Art and water for a retired guy


Michael Raffety is an arts writer for the Mountain Democrat, covering San Francisco events

That’s what I’d like for a tag line when I write about major exhibitions at the San Francisco Fine Arts Museums – the de Young and the Legion of Honor.

I decided that after reading the review in the Wall Street Journal of the same art exhibit I covered.

David Littlejohn’s tag line at the end of the review read, “Mr. Littlejohn writes about West Coast cultural events for the Journal. “

That’s a class tag line.

There is no evidence, I should point out, that Littlejohn’s tag line knocked Robin Hood into the river.

Because I only cover the San Francisco show, Littlejohn gets an advantage on the log over the river on me. He covered the J.M.W. Turner show at the Getty Art Museum in Los Angeles before it comes to the de Young in San Francisco in June.

I’ll be there in June. I checked with the features editor, Mimi Escabar, before I committed,, which for me means making hotel reservation, so I can be there for the 9;30 a.m. press preview.

I also checked with the PR people at the de Young as to the date to the press preview. This time it was set for a Thursday. Thursdays were really big deadline days, with a big paper, being a critical one to hang around on the newsstands all weekend long. Now that I’m a retired guy Thursdays are cool with me.

Just so you know, I would also cover the Crocker in Sacramento, but they just haven’t been able to break out of the small ball art game. There was one I missed that was of more than local interest. The last really big show I saw there before they added the new wing was an exhibit by the previous director of a fabulous collection of artists from the 19th century Monterey artists colony, about which even the Monterey Art Museum is only vaguely familiar with.

. . . . .

Water stuff. Yes, EDWAPA. What is it? Who gives a hoot about it? There is really no “A” in EDWPA, but that clarifies how it is pronounced. Tom Cumpston, general counsel for the El Dorado Irrigation District, gave one of his usual well-researched presentations on the subject to the EID board March 23 and an audience keenly interested in supporting the El Dorado Water and Power Authority.

The primary argument for EDWPA, which includes EID, the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors and the El Dorado County Water Agency, is that they can all be in the same room at the same time for a closed session meeting with their lawyer to discuss litigation and negotiations.

It also provides one voice when dealing with the state in acquiring water rights via area-of-origin rights and in dealing with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, from which the county obtained a sketchy contract in 1957 and 1961 for 40,000 acre-feet of water.

But the big revelation for me was when EID Director George Osborne pointed out that the South Tahoe Public Utility District has a permanent seat on the Water Agency board, but EID does not. The county Board of Supervisors dominates the board with three members. EID alternates its membership between Grizzly Flat CSD and Georgetown PUD. GDPUD currently has a four-year-term on the board and after that expires EID will have a representative on the Water Agency.

In the meantime, the county supervisors should get some T-shirts that say, “I’m with STPUD.”


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