November 2006

Pombo: sincerity, depth, conviction

To put the story below in layman’s terms, Pombo, knowing in September he would have a tough race for reelection, still put $25,000 from his RichPAC into the prodevelopment Tracy mayoral candidate, Vice Mayor Brent Ives, running against Celeste Garamendi, the slow-growth candidate, who is John Garamendi’s sister. John, now state insurance commissioner, is running for lieutenant governor.

Biofuels: a critical perspective

Most people have some trouble developing a critical point of view on an issue without a little help from critics. As it stands in the southern tier of the Pomboza (that part of the district controlled by Rep. Dennis Cardoza, Polar Bear/Shrimp Slayer-Merced) biofuel is the hottest technology since the six-foot, deep-ripping chisel, built to tear up seasonal grasslands for temporary orchards and vineyards that will become subdivisions. And we won’t get no help from the newspaper.

Federal judge rejects developers' efforts to negate vernal pool species' protection

Butte Environmental Council * California Native Plant Society Defenders of Wildlife * San Joaquin Raptor and Wildlife Rescue Center

For Immediate Release
November 3, 2006
Kim Delfino, Defenders of Wildlife, (916) 201-8277
Barbara Vlamis, Butte Environmental Council, (530) 891-6424
Carol Witham, Calif. Native Plant Society, (916) 452-5440

Court Invalidates U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Exclusion of Nearly 900,000 Acres of Vernal Pool Critical Habitat

Developers Efforts to Strip Protections Rejected

Comments on Measure G

Members of the public concerned that Merced County and Merced County Association of Governments immediately recycled Measure A as Measure G after the Primary Election defeat of Measure A, tried repeated times, via California Public Records Act requests, to obtain accurate, complete information about Measure G. Errors and inconsistencies appeared in both the County sample ballot and Measure G Voter Information Pamphlet.

Federal court orders delay in certification of local elections in Merced County

A federal district court has ordered Merced County and four cities not to certify all local elections held on Nov. 7 until a motion for preliminary injunction arguing violations of the Voting Rights Act is heard on Nov. 21. One election that won't be affected is for the 18th Congressional District. Rep. Dennis Cardoza, whose offices are on the third floor of the Merced County Administrative Building, fount of the "alleged" violations of the act.

Vote NO on Measure G

The Central Valley Safe Environment Network urges you to vote NO on Measure G.

A flyer against the Merced County Transportation Tax Measure G appeared in the Merced Sun-Star Monday morning. We have included it below and attached it to this message.

5:15 p.m. Election Day -- What it is about

Informed Comment
by Juan Cole

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Is Bush Unhinged?
Calling Hannah Arendt

Journalist Bill Gallagher of Detroit's Channel 2 News joins Andrew Sullivan in asking the increasingly unavoidable question: Is George W. Bush Criminally Insane? Gallagher writes:

Cardombo the Gofer

Upon receiving the terrible news of the defeat of Rep. RichPAC Pombo, not-yet-indicted-Tracy, developers were alarmed at the possible loss of the Pomboza, that giant wannabe Endangered Species Act Slayer that stalked the north San Joaquin Valley casting its dark and menacing shadow over every square foot of remaining open space and wildlife habitat.

Rumor has it the Pomboza lives on, if only in mutation.

Not invited to the funeral

The Badlands Journal editorial staff has few opportunities to defend the honor of the Merced Sun-Star. But, fair is fair. A working girl's got rights, too. On Primary Election night, the Sun-Star committed an act of photojournalism. It took a picture of Jesse "The Crestfallen" Brown, director of Merced County Association of Governments and manager of the failed Measure A campaign. Brown's face expressed bewilderment and despair in a painful moment of political defeat.

Pombo's Ghost haunts the McClatchy Chain

Our questions this evening for the McClatchy Chain's Washington correspondent are:

1) Didn't the federal Bureau of Reclamation, the Department of Commerce and representatives of 15,000 Friant irrigators settle with local, state and national environmental organizations on the question of letting water flow in the San Joaquin River again on behalf of the Chinook salmon, which is listed as a threatened species under the Engandered Species Act?

Badlands letter to UC Merced students

The Badlands editorial staff is not among the members of the Merced community advising UC Merced students to "love it or leave it." We remember that one from another era and another futile imperial war.

We also remember from that period a great educator, Clark Kerr, president of UC, who designed the "knowledge factory multiversity," whose latest outcropping the UC Merced students now occupy, like ducks land in a Los Banos duck club wetlands, and with possibly not much better chance of a successful migration on the life path.

Mascot issue: identity crisis

When I look at the debate growing about the mascot for UC Merced (setting aside all the laws broken to get the living mascot bobcat incarcerated at the city zoo), I see an identity crisis. But, as local sentiment against the choice of the fairy shrimp over the bobcat grows, I see that the identity crisis is a little more complex than it first appears.


The general environmental interest in the San Joaquin Valley is strong because it concerns basic health and safety issues. Anger is stirring in the public against rampant air pollution-producing development and the politicians who promote it.

In a recent article, Stockton Record political reporter Hank Shaw ended a look into the post-Pombo world with a quote from a professor:

"I am dubious that this will be a productive Congress," Pitney said. "I think there's going to be a lot of posturing."

Open appeal to supervisors about RMP

November 27, 2006

Dear Supervisors Pedrozo, Crookham, Nelson, Kelsey and O’Banion:

Thank you, Supervisor Deidre Kelsey, for scheduling three town-hall meetings this week to address the immediate impacts that the proposed Riverside Motorsports Park will have on your district. We would ask that supervisors Pedrozo, Crookham, Nelson and O’Banion also schedule meetings in their districts and listen to their constituents’ concerns about the RMP project.