City of Merced

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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Kern County-approved Bakersfield oil-transfer station project sued

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

 Down on the front lines in Kern County, a lawsuit with implications for Merced, which has two main railroads running through it, is being fought over the future transportation of oil, particularly the highly flammable fracked crude from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to refineries in Richmond.

 

 

 

10-9-14

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NIMBY elite demands Merced City Council stop plans for bridge on Parsons Ave.

Submitted: Oct 05, 2014
By: 
b

 

The Right Sort of People live along Parsons Ave. and the mayor knows it. -- eds.

The Merced City Council held a kangaroo court hearing in front of a lynch mob on September 15, starring Mayor Stan Thurston as the mob's lead attorney.  In an unprecedented 15-minute display of  litigation in a legislative body, 

Mayor Stan Thurston gave the opening statement for the plaintiffs, The Right Sort of People Who Live Along Parsons Ave.  The Right Sort are the mayor's clients against The Wrong Sort of People, including but not limited to: City staff; Council members that disagree with the mayor and his clients; Everyone who has supported and/or voted for the Parsons Ave. Project for the last 55 years; and The citizens of East Palo Alto.

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Dead lawns and itchy people

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

 It is late September and we were talking over coffee this morning about the San Joaquin Valley water situation the way valley residents will do when fire fighters on the King Fire above Placerville are worried about flash floods and all we see is vague overcast composed of many substances as well as some water vapor. Mothers wearing winterish jackets are taking their children, also in jackets, to school.

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The march and the mainstream media

Submitted: Sep 22, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

  While even the Wall Street Journal quoted the figure of 400,000 that the climate-change march organizers announced, the babble-ocracy on almost all the rest of the mainstream media kept to the safe topic of More War.

The Pentagon is the largest consumer of petroleum in the world.

There is nothing more environmentally destructive than war.

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Merced City Council, Aug. 4, 2014: An inconsiderable lease

Submitted: Sep 02, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Merced City Council, Aug. 4, 2014

Item #10 on Consent Calendar would authorize staff to prepare a lease to UC Merced and others for 5,951 square feet of office space in the Parcade office/parking complex next to City Hall for a dollar a year for 10 years.

There were some deferential questions from council members which were met by a steady stream of impenetrable, uninformative "presentation," which we have nicknamed "boosterbabble," from city and UC Merced staff. Mainly they were talking about the deep social need for installing UC and small business sponsored business "incubator" and "accelerator" and "UC administration" space, in one of the deadest commercial spacess on the downtown landscape: the Parcade.       

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Merced City Council, Aug. 4, 2014: change orders and contingencies

Submitted: Aug 25, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

The city council, like most legislative bodies, includes a number of items early in its agenda that are voted on together. It is called the "consent calendar" and items may be removed from it for individual attention. Councilman Mike Murphy asked that Item 8, a staff recommendation that the council accept a bid from a Fresno construction company to build a new laboratory building at  the city wastewater treatment facility, be removed for council discussion. After noting that "it is great that we have one of the bidders coming in 10 percent lower than the other two," Councilman Murphy objected specifically to the contract allowing a 25-percent increase for change orders on the authority of the city manager alone without council deliberation. Murphy thought 10 percent was good enough, noting that a $450,000 contingency fund was also included in the contract.

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Making a graph of stupidity and UC grant whoring

Submitted: Aug 22, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 “We can’t manage what we don’t measure,” he said. “We’ve been putting a lot of efforts in developing intelligent infrastructure that will develop better information and lead to better decision-making.”

 

What is wrong with this statement?

1) It is historically absurd. Human beings have managed quite well without  "intelligent infrastructure."  But, of course, UC professors believe that real management of human affairs begins with measurements precise enough to build, launch and trigger the nuclear weapons for which UC is so famous.

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