August 7, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories

Current allegations against Stockton mayor familiar — It was 2005 and Anthony Silva faced accusations of using a hidden camera to make illegal video recordings of unknowing “female juveniles” as they changed clothing in the bathroom at the apartment of the man who someday would become Stockton’s mayor. A five-page police report was the result. At the end of the report was a spot to list evidence. Next to “evidence” was one word: “None.” James Willett, the San Joaquin County district attorney at the time, never brought charges. Stockton Record article 

Mike Klocke: Scandal simmers as Stockton suffers — The mayor won’t resign. Stocktonians will deal not only with an upcoming election — Silva versus Michael Tubbs for mayor — but also a potential court case in Amador County. I don’t know about his comparison to “Game of Thrones,” but Silva would be darn difficult to beat on “Survivor.” Time will tell in his current situation. Meanwhile, Stockton suffers. Klocke column in Stockton Record 

This law could make testifying in court easier for young victims of human trafficking – As California lawmakers aim to curb the illegal trade of sex and labor before adjourning the legislative session at the end of August, at least one bill seeks to protect such young, vulnerable victims at the center of human trafficking cases in court. LA Times article

Valley politics 

Congressman Jeff Denham: Judge me not by what I’ve done in Congress, not my feelings about Donald Trump – The Valley Republican writes, “I was deeply disappointed and frankly shocked at the tone and substance of your editorial (“If Jeff Denham can’t reject Trump, we must reject him,” Aug. 7, Page 1D). For the first time in my memory, The Bee has established a strict litmus test for their support. This test is not based on my position on the issues or on my record as a representative for the Valley. This litmus test is based entirely on whether I will denounce the presidential nominee of my own party for his choice of words, not his record.” Denham op-ed in Fresno Bee 

Jeff Jardine: Booking mugs give political campaigns entirely different look — You’re running for public office with the election just about three months away. But instead of mugging with voters in photo ops on the campaign trail, you find yourself posing for a booking mug at a county jail. Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva, long a lightning rod for controversy in his home city, experienced the latter this week when federal and local authorities arrested him at the city’s Silver Lake Youth Camp on an array of charges. Jardine column in Modesto Bee

Other areas 

Dan Walters: California wants more ZEVs on the road, but will it reach its goal? – Gov. Jerry Brown and his ARB may be on the spot – either maintaining the status quo, which could, environmentalists say, undermine the 1.5 million-ZEV goal, or damaging the cash flow of Tesla, the state’s green economy showcase. Walters column in Sacramento Bee 

State Sen. Richard Pan: New vaccine law making schools safer by re-establishing community immunity – The Sacramento Democrat writes, “In past years, about 35,000 began the school year without the benefit of vaccines that guard themselves and their classmates against deadly communicable diseases. But this school year will be different, and for many parents, it offers hope for safer schools.” Pan op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Presidential Politics 

Trump’s bad week: Local Republicans defend nominee, look forward – By almost every measure of established political thought, the past few weeks have been the worst ever for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Fresno Bee article 

Clinton drawing record cash from Silicon Valley despite techies’ cool embrace — Four years ago, Meg Whitman burned the midnight oil raising money for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, while Johnvey Hwang volunteered 100-hour weeks building apps for Barack Obama. But today they’re on the same side. San Jose Mercury News article

News Stories

Top Stories

Fire overtime scrutinized as Kern County cuts costs — Late last month, Kern supervisors called for all county departments to be “scrubbed” for budget savings. The Fire Department, and its overtime system that cost taxpayers $23.3 million last year, could be a prime target. Kern County Auditor-Controller Mary Bedard has identified two structural changes to the firefighter overtime system that — if the Kern County Fire Fighters union agrees to it — would save roughly $850,000 without reducing staffing at county fire stations. Bakersfield Californian article 

California voters rejected a Madera County tribal casino, but federal officials approved it anyway — Federal officials have approved plans for a Central Valley tribal casino, even though California voters overwhelmingly rejected the project in 2014. The decision last week by the U.S. Dept. of the Interior effectively nullifies the vote against the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians and its proposed casino alongside Highway 99 in Madera County. LA Times article

Jobs and the Economy 

San Joaquin County supervisors likely to hear again from SEIU workers — Several members of the Service Employees International Union 1021 are expected to speak during public comment at the Tuesday meeting of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors. This will be the third public meeting union members plan to attend since their three-day strike over stalled labor negotiation with the county, as well as a perceived unfair contract proposal. Stockton Record article 

Despite San Francisco’s record budget, city asking residents to pay more – The city’s new record-busting budget totals a whopping $9.6 billion — yes, billion with a b. That’s more than twice the net worth of Donald Trump, according to Forbes. It’s bigger than the budgets of 13 states, including Iowa and Alaska. It’s enough to buy million-dollar homes for every public school teacher, police officer and firefighter working in San Francisco — with a couple billion left over. But it’s not enough, at least if the November ballot and its roster of revenue measures is any indication. That’s right, San Francisco. The people in charge of our $9.6 billion want more money. San Francisco Chronicle article

Solar System: Can Tesla go from sexy car company to clean energy empire? –  If you’re wondering about Elon Musk’s latest vision for Tesla, think Apple. Apple succeeded in turning a bland market for electronic devices into a coveted and connected lifestyle where your phone, your tablet, your computer, your watch and your television can all be bought in one place and work seamlessly together. LA Times article 

Manteca brothers’ lure company takes off — Tyler Kruenegel knows what to do when he has a big fish on the line. You reel it in, whether it’s a big striped bass or a business venture which started as a hobby. The 24-year-old Mantecan, who is a lifelong fisherman and amateur carpenter, decided to make his own wood lures to improve his luck in snaring stripers, and after demonstrating his invention on a popular YouTube fishing show, started producing the lures in a shop set up in his grandfather’s garage. Stockton Record article

Airbnb is now worth $30 billion — Airbnb is raising massive new round of funding that values the company at $30 billion. That makes it the second-most-valuable US tech startup after Uber, which investors have valued around $68 billion. San Francisco Chronicle article 

Stadium, convention initiatives need two-thirds vote — Both the Chargers initiative to build a downtown stadium and a second November ballot measure to raise funds for a convention center will require approval of two-thirds of voters as opposed to a simple majority, San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said Friday. San Diego Union-Tribune article


Water district managers get pay hikes as rates increase, revenue drops – Independent water districts in the Sacramento area have increased pay for general managers by 14 percent over the last five years – a period when most raised customer rates and limited their use of water during the drought. Sacramento Bee article 

Rival Turlock farmers markets experience radically different seasons — While the stakes for the dueling farmers markets in Turlock might not have been exactly Shakespearean, the drama was no less real. Now, three months into the seasons for both the established, nonprofit Turlock Certified Farmers Market and upstart, for-profit Turlock Downtown Farmers’ Market, their fortunes have diverged dramatically. Modesto Bee article

Criminal Justice/Prisons 

Protests over recent shootings leave activists hoping Fresno is ready for change — When 500 people marched in Fresno against police brutality for hours last month, the protest – one of the biggest in recent years – marked a turning point for social justice in the city, local leaders say. Over the years, rallies in Fresno over police shootings have typically drawn small clusters of demonstrators. But the spate of recent high-profile shootings nationwide, spread by videos and social media, has fueled unprecedented engagement that activists hope will finally improve relations between police and Fresno residents. Fresno Bee article; ‘Music, activist go hand in hand for protest organizer Justice Medina’ in Fresno Bee

 Modesto council committee to get update on police drone program – Police officials on Monday will brief a City Council committee on the Modesto Police Department’s new drone program, which consists of two of the unmanned aerial vehicles. Modesto Bee article 

Tulare County sheriff revives cold case homicide unit — Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux has re-established the cold case homicide unit by hiring two veteran officers to pore through old files in hopes of finding new clues, especially DNA. Fresno Bee article 

Fresno County Jail inmate dies from self-inflicted wounds, sheriff’s office says — A Fresno County Jail inmate who attempted to hang himself on Aug. 2 died Saturday after he was taken off life support, the sheriff’s office said. Fresno Bee article


Kern High School District’s $280 million bond would modernize schools – Bakersfield High School’s Warren Hall was built like a battleship, but even great ships sometimes take on water. The building, housing 55 classrooms, is the largest at BHS, but its age shows. The lecture hall windows are painted from the outside to block the sun and heat, an innovation of times before double-pane windows and tint became standard. Bakersfield Californian article 

Lois Henry: Kern High School District’s quest for PR is just lipstick on a pig — The problem isn’t a lack of “messaging.” The problem is an appalling lack of leadership and focus. And trustees have only themselves to blame. Henry column in Bakersfield Californian 

Retired Fresno State prof David Provost was skillful political analyst, ‘great conversationalist’ — Retired Fresno State political science professor David Provost, known by many as a great conversationalist who loved to talk about politics and current events, died early Saturday in Fresno, said his son, Stephen Provost.Fresno Bee article

Kathy Hart: Dreams do come true – The president of San Joaquin Delta College writes, “What would you do if you could go back in time and tell a little girl that her dreams would come true? The story of Adriana Brogger’s experience at San Joaquin Delta College is an uncommon voice of perseverance. ‘I’m the poster child for the non-traditional student.’ Brogger harkens back to a word she learned in an economics class: Equifinality — multiple ways to reach an end goal. ‘It never crossed my mind that one day I would be a teaching at Delta College. My life’s journey has many roads … anything is possible.’” Hart op-ed in Stockton Record 

Court spurns UC Davis harassment suit defense that cites First Amendment rights — On paper at least, Dr. Un Hui Nam appeared to be an unlikely candidate for expulsion from UC Davis Medical Center residency program. Before joining the center’s anesthesia department, she distinguished herself as a general surgery intern at the UCLA Medical Center. She graduated from the Indiana University School of Medicine’s surgical honors program. She held a doctorate in pharmacy from Purdue University. Yet, in January 2012, she was deemed a disruptive, unruly and unpleasant person and dismissed from the UCD program. Sacramento Bee article 

Black churches bring coding classes to Bay Area and beyond — The Bayview neighborhood, one of the first in the country to host free coding classes for members of the congregation and surrounding community, is being used as a model for a national initiative to bring technology training to historically black churches.San Francisco Chronicle article 


An eye-opening flight over California’s dying forests — Even before the plane left the runway, it was clear the crew of researchers examining the fallout from California’s historic drought would not return with good news. San Francisco Chronicle article

Health/Human Services

Federal ratings for Valley hospitals range from one star to five — The federal government has released new hospital quality ratings, and the news is good and bad in the central San Joaquin Valley. The region has a top-rated hospital – and one of the lowest-scoring. Fresno Bee article 

New hope for Alzheimer’s: Researchers see first promising therapies in decades — For decades, Alzheimer’s has been silently ravaging brains, stealing memories and shortening the lives of millions of Americans. Now, researchers say they may be on the brink of tantalizing treatment breakthroughs that could for the first time at least slow the disease’s deadly progression. Sacramento Bee article 

Booming demand, state protections attract commercial surrogate birthing — Surrogacy has been done privately for years, often with a family member or friend willing to carry the baby. But the practice is quietly growing commercially as modern families change and more gay and foreign couples look to the U.S. for help.Sacramento Bee article


Fresno Bee: What will it be, Fresno: Trash or class? — Somewhere beneath the trash and weeds spoiling Fresno’s freeways beats the heart of a city that aches to be beautiful. Fresno Bee editorial 

Long Beach Airport gets more routes as competition heats up — When Long Beach officials gave Southwest Airlines access to Long Beach Airport for the first time this year, experts predicted heated head-to-head competition with the airport’s biggest carrier, JetBlue Airways. Game on. LA Times article 

Other areas 

Judgment day at hand for Modesto and Sonora courthouses – Court officials in Modesto and Sonora are preparing for a key hearing Thursday in San Francisco that could determine whether plans for new courthouses in those cities may be scrapped. It’s wrong, they say, that one of the most-used, most indispensable public buildings in any city should pose dangers to visitors. Modesto Bee article 

Michael Fitzgerald: Bright idea – neon conservation – Squatters broke a fire sprinkler in the basement of La Verta Hotel. The basement began filling with water. The owners sent Garrett Daniells to fix it. Daniells, 24, is half of the father-son neon sign-making team at C.R. Glow Custom Neon. He is also an enthusiastic downtown revivalist, involved with murals, Stockmarket and other initiatives and side jobs in that district. Fitzgerald column in Stockton Record 

MADD Bakersfield now has an advisory board, planning committee in efforts to fight DUI — An advisory committee composed of various community leaders was formed this year to determine how best to implement programs and services, increase awareness of drunken driving in Kern County and raise money to accomplish its goals. Bakersfield Californian article 

The Modesto Bee’s 2016 ’20 under 40’ class announced — Nearly two months ago, The Bee asked the community to nominate rising stars under the age of 40 who are making an impact. Today, we announce the first class of the “20 under 40” program. Modesto Bee article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – Somewhere beneath the trash and weeds spoiling Fresno’s freeways beats the heart of a city that aches to be beautiful. 

Sacramento Bee – Mike Lehmkuhl’s death is an all-too-common story of abdication of our responsibility to care for people who cannot care for themselves.