As the Wolf arrives, Merced Agriculture gibbers on

Submitted: Aug 27, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 There have been way too many groundwater management plans to make plans in Merced County and they have now come back to bite agriculture's habitual liars you know where. The wolf is here at last and the ag rhetoric is exhausted. 

Representatives of the Merced County Farm Bureau and California Women for Agriculture have been animated by what has come to be called "the Sloan Sale" (26,000 acre feet of groundwater sold to a Stanislaus County water district over two years at a minimum of $500/acre foot). On August 26, they were before the Board of Supervisors again demanding county action on the groundwater situation.

Every day's a new day for our representatives of farmers in the county. However, there is an end to the denial, the lying, the political manipulation, secrecy and violation of public meeting law, regulation and process and the bitter, illegal and uncivilized rejection of environmental concerns.

 So many plans to make plans to "manage Merced County groundwater" have come and gone -- at considerable public expense -- and proved themselves to be absolutely useless in the present drought and manic overpumping of groundwater to support nut trees. Three-quarters of the state's almond crop is exported for the enrichment of mainly large growers of this highly mechanized/low labor  industry among the largest users of the 80 percent of California water reserved for agriculture. The industry is increasingly in the hands of financial and insurance corporations, our newest yeoman stewards of the environment.

Listening to the speakers today perfecting this year's Ag Whine, a special drought version of the same old clunker, demanding an ordinance for groundwater, we were reminded of Mark Twain's comment: "A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read."

Next we wondered where this illiterate, demented weaving might end up, and thought that the Farm Bureau and the California Women for Agriculture and other ag groups are very likely talking themselves into an ordinance requiring agricultural wells to be metered. We agreed that that was probably the last thing on their minds as they give voice to the great Ag Whine, but they are so ignorant of what has gone before them in the way of "plans" that have always been so intent on hoodwinking the public and state and federal resources that they have been, in fact, totally useless in this critical water year. But the state and the federal agencies are aware of the plans to make plans in Merced County and might just be of the opinion that the county has tried everything and "to get a handle on groundwater down there we're going to have to meter ag wells. And isn't that what the local representatives of agriculture calling for: action, regulation, something to stop Sloan and Smith and any other westsiders with bright ideas from ever, ever, ever selling groundwater out of their county?

"Isn't that about right?" the agencies could be asking themselves at the moment.

We can also imagine without difficulty a conversation that might take place between the governor and lobbyists for state and national environmental groups in which the governor promises that if they accept his Delta underground pipes he will see that every farm well in Central California is metered. We think most environmental groups would think it was pretty big of the governor to provide a show like that, with farmers sobs, moans, whines and screams that could be heard all the way to China.

The state and the federal government know that Merced County is incapable of coming up with a working groundwater management plan because it has failed to produce anything that is not a shuck-and-jive plan-to-make-a-plan in 15 years of meetings, many of them facilitated by competent professionals (because American citizens are rarely permitted to meet on public issues without state or corporate facilitators to cut off public  speech whenever it threatens to become public thought. There are apparently advanced academic degrees in this line of work).

Below, find a report and a series of letter from 2008, the last really active year on local water issues before the 2013 state-funded Merced Integrated Regional Water Management Plan. The  IRWMP -- pronounced "EAR-wimp" process was basically a years' worth of state Department of Water Resources facilitated meetings of a broad group of special interests there to try to block other interests from interfering with "our water" while others were there to get the specs for applications for state grant money for their worthy local water projects inside the Merced Irrigation District boundaries.  Representatives of Merced Irrigation District and the county Environmental Health Department  played major roles in seeing that nothing much happened in the IRWMP. -- blj

8-9-14

San Jose Mercury News

California drought: Lawmakers consider historic rules to limit groundwater pumping

 

 


http://www.mercurynews.com/drought/ci_26307724/california-drought-lawmakers-consider-historic-rules-limit-groundwater

 

 

...Each county could use a wide variety of tools, including setting up programs to recharge aquifers by putting more water in the ground, and requiring farmers -- some of whom don't have meters on their wells -- to carefully measure and report how much they pump, and maybe pump less.

If local governments didn't set up oversight systems or failed to show progress, state officials could step in and write and enforce the local rules...

 

 

2-9-14

Badlands Journal

Merced Irrigation District -- the saga continues, Part 1.

Badlands Journal editorial board

http://badlandsjournal.com/2014-02-09/008084

Whether by intention or incompetence, the variously named plans – Merced Water Supply Plan (all phases), Merced Groundwater Basin Groundwater Management Plan, Merced Irrigation District Groundwater Management Plan, and Regional Groundwater Management Plan – are incomprehensible to the public, alleged beneficiaries of them, even to a public as familiar with such documents as we are. --Badlands Journal, Re: Opposition to Groundwater Basin Groundwater Management Plan Update, 7-1-08, Letter to Chairman ElTal and Vice-Chairman Kelley

 

At the big Merced Irrigation District meeting at the Merced County Fairgrounds on Friday, Feb. 7, we were somewhat alarmed to here MID General Manager John Sweigard and his staff refer a number of questions from the packed audience to yet another water management plan. Yet this plan, dubbed by MID management, "the Master Water Management Plan," has apparently not even been drafted yet or at least the public is not permitted to see what drafts may exist. 

In fact, whenever a thorny question was asked, MID management refered the questioner to yet another plan to make a water plan, one in a long line of such documents. 

Five years ago, members of the public who had attended Merced Area Groundwater Pool Interest meetings from their inception late in the last century made numerous public protests to the way MID conducts its business around these "plans." We have decided to post the record of those protests today as a warning to customers of MID and members of the public otherwise affected by MID's plans to make plans about what to expect from the latest "Master" water management plan. 

A particular bizarre twist to this latest -- the Master -- plan is that Sweigard and his staff presented it as a plan that is going to be a complete "business plan."

Generally speaking, business plans concern the management of production and distribution of commodities that are private property. We at least think that is the generally understood meaning of a "business plan." 

However, the major quantity of Merced Irrigation District's water supply comes from the Merced River in the form of a legal allotment of acre feet according to a use right  -- quite different than private ownership. Surface waters of the United States are subject to a number of laws not contemplated in the business plans of mousetrap makers, for example: the National Environmental Protection Act, the California Environmental Quality Act and the Public Trust Doctrine.

MID, MAGPI and Integrated Regional Water Management Plan meetings are also subject to the Brown Act, the state's open meeting law, recently strengthened in the Fresno state appellate court by two published decisions against Merced County. -- blj

 

 

7-29-08

Badlands Journal

Sunshine on MAGPI

Badlands Journal editorial board

http://www.badlandsjournal.com/2008-07-29/00488

 

 

Although Badlands began its Sunshine Week (now stretching into Sunshine Month) with Merced County government issues, members of the editorial board have been attending Merced Area Groundwater Pool Interests (MAGPI) meetings since the inception of MAGPI several years ago. We have found these meetings extremely valuable for the amount of information about the Merced area water resources, but have continually been mystified by what, if any, public-process rules, regulations or laws MAGPI follows at any given point. Below, readers will find several months of correspondence concerning MAGPI’s latest product, a groundwater management plan update. In addition to letter subjects, we have boldedcertain passages we found particularly interesting.

Nevertheless, although the topic doesn’t directly involve county government, to set the stage, we thought to provide readers with the county’s perspective on MAGPI.

Badlands Journal editorial board

Transcription from oral comments from the July 22 Merced County Board of Supervisors Public Hearing on the Jaxon Mine Project by Assistant Planning Director Bill Nicholson and Supervisor Gerry O’Banion.

Nicholson:

The MAGPI report and planning is a cooperation by MID (Merced Irrigation District), the City of Merced, Atwater, UC Merced and various specific agencies and the County Environmental Health Department. So the County is part of the effort. The latest draft document from June is first a policy document. They’re trying to push a program and protocol for how we review projects and how they’re analyzed in the future and how this MAGPI group will actually look at a project like the Jaxon Mine and maybe provide comments and provide some kind of centralized entity that would monitor everything that’s going on. That role hasn’t happened yet. Not all documents are referenced to that group and they are definitely not all revewed and comment. They don’t have at this point a political or a policy voice to say if it’s not consistent with the MAGPI Plan it’s not legitimate so a finding of consistency is not required. They’re always gathering new data and to the extent possible will use that data …

 

O’Banion:

As far as the MAGPI, I have that same question and I had asked some different departments in regards to it and I was informed that Environmental Health had been on a regular basis attending those meetings. Now that may not be the case, but that’s what I was told.

 

—– Original Message —–
From: SJRRC
To: Hicham Eltal
Cc: Cheryl Miller ; Ali Taghavi ; Art Godwin ; Ben Igawa ; Bill Nicholson ; Bob Kelley ; Carol Bonin ; Cindy Lashbrook ; Clay Skinner ; Connie Farris ; Connie Payan ; Danny Drumonde ; Dave Church ; Dave Hamm ; Dave Tucker ; David Bean ; Eric Hong ; Dan W. Pope ; Grant Davids ; Greg Wellman ; Jeff Mondloch ; Jeff Palsgaard ; Jon Kelsey ; Kellie Jacobs ; Ken Robbins ; Kole Upton ; Nanda Gottiparthy P.E. ; Pat Mize ; Richard Warne ; Ron Dalforno ; Ted Selb ; Tom Lutterman ; Bill Hatch ; Brad Samuelson ; Charles Magneson ; Dean Marston ; Diana Westmorland-Pedrozo ; Greg Thompson ; Jean OKuyes ; Jeff Wright ; Jim Arsenio ; Joe Marcotte ; Joe Mitchell ; K. Rogina ; Marsh Pitman ; Mary Furey ; Maureen K. McCorry ; Michelle Langmaid ; Mike Bettencourt ; Pat Ferrigno ; Sergio Jimenez ; Thomas C. Harmon ; 
johnniesandra@comcast.net ; Wyckoff, Brett G ; Yun, Joseph ; SJRRC ; protectourwater@sbcglobal.net
Sent: Monday, July 28, 2008 2:17 PM
Subject: SJRRC-POW Reply to MID/MAGPI regarding July 1, 2008 Letter of Opposition to Groundwater Management Plan Update

Hicham ElTal
Chairman, MAGPI
Merced Irrigation District
744 W. 20th St.
Merced CA 95340
heltal@mercedid.org

Re: SJRRC-POW Reply to MID/MAGPI regarding July 1, 2008 Letter of Opposition to Groundwater Management Plan Update

Date: July 28, 2008

Chairman ElTal:

Please see attachment for our letter.

Lydia Miller, President

Lydia Miller Steve Burke
San Joaquin Raptor/Wildlife Rescue Center Protect Our Water (POW)
P.O. Box 778 3105 Yorkshire Lane
Merced, CA 95341 Modesto, CA 95350
(209) 723-9283, ph. & fax (209) 489-9178, ph.
raptorctr@bigvalley.net protectourwater@sbcglobal.net
sjrrc@sbcglobal.net

Hicham ElTal
Chairman, MAGPI
Merced Irrigation District
744 W. 20th St.
Merced CA 95340
heltal@mercedid.org

Re: MID/MAGPI Reply to SJRRC-POW July 1, 2008 Letter of Opposition to Groundwater Management Plan Update

Date: July 28, 2008

Chairman ElTal:

We stand by our protest letter and the facts behind it and reject your arguments regarding “intent” and “members/participants.”

Although MID used the term “may” in its newspaper ad, from its agenda for the June 16, 2008 meeting and the spurious minutes MID produced on that meeting, it was clear to members of the public the intent was to approve the resolution to adopt the Groundwater Management Plan Update on Jun 16, 2008, without informing the public in advance of the intention.

Although we may agree with MID and MAGPI that an updated groundwater plan is important, we are rightfully suspicious of MID’s public processes and will call “foul” at every breech of proper protocol throughout this process. To gain an accurate sense of what is actually happening around this plan because of the obfuscation your agency has practiced, we have been forced in recent weeks to file a series of Public Record Act requests.

We told you in the beginning of this GWMP process that we expected open and transparent dealings. We already had reasons to doubt MID’s capacity for open and transparent processes based on the Cressey Basin, the Aquatic Pesticides and the UC water supply plan cases. Our history with MID and MAGPI did not begin yesterday. In fact, it predates by a number of years the involvement of GWMP consultants.

Below, find a few reasons for our current suspicions:

· Lydia Miller and Bill Hatch, whom the public participants in MAGPI agreed should attend Technical Working Group monthly meetings through the spring of 2008 were never notified by the consultants or MID of one of those meetings;

· Miller and Hatch are not even listed on the minutes of the February 2008 MAGPI meeting, when public participants agreed they should attend TWG meetings;

· On June 9, 2008, around 5:30 p.m. MID secretary Cheryl Miller sent out two agenda packets for the June 16 meeting to two separate groups a minute apart; the packet to “members” of MAGPI included a copy of the resolution to adopt the updated groundwater plan; the packet to the public participants in MAGPI did not include it;

· No copies of the resolution or the GWMP were made available to members of the public at the June 16, 2008 hearing;

· Your argument in the minutes of the June 16, 2008 meeting that there was not a quorum of members to vote on the resolution is bogus: the MAGPI site at the MID site lists 15 members of MAGPI. In fact, as you know well, the cities of Atwater and Livingston have pulled out of MAGPI. Eight of 13 members are listed as present at the June 16 meeting;

· There are no minutes from any Technical Working Group meeting available; as late as the May 13, 2008 TWG meeting, the public’s understanding was that the updated groundwater management plan was a draft work in progress;

· Chairman ElTal attended the May 19, 2008 meeting of the Merced River Stakeholders and said nothing about MAGPI about a resolution to adopt the GWMP; he presented it as a draft work in progress;

· We want to know when, and by what process or emergency order, etc. of which we were not notified, the draft GWMP became the final GWMP and suitable for a MAGPI resolution to adopt; Who did that? When? How? By what authority?

· MID lawyer Ken Robbins was at the June 16 meeting to guide MAGPI into adopting the resolution; he agreed to continue the public hearing and establish a system for public comment only after realizing there was considerable, well-informed opposition from members of the public;

· Your statement: “Simply stated, there was no intent to adopt the updated GWMP at the June 16 meeting” is just lawyering. Of course you have the right to engage in lawyering. We retain the right to call it by its name and to suggest that if your legal office would spend as much time trying to do the process right as it does trying to confuse and misstate, probably none of these difficulties would have arisen;

· The MAGPI-GW website was inaccessible on the most commonly used server, which made it doubly difficult to get a copy of the “final” GWMP before the meeting;

· MID made two copies of the GWMP CD available to members of the public a week after the June 16 meeting on which to make public comments due July 1; the public needed more copies;

· MAGPI membership and participation is dubious: we have attended nearly every meeting of MAGPI and all the TWG meetings since the inception of MAGPI and have never seen all the purveyors present; in organizations of this importance, typically members are given only so many consecutive missed meetings before they are eliminated from the board, which leads us to consider that MID is using this group as a front and claiming a support not in evidence (particularly in terms of the cities of Atwater and Livingston and of Merced County); at the last Merced County Board of Supervisors meeting, officials claimed the County has been a full participating member of MAGPI; we know this is untrue and that the County has attended very few MAGPI meetings; state DWR staff, who have attended MAGPI and TWG meetings, can attest to everything said here;

· Nothing your reply has stated persuades us to modify our judgment that, so far, the process for adopting the updated GWMP has not been a “Corrupt Public Process.”

MID is now entering the vital FERC re-licensing process. The public will be at the table on this issue, too, and we expect MID to run a considerably more open and transparent process in that venue than it has done with the GWMP update. However, Chairman ElTal, our expectations are not high.

Lydia M. Miller Steve Burke

CC. Donald B. Mooney, Esq.
Marsha A. Burch, Esq.
——————————

MID Merced Irrigation District

July 22, 2008

Lydia Miller, President
San Joaquin Raptor Rescue Cetner
San Joaquin Raptor/Wildlife Rescue Center
P.O. Box 778
Merced CA 95341

Steve Burke
Protect Our Water (POW)
3105 Yorkshire Lane
Modesto, CA 95350

Re: Reply to your July 1, 2008 Letter of Opposition to Groundwater Management Plan Update

Dear Ms. Miller and Mr. Burke

This letter is to thank you for expressing your concerns regarding the update of MAGPI’s Groundwater Management Plan (GWMP), and for your contributions to development of the Plan. It is my hope that by addressing the various concerns raised in your letter we can work toward resolution of the issues. I believe that we have a great deal in common with respect to managing and protecting the water resources of eastern Merced County for future beneficial uses and I offer the following response in the spirit of finding common ground and creating a positive working relationship.

It appears that there is one critical misunderstanding regarding procedure that needs to be clarified before getting into specifics. The misunderstanding is that there was intent by MAGPI to adopt the updated GWMP at the June 16 meeting following the noticed public hearing. This misunderstanding may have resulted from the awkward manner in which the agenda items had to be rearranged to deal with the initial lack and eventual achievement of a MAGPI quorum. Regrettably, this shuffling of topics interrupted the continuity of the information being presented, and did complicate discussion and understanding. In fact, there was only one resolution on the agenda, which pertained to the development of the Merced Groundwater Basin Integrated Hydrologic Model, and was completely unrelated to the Groundwater Management Plan. Additionally, the agenda stated clearly that following the public hearing “The GWMP plan may be revised in response to public comment and may be adopted at a subsequent meeting of the MAGPI Governing Board: (see agenda Item C; emphasis added). A copy of the June 16 agenda is attached for convenient reference. Stimply stated, there was no intent to adopt the updated GWMP at the June 16 meeting.

Having made the foregoing clarification, let me address specific points in the order in which they are made in your letter.

1. Page 1: Alleged Violation of Brown Act. As far as I know, there was no violation of the Brown Act in conducting the procedure by which the GWMP was brought to the Board. Please clarify your assertion.

2. Page 1: Alleged Exaggerated Claims by Consultants of GWMP Accessibility on the MAGPI Website. It was made clear at Technical Working Group (TWG) meetings that the MAGPI website would be used as the central place for posting drafts. Please explain how the claims exaggerated.

3. Page 2: Improper Use of Plans by Water Agencies. This concern was made abundantly clear early on in the GWMP drafting process. In response, a unanimous decision was reached among the TWG members to include specific clarifying language in the draft to the effect that the Plan could not be used to circumvent CEQA and other applicable laws affecting proposed actions. That language can be found in Section 1.1 in the Purpose of Groundwater Management Plan of the draft GWMP.

4. Page 2: MAGPI Membership and Participation. While MAGPI membership is sufficiently broad (because it includes all water purveyors whose collective actions largely determine groundwater conditions), the lack of participation by some members is disappointing and concerning. This is why MAGPI is placing emphasis on development of a long-range Integrated Regional Water Management Plan that will spek to a wide range of water-related issues in an integrated manner, leading to a wide range of benefits to members and other stakeholders in the basin. Hopefully this will precipitate more active involvement by more members. That said, the reality is that some MAGPI members are very small with limited resources, whose participation may remain marginal. The Cities of Atwater and Livingston are notable exceptions, and MAGPI has worked diligently behind the scenes to encourage their participation.

5. Page 2: Chowcilla Water Interests Involved in the Magpi process.Please explain who these interests are and why this is of concern. Chowchilla Water district has 14,000 acres within Merced County north of the Chowchilla River within the hydrological boundary of the Merced Groundwater Basin. Chowchilla Water District is not a MAGPI Board member, nevertheless MAGPI meetings are open to the public and Mr. Welch has the right to attend. Furthermore, MAGPI believes that cooperation among neighboring groundwater basin interests is a good thing.

6. Page 2: Various Water Plans Incomprehensible to the Public.Water management at the regional scale, as needed for effective management and as encouraged by the State, is an imperfect, evolving process. Different plans, some mandated by law, others initiated within the region, have been prepared at various times to serve various purposes. It is the responsibility of MAGPI and its individual members to communicate these distinctions as clearly as possible to interested parties. Any specific suggestions you have toward this goal would be appreciated.

7. Page 3: Corrupt Public Process. This concern apparently stems from the misunderstanding described at the beginning of this letter that there was in tent (sic) to adopt the updated GWMP at the June 16 meeting. You also assert that there were different emails to different people to the exclusion of others. To the extent that there are any inconsistencies in distribution lists, this would be by oversight. Since there was no intent to adopt the updated GWMP at the June 16 meeting, it is not valid to conclude that there was a deliberate attempt to mislead anyone in the communication loop.

I hope the foregoing responses are helpful, and I look forward to futher dialogue aimed at clarifying any remaining issues.

Sincerely,

Hicham Eltal
Chairman, MAGPI

cc. Robert Kelley, Vice Chairman, MAGPI
MAGPI members
Dan Pope, Ted Selb – MID
Joseph Yun, Staff Environmental Scientist/DWR
Interested Parties

Attachments:

June 16 MAGPI Governing Board Meeting Agenda
————————–

Lydia Miller
San Joaquin Raptor/Wildlife Rescue Center
P.O. Box 778
Merced, CA 95341
(209) 723-9283, ph. & fax
raptorctr@bigvalley.net
sjrrc@sbcglobal.net

Steve Burke
Protect Our Water (POW)
3105 Yorkshire Lane
Modesto, CA 95350
(209) 489-9178, ph.
protectourwater@sbcglobal.net
———————–

—– Original Message —–
From: Cheryl Miller
To: Ali Taghavi ; Art Godwin ; Ben Igawa ; Bill Nicholson ; Bob Kelley ; Carol Bonin ; Cindy Lashbrook ; Clay Skinner ; Connie Farris ; Connie Payan ; Danny Drumonde ; Dave Church ; Dave Hamm ; Dave Tucker ; David Bean ; Eric Hong ; Dan W. Pope ; Grant Davids ; Greg Wellman ; Hicham ElTal ; Jeff Mondloch ; Jeff Palsgaard ; Jon Kelsey ; Kellie Jacobs ; Ken Robbins ; Kole Upton ; Nanda Gottiparthy P.E. ; Pat Mize ; Richard Warne ; Ron Dalforno ; Ted Selb ; Tom Lutterman ; Bill Hatch ; Brad Samuelson ; Charles Magneson ; Dean Marston ; Diana Westmorland-Pedrozo ; Greg Thompson ; Jean OKuyes ; Jeff Wright ; Jim Arsenio ; Joe Marcotte ; Joe Mitchell ; K. Rogina ; Lydia Miller ; Marsh Pitman ; Mary Furey ; Maureen K. McCorry ; Michelle Langmaid ; Mike Bettencourt ; Pat Ferrigno ; Sergio Jimenez ; Thomas C. Harmon
Sent: Friday, July 25, 2008 4:55 PM
Subject: 2/20 & 6/16 MAGPI Minutes

Attached are the February 20 & June 16, 2008, MAGPI Board minutes. These are also posted on the MAGPI website.
C

—– Original Message —–
From: Cheryl Miller
To: Ali Taghavi ; Art Godwin ; Ben Igawa ; Bill Nicholson ; Bob Kelley ; Carol Bonin ; Cindy Lashbrook ; Clay Skinner ; Connie Farris ; Connie Payan ; Danny Drumonde ; Dave Church ; Dave Hamm ; Dave Tucker ; David Bean ; Eric Hong ; Dan W. Pope ; Grant Davids ; Greg Wellman ; Hicham ElTal ; Jeff Mondloch ; Jeff Palsgaard ; Jon Kelsey ; Kellie Jacobs ; Ken Robbins ; Kole Upton ; Nanda Gottiparthy P.E. ; Pat Mize ; Richard Warne ; Ron Dalforno ; Ted Selb ; Tom Lutterman ; Bill Hatch ; Brad Samuelson ; Charles Magneson ; Dean Marston ; Diana Westmorland-Pedrozo ; Greg Thompson ; Jean OKuyes ; Jeff Wright ; Jim Arsenio ; Joe Marcotte ; Joe Mitchell ; K. Rogina ; Lydia Miller ; Marsh Pitman ; Mary Furey ; Maureen K. McCorry ; Michelle Langmaid ; Mike Bettencourt ; Pat Ferrigno ; Sergio Jimenez ; Thomas C. Harmon
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2008 3:10 PM
Subject: 7/30 MAGPI Meeting

Attached is the agenda for the upcoming MAGPI Board meeting on Wednesday, July 30. Also attached are draft versions of proposed Resolutions 2008-2 & 3 that the Board will be considering at the meeting.

Board members: As there are important matters to be discussed at this meeting it is critical that we have a quorum present. Please make every effort to attend.

Thank you.
Cheryl

—– Original Message —–
From: Hicham ElTal
To: ‘SJRRC’
Sent: Friday, July 11, 2008 8:15 AM
Subject: RE: CPRA Request MID 7-3-08

Lydia,

In Response to your public record request below, MID has one version of MAGPI MOU and it is part of the 1997 Merced Groundwater Basin Groundwater Management Plan, which you should have a copy of.

Thanks

Hicham Eltal
MID AGM, Water Resources

—– Original Message —–
From: SJRRC
To: 
gkrause@mercedid.org ; Dan Pope ; Ted Selb ; Hicham Eltal
Cc: SJRRC ; 
protectourwater@sbcglobal.net
Sent: Thursday, July 03, 2008 4:14 PM
Subject: CPRA Request MID 7-3-08

Merced Irrigation District
744 W. 20th St.
Merced CA 95340

Garith Krause
General Manager
gkrause@mercedid.org

Dan Pope
General Manager
(after July 1, 2008)
dpope@mercedid.org

Ted Selb
Deputy General Manager
tselb@mercedid.org

Hicham ElTal
AGM-Water Resources
heltal@mercedid.org

Dear Sirs,

Please find our request for the California Public Records Act Request for the Merced Area Groundwater Pool Interests Memorandum of Understanding.

Lydia Miller, President

—– Original Message —–
From: SJRRC
To: Hicham Eltal ; Cindy Lashbrook
Cc: SJRRC ; 
protectourwater@sbcglobal.net ; Ted Selb ;wildcatkel@onemain.com ; constancef@cosmostic.net ;TuckerD@cityofmerced.org ; johnniesandra@comcast.net ;jpalsgaard@co.merced.ca.us ; Kole Upton ; preinero@mercedid.org ; Lutterman, Thomas J. ; Bill Nicholson ; Skinner Clay & Lynn ; Dave Hamm ; Jon Kelsey ; Ron Dalforno ; Wyckoff, Brett G ; Yun, Joseph ; Brad Samuelson ; Greg Thompson ; jeff.wright@ucop.edu ; Joe Marcotte ; Mary Furey ; Michelle Langmaid ; Mike Bettencourt ; Pat Ferrigno ;pjokuye@elite.net ; MCCORRYM@aol.com ; William Hatch
Sent: Tuesday, July 01, 2008 2:29 PM
Subject: Opposition Letter to MAGPI Groundwater Basin Groundwater Management Plan Update

Hicham ElTal
Chairman, MAGPI
Merced Irrigation District
744 W. 20th St.
Merced CA 95340
heltal@mercedid.org

Robert Kelley
Vice Chairman, MAGPI
Stevinson CA

Cindy Lashbrook
Non-purveyor member at large, MAGPI
12230 Livingston-Cressey Road
Livingston CA 95334
(209)394-1420
foursea@clearwire.net

Re: Opposition to Groundwater Basin Groundwater Management Plan Update

Date: July 1, 2008

Chairman ElTal and Vice-Chairman Kelley,

Please find our opposition letter to Groundwater Basin Groundwater Management Plan Update for the Merced Water Supply Plan, Merced Groundwater Basin Groundwater Management Plan, Merced Irrigation District Groundwater Management Plan, the Regional Groundwater Management Plan and eleven associated documents for the record.

Lydia Miller, President

Lydia Miller Steve Burke
San Joaquin Raptor/Wildlife Rescue Center Protect Our Water (POW)…

Hicham ElTal
Chairman, MAGPI
Merced Irrigation District
744 W. 20th St.
Merced CA 95340
heltal@mercedid.org

Robert Kelley
Vice Chairman, MAGPI
Stevinson CA

Cindy Lashbrook
Non-purveyor member at large, MAGPI
12230 Livingston-Cressey Road
Livingston CA 95334
(209)394-1420
fourseas@clearwire.net

Re: Opposition to Groundwater Basin Groundwater Management Plan Update

Date: July 1, 2008

Chairman ElTal and Vice-Chairman Kelley,

The San Joaquin Raptor Rescue Center and Protect Our Water, having attended MAGPI-BAP meetings since their inception, wish to express our formal protest to the resolution to adopt the GWMP update. We have filed complaints with the state Department of Water Resources (attached).

We are asking MAGPI not to resolve to approve this plan because the procedure by which it was brought to the board violated the Brown Act. We are reserving the right to oppose this plan in further stages. We chose not to respond to consultants’ telephone calls because we are not going to be drawn into any backrooms on this flawed public process.

Claims by consultants and MID that the GWMP Update was accessible on the MAGPI-GW website were exaggerated.

We find that procedures for these plans as far back as the Merced Water Supply Plan have been flawed and the plans have misrepresented themselves as plans, when only “plans to make plans,” nevertheless these “plans,” like the present one, described as a “living document,” are continually used by water agencies and land-use authorities as the basis for policies destructive to the natural resources and habitat for endangered species in Merced County and to the future of farming in Merced County.

Below, MAGPI represents on its webpage the following agencies to be members according to an MOU. In the years that we have attended these meetings, we have never seen even half their agencies at the table. We know that Atwater and Livingston have dropped out.

MAGPI consists of 15 municipal and agricultural water purveyors operating in the County of Merced including:
· Black Rascal Water Company
· City of Atwater
· City of Livingston
· City of Merced
· County of Merced
· LeGrand Community Services District
· LeGrand-Athlone Water District
· Lone Tree Mutual Water Company
· Meadowbrook Water Company
· Merced Irrigation District
· Merquin County Water District
· Planada Community Services District
· Stevenson Water District
· Turner Island Water District
· Winton Water & Sanitary District

In addition, non-purveyor Members at Large include:

· East Merced Resources Conservation District

Evidently, Chowchilla water interests are now involved in the MAGPI process.

Whether by intention or incompetence, the variously named plans – Merced Water Supply Plan (all phases), Merced Groundwater Basin Groundwater Management Plan, Merced Irrigation District Groundwater Management Plan, and Regional Groundwater Management Plan – are incomprehensible to the public, alleged beneficiaries of them, even to a public as familiar with such documents as we are.

As the representative of the EMRCD, the non-purveyor member at large, Merced County Planning Commissioner Cindy Lashbrook could explain these plans in sufficient detail for us to withdraw our opposition. However, we think this is unlikely because, after attending EMRCD meetings for nearly a decade, we have never once heard Ms. Lashbrook report to the EMRCD on MAGPI. Nor are we aware of Ms. Lashbrook having made any reports on MAGPI to the Merced River Alliance or as a Merced River Watershed Coordinator.

We have attached all the agendas for MAGPI and TWG since January 2008. As you will see, there were emails to selected people, which excluded others; these agendas will show that every mention of the DGWMP was “in draft form” or “work in progress” or similar preparatory language and that nothing in these agendas prepared at least those excluded for special emails for this resolution. In fact, the resolution wasn’t even given to all the MAGPI board members prior to the last MAGPI meeting. This is corrupt public process.

An impenetrable haze of confusion hangs over these plans.

Lydia M. Miller Steve Burke

—– Original Message —–
From: SJRRC
To: 
gkrause@mercedid.org ; Dan Pope ; Ted Selb ; Hicham Eltal
Cc: SJRRC ; 
protectourwater@sbcglobal.net
Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2008 2:23 PM
Subject: CPRA Request MID 6-26-08

Merced Irrigation District
744 W. 20th St.
Merced CA 95340

Garith Krause
General Manager
gkrause@mercedid.org

Dan Pope
General Manager
(after July 1, 2008)
dpope@mercedid.org

Ted Selb
Deputy General Manager
tselb@mercedid.org

Hicham ElTal
AGM-Water Resources
heltal@mercedid.org

Dear Sirs,

Please find our request for California Public Records Act Request for the Merced Water Supply Plan, Merced Groundwater Basin Groundwater Management Plan, Merced Irrigation District Groundwater Management Plan, the Regional Groundwater Management Plan and associated documents…

Lydia Miller, President

—– Original Message —–
From: Yun, Joseph
To: SJRRC
Cc: 
protectourwater@sbcglobal.net ; Wyckoff, Brett G ; Lutterman, Thomas J.
Sent: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 3:44 PM
Subject: RE: Reply to DWR process letter 6-23-08

Ms. Miller,
From reading your synopsis of the 1997 Merced Water Supply Plan, I can begin to understand your concerns about the current groundwater management plan update. Groundwater in California is not subject to the same water right laws as surface water. In California groundwater is managed at the local level. DWR works with local agencies to better manage and increase supply reliability of this important resource. Based on the California Water Code Section 10752(g), Merced Irrigation District has the authority to manage the groundwater and adopt a groundwater management plan (GWMP).

I have attached portions of the California Water Code that contains laws concerning GWMPs. Section 10753.4, 10753.5, and 10753.6 discuss how a plan is noticed, protested, and adopted. Section 10753.7-10753.10 discusses what groundwater management plans should do and what they should contain. Section 10753.7 (b) discusses limitations for grant funding for projects that impact groundwater in the absence of a GWMP.

In MAGPI’s specific case, the document that you refer to is actually an update to an existing groundwater management plan not a new plan. The original groundwater management plan was adopted in 1997 and should not be confused with the 1997 Merced Water Supply Plan.

Since the adoption of the original plan, studies have been performed to better understand the basin so that the basin can be managed in accordance with the GWMP’s guiding principles. In the update, MAGPI is seeking to improve the GWMP to care for the groundwater resource by developing basin management objectives where there were none previously and bring the plan into compliance with current water code.

Integrated Regional Water Management Plans (IRWM Plans) are different and cover much broader scope than groundwater management plans. IRWM Plans are resource planning documents focusing on water as the resource as opposed to single use planning (surface water planning separate from groundwater planning separate from water quality planning, separate from recreation, etc…). The short history of IRWM planning in California includes passage of the Integrated Regional Water Planning Act of 2002 (Water Code Section 10530 et seq) which provided some general ground rules for IRWM planning; Proposition 50 (Water Code Section 79500 et seq) which provided funding for development of IRWM plans and implementation of plans; the California Water Plan update 2005 which names IRWM Planning as a key initiative that is needed to help Californians properly plan for uncertainties in future water management scenarios; and Proposition 84 (Public Resource Code Section 75001 et seq.) which authorized additional funding to support IRWM programs and projects. IRWM Plans differ from GWMP in that they seek to engage all aspects of water management and stakeholders in the water planning/decision making effort. IRWM efforts tend to be collaborative efforts of many stakeholders in solving multiple water management issues. At this point MAGPI does not have an IRWM plan.

In your email you discuss a disconnect between land use and water management. That disconnect continues to be a large issue across the State. There are some existing laws that link land use and water management decisions, Senate Bill (SB) 221 and SB 610 do provide some connections between land use decisions and water management; however, there is more work to be done by all involved in water and land-use decisions.

Thank you for your input into the Proposition 84 guidelines; we will consider your input. Would you allow me to treat them as other comments and post just the comment portion of your last email along with other comments?

Both Proposition 50 and Proposition 84 require that, in order to be eligible for grant funding a project must comply with CEQA.

Because of the concerns you bring to the groundwater management plan, we encourage you to continue to be involved in the process. We have relayed your concerns to MAGPI and they may be contacting you to better understand and address your concerns regarding the GWMP update.
Thanks,

Joe Yun
Staff Environmental Scientist
Department of Water Resources
Conjunctive Water Management Branch
PO BOX 942836
Sacramento, CA 94236-0001
(916) 651-9222
(916) 651-9292 fax
jyun@water.ca.gov
———————-

 

 

—– Original Message —–
From: Grant Davids
To: 
SJRRC@sbcglobal.net ; raptorctr@bigvalley.net
Cc: ‘Hicham ElTal’
Sent: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 10:44 PM
Subject: MAGPI Followup Clarifications

Hi Lydia,

I have left you a couple of voice messages in the last day or so but have not heard back. Perhaps you’re away vacationing or avoiding the smoky Central Valley air.

What I’d like to discuss are the last MAGPI meeting and a few of the key points you’ve expressed in your recent letters to DWR (which DWR has forwarded to MAGPI). Please let me know a good time to call.

Also, be aware that Hicham would ordinarily be the one to contact you, but he has been away from work recently due to health issues. He expects to be back at work soon, so you could contact him if that is preferable to you.

Sincerely,

Grant

—– Original Message —–
From: Cheryl Miller
To: Ali Taghavi ; Art Godwin ; Ben Igawa ; Bill Nicholson ; Bob Kelley ; Carol Bonin ; Cindy Lashbrook ; Clay Skinner ; Connie Farris ; Connie Payan ; Danny Drumonde ; Dave Church ; Dave Hamm ; Dave Tucker ; David Bean ; Eric Hong ; Garith Krause ; Grant Davids ; Greg Wellman ; Hicham ElTal ; Jeff Mondloch ; Jeff Palsgaard ; Jon Kelsey ; Kellie Jacobs ; Ken Robbins ; Kole Upton ; Nanda Gottiparthy P.E. ; Pat Mize ; Richard Warne ; Ron Dalforno ; Ted Selb ; Tom Lutterman ; Bill Hatch ; Brad Samuelson ; Charles Magneson ; Dean Marston ; Diana Westmorland-Pedrozo ; Greg Thompson ; Jean OKuyes ; Jeff Wright ; Jim Arsenio ; Joe Marcotte ; Joe Mitchell ; K. Rogina ; Lydia Miller ; Marsh Pitman ; Mary Furey ; Maureen K. McCorry ; Michelle Langmaid ; Mike Bettencourt ; Pat Ferrigno ; Sergio Jimenez ; Thomas C. Harmon
Cc: Jennifer Jones
Sent: Monday, June 23, 2008 4:51 PM
Subject: Groundwater Management Plan CD’s available

Ladies & Gentlemen –
Hicham asked me to inform you that, as requested at the last MAGPI Board meeting, copies of the Groundwater Management Plan have been made available on CD at no cost to the public. The CD’s may be picked up at Reception at the MID office at 744 W. 20th Street.
Cheryl

—– Original Message —–
From: SJRRC
To: 
jpalsgaard@co.merced.ca.us ; James Fincher
Cc: SJRRC ; 
protectourwater@sbcglobal.net
Sent: Friday, June 20, 2008 2:16 PM
Subject: CPRA Request County MID MAGPI 6-20-08

Merced County
2222 M. Street
Merced CA 95340

James N. Fincher
County Council
Tel. (209) 385-7564
jfincher@co.merced.ca.us

Jeff Palsgaard
Director Environmental Health Department
Tel. (209) 381-1087
jpalsgaard@co.merced.ca.us

Re: California Public Records Act request to view files on Merced Area Groundwater Pool Interests (MAGPI) and Technical Work Group (MAGPI-TWG)

Date: June 20, 2008 Via email

Dear Mr. Fincher and Mr. Palsgaard,

Please find our request for California Public Records Act Request – MAGPI and MAGPI-TWG files, January 2008 to present in the attachment. If you did not receive or can not open the attachment please contact us immediately…

Lydia Miller, President

—– Original Message —–
From: SJRRC
To: 
marshall@cityofmerced.org ; diazg@cityofmerced.org ;tuckerd@cityofmerced.org ; cityclerk@cityofmerced.org
Cc: SJRRC ; 
protectourwater@sbcglobal.net
Sent: Friday, June 20, 2008 1:53 PM
Subject: CPRA Request Merced City MAGPI 6-20-08

City of Merced
678 W. 18th St.
Merced CA 95340

Jim Marshall
City Manager
marshall@cityofmerced.org
tel. (209) 385-6834
fax (209) 723-1780

Greg Diaz
City Attorney
diazg@cityofmerced.org
tel (209) 385-6868

David Tucker
City Engineer
tuckerd@cityofmerced.org
tel. (209) 385-6846

City Clerk
cityclerk@cityofmerced.org
tel. (209) 388-7100 ext. 6866
fax (209) 384-5805

Re: California Public Records Act request to view files on Merced Area Groundwater Pool Interests (MAGPI) and Technical Work Group (MAGPI-TWG)…

Date: June 20, 2008 Via email

Dear Merced City Officials,

Please find our request for California Public Records Act Request – MAGPI and MAGPI-TWG files, January 2008 to present in the attachment. If you did not receive or can not open the attachment please contact us immediately.

Lydia Miller, President

—– Original Message —–
From: SJRRC
To: 
gkrause@mercedid.org ; Dan Pope ; Ted Selb ; Hicham Eltal
Cc: SJRRC ; 
protectourwater@sbcglobal.net
Sent: Friday, June 20, 2008 1:39 PM
Subject: CPRA Request MID MAGPI 6-20-08

Merced Irrigation District
744 W. 20th St.
Merced CA 95340

Garith Krause
General Manager
gkrause@mercedid.org

Dan Pope
General Manager
(after July 1, 2008)
dpope@mercedid.org

Ted Selb
Deputy General Manager
tselb@mercedid.org

Hicham ElTal
AGM-Water Resources
heltal@mercedid.org

Dear Sirs,

Please find our request for California Public Records Act Request – MAGPI and MAGPI-TWG files, January 2008 to present in the attachment. If you did not receive or can not open the attachment please contact us immediately…

Lydia Miller, President

—– Original Message —–
From: SJRRC
To: Yun, Joseph
Cc: SJRRC ; 
protectourwater@sbcglobal.net ; bwyckoff@water.ca.gov
Sent: Monday, June 23, 2008 4:12 PM
Subject: Reply to DWR process letter 6-23-08

California Department of Water Resources
1416 Ninth Street
Sacramento CA 95814

Joseph Yun
Staff Environmental Scientist
Conjunctive Water Management Branch
P.O. BOX 942836
Sacramento CA 94236-0001
Tel. (916) 651-9222
Fax (916) 651-9292
jyun@water.ca.gov

Brett Wyckoff
Division of Planning and Local Assistance
(916) 651-9283
bwyckoff@water.ca.gov

Re: Mr. Yun’s reply to our questions about Merced Groundwater Management Plan and Prop. 84 funding

Date: June 23, 2008 Via Email

Mr. Yun,

Thank you very much for your excellent letter explaining the schedules surrounding Prop. 84 grant funding. It answered most of our questions and we appreciate the time and thought you put into it.

A question remains, however. We know from numerous CEQA lawsuits that the 1997 Merced water supply plan became the policy basis used to justify several of the largest land-use decisions ever made in Merced County. The 1997 plan was in essence a plan to make a plan, deferring everything of any importance to later processes. The 1997 plan, although it was used to justify huge changes in land use, principally the siting of the University of California, Merced campus, went through no environmental review under either CEQA or NEPA. This latest water management plan, now before the Merced Area Groundwater Pool Interests (MAGPI) in the form of a resolution to be adopted next month, has not gone through any environmental review either. Given its link to an upcoming Prop. 84 grant proposal, it too will have environmental impacts that need to be reviewed under CEQA and NEPA.

What may not be apparent to DWR is clear to us: this new plan will be, like the 1997 plan, used as a policy document for the justification of projects that will have impacts on the environment here. At this time, it appears that once again MAGPI, led by Merced Irrigation District, will approve a vital water-policy document without appropriate environmental review.
It is our understanding that MAGPI cannot qualify for Prop. 84 funding without the new groundwater plan. It also appears to us that the DWR is committing considerable staff time to this particular project. The question arises: is DWR requiring Merced’s new groundwater plan be “completed” (via MAGPI resolution next month) as a prerequisite for receiving Prop. 84 grant funds (standards and guidelines of which are still in “pre-draft” status) without appropriate review under CEQA and NEPA? Is DWR in fact guiding MAGPI to avoid environmental review of the new plan?

It should be noted that MAGPI does not represent the full range of entities in the groundwater basin that have vital interests in its water supply and quality. Among the missing: Merced County, UC Merced, the cities of Atwater and Livingston, Planada, Le Grand, El Nido, Snelling, Ballico, Cressey and others, and many sewer districts also.

We have some suggestions for Prop. 84 standards and guidelines. First, if the grant requires a “completed” water plan, DWR should require the agencies responsible for the plan to do appropriate state and federal environmental review on it prior to resolving to approve the plan, because these plans become policy guidance for land-use officials – both elected board members and land-use agency staff – and even some courts. Secondly, DWR should provide a clearly defined process for the public to protest a Prop. 84 grant. We are referring to a category separate from comments to exhaust the remedies by making a record in preparation for a lawsuit.

Let us spell out the consequences of the 1997 plan. As a result of the siting of UC Merced in part because of this flawed plan without any environmental review, Merced experienced a period of real estate speculation and construction of subdivisions that, in turn, resulted in Merced being for nearly a year rated in the top three areas in the nation for foreclosures. Neighboring Modesto, also influenced by the arrival of UC Merced, is also in the top three. Stockton is the third city in this category. The result of the speculative bust following the boom has been a huge devaluation of real estate, negatively impacting local government and local banks, to mention only two of the most obvious victims of this speculative economy caused in part by a bad water plan that went through no environmental review.

While this may be a little important to DWR, it is of vital importance to the local public and we will do whatever we can to avoid another bad water plan to be used as a platform for another speculative growth boom (and bust).

Lydia Miller, President
San Joaquin Raptor RescueCenter
San Joaquin Raptor/Wildlife Rescue Center
P.O. Box 778
Merced, CA 95341…

—– Original Message —–
From: Yun, Joseph
To: SJRRC ; Wyckoff, Brett G
Cc: 
protectourwater@sbcglobal.net ; Lutterman, Thomas J.
Sent: Monday, June 23, 2008 10:18 AM
Subject: RE: DWR process letter 6-20-08 d.1

Dear Ms. Miller,

I am sorry for any confusion about the Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Grant Program. Here is a brief summary of status on the IRWM Grant Program that I hope will clarify our programmatic situation.

Although Prop 84 was passed in 2006, our request for funding for this current fiscal year was vetoed. The lack of funds has slowed the process for drafting guidelines and standards as well as made the progress on this program a little confusing. It is difficult to establish a concrete schedule, finish the guidelines and standards, without funding. We are hoping for funding in the next fiscal year’s budget.

DWR has continued to move forward with the guidelines and standards although at a slower pace. Programmatically, DWR has presented concepts or program elements to the public in several rounds of public meetings (January/Feb 2007 scoping meetings, September 2007 scoping meetings, May 2008 program status meetings). The most recent of which was in May 2008. As we present program elements such as Disadvantaged Community Assistance or how the standards may change, we have been accepting comment on the program. The comments we’ve received from our May meetings will be posted on our website at the end of the month.

All materials regarding the program under Prop 84 (concepts or standard language) that we’ve released to date are pre-draft. Our intent is to have draft guidelines and applications released to the public by the end of summer 2008. That would start a public comment period. We will also have public meetings when we release the draft to help people understand the changes that we’ve made from the program as funded by Proposition 50. Once the public comment period closes, DWR will work on the draft documents and make them final documents. Once the final documents are released (target date is the end of 2008), we would start the grant application process.

The material Tom Lutterman presented on June 16, was a condensed version of the information presented at our May public meetings.

As the program develops and as we process grant applications there are and will be opportunities for public input into DWR decisions. Typically we have public comment periods at decision points in the grant process. Comments are accepted verbally or written. Typically we give the public at least 30-days to comment. After the comment period closes, DWR management considers comments before the Director makes a final decision. Here are the decision points where we accept pubic comments:
As we release program concepts to the public we’ve accepted comments on concepts and process.
When we release draft guidelines, standards, and applications.

When we make draft decision on IRWM region readiness to participate in the grant program (prior to any grant applications).

When we make draft planning grant funding recommendations.

When we make draft implementation grant funding recommendations.

We announce these decision points in news releases, emails to those on our email list, and with web postings. We also have public meetings regarding these decision points.

Here is the link to our IRWM web page:http://www.grantsloans.water.ca.gov/grants/irwm/integregio.cfm

It is not the most intuitive site but use the menu items on the left side of the page to navigate. Most the Prop 84 information is located in the General Information Section as we are still developing the program.
If you would like to be added to our email list, just let me know and I’ll have you added.

I also realize that multiple DWR personnel can get confusing so I do want to explain our different roles. Brett, Tom, and I all work in the Division of Planning and Local Assistance. Brett and I work in the Special Projects Section that primarily deals with different grant programs. For Prop 84 IRWM grants, Brett is the regional point of contact for the San Joaquin River Funding Area and I am primarily working on grant program development (standards, guidance etc…). Tom works in the local partnership section that partners with agencies through an MOU and assists in water management. MAGPI is an MOU partner and Tom is the DWR contact assigned to that partnership. My understanding is that MAGPI is currently revising the groundwater management plan to make it current with existing State law. MAGPI is also working on a model can assist in evaluating surface and groundwater interactions and groundwater basin impacts that will be used as a management tool in the future. DWR is helping fund the development of the model. MAGPI currently is not part of an existing IRWM plan, but is considering developing an IRWM plan and will likely seek planning grant funding once the grant program is up and running.

I hope that helps clarify the IRWM Grant Program status, the DWR personnel involved, and the relationship to MAGPI’s current actions. If you have questions, please feel free to email or call.

Thanks,
Joe Yun
Staff Environmental Scientist
Department of Water Resources
Conjunctive Water Management Branch
PO BOX 942836
Sacramento, CA 94236-0001
(916) 651-9222
(916) 651-9292 fax
jyun@water.ca.gov
—————————–

From: SJRRC [mailto:sjrrc@sbcglobal.net]
Sent: Friday, June 20, 2008 2:39 PM
To: Wyckoff, Brett G; Yun, Joseph
Cc: SJRRC; 
protectourwater@sbcglobal.net
Subject: DWR process letter 6-20-08 d.1

California Department of Water Resources
1416 Ninth Street
Sacramento CA 95814

Bret Wyckoff
Funding Area Coordinator
(916) 651-9283
bwyckoff@water.ca.gov

Joe Yun
Prop. 84 Standards
(916) 651-9222
jyun@water.ca.gov

Re: Process surrounding Prop. 84 funds

Date: June 20, 2008

Mr. Wyckoff and Mr. Yun,

Members of the public that have attended meetings of the Merced Area Groundwater Pool Interests (MAGPI) since MAGPI was formed are confused about the process surrounding Prop. 84 funds. Since March we have also attended Technical Working Group meetings (MAGPI-TWG), which did not clarify the confusion, either.

DWR staff member Tom Lutterman presented the June 16 MAGPI public hearing on a draft groundwater management plan for the Merced basin the information that the DWR “standards” for Prop. 84-funded grants are still in draft, and the DWR has not finalized either schedules for applications or proper protocols. Also, the members of the public present at both TWG meetings, which discussed the management plan, were under the impression from the last TWG meeting in May that the document was still a work in progress, only to be presented with a resolution at the June 16 MAGPI meeting to adopt it.
The public requests clarification on the process surrounding Prop. 84 grant funding and will require protocols for protesting proposals. The processes underway in Merced are so murky that they cause the perception of corruption.

Lydia Miller, President
San Joaquin Raptor Rescue Center
San Joaquin Raptor/Wildlife Rescue Center
P.O. Box 778
Merced, CA 95341
(209) 723-9283, ph. & fax
raptorctr@bigvalley.net
SJRRC@sbcglobal.net

—– Original Message —–
From: Hicham ElTal
To: Bill Hatch ; Brad Samuelson ; Charles Magneson ; Dean Marston ; Diana Westmorland-Pedrozo ; Greg Thompson ; Jean OKuyes ; Jeff Wright ; Jim Arsenio ; Joe Marcotte ; Joe Mitchell ; K. Rogina ; Lydia Miller ; Marsh Pitman ; Mary Furey ; Maureen K. McCorry ; Michelle Langmaid ; Mike Bettencourt ; Pat Ferrigno ; Sergio Jimenez ; Thomas C. Harmon ; ‘Bill Nicholson’ ; ‘Bob Kelley’ ; ‘Carol Bonin’ ; ‘Cindy Lashbrook’ ; ‘Clay Skinner’ ; ‘Connie Farris’ ; ‘Connie Payan’ ; ‘Danny Drumonde’ ; ‘Dave Hamm’ ; ‘Dave Tucker’ ; ‘David Bean’ ; ‘Eric Hong’ ; Garith Krause ; ‘Grant Davids’ ; ‘Greg Wellman’ ; ‘Jeff Mondloch’ ; ‘Jeff Palsgaard’ ; ‘Kellie Jacobs’ ; ‘Ken Robbins’ ; ‘Kole Upton’ ; ‘Nanda Gottiparthy P.E.’ ; ‘Pat Mize’ ; ‘Richard Warne’ ; Ted Selb ; ‘Tom Lutterman’ ; Dan Pope ; ‘Igawa, Ben’
Sent: Thursday, June 19, 2008 8:54 AM
Subject: FW: MAGPI

All,

FYI

Thanks

Hicham Eltal

From: David Bean [mailto:DBean@geomatrix.com]
Sent: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 10:04 AM
To: Hicham ElTal
Cc: Pat Ferrigno
Subject: RE: MAGPI
Hicham:
The MAGPI web site was modified on June 2, 2008 and links to Sections 1 – 8 were removed and replaced with links to the GWMP Text, Tables, Figures, and Appendices as shown below.
If the users are not seeing this, they may have a bookmark to the old page which no longer exits. The users simply need to hit the refresh button (F5) to update the page.
Dave

—– Original Message —–
From: Pat Ferrigno
To: “‘Hultgren Dairy’” 
Cc: “Lydia Miller” 
Sent: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 7:56 PM
Subject: RE: MAGPI

> Suzy: It works.

> Lydia: Go under the resources tab on the Merced ID site; you’ll find the
> text and appendices.

> pat
>
_____
>
> From: Hultgren Dairy [mailto:hultgren@clearwire.net]
> Sent: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 6:19 PM
> To: ‘Pat Ferrigno’
> Subject: RE: MAGPI

>
> Pat,
>
> Go to the merced id website and try that link. I don’t know if it will help
> or not. I’ve just always used the url and it worked. I’m not that techno
> savvy.
>
www.mercedid.org 
_____
>
> From: Pat Ferrigno
> Sent: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 5:19 PM
> To: ‘Hultgren Dairy’; Hicham Eltal
> Cc: Lydia Miller
> Subject: RE: MAGPI

> The page you tried to access does not exist on this server. This page may
> not exist due to the following reasons:
>
> 1. You are the owner of this web site and you have not uploaded (or
> incorrectly uploaded) your web site. For information on uploading your web
> site using FTP client software or web design software, click here for FTP
> Upload Information.
> 2. The URL that you have entered in your browser is incorrect. Please
> re-enter the URL and try again.
> 3. The Link that you clicked on incorrectly points to this page. Please
> contact the owner of this web site to inform them of this situation.
>
> Suzy and Hicham: I get the above message when I attempt to click on the
> GWMP Text Section. I can print only the maps and the charts and the TWG
> agenda; I have not seen this type of message before and cannot respond: 1.
> I’m not the owner of the web site and, when I pretended I was and clicked
> for the FTP Upload Information, it kicked me out; 2. If the URL is
> incorrect, it is the URL which is pointed to by the MAGPI webpage which is,
> presumably, what you used to get access; 3. So, I am assuming that the link
> gets corrupted for some reason.

> I saw Lydia Miller at EMRCD meeting today and she has the same
> limitation…but we are not on the same ISP so it is difficult to pinpoint
> difficulty.

> I will appreciate anything you can do to help. Hicham, if you are going to
> make CD’s, please let me know. I will pick one up on Thursday. I’m on a
> red-eye on Friday and would love to take this along as my reading material.

> Thanks,

> Pat Ferrigno
_____
>
> From: Hultgren Dairy [mailto:hultgren@clearwire.net]
> Sent: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 2:38 PM
> To: ‘Pat Ferrigno’
> Subject: RE: MAGPI

> Pat,
>
> Thanks for the note. I have tried to keep up with MAGPI. I am very
> interested in the process and the findings. Hicham did give a brief report
> to the board yesterday. Said that there was an extension to the time frame.

> I’m not sure I’m following your reference regarding an error message, but I
> was able to open all the documents on the website. Some are very small
> print, but I didn’t get that message on the water plan update. Are you
> referring to the “GWMP Text” section? I was able to open all those links.
>
> Let me know if I can be of any assistance. Thanks for keeping me on the
> list.
>
> Suzy

> _____
>
> From: Pat Ferrigno
> Sent: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 11:49 AM
> To: Suzy Hultgren
> Cc: Mike Bettencourt; ‘Sharon Dragovich’
> Subject: FW: MAGPI

> Suzy: Sorry I left you off distribution list yesterday. Mike asked me to
> send this to you; I’ll get you on our distribution lists (admittedly, a
> mixed blessing!).

> I don’t know how much chance you’ve had to get involved with MAGPI; Mike and
> I think it is important to this area so we will appreciate your keeping us
> in the loop. We are concerned that this is going to implode for this year
> and another year of planning will be lost!

> MRS meeting agenda should be out within two weeks.

> Pat Ferrigno
_____
>
> From: Pat Ferrigno
> Sent: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 12:12 PM
> To: Hicham Eltal (
heltal@mercedid.org)
> Cc: Mike Bettencourt; Jim Arsenio; ‘William Hatch’;
Diana Westmoreland Pedrozo; Lydia Miller);
> Alan.Reynold; Brian F. McLaughlin;
> frank anderson’; ‘Sharon Dragovich’
> Subject: MAGPI

> There seems to be a problem with MAGPI website re water plan update: tables
> and figures can be accessed; however, Sections 1-8 (Introduction through
> References) give message that “Line that you clicked on incorrectly points
> to this page. Please contact the owner of this web site to inform them of
> this situation.” This is a process issue which is going to totally screw up
> the timing issues which were discussed yesterday. Obviously, public review
> cannot start until the public can access the plan!

> When I received the MAGPI agenda on June 9, I responded to Cheryl Miller and
> asked “Do you recommend that we come in and review documents prior to the
> meeting?” I asked further if I could copy documents because of the
> difficulty in getting some of the farmers into the office. Never received
> an answer from Cheryl so I was especially surprised that there was a huge
> document under consideration; had I known that this document was under
> consideration we would have made greater efforts in obtaining a copy and I
> would have dragged more interested parties to the meeting. The delineation
> between surface water and ground water is academic; as was noted at the
> meeting yesterday, the long term agenda is for an integrated Ground and
> Surface Water plan and, as was also noted, MAGPI is/will be the signal
> bearer.

> Hicham, we have a long history of working with you and with the MID;
> admittedly we are new to MAGPI but I am not new to preparing for meetings or
> to downloading items from the internet. At a time when transparency in
> governmental affairs in Merced County and adherence to process is important,
> this is all very troublesome.

—– Original Message —–
From: Cheryl Miller
To: Ali Taghavi ; Art Godwin ; Ben Igawa ; Bill Nicholson ; Bob Kelley ; Carol Bonin ; Cindy Lashbrook ; Clay Skinner ; Connie Farris ; Connie Payan ; Danny Drumonde ; Dave Church ; Dave Hamm ; Dave Tucker ; David Bean ; Eric Hong ; Garith Krause ; Grant Davids ; Greg Wellman ; Hicham ElTal ; Jeff Mondloch ; Jeff Palsgaard ; Jon Kelsey ; Kellie Jacobs ; Ken Robbins ; Kole Upton ; Nanda Gottiparthy P.E. ; Pat Mize ; Paul Creighton ; Ron Dalforno ; Ted Selb ; Tom Lutterman
Sent: Monday, June 09, 2008 5:23 PM
Subject: 6/16 MAGPI Board Meeting

Attached please find the 6/16 agenda, resolution and 1/30/08 draft minutes. The 2/20/08 minutes are still under preparation and will be forwarded upon completion.
Thank you.
C
Cheryl A. Miller

—– Original Message —–
From: Cheryl Miller
To: Bill Hatch ; Brad Samuelson ; Charles Magneson ; Dean Marston ; Diana Westmorland-Pedrozo ; Greg Thompson ; Jean OKuyes ; Jeff Wright ; Jim Arsenio ; Joe Marcotte ; Joe Mitchell ; K. Rogina ; Lydia Miller ; Marsh Pitman ; Mary Furey ; Maureen K. McCorry ; Michelle Langmaid ; Mike Bettencourt ; Pat Ferrigno ; Sergio Jimenez ; Thomas C. Harmon
Cc: Hicham ElTal
Sent: Monday, June 09, 2008 5:24 PM
Subject: 6/16 MAGPI Board Agenda

Attached is the agenda for the upcoming MAGPI Board meeting.
Cheryl A. Miller

—– Original Message —–
From: Cheryl Miller
To: Ali Taghavi ; Art Godwin ; Ben Igawa ; Bill Nicholson ; Bob Kelley ; Carol Bonin ; Cindy Lashbrook ; Clay Skinner ; Cliff Reese ; Connie Farris ; Connie Payan ; Danny Drumonde ; Dave Church ; Dave Hamm ; Dave Tucker ; David Bean ; Eric Hong ; Garith Krause ; Grant Davids ; Greg Wellman ; Hicham ElTal ; Jeff Mondloch ; Jeff Palsgaard ; Jon Kelsey ; Kellie Jacobs ; Ken Robbins ; Kole Upton ; Nanda Gottiparthy P.E. ; Pat Mize ; Paul Creighton ; Ron Dalforno ; Ted Selb ; Tom Lutterman
Cc: Bill Hatch ; Brad Samuelson ; Charles Magneson ; Dean Marston ; Diana Westmorland-Pedrozo ; Greg Thompson ; Jean OKuyes ; Jeff Wright ; Jim Arsenio ; Joe Marcotte ; Joe Mitchell ; K. Rogina ; Lydia Miller ; Marsh Pitman ; Mary Furey ; Maureen K. McCorry ; Michelle Langmaid ; Mike Bettencourt ; Pat Ferrigno ; Sergio Jimenez ; Steve Burke ; Thomas C. Harmon
Sent: Wednesday, May 28, 2008 11:00 AM
Subject: MAGPI Board Meeting 6/16 2:00 P.M.

MAGPI Board Members –

The June 5 MAGPI Board meeting had to be rescheduled to accommodate Water Code publication requirements. The new date is as follows.

MAGPI Board meeting Monday, June 16 at 2:00 P.M. in the MID Executive Conference Rm.

An agenda will be forwarded under separate email.

Thank you.
Cheryl

—– Original Message —–
From: Cheryl Miller
To: David Bean ; Ken Robbins ; Bob Kelley ; Dave Tucker ; Cindy Lashbrook ; Johnnie Baptista ; Kole Upton ; Ali Taghavi ; Grant Davids
Cc: Hicham ElTal ; Brigid Ferrari
Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2008 4:29 PM
Subject: MAGPI Board Meeting

It is necessary to reschedule the upcoming MAGPI Board meeting formerly planned for Tuesday, 5/27. Please respond with your availability at 2:00 P.M. for the dates below. June 4th and 5th would be preferred to remain in line with the current schedule. We will advise a firm date upon receipt of all responses.
Thank you.

Wednesday, June 4
Thursday, June 5
Monday, June 9

Cheryl A. Miller

—– Original Message —–
From: David Bean
To: 
Anguloj@cityofmerced.org ; wildcatkel@onemain.com ;foursea@clearwire.net ; constancef@cosmostic.net ;TuckerD@cityofmerced.org ; Grant Davids ; Hicham ElTal ;johnniesandra@comcast.net ; jpalsgaard@co.merced.ca.us ; Kole Upton ;SJRRC@sbcglobal.net ; preinero@mercedid.org ;protectourwater@sbcglobal.net ; sjvc@bigvalley.net ; Ted Selb ;tjl@water.ca.gov
Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2008 3:30 PM
Subject: DRAFT Agenda for May 13, 2008 GWMP TWG Meeting

GWMP TWG Members:
Please find attached a DRAFT Agenda for the next GWMP TWG meeting on MAY 13, 2008 at the MID office at 2:00.
During the March meeting we reviewed:
Section 1 – Introduction
Section 2 – Groundwater Management Plan Process
Section 5 – Goals and Basin Management Objectives
During the April meeting we reviewed:
Section 3 – Existing Groundwater Conditions and
Section 6 – Groundwater Management Plan Elements
Your comments/suggestions received during these meetings have been incorporated into the Text.
As they were updated, we posted these DRAFT Sections of the GWMP to the MAPGI website: MAGPI-GW.org - Home
During the May meeting we will be reviewing the last two Sections of the GWMP:

—– Original Message —–
From: David Bean
To: 
wildcatkel@onemain.com ; foursea@clearwire.net ;constancef@cosmostic.net ; TuckerD@cityofmerced.org ; Grant Davids ; Hicham ElTal ; johnniesandra@comcast.net ; jpalsgaard@co.merced.ca.us; Kole Upton ; SJRRC@sbcglobal.net ; preinero@mercedid.org ;protectourwater@sbcglobal.net ; sjvc@bigvalley.net ; Ted Selb ;tjl@water.ca.gov
Sent: Monday, April 21, 2008 5:10 PM
Subject: DRAFT Agenda for April 22, 2008 GWMP TWG Meeting

GWMP TWG Members:

Please find attached a DRAFT Agenda for tomorrow’s GWMP TWG meeting at the MID office at 2:00.
I will also have DRAFT text handouts for review as well as a PowerPoint presentation of DRAFT Figures.

I look forward to seeing tomorrow.

—– Original Message —–
From: David Bean
To: 
SJRRC@sbcglobal.net
Cc: 
wildcatkel@onemain.com ; foursea@clearwire.net ;constancef@cosmostic.net ; TuckerD@cityofmerced.org ; Grant Davids ; Hicham ElTal ; johnniesandra@comcast.net ; jpalsgaard@co.merced.ca.us; Kole Upton ; SJRRC@sbcglobal.net ; preinero@mercedid.org ;protectourwater@sbcglobal.net ; Sandy Masters (Business Fax) ; Ted Selb ; tjl@water.ca.gov
Sent: Monday, April 21, 2008 4:07 PM
Subject: RE: MAGPI TWG response 4-19-08

Hi Lydia:

I would like to apologize for failing to add you to my MAGPI TWG mailing list; I though I had included everybody who attended the first TWG. I have added you to my list.
Due to several last minute schedule conflicts, I had to cancel last week’s TWG meeting. The TWG meeting has been rescheduled for tomorrow Tuesday April 22, 2008 at 2:00 at the MID office.
The TWG meeting will be our second meeting, so as luck would have it, you have not missed anything.

Regards
Dave

From: SJRRC [mailto:sjrrc@sbcglobal.net]
Sent: Monday, April 21, 2008 3:59 PM
To: Hicham Eltal
Cc: wildcatkel@onemain.com; Cindy Lashbrook; constancef@cosmostic.net; TuckerD@cityofmerced.org; johnniesandra@comcast.net; jpalsgaard@co.merced.ca.us; Kole Upton; preinero@mercedid.org; Ted Selb; tjl@water.ca.gov; SJRRC; San Joaquin Valley Conservancy; protectourwater@sbcglobal.net; William Hatch; David Bean
Subject: Fw: MAGPI TWG response 4-19-08
Importance: High

Hicham,

We were not informed either of the April 15 TWG meeting or of its cancellation until today. We are unaware of the “weekly” meetings that were purported to have taken place between the first meeting and the scheduled April 22 meeting. It was clearly understood by the TWG committee that San Joaquin Raptor Center, Protect Our Water (POW) and the San Joaquin Valley Conservancy, having been asked in the February MAGPI meeting to attend, did attend the first TAC meeting and did express a firm commitment to continue to attend TWG meetings.

Nevertheless, the present collection of special interests and their consultants have demonstrated to us that they cannot perform a transparent, open process if their water, their public grant funds and livelihoods depended on it.

We are requesting to know the time and place of the meeting and we request materials for the meeting by the end of this afternoon.

Lydia Miller, President
San Joaquin Raptor/Wildlife Rescue Center
P.O. Box 778
Merced, CA 95341
(209) 723-9283, ph. & fax
raptorctr@bigvalley.net
SJRRC@sbcglobal.net

—– Original Message —–
From: David Bean
To: 
wildcatkel@onemain.com ; foursea@clearwire.net ;constancef@cosmostic.net ; TuckerD@cityofmerced.org ; Grant Davids ; Hicham ElTal ; johnniesandra@comcast.net ; jpalsgaard@co.merced.ca.us; Kole Upton ; preinero@mercedid.org ; Ted Selb ; tjl@water.ca.gov
Sent: Monday, April 14, 2008 2:57 PM
Subject: April TWG Meeting Postponed

Dear TWG Members:

Due to several schedule conflicts, the TWG meeting scheduled for Tuesday April 15th has been postponed.
I’m sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you. I propose we re-schedule for Tuesday April 22nd. Please let me know if this is acceptable to you.

Regards
Dave

—– Original Message —–
From: David Bean
To: 
wildcatkel@onemain.com ; foursea@clearwire.net ;constancef@cosmostic.net ; TuckerD@cityofmerced.org ; Grant Davids ; Hicham ElTal ; johnniesandra@comcast.net ; jpalsgaard@co.merced.ca.us; Kole Upton ; preinero@mercedid.org ; Ted Selb ; tjl@water.ca.gov
Sent: Friday, March 07, 2008 6:00 PM
Subject: MAGPI Groundwater Managment Plan Technical Working Group

Greetings:

You have expressed interest in participating on the MAGPI Groundwater Management Plan Update Technical Working Group.

Our first meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, March 11, 2008 at 1:30 pm at the MID large conference room.
A meeting Agenda and DRAFT Sections 1 – 3 of the Groundwater Management Plan are attached for your review prior to the meeting.
I look forward to working with you and receiving your input on the Groundwater Management Plan Update.

Regards
Dave

—– Original Message —–
From: Cheryl Miller
To: Ali Taghavi ; Art Godwin ; Ben Igawa ; Bill Nicholson ; Bob Kelley ; Carol Bonin ; Cindy Lashbrook ; Clay Skinner ; Cliff Reese ; Connie Farris ; Connie Payan ; Dave Church ; Dave Hamm ; Dave Tucker ; David Bean ; David Block ; Eric Hong ; Garith Krause ; Grant Davids ; Greg Wellman ; Hicham ElTal ; Jeff Mondloch ; Jeff Palsgaard ; Jon Kelsey ; Kellie Jacobs ; Ken Robbins ; Kole Upton ; Merquin County W.D. ; Nanda Gottiparthy P.E. ; Pat Mize ; Paul Creighton ; Ron Dalforno ; Ted Selb ; Tom Lutterman ; Bill Hatch ; Brad Samuelson ; Charles Magneson ; Dean Marston ; Diana Westmorland-Pedrozo ; Greg Thompson ; Jean OKuyes ; Jeff Wright ; Joe Marcotte ; Joe Mitchell ; K. Rogina ; Lydia Miller ; Marsh Pitman ; Mary Furey ; Maureen K. McCorry ; Michelle Langmaid ; Sergio Jimenez ; Steve Burke ; Thomas C. Harmon
Sent: Friday, February 15, 2008 1:31 PM
Subject: MAGPI 022008 Agenda.doc

Attached is the agenda for the upcoming MAGPI Board meeting on Wednesday, February 20.
Cheryl

—– Original Message —–
From: Cheryl Miller
To: Ali Taghavi ; Art Godwin ; Ben Igawa ; Bill Nicholson ; Bob Kelley ; Carol Bonin ; Cindy Lashbrook ; Clay Skinner ; Cliff Reese ; Connie Farris ; Connie Payan ; Dave Church ; Dave Hamm ; Dave Tucker ; David Bean ; David Block ; Eric Hong ; Garith Krause ; Grant Davids ; Greg Wellman ; Hicham ElTal ; Jeff Marchini ; Jeff Mondloch ; Jeff Palsgaard ; Jon Kelsey ; Kellie Jacobs ; Ken Robbins ; Merquin County W.D. ; Nanda Gottiparthy P.E. ; Pat Mize ; Paul Creighton ; Ron Dalforno ; Ted Selb ; Tom Lutterman ; Bill Hatch ; Brad Samuelson ; Charles Magneson ; Dean Marston ; Diana Westmorland-Pedrozo ; Gwen Huff ; Jeff Wright ; Joe Marcotte ; Joe Mitchell ; K. Rogina ; Lydia Miller ; Marsh Pitman ; Mary Furey ; Michelle Langmaid ; Sergio Jimenez ; Steve Burke ; Thomas C. Harmon
Sent: Friday, January 25, 2008 4:57 PM
Subject: MAGPI 013008 Agenda

Ladies & Gentlemen -
Atached is the agenda for the upcoming MAGPI Board meeting on January 30, 2008.
Cheryl A. Miller

—– Original Message —–
From: Cheryl Miller
To: Bill Hatch ; Brad Samuelson ; Charles Magneson ; Dean Marston ; Diana Westmorland-Pedrozo ; Gwen Huff ; Jeff Wright ; Joe Marcotte ; Joe Mitchell ; K. Rogina ; Lydia Miller ; Marsh Pitman ; Mary Furey ; Michelle Langmaid ; Sergio Jimenez ; Steve Burke ; Thomas C. Harmon
Cc: Ted Selb
Sent: Friday, December 07, 2007 5:54 PM
Subject: MAGPI 12/12/07 Agenda

Dear MAGPI BAP member -
Attached is the agenda for the upcoming MAGPI Board meeting on Wednesday, December 12.
Cheryl

 

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Merced City Council, Aug. 4, 2014: change orders and contingencies

Submitted: Aug 25, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

The city council, like most legislative bodies, includes a number of items early in its agenda that are voted on together. It is called the "consent calendar" and items may be removed from it for individual attention. Councilman Mike Murphy asked that Item 8, a staff recommendation that the council accept a bid from a Fresno construction company to build a new laboratory building at  the city wastewater treatment facility, be removed for council discussion. After noting that "it is great that we have one of the bidders coming in 10 percent lower than the other two," Councilman Murphy objected specifically to the contract allowing a 25-percent increase for change orders on the authority of the city manager alone without council deliberation. Murphy thought 10 percent was good enough, noting that a $450,000 contingency fund was also included in the contract.

 Read More »
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Making a graph of stupidity and UC grant whoring

Submitted: Aug 22, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 “We can’t manage what we don’t measure,” he said. “We’ve been putting a lot of efforts in developing intelligent infrastructure that will develop better information and lead to better decision-making.”

 

What is wrong with this statement?

1) It is historically absurd. Human beings have managed quite well without  "intelligent infrastructure."  But, of course, UC professors believe that real management of human affairs begins with measurements precise enough to build, launch and trigger the nuclear weapons for which UC is so famous.

 Read More »
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What's the price of city water for the Safeway water-bottling plant in a drought?

Submitted: Aug 17, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 The Badlands Journal editorial board were thinking about water on Saturday because of the big water-bond, unanimous-minus-one vote in the Legislature last week. And other things as well, like Steve Sloan and Steve Smith's sale of 26,000 acre feet of groundwater from under their adjoining properties on the west side of the county for at least $13 million to Del Puerto Water District in Stanislaus County. Pretty slick deal for the publicly spirited Sloan, who served as the chairman of the Merced County Planning Commission during the real estate boom. We laughed at  the outrage on display in the county Board of Supervisors' chambers by most of his former political cronies, except westside Supervisor Jerry O'Banion, 67, reelected without opposition in June to his seventh term, the present chairman of the board. It was O'Banion that appointed Sloan to the planning commission.

 

 Read More »
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Introducing... The Fabulous Klugoza

Submitted: Aug 16, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

      

“With Dennis and Scott — a bipartisan team of former congressmen — at the helm … Foley will offer our business clients the comprehensive strategic and legal counsel needed on the myriad of complex public policy and regulatory issues that they face,” said David T. Ralston, Jr., chair of Foley's government and public policy practice, in a statement.-- Megan Wilson, thehill.com, Feb. 6, 2014

 Read More »
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We're not into necrophilia, but thanks for thinking of us

Submitted: Aug 14, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 In the last several weeks, a member of the Badlands Journal editorial board has received 88 emails from various appendages of the Democratic Party, from Congressional candidate Amanda "Cotton Queen" Renteria (collecting on her fine work on the latest Farm Bill, which guaran-damn-tees agribusiness income if they buy the right insurance from the insurance industry) all the way past Steve Israel (aptly named chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, to be renamed "Friends of Israel" in honor of the latest act of genocide in Gaza), and from both the President and the Vice President (about whom the less said the better).

Each email announces another grave emergency to the very life of the Democratic Party and suggests, cajols, orders and demands that our editor pay the minimal sum of five dollars to avoid the collapse ... of what?

The Democratic Party?

 Read More »
| »

Naomi Klein draws a bead on TNC

Submitted: Aug 05, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 The Nature Conservancy “has just lost its moral compass,” said Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, a group that works extensively on endangered species. “The very idea of oil drilling inside a reserve is utterly wrong, and it’s especially disturbing in this case because the Attwater’s prairie chicken is one of the most endangered species in the entire country. It could very well be the next species to go extinct in the United States.” -- Justin Gillis, New York Times, Aug. 3, 2014

 

 Read More »
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How m any Israeli civilians have been killed by Hamas rockets?

Submitted: Aug 04, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 We thought it might be interesting to try to find the answer to the question since our government is paying for the continuing slaughter of civilians in Gaza who cannot afford  lobby groups as rich, powerful and corrupting as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the infamous AIPAC and the American arms manufacturers. 

According to the reliable televised report this morning we could find, the number of Israeli civilians killed by Hamas rockets from Gaza hovers in the low single figures, at three.  More than 1,800 Palestinians have been killed.

In an era when economic and diplomatic forces not favorable to the US  are changing the geopolitical map -- Berlin-Beijing Railway, Russian-Chinese energy agreements, the new BRICS development bank independent of the IMF, the World bank and the US dollar, and Mercasur and other alliances in Latin America, for starters -- our government is supporting Nazis tryinng to commit genocide in the Ukraine and Zionists trying harder to commit genocide in Gaza. In fact, wherever you look, our only foreign policy seems to be force. One quarter of our total number of embassies do not have ambassadors and the two parties of belligerent brats in Congress do not seem to care. 

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Bentonville blunderbuss* fires again

Submitted: Aug 03, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Blunderbuss: an 18th-century flint-lock, flaired barrel large caliber shotgun or pistol -- the original sawed off shotgun -- eds.

We begin by saying we hold Richard McCormack and his newsletter, Manufacturing & Technology News, in high regard for its steadfast and lonely struggle on behalf of American manufacturers as opposed to foreign manufacturers and American companies who have off-shored their manufacturing operations. In this battle, McCormack stands for the American manufacturing tradition, both owners and the skilled workers who have almost been totally eliminated from the American workforce by lower, off-shore labor costs. Locally, we recall a young manufacturer in Northern California who shut down his lathe-manufacturing factory, the last such shop left in the country, he and others said at the time.

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New possibility for labor in the orchards of today and tomorrow

Submitted: Aug 02, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 One of the great advantages to farming almonds and other nut trees has always been the small amount of hand labor required relative to the former preferred monocrop: cling peaches. If anyone does any real work on almond orchards, it has been the bees. But, as we know, those busy workers are themselves in short supply these days.

This situation may open up new horizons of hand labor in the orchards of today. -- blj

 Read More »
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