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News - August 30, 2019

Community briefs

County wins sanctuary funding lawsuit

Santa Clara County and San Francisco won a final victory in a lawsuit Friday challenging President Donald Trump's threat to withhold federal funding for sanctuary cities and counties.

Trump issued the executive order on Jan. 25, 2017, shortly after being inaugurated. Santa Clara County stood to lose $1.7 billion in federal funding due to its sanctuary county laws, which protect undocumented immigrants from raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and restrict law enforcement cooperation with federal agencies.

The San Francisco federal court granted Santa Clara County and San Francisco a preliminary injunction in April 2017 protecting both regions from the order, which was later upheld by an appeals court in August 2018.

On Friday, Aug. 23, the court issued a final ruling creating permanent protections for the sanctuary counties.

"Santa Clara County taxpayers send their tax dollars to Washington and reasonably expect those federal funds will help deliver essential public health and safety services to our County residents and others across the nation, rather than being used as a bargaining chip on federal immigration policy," Santa Clara County Board President Joe Simitian said in a statement.

Ballet studio's youth scholarships

Does your child aspire to be a ballet dancer? The Mountain View-based Western Ballet has announced a series of new scholarships and financial aid to encourage local children to enroll in dance classes.

As a nonprofit, Western Ballet strives to make classical ballet available to the community, regardless of ability to pay for lessons. To that end, the studio is offering up to $20,000 in aid programs to help students who could no otherwise afford tuition.

Any students who are interested in the scholarships are asked come for an audition on Saturday, Aug. 31, starting at 1 p.m. The studio is located at 914 N. Rengstorff Ave. in Mountain View.

The scholarships are primarily intended for boys or girls aged between 6 to 10. All who audition are asked to come wearing non-restrictive dance clothes. To be eligible, a parent or guardian will need to provide a copy of their 2018 tax return. More information is at westernballet.org.

—Mark Noack

Supervisors declare climate crisis

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors declared a climate crisis Tuesday, Aug. 27, joining dozens of Bay Area cities and counties that have pledged resources toward mitigating global warming.

Supervisor Dave Cortese introduced the resolution in tandem with the county's ongoing environmental efforts to end greenhouse gas emissions and move to 100 percent renewable electric power. The supervisors approved the resolution unanimously, with one member absent.

"Our planet, our livelihoods and the livelihoods of generations to come are at stake," Cortese said. "We are at an important junction in our history where folks from all walks of life are uniting behind a global mission to restore the climate for future generations."

San Francisco, Petaluma, Oakland, Richmond, Berkeley, Alameda, Hayward, Cupertino, and Santa Cruz are among 500 cities internationally that have declared climate crises. Their goal is to combat sea-level rise, protect coastal areas-including the Bay Area-and promote sustainable local economies that do not rely on fossil fuels.

Forecasting PG&E power shut-offs

PG&E on Tuesday, Aug. 27, launched a new weather website with forecasts for possible power shut-offs.

The website at pge.com/weather predicts the potential for the power shut-offs for the upcoming week in various regions of its service area.

Shut-off potential is ranked on the site according to four categories: Not Expected, Elevated, Public Safety Power Shutoff Watch, and Public Safety Power Shutoff Warning.

The website also displays detailed information about weather conditions in Northern and Central California, according to the utility.

PG&E announced earlier this year that it was starting the public safety power shut-off program as a precautionary measure during windy and dry conditions. The utility has faced harsh scrutiny for its role in the devastating wildfires in Northern California in the last two years.

—Bay City News Service

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