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News of Record for March 27, 2015


McClintock fish-flow bill introduced

Congressman Tom McClintock has introduced legislation that would allow dam operators to halt water releases for endangered fish during times of drought.

The Save Our Water Act, or HR 1668, calls for a suspension of provisions in the 1973 Endangered Species Act pertaining to water management in areas affected by drought.


Fire insurance prices climb

Tuolumne County officials are still hearing from area homeowners about skyrocketing fire-hazard insurance rates, and plan to forward those concerns to the California Department of Insurance within a couple of weeks.

Some people have reported that they were recently dropped from their homeowners’ insurance plans, and others say their rates have gone through the roof, with companies citing fire ratings and perceived wildfire risks as reasons.


Children plant first new trees in forest burned by Rim Fire

Under bright, warm sunshine Thursday, about 150 students from Tenaya Elementary School in Groveland helped plant the first new trees in part of the Stanislaus National Forest burned in the massive 2013 Rim Fire.

The youngsters worked between pockets of burned brush and mature trees with blackened trunks, with their teachers and other grownups as part of early Earth Day activities.


Glacier Point Road to open Saturday

Yosemite National Park officials are planning to open Glacier Point Road on Saturday for the spring and summer.

Highs in Yosemite Valley and Tenaya Canyon are expected to approach 80 today and through the weekend. Visitors can expect temperatures 10 to 20 degrees cooler at higher elevations including Glacier Point.

 


CCWD suspends rate hike

The Calaveras County Water District Board of Directors on Wednesday voted to suspend for one year a rate increase that was scheduled for September.

The board suspended the increase after adopting a list of projects that will be less costly than earlier planned.


Feds start 4B gallon fish water release

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Boat ramps don’t reach water at New Melones Reservoir’s Tuttletown Recreation Area. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will release more than 4 billion gallons of water from New Melones Reservoir into the Stanislaus River over the next couple of weeks for “pulse flows” intended to push salmon smolts out to sea.

Bureau spokeswoman Erin Curtis said the releases will reduce the amount of water stored in New Melones by about 15,000 acre-feet. For perspective, the amount of water that will be released could serve roughly 40,000 Tuolumne County residents for an entire year.


Sierra Views: Veteran volunteer Mario Salas

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Sonora resident Mario Salas is a Vietnam veteran Vietnam. His girlfriend, Mimi Bareilles (right), had his Mini Cooper painted red, green and yellow to resemble the Vietnam Service Medal ribbon and match his trike. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
Longtime Sonora resident Mario Salas has spent much of the past 25 years volunteering at nearly every veteran event in Tuolumne County.

Salas, 68, who served one tour in the Army during the Vietnam War, said he is proud of his service and supports veterans and soldiers.

 

 


Tuolumne County's water outlook worse than thought

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Water levels at Pinecrest Reservoir are lower than normal because of California’s four-year drought. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat, Copyroght 2015.
 Tuolumne Utilities District, reluctant this year to impose the early and stiff water-conservation measures implemented last year, learned this week that the county’s water situation is more dire than expected.

District General Manager Tom Scesa at a Wednesday evening TUD board meeting said he learned this week from Pacific Gas and Electric Co. that Pinecrest Reservoir — TUD’s second-largest source of drinking and farm water — is not supposed to fill this year, as earlier forecast.


Woman dies in Mokelumne Hill car accident

A San Andreas woman died in a Wednesday afternoon accident in Mokelumne Hill. 

Connie Sullivan, 53, was pronounced dead about 3:15 p.m. at the scene of the collision, according to a California Highway Patrol report. 


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