The California Drought is Over!

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The Sacramento River in the California Delta is super full and is going to remain running high through June.

It’s official: the State of California declared the drought is over. Driving to Los Angeles in the rain, I enjoyed the green hills all the way through the San Joaquin Valley. After years of seeing scary empty reservoirs, it is thrilling to see all the signs of a very wet year.

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Pyramid Lake is part of the State Water Project and stores water until it continues its journey to SoCal water users. When deliveries are low, the level drops. This year the reservoir is full again.

On my way to Los Angeles I stopped at the top of the grapevine at the Vista del Lago visitor center to look at Pyramid Lake. It is thrilling to see how full it is and to see someone recreating.

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San Luis Reservoir is also part of the water delivery system in California. Water is  pumped from near Santa Nella into this reservoir to store it to keep a water supply for irrigation and people throughout the summer. Levels have been restored!

This blog post first appeared on Adventures of American Julie (americanjulie.com).

Delta Waterways Clean Up Planned April 29

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Volunteers from 2015 having fun cleaning up Delta waterways. (Photo: Kathryn Kynett)

Be part of keeping the California Delta clean. The Delta Conservancy is organizing events on April 29 to clean up parts of the Delta waterways in coordination with Sacramento Area Creeks Council’s Creek Week.

(Photo credits: Aaron Haiman)

The cleanup events will take place from 9am to noon on the 29th of April. The Delta Conservancy will be leading three different sites including a new site in Suisun City. After the cleanup, there is a celebration at Carmichael Park from noon to 2pm.

Contact Aaron Haiman for more information: aaron.haiman@deltaconservancy.ca.gov. Ready to volunteer? Register online: http://creekweek.net/vdelta.html

 

More information about Sacramento County’s Creek Week: http://creekweek.net/

Fix or Fight?

Reposted from LeadersCompass.org. For more information check out Wallace Weir project page on Baydeltalive.com.

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img_0645 Fritz Durst, Board chair of Reclamation District 108, gives opening remarks at Wallace Weir

At the celebration of the construction of the new Wallace Weir, Fritz Durst called everyone to join the assembled collaborators to fix problems instead of fighting. People often refer to California “water wars” and as a result many problems remain intractable. The Northern California Water Agency and its members have been working hard to find ways to solve problems, sometimes at risk to their own interests. This project is one of over 49 identified to improve the chances for endangered salmon to return in the Sacramento River Salmon Recovery Program. They are joined by other stakeholders including local, regional and state agencies.

I have been working in the Yolo Bypass on behalf of Metropolitan Water Agency of SoCal to try to find common ground with a diverse group of stakeholders. We are seeking solutions that will allow…

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Tiny House Extravaganza!

img_0706I do not think SMUD or the other organizers of the Tiny House competition open house (Saturday, November 15, 2016 at Cosumnes River College) expected such an enthusiastic response. Even with rain threatening, the 5,000 brochures they printed up were snapped up by 11:30 a.m. When I left at 1:15 there was a steady stream of people still arriving.

There were 10 tiny houses entered by various college and universities and each of them had at least a 20 minute wait in line to see the inside. If you arrived at 9:00 a.m. when it opened you’d be challenged to see them all by 4:00 p.m. Fortunately there were food trucks and information tables to help you gather information about saving energy or water, or how to become an advocate for tiny homes.

I only had a couple of hours so I took lots of photos and waited in line to see the Laney College entry, “The Wedge” winner of the architecture award. Overhearing conversations around me, the people in line were curious to see if a tiny home will work for a mother-in-law suite, an affordable way to live off the grid in Idaho, a guest home, or a home for themselves.This home cost $55,000 to build. The college plans to sell it and then using the same program to build homes for the homeless.

The overall winner was Santa Clara University’s entry. Entries had to be moved to Cosumnes River College by Friday for judging. Homes were rated on design, energy efficiency, home utility and communications. Modeled after the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon, the program asks teams to use modern building techniques and technology to maximize energy efficiency in a home not to exceed 400 square feet.

Entrants included:
1. California State University, Fresno
2. Laney College
3. College of the Sequoias
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4. University of California, Berkeley
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5. Cosumnes River College
6. Santa Clara University
7. San Jose City College
8. UC Santa Cruz and Cabrillo College
9. CSU Sacramento
10. CSU Chico
If you are a city councilmember or a County supervisor in the NorCal area, take note of the level of interest. Many localities have vague guidance about permitting or using tiny homes. Tiny homes can be mobile more like a travel trailer, but tend to be built more like a custom home than a manufactured home.  The American Tiny House Association offers sample zoning regulations.

Proclaiming Tiny Houses!

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This weekend I am going to check out the Tiny House competition sponsored by SMUD, created by students, and ready for inspection at Cosumnes River College. It will probably be raining, so I’ll dig out my warmer wardrobe and take my umbrella. I am really curious to see how small tiny is. I watch Tiny Househunters on HGTV and it is hard to imagine what it would really feel like to live in a house under 500 square feet. Checking it out and asking: could this be a solution for homeownership for single person households, a less expensive solution for ending homelessness, or just affordably add second units for short or long term rental?

proclaimersThen on Monday my all time favorite music group is performing at Harlow’s. I am going to see the Proclaimers! Since I live in the neighborhood I do not have to walk 500 miles. On Monday night I’ll be on my way to the Proclaimers.

Golden One Center Opens

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The Golden One Center is ready for events and for the NBA season. This large construction project is completed on time and on budget (cost increases were at owner’s request and expense–not the City’s). It is still surrounded by construction sites for other buildings, yet this weekend it will open for it’s maiden concert with Sir Paul McCartney.

The Sacramento Bee offered some helpful advice on getting to the Center by car: reserve a parking spot in advance in a downtown garage at reserve.sacpark.org. I highly recommend this because the available street parking is of short duration and now extends to 10 p.m. So if you arrive at 5:30 p.m. for a concert and park in a one hour spot, you will have a ticket by 6:31 p.m. It is much cheaper to pay for a garage spot than a $58 parking ticket!

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The Golden One Center is designed so most seats are between the boxes and the floor.

For the McCartney concerts the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates are offering valet bike parking at Cesar Chavez park (and they’ll stow your helmets and backpacks, which are not allowed in the Center).

YoloBus is offering free shuttle rides to the arena from the West Sacramento transit center on West Capitol Avenue from City Hall. Sacramento Light Rail will drop you within a block of the Center and you can park and ride from many locations.

The most relaxed way to enjoy an event is stay at one of the hotels within walking distance. Depending on your mobility, the Holiday Inn Sacramento, and the Citizen’s Hotel. There are many more closer to the Capitol about 7-10 blocks away. Finding places to eat near the Golden One Center is also easy.

I am not a basketball fan and I rarely go to concerts in large venues, nonetheless, I hope the downtown arena delivers on its promise to revitalize K Street.

Sac Porchfest: Midtown Musical Celebration

Walking to coffee after dinner this evening I was charmed by a concern on I Street. On the way home I discovered it is part of Sac Porchfest, one of the annual events that people organize in Midtown Sacramento.  I am sorry I missed the earlier concerts on 21st Street.

Midtown is interesting in other ways… neighbors have decorated their homes for Halloween.

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