City of Merced

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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Merced Development Rodeo: Ol' Hoss calls out the Mayor

Submitted: Jan 08, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Greg Hostetler remarks to Merced Mayor Stan Thurston

Oral Communications 

Merced City Council Meeting

January 5, 2015

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZU8RDMQd7E

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Moyers' last interview: in the Public Trust Doctrine

Submitted: Jan 08, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 

 It was typical of Bill Moyers, the guy who always got it, to end his magnificent career of public broadcasting with an interview on the environment, specifically how the great American environmental law, once the envy of the world's environmentalists, has been largely corrupted -- Badlands has done some documentation on that topic -- and that the whole environmental legal edifice needs to be regrounded in  Public Trust Doctrine. Moyer's guest, Mary Christina Wood, a legal scholar from the University of Oregon, has published a book on the topic, Nature's Trust: Environmental Law for a New Ecological Age, Cambridge University Press, 2013. -- blj

1-2-15

 

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Merced Development Rodeo: Team "Ol' Hoss" ropes Merced City Council and wins a prize

Submitted: Dec 26, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Although landowners would love you to believe that farming and residential development are totally different operations, farmers being salt-of-the-earth, honest, God-fearing Jeffersonian yeomen of rural America, developers being mysteriously powerful, immensely rich city slickers, farming is in fact just as much "development" as residential construction is in terms of its effects on the environment and its returns of investment.

 

In the October 15th Merced City Council meeting, an item appeared under "Reports" that asked for a resolution that the

City Council of the City of Merced finds that farming and planting tree crops will be an allowed interim use within Bellevue Ranch West at such time that environmental review has occurred and the property owner has obtained an Interface Conditional Use Permit from the City of Merced to ensure compatibility with the existing residential uses within Bellevue Ranch.

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Merced County Board of Supervisors in their own words: Water Update, October 21, 2014

Submitted: Dec 06, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Once again and despite the severe drought, our supervisors are out of their depth. They have responded to the groundwater crisis like a concussed, four-man defensive line.

Reference: AB 1739: Groundwater Management, Dickinson, Chaptered Sept. 16, 2014. http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=2013... -- blj

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Present: Chairman Gerry O'Banion, supervisors Hub Walsh, Lynn Davis and John Pedrozo. Absent: Supervisor Deidre Kelsey.

 

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Merced City Council notes, 11-17-14

Submitted: Nov 18, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Monday night's Merced City Council meeting featured two "presentations" ("reports" carry more legal heft: from Police Chief Norm Andrade and Director of Economic Development, Frank Quintero.

Chief Andrade emphasized that although the force has lost manpower and has had to place remaining personnel primarily in enforcement rather than outreach and prevention, Merced police officers remain highly trained and professional. He and some council members agreed that the city must commit to increasing funding to increase manpower. As for all that great technology out there for sale to police forces today, Andrade expressed the opinion that "the toys" still needed officers to use them.

Mayor Stan Thurston commented that the city ought to commit to funding at least one more officer every year for awhile.

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New Valley "dynamic duo" and Old Valley hog ball

Submitted: Oct 20, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Ken Groves, former staffer for former Rep. Gary Condit, once again raises the spector over our part of the San Joaquin Valley of "the dynamic duo." How well we remember the vivid picture drawn by the local political press of a fundraiser held at Fritz Grupe's ranch during the height of the real estate bubble, after which the dynamic duo of that era, former representatives Dennis Cardoza, The Pimlico Kid-Merced, and Richard Pombo, Buffalo Slayer-Tracy, split more than $50,000 in bribes (we mean campaign contributions, of course). When Pombo was removed from office by former representative Pete McCloskey and Rep. Jerry McNerney, an actual Democrat from Pleasanton, Cardoza turned south and found his next dancing partner in Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, now redistricted into the Pimplico Kid's old district.

Lest we forget, Cardoza's first legislative sweetheart was former state Sen. Dick Monteith, now retired to an untermed sinecure on the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors. That version of the dynamic duo led the charge to trample the eastern Merced County environment, state and federal laws and regulations regarding endangered species and clean water, and the laws government public process. 

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LA: it believes in its own tinsel

Submitted: Oct 20, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 LA lives or dies by its own propaganda except for its fine B movies, its superb detective-story writers, and the incomparable Mike Davis (City of Quartz, Planet of Slums, and much more).

But, is it absolutely necessary that the rest of the state swallow LA propaganda, particularly on the question of how much Northern California water it "deserves" as "fair and equitable" so it can continue to grow? For the benefit of whom (1)  at the cost of the destruction to what (2)?

See answers below. -- blj

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