Environment

MID conflicts of interest

Submitted: Apr 06, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Merced Irrigation District! This group, which can't even handle its normal irrigation business without the odor of scandal, is supposed to be able to negotiate its relicensing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission? The state Department of Water Resources trusts MID to lead, plan and administer the Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (IRWMP "Ear-wimp")?

MID is a very shaky organization.

Following her dishonorable role in attempting to bankrupt the environmental groups that publicly sued the Riverside Motorsports Park project near her dairy while she and other farmers hid behind them and schemed against them, Suzy Hultgren was miraculously appointed to the county farm bureau board of directors and soon after won election to the board of the Merced Irrigation District. Evidently, her extensive family, with roots here and there all over the county, has decided to make Suzy its public face. Included in that family is her cousin, John Sweigard, who left his position on the west side as general manager of the Patterson Irrigation District and board member on the San Luis and Delta-Mendota Water Authority board.

So, in a year with a 55-percent snowpack in the Sierras and cuts in delivery amounts to irrigators in the district, MID sells 15,000 acre-feet to the San Luis Water District. The two public proponents of the sale are Sweigard, former board member of the SLDMWA, and Hultgren, his cousin, with Hicham Eltal, assistant general manager, trotting on behind.

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Wrong lord of the universe

Submitted: Apr 03, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The bleak figures, however, need not be a harbinger of gloom, said Michael Dozier, executive director of the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley, an organization of public officials and business leaders that aims to address the region's economic, environmental and social problems.

"When studies like these come out, it's not like they're telling us anything new," he said. "What they do is show us how much better things could be with all the resources we have. … We should laugh at it and say, 'It just gives us that much more room to improve.' " -- Modesto Bee, April 2, 2012

 

We suspect that regardless of the possible merits of high speed rail, the reason people in the Valley distrust it is that it is a huge project involving a great amount of public debt, and the people who live at the epicenter of the greatest credit fraud in world history know -- not that debt can be manipulated to the benefit of the plutocracy and the detriment of ordinary citizens -- but that it will be manipulated that way.

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Human rights and animal rights

Submitted: Mar 28, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 But just as the Endangered Species Act has long outlived its usefulness, the move to equate animal rights with human rights is a complete nonstarter for us. -- Merced Sun-Star, March 28, 2012

 

The Sun-Star's position seems to be that human rights ought to be brought down to the present level of animal rights. Our response to that is just because Sonny Star, the gigolo press, wants to stand up to its knees in manure 24/7/365 doesn't mean we do.

 

Badlands Journal editorial board

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Political correction

Submitted: Mar 23, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Last year, Cardoza told The Record's editorial board that his decision not to seek re-election to the House of Representatives was based in part on the grip of partisanship. He lamented the lack of compromise in policymaking in Sacramento and in Washington, D.C. -- Stockton Record, March 19, 2012

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GMO labeling campaign in Davis

Submitted: Mar 22, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

3-22-12

Genetic Engineering News List

Proposed ballot initiative and anti-Monsanto rally puts bioengineered foods in the crosshairs

By Jean Walker
http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/gmo-wars/content?oid=5513229


Fortune 500 corporation Monsanto shut down its local operations last week as protesters, holding signs and taking turns on a handheld megaphone, demanded that genetically modified foods to be labeled as such-if not banned outright.

The Davis rally was in solidarity with a grassroots attempt to shut down Monsanto offices across the globe. Locally, it worked: After catching wind of the planned demonstration, Monsanto employees were directed to avoid work on Friday.

And if the two-day rally is any indicator of a greater phenomenon, as activist Pamm Larry suggested, it's that there's an increasing awareness in the country about food production and safety.

Larry leads hundreds of volunteers across the state in collecting 800,000 signatures before April 22 to qualify the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act initiative for this fall's ballot.

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GMO labeling campaign in Davis

Submitted: Mar 22, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

3-22-12

Genetic Engineering News List

Proposed ballot initiative and anti-Monsanto rally puts bioengineered foods in the crosshairs

By Jean Walker
http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/gmo-wars/content?oid=5513229


Fortune 500 corporation Monsanto shut down its local operations last week as protesters, holding signs and taking turns on a handheld megaphone, demanded that genetically modified foods to be labeled as such-if not banned outright.

The Davis rally was in solidarity with a grassroots attempt to shut down Monsanto offices across the globe. Locally, it worked: After catching wind of the planned demonstration, Monsanto employees were directed to avoid work on Friday.

And if the two-day rally is any indicator of a greater phenomenon, as activist Pamm Larry suggested, it's that there's an increasing awareness in the country about food production and safety.

Larry leads hundreds of volunteers across the state in collecting 800,000 signatures before April 22 to qualify the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act initiative for this fall's ballot.

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Professor Garone's book

Submitted: Mar 20, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Dr. Philip Garone, an assistant professor of history at CSU Stanislaus, has been producing provocative papers on the history of California wetlands for some years and recently published a book about collaboration between ranchers and water agencies to restore parts of the wetlands beneath the great Pacific Flyway of migratory waterfowl, protected by treaties between a half a dozen nations.

The book is reviewed briefly below. We plan to get a copy ourselves for review. We hope we can support Garone's work. On his biography page at CSUS, he describes his research interests: 

My present work explores the history and ecology of the Central Valley from its geologic origins to the present, with an emphasis on the profound changes that have taken place in its landscape since California statehood in 1850. This project focuses on the social, economic, political, and cultural reasons that account for the transformation of the Central Valley from a region defined by millions of acres of wetlands, riparian habitat, and grasslands to one defined primarily by agriculture and urban growth. It also analyzes more recent trends, over the past several generations, toward protecting and restoring natural habitat in the Valley, particularly in response to the importance of the Valley’s wetlands for migratory waterfowl of the Pacific Flyway and for threatened and endangered species.

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It's the CULTURE, don't you SEE!!!!

Submitted: Mar 15, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Greg Smith is resigning today as a Goldman Sachs executive director and head of the firm’s United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. -- NYTs. 3-14-12

This fine young South African, finalist in the Jewish Olympics (in ping pong), and Stanford graduate and Rhodes Scholar finalist, had been pushing little bundles of derivative joy originating in the US -- and who knows? some securitized mortgages perhaps right here in Merced -- all over Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Then, for some reason, he quit and wrote this letter that is presently costing Goldman Sachs, his former employee, billions. He says the culture of his former investment banking firm is "toxic and destructive." We wonder, given his background and advantages in life, how he came to this remarkable conclusion. Could it be that one or a number of his clients became disgruntled with the securities he was selling them when homeowners began successfully challenging banks in court to produce proof of who owned the mortgages swaddled up in the sweet smelling derivatives.

Badlands Journal editorial board

3-14-12
New York Times
Op-Ed Contributor
Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs
By GREG SMITH
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/opinion/why-i-am-leaving-goldman-sachs.html?_r=4&pagewanted=all

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Is she gonna "pull a Cranston"?

Submitted: Mar 12, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Ordinarily, the Great Shield against such southerly missiles would be Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA. But 78-year-old DiDi is running for reelection again this year and one of the largest supporters of HR 1937, the Shah of the Land of Fruits and Nuts, Stewart Resnick and his Queen Consort, Lynda, just did a big fundraiser for the senator. Resnick’s Roll International owns the largest citrus, almond and pomegranate orchards in the nation, two San Joaquin Valley water banks, Fiji Water, Pom Wonderful and much else besides. Old Valley hands wonder if Feinstein will “pull a Cranston,” a reference to former Sen. Alan Cranston, who sold his vote to the largest cotton farmers in the nation with an amendment exempting them on a key provision in the federal Reclamation Reform Act of 1982. -- "Downstream Vengeance in California," Badlandsjournal.com, March 12, 2012

 

3-9-12
Fresno Bee
Denham, Feinstein seek deal on Calif. water bill
Michael Doyle
http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/03/09/v-print/2753980/house-senate-search-out-agreement.html

WASHINGTON -- Lawmakers have quietly begun laying groundwork for a California water bill that could pass the Senate and become law.

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Downstream vengeance in California

Submitted: Mar 12, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board
by Bill Hatch
 
Rep. Devin Nunes, a Republican from the biggest cow county in the USA, Tulare CA, booted home his San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act (HR 1837) to a big win in the House two weeks ago. An old-fashioned Western water grab got the Tea Party all hot and a few Blue Dog Democrats slithered along for the ride.
 
The Act is worthy of all truce-breaking acts the world over through history back to the time the goddess Athena persuaded godlike but stupid Pandaros to shoot an arrow into Helen’s husband, Menelaos, prolonging Homer’s Iliad for 23 more chapters.
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