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Water War Is On

On Feb. 24, local open-space and water-resource advocates the OWL Foundation officially filed a complaint against the city of Rohnert Park in Sonoma County Superior Court, alleging among other things that the water supply assessment recently approved by the Rohnert Park City Council fails to comply with SB 610. "This new law requires local agencies to assess local water supplies, during both dry and wet water years, before approving any significant new development projects," notes OWL litigator Ed Casey, a veteran of Southern California's water wars.

GMO Battle Heats Up

The special election for Sonoma County's GE-Free ordinance is months away, but the rhetoric is already flowing hot and nasty. "We believe that the CAO had insufficient time to fully assess the impacts of the proposed GMO initiative on the legal, agricultural and public health aspects of the ordinance," says Sonoma County Farm Bureau executive director Lex McCorvey, citing the County Administrator's Office report on the measure's potential economic impacts released March 1. "This initiative will cost Sonoma County taxpayers millions of dollars and at the same time be devastating to family farming operations throughout Sonoma County." Au contraire, says GE-Free campaign coordinator Daniel Solnit, who, like his counterpart, disavows the CAO report, but for different reasons. "They totally ignored the huge potential losses to farmers and county government if we don't pass this initiative," Solnit says.

Nurses With Balls

How to stop Republican rollback of popular, hard-fought progressive policies and initiatives? The California Nurses Association's March 5 court victory forcing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to reinstate legally mandated patient-staffing ratios in hospitals offers a clue: dog your opponent to the ends of the earth. Since boasting several months ago that he kicks nurse butt, the governor has been hounded by the CNA at almost every turn. Twice, he's been forced to enter high-profile events through the back door or risk a public scene. When Backdoor Arnold went back East begging for campaign funds last month, the CNA ran a full-page ad against him in the New York Times. According to the latest Field Poll, the governor's pumped-up popularity is beginning to shrivel. There's a lesson here, liberals.

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From the March 9-15, 2005 issue of the North Bay Bohemian.

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