Public Works

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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An interesting conjecture

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

In this post, we take the lede from the bottom of the article to the top where it belongs. (Parentheses ours)-- blj

 

This is either really bad lawyering by (California Attorney General Kamala) Harris — or a face-saving way for (Gov. Jerry) Brown to give up on the doomed (high speed rail) project. I believe it’s the latter. – Chris Reed, Cal Watchdog, Jam 30, 2014

 

 

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Do agribusiness and oil-company special interests benefit the common good of the San Joaquin Valley?

Submitted: Jan 30, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Have you ever noticed the continual distortion in favor of particular special interests that goes on in debates on “public” policy? There has been a flood of articles about the drought. Diligently following the prevailing propaganda that they call “reality,” editors instruct reporters to interview the special interests that rely on publicly subsidized water to grow publicly subsidized crops and receive publicly subsidized disaster payments and publicly subsidized conservation grants and publicly subsidized reductions in property taxes etc., to record the agonized words of flakpersons for a few agrarian plutocrats. And thus arises the earsplitting howl we have come to call The Great Valley Whine.

 

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Fimrite: a glimmer of light in drought-gloom journalism

Submitted: Jan 21, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Peter Fimrite is better than most, like his father, Ron, was. Good at finding odd angles like, in the present story: “Why not look at the drought from the historical perspective of the state’s environmental movement, in other words, a critical perspective, at least an intellectually respectable one?

It makes for a fine article, built on an interview of veteran California environmentalist, Jonas Minton. But, as far as his drastic either/or choice for public investment, we'd like to add a third: why not take this moment to strengthen the existing dams which, according to a study made of them during the Gray Davis administration are all -- except three -- out of compliance?

 

 

 

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Now our drought is official

Submitted: Jan 19, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Some environmental groups expressed concern that fine print in Friday’s drought declaration could lead to disruptive changes in how water is distributed. For instance, the drought declaration directs the State Water Resources Control Board to “immediately” consider petitions that would consolidate “places of use” for water diversions now held separately by the State Water Project and the federal government’s Central Valley Project.

Ronald Stork, a senior policy advocate at Friends of the River in Sacramento, said that if “place of use” is consolidated, federal water such as that held in Folsom Reservoir could be sent to Disneyland to keep the roller coasters operating. Currently, most of that water is designated for agriculture.

“That’s a titanic shift of purpose for the federal water project,” Stork said. “I think the water board needs to think this one through very carefully before they give the go-ahead to consolidating these two very different projects.” 

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California Democrats and the environment in a drought year

Submitted: Dec 29, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 

 It was uncharacteristically candid, at least a PR faux pas:  a state water official actually stating that it was not possible for the government to make it rain. And this despite the governor’s profound concern for west side farmers  in an election year. The times probably make Jerry nostalgic for his youth, during which bags bulging with cash came from the west side to his father in return for road and water projects. They don’t call the canal carrying State Water Project water the ‘Edmund ‘Pat’ Brown” canal for nothing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Under the Carter microscope

Submitted: Dec 24, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Norman Brownstein, bigshot Denver attorney/lobbyist, who sells himself at "the 101st US Senator," is going to rue the day he took the $20,000/month lobbying contract to represent Westlands Water District, and came to the attention of Lloyd G. Carter, Fresno journalist/attorney.

In the piece below, Carter's latest foray into the Intermontaine Wastelands, he slices, dices, filets, boils, broils and barbecuesa a number of the rare species of twisteed plutocrati in any way associated with Brownstein and the Denver law firm of Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, Schreck. Bigshots in Denver may not have taken such a thrubbing since Gene Fowler carved on Bonfils and Tammen.  -- blj

 

Chronicles of the hydraulic brotherhood…lloydgcarter.com

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Scientific masturbation

Submitted: Nov 27, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 In a more vigorous intellectual era -- it takes more historical knowledge than we have to imagine an American intellectual era more flaccid than the present -- we called the sort of exercise described below as "intellectual masturbation." In the case of this circle of scientists (grant hustlers) and special interests (known as "stakeholders"), the problem of course is our old friend, Consensus, that blunt instrument the corporate state has imposed on every "decision-making process" in the land (except the important decisions made in their own boardrooms by anything but "democratic" means). Yet on we must shuffle and jerk if we are to continue in the good graces and the funding streams of finance, insurance, and real estate (always in California including agribusiness) special interests. -- blj


11-20-13

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