September 2020

A community response to UC Merced's new chancellor and its dubious 2020 LRDP

“The university used to be a ‘grazing land,,’ Chancellor Juan Muñoz said, and seeing the campus now “the word that comes to mind is ‘transformation.’

“You come up Lake (Road) or Bellevue (Road), and you see the campus. Everyone has the same reaction,” he told The Bee during a Zoom interview. “It’s sort of like coming out of the tunnel, and you see Yosemite for the first time. It emerges like the city out of a prairie.” -- Monica Velez, Merced Sun-Star, August 23, 2020



UC Merced's win-win public-private partnership: who gets bilked?

UC Merced’s newest chancellor, Juan Muñoz, told the Merced Sun-Star on August 23, that about 500 students will be returning to dormitories owned by third parties, in the university's win-win public-private partnership for growth with the Australian developer, Plenary, and other national and international corporations.

What does moral journalism look like?

What does moral journalism look like?

In a word: WikiLeaks.

What is to be done about it?

Now, its founder, the Australian Julian Assange, is being torn apart by a lion in the zoo and a Bald eagle.

Who among journalists defends Assange?

Fellow Australian John Pilger. Consortium News published Pilger's defense.  Damn few others have had the courage to either write or to publish defenses of Julian Assange during his years' long, epic captivity and fight for freedom. -- blj



Consortium News

Virus note: September 9, 2020: possible local improvement


MERCED (BLJ) – On September 9, the Merced County Public Health Department reported 125 deaths (5 new) from Covid-19, and a radical drop in the percentage of positive test results, from nearly 18.27 percent down to 7.5 percent. The difference is due to the larger figure being a cumulative amount while the smaller amount represents only those tested in the last seven days. Nevertheless, it appears to be an improvement.

California reported 13,990 deaths (147 new).

The August Complex/Mendocino National Forest Fire in other words

Anthony Peak, Stonyford, Fiddlers Green, Alder Springs, Dogtown, Etsel Ridge, Black Butte River, Sunnyside, Log Spring Ridge, Chicken Ridge, Mexican Ridge, Hammer Horn Mountain, Middle Fork Eel River, Soldier Ridge, South Yollo Bolly Mountains, Red Mountain, Yuki Wilderness Area, Round Mountain, Kneecap Ridge, Little Round Mountain, Brushy Camp Ridge, Noel Spring Ridge, Bowman Ridge, McGill Ridge, Sanhedrin Ridge, Rattlesnake Ridge, Grindstone Creek, Shepherd Ridge, Salt Gulch, Hardin Ridge, Copper City, Lone Star, Daves Ridge, Valley View Mountain,  Digger Ridge, Heifer Ridge, Hall Ridge,

Virus note: September 11, 2020 -- Western Europe comparison

MERCED (BLJ) – The Merced County Public Health Department on September 11 reported that 127 corona virus patients who were residents of the County had died (an increase of two in the last couple of days). The County is reporting a 5.8 percent for the last seven days, which has dropped the overall average to 17.57 percent on a total number of tests of 49,346. The number of tests amounts to 59 percent of the population of the City of Merced, 18 percent of the County population.

California reported 14,265 deaths, an increase of 171.

Virus note: September 18, 2020

MERCED (BLJ) – The Merced County Public Health Department reported on Friday, Sept. 18, that 134 have died of Covid-19.

California reported 14,911 deaths (an increase of 195).

The United States reported 201,735 deaths (an increase of 1,092).

The global count for the day was 951,787 deaths (an increase of 6.900).

Fauci fights the Trump administration

I listen to Dr. Anthony Fauci, particularly when he is standing up against the Trump administration, because he is a doctor and a scientist, and because doctors and scientists ought to be in control of a national campaign to defeat the pandemic. Politicians ought to follow their lead and help the medical scientists, doctors, hospitals and nurses in a unified campaign to protect the public from the virus.

Clear choice in District 2 Supervisor race

Pedrozo, the UNANIMOUS choice?

Saturday afternoon I found a leaflet stuck in my screen door for Josh Pedrozo, former city councilman, now running for a seat on the Merced County Board of Supervisors. It said, “Josh Pedrozo, The UNANIMOUS Choice for Merced County Supervisor.”

Below, were endorsements from six labor unions, the county Board of Realtors and the UC Merced Democrats.

Pedrozo’s website reiterates the group endorsements and adds some names:

We are proud to endorse Josh Pedrozo for Merced county supervisor- district 2