sacramento connect sacramento blogs & community news around sacramento california Sat, 25 Jun 2016 03:29:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Getting Paid Once a Year Sat, 25 Jun 2016 03:29:00 +0000 0 Law Enforcement Inspecting Vehicles Near Nevada Border for Illegal Fireworks Sat, 25 Jun 2016 03:14:01 +0000 0 Sacramento Zoo to Repair 55-Year-Old Signature Entrance Structure Sat, 25 Jun 2016 03:06:09 +0000 0 Grass Valley Brewery is in the works Sat, 25 Jun 2016 01:42:59 +0000 Continue reading ]]> 0 Two-story, 10,000-square-foot Grass Valley Brewery is in the works Sat, 25 Jun 2016 01:26:19 +0000 0 Remains of 18 People Snatched From Connecticut Cemetery Sat, 25 Jun 2016 01:12:36 +0000 0 Local Law Enforcement Take Part in Special Olympics Torch Relay Ceremony Sat, 25 Jun 2016 01:09:13 +0000 0 Man Facing Hate Crime Charges After Shooting Paintballs at Gay Nightclub Goers Sat, 25 Jun 2016 01:07:11 +0000 0 Locals React, Predict Effects of Britain’s Historic ‘Brexit’ Vote Sat, 25 Jun 2016 01:05:28 +0000 0 Video Shows Dunkin’ Employee Dropping Donuts, Putting Them on Sale Rack Sat, 25 Jun 2016 00:13:29 +0000 0 Recall on Muscle Milk From Sacramento Facility for ‘Premature Spoilage’ Fri, 24 Jun 2016 23:55:00 +0000 0 Grass Valley’s OES 334 en route to the #ErskineFire Fri, 24 Jun 2016 23:43:16 +0000 0 Farm to Office! This week’s farmers’ market finds Fri, 24 Jun 2016 23:30:07 +0000 0 Laos & Cambodia rosewood exports violate UN treaty Fri, 24 Jun 2016 22:57:02 +0000
In the new report Red AlertPDF, the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) reveals that in the first 18 months of CITES Appendix II protection for Siamese rosewood (Dalbergia cochinchinensis spp), the two countries’ combined exports equalled 120 per cent of the largest known remaining populations of the species. The only known wild stocks are the 80,000 to 100,000 trees estimated to exist in Thailand in 2011.

Demand for rosewood to feed the voracious Chinese market in Hongmu reproduction furniture has pushed the species into such a crisis that it was given CITES Appendix II protection in March 2013.

International trade in Appendix II species may be authorised via export or re-export permits – but only if the relevant authorities are satisfied trade will not be detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild and that the timber is legal.

However, EIA’s report details how neither Laos nor Cambodia have credible inventories of remaining populations to justify any exports at all, or likely any evidence of legality, as required under the Convention.

EIA is calling for an immediate suspension of all trade in Siamese rosewood from Laos and Cambodia until they demonstrate trade levels are not detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild and that the timber is legal.

Failing that, EIA believes the vast scale of trade raises concern that a planned strengthening of the existing Appendix II listing – which EIA has advocated and Thailand has proposed to CITES – may not be enough to ensure trade does not lead to the effective extinction of Siam rosewood.

EIA Senior Forest Campaigner Jago Wadley said: “Laos and Cambodia have systemically disregarded the most basic legal safeguards of UN trade rules for endangered species in ways that seriously undermine the credibility of CITES, while edging Siamese rosewood ever-closer to extinction; CITES intervention is urgently required.”

In Cambodia’s case, the country has either incorrectly or illegitimately issued CITES export permits for most of the 12,202m3 of Siamese rosewood exported between June 2013 and December 2014.

The situation in Laos is even more chaotic and serious; Laos exported 63,530m3 of Siamese rosewood in 2013 and 2014 – just over Thailand’s entire 63,500m3 of estimated stocks.

Although some rosewood may be harvested in Laos from forest conversion projects such as dam-building, these have consistently been used to launder illegally logged timber. Further, reports on the ground allege that the state-owned electricity provider Electricite du Laos routinely demands illegally logged Siamese rosewood as payment for hooking up villagers to the national grid.

In March 2014, a rosewood trader in China offered to sell EIA undercover investigators numerous export permits issued by Laos’ CITES Management Authority, covering thousands of cubic metres of rosewood logs. Rosewood from anywhere could be falsely attached to these permits to facilitate entry into China.

Wadley added: “All the indicators betray a governance culture where the rule of law is replaced by forms of state-sponsored crime in key ministries which influence the implementation of UN treaties such as CITES.”]]> 0 51.507702 -0.12797 40.217381 -83.963432
Candy Shop’s Secret Door Concealed Major NYC Heroin Mill, Police Say Fri, 24 Jun 2016 22:45:43 +0000 0 Sacramento Man Arrested on Human Trafficking Charge Fri, 24 Jun 2016 22:43:08 +0000 0 How ages voted on Brexit Fri, 24 Jun 2016 20:55:38 +0000 0 Improved Maxima still has pop, generous perks Fri, 24 Jun 2016 19:18:00 +0000 A menu of Mark Glover’s AutoGlo car reviews can be seen on the Business page of The Sacramento Bee’s website

Sacramento, California– Another week, another Nissan.   But we step up in class this week to one of my long-standing favorites.

It seems that the Nissan Maxima gets way too little love among auto-reviewing colleagues, but I’ve liked it for years.   For me, it has the right mix of style, performance, comfort and convenience.

It’s the sedan you don’t hear coming.   But it has enough juice to blow past you in an eye-wink.

Changes for the 2016 model year are numerous, and only bolstered my good feelings about the Maxima.

My tester was the lofty 2016 Nissan Maxima Platinum edition, which translates to about $40,000 on the bottom line.   Happily, this buys a bunch of goodies.

Sporty styling tweaks on the exterior give the 2016 Maxima a look that’s darn near weekend racer.   Sweetly sculpted from grille to back bumper, the sedan makes you do a double-take when you first see it in profile.

The 18-inch, machined-aluminum alloy wheels added to the racy look.

Visually, the Maxima makes a promise of serious performance.   And it delivers with a finely tuned 3.5-liter V-6 rated at a max 300 horsepower.

As previous Maximas have done, the latest generation lays down heart-pumping acceleration in smooth, but not overly loud, layers.   On the freeways, even small blips on the accelerator produced comfortable space between myself and following cars.

You can almost read the mind of the driver quickly disappearing in the rearview mirror: “What the heck was that?”

This has long been true of the Maxima.   The engineers have always done it right.   I love it.   Fuel mileage is pretty OK as well, at 22 miles per gallon in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.

For all its robust road energy, interior comforts are numerous, luxurious and fun to use.   The dual panel panoramic moonroof, rear window power sunshade and voice-recognition system for navigation and audio were my favorites, although I think I started to drive passengers crazy with my relentless use of these features.

Nobody appreciates this kind of in-car entertainment anymore.   Go figure.

Oh, there’s a "Drive Mode Selector," with a choice of Normalor Sport.   Maxima pilots can hit the switch to tweak throttle response, transmission programming and shift adjustments.

Without shame, I confess that I had the tester in Sport mode during my entire week with the car.   When you spend time with an old friend, you want to make the most of it, right?

On my report card, the latest Maxima gets a solid “A” grade.
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Eviva Midtown Fri, 24 Jun 2016 18:57:00 +0000 0 Ol’ Republic celebrates State Fair “best of show” award at State Capitol Fri, 24 Jun 2016 17:47:23 +0000 Continue reading ]]> 0 Ol’ Republic celebrates State Fair “best of show” award at State Capitol Fri, 24 Jun 2016 17:29:58 +0000 0 A Letter to my 13 Year-old Self from my 45 Year-old Self Fri, 24 Jun 2016 17:09:32 +0000 0 Children’s Health Access Improving in California, Researchers Say Fri, 24 Jun 2016 17:01:50 +0000 By Hannah Guzik

California has improved access to health care for children in recent years, but still lags behind many other states in terms of the overall well-being of kids, a new report finds.

A nationwide ranking system by two children’s groups says California comes in 38th for well-being for kids.

The post Children’s Health Access Improving in California, Researchers Say appeared first on California Health Report.

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California Funds Nation’s First Firearm Research Center Fri, 24 Jun 2016 16:48:55 +0000 By Hannah Guzik

On June 15, the state legislature voted to spend $5 million to create a gun violence research center, which will work to understand the public health problem in the hopes of preventing deaths. It will be the first center of its kind in the country.

The post California Funds Nation’s First Firearm Research Center appeared first on California Health Report.

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The Mountain Messenger | Terrified? Not So Much Any More. Fri, 24 Jun 2016 16:08:14 +0000
A local fire chief now feels compelled to tell TV reporters that a residential house fire was not terrorism related. A madman starts randomly shooting motorists on an Arizona freeway and the first thing we learn is that authorities don’t suspect terrorism.


It’s well known that if a phrase is repeated often enough it loses all meaning and just becomes a sound in peoples’ minds. Terrorism. Terrorism. Terrorism. Buzz words like that are the darlings of broadcast media reporters who can’t really describe anything and so must rely on catch phrases.

Breaking news! Gimme a break, it happened last Friday! Ted Turner says he created CNN because when he got home from work at 8 o’clock there was no news on TV. So he gave us 24-hour newscast hunger, where waiting for a news conference is considered breaking news.

The hunger must be fed so Domestic Terrorism was born. I can just hear a snooty New York waiter asking, “And your terrorism, sir. Will it be domestic or imported?”

The only institutions Americans have less confidence in than TV news are newspapers, big business and Congress, according to a new Gallup poll. Confidence, like respect, must be earned and television earnings are at a low point. The best of it can be found on the national network newscasts where time forces selection of material resulting in a bit more clarity than is offered on the all-day, all-hours say it again news channels.

Edward R. Murrow once said television is the opiate of the people. We need to kick the habit.

Editor's note: The Mountain Messenger, California's oldest weekly newspaper since 1853, is published on Thursdays from Downieville, California.

The Mountain Messenger can be purchased for half a buck at the National Hotel (sidewalk), Nevada City SPD (outside), Nevada City Express Mart (outside) and in front of Safeway, Brunswick area.
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“Open Mic” at Nevada City Council meeting Fri, 24 Jun 2016 15:50:55 +0000 ]]> 0 Local newspaper touts its journalism honors — with a front-page typo Fri, 24 Jun 2016 15:37:29 +0000 Continue reading ]]> 0 ASA Clean Green Team cleans up illegal grow dumps Fri, 24 Jun 2016 15:35:27 +0000 0 Breezy north winds to increase fire danger today and Saturday Fri, 24 Jun 2016 15:19:29 +0000 0 Commentary: Disappointing Failure to Provide Boost to Preschool Programs Fri, 24 Jun 2016 13:28:36 +0000 In the end, not only did the preschool tax fall short of the four votes needed to put it on the ballot, it fell short of even a majority, as Supervisors Oscar Villegas and Duane Chamberlain, who had supported staff drawing up ballot language two weeks before, voted against putting the measure on the ballot. ...

The post Commentary: Disappointing Failure to Provide Boost to Preschool Programs appeared first on Davis Vanguard.

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Analysis: Closer Examination of Assembly Race and Demise of Dan Wolk Fri, 24 Jun 2016 12:22:58 +0000 This week we learned the final results in Yolo County.  The only race that was really in possible doubt was Nishi, but finalizing Yolo County gives us one more opportunity to look at the 4th Assembly District and explore possible clues into Dan Wolk’s demise. Defenders of Dan Wolk will point to two factors that ...

The post Analysis: Closer Examination of Assembly Race and Demise of Dan Wolk appeared first on Davis Vanguard.

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Why did Brett Lee Win in a Landslide? Fri, 24 Jun 2016 11:46:56 +0000 by Sean Raycraft 13409 votes is a huge number for Davis, in fact, it’s a record for a city council race. Brett Lee obliterated Dan Wolk’s 2012 record by more than 3000 votes. That’s more than double the 6355 Lee received in 2012. He beat his nearest rival by more than 2000 votes. In Davis… ...

The post Why did Brett Lee Win in a Landslide? appeared first on Davis Vanguard.

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SCOTUS on Deportation: A Non-Decision with Teeth Fri, 24 Jun 2016 10:31:19 +0000 By Cecilia Wang Today the Supreme Court announced that it was deadlocked four to four on United States v. Texas. The one-line non-decision leaves unanswered the central question about the president’s authority to set policy guidelines for the exercise of prosecutorial discretion in the deportation system. But it is a non-decision with a profound impact. Millions ...

The post SCOTUS on Deportation: A Non-Decision with Teeth appeared first on Davis Vanguard.

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Murder trial set to begin July 6 for Jonnyrae Witt Fri, 24 Jun 2016 05:15:35 +0000 0 Use Wisdom Not Weapons To End Gun Violence Fri, 24 Jun 2016 04:33:53 +0000 “Use wisdom, not weapons”, he pleaded to the crowd gathered in front of the California state Capitol building to end gun violence this morning. Not surprisingly, he elicited big cheers from his words – the crowd was comprised of moms, kids, and a few dads from Moms Demand Action and Everytown For Gun Safety, and we […]

The post Use Wisdom Not Weapons To End Gun Violence appeared first on mamawolfe.

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The Ultimate Healthy Blueberry Crumble Fri, 24 Jun 2016 04:21:52 +0000 {continue reading}]]> 0 UK votes to exit the EU; pound nose-dives Fri, 24 Jun 2016 04:17:42 +0000 Continue reading ]]> 0 50′s Princess for a Day ~ Tale of a Special Skirt Thu, 23 Jun 2016 23:29:00 +0000 0 94th Annual San Pedro Festa (Portuguese Picnic) is this weekend Thu, 23 Jun 2016 20:59:00 +0000
The 94th Annual San Pedro Festa (Portuguese Picnic) is this weekend in Bryte/West Sacramento. Pictured are this year’s Festa Queens - Senior Queen Julyana Lara, daughter of Michael and Frances Lara. Baby Queen Jessenia Velez, daughter of John and Eyvette Velez.  Both are the granddaughters of Daniel and Christina Velez of West Sacramento. 

Join us at San Pedro Park (708 N. Hobson Avenue ) for live music, auctions, bingo, traditional foods.

Saturday June 25th from 5-9 pm. Sunday June 26 the festivities start with Mass at 9:00 am at Holy Cross Church. After mass the annual procession from the Church to the Park will mark the opening of the event from 11 am to 5 pm.
Vickie Ramos

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Unprecedented Offshore Fracking in Cook Inlet Threatens Alaska’s Endangered Belugas Thu, 23 Jun 2016 20:35:04 +0000
In a letter to the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Center noted that the unprecedented offshore fracking planned for this summer threatens Cook Inlet beluga whales — among the most endangered whales in the world­.

BlueCrest Energy’s plan for what it calls a “huge multistage frack” would be the first project of its kind in the inlet, according to state oil regulators and the company itself.

“Fracking in Cook Inlet threatens beluga whales and their prey due to the toxic chemicals used in fracking fluid,” read the Center’s letter. The company needs a permit from the agency to legally conduct oil and gas activities in the Inlet.

“Cook Inlet belugas already face a barrage of man-made hazards threatening their survival — the last thing they need is offshore fracking,” said Kristen Monsell, a Center attorney. “If federal officials are truly committed to saving these incredible animals, they need to step in and prohibit oil companies from fracking Cook Inlet.”

Offshore fracking blasts vast volumes of water mixed with toxic chemicals beneath the seafloor at pressures high enough to fracture rocks and release oil and gas. The practice increases environmental damages beyond those of conventional oil drilling by increasing pollution and the risks of oil spills and earthquakes. Cook Inlet belugas are especially vulnerable to these threats through direct exposure and through the killing or harming of their prey.

New technologies, including horizontal drilling, have led to the widespread use of fracking in the lower 48 states. Fracking proliferation has come with a host of problems, including groundwater contamination, air pollution that makes people sick, earthquakes and spills of toxic chemicals that killed fish and other wildlife. So far there have been only a few small, fracture stimulations in the Inlet; fracking using horizontal drilling has never before been used there.

The Center’s letter urged the Fisheries Service to conduct a thorough review of the environmental impacts of offshore fracking and its effect on the survival and recovery of Cook Inlet belugas. It argued that such review should lead to a decision to forbid the company from using fracking during its operations in the Inlet.

“The only way to truly protect Cook Inlet belugas from the risks of offshore fracking is to prohibit this toxic technique,” Monsell said. “Fracking is inherently dangerous and has no place in the Inlet or other fragile ocean ecosystems.”

At least 10 fracking chemicals routinely used in offshore fracking in other states could kill or harm a broad variety of marine species, including sea otters and fish, Center scientists have found. Other scientists have identified some common fracking chemicals to be among the most toxic in the world to marine animals.

Of the five genetically unique beluga populations in Alaska, Cook Inlet belugas number the fewest. The species is under great duress from the industrialization of their habitat near Anchorage. In recent years the population has plummeted from approximately 1,300 to just over 300 whales.]]> 0