Air pollution

"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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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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The gift of good journalism

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

 And so, as the public mind is turned by the dance of sugar-plum fairies, there appears a thoughtful, critical piece of excellent reporting on the high speed rail project. -- blj

 

12-24-14

Sacramento Bee

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NY governor bans fracking

Submitted: Dec 19, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

And New York doesn't even have the San Andreas Fault to worry about. -- blj

12-18-14 

Huffington Post 

New York Gov. Gets Kudos, Scorn After Fracking Ban

By MICHAEL VIRTANEN

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Probably not a surprise in Oildale or Taft bars

Submitted: Nov 14, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Not only are fracking economics "dys-economic" (1) but the process -- it can be revealed now for some reason -- is most harmful to the health of its own workers. The great boom in employment promised by all the promoters of this technology, toxic above and below ground, apparently comes at a high price...to the workers.

Note:

(1) "Wells run dry for frackers," Badlands Journal, Nov. 5, 2014

 

 

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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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