February 22, 2017


Political Stories – Top stories

McCarthy, Nunes hold fundraiser amid protestor claims they are ignoring them — Two Republican congressional leaders are facing criticism over their decision to attend a fundraiser Tuesday. Fresno Bee articleBakersfield Californian article

Riot police, protestors clash at chaotic Stockton council meeting — Twenty Stockton police officers wearing riot helmets with face shields herded angry protesters out of City Hall on Tuesday night. The council meeting was the second in a row disrupted by sign-bearing citizens loudly venting their anger over shootings by law enforcement agencies.  Stockton Record article

Spotlight is on local police as feds outline tougher deportation rules — The Trump administration said Tuesday it will enlist local police officers and sheriff’s deputies to help catch undocumented immigrants as it broadens the categories of people the federal government will seek to deport. Sacramento Bee article


Million targeted for possible deportation under Trump rules — Millions of people living in the United States illegally could be targeted for deportation — including people simply arrested for traffic violations — under a sweeping rewrite of immigration enforcement policies announced Tuesday by the Trump administration. AP articleNew York Times articleLA Times article

Detained by ICE, his tattoo could link him to Fresno gang – or just hometown in Mexico – A Seattle man arrested by immigration agents last week despite his participation in a federal program to protect those brought to the U.S. illegally could have ties to a Fresno gang – apparently because of a tattoo. Fresno Bee article

As Trump immigration policies tighten, fear stirs among undocumented at forum – Don’t drive with a cracked windshield, or tinted windows or with a rosary hanging from your rearview mirror. It gives officers probable cause to stop your car. If a cop comes to your door, don’t answer it. If they have a search warrant, don’t talk to them. Most of all, always be polite. Even if you disagree with the officer confronting you. That’s some of the advice a panel of 15 lawyers delivered to a packed, standing-room-only group of immigrants — some of whom were undocumented — at Cal State Bakersfield Tuesday. Bakersfield Californian article

California Senate leader says federal officials are ‘speaking out of both sides of their mouth’ on immigration – California Senate leader Kevin de León on Tuesday said the Trump administration was downplaying its directive on immigrants targeted for removal from the country , which he said signaled the beginning of mass deportations. LA Times article

After Trump travel ban, immigrants seek to naturalize — Since last month, immigrants have been rushing to prepare applications to become U.S. citizens. Legal service organizations in Los Angeles, Maryland and New York catering to diverse immigrant communities from Latin America, Asia and the Middle East all said they’ve been fielding a rising number of calls and questions about how to become a citizen.  AP article

Sen. Kamala Harris meets with people affected by the travel ban, calls Trump’s approach ‘extreme’ and ‘dangerous’ — U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris sat down to lunch Tuesday with two men who weren’t sure a few weeks ago whether they’d be able to step foot into the U.S. LA Times article

Other areas

Congressman Tom McClintock faces boisterous but peaceful crowd at Mariposa town hall— Republican Rep. Tom McClintock faced a crowd of more than 400 at the Mariposa Fairgrounds on Tuesday night as he hosted his first town hall since he was escorted out of a raucous meeting in Roseville earlier this month. Sierra Star articleSacramento Bee articleLA Times articleSan Francisco Chronicle article

At town halls, doses of fury and a bottle of Tums – New York Times journalists reported from several town hall-style meetings held by Republican legislators, who were met by largely hostile crowds of constituents. New York Times article

California Senate leader puts 100 percent renewable energy on the table in new legislation — It wasn’t just talk — Senate leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) is proposing legislation that would require California to generate all of its electricity from renewable sources.The measure, SB 584, was introduced without fanfare before last week’s deadline for new proposals in the Capitol. LA Times article

California’s voice on campaign money in Washington is packing her bags and heading home — Ann Ravel is headed back home to California, tired of fighting Republicans at the nation’s campaign finance agency and conceding control of the Federal Election Commission to President Trump. “I compromised, but the other side never would,” the FEC commissioner said in an interview on Tuesday. LA Times article

If Republicans in Washington scrap the estate tax, one California state lawmaker wants to bring it back — New legislation at the state Capitol seeks to ensure that the heirs of California’s wealthiest residents pay taxes on estates they inherit, even if the federal law is scrapped by President Trump and Congress. LA Times article

Joel Fox: A new holiday? Privileged workers? — If Assemblyman Chris Holden’s AB 542 offering another holiday to public employees becomes law it will widen the divide between public and private workers and may even aid pension reformers. AB 542 would add presidential Election Day to a list of holidays public employees and public school employees enjoy that the general private worker does not. Providing a holiday under the law for one set of workers creates an image of a privileged class.  Fox in Fox & Hounds

Were water conference refunds about politics or capacity? – Symposiums about water policy don’t typically spark dust-ups about ticket refunds and allegations that members of Congress are trying to duck their constituents. But some people living in the districts of Reps. Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale, and Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove complain they were summarily disinvited from Friday’s conference of the Mountain Counties Water Resources Association entitled, “The New Trump Administration – A View from The Top.” Sacramento Bee article

California secession advocate faces scrutiny over where he’s based: Russia — This provincial Russian city, about 1,000 miles east of Moscow, is about as unlikely a place as any to find the leader of one of the more unlikely political causes to arise in opposition to President Trump. But Louis J. Marinelli, the 30-year-old English teacher who is the president of the Yes California movement, which seeks independence for the state, has decided to call it home. New York Times article

Danny Morrison: You can be pro-life and pro-choice at the same time — A close female friend of mine is the epitome of a single issue voter. Even though she mostly identifies with the principles associated with the Democratic Party, she has religiously become a Republican straight ticket voter over the last few election cycles. Her weapon of choice? Abortion. Morrison column in Bakersfield Californian

California Senate memorializes one of its own, former state Sen. Tom Hayden — The California Senate on Tuesday remembered one of its own, late former state Sen. Tom Hayden, who spent nearly two decades in the state Legislature after serving as a leading voice in the campaign to end the Vietnam War. LA Times article

Presidential Politics

How will Trump’s Supreme Court rule on California union case? – Two years ago, Placer County middle school teacher Michelle Raley launched a long-shot bid to change one of the state’s most powerful labor groups from the inside. She ran for president of the California Teachers Association, and rhymed her frustrations with the union in a campaign statement. Sacramento Bee article

Poll: More than half think Trump acted illegally or unethically in business conflicts – More than half of voters believe Donald Trump has done something illegal or unethical as he faces potential conflicts of interest by continuing to own his businesses while serving as president, according to a new McClatchy-Marist Poll. Even more voters – nearly six in 10 – say Trump’s conduct as president makes them feel embarrassed, according to the poll.  McClatchy Newspapers article

Top Trump envoys head to Mexico to repair damaged ties – On Wednesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly will fly to Mexico City in an attempt to repair the relationship, which went into a tailspin during the presidential race last year when Trump frequently used anti-Mexican rhetoric, and has yet to recover. LA Times article

States fear Trump will topple health care gains under Obamacare – For much of the three years since the Affordable Care Act took hold in California, the Golden State has been largely insulated from the most drastic problems of the health care law that plague other states. It enjoys more robust competition among health insurers and has managed to keep premium hikes lower than in most states. But now the Trump administration and congressional Republicans are chipping away at the health law. And so California, often heralded as a model state for the implementation of President Barack Obama’s signature health law, is bracing for what many call “Trumpcare” — a repeal or replacement that threatens to upend the historic progress the state is making in getting most of its residents insured.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Trump appears set to reverse protections for transgender students — President Trump appears on the verge of reversing protections put in place by the Obama administration to stop discrimination against transgender students in schools, officials said Tuesday. New York Times article

After delay and amid pressure, Trump denounces racism and anti-Semitism — President Trump on Tuesday denounced racism and anti-Semitic violence after weeks of struggling to offer clear statements of solidarity and support for racial and religious minorities. Washington Post articleMcClatchy Newspapers article

California Government Today:

Senate Daily File

Assembly Daily File

News Stories – Top Stories

Assembly seeks valley fever funding, overhaul of reporting guidelines — Responding to a surge in cases and inconsistent reporting practices, Assemblyman Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) introduced legislation Tuesday that would allocate millions of dollars to valley fever vaccine research and streamline information sharing. Bakersfield Californian article

Turlock Irrigation District hopes to prolong spillway releases; Tuolumne River over flood stage — The Tuolumne River in Modesto, struck by a surge of water from the Don Pedro Reservoir’s spillway, rose above the flood stage Tuesday, though it did not result in major flooding. The situation remained precarious, with a full reservoir and swollen rivers downstream. The Turlock Irrigation District is trying to get approval for a plan to lower the reservoir to a more manageable level in the next week. Modesto Bee articleStockton Record articleAP article

Jobs and the Economy

Valley economic index highest since April 2015 – The San Joaquin Valley Business Conditions Index has reached its highest level since April 2015. The January index jumped to 59.5, up from 54.5 in December 2016. An index greater than 50.0 indicates an expansionary economy over the course of the next three to six months. The Business Journal article

Tulare police officers have new contract – A new labor agreement with the Tulare Police Officers Union has been reached. The agreement, expected to be ratified this week, comes after nearly two years of negotiations between city administrators and union representatives. Visalia Times-Delta article

Sacramento mayor sees millions for homelessness in public-private partnership – Bolstering his attempt to use federal affordable housing vouchers to shelter Sacramento’s homeless, Mayor Darrell Steinberg was expected to announce a partnership with Sutter Health at Tuesday night’s Sacramento City Council meeting that could provide up to $20 million in funding to strengthen his proposal. Sacramento Bee article

Retailers and law enforcement officials want lawmakers to increase penalties for repeated theft on businesses – Retailers and law enforcement officials want lawmakers to amend parts of a 2014 voter initiative that reduced drug possession and some theft crimes to misdemeanors in order to increase penalties for repeated theft on businesses. LA Times article

A new face, new lower prices at top restaurant Erna’s Elderberry House – There’s something poetic about a daughter coming home, particularly when she’s joining the family business with the only four-star-rated restaurant in our Valley. That daughter is Renée-Nicole Kubin, daughter of Erna Kubin-Clanin, the founder of the Erna’s Elderberry House restaurant and its chateau and spa in Oakhurst. The younger Kubin is now the general manager of the property. She’s bringing changes that make the restaurant more affordable and could bring in new diners. Fresno Bee article

Longtime friends, partners are breaking up. What will Gunner, Andros legacy be? – Fresno developer Richard Gunner, 77, has sued his partner, George Andros, 79, for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and to dissolve their partnership that dates back to the late 1960s. The partnership is at a critical junction because a $38.5 million loan that is secured by the Fig Garden Financial Center comes due on June 15. Fresno Bee article

Over the last decade, LA County has traded high-paying jobs for low-paying ones —  Los Angeles County has recovered the jobs it lost during the recession. But a new report says the region’s job base has shifted over the last 10 years, losing tens of thousands of higher-paying manufacturing and finance jobs and gaining lower-paying service jobs. LA Times article


Fresno has reached its rain-year average with seven months to go — By Monday, storms pushed the rain-season total to above normal in many areas, including Fresno, where 12.52 inches recorded by Monday was an inch above the annual total of 11.5.  Fresno Bee article

North Fork remains under evacuation warning amid releases from rain-swollen Bass Lake – A pre-evacuation advisory was issued Monday afternoon for residents in North Fork after water discharges out of Bass Lake were increased and threatened to swell rivers below, the Madera County Sheriff’s Office said.  Fresno Bee article

Levee system battered by record rainfall from ‘atmospheric river’ – As the latest major storm to saturate California got in its final licks Tuesday, the state deployed all the weapons in its flood-control arsenal — including farm tractors, pontoon boats and controlled releases from mountain reservoirs. LA Times article

How high will the river go? – From their back patio, Dub and Rosalie Kirk enjoy a close-up view of the Kings River on their riverfront property just inside the Kings County line west of 5 1/2 Avenue. There’s one minor difference this year compared to the last several drought years: There’s water in the channel to look at. A lot of water. Hanford Sentinel article

Neighbors in Modesto mobile home park work together in race against water – Murdock Carson’s trailer at the Driftwood Mobile Home Park was high and dry Tuesday afternoon, but he was at times waist-deep in water. Modesto Bee article

Aubrey Bettencourt: Eight water bonds passed since 2000, and we still have the Oroville disaster – The executive director of the Hanford-based California Water Alliance writes, “Decades of these false choices – of “either-or” but never “and” – by those more interested in maintaining political dominance than in giving true public service for the common good have resulted in universal failure. Just ask the people of Oroville. State bureaucrats, political appointees and elected officials have failed the environment. They have ignored our failing infrastructure. They have failed all of California.” Bettencourt op-ed in Fresno Bee article

Sticker shock for olive oil buyers after bad Italian harvest — From specialty shops in Rome to supermarkets around the world, lovers of Italian olive oil are in for some sticker shock this year, with prices due to jump by as much as 20 percent. AP article

Merced County supervisors thank emergency teams for efforts to assist amid flooding — The Merced County Board of Supervisors agreed Tuesday to spend $20,000 to help cover expenses related to ongoing flooding and commended local response teams for their efforts to mitigate damage and ensure that residents are kept safe. Merced Sun-Star article

Oroville hoping to turn dam crisis into tourism opportunity – Not far from the main drag through Oroville, a dozen local business owners and city officials faced each other in a hotel lunchroom Tuesday. They sought to begin developing an advertising campaign to transform a barrage of negative images and news reports about frantic efforts to prevent catastrophic flooding into a lucrative tourist attraction, albeit after the Feather River Basin’s rainy season ends in April. LA Times article

Rains fade but flooding prompts rescues of 225 people in San Jose – The devastating flood that displaced scores of residents from about 60 buildings — mostly multiunit apartments — in San Jose’s Rockspring neighborhood prompted one of the city’s largest water-rescue efforts in decades. San Francisco Chronicle articleLA Times article

Some stuck in Big Sur chopper out, for a hefty price – Those with cash to spare are hopping on helicopters at the Post Ranch Inn and being flown out of the isolated coastal community to the Monterey Regional Airport airport. The ride costs $780 but the chopper does have 3 seats so those desperate to escape can pay $260 apiece and book a flight being offered by Specialized Aviation of Monterey. San Francisco Chronicle article

San Francisco’s pure drinking water to get a new ingredient – San Francisco’s famously pure High Sierra water is about to be served with a twist. Starting next month, city water officials will begin adding local groundwater to the Yosemite supplies that have satiated the area’s thirst since the 1930s and made the clean, crisp water here the envy of the nation. San Francisco Chronicle article

As California’s organic farming pioneers age, a younger generation steps in — The generation that pioneered organic farming is beginning to retire. These farmers want what they’ve built to last. Some growers are passing on their farms to their kids. But not all of them have a second generation who wants to take over the family farm.  Valley Public Radio report

Criminal Justice/Prisons

In-custody death may be result of carotid artery hold – A 63-year-old Bakersfield man arrested by city police officers in October died soon after his arrest as a result of injuries he suffered during a struggle with the officers, the Kern County coroner’s office said Tuesday. Bakersfield Californian article

Police chief says Whittier officer’s slaying shows danger of criminal justice reform, but details are unclear — Whittier Police Chief Jeff Piper says the man suspected of shooting an officer to death on Monday is an example of how statewide efforts to reduce incarceration of certain criminals can have tragic consequences. LA Times articleDan Walters column in Sacramento Bee

Police seize $100,000 worth of Mexican heroin near east-central Fresno school – The Fresno Police Department arrested one man Tuesday near Scandinavian Middle School in east-central Fresno and seized a kilogram of heroin – a street value of $100,000. Fresno Bee article

LA officials want LAPD to explore ways to put more cops on the street — Los Angeles lawmakers pressed the Police Department on Tuesday for detailed reports explaining how officers are deployed across city streets, echoing simmering concerns that there aren’t enough cops working patrol duties to adequately respond to calls for help. LA Times article

California lawmaker says new state agency rules do little to guarantee family visits for jail inmates — California lawmakers on Tuesday scrutinized new state agency regulations that will allow more county jails across the state to prevent inmates from visiting with their families in person. LA Times article


Fresno County Board of Education urges local districts to support undocumented students – The Fresno County Board of Education has signed a resolution vowing to support undocumented students, and is urging the 32 school districts in the county to do the same.  Fresno Bee article

Lodi Unified tables ‘safe haven’ resolution again – For the second time this month, the Lodi Unified School District Board of Trustees voted to postpone discussion and possible adoption of a resolution making the district a safe haven for its enrolled students. Stockton Record article

Stanford University backs app for helping undocumented immigrants avoid deportation raids – Web developer Celso Mireles used to panic whenever he drove past a police car. So, as a formerly undocumented immigrant to the U.S., Mireles understands the fear taking hold across the U.S. as the administration of President Donald Trump moves to make good on promises to deport many of the estimated 11 million Mexicans illegally in the country. San Francisco Chronicle article

Nan Austin: AP classes takers up, scores up; Stanislaus County results mixed – Some good news in the equity front, more students are taking Advanced Placement courses and, surprisingly, more are passing the AP tests that qualify their high school work for college credits. Austin in Modesto Bee

California students again rank 5th in latest AP exam scores – Three out of 10 of California’s 2016 high school graduates earned a score of 3 or higher in Advanced Placement tests, allowing them to earn college credit, according to new figures from the test’s publisher, the College BoardEdSource article

Georgia Tech engineering dean Gary May chosen as next UC Davis chancellor — Georgia Tech engineering dean Gary May has been chosen as the next UC Davis chancellor, University of California President Janet Napolitano announced Tuesday. UC regents are scheduled to vote Thursday on terms of May’s appointment. May would start Aug. 1 as UC Davis’ seventh chancellor. Sacramento Bee articleLA Times articleSacramento Bee article

California’s travel ban against anti-LGBT states is keeping athletes from games and students from conferences — new California law bans state-funded travel to states that discriminate against the LGBT community. And the California attorney general has listed Tennessee as one of them, along with Kansas, North Carolina and Mississippi. LA Times article

California examines how and why to improve its measures of school climate –  The tricky matter of how to quantify nearly everything at school that is not an academic test score — from staff friendliness at the water cooler to student trust of adults on campus — will be before the State Board of Education next month when an advisory group is scheduled to recommend ways to make measuring “school climate” a potentially more meaningful exercise for school districts. EdSource article

U.S. attorney won’t file charges after probe of $1.3-billion iPads-for-all project in LA schools –  The U.S. attorney’s office has decided not to file charges after a lengthy FBI investigation into the bidding process that won Apple a contract to provide 650,000 iPads, one for every student, teacher and administrator in the Los Angeles Unified School DistrictLA Times article

Young Entrepreneurs Academy — Students are getting firsthand experience in what it’s like to start a business while attending Lemoore Chamber of Commerce’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!). Hanford Sentinel article


Ex-air quality workers say district illegally lowered fines for polluters — Two former Bay Area Air Quality Management District employees say district managers destroyed records showing that major polluters were given big breaks in the fines they should have received. San Francisco Chronicle article

Bay Area refinery flaring reports dumped in trash, records destroyed, whistleblowers say — In January 2016, a temporary records retention specialist hired by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District discovered that flare reports chronicling air pollution for Chevron, Tesoro, Shell and the region’s other oil refineries had been discarded in a dumpster, according to a claim filed Tuesday and obtained by this newspaper. East Bay Times article

Other areas

Tubbs brings black history lesson to life: ‘It took a vision’ – Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs tried as best he could to quietly enter the multipurpose room of George W. Bush Elementary School early Tuesday.  It didn’t work. As a speaker during the northeast Stockton school’s assembly celebrating Black History Month, especially as the city’s first black mayor, Tubbs’ presence was a big deal to students. Stockton Record article

Michael Fitzgerald: The child who died in day care — Last Wednesday at 2:45 p.m., Jasmine Burton got a call from the day care about her rambunctious 22-month-old toddler, Ralando. “Jasmine,” the day care woman said, “I need you to meet me at the county hospital. I’m following the ambulance.” Fitzgerald column in Stockton Record

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – Having dammed almost all major rivers in California and many tributaries and creeks, we construct entire cities in what a century or 150 years ago was swamp, and we can pile rocks on peat and think we’ve created islands. And then the bill comes due.

Sacramento Bee –- Trump’s travel order must make room for Laith Hammoudi and people like him.