California, known to be first in the nation with new methods to pry extra dollars from residents’ wallets, now is aiming fines up to $500 a day from those who waste water washing cars, watering lawns and landscaping, notes Grumpy Editor.
Obviously dirty cars and brown landscapes will be the “in” look now in the Golden State --- with the blame pinned on the drought which is gaining much media attention.
After finding conservation measures failing to achieve a 20 percent water reduction use sought by Gov. Jerry Brown, the State Water Resources Board last week approved fines for urban dwellers who overwater.
“Out goal here is to light a fire under those who aren’t taking the drought seriously,” said a WRB official. California’s new public service slogan: Brown is the new green.
Los Angeles already has overwatering penalties of up to $600. But in Glendora, 26 miles east of Los Angeles, voluntarily withholding water on outside greenery posed another problem. A water-conserving couple with a wilted front lawn in Glendora received a letter from that city last week threatening a $500 penalty for not watering their lawn, giving them 60 days to “keep their landscaping looking healthy and green” in order to correct a “potential public nuisance problem.”
Already, though, Santa Cruz is bending for residents socked with hefty water fines. Overwaterers can attend the “Santa Cruz Water School,” a free class that eliminates all water penalties, if successfully completed. Among topics: how to read a water meter.
And regarding the much-talked-about drought:
California always has had years of varying precipitation. Focusing on Los Angeles, while the 2012-2013 rainfall season saw only 5.85 inches of rain, two years prior brought no mentions of drought as 20.20 inches of rain drenched the area. About double that --- close to a hefty 40 inches of rain --- were measured in 2004-2005, a season that triggered media headlines and photos showing flooded roads, tumbling hillsides and sliding homes.
IN CASE YOUR FAVORITE NEWS OUTLETS MISSED THESE…
Drought headlines may soon take a back seat. Risk of earthquakes rises for one third of the U.S., warned an update from the U.S. Geological Survey. States with the highest risk of shakers: California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois, Kentucky, South Carolina, Alaska and Hawaii…Inflation indicator: A Rasmussen Reports survey tallied 88 percent of American adults said they are paying more for groceries this year than last year, up six points from last month and the highest since May, 2012…Lost among soccer stories: Baseball still grabs attention as the All Star Game last Tuesday averaged more than 11.3 million Fox viewers to the American League’s 5-3 win. That’s up from 11 million last year…Politico reported former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney joined the Washington Speakers Bureau which could result in payments of up to $100,000 per speech…A Hong Kong investor group has acquired a majority stake in Forbes Media LLC, which includes Forbes magazine. Steve Forbes, chairman and editor in chief, will continue with the operation.
DOES THE SENATE MAJORITY LEADER READ NEWSPAPERS, WATCH TV? Despite bold headlines and lead broadcast stories on thousands of illegals crossing the porous border from Mexico, Harry Reid (D-Nev.) declared, “the border is secure.” Responding to that, Pinal County (Ariz.) Sheriff Paul Babeu, highly involved with the illegal border crossers, said Reid is “completely devoid of reality.”