August 8, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories 

Dan Walters: Pension plan for millions of California workers still has issues — The Legislature is being asked to approve am embryonic plan to provide pensions for millions of Californians who lack them. But Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León’s plan raises questions about benefits and state liability that remain unresolved. Walters column in Sacramento Bee 

Bilingual education back on ballot 18 years after voters rejected it — Placed on the Nov. 8 ballot by legislators in 2014, Proposition 58 will ask voters to remove the restrictions of Proposition 227. Supporters want to make it easier for schools to establish bilingual programs for both English learners and native English speakers seeking to gain fluency in a foreign language. Sacramento Bee article

Valley politics 

Tulare supervisors to consider candidates’ fees — Candidates in the November election may to have to pay more to have their statement included in the ballot. At a request from the elections office, the Tulare County Board of Supervisors will consider adopting new candidate statement regulations and printing fees when they meet in regular session Tuesday. Visalia Times-Delta article 

Other areas 

Is Prop 47 working? Depends on whom you ask — As intended, the law has prevented nonviolent offenders from serving significant jail terms. But some law enforcement officials firmly believe — and there are equally strong opinions to the contrary — that these offenders are responsible for a documented uptick in crime since the law’s passage. Also as intended, the state’s inmate population has been reduced, but the money budgeted from the savings for services in the first year is tens of millions less than expected. Long Beach Press-Enterprise article

Bill would end criminalizing children for prostitution — California would no longer prosecute minors for prostitution under a bill in the state Legislature, a move law enforcement agencies say would make it more difficult to prosecute pimps. Supporters of SB1322 say many children caught selling sex are the victims of human traffickers and that prosecuting them for prostitution is not the appropriate or ethical response. San Francisco Chronicle article

California Government Today:

Senate Daily File

Assembly Daily File

News Stories

Top Stories

UC Davis may issue emergency loans due to financial aid backlog – UC Davis is two months behind on processing financial aid and scholarships and may have to issue short-term loans to students so they can pay for books, food and rent when school begins Sept. 19, according to campus officials. Sacramento Bee article 

Embattled Fresno probation chief says judges are treating him unjustly — An executive committee of Fresno County Superior Court judges told Rick Chavez this month they want him removed as probation chief, accusing him of being dishonest, exercising poor judgment and exhibiting bad leadership. But Chavez and his lawyer, Barry Bennett, contend the allegations against him are phony and are designed to smear Chavez’s reputation so the judges can fire him. Fresno Bee article

Jobs and the Economy

Russ Teall and Neil Koehler: Valley must fight to remain a hub for clean fuels jobs – Teall, president and founder of Biodico Inc., and Koehler, co-founder, director and CEO of Pacific Ethanol, write, “California’s foresight with the LCFS positioned our state as a magnet for clean-energy jobs. As federal programs have been inconsistent, state policies play an elevated role in supporting innovation. Injecting uncertainty into a growing industry like ours, especially one creating jobs in some of the most polluted and vulnerable communities in our state, is shortsighted.” Teall/Koehler op-ed in Fresno Bee 

Ask TBC: What’s the future of this building at 24th and Chestnut? — The building is owned by a family trust, according to public records. We reached an owner of it and she talked to us, but didn’t want to give her name. She said she wants to do something with the building, either sell it or lease it, but hasn’t made any decisions. She said people have expressed interest in the building and that she has been in contact with more than two real estate agents about helping her strike a deal with somebody. The building has been vacant since 2012. Bakersfield Californian article


Don Curlee: Ugly crops keeps celebs slim — Some of the beautiful people in Hollywood and elsewhere are boosting one of California’s ugliest crops because it helps them stay slim, glamorous and photogenic. Farmers who grow the crop are enjoying the recognition and brisk sales. Visalia Times-Delta article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Delta College pitcher killed in San Francisco park — A member of the San Joaquin Delta College baseball team was shot to death Saturday night in a national park on the San Francisco waterfront, according to authorities. Stockton Record article; San Francisco Chronicle article


California bill would change law governing eligibility period for subsidized child care — California families who qualify for state-subsidized child care would be guaranteed eligibility for 12 months under a bill working its way through the state Legislature that would bring the state into compliance with federal requirements.EdSource article 

Summer programs help prepare minority students for college STEM — Minority and low-income students face a number of hurdles in completing such degrees, including the quality of high school instruction, limited access to advanced science, math and technology courses, a lack of guidance on how to navigate college and social stigma, said Kevin Eagan, director of the Higher Education Research Institute. Now, across the country, academic programs are working to expand access and improve success. LA Times article 

Merced kids test slime, magnets, rockets in summer class — Merced school kids ended their summer program with some hands-on learning: building and flying balloon rockets, testing magnets and concocting their own slime. The World of Wonders Science Museum of Lodi sent its “WOW on Wheels” teams to John Muir Elementary last week as part of the Merced City School District’s Youth Enrichment Program, district officials said in a news release. Merced Sun-Star article 

‘Pop-ups’ bring preschool to low-income California families — Cindy Rivera entered the family resource center in the Hillview neighborhood library at 10 a.m. and began transforming it. She replaced chairs and tables with furniture half the size, unfurled colorful round rugs, and unpacked boxes of books and blocks, clay and costumes, and math and science games. At 11 a.m., she opened the door and greeted 13 children by name as they rushed inside, pulling a parent or grandparent by the hand behind them. AP article

Health/Human Services

Teaching in-home caregivers to provide more expert care seems to pay off, study finds – Low-income Californians who are elderly and disabled were less likely to go to the emergency room or be hospitalized after their in-home caregivers participated in an intensive training program, according to a report. San Jose Mercury News article 

The doctors who drug California foster children the most — For years, few questioned how doctors treated the emotional trauma of California’s abused and neglected children – and nobody monitored how often they handed out psychiatric drugs that can turn fragile childhoods into battles with obesity and bouts of stupor.Now, a Bay Area News Group investigation into the prescribing habits of the state’s foster care doctors reveals for the first time how a fraction of those doctors has been fueling the medicating of California’s most vulnerable kids. San Jose Mercury News article 

Skills grow along with crops at United Cerebral Palsy garden — Frank Galhano’s hands smelled great. The Turlock resident was picking basil at the United Cerebral Palsy garden behind the SOS Club in Modesto, and he delighted in letting those around him get a whiff of how the aromatic herb clung to his fingertips.Modesto Bee article

Land Use/Housing

The next big fight over housing could happen, literally, in your back yard – Second homes, often called “granny flats,” have become a new front in the conflict that pits the need for more housing in the country’s most expensive cities against the wishes of neighbors who want to preserve their communities. The same battles flare over large developments that might loom over single-family neighborhoods. But even this modest idea for new housing — let homeowners build it in their own back yards — has run into not-in-my-back-yard resistance. Washington Post article 

Hollister Ranch owners are fighting the state again over public’s right to use the beach — The owners, including surfers, celebrities and successful professionals, have for decades fought to keep the coastline almost entirely to themselves. Now they’re back in court seeking to derail the latest move to let non-residents onto beaches that are public by law. LA Times article

Other areas 

County alarm policies are different than new Merced ones — Recently, the city of Merced passed a false-alarm ordinance and began requiring home and business owners to get a permit for security alarms. False alarms became a nuisance for the Merced Police Department. Officers spent too much time responding to false alarms instead of true emergencies. So the city adopted a fee schedule for repeat offenders and required residents to apply for a permit. It’s also an issue for the Merced County Sheriff’s Office, which is historically understaffed, Sheriff Vern Warnke said. The sheriff said nearly all burglar alarm calls are false alarms. That’s got some residents living outside the city limits wondering what the rules are for them. Merced Sun-Star article

Livingston denies claim on death of pedestrian — The Livingston City Council denied a claim for damages last week from the family of Bagicha Singh, who was hit and killed by a truck near Hammatt Avenue in December. Merced Sun-Star article 

Fitz’s Stockton: A Stockton stop in DC — The National Mall in Washington, D.C., is lined with some of America’s most famous edifices: the Lincoln Memorial, the U.S. Capitol and the famous Stone from Stockton. Or so says Kenneth Steele.  Fitz’s Stockton in Stockton Record 

Mural festival seeks to push Sacramento art revolution — Beginning Aug. 20, a dozen muralists from Sacramento and around the world will be given control of blank walls around the central city. They’ll spend the following week transforming those walls into murals. Tours of the work will be given, lectures held and don’t be surprised if more than a few pop-up parties break out. Sacramento Bee article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – Lawmakers should do what it takes to revive the paid-family-leave bill derailed by now-absent Assemblyman Roger Hernández. It would be a game-changer for new parents at small businesses.