City of Merced

Don't believe your lying eyes

Submitted: Nov 05, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 “This is typical Obama-era political science,” Bast said. “It’s all been debunked so many times it’s not worth debating anymore. Why are we still wasting taxpayer dollars on green propaganda?” -- Mooney et al, Washington Post, Nov. 3, 2017

Once in power, the shrill pack of lies of rightwing propaganda changes its tone. It casually dismisses a decade of sincere confrontation and effort to cope with global warming as something that you-know-what president did. Now in power, the Right delivers the propaganda of the deed.

-- blj

11-3-17

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"Gimme, Gimme, Gimme: Kah-ching-ching-ching"

Submitted: Sep 28, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 “We just haven’t been building enough housing – not just low-income or affordable housing, but housing of any kind,” Uhler said  Angela Hart, Sacramento Bee, Sept. 21, 2017

Developers and the newspapers they advertise in will have had you believe that more housing construction is the answer to all California economic woes from the end of the Gold Rush to Kingdom Come.

But, what one sees all around are developments, final mapped with curbs and wires sticking up beside empty lots. Why not build on those first?

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Why cometh the truant officer?

Submitted: Sep 25, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

How fondly we remember Carole Tomlinson-Keasey, the first chancellor of UC Merced, telling all us locals that, although they couldn't exactly measure it, they found it, nonetheless, universally true that proximity to a UC campus made people more intelligent.

"Proximity is destiny," was the slogan of that hour.  Of course, less interested observers like state Sen. President pro tem described this "destiny" as the biggest "boondoggle" he'd ever seen (and he saw the construction of Candlestick), and Capitol columnist Dan Walters described this "destiny" as "nothing but a land deal."

Presumably, if T-K, the "Cowgirl Chancellor, was correct, Merced children do not have to go to elementary or secondary school because the very air they breathe (at least on healthy air-quality days) fills them with genius.

So is this police overreach or just a return to the old-fashioned truancy officer of yore?

-- blj

 

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Sisters of Perpetual Ambiguity farm pot in Merced

Submitted: Aug 16, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 ....but rushing in to the county to guide the Sisters is one of the state Capitol's leading political geniuses, Will "If you print my name I'll have to kill you" Skaarup, formerly the Democrats' go to registration ace. Skaarup, like the Sisters, has BIG plans for Merced, including a warehouse for overnighting big Humboldt Bud loads bound for LA. Wouldn't it fit in nicely with the Gateway Project at Mission and 99?

-- blj

 

7-21-17

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Gateway to a ghost (down)town and other city council foibles

Submitted: Aug 10, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 There is nothing quite as revolting as watching a land-use planning authority rejoice in the anticipation of spending millions in the taxes they're going to get from some commercial development project they just approved on a piece of dirt in the outskirts of their town. It's a wet dream.

In the case of the City of Merced, we have a city manager, Steve Carrigan,  former director of economic development for bankrupt Stockton, who has more need for public-management redemption than most of the others, although Frank Quintero and Mike Conway, two of Carrigan's ethically challenged assistants, could use a little new luster, too.

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Elite fundamentalists to the baracades!

Submitted: Jul 25, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 The northern San Joaquin Valley public, at least, doesn't have to look any farther than the "boondoggle/land deal" called UC Merced, anchor tenant for the most severe housing construction boom/bust in its history, to see right through the campaign of scientists rallying to run for public office. All one has to remember is how scientists in the UC system and in the state and federal resource agencies charged with enforcing environmental law and regulation, not to mention public meeting legislation, bowed to political pressure and corrupted their own research to appease the UC and the finance, insurance and real estate special interests behind the Merced project.

 

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Regulation and its absence

Submitted: Jul 05, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 The dismal dialectic between government and business may be approaching the trough, even if it has not bottomed out yet. From this vantage point, the velocity of bribery having slowed from the sheer volume of the current bribes, something almost like a calm prevails. And in this calm it is possible to see why government regulates on behalf of the people and why business reacts and works to undermine and destroy every governmental regulation. Out of the latter motive comes such idiotic slogans as "The business of America is business," (Pres. Calvin Coolidge, 1923-1929), and all subsequent slogans in this vein, like the immortal chamber of commerce chesnut, "Government should be run like a business."

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A sensible lawsuit to reform the state Legislature

Submitted: Jul 03, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 A federal lawsuit claims that our rights to representation are being violated because the size of the Legislature — 40 senators and 80 Assembly members — hasn’t changed since 1862 (and was made permanent by the 1879 Constitution ) even though the state’s population has grown from about 420,000 to nearly 40 million.

That means the number of Californians represented by each Assembly member has jumped from about 5,200 to nearly 500,000. And that dilutes the power of each vote and makes it nearly impossible for legislators to represent competing interests, according to the lawsuit.

 

 

 

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Thinking about crime in Merced

Submitted: Jun 18, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

Below is a series of articles about crime in Merced and Stanislaus counties in recent months. It is not an exhaustive list, not a police log, nor is it long enough to represent the variety of crime reported daily in this region. However, we do learn from the articles that Merced, Modesto, and two other Valley county seats rank among the top 10 cities in the nation for car theft. We learn that the recent "Operation Scrapbook," a multi-agency task force using advanced communications surveillance nabbed some top gang members accused of heavy charges including murder, meth dealing, and gun dealing.

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