Tag Archives | California

Average American Consumes Over 300 Gallons of California Water Per Week

CA Avocados at the grove

Photo: California Avocados (CC)

Note that it’s the average American who consumes more than 300 gallons of California water each week, not the average Californian (whose usage is way higher). This is because this mythical average American is consuming a tremendous amount of food produced in California, everything from almonds to avocados explains the New York Times:

California farmers produce more than a third of the nation’s vegetables and two-thirds of its fruits and nuts. To do that, they use nearly 80 percent of all the water consumed in the state. It is the most stubborn part of the crisis: To fundamentally alter how much water the state uses, all Americans may have to give something up.

The portions of foods shown here are grown in California and represent what average Americans, including non-Californians, eat in a week. We made an estimate of the amount of water it takes to grow each portion to give you a sense of your contribution to the California drought.

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Water Theft Rising In Wake Of Ongoing California Drought

I suppose it was inevitable that water theft would become a thing in California first. As we all know from experience, the trend will soon spread to the rest of America and then the world. From Accuweather:

With the state of California mired in its fourth year of drought and a mandatory 25 percent reduction in water usage in place, reports of water theft have become common.

California water system

In April, The Associated Press reported that huge amounts of water went missing from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and a state investigation was launched. The delta is a vital body of water, serving 23 million Californians as well as millions of farm acres, according to the Association for California Water Agencies.

The AP reported in February that a number of homeowners in Modesto, California, were fined $1,500 for allegedly taking water from a canal. In another instance, thieves in the town of North San Juan stole hundreds of gallons of water from a fire department tank.

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3,000-Year-Old Masonic Police Department Uncovered in California

GRANDMASTER-logoThree people have been arrested in California for impersonating law enforcement officers while operating an unofficial police department dating back (they claim) to the Knights Templar – the Masonic Fraternal Police Department. NPR reports:

It was a plot to rival Foucault’s Pendulum: Police in Los Angeles arrested three people in connection with operating a fictitious police department they said was 3,000 years old and had jurisdiction over 33 states and Mexico.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials told The Associated Press that Brandon Kiel, 31, David Henry, 46, and Tonette Hayes, 58, were arrested last week on suspicion of impersonating officers as members of an organization they called Masonic Fraternal Police Department. The group’s website says:

“The Masonic Fraternal Organization is the oldest and most respected organization in the ‘World.’ Grand Masters around the various states are facing serious safety concerns for their Jurisdictions and their family members. The first Police Department was created by the ‘Knights Templar’s’ back in 1100 B.C.

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California Vaping: The New Subculture

I suppose it was inevitable that a new vein of slang would arise around vaping. BBC News Magazine elevates it to the level of a new subculture:

California is generally reckoned to be a trendsetter – it’s not necessarily that things are invented there but California is often an early adopter. Think raves, skateboards, hippies and a whole smorgasbord of drugs. So what’s next?

Vaping an Electronic Cigarette / E Cig / Vaporizor

Photo: Jonny Williams (CC)

 

There’s a cloud-chasing meet and I want to win. And no. Not the clouds in the sky. So here’s the set-up. I want a sub-ohm rechargeable, authentic mech mod so that I that can crank up the power. And a metal rebuildable atomizer. Drip tip, of course, and then a wire coil with a dual silica wick.

I know its old-fashioned but, you know what? I’ve never liked the eco wool. And steel mesh? I haven’t seen one of those for months now.

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Ten Percent of California’s Water Goes to Almond Farming

The media’s making a big deal out of California’s statewide water rationing, with state residents freaking out about not being able to water their MiracleGro lawns, wash their chrome-hubcapped cars and so forth. The real culprits are the farmers, though, and none more so than the almond growers per Slate‘s Eric Holthaus:

Denair, Calif.—In California’s vast Central Valley, agriculture is king. But the king appears fatally ill, and no worthy replacement is in sight, as the area noticeably reverts into the desert it was little more than a century ago.

Almond trees

An almond orchard just outside of Turlock and Hughson, CA.

Signs line the back roads here that run parallel to wide irrigation ditches:

“Pray for rain”
“No water = No jobs”

As I’ve already discussed in the Thirsty West series, city-dwelling Californians are a bit insulated from near-term water shortages thanks to the state’s intricate tentacles of aqueducts, pipelines, and canals that divert water from the snowcapped Sierras to the urban core along the coast.

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WATCH: Police in riot gear arrest California Walmart workers during sit-in over wages, firings

Police in riot gear arresting Walmart workers (KTLA)

Police in riot gear arresting Walmart workers (KTLA)

via Raw Story:

Police decked out in riot gear arrested Walmart workers and supporters after they blocked an intersection in front of a Pico Rivera, California store Thursday evening.

KTLA reports dozens of protestors were taken into custody by sheriff’s deputies wearing riot helmets and holding batons, several hours after the sit-in began, drawing hundreds protesting working conditions at the retail giant.

The sit-in followed a work stoppage  earlier in the day at the company’s Crenshaw Boulevard store in Baldwin Hills.

Employees in Baldwin Hills store stopped work and sat on the floor with tape over the mouths reading ‘strike,’ while holding signs saying, “Walmart stop the illegal threats.”

Walmart is currently under investigation for firing and threatening  employee activists.

Activists have been setting up protests at Walmart stores across the country, posting pictures on twitter at #walmartstrikers.

In Pico Rivers, some workers sat in the middle of the busy intersection holding signs and lit candles as deputies pulled them to their feet and loaded them into buses.

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The Landscape-Scarring, Energy-Sucking, Wildlife-Killing Reality of Pot Farming

six riversJosh Harkinson writes about the ugly side of marijuana as a cash crop for Mother Jones via Medium:

STARTING ABOUT 90 MILES northwest of Sacramento, an unbroken swath of national forestland follows the spine of California’s rugged coastal mountains all the way to the Oregon border. Near the center of this vast wilderness, along the grassy banks of the Trinity River’s south fork, lies the remote enclave of Hyampom (pop. 241), where, on a crisp November morning, I climb into a four-wheel-drive government pickup and bounce up a dirt logging road deep into the Six Rivers National Forest. I’ve come to visit what’s known in cannabis country as a “trespass grow.”

“This one probably has the most plants I’ve seen,” says my driver, a young Forest Service cop who spends his summers lugging an AR-15 through the backcountry of the Emerald Triangle—the triad of Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity counties that is to pot what the Central Valley is to almonds and tomatoes.

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Former ‘Best Mom’ Schemed To Have Woman Raped After Losing Bid On Dream Home

PIC: David Smith (CC)

PIC: David Smith (CC)

A woman recognized in 2006 by Time-Warner as one of San Diego’s “50 Best Moms” has a dark side. After losing a bid on what was described as her “dream home”, 52 year-old Kathy Rowe began embarked on a campaign of revenge against the couple who won. Rowe started with minor, annoying pranks like signing the couple up for visits from religious groups, and then escalated into criminal behavior. Rowe came to the attention of the authorities after it was discovered that she had posted ads online in the wife’s name that stated she had a rape fantasy that she wanted to be fulfilled.

The ads encouraged men who were interested to force their way into the home and rape her, and noted that they should ignore her pleas to stop. The ads were accompanied by the woman’s photo and address, and Rowe had very explicit conversations with the men who responded.… Read the rest

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Sniper Attack On America’s Power Grid

In the wake of an attack on a California electrical utility, terrorism experts are warning that the power grid could be America’s weak point, reports the Wall Street Journal:

SAN JOSE, Calif.—The attack began just before 1 a.m. on April 16 last year, when someone slipped into an underground vault not far from a busy freeway and cut telephone cables.

Within half an hour, snipers opened fire on a nearby electrical substation. Shooting for 19 minutes, they surgically knocked out 17 giant transformers that funnel power to Silicon Valley. A minute before a police car arrived, the shooters disappeared into the night.

Video from Santa Clara County Sherriff’s Office: New surveillance video from the PG&E substation on Metcalf Road. The video shows bullets hitting the fence causing sparks. The sparks can be seen at minutes: 1:54, 2:07, 2:10, 2:57 and 3:01.

 

To avoid a blackout, electric-grid officials rerouted power around the site and asked power plants in Silicon Valley to produce more electricity.

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Outrage As California Police Acquitted For Beating Mentally Ill Homeless Man To Death

kelly thomasIt’s scarcely believable that the officers got off for this, given the gruesome video footage of events as they unfolded. ThinkProgress writes:

Two former police officers in Orange County, CA were acquitted of murder Monday for beating a schizophrenic homeless man, Kelly Thomas, to death. After watching a harrowing video showing Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli, along with other officers, brutalizing Thomas, the jury [found] the two men not guilty.

In July 2011, the Fullerton cops came upon the 37-year-old schizophrenic taking some letters out of a trashcan and started beating him with a taser and a baton. The entire encounter was caught on a nearby security camera. As the officers hit him, Thomas begged for help and called out for his father.

Cicinelli arrived later, tasing Thomas with a stun gun and then struck him across the face with it hard enough to break several bones. “I just probably smashed his face to hell,” he says on the video.

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