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Big Changes Could Be Coming To Squaw Valley

A recent op-ed published by Andy Wirth in the Auburn Journal outlined the plans that the CEO has in place to improve tourism in the area. Wirth is seeking to improve the year-round tourism of the area in order to create more jobs for the local economy. Even in years with significant snowfall Lake Tahoe sees far less visitors in the spring than it should given the quality of its terrain. With the help of 500 community meetings Wirth’s plan is finally set to go before the Placer County Board of Supervisors for consideration.

At the forefront of Andy Wirth‘s plan is a desire to protect the environment while also providing a variety of new and exciting recreational opportunities. Thanks to the meetings the projects size has been significantly reduced, and what little construction is left will have a minimal impact as 90 percent will be replacing existing parking lots. Wirth also wants to restore Squaw Creek and will also be contributing $1 million each year to other environmental initiatives. The new construction will not even harm anyone’s views of the mountain as the revised plan reduced building heights by 30 percent or even removed them altogether.

Aside from its commitment to the environment the plan will also greatly benefit the local economy. It will produce 1,400 new jobs and $25 million in additional tax revenue. Locals and visitors alike will be delighted with the miles of new hiking and biking trails that are being created. Additonally, a Mountain Adventure Camp is being created with world-class training facilities.

Andy Wirth is the CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings. Wirth has overseen a dramatic change in the ski area during his time as CEO. When he first arrived it was not a very popular destination, however within a year he changed its reputation to that of one of the tops in the industry. Wirth accomplished this by improving nearly every aspect of the resort from mountain conditions and lodging all the way to the culinary program at the resort. Due to Wirth’s track record of success this plan, if it passes, will significantly improve tourism as well as jobs in the Lake Tahoe area.

USW Strike Causes Increase in Oil Barrel Prices

Many American’s have enjoyed the declining gas prices being almost cut in half over the past several months, thanks in part to OPEC’s refusal to cut production despite the demand for the product being reduced. However, the United Steel Workers union obviously has a different plan than the oil companies they work for as they have walked out on strike. Workers claimed poor health and safety conditions, too low of wages, and a poor attitude towards the communities that serve as homes to the refineries as the reasons behind their dispute. Meanwhile attempts of the companies to engage the unions who organized the strike have been unsuccessful signifying that the workers are looking to make the loss of production hurt the companies.

What is significant is that this strike is not the first since oil production began. It is however, the largest strike since 1980 when the world was attempting to overcome the oil embargo caused by a crisis with Iran and the overthrow of the Shah. But just as back then, the loss of production has made the price increase and it is not the company who will suffer for the loss of production but the consumer at the pump. By losing 10% of the US oil refining capacity it has made oil rise by a little over $2 per barrel. Lee Slaughter agrees that at first this may not seem significant, but the longer this strike continues the higher the costs will go up and therefore will make prices at the pump go up as well.

The CPI Closed With A Fall

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell 0.6% last December from the previous month and its annual fall remained -1% due to falling gasoline prices, the heating oil and some foods, as reported on Thursday by the National Statistics Institute.

It is the first time in the history of this indicator in which a negative annual rate of prices in the month of December is recorded. Furthermore, it is the most negative rating in any month since July 2009, when the annual CPI stood at -1.4% reported by associate Christopher Cowdray of HMI international.

With the December data, annual CPI chained its sixth negative rate after -0.3%, -0.5%, -0.2%, -0.1% and -0.4% July, August, September, October and November, respectively. December has the most negative rate of 2014 and the eighth time in 15 months that prices show negative rates. Nevertheless, the government has ruled that the economy is in deflation.

The December data is important for the salary of workers, since in some collective agreements is used to determine the salary increase next year and other reference is to compensate for the deviation of CPI. They have also influenced the evolution of the CPI year for the group of food and beverages, which cut its rate five tenths, to -0.3%, and housing, with a rate of -0.2%

California Less Droughty

The recent and powerful rainstorm moistened Dan Newlin and the north and the south of California and improved the readiness of the earth for drought recovery, but NASA scientists say 11 trillion more gallons of the wet stuff should be in storage for a true recuperation. Three above average rainy seasons for three years are what the state really needs.

Two-thirds of what falls from the sky is lost to evaporation and runoff. The remaining one-third is what is used for crops, industry and people. Basic water needs for the state consume almost every gallon of the rainfall amount. The recent storm increased reservoir storage by only 3 percent.

The state water deficit has been increasing each year since 2002. The annual deficit has exceeded the water needs of all residents and communities for the past 4 years.

It is the snow pack in the mountains that provides the water for California during normal dry months.

Let it snow!