landmark environmental law, has taken a lot of heat lately with accusations that special interests have used the law to obstruct necessary projects... But a new report released this month says that far from hindering the development of a new, greener infrastructure for the state, CEQA may have actually promoted such development... –Click here for article—KCET.org Rewire, March 14, 2013

Parties to go on at Lake Tulloch homes
When the vacation rental code amendments come back to the board on March 26, they will be modified to give the owners of vacation rentals a way to avoid, for another year, new county rules that would limit how many people they can pack into each home's bedrooms. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, March 14, 2013

'Granny flats' get go ahead
A decade after California enacted a law to make it easier to construct secondary housing, better known as "mother-in-law" units or "granny flats," Calaveras County is coming in line with it. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, March 13, 2013

Calaveras broadens homeowners' rights to build on property
Building a second home or in-law cottage behind an existing house just got easier in Calaveras County... Previously, county code limited second units to lots of an acre or larger. The new code, in contrast, sets no minimum lot size and allows a second unit on any lot zoned for single-family homes. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, March 13, 2013

Ranch preservation
Kermeen is hopeful a successful completion of the conservation easement at the famous ranch will lead to more interest and activity for the land trust. "There are a lot of misconceptions out there we want to alleviate," he said. "It's not a taking. It's completely voluntary. It's not government coming in and preserving open space on people who don't want it." –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, March 13, 2013

Many buildings vacant in Calaveras County
No one tracks exactly how many vacant commercial buildings there are in Calaveras County. But government officials, real estate professionals and property owners say the number remains high half a decade after the housing crash threw the region's economy into reverse. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, March 8, 2013

CCWD refinances loans to save $324,000
During its Feb. 27 board meeting, Calaveras County Water District announced that its staff has closed a loan with BBVA Compass to refinance some of the district's 2004 revenue bonds at a lower interest rate. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 8, 2013

Noise regs miff Tulloch Resort's owner
A "special events" ordinance that will take effect Tuesday in Calaveras County is designed by planners to streamline the permit process but the owner of The Resort at Lake Tulloch calls it "a joke"... –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, March 6, 2013

River group agrees on projects
After more than five years, a stakeholders' group of Stanislaus and Tuolumne river interests has reached agreement on a list of projects for which they will seek an estimated $3.6 million in funding... –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, March 1, 2013

Lode project turned down Castle & Cooke loses bid to build 580 houses in Copperopolis
Sometimes, love isn't enough..."I think Castle & Cooke is an honorable developer," Ponte said. But she also reluctantly concluded that Sawmill Lake is "a project we really can't approve."–Click here for article—The Stockton Record, March 4, 2013

Sawmill Lake struck down in a 5-0 vote
For Copperopolis resident Eva Keyzer, Copperopolis Town Square was reason enough to deny the project. "The majority of businesses are vacant. There are seven developments in Copper and not one is built out. Please consider what our county needs before you approve a project that jeopardizes what we have to offer"… –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 1, 2013

Board rejects Sawmill Lake 5-0
A controversial 580-home housing development adjacent to Copperopolis Town Square must go back to the drawing board after a 5-0 vote Tuesday to deny the project "without prejudice." –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, February 27, 2013

Error drives up cost of new lode jail site
An architect's error this week added almost $300,000 to the cost of the new Calaveras County Jail and Sheriff's Office administration building under construction in San Andreas...it initially looked like it would cost as much as $531,489 to add the dampers.–Click here for article—The Stockton Record, March 2, 2013

Shooting rules are up for renewal
In an open letter distributed Wednesday, Calaveras District Ranger Teresa McClung writes that the two-year provisional rules that limit the hours weapons can be fired at the quarry — infamously within earshot of Hathaway Pines subdivisions — will be renewed.–Click here for article—The Union Democrat, March 1, 2013

Fire districts ready to take another step to consolidate
The proposed merger calls for Foothill and Jenny Lind fire districts to be dissolved and the formation of the consolidated district covering 163 square miles. The proposed new district would encompass nearly a quarter of the county's landmass and a third of its population, approximately 15,000 residents.—Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, March 1, 2013

Why planning directors don't last in Calaveras County
There must be a reason that six different people have held the top land use planning job in Calaveras County over the last seven years... The same people who say they want to make Calaveras County an easy place to do business somehow balk at taking all the steps needed to achieve that goal. –Click here for article—Dana Nichols Blog, February 28, 2013

California starts year with record dry conditions
California is poised to shatter an all-time weather record by notching the driest January-February period in recorded history across the northern Sierra Nevada. –Click here for article—The Sacramento Bee, February 27, 2013

Latest General Plan update expenses draw public ire
The slow and costly Calaveras County General Plan update came under public criticism at Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting. The board's consent agenda...contained two General Plan update expenditures that were lifted for further discussion.—Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, February 27, 2013

Economic development to highlight study session
Calaveras County is hoping to get down to business on economic growth with a study session Tuesday, March 26...The session is open to anyone who has concerns or ideas to share regarding economic development in the county.–Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 26, 2013

Wagon trail project keeps rolling along
A necessary "boots on the ground" deadline for securing continuance of the contentious Wagon Trail Realignment project was met earlier this month. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 22, 2013

Historic Lode road straightening inches along
Ranchers whose refusal to allow biologists onto their properties threatened to delay a $60 million highway project by a year and add millions to the cost have relented, Calaveras County officials said. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, February 22, 2013

This Valentine's Day give the gift of infill
With all (and all and all) the talk about the need to "modernize" (i.e. weaken) CEQA to, among other things, facilitate infill, it seems so called CEQA Reform proponents can't take "yes" for an answer. –Click here for article—NRDC Switchboard, February 20, 2013

In need of overhaul? Objection over planned truck stop west of Lodi adds new fire to debate over California Environmental Quality Act
Virtually no one objected to developer Kevin Huber's plans for a new truck stop. Not the environmental groups. Not the air quality cops. Not the county bureaucrats...there has been only one objection on record: that of the rival truck stop across the street. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, February 19, 2013

County charting growth for the next 20 years
Unincorporated areas focus of public hearings The blueprint for how San Joaquin County will look as it grows through 2030 is taking shape now, continuing today at the first of two hearings scheduled before the Board of Supervisors. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, February 10, 2013

Calaveras overhauls entertainment codes
Calaveras County is trying to let the good times roll a little more easily... The new rules also allow longtime events that have operated for at least 10 years - such as Murphys Irish Days in Murphys or Lumberjack Day in West Point - to avoid paying any fee for their annual permits. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, February 17, 2013

New rules approved for the big events
After months of fine tuning and tweaking, Calaveras County has a new special events permitting process. "We're not looking to over-regulate," explained Planning Director Rebecca Willis. "We're trying to encourage economic development." –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 15, 2013

Columbia to boost Calaveras offerings
Columbia College plans to offer a substantial number of courses in Calaveras County... Beginning as early as this summer, Columbia could offer enough courses for 100 students to take a full class-load. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, February 15, 2013

BOS Notice of Public Hearing Sawmill Lake Feb. 26
The Board of Supervisors will conduct a public hearing on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. or soon thereafter to consider Denial Without Prejudice of the Sawmill Lake Project and no action on the DEIR –Click here for Notice—Calaveras Enterprise, February 15, 2013

Tulloch rentals plan sent back
"I support this kind of ordinance," said Supervisor Ponte, though she agreed to revisit the issue at a later date. "I do believe we need some kind of permitting process in place. … I would hope that we could all be responsible and neighborly but it has clearly gotten out of hand." –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 15, 2013

Changes stall crackdown on rowdy renters
A month ago, a solid majority on the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors signaled it was ready to crack down on unruly vacation rentals that neighbors say make life miserable around Lake Tulloch. But somehow the ordinance never was adopted. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, February 14, 2013

Refuge may fix 'shocking' neglect
Uncle Sam wants to extend a big wildlife refuge into San Joaquin County. That could mean getting something this county is shamefully short of: hiking trails...trails serving folks from the Sierra to the Bay all abruptly end at the San Joaquin County line. Did I mention the Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail? –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, February 8, 2013

Summer at Lake Tulloch on agenda
The board will consider adoption of a special events ordinance that will institute a better-defined permitting process for events ranging from controversial "bump parties" at Lake Tulloch Resort to church bazaars. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, February 11, 2013

Copper tweaks community plan
Tuesday evening's Copperopolis Community Plan Advisory Committee meeting was a struggle for semantics...Policies were worded to directly support the community plan's overall goal of retaining the town's "country character" and protecting the natural landscape while integrating new development in a way that expands Copperopolis residents' quality of life. –Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, February 8, 2013

Wagon Trail tops list of road priorities
Calaveras County transportation projects for 2013 are about to get rolling. The Calaveras Council of Governments, the county's lead transportation planning and funding agency, held its first 2013 meeting... –Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, February 8, 2013

Copper shooting range has compliance issues
Calaveras County may look to shut down an unpermitted Copperopolis shooting range this month, the first to see such action since gunfire was broadly exempted under a county noise ordinance passed by supervisors in September. –Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, January 29, 2013

Time to weigh in on elderberry beetle
The process that may lead to the de-listing of a beetle with habitat in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties from Endangered Species Act protection is being stretched at least a month longer. Several public and private projects in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties have been held up in recent years by concern for the insect's solitary host plant — the valley elderberry bush. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, January 25, 2013

Bear Valley gets green light on major expansion project
Now that the resort has reached several key milestones in its master development plan, the groundwork is laid for the realization of long-planned renovation and expansion... –Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, January 25, 2013

Trustees kill CUSD theater project
Worry over a tenuous budget and other pressing facilities projects led to the 2-3 vote by the Calaveras Unified School District board of trustees against constructing a performing arts center at CHS. –Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, January 25, 2013

Party homes to face the music
Supervisors looked to tame some of Calaveras County's loudest party spots this week, moving an ordinance aimed at quieting dozens of popular vacation rentals along the shores of Lake Tulloch. The ordinance...requires rental owners to annually renew a county administrative use permit that caps the number of cars and tenants allowed at Tulloch's lakeside vacation homes.–Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, January 25, 2013

Calaveras favors new rental rules for Tulloch
Property owners near Tulloch Reservoir can expect a costlier and more tightly regulated process for offering homes as short-term vacation rentals in a couple months. Many of their neighbors hope they can now expect some peace and quiet. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, January 23, 2013

Calaveras cracks down on rowdy lake parties
The famous around-the-clock parties at rented shorefront mansions on Lake Tulloch may be a little tamer this summer. For the first time this year, owners of vacation rental homes at Tulloch could be required to get county permits for the businesses... –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, January 23, 2013

Bird numbers soar
The number of bald eagles in the Mother Lode has soared this winter, particularly at New Melones Reservoir. The Central Sierra Audubon Society counted 68 bald eagles at the reservoir during its 2012 Christmas Bird Count, which is 63 more than the previous year... –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, January 23, 2013

Lode arts center killed in emotional vote
The Calaveras High School band will never play the national anthem in a 500-seat performance hall once proposed for the campus in San Andreas. The vote was 2-3 against a motion to proceed with construction of a $5.4 million arts center design already approved by the state. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, January 23, 2013

Garcia raise offers glimpse behind curtain
Defeated supervisors allege political intrigue led to downfall "...occasionally I am clever, but not in that kind of way or to that extent," an indignant Wilensksy said. "If this is a web, the people who spun it are caught in it," he continued. "It was not a plot to make them look bad." –Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, January 22, 2013

Slower growth seen for Calaveras
[Editorial correction: there is no Feb. 3 cutoff date. According to Calaveras County Planning Dept. any comments received will be accepted and reviewed and there is no formal comment period on the prelim. draft document]
Calaveras County is projected to grow at a rate of less than 1 percent through the year 2050, according to figures released last month as part of the county's ongoing General Plan land use document update. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, January 22, 2013

Viewers wowed by eagles on Pardee tour
Four tour groups, each containing about 16 people, motored across Pardee and Camanche reservoirs last weekend to observe eagles, hawks and other wildlife. The East Bay Municipal Utility District offers free tours to the public each year. –Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, January 18, 2013

CCWD to award construction contract
Jackson-based Vinciguerra Construction beat out contractors in Mokelumne Hill and Loomis for work on the new project, which is meant to further safeguard the Jenny Lind plant from possible flood damage. –Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, January 18, 2013

What Tom Garcia's raise actually cost
No elected official remembers the events leading up to Tom Garcia getting a $19,000 pay raise in quite the same way. Such discrepancies leave a very blurry picture of what actually occurred. –Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, January 18, 2013

Valley Springs gets new substation
A long-awaited feature of "community policing" was realized Wednesday with the opening of a Calaveras County Sheriff's Office substation in Valley Springs. "You can be at Mar-Val and come by, it's kind of a one-stop shop," Kuntz told the public... –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, January 17, 2013

High-speed Internet: Slow going
Construction for high-speed Internet in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties could be coming to an end this spring, after the area's rocky terrain put the federal stimulus project several months behind schedule. Work is about 82 percent completed in Calaveras County...–Click here for article—The Union Democrat, January 17, 2013

Dead golf course alive in courts
More than seven months after foreclosure laid the controversial Trinitas golf course in northwestern Calaveras County to rest, its woeful story lives on in courts from San Andreas to Fresno and San Francisco. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, January 15, 2013

New road fees kick in next month for developers
Development in Calaveras County will get a little more expensive beginning next month thanks to a 3 percent road fee increase adopted by the Board of Supervisors in December. –Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, January 15, 2013

New Cal County leaders sworn in
The new Calaveras County Board of Supervisors got seated Tuesday and quickly got to work appointing an interim county administrative officer and sorting out assignments to powerful commissions and agencies. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, January 9, 2013

County land-use update on track
General Plan Coordinator Brenda Gillarde calls Calaveras County planners' most recent sketch of area forest, wildlife and population centers an early "milestone" in the latest push to update a decades-old county land-use map. –Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, January 8, 2013

Trinitas saga sees no quick finish
The legal battle over the former Trinitas golf course continues, even though the course no longer exists... the Nemees are arguing that the issue is not moot because it is also the basis of their $12 million civil rights lawsuit. Calaveras County officials have until Jan. 30 to file their own brief. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, January 8, 2013

Supporters cheer ban on hunting with dogs
According to a senior state director of the United States Humane Society, state Senate Bill 1221, which bans the hunting of bears and bobcats with hounds, stops a cruel and unsporting practice. –Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, January 8, 2013

Forest Service forced to rethink off-highway-vehicle plan in light of ruling
Stanislaus National Forest officials failed to comply with a federal rule that requires them to minimize damage caused by dirt bikers and other off-highway-vehicle recreationists, a federal judge ruled last week. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, January 8, 2013

Eagles bounce back
America's national bird - the bald eagle - is also one of the nation's greatest environmental success stories. And it is easy to see that success this time of year along the rocky shores of major lakes in the foothills. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, January 7, 2013

Sitting on a gold mine, residents fear for their water
Neighbors of the old mine are alarmed about the proposal That's because about 17 years ago, miners hit a major water source and drained 14 nearby wells. –Click here for article—National Public Radio, January 7, 2013

S.J., East Bay revive water-sharing plan
Is 15 years long enough to open minds? Once more, San Joaquin County and a major urban water supplier are discussing a plan to put the Mokelumne River's precious flow to better use. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, January 7, 2013

Saving for after a rainy day in Lode
Officials seek method to store surplus water underground

Most folks would probably say they were happy if they found that there was no sign of nuclear bomb fallout in their well water. For officials studying how to recharge depleted groundwater tables in western Calaveras County, however, it's a problem. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, January 6, 2013

Calaveras County maps out details, takes inventory of land
A previous attempt in 2007 to establish a "base line" map of existing development and land use was so wildly inaccurate that it contributed to the collapse of efforts to update the General Plan. –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, January 3, 2013

Lode water district behind on repairs
The Calaveras County Water District has fallen almost $6 million behind on its maintenance of pipes, pumps, valves and other equipment, and district officials are studying whether to raise rates…If all goes as scheduled, water and sewer customers could see higher bills in July… –Click here for article—The Stockton Record, January 2, 2013

State calls off the dogs
A long and storied tradition of bear and bobcat hunting came to an end in California today... "There are bears in Valley Springs, all over Bear Mountain (between San Andreas and Valley Springs) and around Angels Camp," Oller said. "There are so many bears, they are spreading to new places." –Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, January 1, 2013

New supervisors eager to start 2013
Incoming county supervisors' 2013 to-do list is a little longer and costlier than the average spate of New Year's resolutions in Calaveras County, but at least as ambitious. –Click here for article—The Calaveras Enterprise, January 1, 2013

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