For us to become literate in the present California water dilemma, in addition to reading all the "California Drought" stories in the press, we should devote a certain amount of attention to the topic of "Water Bills," those statements of special interests and political ambition upon which members of the state Legislature and Congress vote.Read More »
We haven't found much in the press that mirrors our own view of the drought. We see that it is the third or the second or the whatever-worst drought in a long time. We see the drought is inflicting economic pain. We see the political games being played to extract more water from the Delta for farmers on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley -- whose farms are rapidly salting up with heavy metals. We are wondering if the new Farm Bill will deliver more or less funds to impacted farmers and agribusinesses. We hope this additional stress will not inflict too much more pain on the Honey bee population. We see wells being drilled deeper and deeper everywhere in the Valley and foothills.Read More »
Almonds, dairy products, table grapes, oranges, lemons, cotton, pistachios, beef, melons, raisins, pomegranates, and agricultural and oil-drilling related manufacturing are major exports from the south San Joaquin Valley CA district of Rep. Kevin McCarthy, "Scourge of the Import-Export Bank," R-Bakersfield.
But McCarthy, now in third position in Republican House leadership aches with ambition to be the Number One Numbnut Knucklehead Teabagger Ideologist of Them All, leaving them Wisconsin pretenders in the dust. Therefore, having once had the sense of his own district, he now votes against the Import-Export Bank, which, particularly in the case of the small businesses, makes exporting possible with some assurance of getting paid.Read More »
Merced City Council, Aug. 4, 2014
Item #10 on Consent Calendar would authorize staff to prepare a lease to UC Merced and others for 5,951 square feet of office space in the Parcade office/parking complex next to City Hall for a dollar a year for 10 years.
There were some deferential questions from council members which were met by a steady stream of impenetrable, uninformative "presentation," which we have nicknamed "boosterbabble," from city and UC Merced staff. Mainly they were talking about the deep social need for installing UC and small business sponsored business "incubator" and "accelerator" and "UC administration" space, in one of the deadest commercial spacess on the downtown landscape: the Parcade.Read More »
Or as we sometimes say, "Das Kaganreich des Nulands." However you spell it, here in the Valley, even Ukrainian Nazi militia, backed by American neocon elites, can be a cause for whining. -- blj
Voice of America
US Almond Growers Feel Impact of Russian Import LimitsRead More »
One of our eastcoast editors sent this insightful article about the political economy of the Sacred Nut that appeared in The Atlantic, from Boston. We were intrigued by the literate good sense of the author, James Hamblin, MD, so included some other titles from his recent work at the bottom.
Enjoy Spanish Marcona almonds -- blj
The AtlanticRead More »
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.Read More »
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 »
“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 »
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.
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