Aiello, Dan


Dan Aiello, is the Sacramento reporter for the California Progress Report.

Brown to Hold Conference On California's Future In An Era of Global Warming

By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

On December 15th Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. will bring together environmentalists, business leaders and public health and safety officials in San Francisco for the Governor’s Conference on Extreme Climate Risks and California’s Future.

The conference is reminiscent of Brown's first term as governor a quarter century ago when the environment was a top priority of the young Brown administration.

Smelt Survive Water Exporters Appeal To U.S. Supreme Court, Wolk Says Delta Next

By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

On Sunday the U.S. Supreme Court let stand a federal appeals court decision that upheld the use of the Endangered Species Act in protecting the near-extinct Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Smelt. 

Environmentalists rejoiced over the news the high court had declined to hear the appeal of three Central Valley Farms that sought to limit the law’s reach in protecting the 2 ½” long Delta fish from extinction. 

The rebuff marks the sixth time the nation’s highest court has refused to question the Endangered Species Act, according to Greg Stohr at Bloomberg.com.

Hetch Hetchy Could Drown Feinstein in 2012

By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

If qualified, a local ballot measure in San Francisco calling for the restoration of the Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park could play a decisive role in next year’s U.S. Senate race where the Democrat incumbent, Dianne Feinstein, already faces troubling poll numbers, a campaign finance debacle and a potential Republican opponent with a venerable California pedigree.

The expected 2012 ballot measure will ask San Francisco’s environment-leaning, progressive voters to right what has been called the greatest environmental wrong in the nation’s history by returning the Hetch Hetchy Valley to the National Park Service for the 8 mile long valley’s eventual restoration.  

Feinstein has long opposed the proposition of restoring the valley famed naturalist John Muir himself fought to save. Muir described Hetch Hetchy as “one of nature’s rarest and most precious mountain temples,” and even today visitors instantly recognize the Hetch Hetchy as Yosemite Valley’s twin.  

Brown Says Pension Reform Plan ‘Fulfills Promise’ to California’s Taxpayers

By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

Fulfilling a campaign promise he made to California voters last year, Governor Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown, Jr.  released his pension reform plan for public employees.

The governor’s plan includes 12 major reforms for state and local pension systems that would end system-wide abuses and reduce taxpayer costs by billions of dollars over the long term, according to the governor’s press office.

Among Brown’s proposals: increase the retirement age, require employees to share pension costs, establish a new, stricter limit on post-retirement employment and end the practice of “spiking,” a tradition of raising salary rates for employees in their final year as a way to increase pension benefits.

Governor Lowers Flags To Honor Fallen Native Son

By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

Above the historic State Capitol California’s Bear flag lowered to
half-staff to honor her native son, a resident of Hidden Valley Lake.

Governor Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown, Jr. ordered the U.S. and California state flag to be lowered today in tribute to Private First Class Steven F. Shapiro, who was killed in Talil, Iraq October 21st.  He was 29 years old.

Governor Brown and First Lady Anne Gust Brown extend their deepest condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time.

Ammiano Calls Medical Marijuana Crackdown ‘Pure Thuggery,’ Asks Senators and Citizens To Speak Out

By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

Following yesterday’s press conference timed to coincide with the visit of President Barack Obama, San Francisco’s Democrat Assemblymember Tom Ammiano says he’s “pretty pissed off about this unwarranted attack,” referring to the multitude of federal raids orchestrated by the Administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) on California’s medical marijuana dispensaries, their landlords and patients. 

The DOJ and federal prosecutors have said the raids are part of an effort to stop the proliferation of for-profit dispensaries and prescribe-for-pay doctor’s offices that have sprouted up in California communities with no local regulations for dispensaries of medical marijuana. 

Reps, Residents and Ranchers Worry About Water Exporters Control Over Delta Plan

By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

At an oversight hearing in Sacramento last week, Assemblymember Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), chairman of the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee, voiced concern that water exporters will have unprecedented control over the content and focus of a plan that would steer the state’s water policies for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta for next fifty years.

The hearing on the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) was the fifth held by Huffman, whose district stretches from the Delta, the largest wetlands estuary west of the Mississippi, to coastal communities north of the Golden Gate - many of which are dependent on commercial fishing of the endangered Delta Salmon.

State Senator Leno Calls For Meeting With Feds Over Medical Marijuana Crackdown

By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

Federal prosecutors made good on threats they would begin to crackdown on California’s medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the state angering two state legislators who are calling on feds to meet with them in Sacramento.

The aggressiveness and scale of the federal law enforcement’s raids surprised many local authorities and frightened the state’s dispensary operators, growers, patients and advocates for medical marijuana use. The raids angered at least two state officials who saw the crackdown by the Department of Justice as an unwarranted infringement on the rights of the state and its citizens to govern the use and distribution of the drug.

Democrats Call on Feds to Back Off Attacks on Medical Marijuana

By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

San Francisco Democrats State Senator Mark Leno and Assemblymember Tom Ammiano held a press conference today to publicly protest what they describe as an increasing number of Federal government raids on Medical Marijuana dispensaries underway within the sovereign borders of the Golden State.

Ammiano, author of SB390 and Leno joined Medical Marijuana patients, dispensary owners and advocates at a press conference held, perhaps symbolically, at the State building on the City’s Civic Center plaza, to call for an immediate end to the federal government’s broad crackdown on dispensaries in California.

Delta Fish Rebound Endangers Already Troubled Water Bond, Claim Opponents

By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

The Department of Fish and Game’s announcement this month of a remarkable turnaround in the populations of the Bay-Delta estuary’s endangered Smelt and Salmon species spelled more trouble for proponents of the state’s 2012 water bond measure.

Delta legislators and environmentalists were delighted by news of the recovering populations within the Delta but, assured an epic election battle where they expect to be heavily outspent by water interest groups, continue to promote science, conservation and regional sustainability over what they claim is a monolithic funding measure that's bloated with unnecessarily expensive statewide solutions to what amount to regional water woes.