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Delta Flows: California water during national crisis (Part 2)

by Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director Last week, the number one box office hit was in the USA was “Jurassic Park” because drive-ins were the only theaters open during the pandemic. Jurassic Park contains some great science quotes that can be applied to efforts by the State Water Contractors, the Design Construction Authority, the Department of Water Resources and the Newsom Administration around the pursuit of a Delta tunnel and overall California water management.  “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” The question the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the Design Construction Authority have been busy trying to answer in the affirmative is whether scientists (really engineers) could figure [...]

In Memory of Jay Sorensen

In MemoriamCaptain “Jolly” Jay SorensenSeptember 28, 1937 – June 22, 2020  Tribute by Restore the Delta Board Secretary, Roger Mammon  The Delta mourns the loss of one of its strongest advocates.  Jay Sorensen of Stockton, California passed away peacefully in his sleep.  After successfully beating throat cancer 5 years ago he valiantly lived with complications from the radiation therapy that left him unable to take nourishment by mouth. A lifelong Stockton resident, he was an avid fisherman and guided thousands of people fishing on the San Joaquin River including celebrities, sports figures, and even politicians.  It is estimated he spent 10,000 days fishing over his 50 years as a guide.  The nickname “Jolly” came from his penchant for humor and joke telling. He was the first [...]

Join us on July 2nd for our next webinar “Reframing a Region: Communities of Color in the California Delta – Part 2”

DATE: Thursday July 2nd, 2020TIME: 11 AMThis webinar will address popular narratives of the California Delta that present the region as a white space. Using an array of primary sources, a panel will contest this view, illustrating how communities of color were fundamental to the development of the Delta region. This is the second part.Register here.You can watch the first part of the webinar here.Our panel includes:Phillip Merlo, San Joaquin County HistorianPhillip Merlo is a professional historian and educator who serves as the Director of Education at the San Joaquin County Historical Society & Museum. A Stockton native with roots in the delta, Phillip has degrees in history and geography from UC Berkeley. Prior to his tenure at the museum, he served as a [...]

Join us for “Reframing a Region: Communities of Color in the California Delta – Part 2”

DATE: Thursday July 2nd, 2020 TIME: 11 AM This webinar will address popular narratives of the California Delta that present the region as a white space. Using an array of primary sources, a panel will contest this view, illustrating how communities of color were fundamental to the development of the Delta region.  Register here. Our panel includes: Phillip Merlo, San Joaquin County Historian Phillip Merlo is a professional historian and educator who serves as the Director of Education at the San Joaquin County Historical Society & Museum. A Stockton native with roots in the delta, Phillip has degrees in history and geography from UC Berkeley. Prior to his tenure at the museum, he served as a social studies teacher at Franklin High School. [...]

ICYMI: Guest Commentary: The Delta Tunnel is not a Social Justice Project 

ICYMI: Guest Commentary: The Delta Tunnel is not a Social Justice Project Maven’s Notebook 6/26/20 In his CalMatters piece on June 20, 2020, Gary Kremen, vice-chair of the Delta Conveyance Finance Authority wraps Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed Delta tunnel project in a strategy of virtue signaling — talking the talk without walking the walk – and without knowing the Delta.“You cannot know the extent of water in a pond you have never been to.”– Swahili proverb (first of three)We grew up at different times but attended the same high school, Ravenswood High in then-unincorporated East Palo Alto. We learned of and lived with the systemic injustices foisted on East Palo Alto by its wealthy, too often disdainful neighbor Palo Alto, and its occupying force,  the [...]

ICYMI: Delta Tunnel Director Earns More than Governor

As state slashes budget, director for proposed Delta tunnel earns twice as much as the governor – Sacramento News & Review 6/24/20While the COVID-19 pandemic has blown a $54 billion hole in California’s budget—threatening education and safety programs and forcing 234,000 state employees to take unpaid furloughs—the state’s spending on a proposed massive tunnel project in the Delta hasn’t slowed. Documents obtained by SN&R reveal that the director of the joint powers authority leading that effort, under the supervision and current financing of the state Department of Water Resources, is getting paid $47,000 every month—twice as much as Gov. Gavin Newsom and significantly more than President Trump.DWR says that the money to pay Kathryn Mallon, executive director of the Delta Conveyance Design [...]

UPDATED ACTION ALERT – Santa Clara Valley Water District

Dear Friends,Tuesday, Valley Water indicated that their funding measure (discussed in yesterday’s alert) for the November ballot will not include funding for Delta tunnels planning.  That is good news.We think, however, that you may want to share two observations with Valley Water’s Board of Directors.Tell them that the language for the bond measure cannot be squishy so the funds can  be moved around at a later date for tunnel planning.  Make sure the tunnel is not included in this funding explicitly.Also, ask the Board to explain how the funding measure then allows for money to be freed up through the general fund for tunnel expenditures.  Is this what Valley Water ratepayers want? Will Valley Water ratepayers support an expenditure if a [...]

Join us on June 25th for our next webinar “Reframing a Region: Communities of Color in the California Delta”

DATE: Thursday June 25th, 2020TIME: 11 AMThis webinar will address popular narratives of the California Delta that present the region as a white space. Using an array of primary sources, a panel will contest this view, illustrating how communities of color were fundamental to the development of the Delta region. Our panel includes:Phillip Merlo, San Joaquin County HistorianPhillip Merlo is a professional historian and educator who serves as the Director of Education at the San Joaquin County Historical Society & Museum. A Stockton native with roots in the delta, Phillip has degrees in history and geography from UC Berkeley. Prior to his tenure at the museum, he served as a social studies teacher at Franklin High School. He has written on the history of [...]

ACTION ALERT – Santa Clara Valley Water District

On June 23, 2020, the Santa Clara Valley Water District will be discussing the possibility of putting a funding measure on the November ballot. We believe the ballot in part is to raise funding for the Delta tunnel project. Valley Water describes their first priority as:  Priority A: Ensure a Safe, Reliable Water Supply   This is exact language used by the Department of Water Resources to describe the Delta tunnel project.  With all the funding challenges for Valley Water associated with dam repairs and flood control, a bond measure that could finance a risky Delta tunnel project that still requires permitting, CEQA review, and a 23-year construction period — all for a diminishing water supply due to climate change — is problematic for [...]

BREAKING: DANGER levels of cyanotoxin found in Discovery Bay

This is a message from the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Valley. 6/10/20 Good Afternoon, The Water Boards received a report of significant cyanobacteria harmful algal bloom (HAB) occurring in Discovery Bay, including multiple locations at the DANGER level (highest threshold). This afternoon (6/10/2020) State Water Board’s HAB Hotline received lab results of the June 4th water samples collected from Discovery Bay by Central Valley Regional Water Board staff – results are summarized in the table below. Incident Details: • Extensive cyanobacteria HAB throughout the bay with elevated cyanotoxins in the bloom material that accumulates near slow moving areas (e.g. coves, docks). • Multiple cyanobacteria genus (Microcystis and Dolichospermum) detected at all locations sampled. • Microcystins exceeding recommended [...]