December 2007

The brutal sentimentality of Ol' Shrimp Slayer and other municipal discontent

Constituents of Rep. Dennis Cardoza, Shrimp Slayer-Merced, received on Friday a newsletter titled "Foreclosure Event," announcing a foreclosure-counseling session in Stockton for Saturday, co-hosted by Rep. Jerry "HighTek" McNerney, Pombo's Replacement-Pleasanton. On the surface, this is one more episode in the Denny Show in which the ol' slayer demonstrates his compassion for constituents (on one day's notice).

The sex must be good


A Marriage of Genetic Engineering and Organic Farming

Tomorrow's Table: A Marriage of Genetic Engineering and Organic Farming (Hardcover)
by Pamela C. Ronald (Author), R. W. Adamchak (Author)

Description from the publisher:

Growth boom in national debt

National debt grows $1 million a minute
By TOM RAUM, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Like a ticking time bomb, the national debt is an explosion waiting to happen. It's expanding by about $1.4 billion a day — or nearly $1 million a minute.

What's that mean to you?

It means almost $30,000 in debt for each man, woman, child and infant in the United States.

Public minutes of the Merced River Stakeholders November meeting held at the Merced County Agricultural Extension conference roo

At the meeting held on November 19 at the Agricultural Extension conference room, a quorum of East Merced Resource Conservation District board members was present: Glenn Anderson, Bernard Wade, Cathy Weber, Bob Bliss and county Planning Commissioner Cindy Lashbrook and EMRCD staff, Karen Whipp…so this was also an EMRCD meeting, regardless of the view of some RCD directors that the RCD is a completely private institution not subject to such pesky laws. Last month, if readers recall, the Merced River Stakeholders held two meetings simultaneously.

Downward pressure on wages

The problem laboriously presented by the UC Berkeley researchers in their study of Wal-Mart's effects on retail wages and benefits isn't so much the percentage of loss as what it indicates: a general decline rather than advance in worker wages throughout the US, since the dim beginnings of the Trilateral Commission more than 30 years ago. Off-shoring of US industry in search of cheaper wages has produced Wal-Mart, a cancer on the American economy that peddles cheap foreign junk produced by workers elsewhere who could not survive in the US economy even if they shopped only at Wal-Mart.

CEQA "General Rule Exemption" Awareness Month in Merced

California Environmental Quality Act Guidelines
15061 Review for Exemption
15061 (b) 3:
The activity is convered by the general rule that CEQA applies only to projects which have the potential for causing a significant effect on the environment. Where it can be seen with certainty that there is no possibility that the activity in question may have a significant effect on the environment, the activity is not subject ot CEQA.

Clean air vigil at the Air Board, Tuesday, Dec. 18

Be there or be square!

For Immediate Release:
December 17, 2007

Contact: Melissa Kelly-Ortega, (209) 261-7109, Lisa Kayser-Grant (209) 769-2233


Community Leaders to Hold Clean Air Vigil

Advocates Will Urge Air District to Plan for Attainment of State Health Based PM 2.5 standards At Tuesday Workshop

Brookhaven Guidance Package comment letter, Dec. 11, 2007

The Merced County Board of Supervisors voted not to approve this project, one more attempt in the county to turn small farm villages into upscale commuter labor camps. For this act of sanity we probably have the foreclosure crisis to thank. However, the letter below lays out the arguments against this kind of project well. --eds.

December 11, 2007

Merced County Board of Supervisors
2222 M Street, 3rd Floor
Merced, CA 95340

UC: Robbing Peter and the professor to pay Chancellor Paul

Anyone in Merced not in on the land deal brought about by the boondoggle on Lake Yosemite, UC Merced, or dazzled blind by the glitter of blue and gold, knows UC chancellors have ethics and spiels that make Fresno developers look and sound like a neighborhood-watch group. UC administration is systemically ethically disadvantaged. Dr. David Kessler, dean of UCSF Medical School, did important research and discovered Disappeared Multiple Millions Syndrome (DMMS). An outraged UC administration fired him.

The north San Joaquin Valley's dubious distinctions

Why do three adjoining counties in the northern San Joaquin Valley -- San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced -- continue to top the national ranking for highest mortgage foreclosure rates while continuing to contain some of the least affordable housing in the nation. The press dutifully reports month after month that these counties do top the charts with this dubious distinction, but do not dwell on any reasons.