July 26, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories 

California’s small solution to the housing crisis: Small houses – To help ease California’s housing crisis, Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers are turning to people’s backyards. Multiple bills with the endorsement of Brown are moving through the Legislature to make it easier for homeowners to build small units on their properties, whether in their garages, as additions to existing homes or as new, freestanding structures. LA Times article

Will Latino voters turn out for Hillary Clinton – Donald Trump may be hurting badly in polls of Latino voters, but he could still win the presidency if enough Latino voters don’t feel compelled to go to the polls and wait in line to cast a ballot for Hillary Clinton. McClatchy Newspapers article

Gov. Brown 

California Gov. Brown vetoes measure that would have allowed cancellation of uncontested elections – California Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday vetoed a bill by the late Sen. Sharon Runner (R-Lancaster) that would have allowed him to cancel an election to fill a vacancy in the Legislature if only one candidate makes the ballot. That candidate would have been declared the elected legislator, under the bill. LA Times articleSan Francisco Chronicle article 

Jerry Brown Oks bill to allow rescue of fighting dogs — Dogs rescued from fighting rings and write-in candidates will be key beneficiaries of Gov. Jerry Brown’s latest legislative decisions. The Democratic governor announced on Monday he had signed Assembly Bill 1825, which prevents dogs seized from criminal fighting operations from automatically being designated “vicious.” Dogs that are labeled vicious are typically euthanized; now, animal control and shelter workers can evaluate pooches first to see if they pose a threat. Sacramento Bee article 

Gov. Jerry Brown signs new laws boosting humane treatment of animals — Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed two new laws aimed at more humane treatment of unclaimed stray animals and fighting dogs facing euthanasia. In all, Brown signed 28 bills Monday, including one banning the use of carbon dioxide to euthanize animals that go unclaimed in animal shelters. The proposal expands an existing law outlawing the use of carbon monoxide gas chambers. LA Times article 

New law will require temporary license plates in California — Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Monday requiring that newly purchased vehicles in California display temporary license plates, approving the bill despite objections from social justice activists who say it will lead to more fines and economic hardships for poor people. LA Times article

Valley politics 

Kern police union endorses Carter for Bakersfield mayor – Bakersfield mayoral candidate Kyle Carter has received a coveted endorsement from Kern County’s largest police union. Citing Carter’s “support for public safety and ability to impact the community’s economy for the better,” the Kern Law Enforcement Association announced in a news release Monday that it will support the longtime home-builder and businessman in his bid to become the next mayor of Bakersfield. Bakersfield Californian article 

Dave Jones mulls Hanford council run – Dave Jones, the former executive director of the now-defunct Hanford Conference and Visitor Agency, has pulled papers to run for Hanford City Council. If he becomes an official candidate, he will likely be challenging incumbent Gary Pannett in District C. Hanford Sentinel article 

Lemoore mayor won’t run for re-election — Lemoore Mayor Lois Wynne will not be running for re-election. Wynne said she needs to focus on helping her husband deal with health issues. Hanford Sentinel article 

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures 

Who’s governor of California? This week, it’s not Jerry Brown – Few would doubt that, in the event of a major emergency in California over the next few days, Gov. Jerry Brown would be fully engaged and directing state personnel even as he sits thousands of miles away at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. There’s just one problem with that scenario: Brown, under the provisions of the California Constitution, won’t be the actual governor until he ventures back across state lines. “Don’t worry, you’re in safe hands,” said Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, who on Monday night became California’s acting governor. LA Times article 

Kamala Harris to Loretta Sanchez: Apologize to President Obama — Kamala Harris on Monday called for Democratic U.S. Senate rival Loretta Sanchez to apologize to President Barack Obama for suggesting he endorsed Harris because they are both black. Sacramento Bee article 

Senate candidate Loretta Sanchez crashes stage at Democratic National Convention – U.S. Senate candidate Loretta Sanchez didn’t have a speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, but that didn’t stop her from crashing the stage Monday. The Orange County congresswoman stood silently on stage as her sister, Rep. Linda Sanchez of Norwalk, addressed the raucous crowd Monday evening. LA Times articleSacramento Bee articleDan Morain: ‘Sanchez bumbles like a fox’ in Sacramento Bee 

Gavin Newsom has pattern of posting other people’s work without credit – After acknowledging over the weekend that he failed to credit the original author of a nearly identical social media post he signed attacking Donald Trump, a review of Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s online publishing this month has found one instance in which he used a word-for-word passage from another source and additional examples of posting other people’s work without attribution. Sacramento Bee article 

Joel Fox: Direct democracy strategy questions raised by gun referendums — Californian’s embrace of direct democracy continues to entrance those who want to legislate from the outside or to undo legislative actions. As explained in Laurel Rosenhall’s column Friday a bill intended to limit direct democracy has not reduced the number of measures that will appear on November’s ballot. Perhaps this is a result of circumstance—the lower signature count necessary to qualify measures or the decision of the legislature to crowd all initiatives on the General Election ballot. Fox in Fox & Hounds

Other areas 

U.S. judges say California’s top court is jeopardizing constitutional rights – Two federal judges warned Monday that the California Supreme Court’s practice in certain criminal cases was jeopardizing citizens’ constitutional rights. U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judges Jay S. Bybee, a George W. Bush appointee, and Stephen Reinhardt, who was elevated to the court by President Carter, expressed their frustrations in a ruling that will allow a state prisoner to challenge his detention in federal court. LA Times article

Danny Morrison: Black Lives Matter. Blue Lives Matter. But honesty matters more – After watching the calamitous shootings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, two young African-American men who had their lives taken much too soon, I’m now intensely afraid of one thing: America being incapable of being honest with itself. Both sides of this controversy have an indefatigable desire to discredit the other. Both sides are stereotyping the other despite having evidence to the contrary. And both sides have to finally grab a mirror and exercise a little “real talk” self-reflection. Morrison column in Bakersfield Californian 

Darrell Steinberg asks foes to make amends after landslide mayoral win – For Sacramento Mayor-elect Darrell Steinberg, one part of his campaign isn’t over yet – payback for those who fought against him. Weeks after winning the mayor’s race in a landslide, Steinberg said he recently met with “some of the folks who opposed my candidacy.” And despite his nice-guy public image, Steinberg said his election foes have some explaining to do before they’re back in his good graces. Sacramento Bee article 

James Steyer: Petty politics hurts children – The founder and CEO of Common Sense Kids Action writes, “We have the right to expect that our leaders, regardless of political affiliation, will work to do what they believe is best for the people they represent, particularly children. Unfortunately, some officials ignore this fundamental responsibility. Take the case of Assemblyman Roger Hernández, who recently exercised his power to settle personal political scores instead of doing the right thing for kids.” Steyer op-ed in Sacramento Bee 

Alameda County defends restrictions on gun-shop locations – Alameda County supervisors have asked a federal appeals court to dismiss a challenge by gun groups to the county’s zoning restrictions on gun stores, arguing that the constitutional right to own firearms doesn’t include a right to sell them wherever you want. San Francisco Chronicle article 

New California law says couples can live separately under same roof – A newly signed California law acknowledges the unhappy reality to which many estranged couples can attest: You can share the same address and still be living separately. San Francisco Chronicle article 

Patsy Oullette: What the Brexit has to do with us in America – The eighth-grade English teacher at Norris Middle School writes, “The result of our government ignoring public discontent is seen in the presumptive nomination of Donald Trump, the worthy challenge by Bernie Sanders, and now the success of the Brexit vote. To quote Bloomberg View from June 27, ‘Britain’s vote for exit shows the great cost of such government complacency.’ And to paraphrase the rest of the quote, ‘to minimize the harm to its own interests, America needs to change.’ One wonders, is the icon capitalism itself a potential Humpty Dumpty?” Oullette op-ed in Bakersfield Californian

Presidential Politics

Cathleen Decker: After fighting like Republicans, Democrats seek unity of any sort –  If nothing else, the opening day of the Democratic National Convention showed that family feuds are not solely the province of the Republican Party. Party stalwarts arrived onstage only to be treated dismissively — loudly so —  by many of the delegates. That followed a second day of protests by supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, the second-place finisher, who was booed by many of his own backers for suggesting they should cast their November ballots for the winner, Hillary Clinton. Decker in LA Times 

Bernie Sanders supporters drown out Clinton backers at California breakfast – In a sign of ongoing unrest within the Democratic Party on the opening day of the Democratic National Convention, supporters of Bernie Sanders repeatedly interrupted speakers at a breakfast for California delegates on Monday, chanting the Vermont senator’s name and booing mentions of Hillary Clinton. Sacramento Bee articleSan Francisco Chronicle articleLA Times articleKQED reportSacramento Bee editorial: ‘Hey, Sandernistas, are you trying to elect Donald Trump?’ 

California is Donald Trump’s ‘worst nightmare,’ Chiang says – If the California delegation to the Republican National Convention was one of Donald Trump’s most stalwart forces, state Democrats here this week will be his “worst nightmare,” California state Treasurer John Chiang said Monday. Sacramento Bee article 

Kevin de Leon shares his message for Donald Trump with national audience – California Senate President Kevin de León, taking the main stage of the Democratic National Convention Monday afternoon, held up his state as a model for progressive policies while appealing to party activists to unify behind Hillary Clinton. Sacramento Bee articleLA Times article 

Brik McDill: The choice: self-reinforcing, self-perpetuating ugliness or unabashed dishonesty — We were taught in kindergarten that you reap what you sow. But we forgot. When and where did we lose our way, and how can it be that the most unsavory candidates rose to the top? And not just of the candidates who ran, but of all candidates in recent memory. Throughout history politics has had its unsavory side. But there was at least some attempt to publicly display some manner of decorum, at least most of the time. But for this cycle that’s all gone. Donald unabashedly broadcasts hateful vitriol; Hillary unashamedly asserts her famous see-through falsehoods. Where does this end? McDill column in Bakersfield Californian 

Sacramento Republican will rip Trump in Democratic convention speech — On the night that Hillary Clinton accepts the Democratic Party’s nomination for president, Sacramento Republican Doug Elmets, who worked in the Reagan White House and spearheaded construction of a statue of the late president at the California Capitol, will deliver a blistering critique of Donald Trump at the Democratic National Convention. Sacramento Bee article 

Fresno man gets probation in assault during Donald Trump protest — A Fresno gang member who was charged with assaulting a police officer during Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s visit to Fresno in May was sentenced Monday to three years probation. Fresno Bee article 

Tom Fife: Thank you, Lord, for sending us Donald Trump — Down to the soles of my shoes and the core of my soul, I honestly and completely believe Donald John Trump is not just an answer, he is the answer and the biggest medicine we can take, for what ails America right now. Fife column in Visalia Times-Delta 

Joe Altschule: Tommy loves Donald … but it won’t last — Trump will be demolished by the Clinton-Kaine ticket. But even that incredible and stunning defeat won’t stop Tom’s tears. I suspect Tom will be lamenting this terrific loss for years to come. He will find new, inventive ways to blame the press, the left, immigrants, and me. Poor Tom; poor Tom. Altschule column in Visalia Times-Delta 

Robin Abcarian: Michelle Obama’s stunning convention speech: ‘When they go low, we go high’ — With a graciousness that impressed critics and brought supporters to tears, Michelle Obama on Monday night gave a perfectly pitched convention speech that was a ringing endorsement of Hillary Clinton, a backhanded slap at Donald Trump, and a powerful reminder of the historic nature of her husband’s presidency. Abcarian in LA Times

News Stories

Top Stories

Kern supervisors to hear public safety tax pitch Tuesday – Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood will ask county supervisors Tuesday to consider putting a one cent sales tax on the November ballot to fund public safety, which along with most county services is in danger of continued budget cuts. Bakersfield Californian article 

Auditor: Black residents in Fresno more likely to be interviewed by police – A new report from the Fresno Police Department appears to show a pattern of African-American residents being over-represented in interactions with police. African-Americans were disproportionately more likely to be interviewed than Hispanic or white residents in all areas of the city. KVPR report 

Tina Rosenberg: A strategy to build police-citizen trust – Stockton was devastated in the 2008 recession. A quarter of the police force was laid off. The unemployment rate soared to over 20 percent by 2011, twice the national average. The city, with 300,000 people, has been one of America’s 20 most violent ever since. But the force, now back to nearly its former size, is known as one trying to do something — about crime, and about creating a different relationship with the community. These are related, said Jones, who became chief in 2012. Rosenberg in New York Times

Jobs and the Economy 

Stockton homeless plan flawed but commendable – A proposal by Mayor Anthony Silva to address homelessness in Stockton is “admirable in many ways” but a “series of issues” hampers the plan, City Manager Kurt Wilson writes in a report to be discussed Tuesday by the City Council. Stockton Record article

Downtown creative space hopes to jump-start Fresno’s film industry – Fresno isn’t known for its film industry. Yet. Producers George Ohan and Khetphet “KP” Phagnasay hoped to change that when they founded Fulton Film Company in June with the intention of luring the film industry north from Hollywood. Fresno Bee article 

San Joaquin County expected to reach 1 million people by 2040 – A recent study conducted by San Joaquin County Council of Governments and University of the Pacific finds that the county’s population could eclipse 1 million by 2040. Stockton Record article 

Fresno, Clovis movie theaters file for permits to sell beer, wine — If things go as planned, you will be able to enjoy beer or wine while watching a movie at theSierra Vista Cinemas 16 in Clovis or Regal Manchester Stadium 16 in Fresno. Both theater complexes have applied for license with Alcohol Beverage Control to sell the beverages. The theaters are following a growing trend across the country that began more than a decade ago. Fresno Bee article 

Verizon’s offer for Yahoo: a Pyrrhic victory for Wall Street – You would think selling Yahoo to Verizon for a fraction of what Microsoft offered to pay in 2008 was somehow always Mayer’s master plan. But in reality, Wall Street, not Mayer, pushed Yahoo into this sale — specifically, a New York hedge fund called Starboard Value. San Francisco Chronicle article 

Yahoo sells core business to Verizon – For two decades, Yahoo’s logo has carried an exclamation point. Recently, that’s been more of a question mark. And now, make that a period: In a deal with Verizon, Yahoo is selling the Internet businesses that made it famous for $4.83 billion in cash. The transaction includes Yahoo’s real estate, but not a bundle of patents it’s selling separately. Those and the stakes in Asian Internet businesses that have long accounted for most of Yahoo’s value to shareholders will remain, under a new name yet to be unveiled. San Francisco Chronicle article‘Fate of Yahoo CEO Melissa Mayer unclear’ in San Francisco Chronicle 

Third local Albertsons store to reopen Wednesday – The Albertsons grocery chain will reopen its White Lane store on Wednesday, completing plans to revive the last of three former locations in southwest Bakersfield. Bakersfield Californian article

Entrepreneurial consulting startup comes to downtown Fresno – Stratise LLC, a startup dedicated to serving Fresno’s small businesses, is using decades of experience to help companies grow. Fresno Bee article 

California State Fair attendance drops 14 percent – California State Fair officials said Monday that Sacramento’s weekend heat wave and recent national tragedies took a toll on attendance despite efforts to advertise more on social media. The number of fair attendees dropped 14 percent this year, totaling 673,237 visitors. The decline comes after last year’s record of 787,833. Sacramento Bee article 

How overtime has made LA’s port pilots the city’s best paid employees, averaging $450,000 a year — The small corps of mariners who guide ships in and out of the Port of Los Angeles are by far the best-paid city employees, averaging nearly $450,000 in salary and bonuses last year. But unlike pilots in other major West Coast ports, the pilots in Los Angeles have a union contract that boosts their incomes in unusual ways, including a clause that guarantees them at least four hours of overtime pay if they are called back to work after their shift ends. LA Times article

Judge: Yorba Linda residents can’t use referendum to void water rate hikes – An Orange County Superior Court judge ruled Monday in a closely watched case that customers of a water district cannot void rate increases using a referendum. The ruling comes in the protracted fight between a group of Yorba Linda residents and their water provider over a $25-a-month rate increase. LA Times article 

Opponents of Warriors’ Mission Bay arena appeal court ruling – The Mission Bay Alliance, the well-funded opponent of the proposedGolden State Warriors arena in Mission Bay, isn’t ready to give up its fight. A week after a state Supreme Court judge shot down the group’s environmental challenge to the $1 billion basketball and entertainment venue, the alliance said Monday that it will take the case to the California Court of Appeal. San Francisco Chronicle article 

Vacation payout for LA County supervisor becomes issue in fight over ouster of attorney – In November 2014, Los Angeles County Counsel Mark Saladino signed off on a memo giving the go-ahead for Supervisor Don Knabe to collect more than $100,000 in vacation pay when he retires at the end of this year. Seven months later, the other supervisors consulted a second attorney who concluded that Knabe was not entitled to the payout. LA Times article


About that $17 billion water project: Delta Tunnels 101 — This week, Governor Jerry Brown’s controversial water project is back in the public eye. State officials are launching a marathon series of hearings for the “twin tunnels,” as they’re known, that will ultimately decide the fate of the project. KQED report 

Brand wants loans, rebates to aid Fresno residents with tainted water pipes – Fresno City Councilman Lee Brand, who is campaigning to be the city’s next mayor, is proposing two major policy initiatives after a large number of residents, almost exclusively in his northeast district, have complained about discolored and tainted water. Brand’s first proposal would, from the time of council final approval forward, ban galvanized pipe in both renovations and new construction in city residential and commercial projects. Fresno Bee article 

Measuring Californians’ daily water footprint — If you want to get a better sense of your water usage there is an online tool, the Water Footprint Calculator, developed by GRACE Communications Foundation. The calculator walks you through how much water you use in your home and yard, but also how much is related to the energy you use, how much you drive, how much you shop, how much you recycle and the food you (and your pets) eat. If you take all those things into consideration, it turns out the average American consumes about 2,220 gallons (over 8,300 liters) of water per day. KQED report

Criminal Justice/Prisons 

Hanford woman appointed as warden at Avenal prison — Hanford resident Rosemary Ndoh has been appointed as the warden at Avenal State Prison, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said. Hanford Sentinel article 

Lodi adds three new officers, records clerk — Three new police officers and a new records clerk sworn in Monday in Lodi have long ties to San Joaquin County. Stockton Record article 

Crew filming PG&E commercial robbed at gunpoint — A crew filming a commercial last week for PG&E in East Oakland was robbed at gunpoint of tens of thousands of dollars worth of video equipment, authorities said Monday. East Bay Times article


Study rates San Joaquin Valley among ‘least educated’ in nation – Fresno, Modesto and Visalia are among the country’s least educated large metropolitan areas, according to a study released MondayWalletHub compared the top 150 metropolitan statistical areas based on the percentage of adults with a college education and other factors such as the quality of the area’s public schools and universities. Overall, Fresno ranked 145th, just ahead of Modesto at 146th, Bakersfield at 147th and Visalia/Porterville at 148th. Fresno’s metropolitan statistical area includes all of Fresno County, Modesto’s includes all of Stanislaus County and Visalia/Porterville’s includes Tulare County. Fresno Bee articleBakersfield Californian article

Dan Walters: Misnamed ‘accountability’ system for schools leaves parents in the dark – The state Board of Education is on the verge of approving a mind-bendingly dense system of “accountability” for the state’s K-12 schools. “Unaccountability” would be a better word. Walters column in Sacramento Bee 

California colleges to post sex assault policies – Public and private colleges and universities in California must post their sexual harassment policies online and provide copies to all students and faculty under a new law. AP article 

Some districts step up competition for neighbors’ veteran teachers – To better compete in a time of shortage, a handful of districts have negotiated changes in their pay scales that are making it easier to recruit veteran teachers. Doing so isn’t adding to the overall teacher supply or winning friends in neighboring districts. But it is helping some districts solve a personnel crunch as well as provide broader job opportunities for experienced teachers. EdSource article

Bakersfield City School District latest to propose school bond measure – Bakersfield City School District trustees are poised to approve a $110 million facilities improvement bond measure Tuesday, which would be the fifth eight-figure school measure heading to local ballots in November. Bakersfield Californian article

Education Buzz: Fresno State President Castro gets leadership award — Fresno State President Joseph Castro was presented with the Distinguished Servant Leadership Award on July 14 for his contributions to the Executive Leadership Academy. Fresno Bee article 

U.S. issues federal guidelines to prevent discrimination against students with ADHD — The U.S. Department of Education has issued guidelines aimed at preventing schools from discriminating against the growing numbers of students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. LA Times article


Next on Obama’s climate agenda: Airplane pollution – The Obama administration on Monday announced its plan to start regulating planet-warming pollution from airplanes, setting off a battle between environmentalists and the airline industry. New York Times article 

LA County sues SoCalGas to force installation of safety shut-off valves — In the latest legal fallout from the massive Porter Ranch natural gas leak, Los Angeles County went to court Monday seeking to force Southern California Gas Co. to install underground safety shut-off valves on every active gas storage well and distribution pipeline it operates in the county. KPCC report

Health/Human Services 

No primary care doc? Covered California will get you one — Health insurers are gearing up to comply with a new Covered California rule that will require them next year to ensure that all enrollees have a primary care provider. KQED report 

Land Use/Housing 

Brianna Calix: With growth coming, now’s the time for November wish list — Growth is on the horizon for Merced. Here in the newsroom, we started daydreaming of the cool things we’d like to see in Merced. I’ll share our “wish list,” and I’d like to hear what’s on readers’ lists, too. Calix in Merced Sun-Star 

Protest roil over Nevada County’s proposed pot farm rules – In a Sierra Nevada foothills region long known for marijuana growing, Nevada County supervisors in January enacted a sweeping ban on outdoor and commercial medical marijuana cultivation. But that only triggered a voter revolt. Sacramento Bee article


Porterville backs opening mountain road year round — Dee Graham has owned Mountain Top Bed and Breakfast in Ponderosa for just a few months, but she has worked in the Upper Tule region of the Sierra-Nevada foothills for years. And one constant of among these communities in the mountains east of Porterville is that when the Great Western Divide Highway — Tulare County Road M90 — is shut down, usually from mid-November into May due to snow and ice, business in and around Ponderosa drops a lot. Visalia Times-Delta article 

Other areas 

Hanford considers phone app for residents — Hanford officials are considering adopting a smartphone app designed to make it easier for city residents to report potholes, file complaints and interact with city officials to get concerns resolved. Hanford Sentinel article

Battalion chief returns to fire duty after marrow transplant — Doctors told Battalion Chief Kevin Wise it would be at least a year before he could return to work at the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District after undergoing a bone marrow transplant for leukemia. Three months after the surgery – still on anti-rejection drugs, his body in a fragile state as it regenerated a new immune system – Wise asked his doctor if he’d clear him to go back to work. Modesto Bee article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Sacramento Bee – To its shame, the International Olympic Committee passed the buck on whether to ban Russia from the Rio Olympics, after a detailed report said the sports superpower has a state-sponsored doping system; Unfortunately, electing Donald Trump is exactly what some Sanders partisans appear to be bent on with their dogmatic and destructive demonization of Hillary Clinton; It took way too long, but City Hall is about to take some common-sense steps to keep both bicyclists and pedestrians safe on Sacramento’s sidewalks.

Stockton Record – Cheers and jeers: Strangers reach out to help kids, a West Nile increase in San Joaquin County, and other issues.