July 1, 2015


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Political Briefs

Top stories

 Jerry Brown signs California vaccine bill — Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed one of the strictest schoolchild vaccination laws in the country, eliminating personal and religious belief exemptions for vaccines. Sacramento Bee article; LA Times article; KQED report; San Jose Mercury News article; San Francisco Chronicle article; New York Times article; Bakersfield Californian article;Stockton Record article; Sacramento Bee editorial

 Supreme Court to hear California case challenging union dues — A challenge to the California Teachers Association will give conservative Supreme Court justices a chance to reconsider compulsory public-sector union fees. Setting the stage for its next potential blockbuster, the court said Tuesday it would hear the challenge from non-union members opposed to paying the mandatory fees. The case, to be heard sometime after the court’s new term starts in October, could shake up a lot of workplaces well beyond California classrooms. McClatchy Newspapers article; Dan Walters column in Sacramento Bee; KQED report; AP article; EdSource article

Gov. Brown

 This time, Jerry Brown makes no mention of religion in vaccine signing — Three years ago, in a relatively mild precursor to this year’s school vaccination bill, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation requiring parents to consult a health professional before declining vaccinations for their schoolchildren. But he made a special case for people who objected on religious grounds.Capitol Alert

 Gov. Brown faces rough road in quest to repair state freeways — The governor recently called a special legislative session to focus lawmakers’ attention on the problems with roads, and a hearing is scheduled for Thursday. The result could be new fees and taxes for drivers — a politically charged scenario in a state with a celebrated romance with the automobile. The governor acknowledged recently that new costs could be controversial. LA Times article



 California’s undocumented immigrants pegged at 2.67 million — Illegal immigration may have faded as a hot-button political issue in California, but that doesn’t mean those without documentation have gone away, a new study by the Public Policy Institute of California concludes. It’s long been assumed that about 3 million Californians are in the state illegally, most from Latin America. The PPIC report says the “best estimates suggest that in 2013 California was home to about 2.67 million undocumented immigrants.” Capitol Alert

 DMV expands documents accepted for immigrant driver license — California has expanded the list of identity documents that immigrants in the country illegally can use to apply for a driver’s license. The state Department of Motor Vehicle said Tuesday that immigrants can now use passports from Tonga, Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea and consular cards from Colombia and Ecuador to apply for a license. AP article

Other areas

 From death threats to Holocaust warning, California vaccine bill an extraordinary fight – If the state Capitol can sometimes feel like an island of bureaucrats and politicians detached from everyday lives, SB 277 offered a counterexample. The bill, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday, galvanized a small but determined contingent of impassioned opponents who put immense pressure on lawmakers, flooded them with calls and emails, and made every committee vote an event. Sacramento Bee article

 Resisting vaccination has long history California is on the brink of enacting a law that would require nearly all children to be vaccinated in order to attend school. While the bill has passed the Legislature, public health officials have had to grapple with a strong, vocal opposition along the way. There’s actually a long history to the anti-vaccination movement. KQED report

 California vaccine bill: Questions and answers – Some questions and answers about the vaccine law that Gov. Jerry Brown signed Tuesday.  San Jose Mercury News article

 Mathis disappointed governor signed vaccination law – California Assemblyman Devon Mathis said he’s disappointed that Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that will require most children in the state to be vaccinated in order to attend public schools. Visalia Times-Delta article

 California paid sick leave, fracking, phone kill-switch laws take effect – Millions of California workers will start earning paid sick days beginning Wednesday, the fruit of a landmark bill that passed the Legislature last year. Some of the more complex or contentious laws forged in Sacramento carry an implementation delay so the affected parties have more time to prepare. A flurry of previously passed bills become operational Wednesday. Sacramento Bee article; AP article

Leland Yee case: Plea deal appears likely – Former state Sen. Leland Yee appears on the brink of entering an unspecified plea deal to resolve a sweeping racketeering indictment that accuses him of accepting bribes for political favors. San Jose Mercury News article; Sacramento Bee article; San Francisco Chronicle article

 Jon Coupal: For a new legislative model, look to Texas — Would-be reformers have filed an initiative that, if adopted by voters, would make the California Legislature one of the largest – if not the largest – legislative bodies in the world. The Neighborhood Legislature Reform Act (NLRA) would require one Senator for every 10,000 Californians and one Assembly representative for every 5,000. This would mean that the Senate would increase from 40 to 3,850 members while the Assembly would balloon from 80 members to 7,700. Coupal in Fox & Hounds

 LA councilman takes rare step in bid to expedite proposed gun-lock law — The battle over a city proposal to require Los Angeles residents to lock up or disable their handguns at home took an unusual turn Tuesday, as a city councilman sought to force the proposed law out of a committee weighing whether to exempt some Angelenos from the storage rules. LA Times article

Joe Mathews: Scalia is right about California and the West (for now) – Let’s stipulate that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was wrong to dissent in last week’s ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide. But Scalia was right when, in the same dissent, he suggested that California is a different place than the American West. And in so doing, he unwittingly raised an important question about California’s future. Mathews in Bakersfield Californian

 Kennedy tilted the U.S. Supreme Court slightly left this term — Same-sex marriage. Housing discrimination. Reapportionment commissions. Searches of hotel records. Racially skewed election districts. The issues have two things in common: Each was the subject of a ruling that swung the U.S. Supreme Court to the left in the just-completed term, and the 5-4 majority in each case included Justice Anthony Kennedy, the most moderate member of the court’s five-justice conservative bloc. San Francisco Chronicle article

News Briefs

Top Stories

 Kern lawmakers propose spending high-speed rail money on other transportation infrastructure — Two local lawmakers on Tuesday proposed diverting California High-Speed Rail money to help fill a transportation infrastructure funding gap estimated at $5.7 billion per year — a move that, if approved, would put the $68.5 billion bullet train on ice pending a statewide referendum on whether to end the project. Bakersfield Californian article; Hanford Sentinel article

 Census: Hispanics overtake whites to become California’s largest ethnic group – It’s official: Hispanics are now the largest ethnic group in California. About 15 million Hispanics lived in California on July 1, 2014, compared to roughly 14.9 million non-Hispanic whites, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates released late last week. Sacramento Bee article

Jobs and the Economy

 Here’s a tax that’s actually falling, though impact on consumers isn’t certain The state excise tax on gasoline will fall nearly 17 percent starting Wednesday, from 36 to 30 cents a gallon — a potential relief that could still be just a drop in the tank for consumers. Bakersfield Californian article

 Bakersfield’s bond refinancing effort gets high marks – Bakersfield, which is preparing to refinance $190 million in fixed-rate bonds issued in 2007 to upgrade and renovate the city’s wastewater treatment plant No. 3, got two good ratings recently from Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services. Bakersfield Californian article

 What’s behind the craft beer boom in San Joaquin Valley? – It turns out the San Joaquin Valley is in the midst of a craft beer boom, from Bakersfield to Turlock, making it one of the area’s hottest food and beverage trends. What’s behind the explosive growth, and is there a definitive local style of beer? KVPR report

 Downtown Visalians unveil strategic plan, new goals – Downtown Visalians, city staff and community members caught a glimpse into downtown Visalia’s future Tuesday during an annual luncheon held at the Marriott. Visalia Times-Delta article

 LA to loosen minimum wage rules for some nonprofits – Nonprofits that hire and train disadvantaged and out-of-work clients to rejoin the workforce won’t have to pay them Los Angeles’ new minimum wage for the first year and a half of their employment, Los Angeles City Council members agreed Tuesday. LA Times article

 Airline caterer sues LA over order to pay a ‘living wage’ – An airline catering company has sued the city of Los Angeles to challenge an order that the company pay a “living wage” to 271 of its employees, dating back to 2010. LA Times article

 CalPERS to sell up to $3 billion in real estate – CalPERS said Tuesday it plans to sell up to $3 billion worth of real estate as it continues to overhaul its investment portfolio. Sacramento Bee article

 Chargers, Raiders owners meet with LA, Carson officials about stadium  San Diego and Oakland have made proposals to keep their NFL teams, but it’s clear the owners of those teams remain unconvinced. Chargers owner Dean Spanos and Raiders owner Mark Davis were in Los Angeles on Tuesday, meeting with Mayor Eric Garcetti and other political heavyweights and promoting their vision for a shared stadium in Carson. LA Times article

Mayor Kevin Johnson deleted text messages about arena deal – Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson deleted text messages, including some related to the city’s arena deal, after city officials received a legal letter advising them that they were required to preserve all electronic communications related to the deal. Sacramento Bee article

 Buying the Kings like buying a work of art, Ranadive testifies in arena trial Vivek Ranadive, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur who bought the Sacramento Kings two years ago, testified in court Tuesday he was initially reluctant to make the purchase because he thought the financial risk might be too steep. Sacramento Bee article

Kings put their truss in Schuff Steel – Schuff Steel is going to raise the roof at the Sacramento Kings’ new arena, now under construction in downtown Sacramento. Schuff and the Kings unveiled Tuesday the second of two massive roof trusses — spanning 340 feet and each weighing about 270,000 pounds — assembled at Schuff’s production plant in Stockton. Stockton Record article

 Consumer group alleges gas price manipulation by California refiners – Major oil refiners are artificially hiking gasoline prices throughout California by charging branded gas stations an average of 30 cents a gallon more than what independent stations pay — the biggest price gap in years, according to a consumer advocacy group. LA Times article

 Joel Fox: It’s today’s news: Pensions, pensions, pensions – Reading Friday’s news, I couldn’t help think of the union official who, sitting on a Capitol Weekly panel with me after the last General Election, said in response to my bringing up concerns on the pension issue: “That’s yesterday’s news.” Actually it is today’s news over and over and over again. In fact, there were three separate issues of pension alarms reported Friday.  Fox in Fox & Hounds

 Fresno’s Alert-O-Lite opens yard in Paso Robles – A Fresno-based family-owned retailer of traffic control devices has opened a new location in Paso Robles, and is looking for a few more employees to staff it. Fresno Bee article

 San Diego economy sees slower growth — San Diego County’s economy continued to expand in May, but the growth was the slowest since last year. San Diego Union-Tribune article

 Garcetti shifts stance, won’t enforce tough new homeless measures – Mayor Eric Garcetti backed off controversial legislation targeting homeless encampments, saying late Tuesday he would not stop the measures from becoming law but would block enforcement until the City Council softens some provisions. LA Times article

 Up for Discussion: Don’t give the homeless your sympathy; what they really need is access to affordable housing and jobs – Has progress been made? Or are more Americans simply bound to find themselves without a bed? In advance of the Zócalo/UCLA event “What Keeps the Homeless Off the Street?”, we asked people who study, write about, and are deeply engaged with the homeless: What have large American cities done that has successfully reduced the number of people living on the streets? Zócalo Public Square article

 SEIU merges home-care, nursing home workers into one unit — The Service Employees International Union will announce Tuesday that long-term care workers from three California locals have combined to create the largest such union in the country. Capitol Alert

 SpaceX failure tests its bold agenda — At the company’s Hawthorne headquarters, employees were already struggling to keep up with its aggressive schedule of almost 50 upcoming launches. And with the spectacular failure of Sunday’s cargo mission to the International Space Station, the firm’s efforts to fulfill those launch orders, now worth $7 billion, are coming to an abrupt halt. LA Times article


 Merced Irrigation District releases reservoir water to farmers — The Merced Irrigation District board of directors voted unanimously Monday to bring the Lake McClure reservoir down to 115,000 acre-feet and allocate about 10,000 acre-feet of water to farmers. Merced Sun-Star article

 Tulare County seeking grants to drill Porterville well – Tulare County supervisors have authorized an application for a $500,000 federal grant to dig a new well for Porterville in exchange for the city continuing to provide water to water-starved East Porterville. Visalia Times-Delta article

 Tulare County buying land for Yettem-Seville well – County leaders have approved the $20,000 purchase of a small parcel of land where a new well will be drilled to supply water for the rural towns of Yettem and Seville. Visalia Times-Delta article

 Lois Henry: How low can the river go? Don’t ask – The Kern River is so low, even dismal forecast models aren’t dismal enough. Dana Munn, the Kern watermaster, did a model last month trying to forecast river levels through the summer. The river is already trailing the model by 15 percent to 20 percent, he said. Bakersfield Californian article

 How buying smaller fruit could save California’s drought-stricken family farms – Second-generation organic peach grower David “Mas” Masumoto describes the difference between a farming disaster and a crisis this way: A disaster is when he harvests nothing, while a crisis is when he’s not making any money. Four years into California’s worst drought in history, and like many West Coast farmers, he’s in crisis mode. KQED report

 Tulare council approves $257,100 water fund reimbursement – Tulare’s water fund is $257,100 richer, thanks to a reimbursement approval from city council. The financial move aids the fund which has been struggling to maintaining the water system as costs have increased. Visalia Times-Delta article

 Modesto sells water systems to Waterford for $2.6 million – Modesto has agreed to sell the Waterford Hickman water systems to Waterford for $2.6 million, with the sale giving Modesto cash to offset some of its decline in water revenue because of the drought while Waterford gains more control over its future. Modesto Bee article

 NASL water conservation project wraps up — In 2006, MGS Construction Services Inc. was a new, majority female owned Hanford contractor looking for its first big break. Naval Air Station Lemoore was looking for ways to cut its water use to comply with Department of Defense mandates. The result was a long, ongoing relationship, the latest manifestation of which is a $2.56 million water conservation alteration project at the Navy fighter jet base. Hanford Sentinel article

 ‘First Look’: Kern County Fire Chief warns of new fireworks ordinance in light of drought — Dry vegetation and acres of dead trees are presenting a tricky problem for firefighters this summer, according to Kern County Fire Chief Brian Marshall. “This will be the scariest Fourth of July ever,” he told simulcast host Scott Cox during Tuesday’s radio show. The fire chief explained that because of the drought, law enforcement officials are being extremely cautious this year. In fact, firefighters plan to write more citations than ever due to a new ordinance, according to Marshall. Bakersfield Californian article

 Valley Edition Interview: Merced County farmer Cannon Michael — A new bill in the U.S. House of Representatives seeks to bring more water to farmers south of the Delta. Does the new bill have a chance of clearing the U.S. Senate? And what does a practical solution to California’s water problem look like, even beyond the drought? To bring some much needed perspective to these issues, we talked with Merced County farmer Cannon Michael on Valley Edition. KVPR report

Criminal Justice/Prisons

 Stanislaus County leaders approve design for 288-bed jail center — Stanislaus County supervisors on Tuesday approved the design for a rehabilitation center, which allow the county to close the dilapidated men’s jail in downtown Modesto. The center with 288 beds and program facilities will be built on 3.6 acres on Hackett Road in west Ceres, between the Public Safety Center and the county animal shelter in west Ceres. The $44.7 million project is a capstone on the county’s campaign to expand and modernize its jail facilities. Modesto Bee article

 Six months after Prop 47, has crime gone up? – Both Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims and Police Chief Jerry Dyer say there is no question that in the early stages of the Proposition 47 experiment their predictions of increased crime are becoming a reality. KVPR report

 Stockton Police chief pleased with hiring progress – When voters approved the three-quarter cent Measure A sales tax in November 2013, Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones said the funds would allow him to hire 120 new officers over a period of three years. Jones said his goal was to have 405 sworn officers by June 30, 2015, 445 by June 30, 2016 and 485 by June 30, 2017. Jones acknowledged that the Police Department is slightly off pace as the first of those benchmark dates passed Tuesday, but he said he is pleased with the progress his department has made.Stockton Record article

 Suspect in Bakersfield officer’s death charged with vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence – The driver suspected of leading a Bakersfield police officer on a chase that resulted in the officer’s death pleaded not guilty Tuesday to five felonies including vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. Bakersfield Californian article

 Seven solutions that could help stop the rape of janitors – The night shift janitor is an easy target. Working in isolation, cleaners across the country say they have been harassed, assaulted and raped by supervisors and co-workers while tidying office buildings, shopping malls and universities, as our investigation exposed. It’s an ugly phenomenon. But there are ways to tackle it. Some of them are simple, and some already are being tested. Center for Investigative Reporting article

 Requesting emails from McKinney, Texas, police? That will be $79,000, please — Public information document requests often cost money: $10 here for some photocopied documents, $50 there for an additional few hundred pages. But it came as a shock to Gawker Media writer Andy Cush when the Texas city of McKinney — where that white cop waved his gun at unarmed black teenagers in swimsuits — demanded payment before for the police department emails Cush requested. The price? $79,229.09. LA Times article


 Colleges, tech firms joining forces to try to make campus life safer – Colleges and universities are teaming up with technology entrepreneurs in an effort to keep students safe — on and off campus — by using their smartphones. LA Times article

 Fresno Unified board divided on need for outside investigation of bidding process — The Fresno Unified School District Board of Trustees remains divided in the wake of acontroversial construction deal that was recently deemed illegal by the 5th District Court of Appeal. Fresno Bee article

 New UC Merced study tries to better understand biological clocks — New research at UC Merced is taking a jab at unlocking the mysteries of the biological clock. The shift from nighttime to daytime biological functions depends on the movements of a single protein, according to the research. Merced Sun-Star article

 Hanford student is perfect on SAT, ACT – At 16, Fayyaz Ahamed is perfect at calculating the value of x, finding sentence fragments and completing all kinds of brainy tasks. Yes, perfect.Hanford Sentinel article

 Phylis Hoffman, Pamela Thompson and Jennifer Walker: California needs stronger teacher evaluations – Hoffman, a second-grade teacher in LA Unified; Thompson, a parent who lives in Orange County; and Walker, an English teacher in at River Delta Unified, write, “Lawmakers should take advantage of this critical moment when there is overwhelming support for reform from the public and teachers. That support is mirrored in the growing political will from Democrats and Republicans for an evaluation policy that uplifts the teaching profession and improves the performance and prospects of all students.” Hoffman/Thompson/Walker op-ed in Sacramento Bee

CSU Stanislaus art department co-founder, renowned printmaker Camarata dies at 81 – Martin Camarata, who along with founding instructor Ralf Parton built the California State University, Stanislaus art department from the ground up, died earlier this month following a long illness. He was 81. Modesto Bee article

 ‘Stress in kids is different these days,’ says California teacher of the year – When the nation’s top teachers were asked about the biggest barriers to students’ success, most didn’t point to reasons inside the classroom. Instead, they ranked family stress and poverty as the main issues facing students. EdSource article

 UC Merced: Free show in Merced to explore race in America — UC Merced’s Global Arts Studies Program plans a performance Thursday to explore the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, which performers say speak about the troubles of today. Merced Sun-Star article

 Robert Nelsen: Sacramento State has big challenges, but a strong foundation to build on – The eighth permanent president of CSU Sacramento writes, “We at Sacramento State – and I in particular as I take office Wednesday as the university’s president – are committed to improving our graduation rates and our retention rates and to reducing our students’ time to degree. I am committed to private fundraising for a new science building and events center and for renovating other buildings. We are committed to seeing that our students graduate with less debt and to creating jobs for them once they do graduate.” Nelsen op-ed in Sacramento Bee


 California issues ‘Flex Alert,’ urges energy conservation — With temperatures soaring, managers of California’s electricity grid urged residents Tuesday to conserve energy from 2 to 9 p.m. The California Independent System Operator, which runs the state’s transmission grid from Folsom, issued a so-called “Flex Alert” calling for conservation. The alert was also expected to be in effect Wednesday from 2 to 9 p.m., the ISO said. Sacramento Bee article; LA Times article

 California greenhouse gas emissions fall – but not by much – Despite California’s many efforts to fight global warming, the state’s greenhouse gas emissions rose in 2012, as a nuclear power plant shut down and the drought hit hydroelectric dams hard. But the increase, it turns out, didn’t last.  San Francisco Chronicle article

 Environmentalists want California to stop offshore fracking – Environmentalists Tuesday called on Gov. Jerry Brown to halt plans for months of hydraulic fracturing in the waters off Southern California, warning that it could lead to chemical pollution or an oil spill. AP article

 Avenal power project being dropped by proponents — A controversial power plant project near Avenal appears to be dead, and the news is being hailed by environmental groups as an outright victory. Fresno Bee article

 Steve Lopez: Pipeline firms aims to control conversation on Santa Barbara oil spill — It turns out that the polluter, in cases like this, often joins with federal, state and local officials as a member of the unified command response team. The idea is that the company’s expertise and knowledge of its own facilities can be useful, and that it has a responsibility to assist. Lopez column in LA Times

 Salas biomass bill makes progress — A bill that would subsidize Valley power plants that turn agricultural and other green waste into electricity has cleared a key Senate committee, according to Assemblyman Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield. Bakersfield Californian article

Health/Human Services

 California nurses lose bid to expand practices — Legislation that would have authorized “nurse practitioners” to treat patients without the supervision of a physician, including prescribing drugs, was rejected Tuesday by the Assembly Business and Professions Committee. Sacramento Bee article

 Land Use/Housing

 Low-income housing project receives state funding — A downtown Stockton housing project for low-income and homeless military veterans will move forward after a state body approved funding Tuesday for nearly 30 developments in California that blend affordability, proximity to transportation and environmental friendliness. Stockton Record article


 Popular elsewhere, high-speed rail remains elusive in United States — Travelers easily whiz from city to city on high-speed trains in many parts of South America, Asia and Europe. Since the first high-speed lines began operating more than 50 years ago in Japan, they have become an essential part of transportation worldwide. Yet the U.S. has never built a single mile of high-speed rail, which is generally defined as accommodating trains that go at least 200 mph. And proposals to do so have been thwarted for decades. AP article

 Michael Fitzgerald: Five hours by plane to Cabo? Yes, please — The news that Stockton’s airport has secured funding to build an international customs station, part of a plan to launch flights to Mexico, is yeah-baby good. There’s more on the horizon. Fitzgerald column in Stockton Record

 Other areas

 ‘FresGO’ touted as digital route to a better city – Fresno City Hall is touting a free digital tool to help residents improve their city with speed and ease. Mayor Ashley Swearengin and three City Council members on Tuesday unveiled an app called FresGO that in essence allows people to file public-nuisance complaints in a swift and timely manner. Fresno Bee article; The Business Journal article

 Dolores Huerta: Her life, her activism and the Smithsonian exhibit – For the first time ever, the Smithsonian Institution is honoring a Latina in their “One Life Series.” The museum is featuring civil rights leader and farmworker activist Dolores Huerta with a special exhibit opening this week in Washington D.C. The “One Life: Dolores Huerta” will follow 13 years of her activism and focus on her role in the farmworker movement of the 1960s and 70s. In this interview Valley Public Radio’s Diana Aguilera chats with Huerta about this recent acknowledgment, her life and her years of activism. KVPR report

 Decorated veteran named CEO of Clovis Veterans Memorial District – Lt. Col. Lorenzo Rios has been named the new chief executive officer for the Clovis Veterans Memorial District. Rios, a decorated veteran of the both the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, joined the Clovis Veterans Memorial District after completing a 23-year military career where he served in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan. He earned two bronze stars before retiring from the Army in May. Fresno Bee article

 Agency overseeing Berkeley builder unaware of suits, settlements – For more than a decade, the company that constructed the Berkeley apartment building where a balcony collapse killed six people was being targeted in lawsuits claiming its work was shoddy. It paid out $26.5 million in settlements in the past three years alone. And the state agency responsible for regulating the firm and renewing its license didn’t learn about any of itSan Francisco Chronicle article

 Contractor in Berkeley balcony collapse seeks restraining order, wants to examine evidence – The lead contractor on the Berkeley apartment complex that was the site of a deadly balcony collapse in mid-June sought a restraining order Tuesday to prevent district attorney investigators from examining the evidence without a company representative present. LA Times article; Contra Costa Times article

 Head count shows growing homeless population in Orange County – More than 980 volunteers carrying out the point-in-time homeless count tallied 4,452 homeless people one night in January. That’s a five percent increase compared with the 2013 homeless census. KPCC report

 McNamara Park in Merced open for use after yearlong wait – After more than a year behind locked gates, McNamara Park’s soccer pitches were opened to the public by Merced city officials Tuesday. Merced Sun-Star article

 Student creates Hanford Snapchat feature — A college student is giving people a chance to recognize and celebrate their hometown. Hanford native and graphic designer Dane Gonzalez, a recent West Hills College graduate, has created a new Hanford geofilter for Snapchat, a social media app that allows users to share photos and videos that disappear upon viewing. Hanford Sentinel article

 Federal grand jury now probing alleged courthouse tampering in Orange County – A federal grand jury will begin hearing testimony next month from dozens of people who allegedly paid to have drunk driving and other traffic-related violations “fixed” by a clerk. LA Times article

 FBI investigating vandalism of Bay Area fiber-optic cables — The FBI is investigating the severing Tuesday of a cluster of high-capacity fiber-optic cables in the Bay Area that disrupted phone and cable service and slowed Internet access to customers in Northern California. LA Times article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – U.S. Supreme Court stands tall for democracy with redistricting ruling.

Sacramento BeeScience gets its say, at least, on vaccines; Time for a verifiable Iran nuclear deal.


 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 challengeThe 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 atwww.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/

 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.

 Maddy Institute on Facebook and Twitter – To learn about Maddy Institute activities (e.g. The Maddy Report tv show, The Maddy Associates’ Luncheons, the Maddy Legislative Intern Program), become a fan of the Maddy Institute on Facebook or log on to http://twitter.com/MaddyInstitute. And if you have a Facebook or Twitter account, please add us and follow us!

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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