City of Merced

Sisters of Perpetual Ambiguity farm pot in Merced

Submitted: Aug 16, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 ....but rushing in to the county to guide the Sisters is one of the state Capitol's leading political geniuses, Will "If you print my name I'll have to kill you" Skaarup, formerly the Democrats' go to registration ace. Skaarup, like the Sisters, has BIG plans for Merced, including a warehouse for overnighting big Humboldt Bud loads bound for LA. Wouldn't it fit in nicely with the Gateway Project at Mission and 99?

-- blj

 

7-21-17

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Gateway to a ghost (down)town and other city council foibles

Submitted: Aug 10, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 There is nothing quite as revolting as watching a land-use planning authority rejoice in the anticipation of spending millions in the taxes they're going to get from some commercial development project they just approved on a piece of dirt in the outskirts of their town. It's a wet dream.

In the case of the City of Merced, we have a city manager, Steve Carrigan,  former director of economic development for bankrupt Stockton, who has more need for public-management redemption than most of the others, although Frank Quintero and Mike Conway, two of Carrigan's ethically challenged assistants, could use a little new luster, too.

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Elite fundamentalists to the baracades!

Submitted: Jul 25, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 The northern San Joaquin Valley public, at least, doesn't have to look any farther than the "boondoggle/land deal" called UC Merced, anchor tenant for the most severe housing construction boom/bust in its history, to see right through the campaign of scientists rallying to run for public office. All one has to remember is how scientists in the UC system and in the state and federal resource agencies charged with enforcing environmental law and regulation, not to mention public meeting legislation, bowed to political pressure and corrupted their own research to appease the UC and the finance, insurance and real estate special interests behind the Merced project.

 

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Regulation and its absence

Submitted: Jul 05, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 The dismal dialectic between government and business may be approaching the trough, even if it has not bottomed out yet. From this vantage point, the velocity of bribery having slowed from the sheer volume of the current bribes, something almost like a calm prevails. And in this calm it is possible to see why government regulates on behalf of the people and why business reacts and works to undermine and destroy every governmental regulation. Out of the latter motive comes such idiotic slogans as "The business of America is business," (Pres. Calvin Coolidge, 1923-1929), and all subsequent slogans in this vein, like the immortal chamber of commerce chesnut, "Government should be run like a business."

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A sensible lawsuit to reform the state Legislature

Submitted: Jul 03, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 A federal lawsuit claims that our rights to representation are being violated because the size of the Legislature — 40 senators and 80 Assembly members — hasn’t changed since 1862 (and was made permanent by the 1879 Constitution ) even though the state’s population has grown from about 420,000 to nearly 40 million.

That means the number of Californians represented by each Assembly member has jumped from about 5,200 to nearly 500,000. And that dilutes the power of each vote and makes it nearly impossible for legislators to represent competing interests, according to the lawsuit.

 

 

 

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Thinking about crime in Merced

Submitted: Jun 18, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

Below is a series of articles about crime in Merced and Stanislaus counties in recent months. It is not an exhaustive list, not a police log, nor is it long enough to represent the variety of crime reported daily in this region. However, we do learn from the articles that Merced, Modesto, and two other Valley county seats rank among the top 10 cities in the nation for car theft. We learn that the recent "Operation Scrapbook," a multi-agency task force using advanced communications surveillance nabbed some top gang members accused of heavy charges including murder, meth dealing, and gun dealing.

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Neurotic aqua-utilitarian quantification

Submitted: Jun 13, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

If there is one thing that slip-slides away from easy quantification, it's water. None of its larger units of measurement, like the acre-foot, let alone a million gallons,  are easily imagined by the ordinary human being. Nor does it do much good to say that a family of four uses about an acre-foot of water a year, at least to people who remember when in the not too distant past the authorities said it took two acre-feet to achieve the same goal for the little family. And how big is a raindrop anyway?

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Climate in the Age of Resentment

Submitted: Jun 04, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 It is not easy to put President Trump's exit from the Paris Climate Accord in perspective, perhaps because it is the new perspective, the world as it now is; and that is hard to accept. The general contour of this new perspective is that while large majorities of the public support environmental laws like the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water and Air acts even though they do impose limits on the capitalist economic system, today special interests have such a strong grip on at least two of the three branches of government (the judicial branch is still in question) that the United States government will no longer lead or follow intelligent environmental policies unless the sane majority regains control of -- for a start -- both political parties.

Our bar for sanity is low: stay on your medication and avoid overindulging your resentments.

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Two ghosts in the room

Submitted: May 27, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

Two major law-enforcement stories recently rocked Merced. Public security is universally the fundamental job of political authorities, and these two stories were certainly full of politics.

In the first, Operation Scrapbook, top law enforcement officials in the county, starting with DA Larry Morse II, performed a sweep of Mexican gang members, primarily Sureños. A state program called VIPER procured by local legislators provided surveillance information vital to the effort according to all involved, especially  Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced. When the credit was passed out, state Sen. Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres, seemed to have been forgotten.

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