Vidak's News & Views: October 2014

Thursday, October 2, 2014
Team Vidak in the Community
‘Chamber of the Year’
Voter Registration and Rights
Wall of Remembrance
In Memoriam – Lt. Poloski
ArtFest 2014
Mobile District Office Hours
October Calendar Highlights

Howdy Friends –

In mid-August, the Legislature came together like never before when, on a near-unanimous vote, they agreed to place a $7.5 billion water bond on the November ballot. If approved by the voters, it could create two new reservoirs that will provide additional water storage for our state.

The new water bond, which replaced an $11.1 billion bond that was bloated with pork, is the result of all sides on the water issue working together towards a common goal. That was an important step forward in creating a stable water supply for the state. But just a few days later, we took two steps back.

The interests of the Valley, a water-starved region that not only feeds this state, but much of the nation, was harmed when the Legislature passed a three-bill package that will limit our access to groundwater. The bill package was approved by urban and environmental legislators who ignored the needs of farmers, farmworkers and other rural water users.

We’ve seen time and again that a one-size-fits all approach doesn’t work. The water needs of this state are very diverse. I have worked in many different areas of this state, including Salinas, King City, Ventura, San Joaquin and Tulare, and I can tell you that all of those groundwater basins are different and state bureaucrats have no idea how to effectively manage them.

These measures are another step that takes away local control of our groundwater and will make it much more expensive to access water. The end result is certainly going to mean more farmers will not work their land during drought conditions and that, in turn, will cost farmworkers and others to lose their jobs in an area that already has shamefully high unemployment.

Instead of a statewide takeover of our property rights we should have empowered the local water agencies and counties to handle this issue.

I was particularly troubled that this legislation was written and passed within a couple of weeks with little or no negotiations. These new groundwater regulations saw no support from Valley legislators even though the Valley will be most affected.

The state has mismanaged our water resources by not building adequate storage to capture it. Had we made investments in surface storage years ago, we would have been able to move water to areas that desperately needed water. That would have lessened the demand on groundwater pumping and helped recharge our groundwater basins.

Central Valley farmers are being forced to pay the price of these costly and restrictive groundwater regulations. “What now?” we are saying. The same folks that mismanaged the water and got us into the man-made drought are now going to regulate our groundwater.

Recently, I joined a bipartisan group of 25 members of the Legislature calling on Governor Brown to veto the groundwater legislation and call a special session of the Legislature to focus solely on developing reasonable groundwater management. That would have been a wise step forward. Unfortunately, the governor took the state two steps back when he signed the groundwater legislation.

Know that l will hawk-eye water-grabbing bureaucrats and will fight their efforts to tread on our private property and water rights.

As always, it is an honor and privilege to serve you.


Note: This message is also published in the October Issue of the Kern County Valley Ag Voice.

Image of Senator Vidak's Senate Floor speech opposing the groundwater legislation.
Click the photo above to watch Andy’s Senate Floor speech opposing the groundwater legislation.

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Team Vidak in the Community

Click on the photos below to see what Team Vidak’s been up to in the district.

BC Water Rally TJUHSD Farm Wasco Rose Queen
Image of BC Water Rally Image of TJUHSD Farm Image of Wasco Rose Queen
Latino Water Coalition Kudos Fresno Appointments Training Firebaugh’s Centennial
Image of Latino Water Coalition Kudos Image of Fresno Appointments Training Image of Firebaugh's Centennial
Williams Elementary Turns 100 Opposing Groundwater Bills Kern Co. Black Chamber Gala
Image of Williams Elementary Turns 100 Image of Opposing Groundwater Bills Image of Kern Co. Black Chamber Gala

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‘Chamber of the Year’

Image of chamber members
USHCC President and CEO, Javier Palomarez(left), Chairman of the USHCC Board, Mark A. Rodriguez(right), and Senior Vice-President of Business Development at the Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Olga de la Cruz(second from the left), presented the Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation with the “Chamber of the Year” award to Foundation President/CEO Dora Westerlund (second from the right) at the National Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The annual convention is a nationwide event that brings together thousands of Hispanic business owners, corporate executives, representatives from local chambers, elected officials and business associations throughout the country.

“We are extremely honored to have been awarded “Chamber of the Year” for 2014 at the USHCC Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was an amazing experience being able to attend the convention with my team, networking and gaining innovative ideas to improve our programs and services. We are proud to have received the award but most importantly that we are bringing recognition and attention to the City of Fresno,” said Dora.

“The Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation (FAHF) is the only bilingual business incubator in the Western United States, and we are a one-stop-shop for small businesses. The FAHF offers workshops, technical assistance and capital for start-up or expanding businesses in the community. Through the Technical Assistance Program, the FAHF works hands-on with businesses during its start-up or expansion phase by providing tools and resources that lead entrepreneurs to self-sufficiency. Through its Micro-Loan Program, FAHF also provides access to capital to entrepreneurs who want to expand their business, leading to job creation and other benefits to local economies,” according to FAHF’s website.

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Voter Registration and Rights

Image of Regiser to Vote logo

The deadline to register to vote for the November 4th General Election is October 20. You can register to vote online or fill in a printable vote-by-mail application, find your polling place and learn about your rights as a voter at

Employees are eligible for paid time off to vote if they do not have enough time outside of working hours. Employees can be given as much time as they need in order to vote, but only a maximum of two hours is paid. Employers may require employees to give advance notice that they will need additional time off for voting. Employers may require time off to be taken only at the beginning or end of the employee’s shift.

Voting hours are from 7am to 8pm. on Election Day.

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Wall of Remembrance


Image of Wall of Remembrance

The Global War on Terror Wall of Remembrance, designed to bring awareness and healing, will be on display at the California State Capitol in Sacramento November 7 through Veterans Day on November 11.

The 100-foot-long wall has approximately 11,000 names of the victims, veterans and first responders who died fighting terrorism or because of acts of terrorism, including 9/11, Operation New Dawn, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

The Sacramento visit will commemorate the Wall’s 50th stop on its travels around the nation since it began touring in July 2013. It will be retired after Veterans Day this year.


Friday November 7
1:00 p.m.
Ceremony honoring all who have given their lives in the Global War on Terror
Capitol Park, north east area

November 7–11
8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Open to public viewing
Capitol Park, north east area

For more information, click here.

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In Memoriam – Lt. Poloski

Image of USS Vinson memorial for Lt. Poloski
USS Vinson memorial for Lt. Poloski

Last month, Lt. Nathan “Donnie” Poloski, from Lemoore Naval Air Station, was killed when the F/A-18C Hornet he was piloting collided with another Hornet off the coast of Wake Island over the Pacific Ocean.

“It was a privilege to be present for the memorial services honoring Lt. Nathan Poloski at NAS Lemoore,” said Andy. “It’s a tragic loss of a young, talented and brave man. My heart goes out to his family, his military family and his friends.”

Image of Lt. Poloski

Image of Lt. Poloski's Obituary

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ArtFest 2014

Image of painting
“Seaside Sunset” by 8-year-old artist, Seneca, raised $1450 for the Boys and Girls Club of Kern County at ArtFest 2014.

Image of Senator Vidak and artist Seneca

The annual fundraising event was hosted at the Bakersfield Marriott and attended by approximately 350 community leaders and club supporters. Andy, the honorary chairman of this year’s ArtFest, won the first silent auction for the art and then donated Seneca’s painting back for a second round of fundraising.

“What a beautiful painting by an amazing young artist,” said Andy. “Seneca’s talent and generosity made a powerful difference for the Boys and Girls Club of Kern County’s fundraising efforts.”

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Mobile District Office Hours

A staff member from the office of State Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) will hold Mobile District Office hours in the following communities in October:

Sun., Oct. 5
4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
St. Francis of Assisi Mission
16410 Ave. 168

Tues., Oct. 7
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Selma Library
2200 Selma St.

Fri., Oct. 10
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Dinuba Transit Center Meeting room
405 E. El Monte Way

Tues., Oct. 14
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Sanger Library
1812 7th St.

Sat., Oct. 18
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Avenal Sports Complex
Hwy. 33

Tues., Oct 21
2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Shafter Police Department
201 Central Valley Hwy.

Thurs., Oct. 23
2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Buttonwillow Branch Library
116 Buttonwillow Dr.

Sat., Oct. 25
6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Mira Monte High School football field
1800 S. Fairfax Rd.

Sat., Oct. 25
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Weedpatch Family Resource Center
7839 Burgundy Ave.

Sat., Oct 25
9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Brandman University
649 South County Center Dr.

For more information, please contact Christine Caprelian in Vidak’s district office at (559) 585-7161 or email

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October Calendar Highlights

10/1       Big Fresno Fair Opening Ceremonies – Fresno
10/4       Cotton Parade – Corcoran
10/11     ACWA Water Forum – Visalia
10/16     California Rural Indian Health Board – Lemoore
10/18     Kern County Farm Bureau 100th Year Anniversary – Bakersfield
10/21     Oil & Gas Awards Industry Summit – Bakersfield
10/25     Walk MS – Bakersfield

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Like Andy!

Follow Andy’s Senate page on Facebook to see photos and to get updates of Andy’s activities. For the latest news, visit Andy’s Senate Website at

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