Noteworthy News

California is drought-free for the first time in nearly a decade
It’s official: California is 100% drought-free. For the first time since 2011, the state shows no areas suffering from prolonged drought and illustrates almost entirely normal conditions, according to a map released Thursday by the U.S. Drought Monitor.
In the middle of a butterfly crisis, California sees a burst of painted ladies
Perhaps you spotted them on La Cienega, flitting north by the thousands near the Westfield mall.
Southern California Edison power lines sparked deadly Thomas fire, investigators find
Investigators have determined that Southern California Edison power lines ignited the 2017 Thomas fire, a massive blaze in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties that killed two people and later gave rise to a massive mudflow that resulted in at least 21 deaths.
Destruction from sea level rise in California could exceed worst wildfires and earthquakes, new research shows
In the most extensive study to date on sea level rise in California, researchers say damage by the end of the century could be far more devastating than the worst earthquakes and wildfires in state history.
MWD vote moves Colorado River drought plan forward
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California on Tuesday sealed California’s participation in a landmark Colorado River drought management plan, agreeing to shoulder more of the state’s future delivery cuts to prevent Lake Mead from falling to dangerously low levels.
An oil boom is transforming the eastern Mediterranean — and changing relationships, especially with Israel
In 2007, Mathios Rigas spent $1.13 million to buy a near-dormant oil well in Greece with a license that was about to expire. The engineer-turned-banker hired a Venezuelan petroleum chemist, the only person he had met in Greece who knew about oil and gas. 
Tesla plans to raise prices and backpedals on closing most stores
Elon Musk is backtracking from a jarring change in Tesla Inc.’s retail strategy, keeping many of the automaker’s stores open and raising the prices of its electric cars as a result.
Plant smugglers take ‘massive’ toll on California's Dudleya farinosa succulent species
On his belly in the bushes in a camouflage ghillie suit, California game warden Patrick Freeling came across a bulging backpack resting on a blufftop and knew he was onto something big.
California wants to reform PG&E, but just how is uncertain
The easiest step, said UC Berkeley energy economist Severin Borenstein, is “probably the thing that most people would be unhappy about”: reorganizing the company with a new management team and board and “just letting them continue on.” Several PG&E executives, including the previous CEO, recently departed the company,
Sick marine mammals turning up on California beaches in droves
The deep blue waters and crashing waves along the coast of California provide a picturesque backdrop to the state’s shores, but the sight has been marred of late.