Letter to the Editor

Corporate vineyards

Morro BayAugust 7, 2013 

The looming danger for Paso Robles is that those who are the biggest contributors to the water basin disaster desire decisionmaking power over all basin users: residential, agricultural and vineyard.

Some are not residents or farmers, but absentee billionaires, like Justin Vineyards’ owners, Los Angeles billionaires Stuart and Linda Resnick, who own Fiji Water, POM Wonderful, Teleflora and Kern Water Bank. Another is Continental Vineyards owner Gerald Forsythe, an Illinois resort developer who owns Forsythe Championship Racing, New Frontiers Capital LLC and United States and overseas power plant investments.

For multinationals like these, who do billions of dollars in global business, a failed aquifer in a semi-rural county in Central California is a tax write-off. Emergency measures designed to save homes and farms, but limit vineyard expansion, are not OK with them.

Corporate vineyards are putting on a local face via the Paso Robles Agricultural Alliance for Groundwater Solutions. The article pointed out their proposed water district concept is based on quantity of land owned — not one person, one vote. Are we in America? Tentatively, it looks like no one is being fooled. Let’s hope that includes the Board of Supervisors.

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