Access Sacramento Neighborhood News
The California Wildfires have made national headlines.
First, the back-to-back fires north of San Francisco in October became the most destructive fires in California’s history. Currently, the Thomas Fire continues to spread near Los Angeles and is now the largest fire in the state’s history as well, a even more remarkable fact since it sparked in December, an extremely unlikely month for wildfires to occur. Some sources believe the fires might be associated with climate and others believe that fires such as the ones in southern California might become more frequent.
Eight of California’s top ten most destructive wildfires happened within the past 15 years, and six of them were within the past two months.
The most destructive, the Tubbs Fire, happened in October and destroyed around 5,600 structures along with the Pocket, Sonoma, Nuns, and Atlas fires.
The Thomas Fire blazes in Southern California are listed as the largest fire recorded in California’s history after burning 273,400 acres. At 85% containtained as of this writing, the fire is expected to carry out into the new year but the flames themselves pale in comparison to the impact the destruction has caused residents.
Hundreds of families were and continue to be displaced, many of confined to hotel rooms during the holiday season while struggling to find homes during the state’s housing affordability crisis.
Sadly, deadly fires like the ones this season might become a norm, experts say, due to climate change.
“For fires, sequencing is really important,” Alex Hall, a climate scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles was quoted in a New York Times article. “The sequence we’ve seen over the past five or six years is certainly very similar to the changes that we project as climate change continues to unfold.”
More frequent variability annually between wet and drought years increase the risk of fires.
The most recent case of this being the being the continuous drought years before 2016’s wet winter climate promoted vegetation growth. Last summer’s hot weather drying up the vegetation and Santa Ana winds essentially made Santa Rosa and surrounding areas the equivalent of a puddle of gasoline waiting for a lit match to set it ablaze. Now, the fires have spread to Los Angeles.
“These fires are not immediately emblematic of climate change,” John Abatzoglou, associate professor of geography and climate at the University of Idaho was quoted as saying in an Atlantic article. “Yes, California did have the warmest summer on record. But the big anomaly here is the delay in the onset of precipitation for the southland that has kept the vegetation dry and fire-prone.”
One of the reasons that this past season was exceptionally flammable are the Santa Ana winds.
These winds’ strong and dry gusts are notorious for setting wildfires in the west coast for two reasons: one, they dry up vegetation, providing fuel for possible fires, and two, they blow debris against power lines or carry open flame to provide the spark. The later in the year the winds blow, the more likely they are to start fire. Alexandra Syphard, a senior research scientist at the Conservation Biology Institute who researches fires, claims that all December fires since 1948 are associated with the Santa Ana winds.
A 2006 study by the University of California, Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory suggests that the Santa Ana winds might be becoming more common and continue happening later in the year.
Though it would be too soon to label the cause of California’s worst fire season on climate change, there are studies that confirm that human induced global warming is the cause for the drought that started in 2012.
Factors like these should be considered going into the new year to be ready for more possible wildfires.
As the January 1st deadline to legalize marijuana distribution approaches, the Sacramento City Council recently discussed the improvements made to the city’s new Cannabis Equity Program and Cannabis Cultivation enforcement.
In March of this year, Sacramento celebrated it’s plan provide business permits to marijuana dispensaries and estimated to collect $6.3 million in revenue over the next three years. The marijuana business is booming, but in order to get a cannabis growers’ permit, there are strict requirements put in place.
All marijuana growers are required to get a conditional use permit and a business permit, a security plan, odor control, business plan, water efficiency plan, lighting plan, energy efficiency plan, a background check, and the security requirements must be written by a professional, specified to every location, be UL certified, and verified by the Sacramento Police department.
“The development of high standards is vitally important,” said Joe Devlin, Chief of Cannabis Policy and Enforcement on November 21st. “But the ability to enforce those high standards is how we will ensure the cannabis industry ultimately reflects the values of our city.”
However, some worry that the strict requirements unfairly marginalize the number of possible marijuana distributors. For example, the licensing fees for indoor grow rooms with up to 5,000 square feet are nearly $10,000 the first year, and close to $30,000 for a indoor grow room up to 22,000 square feet. Also, state and local agencies are able to deny licenses to people with felony convictions, specifically narcotics offenses or other crimes related to the once illegal marijuana business.
“The communities that have most been harmed by the decades-long war on drugs deserve to be at the front of the line to benefit from the legalization of cannabis, done right,” Mayor Steinberg said during a November 28th meeting.
Many other community members shared the mayor’s sentiment including Kevin Daniel, an employee at the Greater Sacramento Urban League and resident of District 2, and Malaki Amen, President of the California Urban Partnership and resident of District 5.
“I’m definitely in favor of some equity and I know Sacramento believes in equity as well,” Daniel shared on November 28th. “It’s important that those communities have access to scholarships to pay for some of the fees, maybe business loans…we have to make sure that our communities get a chance to bounce back from this lucrative industry and not be left behind on the sidelines to watch.”
“Councilmembers, this item presents a greater opportunity to launch Sacramento’s newest industry with decency and with fairness,” Amen expressed. “Today you have the power to heal families and neighborhoods that were disproportionately destroyed by marijuana jail sentences…legally ending institutional poverty and generational racism, this is an honorable way to strengthen our local taxbase and make the city that we love a place that truly works for everyone.”
It took four overtimes for Del Campo to squeeze past Sacramento 49-48 in a Div. 2 CIF-Sac-Joaquin Section Quarterfinal football game during Access Sacramento’s Game of the Week.
Announcers Will James and Jim Dimino all the highlights:
Replays of this game are scheduled for Tues. Nov. 21 at 7 p.m., Wed. Nov. 22 at 11 a.m. and Thurs. Nov. 23 at 3 a.m. on Access Sacramento, Comcast or Consolidated Communications channel 17, AT&T channel 14 or streaming from AccessSacramnto.org.
120 Days is a documentary that is meant to open a discussion about Immigration policy reform in America.It closely follows the personal life of Miguel Cortes, an undocumented immigrant who lived with his family in North Carolina for twelve years, as he counts down his last days in the United States.
Before the movie begins, a North Carolina police pulled over Cortes for a routine traffic stop and arrested him after discovering this immigration status. The police quickly turned Cortes into U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, because the 278(g) policy passed in North Carolina permits police officers to operate like ICE officials in order to get “dangerous” immigrants off the street.
Arizona attempted to enforce a similar policy in 2010. S.B. 1070 allowed police to check a person’s immigration status during routine policing procedures, which in turn created problems when lawmakers suspected police were targeting individuals through racial profiling. As a result of the policy, Latino businesses closed and populations plummeted while community trust in law enforcement reacted similarly.
Seeing as law enforcement relies heavily on community involvement to maintain order, policies such as these discourage residents from speaking up due to the fear of deportation, ultimately making law enforcement’s job more difficult.
The Cortes family appears to be the exact opposite of dangerous. Not every immigrant is dangerous like the ones broadcasted on TV. Many are from wholesome, hard-working families, restlessly chasing the American Dream.
Miguel and his wife were prominent community leaders who volunteered for their church’s choir and found time to teach dance classes to children despite their anxiety about Miguel’s departure. Their daughters excelled in school, just as they hoped.
“For me, the United States was always the land of opportunity,” Miguel’s wife, Maria-Luisa, says in the film. “I remember crossing…we risked a lot, wanting a better life for our daughters.”
The Cortes family seem like the “model” example for immigrant families. They have heavy community involvement, excel in school, have never broken the law in the twelve years since living in America. Despite this Miguel is being deported because of a law originally intended to be used on criminals.
The documentary can be seen here.
Boasting outrageous statistical dominance on both sides of the line of scrimmage, the visiting Dragons (10-1, not counting three forfeit losses) and host Cougars (11-0) square-off in an ultra-high profile attraction in Fair Oaks for what may very well be one of the best playoff battles this season, in any division.
No other team in the playoffs has more team speed than the Dragons. Senior QB Derek Shelton has engineered a flashy, high octane offense with poise and proficiency. With Shelton blending a premium passing attack with an explosive run game, the Dragons average 46 ppg.
Like Sac, Del Campo’s punishing defense has overwhelmed and dominated its opponents, allowing less than seven points per game. Linebackers Hunter, Ish Cisneros, Ray Aguilar and Markey, and DB Joseph all fly to the football. They’ve teamed for 383 Tackles, with 43 Sacks and 14 Interceptions, including 8 by DB Brouhns.
In the opening round of CIF-Sac Joaquin Section Playoffs, the Sheldon Huskies defeated the Cosumnes Oaks Wolfpack 38-8 to advance to the quarterfinals of the Division 1 football playoffs during Access Sacramento’s Game of the Week.
Announcers Will James and Jim Dimino call the highlights.
The full TV replay of the game can be seen Sat. Nov. 11 9 a.m., Sun. Nov. 12 3 a.m., Tues. Nov.14 at 7 p.m., Wed. Nov. 15 at 11 a.m. and Thurs. Nov. 16 at 3 a.m. Watch on Comcast or Consolidated Communications cable channel 17, AT&T U-Verse channel 14 or streaming from AccessSacramento.org. The video on demand can be seen on the NFHS Network.
Access Sacramento will broadcast the Div. 2 quarterfinal with Sacramento at Del Campo on Friday Nov. 17 Live at 7pm. the Live stream and only be seen on the NFHS Network.