Wednesday, May 15, 2019 - 10:30 External News

State fire investigators have determined that transmission lines owned by Pacific Gas & Electric Co caused the deadliest and most destructive wildfire on record in California, a blaze that killed 85 people last year, officials said on Wednesday.

The wind-driven blaze, dubbed the Camp Fire, erupted in the drought-parched Sierra foothills 175 miles north of San Francisco in November 2018 and raced with little warning through the town of Paradise, incinerating much of that community.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 - 11:30 Article

In This Issue:
PARMA Member Spot Light
Ask Larry Column
PARMA Annual Conference Save the Date
Calendar at a Glance
PARMA 2019-20 Chapter Officers
2020 PARMA Golf Tournament Survey
2019 Susan Eldridge Conference Scholarship Winner
Our Sponsors

Tags: e-newsletter
Tuesday, May 14, 2019 - 05:45 External News

Recently, a neighbor asked one of us whether Russia, China, North Korea and Iran really are capable of hacking into the computers that control the U.S. electricity grid. The answer, based on available evidence, is “Yes.” The follow-up question was, “How expensive will it be to prevent, and who will end up paying for it?”

The answers are: Likely tens of billions of dollars, and probably us, the electricity customers. This is a major — and, in our view, vital — investment in community and national security. But as scholars of grid cybersecurity, we understand it’s not very clear what consumers will be getting for their money, nor whether utility companies themselves should bear some share of the cost.

Monday, May 13, 2019 - 07:45 External News

(TNS) - Hundreds of rescue specialists will visit West Marin this fall for an annual statewide training exercise and conference.

The search-and-rescue exercise, known as SAREX, will be held at Walker Creek Ranch from Oct. 4 to 6. The event will be the first SAREX to take place in Marin, said Mike St. John, leader of the Marin County sheriff’s SAR Unit.

St. John said he expects 350 to 400 rescuers from around the state to participate in this year’s program. Last year, the event was held at Lake Tahoe Community College in El Dorado County.

Monday, May 13, 2019 - 09:15 External News

A plan by California’s biggest utility to cut power on high-wind days during the onrushing wildfire season could plunge millions of residents into darkness. And the vast majority isn’t ready for it.

The plan by PG&E Corp. comes after the bankrupt utility said a transmission line that snapped in windy weather probably started last year’s Camp Fire, the deadliest in state history. While the plan may end one problem, it creates another as Californians seek ways to deal with what some fear could be days and days of blackouts.

Friday, May 10, 2019 - 10:45 External News

California has for months been weighing the idea of a fund that utilities could dip into when facing crippling costs tied to wildfires. On Wednesday, state lawmakers got a feel for how big that fund would have to be.

During a legislative hearing, an energy advisory firm commissioned by California Governor Gavin Newsom’s office presented a range of options for creating a pool of anywhere from $10 billion to $40 billion. The analysis, outlined by Nathan Pollak of Filsinger Energy Partners, showed that a $10 billion fund had a 98% chance of being depleted by 2030 while a $40 billion fund would have a 7% chance.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 - 06:15 External News

Data breaches and cyber incidents continue to plague businesses and end users, compromising millions of records each year. Yet, while the volume of these breaches is astonishing, it is sometimes hard to understand what they mean, what a “record” is, and what actions affected companies need to take to resolve the issue and prevent future breaches.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 - 08:45 External News

A federal judge has ordered board members of Pacific Gas & Electric to tour the Northern California town of Paradise, which was leveled by a wildfire that may have been caused by the utility’s equipment.

The judge ordered the tour as part of the utility’s punishment for violating its felony probation terms, reported the San Francisco Chronicle.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - 06:15 External News

A California psychologist and doctor have been charged for allegedly submitting fraudulent insurance claims for workers’ compensation medical legal evaluations in an attempt to steal tens of thousands of dollars from multiple insurers.

Psychologist Danita Stewart, 51, of Chatsworth, a licensed psychologist, allegedly submitted 36 fraudulent insurance claims between April 2015 and June 2015 to five different insurers for medical legal evaluations for a total of $90,714.

Monday, May 6, 2019 - 09:30 External News

Construction can be a dangerous activity. Despite increased attention to job safety over the last several decades, accidents on construction sites continue to occur. These accidents frequently result in bodily injuries, property damage, project delays and resulting economic losses. As a result, those involved in construction should plan carefully not only how to minimize the risks of accidents but how to maximize their insurance and indemnification recoveries should an accident happen.