From the Los Angeles Times, in a commentary by William Kahrl:
“One hundred years after its opening, the Los Angeles Aqueduct continues to cast a long shadow over the rough and tumble of California water policy. The arrival of water from the Owens Valley made the modern city possible. But it also reshaped Los Angeles to suit its capabilities and changed water politics forever.”
“Something about this region – perhaps the looming presence of Mount Shasta itself, often shrouded in both mystery and lenticular clouds – seems to either attract or cultivate all manner of contrarians and curmudgeons, free-thinkers and the fiercely independent. …
“Little surprise, then, that the Mount Shasta Sisson Museum is in the midst of a three-year tribute to a larger-than-life figure who so embodies the wild contradictions that seem inherent in these parts.
“As the morning haze peeled off the northern corner of the San Fernando Valley, Fred Barker walked along remnants of an engineering marvel that transformed a dusty railhead into a metropolis … One hundred years ago — Nov.
“California’s gold rush may long be over, but mercury-contaminated soil from mining activities in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada continues to flow downstream, impacting fish and the environment, a new study suggests.”
“Experts have long pondered the cause of the crisis that led to the collapse of civilization in the Late Bronze Age, and now believe that by studying grains of fossilized pollen they have uncovered the cause.
“In a study published Monday in Tel Aviv: Journal of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University, researchers say it was drought that led to the collapse in the ancient southern Levant.”
“It was billed as a mobile art project designed to enhance appreciation for the Los Angeles Aqueduct on its 100th birthday and for the equine forces that helped build it: On Friday, 100 mules set out on a 240-mile plod from the eastern Sierra to the City of Angels.
“Scientists looking for clues to the origins of life on Earth have discovered new life forms right here in Sonoma County that may shed light on how life evolved — and how it might be detected elsewhere in the universe.
“A three-year study of alkaline ponds at The Cedars, a vast but remote serpentine area north of Cazadero, has uncovered microorganisms never before detected, existing in the kinds of harsh conditions believed to reflect those that first gave rise to life, scientists say.”
“Shasta County was in the midst of the second of its big boom times. In the fall on 1938 thousands of men had poured into the northern end of the Sacramento Valley, setting up lean-tos and shanty towns on the outskirts of Redding, near the Diestelhorst Bridge and further north.
“Just as the hunt for gold brought scores of men north in the hopes of striking it rich, the prospect of finding work on the last of the Great Depression’s major reclamation projects marked the start of another economic boom for the area.”
Join Sascha Rice Oct. 26 for a special screening of her Emmy-nominated documentary film, California State of Mind: The Legacy of Pat Brown, during the California Council of History Education Conference in Sacramento. This event is sponsored by the Center for California Studies at Sacramento State and is free and open to the public.
“Some of the oldest and most picturesque bridges in the Sacramento region are quietly fading away. …
“Sacramento County – home to numerous small bridges over rivers, creeks and Delta sloughs – revealed plans last week to spend $81 million in federal funds to replace 13 bridges and rehab another over the next five years.”
From the Los Angeles Times, in a column by Patt Morrison:
“A hundred years ago, California yanked a water-engineering wonder out of a desert, so why can’t we conjure a thoughtful ink-and-paper magazine out of the era of digital publishing? The watery miracle worker was William Mulholland, whose spectacular and politically divisive Los Angeles Aqueduct opened Nov.
From the Redding Record Searchlight, in a commentary by Jim Milestone, superintendent of Whiskeytown National Recreation Area:
“The National Park Service at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, Shasta Historical Society, Friends of Whiskeytown and the Shasta Union High School District will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s visit to Whiskeytown Dam with two events on Saturday.
“The first event is a Sunrise Celebration beginning at 6:30 a.m. at Whiskeytown Dam. … The second event is at the David Marr Theater in Redding and will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
From the San Francisco Chronicle, in Tom Steinstra’s Outdoors column:
“The ancient Ohlone used the oak trees – going by when they dropped their acorns in the fall – to forecast weather for the coming winter in the Bay Area. To the north, the Wintu watched the bears, and how early, shiny and thick they grew their winter coats.
“By that logic and other observations last week, the Bay Area, Sierra Nevada and other parts of Northern California are in for a big winter with plenty of rain and snow.”
“Dozens of people wore bright yellow t-shirts Friday to make history on top of the Shasta Dam. The community is commemorating the 75th anniversary of the groundbreaking of the Shasta Dam construction project.
“Stories about the way life used to be on the Delta will entertain listeners next month at a fundraiser for Delta Science Center. …
“Two local storytellers who have spent their lives on the Delta will recount the history of a bygone era, sharing the adventures of pioneers, ferry boat captains, those who built the levees, and people who lived on islands, among others.”
From the Redding Record Searchlight, in a commentary by David Guy, president of the Northern California Water Association (NCWA):
“The anniversary this week commemorating the 1938 groundbreaking provides a moment to reflect on Shasta Dam, the role that surface storage serves today in California, and how these facilities have shaped the landscape in Northern California….
“Like most great public works projects, the management of Lake Shasta will continue to evolve for the next 75 years to reflect new and changing values in our society.”
From the Northern California Water Association (NCWA) Blog in a post by NCWA President David Guy:
“In the summer of 1938, during the height of the Great Depression, ground was broken for the largest public works project in Northern California. The people in Northern California this past week honored the important role that Shasta Dam and the resulting Shasta Lake play in the community and the larger Sacramento Valley.