Tag Archive | "Orange County"

Drought Politics: Pat Bates Baits Union-Tribune Readers with Doomsday Scenario


By Debbie Cook
Special to the Surf City Voice

On March 11, the San Diego Union-Tribune posted an op-ed, “Desalination makes sense for Orange County”, written by Assemblywoman Pat Bates (Laguna Niguel). It is unclear why she was addressing the California Coastal Commission since the project was not on its March agenda.

The paper chose not to allow comments on her article. So here is my response to her piece which reads as if lifted from a Poseidon Resources press release.

She goaded me from her first sentence: “Anyone who has stepped outside in the past year has undoubtedly seen the effects of our state’s historic drought conditions.”

Perhaps Ms. Bates should take a look around her own district before she goes off with her dire news of “empty reservoirs, dry wells, and brown, arid landscapes across California.”

Orange County is the poster child of disregard for the drought: lush green expanses of grass in front of strip malls, road medians, HOAs, government facilities, and private properties. Any claim she makes that Orange County has “tried” to do its part is laughable.

Ms. Bate's vision of Orange County without Poseidon? Photo: SCV

Ms. Bate’s vision of Orange County without Poseidon? Photo: SCV

It is interesting that Ms. Bates would chime in on a project outside her district that runs roughly from Dana Point to Cardiff by the Sea in San Diego County. Her district imports nearly 100 percent of its water. North Orange County imports only 30 percent and it could be zero if we managed the groundwater basin equitably.

“Trying” isn’t good enough, especially when it places the burden of costly boutique desalinated water on those who are actually “doing” something.

Residents of Santa Ana and Westminster are close to an ideal goal of consumption of 100 gallons per person per day. At the other extreme are communities like Villa Park and Northern San Diego County, where 500 gallons per person per day is the norm.

Why is 100 gallons per person per day ideal? Because at that level, North Orange County could get nearly 100 percent of its water from the groundwater basin.

The manner of water allocation used by the Orange County Water District and its member agencies places a disproportionately higher cost burden on those who consume the least amount of water. In effect, those who aren’t just “trying” but are implementing conservation will be subsidizing the explosive costs of ocean desalinated water.

Lush parkways in Bates' assembly district (this one in San Clemente), located in a an area that must import 100 percent of its drinking water, seems to contradict the idea of sound water resources management. Photo: Google

Lush parkways in Bates’ assembly district (this one in San Clemente), located in an area that must import 100 percent of its drinking water, seem to contradict the idea of sound water resources management. Photo: Google

And if North Orange County goes all in for an ocean desalination project, will Ms. Bates be sponsoring a bill to enable the OCWD rate payer to subsidize water sales to South Orange County water agencies?

Ms. Bates then goes on to cheer lead for desalination: “Southern California communities have rallied behind desalinated ocean water as a reliable, safe and environmentally friendly solution to long-term water shortages.”

It is interesting to note that a small consortium of communities in her own district have spent millions of dollars building and evaluating a pilot project in Dana Point only to discover they couldn’t “rally” enough support for such an expensive endeavor.

Ms. Bates reports on the “nearly completed” project in Carlsbad. But we are still waiting to see how the San Diego County Water Authority allocates the costs of this project, a painful task they have been discussing and postponing since 2012. The devil is in the details, details that were not sorted out prior to signing a “take or pay” contract.

Ms. Bates calls desalination “out of the box” thinking but in reality it is a knee jerk reaction by politicians who have ignored California’s failed water policies, archaic water laws, and fractured governance.

Addressing long term water needs requires long term thinking which will never be the domain of politicians in Sacramento.

It is much easier for elected officials to apply a “technical” fix knowing they will be out of office before the bill arrives.

What we need are courageous politicians who dare to engage with citizens in understanding and exploring solutions that actually address water needs and not water wants.

North Orange County does not need an ocean desalination project and hasn’t even figured out what they would do with the water. If Ms. Bates thinks one is needed in South Orange County, then she should address her own district’s needs first.

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Posted in Headlines, OCWD, Poseidon, Water, Water BoardingComments (4)

Author Will Discuss Warrantless Surveillance in Cyberspace


Award winning novelist Lois Tiller will discuss warrantless surveillance in cyberspace at the monthly meeting of the Green Party of Orange County this Sunday, April 3, at 2 p.m.
Tiller is a certified system engineer who advocates for electronic privacy protection and Net Neutrality. Her recently published suspense novel, “Fatal Exception,” explores the ethical ramifications of the possibly illegal partnerships between US security agencies, like the NSA and CIA, and private technology companies to mine used data and control Internet content.
Tiller’s presentation will include a simple overview of electronic snooping and she will identify important efforts underway to thwart warrantless surveillance in the USA. Her talk is intended to give a deeper understanding of the technical issues of the day, such as Facebook’s impact on democratization I the Middle, Google’s online censorship of content, as well as the ongoing battle in the US for Net Neutrality.
For more information about her novel see: http://www.fatalexceptionthriller.info . If you can share a ride of need a ride to the meeting, contact Bea Tiritilli: tiritilligreen@sbcglobal.net
The event will be held as part of the monthly meeting, which takes place at 15600 Sand Canyon Ave. in Irvine (about half-way between the 5 and 405 freeways).

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Fred Speaker: Crotchety Council Candidate Zips Lips Over Budget Slips


By John Earl
Surf City Voice

Huntington Beach Planning Commissioner Fred Speaker is no doubt one of the leading candidates from the pack of 20 locals running for one of four open City Council seats on the November 2 ballot.

Speaker—in his own words—is a “fiscally responsible” and “pay as you go” candidate who as an experienced small businessman knows “how to balance a budget” and who promises that he “won’t treat taxpayer dollars any less carefully.”

He recently received the endorsements of the City’s two most powerful unions, the HB Police Officers Association and the HB Firefighters Association.

Speaker is also expected to get the full endorsement of the Orange County GOP in a vote to take place Monday, according to publisher Chip Hanlon writing on his blog, Red County.

Red County is the voice of Orange County’s Republican partisans who hope to get “real” Republicans in office and do their part to take back control of America—by following the tenets of “revolution” proclaimed by Party leader Scott Baugh.

The union and OCGOP endorsements combined with the PAC money and campaign donations that they will generate will make Speaker a “virtual shoe-in” on election day, says Hanlon.

But Hanlon and other Red County revolutionaries are wondering what Speaker has done to deserve an endorsement and why more credible Republicans like council candidates Billy O’Connell and Barbara Delgleize have been rejected by the OCGOP.

Hanlon explains that those two leading candidates were denied their endorsements because Delgleize supports gay marriage and abortion rights for women and O’Connell gave campaign money to a few Democrats in the past.

One of the underlying problems with the Speaker endorsement, however, is that it would violate one of Baugh’s most important revolutionary decrees: the Party shall oppose union backed candidates. Read the full story

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Union Reform Moves Forward in Orange County


Edgar Esquivel, a UPS worker in Orange County, Calif., reports on the progress of the new reform movement in his Teamster local.

May 10, 2010

Analysis and commentary
By Edgar Esquivel

Special to the OC Voice

FIVE MONTHS after it was born, the grassroots movement Reform Teamsters 952 has gained significant momentum through rank-and-file workers’ efforts to change the direction of their union.

Picket

Teamsters Local 952 members on strike against the Orange Country Transportation Authority in 2007. Photo: Reform Teamsters 952

In recent weeks, the group, made up of pragmatic rank-and-file workers from Teamsters Local 952 in Orange County, Calif., has campaigned at numerous work sites, including UPS, CVS, Coca-Cola, Straub (the local Budweiser distributor), UPS Freight and Yellow Freight–and has been well-received by workers at each of these companies.

But perhaps the biggest shock to the Local 952 system came at the UPS hub in Laguna, Calif., where the reform movement was launched. In late April, UPSers from the Coast Center at the Laguna hub organized votes of “no confidence” against their two shop stewards, who were controlled by the union old guard. One old guard steward was defeated, and a reformer elected in his place.

Over the past few years, the center had developed a reputation for weakness due to their shop stewards’ lack of action. A majority of members in the center circulated a petition that forced their union business agent to hold a new election for shop steward for package car drivers.

This action by Coast Center workers was a blow to the officers of Local 952, who for years have failed to instruct and train shop stewards on how to properly carry out their tasks in defense of members.

And on April 28, in a stunning upset for Local 952 President Bob Hahn, Mike Deszcz–a reformer who for years had been blackballed by the president himself for his strong union advocacy–won the election. As a result, a Hahn clone has been replaced with a 30-year Teamster who wants UPS to acknowledge that UPSers are human beings, and not a number or a bottom line.

After the victory, Deszcz added: “I consider it a privilege to represent workers at a time when it’s greatly needed.” Showing that he was not running to be exempt from union dues, he said he will use his portion of his monthly dues to buy gift cards for the hard-working members of Coast Center.

Reform Teamsters 952 congratulated Deszcz and the Teamster brothers and sisters at Coast Center for taking a stand against the status quo and old guard policies of Local 952. Their triumph symbolizes reform, and Reform Teamsters 952 welcomes and embraces it. Read the full story

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Tea Party Rage in OC Sheriff’s Race: “Most of the queers are liberal…Fuck you!”


A local Tea Party enthusiast wants to “tea bag” liberals, denies homosexuality exists in the Tea Party movement and says “fuck you” at a campaign rally for Orange County Sheriff’s candidate Bill Hunt. Hunt was joined by Sheriff Joe Arapaio from Arizona, who is famous for using police state tactics against immigrants and others. Hunt has said that he wants to be like Joe Arpaio if elected to office in November.

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