Independence Day 2019

Independence Day: Will the Bureau of Reclamation Ever Support Lake Berryessa's Freedom?

by Peter Kilkus 

Besides enjoying the holiday spirit and activities of the Fourth of July, it is instructive to reflect on the meaning of freedom and independence. The essence of America is finding and maintaining that perfect, delicate balance between freedom "to" and freedom "from."

Based on its words and actions, or lack thereof, the Bureau of Reclamation should more properly be known as the Burro of Wrecklamation. Not only has it physically wrecked what Lake Berryessa once was, it has wrecked the opportunities of a couple of generations of families to enjoy this resource. And during the last two decades, it has wrecked local businesses and what once was a thriving economy.

Although the old "stubborn as a mule" cliche is not really accurate, Wrecklamation's stubborn adherence to failed policies and a refusal to take action to  remedy what is clearly their mismanagement. of the Lake Berryessa situation makes them their own cliche. 

The scientific name for a burro is "Equus Africanas Asinus". "Asinus" in the burro's scientific name, suggests  a certain assiness to the burro, which hints at a further truth when applied here. See more about burros on the back page of this issue.

Not to overdramatize our situation at the lake, but take a minute to read the introduction to our Declaration of Independence below. I can't help but relate the language to the way our Burro of Wrecklamation interacts witht he people of Lake Berryessa and Napa County.

It's been six weeks since the review of the negotiations between Napa County and the BOR regarding a Managing Partner Agreement for Napa County run the resorts - with no further progress. Clearly Reclamation has no incentive to accelerate this process. They simply complain about funding, hold the 55 year contract term hostage, and ask for a fully developed plan from the county before they will commit to any action.

I refer your to my August 2018 article, "Beating A Dead Horse With A Stick OR Beating A Horse With A Dead Stick? BOR Betrays Berryessa - AGAIN!" Nothing has changed!

I've encouraged you all to write letters. I hope many of you did. I wrote several letters to BOR management and even two to President Trump. No Response.

So enjoy your thoughtful reading of the beginning of the Declaration of Independence below and perhaps we'll see each other at the upcoming Big Island Lagoon Liberation Celebration.

In Congress, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

--We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, 

--That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. 

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. 

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.

See You At The Big Island Lagoon Liberation Celebration?

There has been no response from anyone at the Bureau of Reclamation  regarding my report, "Immediately Return Lake Berryessa’s Big Island Lagoon And Steele Canyon Cove To 5mph Zones For Family Recreation." My position is that the report proves there is no such legitimate designation as "non-motorized, electric trolling motors only". There is also no applicable Napa County ordinance that supports the sheriff giving tickets to anyone idling at 5 MPH in this designated 5 MPH zone. I will be boating to and through Big Island Lagoon every time I go out on the lake, as I've done twice this year already.

Burro: Equus Africanas Asinus

"Asinus" in the burro's scientific name, suggesting a certain assiness to the burro, which hints at a further truth. "Burro" is just the Spanish word for "donkey." Some people make a distinction between the descendants of donkeys introduced into the Americas by the Spanish in the 1500s, which they call burros, and donkeys introduced from Europe in modern times, which they call donkeys. 

Even people making a distinction between burros and donkeys appear to agree that both, being of the species "asinus," are asses. Jackasses are just "jack asses," or "male asses."Asses were first domesticated around 3000 BC, probably in Egypt or Mesopotamia and have spread around the world. They continue to fill important roles in many places today. While domesticated species are increasing in numbers, the African wild ass is an endangered species. As beasts of burden and companions, asses and donkeys have worked together with humans for millennia.

Little Burro Events

This is an actual business in Petaluma. Imagine a party with the little burros dressed as you favorite Burro of Wrecklamation manager! A litle love goes a long way.

"We are Northern California's premier beverage serving mini-donkey company and we would be honored to be part of your special occasion. We can customize any event to make it extra special. With the docile nature of the miniature donkeys and their adorable personalities, you will see how quickly they make a good event a memorable & special event that everyone will talk about for years to come. 

Dressed to impress, these little burros are certain to touch the hearts of many. Our little burros are miniature donkeys that are between 26 - 34" in height."

********                       © Peter Kilkus 2018