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Mendocino County Today: Friday, March 28, 2014

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THE EUGENE REGISTER-GUARD reports that Ricardo Chaney had been homeless and living out of a car before he launched his murderous crime spree. He had also been enrolled at Portland State University where he'd studied computer sciences and had recently tried to start a pornography business.

CHANEY'S family and friends are refusing to talk about the 32-year-old, but public records reveal he'd lived in Eugene all his life where his father, who died in 1998, taught anthropology at the University of Oregon. Ironically, in light of his murder of Mendocino County deputy, Ricky Del Fiorentino, Chaney, like Del Fiorentino, had been a member of his high school wrestling team.

IN 2007, Chaney filed for divorce from a woman with whom he had a child. She had accused him of domestic assault, but the felony charge was later dismissed, according to court records.

GROWING UP as the son of a college professor at the UofO and in a solidly middleclass neighborhood not far from the campus, it is not surprising that Chaney was able to enroll as a student at the UofO before the 2007 winter term. After a one-year break, he re-enrolled for classes there during the spring and summer terms of 2008.

COURT AND DMV records show that Chaney maintained his address as his family’s longtime home on Floral Hill Drive, which sits at the end of a driveway near the east entrance of Hendricks Park in south Eugene.

IN DECEMBER, Chaney used that address when he filed new-business paperwork with the Oregon Secretary of State. Chaney named his venture Zero Dark Films LLC. An Internet search for the company — along with social media postings to accounts made under Chaney’s name — indicate that it produced pornography.

ACCORDING to the Register-Guard, “Chaney’s mother, Martha Chaney, died in May. She was survived by two sons and a daughter, but in a will named her son-in-law as her personal representative. Those family members, all of whom live outside Lane County (of which Eugene is the county seat), have not returned telephone messages requesting comment.”

MEDIA PEOPLE always feign surprise that family members of berserkers are reluctant to talk to them. In this case, what's there to say other than the same old sad song sung since the drug plague took mass hold 50 years ago. “He was fine until he got into drugs, and then he became impossible, and he got worse and worse until we couldn't bear to have him around. Now this.”

THE R-G CONTINUES: “The home on Floral Hill Drive sold Feb. 25 for $218,000, according to Lane County property records. Martha Chaney’s will bequeathed a car to Ricardo Chaney, jewelry to his sister, and stipulated that all remaining property would be split among the children, meaning that Ricardo Chaney was entitled to proceeds from the home’s sale.”

EUGENE POLICE were among the mourners at Wednesday's memorial service for Del Fiorentino.

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COMING SOON TO HBO, Shrimp Boy, a San Francisco Scandal brought to you by America's political system.

Raymond 'Shrimp Boy' Chow
Raymond 'Shrimp Boy' Chow

“SAN FRANCISCO — State Sen. Leland Yee, a prominent figure in California's Democratic legislative majority, was arrested in a federal corruption investigation Wednesday along with an ostentatious gangster known as "Shrimp Boy" — who insisted that he had gone straight — and two dozen of their alleged associates. An affidavit filed in federal court in San Francisco by FBI Special Agent Emmanuel V. Pascua said there was probable cause to believe that Yee had conducted wire fraud and had engaged in a conspiracy to deal firearms without a license and illegally import firearms.” … “The organized crime figure known as Shrimp Boy, whose name is Raymond Chow, identifies himself as the ‘dragon head’ of that Freemason organization on his Facebook page. The indictment says that Chow, 54, whose criminal history includes racketeering and robbery, has a position of ‘supreme authority’ in the Triad, an international organized crime group.” (Los Angeles Times),0,5960274,full.story#axzz2xEmPmf8v

NATIONAL PUNDITRY always seems surprised that with elected government for sale, our political class, or the poorer sectors of it, resort to bribery when the whole show runs on it. The richer sectors, in SF that means the Feinstein-Willie Brown-Pelosi Axis, doesn't have to resort to criminal schemes to fund raise; they simply go to big time capital and, in return, well, you know the rest.

FRISCO, of course, can be depended on to bring some dramatic extra touches to what any other place would be the usual story of a career officeholder of one party or the other reaching beyond “the strict donor reporting and accountability standards” overseen by — guess who? — political appointees. But in this one, the FBI is alleging China-based organized crime, murder for hire, gun running, cargo hijacking, and, natch, drugs and prostitution. Or as the Chron put it, “underage prostitution,” conjuring up images of 19th century Chinatown slave girls. It took the G-Men five years to make the case, although reading the on-line indictments it all seems awfully thin, especially for five years work the FBI says it put in on it.

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A READER WRITES: I was traipsing along enjoying Valerie Adair’s accounts of her culinary capers (3/5) when I stumbled on a pile of turds: Gerson Therapy, Reiki, energy medicine. Arrrghhh!!! For a woman who seems curious and able to research issues, she exhibits a serious lack of critical thinking. These are all sheer quackery (; The Gerson therapy involves ingesting large quantities of fruit and vegetable juices, raw liver and using coffee enemas (!) for “detoxification” (unproven need), and other skeptical treatments. There are no well-controlled studies published in medical literature showing that the Gerson therapy is effective in treating cancer. The University of Texas recently identified 7 studies proponents presented at medical conferences, not one of which was randomly controlled.

Reiki is a form of “energy healing” based on the false premise that some spiritual energy (called ki or chi or prana) flows through us and practitioners can strengthen or balance it by “laying on of hands,” similar to Therapeutic Touch which was totally debunked by a nine year old girl, Emily Rosa in her elegant, simple experiment in the mid-90s. This is pre-scientific thinking and no such force can be detected.

Ms. Adair implies that her sister was cured of cancer by these therapies, but doesn’t say what cancer she had nor whether or not she had standard care. I am especially disturbed by the promotion of these modalities as cancer cures because my dearest friend, Michele J. was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in 2010 and with the overwhelming endorsement of her husband refused all standard treatment until two months before she died in 2012. Her treatment was the Gerson therapy, visualization, various energy sessions, etc. etc. Of course we should all have good nutrition, whether we are well or ill, but to not seek conventional treatment is ignorant. And, yes, we all know how horrid chemotherapy is. But I have one friend alive with just surgery after 15 years, another two with surgery, radiation and chemo, healthy after 12 years. All had breast cancer and the last two were also friends of Michele who would not listen to them.

These are dangerous recommendations from Ms. Adair. I hope anyone influenced by her to seek such treatments will do the research that presents the studies showing their fallacies. (Dr. David Gorski, an editor at is a cancer surgeon who is available for advice. He helped me immensely when Michele would try a new nonsensical therapy and I would email him.) And by the way, there is no such thing as “alternative medicine.” If it works, we call it “medicine.” If not, it’s “woo.” (Finally, to combat the type of thinking Ms. Adair exhibits is precisely the reason one of my 10 book recommendations was Carl Sagan’s The DemonHaunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark.)

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The Diane Rehm Show, March 26, 2014
President Jimmy Carter: "A Call To Action"

Diane Rehm: "Briefly, how do you feel about the Affordable Care Act?"

President Jimmy Carter: "I was disappointed the way it was done and the complexity that it assumed. Instead of taking a leadership role from the White House and saying, “This is what we think is best,” they had five different congressional committees do it and it got, I think, the lowest common denominator, which is the most complex system. I would really have favored just the expansion of Medicare to include all ages, rather than just to deal with old people."

Video (38 second clip of quote above; also full 51 minute video):

COMMENT by Don McCanne...

Characterizing the Affordable Care Act as “the lowest common denominator — the most complex system,” President Jimmy Carter tells us that he would have favored “the expansion of Medicare to include all ages.”

He’s right, and here’s why. There have been numerous analyses of multiple models of reform. Most of them have included a model that would build on our private insurance system and expand Medicaid, just as is found in the Affordable Care Act. Of these analyses, this is the most expensive model and it falls short on important goals such as universality, equity, administrative efficiency, and affordability.

In contrast, single payer is the least expensive of the effective models and achieves virtually all of the goals of reform. An improved version of Medicare that is expanded to include everyone would be such a model. A health service model - socialized medicine - would also work, but the nation is still too leery of that much government involvement. The popularity of Medicare indicates that this is about the level of government involvement that most would support.

We have to keep reminding Americans that the exchanges are marketing private insurance - not government insurance, so they cannot confuse a government exchange with government insurance. In fact, the exchanges are prohibited from even including a government “public option” (which wouldn’t have worked anyway since the rest of the fragmented, dysfunctional system would have been left in place). Those who defend the private Medicare Advantage plans have to be reminded that they burn up more taxpayer dollars for administration and profits while depriving patients of choice because of their limited networks of providers. Once payment between government Medicare and private Medicare Advantage is equalized, the private insurers cannot possibly compete with the government program because of their inherent inefficiencies. This was already proven by the failure of the Medicare + Choice plans that preceded Medicare Advantage.

It’s too bad that Jimmy Carter didn’t start talking about Medicare for all when he was president. It might have been helpful if the public had had a few decades to think about it before we got to the point that legislation could be passed. They could have pressured the politicians to do it right.

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UPDATE ON A FAMILIAR NAME IN THE NEWS. The Medical Board of California has issued a 23-page decision regarding Dr. Milan L. Hopkins of Upper Lake. Hopkins faced disciplinary action because of alleged gross negligence surrounding his practice of medical marijuana recommendations. The brief summary of the stipulated settlement reads, “Five years of probation with various terms and conditions. During probation Dr. Hopkins is prohibited from supervising physician assistants.” The medical board case number is 20-2009-201791. The order becomes effective April 11, 2014, according to the medical board. In 2012, Mendocino County District Attorney David Eyster publicly challenged as misleading local newspaper and radio marijuana-related advertising placed by Hopkins, 67. He had been placing advertising in local newspapers and purchasing radio spots offering to clear up the “confusion and misinformation” being spread by “newspapers and law enforcement.” Of particular concern to DA Eyster was Hopkins’ primary claim that his recommendations will protect people in any county from prosecution under state law for 99 plants and 19 pounds of processed cannabis, a claim that Eyster suggests was nothing more than bad legal advice.

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Fire Prevention Fee Billing Begins Third Year
State Provides Fire Prevention Fee Information Resources

Sacramento - As the State's Fire Prevention Fee continues to be implemented, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) is providing property owners multiple resources to answer their questions about the fee. This outreach effort is being implemented as a result of Assembly Bill X1 29, which was signed into law July 7, 2011 establishing a fee for fire prevention services in the 31 million acres of State Responsibility Area (SRA). The revenue generated from the fee pays for vital fire prevention services within the SRA. Fire prevention services funded by the fee include strategic fuel reduction activities, defensible space inspections, fire prevention engineering, emergency evacuation planning, fire prevention education, fire hazard severity mapping, implementation of the State's and local Fire Plans (, and fire related law enforcement activities such as fire cause determination and arson investigation. CAL FIRE has established a website,, which contains comprehensive information about the fee and helpful links to maps, the law language, and answers frequently asked questions. Additionally, a customer service call center is staffed Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except holidays) to further aid homeowners that have questions about the Fire Prevention Fee. The call center number is 1-888-310-6447. Under the law, the Board of Equalization (BOE) is responsible for collecting the fee. The bills scheduled for mailing this spring are for Fiscal Year 2013/14, which includes July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. The fee applies to the homeowner of record as of July 1, 2013, for all habitable structures within the SRA. The BOE began mailing the bills alphabetically by county on March 3, 2014.

[Calfire Press Release]

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Casting Sunlight on Secret Government and Its Contractors

by Ralph Nader

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once wrote: “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.”

Indeed, openness and transparency are essential for a healthy and functioning democracy. Unfortunately, despite lofty initial campaign promises by the Obama administration, widespread government secrecy has only worsened in recent years and access to information by journalists and activists is disturbingly limited.

Last week was “Sunshine Week” — an initiative to bring attention and awareness — and light — to the issue of open government. Started in 2005 by The American Society of News Editors, Sunshine Week is an occasion to educate the public by articulating the many challenges faced by those who work to keep a watchful eye on the mechanisms of government. Sunshine Week coincides with “Freedom of Information Day” which happens every year on or around the birthday of founding father James Madison (March 16), who was a staunch advocate for open government.

Here are five areas where critical improvements in providing citizens access to information must be made:

1. Put the full text of government contracts online.

When it comes to government spending and government contracts, the devil is in the details. Unfortunately, these details are often unavailable to the public. Free access to government contracts by taxpayers, the media, scholars, watchdog groups, and even other bidders would be an important step to publicize how our government does its business with taxpayer money. Putting the text of these contracts online would encourage fiscal responsibility, propagate better and fairer practices in contracting, provide taxpayers better savings and value, encourage active citizenship and hinder corruption. Each year hundreds of billions of dollars in federal government contracts, grants, leaseholds and licenses are awarded to corporations. Access to the terms of these deals should be readily available for public inspection.

The Digital Accountability and Transparency (DATA) Act is a bill that aims to improve the quality of publicly accessible government information, set uniform data standards, collect spending data, and examine the information to root out waste, fraud or abuse. It was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) last year and passed in an overwhelming 388-1 vote. The bill, however, does not yet require the full text of government contracts to be put online. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Representative Issa both told me that they support giving citizens easy online access to the full text of government contracts, but actions speak louder than words. They should jointly offer an amendment to the DATA Act to make it easier for the American people to see where and how public officials are spending tax dollars. (There is precedent — when Barack Obama was in the Senate, he co-sponsored a bill with Tom Coburn to put the full text of government contracts online.)

2. Easy online access to voting records of Members of Congress.

Consider the arduous lengths many citizens must currently go through to simply compile the timely voting records of their members of Congress. In an age where there is a simple app for nearly everything, the lack of easy, searchable voting records on the websites of each member of Congress is unacceptable. How about a Congressional resolution revising the mandate for the website (formerly that could provide a database of Congressional voting records, searchable by member and subject, that is free, simple and easy to use? Members of Congress should then be required to provide a clear link to this information on their websites. If citizens can easily donate to electoral campaigns from their cell phone, they should be able to monitor the voting record of their representatives with equal ease. Notably, some members of Congress, such as Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) make their voting record easily available on their websites. Unfortunately this is the exception, not the norm.

3. Improved responses to FOIA requests.

When President Obama took office, he declared that his administration would be the “most transparent in history.” Unfortunately, this turned out to be an overstatement. It was widely reported that last year the Obama administration denied a record number of Freedom of Information Act requests. What is their most cited reasoning for this lack of disclosure? “National security concerns.”

According to the Associated Press: “The administration cited more legal exceptions it said justified withholding materials and refused a record number of times to turn over files quickly that might be especially newsworthy. Most agencies also took longer to answer records requests, the analysis found.”
Years ago, the Navy refused to divulge to environmentalists the amount of sewage dumped into bays from naval bases. “National security concerns” was the same excuse then — the Navy brass were concerned about the Russians or Chinese using that data to determine how many sailors were stationed at a particular base. The environment suffered as a result of this government secrecy.

Check out Center for Effective Government’s 2014 Freedom of Information Act scorecard which found that out of 15 federal agencies, none earned exemplary scores and only eight earned what is deemed “passing grades.” The highest graded agency — the Social Security Administration — received a “B.” The agencies that received a failing grade were: the Department of Labor, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Archives and Records Administration, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of State. See the full report card here.

This lack of access should be considered unacceptable to all citizens who believe in a free democracy.

4. Public Access to Congressional Research Reports.

The Congressional Research Service regularly creates hundreds of reports on policy matters that are available exclusively to members of Congress and their staff. These reports, which are highly regarded for their quality, are generally unavailable to the public. (Occasionally, they are reproduced and sold by third parties or leaked to websites that freely make the reports available, such as Federation of American Scientists andNational Council for Science and the Environment.) The CRS receives an annual budget of over $100 million to produce these reports, which the taxpayers cannot regularly use to educate themselves on legislative matters.

In the past, there has been legislation introduced to rectify this problem and to put these reports online for public use, but it has stalled in Congress. It’s time for another push so that this valuable research is available to all.

5. Preserve the people’s printer

In the past few decades, the GPO has shifted much of the information it provides online. As a result, it has printed less and even outsourced more of its printing work. The documents that are still printed are often unreasonably expensive.

While supporting the digital realm grants many Americans access to government documents, there are millions of people who do not have access to broadband internet. These “unconnected” people are often the most vulnerable and isolated members of our society — the poor, the elderly, and the rural. These Americans must not be left in the dark. See our report on this matter, titled The Peoples’ Printer: Time for a Reawakening.

When the public has ready access to information about the inner workings of their government and the actions taken by their elected representatives, they can better voice their opinions and cast more informed votes. However, when this information remains concealed behind bureaucracy, red tape and veiled notions of national security, elected officials can more easily become beholden to corporate interests. An open government allows citizens better resources to exercise their civic powers and responsibilities. Let the people know! For information is currency of democracy.

(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, published by AK Press. Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition.)

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Golden Gate Salmon Association (GGSA) representatives were on hand to greet the arrival of tanker trucks bringing millions of juvenile salmon to the Delta.

“The fish are being trucked from the Coleman National Fish Hatchery, located hundreds of miles up the Sacramento River, because drought conditions have made the river virtually impassable to baby salmon,” according to a GGSA news release. “The trucks are carrying them around the deadly drought zone to safe release sites in the Delta and bay. After a short acclimation period, the fish are being released to migrate to the ocean. In 2016 they’ll be adults contributing to the ocean and inland fisheries.”

GGSA chairman Roger Thomas emphasized, “Our 2016 fishing season may be riding on the survival of the fish in these trucks. We know that fish trucked around dangers lurking in the rivers and Delta survive at much higher rates than those released at the hatcheries. They are being trucked this year because they’d likely die in the low, clear, hot river conditions created by drought.”

Coleman hatchery raises approximately 12 million baby fall run salmon annually to help mitigate for the destruction of habitat by Shasta Dam and federal water operations in the Upper Sacramento River. Before the construction of Shasta and other dams, millions of salmon once migrated into the Sacramento, McCloud and Pit rivers and their tributaries to spawn.

“GGSA worked with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to move and save these salmon,” said GGSA executive director John McManus. “What this means is we’ll likely have a much better salmon fishing season in 2016, when these fish reach adulthood, than we would have otherwise gotten. This could mean the difference between a shutdown of the fishery in 2016 and a decent year.”

McManus said California’s state-operated hatcheries truck much of their production annually for release in the Delta or Bay and this year the state took a leading role to truck even more due to the drought. State and federally raised hatchery fish could make up much of 2016’s adult salmon harvest and spawning adults.

With no significant rain in sight, trucking the rest of the Coleman baby salmon is expected to continue through June, according to McManus.

“Although transporting the baby salmon in tanker trucks and releasing them into the bay or western Delta will greatly increase their chances of survival, it’s not our preferred option,” said GGSA treasurer Victor Gonella. “We’d all rather see a functioning, healthy river and Delta that support natural and hatchery salmon.”

Baby salmon this year face the added risk of being pulled to their deaths through the Delta Cross Channel, a manmade canal built to divert water to huge pumps that send it to corporate agribusiness interests on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. Normally the Cross Channel Gates would be closed at this time of year to allow salmon passage. However, they are now being opened to dilute salt water accumulation in the interior Delta caused by the drought.

“In addition, pumping of Delta water south in recent weeks was increased even as wildlife managers warned water agencies that many wild federally protected winter and spring run baby salmon were threatened by the pumping. Low numbers of winter run Chinooks could adversely affect the 2016 fishing season,” added Gonella.

The winter-run Chinook, a robust fish that formerly migrated into the McCloud River before Shasta Dam was built, is listed as "endangered" under both state and federal law.

GGSA secretary Dick Pool said, "The Fish and Wildlife Service developed criteria for this year dictating when it should transport salmon rather than release them into hostile drought conditions. We think hatchery fish should be trucked in the future whenever these criteria are triggered by low water conditions.

“As more and more fresh water is extracted from the Sacramento River and Delta for delivery to San Joaquin Valley agribusiness, the salmon’s migration corridor downstream and through the Bay-Delta estuary has become a deadly gauntlet,” said GGSA vice chairman Zeke Grader, who is also the executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations. “Add drought, and the Central Valley rivers and Delta become virtually impassable for salmon.”

GGSA was joined by member fishing groups in working to get the Coleman fish trucked. Members of Congress, including Representatives Jared Huffman, Mike Thompson, John Garamendi, Anna Eshoo, Jackie Speier, George Miller and Mike Honda, also supported the efforts.

CSPA says salmon should be released further downriver

However, Bill Jennings, the Executive Director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA), said his organization was concerned that the salmon were released at Rio Vista, where the majority of larval Delta and longfin smelt can be found now, when they could have been released further downriver at Pittsburg or Benicia. The larval smelt are highly vulnerable to predation by the newly-released salmon.

"We urged state and federal officials to both transport hatchery stocks and, wherever possible, to capture some of the wild fish at rotary screw fish traps and weirs for transport downriver because those are the salmon that will be completely hammered this year, especially spring and winter run chinooks," said Jennings. "Second, we urged agency officials to release the fish 10 miles downriver at Pittsburg to get beyond where the Delta smelt are. In fact, they could have gone all way down to Benicia."

Jennings pointed out the dire situation that Delta smelt, a state and federal endangered species, and longfin smelt, a state threatened species, are in now.

“The state and federal governments last year hammmered Delta and longfin smelt when they violated water quality standards and reduced Delta outflows last year," said Jennings. "The CDFW fall midwater trawl survey revealed that Delta smelt reached their second lowest population level on record last year - and they're getting hit hard again this year."

"We didn’t need millions upon millions of hungry salmon dropped on top of smelt in the Rio Vista area, the epicenter of Delta and longfin smelt now. We know from CDFW studies that salmon eat larval Delta smelt. We also urged barging fish downriver so the salmon could acclimate," emphasized Jennings.

Drought conditions were greatly exacerbated by water mismanagement

It must be also noted that the drought conditions were greatly exacerbated by poor management of northern California reservoirs and rivers by the state and federal water agencies throughout 2013, a record drought year. The water managers systematically drained Shasta, Oroville, Folsom and other reservoirs last year to ship water to corporate agribusiness interests, oil companies and Southern California water agencies.

The draining of the reservoirs in 2013 spurred Restore the Delta, at a Congressional field hearing in Fresno last week, to call for drought relief for Delta farming and fishing communities and for a Congressional investigation of the mismanagement of water resources in California.

“Unfortunately, at the Hearing on Immediate and Long-Term Relief for Drought-Impacted San Joaquin Valley, no discussion is focused on the needs of Delta farming and fishing communities, coastal fishing communities, or the health of the SF Bay-Delta estuary," said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta. "No discussion is intended to focus on gross mismanagement by the Department of Water Resources and the Bureau of Reclamation that has helped bring us to the precipice during this water crisis."

“There is no focus on how upstream reservoirs at the beginning of 2013 were over 100% of historical average storage, and how by the beginning of 2014 they were at dangerously low levels," she stated. "This Committee should investigate how the State has promised 5 times more in water rights than there is water available in the system during years of average rainfall. This Committee should investigate how water officials have failed to plan for drought management, even though droughts occur 40% of the time in California.”

Barrigan-Parrilla also urged the Committee to examine how, even in 2013, the Westlands Water District continued to plant almond trees, bringing their total almond acreage to 79,000 acres, despite knowing they are only guaranteed surplus water in the system.

You can read my investigative piece on the mismanagement of Central Valley reservoirs and rivers in 2013 here:

Meanwhile, the Brown and Obama administrations are fast-tracking a twin tunnel plan that will make prospects for salmon survival even worse than they are now. The Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels will hasten the extinction of Sacramento River Chinook salmon, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other fish species, as well as imperil the salmon and steelhead populations on the Trinity and Klamath rivers.

The so-called "habitat restoration" proposed under the widely-opposed plan will take vast tracts of Delta farmland, some of the most fertile soil on the planet, out of agricultural production in order to continue irrigating mega-farms located on toxic, drainage-impaired land on the west side of the Joaquin Valley. The water destined for the proposed tunnels will also be used by the oil industry for steam injection and fracking operations to extract oil from Monterey Shale deposits in Kern County.


  1. Jim Updegraff March 28, 2014

    In regard to the comments about a universal health plan by using Medicare one needs to look at the various plans used by other countries. The most successful plans have been ones that were built onto the existing system. In case of the U. S. that would be Medicare. Of course in our country where Congress is in the hip pocket of the insurance companies that was never going to happen

    Jim Updegraff

  2. Bill Pilgrim March 28, 2014

    re: The Yee caper. It should come as no surprise that the state Dems, with their head lock of a Sacramento majority, would increasingly get more slovenly, complacent, and greedy. Yee is the third state Dem. to get in hot water during the past year.
    We’ve simply got to be got to be getting easier access for third parties and candidates on the ballot, else the machine will continue to devour us.

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