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California’s Drought: A Shocking Photo And Other Updates

McVey Insurance, CA, DroughtFarmers in California, where Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency last month, are facing hard choices as a drought threatens to ruin their crops. They must weigh the costs of paying for irrigation against the chance that their fields will never get enough water this season.

A striking picture illustrates the severity of the situation, as Northern California’s Folsom Lake, a reservoir northeast of Sacramento, is seen in January at only 17 percent of its capacity. In July 2011, “the lake was at 97 percent of total capacity and 130 percent of its historical average for that date,” according to NASA.

The federal agency says it is working with the California Department of Water Resources to help the state manage its water resources. Last month, NASA released other images showing the drought’s severity. As NPR member station KQED reported, the state’s snowpack is shown in January 2013 and last month. Much of it did not return.

Here are other updates on the situation:

NASA said today that it’s working to share satellite and weather data with California farmers and water officials to help them avoid wasting water, and to use it in the most efficient way possible. The space agency says a trial run of its Satellite Irrigation Management Support system in 2012 and 2013 “demonstrated sustained yields while reducing the amount of water used by up to 33 percent relative to standard practice.”

Growers of almonds — a state crop valued at $5 billion in 2012 — have been pulling trees out of the ground while they’re still in their prime, in desperate actions driven by high water costs. The AP spoke to a grower who watched crews rip 20 percent of his orchard out of the ground. A man who does that work for a living says business is up 75 percent because of the drought, and his crews are working from sunup to sundown.

Forecasts of rain and snow were welcomed by many Californians, as parts of the state could see more rain this week than they’ve had in the previous eight months together. But Time’s Bryan Walsh warns that even with that rainfall, “much of California will still be below average for precipitation this month. Since February tends to be the wettest month for California, that means that the state still has a larger and larger rainfall deficit to make up if this drought is to ever end.”

Contact McVey Insurance today to get a review of your agriculture insurance.

Content provided by http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/02/25/282624536/california-s-drought-a-shocking-photo-and-other-updates

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California Drought Causing Early Wildfire Risk

McVey Insurance, CA, California WildfireCalifornia’s worst drought in decades is feeding what may become a devastating wildfire season, one that is starting about five months early.

Extremely dry conditions have sparked 487 wildfires so far in 2014, compared with only 2 for the same period a year ago, according to the state Forestry and Fire Protection Department, known as Cal Fire. Potential power failures, home losses, lost tourism dollars and crop damage could jeopardize the world’s 10th largest economy as California struggles to emerge from the deepest recession since the 1930s.

“Having this occur statewide is unprecedented, certainly in my career,” Cal Fire Director Ken Pimlott, who started out as a firefighter almost 30 years ago, said in a telephone interview last week. “We anticipate the potential for a very long and sustained fire season throughout the rest of the year.”

For a state already reeling from a drought that officials say could be one of the worst in California’s history, fires would only add to the misery. They could damage critical power lines and cause blackouts, disrupt water supplies and destroy sensitive ecosystems, said Bill Stewart, a forestry specialist at the University of California at Berkeley.

Last year, prolonged dry conditions led to the third- largest fire in California’s history. The “Rim Fire” shut power lines and hydroelectric generators, charred parts of Yosemite National Park and threatened the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir watershed, which supplies 85 percent of the drinking water to San Francisco.

‘Poster Child’

The Rim Fire has become the “poster child” for future wildfires in California and the U.S. West, according to a 2013 report from CoreLogic Inc., a real estate data and analytics firm. Homes valued at about $78 billion in total are at risk from wildfires, estimates CoreLogic.

Fires could even pose a risk for the state’s $22 billion wine industry. In 2008, smoke from smoldering wildfires in Mendocino County contaminated crops of pinot noir grapes, said Bill Pauli, a grower and general partner of Yokayo Wine Company in Ukiah, California.

“Some wines had the odor of someone who had been standing next to a barbecue,” Pauli said in a telephone interview. “It was not a good situation and we all hope it doesn’t happen again.”

Extra Firefighters

Fire season usually begins around May and typically ends in November with the onset of winter storms, according to Cal Fire. This year, the department says it has hired 125 additional firefighters, staffed 25 extra fire engines and retained crews and aircraft that would normally be idle this time of year. The state has banned campfires and smoking in several parks.

“Right now, all of our planning is for the worst-case scenario,” said Pimlott of Cal Fire. “We want to make sure we are ready.”

The wildfire danger is of more concern to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti than the prospect of running out of water because of the drought, he said during an interview at Bloomberg News’s Los Angeles office.

“I think we are going to see fire season around the clock for much of the year,” Garcetti said. “We are going to have to keep deployments much higher.”

The city expects to spend an extra $12 million this year on fire department coverage due to the dry conditions, Garcetti said.

Transmission Lines

At the same time, utilities including PG&E Corp. and Sempra Energy’s San Diego Gas & Electric are implementing plans normally reserved for high-fire season, such as stepping up patrols of electrical lines and bringing fire crews along for routine repairs.

“Wildfires are always a risk in California,” said Alvin Thoma, director of power generation at San Francisco-based PG&E. “With the dry conditions we’ve had, the soil moisture content right now is much lower than usual, so that makes wildfires much more of a concern.”

The California ISO, the state grid operator, said it will keep an “eagle eye” on high-voltage transmission lines, which will be needed to import more power this summer to make up for dwindling hydro-electric supplies and the retirement of a 2,200- megawatt nuclear plant in Southern California. The state typically imports one-quarter of its power needs, according to the ISO.

“The wild card is always fires,” said Stephanie McCorkle, a spokeswoman for California ISO. “They can affect the transmission and that literally cuts imports that we can’t afford to lose.”

Extra Vigilant

If lines go down, the grid operator can reroute electricity and ramp up local generation production, McCorkle said.

Edison International’s Southern California Edison utility, owner of the San Onofre nuclear plant that was retired last year, will need to be extra vigilant if the dry conditions continue, said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ted Craver.

“You can’t say there wouldn’t be some combination of events, a heat storm and a fire that takes out a transmission line,” Craver said in a telephone interview.

Upgrades to power networks and new gas generation that has come online in the past two years will help “the grid to be able to withstand the shocks,” Craver said.

Although rainstorms in the past week have provided some respite, the odds are that the drought will persist along with the risk of more wildfires, according to Cal Fire.

“Everybody is probably sitting back on pins and needles,” said Thomas Jeffery, a senior hazard scientist at CoreLogic. “The potential for a really disastrous wildfire season is very high.”

Content provided by http://www.claimsjournal.com/news/west/2014/02/11/244295.htm

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Kaiser Permanente volunteers help build Habitat for Humanity homes in west Modesto to honor MLK Day

McVey Insurance. CA, Habitat for HumanityMODESTO — Corwin Harper spent Monday using a power saw, cutting up pieces of wood that will be used to build homes for low-income families in west Modesto. Volunteering and helping others is his way of honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

“Much is given; much is required,” said Harper, senior vice president and area manager at Kaiser Permanente Central Valley. “Today, I just want to do my part to honor him.”

He and several dozens of his colleagues participated in the 10th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. For the past decade, Kaiser Permanente Central Valley’s physicians and staff have partnered with Habitat for Humanity in home-building projects.

This year, the group of volunteers put together the wood framing for three single-story houses in the River Vista subdivision, along Sunset Avenue, just west of John Thurman Field. Habitat for Humanity’s Stanislaus County chapter has already moved two deserving families into homes there and plans to move in six more through the end of next year.

Kaiser’s volunteers saw just concrete foundations when they arrived Monday morning. By noon, they had erected the framing on one home and were working together to put up the walls on the two others. It’s their second year building homes in the River Vista subdivision, so they’ve seen the neighborhood sprout up from nothing but dirt.

Read more here.

Content provided by http://www.modbee.com/2014/01/20/3144829/kaiser-permanente-volunteers-help.html#storylink=cpy

 

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Happy Holidays from your friends at McVey Insurance

McVey Insurance, CA, Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays!

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It’s A Wonderful Life on the big screen

No holiday season is complete without a showing of Frank Capra’s classic, It’s A Wonderful Life.  Grab the family and get ready for a wonderful Christmas treat.

It’s A Wonderful Life is a tale about George Bailey (James Stewart) who never turns anyone away.  The sad thing is that George believes everyone, including his family would be better off without him.  Under pressure George flies off the deep end on Christmas Eve.  An angel appointed to George intervenes and shows George what the town of Bedford Falls would be without him and what his friends and family would be like without him.

Where:  State Theater of Modesto
1307 J Street
Modesto, CA 95354

When:  Friday, December 20th, 2013 at 6:30 p.m.

How much:    $8-$10/pp

Who:   Family

Content provided by Transformer Marketing and http://events.modbee.com/modesto_ca/events/show/368800420-movie-night-its-a-wonderful-life

 

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Be safe this holiday season!

Every Christmas season, people all over love to hop in their cars and check out the Christmas lights and decorations in hosting neighborhoods.  People go back to their homes and start decking their house to enjoy.  But did you know that each year, accidents involving trees and decorations damper the Christmas mood?  Here are a few tips to help prevent accidents from occurring.

  • When purchasing an artificial tree, find one that reads, “fire resistant.”   This will make extinguishing a fire easier.
  • If you choose to go with a live tree, get one that is fresh and green.  If you buy one earlier in the season, make sure it is watered to help prevent drying out.
  • Place your tree away from heaters, radiators and fireplaces.  Make sure the tree is out of the way and is not an obstruction.
  • Decorate with flame resistant tinsel.
  • All breakable and sharp tree ornaments are high, out of the reach of the children.
  • When using lights, make sure the lights have been tested and that it’s clearly labeled on the box.
  • Prevent outdoor lights from blowing away by securing the lights to the home or tree.

We hope these few tips will help your Christmas season be accident free.

Content provided by Transformer Marketing.

 

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Happy Thanksgiving!

McVey Insurance, Modesto CA, Thanksgiving turkeyAs another year of blessings, health, love, laughter and fun passes, we would like to give thanks on this special day.

Thank you! Thank you for your confidence and loyalty. Thank you for your trust and friendship. Thank you for illuminating our year.

We hope many more blessings are coming your way!

Happy Thanksgiving.

Sincerely,

Your McVey Insurance Agency Team!

 

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20th Annual Salvation Army Kettle Kick Off

This year twenty nine teams will be competing to collect for their kettle.  Come prepared to have fun and give to an organization that always helps our community when in need.  A full Christmas mean is included with fun of the Kettle Kick-Off.

Individual tickets are $10 or you can purchase a table of 10 for $100.

Place:  Centre Plaza
1000 L Street
Modesto, CA 95354
209-522-3209

November 21, 2013 at 11:30 a.m.

Content provided by http://www.visitmodesto.com/Calendar/detail.asp?DetailID=6184

McVey Insurance Agency, Modesto, California

Since 1959, McVey Insurance has been serving California’s Central Valley, we are a leader in Personal, Commercial and Life Insurance products.

Are you a business owner looking for competitive insurance? Whether you’re looking for workers compensation insurance, commercial auto coverage, general liability or professional liability for your business, McVey Insurance is committed to finding you affordable and comprehensive insurance coverage, never compromising on protection or quality.

Are you looking for personal insurance?  Our strong relationships that we have developed with our carriers will help you the valuable protection you need whether it be life insurance, a personal automobile policy, or health insurance in Central California, our experienced agents will take care of you.

If you are a Happy Customer, we would love to hear from you!

McVey Insurance

1231 8th Street Suite 100
Modesto, CA 95354
Office: 209-577-0177
Fax: 209-577-0288

Website | Facebook | Email | LinkedIn | Happy Customer

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Happy Halloween from your friends at McVey Insurance

McVey Insurance, CA, Happy Halloween

McVey Insurance Agency,  CA

Since 1959, McVey Insurance has been serving California’s Central Valley, we are a leader in Personal, Commercial and Life Insurance products.

Are you a business owner looking for competitive insurance? Whether you’re looking for workers compensation insurance, commercial auto coverage, general liability or professional liability for your business, McVey Insurance is committed to finding you affordable and comprehensive insurance coverage, never compromising on protection or quality.

Are you looking for personal insurance?  Our strong relationships that we have developed with our carriers will help you the valuable protection you need whether it be life insurance, a personal automobile policy, or health insurance in Central California, our experienced agents will take care of you.

If you are a Happy Customer, we would love to hear from you!

McVey Insurance
1231 8th Street Suite 100
Modesto, CA 95354
Office: 209-577-0177
Fax: 209-577-0288
Website | Facebook | Email | LinkedIn | Happy Customer

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Dinner train chugs along scenic route back in time

OAKDALE — Once Highway 120 and the prosaic sights of this city – the cemetery, the auto wrecker, the ranch houses with laundry strung out back – slowly recede, once power lines give way to almond orchards against the beige foothills, once the creak and lurch and clatter of steel wheels on rails replace the auditory intrusion of car horns and rumbling big rigs, only then does it feel as if you truly are traveling back in time on a thoroughly outmoded form of transportation.

The good thing is, even puttering along at a paltry 12 mph, it doesn’t take long for the Sierra Railroad Dinner Train to leave civilization behind.

You can sit back in a refurbished art deco dining car, let the reverberant motion lull you into reverie as you clatter on the old 1897 logging rail line heading 16 miles eastward to Warnerville, where the rail scenes from “High Noon” were filmed in 1952. You can nurse a vodka gimlet as you watch the pink-tinged sun set over rolling hills studded with gnarled oak trees. You can unfurl the cloth napkin and dine on locally sourced entrees. Then, about the time the waitresses serve the blueberry tart with fruit that chef Jeff Kearns picked from along the tracks outside Oakdale, you clatter back to Oakdale and make it home in time to watch the late news.

And, on certain nights, you can be entertained by a tongue-in-cheek “murder mystery” theater performance, in which the actors struggle to emote with impressive volubility while being jerked about by the motion and groans of the train.

For three hours on a weekend night (or brunch trains), says Sierra Railroad general manager Randy McTaggart, “we slow the world down for you.”

Those of a certain age, such as Jack Vosch, 76, and his mother, Natalie Bonney, 93, ride on a wave of nostalgia. Those of a tender age, such as teenager Katie Osman, come aboard for the novelty factor, akin to actually talking into a rotary-dial telephone. And those of middle age, old enough to vaguely remember Pullman cars but mostly familiar only with sterile, stupifying Amtrak, are looking for something different for a night out.

“I looked online,” said Cece Gonzales, of Layton, south of Fresno. “I’ve never been on a train. I figured, why not?”

Whatever the motivation, dinner trains have proved to be a popular “destination” dining experience in Northern California. The Sierra Dinner Train has been chugging along its foothill route since 1999, and similar rail excursions, such as the Sacramento River Train from Woodland to West Sacramento, and the Napa Valley Wine Trains, are well established even as historic railroad tracks are increasingly being pulled up for development.

The Sierra route is special because it runs along a stretch of one of the oldest tracks still in use – which, beyond the Warnerville turnaround, eventually leads to the State Historic Railtown Park in Jamestown. Because the line uses the original tracks, albeit greatly refurbished, you actually get the feel, at

times a visceral, gut-wrenching feel, of what it was like to travel back in the day. Which is to say, you can get jostled and your libation of choice might slosh if you don’t hold on.

Read more here.
McVey Insurance Agency, Modesto, California

Since 1959, McVey Insurance has been serving California’s Central Valley, we are a leader in Personal, Commercial and Life Insurance products.

Are you a business owner looking for competitive insurance? Whether you’re looking for workers compensation insurance, commercial auto coverage, general liability or professional liability for your business, McVey Insurance is committed to finding you affordable and comprehensive insurance coverage, never compromising on protection or quality.

Are you looking for personal insurance?  Our strong relationships that we have developed with our carriers will help you the valuable protection you need whether it be life insurance, a personal automobile policy, or health insurance in Central California, our experienced agents will take care of you.

McVey Insurance

1231 8th Street Suite 100
Modesto, CA 95354
Office: 209-577-0177
Fax: 209-577-0288

Website | Facebook | Email | LinkedIn

Information provided by: http://www.modbee.com/2013/10/06/2961886/destination-old-fashioned-fun.html#storylink=cpy

 

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1231 8th Street Suite 100
Modesto, CA 95354
Office: 209-577-0177  
Fax: 209-577-0288
www.mcveyinsurance.com
Lic#0821827

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I’ve been working with James for about 3 years. He has always gone above and beyond to ensure I have the coverage I need at the best possible price. I don’t have to worry about anything, he handles it all. I’ve had several claims where I felt like he was representing me, not an insurance company. If you haven’t talked to him…You should. Thanks James. Bear W. Modesto, CA
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