This Texas town offers hurricane relief — if your politics are right

How Fire Has Shaped California’s Wine Industry

“The history of wine in California, it turns out, is inextricably bound up with fire.” The most devastating fire to the California wine industry happened after a strong earthquake shook San Francisco on April 18, 1906.

For 10 long days Jeff Morgan did not know the fate of one of his vineyards in Sonoma County.

Morgan, the co-owner of Covenant Wines in Berkeley, had spent part of Sunday, Oct. 8, at the Kenwood-area vineyard, preparing to bring his crew in the next day to pick the Petit Verdot grapes still hanging on the vines. That never happened, as multiple fires ravaged Sonoma and Napa, killing at least 23 people in those two counties, destroying almost 6,000 structures, and causing billions in damage. The fires, now in their second week despite the efforts of thousands of firefighters, have destroyed or badly damaged about 22 wineries.

“We lost four tons of Petit Verdot,” said Morgan early this week. “We were scheduled to pick it last Monday morning but, of course, we could not get to the vineyard. That’s about $100,000 worth of wine.”

The scenes of devastation coming out of the massive fire zone, which stretches across more than 105,000 acres in one of the world’s most beautiful wine regions, might make wine drinkers despair. Tasting….


This Texas town offers hurricane relief — if your politics are right

Nearly two months after Hurricane Harvey socked the Texas coastline, residents are still in the early stages of the costly and complicated cleanup process. Now in one Houston suburb, residents hoping to receive aid to help relaunch their lives have to factor Middle East political tensions into their recovery efforts.

The city of Dickinson, Tex., located about 30 miles southeast of Houston, recently posted applications online for relief grants “from the funds that were generously donated to the Dickinson Harvey Relief Fund,” the city’s website says. The application, however, includes a provision requiring applicants to promise not to boycott Israel.

Section 11 of the four page document is titled, “Verification not to Boycott Israel.”

The text reads: “By executing this Agreement below, the Applicant verifies that the Applicant: (1) does not boycott Israel; and (2) will not boycott Israel during the term of this Agreement.”…

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