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Storms Bring Needed Increase to Depleted Reservoirs Across State

Michael Anderson, the state’s official climatologist, said river levels will continue to fluctuate after the series of storms passes, and flooding remains a risk in multiple areas, including five waterways that the water resources agency was focused on, including Bear Creek and the Pajaro, Salinas, Cosumnes, and Russian rivers.

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"These storms are continuing across the state to help with our reservoir storage levels," said Molly White, a department operations manager.
"These storms are continuing across the state to help with our reservoir storage levels," said Molly White, a department operations manager.

By Thomas Hughes | Bay City News Foundation

The Sierra Nevada snowpack and California reservoirs received a huge boost from recent and ongoing storms, but not enough to end current drought conditions, officials with the state Department of Water Resources said during a briefing Wednesday.

“We’re working our way through a flood emergency but there will be underlying components of drought that will linger even when this is all done,” said Michael Anderson, the state’s official climatologist.

Anderson said the Sierra snowpack is at full seasonal levels expected by April 1 during an average year, but said it was hard to forecast how much that would fluctuate in the meantime, and excessive melting could pose further flood risks.

Two more storms are forecast to hit California in the next 10 days. Another 3 to 4 inches of rain is forecast for the Bay Area during those storms, and 2 to 3 inches on the Central Coast. Those will mark the final of a series of nine storms that hit the state starting Dec. 30.

Anderson said river levels will continue to fluctuate after the series of storms passes, and flooding remains a risk in multiple areas, including five waterways that the water resources agency was focused on, including Bear Creek and the Pajaro, Salinas, Cosumnes, and Russian rivers.

Anderson said landslides were a significant concern given the volume of rain hitting steep terrain, some of which has been burned by recent wildfires.

Water levels peaked at the Pajaro River on Tuesday morning and are now receding, according to Jeremy Arrich, manager of the department’s division of flood management. Flooding near the river forced evacuations this week.

Arrich said water levels at the Salinas River are forecast to peak sometime Friday evening and remain at peak levels through the weekend. A team of specialists was at the river to address multiple boils, which are areas near a levee that burst on the dry side and leak water.

Record flood levels were reached at Bear Creek in Merced County, Arrich said. The department has deployed 576 linear feet of muscle wall, which is a portable barrier, along with 100,000 sandbags and plastic sheeting to help combat the flooding in the area.

The Russian River is near flood stage and is expected to remain at that level for several days.

“It’s a pretty dynamic situation out there, things are changing rapidly and the flood operations center and our teams on the ground remain ready to help as needed out there and see if any other assistance is requested,” said Arrich.

Molly White, a department operations manager, said reservoirs statewide are at 84 percent of historical average, up from 81 percent on Tuesday.

“These storms are continuing across the state to help with our reservoir storage levels,” White said.

White said the Shasta and Oroville reservoirs both saw steep climbs of water levels, but are still lower than others given their historic lows prior to the storms. Shasta is at 1.9 million acre-feet and Oroville is at about 1.7 million acre-feet of water, which is 70 percent and 88 percent of their historical averages, respectively.

“Each day we are creeping closer to average conditions,” White said.

She said that’s about 2-million-acre feet at both major reservoirs at this time of year.

At other California reservoirs, Lake Sonoma is at 83 percent of its historical average levels, San Luis Reservoir is at 60 percent of its historical average, Camanche Reservoir is at 123 percent, and New Melones Lake is at 56 percent of historical levels.

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Activism

Moms 4 Housing Hold Sit-in Demanding County Supervisors Extend Eviction Protections

All formerly unhoused mothers, the Moms are risking arrest to demand that newly elected Supervisor Lena Tam uphold a previous vote for a strong package of permanent tenant protections for renters in the unincorporated areas of Alameda County as the end of the COVID Eviction Moratorium looms. Participants in the sit-in, are calling on all supporters to come to the 5th floor of 1221 Oak Street or outside the county building immediately to support the protest.

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Participants in the sit-in, which began Tuesday afternoon, are calling on all supporters to come to the 5th floor of 1221 Oak Street or outside the county building immediately to support the protest.
The Moms are prepared to hold this sit-in for 60 hours — for the 60,000 tenants who need these protections, which are set to expire.

By Post Staff

Moms 4 Housing held a sit-in in the nonviolent civil disobedience tradition of Martin Luther King Jr., to demand that the Alameda County Board of Supervisors uphold their original vote to pass permanent Just Cause eviction protections for the 60,000 tenants living in the unincorporated areas of Alameda County.

The Moms are prepared to hold this sit-in for 60 hours — for the 60,000 tenants who need these protections, which are set to expire.

All formerly unhoused mothers, the Moms are risking arrest to demand that newly elected Supervisor Lena Tam uphold a previous vote for a strong package of permanent tenant protections for renters in the unincorporated areas of Alameda County as the end of the COVID Eviction Moratorium looms.

Participants in the sit-in, are calling on all supporters to come to the 5th floor of 1221 Oak Street or outside the county building immediately to support the protest.

The Anti Police-Terror Project (APTP), ACCE and EBHO, along with other local activists, are mobilizing outside of the Alameda County Administration Building to stand in solidarity with Moms 4 Housing, an organization focused on uniting mothers, neighbors, and friends to reclaim housing for the Oakland community from the big banks and real estate speculators.

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Bay Area

Season 15 Winner of America’s Got Talent Set to Teach Class at Delta College

According to Delta College officials, Leake was previously an academic advisor at the college and will now teach Digital Media 31.

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San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, Calif. logo. (Photo courtesy of San Joaquin Delta College)
San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, Calif. logo. (Photo courtesy of San Joaquin Delta College)

By Victoria Franco | Bay City News Foundation

Brandon Leake, the season 15 winner of the reality TV show “America’s Got Talent” and a Stockton native, will begin teaching an evening digital media class next Monday at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton.

Leake debuted on the show in 2020 by reading a poem that was an ode to his sister and was the first and only spoken word poet to win the competition.

According to Delta College officials, Leake was previously an academic advisor at the college and will now teach Digital Media 31.

The class is a media performance class and lab focused on individual speech improvement, through the study and practice of voice control and manipulation, proper breathing and diction.

Students enrolled in the class will complete a digital media portfolio and the class is transferable in the California State University system.

The class will meet Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 to 9 p.m. Students wanting to add the class to the schedule can visit their MyDelta portal.

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Activism

Following More Mass Shootings Democrats Introduce Assault Weapons Ban

On January 22, a gunman opened fire on a crowd celebrating the Lunar New Year in Monterey Park, California, killing 11 and wounding 9. The Democrats’ proposed Age 21 Act would make it illegal to sell or buy an assault weapon to anybody under 21, bringing it in line with the legal age for purchasing handguns. President Joe Biden has publicly stated his support for the legislation.

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The assault weapons prohibition “passed the House last year with bipartisan backing, but was blocked by Senate Republicans
The assault weapons prohibition “passed the House last year with bipartisan backing, but was blocked by Senate Republicans.

By Stacy M. Brown,NNPA Newswire

Two proposals aimed at curbing the spread of assault rifles were submitted today by Democratic senators Dianne Feinstein of California, and Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy of Connecticut.

The Assault Weapons Ban seeks to prohibit the commercialization, distribution, production, and importation of assault rifles and other firearms designed for use in military operations, as well as high-capacity magazines and similar devices.

On January 22, a gunman opened fire on a crowd celebrating the Lunar New Year in Monterey Park, California, killing 11 and wounding 9.

The Democrats’ proposed Age 21 Act would make it illegal to sell or buy an assault weapon to anybody under 21, bringing it in line with the legal age for purchasing handguns.

President Joe Biden has publicly stated his support for the legislation.

Biden said that the number of mass shootings declined during the decade that the Assault Weapons Ban was in effect.

“In the 10 years that the Assault Weapons Ban was on the books, mass shootings went down,” Biden remarked.

“After Republicans let the law expire in 2004 and those weapons were allowed to be sold again, mass shootings tripled,” he declared.

Both houses of Congress were urged to take quick action by the president.

According to Biden, “the majority of American people agree with this rational measure.”

“There can be no greater responsibility than to do all we can to ensure the safety of our children, our communities and our nation,” he insisted.

In the House of Representatives, Rhode Island Democrat David Cicilline said he plans to introduce a companion bill to the Senate’s Assault Weapons Ban.

Feinstein said assault rifles “seem to be the unifying denominator in the seemingly endless number of horrific shootings.”

“Because these firearms were created for maximum efficiency in mass murder,” the senator noted.

“They have no place in our society or educational institutions. It’s time to take a stand against the gun lobby and do something about getting these lethal weapons off the streets, or at the absolute least, out of the hands of our youth.”

Blumenthal added, as the gunman at the Lunar New Year celebration in Monterey Park demonstrated just days ago, assault weapons are designed for one and one purpose only: to murder or hurt human beings.

“These military-style combat weapons – built for the battlefield and designed to maximize death and destruction – have brought bloodshed and carnage to our streets and continue to be the weapon of choice in countless mass shootings,” Blumenthal said.

“Guns don’t respect state boundaries, which is why we need a national solution to restricting the ownership and use of assault weapons. Now is the time to honor gun violence victims and survivors with this commonsense action.”

Rep. Ciciline argued that it is long past due to reinstate an assault weapon ban and remove these “weapons of war” from civilian areas.

The assault weapons prohibition “passed the House last year with bipartisan backing, but was blocked by Senate Republicans,” Ciciline noted.

“We need to come together to enact this commonsense, effective, and proven policy to reduce gun violence and save lives. I thank Senator Feinstein for her partnership in this fight and look forward to introducing the House companion bill in the coming weeks.”

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