- 55% Contained
- Dewatered Rivers
- Catch of the Day
- Local Candidates
- 1960 Gunfight
- Little River THP
- Stupid Meters
- Woodworking Exhibit
- MTA Meeting
- Death Tunnels
AS OF AUGUST 13 at 7pm the Lodge Wilderness Fire had expanded again but only by 300 acres to about 11,300 acres with 50% containment, another improvement since yesterday, especially since the fire has only increased by 300 acres in the last 24 hours. The number of structures being threatened is still at 16 indicating firelines are holding. The firefighting effort is down a bit, but still large at 170 engines, 57 crews. 29 bulldozers, 13 helicopters, 29 water tenders, and 2249 personnel. On Wednesday evening CalFire reported “Firefighters continue to enhance lines in the area of Tenmile drainage and along Highway 101. Aircraft were able to engage in suppressive activity once the inversion layer cleared this afternoon. Drift smoke continues to be present throughout the Ukiah Valley and has been reported from as far away as Santa Rosa. Interior portions of the fire will continue to burn and may be visible from Highway 101. The American Red Cross has officially closed the Evacuation Shelter at Leggett School. Red Cross representatives have advised that it can be re-opened, should a need exist.” Evacuation Warnings are still in place for Camp Seabow, Bowman Ranch, Hunt Ranch, Tan Oak Park, Elk Creek and Mad Creek. Evaculation Orders are still in effect for areas south of Highway 101 and west of Cummings Road to Leggett including The Hermitage, Big Bend and Camp St. Michael. CalFire adds, “Please visit www.wildlandfirersg.org for information on how to prepare for an evacuation.”
THURSDAY MORNING'S UPDATE [7am, Aug 14]: 11,900 acres, 55% contained, 12 injuries, "Cooler weather and an increase in the relative humidity assisted firefighters in completing their line in the area of the Eel River. Heavy smoke will continue to be present throughout the Ukiah Valley."
AND BY THE WAY, "Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency is also a responding Agency to this incident. Their programs who have responded and remain on alert are: Animal Care Services, HHSA Disaster Response Team for Sheltering, Special Needs Population Response Team and the shelter was set up with supplies from the Mendocino County HHSA Disaster Response Team Shelter trailer which is stationed at Laytonville Fire Dept., HHSA Facilities who transported the trailer back to Laytonville when the Leggett shelter closed and Environmental Health."
--Dora Briley, Deputy Director of HHSA Administration, 707-463-7885
STREAM FLOW COALITION TO CHALLENGE WATER BOARD AT SANTA ROSA MEETING
In spite of overwhelming evidence that several North Coast and Klamath River Basin rivers and streams have been substantially dewatered resulting in damage to salmon, steelhead and other beneficial uses of water, staff of the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (Board) have recommended against listing those streams as "flow impaired" pursuant to section 303 (d) of the Clean Water Act. The Board will consider that staff recommendation at a public hearing tomorrow in Santa Rosa. At that hearing, the Coalition as a whole and several member organizations will tell the Board to reject the recommendation, order staff to evaluate data supporting flow-impairment listings, and come back to the Board with a recommendation on whether the listings are warranted.
The staff's recommendation comes in the face of overwhelming evidence, presented by the Coastkeeper Alliance, Coalition member organizations and others, indicating that several rivers and streams in the North Coast Region have been substantially dewatered. Water Board Staff say they can't make a recommendation on whether or not the listings are warranted because the State of California has not adopted a methodology to evaluate flow data. However, as proponents of flow-listing pointed out months ago, other states have used flow evaluation methodologies that have been accepted by the US EPA. The staff's disappointing recommendation comes at a time when wineries, marijuana cultivation and unregulated groundwater extraction for irrigation are increasing significantly, further dewatering salmon and other streams in violation of the Public Trust and the California Constitution.
Below is testimony which Felice Pace, Klamath Forest Alliance delegate to the Coalition, will deliver on behalf of the Coalition tomorrow in Santa Rosa. Mr. Pace and other members of the Coalition will ask the governor-appointed board members to reject staff's inadequate recommendation, instruct them to use a methodology already accepted by the EPA to evaluate the requested flow-impaired listings, and come back with a recommendation to the Board on whether the requested listings are warranted.
North Coast and Klamath River Basin rivers and streams which have been significantly dewatered and which are proposed for listing as "flow-impaired" pursuant to the Clean Water Act are: Eel River, Gualala River, Mark West Creek, Mattole River, Navarro River, Redwood Creek (Russian River Watershed), Maacama Creeks (Russian River Watershed), Russian River, Scott River, and Shasta River.
Here is a link to the agenda for tomorrow's Board meeting in Santa Rosa. Based on the agenda, we expect the hearing on the Integrated Report to occur in the afternoon.
Directions to the NCWQCB offices and hearing room are available here.
Please direct questions about this press advisory to Felice Pace at 707-954-6588.
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NORTHCOAST STREAMFLOW COALITION
2945 Atlas Peak Rd, Napa, CA 94558
Testimony for the Hearing Record
Hearing to consider adoption of Resolution No. R1-2014-0043 for Approval of the 303(d) List Portion of the North Coast Region's 2012 Integrated Report for the Clean Water Act Section 305(b) Assessment of Surface Water Quality and Clean Water Act Section 303(d) List of Water Quality Limited Segments, Santa Rosa California, August 14, 2014.
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My name is Felice Pace. Today I am representing the North Coast Stream Flow Coalition. On behalf of the 18 organizations which comprise the North Coast Stream Flow Coalition, I wish to thank the Board for this opportunity to testify on the staff proposed 303 (d) list and 2012 Integrated Report.
I must begin by expressing our profound disappointment that the staff has not recommended listing a single waterbody as flow-impaired. As stated in the staff report, the reason the staff recommends not listing any waterbodies as flow impaired is: "In the absence of a statewide methodology for assessing flow alteration impairments through the Integrated Report process, Regional Water Board staff are unable to determine if placement of these water bodies in Category 4c is appropriate. Lines of evidence and decisions were not developed."
There are problems with this statement. In their letter to the Board dated April 18, 2014, Earth Law Center (ELC) provides several reasons why this Board not only can list water bodies as flow impaired but also why you must list as flow impaired if available information suggests that lack of flow is significantly impairing beneficial uses.
I am not going to repeat all those arguments for flow listing decisions as explained by ELC except to emphasize that the existing methodology which staff utilizes comes from the SWRCB's Listing Policy, is laid out in some detail in the staff report, and is adequate for evaluating proposed flow impairment listing. Therefore, since a methodology adequate for evaluating flow listing proposals exists, to not make a decision on whether the flow listings petitioned for are warranted would violate the policy and would be an arbitrary and capricious decision.
I would also point out that the sort of foot-dragging which staff is encouraging the Board to engage in with respect to proposed flow listings is the same sort of behavior explaining why a report due to EPA in 2012 has still in 2014 not been completed or delivered. If adopted by this Board, this staff recommendation is likely to lead to even longer delays in completing a report that was supposed to be delivered to EPA in 2012.
Furthermore, in the very staff report submitted with the staff's recommendations, the staff demonstrates that they are willing to create processes and recommend decisions for which no "statewide methodology" exists or is followed. For example: the staff applied its own methodology to "resegment" the Scott River, deciding which parts of the state approved methodology it would use and which parts it would ignore. In essence, staff selected a resegmentation method of their own choosing. Staff decided on its own initiative not only to resegement the Scott in response to a request but also on what factors to consider when making resegmentation decisions. For some reason, staff did not feel in that case that it needed to follow a "statewide methodology" but rather responded as it thought was proper to a petition from an outside entity.
The staff could have taken the same initiative with respect to proposed flow decisions. In both cases organizations suggested a course of action. In one case the staff acceded to the petition using its own methods, in the other case staff decided it could not proceed and needed the State Board to tell it what to do.
There is something wrong with that picture.
Here's another example:
On page 14 of the Staff report we are told that "staff reviewed and approved the criteria for sediment reference water bodies, which are described in the 'Klamath National Forest Sediment and Temperature Monitoring Plan'." One of our member organizations, Klamath Forest Alliance, has taken issue with those criteria and testified on the subject at your hearing on the 2012 Report in Fortuna. KFA believes that the criteria selected are improper and result in watersheds which have been significantly damaged by human activities being defined as "reference streams" and also as the environmental baseline for purposes of NEPA analysis.
That, however, is not why I bring this up now. Rather, I want to point out that the staff, on its own initiative, approved criteria for reference water bodies and is now using that criteria in making decisions on whether to recommend 303 (d) listings and delistings for streams on the Klamath National Forest. Why is it that the staff feels it has the confidence and authority to decide proper criteria for designating reference streams but needs to be told by others what methodology to employ in evaluating flow-listing proposals?
Again, there is something wrong with the picture.
I could go on with examples of the staff making decisions on its own initiative. There are plenty of examples and that is as it should be. That is, after all, why we the taxpayers are willing to pay what it takes to have well trained professionals who are capable of making decisions and substantive recommendations when that is needed. I can, however, think of only one example where the staff declined to use its expertise to evaluate data pursuant to the existing listing policy and methodology. That position is inconsistent and arbitrary and this Board should reject it.
Send this report back to staff. Tell them to use their expertise to evaluate the proposed flow listings and to make subsequent recommendations to the Board on whether proposed flow-impairment listings are warranted or not warranted based on application of the existing methodology.
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(Coalition Member Organizations: Environmental Protection Information Center; Community Clean Water Institute; Forest Unlimited; Friends of the Navarro Watershed; Friends of the Gualala; Friends of the Eel River; Institute for Conservation Advocacy, Research and Education; Klamath Forest Alliance; Klamath Riverkeeper; Maacama Watershed Alliance; Willets/Outlet Creek Watershed Group; Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations; Institute for Fisheries Resources; Sonoma County Water Coalition; Living Rivers Council; Save Mark West Creek; Willits Environmental Center)
CATCH OF THE DAY, August 13, 2014
AUSTIN ANDERSON, Kelseyville. Under the influence of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia.
PAUL BASTION, Ukiah. Felony domestic violence.
WAYNE CAMPBELL, California 95470. Parole violation.
LAURA CZECHOWSKI, Ukiah. Possession of meth, possession of drug paraphernalia.
EARL HOUSE, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public. Failure to appear.
EDWARD JOHNSON, Ukiah. Drunk in Public.
DANIEL RYAN, Ukiah. Probation revoked.
MANUEL TURCHAN, Forestville. Felon with firearm.
ANDREW YOUNG, Chico. DUI.
THE CANDIDATES FOR LOCAL OFFICES in the November 14 General Election are now official.
County School Superintendent: Paul Joens-Poulton vs. Warren Galletti.
Supervisor, Third District: Tom Woodhouse vs. Holly Madrigal.
Fort Bragg City Council (3 positions): Dave Turner (incumbent), Heidi Kraut (incumbent), Mark Iacuaniello, Lindy Peters, Michael A. Cimolino.
Point Arena City Council (2 positions): Deborah Heatherstone (appointed incumbent), Doug Burkey (incumbent).
Ukiah City Council (3 positions): Phil Baldwin (incumbent), John Johns, Kevin Doble, Maureen Mulheren, Miranda Mott, Jim Brown, Mark Hilliker, Christian Luiz.
Willits City Council (2 positions): Ron Orenstein (incumbent), Larry Stransky (incumbent), Robin Leler.
Mendocino Coast District Hospital Board (3 positions): John Kerman (incumbent), Kitty Bruning (a registered nurse), Michael Carroll, Peter Glusker (brain surgeon), William Rohr.
The only countywide ordinance on the ballot will be Measure S, “Anti-Fracking Measure”: “Shall the ordinance, which is titled An Initiative to Assert the Right of Residents of Mendocino County in Order to Secure Clean Water, Air and Soil and Freedom From Chemical Trespass, Which Would Ban Hydraulic Fracturing, Directional and Horizontal Drilling, and Waste Injection Wells in the County of Mendocino and Invalidates Any and All Laws Contrary to this Purpose to the Extent They Effect the County of Mendocino, be adopted? Yes or No.”
1960 GUN BATTLE WITH MENDO DEPUTIES REMEMBERED
By David Torres
On an August Saturday night 54 years ago, Mendocino Sheriff’s Deputy Erwin ‘Butch’ Carlstedt was on patrol in downtown Point Arena when he received a call from Sonoma County dispatch advising that a home invasion suspect was headed north from Jenner in a stolen car.
Carlstedt sped down Hwy. 1 through Gualala, where fellow Deputy Charles ‘Dick’ Huls saw his flashing lights and joined in the chase. Carlstedt reached Stewarts Point, where the fan belt on his 1958 Chevy patrol car blew. Huls arrived minutes later, and before they could set up a roadblock they saw a vehicle, matching the description of the stolen car, coming down Skaggs Springs Road.
Unbeknownst to the deputies, the home invasion suspect was San Quentin escapee George F. Winn. When Winn spotted the patrol cars, he pulled off the road in front of an old barn and rolled to a stop. Huls drove up just yards from the car, saw that the suspect had a rifle in hand and ordered Winn to drop his weapon and get out of the car with his hands up.
Winn had been on the lam since Aug. 2, after escaping a work detail outside the walls at San Quentin. He had been living rough and foraging for food when, on Aug. 13, he came upon Stella and Larry Von Arx of Jenner, who were preparing to sit down for Saturday night dinner.
The couple were waiting for their sons when suddenly the kitchen door opened and a ragged-looking Winn broke in yelling, “Don’t move; don’t move,” while thrusting an eight-inch hunting knife toward Larry. He ordered them to a back room, where Winn found Von Arx’s rifle. “When are your boys getting home?” he asked, making it apparent he had been watching the house for some time.
The Von Arx teenage sons, Victor and Bill, soon arrived with their friends Donald Lang and Leslie and Dave Nelsen, who were sent into the same room. “There are too many of you to kill,” said Winn, then demanded food, saying he had not eaten for days.
Larry Von Arx talked Winn out of taking hostages, telling him that the sheriff’s office was a good half hour away in Guerneville, and gave him the keys to the family Ford. Von Arx called the sheriff as soon as Winn left.
At the Hwy. 1 roadblock, the suspect finally agreed to get out of his car, then fired at the two deputies as Carlstedt ran toward him. Carlstedt felt a bullet whiz past his head as he dropped to the ground. Huls fired a slug from his shotgun that put a hole in the back window of Winn’s getaway car. When Winn dropped down to the ground in front of his car Huls fired another shotgun blast, hitting Winn in the knee. Both deputies began firing their handguns. Eventually Carlstedt hit Winn in the top of the head, killing him on the spot.
The deputies had no idea the suspect they had stopped was a prison escapee, and it would be 12 hours before an identification was made. They discovered Winn was doing time for the attempted murder of two police officers in Los Angeles, something he had bragged about to the Von Arx family.
Huls died in 1979, having served the South Coast community as a Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputy for many years and later one of the first security guards at The Sea Ranch.
Carlstedt worked for Mendocino County until 1966, was one of the first sergeants in Ukiah and moved on to Sonoma County where he was the Sonoma Coast Sheriff Deputy covering Valley Ford to the Gualala River. He later worked homicide and narcotics before retiring in 1984. Today he lives with his wife Cheri Ann in Point Arena. Now 81 years old, he still enjoys a good game of golf.
Copyright©2014 Independent Coast Observer
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(An unbylined story in the August 15, 1960 edition of the San Rafael Daily Independent Journal provides additional details.)
Quentin escapee shot fatally after terrorizing family. Holds seven persons hostage, dies in fight with deputies.
A ragged and half starved San Quentin prison fugitive died in a gunfight with Sheriff's deputies early yesterday a few hours after he had invaded a home and held seven persons hostage for more than two hours while he wolfed down stew and potatoes.
George F. Winn, 33, who fled the prison ranch just outside San Quentin on August 2, charged into the Larry Von Arx home at Jenner, Sonoma County, Saturday night, brandishing a 10 inch knife.
“Do what I say or I'll kill you — I've killed before,” he snarled.
“He just rapped on the kitchen door and came on in," said Von Arx, a lumber hauler. “He stuck this knife in my back and said he wanted something to eat. Told us he'd been living on water and a little raw fish for over a week.”
“The wife fed him what the boys would have had for supper, stew and potatoes. The boys missed their supper because they were late.”
15 minutes later, the two Von Arx sons, Victor, 18, and Bill, 16, entered the house.
The captives were joined ten minutes later friends David Nelson, 15, his brother Leslie, 16, and Don Lang, 15.
“The fellow told us he'd been in a lot of trouble for many years,” Von Arx said. “He told us he got a couple of deputies and they didn't scare him none.”
"He told us he'd been watching our house from the hills all day long. He knew one of my boys had been out hunting all day with our deer rifle and the other had gone shooting birds with a .22. He said he picked our house because he knew we had guns inside. He grabbed that deer rifle and a box of ammunition and he was going to take the Nelson boy within but we talked him out of it. We told him he wasn't taking anybody with him but to take the car if he wanted. That's what he did. But he made the wife pick up a whole sack full of groceries first. Sandwiches, canned meat, that kind of stuff."
Winn ripped the telephone from the wall and fled north in the family car. But he missed another phone in the house. Von Arx called the Sonoma County Sheriff's office and an all points bulletin was issued.
Winn's northbound car was spotted at 12:40am by Mendocino Deputy Sheriff Richard Huls as it approached the intersection of Highway 1 and Scaggs Spring Road at Stewart's Point in Sonoma County. Winn lept from the stolen car and ran into a field. Huls shouted that he was a deputy and to come out with hands up. The answer was a shot which narrowly missed him.
Shot In Head
At this moment a second Mendocino Deputy, Irving Carlstead, pulled up.
The two fired at Winn, fatally wounding him in the head. A second bullet hit him in the left leg. Winn died less than two hours later without regaining consciousness and before a summoned ambulance arrived from Guerneville.
Winn was serving a five-year to life term for robbery and assault with the intent to commit murder. A minimum-security prisoner, Winn apparently had climbed over a low wire fence that surrounds the prison's ranch area to escape.
DAVID GURNEY WRITES: Excuse me, but cutting down the trees has nothing — zero, zilch, nyet, nada — to do with public access, people and dogs crossing the runway, pilots trying to miss trees a quarter-mile downwind, etc. &ct. Once you wreck that grove for your hundred grand, it's gone. And what's unbelievable is that Dan Gjerde had no sooner voted for Hamburg’s absurd motion — that tied all the above mentioned issues with the Timber Sale — then ten minutes later, voted for a motion to approve the timber sale, unequivically. When you find out what prescription meds Gjerde is on, I want some. Not so with Pinches, whose name and fat Fox News persona reminds one of the last act one commits while sitting on the John — him and his tin-horn heavy handed running of a public meeting. McCowen — Who knows? Shame on the Board of Supes for this bad, bad decision. And let's not forget the abominable Carre Brown, who rose from her heavily padded chair like a creature from the swamp, to second the Pinches motion to go ahead and destroy one of the last, and our Mendocino County owned, redwood grove in Little River.
CHRIS SKYHAWK WRITES: “I am disappointed that the BOS did not defer to local sentiment expressed through petitions, meetings, and our supervisor. For many years the County has not taken public access seriously in its planning. This was a real chance to reverse that and all for a bid that came in much lower than was anticipated. Very, very sad.”
A READER WRITES: “As usual, the imperious Hamburg and his cult like followers are throwing hissy fits and calling names because they didn't get their way on a THP they seem to know little about. David Gurney puts out an appeal for the masses to show up to stop the cutting of old growth. Hamburg makes a motion to stop the timber harvest plan until public access and old growth retention issues have been resolved. Except no old growth will be cut. And the public has access now, although it’s a problem when people are walking across the airport with planes coming in. The motion to refer the issue to the Airport Advisory Committee, that Hamburg voted against, was to come up with a plan to allow public access without endangering lives. Hamburg is against that?”
AN ELK READER WRITES: The PG&E guy arrived in the driveway in Elk this morning to remove the SmartMeter which they had installed only a few months ago. It seems that for those of us on a “Time Sensitive Use Rate” or some similar name for the E-6 or E-7 rate, the new SmartMeters are not smart enough to tell the difference between 3am and 3pm. So they popped back in the old electric meter and assured me that the meter reader will be around monthly for a long time to come. They've also found that the new SmartMeters need to be no more than 500 feet apart to receive and send data.
MASTER WOODWORKER TOUR
Growth Rings exhibit to close soon
Several master woodworkers whose work is featured in the Grace Hudson Museum's current exhibit, "Growth Rings: A Regional Retrospective of College of the Redwoods Fine Woodworking Graduates," will offer a tour of the exhibit on Sunday, August 17, from 2 to 4 pm. This is also the last day to visit the exhibit, which features over 50 pieces of work made by graduates during their time in the program and in their career afterward who are currently living in Northern California. Works are made from a wide variety of woods and range from chairs, desks, cabinets and chests to free-standing sculpture. The tour is free with Museum admission, which is $4, $10 for families, and $3 for students and seniors. The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main Street in Ukiah and can be reached at 467-2836 or online at www.gracehudsonmuseum.org
— Roberta Werdinger
MTA BOARD MEETING TO BE CONDUCTED AUGUST 28 IN POINT ARENA
The Mendocino Transit Authority (MTA) will hold its monthly Board of Directors meeting on August 28, 2014 at 1:30 PM. The meeting will be conducted at the RCMS Dental Facility’s conference room, 175 Main, Point Arena.
Among the agenda items are, Identification of Unmet Transit Needs for the South Mendocino Coast, Rider and Non-Rider Passenger Survey Update, Service and Fare Structure between Fort Bragg and the Inland Mendocino College Campuses, Intercity Bus Grant Update, and Preliminary Review of the July 27 Fare Increase.
The public is welcome to attend the meeting to address items that are on the agenda, or bring other transit related items to the attention of the Board. Time limit is three minutes per speaker.
WATER BOND INCLUDES $485 MILLION TO BUY WATER FOR BROWN’S DEATH TUNNELS
by Dan Bacher
Yesterday Governor Jerry Brown, Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and over two dozen agricultural, water, environmental, labor and corporate representatives called for action on Brown's controversial revised water bond, while defenders of the Delta and its imperiled fish populations slammed the proposed measure for containing $484 million to buy water pumped into the Bay Delta Conservation Plan's peripheral tunnels.
NGOs backing the Governor's revised $7 million bond include the Community Water Center, Nature Conservancy, California Trout, American Rivers, Trout Unlimited, California Waterfowl, Ducks Unlimited and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). None of these groups, as opposed to the majority of grassroots environmental, fishing and consumer groups across the state, have gone on record against the construction of the twin tunnels, the most environmentally destructive proposed project in California history.
The Legislature is likely to approve the Governor's water bond this afternoon, although the new language has only been available for two days. On Monday, Brown signed legislation extending the deadline to place a new water bond on the ballot by 48 hours.
The Nature Conservancy Water Program Director Brian Stranko's statement of praise for the Governor's proposal was typical of those made by pro-bond NGO representatives.
“In this historic drought, our communities are suffering, our farms are suffering and the environment upon which we all depend is suffering. Our window to prepare for future droughts is now," said Stranko. "We need a well-structured Water Bond, one that invests in water infrastructure improvements and one that protects and restores our natural environment. That's what is necessary to get us through this drought and what is necessary to get a bond voters across the state will support in November.”
The press release from the Governor's Office is available here.
The Governor and legislative leaders in recent weeks have claimed that the bond must be "tunnels neutral" to garner the support of voters, but there was no mention of "tunnel neutrality" in the statements released by the Governor's Office yesterday.
However, State Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis) issued a statement claiming that the new bond proposal is "tunnels neutral."
"We fought hard to ensure this bond would be BDCP neutral and to ensure no funds will be used for the Delta Tunnels, including to pay for costs for their mitigation. We also won recognition and first time ever funding of $50 million for the Delta Conservancy, including their ability to fund important agriculture sustainability projects in the Delta. All told, it’s a good deal for the Delta and Northern California," Wolk said.
Restore the Delta (RTD), opponents of Governor Brown's rush to build Peripheral Tunnels that would drain the Delta and doom sustainable farms, salmon and other Pacific fisheries, disagreed. The group called upon Delta and other legislators to vote against Governor Brown’s water bond proposal, saying it is NOT “tunnels neutral,” and contains $485 million to buy water to be pumped into the tunnels. RTD called upon Delta legislators to reject any bond with false protections.
“This bond proposal gives the Brown administration $485 million to buy water to be pumped into the tunnels,” said RTD Executive Director Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla. “It contains false protections for the Delta, and we call upon legislators, especially those representing the Delta, to vote against it. We are not fooled, and this bond will become a referendum on the tunnels. That is not going to advance the water solutions we need.”
Barrigan-Parrilla said the governor’s flow language would allow public funds to be used to purchase water that could be diverted into the Delta tunnels. The Department of Fish and Wildlife would use up to $485,000,000 from Sections 79733 and 79737 to buy water that would be dedicated under Water Code Section 1707 for instream use in waterways upstream of the Delta.
"However, once that water reached the tunnel intakes it could be diverted into the tunnels," said Barrigan-Parrilla. "The new wording does not prevent that. This water would be available for export from the Delta the same as any other water purchased by the exporters. The public would be paying for that benefit to the exporters."
Barrigan-Parrilla urged people to call Speaker Atkins and President pro Tem Steinberg and let their staff know you are against a water bond with environmental water account funds for water to fill the Delta tunnels and against money for habitat restoration that will pave the way for construction of the Delta tunnels. Their phone numbers are below:
Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg: 916-651-4006
Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins: 916-319-2078
Kathryn Phillips, Sierra Club California Director, also issued an action alert, "Stop the Free Ride for Dam Builders," about the water bond. She urged Club members and supporters to call Assembly Member Eggman at 916-319-2013 and ask their representativse to VOTE NO on AB 1471 and SB 866 unless they are amended to make sure that there is a level playing field for all California, no preference for Central Valley dams, and responsible legislative oversight of how the money is spent.
"This week, the legislature will vote on either of two bond bills, Senate Bill 866 and Assembly Bill 1471. The bills are identical and if either of them passes, it means that voters will face a $7.2 billion water bond ballot measure in November that will devote a third of its value to dam builders in the Central Valley. And the legislature will forfeit its traditional oversight role for this money for dams," said Phillips.
"Call Assembly Member Eggman at 916-319-2013 and urge your representative to VOTE NO on AB 1471 and SB SB 866. It's OK to call after hours and leave a message," she urged.
BDCP background: Jerry Brown’s Death Tunnels
Governor Jerrry Brown's Bay Delta Delta Conservation Plan to build the 35-mile long peripheral tunnels won't create one drop of new water, but the project will lead to horrendous environmental degradation, according to tunnel critics. The construction of the tunnels, estimated to cost $67 billion, will hasten the extinction of Central Valley Chinook salmon, Delta and longfin smelt and other fish species, as well as imperil the salmon and steelhead populations on the Trinity and Klamath rivers.
BDCP opponents say Brown's "legacy" project will lead to the death of the largest estuary on the West Coast of the Americas that provides a nursery for many species. It will harm salmon, halibut, leopard shark, soupfin shark, sevengill shark, anchovy, sardine, herring, groundfish and Dungeness crab populations stretching from Southern Washington to Southern California.
Under the guise of habitat restoration, the Bay Delta Conservation Plan will take vast tracts of Delta farmland, among the most fertile on the planet, out of production in order to irrigate toxic, drainage impaired land on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley and provide Delta water to Southern California developers and oil companies conducting fracking and steam injection operations in Kern County.
The tunnels are being constructed in tandem with the federal government's plan to raise Shasta Dam, a project that will flood many of the remaining sacred sites of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe that weren't inundated by Shasta Dam.