Voice: Stapleton and SDCWA like the toad tryign to take over a home

May 22, 2002

Grandmother tells a fable about the toad and the burrowing owl: It's raining and the toad seeks shelter from the storm. She enters the burrow of the owl, and says to the host, "a delicately crafted agreement would bring peace."

The owl trusts that the slimy toad will soon be gone, "you may share my home until the storm passes." The toad swells from the water's permeation into her skin — and she crowds out the owl from her burrow, where she must now combat the storm.

Imperial Valley pioneers and residents are like the owl and Maureen Stapleton of the San Diego County Water Authority is like the toad. Her employer's recent advertisements in this newspaper clearly portend the coming storm over Colorado River water usage by the Imperial Irrigation District.

Historians note that Imperial County was once part of San Diego County. But this region was unloved, unwanted and cast adrift — like bastard children from polygamous marriages — it was invisible (until now) and trash-class to the snobs and nabobs of Southern California coastal counties, especially San Diego and Los Angeles.


But farmers, merchants and citizens made the Valley bloom into a jolly green garden as a direct result of private enterprise's construction of a dam across the Colorado in Boulder Gorge and the excavation of the Al- American Canal.

Now the toad smells the water for her eggs and pollywogs. The owl must decide if she wants to lose her burrow or incubate her clutch.

Fifteen million coastal plain residents have given cause to Gov. Gray Davis and the U.S. Department of Interior to lie to the public despite what our elected IID representatives Lloyd Allen and Andy Horne report to us.

The United States Supreme Court may decide the fate of Colorado River water availability and allotment by the Imperial Irrigation District. Thankfully, the rule of law applies in America — albeit, one Supreme Court justice was wont to tell an arguing attorney, "the law is what we say it is!" — and precedence counts.


El Centro

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