TIME California

Huge Forest Fire Ravages 6,000 Acres in Northern California

wragg fire california
Joel Rosenbaum—AP CalFire Air tanker drops fire retardant on a ridge above Pleasants Valley Rd. near Winters, Calif., as crews continue to battle the Wragg Fire on July 23, 2015.

"It's unbelievable fire could spread so fast"

The Wragg fire on the outskirts of California’s Napa Valley chewed through thousands of acres of steep, treacherous terrain Thursday, forcing mandatory evacuations of two small communities and threatening more than 200 structures, fire officials said.

The fire in the area of Wragg Canyon near Lake Berryessa in Napa and Solano counties spread from 1,000 acres Wednesday night to 6,700 by early Thursday afternoon, the state, local and federal interagency team battling the blaze said. More than 1,300 firefighters were in the scene, less than 24 hours after the fire started.

Lake Berryessa is about 30 miles east of Napa Valley. Winds were erratic, but they…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME

University of California to Raise Hourly Minimum Wage to $15

Janet Napolitano UC Minimum Wage
Pool—Getty Images University of California President Janet Napolitano has lunch with students at UCLA on October 11, 2013 in Westwood, California.

The increase is set to affect more than 3,200 of the University's 195,000 employees.

The University of California will raise the minimum wage for its employees to $15, a $6 increase over California’s current minimum.

University of California President Janet Napolitano announced the wage hike in a statement released Wednesday, saying “Our community does not exist in a vacuum. How we support our workers and their families impacts Californians who might never set foot on one of our campuses.”

The increase is set to go into effect gradually over the next three years—increasing from the current statewide $9 minimum (which itself will increase to $10 on Jan. 1, 2016) to $13 on Oct. 1, 2015 for employees who work at least 20 hours per week; again to $14 on Oct. 1, 2016; and finally, to $15 on Oct. 1, 2017.

The move comes amid a nationwide movement to guarantee workers what is known as a “living wage,” echoing recent minimum wage mandates by the city councils of both Los Angeles and Seattle, as well as Los Angeles County.

The University of California currently employs close to 195,000 workers across its 10 campuses, making it California’s third-largest employer. Still, the decision is only expected to affect about 3,200 direct employees of the University who work more than 20 hours per week, along with another several thousand employed by contractors, to the disappointment of labor leader otherwise pleased with the gesture.

TIME Hillary Clinton

How Hillary Clinton Is Shifting Hollywood Fundraising Strategy

Hillary Rodham Clinton at the U.S. Capitol on July 14, 2015.
Bill Clark—CQ Roll Call/AP Hillary Rodham Clinton at the U.S. Capitol on July 14, 2015.

Clinton is using backyard meet-and-greets to reintroduce herself to industry donors — and it's working

Four years ago, Barack Obama was packing L.A. hotel ballrooms for fast cash for his re-election campaign. But Hillary Clinton is taking a different approach in her second bid for the White House. The former secretary of state is opting for more intimate gatherings in the backyards of such longtime Hollywood friends as producer Steven Bochco and HBO’s Michael Lombardo, where she’s able to spend more one-on-one time with guests willing to donate $2,700 apiece.

Clinton’s approach has served to build a deeper list of small donors who can be tapped again as the campaign progresses and to reintroduce herself to Hollywood — which largely abandoned her for Obama in 2008 — as a warmer, more approachable candidate.

So far, both efforts seem to be working for Clinton, 67, who raised a record $47.5 million during the second quarter, including $4 million from such L.A. donors as Tobey Maguire, Robert Iger,Harvey Weinstein, former ambassador (and wife of Netflix’s Ted Sarandos) Nicole Avant, Lionsgate’s Jon Feltheimer and Rob Friedman. CAA was particularly active, with more than 50 employees donating, including Kevin Huvane and new Clinton bundler Michael Kives. Even the pickiest Obama supporters have come away from Clinton’s events feeling better about her candidacy.

“Her performance at local events has created a nice progression in enthusiasm,” says Tennis Channel CEO Ken Solomon, one of Obama’s top fundraisers. “In the earliest days of this cycle, people were saying, ‘Well, she’s not that exciting.’ But I have heard it from others and have seen it myself: She’s really connecting with people.”

By law, Clinton is prohibited from holding big-dollar fundraisers (typically $33,400 a ticket via the DNC) until she wins the Democratic primary. But she is allowed to pack three ballrooms at The Beverly Hilton on one night, as Obama did in 2008. Instead, explains Solomon, “The campaign wants a long ramp-up” with additional smaller events. Strategist Lara Bergthold, who representsNorman Lear and Rob Reiner, says Clinton is giving those in Obama’s camp a new view: “People are getting really excited about her here.”

But Clinton’s meet-and-greet strategy presents a unique challenge: With Clinton unable to raise money for the DNC, Hollywood fundraisers are tasked with bringing in the big dollars, primarily through the pro-Clinton super PAC Priorities USA Action and DNC events often hosted by Obama. A big push, independent of Clinton, is planned in Hollywood later this summer, largely for Priorities USA Action. Jeffrey Katzenberg and adviser Andy Spahn already have begun raising money for the PAC (Haim Saban reportedly has given the group $2 million.)

Until then, some moguls are enjoying playing politics on a budget. After all the complaints Tom Rothman made in the hacked Sony emails about being hit up for donations, he gave the max, $2,700, last quarter.

This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter

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TIME cities

These 9 U.S. Cities Are Running Out of Water

These areas that have been under persistent, serious drought conditions over the first half of 2015

The nine cities with the worst drought conditions in the country are all located in California, which is now entering its fourth consecutive year of drought as demand for water is at an all-time high. The long-term drought has already had dire consequences for the state’s agriculture sector, municipal water systems, the environment, and all other water consumers.

Based on data provided by the U.S. Drought Monitor, a collaboration between academic and government organizations, 24/7 Wall St. identified nine large U.S. urban areas that have been under persistent, serious drought conditions over the first six months of this year. The Drought Monitor classifies drought by five levels of intensity: from D0, described as abnormally dry, to D4, described as exceptional drought. Last year, 100% of California was under at least severe drought conditions, or D2, for the first time since Drought Monitor began collecting data. It was also the first time that exceptional drought — the highest level — had been recorded in the state. This year, 100% of three urban areas in the state are in a state of exceptional drought. And 100% of all nine areas reviewed are in at least extreme drought, or D3.

Click here to see the 9 cities with the worst drought.

According to Brad Rippey, a meteorologist with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), California has a Mediterranean climate in which the vast majority of precipitation falls during the six month period from October through March. In fact, more than 80% of California’s rainfall is during the cold months. As a result, “it’s very difficult to get significant changes in the drought picture during the warm season,” Rippey said. He added that even when it rains during the summer, evaporation due to high temperatures largely offsets any accumulation.

A considerable portion of California’s environmental, agricultural, and municipal water needs depends on 161 reservoirs, which are typically replenished during the winter months. As of May 31, the state’s reservoirs added less than 6.5 million acre-feet of water over the winter, 78% of the typical recharge of about 8.2 million acre-feet. A single acre-foot contains more than 325,000 gallons of water. This was the fourth consecutive year that reservoir recharge failed to breach the historical average.

Normally, current reservoir levels are high enough to buffer against drought. However, “after four years of drought, reservoir holdings are perilously low,” said Rippey. Current total storage levels are at about 17.2 million acre-feet. The typical annual withdrawal is around 8 million acre-feet, which means total storage may fall below 10 million acre-feet by the end of the summer. This also means there is little room for error if the state enters a fifth year of drought.

In addition to surface water, groundwater is a major water source for the state, particularly during periods of drought. According to a recent U.C. Davis analysis of the California drought from 2012 through 2014, groundwater may replace as much as 75% of surface water lost to dry conditions this year. As Rippey explained, however, the problem is that the amount of groundwater is unknown. “The monitoring system for groundwater is not nearly as robust as the surface water monitoring system,” Rippey said.

City and state officials have reacted to the long-term drought by imposing various water restrictions. According to the California Department of Water Resources, California declared a statewide emergency during the 2007-2009 California drought — the first in U.S. history. California declared another such emergency during the 2012-2014 drought, and statewide precipitation was the driest three-year period on record. In an attempt to curb water use, statewide regulations impose penalties for exceeding water consumption budgets. Using water on lawns, for car washes, or to clean driveways is banned or restricted in each of the nine cities.

There are also economic consequences. The U.C. Davis study estimated a loss of at least 410,000 acres of farmland due to water shortages in California’s Central Valley, one of the nation’s most important agricultural zones and the location of most of the cities running out of water. An estimated $800 million was lost in farm revenue last year. That total does not include $447 million in extra pumping costs sustained by the Central Valley. Researchers at U.C. Davis estimated a total statewide revenue loss of $2.2 billion, and more than 17,000 jobs lost in 2014 due to drought.

The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the USDA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 24/7 Wall St. identified the nine urban areas with populations of 75,000 or more where the highest percentages of the land area was in a state of exceptional drought in the first six months of 2015. All data are as of the week ending June 2.

These are the nine cities running out of water.

  • 9. Bakersfield, CA

    > Exceptional drought coverage (first half of 2015):72.8%
    > Extreme drought coverage (first half of 2015): 100%
    > Population: 523,994

    Over the first half of this year, nearly 73% of Bakersfield was in a state of exceptional drought, the ninth largest percentage compared with all large U.S. urban areas. The possible impacts of exceptional drought include widespread crop failures and reservoir and stream depletions, which can result in water emergencies. The drought in Bakersfield has improved somewhat from the same period last year, when nearly 90% of the area was in a state of exceptional drought — the highest in the nation at that time. Like many other areas in California, however, Bakersfield has suffered through more than four years of drought, and any improvement is likely negligible. The Isabella Reservoir on the Kern River is one of the larger reservoirs in the state with a capacity of 568,000 acre-feet. The reservoir has supplied water to Bakersfield since 1953. Today, Isabella’s water level is at less than 8% of its full capacity after falling dramatically each summer since 2011.

    ALSO READ: The Best and Worst States to Be Unemployed

  • 8. Sacramento, CA

    > Exceptional drought coverage (first half of 2015): 78.3%
    > Extreme drought coverage (first half of 2015): 100%
    > Population: 1,723,634

    Sacramento is the most populous city running out of water, with 1.72 million residents. The city is located just north of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, a major source of water not just for Sacramento residents but for a great deal of California. The delta also helps provide water to millions of acres of California farmland. The Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers supply nearly 80 California reservoirs. With the ongoing drought, current storage levels are well below historical averages. On average over the first half of this year, exceptional drought covered more than 78% of Sacramento. The remaining area is far from drought-free, as 100% of Sacramento was in a state of extreme drought over that period — like every other city on this list.

  • 7. Chico, CA

    > Exceptional drought coverage (first half of 2015): 85.3%
    > Extreme drought coverage (first half of 2015): 100%
    > Population: 98,176

    Starting in June this year, new state legislation requires Chico residents to consume 32% less water than they did in 2013. Water bills now include water budgeting information and penalizes residents with higher fees based on how much consumption exceeds the recommended amount. The new rule may be a challenge for some residents, as Chico had among the highest per capita daily water consumption in the state in 2013, according to the ChicoER, a local news outlet. According to The Weather Channel, in April of this year a jet stream shift brought rain and snow to parts of Northern California where Chico is located, a welcome relief to the area’s long-running dry spell. Despite the short-term relief, Chico still suffers from drought — an average of more than 85% of the city was in a state of exceptional drought over the first half of this year.

  • 6. Lancaster-Palmdale, CA

    > Exceptional drought coverage (first half of 2015): 87.9%
    > Extreme drought coverage (first half of 2015): 100%
    > Population: 341,219

    Compared to the first half of last year, drought conditions in Lancaster-Palmdale are worse this year. Last year, nearly 80% of the city was in extreme drought and just 10% in exceptional drought. This year, 100% of the city was classified as being in a state of extreme drought and nearly 88% in exceptional drought. Many Lancaster-Palmdale residents, particularly those in the Palmdale Water District, receive their water from the district’s water wells, the Littlerock Dam, or — like many Californians — the California Aqueduct. The Colorado River Basin is also a major water source for the region, including Las Vegas to the northeast of Lancaster-Palmdale and Los Angeles to the southwest. Rippey explained that with only three or four wet years in over a decade, the Colorado River Basin region has endured a staggering near 15-year drought. The river, which used to flow into the ocean, now ends in Mexico. Like every other city suffering the most from drought, Lancaster-Palmdale residents are subject to various water restrictions.

  • 5. Yuba City, CA

    > Exceptional drought coverage (first half of 2015): 95.4%
    > Extreme drought coverage (first half of 2015): 100%
    > Population: 116,719

    Yuba City is located on the Feather River, which runs south through Sacramento. The river begins at Lake Oroville, the site of the Oroville Dam and the source of the California Aqueduct — also known as the State Water Project (SWP). The dam’s water levels reached a record low in November 2014. While water levels have increased considerably since then, they remain at a fraction of the reservoir’s capacity. More than 95% of Yuba City was in a state of exceptional drought over the first six months of the year, making it one of only five urban areas to have exceptional drought covering more than 90% of their land area. Like other areas suffering the most from drought, the proportion of Yuba’s workforce employed in agricultural jobs is several times greater than the national proportion. The drought has had considerable economic consequences in the region. Agricultural employment dropped 30.3% from 2012 through 2013, versus the nearly 2% nationwide growth.

    ALSO READ: The Poorest Town in Each State

    For the rest of the list, please go to 24/7WallStreet.com

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TIME society

L.A., You Stink at Parking

Zocalo Public Square is a not-for-profit Ideas Exchange that blends live events and humanities journalism.

Many Angelenos leave their cars in the worst places, so I started an Instagram campaign to make them think twice about being jerks

I moved from Connecticut to Los Angeles six years ago to pursue a career as a make-up artist. I had two suitcases, and a couple thousand dollars in my pocket. I had heard horror stories about Los Angeles traffic — but I never imagined how awful the parking would be.

One night eight months ago, I drove home to my East Hollywood neighborhood after working a 12-hour day on a set. I just wanted to lug my 50-pound make-up kit inside, eat dinner, and go to sleep. I live in an apartment bulding with only street parking.

Most homes in my crowded neighborhood have multiple cars. Some are clunkers, and people often park their work trucks on the street.

On that night, I ended up driving around for three hours and still didn’t find a spot. I sat in my car and cried. I finally parked in a strip mall parking lot, hoping I wouldn’t get a ticket. Even though I went down to move my car the next morning at 6 a.m., I got a ticket anyway.

I was dumbfounded by the lack of parking, and how inconsiderate people could be. I remembered all the “pet shaming” photos I saw on the Internet—of dogs or cats after they had done something naughty, with handwritten signs like: “I eat the trash.” I wanted to raise awareness about bad parking, maybe embarrass a few people too. I launched an Instagram account, ParkingSpotShaming.

The first photo I posted was from the parking lot at my gym. When I went to leave, I realized I was blocked in because the black Prius that parked perpendicular to me didn’t pull far enough into its spot.

Those early pictures featured a repeat nemesis: a blue pick-up truck that rarely moves from in front of my apartment, only from one side of the street to the other when it’s a designated street cleaning day. It always leaves awkward amounts of space in front and behind it.

Four weeks after the launch of ParkingSpotShaming, blogs began to post about it. Now, I receive up to 50 submissions a day by email and direct message on Instagram. More come through tags on Twitter or posts on Facebook.

You will see a photo of a black sedan whose driver scraped against the side of a silver SUV, making it impossible for the passenger side doors to open.

And a photo of a Smart Car parked crooked, and spilling over onto a sidewalk. “How is this even possible?!” one commenter wrote. “It’s the #SmallestCarEver!

I’ve received pictures of Bentleys and Honda Civics. I’ve found bad parkers in the Hollywood Hills and in Westchester. And there’s a range of bad parking: creeping too close to the lines, going well over them, parking in illegal zones, and sitting in handicapped spots without permits.

I tend to get submissions from shopping centers, airports, and malls. Some Angelenos seem to have a real sense of entitlement. That may be the same reason I see so many SUVs parking in spots marked “compact.”

I don’t want someone to target a car or vandalize it, so I put emojis over the license plates. I’m particularly proud of the Range Rover with the bullseye over its plate.

ParkingSpotShaming has given me and others an outlet to share our gripes, absurdities, and wisecracks. The craziest parking I’ve seen was submitted to me, and it was a white Bentley that parked sideways taking up spots 132 and 133 at Burbank Airport.

The site is anonymous, and I often wish that I knew how to get in touch with the owner of a badly parked car right away—so I could make them move it. But since I can’t do that, I’m hoping that ParkingSpotShaming will make that person who parks his Hummer in two spots, think twice. We will find you and make fun of you. As one post on my account says, “Your parking is bad. And you should feel bad.”

Andria Farrell is a make-up artist from Connecticut living and working in Los Angeles. Her personal Instagram is @driafarr. She wrote this for Thinking L.A., a partnership of UCLA and Zócalo Public Square

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Google

A Google Self-driving Car Was Rear-ended Once Again

Google's Chris Urmson argues this proves just how bad humans are at driving

Google self-driving cars have gotten into more than a dozen accidents since the search-engine giant started letting them on the roads back in 2009. But none of them have been Google’s fault.

In a blog post published Thursday on Medium, Google self-driving car project director Chris Urmson tells the story of the company’s latest crash, which happened in California on July 1. According to Urmson, one of the company’s Lexus vehicles was approaching an intersection in which the light was green, “but traffic was backed up on the far side, so three cars, including ours, braked and came to a stop so as not to get stuck in the middle of the intersection.” As the self-driving car slowed to avoid this traffic, a car rear ended it. You can see a video simulation of the crash below:

Urmson argues that the crash is a perfect example of why self-driving technology would be beneficial for society. Unlike human drivers, who often operate vehicles when they are tired or distracted, computers never suffer from these flaws.

Urmson also points out that crashes like the one he describes are common in America but less well understood than more serious crashes that lead to injury or death. That’s because, Urmson writes, “National crashes-per-miles-driven rates are currently calculated on police-reported crashes. Yet there are millions of fender benders every year that go unreported and uncounted — potentially as many as 55% of all crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.”

He argues that this means that the toll of bad human driving, at least in terms of money spent on repairs and aggravation, is perhaps even higher than the most widely reported statistics would have us believe.

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TIME tom selleck

Tom Selleck Just Paid $21,000 to Settle a California Water Dispute

PowerWomen 2013 Awards
Stephen Lovekin—Getty Images Actor Tom Selleck.

A private investigator was hired

Tom Selleck has paid $21,000 to settle a lawsuit that alleged he took water that didn’t belong to him from a Southern California water district.

The New York Post reported that Selleck, star of the TV show “Magnum, P.I.,” wrongly took water to use for his 60-acre ranch. A private investigator had reportedly found that there was a tanker truck with water from a fire hydrant from a neighboring district heading to the ranch. Selleck had been accused of stealing water as far back as 2013, according to Time.

“Underpinning these laws is the concept of basic fairness,” said Thomas Slosson, who is president of the Calleguas Municipal Water District, after a vote accepting the $21,000 settlement. “That is, residents and businesses within the district – the rightful users of district water — paid for the construction, maintenance and operation of the public works necessary to meet their water needs, not those of other landowners outside Calleguas’ legal boundaries.”

The $21,000 covers the money spent for the private investigator.

The news comes as California is continuing to weather a severe drought.

TIME Crime

Children Lose Mother to Cave Collapse and Father to Shooting in Less Than a Week

Tragedy hits twice

Four children whose mother was killed in an ice cave collapse earlier this month lost their father as well six days later when he died in a bar shooting.

Anna Santana, the children’s mother, died July 6 in a partial collapse at Big Four Ice Caves in Washington. Less than a week later, Adrian Martinez Cardona, the children’s father, was shot late on Sunday evening outside a San Bernardino bar, Reuters reports. Cardona had been asked to leave the bar after getting into an argument; he was shot multiple times soon afterward while standing near his car.

Police have not arrested any suspects in Cardona’s murder.

[Reuters]

TIME Music

Ariana Grande Won’t Be Charged for Licking That Doughnut

Ariana Grande
Scott Roth—Invision/AP Ariana Grande performs at NYC Pride's Dance on the Pier' on June 28, 2015, in New York City

The pop singer apologized on YouTube late last week

The owners of the doughnut shop where Ariana Grande ignominiously licked a powdered pastry won’t press charges against the pop singer, Entertainment Weekly reports.

A week and a half ago, a security camera at Wolfee Donuts in Lake Elsinore, Calif., captured Grande and her boyfriend putting their tongues against a doughnut sitting on an open tray, presumably heedless of whether some guileless consumer would later buy and eat it. In the footage, Grande also declares that she “hate[s] Americans” and “hate[s] America.”

Last Thursday, she released a video on YouTube in which she apologized for her behavior, justifying it as an exercise in antiobesity activism.

TIME celebrities

Ariana Grande Apologizes on YouTube for Licking Those Doughnuts

She also regrets saying that she hates her country

Pop star Ariana Grande posted a video to YouTube on Friday in which she expresses contrition for licking some doughnuts on a tray at a southern California shop.

“Seeing a video of yourself behaving poorly is such a rude awakening — it’s like, you don’t know what to do,” she says in the four-minute black-and-white apology. “I was so disgusted with myself. I wanted to shove my face into a pillow and disappear.”

On Wednesday, TMZ released footage, apparently taken from a security camera, that appears to show Grande licking the doughnuts and saying that she hates America. In her YouTube post, she also apologizes for those comments.

“With the advances we’ve made in the past couple months, and all the progressive things that have been going on, I’ve never been prouder of this country, actually,” she says.

Read next: What Ariana Grande’s Donut Scandal Shows Us About Modern Celebrity

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