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Song For Mom: 7 Billion

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"7 Billion" reflects not only a message of global unity for environmental and social justice, but also acknowledges the struggle and everyday commitment their very own mothers and mothers around the world make to improve the lives of others.

Bay MLPA process delayed until peripheral canal plan completed

In a joint statement, Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird and Director of Fish and Game Chuck Bonham announced today that implementation of so-called "marine protected areas" in San Francisco Bay will be delayed until the completion of "planning efforts" for the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta under the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP).

The BDCP is a plan to build a peripheral canal or tunnel to export more Delta water to southern California and corporate agribusiness on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. A broad coalition of Delta residents, recreational anglers, commercial fishermen, Indian Tribes, family farmers, grassroots environmentalists and elected officials is opposing the peripheral canal's construction because it would hasten the extinction of Central Valley salmon, Delta smelt, longfin smelt and other fish species and take vast areas of Delta farmland out of production under the guise of habitat "restoration."

Report documents record Delta water exports and splittail 'salvage'

A report written by Geir Aasen of the California Department of Fish and Game documents the massive numbers of fish salvaged at the federal Central Valley Project's Tracy Fish Collection Facility (TFCF) and the State Water Project's Skinner Delta Fish Protective Facility (SDFPF) during the 2011 water year, as well as the record amounts of water exported to corporate agribusiness and southern California by the state and federal projects.

The report appeared in the Interagency Ecological Program for the San Francisco Estuary Newsletter, Fall/Winter 2012 edition. (

The State Water Project reported record high water exports, 4.90 billion cubic meters of water, the highest export rate recorded since 1981, the report stated. The federal Central Valley Project exported 3.13 billion cubic meters of water, an increase from exports in 2008-2011, but comparable to exports from 2002 to 2007.

Secretary Laird announces delay in release of peripheral canal plan

California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird announced Friday that the release of a controversial state-federal plan to build a peripheral canal or tunnel will be delayed.

In a May 3 letter to David Hayes, Deputy Secretary of the Interior, Laird said the state "will not be ready" to release public review drafts of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) and its environmental impact report/statement at the end of June, as originally expected.

Laird did not directly explain the reason for the delay, but said, "The fish and wildlife agencies are currently reviewing and responding to a substantially improved scientific analysis of habitat restoration, water flows, and other ecological measures to achieve regulatory standards of the federal Endangered Species Act and Natural Community Conservation Planning Act. As a result, we anticipate that we will soon be able to announce some significant adjustments in the overall program that will reflect our commitment to using the best science."

Laird noted that the delay "should not interfere in any way with our preparations for a public announcement of the key elements of a framework for the proposed project with the Governor and Secretary Salazar in mid-to-late July."

Delta group says levees are better investment than peripheral canal

In conjunction with the Delta Levees Standards Conference being held today in Sacramento, Restore the Delta proposed that Delta levees be upgraded as part of any Bay-Delta water solution - and emphasized that they are a much better investment than building a peripheral canal or tunnel.

The conference, sponsored by the Delta Protection Commission and Water Education Foundation, takes place at Woodlake Hotel at 500 Leisure Lane, Sacramento.

“Fat, robust levees protect the Delta," said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta. "An emergency preparedness plan against the greatest threat – flood – is also needed. But floods can be managed."

“We are well-positioned to deal with sea level rise – we can raise levees one to two inches per year," she noted.

An Expose Of Petroleum Pigs And Finance

Greg Palast presents his investigation of the BP oil spill and talks about the corruption that permeates the oil industry, the financial sector, and government. Greg plays the part of a hard-bitten detective.  He participated in five movies and authored four books including Armed Madhouse and The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.
Source: Vulture's Picnic

The world fears the U.S.

Ex-Senator and former U.S. presidential candidate Mike Gravel says the U.S. is like a drunkard who charges to war with any country who might pose a threat.
Source: 'World fears US as a war-hungry drunk' - ex-Senator

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Bill requiring peripheral canal cost-benefit analysis clears committee

In a major win for Delta advocates, the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee on April 24 voted 10 to 2 to approve legislation requiring an independent cost-benefit analysis before committing the public to pay tens of billions of dollars to build a peripheral canal or tunnel to divert more Delta water.

A coalition of consumer, environmental and fishing groups and Delta cities and counties backed the legislation, AB 2421 (B. Berryhill), while agribusiness groups, the California Chamber of Commerce and southern California water agencies opposed the bill.

Blamed for Bee Collapse, Monsanto Buys Leading Bee Research Firm

Blamed for Bee Collapse, Monsanto Buys Leading Bee Research Firm

    Monsanto, the massive biotechnology company being blamed for contributing to the dwindling bee population, has bought up one of the leading bee collapse research organizations. Recently banned from Poland with one of the primary reasons being that the company’s genetically modified corn may be devastating the dying bee population, it is evident that Monsanto is under serious fire for their role in the downfall of the vital insects. It is therefore quite apparent why Monsanto bought one of the largest bee research firms on the planet.

    It can be found in public company reports hosted on mainstream media that Monsanto scooped up the Beeologics firm back in September 2011. During this time the correlation between Monsanto’s GM crops and the bee decline was not explored in the mainstream, and in fact it was hardly touched upon until Polish officials addressed the serious concern amid the monumental ban. Owning a major organization that focuses heavily on the bee collapse and is recognized by the USDA for their mission statement of “restoring bee health and protecting the future of insect pollination” could be very advantageous for Monsanto.

Wild Weather

2011 has been marked by extreme weather. In the U.S. alone, a record dozen disasters caused more than $1 billion in damage. One area acutely threatened by climate change is food production, where decades of steady gains could be reversed.

Speakers are
Chris Field, Director, Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science
Dave Friedberg, Founder & CEO, The Climate Corporation
Karen O'Brien, Professor of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo
Michael Oppenheimer, Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs, Princeton
Greg Dalton is the moderator and Vice President of The Commonwealth Club of California and founder of Climate One
Source: Wild Weather

Dahlia Lithwick

An Analysis of the NDAA

What is in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 that President Obama recently signed into law accompanied by a signing statement? Dahlia Lithwick explains the bill’s contents. She is a contributing editor at Newsweek and a senior editor and legal correspondent at Slate, where she specialized in covering the U.S. Supreme Court and judicial issues.
Source: January 4 - The GOP Candidates and God's Plan; The Backlash Against Putin; An Analysis of What is in the NDAA

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Feinstein pledges support for raising Shasta and Exchequer dams

A report on the Radio KMJ 580 AM website reveals how Senator Dianne Feinstein vowed her support for the water bond, the raising of Shasta Dam on the Sacramento River and the expansion of Exchequer Dam on the Merced River during two fundraisers at the homes of San Joaquin Valley agribusiness leaders this week.

The station reported first on a lunch on Wednesday at the Sanger home of the president of the Nisei Farmers League where Feinstein said the controversial $11.14 water bond "must appear on the ballot." (

"In Sanger - at the home of Manuel Cunha, Jr. - Senator Feinstein told a gathering of 64 specially-selected people that she had their backs when it came to several key issues facing San Joaquin Valley farming," the article stated. "She told the group that she has discussed the state water bond measure with Governor Jerry Brown and insisted that it must appear on the ballot in November. The governor has indicated a preference to move the bond to 2014 so as not to compete with his plan to raise taxes."

Brown reappoints Jim Kellogg to Fish and Game Commission

James Kellogg, 68, of Discovery Bay, has been reappointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the California Fish and Game Commission, where he has served since 2002 after being appointed by then Governor Gray Davis.

Kellogg has been an international representative for the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry since 1992, according to a news release from the Governor's Office.

Fishing groups reacted positively to his appointment. "Jim has exercised a steady hand in implementing good Fish and Game policies for the state for the past 10 years," said Dick Pool, president of Water for Fish. "We look forward to his continued leadership."

“It’s been great news that he’s been reappointed, “ said Jim Martin, West Coast Regional Director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA). “He has always been a good friend of fishermen and his long experience as a Commissioner will provide continuity for decision making and institutional memory.”

Fishery Council adopts generous West Coast salmon seasons

The Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) at its meeting in Seattle on Thursday, April 5 adopted a set of generous ocean salmon seasons that provides both recreational and commercial fishing opportunities coastwide.

Recreational salmon fishing is scheduled to open on the California coast from Horse Mountain in Humboldt County to the U.S./Mexico border on Saturday, April 7.

"California and Oregon fishermen, in particular, will be benefit from higher-than‐usual salmon returns in the Sacramento and Klamath Rivers this year," according to statement from the PFMC. "The recommendation will be forwarded to the National Marine Fisheries Service for approval by May 1, 2012."

“Everyone is pleased to see such a strong abundance of the major Sacramento River and Klamath River work‐horse stocks,” said Council Chairman Dan Wolford. “After achieving all the conservation goals for weak stocks in 2012, both recreational and commercial ocean salmon fishermen should enjoy a good season this summer.”

Brown received 'ocean champion' award at gala closed to press

On March 26, I received a news release from the Governor's office stating that "Governor Edmund G. Brown will attend a reception commemorating Ocean Day this evening sponsored by the Monterey Bay Aquarium where he will receive the 2012 Ocean Champion Award."

The event was held that evening at 6 p.m. at the Sutter Club in Sacramento.

However, the release noted, "This event is closed to the press."

I find it interesting that the press was barred from this event. Could this because the media might ask some embarrassing questions about why Governor Jerry Brown was receiving the 2012 'Ocean Champion' award when he has committed himself to continuing many of the abysmal environmental polices of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger?

David Gurney, independent journalist and Co-Chair of the Ocean Protection Coalition, noted that the Governor and the sponsors of the event employed the first and perhaps easiest way to “manage the news” - simply to deny reporters access to information or an event. (

End the 21st Century Crusades

Seymour Hersh

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Seymour Hersh is interviewed by Steve Scher

Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Seymour Hersh is responsible for exposing many of the biggest stories in the 20th century, and he is still hard at work. Hersh alleged that senior officials were waging a crusade overseas, protecting Christianity from the Muslim.
Source: Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Seymour Hersh

The natural gas business is booming, sometimes with deadly results. Host Bruce Gellerman sniffs out the cracks in the nearly two million miles of pipeline that run under our cities.
Source: Rampant City Gas Leaks

There are more than a third of a million miles of natural gas transmission pipelines in the U.S., and more to come. But sometimes they rupture, devastating homes and lives. Bruce Gellerman speaks with investigative blogger Frank Gallagher, editor of, about the hazards of this vast system.
Source: The Explosive Growth of Natural Gas Networks

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Occupy activists protest clearcutting, corruption at Forestry Board meeting

During the battle to save the pristine salmon and steelhead habitat of Headwaters Forest in 1998, I received a phone call one morning from an environmental activist who told me that country legend Merle Haggard and actor Woody Harrelson would be appearing at the State Capitol for a noon time rally.

I drove from Elk Grove to the Capitol to check the event out. I arrived about a half hour early, so I went to a small circle of a dozen activists standing around and talking on the capitol lawn. I scanned the area around the capitol on the lookout for Haggard, Harrelson and the folks from the Environmental Protection Center of Garberville, the event’s organizers.

I was ready to ask the guy next to me, a short, laid back, bearded man, about when Haggard and Harrelson were supposed to appear when suddenly realized that he was Merle Haggard.

"Please to meet you, Merle," I said as I held out my hand and got a hard, firm shake from the country bard, known for the outspoken lyrics of "Okie from Muskogee," the "Fightin’ Side of Me,"and many, many other songs. Haggard explained to me that he was there to stop the logging of redwood and Douglas-fir forests on the North Coast by Pacific Lumber Company.