sacramento connect sacramento blogs & community news around sacramento california Sat, 23 Jul 2016 10:00:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Come See Me at Pinners Conference AZ! Sat, 23 Jul 2016 10:00:22 +0000 Hi everyone! I have some exciting news: I’m going to be a presenter at the Pinners Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona this October. Will you come say hello?? Have you heard of Pinners Conference & Expo? It’s not just for bloggers! Pinners is two events in one: a collection of over 90 classes taught by pros […]

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Potential solution for disposing of butane canisters in the works Sat, 23 Jul 2016 02:03:47 +0000 candd.jpg
NEVADA CITY, Calif. July 22, 2016 - After a success story for ASA's Green team was published on YubaNet, it took less than a week for Brad Peceimer-Glasse to receive a cease and desist letter for his efforts.

The county's letter cited hazardous waste regulations and the need for licenses and permits, all to clean up empty butane canisters from private properties - for free.

Peceimer posted the letter on social media and the numerous comments reflected disbelief and outrage at the bureaucratic reaction to what is essentially Good Samaritan work.

It's not the collecting, it's the puncturing

Digging into the county's reasoning for sending the letter, it became clear the puncturing of the butane canisters was at issue. Peceimer punctured some 2,000 canisters to prevent them from exploding in the summer heat and then collected them in trash bags on a single property.

Silver lining on the horizon

Nevada County's Environmental Health Director Amy Irani told YubaNet her first concern was for Brad's and his volunteers' health. Butane is heavier than air and sinks to the ground when the residual gas is released from a canister. The effects of inhaling butane can lead to cardiac arrest or respiratory depression, in some extreme cases "sniffing death" can occur.

Irani stated: "The Environmental Health Department (EH) has a shared goal with our community of preventing illegal dumping. The EH team will continue to partner with community volunteers to address the issue of illegally dumped butane canisters throughout Nevada County. Butane canisters are considered hazardous material as the product itself is ignitable.

Mr. Peceimer was well-intended in his actions to assist the Sheriff’s department in removing the illegally dumped butane canisters. When Mr. Peceimer began puncturing the collected butane canisters, this action is considered treatment of hazardous material. The process of puncturing the canisters caused a release of the contents out into the open environment. Mr. Peceimer unintentionally put himself and anyone helping him at risk, as butane is explosive and a serious health concern if inhaled.

The Environmental Health Department issued a cease and desist letter to Mr. Peceimer to prevent any serious health and environmental (fire) consequences from his well-intended actions which may have caused him or anyone helping him irreparable bodily harm or death.

The EH Team is working on a solution for the collection and safe disposal of illegally dumped butane canisters at this time. We will reach out to our community, once we have identified a safe method of collection and transport, to address the multiple properties in Nevada County with illegally dumped butane canisters."

She added her department will reach out to all groups, agencies and organizations that come in frequent contact with discarded butane canisters - including SYRCL volunteers participating in the annual river cleanup, citizen groups doing cleanups along creeks and roads etc.

What started as a convoluted and legalistic response to people cleaning up their community may yet turn into a cooperation between county and community for safer and better results.
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Slasher: Season One Blu-ray Review Fri, 22 Jul 2016 22:06:00 +0000 Reviewed by Allie Schembra
Thirty years ago, in the sleepy community of Waterbury, a killer known as "The Executioner" murdered Sarah Bennett's parents. Now Sarah (Katie McGrath) and her husband Dylan (Brandon Jay McLaren) have returned to town, only to find herself the centerpiece in a series of horrifying murders centered around the seven deadly sins. It seems "The Executioner" is back. But if Tom Winston - the original Executioner - is behind bars, who is the new person behind the mask? As the murders escalate, long-buried secrets are revealed, making everyone around Sarah a suspect…or a victim.
Read more »
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The 916: Out in The Barn Fri, 22 Jul 2016 21:34:00 +0000 0 Reducing Our Carbon Footprint Fri, 22 Jul 2016 20:29:00 +0000 0 2016 Quick Guide to the USATF National Junior Olympic Championships Fri, 22 Jul 2016 18:15:38 +0000 Since the mid-1960's, the USATF Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships has been the most visible youth athletic development program in the world. Many of today's Olympic stars began their track and field careers competing in the event. Come out  and watch 7,500 of America's next generation of track and field stars compete at Sacramento State's Hornet Stadium July 25-31.

Competition kicks off on Monday, July 25 but the Opening Ceremonies will take place the evening of Tuesday, July 26. The ceremony, at Hornet Stadium, will welcome all athletes with a collective of entertainers with two DJs, two musical performances and two dance groups! One of the dance groups,  Dem Bague Boys, have received more than 30 million views on YouTube and one of the dancers was on this season's "So You Think You Can Dance The Next Generation". The other dance group, The Gentlemen, was a finalist on last season's "America's Got Talent".  

Don't miss out on the excitement

Tickets can be purchased at the Sacramento State Hornet Stadium box office any day of the competition. Hornet Stadium and the Stadium Box Office will open to the public daily at 6:30 a.m. The Box Office will close at the start of the last event each day, and the stadium will close at the conclusion of each day’s practice session (90 minutes after the conclusion of the final event on the track). For the entire event schedule, click here

Tickets can be purchased daily and in 5-day and 7-day packages starting at $15 for adults, $8 for children 7-12 years of age and free for 6 and under. 

Don't forget to check out the indoor (and air conditioned) Fan Expo in The Well with a variety of vendors. Fine Designs, Inc. will be there will a array of 2016 event attire and goods.

Retired Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kursee will be making an appearance at Hornet Stadium on Thursday, July 28 to motivate the young athletes. 

Sacramento track record

Sacramento figures prominently in the history of U.S. track and field over the past 50 years, starting with a legend's historic sprint in 1966 and continuing into 2014 with the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Good facilities, excellent weather and knowledgeable fans have earned Sacramento a star on the sport's map of outstanding track cities.

Sacramento hosted the Olympic Track & Field Trials in 2000 and 2004, which saw Stacy Dragila set her first world record in the pole vault. Other records have been set in Sacramento, including the “Night of Speed” in 1968, when three American men all beat the world record in the 100 meters.






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Vintage Camper Trailers at Rio Linda Library Fri, 22 Jul 2016 18:08:36 +0000 0 The 916: Open Container OK Fri, 22 Jul 2016 16:14:47 +0000 0 The 916: Camp Revolution Fri, 22 Jul 2016 16:14:08 +0000 0 Tracking California Stem Cell Awards: Diabetes to Dialysis Fri, 22 Jul 2016 16:10:00 +0000 0 The Parlor Ice Cream Puffs Fri, 22 Jul 2016 16:07:34 +0000 0 Post W – facts and figures Fri, 22 Jul 2016 14:40:31 +0000
January 12, 2016 - The Nevada County BOS passes a complete ban on outdoor cultivation of marijuana in Nevada County by a 4-1 vote. After adopting the ordinance, the BOS approves a ballot measure for the June ballot, telling residents "You'll get to vote on this."

January 14, 2016 - After analyzing the ballot measure, YubaNet confirms that a No vote on the ballot measure would not overturn the outdoor growing ban. Dan Miller, Chair of the BOS, issues the following statement after the story is published: “We are setting up a meeting with county counsel to get clarification on the ballot measure. Our understanding was a ‘yes’ on the ballot measure would uphold the provisions of the emergency ordinance and a ‘no’ vote would rescind the emergency ordinance and we would return to the previous ordinance. We will, however, confirm this with county counsel. In any event, thanks for raising the question because the intent is to allow the citizens to decide what they want. “

January 21, 2016 - County Counsel Alison Barratt-Green, in a meeting with the media, states that her office will bring either a resolution stating the intent of the Board to the Feb. 9th meeting or a revision of the actual ballot question.

February 2, 2016 - District 4 Supervisor Hank Weston attends a town hall meeting convened in North San Juan. Should the ballot measure fail, the BOS will repeal the outdoor growing ban and come up with new regulations, Weston states at the meeting.

February 9, 2016 - The BOS unanimously passes a  resolution clarifying Measure W and the BOS' intention which, in part:
If the Ballot Measure is not approved by a majority of the registered voters voting on the measure, it is the intent of the Board of Supervisors to reject the Ballot Measure, to repeal the ban on outdoor cultivation of marijuana and to consider and adopt other outdoor regulations at the next available meeting after the results of the election have been certified by the County Elections Official.

February 29, 2016 - The  impartial analysis, as well as the arguments and rebuttals for and against Measure W are published by the Elections Office. Later that afternoon, Attorney Heather Burke filed a writ on behalf of Forrest Hurd challenging Measure W.

March 8, 2016 - Nevada County Superior Court Judge Candace Heidelberger rules the impartial analysis of Measure W is flawed and directs the county to it.

March 17, 2016 - Judge Heidelberger finds the new impartial analysis is adequate.

June 7, 2016 - At the end of election night, Measure W is headed for defeat.

June 15, 2016 – The first meeting between county officials and stakeholders to craft new regulations takes place. The stakeholders suggested relocating cultivation to AG zoned parcels to get it out of the residential areas. “We need to address the concerns of people who are surrounded by grows... we feel comfortable to put in the AG or Forest Residential zones.”

June 27, 2016 – Stakeholders and county officials meet for the second time to discuss an interim ordinance replacing the current outdoor growing ban on marijuana.

July 5, 2016 – The Nevada County Elections Office completes the official canvass and publishes the final election results. Measure W fails by a 59.45% to 40.55% countywide.

YubaNet's  detailed analysis of the votes by supervisorial districts shows Measure W failing in 4 out of 5 districts and only passes in District 2 by a 51.79% to 48.21%.

  • District 1, which includes Nevada City, rejects Measure W by 6,959 to 4,299 votes or 62% to 38%.

  • District 2, which includes Lake of the Pines, votes in favor of Measure W by 4,751 to 4,422 votes or  51.79% to 48.21%.

  • District 3, centered around Grass Valley, rejects Measure W by 4,515 to 2,872 votes or 61.12% to  38.88%.

  • District 4, which includes Penn Valley and North San Juan, rejects Measure W by 5,893 to 3,994 votes or 59.60% to 40.40%.

  • District 5, the eastern portion of the county and Truckee, rejects Measure W by 4,507 to 2,150 votes or 68% to 32%.

July 12, 2016 – The last meeting between county officials and stakeholders ended on a disappointing note for patient and growers’ representatives.

July 21, 2016 – The proposed ordinance to replace the current outdoor marijuana growing ban in Nevada County is released.
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7-Eleven provides first ever FAA-approved drone delivery of food in Reno Fri, 22 Jul 2016 14:21:24 +0000 0 VIDEO: Adults Lacking Fruits/Veggies In Diet, CDC Reports Fri, 22 Jul 2016 14:00:58 +0000 0 Commentary: Thoughts on a New General Plan Fri, 22 Jul 2016 13:23:35 +0000 The last time we started talking about a new general plan in Davis, I was opposed to the idea.  It was 2009, the housing market was collapsed, the economy was down, and we were talking about spending millions during a time when the biggest issue was not land use but finances. Times have changed. The ...

The post Commentary: Thoughts on a New General Plan appeared first on Davis Vanguard.

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Open Spaces and Wild Places: A Celebration of Land Fri, 22 Jul 2016 12:48:06 +0000 Gala_Poster_Final.jpg
July 22, 2016 - Join Bear Yuba Land Trust for a much anticipated twist on an old favorite – an end-of-Summer Gala celebrating land conservation to be held under the oaks at one of BYLT’s most important agricultural easements.

Open Spaces and Wild Places: A Celebration of Land will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday, September 10 at the beautiful Linden Lea Ranch in Nevada City. Following a slightly different model this year, the event is the 14th annual fundraiser for the Land Trust and is critical to local land conservation. This farm dinner held at a working cattle ranch is designed to connect people with the landscapes BYLT works hard to protect.

“This year we are focusing on the Land, bringing people’s attention to BYLT’s mission of conserving open spaces and wilderness areas.  We’ll be holding our gala dinner at the Linden Lea Ranch, one of several ranches that we protect with an agricultural easement which prevents development of the ranch lands.

Each year, we plan to hold the event at a different farm, ranch, or protected open space - from the oak woodlands of the foothills to the mixed conifer forests of the higher Sierra, to introduce the public to the diversity of landscapes BYLT protects,” said Development and Programs Manager Melony Vance.

Back to the Mission

Founded in 1990, BYLT is a private, non-profit, membership-supported group promoting voluntary conservation of the region’s natural, historical and agricultural resources in the Bear River and Yuba River watersheds of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and foothills. BYLT saves land, builds trails and offers programs to get people outdoors and appreciate nature.

In 2003, when BYLT’s fundraising series began, outdoor concerts were the centerpiece. The nonprofit group, formerly known as Nevada County Land Trust, regularly brought big name musical talent to the region.

“Our goal was to provide a high quality music experience on beautiful land.  It grew to be a major event on many people’s social calendar,” said BYLT’s Executive Director Marty Coleman-Hunt.

In the past 14 years, the Land Trust has hosted headliners such as: Leon Russell, America, Dr. John, Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks, Roy Rogers & the Delta Rhythm Kings, Cousin Cricket, Asleep at the Wheel, Mavis Staples, Aaron Neville, Willie Nelson, Allen Toussaint, Poncho Sanchez and Pete Escovedo.

“More recently The Center for the Arts and other music presenting organizations have brought in a lot of wonderful talent,” said Coleman-Hunt.

This year, in an effort to stay true to the Land Trust’s core mission, staff have re-envisioned the annual fundraiser with Open Spaces and Wild Places: A Celebration of Land. The revised concept follows a theme of other unique Land Trust events designed to get people outside and care about protecting the place they call home - EcoKids for families at Burton Homestead and Celebration of Trails for outdoor recreationists.

Land, local food, art, auction and dancing

Gates open at 4 p.m. for Open Spaces and Wild Places: A Celebration of Land. Guests can sample appetizers and sip signature cocktails, local wine from Coufos Cellars or favorite micro-brews while strolling an elegant art show, meet local artists or perusing a Silent Auction with dozens of items.

Gourmet Chef Emily Scott-Arbaugh from Emily’s Catering will delight Land Trust supporters with an elegant locally-procured farm dinner prepared using seasonal foods. Nevada County Free Range Beef will be the centerpiece of the meal, in honor of Cowboy Jim Gates, long-time Land Trust partner who grazes his cattle at Linden Lea Ranch and Garden Bar Preserve. Salmon and vegetarian options are also available served family style along with the freshest summer side dishes and a decadent dessert to round out the meal.

At 7 pm, get ready to dance, with hot Latin Jazz music by Sacramento-based Carlos McCoy’s High Octane Latin Jazz Band. A Live Auction will take place at intermission followed by more music and dancing outdoors until twilight.

Tickets are limited: $100 member; $125 general, with table reservations available upon request.

Learn more at: or call 272-5994 x 204
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Commentary: Lack of Prompt Medical Attention Aggravating Factor in Police Shootings Fri, 22 Jul 2016 12:21:53 +0000 The reports came out yesterday that police in South Florida shot another unarmed black man.  In this case, Charles Kinsey was attempting to chase down a young autistic man – who had wandered away from his assisted living facility and was blocking traffic – when he was shot by a North Miami police officer. The ...

The post Commentary: Lack of Prompt Medical Attention Aggravating Factor in Police Shootings appeared first on Davis Vanguard.

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Transition to above normal temperatures over the weekend Fri, 22 Jul 2016 12:10:53 +0000 0 Closing Arguments in DUI, Child Endangerment Case Fri, 22 Jul 2016 11:49:39 +0000 Wednesday’s Testimony By Misha Berman Wednesday afternoon, July 20, in Department 10 was the trial for Defendant Rachel Clemente who is charged with driving while intoxicated, hit and run, and child endangerment, abuse and neglect. There was witness testimony from an officer from the City of Davis Police Department, and from DOJ Senior Criminologist Joseph ...

The post Closing Arguments in DUI, Child Endangerment Case appeared first on Davis Vanguard.

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Neighbor’s Report Leads to a Formal Charge of Domestic Violence Fri, 22 Jul 2016 11:47:02 +0000 By Christina Day On July 4, 2016, around 10pm, neighbors in West Sacramento called the police after hearing yells and screams, and seeing a woman emerging from her house with a bloody mouth. Michael Reimer was alleged to have verbally abused, shoved and hit his wife, to whom he has been married 11 years. The ...

The post Neighbor’s Report Leads to a Formal Charge of Domestic Violence appeared first on Davis Vanguard.

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Pleased With The Republican Convention Fri, 22 Jul 2016 10:10:00 +0000 0 Buffalo Wings, Preferably Fri, 22 Jul 2016 10:02:00 +0000 0 Bellis, 17, to face Venus in Bank of the West Fri, 22 Jul 2016 09:32:00 +0000 0 No. 2 seed Min barely survives in 50K Gold River Fri, 22 Jul 2016 08:41:00 +0000 0 No Dark Matter Detected Fri, 22 Jul 2016 07:33:00 +0000 brightens my day:
It’s official: Scientists with the Large Underground Xenon dark-matter detector have combed through 20 months of pristine data and found, buried deep in the measurements ... nothing out of the ordinary.

The findings, presented at the Identification of Dark Matter conference in Sheffield, England, were not unexpected — though they do highlight the challenge of finding the elusive stuff known as dark matter.

“I couldn’t say with a straight face that I was expecting to find dark matter with this particular data set,” said Simon Fiorucci, an experimental physicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and science coordination manager for LUX. “We were hoping for a good surprise, but we are not counting on good surprises.”

Dark matter can’t be seen, heard or felt – but scientists know something must be there because they watch how its enormous mass turbocharges the spin of galaxies. Everything we can detect in the universe, from Earth to the stars, black holes and distant galaxies – all of it makes up less than 5% of the mass and energy in the universe. Dark matter makes up nearly 27% (outnumbering normal matter by more than 5 to 1), and yet it has remained one of the most intractable mysteries of the cosmos for decades.
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Healthy 5-Ingredient Trail Mix Granola Fri, 22 Jul 2016 05:39:52 +0000 {continue reading}]]> 0 The Dark Knight Fri, 22 Jul 2016 05:00:53 +0000 Continue reading ]]> 0 PG&E worker dies in Yuba County accident Fri, 22 Jul 2016 02:21:00 +0000 0 Yuba County Board of Education to choose new superintendent Fri, 22 Jul 2016 02:14:00 +0000 0 K9 stabbed while assisting in marijuana eradication efforts Fri, 22 Jul 2016 01:52:31 +0000 0 Arbitrator sides with Yuba City Unified over teachers Fri, 22 Jul 2016 00:42:00 +0000 0 Judge rejects sex predator’s move to Yuba County Fri, 22 Jul 2016 00:23:00 +0000 0 Draft of revised marijuana cultivation ordinance up for vote next week Thu, 21 Jul 2016 22:32:43 +0000 Continue reading ]]> 0 VIDEO: Sol Collective Art Exhibit Gives Platform For Youth Activists Thu, 21 Jul 2016 22:24:47 +0000 0 One of Life’s Sweet Spots: Alex’s Lemonade Stand Thu, 21 Jul 2016 22:00:53 +0000 0 Proposed after-W ordinance text released Thu, 21 Jul 2016 20:15:30 +0000 defeat of Measure W in the June election, the Board of Supervisors met three times with stakeholders to exchange proposals to regulate cannabis cultivation. The last meeting was tense at times and ended with patient and growers representatives declining to endorse the county's proposed numbers. Now, the county's draft ordinance is available for public viewing before Tuesday's 1:30 meeting.

Little changes from the last proposal

Today at noon, the revised draft ordinance was released. The part pertaining to cultivation reads as follows:
The following limitations apply to Cultivation of Marijuana on each Premises located within the unincorporated area of Nevada County, regardless of the number of Qualified Patients or Primary Caregivers residing at the Premises or participating directly or indirectly in the Marijuana Cultivation activity. These limitations shall be imposed notwithstanding any assertion that the person(s) Cultivating Medical Marijuana are the Primary Caregiver(s) for Qualified Patients or that such person(s) are collectively or cooperatively Cultivating Marijuana.
1. In areas designated primarily for residential use, Marijuana Cultivation may occur on a Parcel or Premises which serves as a Legally Permitted Primary Residence only as follows:
a. Cultivation of Marijuana, Indoors or Outdoors, is prohibited in all areas zoned as R-1, R-2 and R-3 on Legal Parcels or Premises of any size.
b. In areas designated as Residential and Estate in the Nevada County General Plan and zoned R-A only as follows:

i. Indoor or Outdoor Cultivation of Marijuana on Legal Parcels equal to or less than (5) acres in size is prohibited.

ii. On Parcels greater than 5 acres up to 10 acres in size, a total maximum of 12 plants are permitted to be cultivated Indoors only. No Outdoor cultivation is permitted.

iii. On Parcels which are greater than 10 acres in size up to 20 acres in size, Cultivation of Marijuana is permitted up to a total maximum of 16 plants, mature or immature, per Parcel, cultivated Indoors or Outdoors or a combination of both. A maximum of 12 plants may be cultivated Indoors. Cultivation Outdoors must be conducted in one contiguous staked grow area which does not exceed 800 square feet in size.

iv. On Parcels which are greater than 20 acres in size, Cultivation of Marijuana is permitted up to a total maximum of twenty-five (25) plants, mature or immature, per Parcel, cultivated Indoors or Outdoors or a combination of both. A maximum of 12 plants may be cultivated Indoors. Cultivation Outdoors must be conducted in one contiguous staked grow area which does not exceed 1000 square feet in size.

2. In areas designated primarily for agricultural uses (e.g., AG, AE, FR, TPZ and areas designated in the Nevada County General Plan as Rural and zoned R-A), Marijuana Cultivation may occur on a Parcel or Premises which serves as a Legally Permitted Primary Residence only as follows:

a. Indoor or Outdoor Cultivation of Marijuana on Legal Parcels less than or equal to two (2) acres in size is prohibited.

b. Cultivation of Marijuana on Legal Parcels which are greater than two (2) acres up to five (5) acres may not exceed a total maximum of 12 plants, mature or immature, to be Cultivated Indoors only. No Outdoor cultivation is permitted.

c. Cultivation of Marijuana on Legal Parcels which are greater than five (5) acres up to ten (10) acres, may not exceed a total maximum of 12 plants, mature or immature, per Parcel, cultivated Indoors or Outdoors or a combination of both. Cultivation Outdoors must be conducted in one contiguous staked grow area which does not exceed 600 square feet in size.

d. Cultivation of Marijuana on Legal Parcels which are greater than ten (10) acres up to twenty (20) acres is permitted up to a total maximum of 16 plants, mature or immature, per Parcel, cultivated Indoors or Outdoors or a combination of both. A maximum of 12 plants may be cultivated Indoors. Cultivation Outdoors must be conducted in one contiguous staked grow area which does not exceed 800 square feet in size.

e. Cultivation of Marijuana on Legal Parcels which are greater than twenty (20) acres is permitted up to a total maximum of twenty-five (25) plants, mature or immature, per Parcel, cultivated Indoors or Outdoors or a combination of both. A maximum of 12 plants may be cultivated Indoors. Cultivation Outdoors must be conducted in one contiguous staked grow area which does not exceed 1000 square feet in size.

F. The following setbacks shall apply to all Indoor and Outdoor Cultivation areas and shall be measured in a straight line from the nearest border of the Outdoor staked grow area or Indoor Cultivation area to the property line of any adjacent Legal Parcel under separate ownership.
1. For all Parcels or Premises:
a. Parcels of greater than 2 acres up to 5 acres: 150 ft.
b. Parcels of greater than 5 acres up to 10 acres: 200 ft.
c. Parcels of greater than 10 acres: 300 ft.
H. All Marijuana Cultivation, whether Indoors or Outdoors, shall comply with the following requirements:
9. Noise levels generated by Cultivation shall not exceed the standards set forth in Table L-II 4.1.7 (Exterior Noise Limits) of the Nevada County Zoning Ordinance applicable to the Land Use Category and Zoning District for the Premises on which the Cultivation occurs.

The Findings and Purpose portion of the ordinance reads, in part: "Consistent with the intent stated in Resolution 16-082, a Board of Supervisors subcommittee met with local marijuana cultivation advocates on three occasions to attempt to craft regulations to put into place while repealing the outdoor cultivation ban. Consensus was not reached. This action is necessary to uphold the commitment to repeal the outdoor cultivation ban and to adopt other regulations."

Fines attached to non-compliance are listed but implementation will be delayed until January 1, 2017. The administrative penalties are structured as follows:

• $100/per day/per violation for the first violation
• $200/per day/per violation for the second violation within 12 months
• $500/per day/per violation for any subsequent violation within 12 months

Editor's note at 12:15 pm: This story will be updated with additional details through the afternoon.
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Vacationing kayaker drowns at Lake Tahoe Thu, 21 Jul 2016 19:01:53 +0000 0 Sellands do Italian Thu, 21 Jul 2016 18:49:24 +0000 0 Traditional fast food, sort of Thu, 21 Jul 2016 18:43:07 +0000 0 Big Pharma Showers Millions on California Doctors Thu, 21 Jul 2016 18:38:13 +0000
“The cozy and incestuous financial ties between the drug industry and California doctors raise troubling questions about the California Medical Association’s (CMA) decision to oppose Prop. 61,” said Garry South, chief strategist for the Yes on Prop. 61/Californians for Lower Drug Prices campaign.

“The CMA leadership voted behind closed doors to oppose Prop. 61, even though Prop. 61 would represent a start in making prescription drugs more affordable and accessible to the very patients doctors are supposed to care for,” said South. “This was not the CMA’s finest hour. A free lunch from Pharma shouldn’t be more important to doctors than affordable meds for their patients.”


CMA President Steve Larson has been quoted publicly criticizing Prop. 61, while at least four doctors in Larson’s private practice (the Riverside Medical Clinic) have received a total of $1.6 million in payments from drug or medical-device manufacturers between Aug. 2013 and Dec. 31, 2015. One of these four, Dr. Anil Garde, was paid a whopping $1.18 million by Abbott Laboratories in 2014 in royalties or licensing fees. Five drug makers paid $64,746 for various services (meals, food and lodging) provided to Dr. Ronald Bailey, another member of Larson’s medical group.

In addition, at least five doctors on the CMA’s board of trustees received sizeable payments from manufacturers:

· CMA executive committee member Dr. Lee Snook was paid $36,549 by medical- device maker Boston Scientific to determine if 37 of his patients benefited from treatment with Boston Scientific’s neuromodulation spinal cord stimulation device. Snook gave the treatment a positive grade.

· In 2015 CMA trustee Dr. Victor Ching was paid $156,695.91 by Medtronic Vascular Inc. to purchase Ching’s interest in a medical-device company.

· CMA trustee Dr. David Friscia received $129,571 in royalties or licensing fees from three medical-technology companies, including Wright Medical Technology, Inc. Drug and medical-device manufacturers spent another $53,000 paying for Friscia’s food, entertainment, beverages and lodging between Aug. 2013 and Dec. 31, 2015. In addition, six other doctors in Friscia’s practice (Desert Orthopedic Center, A Medical Group Inc.) received payments and services valued at $685,000 from drug companies and medical-device manufacturers during the same period.

· Various medical-device and drug manufacturers also paid CMA trustees Dr. Christopher Hancock and Dr. Robert Pugach $63,578 and $54,743 respectively during the Aug. 2013 to Dec. 31, 2015 period.

Snook and Friscia also sit on the board of directors of the CMA’s political action committee, which presumably played a role in the group’s decision to oppose Prop. 61 . Three other members of that committee received sizeable payments from drug companies and medical-device manufacturers between Aug. 2013 and Dec. 31, 2015. One of those three, Dr. Ramin Manshadi, received more than $200,000 in such payments.

“These millions in payments to key CMA players and/or their business partners call into question whether the CMA decision to oppose Prop. 61 was based on serving the best interests of patients or serving the best financial interests of the doctors themselves,” said South, who noted that independent studies have concluded that doctors can be influenced even by small payments from drug companies.

A study published by JAMA Internal Medicine – as reported by the Wall Street Journal - recently found that even small drug company perks, like a meal, could influence doctors’ decisions. The study found, for example, that when a drug company sales representative paid for a doctor’s meal – with an average meal valued at $20 – while pitching one of their drug products, the doctor was much more likely to prescribe that drug than a doctor who did not get a meal. For example, a doctor who got a free meal from an Allergan PLC sales rep promoting the heart medicine Bystolic was 70 percent more likely to prescribe the drug than a doctor who did not get a free meal.


In addition, CMA and its separate non-profit foundation also appear to be significantly subsidized by drug companies.

The website of the California Medical Assn. Foundation (CMAF) currently lists drug giants AstraZeneca, Genentech, Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, Novo Nordisk and Pfizer among its 11 “corporate sponsors.” These six drug companies, not coincidentally, have collectively contributed $23.75 million to the campaign to defeat Prop. 61. The drug industry’s trade association and lobbying arm, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), which is running the campaign against Prop. 61, also made more than $240,000 of in-kind contributions to the anti-Prop. 61 campaign.

Meanwhile, the CMA’s website says both it and the foundation welcome corporate sponsors. In this regard, the website says: “Learn how joining the CMA & CMAF Corporate Sponsorship Program will benefit you and your company.” Then the website indicates that corporate sponsorship status comes with a minimum $100,000 contribution.

The CMA website outlines in detail the perks a corporate sponsor will receive, including “recognition of corporate partnership in all CMA/CMAF’s annual promotional materials…private lunch and meeting with CEO’s of the CMA and CMAF up to three times annually.” However, the CMA website does not identify such sponsors on the part of its website that is accessible to the public.


Federal records reveal that in 2015 California doctors received $264.3 million in direct and indirect financial benefits from the drug and medical-device industries. Direct payments to doctors included speaking and consulting fees, research grants, licensing fees and royalties. Indirect payments included paying for doctors’ meals, beverages and lodging.

These payment records can be found on the “Open Payments” website maintained by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

In 2014, almost one thousand California doctors received $50,000 or more in financial benefits from drug and medical-device manufacturers, according to a review of the CMS database.

Proposition 61, on the November ballot, would require the state of California to negotiate with drug companies for drug prices that are no more than is paid for the same drugs by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). Unlike Medicare, the DVA negotiates for drug prices on behalf of the millions of veterans it serves, and pays on average 20-24 percent less for medications than other government agencies, and up to 40 percent less than Medicare Part D. Prop. 61 empowers the state, as the healthcare buyer for millions of Californians, to negotiate the same or an even better deal for taxpayers, saving the state billions.

Paid for by Yes on Prop 61, Californians for Lower Drug Prices, With Major Funding by AIDS Healthcare Foundation and California Nurses Association PAC. FPPC ID#1376791]]> 0