- Six Inches
- Citizen O'Brien
- Homeless Cycle
- Looming Litigation
- Basketball Tournament
- MCOG Rolls
- Murphy Hung
- Shopping Louts
- Ebola Numbers
- Democratic Leadership
- Police Reports
- Book Sale
- Catch of the Day
- Big Boycott
- Deferred Compensation
- American Robocops
- Water Wars
A FEW WEATHER NUMBERS from the past week.
Up here on our ridge we got 3 inches over the last two rain days (Tue, Wed). Last Friday (Nov 28) we got 1.2 inches and Saturday (Nov 29) we got 1.7 inches. (Mike Kalantarian, Navarro)
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TODAY’S NAVARRO RIVER SNAPSHOT shows that the peak flow has passed for now.
THE LATEST CHAPTER in “Citizen O'Brien's Complaint,” ends this particular book on a happy note, not only for Citizen O'Brien but for all of us. Dennis O'Brien, arrested outside a Ukiah supermarket for collecting qualifying ballot signatures for Measure S, sued the County and has now won. The store manager objected to the presence of signature gatherers and called the police to claim that the sig gatherers were trespassers. O'Brien doggedly argued that signature gathering in essentially public places, i.e., supermarkets, was a dangerous infringement on Constitutionally-protected free speech. Measure S — to prevent fracking in Mendocino County— also won and won big, by a 67% Yes vote. The County does not want to disclose the actual approval of the settlement by the board of supervisors. According to Acting County Counsel, this is standard practice, but in this case no news is good news.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
HOMELESS: Most are estranged from family. They are typically anti-social, mentally disabled, mentally ill, drugged, druggies, alcoholics, felons. Most are incapable of ever being a part of any system that people who are simply poor would value. They aspire to nothing more than where they are. They need housing and toilets. They need food. They will never be able to pay for anything. They will not conform or work. They will never be productive. Accepting this is important. It's just a cycle for them. Round and round and round they go, pushing the some total of their belongings in a cart, until they succumb to the elements and then someone else takes their things and it goes on like that — their cycle. Moving them to a new area, dispersing them, etc., it is not in any way going to help them find a way out. Theirs is a true living hell, tormented by the state of their being. There is no place for them.
JOAN H. TURNER, a lawyer formerly employed by the County Counsel's Office, has filed notice via a damages claim that she will sue her former employer, namely the County of Mendocino. Ms. Turner worked mostly in juvenile court. The looming litigation is likely to cost the County a lot of money, despite County propaganda that County Counsel Doug Losak is an ace litigator, so ace he saves the County a lot of money fending off litigants himself. That claim, largely mythical, recently got Losak a big raise, so the County will undoubtedly farm this one out to outside legal eagles for big money. The County Counsel's office, historically considered, would rather settle than fight. (“What the hell, it's not our money.”) And Ms. Turner has hired a hotshot firm of attorneys herself, which means double incentive for County Counsel not to take her on themselves.
WHEN'S THE LAST TIME you watched some good high school basketball? Mendocino County's oldest high school hoops tourney, Boonville's Redwood Classic, is on! Now! On offer is an eclectic mix of skill levels, ranging from rural-primitive to state champ-quality, with such perennial excellencies as Cloverdale, Hoopa and Branson School of Marin typically drubbing overmatched outback quintets in the early rounds Wednesday and Thursday. But by Friday the overmatched teams are gone and the surviving teams, some from as far away as LA, are pretty well matched and feature any number of kids who will go on to play at the college level.
MENDO ROLLS OVER FOR CALTRANS — AGAIN
Mendocino Council of Governments Press Release:
MCOG Agrees to Share in Added Costs of Willits Bypass
At its meeting Monday, December 1, the Mendocino Council of Governments unanimously approved Caltrans request to commit a share of funds to cover increased costs to complete construction of the US 101 Bypass of Willits project. MCOG’s share, at the long-established rate of 15%, is approximately $9,705,000.
With all members present the Council deliberated, and heard several public comments, for over 90 minutes before taking action. Caltrans District 1 Director Charlie Fielder answered numerous questions. It was generally agreed that this was a tough decision made at the expense of other planned projects in Mendocino County; however, the magnitude of the issue and the Council’s long standing commitment outweighed other options.
Caltrans will request an allocation of $55 million from the California Transportation Commission (CTC) at its December 10 meeting in Riverside. This amount is intended to cover remaining construction costs to project completion. The projected shortfall was calculated based on statistical analysis in a Risk Management Plan prepared by Caltrans. All available contingency funds have been expended. Cost increases are a result of various factors including delays, lawsuits, protests, CHP enforcement, and environmental requirements, as well as change orders that are typical of any large construction project.
“Early on there was a strong commitment to getting this project done and that hasn’t wavered,” said 3rd District Supervisor John Pinches. “We as a Council need to support it — the representatives of the County and four cities agree, even if it means putting off other projects. We are partners with Caltrans and should honor that. It’s important to send a strong message to the CTC.”
Further details are available at www.mendocinocog.org, under Meetings, in MCOG’s agenda packet of December
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SO, if you have any complaints about Mendo’s badly deteriorating local/county roads, blame it on MCOG’s captive board which has rolled over for Caltrans falsehoods, lies, misrepresentations and exaggerations for decades, turning over tens of millions of local road dollars to the completely unnecessary bypass in whatever amounts Caltrans asks, no matter how transparently wrong or false.
THIS LATEST giveaway of badly needed local road money was “justified” by Caltrans propaganda that was so transparently skewed that it took Willits News reporter Linda Williams only a couple of days to undermine.
“WILLITS BYPASS: Mendocino County share is $9.7M”
by Linda Williams
Linda Williams of the Willits News dryly deconstructs Caltrans’ dubious “reasons” for the big Bypass project overruns, concluding that it’s based on very bad information and essentially Caltrans’ own fault. And now Mendo has given Caltrans all our local road improvement money for the foreseeable future (on top of the tens of millions of local road money turned over for the past two decades).
TIME AND AGAIN Caltrans has used lies and misrepresentations to pressure local officials to roll over and now, despite Caltrans well documented history (false traffic levels, failure to deal with simple restriping, failure to consider a truck route, elimination of the promised Highway 20 interchange, numerous permit violations, denial of obvious Native American burial site destruction, refusal to consider a scaled back northern interchange, etc. etc.) MCOG has rolled over again. As Ms. Williams reports, “…there is no guarantee there will be any money allocated to Mendocino County in the 2016 or 2018 cycles. The Willits bypass project will have claim to all future RIP (Regional [Transportation] Improvement Program) funding until the debt is paid back.”
PS. HERE’S WHO TO BLAME, this year anyway, all but one of whom should know better by now.
Incident: In Custody Death / Mendocino County Adult Detention Fatality, Date: 10/08/14 Time: 11:41 PM
Name: Shane Murphy. Age: 36
Address: Cleone, CA
ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE:
On October 8, 2014 at 11:41 P.M., inmates alerted staff to an attempted suicide at the Mendocino County Adult Detention Facility. Upon arrival, staff found 36-year-old Shane Murphy of Cleone, California unconscious on the floor of his cell. His two cellmates were attempting to perform cardio pulmonary resuscitation. Correctional staff took over life-saving measures and an ambulance was summoned. When the ambulance arrived, medical personnel evaluated Murphy and determined that he was deceased. The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office and the District Attorney's Office will conduct a thorough death investigation pursuant to standard policy and procedure. On October 10, 2014 a forensic autopsy was conducted on Shane Murphy to help determine his cause of death. The classification of Murphy’s death is pending the results of BA/Toxicology analysis, which is expected to take 4-6 weeks before results are returned to the Sheriff's Office Coroner's Division.
UPDATED PRESS RELEASE:
The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office received results from the autopsy of Shane Murphy. The cause of death was determined to be suicide by hanging. Evidence obtained during the investigation indicated that Mr. Murphy wrapped a mesh laundry bag around his neck and hung himself from a bunk in the cell. Two other inmates in the cell with him, woke up, pulled Murphy down and attempted life-saving measures while summoning correctional staff. Correctional staff took over life-saving measures and an ambulance was summoned. When the ambulance arrived, medical personnel evaluated Murphy and determined that he was deceased.
WHO’S INTIMIDATING THE HEALTH CENTER BOARD MEMBER?
Subject: Nasty, ignorant bully.
For those of you who do not read the AVA, or who missed Kathy Cox's letter, Claudia Jiminez, owner of All That Good Stuff, a variety and notion store in Boonville, located next to the fire station, has been threatened with economic retaliation if she does not resign from the health center board of directors, and/or vote the way the thug requires.
Claudia was appointed to the board of directors in November, accepting after much encouragement from community members who know her to be smart, sensible, independent, and able to express community views and concerns. She was appointed after the (fortunately temporary ) firing of new doctor Logan McGhan and subsequent personnel crises.
Thuggo stormed into her store, charged her with McGhan's firing, and told her he would not patronize her business, and would see that his buddies joined in the boycott. Subsequently other such bully ignoramuses have come into the store to loudly and lengthily express similar views.
Claudia reports a noticeable drop in commerce since this incident. She needs her regular customers in order for her new business to continue to survive. She carries an eclectic selection of cards, jewelry, clothes, seasonal decorations, posters, stuff for kids and everyone else. Her store is close, convenient and always a happy place to shop. Go take a look, and tell her thank you for being willing to help the AVHC to get and stay on the right road. But please, do not engage her in lengthy conversation about it at the store She is a one-woman operation and it needs her full attention. If you have disagreements (and hopefully you do) with management and board direction of the AVHC, it would be great if you wrote them to directors and copied us at this address so we all may know of areas of concern. AVHC President: Ric Bonner email@example.com.
We need smart people, a variety of ages and occupations and backgrounds, on the AVHC board of directors. We need more accurate information from the board of directors on actions taken and to be taken by the clinic. We do not need directors to be threatened and bullied by dumb, ignorant thugs....something that can only impede our recent baby steps toward open communication between board and AVHC community clients.
Gene Herr, Philo
PARANOID ON LINE POST OF THE DAY:
Mendo has a population of just under 90,000.
90,000 x 0.0063 = 567 people may be susceptible to ebola.
CORRECTION: 90,000 x 0.0063% = 5.67 people may be susceptible to ebola.
Where do they get these (still) ridiculous numbers?
SO NEARLY SIX
567 Mendolanders should take heed of the “Ebola Disease Prevention” tip too, particulary the protective clothing while handling meat.
We know that Mendocino County residents only wear protective clothing while applying pesticides to vineyards, so maybe that’s how they came up with the alleged potential for 5.67 ebola cases in Mendo alone.
COMMENT OF THE DAY:
It’s the nature of the Republicans who are going to be in charge — these are the most virulent, cruel, vicious, ignorant, arrogant Republicans in the history of the party, since 1854. I mean, if you read the activities of Senator Robert Taft, who was Mr. Conservative in the US Senate in the 50s and 40s, I mean, he would be a liberal today. So, we're dealing with the question: Why can’t the Democrats defend our country against the worst, most virulent, ignorant, corporate-dominated, pro-war, money-saturated Republican Party? That’s the real question. So, I’ve just put out a statement that the Democrats have got to recognize they have to have a change of leadership. I don’t know who’s going to replace them, but Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer and Steve Israel led the fight to regain control of the House of Representatives for the Democrats in 2010, lost; 2012, lost; now 2014, lost even bigger. So, they’ve got to adhere to the baseball principle: three strikes and they’re out. And they have to step down and let some more vigorous and progressive back-benchers move to the leadership, because otherwise all I see for the next seven, eight years is a permanent minority of Democrats in both the House and the Senate.
Instead, we got a president who spent almost two weeks in salons, from New York and Maine and San Francisco and Los Angeles, raising money for the Democrats, not barnstorming the country on an issue that has 80 percent, 80 percent support, that even Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have come out for restoring the minimum wage. So, it is the — they didn’t have a policy. They didn’t have agenda. They didn’t have the message. They had tons of money to put on insipid television ads that didn’t move the needle.
ON SUNDAY, November 23rd at about 12:35 AM a subject sprinted across the 1300 block of South State Street in front of an approaching Ukiah Police patrol vehicle, causing the officer to have to break to avoid striking the subject. Officers contacted the subject, identified as 21 year old Freddy Reyes-Rubeo, who discarded a marijuana smoking pipe as he was talking to the officers. As the officer was searching Reyes, he tried to break free and a struggle ensued until Reyes was handcuffed. Reyes was found to possess prescription medication, and less than one gram of methamphetamine and a methamphetamine smoking pipe. Reyes was arrested for resisting arrest, possessing medication without a prescription, drug paraphernalia, and methamphetamine.
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ON FRIDAY, November 21st at about 9:30 PM Ukiah Police responded to a residence on Betty Street for a robbery that just occurred. Officers learned the victim was sitting inside the residence when 18 year old Jared Foley and 18 year old Dmitri Curley-Holman entered the residence. Holman had been staying with the victim periodically, and was gathering his belongings when Foley began rummaging through the victim’s belongings and medication. The victim confronted Foley, and a fight ensued. The victim and Foley continued fighting and the victim threatened to call the police. Foley restrained the victim from doing so, and the victim broke free and was running out of the residence when he was restrained by Holman. The victim finally freed himself, and the suspects fled the location. On November 23rd at about 7:45 AM a Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputy located Holman at the Southside Market on Oak Knoll Road. A Ukiah Police Officer responded and interviewed Holman, who confirmed he and Foley were at the victim’s residence and that the victim kicked Holman, who then restrained the victim. Holman was arrested for conspiracy, robbery, burglary, and preventing a victim from calling 911. At about 3:10 PM Foley was contacted, who claimed he was home at the time of the incident. Foley was arrested for the same charges.
(Ukiah PD Press Release)
LAST MINUTE HOLIDAY SHOPPING? The Jug Handle Creek Farm & Nature Center is having a Book Sale Sunday Dec 21st from 9 to 3, just north of Caspar on Highway 1. Discards from the Nature Library include older collectible books 50 to 100 years old! Every nature subject available, for all ages, and dirt cheap. Being cash. Call Katy Tahja at 937-5854 for more info.
— Katy Tahja
CATCH OF THE DAY, Dec 4, 2014
AURELIO ACOSTA, Talmage. Possession of meth for sale, ex-felon with firearm, armed with firearm. (Frequent flyer.)
LORI DOW, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.
THOMAS GALINDO, Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)
TRINO HERNANDEZ, Ukiah. Court order violation.
RANDY MILLER, Willits. Parole violation.
JORGE NIETO JR., Willits. County parole violation.
BRYAN STENCIL, Willits. County parole violation.
CHARLES WORDEN, Fort Bragg. Driving with DUI-suspended license, probation revocation.
THE BIG BOYCOTT
Lee Simon, whose writing I've always appreciated in the AVA, is right.
Not violent revolution, not voting for the lesser evil, not praying to Jesus. The only thing that could bust the system is total boycott - nobody goes to work, nobody goes to school, nobody watches TV, and nobody shops. Police tanks and tear gas can stop people from acting, but they cannot motivate action. The real revolution occurs in our youth, if we refuse to accept the ubiquitous conditioning to admire the rich, the famous, and respect authority. It seems difficult for people to achieve this in adulthood. Too many "yes, buts..."
The mythical Big Boycott would require everyone to cooperate in a manner that we have been conditioned to fear. The point of living in the American middle and upper classes is separation from everyone else. The NRA tells us that separation is not enough, we need to protect ourselves from our neighbors and everyone else too, with deadly weapons. People are to be feared, not trusted. A "neighborhood" is nothing but a specific area of dwellings determined by economic status. A neighborhood is NOT a community. Neither are aggregate groupings consisting of arbitrarily chosen ethnic or racially similar people.
Community sounds too much like communism, a frightening term even though the "red menace" is long gone. So we speak of fictions like "the law enforcement community." Such usage neutralizes the word. Genuine community is rare in the U.S., and always suspect. The well-documented FBI infiltration of Quaker meetings was due to a couple of salient points - Quakers are unequivocally opposed to any and all war, and they are a community of like-minded people. It could be the latter that's considered the larger threat.
Hippie communes of the 60's and 70's were a public failure, often associated with cults and weird phony "gurus." But these are only the ones who made the mistake of seeking or allowing publicity. For all I know there might be low-key, successful and harmonious such communities scattered all over the place. And I would venture to say the FBI doesn't know about them. The problem with attention-seeking is that it can draw the wrong kind of attention from the wrong places. The boycott on the other hand is just the opposite - effecting change by not being there.
The ubiquitous actress Nicole Kidman's character in the movie "To Die For" said, "You're nobody in America if you're not on TV." Well okay, but if you are on TV, there you are, exposed. Going on TV to say you're boycotting Walmart would be free advertising for the Waltons - the old showbiz adage says, "Any publicity is good publicity." Since we no longer live in a country divided into states, counties and towns but an economy divided into markets, the only way to affect the system is to hurt the economy. Do I think the Big Boycott is possible?
Certainly not, because it would require people to go without, and break routines, and how many Americans are so willing? The parking lot at the new Walmart down the street is always full. Everyone supplied themselves with stuff somehow before the place opened. The supermarket across the road is hurting and has had to reduce prices, but off go the customers to the Walmart, hypnotized, lemming-like. It occurs to me that if nothing were manufactured for the next, say, 25 years there would still be enough stuff to go around. This is heresy, especially given the season. I remember a Dennis the Menace comic book from long ago: the kid opens his giant mound of Christmas presents and says in disappointment, "Is this all?"
A true American
MENDOCINO COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS TO REVIEW DEFERRED COMPENSATION PLANS
On December 9, 2014, the Board of Supervisors will hold a workshop to review deferred compensation plans offered to County employees. The Board of Supervisors and Executive Office would like this to be an opportunity to aid employees in learning about methods of saving and planning for their retirement. Deferred compensation plans permit employees to enter into an agreement deferring a portion of his or her current compensation into the plan until retirement, severance from employment, death, or other event in accordance with the provisions of the Code Section 457(b).
The Executive Office has invited representatives from Mass Mutual, Nationwide, Valic, and CalPERs to participate in the workshop. Plan providers will be giving presentations to the Board of Supervisors which will include information on past performance metrics, participation rates, current asset balances, and the benefits of their plans being offered to the employees of Mendocino County. CalPERs will also be in attendance to present their deferred compensation plan to the Board of Supervisors. During the workshop, the Board will have the opportunity to consider all plans and may increase, reduce, change, or maintain the deferred compensation plans available to County employees.
According to Mendocino County Supervisor Dan Gjerde, “Deferred compensation plans offer all employees an opportunity to enhance their financial security. One of my goals for the discussion on December 9th will be to ensure employees can keep as much of their investment earnings as possible, by seeing to it that the financial management companies charge the lowest possible fees.”
We encourage all County employees and retirees to attend the workshop. The item is scheduled to go before the Board of Supervisors on December 9, 2014, at 1:30 p.m.
Board agenda materials are available on the County website, Board of Supervisors page at: http://www.co.mendocino.ca.us/bos/meetings/PublishedMeetings.htm
— Press Release from Carmel J. Angelo, Chief Executive Officer
This is Not Cleveland, Mississippi
by Clancy Sigal
Reforming an out of control police department is really hard. No matter how many pious resolutions you pass, or replace a commander, it usually comes down to the line sergeants who are the backbone of resistance to change. Nothing short of demotions and dismissals will get their attention.
Plus, now we have a SWAT political lobby of hardline cops – the National Tactical Officers Assn – weighing in so they can keep busting down civilian doors to…deliver past-due tax bills.
Here’s the latest chutzpah from Cleveland, Ohio’s remarkable cops, the same force that killed 12-year old Tamir Rice and refused him medical attention. From the Plain Dealer and Beast:
In a scene out of “Bonnie & Clyde”, in 2012 Cleveland cops fired 137 shots at two unarmed black civilians in a high speed chase, killing both the man and woman. Melissa Williams had 24 gunshot wounds and Timothy Russell 23.
Now nine of the 13 Robocops are suing saying THEY are victims of racial discrimination. Eight of the shameless cops are white. The ninth is Hispanic. They charge that the city of Cleveland has “a history of treating non-African American officers involved in the shootings of African Americans substantially harsher than African-American officers.” Oh, my.
As often happens, the police chase was spurred on by apparently erroneous radio reports (same as with Tamir Rice; same as the cop killing of Kendrec McDade here in Pasadena) of the occupants firing and reloading a gun. It ended in a parking lot with the cops mistaking gunfire from other cops as coming from inside the suspect’s car. Repeat: Melissa and Timothy were unarmed.
Ohio atty gen DeWine concluded, “We are dealing with a systematic failure in the Cleveland Police Department. Command failed. Communications failed. The system failed.” And…? And?
Punishment? The cops were put on paid restrictive duty for 16 months. Still have their badges and guns.
Cops aren’t dumb. They get the message.
Obama’s refusal to pull back on gifting local cop shops with all this amazing surplus military hardware is the message. Put me in an armored anti-ambush mine-resistant personnel carrier, give me a scoped M16 with silencer and a bag full of grenades, and I’m not a police person any more but… A WARRIOR!
(Clancy Sigal is a screenwriter and novelist. His latest book is Hemingway Lives.)
HOUSE 'DROUGHT RELIEF' BILL WOULD EVISCERATE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTIONS
by Dan Bacher
On December 2, Congressman David G. Valadao (CA-21) introduced controversial water legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives purported to provide “short-term relief” from California’s water crisis.
“I will not let this year end without exhausting every possible option to bring relief to the Central Valley,” Valadao vowed.
However, environmental and fishing groups and Northern California Congress Members quickly responded to the measure, slamming the bill for being a “wish list” dictated by San Joaquin Valley corporate agribusiness interests "to the politicians they hold in thrall."'
In response, Barbara Boxer late on Wednesday released a statement that "this measure could reignite the water wars by overriding critical state and federal protections for California," all but ensuring that the bill will be die until the Republican-dominated Senate and House take over next year.
There is no doubt that Valadao and his fellow San Joaquin Valley Congressmen will make the passage of this legislation a priority in 2015.
Valadao claims H.R. 5781, the California Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2014, “provides eighteen months of relief (two water years) while protecting the State Water Project and protecting Northern California water rights.”
Rep. Valadao stated, “This well thought out, common sense legislation contains no controversial measures for either Party. Not only will this legislation provide a temporary eighteen month solution, it will also help ensure negotiations between the Senate and the House continue.”
Original cosponsors of the legislation include Reps. David G. Valadao (CA-21), Kevin McCarthy (CA-23), Ken Calvert (CA-42), Jim Costa (CA-16), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Tom McClintock (CA-04), and Devin Nunes (CA-22).
Environmental groups took strong issue with Valadao’s claim that the “legislation contains no controversial measures for either party,” pointing out that it would eviscerate Endangered Species Act protections, overrule the Delta smelt biological opinions and increase pumping from the Delta. This would take place at a critical time when fisheries desperately need water flows to recover from the drought.
In a statement, the California Water Impact Network (C-WIN) said HR 5781 “purports to solve California’s drought-induced water shortages,” but “will do nothing of the sort.”
“HR 5781 mandates water deliveries to all Central Valley Project and State Water Project contractors – regardless of the water available in storage,” according to C-WIN “This assures ‘dead pools’ in our reservoirs if the drought continues, meaning there will be no water available when urban ratepayers and industry need it most for basic survival.”
The group also said the bill provides for a 30-day federal review of all projects and operations that “would provide additional water supplies.” This could ultimately result in the fast-track approval of ruinously expensive, environmentally destructive and ultimately inefficient schemes, including new dams.
Finally, C-WIN blasted the legislation for allowing for expedited water transfers, “putting the ecological stability of our North State rivers and the reserves of our aquifers at risk.”
“This bill will actually perpetuate our drought emergency by giving away all the water in storage to Big Ag,” said Tom Stokely, water policy analyst for the California Water Impact Network. “It will drain Trinity Lake, depleting the last cold water reserve available for Klamath and Trinity River salmon and steelhead. We’ll see fish kills that make the great die-off of 2002 look minor by comparison."
“No matter how you cut it, this bill is an utter disaster. We’re calling on Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer to oppose this legislation in the Senate. They need to step up and protect California’s water supplies, urban ratepayers, environment, family farms and fisheries,” Stokely concluded.
For more information about C-WIN, go to https://www.c-win.org/
Restore the Delta (RTD), opponents of Governor Jerry Brown’s Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the salmon-killing peripheral tunnels, criticized Representative David Valadao for trying to push through a “drought relief” measure that would allow more water for Westlands’ and Kern Water Districts’ mega-growers in the midst of a severe drought.
“Congressman Valadao’s bill is more of the same from this Congress that is bent on circumventing state water rights and stopping state and federal agencies from determining and implementing safe water export levels for San Francisco Bay-Delta fisheries, Delta farms, and Delta communities,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta.
“The sponsors of this legislation favor big industrial growers who have planted tens of thousands of acres of almonds and other permanent crops in the midst of the drought, and those who seek to profit from selling water to the detriment of Northern California rivers, groundwater supplies, and the Bay-Delta estuary,” added Barrigan-Parrilla.
“Members of Congress are manipulating the impacts of drought conditions to serve wealthy special interests. They’re framing the bill as non-controversial, and bipartisan, but it would smother Endangered Species Act protections, overrule the Delta smelt biological opinions, and increase pumping from the Delta, when fisheries need flows presently to recover from the drought,” she stated.
“These same Congressional Representatives never consider what will be the economic impacts on the Bay-Delta economy as water quality and fisheries continue to deteriorate from decades of over pumping the Delta. They continue to exclude the 4 million residents of the Delta region, even though their economic and environmental well-being is tied to the health of the region. We are tired of their ongoing political assault on our communities,” concluded Barrigan-Parrilla.
For more information, go to: http://restorethedelta.org/blog/call-senators-congressional-reps-re-new-drought-bill/