Environment

The short and the long term housing problem

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

5-22-12

Merced Sun-Star

McNamara Pool in South Merced to reopen, council assures…AMEERA BUTT

http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2012/05/22/v-print/2355204/mcnamara-pool-in-south-merced.html

A combination of renters, landlords and South Merced residents came out in support of two concerns close to their hearts Monday afternoon: the reopening of McNamara Pool in South Merced and an ordinance protecting renters' rights that was up for repeal.

More than 50 people mingled outside City Hall holding signs that said "Save McNamara Pool" and "Protect Your Rights" before the City Council took up both issues at its regularly scheduled meeting.

There was some good news for the South Merced contingent when it was announced that the pool was on track to reopen next month. As for the renters and landlords, there was no decision at Sun-Star press time Monday on the fate of the renters' rights ordinance.

Mayor Stan Thurston told the audience the council was "quite confident" the pool would reopen June 11, thanks to large, anonymous donations from the community.

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Rotten low hanging fruit falling, falling, falling

Submitted: May 21, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

In the fall of 2008 as the economy was falling about our ears, Merced County lashed out at what we then called "low hanging fruit" because the group indicted for purloining hundreds of thousands of dollars of federal funds were such obvious crooks, They were fronted by Rudy Buendia of Planada, who had been promoted up the ladder of responsibility and community visibility until he had landed on the county Planning Commission as a tardy, uncomprehending, silent vote for the developers when he turned up at all. The first article, from Badlands files in September 2008, deals with the indictments on financial charges. The article below, from the May 21, 2012 Merrced Sun-Star, deals with the later charges of endangerment of youth who helped tear down asbestos-laden rooms belonging to the Merced County Office of Education, wihtout proper safety gear. The MCOE superintendent at the time, Lee Anderson, testified after receiving a grant of immunity from prosecution because he knew about but did not report the incident.

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Westlands water rights

Submitted: May 13, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

However, the contract also states that senior water rights holders, including riparian, exchange and older contract rights, will have their supply demands met BEFORE Westlands gets any water. Thus, the 40 percent figure is all Westlands is entitled to after senior water rights are met. Westlands is getting 100 percent of what the contract states, i.e. whatever is available. Birmingham's "voodoo math" doesn't add up. --Lloyd Carter, Sacramento Bee, May 9, 2012

5-12-12

Sacramento Bee

Westlands uses 'voodoo math' to seek more water…Lloyd G. Carter, Clovis…Letters to the editor

http://www.sacbee.com/2012/05/12/4481366/thomas-birminghamwestlands-op.html

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Growth and limits

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

A Modesto Bee article from 1961 said that a North Carolina textile-mill installation engineer, Jack Pirkle, had sold the Dos Palos Chamber of Commerce on the idea of locating a mill in South Dos Palos, to be built in three months, employ 85-100 people and to produce a wekkly payroll of $7,000 (in 1961 money). Presumably something like that was the abandoned mill mentioned in the article below about the desperate poverty of South Dos Palos today and for years in the immediate past.

We wonder why such a sophisticated outfit as California Watch, who underwrote the article, failed to see the most obvious economic fact in that region: globalism -- cotton still grown here in great quantity being shipped to Asia for processing, to be sent to other Asian locations and elsewhere to be made into clothes sold here in the Valley and elsewhere in the US and Europe. What more perfect example of globalism in the raw than the rise and fall of South Dos Palos?

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Our noble "stewards of the land" and their bribed government at work

Submitted: May 04, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

To single out the California dairy industry, as it is so proud to often single iteslf out as the highest earning commodity in the state and tops in the nation, the grand scale on which it is practiced in California has guaranteed pollution of groundwater from manure and air from deisel-truck produced particulate smog.

Tulare is the top dairy producing county in the nation; Merced is second. Given the progrss of the dairy industry, Merced can expect to move up in the ranks of air and groundwater pollution as our noble "stewards of the land" increase their profits at the expense of our health and safety.

Badlands Journal editorial board

 

5-3-12
Fresno Bee
Valley water agencies look at farming contamination
By Mark Grossi
http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/05/03/2824626/valley-water-agencies-look-at.html

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A few comments on imperialism

Submitted: May 02, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

5-2-12
Democracy Now!
http://www.democracynow.org/2012/5/2/obama_touts_wars_end_in_afghanistan


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Good evening from Bagram Air Base. This outpost is more than 7,000 miles from home, but for over a decade it’s been close to our hearts, because here in Afghanistan more than half a million of our sons and daughters have sacrificed to protect our country. Today I signed a historic agreement between the United States and Afghanistan that defines a new kind of relationship between our countries, a future in which Afghans are responsible for the security of their nation and we build an equal partnership between two sovereign states, a future in which war ends and a new chapter begins...

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to go first to Tariq Ali. Can you talk about President Obama’s announcement last night from Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan?

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Silicon Valley goes downstream to protect water supply; DiFi muddies the stream

Submitted: Apr 29, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

To dispense with the obvious, Sen. Dianne Feinstein is playing every game she can to reassure agribusiness that she is still their water girl.

Meanwhile, Rep. Devin Nunes, whose new district includes a heavy addition of skeptical Fresno to true-believin\\\' Tulare County, is facing an emissary from Santa Clara County, who represents interests that wish to send Nunes back to Visalia for the rest of his life because Nune\\\'s H.R. 1837, the so-called "Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act," throws into question the water rights of the Santa Clara Water District among others, and SCWD provides water for all them city slickers in Silicon Valley. 

Badlands Journal editorial board 

2-21-12
Switchboard
Natural Resources Defense Council Staff Blog
Barry Nelson’s Blog
Water Rights "Hot Potato" and H.R. 1837
http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/bnelson/water_rights_hot_potato_and_hr.htmskip

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Long submerged voice heard from

Submitted: Apr 27, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

A long submerged voice from Southern California is being heard in the state Capitol on the vital issue of the actual costs and benefits of a peripheral canal. It is refreshing to here from ratepayers in the southern regions asking how much a peripheral canal would cost. It is also refreshing to hear them using the proper word for the project: PERIPHERAL CANAL (just like in 1982, when an initiative to fund the project was defeated).

The CONVEYANCE word has just been offed by the plain-spoken Southern Californians.

The essence of the refreshment we in the North experience when we see our sourthern neighbors demanding some accountability for the hundreds of millions required to build the thing (not including the devastation it will cause to the existing Delta economy) is that this is the voice of actual residents of Southern California, rather than the usual developer flak about people who live elsewhere and don\'t even know that one day they may move to Southern California just as long as those developers can go on bribing whatever officials it is necessary to bribe to continue the flow of Northern California water down the San Joaquin Valley (where 75 percent of it is captured by agribusiness) and over the hill to irrigate new fields of subprime mortgages.

Badlands Journal editorial board

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Why is scientific expertise being muzzled in America?

Submitted: Apr 25, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

We are only as good as our questions. -- Lloyd Carter

4-25-12

Chronicles of the Hydraulic Brotherhood

Cowardice at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Lloyd Carter

http://www.lloydgcarter.com/

In my nearly 30 years covering pollution issues at National Wildlife Refuges, I have come across several courageous field level employees of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and a few cowards in management positions, managers who are afraid of politicians, polluters, and their own shadows. A good example is the debacle at the Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge in the early 1980s, where toxic selenium-tainted agricultural waste water from the Westlands Water District polluted the food chain in evaporation ponds at the Merced County "refuge," a supposed haven for migratory ducks and birds, triggering deformities and reproductive failure. There were heroes like biologist Felix Smith - who leaked the Kesterson findings to Fresno Bee reporter Deborah Blum, and there were cowards in the Portland regional office who participated in a cover-up to delay release of the Kesterson findings.

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Imagine

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

Just imagine the possibilithy that the ground water for the entire San Joaquin Valley, or the entire aquifer under where you live, were contaminated by toxic chemicals mixed into minimallyh regulated pesticides (soil fumigants for nematodes) and injected into the soils of farms all around you without, by the way, agents for the chemical companies or state or federal farm "advisors" being able to tell you why it may kill nematodes. In fact, telone wasn't much of a nematicide. The preferred fumigant was methyl bromide but, oops, fumes from it are burning holes through the protective layer of ozone in the earth's atmosphere.

It is no accident that Livingston is one of the plaintiffs in the fumigant suits: Livingston boasts being the Sweet Potato Capital of California. The sweet potato industry has been fighting nematodes, which feed on roots, since its inception. The sandy nature of the soil, so good for growing root crops, also allows nematodes to move around more quickly than in denser soils.

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