July 18, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories 

Large majorities on both sides of southwestern border oppose a wall, poll finds — Large majorities of Americans and Mexicans living in cities along the U.S.-Mexico border oppose building a wall dividing the two countries, rejecting the proposal that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has made a cornerstone of his campaign, according to a new poll released Monday. Washington Post article 

California GOP delegation to anti-Trumpers: Never – The California delegation, despite being bivouacked in the hinterlands, is built as the ultimate army of hard-core Trump faithful. In the unlikely event that there’s one last flailing attempt to derail the Donald’s nomination this week, the California delegation in place to destroy it. San Francisco Chronicle article 

Valley politics 

Supervisory boundary changes mix up planning commission members – Politics are confusing. And sometimes local politics are wildly confusing. Merced Sun-Star article 

Candidates getting ready as four Clovis Unified trustee terms are up — Terms for four of the seven Clovis Unified school board members will expire this fall, and already incumbents and community members are preparing to mount campaigns to claim the seats. School board president Chris Casado, along with trustees Brian Heryford and Ginny Hovsepian, are running for re-election, while longtime member Richard Lake is undecided. Fresno Bee article 

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures 

How much are California’s U.S. Senate candidates worth? — California’s two U.S. Senate candidates may not be as rich as some of Washington’s well-heeled politicians, but they aren’t exactly hurting. Both state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris and Orange County Rep. Loretta Sanchez have a net worth that likely runs in the millions. LA Times article

Other areas 

New generation of LGBT activists sees ‘confluence’ with Black Lives Matter – The Black Lives Matter movement has been at odds with the LGBT community in some cities, generating media attention when friction arises. Some leaders of the Sacramento Black Lives Matter chapter are also uncomfortable when new activists organize protests for their cause, as was the case last week with the Capitol march that three young women unaffiliated with the official group launched on social media. Sacramento Bee article 

California student among 84 people dead in France attack — An American student from the University of California, Berkeley, was identified Sunday as one of the 84 people killed in Thursday’s Bastille Day truck attack in the French city of Nice, according to statement from the school. AP articleLA Times articleSan Francisco Chronicle article

Presidential Politics

Many notable California Republicans staying away from GOP convention – what they don’t have is the majority of GOP elected officials. The delegation includes three members of the state Legislature, including Senate Republican leader Jean Fuller. Assembly Republican leader Chad Mayes is sitting it out. Of California’s 14 Republican congressional representatives, just six have confirmed to KQED they’ll be attending. Dhillon says there’s a practical reason other GOP officeholders aren’t making the trip — they’re busy running for re-election. KQED report 

Meet California Republican delegates for Donald Trump — California’s 172-member delegation to the Republican National Convention arrived over the weekend at their accommodations – a sprawling, indoor water park nearly 60 miles outside Cleveland – and began preparing for the week’s main event: GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump. Below, a few delegates shared their thoughts heading into the first day of the convention. Sacramento Bee article 

California GOP hits Cleveland: ‘Reminds me of a bad Chevy Chase movie’ — The California delegation to the Republican National Convention settled in here over the weekend, marooned amid sunburned vacationers and cannonball contests at a water park 60 miles from Cleveland and the convention hall. The remoteness of the encampment reflected difficulty housing the nation’s largest delegation, but also the weak standing of the minority party from a heavily Democratic state. Sacramento Bee article 

10 ways Trump’s convention could revive the GOP – or kill it — Will the idea of “President Donald Trump” seem plausible by Thursday night? Or will rioting and big-name no-shows take the spotlight off this week’s Republican convention? Sacramento Bee article 

George Skelton: 1976 Convention flashback: Why Donald Trump is no Ronald Reagan – Forty years ago, Republicans held a riveting, robust convention in Kansas City, where a rebel Californian nearly wrested the party’s nomination from a powerful sitting president. Compared to this week’s horror tale in Cleveland, the Kansas City story was like a Frank Capra feel-good movie starring a popular but underestimated former so-called B-movie actor. Skelton column in LA Times 

California delegation has a long commute from hotel to Republican National Convention – California’s delegates will have the longest commute to the GOP convention this week. They’ll have to travel a staggering 60 miles each way to get to theQuicken Loans ArenaLA Times article 

Erika D. Smith: Bracing for chaos in Cleveland — Like it or not, this country is divided about race relations and policing, and the issue isn’t abating. Trump and Pence say they want to lead the country from the White House; that means they must show voters how they plan to deal with this. It’s just a shame that it has to play out on the streets of my beloved Cleveland. Prayers for The Land. Smith column in Sacramento Bee 

Two San Diego Trump delegates say gays ‘can be cured’ —  Two of Donald Trump’s delegates from San Diego run a political organization that claims homosexuality results from childhood sexual abuse by gays. The husband and wife also say homosexuality “is a disorder that can be cured” with treatment. LA Times article

News Stories

Top Stories

Dan Walters: California property taxes show sharp gains, especially in Bay Area – One wonders whether the liberal Democrats who dominate Bay Area politics would be willing to share some of their property tax windfalls with poorer red-county cousins. Walters column in Sacramento Bee 

Fresno tech startup wants to let customers’ fingers do the talking — In the world of Yelp reviews and receipts decorated with online survey links, Fresno tech startup Benchmark Intelligence has found another answer for businesses yearning to learn what their customers think: texting. Fresno Bee article

Jobs and the Economy 

As CalPERS exits hedge funds, CalSTRS adds more — The two big California public pension funds, CalPERS and CalSTRS, are going opposite ways on a controversial investment strategy, hedge funds, that is under fire from a powerful teachers union. Calpensions article


Don Curlee: Farmers defend political stance(s) – Most of the farmers I have known hold stronger political opinions than many others who come my way. Though some of them might hesitate to share them, they hold tightly to them. t looks like this is going to be a bumper crop year for them to express themselves. Curlee in Visalia Times-Delta 

New plan for fish on brink – State officials last week released an “aggressive” plan to immediately help the Delta smelt, which soon may become the first species to go extinct in the Delta in nearly 60 years. Stockton Record article 

Weakening La Nina forecast may mean closer to normal SoCal rain this winter  — Federal climate scientists on Thursday downgraded their predictions of a La Niña climate pattern forming this fall, potentially boosting chances for more typical rainfall in Southern California this winter. KPCC report

Criminal Justice/Prisons 

Valley law enforcement expresses support for Baton Rouge victims – Valley law enforcement agencies expressed condolences Sunday to Louisiana law officers after six of those officers were shot, three of them fatally, in the second deadly attack on police in a little more than a week. Fresno Bee article 

Building trust critical, Stockton police chief says – As the nation reels from yet another killing of multiple police officers, this time in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the heartache and pain of such a horrific event was on everyone’s mind during a Sunday Christian revival service organized quarterly for members of churches in both north and south Stockton. Stockton Record article 

Host of party-turned-melee: ‘It hurts. And it’s gonna hurt for a long, long time’ – Alicea Wallace just wanted to throw a nice party for her 15-year-old daughter, whom she described as a good girl who deserved to have a little fun with her friends. Instead her home became the scene of a total melee that resulted in 14 people being shot, many of them young people but also including her husband. Bakersfield Californian articleAP articleLA Times article 

Oakland considers giving police control to independent commission – Stung by disciplinary problems that have beset Oakland’s Police Department, the City Council is considering a call for an independent police commission that would have broad powers to oversee the rank and file — and even fire the chief. San Francisco Chronicle article 

LAPD will increase patrols, 911 screenings in wake of violence against police officers, mayor says — The Los Angeles Police Department will increase helicopter patrols and the screenings of 911 calls in the wake of the fatal shootings of three Baton Rouge officers, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Sunday. LA Times article

Police abuse of trafficking victims weakens fragile help system — Already it’s profoundly challenging working with these kids, who may not even perceive themselves as victims. They tend to have endured traumatic childhoods, sometimes bouncing in and out of foster homes and suffering physical or sexual abuse from caretakers. They’re often dealing with poverty, as well as mental health and substance abuse problems on top of, or related to, the exploitation. Efforts to help them are hampered by a cultural paradigm that shames victims and quietly allows their exploitation. San Francisco Chronicle article 

Once one of the nation’s most powerful cops, is ex-LA County Sheriff Lee Baca heading to jail? — The elusiveness that marked Baca’s time in office will meet hard reality Monday morning when he is sentenced in federal court for lying to federal authorities who were investigating attempts by sheriff’s officials to obstruct an FBI inquiry into abusive deputies working in county jails – an undeniable reckoning that will color his extensive career with disgrace. LA Times article


New rating system provides insight into child care and preschool programs – The story of how Chhabra’s 16-year-old child care program went from the lowest rating to the highest offers a window into California’s Quality Rating and Improvement System, or QRIS. The statewide system launched in 2014 to establish a baseline measurement of child care and preschool quality, to help parents decide where to send their children and to help providers improve their services. EdSource article 

Sara Sandrik: Student, community collaboration on display in Merced — Collaboration is a powerful part of student success throughout the Merced City School District. Parents, teachers, administrators, board members and countless others work together to help children thrive. Many times, the collaboration also involves other agencies and community partners. I’ve enjoyed seeing some inspiring examples of that type of teamwork this summer. Sandrik in Merced Sun-Star 

Sacramento city schools add room to reduce students in each class — Sacramento City Unified elementary schools are seeing a mini building boom in a reversal for a district that closed seven campuses in 2013. The school district is dramatically reducing class sizes for K-3 students this fall and expects to open 75 more classrooms by the time students return from summer vacation. Across the district, workers are relocating portable classrooms, laying new electrical lines and preparing campuses for the fall. Sacramento Bee article

Health/Human Services

As need grows for painkiller overdose treatment, companies raise prices — The Solace Foundation in Orange County, the group that Dunkle co-founded, says the drug has been used since February to reverse 128 overdoses that otherwise probably would have been fatal. But as the demand for naloxone has risen — overdose deaths now total 130 every day, or roughly the capacity of a Boeing 737 — the drug’s price has soared. LA Times article


Can Israeli-type security measures work at LAX and other U.S. airports? — U.S. airport executives and lawmakers have increasingly debated whether the security measures used at Ben Gurion could prevent the kind of bloodshed that took place in the Brussels and Istanbul airports this year. Those measures include widely accepted passenger profiling based on appearance and behavior, multiple security screenings in the terminal and checkpoints in the general vicinity of the airport. LA Times article 

Taxis suffer as ride-sharing takes off at Bay Area airports – In the past year, the number of trips by ride-booking services at the Oakland, San Jose and San Francisco airports has skyrocketed. East Bay Times article 

LA’s ‘Subway to the Sea’ is less about play and more about work — When the so-called subway to the sea began running between downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica this year, it was greeted with a kind of revelry and attention usually reserved for only the hottest celebrity-studded film screenings. Now, nearly two months later, the sheen has mostly worn off, replaced by workaday concerns of daily commuters, who most often have their heads deeply bowed to their phones as the train lurches along Exposition Boulevard. New York Times article