January 11, 2016


Political Stories – Top stories

Jerry Brown budget plan urges ‘saving some biscuits for a rainy day’ — Amid deep uncertainty about changes in state revenue and Washington, California Gov. Jerry Brown presented a $177.1 billion state budget Tuesday that assumes the state will have billions of dollars less to spend over the next 18 months compared to what lawmakers projected when they passed the budget last June. Sacramento Bee articleLA Times articleAP articleDan Walters column in Sacramento Bee

California counties will get stuck with a $622-million bill as Gov. Brown cancels a healthcare pilot program — County officials across the state on Tuesday criticized Gov. Jerry Brown‘s move to cancel a program that attempted to streamline health services for seniors and low-income families, a decision that will hit locals with a $622.6-million price tag beginning this summer. LA Times article

State budget

Jerry Brown braces for budget changes under Trump: ‘It’s going to be a rough ride’ – California Gov. Jerry Brown, warning about the double-barreled fiscal risk posed by Republican-controlled Washington and an impending economic downturn, presented a $177.1 billion proposed budget Tuesday that assumes the state will take in billions of dollars less than lawmakers previously estimated. But the Democratic governor refrained from laying out how the state might react if it loses federal funding, saying it’s premature to predict how the Trump administration will act on climate change, illegal immigration and health care. Sacramento Bee articleSacramento Bee editorialJack Ohman editorial cartoon in Sacramento BeePolitico article

From schools to health care, a look at California’s budget – Gov. Jerry Brown proposed a $122.5 billion general fund budget Tuesday and warned of a looming $1.6 billion budget deficit, absent spending cuts, because of slower than expected growth in tax revenues. The state also faces uncertainty about federal funding under the incoming Donald Trump administration. Here’s a look at how some state priorities would be affected by Brown’s proposals. AP article

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon says he’ll oppose rolling back higher-education aid for middle-class students — With budget negotiations entailing, in Gov. Jerry Brown‘s words, “pushing… and some shoving,” Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon telegraphed one tussle that’s sure to happen over the next several months: the future of the Middle Class Scholarship program. LA Times article

Analyst says state contracts will cost more than Jerry Brown thinks — How expensive are the 13 state labor contracts that are going to ratification votes this month? About $100 million more than Gov. Jerry Brown’s team estimated when it tallied up the costs of the deals, according to a new report from the Legislative Analyst’s Office. Sacramento Bee article

Gov. Brown’s budget includes $52.2 million for marijuana regulation under new system – As California prepares for issuing licenses to sell marijuana for recreational use later this year, Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget includes $52.2 million for regulation of cannabis. LA Times article

Gov. Brown has a bigger plan to fund transportation, though a political deal remains elusive – With negotiations stuck in a traffic jam of competing priorities, Gov. Jerry Brown’s new state budget offers another effort to boost California’s transportation funding by raising the gas tax paid by the state’s drivers.  LA Times article

Gov. Jerry Brown pushes to extend cap-and-trade program with new budget proposal — Gov. Jerry Brown announced Tuesday his plan to prod lawmakers to solidify California’s emissions cap-and-trade program, the centerpiece of the state’s climate change agenda.  LA Times article

 Valley politics

Assemblyman Vince Fong: Kern County’s priorities should be Sacramento’s priorities – The Bakersfield Republican writes, “Sacramento’s priorities are in dire need of a shakeup. As we prepare for the upcoming year, Kern County must play an important role in identifying key priorities for California.” Fong op-ed in Bakersfield Californian

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

Assembly panel recommends confirmation of Xavier Becerra for California attorney general — An Assembly panel on Tuesday recommended the confirmation of Rep. Xavier Becerra as state attorney general after the nominee pledged to aggressively defend state policies on immigration and healthcare against potential negative actions by President-elect Donald Trump’s incoming administration. LA Times article

Xavier Becerra promises he’s ‘got your back’ as California attorney general — Vowing to make California a model of progressive leadership for the entire country in the coming years, Democrat Xavier Becerra on Tuesday passed his first hurdle to becoming the state’s next attorney general when a special Assembly committee recommended his confirmation by the full Assembly on a 6-3 partisan vote. Sacramento Bee article


Tale of two hearings: Attorney general nominees strike different tone on immigration — U.S attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions and California attorney general nominee Xavier Becerra differ on sanctuary cities and DACA at their confirmation hearings. KQED report

Will Trump back new effort to grant residency to immigrants who join the military? — Republican Rep. Jeff Denham of California will test President-elect Donald Trump’s hard line on immigration with a revived bill extending legal status to young immigrants in the U.S. illegally who join the U.S. military. But Denham’s own persistence and negotiating prowess, too, will be challenged, by the legislation he calls the ENLIST Act. McClatchy Newspapers article

Attorney general nominee on immigration: Americans ‘spoke clearly’ in electing Trump — Sessions, a Republican senator from Alabama, has long opposed bills that would provide a path to citizenship for people in the country illegally as part of broader bipartisan efforts on an immigration policy overhaul. He’s called legislation to give a chance at citizenship to people who entered the country illegally as children “a reckless proposal for mass amnesty.” McClatchy Newspapers article

LA County supervisors create office of immigrant affairs as advocates and Trump supporters clash — After a public hearing marked by angry clashes between supporters of President-elect Donald Trump and pro-immigrant activists, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved the creation of a new office that would help immigrants receive county assistance. LA Times article

Other areas

Keep an eye on these 17 in 2017 – Last year, he was a Democratic Congressman from Los Ángeles whose influence in a Republican-controlled Congress under an incoming Republican president would limit his potential. Last month, all that changed for the Sacramento native when Gov. Jerry Brown nominated Becerra to fill the vacancy created when state Attorney General Kamala Harris was elected to the U.S. Senate. Vida en el Valle article

Nan Austin: Women’s well-being at stake in Congress votes, campaign legacy – The presidential election touched both the highest hopes and the lowest bar in discussions of women. With the election rhetoric past, yet still ringing in our ears, it seems like a good time to consider what lasting effect this electoral turn might have on females, who nationwide make up 76 percent of teachers, 80 percent of single parents and, of course, 50 percent of students. Austin in Modesto Bee

LA politicians propose banning campaign contributions from developers — Los Angeles politicians called Tuesday for a ban on political contributions from real estate developers while they are seeking city approval for their projects, in an attempt to counter the perception that money drives planning decisions at City Hall. LA Times article

Presidential Politics

Trump tells Congress to repeal and replace health law ‘very quickly’ – President-elect Donald J. Trump demanded on Tuesday that Congress immediately repeal the Affordable Care Act and pass another health law quickly. His remarks put Republicans in the nearly impossible position of having only weeks to replace a health law that took nearly two years to pass. New York Times article

Millions sign up for Obamacare as Trump and GOP lawmakers scramble for a way to roll it back – While Republicans struggle to find a way to roll back the Affordable Care Act without jeopardizing healthcare for tens of millions of people, Americans continue to sign up for Obamacare health plans. As of Dec. 24, more than 11.5 million people had enrolled in a health plan through one of the insurance marketplaces created by the law, including HealthCare.gov and Covered California, federal data released Tuesday show. LA Times article

Russia has documents they can use on Trump as blackmail, unverified document claims – Multiple unnamed sources told CNN the allegations were included in a two-page memo presented to Trump and President Barack Obama as part of an intelligence briefing on Russian interference in the 2016 election. The memo also alleged that there was ongoing communication between Trump’s team and representatives of the Russian government. McClatchy Newspapers article

Trump, Congress could halt state action on climate — The head of the city department that drafts many of San Francisco’s greenest rules and regulations uses one word to explain her greatest fear for the environment during Trump’s presidency: “preemption.” If some of the deepest concerns of climate-focused bureaucrats from San Francisco to Massachusetts and New York come true, the Trump administration will preemptively prevent them from acting to slow global warming. KQED report

‘Yes, we did’: Obama bids farewell in nostalgic last speech – President Barack Obama bid farewell to the nation Tuesday in an emotional speech that sought to comfort a country on edge over rapid economic changes, persistent security threats and the election of Donald Trump. AP articleLA Times articleNew York Times article

Michael Fitzgerald: Obama, we hardly knew ye – President Barack Obama, who visited Senegal and Dar es Salaam before his one whirlwind visit to the San Joaquin Valley, leaves a skimpy record of service to Stockton and the Delta. Fitzgerald column in Stockton Record

 Merced Sheriff’s Posse raises money for inauguration trip without county help — During their first meeting, the new Merced County Board of Supervisors got an earful from residents angered about the possibility of using money from the county’s budget to help the Merced County Sheriff’s Posse participate in the presidential inauguration parade. But before the item came to a vote, Sheriff Vern Warnke – wearing a red, white and blue shirt – made an announcement: The community had raised enough money to fully fund the posse’s trip without the county’s help. Merced Sun-Star article

Trump asks skeptic Robert Kennedy Jr. to probe vaccine safety, alarming doctors — President-elect Donald Trump is reviving long debunked attempts to link vaccines to autism, meeting with a vocal skeptic to discuss chairing a commission on vaccination safety – a move that alarmed child health experts. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. met with Trump at Trump Tower in New York on Tuesday, and told reporters that he had agreed to lead the effort, whatever form it takes. AP articleNew York Times article

 California Government Today:

Senate Daily File

Assembly Daily File

News Stories

Top Stories

Farmers and water districts hope storm runoff can help replenish underground supplies – While some farmers lament the release of thousands of acre-feet of water from Friant Dam, others are putting it to good use: recharging groundwater supplies. Fresno Bee article

U.S. Supreme Court to decide on education rights for millions of children with disabilities – The Supreme Court will take up a potentially momentous education case on Wednesday and try to clarify the rights of the nation’s 6.7 million schoolchildren with disabilities. LA Times article

UC Merced clerical and support workers demand pay increase in next deal – A group of administrative, clerical and support workers from UC Merced picketed outside the campus entrance Tuesday, the first official day of the spring semester. Those office workers are among nearly 100 UC Merced employees represented by Teamsters Local 2010, according to union representatives. About 15 picketers wearing plastic ponchos on a rainy morning stood on Lake Road holding signs that read, “UC: Pay us enough to live.” Merced Sun-Star article

Jobs and the Economy

Modesto City Council Oks raises for police department management – The Modesto City Council on Tuesday beefed up the city’s reserves, approved pay increases for police managers and allocated more federal money for a one-stop center for the homeless. Modesto Bee article

Joel Fox: CalPERS rate decision could lead to tax hikes – When California voters hear calls for tax increases in the near future they should think of pensions. That truth has never been clearer now that the California Public Employees’ Retirement System board voted to establish a more realistic return rate on its investments. The end result of this action is that state and local governments will have to chip in even more money for public employee pensions. Fox in Fox & Hounds

Kern supervisors delay vote on Hart Park fee – Kern County supervisors delayed approval of a proposed $5 parking fee at Hart Park, until Feb. 7, to give county staff time to analyze out how to safely implement the fee. Bakersfield Californian article

Panel lights up over weed – Before employees light up a joint next to their coworkers smoking a cigarette, the Visalia Chamber of Commerce and the Visalia Economic Development Corporation decided to host a forum to discuss the implications of the recently passed marijuana legalization. It was a packed house Tuesday morning as Tulare County business owners filled 210 to hear a panel of legal professionals discuss marijuana. Visalia Times-Delta articleFresno Bee article

George Lucas picks Los Angeles over San Francisco for $1.1 billion museum – The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will be built at Exposition Park, which beat out San Francisco as home to the anticipated $1.1 billion structure that will house George Lucas’ sweeping collection of art.  Modesto Bee articleLA Times articleKQED report

Fresno Chaffee Zoo sets seventh consecutive attendance record – Zoo officials announced Tuesday that 2016 was the seventh in a row the zoo has broken its annual attendance record with a total of 964,091 visitors. The record number of guests is a 19-percent increase from 808,914 visitors in 2015, making the jump between 2015 and 2016 the largest annual attendance increase in the zoo’s history. The Business Journal article

Homeless tent city pushed by Sacramento councilman despite mayor’s concerns – Councilman Allen Warren is asking the city Tuesday to consider suspending or modifying its ban on urban camping to allow for homeless encampments near his North Sacramento district. Sacramento Bee article

Sportsman’s Warehouse to open second Valley store in Visalia — Visalia is getting a Sportsman’s Warehouse. The store for people who like to hunt, camp, fish and do other outdoor activities will build a new location at The Grove at Packwood Creek near Mooney Boulevard and Cameron Avenue. Fresno Bee article

Average Modesto gas price up 19 cents over past month, AAA finds – Gasoline prices have spiked in most of California’s metropolitan areas because of various challenges at many of the refineries in the state over the past week, AAA reported Tuesday. Modesto Bee article

Kings County slates tax default property sale — Want to snap up a piece of property in Hanford or Lemoore dirt-cheap? A scheduled public internet sale of tax-defaulted property in Kings County might be your chance. The property includes parcels for which the owners haven’t paid property taxes in five years or more. Hanford Sentinel article

New business in Lemoore — The former Fresh & Easy building in Lemoore is no longer empty. Lemoore Food Center grocery store opened in December 2016 in the building just east of Lemoore Avenue and Cinnamon Drive. Hanford Sentinel article

Report: Sacramento area ends 2016 with paltry resale home inventory – Only 2,804 homes were active and available for sale throughout the greater Sacramento region at the close of 2016, according to a new report by Lyon Real Estate. Lyon said regional resale home inventory on Dec. 31 was the lowest in more than 20 years in a “normal” market not affected by an economic downturn. Sacramento Bee article

LA County saw nearly $20 billion in real estate sales in 2016 — Los Angeles’ record year of real estate included more than just two $100-million sales. Last year, L.A. County saw $19.8 billion in sales volume, a 7% increase from November 2015 through November 2016, according to the Multiple Listing ServiceLA Times article

How much will state workers take home from SEIU’s $2,500 bonus checks? – The bonus $2,500 checks that will go to members of state government’s largest union if they adopt a new contract will put a nice bump in their paychecks and make a $260 million dent in the state budget. But SEIU’s bonus checks are considered supplemental income and subject to a higher tax withholding rate.  Sacramento Bee article

How to calculate your raise in SEIU 1000’s proposed contract – SEIU Local 1000 members have until Jan. 17 to vote on a contract that would raise wages by 11.5 percent. Some members don’t like the deal. Sacramento Bee article

Judge approves Stockton diocese bankruptcy plan — The Diocese of Stockton is just weeks from exiting bankruptcy after a judge approved its reorganization plan on Tuesday. The diocese had filed for bankruptcy more than two years ago after legal costs stemming from dozens of child sexual-abuse lawsuits depleted its funds. Stockton Record article

Mayor wants ‘raw energy’ around arts in Sacramento. Street performers included – A crew of rappers and poets swarmed the Sacramento City Council chambers on Tuesday night and started performing. Council members and a large audience watched. No one tried to shut it down. Mayor Darrell Steinberg wants a lot more of those kind of performances around the city. Sacramento Bee article

Big questions remain for the future of Chargers and Raiders as NFL meetings take place in New York – A day before the first anniversary of NFL owners approving the Rams return to Los Angeles, members of the league’s finance and stadium committees will meet Wednesday to discuss the future of the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders.  LA Times article

Top Madera County restaurants offering discount meals — Four big-name restaurants in Madera County are offering discounted meals during Madera County Restaurant Week. The deals run from Monday, Jan. 9, through Sunday, Jan. 15. Fresno Bee article


The good and the bad of another storm:  Key reservoir above normal, wind and rain a concern — Another wet and windy morning brings some good news for Stockton: New Hogan Lake, one of our primary sources of water, is above normal for the first time since 2013. That’s another step toward finally shaking off this drought. Stockton Record article

Calf shelter, melon wrangler and crop vacuum are among top new products a World Ag Expo – A melon wrangler, a cool-calf cover and an automatic weeder are among the winners in The World Ag Expo’s Top-10 New Products competition. The new products are expected to be a highlight at this year’s World Ag Expo. Considered the largest gathering of farm equipment and technology in the world, the expo will be held Feb. 14-16 at the International Agri-Center in Tulare. Fresno Bee article

Once teetering, Mono Lake is revived by heavy rains, snow — Less than two weeks ago, hydrologists worried that it would take a wetter than average winter to keep this drought-stricken body of salt water at a level high enough to avoid having to halt diversions of its Sierra Nevada snowmelt to Los Angeles. LA Times article

As California’s organic farming pioneers age, a younger generation steps in – As the generation that pioneered organic farming begins to retire, they’re searching for different ways to continue their agricultural legacy. Some growers are passing on their farms to their kids, but as FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports not all organic growers are as lucky to have a second generation that wants to take over the family farm. Valley Public Radio report

EPA honors Crystal Creamery for reducing waste from Modesto plant — Crystal Creamery received a national award Tuesday for how it handles the sludge left after making ice cream, yogurt and other dairy foods. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency honored the Modesto-based company for turning the waste into electricity and other byproducts. Modesto Bee article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Police report: Black college students called cops ‘pigs,’ disobeyed orders – Xavier Hines and Timothy Grismore, the two black college students who alleged police brutality and racial targeting in a viral video, cussed at officers, whom they called “pigs” during their arrest, and walked away from police after they were told to stop, according to a police report obtained by The Californian.  Bakersfield Californian article

Lois Henry: Silence on police incidents only breeds mistrust – Good for Bakersfield Police Department Chief Lyle Martin for opening an investigation into the Dec. 5 arrest of two college students who were apparently guilty of nothing more than walking down the street. The real test will be if the public ever gets to see the details of that investigation and its fallout. I highly doubt we will. Henry column in Bakersfield Californian

Court tosses California law that kept grand juries from probing fatal police shootings — Acting on a challenge from El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson, an appeals court on Tuesday tossed out a 2015 state law that prohibited counties from using grand juries to investigate when police officers fatally shoot suspects or use other types of force that result in their deaths. Sacramento Bee article

State proposes new Fresno County home for convicted child molester – The California Department of State Hospitals proposed a new home Tuesday for Jeffrey F. Snyder, a convicted child molester blocked from moving into a northwest Fresno home in August. Snyder’s proposed home would be at 36188 Sage Lane in Squaw Valley. It is located on a 4.6-acre plot of rural southeast Fresno County land. Fresno Bee article

Majority of police in U.S. say their jobs have gotten harder – Police officers in the U.S. think their job has gotten harder of late, according to a new report by the Pew Research Center. LA Times article

Fresno sheriff shows off newly upgraded dispatch center – A $250,000 emergency dispatching center was unveiled Tuesday by Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims. A grant paid for the computerized 911 system and ergonomic furniture, TV monitors and carpeting in the remodeling of the center, sheriff’s spokesman Tony Botti said. Fresno Bee article

LAPD deepens training, psychological support for officers after shootings – The Los Angeles Police Department will now require officers who fire their guns on the job to complete training before they return to the field and meet with department psychologists more often. LA Times article

Federal prosecutors to retry ex-LA Sheriff Lee Baca in obstruction of justice case — Federal prosecutors announced Tuesday that they will retry former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca following a recent mistrial in which a jury nearly cleared Baca of obstructing an FBI investigation into the county’s jails. LA Times article

Newly released video of fatal police shooting gives insight into mentally ill man’s death – Sacramento police late Tuesday released video and audio related to the April officer-involved fatal shooting of a mentally ill homeless man in south Sacramento, providing insight into a 29-minute encounter that escalated from a routine incident to a frenzied chase ending with multiple officers firing their guns.  Sacramento Bee article

Fatal police shooting was justified, San Diego district attorney finds — The fatal shooting of Alfred Olango — an unarmed black man — by El Cajon police last year was justified, officials said Tuesday, and the officer involved will not face criminal charges. LA Times articleAP article

LA County supervisors vote to expand sheriff’s mental health teams — The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has long had specially trained teams to de-escalate confrontations with people who have severe mental illness, but after two decades, the agency has struggled to deploy mental health responders at all times of day or night because of funding and staffing shortages. LA Times article




Governor proposes minimal funding increase for K-12 schools next year – Citing recent revenue declines and uncertainty about the future, Gov. Jerry Brown has lowered funding for schools by $500 million in the current year and is proposing little more than a cost-of-living increase in the 2017-18 budget that he presented Tuesday. EdSource article


Brown proposes more higher ed funding, but phasing out middle class scholarships — Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2017-18 budget proposals for higher education continue his campaign for more efficiency and access at California’s public college and universities, funding ongoing programs to make it easier to transfer from community colleges, improve graduation rates and shorten time to degrees. But Brown triggered some controversy by advocating cuts in aid to middle class students and supporting tuition increases at the University of California and the California State University systems. EdSource article


Stockton Unified trustees unanimously approve teachers contract – The sight of smiles, hugs and well wishes of a new year inside the Stockton Unified School District boardroom Tuesday night was a striking contrast to recent discord between the district and the teacher’s union as the threat of a strike pushed tensions near a tipping point. Stockton Record article


Fresno State creative writing department sets new record, eight authors publish first books – The Fresno State Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing has set a new record. Eight alumni authors from the program published their first books in 2016. Four more are set to publish books this year. Valley Public Radio report


School districts talk campus modernization — The Tulare Joint Union High School Ag Farm has been a beloved place for hundreds of Tulare residents for more than 50 years. The farm is located on Tulare’s west side, and houses a milk barn, classrooms, several livestock barns and a metal shop. More than 900 students from Mission Oak, Tulare Union and Tulare Western high schools attend classes at the farm and participate in numerous FFA activities. But the much-loved space has gotten too small. Visalia Times-Delta article


A year in, LA Unified’s insider superintendent has made so big waves — A year has passed since board members unanimously chose King to lead the Los Angeles Unified School District, selecting her for her lifetime of experience in the district and her deep familiarity with its problems. In King, they saw a competent soldier, a respected former classroom teacher and high school principal who had served as deputy superintendent under two previous superintendents, John Deasy and Ramon C. Cortines. That conciliatory deputy is in many respects what they got. LA Times article




Relentless Northern California storm brings evacuations, road closings, avalanche – Rain and heavy snow pelted Northern California on Tuesday, leading to calls for evacuation at a rural Sacramento County hamlet and causing an avalanche that damaged several homes amid blizzard conditions near Lake Tahoe. Storms are expected to become showers by Wednesday, though the threat of flooding will remain. Sacramento Bee articleLA Times article


Interview: National Weather Service on recent and coming weather events – California has been hit hard by storms over the last week. There’s been flooding, rain at high elevations and national park closures. To tell us more about what to expect in the coming days we were joined by National Weather Service Meteorologist Scott Rowe on our program Valley Edition. To listen to the interview click play above. Valley Public Radio report


Solar project is approved by Fresno County supervisors following appeal — Fresno County supervisors supported a new solar project despite an appeal by a neighboring property owner who said the facility would interfere with plans he had for his land. Fresno Bee article


Health/Human Services 


High-profile suicides prompt call for action — Kern County Mental Health Director Bill Walker told Kern County supervisors on Tuesday that his office is stepping up its efforts to combat suicide after the high-profile deaths of Bakersfield City Councilman Jeff Tkac and community activist Jai Bornstein. Bakersfield Californian article


Appeals court upholds law requiring therapists to report patients who view child porn – A California appeals court has affirmed a judge’s decision to throw out a lawsuit challenging a state law requiring therapists to report patients who admit to viewing child pornography to the police, capping a two-year legal battle over patient privacy rights. LA Times article


Land Use/Housing


Hotel California residents move out after city shuts it down for unsafe conditions — City officials convened a group of housing agencies and advocates, called the Housing Response Partnership, to help Hotel California residents and those of motels affected by the city’s enforcement in the future. After the power to Hotel California was shut down at 9 a.m. Monday, agencies including the Poverello House and Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission helped people transport their belongings to new locations. Fresno Bee article




Kings County renews legal fight against high-speed rail – It’s a new year, and that means a new chapter in the ongoing saga that is California’s high-speed rail project. While construction in the Fresno area is becoming more and more visible with every month, efforts to stop the project are also picking up steam in the courtroom. The center of the fight against the rail line is in Kings County, where a number of landowners and county supervisors have challenged the rail project in court, saying it violates the voter-approved Proposition 1A. Valley Public Radio report


Amtrak wants riders’ thoughts on trips to Sacramento – The Amtrak San Joaquin rail service is seeking input from Merced County residents on how to modify its schedule to accommodate weekday riders headed to Sacramento for business purposes. Merced Sun-Star article


Kern supervisors allow closure of roads to ‘snow bunnies’ — Kern County supervisors on Tuesday passed a resolution allowing the California Highway Patrol or Kern County roads commissioner to restrict access to county highways in the Frazier Park and Pine Mountain Club areas to prevent them from being overrun by visitors. Bakersfield Californian article


Other areas


Overflow crowd says goodbye to late Bakersfield councilman Tkac — The question must have been on the minds of more than a few who attended the Tuesday afternoon funeral of newly elected Bakersfield City Councilman Jeff Tkac. Did the longtime planning commissioner, reserve police officer and loving family man have any idea that the number of mourners at his funeral would overfill St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, fill up an outdoor viewing area and overflow yet again into the parish hall? Bakersfield Californian article


Kern supervisors vote to lock down main county building — The Kern County Administrative Center on Truxtun Avenue will soon be “hardened,” most of its entries sealed to all but employees and public access funneled through a security checkpoint on the first floor.  Bakersfield Californian article


Mike Belluomini: Merced needs a full-time city attorney – The Merced City Council member writes, “The City Council directly hires only four employees: the city manager, finance director, city clerk and city attorney. It is one of the most important actions the council can fill. The City Council ought to conduct a statewide recruitment and hire an attorney. It is the most economical course to achieve high quality legal services from an employee dedicated to the city and who is a member of the community.” Belluomini op-ed in Merced Sun-Star


Stanislaus County supervisors begin their terms – Stanislaus County Supervisors Vito Chiesa, Kristin Olsen and Jim DeMartini were sworn into office Tuesday by Superior Court Presiding Judge Ricardo Cordova. Modesto Bee article