Mayday! Mayday!

by Don Wright at

As I write this it is May Day, May 1st. When I was a child attending San Joaquin Elementary School, we’d celebrate May Day with a May Queen and we’d dance around a pole weaving colored streamers. I wonder if anyone does that anymore? It was a time when lack of water supplies and an avalanche of governmental/regulatory paperwork were not the biggest considerations a farmer had to face. The small cities and towns of the Valley resembled Mayberry with the spice of Mexico, and skin color was becoming less of an issue instead of more. 

Like the climate, things change. May Day marks the date halfway between the Vernal Equinox and the Summer Solstice and was a celebration of the crops being planted. This was before the communists glommed on to it and the lefties and EJs turned it into a neopagan holiday. 

Take Notice Give Notice 

Checking my May Day email this showed up from the State Water Resources Control Board:

“Reminder: Deadline to submit written comments on SGMA Tule Probationary Hearing Draft Staff Report is May 7, 2024, at 12:00 noon.

“Thank you to those who participated in public workshops on April 5 and April 8, 2024, regarding possible state intervention in the Tule groundwater subbasin under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). Slides from the workshops and a recording of the staff presentation are available on the State Water Board’s Tule Subbasin webpage.

“The public may still submit written comments on the Tule Probationary Hearing Draft Staff Report, which outlines staff recommendations to the Board. A shorter Executive Summary is also available in both English and Spanish.

“Comments on the Draft Staff Report must be submitted by May 7, 2024, at 12:00 noon. Staff will consider all comments heard at the workshops or received in writing by the deadline when developing the final staff report and recommendations. Instructions on how to submit comments electronically, by hand delivery, or by mail are available in the public notice. Information regarding how to comment on the final staff report will be provided after the final staff report has been made available.

“On September 17, 2024, the State Water Board will hold a hearing to consider designating the Tule subbasin as a probationary basin under SGMA. If the State Water Board designates the subbasin probationary, it will identify deficiencies (issues) and potential actions that the groundwater sustainability agencies in the basin could take to address the deficiencies.

“More information: Visit Questions? Contact the SGMA Program at or 916-322-6508.”


There’s also a homonym for May Day, Mayday. Repeat it two or three times and you have a distress signal. According to, “The word Mayday is actually an anglicization, or in simple words, the English approximation of a French phrase “m’aidez” or “m’aider,” which literally means “help me.” It’s said to have originated with a senior radio officer at Croydon Airport in London named Frederick Stanley Mockford in 1923. He was asked to come up with a word that could be used in distress signals that could easily be understood by all pilots and support staff at airports. Since much of the air traffic at that point was between Croydon and Le Bourget Airport in Paris, he proposed the word “m’aider”, which is actually a shortened version of “venez m’aider.”