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Bingo Game Cage on White BackgroundOccasionally, the Partisan comes across jottings in other publications that contain powerful messages made with such force to bestir our minds and bodies — especially our mid-sections, which uncontrollably shake like large jars of jelly. Here is one:

By now some of the charmed and discriminating regular readers of this earnest news organ undoubtedly have heard the deleterious news that a resident of one of the far less charming outposts of our county received a substantial payout while participating in that sad spectacle known as the weekly Bingo game.

It is without doubt such information crossed the borders into this village by word of mouth among the help. Such a trifling occurrence in such a déclassé human endeavor would never be reported on the lily-white pages of our Bustle-Cone, unlike the rest of the gutter-raking journals that gleefully note such petty triumphs of lost and lucre-less souls.

Now some may defend these petty gambling games as worthwhile for several reasons: They teach largely unwashed members of the underclasses rudimentary lessons of letters and numbers; The trifling sums of tarnished coins and wrinkled dollars wagered on the cheaply printed cards employed in these “games” add to a parish church’s treasury and receipts from its quaint device called the poor box; A few hours spent in this perverted activity allows time for weary maids, cooks, gardeners, blacksmiths and shop clerks to rest and dream that Dame Fortune could somehow ever stoop to kiss their char-stained brows.

God save them, and Harrumph! we say.

O, dear reader, you will never, never be forced to choke on any mention in this journal of these trifling sums of money won and lost in these infernal games, which we sadly see, when our eyes are momentarily unaverted, attract those of meager means who would best spend their unfilled hours with prayer, sock-darning and personal hygiene.

Be assured, we will never even print that word, which rhymes with the daft stage name appropriated by the drummer of that silly bunch of lower-class Liverpudlians whose incessant caterwauling captured the misguided minds of the always misguided masses.

If you ask why, our response is simple yet refined. The game, which goes by the same title as the infernal sing-song taught to hand-clapping young urchins who would better spend their musical hours at the pianoforte, is an overweight LIE.

No doubt those who enter the game are under the misapprehension they will easily achieve the straight line of simple numbers on their tissuey cards needed to claim a few paltry dollars and odd cents.

Go figure, for the odds of any of these daft dullards achieving a reputable return on their meager investments pale in comparison to any of a number of financial undertakings with far greater returns.

Of course, any clipper of blue-chip bond coupons will earn 50 times more. And any flipper of high-end real estate will recoup 100 times more. Not to mention hedge-fund owners, CEOs with golden parachutes, heirs who pick their parents judiciously and beachfront property owners who rake in top dollar from government bonds to prevent ghastly homes from blocking the sunset views. Even the baccarat tables in Monaco avail the intelligent player a far greater chance for tidy winnings than these ragamuffins clutching —– cards will ever enjoy.

By way of illustration, for the great unlearned, if a million of these players played their entire lives, the most they could earn is 50 percent of all they spent as well as major circulatory problems in their hind quarters.

It beggars the imagination why these dolts don’t understand.

Nightly, they return to these halls of Hades, which are built on foundations of pure prevarication.

God, it makes us sick how silly and stupid such people can be.

On this be assured, dear readers, you will never see a lie printed in the Bustle-Cone, unlike every other news organ since the dawn of Gutenberg.

(Note to typesetter: Rearrange first words of some paragraphs. As written, they repeatedly spell the word never to appear in these page. Oops)

Partisan proprietor’s note for those who might have missed it. A weekly publication in our midst published an editorial last week, part of a series of editorials in which the publisher congratulates himself for not allowing his product to mention the California Lottery, chiefly because the gambling houses of Nevada and elsewhere offer considerably better odds. The editorial, which chastises other publications for  not following his lead, was prompted by last week’s widely reported news that the husband of Monterey County Weekly Editor Mary Duan had bought a lottery ticket that had provided him with a jackpot of $2.7 million.


Like millions, I’m a big fan of Curry of the Golden State Warriors, the Oakland basketball team that starts the NBA finals next week against the Cleveland Cavaliers. But I’m not talking about Steph Curry, the amazing point guard for the Warriors whose uncanny ability to shoot, dribble and pass propelled him to the league’s Most Valuable Player Award. I mean Curry’s 2-year-old daughter, Riley, whose adorable antics at two recent post-game press conferences with her dad have melted the hearts of even the crustiest sports fanatics.

Here’s the Daily Beast’s breathless package on Riley rocking the NBA world.

For me, the highlight of the year was when Riley took a tiny piece of gum from her mouth, and with an impish grin, gave it to an obliging Warriors PR man and proceeded to goof behind the curtains of the interview stage while her father struggled to keep the nation informed about how the Warriors’ gritty play finally dispatched a tough Houston Rockets squad to that post-playoffs land known as “gone fishing.”

Once Riley started cutting up behind curtain, you didn’t know what she would do next: jump out and yell boo at the harried sportswriters already terrified by impending deadlines, grab the end of the curtain and fly across the stage like a pint-sized Errol Flynn in a pirate movie, or simply rip the curtain down in one of those “terribly funny twos” moments.

For his part, Steph Curry has smoothly handled Riley during the pressure of the post-game pressers. At one point, he quickly helped her clasp a sparkly bracelet on her wrist without a missing a beat while responding to a reporter’s question about the Warrior’s ability to handle Houston’s high screen-and-rolls. No one cared about his answer, but hoped down deep he didn’t fumble away Riley’s bracelet.

Now there are a million cute kids and a million cute dogs out there, and I might add, a million cute cats. But Riley has melted even my cynical heart with the loudest cuteness detonation since Art Linkletter, in the early days of television, had a daily show dedicated to kids saying the darnedest things.
I’m sure many couples, seeing little Riley revel as only a toddler can, thought, “Hey, let’s try for own little Riley.” The sports-stats nerds should do a little research on that front in nine months or so.

For a fleeting moment I even thought I heard the faint ticking of my own biological clock, though the battery long ago died and the works are buried along some forgotten road. The Riley Factor  was that strong.

For the NBA, the loving interplay of father and daughter, with the superstar father being upstaged by the caperings of the irrepressible child, was nothing more than a wholesomeness bonanza.

A generation ago, the magazine Sports Illustrated did a searing investigative story that looked at a pathetic pattern of some NBA players who had fathered strings of forgotten children out of wedlock in various cities where they played on and off the court.

The Curry family, bound by their Christian faith and family love, seem to be the perfect counter to that old image of the philandering professional athlete.

But I am concerned how the Warriors’ moppets will match up against the Cavaliers’ kids. Cavalier star LeBron James has three young children of his own, and he has the power moves perfectly capable of bringing all of them to a post-game presser. Will he try to go cute little toe to cute little toe against Riley?

Only time — that final series doesn’t start until June 4 — will tell.

In the meantime, the NBA should consider an addition to the usual, slick halftime shows with big music names. I say just put up a big bounce house at half-court and let all the young children of players, coaches, equipment men, trainers, etc. get their game on. There will be plenty of highlights. And dribbling exhibitions, though some may involve running noses.



TROPIC, Utah—Somewhere between Orderville and Escalante, I lost a large measure of the California chauvinism that had me believing all these years that Yosemite was as good as it gets when it comes to national parks and the scenery that surrounds them.

Now I am not about to denigrate Yosemite. It is a grand place, a nearly sacred spot, a temple for the worship of nature’s creativity. But having lived most of my life in California, I now realize that I must have fallen into a Californiacentric trap regarding its place in the overall scheme of scenic wonders. I had not, until this past week, experienced southern Utah’s awe-inspiring monuments to rock and erosion. I am referring, of course, to Zion and Bryce national parks and their environs. Yes, Yosemite is wonderful and tremendous and simply fabulous. Zion and Bryce are all that and a little more.

At Zion, it took the seemingly modest Virgin River hundreds of millions of years but it has managed to get even the French tourists to point and grin. At Bryce, the absurdly photogenic terrain was created not by a river but by wind, water and bad weather, elements that conspired to lure even this out-of-shape lump off the shuttle and onto the trails this past week.

The order one selects to visit these miracles is a matter of regional debate, with some arguing that visitors should build up to the mystical formations of Bryce. I probably disagree. Better to reverse the process and let the relatively less commercial environment of Zion help erase some memory of the tawdry approach to Bryce.

Bryce is the one with the spectacular hoodoos, the red spires, columns and rows and random protuberances of rocks dangerously perched on other rocks. But Bryce is also the one with the approach dominated by cowboy-themed stores in a compound with all the charm of a truck stop. If you’re looking for stumps of petrified wood covered with plasticized images of red-white-and-blue eagles, this is the place. But that can be forgotten while you renew yourself on the maze of trails that wind down the side of canyons spectacular enough to suggest the presence of a power higher even than Ruby Styrett, the entrepreneur whose descendants seem to own everything within sight of the park gates.

At Bryce, we braved the Are You Out of Your Mind Loop, a trail of endless switchbacks laid out by someone who thought it would be cute to keep sending you back to the canyon floor each time you thought you were about to make it to the top, where the 8,100-foot elevation takes no pity at all on former smokers. I considered hijacking one of the pack mules that merrily skipped past us on the trails but each was occupied.



Zion’s more limited commercial trappings are much more engaging, if you care about about how things look. Most of the tourist trade is carried out in the small town of Springdale, which consists mostly of restaurants and outfitters. If you’re visiting Zion, you need the things they sell in Springdale — food, maps and hiking socks. You do not need the things they sell just outside Bryce — ATV rides, Pringles and alligator jerky.

Although Bryce itself is the more dramatic of the two, we preferred slightly more subdued Zion, which is kind of like Yosemite Valley on steroids. For one thing, the trails at Zion start on the canyon floor and lead you up, which generally means that when a trail has kicked your butt, your escape route is mercifully downhill. At Bryce, you still have to climb your way out well after realizing you’re overmatched. At Zion, you can wade the Virgin River into the canyon that eventually becomes slender enough to be called The Narrows. You can feel good about yourself on the way out as you pass an incoming team of Navy SEALS on holiday.

Recognizing that this is not a nature blog, I searched for political nuggets to bring home with me but found relatively few in the parks themselves. It seemed as though about half of those on the trails were American honeymooners or college students and the other half were international tourists, largely from France and Germany. I heard “Obama” a few times but couldn’t make out the rest.


Outside Zion

The political and socioeconomic pickings were easier outside the parks. According to purely local accounts, the original Native American settlers in the region simply chose to move on at some point so the Mormons could move in. The National Park Service account, as repeated on the shuttle buses, is simply that the Indians left for “social and environmental reasons.” For the most part, the original park facilities were designed and built by the railroads, which wanted to create destinations in order to sell tickets.

Zion is in the same county as Hildale, a community operated by one of the Mormon spinoff sects. I’m pretty sure it was a polygamous family next to us at dinner one night. One of the sect leaders was once incarcerated at the Purgatory Corrections Center in nearby Hurricane. The jail got its name because it was built at Purgatory Flats. Hurricane got its name because a stiff wind once knocked someone’s hat off. They don’t call it Hurricane, however. It’s pronounced Hur-Kin.


Along the Are You Out of Your Mind Trail, also known as the Navajo Loop

Most of the small towns in the area have a certain kind of charm, the rustic and sort of rundown kind. Too many storefronts are empty. While the parks and the Bryce tourist trap had plenty of tour buses over the long weekend, business was mixed outside the parks. The B&Bs were busy, the motels not so much. Maybe that’s because many motels in nearby towns consist of rows of tiny, very basic log cabins that probably sounded much better than they turned out. We were the only visitors when we stopped at the Mt. Carmel compound of legendary artist Maynard Dixon.

A couple counties away is St. George, one of the nation’s fastest growing, whitest and most conservative cities. The big political debate there these days pits regular conservatives against chamber of commerce conservatives. The regular conservatives hate undocumented immigrants. The chamber of commerce conservatives don’t mind undocumented immigrants if they have money to spend. They agree on everything else.

In Rockville and Cannonville, flags were everywhere on Memorial Day and the day after. There may be bumper stickers on the pickups the locals drive but the rainy season was extra long this year and they’re covered with mud. Newspapers are hard to come by in most of these places, even at the general stores. I’d like to think it’s because of remoteness, not lack of interest.

The annual quilt festival is coming right up in Panguitch. At the Cowboy Grill in Tropic, the town closest to Bryce, the special on Tuesday was the Clint Eastwood Burger. The young woman taking orders said she had no idea why.


Native American cliff painting above Calf Creek in Escalante National Monument


27 Apr 2004 --- Soccer Player Dribbling Between Defenders --- Image by © Royalty-Free/CorbisWith the proprietor of the Partisan away while getting in touch with hiking blisters and nature in southern Utah, I had anticipated doing what anyone would do with the boss away: Play, do as little as possible or wrest control of this lavish operation in a coup d’blog.

Having not followed Monterey Peninsula water politics with microscopic attention for the past 40 years, I realized I wouldn’t be  adequately prepared to carry on His Royal Blog’s primary mission. That calling is to intelligently moderate unending arguments about water without laying in adequate drinking supplies of whiskey, as per Mark Twain’s oft-quoted rule of “water is for fighting; whiskey is for drinking.” I considered an edict against any future use of that worn-out Twain quote, but instead fell upon my second option of doing as little as possible.

I was handling that duty ably until this week when news broke that a bunch of super-rich overlords of the international governing board of soccer were arrested at a fancy Swiss hotel on criminal indictments obtained by the U.S. Department of Justice.

For critics of soccer — the world’s most popular sport always said to be slowly but surely gaining popularity in the United States — I figure this healthy injection of breath-taking transnational bribery, shakedowns and corruption will be the just the thing to finally whet my country appetite’s for the sport.

After all, the scope of the charges (as reported by the New York Times) against the shadowy emperors of what the rest of the world insists upon calling football makes the Deflategate scandal still rocking the National Football League seem as ridiculously petty as it is.

The football flap boils down to two knuckleheads armed with a ball needle letting the air out of some footballs, allegedly at the behest of quarterbacking diva Tom Brady. I say, “Big Whoop.”

I guarantee you that absolutely none of the 35,000 aspiring screenwriters parking cars and slinging drinks in Los Angeles is working on a film treatment of Deflategate.

But the newly exposed, secretive world of brazen criminality at the helm of world soccer has the makings of a long-running premium channel series. It would be shot in exotic locales with evil despots running an empire populated by supertankers filled with cash, with a cast of the best-looking athletes in the world and their handsome hookup partners facing exploitation, temptation, rampant coupling and physical dangers of overwrought flopping.

This series could be the next “The Sopranos,” “Madmen,” or “Breaking Bad.” Weekly episodes would advance complicated, intertwined story lines at a glacial pace — akin to the drama of a soccer match decided by a 1-0 score on a extra-time goal. And the requisite enigmatic ending, shot on a soccer pitch overlooking the Big Sur coast, would have millions of Americans talking about soccer for years.

Honestly, the soccer mania created by what I’m tentatively calling “In the Net” would probably cause the two guys on Fox and
Friends to give up their xenophobic mornings and seek more appropriate work at an Oil Can Henry’s.

I may have been naive, but until this international web of soccer corruption came to light, I had thought the only folks muscling in on the popular sport were the makers of boxed juices, whose wares are consumed by the millions each weekend by youth soccer players.

Parents are under orders to deliver cartons and cartons  of the halftime treats or else suffer social ostracism from coaches, other parents and complete strangers just walking by the field. That is almost a criminally genius marketing plan, but it pales in comparison to the rot at the heart of the international game.

That is all.

I trust the Jefe Grande will soon be back in the saddle of this blog, and we can resume our focus on local water politics, already one of the longest-running series on local public access television but with no enigmatic ending in sight.


PARTISAN PROPRIETOR: Gone fishin’ for awhile


proprietor_prospectingIn search of a new water supply for the Peninsula, the Partisan’s proprietor and his daughter found themselves walking in something much like water. Watch for a draft EIR on the subject in about a week when vacation is over


harrison-barnes-warriorsFor non-NBA fans out there, Harrison Barnes is one of the Golden State Warriors’ starting five players. Teammates call him “HB,” and the media call him “Black Falcon” because he is dangerous, very fast and capable of leaping small buildings.

Word is Barnes doesn’t like the nickname, and I can see why. No one would think to dub a white NBA player who is very fast and capable of leaping small buildings the White Falcon, if such a player ever existed.

But Barnes doesn’t vent any displeasure about the stupid nickname during interviews. He is a polished speaker, always positive, respectful and insightful.
While gorging on Warriors’ coverage as the Oakland team makes its deepest post-season foray in four decades, I discovered the reason for Barnes’ polished performances in TV interviews.

When he was a kid, Barnes and his sister went through mock interview sessions conducted by their mom. She wanted her talented children prepared for the day when their skills would attract the world’s cameras and bright lights.

These childhood lessons stand to greatly benefit Barnes, who plans to go into politics when his basketball days are over. His teammates also call him “Senator.”

Barnes grew up in Ames, Iowa, which is ground zero every four years for the campaigns of politicians who want to be president. All the hoopla, coffee klatches and candidates eating corny dogs on his doorstep fired Barnes’ childhood imagination. One of his favorite ex-NBA players is Bill Bradley, the New York Knick who spent three terms as a U.S. senator. As a Warriors fan, I hope Barnes spends many more years in uniform before starting his second career.

But back to those play-time interview lessons his mother conducted. I can only imagine how I would have performed if my mother had done the same.

Q: What did you think about the chocolate-chip bars I baked this morning?

A: I think you developed a great game plan and executed those bars perfectly.

Q: Have you any idea why there are only a few crumbs left?

A: We are going to have to watch a lot of tape and make some adjustments.

Q: I’ll rephrase the question. Why did you eat them all?

A: It’s a possibility that mistakes were made. But if you are going to engage in gotcha journalism, I may have to cut this interview short. Besides, the American people are interested in the future, not what happened four hours ago.

Q: You’re not going anywhere, young man. And quit fiddling with your microphone and waving your tie around your head! Changing the subject. About the broken kitchen window. Weren’t you repeatedly informed by the Departments of Mom and Dad about the hazards of throwing a tennis ball against the wall below the window?

A: I don’t have those documents with me — if what you are implying is accurate and such documents do exist — but I will have my aides look for them immediately after we’re done here. They will get back to you.

Q: The dog and cat are not your aides! Do you realize your sister was eating at the breakfast table and could have been hurt by the glass?

A: I sincerely apologize to anyone I may have offended or lacerated when the window inadvertently exploded and shards of glass and an old tennis ball hurtled in an unfortunate direction. It certainly wasn’t my intent, and the American people can be assured that I am a far more accurate pitcher than this single, isolated incident — which the media and my opponents are happily distorting — may misleadingly imply.

Q: Would you like a glass of lemonade?

A: That is a very kind offer, but I think I need to lie down. My tummy kinda aches.

Q: All the chocolate-chips bars you ate?

A: It’s been great having a chance to talk with you. Mom, are we done yet? I really don’t feel good.

Needless to say, Harrison Barnes probably handled those childhood interviews far better than I would have. But we both were saddled with dumb nicknames. Only I’m not saying what mine was. Not even the late Mike Wallace, master of the ambush interview, could get that out of me. I didn’t even know what parsnips were.

Go Warriors!


Marc Del Piero in a Partisan picture that the Carmel Pine Cone used to illustrate a story in which it erroneously accused an unnamed publication (rhymes with artisan) of inaccurate reporting. The Partisan has requested a correction but is not holding its breath

Just this past week, a curmudgeon named Marc Del Piero changed history and started a domino effect on the Monterey Peninsula like never before.  I have contacted the Vatican and the governor.

What Marc did, (see previous Partisan post) while being taped by an ex-editor who could improve his video skills, was open a phantom well able to be seen by believers (public ownership supporters) but completely invisible to non-believers (Cal-Am supporters), with gallons of water spewing out on the ground.  Then, showing his bravery worth a Congressional Medal of Heroic Behavior Not Yet Categorized, he actually drank some of that water.

The ripple in history caused by this brave action started immediately.  KSBW interrupted its advertising for the announcement that Del Piero was being awarded the Golden Spigot Award.   The mayor of the Marina immediately ordered the building of a pipeline from his backyard sprinkler to the spot of the well, in order to get first in line, as he knew many thirsty Marina residents would want to jump on board, since the cost of DeSanti had recently gone sky-high.

A spokesperson for the Peninsula mayors stated, “This event demonstrates our continued heroic efforts to bring water to the Peninsula and we will be meeting with every important person in Sacramento, all of whom will welcome us, to advise them of our heroic actions and of our Plans B, C, D, E and F.”
A spokesperson for Cal Am said, “This is an important event showing that invisible objects can miraculously become visible.  We are touching base with our New Jersey headquarters to see how we should respond to this significantly religious experience.   We will get back to the media with that response; however, do not expect any data to support it.”
The Peninsula hospitality business representative stated that “why didn’t we develop a major hotel and spa at the location of the well.  It has water, which is more than we can say for Monterey and Carmel.”
The Carmel Pine Cone complained in an editorial that all of this was just a PR stunt orchestrated by Ed DeMars of the AgLandTrust board of directors, not realizing that DeMars passed away a couple of years ago.
The Monterey Herald was going to cover the gush of water from the well, but decided it was more important to carry the geography quiz instead.
The Monterey County Weekly included a reference to the well in its Squid Fry, but got confused and referred to Dave Potter, who was not involved.
All of the above occurred within two hours of the release of the videotape.   What happened next was a result never expected by anyone who has lived on the Peninsula since 1940.   As the information became more and more public, word spread quickly around the state. Upon reaching Sacramento with full force, the State Water Board called an emergency session,, condemning Cal Am, its supporters and the media.  In an unanimous vote, the board agreed that a 50,000 acre-foot per year desal plant should be immediately built by whoever else could build it first, with an open-ocean intake and ultimately to be owned and operated by any public agency not mentioned above.
Upon hearing this information, Gov. Brown proclaimed May 20 a state holiday.
Hood, a lawyer and engineer, is former director of the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments.




Clean Drinking Water

I have been in the press lately, and that is certainly appropriate since much of my business is a matter of public record. I would like to take this opportunity to discuss several of the issues in play.

The People’s Project, the Moss Landing desalination project, has been a vision of mine for over 12 years. The majority of the county of Monterey, and certainly Salinas, North County and Monterey are in dire need of water. If you read my business plan, it has always been my goal, and continues to be, the production of water, for the people, water that is affordable and not loaded with excess profits to the provider. The concept of competition, or competing desalination plants, is routinely mentioned in the press. The American business model is built on fair competition and there is much more need to fill even if ALL the proposed plants were built. I do not fear competition; I welcome it.

I want to set the record straight on the concept of a data center, as a symbiotic element of a desalinated water plant. It is a great idea, in fact it was my idea, and the folks who are currently attempting to build the Deep Water Desal facility worked for me and they obtained the idea from me. It is very straightforward; the intake water is used to cool the data center, which generates a tremendous amount of heat from its computers. The heated water is then sent to the desalination plant where it is used for potable water distribution. The economics are simple, it takes less energy to desalinate warm water than cold. In the future, I would like to contemplate solar energy, which would further reduce the cost of delivered water to the people.

The State Water Resources Control Board this last Wednesday approved the 2015 Oceans Plan for the state of California. As the press reported, you must exhaust sub-surface intake possibilities prior to utilizing open ocean intake, and we are certainly doing that in our EIR. What the press did not report is the section of the plan that gives preference to pre-existing intake and outfall structures, which my Moss Landing Business Park has.

In conjunction with our partners, the Moss Landing Harbor District, these facilities have been utilized consistently for many years, and are in fact in operation today. It is not my purpose herein to compare and contrast the three plants moving through the regulatory process. Tthere is time enough for that later. We will need to update our permits for different utilization and there will need to be some minor renovation of our infrastructure, however, we have fully functional existing infrastructure. No one else has that. The 60 MGD (million gallons a day) outfall is grandfathered, and was in use prior to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the formation of the Coastal Commission.

The other item the press managed to miss in the 106-page 2015 Oceans Plan is the concepts of water rights and basin degradation. The state clearly delineates that senior water rights will be acknowledged and preserved and that existing law remains unchanged regarding the ability to over-pump a basin in overdraft or impact the water rights of existing senior appropriators. Cal Am fully acknowledges, in the press and elsewhere, that possesses no water rights in the Zone 2C Salinas Valley water basin. Further, the company currently reports a significant fresh water component being pumped from its test well, which is being immediately pumped back into the ocean. I would like to point out that the Moss Landing Business Park has been an assessment-paying member of Zone 2C from its beginning, and has significant senior appropriative water rights.

Do we have issues with the Bank of the Sierra on our business park? Of course we do. Are we resolving them? Yes. You cannot contemplate building a desalinated water project and miles of distribution pipeline without spending significant amounts of money and having huge regulatory and legal issues to overcome. The People’s Project does not enjoy the luxury of having unlimited amounts of capital to spend that is paid for by the public (ratepayers). Every dime that has been spent on the People’s Project, to date, has been spent by me. Very simply, I do it because I believe it is the right thing to do for my community, and for the people who cannot afford $500 a month water bills.

It is my continued pledge to the county of Monterey that I will push forward with a desalinated water project that benefits the people, not shareholders, at the least possible cost. I will provide water to the North County area and to east and north Salinas. If the Peninsula does not wish to buy the water, or Cal Am cannot figure out a way to overcome its  legal issues with the Salinas Valley, we can provide water to them as well.

If we are the only successful project, I will sell water to the Peninsula and ratepayers (the real customers, not Cal Am) at far less than what they will pay Cal Am and still be able to provide water to others in need. Either way, I never back down and I never give up. I have dedicated 12 years of my life to this and if I have to dedicate the next five, so be it.


concept of water conservation in AmericaThere is no such thing as fresh water, that is to say there is no such thing as water that hasn’t been recycled billions of times, so to be truly accurate you can say freshened water. When you stop to think that all water has filtered through a dinosaur’s bladder, it gives water a narrative historical arc that is fun to contemplate The water you use every day has a history.

So why do we use potable water to flush toilets or water plants? Maybe because we haven’t stopped to contemplate what a vital, amazing, your favorite adjective here resource it is.

Imagine with me, it’s easy if you try (not really), that a billion people globally never forget how valuable it is because they live on four tiers (four soda bottles) of water a day for everything, and I mean everything; that’s growing food, bathing, drinking, cooking, etc. If the average adult needs two liters of clean water/day for drinking to stay healthy, do the math and see how challenging living on this allotment per day must be.

You can go online and take the four-liter challenge and then and post your newfound water conserving creativity. My favorite was the woman who thought washing her dishes was too big of a waste so she licked them clean. Mrs. Spratt, Jack’s wife, reincarnated.

In all transparency our family uses about 37 gal/day per person. So we have a long way to go ourselves. It’s a start. Here is how we got there. I won’t mention the familiar water-reuse tricks such as buckets in the shower, rain water catchment, etc. Others with more creative ideas than those should be encouraged to add them in the comments section below.

1. Buy a cheap plastic tub to wash dishes in, wash and rinse into said tub, then pour this water into a clean five-gallon paint bucket. I have two buckets, one for non-greasy greywater, just bits of food and soap, then another for greasy water.

I pour leftover coffee and tea or a little live vinegar into the non-greasy water to adjust the ph and use the result to water fruit trees. A family of four can probably safely keep six trees alive and flourishing this way. Citrus particularly like this broth. The greasy water I mix with weeds to feed to the chickens (basically a dressed salad), or if you don’t have any chickens, you can pour over a pile of rotting manure. I know, I know, all the compost books tell you not to do this, but I’ve been doing it for years, and the resulting product is superior.

You can also keep kikuyu grass alive with greasy water. I found this out by thinking that it would kill it but it thrived.

If you’re saying to yourself, buckets of slime don’t match my marble countertops, you can always decorate them to match your color scheme, (Martha would be proud, and so will I). You can get lids to cover them.

If you’re getting a little older and hauling buckets of water is past your do-ability, then you can attach a pipe from your sink that goes directly outdoors and divert it to your plants.

2. In the bathroom, take out the trap under the sink and place a bucket under the pipe to catch the water from brushing your teeth and washing your hands, etc. Use this water to flush the toilet. Be sure to use this water within a day or two so it doesn’t turn septic.

3. Liquid gold (urine) is awesome stuff and safe if you’re not taking meds. Just dilute to about 1:20 with your non-greasy water. For the truly hard core, look up and realize the fun fact that most of Asia has kept the farms thriving on chamber pot fertilizer for thousands of years.. I don’t recommend getting into humanure unless you do some research, but maybe you will take up this age-old practice and share your experience and teach us all. Since we’re on septic my husband assures me we already are doing this. I highly advocate buying the book The Humanure Handbook by Joseph Jenkins.

4. Some of my friends are installing fog-catchers. I’m going to be learning from them and will share my findings in a later post.

5. Grow plants that don’t need to be watered. I’m growing nettle right now and Chenopodium ambroisoides, two nutritional powerhouses, that don’t need any input from me. Great for pesto and adding to stir-fries and spaghetti sauce.

6.The Chinese calligraphy for chaos is the combination of the characters crisis plus opportunity. Let’s use this drought to learn knew ways to share the earth’s resources.

Susan Ragsdale-Cronin, a pioneer in reuse and recycling, is active in Sustainable Seaside. She and her family live in Del Rey Oaks.


I read a piece in Politico the other day about how the Republican Party is shrinking, in part because Republicans tend to be older than Democrats, etc., and older people tend to die before younger people. The GOP leadership, being reasonably astute, undoubtedly recognizes the problem and is likely taking steps to address it. Among the first things it will take is to change the membership oath to no longer require newbies to pledge allegiance to Fox News, the Koch Brothers and Karl Rove.
announcement, conference or political campaign

Locally, the party is taking a different approach to build up its muscle. Classified advertising.

The Salinas-based campaign management firm of Paramount Consulting, also known as Andrew Russo, is running ads in the Craigslist employment section seeking Republican candidates for everything from school boards to the state Senate.

Russo doesn’t require an oath but potential candidates “must be pro-business and fiscally conservative.”

“Some record of prior community involvement (is) highly desirable.”

Paramount lists a long list of previous clients who made it into office, including Monterey County Sheriff Steve Bernal, Congressman Jeff Denham, Salinas school board members Jim Reavis and Lila Cann, former Monterey County Supervisor Judy Pennycook and former Monterey City Councilman Jeff Haferman. That is quite a list but that’s all I’m going say about that.

Also going the Craigslist route is the Monterey County Republican Party, which has been looking for an executive director for quite some time now. That might be because of the compensation. At first I thought it was a typo: $2,500 to $3,000 per month depending on experience. Seems to me that no self-respecting, Democrat-disrespecting Republican would take a job in that range. Maybe it’s a test.

Despite the puny pay, it’s a big job. There are funds to be raised, an office to manage, reporters to be dealt with, interns and volunteers to be supervised, Facebook pages to be fed and a board to be interacted with. The successful candidate has to be skilled in Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, DreamWeaver, Indesign, and Adobe Acrobat. Finally, he or she “should have a sense of humor.”

That last requirement is key. The executive director would be dealing with people such as Brandon Gesicki, who placed the ad, and businessman Paul Bruno, two of the most madcap merrymakers to ever try to stuff a ballot box for comic effect.

Brandon “Why Doesn’t Anyone Like Me” Gesicki is one of those campaign managers who will use every trick in the book, every type of deceptive advertising, phony front groups and various intimidation tactics and then tell you he is doing it to prevent the GOP from being taken over by unprincipled people.

Speaking of Gesicki, he’s also advertising on Craigslist for interns for his own office, Capitol Consulting.

He describes it as “an incredible opportunity for anyone wanting to break into public relations and politics.”

The positions are unpaid for three to six months but will turn into paid positions at some point. There is no mention of college credit but, hey, there might be a Republican president by the time the IRS comes around asking questions.

Gesicki says he is looking for someone with good technical skills but he doesn’t mention anything about working on a web site, which is kind of surprising considering that his company’s website is still soliciting clients for the 2013 election and doesn’t include last year’s sheriff’s race as one of his success stories.

On his website, he does make it clear, though, that politics is a “full contact sport” and that “winning is everything.” The part about public service and philosophy is missing from the pages, but that’s merely an oversight. There is a section for  testimonials and I’m sure it will be very interesting when it is no longer  “under construction.”

Come to think of it, maybe I should apply, if not for an internship, possibly the exec director’s job. I have a sense of humor, or at least I did before I became old enough to be a Republican.


It was an apparent miracle in the field Monday, an artichoke field instead of a bean field, but a miracle nonetheless.

Right there within sight of the Cal Am desalination site, almost in the shadow of Highway 1, water streamed from a well that does not exist, or at least it doesn’t exist in the eyes of the company that wrote the draft environmental impact report for the desal plant and also according to the Carmel Pine Cone, which seems to operate as Cal Am’s public relations arm at times.

Environmental Science Associates reported in the draft EIR last month that it had been unable to find any wells at the Ag Land Trust artichoke fields that adjoin the Cemex facility north of Marina, which is where Cal Am plans to build its desalination compound. It matters because Marc del Piero, the lawyer for the Ag Land Trust, argues in court filings that the desalination project could draw down groundwater in the area, injuring the Ag Land Trust wells and possibility accelerating the intrusion of seawater into the fresh water aquifer.

Del Piero’s position is that the Cal Am operation could jeopardizes other wells in the area and that the issue needs further study. The EIR consultant’s position, however, seems to be that there aren’t any other wells to worry about.

It is entirely possible that the consultant, ESA, simply made a mistake or got confused. Or, perhaps, someone decided that by declaring the well non-existent, potential impacts could be ignored despite state law that frowns on ignoring impacts. Who knows? Regardless, the Partisan subsequently reported May 1 that it had found both an operational well on the Ag Land Trust property and a disconnected well nearby.

In conversation with the Partisan on Friday, ESA’s Eric Zigas initially clung to his position that no well exists, and then he backtracked to say there was no “active” well. He then backtracked further, saying his company had not conducted the search for the well. He said that was done by a hydrologist, Martin Feeney, who does work for Cal Am, the Salinas Valley Water Coalition and others. Feeney said Friday that the well doesn’t count because Monterey County officials don’t maintain a log for it, making it illegal. Del Piero says that while the water in the well is slightly too salty to be used for irrigation, the well is properly permitted.

In another conversation, Zigas modified his stance even further. According to the Pine Cone, he acknowledged that there is a well near the reclamation pump at the Ag Land Trust property, but said it is “capped and permanently disconnected.”

In fact, it is neither capped nor disconnected, permanently or temporarily. It was operational two weeks ago and it was operational Monday morning when the Partisan returned to the Ag Land Trust artichoke field north of Marina.

And as the noon hour approached, the clouds that often shade that section of shoreline appeared to part. A shaft of sunlight guided us first to the purple pump that delivers water from the Castroville reclamation facility and then to the well and pipes 20 feet away. The Ag Land Trust’s Sherwood Darington flipped a switch from “reclamation district” to “well.” Soon there was the sound of a motor running and seconds later  a column of water gushed from a large pipe, startling some seagulls that had been observing nearby.

As we reported May 1, water pumped by the well is too salty to be used for irrigation, which is why the artichoke operation relies on recycled water pumped in from elsewhere. The water is only about 10 percent as saline as seawater, however, and could be mixed with other water and used for irrigation purposes, according to del Piero. He and I sampled the water Monday. I’m not sure I could taste any salt.

The Partisan had additional questions for Zigas, such as whether his consultants had found the other Ag Land Trust well. The well that gushed on Friday is east of Highway 1. The other well, which indeed is disconnected, is on the other side of the freeway. Zigas declined to answer, however, declaring the conversation “confrontational” before abruptly hanging up. Neither he nor his boss returned subsequent calls.

Del Piero’s comments follow:

“The Pine Cone article, specifically the Zigas quotes and the implications that reporter Kelly Nix tries to draw from them, is obviously false. The groundwater well is fully operational and it is not capped. We ran the well just a few weeks ago.  The paper, on behalf of Cal Am is trying to  ignore the deficiencies in the draft EIR  by implying that the Ag Land Trust deceived the Partisan and its readers.

“Being an apologist for Cal Am’s illegal takings of property rights and the California Public Utilities Commission’s ‘gang that can’t shoot straight’ must be very tiresome for the Cal Am cheerleaders. What newspaper writes an article without checking the facts, or calling the party whose property rights are being taken, or relying solely on a person whose massive mistake will undermine the timeline of the CPUC. By the article, it appears that they are trying to undercut the credibility of the Ag Land Trust, which is objecting to Cal Am’s intentional illegal taking of the trust’s groundwater rights and supplies without compensation, and to undercut the credibility of the Partisan, because they do not like Proprietor Editor Royal Calkins, who took the time to check his facts and visit the well.”

The Partisan directed several questions to the author of the Pine Cone report, but his only response was to repeat that Zigas said the well is permanently out of commission.



The editorial board at KSBW-TV must still be waiting for an apology from the folks who blocked traffic on the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

With all the pent-up rage of Clint Eastwood’s Walt Kowalski character chasing his Hmong neighbors off his lawn, Joseph Heston, the animated embodiment of KSBW’s editorial board, on Friday unleashed a stern finger wag to UC Santa Cruz students who blocked traffic on Highway 17 near Santa Cruz back in March. Heston and the editorial board are furious because the students failed to “apologize for their incredibly reckless behavior.

The six students were in court last week to plead no contest to misdemeanor charges of creating a public nuisance. Their misdemeanors were committed in March, when they chained themselves to concrete-filled bins they had placed on the highway to bring attention to tuition increases in the UC system.

Heston was apparently expecting expressions of “real remorse” from the students, but he was sorely disappointed.

Ever the reliable defender of commerce and the status quo, Heston went so far as to proffer his own two-bit psychological diagnosis of the Santa Cruz students.

“Perhaps it comes from being a part of a generation that grew up being awarded blue ribbons no matter who actually won the race,” blustered the telegenic amateur Freudian, apropos of nothing. “Or, when acting out in kindergarten or elementary school, the misbehavior was excused as the child’s just expressing his or her true feelings.”


A group of activists, overly entitled according to toad’s standards, commemorates the 1965 march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., a landmark event in the Civil Rights Movement. The movement went on to considerable success. Little is remembered about the traffic troubles of the time.

As far as local media pundits go, nothing stirs the jaundice worse than a bad traffic jam. Unless, of course, the traffic jams are created in the interests of golf tournaments, food festivals and fancy car shows. They are the sorts of events we should apparently all get behind because their participants aren’t liable to go all social-justice crazy on us.

Six weeks ago, another student protest tied up Saturday traffic on Highway 1 on the Monterey Peninsula. I got caught up in that particular jam, but it didn’t seem much worse than the usual strangulated highway situation on any typical Monterey weekend.

Admittedly, the issue of tuition hikes doesn’t exactly reverberate like the civil rights violations that students in Alabama were protesting when they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma back in 1965, an event that came to be known as “Bloody Sunday.”

Still, I would imagine the manager of the Selma television station at the time must have been livid that young and uppity whipper-snappers possessed the temerity to raise awareness for their cause by tying up traffic without an apology.

Rather than showing remorse, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee continued their peaceful protests and eventually succeeded in pushing for the Voting Rights Act. Or, as Heston might have said at the time (as he did in his editorial on Friday), they “pontificated about the lack of justice and proclaimed their ultimate righteousness.”

As I recall, the Civil Rights Movement grew out of a generation in which blue ribbons weren’t awarded to everyone because of their race.

Livernois, a former editor of the Monterey Herald, is the author of “The Road to Guanajuato.”


sunset, carmelBest-selling espionage novelist Olen Steinhauer sets his newest spy thriller in Carmel. Or as the dust jacket blurb identifies the city —  “the idyllic town of Carmel-by-the-Sea.”

It’s always idyllic, quaint or charming when you choose an adjective to place before Carmel. I understand that and have no large quarrel with the easy ritual. But the city’s cloying full name with its by-the-sea suffix is too much.

For one thing, Carmel sits by an ocean, not a sea. Why would the charming citizens of the idyllic town want a quaint yet erroneous name for their community? And what if the marketing practice spreads? Could we soon have Monterey-by-the-Bay, Pacific Grove-by-the-Bay-and-the-Sea or Prunedale-by-the-Highway?

I say nip it in the bud, and make it simply Carmel. The tourists — I mean visitors — would still come and eventually wander down to the water — I mean famed white-sand beach — and realize they were by the ocean — I mean sea.

I’m less than 50 pages into Steinhauer’s book, “All the Old Knives,” so be assured there won’t be any plot spoilers here. All I know is that it involves two old hands from the CIA’s Vienna station who are former lovers. He is still with the Company; she is retired from the CIA and has been living the past five years in Carmel with her two young children and her rich, retired business executive husband. The two spies do what everyone does in Carmel, meet for dinner over which the story unfolds.
Setting an espionage yarn in Carmel doesn’t strain belief. After all, one of the city’s former mayors, Sue McCloud, was a CIA hand. And no self-respecting spy novelist would set a story in Seaside-by-the-Seaside unless, and until, Seaside becomes home to a horse-racing track, an oft-used setting in crime, thriller and personal-finance-ruination novels.

I’m guessing the plot involves terrorists or parking-meter hackers and a diabolical plan to shove street addresses down the throats of Carmel residents. But I have no actionable intelligence about the story because, like I said, I’ve only read 50 pages.

But those introductory pages contain plenty of Steinhauer’s observations about contemporary life in Carmel, which left me wondering if the author did his own field work or relied on Google searches.

Some of his words about Carmel ring true, some seem hollow and others — city image spoiler alert — are downright unflattering. Celia, the ex-CIA agent, has moved to the city, “this leafy utopian outpost,” to get away from the tension and grind of the war on terror. So far, so good. There are many leaves, indeed, in Carmel.

Steinhauer gives a quick gloss on the city’s early days as a bohemian artist colony whose growth was pushed by the devastating 1906 San Francisco earthquake. But then he gets a little hard-boiled.

“The town’s history is associated with famous writers — Upton Sinclair, Jack London, Robinson Jeffers — but I doubt those old artists would be able to afford a meal in the town it’s become.”


Celia’s quotidian life amid Carmel’s leafiness isn’t a bed of roses, either. She’s undergoing weekly psychotherapy and working part-time at the Stevenson School. To keep busy, she volunteers at the Sunset Center, which Steinhauer simply describes as a venue for “traveling musicians, most long past their prime (who) play mid-century hits for the retirees.”

Ouch! This strikes me as lazy Google research. Every local knows Bach never has played the center’s world-renowned Bach Festival.

Celia also lands a part-time photographer job at the Carmel Pine Cone, which the author simply dismisses as “the local rag.”

Having worked in newspapers most of my adult life I recognize the right of residents of any community to call their local newspaper the local rag — no matter its merits or lack thereof. In some cases, the authors are right and do not need literary license for the judgment.

Carmel’s 25-mph speed limit, profuse stop signs and “brief views of small homes through the trees” lead the main character, Henry, down Ocean Avenue to downtown and the beach.

Henry’s take on the air outside his rental car is a civic booster’s dream. “It’s the freshest air I’ve breathed in my life.”

Wow! That’s some fine air. But it’s hardly confined to Carmel’s square mile. Ask anyone from, say, Pacific Grove, and they’ll put their airs against Carmel’s any day.

But then things turn grayer, a fictional foreshadowing of more dramatic events to come than simply taking a few whiffs of air-by-the-sea.

Is Henry’s aside on a “smattering of locals and tourists, each one his own particular shade of white” a smart comment on the hermetic life of spies? Or simply more Google research about Carmel’s monochromatic population — 95 percent white?

Henry sees the town center as “cinematic version of a quaint English village.”

“I’m in the middle of an idealized vision of a seaside village,” he thinks, “rather than the real thing.”  A perfect place for Celia to forget her past life.

And a nice place to live, I might add,  if you’ve got the dough, for folks who never were spies and who don’t mind tight building codes to protect property values. And who enjoy lots of leaves and visitors who spend plenty of money without making much racket to shake all the leaves.

But that’s a humdrum story better suited for the local rag, not a snappy spy novel.


Some good news in Newspaperland?


vintage newsboyI did a little happy dance today because of some encouraging newspaper news out of the east. If you’re interested in journalism and public affairs, you might want to look for your tap shoes too.

The good news is that Apollo Global Management has ended its effort to acquire Digital First Media, the newspaper chain that publishes 70 some papers across the country, including the Monterey Herald and the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

It’s not that there’s anything wrong with Apollo. It is a very successful investment fund and it has made sizable profits for its many investors. It manages some $160 billion in assets and it apparently is very good at what it does. But what it does is make money, not run newspapers.

If Apollo had completed the deal, worth somewhere in the universe of $400 million, it would have been one large investment fund buying the newspaper group from another large investment fund, the Alden Global Capital hedge fund. Months of talks broke down, however, apparently because the parties couldn’t agree on price. Which is a good thing, I believe, because the transaction very likely would have led to continued shrinkage of the staffs and contents of the newspapers. I’ll explain my thinking in a bit.

This leaves the future of the Herald, the Sentinel and their various stablemates in a limbo of sorts. Digital First Media officials said two rather contradictory things Thursday — that the chain isn’t for sale but that they may be selling off pieces, either regional clusters of newspapers or individual papers.

As we and others have reported previously, there are local groups interested in buying both the Monterey and the Santa Cruz papers. One is headed by Geoff Dunn, a writer, educator and filmmaker who has been involved with alternative weeklies in Santa Cruz and elsewhere for decades. He was involved last year in brokering the sale of small dailies in Santa Clara and San Benito counties along with a Santa Cruz weekly and he continues to pursue Digital First Media operations on the Central Coast and elsewhere in Northern California.

Other groups have expressed interest in other Digital First holdings around the country, but DFM has deferred discussions with most of  them while pursuing a package deal with Apollo. If it starts negotiating with groups here and elsewhere, it is likely to become a complicated financial chess game with other newspaper groups proposing trades and other newspaper operations making plays for various configurations of newspapers. (As it stands, the Monterey and Santa Cruz papers are part of Digital First Media’s Northern California group along with papers in Chico, Red Bluff, Vacaville, Vallejo, Red Bluff, Fairfield, Eureka, Mendocino, Ukiah, Clear Lake, Woodland and Paradise. The San Jose Mercury News is part of the company’s Bay Area News Group along with the Contra Costa Times and several closely affiliated papers in the East Bay. At different times, the Sentinel has been part of both groups, as has the Marin Independent Journal.)

I am encouraged for several reasons. I believe local ownership could help restore at least some of the quality at the local papers. Corporate operators are by definition far more interested in profits than in journalism. Also, I believe the right kind of local ownership would be in much better position to make improvements.

Here’s why. As the U.S. newspaper industry has suffered large losses in advertising, circulation and revenue, the impression has been created that they are barely profitable if at all. The reality is that many newspapers have made respectable profits in recent years, not by increasing circulation or their advertising linage but by cutting expenses. With the Apollo deal falling apart, there already is talk of new budget cuts for the DFM papers starting in July. If the deal hadn’t fallen apart, budget cuts would have been on the near horizon anyway, or at least that’s what I think.

What sets local ownership apart from investment banker ownership is that local investors would have much less incentive to cut in order to create the kind of returns that hedge funds and other asset managers proudly offer their clients. Potentially, local investors motivated by public spiritedness might even be able to reinvest some of the profits and rebuild the newspapers.

Am I dreaming? Probably so. But until today, I was expecting to watch the continued decline of most DFM newspapers, including the Herald, where I once held the editor’s title. Now, I feel there is at least a possibility of recovery and the public benefit that goes along with it.

In the past few months, I have given talks to various community groups, including the League of Women Voters of Monterey County, the Gentrain Society at Monterey Peninsula College and the Carmel Valley Association and each was keenly interested in the future of the Herald. The people in the audiences are more involved in public affairs than most folks and a relatively high percentage of them still subscribe to the Herald even as they complain about its dwindling daily report.

I told them about the potential Apollo purchase and the local possibilities, which at the time seemed remote. After each talk, several people came up to me or called or emailed to say that newspapers remain extremely important to them, that they would be following the sale process closely and would be pulling, pulling hard, for local ownership. For the sake of the Herald and the Sentinel and the communities they serve, for the sake of the readers and the advertisers, for the sake of all, let’s hope it works out.

A little boy playing in nature, which there will be less

A little boy playing in nature, which there will be less of around here if you don’t do your part and soon, darn it.

Looked at the Partisan bank account this morning. It had gotten so small that I had to put my reading glasses on.

It was so small that I thought it was a seat on an airplane.

It was as small as Sheriff Bernal’s resume. As small as Dick Cheney’s sense of humor.

So small that I thought it was a Monday edition of the Herald.

Are you getting the picture, small as it is?

Like PBS and public radio, but without all the entertaining and informative distractions, the Partisan is supported by you, mostly older people who don’t spend much on big nights on the town any more.

Some months ago, we put out an appeal for help and it worked. Quite a few of you hit the Pay Pal button and sent us some cash and we were both surprised as heck and pleased as punch. Gratified and humbled as well. Others who don’t have Pay Pal accounts sent checks to 84 Harper Canyon, Salinas, 93908, and we were therefore able to pay our web hosting bills, our domain bills, stock photo fees, fictitious business statement fees and the like with enough left over to pay a couple of our contributors about a quarter of what their work is worth.

But when we looked at the bank account, we became afraid that, like Ferrini Ranch, Encina Hills and so many other things around here, our effort might not be sustainable. We let out a gasp, and not a small one.

If you’d care to help, we’re all for  it. As you know if you know anything about journalism and blogs and arithmetic, we’re not in this to make money. It’s just that if we continue on this course, we fear that our heirs and perhaps even some of our pets might hire Tony Lombardo or Brian Finegan and sue us for wanton disregard of fiscal reality.

If you’d like to know more about what we’re up to, scroll down and check out some of the 250-plus articles that we have posted in the less-than-a-year of our existence.  Some of it amounts to not a lot, but look more closely and you may see that the Partisan has become an important supplement to the local world of journalism and if you’ll check out the comments, particularly those attached to articles on water or development, you’ll see that the Partisan has become THE local forum for reasoned and intelligent discussion of some of the biggest issues of our times. Truly, the comments are usually the best part.

If you can help, great. If you’d like to add your voice in the form of commentary, please feel warmly invited. (calkinsroyal@gmail.com). If you can’t do either, please continue reading, telling your friends about us, hitting the share button when you find us on Facebook and clicking on the annoying shoe and tire ads that pop up on your screen.

We’d appreciate it, and not in a small way.