CURRENT NEWS & REPORTS

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Conservancy settles with Amador County over general plan
"Foothill Conservancy made it clear that our goal was to have a better, legally compliant general plan that addressed the issues that were important to local residents and our local economy, and that we wanted to negotiate an agreement...I think what the settlement shows is that if a county takes local citizens' concerns seriously, it can find ways to resolve them..." Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 5, 2018

Chinese Criminal Group Behind Grow House Busts
Calaveras sheriff's officials share that a dozen Valley Springs-related grow house busts since November 2017...have links to the same criminal organization. Calaveras investigators provided details about these busts to the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) as part of a joint enforcement effort to further the overall investigation; all 12 of these locations are in federal seizure process. Click here for article—MyMotherLode.com, April 5, 2018

Farmers file another cannabis suit
Marijuana farmers filed another lawsuit against the county last week, alleging county supervisors violated the Ralph M. Brown Act by engaging in a series of private meetings and avoiding public engagement on cannabis issues. The lawsuit seeks to invalidate the cannabis ban that was enacted on Jan. 10... Unless the parties agree otherwise, the county must respond to the verified complaint no later than 30 days from the date it was served. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 4, 2018

CCWD addresses opposition to proposed rate increase
....the CCWD meeting on March 28 began contentiously... The speaker was asked by the board to withhold further comments until the rate change segment of the agenda was reached. During that part of the meeting, each member of the board took time to explain why he or she believes a rate increase is necessary... Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 4, 2018

Tuolumne County Leaders Hear Update On General Plan Update
...Assistant Director for the county's Community Resources Agency (CRA), Quincy Yaley, noted that 4,000 letters have been sent to landowners that the county is contemplating changing the land use designation. She added that the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the General Plan update should be released this summer and there will then be a 45-day comment period...Staff will then review the comments and the supervisors will likely vote on approving a new General Plan in December. Click here for article—MyMotherLode.com, April 4, 2018

NPS Reconsidering Hefty Entrance Fee Hike
Yosemite National Park, CA –Department officials say they are reassessing ways to cover an $11 billion deficit in the budget for maintaining the parks' infrastructure after hearing elected officials and the public largely decry the admission fee increase proposal that Secretary Ryan Zinke introduced last October... Officials are now stating that the plan is being amended in consideration of all the input. Click here for article—MyMotherLode.com, April 4, 2018

Osprey rescued and released
Valley Springs resident Jesse Norried grew up practicing falconry with his mother and is "always looking" during his Highway 12 commute, which boasts a number of carnivorous birds' nests. On March 25th, he spotted an osprey sitting on the side of the road between Wallace and Clements... Phenomenally, after five days of tedious care, the osprey recovered from his wounds and was ready to be released. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 3, 2018

First Town Hall Meeting This Week Over CCWD Rate Hike Roll Out
A water district now planning to roll out water and sewer rate increases later this year is holding the first of several outreach town hall meetings this week. Today, CCWD released the meeting schedule...Thursday, April 26 in Jenny Lind/Rancho Calaveras at the Veterans Hall (189 Pine Street, Valley Springs) Click here for article—MyMotherLode.com, April 2, 2018

CCWD will notify customers of proposed rate increase by mail
On Wednesday the 28th, the CCWD board of supervisors approved a recommendation by staff to issue notices to customers explaining the proposed five-year rate plan. Proposition 218 was approved by California voters in 1996. It requires that all water rates must be cost-based, and that rate payers must be given notice of rate changes at least 45 days before they are implemented in order to allow for public input and challenges. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 30, 2018

County of Amador and Foothill Conservancy settle dispute over general plan
"We are grateful that the county agreed to work with us to find a resolution that's good for the county, its residents, and local businesses... The settlement addresses our key concerns about the general plan...community character and wildlife. It will also set up a system that requires the county to track key planning benchmarks..." "It's much better for everyone than going through a protracted, costly legal battle and extensive general plan changes." Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 30, 2018

Cannabis farmers sue county
The lawsuit, filed by the Archer Norris Law Firm on behalf of the Calaveras Cannabis Legal Defense Fund and farmer Trevor Wittke, alleges that supervisors discussed and took action on items not listed on the board agenda and held serial communications between a majority of the board through third parties, among other assertions. Click here for article and March 27 Lawsuit for Injunctive Relief—Calaveras Enterprise, March 29, 2018

CCWD Considering Five-year Water, Sewer Rate Increase Plan
Under the new system, customers would receive a slight reduction in the base rate but then be charged for their actual per consumption... "We understand that some folks will definitely experience a hardship. But we do have to take care of our system, ensure that we are financially viable and that we can continue providing safe, reliable water and wastewater services to our customers. Click here for article—MyMotherLode.com, March 26, 2018

La Contenta Golf Club reopens
Buyer may complete purchase soon
The La Contenta Golf Club in Valley Springs reopened for limited play on March 17... The focus during the reopening will be to build a model that has self-sustaining revenues, said Stubblefield, who was named the head professional after he volunteered to mow greens and preserve the course for some time during its closure as a member of the maintenance crew. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 22, 2018

CCWD considers rate increase and restructure
The proposed rate increase will have the greatest impact upon residential Tier 1 users... the percentage increases over current rates that the Tier 1 and Tier 2 users will experience each year...will exceed the 8.5 percent and 7.7 percent first-year increases....all users above Tier 1 will see their annual consumption rates per cubic foot of water remain below the consumption rates they currently pay throughout the entire five-year period. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 22, 2018

Well-traveled eagle flies high again
It was a miracle the golden eagle survived after it was struck by a freight train traveling a route between Nebraska and Stockton last month. The eagle was trapped inside a grill on the front of the locomotive for days... The bird was released back into the wild March 6 outside of New Hogan Reservoir near Valley Springs after a month's stay at Tri County Wildlife Care in Sutter Creek... Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 21, 2018

Creeks swell and snow blankets the high country
Cosgrove Creek outside Valley Springs along Highway 26 near St. Andrews Road swells during what weather experts call a typical winter storm... The storm brought atypically cold temperatures, Kochasic said. Snow levels dropped to 1,000 feet, surprising some residents who are not used to seeing snow in their areas. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 21, 2018

CCWD seeks feedback on proposed rate increases
The Calaveras County Water District is encouraging customers to attend a meeting on March 28 at which staff will recommend a new rate plan... Currently, the base rate for residential users includes an annual allocation of 1,000 cubic feet of water at its lowest payment bracket. The new plan does not include any water allocation in the base rate. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 15, 2018

Fire district gets higher insurance rating
Insurance Services Office sells its fire protection rating information to insurance companies that then use the data to help set rates. The ratings are based on factors such as the locations of fire hydrants... and the agency's staffing levels... Young said the district's rating is actually expressed as a 4/10, with the 4 applying only to areas within five miles of the station. The 10 applies to outlying rural areas. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 15, 2018

Former code compliance officer suing the county
... former compliance officer Todd Barr, the county retaliated against Barr for reporting suspected employment discrimination and failed to compensate him for work he did as County Building Officer... the complaint estimates he is owed approximately $677,000. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 15, 2018

Pet Bath House owner to stand trial
In November, the Angels Camp City Council revoked a conditional use permit for Hughes' business because it violated two of the 17 conditions the company agreed to follow in order to obtain the permit. David Hanham, planning director for Angels Camp, said during a hearing on the matter that the business had not been reporting injuries or deaths to the proper authorities and was not separating larger dogs. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 15, 2018

Calaveras County Sets June Primary Candidates, Measures
Calaveras County elections officials confirm that the finalized list of local candidates and measures for the June 5 ballot is set. Local measures wise, Calaveras voters may yea or nay Mark Twain Health Care District's proposed plans for a new management lease with Dignity Health... The local ballot includes a three-way race for Sheriff... Both supervisors' races also feature multiple candidates. Click here for article—MyMotherLode.com, March 14, 2018

Residents say Arnold bridge replacement needs to be a priority
...discussions would come to a March 27 supervisors' meeting where they will decide whether to fund this project with some of the extra $9 million – primarily from cannabis tax dollars – that the county found in General Fund savings during a midyear budget review last month. Crovitz said during the same meeting that a contractor estimated the Murphys Drive culvert replacement would cost $300,000. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 1, 2018

La Contenta preparing to re-open
The firm leasing La Contenta Golf Club is working to have the course back in operation within the next 10 days. George Lee of Gentium Golf said it is the intent of his company to return the golf course to "its previous luster." Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, March 9, 2018

County relinquishes control of public transit system
The JPA removes all direct financial liability the county had for the program. The $1 million or so the county budgeted for transit in 2018 will become available for other uses. The CCOG will contract with an outside entity... It may be too soon to say whether officials will change the schedule of transit operations... Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 8, 2018

Job-creating industry looking outside of VS
The sustainable biomass and wood fiber manufacturer was looking at locating the new facility on industrial-zoned property off Paloma Road across the street from the Snyder Ranch... The multi-million dollar facility was projected to be in operation by last November, but Mark Mathis, Confluence Energy CEO, indicated his company is looking at another location. He would not elaborate where the new site could be, but a source with the county said property near Wilseyville is under consideration. Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, March 7, 2018

Pet Bath House owner to stand trial on animal cruelty, grand theft charges
...Hughes could be additionally called to answer on a felony animal cruelty charge pertaining to the deprivation of the "necessary food, drink and shelter" for Cici, and on conspiracy charges for involving her neighbor, Patti Guy, to threaten Mendoza over the phone. Foley acknowledged that Hughes' conditional use permit for the business had been revoked by the city of Angels Camp and she no longer boarded animals. Click here for article—Union Democrat, March 7, 2018

Tuolumne Supervisors Pass Permanent Personal Use Cannabis Rules
...will require those planning outdoors or accessory structure grows to register and pay a $125-$500 fee that will go towards enforcement measures. Also approved was set-up of an enforcement team to include a code compliance investigator, office assistant, two sheriff's deputies and a paralegal at an estimated total cost of approximately $415,000... The new ordinance...allows residents living in RE-1, RE-2, RE-3, RE-5, RE-10, A-10, A-20 and AE-37 zones to cultivate up to six plants outdoors as long as they maintain at least a 100-foot setback from neighboring property lines. Click here for article—MyMotherLode.com, March 7, 2018

Finally, Protection for the Moke
After three decades, environmentalists are on the cusp of obtaining wild and scenic designation for the Mokelumne River, which would prevent new dams on the East Bay's primary water supply. The state is recommending protection for 37 miles of the Mokelumne River... Click here for article—East Bay Express, March 7, 2018

County's long-awaited General Plan update close to fruition
County Planning Director Peter Maurer provided an update on the lengthy process at Thursday's meeting of the Rotary Club of West Calaveras... Maurer said he's "hopeful" hearings on the General Plan update will begin in November or December and completed shortly after. "If we can't get this done in 2019, it's time for me to retire." Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, March 2, 2018

New wrinkle on trips to Shenandoah wine country
Roundabout project seen as an asset for tourists, residents and businesses in Amador County
To support the economy and enhance the safety of those who travel on SR-49, Caltrans partnered with Plymouth and the Amador County Transportation Commission to convert an intersection with four stop signs into a user-friendly roundabout. Rather than all four vehicles being forced to come to a complete stop, idling their engines and contributing to noise and air pollution, motorists now glide through the roundabout with minimal delay. Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, March 2, 2018

County finds 'breathing room' in midyear budget review
2017-18 revenues are expected to be higher than the county has seen in years... Cannabis tax revenues, which the county had budgeted to be about $2.2 million at this point, have instead totaled $13 million... Moving forward, supervisors will have to determine how to fund enforcement of the cannabis ban. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 22, 2018

Issues, Uncertainty In Calaveras As Cannabis Ban Rolls Out
Ironically, growers' applications, many still in pending status, are still being processed. As CAO Lutz explains it, the reasons are due to the language in the urgency ordinance and ban that provides for a 90-day transition period. County officials are directing growers' ban compliance-related questions as well as those concerning what is allowable for a personal cannabis grow to the Calaveras County Planning Department, which has also prepared a FAQ list here. Click here for article—MyMotherLode.com, February 23, 2018

Comments flow about the Moke River
State agency hears Wild and Scenic input
"Psychologically, emotionally and spiritually, the river is a place to take ourselves and heal ourselves and feel good about our lives and to immerse ourselves in an amazing environment..." A group of four activists put their comments to music by singing "Mother River..." "Once a river is gone, it is gone forever," said Joe David, a resident of Tuolumne County. "...The Mokelumne River is so unique as a recreational resource because it's a perfect beginning-type paddle..." Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 22, 2018

Cannabis ban takes effect next month
The cannabis ban will take effect March 9, the county confirmed Feb. 15... The ordinance limits all cannabis farming to the six plants allowed for personal use under California law. The urgency ordinance that permitted commercial cultivation over the past two years ended on Feb. 14... Once the ordinance takes effect, growers will have 90 days to comply. Commercial cultivation must stop by June 8... Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 22, 2018

Marijuana farmers sue the county
Marijuana farmers have undertaken a number of challenges to the recently enacted ban on cannabis cultivation, including lawsuits seeking to overturn the ban and challenges to the county's refusal to produce a memorandum sent to all supervisors that was the subject of a Freedom of Information Act request. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 22, 2018

Ben Stopper to challenge Clyde Clapp in District 5
Stopper joins Bruce Guidici as a challenger for the seat currently held by Supervisor Clyde Clapp. The incumbent announced in December he will attempt to retain the seat he acquired by gaining the greatest number of votes in a recall election that deposed former supervisor Steve Kearney in 2016. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 22, 2018

Calaveras County Cannabis Cultivation Ban Implementation
The implementation of the commercial cannabis cultivation ban...is set to begin on Friday, March 9, 2018... growers have 90 days from the effective date of the ban ordinance to come into compliance with the new law. All cultivation except for registered personal use, must cease after June 7, 2018... During the 90-day period, the provisions of the urgency ordinance continue as referenced in the ban, and registered growers are able to continue cultivating. If a grower's application was in pending status, the County will continue processing registration applications. Click here for article—ThePineTree.com, February 15, 2018

Another New OES Director For Calaveras To Take The Helm
After recently accepting the resignation of departing OES Director Will Downs..., CAO Tim Lutz shares that the county decided to hire Michelle Patterson... when Downs came onboard last October, he filled a newly re-designated position that had been vacant for nearly a decade due to budget constraints and the shuffling of OES responsibilities from county administration to the auspices of the sheriff's office. Click here for article—MyMotherLode.com, February 15, 2018

Homeowners push officials to replace washed-out bridge
"We've changed 12 out of 18 department heads this year," added Oliveira. "We just recently hired our own Office of Emergency Services director because of the Butte Fire. When that person starts in 10 days, they're going to walk into a storm of confusion..." "People wait too long to go," O'Donnell said of people ordered to evacuate in the event of a wildfire. "...This is bigger than a single bridge. We want better access and egress. It's a high priority for us to get it fixed." Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 14, 2018

La Contenta bankruptcy case likely to be dismissed
Judge Bardwil at a Jan. 31 hearing expressed concerns about the viability and desirability of the Chapter 11 case for several reasons. He urged Ryan Voorhees...to obtain a new operator for the golf course... The judge noted "almost all of the debt is owed to insiders... creating a possible conflict between Mr. Voorhees as the Debtor's representative at the same time he is the creditor's representative." Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, February 14, 2018

DiBasilio and Giudici campaign for Sheriff and Supervisor
"I know the difference between an expense and an investment," he [Giudici] said. "I have experience that no one else running has. I think in terms of numbers and bottom lines. I'm a fiscal conservative..." "If we take the undeveloped properties in the county," he [Sheriff DiBasilio] suggested, "and charge them a $50 a year fee, and $100 on developed properties, that would give us about $2.5 million, which would give us another three deputies." Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 14, 2018

Board rejects sending pot ordinances to voters
Prapanna Smith, an indoor marijuana farmer in the county, said nobody would have voted for the regulations... Trent Fiorino, of Valley Springs, said he would support a quarter-cent increase on county sales tax to fund law enforcement expenses that may be exposed now that the cannabis taxes will disappear. "Those in favor of a ban can reach into our pockets and help," Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 14, 2018

Fearing litigation, Calaveras supervisors decline to put cannabis laws to voters
...the Board of Supervisors took no action Tuesday evening on a resolution to give voters a chance to choose between banning or regulating cannabis cultivation... "We're already going to have plenty to defend with the ban," Garamendi said. He was right... the elected board and the county faced new legal challenges from registered growers angered by a ban the panel approved on Jan. 10. Click here for article—Union Democrat, February 13, 2018

County to sue for Butte Fire
Since the County will forever be scarred and socially and economically damaged, the County has worked to secure fair compensation for its residents and seek reimbursement for the damage to Calaveras County and its local infrastructure from PG&E, which is responsible for this tragedy... Baron & Budd, P.C. is a national law firm, retained by public entities over 425 times for litigation and trial... Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 13, 2018

Calaveras County Suing PG&E Over Butte Fire
Calaveras County, which is still in disaster recovery mode from the fire, suffered negative financial and economic impacts running into the tens of millions... Among these are lost taxpayer funds; damaged infrastructure and natural resources; fire suppression costs; government employee overtime; ongoing emergency response and recovery efforts. Click here for article—MyMotherLode.com, February 13, 2018

Agency recommends protection for the Moke River
On Jan. 26, the California Natural Resources Agency released its draft Mokelumne River Wild and Scenic River Study Report... The agency recommended granting Wild and Scenic status to 37 miles of the North Fork and main stem of the Mokelumne Rive... The study also recommended including "special provisions to protect existing water rights application 5647X03 and future local water development projects designed to avoid adverse effects on the free-flowing condition and natural character of designated segments..." Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 9, 2018

Landowners in Butte scar battle to heal the forest
How healthy the Butte Fire burn area is right now, and how well the earth is recovering from the blaze depends on which experts you ask... "Nature is slow," Bennett said. "We're not going to live to see the difference. It will take 40 years before there's forest there again." Click here for article—Union Democrat, February 8, 2018

What you can do in Calaveras after the ban?
In Calaveras, personal-use growers can house their six plants indoors in an enclosed and lockable area... Despite the historic immunity from criminal enforcement, under the ban, the only marijuana growing permitted in Calaveras County will be limited to six plants for personal or adult-use purposes... Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 2, 2018

Registered Medical Pot Grow Raided
A Valley Springs home, which had been registered for medical cultivations, was raided and deputies found way more plants than allowed for... Inside the home they uncovered 907 marijuana plants and 26 pounds of processed marijuana. Click here for article—MyMotherLode.com, February 1, 2018

Impoverished District 2 fights for its life
Now, in light of the ban, people are likely to leave the area to pursue opportunities elsewhere, further reducing an already sparse population, Garamendi said. With it comes the increased likelihood that some schools in the area may close completely... District 2 is particularly vulnerable because it is literally farther away from resources than all other Calaveras towns... Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 1, 2018

Recall elections have a long history in Calaveras County
Most that involved county supervisors have been successful. District 5 Supervisor Clyde Clapp won a recall election in November 2016 to replace former board member Steve Kearney... Petitioners for Kearney's recall took issue with his vote to allow a proposed asphalt plant near Valley Springs to avoid obtaining a conditional use permit. A total of 1,934 District 5 residents then voted to recall Kearney...The operators of the asphalt plant eventually withdrew their application and opened a plant in Carson Hill south of Angels Camp. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, February 1, 2018

State study recommends Wild and Scenic designation for Mokelumne River
AB 142 was supported by local governments, water agencies, businesses and business groups, tribes and outdoor-oriented nonprofit organizations... "We're glad to see that the study recommends adding all 37 miles of the Mokelumne listed in AB 142 to the California Wild and Scenic River system," said Friends of the River's Wild Rivers Consultant Steve Evans. Click here for article—Foothill Conservancy News, January 31, 2018

Wagon trail project creeps toward construction
Construction of a replacement highway, a $78 million job, is expected to begin in 2020... Before construction can begin, however, officials need to finalize highway designs and acquire the land for the project... Additional funding will be needed moving forward, said Collins. The council has devoted $7.3 million for property acquisitions and construction and about $13 million for the "remaining phases"... Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 25, 2018

Life after the ban
Jobs at risk at the Government Center
The ban puts into jeopardy about 26 jobs, from departments responsible for code compliance, law enforcement, planning and environmental health... In the meantime, workers in positions related to cannabis will continue to process applications. Lutz said officials did not want to cause problems for farmers who had registered in Calaveras before the ban and may be interested in relocating elsewhere to continue. "Our goal is to continue to evaluate how long we need to do it," said Lutz. "We want to make sure, from a local perspective, we're closing this program out." Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 25, 2018

What Is Next For Calaveras County Recalls?
With three Calaveras County Supervisors and two Calaveras Unified School District School Board Trustees in the hot seats, the county could face a wild ride come election time. All of the five supervisor's seats could be up for grabs... "If the recalls make it to the ballot, we'd have five supervisors on the ballot, which is kind of crazy, considering we just had four new supervisors installed recently." Click here for article—MyMotherLode.com, January 25, 2018

Pot banning supervisors served recall notices
Two separate groups, led by Jeremy Maddux of District 4 and Joan Wilson of District 1 respectively, served Supervisors Dennis Mills, District 4, and Gary Tofanelli, District 1, recall notices after both campaigns obtained more than the required 20 signatures since last week in support of their efforts. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 23, 2018

New Studies Look At Drought And Fire In Sierra Nevada
Research conducted by UC scholars note that the recent tree mortality crisis actually increased water runoff, but is also creating unprecedented amounts of fuel for wildfires... "If our society doesn't like the outcomes from recent fires and extensive drought-induced tree mortality in Sierra forests, then we collectively need to move beyond the status quo. Working to increase the pace and scale of beneficial fire and mechanical treatments rather than focusing on continued fire suppression would be an important step forward." Click here for article—MyMotherLode.com, January 22, 2018

BAN IN EFFECT
Supervisors vote to ban pot cultivation: growers, citizens and county weigh what's next ...Supervisors could not get over one last hurdle: a 100-acre parcel minimum for all cannabis farming. The result was the complete elimination of a regulatory program begun in 2016 that authorized more than 200 farmers, collected more than $3.5 million in fees and generated upward of $10 million in taxes and fines... Hauer said he expects some type of lawsuit to be filed within the 30-day period before the ban goes into effect. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 18, 2018

Humane society to open shelter near Angels Camp
Drake said Monday the humane society's shelter, in addition to the Animal Services shelter that will remain open, will serve the county's animal population better than a shared shelter. "We will virtually double the amount of animals that can go into shelters in Calaveras County," she said. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 18, 2018

Pot Houses: Too Many, Too Close For Sheriff's Comfort
Valley Springs, CA – Several raids in Calaveras County point to a trend where entire houses are being turned into marijuana grows and that has sparked concerns from the sheriff regarding the hazards... "You have wires hanging from the walls. They've cut holes into the walls and ceiling to add all the extra lighting..." Click here for article—MyMotherLode.com, January 17, 2018

Calaveras County hospital district board approves new partnership with Dignity Health
The new lease agreement with Dignity Health will ensure continued operation of the district's general acute care hospital and emergency room in San Andreas for at least 10 years, and up to 30 years... Mark Twain Medical Center is the only hospital in Calaveras County... The hospital and its clinics have more than 300 employees, including 35 doctors. Click here for article—Union Democrat, January 24, 2018

Mark Twain Hospital Chooses To Re-sign With Dignity Health
After many long months of deliberations, public outreach and negotiations, at today's district board meeting the directors had but two resolutions before them to consider. One outlined the terms of the new Dignity agreement; the other the subsequent ballot measure that would be put before voters to decide on the June 5 ballot. Click here for article—MyMotherLode.com, January 23, 2018

MTHCD Board Still Deciding Between Dignity And Going Solo
A local healthcare district is spending the first few weeks of the new year actively weighing whether to sign a management agreement with Dignity Health or manage Mark Twain Medical Center independently... if everything lines up, the district board will at its Jan. 24 meeting be considering the resolutions to lease the hospital to Dignity Health and call for a ballot election... Click here for article—MyMotherLode.com, January 15, 2018

More Marijuana Business For Calaveras Supes This Week
It is also thought that, in the wake of last week's decision, another special supervisors' session might still be scheduled between sometime this week and the supervisors' next regular meeting on Jan. 23 to discuss the possibility of bringing a twin-set of board-sponsored initiatives to the June 5 voter ballot... Click here for article—MyMotherLode.com, January 15, 2018

Why did Calaveras board ban pot, then talk about putting the issue to voters?
Jason Hauer with the Calaveras Cannabis Legal Defense Fund says the ban vote Wednesday effectively shut down 500 local businesses, and it should be no surprise that many will fight legally for their family farms. Click here for article—Union Democrat, January 12, 2018

Calaveras Supes Tweak Cannabis Ban Decision, Pondering Ballot Proposal
Calaveras County's roiling drama over cannabis continues as the board of supervisors struggle in the stormy aftermath of its 3-2 vote to shut down the industry. Today while Calaveras County officials are alerting registered growers and the public as to the ramifications... they are holding in tandem meetings to potentially prepare a twin-set of board-sponsored initiatives aimed at reassigning the decision to the voters. Click here for article—MyMotherLode.com, January 11, 2018

The ban: some growers will burn pot, some will leave, many will fight
"I feel like I got lied to and cheated," Joan Wilson said. "This board collected our taxes and then put in a ban..." "I tried to get the Board of Supervisors to pass a reasonable ordinance," said Smith..."I brought in facts. Now I'm upset with Gary Tofanelli..." "...I was surprised Tofanelli dug his heels in so deep on 100 acres. Garamendi and Oliviera wanted 20-acre minimums. In any other ag business that's reasonable." There are some pot farmers who are going to leave but the majority will stay and fight, Megan Gonsalves said. Click here for article—Union Democrat, January 11, 2018

Lawsuit alleges county violated civil liberties
The lawsuit by Jed Richardson arises from a decision of the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors in August 2017, denying his application to rezone about 12 acres of property on Cave City Road from Rural Residential to Residential Agricultural... The requested rezoning would have allowed him to sell organic vegetables being grown on the property and possibly open a small winery... Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 11, 2018

Supervisors buck trend in electing new chairman
"Twenty percent of the county has been disenfranchised," said Garamendi. "It is the poorest district. The area most impacted by the Butte Fire. The majority of the board proved they don't give a damn." ...Bonnie Newman, told board members who took that action that they risked looking like "colluders, conspirators and crooks." Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 10, 2018

Board votes to ban pot during tumultuous hearing
The heated debate for the future of cannabis cultivation and related commercial activities in Calaveras County boiled over Wednesday in San Andreas, when the five-member elected Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to ban... Then, at 4:40 p.m., the board directed staff to prepare paperwork for discussion of putting a ban and the original Planning Commission regulatory ordinance with a 20-acre minimum to voters in June. Click here for article—Union Democrat, January 10, 2018

Supes ban commercial cannabis cultivation
The ban signals the beginning of the end for a cannabis program that permitted more than 200, with others still pending, collected more than $3 million in fees and generated upward of $10 million in taxes that were used by the county in this year's budget. The ban will take effect in 30 days. Farmers will have 90 days from then to comply with the new rules. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 10, 2018

Altercation halts supervisors' deliberations
During a brief break from board discussions of marijuana issues, Michael Falvey claimed he was assaulted by a Lori White, of Angels Camp. He said that White confronted him, with her finger in his face. He then pointed his finger in her face, and she responded by slapping him across the head... Falvey declined to press charges... Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 10, 2018

Tofanelli, Garamendi To Lead 2018 Calaveras Supes
Out of the box, Clapp nominated District 1 Supervisor Gary Tofanelli, whose former pro-ban stance has moved more towards potentially supporting a very strict regulatory permanent ordinance... Clapp's pro-ban cohort District 2 Supervisor Dennis Mills immediately seconded and the motion passed 3-2 with Tofanelli casting a vote in his own support. Click here for article—MyMotherLode.com, January 9, 2017

Calaveras County Hires New Economic Development Director
...the new director will be long-time Valley springs resident Kathy Gallino, who will begin work Jan. 22. She brings more than 20 years of broad experience working in economic development for the County of Sacramento... "To serve my community is really a big deal — I have lived in Valley Springs for almost 23 years now and have seen a lot of things happen, change and grow…Click here for article—MyMotherLode.com, January 8, 2017

Insurance Companies Denying Policies In Fire Prone Zones
This week Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones reported that in 2016 insurers refused to renew more than 10,000 policies in the 24 counties most susceptible to blazes, a figure that has jumped 15 percent from last year... "Add to the equation, increasing development in areas more vulnerable to fire..." Click here for article—MyMotherLode.com, January 6, 2017

Swenson issue focuses on the green
The city has been concerned about the financial viability of its two golf courses...since 2010 as revenues continue to lag and maintenance costs climb. The courses saw their peak play in the early 1990s, with rounds of golf played declining 66 percent over that time... "The question is not whether golf is good or bad... The question is how do you make the golf courses pencil out... Click here for article—The Stockton Record, January 7, 2017

La Contenta bankruptcy info public
The fate of La Contenta Golf Course is in the hands of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court... A chapter 11 debtor usually proposes a plan of reorganization to keep the business alive and pay creditors over time... A meeting of creditors is scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 25...in Sacramento. In addition a Chapter 11 status conference has been set for 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 31... Records filed in the case are available for public inspection online at www.pacer.gov ... Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, January 5, 2018

Forest Meadows Golf Course closed permanently
Forest Meadows joins La Contenta Golf Club outside Valley Springs as courses closed in Calaveras. La Contenta, which also utilized Sierra Club Golf Management as the course operator, closed its fairways citing fiscal losses as the main reason. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 4, 2018

Auditor-Controller says she will run again
Rebecca Callen has filed papers... Callen credited a public outcry...as well as sentiments among officials to work collaboratively with her office as reasons why she changed her mind... Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 4, 2018

Pot farmers obtain state licenses
Supervisors mull new rules next week
As of Jan. 2, the day after the state program was implemented, 18 Calaveras cannabis growers were issued licenses to farm by the California Department of Food and Agriculture... yet those licenses can be revoked if the county passes policy that downsizes or prohibits the industry, said Alex Traverso, chief of communications with the Bureau of Cannabis Control. Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, January 4, 2018

Calaveras Tussles With Permanent Cannabis Rules, Board Leadership
"The board absolutely recognizes the time sensitivity of needing to get something passed so it can be in effect when the urgency ordinance is expiring." The board is undoubtedly feeling close to the end of a short rope. With next Wednesday being Jan. 10, there are no more than two more business days to come to a decision ahead of the required 30-day enactment period. Click here for article—MyMotherLode.com, January 3, 2017

Sierra snow survey finds little snow
State water officials...first manual survey of snowpack this winter found snow water equivalent of 0.4 inches, just 3 percent of average for early January. Coming on the heels of a dry December and a dry water year since Oct. 1, it's no surprise that electronic readings this week from more than a hundred sensors up and down the Sierra Nevada show snowpack in the high mountains is far below average. Click here for article—Union Democrat, January 3, 2018

Tri-Dam draws down Lake Tulloch for maintenance
That means acres of rocks that are usually underwater and normal high-water marks about 509 feet above sea level are exposed, while docks designed to float are perched high and dry in the dry bathtub ring that stands between private waterfront homes and the reservoir below... The sight of a popular reservoir touted by promoters for its recreation and real estate property values drawn down low in the wake of last year's near-record wet winter underscores the artificial nature of Lake Tulloch... Click here for article—Union Democrat, January 3, 2018

Click here for 2017 News Archive

 

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