Mark Grossi on Muck Rack

Mark Grossi

Fresno, Calif.
Freelance Journalist — Freelance

Science journalist telling the story of the San Joaquin Valley and the Sierra Nevada. Alicia Patterson Foundation fellow in 2016.

California's water wars reach 'new level of crazy' this year — California water authorities are killing salmon and destroying farming. They're endangering shorebirds, threatening city taps and quite possibly raising the crime rate. That's a sampling of the four dozen comments and protests on the website of the State Water Resources Control Board about emergency water management after the driest winter in decades.

Earth Log: After 40 years of journalism, an October sunset — Thirty-seven years ago, I wrote my first story about the environment on a thoroughly modern electric typewriter. The story was about this idea to build the "Peripheral Canal," but this column is is not about that idea. This is me looking back as I approach a very personal sunset this week.

Kidney stone of a summer, but it has passed — It was a long, strange summer in the most-brutal of the four drought years. In early October, it's a good time to look back briefly, but only if you also try to look forward. The dry time broke a 90-year record for lowest flow in the Kings River.

Valley will struggle with tough, new air standard — Federal leaders on Thursday announced their most-protective national ozone standard, saying California alone would save up to $2.1 billion annually in health care after 2025. But the San Joaquin Valley, which hasn't yet achieved the older eight-hour ozone standard, will struggle to meet this one in the 2030s, a local air-quality leader said.

Yosemite is third-oldest national park, but parks idea was born there — Yosemite on Thursday is celebrating its 125th anniversary a week later than Sequoia and 18 years behind Yellowstone. And Yosemite was actually tied for third on Oct. 1, 1890, when it was officially established. The General Grant National Park, which would be part of Kings Canyon National Park 50 years later, sprang from the same legislation as Yosemite.

Westlands Water District’s drainage cleanup time may have come — Fifteen years ago, a court ordered federal officials to get rid of potentially poisonous irrigation drainage trapped below vast Westlands Water District farms - "without delay." The drainage timeline actually started decades before the court order, but it might yet prove to be an advantage.

Air-quality scientist David Lighthall, 61, dies — Scientist David Lighthall investigated damaging effects of wood smoke on humans and detailed health risks among farmworkers in the San Joaquin Valley. He was known among researchers, air quality leaders and the medical community for his curiosity and gentle spirit. Mr. Lighthall, 61, died this week of cancer.

From ashes of Rough fire, what’s the real problem here? — Our story Sunday about the 142,000-acre Rough fire touched a few nerves as it described seven weeks of burning, smoke, evacuations, expense and high anxiety. The fire is not a big threat now, though it will likely burn until snow flies in the Sierra. Now people are beginning to ask tougher questions.

Next drought nightmare: The fire that wouldn’t die — Firefighting commander Rocky Opliger can dial directly into the Rough fire on his iPhone 6s to track his location via satellite as he walks the perimeter for a detailed look. He can stream live video feeds from helicopters and aircraft - in 3-D. From any angle, this monster wildfire east of Fresno is a zombie.

Whiff of ‘wet ash’ - rain helps end soot siege — After the spritzing of rain Monday, Fresnan Tom Bohigian said on Facebook that it smelled like "wet ash" downtown. It really did. The rain dampened the soot mess from the Rough fire, which at times last week made the San Joaquin Valley look like another planet.
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Oct 22, 2016

Yosemite Falls, an old friend is back. Thanks for the webcam, Yosemite Conservancy.

Oct 20, 2016

An exciting fall color season so far. Mount Conness in the distance.

Oct 20, 2016

@Soup_CIub It was sunset along Bishop Creek Road. He was driving up to around 9,000 feet.

Oct 20, 2016

Yesterday on the Eastern Sierra. Photo by Mathias Van Hesemans.

Oct 18, 2016

Friend just posted this on Facebook. Mammoth Lakes. What a sight for sore eyes.

Oct 18, 2016

Good start for Tuesday: Jordan Peak this morning, looking toward Camp Nelson in Southern Sierra.

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