Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Immigrant Youths are Improperly Denied Medi-Cal

Some undocumented youths who qualify for Medi-Cal health care under California’s new health reform laws are being wrongfully turned away by county eligibility workers. Democratic Assemblymember Richard Pan joined health care and immigrant rights advocates in Sacramento to call on the state to clear up the problem that could affect as many as 125,000 undocumented youths in California. Christopher Martinez reports from Sacramento.

Dolores Huerta Endorses Prop 45, Other Labor Groups Oppose

Labor and civil rights icon, Dolores Huerta, has endorsed an initiative to give California's Insurance Commissioner the power to deny health insurance rate hikes. The co-founder of the United Farm Workers has signed the argument that will appear on the ballot in favor of Prop 45. And state Democrats also have decided to endorse Prop 45 in the face of heavy lobbying by opponents, including hospital and labor groups. Pacifica's Dan Fritz reports from Los Angeles.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Proposed Fracking Regulations Draw Public Comment

State regulators are holding public hearings on proposed regulations on hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” a controversial method of drilling for oil in gas. Critics say fracking creates air and water pollution and may be linked to increased risk of earthquakes. Supporters say it’s a vital tool to tap into oil and gas reserves that can’t be drilled by conventional methods. Christopher Martinez reports from Sacramento.

Oakland Considers Competing Minimum Wage Proposals

The Oakland City Council is considering a proposal to hike the city’s minimum wage - but to do it more slowly than a ballot measure that’s already qualified for the November ballot. City Council member Patricia Kernighan says her measure would protect small businesses, but critics say it’s a watered-down measure backed by the Chamber of Commerce. Christopher Martinez reports from Oakland.

Federal and State Agencies Unveil Ecological Recovery Plan for Central Valley Fish

Federal and State wildlife agencies today announce the final recovery and restoration plan to bring back three species of native fish that are now on the brink of extinction. A collaborative effort lasting up to a century will attempt to revive habitat for the Sacramento River Winter-run Chinook Salmon, Central Valley, Spring-run Chinook Salmon and Central Valley Steelhead. Historic populations of those species have plummeted in recent decades due to the expansion and impact of the State’s human population. The recovery and restoration plan will receive funding from federal, state and private sources. Vic Bedoian reports from Fresno.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Chinese Progressive Association Protests Income Inequality

Chinese-American youth gathered in San Francisco today with activists and city supervisor Eric Mar to protest income inequality and the growing housing crisis in San Francisco. Scott Baba filed this report.

Immigrant Rights activists rallied today to demand that Democratic leaders defend immigrant children entering the United States, whether or not they come legally. Outside of House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco office, activists demanded Democrats to treat these children as refugees, and provide them with the legal counsel, and tend to their mental and physical needs. Pacifica’s Rosalie Atkinson filed this report.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Court Rules Groundwater is Protected as a Public Trust

A Superior Court in Sacramento issued a decision Wednesday that groundwater is a resource that should be protected as a public trust. Judge Allen Sumner ruled that state agencies must consider the environmental impact of groundwater pumping in the aquifer surrounding the Scott River in northern California. The case was filed against the State Water Resources Control Board and Siskiyou County, by the Environmental Law Foundation on behalf of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations and the Institute of Fisheries Resources. The decision, if upheld, could be an important step toward the State regulating groundwater that is connected to surface waterways. Vic Bedoian reports from Fresno.

Local Organizations Will Hold Events to Support and Protest Israel's Invasion of Gaza

Bay Area Jewish community organizations are holding a gathering on Sunday to stand in solidarity with the people of Israel following the ground invasion of Gaza yesterday. Dialynn Dwyer has more.

Seismic Ocean Surveying May Put Marine Wildlife at Risk

Thousands of marine mammals could be put at risk by seismic blasts throughout the Atlantic ocean. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced the approval of seismic air guns to be used by groups seeking offshore drilling permits, beginning in 2018. Environmentalists say the government is neglecting marine wildfire safety by ignoring the fact that thousands of whales, turtles, and fish may be in the airgun's line of fire. Pacifica's Rosalie Atkinson filed this report.