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Boswell Calls Kings County Sheriff About Reporter Checking Out Tomato Field, New Dam



West of the El Rico flood cell, Boswell land remains dry and tomato beds are laid out in perfectly straight rows for miles. (SJV Water/Lois Henry)
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SJV Water called J.G. Boswell Company Vice President Jeof Wyrick and ended up getting a warning from the cops.

Lois Henry

Lois Henry portrait

SJV Water

SJV Water left a recorded message asking Wyrick why the J.G. Boswell Company was planting tomatoes in areas expected to flood and had placed a low dam at the confluence of the South Fork of the Kings and Tule rivers slowing that water down.

Wyrick never called back.

Instead, a sergeant with the Kings County Sheriff’s Office called SJV Water to say it had received a call from Boswell and the company didn’t want anyone on its land.

Hmm. Okay.

In order to report this story, SJV Water used levee roads where numerous other vehicles were traveling. They were apparently open to public use without restriction.

The sergeant then noted the levees were getting waterlogged and weren’t always safe.

Understood, but Penal Code 409.5(d) says journalists cannot be kept out of disaster areas in order to provide the public with information, even at the risk of their own safety.

When asked about the warning from his office, Sheriff Dave Robinson texted that his office regularly receives allegations of trespass from Boswell and his deputies go to the area to tell people if they’re on private land.

“I don’t give this (call) anything more than the prior calls,” he texted. “This was a little unusual in that they knew your name.”

Yeah, just a little.

About SJV Water

SJV Water is an independent, nonprofit news site dedicated to covering water in the San Joaquin Valley. Get inside access to SJV Water by becoming a member.

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