Eye On Modesto

Thoughts and observations about Modesto and Stanislaus County

Reed Smith Questions Modesto Bee’s Editor and Senior VP/News Joe Kieta

Joe Kieta
Editor
Modesto Bee
 
Mr. Kieta:
 
It was nice to meet you on July 11, 2102 during the Editorial Board session when John Duarte and I were invited to discuss the MID water sale to the SFPUC.  Welcome to Modesto.
 
During the Editorial Board meeting, Judy Sly proposed that MID’s repeated false claims could be attributed to mere incompetence.  Incompetence would be justification to end negotiations to sell our water all by itself.  This was countered during the presentation as implausible because of the repeated re-use of documents that by MID’s own documents prove false, numerous times after the lie has been publicly exposed.  I would find the term “criminal” closer to the mode MID Board and staff are in, with incompetence removed from the excuse list many months ago.  
 
On one particular issue we discussed, John Holland followed-up in a phone call to me on July 13 asking me to validate a statement I made, that being my source of the California Water Resources Control Board staff’s statement in a meeting on May 3, wherein we were told that a 50-60 year water transfer was a “permanent” transfer of water rights.
 
I sent the e-mail below to Mr. Holland on the 13th as a reference document and cc’ed you.  I entered your e-mail address incorrectly, so it has been in my in box as undeliverable.  So, fast forward to my writing to you today.  On July 10, I had a very brief encounter with John Holland in the foyer of the MID Board Chambers during the morning MID Board Meeting break.  I inquire if he had contacted the references I provided.  He said he had not had time.
 
POINT:  One of MID Board’s key criteria for any water sale is to not interfere with the water right.
 
 

Question Key: General Questions Ag Related Questions November 2011

1. Will transferring the water for a long term deal endanger MID’s water rights?

The proposal is for selling water. Just water; MID’s water rights will be retained by MID; in fact by putting water to beneficial municipal and industrial uses, MID is protecting the water right.

 
I have provided John Holland with a statement witnessed by myself and John Duarte, who was in your conference room with John Holland on July 11, stating that experts in state government factually believe water rights are voided.  I have provided Mr. Holland with the citation of who, what, when, why, and where, on THE MOST IMPORTANT FACT IN THE WATER SALE NARRATIVE, and . . . Mr. Holland is too busy to validate and report it.  Hmm.
 
It begs the question of the Bee’s veracity on this issue.
 
I hope to see Mr. Holland’s reporting in a major article on MID’s attempt to sell our water rights.  Certainly it is newsworthy.
 
Regards,
 
Reed Smith
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