[env-trinity] Stockton Record July 3 2009

Byron Leydecker bwl3 at comcast.net
Fri Jul 3 11:11:23 PDT 2009


Delta advocates plan Capitol rally

Stockton Record-7/3/09

By Alex Breitler

 

Hundreds of Delta advocates plan to rally next week at the state Capitol,
fearing that behind-the-scenes negotiations by legislators over the future
of the estuary will shut them out of the debate until it is too late.

 

Earlier this week, it appeared a key committee hearing would take place next
week, on Tuesday or Thursday. Grass-roots group Restore the Delta sent an
alert to its members, warning that the proposed legislation - perhaps a
combination of existing bills - could include authorization of a peripheral
canal.

 

That hearing is now in question as legislators grapple with the state
budget. Some advocates are concerned there could be no hearing at all.

 

"One public hearing for a set of water policies that has far-reaching and
expensive implications for the entire state is a mockery of the democratic
process," Restore the Delta director Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla said in her
message to members.

 

"We are tired of the decisions being made without our consent and
involvement," she wrote.

 

Hearing or no, advocates plan a rally and news conference at 11 a.m. Tuesday
on the north steps of the Capitol. Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, whose 5th
District includes portions of San Joaquin County, is expected to attend.

 

Wolk said Thursday that discussion and negotiations on the water bills were
ongoing.

 

"The budget is taking center stage, as it should," she said. "Everything is
in flux, and it changes from day to day."

 

A spokesman for Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, a canal supporter whose
Senate Bill 12 is one of those set for discussion at the proposed hearing,
declined to comment on the specifics of the negotiations.

 

While draft documents have apparently been circulated, Delta advocates say
they've been left out of the loop and will therefore have little time to
respond.

 

"Frankly, the voices of the Delta - the fishermen, the farmers, Delta
interests and communities - have not been involved in this process," said
Stockton environmentalist Bill Jennings, head of the California Sportfishing
Protection Alliance.

 

A canal would skirt the Sacramento River around, rather than through, the
Delta to giant pumps near Tracy. Those pumps send water to cities and farms
from the Bay Area to San Diego.

 

Supporters say a canal could be operated to take more river water during wet
years and less during dry years, but opponents say it will ultimately lead
to increased water exports and turn the Delta into a stagnant swamp.

 

 

Byron Leydecker, JcT

Chair, Friends of Trinity River

PO Box 2327

Mill Valley, CA 94942-2327

415 383 4810 land

415 519 4810 cell

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(secondary)

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