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Paradise animal memorial unveiled  | Gov. releases extreme heat plan | New bill aims to make energy costs transparent


The latest North State and California news on our airwaves for Monday, May 2.

New state plan aims to address the impacts of rising temperatures

Californians have witnessed year after year of record-setting high temperatures. Late last week, the governor’s office released a plan to address its impacts.

The new plan aims to boost protections for communities dealing with extreme heat. Samuel Assefa directs the governor’s office of planning and research.

“We know more not only the health impact but every aspect of the quality of life of vulnerable communities that don't have the infrastructure to address heat,” Assefa said.

He added this report highlights how adapting to high temperatures affects all parts of life — from transportation to housing to the workplace, and it also emphasizes the need to act quickly.

Gov. Gavin Newsom dedicated $300 million in last year’s budget to fund implementation of the plan.

— CapRadio Staff

Memorial for animals lost in 2018 Camp Fire opens in Paradise

A monument for pets and wildlife lost in the 2018 Camp Fire was recently unveiled in Paradise. About 100 people came to visit and mourn on the day of its opening at the end of April.

The monument is the culmination of almost four years of work and fund-raising. Bill Simonton, volunteer coordinator with Paradise Animal Shelter Helpers, said the installation was a community-wide effort.

“Everybody was supportive, everybody, there was no politics involved. The town … everybody tried to help out,” Simonton said.

The memorial is just one more example of Camp Fire survivors returning to the area and supporting one another.

— Ken Devol, NSPR

New bill would require landlords to disclose energy efficiency

Sky-high rental housing prices throughout California are forcing many tenants out of the market, but for those who do manage to find a place, utility costs can be jarring. A new bill in the state Legislature is intended to prevent that sticker shock.

Democratic Senator Bob Wieckowski, author of the bill, said tenants don't know how much to budget for energy costs until they actually live in a space.

“Because landlords don't pay the power bills, there's no incentive for the landlord to make these energy and money-saving efficiency upgrades," he said. “The tenant has no incentive to upgrade the windows and replace an old refrigerator because they can't take them with them when they leave."

Under the new bill, tenants would be able to review an energy efficiency disclosure form to give them a more comprehensive idea of their monthly expenses before signing a lease. It would list basic information about heating systems, insulation, windows and doors, and appliances.

The bill passed out of the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee and moves next to the Appropriations Committee.

— CapRadio Staff

California plans to seal some defunct oil wells

California plans to step up its efforts to seal the more than 5,000 orphan oil and gas wells in the state using more than $165 million in new federal funding.

The plan would apply to defunct wells with no established company or other legal party attached to them. California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot said these wells can still contaminate the environment and pose health risks to communities.

“This is a huge problem in California and throughout the country. So we are really excited with this scaled-up federal investment. Frankly, it's a game-changer,” Crowfoot said.

The wells will be filled with cement so no fluid can flow out of them, and no emissions can escape to the surface.

— Saul Gonzalez and KQED Staff, The California Report 

Stories from NPR partner stations are edited by NSPR Staff for digital presentation and credited as requested.

In other news

  • How will Chico enforce anti-camping laws?: “The order is official: the city can begin its year-long delay of enforcing its anti-camping ordinances — homeless people will have up to 10 days to leave their camp once their site has been officially notified.” — Chico Enterprise-Record
  • Planning for Chester Main Street underway; public input sought: “The idea of an Open House and ‘Project Introduction’ to kick off the planning for a project to improve the quality, safety and beautification of Chester Main Street was decidedly a good idea for the folks in the Lake Almanor area, considering that almost 60 residents attended at least one of the two sessions scheduled on April 26 at the Almanor Rec. Center.” — Plumas News
  • CalFire uses Wildfire Preparedness Week to share awareness message: “California’s Wildfire Preparedness Week is May 1 through May 7, and CalFire and its partner agencies are spending the week raising awareness on what individuals and communities can do to help protect themselves against the threat of wildfires.” — Lassen County Times

  • Sutter County Library ready to reopen: “Wednesday evening marked the long anticipated grand re-opening of Sutter County Library. Around 50 people were in attendance with several county and city officials showing support for this important community asset." — The Appeal-Democrat

In case you missed it

Headlines is published every weekday morning at 8:30 a.m. Subscribe on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and NPR One. Theme song Borough is courtesy of Blue Dot Sessions

Angel Huracha has been a part of the journalism field since 2006 and has covered a range of topics. He is a graduate of Chico State with a Bachelor's degree in news-editorial and public relations with a minor in English.
Alec Stutson grew up in Colorado and graduated from the University of Missouri with degrees in Radio Journalism, 20th/21st Century Literature, and a minor in Film Studies. He is a huge podcast junkie, as well as a movie nerd and musician.
Adia White is a broadcast journalist and producer with nearly 10 years of experience. Her work has appeared on WNYC, This American Life, Capital Public Radio and other local and national programs. She started at North State Public Radio as a freelance reporter in 2017 before leaving for a stint at Northern California Public Media in Santa Rosa.