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Story Ideas for L.A. Times

Here is an idea for your next story. Spend time learning exactly why higher value crops have been planted.

Aug 15, 2016

The article below in the L.A.Times last Friday tells of the reporter Robin Abcarian taking a tour of the Central Valley water supply provided by Westlands.  We recommend you read the article then read the response written by Wayne Western Jr.

A tour of California's water supply lays bare the tension between farmers and fish

For those who do not know, Robin writes for the L.A Times. This last piece you wrote (A tour of California's water supply lays bare the tension between farmers and fish)has me puzzled and I would like you to clarify. When I read it, it seems like nothing more than another story continuing the line of farmers vs. fish. You have spent time studying California water and even taken a tour of parts of the CVP and SWP. By now, surely you realize the general public is quite ignorant when it comes to both the water that supplies their homes, and the food that sits on their tables. I use the term ignorant not in a demeaning sense but a factual sense, and the story you wrote, benefited the reader in neither category. In fact, rather than educate the reader that fish numbers continue to decline when federal pumps are not running, you add a line at the very end of your story that clearly states your position. I wonder, are you looking for a solution or the truth, or are you simply appearing to be interested and somewhat sympathetic to Central Valley farmers in order to continue the ignorant tale of exporting water through nut production? 

Here is an idea for your next story. Spend time learning exactly why higher value crops have been planted. Find out why crops that require less labor are necessary under the current regime in California. Find out why the USFWS, NMFS, NOAA, USBR, and DWR manage the system in the manner in which they do. Tell people the truth about flows leaving the Delta, every month of the year. Find out why agency findings continue to show declining fish populations, even when pumps are not running, or are you implying the State pumps are causing the problem? Explain why farmers have turned to wells for irrigation and learn about surface water replenishing aquifers. 

Tell the public reading your story that taking a position of anti-agriculture and supporting a decline in farming probably is not a good thing to do, for the state, the country, or you. And find out why environmental agencies were not writing letters for more water to flow out of the Delta, in March for example. By the same token, find out why environmental agencies were not writing letters to store more water, in March for example. 

Many like to use the story of JFK coming to the location of the San Luis Reservoir exactly 54 years ago for its dedication. There is another JFK moment we should all remember. Government officials, environmental groups, and members of the media should ask what they can do for their country, not what the country can do for them, or you. Stop implying it is a simple stalemate of farmers vs. fish. In my years in the Central Valley, I have yet to meet one single farmer who has disregard for the environment. But every single day, I read of environmentalists complete disregard, for farmers. Print that.

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