February 2007

Where's the juice?

"The big question is how we're going to do our new initiatives while still maintaining existing programs," Cardoza said, adding that budget-balancing rules will further complicate the challenge.

A key Cardoza staffer and Turlock resident, attorney Dee Dee Moosekian, began working more than a year ago on crafting the House's specialty crop alternatives with groups including Environmental Defense, Western Growers Association and American Farmland Trust.

The anxieties of Leroy 2007

Hardway Hardesty was removing sleeping cats from his kitchen sink when he noticed his neighbor Leroy walking down the road from Way Up the Crik, kicking rocks. From Hardway’s angle, it looked like Leroy had a cloud over his head. But it could have just been flies, the Crik’s premier scientist figured, because Leroy didn’t wash much and worked with stinky camels.

Leroy knocked on the door.

“Leroy,” Hardway said, “you look like a man of a thousand sorrows this morning. Can I offer you a brownie and a beer?”

A client for Cruz?

Build the rooftops and the lobbyist may come.

Build a mile-long, illegal 42-inch pipeline to your sewer plant on County land without a County permit, maybe you need the former state Assembly Speaker and Lt. Governor as your lobbyist.

Old Pesticide rides again

Former Merced County Supervisor Mike Bogna, while in office, once demonstrated his solidarity with agribusiness by quaffing a glass of guthion. Although organophosphate pesticides have been banned or highly restricted for a number of years, the good old boys evidently keep a small supply around and Bogna got into it again, before writing this letter.

Must make sense in Tracy

The Tracy City Council voted on Tuesday to oppose the UC/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory proposal to build a level-4 biowarfare laboratory at Site 300, a nearby bomb-testing site owned by the Department of Energy and managed by UC/Lawrence Livermore.

At the same meeting, the council voted to support trebling the amount of explosives that can be used on Site 300.

Both votes were 3-1.

Site 300 is outside the Tracy city limits.

Presumably, the two votes make sense in Tracy.

Bill Hatch
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Gathering the data for success

Once there was a town where apples were grown in great abundance. Yuppies moved in years ago and now there are few orchards left in the area, but the story related here took place back when agriculture in that part of California seemed quite viable and farmers could plan for a future.

An unsettling weekend

I was struck by a sense of danger this weekend. I haven't had this sense as strongly for decades. In me, this feeling belongs to the period of the Vietnam War when, suddenly a certain combination of news stories would bring me back from work and daily life to consciousness of deepening crisis.

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