Loose Cheeks


Loose Cheeks: Hot Tips

By Lucas Smithereen
Loose Cheeks Senior Editor

Got a hot tip for Loose Cheeks? Call the Loose Cheeks hot-tip line: (000) CHE-EEKS. We’ll get back to you whenever.

Bobcat flaksters on the march!

Loose Cheeks got a hot tip that UC Merced Environmental Manager Rick Notini, UC lawyers and consultants, cancelled a meeting with federal and state officials and national, state and local environmental groups to discuss UC Merced’s on-going lack of compliance with environmental law and mitigation.

UC Merced had another – much more important meeting – with a local farm group right here in Merced.

Notini, UC Merced Assistant Chancellor Janet Young and county Supervisor Kathleen Crookham met the farm group to sensitize the group for its next meeting.

UC is lobbying farmers not to object when – Hush! Hush! -- the second phase of the campus drops down on the land presently planned for the University Community because UC Merced is unable to get Clean Water Act permits for its original site.

You wudda thought they shudda thought about that a few years ago.

But hey, it’s UC, what are you gonna do?

Valley politicians and judges just love that UC. Our rich Republican landowners, local and out-of-town developers see the campus as the anchor tenant for a building boom down the whole east side of the San Joaquin Valley, which means big bucks for them – but not for us, caught funding the public works projects and schools the development will require and do not pay for because development corporations own the Legislature composed of corrupt, elected Yes-people.

Meanwhile, local environmental groups have filed suit against the University Community Plan because agricultural groups would not sue to protect prime farm land. The public claims in its suit that the UCP is a plan to make a plan and violates the California Environmental Quality Act.

UC Regents and the University Community Land Co. (that’s UC and the Smith Trusts) have intervened in the suit. Wonder whose indemnifying the county now?

But Notini will tell you any time you ask that UC is not a developer.

Anyway, the next night, Notini and Crookham were joined by none other than Chancellor Carol Tomlinson-Keasey and Rep. Dennis Cardoza, Shrimp Slayer-Merced, to pitch the farm group. Farmers shouldn’t object to the taking of hundreds more acres of prime farm land … because it’s UC doing the taking.


Loose Cheeks hasn’t seen so much UC Merced/politician manipulation since an east side conservation district was pressured a few years back to run a resource-mitigation scheme for the campus alongside The Nature Conservancy .

So, that’s why Notini wasn’t in Sacramento fielding embarrassing questions about UC Merced’s inability to comply with federal environmental law and land mitigation.

Plans to make plans to make plans to make plans!

Loose Cheeks got these hot tips from a discarded Golden Bobcat book bag found outside the Applegate City Zoo.

“Hopefully, the local nitwits won’t find out that UC still hasn’t done its federal process and future campus phases could still be built elsewhere,” was the last entry found in the notebook.

Local yokels get hoodwinked by Hope ... again

Merced Alliance for Responsible Growth (MARG) is Merced County through and through, according to a Harvard PhD Valley Hopeful. MARG is co-chaired by a local farmer and a retired educator. Members include the local progressive Democratic group, which has been meeting since 1968, the Community Alliance with Family Farmers, the Valley Hopefuls, which is mostly old time Mercedians, the grassroots citizens group fighting the Riverside Motorsports Park, the local Sierra Club, the local labor council, and "on and on".

Loose Cheeks calls for an immediate investigation of this on-and-on group. We think it is probably too progressive for our Valley Way of Life.

The Hopeful guessed yesterday in a letter to the local Daily Bobcat (formerly the Merced Sun-Star) the average MARG members have lived in the county is 10-15 years.

The Hopeful’s yokels believe in responsible growth that promotes quality of life, clean air, farmland preservation and that pays its own way, businesses that offer good quality jobs, good pay and benefits. The WalMart distribution center would be an “atrocious” entrance to the beautiful new UC Campus Parkway to UC Merced.

The Hopeful thinks the appropriate entrance to the Parkway would be a “responsible” bio-technology firm that could partner with the university.

Well, it could be too late to save the beauty of the Mission Interchange, but, if we play our cards right maybe we could get a bio-pharm lab up at the interchange for the Atwater-Bellevue Loop.

Are there human genes in our food yet?

Don’t ask the UC Merced-based Hopeful Couple. They’ll soon be fleeing suspicious pollen pools back to the Bay Area.

The local yokels got hustled by an out-of-town Hopeful with an agenda minted by the UC Regents.

The Shrimp Slayer solves the Delta dilemma!

Special to Loose Cheeks from Juan de la Rana-Salto:

I went to the Delta hearing yesterday. Cardoza was such a fool - but playing for the cameras and media the whole time. At one point he even had the audacity to call himself the "raging moderate." But his questions were stupid - "could it be car batteries causing the collapse of the Delta?"

Loose Cheeks speculates Cardoza has been snorting too much selenium with his Big Water buddies at Delta-Mendota and Westlands.

Did he eat duck?

Where are they now?

Ex-county Supervisor Gloria Keene is looking good in the ERA Land Co. ad in this week’s Valley Values. In fact, in the picture she looks like she just got out of high school instead of jail, where she went briefly in an arrest last year for auto-insurance fraud. In January, she pled guilty to a misdemeanor and got community service time.

“BRAND NEW HOME! Beautiful, 1,395 sq.ft. home with tile floors, dual pane windows, extra large lot, on it’s own foundation …$325,000”

Better than on somebody else’s foundation.

City of Livingston seeks miracle!

After the powerful letter of legal instruction Merced County Counsel Ruben Castillo wrote to the City of Livingston, the city appears to have adopted a solution they attribute to St. Francis of Asissi: turning a blind eye to the Ranchwood mile-long sewer trunk line and begging forgiveness -- for numerous violations of planning, land-use and environmental law in return for gifts. Loose Cheeks' hot tipsters say the gifts include everything from plane rides to swimming pools.