Eye On Modesto

Thoughts and observations about Modesto and Stanislaus County

Archive for the tag “Katherine Borges”

Borges’ Supervisor Campaign Loses Credibility

By Emerson Drake   

Taking a page out of Georgethe developer’s land use attorneyPetrulakis that says if you don’t have an issue manufacture or invent  one, Ms. Borges is using the 132 bypass issue with mixed results.  It didn’t matter to her that the issue has been settled for years or that the County has held multiple workshops over years (that Ms. Borges failed to attend) or that the State has much more influence in the final outcome than the County.   She’s been waving it like a flag with limited results.  But on this topic  what we question is highlighted by her map of alleged cancer clusters.

At the Bee forum during her introductory two minutes, instead of introducing herself she took the opportunity to throw down her display cards in dramatic fashion.  Between that and the Bee’s video issues it was somewhat hard to pick out.  But later in a conversation with a friend it was pointed out to me her map was either incomplete or was skewed for effect.  Well there is another option and that is no one gets cancer on the other side of Highway 99.  Upon further review her map looked like someone had taken a glass, turned it upside down and drawn a circle around it with a pencil creating the area in question, recorded the cancer cases, and then stopped marking the cancer cases on the rest of the map.

Maybe they thought it to be unimportant.  Maybe they thought no one would notice.  But her campaign would be wrong on both counts.  Changing the route at this late date would be impossible and hauling the contaminated soil away has been discussed and scientifically researched and set aside mostly because of the research and partially because of the exorbitant cost.

As for the alleged clusters, if you take a map of part of Modesto, including the rural western area that Modesto’s developers have their eyes on, draw a circle around the area (in a moderately populated area) in question then compare it to the lightly populated rest of Wood Colony you can’t help but get certain areas to stand out. If her campaign would have bothered to include more of Modesto then maybe the area in question would not have stood out.  But anything to win an election I guess.

During her performance in front of the Bee’s Editorial Board Ms. Borges repeatedly says she isn’t a politician and to check her 460’s.   When people run for office they are required to list the donations they’ve taken in and the expenditures they have made.  Candidate Borges was very aware it would be several days before she would file her 460’s let alone for them to be made available to the public.

But since she so enthusiastically invited us lets take a minute to consider what we discovered with a trip online.   From 1/1/18 to 4/21/18 her campaign has raised $22,589 in cash.  But apparently Stanislaus County voters haven’t been readily opening their wallets. Of the $22,589 only $3,589 came from Stanislaus County.  The remaining $19,000 came from two benefactors living in Texas.  $9,500 came from a man in Houston and $9,500 came from a woman in Bellaire.  For a Board of Supervisors race it’s strange to see so much out of state money.

Creating issues out of thin air, at best a dubious map, and out of state money, her future as a serious political candidate is being called into question.

 

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Creating the Perfect Storm, Developer Style

By Emerson Drake  

It’s getting close to that time again when we get to vote for the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors.  But how do we separate the wheat from the chaff,  the good from the bad,  the place holders from the players.  We could do a breakdown of the political parties they represent. Or we could try to decide by their opinions on topics of importance.  But as most of us are aware, with a few of the candidates,  their opinions are like underwear that’s to say they get changed daily depending on the nature of their audience.

Unfortunately in local politics the latter is mostly true, unless, or maybe especially if their opinions are manufactured by those power brokers behind the scenes.  We have some that believe in paving paradise and putting up parking lots.  And some who don’t know what to believe and are just being used as pawns in a larger game.  Lets back up a few years for a moment and remember when Bill Zoslocki, Craig Lewis, Cecil Russell and yes George Petrulakis  were attending every meeting imaginable saying they needed to extend Modesto’s sphere of influence to the river on Modesto’s north and west sides.  That would have doubled the size of Modesto’s footprint.  And it was to be done in their words.. to protect our farmland.  And that of course was just a lie.

But many people stepped up to the plate among them were Terry Withrow and Jake Wenger, two of the higher profile politicians willing to take a stand against the Chamber’s Transportation Committee which at the time included Zoslocki, Lewis, Russell, and Petrulakis along with the then Mayor of Modesto, Garrad Marsh.  When the massive land grab was temporarily defeated, well at least a stand-off, the Chamber, led by Cecil Russell, George Petrulakis and others let it be know they were coming after Withrow and Wenger.  Let us not forget that soon after the upcoming election in June, Modesto will be taking another look at the General Plan Amendment that will put expansionism back in play again.  Refer  back to the article’s title.

A few short years later (last fall) George Petrulakis masterminded an ambush of Jake Wenger by Stu Gilman for MID  Director Division 4.  They used Janice Keating, the congregation of The House, a church in Modesto, a pocket full of money and a naive dilettante (or maybe I should say cunning) named  Katherine Borges to do their dirty work.  Keating probably made out the best since Gilman actually paid the political consulting  company she runs from her home, Fundamental,  $1,500.  Petrulakis is still owed $17,000 by Gilman for his expertise or was it actually a loan in disguise used for advertising?   Borges swallowed a completely improbable story, or at least did publicly, about Salida getting water from MID, which is contractually impossible, and let Gilman/Petrulakis use her endorsement (she eventually endorsed both candidates).  Now Borges is being encouraged by George Petrulakis (was this part of an earlier promise to get her to support Gilman?) and is running against Terry Withrow for Board of Supervisors District 3.   Could things get any curiouser?  Ahh, yes we can’t forget the chameleon  Tony Madrigal.

One interesting thing to know about George Petrulakis is that he’s an equal opportunity employer.  We learned out in Patterson when land use issues weren’t going his way he’d just as soon buy a Democrat as a Republican. In the past George swayed Modesto City Councilman Tony Madrigal several times… first he’s for saving Wood Colony from developers, then against, and now for again.  With Borges, he managed to find a reason that would allow her to support Gilman (imaginary available water) against Wenger. That along with playing to her desire for the attention.  So now he has two candidates running against Withrow.

In the other race Tom Berryhill a termed out retread who seems to be relying on name recognition, (after all it worked for Dick Monteith,)  Janice Keating who has lost her last two political races and was supported by George Petrulakis and Zagaris,  and Frank Damrell who has been an assistant for a Congressman working on Social Security issues.  Berryhill doesn’t even bother to campaign.  He expects people to remember his family name and vote for him.  He has no viable ideas just the desire for another paycheck from taxpayer’s money.  With Keating it’s pretty simple.  She took $28,000 from a MID slush fund and spoke publicly for the sale of our water to San Francisco.   Imagine if MID had had less water during the recent drought for both Modesto and the farmers to share all so a local businessman (can you say Bill Lyons) could make a windfall profit on selling water to the state.

Watching a recent Modesto Bee forum a few observations jumped out.  Tony Madrigal reminded us of Armando Arreola, a perennial Mayoral candidate in Modesto, who applies one of the three answers he has in his repertoire to every question he’s asked whether they address the question or not.  Katherine Borges the… I was a Democrat, then I turned Republican, now I’m pretending to be nonpartisan, now that even though I keep going to their meetings, the Republican Party chose not to back me… used former candidate for Supervisor Scott Calkins’  ideas from four years ago, which she loudly disdained then as she was actively campaigning for Withrow.   I know it’s hard to follow the changes ( remember the underwear analogy) but you can’t, and don’t have to,  make these things up.   Terry Withrow has stayed the course amid the stormy seas.  He defended Wood Colony and Salida from the aggressive aspirations of the Chamber of Commerce’s land grab developers.  He’s been a consistent voice for promoting our homeless issues despite the Modesto Mayor’s along with the Modesto’s business community’s (DoMo) foot dragging.  And he was one of the prominent voices on County water issues during the drought. The fact that land use attorney George Petrulakis has two candidates in the District 3 race, Madrigal and Borges, brings super clarity to the issue. Terry Withrow is the only real choice if we want insure the public has an independent voice on the Board of Supervisors in District 3.

District 4 is even less complicated.  Tom Berryhill has no vision, no ideas, and like Keating is running from political decisions made in the past. Berryhill and his ‘funneling money’ questions that he seems to be dodging every step of the way.  And Keating with her close ties to the paving paradise development community including selling her “opinions ” to the highest bidder.  Of the three running Frank Damrell  stands out compared to  the two tired political hacks he’s facing.

 

 

Modesto’s General Plan Council Meeting Comments

By Katherine Borges

City Council comments for Modesto’s General Plan Update on December 3, 2013 –katherinecouncil

My name is Katherine Borges and I serve on the Salida Municipal Advisory Council also known as the Salida MAC.

For those of you recently elected to the council and who may not know, Salida residents have been vocalizing their opposition to annexation to Modesto over the course of the last year and a half at both public meetings and in the media. At our February Salida MAC meeting, the MAC council voted unanimously against being annexed by Modesto. This vote represents the majority opinion of Salida residents and that is what the MAC council is elected to do just as you are, represent the people.

At the August General Plan Update meeting, Brent Sinclair and his planners announced that they had removed Salida from the Plan. However, Mayor Marsh is quoted in the Bee on August 20th as saying that it was “premature to do that”. On September 16th, the Modesto Planning Commission voted to submit the plan to you as is without Salida.

In the Modesto Bee, Mayor Marsh suggested that tonight’s vote on the General Plan Update be postponed until January so the new council members can get caught up to speed. As far as Salida goes, there’s really not much for you to get caught up on there because Kevin Valine of the Bee nailed it when he called it, “vehement opposition”.

And now its your turn to listen to the people of Salida, to not vote to add Salida back in and furthermore, we respectfully request that you additionally remove the land south of Kiernan, east of Stoddard and west of Dale that is part of the Salida Community Plan. The county has designated this land for Salida’s future and the Stanislaus County Supervisors support us in this.

Its time for Modesto to work with Salida and not against us. You also need to stop your water extortion. For anyone who may be unaware about this, the City of Modesto has a ‘will not serve’ in place for new development in Salida. In other words they refuse to serve new water customers unless Modesto gets to annex the land. This was the case with Modesto’s land annexations for the parcels that Costco and Kaiser are on. Salida not only lost the retail tax base of Costco, but our Salida Fire District lost the property tax from that land as well which was a factor in forcing them to merge with Modesto. And something key that you are missing here with this extortion is that by inhibiting growth in Salida, you are inhibiting new jobs for Modestoans.

Please consider extending an olive branch to Salida in the effort to makes amends and keep Salida out of the General Plan Update and remove the land south of Kiernan as well. Another olive branch to consider is selling our Del Este system back to Salida. We want it and you don’t so let’s do this! Allow Salida to become City of Modesto water customer for new development. There is already pipe being laid as I speak under the Kiernan overpass to bring water from Modesto to Salida. 2014 is almost upon us and this would be a great way to start the new year working together.

A Salida Resident’s Comments to the Board of Supervisors 7/16/13

By Katherine Borges

 

My comments tonight are to share with you an update on the Salida Annexation and Incorporation.  I find it extremely

 

English: This map shows the incorporated and u...

English: This map shows the incorporated and unincorporated areas in Stanislaus County, California, highlighting Modesto in red. It was created with a custom script with US Census Bureau data and modified with Inkscape. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

sad and unfortunate that I even have to include the annexation part of these comments considering that the people of Salida have spoken and our Supervisor came out in support of us, yet the land grab rape and pillage of Salida continues.

 

 

 

The latest assault occurred in this very room, just 24 hours ago, sitting in your very seats were Modesto’s Planning Commissioners. They were presented with two General Plan updates for Modesto – one by Brent Sinclair, Director of Community and Economic Development for Modesto and the other was presented by various members of the Modesto Chamber of Commerce.

 

 

 

Both plans include Salida.  Mr. Sinclair’s plan includes an additional 1,800 acres along Kiernan that is part of the Salida Community Plan.  It’s quite callous and arrogant the manner in which Modesto’s planners treat Salida in that regard.  That they have the gall to include portions of the Salida Community Plan’s land, let alone Salida, just because they can. Its called “The Salida Community Plan” for a reason and not “The Modesto Community Plan”.

 

 

 

Now I know you have seen the Modesto Chamber’s presentation which contains the further troubling aspect of landlocking Salida to the East and the West with land grabs of astronomical proportions. And I know that nearly all of you farm so I’d be preaching to the choir with any data or statistics I could quote about the quality of prime farmland in and around Salida, so all I really want to do is remind you that you five are the stewards of this prime farmland.  You have it within your power to stop Modesto from making a travesty of their city seal over there.

 

 

 

You also have it within your power to help free Salida because the citizens of Salida can only do so much. We had hoped to file for a designation called a “Community of Interest” which in Riverside LAFCO has previously been used to set the boundaries of an unincorporated community and protect it from annexation.  But Stanislaus LAFCO has a different policy for a Community of Interest which has turned out to be a real bust for us.  In Stanislaus, all the designation affords is that the MAC and Sanitary District are notified of any pending land annexations.  The only way left for Salida to protect Salida is through incorporation.

 

 

 

So now we are working on completing the steps required by LAFCO for incorporation.  I plan to come back and give you updates on how this progresses.

 

 

 

In the meantime, its up to you to protect Salida and preserve our community plan for Salida. I realize that even though the Modesto Chamber has asked both the Modesto City Council and the Modesto Planning Commission to adopt their plan, that that might not necessarily happen.  But they could end up in some sort of compromise where the Chamber starts out asking for more, much much more, and settles for less which may even be the happy medium that they were going for in the first place.  Either way, unless you stand up to them on Salida and the other county areas behalf, we stand to get shafted once again.  We need you to defend us.  You are our voice.

 

 

 

In closing, I would like to thank Salida’s Supervisor Withrow for his continued support of Salida, I’d like to thank Supervisor Chiesa for attending the Salida MAC and Ad Hoc Committee meetings; we appreciate your involvement.  I’d like to thank Supervisor O’Brien for his “No” vote on the Salida Now initiative because you would’ve preserved our vote, but I’d also like thank Supervisors DeMartini and Monteith for their “Yes” votes on Salida Now because that gave us a better community plan than the one we previously had and its one that’s worth fighting for.

 

By Katherine Borges

 

Salida MAC Meets Tuesday the 26th at 7:00 PM at the Salida Library

Last Months Salida MAC Minutes courtesy of  http://salidamac.blogspot.com/

 

English: Map of the Stanislaus River, a major ...

English: Map of the Stanislaus River, a major tributary of the San Joaquin River, CA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Salida MAC Newsletter – March 2013

 

 

The February Salida MAC meeting video is viewable online by clicking this
LINK – thanks to Salida MAC Councilmember, Brad Johnson and local Salida Public Radio Station 104.9 FM. LIKE “Salida MAC” on Facebook and follow on Twitter https://twitter.com/SalidaMAC
and sign up to receive our newsletter via e-mail. ~ Katherine Borges, Editor

Salida Annexation Report – Salida Municipal Advisory Council Chairman, Thomas Reeves, moved the annexation agenda item up to be discussed and voted upon first. Chairman Reeves read a statement and then asked the other MAC council members for their comments. He then opened the topic for public comment and discussion. The MAC council voted 4-0 against annexation with the public’s support. The Salida MAC council and members of the community requested that Stanislaus County District 3 Supervisor, Terry Withrow, support the position. Salida MAC’s vote and Supervisor Withrow’s decision to support the Salida MAC vote were covered by several local media outlets:
Salida leaders vote against annexation plans” – KCRA 3 – Feb 27, 2013
Salida advisory council rejects Modesto annexation plan” – The Modesto Bee – Feb 27, 2013
Modesto’s Salida annexation proposal gains a foe in Supervisor Withrow” – The Modesto Bee – Mar 1, 2013

Salida Postmaster Report – Salida Postmaster, John Paul Cabral, reported that there had been 90 mailboxes broken into in the area, 14 of which are in Salida. Postmaster Cabral asked that Salida residents please pull their mail from the mailboxes because there are gangs coming in from Modesto targeting Salida’s mailboxes. The Stanislaus County Sheriff has made two arrests so far. Thanks to an alert postal clerk at the Salida Post Office, a man was arrested who had been robbing post offices.

Salida Fire Department Report – Capt. Greg Bragg reported January’s numbers for Station 12 which ran 164 calls serving two fire management areas: from Dale Road to Ladd comes back in on Kiernan and down the Sisk Road corridor and then everything out to the river. 60% of the 164 calls were for EMS. They also provide services in other station areas.

Salida Fire Administration building used for training and
scheduled to be demolished.

The old Salida Fire Administration building has been sold for demolition due to the widening of the Kiernan interchange and is being utilized for training.

Stansilaus County Sheriff Report – Stansilaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson reported that the Sheriff’s Department is not facing any more cuts and is hiring for the first time in more than three and a half years. There are sixteen recruits in the academy and the Sheriff is building jail bed infrastructure and a Coroner’s facility. Sheriff Christianson introduced Deputy Lloyd McKinnon from the Crime Reduction Team who said, “The Team would be in Salida a lot this week, but you’re not going to see us.” Deputy McKinnon also reported that robberies are down 33%, aggravated assaults are up 67%, burgulary is up 8%, larceny is up 12%, auto theft is a big zero, homicide zero and rape is zero.

Salida Sanitary Report – Salida Sanitary Board member Brad Johnson shared a photo of one of the two robots at the Sanitary District.

City of Modesto Water Division Report – Dennis Turner, Director of Public Works for the City of Modesto stated that the water well that had been shut down for contamination was well #281 which is right across the street from the Salida Library. On December 5, 2012, a routine yearly sample was taken on well #281 and the sample showed higher than acceptable nitrate levels. The results were conveyed to city staff on December 6 and the procedure should have been to resample the well immediately, and that was not done. Staff discovered the error when they did a monthly report on January 8, 2013 and promptly shut the well down which is procedure. From December 5 to January 8th, well #281 ran for one hour a day contributing water into the Salida system. The department collects 585 samples in the Salida system every year. Well #281 contributed about 11% during that time period. Well #281 is the smallest well of the eight wells that serve the community of Salida and its water mixes with other sources to meet all of the demands for the Salida community. The City of Modesto is working with the State Department of Health to ensure this never happens again. New procedures have been put in place. Well #281 will remain offline until a treatment is decided upon to remove the nitrates.

Following are answers to some of the questions asked during the Q&A. Answers were provided by Dennis Turner.

The allowable limit for nitrates is 45 ppm (parts per million) and the well tested at 68 ppm.

Modesto plans to install water lines on the new Highway 99 overcrossings and large water storage tanks in North Modesto which will also serve Salida’s water system. The water tanks will not be installed until hydraulic models demonstrate the need.

The City of Modesto is required at all times to maintain a certain water pressure to maintain fire services. The system that monitors the pressure is not manned 24 hours a day so residents should call the City of Modesto Water Department if they detect a dramatic drop in water pressure, or detect any odd colors or smell in the water.

Public Works Department Report – Gary Hayward submitted an announcement about the work on the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. Broadway will be closed for this work on March 4. The Kiernan RR crossing is tentatively scheduled for closure Mar 18-21.

The rough section of road on north Pirrone is scheduled for resurfacing and work should be completed in late April/early May.

Public Works is co-oping with the Parks Department on budgeting for a fix on the mile section of sidewalks on Pirrone west of Sisk. When the plan is determined, Salida MAC will view it.

The sound wall that was run into by a vehicle on Whitestone Way has been repaired.

Nick W. Blom Salida Regional Library Report – Branch Manager Diane Bartlett reported that on Saturday, March 1, 2013 there will be a celebration of Dr. Suess’ birthday and “Read Across America” with story and craft in the Storytime Room.  On March 23, ‘Paver Painting’ will be at the Salida Library where you can paint stone paver ladybugs, turtles, and bunnies. This program will be held from 1-3 pm and is open to all ages.

Friends of the Library Annual Book Sale held March 7 from 10 am – 5 pm and March 9 from 10 am – 3 pm.

March 22 & 23 – the Stanislaus County will hold a mobile hazardous waste collection in the library’s parking lot from 9-1 pm.

Love Salida“will be held April 27. Geary Oreglia at Salida’s Kountry Kitchen is looking for opportunities within the community. One of the project’s will be held at the library from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm.

Supervisor District 3 Report – Supervisor Withrow shared that the ‘DRC’ (Day Reporting Center) for probationers located on Broadway will be out of Salida by the end of March. The DRC is moving to downtown Modesto.

NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 7 pm at the Nick W. Blom Salida Regional Library Community Room, 4835 Sisk Road, Salida. Featured presenters are Stanislaus Council of Governments (StanCOG) and Stanislaus County Parks Division.

Salida MAC meetings are broadcast on government cable channel 19 in Salida and channel 7 in Modesto on Saturdays at 11 am.

Be sure to “LIKE” Salida MAC on Facebook and follow on Twitter to keep apprised of the latest information about Salida.

 

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