July 12, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories

California ballot measure money rolls in following deadline – Newly minted proposition numbers in hand, campaign committees supporting or opposing measures on California’s November ballot raised millions of dollars in the days following last month’s initiative qualification deadline. Sacramento Bee article

Little consensus on policing bills at California Capitol – On all the hot-button policing issues this year, the status quo has ruled the California Legislature. And as a grieving and divided nation debates responses to last week’s shootings in Louisiana, Minnesota and Texas, it’s not likely that any new policing bills could become law this year. Capital Public Radio report

Gov. Brown 

California governor looks to extend climate-change efforts — California Gov. Jerry Brown has launched a campaign to extend some of the most ambitious climate-change programs in the country and ensure his environmental legacy when he leaves office in two years. AP article

Valley politics 

Special election may fill Quintero’s Fresno City Council seat — There’s already a runoff election for one Fresno City Council seat set for the November ballot. On Thursday, the council could put another seat on the ballot in November. That’s because Councilman Sal Quintero, who represents District 5 in southeast Fresno, is resigning his position effective in January with two years left in his term. Quintero was elected in June to the Fresno County Board of Supervisors for a four-year term that will begin in January. Fresno Bee article

Former San Joaquin County supervisors fined — The California Fair Political Practices Commission is expected to levy a hefty penalty next week against a sitting and former county supervisor for not properly disclosing advertising costs for a 2012 campaign in which both were involved. San Joaquin County Supervisor Carlos Villapudua and former supervisor Steve Bestolarides, along with Central Valley PAC – California, Yes on Measure D — are facing $26,000 in fines after FPPC investigators determined the two men failed to identify themselves as controlling candidates of the PAC. Stockton Record article

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures 

Local leaders weigh in on 2016 ballot measures — With California Secretary of State Alex Padilla’s recent certification of 17 ballot measures to be placed on the November ballot, Valley business leaders are already speculating about how voters’ decisions might impact their neighborhoods — and bottom line. The Business Journal article 

Why the Teamsters changed their stance on legalizing pot in California — This fall, California voters will decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana. Law enforcement groups have donated most of the money to defeat the measure, Proposition 64. Another group that’s contributed to the anti campaign is less expected: The California Teamsters. KPCC report 

Eric McGhee and Mindy Romero: This new California law could dramatically change the demographics of its electorate – McGhee, a research fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, and Romero, founder and director of the California Civic Engagement Project at UC Davis, write, “California recently passed the New Motor Voter Act, a law designed to register eligible residents to vote by default when they use the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), unless they decline. Other states have or are considering similar laws. But because of California’s diversity and size — the 2016 population was 39.2 million and climbing — the Golden State’s law garnered special interest when it passed last fall.” McGhee/Romero op-ed in Washington Post 

State Attorney General Kamala Harris criticizes federal blood donation ban on sexually active gay men — California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris on Monday criticized the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s revised policy that bans blood donation by sexually active gay and bisexual men, saying it limited needed blood donations after June’s deadly nightclub shooting in Orlando. LA Times article 

The Legislature: Let the sun shine in — Want to take a deep dive into the California Legislature? You may get your chance. Millionaire Charles T. Munger, Jr. and former Republican state Sen. Sam Blakeslee crafted Proposition 54 on the Nov. 8 ballot, a constitutional amendment that would force the Legislature to record its actions and post the video on the web for the public, except for certain proceedings, such as personnel and caucus meetings. Capitol Weekly article

Other areas 

FPPC proposes fine against Controller Betty Yee on campaign reports – California’s political watchdog is proposing a fine against State Controller Betty Yee for allegedly failing to file seven campaign reports during her successful bid for office two years ago. The Fair Political Practices Commission said Yee’s campaign failed to submit six 24-hour reports for contributions ranging from $2,000 to $10,800 to her campaign committee. Within 90 days of an election, rules require donors and recipients to report contributions of $1,000 or more within 24 hours. Sacramento Bee article 

California agency fines Lyft $6,000 for late lobbying reports – California’s campaign finance watchdog is issuing a fine to ride-sharing service Lyft for repeatedly breaking state campaign finance disclosure laws over the last three years. Lyft has agreed to pay the state $6,000 to settle a case of what the Fair Political Practices Commission characterized Monday as unintentionally overdue paperwork from a first-time lobbyist. AP articleSacramento Bee article 

Oakland firm facing big fine for laundering campaign donations — An Oakland company is facing $114,400 in state and city fines for laundering campaign contributions to several former mayoral and City Council candidates, including Councilwomen Rebecca Kaplan and Desley Brooks, officials said Monday. San Francisco Chronicle article

Commerce councilwoman faces state’s largest-ever penalty against a local elected official – California election regulators are proposing the largest-ever financial penalty against a local elected official in the case of City of Commerce Councilwoman Tina Baca Del Rio, who is accused of illegally transferring campaign funds into her personal bank account, among other violations. Baca Del Rio is facing a $104,000 judgment from the state Fair Political Practices Commission. LA Times article 

Juan Felipe Herrera, U.S. poet laureate, responds to gun violence with a new poem — On Sunday, Herrera published a poem in response to the week of violence, called “@ the Crossroads — A Sudden American Poem.” It is dedicated to Sterling, Castile, the five slain Dallas officers and those who were injured, and the victims’ families. “Let us celebrate the lives of all,” the poem begins, “As we reflect & pray & meditate on their brutal deaths.” LA Times article 

Dan Walters: Hernandez treated lightly in case of legislative bad behavior — Roger Hernández is a Democratic state assemblyman from Southern California – but a better moniker might be Roger Dodger. Walters column in Sacramento Bee

Field Poll: Obama approval rating at 57 percent in California — Driven by strong support from Latinos and African Americans, Californians continue to view President Barack Obama’s performance favorably during his final summer in office, according to a new poll. The latest Field Poll finds California voters give the Democratic president a 57 percent approval rating. Sacramento Bee article 

Erika D. Smith: A dumb, dangerous dismissal of Black Lives Matter — In these tense times, when police are killing black men under – at best – questionable circumstances and black men are killing police for revenge, there are ways for law enforcement agencies to build bridges with the communities they serve. And there are also ways to burn those bridges down. Scott Jones and his Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department? Well, they seem to like playing with fire. Smith column in Sacramento Bee

Why lawmakers are trying to make ransomware a crime in California — State legislation to outlaw ransomware is drawing broad support from tech leaders and lawmakers, spurred by an uptick in that type of cybercrime and a series of recent attacks on hospitals in Southern California. LA Times article

Presidential Politics

Kevin McCarthy to speak at GOP convention – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is slated to deliver a prominently timed speech at the Republican National Convention, two people with knowledge of his plans in Cleveland confirmed to The Washington Post on Monday, joining a roster of high-profile congressional Republicans slated to give addresses there next week. Washington Post article 

All of California’s Democrats in Congress now back Hillary Clinton for president – All 39 Democrats in California’s House delegation now back former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid after the endorsements of Democratic Reps. Barbara Lee of Oakland and Alan Lowenthal of Long Beach. LA Times article (scroll to article)

News Stories

Top Stories

California’s property tax revenues to increase by $3-plus billion — A strong surge in real estate transactions, new commercial and residential construction and rising housing prices should generate a $3-plus billion increase in property tax revenues for schools and local governments during the current fiscal year. Sacramento Bee article 

Plans emerge for bullet train station in Bakersfield — Two pages from a yet-unreleased environmental report on the bullet train’s Bakersfield station reveal more detail on how high-speed rail could change the intersection of F Street and Golden State Highway, although officials cautioned they’re just a draft. Bakersfield Californian article

Almost 1 in 5 UC students goes hungry, survey finds – Nearly 1 in 5 UC students surveyed by the university said they’ve skipped meals for lack of money. So on Monday, UC President Janet Napolitano announced she will spend $3.3 million over two years — including $151,000 each year for the 10 UC campuses — to expand food pantries, register students with the state’s CalFresh nutrition program, encourage donations from students with extra dollars on their meal plans, and design new student housing with food-prep areas. San Francisco Chronicle articleLA Times article

Jobs and the Economy

Public safety officials pitch sales tax increase (yes, another one) – Kern County’s public safety leaders want a one-half to one-cent sales tax measure placed on the November ballot that would flow millions of dollars into their faltering budgets. Another sales tax effort? After voters flatly rejected a county library sales tax bid in June? Yes. The money would go to the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, Fire and Probation departments, and the District Attorney’s and Public Defender’s offices. Bakersfield Californian article

How bad in the Kern County budget? Let us tell you – How bad? So bad that public safety departments plan to propose a sales tax increase to historically anti-tax voters to fill their budget holes. So bad that other departments are burning through their rainy-day money at a roaring pace just to keep their operations at status-quo levels. And — most dramatically — so bad that the county is abandoning its long-held fiscal conservatism, digging into its reserves and spreading out most of this year’s losses over the next four years to blunt the need for layoffs and service cuts right now. Bakersfield Californian article 

Visalia council to talk about proposed sales tax increase – A proposed sales tax increase in Visalia already has its first opponent. The Tulare County Taxpayers Association, in a letter sent to Visalia City Council and administrators, said they are opposing the proposed half percent increase to the local sales tax because there’s not a clear plan for spending the projected added revenue. Visalia Times-Delta article 

The people taking care of American children live in poverty – The people paid to watch America’s children tend to live in poverty. Nearly half receive some kind of government assistance: food stamps, welfare checks, Medicaid. Their median hourly wage is $9.77 — about $3 below the average janitor’s. LA Times article 

Chamber: Worker protections may hurt California’s economy – California’s economy, one of the world’s largest, has long outperformed the overall U.S. rate of job creation and business growth. But according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the state is losing its edge. Perhaps not surprisingly, the chamber blamed the state’s labor regulations. LA Times article 

California Lottery sales hit new record at $6.3 billion – The California Lottery says it collected a record $6.3 billion in the last fiscal year, up nearly 15 percent from the previous record of $5.5 billion set a year earlier. Officials said Monday that lottery profits totaled $1.5 billion in 2015-16. That money will be divided among schools. AP article;Sacramento Bee article 

Unlimited vacations, increasingly popular in the tech world, has its drawbacks – Studies show that employees with unlimited time off are unlikely to use much of it. Also, when employees quit or get fired, they will not get a payout for unused vacation days. That’s because the unlimited model means no one actually earns vacation time, in contrast to more traditional policies. San Francisco Chronicle article 

Protestors rally in downtown Fresno against Pacific trade deal – Anti-Trans Pacific Partnership protestors congregated at the federal courthouse in downtown Fresno Monday afternoon to denounce the agreement’s impact on a laundry list of economic, climate and health issues. Fresno Bee article 

Chowchilla council approves balanced budget — The Chowchilla City Council has approved a balanced $24.86 million city budget, including a General Fund budget of $7,195,485. Over the past fiscal year, Chowchilla saw the loss of jobs at a major manufacturer but offset that loss with the gain of new jobs as a number of new retail businesses opened in the city. The Business Journal article 

Fresno hearings let public weigh in on proposed PG&E rate hikes – Fresno residents can weigh in Tuesday on Pacific Gas & Electric Co.’s request for hundreds of millions of dollars in rate increases over the next three years that the company says are needed for improved electric and gas service. Fresno Bee article 

Goodwill opens ‘new’ Stockton store – Bargain hunters should take note. Goodwill Industries of San Joaquin Valley has a new kind of store in Stockton. Like a traditional Goodwill store, it offers an eclectic and wide-ranging mix of household goods, clothing, furnishings, toys, home electronics, small appliances and kitchenware. And it offers shoppers a chance to find real treasures at cut-rate prices. But unlike the classic thrift shop, this store is stocked with new and almost new — open box and customer returns — merchandise, none of it donated. Stockton Record article 

Most pot dispensaries are forced to be cash-only. Now they’re prime targets for violent robberies – The recent killing of a marijuana store security guard in Colorado and the wounding of another guard in San Bernardino are the latest examples of the crime lure posed by cash-only pot dispensaries, industry observers say. LA Times article 

Patty Guerra: Amazon getting ready for Prime Day, holiday rush – I got to meet Armazon recently. As my colleague Erin Tracy wrote last year, Armazon is a pretty big fella, weighing in at 6 tons and moving pallets up to 24 feet high. Armazon is the nickname given to the “Robo-Stow” machine at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Patterson. He’s been plenty busy lately, with the Internet giant’s second annual Prime Day approaching on Tuesday.  Guerra in Modesto Bee 

Aerojet adding jobs at Mississippi site — Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc. said Monday it will add 200 jobs to its rocket-engine site in Mississippi even as it continues to reduce its presence in the Sacramento region. Sacramento Bee article 

Modesto considers $75,000 more for consultant – The City Council will consider Tuesday a proposal to pay former Deputy Director of Cultural Services Bob Quintella as much as $75,000 over two years for consulting services. Modesto already has paid Quintella about $160,000 since he retired several years ago to help the city oversee Modesto Centre Plaza and with other tasks. Modesto Bee article 

Lyft and GM to rent electric vehicles to ride-hailing drivers – Lyft’s partnership with General Motors is starting to bear fruit, with the ride-hailing company announcing Monday that drivers will soon be able to rent electric vehicles from GM to drive for hire. LA Times article 

Dr. Paid Less: A old title still fits female physicians – A broad analysis of salary information from public medical schools found that women made almost $20,000 less a year than comparable male doctors. New York Times article 

Michael Hiltzik: Economic inequality is the cause and consequence of our racial problems — The eruption of community protests that followed the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile last week placed the spotlight once again on racial disparities in American society. But one aspect that again received less attention than it deserved is economic disparity. That’s important because it’s pervasive in the U.S. and arguably lies at the core of our racial conflicts. Hiltzik column in LA Times 

Retirement years not so golden for women — During their working years, women tend to earn less than men, and when they retire, they’re more likely to live in poverty. These are women who raised children and cared for sick and elderly family members, often taking what savings and income they had and spending it on things besides their own retirement security. AP article 

What would JD do? JD Heiskell & Co looks back on 130 years – The name JD Heiskell has had a long-standing history within the city of Tulare. Hundreds of company artifacts showcased in the JD Heiskell & Company museum at the Tulare office are a testament to that. Visalia Times-Delta article 

Tesla is said to be under investigation by the SEC for failing to disclose a fatal crash —  The Securities and Exchange Commission is reportedly investigating Tesla Motor Co. for possibly breaking securities law by failing to disclose that one of its drivers had died while using the company’s Autopilot semi-autonomous software. LA Times article 


U.S. lemon growers feel squeezed by plan for Argentine imports – California lemon growers and their allies are seeking reinforcements in their campaign against proposed imports from Argentina. Now both sides in this cross-border citrus clash will get more time to rally. On Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture extended until Aug. 10 a public comment period that’s already revealed deep anxiety within the U.S. lemon industry. McClatchy Newspapers articleVisalia Times-Delta article

Citrus pest turns up in Modesto — The Modesto area now is under quarantine for the Asian citrus psyllid, which can damage backyard trees here and commercial groves to the south. Officials are asking people to not move oranges, lemons and other citrus fruit out of the 97-square-mile zone, which takes in parts of Ceres and Salida and rural land north and west of Modesto. Modesto Bee article 

Growing marijuana? State will now regulate water use for pot cultivation – Within less than a year, as many as 50,000 marijuana growers in California could be required to obtain state permits for the irrigation water they consume. It is an unprecedented step aimed at preventing harm to the environment and other water users resulting from the rapid growth of marijuana cultivation in the state. KQED report 

California drought, marine heat more likely with warming — A persistent wash of warm waters off the West Coast, which caused wildlife die-offs and blocked drought-quenching storms from reaching California last year, was caused by the happenstance interplay of natural ocean cycles, research findings published Monday show. KQED report 

Jeff Jardine: Ag still taking Stanislaus County Fair on its annual summer ride – You might say the Stanislaus County Fair is off to a better-than-fair start. Crowds over the first weekend of the 10-day run, blessed by mild low-90s weather instead of the typical blast-furnace conditions of July, were “huge,” according to fair officials who are still crunching the numbers. Not that they expected anything less. While some other fairs statewide were devastated when Gov. Jerry Brown cut their funding as he worked to close a $25 billion budget gap in 2011, Stanislaus County’s managed to weather the shortfall and maintain its popularity. Jardine column in Modesto Bee 

Water line break in Exeter cuts service, forces boil-water notice — A water line break in Exeter forced the city to shut off water service to all homes and businesses in the city and warn residents to boil water before drinking it. Fresno Bee articleVisalia Times-Delta article

Farmworker dies in field outside Merced — A fieldworker died Monday after fainting in a tomato field southwest of Merced, the Merced County Sheriff’s Office reported. The 61-year-old man told fellow workers he wasn’t feeling well and fainted in a field shortly before 5 p.m. in the area of Healy and McMaster roads, said Sheriff Vern Warnke. Merced Sun-Star article

Criminal Justice/Prisons 

Fresno groups call for change in wake of shootings – On a third day of demonstrations regarding officer-involved shootings in Fresno, the Brown Berets and members of the Black Lives Matter movement met outside City Hall on Monday to discuss the changes they believe Fresno Police Department needs to make. One Brown Beret leader called on police to use lethal force only as a last resort – a point Police Chief Jerry Dyer agreed with. Fresno Bee article 

Tulare County jail population among highest in state – Within a month of breaking ground on Tulare County’s South Valley Detention Facility, a study showed Tulare County as having one of the highest jail populations in California. Visalia Times-Delta article 

Joel Fox: Shootings, shooting police – broken trust – The only Californian on President Obama’s Task Force on 21stCentury Policing said we know exactly what to do to confront and correct the dire situation brought on by shootings in Baton Rouge, Minneapolis and Dallas. Acclaimed Los Angeles civil rights attorney Connie Rice said, “You have to completely reform police culture so that they are ready to bond with core communities, so that you can build trust.” Fox in Fox & Hounds 

Blue-ribbon panel: San Francisco Police Department needs more training, tracking to fight bias — San Francisco police should better train officers to avoid racial profiling and other forms of bias, rigorously study racial data collected during officers’ stops, and share more information with the public including basic crime statistics, according to a blue-ribbon panel created by District Attorney George Gascón. San Francisco Chronicle article

Panel finds San Francisco Police Department ‘code of silence,’ outsized influence of police union – A panel appointed to investigate bias in the San Francisco Police Department says it encountered roadblocks throughout its yearlong inquiry, according to a hefty report released Monday. KQED report 

How a $2 roadside drug test sends innocent people to jail — Widespread evidence shows that these tests routinely produce false positives. Why are police departmentsand prosecutors across the country still using them? New York Times article 

Armed man acting erratically on North Sacramento street shot, killed by police — Sacramento Police shot and killed a man Monday who both witnesses and police said was armed and acting erratically on Del Paso Boulevard. Sacramento Bee article 


Despite advances in early ed research, teacher pay lags far behind – Earnings in the early education field remain strikingly low when compared to other teachers, two new studies show – and that, in turn, is harming the learning environments that many young students encounter at an age that research increasingly shows is a key period of child development. KPCC report 

Superintendents, advocacy groups at odds over revising LCAP – The State Board of Education will take its first look Wednesday at proposed revisions to the much-criticized template for the Local Control and Accountability Plan. EdSource article

How to decipher the state’s proposed school and district report cards – Some states assign a single number or letter grade to rate a school. Some parents prefer that too. But California education leaders are proposing a very different system with a brightly colored report card as a way of explaining the achievement of every school and district. At its meeting Wednesday morning, the State Board of Education will look at the latest draft and discuss how to proceed with it. EdSource article 

Fresno State, local school districts awarded $1.2 million teacher grant — California State University, Fresno and Fresno, Central and Sanger Unified school districts have been awarded a $1.2 million grant by the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation to expand practice-based training for new K-8 teachers in implementing the state’s math and science standards. The Business Journal article

Doing the math: Grant targets teachers of future scientists — Some teachers make it look easy, but truth be told, it takes consummate skill to make such lessons soar. Eleven California State University campuses will split $10 million in grant funding from the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation to help teachers in training gain those skills. At least $600,000 will come to the teacher education program at California State University, Stanislaus, in collaboration with the Turlock Unified and Ceres Unified school districts. Modesto Bee article 

Math and science program at UC Davis recruits underrepresented students — For more than a decade, the Summer Math and Science Honors Academy has recruited low-income and minority high school students to participate in a five-week program of science and technology classes at some of the state’s top colleges. After its inaugural program at UC Berkeley in 2004, the academy expanded to Stanford University and UCLA – and recently launched a program at UC Davis. Sacramento Bee article

Paula Parks: Bakersfield College’s African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence (ASTEP) program – The English professor at Bakersfield College and coordinator of the ASTEP program writes, “In the spirit of equity, Bakersfield College offers programs for groups, such as low income students, first generation students, veterans, foster youth, Hispanic/Latino/a, and African Americans. BC administrators know how important it is to provide support in order to produce graduation and transfer rates that strengthen our local community. ASTEP has a comprehensive approach to support that includes coursework, required study sessions, time with BC and community mentors, cultural and academic trips, and appointments with the ASTEP counselor so that students stay on track to graduate.” Parks op-ed in Bakersfield Californian


Big fire east of Clovis threatens homes, prompts evacuations — Evacuations have started in the foothills, east of Clovis, as a wildfire threatens two dozen homes, outhouses and barns in the rural area around Watts Valley Road and Big Springs Lane, according to Fresno County Cal Fire. Fresno Bee article

Health/Human Services 

Daniel Weintraub: Even with health care reform, it’s hard to find a baby – The federal health reform known as the Affordable Care Act has dramatically reduced the number of Americans without insurance. In California, the rate of adults under age 65 without coverage has fallen from 23.7 percent to 11.1 percent since the law took effect. But as many of the newly insured have discovered, there’s a big problem lurking behind those numbers: Even with insurance coverage, it can still be very difficult for consumers to find a doctor. Weintraub in Sacramento Bee

Sacramento Bee: Congress steps toward helping mentally ill people – In an era when bipartisanship is rare, the U.S. House of Representatives has taken a step toward providing more care and treatment of severely mentally ill people. Sacramento Bee editorial 

Sacramento Bee: Black children’s lives matter, too – Early death is twice as likely for black children in Sacramento County, for some largely preventable reasons. So why fund gun permit giveaways over children’s health? Sacramento Bee editorial 

Deaf people encounter troubles with medical care – When you’re hospitalized or in pain, understanding a doctor’s diagnosis or a nurse’s instructions is hard enough. But when you’re deaf, it can feel like being shut out. Sacramento Bee article 

Mental health literacy may be a roadblock for Vietnamese Americans seeking help, study shows – When Vi Pham was growing up in Little Saigon, she noticed there was no way to say “mental health” in Vietnamese. As a result, many older Vietnamese Americans — who decades later may continue to suffer from trauma related to the Vietnam War — don’t seek out mental health services, she said. LA Times article 

A ‘slow catastrophe’ unfolds as the golden age of antibiotics comes to an end — The golden age of antibiotics appears to be coming to an end, its demise hastened by a combination of medical, social and economic factors. For decades, these drugs made it easy for doctors to treat infections and injuries. Now, common ailments are regaining the power to kill. LA Times article‘How quickly antibiotic resistance can spread’ in LA Times 

Can the government encourage the development of new antibiotics? – To foster the discovery of truly innovative medicines, drug companies may need to offer more extensive inducements, including tax breaks or market guarantees, saidPeter Pitts, president of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest and former associate commissioner of the FDA. The federal government may even need to do what it has done for antiradiation drugs and some vaccines, he said: Pay for their development and buy and stock these products itself. LA Times article 

Teixobactin and the hope it represents for fighting antibiotic resistance — And then there’s teixobactin, a still-experimental drug that may herald a new era of antibiotic discovery. A team of researchers at Northeastern University’s Antimicrobial Discovery Center reported last year in the journal Nature that they had discovered a compound in soil unlike any found before. LA Times article 

In San Diego, methamphetamine deaths at highest level in 20 years — Methamphetamine is dangerous. If you want proof, just go to the San Diego County morgue. In 2014, county records show 262 deaths from meth-related causes. That’s more than the number of people who died from the flu and homicides combined that year. KPBS report 

Do alternative treatments for autism work? — The treatments range from special diets and supplements — two of the most frequently tried interventions — to music or animal therapy. But parents have little guidance from medical science, because the evidence for alternatives is thin, if it exists at all. KQED report

Land Use/Housing 

Wanted: Developer for massive Selma master-planned community — A Selma farming family with a decades-old vision to create a master-planned community that would nearly double the city’s size has laid out the groundwork for the massive project. Fresno Bee article


Road to Yosemite take longer — The most direct route from San Joaquin County into Yosemite National Park might be a little more difficult to traverse until some time in 2017 as the California Department of Transportation works on the James E. Roberts Memorial Bridge.  Stockton Record article 

Other areas 

Steven Van Metre: Millennials deserve our praise, not our criticism – The Bakersfield certified financial planner writes, “Now we are hearing a lot about ‘Millennials,’ generally people born between 1980 and 2000. Much of what we hear isn’t very good. They are depicted as lazy, self-centered, obstinate, ‘entitled’ whiners. I am here to argue that, in fact, Millennials actually may be today’s ‘Greatest Generation’ and they can teach the rest of us a thing or two about coping.” Van Metre op-ed in Bakersfield Californian

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – No gun control law will stop all shootings everywhere. But a deeper, more informed, more targeted conversation might at least give us the opening – or openings – to try.

Sacramento Bee – Early death is twice as likely for black children in Sacramento County, for some largely preventable reasons. So why fund gun permit giveaways over children’s health?; In an era when bipartisanship is rare, the U.S. House of Representatives has taken a step toward providing more care and treatment of severely mentally ill people.

Stockton Record – Cheers and jeers: Almond industry is taking off, water danger lurks and other issues.