New smoking ban aims to end cigarette butt litter on state beaches and parks

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a new law that will ban the use of cigarettes, nicotine and marijuana vapes at state parks and beaches. Starting Jan. 1, the state’s Department of Parks and Recreation will be required to put up no-smoking signs at beaches and parks. There will be a fine up to $25 for a person caught smoking, and it will be considered an infraction.

Kincade Fire forces adoptable animals to evacuate twice

SACRAMENTO — The Kincade Fire in Sonoma County prompted large-scale evacuations on Oct. 26 and forced thousands of residents to flee their homes. But it wasn’t just humans that were displaced by the fire — pets and animals living at shelters also had to evacuate. The Sacramento Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals took in a total of 42 animals from Sonoma County.

Are pesticides the reason honeybees are in trouble?

SAN MATEO — According to the United States Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service, the number of honeybees declined by 60 percent since 1947. Over the last decade, some environmental activists and scientists pointed to the negative effects of neonicotinoid pesticides as potential reasons for the declines in honeybee colonies. But some members of the San Mateo beekeeper’s guild are citing other explanations