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Can you hear him now? Buddy’s right, whether you like it or not.

No Agua

Can you hear him now? Buddy’s right, whether you like it or not.

Buddy Mendes was animated, forceful and – more importantly – right about water problems on the westside.

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Buddy Mendes had himself a viral moment on Thursday.

The Riverdale native, Fresno County Supervisor and farmer delivered a verbal smackdown from the dais during this week’s Fresno County Board of Supervisors meeting.

The recipient of his verbal onslaught: a community organizer representing residents of El Porvenir – a community near Cantua Creek on the westside of Fresno County.

Call it Mendes’ Sam Kinison Back to School moment (language NSFW).

His tone was sharp, and perhaps for good reason. Our seemingly never-ending drought has propagated very effective misinformation about the Valley’s ag economy.

Remember how many gallons it takes to grow a single almond? Exactly.

Buddy was animated, forceful – and more importantly – right.

Say what you will about his tone, but the message couldn’t be clearer: residents of El Porvenir are as much a victim of Federal water mismanagement, if not more, than neighboring westside farmers.

Sure you can blame the drought. But in a year with solid rainfall and a pathetic 5% water allocation for Central Valley Project contractors on the westside from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, something’s gotta give.

And while the County laid the groundwork to end some of El Porvenir and Cantua Creek’s water woes, they can’t magically manufacture more water.

Those decisions are unfortunately in the ballpark of the Feds, who have placed the westside in regulatory hell since the Natural Resources Defense Council scored a major legal victory in forcing a new biological opinion on delta smelt in 2007, effectively shutting off the Delta pumps.

Lost in the heated kerfuffle at Fresno County’s Hall of Records is an important note: the County did take action that El Porvenir residents wanted: have Mendes send a letter to the Bureau of Reclamation seeking a price break for Westlands Water District’s poorer customers – specifically El Porvenir.

Since the County can’t directly give El Porvenir a price break – as it must treat all service areas equally – this is the best alternative to avoiding a price increase or water being shut off.

These solutions, though are patchwork. Never before has the proverb “a rising tide lifts all boats” been more applicable. Ending the true El Porvenir killer – water scarcity – is the only real solution for westside communities staring down incredible rate increases.

And at the top of his lungs, that’s Buddy’s rallying cry.

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Alex Tavlian

Alex Tavlian is the owner of Sultana Media. Views expressed reflect those of the author only. He can be reached at



  1. Jeffrey Barnes

    April 16, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Apparently, Fresno has its own Donald Trump. Yell at the top of your lungs. Denigrate someone who is speaking to you. He is a public SERVANT. He should hold himself to a higher standard of decorum.

  2. Frank Pitts

    April 17, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    The leftist, socialist, facist enviro progressives have been yelling screaming and drowning out honest debate for years. They can’t take it when it’s back at them. Thank you Buddy Mendes it’s more than time for righteous anger when confronting these fools,

  3. Mike Dozier

    April 18, 2016 at 10:34 am

    He might be right, but his method of delivery certainly was not. There is no excuse for being uncivil. He is an elected official whose job it is to listen to public comment regardless of whether he likes those comments or not. He can express his own opinion at the end of the public comment period.

  4. Marina

    April 22, 2016 at 10:49 am

    The issue is not about being right or wrong, it is about treating people with respect. He needs to remember that he is a public servant! This guy is a total ass!!!!!

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