April 29, 2015


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Political Briefs

Top stories

California vaccine bill easily clears Senate judiciary panel — Avoiding the stumble that marked the bill’s last hearing, a California Senate committee on Tuesday advanced a bill mandating full vaccination for most children attending private and public schools.  Sacramento Bee article; LA Times article

Court could force Obama administration to change detention of mother, child migrants — A federal court looks to be on the verge of delivering a significant blow to the Obama administration policy of detaining mothers and children who say they’re fleeing violence in their home countries, according to attorneys representing the detained families.  McClatchy Newspapers article

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

Joe Mathews: How Sodomite Suppression Act exposes the failure of SB 1253 — The Sodomite Suppression Act, as awful as it is, has performed one service: it exposed SB 1253’s failure to meet this basic test of reform. The act is blatantly unconstitutional, but it probably can’t be stopped from being titled and circulated. Because the initiative process remains, even after SB 1253, a totally separate process that is immune to checks and balances. Mathews in Fox & Hounds


ACLU claims new detention center could expose immigrants to valley fever – Advocates say moving people to the new facility in Bakersfield is raising serious concerns about the risk of exposing immigrants to valley fever. This disease is caused by a fungus that thrives throughout the Central Valley and parts of the Southwest, sending out spores.  KVPR report

2 smugglers’ tunnels found at U.S.-Mexico border — After thwarting a group of alleged narcotics smugglers, federal agents discovered a 230-foot-long tunnel across California’s border with Mexico, the first of two tunnels discovered this week by border officials.  LA Times article

Other areas

Rival bills to regulate medical pot advance in California Legislature – Two bills that would regulate medical marijuana in different ways in California were approved Tuesday by an Assembly panel, although lawmakers said more work needs to be done to address concerns and settle on one scheme.  LA Times article

On divided court, Kennedy does not tip his hand on gay marriage case — The Supreme Court sounded closely and sharply split Tuesday on whether to declare that gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who is widely expected to be the deciding vote in the matter, did not tip his hand, giving hope to both sides of the debate.  LA Times article; San Francisco Chronicle article; Sacramento Bee editorial: ‘Gay marriage is a fundamental right’

Fresno gay marriage advocates rally at federal courthouse after U.S. Supreme Court arguments — After the Supreme Court weighed arguments about same-sex marriage Tuesday, the Waymacks and other local advocates gathered in front of the Robert E. Coyle Federal Courthouse in downtown Fresno to show support for marriage equality. The group of about 25 held signs with phrases such as “Legalize love” and waved rainbow flags. Cars honked as they drove by, eliciting cheers and waves from the small crowd.  Fresno Bee article

Online poker bill emerges from committee – a first – The Legislature made history of sorts Monday when it recorded its first-ever committee vote on a bill to legalize internet poker in California, but the measure is light on details and remains a focus of intense negotiations.  Capitol Weekly article

Dan Walters: Republicans’ road fund complaints are dead wrong – Republican leader Bob Huff and other GOP senators have been beating the drums lately about a seemingly nefarious diversion of a billion dollars a year from badly needed highway construction and maintenance projects.  Walters column in Sacramento Bee

Millionaire VC Tim Draper’s latest: ‘Shark Tank’ for good government? – In a move that takes its cues from the Silicon Valley tech startup culture — where Draper has made millions — the venture capitalist said he will formally announce plans Wednesday to propose the “Fix California Challenge,” to encourage residents to pitch solutions to major governance problems in California.  San Francisco Chronicle article; KQED report

Riverbank-made electric skateboards get boost in Capitol – Electric skateboards, some of them made in Riverbank, would get more room to roam under a bill that advanced this week. The state Assembly Transportation Committee voted 11-3 for a bill by Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, R-Riverbank, that would allow the boards in bicycle lanes and other places where bikes can go. Modesto Bee article

Assembly bill seeks to ban smart TVs becoming ‘Big Brother’ — Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, authored the bill, which would force smart-TV makers to give customers the ability to opt out of features that could spy on their private conversations, particularly if it’s to help advertisers. Although the bill narrowly focuses on smart TVs, it touches on a privacy debate that encompasses a wide array of Internet-enabled devices with recording and voice recognition features, from smart phones and game consoles to connected cars and Barbie dolls.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Justice Cuellar describes rise to California Supreme Court – California’s newest Supreme Court justice, Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, will visit Sacramento on Wednesday to participate in an evening forum with 250 prominent Latinos in the auditorium of the secretary of state’s building, 1500 11th St. In an interview with The Sacramento Bee, Cuéllar discussed his journey from Matamoros, Mexico, to the White House and now California’s highest court. Sacramento Bee article

Obama condemns violence in Baltimore, calling it ‘counterproductive’ — President Obama on Tuesday forcefully condemned the violence in Baltimore that erupted after days of protests over the death of a black man in police custody, calling it “counterproductive” and labeling the rioters “criminals and thugs.”  LA Times article; AP article

Events in Baltimore reflect a ‘slow-rolling crisis’ across U.S., Obama says — President Obama responded with passion and frustration on Tuesday to the violence that has rocked Baltimore and other cities after the deaths of young black men in the hands of the police, saying it was part of a “slow-rolling crisis” that demanded a period of national soul-searching to resolve.  New York Times article; Sacramento Bee editorial

California Government Today:

Senate Daily File

Assembly Daily File

News Briefs

Top Stories

Another drought downer: More ‘soot’ pollution seen in Valley air – The drought is making the San Joaquin Valley’s notoriously dirty air even worse, says the American Lung Association’s new air analysis released Wednesday. Fresno Bee article

Latest revision to proposed drought regs would ease cuts for some – Proposed drought regulations released Tuesday would reduce the amount of water cuts some local agencies would have to make to meet Gov. Jerry Brown’s order to slash statewide water use 25%.  LA Times article; AP article; KQED report

Jobs and the Economy

Joe Moore: Despite Smart & Final setback, Swearengin says Blackstone vision remains sound – We invited both Clint Olivier and Ashley Swearengin to join us to talk about their competing visions for Blackstone. Councilmember Olivier declined, citing scheduling conflicts. Yesterday though I had a chance to speak with Swearengin about this and a few other pressing issues at city hall. Here’s our conversation.  Moore in KVPR

Kern supervisors close a library, revise pot cultivation ordinance – Kernville’s library will close permanently, Kern County supervisors decided Tuesday. Kern County Library Director Nancy Kerr said the branch is not needed. Bakersfield Californian article

Turlock council discusses visitors bureau finances – The City Council did not get into details Tuesday night on questions raised about $241,297 spent on attracting visitors, but members said it should not be seen as an attack on this program’s management. Modesto Bee article

Consumer confidence falls to year’s lowest level after weak job growth — Consumer confidence surprisingly tumbled this month to its lowest level of the year as weak job growth increased concerns about the state of the economy.  LA Times article

High housing costs driving more Californians into poverty — High rents are driving more Californians into poverty, said a report out Tuesday from an affordable housing group. A new study by the California Housing Partnership found that the state’s lowest-income households spend two-thirds of their income on housing, leaving little money for food, healthcare, transportation and other needs.  LA Times article

CASA report says nonprofit saved Kern $222,000 last year – Helping an abused child transition from a group home to a permanent family setting can be priceless. But as a new report suggests, there’s also a measurable financial impact on taxpayers. In an effort to quantify that benefit, CASA of Kern County recently released an annual report concluding its volunteers last year saved county government at least $222,000 in housing costs.  Bakersfield Californian article

Bank, nonprofits announce down payment assistance for Modestans – A $7.5 million program to provide $15,000 down payment assistance grants to home buyers in Modesto, Stockton and Fresno was announced Tuesday morning in downtown Modesto by Wells Fargo, two nonprofit partners and the cities.  Modesto Bee article

HUD Secretary Julian Castro designates Sacramento as Promise Zone – Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro announced the new Promise Zone designations Tuesday after touring a job-training center in St. Louis, one of the eight new participants in the program that began last year. The program seeks to increase economic activity, improve educational opportunities, improve health and reduce violent crime. The other new Promise Zones are Camden, New Jersey; Hartford, Connecticut; Indianapolis; Minneapolis; Sacramento, California; the Low Country of South Carolina; and Pine Ridge Indian Reservation of the Oglala Sioux Tribe in South Dakota.  AP article

Port truck drivers strike for second day – Some truck drivers who haul goods from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach struck for the second day Tuesday in a protest against four companies they accuse of wage theft.  LA Times article

BART needs billions for new cars, operating system and maintenance complex — BART will need voter help to meet more than $9.6 billion in capital needs through 2024, and it has no contingency plan if voters don’t come through to help, California’s state auditor says in a report released Tuesday afternoon.  Contra Costa Times article

Site suggested for new downtown Sacramento performing arts center — A task force exploring the need for a new performing arts center in downtown Sacramento has identified four potential sites for a 2,200-seat theater, but needs up to six more months to figure out how to pay for what would likely be a $200 million project.  Sacramento Bee article


Sacramento-area communities gets little reprieve under state’s new water cuts proposal – A revised draft of water conservation regulations released Tuesday night by the State Water Resources Control Board offered little reprieve to Sacramento-area communities that had pushed back against mandated cutbacks of up to 36 percent.  Sacramento Bee article

Drought: Tulare County is ‘blazing the trail for the rest of California’ – The lack of rain has hit all of California hard, but perhaps no place more than in Tulare County home to 60 percent of the residential wells that have gone dry in the entire state. As Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero reports the county is creating a model for drought relief that the rest of the state can follow. KVPR report

State launches push to accelerate drought innovation – The Brown administration’s effort to speed innovation to address the state’s endemic droughts was launched to little fanfare Tuesday. No specific funding or timeline was included in the program posted to theCalifornia Energy Commission’s website. A spokesman for the commission said it would begin this summer and is likely to follow well-established channels for research and development grants, which can take several months to a year to pass through the process.  LA Times article

Lois Henry: Are residents better off with water meters? – Each water agency is different when it comes to meters. But let’s start with the biggest first, California Water Services (Cal Water), which serves about two-thirds of metro Bakersfield.  Henry column in Bakersfield Californian

UC Merced plans talk on state water and climate – The California drought and its water system can be a complicated issue, and a UC Merced talk planned next week could help shed some light on the subject.  Merced Sun-Star article

20,000 acres of pistachio trees at risk – Scientists say a bacteria found its way into a pistachio tree rootstock from Duarte Nursery, one of the largest tree nurseries in California. Some young trees sold to farmers in California and in Arizona from 2011 to 2014 exhibit what has been called Bushy Top Syndrome affecting 20,000 acres and perhaps 2 million trees according to an estimate by Robert Klein, manager of the California Pistachio Research Board. Visalia Times-Delta article

Karen Ross: What happens to ag water? Eventually, people eat it and drink it – The secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture writes, “As we move further into these unprecedented times, it’s critical that California farmers and ranchers tell their stories of water efficiency and conservation, and continue with their unparalleled record of innovation to find new and better ways to manage this precious, ever-more-scarce resource.”  Ross op-ed in Merced Sun-Star

See proposed water use cuts for every community in California – All urban communities will need to cut their water usage this year due to the drought. The cuts proposed by the State Water Resources Control Board earlier this month range from 8 percent to 36 percent, depending on how much water each community’s residents used during summer 2013. Look below to see how much each community will need to cut.  Sacramento Bee article

Larger drought fee coming to Modesto Irrigation District – Farmers are likely to pay a heftier drought surcharge this year, Modesto Irrigation District leaders decided Tuesday while adding yet another option among several drought-coping programs to choose from.  Modesto Bee article

Court water ruling credit impact limited – Bond rater Fitch Ratings said Tuesday that water utilities will only endure slight financial costs from a state court decision overturning tiered water rates in San Juan Capistrano. The city had priced water to encourage conservation.  U-T San Diego article

Jon Coupal: Crocodile ‘tiers’ over water rate ruling — Droughts may be caused by Mother Nature, but water shortages are created by humans. California is now paying the price for not building new storage and conveyance infrastructure over the last several decades. Rather than complaining about “cost of service” requirements that are founded in common sense and rational policy, California should immediately correct the dereliction of prior political leaders and build what we need for a California in the 21st century. Coupal in Fox & Hounds

Is alfalfa the new drought enemy? — Almonds have taken a beating in California’s urban-centric media landscape for the amount of water they use amid drought, but the attention has also shifted to another Kings County crop: alfalfa.  Hanford Sentinel article

Modesto Bee: Valley uses voice for water – Once Speaker Toni Atkins’ pet bills had been heard; once the people who want emissions limits on fracking had finished; once the manufacturers of recycled plastics had wrapped up, the Assembly Natural Resources Committee took up the concerns of some 120 people who had been waiting two hours in the hallway. It was worth the wait.  Modesto Bee editorial

Drought halts park expansion — A vacant field west of Hidden Valley Park could become the poster child for the future of city parks. Although city leaders and residents have long pushed to develop the 18-acre parcel as parkland, the statewide drought and requirements to conserve water could squash that vision.  Hanford Sentinel article

Without a doubt, drought doesn’t mean yards must be brown and down — With agencies threatening to fine them for waste or not following watering rules, homeowners are getting the message: Cactus, rock and other plants with camel-like characteristics are the new bluegrass. What works in Arizona works here as well.  Modesto Bee article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Sacramento PD wants more intersection cameras, license plate readers – If the Sacramento City Council approves a police department request Tuesday, there could be license plate readers at 18 more intersections in the city this year. The Sacramento Police Department would like to increase the number of intersections with cameras and license plate readers from two to twenty this year.  Capital Public Radio report

U.S. Supreme Court considering challenge to execution drug – Exactly one year after a botched lethal injection, attorneys for other Oklahoma death row inmates were set to ask the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to outlaw a sedative used in the procedure – a ruling that could force several states to either find new execution drugs or change the way they put prisoners to death.  AP article

Police Commission: LAPD cops should be able to review body cam video before reports — After a testy debate about how best to monitor officer behavior, the Los Angeles Police Commission Tuesday voted 3-1 to approve Chief Charlie Beck’s policy requiring officers to turn on body cameras during all stops – but also allows cops to view the video before writing their reports. KPCC report

LA supervisors approve settlement over Antelope Valley racial profiling — Los Angeles County supervisors voted Tuesday to approve a settlement with federal officials over allegations that sheriff’s officials systematically harassed minority residents in the Antelope Valley and targeted African Americans living in subsidized housing.  LA Times article

Stockton Record: Troubling remains case in need of outside eyes – In the end, the spat between State Sen. Cathleen Galgiani and San Joaquin County Sheriff Steve Moore is not what’s important. Since both have stated they want to get to the overall truth of this issue, there should be no qualms about turning this over to another agency to investigate — in a public and forthright manner.  Stockton Record editorial

African Americans cited for resisting arrest at high rate in San Francisco – African Americans in San Francisco are cited for resisting arrest at a rate eight times greater than whites even when serious crimes are not involved, according to statistics drawn from court records.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Amid Baltimore unrest, LAPD pledges swift but restrained action – In Los Angeles, Tuesday’s call for swift action was tempered by roll-call instructions for officers to avoid unnecessary confrontations — a yin and yang policing philosophy no doubt informed by lessons learned from the 1992 Rodney King riots that erupted 23 years ago Wednesday.  LA Times article

Investigator for Kern District Attorney’s office wins statewide award — Kern County District Attorney Investigator Greg Jehle has been selected as the California District Attorneys Association Outstanding Investigator for 2014. Bakersfield Californian article


Graduation rates go up around the Valley — Graduation rates improved at several central San Joaquin Valley school districts, state data released Tuesday shows, in line with a small overall increase in the statewide average and big jumps at other local districts like Fresno Unified. In both Madera and Visalia unifieds, rates jumped by at least 3.5 percentage points. Fresno Bee article;Fresno Bee editorial

Kern High School District outperforms state average on grad and dropout rates – The Kern High School District is seeing more graduates and fewer dropouts, and the state can only say the former, according to 2013-2014 state data released Tuesday.  Bakersfield Californian article

Valley, foothills outdo state in on-time high school grad rates – California’s on-time high school graduation rate inched up to 80.8 percent, a 0.4 percent rise, with the most improvement seen in numbers of graduating Latinos, now at 76.4 percent. In Northern San Joaquin Valley and foothill communities, however, local numbers outshone the state’s totals, figures released by the state Tuesday showed.  Modesto Bee article

State graduation rate rises, but Stockton Unified, Lodi rates fall – Local school districts’ so-called cohort graduation rates were somewhat mixed compared to statewide rates that have continued a steady climb, new figures released Tuesday by the California Department of Education show. Stockton Record article

Valley Edition Interview: Janet Napolitano – UC President Janet Napolitano visited the San Joaquin Valley last week, including a stop at the Del Rey farm of organic peach grower David Mas Masumoto, where she met with students.  KVPR report

Can high-powered Fresno leaders push through a career-tech high school? — In the private dining room at the Downtown Club, a nook with dark wood paneling and white linen-covered tables, a handful of Fresno’s most powerful elected officials are meeting. Small talk and ice clinking in glasses stops as Brooke Ashjian, Fresno Unified’s newest school board member, seated between fellow Trustee Luis Chavez and District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp, dives in. Mayoral hopeful Lee Brand is here. So is Tish Rice, head of the local teacher’s union. Fresno Business Council CEO Deborah Nankivell is sitting next to Kendra Rogers, former First 5 Fresno County leader and now a director for Granville Homes. Fresno Bee article

Valley educational administrators call for repeal of rainy day cap — A group of valley school administrators are calling on the state to repeal a law that caps how much they can keep in their rainy day reserves. School leaders say the law would hamper their ability to run their districts or weather another recession.  KVPR report

Humphreys hoping to accept Heald students – Another local college is reaching out to displaced students in the wake of Heald College’s sudden closing this week. Humphreys College has announced on its website that it will consider evaluating Heald student transcripts and try to enroll them so they can finish their education. Stockton Record article

Return on college investment: Brookings ranks Pacific high, Delta low – Earning a college degree is a sometimes daunting investment, but one promising a solid return. Stockton Record article

Xuanning Fu named dean of undergraduate studies at Fresno State – Fresno State announced the appointment of Xuanning Fu on Tuesday as its new dean of undergraduate studies, effective May 1.  Fresno Bee article

School boards and administrators oppose teacher evaluation bills – The Legislature’s top Democrats have made a comprehensive rewrite of the law on teacher evaluations a priority this session. But a fundamental disagreement over granting teachers the power to negotiate all aspects of evaluations, including whether to use student test scores as a factor, could doom prospects for passage, as it has in the past.  EdSource article

Half of juniors opt out of Common Core tests in affluent high school – More than half of the 11th-graders at an affluent high school in Los Angeles County are opting out of new tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards – an ever-growing issue nationwide, but rare so far in California. EdSource article

Nine Fresno State professors receive 2015 teaching awards – Fresno State announced the winners of its annual teaching awards on Tuesday. Anil Shrestha, professor of plant science, received the school’s top teaching honor, the 2015 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Fresno Bee article

Sacramento City Council votes to keep 4th ‘R’ programs, START intact – The Sacramento City Council, faced with closing 4th “R” after-school programs at four Sacramento City Unified School District campuses and cutting ties to another after-school program, voted Tuesday night to support a plan to keep the programs intact. Sacramento Bee article

Woman sues Clovis Unified over confrontation with school district police officer — A 79-year-old woman is suing the Clovis Unified School District and its police force, saying she was assaulted by an officer after she tried to deliver treats to one of her granddaughters at Kastner Intermediate School.  Fresno Bee article


Future demand in Fresno area for electricity drives need for new power line — A new high-voltage power line to move electricity across the central San Joaquin Valley will be good for business, agriculture and other segments of the region’s population, according to a new coalition established to back Pacific Gas & Electric Co.’s plans.  Fresno Bee article

Kern graded F for air quality despite ozone improvements – Kern County got its usual straight Fs for air quality in the American Lung Association in California’s annual State of the Air report, which was released Tuesday. The Bakersfield area has the second worst year-round particle pollution in the United States, according to the report, second only to Fresno-Madera. Bakersfield Californian article

‘F’ for San Joaquin County air pollution; sound familiar? – After 28 “F’s” spread over the past 16 years, it’s fair to ask whether San Joaquin County will ever pass the American Lung Association’s annual air-quality report card. Stockton Record article

PG&E says prosecutors misled grand jury on San Bruno blast – Federal prosecutors seeking to fine Pacific Gas and Electric Co. more than $1 billion in the San Bruno gas explosion case misled the grand jury that indicted the utility, company attorneys say in new court filings.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Hike in landfill fees could spur illegal tire dumping — The Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors approved higher fees Tuesday for worn tires taken to the Fink Road Landfill. County officials said they expect the increased fees will result in more illegal dumping of tires on roadsides, which occurs now.  Modesto Bee article

Merced Irrigation District officials criticize environmental proposals for dam relicensing — Merced Irrigation District officials are hoping for a good public turnout Thursday at the opening meeting over the relicensing of New Exchequer Dam, saying the final decisions will affect MID’s water supplies for “the next 50 years.”  Merced Sun-Star article

Conservation groups say California whale entanglements up — Conservation groups are urging California officials to consider measures to prevent whale entanglements in fishing gear. In a letter Tuesday to state fish and wildlife officials, Earthjustice, the Center for Biological Diversity and Oceana cite data from the National Marine Fisheries Service that shows 30 different whales were confirmed to have been entangled in fishing gear off the West coast in 2014. That’s nearly double the number in 2013. AP article

Health/Human Services

Bullying does more long-term mental health harm than abuse, study says — The long-term effects of being bullied by other kids are worse than being abused by an adult, new research shows. Among a large group of children in England, those who were bullied were 60% more likely to have mental health problems as adults than were those who suffered physical, emotional or sexual abuse. And among a large group of children in the United States, the risk of mental health problems was nearly four times greater for victims of bullying than for victims of child abuse. LA Times article

State, LA County set to overhaul nursing home oversight procedure –  Los Angeles County and state officials are preparing to realign nursing home inspection and oversight duties as part of a drive to better manage a chronic backlog of investigations into complaints of abuse and neglect. LA Times article

Lindsay Mann: Kaweah Delta earns an ‘A’ rating in patient safety – The CEO of the Kaweah Delta Health Care District writes, “Kaweah Delta has been given an “A,” the top grade possible for patient safety. The score is based on how well hospitals protect patients from accidents, errors, injuries and infections.”  Mann op-ed in Visalia Times-Delta

Center for Human Services gives look at new facility — The Center for Human Services of Modesto gave “hard hat” tours of its new building Tuesday and reached a milestone in the campaign to frame its future. Modesto Bee article

Land Use/Housing

Fresno aims to clean up blighted homes, residents ask for interior inspections — In many of Fresno’s older neighborhoods, blighted properties and boarded up homes are a big problem. FM89’s Joe Moore reports a proposed new law aims to crack down on those property owners. KVPR report

Other areas

Collectible coin made to help family of injured Fresno firefighter Pete Dern — A coin created by the Los Angeles Fire Department is offered to anyone who wishes to help injured Fresno firefighter Pete Dern, who was critically burned while battling a blaze in March.  Fresno Bee article

Selma enacts moratorium on smoke shops – The Selma City Council recently approved an ordinance calling for a moratorium on the establishment of any new smoke or vapor shops within city limits. The 10-month ban is meant to allow city officials time to research potential hazards and change the language of its existing laws monitoring the industry.  The Business Journal article

Wounded Hanford soldier receives mortgage-free home – A Hanford soldier received a mortgage-free house from Homes for our Troops, a national nonprofit that builds houses with special features for severely injured veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.  Fresno Bee article

Brik McDill: Reverse racism can show up even in most brilliant columnists – Two cautionary tales, both sad, both true. A true story within a true story. Both with important lessons we should learn, but only if our moment is teachable, which is not always the case.  McDill column in Bakersfield Californian

Two supervisors call for grand jury probe of City of Industry – Two Los Angeles County supervisors demanded Tuesday that a grand jury investigate allegations that companies owned by the former mayor of the City of Industry and his family gained more than $326 million through a host of city contracts. LA Times article

Orange County city to take up jetpack law after moratorium – Newport Beach will once again consider allowing water-propelled jetpacks in its harbor following a six-month moratorium imposed after residents complained about noise and possible injuries. AP article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – It appears there is growing buy-in to the belief that the best way to improve the Valley’s economy and quality of life is by putting more emphasis on education.

Merced Sun-Star – An unlikely win for Assemblymember Adam Gray’s water bill; Respect for police and the community is key to dealing with anger.

Modesto Bee – An unlikely win for Assemblymember Adam Gray’s water bill; Building trust is the only solution to riots.

Sacramento Bee – Gay marriage is a fundamental right; There is no quick fix to the slow-rolling crisis of police brutality.

Stockton Record – Troubling San Joaquin County remains case in need of outside eyes.