State Government

The political economy of Delta-fish extinctions

Submitted: May 01, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 For species like delta smelt and winter-run Chinook salmon, there will be considerable pressure to declare them extinct because maintaining even small populations requires releases of water from dams...But to avoid spending scarce conservation dollars on species that have already gone extinct, we need a policy in place that provides a pathway for declaring a species officially extinct. We address this in part II of our blog.

 So, we maintain both the state and federal endangered species acts while the species go extinct in publicly managed rivers, shaped by publicly funded levees and dams, and distributed by publicly funded canals, as a matter of "public policy"?

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Slivers in the Invisible Middle Finger of the Free Market?

Submitted: Apr 28, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 “Unfortunately, the US Chamber of Commerce is doing everything it can to block efforts to combat both climate change and anti-smoking laws and regulations. It opposes the Paris Agreement that you publicly support, is suing to block the implementation of the Clean Power Plan, consistently lobbies against legislation aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and spends millions of dollars in money on elections ads urging voters to back candidates who support the fossil fuel industry and oppose efforts to combat climate change,” they write. -- Dominic Rushe, The Guardian, April 24, 2017

 

   

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Let them eat debt

Submitted: Apr 26, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

In reality, Cohn, Powell, and other Wall Streeters in the Trump White House are pushing Trump closer to the views of Wall Street and big business – views that are reflected in the views of “mainstream” Republicans and Democrats only to the extent the “mainstream” is dependent on the Street and big corporations for campaign money. -- Robert Reich, Truthdig, April 26, 2017

 

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Some serious questions from the local press

Submitted: Apr 25, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

  

This weekend we asked what other reporters and editors locally and around the state were curious about. This is a selection of articles that appeared locally in the last week.

-- blj


4-22-17

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Mistakes were made

Submitted: Apr 24, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 It almost seems as if in the wake of 9/11 and the creation of the Homeland Security Administration, the fear of dam sabotage has been an excuse for not doing maintenance and repair of dams and the complete failure to plan for the effects of global warming on the Sierra Nevada snowpack. And it seems that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which commissions the hydro-electric plants on the Sierra-river dams,  in the midst of its exquisitely complex scientific and bureaucratic study schedule and meetings, all directed by impeccably value-free facilitators, the sort of catastrophe that happened at Oroville and threatens worse, was not contemplated, at least sufficiently. -- blj

 

 

 

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Eine kleine Caenmusik

Submitted: Apr 24, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Willie Brown, former California state Assembly speaker (longest serving), former mayor of San Francisco and general bon vivant, used to have lunch on Fridays in the City at a restaurant called Le Central, with several friends, including Herb Caen, legendary Chronicle columnist.

It looks like Willie picked up a few literary pointers over the cassoulet. -- wmh

 

 

 

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Court decides against OID for violating CEQA in fallow-for-money scheme

Submitted: Apr 11, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 4-10-17

Modesto Bee

OID loses hard-fought fallowing lawsuit

 Garth Stapley

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One of the nation's most endangered rivers runs through it

Submitted: Apr 04, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Badlands readers have corrected our previous post on Rep. Devin Nunes, Raver-Visalia in different ways. Some considered our post nothing but evidence that we've been duped by the "Russian Conspiracy" Democrats. But the more interesting criticism raises doubts that Nunes's political gyrations for the benefit of the Trump Regime will be rewarded with a new dam on the San Joaquin River at Temperance Flats (a few miles upriver the Friant Dam). They argue, persuasively that the probably soon-to- be-former-Rep. Nunes, Political Graveyard CA, stupidly sacrificed his career for promises of support from Westlands Water District and President Trump.

"Trump was just lying and Westlands is already grooming a new boy or girl for the district," say these readers.

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Towards a quieter dine-and-dope experience in central Merced

Submitted: Mar 27, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Merced City Council members Jill McLeod and Michael Belluomini advocated for quieter trains at last week's council meeting. They targeted the BNSF tracks in the northern part of central Merced because Amtrak adds more trains to the already busy tracks. But when Ms. McLeod, known in some central Merced circles as "Strawberry Jujube," repeatedly said that the area has an "industrial" feeling, we wondered how long before the council would mandate the Strawberry Jujube Aesthetic for our neighborhoods. Would we all be required by ordinance to die our hair orange and wear a pigtail to escape the onus of looking "industrial," the way many working people employed by various industries do look.

We don't think McLeod and Belluomini are going after the worst aspect of the trains. The dirt, the dust, and the grime that both BNSF and Union Pacific trains kick up pose worse problems for health and housecleaning than their noise. And the hazardous materials constantly traveling through town on frieght trains pose potentially catastrophic dangers to public health.

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