December 2010

Drilling: oil, water ... and natural gas

The story below is about the collision of agriculture and oil industries in Kern County on land that a few decades ago was mostly reserved for oil wells in sagebrush, habitat for roadrunners and coyotes. Irrigation development has brought orchards and row crops to a lot of it now, leading to a confrontation between the two industries.
We imagine that as natural gas drilling increases in the San Joaquin Valley that similar issues will arise between groundwater and the chemicals injected in the gas-drilling process.
Badlands Journal editorial board

Columbia U. relents on leaks peeks

“If anyone is a master’s student in international relations and they haven’t heard of WikiLeaks and gone looking for the documents that relate to their area of study, then they don’t deserve to be a graduate student in international relations,” ...Professor Gary Sick, Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs
Columbia University Reverses Anti-WikiLeaks Guidance
By Sam Gustin

Dependency leadership

Well, folks, this year's high speed rail season is over and now it's back to the peripheral canal again, but the team remains the same. It is the team that brought us UC Merced to educated us and enabled the Great Real Estate Boom and Bust that brought so much security to so many in their own homes.

The obscene 80,000

State officials said the billions will be spent on buying rights of way, realigning roadways, relocating existing rail and utilities and building the two stations and rail bridges. Constructing the initial segment is expected to create more than 80,000 jobs.

Did you know that Castle Farms, Inc. owns Riverside Motorsports Park property?

Site 1B -- Riverside Motorsports Park (formerly Pacific ComTech Park and Morimoto Industrial Park:)
This property was foreclosed upon and subsequently purchased at public auction on November 12, 2009 by Castle Farms, Inc.---Merced County Board of Supervisors Agenda Item 52, December 14, 2010.

A sales-tax hike for Merced in the middle of economic depression

We in Merced City are far from the steely-eyed, realty-backed political leadership of our boom-time mayor, Ellie Wooten, a woman with a keen wit and a keen eye for her next buck. Now, we got Mayor Billy, Babbitt Incarnate, an individual who has never ventured beyond the never-never-land of Republican ideology of denunciation of "tax-and-spend liberals" except when Babbittry controls the public purse.

Unjust enrichment

The disgust of some of us who were fortunate enough to experience a college education back when a great deal of it was about discovering one's intellectual limitations, is undimmed by the ceaseless parade of news stories about the equally undimmed greed of University of California administrators. Many listed in the group who wrote the UC Board of Regents demanding higher pensions have spent their lives mismanaging UC funds for the rest of the UC employees.