August 3, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories 

It’s Silicon Valley vs. law enforcement on California death penalty – Two competing November ballot measures that aim to abolish or expedite California’s long-dormant death penalty each raised more than $3 million through the first half of the year, according to state campaign finance records, and largely drew their funding from a narrow group of major donors: Silicon Valley executives and law enforcement unions. Sacramento Bee article 

California ballot measures see $65 million in second quarter – Campaigns supporting and opposing California’s 17 ballot initiatives have reported raising at least $65 million from April through June, according to paperwork filed this week with the secretary of state. AP article

Valley politics 

Brand, Perea start from near even in Fresno mayor money race — Fresno mayoral candidates Lee Brand and Henry R. Perea are, financially speaking, pretty much even as they start campaigning ahead of the November general election. That starting point isn’t zero, but considering how much money they each had at their disposal for the June 7 primary election, it’s pretty close. Fresno Bee article 

In Bakersfield mayor’s race, Goh out-fundraising Carter — Former Kern County Supervisor Karen Goh, who ultimately passed former homebuilder Kyle Carter in the June mayoral primary to narrowly claim the No. 1 spot, continued to out-fundraise him in June by a small margin. Bakersfield Californian article

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures 

Governor candidates Newsom, Chiang raise millions for 2018 race – With more than two years to go, the race for California’s next governor is already attracting millions of dollars in campaign contributions. San Francisco Chronicle article 

John Chiang off to fast start in money race for California governor — One reason not to discount state Treasurer John Chiang in California’s still-distant race for governor: He raised more money in the first six weeks of his campaign than Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, an aggressive fundraiser with a higher profile, produced in the same period after declaring his candidacy last year. Chiang raised about $2.3 million in the first 45 days of his campaign, according to a campaign finance report filed Monday, more than twice Newsom’s haul in his first six weeks. Sacramento Bee article 

When pot is legal, how do you convince teens to abstain? — If voters pass Proposition 64, California will join other Western states grappling with the task of lifting the cultural stigma and legal prohibition on marijuana without tacitly encouraging more teens to try it. Policymakers and public health experts say that requires both communicating the risks and acknowledging that, legal or not, generations of teens have had access to weed. Sacramento Bee article 

Chuck Schumer endorses Kamala Harris for U.S. Senate in California — U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, his party’s leader in waiting of the upper chamber, has thrown himself into California’s all-Democratic Senate contest, endorsing Kamala Harris as the successor to Barbara Boxer. Sacramento Bee article 

Oops! California Secretary of State accidentally told two candidates they were on November ballot — California Secretary of State Alex Padilla’s office mistakenly told two congressional candidates in July that they had made it onto the November ballot. LA Times article

Other areas 

Should fallen officers’ families get to decide on publicizing death videos? – A bill pending in the California Senate from Democratic Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley) would let the family of the fallen officer decide whether those recordings should be made public. Low’s brother is a police officer. He says the bill isn’t intended to withhold information, but to protect families. KQED report 

Supreme Court asked to weigh in on transgender bathroom dispute – The Supreme Court has its first chance this week to weigh in on the legal controversy over transgender students, as a Virginia school board seeks an emergency order exempting it from the Obama administration’s policy to allow students to use bathrooms “consistent with their gender identity.” LA Times article 

State’s vaccination law under fire – At least three lawsuits have been filed seeking to overturn California’s new law that prevents children from attending public or private school or day care without getting mandatory vaccinations. Capitol Weekly article 

Dan Walters: State Bar disaster continues as California politicians ponder fate – It’s been painfully evident for years, if not decades, that the State Bar – the quasi-public organization that licenses lawyers and is supposed regulate their conduct – is an institutional disaster zone. Walters column in Sacramento Bee 

California lawmakers sign transgender pledge, ‘Living your truth is something to be celebrated’ – Declaring their support for what they called a defining civil rights issue, California lawmakers on Tuesday signed a pledge to protect the rights of transgender people. Sacramento Bee article 

Steinberg set spending record in Sacramento mayoral campaign — For what Darrell Steinberg spent on his victory in the Sacramento mayoral election, he could have purchased all of his supporters a serving of the Sonoma County duck breast at midtown’s Waterboy restaurant. Steinberg spent a record $1.6 million on his campaign – more than Mayor Kevin Johnson and former Mayor Heather Fargo combined to spend in the June 2008 primary. Sacramento Bee article 

California women’s caucus celebrates ‘strong, smart, bold’ women of ‘Ghostbusters’ — California lawmakers ain’t afraid of no female stars. A Ghostbusters reboot featuring four women as leads fomented anger and criticism among some male fans of the original franchise. For the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, it supplied cause for celebration. Sacramento Bee article 

Steve Lopez: I’m your foghorn: Let’s get this reform back on course before it crashes into the rocks — If you’ve got a good pair of rubber boots, now would be a good time to put ’em on because to get through this coastal story, you’ll need to wade through muck. A perfectly good reform bill was advancing smoothly through the Legislature, aimed at making the business of the California Coastal Commission more transparent. But now the bill looks comatose and the plug could be pulled Aug. 11, killing its chances this year. Lopez column in LA Times

Presidential Politics 

GOP fundraiser Meg Whitman endorses Clinton, will raise funds – Top Republican donor and fundraiser Meg Whitman has endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton for president, saying she cannot support a candidate who has “exploited anger, grievance, xenophobia and racial division.” AP article; LA Times article;New York Times article; Sacramento Bee article

Donald Trump’s latest troubles threaten congressional Republicans – Donald Trump’s ongoing war of words with the parents of a fallen U.S. soldier is threatening to not only damage his electoral prospects but also those of Republicans across the country, including some in California. San Jose Mercury News article 

Joel Fox: Controversy involving Presidential Debate Commission previously, and I was there — Donald Trump hinted over the weekend that he may skip a couple of the scheduled presidential debates because they conflict with National Football League games, an effort to diminish the debate’s audience, he claimed. The Commission on Presidential Debates, a non-profit foundation created by the major political parties to put on debates, denied Trump’s charge. However, the brouhaha brought back memories of a previous time the Commission on Presidential Debates was tangled in a debate melee and I was involved.Fox in Fox & Hounds

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News Stories

Top Stories

California unveils environmental blueprint for Delta tunnels — California officials Tuesday released a detailed environmental blueprint for Gov. Jerry Brown’s controversial Delta tunnels project, saying the $15.5 billion plan “minimizes potential effects” on endangered fish species whose populations have dwindled following decades of water pumping. Sacramento Bee article 

Californians cut water use in June, but not as much as last year – Californians reduced water consumption by 21.5 percent in June, but the conservation rate was lower than a year ago and state regulators vowed to scrutinize communities where water use has risen significantly. Officials said strict drought controls could be reinstated if necessary. Sacramento Bee article; San Jose Mercury News article; LA Times article; KQED report; Stockton Record article

Jobs and the Economy 

San Joaquin Valley business index rises in July – The overall San Joaquin Valley Business Conditions Index in July rose slightly to 49.8 from 49.5 in June, but nonetheless remained below the key “growth neutral” threshold for the second consecutive month. The results point to slowed economic and business growth. An index reading greater than 50 indicates an expansionary economy over the course of the next three to six months. The Business Journal article

Visalia sales tax measure to hit ballot — Visalia residents will decide on a proposed sales tax increase projected to generate $10 million annually, a move aimed at making up for sagging revenue. On Monday night, the Visalia City Council approved placing a half-cent sales tax increase on the November ballot. A simple majority vote, 50 percent-plus-one, would be enough to approve the tax. Visalia Times-Delta article 

‘Greenlining’ aims to reclaim parts of Stockton – Redlining — the practice of denying services to neighborhoods based on their racial and ethnic makeup — made it possible to dismantle Little Manila and is also responsible for creating social, health and environmental inequity, according to advocates who spoke during the Greenlining the Hood: Reclaim & Rebuild Our City forum on Tuesday. The conversation, which was open to the public, was intended to address problems and challenges, and to build partnerships to change the outcomes for years to come. Stockton Record article 

Should the DMV suspend licenses of people too poor to pay fines? – Advocates for the poor are demanding that the California Department of Motor Vehicles stop suspending the driver licenses of people who fail to pay traffic fines or appear in court. Sacramento Bee article; LA Times article 

Report: Valley real estate prices continue to rise – A new report from CoreLogic detailing June 2016 real estate transactions shows home prices nationally — and around the Valley — are up both year over year and month over month. The Business Journal article; Hanford Sentinel article

Report: Trade pact would be good for Kings – The proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal would benefit the 21st Congressional District, according to a report released Tuesday by the Business Roundtable. Kings County is in the district. Hanford Sentinel article 

Fresno State’s Central Valley Innovation Cluster gears up — Nearly a dozen would-be entrepreneurs have already contacted Fresno State’s brand new energy-innovation incubator — and three full-time employees have just been hired to run the program. The Business Journal article 

LA Metro’s sales tax proposal will appear on November ballot – Los Angeles County voters will be asked in November to approve a half-cent sales tax increase that would continue indefinitely to fund a major expansion of Southern California’s transit network. LA Times article 

Ridley-Thomas courts help from billionaire Tom Steyer for homeless tax initiative – Billionaire Democratic political activist and potential gubernatorial candidate Tom Steyer toured skid row Tuesday with Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who said afterward that he is courting Steyer’s support for a potential March sales tax initiative for homeless services. LA Times article 

Air Force declares the F-35 fighter ready for limited combat – The Air Force has declared the F-35A fighter jet combat-ready, marking a major milestone for the plane that has long faced technical challenges and cost overruns. LA Times article

FEMA says ‘no’ to Erskine Fire major disaster declaration — In late June the Erskine Fire devastated communities around Lake Isabella in Kern County. Nearly 300 homes were destroyed in the fast moving blaze in communities like South Lake. Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom reached out to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for help. In late July, FEMA rejected the state’s request for a major disaster declaration, and the federal help that accompanies it. That left many locals shocked and dismayed. Lois Henry of the Bakersfield Californian joined us on Valley Edition to talk about what’s next for the community, and why FEMA said “no” to major federal help. KVPR report 

Coaches, doctors top list of state’s highest paid – UCLA coaches once again earned the highest public salaries in California in 2015. The state Controller’s Office published its annual update to the pay list for public employees Tuesday. Capital Public Radio report 

Monday mornings mean moving for San Diego homeless population — For Dion Anthony Miller and other homeless people who sleep on the streets of downtown San Diego, Monday is always moving day. LA Times article; San Diego Union-Tribune article 

Sacramento poised to scrap lowest bidder in troubled water meter project – Sacramento is considering scrapping the lowest bidder requirement in its water meter installation program, a step it says could get meters put in faster and reduce customer complaints. The change could also allow contracting bias in a program that has weathered setbacks and scandals, including the recent finding by the city auditor that its onetime project manager had sex and used alcohol and drugs on the job. Sacramento Bee article 

Sacramento-area hotels, motels seeing revenue boost in 2016 — With the usually busy summer months yet to be counted, Sacramento-area motel and hotel operators are seeing strong numbers through five months of 2016, according to the latest report released by CBRE Hotels in San Francisco. Sacramento Bee article 

Disney’s ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ to receive $18 million in California film tax credits — The biggest entertainment company in the world is in line to get the largest production incentive ever from the state of California. The state film commission has approved about $18 million in credits for the upcoming Walt Disney Co. movie “A Wrinkle in Time.” LA Times article 

Irvine Co. apartments to get ultra high-speed Google Fiber — Some Irvine renters and businesses will soon be able to use Google Fiber, making the city the first in Southern California to receive the tech giant’s ultra-high-speed Internet. LA Times article 


Valley cities still saving water, but state conservation falls – According to numbers released Tuesday by the State Water Resources Control Board, Fresno’s water use in June fell by 29 percent compared with the June 2013 total (the state uses 2013 as the baseline). The other Valley cities to show drops in consumption were: Clovis, 24 percent; Visalia, 23 percent; Hanford, 22 percent; Madera, 23 percent and Tulare, 19 percent. Fresno Bee article 

Court reverses $73.4 million verdict in Kings County land and water sale – The 5th District Court of Appeal in Fresno has overturned a $73.4 million verdict against McCarthy Family Farms and Bay Area developer John Vidovich and Sandridge Partners involving a land and water sale in Kings County. Fresno Bee article 

More Asian citrus psyllids found; quarantine area grows in San Joaquin County – Agricultural officials have announced that an Asian Citrus Psyllid has been found near Lockeford and another near Escalon, extending the areas where the invasive pests have been found and quarantine areas in San Joaquin County. Stockton Record article 

Expanded testing revealing extent of water problem in northeast Fresno – The City of Fresno is getting the first round of results from expanded testing of discolored water in the northeastern part of the city. Dozens of homes have tested positive for high levels of lead. Early test results of nearly 300 homes found 41 had fixtures that tested positive for levels of lead above the level considered safe set by the EPA. KVPR report 

Will replacing thirsty lawns with drought-tolerant plants make LA hotter? — Last summer, a revolution occurred in Los Angeles landscaping: Across the city, tens of thousands of homeowners tore up their water-thirsty lawns and replaced them with gravel, turf, decomposed granite and a wide range of drought-tolerant plants at a rate never seen before. The water-saving benefits of this massive landscape overhaul are undisputed — and that’s important in a region that was facing the worst drought in 1,200 years. Still, some experts warned that Angelenos’ zeal to use less water in the backyard would ultimately make the city warmer. LA Times article 

Coroner: Farmworker died of natural causes — A 60-year-old farmworker who died after suffering medical complications in a Mettler grape vineyard last week died of natural causes, coroner’s officials said Tuesday. Bakersfield Californian article

UC researchers partner with brewery to collect urine and generate fertilizer — When customers of Sudwerk Brewery Co. answer nature’s call, they can do their part to help nature. Urine collected in a special outhouse outside the Davis brewery is being used by UC Davis researcher Harold Leverenz and his colleagues to develop natural fertilizer that may eventually support local agriculture. Sacramento Bee article

Criminal Justice/Prisons 

Sheriff: Dylan Noble had alcohol, drugs in his system when Fresno police shot him – Dylan Noble, the 19-year-old Clovis man who was shot and killed in a June 25 confrontation with Fresno police, was intoxicated and had traces of a chemical metabolite of cocaine in his system when he died, the Fresno County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office said Tuesday. Fresno Bee article; LA Times article 

Report faults Fresno police body camera policy; Dyer challenges conclusions – The Fresno Police Department received low marks Tuesday for its usage of body cameras in a scorecard rating 50 of the nation’s police departments, but Police Chief Jerry Dyer labeled the report as “flawed” and challenged most of its conclusions. Fresno Bee article

DA: Stockton mayor refuses to cooperate on stolen gun – The District Attorney’s Office says Anthony Silva has refused for more than two weeks to cooperate with investigators seeking information about the mayor’s recovered gun, which was used in the unsolved 2015 killing of 13-year-old Rayshawn “Ray Ray” Harris. Stockton Record article; Michael Fitzgerald column in Stockton Record 

Throngs join Valley police for National Night Out – Residents throughout the San Joaquin Valley joined with law enforcement for National Night Out activities. Fresno Bee article; Visalia Times-Delta article; Stockton Record article 

Defendant in death penalty case asking jail officials to uncuff him – A defendant representing himself in a Stanislaus County death penalty case is asking the court to order sheriff’s officials to uncuff him while he meets with his legal team inside the jail. Modesto Bee article 

Former Hanford police officer sues city for disclosing sealed files – A former Hanford police officer is suing the city after it allegedly shared sealed portions of his disciplinary records with a prospective employer. Hanford Sentinel article 

Man beaten by deputies in San Francisco sues over injuries — A man who was beaten by Alameda County sheriff’s deputies in an alley in San Francisco’s Mission District filed a federal lawsuit Monday, alleging that the deputies violated his civil rights in the arrest that garnered nationwide attention after it was caught on video. San Francisco Chronicle article 

Jury awards $2.2 million to family of man killed by LAPD police officer – A jury in a civil case Tuesday awarded $2.2 million to the family of a 26-year-old man who was shot and killed by a Los Angeles police officer — a shooting that Chief Charlie Beck had deemed justified and Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey declined to prosecute. LA Times article 

Man used railroad spikes and hammer in attacks on homeless in San Diego, prosecutor says — The case against the man accused of killing three homeless men and critically injuring two others was put on hold Tuesday so his mental state could be evaluated. A prosecutor also revealed for the first time that Jon Guerrero, 39, allegedly used a railroad spike and hammer to attack all five of his victims. LA Times article


UC footed first-class flights, high-end hotel rooms for UC Davis chancellor Katehi – During her tenure as UC Davis chancellor, Linda P.B. Katehi has flown first class, hired tour guides, taken limousines and made numerous expensive travel changes that were billed to the University of California, according to documents obtained by The Sacramento Bee. Sacramento Bee article 

Debate over how to promote image of Kern High School District prompts fight among trustees – Kern High School District Trustee Chad Vegas stormed out after a heated board meeting Monday, accusing a colleague of voting against awarding a $387,000 consulting contract to a local public relations firm because of a “personal vendetta.” Bakersfield California article 

CORE districts want state waiver to continue their work – The six California school districts that designed their own school accountability and improvement model, including Fresno Unified, are asking the State Board of Education for permission to continue to develop their hybrid system in 2017-18 and beyond. The board will discuss and possibly vote on the proposal at its next meeting in September. EdSource article 

Merced College president defends fingerprint investigation – Merced College President Susan Walsh broke her silence Tuesday to address an investigation on campus with an email sent to staff and faculty. Merced Sun-Star article 

Teachers share challenges and solutions at statewide summit – For a second straight summer, thousands of teachers across California gathered for a day at more than three dozen sites across the state to grapple with implementing a range of reforms in their classrooms, including the Common Core standards.EdSource article 

Top state education officials detail objections to federal regulations – California’s top two education officials on Monday spelled out their complaints with proposed federal regulations that they said would conflict with and undermine the state’s new plan to help schools improve and hold them accountable for student achievement. EdSource article 

Proposed state, federal accountability systems could clash again – Differences in proposed federal and state criteria for intervening in the lowest-performing schools could lead to what California education officials have insisted they want to avoid: two conflicting school improvement systems. EdSource article 

Classroom size: How local schools stack up – The following school district information indicates past or expected student-to-instructor ratios, Ratios fluctuate once schools are back in session within the next few weeks. Visalia Times-Delta article 

Extracting the DNA of friendship: Japanese, Tracy STEM students work together – A large charter bus pulled into the parking lot of Tracy High School on Tuesday morning as science teacher Erin McKay and her class welcomed their visitors who came from more than 8,200 miles away. Stockton Record article 

Stockton Unified to consider Acacia charter petitions — A week after Stockton Unified School District officials said they were unsure about reviewing petitions for two charter schools, the district announced Tuesday it will, in fact, accept the petitions and proceed with the charter petition process. Stockton Record article 


Will an expanded power grid help California fight climate change — In three years, California’s largest utilities could be slashing their use of fossil fuels by swapping homegrown solar energy for Rocky Mountain wind power in a sprawling Western electricity grid. Or a newly expanded grid could provide a profitable market to revive out-of-state coal plants that would otherwise face a harder time complying with California’s aggressive greenhouse-gas-reduction efforts. Sacramento Bee article

Goose Fire containment grows to 60 percent as some residents are allowed back to their homes – Cal Fire reported Tuesday that containment of the Goose Fire had reached 60 percent, with nine structures – four of them homes – destroyed. Estimated land burned or burning grew to 2,185 acres. The cost of fighting the Goose Fire through early Tuesday was $5.4 million – and growing. Fresno Bee article 

State: Massive Big Sur blaze caused by abandoned campfire – A destructive wildfire burning in vast and rugged terrain near Big Sur was ignited by an abandoned campfire, Cal Fire officials said Tuesday. San Francisco Chronicle article 

Well, it’s official, 2015 set multiple climate records –  The warming of the world’s climate has reached a fever pitch in recent years, causing records to fall like dominoes. In 2015, the planet saw a number of such records set, from the hottest global temperature measured to the largest annual increase in carbon dioxide. KQED report

‘Above average’ wildfire activity is forecast through October — Southern California can expect above average wildfire activity through the end of October due to the shortage of rain and extremely dry vegetation in many areas, the National Interagency Fire Center said. LA Times article 

Prosecutors ask judge to dramatically slash potential fines in PG&E case — Federal prosecutors asked a judge Tuesday to cut nearly all of a potential $562 million fine against Pacific Gas & Electric Co. in a criminal case alleging the utility violated pipeline safety regulations before a deadly natural gas explosion in San Bruno and later obstructed investigators looking into the blast. KQED report; San Francisco Chronicle article

Don Bransford and Fritz Durst: Address all factors to improve salmon numbers – Bransford, president of the Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District, and Durst, president of Reclamation District 108, write, “The Sacramento Valley Salmon Recovery Program is an innovative effort to enhance critical habitat and improve the passage for all salmonid species in the Sacramento Valley involving a unique coalition of farmers, water providers, conservationists and regulators who are driven by the mindset to ‘fix it’ rather than ‘fight it.’ This approach has led to tremendous progress on projects that have had a positive impact on all salmon, yet more work will be required in the future. Bransford/Durst op-ed in Sacramento Bee 

What to do with all those dead pine trees? Take a class, build a gazebo — Due to drought bark beetles have ravaged lots of pine trees in the Sierra Nevada forcing homeowners to fall dead trees around their houses. Now one organization is offering a class to teach people what they can do with all these dead trees. KVPR report

Health/Human Services

The deal: How HCCA took over Tulare hospital – Will Tulare’s hospital, owned by the public since it opened in 1951, be sold to a private operator? The man who stands first in line to buy it claims he’s not interested, but a thick stack of legal documents he has signed, including a carefully-drawn option agreement, pave the way. All Yorai (Benny) Benzeevi has to do is start the wheels in motion, according to the deal he worked out with the board of the Tulare Regional Medical Center almost two years ago. Visalia Times-Delta article; ‘Benzeevi led Tulare hospital’s turnaround’ in Visalia Times-Delta 

One lawyer, two clients — In an unusual arrangement, the Tulare hospital and the company that manages it and has an option to buy it have the same lawyer. Visalia Times-Delta article 

Dr. Benny Benzeevi: TRMC work stoppage explanation in story is wrong – The chairman of Healthcare Conglomerate Associates and CEO of Tulare Regional Medical Center  writes, “As the hospital is simply unable to continue to carry the costs of constant repairs to its 65-year-old building, nor the costs of continued construction on the new building, nor effectively recruit physicians and nurses to a place with an uncertain future, nor be able to respond to the emergency needs of its community that has grown 500 percent while the ER has remained essentially the same size, would lead to its rapid demise and closure.” Benzeevi op-ed in Visalia Times-Delta 

California gets U.S. funds to track, treat babies affected by Zika — California will receive federal help this week to help identify and treat babies born with microcephaly, the devastating neurological defect caused by the Zika virus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will give the state $720,000 to gather more information about microcephaly, refer more infants and families to health and social resources, and track outcomes down the line for infants born to Zika-infected mothers. Sacramento Bee article

Land Use/Housing 

Debate linger over extra Hidden Valley Park land — For more than 40 years, the 19-acre parcel immediately west of Hidden Valley Park has sat vacant, remaining undeveloped. Now, with a proposal on the table to rezone the city-owned property as low-density residential — allowing it to potentially be sold to a housing developer — the debate over the land’s future has flared up again. Hanford Sentinel article 

Galt bans car sales on public streets — The Galt City Council voted Tuesday to ban parking cars with the intent of selling and advertising them on public streets – a reaction to people who sell their cars on the streets near the city’s popular flea market. Sacramento Bee article


The Bus beefs up security — Merced County’s The Bus has added a full-time security patrol to the Downtown Merced Transpo Center in an attempt to give riders peace of mind, county officials announced Tuesday. Merced Sun-Star article 

Other areas 

5 dead, more injured in Highway 99 bus crash – A bus carrying travelers from Mexico was ripped open early Tuesday when it crashed into a highway signage pole south of Livingston, killing five people and injuring several others in a scene described as having “a tremendous amount of carnage.” Merced Sun-Star article 

Interview: U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera’s second term to focus on youth, Fresno – Central Valley native Juan Felipe Herrera was recently  appointed for a second term as the U.S. Poet Laureate. In his first year he traveled the states with a focus on diversity through his online project “La Casa De Colores.” In this interview he sits down with Valley Public Radio Reporter Ezra David Romero to chat about what he’s gleaned from his travels and what the next year has in store for him. KVPR report

Lois Henry: Wanting to ‘do more’ for animal welfare, this vet came to the right place – I never thought a cat being spayed could be, well, mesmerizing. But Tuesday morning, I watched Kimberly Wilson, DVM, open up and spay two cats in less than 10 minutes each and it was possibly one of the most artful things I’d ever seen. She was so fast, delicate and graceful. Really, it was like watching a dance. Wilson is the Bakersfield Animal Care Center’s new veterinarian and has a passion for fixing as many animals as possible. It shows. Henry column in Bakersfield Californian 

Cupid to blame for Riverbank city manager’s exit – The city is losing its top unelected leader to love. After 4 1/2 years at the helm, City Manager Jill Anderson is leaving to take the same job at Chehalis, Wash., between Seattle and Portland, Ore. It’s much smaller – 7,268 people, compared with Riverbank’s 23,485 – but it’s closer to her boyfriend. Modesto Bee article

Merced looks at new way to honor its fallen military personnel – A Merced councilman’s idea to begin dubbing new streets with the names of Merced veterans who died in combat was praised as soon as it was introduced this week. Merced Sun-Star article 

Catching waves in Lemoore? Pro surfers ride the perfect wave — Late last year a world famous surfer announced he created the perfect manmade wave. At this point no one knows exactly how he did it and the site where he built it isn’t open to the public. But Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero found that wave site in the most unlikely of places. KVPR report

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – Legislation would withhold body-cam footage from the public if it shows cop being killed, without permission from slain officer’s family. It’s the latest in a series of police-backed bills aimed at limiting transparency.

Sacramento Bee – Vaccines are generally safe and effective. Yet Jill Stein, Green Party candidate for the White House and Harvard-trained physician, has been talking as if the matter is up for debate. Hillary Clinton shouldn’t look like a rogue genius for saying the obvious – that vaccines work; It’s time for Republicans to stand up to Donald Trump.

Stockton Record – A fitting tribute: Atherton good choice for VA medical facility name.