White Pines, CA - Calaveras Ranger District will be conducting a prescribed burn beginning April 30th about one mile north of White Pines. Stanislaus Forest Public Affairs Officer, Jerry Snyder, says, "This is the same prescribed burn we hoped to ignite in January 2012, and last fall. Of course, moving forward with this burn is dependent on weather and air quality."
None of the 465 acres have yet been burned.
When conditions permit, 50-100 acres will be burned at a time, over the next one to two weeks. The daily size of the burn may vary with weather and fuel conditions, as well as permissible air quality burn days. Smoke may be visible from Hwy 4, with some down canyon drift smoke visible in the evening and early morning.
Irish Understory Prescribed Burn is located at Summit Level Road and between Forest Roads 5N56 and 5N52. The Calaveras Ranger District encompasses approximately 250,000 acres in the northwest portion of the Stanislaus National Forest.
A report put out today by the American Lung Association states, "If you live in Tuolumne County, the air you breathe may put your health at risk."
Tuolumne and Calaveras both received a 'F' grade because their Ozone was at a weighted average of 11.2. San Francisco received an 'A' grade for its 0.0, anything over 3.2 lowered the grade, with 35 out of 58 California counties receiving an F. Most coastal counties received an A.
The photos with this story are charts that show the change in High Ozone Days since 1996. According to the study, since 1996, Tuolumne had 37.1 fewer days of poor air quality this year. Calaveras was listed as having 27.8 fewer days.
Also noted in the study was how many Air Quality Index days were Orange (unhealthy for sensitive groups), Red (unhealthy), or Purple (very unhealthy).
Tuolumne County had 29 Orange Days, 3 Red and 3 Purple. There was no 24 hour or annual particle pollution monitoring available in the county.
Calaveras had 26 Orange Days, 5 Red and no Purple days. The 24 hour particle pollution was graded B and the annual particle pollution was given a Pass.
In comparison to other counties, Stanislaus had 50 Orange, 7 Red and 2 Purple days. Mariposa had 50 Orange, 5 red, and 1 purple. Amador had 29 Orange, 6 Red, and no Purple days. San Bernardino had the most Purple days of all California counties with 9, Los Angeles had 6.
The Lung Association identified several groups that are at risk for health related problems due to poor air quality. These include; those over 65, and under 18, as well as those who have Asthma, Emphysema, Chronic Bronchitis, Diabetes or Heart Disease. They also noted that people who work or exercise outside face increased risk from the effects of air pollution.
The Study provided the following recommendations to improve a county's grade; "Drive less. Use less electricity. Support measures in your community that can cut air pollution. Tell your local and state officials to take steps to clean up air pollution. Send a message to your Senators to tell them we need them to support cleaner, healthier air and to oppose measures to block or delay the cleanup of coal-fired power plants."
Sonora, CA - Tuolumne County Health Officer Dr. Todd Stolp made a statement today about a California dairy cow that tested positive for mad cow disease or, more specifically, Atypical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE).
The cow that tested positive was in Hanford, located south of Fresno.
Dr. Stolp says, "BSE is not transmitted by milk, nor was this cow destined for human consumption. Therefore, this detection does not represent a significant public health risk."
BSE is a disease that is fatal to cows and can cause a deadly human brain disease in people who eat tainted meat. Atypical BSE can be caused by a random mutation. The name of the dairy where the cow died hasn't been released, and officials haven't said where the cow was born.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and Public Health Officer, Dr. Ron Chapman also issued the statement; "There is no public health threat due to the discovery of BSE in a dairy cow. The food supply in California has not been affected by this discovery, and residents do not need to take any specific precautions. The California Department of Food and Agriculture has many procedures in place to keep this disease from entering the food chain" Dr. Chapman noted that the detection is evidence that the system of safeguards is working.
According to the Associated Press, the infected cow was identified through an Agriculture Department surveillance program that tests about 40,000 cows a year for the fatal brain disease.
There have been three confirmed cases of BSE in cows in the United States - in a Canadian-born cow in 2003 in Washington state, in 2005 in Texas and in 2006 in Alabama.
Sonora, CA -- The Tuolumne Utilities District Board of Directors voted to move forward with plans to build a new water storage tank.
It will be located between Twain Harte and Sugar Pine, and have a storage capacity of 600,000 gallons. T.U.D. currently has two tanks that are out of commission. Last winter a wind storm caused a ponderosa pine tree to fall on a 125,000 gallon tank, causing extensive damage. A second nearby tank in the Lakewood area is in poor condition because of severe corrosion. Both tanks were recently drained.
Eventually two other aging tanks will be phased out and the storage will be made up by the new 600,000 gallon tank. T.U.D. officials have been looking at ways to reduce the number of tanks in the district, and this is being touted as a four for one swap.
T.U.D. Board member Ron Ringen praised the plan at last night's meeting. "This is the future of T.U.D. with this type of consolidation plan," he stated.
The total cost of the project will be over $390,000.
Copperopolis, CA -- There is a traffic accident on O'Byrnes Ferry Road on the Tuolumne County side of the bridge.
The CHP reports that a vehicle has overturned and gone off the roadway. An ambulance was initially dispatched, but was later called off as no injuries were reported. The vehicle is off the roadway, but emergency crews are still on scene. Travel with caution in the area.
Sonora, CA -- Weather permitting, the ground breaking for a new stretch on the Hwy 108 Bypass will take place May 1st. Earlier this month a ceremony was postponed due to bad weather.
The $52.9 million dollar stage II project will extend the Bypass from Peaceful Oak Road to Via Este. $14.53 million dollars of the funding came from Proposition 1B, the transportation bond measure approved by state voters in 2006. Caltrans says the additional roadway will ease congestion and decrease travel times for motorists heading to and from the high country.
Scheduled speakers are Tuolumne County Supervisor John L. Gray, Sonora Mayor Bill Canning and Tuolumne County Transportation Council Executive Director Darin Grossi.
San Andreas, CA -- CAL Fire announces that burn permits will be required starting next week in the state responsibility areas of Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties.
Until CAL Fire stations are fully staffed later in the season, permits will be available only on weekdays, during regular business hours. They can be obtained at the CAL Fire Headquarters in San Andreas, Twain Harte FFS, Station 51 in Mono Village, Blanchard FFS, Groveland CSD, Ebbetts Pass FPD (Arnold) and the Ebbetts Pass FPD Station 3 (Hathaway Pines).
You are only allowed to burn on permissive burn days, and CAL Fire recommends against burning when it is windy. Other rules are listed on the permit. For information on creating defensible space, go to http://www.fire.ca.gov/.
Sacramento, CA-- Some California lawmakers were hoping that the Governor would be the state's top paid employee.
A bill that would have capped state salaries at $173,987, the Governor's yearly pay, died in committee yesterday. The legislation was introduced by Republican Senator Joel Anderson. He cited that in 2011 over 9,000 state employees were earning more than the Governor. He pointed out that a surgeon with the Department of Corrections makes over $700,000, a staff psychiatrist makes $566,000, and the UC President takes home $560,000.
Proponents argued that higher salaries are needed to recruit quality state officials.
The vote on SB 1368 was 6-7. Committee member Tom Berryhill, who represents Tuolumne County, was one of the votes in favor of the bill.
Excitement is building in the Mother Lode for the upcoming Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee and other large events this May.
Laurie Giannini, Calaveras Fair CEO, was Wednesday's KVML "Newsmaker of the Day."
Rope, Ride & Ribbit is three events within a week. First, the Mother Lode Roundup Parade and Rodeo on the Mother's Day weekend (May 12 & 13th), followed by the Amgen Race on Wednesday May 16 and concluding with the Calaveras County Fair and Jumping From Jubilee from Thursday May 17th - 20th.
Both the Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee takes place each year at "Frogtown", just south of Angels Camp.
The Fair has grown to an event with more than 35,000 attendees. It is estimated that the Calaveras County Fair generates approximately 25.5 million dollars in revenues through hotels, restaurants, retail, payroll and other related revenues.
Each year during the Frog Jump an average of 2,000 frogs will participate. The top 50 frogs qualify for the International Frog Jump Grand Finals, which is held on the final Sunday of the Jubilee at 4:00 pm. The current world's record was set in 1986 by Rosie the Ribeter. Rosie jumped 21' 53/4". The cash prize for breaking the world record is $5000.
The Jumping Frog Jubilee is held the 3rd weekend of every May. The Jubilee starts with a Thursday kiddie parade in downtown Angels Camp at 10am and ends with a Destruction Derby on Sunday evening. The Calaveras County Fair has a unique history and a bright future.
More information can be found at www.frogtown.org
The "Newsmaker of the Day" is heard each weekday morning on AM 1450 KVML at 6:47, 7:47 and 8:47am.