News for Wednesday, November13th
Rep. Lynn Woolsey, the lame duck Congresswoman from Petaluma, is pursuing a new approach to protecting more of the North Coast from oil drilling -- one that doesn't require a vote in the Republican-controlled House.
Woolsey and California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer have asked President Obama to establish a marine monument covering about 2,800 square miles off the Mendocino, Sonoma and Marin coasts, a step Obama could take with the stroke of a pen.
Woolsey has tried since 2004 to protect the same coastal waters from energy development by including them in two marine sanctuaries which run from the Golden Gate Bridge to Bodega Head.
The proposed monument would extend the protected area to Point Arena in southern Mendocino County.
Marine sanctuary officials would manage the proposed North Coast monument, with the authority to prohibit oil drilling and allow fishing to continue.
Woolsey said she had received no response from the White House yet.
California is set to begin its first cap-and-trade auctions of pollution permits, as part of the state’s land-mark AB 32 climate change law. The auction marks what some environmentalists see as a major step to put a price on carbon emissions and address global warming. But some environmental justice groups say the cap-and-trade program fails to protect the people most affected by industrial polluters, and could set a bad precedent for future action on climate change. Christopher Martinez reports.
Steady demand for grapes has led to possibly the most tonnage of grapes harvested on the North Coast since the 2005 peak year. Plus to make this an even better year there are a number of wineries eager to buy as much as they can.
The first official tally of tonnage and grape pricing won’t be known until early February.
At this point, pinot noir tonnage in Sonoma and Mendocino counties appears to have been well above average, thanks to nonbearing acreage coming into full production.
The outlook for Sonoma County tonnage also is in the 2005–2006 tonnage range, according to Nick Frey, president of the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission. Based on earlier grape purchase, Sonoma County growers could have $100 million more in grape revenue than last year. The value of the 2011 crop in the county was $347 million.
Fort Bragg City Manager Linda Ruffing announced that staff will host a City Dialogue forum on Friday, November 16th from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at Fort Bragg Town Hall.
The forum is intended to give community members, business owners and anyone with an interest in City matters an opportunity to have an informal conversation with City staff on a variety of topics. Refreshments will be provided.
Ruffing will be on hand at the forum to talk about progress on a variety of City projects, but the forum will be focused on the downtown to engage in a dialogue with business and property owners about ways in which the City can help strengthen the local economy.
Three weeks ago, animal handlers at Safari West discovered an unusual guest had joined their herd of African Watusi cattle: a wild boar piglet that had wandered in from the hills around the African wildlife preserve outside Santa Rosa.
“At first he would only hang out with the all-brown calves that look like a wild pig,” said handler Jenny Sloat, who named the porker Chuck.
Chuck has grown large by nursing from the cattle with young calves. At first he could only feed when the herd lay down to rest, but Chuck is now tall enough to reach the udders standing under the cows like a calf.