AM News for Friday, July 12th, 2013
The Center for Biological Diversity has filed a lawsuit Wednesday against
San Benito County, challenging the approval of the Indian Wells Oil Project.
The project is slated to be about 9 miles south from Pinnacles National
Park on the Monterey County border. The anti-oil fracking group says the project has big implications for Monterey County because it will use a large amount of water from Salinas Valley.
Fifteen news oil wells are included in the initial phase of the oil project,
according to the Center.
The Center for Biological Diversity says the project would be located in the Salinas Valley watershed, in an area used by wildlife like the California
condor. The group says they are filing the suit under CEQA in Monterey
Superior Court because they say it poses a risk to endangered species and possible threat to water quality and climate concerns.
Cyclic steam injection is not a form of oil fracking, but environmentalists
argue it's another dangerous form of extreme oil production.
Nearly 29,000 inmates in California state prisons refused meals for the third day Wednesday during a protest that extended to two-thirds of the 33 prisons across the state and all four private out-of-state facilities where California sends inmates.
Thousands of prisoners also refused to attend their work assignments for a
third day, and state officials were bracing for a long-term strike.
This hunger strike could become the largest in state history, since the largest previously was 6,000.
The protest is centered on the state's aggressive solitary confinement
practices, but it appeared to have attracted support from many prisoners
with their own demands for changes in prison conditions.
Ten inmates who began refusing meals July 1 are now under medical
observation at High Desert State Prison near the Nevada border.
J. Clark Kelso, the federal receiver who oversees prison healthcare, said
the inmates would be referred to a physician if they go 17 days without food or show signs of distress.
The work inside Skunk Train Tunnel No. 1 to repair the damage caused by a major rock fall in April is "progressing nicely," according to Chief Skunk Robert Pinoli.
No firm date has been set to complete repairs needed to return the trains to active service. As of Saturday, the contractor has installed about 80 bolts
between 6 and 8 feet long into the rock. The bolts hold about 1200 sq ft of
reinforcing wire mesh in place. A wet cement slurry will then be sprayed
onto the rock and mesh to form a stabilizing barrier. Pinoli says a series of
test "shotcrete" panels will be installed this week, with the expectation "we
will begin applications of shotcrete inside the tunnel shortly thereafter."
The repairs are being made possible by donations and the $300,000 option money paid by the Save the Redwoods League in June.
State water regulators have fined a pair of Mendocino County landowners
$30,000 for an alleged illegal reservoir that diverted water from a stream
west of Ukiah.
Since at least 2007, Steven Rector and Anne Carole Frocteau have been
diverting an unnamed tributary of the Navarro River on their
67-acre Comptche-Ukiah Road property.
“They illegally constructed a dam in a stream,” said Stormer Feiler, an
environmental scientist with the water board. “It was poorly constructed and appeared to be something that could fail.”
The .45 acre reservoir created by the earthen dam was used for gardening and
marijuana cultivation, according to Feiler.
Rector, 51, is currently on trial in federal court in Kansas for conspiracy to
distribute more than a ton of marijuanaas part of a major California-Kansas drug ring. Anne Carole Foucteau-Rector, identified as a Fort Bragg chiropractor, has not been charged in any criminal case. The state could have imposed a $125,530 fine
The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors will host a budget presentation from 10:30am to noon today, Friday at the Fort Bragg Town Hall. The
presentation is the first in a series of five presentations to be given in each
supervisorial district before the annual county budget hearings begin Sept. 9