Dairy

Political correction

Submitted: Mar 23, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Last year, Cardoza told The Record's editorial board that his decision not to seek re-election to the House of Representatives was based in part on the grip of partisanship. He lamented the lack of compromise in policymaking in Sacramento and in Washington, D.C. -- Stockton Record, March 19, 2012

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De l'eau de cochon

Submitted: Nov 08, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

11-06-11
LA Times
There's too much pork on the table
Gov. Brown and the Legislature need to trim the fat from the water bond and serve it to voters...George Skelton
http://www.latimes.com/news/columnists/la-me-cap-water-20111107%2c0%2c7667745.column?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+GeorgeSkelton+%28L.A.+Times+-+George+Skelton%29

Gov. Jerry Brown recently said, "I've got a lot on my plate." One item is a big slab of pork — formally called a water bond proposal.

The plate is shared with the Legislature.
 
Together, they must decide whether to serve up the bond whole to voters, trim it down first or shove it back in the fridge.

Or maybe they'll just toss it in the garbage. That's the most unlikely scenario. But voters might dump it for them if the bond isn't pared and recooked.

Let's back up.

After years of fighting — south vs. north, farmers vs. enviros, water buffaloes vs. fishing interests — then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature settled on an $11.14-billion water bond two years ago. It was passed by sleep-deprived lawmakers at dawn after an all-night session.

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Pimlico Kid rides into sunset

Submitted: Oct 22, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

We won't be able to produce a column-length article about the forced retirement of Rep Dennis Cardoza, Pimlico Kid - -Merced, aka Shrimp Slayer. We admire the verbosity of the McClatchy Chain editorialists while noting that what they are saying -- as most of what Cardoza has said throughout his career -- is not true. Perhaps, the McClatchy Co. in this instance agrees with Badlands -- "Good riddance." Cardoza, the former lady mud wrestling impresario, could not beg, borrow or steal enough respectability to edify his political career in this McClatchy dominated zone.

We'll just skim a few of the whoppers that arose to the surface of the dairy pond.

"I love the people of the Central Valley, and thank them for the confidence they have placed in me," Cardoza said in a statement. "While I plan to retire from public service...I will energetically continue my efforts to improve California as a private citizen."

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State bank update

Submitted: Jul 16, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

We post this article by Ellen Brown to respond to a comment from a reader expressing great concern for the whole Western financial system. In this piece, Brown focuses on another pernicious aspect of interest and banking -- why banks are not lending to businesses, particularly small businesses, other banks, and to individuals.

Below, we have added the text of California Assembly Bill 750 (Hueso, D-San Diego) to create "the investment trust blue ribbon task force to consider the viability of establishing the California Investment Trust, which would be a state bank receiving deposits of state funds." Authored by a freshman legislator with a lot of experience in the financial side of local government, at first glance AB 750 looks too timid to survive, but perhaps the only way it can make it onto the table is with a consensus building approach. We hope Assemblyman Hueso gets a bill creating a sensible state bank passed and signed by the governor before he is termed out of the Legislature. As we see it, the present risk to the idea is that the blue=ribbon commitee will be composed of a majority of reprresentatives of interests dead set against a state bank, who strangle the baby in its blue ribbon crib. 

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Immoral, unacceptable

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

 

We've long known that the industrial chemists that create our pesticides test for one thing and one thing alone: how effective is the poison for the targeted pest. We know another thing: no pesticide ever annihilated any pests. Pests develop resistance which keeps the poisonmakers in business. A third thing we know is that the poisonmakers do not test for collateral damage to the environment or other species.
In the case of the new, souped up rat poison, there was no thought given -- except perhaps to conceal and deny -- the inevitable damage the poison would do to the many predators who eat rats and mice as a regular, perhaps even primary part of their diets. The existence and wide-spread use of this new super poison may explain a mysterious outbreak of eagle deaths in the Madera foothills reported last year and perhaps continuing to this day.
The existence and distribution of the poison is immoral. The government's failure to regulate and enforce is immoral. The whole greedy, politically cowardly slide into wanton killing of wildlife is despicable. We conclude that among the many owners of wildlife agencies we must include rat poisoners. The slimy deal here is that most, if not all, the predator species being poisoned are already listed as threatened or endangered so agencies like the state Department of Fish and Game do not make any money selling tags to hunters to hunt them.

Badlands Journal editorial board

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Three other views on the Japanese catastrophe

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

Here are tfhree articles that might have escaped your attention about the Japanese earthquake/tsunami/nuclear reactor meltdown. The first two deal with the weakness of the Japanese government and the flak issuing from the utility that owns the reactors, which is beginning to enrage the domestic and international public. They are loading down the media with information and data, presented in incomprehensible forms. But they do not answer the questions vital to the public.

Last, the view of the tragedy from Hiroshima, where several anti-nuclear activists were interviewed. One person interviewed was the incomparable reporter from The Chugoku Shimbun, Akira Toshiro, who has specialized in stories on nuclear power for 30 years. Tashiro's book, Discounted Casualties: The Human Cost of Depleted Uranium, asked the question: what is the cost of sheathing bombs with depleted uranium, the cost to land, water, civilians and soldiers alike? His investigations and interviews took place in the US, the UK, Iraq and Yugoslavia.

Badlands Journal editorial board

3-16-11
The New York Times 
Flaws in Japan’s leadership deepen sense of crisis
No strong political class has emerged to take the place of bureaucrats and corporations
By KEN BELSON and NORIMITSU ONISHI
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42114871/ns/world_news-asiapacific/

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No plumber for Seville

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

Global experts on water (for example Steven Solomon in Water: The Epic Struggle for Weatlth, Power and Civilization) consider that California has built the most advanced water-delivery systems in the world. Yet the United Nations "independent investigator for the U.N.'s safe water and sanitation campaign" has decided to study two places in California, a tiny village in Tulare County and the City of Redding. The investigator compares the water situation of the Tulare village of Seville with water problems in Bangladesh as a Congressional research report several years ago unfavorably compared the San Joaquin Valley to Appalachia.

Valley business and political leaders, always ready to spend other people's money on vast projects like a high speed railroad, new reservoirs or the perennial favorite -- cotton subsidies -- for the benefit of the wealthy few to the detriment of the many inhabitants who will experience more environmental degradation as a result, have absolutely not taste for repair and maintenance or anything from deteriorating dams to rusty municipal water pipes. And they are correct. There is apparently no point in a political economy veering ever closer to the simple, disastrous ideal of a "self-regulating free market" in  absolutely everything, of taking care of people or the infrastructure that supports society.

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Badlands, SJRRC, POW, CVSEN and San Joaquin et al position on Measure C

Submitted: Oct 31, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The Badlands editorial board, including members of the San Joaquin Raptor Rescue Center, Protect Our Water (POW), Central Valley Safe Environment Network and San Joaquin et al,  have in the last five months discussed very thoroughly Measure C, the development—plebiscite initiative in Merced County. We have extensive experience reading land-use and environmental documents, laws, legal briefs and court decisions. Over decades of work collectively, we have studied numerous environmental impact reports, negative and mitigated negative declarations in our participation in the public processes of land-use decisions in cities and counties in the north San Joaquin Valley and beyond. We have studied extensively  the California Environmental Quality Act and have gone to court numerous times to defend the public environmental interest in clean water, clean air and wildlife habitat regarding local land-use decisions. We have also studied and sued on the Williamson Act and Agricultural Preserve laws.
We have studied a number of general plans. In fact, San Joaquin Raptor Rescue Center sued Merced County to produce a general plan and when the courts decided against the county, Raptor participated in the development of the 1990 Merced County General Plan.

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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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For fortunes today the lords of Hilmar Cheese pollute tomorrow and tomorrow

Submitted: Sep 18, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board
9-13-10
Environmental Health News
Bad water? It's the cheese. Hilmar Cheese brings good jobs to California farm town, but polluted water, too
The story of Hilmar is a classic tale of a company growing rapidly, bringing good jobs but also environmental threats to a rural farm community. In an ironic twist, though, it isn’t corporate outsiders pitted against town residents; the owners of Hilmar Cheese are descendants of the community’s founding families. Much of the well water around the cheese plant, located in the agricultural heart of California, isn’t fit to drink. And Hilmar Cheese is the likely culprit, new documents show...Jane Kay
HILMAR, Calif.
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