January 18, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories 

Dan Walters: California has big money, hot politics in poverty — Given the huge number of poor Californians, the politics of poverty are likely to become even more contentious. But so far, at least, politicians have focused on its effects, rather than causes, and have been reluctant to address its deeper issues, such as easing the housing shortage, or making California more competitive for investment that would bring more well-paying, blue-collar jobs. Walters column in Sacramento Bee

George Skelton: 14 years in, Brown shows no sign of losing political muscle — In his 14th year as California’s governor and barred from running again, Jerry Brown is not showing the slightest sign of lame duck syndrome. In fact, the governor seems to be acquiring more political muscle with age. He’s more focused, patient and selective than when he served two entertaining-but-undisciplined terms in the 1970s and early ’80s. Skelton column in LA Times

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

Kamala Harris should take bolder action on police shootings, civil rights advocates say — Amid continuing tensions over the fatal police shootings of black men across the nation, some civil rights activists and members of California’s Legislative Black Caucus say state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris must do more to increase accountability and ensure impartial investigations. LA Times article

Other areas 

Kristin Olsen’s bill aims to prevent vital-record paper shortage – Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, R-Riverbank, is pushing for alternatives to a state-required security paper that’s used by county offices to issue copies of birth, death and marriage certificates. Modesto Bee article
Lawmaker challenges California’s $500 fine for right-turn violations — What if you creep up to the intersection, with your right-turn signal blinking, look both ways, and make a slow right turn on red without fully stopping? If you’re caught, many police will cite you for the same code violation, thus the same $500 fine. Is that fair? No way, says state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, the California State Automobile Association and others, including plenty of drivers we’ve heard from. Sacramento Bee article 

News Stories

Top Stories

This El Nino setting up to be strongest one in central San Joaquin Valley — Since 1950, no El Niño winter has been stronger in Fresno than this one, the National Weather Service said Sunday. Fresno Bee article

Despite progress, African Americans more likely to be expelled, less likely to excel — Modesto City Schools has slashed its numbers of suspensions and expulsions, adding proactive programs and in-school options. But African Americans, especially boys, are still far more likely to be kicked off campus than people of other ethnicities.Modesto Bee article

Jobs and the Economy

State plan for automatic IRA may surface soon — A new state board, Secure Choice, is looking at two options for a plan that would require most employers to offer workers the option of an “automatic IRA,” a payroll deduction for a tax-deferred retirement savings plan. Calpensions article 

Old Town Clovis teeny retail space helps launch businesses – Business dreams in Old Town Clovis sometimes start in itty-bitty spaces. Nestled between a skin care shop and a longtime women’s clothing and gift store on Pollasky Avenue is Old Town’s tiniest retail space at only 150 square feet – the size of a long, narrow closet. Fresno Bee article

Modesto chamber looks for bigger role in public safety discussion – The Modesto Chamber of Commerce wants to have more of a voice in the discussion over how the city solves its public safety challenges, such as cutting into the crime rate and finding the money to hire more police officers and firefighters. Modesto Bee article

Willie Brown: Libby Schaaf has it right: NFL won’t lift a finger for Raiders — Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf has to be one of the happiest politicians in California, and Raiders owner Mark Davis the unhappiest owner in the NFL. Schaaf bet that she could keep Oakland from mortgaging its future for a new football stadium and that the league still wouldn’t let Davis leave town. If she’d been wrong, she would have been forever known to football fans in her city as the mayor who lost the Raiders. Brown column in San Francisco Chronicle 

Proposed change brews for beer makers in Visalia – Citing the growing popularity of craft beers, Visalia City Councilman Bob Link has proposed an ordinance change that would allow “tap rooms” to open downtown and for microbreweries there to sell their beer to stores. Visalia Times-Delta article

LA eyes plan to hire lobbyist to explore ways to use city-owned land – The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to explore whether L.A. should retain a private company to come up with ideas for developing city property — and suggested using a process that would avoid competitive bidding for the work. LA Times article

SpaceX rocket stage fails to land on drone ship — Elon Musk’s SpaceX managed to launch a satellite into orbit Sunday, but suffered another setback in its attempt to retrieve a rocket stage by landing it on a sea-going platform. LA Times article

Mobile-payment services draw more shoppers and merchants — The pay-by-phone crowd is growing at the checkout counter. More consumers are using their smartphones to pay for goods and services, and more companies are offering “mobile-payments” or “mobile-wallet” services. LA Times article


California farmers brace for water shortage despite El Nino — Farmers in California’s fertile San Joaquin Valley are bracing to receive no irrigation water from a federal system of reservoirs and canals for a third consecutive year and looking to El Nino to produce the very wet winter they need. AP article

Storms in Central and Northern California have little effect on LA area – A wave of storms is bringing rain and some flooding to Central and Northern California but will have little effect on the Los Angeles area over the next several days. LA Times article

Monday Q&A: Departing director reflects on Ag Science Center — Michele Laverty is completing her service as director of the National Ag Science Center, a Modesto-based group best known for the Ag in Motion trailer that visits junior high schools. Modesto Bee article


Amidst new regulations, California universities grapple with response to sexual violence –  In response to new guidelines that went into effect in 2015, California universities are grappling with revising sexual violence policies to achieve compliance with state and federal regulations. California Health Report article 


Restrictions on plastic bags test Sacramentans’ memories — Shoppers in the city of Sacramento, many used to a lifetime of free grocery sacks at checkout, have been struggling to remember their own bags since the city’s ban on single-use plastic bags took effect this month. Sacramento Bee article

Health/Human Services 

Ask TBC: Why did Houchin turn away a blood donation? — A month to two months ago, there was an abundance of A positive and B positive blood locally for several weeks, putting Houchin in the “awkward” position of actually turning donors of it away, said President and CEO Greg Gallion. Bakersfield Californian article

‘Concussion’ spurs panel about sports injuries — Gary Barlow has played and coached football since 1981. He loves what the game has done for him and the young men he has guided as San Joaquin Delta College’s head football coach the past 15 seasons. But he knows the game has to change. Stockton Record article

Sacramento group lets autistic young adults fit in, improve social skills — Formed two years ago by Carmichael therapist Kim Wagaman, Strasser’s group is one of few such gatherings in the Sacramento region designed for autistic adults out of high school but not quite independent. It provides an opportunity for them to regularly interact with people beyond family members. Sacramento Bee article 


SeaPort stops flight service to Visalia — SeaPort Airlines has stopped its service to Visalia. The Portland-based company is also stopping service to California destinations in Sacramento, Burbank, San Diego and Imperial. Also, the airline will stop flying to San Felipe, BC, and Salina and Great Bend in Kansas and Kansas City, MO. Visalia Times-Delta article 

Fitz’s Stockton: A modern train of thought — High-speed rail may not reach Stockton for years, but we already have a cool station design. The design was done by Jenny Zeckendorf, 27, a student in Columbia University’s Master of Architecture program. Seven students in her advanced “studio” selected a Valley city at which the bullet train will stop and designed a station for it. Fitz’s Stockton in Stockton Record

Golden Gate Bridge barrier a success – except for the speeding — It’s now been a year since that skinny, moveable barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge has been in place, preventing head-on collisions. But the barrier, a series of connected chunks of concrete and steel that get moved three times a day by a “zipper truck” to accommodate commuters, has been a quick success — maybe too quick. San Francisco Chronicle article

Other areas

Tulare council to consider marijuana ordinance – The Tulare City Council will consider reinstating the sandbag distribution program when members meet during regular session at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the Council Chambers, 491 North M St. Visalia Times-Delta article

Modesto Fire Department has first all-paramedics academy class – The Modesto Fire Department is putting its first all-paramedic recruit class through its paces over the next three months. Modesto Bee article

Alva elected presiding judge in San Joaquin County Superior Court – Judge Jose Alva has been elected presiding judge for San Joaquin County Superior Court, and he will serve in that capacity through Dec. 31, 2017. Stockton Record article 

Merced couple to be honored at civil rights parade – The local civil rights leader riding in Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day march as grand marshal says she’s doing it to wave the flag for her late husband. Merced Sun-Star article

Vanessa Delgado: Mike McGarvin lives with passion, compassion – The sixth-grader in the Selma Unified School District writes, “The Poverello House is now a place where people can find meals, clothing, food bags, a medical clinic, rehabilitation, overnight shelter, and social services 365 days a year. McGarvin lives with passion and loves with compassion because he loves helping people to get through their daily lives. He also is there to help anyone who is in need or even a person to talk to.” Delgado op-ed in Fresno Bee

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – This year marks the 51st anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery, Ala., March for Voting Rights. This is an excerpt from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech at the conclusion of the march. We reprint this in observance of Dr. King’s birthday.

Stockton Record – The text of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Maddy Events 

Sunday, Jan. 24, at 10 a.m. on ABC 30 – Maddy Report: “Eliminating Fraud, Waste & Abuse in State Government:  Who You Gonna Call?” – Guests: California Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor, California State Auditor Elaine Howle, California Little Hoover Commission Exec. Dir. Carole D’Elia and Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director Mark Keppler.

Sunday, Jan. 24, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580 (KMJ) – Maddy Report-Valley Views Edition: “Discerning Fact from Fiction in State & Local Policy Debates” – Guests: Bill McEwen (Fresno Bee Editorial Page Editor), Mike Dunbar (Merced Sun-Star and Modesto Bee Opinion Page Editor), Paul Hurley (fmr. Visalia Times Delta Editorial Page Editor) and Cal State Fresno Political Science Prof. Jeff Cummins. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director Mark Keppler.

The Maddy Report airs throughout California on The Cal Channel.  Check http://www.calchannel.com to find the Cal Channel and schedule in your area.  You also can view previous Maddy Report programs in their entirety at http://www.maddyinstitute.org/policy-analysis/the-maddy-report-tv.

Community Events

  • State Sen. Andy Vidak (R-Hanford), Congressman David Valadao (R-Hanford) and The Wonderful Company will host a Career & Resource Expo at Tachi Palace on Wednesday, Jan. 27, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  More information: Claudia Salinas at 559.585.7161or Claudia.Salinas@sen.ca.gov.


Next 10: UPDATED California budget challenge – For the first time in a decade, California’s budget is largely in balance.  However, the state has outstanding debts of $28 million, not counting long-term pension and retiree health care costs.  Budget choices affect us all.  Take the Challenge and decide how much should be spent on programs and where the money should come from.  Next 10 California Budget Challenge

Next 10: Federal budget challenge — The Federal Budget Challenge is based on The Concord Coalition’s Principles and Priorities budget exercise, which has been used in numerous town hall meetings across the country by members of Congress from both parties, as well as in hundreds of high school and college classrooms.  Next 10 Federal Budget challenge at www.federalbudgetchallenge.org.

Next 10: California Water Challenge – As our state faces some of the most severe drought conditions in its history, Next 10 wants to issue a new challenge to Californians: can you create a plan to make sure there’s enough water for everyone?  Next 10 California Water Challenge 

LEGISLATORS’ VOTING RECORDS: How often has a California legislator broken party ranks, abstained or switched sides? The Sacramento Bee has a database of the voting records of every member of the state Senate and Assembly. Enter a lawmaker’s last and first names to see how he or she voted, or enter a bill number to see how every legislator voted on it. Check it out at this link.  http://www.sacbee.com/votingrecord/

More Information

Please visit http://www.maddyinstitute.com/news/maddy-daily if you want to view the Maddy Daily with our comprehensive list of links to all federal, state and local government, public affairs institutes/regional entities, Valley media and public policy blogs. (Please note new website address.) 

Maddy Institute Updates List of San Joaquin Valley Elected Officials – The Maddy Institute has updated its list of San Joaquin Valley elected officials.  The list is available here.

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The Kenneth L. Maddy Institute at California State University, Fresno was established to honor the legacy of one of California’s most principled and effective legislative leaders of the last half of the 20th Century by engaging, preparing and inspiring a new generation of governmental leaders for the 21st Century. Its mission is to inspire citizen participation, elevate government performance, provide non-partisan analysis and assist in providing solutions for public policy issues important to the region, state and nation.

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