January 2011

STOCKTON – The guy hired to run the sound system got the last word at a meeting Tuesday about the fate of the Delta and water exports to the south.

“I’m from Southern California, and this is the first time I’ve heard about any of this, really,” John Stringfield told members of the new Delta Stewardship Council. “You should probably spread the word a little bit more in Southern California so we know what your needs are. … I’m just saying. …”

An audience full of Delta defenders applauded. They know exactly what the ramifications are as the council writes a plan that could determine the Delta’s destiny through the end of this century.

Click here to read more at Recordnet.com

STOCKTON – A small oil spill triggered a big response Tuesday at the Port of Stockton.

Champion, a Norwegian-registered oceangoing ship carrying liquid fertilizer, had been slowly leaking hydraulic fluid from its rudder since arriving in port Monday, said Jeff Wingfield, an environmental manager at the port.

But it doesn’t take much fuel – about a gallon, in this case – to create a noticeable sheen on the water, he said. The spill was detected and reported to the California Emergency Management Agency about 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Click here to read more at Recordnet.com

A grassroots effort to educate the public about the degraded and channelized Calaveras River, and its historic runs of steelhead and salmon, will promote its message during a festival that includes a parade of giant fish puppets and a gathering site at Tuxedo Court on the Miracle Mile.

The Steelhead and Salmon Festival, scheduled from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 1, is the dream of the two groups, Friends of the Lower Calaveras River and Defenders of Wildlife..

Information: Jeremy Terhune, Defenders of Wildlife, (209) 992-8215; jterhune@defenders.org.

Click here to read more at Recordnet.com


The Reasonable Use Doctrine is the cornerstone of California’s complex water rights laws.

By: Dan Bacher

Delta Watermaster Craig Wilson will present a highly anticipated report to the State Water Resources Control Board on January 19 suggesting that a particularly contentious area of California water law, the California Constitution’s “Reasonable and Beneficial Use Doctrine,” be applied more broadly.

In his report, Wilson recommends that the State Board employ this doctrine to promote agricultural water use efficiency. The doctrine states a water right does not include the right to waste water and mandates that “the water resources of the state be put to beneficial use,” according to the Planning and Conservation League Insider (http://www.pcl.org).

A small percentage of increased agricultural water use efficiency adds up to significant water savings in California, according to Wilson. The report recommends that the State Board convene a “Reasonable Use Summit” to develop specific actions to improve efficiency and create a “Reasonable Use Unit” within the Division of Water Rights.

Click here to read more at Indybay.org

STOCKTON – The city faces a fine of $18,000 for violations at its wastewater treatment plant.

State water quality officials announced the fine Wednesday. Stockton is one of nine cities, organizations and water districts in the Central Valley facing a total of $144,000 in fines for various violations.

Click here to read more at Recordnet.com


I have to admit, quite frankly, that I am just plain tired of the LIES by South Valley special interests.  Hunger IS a serious issue in the Central Valley, and people ARE out of work in Mendota, yet the biggest economic hit in the Central Valley is from the collapse of the construction industry

The numbers are clear: According to the State of California Employment Development Department, from 2003 -2009 employment in the Central Valley’s agricultural sector actually GREW by 2%, while construction jobs dropped by 4%!

South Valley special interests will continue to propagate misinformation and continue trying to exonerate their greedy cause for more water to irrigate infertile, selenium laced land while manipulating hard-working, under-served immigrant communities!

– Jeremy


Reason.tv: Delta Smelt and Undocumented Farm Workers: How Federal Policy Is Failing California’s Central Valley

California’s Central Valley is a 450 mile long stretch of flat and fertile land that produces much of the food that we enjoy every day. But the people in small towns like Mendota (the cantaloupe capital of the world) are suffering these days, in part due to two federal policies.

In order to protect a threatened fish species called the Delta Smelt, much of the water that used to be pumped from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to farms on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley is now allowed to flow into the ocean. The result is predictable: hundreds of thousands of acres of farm land lies fallow and tens of thousands of jobs have been lost. In Mendota, the unemployment rate is over 40% and food lines are the norm.


Click here to read more at Reasontv.com


Nature enthusiasts who choose the Calaveras River for recreation have a new tool to help enjoy its 80-mile course.

The first edition of “Common Animals of the Calaveras River,” was recently completed through the works of the Friends of the Lower Calaveras River, aided by a grant from the Resources Legacy Fund Foundation. The Friends are a nonprofit group formed in 2008 to restore and promote the waterway.

“Common Animals” is a field guide with 11 pages illustrating the fish, amphibian, reptile, bird and mammal species that call the Calaveras River home.

The river flows from headwaters near Calaveras Big Trees State Park to the San Joaquin River.

The guide’s cover features the well-known bald eagle, great blue heron, river otter and both steelhead and chinook salmon. Inside are more than 100 other critters, including the yellowfin goby, yellow-rumped warbler and Botta’s pocket gopher.

Click here to read more at Uniondemocrat.com

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