July 20, 2015


Political Briefs

Top stories

Amanda Renteria, Hillary Clinton’s political director, brings key lessons for her own (losing) campaign – The most prized credential of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s political director may not be her connections on Capitol Hill, her experience courting the crucial Latino vote or the diversity she brings as the child of a Mexican immigrant, but her run for office — which she lost. LA Times article

Dan Walters: How much is California really spending? — It’s time again for some more fun with numbers – big numbers. They’re the numbers associated with the 2015-16 state budget, which the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown enacted last month. Walters column in Sacramento Bee


Gov. Brown

Jerry Brown, Pope Francis meet on climate change from worlds apart — Gov. Jerry Brown went off to the Vatican for high-profile talks this week on climate change. His host, Pope Francis, is an ambassador on the issue, too. But as much as their visit will highlight shared concerns about the environment, the politician and the pontiff come at climate change from very different points of view. Sacramento Bee article; San Jose Mercury News article

George Skelton: Pope Francis and Brown part ways on cap and trade —  The pope and California’s governor don’t agree on everything about climate change. Global warming’s threat to the planet? Yes. Selling permits to pollute? Hardly. Peddling pollution permits has a euphemism. It’s politely called cap and trade. And it raises a ton of money for state government, including Gov. Jerry Brown’s struggling bullet train. Skelton column in LA Times


Valley politics

Committee on Merced City Council districts to scrutinize proposed maps at meeting — Meetings that will change the way people are elected to the Merced City Council continue this week as proposed district maps are studied closely. Merced Sun-Star article



LA County considers new immigration program for jails in light of San Francisco slaying — In Los Angeles and across the country, local authorities are deciding to what degree they should participate in ICE’s new Priority Enforcement Program. Under the program, ICE asks jails to notify federal agents when inmates flagged for potential deportation are being released, and in some cases asks jails to hold such inmates so federal agents can pick them up. LA Times article

Mexican immigrant walks to honor those whose U.S. journey is cut short —  For Antonio Mendez, crossing into the United States without immigration papers was as simple as walking through Tijuana. That was 1982. These days, many immigrants without papers trek through miles of desert, risking death to evade Border Patrol agents. LA Times article


Other areas

Unintended consequences: Could Trump wake sleeping Latino vote? – Donald Trump’s fiery rhetoric about criminals flowing over the U.S. border from Mexico could earn him a key role in the 2016 presidential election — just not the one he might be expecting. The blustery businessman who is riding the top of the Republican polls could be the candidate who finally wakes up the “sleeping giant” of the Latino vote, experts say. San Francisco Chronicle article

 GOP fears unapologetic Donald Trump will alienate crucial voters – The Republican establishment has worried for weeks that Donald Trump — a combustible blend of media personality, business tycoon and insurgent politician — was pushing the GOP out of the mainstream and crushing its ability to expand its appeal. LA Times article

 State Sen. Steve Glazer: We shouldn’t forget Confederacy, but neither should we honor it – The Orinda Democrat writes, “Our public buildings should be named for people of great accomplishments who are role models of good behavior, morals and principles. Unfortunately, some public places in California still honor Confederate leaders who split the country in two to preserve slavery. I don’t want to erase their names from our history books; I just don’t want our children looking up to people who fought for a system that treated humans as chattel.” Glazer op-ed in Sacramento Bee

 Pro football player takes ‘leap of faith’ with Capitol internship — While his teammates are busy training for the upcoming season, Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Christian Tupou is finishing up a month-long internship with state Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber. Capitol Alert


News Briefs

Top Stories

High crime, public scrutiny challenge Fresno Police Department recruitment push — The Fresno Police Department must overcome a number of challenges — both internal and external — to recruit more than 100 officers in 18 months to meet city goals. Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer says his department is plagued by an issue faced by some struggling Major League Baseball teams. Fresno Bee article

Homeless students get new attention in school accountability plans – School districts must spell out how they will help the state’s 310,000 homeless students and make goals for their progress under a new law that may be the first of its kind nationwide. EdSource article



Jobs and the Economy

State-run retirement savings plan gets boost – A state attempt to create a retirement savings plan for 6 million private-sector California workers not offered one on the job, Secure Choice, got a boost last week during the White House Conference on Aging. Calpensions article

LA County minimum wage hike posed to pass with Solis’ support – A Los Angeles County supervisor who stalled a vote on raising the county minimum wage last month in the face of pushback from small businesses now says she is prepared to vote for a gradual increase to $15 an hour, giving the proposal the majority vote it needs to pass Tuesday. LA Times article

Michael Hiltzik: Rentral sites like Aribnb aren’t as innocuous as they pretend — You could look at the recent proposals to clamp down on San Francisco’s short-term housing rental market as the city’s attempt to call Airbnb’s bluff. Hiltzik in LA Times




Sacramento Bee: One reason to stop watering the lawn – So we have seen the future, and if we’re smart, it could look a lot like San Diego. We can think of worse reasons to stop watering the lawn. Sacramento Bee editorial

Burbank officials apologize for water violation letters — Last week, City Manager Mark Scott apologized for the letters, which were mailed to customers watering on the wrong days as well as those who were not violating the city ordinance but were among the highest water users. Unfortunately, Scott said, the same letter went out to both types of users, which “wasn’t fair and wasn’t right.” LA Times article

Sacramento’s new Mexican consul to help drought-stricken farmworkers — With California’s historic drought evaporating the livelihood of thousands of Mexican migrants, Mexico will start offering them emergency rent assistance, clothing, food and even a plane ticket back home, said the region’s new consul general in her first major media interview. Sacramento Bee article

Shrinking Colorado River is a growing concern for Yuma farmers – and millions of water users — The Colorado is suffering from a historic drought that has exposed the region’s dependence on a single, vulnerable resource. Nearly 40 million people in seven states depend on the river, a population some forecasts say could nearly double in the next 50 years. LA Times article


Criminal Justice/Prisons

Farmersville police shoot, kill man after booking room fight — Farmersville police officers shot and killed a man in custody Saturday night while processing him on a parole violation, according to the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating the shooting. Fresno Bee article; Visalia Times-Delta article

Stockton’s June homicide hike belies trend – Stockton experienced a sharp increase in homicides in June after relatively low numbers over the first five months of the year, but the year-to-date numbers are still down from 2014. Stockton Record article

South Stockton crime spree: How investigators pieced it together – Details into the investigation of three suspects linked to a string of robberies and shootings that terrorized residents of south Stockton, with at least one incident resulting in homicide, have emerged in recently filed court documents. Stockton Record article

Details emerge after suspect arrested in five deaths at Modesto home — Modesto police say the two women and three girls found dead in a Village I home over the weekend include the homicide suspect’s daughter and the daughter’s mother. Modesto Bee article; San Francisco Chronicle article

Working for justice — Now, at 64, Jesse De La Cruz has three degrees from California State University, Stanislaus: a bachelor’s in sociology, a master’s in social work and a doctorate in education. He still sees courtrooms regularly, but now as a gang consultant and expert witness. Stockton Record article



Water restrictions affecting Fresno student athletics – The latest contrast being drawn between neighboring Fresno Unified and Clovis Unified schools is the shade of their lawns. Fresno Bee article

Summer school: Oases in East San Jose, San Ramon, Oakland — Public schools are suddenly flush with cash from the state, but one victim claimed by the Great Recession is only starting to bounce back: summer school. San Jose Mercury News article



Tropical-storm aftermath: Lightning-sparked fires in central San Joaquin Valley — A tropical storm that swept through the central San Joaquin Valley on Saturday stretched resources thin as lightning was blamed or suspected in several fires. Fresno Bee article


Health/Human Services

Pharmacy residency program improves training – The chronic shortage of health care professionals has been the reality in San Joaquin County for decades. That well-documented need has led to many organizations embracing “growing our own” doctors and nurses such as the San Joaquin Medical Society’s Decision Medicine program and Stockton Unified’s Health Careers Academy. Stockton Record article

Hughson seeks community support to get defibrillators throughout community – The city seeks 21 defibrillators for schools, government buildings, and emergency vehicles. Modesto Bee article

Advisory commission says veterans center is priority in Stanislaus County – An advisory commission will present its annual report Tuesday and discuss goals for improving access to services for veterans in Stanislaus County. Modesto Bee article

Engaging vaccine hesitant parents on values — The question of declining children’s vaccination rates — and how to improve them — exploded into the public consciousness early this year when a measles outbreak, linked to Disneyland, spread across California and to other states. KQED report


Land Use/Housing

Another apartment complex in north Merced on council agenda — The Merced City Council will look at an apartment complex plan in north Merced on Monday, two weeks after another complex in the same part of town drew the ire of residents there. Merced Sun-Star article



‘Yellow Alerts’ proposed to combat California’s hit-and-run scourge – Statistics show that if drivers flee, law enforcement probably won’t be able to track them down. Is there something society can do about this form of irresponsibility? A Los Angeles assemblyman has an idea. He is pushing a “Yellow Alert” bill that would authorize the California Highway Patrol to post an alert on freeway message boards with the description of a car involved in a hit-and-run, if that driver left a seriously injured person behind. Sacramento Bee article

Bee Investigator: Farm vehicles have different rules of the road — Last month, a man suffered major injuries when the sport-utility vehicle he was driving rear-ended a trailer being hauled by a tractor in west Modesto. It was nearly dark, 23 minutes after sunset, when the crash occurred. All vehicles have until 30 minutes after sunset to turn on lights, but farm equipment used exclusively for agricultural operations, known as “implements of husbandry,” require fewer reflectors. Modesto Bee article


Other areas

Jose Gaspar: Whatever happened with that? I’ll tell you — Ever read a news story or column about a particular subject that interests you and then later wonder, “Hey, whatever happened about that?” Gaspar column in Bakersfield Californian

Merced Art Hop takes on social change — Social causes got the spotlight Saturday during the summer version of Merced Art Hop, a quarterly event that highlights the arts in the downtown. Merced Sun-Star article

Hesperia councilman proposes single-serve alcoholic beverage ban — He’s proposed an ordinance that would ban single-serve alcoholic beverages — such as 40-ounce bottles of malt liquor and single cans of beer — and declare them a public nuisance. The Hesperia City Council is expected to vote on the ordinance Tuesday. LA Times article


Valley Editorial Roundup

Sacramento Bee – So we have seen the future, and if we’re smart, it could look a lot like San Diego. We can think of worse reasons to stop watering the lawn.