A limited partnership of politicians, developers, agribusiness corporations and the University of California, Merced, appear to have established a unified board of directors composed of three divisions: founding members of the UC Merced Foundation board of trustees, the Great Valley Center board of directors and staff, and the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley, recently appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
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Nakayama also forgot to mention that the Bush administration has rewritten the very rules used to prosecute those companies. The Bush version of the rules, which would let power companies off the hook, is being challenged in court by numerous state attorneys general, as well as environmental groups.
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California's lawyers filed a legal brief last week that argues that the drastically crashing population of Delta Smelt cannot be used as an argument for curtailing water shipments from the Delta to LA. The Delta Smelt, they say, is not under the protection of the federal Endangered Species Act because it only lives in one state. (1)
Perhaps California's Endangered Species Act will protect the smelt. However, Metropolitan's brief brings up a far more important issue.
Could it be because the land near the Delta is so rich that despite what is happening on it, somehow not all people believe in the eternity of growth?
There is no doubt a lot of money and influence is on the line in the Hilmar Cheese situation, although the Modesto Bee keeps shrinking the amount. The original fine levied by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board was $4 million. Yesterday it shrunk to $3 million after the Moutha Gold got into it.
To recapitulate briefly, Hilmar came up with a proposal in September to inject its offensive wastewater so deep in the ground it would presumably disappear from human consciousness.
The Central Valley regional Water Quality Control Board is set to approve a deal between regulators and Hilmar Cheese Co. on Nov. 29 that would “grant the world’s largest cheesemaker sweeping immunity for hundreds of water pollution violations – and for future offenses.” (1)
How did this happen? We can only guess.
These are troubled times. Lobbyists plead guilty and sing like canaries, investigations "widen," new Grand Juries are convened, there is talk about "high crimes and misdemeanors" at the top, the war has gone horribly wrong and keeps getting worse. Something has begun the end of which is not known. Neither blood nor money seem able to hide the lies anymore. The Badlands staff, stunned, confused, in the words of our local congressman, the Shrimp Slayer, "troubled," looked deep into our hearts ... and probably like many Americans, came up with some lines from a couple of movies.
The San Joaquin Valley is in the news this weekend. Two of the great treasuries of American intellect were on display: the University of California and the New York Times.
Kenneth Rosen, chairman of the UC Berkeley Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics, lectured 500 business people on the Valley real estate market this weekend. Rosen, a real public/private, win-win partnership kind of guy, "also heads a real estate market research firm and an investment trust with $81 million in assets." (1)
His idea is that:
The first article, “The US Has Lost; Let’s Leave,” succinclty states the honest, common-sense case against the war. The second, a statement by Sojourner founder, Jim Wallis, expresses the national wrath about all that is being forgotten as this bloody spectacle in the Mideast blows apart. Wallis reminds us that that the war, like wingnut threats to start another one in Syria or Iran, distracts our attention from the deep moral problem of how these despicable little bullies manage the national budget.