Public Works

Kill 'em all and pave it over!

Submitted: Aug 09, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 About 15 years ago in Merced, when our leaders were on fire with lust for the UC campus, the Fish & Wildlife Service had declared a critical habitat designation for the endangered species inhabiting vernal pools. Our leaders were outraged, organized rallies, vilified anyone in the region suspected of harboring an environmental thought. Politicians, at the behest of the finance, insurance and real estate special interests, pressured Service staff. Julie MacDonald, a high level political appointee at the Service, cajoled and threatened staff down to the field biologist level, and produced a bizarre “economic study” purporting to show the billions that would be lost to our regional and national economy by this horrible critical habitat designation.

 

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Not as easy as it looks

Submitted: Jul 04, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

This is for all our friends who believe that large-scale government solutions to water issues are best; and to our friends who believe that the deregulated free market and individual enterprise are the only real, natural ways to allocate water resources. We have below two examples of water policies: one concerning state policies using surface water; the second involving the essentially unregulated, private use of groundwater in the Ogallala Aquifer.

 

 

 

The surface-water policies seem guided by 20th century dogma:

 

 

 

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No worries, High Speed Wailers: the fix is in

Submitted: Jun 30, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

It must have been a slow news day, what with Snowden still being in the Moscow airport or somewhere. -- blj

 

6-29-13

Merced Sun-Star

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Beauty and the beast

Submitted: Jun 08, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

We were struck by the beauty and balance of William Tweed's prose about his rail trip through the San Joaquin Valley. Tweed lives  in Three Rivers, gateway to Sequoia National Park. According to Amazon.com,

 

William Tweed, utilizing the knowledge and skills he developed during thirty years with the National Park Service where he worked as an interpretive writer, historian, and naturalist, specializes in writing that brings together the natural and human  worlds.

His major published works include: Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks: The Story Behind the Scenery (KC Publications, 1980);

Challenge of the Big Trees: A Resource History of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (Sequoia Naturalist History

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The marriage of Sen. Dianne Feinstein and financier Richard Blum: A win-win, public-private partnership for graft

Submitted: Jun 07, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Richard Blum, UC regent and former chairman of the regents, major stockholder in Tutor Perinni Corp, which won the bid to construct the first leg of the California high-speed railroad, and chair of the board of CB Richard Ellis, in charge of selling decommissioned post offices, is -- as everyone knows -- the husband of US Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Feinstein remarked yesterday that the leak that in secret Verizon has turned over to the NSA information about the private communications of its American customers ought to be prosecuted because we have "a culture of leaks."

Badlands Journal editorial board

 

6-7-13

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Carter and Porgans on Valley water quality

Submitted: May 23, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

Dirty Water, Dirty Tricks

 

By Patrick Porgans & Lloyd G. Carter

Part One of a two-part series

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"79yrs old and still as Old and Evil as Hell itself.."

Submitted: May 12, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Merced County Supervisor, John "Ol'Slippery" Pedrozo don't fell in it again, proving that if the money's good enough, Ol' Slippery will grab a toboggan for a ride down the next manure pile in his political career. 

The short article just below from Crazifornia.com says about all anyone needs to say about the first contract for the state's high speed rail project "that will tie the megopolis of Madera to the global finance center of Fresno" was "won" by a consortium controlled by Richard Blum, aka Mr. Dianne Feinstein.

Ol' Slippery knows his manure piles real good and this one smells plum delicious to the former dairyman rumored by members of his own family to have gone belly up before entering politics at the rear of the milking string to squelch the candidacies of a couple of Hispanic women who were interested in poverty and stuff. 

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The clear, loud sound of a whistle

Submitted: Apr 28, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

As this Water-War year shapes up, the lies, the slurs, the gaffes -- the "air game" as the politicos call it -- heats up with the temperature.

If only the desire of the agribusiness plutocracy that things remain the same -- i.e. get better and better for the richer and richer -- could be realized, somehow. Then we could all be happy farmworkers on the west side, enjoying the sun and dust-and-pesticide free fresh air. And for excellent wages, no doubt.

But, the facts are that things are getting worse and worse and the agribusiness utopia is a pile of artificially manufactured well known substances.

The agriculture they seek to increase is increasingly salting its own soil, returning the west side to a worse desert than it was before water was added and the ground was stirred by the largest tractors in the land. Species are going extinct at 100-1,000 times the pre-industrial rate; global climate change is already beyond the tipping point for ice melt/sea rise; and we are taking 121 million tons of nitrogen out of the atmosphere by the Haber-Bosch process "when the proposed boundary to avoid irreversible degradtion of the earth system in 35 million tons per year" (The Ecologial Rift, Foster et al, 2010, p.15).

That nitrogen extracted from the atmosphere not used for gunpowder is used for nitrogen fertilizers, like the 270 tons of ammonium nitrate that blew a 10-acre hole in the middle of West, Texas, removing the town's top employer and creating as yet unknown hazard to its drinking water supply.

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The difference between slander and slur in the west side water wars

Submitted: Apr 28, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

We preface the thorough coverage of Westlands WAter District Chairman Mark Borba's foul, racist mouth with an ariicle written by the Central Valley Safe Environmental Network defending Lloyd Carter, author of the article on Borba, when he came under concerted, organized attack for an allegedly racial comment during that last drought/PR campaign by Westlands in 2009. we will add to the CVSEN remarks at the time that we had already witnessed Michael Dimmock, a so-called "value-free facilitator", nearly assault a Hispanic woman with whom he disagreed during a public meeting on the possible establishment of a streamlined mitigation plan for UC Merced that he was facilitating in his "value-free" fashion. 

CVSEN was the only environmental group in California that defended Carter.

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Last Week: March 3-9, 2013.

Submitted: Mar 16, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

California High Speed Rail -- A boondoggle in search of a Pork Barrel 

 

There is a railroad boom going on right now in the San Joaquin Valley. At least there is a boom going on in the newspapers about railroads, fast and not so fast.

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