The hammer may be coming down on the county's CEO, Larry Combs.
Not only did Supervisor Deidre Kelsey very publicly display her disapproval over Combs' performance at the last Board of Supervisors meeting, but now Combs is getting other warnings.
Lips overheard Supervisor John Pedrozo warning Combs that "all the department heads want you gone, now." Pedrozo said he was sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but "don't shoot the messenger."
It wasn't clear what the rest of their conversation was about, except that Kelsey and some unsaid "others" had it out for Combs. Better watch your back, C-Dog. Woof.
G Street deal
Elmer Lorenzi, a Merced booster and local real estate man, was the last of 13 property owners on G Street to settle with the city over land it needs for the G Street rail undercrossing.
When word reached Lorenzi that a certain city official said he and the other owners of the G Street Mini Storage made money on the deal, he was upset. "We never wanted to make any money off this project -- and we didn't," said Lorenzi.
The mini-storage's three owners, which includes the Stewart family of Budweiser distribution fame, as well as Lorenzi and a local doctor -- got $600,000 from the city, along with a piece of land. But, said Lorenzi, it won't cover the cost of the construction and relocation, among other items.
David Gonzalves, the city's development services director, said everything from loss of business to construction and relocation was calculated by assessors. Lorenzi got a good deal, said Gonzalves.
After eminent domain proceedings began, Lorenzi sat down with the city because he didn't want to go to court. He said he asked them for $850,000. But Gonzalves said Lorenzi asked for much more than $850,000. As of now, it stands at he said/he said about the deal.
On the defensive
Congressman Dennis Cardoza, D-Merced, who voted for the health care reform bill, is already on the defensive. With good reason.
In the coming election he has an opponent -- unlike in his last election -- and his yes vote for health care reform may be used against him.
Fear not, Cardoza supporters -- the man's wife, or at least her voice, is already campaigning on phone lines in defense of her hubby.
A radio spot by Dr. Kathleen McLoughlin, which was put on local stations, is also being used in robocalls, said Mike Lynch, a consultant on Cardoza's campaign.
Her message says the new health care bill will put a hold on insurance companies which are denying service and gouging patients, among other tricks.
"Dennis and his colleagues voted for a new law," she says. "This is a good day for my patients and for our country. I'm voting for Dennis again, and I bet a lot of patients will too."
Lynch said the spot was not defensive even if it first ran on March 22, the day after the vote. It was a nationally important issue, which is why the campaign ran the spot, said Lynch.
That may be the case, but from down in the Valley where Lips is sitting, it looks -- and sounds -- a lot like the beginning of Cardoza's re-election campaign.