- Road Closures
- More Rain
- 12 Underwater
- Hemp & GMOs
- Muddy Russian
- Flood Fatality
- Position Available
- LakeCo Housing
- Mixed Verdict
- Yesterday's Catch
- Cohen Testimony
- Faith Concert
- Drug Demand
- Orange Teflon
- San Trashcisco
- Beastly Species
- New Low
- DiFi Responds
- Great Notion
- Modern Gifts
- Gardens Events
- Chef Salad
- Ag Liaison
MENDOCINO COUNTY ROAD CLOSURES
- Mountain View Road at mile-marker 20 – closed due to a large slide.
- Highway 128 from mile-marker 0 to 11 – closed due to Navarro River flooding.
- Highway 175 from mile-marker 0 to .5 – closed due to Russian River flooding.
NOTE: There is also one way traffic on Highway 253 in two places on the Boonville end of the road.
THE NAVARRO RIVER crested Wednesday morning at 37.15 feet (highway flooding occurs at 23 feet, and the record was just over 41 feet in 1974). During the three-day storm Yorkville got 11 inches of rain while Boonville received 8. Rain season totals thus far: Boonville 39.7 inches and Yorkville 52.6 inches.
ACCORDING TO GoldenGateWeather.com: Ukiah has received about 26 inches through February compared to a season “normal” through end of February of just over 27 inches. “Normal” for Ukiah is just over 37 inches. So Ukiah still needs at least 11 inches more rain to get up to seasonal average. (But these seasonal numbers seem low…)
NWS FORECAST: Frosty temps Thursday night into Friday morning, followed by late-day/evening light rain. More rain Saturday, clearing Sunday with lows in the 40s. Rain likely again on Tuesday and into Wednesday and Thursday.
HIGHWAY 12 Thursday afternoon
THE “NEWS” THAT MENDO issued a moratorium on genetically modified cannabis and another on industrial hemp has hit the local newsfeeds like day old bread. It’s so ho-hum that even KZYX covered it — two weeks ago! kzyx.org/post/bos-decides-issue-moratoriums-gmos-hemp
THEN, last Tuesday, the Board did it again for reasons that are not entirely clear, except maybe to emphasize to staff that they need time to figure out how to deal with GMOs and industrial hemp.
THE MORATORIUM on genetically modified pot was prompted by a proposal from a Canadian outfit calling itself “CordovaCann” with a new operation in Covelo. CordovaCann says they have developed “CRISPR” gene-editing technology to tweak pot DNA. The alleged “benefits” of CRISPR, according to a website called “Growers Network,” are that “we can all look forward to a day when spider mites and aphids are no longer a concern.” Others speculate on the glorious prospect of odorless pot, a breakthrough of undoubted interest to junior stoners lighting up in their bedrooms. “CRISPR has incredible potential to change the course of many industries, including the cannabis industry.” It all seems highly speculative and far off, but that hasn’t stopped the worryworts from trying to get ahead of it.
THE SUBJECT AROSE because back in 2004 Mendo, always ahead of the remote dangers curve, voted to “ban” genetically modified organisms in the County. (The “ban” is unenforceable, of course, but that never stopped Mendo’s organic cheerleaders from pushing things that sound good in a proposed initiative. If you doubt my claim that the GMO ban is unenforceable, I suggest you look up the County Code section describing the enforcement process.)
THE HEMP moratorium is unrelated to the GMO problem. Local pot growers are worried that hemp might cross-pollinate with their high-strength breeds and lower the quality of Mendo-grown.
BUT THE ENTIRE DISCUSSION is yet another distraction from the County’s failed legalized pot program. The moratoria give the Board an opportunity to look like they’re “protecting” the local pot growers by keeping their plants safe from the negative effects of hemp or GMO strains.
THE BIGGEST THREAT to the local cannabis industry, however, is the County’s own complicated and nearly unwieldy permitting process. There are now two ad hocs working on yet more complications and/or “improvements” to the local rules. One of them is working on “cannabis economic development” and another on cultivation. But, as Supervisor Ted Williams noted last Tuesday, there’s a lot of overlap between the two and the idea of separating the two subjects just adds yet another complication to an already overcomplicated process (which also happens to create a million-dollar, or more, deficit in the County budget, a growing money pit which has yet to be fully calculated).
MAYBE on March 26 when the Board is supposed to get their next budget update it will occur to someone that what they need is a rule simplification, not vague moratoria, more cultivation rules, and silly economic development ideas from a County officialdom that’s been the opposite of cannabis economic development so far.
SQUAW ROCK (aka Frog Woman Rock)
The Russian River @ Mendocino County South 101
(Photo by Zohar Zaied)
FERNDALE MAN KILLED BY FLOOD WATERS Last Night; Rescuers Save Six People Trapped by High-Flowing Eel
ONE OF ANDERSON VALLEY’S FIRST WINERIES, Handley Cellars was founded in 1982 by Milla Handley and is now run by the next generation. We produce wines from our own estate grown organically farmed fruit and purchased grapes from the neighboring regions and primarily sell through our tasting room, mail order, and club. Customer service, commitment to community, and honest quality are at the core of everything we do. Handley Cellars is in search of a friendly and enthusiastic individual to join our Tasting Room team. We are a family owned company and cultivate a sense of family in our workplace and for our guests. We take pride in offering exceptional hospitality that is down to earth and authentic to all who visit us. The successful candidate must work well with others, enjoy meeting new people, and be eager to learn new skills. Must have hospitality experience. A desire to learn about wine is more important than previous tasting room experience. As a Tasting Room member you are responsible for sharing not only our wines, but our story and helping our guests feel at home.
- Greeting guests and hosting wine tastings
- Providing exceptional service while serving responsibly
- Processing in person and phone sales through POS system
- Communicating via email and phone with guests and coworkers
- Performing detailed opening and closing duties
- Occasional off-site tastings and pourings
- Must have CA driver’s license
- Must be 21 years of age or older
- Available to work weekends and occasional nights
- Able to lift and carry up to 40 pounds
- Able to stand for extended periods of time
Handley Cellars is an Equal Opportunity Employer
Email resume or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Tasting Room and Hospitality
SEEN IN FORT BRAGG, TODAY, AT POINT NOYO
BETSY CAWN ON "AFFORDABLE" HOUSING
Lake County’s Housing Element “update” was almost two years overdue in 2016 when the State demanded the completion of the delayed document, and the County planning department conducted the requisite “advisory committee” process to allow citizen input prior to Planning Commission approval.
Unfortunately, the significant loss of “housing stock” in 2015, resulting from the federally-declared “Valley” fire (about 1,300 homes, almost half of which were rental units), was not recognized in the hasty “update.” Real numbers of displaced low-income renters (believed to be high in the category of older adults with low fixed incomes and limited resources for recovering their formerly adequate but currently irreplaceable dwelling arrangements) are not available — FEMA data is not accessible, and County “long-term recovery” efforts did not include specification of newly “unhoused” residents to accelerate the “encouragement” of “affordable” housing through prioritized efforts that the Housing Element is theoretically designed to produce.
The County of Lake was once again nagged by the state, and is in the process of producing a niggardly General Plan Amendment to “fix” minor problems identified by some sleepy bureaucrat in Sacramento, but with still no “new” community investment (and legally required advisory body) to replace lost affordable residential units.
A 60-unit apartment complex that was destroyed in Middletown, safe/affordable compartments serving a combination of laborers and elderly/disabled retirees, will be rebuilt by the Middletown Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians, who are long-time investors in the relatively successful community with strong business advocates and socially active proponents of “resiliency” and economic “recovery.”
Regular surveys of all “subsidized” apartment complexes — especially for older adults and disabled adults of all ages — reveal a 2-3 year waiting list for occupancy. Rural Community Housing Development Corporation in Mendocino County is the most active agency providing management of construction and ongoing operation of established “senior housing” complexes, and new influxes of “Mental Health Services Act” funding to support subsidized apartments and “cottages” on property long-designated for that purpose will produce new available units in 2-3 years.
Meanwhile, conditions for low-fixed-income disabled and/or older adults have been worsened by subsequent wildfire disasters (2016, “Clayton” in Lower Lake; 2017, “Sulphur” in Clearlake/Clearlake Oaks; 2018, “Pawnee,” “River,” and “Ranch” fires in Spring Valley, Upper Lake, and Scotts Valley).
So infinite fiddling with the meaningless “Housing Element” — which does NOTHING to actually construct and operate the needed residential units both our counties desperately need — is the bastion of cosseted consultants and junior planners in need of harnessing to the County “planning” machine.
The General Plan itself is a concoction of “policies” and “programs” fulfilling some kind of wishful imagery of government “oversight” of “community development.” The private housing industry is not encouraged to think small, and as the venerable Mr. Pinches would attest, the model for effective low-cost housing is “mobile home parks.”
The unrelentless pogrom expunging weak, vulnerable, non-“productive” people from the population is the invisible monster nibbling at the margins of health and safety for about one-fourth of Lake County’s population, and costly “compliance consultants” will not make a whit of difference in creating solutions because there is NO PLAN to create living quarters that are not fiscally rewarding for all the agencies, companies, and financial institutions depending on ever-increasing “returns on investment” that cannot be sucked from the blood of a turnip.
The Governor’s Office of “Planning & Research” itself is complicit in perpetuating this bureaucratic myth of prognostication to improve the “wellness” of municipal systems. Following the passage of the California Environmental Quality Act, the Permit Streamlining Act ensured that municipal staffs are tasked with inevitable “piece-mealing” of projects heralded by Chambers of Commerce, financiers, and the construction industry, with no apparent reference to prioritized “housing” needs.
Not to mention “recovery” of life-time, multi-generational investors in economically sustainable communities in rural enclaves requiring no “city services.”
Mr. Scaramella, thanks for keeping this issue in the spotlight, especially the failure of elected officials to recognize the disservice created by “administration” drones with no evident accountability for actual outcomes. Jesus wept.
MIXED BAG OF VERDICTS
UKIAH, Thurs., Feb. 27. -- A Mendocino County jury returned from its deliberations Thursday with a mixed bag of results.
Defendant Jose Eduardo Roman Alvarez, age 26, of Willits, was found guilty of driving a motor vehicle unlawfully while his license to drive was suspended, a misdemeanor.
The defendant was found not guilty of driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana, a misdemeanor.
The attorney who presented the People's evidence at trial was Deputy District Attorney Houston Porter. The investigating law enforcement agencies were the California Highway Patrol and the Department of Justice Toxicology Laboratory in Sacramento.
Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Keith Faulder presided over the trial and, after the jury was excused, sentenced the defendant to court probation for the next three years.
CATCH OF THE DAY, February 28, 2019
JULIAN ARMAS JR., Ukiah. Probation revocation.
ROBERT CAMPBELL, Ukiah. Parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)
JOSEPH CONTRERAS, San Jose/Hopland. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
PASCAL DAVIDSON, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery.
HEATHER DEWOLF, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
BO EDER, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
MICHAEL HAMMOND, Fort Bragg. Vandalism, failure to appear.
LEONARD HOAGLIN-PIKE, Ukiah. Domestic abuse.
JEFFREY MYERS, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
JAMES NORTON, Willits. Resisting, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
WILLIAM PHILLIPS, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, false imprisonment.
ASHLEY RAYA-LEYVA, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
DANYEL ROBINSON, Lucerne. Under influence.
YVONNE SMITH, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
ROBERT TAYLOR, Ukiah. Parole violation.
THE FULL TEXT of Michael Cohen's testimony to Congress
DEMAND IS THE PROB
One of the reasons President Donald Trump wants to build a wall on the southern border is to keep drug dealers out. Now he has declared a national crisis in order to do so. He forgets that as long as there is a demand, the providers will find a way to deliver the product. And we well know that it isn’t necessarily coming through that border.
The real question is: Who is consuming the tons of drugs that enter our country? The president needs to create awareness programs, starting in elementary schools, about the effects of drugs in the brain.
The enemy is in our neighborhoods, our streets and everywhere. Our society is destroying itself. The crisis is right here, right now. Trump’s ego-boosting, useless wall isn’t going to help the people he is supposed to be serving and protecting.
Yolanda V. Martinez
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Watching the hearings today, I was struck by the fact that there was really nothing about Trump’s personality or behavior that I didn’t already know or suspect. The crazy thing is that he really has never bothered to try & hide who he is, either by word or deed, and still enjoys the level of support that he gets. The reason in most cases seems to be that people will overlook certain of his behaviors because they support some of his goals. Like the religious right, who don’t care about him fucking other women, as long as he ends abortions, or others who don’t care how much he lies & steals as long as he builds the wall. In that respect, the level of support he gets is unprecedented. He behaves in ways that would have sunk anybody else long ago. It’s truly a new era in politics, and a disturbing one. I suppose someday in a campaign, someone will be discovered to be a child molester, and a segment of the public will say: “Maybe, but he’s OUR child molester.” It will never come to that, but you get my drift. For people to be as against corruption and rule by the oligarchs as most of the country is, it’s amazing that they will excuse the behaviors of these people.
CLEAN UP THE STREETS
Letter to the editor:
Clean up The City’s streets.
No straws in San Francisco, but trash, needles and bacteria are OK. What a mess!
THE WIND IS STILL, rainfall nil and I live in a very shallow lake. After several days of slashing and gnashing, the weather gods are taking a break. There's an angry red sunset, that slit between the bottoms of the clouds and the top of the sea, and way, way out there is something I need, the barnacley snout of a whale, the spot where the wasted moon will vanish--anything!
Cohen didn't make me whole, nor Cummings, his passion: "We're better than this!" No we're not. Maybe we'll just let Trump wail on until he dies of old age and our republic with him, shot too full of holes to float anymore. Democracy has never been a long-term arrangement anyway, and it requires a more-virtuous citizenry than we. Education has lost; advertising won. The hedge-fund master has utterly eclipsed the schoolmaster. Making inordinate money is incomparably more enticing than making lives of quality, so a few of us will succeed at the former and the rest will look on with brooding, envy and hatred. Those who stay with Quality will never make a critical mass.
There will be jubilation when trump goes, however that happens. With the jubilation will be talk of renewal of our values, our commitment to the Good--all bullshit. We are apes and doomed to stay that way because the civilizing impulse in us is way newer, shallower, feebler and inferior to the beast. This beast is as old as the universe, civility still has that new-car smell. Furnish that beast with the tools we've shaped and the timid nice person of song and story shrinks to vanishing.
In our joy we will celebrate and jubilate and raise our faces to the new dawn, brilliant nine-eleven mornings, and chant lies. There will be moments of joy, and we will invoke Woodstock, using mud for sliding instead of slinging, and we will look into each other's shining eyes, saying this could last forever.
It's too hard, the Way, and we are not taught it, we do not model it, it exceeds our grasp. These fine newcomers in the halls will razzle us and dazzle us and settle in to protecting their seats. The clanking monstrosity will lurch along a bit more, and a different order will come.
BIBLIOPHILIA. Frank Hartzell writes:
I remember when I worked in a fish factory and wasn’t very good at it. The fish smell and oil got all over me. Nobody wanted me to come home, among the Native Alaskan folks I was staying with. I could understand. I was still me on the inside but i was slimy, i had been made stinky by my environment. I have felt like that pretty much every time I have turned on the news since 2016. Greasy, smelly, my pride in my country wearing off to my great distress. So here is something uplifting to read. This guy wins. I am about 900 books behind him!
A GREAT NOTION, EH?
Kesey struck exactly the right chord in Sometimes A Great Notion. In the driven urge to push west through the generations he captured our history. He captured the spirit of the sixties. Touched them off, to an extent, with his travels in Further, parked just a few miles from where I sit typing. The manuscript is in the University library just a few miles from here. West of here. His farm is maybe five or six miles away. Hank Stamper's attitude seems somehow to sum up what it means to be American. The spirit of America. Sure of himself. Never questioning. And never giving an inch.
Google tells me that he died in 2001 following complications from tumor surgery on his liver. I was three years from retirement in 2001, living at Wild River. My AP students, I imagine, didn't know quite what to make of it. Reviewers didn't know quite what to make of it. Now that he's been dead for eighteen years he's just some old writer teachers assign. I expect there are Cliff Notes if there is such a thing anymore.
And I go in for an MRI today, and I am worried about my nose itching during the forty-five minute session. A nurse told me on the phone that someone can scratch for me. I went to bed at five-thirty last night and got up this morning at six. About twelve hours of tossing and turning and presumably some sleep. But no dreams, or at least none that I can recall.
I sit here, confused. Trying to communicate what it is like being old. Elderly even. There is, I am sure, plenty of room for improvement. But, like Kesey, I am convinced that it's what I have been put here to do. Given that bazillions of years from now Kesey's manuscript and Further and whatever is left of me will be underwater or stood on by some animal not yet evolved or imagined, or both, it really doesn't matter that this life of mine and all that has been given will end up as part of a sedimentary layers about the thickness of a Zig-Zag. And then the universe itself will disappear. I haven't itched since I began writing. A Great notion, eh?
BOTANICAL GARDENS EVENTS
The sun is shining (for now) and the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is gearing up for a busy spring! Here are a few events and educational opportunities to look forward to:
Available until they sell out - The Nursery at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens has a great selection of dahlia tubers divided from our own stunning collection!
March 1 through October - Summer hours begin tomorrow (March 1). We will be open daily from 9:00AM to 5:00PM. June, July, and August - Open until 7:00PM each Friday and Saturday!
March 15 - Art in the Gardens call for artists application deadline (apply online by end of day for a chance to participate in the event on August 3).
March 30 - Fruit Tree Grafting Workshop from 10:00AM to 12:00PM
BioBlitz - April 13 from 10:00AM to 2:00PM
Spring Plant Sale - April 20 through 28
Retro Sunday - April 21
Rhododendron Show - May 4 and 5
Rhododendrons 101 Workshop - May 18 from 10:00AM to 12:00PM
More to come! CHECK OUR WEBSITE www.gardenbythesea.org for more events and details.
GOVERNOR APPOINTS SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY GROWER WILLIAM LYONS TO NEW 'AGRICULTURE LIAISON' POSITION
by Dan Bacher
On February 12, California Governor Gavin Newson announced the appointment of William Lyons, 68, of Modesto, to serve in a new position — the Agriculture Liaison in the Office of the Governor.
Lyons, a San Joaquin Valley grower who has opposed increased San Joaquin River flows, has been chief executive officer of Lyons Investments Management, LLC since 1976. He previously served as Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture from 1999 to 2004.
According to the Governor’s Office, “Lyons was selected as the western regional finalist for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation 2010 Conservationist of the Year Award and received the United States Department of Agriculture National Environmentalist Award. He has an extensive background in agriculture and water policy.”
This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $175,008. Lyons is a Democrat.
’I’m grateful for this opportunity to serve Gov. Newsom and his Administration,” said Lyons in a news release from Mark Looker of the Looker Communications ConsultingCompany. “I’m committed to exploring balanced, common-sense and science-based solutions for the critically complex water and agricultural issues facing the state.”
“I understand the issues and concerns of California agriculture when it comes to production issues, as well as environmental and water policy issues,” said Lyons. “I look forward to reaching out to the California agriculture and water communities, and the community at large, to listen to their concerns and bring those issues forward to the Governor and his staff so agriculture has a strong voice in Sacramento.” Read more
The Governor’s Office’s press release didn’t mention that Bill Lyons owns Mapes Ranch, a 3,500 acre “diversified farming and cattle operation” producing almonds, wheat, tomatoes, alfalfa, corn, grapes, oats, barley, beans, forage mix, and melons, adjacent to 3,000 acres of rangeland. (http://184.108.40.206/programs/campaign/documents/39-MapesRanch.pdf.)
Nor did the Governor’s Office mention that Mapes Ranch gets water through the Merced Irrigation District, the first water agency to sue the State Water Resources Control Board over the Phase 1 Update to the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan. (https://www.courthousenews.com/california-water-grab-faces-first-legal-challenge/.)
Eye on Modesto, a blog by Emerson Blake about his “thoughts and observations about Modesto and Stanislaus County” noted that Bill Lyons has been CEO of Lyons investments (read Mapes ranch) since 1976, “and that is around the time Bill began treating MID as his personal fiefdom.” eyeonmodesto.com/…
“Bill and or his family and business associates controlled three of the five votes on MID’s Board as long as most can remember (until Jim Mortensen bungled it),” claimed Blake. “For years they funded any challenge to his votes/puppets by cutting a campaign donation check for $5,000 anytime they were opposed during an election (in most elections they ran unopposed due to lack of interest). For perspective a $5,000 check in past MID terms was more like a $50,000, check today.”
California Waterfowl applauded Newsom’s appointment of Lyons. “California Waterfowl works extensively with farmers, particularly rice growers, to provide habitat for migrating waterfowl in the fall, winter and spring, as well as nesting habitat for resident birds in the spring and summer. Bill Lyons understands conservation and water issues that California Waterfowl will be working on with the Governor’s office,” the group said in a statement.
Some independent policy analysts and environmentalists were critical of this appointment, pointing out that having an agribusiness leader with such a conflict of interest serving in the Governor’s Office is not good public policy — and just more of the deep regulatory capture that pervades California environmental politics from top to bottom.
”This gives special access for some of the largest water brokers and privately held agribusiness corporations in California,” said Deirdre Des Jardins of the independent policy group California Water Research. “They are seeking to push junk science that has been previously rejected by the state water board, outside of the water board’s adjudicatory and regulatory processes.”
In a blog post, she points out how this appointment calls into question whether Newsom will allow the Water Board to make its own independent decisions on the WQCP update and the "appropriate Delta flow criteria" for the WaterFix: cah2oresearch.com/…Lyons’ appointment, as well as the appointment of a new water board chair and board member, is the result of heavy pressure by agribusiness interests and Senator Dianne Feinstein.
Environmentalists are also concerned about the lack of balance is Newsom’s appointment. “It is discouraging that Newsom has appointed a representative that’s been on the side of larger corporate agricultural interests rather than small farmers,” said Lynn Plambeck, from the Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment and a local water district board member. “Perhaps he should create a position for Delta farmers and the public as well if he is going to create a new position.”
On January 31, Cal Matters reported that Feinstein wrote a letter to the Governor "asking Newsom to appoint Bill Lyons, a Modesto farmer, to the post Marcus held."
Newson decided to not reappoint Felicia Marcus, the Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board, under heavy pressure by Lyons and other agribusiness interests. Marcus was under fire by San Joaquin Valley growers for supporting increased flows on the San Joaquin River in the Water Quality Plan Update required under state law.
Instead, Newsom appointed Joaquin Esquivel, 36, of Sacramento, as Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board. Esquivel has served on the board since 2017. Esquivel was assistant secretary for federal water policy at the California Natural Resources Agency from 2015 to 2017.
“We have a big state with diverse water needs,” said Newson in his State of the State. “Cities that need clean water to drink, farms that need irrigation to keep feeding the world, fragile ecosystems that must be protected. We need a portfolio approach to building water infrastructure and meeting long-term demand. To help bring this balance, I’m appointing a new chair of the California water board, Joaquin Esquivel.”
In a similar vein to Newsom’s State of the State, Feinstein’s letter cited "Lyons’ knowledge of 'environmental restoration and agriculture innovation” as the reason why he should be appointed as Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board.
“This unique background makes him perfectly qualified to guide the board through its present serious challenge of restoring California’s imperiled fisheries while maintaining the confidence of our world-leading agriculture industry,” wrote Feinstein.
As turned out, Newson instead decided to create a special position to accommodate Lyons. Grassroots conservationists advocates disagree that Lyons is seriously interested in “restoring California’s imperiled fisheries.” They argue instead that Lyons has strongly opposed the necessary flows to restore these collapsing fish populations.
For example, on February 16, 2017, Lyons and a group of Central Valley agribusiness interests called the California Allied Grower Group sent Felicia Marcus a letter opposing “unimpaired flows” from the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers into the Bay Delta Estuary that the state’s own scientists say are necessary for fish restoration and proposing “an alternative approach.”
“The broad group of the undersigned farmers from throughout the Central Valley are writing to express our continuing concerns with the State Water Resources Control Board’s approach to the Bay-Delta— specifically the persistent reliance on “unimpaired flows” for both Phase I and Phase II of the water quality control plan— and to offer an alternative approach that we believe will work better for California,” Lyons and the other agricultural interests wrote.
“Upon review of the State Water Board’s Draft Revised Substitute Environmental Document supporting Phase 1 of the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan, it is evident that your staff and consultants continue to employ certain thematic approaches to water management that conflict with fundamental beliefs of the greater water user community. This approach if implemented would significantly impact our operations, the economies of Central Valley farming communities, the groundwater resources throughout the region and the both the terrestrial and aquatic environment in the Central Valley,” they wrote.
The letter is available here: https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/bay_delta/docs/sed/app4a_all/4A-Ltrs/WQCP1_0533_paul_adams.pdf
Others who signed the letter include representatives of a virtual who’s who of of Big Ag in California: Stewart and Lynda Resnick’s Wonderful Company; Wegis & Young, a full service farm management team; Nickel Family LLC, Bakersfield; Rio Bravo Ranch in Bakersfield; and Booth Ranches, Orange Cove. The signees also include four members of the Westlands Water District - Harris Ranch – John C. Harris and the Harris Feeding Company; Woolf Farming & Processing; and Bowles Farming Company, Los Banos; and Hillmar Cheese Company.
On the same day that the Governor announced the appointment of Lyons as Agriculture Liason to the Governor’s Office, Joaquin Esquivel as chair of the State Water Board and Laurel Firestone as a new member of the State Water Board, Newsom called for an end to Jerry Brown’s Twin Tunnels, but said he supports one tunnel.
“I do not support the Water Fix as currently configured,” said Newsom in his state of the state address. “Meaning, I do not support the twin tunnels. But we can build on the important work that’s already been done. That’s why I do support a single tunnel.”
In response, Bill Wells, the Executive Director of the California Delta Chambers & Visitor’s Bureau, said his organization continues to oppose diverting Sacramento River water around the Delta, the largest estuary on the West Coast of the Americas, regardless of the method of diversion:
“The California Delta Chambers & Visitor’s Bureau opposes diverting the Sacramento River around the Delta. We have never made a distinction over the method of diversion, whether it be canals, tunnels, or any other conveyance. Diverting the river will destroy what is left of the Delta. The water barons in the south will want as much water as they can get out of the system and they will not finance it unless they are assured of this. We do not trust them!”