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History

MID Falling Water Charge: Subsidy or Slush Fund?

  According to Stanislaus County Supervisor Jim DeMartini, news that local farmers have been receiving subsidies amounting to $89 million over seventeen years was as big a surprise to farmers as to anyone else.“Ninety-nine out of a hundred farmers have never heard of the Falling Water Charge,” said DeMartini last Friday.The Falling Water Charge is […]

Read the Memorandum That May Drown the MID in Falling Water

    The Valley Citizen has obtained an internal Modesto Irrigation District (MID) memorandum. Almost ten pages long, the memorandum provides legal analysis of possible consequences for the MID of Proposition 26. Proposition 26 was approved by California voters in 2010. Its purpose was to prohibit unjustified fees and costs imposed by entities that provide […]

Citizens of Salida Will Decide Their Future, by Bruce Frohman

  The City of Modesto has started an effort to annex the small unincorporated town of Salida. In doing so, the citizens of Salida will be forced to decide their town’s future. They have three basic options. They can annex to the City of Modesto, incorporate as their own city, or leave themselves unincorporated. The […]

Is the MID Taxing Customers Illegally with the “Falling Water Charge”?

  Just when it looked like things couldn’t get any worse for the Modesto Irrigation District (MID), the heavens opened and delivered a world of trouble in falling water. In the arcane parlance of irrigation districts, “falling water” is water that falls from dams and spillways to provide electricity. Some districts impose on their customers […]

LAFCo Policy More Complicated than Bee Article Implies, by Scott Calkins

  Last Wednesday’s LAFCo decision to require mitigation for encroachment onto ag land met with wide approval, but Scott Calkins has an insider’s view that might temper the celebration. No one denies the decision was a big step forward, but parts of the policy are cause for real concern. Here’s Scott with the inside story. […]

Restore the San Joaquin River for Jobs, Farms, and Fish

  Mike Wade, Executive Director of the Farm Water Coalition, is an outstanding advocate for farmers. He always has a good command of facts and is ever-vigilant for threats to farmers’ water supplies. Recently, however, he’s been too narrowly focused on the needs of a few farmers at the expense of farmers in general, especially […]

Underdogs Celebrate Defeat of MID Water Sale

  Only a few years ago, he was mugged and left for dead by the Powers that Bee, but Sunday night former Modesto Mayor Carmen Sabatino was back in his element as he hosted a victory celebration for the many players who somehow managed the defeat of the Modesto Irrigation District (MID) water sale to […]

Bee Fails on Water story, Blames MID

  Every once in a while the curtain lifts just enough to reveal exactly what today’s Modesto Bee is really all about. That’s what happened in its September 19 editorial, when the Bee tried to tiptoe away from its role in the Modesto Irrigation District (MID) water sale fiasco.In what has become typical Bee fashion, […]

Modesto Terminates Water Transfer to SFPUC, from the Tuolumne River Trust

  On September 18 the Modesto Irrigation District (MID) voted to terminate negotiations for a transfer (sale) of 2,240 acre feet of water to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) to supplement dry year supplies. The decision was met with enthusiasm by farmers, environmentalists and the City of Modesto. Had the water transfer gone […]

How the Modesto Irrigation District Lost Trust and Credibility

  “I’m not going to give them one damned drop,” said Modesto Irrigation District (MID) Director Paul Warda in October of 2010.Warda’s defiant comment came in response to news that the State Water Resources Control Board had determined that in order to insure the survival of native salmon, there could be a 40 percent reduction […]