ESPN Deportes

PoliticFact does a PolitiHack Job on Oroville Dam Crisis

Chris Nichols of PolitiFact recently looked at a claim by Assemblyman Travis Allen that the current Oroville Dam crisis “was entirely avoidable.” Here are the comments Nichols purportedly reviewed:

The Oroville dam failure was entirely avoidable: California passed a $7.5 Billion water bond in 2014 but Jerry Brown didn’t spend $1 on new water storage or improvements to existing infrastructure like Oroville,” Allen said in a press release on Feb. 13, 2017.

Nichols rated the claim by Allen “mostly false,” but here’s where Nichols/PolitiFact got it wrong:

First, Nichols uses the environmentalist FERC complaint to argue out of both sides of his mouth, that, on the one hand, ‘it was anticipated” and on the other, “No one could have known.” These are Nichols’ exact words: “But there’s no evidence, at this point, that state officials knew the dam’s main spillway was in jeopardy, something Allen does not point out.”

So, Riddle Me This, Batman: Nichols tries to distinguish between operating and managing without explaining how come there are PHOTOS showing obvious water seepage and repairs being made on the main spillway in 2013 at the exact point of the initial crater formation, something managing the dam entails, but operating it does not.

2013_Oroville

Just Ask An Expert: Anyone who know structural concrete construction — or anyone making a simple phone call to someone who works in large-scale concrete project construction — knows that if water is flowing or seeping under the foundation, slumping, cracking and failure are not far in the future.

Management, Not Operations: With a dam holding over 3 million acre-feet a few yards upstream, finding the source of that water seeping was a matter that should have been of great concern. It apparently wasn’t. That’s a management decision, not an operational one (operators control how much water goes down the spillway, into the hydropower plant, etc.).

It is also management’s responsibility to note that the generator outflows would be compromised in the event of the emergency spillway filling the river channel with debris from the unpaved hillside (as pointed out to FERC and DWR in the environmental complaint). Proper planning for such debris dams would be to raise the generator water outlet height or install a check dam between the dam’s base and the main spillway to prevent sediment and debris from eddying upriver to clog the generator plant outlets.

Again, that’s management’s decision to make, not operations.

Proposition 1 Water Storage Bond Funds: Nichols was also critical about Assemblyman Allen’s comment that, “Jerry Brown didn’t spend $1 on new water storage or improvements to existing infrastructure like Oroville.”

Nichols concludes that, Allen’s additional claim that the state has yet to spend bond money on new water storage projects, ignores the fact that that money was precluded from being spent until December 2016.”

Proposition 1 Water Bond (2014) specifically excluded funds from being spent until December 2016.  What Nichols ignores is that the Prop. 1 was passed two years ago and with a 5 year drought, and currently floods, there still isn’t a single project listed on the state website as appropriate for funding.

It’s over two months since Proposition 1 money COULD be spent. With all the emergencies, water needs and shovel ready projects, you would think that the state would have broken ground January 1st.

There is also $168 million left in the Burns-Porter Act authorization, for which local needs and flood control were included in its purpose. With money in hand, no one seems to be leading by setting dam safety as a priority in the state budget, along with other decaying infrastructure.

Politifact’s Conclusions Are: MOSTLY FALSE: They ignore critical facts that give an entirely different impression. 

PolitiFact owes Assemblyman Travis Allen an apology, a retraction of its review and I give Chris Nichols 4 HATCHETS for his hack job on this story.

hatchethatchethatchethatchet

 

Adding Football To The Latino Vocabulary

As the National Football League (NFL) players begin their training camps, I have been fascinated by the league’s continued efforts to bridge the American culture in a bilingual and bicultural way to expand their fan base with the Latino community.

In the past few years the NFL has partnered up with Spanish language networks to put together a foundational understanding of the generational, ethnic, socio-economic and regional difference that exist within the Latino community. The NFL educated itself to understand that Latinos are not monolithic, we vary by region, dialect and customs.

NFL2

With the help of its media partners, the NFL has been running Spanish language ads promoting Sunday as a time for family, unity and of course sports.

Fox Deportes became one of the first Spanish-language networks in the U.S. to televise NFL games. For the newly acquired Latino fans who didn’t get enough football on Sunday, they can now catch Monday Night Football on ESPN Deportes.

Locally, the NFL began sponsoring bilingual events at schools and tailgate parties. During Hispanic Heritage Month, the NFL runs ads highlighting Latino players and individual teams have also launched their own fan base programs such as “Vamos Bears”, sponsoring local pass, kick and run the ball events and handing out “De Todo Corazon” (with all my heart) Bronco t-shirts.

The effort is paying off.

Tom Van Riper, contributor to Fobes, noted:

Hispanics comprised 8.7% of the viewing audience of NFL games in 2014, up from 5.5% in 2004 (numbers for the partly-completed 2015 season aren’t available yet). That translates to 1.5 million people, a jump from 779,000 a decade ago. It’s still a small percentage of the U.S. Hispanic population, estimated at some 50 million, but no longer an insignificant piece of the NFL viewership pie. Naturally, the league has shifted advertising dollars in kind. During the 2014 season, according to Nielsen, the NFL spent $243.8 million on Hispanic media, a 60% increase over five years. Most of that is television, where ad spending rose to $230 million from $139 million.

Hispanic fans tend to follow the same players as anyone else, too. The most well-known player in the market: Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady, who scores an 84% awareness level among Hispanic consumers. He’s followed by the Manning brothers, Peyton and Eli (80% and 76% respectively), along with Reggie Bush (67%) and Richard Sherman (65%).

The NFL has done a tremendous job at seeking to capture the hearts and minds of Latinos and Latinas. They realize that building a loyal following will take years and their efforts include speaking to Hispanics in Spanish and English and understanding the culture and nuances that exist within each subgroup.

According to Morgan Stanley analysts, “The Hispanic population in the U.S. reached 55.4 million in 2014, or 17.4% of the country’s total population. According to Census Bureau figures, Hispanics are projected to number 106 million by 2050.”

Not only will the Latino population continue to expand, so will their wallets.

While these efforts have become commonplace for marketing agencies dealing with automotive, digital and beverage industries, it is still a relatively new field in public affairs, issue advocacy and community mobilization.

As the population and income growth number show, our industry can’t continue to ignore this important group of voters, consumers, community leaders and decision makers – It is time for our industry to add its own Latino vocabulary.