The trailer for the Sixty Minutes show reminded me of something else. We’ve seen an awful lot of Westlands Water District recently, in surprising places. The grower shown in the trailer, Stuart Woolf, farms in Westlands and is a former director of the district. I assume Sarah Woolf, spokesperson for WWD is a relative. (NTTAWWT. ) It isn’t clear to me why the Sixty Minutes producers chose Westlands to show California ag when the vast majority of Cal ag did fine this year. Or, if you want to show drought ag victims, why not stumped avocados in San Diego? But, you know, Westlands got itself on the news again.
I also didn’t get this piece at all. Like, from top to bottom. I don’t understand why engineering firms think they should be doing journalism. But given that they are, why write a piece on the smelt litigation that talks about nothing but Westlands from the Westlands perspective? There are a ton of engineering aspects to the smelt litigation. You could talk about fish screens, keeping smelt out of the Peripheral Canal, the bubble curtain, the engineer expert witnesses who testify in Wanger’s court. There are any number of ways to sell engineering products in an article on smelt and CA water. So why this incredibly one-sided piece for Westlands?
The strangest, and this one genuinely baffles me, was in the clunky and nearly illegible presentation on California Water Myths, by the Public Policy Institute of California. The entire myth on subsidized ag was a blowjob for Westlands. Why? Westlands wasn’t in the paper report. If you’re talking about subsidized water for CA ag, you should be (mostly) talking about the federal Central Valley Project, over on the east side. It was out of nowhere, and I don’t understand the editing process that included it.