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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Photos Capture Eerie Scenes as Huge Wildfire Rages Near Lake Berryessa

Posted By on Thu, Jul 23, 2015 at 11:58 AM

  • nerdyjaybirdy/Instagram

A massive wildfire is rampaging through Napa and Solano Counties, just south of Lake Berryessa. According to the Chronicle, the conflagration has already charred 6,000 acres since yesterday. Early this morning, breezy conditions fanned the flames even further, bringing out about 500 firefighters who are now struggling to contain the blaze and save some 200 structures. One house already burned.

The Chronicle reports that the communities of Quali Ridge and Golden Bear are under mandatory evacuation orders, and Highway 128 remains shut down. While fire investigators initially attributed the blaze to a vehicle that caught on fire after a collision, they now say the cause is still being looked into. Drought conditions and gusty winds made a perfect tinderbox for the inferno to spread.

Those near Lake Berryessa have taken to Instagram to share eerie (sometimes almost apocalyptic-looking) photos of the wildfire: 

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

4.0 Quake and 12 Aftershocks Rattle Fremont This Morning

Posted By on Tue, Jul 21, 2015 at 9:36 AM

Bucolic Fremont - YONG THYE/FLICKR
  • Yong Thye/Flickr
  • Bucolic Fremont
The 4.0 magnitude earthquake that rattled Fremont early this morning was the first activity along the Hayward Fault since 1868, according to the US Geological Survey. The quake, which lasted about five seconds, was felt in more than 250 zip codes, including places as far south as Santa Cruz. Twelve aftershocks were also felt (with more possible). Luckily, no injuries or damage have been reported.

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Monday, July 6, 2015

Ocean Beach Is Slowly Turning Into a Giant Bathtub

Posted By on Mon, Jul 6, 2015 at 11:49 AM

  • Kat/Flickr

Could Ocean Beach eventually become NorCal's answer to Côte d'Azur?

National Weather Service meteorologist Charles Bell reported on Sunday that Pacific temps near San Francisco are at least five degrees higher than average. Last July, the region's ocean reached a record 68 balmy degrees.

“Will we hit 68 degrees again or 70?” Bell asked. It's the climate watcher's equivalent of a slow-motion pie eating contest.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Drought is Making SF's Poop Problem Worse

Posted By on Tue, Jun 30, 2015 at 11:36 AM

  • Michael Tapp/Flickr

California’s historic drought continues to take a toll on the state in new and alarming ways. Recently, reports surfaced that houses in the Central Valley are literally sinking into the earth, while, closer to home, CBS 5 reported yesterday that San Francisco’s aging sewer system is eroding due to the water shortage.

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Monday, June 22, 2015

San Francisco Is Really Unprepared for Climate Change

Posted By on Mon, Jun 22, 2015 at 10:38 AM

  • ejbSF/Flickr

“A slow-moving emergency” is how state assemblyman Rich Gordon (D-Menlo Park) describes the threat of rising seas in the Bay Area. According to Inside Bay Area, Gordon authored California’s first report on climate-related flooding, and his findings reveal a region woefully unprepared to manage water damage.

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Friday, May 22, 2015

East Bay Vandals Waste 50 Million Gallons of Water

Posted By on Fri, May 22, 2015 at 2:39 PM

Vandals damaged an inflatable dam on Alameda Creek Thursday morning, leading to the loss of 50,000,000 gallons of water, CBS reports

The dam, which has been in place since 1971, was in a restricted area and was holding back water that would have flowed into the Niles Cone Groundwater Basin, which provides water for Newark, Union City, and Fremont. Due to the damage, the water flowed into the San Francisco Bay instead. 

“This is a very significant loss of water under any circumstances, and more so in the drought conditions we are experiencing,” said ACWD General Manager Robert Shaver. “It is an utterly senseless, destructive, and wasteful thing to do.”
The amount of water lost was enough to serve 500 families for a year. Fremont police are investigating the crime. 

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Whose Fault Is the California Drought This Time? Everybody Else Edition

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 3:54 PM

It's hard for Californians to really enjoy a nice, long, hot shower or a handful of almonds these days, thanks to the drought and its constant companion, drought-rage. You can't water your estate's lawn, blow up a kiddie pool, or start a water-bottling business without someone shaking his head in dismay.  

But the New York Times came through for Californians today with some beautiful, drought-shame-resistant ground cover: an interactive feature that proves the drought is really everybody else's fault. 

Per the Times:
The average American consumes more than 300 gallons of California water each week by eating food that was produced there. California farmers produce more than a third of the nation’s vegetables and two-thirds of its fruits and nuts. To do that, they use nearly 80 percent of all the water consumed in the state. It is the most stubborn part of the crisis: To fundamentally alter how much water the state uses, all Americans may have to give something up.
The feature, which inexplicably includes images of grapes in a water tank and glasses of milk in a kiddie pool, breaks out how much of our water the average American consumes each week by eating rice, broccoli, olives, eggs, and all the other bounteous food stuffs California produces. 

The guacamole New Yorkers pay extra to add to their sad Chipotle burritos? That comes at a cost of 4.1 gallons of water per avocado sliver, and it's not even good guacamole! 

The two-egg omelet East Coasters pick over at brunch? 36 gallons for the eggs alone! The rest of the country is sucking us dry. 

Rest easy, California. Take a bubble bath without shame. It's really all their fault

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Friday, May 15, 2015

Whose Fault Is the Drought This Time? Candlestick and Nestle Edition

Posted By on Fri, May 15, 2015 at 1:46 PM

  • 360b /
Another day, another drought villain (or two). Today's edition of "Whose fault is the California drought" features two villains of equal magnitude: The CEO of Nestle Waters North America, and residents of an under-served neighborhood who want to breath air without choking on demolition dust. 

Nestle is just one of several companies that have come under fire for bottling cheap public water in California and then selling it back to customers at an insane and wasteful markup. But while Starbucks is backing off their operations in California, Nestle Waters North America CEO Tom Brown is doubling down and being a dick about it.  

According to KPCC, Nestle has five bottled water facilities in the state. The water is sold under the brands Arrowhead, Pure Life, Poland Spring, and Deer Park. Brown responded to a question about whether the company would follow Starbucks' lead and move by saying, "Absolutely not. In fact, if I could increase it, I would.” 

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Monday, May 11, 2015

Whose Fault Is the California Drought? This Week in Drought-Shaming

Posted By on Mon, May 11, 2015 at 1:49 PM

Low water in a California reservoir - SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • Low water in a California reservoir

It's hard to keep up with whose fault the California drought really is, but here at The Snitch, we're committed to providing you with the latest in finger-pointing on a semi-regular basis (maybe). As a country, we've already churned through blaming almond growers, meat-eaters, marijuana growers, and environmentalists for the drought. Next up? Celebrity estates and Walmart. 

Over the weekend, the New York Post compiled aerial photographs of celebrity houses in LA with green, water-wasting lawns. Among the guilty are Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, Jessica Simpson, Khloe Kardashian, Barbara Streisand, and Hugh Hefner. According to the Post, these celebrity water vampires are sucking the state dry to maintain their well-manicured lawns, and their neighbors are pissed about it. 
“The Kardashian flowers and hedges are right in our face,” one resident told The Post. “It’s disgusting. You walk by and you can smell the freshness.”

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Drought: How Much Water Will You Have To Save Under New Mandatory Water Restrictions?

Posted By on Wed, Apr 1, 2015 at 3:59 PM

Getting worse.
  • Getting worse.
Earlier today, Gov. Jerry Brown strode across a patch of grass near Lake Tahoe, trailed by a man carrying a long pole. The pole is used to measure snowpack, of which there was none. This was ceremony to confirm what we already knew: there is no snow

Snowpack is at an abysmal five percent of normal, which means year four of the worst drought California has ever seen is, well, even worse. 

Brown used the snow-less spectacle as the backdrop to proclaim the state's first-ever mandatory water restrictions. Water use across the state must drop by 25 percent, or consequences — beyond environmental devastation and collapse of the social order — will occur.

But that number is misleading. Do you have to cut your shower by a quarter right now? No — but you may need to cut it by half, or be moved from your home entirely. You may also be asked cut water use less. How does this work, exactly?

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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"