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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

252 dead

On December 30, 2020, the total number of dead in Merced County from Covid-19 reached 252 and the nation's top epidemiologists predict a sharp increase in infections in a couple of weeks, due to holiday travel and large gatherings. But, not to worry, the vaccine is being distributed by capable military personnel. Today, four-star Army General Gustave F.

Patrick Cockburn's obituary of Robert Fisk; the Angry Arab has another view

A close colleague at the Independent in war correspondence from Northern Ireland to the Middle East, Patrick Cockburn, reflects on the character and work of Robert Fisk. Lebanese scholar As`ad AbuKhalil, a professor at CSU Stanislaus, has another view. All we know about it is that Fisk reported from the front of the battle while AbuKhalil opined from Turlock. -- wmh


November 17, 2020

Virus update: December 18, 2020

The Merced County Public Health Department announced on Friday that the current positive rate of infection in the last seven days among those tested is 13.9 percent and the total number of people who have died in the county from the virus are 216.

In California, 22,509 have died since the beginning of the pandemic, 228 died on Friday.

In the United States, 316,339 have died since the pandemic began, 2,542 died on Friday.

The total dead for the globe is estimated to be 1,672,772, with 4,648 dying on Friday.

Adios, Public Trust relationship with California water

Just what the San Joaquin Valley needed: a derivative market in water.

Now, magic thinking has completely taken over, but it remains to be seen how much water can be created out of dust by the Invisible Middle Finger of the Free Market.

Can derivatives on farm labor be far behind?--wmh



California Water Futures Begin Trading Amid Fear of Scarcity

Futures on California water index launched by CME Group

Virus update: December 5, 2020 -- Pandemic overwhelming medical system

MERCED (BLJ) -- As predicted, the virus is getting out of control here in Merced, there in California, and everywhere in the nation.

Locally, Merced County Public Health Department reports 11.2  positivity rate in the seven-day average, and 191 deaths (increase of five in a day). Merced County population is 275,000 and population density is 143 people per square mile.

By contrast, the City and County of San Francisco has 164 deaths, It's population is 881,500 and its population density is 17,160 people per square mile.


Virus update: November 27, 2020

MERCED (BLJ) – Lamentable news in Merced County. The positivity rate of infection has risen to 8 percent over seven day’s average. Two weeks ago it was less than 7 percent. The number of deaths is now 179.

California has a 6.1-percent infection rate over seven days; 19,076 people have died of virus-related illness (51 new).

The death count in the United states has reached 268,487 (1,521 new).

The global death count is 1,442,921 (10,874 new).

Democratic Party doubletalk begins in earnest

Trump defeated Biden in Louisiana 1.255,776 to 856,034. Biden didn't owe the Democratic Party of Louisiana anything. So, who did he owe and for what to commit this act of Democratic Party doubtetalk? How much money did the campaign take from the oil and chemical industry?

Biden had pledged not to accept donations exceeding $200 from the fossil fuel industry, but has taken $895,151 from individuals and PACs associated with the oil and gas industry, according to CRP data—Liz Hampton, Reuters, October 16, 2020