Dairy

Historical perspective on California megadroughts

Submitted: Oct 13, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

How might the historical grasp of the frequency of megadroughts in California influence our decision on the water bond, with its funds for the construction of tunnels beneath the Delta to ship the fresher Sacramento River water to the great north-south canals?

For some, it make make the bond even more imperative than it already is for them. At any cost to the environmental and -- increasingly -- to the society, capitalism in California must continue following the path to the greatest return on investment -- real estate development, either residential or -- also increasingly -- in agribusiness. Another player in the merry dance of natural resource destruction in the state is hydraulic fracturing drilling for oil and gas, which uses enormous quantities of water and pollutes groundwater wherever it is established.

Others, perhaps more thoughtful people, and those who possess some connection with Nature not entirely committed to commercial exploitation and destruction, might take a different view.  Or, simply that that portion of the vast majority of Californians that don't have much of any connection to Nature, exploitive or otherwise, but who are just not subject to being bullied by the fear mongering of the usual financial, insurance and real estate special interests. 

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Extirpation

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


"To extirpate" means to destroy completely or to extinguish. It is a fancy word used by resource-agency biologists in the past participle, "extirpated," as professional jargon for "extinction". Agribusiness, Southern Californa water agencies and state and federal resource agencies have been working together for years to extirpate the Delta smelt because it is the principle endangered species that obstructs agricultural corporations and urban water agencies from unlimited use of Delta water. Exstirpation of the Delta smelt would render moot the entire ediface of official biological opinion and state and federal judges' rulings that tend to limit the amount of water that primarily corporate agricultural interests (which use 80 percent of California's water) can legally take from the Delta. 

The federal Bureau of Reclamation may be able to guarantee at least some water to junior water-rights holders in the Westlands Water District after the Delta smelt disappears from memory. If so, the gamble that west side growers took -- to plant permanent crops without a guarantee of receiving water in dry years -- will pay off and a new "balance" will be achieved.

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Intro to human trafficking

Submitted: Jun 30, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 

 

Human Trafficking in California

As a diverse cultural center and popular destination for immigrants with multiple international borders, California is one of the largest sites of human trafficking in the United States. In the two years between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2012, California's task forces initiated 2,552 investigations, identified 1,277 victims of human trafficking, and arrested 1,798 individuals. -- State of Human Trafficking in California, 2012

 

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The Merced County water saga goes on, Part 2

Submitted: Jun 07, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 On Tuesday, the Merced Board of Supervisors debated long and hard -- with help from legal, planning and executive staff -- about how they could stop Steve Sloan, former chairman of the county Planning Commission,  and an adjoining landowner, from selling more than 20,000 acre feet of groundwater to Del Puerto Water District, based in Stanislaus County. County leaders, except Supervisor Gerry O'Banion, in whose district the transfer would take place, with a mixture of desperation and exaspiration, reached for some means of stopping Sloan and his neighbor from making the millions the desperate Del Puerto growers are willing to pay to keep their almond orchards alive. Everything from an emergency  moratorium to doing nothing was discussed

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History in Agrobizistan

Submitted: Apr 12, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board
 
The fundamental raison d'etre of public relations, without which corporations could not survive a public with normal memory capacity,  is that "perception is reality." The reality is that Hilmar Cheese has destroyed the groundwater in Hilmar, was finally, after 15 years bribery and political intimidation failed, exposed by the state water quality board and fined, and "fixed" the problem by drilling deep injection wells for its enormous quantities of daily waste, and are now regulated only by the federal EPA. Presumably, the company's influence is still working in Washington DC. 
 
Last week, Hilmar Cheese received awards from various national "green building" groups for its new headquarters and "innovation center" in Hilmar. At the center of this little soap opera of success and righteousness, was a quote by the Chairman: 
 
Richard Clauss, chairman of the Hilmar Cheese Company board of directors, opened the dedication explaining, “LEED demonstrates our continuing commitment to stewardship and sustainability. Our owners and employees live here and we strive to do what is right – for our employees, the dairy farmers that supply us milk, the community and our natural resources.”
 
As the Swiss say: a large manure pile means the owner is wealthy.
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"Improved hydrology"

Submitted: Apr 08, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

"Alicia Forsythe, restoration program manager for the Bureau of Reclamation, said: 'We have a long way to go in terms of improved hydrology to start releasing water for the program again.'" -- Mark Grossi, Fresno Bee, April 5, 2014

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The rightwing water howl

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

 Wayne Lysvardi, the Cal watchdog bringing illumination to all the lampposts, has delivered his considered opinion on what’s really wrong with the California water/energy system in a simply organized article of great duplicity. As is usual with Lysvardi, the deceptions are sprayed about so erratically as our watchdog trots through the night that it is difficult to bring them all to light. However, two “humps” and a few wobbles in his reasoned path do appear.

 

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Now our drought is official

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

 Some environmental groups expressed concern that fine print in Friday’s drought declaration could lead to disruptive changes in how water is distributed. For instance, the drought declaration directs the State Water Resources Control Board to “immediately” consider petitions that would consolidate “places of use” for water diversions now held separately by the State Water Project and the federal government’s Central Valley Project.

Ronald Stork, a senior policy advocate at Friends of the River in Sacramento, said that if “place of use” is consolidated, federal water such as that held in Folsom Reservoir could be sent to Disneyland to keep the roller coasters operating. Currently, most of that water is designated for agriculture.

“That’s a titanic shift of purpose for the federal water project,” Stork said. “I think the water board needs to think this one through very carefully before they give the go-ahead to consolidating these two very different projects.” 

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News your Mama didn't tell you?

Submitted: Dec 10, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

We weren't able to find news of this in the local papers and stumbled onto it in an unrelated Internet search. It seems that the new big bank in the valley is fitting in nicely with the rest of the finance, insurance and real estate scum that continue to loot the territory.

It doesn't take any character at all to cheat and steal when you are very rich to begin with. It's sort of like shopping to these people, with the !$B fine as the credit card bill. They didn't shop here, of course. - blj

 

 10-29-13

Reuters
Dutch Rabobank fined $1 billion over Libor scandal

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