April 2012

Wrong lord of the universe

The bleak figures, however, need not be a harbinger of gloom, said Michael Dozier, executive director of the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley, an organization of public officials and business leaders that aims to address the region's economic, environmental and social problems.

MID conflicts of interest

Merced Irrigation District! This group, which can't even handle its normal irrigation business without the odor of scandal, is supposed to be able to negotiate its relicensing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission? The state Department of Water Resources trusts MID to lead, plan and administer the Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (IRWMP "Ear-wimp")?
MID is a very shaky organization.

Toll road on Highway 152

Merced County Association of Governments, the regional transportation joint powers authority, is proposing a toll road for Highway 152 on the Pacheco Pass, incidently the same route that is proposed for the high speed rail system. The proposal is a clear example of how the transportation bureaucracy would like the public to adjust to the incredible expense of the high speed rail system -- create toll roads.

UCD ghouls of science

The Bureau of Reclamation, which wishes the extinction of the Delta Smelt because it will make the the final destruction of the 
Delta less messy, pays off some UC Davis scientists to do yet another study on the poor species in the very process of its "extirpation."
This isn't science. It is bureaucratic and academic pathology.
Badlands Journal editorial board
Sacramento Bee
Needs of threatened Delta fish to be studied at UC Davis
By Matt Weiser

Foreclosures keep on going on

The Housing Doldrums
The Bottomless Pit

“There are many good reasons to believe that the 5.5 million foreclosures we have seen are barely halfway through their full course. The United States may end up with a total of 8-10 million foreclosures before we are finished.”
– Barry Ritholtz, The Big Picture

Trouble at Bobcatflak Central

There are a number people in this town and county that are not going to be unhappy to see this legal notice. It announces that Patty Waid, assistant vice chancellor for university communications (one of the better paid and better protected public jobs in the county) is a deadbeat who has defaulted on her mortgage. These people would include all who have ever tried to get a straight answer out of UC Merced about anything at all.
Presumably, her mortgage was subsidized by UC Merced, in other words, by the public.
Badlands Journal editorial board

Peripheral canal gets some help from Jerry

The Delta Stewardship Council, not the most democratic or representative of bodies at the best of times, will be, under a proposal by Gov. Jerry Brown, absorbed into the state Resources Agency, where experts will be adequately protected against the protests of people who live on or near the Delta and depend upon it even in its present degraded condition, and therefore will be able to make the correct engineering decision -- to build the canal or tunnel above the Delta and turn the water into another bay on the Pacific coast.
Badlands Journal editorial board

Queen of the game cocks muddles on

We were outraged to read in our humorless, self-righteous local McClatchy tabloid that our favorite local politician, the indominable Cindy Lashbrook had fallen afoul of the state Fair Political Practices Commission. Actually, a little investigation reviewed that this was not her first offense. But that's just chicken feathers to us.

"Build it and they will go mad"

"Build it and they will go mad" should have been the slogan for construction of the Friant Dam/Lake Millerton/Friant-Kern Canal. The lastest chapter in the drama, the federal Bureau of Reclamation, hereafter known as the Octopus, released flood waters from Lake Millerton -- not to aid restoration of the San Joaquin River under the San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement -- but for Octopos customers on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, in Westlands Water District. The Friant Water Users Authority has just sued the Octopus.

A ray of light through a seemingly endless blizzard of flak

Like the rest of the people in the Valley who try to stay informed, we've followed the high speed rail story from the beginning. Oujr sense of smell is probably a bit better developed than many due to our familiarity with the UC Merced project and the Great Real Estate Boom and Bust in the north San Joaquin Valley, which left its three county seats vying for top ranking in the national foreclosure sweepstakes.


Just imagine the possibilithy that the ground water for the entire San Joaquin Valley, or the entire aquifer under where you live, were contaminated by toxic chemicals mixed into minimallyh regulated pesticides (soil fumigants for nematodes) and injected into the soils of farms all around you without, by the way, agents for the chemical companies or state or federal farm "advisors" being able to tell you why it may kill nematodes. In fact, telone wasn't much of a nematicide.

Long submerged voice heard from

A long submerged voice from Southern California is being heard in the state Capitol on the vital issue of the actual costs and benefits of a peripheral canal. It is refreshing to here from ratepayers in the southern regions asking how much a peripheral canal would cost. It is also refreshing to hear them using the proper word for the project: PERIPHERAL CANAL (just like in 1982, when an initiative to fund the project was defeated).
The CONVEYANCE word has just been offed by the plain-spoken Southern Californians.

Some of the faces of economic depression in our region

Merced Sun-Star
Merced Theatre: Reopening of a crown jewel

After about five years of careful restoration of light fixtures, the dazzling marquee and castle facade, the Merced Theatre on Main Street will have its opening night Saturday with a gala celebration.