LOCAL NEWS TUESDAY 6-14-22

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By BStigers on June 15, 2022.

California Lawmakers sent the Governor their version of the state budget, two days ahead of schedule which is due tomorrow, Wednesday, June 15th. This year’s version is 300 billion dollars. The majority, which is democrat, said there are several items that remain open and need negotiation with the governor. Republicans rejected it and said it was incomplete. Democrats said their budget would put a record amount of money into reserves, put $40 billion toward infrastructure, boost the state’s funding formula for public schools, plus investments in housing and transportation. Republicans said the budget doesn’t do enough to address the state’s incoming crises including drought, extreme wildfires, strain on the electrical grid and a looming recession. Another unresolved piece of the state’s financial puzzle is direct payments promised months ago to Californians in response to rising gas prices and inflation. In a budget-related hearing Monday, the legislature planned to move ahead with sending money based on income and family size, while Newsom’s administration told lawmakers it prefers sending money based on car ownership. This has been the same debate for months. In the meantime gasoline prices increase and no on one has promised relief.

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 A Sacramento trucking company and other truckers are speaking out this week on the costs that are driving up fuel costs which is passed onto consumer products which are mostly transported by trucks. Another cost has creeped up, stealing from the trucks the Diesel fuel they have purchased and is in the truck’s tanks. State costs for Diesel is averaging 7 dollars a gallon. Thieves are poking holes into the trucks fuel tanks and syphon off fuel into 5- and 10-gallon containers. This not only gets the already paid for fuel but also ruins the tank or tanks which can cost thousands of dollars to replace plus the downtime of the damaged trucks. Vehicles that require diesel fuel on farms are also targets because they are often parked in large lots close together and require farmers to protect the equipment which thieves break into nights and off production times. This pattern of stealing fuel has been played out several times over past downturns of the economy and the playbook is well known.

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A thunderstorm in Bute Country Sunday closed highway 70 between Jarbo Gap and Greenville Wye in Plumas County. The basic cause is the result of this section of highway being in the massive destructive Dixie wildfire. The Dixie Fire started on July 13, 2021. The fire burned on the Plumas National Forest, Lassen National Forest, Lassen Volcanic National Park, and became the second largest wildfire in California history, costing 540 million dollars to fight, surrounded Lake Almanor, and burning over one million acres. A fallen tree and flames were sighted by PG&E workers, believed to be the starter of this fire. The 50 mile stretch of highway remains closed to traffic today with no prediction when to expect opening.

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A second fire near Madison Avenue in Carmichael Sunday early morning almost destroyed a local business, Elena Kitchen, and Catering. The first fire, Thursday, was centered in the building and did a lot of damage, but much of the internal equipment was saved. Sunday a.m. another fire was sparked and destroyed an overhanging canopy and fully destroyed it. The owner has rented kitchen space and plans to continue serving advance paid customers and reopen asap.   

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Five wildland fires that started since Friday were burning from one end of California to the other Monday, plus a prescribed burn to reduce forest fire dangers in Sequoia National Park in the mountains east of Visalia and Fresno. The largest of the current wildfires in the state is the Sheep Fire, which started Sunday morning near the community of Wrightwood in San Bernardino County. As of Monday morning, Cal Fire officials estimated the acreage involved at 939 acres. Firefighting crews had built containment lines around only 5% of the fire’s perimeter. In the Sierra Nevada on the east side of the San Joaquin Valley, the Tharps-Hazelwood fire was intentionally ignited by National Park Service crews on Thursday in and around the Giant Forest area of Sequoia National Park in Tulare County. The goal of the fire is to reduce the dry underbrush and other fuels that could feed an uncontrolled wildfire in what is anticipated to be a severe fire season in the Sierra Nevada.

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