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Summer arts, science will keep youths busy

Some of the Mother Lode’s most popular summer youth programs are filled up, but there are still plenty of organized activities to keep kids entertained over the summer months. 

The Tuolumne County Arts Alliance Summer Camp at Columbia State Historic Park and county Office of Education Mad About Science camp are full. So is Calaveras River Academy’s STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — summer camp. 

Measure E project will add corners to campus rotunda

Mitch Willingham (front left) and Jay Hart, both from J. Hart Plumbing in Sonora, work on what will be the restrooms at the Manzanita Building on the Columbia College campus. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
Columbia College is undergoing some major renovations that impact day-to-day operation, as it nears the end of its Measure E bond projects. 

Work  began Monday on repaving the student parking lot. 

Calaveras County staff cuts on table

PUBLIC MEETING: Calaveras County Board of Supervisors, 9 a.m. Tuesday, Board Chambers, 891 Mountain Ranch Road, San Andreas.

The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors will start budget hearings Tuesday afternoon in an effort to pass a 2014-15 spending plan by early next week. 

The county’s general fund — which pays for operating expenses like Sheriff’s Office and administrative salaries — will be the focus of a majority of the budget discussions, and maybe some of the toughest cuts. 

Crews gain on several blazes

Mother Lode firefighters this weekend continued work to extinguish a number of fires that broke out last week and over the weekend.

Among the more notable fires in the region was the Valley Fire off Hunters Valley Road, between Lake McClure and Highway 49, in Mariposa County.


Forest Service: This fire season ‘very active’

The U.S. Forest Service is anticipating a “very active fire season” this year on the Stanislaus National Forest, where last year’s Rim Fire scorched 154,000 acres.

The Forest Service said the Stanislaus National Forest’s “fire danger condition” is currently set at “high.” The chief reason: A lack of winter snow and rainfall has left vegetation unusually dry.


Today's headlines (June 9, 2014)


ACLU: Board vote too religious

The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors plans to revisit a controversial resolution it passed two months ago recognizing the work of an Angels Camp pregnancy resource center.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California sent a letter last month to county officials asking the board to repeal its resolution supporting the Calaveras Door of Hope. The ACLU said the resolution endorses a specific religion, which violates the state constitution, and is concerned the board adopted the resolution without allowing for public comment as required by law.

Whitman, Dambacher head to Nov.

Tuolumne County Elections Office staff Thursday counted most of the 2,200 remaining absentee ballots from Tuesday’s primary, clarifying who will move to the November Assessor-Recorder runoff while leaving the super-tight Sonora City Council race unresolved.

Thursday’s counting showed Assessor-Recorder candidate Michael Dambacher received the most votes and will face candidate Kaenan Whitman. Dambacher had gotten 4,292, or 39 percent, of the votes and Whitman had 3,481, or 31.65 percent.

Troubled Waters Part II: County’s water crisis 150 years in making

Water spills over O’Shaughnessy Dam at Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. File Photo / Union Democrat.
This is the second part of a three-part series examining north and central Tuolumne County’s drought crisis, how we got here and where we’re headed. Part 1 appeared in the May 30 edition and Part 3 will run next Friday.


Each year, enough water to serve Tuolumne County’s population for a century surges from the county’s mountain peaks through its canyons and foothill river beds, and beyond. In hydrological terms, it’s a little under 2 million acre-feet — or enough to cover two million football fields in a foot of water. 

All told, the water that courses through the Stanislaus and Tuolumne river watershed accounts for about 4 percent of the state’s yearly water supply, and yet Tuolumne County can claim ownership to nearly none of it. 

Today's headlines (June 6, 2014)

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