In the News

February 20, 2024

Education Department says FAFSA fix is coming for Social Security issue

by Medora Lee

A fix is on its way for students who haven't been able to complete the new federal financial aid application because their parents don't have Social Security numbers, the Department of Education said Tuesday. The Education Department said a permanent fix will come in the first half of March, but in the meantime, there's a workaround. Students should complete the steps for the workaround only if they must meet "critical state, institutional or other scholarship organization aid deadlines" by …  Continue Reading

February 16, 2024

US lawmakers call on Biden administration to impose Magnitsky sanctions against Chinese companies

by Chris Chase

A group of U.S. lawmakers has called on U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen to impose Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act (GloMag) sanctions on Chinese companies named in the October 2023 Outlaw Ocean Project report on forced labor in Chinese processing facilities. U.S. representatives Jared Huffman, Mike Gallagher, Raul Grijalva, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Betty McCollum, James Moylan, Josh Gottheimer, Jill Tokuda, Marry Peltola, …  Continue Reading

February 15, 2024

House lawmakers air deep-seated differences on ESA

by Michael Doyle

House members alternately bashed and defended the Endangered Species Act on Wednesday in a hearing that highlighted partisan differences galore but showed no room for compromise on updating a key component of the landmark 1973 law. The hearing before the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife and Fisheries dealt with but one ESA-related bill, H.R. 6784, that itself addressed only one specific part of the law. Still, lawmakers used the occasion to launch broader salvos. "While …  Continue Reading

February 15, 2024

House members raise questions about Johnson’s invite of ‘hate preacher’

by Nina Heller

Lawmakers are asking for answers after a guest chaplain known for his incendiary preaching was sponsored by Speaker Mike Johnson to give the House’s daily opening prayer last month, according to a letter sent to the speaker and the Office of the Chaplain signed by 26 Democratic House members.  The letter describes pastor Jack Hibbs as “a radical Christian Nationalist who helped fuel the January 6th insurrection and has a long record of spewing hateful vitriol toward non-Christians, …  Continue Reading

February 14, 2024

$72 million headed to Klamath River restoration, agriculture infrastructure

by Jackson Guilfoil

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced roughly $72 million in federal funds for Klamath River restoration projects and agriculture infrastructure. Advocates for the Klamath River and agricultural interests are often at odds — one wants cleaner, colder rivers that allow for healthy ecosystems, while the other seeks greater flow diversions for food production — but both appear to benefit from the investment, which would fund the completion of a restoration project, the …  Continue Reading

February 07, 2024

PG&E drops diversion options from its PVP proposal, Mendocino County officials report

by Justine Frederiksen

Mendocino County officials said they will continue working on options for maintaining water diversions between the Eel and Russian rivers that were created more than 100 years ago for the Potter Valley Project, despite the announcement by the Pacific Gas and Electric company last week that it will no longer include plans being formulated by a regional group for modification of the hydroelectric plant’s infrastructure in its proposal for decommissioning the facility. “It’s a shock, and we’re …  Continue Reading

February 06, 2024

Are lawmakers eating seafood produced by slaves?


After working for years to rid the country of foreign seafood produced by enslaved people, Rep. Jared Huffman says the issue has struck close to home. “We have been eating slavery-tainted seafood in the Capitol — I mean, that’s just a certainty,” the California Democrat said in an interview Friday. Huffman is among a group of 22 bipartisan House members who say the Biden administration has not done enough to crack down on Sysco, a major Texas-based supplier that provides food throughout the …  Continue Reading

February 02, 2024

Salmon fishermen to see $20.6 million in relief funds

by Sage Alexander

The federal government announced Thursday that $20.6 million in relief funds would be distributed in California for the fall 2023 salmon fishery resource disaster. This follows the cancellation of last year’s salmon season across the state after abysmal reports of Chinook populations in the Sacramento and Klamath rivers. Coupled with other fishing seasons cut short in Eureka, one charter fisherman characterized it as the worst fishing year in over a decade. The funds, which a National Oceanic …  Continue Reading

January 26, 2024

Biden administration to pause natural gas export approvals as it updates how to assess projects


The Biden administration will pause approvals of some natural gas export facilities as it considers changing how to evaluate them, the administration announced Friday. The current analyses the Energy Department uses to decide whether to authorize exports of liquified natural gas (LNG) do not “adequately account” for factors such as domestic energy costs or planet-warming emissions, the White House said in a fact sheet.  As a result, the administration is temporarily pausing pending decisions …  Continue Reading

January 24, 2024

Feds provide nearly half a billion dollars toward construction of Humboldt Bay marine terminal supporting offshore wind

by Mary Callahan

Plans for a high-tech marine terminal to support the building and operation of offshore wind turbines off the Humboldt County Coast received a boost of nearly half a billion federal dollars Monday. The $426,719,810 grant for the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District comes through the U.S. Department of Transportation, funded in part by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs act of 2021. The funding is for construction of the onshore facilities to support ambitious state …  Continue Reading

January 19, 2024

Eureka to receive $1.9 million to increase local EV charging stations

by Sage Alexander

The federal government announced a $1.9 million federal grant to build electric vehicle charging stations in Eureka. This will mean 21 more public charging stations in 14 locations spread across Eureka, construction of which likely will begin during 2025. Some fast chargers will be added. City Manager Miles Slattery said this will significantly increase the amount of EV chargers and spread them throughout Eureka, making the chargers more convenient to use. “The more convenient we can make …  Continue Reading

January 18, 2024

Sonoma State Receives $7.9 M Grant To Expand Middle School STEM Program

by Maggie Fusek

 A $7.9-million grant from the US Department of Education (ED) to Sonoma State University’s STEM and Computing Education Support (STEMACES) program is the result of a decade of success building technology to enable innovative science education and make it accessible to underrepresented students. STEMACES, which aims to improve middle school student achievement in science and increase the competency of STEM teachers in rural communities, was built on a tech teaching platform funded by two …  Continue Reading

January 18, 2024

Natural Resources Democrats cry foul about border hearing


House Natural Resources Democrats say they’re being excluded from a committee field hearing on border issues in Arizona next month. The hearing is scheduled for the same time Democrats are planning to hold their annual policy retreat outside Washington, and say requests for a change of date have been denied. Lawmakers argued about the matter during an hourslong markup Wednesday on energy and outdoor recreation legislation. Ranking member Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) sent a letter to Chair Bruce …  Continue Reading

January 17, 2024

House committee passes energy, outdoor recreation bills

by Nidhi Prakash

 The House Natural Resources Committee approved legislation Wednesday to address Republican concerns about energy poverty, in addition to a major outdoor recreation package and a bipartisan geothermal permitting bill. Wyoming Republican Rep. Harriet Hageman’s "Energy Poverty Prevention and Accountability Act," H.R. 5482, would require federal agencies to publish studies on potential increases in home heating, electricity or gas prices before finalizing any energy policy. The legislation …  Continue Reading

January 17, 2024

Congressman Jared Huffman’s 2023 Year in Review

by Lauren Schmitt

Listen to the interivew here: …  Continue Reading

January 16, 2024

Natural Resources sets vote on energy, recreation bills

by Nidhi Prakash

The House Natural Resources Committee will vote on legislation Wednesday to require federal agencies to study any increase in home heating, electricity or gas prices before implementing energy policies. H.R. 5482, from Rep. Harriet Hageman (R-Wyo.), is part of House Republicans’ push to frame the Biden administration’s renewable energy and climate goals as detrimental to low-income and working-class families. “The Energy Poverty Prevention and Accountability Act will empower the People and …  Continue Reading

January 12, 2024

SMART receives federal funds to study eastward expansion through Sonoma Valley


Schellville could eventually sport a transit station for “a state-of-the-art 21st century low-emissions” east-west rail system between Novato and Suisun City, according to Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit. On Dec. 18, Caltrans received $500,000 as part of the Federal Rail Administration’s Corridor Identification and Development program to conduct a study with rail operators, including Smart for a plan to connect North Bay communities along San Pablo Bay to rail lines in the East Bay and …  Continue Reading

January 12, 2024

More than 900 acres of ‘critical habitat’ added to Mendocino National Forest


More than 900 acres of a sprawling ranch in Mendocino County featuring “rolling hills spotted with protected oak savannah and groves of madrone trees” has been added to the Mendocino National Forest, the Wilderness Land Trust announced this month. In a press release, the land trust reported that it had both completed the purchase of 917 acres of “formerly private land known as the Thomas Creek project,” and successfully transferred to property to the Mendocino National Forest. Aimee …  Continue Reading

January 11, 2024

New Congressional Report Highlights Mike Johnson’s Christian Nationalist Views

by Chris Walker

Members of the Congressional Freethought Caucus (CFC), a collection of 20 lawmakers in Congress who seek to “protect the secular character of our government by adhering to the strict Constitutional principle of the separation of church and state,” released a white paper report on Wednesday showcasing Speaker of the House Mike Johnson’s (R-Louisiana) disturbing Christian nationalist views. The report includes insights into how Johnson has tried to integrate his far right Christian views into …  Continue Reading

January 11, 2024

Tiburon 8th-grader wins App Challenge

Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) announced the winner of the 2023 Congressional App Challenge for California’s Second Congressional District: Jayden Patel, an 8th grader at Del Mar Middle School in Tiburon. Jayden’s winning submission, Allergy Card, allows the user to create their own personal allergy card that can be translated into 15+ languages. “We are lucky to have a district full of bright young minds, and it’s always inspiring to see the forward-looking apps they create in this …  Continue Reading

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