May 8, 2017


Political Stories

Top stories

Dan Walters: ‘I just refuse to die,’ says one Democrat fighting uphill battle to reform schools — Shirley Weber is a frontline soldier in California’s war over public education – and often surrounded by those on the other side. Walters column in Sacramento Bee

California Democrats take aim at Republicans over health vote — Soon after the House passed legislation to dump former President Barack Obama’s signature insurance plan last week, a Democratic challenger in Orange County sent an email blast calling it “Donald Trump and Mimi Walters’ Health Care Bill.” Swap the name of the Republican Irvine congresswoman for Reps. David Valadao or Jeff Denham in the Central Valley, Darrell Issa in San Diego County or Steve Knight in the rural reaches of Los Angeles County, and it’s clear what Democrats plan for the 18-month run-up to California’s 2018 congressional elections. San Francisco Chronicle article

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

Democrat in state party chairmanship race says he’s been targeted by false rumors that he molested boys — Los Angeles County Democratic Party Chairman Eric Bauman, a front-runner in the race to lead the state party, sent an email Sunday to California Democrats saying he’s been targeted by false rumors of “engaging in inappropriate behavior with 14- and 16-year-old boys.” LA Times article


Trump’s lawyers are heading back to court to revive his foreign travel ban – President Trump will try to break his losing streak in court on Monday when his lawyers go before the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia and urge its judges to revive his temporary ban on foreigners arriving from six majority Muslim countries. LA Times article

In LA, teens balance high school with planning in case their parents are deported — Garcia, who is now a high school senior, is one of many thousands of teenagers who were born in the U.S. to parents who are in the country illegally. A 2013 USC analysis found that about 16% of children in Los Angeles County were U.S. citizens with at least one parent without legal status. In 1999, Garcia was one of about 215,000 children born in the U.S. to immigrants in the country illegally, according to the Pew Research Center. LA Times article

Other areas 

What your California representative says about GOP health bill — After the House voted Thursday to narrowly approve a Republican-drafted bill that would eliminate many of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, KQED collected statements made by California’s members of Congress explaining why they voted the way they did.  KQED report

Across California, worry and anxiety over GOP health care bill — If a state were to seek such a waiver, insurance companies selling plans in that state would no longer have to comply with those rules. Although California is unlikely to seek such a waiver, employers here could adhere to the laxer requirements in states that did choose the waiver — potentially leading to millions of Americans seeing their work-sponsored health plans scaled back. San Francisco Chronicle article

Silicon Valley is ‘officially a retirement community for D.C. political vets’ starting fresh outside the nation’s capital — Veterans of high-profile political campaigns and White House administrations such as LaBolt — who in years past would have turned their public-service resumes and connections into jobs as lobbyists on K Street, advisers at Fortune 500 firms or leaders of nonprofits — are increasingly heading west, attracted by the opportunities to put their political skills to use in the technology industry. LA Times article 

Life and combat for Republicans at Berkeley – On this famously liberal campus, it is easy to dismiss Berkeley Republicans as an oxymoron. Being a Republican at the University of California, Berkeley, is hard, conservative students say, a crucible of ideological combat. Some said they had been mocked, spat on and punched. New York Times article

George Skelton: Activist Ron Kovic says disabled parking cheats ‘just aren’t thinking’ – but it seems they just don’t care — Like countless California motorists with severe disabilities, particularly in congested Los Angeles, Kovic often has trouble finding a handicapped parking space. After he does, some thoughtless driver just might park illegally in the adjacent restricted space, despite the painted crosshatched lines, and block his reentry. Skelton column in LA Times

Presidential Politics

Trump to announce 10 ‘thought leaders’ for circuit courts — Mr. Trump is expected to announce 10 judicial nominations Monday in what could be the first of many waves over the coming months. Here are the first names on his list. New York Times article

News Stories

Top Stories

UC secret salary fund sparks bill to curb autonomy — The revelation that the University of California president’s office kept $175 million in secret funds and paid executives and staff extra-fat salaries has led state lawmakers to wag their fingers furiously at UC leaders in recent days. Some held a hearing. Others called for subpoenas. One proposed a new law. But unlike California State University — where lawmakers can order changes to how CSU does business — UC is largely immune to the wishes of the Legislature. San Francisco Chronicle article

 Price tag for California’s road-wrecking winter: $1.4 billion and counting — Statewide, the agency lists 425 damage sites that will require an estimated $974 million to fix. Caltrans says local agencies face at least another $400 million in storm-related road repairs. The money to pay for all that will come mainly from the state and federal governments — the latter partly due to a disaster declaration from the Trump administration. KQED report

Jobs and the Economy

Seeing a threat to Paris accord, CalPERS urges countries to commit to climate pact – The California Public Employees’ Retirement System joined more than 150 other international investors in a letter Sunday urging the world’s largest economies to remain committed to the 2015 climate change accord known as the Paris Agreement. Sacramento Bee article

Fresno sued by Kerman-based district for ending firefighting contract — The North Central Fire Protection District has sued the city of Fresno after the City Council last month decided to no longer provide firefighting services to 250 square miles west of town.  Fresno Bee article

Haircuts, help for the homeless —  Fifty-three-year-old Cary Terry lives in a tent, one of hundreds scattered around Stockton. So when he heard about Stockton 209 Cares’ annual Cut’N’Clean event at Columbus Park on Sunday, he was there early.  Stockton Record article

Why one small business is taking a chance on hiring autistic adults — On the sun-soaked patio of Placerville’s Lava Cap Winery, Richard eyed the case of empty blue bottles he was picking up from wine club manager Kevin Jones. Without any prompting, Richard launched into a lecture as he worked. Sacramento Bee article


Matt Weiser: ‘These fish are in a bad way.’ How many more will die because of the Delta tunnels — California’s ambitious plan to tunnel under the West’s largest estuary has always had two primary goals: to restore imperiled native fish and to improve water deliveries to farms and cities. An early analysis by federal wildlife agencies, however, indicates the project might make life worse for fish. Weiser in Sacramento Bee

Big risk, big ideas: Flood control no longer just levees – Think outside the levee. As concerns about the state’s aging flood-control infrastructure grow, experts are seeking ways to address the San Joaquin River’s big-time risks in less traditional ways. Stockton Record article

Don Curlee: Declining dairies sour milk stats — The number of dairies in California has been declining for several years, and their loss is beginning to affect the state’s agricultural production figures. Braggin’ rights may be at stake. Curlee in Visalia Times-Delta

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Teen’s final driving lesson turns into law-enforcement nightmare — Dominic Elliott, an A-student with baseball dreams at Fresno High, was eager to get his driver’s license when he slipped behind the wheel of a Drive America training car for his final session and drove off with his instructor. But as he made a U-turn on Blackstone Avenue in April 2016, Fresno County sheriff’s Deputy Andres Solis pulled them over and, with his gun drawn, ordered Elliott and his instructor out of the car with their hands up, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in Fresno County Superior Court. Fresno Bee article

Modesto police, antique businesses compromise on anti-theft enforcement — Modesto Police Chief Galen Carroll and antique business owners have come to a compromise on how the city will enforce state regulations intended to curtail the sale of stolen property. Modesto Bee article


Fresno State in line to receive seven-figure donation – Fresno State will receive a $1 million donation at some point down the road, with longtime successful South Valley businessman Manuel Mancebo Jr. bequeathing the seven-figure amount in his will for the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, the university’s agriculture school. Fresno Bee article

Most teachers in California say they need more training in alternatives to suspension, survey finds — Nearly 9 out of 10 teachers surveyed said they need more training and the support of school psychologists and counselors if they are to successfully retreat from “zero tolerance” discipline practices, in which even minor infractions may result in a student being sent home for a day or more. EdSource article

Nan Austin: Modesto school models seven habits of highly effective children — I was tempted to take a break and put off writing this, but then every kid in this story would know I was not following habit number 3 – Put first things first. It is one of seven themes gaining traction as good habits to teach students, based on the bestselling book “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” by Stephen Covey. Austin in Modesto Bee

Jeremy Bagott: Hiring at UC Merced too much of a family affair – The former journalist writes, “While top administrators at UC Merced focused on newly issued hiring diktats by the Obama-era Department of Labor to increase diversity, lower-level managers at the newest UC campus were getting increasingly skilled at an age-old corrupt practice that nullifies diversity: nepotism.” Bagott op-ed in Merced Sun-Star

Health/Human Services

Doctors turn to power of peer groups to help diabetes — About a year ago, Weigensberg began leading two-hour group visits with a dozen young adults at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center to provide them with a place to share tips for living with diabetes and talk about their experiences and problems with the disease. LA Times article

Other areas

More turnover among Modesto’s top managers — There is more turnover among the ranks of Modesto’s top managers. Finance Director Gloriette Genereux moved last week to the city manager’s office to work on special projects until her retirement in December. Accounting Manager DeAnna Christensen takes over as acting finance director. Modesto Bee article

Clovis Fourth of July fireworks show is back on, veterans say — It appears Clovis’ Fourth of July fireworks show is back from the dead. Two weeks after its main organizer said Freedom Fest “isn’t going to happen” because of a crippling lack of money, the event is on again. Fresno Bee article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – Congress comes up with quite a few bonehead ideas, but this one is a doozy: Tax the troops to help pay for the GI Bill.