Northern California utility says it will turn the lights off when fire risk spikes

News Sports Entertainment Classifieds 41° Full Menu 41° eEdition Customer Service Customer Service SacBee Rewards About Us About Us Contact Us Apps Mobile & Apps Newsletters Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube News in Education (NIE) Local Sacramento Region Arena City Beat Crime Local Govt Salary Database The Homeless Marcos Bretón Transportation Education Environment Health & Medicine Traffic Conditions Weather Communities Elk Grove Folsom/El Dorado Roseville/Placer Yolo Sports Sports Kings Kings Corner with Jason Jones NBA News 49ers with Matt Barrows Giants Oakland A's High School Sports Joe Davidson Ailene Voisin More Sports Raiders NFL News MLB News River Cats Soccer Colleges Golf Auto Racing Politics Politics Capitol Alert State Workers Local Elections PoliGRAPH State Worker Salary Database Legislative Gifts Dan Morain Investigations Investigations Data Tracker Public Eye Afghan Refugees Nursing Homes Opinion Opinion Editorials Viewpoints California Forum Letters to the Editor Submit a Letter Jack Ohman Columnists Shawn Hubler Foon Rhee Erika D. Smith Editorial Board Entertainment Entertainment & Life Arts & Theater Books Home & Garden with Debbie Arrington Movies Music Outdoors Pets Travel More Entertainment Events Calendar Horoscopes Comics Puzzles TV Listings Sacbee Rewards Food & Drink Food & Drink Restaurants News & Reviews Restaurant Directory Cooking & Recipes Beer Wine Appetizers Blog California California Marijuana Water & Drought Lottery Business Business Real Estate Market Summary Cathie Anderson Nation & World Nation & World National World Technology Family Celebrities TV news Weird News Video Break Obituaries News Obituaries Death Notices FAQ ObitMessenger In Memoriam Local Deals Shopping Grocery Coupons Weekly Ads The Continue Reading

Northern California’s Leading Lawyers

Northern California’s Leading Lawyers, a special section featuring exceptional lawyers and law firms practicing in the region. Finding the right lawyer for any legal issue is a difficult but important decision. We invite you to use this publication as a resource to help eliminate the guesswork of selecting legal counsel. Whether offering legal services in personal injury or medical malpractice, real estate or family law or in numerous other practice areas, these lawyers are available and ready to help you no matter how complex your legal issues may be. This year we have added a new feature that will help you find the right lawyer for major litigation cases. We have partnered with LexisNexis to provide you with the names of litigators who have won “big” for their clients in the last year. Starting at $700,000 and going up to a whopping $3 billion, these cases have been litigated by Northern California’s elite lawyers, many of whom are featured in these pages. To learn more about these leading lawyers and law firms and Leaders In The Law, please visit To send your thoughts or if you’d like to be included in the online edition and our listings, please contact us at [email protected] Continue Reading

The decline and hopeful resurgence of Southern California’s abalone population

Conservationists at the Southern California Marine Institute on Terminal Island are working to replenish the almost nonexistent abalone population in local waters. Bay Foundation aquarist Ben Grimes checks abalone in tanks. Photo By Robert Casillas / SCNG Conservationists at the Southern California Marine Institute on Terminal Island are working to replenish the almost non-existent Abalone population in local waters. Bay Foundation aquarist Ben Grime prepares kelp to feed abalone. Photo By Robert Casillas / SCNG Conservationists at the Southern California Institute on Terminal Island are working to replenish the almost non-existent Abalone population in local waters. Abalone cling to walls of holding tank at instate. Photo By Robert Casillas / SCNG Conservationists at the Southern California Marine Institute on Terminal Island are working to replenish the almost non-existent Abalone population in local waters. Bay Foundation staff working in abalone breeding tanks. Photo By Robert Casillas / SCNG Conservationists at the Southern California Marine Institute on Terminal Island are working to replenish the almost non-existent Abalone population in local waters. An approximately 5-year-old abalone. Photo By Robert Casillas / SCNG Show Caption of Expand By Sandy Mazza | [email protected] | Daily Breeze PUBLISHED: August 28, 2016 at 8:59 pm | UPDATED: September 6, 2017 at 4:56 am Billy Meistrell remembers plucking abalone like apples off a tree as a kid from the rocky intertidal zones along Palos Verdes Peninsula and Catalina Island, shucking them on the swing step of his family’s boat and slicing the meat into thin strips for his mother to batter and deep-fry. “It was the best thing ever. We used to collect so many it seemed like they would never end,” said Meistrell, vice president of Body Glove. His Redondo Beach office holds an extensive, decades-old abalone shell collection. “I don’t think we ever Continue Reading

Immigration authorities sweep through Northern California, arresting 150

U.S. Customs and Immigration officials confirmed Tuesday evening they had arrested more than 150 undocumented immigrants in Northern California over the weekend, describing half of them as known criminals aided by sanctuary policies. But immigration activists were quick to push back that many of those arrested in the sweep were law-abiding community members unfairly targeted by the federal agency. "It's something frustrating to hear," said Edwin Valdez, a Sacramento immigrant activist who runs a hotline documenting ICE actions. "I am the guy that is receiving all of these calls. I had a mother of five on the line today and she was crying and really letting herself go about how the pickup of her husband is going to affect the family. ... To hear that ICE is giving this narrative that all of these people they picked up are evildoers, it's just really painful to hear. ... It's left me dumbfounded, speechless and ultimately just frustrated with everything that is going on." In Sacramento, ICE said it had detained a Mexican national who had criminal convictions for domestic violence, possession of a firearm, burglary, battery on a police officer and other charges. A second Sacramento arrest involved the detention of a Guatamalan citizen with a conviction for false imprisonment. ICE said agents also detained a Stockton man from Mexico who had been convicted for lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 years old. Immigration officials did not identify those arrested, but Valdez and other activists said as of Tuesday night they had identified 10 arrests in Sacramento. Booking logs at the county jail show at least 12 people booked by ICE on Sunday in Sacramento County jail. The ICE statement also called out sanctuary cities, including San Francisco and Oakland, as creating a danger for ICE enforcement agents and communities, and increasing "collateral arrests" of those not targeted by immigration officials. "Sanctuary jurisdictions like San Francisco and Oakland Continue Reading

Facing specter of drought, California farmers are told to expect little water

It's starting to look like a drought year for California farmers who depend on water from the federal government. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced Tuesday that most farmers south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta who get water from the federal Central Valley Project will receive just 20 percent of their requested allocation this year. Some south-of-Delta farmers on the east side of the San Joaquin Valley will get 30 percent allotments because of their special historic water rights. Although the numbers could change and the allocations could increase this spring, the initial figures reflect the abysmal precipitation California has received so far this winter. The agency said it can't yet provide an initial allocation figure for Sacramento Valley water agencies because of the lack of rain and the legal requirement that plenty of water be kept in Shasta Lake, the largest reservoir in California, to protect endangered species of Chinook salmon. "Despite the historic rainfall last year, California's lack of sufficient water storage forces us to operate on a year-to-year basis. The amount we can store in our reservoirs is not enough to get us through these very dry years," said the bureau's regional director, David Murillo, in a prepared statement. "If this lack of rain and snow continues, we could very well be right back in drought operations." So far, though, the lack of rain and snow isn't as bad as during the worst of California's five-year drought. In some years, farmers south of the Delta received no water from the Central Valley Project, prompting many of them to dramatically increase the amount of water they pumped out of the ground. Last winter's record Northern California rainfall filled most of the state's reservoirs. But this year the Sierra Nevada snowpack is just 20 percent of normal and most of the state has received rainfall levels that are well below average. The short-term forecast does offer some relief. The National Weather Service said the Continue Reading

Feds planning massive Northern California immigration sweep to strike against sanctuary laws

By Hamed Aleaziz Updated 7:04 am, Wednesday, January 17, 2018 window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-5', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 5', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-8', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 8', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); Photo: Irfan Khan, LA Times Via Getty Images Image 1of/8 CaptionClose Image 1 of 8 FILE - ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations unit raid to apprehend immigrants without any legal status and who may be deportable in Riverside.  FILE - ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations unit raid to apprehend immigrants without any legal status and who may be deportable in Riverside.  Photo: Irfan Khan, LA Times Via Getty Images Image 2 of 8 In this Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, photo released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement shows foreign nationals being arrested during a targeted enforcement operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) aimed at immigration fugitives, re-entrants and at-large criminal aliens in Los Angeles.  less In this Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, photo released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement shows foreign nationals being arrested during a targeted enforcement operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs ... more Photo: Charles Reed, Associated Press Image 3 of 8 RIVERSIDE, CA - AUGUST 12: ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations officers, in search of 32-year-old Hugo Medina, question his mother Magdalena Medina, 69, about his whereabout in a Continue Reading

The Delta Smelt heads for extinction, marking a half-century of failed California water policy

You might wish you had as much power to affect the environment and the economy as the Delta Smelt.Enemies have blamed the tiny freshwater fish for putting farmers out of business across California’s breadbasket, forcing the fallowing of vast acres of arable land, creating double-digit unemployment in agricultural counties, even clouding the judgment of scientists and judges.During the presidential campaign, the lowly smelt turned up in Donald Trump’s gunsights, when he repeated California farmers’ claim that the government was taking their water supply and “shoving it out to protect a certain kind of three-inch fish.”But the Delta smelt couldn’t be as powerful as all that. The latest California fish population survey in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, which along with San Francisco Bay is the species’ only habitat, turned up only two Delta smelt in four months of trawling from September through December. That’s the lowest count since 1967, and a far cry from the peak of 1,673 in 1970. The count is especially worrisome because it came after a wet year, when higher water flows in the Delta should have led to some recovery in the numbers.“The Delta smelt is on the brink of extinction,” says Doug Obegi, a senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council in San Francisco. “This species, which is considered the bellwether of the health of the estuary, has fallen to the point where it can hardly be found anymore.”The figures arrive just as the Trump Administration is proposing to loosen Endangered Species Act protections for fish in order to “maximize water deliveries” to users south of the delta—that is, farmers—according to a Dec. 29 announcement by the Interior Dept. .Obegi’s point about the smelt’s role as a bellwether is important. We care about the Delta smelt not entirely for itself, but because its health is an indicator of the overall Continue Reading

Meet The “Young Saints” Of Bethel Who Go To College To Perform Miracles

It’s the first day of Prophecy Week at the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. Or, as students here like to call the place, Christian Hogwarts. The auditorium of the civic center in Redding, California, where first-year students have class, is so full of eager, neatly dressed young people that it’s initially impossible to find a seat. The roomful of some 1,200 students hums with expectant energy: People talk in clusters, clutching their books to their chests and stealing eager glances at the stage. There are so many languages spoken here it’s hard to keep track: English of all flavors, spoken with Australian and British and South African accents; Chinese; Korean; Portuguese. It’s a strange medley for a place like Redding, an economically depressed rural outpost about 200 miles north of San Francisco, in the heart of Northern California’s Trump country.The students are waiting for today’s lecturer, Kris Vallotton, one of the school’s founders and a prophet so prolific he literally wrote the book on it — Basic Training for the Prophetic Ministry, a combined textbook and workbook used by Bethel students to learn how to hear, and speak, God’s words. (“Name the five things that distinguish a false prophet from a true prophet.” “What is the difference between a vision and a trance?”)The basic theological premise of the School of Supernatural Ministry is this: that the miracles of biblical times — the parted seas and burning bushes and water into wine — did not end in biblical times, and the miracle workers did not die out with Jesus’s earliest disciples. In the modern day, prophets and healers don’t just walk among us, they are us.To Bethel students, learning, seeing, and performing these “signs and wonders” — be it prophesying about things to come or healing the incurable — aren’t just quirks or side projects of Christianity. They Continue Reading

No Sanctuary in Fire-Stricken California’s Immigrant Communities

There’s more than one crisis burning in the hills of Northern California. As the area’s landscape still smolders from the wildfires, the immigrant workers who sustain the local farming economy are facing a long, dry season. Prior to the blazes, migrant workers in the region struggled in a precarious labor landscape of short-term contract jobs and seasonal work. Now they will struggle to rebuild their lives in a region that is seeing not only unprecedented environmental devastation and displacement but an overhanging cloud of political uncertainty. Napa County alone is home to an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 undocumented migrants. Local authorities have tried to reassure the public that people would be offered shelter and other services regardless of legal status—and ICE is reportedly suspending “non-criminal” enforcement activities near the wildfire zone. But that’s cold comfort to people facing subtler forms of economic discrimination. Alegría De La Cruz, chief deputy county counselor of Sonoma County, says that many undocumented immigrants are seeking “alternative shelter” rather than access to formal shelters, according to Many will suffer long-term displacement as well, and community advocates say that, because of the area’s ongoing affordable-housing crunch and the additional property losses from wildfires, immigrants will be price-gouged by predatory landlords in an area where low-income people are extremely rent-burdened already. As farm laborers, they’re usually cramped in subsidized worker housing, or living in rental housing near their worksites, often in shabby conditions, despite high rents. According to a 2015 health survey of Sonoma County farmworkers, a typical farmworker family earning about $20,000 annually spent around half its income on rent alone. About two-thirds of farmworkers are stuck in “overcrowded dwellings,” which is linked to damaging social and Continue Reading

Pregnant 17-year-old girl facing opposition after crossing U.S. border into Texas with hope of getting abortion

HOUSTON — Advocates for a pregnant 17-year-old girl held in a Texas facility for immigrant children who have crossed the border alone are asking a federal judge to allow her to get an abortion, over the opposition of U.S. and state officials. A federal magistrate judge in San Francisco has scheduled a hearing Wednesday on a request filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, which accuses the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services of refusing to let the girl be taken for the procedure. Rochelle Garza, a lawyer appointed to represent the girl's legal interests, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that she may be up to 14 weeks' pregnant. Texas state law prohibits most abortions after 20 weeks. Garza says the teen is from Central America, like most people caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border without legal permission. She declined to give the girl's name or identify the specific country where she was from, citing the girl's privacy as a minor, but said that the girl wanted an abortion in part because she had seen her parents abuse another sibling who was pregnant. With Garza's help, the girl obtained a judicial waiver under a Texas law requiring a minor seeking an abortion to get consent from a parent. But staff at the facility where she's being held refused to take her to her appointments with a doctor to seek an abortion, or let the attorney take her, even though private groups that support abortion rights have raised money for the procedure, Garza said. Instead, she was taken to a crisis pregnancy center. Such centers encourage pregnant women not to have an abortion. "I feel like they are trying to coerce me to carry my pregnancy to term," the girl said in a declaration filed in federal court last week. The ACLU of Northern California sued HHS last year over what it said was the denial of abortion and contraception to girls in its custody. Unaccompanied Central American Continue Reading