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Category: Regional News

2012 Congressional campaign fundraising begins

Republican Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (R -45) is preparing to defend her seat, California’s redrawn 36th Congressional District. While redistricting has stripped southwest Riverside County Republican support from her district, she still remains a strong fundraiser. Through the first nine months of 2011, Bono Mack had already received nearly $450,000 in contributions. After expenses and […]

Fire retardant analysis available

The U.S. Forest Service completed its final environmental statement (FES) on the use of aerial application of fire retardants and argues that the continuation of aerial application is an important fire protection tool and its negative environmental affects can be controlled or limited. The FES is available online at The agency’s preferred approach would […]

CPUC to decide Smart Meter opt out

Not before Jan. 12, 2012, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will act on its Smart Meter opt-out proposal. On Nov. 22, the CPUC issued a “proposed decision” about Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) opt out policy. Jan. 12 is the earliest the CPUC can cast a final vote on the proposed decision, which […]

Fire fee raised before its collected

Like a puff of smoke from a magician’s hat, the state fire fee has already been raised before anyone has paid the original fee announced in August. On Nov. 8, a restocked state Forestry Board voted 6-2 to replace the $90 annual fee (approved in August) with a new fee set at $150. Property within […]

Anza takes small step toward water management

Anza Valley’s future development hinges on water availability and a plan to maintain its sustainability. The pristine and relatively undeveloped valley is classified as a semi-arid high desert dependent on rainfall for all water uses. Furthermore, no comprehensive water study has been completed since 1973. The valley’s current 10,000 inhabitants include two Native American tribes. […]

County Corner: Nov. 24, 2011

Light pollution The Board of Supervisors postponed action on the draft ordinance to control light trespass. The board scheduled a public hearing at its Oct. 15 meeting, but Supervisor John Tavaglione (2nd District), the ordinance’s sponsor, was absent. Another hearing was scheduled for the Nov. 22 meeting. “Light trespass occurs when light fixtures on one […]

California budget deficit could trigger more school cuts

The worsening state budget is posing a significant threat to local school district budgets. Fortunately, Hemet Unified School District (HUSD) has the wherewithal to withstand the potential short-term reductions. In the longer term, Hemet could possibly see its state funding reduced $12 million more within this budget year, according to HUSD superintendent Dr. Steven Lowder. […]

News from Idyllwild area fire agencies

Forest Service lifts fire restrictions With recent rain across the southland, forest officials on the San Bernardino National Forest reduced fire restrictions effective today and have begun winter burning projects. “While campfires and recreational shooting are being allowed in portions of the forest, we are not completely out of wildfire danger yet, and ask the […]

Final Palms to Pines sessions next week

The fifth and last sessions in a series of Palms to Pines workshops will be held next week. At this workshop, the draft Corridor Management Plan (CMP) will be presented and a discussion of the next steps for implementation will be held. As before, the U.S. Forest Service has scheduled the workshops in three locations […]

Riverside County budget erodes to 2004 levels

The Board of Supervisors heard the details of acting County Executive Larry Parrish’s recommendations for the 2012-2013 budget. Significant operating budget reductions and the potential for laying off 650 more county employees are distinct possibilities. Only one quarter of the way through the fiscal year 2011-12 budget (ending June 30, 2012), Parrish already estimates that […]

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