Environment

Timing is everything

Submitted: Apr 13, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

...except history. Actually, UC has had a campus in the Central Valley for more than a century, at Davis. Nevertheless, when in 1988 UC announced plans for three new campuses, it was expected that the one most likely to be built would be in the San Joaquin Valley, probably in Fresno. But, Brown is right, it is a lovely piece of land. It is a terrible thing to realize that a prolonged economic depression is likely to be  a principle obstacle to UC and other developers completely ruining most of it. However, as late as early 1999, the UC Merced campus was not a "done deal." And, as one of the former speaker's oldest political cronies, John Burton, former president pro tem of the state Senate, aptly remarked at the time, the campus is a "boondoggle," of the win/win, public/private variety.

But, that's just history. This is just more politics.

Badlands Journal editorial board

 

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The King is dead; long live the King

Submitted: Apr 12, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The shore lines of Tulare Lake changed and shifted a great deal. If a strong wind came from the north, as it often did, the water would move several miles south, and would move again when the wind changed. Then, when the water level in the lake change, both the lea and windward shore lines shifted long distances. At some point it was possible to wade out into the lake as far as a mile and find the water below our knees. This made it impossible for the Indians to stay in one place permanently and they could roll up their light houses and load them on tule rafts and move in a few hours.
While we were at the lake I noticed one or two houses that have ever since been more or less of a puzzle to me. They were built in the standing tules, and seemed to be woven from the living tules as they stood in place. They were dome-shaped and about ten feet in diameter. I never saw any more of them and I have never since met anyone who had seen one of them. As I remember then, the tules appeared to have been cut away inside the house, but no excavation had been made as was made for the willow houses upstream...Thomas Jefferson Mayfield, Indian Summer: Traditional Life among the Choinumne Indians of California's San Joaquin Valley, Heyday Books, 1993 (Mayfield describing Tulare Lake in the late 1850s.)

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Nunes cadens

Submitted: Apr 10, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

This is the sound of one more bully's self pity, the whine of a big shot who rode a political escalator, powered by big money, arrogance and greed, to the top of the cliff. You could hear him bragging all the way up. He cut a fat hog. Then, the power went out and the tiny bully found himself falling in the immense darkness and he hasn't reached the bottom yet. As he falls and falls, he bellows his bitter pieties, but they don't have the magic to turn on the lights and stop the fall, for him or anyone. People are falling without a snivel all around him, but all we can hear is this man sobbing, "Why me?" as he hurtles downward like everyone else. Yet every hair on his head is still in place. His landing will be no more spectacular than ours. Some will be more graceful. Many others will be harder. All they will say, if they remember him at all, is that this one was lacking.

Badlands

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Nunes: Mother Nature is a radical environmental group

Submitted: Apr 02, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

4-2-09

Valley Voice
Little Good News for Water Users...Rick Elkins
http://www.valleyvoicenewspaper.com/vv/stories/2009/waterusers.htm

Back home in Tulare County Friday, Rep. Devin Nunes, Raver-Visalia, explained to more than 100 farmers and water-district officials that drought is caused by radical environmental groups.

Nunes did not offer a lot of encouragement. “Every year, something new (and bad) happens. One common denominator is the radical environmental groups who have cut our water supply. I don't know where we go from here,” he said discouragingly.

Here we thought drought was a natural periodic feature of California weather, perhaps intensified by global warming, no doubt abetted by some of Nunes' campaign contributors: dairies, insurance, electrical utilities, sceurities and investments, oil and gas, real estate, lobbyists, commercial banks, general contractors, agricultural services/products, automotive and home builders, among others. Obviously, Nunes is no dummy: he knows just how to pitch the manure and what to cover up with it. But, then, so did former congressmen and also California Republican good friends of lobbyists, John Doolittle and Richard Pombo. Nunes even has his own PAC, called NewPAC, reminiscent of Pombo's RICHPac and Doolittle's Superior California PAC.

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San Joaquin River Settlement approved by Congress

Submitted: Mar 25, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

National Resource Defense Council

Historic Lands Bill Will Restore Water Flow and Salmon to San Joaquin River
Congress Passes Package That Will Protect America's Land, Water and Rivers
http://www.nrdc.org/media/2009/090325.asp

WASHINGTON (March 25, 2009) – The U.S. House of Representatives today passed an omnibus public lands package, which includes a landmark settlement to restore water and salmon populations to California’s San Joaquin River. This vote will send a bill to the president’s desk that provides the additional authority and funding needed to restore runs of thousands of salmon each year. It will also launch projects to improve flood protection and water supply in the Central Valley.

"After so many years of effort, today's historic action by Congress will revitalize California's second longest river,” said Monty Schmitt, project manager and senior scientist in the water program at the Natural Resources Defense Council. "After recent dry years and a collapsing salmon fishery, passage of this bill is good news for fisherman, farmers, and the more than 22 million Californians who rely on the Sacramento – San Joaquin Delta for their water supply."

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State of the birds and of the Endangered Species Act

Submitted: Mar 20, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The unprecedented "State of the Birds" Report 2009 caused a small stir in some circles during a week otherwise devoted to stories of unprecedented extortion by finance, insurance and real estate representatives in and out of the Obama administration.

The Wall Street Journal, in an apparent lapse of syntactical clarity, offered this line:

Among the more than 800 bird species in the U.S., 67 are listed as endangered or threatened by the federal government, the report says.

Certainly under the Bush administration, including the former president's parting shot at gutting the Endangered Species Administration (see last posting by Badlands), a wide variety of wildlife species in the US have been endangered or threatened by the actions and especially the non-actions of federal government agencies charged with their protection. As the collected works of former Department of Interior Inspector General, Earl E. Devaney, documented, these agencies were frequently in the pockets of the extortionists now destroying the national human habitat and economy. The most outrageous case Devaney investigated, involved oil and gas leases in Colorado, home state of Obama's Secretary of Interior, Ken Salazar.

The Wall Street Journal continues:

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State of the birds and of the Endangered Species Act

Submitted: Mar 20, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The unprecedented "State of the Birds" Report 2009 caused a small stir in some circles during a week otherwise devoted to stories of unprecedented extortion by finance, insurance and real estate representatives in and out of the Obama administration.

The Wall Street Journal, in an apparent lapse of syntactical clarity, offered this line:

Among the more than 800 bird species in the U.S., 67 are listed as endangered or threatened by the federal government, the report says.

Certainly under the Bush administration, including the former president's parting shot at gutting the Endangered Species Administration (see last posting by Badlands), a wide variety of wildlife species in the US have been endangered or threatened by the actions and especially the non-actions of federal government agencies charged with their protection. As the collected works of former Department of Interior Inspector General, Earl E. Devaney, documented, these agencies were frequently in the pockets of the extortionists now destroying the national human habitat and economy. The most outrageous case Devaney investigated, involved oil and gas leases in Colorado, home state of Obama's Secretary of Interior, Ken Salazar.

The Wall Street Journal continues:

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Don't let Bush's ESA rules stand

Submitted: Mar 20, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

This item below courtesy of the Center for Biodiversity, brings us up-to-date on Bush's lame-duck anti-Endangered Species Act regulations, what Obama has done about them, what he hasn't don't about them, and what remains to be done to get rid of them in the next several weeks.

 

 

3-18-09

Center for Biological Diversity

(415) 632-5319 for more information

Secretary of Interior Should Rescind Bush Endangered Species Act Rules —

Congressional Authorization Expires in 53 Days

Shortly before leaving office, the Bush administration issued three regulations that (1) remove the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as an independent, scientific watchdog over potentially damaging federal projects such as timber sales, mines, and dams; (2) exempt all greenhouse gas-emitting projects, including coal-fired power plants and federal fuel efficiency standards, from Endangered Species Act review; and (3) specifically ban federal agencies from protecting the imperiled polar bear from greenhouse gas emissions. These policies eviscerate the central Endangered Species Act process — U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service oversight — that has protected endangered species for 35 years, and they exclude the greatest future threat to endangered species — global warming — from consideration under the Act.

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The fish

Submitted: Mar 15, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

"Capitalists forget the masses. Socialists forget the money." -- Mike Tharp, executive editor, Merced Sun-Star.

"Capitalists and newspaper editors work without aid of memory." Badlands Journal editoral board.

In the stirring, hairy-chested whine beneath, written on a weekend when, long after every newspaper in the region has seen all its finance, insurance and real estate flak predictions of the easing of foreclosures and the bottom of real estate prices buried by reality, Sonny Star's top editor calls for a Big public works project for Merced to provide work and restore civic confidence.

In general, Californians believe that the history of everything from the state to their subdivision began when they arrived. This appears to be doubly true of the manly Tharp, recently returned from the Green Zone in Baghdad, who calls in vigorous prose for the government to build something around Merced. Right now, if you please.

The government continues to sink hundreds of millions of weakening dollars into a win-win, public-private partnership project adjoining Merced. The project is called UC Merced. It was repeatedly presented by several generations of UC administrators, UC Merced boosters, politicians and business leaders -- and incessantly by UC Merced Bobcatflaksters -- to be a publicly funded "high-tech, bio-tech engine of growth." But we don't hear so much as a backfire, let alone a Great Purring Sound. 

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Class actionable sheetrock

Submitted: Mar 01, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

2-26-09
The National Law Journal
Something Rotten in Drywall, Say Homeowners
Sulphur emissions suspected from drywall of undetermined origin
Daily Business Review
John Pacenti

http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202428594677


George and Brenda Brincku knew they only wanted to use the best products for the third house they built together. She said they learned the hard way by scrimping in the past.

When it came to drywall, they insisted their subcontractors use an American-made product.

But the couple started experiencing unusual problems along with a number of owners whose homes were built in 2005 and 2006 when construction materials were scarce. The coils in their high-end air conditioner failed repeatedly. There was a strong odor in a downstairs bathroom.

"We knew something was wrong,"said Brenda Brincku.

They then read news accounts about houses with similar problems blamed on flawed toxic drywall manufactured in China by Knauff Plasterboard Tianjin and other Asian companies. But the Brinckus' home near Fort Myers didn't have Chinese drywall. Their drywall came from U.S. companies including National Gypsum in Charlotte, N.C.

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