July 29, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories 

Dan Walters: Business-opposed ‘job killer’ bills will face final test next month — When the Legislature reconvenes next week for the final month of its biennial session, it will decide the fate of hundreds of bills ranging from game-changing to trivial. One question it will answer is whether the California Chamber of Commerce continues its remarkable run of blocking bills it labels “job killers.” Walters column in Sacramento Bee

New crop of California Democrats courts national attention — The national convention, where politicos and politicians gathered to nominate Clinton, has showcased a changing of the guard for California. Alex Padilla and a new class of Democrats are either running for higher office, or considering it while redirecting speculation about their ambitions. In the most immediate contest, Harris, 51, and Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez, 56, are campaigning to succeed Boxer, who turns 76 this fall. Sacramento Bee article

Gov. Brown 

Brown: More carrot, less stick – Gov. Jerry Brown has a lot riding on the November ballot. Voters will decide on his Proposition 57, which Brown says would let nonviolent inmates become eligible for parole sooner, create “good behavior” credits for state prisoners and let judges decide whether to try a juvenile as an adult. With California’s prisons crowded and facing a court-imposed population cap, and thousands of inmates housed outside the state, Brown says his measure makes sense. Capitol Weekly article 

Jerry Brown on the power of outsider politics — Today, Brown says that anti-establishment energy is central to the current presidential campaign — not just for Bernie Sanders, he argues, but for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as well. NPR report 

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures 

‘I wish I was his son,’ Gavin Newsom jokes of Jerry Brown — Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who began raising money for his gubernatorial campaign more than three years before the 2018 election, was lamenting the “ridiculous” cost of advertising in California when he came to the name of one politician who could start raising money late and still beat a billionaire: Gov. Jerry Brown. Sacramento Bee article 

Republicans not keen on Harris or Sanchez for U.S. Senate — Half of Republicans and 34 percent of nonaligned voters in California plan to sit out the U.S. Senate race this fall between Democrats Kamala Harris and Loretta Sanchez, according to a new poll. Sacramento Bee article


After Supreme Court ruling, what’s next for unauthorized immigrants seeking work? — Many unauthorized immigrants had pinned their hopes on getting work permits through President Obama’s immigration plan, but early this summer the U.S. Supreme Court placed the plan on hold. This month the Obama administration asked the court to reconsider, but that’s considered a long shot. In the meantime, some immigrants in California are finding other ways to work legally. KPCC report

Other areas

State Sen. Fran Pavley and Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia: We need justice in fighting climate change – Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) and Garcia (D-Coachella) write, “Last month, amid a flurry of confusion about California’s climate policy, we passed two bills – Senate Bill 32 and Assembly Bill 197 – out of committee. Together, the bills represent a refreshing partnership that underscores a guiding principle: that as the state works to follow mandates required by science, it also must abide the imperatives of justice and equity.” Pavley/Garcia op-ed in Sacramento Bee 

David M. Keranen: The retired Bakersfield College math teacher writes, “We also need to elect more women in positions of leadership. Women tend to be peace-makers and are more nurturing by their very nature. The trend, at least in the more modern countries, has been to elect more women in leadership positions as presidents or in other government offices, and this correlates with a more humane society. Of course, correlation does not imply causation, but by the election of more women we may get a concomitant decrease in violence throughout the world.” Karanen op-ed in Bakersfield Californian 

Victor Davis Hanson: When war went worldwide 75 years ago — In a sane world, it would be utter folly for ISIS to try to repeat a 9/11-like terrorist attack. It makes little sense for Russia to annex the Baltic states in the manner of the Crimea. It would be stupid for China to prompt a sea or air fight with Japan or Taiwan. Nonetheless, all these powers may convince themselves the perceived benefits outweigh the costs. Hanson column in Fresno Bee

Pastor who praised gay nightclub killings hosts ‘preaching conference’ — Divergent views of Christian faith found voice inside and outside a controversial Sacramento-area church that hosted what it called a “Red Hot Preaching Conference” starting Thursday evening. Sacramento Bee article

Presidential Politics

Clinton: America faces ‘moment of reckoning’ – Hillary Clinton offered herself to the nation as the dedicated public servant and tested leader best equipped to face a “moment of reckoning” and bring Americans together to solve the enduring problems of economic and national security. McClatchy Newspapers articleSan Francisco Chronicle articleLA Times article 

Cathleen Decker: Now that she’s made history, Hillary Clinton must build trust – Hillary Clinton’s formal acceptance of the Democratic nomination for president came with a nod to her decades at the center of American politics — and to the introduction she still needs to make if she is to win in November. Decker in LA Times 

Cathleen Decker: 21 thoughts about the Democratic and Republican conventions – Cathleen Decker, who analyzes politics for The Times, took to Twitter tonight for an instant analysis of the Republican and Democratic conventions. Here’s what she had to say, in 21 tweets. Decker in LA Times 

These women got to Congress when their numbers were few. Here’s what Clinton’s historic nomination means to them – For the women in Congress who’ve known her the longest, Hillary Clinton’s acceptance of the presidential nomination will be recognition of the scrabbling they did together in the decades when female politicians were scarce. The idea that the United States might elect a woman president for the first time hasn’t been omnipresent on the campaign trail. But it’s been there all along for the women in California’s delegation. LA Times article 

Bernie Sanders delegates accuse Clinton organizers of trying to shut them out – While Bernie Sanders’ supporters at the Democratic National Convention largely lowered their voices on Wednesday – after shouting inside Wells Fargo Center and storming a media tent on the previous day – pockets of unruliness persist. A prime place to find them: The upper reaches of the California delegation, house left. Sacramento Bee article 

Bakersfield’s Dolores Huerta addresses Democratic National Convention – Bakersfield’s Dolores Huerta delivered a speech this afternoon before delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Huerta urged Latinos to vote for Hillary Clinton and other Democrats. KVPR report 

Howard Dean tells California Sanders backers to ‘keep up the fight’ – From the arena to ballrooms to the streets, this has proven a distressing week for the Bernie Sanders supporters who came to the Democratic National Convention still believing the Vermont Senator had a chance to win the party’s nomination. Enter Howard Dean, former Vermont governor, national committee chairman, and unsuccessful 2004 presidential candidate, for some soothing. On Thursday, Dean launched into a pep talk of sorts to the young and dejected devotees of Sanders from California. Sacramento Bee article 

Villaraigosa calls on Democrats to protect immigrants, block Trump’s call for mass deportation – Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa told the thousands gathered at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Thursday that it was up to them to “stand up and fight” for the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. LA Times article 

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti introduces himself to nation at DNC: ‘I’m just your average Mexican American Jewish Italian’ – Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti held up his city as a model of progressive policy-making at the Democratic National Convention Thursday in a speech that was as much a forthright self-introduction to a national audience as it was an argument on behalf of his party’s presidential nominee. LA Times article 

Clinton’s vice presidential pick could raise profile of K-12 issues in presidential campaign – One issue that has strangely taken a back seat in the presidential campaign so far has been K-12 education. That could change with the selection of Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., as Hillary Clinton’s running mate. EdSource article 

Democrats Hanford woman sees different side to Democratic convention – For some delegates at the Democratic National Convention, the experience has been fairly standard: A lineup of speakers each night, a lot of cheering and the buildup leading up to the presidential nominee’s speech on the fourth day. For Hanford resident and Bernie Sanders delegate Makenzie Hays, it’s been more of a roller coaster ride. Hanford Sentinel article 

Democrats erupt as Republican Doug Elmets bashes Trump – Contrasting Donald Trump with Reagan, a conservative icon, Elmets urged fellow Republicans to reject their party’s nominee as “a petulant, dangerously unbalanced reality star who will coddle tyrants and alienate allies.” Sacramento Bee article 

Trump says Democrats ignore terrorism, crime and illegal immigration – Donald Trump responded Thursday to scorching attacks by President Obama and others at the Democratic convention by saying they were “not talking about the real world” of Islamic terrorism, unchecked illegal immigration, rampant crime, a depleted military and U.S. jobs “pouring into Mexico.” LA Times article 

Trump’s way with words leads him into dicey situation – Donald Trump is quickly learning there are no do-overs in politics. A day after suggesting that Russian hackers should break into Hillary Clinton’s private computer system and either recover or release emails she didn’t turn over to the FBI during its investigation, he was frantically trying to walk back the controversial statement. San Francisco Chronicle article 

Roe v. Wade will be overturned if Donald Trump wins, Mike Pence says — GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence on Thursday predicted Roe vs. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion, would be overturned if Donald Trump is elected president. LA Times article 

In Philadelphia, ‘Bernie Peacekeepers’ roam the streets. Cleveland was even quieter – Thousands of demonstrators, most for Sanders, participated in marches, rallies and sit-ins over convention week in Philadelphia. The activity far surpassed anything seen the previous week in Cleveland, where Republican Donald Trump accepted his party’s nomination. Sacramento Bee article 

Melania Trump’s website disappears amid questions about her degree — Melania Trump’s website was taken down as of Wednesday afternoon, after her plagiarized speech at the Republican National Convention fueled questions about her educational biography, the Huffington Post reportedSacramento Bee article

News Stories

Top Stories

Fresno advances ban on galvanized water pipes, tougher reporting rules — The city of Fresno is banning the use of galvanized pipe for plumbing in new construction and remodeling projects as signs point to the venerable material as a prime culprit in concerns over discoloration and lead contamination of water in homes across northeast Fresno. Fresno Bee article 

Schools banking on $9 billion state bond this election – When Kern High School District trustees approved a $280 million bond measure for the November ballot, they included a project list totaling close to $390 million in projected expenses. Like other districts throughout Kern County, they were banking on voters also passing a state school construction bond worth $9 billion, allowing them to dip into state money to make up the $120 million shortfall. Bakersfield Californian article

Jobs and the Economy 

Fresno Food Expo showcases large and small Valley food makers – An award-winning 20-year-old entrepreneur, innovative food products and a rising profile of the San Joaquin Valley’s food makers were among the highlights of this year’s Fresno Food Expo. Billed as the nation’s largest regional food show, the expo – held Thursday at downtown’s Fresno Convention Center – connects nearly 1,000 buyers representing local, regional and international companies with more than 130 Valley food makers, eager for some space on the grocery store shelf. Fresno Bee article‘Food Expo’s Expolicious shows off Valley’s yummiest eats’ in Fresno Bee‘Fresno State junior wins the Buyer’s Choice Award at Fresno Food Expo’ in Fresno BeeModesto Bee article: ‘Hilmar-made beef jerky wins at Fresno Food Expo’The Business Journal articleKVPR report 

Central Valley Alliance looks to boost region’s manufacturing ecosystem – “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” That quote is commonly attributed to Walt Disney. But it also describes the new San Joaquin Valley Manufacturing Alliance, a group of companies and local partners working to support a sector that’s vital to that region. “Some people campaign to reduce income inequality,” said Jim Mayer, CEO of California Forward. “But in Fresno, business and government leaders are working together to make it happen — by training workers and creating jobs that pay more than minimum wage.” California Economic Summit report

U.S. economy grew at 1.2 percent rate in second quarter – The American economy barely rebounded last quarter from its winter doldrums as weak spending by businesses overwhelmed an otherwise healthy consumer sector. New York Times article 

How a temp agency can get away with discrimination – The company refused to hire women, telling applicants the jobs were for men only. That’s what government regulators said when they sued Industrial Labor Management Group. The lawsuit demanded back pay and damages for the women. Then, the company disappeared. No one ever paid the women. Government lawyers said they couldn’t collect from a company that didn’t exist anymore. And yet a company with the same leaders and same brand-name client has popped up again. Center for Investigative Reporting article 

From Sacramento to Fontana, new anti-poverty tax credit has paid out – California’s new earned-income tax credit had put about $189 million in the pockets of the working poor as of earlier this month, well below the $380 million in claims the Brown administration and lawmakers had expected. Sacramento Bee article 

Chuck Reed: California’s ignored pension crisis is only getting worse – The former mayor of San Jose writes, “Failure to act means more cities will go bankrupt as they run out of ability to raise taxes or to cut services to pay for benefits. By adopting real, meaningful reform, we can protect vital community services, safeguard the long-term solvency of public employee retirement systems and put California’s pension systems on the path to a sustainable future.” Reed op-ed in Sacramento Bee

City Beat: Both vandalism, profits up at downtown Bakersfield garage – Monthly income from the downtown parking garage at 18th and Eye streets has nearly doubled since the City of Bakersfield began charging to park late last year, but the structure suffered its most expensive recent act of vandalism to date at around 4 a.m. Sunday. Bakersfield Californian article 

Kings’ foreclosure rate drops – The home foreclosure rate in Kings County declined year-over-year in May, registering .69 percent among outstanding mortgage loans compared to .84 percent in May 2015, according to the latest data released by real estate analysis firm CoreLogic. Hanford Sentinel article 

FEMA is out but some Erskine Fire victims could still get housing – Erskine Fire victims won’t receive full FEMA aid. That ship has sailed. The Federal Emergency Management Agency denied the state’s request for a federal disaster declaration last week. And the state said Thursday it will not appeal that denial. But some of those displaced by the deadly fire may get a FEMA-owned mobile housing units that were brought to California for last year’s Valley and Butte fires, according to the California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). Bakersfield Californian article 

CalSTRS steps up pressure in Volkswagen diesel scandal — California’s teachers’ pension fund is stepping up the legal pressure on Volkswagen in a European lawsuit over the German carmaker’s tainted diesel cars. Sacramento Bee article 

Federal agency calls for new rules on debt collectors at Sacramento hearing — Debt collectors, attorneys and consumer advocates heard details in Sacramento Thursday of a proposed overhaul of the nation’s $13.7 billion debt collection market through rules limiting how often collection agencies can call debtors and allowing consumers to ask for verification that they are responsible for debt. Sacramento Bee article 

Peter Tateishi: Chamber will help Steinberg create jobs – The president and CEO of the Sacramento Metro Chamber writes, “The Metro Chamber has a long history of bringing the region together, engaging in important conversations and prioritizing issues that move us ahead. We stand ready to assist the new mayor on his priorities supporting economic and workforce development and job creation.” Tateishi op-ed in Sacramento Bee 

Airbnb sues Anaheim over law that makes the rental site liable for hosts who violate city law — Airbnb sued the city of Anaheim on Thursday, challenging a new city law that imposes fines on short-term rental sites for listing homes and apartments that violate the city’s rental regulations. LA Times article 

Minimum-wage hike sinks Roseville bookstore, owner says — Bibliophile Kelley Ulmer closed her Almost Perfect Book Store on Wednesday after 25 years of business at Rocky Ridge Drive and Douglas Boulevard in Roseville, saying that the added expense from minimum-wage increases had made it impossible for her to continue operating. Sacramento Bee article

State tightens rules on which finance companies may handle bond sales – Bonds can help big public projects get built, and they can also generate big revenues for the finance companies that handle bond sales for local governments. Now the California Treasurer’s Office says some of those companies are going too far. KQED report 

Placentia recovered more than $4 million allegedly embezzled by former financial manager — The city of Placentia has recovered more than $4 million of the $5.16 millionallegedly embezzled by its former financial services manager, officials said Thursday. LA Times article


Sierra Nevada giant sequoias respond to water stress with clever adaptations – The leaves atop giant sequoias in the Sierra Nevada are better at storing water than those closer to the ground, an adaptation that may explain how their treetops are able to survive 300 feet in the air, researchers at American River College and Humboldt State University have found. Sacramento Bee article 

USDA secretary asked to help increase milk prices — A group of 61 members of the U.S. Senate and House have sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack asking him to take action to raise prices dairies across the country are paid for their milk. Visalia Times-Delta article 

A walk in Cesar’s shoes: Through the eyes of students — Marc Grossman met Cesar Chavez in 1969, he was just 19-years-old. He later went on to be a longtime spokesman, speech writer and personal aide to the civil rights leader. Now, more than 45 years later, he continues to share the legacy of Chavez and the farmworker movement as the director of communications for the Cesar Chavez Foundation. Visalia Times-Delta article

Criminal Justice/Prisons 

Prosecutors drop charges against man in Chandra Levy case — In a stunning move, federal prosecutors on Thursday abruptly announced they were dropping murder charges against the man previously convicted of killing former intern Chandra Levy. The unexpected decision follows several years of questions about the prosecutors’ chief witness in the first trial of Salvadoran immigrant Ingmar Guandique, and it casts back into pure mystery the question of what really happened to Levy more than 15 years ago. McClatchy Newspapers articleLA Times article 

Attorney for Dylan Noble’s mother says city is withholding public records – The attorney representing the mother of Dylan Noble claims the city of Fresno and Fresno Police Department are wrongly withholding public records and is seeking a court order requiring the city to hand over records related to the teenager’s death, according to court documents. Fresno Bee article 

Is a police shooting a crime? It depends on the officer’s point of view – As more encounters are captured by surveillance systems,bystanders’ cellphones or officers’ body cameras, the public is scrutinizing, case by case, officers’ decisions to use lethal force. The law’s posture toward the police is being measured against human lives, with the names of the dead becoming watchwords in the national debate over reforming the criminal justice system. New York Times article 

Off-duty officer shoots knife-wielding man at Modesto Costco – An off-duty California Department of Corrections officer shot a knife-wielding man at Costco in northwest Modesto on Thursday afternoon. Modesto Bee article 

Suspect who allegedly opened fire on Oakland cop arrested – A gunman arrested Thursday for opening fire on an Oakland police sergeant told investigators he was motivated by recent violence against law enforcement officers as tensions have increased nationwide over issues of race and policing, officials said. San Francisco Chronicle article 

Family of mentally disabled man killed by Long Beach police files federal lawsuit — The family of a mentally disabled man who was shot and killed by Long Beach police last year filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against the city. LA Times article 

‘Cops’ TV show to film Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department — The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department is getting some Hollywood exposure for the third time in seven years. Sacramento Bee article 

Prisoner’s death a homicide, coroner says — An inmate found dead in his cell at a Delano prison last week died from asphyxiation caused by neck compression and his death has been ruled a homicide, coroner’s officials say. Bakersfield Californian article 

2 San Diego police officers shot, one fatally, in traffic stop; suspect held — Two San Diego police officers were shot, one of them fatally, during a traffic stop late Thursday night in the Southcrest neighborhood, police said. LA Times article


West Hills College Lemoore program eases college transition — The transition from high school to college is never easy especially for students with disabilities. That is why officials from West Hills College Lemoore piloted a new program this summer in an effort to ease the transition for these students. Hanford Sentinel article 


Oilfield water handling to change under settlement agreement – An oil and gas wastewater disposal company agreed to change how it handles oilfield produced water at two facilities east of Bakersfield under a settlement reached with three environmental groups, those groups announced Thursday. Bakersfield Californian article

Stockton goes green, but not in a good way – Either there’s been a spill at the local pea soup plant, or Stockton is suffering another nasty algae outbreak at the downtown waterfront. For the second time in three summers, the water has turned a sickly green. And sometimes, the smell is even more noticeable than the color. Stockton Record article 

A warmer, less clear Lake Tahoe in 2015, UC Davis scientists say — Lake Tahoe got warmer and cloudier last year, according to UC Davis researchers. In the annual state-of-the-lake report issued Thursday, the University of California, Davis, scientists said that 2015 featured low amounts of snowfall, high lake temperatures and very little mixing of lake water. Sacramento Bee articleKQED report 

Thousands of vulnerable blackbirds saved in Central Valley — Around 57,000 vulnerable tricolored blackbirds on Central Valley farmland were saved during this year’s harvest season, Audubon California said. Fresno Bee article 

Health/Human Services 

Sacramento County man tests positive for Zika in first reported case — A Sacramento County man who recently traveled to an area with active Zika transmission has tested positive in a preliminary test for the virus. The 34-year-old man sought medical care after exhibiting Zika symptoms, prompting the doctor to report the case to the county, said Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye. Sacramento Bee article 

Dr. Ken Bird: Fresno County takes a shot at ending prescription painkiller abuse – The public health officers for the Fresno County Department of Health writes, “To further address this growing problem in our region, a number of public health partners have come together to form the Central Valley Opioid Safety Coalition. This coalition will ultimately be composed of representatives from hospitals, clinics, health plans, the medical society, pharmacies, law enforcement, addiction treatment centers, Fresno County Department of Public Health, Fresno County Department of Behavioral Health and other community groups.” Bird op-ed in Fresno Bee

Golden Valley opens a second health center in Ceres – Golden Valley Health Centers recently opened its second site in Ceres on Memorial Drive, featuring 12 medical exam rooms and six rooms for dental care. The center, costing $3 million for the purchase and renovation of its building, will enable the nonprofit health provider to serve 8,000 more patients. Modesto Bee article 

Hospital bill for Modesto woman’s birth was a shock – Kathy Wardlow was aware that hospital charges have gone up during her lifetime. She didn’t know how much until she recently found the billing statement for her birth at the former Modesto City Hospital 60 years ago Wednesday. The total charge was $100.50. Modesto Bee article 

Leonard Zasoski Jr.: Promise fulfilled: 5 years cancer free and back donating – The vice president of construction operations and director of safety at Colombo Construction Co. writes, “Five years cancer free was on July 25. I walked into the blood bank and felt like I was home again. I was able to donate two units of platelets, and I never felt better. I was home and again helping others. I talked my sister into donating years ago and currently she is a 16 gallons plus in donations. She has told me several times that I won’t catch her, but I like competition.” Zasoski op-ed in Bakersfield Californian

Land Use/Housing 

Riverbank gets nod from Stanislaus leaders for eventual growth — Riverbank’s huge growth vision got an important initial boost Wednesday, now that a struggle with neighboring Modesto has been smoothed over. But regional leaders made it clear that significant hurdles remain before Riverbank can formally annex hundreds of acres for new stores and homes. Modesto Bee article

Other areas 

Diversity: Frank talk on race, the media – It only takes a look at The Record’s Opinion page to see the impact race plays in local communities. From anti-police brutality protesters to Muslim extremists; two topics hotly debated and two topics addressed Thursday during a meeting of The Record’s Reader Advisory Committee focused on race. Stockton Record article 

Robert Reagan, Yosemite grad and race car driver, killed while battling Soberanes Fire — Robert Oliver Reagan III, a Friant resident and graduate of Yosemite High School, was identified Thursday as the bulldozer operator who died July 26 while fighting the Soberanes Fire in Big Sur. Fresno Bee articleSan Francisco Chronicle article 

Former Fresno mayor, HUD official Floyd Hyde dies at 95 — For the briefest of times, Floyd Hyde entered Fresno’s political world, coming in at the very top as the city’s 17th mayor, and then, almost as fast, he was gone. Mr. Hyde, however, was anything but a flash in the pan locally. He was a Fresno original, born and raised here. And even though he left before his single mayoral term was finished, he most definitely had politics in his blood, from Fresno State student body president to a federal government stint to a long private sector career in Washington D.C. after that, including federal lobbying on behalf of both Fresno city and county. Fresno Bee article 

Michael Fitzgerald: What’s in the courthouse time capsule? — A 94-year-old Stockton fellow told me there’s a time capsule buried in the old courthouse. Dale McLaughlin knows because he built it. Fitzgerald column in Stockton Record

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – It’s a mark of its importance that no matter who wins this 2016 election, generations of “qualified” young women will have choices that their mothers and grandmothers could only have dreamed of. Love Hillary Clinton or hate her, vote for her or reject her, she helped make that possible. We should honor that.

Sacramento Bee – American security is nothing to trifle with, or undercut with publicity stunts and nationally televised catcalls. And yet that’s what happened this week as elements of both parties put personal politics before national defense; A historic call for unity behind America’s ideals.