Off Beat: Let Stocker be Stocker
That was quite mysterious and stunning news emanating from the bowels of Yuba County's Republican Party apparatus.
The local GOPers jettisoned someone from the party's Central Committee. That someone was Supervisor Hal Stocker.
The big news was Stocker was a Republican. If he has been one all these years, he's hid it well.
Stocker never much came across as one of the party faithful. He actually seemed, on many issues, to be kind of ... liberal. Maybe even a ... Democrat.
Certainly when it came to development issues in the foothills, he was, by Yuba County standards, something approaching a Bolshevik. Comrade Stocker, if you will.
And you wouldn't want that in the Yuba County GOP, where they apparently genuflect to the east every night and pray to their favorite deity, Grover Norquist.
Via press release, the GOP operation declared that Stocker didn't attend enough party meetings, wasn't very involved in party activities and, believe it or not, espoused views at odds with GOP principles.
The old GOP has gotten much stricter nationally when it comes to members who aren't true believers. Barry Goldwater, if he were still alive, probably would be booted out, too. They'd see him as too soft.
In the grand scheme of things, whether Stocker is in or out among the poo-bahs of the local GOP clique probably doesn't matter one way or another.
The GOP high priests in Yuba County will have their world view, and Stocker will have has, but just not at the meetings of the Republican Central Committee, where, undoubtedly, some very important issues are thrashed out.
The outside world is finally taking notice of Bullards Bar Reservoir and the Yuba County Water Agency.
The agency's effort to relicense the dam and power project caught the eye of the folks of KQED in S.F.
The station's Climate Watch blog noted the variety of studies being conducted in connection with the relicensing. Like the study of what's happening with the Western pond turtle.
The blog noted that "even though the Yuba River Development Project was built in the late-1960s, no one's looked at the big picture: how the project affects the world around it. Not only the turtles, but also the frogs, the fish, the plants, the recreational facilities and the archaeological resources. That's the case with most big hydropower projects."
But the Yuba River project is "better than most," according to KQED, thanks to the Lower Yuba River Accord, which affected how "the water is parceled out."