February 11, 2015


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Top stories

John Myers: California’s 2014 voter turnout was even worse than you thought — With the book now closed on 2014’s election season, the unshakable reality of a historically bad year for participatory democracy is now becoming all the more clear. Paul Mitchell, whose firm analyzes voter data and sells it to political campaigns, says the long-term trend in California is getting worse when it comes to what other researchers have called the state’s “exclusive electorate.”  Myers in KQED

Senate leaders casts environmental package as jobs bill – One month after Gov. Jerry Brown proposed dramatically expanding California’s greenhouse gas reduction laws, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León announced legislation Tuesday to enact the proposal. In a move to blunt opposition from business interests and moderate Democrats, de León cast the package of environmental measures as a jobs program.  Capitol Alert; LA Times article; AP article; San Francisco Chronicle article

State budget

Unclaimed property policy has conflict, needs improvement, state report says – The state has a reduced incentive to track down the owners of unclaimed bank accounts, insurance policies and other financial valuables because those assets provide $400 million in annual revenue for the state budget, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office.  LA Times article

Valley politics

Joel Fox: Kevin McCarthy on that Senate seat, shared power, high speed rail and more — The question I had for Congress’ majority leader Kevin McCarthy in Los Angeles last Friday: When he learned that Senator Barbara Boxer was not running for reelection did he even for a moment consider running for the seat? He said he did not want “to go to the back of the line.” In other words, no desire to abandon the powerful majority leader’s post to become a new senator with less influence.  Fox in Fox & Hounds

Tubbs considering run for San Joaquin County supervisor — City Councilman Michael Tubbs said Tuesday he is “seriously considering” running for a seat on the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors next year and expects to make a final decision within two months.  Stockton Record article

McNerney proposing campaign financing change — Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton, plans to introduce a constitutional amendment on the House floor today that would open the door to campaign-finance reform to prohibit funding from political parties, or other groups attempting to influence elections by only allowing contributions from individuals.  Stockton Record article

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

AG Kamala Harris promises to talk about 2016 Senate run … soon — It was billed as an “official” event to discuss Internet safety with teens, but California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ star turn at Facebook headquarters Tuesday was also a preview of what her coming run for U.S. Senate is going to look — and sound — like.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Kamala Harris’ Senate bid endorsed by ex-state party chief Art Torres — Former state lawmaker and state Democratic Party chairman Art Torres endorsed Kamala Harris’ bid for the U.S. Senate on Tuesday.  LA Times article


LA school district lawyers will assist students facing deportation — Some students facing deportation will receive legal help from attorneys with the Los Angeles Unified School District under a plan approved Tuesday by the Board of Education.  LA Times article

ACLU sues for records on Border Patrol’s ‘roving’ agents – The American Civil Liberties Union sued the Border Patrol’s parent agency Tuesday for records on its activities away from the nation’s border with Mexico.  AP article

Other areas

California officials to fete Michael Peevey — Amid the ongoing drip of revelations into backchannel communications between Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and the California Public Utilities Commission, Brown administration officials and other political heavyweights are sponsoring a tribute dinner for Michael Peevey, the embattled former president of the PUC.  Capitol Alert; Dan Walters Daily in Sacramento Bee

Bradley Miller: Flawed ballot measure coming home to roost – The national director of the Humane Farming Association writes, “California has long led the way in recognizing the need for better animal protection laws and for enacting them through the direct democracy of our initiative process. In the case of Proposition 2, voters were deceived and the process was misused. A fix is long overdue.”  Miller op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Kansas governor removes protections for LGBT employees – In a move that shocked progressive advocates in Kansas, the state’s Republican governor on Tuesday issued an executive order to remove discrimination protections for gay, lesbian and transgender state employees. State employees in Kansas can now legally be fired, harassed or denied a job for being gay or transgender, critics said.  LA Times article

California Government Today:

Senate Daily File

Assembly Daily File

News Briefs

Top Stories

Kern budget cuts approved – after some sparring — The Kern County Sheriff’s Office will take an equal share of the pain. Kern County supervisors voted Tuesday to cut 1 percent of Sheriff Donny Youngblood’s annual $116 million share of county general fund money in less than five months. It’s the same cut that supervisors directed all other county departments that get discretionary funds from the county’s main revenue pool to take. But unlike all the other departments that will be able to absorb the blow with minimal impacts, Youngblood’s department will take a serious operational blow.  Bakersfield Californian article

As Latino population grows, so does push for place at California universities – Latinos remain vastly underrepresented at the University of California, where four of nine campuses have been designated HSIs, and California State University, where 18 of 23 campuses and the system as a whole have reached the benchmark. While they now comprise more than 46 percent of California high school graduates, only about 22 percent of undergraduates at UC and 35 percent at CSU are Latino.  Sacramento Bee article

Maddy Institute to award two $56,000 scholarships — The Maddy Institute is now accepting applications for two $56,000 fellowships for Valley students currently accepted to a nationally ranked graduate program in either public policy, public administration, urban planning, social welfare or business. The Wonderful Public Service Fellowship aims to foster the next generation of Valley bi-partisan leaders and problem-solvers. Fresno Bee article; Maddy Institute news release

Jobs and the Economy

Fresno County supervisors suspend – but don’t eliminate – building fees charged to developers – Fresno County supervisors suspended their building fee program Tuesday for two more years, but kept from repealing it altogether. Fresno Bee article

Pay for California prisons officers up 5 percent – Average full-time total pay for members of the California Correctional Peace Officers Association grew 5.9 percent last year, according to state wage data, after remaining virtually flat from 2012 to 2013.  Sacramento Bee article

Failing to pay Chukchansi stipends was bad faith but did not violate order, federal judge says – A federal judge in Fresno says that one faction of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians disobeyed an order he issued after Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino was closed in October, but he did not find the group in contempt.  Fresno Bee article

Federal outlook sees low oil prices continuing – A new federal forecast predicts oil prices won’t rise significantly this year as production levels remain high and international demand stays weak.  Bakersfield Californian article

Fresno gas prices up 6 cents in last month – The average price in Fresno of unleaded regular gasoline rose 6 cents in the last month to $2.63 a gallon, according to AAA of Northern California. Prices stayed steady at $2.59 a gallon in the Visalia-Tulare-Porterville area.  Fresno Bee article

Edison’s plan to cut jobs, hire foreign workers is assailed – Southern California Edison’s plans to lay off hundreds of employees and hire foreign workers instead is coming under attack from lawmakers in Congress and local unions.  LA Times article

Consumer powerhouse coming of age – They are young, self-interested and opinionated, and they will revamp the food industry in America. They are the millennials, people reaching young adulthood and what they believe about food should be listened to, said John Talbot with the California Milk Advisory Board, or CMAB, which just completed research on trends in dairy.  Visalia Times-Delta article

JPMorgan Chase donates $300,000 to boost Fresno recovery – JPMorgan Chase will present $300,000 in grants Thursday to five different Fresno organizations to help boost the city’s economic recovery from recession.  Fresno Bee article

Downtown Sacramento ‘entering a new era,’ Mayor Kevin Johnson says – Downtown interests celebrated the rebirth of Sacramento’s central core Tuesday morning during the annual State of Downtown address at Memorial Auditorium. And as usual, that celebration focused on the impact professional sports is having on the area. Sacramento Bee article

Kings will pay $12 million for former Macy’s property under court settlement – Clearing what had become a prolonged legal hurdle in the effort to construct a new sports arena in downtown Sacramento, an eminent domain case arguing the value of the former Macy’s men’s store at the arena site was settled last week.  Sacramento Bee article

Home Depot to hire 180 in Fresno for spring season – Home Depot is hiring 180 people in Fresno as it prepares for spring, its busiest selling season. Stores in Selma, Madera and Clovis are hiring too.  Fresno Bee article

Home Depot aims to hire 1,500 in Sacramento area — Atlanta-based Home Depot Inc. said Tuesday that it plans to hire 1,500 staffers for its 33 Sacramento-area stores, part of a nationwide push to hire 80,000 for the chain’s busy spring season.  Sacramento Bee article

Sprouts prepares for Feb. 25 grand opening in Bakersfield Sprouts Farmers Market is celebrating the grand opening of its new supermarket in Bakersfield with a ribbon cutting and special discounts.  Bakersfield Californian article

The robots are coming: What they mean for our economy – Call it the rise of the machines. A new report says that more cheaper, better robots will replace human workers in over the next decade, pushing labor costs down 16 percent. This is good news if you own a manufacturing plant. Maybe not so good if you have a manufacturing job.  Grizzly Bear Project article

LA workers protest prolonged labor talks — Los Angeles city workers staged a series of demonstrations Tuesday to protest proposed wage freezes and reductions in pension and healthcare benefits, underscoring mounting tensions in labor talks that have dragged on for close to a year.  LA Times article

Black, Latino neighborhoods aren’t sharing in San Francisco housing boom – Despite San Francisco’s low unemployment rate and skyrocketing real estate prices, a new study shows that the economic recovery hasn’t touched everyone in the city. While home values have spiked in white and Asian American communities, they still haven’t rebounded from the housing bust in the region’s African American and Latino neighborhoods.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Not even the lack of a trademark can cool sales of original Sriracha — Tran, who now operates his family-owned company Huy Fong Foods out of a 650,000-square-foot facility in Irwindale, doesn’t see his failure to secure a trademark as a missed opportunity. He says it’s free advertising for a company that’s never had a marketing budget. It’s unclear whether he’s losing out: Sales of the original Sriracha have grown from $60 million to $80 million in the last two years alone. LA Times article


U.S. farmers expected to see 32 percent drop in income in 2015 – Net income for U.S. farmers is expected to fall by nearly 32 percent this year because of low crop prices and increasing expenses, placing many farmers in an unprofitable situation.  AP article

World Ag Expo Chairman: Future of agriculture is bright – Volunteer Chairman Allen Klee said events like the 2015 World Ag Expo, where farmers can meet farmers to exchange ideas, are importance to keep agriculture alive.  Visalia Times-Delta article

Farmers seek drought solutions at World Ag Expo – Last year, Leroy Lindo spent part of his time at the World Ag Expo in Tulare looking at the various technologies offered to help farmers save water.  Visalia Times-Delta article

Tulare’s World Ag Expo, Day 1:  Portable wind, robotic milkers, foreign affairs — The World Ag Expo in Tulare opened its three-day run Tuesday, with thousands of visitors expected to view the latest in farm equipment and technology. It is the largest show of its kind in the world with people coming from at least 48 states and more than 40 foreign countries. More than 1,500 exhibitors are spread out over 2.6 million square feet of International Agri-Center on Laspina Road, just east of Freeway 99 in Tulare. Fresno Bee article; KVPR report

UC Davis prof: GMOs bring benefits to ag – There are two things Alison Van Eenennaam wants people to understand about genetically engineered foods: There is no scientific data linking so-called genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, to ill effects in humans or animals, and besides, that horse has already left the starting gate.  Visalia Times-Delta article

Little trade movement with Cuba seen despite policy shift – A World Ag Expo panelist said trade opportunities with Cuba for American companies will come slowly despite the Obama administration’s recent changes in policy toward the island country.  Visalia Times-Delta article

Mark Powell: I went to the ag expo and all I did was learn – “Do you know what silage is?” asked an exhibitor at the World Ag Expo in Tulare on Monday. I just stared. I didn’t have a clue.  Powell in Bakersfield Californian

Port slowdown hurting Kings County farms – A bitter dispute between dockworkers and port owners in Oakland is affecting Kings County negatively, according to growers who depend on Oakland and other West Coast ports to get their product to buyers.  Hanford Sentinel article

$30 million set aside to fight citrus threat — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced grants totaling $30 million to fight a disease threatening California’s citrus industry. Twenty-two projects announced this week by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack would combat citrus greening, also known as Huanglongbing, through a variety of near-term measures and research aimed at finding long-term solutions.  Bakersfield Californian article

Modesto Irrigation District snubs idea of steep water price hike – Just to start the conversation, Modesto Irrigation District staff on Tuesday asked board members: What if we triple water prices in the next couple of years? Not so fast, said most members of the MID board, a majority of whom are farmers.  Modesto Bee article

Merced County groundwater law won’t be retroactive, board decides – Despite a strong push from one member, the Merced County Board of Supervisors decided Tuesday that a proposed groundwater ordinance will not be retroactive to January 2014.  Merced Sun-Star article

Stanislaus County promises tougher rules to reduce pollutants in stormwater – Stanislaus County will adopt and enforce stronger regulations for reducing pollutants in stormwater in unincorporated areas.  Modesto Bee article

Wine grape harvest slips 8 percent – California’s wine grape harvest dropped 8 percent last year from the record 2013 crop, the state reported Tuesday, but Modesto-area wineries still had plenty of raw material.  Modesto Bee article; Stockton Record article

Five-fold hike in water wasting fines likely for some LA area residents – The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday gave preliminary approval to a measure that would boost fines from $100 to $500 for each offense.  The increase would bring the county into line with state conservation efforts, if it receives final approval in the coming weeks as expected. LA Times article

LA Unified sides with farmworkers union in dispute with grower – The Los Angeles Board of Education on Tuesday sided with United Farm Workers in its dispute with an agricultural firm, calling on the company to honor a labor contract. The resolution called on Gerawan Farming “to comply with state and federal laws, including labor relations, anti-discrimination, and minimum wage and hour laws, and to immediately implement the agreement issued by the neutral mediator and the state of California.”  LA Times article

Water manager faces discipline for urinating in Sierra reservoir — A water manager is facing discipline after he was caught urinating in an empty reservoir that supplies drinking water for the San Francisco Bay Area.  AP article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Judge says families can put state to devise execution protocol – Family members of murder victims have the right to try to force the state to move forward with execution plans for administering lethal injection, a Sacramento judge has ruled.  LA Times article; Stockton Record article

Fresno County feels Prop 47 impact, weakening drug court programs – With fewer inmates being sent to county jails for certain crimes, other inmates are staying longer. But some say the measure has also created a problem: fewer people are participating in drug court programs because now they’re not required to.  KVPR report

Report shows fewer tickets, more crashes, less crime in Modesto – Motorists who drove too fast or ran red lights in Modesto were less likely to get a ticket last year compared with 2013. But the drop in citations was accompanied by an increase in traffic incidents. Police Chief Galen Carroll also presented a report on crime statistics, which showed a 6 percent drop in serious offenses, which are known as part one crimes, from 2013 to 2014.  Modesto Bee article

Scores protest police shootings of unarmed men – The night after James Villegas was shot and killed by three Bakersfield police officers following a vehicle chase in the northeast part of the city, hundreds of people gathered at the scene for a candlelight vigil. On Tuesday night, nearly three months after the incident, scores of local residents demonstrated outside the Bakersfield Police Department in support of the family of Villegas as well as the family of Jorge Ramirez, a confidential police informant who was working with investigators on the night of Sept. 16, 2013 when he and another man were killed by officers in a shootout outside the Four Points Sheraton Hotel. Like Villegas, the 34-year-old Ramirez was not armed.  Bakersfield Californian article

Stanislaus County leaders approve sheriff’s intern program — Stanislaus County supervisors Tuesday approved a sheriff’s intern program – an effort to train young recruits for a career in law enforcement. The Board of Supervisors authorized 10 intern positions. Sheriff Adam Christianson hopes the first five-member group will enter the academy in April.  Modesto Bee article

Murder charges filed against ex-wife of slain Exeter police officer — Murder charges were filed Tuesday against Erika Sandoval in the shooting death of Exeter police officer Daniel Green, her ex-husband and the father of their 2-year-old child. Charges include the special circumstance of lying on wait. If found guilty, Sandoval would face life in prison without parole or possibly the death penalty. Fresno Bee article; Visalia Times-Delta article


Should UC’s out-of-state students pay even more? – Beyond the controversy of whether UC enrolls too many out-of-state students, the question focuses on how much tuition they should pay. UC students from other states and nations now are billed about $35,100 in tuition: the basic $12,200 that in-staters pay plus a $22,900 premium. That does not include room, board and some special campus fees.  LA Times article

CSU to turn 23 campus libraries into one giant, cloud-based network – The Council of Library Deans for CSU is working on a cloud-based service platform to deliver and manage library services and content with the aim of creating a single library management system across all 23 schools. The system should increase campus collaboration and form a more equitable research system for students, from Chico State to the Channel Islands, and from San Bernardino to San Diego State, according to officials.  LA Daily News article

Filling a void: Police hope to increase visits to Stockton schools – Before the economic downturn, Stockton police had 23 school resource officers whose jobs included building positive relationships with students across the city. Today, there are three school officers. But volunteer police chaplains are helping fill that void. More than a dozen Stockton chaplains are working directly with schools, helping to facilitate events like Tuesday’s. Combine that with the Police Department’s goal to increase staffing with a voter-approved sales tax, and you may see police officers visiting schools more often in the future.  Stockton Record article

Parents give Merced school district an earful – It was standing room only on Tuesday, when a group of north Merced parents protested before the Merced City School District board of trustees for the boundaries it chose last month when redrawing the map for elementary schools.  Merced Sun-Star article

Sacramento City Unified restores Health Net for teachers to settle legal dispute — The Sacramento City Unified School District will immediately restore Health Net for teachers and early retirees after unilaterally eliminating the health plan in a controversial move last fall, the district and Sacramento City Teachers Association announced Tuesday.  Sacramento Bee article

Where new Merced high school district lives to be discussed at meeting — Where trustee Greg Opinski lives will be the focus of some discussion during a Merced Union High School District board of trustees meeting in Atwater on Wednesday – about a month after he admitted he didn’t live in the area he was elected to serve.  Merced Sun-Star article


Appeals court rejects challenges to fish hatcheries’ impact — A potentially far-reaching ruling released Tuesday by a Sacramento-based appellate court rejects two challenges – but not a third one – to a landmark environmental-impact review of California’s network of fish hatcheries and the practice of stocking the state’s waterways with fish.  Sacramento Bee article

High levels of benzene found in fracking waste water – The presence of benzene in fracking waste water is raising alarm over potential public health dangers amid admissions by state oil and gas regulators that California for years inadvertently allowed companies to inject fracking flowback water into protected aquifers containing drinking water.  LA Times article

State proposes cooperation on injection well exemptions – State oil regulators are telling neighboring oil field operators to work together if they want permission to inject steam, water or waste into aquifers not already exempted from federal groundwater protections.  Bakersfield Californian article

Top U.S. scientists urge pursuit of technology of cool planet — Proposals to cool down the Earth’s climate with high-risk chemical or mechanical technologies have been largely dismissed in the debate over global warming, but a panel of the nation’s top scientists say the time has come to significantly increase research efforts and prepare to step in should there be a climate catastrophe.  LA Times article

PG&E aims to install 25,000 electric car charging stations across California – The state’s biggest utility wants to install 25,000 electric car charging stations across Northern and Central California and have customers foot the bill. More than 60,000 plug-in electric vehicles are currently registered in PG&E’s service area in Central and Northern California.  AP article

In Tulare County, group turns manure into clean energy – With the kickoff of the largest agriculture expo this week in Tulare County, innovation in technology is the buzz all across the region. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports from Pixley where a new project is helping one local dairy turn their waste into biofuel.  KVPR report

UC Merced Connect: Professors join climate study — Several UC Merced faculty members will play important roles in a new UC systemwide effort to study the ecological effects of climate change across varied ecosystems.  UC Merced Connect in Merced Sun-Star

How many kindergarteners opted out of vaccines at your school? — Got a child who is in, or will be entering, kindergarten? Use our database below to see the vaccination rates at your child’s school.  EdSource article

Health/Human Services

Study finds it cheaper for students to buy insurance than go without – A new analysis from the CSU Health Insurance Education Project found that half the approximately 445,000 students in the CSU system are able to purchase health insurance for less than they would have to pay in fines for remaining uncovered.  LA Times article

More than 1,700 people have signed up for health insurance in Merced County – More than 1,700 people in Merced County have signed up for health insurance through Covered California during the second open enrollment period, according to data released last week by the state’s health marketplace.  Merced Sun-Star article

School board sides with young leukemia patient on vaccines – A father’s anguish over a son fighting leukemia has put 7-year-old Rhett Krawitt of Corte Madera — and his small Marin County school district — at the center of a national debate on measles immunization.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Anti-vaccine book draws ire from pro-vaccine readers – As the California measles outbreak spreads to other states, with at least 123 reported cases, many vaccine supporters are expressing their frustration on the Amazon page of an anti-vaccination children’s book called “Melanie’s Marvelous Measles.”  LA Times article

Doctors turning away unvaccinated children — When the mother of an 18-month-old visited Dr. Charles Goodman’s practice last week, he explained that under his new policy, the toddler would have to be immunized to remain a patient. The mother walked out of his office. Amid the current measles outbreak, Goodman and a growing number of other pediatricians nationwide are turning away parents who refuse to vaccinate their children.  LA Times article

Joe Mathews: Why we need to know where anti-vaxxers live – Under today’s privacy laws, school and health authorities must protect the identity of parents who choose not to vaccinate. That’s wrong. Parents who endanger the community’s health don’t deserve official protection. And the confidentiality of such exemptions makes it harder for the rest of us to protect ourselves.  Mathews in Bakersfield Californian

With more patients insured, LA County trims HIV medical care spending — Los Angeles County officials on Tuesday cut back on contracts to provide medical care to AIDS and HIV patients, citing increased numbers of people now insured under the federal healthcare overhaul.  LA Times article

Sacramento program delivers support, resources to African American mothers — When Brandy Fultcher started to feel ill while pregnant with TrueeLove, her now-3-month-old, she was at a loss. The single mother had not had any trouble with her previous five pregnancies, and she had no family around to ask for help. It was only after hearing about Sac Healthy Baby, a recently developed program from child-focused First 5 Sacramento, that Fultcher found out she had gestational diabetes, a problem common in African American women during pregnancy.  Sacramento Bee article


Feds to help Fresno plan a bike share program — In order to improve air quality and to provide another low-cost transportation option, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is helping Fresno State and the City of Fresno plan a bike-sharing system.  KVPR report

Sacramento Bee: We need open debate on oil train safety — As oil trains rumble through the Sacramento region, a key House panel held an important hearing on how rail and pipelines can keep up – safely – with the boom in domestic oil production. For two hours, top rail and oil industry executives testified and answered questions on this crucial issue. Then Rep. Jeff Denham had to go and spoil it.  Sacramento Bee editorial

Other Areas

Atwater looks at ordinance against camping, panhandlers – Atwater city officials are considering an ordinance that tackles aggressive panhandling and camping on public property by imposing fines on violators. The ordinance, introduced at a City Council meeting Monday, would make it illegal to “sleep, lay down, camp” or store personal property on public property.  Merced Sun-Star article

Commission looking at Stockton mayor’s pay – A charter amendment approved by voters last November has provided this year’s Salary Setting Commission with the opportunity to weigh in on whether the mayor’s salary of $104,790 is too high, too low or completely appropriate.  Stockton Record article

State Sen. Anthony Cannella: Monument helps us recall a dark day in our shared history – I commend all who ensured this monument was erected, as well as their commitment to remembering and honoring those who lost so much. Their dedication allows the Japanese American story to serve as an inspiration today and for years to come.  Cannella op-ed in Merced Sun-Star

‘McFarland, USA’ director finds inspiration in San Joaquin Valley – It’s just 129 miles from the star-lined sidewalks of Hollywood Boulevard to the dusty streets of McFarland, in rural Kern County. On the surface it might be hard to think of two parts of the state that could possibly be more different. But a major new motion picture featuring one of Hollywood’s biggest stars has brought the two places together in an unlikely way.  KVPR report

‘McFarland’ runners, coach hit red carpet – The 1987 McFarland High School cross-country team and the stars who play them on the big screen converged on the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on Monday for the world premiere of the film.  Bakersfield Californian article

At least, San Joaquin County supervisors have committee assignments – The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved assignments that would put the elected officials on issue-focused panels — a usually routine piece of business that had been delayed when there still was uncertainty over who would chair the supervisors for the coming year.  Stockton Record article

Lois Henry: A mystery (map) for the ages – At the risk of being self-indulgent (which I was recently called), I’m going back into Kern County’s history — again. Mostly, I just want to run this really cool map that Dan Araujo brought in after my last columns on the lengths the Kern County Land Company took in 1891 to catch some hay burning malcontents.  Henry column in Bakersfield Californian

Sacramento County votes to support pit bull spay and neuter program — Pit bull owners have at least one more year to get their pets spayed or neutered for free by the Sacramento SPCA.  Sacramento Bee article

New LA alert system will broadcast when fatal hit-and-run occurs — Los Angeles is set to introduce a mass alert system Tuesday that will broadcast to communities when a fatal hit-and-run has occurred. There is an epidemic of hit-and-run incidents in L.A. Nationwide, 11% of vehicle crashes are hit-and-run. In L.A., it’s almost 50%. Los Angeles police say nearly half of all crashes in Los Angeles end with the culprit fleeing the scene.  LA Times article

San Francisco Supervisors want city to maintain street trees but lack the money — The Board of Supervisors agreed unanimously Tuesday that the city, not local property owners, should be paying for the upkeep of San Francisco’s 105,000 street trees. But don’t put away those checkbooks just yet. While the supervisors enthusiastically support the principle of having the city pay for pruning, maintenance and general upkeep of the urban forest, the reality is that they didn’t allocate a nickel toward the $15 million to $20 million annual cost of tree upkeep.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – A bright light of humanity is snuffed out by the Islamic State; Lincoln, our greatest president, deserves his own day.

Merced Sun-Star – NBC shares the blame for Brian Williams’ fall.

Modesto Bee – NBC shares the blame for Brian Williams’ fall.

Sacramento Bee – A bright light of humanity is darkened by casual depravity; As oil trains rumble through the Sacramento region, a key House panel held an important hearing on how rail and pipelines can keep up – safely – with the boom in domestic oil production. For two hours, top rail and oil industry executives testified and answered questions on this crucial issue. Then Rep. Jeff Denham had to go and spoil it.