Bee starts water waster witch hunt

Bee water witch huntThe Sac Bee has a new “photo gallery” solicitation on the Web site — a “community reporting project,” they’re calling it — asking folks to send in photos (registration required to look at the photos) of “the city’s biggest water wasters.”

Include a brief description of the date and time the photo was taken and where it was taken, including street address and nearest cross street.

Sounds an awful lot like the Bee wants us to rat out our neighbors. I’m not sure where to start with this, but I think I’ll start with this: breaking the city’s watering rules is not synonymous with “wasting” water. One could easily follow the letter of the law in a wasteful way, just as one could water on off-days in a conservationist way.

What if I miss my assigned day because I’m diligently fixing a broken sprinkler, to avoid a fine? Would anyone really call it wasteful to water my allotted amount the following day? On the other hand, what if I have only a tiny patch of grass to water but I use up all allotted time and am careful to avoid runoff? Wouldn’t that be actually wasteful?

Here’s another problem — the Bee got the party started by providing a photo by Bee reporter Charles Piller (though the photo is attributed to Ken Chavez) of Land Park, a city property. As I reported when the new watering laws were announced, the city is exempt from the water-wasting measures. In other words, the photo is moot — the city apparently cannot waste water. If the Bee can’t do this tiny amount of research, how is it going to have the tentacles to research every photo sent in by readers? Neighbors have been known to have disagreements and if the Bee cannot provide verification that the photos were taken when they say they were (I’m just supposed to take the Bee’s word for it?) I wouldn’t put it past people to take photos of their neighbors legally watering their property and claim it was on an off-day. Is the Bee equipped to do forensics on every photo to determine that the timestamps hadn’t been altered?

As I write this, at 9:15 AM, readers have provided what appears to be an over-exposed photo of a Christmas tree and one picture of that Joker/Obama poster. Comments are not allowed on the Bee’s story, but I’d love to see Sac Bee commenters let loose on this idea.

Author: CoolDMZ

"X-ray vision to see in between / Where's my kimono and my time machine?"

14 thoughts on “Bee starts water waster witch hunt”

  1. Oh good grief. I didn’t know Mrs. Kravitz was now editing the Bee.

    I would like to report to the Bee that I have an annoying neighbor who runs remote control airplanes at all hours of the day and only wears shorts no matter the weather. In other breaking news my neighbor down the street goes on a beer run every single morning. Since we’re now in the business of publishing other people’s business.

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  2. HeyMeg, we must have the same neighbor cause the guy down the street from me also goes on a beer run every morning at 8 sharp. He buys two big cans and I want to pull over and ask him why he doens’t buy more so he doesn’t have to go every morning! At our neighborhood July 4th party some neighbors a few streets over did say that the water police were out in our neighborhood writing tickets a few weeks prior. So lame.

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  3. If we need to limit residential water usage, then we should attach water meters to people’s houses. People can use as much water as they want as long as they pay for it.

    Anybody seen those water meters?

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  4. Idiots- read the exceptions:

    Exceptions:
    New sod or landscaping may be watered daily for 21 consecutive days from planting.

    Just plant “new landscaping” every 21 days. One plant should suffice. Arguably, a handfull of grass seed would be “new landscaping.”

    The “exceptions” are why I changed my religion: https://sacrag.com/2008/11/a-fire-inside/#comments

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  5. This morning most of the photos that are not spam (picture of a waterfall) are either of city properties or Rancho Cordova. So the Bee is allowing idiots to slander their perfectly law-abiding neighbors in a completely different city — are there water restrictions in Rancho Cordova?

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  6. I planted corn in a huge pile of good soil we couldn’t get into the raised beds out back. I have corn and zuchinni growing in my front yard. I water it daily…but only for a short time. I can’t let my veggies die! New grass is okay, but what about food?

    Talk about “Big Brother”. Anyway..if you see my yard/corn picture in the Bee..give me a shout out!

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  7. In Rancho Cordova, Elk Grove and Citrus Heights, you can water odd numbered residences on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and even numbered residences on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. They have similar restrictions as Sacramento does on over-watering.

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  8. Who said nazi? Just because Kevin Johnson is imposing draconian rules, trying to grab more power, and annexing neighboring territories doesn’t make him a nazi, just a dictator.

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  9. I was trying, unsuccessfully, to draw a parallel between kevin johnson and a totalitarian dictator like hitler.

    I was attempting to reference the possible annexation of arden arcade as a parallel to the invasion of poland, and the consolidation of power under the “strong mayor” issue as a parallel to hitler’s rise to power. The “rat on your neighbors” initiative being a sac bee issue and not a sac city issue, my analogy falls apart under close scrutiny. I’m sorry. I will leave now.

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