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California Today: California Today: The World Asks Santa Barbara, ‘Are You O.K.?’

Supported byU.S.California Today: The World Asks Santa Barbara, ‘Are You O.K.?’PhotoEmbers flew past inmate firefighters putting out hot spots over the weekend in Montecito.Credit David Mcnew/Getty ImagesGood morning.(Want to get California Today by email? Here’s the sign-up.)As fires raged in the foothills of Santa Barbara county over the weekend, commiseration and concern came from around the world, from friends and colleagues in Bangladesh, Haiti and Sierra Leone.For Thomas Tighe, a resident of Montecito and the head of Direct Relief, an aid organization that dispenses medical provisions to the needy around the globe, the shoe was on the other foot — this time the emergency was his own.Mr. Tighe and his family quickly gathered photos, drawings, birth certificates and computer hard drives. They summoned the dogs, rounded up the cats and evacuated their home on Sunday.As they fled, the messages came in. Father Richard Frechette, the founder of a pediatric hospital in Haiti, sent an email: “Are you OK? and your home and offices? many prayers for you! […]

California Today: California Today: North vs. South, That Fading Rivalry

Supported byU.S.California Today: North vs. […]

Europe Edition: Brexit, Salma Hayek, Alabama: Your Thursday Briefing

NYT

See the original post: Europe Edition: Brexit, Salma Hayek, Alabama: Your Thursday Briefing

California Today: California Today: A Tax Challenge for Sacramento

NYT

See the original post here: California Today: California Today: A Tax Challenge for Sacramento

California Today: California Today: A Special Fires Edition

Supported byU.S.California Today: A Special Fires EditionGood morning.(Want to get California Today by email? Here’s the sign-up.)PhotoFirefighters in Ventura, Calif., on Tuesday.Credit Jae C. Hong/Associated PressThe year-end fires sweeping Southern California this week have raised a worrisome question: Where is the rain?The rainy season typically starts in October and lasts through April, with the heaviest rain coming from December through March. Precipitation has been at or above-normal in Northern California, but there has been little rain in the south.Since Oct. 1 just 2.3 inches have fallen in Los Angeles, and 1.15 inches in San Diego, which is way below the normal rainfall for that period, according to the California Department of Water Resources.That lack of precipitation is one reason fires have exploded across Southern California this week, officials said. Thousands of people were evacuated across Los Angeles County and in the path of another fire in Ventura.Continue reading the main storyIt is too soon to ring any drought alarm bells. Still, the memory of the long, punishing drought that ended last year — the worst in this state’s modern history — remains fresh. And a report earlier this week by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory said that atmospheric conditions caused by global warming, including the creation of a resilient, water-blocking atmospheric ridge, means even less rain in the future.Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main story“I still have a drought hangover so I wake up worried about drought,” said Felicia Marcus, the head of the state Water Resources Control Board.Southern California is dealing with the same collection of forces that accounted for the intensity of the wine country fires: an unusually wet winter led to extensive brush growth and a record-hot October baked the growth into kindling. The final ingredient was the heavy Santa Ana winds whipping across Southern California.“It was sort of a trifecta for Napa and Sonoma,” Ms. […]

California Today: California Today: A Special Fires Edition

Supported byU.S.California Today: A Special Fires EditionGood morning.(Want to get California Today by email? Here’s the sign-up.)PhotoFirefighters in Ventura, Calif., on Tuesday.Credit Jae C. Hong/Associated PressThe year-end fires sweeping Southern California this week have raised a worrisome question: Where is the rain?The rainy season typically starts in October and lasts through April, with the heaviest rain coming from December through March. Precipitation has been at or above-normal in Northern California, but there has been little rain in the south.Since Oct. 1 just 2.3 inches have fallen in Los Angeles, and 1.15 inches in San Diego, which is way below the normal rainfall for that period, according to the California Department of Water Resources.That lack of precipitation is one reason fires have exploded across Southern California this week, officials said. Thousands of people were evacuated across Los Angeles County and in the path of another fire in Ventura.Continue reading the main storyIt is too soon to ring any drought alarm bells. Still, the memory of the long, punishing drought that ended last year — the worst in this state’s modern history — remains fresh. And a report earlier this week by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory said that atmospheric conditions caused by global warming, including the creation of a resilient, water-blocking atmospheric ridge, means even less rain in the future.Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main story“I still have a drought hangover so I wake up worried about drought,” said Felicia Marcus, the head of the state Water Resources Control Board.Southern California is dealing with the same collection of forces that accounted for the intensity of the wine country fires: an unusually wet winter led to extensive brush growth and a record-hot October baked the growth into kindling. The final ingredient was the heavy Santa Ana winds whipping across Southern California.“It was sort of a trifecta for Napa and Sonoma,” Ms. […]

California Today: California Today: The Tax Bill’s ‘Spiraling Consequences’

Supported byU.S.California Today: The Tax Bill’s ‘Spiraling Consequences’PhotoTraffic on the Hollywood freeway.Credit Richard Vogel/Associated PressGood morning.(Want to get California Today by email? Here’s the sign-up.)As Republicans in Washington work to combine their tax bills into one, economists and tax specialists on the West Coast are adding up the ways that the changes could hurt California.Among the most publicized is the capping of the mortgage interest deduction, which could make buying a home in California even less affordable than it is now. The abolishing of deductions for state and local taxes, which could sharply raise Californians’ tax bill, is another.“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Gonzalo Freixes, a tax expert at the U.C.L.A. […]