Westlands acreage up sharply in 2011 but the state claims Mendota unemployment is also up to a record 42.3 percent. Say what?

Remember the great Westlands Water District protest in the year of 2009 when the western Fresno County farm town of Mendota, with its alleged 40 percent unemployment rate, was made the poster child for the Westlands cry for more water?  Well, now comes word that Westlands planted acreage in 2011, a very good water year, was up 139,000 acres, the highest in a decade.  What was the Mendota unemployment this year, according to the California Empoloyment Development Department?  A record 42.3 percent. Dr. Jeffrey Michael, Director of the Business Forecasting Center at the University of the Pacific, says the Mendota EDD unmployment numbers are just as inaccurate  now as they were in 2009 and Mendota employment is actually around 25 percent this year and was at 30 percent in 2009. Why isn't the mainstream media covering this?  To learn more, check out Dr. Michael's blog HERE.

Response to the Felix Smith article from top Interior Department official from 1985 to 1990.

Ed Imhoff, was a top Interior Department official who headed a $50 million five-year study of the drainage problems on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley from 1985 to 1990. He saw my story on Felix Smith in the Sacramento Bee, , and sent me the following note:  READ MORE »


California environmental groups have grown increasingly concerned that U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein is secretly negotiating a "sweetheart" deal with the Westlands Water District that will harm the Delta and will allow continued irrigation of high selenium soils. Environmentalists remain deeply suspicious of Westlands' claim that it has a viable solution for the drainage crisis affecting the western San Joaquin Valley. Westlands, which only has a few hundred growers, is seeking enough water annual to meet the needs of a city of 10 million people. The California Water Impact Network (C-WIN) and the California Sportsfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA) recently wrote Sen. Feinstein to express their concerns.

Felix Smith Responds to US BOR and CA DWR.

Felix Smith is the Kesterson whistleblower who filed a petition with the State Water Resources Control Board to halt the irrigation of high selenium soils on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. Both the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Water Resources filed responses to Smith's petition, which were posted earlier on this website. Now Smith has responded. His response is attached. CLICK HERE.

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