Merced County

For fortunes today the lords of Hilmar Cheese pollute tomorrow and tomorrow

Submitted: Sep 18, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board
9-13-10
Environmental Health News
Bad water? It's the cheese. Hilmar Cheese brings good jobs to California farm town, but polluted water, too
The story of Hilmar is a classic tale of a company growing rapidly, bringing good jobs but also environmental threats to a rural farm community. In an ironic twist, though, it isn’t corporate outsiders pitted against town residents; the owners of Hilmar Cheese are descendants of the community’s founding families. Much of the well water around the cheese plant, located in the agricultural heart of California, isn’t fit to drink. And Hilmar Cheese is the likely culprit, new documents show...Jane Kay
HILMAR, Calif.
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High speed rail anyone?

Submitted: Sep 14, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

California High Speed Rail Authority

http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/library.asp?p=5890

 

Investor Relations

 

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Who was Robert A. "Bobby" Lewis?

Submitted: Sep 07, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

Merced County Director of Planning and Development Services, Robert A. “Bobby” Lewis, reportedly tendered his resignation on Friday. Numerous calls to different county offices to confirm the report met a stone wall.

Nevertheless, other sources convinced members of the Badlands Journal editorial board that the report was true.

 

The board issued a statement along with an article written when Lewis arrived nearly four years ago.

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On the announcement of departure of UC Merced's second chancellor

Submitted: Sep 05, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

A member of the Badlands Journal editorial board was asked by a UC Merced student for a meeting so that he could learn more about the campus where he is going to college. The request was received the day Chancellor Steve Kang announced he would depart the campus at the end of the next academic year.

 

We thought, rather than having coffee with the student and attempting to tell that story in an hour or so, we would do two things: first, refer him to an audio tape made in the classroom of UC Merced historian Gregg Herken, a member of the founding faculty of social sciences, humanities and art at the campus, and who directed the production of a laughable bit of bobcatflak called The Fairy Shrimp Chronicles: An informal history of the founding of UC Merced. The students of that class learned how to write history as propaganda and suppress vital information, useful skills if they seek careers in the University of California system.

 

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"Narratives" Week #2: HSD

Submitted: Aug 22, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

"We were giving people false hope," Cardoza said. -- Rep. Dennis Cardoza, Pimlico Kid-Merced/Annapolis

Nobody was a more vocal booster for those false hopes out front and more engaged in backroom deals to benefit the real estate boom in the north San Joaquin Valley than Dennis Cardoza. He was of the little yapping Senorcito UC Merceds in the state Legislature and in Congress the author of three unsuccessful bills to gut the Endangered Species Act for the benefit of a handful of finance, insurance and real estate special interests in his district during the speculative real estate boom that has busted, catching tens of thousands of people in his district, who are now upside-down on their mortgages. Cardoza, his family and his social circle all benefitted from the speculation.

Since the real estate boom collapsed, Cardoza's public utterances have grown increasingly absurd. His attack on Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan is just one more example of his continual attempts to avoid the consequences of using his office to line his and his cronies' pockets.

Cardoza seems to think that HUD should be renamed HSD, Housing and Slurb Development.

Badlands Journal editorial board

 

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Environmentalism as "luxury good"

Submitted: Aug 08, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The relationship between unemployment and environmental concern is treated in a paper by professors Matthew E. Kahn and Matthew J. Kotchen.

We suggest that "environmentalism" isn't a "good" of any sort. It is not a commodity any more than the people who have environmental concern, none at all, or some, are commodities. Nor is the environmental a "good," a commodity, except in the self-regulated, free market ideology of the two economists. They seem to have gotten so carried away with themselves that they fail to note what's most obvious: that high employment is linked to environmental destruction; high unemployment usually means that less environmental destruction is going on.

We are enjoying unusually good air quality this summer in the north San Joaquin Valley. However, we are anticipating the construction and operation of the WalMart distribution center within the next year or two. It will mean many, many trucks in town, which will permanently worsen our air quality, but a lot of jobs for construction and operation of the facility. With unemployment in Merced at Great Depression levels and with foreclosure rates still rising and home prices still falling, it's not much of a choice. But the people making the choice aren't thinking about "environmentalism" as a "good." In fact, people in this Valley generally know that asthma and respiratory disease are equal opportunity illnesses that attack rich and poor, employed and unemployed, and their young children and elderly parents alike.

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Pimlico Kid stuff

Submitted: Aug 07, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Americans have been jerked around by the rapid serial montages of the "news cycle" to the point where even Rep. Dennis Cardoza, the Pimlico Kid-Annapolis MD, believes he can foist the rhythm on us, mere constituents of His Greatness, with impunity.

 

So, the Great Pimlico Kid Himself, makes marks on the administration like the all-powerful legislative lion, which he isn't,  by introducing a bill to cut the travel budget of the secretary of HUD, like it makes a difference.

 

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More bad news from MID

Submitted: Aug 01, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

This would have been a far more useful story if the reporter had bothered to ask and record the answers to these simple questions: did the California Environmental Protection Agency investigate the allegations against Merced Irrigation District? What did it find? What enforcement action was or might be taken? A quote "cannot comment because of an ongoing investigation" from CEPA would have added a nice symetry to the story.

As it is, what we have is a brief report of a legal brief filed on behalf of an aggrieved employee of MID and a whole lot of reporter dodging by an agency that finds it extremely difficult to comply with a California Public Records Act request.

MID's latest managing director is a member of the family of an MID board member who doesn't pay her bills. Director Suzy Hulgren parlayed a few public rants against Riverside Motorsports Park promoter, John Condren, lies and financial double-dealing into a seat on the board, with the help of the Merced County Farm Bureau and California Women for Agriculture. She was, however, unsuccessful as the frontwoman for the farm bureau and CWA in the attempt to bankrupt her partners in the RMP lawsuit, San Joaquin Raptor Rescue Center and Protect Our Water, or to financially damage two law firms, Don E. Mooney and Associates and Sproul and Troost, who represented the petitioners against the race track project.

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Comment on "And where is American democracy?"

Submitted: Jul 17, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

We received the following comment the other day about our posting on Sheldon Wolin's Democracy Inc.:

It's never been nor will it ever be a democracy.
"If voting made a difference it would be illegal." --Emma Goldman

Considering the source, we found the comment curious. The writer is listed as a supporter of the Merced County Citizen's right to vote on expansion of residential areas initiative, which, on its face and in its propaganda, appears to express the deepest faith in democracy.

The initiative was peddled in a petition drive in front of Merced County supermarkets as "The Initiative to Amend the General Plan of Merced County to Save Farmland and Open Spaces." Petition gatherers were provided a slick "summary" of the initiative that said it would save Merced County farmland and open space. In other written propaganda and public appearances, the paid and unpaid flacks for the initiative have stressed how "simple" the initiative is and how it will save farmland.

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Revolting

Submitted: Jun 18, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Porky Stables

 

On June 17, residents of the 18th congressional district of California were informed by McClatchy Chain local outlets that a new star was rising in the world of horse racing, Rep. Dennis Cardoza, Pimlico Kid-Merced.

 

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