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May 24, 1989
The new immigration law has not caused a farm labor shortage in the San Joaquin Valley, according to the chairman of the Fresno Farm Bureau's labor committee. Grape grower Don Laub said "the work force looks real good," although he admitted that it is still too early to predict whether there will be enough workers when the harvest season reaches its peak in late summer. Many growers expressed concern last year that not enough undocumented workers would legalize their status under the amnesty provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 to form an adequate labor pool.
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SCIENCE
April 23, 2014 | By Tony Barboza
Climate change and extreme weather could set back decades of improvement in California's air quality, a new report by the state's pollution control officers says. A higher number of extreme heat days from global warming will boost smog formation and increase severe wildfires that release harmful smoke into the air, according to an annual report released Wednesday by the California Air Pollution Control Officers' Assn. "The achievements we've made to date could be put in peril,” said Jack Broadbent, air pollution control officer for the San Francisco Bay Area and president of the association, which represents the 35 air districts throughout the state.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 28, 2013 | By Anna Gorman
Researchers have linked air pollution and birth defects among pregnant women in the San Joaquin Valley, according to a study by Stanford University School of Medicine. The study looked at women between 1997 and 2006, including 806 whose pregnancies were impacted by birth defects and 849 not impacted. Researchers determined that the women who spent their early weeks of pregnancy living in areas with worse air pollution had a higher risk of having a birth defect in their babies.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 22, 2014 | By Tony Barboza
The California Environmental Protection Agency has released a statewide list of census tracts most burdened by pollution, providing a first-of-its-kind ranking certain to pressure regulators to clean up neighborhoods with long-standing health risks. Many of the worst pollution pockets identified and mapped by state officials are in the San Joaquin Valley, Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire. Their residents are largely low-income Latinos who have had little power to force improvements in their communities.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 12, 1989
Ever since the construction of Friant Dam in 1946, the San Joaquin River has been little more than a ditch for salt-laden irrigation water draining from farms along the east side of the San Joaquin Valley. Virtually the entire natural flow of the San Joaquin, which rises just west of the Mammoth Lakes area in the central Sierra, has been diverted for farm use during the irrigation season. The San Joaquin's salmon run has been decimated, and the polluted water that does reach the river's historic outlet of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta contributes to the severe water-quality problems in the delta.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 14, 2009 | Catherine Saillant
Scientists suspect that parts of the San Joaquin Valley have started to sink again after years of stability, a troubling development that geologists say can be traced to increased pumping of groundwater. State water managers are worried that falling land surfaces could damage the California Aqueduct, which carries water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the valley and Southern California. To measure the extent of the problem, the U.S. Geological Survey is launching a three-year study that will use sophisticated satellite tracking to map sagging land in the valley's arid floor in western Fresno and Kings counties.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 19, 2010 | By Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times
More water may be headed to the Southland and the San Joaquin Valley after a judge concluded Tuesday that a federal agency acted arbitrarily when it imposed pumping limits to protect migrating salmon and steelhead. The decision by U.S. District Court Judge Oliver W. Wanger is the latest development in a tangle of legal challenges to restrictions based on the Endangered Species Act that are cutting water exports from the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta, east of San Francisco. Wanger sharply criticized some of the scientific rationale for the pumping curbs, but stopped short of jettisoning them, saying he needed more information before deciding on a cure.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 20, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
The Fresno City Council officially has opposed the local air district's idea of moving the San Joaquin Valley into the worst-polluter category for smog. The change in category could buy more time to achieve healthy air and help the city avoid federal sanctions, which could cost millions. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District was to consider the matter at its meeting today.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 10, 2001 | From Times Wire Reports
Water pollution in the San Joaquin Valley is getting worse, according to a report by regional water quality regulators. The list of the valley's dirtiest waterways includes every river and stream in the San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta region. In the last three years, 56 waterways have been added to the list compiled by the Regional Water Quality Control Board, while only three have been removed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 16, 2014 | By Bettina Boxall
A decision by a federal appeals court Wednesday could allow for changes in water deliveries to irrigation districts that hold senior rights to Sacramento River supplies. The unanimous opinion by an 11-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned two previous rulings that found the federal government lacked discretion to alter water contracts with senior irrigators in the Sacramento Valley. The new decision sends the matter back to a district court for further consideration, leaving both sides in the nearly decade-old case unsure of the ultimate outcome.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 22, 2014 | By Bettina Boxall
HAMILTON CITY, Calif. - A shallow inland sea spreads across more than 160 square miles, speckled with egrets poking for crayfish among jewel-green rice shoots. The flooded fields could be mistaken for the rice paddies of Vietnam or southern China, but this is Northern California at the onset of severe drought. The scene is a testament to the inequities of California's system of water rights, a hierarchy of haves as old as the state. PHOTOS: The water diversion debate Thanks to seniority, powerful Central Valley irrigation districts that most Californians have never heard of are at the head of the line for vast amounts of water, even at the expense of the environment and the rest of the state.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 18, 2014 | By Bettina Boxall
Thanks to February storms, state officials are slightly easing drought restrictions on water deliveries, but the changes won't make a difference to most of the state. The prime beneficiaries will be Central Valley irrigation districts with the most senior water rights. Although last month's above average rainfall in Northern California improved the water supply picture somewhat, officials Tuesday continued to predict that the big state and federal water projects that help supply a majority of Californians will deliver little or no water to most agricultural and urban agencies this year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 13, 2014 | By Bettina Boxall
In a big win for a little fish, a federal appeals court Thursday upheld delta smelt protections that have cut deliveries of Northern California water to the Southland and the San Joaquin Valley. A panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded in a 2-1 decision that a number of environmental provisions that federal and state water contractors have disputed as ill-founded were in fact justified. In effect, the court backed pumping limits. Written by Judge Jay S. Bybee, a George W. Bush appointee, the opinion is a major blow to the agricultural and urban agencies that have spent years challenging endangered species protections that have curbed water exports from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
NEWS
May 7, 1985 | Associated Press
A moderate earthquake registering up to 4.6 on the Richter scale moved some furniture Monday afternoon in the southern San Joaquin Valley, but there were no reports of damage, authorities said. Residents reported feeling the 4:14 p.m. quake in downtown Bakersfield, 21 miles northeast of here, where the quake was centered, and some said their furniture had moved at home. "It sort of felt like a truck hit the building . . .
NEWS
November 16, 1991 | MARTHA GROVES, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The voracious poinsettia whitefly, which has devastated produce in Imperial and Riverside counties, has invaded California's fertile San Joaquin Valley, agricultural officials said Friday. Lenord L. Craft, the agricultural commissioner for Tulare County, described the infestation as "very light" and added that "it is not a big economic problem--yet--and we don't anticipate any major outbreak because of the cooler weather."
SCIENCE
March 7, 2014 | By Tony Barboza
Latinos and African Americans make up a disproportionately high percentage of the population of California ZIP Codes most burdened by pollution, according to a report released Friday by state environmental officials. Latinos account for nearly two-thirds of residents in the top 10% most polluted ZIP Codes despite making up only 38% of the state's population, the analysis by the California Environmental Protection Agency shows. Nearly 10% of residents of the most polluted ZIP Codes are black, though they make up only 6% of the population statewide, according to the report.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 5, 2014 | By Bettina Boxall
A court ruling issued Wednesday could throw up obstacles to operation of a Kern County groundwater bank that has helped billionaire Stewart Resnick build a nut empire in the southern San Joaquin Valley. In the latest development in a two-decade legal fight, a Sacramento County Superior Court judge found that the state Department of Water Resources didn't properly analyze the environmental impacts of the Kern Water Bank, which is partly controlled by Resnick's Paramount Farms enterprise.
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