Category Archives: Environment

California News Roundup, 4/7/06

Today’s California News Roundup is on the flip. Teasers: Schmidt spins, Salmon season chopped, immigration mess, telco infrastructure in California, Angelides interviewed.

Schmidt Spins

  • John Myers’ Capital Notes notes that Schmidt said both that the election will not be a referendum on Schwarzenegger and that Schwarzenegger will run on his record. Newspeak is alive and well in the Schwarzenegger campaign.
  • This AP article running on Inside Bay Area focuses more on the contrast between the Schwarzenegger team’s Bush-Cheney roots and their insistence that Arnold is not that closely tied to Bush.
  • Daniel Weintraub notes the number of attacks on Westly and the promise of negative campaigning, though without personal attacks from the Schwarzenegger campaign. That’s a promise, but not the promise it appears to be. The swiftboating of John Kerry was not done by BC04, though they didn’t stop it. Expect whisper campaigns and third party ads from people like the US Chamber of Commerce to do Schwarzenegger’s dirty work.
  • Oh, and Carla Marinucci does some steno work.

Everything Else

  • The Pacific Coast salmon season will be drastically cut back this year, based on the decimation of the Klamath coho run by excessive damming and agricultural water use. At least it’s not closed, and there may be some remedies over the next few years. Local ocean-caught salmon will be expensive this year, but if you can afford it, support the local fisheries. Farm-raised salmon is not the same thing, and it’s not particularly good for the environment. Tom Stienstra has the rules for anglers. [Side note: the best coverage on this issue today was from the LA Times — not a fishing town paper. Odd, that.]
  • Something’s happening in the Senate on immigration. But nobody seems to know what. The SacBee says the bill is tanking. Knight Ridder (through the CC Times) seems more optimistic, but the quotes from the deport-them-all wing of the Republican Party are not encouraging. Either way, the proposal sounds like a mess, dividing up immigrants without a documented date of entry into different groups by length of stay with different citizenship tracks. And even if it passes the Senate in some form, it will go to conference committee, where the radical House Republicans will remake the bill in their image. Whatever happens, more marches are coming.
  • Fabian Núñez introduces a bill to allow telcos to compete with cable companies for television services. It sounds like a good idea — more competition and all that — but the devil is in the details (some of which are laid out in the linked article.
  • The OC Register has an AP syndication of an interview with Phil Angelides on a number of issues, with requisite counter-quotes from Westly’s campaign and former Bush adviser Steve Schmidt, now running Schwarzenegger’s campaign.
  • Steve Westly will be returning $15,000 in campaign contributions raised by a VC fund he later recommended to CalPERS.
  • The Chronicle has a brief piece on the upcoming renewal (one hopes) of certain portions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The three provisions up (1) require federal approval of new voting procedures in jurisdictions with histories of discrimination, (2) require federal observers in jurisdictions where there’s been intimidation of minority voters, and (3) require bilingual ballots in areas with substantial non-English speakers. These provisions affect different California counties to different degrees, but pretty much every county has the bilingual ballot requirement.
  • A new form of Generic Dan Walters Column may have been spotted: Structural Problem X exists. Blame Union Y for it, even though the problem results largely from the anti-government constitutional amendments passed in the seventies and eighties. Today, X = School Funding, and Y = the California Teachers Association.
  • This not important to anyone but me, but the Red Vic will now be allowed to sell beer.

California News Roundup, 4/3/06

California News Roundup on the flip. Teasers: Peter Schrag on California, Pelosi profiled, Schwarzenegger profiled, voter registration, Dean, salmon, emissions regulation, insurance, and of course, lots of immigration.

Not Immigration


California News Roundup, 3/31/06

California News Roundup is on the flip. It’s brief — quarter-end is a drag. Teasers: Shwarzenegger team campaign finance violations, blogs in CA-50, solar power, salmon, Filson interviewed, Pombo too extreme for other Republicans, anti-government group loses in court, research to be done on CA schools. There’s immigration news, but nothing all that new, so not in the roundup today.

California Blog Roundup, 3/27/06

Today’s California Blog Roundup is on the flip. Too much stuff for teasers. Just have a look.

  • Frank Russo of California Progress Report reminds us to call our legislators to push for the minimum wage bills with inflation indexing. See also Hiram Johnson’s Corner, also at CalProgress.
  • Marc Cooper updates his post on the immigration marches over the weekend. Seriously, dump Pajamaline.
  • Apparently, I’m not the only one who got under Bill Bradley’s skin on the immigration issue. He has a post up semi-responding to Marc Cooper, but the comment thread is where all the action is. I’m sure that Bradley will be happy to know that his blowback theory is apparently also endorsed by Powerline. Bradley does have a good summary of the current gubernatorial candidates’ mostly non-responses to the marches.
  • The Citizens call for employers of undocumented immigrants to be rounded up and jailed. Demand reduction at its most direct. Americans always do seem to want to punish the lowest guy on the ladder.
  • The Talent Show has a less blunt approach, but is definitely worth a read.
  • MyDD on CA-50 polling. San Diego Politics says Busby is going after the McCain vote. Not something I would have thought of, but interesting.
  • Down With Tyranny tells us about the California Labor Federation’s endorsement of progressive candidate Louie Contreras, running against Duke Cunningham crony Jerry Lewis in CA-41. Also, they ask the question: “Is anyone in Congress more corrupt than John Doolittle?” It would be irresponsible not to speculate.
  • Dump Doolittle has a one-sided conversation with the wife of John Doolittle. Live by taking bribes for your husband, die the same way. Republican family values to warm the hardest heart.
  • Say No To Pombo has another go at the similarities to IL-06 and CA-11. They also flag the connection between the close of the salmon fishery and the dams on the Klamath. I wonder which side Pombo takes? Head of the Resources Committee, Assistant chair of the Ag Committee…
  • Gropinator is looking to help a vet get his benefits.
  • Blatherskite on housing prices in San Jose.
  • PomboWatch tells us about Pombo vs. Republicans on the question of immigration.
  • From the Capitol Observer, new official Schwarzenegger campaign ad: Arnold good for economy. Bradley notes this too, with what might be a bit of cheerleading in the comments.
  • Speak Out CA speaks out on the young culture warrior rally in SF over the weekend.
  • News Roundup, 3/26/06

    California News Roundup for today on the flip. Teasers: Education spending, Angelides v. Westly, open space purchases in Sonoma County, lobbying “reform”, development, transit, parks, fish, and Prop. 82.

    [From NCP] Pombo Has Problems

    [Originally posted by Chris Clarke on Norcal Politics, October 19, 2005]

    Tracy’s congressional representative Richard Pombo is having a bad week. Today’s Stockton Record has a prominent story – echoed in a few other local dailies – about the House Resources Committee Chairman getting into hot water for not paying taxes on junkets to New Zealand and Japan given him by an anti-environmental front group, the International Foundation for the Conservation of Natural Resources.

    This comes on the heels of speculation that he may have a formidable GOP challenger in the primaries. Pete McCloskey, a moderate GOP environmentalist and rancher in the Capay Valley west of Sacramento, is speculating that unless "someone better" pops up, he is likely to challenge Pombo for the Republican candidacy in 2006. McCloskey, who once represented Anna Eshoo’s district from a sort of Green Rockefeller Republican position, is probably best known for being the first Representative to call for Nixon’s impeachment over the Watergate scandal.

    Pombo is currently pushing a "rewrite" of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) through Congress that would gut many important protections for wildlife, including the already-straightjacketed Critical Habitat provisions of the act. Though the ESA has long been a Pombo bete noire, a recent poll of his constituents indicates that his advocacy of gutting the landmark law may prove a liability in his increasingly urban district. The poll, commissioned by the environmental group Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, found that nearly 60 percent of Pombo’s constituents support a strong ESA. A mere 31 percent of his constituents oppose the Endangered Species Act.

    This support for the Endangered Species Act is so strong that even when respondents were read competing proposals for changing the act, a solid majority of 61 percent of constituents in Rep. Pombo’s district agreed with supporters of the Endangered Species Act. Pombo, the scion of a family that got rich buying ranches and subdividing them into bedroom communities for liberal-trending San Francisco Bay Area commuters, may yet find his family’s success has ensured his eventual political failure.

    Huh? Flood Control or Not , Governor?

    Arnold, during the recall and now, claims that he is trying to be an “enviromental governor.” He issues nice platforms  says that he is tough on global warming and makes some pretty nice speeches. And you have to give him some credit.  At least he doesn’t continue on with the lack of evidence baloney:

    I say the debate is over – We know the science, we see the threat, and the time for action is now. World Environment Day 6/1/05

    But unfortunately, you can’t have it both ways.  He wants to control environmental threats, protect Californians and not injure businesses.  But as they say in the world you can only pick two.  One has to be sacrificed.

    And it’s the same with the levee situation in the Sacramento Delta. He says he wants to protect the people living there as well as potential people who want to move there and, of course, to protect development interests in the region.  But you can’t have it all.  So, he’s going to let developers continue building in the flood plain, even while acknowleding that we need to spend $6 Billion in flood protection.  Here’s his logic:

    “The reason I don’t like to go toward not building — there are some people who believe that’s the way to go — is that, if you say to yourself, let’s not build in flood prone areas, what do we say about earthquake prone areas?” Schwarzenegger said in an interview with The Bee. “Then you say, the Bay Area, it has a lot of earthquakes…Should no one build in the Bay Area?”

    Of course, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the flaw in that logic.  In the Bay Area, we have earthquake codes.  We do not build buildings anymore that do not meet a very strict level of earthquake stability.  In the Flood Plain, besides building every house on stilts (which I don’t see happening), what are you going to do?  If a flood comes in the next ten years before the money from the bond package is spent to protect the Flood Plain, what happens then?  Well, all of that development is destroyed with the possibility of death thrown in for the residents.  So, yes, I would not build a rickety building in the Bay Area, but nor should we build in the flood plain until we have given those communities the best possible shot of surviving the natural disasters that are sure to arrive.

    Chris Clarke on Global Warming

    One of my favorite web stops is Chris Clarke’s Creek Running North.  Chris is a great writer, with a finely honed sense of style, beauty and outrage.  He also lives in Northern California, not far from San Francisco.

    Yesterday he put up a great post about global warming.  I’ve excerpted some of the California bit here, but you should go read the whole thing.

    My totem animal, the Joshua tree, grows iin thick groves at the current northern limit of its range, and if climate changes slowly enough to permit migration of both trees and the moths that pollinate them, we may see Joshua tree forests in Elko. And most people seeing them wouldn’t think them out of place.

    But some species are already trapped.  I’d better get into the Yosemite backcountry to commune with Harley’s relatives, the pikas. Already restricted to the high alpine country, intolerant of higher temperatures at lower elevations, they have nowhere to go if their redoubts get too warm.

    The thing that galls me most? We could lose them, and the Joshua trees, and the red spruce.

    Read the rest of the post, and bookmark Creek Running North.