Dairy

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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Tem vergonha

Submitted: Apr 08, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

Evidently, in addition to every other absurd, tasteless outrage against political life here in the Valley, now we have a hissy fit between two third-generation Portuguese immigrant princes, calling each other names. Devin Nunes, a Republican from the largest dairy county in the nation, learned a six-syllable word the other day and started calling Dennis Cardoza, a Democrat who represents the second-largest dairy county in the nation, a "to-tal-i-tar-i-an." Cardoza took Nunes to the cowshed, replying, "Ele no tem vergonha," ("He has no shame") although between the two, Nunes would know a lot more about the inside of a cowshed than Cardoza ever did. Nunes serves on the House Ways and Means Committee; Cardoza serves on the House Rules Committee. Both have teamed up to help Westlands Water District and the Friant Water Users Authority to circumvent any ways, means or rules standing between them and water from the San Joaquin Delta and the San Joaquin River. They are both in their fourth terms.

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Quick quiz for the county of tall cotton and thick prison guards

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

Background: Tulare Lake is an enormous lake dammed for the past 10-15,000 years by two large “alluvial fans” jutting out into the San Joaquin Valley (Figure 1). Before river diversion associated with modern irrigation practices, Tulare Lake was one of the largest freshwater lakes in North America. Currently it is mostly irrigated farmland.--Ancient Tulare Lake: Investigating Changes over the Past 15,000 Years
Adapted from CSUB Geology Department Lab developed by Dr. Rob Negrini
http://www.csub.edu/geology/CSTA_Paleoclimate%20Lab.Teacher.pdf

Dr. Negrini of CSU Bakersfield developed these course materials for middle and high school students. Presumably, many graduates of Bakersfield area secondary schools know that once, almost within living memory, most of Kings County was covered by a gigantic fresh-water lake, Tulare Lake. The present lack of subsidized irrigation water for subsidized cotton in Kings County would seem to be a problem man made in the 20th century.

Badlands Journal editorial board

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Whey drinkers of Hilmar, rejoice!

Submitted: Dec 30, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Followers of the pollution caused by Hilmar Cheese, "the world's largest cheese plant" (WLCP), will recall that whenever the wastewater pollution achieves a level that state regulators can no longer comfortably ignore, the WLCP comes up with yet a new "black box" technology and requests an exemption from regulation to try it out for a few years. WLCP hires ace flak Michael Boccadoro, the Moutha Gold, to invite the public to marvel at WLCP's brilliant new black box, designed by the world's most ingenious engineers at enormous sums of money, which are always mentioned to show how hard the WLCP is trying.

The regulators ordinarily grant the exemption to test the new black box, it never works, the WLCP skates by environmental regulation for another year or two until the regulatory agency gets antsy again, whereupon the whole process repeats itself.

Nor is there any mention in this flakodoro "journalism" of the three most obvious facts in this case: Hilmar Cheese will not control its pollution of groundwater; it probably can't because it is the world's largest cheese plant; and it is already expanding its plant in Dalhart TX.

Badlands Journal editorial board

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Westlands litigation shotgun

Submitted: Dec 21, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

A peek beneath the propaganda on lawsuits

Whenever any environmental group files a lawsuit on behalf of the public interest and trust according to the California Environmental Quality Act, the National Environmental Protection Act, the Clean WAter and Clean Air acts, or other laws designed to protect the environment and public health and safety, immediately a howling commences about "litigious" enviros from elected, appointed and otherwise recruited representatives of corporate welfare for the wealthy. However, for a truer view of reality, take a look at the current litigation schedule for Westlands Water District.

Badlands Journal editorial board

WESTLANDS WATER DISTRICT
FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE
NOTICE OF REGULAR MEETING AND AGENDA
NOTICE
Notice is hereby given that a regular meeting of the Finance & Administration
Committee of the Board of Directors ofWestlandsWater District will be held on December 15, 2009, at 12:00 noon at the District's Fresno Office, 3130 N. Fresno Street, Fresno, California
93703.
COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Ted Sheely, Chairman
Don Peracchi
Todd Neves
Jean Sagouspe, ex officio

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Into the vortex

Submitted: Nov 22, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

As Merced goes into the holiday shopping season starting next Friday, all economic indicators are thumbs down.

Official unemployment crept up a point from last month to 16.4 percent, with an increase expected for November. This means that actual unemployment is over 20 percent now and will rise toward 30 percent as the winter wears on.

In October 361 Merced homes received notices of default, down 33 from September; there were 459 trustee sales, up 61 from September; 273 homes went back to banks, 36 more than in September; and 50 homes were sold to third persons, up slightly from September and greatly from October 2008, when only nine homes were sold to third parties.

Citing unemployment as the driving force, the Los Angeles Times reported last week: "One in seven U.S. home loans was past due or in foreclosure as of Sept. 30, putting that quarterly delinquency measure at its highest level since 1972, when the Mortgage Bankers Assn. began reporting it. At the beginning of this year, 1 in 10 loans was past due or in foreclosure."

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Big muddy meetin' in Ole Merced

Submitted: Nov 09, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

There seems to have been an interesting speaker in town last week, Vaughn Grisham, director of the McLean Institute for Community Development at Ole Miss. The elite was there, led by Bob Carpenter, Mr. UC Merced. According to the local McClatchy Chain outlet, Grisham thought Merced had it made in the shade because of UC Merced. It made us wonder if that was his view, why he was invited at all to the sixth most economically stressed county in the nation with one of the three highest national foreclosure rates. But, apparently, Mr. UC Merced is now leading something called the Tupelo Committee of Merced County.

 

Prior to looking into Grisham and McLean, the editorial board only knew about Tupelo for two of its famous sons, Jimmy Rogers, the Singing Brakeman, and Elvis Presley, “T for Texas” and “You Ain’t Nothing but a Hound Dog (jest a-cryin’ all the time).”

 

George McLean was a great man. We’ve included some very inspiring material below about him and what he did in his lifetime in northeast Mississippi.

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Where the manure don't stink

Submitted: Oct 10, 2009
By: 
Bill Hatch

Too big to fail -- lenders to the CA dairy industry
 
If Washington had had any real concern for the dairy industry, in California or anywhere in the US, it would have dealt with the artificially low milk prices that have plunged the entire national dairy deal into unprecedented debt.
 
Perhaps, Western United Dairymens's Mike Marsh (WUD is a California dairy lobbying group) was correct that the USDA should have started buying the overstocks of bulk cheese months ago. The crisis, in the wake of the huge ethanol speculations of 2008 that pushed up feed prices, was known, seen, acknowledged. There was no mystery about what was happening and there were remedies -- in pricing and in badly needed programs like simply supplying food banks with commodity cheese, as Marsh suggested.
 
But, instead, the situation was allowed to simmer, the Washington opinion was "over-production" was causing the problem when, in fact, as almost always in agricultural commodities, the problem is distribution, as in providing food to hungry Americans for whom, if they live in places like Merced and Tulare counties in California -- the two largest dairy counties in the nation -- the economy sure looks more like depression than recession. The foreclosure rate in Merced increased to nearly 20 percent last month and is showing no signs of abating. Tulare County's August unemployment rate was 15.2 percent. Merced's was 16.7 percent. And that's "official."
 

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