January 2021

George Whitmore, great California environmentalist, 1931-2021



Fresno Bee

Conservationist George Whitmore, on 1st team to climb Yosemite's El Capitan, dies of COVID-19


Jan. 4—George Whitmore of Fresno still had more mountains to climb at age 89, his family said, but COVID-19 changed that

US Sen. Hawley's last ride

When US Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo, looked squarely into the cameras to address the darker heart of America the evening after the riots, he argued for a special commission to examine the legality of the General Election vote and the electors of Pennsylvania, I saw that he had been completely carried away by dirty sophistry in the service of white-nationalist ideology and that disaster lay in his immediate future. An image of the downfall of this pathetic product of Stanford and Yale came to mind and stayed there in the following days.

Virus update: January 14, 2020

MERCED (BLJ) Two hundred and eighty-seven people have died of Covid-19 in Merced County since the pandemic began early last year. The post-holiday-season infection rate has risen to 15.7 percent. The County notified the public today that there are vaccinations available for all essential, "frontline" personnel, from doctors to grocery clerks, but there is not yet any vaccine available for vulnerable citizens not deemed "essential." This follows the pattern the County established for tests.

Joe Lauria's priceless perspective

American society no longer values the work of excellent veteran newspaper investigative reporters. Never has this been more evident than in the response to the riot in the Capitol last week. It is remarkable, given the opposition to actual news writing and analysis by interests that have always been opposed to it, that anyone still bothers to try to write the kind of article we have posted below. The article requires more than a glance or a quick read; it deserves and rewards real study. -- blj

Big nuts in the desert

The reader of the article below about a plantation of 100,000 pistachio trees in the Mojave Desert should also consider that Ridgecrest is the driest corner in Kern County, in extreme drought at the moment.  -- blj



Mojave Pistachios, SVM file lawsuits vs. IWVGA

The Daily Independent

By Lauren Jennings
Sports Editor

AIDS and Covid-19

As we begin to take a historical perspective on the Covid-19 pandemic, including its yearlong siege, the change of political regime and the possibility of better government choices in the near future, we begin to look for precedents in the past. AIDS may be to Covid-19 like the Korean War was to Vietnam -- sometimes history at least rhymes -- and  some of the leaders are the same and the pathos and fear in the gay community in the 1980s certainly mirrors that of the elderly and vulnerable in the 2020s pandemic. -- blj


Virus update: January 20, 2021

The Covid-10 death count in Merced County is 318; the rate of infection is 14.7 percent. Although some may have had a better experience, the Badlands editor has had a frustrationg, chaotic experience with contant attempts to get vaccine for which he qualifies according to the county Public Health Department website. But, this may not be a death sentence. One health worker I talked to in a clinic office indicated that she might have been skeptical about the vaccine. Meanwhile, the doctors urge strongly that elderly with one or more underlying conditions get vaccinated immediately.

A Central Valley eulogy for George Whitmore, conservationist and environmentalist

Badlands Journal interviewed Lydia Miller, president of the San Joaquin Raptor/Wildlife Rescue Center, about the impact on the environment of the Central Valley of the great Fresno environmentalist/conservationist George Whitmore, who died at 89 on January 1, 2021.