June 2016

Assemblyman Adam Gray: a huge financial success

 "Interests, not people, are represented in Sacramento. Sacramento is the market place of California where grape growers and sardine fishermen, morticians and osteopaths bid for allotments of state power. Today there is scarcely an interest group that has failed to secure some form of special legislation safeguarding its particular interests." Carey McWilliams, California: The Great Exception, (1949). p. 213.

Notes on the primary election in Merced County, June 7, 2016

 Merced primary 2016 notes, all 266 precincts reporting, June 8, 2016
Voter turnout: of the 92,660 eligible voters, 23,974 voted -- 25.87 percent.
For this June primary, there were 13,101 registered Democrats, 8,996 registered Republicans, and the next largest number, 1,090, identify themselves as No Party Preference voters.
In the Democratic Party presidential primary, 7,169 (56.53 percent) voted for Hillary Clinton; 5,190 (40.92 percent) voted for Bernie Sanders. The state tally was 55.8 percent for Clinton; 43.2 percent for Sanders.

$420-million Question? Part 1.

 “The public peace—the sidewalks and street peace—of cities is not kept primarily by the police, necessary as the police are,” wrote Jane Jacobs in “The Death and Life of Great American Cities.” “It is kept primarily by an intricate, almost unconscious, network of voluntary controls and standards among the people themselves, and enforced by the people themselves.”

The $420-million Question? Part 2.

Part 1 of the $420-million Question can be found on Badlands Journal on June 1. At that time, the City of Merced's new General Manager, Steve Carrigan, was likened to a Pit bull, drooling at the mouth to take a bite out of Merced County CEO, Jim Brown because the County was not rolling over for the combined wishes of UC Merced, landowners and the City to annex about 650 acres along the Bellevue Road approach to the UC campus.  Carrigan was only prevented from mauling Brown, so the urban narrative went, by the Chihuahua behind him, Assistant General Manager Mike Conway.

UC Merced PPC

 The University of California, Merced, this week announced a $1.1-billion expansion program, confusing once again its edifice complex with an educational complex.
UC Merced appears to thrive despite its disreputable beginnings squatting on a three-legged stool. One leg was a land deal; another an outsized political boondoggle (a very thick leg indeed); and the third leg was composed of a pile of resource-agency officials that corrupted state and federal environmental law and regulation.  

West side pitchfork raised against Westlands' Birmingham

 The modest author of this letter of proper west side condemnation of Tom Birmingham, general manager of Westlands Water District, claims he is one of the smaller farmers in the district and doesn't "wield much power." But Brad Gleason seems to be a little more than his modest claim. He seems to be a totally vertically integrated nut businessman operating on many farms throughout the Westlands district.

Cookie globalization: taking the low road of NAFTA

 Rosenfeld also moved the firm's Oreo factory from suburban Chicago to a newer plant in Mexico, which workers protested. When asked by an employee at a recent shareholders' meeting what he should tell his child, she replied in part: "Explain...that business decisions are often difficult." For the first time, Mondēlez shares broke $40. -- Forbes, 100 Most Powerful Women, 2016 Ranking.