Merced County

Federal subsidy for the Last Tango of the Dinosaurs

Submitted: Nov 01, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 “If it wasn’t for having crop insurance right now, I would have lost everything three generations of Messonniers have created. If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t be here. It’s that simple.” ... “This was the first year ever we didn’t do any rice,” (Tom Roduner) said. “Sometimes we have a little bit. It’s so bleak this year, between the water allocation and how dry things were, it just wasn’t feasible to do any.”

-- Calix, Merced Sun-Star, Oct. 28, 2015

 

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Overdrafting credulity on the east side

Submitted: Sep 24, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Journalists shouldn't take at face value the public utterances of other peoples' consultants, for example the Provost and Pritchard Consulting Group, in the pay of the Eastside Water District, a mysterious institution that lacks any surface water to distribute.

We may be over-emphasizing a small point, but when the consultant said:

“The groundwater pumping has caused a ‘cone of depression’ and groundwater overdraft to occur,” said a report on the project by the Provost & Pritchard Consulting Group in Modesto. “This is due to the lack of a surface water supply that could offer groundwater recharge in the area and lead to a sustainable supply.”

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Sweethearts of San Luis renew their vows

Submitted: Sep 16, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

It's not really a divorce... 

 

The Westlands Water District, which provides water to the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. This region is an area of polluted quick sand which devours other peoples' water, law and political representatives from the local to the federal levels, in fact devours everything but the fortunes of a plutocracy of several hundred growers.

Ordinarily we would have prefaced the newspaper account of this latest secret deal-made public between Westlands and the federal government, but there appeared such an eloquent letter in opposition from retired US Fish & Wildlife biologist, Felix Smith, that it outranked the Fresno Bee piece. The latter was a boiled over wire-service story no one was willing to sign. To give an idea of who Smith is, we prefaced his letter with a moment in his biography.

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Questions about the Delta and global warming

Submitted: Sep 01, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

We've assembled over the years enough articles on drought, California water and global warming to fill several books. Our aim was to inform and raise questions. As the drought grows worse -- news of larger forest fires and more dry wells -- lately the media seems to be trying to project a sense of perspective at this point. But they, and the politicians they quote and the scientists they paraphrase do not appear to be doing a very good job.

We wondered, for example, if it would destroy public confidence in the wisdom of The Interests  (finance, insurance and real estate) in California, if we dared to say global warming and the San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta in the same sentence.

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Are local bigshots hiding things again?

Submitted: Aug 23, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 There are a couple of simple quetions omitted from this story that might have made the resident of Merced interested or even concerned about the future of the proposed high speed railroad station that will gut the downtown area a little better informed.

1. Doesn't the reason for the ad hoc committee have less to do with "expertise," which was alleged subject of the discussion at the last Merced City Council meeting,. than with its lack of transparency?  So they spend several hundred thousand of some other governmental agency's money on consultants. So what? For years CH2MHill made more than a million dollars recycling essentially the same report of the state of our sewer system, mired in water-quality board cease and desist orders, for years. Did it stop the city from approving construction projects, even if they never got built?

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The other climate in the Valley

Submitted: Aug 07, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 In the San Joaquin Valley of California, two climates intersect The first is a prolonged, serious drought. The other, less visible, is the new financial climate of RISK FREE AGRIBUSINESS, created by special interests in finance, insurance and real estate, ironically called FIRE. The most obvious manifestation of the intersection of these two climates is the manic drilling of ever deeper wells and the construction on on-site reservoirs by agribusiness firms while, simultaneously, the state provides emergency relief to rural residents whose wells have been sucked dry to irrigate orchards, vineyards and cotton.

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Groundwater, considered all by itself

Submitted: Jul 21, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Local support is required for each type of boundary change. Mr. Springhorn explained the tiered system with an increasing level of local support depending on the severity of the requested revision. “We’ve been messaging that for boundary revision in the state, there needs to be broad local agreement for these revisions because these revisions have impacts on the implementation of groundwater management and also sustainable groundwater management in the high and medium basins so that’s been a key theme throughout all of our stakeholder engagement and outreach.”

http://mavensnotebook.com/2015/07/20/sustainable-groundwater-management-act-implementation-an-overview-of-the-basin-boundary-regulation/

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Water skirmishes increase, intensify between agribusiness and state

Submitted: Jul 17, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

In light of this week's skirmishes in court over agricultural rights to river water, it is a good time to look at the call, heard from a growing number of voices, for an overhaul of California water rights that is swelling under the increasing flow of lawsuits and the decreasing flow of surface water, the shrinking aquifers and subsiding land.

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Just your basic, down home chicken abusers, apologists and employers

Submitted: Jul 12, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

  

7-2-15

Mcclatchydc.com

Animal rights group files complaint against California poultry firm

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The whole enchilada on our front porch

Submitted: Jul 02, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 An editor of Badlands Journal was once studying agricultural economics at a great UC campus established firmly on the back of California agriculture. One night, shortly before leaving these studies, the future Badlands editor looked up from his equations, gazed out into a hot summer night, and formulated the one scientific thought he had ever had: The San Joaquin Valley of California is the greatest laboratory in the world to demonstrate all that is wrong with agribusiness.

As usual, his thought was puny compared to the onrushing reality. -- blj

 

 

 

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