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Comments by valleyfarmer

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Posted on July 29 at 5:17 p.m.

A quick google scholar search nets the following research:

“An overview of the environmental risks posed by neonicotinoid insecticides,” Journal of Applied Ecology 2013
Concentrations of neonicotinoids in nectar and pollen in crops are sufficient to impact colony reproduction in bumblebees.
Consumption of small numbers of dressed seeds offers a route to direct mortality in birds and mammals.
Current use of neonicotinoids is likely to be impacting on a broad range of non-target taxa including pollinators and soil and aquatic invertebrates and hence threatens a range of ecosystem services.”

“Combined pesticide exposure severely affects individual- and colony-level traits in bees” Nature 2012:
“chronic exposure of bumblebees to two pesticides (neonicotinoid and pyrethroid) at concentrations that could approximate field-level exposure impairs natural foraging behaviour and increases worker mortality leading to significant reductions in brood development and colony success.”

“Declines in insectivorous birds are associated with high neonicotinoid concentrations” Nature 2014
“Our results suggest that the impact of neonicotinoids on the natural environment is even more substantial than has recently been reported and is reminiscent of the effects of persistent insecticides in the past. Future legislation should take into account the potential cascading effects of neonicotinoids on ecosystems.”

On The Fight for the Bees

Posted on July 9 at 11:35 a.m.

I am not a prohibitionist. Quite the contrary: I drink lots of wine. But I cannot abide misleading arguments.

The article says: “Countywide there are 128,995 parcels; 94.5 percent of them would not, under the proposed RWO, be allowed public visitation” (i.e., winetasting and commercial events). That’s 7,095 parcels that WOULD be allowed public visitation. Napa County has 497 wineries and Sonoma County has 416. The RWO then provides the opportunity for SB County to have 14 times more wineries than Napa and 17 times more than Sonoma. Hardly damaging to the economics of the wine industry; but definitely damaging to the the Santa Ynez Valley.

The piece says the RWO will limit wineries having charitable events, but also notes “Vineyards, or any other ag landholder in the county with no winery operation, can hold unlimited charitable events.” So, limitations on wineries won’t harm local charities: they can have as many events as they need on lots of farms, estates, and vineyards.

Mr. Rankin’s vision of unlimited winery development will support tourists and investors to the detriment of residents and local farmers.

On Back Door Prohibition

Posted on July 5 at 1:43 p.m.

Check out "accessory structures" permitted in Portland:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/08/gar...

here's the zoning ordinance:
https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/ar...

On Santa Barbara's Recovery Blues

Posted on January 29 at 5:57 p.m.

2 comments:
1: the merger of Santa Maria Energy and Hyde Park Acquisition infusing $40 million into SMEnergy was covered in the Pacific Coast Business Times on December 5, 2013. Com'on, guys. That's almost a month ago. You are a news outlet. Get Google Alerts!!!! http://www.pacbiztimes.com/2013/12/05...

2: The Pacific Coast Business Times states: "Santa Maria Energy's contentious project to drill 136 new oil wells in North Santa Barbara County received approval from the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors last month. The Supervisors imposed strict limits on the project's carbon emissions, essentially implementing a 10,000 ton per year cap and requiring the company to buy carbon credits if it goes over that limit.
But the carbon cap does not seem to have deterred investors." major emphasis on last sentence

that's the story. wake up!!!! All the brouhaha about the BoS killing jobs in Santa Maria is simply silly. Santa Maria Energy has not be deterred or detracted from by the carbon cap. Trivial. Not game changing. Tell the story!!!!1

On Santa Maria Energy Merger Could Raise $40 Million

Posted on December 9 at 9:08 a.m.

Let’s look at Supervisor Adam’s examples of “radical” “elitist” decisions made on 3-2 votes of the Board of Supervisors.

First, Santa Maria Energy. The Board’s air quality restrictions were clearly not “crippling” and will not cause a loss of jobs or tax revenue. According to an article in Pacific Coast Business Times: “But the carbon cap does not seem to have deterred investors. On Dec. 4, Hyde Park Acquisition Corp. II announced it would merge with Santa Maria Energy, pumping at least $40 million into the surviving parent firm, Santa Maria Energy Corp., which is expected to trade on the NASDAQ Capital Market.” Hyde Park offered the following statement: “the oil resources owned by [Santa Maria Energy] together with its track record . . . in Northern Santa Barbara County provide Hyde Park shareholders with an investment with considerable upside potential.”
http://www.pacbiztimes.com/2013/12/05...

Next, the Gaviota Plan. Most of the speakers at the hearing focused on two issues: incentives and initiation by minute order (details not really worth going into). Supervisor Farr moved to proceed with the Plan with some specific changes, among which were including an evaluation of the incentives designed by the GavPAC and initiation by minute order.

Supervisor Farr did not address other concerns brought up by members of the public, leaving many disappointed (some distraught). While a good number (perhaps most) people in the audience supported Supervisor Adam’s motion to send the Plan back to the GavPAC (a very expensive option for the County to undertake having already spent $3 mil on the Plan), the sense in the audience was one of relief that incentives and minute order were included.

Hyperbole is a useful literary device, but not really helpful if you want to work for the betterment of a County. Indeed, the use of hyperbole creates arguments that are “radical” and undermines the ability of leaders in North and South County to work together toward goals that will benefit the people of Santa Barbara County as a whole.

The “north-south divide” in Santa Barbara County is not an ideological one; it is a socio-economic one. Let’s have a discussion about educational opportunity instead of a deceptive diatribe about devaluation of private property. That would be infinitely more useful to the vast majority of residents of North and South County alike.

Supervisor Adam is loud and clear in his final paragraph: He is supporting a challenger for the 3rd district. Fine. Let’s just hope future endorsements will be more rational and less theatrical.

On A Dispatch from the Colonies

Posted on October 17 at 4:56 p.m.

The article mentions conventional farmers and organic home gardeners but fails to identify impact on organic farmers, whose only viable response is to not plant cruciferous/brassica crops.

On Bagrada Bug No Big Issue

Posted on August 6 at 5:16 p.m.

Fabulous recipe for home made bread from Mark Bittman at New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/din.... Incredibly easy. Watch video.

On Breaking Down S.B.’s Bread Revolution

Posted on June 30 at 1:27 p.m.

All of you who bemoan the loss of steelhead should remember that Bradbury dam was built to stop the flow of the Santa Ynez River to the Ocean and divert its water to South County where, at least in the City of Santa Barbara, over 50% of that water is used for irrigating landscaping. So you've traded 20,000 trout for lawns and mostly non-native flowers. The only realistic solution is to remove the dam - and none of you want to give up the water. (Trout ladders aren't a realistic solution. They would cost a huge amount of money that could better be used for, you name it: universal pre-school, re-hab services, crime-prevention programs, or, for those of you who don't like taxes, personal expenditures.)

On 70 Endangered Steelhead Killed During Power Outage

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