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Monday, June 20, 2011

"They will destroy farming in California.".."It's the most bizarre thing I've ever seen in my life," said Peixoto, whose Lakeside Organic Gardens grows 44 kinds of organic vegetables on 1,200 acres. "It's holding us to a standard that's impossible to attain."

By Jason Hoppin
Posted: 06/19/2011 01:30:37 AM PDT

WATSONVILLE -- Pajaro Valley farmer Dick Peixoto minces no words when it comes to a proposed set of water regulations that could play a key role in state budget talks: They will destroy farming in California.

"It's the most bizarre thing I've ever seen in my life," said Peixoto, whose Lakeside Organic Gardens grows 44 kinds of organic vegetables on 1,200 acres. "It's holding us to a standard that's impossible to attain."

Peixoto is not alone in that view. Large and small farmers throughout the Salinas and Pajaro valleys have spent the past two years warning that the rules threaten agriculture, a top industry in the state and county.

Moving slowly toward a September vote, the rules would radically reshape how farms in the Pajaro and Salinas valleys are regulated, making Central Coast water rules among the toughest -- if not the toughest -- agricultural regulations nationwide.

But those controversial, and largely unknown, rules could still be part of the mix as Gov. Jerry Brown seeks a final budget solution that likely would need at least some Republican support, including possibly from Republicans whose districts include the Central Coast farmlands covered by the proposed rules.

TOUGH NEW RULES

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Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database

Key

Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.

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