The raising of water rates in Ceres is understandably not earning the City Council any fans but we've been writing about this issue coming for years and apparently people have not been paying it much attention.
A number of persons on our Facebook page threatened to move out of Ceres - indeed out of state. Peggy Phelps wrote: "Ceres: the town that doesn't want long term homeowners, doesn't use its own code enforcement, doesn't care about neighborhood blight and is gonna kiss my homeowning butt goodbye come next summer. Moving north... away from this used to be ideal little community."
Michelle Kehoe had a different take: "As a history teacher and wife of a water treatment operator and pump company owner, I would pay anything for safe water that comes through a pipe directly to my home. It's a miracle! Bad water has killed more people in history than anything. A little chlorine taste is better than getting cholera!"
No one likes seeing rates increase. But let's seek some understanding, as painful as that might be.
There are two reasons why Ceres has been proactively looking for a good, clean and reliable source of drinking water in the Tuolumne River. 1). Sacramento and D.C. lawmakers keep forever ratcheting up tighter and tighter clean water regulations which cities must follow and that pursuit costs money. So actually blame Sacramento and D.C. for most of this problem. 2). People keep having babies. Thus, the population of the Valley has grown and more people have been "drinking" from the same bowl of water, i.e. the underground water table. There's less water in the "bowl" because: a) more people are here; b). farmers are doing less flood irrigation with canal water and there's less percolating into it; c). we just came out of a significant drought.
Decades ago, the city of Modesto saw the hand writing on the wall and built a plant to suck water out of Modesto Reservoir and pump it to their residents. Ceres and Turlock are wisely following suit with their own plant.
Rate increases are also designed to cover the growing costs of maintaining and improving the water system.
Let's review something Mayor Chris Vierra said back on March 31 at the annual Legislative Breakfast: "If Supervisor DeMartini gave me the keys to one of his nice cars, would you run it into the ground? Would you never take care of it? Most people would say ‘No, if I had a Lamborghini or a Ferrari I would maintain it.' Well, the single largest asset that our city is our water and sewer systems so we have to continue to make improvements to them. I also ask the question: We all pay $3 to $4 for a gallon of milk. What would you be willing to pay for a gallon of water if you didn't have access to water? I bet it would be a lot more than you pay for your cable TV bill."
Water is not only something we drink but it's something we water our lawns and plants with, flush our toilets with, wash our clothes and bodies with.
Think if the water stopped flowing and tell me it's not worth the price.
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You must ask soberly yourself why our state Attorney General is fighting against preservation of our national sovereignty and U.S. immigration law. The only explanation I can come up with is that he's either mentally unstable or he's operating from a leftist playbook as he builds his political ambition on a Latino and liberal base. If this were a red state, Xavier Becerra would be bounced out on his head.
Becerra's picture needs to be placed next to the dictionary definition of hypocrite. The state's chief law enforcer only wants laws he likes to ne enforced. He turns a blind eye to illegal immigration at the expense of federal law, the cost to taxpayers and the economy of his state.
Becerra is now filing suit - using our hard-earned money - over Trump's plans to build the wall, in his typically petty way, in San Diego and Imperial counties. He's fighting on the premise that to build the wall the federal government needs to follow all the state's onerous environmental laws which have stifled the entire California economy. Truth is he could care less about CEQA and really wants to protect the illegals who will eventually be drafted into the Democratic Party. He's more than happy to throw the California Coastal Commission - the biggest most aggressive bureaucracy in the state - as a roadblock.
"The Trump Administration has once again ignored laws it doesn't like in order to resuscitate a campaign talking point to build a wall on our southern border," said Becerra. "... if you plan to do business in California, and that includes the president, then be prepared to follow the law."
Again, calling the kettle black.
I hope, at some point, Trump tweets for Becerra to "jump off a bridge, we're building the wall and we have a right to secure American borders."
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Speaking of Becerra, he just got a major slap-down by a judge. Sacramento County Judge Timothy Frawley said Becerra's description of an initiative that would repeal a recent gas tax increase written by Democratic Attorney General Xavier Becerra was misleading.
Lawmakers voted in April to boost gas taxes and vehicle fees to raise $5 billion a year for road repairs. Starting Nov. 1, gas taxes will increase by 12 cents a gallon and diesel taxes by 20 cents. State Senator Anthony Cannella was the pivot vote in support of it.
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The libs had a field day on this one.
You may have heard that Rob Jackson, a 1985 Ceres High School graduate, former Turlock Police Chief and most recently the police chief of Seaside, retired after being placed on paid administrative leave by the city on Sept. 15. The Monterey County Weekly claimed some of the content shared on Jackson's Facebook page was circulating false and so-called racist claims.
Fake news? Hmmm, that's never happened before now has it?
Apparently once you become a police chief you have to abandon your sense of humor and hide your ideology - that is, if you're conservative. I don't think it's any secret that most police chiefs in America are conservatives but they mostly hide it because they face the segment of our society which tends to use political correctness as a weapon.
So, what was Jackson's big crime? He shared a post from Southern Rebel's Facebook page that came via americasfreedomfighters.com website. The post was merely political satire and mocked Obama for a spoof string of "accomplishments." It accused Obama of hiding his birth records (indeed he did not release it for years despite questions about his birthplace). It suggested he married a man (okay, a tasteless reference to Michelle) and that Obama smoked crack cocaine in the White House. I've never considered Michelle Obama a real beauty but the point is satire takes no prisoners. You should have seen what they said about Mary Todd Lincoln. The wisecrack about cocaine use may be far-fetched considering Obama did reference his prior drug use in his biography. We do know he smoked cigarettes and did his best to cover it up.
The point is, Jackson shared satire. We used to enjoy political satire in America. They called Abraham Lincoln an ape. Today everyone gets offended instead of laugh things off as part of the meanness of politics.
Jackson shared the post on his Facebook page, with one word, "Impressive!" Apparently he did think anyone outside of his Facebook circle of friends would see it. I'm sure what happened was some liberal on the Seaside City Council "raised Cain" about Jackson's political views and it was a matter of "off with his head!"
How many public officials have you heard call Trump a fascist or Nazi and lived to tell about it? Why isn't loud-mouthed Maxine Waters gone for delivering a eulogy and talking about impeaching Trump instead? Why wasn't she gone when she called President George W. Bush a "liar" and Vice President Cheney "not only a liar, he is a thief."
Jackson merely shares a piece of political satire and he is forced to quit?
Why the double standard?
To feign righteous indignation to eliminate conservatives from power is straight out of the leftist playbook - all while ignoring anything outrageous uttered by the likes of Kathy Griffin and Johnny Depp.
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This just in.
You can't make up the insanity of sue-happy, now diet policeman Becerra.
Gatorade ran a commercial promoting its drink over water in a mobile video game app. Users controlled a cartoon version of Olympic Gold Medalist Usain Bolt and ran an endless race to recover gold coins stolen by pirates. Upon touching a Gatorade icon, the Bolt avatar ran faster and the "fuel meter" increased; upon touching a water droplet, he slowed down and the "fuel meter" decreased. The game tutorial urged users to "Keep Your Performance Level High By Avoiding Water."
Becerra, ever the crusader to bilk businesses of money, sued Gatorade on the premise that "Making misleading statements is a violation of California law. But making misleading statements aimed at our children is beyond unlawful, it's morally wrong and a betrayal of trust."
Gee, now I must have been exposed to millions of fake similar ads in the 1970s and everyone saw through the B.S. We knew it was commercial bunk. Coo-coo for Coco Puffs, spinach giving you brunt force like Popeye, cars that turn the heads of the sexiest women, cologne that makes you fight off the ladies, and let's not forget all those Woolite, All Temp-A-Cheer and other cleaner ads that promised the brightest clothes and teeth.
We just didn't have sue-happy Becerra around to hold everyone accountable.
For their grave injustice committed against the youth of America, Gatorade agreed to pay $300,000 to make Becerra go away.
What a clown.
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Have you noticed how there are people trying to reinvent life?
We have people today who claim they are Sovereign Citizens, thinking they are immune from obeying laws, such as traffic laws.
Do you have any feedback about this column? Let Jeff know by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
He will read it, promise.