Eye On Modesto

Thoughts and observations about Modesto and Stanislaus County

Archive for the month “August, 2012”

Joan Rutschow Addressing The MID Board of Directors

Contracts

Contracts (Photo credit: NobMouse)

By Joan Rutschow of the Stanislaus Taxpayers Association

Good morning, MID Board and ratepayers and voters.  I would like to address the water contract.

The water sale contract puts San Francisco in 1st position ahead of Modesto residents and farmers.

MID would have no “out” on the contract for 50 years unless San Francisco defaults.  San Francisco can terminate the deal in any year by deciding not to allocate funds.  Very simply, the contract ties up our water for 50 years, giving San Francisco priority over Modesto.  San Francisco would be entitled to the full contract amount even if MID cuts deliveries to Modesto and our farmers due to drought or any other unforseen reason. 

Bee Article (6-16-12), “San Francisco cannot agree to a water sale contract that gives preference to Modesto!”  MID is agreeing to sell water we might not have!  Suggesting that we have excess water to sell, MID management has increased the risks that we will face onerous bypass flow regulations under our new FERC license and jeopardize our ability to meet local needs.  San Francisco understands this and can terminate the agreement if they cannot live with the bypass requirements.  There is no similar right to terminate by MID!!!  MID will be solely responsible for all costs, compliance with all laws, agreements with all third parties.  The agreement shifts all risk, liability and compliance with laws onto the MID ratepayer.  This entire contract stinks to high heaven! 

Question – what caused this gigantic mess?  A long list of poor policies and poor decisions by management and directors!  Let me count the ways:

1.  $1.3 billion debt (Editorial in  Modesto Bee, 6-6-12 – Ed Bearden)

2.  Phase 2 treatment plant failures

3.  Significant deterioration of MID’s balance sheet during past ten years (Editorial in Modesto Bee, 5-17-12, Jeff Burda –  unfunded pension obligations of $60 million (2010), unfunded health care obligations – $66 million)

4.  Unprecedented increase in electric rates, reversing our competitive advantage for job creation

5.  Recent settlement of the biomass lawsuit for $1.2 million

MID management has put the rate payers and farmers into a deep financial hole.  Unfortunately, MID is willing to sacrifice our economic lives for its immediate financial needs.

Selling our water is NOT a good idea.  It is a disaster.  It violates Modesto’s contract with MID from 2005 to supply Modesto with 30 – 36 million gallons per day of treated Tuolumne River water.  MID is trying to break that contract.

Yes to food, yes to jobs, yes to life, because water = food = jobs = life itself.

NO to selling our precious resource (our water) to San Francisco!

“What’s on America’s Mind” Wednesday at 7:00 PM

Tonight’s topics include a first hand account of lunch with Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Board of Supervisors decisions regarding West Park and Del Rio, a Salida annexation update, reactions to the Republican convention and a call to arms regarding women’s issues in America..  All of this and more including a golfing recap with issues between FM and Dryden Park golfers.

Wednesday night at 7:00 PM Pacific. 

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/centralvalleyhornet/2012/08/30/whats-on-americas-mind-with-emerson-drake

You can also hear us on 104.9 FM K-GIG Salida/Modesto

And in the Central Valley Hornet Archives http://www.blogtalkradio.com/centralvalleyhornet

Additional information discussed during the show can be found at http://eyeonmodesto.com/

Reed Smith’s Thoughts about the Sen. Feinstein Letter

English: Dianne Feinstein http://bioguide.cong...

English: Dianne Feinstein http://bioguide.congress.gov/bioguide/photo/F/F000062.jpg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

November 28, 2011

The Honorable Dianne Feinstein

United States Senate

Re: Water Transfer Discussions

Thank you for taking the time to meet with the group from Modesto Irrigation District and City and County of San Francisco. It was a pleasure to talk with you and we appreciate the opportunity to brief you on our discussions regarding a potential water transfer. I especially enjoyed viewing your wonderful painting of the Hetch Hetchy Valley. Thank you for that treat and for the signed photograph to commemorate our visit.

[ CODE for we will help tear down Hetch Hetchy and return it to a granite valley. ]

As we discussed, MID and San Francisco have developed some key points for a potential sale of Tuolumne River water that San Francisco could take through its existing Hetch Hetchy pipeline facilities, . . .

 [ NOT conserved water, Water not controlled by the CA WRCB ]

with the revenue for MID being used to finance necessary irrigation distribution infrastructure improvements . . .

[ NOT True.  Short told everybody, including YOU that it would be used for current obligations.  Now we know that his proposed 34% salary and retirement SPIKE are to be paid out if the water sale.]

 . . . that also would achieve system and water use efficiencies to produce sufficient water to serve San Francisco.

[ Here is the most disgusting statement in the document.  Allen Short works for the SFPUC, but MID rate payers foot the bill. ]

MID conducted a series of public outreach meetings . . .

[ NO HEARINGS HAVE BEEN HELD.  NOT ONE! ]

[ These were not designed to inform the public, they were to get the public to disclose their objections to what a stupid irrational idea this was and have the public tell Short what he needs to tell the rest of the public to con them. ]

. . . to provide information about the discussions with San Francisco, and to solicit as wide a variety of opinions and comments as possible.

[ What we find is the Allen Short has spent $640,000 paid by MID to Martino Associates, who pays Mike Lynch, who pays Rubin Villalobos, who pays other people to write OpEd’s for the Bee, or come to the microphone to promote this water sale.  The ONLY farmers who have supported this sale are Bill Lyons, Jr., Billy Lyons, Bob Ott, and his son, and one poor destitute share-crop farmer that farms 1,000 acres of Bill Lyons Jr.’s Mapes Ranch with free water. This is a mater of public record. ]

Attached are the final presentation materials used in those meetings.

[ I do not find the materials where Short claims he has bribed Senator Feinstein to personally interfere in the FERC relicensing of Don Pedro.  We intend to find out what specific contractual activities she agreed to do for 30,000 Acre Feet of out pre-1914 water rights? ]

The meetings were very well attended. The key issues raised, as anticipated, were protecting MID water rights, making certain its customers, including the City of Modesto, are served during dry periods, and ensuring there would be no significant impact to the River or the environment.

[ MID has completely failed to account for where the water to accomplish the needs.  There are NO ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP allocations in any of the pie charts.  What we do find is 40,000 AF given to Bill Lyons, Jr. FOR FREE. ]

We have developed a set of “frequently asked questions” and responses, which is also attached for your information.

[ Why were these FAQs full if fraudulent statements?  The MID Board has done nothing to provide truthful facts. ]

The next steps would be to complete negotiations with San Francisco and present the deal points to MID’s Board of Directors to consider initiating a small 2,200 acre foot transfer as well as a new environmental review process for a subsequent larger water transfer up to 25,000 acre-feet. We will certainly keep you apprised of any developments.

[These amounts are co-joined.  This is one deal, because the SFPUC has first right of refusal on ALL THE REST. ]

As always, if you have any questions or if we can provide additional background, please contact my office.

Allen Short General Manager

Copy: Michael Carlin

Here’s the Letter from Allen Short to Sen. Dianne Feinstein

MID’s general manager Allen Short wrote this back in November 2011. Is he negotiating or solidifying an agreement.  Either way, remember this as you listen to the Senator speak on Wednesday.

MIDShortFeinstein001

West Park Media Coverage, The Tale of Two Newspapers

By Emerson Drake

Tuesday night the Board of Supervisors meeting was a sometimes boisterous, often somber affair reminiscent of an Irish wake without the libations.  A lonely Gerry Kamilos was the only speaker for the ill-fated and bloated business park.  Even his ardent supporters from the Modesto Chamber of Commerce and the International Union of Electrical workers remained in their seats.  Bill Basset and the Alliance didn’t even bother to attend although presumably they sent flowers. Even West Park consultant Mike Lynch stayed away to avoid the stench of defeat from the project.

Everyone present heard the death knell of West Park except an editor at the Modesto Bee who used as his headline  “WEST PARK GETS A REPRIEVE.”  The Patterson Irrigator was polite but more to the point by saying  “Supervisors postpone decision on West Park.”

West Park Dead on Arrival

Only Supervisor Monteith and the Bee’s Editor saw any signs of life after Supervisors DeMartini, O’Brien, and Chiesa were through.  Supervisors Chiesa and DeMartini were wondering aloud if Kamilos should be allowed to bid again.  And who could blame them with one failed promise after another.

Earlier in the week we had been treated to  a Judy Sly editorial motivated by a conversation with consultant Mike Lynch, suggesting almost word for word Monteiths’ request, varying only by twenty-four hours the time of the suggested coup de  grace,  hers being Friday and his Thursday at 3:00PM.  Little surprise with the coordinated effort as the Bee’s mantra has been jobs,  jobs,  jobs, no matter how illusionary.

What was a little shocking (maybe I’m more naive than I realized), was the Bee using Jeff Jardine to suggest the days’  headline was true, claiming “County has little to lose by punting on project.”  Apparently editors at the Bee have decided to shape opinion without the inclusion of reality.  And then the following day: “West Park ties unraveling.”

Now nothing had changed or happened during the ensuing twenty-four hours except maybe the people who were there or watched the meeting on video and TV calling the Bee and asking, did you listen to what was said?  The unraveling headline came under the heading of ANALYSIS. It should have come under the apology, Can’t find my Glutes with both hands and a flashlight.

But of greater concern is the unbecoming habit the Bee has fallen into of listening to pundits and consultants and repeating their words as facts or news.  The editorial staff has allowed this same consultant, Mike Lynch, to give voice to his dreams and wishes and then reports them as gospel.   Well they aren’t.  Not his MID water sale dreams or his fantasy of West Park.  It seems as long as Mr. Lynch gets paid, he believes it’s in our best interest. But what most of us have learned over the years is trickle down economic theories only get the person wet who cashes the first check.

I can honestly tell you I wish the Patterson Irrigator covered Modesto.  And if the big wigs at McClatchy want to get their shares to rise above the present $1.63 they better learn to write reality about Stanislaus County politics or maybe the Irrigator will water Modesto’s thirst for local news.

Gerry Kamilos’ pie-in-the-sky  jobs may look and sound pretty, but fantasy won’t fill your child’s  belly or your bank account.

The Patterson Irrigator story http://www.pattersonirrigator.com/view/full_story/19893220/article-Supervisors-postpone-decision-on-West-Park?instance=news_special_coverage_right_column

Modesto Bee original story http://www.modbee.com/2012/08/21/2338978/supervisors-delay-west-park-decision.html

Jardine’s http://www.modbee.com/2012/08/21/2339052/jardine-county-has-little-to-lose.html

Rapists Have Visitation and Custody Rights??

By Gaetana Drake

We’ve all heard the recent comment by Representative Todd Akin (R-Missouri) who believes that women don’t get pregnant as a result of rape, because “the female body has a way of shutting down that function.”  In case you needed more proof that that statement is incredibly ignorant, consider this – 31 states allow rapists to sue for visitation and custody rights concerning the child they fathered during a rape!

Can you imagine the terror a woman feels while she is being raped?  If she goes to the hospital for a rape exam, she is violated again.  The actual collection of evidence (swabs from every orifice) and a close inspection of her body for bruising and other injuries, takes several hours.  During this exam a law enforcement officer is in the exam room to observe the collection of evidence.  Imagine how humiliating this is.  Then there is the stigma attached to being raped.  I grew up during a time when it was believed that “good girls don’t get raped”, or “she was asking for it, look at the clothes she was wearing.”  And after the exam, she has to wait to see if she became pregnant.  Many hospitals won’t provide her with the emergency contraception pill, due to their “religious” beliefs, and the official party platform of the GOP states that there will be no exception for abortions due to rape or incest.

So after going through all that, imagine this victim finding out that she is, in fact, pregnant.  Now comes the turmoil every woman faces when she has an unwanted pregnancy.  Do I abort?  Do I have the child of my rapist?  Many women choose to continue the pregnancy to term and keep the child.  Now….she finds out that her rapist can take her to court to win custody and/or visitation rights!

After going through such a horrible experience, but rising above it and deciding to raise her child, she can now be tethered to her rapist for the next 18 years, until the child is an adult.  He will come to her house to pick up the child.  He will come to her house to drop the child off.  He will be involved in holiday and school activities.  He will be a constant presence in her life that reminds her of the worst thing that ever happened to her.  It must be like being raped over and over for 18 years.

We all know that rape isn’t about sex.  It’s about power and control.  After fathering a child through rape, the rapist is now able to exert power and control over his victim for another 18 years. 

Who in their right mind can possibly believe that it is healthy for a child to spend time with a rapist?  I can only believe that some of these “rights” for rapists were decided by the same kind of men who have no compassion for rape victims, like many of the Republican elected officials.

It’s estimated that 54% of rapes in this country go unreported.  Now I understand why.  Studies have shown that women who live in the states listed below, often choose not to press charges against their rapist, in order to avoid the possibility of the man suing for custody or visition:

Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, maryland, Massachussetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Can you believe that in America, rapists have such rights?

Republicans Are Showing Their True Colors

By Gaetana Drake

We’ve all heard the outrageous comments by Representative Todd Akin (R-Missouri), claiming that women don’t get pregnant as a result of a legitimate rape because “the female body has a way of shutting down that function.”  First of all, I wonder what a “legitimate” rape is….it seems to exclude statutory rape and incest.  Did Mr. Akin skip science and health ed class?  Here are some other ridiculous comments by republicans:

Representative Steve King (R) has not spoken out against Mr. Akin because he seems to agree with him.  He recently told an Iowa reporter that “I’ve never heard of a child getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest”.  A 1996 review by the Guttmacher Institute found that “at least half of all babies born to minor women are fathered by adult men.”  That would be the statutory rape that Mr. King doesn’t believe causes pregnancies.

Federal Judge James Leon Holmes, a Bush appointee, said in an article published circa 1997: “Concern for rape victims is a red herring because conceptions from rape occur with approximately the same frequency as snowfall in Miami.”

Dr. Richard Dobbins, who works in the emergency department at Hardin Memorial Hospital in Kenton, Ohio told the Columbus Dispatch in 2006, “I think that life begins when the chromosomes of the sperm and egg line up”.  Dobbins also questioned the need for emergency contraception in rape cases, saying that most women “are not fertile during assault or do not become pregnant because the trauma prompts a hormonal response that prevents ovulation.”   I wonder….do rapists only rape women who are not in their “fertile period”?

In 1995, Republican Henry Aldridge told the House Appropriations Committee:  “The facts show that people who are raped – who are truly raped – the juices don’t flow, the body functions don’t work and they don’t get pregnant”.

Representative Stephen Freind, (R-Delaware County) said “the odds that a woman who is raped will get pregnant are ‘one in millions and millions’.  The reason, he said, “is that the traumatic experience of rape causes a woman to ‘secrete a certain secretion’ that tends to kill sperm.”

 

Texas oilman Clayton Williams once ran against Ann Richards for Governor of Texas.  During the campaign he said “Rape is like the weather, if it’s inevitable, relax and enjoy it.”

Idaho Senator Chuck Winder (R) has made this unusual comment. “I would hope that when a woman goes into a physician, with a rape issue, that the physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage, or was it truly caused by a rape.”  Apparently in his mind, it’s part of “normal relations in a marriage” for a husband to rape his wife.

The GOP has finalized it’s  party platform for this election.  It includes NO exception for federal funding for abortions for victims of rape or incest.  They are finally being honest enough to tell us that their goal is to overturn Roe v. Wade.  Mitt Romney has said he would sign a “personhood amendment” which would effectively ban the birth control pill and the IUD.  These are the most commonly used and most effective forms of birth control.

Paul Ryan along with Todd Akin (women can shut down that function) co-sponsored a nation-wide personhood amendment that tried to outline the differences in types of rape.  Statutory rape, incest and forcible rape are all different categories in their minds.  Forcible rape is the only kind where they would allow the woman to have an abortion.  The wording in their proposal also required a woman to be able to “prove the rape was against her will.”  Will America soon be like Pakistan where it isn’t rape unless it’s witnessed by four other men?

Women still earn .77 to every 1.00 a man earns for doing the same job.  Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are against the Fair Pay Act.  Imagine what women’s earnings will be if they are forced to give birth every year or two….how can a woman hold down a job when she is constantly bearing children?  I know, I know…the simple answer is “don’t have sex.”  How many relationships will survive that?  Sex is a natural part of being a human being.

If the Romney/Ryan ticket wins in November, it won’t be long before women are forced out of their jobs by constant child-bearing, and they and their children live in severe poverty.  Oh yeah..don’t forget..they would like to eliminate federal funding to help low-income women and children, too.

Many of these men claim that it is immoral of us to force conscientious taxpayers to fund abortions in these cases.  They have no concern about conscientious taxpayers who object to war but are forced to pay for it.

Is this really the kind of America we want?

George Petrulakis Bills MID $28,852.50 for July More Ratepayer Money Down the Drain

By Emerson Drake

The situation at the Modesto Irrigation District is getting worse by the day. More Brown Act violation.  More Public Information Act requests unanswered.  And now we’re paying a lawyer/ lobbyist/opinion maker another $28,852.50 in July to work against the ratepayers best interest.  We have expanded our request to include the invoices presented to MID by Mr. Petrulakis to discover exactly what he’s billing MID for.

Here is MID latest response to my requests.

0_v1_PRA_Response_to_Emerson_Drake_dated_August_22__2012

A Recent Update

The legal Department at MID just informed me they would not be releasing any of the invoice details naming attorney client priviledge.

“What’s on America’s Mind” Wednesday at 7:00PM

Our topics will include the Salida Now vote, The County’s stand on growth in Salida, the WestPark vote and Garry Kamilos’ bamboozling Judy Sly and the Bee, shortchanging the public regarding Modesto’s Centre Plaza, MID latest misinformation, skinny dipping in the Sea of Gailiee,  are they trips or bribes, Rep. Todd  Akin and “legitimatel” rape,  the continuing War on Women, and much more. 

Wednesday at 7:00 PM Pacific.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/centralvalleyhornet/2012/08/23/whats-on-americas-mind-with-emerson-drake

Join us in the Chatroom or call the show by dialing

1-347-215-9414

or 104.9 FM K-GIG

To see extra details go to http://EyeOnModesto.com/

Please visit the “What’s on America’s Mind”  along with “Eye On Modesto”  facebook pages, don’t forget to like.

The Salida Now Ordinance S.C. 1005

To see the entire ordinance click on the link at the bottom.

ORDINANCE C.S. 1005

Upon motion of Supervisor Grover, seconded by

Supervisor Monteith, Ordinance C.S. 1005 was

passed and adopted at a regular meeting of the

Board of Supervisors of the County of Stanislaus,

State of California, this 7th day of August 2007, by

the following called vote:

AYES: SUPERVISORS: Grover, Monteith,

and DeMartini

NOES: SUPERVISORS: Mayfield and Chairman

O’Brien

ABSENT: SUPERVISORS: None

ABSTAINING: SUPERVISORS: None

Ordinance C.S. 1005 adopted without alteration the

County of Stanislaus Salida Area Planning, Road

Improvement, Economic Development, and Farmland

Protection Initiative. The Board also accepted

as a critical and integral component to the Initiative

and Development Agreement signed copies of

the First Amendment to Development Agreement,

which clarifies the authority of the Board of Supervisors

to condition or deny a development plan that

includes residential development if such development

cannot fully fund the cost of infrastructure for

business Park and industrial development. This ordinance

amends the County General Plan and County

Code to expand the Salida Community Plan area

and create a comprehensivelY planned Salida Community

Plan and related zoning classifications.

This new Community Plan will Provide for transportation

improvements, industrial business, commercial

centers, parks, school sites, and residential.

This ordinance approves a development

agreement that establishes the general plan and

zoning designations for twenty-five years, irrespective

of any growth control measures later enacted

by the voters or the Board of Supervisors. This

ordinance is not the final approval to develop the

Salida Community Plan. This ordinance requires

that any development within the Salidc Community

Plan Amendment Area requires the prtparation of

a programmatic-level Environmental Impact Report

prior to development.

A full copy of Ordinance C.S. 1005 is available online

at and is available for review at the Clerk of

the Board’s Office, 1010 10th Street, Suite 6700, Modesto,

CA. For further information, call the Stanislaus

County Counsel’s Office at 525-6376.

BY ORDER OF THE BOARD

OF

SUPERVISORS

DATED: August 7,2007

 

ATTEST: CHRISTINE FERRARO TALLMAN,

 

Clerk of the Board of Supervisorsof the County of

 

Stanislaus,State of California

 

BY: Elizabeth A. King,

 

Assistont Clerk of the Board

 

AUGUST 20, 2007

 To see the entire Salida Now Package click on 810 ordinance.

B10Ordinance

Aditional file footnotes.

 http://www.co.stanislaus.ca.us/bos/agenda/2007/20070807/B10Ordinance.pdf

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