September 10, 2005


Levee monitoring sinks in Legislature (Matt Weiser, September 10, 2005, Sacramento Bee)

A bill that some called a "baby steps" effort to deal with California's colossal flood risks did not pass out of the Legislature this week, prompting concern that there is little appetite to deal with the messy, expensive problem of neglected levees.

Images of a submerged New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina helped revive the bill from a months-long slumber. But those pictures of death and despair did not prompt enough votes in the state Senate to bring the bill forward as an urgency measure before the session closed Thursday night. [...]

The bill was sponsored by the state Department of Water Resources. It would have enacted the simplest recommendations in a January report by the department on the Central Valley's flood risks. That report called the Valley's flood control system a "ticking time bomb" because of neglected levee maintenance and inadequate funding.

"Even with any urgency that may have happened with Katrina and the levees in New Orleans, trying to do anything ambitious is really hard," said Jim Metropulos, a legislative analyst for the Sierra Club, which supported the bill. "Flood issues get to be very contentious."

Events like 9-11 and Katrina produce a ton of silly storylines, but none is ever more foolish than "this changes everything." No city, state, or nation that faces a likely natural disaster will do much of anything different just because the Gulf coast flooded.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 10, 2005 5:07 PM

This is the same set of clowns who did, however, find the time to confront the Gov. on the issue of so-called Gay Marriage. Shows exactly what and where their priorities are. And considering Sacramento depends on levees, what constitutes self-preservation for them.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at September 10, 2005 6:53 PM

Sadly, you are probably right.

IMO, the entire nation (and every state, could provide health care, rebuild infrastructure, reform retirements (through private accounts, etc. etc. etc....

if they would just cut bloated bureaucracies off at the knees (and none is larger and more destructive than Public Education).

Fire teachers and adminstrators, provide each child with a fully funded voucher of about 6-8K per year, and fix everything else with the savings.

How hard can that be. I hope the 'BIG ONE' hits soon.

Posted by: Bruno at September 10, 2005 9:52 PM