Merced City Council Meeting, December 1, 2014: A UC Merced student lectures the Council

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

 

 

Uh, sorry about that, I didn't know we were going to jump into public comment so fast ... My name is Peter Howell, I'm here to talk to the city council, mayor, and actually, most specifically to the city manager, Mr. Bramble. Uh, Mr. Bramble, if I could have your attention, sir -- sorry about that -- uh, thanks, OK, sorry about that (waving a baseball hat crumpled in his right hand, body language exaggerated as if he thinks he's speaking to people who don't speak his lingo). Mostly this was about the decision to -- I have three things I have to talk about, mostly city-management issues I believe -- The first is kinda the most controversial I guess, the one the people are the most passionate about, the benching being removed from umm, Bob Hart Square. Ummm, I think that in the future the city council should try and find ways to solve the actual problem that we're experiencing, the homeless problem, as opposed to -- as other people have touched on tonight -- moving it from one place to another,. Umm, there's, there's definitely research. If you want to come out to the UC you could definitely contact a couple of scholars and we could point you in the direction of some other cities that have had very successful homeless-abatement programs through support, actual support of the homeless as opposed to targeting them. Like we've seen on Bear Creek, umm run them out rather than giving them an actual place to say, umm, I think that umm some people have the perception that Merced is soft on homelessness and that's why we have homeless people here and I think homelessness is a problem all over California -- whatever town you go into -- and just acting like it's a problem we should have to deal with, that it's oh, something, whatever, that we can just push it somewhere else I don't think that's the right way to go about it.

Emmm,. the second thing is, I really wish you would go around in some of the northern neighborhoods and eh, remove some of the stop signs that are just completely pointless, for a lot of citizens that live up there that just amounts to basically a waste of gas everyday uh I am a student I am starting my own business, money, gas is pretty important to me if I have a truck loaded down with kegs and I have to stop at six stop signs to get through the neighborhood, uh, it actually affects my gas, so if we could go like north of M Street and just turn some of those T intersections into just straight through it would be really helpful, ah, and I think that's something you guys should have addressed already since those houses haven't been build for several years. I don't know why I have to come up here as a 23-year-old kid and tell you that, hey, there's no houses built there so we should fix that area ummm and then lastly

I think that the bike path on Bellevue um or just really the bike side lane really needs to be fixed. We have serious trucks using that road um like big 16-wheelers carrying construction equipment and we also have the CatTrack buses using that area and those buses go 50 miles an hour 55 miles an hour and people are biking right there. We have the new law that people have to give three feet of space and realistically that's almost impossible for cars to pass so what you have is some responsible drivers slowing down so these can pass at a safe speed and distance and there are other people just buzzing by bikers and some people use that for skateboarding. Is it going to take a UC student dying before the City fixes that part of the road or, I mean I'm going to go to the County Board of Supervisors meeting tomorrow, I believe it's tomorrow and say the same thing, Part of that road is in the county, part of it is in the city, um, I think that is really something we need to address as the UC continues to grow that risk is just continuing to be there and getting bigger and bigger and it's something like ... and M Street is the same thing, you have people going 49 miles an hour next to cyclists and theoretically  uh kids could be biking to school at uh 8 a.m. and you don't know who's going to be out on the road. Is it going to take somebody actually getting hit by a car to fix our streets?

Sorry, this was like an overly negative address to the City Council, but uh it's kinda been bugging me for awhile I was gunna come in a couple of weeks ago and bring up some of this stuff hmm but uh high speed rail uh figured it wasn't the right time. So, um, anyway, I appreciate that you guys do a lot of hard work but I just wish that uh maybe you'd be a little more proactive about some of this stuff and uh search for 21st Century responses to some of the problems that we're having uh. Alright. Thank you.

 

 

| »

It's Yoo, don't UC?

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

 

With the release last week of the heavily redacted 500-page executive summary of the US Senate Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation, the name John Yoo has surfaced again. Yoo, as you remember, was one of two assistant US attorneys general who drafted the infamous "torture memos," (1)which legally justified the use of "enhanced interrogation" techniques employed against al Qaeda, Taliban, Pashtuns, and assorted Iraqis and others captured in the maniacal US "war on terror" still raging on.

Yoo's narrow view of what constitutes torture is inversely proportional to his view of the powers of the president. (2)

 Read More »
| »

The two voices of California agriculture: Bragging and Whining

Submitted: Dec 10, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Although these "articles" appear in mainstreem media outlets. their true audience is state and federal politicians, agencies and, in general, any public source of funding and any regulator who can be bought, rented or silenced. With the passage of state legislation to begin the process of regulation of groundwater, California agribusiness flakmeisters will be concocting tales of wonder and tales of woe about agricultural forever, as usual, when some public concern slightly impedes the forward march of their commodities' careers in the market. -- blj

 

 

 Read More »
| »

Merced County Board of Supervisors in their own words: Water Update, October 21, 2014

Submitted: Dec 06, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Once again and despite the severe drought, our supervisors are out of their depth. They have responded to the groundwater crisis like a concussed, four-man defensive line.

Reference: AB 1739: Groundwater Management, Dickinson, Chaptered Sept. 16, 2014. http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=2013... -- blj

###

 

 

Present: Chairman Gerry O'Banion, supervisors Hub Walsh, Lynn Davis and John Pedrozo. Absent: Supervisor Deidre Kelsey.

 

 Read More »
| »

Unclogged with either denial or hustle

Submitted: Nov 30, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

  

Sometimes, we hope we are honest enough to admit, we are struck speechless by just how incapable our "elected" bought-and-sold government is to lead, leaving the comprehension of the situation to the ordinary citizen, who has a bunch of other more immediate matters on her mind. And it's rare to find anything written or broadcast that gives us the real hope only a piece of thought unclogged with denial and hustle can bring.

 Read More »
| »

"Buffalo likes Bergman"

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

 News of the recent extreme snowfall in Buffalo reminded one member of the Badlands editorial board and former resident of Buffalo of an hour in the early 1970's he once spent in a neighborhood tavern near the intersection of Delavan and Delaware avenues in that city.  He related that when he entered the tavern, about 8 p.m., snow was already nearly to the window sills. The group at the bar was talking movies, specifically those of the Swedish director,  Ingmar Bergman. This was not a crowd of university film majors, just ordinary working men in the predominantly Italian neighborhood. He became fascinated by their encyclopedic knowledge of the films as they went on and on describing to each other scene after scene.  At one point, he  asked what they thought of Fellini.

 Read More »
| »

Merced City Council notes, 11-17-14

Submitted: Nov 18, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Monday night's Merced City Council meeting featured two "presentations" ("reports" carry more legal heft: from Police Chief Norm Andrade and Director of Economic Development, Frank Quintero.

Chief Andrade emphasized that although the force has lost manpower and has had to place remaining personnel primarily in enforcement rather than outreach and prevention, Merced police officers remain highly trained and professional. He and some council members agreed that the city must commit to increasing funding to increase manpower. As for all that great technology out there for sale to police forces today, Andrade expressed the opinion that "the toys" still needed officers to use them.

Mayor Stan Thurston commented that the city ought to commit to funding at least one more officer every year for awhile.

 Read More »
| »

Probably not a surprise in Oildale or Taft bars

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

 Not only are fracking economics "dys-economic" (1) but the process -- it can be revealed now for some reason -- is most harmful to the health of its own workers. The great boom in employment promised by all the promoters of this technology, toxic above and below ground, apparently comes at a high price...to the workers.

Note:

(1) "Wells run dry for frackers," Badlands Journal, Nov. 5, 2014

 

 

 Read More »
| »

Heads up for Tree Cities USA

Submitted: Nov 13, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 When they were planting the Urban Forest, did they ever imagine a really severe drought?

11-12-14

Ukiah Daily Journal

Heads up for Tree Cities USA

Trees may need extra care, officials say

 Read More »
| »

BIA's pathetic old tune

Submitted: Nov 12, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 In a puff piece about Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, R-Modesto, leader of the Assembly minority party, Dave Cogdill Sr. had this to say about one of the best laws in the nation for protecting natural resources and the human environment.

 

 

 Read More »
| »

More Articles-->

To manage site Login