Chico's new sustainable firefighting idea

I’m going to take a diversion to write about a local story that’s been brewing for months. It’s long and a bit like a Sherlock Holmes mystery, bear with me.

No, this isn't it, but interesting anyway - click

Some WUWT readers have noted that my town Chico, CA has been well known for a few “crazy” things. Some people call it “Berkeley North”. There’s a t-shirt you can buy at the Made in Chico store that says “Chico: Where the Nuts Come From“. This pun speaks to the agricultural base around the community, which produces high quality nuts such as almonds, pistachios, and walnuts. There’s a lot of nut orchards here.

There’s also Chico State University, where there is a large sustainability group. They like to try out all sorts of new ideas on the townspeople, putting our tax dollars to work. Chico also has the dubious honor of having one of the most inane laws in the USA, you may have heard about it.

The Evening Independent - Nov 8, 1983

Chico has a city ordinance preventing storing or testing of a nuclear device within city limits, punishable by a $1000 fine and jail time. At left, here’s a newspaper clipping from 1983 talking about how it came to be. City municipal code section 9.60, Ordinance 1564 §2 says:

The city council finds and declares as follows:

A. That the possibility of nuclear war is a clear and present danger that threatens not only the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the Chico community, but also their very existence.

B. That the use of nuclear weapons in the event of war, whether for the purpose of self defense or any other purpose, is totally unacceptable.

C. That even participation in preparation against nuclear war is inappropriate in that it lends credence to the belief that such a war is survivable when in fact it is not.

D. That by reason of the foregoing, the interest of the citizens of the Chico community will be best served by making the city a nuclear free zone in which the production, testing, maintenance, and storage of nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons delivery systems is prohibited and in which the appropriation or use of city funds or property for participation in or preparation against nuclear war is also prohibited.

No person shall produce, test, maintain, or store within the city a nuclear weapon, component of a nuclear weapon, nuclear weapon delivery system, or component of a nuclear weapon delivery system. (Ord. 1564 §2 (part))

So, almonds and walnuts aside, it goes without saying that my town is a little, er, “nutty”. On the plus side, it has worked so far, and there’s no nukes going off or kids experimenting with nuclear reactors in their basement that I know of in the town. Though, it appears that I myself am a danger to the town, as a member of the Chico Peace and Justice Center once labeled me as a WMD.

I mentioned that Chico State University has a large sustainability group that tries to impose all sorts of experimental ideas on local citizens.They are so gung-ho about this, they now observe earth month and fly Earth Flags around town every April on city owned streetlight poles:

Chico News and Review PHOTO BY MEREDITH J. COOPER - click for story

What’s this got to do with the fire department? Bear with me, there’s a lot of backstory.

About three years ago I was asked by my local city councilman Larry Wahl to serve on the city of Chico “sustainability task force”. I accepted. More on the whole thing here.

The task force came into being when Vice Mayor Ann Schwab, along with a majority of the City Council, voted in favor of signing on to the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. This was something championed by Portland’s big green mayor.

Because energy efficiency is something I embrace, especially when tax dollars are involved, I was initially enthusiastic. But, the talk soon turned away from alternative energy solutions, to getting a city wide inventory of carbon emissions. The task force didn’t seem the least bit interested in solutions, but focused on tallying carbon emissions in town. That effort didn’t make a lot of sense to me then, since it gained the city nothing.

Now I know why. The “greenhouse gas” report they issued on September 2nd of 2008 had a number of oddball fees, taxes, giveaways, and edicts, such as a city wide gasoline tax, and even free electricity handouts to city employees for sustainable commuting. All of this while we are in an economic downturn and in a city financial crisis.

Link: cic-sustainability-090208

Let’s look at some of the suggested “community reduction” actions in this report presented by Schwab and her sustainability task force:

  • A suggestion to pay city employees to give up their parking spot.
  • Require energy audits on residential units at the time of sale.
  • Increased fees on waste disposal.
  • A local gasoline tax to generate local revenue.
  • Forcing a lights out policy on local businesses after hours
  • Free electricity and free parking for city employees that drive electric vehicles
  • Free or reduced cost electricity and parking for citizens that drive electric vehicles

You can find these items in Appendix C of the report, near the end under “Community Reduction Measures” which are designed to meet a carbon emissions target.

But wait, there’s more. We had a big stink over the proposal for our local Wal-Mart to expand and it almost tore the town apart. It bled over into many things. Right in the middle of the big fight at the council chambers over the use of wood stoves and fireplaces councilman Scott Gruendl tried one of those “sustainability experiments” on the townspeople.

His suggestion was, that as a condition of approval, Wal-Mart be required to put down a million smackeroos to buy new low pollution efficient wood stoves for local residents as a way to fix our wintertime air pollution problem. Mayor Schwab piled on with demands that Wal-Mart be solar powered. Suggestions of extortion were raised. Needless to say they were both almost laughed out of town and Wal-Mart told them nicely, “no”.

Given these sorts of things that come out of our university influenced city government,  it was no surprise to me then when about two months ago I heard a rumor in my local coffee shop, about some upcoming change to our fire protection system.

It seemed that there was a plan afoot to change out the fire hydrants in town. I asked around, but nobody seemed to know what it was about. All I heard was that it was in the planning stage and it had to do with water waste.

There’s been lots of changes in our town infrastructure recently. Our green city council has added roundabouts to minimize traffic jams and idling vehicles, a good thing, and they work well. There’s also the not so popular street bulbing” as a way to discourage vehicle traffic downtown. Many of these projects replaced other surrounding infrastructure such as sidewalks and sewers too.

So changing fire hydrants? I figured it had something to do with all that. Maybe some new model that keeps kids from doing stuff like this and wasting water?

Or maybe some sort of beautification/irrigation project?

Or art project? Chico is big on art.

Or maybe it was some sort of system that was better designed so that the city no longer had to regularly flush the hydrant system, wasting millions of gallons of water each year in a La Nina driven drought stricken state?

Or maybe it was something simpler. I could see a better designed hydrant that prevented slow leakage, like this “soylent green” fire hydrant?

I was intrigued by this idea. What could it be?

Fire hydrants aren’t really high on the list of city improvements. People hardly notice them, except when they get a ticket for parking in front of one. I thought maybe it had to do with saving money, since our city is financially broke, and salaries and benefits (including firefighters) have become a big issue the last couple of years.

I asked around. I asked people at the Rotary club. Nobody knew. I asked our local newspaper editor, David Little, who said he’d “sniff around”. He came up with nothing. I asked our local city government blogger, Lon Glazner, if he had heard anything. Lon’s got moles in the city offices that tell him things, secret things, and he’s scooped local media more than once on city issues that they’d rather not talk about. He couldn’t find anything either.

Yet the guy at the coffee shop swore he’d seen a draft plan to replace fire hydrants in town, and he only knew about it because one of his relatives worked for the fire department. He said they were pretty steamed about it.

I asked a council member. He didn’t know but said he’d look into it. I even asked somebody who was running for council, Mark Sorensen, one of the sharpest guys I know. He hadn’t heard anything either but also said he’d ask around.

I was stumped.

Then I thought, ya know, maybe this has something to do with sustainability. So I asked one of our local sustainability gurus. Yep he’d heard about it. In fact, he pointed me to the document that had the specs.

Remember when I mentioned the City Council voted in favor of signing on to the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement which had its roots in Portland?

Turns out there’s a spec for sustainable fire hydrants.

That’s right, the City of Chico is going to replace all of the standard fire hydrants with “low flow” fire hydrants in an effort to save water and money while at the same time being “sustainable”.

Where could they get such a crazy idea?

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April 1, 2010 12:08 am

OK, so THIS is the April fool’s joke, right?
Please let it be a joke. :p

Jason F
April 1, 2010 12:17 am

Ha ha

April 1, 2010 12:28 am

All of this reminds me of the tricycle I got for my daughter when she was 2.
It was one of those plastic “PC” tricycles. Well, after I assembled the thing my daughter got on and promptly fell over .. the damn thing was just too tall for the measly wheel base. I promptly went out and got a “Big Wheel” … low and wide. She never rode that “PC” tricycle again. Damn thing was a death trap.

April 1, 2010 12:38 am

April fools joke!.

April 1, 2010 12:49 am

The Lion that squeaked
I read the above headline in a paper and yes that just about summed up Climategate “science”. The have been investigated and instead of the mighty lion “greatest problem facing mankind”, we heard a squeak, and the politicians agreed: “they can be judged by the lowest common denominator of science”.
In effect the commons inquiry has given these climate forecasters the status of those investigating aliens, ESP or asteroids about to hit earth (in a million years).
And within 24hours, the press have all but forgotten this once so important subject. It is not important any longer, not worth the anlysis, the public simply are not interested in it … the mouse has stopped squeaking

Roger Carr
April 1, 2010 12:54 am

Argh… (Thanks, JoeRight)… but you’re forgiven, Anthony. The showerhead vid more than compensated for having been a sucker…

Peter Miller
April 1, 2010 12:57 am

April fool or not, one thing is for sure: let a government funded climate scientist or the average academic and greenie off the leash and you are 100% guaranteed to have something goofy happen.

Capn Jack.
April 1, 2010 12:58 am

Not a fool’s joke.
In me nation I got green mayors planting Eucalypts of the Paper bark in timber forest towns for street greening and they wonder why towns can’t be saved.
We had the go ahead for a dam, and faux greenies in twio story concrete 1000 m2 houses who all live on concrete islands on man made saltwater dams banned a dam for drinken water, for 2 million people.
This goes upstairs thanks Wattie. JIC some dick tries it here.

Capn Jack.
April 1, 2010 1:06 am

It’s been april fools for near on a decade.
We are about to have brown outs and run out of gardens and sports fields in preference for dust bowls.
The dams we have near full wont last till next El Ninio.

April 1, 2010 1:15 am

One of my neighbours in a country district in New Zealand must have had an irony bypass – she was an ardent environMentalist who spent most weekends delivering and handing out thousands of leaflets and paper-based stickers entreating readers to ‘stop cutting down the trees’.

David Archibald
April 1, 2010 1:18 am

Don’t underestimate the stupidity of the greens. In Victoria, their restrictions on clearing vegetation caused 173 deaths in the 2009 bushfire season. A few more deaths in Chico will be nothing to them.

Capn Jack.
April 1, 2010 1:19 am

IN Marysville 200 dead no fire dyke around town, Missus nephew were in first wave of firie to town. Dead like logs was what they said. Hard was said.
Everyone tried to blame firies.

D. King
April 1, 2010 1:37 am

I can’t believe I read through this whole post.
Very funny Anthony.

Capn Jack.
April 1, 2010 1:42 am

I apologise, that’s irony not satire.

April 1, 2010 1:50 am

But what if they fitted the hoses with Commando 450 nozzles, eh? It could work!

Mike Bryant
April 1, 2010 1:57 am

This makes perfect sense… The earth is plagued by rotten ice so the corollary, that fire is also now rotten MUST be true. The rotten fire is easily extinguished, just as the rotten ice easily melts!
Why not make a new city ordinance requiring every citizen to carry five gallons of rotten water on his/her person at all times so that ample water is available for firefighting? Imagine the sustainability…. NO MORE wasteful fireplugs!!

Another Ian
April 1, 2010 2:16 am

April joke or not
Go find a copy of John Prine’s album “Common Sense” (Atlantic Records) and listen to the track “Common Sense”
IMHO the anthem for the late 20th century and so far in this one

April 1, 2010 2:25 am

No Problem! With all the extra CO2 being added to the atmosphere things will only burn slowly in future.

April 1, 2010 2:36 am

*patiently waiting for Mark to show up*
Popcorn, anyone?

April 1, 2010 3:12 am

Didn’t the guru also tell you about the manditory house down-sizing? No wonder you think it’s a crazy idea!

April 1, 2010 3:14 am

The last thing that should be “low flow” is a freakin’ fire hydrant.
I’ll take all the high flow ones and install near my house, please. I’d prefer the fire department have all the water and then some to put my house fire out….

Lindsay H
April 1, 2010 3:20 am

the EU has an april fools joke !!
Do they really believe this stuff.
The European Commission today set out a strategy to help maintain the momentum of global efforts to tackle climate change. The Communication proposes that the EU swiftly begin implementing last December’s Copenhagen Accord, in particular ‘fast start’ financial assistance to developing countries. In parallel the EU should continue to press for a robust and legally binding global agreement that involves all countries in real climate action. This will require integrating the Copenhagen Accord into the UN negotiations and addressing the weaknesses in the Kyoto Protocol. Active outreach by the EU will be key to promoting support for the UN negotiations and the Commission will undertake this effort in close contact with the Council and with the support of the European Parliament

April 1, 2010 3:38 am

It is dangerous to make such April’s Fool stories anymore, someone might read them and think they are a good idea.

April 1, 2010 3:42 am

“Free electricity and free parking for city employees that drive electric vehicles”
“Free or reduced cost electricity and parking for citizens that drive electric vehicles”
– – – – – – –
April Fools joke,right?
But its not so far fetched. One University nearby my location was recently planning for special parking spots on campus for electric vehicles only, complete with a 120V electrical outlet so the driver can plug in for a free recharge while attending classes or working.

Jack Simmons
April 1, 2010 3:47 am

On the plus side, it has worked so far, and there’s no nukes going off or kids experimenting with nuclear reactors in their basement that I know of in the town.

St. John’s Wort is supposed to keep away witches.
I tried some many years ago.
Guess what: No witches.
Well, except for some female relations, but there’s nothing you can do about that.

April 1, 2010 3:57 am

Ha Ha! Happy April Fool’s Day Anthony.
The only problem, like Political Correctness, which started as a joke, and has since become a commonsense-choking, fast-growing weed strangling us all, is that someone, somewhere, will start tormenting the world with it.

April 1, 2010 4:26 am

Perfectly executed!

Tom in Florida
April 1, 2010 4:44 am

Can I assume Snopes will have to put the kibosh on this story?

April 1, 2010 4:46 am

I needed a good chuckle to start me day!
I’m glad to see that there are still people out here that have a sense of humor and are willing to put forth the effort to spread a little joy around.
Thank you, and very thoughtful!

April 1, 2010 4:48 am

I think we are going to need to see some solid proof on this story. When you put California into a story like that, nobody can tell if it’s true or not.
Take this story for example:

April 1, 2010 4:51 am

My wife points out that ‘low-flow’ fire hydrants should effectively limit building height to one or two stories. That should create lots of ‘green’ jobs demolishing all the higher ones.
/Mr Lynn

April 1, 2010 5:02 am

A must read about peer review in climate science by Ross McKitrick, sorry about link maybe there is another way:
[Humungous link shortened. ~dbs]

April 1, 2010 5:09 am

LOL – I think I’ve got the Commander 450 on my shower! Had to look high and low for it!!!

Capn Jack.
April 1, 2010 5:11 am

I was saying to a Scientist in the shower, I said if soap falls on floor and you pick it up as an experiment
a) Will soap fall twice.
b) Will you respect me in the morning.
c) Do we need to iterate the experiment until we get consenssus.
She said, and I quote lets do business.

Murray Carpenter
April 1, 2010 5:12 am

Just when Arctic sea ice is about to go into “the black”……..NSIDC as predicted,go off line!!

April 1, 2010 5:21 am

And yet, it has already happened, and some time ago, too.
It’s hard to tell if these were designed for lower flow, or if it is some sort of implementation problem.
So much for jokes…

April 1, 2010 5:22 am

Actually, until there is a fire, a Sustainability Low-Flow hydrant delivers as much water as the regular type–that is, none! Too bad the size of fires aren’t likewise constrained.
Does Chico have a Hydrants and Access Unit? If not, they need to get one:
I suppose the design Chico uses is more amenable to fire suppression than this unit:

Wondering Aloud
April 1, 2010 5:24 am

I can only assume this is an April fools joke.
But, it makes me wonder… Why are so many people moving out into the desert and trying to live in places like California, Arizona etc.? Then they whine about water shortages, Duh? Meanwhile places like Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, who have no water shortage and never will, are falling in population. It makes me think maybe warming isn’t really all that frightening.

April 1, 2010 5:24 am

Low Flow as stated in the spec. is a 6 inch hydrant on a 4 inch main. Do they plan on replacing all the water mains to 4 inch?? No sane person in a fire dept would ever dilebriatly (sp) restrict flow for a fire. Water put out fire period! The more the better.
This has got to be an April fool.
Check out the NASA page, they found new evidence of water on the moon
Have a good all fools day!

Steve Goddard
April 1, 2010 5:25 am

Greens also promote a no-growth economy for the US. They want to make sure that graduating students have no future, and that the country goes bankrupt.

April 1, 2010 5:26 am

I thought Chico was known as the cradle for half the alcoholic accountants in California?

April 1, 2010 5:33 am

What will the cost be to replace all the old hydrants?
Will the firetruck hoses have to be replaced with garden hoses?
Sounds like the ship they built to fit perfectly in the channel locks. Only they forgot the propeller stuck out further than the ship.

April 1, 2010 5:36 am

Good one Anthony. Well played.
PS: You are kidding right? ☺

April 1, 2010 5:38 am

Anthony, Hi neighbor. You still working on that Tomahawk in your basement that you told me about a while back?

April 1, 2010 5:40 am

I think the pump handle is missing from low-flow hydrant. ;->

April 1, 2010 5:40 am

One other bit of lunacy and this is not an April Fools. Check out the renovation to the Edith Green/Wendell Wyatt Federal Building Modernazation project in Portland, OR. It is a GSA building being renovated using the ARRA funds (Obama Stimulas Package).
Green on steroids.
Also they are repeating this all over the country. Take a look at the Peter Rodino Federal Building in Newark, NJ. No sane landloard would think of doing this. After all the green stuff is installed on the building there comes the problem of Maintenance. It will probably triple maintenance costs. So how does this SAVE energy??

April 1, 2010 5:41 am

Actually I was more intrigued by the Non-nuke ordinance.
“for participation in or preparation against nuclear war is also prohibited.”
Can’t build a fall-out shelter?

April 1, 2010 5:49 am

The funny part is that it is so believable!!

April 1, 2010 5:56 am

Beaten to the punch I see. Sorry for re-posting the link you found, Sgt Relic.

April 1, 2010 5:58 am

“No person shall produce, test, maintain, or store within the city a nuclear weapon, component of a nuclear weapon, nuclear weapon delivery system, or component of a nuclear weapon delivery system. (Ord. 1564 §2 (part))”
Oh well. Looks like I won’t be paying a visit anytime soon… 😉
I just hope there is never any need to fight fires!
Good luck…

April 1, 2010 6:00 am

The firefighters in your city might as well piss on the flames

John Bennett
April 1, 2010 6:01 am

I have to hand it to you, Anthony: That was the LONGEST build-up I’ve encountered for an April fool’s joke. Great writing.

Larry Geiger
April 1, 2010 6:01 am

Along this same line, you can go and check out the new Topeka search engine today:
For more info click on “Topeka”.
“Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

amicus curiae
April 1, 2010 6:09 am

Captain Jack and David are correct, idiots in suburbia are making rules that Kill or ruin rural people, either by fires, as we had and insane no clearing, grazing regs.
or by locking land up for Kyoto.
Today I hear a pollie saying go home and breed for Easter.. no Joke!
while we have not enough homes or land available for the folks we already bred..
oh and the boatloads arriving dailyt.
we jusy got mega millions of litres of water and yet we arent making damns to allow us to keep it for dry times.
bloody fools.

R. de Haan
April 1, 2010 6:29 am

Great article Anthony.
For me this is all proof of the fact that the Green are not only obsessed by gaining control over every aspect of our lives at any costs, they are also crazy!
What’s next, a downsized electric fire truck and an additional carbon tax for those who loose their house in a fire?
These are all symptoms that show a lot of similarity with the way the USSR was ruled in the past.
Vaclav Klaus is right, the Green Doctrine is a major threat to our civilization and the only way to stop this is to introduce a law that keeps them out of Government and out of politics and as a last resort in isolation!
Alternatively I propose to send them on the ultimate mission, to find a new Green Planet.
I think it’s worth the money to build a gigantic space ship and send them on their way to a unknown solar system many light years from here to find a new Earth as the old one is beyond saving anyway.
I am sure most Greens are carved from the right wood to turn such an expedition into a success.

April 1, 2010 6:43 am

A small nuclear weapon could be delivered by a pickup or truck. Have they banned those types of vehicles in Chico? Even a typical automobile would be large enough to carry such a device. Talk about unintended consequences.

Henry chance
April 1, 2010 6:45 am

The system would not be complete without new solar powered pumpers that run on biofuels for back up. There is an epidemic of irrational notions. They are very expensive. For example. It takes several flushes to get rid of illegal drugs when the cops come and files or records. It takes more trips when the feds want to take light trucks to high fuel mileage standards.
The office tower i have my headquarters in did an environmental audit and security review. We have several law firms that get bomb threats. After 9/11 we had a newly engineered sprinkler system installed. It accidentally went off flooding the mezzanine, the huge atrium florr and two floors under it. The incident happened during installation. Since my grandad was in charge of building the huge building, the only major catastrophies to the building have come from a handfull of major malfunctions of safety equipment doing millions of dollars of damage.
Enviro doo gooders think differently. They think of a fire as wasting precious water and sending up CO2. They don’t think about loss of himan lives or property. It is bad however if a kitty doesn’t live.

Windy City Kid
April 1, 2010 6:46 am

Anthony why doesn’t the council just eliminate the hydrants and make the firemen pee on fires? Wouldn’t that be their perfect solution?

April 1, 2010 6:58 am

Anthony, this appears to have all the hallmarks of an elaborate April Fools Joke. If not then your timing is emaculate. :o)

April 1, 2010 7:00 am

And in related news:
@ Larry Geiger (06:01:26) :
Along this same line, you can go and check out the new Topeka search engine today:
For more info click on “Topeka”.
“Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

Speaking of Kansas:
BREAKING NEWS: China to Buy Kansas

In a move to help alleviate U.S. debt obligations, China announced a formal offer has been made to the Obama administration to buy Kansas for $2 trillion.
Sources within the administration say negotiations have been going on for weeks with Chinese officials first proposing to buy Iowa. But politically Obama was unwilling to sacrifice the state where he won his first presidential battle in early 2008. Obama was, however, encouraged to part with Kansas even though his mother was from the Sunflower state. A 16-point loss in Kansas in the 2008 general election, coupled with the Kansas Jayhawks and Kansas State Wildcats screwing up the president’s NCAA brackets made Kansas a more attractive parcel to sell.
Chinese officials cited Kansas’ agricultural output in staples such as wheat and beef, as well as the vast expanse of largely unpopulated and unsettled land.
Noting the benefits to the overall economy of the $2 trillion reduction in national debt obligations without giving up any major national tourist destinations or historic landmarks, President Obama was reflective in his embargoed comments about selling an actual state.
EPA Cites Agency for Emissions
In an unusual move, the Environmental Protection Agency cited itself on Wednesday for excessive greenhouse-gas emissions following the agency’s annual office chili-fest. Greenhouse-gas emissions rose dramatically in the mid-afternoon, causing the EPA to raise its emission status to “extreme.” EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced the agency would purchase an immediate carbon offset, some window fans and also suspend the chili-fest until new econometric modeling of the impacts of the chili-fest could be studied.
The EPA’s actions drew immediate criticism from Capitol Hill with Republicans demanding hearings.
“This is another clear attempt by the Obama administration to once again disregard tradition and apply a top-down heavy response,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.
Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee, stated the administration once again showed it is out of touch with middle America. “The ability to simply eat chili and break wind at will is under attack. I encourage Americans to stand up and be heard on this.”

R. de Haan
April 1, 2010 7:06 am

Here you have it:
Lovelock: ‘We can’t save the planet’
So, let’s build that space ship and send them out!

Capn Jack.
April 1, 2010 7:07 am

Anyways didn’t you see the morphs WWF and the rest they are changing names,
They are moving assets.
They already advertise their new names.

April 1, 2010 7:19 am

Had me suckered right up until you got to the “low flow” hydrant. I started out reading looking for the April 1 hook, and decided it wasn’t there about half way through. Nicely done.
A city I lived in years ago declared themselves a “nuclear weapons free zone” and put up a big sign at the airport that said so. I demanded to know if ICBM’s could read or not. I was told not to be obtuse, the sign was “symbolic”. I then demanded to know if it was paid for with “symbolic” tax dollars, or real ones. I was told not to be obtuse, “symbolic” tax dollars don’t exist and wouldn’t be good for anthing if they did. I suggested a corollary on that matter to signs and ordnances declaring us a nuclear weapons free zone. I was at that point firmly escorted out of city hall, and there was nothing symbolic about it.

April 1, 2010 7:19 am

I’ve been a lurker here for a while but as a paid fireman this story compelled I can tell you that this is quite possibly the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of!
“Regular” Hydrants really can’t be any more “sustainable” than the low-flow ones they’re proposing. When hydrants fail in my district, its usually an internal seal problem where they won’t drain once flow has been initiated or won’t open at all. How are those flimsy ones going to hold up over a solid cast-iron one? Will they hold up for 5,10 or even 20-30 years that the normal hydrants do?
I think they’d have a change of heart if they realized how much water is used during a standard dwelling fire and that their flow is inadequate for such needs, nevermind the requirements of a medium to large building with a substantial fire load…

J. Reed Anderson
April 1, 2010 7:28 am

Oh, for the old days… Whatever happened to Chico of the ’70s, when all it was known for were Pioneer Days (hazy memories of drunken debauchery from those who attended) and Velveeta Cheese in the town’s store’s gourmet food aisle. Oh, for simpler times…

April 1, 2010 7:28 am

Well written and believable, right to the end. Nicely done 🙂 Only, the piece is actually a bit sobering too, as there’s quite a number of people in my activist circle that – if they heard about the idea, real or not – would be behind it 100 percent.

April 1, 2010 7:32 am

Two brown paper envelopes arrived a few minutes ago. Both marked “House of Commons”. After checking my own graphs were in place and chuckling, I started to get a flavour of the document by dipping in and out.
Wow, Wow & Mega-Wow!
It’s not until you put them altogether and start doing this “statistical sampling” that the full impact really strikes home.
These submissions are going to be read in detail by academics and science writers, and read and reread, and talked about and analysed and there’s no way on earth the full horror can be hidden because it is all out in the open PUBLISHED BY THE MOTHER OF PARLIAMENTS (ISBN 978-0-215-55340-9 £20.50) for everyone to see!
There may be legitimate debate which if any specific individuals are responsible, but there’s no way anyone reading this document cannot reach only one conclusion: “climate science is fundamentally flawed and not fit for purpose”.
And, this will not be isolated to climate “science”: So many politicians have been tainted by this sham, and there is so much damning evidence of a systemic failure in the way science has been run, and the highest profile institutions and journals have laid their own reputations so recklessly on the line, that the effects of this report on the whole of science are going to be talked about for years.

April 1, 2010 7:33 am

Dammit…forgot what day it was and being a FF got me hooked. Well played, good sir. Well played. 😛

April 1, 2010 7:39 am

Santa Cruz also has a nuclear free zone ordinance, as well as hosting UC Santa Cruz and Professor Angela Davis. I’ve noticed such zones are popular with cities that have party schools specializing in history of altered consciousness programs, usually imported from the Frankfurt school of reality.

April 1, 2010 7:44 am

How embarrassing.

April 1, 2010 7:46 am

Bravo! Suckered in to the last! Bravo!

David S the original
April 1, 2010 7:47 am

Well Anthony you had me there until someone pointed out what the date is. The thing that made it so believable was that you live in California, the land of fruits and nuts.
BTW it seems there are now two David S’ at WUWT, so from now on I’m David S the original.

David L
April 1, 2010 7:49 am

How about saving even more water and attempting cloud seeding if there is a fire? Then the unnaturally induced rain could naturally put it out.

April 1, 2010 7:50 am

I did a quick Googling for low-flow’ fire hydrants and came up with very little. They are apparently thought of as quite inadequate for firefighters.
The following link has plenty of videos and a few other stories related to low-flow fire hydrants.

“A hydrant is supposed to have a minimum 1,000 gallons per minute. Low-flow hydrants have 500 gallons per minute or less. That means they don’t produce enough water for firefighters to adequately fight the fire.”

April 1, 2010 8:04 am

Can not believe those hydrants!. BTW, in the US TV we see that you worry very much about a VAT (value added tax), fuels taxes, etc….well, I live in a country where we pay19% VAT, VAT and a special tax for fuel, 30% income tax-flat-. The 97 octanes gas has a price of more than US$5.- per gallon and, believe me, you get used to it. In such a future dream world you wont´t have universal health care ( it does not work) and anything free; of course no deficits at all and the country has more savings than debts, total free market, FTA´s with several countries, and, last but not least, almost no unions as the 46% of the GDP corresponds to personal, micro, small and medium enterprises.
Green policies being promoted by a known international bank but regarded as something we have to live with, endure it, and not taking it seriously.
Here if the government issues a bill and it does not make sense everybody just forget it and in due time it dissolves into the void.
Why all this? Because all political systems have been tested here in the past and we are already “vaccinated” against what simply does not work. You need to pass the test, though I would say instead, enjoy the test, got the fever, ruin your country and only then, as happened to many countries in the past, to learn by the experience.

John Whitman
April 1, 2010 8:06 am

Having worked in the comercial nuclear power industry for more than 35 yrs and having stopped in Chico for gas very often for >25year on my way up to Burney to fly fish the Pit river . . . I never knew that I probably wasn’t very welcome there.
Now I will make a point of mentioning my profession every time I stop there!
Ha Ha Ha.

April 1, 2010 8:15 am

I bet they’d seriously consider banning Diydrogen Monoxide.

April 1, 2010 8:15 am

Takoma Park, Maryland, just north of Washington, DC, has been a nuclear free zone since 1983. Keeping our national legislators safe from destruction, but unfortunately not destructiveness.

April 1, 2010 8:17 am

A Superstorm for Global Warming Research
Plagued by reports of sloppy work, falsifications and exaggerations, climate research is facing a crisis of confidence. How reliable are the predictions about global warming and its consequences?

Jones, in his written correspondence with colleagues, all of them leading members of the climate research community, does not come across as an objective scientist, but rather as an activist or missionary who views “his” data as his personal shrine and is intent on protecting it from the critical eyes of his detractors.
An Entire Branch of Science in Crisis
The Climategate affair is grist for the mills of skeptics, who have gained growing support for their cause, particularly in English-speaking countries. What began with hacked emails in the United Kingdom has mushroomed into a crisis affecting an entire scientific discipline.,1518,686697,00.html

April 1, 2010 8:17 am

Darn! My blood pressure was going through the top of my head – and then I read the first comment. Well written: I bet more got taken in than are willing to admit it because you set up the story excellently, and there is nothing so ridiculous that environmental extremists won’t support it if they think it will ‘save’ the environment. And I thought I was too savvy to be taken in today.

April 1, 2010 8:28 am

One of those : “It seemed like a good idea at the time” moments.

April 1, 2010 8:39 am

As a gesture to show their commitment to sustainability the very first wave of these “low flow” hydrants should be placed in front of the houses of whoever votes for them.
REPLY: It’s an April Fools joke. Everything in the article is true, except for the low flow fire hydrants part. See the tag “satire” and the date 4-1-10. – Anthony

April 1, 2010 9:11 am

hahaha this was worth reading to the bitter end! great story, i wish i could say “cool story bro” but I know it’s true 🙁

April 1, 2010 9:28 am

that’s okay, i if i had to take a hydrant like that i would just get some suction going and see how many gpm i could suck out of the water system 😉

Doubting Thomas
April 1, 2010 9:29 am

PaulH (05:40:10) :
I think the pump handle is missing from low-flow hydrant. ;->
Paul, where do I send bill for coffee sprayed over my monitor and keyboard?
good one!!

Layne Blanchard
April 1, 2010 9:36 am

A few years ago when CA had one of its wildfire episodes, I read a story about a fellow who lived in a remote area, and owned a bulldozer. As the fire approached, he wanted to clear a fire break in the desert brush around his property but was threatened with a crippling judgement from the state….. because they said he would threaten the “habitat” of some desert rodent who’s name I can’t remember.
Anthony, I was born in Chico, at Enloe hospital, and lived around the area, at one point, near Juan Corona in the orchards of Live Oak. Didn’t find out about him until a few decades later. Besides, I was 2.
This is spoiling my fond memories of endless orchards and the sweet smell of fruit in the summertime…

April 1, 2010 9:37 am

You got me, Mr. Watts. Excellent set-up. Still didn’t know until I read the first comment (thanks to Joe). But as a long-time North Valley resident and graduate of Chico State I am concerned that people who read this as an April Fool’s joke might think the Nuclear-Free Zone part is a joke, too — it isn’t. Welcome to Chico!

April 1, 2010 9:41 am

I have a confession.
After reading this report, I have come to the conclusion that I was wrong and there should no longer be any questions about the validity of ANY scientific research that shows that we are causing global warming. None. No questions. Teleconnections is real. Stripbark Bristlecone Pines are a perfect temperature proxy. Any statistical method that can show there was no Medieval Warm Period must be used to show it, even if it’s never been used in such fashion. Climate models MUST ALWAYS be trusted. The decline was not hidden, just misplaced. Everything Al Gore says is 100% true and accurate.
Man-Made Global Warming is REAL people!
We Are Killing The Planet!
There is NO DOUBT!
Don’t question anything!
The Science IS Settled!!!!!!
So I’m leaving the WUWT community, and will never be coming back. I will miss many of you, but, I can no longer hang out with a bunch of deniers. I’m cleaning up my image.
So long…. and thanks for all the fish.
… Oh, and I drink my urine. It’s healthy.

Layne Blanchard
April 1, 2010 9:42 am

I just noticed it was truly an april fools joke….. something like this is totally believable today…. laugh now, and next year it will probably be on the docket.

mike sphar
April 1, 2010 9:45 am

I suppose a real low flow fire hydrant would have a meter installed to measure water volume consumed and to provide the local taxing official this data for taxing the nearby neighboring property for its unsustainable short term use.

April 1, 2010 9:47 am

Heh… good one.
But something to consider: I spent a few years in our local Vol FD. At the time, in my district we were averaging 1200 to 1300 calls a year. (which is why we eventually went to a “paid” system). For particularly nasty fires where you need as much water as possible, the operation would require a unit to do “Hydrassist” if the water pressure was too low. Essentially, a pumper would be staged at the hydrant and literally suck the water out of it and feed it up the 5″ line to the scene of the fire for the other pumpers to then pump to the hoses and monitors. (FYI, that large 4-way gate valve on the large line at the back of some pumpers is the valve used for this purpose)
On more than one occasion the county has had to replace water heaters that imploded/crumpled from that sort of activity.

Steve Goddard
April 1, 2010 9:52 am

In the 1970s The Guardian published a story about the first atomic bomb test in Los Alamos, NM.
The town seems to have fared remarkably well for having been the location of a nuclear detonation. Also surprising is that the scientists chose to nuke themselves and their families.

Gary P
April 1, 2010 9:53 am

How about atomic energy out in the garden shed?
“….The mantle in gas lanterns, the small cloth pouch over the flame, is coated with a compound containing thorium-232. When bombarded with neutrons it produces uranium-233, which is fissionable. David bought thousands of lantern mantles from surplus stores and blowtorched them into a pile of ash…….

April 1, 2010 10:01 am

Anthony: It appears that the Chico government is overly generous to its employees. Is Chico in the same sort of financial condition as Vallejo? If so, Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy laws is always a remedy.
REPLY: Yep, same problem. -A

Phil Jourdan
April 1, 2010 10:05 am

Chico is also known by being “Chico-ed”. Basically an episode of Becker had the local phone company putting a phony charge on his phone bill to Chico.
I wonder if residents will love low flow when their house catches on fire? Just think of all that CO2 polution from each house fire.

April 1, 2010 10:06 am

Uh… huh… And are those low-flow hydrants to combat the new, slow-burning, low-temperature fires that they’ve also got planned?
You know, the ones typically set on a nice, sunny APRIL FOOLS!!! day? 🙂
But I gotta admit, we’ve seen so many bad ideas presented and promoted over the years that it seemed like a plausible story. I almost believed it!

Adam Gallon
April 1, 2010 10:15 am

OK, hook, line & sinker!
It’s just too plausable.

April 1, 2010 10:16 am

What was no joke was the Butte Complex Fires of 2008 that burned 65,000 acres, cost $90 million in suppression alone, and burned down 50 homes in Paradise, Concow, and other towns adjacent to Chico. Massive evacuations were necessary, highways were closed, and the hospitals were overwhelmed with smoke inhalation victims. There was at least one death, but probably more due to smoke-related heart failures. It took a month and a half and a dozen fire agencies from around the state to contain the fires.
Chico is not an island. What happens around Chico affects Chico. If the city leaders were smart, they would pay attention to fire prevention issues thoughout Butte County.

Mike McMillan
April 1, 2010 10:26 am

So if the Iranians launch a nuke on Chico they’re liable for a $1000 fine?

DJ Meredith
April 1, 2010 10:28 am

Anthony Watts WMD
Weather Man Diva????

April 1, 2010 10:33 am

Scientists admit global warming is a hoax!!!
In an unprecedented move Wednesday, the Norwegian Nobel Committee rescinded the Peace Prize it awarded in 2007 to former US vice president Al Gore and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, amid overwhelming evidence that global warming is an elaborate hoax cooked up by Mr. Gore.
“I am deeply ashamed for having unwittingly perpetuated such a massive fraud on the governments of the world,” said Mr. Pachauri.
“I have to admit, Al got me good,” said Mr. Hansen as he packed up his personal belongings at his office at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. “Despite my decades of experience in climate modeling and satellite meteorology, I would just get mesmerized whenever he started showing me all those fancy charts and tables. The man is a real Svengali.”

April 1, 2010 10:43 am

SSam (09:47:37) :
1300 calls is a LOT.
I engineer on VFD in a town of about 600. We only get about 100-150 calls- some of those are the usual fish hooks in thumbs and snowmobile crashes, but we usually get several wildland and 2-3 structure fires a year.
Never collapsed any water heaters but but we do set off alarms at the PUD on occasion – “Hey, the water’s flowing the wrong way!” 😉

April 1, 2010 11:00 am

I used to sell “Pet Rocks” (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) in Chico. Which kinda dates me, but WTH.
I’d go out to a creek bed and pick up 20-30 lbs of rounded pebbles, stick ’em in a $0.50 box and sell the things for $10.
I love morons.

April 1, 2010 11:35 am

That fire hydrant looks as though a skateboard would take it out.
But be of good cheer. Fire is the natural catalyst releases the seedlings of new homes.
Could lead to a building boom./

April 1, 2010 11:57 am

I think that you should submit this story to The Onion. It’s that good!

One Vike
April 1, 2010 11:58 am

Ok, that was real good. :>)
Thanks Anthony

April 1, 2010 12:10 pm

No, no, no. . . China can’t have Kansas.
Tho I am reminded of the exasperated prayer of one American statesman about the founding of modern Israel –“Why couldn’t God have promised them North Dakota?”

April 1, 2010 12:23 pm

BREAKING NEWS: China to Buy Kansas
What are they gonna do, take it home with them?

Douglas DC
April 1, 2010 12:42 pm

I was at a “Sustainable Building” meeting now being a Realtor, but a former
Airtanker Pilot, the speaker extolled the virtues of Shake roof construction as sustainable. Arrrgh! Oh and don’t get me started about the “Australian Gasoline”

Greg Redeker
April 1, 2010 1:15 pm

As a Chico resident, I can verify that everything in the post is true, except for the fire hydrant issue. As Anthony said, Chico is in some respects a “Berkeley north”.

April 1, 2010 1:26 pm

We already have “energy audits on residential units at the time of sale” around here. They grade the house in energy efficiency from A+ to G, just like a refrigerator. Cost: 270 euros per certificate. And you must climb at least one energy class every ten years, even when other regulations (forbidden to install solar heating panels in historical centers) don’t allow it.

English Major
April 1, 2010 1:27 pm

I”m pretty sure I’ve seen some of those in Davis.

April 1, 2010 2:17 pm

4-1 thing, well written Anthony!
4-real, hope you and mods had a good one.

George E. Smith
April 1, 2010 2:18 pm

Well Chico is not so far out of whack as you think.
I believe that all of New Zealand is a nuclear free zone, and you can’t have nukes there either.
It used to be that there was a mutual defence treaty/pact called SEATO, or South East Asian Treaty Organisation; which was basically the USA, Australia, and New Zealand co-operating both Navally and otherwise in defence, in that part of the world.
As you can see, none of those three countries has any conenction to South East Asia, so I don’t know how they got that name.
Well then some crackpot NZ politician got the idea that he could get a win in a national election by declaring NZ to be a nuke free zone; and that got him elected to PM.
So then he asked the US NAvy to tell him if any of their ships visiting NZ carried Nuclear weapons or materials; something which the US Navy doesn’t tell anybody.
I guess the PM was worried that some US Navy garbage scow, might be docking in NZ to offload some garbage; for ecological disposal, rather than ocean dumping; and there might be some old paper towels that had been used to polish the nuclear reactor on some aircraft Carrier.
So the US said can’t say, and NZ said no come here. You see they were concerned that while the scow was offloading the radio-warm towels, the Russians might take advantage of the situation, and launvh a missile from Siberia to zap the garbage scow, while it was stationary at the Kiwi Dock.
That was just too scary to contemplate for Kiwis. I tried to tell them that I live about 2 1/2 miles from the Blue Cube, in Sunnyvale, which is ground zero for Numero Uno Russian ICBM; and that every month I spend a few naonoseconds worrying about being in the target zone; so they shouldn’t worry about Russian IHBMs (Inter-Hemispherics Ballistic Missiles).
The result was NZ got kicked out of SEATO; and eventually the politician got kicked out of office.
So anti-nuke zones are serious business.
Did I mention that Ernest Rutherford; aka Lord Rutherford; who discovered the nucleus of the atom (sort of) was a New Zealander.
So Kiwis helped let the evils out of Pandora’s box in the first place.
But I still do worry about that Blue Cube sitting there in Sunnyvale.
PS: Nukes or No, when push comes to shove we’ll still be there along with you Yanks; we kinda believe in the same things.

April 1, 2010 2:39 pm

I have never understood why fire hydrants have to stick up in the air where they are a nuisance and get knocked over.
Why not simply have the hydrant under a lid in the footpath, as we do here in New Zealand:
F.H. means Fire Hydrant!

Bruce of Newcastle
April 1, 2010 2:43 pm

Your city council is obviously afraid of eagle scouts, which is actually understandable.
On the other hand my hypothesis is that city councils, provincial assemblies and middle management are good for the human race. Some people are so hung up on power that they will do anything to get it. The most dangerous are those who are so appalling that they can just manage to get themselves promoted to middle management or elected to council, thereafter to make life misery for all around them.
Which is better than if they organised a putsch and took control of us all.

April 1, 2010 2:54 pm

Douglas DC: “Australian Gasoline” Trees..
LOL. I call them napalm trees. As a friend of mine who was a horticulturalist says
” we’ve got 4000km of gum trees between here and the west coast. We don’t need to plant any more”.

April 1, 2010 3:48 pm

Very funny and well stustained – but be aware, quite a few of those dotty proposals are already operative under UK/EU law! And London has been a ‘nuclear free zone’ ofr many years – as decreed by the former Mayor, Livingstone Newt-Lover

George E. Smith
April 1, 2010 4:00 pm

“”” geo (12:10:54) :
No, no, no. . . China can’t have Kansas.
Tho I am reminded of the exasperated prayer of one American statesman about the founding of modern Israel –”Why couldn’t God have promised them North Dakota?” “””
So Moses was a lousy navigator, and managed to find the only dry hole in the whole Middle East.
But what would China want with Kansas ? There are no trees there; although people stilld rive around in Logging trucks trying to find one that isn’t fossilized.
I actually had a Jaguar XK-140 hard top Coupe totalled by an empty logging truck in Victoria Kansas, once; and yes that truck had not been able to find any trees either. Kansas’ main function is to separate Missouri from Colorado.
Everybody in Missouri is kinda ornery; like Harry Truman was; and people in Colorado; well what can I say the National Snow and Ice Data center is there; so what else do you need to know.

Craig Loehle
April 1, 2010 4:01 pm

In a world of low-flow toilets and proposals to dump iron in the ocean, it is hard to come up with a satirical piece–good job Anthony! I would suggest that you can tell who has their head on straight by who has kept their sense of humor.

George E. Smith
April 1, 2010 4:45 pm

Those psychedelci Fire Hydrants might have a good market.
As one who regularly visists Bethel Island Up in the Sac-Delta area, for Striper fishing withdrawal treatments, I used to drive past a front yard on the way there, that had a collection out in the yard, of lots of multicolored fire hydrants.
We used to wonder whether the house owner was pulling some insurance scam, and was hoping that if his house caught fire, the fire department would never figure out which hydrant actually connected with real water. and his property would be a total loss, for insurance purposes.
But the last year or two we noticed the hydrant collection had vanished completely; including whatever one had been connected to water.
We really miss that hydrant garden, and my son comments on its absence every time we go there.
Either the guy got an offer on his hydrants that was just too good to refuse; or maybe some bureaucrat came and told him that it violated some ordinance to have non-operational hydrants on your property. It’s a shame, because such weirdo collections are just too few and far between.
Now down near where my House is; way south of Chico, but still in the central valley, there’s a house that has a gazebo, or maybe its a tool shed; but it is entirely built out of empty beer bottles. Never been quite curious enough to ask the guy for a tour of the building.
Meanwhile the Teleprompter Reader in Chief read the calendar wrong, and made his April fool’s day speech yesterday.
You wouldn’t believe how many regular newspaper and TV/radio reporters he conned in to reporting that he was going to drill baby; drill now, drill here. Well maybe you can look for oil, so long as you don’t drill any holes anywhere; like 50 miles off the coast of Virginia, where its perhaps 26,000 feet of water, and no oil that they don’t already know about and will never be allowed to drill for.
It’s really a scam to get some Republican politiicans to actually vote for his coming carbon tax legislation that he needs to pay for his socialized medicine boondoggle.
That will probably result in California tipping over; but in this case, it will fold upwards against the Sierra Nevada, as all the industrial companies in silicon valley, pull up stakes, and head for Mumbai, or Myanmar.
There are still people in California who believe that businesses actually pay taxes; so you can just stick it to them, when you want more State employee retirement funds.
Well even Gaia knows that economics doesn’t work that way; and the people in California who still have an above average education, also know how to earn a living somewhere else where they still allow business.
Good luck with one of those 35.5 MPG Government Motors 3/4 ton trucks that Obama is going to have his boys build for you. It’s gonna be all built out of carbon nanotubes, and comes with a 500 cc Norton engine (hemi).
One of the perks of driving in California is that you don’t have to buy Government mandated auto insurance; which makes you wonder why you would want to buy government mandated health insurance.
Oh you DO have to comply with California’s Financial Responsibility Law. You simply put up a $25,000 bod with the DMV, just in case you hit somebody else or damage their property when you are driving.
You see California doesn’t give a hoot whether your car looks like it has been attacked by a back hoe; so long as it has all the necessary safety equipment, and passes the smog test.
Most people though find the easiest way to comply with the law, that is designed to protect everybody else EXCEPT them; from them, is to simply purchase the readily available LIABILITY insurance that they can buy from anywhere in the USA. What they do about fixing their own junker is of no concern to the State, so you don’t need any of that kind of insurance if you are good with a hammer and tin snips.
I do miss that fire hydrant farm though.

April 1, 2010 5:02 pm

how in the world will they get the required 1500 to 2500 gallons per minute (gpm) out if the narrow riser? If you sprinkler a building, you can sometimes get a permit variance to 1500 gpm, but that little thing would be lucky to deliver 200 gpm. They will need to use these as fence posts to make clusters of 10 at 300 foot intervals.
the main thing thing sustained will be a string of liability lawsuits, IMHO. Wait till there is a fire. This is a public safety issue.
from a water professional.

April 1, 2010 6:02 pm

Thanks Anthony, in particular for the Seinfeld link. We fell for the free offer of a low flow shower months ago and I haven’t had a decent shower since. Now I know that I Am Not Alone and will seek out the local shower head black market.

April 1, 2010 6:16 pm

@ peterhodges (10:43:35) :
“…1300 calls is a LOT…”
Yeah, this district has the crossing point for THE major 4 lane that bisects the county and an Interstate. Plus two separate rail lines, an ex Monsanto (now Solutia) plant, plus, through a mutual agreement with a district in the next state, covers calls almost all the way to the first exit over there. It’s a time of response sort of thing.
Even though it’s gone paid, I still monitor Fire and Rescue out of habit and hear some really wild engine to accident assignments. They kept the same station numbering and I just have to stare at the radio when I hear an engine based 6 miles away dispatched to a call a half mile from the nearest station. Sure, it may have already been in service and in the area… but I keep hearing stuff like that more and more often.
Got to love bureaucracies.

Jeff Alberts
April 1, 2010 6:41 pm

There’s a lot of nut orchards here.

That should be “There are”, not “There’s”…

April 1, 2010 6:54 pm

Takoma Park Maryland is also a nuclear free zone,
The irony is Takoma Park MD is directly north of Washington DC, inside the Washington Beltway and depending on the size of the bomb inside the blast zone as well.
Blast zone radii information at

April 1, 2010 8:54 pm

I live in a town that declared itself a nuclear free zone and the local airbase just happened to have aircraft armed with Genie missiles. You can’t legislate against stupidity but you can vote them out – and that’s what eventually happened.

April 1, 2010 9:04 pm

In a fire-prone state such as Cali and you mean they are literally going to put the citizens more at risk with this nonsense???
What is the point of owning real estate of value when your municipality cuts out your feet from under you???
After listening that venom-laced email barrage last weekend from “professor Mark”…all I can say is….there must be something in the water [Anthony must be using a purifier of course]…but geez.
SO…government’s HIGHEST obligation to the public…is life safety…and they would have the gall to try to enact this INSANE change???
Total, total, backwards, retarded incompetence.
Norfolk, VA, USA
REPLY: Chris, it’s my April 1st essay. – Anthony

John Q. Galt
April 1, 2010 9:28 pm

Where’s Harry Tuttle when you need him?

Carl Yee
April 1, 2010 10:31 pm

Arcata is the genuine Bezerkeley of the North State. They also have a Nukie Free Zone. Not a sign proclaims it though because the City gave up posting it on the city limit signs as the Humboldt kids kept stealing the signs for room decorations. Wonder if anyone knows it is illegal to build a dirty bomb (ala 24 this season) in Arcata? I always wanted to build a component for a nuke, trigger or whatever, and be the first to be arrested under their idiotic ordinance, but I was a forester not a nuke engineer and never could pull it off.
REPLY: Just buy an old vacuum tube on eBay and tell em you possess a krytron tube, used to trigger the nuclear bomb compacting explosives, that should do the trick. – A

April 2, 2010 1:51 am

George E. Smith (14:18:08) :
It used to be that there was a mutual defence treaty/pact called SEATO, or South East Asian Treaty Organisation; which was basically the USA, Australia, and New Zealand co-operating both Navally and otherwise in defence, in that part of the world.
As you can see, none of those three countries has any conenction to South East Asia, so I don’t know how they got that name.

Those were just the three nations providing the heavy hitters, George. The UK and France were also members, and the *Asian* members — the Philippines, Taiwan, Pakistan (East and West), and Thailand — grew up and now have sufficient firepower for self-defense, although SEATO itself disbanded when the PRC decided to tone down exporting revolution after Mao went down.
In the interest of full disclosure, I would like to apologize to Australia for drinking its entire annual production of Victoria Bitters during one hazy week in 1969.

April 2, 2010 6:44 am

Murray Carpenter (05:12:15) :
Just when Arctic sea ice is about to go into “the black”……..NSIDC as predicted,go off line!!

Well, it’s a full day later and sea ice data is still offline.
Must have really shook someone’s core beliefs!
Someone at the University of Colorado at Boulder must be saying “Get that crap (truth) off the web fast before the media sees it and find someone to blame it on!”.

Douglas DC
April 2, 2010 8:18 am

Got me! Anthony-you are as bad as my wife, I didn’t even look at the date!

Retired Engineer
April 2, 2010 10:18 am

George E. Smith: I believe you are thinking of the ANZUS treaty. SEATO was mostly Viet Nam and neighbors.
George E. Smith: Now, now. In Colorado we ski or drink beer. Sometimes both. (we have the highest ratio of micro-breweries to population of any state) I do not know what they do in Missouri.
Art Buchwald said it was hard to write good satire, as reality had become so strange. I can see the ecos reading this and saying: “low flow fire hydrants? Why didn’t we think of that?”
The unintended consequences of this could be severe.

Chuck Bradley
April 2, 2010 11:05 am

Thanks for the excellent April Fool story.
There really are low flow hydrants. They look the same as regular hydrants.
The color code near the start of the article tells the story. It is a low flow hydrant
because it is fed by a smaller than usual pipe. The color tells the fire fighters
that they might have to find other hydrants to fight a fire near the low flow one.

April 2, 2010 11:47 am

Once you outlaw detonation of nuclear weapons within city limits only outlaws will detonate nuclear weapons within city limits!!

Simone BC
April 2, 2010 1:42 pm

From the info above, Chico isn’t outlawing the (deliberate enemy or accidental) detonation of nuclear weapons within its borders, just their storage, production, maintenance, and testing. They outlaw presence, not use.
“No person shall produce, test, maintain, or store within the city a nuclear weapon, component of a nuclear weapon, nuclear weapon delivery system, or component of a nuclear weapon delivery system. (Ord. 1564 §2 (part))”
I really like those fire hydrant photos, especially the soylent green one.

April 3, 2010 7:15 am

I been living here long enough to believe anything.
I keep trying to go to those Sustainability meetings, but, a little voice in the back of my head says, “oh no you don’t, you get out there and turn over that compost pile/hang that laundry/pull those weeds.”
Spring is here. I saw my first black butterfly last week and found the first wigglers yesterday.
Here’s a fun activity for your kids: put some wigglers in a jar and put a sock on the top, with a rubber band around it. Watch them turn into skeeters, it’s a-may-zing! But you know what, I had to let ours go – I couldn’t kill them after I’d known them as babies!
yep Chico’s full of nuts. A blog a day, that’s all we ask.

Gail Combs
April 4, 2010 6:33 pm

Here is another idiotic Greenie law.
In Massachusetts it is illegal to add anything to your compost heap that did not originate on your land. No store bought lettuce leaves allowed, thank you very much. I could not give my neighbor my horse manure for her garden, I had to truck it up to New Hampshire to a guy who bred roses.
Some poor guy I met had a winery. After the law was passed he was told he had to dispose of the skins and seeds left over from pressing the grapes as “HAZARDOUS WASTE” normally they are composted and put back on the fields. The cost drove him out of business.
And yes those are true stories, unfortunately.

May 11, 2010 2:16 am

Those strange looking low flow fire hydrants look surpricingly similiar to the variety one sees in the upper reaches of the Sierra Foothill Towns, hooked up to a Sierra hamlet’s “somewhat reliable” water system ( Long barn / Slide Inn on Sonora Pass Hwy. 108 is a good example of this ) Sounds like one of those good ideas that’re utterly useless if not downright dangerous in the real world. Especially when the protection of a town is at stake!!
As far as that ban on any use or transport of a Nuclear Device or Fuel through town. That stems from the days of the Reagan Administration having their grubby little friends and allies within the Academia Nuclear Physics World research and develop new and outlandish ways to kill people ‘en masse during those sad days of the Missle Build-Up between us and Soviet Russia. This ban was supposed to keep any and all individuals who worked for “The University”, I would suppose from working with the “Dept. of Defence” on any Nuclear/Atomic/ Hydrogen / Ballistic Missile “Technology” of any sort whatsoever. This also would supposedly carry over to where Hwy 99 and the Southern Pacific Railroad Mainline ( now Union Pacific ) comes through Chico City Limits from ever being utilized to transport this technology either. I’m sure the railroad and trucking companies, as well as military convoy transports have most likely ignored this part of the law and used Hwy 99 and the rails many times on their way from North and South. No doubt Interstate 5 sees much more of this traffic though.

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