Category Archives: Uncategorized

High Sierra helo rescue

Check out this helicopter rescue of a woman hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. The 66-year-old hiker was suffering symptoms of a stroke, but was able to activate a locator beacon indicating that she was in trouble, the Fresno Bee reported. The California Highway Patrol and the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office took it from there. I’ve [...]

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‘Still an opportunity’ to save the smelt?

Shortly before state water officials announced today that most urban water providers will no longer be subject to mandatory conservation targets, three environmental groups pleaded with the same panel for emergency flows through the Delta to prevent extinction of the smelt. It’s normal for some smelt to die off this time of year as juveniles [...]

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Tunnels hearing: The view from the cheap seats

Just for fun, here are a few random thoughts after the first three weeks of the water board’s twin tunnels hearing. Disclaimer: I haven’t attended in person yet, and I’ve probably seen less than half of the hearing on webcast. Gotta have some time to actually report on this and other subjects. That said, here [...]

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Whose logic is ‘nonsense?’

Got into a Twitter feud on Saturday night with someone who says my previous blog post, which attempts to put a human face on climate change in Stockton, is “nonsense.” The post describes how a mentally disabled man who refused to use his air conditioner died in that monster 2006 heat wave. @Recordnet @alexbreitler his [...]

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Putting a human face on climate change crisis

For those who consider climate change to be a far-distant threat, or no threat at all, meet lifelong Stockton resident Christopher Barron. He died 10 years ago today in the horrible 2006 heat wave that was exacerbated, at least, by global warming. At just 46 years old, he was one of the youngest victims in [...]

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Tunnels and standards: Enough water for both?

The length of Sunday’s story on the state’s track record complying with Delta water quality standards forced me to leave a lot of material on the cutting room floor. Including comments from Craig Wilson, the former Delta “Watermaster” who, until his retirement in 2014, worked for the same state water agency that is now holding [...]

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MWD boss on being a ‘good neighbor’

Now that the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California¬†officially owns 20,000 acres of Delta farmland, a question asked of General Manager Jeff Kightlinger at a public forum last week becomes even more relevant. The question: As an absentee landowner in the Delta, what does it mean to Metropolitan to be a “good neighbor?” Here is [...]

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Farewell to a ‘river pioneer’

George Wendt, a legend in central Sierra Nevada river rafting, has died. But it’s not too late to get to know him: Wendt took a chance leaving his job as a math teacher to start Angels Camp-based OARS, which eventually became a worldwide outdoors adventure company. Heartbroken by the flooding of the Stanislaus River after [...]

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Smelt ‘resiliency plan’ or ‘last-ditch effort?’

State officials this morning released an “aggressive” plan to immediately help the Delta smelt, which may soon become the first species to go extinct in the Delta in nearly 60 years. Most notably, the plan calls for additional summer flows through the Delta, this year ranging from 85,000 acre-feet to 200,000 acre-feet followed by up [...]

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McNerney on VA clinic/flood issue

Here’s a comment from U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton, on the situation with the long-awaited VA clinic and the possible complications due to flood concerns: “The construction of a new VA medical facility in French Camp to serve the many veterans in the San Joaquin region is one of my top priorities. Since being elected [...]

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    Alex Breitler

    A native of Benicia, he lives in Stockton with his wife, Ann, who forces him to go backpacking in the Sierra Nevada or Trinity Alps at every opportunity. He has been writing mostly about natural resources since 2003, first in Redding and now in ... Read Full
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