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2014 Archive

Medical marijuana ordinance draft delayed
County officials who had initially hoped to have a draft of proposed zoning regulations for marijuana cultivation ready in December now say it will be at least January before the draft is released for public review. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, December 30, 2014

Plan update released after 8 years
The 2014 Draft General Plan was released Friday and is available for public review and comment... The General Plan update has been in the works for more than eight years and cost nearly $2 million. Release of the Draft General Plan begins a 90-day public review and comment period. During this time, a series of community workshops and other public meetings will be held. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, December 24, 2014

Draft General Plan released for public comment
Calaveras County planning officials Thursday released a long-awaited draft of an updated General Plan, the document that guides future land use and development. The draft does not include community plans crafted in towns across the county... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, December 23, 2014

Angels Camp to protect heritage oaks
Angels Camp now has protections in place for its heritage oak trees after the Angels Camp City Council gave unanimous approval to an ordinance at its Dec. 16 meeting that requires new developments to preserve old oak and other heritage trees. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, December 23, 2014

Council passes oak tree ordinance
After years of research and revisions, Angels Camp now has rules in place to protect trees within the city limits. An ordinance passed unanimously Tuesday night by the Angels Camp City Council requires people obtain a permit before any oak tree or "heritage" tree can be removed from an undeveloped property. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, December 18, 2014

FEMA officials relent, agree to correct maps
Regional decision still needs national approval

At least some officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency have relented and agreed to replace inaccurate flood zone maps that have forced some Calaveras County property owners to buy flood insurance they don't need. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, December 19, 2014

County code revised to simplify definition of 'family'
...Calaveras County's Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved a number of policy changes required by the General Plan Housing Element... "This is actually less government interference in your housing, family situation," said Colleen Platt of MyValleySprings.com. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, December 19, 2014

Supes to consider land for modern animal shelter
Now that Calaveras County has a modern jail and courthouse to serve humans, officials are preparing to add a third modern building next door for animals... Over the years, both grand juries and animal advocates have complained that the present Animal Shelter is cramped and dilapidated. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, December 15, 2014

Murphys man granted slack on restrictive policy
Steven Snowden's project is tiny – a simple proposal to carve three lots out of 19.8 acres in a residential neighborhood in Murphys. But the fact that Calaveras County supervisors on Tuesday gave Snowden the green light to apply for his subdivision map is historic. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, December 12, 2014

La Contenta lawsuit against CCWD may be headed for settlement
The La Contenta Golf Course in Valley Springs did not sign up a single new member in 2011 or 2012, and the course owners blame Calaveras County Water District for that failure... Relations between the water district and the golf course got rocky back in 2011, and for a time, CCWD shut off the golf course's supply of raw water from New Hogan Reservoir... Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, December 9, 2014

Calaveras County General Plan due this month
Calaveras County's planning chief said he hopes to release the county's long-awaited draft General Plan by Christmas... "We're still trying to tie up some loose ends," Calaveras County Planning Director Peter Maurer said Thursday... The county's General Plan has been delayed due to a variety of factors, including turnover among county staff. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, December 5, 2014

O'Reilly store to open next month
O'Reilly Auto Parts plans to open its Valley Springs store at the beginning of 2015... Valley Springs could be headed toward an oversupply of auto parts stores. In addition to O'Reilly's, AutoZone is seeking to build a store in Valley Springs and for many years the community has been served by NAPA Auto Parts on State Route 12. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, December 5, 2014

CPUD study less costly than expected
It won't be as expensive as initially feared to meet a state deadline for doing a study on how to solve a water supply problem for San Andreas and Mokelumne Hill. But whether that study can find a resolution to the legal and logistical problems that triggered a ban on any new water connections in those communities is not clear. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, December 5, 2014

Calaveras BOS sends letter to FEMA
Letter asks feds to fix inaccurate flood maps

Editor's note: The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved sending the following letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Click here for letter—Calaveras Enterprise, November 28, 2014

Supervisors to ask feds nicely to fix flood maps
Calaveras County's Board of Supervisors decided Tuesday to ask "respectfully" that the federal government fix flood insurance rate maps that are forcing the owners of thousands of county properties to buy insurance that many don't need. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, November 28, 2014

Peace amid the water wars: S.J. County, East Bay MUD reach deal
In essence, East Bay MUD will provide water to the county during both dry and wet years and commits $4 million to an experimental groundwater banking project somewhere in the northeast county. In exchange, during dry years, the utility will be able to export a portion of that groundwater to its 1.3 million customers in the East Bay. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, November 27, 2014

Ex-Surveyor Pitto sues over his firing
Pitto says that county officials breached his contract by failing to give him written notice that he was being fired and also violated his right to due process by never giving him a chance to respond to any concerns over his work... Pitto has had a long career as a surveyor in Calaveras County... At times, he has also worked as a representative for property owners and developers seeking approval for projects in the county. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, November 21, 2014

CCC settles in at Camanche
Fire fuel reduction is the primary mission

The 35 CCC members at the Camanche site, who are between the ages of 18 and 26, are divided into two groups. One group is used exclusively for EBMUD work around Camanche and the other nearby reservoir areas, while the second group will travel out to other sites... Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, November 21, 2014

Farmers shift to permanent crops, despite water uncertainty
In the very place where the verdant Valley meets the dry, rolling foothills, longtime farmer Kenny Watkins climbed out of his truck one morning last week to examine an orchard of peach trees planted just last February. The trees are already taller than the farmer. "It's virgin ground," Watkins said. "Just unbelievable." –Click here for article—Stockton Record, November 15, 2014

Well owners face decision
Already missing out on state money to address the drought, San Joaquin County officials will soon ask property owners if they're willing to disclose to the state what some feel are sensitive details about their wells. Earlier this fall, the state Department of Water Resources determined that the county was ineligible for millions of dollars in drought assistance because not enough information about local wells had been provided. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, November 14, 2014

Depleting the water
Water experts say groundwater is like a savings account -- something you draw on in times of need. But savings accounts need to be replenished, and there is new evidence that so much water is being taken out, much of the world is in danger of a groundwater overdraft. –Click here for article—CBS 60 Minutes, November 16, 2014

Water Board order threatens growth in San Andreas, Moke Hill
The drought may have just killed hopes for housing and commercial growth in San Andreas. A State Water Resources Control Board compliance order issued in October bars Calaveras Public Utility District from connecting any new customers to its water service until the utility can find a water source that the state deems "adequate and reliable." –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, November 14, 2014

Scientists in 1988 foresaw [water] shortage
What geologist Pete Dohms and engineer Gene Nunnelley concluded was that the start of the 21st Century would likely be much drier than the latter half of the previous one, and that Tuolumne County's water supplies were ill-prepared to handle the variations along with corresponding population growth. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, November 14, 2014

It's official: CCWD has new GM
The controversial vote drew particular criticism from ratepayers and newly elected board members on Eggerton's contract. "No one gets this type … of benefits package (in Calaveras County)," Marti Crane said, adding that residents had no opportunity to review the contract, which wasn't available until the beginning of the meeting. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, November 14, 2014

Delta College seeks to find footing in county
This upcoming semester includes a broader spectrum of courses, including English, reading and composition, computers, public health and automotive mechanics, plus a potential math class that is pending an agreement with the course instructor. The classes are scheduled for evenings and start Jan. 20. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, November 14, 2014

CCWD set to tap new general manager today
The Calaveras County Water District will meet today and its first agenda item in "new business" is to approve the appointment of a new general manager, who will be David Eggerton – the current general manager for the El Dorado County Water Agency. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, November 12, 2014

FEMA won't fix flood maps according to letter
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has no intention of using recent data it gathered to replace inaccurate flood maps that are forcing hundreds of Calaveras County residents to pay for unneeded flood insurance, according to a letter from the agency. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, November 12, 2014

Reservoirs near record low
The water level at New Melones Reservoir is so low now — about 503 feet above sea level — that parts of Tuttletown and Melones are starting to show... The two towns were inundated in 1980 after New Melones was built. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, November 11, 2014

Draft General Plan update could be released next month
The first public meetings on the General Plan update could begin sometime in February. Environmentalists and Tea Party members were upset with the board's decision to keep secret previous administrative drafts of the General Plan update.–Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, October 31, 2014

General Plan update to be done in spring of 2016
An administrative draft of the plan and maps will be released in November. Then, a 90-day comment period will begin. During that period, county planning officials will hold informational meetings in various parts of the county to describe the draft and answer questions... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 31, 2014

Storms likely a trick, not a treat for California
The storm may put a tiny amount of water into reservoirs but it doesn't change long-term forecasts indicating California is unlikely to get enough precipitation in the next few months to break the drought. As of midnight Wednesday, New Hogan Reservoir had 41,176 acre feet of water, or about 13 percent of its capacity. "While the reservoir looks very low, it does have plenty of water to supply customers in the Rancho Calaveras area through the winter..." –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 31, 2014

Why are mountain lion, bear sightings up?
In the Calaveras County area, Kleinfelter said there has been an increased number of reports of nuisance bears. The main reason, he said, is food availability... As for mountain lions, their territories are large and the animals are always roaming... More than half of California is mountain lion habitat, and the lions generally live wherever deer are found. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, October 29, 2014

Spanos Cos. sets aside 140 acres, and the habitat is thriving
With 60 acres of the wetland being used to mitigate the two developments, that leaves more than 80 acres that could count toward other future projects. The Spanos company is considering starting a "mitigation bank" in which other agencies could pay the company for credits, offsetting the impacts of their own projects. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, October 27, 2014

Planned Calaveras snowplay area OK'd
The Planning Commission is recommending the county Board of Supervisors adopt an ordinance to rezone the 67-acre property from "unclassified highway service" to "recreation" in addition to approving a conditional-use permit to operate Cottage Springs Resort. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, October 24, 2014

VSPUD seeks to move wastewater plant north
Rates would rise by $3 per month
Business-man Tom Coe would donate the land in the hope the wastewater plant would help boost the prospects for an education center on his property... having VSPUD annex the area and extend service would also boost the prospects for a recreational shooting center... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 28, 2014

Utility district looking at new sewer plant
The Valley Springs Public Utility District is pursuing a $6 million federal grant to address its wastewater treatment plant woes... The site...has been identified as the Coe property on Paloma Road two miles north of the existing plant. Coe is willing to donate the property to the district with the agreement a wastewater education center would be established at the site. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, October 22, 2014

Edson sees county in forefront of drought relief strategy
Proposal would increase water yield, provide jobs, reduce forest fires
The new industry relies on some of the area's natural resources, namely its land, forests and the water received in the form of rainfall and snowpack. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, October 24, 2014

Edson wants county to cash in on snowpack
The logic goes like this: Snow melts into water. Water is a precious resource in thirsty California. If water users pay to increase the yield from the snowpack, then crews in Calaveras County can do the required thinning of forests. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 14, 2014

Drought funding dries up
San Joaquin County is missing out on millions of dollars in state grants to fight the drought, in part because some private landowners are reluctant to share confidential information about their wells... the region would have saved about 14,000 acre-feet of water per year had the grant money been awarded in full. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, October 19, 2014

Reservoirs at 19-year low
Consider the sad state of reservoirs that supply the Stockton area: New Hogan Lake is 14 percent full — or perhaps better put, 86 percent empty. The lake is holding barely one-third of what it normally would this time of year, and is at its lowest level since January 1995. Today New Hogan holds only about 44,000 acre-feet of water. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, September 30, 2014

New dispensary becomes county compliant

Green Gold had to undergo evaluation and certification by every county zoning department, which took nearly a year to complete. Despite the hurdles, the county was very reasonable and the guidelines were clearly laid out... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 10, 2014

Hotel Leger sheds light on county regulations
"They were friendly and very helpful. They helped us sort all the steps out. We would describe it as small-town friendly help." "We visited five places in less than an hour and accomplished most of our business... In Los Angeles County, any one of those would have required a whole day to finish." –Click here for column—Calaveras Enterprise, April 22, 2014

Drying Sierra meadows could worsen California drought
Mountain meadows may act like sponges, but unlike a dry sponge, their ability to hold water isn't reversed when the soil becomes resaturated. "It's like with a raisin. You can add water, but all you're going to get is a soggy raisin," Arnold said. –Click here for article—Phys.Org, August 21, 2014

State report: Sierra forests in bad shape
The federal government's 2009 Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program is providing some funding for work. In Calaveras County, for example, those dollars are going to thin forests east of West Point and to restore upland meadows damaged by erosion (see related story). –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, September 26, 2014

Sierra forests, meadows in need of healing

Mattley Meadow is an alpine paradise with deep scars. And those scars – actually gullies – are not just ugly, but are also a problem for humans and wildlife that need the water Mattley Meadow could provide. That's why 32 people visited the meadow on the south rim of the Mokelumne River Canyon this week... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, September 26, 2014

Calaveras water use down by 22 percent
Calaveras County Water District officials announced this week that customers have reduced water usage by 22 percent. That percentage compares last month's districtwide water usage to August 2013. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, September 25, 2014

Groundwater bill opens door to restrictions on wells
Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed several bills that will for the first time regulate the pumping of groundwater, opening the door to restrictions on wells. In Calaveras County, the regulations are most likely to affect owners of wells on the far western edge of the county near Wallace and Burson that tap into the East San Joaquin Aquifer sub basin. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, September 19, 2014

Valley Springs in line for new family clinic
Mark Twain Health Care District and Dignity Health are moving closer to building a new Valley Springs Family Medical Center, it was announced at Wednesday's Valley Springs Area Business Association luncheon... within the next two years. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, September 19, 2014

State grant funds forest thinning near West Point

Several hundred acres of dense forest east of West Point will be thinned over the next three years thanks in part to a Sierra Nevada Conservancy grant that the agency's board approved Sept. 4. The conservancy, which is part of the California state government, will provide $185,000... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, September 16, 2014

AutoZone continues with plans for store
Competitor O'Reilly Auto Parts has already broken ground, poured concrete and started framing across State Route 26 from the proposed AutoZone site. "AutoZone wants to open up as quickly as it can," said Fred Katz of Roseville-based Katz Kilpatrick Properties... –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, September 12, 2014

Delta's evening classes begin at CHS
More options coming in spring

School is in session for the students of the long-sought San Joaquin Delta Community College courses that are now being held in Calaveras County. "We didn't fill up the capacity, but we had a good showing,"... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, September 12, 2014

County supes weigh various money issues
"You've cut the deficit in the General Fund in half," Norton said, noting that this year's hole was only about $3 million, versus the $6 million in red ink for the General Fund a year earlier. Officials have made up that deficit by spending down savings accumulated in previous years... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, September 12, 2014

Drought leads California to rethink water management
Dealing intelligently with long-term water supply reliability will become more difficult if climate change affects precipitation patterns, but will be impossible without rational groundwater regulation and water rights reform. –Click here for article—The Sacramento Bee, August 23, 2014

Supes to weigh final budget
Auditor to report how salaries rose while revenues declined

...pay for county employees has continued to rise in recent years even as ...tax revenues declined. Callen said the report she will present today will show that most top-paid county employees saw increases in the 16 percent to 20 percent range in the period from 2010 to 2012. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, September 9, 2014

Groundwater regulation bills on governor's desk
Bills now on the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown would end the era of unregulated pumping of well water in California. But the new laws are unlikely to burden the owners of private residential wells in Calaveras County, said Brian Moss... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, September 5, 2014

Cattle migration in the California foothills: The end of an era?
Since gold was discovered in California in the winter of 1848, cattle have roamed the foothills in winter and spring, summered in the rich grasslands of the Sierra Nevada, and returned to their lowland homes in the fall. This annual pattern... is rapidly disappearing. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, September 5, 2014

Plastic bag ban likely by next year
"Paper or plastic?" is a question unlikely to be asked at county supermarkets, pharmacies and convenience stores in the not-too-distant future... the amount of [plastic] bags recycled has hovered at around 5 percent. Reusable bags will be a likely option... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, September 5, 2014

Oak trees in peril due to SR26 safety project

Three oak trees between the Thomas Center and State Route 26 near the intersection at St. Andrews Road are destined to be "slaughtered" as Caltrans moves forward with a project to improve roadway safety in the area. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, September 3, 2014

Vets Park faces closure

Jenny Lind Veterans Memorial Park was on the brink of closure Tuesday. Labor Day weekend vandalism and the cut off of water to the park were listed as reasons for the possible action...Without water and an inoperable restroom, the park would have to close... –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, September 3, 2014

Closures, consolidation on list of Calaveras Unified cutbacks
The Calaveras Unified School District voted Tuesday night for a plan to close Toyon Middle School and Gold Strike High School and to consolidate three upcountry elementary schools as officials wrestle through a financial crisis after years of declining enrollment and spending down reserves. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, September 3, 2014

Delta College soccer field in need of $3.7M makeover
Built in 2007, the field was one of the first projects completed by the college using voter-approved, taxpayer-funded Measure L bond money. And already, the field is no longer usable, and the shrinking pot of bond money will have to be drawn from a second time... –Click here for article—Stockton Record, September 2, 2014

Sludge could soon return to county landfill
It may happen later this year after Calaveras County Supervisor Cliff Edson Tuesday persuaded his colleagues on the Board of Supervisors to support a push to ease rules for accepting dried sludge... Supervisor Merita Callaway said that looking for ways to more quickly fill the dump is not a good idea. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 29, 2014

County sees record year for wine grapes
Overall ag production down slightly

Agriculture is alive and well in Calaveras County, and it remains a vital asset to the county's economy. But the drought that's afflicting the region has had an adverse effect on the ag industry... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 29, 2014

Don't divorce Delta, staff suggests
The Grand Jury recommended that Calaveras County seek to withdraw from the Delta College district... "It's like any relationship. You try to make it work before you file for divorce," Norton said. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 26, 2014

Valley Springs olive oil brings home gold
Calaveras County may be known for its fine wines, but one Valley Springs business has gone a different agricultural route. And those efforts have been recognized on a global scale. "We were told it would take up to four years (to produce olives), but ours seemed to produce very quickly," Melson said, citing the climate of Valley Springs, which is similar to the Tuscan regions of Italy. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 22, 2014

'Ugly list' of $2.8M in cuts: Music, sports programs on chopping block
Valley Springs--With families moving out of the area to look for work during the economic downturn, the [Calaveras Unified School District] has lost roughly 400 students, resulting in a loss of about $2 million a year in state funding. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, August 21, 2014

Study: California Water Allocations Far Exceed Supply
Researchers said Tuesday that California has overdrawn its water account and has been draining it for a century... there are far more people who hold rights than there is water. –Click here for article—Capital Public Radio, August 20, 2014

Drinking out of a paper cup
State promises 861 percent more water than San Joaquin River actually provides
The fact that there is more paper water than real water in California has been acknowledged for years. But Tuesday's study, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, reveals which rivers are most oversubscribed. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, August 20, 2014

California allocates vastly more water than supplies allow, study shows
The rivers under the most strain, the research indicates, are virtually all that drain into the Central Valley, including the... Mokelumne, Stanislaus, Tuolumne... "It's an entitlement that may never be filled. That is unfortunate, because we continue to allocate water rights to this day." –Click here for article—Sacramento Bee, August 19, 2014

Moke's Wild and Scenic dies in committee
SB 1199's co-sponsors – the Foothill Conservancy and Friends of the River – will confer with Hancock in the next few weeks about whether protection of the Mokelumne River will be revisited in the California Legislature's 2015-16 session. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 19, 2014

Groundwater mining exploits shared resource
Who owns the water? That's the essential issue in a controversial plan to pump 26,000 acre-feet of groundwater over two years and sell it to a water district... nearby farmers are concerned. They worry that high-volume pumping will draw groundwater away from their wells, which they're counting on to keep their crops from dying. –Click here for article—Fresno Bee, August 10, 2014

Why utilities shy from mandatory water saving during a drought
We often look for easy answers and villains in droughts and see water use by others as water wasted... If the current drought is so bad, why wouldn't all water utilities mandate additional water conservation? Here are some common reasons (which some may call excuses)... –Click here for article—UC Davis California Water Blog, July 30, 2014

RIP Trinitas
Legal battles over former golf course finally end
The battle over the Trinitas golf course outlived the golf facility itself. Now, however, it is finally over. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 15, 2014

Wild and Scenic bill unlikely to pass this year
SB 1199 – better known as the Wild and Scenic River designation for the Mokelumne River – has been placed in the "suspense file" by the state Assembly's Appropriations Committee, effectively dooming its passage... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 14, 2014

CCWD urged to postpone GM hire
"Considering the track record of the board and the recruiters they have hired, I would consider any decision to hire by this board to be a complete waste of our money," said Mills... –Click here for article—Union Democrat, August 13, 2014

Building relocation paves way for road improvements
It's not every day that an entire building is lifted off its foundation and moved to a new location. But for those in the Valley Springs area, that very thing has been witnessed... as the historic Century 21 Tri-Dam building at the intersection of Highways 12 and 26 was moved... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 8, 2014

No timeline for opening of O'Reilly Auto Parts
O'Reilly Auto Parts is moving closer to opening a store in Valley Springs... Generally speaking, an O'Reilly store is about 6,600 square feet and has a mixture of eight to 12 full- and part-time employees, or "team members"... –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, August 6, 2014

VSPUD water use a concern
Valley Springs Public Utility District has asked its higher-volume customers—the park and school districts—to cut back on outdoor water usage... because the district's wells were not restoring water to the storage tanks as quickly as the district would like. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, August 6, 2014

Supes still say Moke should be Wild and Scenic Edson only opposing vote
Calaveras County supervisors this week discussed the fate of the Mokelumne River for the second time in six months and came to the same conclusion they did the first time: that they support protecting the river by having the state government designate it as "wild and scenic." –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 1, 2014

Supervisors side with developer over Caltrans
Tuesday's Calaveras County Board of Supervisors meeting wasn't quite a "David versus Goliath" confrontation, but for many in the board chambers, the showdown between a developer and Caltrans sure felt like it. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 25, 2014

AutoZone OK'd by supervisors
Following a lengthy appeal process, the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors gave its approval Tuesday to a proposed auto parts store in Valley Springs. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, July 23, 2014

State, county differ on well water regulation
Californians overwhelmingly support regulation of groundwater, according to results of a poll released last week by the California Water Foundation. Calaveras County residents, however, may not be as enthusiastic... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 22, 2014

State OKs fines for big water wasters
The State Water Resources Control Board Tuesday approved emergency regulations that authorize local water agencies to fine customers up to $500 per day for wasting water. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 18, 2014

State water cops scramble to cope
In the staff report to the Water Resources Control Board, staff admitted they were concerned about "possible widespread lack of compliance." ...79 percent of the junior water rights holders... had not even responded... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 8, 2014

Dry wells in county part of larger trend
Report calls for statewide groundwater rules
The current drought gives its message additional urgency as wells run dry in some areas, including western Calaveras County, and farmers pump more well water than ever as they lose access to surface water. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 15, 2014

Governor's Drought Task Force meets in Sonora
"When they asked the Aussies what they did wrong, they only planned for a three-year drought when they should have planned for a five-year drought," Wright said. "Calaveras County is doing a lot better than a lot of places," Wright said...–Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 15, 2014

Delta College works to expand options in county
Low enrollment for fall classes a problem
Cynthia Marshall of Valley Springs is closing in on her goal of a business certification. She just needs to take one more computer class ...to be held at Calaveras High School this fall. But as of Friday, she was the only student enrolled in the class and she's worried it will be canceled. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 15, 2014

Calaveras seeing no benefits of college
Grand jury recommends community sever ties with Delta
Ultimately, Calaveras students should be able to satisfy their general education requirements there, Delta President Kathy Hart said earlier this week. Hart said Delta's intention is to work with the neighboring Yosemite district to provide the classes students need. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, July 14, 2014

Drought drives drilling frenzy for groundwater in California
Farmers too, are starting to worry. In Merced County, farm leaders are trying to stop two private landowners from selling as much as 7 billion gallons of well water to farmers in another county. They call it "groundwater mining." –Click here for article—WBEZ Chicago, July 14, 2014

Groundwater management plans needed across California
The focus on groundwater is critical now because groundwater normally supplies about 40 percent the state's water ...In most drought years that ratio increases to about 60 percent, CWS reports. Demand on groundwater is expected to increase as the state's population surges from its current 38 million to over 50 million by 2049... –Click here for article—Visalia Times-Delta, July 10, 2014

Our View: End secrecy around groundwater data
California is the only western state that does not regulate its groundwater. It's also the only state that keeps most of its data on groundwater pumping secret. ...California insists on adhering to a wrongheaded, outdated, counterproductive 1951 law that makes well logs and drillers' reports confidential and unavailable for public inspection. –Click here for article—Merced Sun Star, July 7, 2014

The Public Eye: As drought persists, frustration mounts over secrecy of California's well drilling logs
But while all other Western states make such records – known as well completion reports, or well logs, for short – open to the public, California does not. "In Texas, the drillers' log information is public. You would think that Texas – with a much more pro-business climate – would allow this stuff to be proprietary. But it's never been that way. California, in that respect, is backward..." –Click here for article—Sacramento Bee, July 6, 2014

Pain of California's water shortage is spreading
The curtailment order allows exemptions in cases where there is no other water supply for health and safety purposes. The water district set the 68-gallon limit because that is what the state Department of Water Resources estimates is the minimum necessary for cooking, bathing and other basic personal needs. –Click here for article—Sacramento Bee, June 22, 2014

Club re-opens with county's OK
The county building department instructed the steakhouse and bar located at 28 California St. to comply with American With Disabilities Act regulations... County Building Official Jeff White last week confirmed the 1-4-5 Club's owners had completed the necessary work to re-open. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, July 2, 2014

Assessments bring good news to county
Cautious optimism amid 6 percent increase This year's increase is good news for a county that's strapped for revenue and facing a deficit of more than $8 million. While the boost won't help the county in this fiscal year, next year is a different story. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 27, 2014

Delta College gets poor marks in grand jury report
Steve Castellanos, the Area 5 member of the Delta Board of Trustees, was disappointed the grand jury report did not reflect discussions Delta officials and Edson's committee have had for several months. "This can be fixed" ...but he did not rule out the grand jury's recommendation to pull out of Delta. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, July 4, 2014

The "A" word
After hearing hours of debate about emergency rules to cut off farmers from their water supply, Tom Howard dropped the "A" word: Adjudication... Adjudication basically means that the board — or a judge — sits down and determines once and for all who gets water, and how much. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, July 3, 2014

Drought deepens water woes
CCWD Community Relations Manager Joel Metzger said the agency has not yet heard whether the mandatory 35 percent conservation plan the district adopted is adequate. That plan still allows watering of landscaping and gardens... If the drought continues, many Californians could eventually find that their only legal option to water landscaping and gardens is to recycle water used indoors in sinks, showers and clothes washers. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 3, 2014

Rain meter reset
On Tuesday the National Weather Service will turn the page on a hugely disappointing 2013-14 "wet" season... New Hogan Lake, a primary source of water for east San Joaquin County agriculture and the city of Stockton, was less than a quarter full on Friday, and about 47 percent of normal... –Click here for article—Stockton Record, June 30, 2014

Wild and Scenic for the Moke passes Assembly committee
The Calaveras County Water District's board of directors voted in late June to "oppose (the bill) unless amended." And last week, the board of the East Bay Municipal Utility District switched its vote from "opposed unless amended" to a unanimous vote of "support if amended," with one director absent. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 3, 2014

Wild & Scenic Mokelumne River bill clears another hurdle;
Letter to Assemblyman Bigelow from Supervisor Edson

State Senator Loni Hancock...pledged to negotiate with opponents to hammer out mutually acceptable amendments to the text of the bill, prior to its presentation to the Assembly for a vote... The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors... has agreed to schedule a study session... A letter from Edson to Assemblyman Bigelow [is posted]... –Click here for article—Ledger Dispatch, June 27, 2014

SB 1199 for a Wild and Scenic Moke passes first Assembly Committee!
"We're really happy to see the bill moving on," said Cecily Smith, Foothill Conservancy executive director. "Meanwhile, Senator Hancock has pledged to work with the opponents to address their concerns as the bill moves forward." –Click here for article—Foothill Conservancy, June 24, 2014

County budget deficit trimmed, not gone
Only one person will actually be laid off under a preliminary budget adopted Tuesday by the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors for the fiscal year that begins July 1... An Animal Services officer... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 20, 2014

No traffic signal for San Andreas
The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday, June 10, to scratch plans for the recently completed Calaveras Criminal Justice Center project on Jeff Tuttle Drive to contribute toward the cost of installing a traffic signal at Highway 49 and Mountain Ranch Road. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 17, 2014

Water reduction mandates hit
The severe drought hitting California just took a turn from bad to worse for residents of Calaveras County after the state sent letters out to water-right holders demanding curtailment. The letters were sent May 27 by the State Water Resources Control Board and explained that all diversions based on junior water rights – or those established after 1914 – are now prohibited. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 13, 2014

Efforts under way to increase higher ed opportunities in county
District 1 Supervisor Cliff Edson and a committee of about a dozen county residents are working to improve higher education opportunities in Calaveras County. As the Calaveras High School Class of 2014 graduates Wednesday evening, many will be off to further their education far from home. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, June 11, 2014

Building move paves way for SR12/26 work
Another step in the downtown State Route 12/26 intersection project is taking place. The Century 21 Tri-Dam Realty Inc. building on the southeast corner of the busy intersection is being moved deeper into the lot to accommodate a right turn lane from northbound SR26 to eastbound SR12/26. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, June 6, 2014

GM leaves with hefty severance package
Cost to district will top $82,000

While the Calaveras County Water District is now left without a general manager, the district will still pay Mitch Dion for six months' worth of salary since he was terminated "without cause"... effective immediately. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 3, 2014

CCWD board votes to give GM the boot
Mitch Dion's tenure comes to an end after just 18 months

The Calaveras County Water District is now in search of yet another general manager after the Board of Directors voted to fire Mitch Dion following a lengthy closed-session meeting Wednesday, May 28. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, May 30, 2014

Millions in road projects on hold
County may have to return $740,000

Progress is stalled on more than $68 million in road projects in Calaveras County, including a crucial replacement of an aging bridge linking the Copperopolis area to neighboring Tuolumne County. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, May 30, 2014

Controversial Moke Wild & Scenic River bill passes Senate
The designation bars dams and major diversions in the designated area, but will not affect existing hydropower and water facilities. Amendments made to the bill will ensure that the designation will not affect Amador and Calaveras County's current and future rights as long as water projects do not dam or harm the 37 designated miles of river. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, June 6, 2014

S.J. protests wild, scenic proposal for Mokelumne
Long thirsty for Mokelumne River water, San Joaquin County appears poised to oppose legislation that would designate 37 miles of the upper stream as wild and scenic. The county fears such a designation could block future dams upstream of Pardee Lake... Click here for article—Stockton Record, May 29, 2014

UPDATE: Wild and Scenic passes through Senate
Senate Bill 1199, which designates a portion of the Mokelumne River as Wild and Scenic, was passed by a vote of 22 to 12 in the Senate today, May 27. The bill will move on to the Assembly... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, May 29, 2014

County confronts need for long-term solutions
$8 million deficit will take years to tackle

This may be the year Calaveras County officials stop using the word "recession." Since the housing crash of 2008, Calaveras County revenues have been either stagnant or declining. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, May 23, 2014

Snow survey reinforces dire reality
"Anyone who doesn't think conservation is important should drive up the hill and take a look," said Mark Cowin, director of DWR. "Coupled with half our normal rainfall and low reservoir storage, our practically nonexistent snowpack reinforces the message that we need to save every drop we can just to meet basic needs." Most dramatically, the electronic readings showed 7 percent of average water content in the Northern Sierra snowpack, which helps fill the state's major reservoirs. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, May 6, 2014

Calaveras committed to tax break
The glorious views of open, oak-studded ranch lands that motorists see when they drive into Calaveras County on highways 4 and 26 are that way, in part, thanks to a tax break.
For almost half a century (the law passed in 1965), California has allowed counties to give property tax breaks to ranchers and farmers who sign contracts to keep their lands in agriculture for at least the next 10 years. Click here for article—Stockton Record, May 3, 2014

Wild and Scenic passes Senate committee
CHS students lobby for bill

The Mokelumne River continues to flow toward becoming designated as a California Wild and Scenic River following a 7-2 vote of the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee on Tuesday. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, May 2, 2014

Delta College classes in Calaveras libraries?
San Joaquin Delta College, which never built a campus in Calaveras County despite the hopes of county residents, might someday operate classes in county libraries under a proposal from Calaveras County Supervisor Cliff Edson. Click here for article—Stockton Record, May 1, 2014

Protected status given to Sierra amphibians
The yellow-legged frog, a native of the high Sierra, will soon be listed as an endangered species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Friday. The listings will mean new legal protections for two species of yellow-legged frog and for the toad, which live at high altitudes primarily on federal forest or national park lands. Click here for article—Stockton Record, April 26, 2014

Jenny Lind firehouse to close doors
The newly formed Calaveras Consolidated Fire Protection District boasted two firehouses that could be manned 24-hours-a-day. But the doors of the firehouse in Jenny Lind are likely to be closed more often than not during the upcoming fire season due to a staffing shortage in the district. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 22, 2014

CPUD: drought's effect not yet dire
Conservation encouraged

The rainy season is coming to an end and precipitation levels remain far below normal, prompting water districts across California to brace for what could be a very difficult summer. The Calaveras Public Utility District based in San Andreas is no exception. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 18, 2014

Tussle over Calaveras Community Plans
When Calaveras County leaders seven years ago invited the various towns, hamlets and sprawling rural communities to come up with their own plans for future growth and development, lots of them acted on the offer. Hundreds of people came to meetings. And they drafted plans. Now all that democracy is running into economics and bureaucracy. Click here for article— The Record's Calaveras & Lode Blog, April 18, 2014

Permit issued for Arnold medical collective
The chamber was standing room only for Tuesday's Calaveras County Board of Supervisors meeting and most people in the crowd showed up for one reason: the issue of medical marijuana. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 11, 2014

Fighting fire with fire
A new study found spending $68 million now to thin forests in the Upper Mokelumne River Watershed could save millions more over the next 30 years. Click here for article—Stockton Record, April 18, 2014

Study: Forest Fuel Reduction Cheaper Than Fighting Fires
Five scenarios were studied in the Mokelumne Watershed, which provides water for 1.3 million customers in the area east of San Francisco Bay. Carr has begun talks with the East Bay Municipal Utility District about raising water rates to pay for fuel reduction efforts. Carr says $5 per customer per year would make a difference. –Click here for article—Capital Public Radio, April 15, 2014

California Wildfire Study: Spend on Prevention to Save on Disasters
Scientists from The Nature Conservancy, the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and the Forest Service concluded that forest management can save two to three times what it costs to fight and clean up after fires, and shrink the size and intensity of fires up to 75 percent. The study drew on 30 years of fire data from the Mokelumne River watershed... –Click here for article—KQED Science, April 11, 2014

Megafires Cost Savings
The "Mokelumne Watershed Avoided Cost Analysis" concentrated on the areas just north of the Tuolumne watershed were the Rim Fire burned... "The people that are ending up having to pay two to three times more because at this point we are more focused on fire fighting, is the tax payer." –Click here for article—MyMotherLode.com, April 10, 2014

Room on Welcome to Valley Springs sign
The "Welcome to Valley Springs" sign off State Route 26 near the intersection at Vista Del Lago Drive is beginning to take shape as emblems from the community's churches and non-profit organizations are being installed. Members of the Tri-Dam Lions Club and the Rotary Club of Valley Springs gathered last week... –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, April 11, 2014

Mokelumne River on path to protection
The Mokelumne River is one step closer to permanent state protection after Sen. Loni Hancock introduced legislation that would safeguard the waterway, which forms the boundary between Calaveras and Amador counties. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 8, 2014

River's status may be upgraded
After trying and failing for 25 years to get federal leaders to protect a stretch of the Mokelumne River above Pardee Lake with wild and scenic designation, local river advocates were thrilled Friday with notice that state leaders will at least consider it. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, April 5, 2014

Legislation introduced to designate the Mokelumne a state Wild and Scenic River
On April 4, Sen. Loni Hancock (D-Oakland) introduced legislation, Senate Bill 1199, to designate 37 miles of the North Fork and main Mokelumne River a State Wild and Scenic River. The Mokelumne provides 90 percent of the water for Hancock's constituents in the East Bay. –Click here for article—Foothill Conservancy, April 4, 2014

Smartish growth
Good news: Stockton area fares well in national survey of sprawl. Bad news: It's partially because other places are doing so poorly. "In the Central Valley, we are absolutely not sprawling," [Beckman] said. "When folks talk about sprawl, they're not talking about us." –Click here for article—Stockton Record, April 4, 2014

Getting water rights a long haul, lawyer says
Many options exist in the world of water... Any pursuit of water or water rights and additional storage, he said, could require a demonstration of need. "Having that as a foundation, of how much water do we need, should help guide your decisions," Jacobs said. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, April 3, 2014

College classes back in county
Delta works with CUSD to offer fall courses

In recent years, residents of northern Calaveras County have had to go elsewhere to take college classes. But all that will change this fall after Delta College decided to offer at least four classes in the county. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 1, 2014

Enterprise editor takes CCWD position
Within the month, Calaveras Enterprise Editor Joel Metzger will transition to a position with the Calaveras County Water District as its community relations and customer service manager... Metzger's new role with CCWD comes at a time when the district must eliminate $1.8 million in expenses from its operations and maintenance budget... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 1, 2014

Calaveras County Water District officials announce new business plan
Calaveras County Water District officials have announced that a new business plan will within a few years save almost $2 million annually and avert the need to increase the district's operations and maintenance budget. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, April 1, 2014

CCWD officials introduce framework for new business plan
"Reducing costs by nearly $2 million is more than a great goal, it requires focus and discipline," Dion said. "This is an exciting time to improve the services while avoiding additional cost increases." –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, March 28, 2014

Cal Fire warns of defensible space needs
"If you think last year was bad, hang on to your hats," warned Eric Kurtz, battalion chief for Cal Fire. "We're way ahead of normal."..."(We) don't want to write tickets," Kurtz said. "We want compliance so we have defensible space." He also hoped that California's controversial fire fee might help fund additional inspectors to minimize the gaps of enforcement. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 28, 2014

Fire district moving ahead with selling one of its stations
The Calaveras Consolidated Fire District Board of Directors voted unanimously Monday evening to begin the process of getting rid of one of CalCo's stations. The district no longer uses the Danaher-Silver Rapids station, Chief Kim Olson said, and the board has declared it surplus property. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, March 28, 2014

V.S. park proposal gets mixed reception
District 1 Supervisor Cliff Edson hosted a town hall meeting at Valley Springs Elementary School Tuesday, where more than 50 residents showed up to meet election candidates and hear updates from agencies in the county. The evening included a presentation by Foothill Community Parks and Recreation that turned into the dominating issue of the night. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 21, 2014

Need for new park called into question
Whether the Valley Springs area needs a new park offering baseball and soccer fields, tennis courts, a playground and amphitheater became a point of contention at Tuesday's town hall meeting organized by District 1 Supervisor Cliff Edson. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, March 21, 2014

Calaveras Consolidated to consider selling one of its fire stations
The district is dealing with declining revenue from property taxes and "we need to streamline our budget and live within our means," said Deputy Chief Jason Robitaille. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, March 21, 2014

CCWD rate hikes funding projects
The Calaveras County Water District is moving forward with construction projects funded by last year's controversial sewer and water rate hikes... documents are being prepared on a seven-year loan intended to "jump start" water and sewer projects. The district plans to borrow $4 million for water projects and $2.3 million for wastewater projects. –Click here for article—The Union Democrat, March 20, 2014

Fire districts feel heat of bad economy
The financial hardships faced by Calaveras County have far-reaching effects and special districts in the county are feeling the same pinch – especially the fire districts... Fire districts are left to make due with less and wait for the property values to rebound. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 14, 2014

CSERC challenge of Mine project leads to County rescinding Mine permit to bury 27 acres of oak habitat under a mountain of mining waste
The idea of the Mine and the County following the law in the first place did not seem to resonate. –Click here for article—CSERC News, March 19, 2014

Calaveras sues to shutter 2 pot shops
County says no effort made for proper permits

One of them, Forgotten Knowledge Collective, has been operating for almost four years, and is the oldest of at least four unpermitted medical pot storefronts in the county. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, March 14, 2014

Caltrans moves closer to installing traffic light at busy intersection
The recent appearance of utility markings at the intersection of State Route 26 and Vista Del Lago Drive is a reminder that one of the Valley Springs area's most dangerous intersections is due for a safety upgrade. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, March 14, 2014

CCWD directors wary of 'Wild and Scenic' designation for Moke
"One of the advantages of Wild and Scenic is that it would preclude anybody else from coming in with a sweetheart deal and putting a reservoir on that river to take water that begins in our county," Dean said... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 14, 2014

CCWD unsure on Moke River designation
The Calaveras County Water District's Board of Directors decided Wednesday not to take a formal stand on whether the Mokelumne River should receive state Wild and Scenic designation... directors asked that the issue be brought back before the board within a few months. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, March 13, 2014

Vacation rentals need to pay for permit
Owners of vacation rentals will need to obtain a permit and pay a fee in order to rent to tourists, but that doesn't mean they will... The resolution's passage was good news for some but not all. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 14, 2014

Tulloch vacation rental regulation remains uncertain
Lake Tulloch waterfront vacation rental homes are still being advertised online, and many are booked for the coming summer even though not a single property owner has yet obtained a permit required since last summer. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, March 13, 2014

Drought raises fears S.J. River could run dry
A water district official in south San Joaquin County is sounding the alarm that the county's namesake river could run dry this summer all the way to the edge of the Delta. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, March 9, 2014

Lode's 49 eyed for National Highway System
Such a designation could bring much needed federal dollars for maintenance and upgrades, such as the long-awaited straightening of the so-called "Wagon Trail" section of Highway 4... –Click here for article—Stockton Record, March 9, 2014

D1 Supervisor plans town hall meeting with numerous topics
Open to the public, Edson said, "Bring your ideas to make our community a better place to live, work and visit." –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, March 7, 2014

'Wild and Scenic' designation backed
Cheers broke out in a crowded boardroom Tuesday after the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors unanimously voiced support for state Wild and Scenic designation of the Mokelumne River. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, February 26, 2014

Planning board indecisive on pot dispensary
The Calaveras County Planning Commission met Thursday, Feb. 27, and paved the way for a medical marijuana dispensary in Arnold to come into compliance with county code, but the commission was unwilling to recommend that the actual use permit be issued. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 4, 2014

Fire district's plan doused by residents
Many fire districts in the county are hurting for revenue. They're operating on shoestring budgets and any reserves they may have in place are being depleted. Calaveras Consolidated Fire Protection District is one of those suffering... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 4, 2014

Fire district backs off placing tax measure on ballot
"The message was loud and clear from the people in the community," CalCo Fire Chief Kim Olson said Tuesday morning. "We have a lot of support, but we heard a lot of frustration toward government in general." Olson said the survey indicated only 30 to 40 percent of public support for a tax measure. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, February 26, 2014

Calaveras County Supervisors Vote Unanimously For Mokelumne River With State Wild and Scenic River Designation
In front of a standing-room-only crowd, the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in favor of a resolution supporting California State Wild and Scenic River designation for the Mokelumne River during its February 25 meeting. –Click here for press release—ThePineTree.net, February 27, 2014

Unanimous vote "Yes" to save the Moke!
Foothill Conservancy thanks the Calaveras County supervisors for their leadership in recognizing that the many benefits the Mokelumne River provides to humans and wildlife can be balanced while protecting a river loved and enjoyed by current and future generations. –Click here for article—Foothill Conservancy, February 25, 2014

Board supports wild and scenic status for Mokelumne River
At Tuesday's board meeting, the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to support the designation of the Mokelumne River as wild and scenic.
The resolution said that protecting the Mokelumne River is supported by thousands of area residents, including many public officials and business owners. –Click here for report—Calaveras Enterprise, February 25, 2014

Lode fire tax could go to voters
The chief of the Calaveras Consolidated Fire District, which serves the greater Valley Springs area, says his fire engines are too old and his firefighters too young. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, February 23, 2014

Slowed to a trickle
S.J. officials restricting flows from Calaveras River in case of emergency
In yet another reminder of these dry times, flows in the Calaveras River below New Hogan Lake have been reduced to the lowest level since the late 1990s. The Stockton East Water District earlier this month cut releases from New Hogan to a mere 10 cubic feet per second. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, February 20, 2014

Vets hall clears issue of sprinklers
Resolving the fire suppression issue helps the memorial district figure out the remaining costs to complete the hall so the building can be appraised and a final loan amount determined. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, February 19, 2014

Safe route to JL School moves closer to reality

An often controversial project to improve pedestrian safety to and from Jenny Lind Elementary School has entered the construction phase. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, February 14, 2014

Eight-year process
Hurdles remain in General Plan update
[interim Planning Director Harrington] believes a draft of the General Plan update could be ready for release to the public later this year, but some factors are emerging that could stall this latest drive to the end zone. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, January 31, 2014

CCWD included in federal legislation
In an effort to buffer the county from the larger water problems plaguing the state, the Calaveras County Water District was recently included in federal legislation that would secure the water district's storage capacities in the county..."It won't get passed in its current form, that's for sure," Dion said. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 18, 2014

Veterans hall completion in Catch-22
The Jenny Lind Veterans Memorial District community hall could be completed by the end of this year, but a Calaveras County building regulation is posing an expensive, if not impossible condition to meet. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, February 14, 2014

CalCo looking for a way to finance upgrades
Results of a survey to determine whether west Calaveras residents are interested in paying to upgrade fire protection and emergency medical services are scheduled to be released to the public at a Feb. 24 meeting of the Calaveras Consolidated Fire Protection District... –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, February 14, 2014

County hopes to raise accountability
Some departments and special districts in Calaveras County are getting a free lunch at the expense of others... "I worked for a big corporation," said District 1 Supervisor Cliff Edson. "And every department had to charge out for anything that was done"... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 14, 2014

CCWD has 'adequate' water supply
While California is faced with a drought of historic proportions, Calaveras County Water District leaders said Wednesday the district has enough water to meet current and future demands. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, February 13, 2014

Water sale in works; district could run dry by July
The South San Joaquin Irrigation District board Tuesday unanimously approved the potential sale of 2,400 acre-feet of water out of New Melones Reservoir to benefit Tuolumne County citizens. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, February 12, 2014

Storm brings much-needed downpour
The county and the state are still in drought conditions, but the recent storm will help ease the growing strain on water supplies. "It's not the end of the drought, but we're glad for the gifts we do have," Wright said. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 11, 2014

Public input sought for transportation plans
The Calaveras Council of Governments is preparing to update three transportation plans in the county... "There's a new plan called the Active Transportation Program, (which provides) $180 million for Bicycle, Pedestrian and Safe Route to School projects,"..."So we want to be ready." –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 11, 2014

County prevails in Trinitas Court of Appeals case
Although Trinitas Golf Course ceased operating about two years ago, court cases involving the controversial development continue to be decided. The latest ruling came out last month...Calaveras County once again prevailed over former Trinitas owners Mike and Michelle Nemee. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, February 7, 2014

Residents renew attempt to build regional park
Efforts to build a regional park in Valley Springs with baseball/softball fields, clay tennis courts and other recreational amenities are re-gaining momentum... Ironically, providing water to the proposed park is a major hurdle... –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, February 7, 2014

Calaveras Grown promotes Calaveras County agriculture
Wondering where to find fresh nutrient-packed local produce, eggs, honey or meats? Calaverasgrown.org is your one-stop shop for all things agricultural in Calaveras County. We worked for the inclusion of agricultural zoning in the county and continue to work toward the inclusion of agriculture in Calaveras County's General Plan... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 7, 2014

No severe drought threat in Calaveras
But at least for this year, most people here will still get water when they turn on their faucets. "If we get real about our conservation, I think we will be OK this year," said Mitch Dion, general manager of Calaveras County Water District.. Leatherman and other water utility leaders here have called on residents to take voluntary conservation measures. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, February 6, 2014

Old town Angels designated 'historic'
Angels Camp City Council members voted Tuesday night to rezone 86 downtown parcels and create an official "historic commercial district"... The rezone brings the city in compliance with Angels Camp's General Plan, a long-range planning document adopted five years ago. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, February 5, 2014

Planners, Tea Party find selves on common ground
"A city-style subdivision appeared in our area, seemingly almost overnight," said Colleen Platt, a member of MyValleySprings.com. Infusino said the Coalition will continue to push county officials to be transparent as they work on an overdue revision of the General Plan... "We have a lot in common," Dausend said. "We also support protecting the environment." –Click here for article—Stockton Record, February 4, 2014

1,000 homes removed from FEMA flood list
FEMA's most recent maps are a considerable improvement over its previous maps, according to Harrington, but those maps are not the official maps in circulation. Even those property owners who qualify to be dropped from the flood zone will have to wait until the fall for official approval. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 4, 2014

Well owners threatened by drought, too
...Experts say it remains to be seen how much of an effect the dry weather will have on private well systems. A local well-owner who watched his fail during the drought of the late 1980s and early 1990s warned about being "overconfident" in a well's production capacity. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, February 4, 2014

New Melones marina to close fall 2014
The decision was made in part due to low water levels. "Because of the drought, the projected water level by fall 2014 will be too low to operate the marina or launch ramps," –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 4, 2014

[Water] Conservation Conversation
Yes, this drought is a disaster. But it's also an opportunity to change our wasteful ways. It's an opportunity to develop new and better habits. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, February 3, 2014

General Plan still awaits unified effort
But some supervisors and commission members were not inclined to pass anything without the inclusion of community plans... "(The community plans) should really be driving the General Plan and not the other way around," echoed District 2 planning commissioner Fawn McLaughlin. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 31, 2014

Board sets priorities
"I'm a little baffled how the five minutes got reduced to three minutes because there was long discussion about that at the (Dec. 5) meeting," said Valley Springs resident Colleen Platt. "Everybody seemed happy with that five-minute limit at that workshop." –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 31, 2014

Revised plans for Calaveras Park unveiled
Park proposed for Valley Springs. Buoyed by hopes of better times ahead and the support of Calaveras County's leading parks proponent, Valley Springs activists have revived a drive to create a regional park with ball fields, an amphitheater and an equestrian arena close to the heart of town. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, January 30, 2014

New planning director picked for county
Placerville resident Peter Maurer has officially accepted an offer from the county to take over the Planning Department as the new planning director, making him the seventh director in eight years. He is scheduled to begin his new role in March. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 28, 2014

Lawsuit filed to stop new water wells in Stanislaus
A just-filed lawsuit seeks a court order to stop Stanislaus County from issuing new well construction permits without first requiring environmental reviews... the lawsuit was filed because "a substantial increase in the number of new wells is depleting area groundwater and, where the wells are hydraulically connected to streams, reducing already inadequate instream flow." –Click here for article—Modesto Bee, January 28, 2014

Water-Forestry Forum charts a new course for California
"What we've been doing isn't working," said Mitch Dion, general manager of CCWD, in his opening address at the forum. "This forum is about getting people together to figure out a path to move forward." –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 28, 2014

Summit looks at forests, water supply
Most of California's water comes from forests, and poorly maintained forests provide less water, either because they burn down or because they are too dense and suck most of the water into plants and trees. –Click here for article and video—Stockton Record, January 24, 2014

Are we better prepared for a drought?
1977. It stood for decades as California's benchmark low-water year - the driest of the dry, the drought by which we judge all other droughts. East of Stockton, New Hogan Lake shrank to 3 percent capacity. The Mokelumne River went dry near Thornton. Lawns were painted green and flower displays at one county fair were paper cutouts. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, January 19, 2014

Broadband Internet one step closer to reality
High-speed Internet service is no longer an amenity in the 21st century. It's an essential component of modern life that's a benefit in a multitude of ways. "These days, telephones are an integral part of our lives. Electricity is an integral part of our lives," said District 3 Supervisor Merita Callaway, who's taken on the Internet issue due to the rural nature of her district. "Well, broadband is an integral part of our lives and, for businesses, it's become quite critical." –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 21, 2014

Public Works director turns in resignation
Another top official in Calaveras County will be leaving soon, adding his name to a list that has been growing in recent months. Public Works Director Tom Garcia sent a letter to county staff Friday, Jan. 17, announcing his resignation within a week. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 21, 2014

Governor declares drought emergency
With foothill reservoirs reduced to puddles, the Sierra snowpack scaled down to slush and the long-term forecast calling for dry, balmy weather, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency for California Friday, Jan. 17. "We are in an unprecedented, very serious situation," Brown said... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 21, 2014

Severe Drought Grows Worse in California
Cattle ranchers have had to sell portions of their herd for lack of water. Sacramento and other municipalities have imposed severe water restrictions. Wildfires broke out this week in forests that are usually too wet to ignite. Ski resorts that normally open in December are still closed... –Click here for article—New York Times, January 17, 2014

Economic group revitalizes effort for county development
Calaveras County has recently seen a resurgence of passionate people step up to the plate with one goal in mind: economic vitality for the county. The Calaveras County Economic Development Company has been around going back to the early 1980s. But it's gone through a number of incarnations... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 17, 2014

Calaveras County OKs streamlining efforts
As dire financial circumstances continue to shrink the county's work force, some departments are adapting by merging, consolidating management positions and cross training front-line employees to allow more flexibility in who does what work. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, January 16, 2014

Bigelow calls for drought action
Mother Lode Assemblyman Frank Bigelow believes rural counties should be at the center of the discussion regarding the current drought situation, because those are the areas where much of the state's water originates. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, January 15, 2014

Oaks, old cemetery will be saved
Nearly four acres of Calaveras County-owned land set aside for oak tree preservation will also protect a historic cemetery where hundreds of miners were buried more than a century ago. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, January 15, 2014

Three counties share in troubles, not approaches
Calaveras County is facing a difficult road ahead. Spending outweighs revenue by millions of dollars. Over the next six months, the Board of Supervisors is tasked with deciding the best way to balance a severely lopsided budget projected to be $4 million to $7 million in the red. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 14, 2014

Calaveras supervisors strive for teamwork with workshop
There was a lot of good, honest laughter Tuesday morning as the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors met. The workshop facilitator, Bill Chiat, opened the meeting by noting that the problems elected leaders face fall into two categories.–Click here for article—Stockton Record, January 11, 2014

CCWD to lower connection fees near Ebbetts Pass
Before the recent fee reduction, it cost $12,200 to connect into CCWD's lines... the price for new connections now stands at $6,200. While the cost of connection fees in the Ebbetts Pass region has plummeted, Dion doesn't predict that prices will fall as sharply in other parts of the county. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 10, 2014

Drought hurting county's cattle ranchers
Anyone driving through the foothills will notice extremely dry rangelands that are still brown and dry from summer and the obvious shortage of water in the lakes and reservoirs. The extremely dry winter we're experiencing is having a critical impact on Calaveras County cattle ranchers. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 10, 2014

Facilitator helps guide supervisors in new direction
His goal for the day was to clarify the role of the board and to develop a list of short-term and long-term goals the supervisors have for the county. "Your job is to focus on ends – what's the good we want to do in the community, for whom and what is the cost to do that..." –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 10, 2014

Calaveras Sheriff's Office, Jail advance
A new Calaveras County Sheriff's Office is anticipated to open later this winter, followed by a state-of-the-art jail in the spring... built next to the modern $45.4 million Calaveras County Courthouse, which was dedicated in November. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, January 7, 2014

Calaveras to follow Stockton path?
Possibility of fiscal crisis looms in election year

This may be the year that Calaveras County tries to unseat Stockton as the reigning champ of local government financial drama. Calaveras Administrative Officer Lori Norton has repeatedly told supervisors that the budget is not sustainable. Another unanswered question is exactly how much additional money the county will need in future years to maintain and operate its new jail. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, January 4, 2014

CCWD goes native
Dion hopes the lesson of water-wise gardening can extend to the community. "The goal is to demonstrate on a backyard-sized scale," Dion said. "We are going into a drought, gang. What do you do? You go native." –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 3, 2014

Sierra snowpack at 20 percent of normal, survey shows
This year's reading and the one in January 2012 are the lowest on record... The winter snowpack in the northern and central Sierra provides about a third of the state's water supply. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, January 3, 2014

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