Katching up
By: Kirby Desha for The News Messenger
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“Long-term systemic failure” was the phrase used by an independent team of forensic investigators who were hired to report on the near catastrophic collapse at Oroville Dam last February.

Now think about that for a moment. How would any company or state run agencies like to have that term on a report card?

The panel didn’t stop there either.

"Due to the unrecognized inherent vulnerability of the design and as-constructed conditions, and the chute slab deterioration, the spillway chute slab failure, although inevitable, was unexpected.”

And how did they feel about the Department of Water Resources, the agency that runs the dam? …"somewhat overconfident and complacent … inadequate priority for dam safety."

Even though problems emerged soon after dam completion in 1968, "The slab cracking and underdrain flows, although originally thought of as unusual, were quickly deemed to be 'normal,' and as simply requiring on-going repairs," the panel wrote. "However, repeated repairs were ineffective and possibly detrimental." 

And our politicians down at the state capitol wonder why no one supports the Twin Tunnels project?

New California Boating Law

As of Jan. 1, the mandatory boating safety education law goes into effect and will be phased in by one’s age. The card is issued by the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways. The DBW began issuing the California Boater Card Dec. 1. The lifetime card fee is $10. Replacing a lost card fee is $5.

On Sept. 18, 2014, Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. signed into law Senate Bill 941, which prohibits the operation of motorized vessels in California without a valid operator card developed and issued by DBW.

Anyone operating any type of motorized vessel on California waterways (including powered sailboats/paddle craft), the operator will be required to pass an approved boating safety examination and carry a lifetime California Boater Card.

The law will be phased-in for all boaters over the next eight years.

International Sportsman’s Expo

Starting Thursday, more than 600 exhibitors will pack into Sacramento’s Cal Expo for the annual ISE show. Adult tickets are $16; youth under 15 are free.

This is a crazy show that covers all things outdoors and many exhibitors are running show specials.

NTAC Season Opens

The season opener for the 2018 NorCal Trout Angler's Challenge series – presented by Gone Fishin' Marine – is Feb. 3, less than one month away. San Pablo Dam in El Sobrante will again be the site of its sixth exciting season.
Last year’s NTAC Championship, held at Collins Lake, saw angler Joe Hill take home the overall championship with a 4.85-pound rainbow. AND he won the top-10 draw for a brand new 14-foot Tracker boat, with 15-horsepower Mercury outboard and trailer valued at more than $6,000!

Registration for all events is going on now so visit or call (916) 768-0938 to get set up.