Blogs

Bay Area Developer hit with huge damages in dispute over sale of Kings County farmland

By Lloyd G. Carter

    A prominent western San Joaquin Valley grower and a Bay Area developer have been ordered to pay $128.6 million in damages following a nearly three-month trial in Kings County Superior Court.  McCarthy Family Farms, headed by John McCarthy, and Sandridge Partners, a family-own real estate business headed by John Vidovich of Los Altos Hills were ordered Friday (March 28) to pay $73.4 million in compensatory damages and $55.2 million in punitive damages.  McCarthy was found guilty of breach of contract and Sandridge Partners was found guilty of interference with contractual relations.   READ MORE »

Quote of the Week

"The problem in California is not that we don't have enough reservoirs. It's that we don't have enough water in them. It wouldn't help to build any more (reservoirs.)"

     Dr. John Holdren, White House science adviser

 

House Natural Resources Committee hearing Dog and Pony Show

    By Lloyd G. Carter

   All you need to know about Wednesday's (March 19)  drought field hearing in Fresno of the House Committee on Natural Resources is that salmon were never mentioned and the GOP pols knew how to throw red meat to the farmers in the packed city hall chambers. It speaks volumes that there were seven Republicans and only one Democrat (Rep. Jim Costa) at the hearing chaired by Rep. Richard N. "Doc" Hastings, who is retiring after his term ends.

    Hastings said he invited all 21 Democrats on the Natural Resources Committee to participate in the hearing but only Costa, who had no explanation why no other Democrats showed up, was in attendance. Committee members Jared Huffman and Grace Napolitano, former chair of the house subcommittee on water, were among the no shows.

     Hastings also said he was "very, very disappointed" that State Water Resources Control Board chairwoman Felicia Markus failed to appear despite being invited.  Marcus, who previously worked for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) as western regional  director, also served as EPA director for Region 9 and was appointed by Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzennegger to the Delta Stewarship Council.  READ MORE »

Fish and Wildlife Service supervisors commit misconduct to further Keystone XL Pipeline Project

Editor's Note: Greenwire news service has released the article below showing repeated scientific misconduct by two U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service supervisors pushing for approval of the controversial Keystone Pipeline project. It is clear to see from the agency's press spokesman, Chris Tollefson, that Fish and Wildlife is still stonewalling on this.  I blogged about Tollefson sometime back.  Type his name in my website search engine box (upper right corner of home page) and read the story about two-headed fish.  Does President Obama have a clue what's going on in his wildlife protection agency?

(Thursday, February 6, 2014)

By Emily Yehle, Greenwire reporter

 

Two supervisors at the Fish and Wildlife Service purposely ignored staff concerns in order to shrink the habitat of the endangered American burying beetle, committing scientific misconduct of a "serious and intentional nature," accordingto newly released internal documents. The documents provide new details on the scientific integrity cases against Dixie Porter and Luke Bell, who worked in the Oklahoma Ecological Services Field Office. Porter was the field supervisor, while Bell was the branch chief of threatened and endangered species and contaminants.  READ MORE »

Westlands Water District 2009 Bond Rating

 Fitch bond rating company in 2009 assessed Westlands Water District's ability to issue more bonds to help pay for Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP).  Interesting reading.  You can download the PDF version of the Fitch report and read at your leisure.  

SWP Water Supply Contract Extension

Patricia Schifferle reports on the SWP Water Supply Contract Extension.  There are three downloadable PDF documents.  

State Water Board warns of drought-based water shortages

January 17, 2014

NOTICE OF SURFACE WATER SHORTAGE AND POTENTIAL FOR CURTAILMENT OF WATER RIGHT DIVERSIONS

        With California facing water shortfalls in the driest year in recorded state history, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has proclaimed a State of Emergency and directed state officials to take all necessary actions to prepare for these drought conditions.

         The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) administers California’s water rights system and is closely monitoring water availability. The water rights system is designed to provide for the orderly allocation of water supplies in the event that there is not enough water to satisfy everyone’s needs. In the coming weeks and months, if dry weather conditions persist, the State Water Board will notify water right holders in critically dry watersheds of the requirement to limit or stop diversions of water under their water right, based on their priority.  READ MORE »

GAO warns Clean Water in Peril, rivers still fouled

Gaithersburg, MD – In a report released yesterday (Jan. 13, 2014), the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that more than 40 years after Congress approved the Clean Water Act, the majority of our nation’s waters continue to be impaired. The main cause is non-point source pollution – runoff from farms, roadways, and backyards across the country. The Izaak Walton League empowers citizens to respond to this growing threat by monitoring and restoring water quality in their communities. GAO concludes that “progress toward the Clean Water Act’s goals of restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters – including designated uses of fishing, swimming, and drinking – has stalled, largely because non-point source pollution has not been controlled.” GAO calls on Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to take a range of actions to protect and restore America’s waters.  READ MORE »

DADDY'S MONEY

"The case has lately turned into a mud-slinging-fest that, despite the legal verbiage necessary of court documents, reads like a soap opera scandal."

Denver Post July 3, 2013 article on
bankruptcy case of insider trading
suspect Roger "Mr. Fast Lane" Parker,
business associate and client of 
Westlands Water District
lobbyist/lawyer Norman Brownstein

By Lloyd G. Carter

                                In every American city there is at least one, and usually more than one, power elite group which wields great influence and power over civic, economic and political affairs.  There are at least two types of individuals in those power elites: People who inherit or marry into great wealth, and self-made multi-millionaires or billionaires.   In Fresno, that elite is centered around dynastic agribusiness clans and real estate developers, who have no problem plowing up productive orchards and vineyards to make way for cookie cutter subdivisions.

 READ MORE »

How Billionaire Water Buffalo Stewart Resnick works a water scheme in Kern County to make water flow uphill

Bakersfield Californian columnist Lois Henry has written a brilliant explication of how a water deal goes down in Kern County, home of the Kern County Water Agency and water bank of Beverly Hills billionaires Stewart and Lynda Resnick. Go to www.Bakersfield.com and type in the words Lois Henry, Stewart Resnick and Root Creek. It's eye-opening.    cool 

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