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Businesses backing Prop 30

Access DeniedBusinesses are lining up behind Governor Brown's Tax Measure, Proposition 30. Also, new personal privacy protections for job-seekers.

Legislation aids California crab industry

crab potsAn urgency bill that restricts the emergency transfer of Dungeness crab fishing permits has been signed by Gov. Brown. AB 2363, sponsored by north coast State Senator Wes Chesbro takes effect immediately, in time for the beginning of this year's crab season.
But Chesbro gave credit to Ronnie Pellegrini of Carlotta, a former Humboldt Bay harbor commissioner who brought the problem to the Legislature's attention.
"The testimony of Ronnie, her husband, Paul, and other crab fishermen at the Fisheries Forum in February reached legislators who are in a position to pass laws making changes that are needed," Chesbro said. "Because of Ronnie's conscientiousness, California crab boats won't have to contend with unfair competition from out-of-state vessels like last season and the Dungeness fishery will benefit as a whole."
Pellegrini said she travelled to a meeting of the California Fish and Game Commission to speak about the frustration with so-called "tsunami boats" from out of state, who local crab fisherman felt were overrunning California's crab fishery during the last Dungeness season.
The problem, Pellegrini explained, is that a number of boats destroyed in the Crescent City harbor by the March 2011 tsunami had little or no recent crab landings, yet the Department of Fish and Game allowed for the emergency transfer of their crab permits to out-of-state vessels with much larger capacity. This put a lot of pressure on California's Dungeness fishery and created lop-sided competition for local crab fishermen.
"That was my issue," Pellegrini said, "and I thank the governor signing into law in time for this season."
PotCrabAB 2363 also allows the sale of meat from crabs that are pulled up to test whether the Dungeness are large enough for the season to start. This revenue will pay for the testing program, which has suffered from inconsistency in the past because it has lacked a stable funding source.
"This is very, very important for everyone involved in the industry, from the fishermen to the processors, to the consumer," said Mike Cunningham, a Eureka crab fisherman.
Other provisions of AB 2363 will:
• Allow the Department of Fish and Game to develop regulations to permit any licensed and permitted crab fisherman to retrieve lost or abandoned commercial crab traps at the end of the crab season, not just the owner of the trap. "This means less derelict fishing gear in the water to ensnare wildlife or to interfere with other fishing operations," Chesbro said.
• Allow an administrative law judge, when reviewing appeals under soon-to-be-implemented crab trap limits, to waive appeal fees based on military service or medical hardship.

Red Cross debuts Earthquake App

Quake screenThe American Red Cross has launched its official Earthquake App, putting lifesaving information right in the hands of people who live in or who visit earthquake prone areas.

This free app-–available in English or Spanish-–is the third in a series created by the American Red Cross, the nation’s leader in emergency preparedness, for use on both iPhone and Android platforms.

 “This newest app gives instant access to local and real time information on what to do before, during and after earthquakes,” said Ellen Maremont Silver, Communications Director, Sonoma, Mendocino, and Lake Counties Red Cross. “Local residents will receive earthquake notifications and can monitor activity where other family and friends reside. People who do not live in earthquake-prone areas can have peace of mind knowing they’ll have instant information about loved ones.”

loc screenshotFeatures of the app include:

  • Earthquake notifications showing the epicenter, magnitude and intensity maps;
  • One touch “I’m safe” messaging that allows users to broadcast reassurance to family and friends via social media outlets that they are out of harm’s way;
  • Locations of open Red Cross shelters;
  • Simple steps and checklists people can use to create a family emergency plan;
  • Preloaded content that gives users instant access to critical action steps, even without mobile connectivity;
  • Information on events that may happen after earthquakes such as fires and tsunamis;
  • Toolkit with flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm; and
  • Badges users can earn through interactive quizzes and share on social networks.

 

Over the past three months, the Red Cross has made great strides in putting vital information in the hands of people who need it during emergencies. More than 1 million people have downloaded the First Aid and Hurricane Apps. People have used the First Aid App to control bleeding, care for broken bones and help people having seizures. The Hurricane App was used to find Red Cross shelters and to send “I’m safe” messages during Hurricane Isaac.

The Earthquake App can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.

CA Voters back wind, solar development

wind farmA new poll confirms that California voters are supportive of expanded wind and solar energy projects, but want the proceeds to stay close to home, and go to serve the public good. Lori Abbot has the numbers.