Water Solution on TV: Right-Sized Desal, HOPE interviews Attorney Alexander Henson – former Water Board Chair

HOPE’s interview about the Right-Sized Water Solution with former Water Board Chair, Attorney Alexander Henson will broadcast on AMP (Channel 24) three times in the next week.
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Why Has the Monterey Herald Censored a Major Local Water News Story for 9 Years?

The Herald has a long tradition of censoring important opinion: a long list of letters to the editor, commentaries and Op-Eds.

Censorhip is the Worst

Censorhip is the Worst

That’s bad enough. But I didn’t think it could get worse.
Well, I’ve been reading the Herald for several decades, but until recently, I had never seen them censor a major local news story.
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Posted in Bad Acts, Growth, Media Misdeeds, Water, Water Supply | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Clean Government Decisions – with a Civil Bribery Law

Clean Government Decisions Law

Copyright 2003-2005 David Dilworth

Imagine  —

  • Prohibiting Elected Officials from voting on legislation or projects where Weapons Manufacturers, and Pollution Industry Lobbyists and Developers give them campaign contributions – before or after they vote,
  • Prohibiting Weapons Manufacturers, and Pollution Industry Lobbyists from offering jobs to government staff, working on their projects, and even —
  • Prohibiting Weapons Manufacturers, and Pollution Industry Lawyers from having hearings in front of Judges to whose campaigns they’ve contributed.


Legalized Bribery
Campaign contributions to candidates from those who get political favors are often called “legalized bribery,” yet for more than 100 years Americans have struggled with and been unable to adequately restrict the influence of campaign contribution money in political decision making.

Until now there were only three ways to stop this type of corruption – criminal bribery laws, conflict of interest laws and campaign finance reform laws. All three have major problems or loopholes.  Continue reading

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Water Situation – Monterey Peninsula 2019

Why is Monterey Peninsula Enduring an Official Water Emergency? 

Dry Carmel River bed upstream from Highway 1 - January 6, 2009. This stretch of river looks identically dry as of October 2017

Dry Carmel River bed upstream from Highway 1 – January 6, 2009. This stretch of river looks identically dry as of October 2017


  • Seaside Basin Overpumped Too – Sea Water Contamination Imminent
  • Salinas River Overpumped Too – Massive Sea Water Contamination
  • Peninsula Water Not Connected to Salinas or to rest of California
  • San Clemente Dam is (was) Filled with Silt & Gravel

Physical Impacts vs. Legal Impacts

    1. State Water Board Rules Two-Thirds Of Our Water Is Illegally pumped.
    2. Overpumping Kills Officially Listed Species and Threatens them with Extinction – Violating Endangered Species Act.

* * * Non-Solutions * * *

  • Voters turned down a Pro-Growth Desalination Plant in 1993 
  • Voters turned down Pro-Growth Dam in 1995 
  • Federal Wildlife Agencies Refuse to allow Any Carmel River Dam, Encourage Aquifer Storage

* * * Real Water Solutions * * *

  • Combining Several Alternatives for our Water Supply Minimizes Costs and Environmental Harm
  • Water Supply Alternatives Menu

Monterey Peninsula Officially Declared “Water Emergency”

The Monterey Peninsula Water Management District correctly declared a “Water Supply Emergency” in 1998, which is still in effect and reconfirmed regularly as recently as January 2009 (no one doubts it will be reaffirmed continuously) – with no end in sight. A previous Water Supply Emergency was declared in 1990 and was temporarily rescinded when an additional 150 acre feet of water was added to the Cal-Am system by the Seaside Peralta well. This article describes the circumstances leading to this extraordinary situation.

It is hard to overstate the severity of the harm we have caused, and are still doing to our community and our fragile environment.

As a community we are not simply “nearing” a Peninsula crisis, and an environmental crisis, or “just a little over” a critical threshold. No, we are massively past that.

Every year we overpump three (3) times the amount of water we can legally take.

Three times the amount we can legally use.
Two-thirds of every glass of water you drink here is illegally pumped.

We are not merely inconveniencing a few ordinary creatures – no,

Because of our overpumping – we are continually killing some of our planets most imperiled animals including the beautiful West Coast Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) Trout and the California Red-legged frog..

Governor Schwarzenegger Declares Statewide Water Supply Emergency

On February 27, 2009, California’s Governor Schwarzenegger declared a statewide Water Supply Emergency in part due to three years of statewide drought. He had previously declared a statewide drought on June 4, 2008.

Monterey County Has A Desert Climate

Maps from the 1800s designated the Salinas Valley as the “Salinas Desert.” Similarly, although it has a wonderful forest, the Monterey Peninsula is not in a rainforest, nor is it in the American Midwest or Deep South where rain often occurs daily – Our Monterey Peninsula is in a semi-desert climate. The Monterey pine forest has adapted to obtain its summer water from fog.

California Water is Severely Over Used by Humans

The 1998 California Water Plan (Bulletin 160) states that California used 78 million acre feet of water in 1995. In 1977 during statewide drought runoff totaled only 15 million acre feet of water.

This means that, as a state, we needed and used five (5) times more water in 1995 than we received in the 1977 drought !

Carmel River has Severe Physical Water Limits

Data collected by the National Weather Service over the past 39 years show that Carmel Valley, the primary water source for the Peninsula, only gets an average of 18 inches (or less) of rain a year.

Monterey Peninsula Has Had Decade and Century Long Droughts

Although precipitation records for 1,000 years ago are somewhat less accurate than those we take now because they are obtained from tree-ring analysis, we can determine this: Since the 1600-1625 drought the Monterey Peninsula area has experienced numerous other decade long droughts.

More sobering – in the last thousand years the Central California has experienced two droughts lasting more than 100 years. One from the year 912 AD to 1112 AD and another from 1210 to 1350 AD. The year 1841 had less than a half inch of rain.

Formerly Year-Round “Carmel River Now Dries Up – Even In Wet Years”

Even though our area is in a permanent state of drought, until the 1960’s the Carmel River ran year round to the ocean. Steelhead trout were so abundant some people used pitchforks to catch them. Schoolchildren report riding horses deep into the river even in late summer. This is after both large dams were operating in the upper Carmel River.
Growth in human water use (subdivisions and golf courses) has caused severe overpumping of our Monterey Peninsula’s primary water source. Our Carmel River now runs dry (about 6 miles upstream from the river mouth) even during wet years. 

(Dry Carmel River bed upstream from Highway 1 – Nov 22, 2003)

Carmel River Overpumped Since at Least 1977

In 1977 only 3,500 acre feet of water rained into and ran down the Carmel River, yet only 10 years later in 1987 the Peninsula used over 18,000 acre feet of water — more than five times as much water as fell in 1977!

More than two-thirds (71 percent) of the water for the Monterey Peninsula is pumped from the Carmel River watershed. The remainder is pumped from the Seaside basin. Both have been officially declared as overdrafted.

In 1990 the total water allocation (maximum amount of water for human use) for our Monterey Peninsula was reduced from 20,000 af / year to some 17,300 af per year.

In 1977 Monterey Peninsula residents were forced into 50% rationing by the Public Utilities Commission who also declared a building moratorium. At that time (1977) humans were endangering the Carmel River by overpumping. In spite of that stern warning, local government officials have repeatedly refused to stop approving new water hookups.

9,000+ New Water Connections Since 1977 Overpumping Realization (including several golf courses)

In 1977-78 the State Legislature created the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District which removed the rationing and moratorium. This resulted in a rapid increase in the number of hookups.

Since the 1977 rationing and moratorium, the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District has allowed more than 9,000 new water connections (note 1) and their attendant pumping and river dewatering. This includes three (3) finished golf courses. This does not include three (3) more approved golf courses or three further with approvals that haven’t been finished or the three further proposed golf courses which the Water District is expected to allow. (There are currently 19 golf courses operating within the Peninsula Water Management District boundaries.)

This increase in hookups caused a decrease in the amount of water available for everyone and an increase in dewatering of the Carmel River from overpumping, leading to habitat harm for many animals and plants including “continuing take” of

the FESA protected West Coast Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) trout and

the FESA protected California Red-legged frog.

This increased pumping also increases the risk of harm to physical health and safety to Peninsula residents from losses of water quantity and quality.

Prior to 1977 Peninsula water tasted pleasant, never had bubbles or a dirty brown tint in late summer, or smelled of chlorine.

Water Now Pumped From Carmel River Mouth – No longer From Upstream Dams

Until 2001, Peninsula drinking water was pumped from the San Clemente Dam some 18.6 miles upstream from the river mouth. As of 2002 we now let the river flow downstream before it is pumped out for us so the river and its inhabitants get the benefit of the water first. The only exception to this is Carmel Valley village which gets its water from upstream.

Seaside Basin Severely Overpumped Too

All remaining Cal-Am water, about 30 percent, which does not come from the Carmel River is pumped from the Seaside Basin.

2005 – As of February 2005 a report to the Management District states, the Seaside Basin is sustainable only if we cut back the water we pump by one-third — (reduce pumping to 3,000 acre feet per year from the 4,500 af we’ve been pumping in previous years).

2004 – “The Seaside basin has been overpumped past its safe yield [of 4,375 acre feet per year] in 4 of the past 7 years.” Water District Staff Jan 2004

1998 – “The Seaside Basin is already in an overdraft status. See the Final EIR on this project (e.g. pp. 155, 157, 158) and the Report of California Coastal Commission Staff dated April 22, 1998 (e.g. pp. 4 and 25-28). That same conclusion has been reached by the [Water] District’s own consultant. Any further users of the Seaside Basin will only exacerbate the present overdraft condition, invite sea water intrusion thereby potentially destroying the resource for all users, and place greater pressure on the Carmel River basin in direct contravention of the orders of the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB). SWRCB has ordered Cal-Am to reduce its production from the Carmel River Basin (or suffer fines, which fines may be passed on to Cal-Am’s ratepayers) and has directed Cal-Am to maximize its use of the Seaside Basin.

Under the District’s Rule 22 D the District should not grant a permit ‘if the Board finds and determines that the permit:

1. Will create an overdraft or increase an existing overdraft; or

2. Will adversely affect that ability of existing systems to provide water to users.'”

(Letter to Water District from Cal-Am’s Lawyer September 7, 1999)

Seaside Basin Water Level Dropping – Could cause Sea-water Intrusion Soon

What’s worse is that the “groundwater levels are dropping despite a series of normal and above normal” rainfall years. (Water Board Staff presentation January 29, 2004)

This will cause seawater intrusion whenever the levels drop below sea level. Sea-water intrusion can contaminate the drinking water for the whole Seaside basin.

Laguna Seca Subarea is Newly Overdrafted

In November 2002, the Water District finalized the Laguna Seca Phase III Hydrogeologic Update. This study showed “the Subarea is in overdraft,” that “groundwater levels are declining,” and “the situation will likely worsen with time…”

Ryan Ranch is a separate Cal-Am water distribution system within the Seaside Basin. In May 2004, Cal-Am’s Steve Leonard reported that their wells in Ryan Ranch were “sucking air.” After the wells were drilled another 60 feet deeper they resumed pumping, but the water now has to be treated because of the increase in a pollutant called manganese.

Salinas River Overpumped Too – Massive Sea Water Contamination

According to Monterey County Water Resources Agency, the Salinas River groundwater basin is overpumped by some 40,000 to 50,000 acre feet more per year than is replaced by groundwater recharge.

According to the State Water Resource Control Board the Salinas River groundwater basin has the worst sea water intrusion in California.

This means that taking water from some other area of Monterey County for Monterey Peninsula use is a cumulative impact on the total water of the County.

Peninsula Water Not Connected to Rest of State’s Water

Unlike San Francisco, Los Angeles and the Central Valley, the Monterey Peninsula (and the Salinas Valley) are not connected to any other California water infrastructure, nor are the Peninsula and Salinas water systems connected. Whatever water we use must be obtained here.

San Clemente Dam was Filled with Silt & Gravel

The San Clemente Dam on the Carmel River (seen above), was built in 1921 with a capacity of 2136 acre feet. Today, in 2004, it is now filled (less than 50 acre feet remain) with fine silts, rocks and sediments. (You can see the sediment behind the dam on the left side.) At 66 feet, it has the highest fish ladder in California which simply cannot work at all now that the dam surface has been lowered.

The Los Padres Dam was built in 1949 with a capacity of 3,030 acre feet. Its capacity is now reduced to about 1200 acre feet. The 1,800 af has been lost as it filled with silt, rocks and sediment.


Physical Impacts vs. Legal Impacts


The adverse physical environmental impacts of dewatering a river is distinct from a legal right to pump water. Monterey County agencies are uniformly ignoring this distinction as of May 1999 and falsely claiming that if a party has a legal right to water – no physical environmental impact can exist. Agencies blatantly ignoring this include: The Monterey Water Management District (9,000 water meter permits), Monterey County (Pebble Beach Company Lot Program, Rancho San Carlos, September Ranch, Tehama Golf Course), Pacific Grove (dozens of building permits per month), Seaside (Mariott Hotel and First Tee golf course) and Sand City (Dunes Hotel).


Carmel River is a Fully Appropriated Stream (FAS)

“The Carmel River watershed was added to the SWRCB’s List of Fully Appropriated Streams (FAS) for the period May 1 to Dec 31 (by SWRCB Decision 1632 in 1995 and WR 98-04).” This means no additional Summer water pumping rights from the lower 17 miles (up to Sleepy Hollow) of the Carmel River can be given or obtained by anyone.


All Monterey Peninsula Water Is Illegal – In Two Different Ways –

1. State Rules Two-Thirds Of Our Water Is Illegal.

Two-Thirds of all water we get from our kitchen sinks on Monterey Peninsula is illegal. The primary water supplier for the 105,000 residents of our Monterey Peninsula, Cal-Am, has no legal right to pump 70 percent of the water it is taking from the Carmel River and has been illegally selling us water for decades.

This is because the Peninsula’s main water provider, California-American Water Company during the 1978 to 1995 period was pumping a significant amount of water without legal water rights.

In 1995, after dragging their feet for eight (8) years since the first complaint, the California Water Resources Control Board (CWRCB) ordered Cal-Am to cut back their water pumping to the amount of legal rights they owned. This cut some 11,000 af out of a normal 16,000 af of water pumped yearly. Failing to comply with the 1995 order Cal-Am was fined $168,000 in 1997 by the CWRCB.

This means any new water connection will be pumping illegal water. Any new water connection will worsen an existing illegal situation and worsen a critical health and safety issue for our Monterey Peninsula. In addition there is abundant evidence that existing levels of water pumped from the Carmel River is killing US-Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed species! – the West Coast Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and the California Red-Legged Frog (Rana aurora draytonii).

Carmel River Pumped Far Beyond Sustainability

71 percent of the Monterey Peninsula’s water is pumped from the Carmel River by Cal-Am, owned by American Water Works of New Jersey. Smaller amounts are pumped by Cal-Am from a Seaside aquifer and by some 200 private wells on the Carmel River.

In turning down the September Ranch Project in Sept. 1999 Judge Silver cited how in 1988 Monterey County “as an urgency ordinance, adopted Ordinance 3310. (AR 1209) The findings in support of the Ordinance stated ‘(A)s a result of such excessive and expanded water usage in the areas defined herein, the potential exists that Monterey County’s allocation of water will be exhausted so as to pose an immediate threat to the public health, safety, or welfare.‘ Because of this perceived crisis the Ordinance prohibited new development, with certain defined exceptions, which resulted in an increase in the use of water over that level of use existing at the time the Ordinance was applied to the property.”

Even pro-Dam advocates admit the Peninsula is out of water – former pro-development Water Board member Jim Hughes stated in his (losing) 1999 campaign “I tell cities – We’re out of water. So don’t come asking me for any.” Monterey County Association of Realtors spokesperson Sheryl McKenzie said “There’s no water out there.” at Water Transfer hearing May 15, 2000

2. Overpumping kills Officially Listed Species and Threatens them with Extinction – Violating Endangered Species Act.

The Carmel River goes dry – even in good years. It is killing steelhead.” US-National Marine Fisheries Service, Senior Advisor Joseph Blum in formal comments to the California Department of Fish and Game Commission Apr 6, 2001 singling out the Carmel river from all California rivers because of the dewatering impacts to the ESA listed steelhead and California Red-Legged Frog.

During the 1987 to 1995 time period the steelhead trout run in the Carmel River dropped precipitously. Zero fish arrived for four years at the beginning of the 1990s. Only single digit numbers of the species showed up for 6 of the last 10 years. This, among other things, caused the steelhead to be federally listed and protected under the Endangered Species Act in 1997.

The California Red-legged Frog was also recently listed (1996) by the US-Fish & Wildlife Service. The headwaters of the Carmel River host one of the three “largest” (really meaning non-tiny) remaining populations of the frog.

In 1997 there was serious “take” (deaths due to river dewatering) of the steelhead and the frog, which experts find almost certainly due to overpumping of the Carmel River.

Watershed Drawdown Harming Fisheries:

“WR 95-10 Conditions are inadequate in light of the subsequent ESA listing for steelhead and designation of critical habitat and because steelhead are continuing to be taken every year due to the overpumping.” – Comments by Steve Edmondson, Team Leader, Fishery Biologist in the Northern California Habitat Conservation Division of the United States Department of Commerce, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in testimony to California Water Resources Control Board May 30, 2000 in Monterey, CA.

US-National Marine Fisheries Service, SW Region letter Nov 6 1991 Draft EIR comments: “Excessive drawdown of [the Carmel Valley and Seaside] aquifers results in a dry lower Carmel River, such that river flow does not reach the sea, preventing steelhead migration.” “As the populations and water demand grow, mandatory water rationing and water shortages during droughts will be more severe, and fisheries impacts could worsen.”

“We are not sure whether either the CDFG instream flow recommendations or the MPWMD flow recommendations are appropriate to adequately restore the steelhead run.”

Steelhead Take (killed by human action) – US-Nat. Marine Fisheries Service, SW Region letter Oct 10,97 “…Water District Senior Fisheries Biologist Dave Dettman counted 289 dead juvenile steelhead in the Robinson Canyon to Shulte Road reach of the Carmel River. Mr. Dettman observed that the cause of the fish kill was due to no, or minimal flows, and high water temperatures. The fish kill was attributed to pumping rates at Cal-Am wells in excess of Stream flows, and recharge capacity. If these allegations are true, Cal-Am’s practices could be significantly affecting a fish species that NMFS has listed for protection under the ESA.”

Overpumping a stream reduces it to pools connected only by dry riverbed. SWRCB Memorandum Nov 1999 in File 262.0(27-08-01) – “[W]hen the fish are confined to pools such as this, the opportunity for predation is significantly higher than during periods of continuous flow…” (pg 7) “[L]ow [streamflow] flow periods are times when aquatic organisms are most susceptible to predation. Although the stream habitat may exibit the capability to support large numbers of fish at a relatively low flow, there are significant population declines among aquatic organisms during these periods because the aquatic habitat is more accessible to land and avian predators.” (pg 10)

Carmel River Steelhead Population Importance: US-National Marine Fisheries Service, SW Region letter May 20 1996 “…given the importance of the Carmel River Steelhead population for recovery of steelhead coastwide,…”

Imperiled Frog Deaths Due To Overpumping – US-FWS letter Dec 10 1997

“Existing water diversions along the Carmel River may be resulting in the take of the threatened California Red-Legged Frog (Rana aurora draytonii).” “The Service is concerned that water diversions along the Carmel River may be resulting in the take of the threatened California Red-Legged Frog.”

Frog Deaths – US-FWS letter July 20 1997 to the SWRCB Chairman Titled “Potential Endangered Species Act Violation for the California Red-Legged Frog from Water Diversions on the Carmel River, Monterey County, California.”


* * * Non-Solutions * * *


  • Voters turned down

Pro-Growth Desalination Plant in 1993 

  • Voters turned down Pro-Growth Dam in 1995 
  • Federal Wildlife Agencies Refuse Any Dam, Encourage Aquifer Storage

Voters turned down Pro-Growth Desalination Plant in 1993

In a 1993 campaign led by Water Board member Dick Heuer the voters turned down a Pro-Growth Desalination Plant. Heuer, a Dam supporter, got some (anti-Dam) environmental support by saying “Fight the pro-growth Desalination plan now and then you can fight the dam later.”


Voters turned down Pro-Growth Dam in 1995

Led by the Sierra Club, joined by Esalen tribe and disenfranchised Cachagua residents, Peninsula voters resoundingly voted down (57% to 43%) the huge (24,000 acre foot) New Los Padres dam; the dam advocated by all the Peninsula’s Mayors and by Water Board Chair Fran Farina. The Environmental Impact Report (prepared by Staff member Henrietta Stern) was later overturned by Judge Richard Silver.

The only Peninsula public officials to oppose the dam were Assembly candidate Fred Keeley, Pacific Grove Councilman Terrence Zito and Carmel Councilwoman Barbara Livingstone.

Federal Wildlife Agencies Refuse Dam, Encourage Aquifer Storage

The Federal Agency with the duty to protect the imperiled Steelhead, National Marine Fisheries Service, “has expressed strong reservations about the potential adverse effects of a [Dam on the Carmel River] because “it would have a dramatic adverse effect on the natural hydrology of the river, it would inundate very high quality spawning and nursery habitat, and the reservoir would be a significant barrier to downstream migrating juvenile and adult fish.””

* * * Real Water Solutions * * *

  • Combining Several Alternatives for our Water Supply Minimizes Costs and Environmental Harm
  • Water Supply Alternatives Menu

Combining Several Alternatives for our Water Supply Minimizes Costs and Environmental Harm

During the 1995 New Los Padres Dam debates dam proponents refused to listen to (let alone support) the concept of multiple types of water sources to solve our problem. Now however, the public, the media, most of the Water Board, the Public Utilities Commission, and even some pro-growth advocates now realize that to minimize costs and environmental impacts we need to put together several pieces to solve our water problem.


Click Here to read  Water Supply Alternatives Menu

# # #


Best Water Conservers

#1 Peninsula Residents. Period.

We use, per person, less water on average, than in any other water system in California. Yet during rationing – while each of us “shall” ration or face serious money fines – golf courses get a free ride (the Board merely has to “consider” whether to ration them !) and businesses only have to try to use “best practices.” No financial fines for them !


Largest Carmel River Water Wasters


#1 Cal-Am (the Peninsula commercial water delivery corporation)

Cal -Am admits they lose around 9 percent of the 14,000 acre feet they pump every year due to many things including poorly maintained leaking pipes. In 2003 Cal-Am “lost” more than 1,370 acre feet of water, enough for at least 6,000 peninsula families during a drought. Cal-Am could argue they water isn’t used – it leaks back into the Carmel River aquifer — unless it leaks in Pebble Beach, Pacific Grove, Seaside, Del Rey Oaks or Monterey – where it would be lost into the ocean. The problem is they don’t know (or won’t disclose) where it is leaking.

Cal-Am claims that not all of the 1,370 acre feet of water is lost, that some of it goes to fire fighting and hydrant flushing.

#2 The Unknown Golf Curse – probably one of the Peninsula’s 18 golf courses. 

Carmel Valley Ranch Golf Course used 372 acre feet of water in 1988. That’s enough water for at least 1,500 homes during a drought.

Peninsula Golf courses use between 7 and 12 percent of our Peninsula’s water. While some are not using Cal-Am water, except for Laguna Seca, they use Carmel River water.


#3 Unknown.

HOPE has repeatedly and politely requested a list of the top 200 water users in the Water District since 1997 – with no response whatsoever.

Note 1: According to Cal-AM’s PUC filing records, in Dec 1977 there were 29,964 “general metered customers”; in Dec. 2001 there were 38,476. That’s a difference of 8,512 new connections. The Water Management District’s 2002 Annual Report states – “In 2002, a total of 925 water permits were issued.” In 2003, the Annual Report states 1,195 water permits were approved. The 496 from 2004 and the 1,195 from 2003 must be added to the 8,512.


Water Connections

1977-2001   8,512

2002          925

2003        1,195

2004          496+

Total      11,000+ since 1977 drought


Feedback – Info(at)1hope.org

831 / 624-6500 P.O. Box 1495, Carmel, CA 93921


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Powerful Media Silence on HOPE’s Public-Records Monterey-Downs Water-Promise Lawsuit

Censorhip is the Worst

Censorhip is the Worst

HOPE filed a simple but powerful Public Records Act Lawsuit on Monday to expose documents of a secret Water deal between Monterey Downs’ Horse gambling racetrack, the Water company – Cal-Am and Monterey County.

Afterwards, we dutifully sent out Press Releases to most of the local media – who then studiously and completely ignored the story !

Is our lawsuit a non-story — or is something less honorable going on here ?

Is our local media practicing Self-Censorship ?

Well,  the nation-wide legal news reporters “Courthouse News Service” found HOPE’s lawsuit newsworthy and wrote a detailed story (on their front page) you can read here : “Secret Water Deal Alleged in Monterey County” !

So our lawsuit is not merely news,

it is news of national interest !

But not according to our Monterey Peninsula newspapers ! Continue reading

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Supervisor Potter Promotes Secret Water Deal for Monterey Downs – County Hiding Records

Supervisor Potter Caught ?

Supervisor Potter – Caught with hand in cookie jar ?

Media Release:  Monday, March 28, 2016

Subject: Supervisor Potter Promotes Secret Water Deal for Monterey Downs – County Hiding Records

This morning Helping Our Peninsula’s Environment (HOPE) was forced to file court action to get the County of Monterey to release copies and related public records of a secret Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Monterey County, the highly controversial Monterey Downs gambling horse-racing track, and Monterey Peninsula water purveyor Cal-Am.

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Thimerosal Harm and Censorship: Evidence of CDC Malfeasance in Research & Pretending that Toxic Vaccine Thimerosal Is Safe

Shhhh. Don't pay attention to CDC's Thimerosal Study.

Shhhh. Don’t pay attention to CDC’s Thimerosal Study.

For the past 75 years more than 165 studies have focused on the harm and effects of  Thimerosal, a Mercury based compound, finding many, serious harmful effects. 

The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) conducted a study finding a “7.6-fold increased risk of Language delay (an Autism criteria) from exposure to Thimerosal during infancy.

Yet, CDC now contradicts their own study stating officially that there is “no relationship between Thimerosal containing vaccines and autism rates in children.”

Here is an article examining the research CDC’s position is based on, the position which contradicts CDC’s own research.

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Extinction is Truly Forever

(c) Copyright 2005 David Dilworth

Passenger Pigeon: From World's most abundant bird to extinct in less than 100 years.

Passenger Pigeon: From World’s most abundant bird to extinct in less than 100 years.

Some claim that burning fossil fuels is the most devastating damage humans have done to our earth. That’s one opinion, but it is clearly not the longest lasting harm.

While burning fossil fuels certainly causes major harms including creating the most deadly cancer causing compound (from diesel engines), after a few tens of thousands of years even the most potent parts of that pollution will have transformed into far less harmful chemicals. And if humans are still around they’ll likely use electric vehicles.

Some poets say love is forever. It may feel that way. However, genuine forever-ness is the loss of an endangered species; not unlike the permanent loss we realize when one of our parents dies.

Sea Otters: Teetering on the Brink of Extinction

Sea Otters: Teetering on the Brink of Extinction

We killed the last passenger pigeon just a few years ago – that is wholly un- Continue reading

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Senator Bill Monning Votes to Gut Public Records Law – Will Governor Brown Sign it?

Extremely sneakily the California legislature adopted twin Bills: California Senate Bill 71 and AB 76 which allegedly were about the State Budget. But unknown to the public and the media contain a secret poison pill to gut the law requiring cities to turn over public records.

The Los Angeles Times editorialized:

“It sometimes seems like there is a raging epidemic of government contempt for public access.”

Monterey’s Senator Bill Monning voted for gutting our Public records access ! His office phone number is 649-2832 so you can call and let him know what you think about this.

Update June 21, 2013: Success: Due to media and public outrage – Governor Brown decided not to sign the bill and the legislature agreed to rescind it. “Legislators, Brown backpedal on public records bill (LA Times)

Here’s the Bill’s key language:

“(3) Existing law, the California Public Records Act (CPRA), requires state and local agencies to make public records available upon receipt of a request that reasonably describes an identifiable record not otherwise exempt from disclosure, upon the payment of fees to cover costs.

“This bill would, commencing on the effective date of this bill, make compliance with certain provisions of the CPRA, which among other things relate to the delivery of electronic data, optional for local agencies. The bill would encourage local agencies to follow these provisions as “best practices” and would require a local agency that determines that it will not follow these best practices to so announce orally at its next regularly scheduled public meeting and annually thereafter. By requiring this announcement, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

“Existing constitutional provisions require that a statute that limits the right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest. This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.

This outrageous anti-democracy legislation was adopted without any debate or discussion on this landmark change that blocks the public from understanding what local governments are doing. It makes providing public records optional !

Here’s CalAware’s Terry Francke’s thoughts on this act —
Plan B: Saving the CPRA from Repeated Sabotage

Local Senator Bill Monning voted for gutting our Public records access !

# # #

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Dissolving a Criminal California Corporation in 3 “Easy” Steps

(c) Copyright 2002-2013 David Dilworth

“To the extent commerce is ungoverned – commerce governs.”

Jack Chopping Down Abusive Giant's Beanstalk

Jack Chopping Down Abusive Giant’s Beanstalk

California law (and laws in 48 other states) allows you, an individual citizen and non-lawyer, to dissolve or “DeCharter” any California Corporation which has broken the law or abused its power.

There are just three steps.

1) Write a petition to the California Attorney General documenting the criminal convictions (dd: civil violations may work but is less persuasive. See examples here).

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Public Records Access – Model City / County Ordinance / Guidelines

Public Records Access – Model City / County Ordinance or Guidelines
(c) Copyright 2005 David Dilworth and HOPE

The following language can be adopted by any California city or county or any public agency by simple adding the agency’s name in the blanks at the top. With only a bit more work this can be adapted to any other city, county or state anywhere in the world.


“The Legislature, mindful of the right of individuals to privacy,
finds and declares that access to information
concerning the conduct of the people’s business
is a fundamental and necessary right of every person in this state.”
-California Public Records Act, Section 6250

It is the goal of the City / County to respond to public record requests in a manner that is both timely and convenient to the public similar to the excellent response provided by reference librarians.

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Regional Water Project is Officially Dead

Less than two short years after approving the Regional Water project saying it was the only reasonable water solution the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) just voted to kill that same “Regional” water project.

But its going to cost you.

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Three Attorney Generals Reject “Smart”-meters as Too Expensive after Testing

Smart Meters Aren't: Smart, Green, Private, Healthy or Safe

Smart Meters Aren't: Smart, Green, Private, Healthy or Safe

Three State Attorney Generals have solidly rejected utilities push for “smart”-meters.

Michigan, Illinois and Connecticut Attorney Generals cited the exorbitant costs to consumers with no proven benefits after testing a pilot program with 10,000 customers.

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Water Wars: Pacific Grove Council Votes to be a Water Agency

Sadly, This article is not an April Fools Joke

Sadly, This article is not an April Fools Joke

Pacific Grove City Council voted last night (April 18, 2012) to become a water agency for the Monterey Peninsula and set aside its own issues. (Early in the meeting the Council actually continued 3 important items to the next meeting to act on this instead.)

Becoming a Water Agency to build a Desalination plant for 100,000 people will make the City of Pacific Grove taxpayers responsible for some 128 – 160 million dollars in bonds to pay for a water project at Moss Landing — some 15 miles from its city boundaries. (That’s if there are no cost overruns.)

The project is proposed by the controversial Nader Agha doing business as Desal-America.

Pacific Grove has a yearly budget of about $16 million dollars.

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Astronaut Ed Mitchell, Paul Hawken, John Robbins, Vandana Shiva and Deepak Chopra Denounce Foster Gamble’s film “Thrive”

Astronaut Ed Mitchell "Navigator"

Astronaut Ed Mitchell “Galactic Navigator”Painting by Alan Bean

Radical Libertarian disguised in Environmental Clothing

The Santa Cruz Weekly published an expose of Foster Gamble’s “radical libertarian” film “Thrive” which was released last fall.

The film includes conversations with Hawken, Robbins, Chopra, Shiva, Mitchell as prominent thinkers. What this set of people did not realize is that it featured some other “thinkers” with radically different politics and pseudo-science beliefs.

After seeing it the group realized they all have “grave disagreements” with some parts of the film.

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Closed Government: Bunker Mentality Returns to Pacific Grove

Pacific Grove City Manager Tom Frutchey

Pacific Grove City Manager Tom Frutchey

Welcome to the Bad ol’ Days of Closed Government with a Bunker Mentality in Pacific Grove.

Current Pacific Grove City Manager Tom Frutchey takes every advantage of loopholes in the Open Meeting law (Brown Act) to avoid informing the public about important City activities.

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Pacific Grove Tree Protection Getting Chainsawed – by Bill Kampe and Ken Cuneo

Squirrel at Lunch

Squirrel at Lunch

Once upon a time Pacific Grove had a majestic forest canopy that flowed from Monterey Bay to Shining Sea. Squirrels could jump branch to branch from Lover’s Point to Asilomar – and never touch the ground.

The forest almost completely covered the rolling landscape by the Pacific. This of course was before we “settled” here in the 1800s and started cutting roads — less than 200 years ago. That land is now almost covered with pavement and buildings.



Pacific Grove has lost almost half (40 percent) of its trees since 1986 – which is just short while ago.

So how does the current Council want to “solve” this serious problem? (After all the town is called Pacific Grove.)

By WEAKENING the law to allow more tree destruction and blaming the current law for the tree loss.


What a mess. What a mess of our forest and a mess of alleged ideas by the City Council.

For a set of Pacific Grove Council members who believe they are smart (hang on to that amusing evaporating concept) – they could not have demonstrated –

1) More Contempt for Trees, and

2) Sillier Thinking or Rationale

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Win: Nerve Gas Methyl Iodide – Yanked from US Market by Manufacturer

Nerve Gas Methyl Iodide Sales Halted in US - for Now

Nerve Gas Methyl Iodide Sales Halted in US - for Now

Tokyo based Pesticide manufacturer Arysta pulled their Methyl-Iodide nerve gas called “Midas” from the US Market.

While nerve gas is illegal to use in warfare, the US-EPA and California’s EPA (Department of Pesticide Regulation) both approved it.

The fundamental corruption of both Environmental “Protection” Agencies is illuminated when we learn that —

1) California EPA’s own scientists warned against approving the gas.

2) In October 2007, more than 50 scientists, including six Nobel Laureates, wrote to U.S. EPA opposing the approval of methyl iodide

3) An independent scientific review panel’s chair, Dr. John Froines, called methyl iodide, “one of the most toxic chemicals on earth,” citing research that the pesticide causes cancer, late-term miscarriages and contaminates groundwater.

California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation approved Methyl Iodide in the final moments of the Arnold Schwarzenegger administration falsely claiming it was needed for “Emergency” purposes.

Locally, Gary Karnes and Assemblyman Bill Monning held a large conference in Salinas to debate the use of this nerve gas.

The lawsuit on the use of the chemical will continue.

Its Not Over

Arysta has not asked to have its US-EPA approval revoked, because they may bring the nerve gas / pesticide back in the future. In the meantime, Arysta intends to sell their Methyl-Iodide nerve gas in other countries.

Stay tuned.

PS I have long maintained that “EPA” means “Environmental Protection by Autopsy.”

Posted in Clean Air, Clean Water, Education, Good Acts, Pesticide Pollution, Toxics | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bill Kampe’s Fast Food Gets Bad Reviews in Pacific Grove

Ronald McDonald Quits

Ronald McDonald Quits

Attempted Murder of a Good Law: Two people tried to kill Pacific Grove’s law banning Fast Food. Councilman (and Carpetbagger) Bill Kampe1 along with Commerce Chamber head Moe “Strip Mall” Ammar wielded the weapons of mass deception.

Councilman Bill "Fast-Food" Kampe

Councilman Bill "Fast-Food" Kampe

Kampe put it on the Council Agenda arguing the City should welcome Fast Foods and “streamline the ordinance2.
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Police Force Smartmeters on Private Property

This is a press release

Subject: Press Release – Police Escorted Utility (SCE) Forced Smart Meters on Private Residences

(Thursday, 15 Dec 2011) Police and Electric Utility Force SmartMeters on Residences in Violation of Federal Law, U.S. and California Constitution
by Orlean Koehle and Deborah Tavares

On Monday morning, December 12, 2011 two separate Southern California Edison SmartMeter deployment teams, escorted by police, violated property rights on apartment buildings in Covina and San Gabrial by cutting through steel protective grid enclosures, yanking off the safe analog meters and installing nineteen wireless SmartMeters in their place.

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Protected: Trees: Magnificent Monterey Pine Destruction Authorized by Carmel City Staff

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Methyl Iodide and Our Community Forum – Thursday, September 29th at Hartnell College in Salinas

Forum– Methyl Iodide and Our Community–Learn the Facts.

Methyl Iodide is a Deadly Poison

Methyl Iodide is a Deadly Poison

What: Central Coast Community Forum on Methyl Iodide. Come learn about the State’s most hotly debated strawberry pesticide- Methyl Iodide, and the potential health risks for the Central Coast. Open to the public. Free of charge.

When: Thursday, September 29th, 6:30-8:00pm

Where: Hartnell College Steinbeck Hall (near cafeteria—main campus) corner of Central Avenue and Homestead Avenue in Salinas
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Smartmeter Delay – Now has Official Rules

The Calif. Public Utilities Commission President issued a new ruling on Sept. 21 formalizing “Smart”meter delay lists. Now, by September 26, 2011, PG&E’s “Smart”meter installation delay procedures must —

1. Provide information on its website that if a customer currently has an analog meter, the customer may request a delay in the installation of a smart meter. The information shall include instructions for how the customer may make such a request.

2. Provide the customer sufficient advance notice BEFORE a smart meter is installed so that the customer may request that installation be delayed.

3. Place any customer immediately on a “delay list” when they currently have an analog meter and request a smart meter installation delay.

4. Once a customer has been placed on the delay list, a smart meter shall not be installed at the customer’s location unless:

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Disaster: Fort Ord Cleaup – Military Base’s Ongoing and Potentially Permanent Toxic Cleanup Tragedy

Proposed Resolution – Draft V June 2012

Fort Ord’s Ongoing Toxic Cleanup Tragedy
Documented Failures of Fort Ord’s Superfund Cleanup and Request for Legislative Hearings and Action.
by California EPA’s Fort Ord Community Advisory Group (FOCAG)

Fort Ord Fire Fuels Anger

Fort Ord Fire Fuels Anger
Credit: Monterey Herald

Subtitle: “The Dangerous Costs of Military Base Toxic Cleanup When Legal Oversight and Accountability are Prohibited by SuperFund Law(1) and Replaced with Bureaucratic Public Relations.”

* Summary

To purportedly clean up Fort Ord, more than half a Billion dollars(2) has been spent since the 1994 closure, however the second largest US-Army base ever closed(3) remains a dangerous and toxic mess, and the cleanup itself is harming many residents.

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Posted in Bad Acts, Bureaucratic Fraud, Censorship, Clean, Clean Air, Clean Water, Education, Public Participation, Solutions, Staffocracy, Toxics, Understanding | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Trees: Pacific Grove City Forest Management Plan Meeting Schedule

Squirrel at Lunch

Squirrel at Lunch

Once upon a time Pacific Grove had a majestic forest canopy that flowed from Monterey Bay to Shining Sea. Squirrels could jump branch to branch from Lover’s Point to Asilomar – and never touch the ground.

The forest almost completely covered what is now a town with pavement and buildings. This of course was before we “settled” here in the 1800s and started cutting roads — less than 200 years ago.

(Here is the schedule of meetings where the future of Pacific Grove’s forest will be decided.)

Update Nov 4, 2011 —

“Our plan is to send you those sections at the end of next week and post them for the public, for discussion at a Urban Forest Advisory Committee (UFAC) meeting on November 17th, at 4pm.”

“We will subsequently release the remainder of the UFMP, after discussion with you on those key aspects of the plan, the week of Thanksgiving. We’d like to hold a second meeting in early December to continue to get input on the ordinance t of and standards, as well as the rest of the proposed plan.”

October 5 (2011): City Council – Project briefing and update, Council Chambers

October 6: Public Review Draft UFMP (public release.)

UPDATE Oct 4: This date has been pushed back to about Oct 20th. That likely also pushes back the other meeting dates below.)

October 12: Natural Resources Commission (Special Mtg), 6pm Council Chambers

October 13: Urban Forest Advisory Committee Meeting #3 – Review Draft UFMP, 4pm Council Chambers

October 18: Community Workshop #2 – Review Draft UFMP, 6pm, Community Center

November 22: Natural Resources Commission Public Hearing, Council Chambers

December 7: City Council Public Hearing & Adoption, Council Chambers

The few tiny places in what was to be called “Pacific Grove” without native forest were along the ocean; a narrow strip of land along the beachfront from Asilomar, narrowing further as you approached Lover’s Point. The rest of the landscape where the town stands now was covered by a magical forest.

There are still a few places where you can see what our magnificent native forest looked like — quiet with muffled sound of distant waves . . . protected from the cool wind and hot sun, thick soft ground cover, scarce underbrush so you can easily walk off trails, abundant bird songs, fragrant mint . . .

Precipitous Downward Canopy Loss Trend

Monterey Pine Light

Monterey Pine Light

Our town’s forest just lost some 15 percent of its canopy in recent decades. From the almost continuous native forest canopy cover of the 1800s, we are now down to less than 20 percent. According to aerial photography we had some 34 percent canopy cover recently and are down to 19 percent in 2009. Although alarming, this should be no surprise since we lost more than over 700 trees in a single year while Dan Cort (a developer) was Mayor.

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Prediction: “Carmageddon” Won’t Happen

Freeway Empty (Carma-Heaven)

Freeway Empty (Carma-Heaven)

You’ve heard the hype that California’s Los Angeles Freeway 405 closing will cause “Carmageddon” – gigantic gridlock this weekend.

What’s wrong with this prediction?

1. Predictor of Distaster Can’t Lose:
If gigantic gridlock occurs – they were clever.
If no gridlock occurs – their efforts to get people to do alternate transportation worked.

Thats extremely misleading because I predict – traffic will decline !

(on the neighboring roads)
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