Sunday, April 20, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Boehner visits California for drought bill

John Boehner, Kevin McCarthy, Devin Nunes

House Speaker John Boehner, right, speaks about California's drought Wednesday in a field outside Bakersfield. Listening are, from left, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, and Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare. AP photo

BAKERSFIELD (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner visited a dusty California field on Wednesday, joining Central Valley Republicans to announce an emergency drought-relief bill to help farmers through what is certain to be a devastating year.

If passed, the bill that’s already stirring controversy would temporarily halt restoration of the San Joaquin River designed to bring back the historic salmon flow, among other measures. Farmers want that water diverted to their crops.

Standing on the field just outside of Bakersfield, Boehner said that where he’s from in Ohio, the logic applied in California regarding water policy would cause people to shake their heads.

“How you can favor fish over people is something people in my part of the world would never understand,” Boehner said.

Without the emergency legislation, thousands of farmworkers will be unemployed, he said.

The bill is expected to be introduced in two weeks. It calls for allowing farmers to pump from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta as water permits and forms a House-Senate committee to tackle water troubles.

State Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, decried “the highly partisan media events,” accusing the GOP of taking advantage of California’s drought.

“The drought is real and serious,” she said. “And it requires real and serious solutions, not an assault on our most basic environmental and water quality protection laws built over decades of hard work.”

Boehner was joined by three Republican colleagues: Rep. Devin Nunes of Tulare, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield and Rep. David Valadao of Hanford. The announcement followed Gov. Jerry Brown’s declaration on Friday that California is suffering from a drought.

Valadao said Boehner’s visit draws the nation’s attention to California’s dry weather. In turn, each lawmaker railed on Senate Democrats for failing to negotiate with them. In a statement, Democratic Sen. Diane Feinstein rejected the claim of inaction.

Restoration of the San Joaquin River has caused fierce battles spanning years that have pitted farmers in need of irrigation water against groups that wish to bring the salmon runs back to historic levels.

“Salmon, and families (who) depend on them, are the ones we need to act to save now,” John McManus, executive director of Golden Gate Salmon Association, said in a statement. “Salmon are dying in the drought-stricken Central Valley rivers and soon that will translate into lost jobs on the coast and inland waterways.”

As the nation’s leading farming state, California could be in its worst dry spell in a century, unless significant rain falls within the next two months. The parched weather could also wreak havoc during California’s notorious wildfire season.

The San Joaquin River starts in the Sierra Nevada east of Fresno and collects at the Friant Dam into Millerton Lake.

It flows a few miles after the dam but dries up before reaching the Pacific Ocean. The river resumes downstream with water from the Merced, Tuolumne and Stanislaus rivers, which each have salmon population. The river’s restoration is estimated to cost $1 billion in federal funds.

Among the difficulties, some former river bottom has subsided from pumping, and engineers will need to find ways to send the water uphill along its previous route. Farmland may end up flooding.

Farmer Larry Starrh, who opened up his field to the congressional delegation, said the drought has caused his family to make the difficult decision to lay fallow 1,000 acres covered with producing almond trees and leave another 2,000 across of land unused.

“Water is a weapon,” Starrh said as his voice shook with emotion. “Water is a hostage. Our water system is battered and broken. It’s been hijacked by unreasonableness, and we need help.”

————

By Scott Smith

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

UCD admits record number; 4,284 from abroad

By Cory Golden | From Page: A1

 
Hub of activity: DHS newspaper keeps evolving

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A1 | Gallery

A springtime ritual

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Tom Adams seeks Davis school board seat

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

Holy fire ceremony draws thousands in Jerusalem

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Tour renovated YCCC facility Thursday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Tour Davis Waldorf School on Wednesday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

The fifth annual Tour de Cluck is soon to be hatched

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Ortiz lawn signs available

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Sign up soon for spring cooking classes

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Robb Davis team to rally on Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Steadfast in their support

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Yolo Hospice offers free grief workshops

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Sign up for Camp Kesem caterpillar crawl

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Quilters gear up for annual show

By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A4

League hosts a series of candidate forums

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
KDVS launches fund drive on Monday

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A5

Calling all Scrabble fans

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Hub webpage is seeing traffic increasing

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A8

Lescroart welcomes all to book-launch party

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A16 | Gallery

 
DEVO set to serve up 14th annual Winkler Dinner

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16 | Gallery

Learn Chinese crafts at I-House

By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A16

 
Preschool open house set at Davis Waldorf

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

Birch Lane celebrates its 50th anniversary

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

 
Hotel/conference center info meeting set

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

.

Forum

Take ownership of your health

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
Keep your baby safe

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Reliving the agony and ecstasy of spring

By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

 
Road diet? No, city diet!

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12, 3 Comments

 
We’re reveling in our equality

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

Vote no; it’s fiscally responsible

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

 
Rick McKee cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

 
Core values on campus

By Our View | From Page: A12

 
Bill is an affront to UC Davis ag biotech and local farmers

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13

Don’t want to sit in Fix 50 traffic? Consider alternatives

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

 
.

Sports

 
UCD softball shut out by Santa Barbara

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Aggie men shoot 9-under, lead own tourney

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Stars shine in Woody Wilson Classic

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Devils burn up the track

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
UCD roundup: Aggie baseball swept away by Highlanders

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

A’s score 3 in ninth, rally past Astros 4-3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Yolo Federal Credit Union gets WISH funds

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
PG&E pays taxes, fees to county, cities

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

Will Davis get an Old Soul?

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A9

 
Pediatricians, nurse practitioner hired at Woodland Healthcare

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Asian stocks mostly higher after mixed U.S. earnings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Davis Roots will showcase its graduating startups

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14

University Honda wins another President’s Award

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14 | Gallery

 
Dutch Bros. raises $19,000 for girl with leukemia

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14 | Gallery

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, April 20, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8