Good morning. Here’s what you need to know today, Monday.
The cool before the storm: Cool and cloudy is the forecast for during the day on Monday, but precipitation tonight could provide a pretty good soaking for dry lawns. The little system on Sunday dropped about a tenth of an inch of rain on Sacramento. The next one due late tonight could deliver a half an inch of precipitation.
Water merger: Sacramento Suburban Water District and San Juan Water District are expected to vote next month on whether to merge the agencies. The two suburban water districts serve half a million people combined in suburban Sacramento and Placer counties. A combined agency will provide more reliable service, give the region a stronger political voice on water policy and would save money and reduce the amount of inevitable rate increases, officials said.
Green propellant: Aerojet-Rocketdyne has been awarded $1.2 million by the Defense Department to develop “green” propellant to replace toxic chemicals used in satellites and space missions. The goal is to come up with an alternative to hydrazine, which is so toxic that workers handling it must wear fully enclosed suits. Aerojet will test propellants at its Chemical Synthesis Laboratory in Rancho Cordova, then perform thruster testing to select the most promising ones for future research.
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Contract conflict: Pearson School is threatening a lawsuit if the California Department of Education doesn’t rebid a proposed $240 million contract to administer standardized testing in the state. The state Board of Education awarded the bid to Educational Testing Service, the state’s current testing vendor. Officials from Pearson School called the process for picking the winner unfair and secretive.
Natomas growth: Levee improvements are scheduled to bring an end to the building moratorium in Natomas in June. The city finally can fill in the blanks and make neighborhoods whole, adding houses on empty lots, as well as new schools and other amenities. Leaders also say they would like to push for ways to add jobs and to make the community less of a typical car-centric suburb.