Merced County

Don't let Bush's ESA rules stand

Submitted: Mar 20, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

This item below courtesy of the Center for Biodiversity, brings us up-to-date on Bush's lame-duck anti-Endangered Species Act regulations, what Obama has done about them, what he hasn't don't about them, and what remains to be done to get rid of them in the next several weeks.

 

 

3-18-09

Center for Biological Diversity

(415) 632-5319 for more information

Secretary of Interior Should Rescind Bush Endangered Species Act Rules —

Congressional Authorization Expires in 53 Days

Shortly before leaving office, the Bush administration issued three regulations that (1) remove the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as an independent, scientific watchdog over potentially damaging federal projects such as timber sales, mines, and dams; (2) exempt all greenhouse gas-emitting projects, including coal-fired power plants and federal fuel efficiency standards, from Endangered Species Act review; and (3) specifically ban federal agencies from protecting the imperiled polar bear from greenhouse gas emissions. These policies eviscerate the central Endangered Species Act process — U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service oversight — that has protected endangered species for 35 years, and they exclude the greatest future threat to endangered species — global warming — from consideration under the Act.

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The fish

Submitted: Mar 15, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

"Capitalists forget the masses. Socialists forget the money." -- Mike Tharp, executive editor, Merced Sun-Star.

"Capitalists and newspaper editors work without aid of memory." Badlands Journal editoral board.

In the stirring, hairy-chested whine beneath, written on a weekend when, long after every newspaper in the region has seen all its finance, insurance and real estate flak predictions of the easing of foreclosures and the bottom of real estate prices buried by reality, Sonny Star's top editor calls for a Big public works project for Merced to provide work and restore civic confidence.

In general, Californians believe that the history of everything from the state to their subdivision began when they arrived. This appears to be doubly true of the manly Tharp, recently returned from the Green Zone in Baghdad, who calls in vigorous prose for the government to build something around Merced. Right now, if you please.

The government continues to sink hundreds of millions of weakening dollars into a win-win, public-private partnership project adjoining Merced. The project is called UC Merced. It was repeatedly presented by several generations of UC administrators, UC Merced boosters, politicians and business leaders -- and incessantly by UC Merced Bobcatflaksters -- to be a publicly funded "high-tech, bio-tech engine of growth." But we don't hear so much as a backfire, let alone a Great Purring Sound. 

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County Bank closed

Submitted: Feb 08, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Westamerica Bank, San Rafael, California, Acquires All the Deposits of County Bank, Merced, California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 6, 2009  Media Contact:
David Barr (202) 898-6992
Cell: (703) 622-4790
E-mail: dbarr@fdic.gov 

County Bank, Merced, California, was closed today by the California Department of Financial Institutions, which appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver. To protect the depositors, the FDIC entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Westamerica Bank, San Rafael, California, to assume all of the deposits of County Bank.

County Bank's 39 offices will reopen as branches of Westamerica Bank. County Bank branches that had Saturday hours will reopen tomorrow. County Bank's remaining branches will reopen on Monday. Depositors of County Bank will automatically become depositors of Westamerica Bank. Deposits will continue to be insured by the FDIC, so there is no need for customers to change their banking relationship to retain their deposit insurance coverage. Customers of both banks should continue to use their existing branches until Westamerica Bank can fully integrate the deposit records of County Bank.

Over the weekend, depositors of County Bank can access their money by writing checks or using ATM or debit cards. Checks drawn on the bank will continue to be processed. Loan customers should continue to make their payments as usual.

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Merced County sued for fraud, etc.

Submitted: Feb 07, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board


A Sacramento law firm, Somach, Simmons & Dunn (SSD), on Feb. 4 filed a complaint in Sacramento County Superior Court against Merced County and the Merced County Board of Supervisors concerning unpaid bills arising from the Riverside Motorsports Park (RMP) case.

The complaint alleges that Merced County staff, Assistant Planning Director William Nicholson, committed acts of fraud and intentional misrepresentation, fraud and negligent misrepresentation, violation of state Civil Procedures code for levies and unjust enrichment.

SSD is represented by Donald B. Mooney of Davis CA, who is familiar with the operations of Merced County government.

The background facts alleged in the complaint are:

"On August 19, 2008 , the Sacramento County Superior Court granted SSD's Motion for Summary Judgment against Riverside Motorsports Park, LLC, for recovery of the amount due to SSD under a promissory note executed by Riverside Motorsports Park LLC. (Somach Simmons & Dunn, LLP v. Riverside Motorsports Park , LLC, Sacramento County Superior Court, Case No . 07AS0499 1.) The Judgment Granting Motion for Summary Judgment was entered on August 26, 2008.

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Blue is the color of this dog

Submitted: Jan 29, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

With Democratic Party majorities in both houses of Congress, Rep. Dennis Cardoza, Blue Dog Bubblebrain-Maryland, is praising Senate Republicans for embracing his bill to bail out realtors and mortgage lenders and banks. As we have asked in the past, who knows who owns whose mortgage these days? It is possible that the Blue Dogs will be left twisting in the dusty winds of history, along with the 18th Congressional District of California, sporting the highest per capita foreclosure rate in the nation.

Cardoza, Blue Dog minister of propaganda, is correct that falling home values has precipitated this recession-becoming-a-depression. But, the underlying problem is confidence, without which the entire financial system freezes. But, why have the home values fallen? In large part, because of foreclosures, dragging home prices down all around them. Why the foreclosures? Because of predatory lending practices. Why the predatory lending practices? Easy credit and lack of regulation. Why easy credit? When the dotcom bubble burst in the stock market, the next big bubble was real estate, particularly in California and Florida. Why lack of regulation? Systemic corruption of Congress going back to the days of former Rep. Tony "Honest Graft" Coelho, D-Merced. Why the bubble? Because the Federal Reserve cut interest rates. Why did the Fed cut interest rates? To keep the bubbles going. Why? Because the US has nothing left but a financial bubble economy.

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The Ol' Shrimp Slayer's voodoo home mortgage bill

Submitted: Jan 25, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

At first, when we received a press release from Rep. Dennis Cardoza, Shrimp Slayer-Maryland, about reducing mortgage payments and, in general, solving the entire recession/depression, we were impressed and willing to applaud the effort. Later, we read the bill, or, more correctly, we tried without success to read and understand the bill, H.R. 230. Our failure derives no doubt from our residence in Merced, in the 18th congressional district of California, rather than in Annapolis, in the 3rd congressional district of Maryland. Although last night we spied a UC Merced student in a supermarket line with a T-shirt announcing, "I know something you don't know...UC Merced 2006-2007," we didn't think the video buyer would be able to help us understand Cardoza's bill, so we didn't ask him what he thought this section might have meant:

(e) Securitization-

(1) REQUIREMENT- Each enterprise shall, upon such terms and conditions as it may prescribe, set aside any qualified mortgages purchased by it under this section and, upon approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, issue and sell securities based upon such mortgages set aside.

(2) FORM- Securities issued under this subsection may be in the form of debt obligations or trust certificates of beneficial interest, or both.

(3) TERMS- Securities issued under this subsection shall have such maturities and bear such rate or rates of interest as may be determined by the enterprise with the approval of the Secretary.

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The University of California: overbuilt, underfunded, and a reckless investor

Submitted: Jan 06, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

1-6-09
Modesto Bee
Lowering UC's standards has several costs...Doug Ose. Ose, of Granite Bay, is a developer who served three terms in Congress.
http://www.modbee.com/opinion/community/v-print/story/553747.html
Editor's note: This article was submitted in response to The Bee's editorial "Changes in UC admissions should improve process" (Jan. 2, Page A-1).
Recently the University of California Board of Regents considered a proposal to lower admission standards for incoming freshman. At the heart of the proposal is the elimination of the SAT subject tests and the establishment of a "holistic" admissions process called Entitled to Review.
The concern is that eliminating subject tests removes a long- established path to admissions that has a proven record in predicting a student's readiness for success in college. Changing to this new policy invites legal mischief. UCLA has been using "holistic" admissions practices and now faces scrutiny for potential violations of Proposition 209, which outlawed college admissions based on race or ethnicity. Fortunately, a significant public outcry from students and others forced the regents to postpone making any decision until early 2009.

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Merced Irrigation District won't run a legal public meeting

Submitted: Dec 17, 2008
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The Merced Irrigation District has been in the news in recent days because there is evidently some conflict over its 2009 budget, set off by a staff proposal to sell $3 million worth of water during a severe drought. Proposals like that make farmers nervous.

In the course of the conflict, as Merced Sun-Star articles below indicate, the issue of how well MID runs a public meeting has come up.

 

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Neither the staff or the Board of the Merced Irrigation District can run a legal public meeting

Submitted: Dec 17, 2008
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The Merced Irrigation District has been in the news in recent days because there is evidently some conflict over its 2009 budget, set off by a staff proposal to sell $3 million worth of water during a severe drought. Proposals like that make farmers nervous.

In the course of the conflict, as Merced Sun-Star articles below indicate, the issue of how well MID runs a public meeting has come up.

 

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The corruption complex in Merced

Submitted: Dec 08, 2008
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

“In a government of law, the existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for the law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.” -- US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, 1856-1941

12-5-7-08
CounterPunch.com
How Washington Arrogance Helped Drive the Mumbai Attacks
Muslim Revolution
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
http://www.counterpunch.com/roberts12052008.html

We were deeply struck by this ancient theme -- that the polis is the teacher of its citizens -- because it is as true now as it has always been.

But, what of that other institution so terribly important to the education of our citizens and others, our universities, specifically "the greatest public higher education research institution in the world" ... (listen to those trumpets blare) ... the University of California?

Is UC a good teacher?

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