Valley news of the week -- Sept. 5-11

September 11, 2010 

FRESNOBEE.COM

Football, pot farms, politics and a high-profile legal dispute in Fresno's police department -- it all made for a volatile mix as the Valley enjoyed an unseasonably cool end to the summer.

Here are the top stories of the past week, along with selected comments posted by readers on fresnobee.com.

Pot farm worries

What happened: A man who stole from backyard forest of marijuana near Roeding Park was shot, highlighting a growing crime problem: urban pot farms.

What it means: Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said large marijuana gardens, which may be legal if residents have recommendations from doctors for medical needs, have sparked violence before. Thieves have clashed with residents over other gardens at least twice in the last week, he said.

What readers said:

"For all practical purposes, pot is already legal .... is anyone enforcing the existing laws? ... Ha, ha! Why bother, there are jaywalkers to bust! "

-- tcmps375

"This happened because the city council will not regulate the MMJ law already in effect. They were warned that this would happen and they ignored it and a few years later it happened. It will get worse if they keep their heads in the sand. "

-- WakeupAmerica


Law proposed

What happened: Fresno City Council Member Lee Brand plans to introduce an ordinance that would require council candidates to show proof they live in the district they seek to represent.

What it means: Residency questions have surfaced repeatedly -- most recently in the upcoming race for a seat to represent the third council district. State law requires candidates to swear they live in the district, but does not require they produce documents to prove it.

What readers said:

"I think the most important thing is...the person representing the district cares about the people ... & takes the issues seriously ... Someone who has experience and works hard."

-- Young_Republican_X

"I think it's absolutely unfathomable that this 'carpetbagging' is still rampant. To know that somebody sends their kids to school outside of the district they represent should send the voters a clear message. Voters, in turn, should send these scam artists clear message on election day."

-- JUNG_GUNS


Police complaint

What happened: The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has recommended that the city of Fresno settle a complaint by a black police captain who says Police Chief Jerry Dyer has been insensitive to discrimination against him by others on the force.

What it means: Dyer said he's certain that Capt. Al Maroney, whom he promoted, has not been the victim of discrimination. But the dispute threatens to revive racial divisions that have plagued the department in the past.

What readers said:

"Two rotten apples (Dyer and Maroney) here and we the tax payers get to foot the bill. Business as usual."

-- jasmoore3

"Give me a break -- this is attempted extortion with help from our own federal government. Replace this guy with someone who is willing to work for the community ... We don't want this BS or your lawsuit."

-- ganahlster


Water struggle

What happened: Lawyers are preparing to do battle over claims that big landowners in the southern San Joaquin Valley have taken control of a public water bank and are drying up nearby wells by pumping from it.

What it means: Kern Water Bank owners stored water from Northern California rivers in a vast underground aquifer and made millions of dollars selling it back to the state and farmers during the recent drought, environmentalists say. Landowners say they have invested heavily in the water bank and have turned it into a vital resource.

What readers said:

"The taxpayers funded the water bank infrastructure and its pumps. Shouldn't we get a return on our investment? Why do corporations need to bother paying dividends on stocks and bonds these days? All the corporatists have to do is steal tax payer dollars and then turn around and sell our natural resources back to us?"

-- corporatestateslave

"All state water project facilities are paid for by the water users, not the taxpayers. The water they saved in a wet year would have gone to the ocean in the wet year. Just like the dry year water the leftist econuts have sent to the ocean leaving thousands upon thousands of valley residents unemployed."

-- pdogood


Go 'Dogs!

What happened: Fresno State football fans were revelling in the team's season-opening victory over Cincinnati. It was a promising start to a key season as the university prepares to move to a more competitive conference.

What it means: The Bulldogs had a week off and will face Utah State on Saturday. Some fans worry that they will lose momentum.

What readers said:

"Terrific! Awesome! Let's keep that flow going -- don't let the bye-week = laziness!"

-- sgtsurfkb

"That was a fun game alright! Bummed I gotta wait 2 weeks for the next game! DOGS! "

-- xxxbradxxx

Catching Up is compiled by Bee managing editor Jack Robinson.

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