University of California Berkeley
Regional Oral History Office University of California
The Bancroft Library Berkeley, California
East Bay Municipal Utility District Oral History Series
WATER RIGHTS ON THE MOKELUMNE RIVER AND LEGAL ISSUES AT THE
EAST BAY MUNICIPAL UTILITY DISTRICT, 1927-1966
With Introductions by
John W. McFarland
Frank E. Howard
Interview Conducted by
Copyright O 1997 by The Regents of the University of California
Since 1954 the Regional Oral History Office has been interviewing leading
participants in or well-placed witnesses to major events in the development of
Northern California, the West, and the Nation. Oral history is a method of
collecting historical information through tape-recorded interviews between a
narrator with firsthand knowledge of historically significant events and a well-
informed interviewer, with the goal of preserving substantive additions to the
historical record. The tape recording is transcribed, lightly edited for
continuity and clarity, and reviewed by the interviewee. The corrected
manuscript is indexed, bound with photographs and illustrative materials, and
placed in The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, and in
other research collections for scholarly use. Because it is primary material,
oral history is not intended to present the final, verified, or complete
narrative of events. It is a spoken account, offered by the interviewee in
response to questioning, and as such it is reflective, partisan, deeply involved,
All uses of this manuscript are covered by a legal agreement
between The Regents of the University of California and Harold
Raines dated October 4, 1995. The manuscript is thereby made
available for research purposes. All literary rights in the
manuscript, including the right to publish, are reserved to The
Bancroft Library of the University of California, Berkeley. No part
of the manuscript may be quoted for publication without the written
permission of the Director of The Bancroft Library of the University
of California, Berkeley.
Requests for permission to quote for publication should be
addressed to the Regional Oral History Office, 486 Library,
University of California, Berkeley 94720, and should include
identification of the specific passages to be quoted, anticipated
use of the passages, and identification of the user. The legal
agreement with Harold Raines requires that he be notified of the
request and allowed thirty days in which to respond.
It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows:
Harold Raines, "Water Rights on the
Mokelumne River and Legal Issues at the
East Bay Municipal Utility District," an
oral history conducted in 1995 by Germaine
LaBerge, Regional Oral History Office, The
Bancroft Library, University of
California, Berkeley, 1997.
Copy no. /
Harold Raines, ca. 1959
RAINES, Harold (b. 1901) EBMUD Attorney
Water Rights on the Mokelumne River and Legal Issues at the East Bay
Municipal Utility District. 1927-1966. 1997, viii, 108 pp.
Family background and childhood, Washington State and California; UC
Berkeley, B.A. and J.D., 1925; assistant attorney for East Bay Municipal
Utility District (EBMUD), 1927-1947: recollections of director George
Pardee and attorney Theodore Wittschen, early days at EBMUD; attorney for
EBMUD, 1947-1966: formation of Special District # 1, water law and right of
condemnation, negotiations for extra Mokelumne River water (1949-1959) and
historic agreement with mountain counties, recreation at district
reservoirs, water f luoridation; comments on boards of directors, East Bay
Regional Parks, and California legislature.
Introduction by John McFarland, General Manager (retired), East Bay
Municipal Utility District, and Frank Howard, Attorney for EBMUD (retired).
Interviewed 1995 by Germaine LaBerge for the East Bay Municipal Utility
District Oral History Series. Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft
Library, University of California, Berkeley.
Underwritten by the East Bay Municipal Utility District.
TABLE OF CONTENTS- -Harold Raines
INTRODUCTION by Frank Howard i
INTRODUCTION by John W. McFarland ii
INTERVIEW HISTORY ill
WATER RESOURCES SERIES LIST v
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION viii
I FAMILY BACKGROUND, CHILDHOOD, AND EDUCATION 1
Grandparents, Parents, and Immediate Family 1
Schooling in Washington State 3
Determination of a Legal Career 3
Early Jobs 5
Transfer to University of California, Berkeley, 1921 6
Boalt Hall School of Law, 1923-1925 7
The Bar Exam and the Law Office of Joseph Raines 10
II ATTORNEY AT EBMUD, 1927-1966 12
Interview with Theodore Wittschen 12
Overview of the Legal Department 13
The Kieffer Case, 1927, and Condemnation Suits 16
Marriage, 1937, and Family 17
Memories of Theodore Wittschen 18
Accounting Duties and Odd Jobs 19
Outside Interests 21
More on T. P. Wittschen 22
Writing Briefs for the Trials 24
Leslie Irving 26
Appointment as General Counsel, 1947 27
Sociability and Function of the Board of Directors 30
Memories of Governor George Pardee 31
"Pickhandle" Pardee 31
Board of Directors President 32
The Park Issue 35
Public Relations 36
Arthur P. Davis, General Manager and Chief Engineer 38
Cash Payments and National Banks 40
Legislative Dealing and S. C. Masterson 41
Legal Department Secretaries 42
Aside on Frank Howard and the Camp fire Girls 43
III SPECIAL DISTRICT #1 45
Formation of Special District #1 45
Negotiations with the U.S. Maritime Commission 46
Southern Pacific Negotiations 47
Golden Gate Fields Negotiations 48
Right of Condemnation and Other Legal Issues 50
The Land Department 51
EBMUD Representative in Washington 55
World War II 56
The Board of Directors 57
Changes in the Organization, 1946 59
Leroy Hamman as President 60
Louis Breuner and Hart Eastman 62
Jack Reilley and Francis Blanchard 63
IV THE MOKELUMNE RIVER CONTROVERSY, 1949-1959 65
The Beginnings of the Land Department 65
Application for More Water, 1949 67
The County of Origin Law 69
Unsatisfactory Permit from Harvey Banks, July 1956 70
Henry Holsinger from the Department of Water Resources 71
Opinion of Attorney General Pat Brown, 1956 73
Hearing Before the State Water Rights Board 75
Meetings with Counties of Origin 76
Historic Agreement, 1959, with Amador and Calaveras Counties
The Board and the Legislature 80
Recreational Facilities 82
Friendly Relations with Adversaries 84
Water Fluoridation 86
Taxation Issues 87
An Antitrust Suit 88
Development of Water Rights Law 90
TAPE GUIDE 92
Introduction by John W. McFarland
When I was appointed to the position of Manager of the new Control
Division by the EBMUD Board of Directors in 1947, Harold Raines had already
been on the legal staff for twenty years. He was one of the principal
architects of EBMUD legal policy and operations. He was a great advisor to
me during my early years, and later after I was appointed General Manager.
I was proud to have participated in his selection as Chief Attorney in
December of 1947.
His greatest moment was when, in 1959, he convinced then-Attorney
General of California Pat Brown to approve a major permit for water rights
to the Mokelumne River in Amador and Calaveras Counties, then in
litigation. Without these water rights, EBMUD could not have progressed as
it has through the years.
Harold Raines retired April 30, 1966.
John W. McFarland
General Manager (retired), EBMUD
Introductionby Frank E. Howard
For more than seventy years the General Counsel of the East Bay
Municipal Utility District has faced issues that have shaped the legal
history of California. The role of EBMUD attorneys in securing and
protecting water rights has added important chapters in the annals of
Wetsern water law. In addition to the accomplishments in water resource
development and protection, the water district's attorneys have been
involved in landmark decisions in many areas of public law, including
eminent domain, taxation, land use planning, public contracts, and
municipal financing. With the creation of the Special District and
construction of wastewater treatment facilities, EBMUD lawyers began to
face new legal issues in areas which subsequently became the environmental
law development of the sixties.
The period from 1953 to 1973 brought major annexations to the EBMUD
service area. This triggered needs for major facility expansions and a
supplemental water supply. The "flip side" of these needs were new legal
challenges as well as increased state and federal regulatory requirements.
The seventies and eighties brought new legal issues in public employment,
municipal financing, and environmental control and challenge.
In 1995, the district asked The Bancroft Library of the University of
California, Berkeley, to conduct an oral history series of the General
Counsel's Office. The Regional Oral History Office proposed to interview
leading lawyers for the district to record and preserve their memories.
The primary sources available for the project, Harold Raines, John B.
Reilley, and Robert Maddow, enjoyed careers which spanned almost the entire
seventy-year history of EBMUD. They were three of only four attorneys who
led the legal department since its formation in 1923. By recording the
personal recollections and anecdotal observations of those directly
involved in the major legal and legislative contests of the district, the
written records will be amplified and strengthened to the benefit of future
managements, historians, and the public in general.
Frank E. Howard
Attorney at Law
Walnut Creek, California
April 11, 1997
INTERVIEW HISTORY- -Harold Raines
The Regional Oral History Office has long been interested in
California water issues. In 1991, the East Bay Municipal Utility District
(EBMUD) asked ROHO to interview Walter McLean, a civil engineer who
specialized in water resources engineering. So we were delighted when
Frank Howard, representing a group of retired EBMUD attorneys, engineers
and managers, approached our office suggesting a project to document the
history of water rights litigation from the standpoint of EBMUD. The idea
was to begin with interviews of Harold Raines, John B. Reilley, and Robert
Maddow, all former general counsel for the district. The EBMUD Board of
Directors accepted a proposal drafted by Frank Howard of the Friends of
Western Water Law and with the board's funding, we began to document the
work of EBMUD 's general counsel's office.
I first met Harold Raines and Jack Reilley in August 1995 for a
preliminary conversation about their background and the goals of the oral
histories. Mr Raines, a 1925 graduate of UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall School
of Law, presented a dapper appearance and gentlemanly manner along with a
very good memory of Governor George Pardee, the first president of the
district's board of directors, of Theodore Wittschen, the first general
counsel, and of the development of water law during his forty years
at EBMUD (1927-1966).
Four interviews were recorded at Mr. Raines's gracious home at Rossmoor
in Walnut Creek, California, on September 29, October 4, 18, and 20, 1995.
In preparation for the sessions, I consulted various sources at the Water
Resources Center Archives at O'Brien Hall on the Berkeley campus (where Mr.
Raines has deposited several papers relevant to his work on the Mokelumne
River), in addition to Mr. Raines's very carefully kept scrapbooks. We sat
at his dining room table where he thoughtfully answered questions, taking
time to think through the issues and organize his responses.
A native Californian, Harold Raines enjoyed an "idyllic boyhood" as
the oldest of three children in Vallejo and in the state of Washington,
where his father worked in a civilian capacity for the U.S. Navy. He was
always headed toward a legal career but had no idea it would encompass
water and business law. After a short time in private practice with Uncle
Joseph Raines, he joined the young East Bay Municipal Utility District in
1927, hired by the legendary Theodore Wittschen, then general counsel.
Because Mr. Wittschen was often in the field litigating, young Hal sat in
at board of directors' meetings and gained experience wearing many
different hats. The oral history covers these early days at the district
with descriptions of many colorful characters besides Wittschen and Pardee.
Mr. Raines describes condemnation suits, the building of Pardee and
Camanche Reservoirs, the formation of Special District #1 for sewage
treatment, and most importantly the gaining of an additional 125 acre feet
of water on the Mokelumne River, negotiations which lasted for ten years.
Quiet and unassuming, Harold Raines negotiated with the Department of
Water Resources, the Attorney General's Office, the Department of Finance,
the Department of Fish and Game, and Southern Pacific Railroad to name a
few. Not trained as a litigator, he used negotiation and clear written
words to present the district's case and prevail. Any person interested in
the development of water law needs to read the story of the historic
agreement reached between Araador and Calaveras Counties and EBMUD.
He speaks with great fondness of his years representing the
district, mentioning the family atmosphere. He is still devoted to his
former employer and belongs to a group of retired district employees who
meet to advise on water matters reaching into the twenty- first century.
Upon Harold Raines's retirement in 1966, a district spokesperson lauded
him: "...the final test of a man is what his contemporaries really think of
him, and it is a test that Hal passes with flying colors. Those who know
him like and respect him, and those who know him best like and respect him
When the interview process was complete, the tapes were transcribed
in the Regional Oral History Office, lightly edited, and sent to Mr. Raines
for his approval. He made some additions to round out the discussions and
returned the transcript promptly. The interviews were corrected, amended,
and indexed at our office.
Many thanks to Frank Howard who gave impetus to this project and to
the East Bay Municipal Utility District for financial support. Water law
has been central to California history. Securing mountain water rights for
large metropolitan districts has been an ongoing issue in the latter half
of the twentieth century. Harold Raines's contribution to a peaceful
settlement with mountain "counties of origin" is relied on today in the
1990s as new water rights issues arise.
For the introduction to this volume thanks go to John McFarland,
retired general manager of the East Bay Municipal Utility District from
1950 to 1968, and Frank Howard, retired member of EBMUD 's legal department.
The Regional Oral History Office was established in 1954 to record
the lives of persons who have contributed significantly to the history of
California and the West. One of its major areas of investigation has been
the history of California's water resources; a listing of oral history
interviews in this series follows. The office is a division of The
Bancroft Library and is under the direction of Willa K. Baum.
July 2, 1996
Regional Oral History Office
The Bancroft Library
CALIFORNIA WATER RESOURCES
The following Regional Oral History Office interviews have been completed by
the Regional Oral History Office, a division of The Bancroft Library. The
Office was established to tape record interviews with persons who have
contributed significantly to the development of the West. Transcripts of the
interviews, typed, indexed, and bound, may be purchased at cost for deposit in
Single Interview Volumes
Adams, Frank (1875-1967) Irrigation engineer, economist
Irrigation, Reclamation and Water Administration. 1959, 491 pp.
Banks, Harvey (b. 1910) Director, Department of Water Resources
California Water Project. 1955-1961. 1967 82 pp.
Beard, Daniel P. (b. 1943) Staff Director, House Committee on Nat. Res.
Passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. 1990-1992; The
Role of George Miller. 1996, 67 pp.
Downey, Stephen W. (1876-1958) Attorney
California Water and Power Attorney. 1957, 316 pp.
Durbow, William (1886-1958) Manager, irrigation district
Irrigation District Leader. 1958, 213 pp.
Gianelli, William R. (b. 1919) Director, Department of Water Resources
The California State Department of Water Resources. 1967-1973.
1985, 86 pp.
Golb, Richard K. (b. 1962) Senator Seymour staff
Passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act, 1991-1992; The
Role of John Seymour. 1997, 136 pp.
Graff, Thomas J.(b. 1944) Environmental Defense Fund attorney
Yardas, David (b. 1956) Water resources analyst
The Passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. 1991-1992;
Environmental Defense Fund Perspective. 1996, 133 pp.
Harding, Sidney T. (1883-1969) Professor of Irrigation, UC Berkeley
A Life in Western Water Development. 1967, 524 pp.
Hedgpeth, Joel (b. 1911) Marine biologist
Marine Biologist and Environmentalist; Pycnogonids. Progress, and
Preserving Bays. Salmon, and other Living Things. 1996, 319 pp.
Jones, Herbert (1880-1970) California State Senator
California Government and Public Issues. 1958, 318 pp.
Lambert, Charles F. (1887-1959) Land promoter, irrigation district official
Sacramento Valley Irrigation and Land. 1957, 83 pp.
Leedom, Sam R. (1896-1971) Newspaperman, water project administrator
California Water Development. 1930-1955. 1967, 83 pp.
Leopold, Luna B. (b. 1915) Hydrologist, educator
Hydrology, Geomorphology, and Environmental Policy: U.S. Geological
Survey, 1950-1072. and UC Berkeley. 1972-1987. 1993, 309 pp.
Mason, J. Rupert (1886-1959) Municipal bond broker
J. Rupert Mason on Single Tax. Irrigation Districts, and Municipal
bankruptcy. 1985, 372 pp.
McLean, Walter R. (b. 1903) Water resources engineer
From Pardee to Buckhorn: Water Resources Engineering and Water Policy in
the East Bay Municipal Utility District. 1927-1991. 1993, 330 pp.
Nelson, Barry (b. 1959) Save the Bay director
The Passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. 1991-1992:
Executive Director, Save San Francisco Bay Assocation. 1994, 88 pp.
Peltier, Jason (b. 1955) Manager, Central Valley Project Water Association
The Passage of the Central Valley Prolect Improvement Act, 1991-1992;
Manager, Central Valley Project Water Association. 1994, 84 pp.
Raines, Harold (b. 1901) EBMUD attorney
Water Rights on the Mokelumne River and Legal Issues at the East Bay
Municipal Utility District. 1927-1966. 1997, 108 pp.
Reilley, John B. (b. 1916) EBMUD attorney
Water Rights and Legal Issues at the East Bay Municipal Utility
District. 1951-1983. 1997, 130 pp.
Robie, Ronald B. (b. 1937) Director, Department of Water Resources
The California State Department of Water Resources, 1975-1983.
1989, 97 pp.
Taylor, Paul S. (1895-1984) Professor of Economics, specialist in reclamation
California Social Scientist. (Three volumes)
Volume I: Education. Field Research, and Family. 1973, 342 pp.
Volumes II and III: California Water and Agricultural Labor. 1975, 519
Multiple Interview Volumes
California Water Issues, 1950-1966. 1981, 458 pp.
(Goodwin Knight/Edmund G. Brown, Sr. Project). Interviews with:
Edmund G. Brown, Sr., "The California Water Project: Personal Interest
and Involvement in the Legislation, Public Support, and Construction,
B. Abbott Goldberg, "Water Policy Issues in the Courts, 1950-1966."
Ralph M. Brody, "Devising Legislation and Building Public Support for
the California Water Project, 1950-1960; Brief History of the Westlands
William E. Warne, "Administration of the Department of Water Resources,
Paul R. Bonderson, "Executive Officer, Regional and State Water
Pollution and Water Quality Control Boards," 1950-1966."
Save San Francisco Bay Association. 1961-1986. 1987, 220 pp.
Barry Bunshoft, Esther Gulick, Catherine Kerr, Sylvia McLaughlin.
The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, 196A-1973.
Interviews with Joseph E. Bodovitz, Melvin Lane, and E. Clement Shute.
1986, 98 pp.
Interview in Process; Robert Maddow, for the East Bay Municipal Utility
District Series (water rights and legal issues).
For other California water-related interviews see Land-Use Planning and
Sanitary Engineering lists.
Regional Oral History Office
Room 486 The Bancroft Library
University of California
Berkeley, California 94720
(Please write clearly. Use black ink.)
Your full name
Date of birth
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Father's full name
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Mother's full name
/t ) Birthplace
Areas of expertise
Where did you grow up?
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Other interests or activities
Organizations in which you acegEtive
I FAMILY BACKGROUND, CHILDHOOD, AND EDUCATION
[Interview 1: September 29, 1995] it 1
Grandparents, Parents, and Immediate Family
LaBerge: We usually like to begin with your childhood and background, so
tell me where you were born and a little bit about your parents.
I think you were born in Vallejo?
Raines: Yes. I was born in Vallejo, California, on April 8, 1901. My
parents were Thomas Raines, Jr., and Anna Barry Raines. They
were early pioneers in California. My father was born in 1870 in
Vallejo, and my mother was born in San Francisco in 1877. I have
a brother who lives in Pacific Grove, California, and a sister
who died nine years ago in Pasadena, California.
LaBerge: What are their names?
Raines: My brother's name is Raymond Thomas Raines, and my sister's name
was Marian Cecilia Maley.
LaBerge: Were you the oldest?
Raines: Yes, I was the oldest child in the family. Getting back to my
parents, at the time I was born, my father was employed in the
paint department on Mare Island navy yard in Vallejo. My parents
were married in San Francisco and I'm informed that they,
immediately left for Santa Cruz for their honeymoon.
LaBerge: Do you know what year that was?
I This symbol (it) indicates that a tape or tape segment has begun or
ended. A guide to the tapes follows the transcript.
Raines: Yes, they were married February 12, 1899.
LaBerge: Did they immediately go back to Vallejo to settle?
Raines: Yes, they went back to Vallejo. There they built a nice two-
story house at 713 Pennsylvania Street, next door to the home of
my father's parents.
LaBerge: Tell me about your parents being pioneers.
Raines: My paternal grandfather was born in Albany, New York, in 1838.
He arrived in Oakland, California, in 1855. My paternal
grandmother was born in Ireland. She left Ireland in company
with an older sister and the sister's husband. She told tales of
a stormy month-long crossing of the Atlantic in a small sailing
vessel. Both grandparents came to California by ship after
crossing the Isthmus of Panama.
[Grandmother Raines arrived in California in 1863. They
were married in 1865 and came to Vallejo in 1869. There was at
least one "Raines" living continuously thereafter until the death
of my cousin, Ann Raines, about 1980.
I know nothing about the early years of my maternal
grandparents. Grandfather David Barry, Jr., was born in Boston,
Massachusetts, and Grandmother Mary Gray Barry was born in
Providence, Rhode Island. They came to San Francisco by ship by
way of the Isthmus of Panama.
My Grandfather Raines was a commercial painter by trade, and
my Grandfather Barry was a sail maker by trade.
Grandmother Barry died in 1899, before my birth.
Florence Margaret Adelman and I were married at Del Monte,
California, on December 27, 1931. We have a daughter, Margaret
Ann Singleton, who was born on October 7, 1941. She is currently
Personnel Director for the Saratoga School District. She has two
children, our grandchildren, Elizabeth Ann Singleton and James
Thomas Singleton. Margie is a graduate of the University of
Oregon, with a B.S. degree. Beth graduated from California State
University at San Francisco, having majored in philosophy. Jamie
is now attending California State University at San Jose,
majoring in anthropology.] 1
'Bracketed material was added by Mr. Raines during the editing
Schooling in Washington State
LaBerge: How about if we go on to your childhood?
Raines: As I say, I was born in 1901, and my father was working on the
Mare Island navy yard. He was a foreman in the paint department
there, and one year after I was born, in 1902, he left Mare
Island and took a position as manager of the paint department at
the newly organized navy yard in Bremerton, Washington. We lived
in Bremerton until 1916; when I was fifteen years old we left
there. I had an idyllic boyhood in Bremerton. The town couldn't
> have been more than a thousand in population. It was on a
forested peninsula jutting out into Puget Sound and it was a
great area for me and my brother and sister to roam and indulge
in all kinds of aquatic and other activities. I attended local
schools there and went on to high school in Bremerton.
LaBerge: Is that where you finished high school?
Raines: No, I only went about a year and a half to high school in
Bremerton. In 1916, when the American government was beginning
to worry about the outbreak of World War I, my father left
Bremerton and we moved to Seattle where he took a position as
manager of the paint department at the Skinner and Eddy Shipyard,
which was engaged in building large cargo ships for the federal
preparedness program. I finished high school in Seattle.
LaBerge: Any particular teachers that were memorable?
Raines: I was on the debating team at Queen Anne High School in Seattle,
and was quite active in student affairs. When I graduated from
Queen Anne High School in 1919, that year I entered the
University of Washington as a freshman. I also at that time
joined Psi Upsilon national fraternity, and in my freshman year
at the university I was on the freshman debating team. In my
sophomore year I was on the varsity debating team.
Determination of a Legal Career
LaBerge: That was good preparation for courtroom work.
Raines: Well, I thought about this particular point: at the University of
Washington, I enrolled in the pre-legal course and that's another
LaBerge: Tell me that story.
Raines: Well, my uncle, Joseph M. Raines, was a prominent lawyer in
Solano County, California. He lived in Vallejo, with his office
in Fairfield, the county seat. During my infancy, apparently as
a result of some assistance my parents had given him when he was
in Hastings Law School in San Francisco, he told them that, if I
became a lawyer, he would employ me in his office. So, from
there on, my entire scholastic efforts were directed to the point
that I was to become a lawyer and go into my uncle Joe's office.
[As my experience later was to develop, this was both an
advantage and a possible disadvantage to this arrangement. The
advantage was that I had a sense of security throughout my
scholastic years, false security, it later appeared. The
disadvantage was that, because of this sense of security, I did
some things and didn't do others, that I might have done
differently had I known that I had to face a hostile job market
immediately after graduation. However, without this incentive, I
probably would not have become a lawyer.] 1
LaBerge: Did your parents tell you this as you were growing up?
Raines: Oh, yes. There was no question about what 1 was to do: when I
got out of college it was to go into Uncle Joe's office.
LaBerge: Had you ever thought of doing something else?
Raines: Well, I never had. The course was laid out for me and I had no
other ideas, or no other bent, so I went along.
LaBerge: Did your parents anticipate your brother and sister would also go
on to college?
Raines: Yes, but my brother was not a student. He was very active, and
he became a successful rancher in the San Joaquin Valley. And
that sort of thing was more his bent than anything else.
LaBerge: So you always knew you were going to go on to college. It's a
good thing you were the student .
Raines: Yes, I was a pretty good student. I well remember my old English
teacher in Queen Anne High School in Seattle, Professor DeLacy,
once took me aside at the end of one class day and told me about
Phi Beta Kappa. He thought that I should and would become a Phi
Bracketed material was added by Mr. Raines during the editing
Beta Kappa, which, of course, I never was. I was not that much
of a devoted student; I really had a good time in high school and
What other activities did you do besides debating?
That was about it.
LaBerge: Had both of your parents gone to high school?
My father did not. After graduation from the eighth grade, he
went to work as an apprentice painter on Mare Island. My mother,
at the time of her marriage to my father, was attending San Jose
Normal School, which was a teachers' institute and a predecessor
of the present San Jose State University. The marriage ended her
But she kept it up with you. She certainly encouraged you.
Yes, very much,
too much. They
I know it was a
and so on. So,
Well, they really didn't need to encourage me
really didn't have any great amount of money, and
trial financially for them to see me all the way
and law school, by such things as fraternities,
I'm truly grateful to them for their struggles
LaBerge: Did you have jobs along the way?
Raines: Well, I always worked in the summer, and at Christmas break.
Several years I worked at the post office during the Christmas
period delivering parcel post packages. And during the college
sessions I had jobs, too. I remember one winter in Seattle I had
a job in a laundry- -cleaning up the laundry at the end of the
work day- -it was a night job. One summer at the University of
Washington I worked with pick and shovel in the construction of
the foundation for the new University of Washington stadium.
Also, during my high school days --that was the period of World
War I-- and during the summers and vacation periods I worked at
Skinner and Eddy Shipyard in Seattle, where my father was also
employed. I worked as a shipfitter's helper, and also a session
I had as a timekeeper. In going backward, when I was fourteen
years old, I had a job on the Bremerton navy yard. I started as
a rivet passer, and I wound up there as a shipfitter's helper.
That summer I worked eight hours a day, six days a week, for 64
cents per hour.
Several summers the family camped out on Puget Sound . My
father had developed portable camping equipment we could put up
and we had wonderful times as children on the beaches and in the
water off Bremerton.
Transfer to University of California. Berkeley, 1921
LaBerge: How did you get from Washington to Berkeley?
Raines: Well, after the end of World War I, things of course slowed down
at the shipyard in Seattle where my father worked. And he just
decided to look for a change in his employment, so he--I don't
know if it was through civil service examination, or just what--
but he was offered the position of manager at the paint
department at Mare Island navy yard in California, back to his
early department. Back in Vallejo, our old setting. So, he
worked there until 1940.
[While so employed, after much experimentation, he developed
an anti-fouling coating material for ships' bottoms. Up until
recent years, as far as I know, it was still in use by the navy.
He reached the mandatory retirement age in 1935, and by
presidential order his tenure was increased five years to 1940 so
that he could complete this program.] 1
LaBerge: So he was a civilian employee?
Raines: Yes. I transferred from the University of Washington--! was at
the end of my sophomore year--to the University of California,
where I entered the pre-legal course. That was where I finished
with the A.B degree in 1923 and the J.D. degree in 1925.
LaBerge: What was that like for you to transfer?
Raines: I had no problem. My scholastic record was clear, and I was
fully accredited as a junior.
Bracketed material was added by Mr. Raines during the editing
LaBerge: Did you go into the same fraternity?
LaBerge: That must have helped.
Raines: That was a help, yes. I got into the local chapter of Psi
LaBerge: Did you live at home or on campus?
Raines: No, I lived at home when my family had settled in Albany,
California. That was really just a walk away from campus. I
lived at home except for my senior yearthat was ending in 1923
--I was house manager at the Psi Upsilon fraternity and lived at
the fraternity house. I was also a member of the Phi Delta Phi
legal fraternity, a national fraternity, at Boalt Hall School of
Law at the University of California.
Boalt Hall School of Law. 1923-1925
Any memorable teachers,
either undergraduate or your law
Yes. [As an undergraduate at Berkeley I well recall Professor
Charles Mills Gayley and his one unit class of "Great Books." It
was so popular that classes were held in Wheeler Auditorium to
full houses. I also well remember the English classes of
Professor Chauncy Wells. English was my favorite subject in high
school and college. History was next. I always did well in
English. Professor Chapman gave interesting courses on
California history. He had a fine personality.
At Boalt Hall the one law professor who remains in my memory
is Alexander Kidd, known to the students as "Captain" Kidd. He
entered the classroom with an armload of books and he always wore
a green eyeshade. He had a short fuse and as the class work
progressed, his frustration with students' answers to his
questions would arise until reaching his boiling point, when he
would pick up his books and stalk out of the room, leaving the
class high and dry. I think this was part of his "act" as it was
repeated a couple of times per semester. He taught Evidence and,
I think, first year Criminal Law. Later on, we were both members
of the Alameda County Bar Association and we would meet at their
meetings. I always called him "Captain" and he seemed somewhat
pleased to be so remembered.
The Boalt Hall class I enjoyed the most was called Bills and
Notes. I did well in it. I don't remember who the instructor
was. Maybe I should have become a banker, instead of a lawyer.] 1
I don't know whether you'd call this presciencemy senior
year at Boalt Hall there was a course being given by William
Colby. [showing booklet]
LaBerge: What is this we're looking at?
Raines: At my thesis.
LaBerge: Oh, my goodness! I want to read this into the tape. The thesis
is called "The Apportionment of Water Rights in Dry Seasons."
Raines: Well, that was what I was getting to why there was such a
prescience about this. William Colby was a lawyer in San
Francisco. I later learned that he was a disciple of John Muir,
and I think also he was among the founders of the Sierra Club.
But during my senior year, he gave a course on water law at Boalt
Hall; it was a semester course. And, again I say--prescience--
for some reason I took it.
LaBerge: Because you had a choice.
Raines: Yes, in other words, I had met all the requirements and I had
extra time available. So I took the course, this semester
course, and the next semester he had a course in mining law and I
also took that. And then, I wrote my doctoral thesis at the
conclusion of my senior year, the title being "Apportionment of
Water Rights in Dry Seasons." I went on from there but I've
often wondered just what my interest was in that particular
LaBerge: Because at this time you were still thinking you would practice
with your uncle.
LaBerge: And what kind of law did he practice?
Bracketed material was added by Mr. Raines during the editing
Raines: General. I knew I was going to the country office in Fairfield,
California, so that may have had something to do with it, I just
don't know. That was an agricultural community.
LaBerge: What other fields did you like when you were in law school?
Raines: Well, I can't think of anything special. I was anxious to get
out [laughter] and get into the job market.
LaBerge: Did you do any legal work during the summers?
Raines: No, I spent one summer vacation working on a large fruit ranch in
the Suisun Valley, which includes Fairfield. I think my uncle
got me that job. Another summer I worked--my uncle Frank had a
large grain ranch in the San Joaquin Valley. In those days it
was dry farming and part of one summer I worked on his harvest
crew, harvesting grain, and that lasted only a fairly short time.
I then found a job on the San Francisco waterfront for American
Express moving freight around with a hand truck. And then, as I
say, I always had a Christmas job of various kinds.
LaBerge: Did you get involved in campus activities at Berkeley?
Raines: No, I didn't. I was quite active at the University of
Washington, but when I came into the University of California I
had only one year before I was to enter law school, and I decided
that I better spend my activity in connection with the law school
rather than doing anything else. Incidentally, Mr. Colby was
away a couple of times and Mrs. Colby took over the class.
LaBerge: Oh, my. Any memorable classmates?
Raines: Well, I had a lot of memorable classmates and fraternity brothers
so my mind is just flooded with thosethere' s something else I
may add going backshall I get into my work at my uncle's
LaBerge: Yes, I'd like to go on, if you feel you have time and are not too
tired from talking.
Raines: Well, I could start on it.
The Bar Exam and the Law Office of Joseph Raines
LaBerge: Good, okay. Before that, tell me about the bar exam. Was that
difficult to study for or pass?
Raines: Oh, yes, very, very tough.
LaBerge: How did you prepare?
Raines: Well, my parents financed a special course, tutoring, for the
examination. Then I reviewed my classroom notes of three years
and I had many discussions with my classmates.
LaBerge: All written?
Raines: No, written and oral. It was a two-day examination. And I
remember one of the examiners was a lawyer from Stockton,
California, and he gave the oral examination, and when he heard
my name--"0h, Joe Raines, sure, I know Joe Raines! "--so I figured
that didn't do me any damage.
LaBerge: That's right. On the other hand, he might have expected you to
do better than others.
Raines: Then, after I graduated [long pause] --let ' s see, we're up to--
we're finished with college, with Boalt, and with the bar
LaBerge: Right. I read also that you were licensed to practice before the
Raines: That must have been one of thosesort of a routine--! have no
memory of it. I was also licensed to practice before the federal
district courts. And I had one very brief appearance in my very
early days before the federal court and that was it.
LaBerge: Well, tell me about working for your uncle.
Raines: It was a difficult period for me. In the first place, the office
was in Fairfield and I lived in Vallejo with two aunts. And I
traveled every day by Southern Pacific Railroad from Vallejo to
Fairfield and back. I didn't know anyone outside of my family,
and my uncle paid me a hundred dollars a month plus a free pass
on the Southern Pacific Railroad, for which he was local counsel.
I'll conclude by saying that the situation just didn't work out
LaBerge: What kind of work did you do?
Raines: Well, just office work. I mentioned I had no friends in Vallejo.
Of course, being new to the area, even though it was my
birthplace, I had no friends and certainly no clients, and things
just didn't pan out. Finally about May, I guess--1927--I decided
^ to move back to the city. All of my active friends were in the
San Francisco area, and I attempted to make friends in Vallejo
but was not especially successful at that. I used my free pass
on the railroad almost every weekend to return to my family in
Albany and my friends in the San Francisco area. In the middle
of that year, I just quit the job and moved back to Albany.
II ATTORNEY AT EBMUD, 1927-1966
Interview with Theodore Wittschen
Raines: I started looking for a job and had numerous interviews, with no
particular results, until one day I had a telephone call from my
friend--a fraternity brother--Erland Erickson, who had landed a
job at a law office in San Francisco. He told me that he had
just read in the San Francisco legal newspaper that the assistant
attorney for the newly created East Bay Municipal Utility
District in Oakland had resigned to become attorney for the Port
of Oakland. So I immediately contacted the utility district
attorney who then was Theodore P. Wittschen and made an
appointment with him. It went quite well; he was impressed I had
had just a smattering of utility law in Fairfield in my uncle's
office and knew something about water law from law school.
He said, "Well, I'll consider it. I'll let you know." So a
few days later I had a call from his office that he wanted to see
me again. I went in and he was quite receptive and, among other
things, he asked me what salary I expected. I had been receiving
a hundred dollars a month from my uncle, so I decided to be real
adventurous: I suggested 125 dollars a month, without knowing
anything about what the standard going rate was. That was
acceptable to him, and I started to work in the middle of June,
LaBerge: What was the standard rate?
Raines: I don't know, to this day [laughter]. In later years, when
everything was organized for me at East Bay MUD, there would be
salary studies and all the rest of that. But this time I had no
idea. Except I felt I got along all right in the past on a
hundred, and I could do just as well on $125.
Did you show him this paper that you wrote, your law school
I don't know whether I did or not. Going back on that, my uncle
had a friend, Dan Hadsell, a lawyer in San Francisco; he was a
water lawyer, and he was one of the men I interviewed for a job.
My uncle had sent him my thesis to read, and when I appeared in
his office he pulled it out, and he disagreed completely with my
conclusions. So that was what a real active water lawyer had to
say about my thesis. [Things have changed in this part of the
law, however, and now I may be more clearly right.]
Well, what kind of questions did Mr. Wittschen ask you?
I really don't remember. He was a tiger in court, but he had a
very placid home life. So I think he was concerned about such
things as my home and my activities and things of that sort. [I
had played a bit of politics and had a couple of endorsements
from prominent lawyers.]
What did he tell you you'd be doing? What did he tell you about
That I don't recall. I don't believe it was much.
Do you want to stop there for today or do you want to keep going?
I'll go on.
Overview of the Legal Department
LaBerge: Tell me some of your duties when you started working for the
Raines: Well, it was a case of the blind leading the blind. The office
at East Bay Municipal Utility District at that time consisted of
two small floors of the Ray Building at 1924 Broadway, Oakland.
There was another assistant, Leslie Irving. He was employed
three months before I was, and I always regarded him as my senior
for that reason. The office consisted of three rooms: reception
room and secretaries, Mr. Wittschen 's office, and then in the
third room, Irving and I had desks back to back. It looked out
on old-time Oakland. The Capwell now the Emporium- -building was
under construction, and over on Telegraph the Fox movie theater
was under construction.
Mr. Wittschen was involved in heavy litigation on the
Mokelumne at that time, and he was away from the office for long
periods. Irving went along with him for most of these out-of-
town activities. They were mostly in Stockton and in Amador and
Calaveras counties. I was thrown into a situation in which I
really wonder how I worked myself out of. Among my first duties
was attending the board of directors' meetings with resolutions
and so forth.
Were you there to give legal advice to the board?
Yes [laughter]. But Dr. [George] Pardee, who was president of
the board, was most helpful, and I just kept my mouth shut as
much as possible and everything worked out well. I had no
kickbacks on anything I did.
So you were the one who stayed in the office.
Yes. I didn't get out at all.
So, besides board meetings, what were you doing?
Oh, I don't remember anything special. Just the flow of office
Did you do research for any of the cases Mr. Wittschen was
Not at an early date. Later I did a great amount of research.
When I retired in 1966, I left behind in my office quite a number
of large loose-leaf notebooks filled with copies of opinions I
had rendered for him over the years he and I were there together.
He did the trial work, and I did the homework. Before he went
into a trial, he always wanted a trial brief. This, of course,
was a little later when I was more experienced. Before a trial
he would call me into his office, and he would tell me problems
he expected to face and which he would like me to study and
render opinions upon. So, as I say, I left sixteen volumes of
these opinions behind me. I was told about seven or eight years
ago by Bob Maddow, then attorney for the district, that the
volumes were still there and occasionally used, but I don't know
whether they are now.
Well, when you started working there- -
Oh, may I go back to--
Oh , sure .
Raines: On studyingmost of my time in later years at the county law
library, I had this little leatherbound notebook. I would spend
hours copying quotations from cases and looking cases up and
"shepardizing, " we'd call it. Shepard's was an organization that
put out histories of every decision of the appellate courts in
the United States, and you could go through paperbound books and
find out what had happened to a particular decision later on--
whether it had been appealed or just what had happened to it.
So, I "shepardized" every one of the cases I quoted in my
opinions. And Mr. Wittschen never questioned my conclusions, and
he used the information I had supplied to him.
LaBerge: Would you then go watch him in court?
Raines: Yes, I usually went along with him.
LaBerge: You were saying at first Irving went with him, but then you--
Raines: Well, I gradually assumed that post. Irving was usually busy in
Sacramento. As the trial was progressing, I would make notes of
things that- -well, they were brief outlines of the testimony
being given, the problems raised. I would furnish those to Mr.
Wittschen at the end of the day for his consideration. That was
all done in handwriting. Now when I hear about all of the
computers and the methods of handling legal information, I think
of the miles I trudged to the county law library and the many
books I opened. It's amazing. I still am surprised to read the
law journals. In my day, the journals were full of
advertisements for law books. There's now not an ad in those
journals for books; all are for computers and electronic
LaBerge: In fact, I don't know if lawyers "shepardize" anymore.
Raines: I think they can run it through a machine now.
LaBerge: I think so, too. It's amazing. That's why your longhand is so
good, and it's legible. [laughter] You've had lots of practice.
Raines: Yes. Well, it's pretty shaky now in comparison to what it once
The Kieffer Case, 1927, and Condemnation Suits
When you started, one of the cases going on, I think, was East
Bay MUD v. Kieffer. Do you remember that case?
Yes. There again, I was in the officethis is where my memory
begins to break down. I have to go back to Its Name was M.U.D. 1
That's where I've gotten my information, too.
My memory can't compete with that.
Okay. Well, I read that part of your job was handling personal
Well, no. We didn't do much of that. The injury claims in my
day were largely handled by district personnel, like right-of-way
agents, things of that sort. Other claims--say, for personal
injuries, for example, an automobile accidentwe relied on the
insurance companies to handle those. I understand that now they
do have a department in the district to handle those things, but
we didn't then. Probably the most involved it got wasthis was
the later days the heavy litigation was the Kieffer case, the
Lodi case, and that sort of activity. [pause] I don't remember
what I was going to say.
Well, most were condemnation cases, is that correct?
Most of the litigation in my day was in condemnation. We had a
steady stream of cases for rights of way for pipelines, reservoir
sites, and things of that sort. I always got those cases
underway- -if the land department couldn't reach an agreement for
the purchase of a right of way, I would then prepare a
condemnation complaint and file it. And usually in an office
interview with a judge, I would secure an order for immediate
possession and use, which was a statutory matter permitted for
those agencies and companies using the condemnation process. So,
the district could then go ahead with its work without any
interruption. Sometimes there would be a court hearing, but
usually it was fairly brief. Most of the cases were settled. In
the larger cases Mr. Wittschen did all the trial work, and later
Jack Reilley took that chore on. Mr. Wittschen tried the Kieffer
case, and Irving was with him on that. And he tried the Lodi
case, and I don't think Irving was with him. But whenever we had
'John Wesley Noble, Its Name was M.U.D. (Oakland, CA: EBMUD, 1970).
a case outside of Alameda County, he would always retain a local
counsel to assist in jury selection and also in the trial.
LaBerge: Was that common practice?
LaBerge: At this time, were there still just three of you in the legal
LaBerge: Well, that makes a lot more sense, to just retain people for the
Raines: Yes, as long as I was there, there were just three of us. There
was one period when there were just two of us in the office, up
through World War II. Sometime toward the end of that war, my
assistant, John Deal, died unexpectedly. For some reason, I had
a very difficult time filling the position. [pause] There was a
period of a year and a half when Miss Lila Wagnor, my secretary,
and I were the legal department. After the war, of course,
things began to pick up. Then, I was fortunate enough to secure
the services of John B. Reilley and, shortly after that, Frank
Jack was a tower of strength for me. After Wittschen
retired, we needed another man in the office; I felt that we were
short-handed because we didn't have a real trial lawyer. I was
never a trial lawyer; I was an office lawyer. I couldn't handle
all of the litigation. At that time, I was looking for a
replacement for the third position and interviewed quite a number
of people, but they lacked the trial ability that I wanted. So,
I was finally able to secure the services of John Reilley. He
was a real help for me because he took over the trial work which
he handled exceedingly well. He was a nice person, and we still
have a very good relationship. Frank Howard I had known when he
was almost a boy in Oakland. When he graduated from Hastings,
and there was an opening in the district, I was fortunate to
Marriage, 1937. and Family
LaBerge: How had you known him? Through his family?
Raines: My wife [Florence Adelman Raines] was very active in civic
affairs, really, in Oakland. She was a member of the Women's
Athletic Club; for a period, she was on the financial committee
of the Community Chest; she was a member of the women's auxiliary
of Oakland Children's Hospital and did volunteer work in the
hospital; and she was also president of the Oakland -Piedmont
Campfire Girls and did a lot of work in that regard. So, I
learned about Frank through Campfire activities with my wife.
His mother was also active in the Campfire activities and she and
Florence worked together on that. Frank and I got to know each
other through those activities.
LaBerge: Tell me about your wife.
Raines: She was born and raised in the Midwest and was a graduate of the
University of Chicago. Her family moved to Oakland in 1927, and
she took a job in the Oakland School District as a counselor-
teacher. We have a daughter and two grandchildren, Elizabeth and
James Singleton. Our daughter, Margaret Anne Singleton, is
personnel director at the Saratoga School District. We were
married in '37. December 27, 1937.
LaBerge: And settled in Oakland?
LaBerge: And did she continue to teach?
Raines: She did until our daughter was on the way. She resignedshe was
always sorry that she didn't continue teaching. But she never
did. I always felt that our daughter needed her, particularly in
our daughter's infancy.
Memories of Theodore Wittschen
LaBerge: Do you have any anecdotes about Theodore Wittschen?
Raines: He and his family had a summer place up at Echo Lake in the
Sierra where they spent the summer vacations. We were very
close, really, in our relationship. My wife and I were guests at
their home on many occasions.
LaBerge: What did you learn from him about either trial practice or how to
accomplish settlements rather than litigation?
Raines: I don't think there was anything specialit was just a natural
growth, except that I never felt that I could grow into his trial
ability. He came to the utility district with quite a
background. He had been chief assistant district attorney in
Alameda County after graduating from Hastings College. For some
reason, personal to him, or, I don't know the details--he
resigned and started a private practice. He became the attorney
for Miller and Lux, which was the huge land and cattle operation
company with its activities extending from Bakersfield to eastern
Oregon. In that capacity, he had many water cases. He tried
water law cases all the way from southern California to Oregon,
so that when he came to the district he was not only a complete
trial lawyer, but he had experience in this particular type of
law. Just how the district managed to employ him, I've never
learned. He was really a super stroke for the district. He
could be, well, upset at times, let's put it that way. I've seen
him on a number of occasions when he was that way, but we never
had any harsh words between us . He was always friendly and
helpful; we got along very well together.
LaBerge: He must have been impressed with the work you did for him.
Raines: Maybe so. I think he was. Unfortunately, he had migraine
headaches, and in his office in the Latham Square Building in
Oakland there was a little water closet and a couch. When one of
his headache attacks would come on, then he would go to the water
closet and have an Alka Seltzer. Then he would lie down on the
couch for a period until things cleared up.
LaBerge: When did you move from the Ray Building to Latham Square?
Raines: In 1928. That was when the district acquired the East Bay Water
Company. [The district took over the office building of that
company on 16th Street. There was not room enough left for the
legal department, so we set up shop next door on the upper floor
of the Latham Square building. We remained there until the
offices were moved to the new district office building on West
Grand Avenue . ] '
Accounting Duties and Odd Jobs
LaBerge: Were you involved in those negotiations?
'Bracketed material was added by Mr. Raines during the editing
Raines: No, they were handled entirely by Mr. Wittschen. There was one
incident. The deal was concluded for the purchase of the water
companythe price set. And one day he called me into his office
and he said, "Here's the check for the water company. I want you
to take it down to the Bank of Italy building and deliver it to
Arthur Tashiera, the attorney for the East Bay Water Company."
So, I took the check down and I think I probably picked up the
deed, and that's how the East Bay Water Company purchase was
accomplished. As he received the check, Mr. Tashiera, a very
nice man, said to me, "This is a good company; take good care of
it." Unfortunately for his hopes, the dissolution of the company
was already well underway.
I had a couple of jobs extraneous to legal practicethis
being the early days of the district. Governor Pardee always
insistedlet me backtrack each month when it came time to
settle the accounts of the district that is, the bills the
accounting department would make this long list of bills due:
O'Shea Construction, one million dollars; Smith Stationery, a
dollar and a half, and so on. Governor Pardee always insisted
that this long list be read aloud at the board meeting the whole
list. Before the meeting, in order to ensure the accuracy of the
list, I was required to sit down with Kay Simon of the accounting
department. She would read off the amount she would have the
stack of invoices in front of her. She would read off the amount
of each invoice, and I would check the list as to its accuracy on
the resolution. I always detested that, while the other board
members fussed and fumed about the reading of the list during
their meetings, but Governor Pardee always insisted that it must
I well remember that after the district took over the water
company, there was actually no real boardroom for the board of
directors. So, an upstairs room was being enlarged for the
board. During that period, the board meetings were held in the
commercial office lobby, just inside the entry door of the
utility district office building. And I can still see the
secretary of the district reading off this long list of claims
while customers were paying their bills. And all the other
members of the board except Pardee were fuming, but he was smugly
sitting in his chair taking it all in. I think he enjoyed that
The other job that I didn't care for: the law required
that and this applied to all public agencies --when they put a
deposit of funds in a bank, the bank had to put up security,
which was usually in the form of bonds. Those were then taken by
the treasurer of the district, Dan Read, and deposited in a safe
deposit box in the Central Bank. Dan had the key to the box and
I had been given the combination to the lock on the box. So, I
would be busy in my office and I would get a call from Dan Read:
"I have some bonds that I have to put in the safe deposit box,"
or "I want to go to the safe deposit box to take bonds out." So
I would have to drop whatever I was doing and go with him down to
the bank to watch him make the substitution and I would then lock
the box. It showed some faith in me to be given the combination,
but I was willing to sacrifice the faith.
When Frank Wentworth succeeded the governor as president of
the board, he immediately abolished the practice of reading the
bills and claims at the meetings, and he so changed operations
that my assistance was no longer needed on the bills and claims.
A change was also made in the manner the securities at the bank
So it needed two people to do this.
I noticed in the scrapbook you gave me the annual report the
first year you were there, and Mr. Wittschen wrote out an entire
legal report. Was that always the case?
In those days it was. Each department made a special report; now
the reports are just overall- -without any particular department
being mentioned. Today's annual reports are generalized, not
LaBerge: Do you have any hobbies?
Raines: No. My only outdoor activity was golf, which I had to give up
because of my age. But I've always beenbefore my sight failed
--a voracious reader. I had quite a large library. You can
still see signs of the stacks back in the den. My principal
reading interest was the westward push from the Missouri River to
the West. I had bought and read many books, particularly on the
fur tradethe mountain men activities. And also the covered
wagons days pushing to the West Coast. My other interest was
printing. I was always sorry that I never was a printer. I had
a very fine collection of limited edition booksbeautifully
printedthe best ones being by the Grabhorn Press in San
Francisco. Many other California fine presses were also
included, as well as great European presses. I also had some
fine books from the University of California Press.
LaBerge: Our office has done an oral history of the Grabhorn Press. 1 I
should bring that the next time for you to look at.
Raines: Yes, I'd like to see that. I had many of their books, and about
ten years ago I sold off everything I had to Holmes Bookstore.
LaBerge: Do you know Rather Press? 2 It was tinyRather. Lois and I
don't know what her husband's name was. They had a little
printing press, up in the Oakmore district.
Raines: In my early years--! thought that I would like our home in the
Oakland Hills had a large basement, and I always thought that I
would like to go to a community college and take a course in
printing and install a little press and hand-print in the
basement of our house. But that was just another unfulfilled
[Interview 2: October 4, 1995 ]**
More on T. P. Wittschen
Raines: That's always surprised me that I still wound up the way I did,
involved in water rights at that early time.
LaBerge: It sounds like you were just looking for any job you could find,
not necessarily in water rights.
Raines: That's right. Just by chance. I don't know where we left off.
Edwin Grabhorn, "Recollections of the Grabhorn Press," an oral
history conducted in 1967 by Ruth Teiser, Regional Oral History Office,
University of California, Berkeley, 1968.
2 See Clifton and Lois Rather, "The Rather Press of Oakland,
California," an oral history conducted in 1980 by Ruth Teiser, Regional
Oral History Office, University of California, Berkeley, 1994.
LaBerge: Well, we left off before the war, but we didn't cover everything
before the war. We talked a little bit about T. P. Wittschen,
but I'd like to ask you more about him and about some other
people you worked with. Why don't we start with him? What was
he like to work for?
Raines: Well, with me he was always very pleasant. He could be explosive
with other people who were working with him. I recall a number
of situations of that nature. But with me, he was always polite
and friendly and never critical.
He was quite active around Oakland at that time. He was a
member of the Lions Club, and he was also president of the
Oakland Forum, which was a citywide group which brought cultural
events to Oaklandwhether it be a lecture hall, a concert, or
something of that sort once in a while. He was also president of
the State Bar of California. He was elected at a time when the
members of the state bar were elected at large, statewide. I
remember the night of the election: I was at the office of the
state bar in San Francisco where the votes were being counted,
watching out for his interests. I had the pleasure toward the
end of the evening of phoning Mrs. Wittschen to tell her that he
had been elected.
LaBerge: Did you help campaign for him, or wasn't that done?
Raines: No, I didn't do any campaigning, and I don't think he did a lot.
He might have made a speech here or there, but there wasn't much
campaigning. His opponent was an attorney in Marin County, whose
name I don't recall.
LaBerge: He must have had a statewide name from his work.
Raines: Yes. He was well regarded, I think, at least among attorneys
throughout the state for his ability as a trial lawyer.
LaBerge: Did he get you involved in state bar activities?
Raines: No, I was a member of a group in the state bar--a committee, I
guess you'd call it, regarding water rights. Outside of
attendance at some of those sessions, that was my only activity.
LaBerge: About how many attorneys do you think did specialize in water
Raines: Oh, there were quite a few. Getting back to Mr. Wittschen, he
was born in New York City, but I don't know just when. His
family moved to Oakland and they settled in West Oakland. I
never heard of his father, but I knew his mother, and he had two
sisters. It seems to me that one sister was married to [Robert]
Gordon Sproul, a former president of the University of
California. Another sister was a secretary for the [California]
State Supreme Court. Those items should be checked. His mother,
at some time during his early years, operated a grocery store in
her neighborhood in West Oakland.
LaBerge: So you got to meet the family.
Raines: Yes, I was just introduced to his mother, and I had met the
sister who was working for the supreme court, and I may have met
Mrs. Sproul, but I didn't have any other contact with the family.
Wittschen attended the local schools in Oakland and went to
Hastings College of Law in San Francisco before his admission to
the bar. I think I mentioned in our previous meeting of the
opinions I wrote for him and about our gatherings before a trial
Writing Briefs for the Trials
LaBerge: You talked about writing opinions, but not the gatherings before
the trial; tell me more about that.
Raines: When a trial was coming up after he had--in his own mind viewed
the situation, he would call me into his office and explain what
he thought would be legal problems he would be met with in the
trial. And also courses that he should pursue in the trial. He
would ask me then to give an opinion as to those matters that
might be used against him as well as those that he would want to
use in his favor. So that meant the accumulation of the volumes
that I mentioned in our previous conversation- -they were still
extant in the district up to ten years ago, the last I heard of
LaBerge: Are there some cases that stand out in your mind that were
particularly interesting or thorny?
Raines: No, I was not with him on the big trials. Of course, the water
rightsthe original district water rights were settled by the
time I was employed. And there were the big casesthe Kieffer
condemnation case and the City of Lodi case. In those days,
Leslie Irving, who was the other assistant attorney, was with him
on those cases, but perhaps not on the Lodi case.
LaBerge: With him actually in the courtroom?
LaBerge: But did you do the research and opinion writing on them?
Raines: Not on the Kief far case. I was just coming in when he was busy
on that. But I did some work on the City of Lodi case. After
about that time, Irving became the district representative in
Sacramento- -a lobbyist, if you want to call him that. So, he was
out of the office a great dealas a matter of fact, he lived up
there during the legislative sessions. With his departure, I
came in the picture and after the Lodi case I was in court with
Mr. Wittschen throughout the trial. I think I mentioned that it
was my custom every day to take notes as the trial went on. In
the evenings I would write those notes up; it would be either on
testimony or legal points. I would turn that over to him before
the next day's session.
LaBerge: Do you remember particular issues in any of the Lodi cases?
Raines: One of the cases I do rememberand this is going back to my
backgroundthe city of Vallejo wanted to construct a reservoir
on the headwaters of Suisun Creek, which is just west of
Fairfield. My uncle, among others, owned ranch property along
the lower reaches of the creek. And there just began to be
rumbles of that case, when I spent my early years in Fairfield in
my uncle's office, involving an amendment to the state
constitution that tried to wipe out any wasteful use of water.
That was the principal litigation issue, and I guess it was the
landowners who attacked the amendment. Right after the case was
tried- -I've forgotten just who won the case- -it went to the state
supreme court. And Mr. Wittschen wanted to file a brief arnicas
curiae, which is a "friend of the court." To do so it was first
necessary to get permission from the court. So I wrote a very
lengthy opinion for him on that case, which he incorporated into
his brief. He asked me if I wanted my name on his brief. But I
declined because my uncle was one of the parties on the other
side of the issue. However, it was decided favorably to the
Getting back to the brief --as I say, I rendered this opinion
to him which he used the court's decision was favorable to the
position that he supported. Les Irving said to me after we read
the court's decision, "The supreme court must have gotten hold of
your office brief, because they followed exactly the line that
you had laid out in your opinion." That is really the only case
of great importance that I recall. There were many minor cases-
condemnation, local, and things of that nature.
LaBerge: I read somewhere that you were the expert on condemnation suits.
Raines: I was once surprised by thatone of the judges of the Contra
Costa [County] Superior Court said that to somebody, but actually
my expertise was limited to the office work because it was not in
the trial field. [As long as I'm passing bouquets to myself,
here is another one: an Alameda County Superior Court judge once
told me that I was the best office lawyer in Oakland.]
LaBerge: Later--! don't want to really jump to the next yearsbut, when
you became general counsel did you have to go to court, or is
that when you had Mr. Reilley do the trials?
Raines: He did almost all of the trials.
LaBerge: And you still did the office-
Raines: I did preliminaries. I prepared the papers, filed them and
appeared in court on motions, demurrers, and so on. But Jack
Reilley did the heavy work on trials. I can get to that a little
LaBerge: Did you prefer to do office work than to stand up in court?
Raines: Yes, I did. Of course, I might have felt differently if I had
been thrown into a district attorney's office or something like
that in my infancy as a lawyer, but I never was. So I sat
through innumerable trials with Mr. Wittschen, but I never had an
opportunity to take over because he was the attorney. Really, I
think it's my nature--! 'm not by nature inquisitive, and I think
I would not have made a good cross-examiner for trial work.
LaBerge: What do you think helped Mr. Wittschen be so successful in court?
Raines: He was very aggressive, very outspoken on any issue. And he
never minded stepping on somebody's toes if he had to. I might
speak a little bit about Les Irving.
LaBerge: Good- -I wanted to ask about him and about how long he stayed,
because you two really came in about the same time.
Raines: He was employed by the district three months before I was. His
predecessor had resigned. He was a quiet man, nicely mannered.
He went to the University of California at Berkeleyhe was a
member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. He was active in
campus politics and in his senior year he was student body
president at Berkeley.
LaBerge: Were you there at the same time?
Raines: No, he was two years ahead of me. He was raised in West Oakland,
I think in the same neighborhood where the Wittschen family
lived. That may have been one of the reasons for his employment
by Mr. Wittschen.
After I became the attorney for the district, Les decided to
leave the district and he resigned to become state inheritance
tax appraiser in Alameda County and he also engaged in private
practice. Unfortunately, his appointment was by a Republican
state controller. But Culbert Olsen, a Democrat, was elected
governor, and there was a change in the other office from which
Les had been appointed. And the determination in Sacramento was
to award the victors by a clean sweep of Republican office
holders, so he lost his official position. The new appointee was
a Democrat. So Les practiced in Oakland for several years.
LaBerge: What kind of law did he practice?
Appointment as General Counsel, 1947
LaBerge: Were you two rivals for the job, do you think, for chief counsel?
Raines: Some people seemed to think so, but I never did. After Mr.
Wittschen 's retirement, and before that too, Les and I could see
an approaching change. We discussed what we thought was going to
happen- -particularly what changes would be made in our office, if
any. As a matter of fact, I always thought an outside attorney
would be appointed who would have some of the characteristics of
Mr. Wittschen. However, I never at any time discussed with any
member of the board my chances to be appointed in Mr. Wittschen' s
place. I don't know whether Les did or not; I rather doubt if he
I learned later that I had substantial backing on the
existing board of directors. The board never got to know Les; he
was in Sacramento all the time the legislature was in session,
and here I was as part of my official duties, attending every
meeting of the board, and representing Mr. Wittschen when he was
absent. To the best of my recollection, Les never attended a
board meeting prior to Mr. Wittschen 's retirement.
One morning I had a telephone call from Leroy K. Hamman, who
was then president of the board, saying that he would like to see
me in his office in the Central Bank building in Oakland. So I
went to see him, and he at that time offered me the position and
I accepted it. I had made no attempt to try to get it. So
that's the way it happened.
[When I returned to my office I phoned my wife and then told
Les. He had no comment then, nor did he ever discuss the matter
with me personally. I took office on November 1, 1947. As a
show of confidence in me, the board immediately raised my salary
to $800 a month. I had been receiving about $675. I don't think
that Mr. Wittschen was receiving more than $1,250 or $1,500.]'
Leslie voluntarily resigned.
Yes. After I was appointed and after Les had resigned and left
the office, I felt that we needed to continue our representation
in Sacramento, and I talked to Les about continuing to represent
the district there. He told me he would accept, but he wanted a
fee of $20,000 per session. I reported that to the board, and
they rejected the offer. So that ended my association with Les.
The only other time I was close to him was on the day of Mr.
Wittschen 's funeral services. We were both pallbearers and
traveled in the same car. I later learned that Les had attempted
to gain some support in official circles for unseating me.
Bracketed material was added by Mr. Raines during the editing
One night after Les resigned, Mr. Wittschen had a small
group of local attorneys and Les and me for dinner at his house
as a farewell party to Les.
To make the story complete, Mr. Wittschen favored Les. He
told me that he had nothing against me, but he thought that Les
was entitled to the position. John Longwell, then chief engineer
and general manager, later told me that he had backed me before
LaBerge: It's interesting. Do you think Mr. Wittschen represented that to
Raines: Yes, he did, I later learned. He told me he did. I was never
present when he did, however. [I'd like to close this subject
with a few words about the relationship that existed between Les
Irving and me at the district. We worked there together in and
out of the same office for twenty years. Our personal
relationship was always a very friendly one throughout those
years. There was never a harsh or envious word between us.
There was not even a hint of rivalry between us on the job. Les
had his own area of official duties and I had mine, and the two
never conflicted.] 1
The board appointed Mr. Wittschen attorney emeritus. We
rented another room and he was with us in the Latham Square
building. He moved his old desk in with him. When he finally
left the district, he bought the desk and took it home. I
consulted with him occasionally. And that's the way it was until
he finally retired.
Mr. Wittschen had a son, Ted, Jr., a very nice young man,
and the apple of his father's eye. At the outbreak of World War
II, he became an ensign in the U.S. Navy. He was a bow gunnery
officer on a United States cruiser at the battle of Guadalcanal
when the Japanese torpedoed the ship- -blew the bow off the
vessel, and Ted went down with it. His father never got over the
loss. I continued to be friendly, after Mr. Wittschen' s death,
with his two daughters .
'Bracketed material was added by Mr. Raines during the editing
Sociability and Function of the Board of Directors
LaBerge: Was there a lot of socializing among your group outside the
office? It sounds like that, since you got to know people's
Raines: There was not a lot of socializing, but some. Really, the
district in those early days was one big family. I was going to
get into this part a little later, but anyway, here's a start:
The board of directors in those days met late in the afternoon
around four for what they called the "meeting of the Committee of
the Whole." They went over the agenda, ironed out all the
problems, and then broke for dinner. After dinner, probably
around seven-thirty or eight o'clock, they conducted the public
meeting. The Committee of the Whole was entirely private. That
would be illegal now with the passage of the Ralph M. Brown Act
early in the 1950s, which made all closed local public official
You mentioned the sociability for these dinner sessions.
These dinners were usually in public restaurants, but many of the
times the dinner would be held at a director's home. For
example, I can remember two dinners at Vice President Grant
Miller's home in East Oakland; dinners in Berkeley at the homes
of directors David P. Barrows and Frank Wentworth; a dinner at
Tom Neilson's home in Kensington; a dinner in Piedmont at the
home of staff engineer, C. E. Grunsky. So that was an indication
of the amount of socializing. The guest list at these dinners
included the five directors, the general manager, the attorney,
myself, and frequently staff engineer C. E. Grunsky, who was a
more or less regular attendant at the meetings.
Of course, the board situation was different in those days.
The East Bay Municipal Utility District was formed under the
Municipal Utility District Act 1 passed by the state legislature--
I think about 1921. It was sponsored by a civic-minded group,
the leader of which was Louis Bartlett of Berkeley, who was on
the original East Bay board. But that act provided then for five
directorsthere are now sevento serve for four-year terms,
each to represent wards. While the director represented, wards,
they were elected at large in the district. And then, to cap it
all, the law provided that a director should receive a
'Municipal Utility District Act, 44th Leg. Sess., Cal. Stat.
compensation of ten dollars per meeting attended, not to exceed
two meetings a month. And if there were any more than two
meetingsno ten dollars. So that meant that there really were
few strangers on the board; they were all successful in
businesses or other fields and had no particular axes to grind.
And they were able to work together in geniality and for a
And they were electednot appointed?
Yes. If there was a resignation or departure during the term
such as death or illness, and there was a vacancy on the board,
the board had the power of making an appointment. To be elected
to the board required that person to circulate and file a
petition with signatures of the voters. It seems to me that the
law required five hundred signatures on the petition,
it was five hundred or some equally large number.
This is a good spot to talk about the board of directors and what
their function was. What did you see as their function?
The Municipal Utility District Act really was wide open for many
kinds of activity. There were times when there would be a slight
movement for the district to take over the Pacific Gas and
Electric Company powerlines. There was a push for the district
to take over the Key System interurban lines between the East Bay
and San Francisco. Of course, the district later got into the
park and recreation business, and all of those things would be
done under the terms of the Municipal Utility District Act, plus
some minor amendments probably. So that's really a quite open
statute, as far as activity is concerned.
Memories of Governor George Pardee
LaBerge: What are your memories of Governor Pardee?
Raines: George C. Pardee is one of my heroes. I have great fondness-the
fondest memories of him. To go back, he studied medicine in, I
think, the Midwest. He had postgraduate study in Europe; his
specialty was the eye. He practiced medicine in Oaklandthis is
all hearsay with me. He became active, I think as his father
was, in Oakland in local politics. He was mayor of the city of
Oakland. One incident I remember hearing about involved the
ferry line that the Southern Pacific Railroad ran between San
Francisco and up the estuary to the foot of Broadway. I think
that was called the nickel ferry, as I remember hearing about it,
Because it cost a nickel?
I think that was it, yes. The railroad company insisted that it
owned the land surrounding the landing area of the ferry. And
the city objected, and refused to recognize that. So one day the
railroad company erected a high wooden fence around the landing
area there at the foot of Broadway in order to block off any
attempts by the city to take control. City Mayor Pardee gathered
his forces. He collected a group of men, and they marched down
to the area at the foot of Broadway and demolished the fence. It
was never rebuilt by the railroad. In my day in Oakland, a man
named Phil Riley published a scurrilous weekly newspaper called
the Saturday Press. It was claimed that it had the largest
unpaid circulation in the county. No one wanted to be seen
buying one, but some courageous person would buy one and then it
would be passed along to others.
Like the National Enquirer at the grocery store?
No one buys
Yes. So Riley 's specialty was attacking public officials. When
Dr. Pardee was on the board, in almost every issue there would be
an article involving the district in which Dr. Pardee would
always be named as Pickhandle Pardee, claiming that was what he
and his group used to break down the fence. In my presence, Dr.
Pardee said they weren't pickhandles, they were axehandles. He
treated Riley as a joke. But at board meetings, members would
frequently twit him about Pickhandle Pardee. And he would laugh
it all off.
Board of Directors President
Raines: Pardee was governor at the time of the San Francisco earthquake,
and moved his state office from Sacramento to the city hall in
Oakland where he kept his finger on events as they developed. He
was on the board as president when I arrived, and he continued as
such until his retirement. We had a very pleasant relationship.
He was at the district almost every day and I frequently called
on him, sometimes just to chat, sometimes if we had some business
that he as president of the board had to handle.
He called me "Judge." Herb Nelson, a district employee, was
the chauffeur of the district's only office car--a high, open-air
Lincoln sedan--and along in 1928 Nelson for some reason began to
call me "Judge." He chauffered Dr. Pardee around to various
parts of the district where work was going on and also between
his residence and his office. And I think in the course of those
trips, Dr. Pardee must have picked up the "Judge" from him, but
he always called me "Judge." That continued- -being used by his
successor, Frank Wentworth, but fortunately it died at that
point. Otherwise I was called "Hal" throughout the district.
LaBerge: Why did Herb Nelson call you "Judge"?
Raines: I don't know.
LaBerge: Did he chauffeur you to the courthouse or things like that?
Raines: No, no. He never chauffered me--I was too lowly on the scale to
get a ride in the Lincoln. Really, Nelson picked it up from a
man whose name I don't recall- -John something or other- -who was
the first purchasing agent of the district. He was the one who
started the "Judge" thing. Most people called Pardee "Doctor."
I always called him "Governor," and he seemed to like that, so I
At board meetings, particularly at 5 12- 16th Street, there
was a long table for the board. Dr. Pardee sat at the south end,
the general manager for the district sat at the north end, the
other directors sat around on the sides, and the attorney always
had a seat at the table. Mr. Wittschen was frequently very vocal
with the board. He expressed his opinions in a forceful manner.
Most of the time they agreed. Very few times was his opinion
disregarded. But at the meetings, when he was away on business
or vacation or such, I also took his position at the table. But
when he was present at the meeting, I sat in a chair behind him
and was available to whisper in his ear or be sent out to collect
a document or something like that.
Governor Pardee had an impish streak. In a situation where
Mr. Wittschen had been vociferous on a problem, after the
discussion was over or near its end the Governor would, with a
sly grin, say, "What do you think about that, Judge?" Which
certainly put me on the spot with my employer sitting right in
front of me. [laughter] My responses were always brief and very
diplomatic, but he had his joke on the lawyers, and he never
pressed me. Also, occasionally with a sly grin, he joked with me
about my native city, Vallejo; he always gave the city name with
complete Spanish pronunciation.
One other time I remember going over to see him one day, and
he was sitting there at the table. And when I got within five or
six feet of him he said, "Stop! I want to test your peripheral
vision." He had a long yellow pencil he held up in his hand--
"Now turn your head to the right, now turn your head to the
left." He concluded my peripheral vision was pretty good.
LaBerge: He was no longer practicing, is that correct?
Raines: No, no, he had been long inactive in his profession when I knew
He was almost a chain smoker. I guess it was part of the
secretary's duty to keep full the canister of Bull Durham tobacco
on the table in front of him. And he rolled his own cigarettes
all the time.
LaBerge: During the meetings?
Raines: No, as a matter of fact I never thought of this before, but I
don't recall him smoking during a meeting. Nor did any of the
other directors that I recall.
Dr. Pardee, in later years at the district, occasionally
produced a message to the public that was printed and inserted in
the bills sent out to the utility district customers- -how much of
it he wrote I don't know. But they sounded like him so I think
he had a heavy hand at least in constructing them. But in
addition to that he had his own special list of correspondents;
he sent out typewritten letters to this group, I would guess,
about the district. That was sort of a joke among the members of
the board. No one on the board nor did anyone I know around the
district ever see one of these letters; they were entirely
secret. The board members knew of them, and would joke with him
about it at the meetings. I remember once the governor
announcing, "What do you know, I had another reader of my letters
today. That makes fifteen now!" He was a fiscal conservative
and wherever possible he insisted on economy in the district's
operations. In board discussions on financial matters his
standard quote was "Many nickels make a muckle." I suspected
that this came from Charles Dickens.
The Park Issue
In his actions at the board, he never pounded the table or
raised his voice; he guided things smoothly and quietly. He
would let the discussion range between the other members and the
general manager and he would interject a remark now and then if
necessary. He never tried to really force an issue before the
board, but in a subtle way he was always able to make his
The only time that I can remember seeing him reach a
positive objection on a subject was in regard to the park issue
on the district's watershed lands. There was a group around
Oakland that would be called environmentalists now, who thought
that the lands in the East Bay hills which the district had taken
over from the old East Bay Water Company should be used for parks
and recreation. And they suggested that the district engage in
One of the local leaders of that position was Major Charles
Tilden of Alameda, who was quite vocal on the subject. I don't
know if Dr. Pardee and Tilden had past relationships or not, but
Dr. Pardee was quite outspoken in his feelings about Major Tilden
and his proposal. I don't know whether they ever got together or
not. Of course, the lands ultimately were opened up. At one
meeting at which I was present, Pardee announced that if the
board decided to go into the recreation business he would resign
from the board. He was opposed to any outside project that, in
his opinion, would draw the district's complete attention from
the water business. So the board didn't proceed; they dropped
the subject. The last meeting that he attended before his
resignation all the board members stood to shake his hand.
I came to him, we shook hands, and he said to me, "Well,
Judge, this is goodbye. If we never meet again, it won't be my
fault." Unfortunately, I never saw him again; he died not too
many months later. I have a real fondness for him. His funeral
service was conducted in the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Oakland
before a packed house.
LaBerge: How old was he at that time?
Raines: I think he was in his late seventies, I don't know. He was not
robust at this time; he was a little on the sickly side. There
were times when he couldn't make it to the boardroom, and the
Committee of the Whole meetings would be held at his housethe
old Victorian down on llth Street and Castro in West Oakland.
Incidentally, Jack Reilley and I a few months ago took a tour of
the old house. It was my first trip back since my early days at
the district. It's now a private museum. So that just about
winds up my Pardee story.
LaBerge: Could I just go back for a minute to the East Bay Regional Parks?
Those watershed lands were what you sold, I think, to the parks,
is that correct?
LaBerge: Why was Governor Pardee so opposed to that whole issue?
Raines: He had a mindset on the water situation, the water problem, and
as he often expressed it, anything that diverted the district's
attention and strength from the water situation was not to be
tolerated. It was just that feeling, I think.
LaBerge: What was the public reaction, do you think, to either the
district holding more land or selling it to the parks?
Raines: I think the people were wide open for it. There really wasn't
any objection. I guess that was it. There was some public
objection expressed that the district received compensation from
the park district. The district's answer to that was that it had
issued bonds for the acquisition of the lands and was still
paying off those bonds.
LaBerge: Did you get to know Major Tilden at all?
Raines: No. As a matter of fact, I think I saw him once or twice. I
knew his son Charley pretty well.
LaBerge: Tell me how did Dr. Pardee and Mr. Wittschen get along?
Raines: Very well. He appreciated Mr. Wittschen's accomplishments. The
governor got along with everybody he wished to. I think he may
have had political enemies around town, like Phil Riley. But he
got along well with everybody. He was friendly with Joseph
Knowland, the publisher of the Oakland Tribune, which I think was
a help for the district, because the Tribune always supported our
bond issues and projects of that nature.
LaBerge: How do you think the fact that Governor Pardee was president of
the board helped the East Bay Utility District?
Raines: I think it was a wonderful thing. I don't think the district
could have gotten off as well with anybody else. I remember when
I first went to the board meetings, fresh on the job, there was
up before the board the matter of paying the premiums on various
insurance policies that the district carried. One member in
particular was strong for picking an individual to handle the
insurance. Pardee criticized that strictly as partisanship, and
as a result of his position the local insurance agents formed the
Oakland Association of Insurance Agents, which represented a
great number of insurance agents throughout the district. That
association then handled all the insurance, and the premiums are
distributed among all the members of the insurance association.
LaBerge: So it was fair.
Raines: Yes. He kept the district on its course. One of his favorite
statements was a warning to the other members of the board of the
day when the "predatory politicians"--that was his language- -
would take over the district, and for the board to be wary of
that possibility and its actions.
For a long time I've wanted Pardee 's story to be told. No
one has done it, and I hope this will be a step along the way. I
don't know anything of his record as governor of California- -but
I think he had some opposition, because he only served one term.
After he came to the district, there was some opposition that
developed from private utilities in the area and in the state--!
felt it in the legislatureit being a matter of private
ownership versus public ownership. Pardee was always a strong
public ownership man, up to a certain point. He, along with the
other members of the board, turned down projects I previously
mentioned, such as taking over the Key System transit and getting
into the power business. As far as water was concerned, he was a
hundred percent public ownership.
Arthur P. Davis, General Manager and Chief Engineer
Raines: Getting back to my employment--backtracking--in July 1928
after I had been on the job for a year, one day I received in the
office mail an ornate document signed by [Arthur] A. P. Davis,
the general manager and chief engineer, announcing my appointment
as law clerk. I had never considered the name of the job I had;
all I was interested in was the job. But the law clerk matter
made me think a bit; I regarded myself as assistant attorney
because I had taken a spot previously occupied by an assistant
attorney. When Mr. Wittschen spotted the document, he ordered it
sent back immediately to Mr. Davis. He said, "Davis didn't make
your appointment; I made your appointment!" So it rested in the
district files until I retired in 1966 when it was sent back to
me along with some other memorabilia.
LaBerge: I saw it in your scrapbook, and I was surprised that you were
called a law clerk.
Raines: The best part of that document, however, was the announcement
that my salary was $225 a month. In other words, up one hundred
dollars over the year I had been with the district. To me at
least, it announced that Mr. Wittschen was satisfied with my
LaBerge: Who else went to the board meetings from the employees' side,
besides you andwas it Arthur P. Davis, was he the general
LaBerge: And Mr. Wittschen. Did anyone else-
Raines: The secretary was in the room. At 5 12- 16th Street, the
secretary's office was in a corner of the boardroom. He didn't
actually participate in the meetings, but he was available. And
there were no others regularly present at the meetings that is,
the meetings of the the Committee of the Whole. The board or the
general manager would frequently call in an engineer or the
treasurer of the district or some official for information.
Staff engineer C. E. Grunsky was frequently at these meetings
LaBerge: And at that time the general manager was also the chief engineer.
Is that correct?
LaBerge: Why don't you tell me about Arthur P. Davis and your memories of
Raines: Well, he didn't serve too long [1923-1929].
LaBerge: Actually, I'm looking at the dates; I see he didn't. Frank Hanna
was the next one [1929-1934].
Raines: Yes. Davis didn't serve too long. He was a forceful man, very
active. Other than that, I really don't have anything special to
say about him. There was one unfortunate incident that occurred
after he resigned. Frank Hanna was his successor, and Hanna did
a great job in making the transfer of the facilities between East
Bay Water Company and East Bay MUD, and also in the erection of
the Pardee Dam. But the dam projects had been worked out during
Mr. Davis 's tenure, and at the dedication of the Pardee Dam a
bronze plaque was installed and Mr. Davis 's name was not
recognized on the plaque; Mr. Banna's name was. Mrs. Davis was a
resident of Piedmont--and this was after Mr. Davis 's deathand
she conducted quite a campaign to have something done about
getting Mr. Davis 's name on Pardee Dam. Finally the board
decided to install another plaque that mentioned Mr. Davis ' s
contribution, but Mrs. Davis was quite upset about the failure to
include Mr. Davis 's name on the original plaque.
LaBerge: Because he was a famous engineer, wasn't he?
Raines: Oh, he was real famous. That's why today there's an Arthur
Powell Davis Dam on the Colorado River. He left the district to
go to Russia--! think it was the Ukraine or some place in
southern Russia, on a large irrigation project. He had been the
head of the Bureau of Reclamation of the federal government, as
was also employed his successor, Hanna. And his successor, John
Longwell, and a number of other engineers on the original Pardee
Dam crew were ex-reclamation bureau employees. Bob Kennedy,
later chief engineer, was another one.
LaBerge: How much involvement did you have with any of the engineering or,
say, visiting Pardee Dam to look out for--
Raines: I had practically none with the work. Except when they got into
a legal problem. That was the only time the legal department was
involved. [However, I knew them all well and made many visits to
Pardee and other projects during and before construction.]
Cash Payments and National Banks
LaBerge: So would you have to go up and inspect a site, or anything like
Raines: Oh, yes. I remember walking in the canyon where Pardee Dam was
later constructed. Mr. Wittschen was a great tourist as far as
the district was concerned. Every once in a while he would come
into my office and say, "Oh, let's go for a ride, Hal." Then he
would go to look at some project being constructed around the
district. It was amusing- -after the Kieffer case, the district
had to pay a quarter million or a half a million or something
like that. Mr. Wittschen felt that the statute, or maybe it's
the constitution of California, involving condemnation specified
cash. So the money for the Kieffer property was to be paid in
cash in Sacramento to the attorney for Kieffer. Wittschen took
along the award in cash and somehow he had dug up an old nickel-
plated revolver which he stuck in his pocket. So Wittschen, the
bag of money, and the revolver went to Sacramento.
LaBerge: Did you go along with him?
Raines: No, I guess Irving was on duty then. Another problemhe was a
stickler as far as legal language was concerned. The law was
that--I think it still is--that if a bank secures a deposit of
district funds, the bank must give to the district security for
the amount of the depositthe security being bonds, usually. I
think I mentioned that matter the other day when I mentioned my
having the combination to the safe deposit box where the bonds
But, Wittschen had the idea through--! don't knowthe
language of the law or legal decision, that the district's money
could not be safely deposited in a national bank, with the result
that the Bank of America, then the Bank of Italy, and other
national banks around Oakland were continually harassing him on
the subject, but he never budged.
When he retired and I became attorney, they began to work me
over. I looked the situation over; I talked with Sacramento
Municipal Utility District attorneys and other public attorneys,
and they were all depositing funds in the national bank. I no
longer felt that I could stand out alone, so I gave approval to
the deposit of the funds.
LaBerge: So previously they were deposited in state banks?
Legislative Dealings and S. C. Masterson
Yes. And now getting back to this matter of the board of
directors elections and the nominating petition that had to be
presented bearing what I think was five hundred names: there was
a feeling in political circles around Oakland, and even in
Sacramento, that that was pretty tough. Members of the
legislature only needed fifty or twenty-five signatures, and I
think only similar numbers for some federal requirements. So
when S. C. Masterson of Richmond was elected to the assembly, one
of his first tasks was to attack that signature position. I was
lobbying for the district in those days, and I had the job of
trying to convince committee members that there should not be a
change. But I never had a chance- -the committee turned me down.
The result was that the five hundred number was wiped out , and I
don't know just what the number is now, but it was sharply
The committee turned you down,
Would they listen to you, or did
Oh, they would always listen; they might shut you off but,
really, I didn't have anything very lengthy to talk about on that
Masterson was a gadfly for me in the legislature. He always
seemed to have a bill that had something to do with changing
things in the district. One time he even induced the legislature
to send a special committee for a public hearing in Richmond on
certain operations of the district. I don't know now just what
was involved. But the hearing was held; the committee was there,
Masterson was there, and some of the officials of the district
were there. I represented the district, and in my closing
remarks I said something that prompted Masterson to get on his
feet and to claim that I was insulting him personally. I made a
diplomatic apology, and the hearing ended. The committee reached
no decision, and never published any reports; it died on the
vine. He always had something in mind.
And is this because Richmond was a part of the district by this
Raines: Yes. Richmond was not one of the original city members of the
utility district. Later he became a superior court judge in
Martinez. Jack Reilley tried a case before him. Jack said Judge
Masterson treated him very well, so he harbored no resentment
evidently from our altercations.
Legal Department Secretaries
LaBerge: Anything more about Mr. Wittschen? Like things that he
established in the general counsel's office that you continued,
or things you learned from him as far as running the office?
Raines: No, we carried on just as usual. Mr. Wittschen was my mentor; I
think he made a lawyer out of me.
I had a good staff. The ladies the secretarieswere
grand. I think I mentioned earlier that the district's first
office was at 1924 Broadway. On December 8, 1928, when the East
Bay Water Company building at 5 12- 16th Street was taken over,
there just wasn't room for the legal department after the
engineers, accountants, and business officers had taken their
places . So we moved into the Latham Square building which was
right next door to the old East Bay Water Company building. We
had four and a half rooms on the top floor. Once we had to move
down one floor to let Kaiser Engineering take the entire top
floor. But we bounced back and forth from the Latham Square
building to the district building office mail floating all the
I mentioned a half-room; that was my office. It was between
Mr. Wittschen 's large corner office and Les Irving' s, who had an
almost equally large room. And I had this little space in
between; there was just room for a small desk and, at most, two
chairs. I got along fine; I didn't complain. One room was the
library and another was the entry and secretary's space.
LaBerge: The legal department had its own secretary?
Raines: Yes. We always had two.
LaBerge: And was one Lila Wagnor?
Raines: Yes, but Ethel Mayon was the first secretary when we were at 1924
Broadway. She moved up to the Latham Square building when the
department went there. I remember she was an elderly woman. She
had formerly worked for the Key System legal department. I
remember her last day at work. I took office on November 1, and
she retired at the end of October, and she said to me, "I'm so
sorry that I won't be working for you as attorney." It was at
that time that Lila Wagnor came into the office.
LaBerge: So this is 1947?
LaBerge: So you had sort of learned under Ethel, is that--
Raines: Well, not exactly. Lila was really a great secretary:
knowledgeable, active, helpful. She suffered a health problem
and retired early from the district; that was after we moved down
to West Oakland.
I look with astonishment at some of the work those women did- -for
example, that lengthy letter to Harvey Banks that you have
noticed in the state bulletin, some eighteen pages, was all typed
out by one of these women.
And that was before word processing and erasable papers. It was
the carbon copies.
I imagine they learned quite a bit of law in the process.
Yes. Lila Wagnor was a fine legal secretary. She worked hard
and was always cheerful. Her successor was Myrtle Degnan. She
had been employed elsewhere in the district before coming to the
legal department. She ran the outer office very well and was a
tireless and loyal helper to me. With Myrtle was "Cherry" Dixon.
Her first name was Cherokee, shortened to "Cherry." She was a
very good legal secretary with a legal background.
Aside on Frank Howard and the Campfire Girls
Raines: Things livened up in the office when Frank E. Howard arrived as
an assistant attorney. He was and still is a most active person.
Jack Reilley became his mentor and taught him the business. I
first knew Frank--! think I've told you some of this beforewhen
my wife was active in the Campfire Girls organization. One of
their big projects each year was to open a coffee shop at the
Oakland Flower Show, which was a huge event in Oakland in earlier
days, held at the Oakland Auditorium. It was a typical coffee
shop, and it had a snack bar also. I remember--it must have been
when Frank was in high school- -one day Frank and I ran the snack
bar all day.
LaBerge: Was he recruited by his mother or something like that?
Raines: Yes. So was I recruited by my wife. In addition to that one
day, I was a busboy with other fathers. I cleared off tables and
swept floors. We all assisted in the Campfire movement.
III SPECIAL DISTRICT #1
[Interview 3: October 18, 1995 ]##
Formation of Special District //I
Raines: The East Bay cities, right from their beginnings, poured their
raw sewage directly into San Francisco Bay. And that created a
terrible situation. It became particularly noticeable when the
present interstate highway 80 was constructed along the
waterfront of Berkeley and Emeryville. Especially when the tide
was out and the mudflats were exposed, there was always this
terrific stench. The public began to realize the problem, and
there were groups trying to do something about it. Along about
1940--maybe late thirties and into the late forties approaches
were made, principally by the city of Oakland, for the district
to take over the problem. The board of directors of the district
flatly refused to get into the sewage disposal business.
However, the clamor continued, and an Oakland assistant city
attorney, Homer Buckley, got active in the problem. He was a
friend of mine since our days together at Boalt Hall School of
Law. At that time, our representative in Sacramento was Les
Irving. Buckley developed a bill that would put the district
into the sewage disposal business whether the district liked it
or not. He took the bill to Sacramento, and it was introduced--!
don't remember by whom--in the legislature, and began to move.
Les Irving told the district officials that the bill had every
chance of passage. And it had features that would be
objectionable to the utility district. He suggested that instead
of fighting the bill, the district work with Buckley to develop a
bill that would be acceptable to the district, and then the
district go ahead and take over the operation.
The bill, as amended, was passed and it provides for the
creation of special districts for sewage treatment purposes
within the boundaries of the utility district. It puts the
utility district in full operation and control. Six of the
cities within the utility district voted to create Special
District #1 under the bill.
LaBerge: How many cities were in the district at that point?
Raines: Oh, there were maybe eight or ten. The special district
stretched along the bayfront from El Cerrito to Alameda and
included the larger cities of Oakland, Berkeley, and Alameda.
After voting themselves into this special district, a bond issue
was proposed and passed for the development of the sewage
disposal system. The system consisted of building large
pipelines called interceptors along the waterfronts of Alameda,
Oakland, Berkeley, Emeryville, Albany, and El Cerrito. The
cities continued to maintain and operate their sewers as they
always hadthat is, to individual homes and businesses. They
would carry the material, then, to the interceptors, where the
interceptors picked it up and carried the material to a treatment
plant located near the east end of the Bay Bridge. The city of
Oakland filed a suit against the district, claiming that the
district should pay the cost of tying these city collection
sewers into the interceptors. There was a brief trial in the
superior court in Oakland, and the judgment was in favor of the
district. This meant that the cities had to pay the cost of
connecting their sewers to the interceptors. So things got
underway- -every thing was held up during World War II--and it was
in the late forties that construction began on the interceptors.
I was involved in several problems. The first one concerned
the location of the south end of the Alameda interceptor and a
pumping plant in connection with it. I don't know just why I was
brought in on it, maybe it was because the city attorney was in
at the other end. Anyway, we met several times at the site, and
worked out that problem there.
Negotiations with the U.S. Maritime Commission
LaBerge: Who was the city attorney?
Raines: I don't remember.
Moving west, the Alameda interceptor was designed to pass
along Webster Street in Alameda, near the south end of the
Oakland Estuary tube. The line would pass under property that
was formerly owned and operated by the Bethlehem Shipyard Company
for the construction of ships. The property, during World War
II, was taken over by the U.S. Maritime Commission, which owned
it at the time the interceptor problem came up. I don't remember
what discussions there were, if any, between the district and the
local representative of the commission to secure an easement over
this property for the interceptor. Anyway, if there had been
talks about it, they had ceased, and one day the general manager
called me in and said he thought it would be a good idea if I
went to Washington, D.C., and talk to the Maritime Commission.
I was in Washington, D.C., for the better part of a week,
negotiating with the attorneys for the Maritime Commission.
Before I left, I had told my friend, state Senator Arthur Breed,
that I was going to Washington and what my mission was. He said
he knew well the chief of the Maritime Commission--! think he was
a man from Marin Countyand he gave me a personal message to
deliver to him. When I arrived in Washington, I had an interview
with the commissioner--he was very nicebut he said the matter
was out of his hands, and it was in the hands of the lawyers for
the commission. So he introduced me to the lawyers, and I got to
work. Every time I met, I would be confronted by three lawyers,
and the proposal was hung up because they would not grant an
outright easement; they wanted restricted use of the property by
As the days dragged on, that was what we haggled over until
finally, toward the end of the week, I went to see the lawyers
again, and I was presented with a signed document. The chief
attorney said, "Here it is. It's all you're going to get. You
had better go home." I accepted the ultimatum.
In other words, the district got an easement with restricted use?
Yes. The line has been in operation for over fifty years, and
I've never heard of any problems arising in connection with its
I have one poignant memory of that trip. I was stuck in
Washington over a weekend, and the University of California
football team was playing the University of Pennsylvania in
Berkeley on Saturday. I was staying at the old Willard Hotel,
and I settled down in my room with a small libation and watched
the game on TV. The weather in Washington was cold and dreary,
and here on the screen in front of me was the beautiful Berkeley
sunshine at my old stamping ground: Memorial Stadium. I think
Southern Pacific Negotiations
Raines: Now, moving across the estuary almost at eyesight to the south
interceptor, which ran along the estuary and then out to the
treatment plant, a problem arose with the Southern Pacific
Railroad. The line was designed to pass in front of the Southern
Pacific Railroad station at the foot of Broadway in Oakland. The
railroad tracks, which were also used by Western Pacific, were
constructed in front of the station. Their location was actually
in a public street. The land people of the district were unable
to work out with the Southern Pacific a satisfactory solution.
The problem was not to move the tracks, but it was going to cost
the district extra money to build under and around the tracks.
The district's position was that the railroad company should pay
this extra cost.
One day I received a telephone call from the attorney for
the Southern Pacific, suggesting a conference in his office in
San Francisco. I agreed to that, and on the appointed day, I
took with me Robert Kennedy, who was then the chief engineer of
the district. In the office, we were confronted not only by the
attorney for the Southern Pacific, but the attorney for the
Western Pacific, and the Santa Fe Railways. So we talked along
and didn't get anyplace until I finally said, "Well, I'm going to
file a condemnation suit," and the attorney for the Southern
Pacific said, "You can't do that; you have to get permission
first from the Interstate Commerce Commission." So the
conference broke up on that statement.
When I got back to the office, I went to work on the law
books, and sure enough, there was a federal statute that no suit
--such as a condemnation suit--could be filed against an
interstate carrier until permission was first granted by the
Interstate Commerce Commission. After that, I had a conference
with Mr. Longwell and Mr. Kennedy, and we decided the district
had better pay the costs. It was not excessive, relative to the
cost of the entire project. A hearing before the Interstate
Commerce Commission, plus if we were successful therea
condemnation suit against the railroad would be very costly and
would have taken years to complete. So that would mean the
stoppage of work on the south interceptor and it might jeopardize
the whole project. So the district decided to foot the bill.
That ended that problem.
Golden Gate Fields Negotiations
LaBerge: Had you ever had to make any applications to the Interstate
Commerce Commission for anything else?
Raines: No. I had had no relationship whatever with them.
And moving along to the north interceptor- -the line was
designed to run from El Cerrito along the bayfront to the
treatment plant. The projected line was adjacent to the west
side of the interstate 80 right of way. In the city of Albany, a
large horserace track was in existence, and the line was designed
to extend along the eastern frontage of the racetrack property.
LaBerge: Is this Golden Gate Fields?
Raines: Yes. The land department was unable to reach any agreement for
an easement--it was quite a long stretch. And so I filed a
condemnation suit against the track corporation and secured a
court order for immediate possession and use. So construction
went ahead. The suit dragged along, and it got to the point
where I had to start moving it. Those movements brought a
response from Frank Richards, an Oakland attorney who was the
attorney for the track. He was a friend of mine; we had had a
good relationship over a number of years. One day he called me
and said, "The board of directors of the corporation running the
track is meeting there on a certain date; why don't you come out
and talk to them? Maybe we can settle this matter." So I went
out on the appointed day and was introduced to the board by Mr.
Richards, and started my talk about the subject at hand. I was
interrupted by the chairman of the board, who was a well-known
ex-state official. He entered into a virulent attack on the
utility district which had no relation whatever to the subject at
hand. I listened in silence for a couple of minutes and then
picked up my papers and walked out.
LaBerge: Who was the official?
Raines: I can't remember.
So, again matters dragged a little while, and not too long
after that I had another call from Frank Richards, and he
apologized for what had happened. He said, "There's a race
meeting going on out there. I have a box; why don't you come out
and have lunch with me, and we'll sit in the box and watch the
races and see what we can do?" So I went out, and I brojught
along with me Hub [Herbert J.] Wickman, who was the land agent of
the district, and one of his assistants--! think it was Lee
Jorgenson. We had lunch with Mr. Richards, and then all repaired
to his box. The races began, and Wickman and Jorgenson got up a
couple of times to make bets on the races, but all the time we
were talking. Before the end of the racing program, we had
settled the matter among ourselves. Later, the settlement was
confirmed by the racetrack board.
About how long did that whole process take,
the time you filed the condemnation suit?
do you think, from
Oh, it's a pure guess: six months maybe. We weren't in any
hurry, because we had the court order for immediate possession
and use, and the construction was going right ahead. This is the
only problem I ever settled at a race track.
Right of Condemnation and Other Legal Issues
LaBerge: For the record, for people who don't know about condemnation
suits, could you say something about the issues involved, or why
the district had rights to condemn that property?
Raines: The right of condemnation, the right of eminent domain, is given
by law to public agencies, and even to some private utilities,
like PG&E, but mostly the power is held by governmental agents.
The California law has this provision for securing court orders
for immediate possession and use. In exercising the latter
power, the law also requires the posting of a bond or cash to
protect the landowner. For instance, you might file a suit, and
it might drag on, as some of ours did, and sometimes it is
dismissed, and meanwhile the landowner has been left unprotected
with expense and time. So the cash or bond is frequently in a
minimal amount. The landowner always complains that it's not
enough. I had to have a statement from the land agent as to the
supposed value of the property or other evidence to show the
judge. Sometimes the landowner asked for a formal hearing by the
judge. I remember one such instance, in Martinez, with the
attorney Frank Bray, later a justice on the appeal court.
LaBerge: In any of this negotiation in just setting up the special
district, did you have to go to the board and present what you
were going to do, or did you and Mr. McFarland, or you and Mr.
Longwell decide this is what we need to do?
Raines: These matters were always handled at the management level.
LaBerge: When you said that Homer Buckley drew up the original bill for
the legislature, and then the district helped to amend that, were
you involved in the rewriting?
Raines: No, Les Irving handled that.
LaBerge: So this happened, then, maybe while Mr. Wittschen was still
Raines: Yes. That was pretty near the breaking point. The special
district amendments were passed in 1941; Special District #1 was
formed in 1944. Construction materials were unavailable until
well after the end of World War II in 1945. I became attorney in
November 1947, so most of these events I have mentioned to you
happened after 1947 when I was the attorney.
So the project was a complete success; it cleared up, for
health purposes, the waterfront there, and the stench has been
removed. The governments of Oakland, Berkeley, and Emeryville
particularly, were very embarrassed by that previous situation
during the 1939 World's Fair on Treasure Island: there were so
many visitors to the area, and so many of them had to pass
through this stench before they reached the exposition.
LaBerge: Now in the original utility act bill in the twenties, wasn't the
district empowered to do this?
Raines: I think the district could have gone ahead if the board were so
inclined. It might have required some minor amendments to the
act, but the Municipal Utility District Act is very broad. It
gives the directors power to go into all kinds of activities, and
this could have been one.
LaBerge: How did the directors in general feel about this?
Raines: They were resigned to their fate. After it was decided to go
ahead, they all got on with it.
LaBerge: Does any of this have to do with, for instance, the community of
Canyon? I know that part of the watershed is in Canyon, and
there was some controversy over their sewage or other watersheds.
Or is that a different issue?
Raines: That was entirely separate. What we have been talking about just
involved the cities along the bay. Speaking of Canyon, there was
organized in recent years the large central Contra Costa sanitary
district that covers the cities around there. Canyon might be
included in that. I know it includes Moraga.
The Land Department
LaBerge: You mentioned people in the land department at the district. Can
you tell me who was in the land department and what they did?
Raines: Hub--I guess his full name was Herbert, but we all knew him as
Hub--Wickman was the land agent during most of my career with
I'll back up on that. When the district took over the East Bay
Water Company in 1928, the company had a management group, with
Paul Daniels as land agent, that was engaged in handling its
watershed lands. That continued after the utility district took
over the East Bay Water Company for a few years, and until
Daniels retired, and the district then created a department known
internally as the "land department." And they were involved in
the purchaseand later some salesof watershed and other lands
of and for the district. They also were involved in the general
handling of the lands.
LaBerge: Okay, the land department also patrolled for fires?
Raines: Yes, and illegal incursions onto properties. Hub Wickman was, at
that time, given the position and title of land agent. He had a
staff of three or four assistants, and they operated well.
LaBerge: Would they come to you for legal advice?
Raines: Oh yes, often. One big operation in which the land department
was concerned was the leasing of watershed lands for grazing
purposes. The district then owned, by purchase from the old
water company, thousands of acres of the East Bay hills, and
there was value in leasing them out for grazing for fire
protection, if nothing else. The cattle kept the grass down, and
there was revenue, too it wasn't a great deal, but there was
some revenue. So the land department would work out these
leases, and I would prepare the leases and also other documents
or deeds from that department.
The land department was continually busy in getting rights
of way for pipeline extensions, pumping plant sites, et cetera.
The land department would work out the terms of purchase : the
price to be paid, and so on. Then I would go to the title
insurance company and get a report on the condition of the title,
and if that was satisfactory, then the deal would be closed and I
would prepare the necessary documents. Otherwise, it would
require maybe some more negotiations to work out some of the
imperfections in the title, and that would be up to me, too.
LaBerge: So in a lot of senses you were doing much more than just water
law. You were really doing general law.
Raines: Oh, yes. That was business law, really. It was pretty much like
the East Bay Water Company, a private corporation, was doing
LaBerge: When you needed to submit the bond issue for the special
district, did you write up the bond issue?
Raines: No. The usual procedure on a bond issue was this: [The chief
engineer and his staff developed a complete and detailed report
on the project, what was to be constructed and its estimated
cost. This was referred to the general manager who revised it,
especially in conjunction with the treasurer of the district, on
all financial aspects of the project. If they approved, the
general manager took it to the board of directors. If they
approved, the wheels began turning in the direction of a bond
election, with the general manager in full charge. My only
significant part of the program dealt with the man we called the
bond attorney.] 1
There were certain attorneys in San Francisco and elsewhere
who specialized in passing on the legality of bond issues. The
security houses which would purchase the issue required that they
get a report from one of these bond attorneys as to the legality
of the issue. I remember conferences with George Harrington, a
member of a prominent law firm in San Francisco. And we
discussed the forms of the proposition to be submitted on the
ballot as well as all resolutions and papers involved. And then
after the election, Harrington would issue his opinion that all
legal forms and procedures had been carried out according to law.
That opinion then would be sent to the firms that were interested
in purchasing the issue. So to that extent I was involved in the
LaBerge: And after that, did you have a financial department who would
take care of selling the bonds and--
'Bracketed material was added by Mr. Raines during the editing
Raines: Yes, well, the general manager and the board of directors handled
that. I had nothing to do with the actual arrangements, except
to approve the board's resolution. The treasurer of the district
was deeply involved in those matters, and the secretary of the
district handled the publicity for the bond election.
LaBerge: Were you the one who wrote the contracts, well, for anything, but
in particular the treatment plant or
Raines: Yes. That was part of my job. And deeds for the acquisition of
rights of way and easementsall legal documents passed through
my hands .
LaBerge: Now, in all of that, how much engineering did you need to know to
be able to understand the issues?
Raines: Practically none.
LaBerge: You must have picked up quite a bit along the way.
Raines: Well, it was very imperfect engineering, I would call it
[chuckle]. But I would have many conferences with the engineers.
The engineers enter into it for this reason, and I am out of it
for this reason: take a project for new constructionthe
engineers would develop a complete booklet of plans and
specifications about a project and how it was to be built. And
that was always a part of a contract, it was incorporated by
reference into the contract. So that's the reason I never had to
do any engineering.
LaBerge: By the same token, they didn't have to do any legal work, right?
Raines: That's true, yes. I handled many construction contracts in my
time, and I can never recall that there was a problem over any of
them. I frequently had visits from contractors who objected to
maybe the method of payment or something like that. We would
have discussions and try to work out those problems. But after
the contract was signed, I usually was out of the picture; it was
up to the engineers then.
[This might be a good place to talk about the Lafayette dam.
This is an earthfill structure west of that city in Contra Costa
County. A contract was signed for its construction late in the
1920s and work on it commenced. It was partially constructed
when unexpectedly it began to subside. Work was stopped and an
investigation was made by the district. It appeared that the
subsoil was unstable and could not hold the weight of the dam.
The district decided to lower the height of the dam appreciably.
These developments affected the existing contract and created
problems for the contractor. He hired a prominent San Francisco
attorney, Max Thelen, and Mr. Wittschen and I had a number of
conferences with that attorney regarding the work and the
contractor. I did considerable study on the problems for Mr.
Wittschen. The difficulties were finally settled and work
resumed on a lower dam. Part of the land for the dam was
acquired by a condemnation suit brought by the district, and I
assisted Mr. Wittschen at the trial.] 1
EBMUD Representative in Washington
LaBerge: Any more anecdotes about setting up the special district, like
going to Washington, D.C., or did you get to make some other
Raines: Yes. Getting back to Washington, D.C., I should have spoken of
this before: in addition to this trip to the Maritime Commission,
I once made a trip to Washington with John Longwell, chief
engineer and general manager. Later on, I made another trip to
Washington with John McFarland, the general manager, and it seems
to me I went once more by myself, although I'm not sure about
that. But these involved mostly congressional committee hearings
in Washington on matters which might involve the district.
It got to the point along in the 1950s, where there seemed
to be more Washington activity than there previously had been,
and John McFarland decided that it would be better to employ
someone in Washington as a watchdog, rather than to have district
officials running back and forth. I was in discussion with him
one day about the subject, and I suggested the name of Northcutt
(Mike) Ely, a Washington attorney. He was a Stanford graduate
and had been employed as a Washington representative by southern
California interests, particularly with relation to the Colorado
River litigation. I had picked up his name in Sacramento in
talks with a friendly lobbyist from southern California.
McFarland investigated, and decided to retain Ely, and it was a
Bracketed material was added by Mr. Raines during the editing
good deal for the utility district. He was still on the job when
I retired. It gave us, really, an office in Washington.
LaBerge: One of the trips I read about that you took was later on, having
to do with flood control for the San Joaquin district after the
accord with Amador and Calaveras Counties on the Mokelumne. That
somehow you had to promise flood control to the San Joaquin- -
Raines: I don't remember that.
LaBerge: Okay. Do you remember what any of the actual other issues were
when you went to Washington?
World War II
Well, let's go back a little bit to when the war started,
remember what you were doing on Pearl Harbor Day?
Yes. I was at home. It was a Sunday. I had been working in the
garden that morning at our home on Leimert Boulevard in Oakland.
I hadn't had the radio on at all, and my wife hadn't either. In
the afternoon, we were visited by friends of ours--a couple--and
their first words were, "Oh, what do you think about Pearl
Harbor?" That was the first information I had on it. We had
really a bad night; there was a fear of Japanese bombing, and we
had covered our windows . We had a lot of windows in that house .
Our daughter was a baby, and my wife fed her on the inside
staircase to the laundry room, where she could turn on the
lights. And for several nights thereafter we would stand outside
and gaze at the heavens. The lights were all out in the streets,
and we could imagine we could see the lights of invaders up
there. Our whole area went through a difficult time emotionally.
There were area wardens in all areas of Oakland who patrolled at
night to be certain that there were no exposed lights, and
airplanes flew overhead at night for the same purpose. But I
don't have any recollection of the termination of that war.
There was one particular situation among many others that
was created by the war that affected the district. The city of
Vallejo had a perpetual water shortage, and they had asked the
district to supply it by pipeline to the Carquinez Bridge. Mr.
Wittschen then opposed it because our state permit provided that
the water from Pardee Reservoir be used only within the ultimate
service boundaries of the district, and Vallejo was outside that.
He felt that supplying Vallejo without the permission of the
state might imperil our permit. So we turned Vallejo down.
Then one day at a board meeting we were visited by a
delegation of many golden-striped naval officials from Vallejo 's
Mare Island navy yard who demanded that the district supply
Vallejo, and, incidentally, Mare Island. The board was reluctant
to act, and the leading admiral finally said, "Well, under the
War Powers Act, we'll just take over your system." So with that,
all our qualms ended, and we did construct a line to the center
of the Carquinez Bridge where Vallejo picked up the water on its
own section of the line. The district already had a line to the
sugar refinery at Crockett. After the war, Vallejo had gone
ahead with plans to get water from a dam on Suisun Creek and also
from a canal from the Bureau of Reclamation's Delta supply, so
the shortage was over and the district service was closed to
Vallejo. The district also installed a temporary pipeline on the
Bay Bridge to furnish a supplemental water supply to the naval
base on Treasure Island, which was already served by San
And what were you doing during the war?
Not very much, I'm sorry to say. I was on various boards; I was
appeal agent for the Selective Service board in Oakland, and I
was on the rationing board, which rationed gasoline during the
war. This was voluntary, non-compensatory service. It was also
part time and I continued my regular work schedule at the utility
district. I also believed that by helping to continue the supply
of water to the East Bay, I contributed to the war effort.
You were above the age of--
I was the age of forty at the outbreak of the war.
classified number four on the draft category.
The Board of Directors
LaBerge: Last time, we talked a little bit about the board meetings, and
your going to the board meetings, and I guess this would be just
in general: what did you see as the board's function for all
your years there?
Raines: Well, it was to determine policy and oversee the operation of the
district, and the board controlled finances and everything else.
There were many things that the general manager and the attorney
and the other officers could do on their own, but on matters of
importance and especially on matters of policy and finance, the
board's authority was supreme. If there was a difficulty,
particularly a real difficult problem, it would always be
referred to the board by the general manager. At every meeting,
the agenda was always complete with a full report of what had
transpired of importance to the district since the last meeting.
Sometimes some of these items would call for board action, and
sometimes it was just informative.
LaBerge: In the scrapbook you gave me, there were some of the minutes from
the board meeting when it was announced that you had been hired.
In the attorney's report. Did the attorney always give a report
at the meeting?
Raines: Well, yes. If there was something of importance of a legal
nature or something of interest. And the attorney's advice was
always requested by the board on matters of legal interest. Mr.
Wittschen frequently strayed into other fields. The nitty-
gritty, like the filing of a condemnation suit for a little right
of way for a small pipeline, was never taken to the board. Those
matters were handled entirely by the general manager, but such
things as the interceptors, the building of dams, those were
matters vital to the board. And matters of budget also.
LaBerge: Were there some kind of written guidelines so that you would
Raines: No. It was all by ear. The district's operations in the early
days were, as I just mentioned, largely by ear. And it wasn't
departmentalized to a great extent. When Governor Pardee
retired--! think about 1941, maybe--
LaBerge: Grant Miller became president for a short period and he was
succeeded by Frank Wentworth in 1943.
Raines: Wentworth was a modern businessman. He had a large stationery
business in San Francisco and he was also treasurer of Mills
College. He made the beginnings of instituting modernized
business practice into the district's operations. It didn't
amount to too much at that time, but it was a start. And there
were some changes. I remember one thing that affected the legal
department: occasionally at the Committee of the Whole meeting
the board went into what they called "executive session," and
they would retire into the next room, which was the general
manager's office. These meetings would involve such things as
salary increases, personnel changes, and matters like that, that
were not for all the other officers' ears. But in the earliest
days, these meetings were also attended by John Longwell, the
general manager, and by Mr. Wittschen. When Wentworth became
president at these meetings, the general manager was usually
included but Mr. Wittschen was excludedthe board wanted to talk
among themselves on non-legal matters. He had always been
included under previous presidents.
Changes in the Organization, 1946
LaBerge: Let me see. My information says that Leroy Hamman wanted to
separate the job of general manager and chief engineer, and
McFarland was only general manager.
Raines: McFarland became general manager in 1950.
LaBerge: And Leroy was president from 1946 to 1949.
LaBerge: You were going to say something about Mr. Hamman.
Raines: Mr. Hamman was in business; his office was in the Central Bank
building in Oakland at 14th and Broadway. I think he was largely
an investment counselor, but his real business is a bit nebulous
as far as I'm concerned. There began to be a change on the board
after Mr. Wentworth resigned in 1946, a feeling that there could
be a more strictly organized and less segmented organization than
was then being run. Mr. Hamman came on the board and made that
his first priority. He did such things as separating the offices
of chief engineer and general manager; up to that point they had
always been combined in one person. He separated them--he
prevailed on the board to separate them.
LaBerge: And this was when Mr. Longwell was still both.
Raines: Yes. After the separation, John Longwell announced that he was
going to retire, so Mr. Hamman then led the search for a new
general manager. Robert Kennedy, already in the engineering
department, was elevated to the post of chief engineer, and that
left only the general manager to be selected. Mr. Hamman 's
search led finally to John McFarland, who had been employed by
the Lockheed Aircraft Company in southern California.
LaBerge: How did you feel about that change?
Raines: I was a little bit disturbed by the whole project. You know, you
hate to see old things go, things you grew up with. They
disappear, and you have to learn new things. For example, one
proposal was made to me by Phil Wagner, one of the men McFarland
had put in charge of the reorganization. He suggested that the
legal department specify each day and each hour of the day how it
was spent. I think modern private law firms do do that now, but
it was impossible for my department to work that way. I had been
on the road, all hours of the day and night, to Sacramento and
other places. Jack Reilley was fighting condemnation cases up in
the mountains, and Frank Howard was busy in the local area and
elsewhere. We never watched the clock, so it was just an
impossibility. I pointed that out, and McFarland 1 s staff decided
the old order would continue as far as the legal department was
There was a great deal of unrest among the general
employees. As a matter of fact, one semi-official of the
district came to see me one day, and suggested I start a campaign
to restore order in the district. I refused to do that; I felt
it was up to the general manager- -this was what the board wanted,
and I was not going to buck it . But there was that feeling of
dislocation among the general employees, and because of the
various shifts, it lasted quite a while.
Leroy Hamman as President
LaBerge: The next board president was Louis Breuner?
Raines: After Hamman. Incidentally, Mr. Hamman was the man who retained
me [chuckle] .
LaBerge: Oh, he was? I didn't realize- -you mean, named you as general
Raines: He was president of the board.
LaBerge: He must have had some good foresight there.
Raines: Thank you. I thought I had mentioned this before, but Mr.
Wittschen had retired, and there was a vacancy; Les Irving and I
were curious as to what was going to happen, whether they were
going to bring in an outside attorney, or just what was in the
LaBerge: Oh, we did talk about that.
Raines: Mr. Hamman and I became friendly personally. I knew many of the
members of these various boards by first name, and they called me
by my first name. I always had good standing with the board.
With Hamman 1 s resignation, Louis Breuner was appointed to the
board, and I think that Grant Miller may have been president for
a brief period.
LaBerge: I think you're right.
Raines: Mr. Breuner was not appointed president right away; he just
filled Hamman 's post as a director, and then later he was elected
president of the board by the board itself.
LaBerge: For quite some time, too.
Raines: Oh, getting back--I was going to tell you about Hamman. We were
finally on a first-name basis. At the beginning, I didn't know
him at all. One evening, there was a meeting of the Book Club of
California in San Francisco; as a member I went to it, and lo and
behold, there was Mr. Hamman. So we had one feeling in common
for fine books. And we got along very well. His wife and my
wife were members of the Women's Athletic Club, which had
frequent parties and socials, and we and the Hammans always got
together at those events.
After he retired from business, I had a communication from
his daughter--! think from Palo Alto--who said that the family
was compiling a memory book for him, and that she would like a
contribution from me. I was glad to write a nice letter, for his
Louis Breuner and Hart Eastman
Raines: Getting now to Mr. Breuner, he was a real worker. He, like
Governor Pardee, spent full time at the district almost very day.
Next to Governor Pardee, I would say Mr. Breuner was the most
effective board president the district had had. He was genuinely
interested in the district, and because of his family business,
the Breuner Furniture Company, he had real standing as a
businessman in the Bay Area. And that was always very helpful to
the district in all its activities outside the board.
He and I also got along very well; we were on a first-name
basis, both of us. He and Mrs. Breuner, and Mr. and Mrs.
McFarland, and Mr. and Mrs. Eastman socialized a great deal
together after business hours, of course. I liked him very much;
we got along well, so it was a very happy relationship for me.
LaBerge: And the years he was president were the years of lots of
construction, and really, the bulk of your work, wasn't it?
Raines: Yes, it was.
LaBerge: And Mr. Eastman--is this Hart Eastman?
LaBerge: Public relations, is that right?
Raines: Secretary of the district, he becamebut first he was in public
relations, then he became secretary of the district. He was a
very good public relations man; he had good contacts, and he put
out good material. He was very helpful in such things as
promoting bond issues and other public matters for the district.
LaBerge: Would you and he also have to travel to other places to present
the board's case?
Raines: Oh, yes, we did not travel together, but I was on the road quite
a bit. Sacramento, principally, and when the fishing in the
reservoir matter was up, I was traveling. I remember even going
to a Fish and Game Commission meeting in Fresno, and I attended
conventions of the Irrigation District Association, and the
California Municipal Utilities Association in cities all the way
from San Diego to Grass Valley.
So that is where Jack Reilley became important to me. While
I was out traveling around the state, he was tending the home
fires and keeping things on course.
Sort of what you did when Mr. Wittschen was off--
Jack Reilley and Francis Blanchard
LaBerge: Did you hire Jack Reilley?
Raines: Yes, I did. The young man I already had- -John Deal- -who came to
work during World War II died suddenly. I think I mentioned this
before: I felt a need in the department for a trial lawyer.
With Mr. Wittschen 's departure, there was a great gap there. And
Jack had been assistant public defender in Oakland, and he had a
great deal of trial experience. He was well recommended by a
couple of judges I talked to, and I hired him.
LaBerge: I'm going to interview him when we finish.
Raines: Francis Blanchard also lives here at Rossmoor.
LaBerge: That's right. Well, tell me about Francis Blanchard, because we
haven't talked about him.
Raines: Francis was a very good man in the water field. He was the man
who supplied me with all the ammunition I needed, and he is a
nice person and was a fine engineer. At the permit hearing on
the Camanche Reservoir, he was the chief witness for the
district. [We had many pleasant auto trips together in our
conjunctive work. We once took a three-day tour of the mountain
area involved in the Mokelumne project. He had a very good
relationship with personnel of the Department of Water
Resources. ] l
LaBerge: Because of his expertise in--
Raines: Yes, in the water field.
Bracketed material was added by Mr. Raines during the editing
LaBerge: Should we stop there for today? And next time we'll take up more
on the development of water law and the Mokelumne .
Raines: I'd like to get into that fishing in the reservoir, too.
LaBerge: We'll try to do all of that, and if we don't get that far we'll
just set up another meeting.
IV THE MOKELUMNE RIVER CONTROVERSY, 1949-1959
[Interview 4: October 26, 1995 ]##
The Beginnings of the Land Department
LaBerge: We could start with the Mokelumne project.
Raines: There's something I want to say about the early days of the land,
the purchase of the right of way, and the dissension on the board
over the construction of the second Mokelumne aqueduct. I'd like
to get a little in on that.
LaBerge: That's good, because that is a beginning to this whole problem.
Why don't we start there, and when they were building the first
Mokelumne aqueduct, who decided to also leave space for the
Raines: Well, that's one of the things I want to talk about. In the
earliest days of the district's organization, all land
transactions were handled through the legal department. The
right-of-way agents who purchased the land all worked through the
legal department, and I was familiar with those men and even went
out a few times to look property over with them.
I always marveled at the wisdom of the planners of the
Mokelumne project, that they specified a strip of land extending
ninety miles from Pardee Reservoir to the East Bay area to be one
hundred feet wide all the way, fee title. Of course, I came in
about the last part of the purchase of the right of way in 1927.
Most of it had been already purchased when I came in, but I was
in at the end. I am not aware of any condemnation suit involved;
the land agents were able to handle all the transactions. There
are now three aqueducts on that right of way.
The first aqueduct was constructed and finished shortly
after I came to the district, and the water began flowing into
the San Pablo Reservoir. At the time World War II broke out in
1941, there was a tremendous influx of people into the district's
area from the other states. John Longwell, then chief engineer
and general manager, thought that there should be a second
Mokelumne aqueduct constructed in order to meet the demand. The
demand was not for more water; there was enough water stored in
Pardee Reservoir. The problem was getting it to the East Bay.
The original aqueduct number one was working to its full
capacity, and Mr. Longwell felt something should be done about
He presented to the board of directors early in the 1940s a
proposal for a second aqueduct. There was strong opposition on
the boardI'm speaking now of the Committee of the Whole, rather
than the board in formal session. I don't remember the names of
the directors who opposed the project. Their opposition was
based on the assumption that at the end of the war, industries
would shut down and the people who had flocked into the area to
work in the war industries would all go back to the places from
whence they came. On the board, director Roscoe Jones strongly
opposed this position and strongly supported the Longwell
proposal for a second aqueduct. There was quite a struggle on
the board over the issue, but Mr. Jones finally prevailed, and
the program went ahead.
Were you involved in helping to convince people, or did you have
No, I only sat in on the board meetings; Mr. Wittschen was the
attorney. There were no legal problems involved; it was just a
matter of policy. I think the steadying influence of Governor
Pardee was missing at that time, he having already resigned from
the board. He was being missed.
Materials were impossible to obtain during the war period
and for a short time after the war, but they were finally
obtained in the late forties, and the second aqueduct went into
operation--! think it was in 1949. I once mentioned to Mr. Jones
that if the district ever decided to place a name on the second
aqueduct, it should be his because he alone was really
responsible for getting the project started.
It wasn't a question of needing more water, it was getting it
faster to the East Bay?
Yes. Getting back to the matter of the right of way, I have
already mentioned that the East Bay Water Company had a land
department, and when the utility district acquired the East Bay
Water Company in December 1928, the water company's land
department was merged into the utility district's organization
chart. That was the start of the district's land department.
The Mokelumne right of way was all purchased before the district
had a land department .
LaBerge: Do you know if there still is a land department today?
Raines: Oh, yes. At least it did have at the time of my retirement.
LaBerge: But is it separate, rather than part of the legal department?
Raines: Yes, it was an independent department in the district. Now when
it was taken over by the utility district, that ended the legal
department's supervision of the land transactions. The legal
department only came into it when legal matters were involved, or
when a condemnation suit would be required or something of that
sort. The legal department prepared all the documents required
in land transactions.
LaBerge: Any particular people in the land department who were influential
or better at negotiating a contract, or--
Raines: Well, of course George Woodland's name has gone down in district
history. Quite a bit of it is mentioned in the book Its Name Was
M.U.D.--& real character, I guess I would call him that. He was
a very nice man, and he came from a good family in San Francisco.
But he roamed up and down the right of way just as if it were his
own property. He joined an important men's club in Stockton and
played poker and had his highballs with the local people. He was
highly regarded. He really created himself as a character;
that's the best way I can specify it. All this occurred in the
purchase of the right of way.
There was one other land agent who worked on the right of
way; there were just those two.
Application for More Water. 1949
LaBerge: Okay, we came up to 1949 when the second aqueduct was built, and
that's about when the district applied for more acre feet of
water from the Mokelumne River. Why don't you tell me how that
Raines: [I should mention here that the first state permit to divert 200
million gallons per day from the Mokelumne had been issued to the
district in April 1926. This all took place before my employment
by the district in 1927. The entire procedure had been handled
by Mr. Wittschen. From hearsay it apparently was quite a battle,
with objections mostly from the lowest reaches of the river by
agricultural interests there. The county of origin law was
enacted in 1927, so the first permit was not involved in that.] 1
The population within the district had continued to increase
in the late forties and into the early fifties, and it was
different than the situation confronting the district over the
second aqueduct. This time it was a matter of water supply-
securing more water. So that led to movement in the general
manager's office to do something about the situation. I remember
it must have been maybe in the middle 1940s, a group of us,
including the general manager, Mr. Wittschen, and myself, went to
Sacramento to interview Ed Hiatt, who was then state engineer,
about developing another project on the Mokelumne. Not much was
accomplished other than conversation at that meeting, but the
district engineers continued to work out their project.
Later in the 1940s, a group of us that included the general
manager, I guess Mr. Wittschen was out by that time, and me, and
maybe some more, had a meeting with Bob Edmonston, who was
Hiatt ' s successor as state engineer. Edmonston in those days was
beginning to boost the State Water Project, which was later
adopted statewide, and he was not at all favorable to the
district going to the Mokelumne for more water. He was trying to
direct our attention to the Delta, to take the water out of the
Delta. We district people were primarily interested in quality,
and for that reason we turned down his proposal to take the water
out of the Delta and stuck with the Mokelumne project. So after
that, in June 1949, the district filed with the state engineer an
application for a permit for the diversion of 125 million gallons
a day out of the Mokelumne, which was in addition to the 200
million we already had under the Pardee permit.
The County of Origin Law had been enacted by the state
legislature in 1927. By that law, the state Department of
Finance was directed to make filings for large amounts of water,
from all the major rivers flowing from the Sierra westward into
the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys. Included in these
filings were two for the Mokelumne River. So our request for a
permit followed the Department of Finance filings. The County of
Origin Law required the Department of Finance to make the
filings, but the state engineer was given the authority to handle
'Bracketed material was added by Mr. Raines during the editing
the filings. That law, to a certain extent, even authorized the
state engineer to make releases from priority and assignments
from the state water filings.
The County of Origin Law
LaBerge: Can you tell me the difference between a release and an
Raines: That is a question that was asked me by the State Water Rights
Board later on, and it resulted in me giving the State Water
Rights Board a brief dated November 30, 1956, covering quite a
number of pages in a state document printed later. But to answer
your question, I can't tell you now offhand what the differences
LaBerge: But we could refer a researcher to that brief.
Raines: That brief is contained in a bulletina paperback volume
published by the California State Senate. It's entitled Ninth
Partial Report by the Joint Committee of Water Problems,
California Legislature, Report of the Counties of Origin
LaBerge: And did you say earlier you were going to give your papers to the
Oakland Public Library, or to--
Raines: Well, I had suggested that, but you have indicated an interest in
them and they are yours, if you wish.
LaBerge: If you consider giving them to the Water Resources Center
Archives, we'd be happy to do that too. 1
Raines: Okay, I'd like to.
LaBerge: In any case, we were talking about assignments and releases from
priority and that the state engineer had authority to release
Raines: [I believe so, but that was disputed by the state officials
involved in our application, especially by Harvey Banks. He was
'Papers have been deposited in the Water Resources Center Archives,
410 O'Brien Hall, University of California, Berkeley.
state engineer and in water matters merged that office into the
state Department of Water Resources with Mr. Banks at the head.
In a letter I later wrote to Mr. Banks it is stated:] 1 "The
County of Origin Law specifically stated the Department of
Finance may release from priority or assign any portion of any
appropriation filed by it under this part when the release or
assignment is for the purpose of development not in conflict with
such general or coordinated plan."
LaBerge: You filed for a permit in 1949, and you all knew that the state
engineer wasn't really in favor of it?
Raines: That was Mr. Edmonston's opinion, Bank's predecessor. Well, no,
we hadn't reached that point. I don't think that we ever talked
to Mr. Banks or any state official beforehand about the County of
Origin Law. It was, I think, our assumption that the way the
County of Origin Law stoodthat in granting a permit, the state
engineer, or later the head of the Department of Water Resources,
would take into consideration the needs of the counties of origin
and would release from priority the amounts left to the district.
There had never been any indication that I am aware of that the
Department of Water Resources would take any contrary position.
Unsatisfactory Permit from Harvey Banks, July 1956
Raines: Anyway, our request for the diversions proceeded to the hearing
before what was then the state engineer's office and later the
Department of Water Resources organization. Hearings started in
October 1955 and lasted, with interruptions along the way, until
March 1956. The hearings were then taken under consideration by
Mr. Banks, and in July 1956 he issued a permit to the district.
He granted to the district the amounts of water that were
requested, but he included in the permit the proviso that the
district rights were subject to the prior rights of the counties
LaBerge: Which were Amador and Calaveras?
'Bracketed material was added by Mr. Raines during the editing
Raines: Yes. And the permit was also subject to negotiations between the
district and the state Department of Fish and Game to work out a
conclusion on the fish and game problem. This came as a shock to
the district. I well remember it occurred on July 3, 1956, a
Friday. Immediately after I read it, I reported to the district
officials that we got nothing except a temporary right to use the
water until the counties of origin or their successors got first
crack at it. The permit not only did nothing to settle the
county of origin problem, but it confirmed prior rights of the
counties to the full flow of the unencumbered water in the river
with no consideration of the needs of the counties. I was
furious at Banks and immediately got on the telephone to his
office; I wanted to have it out with him--I wanted him to tell us
what he was going to do about the problem. I was told at his
office that he was at Lake Tahoe.
LaBerge: For the long Fourth of July weekend?
Raines: Yes [chuckle]. It so happened that my family and I had long
planned my vacation to start on July 4 for two weeks at Lake
Tahoe. So we got off the next day and proceeded with our
vacation. After I settled my family at the lake, I started out
on a search for Banks. I finally found him late in the afternoon
in the bar of the Tahoe City Hotel. I had it out with him there
to no avail; he stood firm on his opinion, and really his only
comment came to the point of him saying, "Cool off, it'll all
work out." Well, I think both matters eventually occurred; I
cooled off, but it took a lot of time, sweat, and much hard cash
on the part of the district.
Raines: --for it all to work out.
Henry Holsinger from the Department of Water Resources
LaBerge: What reason did he give you?
Raines: I don't know whether he told me or whether I surmised that the
attorney for the Department of Water Resources, Henry Holsinger,
was behind the opinion. After my vacation, I went to Sacramento
and had an interview with Mr. Holsinger. He was an elderly man,
a nice man, but he was firm in his opinion that because the state
legislature had enacted the Counties of Origin Law and directed
the Department of Finance to make the filings, it would take an
act of the legislatureand of course the signature of the
governorto make any changes in those filings, such as giving us
an assignment or a release from priority.
I had a previous brush with Mr. Holsinger several years
before. Some sort of water conference had been called for in
Sacramento; I don't remember now for what reason, or what the
conference was supposed to do. Anyway, I went, and all I
remember is being seated in a large room with a lot of other men
all engaged in water problems. Mr. Holsinger arose and addressed
the session and made a proposalof which I have no idea now as
to its meaning. It was received with silence by the audience,
which I assume meant that it was approved. I decided it was time
for me to get on my feet, which I did, and I told Mr. Holsinger
that I objected to his proposal because I felt that it would do
some damage to the East Bay Municipal Utility District. After a
slight hesitation, Mr. Holsinger said, "Well, if you feel that it
would do some damage to the district, I will withdraw the
proposal." And he did. So that ended that. Several years later
I was invited by his department staff to contribute to a memory
book they were preparing for his retirement. I wrote a nice
letter for his book.
After not getting anyplace with Mr. Holsinger on the
Mokelumne problem, I also had a conference with his chief
assistant attorney--! don't remember his name, but he was equally
adamant on changing or doing anything about the permit. So after
my return to my office and spending some thought and discussion
with Mr. McFarland, I sat down and wrote a letter to Mr. Banks.
It was really a brief. In the paperback volume produced by the
state and which I previously mentioned, it occupies eighteen
pages of small type, single-spaced, and the original was probably
all handwritten by me with pen and paper as was my custom. 1 I
felt that at times like this, I thought better on paper than
extempore. And the final version was also typed by my loyal and
proficient secretary Lila Wagnor.
It was my feeling immediately after that and I haven't
changed my opinionthat the letter produced a profound effect in
the Department of Water Resources. The type of the printed
version is small, and my vision is poor, so I am unable to relate
'Raines to Banks, 4 October 1956, California Senate, 1957 Regular
Session. Joint Committee on Water Problems, Report on the Counties of
Origin Subcommittee, pp. 108-139.
salient points involved in it. In preparing the letter, I had
consulted the printed records of the state Department of Water
Resources on similar diversion problems. I think most of these,
if not all of them, came from the office library of Francis
Blanchard, the head of the water development department of the
district. But those records showed me--and I included this
information in my letterthat Banks or his predecessors had in
the past released from priority a number of filings by the state
Department of Finance for other water projects, including a
release to the State of California itself for the Oroville Dam-
part of the State Water Project. And closer to home, there was a
release from priority to the Bureau of Reclamation for water from
the Delta to supply the Contra Costa Canal; this canal serves
water to several cities in Contra Costa County, including
Martinez and Concord, which adjoin the boundaries of the utility
I pointed out the inconsistency of the present position of
the department when it had already made these releases and was
now refusing it to us. As I have said, I felt at that time- -and
my opinion has never changedthat the letter had a great effect
in the Department of Water Resources, leading the department to
seek some way out of the dilemma in which it now found itself.
Opinion of Attorney General Pat Brown, 1956
Raines: One of the directions that Mr. Banks could take would be to
disregard the opinion of his attorney, Henry Holsinger, and seek
an opinion from the state attorney general. The book entitled
Its Name Was M.U.D. states that the district made a request to
the state attorney general to take the matter over. I am not
familiar with that, and I doubt that it happened that way. So
how and why Banks decided to refer the matter to the attorney
general, I don't know. But anyway, he did it. Somehow, we at
the district learned he had so referred the matter; 1 don't know
whether he told us or not, but we found it out. Mr. McFarland
and I decided to engage in a little political activity at this
point. Incidentally, this entire controversy was in my -opinion
not a legal controversy; right from the start it became a
political controversy. It had all the overtones of a political
dilemma and outcome.
LaBerge: So we're not talking about the development of new water law.
No. So Mr. McFarland and I decided to make a call on state
Senator George Miller at his office in Martinez. Incidentally,
he was in the hierarchy of his political party [Democratic) , as
was the attorney general.
Who was Pat Brown.
He was Edmund G. (Pat) Brown, Sr., later governor. Senator
Miller was sympathetic with our problem because it affected his
constituency, too. We asked him if he would speak to the
attorney general about the matter. He said he knew so little
about it that he thought it would be better if I spoke to the
attorney general. I agreed to that, and Senator Miller said he
would go along; Senator Miller made an appointment with the
attorney general at his office in the state building in San
Francisco. I was there at the appointed time and date, and
Senator Miller was there also, and we both went into Mr. Brown's
office. Senator Miller introduced me and stated his own interest
in the problem and left the room. I sat down with the attorney
general and explained the district's position and what we desired
in the way of a release from priority.
He expressed interest in our position and said he would
refer it to one of his deputies for study and our position would
be given complete consideration. With that, I thanked him and
left. As I passed the outer office, Senator Miller was still
there; we spoke briefly, I left, and Senator Miller went back
into the attorney general's private office,
that matter stood--
So that ' s the way
For the record, what was the attorney general's opinion when it
Raines: Yes, I'll get to that. On December A, 1956, the attorney general
issued an opinion which, in effect, stated that Mr. Banks had
full legal power and authority to give to the district an
immediate release from priority. Incidentally, I learned--!
don't know how, that the attorney general had referred the matter
to Jack Fraser, one of his deputies, for study and report. I had
some trepidation about this because Fraser had represented the
Department of Fish and Game at the hearings and was completely
unsympathetic with the district's position. But whether he wrote
the opinion or not, he came through. I felt that the opinion was
not all that could be desired; it was not really four-way square
on the subject, but it was adequate, and it gave us everything we
needed, provided Mr. Banks would cooperate.
I don't know when or if we learned after the attorney
general's opinion whether Banks was going to consider it or not,
but it developed that he was considering it, and had decided to
disregard Mr. Holsinger's opinion.
Hearing Before the State Water Rights Board
Raines: Also after the attorney general's opinion, the matter somehow
reached the State Water Rights Board. It was sort of a
department dangling out there in the wind, and it acted- -and I
think perhaps its authority was limited to advising first the
state engineer and then later the head of the Department of Water
Resources. I decided to- -and maybe I was compelled by legal
restrictions, I don't remember--to take the subject up with the
State Water Rights Board, and I was given a hearing before the
board early in December 1956. It was really a delight; I had the
best time before that board than I had ever had in appearing
before any commission or committee. The chairman was Mr.
[Phillip D.] Swing, who I believe was an ex-congressman from San
Diego; he was most helpful, received me well, and he asked me the
question you asked me a little while ago--to explain to him the
difference between release from a priority and assignment. So I
told him I would deliver something on that; I would have to look
through the law books a bit.
I was then slated for another appearance before the board;
it was at that time that I submitted the brief, which I had
previously referred tothat being dated January 4, 1957. I
recommended a release. The water rights board rather quickly
acted on this date, and suggested to Mr. Banks unanimously that
he give the district a release from priority.
So matters stood quietly for a few weeks, with no action by
Banks when on February 18, 1957, the counties of origin--Amador,
Calaveras, and other agencies on the Mokelumne Riverfiled in
Calaveras County a lawsuit seeking an injunction against any
action by Banks. The superior court there immediately issued a
temporary restraining order to prevent Banks from acting on the
request for release from priority. The court also set a time for
hearing on a permanent injunction on the matter. Due to the
negotiations later on, that hearing was never held; the suit was
transferred to Sacramento County and it rested there. Banks was
represented by Sacramento attorneys. The restraining order of
the Calaveras court prevented action by Banks.
LaBerge: At your urging was it transferred, or
Raines: No, I the suit wasn't against us, it was against Banks.
LaBerge: That's true.
Raines: So there the matter rested. It became obvious to the district
that our best course was to do some negotiating, and the
negotiations then began.
Meetings with Counties of Origin
LaBerge: So up until this time had you talked with people from those
counties or others who also felt entitled to the water?
Raines: Not especially at that time. But we did now seriously begin
that. I had all kinds of meetings; I was lobbying the
legislature for some changes in the law, without success.
Assemblyman Francis Lindsay from the Roseville area was receptive
to my pleas and tried to do something in the legislature.
Anything of that nature was opposed by state Senator Stephen
Teale, who came from West Point, a town in Calaveras County.
I was appointed a member of a statewide committee organized
by the state attorney general to seek a solution of the county of
origin problem. We had several meetings in Sacramento and Los
Angeles and issued two reports, which really were useless; they
came to no conclusion. And we and other members of the
management team at the utility district were busy talking to all
kinds of people. Getting back to the legislature, none of the
East Bay legislators were willing to tackle the problem at all.
LaBerge: I wonder why.
Raines: I don't know. So that's the way the battle went on, without any
particular results. I had numerous conversations with the
attorney for the Calaveras County Water District, whose name I
don't remember; his office was in Sacramento. I had conferences
with Martin McDonough, an attorney in Sacramento who represented
Amador County, who also was my friend, and we weren't getting
anyplace anywhere along the line, it seemed to me.
Then one day I had an appointment with the attorney for the
Calaveras County Water District in Sacramento. Incidentally,
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this water district was carrying the battle for Calaveras County.
Mr. McFarland went along; we talked without any success for a
while, and out of the clear blue sky Mr. McFarland proposed to
the attorney for Calaveras that the utility district would be
willing to pay one million dollars in settlement of the problem.
I don't know if he had talked to Mr. Breuner about this. That
sum was based on a study made by Tudor Engineering of the amount
that would be required to provide appropriate water supply to
Calaveras County. The study was not our study; it was made for
the Calaveras County Water District. The element of cash in the
problem sparked immediate interest. And it began to break the
ice up and down the line. It was the solvent to our impasse. So
eventually the one million dollars increased to two million
dollars apiece to Calaveras County Water District and to Amador
County. As the weakening pressure developed, it also seemed to
improve our relations with Banks.
Historic Agreement, 1959, with Amador and Calaveras Counties
LaBerge: Do you think he had his own personal reasons for favoring one
side or the other?
Raines: I have surmised and felt always that the district suffered- -not
only in his department, but in other departments of the state--
from a David vs. Goliath syndrome. Here was this great rich
seaside metropolis draining the very lifeblood of the poverty-
stricken mountain counties. I felt that was always behind these
controversies. So as the struggle went on, finally conclusions
I didn't have too much of a part in reaching the itemized
matters, such as the amounts of water to be delivered to the
counties and so on. Francis Blanchard and his staff worked out
the nitty-gritty water items. But anyway, finally agreements
were reached. I prepared the final documents which, after a few
changes, the other attorneys finally approved. And everybody sat
down in Mr. Banks 's office in Sacramento on March 5, 1959, and
said good-bye to the problem. This was a full dress gathering
with representatives from the counties and Mr. McFarland and
[I exchanged signed copies of the agreement with the other
two lawyers, McFarland presented the two checks, and Banks signed
the release form priority. When McFarland handed him the two-
million-dollar check, Vernon Campbell, the elderly president of
the Calaveras board, briefly fainted. As well he might. I think
he really activated the matter and he had been involved in it
right from the start. I also believe that by his contacts with
the Department of Water Resources, he played an important role,
particularly in shaping Henry Holsinger's advice. Our paths
frequently crossed in Sacramento and he always had a quiet smile
for me as he went about his crusade. We were on a first name
Harvey Banks was later quoted as saying with regard to the
agreement: "It has significance which extends beyond the
Mokelumne River and beyond the parties directly involved." He
was of course referring mostly to the cash payments made by the
This was ten years after your original-
Yes. There was left still dangling, however, the matter of
negotiation with Fish and Gamethat being one of the provisions
of the permit. The field work was entirely handled by Francis
Blanchard. He was given authority to retain the services of a
fisheries expert from the state of Washington. And the two men
worked out the details of an agreement with the Department of
Fish and Game. Basically it meant the construction of a fish
hatchery at the base of the proposed Camanche Dam, which was to
be constructed and operated in perpetuity by the district and it
is still in operation. I had little to do with the field details
and the negotiations, although I came in on legal matters on the
final contract wind-up. That was completed in March 1960. So
that concluded the great battle of the Mokelumne River.
LaBerge: When you were just even giving your arguments to various
agencies or to the other counties on why the district deserved
that water, did you use certain standards in water law, like
reasonableness, or what use you were going to put the water to,
or something like that?
Raines: I think all of those elements entered in. There were elements
that were favorable to us; for example, under the state law,
water for domestic use had a higher priority than agriculture.
'Bracketed material was added by Mr. Raines during the editing
But the arguments were more mundane than that ; they were really
down to basicseventually it was a matter of cash on the
barrelhead, really, that turned the tide. There were, of course,
in the agreement provisions for satisfactory amounts of water for
the mountain counties. Lots of water.
LaBerge: I know in one of the thingseither one of your speeches before
one of the boards, or your letter- -you pointed out that if every
district or county asking for water got it, there wasn't going to
be enough. Period. And it seemed to be that your argument was
very reasonable, and you showed that the district was the only
one able to go through with the proposed planthat no one else
had a real plan for the use of the water.
Raines: That is very true. Calaveras County, as I remember it,
immediately put the two million dollars to use and constructed a
project. I don't know how successful that has been, but I don't
hear any complaints. Amador County, for a long time, sat on its
two million and made loans to various local subdivisions for
water developments. I imagine the capital has long been
LaBerge: And to your knowledge has there been any problem since that time,
like anyone coming back saying, "We don't have enough water"?
Raines: Well, there was some agitation later in Amador County in inner
political battles. There were claims that the directors or the
supervisors who had signed the agreement with East Bay had sold
out the county, and I guess there may have been some resentment
in Calaveras I don't know. I understand that there have more
recently been political problems along the river, but I know
nothing about them.
LaBerge: Have any other districts solved their water problems that way
since, do you think?
Raines: I think and this seems to be supported by statements made by the
Department of Water Resources, that the matter of payment for the
water really proved a climax--! guess that in main has been the
policy of other agencies. The district was given by the state
officials accolades for developing a reasonable process for
settling the water rights problem. I don't know whether the
county of origin law is still in effect or not, but I haven't
heard the words used since the district's settlement on the
LaBerge: Tell me about Mr. [William] Gianelli. I know that in your
scrapbook he wrote you a congratulations on your retirement. You
must have worked with him some more. What was he like?
Raines: Bill Gianelli was a fine man. Everybody liked him; he was
reasonable, had a wonderful manner. I admired Bill a lot. He
later became Banks 's successor at the state Department of Water
[In the retirement letter you referred to, he had this to
say about me: "Your ability to work with engineers,
understanding their problems and adapting studies and solutions
for legal usage, has made the engineering accomplishments
meaningful. Certainly it has resulted in a team effort which I
doubt can be matched in any other organization."] 1
The Board and the Legislature
LaBerge: When Mr. McFarland proposed the cash settlement the first time,
did the two of you have to go back to the board on that, or had
he already checked this out and had it kind of up his sleeve?
Raines: As far as I knew, that came out of the clear blue sky. He may
have discussed it beforehand with Mr. Breuner; I don't know. Of
course, it had to go back to the whole board after it was made.
LaBerge: How did the board interact in all of this?
Raines: Oh, they were completely supportive, no question. Anything we
needed or experts we required, why, it was all given freely after
LaBerge: Did they get involved in any of the lobbying in Sacramento or in
Raines: No, the boardprincipally Louis Breuner--this was in his early
days, and maybe some of it was after the settlement --went up and
had a meeting or two with the Amador County Board of Supervisors.
That may have been on problems that arose after this matter was
'Bracketed material was added by Mr. Raines during the editing
settled. But outside of Mr. Breuner's activity, the other
members of the board took no active part in it.
The 1950s were a very busy bunch of days for me. There was
not only this water settlement, but the question of opening of
the reservoirs for fishing arose. Mr. Breuner took an active
part in this. The agitation began in the East Bay among local
groups of sportsmen, and people in general couldn't understand
why all of this open land and water couldn't be put to use by the
public. From the local level, the matter was picked up by local
politicians and legislation began to be introduced in Sacramento
to require the district to open up the reservoirs.
LaBerge: Which local politicians? Do you remember?
Raines: No, it was pretty widespread. Well, chiefly, it was my old
nemesis from Richmond: Assemblyman Masterson. He picked this up
with a flourish, this problem. He introduced bills in the
legislature. Other local representatives in the legislature were
supportive of his measures; it was a popular thing to do. The
district was out in left field all by itself. The only local
support that I had was from Luther (Abe) Lincoln, who was speaker
of the assembly and had a business in Concord; and Donald Doyle,
the assemblyman from Lafayette. They were supportive of me to
the extent of patting me on the back, but actually they were
outnumbered and outvoted. There was little that they could do.
I don't know how many hearings on these bills I attended- -without
any success. I remember in one hearing before a senate
committee, I suggested that a certain bill might be
unconstitutional, and the chairman of the committee, who was from
Marysville, said he was not bothered by the constitution. This
man, after retirement, moved to Rossmoor in Walnut Creek where I
lived, and we chatted amicably in the local golf shop. The
Masterson bills were also supported in the senate by Senator
Stephen Teale from Calaveras County.
LaBerge: Was he harboring a grudge, do you think?
Raines: No, Steve and I really got along well personally. He was a good-
natured giant of a man, and he would make a genial crack at me,
and I was less enthusiastic about making return cracks' at him; we
really got along pretty well, but we were just on opposite sides
of the fence.
In these sessions, Mr. Breuner played a big part and was
supported by the board. The fear expressed was pollution of the
LaBerge: Which is legitimate.
Raines: Yes. And Mr. Breuner attended meetings and hearings; he was
active in it. But the prevailing wind was against us, and the
bills began to grind to a conclusion. I remember the final bill
was coming up on a certain day in the assembly, and I sat in the
speaker's private office watching on his in-chamber TV as the
votes were counted. They were, of course, against us. So that
LaBerge: Once the bills were approved, what work did you have to do on
Raines: I had very little to do. At first, the district entered into an
agreement with the- -incidentally, the East Bay Regional Park
District had been formed, and they were, I think, happy to see
events take the turn they did. The district first entered into a
lease agreement with the park district for recreation at Lake
Chabot in the Oakland hills. I later heard Mr. McFarland express
the opinion that the district would have been less bothered if it
had gone in itself and done the job. Agreements were entered
into after Camanche Reservoir was constructed for operation of
private concessions at the Amador side of the reservoir, which
has proved to be a going project. Agreement was also entered
into with Calaveras County to operate a marina and recreation
area on the south shore; that didn't prove successful because of
lack of patronage, apparently. It was finally given up by the
county. And then, of course, there's the big development of San
Pablo Reservoir and Lafayette Reservoirall successful fishing
and recreational areas, and all operated by the district.
LaBerge: So Fish and Game came into these agreements, too?
Raines: No, they didn't, outside of supplying fish.
As I say, the fifties were busy for me because I had not
only the Mokelumne water rights, the fishing in the reservoirs,
but also the usual nitty-gritty of the law office. I was on the
road a great deal between Sacramento and the East Bay. And then
along about 1960 or so, I think I began to lose steam [chuckle].
Bills were being introduced in the legislature, particularly on
labor relations problems. At the same time, there were labor
relations problems within the utility district which McFarland
had to handle. I felt that the labor problems were out of my
line, and my compulsory retirement was looming on the horizon,
and I was just tired.
Mr. McFarland, I think, sensed the problem, and he retained
the services of George Meredith, a permanent lobbyist in
Sacramento who resided in that area. I had been doing the
legislative representation since Les Irving resigned in 1947. I
was glad to give it up; however, the new lobbyist had no
knowledge of the district or its operations, so he frequently
called on me for advice and also for appearances before
committees in the legislature. However, after a short time
McFarland dismissed Meredith, and as far as I can recall, I guess
I was still in charge in Sacramento when I retired in 1966. This
legislative work also required the perusal of all of the hundreds
of bills introduced to determine if they had any impact in the
I had a name someplaceis it Plumb, or is that name-
John Plumb was the secretary of the district and a publicist,
during the early sixties my activities were restricted pretty
much to the work at home. After everything legal was cleared on
the Mokelumne River, construction began on the Camanche Dam.
There were quite a number of problems related to that, such as
the acquisition of all the property. Jack Reilley took that
over, and there were several condemnation suits and other land
acquisition problems, all of which he handled with great
Frank Howard was busy, too. He had one particular job I
have never forgotten. In the little settlement of Camanche,
which was to be flooded by the reservoir waters, there was a
pioneer cemetery. Frank had the job of supervising the removal
of the remains and their reinterment elsewhere. He did that job
in great shape. [laughter]
He must have had to do a little P.R. work along with that.
That about winds me up.
Friendly Relations with Adversaries
LaBerge: Okay, I have a couple questions on it. You mentioned that you
enjoyed appearing before the State Water Rights Board more than
anything. What made that such a delight?
Raines: Oh, the reception I got; it was friendlyand eagerness for
information, which I was able to supply.
LaBerge: So you didn't feel they were your adversaries.
Raines: No, no.
LaBerge: It sounds like you felt other groups were your adversaries.
Raines: Yes. And as I said before, not only adversaries, but there was
this underlying David vs. Goliath suspicion.
LaBerge: Despite that, it sounds to me as ifeven people who were on
opposing sides, you always got along with them. I mean, last
time you had mentioned Homer Buckley, and Frank Richards, and
Stephen Teale you mentioned today. And Harvey Banks in the end
were the two of you friendly?
Raines: Well, so-so. Banks 's manner was more formal; I think that worked
against- -no, I felt differently about Banks than I did about
Gianelli, for example. I don't mean to infer that I felt
unfriendly with Banks; I was not. Of course, I was really angry
at Banks when that permit came out on July 3, 1956. But it was a
professional anger, not a personal one, and I got over it.
LaBerge: You mentioned once before, too, John Nejedly; I can't remember
what it was in reference to. Maybe we haven't gotten to that
yetbut you still got along with him even though you were on
Raines: Some problems with John began when negotiations were underway for
the annexation of Walnut Creek to the district. He and Jack
Reilley also had some sharp words on this subject.
LaBerge: Okay, the district was contemplating the annexation of Walnut
Raines: Yes. He was city attorney and he was making demands during the
negotiations that the district could not possibly concede, and we
had some discussions on thatand disagreements. I don't know
whether it was in that connection or not that he had introduced
in the legislature a bill amending the Municipal Utility District
Act in some respects and which the district strongly objected to.
I don't remember now what the details were. But the bill was set
for a committee hearing in Sacramento before a legislative
committee. He appeared and I appeared, and I remember we stood
almost right in the committee chairman's face, badgering each
other [chuckle] ; it was really a hot controversya hot
presentation, rather. We were shouting in each other's faces. I
think the district came out all right. So those were the
occasions he and I disagreed. He and I became quite friendly.
He and I have lived for years in Walnut Creek, and we had chance
meetings at the Safeway market at which we chatted briefly and
[John Nejedly was a feisty young man in those days. Another
problem we had in connection with the annexation of Walnut Creek
had to do with several small, local water companies in the area.
Their water supply came from local run-off and some of them
resisted a takeover. Jack Reilley handled all of this and he and
Nejedly probably tangled over some of this. I remember
overhearing some heated conversations between Nejedly and Jack.
This reminds me of a similar situation in the East Bay
cities. When I came to the district in 1927, there were a number
of small, local water companies. Part of their supply came from
pumping from the underground. I recall a large wellfield in
north Richmond. There was another in southern Alameda County.
Some of those companies were large enough to require regulation
by what was then called the Railroad Commission. The district
takeover required public hearings locally before a commission
officer. I represented the district at several such hearings.] 1
LaBerge: Should we end there for today, and maybe plan to meet one more
Raines: Well, I really don't have anything more to talk about, unless you
Bracketed material was added by Mr. Raines during the editing
LaBerge: Tell me about your involvement with the water fluoridation issue.
Raines: It must have been in the 1950s. Dental groups began to talk
about water fluoridation of the district's supply. The dental
associations all sponsored it, and there was a push on the board
of directors of the district to introduce the fluoridation
project. There was great opposition to fluoridation among the
population; principally by religious groups--
LaBerge: Which religious groups?
Raines: Oh, I don't want to mention that. On the board, too, there was
disagreement. Mr. Breuner, the president of the board, was
strongly opposed to fluoridation; I think his opposition was
being based on his feeling that there should be no tinkering with
the purity of the water supply. So the board of directors turned
down all of these proposals for fluoridation.
There were meetings--! remember the dental society had
meetings including large numbers of children, it being pointed
out how they would benefit from this fluoridation process. So
finally legislation was introduced by the state senator from
Oakland, [long pause] I can't find his name.
Well, I'll back up. Before the board, my opinion was asked
by Mr. Breuner on the legality of fluoridation. I gave him an
opinion that the district had no authority to add anything of
this nature to the water supply. So, following that, the state
senator from Oakland introduced the bill to require fluoridation
by the district. There were some hearings on the bill, finally
as it came out, and as I remember, required that there be an
electiona general electionbefore the process could be used.
The legislation, incidentally, was considerably amended by us to
make it more palatable, we being faced either with the problem of
making a decent bill or suffering otherwise. So the bill passed,
and an election was held; the fluoridation process was defeated.
The bill also provided, as I remember it, that a second election
could not be held within the next two years after the defeat. At
the end of the two-year period, another election was held, and as
I remember it, the fluoridation was again defeated. But it
eventually was introduced I don't know how. I don't think there
was a third election, so the district must have decided to go
ahead and introduce the process anyway.
LaBerge: Because our water is fluoridated now.
Raines: Yes. I noticed on TV a few nights ago a program expounding the
fluoridation process it seems to me there was legislation in
Congress now to require it in the larger cities.
But the passage of the legislation, of course, erased my
opinion that the board did not have the authority under the
original act to introduce the process. On that subject, the
attorney general had issued an opinion that the district could
fluoridate under the original act, whereas the legislative
counsel issued an opinion to the legislature that the district
did not have the authority to introduce it. So at least I had 50
percent support in the state.
LaBerge: The attorney general's opinion, I take it, prevails over the
Raines: No, not necessarily. When the attorney general's opinion came
out, I was asked by members of the board, "What about this, and
the attorney general's authority?" and I told the board, "Well,
he's only another attorney as far as I'm concerned," and that's
the way it stood. Of course, I felt differently on this subject
when the opinion on our water permit was involved.
LaBerge: Going back to the labor relations problemsdid you have any
dealings with unions, or did someone else do that?
Raines: Not much, that was all in Mr. McFarland's area.
What about taxes?
kind of tax law?
How much involvement did you have with any
Not very much. When the district was first organized and well
into operationthis was into the mid-thirties it was Mr.
Wittschen's opinion that the employees of the district^ which was
an arm of state government, could not be required to pay federal
income tax. The result being that employees were not required to
file their returns. About that time, a case went to the U.S.
Supreme Court involving the New York Port Authority which took a
position similar to Mr. Wittschen's with regard to their
employees' federal taxes. The Supreme Court ruled that the Port
Authority employees were under the federal income tax provisions
and were required to file. So with that as a precedent
authority, Mr. Wittschen gave the board his opinion that the
utility district employees were equally liable for federal
Also, while Mr. Wittschen was still attorney, Amador and
Calaveras Counties increased the assessed values of the Pardee
watershed lands, which the mountain counties decided required an
increase in the taxes the district had to pay for those lands.
The amounts previously being paid were, I believe, small; this
was a large increase. Under the law, the utility district could
not be taxed by local authorities for property within its
boundaries, but for property outside its boundaries such as
Pardee Reservoir the district could be taxed by the local
authorities. So it has been paying the tax.
Mr. Wittschen decided to fight the matter. I think the
State Board of Equalization had jurisdiction. He sent me to some
other mountain counties to find out, for example, what San
Francisco was being assessed in Tuolumne County. I remember
spending two days in Sonora, going through the county records; I
finally came out with a report. The hearing before the State
Board of Equalizationif that is the one that was handling it at
the timewas held, and the board ruled in Wittschen 1 s favor and
reduced the assessed valuations and, of course, the taxes.
We also had some problems with the Delta island assessments
by the local reclamation agency, all of which worked out. So
those really were the only tax matters that I can recall
involving the district.
What about after you solved the Mokelumne problem and Camanche
was being builtdid Amador and Calaveras Counties come back
again and ask for more
In recent years since my time I think there were problems.
That was in Jack Reilley's time as attorney.
An Antitrust Suit
LaBerge: I'll ask him about that when I interview him. Did you get
involved in the antitrust suit with the pipe suppliers?
Raines: Only to one extent. That came up in the last few months of my
tenure with the district. The Sacramento Municipal Utility
District had filed a suit against--! don't remember now whether
it was a pipe manufacturer or just what product was involved.
But anyway, it was an antitrust suit. They had been successful
and procured a sizeable judgment. I took my cue from that, and
had an investigation internally about the prices being charged
the district for pipes by--I think it was called the American
Pipe and Construction Company --which had its plant in southern
Alameda County. It appeared to me that we were being unduly
charged, and that something could be done about it.
I think it was Joseph Alioto who handled the Sacramento
case. So I made an appointment with Mr. Alioto in San Francisco,
and John McFarland and I went over to talk to him. He thought we
had a case, and he was willing to take it on. He asked for a
retainer of twenty thousand dollars, which Mr. McFarland agreed
to. So the case then came up--I don't know whether it went to
trial or notbut the case came up after I left the district.
And it seems to me that the district did recover a judgment for
something like twenty million dollars or--it was a sizeable
amount, it may have been only two million--! don't know. This
again was in Jack Reilley's tenure.
LaBerge: But it covered the twenty thousand retainer [laughter].
Raines: Yes, well beyond that. But Joe Alioto, I'm sure, had other
expenses along the way, too--in addition to the twenty thousand.
And when I retired, I had a nice letter from him inviting me to
come over and have lunch with him someday. I never took up the
LaBerge: Well, maybe you should now [laughter].
Raines: I should have kept the letter- -which I didn't.
LaBerge: Well, speaking of that- -you have spoken of having your files that
you thought were still at the district. Do you think they still
Raines: Oh, yes. I had collected all of the documents related to the
Pardee water rights, and those were in a special case at my
office at the district. Just a few years ago, when things began
to stir again as to events along the Mokelumne, I had a call from
attorney Bob Maddow. He told me how much they appreciated having
all of this material available for use.
LaBerge: I'm glad that no one has disposed of them.
Raines: Yes, the practice of the offices in the district in my time was,
when your filing space finally got more than the capacity made
possible, everything went down to the corporation yard to be
stacked away in files. So I guess a lot of this stuff --past
minutes of the board meetings and that sort of thing- -may be
still down there.
Development of Water Rights Law
How about a broad question to end with:
law develop on water rights?
how have you seen the
Oh, it has changed completely. In my dayand beforewhen you
got a permit it meant what it says; you got water. Since then,
the environmental movement has forced- -forced is the right word--
but at least has encouraged the development of different ideas
about water rights. Really, a permit today is just about what we
refused to take from Banks back in 1956. This comes about
largely as the result of the diversion by the Los Angeles
Department of Water and Power from the Mono Lake area, east of
the Sierra. In that litigation, the court made a ruling that
there was a new element in water diversion: a natural right.
Streams had a natural right to live; fish had rights to live, and
a water right or permit was subsidiary to these other claims. To
me, it has ruined the permit process. A permit now is just a
hunting license for water.
I didn't have any of that to deal with. Looking back on it,
we went into permit hearings on the Mokelumne short of testimony
of fishery in the Mokelumne River. That was largely based, I
think, on our feeling that there wasn't a fishery on the river.
The records show that there was practically no run of salmon up
the Mokelumne River. As a matter of fact, before Pardee Dam was
constructed, and water releases were made during the summer, the
river became dry- -or practically so. The fry from the spawn of
the few salmon that could come up the river couldn't go down the
river. So we didn't regard the fishery matter as a particular
problem; but we were mistaken in that because the Departments of
Water Resources and Fish and Game leaped into the vacuum that we
had created. Also, at this time the environmental movement had
not gathered the steam it later had.
LaBerge: Well, are there any questions that I had forgotten to ask you?
Is there any subject you want to address?
Raines: No, I can't think of any at the moment. We covered all the
principal subjects that I was involved in.
LaBerge: Maybe when you get the transcript back, and we both look at it,
if there's one more subjectyou could add it in handwriting. Or
I could write out a question and you could answer it.
Raines: Fine. [I think I mentioned earlier in these interviews something
about a family aspect in my earlier days at the district. That
appears to have a hang-over. I am a member of a small group of
retired executives of the district who, over a period of the last
year or two, have met occasionally to discuss and offer advice to
current (1995) members of the board of directors and officers of
the district regarding plans under consideration to expand the
present water supply. That group also includes John McFarland,
Jack Reilley, Francis Blanchard, Orrin Harder and one or two
more. We have also met with the general manager and the board of
In winding down these old memories, I wish to extend my
gratitude and appreciation to those people with whom I was
associated at the district during my busy years between 1927 and
1966. Thank you all, my friends.] 1
Transcriber: Gary Varney
Final Typists: Carolyn Rice, Shana Chen
Bracketed material was added by Mr. Raines during the editing
TAPE GUIDE- -Harold Raines
Interview 1: September 29, 1995
Tape 1, Side A
Tape 1, Side B
Tape 2, Side A
Tape 2, Side B
Interview 2: October 4, 1995
Tape 3, Side A
Tape 3, Side B
Tape 4, Side A
Insert from Tape 5, Side B [10/18/95]
Resume Tape 4, Side A
Tape 4, Side B
October 18, 1995
Tape 6, Side B (not recorded)
Interview 4: October 26,
Tape 7, Side A
Tape 7, Side B
Tape 8, Side A
Tape 8, Side B
INDEX- -Harold Raines
Alioto, Joseph, 89
Amador County, 14, 56, 70-71, 75-
80, 82, 88
Banks, Harvey, 43, 69-78, 84, 90
Barrows, David P., 30
Barry, David, Jr., and Mary Gray
Bartlett, Louis, 30
Blanchard, Francis, 63-64, 73, 77-
bond issues, 53-54, 62
Book Club of California, 61
Bray, Frank, 50
Breuner, Louis, 60-62, 80-82, 86
Brown, Edmund G. (Pat), Sr., 73-76
Brown, Ralph M. , Act, 30
Buckley, Homer, 45, 50, 84
Calaveras County, 14, 56, 70-71,
California Municipal Utilities
California State Department of
California State Department of
Fish and Game, 62, 71, 74, 78,
California State Department of
Water Resources, 63, 70-73, 75,
California State legislature, 28,
30, 40, 41, 45, 50, 62, 68, 69,
71-72, 80-83, 85-87
California State Water Project, 73
California State Water Rights
Board, 69, 75-76, 84
Camanche Reservoir, 63, 78, 82,
Campbell, Vernon, 78
Campfire Girls, 18, 43-44
cases, City of Lodi, 16, 24-25;
Kieffer. 16, 24-25, 40
Chapman , , 7
Colby, William, 8-9
condemnation, process of, 16, 24-
25, 40, 48-51, 55, 65, 67
Daniels, Paul, 52
Davis, Arthur P., 38-39
Deal, John, 17, 63
Degnan, Myrtle, 43
Dixon, Cherokee, 43
Doyle, Donald, 81
earthquake of 1906, San Francisco,
East Bay Municipal Utility
District (EBMUD) , 12-91; Board
of Directors, 14, 20-21, 28-39,
41, 51, 54, 57-62, 66-67, 80-81,
East Bay Regional Parks, 35-36, 82
East Bay Water Company, 19-20, 30,
35, 39, 42, 52, 53, 66-67
Eastman, Hart, 62
Edmonston, Bob, 68, 70
Ely, Northcutt (Mike), 55-56
environmental movement, 90
Erickson, Erland, 12
fishing in reservoirs, 62-63, 78,
fluoridation, water, 86-87
Fraser, Jack, 74
Gayley, Charles Mills, 7
Gianelli, William, 80, 84
Grabhorn Press, 22
Grunsky, C. E., 30, 38
Hadsell, Dan, 13
Hamman, Leroy K. , 28, 59-61
Hanna, Frank, 39
Harder, Orrin, 91
Harrington, George, 53
Hiatt, Ed, 68
Holsinger, Henry, 71-75, 78
Howard, Frank, 17-18, 43-44, 60,
Irrigation District Association,
Irving, Leslie, 13-15, 24-29, 40,
42, 45, 50, 61, 83
Jones, Roscoe, 66
Jorgenson, Lee, 49
Kennedy, Bob, 39, 48, 60
Key System, 37, 42
Kidd, Alexander, 7
labor relations issues, 83, 87
Lafayette Dam, 54-55, 82
Lincoln, Luther (Abe), 81
Lindsay, Francis, 76
Longwell, John, 29, 39, 48, 50,
55, 59-60, 66
Los Angeles Department of Water
and Power, 90
Maddow, Robert, 14, 89
Maley, Marian Cecilia Raines
(sister), 1, 3
Mare Island, 1, 3, 5, 6, 57
Masterson, S. C., 41-42, 81
Mayon, Ethel, 42-43
McDonough, Martin, 76
McFarland, John, 50, 55, 59-60,
62, 72, 73-74, 77-78, 80, 82,
83, 87, 89, 91
Meredith, George, 83
Miller and Lux, 19
Miller, George, 74
Miller, Grant, 30, 58, 61
Mokelumne River project, 14, 63-
82, 84, 88-90
Municipal Utility District Act of
1921, 31, 51, 85
Neilson, Tom, 30
Nejedly, John, 84-85
Nelson, Herb, 33
Oakland, city of, 12, 13, 18, 19,
23, 32, 37, 45-46
Olson, Culbert, 27
Pardee Dam, 39, 57, 65-66, 88, 89,
Pardee, George, 14, 20-21, 31-37,
58, 62, 66
Plumb, John, 83
Raines, Anna Barry (mother), 1-5
Raines, Florence Adelman (spouse),
2, 18, 28, 44, 56
Raines, Joseph M. (uncle), 4, 10-
11, 12-13, 25
Raines, Raymond Thomas (brother),
1, 3, 4 '
Raines, Thomas, Jr., (father), 1-5
Read, Dan, 20-21
Reilley, John B., 16-17, 26, 36,
41, 43, 60, 63, 83-85, 88-89, 91
Richards, Frank, 49-50, 84
Riley, Phil, 32, 37
Sacramento Municipal Water
District, 40, 89
San Pablo Reservoir, 66, 82
sewage disposal, 45-50
Simon, Kay, 20
Singleton, Elizabeth Ann
(granddaughter), 2, 18
Singleton, James Thomas
(grandson), 2, 18
Singleton, Margaret Raines
(daughter), 2, 18, 56
Skinner and Eddy Shipyard, 3, 5
Southern Pacific Railway, 10-11,
Sproul, Ida Wittschen and Robert
State Bar of California, 23
Swing, Phillip D., 75
Tashiera, Arthur, 20
tax issues, 87-88
Teale, Stephen, 76, 81, 84
Thelen, Max, 55
Tilden, Charles, 35-36
United States Bureau of
University of California,
Berkeley, 6-7, 27, 47; Boalt
Hall School of Law, 7-9, 10, 45
University of Washington, 3-4, 6,
Wagner, Phil, 60
Wagnor, Lila, 17, 42-43, 72
water law, 12-13, 16, 19, 22, 23-
26, 63-64, 67-80, 86-87, 89-91
Wells, Chauncy, 7
Wentworth, Frank, 21, 30, 33, 58-
Wickman, Herbert J., 50, 52
Wittschen, Theodore, 12-29, 33-34,
36-37, 40, 42, 50, 55, 56-57,
58, 59, 61, 63, 66, 68, 87-88
Woodland, George, 67
World War I, 3, 5, 6
World War II, 17, 29, 46, 51, 56-
57, 63, 66
B.A. in History, 1970, Manhattanville College
Purchase, New York
M.A. in Education, 1971, Marygrove College
Member, State Bar of California since 1979 (inactive
Elementary school teacher in Michigan and California
Experience in legal research and writing, drafting
Volunteer in drug education program and hunger
programs, Oakland and Berkeley, California
Interviewer/Editor in the Regional Oral History Office
in fields of law and University history since 1987.