Get free daily email updates

Syndicate this site - RSS

Recent Posts

Blogger Menu

Click here to blog

FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

- Or -
Search blog archive

Katy Grimes

California’s Political Water Wars Heat Up

Water wars are historic undertakings in California. Countless other publications have written recently about the proposed ballot measure that would redirect High Speed Rail bond money for water-related projects and prioritize the use of water, But what makes this story interesting is the coalition of opponents, their motivations and techniques being employed.

The Committee to Stop the Special Interest Water Grab, led by David Guy, president of the Northern California Water Association,… Read More

Kevin Dayton

Legislator Tells County How It Must Bid a Project to Get Prop 1 Water Bond Funds

Apparently the $7.1 billion Proposition 1 water bond is going to win easily on November 4. Politicians already feel comfortable about using the money as leverage to help their political allies.

One California state legislator is already telling local elected officials in his district that they must favor unions in bidding for contracts on a water project. If they don’t follow the directive, Governor Brown won’t give them the $12.5 million (or even $15 million) allegedly reserved for them in Prop 1.

On October 14, Assemblymember Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville) was scheduled on the meeting agenda of the Monterey County Board of Supervisors to make a presentation about his legislative accomplishments in 2014. Alejo and his staff had prepared a 25-minute presentation with handouts and PowerPoint slides. (Watch video of the presentation – Item #8 on October 14, 2014.)

Assemblyman Alejo received glowing praise from the Board of Supervisors for his work in the legislature. He told them that Governor Brown had signed 22 of his 23 bills that passed in the 2013-2014 legislative… Read More

Kevin Dayton

Will a Few Republican State Legislators Open Floodgates for Costly Union Control of California Water Projects?

Union lobbyists try to be discreet when they influence the California State Legislature to gain advantages in public contracting. That secrecy is now crumbling in the case of a new “urgency” bill that authorizes a Monterey County water agency to use an alternative bidding procedure to build a pipeline project.

Can unions whip this bill through the legislature before new revelations about backroom deals undermine local support for it? It depends on how many Republicans in the Assembly and Senate see construction union support as useful to their political futures.

A Mundane Objective: Awarding a Contract for a Water Storage Project

The Monterey County WaterResources Agency proposes a $25 million pipeline to improve water storage by transferring water between two reservoirs. It wants to use a construction procurement procedure called “design-build.” Instead of awarding separate design and construction contracts to the lowest responsible bidders, the agency would award one combined contract for the project based on subjective scoring criteria.

Since the early 1990s, the California legislature has passed… Read More

Katy Grimes

Part ll: State drought policies just don’t hold water

This is Part ll of my series on California’s dubious drought and water policies

National media coverage has largely confused reasons for the current drought. We are now being told that global warming has caused the drought.

Perhaps a more realistic cause for the drought can be found in natural climate change, agricultural inefficiency, poor water storage planning, and urban development in arid regions.

Most of the media and public officials paint California farmers and ranchers as the biggest water wasters in the state. Yet they have made huge strides in improving efficient water management over the years — it’s in their best interest to do so, not only economically, but to save and conserve natural resources. Farmers and ranchers are some of the best, most efficient and effective conservationists California has.

North Korean-style water spies

In… Read More

Katy Grimes

Vidak warns: Water water everywhere, nor any drop to drink

The California Department of Water Resources announced this week that the Central Valley may only get five percent of the water it needs next year.

The Central Valley, the heart of California,is the state’s top agricultural producing region, often called “the nation’s salad bowl” for the great array of fruits and vegetables grown in its rich soil.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, author of theRime of the Ancient Mariner, wasn’t thinking about California’s Central Valley when he wrote:

Water, water, every where, And all the boards did shrink; Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink.

However, if the water resources department gets its way, the Central Valley may as well get used to this poem.

I talked withRead More