Entertainment

Caress of the despots

Submitted: Jan 05, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

12-10-11

Fresno Bee

Bill McEwen: Resnick wants to enhance Valley…

Bill McEwen

http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/12/10/v-print/2645195/resnick-wants-to-enhance-valley.html

Lynda Resnick is a marketing whiz and one of America's richest women. She has mastered the art of moving bottled water, pomegranate juice, oranges and other products off of supermarket shelves.

Now she's tackling a bigger challenge: making a dent in the concentrated poverty that has saddled the San Joaquin Valley with a reputation as the Appalachia of the West.

Resnick might be this generation's highest-profile Valley advocate. She certainly has the connections to make politicians and foundations pay attention to our overlooked region and its daunting problems.

She and husband Stewart own Roll Global and are estimated to be worth $1.8 billion. A good chunk of their fortune has come from the Valley's fertile fields and the success of Paramount Farms.

"What I hope to give is a voice to the whole Valley," Resnick says. "Too many people have no idea about the Central Valley and the wonderful people here that deserve a chance."

The Resnicks, who live in Beverly Hills, long have been major donors to causes in Southern California.

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Hollywood in Crows Landing?

Submitted: Nov 04, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

11-5-11
Modesto Bee
Editorial: West Park project has possibilities

http://www.modbee.com/2011/11/03/v-print/1932615/west-park-project-haspossibilities.html

In the last several years, discussions about the potential uses for the former Crows Landing Naval Air Station have focused on manufacturing, processing and distribution facilities that would benefit from the site's proximity to Interstate 5 and the potential for short-line rail to the Port of Oakland.

Ag exports often have been cited in the conversations, along with air cargo operations or business start-ups.

So we have to admit we were surprised — in a pleasant way — at the prospective user for West Park Logistics Center that was announced earlier this week. It's not the kind of industry we have much experience with here in the valley — an independent movie and TV studio.

Mare Island Studio sent a letter to the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors stating its interest in locating on 415 acres in West Park. It's important to remember that it's nothing like a done deal. But it definitely is an interesting possibility.

The letter from a studio executive was part of a quarterly update to the board on developer Gerry Kamilos' progress on West Park.

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After doing the math

Submitted: Oct 17, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

After "doing the math" on Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax program on his sister's kitchen table, the Dull-Witted Boy's Uncle Henry announced that he himself way now running for president.

"My program is simpler," the newest candidate for the 2012 presidential election said. "It will not require any math.

"I'm running on the platform: Ja! Ja! Ja!"

-blj

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Wit "going viral on the web"

Submitted: Sep 05, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

"Congress isn't broken, it's fixed" -- Daniel Weeks

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The casino option

Submitted: May 02, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Finance, insurance, real estate special interests in the north San Joaquin Valley, home of the worst foreclosure rate in the nation, are suffering high anxiety that the University of California might convert UC Merced, anchor tenant for the real estate boom and bust, into a liberal arts college.
Furthermore, this idea is being advanced on the floor of the state Senate by none other than that notorious liberal, former mayor of Berkeley and wife of the present mayor of Berkeley, state Sen. Loni Hancock.
Readers of the Sonny Star's latest brothel ballad are asked to get into the injustice of the story by recalling a quote by Ronald Reagan, while campaigning for president against President Jimmy Carter: "There you go again." That famous half whisper, that complex mixture of contempt and exaspiration, that famous Reagan attitude, the same that tear gassed UC Berkeley students from helicopters when he was governor, that same attitude, contempt and exaspiration for law that urged Reagan to enable the shipment, production, sales and distribution of crack cocaine in Hancock's district.
But Hancock's district contains even more. For example, it contains the first UC campaign, Berkeley, and the UC Office of the President, the headquarters for the entire UC system. Hancock is not acting as an adversary of the UC president or Board of Regents here. She is representing them, raising the trial balloon that must be sending all the local Mr. and Ms. UC Merceds straight to their cardiologists.

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Spriggsy and the out-of-town demons

Submitted: Mar 27, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Below lies an annotated version of our Mayor Spriggsy's attempt to boost Merced to the bunch of frat boys in the editorial offices at Forbes Magazine. It is pathetic because Spriggsy is caught in the very painful position of having to argue with his rightwing ideological betters, who have nominated Merced for the title of third most miserable city in America. It is an example of flak v. flak. Badlands comments are in italics.

Badlands Journal editorial board

 

3-22-11
Merced Sun-Star
William Spriggs: Opportunity, not misery
http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2011/03/21/v-print/1819809/william-spriggs-opportunity-not.html

I sent the following letter to Forbes magazine taking issue with its listing our city as the third-most miserable community in the nation.

only a knuckleheaded wingnut like spriggsy would argue with a knucklehead wingnut magazine like forbes, last refuge of the flat taxers.

Editor: Thank you very much for including Merced in your recent list placing us No. 3 in the nation. However, we feel obligated to point out a slight error in your list: It should have been titled the Opportunity Index, not the list of Most Miserable Cities.

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Loose Cheeks: Anna Caballero's staff

Submitted: Oct 29, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Several years ago, a young man new to Merced but active in local politics at the time, asked a Badlands Journal reporter, “What is Diana Westmoreland Pedrozo saying? I can’t understand a word she says.” Pedrozo was the executive director of the county Farm Bureau and president of the California Women for Agriculture at the time.

The reporter replied that the poor fellow had two obstacles to overcome: experience in the interpretation of Pedrozo and the mendacious rhetoric of agribusiness.  The reporter explained that the key to “understanding” Pedrozo was to realize that at any given moment on any given topic  she had imperfectly memorized talking points rarely arranged in any logical order.  The reporter recommended that for further clarification, the young activist should listen closely to county Planning Commissioner Cindy Lashbrook for an even more recklessly illogical rendition of public affairs. The reporter also recommended, for the full course, that the young activist study the words of Diana's brother-in-law, Supervisor John Pedrozo. And for post-graduate studies, he should consult the oratory of Supervisor Hub Walsh who, when in full cry, can become a one-man mind-altering substance.

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Future, coalition, development, growth, land-use planning, transportion -- but some of the words rendered meaningless

Submitted: Oct 10, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

As foreclosure and unemployment gnaw away at the social fabric in the crumbling tract housing of the Valley, like highly trained, professional rats babbling our language, the usual suspects of Valley leadership met and scampered through their consensual maze inside a mausoleum of commercial real estate hubris in Modesto, a city that has been ruining its promised land for 40 years with no end in sight for its wanderings in darkness. -- Badlands

10-10-10
Modesto Bee

Building a Future: Planning experts share wisdom at summit
By Garth Stapley - gstapley@modbee.com  Buzz up!
 
Standing alone may have served a romantic image of the great American West in years past. But for today's San Joaquin Valley, isolationism is death.

That's what planning experts said over and over when asked how the historically undervalued valley can expect to climb out of California's center rut and into a bright, vibrant future.

"The most important thing is coalition building," lobbyist Mark MacDonald said last week at a summit in Modesto, where planning specialists from near and far gathered to ponder valley strategy for hitting up money powerbrokers. "All your battles (must be) internal, before you get up to Sacramento."

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On the announcement of departure of UC Merced's second chancellor

Submitted: Sep 05, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

A member of the Badlands Journal editorial board was asked by a UC Merced student for a meeting so that he could learn more about the campus where he is going to college. The request was received the day Chancellor Steve Kang announced he would depart the campus at the end of the next academic year.

 

We thought, rather than having coffee with the student and attempting to tell that story in an hour or so, we would do two things: first, refer him to an audio tape made in the classroom of UC Merced historian Gregg Herken, a member of the founding faculty of social sciences, humanities and art at the campus, and who directed the production of a laughable bit of bobcatflak called The Fairy Shrimp Chronicles: An informal history of the founding of UC Merced. The students of that class learned how to write history as propaganda and suppress vital information, useful skills if they seek careers in the University of California system.

 

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"Narratives" Week #4: Politics among the local cannibals

Submitted: Aug 27, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Berryhill throws out a real bum

The congressional campaign of Ceres Republican Mike Berryhill, running against Rep. Dennis Cardoza, Pimlico Kid-Annapolis, is not a thing of beauty. In a year when voters are so frustrated -- especially in Cardoza's congressional district, wracked with some of the worst foreclosure and unemployment rates in the nation and housing prices that still cannot find a bottom -- all they want to do is throw the bums out, at least Berryhill threw one bum out, John D. Villarreal, his campaign manager for a couple of weeks.

McClatchy reporter was able to summarize Villarreal's argument in a couple of sentences. But Villarreal took about 40 minutes on YouTube to rave, simply rave -- there is no other word to describe it -- about his relationship to the Berryhill campaign.

Two possibilities for the performance on YouTube (searching under "Villarreal Berryhill" will get you to the four-part series) are: 1. Villarreal was putting something other than sugar in his Starbucks; or 2. conservative political operatives have gone completely insane.

Badlands editors, some of whom are veterans of Valley political campaigns, are no strangers to abusive campaign managers. But with jaws dropped watching Villarreal's mad ravings on YouTube, they quickly agreed that if that guy had come into any campaign they were working in, it would have taken them less time than the 40-minutes on YouTube to pack their briefcases, clear their desks and draw their pay. This guy appears to be a campaign manager from Hell's Cellar.

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