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By Gavin Newsom | The issues that I am focused on each and every day for each and every Californian.

California looks to Australia for tips on surviving drought

SYDNEY (AP) — California has turned to the world's driest inhabited continent for solutions to its longest and sharpest drought on record.

Australia, the land poet Dorothea Mackellar dubbed "a sunburnt country," suffered a torturous drought from the late 1990s through 2012. Now Californians are …

Australia

Protesters warn against using chemicals in Santa Barbara County oil spill clean-up

Dozens of protesters chanted "End Oil Now!" and hoisted signs alongside an inflatable mock pipeline on a Santa Barbara beach on Sunday, demanding an end to fracking and other forms of "extreme oil extraction" days after a spill sent thousands of gallons of oil into the ocean and onto …

Santa Barbara County

Today a Bankrupt City Votes on Its Next Steps

“We’ve gotten used to gridlock and stalemate at the national level. This is what it looks like for a city.” What civic dysfunction has in common with excessive CEO pay, and why it matters.

Last week I mentioned that a civic-bankruptcy drama was about to reach a climax in the beleaguered city of San …

Bankruptcy

California’s economy is world’s second greenest - SFGate

California not only leads the nation in the fight against climate change — in some ways it leads the world.

The Golden State has the world’s second least carbon-intensive economy, according to a new study from public policy group Next 10. Only France, with its large fleet of nuclear power plants, …

Energy

Delta farmers offer to take 25 percent less water

Dozens of California farmers whose century-old claims to rivers and streams have assured them a nearly endless water supply, at least up until now, are offering to give up a quarter of their water in exchange for a guarantee that the drought-plagued state won’t come clamoring for a whole lot …

Agriculture

Latest on California oil spill: Governor declares emergency

6:45 p.m. (PDT)

Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in Santa Barbara County over the coastal oil spill.

The move Wednesday night from the governor frees up emergency state funding and resources to help in the cleanup efforts.

Also Wednesday, Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce …

Pipelines

Oil spill cleanup in Santa Barbara Co becomes expert-only job

Goleta (Santa Barbara County) — Removing oil from the picturesque coastline here became a job for experts-only Thursday when volunteers who had descended on the beaches to help a day earlier were asked to leave.

While most had good intentions, state and federal fish and wildlife officials said they …

Santa Barbara County

Oil spill cleanup accelerates on Santa Barbara County coast

Crews are working around the clock to clean up the site of an oil spill in Santa Barbara County that has sent tens of thousands of crude into the Pacific Ocean and left even more saturating the soil.

Michelle Rogow, an on-scene coordinator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said the …

Santa Barbara County

Brown follows centrist course with earned income tax credit

If you were the governor with extra bucks to burn, would you help the working poor? Or help the aged and disabled poor who are unable to work?

Another choice: Provide healthcare for immigrants in the country illegally? Or help poor kids get dental care.

Gov. Jerry Brown had these and many such …

Earned Income Tax Credit

California decision on farmer water cuts to apply broadly

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A group of California farmers, in a surprising turnaround, is volunteering to give up a fourth of its available water this year, sharing a resource all but guaranteed to them for more than a century.

A senior water official told The Associated Press Wednesday that he would …

California Drought

California Physicians Drop Opposition To Right-To-Die Bill In 'Breakthrough' For Death With Dignity Movement

A medical group that has long opposed doctor-assisted death has reversed course and dropped its opposition to the practice, saying the decision should be up to the patient and physician.

The California Medical Association, which represents more than 40,000 physicians in the Golden State, removed …

California

Elizabeth Warren rouses California Democrats: 'America is ready to stand with us'

Sen. Elizabeth Warren delivered a tub-thumping speech to delegates at the California Democratic Party convention in Anaheim on Saturday, touching on the policy themes that have made her the increasingly popular champion of her party's liberal wing and bestowing conspicuous praise on state Atty. …

Democrats

Hero Judge Rules Abstinence-Only Sex Ed Is Illegal

A judge has ruled that abstinence-only programs are in violation of California law and promote “medically inaccurate information.”

Abstinence-only programs don’t qualify as sex education and are in violation of California law, a Fresno County Superior Court judge has ruled.

In his groundbreaking …

California

Mandatory Vaccine Bill Passes In California Senate

A bill that would make vaccines mandatory for nearly every child in California passed the state Senate on Thursday morning.

The controversial bill ensures that parents enrolling their children in California schools will be allowed to opt them out of immunizations only for medical reasons and may no …

California

El Niño strengthens. Hope for serious drought relief?

El Niño conditions in the Pacific Ocean that were first identified in March are strengthening, federal scientists said Thursday, renewing hope that the next winter could be a long-awaited wet one for California.

The weather phenomenon intensified from “weak” in April to “weak-to-moderate” in May, …

El Niño

5 Different Ways California Faces Impending Doom

Droughts! Earthquakes! Economic meltdowns! Californians have grown blasé about living on the edge of Imminent Demise. As mandatory water restrictions take effect, V.F. charts the dark side of the California dream, with a handy guide to the hazards that threaten to change life in the Golden State …

California

Buildings and transit: The keys to California climate goals

How will California look beyond renewables to reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced by buildings and infrastructure?

Energy

California drought: Few seem to mourn street medians’ slow death

The street median isn’t just a patch of grass in the middle of the road. Or is it?

The leafy islands that have long brought calm to neighborhoods, and sometimes carry a sense of prestige — turning a mere street into a stately boulevard — are one of the targets of the state’s water conservation …

San Francisco Politics

California commission approves 3 percent raises for state lawmakers

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - Elected officials in California will get 3 percent raises under a package approved Monday by the state's Citizens Compensation Commission, after it cut their salaries during the recession.

The commission voted unanimously for the increase at a meeting in Sacramento, …

California

Readers React: Mormon temple's brown lawn an example for California

To the editor: Bravo to the workers at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Westside temple for being good citizens and setting an important example for our city by letting their expansive lawn go brown. It's a great first step. ("Mormon Temple in West L.A. lets its landmark lawn turn …

California

San Francisco mayor signs bill banning chewing tobacco from ballparks

SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco has become the first city in the nation to outlaw chewing tobacco from its playing fields, including AT&T Park, home to the San Francisco Giants.

Players and the manager of the team expressed support for the ordinance signed into law by Mayor Ed Lee on Friday but also …

San Francisco Bay Area

Tapping the ocean for drinking water: State lays down the law

California adopted new rules Wednesday to help cities and water agencies figure out the best way to siphon water from the sea and turn it into drinking water without killing fish.

The plan, approved by the State Water Resources Control Board in Sacramento, marks the first time any state or country …

Natural Resources

California fines 2 oil firms $11.5 million for waste violations

Two affiliates of a giant petroleum company that operates nearly 150 gas stations in the Bay Area will pay $11.5 million to the state for numerous violations of hazardous-waste laws, the California Attorney General announced Thursday.

Phillips 66 and ConocoPhillips agreed to pay the fine as part of …

California

California regulators approve unprecedented water cutbacks

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California water regulators adopted sweeping, unprecedented restrictions Tuesday on how people, governments and businesses can use water amid the state's ongoing drought, hoping to push reluctant residents to deeper conservation.

The State Water Resources Control Board …

California

California fails to save water despite crackdown

Governor Jerry Brown has orders residents and businesses to cut water consumption by 25 per cent as state suffers record drought

Californians conserved little water in March and local officials were not aggressive in cracking down on waste, state regulators reported on Tuesday, saying residents and …

California

The End of California?

ANGELS CAMP, Calif. — IN a normal year, no one in California looks twice at a neighbor’s lawn, that mane of bluegrass thriving in a sun-blasted desert. Or casts a scornful gaze at a fresh-planted almond grove, saplings that now stand accused of future water crimes. Or wonders why your car is …

San Francisco Politics

How can we spread Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurialism nationwide?

Once again, California’s Silicon Valley is confirming its status as a mecca of high-tech entrepreneurship and wealth creation. But it is not a model …

Silicon Valley

Almost-extinct fish keeping water off limits amid Calif. drought, farmers weigh challenge

At three inches long, the delta smelt is one of the smallest fish in California -- but ounce for ounce, no species statewide carries more weight.

Endangered since 1993, the plankton-eating silver minnow is blamed by farmers, lawmakers and water officials up and down the Golden State for locking down …

Natural Resources

Gov. Brown’s ‘Google Maps for health’ drives California to precision medicine lead - San Francisco Business Times

James Pan

Ron LeutyReporter- San Francisco Business TimesEmail | Twitter | Google+ | Twitter

By weaving together a hodgepodge of patient and clinical …