Sunday, April 26


For readers who already saw the last post, whichi I've now corrected, James L. Buckley retired from the bench in 2000.

As long as I'm making corrections I forgot to publish a correction by AP regarding the California court decision about water rates, so here it is:
Correction: California Drought-Water Rates Story
LOS ANGELES — Apr 23, 2015, 2:22 PM ET
AP via ABC News
In stories April 20-21 about a court ruling that found San Juan Capistrano's tiered water rates unconstitutional, The Associated Press reported erroneously that the decision by the 4th District Court of Appeal was only binding in Orange County. The ruling is binding statewide. However, appellate courts outside Orange County could rule differently and the state Supreme Court may ultimately decide the issue.
A corrected version of the story is below: [...]
Many news outlets picked up the original AP report as did this blog because the topic is so important. As the title of my original post noted, every water agency in the state was waiting on the court decision.  And of course Sacramento was also waiting.  Factual errors happen in the best of news-gathering organizations, which Associated Press is, but this incident is a reminder to me that the more important the news, the more I should take care to check the local reporting on it.

Maybe in this case everyone got it wrong -- I haven't looked back to check the original local reports -- but given that it was a court ruling, it's more likely the locals got it right.

Here's a passage from the corrected AP report, which I don't remember seeing in the original, but which ties in a bow the current impact of the court ruling:
Water departments are being pulled in different directions by Brown's administration that demanded hitting residents in the pocketbook to save water and the legal uncertainty of charging guzzlers higher rates.
"If you have courts telling you one thing and the governor telling you something else, maybe that's a reason to sit tight," [said Ken Baerenklau, an associate professor at the University of California, Riverside who's studied tiered water rates]
Sounds like gridlock to me. All the judge for the 4th Dist. Appeal Court did was kick the can up the road to the state's Supreme Court.


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