Yesterday, UC Davis news service distributed a news release about an audit that found some funds intended for the Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program were misspent. While FSNEP is administered at the UC Davis campus, ANR advisors and program representatives in 40 counties deliver the program to the clientele.
The news was widely reported in the media. The Sacramento Bee mentioned in its story the information was released in response to a public records request made by the newspaper. The reporter, Carrie Peyton Dahlberg, spoke to UC Davis news service director Mitchell Benson. He told the paper the current audits focused on 2005-06 and that financial records from another three years will be examined in detail by an outside accounting firm.
The reporter wrote that Benson told her the campus now is investigating what happened to roughly $1 million in funds the university was supposed to add to the program in 2005-06, and another $1.3 million of the federal money it spent that year. It has already identified $600,000 from that year and previous years that it plans to return, he said, according to the newspaper.
The Fresno Bee ran a by-lined obituary about legendary UCCE farm advisor Leslie (Les) Stromberg on Saturday. Mr. Stromberg, who was hired as the Fresno County advisor for "soils and truck crops" in 1951, passed away Nov. 12 at the age of 89. According to the article, Mr. Stromberg sounded early warnings about the danger of San Joaquin Valley soil contamination, and helped growers fight plant disease, increase yield and establish Fresno County as the leading agricultural region in the nation.
The reporter who wrote the obituary, Jim Steinberg, sought comments from Mr. Stromberg's successor in the post of soils and water farm advisor, Dan Munk, and from one of Mr. Stromberg's colleagues in the Fresno County office, Bob Sheesley.
"It was a tremendous loss when he retired (in 1986)... He's remembered by growers. A thorough individual and kind man," Munk was quoted.
"He was the most knowledgeable soils and cotton adviser California ever had. He was my mentor, very practical, an original applied researcher," Sheesley was quoted.
An article in today's Hanford Sentinel notes that Daniel Dooley hails from the same Hanford high school as his predecessor Reg Gomes.
"It's probably not common that you get people from the same high school following each other in these types of positions," the newspaper quotes Dooley.
In his article about the appointment, reporter Seth Nidever went to UCCE Kings County farm advisor Bob Beede for comment.
"Dan definitely understands the nature of the value and the critical use for agriculture ... and the activities assigned to the UC Cooperative Extension office," Beede is quoted.
According to the article, Beede said he looked forward to Dooley "beating the drum" for the role of the agricultural extension. He said that the extension's effect on the local economy is "in the multimillion dollar range."
Nidever also spoke to Bruce Roberts, the former county director for UCCE in Kings County who is now a professor at Fresno State. He called the extension program "very crucial" to keeping central California agriculture "competitive in the global market," the article said.
Today's media coverage of the appointment of Daniel M. Dooley to the position of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources vice president seemed to center in his native San Joaquin Valley.
The Fresno Bee offered the most extensive coverage with a story on the front page of the business section and an editorial calling the Regents' appointment a "wise choice." Fresno Bee ag reporter Dennis Pollock used comments from both Dooley and UC Regent Fred Ruiz gleaned during a teleconference yesterday. In addition, he included quotes in his story from Chowchilla grower Kole Upton, search committee chair Richard Rominger and water activist Lloyd Carter.
Other coverage included:
- Sacramento Bee - UC names ag program chief
- Visalia Times Delta - Former Visalia chamber president gets UC position
- Tulare Advance-Register (Sister paper with Visalia Times-Delta, though coverage slightly different) - Visalia attorney takes on UC position
Several publications adapted the UCOP news release:
- Central California Business Times - Daniel Dooley takes over UC's agriculture and natural resources programs (Also mentioned on this publication's daily Web cast.)
- California Farmer - Dooley Named ANR Vice President
The Sacramento News and Review ran a story today about apiculturist Eric Mussen's recent presentation at UC Davis on colony collapse disorder of honey bees. Using an irreverent writing style, reporter Kel Munger outlined the role of bees in production of fruit, nuts and vegetables in California and delved into theories about CCD.
"Mussen, possessor of one of those dry, scientific senses of humor, offered up theories galore, varying from the divine (bees raptured to heaven) to the conspiratorial (jet 'chemtrails' or 'chemical contrails' supposedly intended to kill old people have accidentally killed bees). He debunked them both gleefully, then addressed more serious theories in depth," the article said.
Mussen commented on the fact that bees dying en masse is not new. Bee journals have reported on hive failures since 1869. Die-offs were documented in three consecutive years in the early 1960s, and in 1975.
According to the article, Mussen doesn't expect the current surge in CCD to be related to any one specific cause.
“We’ll learn from all the studies, and it will lead to more research,” Mussen is quoted. “My general suspicion is that it’s a variety of things, all working together.”