As I conclude two years on the Placer County Grand Jury I’m struck by how the experience was so completely different than I could have ever imagined. There were periods of intense frustration, brought on by my own personal view of organization and commitment, and moments of satisfaction that we were reporting on important aspects of local government. My experience was not unique. All the Grand Jurors I served with felt alternatively gratified by our work while carrying the weight acrimonious debate and fellow jurors who failed to carry their work load.
The Final Report contains the results of investigations as required by law, those requested by citizens, or those internally generated. This report is the culmination of investigations that have been ongoing since the jury was empanelled last July. However, many of the issues are still 0n-going and some concerns raised during the investigations may already be resolved by the time of this publication. – Sharon Stanners, Foreperson, 2015 – 2016 Placer County Grand Jury
As winter rain finally begins to fill Folsom reservoir from its historically low water level brought on by a prolonged drought, local residents will probably be just as quick to flush away their water conservation habits. The water conservation practices that Northern California residents temporarily adopted because of statewide drought reduction targets resulted in minimal disruption and sacrifice to our lives. That so many households easily reduced their water consumption by 25% to 50% over 2013 levels illustrates that suburban household’s waste more water than we thought. Even with Folsom Lake approaching near dead pool level in 2015, we were never pushed to conserve more water and there was never sense of urgency.
In 1849 U. S. Army Lieutenant George H. Derby performed topographical survey of the Sacramento Valley. The “Topographical Memoir Accompanying Maps of the Sacramento Valley, &c.” was found in Quarterly of the California Historical Society Vol. XI No. 2 publication dated June 1932. I found the small quarterly report in a book store in San Francisco and was attracted to it because of the inset map of the Sacramento Valley. The map is a reproduction of Lieutenant Derby’s topographical map he made for his report.
As I had just started my second year as a Placer County Grand Jury member I was surprised at the similarities between Holacracy and the structure of the California county Grand Jury system. I realized that Grand Juries in California have been using the Holacracy concept where people in the organization have multiple roles while working on different teams, without being micromanaged by a supervisor, for over 100 years.
On the third floor of the University Club of San Francisco was a gathering of complete strangers. The common element among the participants was that many of young adults would soon be leaving to begin their freshmen year at Williams College. The remaining guests in the collegiate wood paneled room on top of Nob Hill […]
As opposed to drought shaming I decided to highlight the many properties near Folsom Lake who were going the extra mile to conserve water during our nasty drought of 2015. The Granite Bay area and the San Juan Water District retail service area have been singled out for some of the highest per capita water use in […]
The Placer County Dewitt Center Homeless Camp is now open for summer shelter. Located close to essential services such as the Welcome Center, Food Stamps, Medical Assistance and Mental Health Substance Abuse Support programs, this homeless camp located in north Auburn has become a popular spot for Placer County residents with no permanent housing. But […]
With Governor Brown’s declarations of a drought emergency in 2014 and subsequent State Water Resources Control Board’s (SWRCB) decisions that some water districts must conserve up 36% of their consumption over the baseline 2013 year, many homeowners are wondering how they can conserve enough water without killing their entire landscaping. While some homeowners have voluntarily […]
Sometimes the craziest ideas actually become reality. In 1870 one man proposed tunneling underneath the Sierra Nevada mountain range to ship Tahoe lake water to San Francisco. While that may seem like an audacious scheme today, similar projects were already underway in the 19th century and parts of the tunnel project under the Sierras have […]