Yosemite’s snow; Yosemite’s woe

The great news in California’s High Sierra this January is that its fabled snowpack, for years underfed by an apparently vengeful Skadi, is almost back to normal after a week of roiling storms left some measuring stations over 100 percent of what is normal for an average April. That means come the spring, the waterfalls tumbling into Yosemite Valley ought to be spectacular — awesome perhaps. That might not be so good for the park.

Port of Oakland Truck Meeting Spins Wheels

By Kwan Booth
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Part of the Bay Area Toxic Tour
The long road leading to cleaner air in West Oakland was stretched just a little farther Tuesday night, as Port of Oakland commissioners postponed voting on a controversial new program to control diesel pollution from thousands of trucks serving the port. West Oakland’s high rates of childhood asthma and lifelong illnesses, such as cancer, are linked to exhaust from truck and international ship traffic through the port. Approximately 100 representatives from the trucking, environmentalist and West Oakland communities packed Tuesday’s meeting as the board considered adopting the Comprehensive Truck Management Plan, which aims to reduce diesel emmissions from the port by 85 percent by 2020. The plan requires that all early-model trucks be fitted with new diesel filters by January 1st, 2010. Opponents of the plan expressed cautious optimism at amendments to include a proposed truck registration system as well as a complete ban on pre-1994 trucks, as recommended by the study.