Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Duane Campbell objects to my position on Prop 1E

Duane has been on my radio show on a couple of occasions as an education expert. He's an education prof at Sacramento State and has a different view, figuratively and literally. He also has a blog. His objection to my "no" endorsement:

Let me take strong exception to your recommendation on Proposition 1 E, the Disaster Preparedness and Flood Prevention Bond Act of 2006. I urge a Yes Vote.

First, the floods of Katrina have more than developers flipping out. A major portion of the residents of the Central Valley are at risk. In fact, we are more at risk than was New Orleans before Katrina.

The Levees need repair, yesterday. This bond issue is only a down payment on what is needed.
Yes, it is a Central Valley issue. However, the entire state depends upon the water that passes through the Central Valley. Except for people on the North Coast, the major parts of the state drink this water and use if for farming.

The current levies were build between 1890 and 1915 by mostly Chinese workers carrying dirt in baskets. We desperately need an updated system. Over 700 miles of levies are outside of the state system and not even inspected,

A major flood could collapse the system and thus collapse the water supply for Central Valley agriculture and the entire Los Angeles basin. As in Louisiana, it if far less expensive to repair the levees than it is to repair the damage after the floods. Notice, the poor people of Louisiana still are not back in their homes.

There is a place where the developers are blocking progress. They are preventing laws from establishing that you can not build new homes in a flood plane. This is a disaster. It needs to be changed.

The amount in the bond issue is too little, but it will make a start. We need a complete over haul of the system and a rebuilding of hundreds of miles of levees.

I live behind a levee. But, if the system is not re built, Sacramento would face a disaster on the scale of New Orleans in case of a major flood. In 1986 and 1997 we came close. Sacramento’s flood risk is the highest in the U.S.

If the Central Valley faced a flood like that in New Orleans, the entire state would suffer an economic crisis. It would cost the state over $20 billion to re build. And hundreds of thousands would be forced to move to higher ground temporarily for emergency shelter, such as the North Coast.

Property owners in the Sacramento and Central Valleys are paying increased costs to build new, improved levies. The bond issue of 1E would provide money to get federal matching funds of billions of dollars to continue to prepare for floods.

For more see

Thanx for the rebuttal Duane.

I'm not saying the levees shouldn't be constructed. I'm just saying that the bulk of the money will go to protect developments that should not have been built to begin with, and the question for me is who should pay for it. I'm certainly willing to pay to protect Sacramento proper.

However, the urgency of your tone tells me that I may need to research this a bit further in terms of whether Californians can afford to wait around for the proper parties to be forced to pony up. In either case, the readers now have the info.

I wondered how Northern California would ever get their water rights back! We ship off way too much water to central and southern CA at the expense of our fisheries and farms here-if the levies in Central California break it would be a good time to shut off the spigot and never turn it back on.
Eric writes, "Duane has been on my radio show on a couple of occasions as an education expert.".

And yet the Fredster has never been asked to appear on the show. How rude!

Not sure I'd show up, but REALLY. How rude!
anon 4:55 - well, if what Duane argues is true, we'd also lose Sacramento in the process. Probably not worth it.

fred - actually, I've been thinking of inviting a panel of local bloggers to talk about the local blogosphere. You were first on the list.

I don't know if KMUD has the technology to disguise voices, but it would be great to have Heraldo and/or Capt. Buhne as well. And one or two more.
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