Public Works

Federal subsidy for the Last Tango of the Dinosaurs

Submitted: Nov 01, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 “If it wasn’t for having crop insurance right now, I would have lost everything three generations of Messonniers have created. If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t be here. It’s that simple.” ... “This was the first year ever we didn’t do any rice,” (Tom Roduner) said. “Sometimes we have a little bit. It’s so bleak this year, between the water allocation and how dry things were, it just wasn’t feasible to do any.”

-- Calix, Merced Sun-Star, Oct. 28, 2015

 

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Humanity doesn't deserve Nature

Submitted: Oct 26, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Suppose, contrary to nearly universal public opinion, humanity doesn't deserve nature. Man is destroying ecological system after ecological system, extinguishing species after driving them into habitat corrals, constantly encroached upon by agricultural and housing development. The only way the story of the global environmental crisis makes sense is once hope is removed from reflections on it.

Every day is the New Day!

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Bernie Rising Out West

Submitted: Oct 09, 2015

...and Hill rolls down to the Plain of Oblivion.

 

10-7-15

commondreams.org

Golden State's Love for Sanders Grows as Support for Clinton Dwindles

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Overdrafting credulity on the east side

Submitted: Sep 24, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Journalists shouldn't take at face value the public utterances of other peoples' consultants, for example the Provost and Pritchard Consulting Group, in the pay of the Eastside Water District, a mysterious institution that lacks any surface water to distribute.

We may be over-emphasizing a small point, but when the consultant said:

“The groundwater pumping has caused a ‘cone of depression’ and groundwater overdraft to occur,” said a report on the project by the Provost & Pritchard Consulting Group in Modesto. “This is due to the lack of a surface water supply that could offer groundwater recharge in the area and lead to a sustainable supply.”

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Westlands/BOR deal clips

Submitted: Sep 21, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Below, you'll find a few articles on the Westlands/Bureau of Reclamation deal. As is often the case with California water stories in recent years, the best reporting is done by Dan Bacher, who grew out of reporting on good fishing spots in the Delta to become one of the few fact-based voices in the bug swarm of flak hovering above the surface of water issues in this state.

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Sweethearts of San Luis renew their vows

Submitted: Sep 16, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

It's not really a divorce... 

 

The Westlands Water District, which provides water to the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. This region is an area of polluted quick sand which devours other peoples' water, law and political representatives from the local to the federal levels, in fact devours everything but the fortunes of a plutocracy of several hundred growers.

Ordinarily we would have prefaced the newspaper account of this latest secret deal-made public between Westlands and the federal government, but there appeared such an eloquent letter in opposition from retired US Fish & Wildlife biologist, Felix Smith, that it outranked the Fresno Bee piece. The latter was a boiled over wire-service story no one was willing to sign. To give an idea of who Smith is, we prefaced his letter with a moment in his biography.

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Questions about the Delta and global warming

Submitted: Sep 01, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

We've assembled over the years enough articles on drought, California water and global warming to fill several books. Our aim was to inform and raise questions. As the drought grows worse -- news of larger forest fires and more dry wells -- lately the media seems to be trying to project a sense of perspective at this point. But they, and the politicians they quote and the scientists they paraphrase do not appear to be doing a very good job.

We wondered, for example, if it would destroy public confidence in the wisdom of The Interests  (finance, insurance and real estate) in California, if we dared to say global warming and the San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta in the same sentence.

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Are local bigshots hiding things again?

Submitted: Aug 23, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 There are a couple of simple quetions omitted from this story that might have made the resident of Merced interested or even concerned about the future of the proposed high speed railroad station that will gut the downtown area a little better informed.

1. Doesn't the reason for the ad hoc committee have less to do with "expertise," which was alleged subject of the discussion at the last Merced City Council meeting,. than with its lack of transparency?  So they spend several hundred thousand of some other governmental agency's money on consultants. So what? For years CH2MHill made more than a million dollars recycling essentially the same report of the state of our sewer system, mired in water-quality board cease and desist orders, for years. Did it stop the city from approving construction projects, even if they never got built?

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Some questions about land subsidence

Submitted: Aug 19, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Some questions from the center of the drought, where the towns are brown and orchards, vineyards and rowcrops are green:

 

How many people are really being economically injured by this drought?

How will Farm Bill crop insurance programs and other government subsidies and disaster payments go to ease the pain?

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Israel will teach us how to manage water

Submitted: Aug 11, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 It was precisely because of this Israeli innovation that the governor, Jerry Brown, welcomed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to California in March 2014. During a ceremony in Silicon Valley, the two leaders signed a memorandum of understanding to foster cooperation and develop research with an emphasis on water conservation and management.

The memorandum calls on California and Israeli businesses, universities and laboratories to join together to find solutions to water scarcity. “Israel has demonstrated how efficient a country can be, and here is a great opportunity for collaboration,” Brown said.-- Madison Margolin, The Forward, July 2015

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