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JFK Revisited!

The devisiveness comes primarily from the environmental faction of the Democrat Party.

Aug 16, 2012


We wrote the newsletter below (Where are the Kennedys?) in April when the Fresno Bee published the story about JFK visiting the Valley to break ground on the San Luis Dam project in 1962. We still stand by the points made in the newsletter.

Now the Bee has written an editorial about the visit which we also have below. In it they make the point that "Considering our divisive political climate, it's questionable whether the San Luis project could be built today." We would agree, but add that the devisiveness comes primarily from the environmental faction of the Democrat Party. They are powerful, they are rich and they are in the way of every solution to the water problems of California.

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/08/14/2952211/editorial-jfks-valley-visit-offers.html#storylink=cpy

Fresno Bee EDITORIAL: JFK's Valley visit offers water lessons for today

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/08/14/2952211/editorial-jfks-valley-visit-offers.html#storylink=cpy

On a hot summer day 50 years ago, President John F. Kennedy hit a dynamite plunger to break ground on the San Luis project near Los Banos, forever changing San Joaquin Valley agriculture. The dam and reservoir, which were completed five years later, turned dusty land into some of the most fertile ground in the world.

The 50th anniversary of that famous San Luis ground-breaking is Saturday. President Kennedy's visit to Fresno, Yosemite National Park and the San Luis site was a huge political event for the Valley.

This was at a time when the state and federal governments worked together to build major infrastructure projects. Considering our divisive political climate, it's questionable whether the San Luis project could be built today

The San Luis dam and reservoir remains a monument to the Kennedy visit. The project moves water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to farmland on the west side of the Valley. Consider what this Valley might look like if opposition at the time had blocked that project a half-century ago.

During his visit, Kennedy talked of the visionary leaders who came together to build the project. Water projects don't just happen, Kennedy said prior to the ground-breaking. "They are made to happen."

Kennedy was joined by then-Gov. Edmund G. "Pat" Brown in the ground-breaking ceremony.

Getting ready to hit the plunger, Kennedy said, "It is a pleasure for me to come out here and help blow up this Valley."

The crowd cheered as the ground exploded at the nearby dam site. It would take another five years to complete the dam.

Kennedy was correct when he predicted that the benefits from the San Luis project would be "unique and special."

That project has been crucial to the economic viability of a big part of our farm economy.

It took bold leaders, including Pat Brown and Rep. B.F. Sisk, D-Fresno, to push the San Luis project through the state and federal governments.

Many others from both political parties helped. Their vision was to bring Delta water to the Valley's dusty west side, and improve the entire region.

Today we are facing water-transfer challenges, with the deterioration of the crucial Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Unfortunately, we don't seem to have the same commitment to solving that water problem.   



Families Protecting the Valley Newsletter April 12 2012

Where Are the Kennedys?

There's something about this article that sticks out, something that we wouldn't see today. You have President John F. Kennedy, a Democrat, and Representative B. F. Sisk, a Democrat, and Governor Edmund G. "Pat" Brown, a Democrat, working together to build a water project. What's wrong with this picture? JFK's speech is inspiring, a bipartisan support for growing food and jobs for Americans. Why do we no longer hear this from the Democrats? So much of what JFK said that day is applicable today. It would be nice to hear from some of our leaders what we heard from him that day, that new water storage was for the betterment of our Valley, our State, our Nation, and for all around the world who are fed by the agricultural bounty produced.

Democrats still talk about the great leadership of Governor "Pat" Brown and everyone's favorite President JFK. They talk about them, but they're nothing like them.

At the bottom of the article there's a link to see the video. We recommend that you take a few minutes to watch.

That special summer day a half-century ago when President Kennedy "blew up" our Valley

By Jim Boren

We are approaching the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy coming to the San Joaquin Valley and breaking ground on the San Luis Dam project. On Aug. 18, 1962, Kennedy helicoptered to the dam site west of Los Banos, gave a speech about the importance of investing in water projects and then hit a plunger setting off a dynamite charge.

"It is a pleasure for me to come out here and help blow up this Valley," Kennedy told the cheering audience.

Water projects don't just happen, Kennedy said prior to the groundbreaking. "They are made to happen." The president also praised the entire state for working together to make California more productive by building the water project. That statement would be instructional for today's California, which is at odds over sharing water.

During his speech, Kennedy pointed out that Gov. Edmund G. "Pat" Brown and Rep. B.F. Sisk, D-Fresno, were instrumental in making the San Luis project a reality. The San Luis Dam will make the Valley better, Kennedy said. That will make California and the United States better.

"And what this project also symbolizes the state government working with the federal goverment, the local community working with the state," Kennedy told the crowd. "This program is unique in this area. There is no other project in the history of the United States where a state has put in such a large contribution to the development of its own resources and where the national government has joined with the state."

The benefits that will come from this water project are "unique and special," Kennedy said.

You can view Kennedy's San Luis speech by clicking here for a YouTube video.

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