City of Merced

AB1242 Gray, D-Merced: All business and no good faith

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

 

The drought in the San Joaquin Valley -- let's call it the Great San Joaquin Valley Drought ,,, no, we should call it The Greatest Drought in World History, because we like to have the biggest things in the world here -- biggest cheese plants, biggest almond crops, biggest winery, biggest land subsidence, greatest destruction of bees, biggest air-quality problems, and our water quality was recently the subject of a genuine United Nations investigation on behalf of the farm workers, mostly citizens of another country, which must have been the reason the UN got involved because, you know, being citizens of another country, they aren't exactly our responsibility, at least you could argue that people without the proper paperwork to be here don't really have a right to safe water supplies and sewer services. They're just farm workers, after all, you have to draw the line somewhere,, and where water is concerned, that line has to be clearly drawn because our sacred San Joaquin Valley economy is based on Irrigated Agriculture. And this year farm workers are cheaper than water and a sewer in compliance with state and federal regulations.

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Water, the state,the city and UC Merced

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

 • Several central San Joaquin Valley communities may be required to conserve 35% of their residential water use under proposed state conservation goals. -- Robert Rodriguez, Fresno Bee, April 8, 2015

In Merced County, both Merced (279.6 gal. daily per-capital home water use) and Los Banos (228.2 gal.) will be asked to reduce water use by 35 percent by the State Water Resources Control Board.

We don't know what the problem in Los Banos is but suspect it is related to its development as a bedroom community for Silicon Valley.

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Drought battle lines forming

Submitted: Apr 10, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal

To put this version of the California 2015 Drought Story in some perspective, there will be litigation by agribusiness and the damage from over-pumping groundwater is not something the Governor and his perpetually upwardly mobile functionaries want to think about. However, the state may be operating at its legal limits and probably costly litigation will verify that.

Meanwhile, agribusiness and the remaining farmers with permanent crops, which water districts with junior rights like Westlands have long encouraged its growers to plant, will have to decide how to use their private property rights to groundwater.

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"Moving forward"

Submitted: Mar 18, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 We've been stunned by the drought and responses to it locally and at a state and national level. Environmentalists have been warning about how farmers have been over-drafting the aquifer in the Central Valley for decades and have been snubbed and demonized for mentioning it, as if we were not citizens and members of the same society that landowners and urban businessmen are. They don't even have to bribe elected officials anymore; social elites spring up overnight around wealth in new industries, whose "leaders" get what they want and they always want more water. Elected officials and educators -- from kindergarten to UC Merced -- babble on constantly about leadership. And they all use that one phrase, growing more absurd by the day: "We've got to move forward."

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Cloud of stink over new county courthouse

Submitted: Mar 11, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 MDA attorneys, headed by administrator Tom Pfeiff, handle criminal cases for indigent defendants in Merced County whenever any conflicts of interest prevent the Public Defender’s Office from representing someone..“Whatever issue has arisen with regard to the money received by Judge Garcia pursuant to the dissolution of our joint venture has nothing to do with MDA and is entirely between Judge Garcia and the Commission on Judicial Performance. Following the appointment, Pfeiff bought out Garcia, making payments in monthly installments between 2008 and 2012 totaling $250,000, the commission said.

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Super high, super dude, SUPERFLY Hostetler pledges something

Submitted: Mar 06, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 On Monday night at the Merced City Council meeting, it was --

Super high,

Super dude,

SUPERFLY

GREG HOSTETLER --

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Joe Public comments on the Merced County groundwater ordinance

Submitted: Mar 04, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 This morning we received this commentary on the Merced County groundwater ordinance from Joe Public. It says what needs to be said about this latest water plan-to-make-a-plan.

We would only add that Steve Sloan was the chairman of the county Planning Commission during the entire building boom. Sloan is a man who never saw development he didn't like. He is one of two landowners whose groundwater mining triggered the production of this list of exemptions wrapped in an ordinance. -- blj

 

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Bergman, skinned, stuffed and mounted

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

 

"Let me, and only me, bring the benefits of fresh vegetables to the poor and needy in my donated, beautifully painted truck without refrigeration," said Don Bergman in the sole-bid contract, ovbiously rigged for him with the help of friends in county government.

He was seen a few years earlier leading the goon squad of Black Hats from Out of Town bullying any opposition to John "Long Con" Condren's Riverside Motorsports Park, a popular cause among county supervisors and staff, some of whom may even have invested. 

In the County of Misfeasance, Malfeasance and Nonfeasance, however, Bergman is a person of note. In his years as executive director of the non-profit Greater Merced Chamber of Commerce, he was a tireless booster for private enterprise and often belligerent foe of government. And Bergman knows firsthand the object of his contempt because in the past he'd been a Merced City councilman for part of a term and later was appointed to the county Workforce Investment Board.

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Solar patches

Submitted: Jan 29, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

  

 

We join the writer of a letter recently published in the Merced Sun-Star in welcoming a genuine "Fortune 250" energy corporation, NGR, to Merced County.  We couldn't imagine anything as exciting short of news that Occidental Petroleum was opening a local office to manage it fracking wells. We are particularly joyful  to see that this authentic renewable energy corporation calls its plantations of solar panels "gardens" instead of the clunckier "parks." used by a German-based transnational solar corporation to describe its plan to put 1,400 acres under  glass on the west side.

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They're At It Again Department: The Rent-to-Own Scam

Submitted: Jan 28, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 

The rent-to-own business appears to be a small, grubby niche of finance. People I spoke with said that the big players were not doing rent-to-own. -- Eisinger, ProPublica, January 28, 2015.

We would not have noticed this fine article from ProPublica had it not been for a situation on the street where we live that is harming the tenant of a rent-to-own house and all his neighbors. "Small and grubby" perfectly describes the owner group we call "the boys from LA" who own a gaggle of properties scattered throughout the town. But, fortunately for us, it doesn't describe our street, where neighbors are on perpetual alert for grubby doers. -- blj

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