February 2014

We are shocked! Shocked!

Merced Sun-Star
Supervisor tries to intervene on behalf of aide stopped by police
When Merced police stopped a woman driving a vehicle at a high rate of speed last May, they didn’t realize she was an assistant to a longtime Merced County supervisor.

Usual suspects to debate Stanislaus County groundwater position

 If Jonah, rather than going to Nineveh to preach repentance, had gone to Stanislaus County CA and set up outside the Gallo Center in Modesto, and the county, like Nineveh, had not been destroyed after his fervent preachings, the Lord might have given him roughly the same excuse:  You expected  me to destroy a half a million people and all those nuts?

An interesting conjecture

In this post, we take the lede from the bottom of the article to the top where it belongs. (Parentheses ours)-- blj
This is either really bad lawyering by (California Attorney General Kamala) Harris — or a face-saving way for (Gov. Jerry) Brown to give up on the doomed (high speed rail) project. I believe it’s the latter. – Chris Reed, Cal Watchdog, Jam 30, 2014

Merced Irrigation District -- the saga continues, Part 1.

Whether by intention or incompetence, the variously named plans – Merced Water Supply Plan (all phases), Merced Groundwater Basin Groundwater Management Plan, Merced Irrigation District Groundwater Management Plan, and Regional Groundwater Management Plan – are incomprehensible to the public, alleged beneficiaries of them, even to a public as familiar with such documents as we are.

The UC Merced water-measurement racket

With the climate warming and snow levels climbing higher, at least $100 million needs to be invested in more precise snow measurement, said engineering professor Roger Bales of the University of California at Merced.
Bales is director of the university's Sierra Nevada Research Institute, which has been experimenting on better snow measurement for years.

What if ...?

 What if President Obama had gotten his speeches mixed up and mentioned in Los Banos Friday that he thought the top priorities for Congress should be “increasing the minimum wage and overhauling the immigration system” while telling the participants in a House Democrats retreat the day before: "California is our biggest economy.

More measurement gadgets!

 We are absolutely delighted that the EPA is launching a NEW TOOL “to Estimate Emissions Benefits of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Policies‏.” We also see it as yet another example that great profit center so frequently touted as a reason for our own “public research university” in Merced – “high-tech/bio-tech engine a’ growth,” as the UC executives put it. In this arena, there seems to be a potent mixture of public funds, regulatory non-enforcement, and university research-for-(economic) growth.

Panoche goes global: High tech bailout for west side and LA?

The Panoche Water District, whose water is so polluted with heavy metals and salts that it must be mixed to be used for irrigation, used a million dollars in state funds to have a solar powered desalinization plant built to improve the quality of its “fresh” water at an estimated cost of $450/acre foot. We wonder how many millions in public funds have already been spent trying to clean up Panoche Water District water and for how few farmers?

Best drought article yet

And he did it all without once quoting the dreary professoriate.
George Skelton of the Los Angeles Times is a state treasure. He writes as well about the water wars as he does about the Calderon clan, addicts on the "mother's milk of politics,"  and sponsors of our own Assemblyman Adam Gray, $-Merced. --blj
Los Angeles Times
Water war boils down to farmers vs. fishermen
Even when there's not a drought, there isn't enough to go around. And the collapse of a great estuary will endanger far more than the smelt.

City of Merced tries to bulldog Hostetler

 Last year Greg Hostetler, doing business as Baxter Ranch, graded and filled the floodplain of Fahrens Creek upstream from Fahrens Park, putting several hundred homes downstream in danger of flooding the next time we have a wet winter in Merced. It is not the first time Hostetler has ignored environmental or public health and safety regulations and dickered for the amount of fines with whatever agencies dare to confront him after the fact. Mr. Hostetler belongs to the “Sin now, ask for forgiveness later” School of Business.