Politico: Trump wildfire tweets spark confusion about California water

Californians are stunned at President Donald’s Trump’s latest tweets on the state‘s catastrophic wildfires — and his insistence that the state is burning because leaders are letting too much fresh water flow into the Pacific Ocean.

Trump tweeted Monday that California “Governor Jerry Brown must allow the Free Flow of the vast amounts of water coming from the North and foolishly being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Can be used for fires, farming and everything else. Think of California with plenty of Water – Nice! Fast Federal govt. approvals.”

That tweet — on the heels of a Sunday tweet that referenced California’s “bad environmental laws” as a cause of the state’s current raging wildfires — drew an immediate reaction from veteran California GOP strategist Rob Stutzman, who responded via Twitter: “This is nuts’’ and also “low water IQ.” Stutzman has advised former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and a host of national and state GOP candidates.

Trump’s comments may be referencing an unrelated dispute between Brown’s administration and California Republicans over how much of the state’s water can be diverted to Southern California farms and cities and how much must be allowed to flow naturally to benefit endangered and threatened fish species.

Wildfires around California have killed nine people, but firefighters have not raised concerns about the available water supplies.

“The notion that somehow more water would be mitigating or better in fighting these fires is just mind-boggling,’’ Stutzman told POLITICO on Monday. “I don’t watch ‘Fox & Friends,’ but it would seem that someone has put the idea in his head. It doesn’t even show an elementary understanding of water policy.’’

Fox & Friends had aired a segment about the California fires nearly five hours before Trump‘s Monday tweet but didn’t discuss water issues as part of the segment.

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KQED: In Wildfire-Hit Redding, Latino Family Offers Free Food — in Face of Racial Tensions

Elsa Ceja’s parents came from Mexico and opened La Cabaña restaurant in the city of Redding 22 years ago.

When the fires broke out last week, Elsa and her whole family were in Mexico on vacation. They landed in Sacramento last Saturday, July 28, when the blaze was at its height. Flames were consuming parts of the city.

“Everyone was scared,” Elsa says. “And I’m like no, we gotta go back. We gotta see what’s going on. We have to go home and see and help. We can’t just take off. We have to be there for our community. They’ve been there for us so many years. It’s time for us to be there.”

Elsa and her family rushed home. They posted on Facebook that they would give free food to first responders and firefighters, and 20 percent discounts to evacuees. They started distributing breakfast burritos at a nearby evacuation center.

For more help, Elsa called her sister, Alma Fragoso, in Sacramento, about 2½ hours away. Alma contacted her local priest to get donations — water, clothes, hygiene products and toys. They piled it all into a truck and drove it up to Redding.

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Anchorage Daily News: Companies’ first step toward drilling for oil in ANWR deemed inadequate by feds

Two Alaska Native corporations and a small oil services firm together have applied to do extensive seismic work next winter in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the first move toward development there since Congress voted late last year to open up the pristine wilderness to oil and gas drilling.

But while President Donald Trump, congressional Republicans, the oil industry and Alaska leaders have been pushing hard to develop the refuge that had been off limits to petroleum exploration for more than three decades, the Interior Department’s initial response to the consortium’s permit application was negative.

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