≡ Categories

Confirmation of something we guessed

Writing in the California Progress Report, Alegria De La Cruz, Legal Director of the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment, talks about those farmworker demonstrations on the Westside last summer: “What about the ‘spontaneous’ demonstrations by farmworkers marching under the ‘Fish vs. Jobs’ banner? Go talk to the laborers in the small destitute towns of the regions such as Five Points, Firebaugh, Mendota and Dos Palos. I have. If you can gain their confidence, they’ll tell you, as they’ve told me: these demonstrations were orchestrated by farm labor contractors and their employers. Workers were either strongly ‘encouraged’ to joint the demonstrations with the implication that their jobs were at stake, or were simply paid to march. This is not [...]

Feinstein’s favor for Resnick et al. is still a bad idea

Senator Dianne Feinstein’s S. 1759, “Water Transfer Facilitation Act of 2009,” is on the U.S. Senate Legislative Calendar, and opponents fear that it could be included in omnibus legislation. This is the legislation that would relax the law in order to benefit the Kern Water Bank and other private entities profiting from taxpayer subsidized water and infrastructure. It would allow high flows in the San Joaquin River, crucial to the Delta’s ecological health, to be diverted outside of the CVP service area and to non-CVP contractors for use in the state’s multi-billion dollar private water sales market. Under the legislation, federally subsidized $20 an acre foot water could be resold in the open market for more than $1000 an acre [...]

And while we’re tweaking things . . .

In their enthusiasm to pass the “historic water package” last November and create a Delta Stewardship Council to put things right in the Delta, lawmakers neglected to address the matter of paying for the Council. To correct this oversight, Assemblymember Huffman presented AB 2092, a long-term financing plan for the DSC, to the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee. AB 2092 requires the DSC to develop a financing plan based on the “beneficiary pays” principle. This will involve defining private and public benefits, as well as identifying both benefits and negative impacts of any action. A variety of financing strategies will be necessary. Huffman emphasized that any new fees would be subject to legislative approval. Both supporters and opponents focused [...]

“Lipstick on a pig”

That was Senator Lois Wolk’s description of AB 2775, a bill that would amend the water bond to remove language that would allow nongovernmental partners to be part of joint powers authorities formed to own and manage dams. Assemblymember Jared Huffman and Senator Dave Cogdill, who never agree about anything with respect to water, coauthored this bill focusing on a “narrow point of consensus,” a “surgical change” (to quote Huffman). Huffman presented it to the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee on June 22. It has an urgency clause. Why the urgency? In a deeply flawed water bond, the joint powers provision is one of the deepest flaws. Organizations opposing the water bond have noted that this provision would open [...]

Join us in the fight to SAVE the largest estuary on the west coast of the Americas!