Lots of folks think they’ve got a business plan for making a better burger. Few have launched such a model while their current brand is in the midst of a public relations nightmare.

Chipotle might become the exception, and if it does to hamburgers what it did for burritos, well…let’s just say it could be as bad as that green-broke colt at the neighbor’s branding.

That’s why we were unamused to learn the company filed a trademark application this month for the name “Better Burger.”

Yeah, we know Chipotle was the darling of millennials, touting “food with integrity” and other hocus-pocus before an E. coli invasion proved to be the chain’s kryptonite. Generally, we applaud efforts to promote and market beef, but Chipotle’s SOP suggests they’ll try to lure business with buzzwords – “antibiotic-free, natural, organic.” That worked well selling burritos, until they couldn’t source enough “never-ever” beef and pork and they had to take items off the menu or buy beef from Australia.  

California drought update

California water officials said Tuesday the water content of the statewide snowpack stood at 87% of average, far better than the 5% measured a year ago.

As a result, some drought rules may be relaxed.

The increase in snowpack is critical, since it provides California with about 30% of its water, but officials caution that one year of near normal moisture does not erase 4 years of historic drought. The silver lining, they say, is the state is capitalizing on the crisis to update antiquated water policies and systems. Los Angeles is working to cut its purchases of imported water by half by 2024, and has developed a “master plan” to capture more rainwater. Officials also plan to invest in a plant capable of turning sewage into drinkable water, and to build a desalination plant in El Segundo.

Two views on immigration

Viewers watching the U.S. presidential debates have been treated to two radically different prognoses and prescriptions for the U.S. immigration system.

Democratic argue that deportations are ripping apart hard-working undocumented people who are merely trying to make a good life for their families, and that the president must show them mercy, even if it means stretching the limits of the law. Republicans say the southern border is open and unenforced, with the immigrants who pour across it illegally taking jobs from Americans, driving down wages, and even committing murder in the process.

Needlestick injuries

Large-animal veterinarians, and the farm and ranch crews they train, face inherently dangerous working conditions. One of those dangers, with potentially serious or even fatal results, is injury from needles while injecting medications. National surveys have shown that 80 percent of farmers working with livestock have, at some time, injured themselves with syringe needles. A survey in Minnesota showed that 83 percent of veterinarians and 78 percent of veterinary technicians have experienced needlestick injuries.