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SCVNews.com | Opinion/Commentary: Land of Nuts and Flakes | 02-09-2014
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Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Sunday, Feb 9, 2014

darrylmanzer021014This past week, we had an event happen that we’ve seen much in maybe a couple of years. That event? Rain. Measurable rain. There was even a little snow in our mountains. Wow.

The drought is still with us, and we’d need a few weeks of rain like we had to end it, but at least some local children will know what rain looks like. Hear tell, some were considering the whole “rain” thing an urban myth.

It is also obvious that we might have been considering our drought a myth, too. Really? We keep using water like there is an endless supply.

I’ll bet the Great State of California is applauding the conservation efforts of our local water officials … and laughing, too. The Great State of California also gave us the chloride issue, which will take more water to solve than any water savings we might get from the “conservation plan” of our local water districts.

At least we have a plan. It is a good plan – but it has to be used by each of us.

You see, the drought is “hard” science. It is a fact. For the last couple of years or so, the Great State of California hasn’t had enough rain or snow. We’ve all known our water supply was limited and would only become even more restricted.

But we kept flushing a lot and watering lawns a lot and washing cars in our driveways a lot and filling our swimming pools a lot and running water while we brush or shave … a lot. All of us, combined, have wasted water.

Our chloride problem is a theory based on data 30 years old and foisted on us by some folks who just want to get more money from us. For what ends, we don’t know. The Great State of California needs more money, so it has taken to adding fines and fees to the local governments when it can’t steal more from individuals and businesses.

So how do we solve some of these problems?

Hey, I’ve got a plan. We change our priorities.

You know all that money Governor Moonbeam of our Great State of California wants to spend on a high-speed rail line between San Francisco and Los Angeles? How about using that money instead on desalinization plants along the coast? They could even be solar or wind powered. It works for some rather large areas of the Middle East. It would also serve a lot more people than a railway few could afford to ride because jobs are leaving the state.

Now, we just can’t take the money from the railroad and use it for desalinization plants. Those funds mostly came from the feds. But how about we convince the feds to change that? A small drought relief bill is in Congress now. Will it make it through the process and get enacted? We can’t get the feds to stop Cemex, so how are we, the little people, going to get money shifted from a crazy railway scheme to a water project?

We could also stop the massive effort to steal from local governments in the form of fees and fines. If we had a City Council in Santa Clarita that had any real backbone, it would fight this chloride issue all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. But no, they depended on some board that depended on some rather old science data that depended on what some folks downstream said 30 years ago that … you get the point.

We’ve got people who can decide to landscape a “gateway off-ramp” into our city, but they can’t tell the Great State of California, “No.” “Enough is enough.” That happens because so few of us tell our elected officials the same thing. So few of us even turn out to vote, the elected officials do just about whatever they want.

I loved the lights in downtown Newhall for Christmas. I actually like the “gateway off-ramps” welcoming folks into town. The landscaping done for those gateways uses little water, but I still must ask the question: Is that money of the citizens well spent? Are such projects something our City should be doing? I can’t answer those questions. You will have to answer them in the next election.

Yes, we should ask the Great State of California the same types of questions. We could start with: Can you show us the most recent data about the effects of chlorides on the crops downstream of us along the Santa Clara River? Can you tell us how a high-speed train will supply water to millions of residents? (And how that train will benefit millions of riders who don’t exist and really wouldn’t want to go on a ride up the Central Valley if they did?)

Maybe that is a good thing. Going past Fresno, Modesto, Stockton and Bakersfield in excess of 150 mph. I guess I didn’t look at the benefit. Maybe Governor Moonbeam is onto something good.

No, I’d better check my meds. Something is very wrong when I think Governor Moonbeam of the Great State of California is doing “something good.” Didn’t like his work in the 1970s. He hasn’t improved since.

Of course, there is one thing about Jerry Brown being in office again. In my 36 years in, and working for, the Navy, I was always told my home state was the land of “nuts and flakes.” Governor Moonbeam fits both categories, as do those who elected him for a total of four terms in office. Those folks in other states were right, after all.

Why do I keep writing, “Great State of California?” I do that because our Creator endowed upon this place the best possible of everything. It certainly has nothing to do with what our politicians have done or are doing. Maybe the next time we go to the polls, we can get the right people in office.

I’m afraid getting the right people won’t be easy. We really like electing the wrong people to keep guys like me writing stuff like this.

Thank you, each and every one. You’ve given a whole new meaning to the words, “Jerry’s kids.”

 

Darryl Manzer grew up in the Pico Canyon oil town of Mentryville in the 1960s and attended Hart High School. After a career in the U.S. Navy he returned to live in the Santa Clarita Valley. He can be reached at dmanzer@scvhistory.com and his commentaries, published on Tuesdays and Sundays, are archived at DManzer.com. Watch his walking tour of Mentryville [here].

 

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2 Comments

  1. SCVTV you need to update this image looks like hell all blurred and choppy just saying for a minute I thought I was seeing a post from The Signal…

  2. DA truf says:

    California Governor Jerry Brown will need to take a much tougher approach with his opponents this time around after he is elected to his fourth term.

    Italy: In January, three members of the movement against the high-speed train line were ordered by a court to pay close to 200,000 euros ($A310,400) in damages for blocking construction work. Leader Beppe Grillo and several other radical activists attempting to halt construction of the high speed rail project were sentenced to between 4 and 9 months.

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