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Concerns regarding Weybret, water board

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Posted: Friday, September 7, 2007 10:00 pm


In response to Mr. Fred Weybret's editorial in the Sept. 1 News-Sentinel: Mr. Fred Weybret is the owner of the Lodi News-Sentinel. Mr. Weybret is also the driving force on the local Water Board - the North San Joaquin Water Conservation District - and has been on this Water Board for about 30 years.

Some would say that Mr. Weybret is the Water Board, as he is also the News-Sentinel.

The Water Board is using smoke and mirrors (printed in the News-Sentinel) to drain our aquifer, while claiming to save it.

Mr. Weybret admits his Water Board got it wrong for the past 30 years (our aquifer is severely depleted), but he is still asking for our continued support.

Other pertinent facts:

1. Mr. Weybret's Water Board proposition is not only illogical, it is illegal (that is why he is trying to change the law).

2. Mr. Weybret's Water Board has testified that subdivisions use less water than farms. This is very untrue; a total fabrication.

3. Mr. Weybret's Water Board has testified that the absorption rate for water dumped on the ground is 70 percent. If this were true, we wouldn't have a water problem.

4. Mr. Weybret's Water Board is pushing flood irrigation over drip irrigation. A stupid move, and a waste of water.

5. Mr. Weybret's Water Board is willing to let the East Bay Municipal Utility District install 100 horsepower pumps to drain our aquifer. A really dumb illegal operation.

6. Mr. Weybret has admitted guilt in dumping industrial waste into Lodi's sewer system. He paid a million-dollar fine. Unfortunately, the rest of the cleanup is being passed on to the citizens of Lodi, and their grandchildren.

7. Mr. Weybret's Water Board is now gambling with the future of our entire valley, and the cards are stacked against us. This time, he has a legal team to protect all board members from personal liability.

8. It would be smarter to do absolutely nothing than to follow the Water Boards suggestions.

9. I will be voting for Mr. Bryan Pilkington's referendum. Mr. Pilkington's referendum will take away the funding source that promoted these illegal actions.

Bill Fuhs


Response from Fred Weybret, chairman of the News-Sentinel and member of the North San Joaquin Water Conservation District:

Mr. Fuhs' letter contains several factual errors which I feel need a response.

His contention that the North San Joaquin Water Conservation District is led by "Mr. Weybret's water board" is not only untrue, but it impugns the independence and hard work of my fellow board members, John Ferreira, Joe Mehrten, Tyce Van Gaalen and Tom Hoffman.

His reference to "100 horsepower pumps" is not clear, but it may be in reference to an old proposal to allow EBMUD to inject surplus Mokelumne River water under ground during wet years and take smaller amounts of water back out during drought years. This is a politically difficult idea that has been under consideration by our district, the Eastern San Joaquin Water Alliance, the County Groundwater Banking Authority and other districts in the county for several years. It may have merit some day, but not until adequate safeguards are in place to protect the water rights of local land owners. That issue so far has not been resolved.

His multiple allegations of illegal conduct fail to cite the law allegedly broken. I assure you that all of the district's actions in the past have been reviewed and approved by our attorneys, and we are confident that we are in full compliance with applicable laws.

His contention that I and the Lodi News-Sentinel have "admitted guilt" to dumping industrial waste is irrelevant and a deliberate misinterpretation of the facts of the central Lodi pollution case. We have admitted nothing and I deny the Sentinel contaminated the city's water or soil. We are content to have turned over financial resources to the city to further the cleanup instead of devoting them to unproductive litigation.

In his statement No. 8, Mr. Fuhs inadvertently supports the main point of the editorial by advocating "doing nothing." If Lodi-area landowners continue pumping, the water table will drop so low that it becomes contaminated with salt or arsenic. This has already happened in the western part of the district. No one should support such irresponsible inaction.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • posted at 5:04 am on Fri, Sep 14, 2007.


    to sam 10:28, cute.

  • posted at 5:28 pm on Thu, Sep 13, 2007.


    Yes, I am superior to all of you. Thanks.

  • posted at 11:15 am on Thu, Sep 13, 2007.


    T&C, I log my blogs in Word because I got tired of my poor spelling. I was frustrated counting how many blogs never made the boards. And FYI, thanks for the compliment. I enjoy your blogs too... and you to Leonard. You two have a lot to say and your comments wake a lot of people up and make us think.

  • posted at 9:08 am on Thu, Sep 13, 2007.


    T & C: FYI, sam is a woman.

  • posted at 4:56 am on Thu, Sep 13, 2007.


    Sam has got to be the most common sensical and well respected blogger on here, always making great comments and to the point and with a good lesson to be gleaned from each and every one of his blogs. You go Sam!

  • posted at 3:46 pm on Wed, Sep 12, 2007.


    I agree. sam's posts are usually very agreeable. Some would even say "on the fence" and not offending anyone at all. Actually I'd like to see sam mix it up more! Maybe she does and we just don't know it's her. Right, sam? LOL!

  • posted at 3:38 pm on Wed, Sep 12, 2007.


    If I use a different name like the gob's and moderator of this website do,and change to my other IPO, the same blog will be printed, If I use my regular IPO and T&C, that same blog will be censored. That's why I copy my blogs. I don't know what the moderator is so afraid of, Maybe the "big dogs".

  • posted at 3:33 pm on Wed, Sep 12, 2007.


    Sam, you're only at 60%? I figure I'm at about 80 or so. Marty and rich won't print many of mine, not because they're abrasive or abusive, but because they don't wnat to upset the hierarchy. You and Leonard are honest and upfront and that's what offends me, the fact they censor people like you.

  • posted at 10:11 am on Wed, Sep 12, 2007.


    Sam: Now that is shocking. You are one of the least offensive posters on these blogs. Its like I said before, there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason with regards to what does and does not get posted. Perhaps it all depends on the state of the censor's digestion at that particular moment.

  • posted at 7:16 am on Wed, Sep 12, 2007.


    Bill Randle: I've never seen your name (real name) on these boards. Are you new to here?

  • posted at 6:51 am on Wed, Sep 12, 2007.


    Thanks for saying that many of your blogs have not been posted. I seem to be at a 60% (get posted) rate. Very hard to carry on a conversation with almost half the blog comments disappearing.

  • posted at 6:06 am on Wed, Sep 12, 2007.


    Censor: Any particular reason why you are refusing to post new comments on this blog?

  • posted at 9:30 am on Mon, Sep 10, 2007.


    Leonard: FYI: I don't get any deletions. I don't use any excuses for switching gender on anyone, and I always try to treat everyone with respect, including you.

  • posted at 9:27 am on Mon, Sep 10, 2007.


    Leonard: Contrary: Letters to the editor will never be replaced by blogs. Letters are selected by rules that are governed by a newspaper's policy, because they directly reflect the professional reputation of the newspaper. Letters are a place where citizens can write to criticize the newspaper for some topic, or for an error in reporting. Acceptance of a letter is a "get-well" remedy. Blogs can't do the same. They represent anyone, with any opinion, and they do nothing for a newspaper's reputation.

  • posted at 9:22 am on Mon, Sep 10, 2007.


    Leonard: In response to your one-sided bias statement, I disagree because everyone is allowed to write a letter to the editor. The LNS rules allow a person from anywhere to respond to a letter that is already published, but you have to be from the Lodi area to be accepted for an original. The only difference is that a response has to wait for a week, but I don't think that is a penalty.

  • posted at 9:16 am on Mon, Sep 10, 2007.


    Leonard: At least 4 of my letters have been cut-and-paste. Only one of my blogs.

  • posted at 9:15 am on Mon, Sep 10, 2007.


    Leonard: There are leaders and there are followers. If you are blogging in this instance, you have to follow the letter.

  • posted at 9:13 am on Mon, Sep 10, 2007.


    Leonard: The letters are the most-read segment of the newspaper, perhaps more than the front page. I glance at the front page to see if anything is important, worth noting, and then I check the letters.

  • posted at 12:48 pm on Sun, Sep 9, 2007.


    Hey Leonard,,,T&C ,,have the guts to use you real name,,write a letter to the editor,,you'll get your 350 words.

  • posted at 4:21 pm on Sat, Sep 8, 2007.


    Incidentally, the Associated Press articles featured in this newspaper are all spun by the council on foreign relations. I wouldn't believe a word of them.

  • posted at 4:20 pm on Sat, Sep 8, 2007.


    A majority of newspapers across our country fall under CFR control, albeit not directly. Our community should be grateful that it has a locally-owned newspaper, and I sense an air of willingness for Mr. Weybret to resolve this discrepency. I recommend using some influence, professionally, not with flames. Quite easily this newspaper could be sold to a CFR-influenced ownership, and that would be the end of everything. Then the problems of our community would multiply without any news coverage.

  • posted at 4:15 pm on Sat, Sep 8, 2007.


    One item that I believe was misinterpreted in the response was that Mr. Fuhs is not blaming the LNS for pollution. He is suggesting a conflict of interest between the board, and the news coverage of the board.

  • posted at 4:14 pm on Sat, Sep 8, 2007.


    Although I confess that I'm not familiar with the water situation, I still maintain that it is important that the LNS did print this letter. A true Pravda would never do such a thing, and there are a lot of them around here.

  • posted at 3:15 pm on Sat, Sep 8, 2007.


    As a fond reader of all blogs, I will have to go with Weybret on this one. I lean toward an educated response, not the rantings of tin-foi hatsters, or uninformed ravings or those of a everyone is a "good'ole boy" paranoid.

  • posted at 1:27 pm on Sat, Sep 8, 2007.


    Daniel:Besides, other that broadly introducing a subject for discussion, letters to the editor have little bearing on the actual issues that end up being discussed.Printed media is an artifact of the 20th Century and it becomes increasingly irrelevant with each passing day, except in so far as it relates to online content and discussion.The day is fast approaching when newspapers will no longer issue paper editions and letters to the editor will be completely replaced by blogs.

  • posted at 1:22 pm on Sat, Sep 8, 2007.


    Daniel: As for Letters to the Editor, I think they are more or less irrelevant. This is the age of instantaneous communication. If someone says something that merits comment or correction, a response should be made immediately, while it is still of interest. To wait a week while you wonder whether your 300 word scribbling will or won't be published is, in my mind, literally a waste of time.

  • posted at 8:09 am on Sat, Sep 8, 2007.


    T&C: I would say that about half of my posts are censored. Sometimes, when I am speaking hard truths, I understand the motive behind the heavy handed deletions, even if I vehemently disagree with it. Often, however, I have absolutely no idea what it is that offends the powers that be. As far as I can tell, the process is more or less completely arbitrary (not to mention very, very, very slow).

  • posted at 8:06 am on Sat, Sep 8, 2007.


    Daniel: I am not contesting Mr. Weybrets right to make his opinions known. What does upset me is Mr. Weybret's unwillingness to extend that privilege to the rest of us. As you, of all people, should know, any discussion in which only one side is allowed to be heard isn't really a discussion at all.

  • posted at 6:01 am on Sat, Sep 8, 2007.


    YES!YES!Leonard I can not think of anyone that has any respect for this (GOB)paper!Wise up LNS!Your veiws are not that of the community!You are a JOKE!

  • posted at 4:49 am on Sat, Sep 8, 2007.


    Leonard: The original letter is probably printed without edification. Now, you the reader have to decide which side to believe.

  • posted at 4:49 am on Sat, Sep 8, 2007.


    Leonard: If every you submit a letter for publication, you will find there is a 350 word limit. This is very generous. The San Jose Mercury Pravda News limits to 150 words. Thereby you can't print anything meaningful in there, unless you are Dick Cheney (he did). The Stockton Record has a soft limit of 250 words, but they will make exceptions. Otherwise, 250 words is pretty much the tradition.

  • posted at 4:46 am on Sat, Sep 8, 2007.


    Leonard: The fact that the LNS printed a letter that condemns itself speaks of the professional integrity of the newspaper. Noone can attack it for withholding letters. By comparison, 60 minutes used to publish letters, but they were heavily screened and key excerpts deleted. Not far up the road, the Sacramento Bee is horrible for screening out letters that implicate itself.

  • posted at 4:39 am on Sat, Sep 8, 2007.


    Leonard: Your reference to a 100 word limit is erroneous. You only experience a 100 word limit because you only blog. The article above is printed. Letters have a generous 350 word limit. Since the response is clearly that of the LNS staff, it belongs in the Editorial where it is clearly labeled as the LNS's opinion.

  • posted at 4:35 am on Sat, Sep 8, 2007.


    Leonard: You missed some important points. (1) The editor of any newspaper is entitled to respond to any letter with an editor's note, and it is customary. (2) If someone chooses to respond, they may do so. Only difference here is that Mr. Weybret got a "heads-up." Other people would wait a couple days after submitting their response. But I am sure that the LNS would still print the response.

    Since Mr Weybret owns the paper, he is entitled to respond. This is

  • posted at 4:21 am on Sat, Sep 8, 2007.


    Leonard, it's funny that they'll censor some of my blogs, but when I go to another provider and say basically the same thing with an anonymous name, they print it right away. Do you have many blogs censored? That's because the SENTINEL is the moderator and they're afraid of reprisals from the good old boys and council. Please, moderator, tell us you really aren't who you think you are. All papers seem to state that fact but yours. WHY?

  • posted at 4:17 am on Sat, Sep 8, 2007.


    That's what's wrong with Lodi and this area. Too many "old-timers" still trying to run things with those same old ideas and principles and don't want to listen to anyone else. Look at your own city council. There are at least two there that're brain dead and two that look like they are already long gone with their same old ideas. Why isn't our CC comprised of younger generations such as JoAnne's generation, who'll grow tith this city and bring new and fresh ideas for the younger generations?

  • posted at 3:52 am on Sat, Sep 8, 2007.


    Thanks you, Mr. Fuhs. It is time the community takes a stand against the neo conservative Weybret family and it's strangle hold on the information and misinformation the community receives. Even if not every point made was fully articulated and noted with evidence, it presented important views that so far the public has not been allowed access to.

  • posted at 3:18 am on Sat, Sep 8, 2007.


    It seems to me that Mr Weybret's response pretty much proves Mr Fuhs first point. If Mr Weybret were one of us mere mortals, he would have had to confine his response to 100 words and then he would have had to wait hours or even days to see whether the self important censors would allow his comments to see the light of day. (continued)

  • posted at 3:18 am on Sat, Sep 8, 2007.


    The LNS's response policy has become increasingly authoritarian and autocratic to the point that real discussion has fallen victim to the whims of petty censorship. - Lenny Pone (


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