Friday, July 26, 2013

Hearing scheduled to exam the process and impact of listing the Sierra Nevada Mountain Yellow-legged Frog as “endangered” and the Yosemite Toad as “threatened”.

HEARING SCHEDULED: Congressman Tom McClintock is sponsoring a Hearing to exam the process and impact of listing the Sierra Nevada Mountain Yellow-legged Frog as “endangered” and the Yosemite Toad as “threatened”. Based on past species listings, the restrictions to human activities on the 2 million acres under consideration for critical habitat designation could be devastating.
   The Hearing will be held at 2:00 PM, Tuesday, 6 August at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds, Sierra Building, 220 Southgate Drive, Sonora.
The public is highly encouraged to attend.Congressman Tom McClintock will be joined by Congressman Devin Nunes.USFWS Representatives will be presenting the Agencies’ plans and process regarding the listing decisions.
The follow individuals will be presenting information bearing on the listing of the Yellowlegged Frog and Yosemite Toad as well as effects of past species listings:

Mike Applegarth, Principle Analyst El Dorado County
Kelly Wooster, Cattleman Calaveras County
Randy Hanvelt, Supervisor Tuolumne County
Steve Brink, Forester
Mark Baird, Siskiyou County, listing impacts
Ron Gibson, Oregon, listing impacts

The consequences to the lives and livelihood of people in the 14 California Counties affected make public awareness extremely important.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Mother Lode Tea Party at the Amador County Fair

JULY 25TH - 28TH
Meet us at the Barber Shop Store that we are sharing with the CA Gunowners - a NGO(non government organization)! It is also so very important to support your county fair as the state has cut them loose for funding ---we must stand on our own! 


Rep. Tom McClintock has taken on the crusade to save the 14 counties that would be impacted by the proposed frogs and toads listing. Here are simple things you can do to help.

o Contact your congressional representative. Find out if he or she plans to participate in the Aug. 6th field hearing and, if not, encourage him or her to do so.

o Do the same with your county supervisor(s) and sheriff.

 Additional information: 


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

AWA Consolidation Raises Rates, Hinders Future Protests

The Watchdog
AWA Consolidation Raises Rates, Hinders Future Protests

About RPA
Ratepayer Protection Alliance (RPA) was formed to support the rights of the people of Amador County against unfair rate increases, which are usually used to subsidize special interests. Recently, RPA has assisted citizens who successfully protested several water rate increases. RPA is committed to ensuring that water, wastewater and garbage rates in Amador County are justified, and do not unfairly burden local residents.

RPA works hard to minimize costs of informing the public of unfair rate increases. RPA operates on the donated time of volunteers and no one is paid for their efforts. Donations for postage costs can be sent to:
Ratepayer Protection Alliance
P.O. Box 51
Pine Grove CA 95665
AWA Consolidation Raises Rates, Hinders Future Protests

On Tuesday evening, June 18, the Amador Water Agency Board of Directors conducted the mandatory Proposition 218 public hearing for final consideration and adoption of their latest rate increase proposal. After counting over a thousand written protests and in spite of four pages of legal issues raised the Ratepayer Protection Alliance (RPA), the board of directors unanimously adopted the new consolidated rate structure at a continuation hearing Thursday morning. Because of AWA�s action, ratepayers who receive no benefit from the GSL will receive rate increases. Worst of all, the consolidation will most likely prevent any future protests against rate increases. Without legal action to reverse the board�s decision, the ratepayers are now fully at the mercy of the AWA.
General Manager Gene Mancebo opened Tuesday evening's hearing by requesting that longtime AWA consultant Bob Reed provide a brief overview of the new rate structure up for adoption. Close to 60 residents attended, and the AWA board took public comment for nearly two hours. A vast majority of the speakers opposed the rate proposal. Comments indicated a basic mistrust of the agency, who had misinformed 1100 Sutter Creek residents that their rates would decrease when in fact they would increase. Speakers also questioned whether the GSL provides any benefit to current ratepaying residents.
RPA member Bill Condrashoff presented four pages of written comments from RPA. He offered to read or summarize the questions into public record and was refused. Upon verbal encouragement from the audience and acknowledgement from several board members, Condrashoff returned to the podium and summarized, citing multiple inaccuracies and unjustified charges in the rate study, ratepayer costs that are not proportional to benefits, and a questionable Prop 218 process. Before Condrashoff was finished, President Molinelli interrupted him on a time restriction.
With a motion on the floor to adopt the resolution, AWA attorney Steve Kronick interrupted to recommend that the Board continue the hearing to give Reed a chance to address RPA's concerns.
Thursday morning, June 20, the hearing resumed with Reed providing an overview of six pages responding to RPA. Attorney Kronick provided an additional five page response. Molinelli asked the board whether the public should be allowed to speak again. The board, having no questions regarding the eleven pages of written material, agreed to reopen the public comment period.
With the continuation meeting noticed only 24 hours in advance, and scheduled for a Thursday morning, only ten residents attended. The majority of speakers were against consolidating rates. Camanche attendees stated that a majority of their residents had submitted written protests and asked why those protests weren�t being honored thus excluding Camanche from the consolidation.
Director Gary Thomas, who represents Ione and Camanche, brought up the topic of debt service payment for future system improvements. For the last year, AWA has vowed in a variety of public settings that projects unique to a system will bear their own debt service. The AWA staff and board have touted that only Upcountry users will pay for the Gravity Supply Line. Director Thomas wanted to know if Camanche users would ever have to pay for projects not on their systems. Attorney Kronick attempted to explain the multitude of ways debt service can be paid. Director Rich Farrington stated that decisions on future projects are for future boards to make and he would not make their decisions today. Audible groans sounded from the audience and multiple questions arose.
Nearing 10:30 a.m., the board unanimously adopted the new rates which take effect July 1.