April 2008

"Freedom to farm" goes on

Apparently, Congress is going to come up with a new Farm Bill sometime this month. Below, we've included notes from a long perspective piece done by Dan Morgan and two other reporters on the Washington Post staff last July, which provides a little idea of what we're getting into with the 2007 (now 2008) Farm Bill again, in a presidential election year.

Badlands Journal editorial board

"Aqua," the puppet show

During the real estate bubble the government pumped too much water out of the Delta. This caused such a loss of salmon smolts that now the commercial salmon season has been shut down for a year in California and Oregon. This means emergency relief must be found for fishing towns and villages dependent on the Pacific salmon fishery. Meanwhile, the credit crunch, in the wake of the crash of the real estate bubble goes on. Students can't get loans. Banks must increase their capital, and the California state Legislature must pretend it is coming up with a water policy.

UC Gargantua, the monthly update

With apologies to Rabelais, a question, not serious certainly: How did a large expanse of land, containing a majestic mountain range, a fertile plain often flooded, 15-20 raging rivers, a mountainous coast containing a few tiny seaports and some good bays, populated 160 years ago by 100 Indian tribes too small to do more than squirmish with each other, the owners of some scattered Mexican land grants, a string of mining camps in the Sierra foothills and the odd sailor or farmer, grow so large that it cannot provide enough water
for its present residents?

Seyed the Improbable

Whenever I sense a freshening breeze in the evening here in the San Joaquin Valley after a beige day of sunlight and smog, my heart leaps with anticipation and the next morning I can hardly wait to open my newspaper. Why? Because I know that Seyed the Improbable will be there to reassure me that air pollution in the Valley is largely imaginary and that growth can continue and that we will all grow more prosperous without damaging our environment.Last night, I could hardly sleep at all, anticipating what the Improbable One would have to say on Earth Day.

This year's speculative bubble

This article raises two questions.
1. How much of the contest between Obama and Clinton is a contest between rival financial centers, Chicago and New York?
2. Given the large increases in grain plantings in Central California, will speculation in the grain markets affect the California farm economy this year?

Brown CEQA letter MCAG

EDMUND G. BROWN JR. State of California
P.O. BOX 70550
OAKLAND, CA 94612-0550
Public; 510-622-2100
Telephone: 510-622-2145
Facsimile: 510-622-2270
E-Mail: sandra.goldberg@doj.ca.gov
April 18, 2007
By TeleCQPY and E-mail
Majorie Kim, Deputy Executive Director
Transportation Program Manager
Merced County Association of Govemments
369 W. 18~ Street
Merced, CA 95340

Tribute to Felix Smith, tenacious conscience

Sacramento Bee
Lloyd G. Carter: A California water story of individual tenacity

You have to give 75-year-old Felix Smith of Carmichael credit for tenacity.

A quarter-century ago, Smith became the conscience of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service when he blew the whistle on the selenium poisoning of the Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge in western Merced County.

Resource Conservation District Assistance Program watershed coordinator grant program

Resource Conservation District Assistance Program watershed coordinator grant program
2007 Watershed Coordinator Grant Program Final Decision List

The Department of Conservation (Department) is pleased to announce its 2007 Watershed Coordinator Grant Program Final Decision.

Final Decision List (PDF) available at: