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Column by Siskiyou County Supervisor Marcia Armstrong, Pioneer Press 9/4/09

STATE WATER BOND AND DAM REMOVAL: The Board of Supervisors just learned that rush California legislation being proposed on Delta water issues contains a clause that would place a water bond on the ballot in 2010 that would include money to fund $250 million for Klamath dam removal.

At this point, the proposed Safe Drinking Water and Water Supply Reliability Act of 2010 (Caballero) has no provision for funding mitigation of damages to the people of Siskiyou County caused by dam removal. Money allotted by both the Oregon and California legislation does not adequately fund expected impact costs as highlighted in the Dept. of Interior’s CDM report; provide for restoration of the affected area; reimburse affected property owners for the loss of value to their property; fund an alternative water supply for the people of Yreka; reimburse the County for the loss of substantial tax revenue; nor does it fund development of renewable energy to replace the loss of hydropower to local rate payers.

The County is asking that the bond allocate up to $2.5 million for Siskiyou County to have its consultants and representatives participate in economic, social and environmental review process for the study of the proposed removal of the dams. The County asks that funding for mitigating environmental, social and economic impacts receive priority allocation from the $250 million before paying for other (dam removal) costs. (An alternative would be that payment for other costs be contingent upon first finding adequate sources of funding for these liabilities.)

NATURAL SCIENCES: I just got back from a restful New Mexico vacation with family and grandchildren. (It was my first formal vacation in more than a decade.) I did, however, miss a few meetings and a fire.

One of the sights I took in was the Explora! – a permanent hands-on natural sciences exhibit in Albuquerque . http://www.explora.us/en/ My granddaughter was so engaged that we had to go back a second time after naps. There were demonstration experiments that kids and grown-ups could do with optics, sound, wind/flight, water/hydrology, mechanics, gravity and really huge bubbles. I took many photos. Check some out here: http://users.sisqtel.net/armstrng/explora.htm

It occurred to me that lots of the exhibits were something that local people here could build. Many of our children work in hands-on fields as adults. Getting kids interested in science and understanding the workings of the physical world at an early age would seem a good idea. Perhaps different groups could each build an exhibit that could be set up for the County Fair or a special event. After several years, we would have built a collection for our own permanent exhibit.

If you are interested in working on such a project, give me a call at 468-2824

COLLEGE OF SISKIYOUS: COS is now offering several new courses in the field of Environmental Resources: http://www.siskiyous.edu/cte/environmental/ There is one series leading to a certificate in Environmental Resources Technology; one series on Power Generation Technology and one on Sustainable Communities.

KLAMATH RIVER SYSTEM-WIDE TMDL: A hearing/workshop will be held by the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board at 9 a.m. on Thursday September 10 at the Grenada Community Berean Church 512 6th St. In Grenada.

BIOMASS UTILIZATION: The Board of Supervisors will be holding a workshop on biomass utilization on Thursday, September 22 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Board Chambers – second floor, Courthouse in Yreka.

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