January 28, 2015


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Political Briefs

Top stories

Feinstein hosts 7 California reps in closed-door water bill talk — The never-sending search for a California water bill showed, perhaps, a little progress Tuesday as seven Democratic House members met for over an hour with Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein. The late-morning meeting in Feinstein’s third-floor Senate office was the first of its kind in the new Congress.  McClatchy Newspapers article

John Myers: A gerrymandering comeback in California … via Arizona? – Several months of quiet whispers have quickly turned into a resounding buzz — and a nervous buzz, no less — about a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court that questions whether it’s constitutional for independent state commissions to have the sole power to draw political district maps. The case is centered on Arizona, but the buzz being heard on this side of the Colorado River arises from the fear that if a lower court’s ruling is thrown out, California may very well be next in the return to partisan congressional gerrymandering.  Myers in KQED

State budget

Four ways the California budget affects dogs and cats — Gov. Jerry Brown’s new budget plan is full of proposed spending on people (human beings are a major constituency of Brown’s). But Fido and Fluffy matter, too. In a shameless quest to pique the interest of the pet owning public, here are four ways Brown’s $164.7 billion spending plan stands to affect your dog or cat.  Capitol Alert

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

Joel Fox: Here’s hoping ‘clear the field’ doesn’t prevail in Senate race – In a state of 38 million people we shouldn’t have major political contests that feature only one viable candidate. Here’s hoping that “Clear the Field” doesn’t succeed. This hope is not so much anti-Harris at this juncture as it is anti-competition for an important political office. There should be a tussle for the seat in a hotly contested campaign so issues can be examined and personalities revealed. Debates over issues should have meaning and import.  Fox in Fox & Hounds

Loretta Sanchez sets timeline for U.S. Senate decision – As the list of potential suitors winnows, Rep. Loretta Sanchez said Tuesday that she will take several months to decide on a run for U.S. Senate.  Capitol Alert

LA County D.A. Lacey backs Kamala Harris for Senate – As Antonio Villaraigosa ponders whether to run for U.S. Senate, state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris is continuing to pick off potential supporters of the former Los Angeles mayor.  LA Times article

California plastic bag ban proponents allege fraud in referendum campaign — Paid signature gatherers deceived voters in trying to qualify a referendum that would overturn California’s ban on single-use plastic bags, according to a complaint environmental groups fighting to preserve the law have filed with Attorney General Kamala Harris.  Sacramento Bee article

VIDEO: Robert Reich talks to California Senate Democrats — California Senate Democrats heard on Tuesday from a liberal icon. Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, a vocal critic of Wall Street and a crusader against economic inequality, addressed caucus members who had gathered privately at the Stanford Mansion to discuss priorities for the fledgling legislative session.  Capitol Alert

Sacramento Bee: Willie Brown’s guide to losing friends and alienating voters — We are more than a little offended at the suggestion by former Assembly Speaker and San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown that former Assembly Speaker and Los Angeles Mayor (and, perhaps now, former friend) Antonio Villaraigosa ought to sit out the Senate race. Brown is supporting Harris.  Sacramento Bee editorial


Government tells agents to ID immigrants not to deport — The Obama administration has ordered immigration agents to ask immigrants they encounter living in the country illegally whether they might qualify under President Barack Obama’s plans to avoid deporting them, according to internal training materials obtained by The Associated Press.  AP article

Other areas

Dan Walters Daily:  Democrats script session in secret – The Legislature exempted itself from open meeting laws, allowing California’s ruling Democrats to shape the coming session in private, Dan says.  Dan Walters Daily in Sacramento Bee

Dispute over who leaked FBI affidavit in Calderon case may be headed to LA – A dispute over who leaked an FBI affidavit involving former state Sen. Ronald Calderon appears to be coming to an end in federal court in Sacramento, but an attorney for the lawmaker said the issue will be pursued before a federal judge in Los Angeles.  LA Times article

Koch brothers’ cash will wash over California, experts say – The billionaire Koch brothers’ intention to spend nearly $900 million on conservative candidates and causes in the 2016 election cycle will unleash a tidal wave of cash that will swamp the political landscape even in solidly blue California, experts said Tuesday.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Mary Klotzbach: Ignition interlocks are an effective weapon against drunken driving – The government affairs chairwoman for Mothers Against Drunk Driving California writes, “California has an excellent opportunity to curb drunken driving with legislation introduced by Sen. Jerry Hill, so families and friends do not experience the pain of losing a loved one.”  Klotzbach op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Commentary: After Charlie Hebdo killings, stick to democratic ideals – In this edition of the commentary series The Moral Is, Jacques Benninga, professor of Education at Fresno State, argues that short-term constrictive reactions, though perhaps necessary, will not be as effective in curbing reactionary behaviors as will be well planned long-term solutions that reinforce democratic values.  Benninga commentary in KVPR

Jerrold Jensen: Waning birth rate will increase stress on state — California’s shrinking birth rate is effectively the “canary in the coal mine” as immigration will continue to drive any population growth. But we have already made promises to state employee unions, and welfare voters will never surrender their established entitlements.  Jensen in Visalia Times-Delta

California Government Today:

Senate Daily File

Assembly Daily File

News Briefs

Top Stories

Kern supervisors declare fiscal emergency amid plummeting oil prices — Kern County supervisors declared a fiscal emergency Tuesday and endorsed a plan for navigating the treacherous budget wilds ahead. Falling oil prices are expected to strip about $61 million from county property tax revenues in the fiscal year that starts July 1, turning a robust outlook into a projected annual deficit of $27 million.  Bakersfield Californian article; LA Times article

CSU commits to 100,000 more degrees earned by 2025 — California State University will aim to produce an additional 100,000 degrees earned over the next decade, Chancellor Timothy P. White announced Tuesday, calling on Gov. Jerry Brown and the state to support the “ambitious next phase” of CSU’s student completion efforts.  Capitol Alert; LA Times article

Jobs and the Economy

Valley economic index slipped in December – The Central Valley economy waned a bit at the end of 2014, though there are indicators of improving growth for the first half of this year, according to a new report from Fresno State.  The Business Journal article

Illustrating the transformation of California’s economy – A recent story in the Los Angeles Times identifies one of the trends adding pressure on the state’s economy, and increasing the gap between the rich and poor -– the erosion of the state’s manufacturing base. We are moving into the post-industrial age, an era of mechanized production, where machines can increasingly do jobs that used to pay real people livable wages.  Grizzly Bear Project article

California’s jobless rate falls, but still nation’s second highest Although California’s unemployment dropped fractionally to 7 percent in December, the state stands alone with the nation’s second-highest rate, exceeded only by Mississippi’s 7.2 percent.  AP article

California still has nation’s largest manufacturing sector — Although California’s industrial sector has been declining for decades and today employs just 8 percent of the state’s workers, it still generates a very large portion of the state’s economic output, a new Census Bureau report indicates.  Capitol Alert

Boomerang buyers may add pop to San Joaquin housing market – Boomerang buyers, homeowners who fell into foreclosure or sold homes short during the housing crisis, may well emerge as a new force in the U.S. housing market over the next eight years as their credit report black marks fade into the past, RealtyTrac surmised Tuesday.  Stockton Record article

Modesto Oks Centre Plaza’s first rent hike in 12 years – It’s going to cost a lot more to hold a business meeting, seminar, trade show, prom or other event at Modesto Centre Plaza, the city’s downtown convention center. The City Council on Tuesday evening approved increasing the center’s daily rental rates by an average of 48 percent. Modesto Bee article

Taxpayers without insurance may face big bill – Many taxpayers facing their first tax season since implementation of the Affordable Care Act are in for a rude awakening. “I’m shocked at the number of people who are coming in in a panic who are surprised that they have to pay a tax penalty,” said Bakersfield H&R Block enrolled agent Joyous Spicer. “I have people who just didn’t believe the tax penalty was real.”  Bakersfield Californian article

Supermarket still hot resident request in northeast Bakersfield – Residential development is returning to the northeast, the widening of Highway 178 should start later this year, and a roughly $2.5 million expansion of Mesa Marin Sports Complex is being designed, Bakersfield officials told residents Tuesday night at a community meeting. Just don’t expect a grocery store. Not yet.  Bakersfield Californian article

Sacramento treasurer: Arena borrowing solid, but city near debt limit – The new downtown Sacramento sports arena is under construction and city finance officials are confident they have a solid plan for the public’s contribution to the $477 million project. It’s the next few projects that could become a concern.  Sacramento Bee article

Thunder’s move to AHL appears imminent – All is still officially quiet on the western hockey front. But the buzz is getting louder and official word of the American Hockey League’s expected western migration should come later this week.  Stockton Record article

Sacramento County approves tax breaks to bring Macy’s to Campbell Soup plant — The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors Tuesday morning approved a package of tax and fee breaks to persuade Macy’s to move into part of the shuttered Campbell Soup factory on Franklin Boulevard in south Sacramento.  Sacramento Bee article

Veteran banker James Ford named CEO at Central Valley Community Bank parent – James Ford, president of Fresno-based Central Valley Community Bancorp, will also assume the post of CEO effective Sunday.  Fresno Bee article

Ex-techies have high hopes for investing in the cannabis field – Seibo Shen made a lot of money in tech — he was an early employee at four startups that were acquired or went public. But for his latest venture, he didn’t just want to “add another zero to my bank account.” He wanted to rekindle that startup thrill while selling a product he truly cared about. So the 38-year-old San Franciscan raised $500,000 to get into the cannabis business. San Francisco Chronicle article

Airbnb under more pressure to pay San Francisco back taxes – In case you thought the battle over the legality of Airbnb and other short-term rental companies ended when the Board of Supervisors and the mayor struck a deal last fall, think again.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Record iPhone sales drive blowout quarter for Apple – Apple had another blowout quarter thanks to its new plus-sized iPhones, which helped the company smash sales records for the holiday season.  AP article

Fannie Mac, Freddie Mac regulator defends 3 percent down payment mortgages — The regulator for bailed-out housing finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac told lawmakers Tuesday that new programs to back mortgages with down payments as low as 3% had enough safeguards to make them as safe as loans with higher down payments.  LA Times article


Mark Grossi: Earth Log: Don’t get lost in California’s fickle winter, it’s still stuck in drought mode – It’s pretty easy to lose sight of what’s really going on this winter if you’re just following news headlines about the weather of the moment. So let me make it clear. Overall, it’s not as dry out there as it was last year. But even without setting records, the state is headed for another epic dry year unless the storm door opens soon. The storm passing through on Tuesday did not hammer the Sierra with a lot of snow.Grossi in Fresno Bee

Water managers propose emergency actions after driest January on record – While some areas saw slight improvement after a wet December, the San Joaquin River watershed is in even worse shape than when the drought was officially declared one year ago. Water managers are proposing a new round of emergency actions that may be starting to sound familiar.  Stockton Record article

Modesto Irrigation District ponders fairness of water, power pricing – Making things more fair for electricity customers is a tall order because the Modesto Irrigation District always has combined its water and power bookkeeping, an MID board majority said at Tuesday’s landmark workshop.  Modesto Bee article

Sacramentans cut water use to lowest level per person in 100 years — The City of Sacramento says water customers in 2014 “cut water use to the lowest level per person per day in 100 years.” The City reported Monday that the consumption rate of 179 gallons per person per day last year compared to an average rate of 248 gallons per person in 1914. Capital Public Radio report

Sun World puts focus to grapes – Bakersfield-based Sun World International LLC announced Monday it will exit the citrus, pepper and strawberry markets to focus more specifically on grapes.  Bakersfield Californian article

Modesto Bee: Extreme precautions required for avian flu – Avian flu has serious consequences. That’s why, wherever it is found, extreme measures must be taken to eradicate it before it can spread.  Modesto Bee editorial

Lois Henry: Back when water barons hired undercover agents — Indulge me while I share a fascinating fragment of Kern County history. And, wouldn’t ya know, it has to do with water, sort of. As anyone who’s read my columns knows, I love any and all info related to the Kern River.  Henry column in Bakersfield Californian

Plan to raise Shasta Dam takes hit after federal biologists say they can’t support it — Biologists at the main federal agency that oversees the Endangered Species Act have concluded they cannot endorse a $1.1 billion plan to raise the height of the dam at California’s largest reservoir, Shasta Lake, because of its impact on endangered salmon.  San Jose Mercury News article

Wildlife agencies see collapse of 2014 winter run salmon — High water temperatures in the Sacramento River last summer and fall caused 95 percent of naturally-spawning winter-run salmon egg and fry to die.  Capital Public Radio report

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Angry protestors confront Stockton council, police – Protesters angered by alleged police misconduct turned out at City Hall on Tuesday evening armed with explosive accusations, many targeting a specific officer they said is responsible for several instances of brutality.  Stockton Record article

Michael Fitzgerald: Alleging cops made a fatal mistake — In 2014, Stockton’s most shocking crime was a botched bank robbery that became an hour-long careening gun-battle through town with hostage-takers in a stolen getaway vehicle. Under deadly fire, a hurtling procession of police pursuers fired 600 rounds, some in residential neighborhoods. Two robbers and an innocent hostage died, all by police gunfire. To this day many doubt police did the right thing. Indeed, the situation is so rare, said Chief Eric Jones, there’s a missing page in the police playbook when it comes to it.   Fitzgerald column in Stockton Record

Waze to police: App can’t ‘track’ officers’ movements — Real-time traffic app Waze’s police spotting feature is a deterrent for dangerous driving, not a tool that can “track” police officers, company officials said in response to concerns from the Los Angeles police chief.  LA Times article

Sacramento police chief seeks cameras, more training, diverse recruiting — The Sacramento Police Department is exploring the use of body cameras on all of its officers, increasing cultural sensitivity training and recruiting new officers from diverse backgrounds, police Chief Sam Somers told the City Council on Tuesday.  Sacramento Bee article

Sentence reduction law sparks sharp drop in LA County jail crowding — Los Angeles County’s long-overcrowded jail system saw a sharp decline in new inmates after California voters approved a law last year reducing penalties for a wide array of nonviolent crimes.  LA Times article


California officials preparing for rise in new teacher jobs — Over the past seven years, enrollment in higher education programs that prepare candidates for teaching plummeted sharply. Teacher layoffs and fewer openings kept many away from the profession. With the economy now improving, school districts have ramped up hiring and California is poised for a turnabout in teacher credentialing.  KPCC report

Fresno State lands $500,000 gift under new athletic director – Fresno State Athletics announced today that an anonymous donor has given $500,000 to benefit a number of Bulldog sports programs this year.  The Business Journal article; Fresno Bee article

Rural communities struggle to provide after-school programs – School officials in rural districts say there is a shortage of programs in their communities because they struggle to provide transportation, find qualified staff and enroll enough students to generate adequate funding. And unlike more populated areas, there often are no other organizations to turn to for help.  EdSource article

Obama drops proposal to cut tax benefits of 529 college savings plans – President Obama on Tuesday abandoned a proposal to end a major tax benefit of popular college savings accounts used by millions of American families after the White House faced mounting criticism from lawmakers and parents.  Washington Post article

‘Talk, Read, Sing’ campaign aims to help close the ‘word gap’ – According to researchers at Rice University, children from high income families will experience hearing 30 million more words by age four than children of low income families. Researchers say this so-called “word gap” has big implications for brain development, educational achievement and long-term success. Now a national program from a group called Too Small To Fail is taking on this issue here in the valley called “Talking Is Teaching: Talk, Read Sing.” The program is bringing together education leaders, law enforcement and the business community to help raise awareness of the issue. KVPR report

See Sacramento schools where parents most often choose not to vaccinate their children — About 6 percent of the Sacramento region’s kindergarteners entered school last year without vaccinations after their parents filed “personal belief exemptions,” double the statewide average. There were a few obvious clusters.  Sacramento Bee article

States move to make citizenship exams a classroom aid – This month, Arizona became the first state to pass a law requiring its high school students to pass the citizenship exam, stipulating that they must answer at least 60 of 100 questions correctly to receive a diploma. (Immigrants are given 10 of the 100 questions and must correctly answer six to pass.) Other states may follow suit.  New York Times article

Warkentin retiring as West Hills Lemoore president – Don Warkentin has announced that he will retire from his position as president of West Hills College Lemoore in the fall. Warkentin has served as president of the college since 2004 and has worked at the college since 1986.  Previously, he served as a teacher, coach, athletic director and administrator at Lemoore High School for 13 years. The Business Journal article

Modesto Junior College projects slated for completion in March – The makeover of the Modesto Junior College East Campus science building and Great Valley Museum educational demonstration center should be finished in March, and a Patterson satellite center should open by next year, according to an annual report on the Yosemite Community College District’s Measure E bond.  Modesto Bee article

USC ranks 3rd in nation for fundraising, bested by Harvard and Stanford — USC is once again ranked third among U.S. universities for its fundraising successes, according to a national survey being released Wednesday. USC was reported to have received nearly $732 million in gifts in 2014. LA Times article


PG&E says contractor’s desire to profit played role in demolition accident — A demolition company’s desire to profit from favorable conditions in the scrap metal market contributed to the botched demolition of an old power plant along Coffee Road in 2013, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. alleged last week in a lawsuit against the project’s general contractor and its parent company.  Bakersfield Californian article

Strela Cervas: Legislature should stand up for environmental justice – The coordinator of California Environmental Justice Alliance writes, “As the Legislature begins to debate new proposals on climate change and we consider the results of our new scorecard, it is clear any new state policies must do one thing: Demonstrate direct benefits and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in communities already bearing disproportionate environmental health problems.” Cervas op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Health/Human Services

Two flu deaths reported in Fresno County – Two people have died of complications from the flu, Fresno County health officials said Tuesday. Both people had other medical conditions that put them at risk from the flu, the county’s Department of Public Health Department reported.  Fresno Bee article; The Business Journal article; KVPR report

Measles sufferer visited businesses in Gilroy, Milpitas — A Santa Clara County resident with a confirmed case of measles visited three retail chains in Gilroy and Milpitas early this month, county health officials said in an advisory.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Report rips California’s oversight of mental health initiative — Ten years after California voters passed Proposition 63’s tax on millionaires to fund programs for the mentally ill, the state cannot document whether billions of dollars in funding have improved residents’ lives, according to a new report by the Little Hoover Commission, an oversight board.  Capitol Alert

Most children with Sante HMO plans can be seen at Valley Children’s Hospital — Most children who have been caught in a contract dispute between Santé Community Physicians and Valley Children’s Hospital can continue going to the hospital and to doctors who work there, a hospital spokeswoman said Tuesday.  Fresno Bee article

Stanislaus County bolsters staffing for child welfare services – Stanislaus County will increase staffing to manage a growing number of child welfare cases and achieve better outcomes when children are removed from homes because of abuse or neglect.  Modesto Bee article

Kern supervisors approve hospital authority transition plan — Plans to create the Kern County Hospital Authority moved from talk to action Tuesday. Kern County supervisors reviewed and approved a $2 million transition plan that would create the authority and move Kern Medical Center and its employees into authority control. Bakersfield Californian article

Poll: Most say restore health aid if court kills subsidies — More than 6 in 10 Americans would want Congress to restore federal financial assistance for millions buying health care coverage under President Barack Obama’s health care law if the Supreme Court invalidates some of those government subsidies, a poll said Wednesday.  AP article

UC Davis students: My fridge is your fridge – until the health department shows up — Ernst Bertone and two fellow UC Davis graduate students began their experiment last fall with a simple idea: Build a closer community and reduce food waste by sharing food with their neighbors. They placed a community refrigerator on their lawn, called the project “free.go” and watched it take off.  Sacramento Bee article

Land Use/Housing

Fresno, Madera county supervisors discuss growth plans along San Joaquin River – Fresno and Madera county supervisors met in a joint meeting on Tuesday morning to discuss the future of development stretching along the San Joaquin River from Valley Children’s Hospital into the foothills.  Fresno Bee article

Housing Authority opens its CityView development in downtown Fresno — CityView @ Van Ness opens Wednesday, a little more than a year and a half after the scary Droge Building, with iron props holding its walls, was torn down to make way for the housing project aimed at young professionals who work downtown.  Fresno Bee article


Rushing alleged in high-speed rail appraisal process — Kings County landowners and the co-chairman of Hanford-based Citizens for California High Speed Rail Accountability are alleging that the California High-Speed Rail Authority is rushing the property appraisal process without adequate input from the property owners.  Hanford Sentinel article

GET board interviews new, and old, applicants for at-large spot – Howard Silver held the podium, looked out at the Golden Empire Transit District’s board of directors and CEO who were interviewing three candidates Tuesday afternoon for an open at-large position and said what did not need saying: There was no need for an introduction. Bakersfield Californian article

Sacramento County approves Hyatt Place hotel at airport — Supervisors voted 5-0 to work with developer Sonnenblick Industries LLC to construct a 135-room Hyatt Place within walking distance of both airport terminals. The hotel will include an indoor pool and spa, fitness room, dining area and 3,500 square feet of meeting space. Sacramento Bee article

Final work on Bay Bridge may not be done till June — The final construction challenge on the new Bay Bridge eastern span — draining, testing and properly protecting flooded steel rods securing the main tower — could take until June to resolve, a bridge engineer told the project’s oversight panel Tuesday.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Other Areas

Board games continue; Miller still San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors chair – For the second time this month, a split San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors Tuesday picked Kathy Miller to lead the board this year as its chairwoman.  Stockton Record article

City of Visalia rolls out updated website – It’s been nearly seven years since the city’s website last saw an update. Now, after six months of designing, and about a year of planning, the new website launched on the Internet late last week.  Visalia Times-Delta article

Lemoore to interview interim managers — As Lemoore’s city manager prepares to retire, the City Council will soon begin interviewing candidates to fill the position in the short term.  Hanford Sentinel article

New Ceres police chief to be announced soon, fire chief coming next – As the city closes in on appointing a new police chief, further department restructuring is taking shape. The City Council on Monday night unanimously approved the creation of positions for fire chief and recreation manager.  Modesto Bee article

HUD provides $3.75 million to help Kern homeless – The Kern County Homeless Collaborative has received a $3.75 million federal grant to split among 11 community organizations focused on assisting the homeless this year.  Bakersfield Californian article

Fresno City Hall wants to see stage where no one ever broke a leg – Fresno City Hall’s ill-starred mobile entertainment stage will finally get a chance to shine – after it leaves town. The City Council on Thursday will decide whether to sell the city’s seldom-used stage at Chukchansi Park to a food-services company. The 40-ton stage cost an estimated $330,000. City Hall wants to get rid of it for a mere $25,000, a 92% discount.  Fresno Bee article

Oliver Baines to attend meeting hosted by the White House – Fresno City Council President Oliver Baines will attend the My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge meeting in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, Jan. 28. The meeting is hosted by the White House.  Fresno Bee article

Merced supervisors vote to allow dogs in Lake Yosemite Park – Dogs will be allowed to roam Lake Yosemite Park for another six months, the Merced County Board of Supervisors decided unanimously Tuesday.  Merced Sun-Star article

Doug Greener: Don’t underestimate the life-saving nature of smoke alarms – The chief of the Bakersfield Fire Department writes, “Another difficult holiday period of fire-related deaths in our community prompts me, as the Bakersfield fire chief, to offer a life-safety reminder about the value of installing and maintaining smoke alarms in residences. Three fire fatalities within the last four months is unacceptable in any case, but particularly so when they might have been avoided with simple, smart and cheap technology.” Greener op-ed in Bakersfield Californian

Package sent to California tax agency is filled with dog feces — Someone wanted to send a message to the California Franchise Tax Board, and it stinks. A package opened in the tax-collecting agency’s mailroom in Sacramento on Monday caused an evacuation until firefighters determined the substance was – technically — harmless: dog feces.  LA Times article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – It should be books before bowl games in UC system.

Merced Sun-Star – Avian flu has serious consequences. That’s why, wherever it is found, extreme measures must be taken to eradicate it before it can spread.

Modesto Bee – Avian flu has serious consequences. That’s why, wherever it is found, extreme measures must be taken to eradicate it before it can spread.

Sacramento Bee – President Obama must face hard truths about Saudi Arabia; Willie Brown’s guide to losing friends and alienating voters.

Stockton RecordPhotographer’s drive aids local pregnancy center; Stockton has lost one of its biggest supporters. Captain William H. Lynch, USN retired, deserves a community salute.