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San Joaquin

October 29, 1999
Historically, the San Joaquin is one of California's major rivers. It begins its 370-mile journey in the pristine waters of Thousand Island Lake in the Sierra near Mammoth Mountain. The stream courses down the western slope of the mountains onto the billiard table-flat San Joaquin Valley, takes a sharp right turn and then flows north up the valley to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and San Francisco Bay.
April 11, 2014 | By Chuck Graham
You don't have to travel all the way to East Africa to go on safari. Grab your binoculars and camera and scan the 50-mile-long Carrizo Plain National Monument for its array of wildlife. Carrizo Plain, about 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles and known as California's Serengeti, is the largest single native grassland remaining in the Golden State. It's home to the highest concentration of endangered species in California. Drive slowly on Soda Lake Road and search for herds of pronghorn antelope and Tule elk. The real challenge will be spotting rarer critters such as the blunt-nosed leopard lizard, San Joaquin kit fox, San Joaquin antelope ground squirrel and giant kangaroo rat. Don't ignore old fence posts either, favorite perches for raptors such as ferruginous and red-tailed hawks, prairie falcons and American kestrels.
December 6, 1999
Gov. Gray Davis' idea of holding a San Joaquin Valley economic summit was not exactly novel, and when he established a task force to expedite the creation of a University of California campus at the valley city of Merced, he dubbed the outfit "Red Team," adopted from the squads his Republican predecessor, Pete Wilson, used to lure new industry to the state. Well, the valley always has been a trouble spot for Democrats.
April 6, 2014 | By Julie Cart
SHAFTER, Calif. - A bustling city is sprouting on five acres here, carved out of a vast almond grove. Tanker trucks and heavy equipment come and go, a row of office trailers runs the length of the site and an imposing 150-foot drilling rig illuminated by football-field-like lights rises over the trees. It's all been hustled into service to solve a tantalizing riddle: how to tap into the largest oil shale reservoir in the United States. Across the southern San Joaquin Valley, oil exploration sites have popped up in agricultural fields and on government land, driven by the hope that technological advances in oil extraction - primarily hydraulic fracturing and acidization - can help provide access to deep and lucrative oil reserves.
May 29, 1990 | ROBERT A. JONES
There may be, as the Tourist Bureau claims, many "Californias." But, in truth, only three really count: the empire of Los Angeles; the empire of the Bay Area; and the empire of the San Joaquin Valley. These are the true "Californias," and they have ruled the state for most of this century. This triad is all the more interesting because, every few decades, a tectonic shift takes place and the balance of power is forever altered.
September 22, 1989 | From United Press International
The estate water board set new standards Thursday for drainage of used irrigation water into the San Joaquin River, but environmentalists charged the program is too easy on farmers. The board also adopted a scaled-down plan for cleanup of the polluted Kesterson Wildlife Refuge in Merced County, and handed the job of enforcing it back to the regional water board in the Central Valley.
February 8, 1987 | United Press International
The problem of sinking land in the San Joaquin Valley, which gave the region some cockeyed buildings and cracked canals, is coming to a halt, a U.S. Geological Survey report says. Sags in the valley floor were first noticed in the mid-1920s, after farmers began drawing irrigation water from the ground much faster than nature could replace it. As the levels of aquifers fell, the crust of the land sank like the surface of a falling cake.
November 30, 1988 | United Press International
A Department of Interior decision that water in the upper San Joaquin River can be diverted to farms for another 40 years without environmental review was announced Tuesday and quickly drew fire from environmentalists. "This opinion basically gives away the store to the growers in the San Joaquin Valley," said Hal Candee, an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council. Candee said the NRDC would consider legal action.
For David Moss, there is nothing like standing in the middle of a cool-running river, surrounded by grassy meadows and an evergreen forest. But then Moss used to work in the garment district of downtown Los Angeles. Standing in the middle of a mud puddle would be fine with him, as long as it's a mud puddle up here. "I still have to go to Los Angeles on family business sometimes," Moss says. "But that's fine, as long as I know I get to come home."
Without any fanfare, a four-year debate over whether to cover the San Joaquin Reservoir to keep the water free of contamination ended Tuesday when the Metropolitan Water District voted to spend $2.9 million to begin the designing of the cover. The board of directors of MWD, which co-owns the reservoir with seven Orange County agencies, voted unanimously to have the 55-acre reservoir capped with a floating nylon-reinforced rubber cover, which will cost $18.2 million upon completion.
April 1, 2014 | By Bettina Boxall
Officials announced Tuesday that they are temporarily waiving an endangered species protection to enable water managers to send more Northern California water south. The move comes as fishery agencies are under increasing political pressure to take advantage of late winter storms and ramp up pumping from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the center of the state's water distribution system. Mark Cowin, director of the state Department of Water Resources, said the rule suspension would remain in effect for the next week or two and would increase delta exports by as much as 10,000 acre-feet a day. An acre-foot is equivalent to a year's water supply for two households.
March 9, 2014 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
SACRAMENTO - Forget farmers vs. fishermen - or south state vs. north state. California's current water war is being waged most intensely by farmers against fellow farmers. It's a Central Valley civil war. And within that vast food-producing region - Bakersfield to Redding - it's the San Joaquin Valley vs. the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Southern California is a paying participant, siding with the San Joaquin, but in a less combative role. Its goal is to ensure a more reliable flow of delta water over the Tehachapi.
December 22, 2013 | By Tony Barboza
After spending decades and hundreds of millions of dollars cleaning up stubbornly high levels of pollution, air quality officials in the San Joaquin Valley are telling federal regulators that enough is enough. San Joaquin Valley officials say that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is unfairly blaming locals for air fouled by outside sources and is failing to take into account the pollution-trapping topography of the mountain-ringed basin. "Once we've done everything we can, we should not be penalized," Seyed Sadredin, executive director of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, said in reference to fees his agency has imposed on local drivers and businesses in recent years after failing to meet federal deadlines to curb smog.
November 26, 2013 | By Ari Bloomekatz
Two men were found dead this week on a houseboat in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, authorities said. Police in Solano County got a call Monday afternoon from Contra Costa authorities who had spotted the houseboat in the deep water channel of the Sacramento River, according to the Sacramento Bee. "They attempted to call the people on the houseboat but got no response," said Daryl Snedecker of the Solano County Sheriff's Office. When authorities boarded the vessel, they found the bodies, he added.
November 21, 2013 | By Tony Barboza and Jessica Garrison
The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday that she was disappointed by the slow progress state, federal and local governments have made in bringing potable drinking water to small towns in the San Joaquin Valley. "We've got rural communities that don't have clean water and there's no plan on how to get it to them," EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in a meeting with Los Angeles Times editors and reporters. McCarthy's comments follow the federal government's threat this spring to cut off clean drinking water funding because state officials have been sitting on more than $455 million in unspent federal money.
November 21, 2013 | By Dan Weikel
Amtrak-California set ridership records last year on two of its busiest long distance lines in the state - the Pacific Surfliner along the coast and the San Joaquin through the Central Valley. Rail officials announced Thursday that the two lines, which are funded by Caltrans, carried almost 3.93 million passengers for the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30, 2013. That represents an increase of more than 110,000 riders from the year before. "In California, a rail renaissance is underway," Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty said.
December 10, 2007 | Rebecca Trounson, Times Staff Writer
One day after the Diocese of San Joaquin became the first in the country to break ties with the Episcopal Church, the Rev. Keith Axberg sought to reassure and cheer up his congregation, the only one in this city that is expected to remain with the national church. "There are things that are going to take time and much we don't know," said Axberg, rector of Holy Family Episcopal Church in northeast Fresno. "But our purpose is to gather here to worship God . . . and I'm thankful you are here."
November 12, 2013 | By Jason Wells
A man and his son have been arrested after allegedly kidnapping his ex-wife and forcing her to undergo an exorcism in Stockton. Jose Magana-Farias, 42 and his son, Victor Farias, 20, arranged to meet with his ex-wife and mother of the son at a Wal-Mart in north Stockton on Saturday under the pretense of trying to make the marriage work, San Joaquin sheriff's Lt. Mike Jones told KCRA-TV. But after getting into the car, the men allegedly picked up two priests before forcing the woman to undergo an exorcism, Jones said.
October 4, 2013 | By Lisa Girion
Amid a rising number of West Nile virus cases and the first death of the year, San Bernardino County officials issued a warning Friday about the illness, which is spread by mosquitoes. The name, age and gender of the person who died were not made public. Authorities said they were aware of 10 people in San Bernardino County who showed symptoms of West Nile virus so far this year. San Bernardino County Health Officer Maxwell Ohikhuare urged residents to take precautions. “We continue to see an increase of WNV activity throughout the county," Ohikhuare said in a statement.
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