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DAILY DIGEST: California fires: Why there will be more disasters like Paradise; A chance to solve the Delta quandry; Officials had $1 million for beach access at Hollister Ranch — where did it go?; and more …

In California water news today, California fires: Why there will be more disasters like Paradise; In devastated California, Trump pledges federal help and delivers blame; Klamath: Saving the sucker species; Napa to join county, other cities to pay for new drought plan; Officials had $1 million for beach access at Hollister Ranch — where did it go?; A chance to solve the Delta quandry; and more …

In the news today …

California fires: Why there will be more disasters like Paradise:  “Fire crews are still working to contain the deadly inferno that leveled the town of Paradise, virtually wiping it off the map. Thousands of people are homeless, living in tents, trailers and parking lots. Dozens are dead. Hundreds are still missing. And massive, choking plumes of smoke continue to blanket Northern California.  Forecasters say rain might arrive by Thanksgiving to clear away the smoke and mercifully reduce fire danger. But the optimism is tempered by a grim reality. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  California fires: Why there will be more disasters like Paradise

In devastated California, Trump pledges federal help and delivers blame: “President Donald Trump toured a scene of surreal devastation on Saturday, Nov. 17, picking his way around burned trees and the hulking skeletons of automobiles as he pledged federal resources to help Californians recover from the most deadly and destructive wildfire in state history.  “This is very sad to see, but we’re all going to work together,” Trump said after a walking tour of a burned-out RV park and housing tract in Paradise. As he spoke, a thick haze of smoke hung in the air. Stone and brick chimneys – all that remained of some homes – were visible from Trump’s motorcade. … ”  Read more from the Grand Forks Herald here:  In devastated California, Trump pledges federal help and delivers blame

Klamath: Saving the sucker species:  “Young Klamath Basin suckers have not made it to adulthood living in Upper Klamath Lake since the early 1990s.  A summit focused on the endangered fish’s survival — organized by Sen. Jeff Merkley at Oregon Tech on Friday — hopes to identify ways to change that, with the goal of a comprehensive plan to save the sucker from extinction. … ”  Read more from the Herald & News here:  Saving the sucker species

Napa to join county, other cities to pay for new drought plan: “The city of Napa will take the lead among local governments in funding a new plan to help the county cope with California’s next drought emergency.  Napa would assume $138,966 of the $230,193 to be provided by Napa County’s five cities, plus the county and the Napa Sanitation District, toward a drought contingency plan. The City Council on Tuesday accepted its share of the $430,193 budget, which includes a $200,000 federal grant from the Bureau of Reclamation Napa officials expect to see approved by month’s end. ... ”  Read more from the Napa Valley Register here:  Napa to join county, other cities to pay for new drought plan

Officials had $1 million for beach access at Hollister Ranch — where did it go?: “Coastal officials knew decades ago it would take money to open Hollister Ranch to the public.  So they entrusted Santa Barbara County with $1 million to someday be spent on land acquisition, trails and bike paths while they duked it out with powerful property owners over access to some of California’s most coveted surf breaks and beaches.   After more than 30 years of stops and stalls, officials are now gearing up for what might be the most aggressive fight yet over the 8.5-mile stretch of pristine coastline.  But the money was spent long ago on other projects. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  Officials had $1 million for beach access at Hollister Ranch — where did it go?

As elsewhere, here in the Coachella Valley economies grow where water flows, says Ben Olson:  He writes, “A century ago, the Coachella Valley looked nothing like it does today. But the foundation for its future growth and success was set in place those many years ago by forward-thinking pioneers who knew that economies grow where water flows.  Without water, growth in the valley would stop. The Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) was formed as a flood control Special District in 1918. … ”  Read more from the Desert Sun here:  As elsewhere, here in the Coachella Valley economies grow where water flows

Laguna Beach: Council Upholds Ranch’s Creek Restoration Plan:A Laguna Beach couple lost their appeal to the City Council on Tuesday to block a creek vegetation restoration plan proposed by The Ranch at Laguna Beach, a resort hotel with spa, restaurant and nine-hole golf course in Aliso Canyon.  The City Council upheld in a 3-0 vote, with Councilwoman Toni Iseman and Councilman Rob Zur Schmiede absent, the Planning Commission’s decision in June to sign off on the resort’s proposal to restore areas of Aliso Creek impacted by unauthorized plant trimming and remove trees from a creek bed that were downed in January 2017 storm.  “Having reviewed the record, I believe there is substantial evidence to support the determinations that they made,” City Attorney Phil Kohn said. … ”  Read more from the Laguna Beach Indy here:  Council Upholds Ranch’s Creek Restoration Plan

Imperial Beach taking on sea-level rise with help from Scripps scientists: “Imperial Beach is surrounded by water. It has the Pacific Ocean to the west, San Diego Bay to the north, and the Tijuana Estuary to the south.  Because of this, the city is particularly vulnerable to sea-level rise. And that makes it an ideal candidate to test a program that could become the model for how coastal cities throughout California prepare for the impacts of climate change.  Last week, city officials and scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego announced the deployment of a flood-alert system. ... ”  Read more from the San Diego Union Tribune here:  Imperial Beach taking on sea-level rise with help from Scripps scientists

In commentary today …

A chance to solve the Delta quandry:  Ellen Hanak and Jeff Mount write,It is imperative to improve the health of the greater Delta watershed, a major source of water for cities and farms across the state. And various stakeholders have a chance to achieve that goal in the coming weeks while protecting important economic interests.  Amid all the election news, Gov. Jerry Brown and Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom asked the State Water Board to delay its vote on setting new water quality standards for the San Joaquin River to give time to develop voluntary agreements regarding the amount of water to be allocated to protect fish.  The delay offers the governor, the governor-elect and various interests a chance to forge a more comprehensive and effective approach to tackling one of California’s biggest environmental water challenges. … ”  Read more from Cal Matters here:  A chance to solve the Delta quandry

More news and commentary in the weekend edition …

DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: Upcoming pattern change will bring much-needed rain; Small town fight of water rate hike revived; Dan Walters on Gov. Brown’s attempt to forge water deal; Michael Hiltzik on Zinke’s successor; and more …

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

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About the Daily Digest: The Daily Digest is a collection of selected news articles, commentaries and editorials appearing in the mainstream press. Items are generally selected to follow the focus of the Notebook blog. The Daily Digest is published every weekday with a weekend edition posting on Sundays.

 

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