Journalism

It needs a guest geographer

Submitted: Jun 28, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

6-26-12

The San Francisco Appeal

To SF, From Modesto: Water Supply Plan Up For Vote
by Bay City Newshttp://sfappeal.com/news/2012/06/to-sf-from-modesto-water-supply-plan-up-for-vote.php


A part of San Francisco's future water supply that would be sourced from Modesto County hangs in the balance as water district officials there consider concerns raised by local farmers about selling water to San Francisco.

About The San Francisco Appeal
The San Francisco Appeal Is
Editor and Publisher Eve Batey
Movies Laura Hooper Beck
Culture Alex Bigman
Tenant Troubles Dave Crow
Creative Director Tim Ehhalt
Dance Becca Klarin
Movies Rain Jokinen
Music Hunter Mulich
City Hall Chris Roberts
Food Anna Sarpieri
Staff Writer April Siese

 


Guest Contributors
Culture MiHi Ahn
Lady News Katie Baker
Transit Matt Baume
Columnist Violet Blue
Sex Christine Borden
Graphic Journalist Susie Cagle
Theater Richard Ciccarone
Music Corey Denis
Culture Wendy Hill
Columnist Babe Scanlon
Columnist Beth Spotswood


 

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Why is scientific expertise being muzzled in America?

Submitted: Apr 25, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

We are only as good as our questions. -- Lloyd Carter

4-25-12

Chronicles of the Hydraulic Brotherhood

Cowardice at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Lloyd Carter

http://www.lloydgcarter.com/

In my nearly 30 years covering pollution issues at National Wildlife Refuges, I have come across several courageous field level employees of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and a few cowards in management positions, managers who are afraid of politicians, polluters, and their own shadows. A good example is the debacle at the Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge in the early 1980s, where toxic selenium-tainted agricultural waste water from the Westlands Water District polluted the food chain in evaporation ponds at the Merced County "refuge," a supposed haven for migratory ducks and birds, triggering deformities and reproductive failure. There were heroes like biologist Felix Smith - who leaked the Kesterson findings to Fresno Bee reporter Deborah Blum, and there were cowards in the Portland regional office who participated in a cover-up to delay release of the Kesterson findings.

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Queen of the game cocks muddles on

Submitted: Apr 12, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

We were outraged to read in our humorless, self-righteous local McClatchy tabloid that our favorite local politician, the indominable Cindy Lashbrook had fallen afoul of the state Fair Political Practices Commission. Actually, a little investigation reviewed that this was not her first offense. But that's just chicken feathers to us. We believe and hereby publicly submit to the commission that former-Merced County Planning Commissioner/staff for-East Merced  Resource Consevation District/EMRCD board member/former staff for Merced River Alliance/humble blueberry grower who testified before Congress she was "just looking for a niche"/simple river landowner of Riverdance Farm/promoter of annual Riverdance Fair/agricultural consultant dba Four Seasons/former representative of Merced Alliance for Responsible Growth (some of them sued WalMart)/board member of state Community Alliance with Family Farmers/board member of California Certified Organic Farmers, advisor to the county Farm Bureau, and even represents the Asthma Coalition Cindy Lashbrook should be exempt from any requirements for holding public office in the state of California because she has provided a grateful public with so much genuine amusement. Instead, the FPPC fined her on three separate occasions, ranging from $200 to $600 to $2,500 for her serially comedic approach to law and regulation -- such a charming outlook in a public official.

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Trouble at Bobcatflak Central

Submitted: Apr 09, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

There are a number people in this town and county that are not going to be unhappy to see this legal notice. It announces that Patty Waid, assistant vice chancellor for university communications (one of the better paid and better protected public jobs in the county) is a deadbeat who has defaulted on her mortgage. These people would include all who have ever tried to get a straight answer out of UC Merced about anything at all.

Presumably, her mortgage was subsidized by UC Merced, in other words, by the public.

Badlands Journal editorial board

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It's a matter of ethics...

Submitted: Mar 29, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

...as in the California Milk Advisory Board don't have none.

In a deposition obtained from PETA, Domenic Carinalli, owner of Domenic Carinalli Dairy & Vineyard in Sebastopol and member of the California Milk Advisory Board, said that, to his knowledge, the milk board hasn't received any information to verify its claim that "California dairy producers care deeply about the health, comfort and safety of their cows." He said at the board meetings he attended the health of cows was never discussed.
Carinalli also said he was unaware that the board was prohibited from making false marketing claims.
--
Merced Sun-Star, March 28, 2012

Perhaps an explanation for why the dairy industry labors under such ethical disadvantage is provided by the article below signed by a prominent Merced County dairyman. One says "signed" because it involves a new dairy-price formula and, as the dairyman's father once explained to this reporter, there are very few dairymen who actually understand the price structure of their own industry. The article is a propaganda piece from some national dairy organization claiming that reforms are being made.

That new program reorients federal dairy programs from an emphasis on price to a focus on maintaining adequate margins -- the difference between what it costs to produce milk and what farmers get when they sell it. -- Veldhuis

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Human rights and animal rights

Submitted: Mar 28, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 But just as the Endangered Species Act has long outlived its usefulness, the move to equate animal rights with human rights is a complete nonstarter for us. -- Merced Sun-Star, March 28, 2012

 

The Sun-Star's position seems to be that human rights ought to be brought down to the present level of animal rights. Our response to that is just because Sonny Star, the gigolo press, wants to stand up to its knees in manure 24/7/365 doesn't mean we do.

 

Badlands Journal editorial board

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It's the CULTURE, don't you SEE!!!!

Submitted: Mar 15, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Greg Smith is resigning today as a Goldman Sachs executive director and head of the firm’s United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. -- NYTs. 3-14-12

This fine young South African, finalist in the Jewish Olympics (in ping pong), and Stanford graduate and Rhodes Scholar finalist, had been pushing little bundles of derivative joy originating in the US -- and who knows? some securitized mortgages perhaps right here in Merced -- all over Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Then, for some reason, he quit and wrote this letter that is presently costing Goldman Sachs, his former employee, billions. He says the culture of his former investment banking firm is "toxic and destructive." We wonder, given his background and advantages in life, how he came to this remarkable conclusion. Could it be that one or a number of his clients became disgruntled with the securities he was selling them when homeowners began successfully challenging banks in court to produce proof of who owned the mortgages swaddled up in the sweet smelling derivatives.

Badlands Journal editorial board

3-14-12
New York Times
Op-Ed Contributor
Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs
By GREG SMITH
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/opinion/why-i-am-leaving-goldman-sachs.html?_r=4&pagewanted=all

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Downstream vengeance in California

Submitted: Mar 12, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board
by Bill Hatch
 
Rep. Devin Nunes, a Republican from the biggest cow county in the USA, Tulare CA, booted home his San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act (HR 1837) to a big win in the House two weeks ago. An old-fashioned Western water grab got the Tea Party all hot and a few Blue Dog Democrats slithered along for the ride.
 
The Act is worthy of all truce-breaking acts the world over through history back to the time the goddess Athena persuaded godlike but stupid Pandaros to shoot an arrow into Helen’s husband, Menelaos, prolonging Homer’s Iliad for 23 more chapters.
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Homeowners beating banks in courts

Submitted: Mar 12, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The reasons we are not reading stories like this almost every day, side-by-side with the stories about constantly rising foreclosure rates despite various government actions, are that people sign gag orders with their settlements, are so intimidated they internalize non-existent gag orders, and because maybe the media is not too interested in offending the real estate industry or the banks feeding on the knuckleheads who believed the realtors' flimflam.

Badlands Journal editorial board

3-12-12
MSNBC Economy Watch
Homeowners battle banks to stop foreclosures ... and win
Steven Bridges 
http://economywatch.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/12/10602545-homeowners-battle-banks-to-stop-foreclosures-and-win
Jewel and Jack Miser stand in front of their home in Sweetwater, Tenn. After trying for more than a year to modify their loan, they won a settlement in court that cut their monthly payment by about 15 percent.
By John W. Schoen, Senior Producer
Revenge can be sweet. It can be even sweeter when you use your enemy’s own weapons to extract vengeance.

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D-D-D-Duh-Dry December Drives Drums of Drought

Submitted: Jan 11, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

1-11-12

Merced Sun-Star

Dry January raises concern over drought in northern California…Matt Weiser

http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2012/01/11/v-print/2186343/dry-january-raises-concern-over.html

The dreaded D-word – "drought" – is back on the tongues of many Californians now that a dry December has crawled into a dry January.

A dry December is not that unusual. But a dry January – well along into winter and usually the state's wettest month – is another matter.

"What is unusual is that it just hangs on and on and on," said Maury Roos, chief hydrologist at the California Department of Water Resources, noting it will be hard to recover from the missed January storms.

"It's not impossible, but it's quite unlikely we'll make it back to normal before the end of the season," Roos said.

Sacramento has had no rain since Dec. 15, and only a trace on that day: 0.07 inches.

Lake Tahoe – so dependent on snowfall for its winter economy – has fared just as badly. South Lake Tahoe has seen no measurable precipitation since Nov. 20, according to National Weather Service data.

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