Thursday Must Reads: Overpumping of Groundwater Causes Central Valley to Sink; Napolitano Calls Student Protest ‘Crap’


Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The extreme overpumping of groundwater by agricultural interests in the dry San Joaquin Valley is causing the land to sink — by as much as six inches a year in some areas, the LA Times$ reports. Farmers have been pumping huge amounts of water out of the ground because they’re getting less water from the Delta due to the drought. Much of the overpumping has been done to satiate the state’s thirsty almond crop.

2. Governor Jerry Brown and the state legislature are introducing a $1 billion drought relief plan today that is very similar to the one approved last year, the SacBee$ reports.

Jante Napolitano.
  • Jante Napolitano.
3. UC President Janet Napolitano was caught on live mic calling a student protest over planned tuition hikes “crap,” the Bay Area News Group$ reports. Napolitano later apologized for the remark.

4. The Berkeley City Council voted to move forward with a plan that critics say effectively criminalizes the homeless in the city, the Trib$ reports. The plan includes a ban on panhandling near parking kiosks and cooking on street sidewalks.

5. After a public uproar, the Catholic Church in San Francisco tore out a sprinkler system it had installed to douse homeless people with water so they would not sleep in front of St. Mary’s Cathedral, the Chron reports.

6. The state has revoked Blue Shield of California’s nonprofit status, because the insurance giant had stockpiled huge amounts of cash and paid lavish salaries to executives while slapping consumers with steep rate hikes, the LA Times$ reports.

7. And Alameda County officials have joined talks with the City of Oakland and a private development team in order to build Coliseum City, the SF Business Times$ reports.