ABSOLUTELY

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I’ve collected them for years, why not?  They are beautiful and complex structured natural formations – and in my own yard no less!  Sure they are not worth much in a cash value sense (absolutequartzcrystals com) but that isn’t why I am interested in them and take the time necessary to clean them up with a toothbrush and water.  I just appreciate them for what they are: natural geologic gifts.

Yup, even though there is never enough time to get the ever present “to do list” done, seems I always manage to find the time to go “off the task at hand” for the enjoyment received and wonder stimulated, as a result of being semi-observant.  (I qualify the word observant because only the Good Lord knows what I routinely overlook in my rush to get things done in everyday life.)

Take the below photo for instance.  After many years of scratching at this foothill geology with pry bars, picks, and hammers, when planting trees, bushes, posts, PVC/Conduit lines, etc., I’ve learned to keep an eye out for a certain pattern in the otherwise common reddish-brown/tan colored rock and clay formations.  I first observed this “tell pattern” in the smaller specimens I’ve collected for almost thirty years.

NOW CHECK OUT THE OTHER SIDE (BELOW)

ABSOLUTE QUARTZ

I remember that descriptive name from a Geology class I had many, many years ago – but here I am now searching for and picking them up on a sunshiny day after a rain (often sparkle) or sifting through a pile of post hole diggings in a promising rock outcrop area.

 

 

Oh well, you get the idea – must get back to work!  lol

 

My best to you and yours, Lew

 

Categories: Uncategorized.

HWY 59 BETWEEN LA GRANGE AND SNELLING OPEN AGAIN!

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Just a few quick photos as I proceeded over the bridge North bound.  Actually had the whole highway to myself for the trip (although there were some folks at the Off Highway Vehicle park outside La Grange.)  Seemed like a scene in one of those creepy zombie movies….you know, driving into an area devoid of human presence?   Where’s the traffic?  The people?   Something strange is going on here…….(Screeching tires….a sudden stop….shaky figures approaching vehicle……growling….gnashing of teeth….screaming…… )

geez, sure is good to have the highway open again.

Now…..once Ranchito Drive and HWY132 are repaired……. later!

Looks great yeah?

(Crossing Dry Creek…..the Lake Don Pedro subdivision is off to the right in the distance.  I believe the running water that took out our Ranchito Drive eventually ends up crossing under HWY 59 here.)

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.

WATER LOSS FACTS (PRIOR TO OFFICE ARSON) HAVE BEEN FORGOTTEN

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While organizing and backing up my LDPCSD files I came across a number of issues that were evidently overlooked and/or forgotten in light of the complete destruction of our administration office by arson on February 27th, 2012.

One of these was the fact our district employees were actively and SUCCESSFULLY locating and shutting off many illegal connections (not being billed for the water consumed).     Whether criminal charges for utility theft were actually filed and pursued is unknown.

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On Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 at approximately 1030hrs  I received call from IGM Dan Tynan regarding several illegal connections discovered by employees Jose and Justin.  Five of these were described as follows:
North of the T intersection of Gusanillo Way  x Granite Springs Road.  Unimproved property.  Bath tub with float device to keep tub filled for cattle (apparently not used for some time) Barrel lock installed.
Granite Springs west of Tulipan possibly Lot # 1742, improved property. Bypass of meter with garden hose and sprayer attachment on ground. Barrel lock installed.
Llanura Court, unimproved property. New AMR meter with .02 consumption but with an adapter connection on the other side of the yoke.  Barrel lock installed.
Pepito Court, unimproved property. Apparently a meter had been removed – still blue tagged, yet another connection to receive water attached on the other side of yoke.  Barrel lock installed.
Pepito Drive, unimproved property. Two concrete meter boxes. Illegal connections to both tied to a buried ½” drip irrigation line. Old meter.  Both connections had barrel locks installed.

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I also found a number of information requests I submitted to the office that specifically dealt with the Outside Merced Irrigation District Place of Use issue and how FACTS clearly contradicted what was BEING PROVIDED TO THE PUBLIC by special interests pushing further OUTSIDE POU WATER SERVICE.  Requests that were NEVER ANSWERED and also abandoned in the wake of the administration office destruction and resulting confusion.  Perhaps these questions and discoveries were getting too close to the actual water loss truth?

Then only a few years later when the District had managed to purchase and install a new admin office and save over one million dollars in cash – (with the assistance of a Proposition 218 which raised rates for the far majority of innocent <<<MR WECs>>>  MERCED RIVER WATER ENTITLED CUSTOMERS of the subdivision)  PETE KAMPA was suddenly brought back to the LDPCSD through an unethical closed recruitment process orchestrated by sitting board directors to continue KAMPA’s LAFCO annexation plan of further SPECIAL BENEFIT GROUNDWATER SUBSTITUTED SERVICE  for more properties OUTSIDE POU using PUBLIC FUNDS FOR CONSTRUCTION OF THE NECESSARY GROUNDWATER WELLS. (Heck, even a proposed 900 acre residential subdivision (approved by LAFCO in 1995 when Kampa was here the first time) was actively concealed from the public until only a few months BEFORE KAMPA’s 2014 RETURN!)

What was one of the first things KAMPA did when he returned?   Abolished the traditional WATER REPORT which included very important water use and loss statistics for public review in the agenda packet.   Why?

Obviously the above noted 2012 utility thefts represent only a small fraction of our decades of massive water loss (treated and raw water) but I trust the point is clear….even that effort was quickly halted and remained virtually inactive until a state investigation in 2016-2017 resulting in the September 26th, 2017 NOTICE OF VIOLATION by the STATE WATER BOARD for outside POU water service in violation of water license 11395.

Must get back to work outside in preparation for a likely brutal summer!

My best to you and yours, Lew

 

Categories: Uncategorized.

09 APRIL 16th, 2018 LAKE DON PEDRO CSD Monthly Board Meeting

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09

Good news. Bad news. Bad news first – uploading is taking quite a while because of my selecting the wrong camera recording resolution the day of the meeting [set everything up the night before too!] and failing to just try something new and convert it to something more appropriate. Good news? The next installment (#10) will be the last of the meeting! Yippeeeeeeeeeee!

That was some quick storm on Tuesday, May 1st was it not? Shot some video of thunder/lightening/sleet/wind…..all the good stuff. Then poof! rolled right over us on it’s way to the valley. NE winds for a while.

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.

WHAT BERRIES?

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Pretty comical.

Like locusts they fly into a Pyracantha bush that is lush with those bright red berries and in a short while

—only stems!

lol

Surprising there are not more mid air collisions.

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.

07 APRIL 16 2018 LAKE DON PEDRO CSD Monthly Board Meeting

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Dang it!  The video title is wrong…..it is supposed to be 07  not 06!  Oh well.  Later

My best to you and yours, Lew

Yes indeed, I do look riveted (above) as Kampa explains something with his hands again.   Maybe he’s demonstrating how he dove into water?   Perhaps into the pool at a pricey hotel in Monterey to rescue his cell phone after throwing it in due to all the CONSTANT EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS and COORDINATING required that ruined his family vacation because of LDPCSD infrastructure damage and service interruptions caused by the Thursday March 22, 2018 atmospheric river and resulting flooding?  Or perhaps, he is imitating how he flies through the sky as an OUTSIDE POU SUPER HERO with the letters “OPOU” on the front of his sporty tailored flying outfit, yeah?  Maybe a bright red cape and face mask to boot?

 

Yeah….. a sleek black mask  like the above speeding

Ceder Waxwing stealing Pyracantha berries ?  lol

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06 APRIL 16 2018 LAKE DON PEDRO CSD MONTHLY MEETING: STORM EMERGENCY

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During this portion of the meeting GM/TREASURER PETE KAMPA reports on the Thursday, March 22,  2018 storm damage and resulting interruption of water service for some customers.   I now understand the expressed concern by some county officials with LDPCSD communications during that emergency since Kampa was on a long overdue family vacation in Monterey, CA.  Anyway, even though not legally required, I personally prefer the idea of a GM who lives in the community and consumes the same water.  You know, part of the community when some disaster occurs affecting the water service in these semi-isolated foothills.  Kind of a “hands-on stakeholder” it you will.   Maybe a part time “remote GM/TREASURER” doesn’t matter in this digital communication age for other districts – but what if phones were also completely out?  Seems to me KAMPA’s “cookie cutter” – “one size fits all” special district management approach doesn’t fit with the exceptional situation that is our LDPCSD.

Categories: Uncategorized.

05-B APRIL 16 2018 LAKE DON PEDRO CSD MONTHLY BOARD MEETING

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CPU processing was taking so long I had to leave post it notes to remember what command I was going to use next!  lol  Seriously. Yeah, yeah….getting older too, but not that bad…..yet.    Strange how strong beliefs can provide you with added strength and determination on one level while simultaneously weakening you on another.  Oh well, we all have birth and death in common.  Not much choice in the former so might as well be doing something you believe heart and mind in when you must leave, right?  If this production doesn’t teach me to SOME HOW LEARN TO CONFIRM CAMERA SETTINGS…….NOTHING WILL!  WHAT A PAIN IN THE…

If something like this does happen again (recording on too high of a resolution format) I believe just converting the file to AVI would be easier.  I read online about some options but I didn’t want to purchase or use FREE software  – seems like there is always some hidden “hook” or something else attached to the “FREE”.  Figured I’d try it this way first and just be more careful next time.  (I still think it was resetting somehow, but again, that micro switch is very sensitive and I may have accidentally changed the setting with my numb thumb.  Yes, my numb thumb.) One heck of a clear image though yeah?  Don’t recall everything I read, but Sony has its own format that’s different from the Olympus.  To be honest I didn’t shop much for a new video camera.  I had used a number of HandyCams in the past and really liked them – but the old heavy analog tape and first digital ones.  I do like the more simplistic menu structure, but again, sore, numb digits make working with small switches/buttons difficult.  Holding the camera is like holding a Hummingbird – unbelievably light.  I don’t use it for much other than CSD meetings so that’s another point I should use it more often and become familiar with the functions.  Yup, extremely light weight – feel like I need to duct tape a brick to it just to remember it’s on my hand!  blah, blah, blah….good night.  Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.