“As President Barack Obama prepares for his visit to Fresno on Friday, we can’t help but be reminded of another presidential visit 52 years ago.
“President John F. Kennedy came in 1962 to celebrate the groundbreaking for the San Luis Reservoir, which was built to hold 2 million acre-feet of irrigation water but has just 603,000 as of Wednesday – about half of what it held this time last year.”
“The next round in the fight for a more reliable, cost-effective, transparent Department of Water and Power comes next week, when the Los Angeles City Council is expected to consider Marcie Edwards’ appointment as general manager of the huge municipal utility.”
From The Fresno Bee, in a commentary by Paul H. Betancourt:
“First, Mr. President, thank you for coming to the San Joaquin Valley. This is important to us, and to all Californians. There is nothing like having leaders out in the field seeing things for themselves.
“Mr. President, this is a multi-year problem that requires multi-year solutions.”
“Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer proposed emergency drought legislation Tuesday ahead of President Obama’s planned visit to Fresno, as Democrats scrambled to counter GOP charges that trying to save rivers and fish during California’s historic drought is destroying the nation’s chief source of fruits and vegetables.”
From the San Francisco Chronicle Politics Blog, in a post by Carolyn Lochhead:
“Under pressure from House Republicans to offer an alternative plan to deal with California’s drought, California Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, joined by Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, issued Democratic drought legislation Tuesday, in prelude to President Obama’s visit to Fresno on Friday.”
“Friday’s announcement that the State Water Project –which [Gov. Jerry] Brown’s father, Edmund (the first Gov. Brown), brought into reality — would not deliver a drop of irrigation water to farmers in the South San Joaquin Valley is a crisis. …
“Undoubtedly, the first such pronouncement in the 54-year history of the SWP is creating fear — even among those who don’t live along the Valley’s west side where that water is necessary for their livelihoods.”
“California has a plan — the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan — that has brought together representatives of the competing interests who recognize that they must work together to sustain one another with limited supplies of water.
From The Sacramento Bee, in a column by Dan Morain:
“J.Q. Brown, Sacramento’s public works director circa 1920, had a bold vision, one that resonates to this day: Water lawns no more than every other day, and install water meters.
My predecessors at The Bee denounced him.”
“Beleaguered and outnumbered, California Republicans think they may have found a crucial ally — drought.
“Up and down the state’s increasingly dry Central Valley, Republicans have pounded away at the argument that Democratic policies — particularly environmental rules — are to blame for the parched fields and dwindling reservoirs that threaten to bankrupt farms and wipe out jobs.”
“With California in the midst of a drought, the responsibility for action rests largely on the shoulders of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein as she has a record of working in bipartisan fashion and has been highly involved in water issues since her election in 1992.”
“Gov. Jerry Brown has pursued two multibillion-dollar water and high-speed rail projects so aggressively in recent months that it loomed conspicuously how carefully he stepped to avoid the projects in his biggest speech of the year.”
“America’s political executives – presidents, governors and big city mayors – are often judged by how they respond to unanticipated crises. …
“Jerry Brown knows the syndrome well. He had two major crises during his first stint as governor 30-plus years ago, a severe drought early in his governorship and an invasion of Mediterranean fruit flies near the end.”