Weekend News Briefs from CVBT

September 15, 2017 9:01pm
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•  A possible breakthrough on affordable housing for California

•  The case of the stolen concrete

•  And more....

More affordable housing might be closer for Californians

A package of legislation designed to encourage the building of more affordable homes in California has been approved by the Legislature.

It includes loosing building regulations plus a $75 fee on many real estate transactions to help fund the proposals. It's expected to generate $250 million a year to be used to underwrite the costs of low-income housing.

The governor has indicated he will sign the three bills.

“California’s housing shortage has metastasized from a problem to a crisis to, now, a full-scale catastrophe. But with today’s approval of a $4 billion housing bond, a permanent source of funding, and regulatory reform to ease construction, we are making a meaningful down payment on providing a roof and four walls to every Californian,” says state Treasurer John Chiang.

“However, it is premature to break out the champagne. We cannot hide from the glaring truth that much more needs to be done to ensure that our historic housing shortage does not lead to our economy’s undoing, or turns more of our freeway underpasses and parks into makeshift housing."


Stockton man accused of possessing stolen interstate shipments and money laundering

Raeef Ohan Ohan, 58, of Stockton, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of possession of goods stolen from interstate shipments and engaging in monetary transactions in criminally derived property, says U.S. Attorney Phillip Talbert.

Mr. Ohan has pleaded not guilty.

According to court documents, Mr. Ohan was found in possession of thousands of dollars’ worth of stolen goods, which had been embezzled or stolen from truck trailers, vehicles or warehouses while the goods were being shipped and transported interstate. The stolen goods included pet food, nutrition drinks, and concrete, and were stolen over the course of several years beginning in at least 2012.

If convicted, Mr. Ohan faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.


San Luis Reservoir algal bloom advisory now at ‘warning’

The water quality at the San Luis Reservoir, east of Los Banos, is getting better. It's no longer at the “danger” level, says the Department of Water Resources. It's now at the “warning” level.

DWR changed the algal bloom advisory for the massive reservoir based on two consecutive weeks of tests that reveal reduced toxicity levels in the water. The advisory had been “Danger” since June 30

Boating is allowed, but swimming is still not considered a safe recreational activity under a “Warning” advisory due to potential adverse health effects.

O’Neill Forebay remains free of algal bloom advisories.


11 picked to get Valley Ventures support

The Valley Ventures Accelerator at Fresno State ahas selected 11 members for its fall cohort of start-up companies that will receive venture capital direction and support in the water, agriculture and energy technology industries.

The three-month program will provide professional guidance on growing sales, company value and profitability for the emerging companies from primarily California, as well as Brazil, Chile and Malaysia.

"The fall cohort will represent a diverse range of technology and entrepreneurial talent in the water, energy and agriculture industry and represents a collective revenue of $2 million annually and $3.5 million in equity funding," says program coordinator Benjamin Francis. “We believe each company that has been selected exemplifies extraordinary potential to scale and accomplish great things in the Central Valley.”

The companies are:

AQUAOSO — water rights management buyer and seller trading platform

Avsonic — automated cattle soaker system

BovControl — analytics platform for cattle operations

Deep Root Irrigation — irrigation products for landscape and agricultural usage

Drought Diet Products — sub-irrigation zone pipe for greywater and rainwater catch and release

DSPii — soil moisture sensing through aerial application

ECO2Mix — carbon dioxide-based water pH control system for irrigation units

Fluid Pulse — wireless irrigation valve controls for use on existing water pipelines

GroGuru — precision soil moisture, salinity and temperature monitoring system

Nanomass — unit converting biomass into powdered fuel to be used in coal plants

REDtrac — online agricultural well, water and soil efficiency monitoring system


Stockton medical center to host "Caring for Me" women's event

Dignity Health St. Joseph's Medical Center in Stockton says it will host “Caring for Me,” an annual women's health and lifestyle event on September 28 from 5 - 8 p.m. at Stonecreek Village in Stockton.

This special “ladies night out” will feature wine tasting, dinner catered by DeVega Brothers, an exclusive swag bag full of gifts and an all-access pass to health professionals from St. Joseph's Medical Center and Dignity Health Medical Group-Stockton.

Merchants will also be offering special discounts, giveaways, and activities like free chair massages during the event.

Caring for Me provides a great opportunity for women to take time to care for themselves, by enjoying an evening full of health and fun.

Tickets are $25 in advance. For more information call (209) 461-5235.


Delta tunnels foes plan fund raiser

The Save the California Delta Alliance, one of the myriad groups opposing Governor Edmund Gerald Brown Jr.'s proposed Delta water tunnels is planning an end-of-summer benefit lunch on Sunday, September 24 from 12-4 p.m. on the floating deck at Bullfrog Marina, 17251 Bacon Island Road, Stockton.

The purpose is to raise money to help pay for the legal battles against the state government.

"This is crucial. It's now or never. The Delta can't afford to lose," says Carl Wenske, long time manager of Bullfrog Marina.

Lauren Korth. field director for Save the California Delta Alliance although the fight against the tunnels has been a long one, “we can't back down now.”

For more information, call (916) 502-3391.

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