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2015 Archive

Calaveras Planning Coalition appeals Public Records Act request denial
Tom Infusino...requested that the county direct planning consulting firm Mintier Harnish, which developed the scrapped general plan, to release its copy to the group. The general plan in question was developed by Mintier Harnish at a cost of more than $900,000 and reportedly discarded by the board of supervisors at the time without being examined. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, December 28, 2015

CB Asphalt threatens MyValleySprings.com
The members of grassroots organization MyValleySprings.com received a threatening letter from the proponents of a proposed hot mix asphalt plant near Valley Springs after the group began looking into contract bids the asphalt plant applicants placed with the state Department of Transportation. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, December 23, 2015

Calaveras County to regulate marijuana growers
New laws coming in 2016
"This industry is knocking on our door," said Allen Sender, owner of Sender's Market in Mountain Ranch, who said his business is in the middle of the industry. "There's a lot of good that comes with this product. Do it right. Listen to these people, get their input on how to do it right (because) they know how to do it right and make good decisions for our county." Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, December 23, 2015

Asphalt plant OK'd by planning commission
It appears the Hogan Quarry asphalt plant issue will go to the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors for a decision. However, opponents of the hot plant have come out to say they will file an appeal. "Staff provided substantial evidence to support a finding that the project 'may have a significant effect on the environment,'" Techel said. "This is so disheartening because it's so clearly important that we protect the residents that live along that route," said Janice Bassett...a nearby resident. Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, December 23, 2015.

Resource production element eviscerated--Agricultural Coalition's mitigation measures removed
McLaughlin said she believes the commission is opting to do the bare minimum with the resource production element, an optional component of the general plan, after the other commissioners decided to remove language encouraging conservation easements... "It was a compromise between conservationists and developers," Wright said. "A middle ground was established and I think that's the strength of that document." Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, December 21, 2015

Asphalt plant opponents plan to appeal decision
Calaveras County Planning Commission rules in favor of project
Jason Boetzer, director of the Environmental Management Agency, earlier this month reported that the project may have a significant impact on the environment during normal operations, especially given its proximity to the Calaveras County Water District's Jenny Lind Water Treatment facility. County Health Officer Dr. Dean Kelaita also warned that the plant may pose a hazard. Commissioners decided to rely instead on the reports of consultants... Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, December 18, 2015

CCWD may dip into rate hike funds to cope with Butte Fire sediment
The $939,500 that will come from the Water Capital Renovation and Replacement Fund is just 25 percent of the $3.7 million cost for the improvements... Still, neither the Jenny Lind treatment plant improvements nor a new, more secure water intake built this fall at Lake Tulloch near Copperopolis were originally on the list of projects approved along with a series of rate hikes several years ago. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, December 17, 2015

Asphalt plant receives favorable vote from planning panel
The action was taken Thursday after a lengthy hearing where those for and against the plant voiced their opinions. "There are so many unknowns that you need a CUP (conditional use permit) process to pin them down," said Lew Mayhew of Burson. Joyce Techel from MyValleySprings.com said as recently as this September there was a hot plant fire in southern California that posed a health risk to the community and added the Clements plant had an explosion several years ago that sent debris "as big as cars in the air." Click here for article, The Valley Springs News, December 16, 2015

Calaveras planners rule in favor of asphalt plant at quarry
In granting the appeal neither company will be required to obtain a conditional use permit prior to the installation and operation of a hot asphalt plant at the Valley Springs location. The ruling could be considered a win for the two enterprises, but it does not mean the asphalt plant can operate immediately. Maurer said this is just one step. If a member of the public decides to appeal the decision, the issue will go to county supervisors. Click here for article, The Union Democrat, December 16, 2015

Asphalt plant wins key vote at planning commission
The Calaveras County Planning Commission on Thursday voted 4-1 that it intends to allow the operation of a proposed asphalt batch plant near Valley Springs without requiring a conditional use permit. County Environmental Management Agency officials had determined that a conditional use permit was required because hazardous materials used by the operation may have a significant impact on human health or the environment. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, December 14, 2015

Residents objected to changes made without permit
Planners ask Verizon to quiet cell tower equipment
According to a California Department of Transportation sound level chart, 20 decibels is about the background noise level in a recording studio or concert hall. The sound of a dishwasher in a nearby room is between 50 and 60 decibels. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, December 14, 2015

CCWD seeks FEMA grant for treatment facilities
The water, known to show minor discoloration following a large storm from time to time, resembled nothing like what is seen today — chocolate milk with a pulp-like sediment floating along the top, running downstream...The North Fork is one of several tributaries that funnel into the New Hogan Reservoir, which is just under 8 percent maximum capacity... that provides water for 10,000 people in Rancho Calaveras. Click here for article—Union Democrat, December 10, 2015

CCWD adopts water transfer policy principles
Someday, the Calaveras County Water District might sell excess water to wealthy water districts in the San Joaquin Valley or even Southern California. But if and when that happens, the district will make sure that existing customers benefit, whether through lower rates or by using the extra cash to make needed repairs in Calaveras County. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, December 10, 2015. Click here for CCWD Press Release and Water Transfer Policy Principles adopted December 9, 2015

General plan vision changes directions
Focus shifts from community issues to property owners
Supervisor Steve Kearney said keeping the general plan vague would help it retain the flexibility to adapt to changes that may take place in the future. "What the county looks like in 10 years might not be anything that crosses through my mind right now," Kearney said. "This allows for those changes. It allows for property rights to be respected and it also allows for new development." Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, December 10, 2015

Calaveras County throws out the 2010 Mintier General Plan
Calaveras County denies CPC's public records request for the Mintier General Plan. In denying the public records request, Assistant County Counsel David Sirias indicated that the County no longer has a copy of the Mintier General Plan. He further cited four additional reasons for denying the request... Click here to read article, Calaveras Planning Coalition, December 8, 2015

Planning commission approves tax break for scorched property
The planning commission on Thursday voted to recommend granting a tax break for an agricultural preserve on a property near Mountain Ranch that was burned by the Butte Fire in the middle of its application process. "Why does current have to be construed to mean the minute the contract is approved if they already made the $2,000?" asked Commissioner Kelly Wooster. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, December 7, 2015

County's $1 million consultant bill called into question
In a statement to the board on Tuesday, Infusino said, "The people have the right to access information concerning the conduct of the people's business."... "The liberties of the people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." Infusino represents the Calaveras Planning Coalition, which is a group of community organizations and individuals calling for a healthy and sustainable future for Calaveras County. Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, November 27, 2015

Planners want scrapped general plan to go public
Infusino said that the plan produced by consulting firm Mintier Harnish was delivered to the county between December 2010 and February 2011. Wright said he did not see the harm in taking a look at the plan and comparing it to the development of the current one. "Why spend that much money on something if we're never going to see it?" Wright said. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, November 25, 2015

New stores to revive Main Street, Moke Hill
"Every town needs a critical mass: places to eat, things to do, items to look at, shops to look into, art activities to participate in," said Fawn McLaughlin, owner of the collectible store McHale's Revival Shop. "There are a lot of people who have been small business owners who like the idea of being part of a community and connecting with other business owners," Jack Garamendi said. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, November 25, 2015

Planning Commission tables resource production element
Members want to learn more about conservation tools
Wooster...said that transfers of development rights and conservation easements permanently lock up the land from being developed and have strict provisions. Agricultural Commissioner Kevin Wright said it was better not to limit the number of tools at property owners' disposal to conserve the resources on their land. "The more tools ranchers have, the better off the county is," Wright said. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, November 24, 2015

New report finds community service area roads inadequate
"Most of the roads are characterized as substandard roadways that do not meet current county standards for many criteria." For instance, the approximately 47 miles of roads in the largest CSA, Rancho Calaveras, have major structural flaws from their original construction that will result in "premature aging and eventual failure," according to the report. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, November 20, 2015

New special district to address environmental crises
Must be approved by majority of registered voters
The RCD will allow the county to form public-private partnerships and make the county eligible for grants to better conserve its natural resources. Supervisor Cliff Edson said the RCD will allow the county to do preventative maintenance instead of responding to one disaster at a time. The RCD will not be a regulatory agency and will work to coordinate resources among county and state agencies and property owners. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, November 20, 2015

Community foundations in Calaveras and Amador counties cooperate on Butte Fire relief
So far, the Calaveras Community Foundation has raised more than $300,000 toward Butte Fire relief. In October, the first series of grants were awarded to eight groups. Additional grants have just been awarded. They are for Habitat for Humanity Calaveras to repair homes damaged in the fire, Friends of Calaveras Animal Services for animal food and supply storage sheds, and Calaveras Grown to purchase additional straw bales used for erosion control. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, November 20, 2015

Butte Fire's 'watershed moment'
Stockton East, city of Stockton to help fund erosion control
Preserving a watershed requires everyone in that watershed to help, and that's starting to happen in the wake of the destructive Butte Fire... The coming rains are expected to wash hundreds of thousands of tons of ash and debris from the charred hillsides into New Hogan Lake, one of Stockton's primary water sources. Click here for article—Stockton Record, November 18, 2015

Study: fire weather likely to increase in California
Fire officials agree that populations in California's fire zones will need to adapt and say they are already seeing dramatic changes in fire behavior... "It is going to require everybody's participation," White said. "We are all in this together. If we choose to live in this kind of environment, we have to learn to do so in a safe and wise manner." Click here for article—Stockton Record, November 13, 2015

The Mother Lode: A Geology: The well is running dry
The good and bad news is that much of the foothill's groundwater is fresher than valley water and is replenished by annual rains – when we don't overdraft it. Our water comes from the sky. There's the rub. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, November 3, 2015

Planners OK general plan's land-use element
Updates to prioritize property rights, economic development
"Some of the draft policies were of guiding and directing growth towards existing communities, and while the community still feels development in communities is appropriate, the policies were modified somewhat to allow more development outside of those areas," Maurer said. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, November 10, 2015

Next steps uncertain for Butte Fire victims
The change in visuals of any sort in the area has been a reason why some have decided to relocate from Calaveras County to other areas — whether they lost property in the blaze or not. Schmiett said that residents near the burn area who decide to leave...are in the minority. Most people affected by the fire are waiting to decide what to do next. "They're waiting to see how the land looks, how it recovers.." Click here for article—Union Democrat, November 10, 2015

Butte Fire erosion fears: How you can help
Millions of people either live in the two watersheds burned by the Butte Fire, or receive water pumped from those watersheds. So, the work that about a dozen ash-coated volunteers were doing Friday atop a 2,700-foot hill scorched by the huge blaze will benefit far more than the Calaveras County residents who live in the immediate area. Organizers of the erosion-control effort [CalaverasGrown.org] are asking the rest of us to chip in and help, either by donating money or time... Click here for blog—Stockton Record, November 9, 2015

Butte Fire: Healing the wounds
[Kriletich] and a small band of community volunteers are working to preserve what's left of their properties, spreading straw across the scorched earth to prevent erosion, toppling trees whose trunks will act as small dams in a rainstorm, and planting rye grass seed that should help stabilize the soil. People throughout the Calaveras and Mokelumne river watersheds — which includes Stockton and Lodi — benefit from efforts to prevent erosion after the Butte Fire. You can help by donating money for rice straw, or by volunteering for twice-a-week work days. Click here for article—Stockton Record, November 8, 2015

Homes, roads at risk from mudslides
Calaveras County's public works director Tuesday warned that dozens of existing homes as well as roads, bridges and the future sites of emergency housing are all potentially at risk from mud and debris slides this winter if heavy rains hit slopes burned during the Butte Fire. Ground zero for those worries is the intersection of Jesus Maria and Hawver roads. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, November 6, 2015

Burned forestland needs erosion protection
After losing a home, homeowners may feel the need to clean up their property. However, leaving woody debris, downed trees and limbs will arrest soil movement. Stumps and standing dead trees also help protect the soil. "The roots are still in the soil and will help hold it in place," Giusti said. "As long as they don't pose a danger, trees should be left in place." Spreading rice straw or weed-free hay on the ground is another way to protect the soil from erosion... Click here for UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Blog, November 4, 2015

Post-fire treatments essential after Butte Fire
Weeding and replanting take priority
The era of well-intended, but misguided forest neglect must come to an end," Bray said. "Wait one year for trees to grow back unless there's a real need to cut them," McCreary said. Oneto stressed that this is not the year to skip weed management on parcels because the seeds for many of these weeds can be viable for up to 50 years. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, November 3, 2015

CCWD customers exceed water savings goal
CCWD's cumulative savings between June and September equal 35.5 percent. CCWD's mandate conservation standard is 16 percent... "Now, we need to keep it up as best we can, even as we hope for as much rain and snow as we can safely handle," Marcus said. "We're in the position of having to prepare for drought and flooding at the same time, but that's what we're faced with." Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, November 3, 2015

Supes deny West Point appointment to Council of Governments
Although Catalano is disappointed in the board's decision, he is determined to apply for the position again, and feels that he can still serve the best interest of Calaveras County as a whole regardless of which district he lives in. "It doesn't matter where I live; I live in Calaveras County," Catalano said. "All our roads connect to another district here." Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 30, 2015

County warns of mudslides in burn area
Calaveras County government and state officials this week escalated warnings to residents in the Butte Fire area about the increased risk of flooding and mudslides, and advised the public to take precautions for the rainy season... there is a strong correlation between fire burn areas and the generation of debris flow during periods of heavy rain, particularly in certain parts of the Sierra Foothills. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 30, 2015

Gall mites may turn the tide against Scotch broom
Scotch broom, desired for its bright yellow flowers and rapid growth, was first introduced into North America as an ornamental and for erosion control. However, its ability to out compete native plants and form dense stands has also made it one of California's worst wildland weeds. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 27, 2015

The Butte Fire Song
Lee Davis of Mountain Ranch wrote a song that tells the story of the Butte Fire. Watch and listen to, "The Butte Fire", written and performed by Lee Davis, set to video by George Durkee. Click here for video—Calaveras Enterprise, October 27, 2015

Health district to buy property for new VS medical center
A new state-of-the-art medical clinic in Valley Springs could be open as early as the beginning of 2017 as the Mark Twain Health Care District Board of Directors on Wednesday voted to purchase property for the facility... located at the southwest corner of the State Route 26 and Vista Del Lago Drive intersection. The board was told Calaveras County has outlined most of its conditions for project approval, while Caltrans is waiting for completion of a traffic impact study before specifying any additional conditions. Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, October 16, 2015

Butte Fire Erosion & Reforestation Project—Volunteers and Donations Needed!
The Butte Fire has laid the soil of central Calaveras County bare to the eroding effects of upcoming rains. This is the soil without which our forests and woodlands cannot grow back. In addition, this soil and the ash currently sitting on top of it are primed to pollute our waterways and reservoirs. It is of the utmost importance to keep this soil where it is so that our forest can grow back and we can enjoy clean water, healthy soil and clean air. Paloma Pollinators and CalaverasGROWN are working to help those who have been impacted by the Butte Fire through their Community and Forest Recovery Program. Volunteers and residents are covering and pegging rice straw on hillsides to keep the soil in place. "Erosion is heavy on everyone's mind right now. There certainly was a lot with that recent rain we had. Michael (my husband) took a picture of a hillside they covered and pegged in with straw before the rain. The soil held. The part that wasn't done, the soil was a moving goo."—Diane Kriletich. For more information, visit CalaverasGrown, read "Who will we help?", "Volunteer Information", and "Donations Needed."

Biologist: At least 100M trees stressed for water
An alarming discovery suggests this year's explosion of dead trees in the southern and central Sierra Nevada may only be the beginning of a much larger trend for California forests. "Our maps are going to provide a more detailed view of tree vulnerability so actions can be taken up to regional scales," he said. "That could include prescribed fires, selective thinning and fire prevention in areas that need to be protected." Click here for article—The Union Democrat, October 24, 2015

Gov. Brown signs off on Moke River Wild and Scenic study
Between Calaveras and Amador counties, beyond a winding stretch of highway along steep hillsides, lies a river within a canyon. It is there — in the Mokelumne River — where birds chirp loudly and the water flows between rocks within the riverbed with ease. The whole area seems untouched. And for the next two years, at least, it will remain that way. Click here for article—The Union Democrat, October 23, 2015

Poverty in the foothills: About 12,600 residents in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties affected
Before the recession, the Resource Connection Food Bank in San Andreas served about 71 families each month and was basically just a pantry, Director Jeannie Hayward said. In 2013, it served an average of 1,078 families each month. It's gone down since then and now serves between 800 and 900 families a month, Hayward said, adding that it's too early to predict whether numbers will go up in the wake of the Butte Fire, which left hundreds of families homeless. Click here for article—The Union Democrat, October 23, 2015

County leaders give OK to camp on Butte Fire properties
With winter coming and hundreds of homes destroyed in the Butte Fire still awaiting cleanup, the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors decided Tuesday to allow residents to camp on their properties for up to three years. The board voted 4-1 to allow trailers and recreational vehicles to serve as temporary homes while the properties are first cleared of hazardous debris... Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 22, 2015

Hazardous waste cleanup gets support
The EPA is working alongside the California Department of Toxic Substances Control to clear away ammunition, propane tanks or any other potentially flammable or toxic material from the sites of homes that have been burned. Three teams from each department then transport the materials to a command post by the Toyon Industrial Center outside of Valley Springs. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 22, 2015

Total losses unknown in Butte Fire
Six weeks after the Butte Fire broke out and three weeks after the blaze was declared contained, no local, state or federal agencies have estimated a dollar amount for how much property was lost. Aon Benfield, a multinational risk-management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage based in London, puts the total economic losses from the Butte Fire at $450 million, $225 million of which was covered by insurance. Click here for article—The Union Democrat, October 21, 2015

Calaveras Community Foundation Begins Distribution Of Disaster Relief Funds
After discussions with various community organizations, the Foundation's initial grants totaling $100 thousand are being awarded to eight groups. Among the list is the Mountain Ranch Relief Fund, a collaborative effort by several organizations to provide assistance to Butte Fire victims, Calaveras Grown, for erosion control and water system repair, and the Calaveras Fire and Rescue District, to replace street names and addresses destroyed by the fire. Click here for article—ThePineTree.net, October 20, 2015

X-ray technology reveals California's forests are in for a radical transformation
Biologist Greg Asner first heard the numbers in April, but they did little to prepare him for what he saw. The Forest Service had estimated that nearly 12.5 million trees in the state's southern and central forests were dead. But as Asner peered down upon the same forests from his airplane at 6,000 feet, he saw something far worse. California's drought-parched landscape was poised for a radical transformation. Click here for article—LA Times, October 20, 2015

Volunteers spread straw for Butte Fire survivors
"There's really zero government help for people with erosion control. If we don't keep the soils in place, then the local result of that will be that forests will never come back," said Sean Kriletich, a member of the board of directors of Calaveras Grown. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 19, 2015

Our driest days: The sad state of local reservoirs
Less than an hour east of Stockton, the water level at New Hogan Lake has dropped so low that the old dam is visible. A primary source of water for Stockton, the lake is at only 9 percent of capacity, a level not seen in more than 20 years. Seen from a picnic table at a "lakeside" campsite, New Hogan Lake is a distant gray puddle. Click here for article—Stockton Record, October 17, 2015

Calaveras County Water District relaxes water conservation standards
Calaveras County Water District customers can water their lawns more often after district officials on Wednesday decided to relax water conservation rules. "We should be thankful we live in an area with an abundant water supply," Davidson said. "I also want people to enjoy what we provide for them." Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 15, 2015

Calaveras County Board of Supervisors to meet weekly
The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors Tuesday failed to come to a decision on whether to allow residents whose homes were destroyed in the Butte Fire to temporarily live on their properties in trailers or recreational vehicles. That decision – delayed for a week – is just one of many Butte Fire-related matters facing elected leaders. The crush of work is heavy enough that the board voted unanimously to begin meeting weekly until further notice. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 16, 2015

County marijuana industry could yield tax boon
Calaveras supervisors study new state medical pot regulations If Calaveras County voters were to approve a tax of $9.25 per ounce on finished marijuana flowers, that tax would generate $32 million a year in revenue for the county... before the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors during a special meeting held to study the package of marijuana regulations signed into law last week by California Gov. Jerry Brown. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 15, 2015

Deal will continue Melones fish flows this fall
Tulloch impacts so far minimal
"This agreement shows that with cooperation and some give and take, the needs of fish and ag can be met," said Steve Knell, Oakdale Irrigation District's general manager. "If the drought continues, we'll need more of this type of cooperation – not less." Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 15, 2015

Mokelumne River bill signed into law
The bill by Bigelow, who represents Calaveras County, also requires that studies be done to assess the river's suitability for permanent wild and scenic protection. "We see this as a major milestone in our decades-long effort to protect the Mokelumne from new dams and diversions," said Foothill Conservancy President Katherine Evatt. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 12, 2015

Brown Signs Bigelow's Mokelumne River Bill
Prior to potentially declaring the Mokelumne River as Wild and Scenic, the bill requires that a study be conducted to look at its likely impacts on issues like water supply, climate change, and future water requirements. Designating the river as Wild and Scenic would increase outdoor recreation opportunities, but it would also make development and water projects more difficult. It was one of 24 water related bills signed today by Governor Brown. Click here for article—MyMotherLode.com, October 09, 2015

Wet winter more likely; significant rains could cause problems in burn areas
"Those people living below the burn areas need to make sure they know their evacuation routes, and make sure their flood insurance is paid up..." Jason Clapp with the Weather Service said debris-flow thresholds for burn areas are: 0.2 inch in 15 minutes, 0.3 inch in 30 minutes and 0.5 inch in 60 minutes. Flash-flood thresholds include 0.9 inch in three hours and 1.4 inches in 6 hours. Click here for article—The Union Democrat, October 09, 2015

Vallecito yard waste site to reopen by November
The reopening comes after Public Works staff addressed issues that go beyond the Red Hill site to expand and improve green-waste operations countywide... "In May, more than 50 percent by volume was the green waste," Crovitz said of the material going into the Rock Creek landfill. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 9, 2015

Agencies to help forest land owners post-Butte Fire
State and federal advice and, in some cases, financial help are on the way for private land owners coping with vegetation-denuded slopes and tens of thousands of dead and dying trees left behind by the Butte Fire... A general Butte Fire recovery workshop for all property owners will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 28 in the San Andreas Town Hall, 24 Church Hill Road, San Andreas. Douglas McCreary, a retired specialist on oak woodlands and fires for the University of California Cooperative Extension, will be among those speaking at the Oct. 28 workshop. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 8, 2015

Temporary housing for Butte Fire victims staged in Sacramento
FEMA representatives assisting a particular family will first explore other avenues such as finding a temporary apartment rental or alternate housing such as a recreational vehicle... There are 25 different types of mobile housing units, but a typical unit might include amenities such as a kitchen, a bathroom and a bedroom, along with internal and external power outlets. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 8, 2015

Tuolumne County leaders back CCWD request for New Melones storage
A contract would allow CCWD to store up to 100,000 acre-feet of the district's water released from Spicer Reservoir in the federally owned New Melones, which is located farther downstream on the Stanislaus River. Click here for article—The Union Democrat, October 7, 2015

New water pollution rules for marijuana gardens
The order will regulate discharges from medicinal cannabis cultivation operations to ensure that fertilizers and silt don't impact waters managed by the state, which includes both surface and ground waters... Gardens that disturb less than 1,000 square feet of area are exempted from the regulations. The larger growers, however, will face significant pressure to comply. The order allows fines of up to $5,000 per violation per day. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 5, 2015

Water officials pray for rain as a new water year begins
According to the California Climate Tracker, the 2014-15 winter average minimum temperature for the Sierra Nevada region was 32.1 degrees Fahrenheit, the first time this value was above water's freezing point in 120 years of record-keeping... as the water level has declined in New Hogan Reservoir, water agency staff has detected some deterioration in water quality. New Hogan Reservoir on Friday was holding 28,100 acre feet of water, or about 9 percent of its capacity. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 5, 2015

Butte Fire fully contained
Shelters empty, focus turns to relief, recovery
"I'm worried about six weeks out and more. It's not the immediate. We need the immediate, but it's down the road when people get back on their property that they really need help." State and federal forest management experts on Oct. 28 will offer a free daylong workshop on managing woodland areas in the aftermath of a fire. The workshop will include information on funding available to assist property owners with post-fire efforts... Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 5, 2015

Decision to cancel SR26-Olive Orchard Road work stands
The board at its Sept. 22 meeting voted 2-2 on the appeal filed by Clyde Clapp, Don Kuhn, Don Most, Lora Most, Carol Parks and Joyce Techel. Supervisors Cliff Edson and Steve Kearney voted against the appeal, while Debbie Ponte and Chris Wright voted in favor. Supervisor Michael Oliveira was absent. "The appellants appreciate the supervisors who did support our appeal and we're considering other options," Techel said after the meeting. Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, October 2, 2015

Veteran fire analyst warns of more infernos to come
Poor forest management, not drought is the problem Carroll said the fire risk here is the creation of more than a century of fire suppression and poor forest management that has created increasingly dense and fire-prone woodlands interspersed with homes. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 2, 2015

Home debris cleanup begins
Crews scan wreckage for hazards, clear waste
It could take the rest of this year, possibly longer, to clean all of the destroyed home sites, Peterson said. He said that this week he had about 250 property owners signed up for the state cleanup, or more than half of the 475 homes destroyed by the Butte Fire. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 2, 2015

Feds offer immediate help for Butte Fire victims
Calaveras County residents who lost homes in the Butte Fire can receive immediate cash help to obtain housing, federal officials say. "Please don't wait. Register with FEMA and that will get assistance flowing to you as soon as possible,"... Households displaced by the Butte Fire can receive grants of up to $32,900 over the next 18 months to help with needs such as repairing a home that was only damaged, paying rent in a new location, or even renting a recreational vehicle to serve as temporary housing... Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, September 29, 2015

Calaveras County may form a resource conservation district
The board voted 4-0 with Supervisor Michael Oliveira absent to ask the Local Agency Formation Commission to also endorse the proposed district, which will ultimately require voter approval. Resource conservation districts are special districts under California law that can obtain funds for soil and water conservation and watershed and habitat restoration. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, September 28, 2015

Butte Fire debris removal could begin this week
"If you are going to be sifting around in it, wear gloves and a mask," Calaveras County Board of Supervisors Chairman Cliff Edson told the more than 250 people in the town hall. Boetzer urged property owners to sign up for the free state cleanup of hazardous debris. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, September 28, 2015

Nearly burned off map, Mountain Ranch fights back
Calaveras County Supervisor Chris Wright said more than half of the homes destroyed in the Butte fire were in Mountain Ranch, likely more than 350 houses in a 41-square-mile area totaling 960 dwellings. As the town's grit is challenged more than ever, its residents reveal their determination. Click here for article—The Sacramento Bee, September 26, 2015

Butte Fire: Residents informed on cleanup; Federal disaster assistance is now available
It's going to take an army of specially trained hazardous materials workers, erosion and soils scientists, hydrologists and other post-fire disaster recovery specialists to clean up private properties damaged and destroyed by the devastating 110-square-mile Butte Fire. Calaveras County, state and contracted officials have set a target date for completing property cleanups by Jan. 1. Click here for article—The Union Democrat, September 25, 2015

BUTTE FIRE: Federal major disaster declared, all evacuation advisories lifted
Fire-weary Calaveras County residents woke to two pieces of hopeful news today: all evacuation advisories were lifted effective 7 a.m. and President Obama has declared the Butte Fire a major federal disaster. Edson wrote: "Just wanted to inform you all the President has signed to declare the Butte Fire a major disaster. This will give us much need support for short and long term housing plus it will help us with much needed assistance..." Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, September 25, 2015

Expert says Butte Fire recovery hinges on leadership
Places that rebound the most quickly usually rebuild what they already have... And that takes strong, confident leadership to smooth the way for property owners to rebuild and make them confident that local leaders will repair and maintain necessary infrastructure, she said. The fact that Calaveras County is still operating on an outdated general plan despite almost a decade of efforts to update the plan is not a good sign, Johnson said. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, September 25, 2015

New Hogan water quality could be impacted by Butte Fire
The waterways that feed New Hogan Reservoir, including several forks of the Calaveras River, Jesus Maria Creek and Murray Creek, are all within the Butte Fire burn area. John Justin Baum, the chief of environmental engineering at the Army Corps' Sacramento district office, said discharges from ash-covered slopes could change the chemistry of New Hogan Reservoir. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, September 24, 2015

Erosion a concern in Moke River, burn area
Watershed damage from the Butte Fire is a concern across the 110-square-mile burn area, especially where the slopes are steep and empty into waterways... People with East Bay Municipal Utilities District estimate about 3 percent, or 12,000 acres, of the watershed was burned and damaged by the Butte Fire... Click here for article—The Union Democrat, September 24, 2015

BUTTE FIRE: Rising from the ashes
Firefighters on Monday were still dousing hot spots deep within the Butte Fire burned area even as the lifting of mandatory evacuations over the weekend allowed hundreds of residents whose homes were destroyed by the fire to visit the ruins and consider what to do next. Click here for article and Butte Fire Map—Calaveras Enterprise, September 23, 2015

Burned home debris hazardous, officials say
Owners of homes destroyed by the Butte Fire within a few days should begin to get help clearing the hazardous debris the fire left behind, say Calaveras County officials... most homeowners will likely want to take advantage of the state service. The service covers the entire cost – estimated at $40,000 to $45,000 for a typical home – for property owners who do not have insurance. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, September 23, 2015

US Forest Service Prevents Its Own Scientist From Talking About Study
The US Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station won't let forest ecologist Malcolm North talk... The paper "Reform Forest Fire Management" says suppressing every fire in overgrown forests is not only expensive but dangerous and ill-advised. The paper suggests that national forests could be divided into zones with different fire management strategies. Click here for article—Capitol Public Radio, September 17, 2015

Valley, Butte fire regions face long road to economic recovery
"We may have to put up temporary mobile homes, hopefully on their land"..."That helps keep them in the community." Ghilarducci said federal disaster funding could offset the shortfall in insurance proceeds. Just the process of clearing out debris will be costly and arduous, state officials said... While a full reconstruction will take years, Ghilarducci said "we need to think about the immediate, about the people in the shelters." Click here for article—The Sacramento Bee, September 16, 2015

Butte Fire 'unprecedented'
While ash rained down and the sky turned pink in Sonora... people across the Mother Lode wondered Friday how one blaze called Butte could grow faster than the 2013 Rim Fire. "So much fuel, not just the drought, but a hundred years of mismanagement. Too much fire suppression. That's what made this ranch. My dad cleared it with fire, and kept it clear with controlled burning on a regular basis." Click here for article—The Union Democrat, September 12, 2015

BUTTE FIRE: 135 homes destroyed
Temperatures cooled, winds let up and a light drizzle fell on parts of the Mother Lode Sunday morning. Weather conditions helped fire fighters to slow the momentum of the fire toward communities along the upper end of Highway 4, and by this morning Cal Fire reported the fire was 30% contained. The fire has torched 71,063 acres, a little more than 5,000 acre increased since Saturday morning. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, September 14, 2015

Some Butte Fire evacuees return home
Some evacuations were lifted today in the Butte Fire burn for a limited number of residents, but concerns remained high for hundreds and hundreds of others who have not been allowed back to their homes and do not know if they have anything to return to. Weather shifts with lower temperatures and higher humidities helped firefighters in some locations on the giant blaze. Pilots in helicopters and tanker planes got clearance to fly on some edges of the fire. But the Butte Fire still burned fiercely in pockets of unburned forest and other vegetation inside and near perimeter lines. Click here for article—The Union Democrat, September 13, 2015

Board of Supervisors declines Mokelumne watershed program
MokeWISE is an intra-agency program, established as part of a state bond measure to fund projects intended to protect the water quality of the Mokelumne River watershed. "I would look for something that would bring water to faucets," Kearney said. Edson said that the project list also involves habitat protection of the Mokelumne River, and... while attending a MokeWISE meeting he was told he could not use his phone to record meetings... Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, September 11, 2015

Butte Fire threat mounts; Calaveras Unified closes schools; 12,000 people without electricity
A fire that began Wednesday night on several hundred acres in Amador and Calaveras counties advanced to almost 15,000 acres by Thursday night... Cal Fire announced containment had dropped to 10 percent, from a high earlier in the day of 30 percent. Fire jumped the Highway 26 corridor and was burning southeast toward Mountain Ranch, East Point and Railroad Flat. Click here for article—The Union Democrat, September 11, 2015

CCWD makes plans for director vacancy
Directors to hold interviews for appointment
Director Jeff Davidson, who occupies the Division 5 seat on the board, is set to vacate his position on Dec. 4... Requirements for eligibility for the director's seat include being a registered voter in District 5 and submitting a letter of interest to the CCWD. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, September 10, 2015

CCWD to begin Tulloch extension next week
"Drawdown of the water levels there has been of the greatest concern to the agency." Eggerton reported to the CCWD Board of Directors that the district's goal is to have construction completed well before the end of September. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, September 10, 2015

Asphalt plant appeal delayed until Oct. 8
Some of the commissioners at the Aug. 13 meeting were questioning whether staff overstepped its authority in the matter and whether more information on the asphalt plant proposal provided by Ford Construction and CB Asphalt between August and September meetings would change staff's decisions. Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, September 9, 2015

Marijuana dispensary proposed for Copperopolis
A medical marijuana dispensary proposed for a now-vacant commercial building on Copper Cove Drive in Copperopolis is too close to the community's public library branch, according to a Calaveras County Planning Department staff report. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, September 8, 2015

Intersection project falls behind sked
Work on the downtown Valley Springs intersection improvement project is falling behind schedule. The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors back in June accepted the low bid of $1.2 million from George Reed Inc. of Modesto to complete the State Route 12/26 intersection improvement project. Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, September 4, 2015

Few failures reported so far for county wells
Four years into the worst drought in California's history, relatively few Calaveras County residents been forced to drill new wells to replace wells that failed, according to a recent analysis of county well permit records. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, September 4, 2015

Residents appeal decision on Olive Orchard Road
Under the plan developer Ryan Voorhees recorded in 2007, he had agreed to improve Olive Orchard Road from his Olive Orchard Estates development to Highway 26. He also agreed to construct a left-turn lane on Olive Orchard Road at Highway 26. The Aug. 13 vote removed both requirements. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, September 1, 2015

Planning vote faces appeal
A decision earlier this month by the Calaveras County Planning Commission to eliminate some previously required offsite road improvements at State Route 26 and Olive Orchard Road could be heading for an appeal. Click here for article—The Valley Springs News- August 28, 2015

Board learns about asphalt plant blast
A public safety concern about operating an asphalt plant near Rancho Calaveras was brought to the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors attention Tuesday. Longtime Valley Springs resident Clyde Clapp during the public comment portion of the board's meeting presented a 2001 article from the Lodi News-Sentinel about an explosion at a similar asphalt plant near Clements. Click here for article—The Valley Springs News- August 28, 2015

Asphalt plant explosion under investigation (2001)
The nearly five-story asphalt plant north of Clements was about a week from being complete when an explosion ripped through it Wednesday afternoon... On Thursday agents from the plant's insurance companies were still trying to determine the cause of the explosion as well as the cost to repair the plant owned by George Reed Inc... Click here for article—Lodi News-Sentinel, April 19, 2001

Brush clearning project coming to Rancho Calaveras
Officials hope to reduce wildfire danger in neighborhood
The sprawling Rancho Calaveras neighborhood is, in many places, a patchwork, with neatly groomed home lots adjoining vacant lots overgrown with brush. That's a problem when wildfires erupt. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 28, 2015

Noise element gets Planning Commission OK
First of seven general plan elements to be considered
The Calaveras County Planning Commission Thursday approved a number of changes to ensure that noise standards in a proposed county general plan won't place an undue burden on future developments, including those involving agriculture and timber production. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 28, 2015

Pensions a big part of income for rural counties
The Mother Lode's comparatively weak local economies and proportionately high number of retirees make communities here more reliant on pension income.
Calaveras County's CalPERS pension income of $54 million a year, for example, dwarfs the $26.8 million in agricultural income reported for 2014 by the Calaveras County Agricultural Commissioner. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 28, 2015

Calaveras County Water District approves MokeWISE program
Calaveras County Water District directors Wednesday voted to support a package of water-related projects involving the Mokelumne River and its watershed. The vote was 4-1, with Director Dennis Mills opposed. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 28, 2015

Supervisors turn down Valley Springs pot shop zoning appeal
The decision comes two weeks after the board turned down a similar zoning change request by Forgotten Knowledge Collective, a dispensary on Nove Way near downtown Valley Springs. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 28, 2015

Medical marijuana dispensaries struggle with Calaveras zoning
One significant challenge medical marijuana dispensaries face is finding the correct zoning. Because of an ordinance adopted in 2010, dispensaries are only permitted to function within a CP plot — a zone that is scarce in the county. "(The CP zone) has limited distribution throughout the county as a means to control where they were going to be," Maurer said. Click here for article—The Union Democrat, August 27, 2015

Area first in line for Hogan's water
Although the lake level at New Hogan Reservoir continues to recede as California experiences a fourth straight year of drought, Calaveras County Water District residents in La Contenta and Rancho Calaveras can rest assured their communities "will not be a ghost town." The reservoir is at 12 percent of capacity... Click here for article—The Valley Springs News- August 26, 2015

What's your take on the proposed asphalt plant near Valley Springs?
Representatives of Ford Construction, the quarry owner, and CB Asphalt say the plant could bring more jobs to the area... Many neighbors oppose the plant, fearing it could pollute the air and increase truck traffic. County leaders have not yet resolved... whether the businesses will be required to apply for a conditional use permit. Click here to take the Online Poll, Calaveras Enterprise, August 22, 2015. Click here for Comments.

Tulloch Reservoir water supply optimistic for Labor Day recreation
Tulloch Reservoir, which has a maximum capacity of about 67,000 acre-feet, remained about 95 percent full as of Monday, according to the Department of Water Resources. Don Pedro Reservoir was about 32 percent of capacity, New Melones Reservoir was about 12 percent... Click here for article—The Union Democrat, August 25, 2015

Calaveras employment back up to pre-recession level
More residents commute or are self employed
Construction and health care have actually switched their respective places in county employment. There were 690 jobs in the "educational and health services" category in 2007. Now there are 1,120, a 62 percent increase. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 25, 2015

Calaveras County, conservation kings
While Stockton snagged local headlines for its 41 percent reduction in water use in June, it was the Calaveras County Water District that achieved the lowest per-capita water use — a thrifty 57 gallons per person per day, lower than any other major water supplier in the San Joaquin River watershed. Click here for article, Stockton Record Blog, August 16, 2015

Asphalt plant appeals delay general plan work
What may initially have appeared to planning staff to have been a fairly routine inquiry this spring from an industrial property owner about adding an asphaltic concrete mixing plant to an existing gravel quarry, has since become a protracted public controversy. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 18, 2015

County planners reverse road deal with developer
Ryan Vorhees won't have to improve Olive Orchard Road
"To me, the message ought to be that when you make a deal with the county in writing, you ought to uphold your end of it," Wooster said. The decision may ultimately mean that property owners are left to foot the bill if and when the road is upgraded to county standards. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 18, 2015

Asphalt appeal decision delayed
Questions over county code on hazardous materials
A majority of the members of the Calaveras County Planning Commission last week appeared sympathetic to the argument that some requirements being placed on a proposed asphalt plant are excessive and duplicate other government regulations. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 18, 2015

Decision on hot plant delayed a month
Whether expanding a Valley Springs area quarry to include a hot-asphalt plant deserves additional environmental review continues to be a hot potato issue for county government. Click here for article — The Valley Springs News- August 19, 2015

Planners side with developer
Joyce Techel, MyValleySprings.com president, opposed the Voorhees request, saying he made promises while the project was going through the approval process that he likely never intended to fulfill. "There is a troubling pattern existing with this applicant and his projects," Techel said. Click here for article — The Valley Springs News- August 19, 2015

Bids in for vets hall job
Tofanelli and fellow board member Michael Wietrick are reviewing the bids for completion of the building's interior. Tofanelli said he anticipates entering discussions with those bidders within the next few days and there's the possibility of making a presentation to the entire board before the end of the month. Click here for article — The Valley Springs News- August 19, 2015

Hogan asphalt plant in for the long haul
Nick Jones, president of Ford Construction, which owns the property the quarry is on and will rent it to CB Asphalt, said in a perfect world, the enterprise would have been in operation about two months ago if it hadn't been for the legal issues. After hours of discussion, the commission ruled to postpone a decision on the appeal... Consideration of the appeal will resume on Sept. 10. Click here for article—The Union Democrat, August 12, 2015

Board denies asphalt appeals
At one point, it appeared that Ford might succeed with its appeal, as Supervisors Steve Kearney, Oliveira and Edson all indicated their support. Oliveira made a motion to grant the appeal and Kearney seconded it. It lost, however on a 3-2 vote after Edson said he could not go along. Wright then made a motion to uphold the planning commission decision. Kearney switched sides, making it a 4-1 vote in favor. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 14, 2015

Hot plant nearly moves ahead without enviro study
Those speaking in opposition to the asphalt plant numbered nearly two dozen. They cited heavy truck traffic, highway safety, noxious smell once trucks leave the plant and possible leakage of petroleum products into the nearby Calaveras River as concerns. The plant would have a negative impact on the quality of life in the neighborhood and possible depress home values and property tax revenue to the county... Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, August 14, 2015

Asphalt trucking jobs speculative, officials say
Shawn Simmons, the western regional manager for CB Asphalt and Nick Jones, the president of Ford Construction, acknowledged that the job creation estimates were based on the difference between the skeleton crew now operating the plant and all the drivers that would be needed if the plant were to operate at maximum capacity, something they admit is unlikely. They said that some of the more rosy job estimates also included the so-called "multiplier effect" of nonasphalt plant jobs that would be created by the additional spending of truck drivers and plant employees if production increased. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 14, 2015

Calaveras supervisors deny two asphalt plant appeals
"They might be able to control some of the emissions from the plant but it's when they load the asphalt onto the truck is when most of the fugitive emissions occur. They won't be able to control that." "They can stream out as many as 250,000 tons of asphalt per year. Each truck can hold up to 25 tons," Bassett said. "That (calculates to) 10,000 truck loads per year, going out. If you count the two-way traffic, that's 20,000 trucks going by per year." Click here for article—The Union Democrat, August 12, 2015

Calaveritas bridge gets 'historic' designation
The 87-year-old bridge over Calaveritas Creek could be around for many more years following the state's decision Friday to list the bridge on the National Register of Historic Places. "In the beginning everyone thought the bridge was doomed and there was no way to save it," said Francesca Preston, a Calaveritas resident who has organized community efforts to keep the bridge. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 11, 2015

Calaveras supervisors to discuss Hogan Asphalt Plant on Tuesday
The board will vote whether to uphold a recommendation from the Calaveras County Planning Commission denying an appeal by Joyce Techel of MyValleySprings.com. She argued the proposed asphalt plant is not a permitted use in the M2, General Industrial Zone and that a mining permit be required to install an asphalt plant at the site. Techel and MyValleySprings.com also argued that the plant needs a special-use permit and should be subject to California Environmental Quality Act review. Click here for article—The Union Democrat, August 8, 2015

Looming Tulloch releases met with protests
Tulloch Reservoir was about 95 percent full as of Friday, according to the state Department of Water Resources. By comparison, Don Pedro Reservoir was 34 percent of capacity, New Melones was 14 percent and Lake McClure was 10 percent. Releasing 30,000 acre-feet from Tulloch will lower the lake level by about 30 feet in elevation... Click here for article—The Union Democrat, August 8, 2015

Why you don't get Planning Department email anymore
Somewhere between 200 and 300 people who signed up for automatic emailed notices whenever Calaveras County Planning Department staff post new documents online are no longer getting those messages, Planning Director Peter Maurer said July 30. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 7, 2015

New medical center could mean much more for Valley Springs
"What's nice about the whole thing is you have deep pockets coming to town. It's going to help the higher-end homes sell. There can't be complaint from the community. Everyone needs health care," said Kevin Squire of Valley Springs. "...They made a good choice on the property, and there's quality people running the show." Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 7, 2015

Medical center gets good feedback
Opening a new state-of-the-art medical clinic in Valley Springs took a step forward Wednesday morning... Colleen Platt, MyValleySprings.com secretary, said her organization is supportive of the project as it is a logical site for commercial development. Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, August 7, 2015

Calaveras wells struggling during prolonged drought
Jason Boetzer, newly appointed environmental administrator of the Environmental Agency, said of the 133 new well permits issued this past fiscal year, two came as a result of dryness and 19 were because of low output. Click here for article—The Union Democrat, August 7, 2015

County planners weigh noise, property rights
"I don't think the present plan reflects public input at all," Zeller said. McLaughlin, who operates an economic development consulting business, agreed with that take. "The direction it was headed on seems to have been hijacked, or is different," she said. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 4, 2015

Hot plant proponents attempt to allay public's fears at forum
"Truck traffic will flow through the existing entrance/exit, and not by any residential areas." Kindermann admitted the statement was incorrect and "not articulated properly." ...owners are reluctant to go through what can be a costly environmental review process. Kindermann said such a process would be "redundant." Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, July 31, 2015

Quarry neighbors question asphalt plant proponents
Distrust and accusation gradually gave way to questions and answers Tuesday when proponents of an asphalt plant proposed near Valley Springs met with neighbors concerned the plant could pollute the air and increase traffic. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 31, 2015

Big-rig tips over, spills load of asphalt
About 9:18 a.m., the truck tipped onto its side while making a right-hand turn onto O'Brynes Ferry Road from the highway. The trailer was carrying a load of what seemed to be asphalt shavings... Click here for article—The Union Democrat, July 31, 2015

Boetzer appointed county environmental agency administrator
The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday appointed Jason Boetzer as the county's new Environmental Management Agency administrator and air pollution control officer. Boetzer, 42, replaces former Environmental Management Agency Director Brian Moss. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 31, 2015

Calaveras General Plan edits move ahead
"We've gone far beyond the suggestions that were outlined in the staff report outlines," Infusino said at the hearing. The remark, which was made due in part to a bit of a misunderstanding between the commission and the public, sparked a passionate debate... Click here for article—The Union Democrat, July 31, 2015

Valley Springs Medical may move to new site
The proposed center would sit on a 14.4-acre lot that is for sale at the corner of Highway 26 and Vista Del Lago Drive across the street from the Shell gas station. Doss said that the center will occupy 3.5 acres, and the remaining property would be used for future developments. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 31, 2015

Valley Springs pot shop appeal denied
Forgotten Knowledge has operated at the Nove Plaza shopping center since 2010, when it was issued a business license to sell "antiques and collectibles." The location, however, does not have the professional office zoning that county code requires for medical marijuana stores. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 31, 2015

Moke Hill company nurtures environment
The humble Calaveras County company has worked on many significant projects, including Stockton's 9/11 Memorial and the Getty Museum, a Los Angeles landmark. Currently Natural Rock is collaborating with the Chinati Foundation, a contemporary art museum housed on 340 acres in Marfa, Texas. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 31, 2015

Valley Springs residents voice opposition to asphalt plant
While driving through the district, it is not uncommon to see...houses and signs in protest of Ford Construction Company Inc., CB Asphalt, Inc. and the Hogan asphalt plant standing firmly in the wind. The signs weren't the only things that stood up against the proposed plant at the Hogan Dam Quarry on Tuesday evening at a town hall meeting at La Contenta Event Center. Click here for article—The Union Democrat, July 29, 2015

Public relations specialist enters hot plant battle
The battle for the hearts and minds of residents near the site of a proposed asphalt hot plant off Hogan Dam Road heated up the past few days with public meetings hosted by proponents and opponents of the controversial proposal. Opponents...had a community meeting Saturday in the La Contenta Events Center. The well-publicized gathering attracted 66 people, according to Janice Bassett... Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, July 24, 2015

Planning commissioners adopt vision statement
Following the vision statement, commissioners then addressed guidelines for the general plan update, which provide another point of reference to ensure consistency between the general plan elements. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 28, 2015

Hospital district seeks public input on VS clinic plans
West Calaveras residents will have an opportunity to learn more about the new state-of-the-art medical clinic proposed for the southwest corner of State Route 26 and Vista Del Lago West when the Mark Twain Health Care District has a special meeting Wednesday, Aug. 5 in Valley Springs. Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, July 24, 2015

PUD board Oks sewer plant study
A proposal to relocate the Valley Springs Public Utility District's wastewater treatment plant is moving forward. The district's Board of Directors on Wednesday voted 3-9 in favor...The proposal has to go to the county for approval of a General Plan amendment and conditional use permit. Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, July 24, 2015

Deadline to appeal asphalt plant decisions approaching
MyValleySprings.com, which has been spearheading opposition against placement of an asphalt hot plant at the Hogan Quarry near Valley Springs, has not formally filed appeals to a pair of July 9 Calaveras County Planning Commission decisions favorable to quarry operators, but anticipates it will do so... Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, July 22, 2015

VSPUD board considers new sewer plant
Nearby Watertown Road residents Joe and Hillary Bechelli submitted an 18-page letter in opposition saying, "We are disappointed in the total lack of transparency and the obvious back-door politics which run rampant through this project... Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, July 22, 2015

CCWD board to discuss water rights
"The state owns all of the water in California, and there are reservations, water that's set aside for certain groups," he said. "You can then apply to use the reservations and if you use them over a period of time, then you can be granted what's called a water right." "Anybody who wants to attend from anywhere, can." Click here for article—The Union Democrat, July 21, 2015

CCWD Reduces Water Use By 40 percent In June
The huge water savings in June were well beyond the District's expectations, and may have financial implications if conservation continues at this level throughout the summer. In light of the high level of water conservation and in response to widespread customer concerns, District staff will work with the CCWD Board in coming weeks to allow greater flexibility with irrigation schedules, which will help residents preserve the life of their trees and shrubs. Click here for article—The PineTree.net, July 21, 2015

Water theft an ongoing issue in county
Joel Metzger, the Community Relations Manager for the Calaveras County Water District, said that the majority of water thefts come from the Valley Springs, Rancho Calaveras and Jenny Lind Service area. Metzger also advises that anyone other than a firefighter using a hydrant without a meter in place is likely to be a case of theft in progress. Anyone observing such an activity should call.... Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 21, 2015

County unemployment rate continues to drop
The Calaveras County unemployment rate dropped in June to 6.2 percent, continuing a five-year positive jobs trend and matching the jobless rate for the rest of the state. The county added 530 jobs since June 2014, when the unemployment rate stood at 7.7 percent. Calaveras County has seen a steady drop in the jobless rate since 2010, when the unemployment rate stood at 14.8 percent. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 21, 2015

Health jobs on the rise in Lode
In Calaveras County, one of largest employers is Mark Twain Medical Center in San Andreas, with five rural clinics and specialty care centers throughout the county. "We are generally hiring about five to 10 people a month," said Susie Bussel, human resources manager for the medical center. Click here for article—The Union Democrat, July 18, 2015

Asphalt plant's fate in doubt
It may be several months before Calaveras County officials determine whether an asphalt plant can be installed and operated from the Hogan Quarry near Valley Springs... The process likely will last longer because the losing side on each matter has the option to appeal to the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors. Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, July 15, 2015

Asphalt plant debate to drag on
Valley Springs project triggers a legal pingpong match
Debate over how to handle the permitting and environmental review for a proposed hot asphalt plant near Valley Springs may stretch through the summer... Ford Construction... is poised to file a new appeal over a determination by county Environmental Management Agency Director Brian Moss that Ford must apply to the county for a conditional use permit for the asphalt plant. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 14, 2015

Still a long road ahead for county general plan update
It's already been a long and winding road for the Calaveras County General Plan Update, and if the Thursday meeting of the county's planning commission is any indicator, the document that will oversee all growth and planning decisions for Calaveras still has a ways to go. "We're here to talk about the vision and guiding principles..." Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 14, 2015

MyValleySprings plant appeal formally denied
Appeals by Ford Construction are still pending
Maurer's determination means that no special permit is required for the asphalt plant. Applying for a permit would trigger analysis of possible impacts such as traffic, air pollution and water pollution. Those concerns are why critics filed appeals of the determination. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 10, 2015

Marijuana collective use permit denied
George Mull, an attorney representing the Calaveras Medical Collective, said through the proposed rezoning, the existing collective would move downstairs, where there is separate parking and access. "(Medical marijuana) is legal under California law, voters have acted 20 years ago," he said... Click here for article—The Union Democrat, July 10, 2015

Valley Springs dispensary denied
Planners cite school and zoning rules
"It is basically bad planning," Kathan said of such split zoning. The building is currently zoned for commercial uses. "They went that long without permits. That in itself is good reason to turn them down," said Commissioner Ted Allured. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 10, 2015

Major Valley Springs intersection project underway
A major road project started this week at the intersection of Highways 12 and 26 in Valley Springs and is expected to cause nightly traffic delays for almost four months... most of the work will take place during the week and from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m... All daytime construction will take place behind a barrier rail. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 7, 2015

County could grow by 73,000 under plan
Ten community plans will be incorporated into the updated Calaveras County General Plan now being prepared by county staff. That was the informal direction the county board of supervisors gave late Tuesday night... the proposed land use map actually allows for up to 108,715 parcels of land, enough to accommodate home construction for a population of 262,000, Maurer said. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 3, 2015

Disappointed by the planning commission
Maurer began the session by saying they have to go by what is legal, not by what they think or what the residents of the area think. What he failed to recognize is that legal interpretation is opinion. The counsel for MyValleySprings.com and attending residents may have not even bothered being there. The appellant's legal arguments, which I felt held value, were not even considered. Click here for Letter, Calaveras Enterprise, July 3, 2015

Commission rejects one plant appeal
Two asphalt appeals pending
Plans for an asphalt plant at a quarry on the Calaveras River near Valley Springs cleared one hurdle Thursday when the Calaveras County Planning Commission signaled it will reject an appeal that sought to require the plant to apply for a use permit... Meanwhile, the commission on July 9 will consider two other appeals related to the asphalt plant. Those appeals were filed by Ford Construction and CB Asphalt. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 30, 2015

Watch the video of the commission meeting on the proposed plant
I encourage anyone who has an interest in the matter to watch the video. The entire meeting is available in two parts... the language of the most recent ordinance is ambiguous; clearly much time was given to debating what the board of supervisors might have intended. At issue is whether cement and asphalt plants are both permitted... The planning commission will present its findings at the July 9 hearing, at which it will also determine whether or not a CEQA review will be required... Click here for letter—Calaveras Enterprise, June 30, 2015

Asphalt plant wins first round
An asphalt plant proposed to operate out of the Hogan Quarry near Valley Springs jumped its first of what is expected to be at least several hurdles... Of the nearly 30 people who addressed the planning commission at Thursday's public hearing, testimony was approximately 10-1 against Maurer's earlier decision... Mark Gallagher, an attorney for MyValleySprings.com, said Maurer erred in his decision by inferring an asphalt plant is the same as a concrete plant. Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, June 26, 2015

Asphalt debate rocks Calaveras planning commission
Brock Estes lives across the street from a rock quarry in Calaveras County. Dynamite blasts rock his house. But the possibility of a hot asphalt plant nearby is another story... The meeting was a result of an appeal by MyValleySprings.com, a nonprofit corporation working to preserve rural life in the Valley Springs area. Residents squeezed into the board room and stood along the walls for the seven-hour hearing. Click here for article—The Union Democrat, June 26, 2015

Long-time county employee steps up to assistant CAO
Brian Moss later this summer will become the county's No. 2 administrator. County Administrative Officer Shirley Ryan announced Tuesday that she has chosen Moss to become the county's assistant administrative officer. Moss is currently director of the county's Environmental Management Agency. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 26, 2015

Neighbors air asphalt plant fears to Planning Commission
Water district withdraws appeal of asphalt plant
"We don't know what the impact, if any, would be on the water quality of the river," Maurer said. That approach rubbed many neighborhood residents the wrong way. "We need you to do what ought to be done," Jerry Woodard, a resident of Silverado Drive told the commission members. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 25, 2015

Kearney talks about hot plant controversy
By Nick Baptista/ The Valley Springs News/ Wednesday June 24, 2015
District 5 Supervisor Steve Kearney discussed his thoughts concerning the proposed asphalt plant at Hogan Quarry in an interview Monday with The Valley Springs News. "I think it is important to let all the public know how I see a county supervisor's position in the application process, including this one (the asphalt plant)," Kearney said. Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, June 26, 2015

Water district withdraws appeal over asphalt plant
...the water agency...now has a written agreement with Ford Construction that addresses concerns over impacts the plant could have on water quality. The water intake for a CCWD system serving 10,000 people is just across the river and slightly downstream from the quarry. Environmental Management Agency Director Brian Moss, ruled that at least as far as air pollution concerns go, state law does require environmental review... Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 23, 2015

Hogan asphalt plant unable to avoid review
Whether the plant can be fast tracked without environmental review has been the subject of public debate since late April, when Calaveras County Planning Department Director Peter Maurer determined that an asphalt plant is similar to a Portland cement-type concrete plant already allowed at the site... It appears that representatives of the companies had recently told county officials that they were considering giving up on their plan, but then later filed another document to proceed with the project. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 19, 2015

Asphalt Truck Dumps On Morning Commute
The accident happened in Calaveras County near the Tuolumne County line on O'Byrnes Ferry Road at 6:19 a.m. When CHP officers arrived on the scene, they found a Peterbilt dump truck off the roadway. The truck was pulling a transfer trailer that had flipped and its asphalt cargo had spilled out. Click here for article—MyMotherLode.com, June 17, 2015

VS asphalt plant request remains on track
Contrary to statements made last week by the leader of the Calaveras Taxpayers Association, Ford Construction will continue to seek government authority to operate an asphalt hot plant in Valley Springs. Nick Jones, president of Ford Construction, contacted The Valley Springs News on Friday and refuted statements made by CTA President Al Segalla that Ford Construction was pulling the plug... Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, June 17, 2015

CCWD water conservation goal cut in half
State officials have reduced the water conservation goal for Calaveras County Water District customers to 16 percent, half of the original 32 percent conservation target set earlier this year. Joel Metzger...said on Friday that the cut came after state officials agreed to recalculate how much water CCWD customers had been using... Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 16, 2015

Calaveras highways to get $1.3 million in improvements
About $1.3 million in state funding has been earmarked for safety improvements on Highways 12 and 26 in Calaveras County, Caltrans recently announced. The work — installing rumble strips along the shoulders and centerlines of the highways — will be paid for with funds from Proposition 1B. Click here for article—The Union Democrat, June 15, 2015

Marijuana collective denied building rezone
"From a planning standpoint, split zoning can be problematic," Kathan said. "Defining zoning boundaries would be difficult... Nove Plaza and Forgotten Knowledge have about two weeks to appeal the denial of the requests for the zoning amendment and administrative-use permit. Click here for article—The Union Democrat, June 13, 2015

Planning coalition hosts discussion on General Plan
About 50 people, including two Calaveras County supervisors, attended a workshop Monday on the county General Plan that was sponsored by the Calaveras Planning Coalition. Tom Infusino...one of the lead presenters, drew a comparison between the San Joaquin and Calaveras county general plans. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 12, 2015

Valley Springs pot dispensary denied legalization
The Calaveras County Planning Commission Thursday unanimously rejected a bid to legalize Calaveras County's oldest medical marijuana dispensary. Forgotten Knowledge Collective has been operating for five years in the Nove Plaza shopping center in Valley Springs without obtaining the use permit that county officials say is required. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 12, 2015

Water district board cut its compensation
The Calaveras County Water District Board of Directors voted Wednesday to cut its own compensation to save money in anticipation of financial difficulties due to decreased water usage caused by the drought. CCWD is awaiting state approval for a 16 percent mandated reduction in water usage for drought conservation, down from the current 32 percent. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 12, 2015

County budget hearings short and civil
This year's hearing is a stark contrast to the steep cuts and bickering over money that have been more common in recent years. This year's hearings were not entirely without conflict, however. The longest presentation to the board was by Sheriff Gary Kuntz... Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 12, 2015

Asphalt plant apparently Amador bound
Al Segalla, Calaveras County Taxpayers Association president, used the public comment portion of Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting to express his disappointment Ford Construction Co. has decided not to go forward with the project. He said charges against the proposal were false and were equivalent to libel. "We think that we should proceed because all of this false information to the planning commission," Segalla said, "and have this reviewed so that in the future, if this company were to decide that it would want to reinstall an asphalt plant it could do so with no more complications." A call to Ford Construction President Nick Jones to confirm the Company's decision to pull the plug on the Valley Springs asphalt plant was not returned by presstime Thursday. Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, June 12, 2015

Taxpayers group favors VS asphalt plant
The Calaveras County Taxpayers Association has sided with county Planning Director Peter Maurer on his decision to allow an asphalt hot plant in Valley Springs. Segalla, who resides in Copperopolis, said, "Asphalt is not a hazard or a pollutant. It is used extensively on all our roads. It sheds water and there is no danger of groundwater contamination or danger to our water supply. The CCWD Board should have known this before calling for Planning Commission review." Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, June 10, 2015

Hogan Asphalt plant in operation ahead of hearing?
A new road and recently-delivered equipment visible from homes in La Contenta has some neighbors wondering if an asphalt plant will begin operating without a public review of possible environmental impacts. Kearney wrote "I would like to get them going with this ASAP, get people working, and avoid a lengthy examination process as it has apparently already been done." Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 5, 2015

More water may flow for some
The Stockton East Water District might send more water to farmers than originally expected next month, despite the fact that the reservoir on which the district relies has dwindled to 18 percent of capacity. "We might as well use all of the water that we can. … Next year, we'll worry about what happens then." The problem for Stockton East is that it cannot use of all of the water in New Hogan, what little there is. Click here for article—Stockton Record, June 9, 2015

Water interests make peace through MokeWISE deal project
Choosing collaboration over endless conflict, diverse groups that in the past battled over the Mokelumne River have now produced a more or less unified plan calling for $100 million in improvements in that watershed. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 9, 2015

Keeping fish on track
Yes, it will rain again someday. And when it does, and the Calaveras River once more becomes a flowing stream, officials want to give migrating fish their best possible chance at journeying to prime spawning habitat below New Hogan Dam. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 7, 2015

Assembly approves Moke River study bill
The California Assembly on Monday gave overwhelming approval to a bill that would require a study of the impacts on upcountry water agencies of designating the Mokelumne River as wild and scenic. "We're excited to see Assembly Bill 142 moving forward," said Foothill Conservancy Executive Director Cecily Smith. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 5, 2015

MVS.com upset asphalt parts delivered to quarry
Concerns over a proposal to place an asphalt "hot plant"... increased with last week's delivery of equipment to the site. "Folks don't appreciate the way the asphalt plant was pushed forward so quickly, and they don't like the lack of information available." "Your constituents deserve better than this," Platt told the board. "They deserve and require public notice and environmental review of the asphalt plant before it begins operation at the Hogan Quarry." Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, May 29, 2015

District seeks public's thoughts on new sewer plant proposal
The Valley Springs Public Utility District is taking a preliminary step in an effort to eventually relocate its wastewater treatment plant. The district is looking at moving the wastewater treatment plant to the Tom Coe property on Paloma Road, two miles north of the existing plant, said Matt Ospital, an engineer for the district. Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, May 29, 2015

New asphalt plant has neighbors hot
Equipment delivered Friday to the Hogan Quarry near Valley Springs has some neighbors of the plant concerned that quarry operators plan to quickly begin operation of a hot asphalt batch plant at the site despite unresolved questions over potential contamination of the drinking water supply for Jenny Lind and Rancho Calaveras. "Ford Construction was expecting to get this through without any appeals"... Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, May 26, 2015

Asphalt plant near Cool rejected
Dozens... voiced their concerns... saying the plant was a fire hazard, would pollute air, make too much noise and would negatively affect the American River Canyon. Some residents... near the quarry said Teichert and El Dorado County tried to sneak the project through by avoiding public scrutiny... Peter Maurer, acting planning director for El Dorado County, said Teichert could appeal the decision to the board of supervisors and would likely do so after an environmental impact report was filed. Click here for article—Auburn Journal, December 10, 2004

Calaveras County Housing Element approved
Many people expressed concern about aspects of the housing element, including incentivizing the construction of low-income housing and the cost of hiring a housing coordinator. But Thomas Infusino, of the Calaveras Planning Coalition, a citizen planning group, was a main voice in support of hiring a housing coordinator and moving forward with the Housing Element. "Housing our local workforce promotes a healthy economy," he said. Click here for article—The Union Democrat, May 27, 2015

New asphalt plant at Hogan Quarry??
RISKS: Contamination of CCWD Drinking Water; Increased Truck Traffic Day or Night; Loss of Property Values; Air Pollution/ Fumes/ Odors/ Noise; Toxins and Health Risks. No Public Notice of Plant Approval! Planning Commission Hearing to be scheduled. Letters and emails needed NOW... Click here for flyer—The Valley Springs News, May 22, 2015

Asphalt Plant Greenlit Upstream From Calaveras River Water Treatment Plant
A proposed asphalt plant near the Calaveras River could lead to contaminated drinking water for people in the area. The water district found out last week that the county told Ford Construction, the company that runs the quarry, that it can develop asphalt. The hot plant would use chemicals to make it. Click here for article and video—CBS 13 Sacramento TV, May 19, 2015

Asphalt plant plan draws criticism
Drinking water might be at risk for contamination under a proposal to build a hot asphalt batch plant next to the Calaveras River just below New Hogan Dam, according to two separate appeals filed last week. Both the water district and MyValleySprings.com said in their appeals that they do not believe that asphalt and Portland cement concrete are the same... Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, May 19, 2015

Changes in land use pose greater threat to aquatic diversity than climate change
From their source to the mouth, rivers and streams are in constant motion and count among the world's most dynamic ecosystems. "Rivers and streams are more sensitive to environmental changes than any other biotope." "...species diversity is strongly affected by land use practices." Click here for article—Science Daily, May 18, 2015

County's OK to expand services at quarry under fire
Expansion of the Hogan Quarry to include an asphalt concrete batch plant has drawn the ire of MyValleySprings.com and a Sacramento-based attorney. "...no public notification or input, no traffic studies or environmental review, no protections from possible risks to the Calaveras River water quality and local CCWD water supply, no rules or regulations governing additional truck traffic, noise, or asphalt plant operations..." MyValleySprings.com plans to file an appeal by today's deadline. Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, May 15, 2015

CCWD sets limits on irrigation
Calaveras County Water District customers will only be able to irrigate lawns and ornamental landscaping two days a week under drought conservation regulations the district's board of directors approved on Wednesday. "It's definitely a scary situation and it presents a real challenge"... Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, May 15, 2015

Calaveras BOS says no to funding Moke River study
Water board directors say yes
The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors Tuesday voted down a measure to use county funds to contribute to a prospective study on whether the Mokelumne River should be designated wild and scenic under state law. A day later, a divided Calaveras County Water District board of directors voted in favor of contributing to the cost of the study. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, May 15, 2015

Funds sought for new Tulloch intake
The Calaveras County Water District board of directors Wednesday approved a declaration of emergency to clear the way for a $1.6 million project that will build a new, more drought-resistant water intake in Tulloch Reservoir. The intake serves 2,500 customers in the Copperopolis area. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, May 15, 2015

Emergency water regulations get OK
Mandatory emergency water regulations aimed at forcing water customers to dramatically reduce outdoor irrigation were approved Tuesday by the California's State Water Resources Control Board. Although the statewide goal is a 25 percent reduction, customers of the Calaveras County Water District are expected to achieve a collective reduction of 32 percent. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, May 7, 2015

Tuolumne County Water – Perceived Problems and Possible Solutions
In this brief paper, CSERC notes that numerous perceived "problems" may be perceptions rather than fact, that TUD in particular has a proven, sufficient water supply for at least 30 – 40 years, and that some "problems" simply need to be viewed as opportunities. Click here for article—CSERC Report, April 30, 2015

Calaveras real estate market looking up
The housing market in Calaveras County is improving, according to the Calaveras County Association of Realtors. The association announced this week that an analysis of multiple listing service transactions found that sales during the first three months of the year were up 6.7 percent compared to the same period in 2014. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 24, 2015

Tulloch project may cost more than $1 million
Water district races to install new pumps before possible drawdown
...Melones may only have about 150,000 acre feet of water still in storage at the end of November, or just a little over 6 percent of the reservoir's capacity. Once flows from New Melones virtually cease... then the irrigation districts will tap into Tulloch... Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 24, 2015

CCWD faces likely 32 percent water cut
A proposed drought order issued by the state government over the weekend will require Calaveras County Water District customers to cut water use a jaw-dropping 32 percent compared to 2013. On Monday morning, CCWD officials scrambled to decide how to meet that goal. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 21, 2015

Calaveras County keeps 'status quo' on medical pot rule
The board said the increasing likelihood of recreational marijuana use being legalized statewide by voters in 2016 would make further time spent on drafting the ordinance a waste of staff time. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, April 15, 2015

Drill rigs busy again, but not necessarily because of drought
Well drillers in Calaveras County are busier these days than they were after the real estate market crashed back in 2008... Moss said he believes the recent uptick in Calaveras County well drilling is more likely thanks to increased demand for housing. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 14, 2015

County general plan gets low marks
"It appears as if the county is going out of its way to avoid providing any guidance for both orderly economic development and sound resource conservation," said Tom Infusino, an attorney for the Calaveras Planning Coalition. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 10, 2015

Irrigation districts announce Stanislaus River deal; fish flows might resume Friday
The brief water war on the Stanislaus River may be over. The South San Joaquin and Oakdale irrigation districts Thursday afternoon announced they had reached a possible deal with federal and state authorities for managing the remaining water in New Melones Reservoir through the summer. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 10, 2015

Feds, water districts spar over fish flows
Local elected leaders are backing two Central Valley irrigation districts that have defied a federal order to release more water this month from New Melones Reservoir for endangered fish in the Stanislaus River. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, April 8, 2015

Fourth year of drought taking toll on cattle ranchers
The drought is forcing ranchers to cull herds... "There's no place to go to. There's so little property for lease," Butler said. What used to be some 15,000 acres of prime grazing land between southern Tuolumne County and Oakdale has been rezoned and now is mostly almond orchards, he said. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, April 8, 2015

Melones releases fish flows; irrigation districts fight back, keep flows from going downstream
New Melones Dam this week began releasing water intended to benefit fish even as human residents along the Stanislaus River escalated their disputes over how the remaining water in the drought-parched impoundment should divided up among farms, faucets and environmental flows. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 8, 2015

Emergency changes approved reducing river flows
State water officials have approved the latest plan to bypass Delta water-quality standards and "significantly reduce" river flows... requires the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to come up with a draft plan by April 15 detailing how the scarce water in New Melones will be managed. Click here for article—Stockton Record, April 8, 2015

Water board shutoff orders could include senior right holders
The state warns that more stop-diversion orders loom for water right holders throughout California — and this time it may curtail some senior rights. "If we get through all the juniors and there's still not enough water in the system, it would likely kick over to seniors," he said. Click here for article—Capital Press, April 7, 2015

Most pot shops comply with county rules
Not too many years ago, Calaveras County had only one medical marijuana store that county officials deemed to be operating in full compliance with county regulations, while three or four others were doing business in violation of the zoning code. Now the numbers are almost reversed. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 7, 2015

Poll: County General Plan should have a water element
The lack of a water element has become more noticeable during the drought, as it has become clear that some communities including Copperopolis and San Andreas no longer can be assumed to have secure water supplies. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 7, 2015

Mokelumne to receive interim protection with amendments to AB 142
...Monday, March 23, AB 142's author [Frank Bigelow] accepted several amendments from the Assembly Natural Resources Committee... He also stated in the committee hearing that the bill was not intended to delay Wild and Scenic designation and that he could support Wild and Scenic protection if recommended as a result of the study. Click here for news report—Foothill Conservancy, April 3, 2015

Governor orders mandatory 25 percent conservation for water utility customers
New Melones, when full, holds 2.4 million acre feet of water, yet the impoundment has rarely been full since it was completed in 1978... "That big reservoir is near empty," Mark Cowin, director of the California Department of Water Resources, said of the Sierra snow fields that usually melt slowly each summer. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 3, 2015

State takes drastic measures
People who get their water from Tuolumne Utilities District and Calaveras County Water District will have to wait and see exactly what statewide mandatory 25 percent reductions will mean here in the Mother Lode. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, April 2, 2015

Gov. Brown orders mandatory water restrictions in California
Gov. Jerry Brown, standing on a patch of brown grass in the Sierra Nevada that is usually covered with several feet of snow, on Wednesday announced the first mandatory water restrictions in California history... Carlson said he visited the area a few days ago. "I can tell you what the reading will be tomorrow: Zero, as in Sierra Nada," he said. –Click here for article—LA Times, April 1, 2015

County not reaping the benefit of fiber optic line
A federal stimulus project funded with $46.6 million in tax dollars that buried high-speed fiber-optic lines in Calaveras County and other parts of Northern California has yet to improve Internet service for county residents living along the line... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 31, 2015

Reps: Water releases flawed
A panel of lawmakers, water managers and biologists at a public forum Saturday in Copperopolis took aim at environmental policies that require dam operators to release billions of gallons of water annually from Sierra Nevada reservoirs to protect endangered fish. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, March 30, 2015

Wild & Scenic River bill gaining support
Recent amendments to Assembly Bill 142, the latest Wild and Scenic bill concerning the Mokelumne River, are pleasing to Friends of the River and Foothill Conservancy. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, March 27, 2015

CCWD board postpones this year's rate hike
Water and sewer rates won't go up as planned this year, but neither will the increases of the previous two years be rolled back, the Calaveras County Water District Board of Directors decided Wednesday. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 27, 2015

FCC hears Calaveras communication gripes
"Service quality is really one of the biggest issues we've heard about in rural areas," Sandoval said. She said that rural areas suffer from both poor quality both in cell phone signal and long disruptions in conventional phone service. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 27, 2015

Rancho receives $150,000 grant to reduce fire fuels
... a partnership between CalFire, Calaveras Consolidated Fire District and the Calaveras Fire Safe Council received a portion of the funding. CalCo Fire Chief Jason Robitaille said the grant would be used to reduce the build up of fire fuels in the Calaveras River Canyon. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, March 25, 2015

Flood maps will be redrawn
The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved an agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to fix flood maps that forced many residents to buy unnecessary flood insurance. "Yay, they finally agreed," said county Planning Director Peter Maurer... –Click here for article—Union Democrat, March 25, 2015

Copper residents watch Melones water release with concern
Bureau of Rec says it plans to have water through end of irrigation season... These days, when dam operators release water from New Melones Reservoir, people in Copperopolis notice. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 24, 2015

Caltrans sticking with present design for Highway 26 work
A California Department of Transportation spokesman last week held out little hope that a safety project on Highway 26 near St. Andrews Road could be redesigned to avoid slicing off a chunk of the 10th fairway of La Contenta Golf Course. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 24, 2015

Overpumping of Central Valley groundwater creating a crisis, experts say
Parts of the San Joaquin Valley are deflating like a tire with a slow leak as growers pull more and more water from the ground. The land subsidence is cracking irrigation canals, buckling roads and permanently depleting storage space in the vast aquifer that underlies California's heartland. –Click here for article—LA Times, March 18, 2015

CPUD needs an expensive new pipeline to lift water connection moratorium
Calaveras Public Utility District has senior rights to water stored in Schaads Reservoir, but currently has no way to pipe the water to its customers in San Andreas and Mokelumne Hill. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 20, 2015

State tightens water-use rules
In the case of the Calaveras County Water District, the rules already in place mean that customers will be able to continue as they have been rather than face the new, more stringent state rules. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 20, 2015

BOS votes for Moke wild and scenic study bill
Opponents call bill a delaying tactic, predict it won't pass in the Legislature
Calaveras County leaders and residents remain bitterly divided over whether to grant state protection for the Mokelumne River. That divide was visible Wednesday during a more than three-hour special meeting... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 20, 2015

Calaveras Board supports AB 142
Angels Camp resident George Wendt called the bill a wolf in sheep's clothing. He said many of its proponents will candidly admit that it's meant to delay the Wild and Scenic designation. As for concerns about water supplies, Bent said the county still sells the majority of its water downstream because of its large water right. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, March 19, 2015

Caltrans will look at requests to modify safety project
By Nick Baptista/ The Valley Springs News/ March 18, 2015
Caltrans is open to taking another look at its project to improve safety along State Route 26 between Vista Del Lago and Country View drives... In addition to the turn lanes, the intersection of State Route 26 and Vista Del Lago is scheduled to receive a traffic signal in 2016. –Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, March 18, 2015

Highway 26 upgrades could scar golf course
The safety project would create a left-turn pocket and thus reduce the chances that westbound drivers waiting to turn onto St. Andrews Road would be struck from behind. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 17, 2015

Drought rules tighten again
Local agencies must limit customers' use of water on lawns, landscaping The new measures were prompted, in part, because customers have not met the January 2014 emergency order by Gov. Jerry Brown, which called on Californians to reduce their monthly water use by 20 percent compared with usage in 2013. Compliance has varied wildly – conservation was just 8.8 percent in January – which officials blamed in part on the water demands of landscaping. –Click here for article—Modesto Bee, March 17, 2015

State predicts slow growth in foothills
Nevertheless, planners in both counties are preparing General Plan updates that account for the projected growth, in addition to room for a little more should economic circumstances provide an unexpected boost. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, March 16, 2015

Poll finds respondents have doubts about Tulloch Reservoir water supply
People who live on the shores of Tulloch Reservoir and in nearby Copperopolis are at risk that drought and irrigation needs will leave them without water, according to a strong majority of respondents to an online poll by The Enterprise. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 13, 2015

No bill introduced, but wild and scenic battle rages on
The vote by the EBMUD board in favor of wild and scenic protection for portions of the Mokelumne above Pardee Reservoir was unanimous... wild and scenic designation for the river "could be developed in a manner that would protect the East Bay's water quality and avoid impacting the East Bay Municipal Utility District's water rights, facilities, or a future downstream expansion of Pardee Reservoir." –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 13, 2015

CCWD backs Moke River bill AB 142
The Calaveras County Water District Board of Directors on Wednesday voted to support a new bill to require studies on the effects "Wild and Scenic" designation would have on the Mokelumne River. The new bill's proponents claim to be after facts that weren't looked into enough earlier, but opponents say it's just an unnecessary stalling tactic that will cost taxpayers. "It's not about facts, it's about delay," said Katherine Evatt... –Click here for article—Union Democrat, March 12, 2015

County General Plan postcards mailed out late
A 90-day comment period on the draft general plan expires on Friday, March 20. Calaveras County officials have been trying to update the General Plan for almost a decade, and Maurer is under pressure to get it done as soon as possible. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 13, 2015

Eggman floats groundwater bill
Stowing away water in our underground emergency "savings account" could get easier under a proposed bill supported by local water officials... Under Assembly Bill 647, recharging the aquifer would in and of itself be considered a "beneficial use." Click here for article—Stockton Record, March 13, 2015

Board of Supervisors wants feds to ease regulation of Stanislaus River flows
...board members aren't the only ones wondering about the drought and the future of developments around Copperopolis. "Why are they (county planners) letting the Saddle Creek developers go through the planning process?" Bill McHale, a Copperopolis resident... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 13, 2015

Tri-Dam on Tulloch: 'We will not drain'
"OID sold 40,000 acre feet two years ago because we had more than we could use," said Clark, "and we got paid $4 million for it. We did not sell any in 2013 or 2014."... "We have assured CCWD," said Larson, "that we will be able to provide water for its customers." –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 10, 2015

Hawver Road bridge project draws fire from some neighbors
Right now, cars roll over what is really just a crossing with culverts set in concrete. The problem is that it becomes impassable during high water. The proposed solution is a 295-foot-long bridge that would be above the floods. The price tag is estimated to be about $3 million. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 10, 2015

Construction comeback in Calaveras
The construction industry once again has a pulse in West Calaveras County... Ryan Voorhees, president and owner of CRV Enterprises, has resumed construction in two of his Valley Springs area subdivisions- Gold Creek and Olive Orchard Estates. Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, March 6, 2015

Poll shows strong support for declaring the Mokelumne River wild and scenic
A total of 160 people responded to the multiple-choice poll. Of those, 121, or more than 75 percent, chose "The entire region benefits if we preserve the Moke for rafting and fishing. Let's make it wild and scenic!" Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 6, 2015

Little snow above, lots of bickering below as drought continues
The state order to senior water-rights holders warns that those who fail to comply could face curtailment orders that they stop taking water... "They've passed out rights to water like Wall Street has passed out securities. Water is managed in California like a giant Ponzi scheme," Jennings said. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 6, 2015

Water withheld again
In a sign that the drought actually has worsened, federal officials on Friday announced an unprecedented second consecutive year with no water deliveries to many farms up and down the Central Valley... The real pinch is that many farmers who normally would enjoy that New Melones water also might get cut off from another primary source: New Hogan Lake east of Stockton. Click here for article—Stockton Record, February 28, 2015

Trinitas pump station case finally resolved
Former golf course owners to pay nearly $250K The Trinitas golf course may be long gone, but only recently was a dispute over the one-time golf course's irrigation system resolved. Trinitas was built without permits on agricultural preserve land along Ospital Road in the early 2000s. The Nemees waged a long-running, but eventually unsuccessful campaign to win legal status for the golf course. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 27, 2015

Supervisors to ask feds for help with Tulloch Reservoir
Not everyone believes that fish are the primary factor behind a possible draining of Tulloch Reservoir. Bill Jennings, executive director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, said that drought and water sales, including sales to customers outside the districts, are the main reasons... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 27, 2015

General Plan meeting reveals a divide in Copper community
"This is a fiasco," said Kyran Enzi, a longtime resident and one-time Copperopolis Area Business Association board member. "They are not here to talk to us; we have to figure this out," she said. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 24, 2015

Lake Tulloch, prized Mother Lode reservoir, may be drained
Water managers may drain the lake to save water farther upstream for farmers and fish... Long before the waterfront homes and jet skis, Tulloch was an irrigation reservoir whose construction was funded by downstream farmers. And sometimes, during times of scarcity, its water is needed elsewhere. The lake was last drained in 1991. Click here for article—Stockton Record, February 24, 2015

Drought lingers, perhaps intensifies in 2015
Five things to watch for as California deals with yet another dry year. 2015 is likely to bring a continuation of some kind of emergency water conservation rules. Right now, rules set to expire in April are backed by fines that can total $500. State officials also are sending letters to thousands of water-right holders, warning them that their right to divert water this year might be preempted. Click here for article—Stockton Record, February 21, 2015

Feds want to drain Tulloch for fish
"The goal is to work cooperatively with federal and state officials to stretch what little water there is behind New Melones Reservoir and the other dams the district share(s) to satisfy the crop needs of its 2,900 agricultural customers this year and still bank some water for 2016," the district said in a prepared statement. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, February 20, 2015

Lake Tulloch may shrink significantly this summer
The Oakdale Irrigation District announced Tuesday that it may draw down the majority of Lake Tulloch this summer in order to meet the irrigation needs of farmers. However, this is a last-resort option... the surface of the reservoir may drop below the Calaveras County Water District's water intake. Click here for Press Release—CCWD, February 19, 2015

Drought could spur draining of Tulloch Lake
Draining the foothill lake is one option available to the Oakdale and South San Joaquin irrigation districts... OID leaders also approved contract language enabling more than 110 farmers to sell water for more than $3 million to out-of-county buyers. Draining Tulloch... could free up as much as 25,000 acre-feet for OID farmers, plus an identical amount for SSJID, its Tri-Dam partner on the Stanislaus River. –Click here for article—Modesto Bee, February 13, 2015

CCWD may help pay for 2014 lobbying on Moke River bill
Calaveras County Water District ratepayers may soon chip in almost $60,000 toward the cost of hiring Sacramento lobbyists to fight proposals to grant wild and scenic protection to the Mokelumne River. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 17, 2015

All property owners will get General Plan update notice
But postcards will not detail proposed changes for specific properties According to Maurer's report, it would cost about $24,100 to send a postcard to every property owner to make sure they know that the General Plan is being updated. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 13, 2015

General Plan Adoption Timeline
At the Board of Supervisors meeting February 10, 2015, Planning Director Peter Maurer handed out an updated schedule for the Draft General Plan. The best-case scenario is adoption by Board of Supervisors in June, 2016. Click here for General Plan Adoption Timeline—Calaveras County Planning Department, February 10, 2015

Medical pot zoning proposal triggers lobbying before it is unveiled
Officials have not given any indication whether medical marijuana will be treated as agricultural production, similar to wine grapes, or whether it may be treated more like an industrial use, or in some other way. Currently, many residential zones allow some level of agricultural activity... –Click here for article and Letter—Calaveras Enterprise, February 10, 2015

Stockton East: Some farmers might receive no water in 2015
New Hogan is just 16 percent full and 36 percent of normal. Stockton East also sells water to the city of Stockton, which has priority over farmers. Stockton East has indicated it is "confident" it can deliver New Hogan water for urban needs, a city official said late last month. Click here for article—Stockton Record, February 4, 2015

State undertakes more scrutiny on water users
Farmers and other water users across the Central Valley soon will be required to share more details about their water rights and how much they are diverting, as state officials sort through allegations of illegal water use in this time of scarcity. Click here for article—Stockton Record, February 5, 2015

Drought intensified in January
Calaveras County Water District customers remain under a mandatory Stage 3 water conservation program intended to reduce usage by 35 percent. If the drought worsens, it is conceivable that the board might at some point approve Stage 4 measure restrictions designed to reduce use by 50 percent. Stage 4 restrictions would ban outdoor watering using hoses or irrigation systems. Residents would still be allowed to water by hand. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 3, 2015

Study: County, state could conserve much more
The big message in all this is that the fastest way to reduce water use if the drought worsens is to restrict outdoor irrigation, Lund said..."Stage 4" measures that would ban hose and irrigation watering. If that happened, people would be allowed only to hand water – that is carry a bucket to pour on each individual tree or plant. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 6, 2015

Valley Springs clinic progresses through pre-planning stages
After the recent Dogtown Road denial, the health care district moved its attention to Valley Springs. "You look at growth in Calaveras County, and that's one of the areas that continues to grow," Doss explained. "We already have a clinic there that is well-overcrowded... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 3, 2015

Moke River calm coming slow
Conservationists not pleased with Bigelow's bill on the river
...one prominent conservationist said the bill is actually unneeded and counterproductive. "It looks like the bill is intended to delay wild and scenic designation,"... –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 3, 2015

Forest Meadows downsizing golf course
Most people living in the residential area surrounding the Forest Meadows Golf Course have heard a variety of rumors floating around about the course, from hole removal to new housing development, even closure of the course. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 30, 2015

General Plan workshops launch with little controversy
After the discussion, Maurer agreed to take another look at the Valley Springs Community Plan, which MyValleySprings.com supported and which was originally produced with support from CalTrans, the Calaveras Council of Governments and even the county Planning Department. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 30, 2015

DOJ letter gets disc golfers back on course
New disc golf courses in San Andreas and Angels Camp may soon flourish thanks to a U.S. Department of Justice letter that says disc golf is not the same as ball golf. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 30, 2015

Valley Springs eyed for new hospital clinic
Valley Springs residents may have a new option for in-town health care with the planning of a potential hospital clinic on the corner Highway 26 and Vista del Lago Drive. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 27, 2015

Hwy 49 could get national status
State Highway 49 could be added to the National Highway System as part of the next federal transportation funding bill... The requested listing would make the route eligible for a share of approximately $22 billion per year earmarked through the National Highway Performance Program. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, January 26, 2015

Property rights proponent selected to planning panel
Tunno said he applied for the post knowing it would be a controversial period as the planning commission and the board began the process to approve an update of the county's General Plan. Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, January 23, 2015

Stockton's New Melones water in jeopardy?
Less water from New Melones means Stockton must either: Take more from the Calaveras River, where New Hogan Lake is 38 percent of normal...Take more from the Delta...or.. Click here for article—Stockton Record Blog, January 21, 2015

Local legislators introduce new Wild and Scenic bill
Assemblyman Frank Bigelow played a role in stopping last summer's Wild and Scenic River legislation... The contentious nature of the legislation, which is likely to return again, inspired a roundtable discussion group that includes both sides of the issue. They will meet Thursday in Calaveras County and attendees include representatives from the Board of Supervisors, the Foothill Conservancy, CCWD and the Calaveras Public Utility District. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 20, 2015

Supes start new year in complete agreement
Those unanimous votes made Cliff Edson of San Andreas the board chairman for 2015... The election of Kearney and Oliveira also allowed them to make new appointments to the Planning Commission, which is arguably the most powerful county body after the Board of Supervisors. Kearney recommended David Tunno of Rancho Calaveras to represent District 5 and Oliveira recommended Lisa Muetterties of Realty World in Arnold to represent District 3. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 16, 2015

CCWD talks drought impacts
Calaveras County Water District customers are complying with statewide efforts to conserve water, but less water usage means less revenue for the district... The board also discussed commenting on the county's draft General Plan... A main concern from directors was making sure county growth projections match up with CCWD infrastructure. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, January 15, 2015

Cottage Springs wins permit to re-open as sledding area
Historically, guests at Cottage Springs parked on the south side of Highway 4 and then crossed the highway to get to the ski slopes. The new project eliminates the dangers of crossing the highway by putting all facilities – parking, a day lodge and the play areas – on the north side of the highway. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 20, 2015

Cottage Springs OK'd by Board of Supervisors
The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors and several county residents on Tuesday praised plans to reopen Cottage Springs as a sledding and tubing resort. Arnold resident Jon Dashner said he supports the "well planned" project, and looks forward to taking his grandchildren sledding there. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, January 14, 2015

Drought killing area's trees
Getting dead trees cut down and removed from a piece of property can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties, and it's an expense more residents may find themselves paying this year. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, January 13, 2015

Jamestown shooting range to close
John and Tami Popke, owners of Weapons Training School on the 10000 block of La Grange Road, sent a letter last month to the Tuolumne County Community Resources Agency formally withdrawing their application for a conditional-use permit, under the threat of a lawsuit by neighboring property owners against them, their landlords and the county Board of Supervisors. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, January 13, 2015

County works to increase the 'green' standard
The transfer station in Avery is one of six in the county. The stations are a vital component to the county's recycling efforts, since 73 percent of residents self-haul trash. ...legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2011 that requires the state to reach a 75 percent recycling rate by the year 2020. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 9, 2015

West Point folks get a chance to ask questions about water service
Wasting no time, newly elected Calaveras County Water District Director Terry Strange is calling a town hall meeting and launching other efforts he hopes will help customers he represents in the c area who have been hard hit by rate hikes. The meeting will be 6 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21...–Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 9, 2015

County saves 500M gallons of water in '14
Residents in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties conserved more than 500 million gallons of water from June to November 2014 compared with the same six months in 2013, according to a State Water Resources Control Board report released this week. –Click here for article—Union Democrat, January 8, 2015

Steel-truss bridge over Calaveritas Creek is slated for replacement
Calaveritas still has the shape of a village from the time before cars, with a main street so narrow and cozy that it becomes an open-air living room during the town's annual New Year's Eve party... word is spreading that the rusted bridge over the creek is slated for replacement with a wider, modern concrete span. And most Calaveritans say they don't want a replacement. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 6, 2015

Economic Development Now
What does it take to overcome economic malaise and what group or agency should spearhead the charge? Unwilling to wait for Washington, Sacramento or even San Andreas, a group of volunteers has embarked on a successfully proven plan to stimulate the county's economy. –Click here for article—Calaveras Chronicle, January 6, 2015

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