“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.”
“Farmers, ranchers and onetime loggers were among those who packed a church community room here in August to listen to a former state lawmaker convey his vision of a cleaved — and more governable — California. …
“The menu of grievances includes a proposal to remove Klamath River dams, a crackdown on gold dredging and a fire prevention fee for rural areas that has been challenged in the courts as a tax.”
“The public has a right to know how public money is spent. That’s a fundamental, common-sense premise of our government. Tell that to Brian D’Arcy. D’Arcy is the business manager of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18, which represents Los Angeles Department of Water and Power employees.”
“A newsletter from newly elected Seeley County Water District Board Director Patrick Harris has been circulating the Imperial County with allegations of political corruption with the current SCWD board.”
From The Sacramento Bee, in a commentary by Dennis McEwan:
“‘Denny, you and your environmentalist buddies better vote for this thing, ’cause it’s the best deal you’re ever going to get.’
“Those words were spoken by my father in 1982, extolling me to vote ‘yes’ on Proposition 9, the referendum on the peripheral canal. He was a 30-plus-year, veteran engineer with the California Department of Water Resources, and I was a 20-something idealistic college student majoring in conservation biology.
“After funneling $40 million in ratepayer money to two vaguely defined and publicly unaccountable nonprofits over the past 10 years, the Board of Water and Power Commissioners on Tuesday finally said: No more. …
From the Los Angeles Times, in a column by Steve Lopez:
“Any time you’re dealing with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, whether you’re trying to understand your bill or figure out how the place is run, it can be a bit of an Alice in Wonderland experience.
From the Orange County Register, in a column by Frank Mickadeit:
At this Irvine Hilton conference of the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) I attended last month, an administration official laid out [Governor] Brown’s [Delta] plan. Later, three other speakers outlined why this might not be the best plan …
“I quoted the conference organizer, Irvine Ranch Water District director Peer Swan, as saying this initial conference was ‘a shot across the bow’ to wake up regional interests that hadn’t been paying attention to the issue.
“Three political newcomers – John Mensinger, Paul Campbell and Jake Wenger – struck gold Tuesday to win seats on the embattled Modesto Irrigation District board.
“Despite unprecedented turnover on the five-person panel, the board will maintain its historic weight toward farmers as opposed to urban customers because of Wenger’s Division 4 triumph over three candidates with weaker ties to agriculture.”
From the Los Angeles Times, in a commentary by William Kahrl:
“One hundred years after its opening, the Los Angeles Aqueduct continues to cast a long shadow over the rough and tumble of California water policy. The arrival of water from the Owens Valley made the modern city possible. But it also reshaped Los Angeles to suit its capabilities and changed water politics forever.”
“The idea of shopping Valley water to the highest bidder dominated Thursday’s debate for Modesto Irrigation District seats, although candidates also found time to sound off on groundwater, electricity rates and renewable energy.
“None of the seven men at the Stanislaus League of Women Voters’ lively forum said they favor selling the MID’s water birthright, tantamount to political suicide in the current climate.”
“Ron Cohen, the emerging leader of the latest effort to buy out California American Water’s local water system, says he has always avoided politics despite a family history steeped in public affairs. …
“Until now. He says he is motivated by Cal Am’s unfair monopoly of the Monterey Peninsula’s water supply and its failure to properly manage it and secure a new water source.”
“Barring some X-factor, such as ill health, [Gov. Jerry] Brown will almost certainly run for a fourth term next year, and few political handicappers doubt that he will win, as a new Field Poll indicates.
“A relative handful of voters in the San Joaquin Valley may be deciding – whether they know it or not – effective control of the state Senate. …
“[Leticia] Perez and [Andy] Vidak talk about such local issues as water and the bullet train, but to Capitol insiders, the real stakes are the Democrats’ 29-seat Senate supermajority and their power to pass constitutional amendments and taxes.”