Sec. of Interior Salazar Dashes The Hopes Of Westside Farmers - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Sec. of Interior Salazar Dashes The Hopes Of Westside Farmers

Posted:

By: Liz Gonzalez

One of the president's men delivered a blow to Westside farmers, dashing hopes for any quick fix to the water crisis over the weekend.

Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar visited fallowed farms in Firebaugh Sunday, to hear from farmers on their own turf.

Some expressed optimism during Salazar's visit, telling him about crops they look forward to planting once pumps at the San Luis Reservoir are turned back on, and water deliveries increase.

But that hope, soon turned back to frustration after Salazar delivered a harsh reality check.

"The reality of this is we do not have those solutions at hand. The pain people felt this year, may continue into the future," Salazar told the group, "I don't want to raise expectations, or wave a magic wand and say this is gonna be better next year."

At one point, Salazar called the situation "a mess." Salazar says he understands and sympathizes with the plight of those affected, much like he did during his last visit to the valley. But that is little consolation to farmworker Maribel Lozano. "I have problems with my house. I haven't been able to make payments for three months. I'm trying to work out something," Lozano said.

The single mother of three teenage daughters says some weeks she works just 18 hours-and that's if she's lucky. Comedian Paul Rodriguez, Chairman of the Latino Water Coalition says Lozano and others affected need action, and not words or promises of help. He and other leaders met with Salazar at Mendota City Hall for nearly an hour.

 "If your house is burning, you're not gonna take it from the fire department that they'll be there tomorrow. We are pressing the immediacy of the dilemma here," Rodriguez said. "He told us in there, 'It's gonna take three years. We're moving as fast as we can. Who in this Valley has three years?"

Salazar told the growers it could take years to review - and then reverse - the biological opinion that ultimately led to this crisis. Scientists have blamed the near demise of one fish, the delta smelt, on water deliveries to farmers.

However, he did say one short term solution remains in the works. His staff and lawmakers are working out funding for the so-called "two gates project." This would hold back the smelt while allowing water deliveries.

Salazar provided no approximate timeline for the project.

He meets with Governor Schwarzenegger Monday in Los Angeles, to talk about the issue some more.

Stay with KMPH and KMPH.com as we continue to follow this story.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Prevent Diabetes With This Nut

    Prevent Diabetes With This Nut

    Put pistachios on your shopping list today. Those little nuts could help prevent diabetes.Researchers in Spain say the unsaturated fat in pistachios may protect people on the verge of developing type 2 diabetes.Researchers found people who added pistachios to their diet had healthier blood glucose and insulin levels.Scientists say the fiber and antioxidants in pistachios also help the body process sugar better.More >>
    Put pistachios on your shopping list today. Those little nuts could help prevent diabetes.Researchers in Spain say the unsaturated fat in pistachios may protect people on the verge of developing type 2 diabetes.Researchers found people who added pistachios to their diet had healthier blood glucose and insulin levels.Scientists say the fiber and antioxidants in pistachios also help the body process sugar better.More >>
  • How To Function On Little Sleep

    How To Function On Little Sleep

    Experts all agree that we should get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. But let's face it - sleepless nights happen.Here are some tips from the experts on how you can still power through your day.1.) Ignore the urge to hit the snooze button on your alarm. Don't do it! Those extra seven minutes dozed off aren't doing anything for you – as far as restorative sleep goes. Just set your alarm for as late as possible.2.) Eat breakfast. Research suggests that eating within an hour of waking u...More >>
    Experts all agree that we should get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. But let's face it - sleepless nights happen.Here are some tips from the experts on how you can still power through your day.1.) Ignore the urge to hit the snooze button on your alarm. Don't do it! Those extra seven minutes dozed off aren't doing anything for you – as far as restorative sleep goes. Just set your alarm for as late as possible.2.) Eat breakfast. Research suggests that eating within an hour of waking u...More >>
  • Secret To The Perfect Nap

    Secret To The Perfect Nap

    If you start running low on brain power today, take a nap. But, make sure you have a cup of coffee beforehand! That sounds counterintuitive, but the coffee could help you feel alert when you wake up from that nap.Researchers found people who drank coffee before taking a 20 minute nap performed better on memory tests than those who took a nap without the coffee.Scientists say the caffeine kicks in just as the nap ends. The caffeine binds to molecules that make you feel tired, which makes you f...More >>
    If you start running low on brain power today, take a nap. But, make sure you have a cup of coffee beforehand! That sounds counterintuitive, but the coffee could help you feel alert when you wake up from that nap.Researchers found people who drank coffee before taking a 20 minute nap performed better on memory tests than those who took a nap without the coffee.Scientists say the caffeine kicks in just as the nap ends. The caffeine binds to molecules that make you feel tired, which makes you f...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KMPH. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.