April 1, 2015


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Political Briefs

Top stories

 U.S. Supreme Court decision could curtain Medi-Cal lawsuits — During California’s budget crisis, attempts to cut costs by reducing public services often became tied up in litigation. But on Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court significantly curtailed that legal avenue for advocates protesting spending cuts. The justices, in a 5-4 decision, said healthcare providers could not sue when they think Medicaid rates in their state are too low.  LA Times article; Sacramento Bee article

 Republican voter registration continues to erode in California — Republicans’ voter registration ranks continue to slip, with no-party preference voters now outnumbering Republicans in 13 counties and more than a third of the state’s cities, state numbers released this week show.  Capitol Alert

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

 In San Diego, Rep. Xavier Becerra fuels speculation about Senate run – Mulling a run for the U.S. Senate, Democratic Rep. Xavier Becerra stopped off Monday in San Diego to talk with business and labor groups. Becerra said the congressional recess presented an opportunity to travel well outside of his Los Angeles district to hold discussions with the Chamber of Commerce, local labor leaders and representatives from the biotechnology industry.  Capitol Alert

Other areas

Gender equality debate gives new life to old ideas in Sacramento – Are you a liberal Democrat who supports increased welfare payments or expanded access to subsidized child care or paid family leave? Your best bet may just be to frame it as gender issue — not a way to fight poverty. That’s the tactic many Democrats in the California Legislature are taking this year as they push bills that, in many cases, have failed in years past.  KQED report

 Chelsea Irvine: Prop 47 gun provision must be fixed – The policy consultant for the Peace Officers Research Association of California writes, “By any measure, Proposition 47’s handgun provision is a mistake. Enabling criminals to steal a firearm and receive a slap on the wrist is sending the wrong message. We cannot give a free pass where deadly weapons are concerned.” Irvine op-ed in Sacramento Bee

 Fresno County Supervisor Andreas Borgeas to observe upcoming Nagorna Karabakh elections — Fresno County Supervisor Andreas Borgeas will serve as a political observer of upcoming national elections in the Nagorno Karabakh Republic. In the face of opposition from Turkey and Azerbaijan, the Armenian-populated Nagorno Karabakh is holding elections to assert their national independence and sovereignty.  Fresno Bee article

 Uproar over Indiana religious freedom law shows shift in gay rights fight –  In other times, maybe even fairly recently, the religious freedom law signed last week in Indiana could have allowed Republican lawmakers to appeal to their core conservative supporters without attracting much notice from the general public. But the blowback against it that has upended the state’s business and political culture offers a vivid example of the unprecedented speed with which public opinion over gay rights has shifted.  LA Times article

 Silicon Valley leaders, new to social issues, come together over Indiana law – The technology industry’s leaders have found their collective voice on a social issue in the last week, rallying with great intensity against a new Indiana law that will allow businesses, they predict, to discriminate against gay couples. The heads of AppleSalesforce.com, Yelp and Square have all publicly criticized the law, as have some leaders from other industries.  New York Times article

 USC’s Pat Haden, citing gay son, won’t attend meeting in Indiana — USC Athletic Director Pat Haden will not attend a College Football Playoff meeting in Indianapolis this week because of a new Indiana law that has been called anti-gay. LA Times article

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy prepares for legislative showdown — Recalcitrant Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy is heading for what he hopes will be a good old-fashioned Western showdown over land rights. But this time without guns.  LA Times article

 News Briefs

Top Stories

 Fresno cop’s arrest is example of expanding federal wiretap use Federal investigators increasingly rely on wiretaps like those that allegedly ensnared Fresno Deputy Police Chief Keith Foster in a drug investigation. With portable phones proliferating, the number of court-authorized federal wiretaps nearly tripled over the past decade, Justice Department records show. California-based narcotics cases, in particular, have been fueled by the dialing up of electronic intercepts.  McClatchy Newspapers article

 Bill McEwen: In good times and bad, firefighters, police remain Fresno’s heart — This is a city where crime and fire never rest. Fresno is poor. Many of its residents are stressed. Our concentration of poverty and gang members is said to be among the highest in the country. In addition, our neighborhoods are urban, suburban and rural. Each comes with unique challenges for those who keep us safe. Whether you wear a fire helmet or carry a gun in Fresno, there’s little time to catch your breath. And then there are runs like this one.  McEwen column in Fresno Bee

 Is pollution from Asia making the Central Valley’s bad air even worse — California’s Central Valley grapples with some of the dirtiest air in the nation. The culprits range from its vast agriculture industry to trucks on Highway 99. But one local air district is tagging a source far away: Asia.  KQED report; AP article; Sacramento Bee article

Jobs and the Economy

 Merced adds money to firefighter overtime budget, eases off brownouts – With an OK from city leaders, Merced Fire Department officials expect to all but eliminate brownouts, a policy in place since 2012 that sometimes left the department short-staffed to save overtime dollars.  Merced Sun-Star article

 Why gas prices in California are so much higher than elsewhere in U.S. – Some are accusing oil companies of manipulating prices. The industry blames an explosion and a strike at two refineries. Academics say it’s structural — the unique way California gets and sells gas. They may all be partially right.  LA Times article

 Dan Walters: Gas prices generate irrationality, demagoguery – Last month, a state Senate committee hearing was convened on the issue, and the two Democratic senators who ran it focused solely on the upward spike earlier in the year, ignoring downward trends before and after. The two, Ben Hueso and Jim Beall, engaged in a little demagoguery, pointing the finger at those nasty old oil companies that are, they implied, colluding on prices.  Walters column in Sacramento Bee

 California sales tax rates going higher — There’s a wide range of sales tax rates in California, some rates are increasing this week and if pending legislation is successful, the range will get even wider.  Capitol Alert

 Kathy Miller: State of San Joaquin strong – The chair of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors writes, “As Chair of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors, I’m pleased to report that the State of the County is strong. Due to hard work, tough decisions and creative solutions over the years by San Joaquin Board members, staff and local residents, our financial house is in order and we have embarked on several initiatives to ensure our region and our citizens can thrive.”  Miller op-ed in Stockton Record

Perez and Garcetti take aim at wage theft, minimum wage – Raising the minimum wage is one thing, but enforcing it is another. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez stressed that point at a pair of events coinciding with Cesar Chavez Day.  LA Times article

 LA County supervisors vote 5-0 to study raising the minimum wage – Delivering an important boost to a campaign by the city of Los Angeles to hike its minimum wage, Los Angeles County supervisors voted 5-0 Tuesday to study what would happen if they also raised the base pay for not just for county workers but also for employees of county contractors and wage earners in unincorporated areas. LA Times article

 Charter to acquire Bright House for $10.4 billion — Charter Communications plans to buy Bright House Networks in a deal worth $10.4 billion, a move that would result in the combined company becoming the No. 2 U.S. cable operator behind Comcast.  Reuters article

 California state IT office faces hiring, retention challenge — A plan to create a special unit of IT experts who would manage California’s state government technology projects has merit, a new report states, but several uncertainties remain about how it would be implemented. One key question: Can the state recruit and retain qualified technology experts needed to make the program work?  Sacramento Bee article

 New CEO to take over at Bank of the Sierra — Porterville-based Sierra Bancorp has named Kevin McPhaill as its new chief executive officer, marking a change of leadership with the retirement of James Holly on Tuesday.  Fresno Bee article

 LA County tourism jobs grew nearly 6 percent in 2014, data show — Los Angeles County’s tourism industry grew by nearly 6% last year, the highest growth rate of any major job sector in the region, according to new employment data.  LA Times article


Gov. Jerry Brown to attend snowpack measurement near Lake Tahoe – Gov. Jerry Brown will be on hand Wednesday morning near Lake Tahoe when officials measure the state’s drought-depleted snowpack, his office announced.  LA Times article

 Record-low Sierra snowpack will drive home drought impacts – The Sierra Nevada snowpack, which typically supplies nearly a third of California’s water, is showing the lowest water content on record: 6 percent of the long-term average for April 1. That doesn’t just set a new record, it shatters the old low-water mark of 25 percent, which happens to have been last year’s reading (tied with 1977). Things are so bad that Governor Jerry Brown has decided to slog into the field for the manual snow survey on Wednesday morning. He won’t need his snowshoes. KQED report

 Tim Johnson and Joel Nelsen: State needs new dams, reservoirs – Johnson, president and CEO of the California Rice Commission, and Nelsen, president and CEO of California Citrus Mutual, write, “Today’s angst and handwringing over new reservoirs should be seen for what it is – at best a lapse in memory. At worst it is an attempt to reverse the clear mandate that a long-awaited comprehensive solution to the state’s water problems include all options – even dams.”  Johnson/Nelsen op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Turlock Irrigation District caps water deliveries at 40 percent of normal – Farming is not gardening. Farmers take risks in deciding what to plant. During droughts, those risks can be enormous. Farmers are willing to take them, and don’t need the help of others to determine what they can and can’t plant.  Modesto Bee editorial

 Drought: Fresno County lettuce crop cut in half – The drought has become so bad in Central California that it’s now affecting the ingredients in your salad bowl. Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero reports on a major drop in the lettuce harvest in the region.  KVPR report

 Don Nottoli and Katherine Miller: Delta decisions must be made in the open – Sacramento County Supervisor Nottoli and San Joaquin County Supervisor Miller write, “Transparent policymaking that results in a consensus of the many rather than backroom decisions of the few is critical to achieving real progress. Open discussion is the key to success in allocating funds from the Proposition 1 water bond, sorting out highly contentious Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta issues and recasting federal government policies.”  Nottoli/Miller op-ed in Sacramento Bee

 Dan Walters Daily: California drought does not turn on construction – Halting construction of new homes is not going to end California’s historic drought, Dan says. Dan Walters Daily in Sacramento Bee

 Salas, others head to Cuba to promote ag — Assemblyman Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield, and several other lawmakers flew to Cuba on Monday as part of a five-day agricultural trade mission. The goal? To promote seek greater access for U.S. ag exports to the Cuban market. Crops represented by the coalition include rice, chicken, turkey, corn, soybeans, wheat, barley, sorghum and oilseed. Milk products also are on the list — a factor import for Kings County’s 100 plus dairies, which churn out milk worth hundreds of millions of dollars annually.  Hanford Sentinel article

 Modesto Bee: Farmers don’t need our help deciding what to plant – Farming is not gardening. Farmers take risks in deciding what to plant. During droughts, those risks can be enormous. Farmers are willing to take them, and don’t need the help of others to determine what they can and can’t plant.  Modesto Bee editorial

 Should California water wasters face jail? A drought debate – State water officials bolstered existing emergency regulations this month in response to another year of drought. The new rules came with a warning, too: Even tougher restrictions could be on the way if water agencies and their customers don’t step up their conservation efforts. But unlike during water crises of the 1970s and 1990s, there was no mention of sending water wasters to jail.  LA Times article

 Which days can I water? City-by-city guide in Sacramento area — In addition to prohibited irrigation activities (contact your water agency for further details), Sacramento-area agencies’ residential watering days have been limited to the following, with some based on the last number of residents’ street addresses.  Sacramento Bee article

 Organic milk shortage spurs price hikes — A revolution is quietly underway in the dairy aisle of your local supermarket. Sales of organic milk have been surging, up 10 percent in 2014 — and nearly 30 percent since 2006.  The Business Journal article

 Brenda Ruiz and Paul Towers: Make fairness an ingredient in Sacramento’s Farm-to-Fork movement – The leaders of the new Sacramento Food Policy Council write, “The food system is a series of links from those who grow and harvest food to processors, distributors, servers and eaters. For Sacramento to fully assume its title of America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital, the city and region need to dig deeper, and embrace the issues of fairness throughout that food chain.”  Ruiz/Towers op-ed in Sacramento Bee

 Agricultural bounty paints the town — Modesto’s walls runneth over with its bountiful harvest. The latest Murals in Motown project honors the area’s rich agricultural history. The new painting was unveiled Tuesday evening on the side of Dewz Restaurant at J and 15th streets.  Modesto Bee article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

 Alleged Foster co-conspirators must stay in jail – Fresno police Deputy Chief Keith Foster is free while his federal drug case makes its way through the courts, but two of his alleged co-conspirators are not so fortunate.  Fresno Bee article

George Hostetter: A correction on DROP that highlights my main point about Keith Foster – Fresno’s unique Deferred Retirement Option Program puts immense pressures on City Hall leaders trying to properly manage their departments for the people’s benefit — yet those managerial challenges apparently are ignored by those who should know better because the money involved is so big and the demands of self-interest so powerful. Hostetter in Fresno Bee

 ‘First Look’:  More questions arise in alleged assaults at Juvenile Hall — Questions continue to surface in the alleged assault case that involves two correctional officers, two victims — and maybe even more — at Kern County’s Juvenile Hall. During a Tuesday appearance on “First Look with Scott Cox,” attorney Neil Gehlawat of Chain Cohn Stiles questioned why male Kern County correctional officers supervise an all-female facility.  Bakersfield Californian article

 LAPD expects to start deploying body cameras this summer – Los Angeles police officials said Tuesday that the department has received its first batch of body cameras and hopes to deploy the new technology this summer.  LA Times article

 Lois Henry: Finding essentials of life for those who’ve missed so much – We’ve all seen those stories of people who spend 20 years or more behind bars and are then exonerated by new evidence. If you’re like me, you momentarily ponder the immense loss of years, shake your head and move on. For Jack Cummings, who stared down the barrel of losing his own freedom to bogus charges 30 years ago, he couldn’t move on. He didn’t want to.  Henry column in Bakersfield Californian

 San Francisco Sheriff Mirkarimi reeling from scandal over forced fights — Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi may be the loneliest person at City Hall these days, after last week’s allegations that deputies had forced prisoners to fight each other has eroded support among those who had stood behind him through his previous troubles.  San Francisco Chronicle article


 Michael Fitzgerald: Rewriting rules for a CSU Stockton – Assemblywoman Susan Eggman (D-Stockton) recently authored a bill requiring the state Legislative Analyst’s Office to study whether a Stockton State University is doable. But Eggman, having reconsidered her approach, is revising her bill. She realized that the city selection process itself is broken, said her spokesman, Christian Burkin.  Fitzgerald column in Stockton Record

 Mixed report on community college graduation rates – Statewide, about 47 percent of students overall completed a degree, earned a certificate or transferred in the past academic year. The number has slightly fluctuated from five years ago when it was 48 percent.  U-T San Diego article

 Lawmakers try and try again to expand dual enrollment – Programs that allow students to earn high school and college credit at the same time are seen as an effective way to boost college success rates. However, numerous legislative efforts over the past decade to expand opportunities for students to take the courses have withered.  EdSource article

 Richard Gearhart: How do high oil prices increase Kern dropout rate? Here’s how – The assistant professor of economics at Cal State Bakersfield writes, “Oil companies have large investments in STEM to create a renewable recruiting base. This correlation is troubling for the success of the investment. This creates a decision of the moment for an 18 year old. Drop out of high school and earn $40,000 immediately, or obtain a degree and sacrifice immediate income, but have a more secure future.”  Gearhart op-ed in Bakersfield Californian

Another kind of opening day – The Stockton Unified School District Police Department held its first open house Tuesday evening in an effort to engage the community and rebuild public trust following a series of highly scrutinized incidents involving its officers.  Stockton Record article

 CSU Bakersfield to host first Engineering Career Day years before anticipated shortage of workers – More than 20 local and international companies will visit Cal State Bakersfield Thursday to recruit students at the school’s first Engineering Career Day.  Bakersfield Californian article

 Corinthian College students stage ‘debt strike’ – Calling themselves the “Corinthian 100” — named for the troubledCorinthian Colleges Inc., which operated Everest CollegeHeald College and WyoTech before agreeing last summer to sell or close its 100-plus campuses — about 100 current and former students are refusing to pay back their loans, according to the Debt Collective group behind the strike.  AP article

 UC Merced Connect:  Symposium on the Child and Family benefits educators, care providers — When it comes to child development and education, separating fact from fiction is critical for professionals in the field. More than 65 educators and care providers benefited from the expertise of UC Merced faculty members March 14 during the university’s second annual Symposium on the Child and Family.  UC Merced Connect in Merced Sun-Star

 UCLA appoints first vice chancellor for diversity issues – A UCLA professor of law and Asian American studies, who is an expert on bias and hate crimes, has been named as the Westwood campus’ first vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion, officials announced Tuesday.  LA Times article

 Students talk and adults listen in new San Juan Unified program — In a classroom at Mesa Verde High School in Citrus Heights, a basic teaching approach has been turned on its head. Students talk. Teachers and administrators listen, learning about concerns their students might not talk about in class.  Sacramento Bee article

 Korean-language classes are growing in popularity at U.S. colleges — According to a recent national study, enrollment in Korean language courses at U.S. colleges and universities showed the largest percentage growth of any foreign language. The Modern Language Assn. reported that Korean language enrollment rose 45% from 2009 to 2013. Overall, language studies declined by 6.7% during that same period, and interest dropped in many popular ones, including Spanish, French and German.  LA Times article


 San Bruno officials want bigger fine upheld against PG&E over pipeline blast — San Bruno city officials are calling on the California Public Utilities Commission to uphold a proposed $1.6 billion fine against Pacific Gas & Electric for the 2010 pipeline blast that killed eight people.  KQED report; AP article

 Bay Area pollution agency wants to ban open fireplaces — The term “home and hearth” evokes in many a vision of rosy-cheeked children snuggling with their families by a crackling fire, but proposed air pollution regulations may soon banish traditional open-air fireplaces from Bay Area households.  San Francisco Chronicle article

 Sacramento City Council approves ban on single-use plastic bags — Sacramento shoppers will ditch plastic bags starting next year, joining more than a third of Californians who live in places where such bags have been banned. Sacramento Bee article; Capital Public Radio report

 BPU to consider lease agreement for digester plant — An 18-acre, city-owned property located next to the sewer plant may have a new, environmental-friendly, energy-producing tenant. The Tulare Board of Public Utilities will consider Thursday approving a lease with Colony Energy LLC., a Southern California-based company seeking to build an anaerobic digester and heat and power facility to produce renewable energy.  Visalia Times-Delta article

Health/Human Services

 Kaiser to search for causes of autism in large-scale study — Kaiser Permanente is about to begin what is believed to be the largest genetic research project ever conducted by a health organization into the causes of autism, gathering biologic and other health information from 5,000 Northern California families who have child with the developmental disorder.  San Francisco Chronicle article

 State bill seeks to shine light on chemicals in cleaning products —Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer Sr. (D-Los Angeles), who is authoring the bill, noted in a written statement that low-income people who work as janitors and house cleaners — predominately immigrants and women of color — tend to have the most exposure to these chemicals. Children are also at high risk: Last year, the state health department issued a warning about the links between asthma and cleaning products, and created a program to help schools create safe cleaning programs.  KQED report

 Bakersfield medical student wins medical ethics fellowship — A Stanford University student from Bakersfield is among 14 medical students chosen to study medical ethics in a prestigious fellowship that includes travel to sites of some of the most notorious failures of bioethics in history. Jason Batten on June 14 will go to the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City to meet with Holocaust survivors. Then he’ll visit European historical sites where Jews and others were persecuted and forced to participate in repugnant human medical experiments. Bakersfield Californian article

 Tulare hospital administrators address Chicago healthcare conference – A financial conference in Chicago highlighted strong growth at Tulare Regional Medical Center. Hospital executives spoke at the Healthcare Financial Management Association Capital Conference held last week in Chicago, praising the hospital’s financial turnaround. Visalia Times-Delta article

 San Joaquin County 211 service up and running – Today marks the first day of the 211 phone service in San Joaquin County, a system that allows anybody in the county to make a free phone call linking them up to social services.  Stockton Record article

 UC Davis Medical Center leads efforts to improve LGBT health care — After coming out as transgender at age 17, Kylie Blume shuffled between therapists and suffered years of depression before finding a physician who understood her desire to live as a woman, she said. It wasn’t until she enrolled at UC Davis that she found a doctor who would help her transition, a process that often involves hormone therapy and sexual reassignment surgery.  Sacramento Bee article

Land Use/Housing

 Fresno City Hall seeks public input on development code – Fresno’s new blueprint for growth finally has its soul mate in sight. But this marriage of an idealistic 2035 general plan and a reformed development code might first need a legion of marriage counselors. City officials on Tuesday released a draft of what they’re calling the first major update of Fresno’s development code in more than 50 years. Fresno Bee article

 Community Development Trust, partner invests in Sanger affordable housing — A national real estate investment trust company is partnering with a financial organization to invest $20 million into long-term fixed-rate mortgages for low-income housing developments across California, including one in Sanger.  Fresno Bee article

 Modesto breaks ground on senior apartments downtown — City officials, affordable housing advocates and others gathered Tuesday morning in downtown Modesto for the groundbreaking ceremony of Tower Park Senior Housing, a nearly $13.7 million apartment complex for low-income seniors.  Modesto Bee article

Other areas

 Fresno fire investigators seeking person of interest in blaze where captain fell through roof – The Fresno Fire Department is seeking a person of interest in connection with the Sunday blaze in which Fire Capt. Pete Dern was critically injured, investigator Don MacAlpine said Tuesday.  Fresno Bee article

 Bakersfield will fold homeless ‘tent city’ — The southeast Bakersfield “tent city” of homeless folk at 600 S. Union Ave. will be removed, most likely later this month, Bakersfield officials announced Tuesday.  Bakersfield Californian article

 Stanislaus County CEO says Focus on Prevention isn’t about New Age religion — Stanislaus County supervisors approved a $148,000 contract today with the Center for Collective Wisdom to guide the Focus on Prevention campaign, a long-term effort to tackle big problems such as homelessness.  Modesto Bee article

 Christensen returns to city hall – Veteran city and county manager Alan Christensen has been named Kern County’s new deputy county administrative officer for water resources. Christensen, who is currently the county’s risk manager, said he will take the new post on April 20.  Bakersfield Californian article

 Bike path near McClure competing for $100,000 grant – A bike path located near Lake McClure is competing for a $100,000 national grant to build an extreme downhill mountain bike trail, Merced Irrigation District officials announced Tuesday.  Merced Sun-Star article

Transgender Day of Visibility celebrated locally – About two dozen people rallying in support of “gender diversity” lingered on the corner of Mohawk Street and Truxtun Avenue Tuesday, holding signs, answering reporter questions or just maintaining a meaningful presence. This rally was less about being heard as it was about being seen. Bakersfield Californian article

 Two dead in murder/suicide at pediatrics office in downtown Fresno – The woman’s death was Fresno’s 12th murder for 2015. By this time last year, there had been 17. Genelle Taylor Kump, executive director of the Marjaree Mason Center, said Tuesday’s incident was a stark reminder that domestic violence sometimes has fatal outcomes.  Fresno Bee article; KVPR report

LA is carried away on impounding vehicles, suit says — Last year, Los Angeles authorities towed and impounded 4,539 motor vehicles for violating the city’s 72-hour time limit for parking in the same spot. One of them was a 1999 Toyota Sienna belonging to attorney J. David Sackman and his wife, Jerolyn. That action has landed the city in federal court.  LA Times article

 Cesar Chavez: The next Catholic saint? – People from all over the country are celebrating the life of Cesar Chavez today. He would have turned 88. Now as FM89’s Diana Aguilera explains, some are also using the late labor leader’s birthday to bring back a movement to make Chavez a Catholic saint.  KVPR report

 Cesar Chavez’s younger brother visits Livingston — This year’s Cesar Chavez Day celebration in Livingston was one for the city’s history books. Librado Chavez Jr., the youngest brother of civil rights leader Cesar Chavez, visited the city, stopping by schools and the council chambers to share stories about his brother’s life as an activist.  Merced Sun-Star article; ‘Remembering Cesar Chavez in pictures’ in Fresno Bee

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – It’s hard to draw lessons from a tragedy as singular the Germanwings disaster. But as revelations emerge about the co-pilot’s mental health problems, one takeaway is clear: He shouldn’t have been in that cockpit alone.

Merced Sun-Star – Indiana GOP is out of step.

Modesto Bee – Farming is not gardening. Farmers take risks in deciding what to plant. During droughts, those risks can be enormous. Farmers are willing to take them, and don’t need the help of others to determine what they can and can’t plant; Indiana GOP it out of step.

Sacramento Bee – It’s hard to draw lessons from a tragedy as singular the Germanwings disaster. But as revelations emerge about the co-pilot’s mental health problems, one takeaway is clear: He shouldn’t have been in that cockpit alone; McClatchy High School girls’ basketball victory in the California Interscholastic Federation championship came down to heart and adrenaline and teamwork.


Next 10: UPDATED California budget challenge For the first time in a decade, California’s budget is largely in balance.  However, the state has outstanding debts of $28 million, not counting long-term pension and retiree health care costs.  Budget choices affect us all.  Take the Challenge and decide how much should be spent on programs and where the money should come from.  Next 10 California Budget Challenge

 Next 10: Federal budget challengeThe Federal Budget Challenge is based on The Concord Coalition’s Principles and Priorities budget exercise, which has been used in numerous town hall meetings across the country by members of Congress from both parties, as well as in hundreds of high school and college classrooms.  Next 10 Federal Budget challenge atwww.federalbudgetchallenge.org.

 Next 10: California Water Challenge – As our state faces some of the most severe drought conditions in its history, Next 10 wants to issue a new challenge to Californians: can you create a plan to make sure there’s enough water for everyone?  Next 10 California Water Challenge

 LEGISLATORS’ VOTING RECORDS: How often has a California legislator broken party ranks, abstained or switched sides? The Sacramento Bee has a database of the voting records of every member of the state Senate and Assembly. Enter a lawmaker’s last and first names to see how he or she voted, or enter a bill number to see how every legislator voted on it. Check it out at this link.  http://www.sacbee.com/votingrecord/

 Maddy Institute Updates List of San Joaquin Valley Elected Officials – The Maddy Institute has updated its list of San Joaquin Valley elected officials.  The list is available here.

 Maddy Institute on Facebook and Twitter – To learn about Maddy Institute activities (e.g. The Maddy Report tv show, The Maddy Associates’ Luncheons, the Maddy Legislative Intern Program), become a fan of the Maddy Institute on Facebook or log on to http://twitter.com/MaddyInstitute. And if you have a Facebook or Twitter account, please add us and follow us!

The Kenneth L. Maddy Institute at California State University, Fresno was established to honor the legacy of one of California’s most principled and effective legislative leaders of the last half of the 20th Century by engaging, preparing and inspiring a new generation of governmental leaders for the 21st Century. Its mission is to inspire citizen participation, elevate government performance, provide non-partisan analysis and assist in providing solutions for public policy issues important to the region, state and nation.

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