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The number of children in out-of-home care increased by 44% from 1986 to 1995 (from 280,000 to 486,000).

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California CPS News Archive

California News Coverage

by Nicole Charky

Search and rescue experts from Montrose, Sierra Madre and San Dimas were called to help find a 31-year-old hiker who went on a day hike in Sequoia National Park Sunday but has yet to return.

Tom Heng of San Rafael was last seen at approximately 13,000 feet near Mount Langley at 1 p.m. Sunday, according to Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park. The Inyo County Sheriff's Department and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are currently conducting a search-and-rescue operation in and around Mount Langley--about 14,042 feet--in the Inyo National Forest and Sequoia National Park.

July 25, 2012

by Steven Greenhut

San Francisco officials routinely lecture the rest of the U.S. about public health and the environment as they enact laws that, for example, ban McDonald's (MCD) Happy Meals and require businesses to compost their trash.

But when it comes to doing something that would advance a noble public goal -- the conservation of California's most valuable natural resources -- these same moralizers can be shockingly conventional in their attitudes. Consider their response after a group called the Yosemite Restoration Campaign collected enough signatures to put a measure on the Nov. 6 ballot that asks San Franciscans to approve a study on the removal of one of the most controversial dams ever built, the O'Shaughnessy Dam in Yosemite National Park, and for the restoration of the Hetch Hetchy Valley. The initiative would force city officials to figure out a plan for replacing water supplies lost by eliminating one of nine dams controlled by the San Francisco public utility.

July 25, 2012

by Definition

The crackdown on marijuana dispensaries in California reached a new level on Tuesday when the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to ban medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. There's still hope, though. Not all of the pot stores are closing.

On Tuesday, L.A.'s City Council voted to ban pot dispensaries within city limits. There are currently 762 medical marijuana dispensaries in L.A., and technically under the ban they should be each receiving a letter telling them to shut down immediately or face the wrath of the city's lawyers. But the council decided to order an ordinance be drawn up to keep 170 of the original marijuana dispensaries open, so not all hope is lost for Californians. Somewhere, Turtle is quietly weeping.

PJ Media

July 25, 2012

by Adam Blauert

Last weekend I backpacked in the Dinkey Lakes Wilderness, east of Fresno. The name doesn't do the area justice. The lakes were named for a dog named "Dinkey" who saved his master from an angry grizzly bear. He didn't deserve his name, either.

The Dinkey Lakes Wilderness is one of the smaller Sierra wilderness areas, but it contains some really nice lakes and some surprisingly easy terrain. It's a great place to go if you're learning to backpack or aren't up for a difficult trip. The main trail access begins northeast of Shaver Lake. From the parking lot, it's less than two miles to the first of four lakes in a seven-mile semi-loop. I hiked it a couple of years ago as a moderate day hike. This time we returned with a first-time backpacker and made our camp at the first lake.

July 17, 2012

by Tracie Cone

Perhaps no river crossing in Yosemite Valley has been more photographed than the historic Stoneman Bridge: a single, arching span faced with rough-hewn granite that provides a dramatic foreground to Half Dome, the park's most iconic natural marvel.

Yet the 205-foot bridge is slated for possible removal under proposed plans for restoring the natural flow of the Merced River. As a federally designated "Wild and Scenic River," some say its course should be shaped only by nature as it meanders through the valley - and bridge abutments alter that course. The future of the roughly 80-year-old Stoneman and two other spandrel arch bridges has pitted environmentalists, who want the river to flow freely, against historic preservationists who say these early examples of the rustic park architectural style are too culturally important to destroy.

July 16, 2012

by David Whiting

It's dusk. A runner flags me down on the trail. He and his girlfriend have spotted a mountain lion. Somehow, they got separated, the cougar in between them.

Shouting, they agreed she should run back to the car. Now, he's afraid to return alone. Mountain lion sightings are rare and most are sketchy. In my gazillion hours outdoors, I've never had a clear and certain a mountain lion sighting. I've seen fleeting flashes of fur too sleek for a coyote, too big for a bobcat (which have stubby tails). But...

July 16, 2012

A homeschool student on his way to lessons at his grandmother's house was ticketed for allegedly violating daytime curfew laws.

Each morning Ronald Zane (name changed to protect privacy) wakes up and rides the bus to school in Los Angeles. But unlike most California students, Ronald is a homeschooled 7th-grade student who takes the city bus to his grandmother's house each day for lessons.

July 16, 2012

It's an election year and that will likely mean a lot of talk about the American education system. Politicians will surely talk about the fact that America's schools are only ranked "average" compared to the rest of the world.

For parents making key choices about the future of their children, these statistics don't make public schools look attractive, but is homeschooling a better option? Private schools may cost more than a family can afford, and homeschooling requires a parent that doesn't work. If you're looking for the best way to educate your child, and one parent can stay at home, should you consider homeschooling?

July 15, 2012

by Joshua Allen

It is the late afternoon, and foster parent Jeanette Ledesma sits in the waiting room at the Ed Edelman's Children's Court in Los Angeles. This morning, concerned about being late, Jeanette had left her Lancaster home at 6:00 AM for the two-hour trip.

Jeanette is the foster parent of a little girl named Patricia. Jeanette is in court today because she wants to tell the judge how infrequently Patricia's birth mother visits. The birth mother has seen Patricia five times in the past year. Patricia has lived with Jeanette since birth, and Jeanette wants to adopt her before she turns three years old in a few months.

July 15, 2012

by Dave Colby

A November ballot measure in San Francisco will ask voters to decide whether the city should draw up a plan to open O'Shaughnessy Dam, eliminating a huge source of drinking water for the Peninsula.

The San Francisco Chronicle calls the idea "insane." The proposal: a November ballot measure that would ultimately, if passed, move us closer to the idea of draining the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park. The reservoir is the main water source for about 2.5 million Bay Area residents in San Francisco, on the Peninsula, and scattered throughout other parts of our immediate region.

July 15, 2012

by Meghan Hoyer

Yosemite National Park saw near-record numbers of visitors in 2011, but those people didn't stick around.

In places such as Yosemite, the drop-off is much greater. Park spokesman Scott Gediman said fewer people are making the park a destination for a week-long camping trip, instead choosing to cruise through the Valley seeing a few main sites for a few hours before heading elsewhere. "The way the visitors are seeing the parks is totally changing," he said. "We'll see 70-80 buses come through, and maybe one or two of them are spending the night. More and more, people are not just coming here, they're going to other parks and places as well. We're finding that vacations themselves have changed."

July 14, 2012

On the heels of the mountain lion sighting in the Mill Valley Reservoir, we wanted to know: have you seen a mountain lion?

Kathy Fitzgerald was walking her dog in the area of the Mill Valley Reservoir when she spotted something not incredibly uncommon but jaw-dropping nonetheless: a large mountain lion. According to her husband Paul Fitzgerald, she spotted the cougar about 50 yards away, right in the middle of the dry reservoir, at 7:40 p.m. Wednesday evening.

July 13, 2012

by Bonnie Eslinger

When Alice Van Ness started teaching yoga to Facebook employees at the company's Menlo Park campus a few months ago, she didn't expect to be taught a lesson.

And a costly lesson it was. The 35-year-old San Carlos resident was fired last month for trying to restrict cellphone use in her class. Although she tells her students before every class to turn off their cellphones, Van Ness said that in the middle of a Monday noontime class at Facebook, a female employee

July 11, 2012

by Paul Rogers

Beginning a new chapter in one of America's oldest conservation battles, environmental groups Monday are expected to turn in enough signatures to qualify a November ballot measure in San Francisco that would require the city to draw up a plan.

The reservoir in Yosemite National Park and the Tuolumne River that flows into it are the main water source for 2.5 million Bay Area residents who live in San Francisco or on the Peninsula, as well as in parts of San Jose and Alameda County. The group Restore Hetch Hetchy, three former Yosemite superintendents and other supporters say voters should have a chance to bring Hetch Hetchy Valley -- a scenic area on par with Yosemite Valley that was submerged 90 years ago -- back to life.

July 9, 2012

by Mary Holman

Californians with travel plans to Yosemite will be surprised to learn that the National Trust for Historic Preservation has added the Rustic bridges in Yosemite National Park to its 2012 list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

This annual list spotlights important examples of the nation's heritage that are at risk of destruction or irreparable damage. The National Trust and the Park Service are officially at odds over a national treasure, each in the name of protecting America's resources.

July 8, 2012

by Maura Dolan

When a child is transported without a car seat and dies, the siblings may be removed from the home by authorities, the California Supreme Court rules.

The state high court ruled in favor of Los Angeles County social workers who placed two young boys in foster care after their 18-month-old sister, held on the lap of an aunt, was killed when a driver ran a stop sign and plowed into the car their father was driving.

July 6, 2012

by Ben Keller

Councilmembers in a small ski town high in California's Sierra Nevada voted unanimously Monday to file for bankruptcy, the second local government in the state to recently make that decision.

Mammoth Lakes is facing a $43 million judgment that's more than twice the town's budget. Papers seeking Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection could be filed in court as soon as Tuesday, according to Marianna Marysheva-Martinez, the assistant town manager.

July 4, 2012

A California court is considering a move to expand the parent-child relationship in the state to allow a child to legally have more than two parents.

Sen. Mark Leno, a Democrat, has proposed a bill that he says will allow California to catch up with the times, and give family courts the power to make decisions that keep children out of foster care when a third "parent" is willing to step in.

July 4, 2012

by Kate Mather

Crews have "redoubled their effort" and will work through the 4th of July holiday to track a mountain lion that mauled a sleeping hiker over the weekend in the Sierra Nevada foothills in Nevada County, the Department of Fish and Game said.

The victim, a 63-year-old Marin County man who asked authorities not to release his name, was treated and released at a Grass Valley hospital for puncture and scratch wounds on his scalp and arm, authorities said. It was only the 15th confirmed mountain lion attack on a human in California since 1890. The most recent was a January 2007 attack on a 70-year-old man in Humboldt County's Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.

July 4, 2012

by Peter Brown Hoffmeister

Why do so many people in Yosemite spend hours INSIDE, waiting in long lines to buy expensive knickknacks with images of the natural features that are right OUTSIDE?

When I picture Yosemite, I think of the mother brown bear and her two cubs who foraged for pinion pine nuts next to our tent in Crane Flats. I picture the cougar that walked up to our boulder at Swan Slabs and leapt 8 feet vertically -- without a running start. I think of Yosemite and Bridalveil Falls, Vernal and Nevada as well. Or the time I was 800 feet up Middle Cathedral on that bright orange granite, and a falcon dove just below the ledge I was standing on.

July 4, 2012

by Michael Harper

A public service announcement to those of you living in Marijuana friendly states: If you are prescribed pot to help with whatever ailment you may experience, be sure to keep it out of reach of children.

That's the lesson a California grandmother learned last weekend as her 3-year old grandson was rushed to the hospital after the child's family couldn't wake him on Saturday morning. Rather than smoke her treatment, she had baked some of her prescription into a batch of cookies and stored them in a refrigerator in the family's garage.

July 4, 2012

by Susan Donaldson James

California, the battleground state for the arguments for and against same-sex marriage, is now considering an unconventional law that would allow children to be legally granted more than two parents.

The bill -- SB1476 -- would apply equally to men and women, and to homosexual or heterosexual relationships. Proposed by State Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, it has passed the Senate and awaits an Assembly vote.

July 3, 2012

Just in time for the Fourth of July holiday, visitors can enjoy the Stanford Mansion ... maybe even drop by the Governor's Mansion.

They're part of the list of 70 state parks that were slated to close July 1 because of budget cuts. Now one, Providence Mountains, in remote San Bernardino County, remains doomed. Despite a $31 million line-item veto by Gov. Brown, most will stay open at least a few more weeks thanks to private donations.

July 1, 2012

by Gary Warth

Surrounded by open spaces and rolling hills in the midst of Twin Oaks Valley, the newest residential development in San Marcos could pass for a small resort, a quiet haven outside the city and refuge from a hectic world.

This development, however, is not for vacationers or retirees. Composed of three 4,000-square-foot houses and a large administration building, the development is the new home of Casa de Amparo, the county's only privately run emergency home for abused or neglected children.

July 1, 2012

by Patric Hedlund

The Duhm family lives in Pine Mountain. Anne Duhm and her husband have four children, ages 10 through 17, in El Tejon Unified School District now. These are excerpts from a recent interview.

For many years Duhm's children were homeschooled: "We homeschooled with CAVA (California Virtual Academy) for 5th through 8th grade for our son. By 9th grade we wanted him to go to Frazier Mountain High School (FMHS). But after all the stories I'd heard, I felt I was sending my child off to war." Duhm reports that Principal Anthony Saba made a great difference in just one year at FMHS: "The whole vibe on the campus is so different. Our son has seen a seriousness about the school grow. The message is: 'your education is important and you have to step up to the plate.' I definitely saw that happen this year. In the three years my son has been there, we have seen an exciting change."

June 29, 2012

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