August 2012

L.A. River Now Officially a River, Not a Flood Channel, Says Governor Brown

By: Simone Wilson

No more jokes about how the Los Angeles River is more just a soggy trash chute than a place of nature, OK? Got it?

Because as of yesterday, according to Friends of the Los Angeles River, California Governor Jerry Brown has given his stamp of approval to SB 1201, a bill that…

… “fundamentally establishes that in the eyes of the State of California, the Los Angeles River is a river, not just a flood control channel; and must be treated that way by Los Angeles County.”

That means you, too, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers…

Click here to read more at LA


El Nino 2012: Latest data continues trend for winter rains in California


The latest data from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center continues to point toward much-needed substantial rainfall this winter in California.

The previous series of extended monthly outlooks suggested a broad belt of above normal rainfall for much of the southwestern U.S beginning late this fall, and the most recent models released on Aug. 16 continue this trend, with some additional emphasis on more concentrated precipitation for much of California.

Click here to

View slideshow: Latest winter projections for U.S. rainfall, 2012-13


Frankenmuffin Productions is inviting people to tell their stories of the Calaveras River for a documentary film. Here’s one they probably can’t use.

Dirk Hamilton, a first-rate singer/songwriter, lived here in the 1980s. His Calaveras story happened on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 4, 1988.

“I was walking right by Pershing and UOP on the other (north) side of the Calaveras,” recalled Hamilton, who now lives outside Dallas.

The river by University of the Pacific had dwindled to its deepest channel. In it, “I saw what looked like human form,” Hamilton said, “like a mummy, just wrapped up in some kind of tape that was gray-colored.”

Click here to

Project asking S.J. residents to serve as voice of Calaveras

 Alex Breitler, Record

A river is full of great stories. It just needs someone to tell them.

And as it turns out, anyone can.

From their studio in a new downtown Stockton arts co-op, two San Joaquin County natives who were only vaguely aware of the Calaveras River when they grew up are now preparing to introduce it to the world in a video documentary.

And they want your stories about the stream.

The documentary by Chris Spatola and Brooke Jacinto may be remarkable in a number of ways.

It seeks to put a face on the Calaveras – a river, after all, is about more than water and politics. It’s about the old man whose fish stories get bigger as the years pass. It’s about the river rats who live on hidden islands, and the moms and dads who push strollers along the levees.

Click here to


Got a story?

Calaveras River filmmakers Chris Spatola and Brooke Jacinto are looking for people to share their stories about the stream. Call (209) 631-6315 or (209) 327-9039, or email or




Hey everyone,

You may (or may not) have heard that FLCR has officially moved to a brand new location!

235 N. San Joaquin Street, site of a new community co-op in downtown Stockton, is our new home. Community Assistance Foundation for Empowerment (CAFE for short) is acting as the umbrella organization working toward bringing together community and environmental advocacy groups and local artists all under one roof.

CAFE recently held an opening night fundraising event, Supper Club, showcasing the new building, its participating organizations and featuring a myriad of paintings, mixed media, pottery and other art on display for the public to browse. Cocktails, dinner and live music were also among the night’s attractions.

Hopefully the establishment of the co-op will help to spread the word that Stockton has a population of citizens who are not only concerned about our community and surrounding environment, but are actively taking progressive measures to directly improve the quality of life for everyone (including important natural systems, like the Calaveras River).

You can find the FLCR office right up front when you walk in the front entrance. We hope to create a unique and comfortable work space where all our members will be welcome to stop by to share thoughts and ideas, ask questions, get a little reading done (hoping to create a water friendly library!) and get a little work done.

Please drop by to visit our new digs and even take a look at our very own Stella Steelhead, a larger than life paper mache replica of the Calaveras River’s beloved steelhead trout.

We’ll keep the door open for you!

Delicate paper lanterns provided soft light for viewing local artists’ pieces at our new building’s recent Supper Club event.

By: Alex Breitler, Record

STOCKTON – Watch out for lizards, Ruben Sarabia says, kicking up dust as he tromps through a shallow valley in the middle of a walnut orchard.

“This is actually called ‘The Gully,’ ” Sarabia says. “People who say anything else must really know their history.”

This “gully” is the head of Mormon Channel, which – strange though it may seem, given the lizards, the dust and the walnut trees – once carried much of the water that flowed naturally through Stockton out to the Delta.

 Is there enough water? Not for regular flows on both the Mormon Channel and the Calaveras River, says Bill Jennings, a Stockton environmentalist who opposed this project when it was proposed in the 1990s. “Dreams die hard,” Jennings said. “It would be a wonderful thing to have the water running through Stockton, but none of us are prepared to kill the Calaveras River to do it.”



Here’s a letter Alex Breitler posted on his Blog from Pacific economist Jeff Michael.

In the letter Michael defends his recent peripheral tunnel cost/benefit study in a letter to California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird.

Michael asks the question: Rather than continuing to cite outdated reports, why can’t the BDCP explain why the tunnels still make sense using current data?

Click here to read Michael’s Letter.

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