Blogs

Now bring forth the invisible finger of the free market to tickle the belly of the drought for profits

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

 The "politicization" of the drought "could be the inflection point" that gets investors serious about water, says Simon Gottelier of Impax Asset Management in London, which specializes in environmental investing. Kathleen Pender, SF Chronicle, March 15, 2014

 

You betcha! -- blj

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Legacy of hypocrisy

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

 Anyone who has any illusion that Merced County government is capable of self-reform should meditate on the passages in bold red letters below, including  rank hypocritical utterance hurled by a politically wounded county supervisor against the vices that breed like little mices in the County Temple of Misfeasance,  Malfeasance and Nonfeasance on the corner of M and 23rd streets in Merced CA.  

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City of Merced tries to bulldog Hostetler

Submitted: Feb 28, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Last year Greg Hostetler, doing business as Baxter Ranch, graded and filled the floodplain of Fahrens Creek upstream from Fahrens Park, putting several hundred homes downstream in danger of flooding the next time we have a wet winter in Merced. It is not the first time Hostetler has ignored environmental or public health and safety regulations and dickered for the amount of fines with whatever agencies dare to confront him after the fact. Mr. Hostetler belongs to the “Sin now, ask for forgiveness later” School of Business.

Hostetler, whether doing business as Baxter Ranch or as any of his other corporations, (1) seems to have a grudge against Fahrens Creek. His graders crossed it repeatedly preparing land for development near the Merced County Club during the height of the building boom. and he planted an almond orchard around it near the new El Capitan High School on G Street two or three years ago. The wells he installed for that orchard have been drying up domestic wells in the posh, unincorporated County Club section. Hostetler is a persona non grata to some residents of Poshville.

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Best drought article yet

Submitted: Feb 24, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

And he did it all without once quoting the dreary professoriate.

George Skelton of the Los Angeles Times is a state treasure. He writes as well about the water wars as he does about the Calderon clan, addicts on the "mother's milk of politics,"  and sponsors of our own Assemblyman Adam Gray, $-Merced. --blj

 

2-19-14

Los Angeles Times

 

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More measurement gadgets!

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

 We are absolutely delighted that the EPA is launching a NEW TOOL “to Estimate Emissions Benefits of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Policies‏.” We also see it as yet another example that great profit center so frequently touted as a reason for our own “public research university” in Merced – “high-tech/bio-tech engine a’ growth,” as the UC executives put it. In this arena, there seems to be a potent mixture of public funds, regulatory non-enforcement, and university research-for-(economic) growth.

The San Joaquin Valley public, concerned in this drought year for its collective human respiratory system – not to mention pets and livestock – don’t, and let us repeat this strenuously, DON’T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT NEW MEASUREMENT TOOLS.

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What if ...?

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

 What if President Obama had gotten his speeches mixed up and mentioned in Los Banos Friday that he thought the top priorities for Congress should be “increasing the minimum wage and overhauling the immigration system” while telling the participants in a House Democrats retreat the day before: "California is our biggest economy. California is our biggest agricultural producer, so what happens (there) matters to every working American, right down to the cost of food that you put on your table," therefore we must spend whatever it takes to subsidize California agribusiness losses because there is almost no water to subsidize this year and America would collapse without Westlands Water District.  -- blj

 

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Miracle that won't happen

Submitted: Feb 15, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 But what god would care to come down to the Valley to turn wine into water? -- blj

 

2-15-14

Yahoonews.com

Calif. wine-grape growers celebrate bumper crop

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The UC Merced water-measurement racket

Submitted: Feb 11, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

With the climate warming and snow levels climbing higher, at least $100 million needs to be invested in more precise snow measurement, said engineering professor Roger Bales of the University of California at Merced.

Bales is director of the university's Sierra Nevada Research Institute, which has been experimenting on better snow measurement for years.

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

Submitted: Feb 09, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

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. 

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