April 30, 2017


Political Stories – Top stories

John Myers: So why can the UC regents thumb their noses at the Legislature? — Fans of the University of California often tout the 10-campus system as being in a class by itself, first among peers in offering a quality education. Recent events, though, offer a reminder of another unique aspect of the UC system: its legal independence, which is so powerful that in many cases university leaders can simply thumb their noses at the governor and the Legislature. It’s the kind of freedom that may thwart any effort at reprimand in the wake of last week’s stinging state audit alleging hidden money and high salaries in the office of UC President Janet Napolitano. Myers in LA Times

Dan Walters: Is California’s Legislature most liberal in state’s history — Tax more, spend more and regulate more. As state legislators completed their initial committee reviews of bills last week, it became evident that this year’s session may be the most liberal in California history. Walters column in Sacramento Bee

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

Release of videos sought in same-sex marriage case — It’s time for the public to see and hear what went on at the historic San Francisco trial in 2010 that gave gay and lesbian couples the right to marry in California, public broadcaster KQED argued in a lawsuit Friday seeking release of long-sealed courtroom videotapes. San Francisco Chronicle article


PolitiFact CA: Would Trump’s border wall cost the same as one and a half aircraft carriers? — At this early stage, no one knows how much Trump’s wall will really cost. Partisan sources have it all over the map. And delays and cost-overruns are common for large government projects: Just take a look at California’s massive high-speed railinitiative. But Peters selected what appears to be the best initial estimate from Trump’s own homeland security analysts. PolitiFact CA article

Other areas

‘We are being tested,’ Sen. Elizabeth Warren tells crowd in Glendale – Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) played the role of therapist, sports coach and motivational speaker Saturday during a talk to a loud and friendly crowd in Glendale during her national book tour. LA Times article

Presidential Politics

Jeff Jardine: Area Trump supporters give him two thumbs up after first 100 days – Saturday marked President Trump’s first 100 days in office, and we’ve learned this: Among his avid supporters during the campaign, he can do no wrong. Buyer’s remorse? Hardly. If anything, they are more behind him now than ever. Jardine column in Modesto Bee

Trump holds a 100-day rally on friendly turf, snubbing the White House Correspondents’ Dinner – President Trump on Saturday skipped the White House Correspondents’ Dinner to mark his 100th day in office doing what got him there: taking his populist message directly to an adoring audience, this one in Pennsylvania, the state he credits with delivering his surprise electoral college win in November. LA Times article; AP article

White House Correspondents’ Dinner has awkward feel without Trump — No one had a harder gig Saturday than comedian Hasan Minhaj, except perhaps for the poor soul who had to tell President Trump that Minhaj didn’t blow it roasting the commander in chief onstage at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. LA Times article

David Mas Masumoto: In Trump landscape, 1970s book ‘Rules for Radicals’ is a playbook for both sides — Our new president has been in office for 100 days. Many are sorting out how to work with the new administration. Some are still deconstructing how he got elected. Others are calculating how to fight and resist. For many, we are living in a new, wild world of radical politics from both the left and the right. I stumbled upon a book I read in the 1970s called “Rules for Radicals.” I realized the ghost of author Saul Alinsky is alive and well. He was an extremist from the 1960s and this book influenced thousands who sought to change power structures with grassroots organizing and adopting combative strategies for creating and maintaining political pressure. Masumoto column in Fresno Bee

Willie Brown: The education of President Trump – One hundred days. That’s not a lot of time to conclude whether a president is a success or failure. So let’s give President Trump an incomplete. Clearly, he’s still learning. What has he learned? Brown column in San Francisco Chronicle

EPA scrubs website of references to Obama climate plan – EPA is overhauling its website to remove “outdated language” referring to Obama-era programs President Donald Trump has targeted for elimination, including virtually all mentions of climate change, the agency announced late Friday. Politico article

Santa Barbarans are angered by Trump’s order that could lead to new offshore drilling — From one end of this 5-mile-long city with a population of about 91,000 people to the other, community leaders, business owners and environmentalists are reacting with anxiety and anger to the executive order President Trump signed on Friday to consider new offshore drilling in federal waters here and around the country. LA Times article

News Stories – Top Stories

750 steps, 18 bullets, 3 dead: Tracing a rampage shooter’s bloody path — It was four-tenths of a mile and four minutes that shook Fresno. In the time needed only to fire his gun, unload shell casings and reload, rampage shooting suspect Kori Ali Muhammad crossed paths April 18 with three men who were targets of his homicidal rage because they were white. Fresno Bee article

San Joaquin County pesticide use highest since 1990s — Pesticide use in San Joaquin County has increased in recent years to levels not seen since the late 1990s, new state data show. The “why” part of the story, however, is much more complex. Stockton Record article

Jobs and the Economy

Modesto considers pot businesses – Modesto officials will have their second public discussion about allowing marijuana businesses and their economic impact on the city. Modesto Bee article

Hanford council to vote on downtown-protective zoning – The Hanford City Council is set to vote Tuesday on finalizing rules that would prevent medical, professional and commercial offices from locating in the Costco shopping center or on 12th Avenue. Hanford Sentinel article

Tulare gets Starbucks, jobless rate rises — Downtown Tulare will get a new Starbucks to be built at the corner of Cross and J Street with the big coffee company buying 1,900 square feet at the the former Arco site. Also, Tulare County’s jobless rate was up in March 2017 from the month before but year-over-year unemployment fell. The rate in March 2017 was 12.3 percent, up from 12 percent in February, but below the 12.7 percent level seen in March 2016. Visalia Times-Delta article

Why most black Sacramentans still can’t buy a home eight years after Great Recession — Just 27 percent of black householders in Sacramento County owned their homes in 2015, down from 43 percent in 2006, according to the latest U.S. Census figures. By comparison, 62 percent of whites and 43 percent of Hispanics in the county owned their homes in 2015. Sacramento Bee article

Have Sacramento food trucks reached the end of the road for large-scale events? – As the smells of bacon, paella and burgers tantalized the crowd, a sense of finality also wafted in the air. Saturday’s SactoMoFo 10 marked the final large-scale event hosted by Sacramento Mobile Food, a company that helped launch the local mobile food craze. Sacramento Bee article


Another giant California dam has downstream residents worried — Deep in the Trinity Alps, 130 miles northwest of the troubled Oroville Dam, local officials are raising alarms about another earthen dam with documented weaknesses and limited capacity for releasing the water that has poured in from storms and melting snow. Sacramento Bee article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

How size 16 heels help raise awareness of sexual abuse — Walk a Mile In Her Shoes is a fundraiser for Haven Women’s Center and intended to raise awareness about the causes and effects of – and remedies for – sexual assault and domestic violence. April also is sexual assault awareness month. Modesto Bee article

Young LAPD officers barely remember the 1992 riots, but work in a department shaped by the unrest — A quarter-century after Los Angeles descended into chaos, many young LAPD officers have a child’s memories of the riots, or no memories at all. Yet these officers work in a department profoundly shaped by its missteps during that time. LA Times article


These aren’t your typical grads. Bakersfield City School District graduates almost 300 from Parent University – Who says it’s too early for graduation season to begin? While most seniors begin turning their tassels in June, 284 walked across the stage at Walter Stiern Middle School Saturday, but they were a little older than most run-of-the-mill grads. That’s because they were graduating from Parent University, a year-long course launched by Bakersfield City School District that teaches moms and dads new skills for how to guide their kids through their academic careers. Bakersfield Californian article

Kids Club loses after-school contract with Manteca Unified — The Kids Club only recently ceased receiving public money. Effective April 3, Manteca Unified Superintendent Jason Messer terminated his district’s contract with the Kids Club to provide services to schools in the Weston Ranch area. Stockton Record article

Great Big Read draws hundreds to downtown Stockton —  Janet Leigh Plaza in downtown Stockton was alive with music, games and storytelling as part of an event aimed at increasing an interest in reading among youngsters on Saturday. The Downtown Stockton Alliance, city of Stockton and the San Joaquin Public Library hosted the second annual Great Big Read, featuring a variety of activities designed to promote reading such as making bookmarks and creating postcards and coloring books. Stockton Record article

Public schools balk at pediatric pot patients — In California, as in the vast majority of states that have legalized medical marijuana, children with epilepsy and other illnesses can be treated with cannabis. Since 2015, New Jersey, Maine, Colorado, and Washington have passed additional laws that permit parents and other caregivers to administer these medications on school property — actions that were directly inspired by kids like Brooke. No such law exists in California, and private schools, which are not subject to many public school regulations, set their own policies. San Francisco Chronicle article


Lois Henry: Anti-oil activists don’t know who they’re picking on — Why should Kern County worry about an incredibly ill-conceived anti-oil measure passed in Monterey County last year? Anyhow, there are so many reasons to shake your head at the purported anti-fracking initiative known as Measure Z that it’s hard to pick just one. (Wells in Monterey County aren’t fracked, to start with.) Henry column in Bakersfield Californian

Public energy programs save customers money – at least in the beginning — Southern California Edison customers looking to cure their power-bill pain might find some relief in Los Angeles County’s new government-run energy program — but the track records of similar public energy efforts show that the initial cost advantage doesn’t last. LA Times article

Land Use/Housing

Residents get to weigh in on Stockton’s General Plan — Outspoken residents of Weston Ranch for years have complained about a lack of commercial and retail options in their southwest Stockton community as land has sat vacant and a decade-old city ban on new big-box superstores has remained in place. Stockton Record article

Other areas

Lemoore city manager to resign — Lemoore City Manager Andi Welsh has agreed to resign after reaching a separation agreement with the Lemoore City Council. According to the agreement, announced Friday, Welsh will step down May 9 and will receive a lump sum “separation benefit” payment of $152,900. Hanford Sentinel article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – President Donald Trump signed an executive order directing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review the status of 24 national monuments. Several are in California and Trump could target them for reduction or even elimination, although his administration would be on dubious legal footing.