The Dragon-Powered School Bus

The Dragon-Powered School Bus: A Courageous Fight to Clean the Air Kindle Edition

Henry loves showing Miss Leona his Dragon-Style Battle Cards. But asthma attacks are keeping him out of school. Is the smoke from her bus making it worse? They’ll teach others about the benefits of clean electric buses, and create positive change for the health of their community. But you have to believe…

This heart-warming story will help 2nd-4th graders learn about asthma, how EVs and renewable energy can help the environment, and that caring, committed people can change the world.

Buy now on Amazon here.

Check out the investment map!

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg: “The White House has announced http://Invest.gov, an interactive website to see new infrastructure projects and private sector investments underway in every part of the country. Check out the investments coming to your area!”

Sac leaders must advance work of Natomas Basin Conservancy, The Sacramento Bee, May 28, 2023

May 28, 2023

Brad Branan is a freelance journalist and photographer who sits on the boards of the Environmental Council of Sacramento and Sierra Club, Sacramento Group, both of which oppose development in the Natomas Basin.

One day, I saw a pair of Osprey build a nest atop a utility pole. Another day, I watched a Great Egret pluck aquatic creatures out of a canal and swallow them like popcorn shrimp. And on yet another day, I saw thousands of Snow Geese fly in unison near Highway 99, creating what looked like a vibrating cloud. The scenes happened on or next to property owned by the Natomas Basin Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that has collected fees from local governments and land donations from developers to protect threatened species since 1997. The Conservancy focuses on 22 plants and animals in the Natomas Basin, an area running from Garden Highway to south Sutter County, and from the Sacramento River to Steelhead Creek. Surveys have found that the Swainson’s Hawk, Giant Garter Snake and other threatened animals have maintained or increased populations during the Conservancy’s tenure. But now the Conservancy’s important work is under threat from three major development proposals

Read more at: https://www.sacbee.com/opinion/op-ed/article275752381.html#storylink=cpy

Good News for Transparency in Government

By Dawn Whitney, ECOS Executive Committee

SB 1439 became effective in January of 2023. It is a good advancement in laws prohibiting “pay to play” contributions made by developers and lobbyists. This recent amendment to the Political Reform Act of 1974 extends preexisting prohibitions on campaign contributions made to appointed officials to include local elected officials. It applies only to contributions made after the law was passed.

It expands the period of disclosure for contributions of $250 or more, made by project applicants and lobbyists, to 12 months before and 12 months after a decision to grant a permit or other entitlement.

The changes made by SB 1439 are straight forward prohibitions on “pay to play”: If an official has accepted a contribution of $250 or more at any time in the twelve months prior to a decision to grant a permit or other entitlement, the official can return the money and vote on the application, or simply recuse and keep the contribution. It is not a huge departure from accepted practice. Eighteen major and large cities in California already have such a law on their books.

In February of this year, developers, trade groups, Sacramento County Supervisor Pat Hume, and Rancho Cordova City Councilmember Garrett Greenwood filed a suit in Sacramento County to throw out SB 1439. They claim that this legislative amendment does not comply with the amendment requirements of the original ballot initiative of 50 years ago; however, the initiative explicitly permits amendments passed by two-thirds of the legislature. SB 1439 was passed unanimously by both houses of the California legislature.

The plaintiffs in the suit also claim the new law violates their First Amendment rights, arguing that unless a prohibition addresses actual quid pro quo transactions, it violates constitutional rights.

The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), the defendant in this case, argues that such a very narrow interpretation is not legally correct, and does not promote the purpose of the Political Reform Act.

The Sacramento Court is set to rule on May 25, 2023, whether SB 1439 stands as written, must be repealed, or needs a change somewhere in between. In the meantime, the FPPC has announced it considers the law to be in full effect and will proceed to draft supporting regulations.

Watchdog groups should monitor contributions over $250 to elected officials made by permit applicants and supporters of permit applicants. These contributions must be disclosed not only by the elected officials, but also the applicant and developer.

For more info, see:
https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=202120220SB1439
https://calmatters.org/newsletters/whatmatters/2023/02/campaign-finance-law-california/

SacBee, March 13, 2023: “Local electeds are suing to stop transparency” https://www.sacbee.com/article272963050.html

California Natural Resources Agency Screening California’s Watershed: Healing in Sacramento 4/21

The Chronicles Group documentary California’s Watershed: Healing screening at the California Natural Resources Agency headquarters showcases local efforts to restore and preserve the ecosystem. A must-see!
Address: California Natural Resources Agency 715 P Street Sacramento, CA 95814

Timetable

Friday, April 21, 2023 | 4:30PM | Introduction by Director and Founder of The Chronicles Group James Thebaut.

4:40PM | Screening

5:30PM | Experts panel, moderated by Wade Crowfoot, Secretary California’s Natural Resources

  • Angela Avery, Executive Officer, Sierra Nevada Conservancy
  • Andrew Fecko, General Manager, Placer County Water Agency
  • Don Hankins, Plains Miwok fire expert and professor at California State University, Chico
  • Nichole Morgan, Board Member, State Water Resources Control Board

6:00PM | Light refreshments reception

RSVP here