July 30, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories

Jerry Brown offers 12 percent pay raises (over 4 years) to SEIU Local 1000 — The state has offered a nearly 12 percent general salary increase for SEIU Local 1000 employees spread out over four years, or a 9 percent increase over three years. Sacramento Bee article

Two conventions, one vast gulf: Republicans and Democrats appear to be speaking to different countries — As the themes and tableaus of the parties’ conventions illustrated, a deep political gulf separates the country’s two major parties, their elected officials and their most reliable voters. And it is getting wider. Voters not only disagree on solutions to the nation’s ills, they hold starkly different views about what the problems are. LA Times article

Valley politics 

Clovis Mayor Magsig recommends one of his consultants for city post — On Monday night, the Clovis City Council will be asked to approve an appointment to the city’s seven-member personnel commission. This seemingly mundane agenda item would put Darren Rose on the commission to fill the term of Tom Miyake, who in May resigned for medical reasons. Rose was selected from three applicants after interviews with Mayor Nathan Magsig and General Services Director Robert Ford. Here’s what makes it not so mundane: Rose did consulting for Magsig’s Fresno County supervisor campaign, which culminated with a June 7 victory over businessman Alex Ott. Magsig paid Rose $5,000 for his work. Fresno Bee article 

Costa makes Armenia trek, meets with president, Catholicos Karekin II — Rep. Jim Costa said he’s always wanted to visit Armenia. Fresno has a huge Armenian population, and he grew up around lots of prominent Armenian families at his family’s home near Kearney Park. Now, he has. Fresno Bee article 

Olivier tweet insults student as ‘uneducated,’ ‘ungrateful’ — An 18-year-old Fresno student took Fresno City Councilman Clint Olivier to task Thursday, demanding – but not getting – an apology from him for a July 19 Twitter post in which he ridiculed her as “uneducated,” “ungrateful” and an “idiot.” Fresno Bee article 

Political retaliation lawsuit against Stanislaus DA’s office thrown out — A federal judge threw out a lawsuit against the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office before trial, saying a former prosecutor was disciplined for bad behavior and not because he supported his boss’s political opponent. Modesto Bee article


Teachers, dishwashers, engineers: Others like Gaspar Marcos who moved to the U.S. without their parents — In the past five years, more than 100,000 children and teens have crossed the border between the United States and Mexico without their parents. LA Times article

Other areas 

San Francisco supervisors move contentious measures to November ballot — Attention now turns to the election, where voters will decide if the city should create an Office of Public Advocate, a Department of Police Accountability and if they want the city to set aside $19 million a year in the budget so it can assume responsibility for street trees, an obligation that currently falls to property owners. San Francisco Chronicle article

Presidential Politics

Foon Rhee: Where Trump would pull huge upset in California – Trump does have a decent shot at carrying a good number of California’s 53 counties, based on the June 7 primary results. He would appear to have the best chance in counties where he won more votes than Clinton andwhere there were more votes cast in the Republican primary than in the Democratic contest. Sacramento Bee article 

The DNC is over: What do California delegates want next? — The Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia is over after four days of soaring speeches, political hob-knobbing and some intra-party bickering. We spoke with delegates from the Clinton and Sanders camps about what they’d like to see happen now. Capital Public Radio report 

Conventions are over: Now how to vote in November? – This month’s political conventions are in the rearview mirror. Now Republicans, Democrats and their allies will do their best to make sure their supporters turn out Nov. 8. Sacramento Bee article 

Joel Fox: A topsy-turvey political world — Listening to political speeches and talking heads around the national party conventions I get the feeling I have fallen through to DC Comics  Bizarro World where everything is weirdly opposite of what one would expect. The conventions and their fallout have presented topsy-turvy politics. Fox in Fox & Hounds 

Chairman John Burton on Democratic conventions, present and past – John Burton, chairman of the California Democratic Party, didn’t travel this week to the Democratic National Convention, instead opting to watch history play out from the comfort of his home. Sacramento Bee article 

Reporter’s Notebook: The search for unity — Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination for president Thursday as the nation’s first female nominee of a major party, a historic moment captured in a blaze of pomp and color. It was the culmination of four days of speeches that targeted the national convention’s fundamental theme — unity. But in the California delegation — the largest of the 50 states — unity at times was a rare commodity. Capitol Weekly article

Locals share final thoughts from DNC — For Selma residents Estella and Doug Kessler, the 2016 Democratic National Convention is a wrap. The Kesslers, who are husband and wife, were there as Hillary Clinton delegates to soak up the four-day extravaganza. Hanford Sentinel article

News Stories

Top Stories

North Fork tribe gets federal government approval for casino gaming project – The federal Department of the Interior on Friday approved the gaming compact for the North Fork Mono Rancheria tribe’s casino north of Madera. The plan is for the tribe to build a casino and hotel project with restaurants on land near Highway 99 and Avenue 18 in Madera County that’s being held in federal trust. Fresno Bee article 

California’s new public school history curriculum reflects state’s diversity – The new History-Social Science Framework for grades K-12 was adopted by the state school board on July 14. It reflects the struggles and progress of LGBT Americans in the United States and California. It also contains more detail on Latino history, along with the role Filipinos played in both World War II and the United Farm Workers movement. Sacramento Bee article

Jobs and the Economy 

Revitalizing could be brewing in downtown Stockton – Billy Chaddock and a few of his friends are planning a rather unusual road trip for later this summer. Chaddock is heading a partnership working to open a microbrewery in downtown Stockton, and before his group can begin brewing craft beers such as “Smokey Oakey” and “The Shipwrecker,” they need the requisite production equipment. Stockton Record article 

State controller confirms sloppy fiscal management at Lamont PUD — A state review of the troubled Lamont Public Utility District found inadequate cash handling that allowed nearly $225,000 to go missing, the office of California State Controller Betty Yee announced Friday. Bakersfield Californian article 

Former SCAP director’s breach-of-contract lawsuit may proceed — A Stanislaus Superior Court judge said he would lift a stay on a 4-year-old civil case in which a former nonprofit housing executive seeks almost $500,000 in unpaid commissions from his former employer. Modesto Bee article 

State questions its share of proposed deal between Uber, drivers – A California labor agency has raised questions about a proposed Uber settlement that would give the state $1 million of the $84 million to $100 million set aside for the company’s drivers in California and Massachusetts and their lawyers. San Francisco Chronicle article 

Sacramento is hipster haven, study finds — A big data and marketing firm has counted up the number of independent coffee shops, thrift stores, record stores, microbreweries and tattoo parlors in Sacramento and declared the city a hipster hotbed. Sacramento Bee article 

Rob Feckner: CalPERS is well prepared for market’s up and downs – The president of the CalPERS board of administration writes, “Recent news reports and opinions would have you believe that these are dark days for a pension fund with assets of more than $301 billion. Nothing could be further from the truth. Let me tell you why.” Feckner op-ed in Sacramento Bee 

Yahoo and the online universe according to Verizon – In amassing Yahoo, AOL and other online services, Verizon is preparing for the day when its most important clients are advertisers, not users. New York Times article

 SpaceX wins second NASA mission to take crew to space station – NASA has ordered a second mission from SpaceX to take astronauts to the International Space Station. The Hawthorne space company received its first order from NASA in November. Both SpaceX and Boeing Co. now each have two orders from the space agency to ferry as many as four crew members and about 220 pounds of cargo at a time to the space station. LA Times article

Go inside the new Sacramento arena — Sacramento Bee reporter Ryan Lillis got a tour of the new Sacramento arena, Golden 1 Center, for a look at the new features and an update on construction. Sacramento Bee article 

Out-of-town bloggers take to Sacramento’s farm-to-fork approach — The 29-degree chill of the cold-storage space at California Endive Farms caused some food bloggers touring the Rio Vista indoor growing operation to erupt in shivers on Friday morning. Sacramento Bee article


Can flooded rice fields be a solution in California’s water wars? – Although seeing thousands of acres of rice fields covered shin-deep in water might seem wasteful to some, not everyone sees it that way. Still, you could say that fisheries biologist Jacob Katz is swimming upstream in his opinion that rice farms and wildlife can, and should, coexist. In fact, to hear Katz tell it, rice farming could be California’s salvation, its last opportunity to restore the Central Valley watershed as close as possible to its origins. San Francisco Chronicle article 

State to set legal limit on pesticide byproduct found in Valley drinking water — State officials are proposing a drinking water standard that would require Valley water systems to start removing a cancer-causing pesticide byproduct from tap water by 2018. The chemical is 1, 2, 3-Trichloropropane, a fumigant additive that seeped into groundwater decades ago. Fresno Bee article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Reliance on jailhouse information dooms Chandra Levy case – Armando Morales was a gang leader, drug dealer and a jailhouse snitch. But he was also a commanding, dynamic presence on the witness stand when he told jurors that his cellmate, Ingmar Guandique, confessed to the murder of Washington intern Chandra Levy. McClatchy Newspapers article 

Lawyer: Condit not suspect in intern’s 2001 murder despite new developments – An attorney for Gary Condit, the former congressman who had an extramarital affair with Washington intern Chandra Levy before her 2001 murder, said on Friday that prosecutors had told the ex-lawmaker that he was not a suspect in the case despite their decision to drop charges against another man. Reuters article

Murder weapon was mayor’s stolen gun – One of two guns stolen from Mayor Anthony Silva in separate thefts was the murder weapon in the south Stockton killing of 13-year-old Rayshawn “Ray Ray” Harris early last year, the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office reported late Friday afternoon. Stockton Record article

Study proposes steps to better ensure police officers’ safety – At a time of rising concern over attacks on officers, a Justice Department study released Friday urged police departments to take a number of steps to ensure officers’ safety, such as using body armor, waiting for backups on dangerous calls and correcting “dangerous behaviors” that leave them at risk. New York Times article 

Thin Blue Line rally supporting police set for Saturday in Woodward Park — What began as a planned rally in support of law enforcement officers at Blackstone and Shaw avenues turned into a full-fledged event that will be held Saturday at Woodward Park, bringing residents and officers together for food trucks, music, bounce houses and face painting. Law enforcement officers will also bring their equipment for people to view. Fresno Bee article 

Something to sniff at: Stockton Unified’s newest K-9 aces first drug detection challenge — A handsome 2-year-old English springer spaniel named Luke leads his handler, Stockton Unified School District police Officer Bobby Page, around the outside of a large school bus. Don’t scoff at Luke’s small stature. Although he’s not a typical breed used in law enforcement, his smaller frame allows him to duck underneath the massive vehicle to search for hidden narcotics. Stockton Record article

Knife-wielding many at Costco wanted to commit suicide, sister says — The knife-wielding man who was shot by an off-duty correctional officer at Costco on Thursday had been released from Doctors Behavioral Health Center two hours before the shooting, his sister said. Modesto Bee article 

Slain officer remembered with respect — It has been almost 13 years since former San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne pinned one of the department’s purple hearts on Officer Jonathan “J.D.” DeGuzman’s chest, but he has not forgotten the moment or the man. San Diego Union-Tribune article


Teachers teaching teachers: Valley’s educators take part in statewide summit — Hundreds of the Valley’s educators on Friday joined a statewide movement to sit on the other side of the classroom and play the role of students. The Better Together California Teachers Summit was held at nearly 40 locations across California, including Fresno State, where more than 200 Fresno-area teachers learned new ways to motivate students and how to keep up with ever-changing technology and curriculum. Fresno Bee article 

Regents OK $8.5 million for 2 patients suing over financial conflicts at UCLA –  The University of California regents have agreed to pay nearly $8.5 million to settle two lawsuits alleging that a well-known UCLA spine surgeon failed to disclose his conflicts of interest with a leading device maker before using the company’s products in harmful surgeries. LA Times article 

Acacia schools’ charter revoked; New Jerusalem district officials say sites nearly $1 million in red — New Jerusalem Elementary School District trustees voted Friday to revoke the charters of two schools, citing fiscal mismanagement by the corporation that runs them. That means some 650 students will need to find new schools to attend as early as next week. Stockton Record article 

Los Banos school board members argue over hiring of contractor — Greg Opinski, a contractor who once sued the Los Banos Unified School District over a construction contract at Pacheco High School, has been hired by the district as construction manager of the Mercey Springs Elementary School addition. Los Banos Enterprise article 


Climate change signs seen in California wildfires – None of the fires have been among the worst or largest wildfires the state has seen in recent years, but they’re part of a dire global warming-fueled trend toward larger, more frequent and intense wildfires. KQED report 

State officials want these California reservoir owners to warn people not to eat the fish – State water authorities and nine local water quality control boards are developing a statewide mercury control program aimed at reducing mercury levels and limiting consumption of contaminated fish at some of Southern California’s most popular fishing destinations. LA Times article 

Madera County sheriff issues mandatory evacuation for Cascadel Woods area — An urgent mandatory evacuation order was issued for the Cascadel Woods neighborhood because of a fast-moving wildfire, the Madera County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday evening. Fresno Bee article 

About 1,000 gallons of oil and water spilled in northwest Bakersfield — About 1,000 gallons spilled from an oil injection well that was broken by a piece of farm equipment in northwest Bakersfield Friday morning. Bakersfield Californian article

Health/Human Services 

Fresno man is Fresno County’s first West Nile virus case of 2016 — A Fresno man is Fresno County’s first confirmed case of West Nile virus in 2016, the county Department of Public Health announced Friday. Fresno Bee articleThe Business Journal article 

West Nile virus activity highest on record – The recent heat spell means more than discomfort to the people of San Joaquin County. It also brings increased West Nile virus activity, according to the San Joaquin County Mosquito & Vector Control District. In fact, this past week saw the highest West Nile virus activity in the county’s history, district officials said. Stockton Record article

Tulare Regional Medical Center: Hospital hopeful to lift doubt – In the 65 years since it opened, the Tulare hospital has mended the bones, delivered the babies, performed the surgeries and cured ailments common and rare of thousands of people. Maria Grijalva is one. Visalia Times-Delta article‘The story behind the doubt’ in Visalia Times-Delta 

Merced County seeks community input for five-year plan to improve public health – A new community health assessment for Merced County paints a bleak picture: Two out of three children live in poverty; one out of four children are obese; about one-third of residents 25 years and older do not have a high school diploma; and the county as a whole has a shortage of health professionals. Merced Sun-Star article

Manuel Mancebo Jr.: Why we need to vote YES on Measure I – The Tulare resident writes, “We have come too far, worked too hard, and invested too much to let our hospital go. Waiting makes no sense. Wait for what? Interest rates are low now and will only go up, the hospital is doing well and we have the momentum for success. We are ready now. It is a great investment for us personally and for our community as a whole. I urge you to join me in voting YES on measure I. Let’s move Tulare forward.” Mancebo op-ed in Visalia Times-Delta 

Measure I opponents: What Measure I supporters need to know — We need a new majority on the board that will re-negotiate or throw out the current HCCA contract based on illegal overreach. That majority then will complete and share the audit of the past bond, determine what it takes to complete the tower, provide options and public hearings for public input, and develop a consensus plan to finish the tower and make our hospital operated for its public purposes once again. Measure I opponents’ op-ed in Visalia Times-Delta 

David Lazarus: Huntington Hospital accepts California’s end-of-life law – The board of directors of Pasadena’s Huntington Hospital, rejecting the recommendation of the facility’s doctors, has voted to participate in California’s controversial End of Life Option Act, which permits physicians to assist terminally ill patients in ending their lives. LA Times article

Meningitis outbreaks among gay men have experts puzzled – A cases of meningitis, a rare and potentially fatal disease, popped up in cities nationwide over the past several years, public health officials noticed a trend: many of those infected were gay men. LA Times article 

John G. Taylor: Killing off, adding hospital beds – why? – The former Fresno Bee reporter and editor and owner/operator of The JT Communications Company writes, “Hospitals nationwide appear to be seesawing over the fate of hundreds of inpatient beds and, with them, the future of thousands of jobs, entire communities and how patients will get care. The add-them, subtract-them decision isn’t so much a show of uneasiness as it is the result of hard realities, often unique to a hospital’s geography, as well as redesign born of health care reform.” Taylor op-ed in Fresno Bee 

UC Davis researchers seek autism treatment in monkey’s brains – Medicine isn’t an option for the kids UC Davis psychiatry professor David Amaral sees in hisdecadelong study tracking the brain development of autistic children. Sacramento Bee article

Candy Paulsen: Breastfeeding moms: Who ya gonna call for help? – The co-owner of Bliss Baking Co. of California writes, “As we celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, Aug. 1-7, let’s encourage new parents to be critical thinkers when it comes to online information and technology. Remember: Nothing can take the place of an attentive and loving parent.” Paulsen op-ed in Fresno Bee

Land Use/Housing 

Big turnout from Hanford town hall — City officials held a Civic Auditorium town hall meeting Wednesday to get residents’ thoughts on possible changes to the city’s zoning ordinance. The city is in the middle of an update to the zoning ordinance and the general plan. Hanford Sentinel article


Erika D. Smith: Bringing order to the grid, one sidewalk at a time — Until I moved to Sacramento, I had never considered walking on the sidewalk to be a dangerous activity. But then it happened. Smith column in Sacramento Bee

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – Thumbs up, thumbs down.

Sacramento Bee – The choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton so far.