July 4, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories 

Dan Walters: United States’ 240th birthday finds politics in a dismal state — The nation’s 240th birthday is an appropriate moment to ponder the state of its political system – and it’s a pretty dismal picture. Walters column in Sacramento Bee 

A push – and pushback – for new diversity rules in California’s business subsidy program — The state agency in charge of handing out hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credits to companies that promise Californians jobs is moving closer to requiring those businesses to say how they plan to make their workforce more diverse. LA Times article 

San Bernardino Shootings 

For survivors of San Bernardino terror attack, it’s a daily struggle against memory — For the survivors, adapting to the world after their brush with death has been a daily struggle. Thompson sits with her back to the wall in crowded rooms and she keeps a mental tally of every exit; she cries every day. Sally Cardinale trembles at the sound of slamming doors and wrestles with violent dreams. Jessica Ballesteros hears the sound of her own screams inside the conference room. LA Times article 

Other areas 

Sacramento Bee: What women want after the Roger Hernandez case — Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendón deserves praise for yanking the committee assignments of his fellow Democrat and supporter, Assemblyman Roger Hernández, last week. But more must be done. Sacramento Bee editorial 

In dissents, Sonia Sotomayor takes on criminal justice system — Justice Sotomayor would go on to write eight dissents before the term ended last Monday. Read together, they are a remarkable body of work from an increasingly skeptical student of the criminal justice system, one who has concluded that it is clouded by arrogance and machismo and warped by bad faith and racism. New York Times article

Presidential Politics

Elite Republicans tried to ignore them. Now they’re shaping Donald Trump’s immigration policy — Longtime advocates for shutting the door to new immigrants now hold crucial positions in Trump’s campaign, and many feel, for the first time in recent memory, they have a candidate who is willing to speak plainly about reducing immigration flows and offers their clearest shot yet at influencing, perhaps even drastically altering, U.S. immigration policy. LA Times article 

Pelosi says House Republicans no different from Trump — “Poor Tim,” as Nancy Pelosi dubbed Apple CEO Tim Cook last week, became the perfect foil for the House minority leader’s plan to wrap Donald Trump around the neck of every House Republican. San Francisco Chronicle article

News Stories

Top Stories 

Changing landscape for medical marijuana — A second legal medical marijuana dispensary is expected to open in Stockton later this month, well before voters decide in November whether or not they want to increase the maximum number of such facilities to four. Stockton Record article 

California’s struggle over chemical BPA continues — Californians this summer are starting to see a new warning at checkout lines of grocery stores, pharmacies and convenience markets that the products on their shelves may include a dangerous chemical. But there’s one problem: The signs don’t tell them which products. San Jose Mercury News article

Jobs and the Economy

Bob Erlenbusch: Sacramento’s homeless policy should be about homes, not handcuffs – The executive director of the Sacramento Regional Coalition to End Homelessness writes, “Sacramento city and county governments continue to pursue dual, flawed, conflicting and contradictory homeless policies, their recent budget deliberations reaffirmed. One hand pretends to have a hammer to build housing for the homeless, the other a pair of handcuffs to haul them off to jail.” Erlenbusch op-ed in Sacramento Bee 

Is couple’s homeless chronicle journalism or public shaming? — Are posting photographs of homeless men and women to Facebook and Twitter a social justice movement in a social media world? Is it journalism? Or is it a public shaming of the city’s down-and-out? Sacramento’s homeless population may not be exploding, but it is becoming more visible. Even for people living in midtown and downtown – neighborhoods affected by the homeless for years – the issue seems more prominent. Sacramento Bee article

Facing additional threats, San Jose homeless women often stay hidden from safety  net – Countless homeless women in Silicon Valley are victimized while living on the streets, experts say, and the fear forces them into hiding, where they are less visible to those who could help them. East Bay Times article 

Homeless soccer players will shoot for their goal in downtown San Francisco — The homeless crowd at Union Square is going to look radically different for one full weekend this month, and the tourists, shopkeepers and usual strollers-by are probably going to want to stop and stare. In a good way. These homeless folks are going to be wearing soccer gear and playing for the annual Bay Area championship of what is called Street Soccer USASan Francisco Chronicle article

Criminal Justice/Prisons 

Fresno County juvenile inmate dies — A juvenile inmate being held at the Juvenile Justice Campus south of Fresno died Saturday. The inmate was experiencing a medical issue, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office said. Fresno Bee article

Tale of two cities: San Jose and Oakland see divergent violence trends despite similar street successes — At the year’s midpoint, San Jose is looking at a homicide rate that would be among the highest in city history, while Oakland is looking at a rate so low it hasn’t been seen since before the crack epidemic. But what do those numbers really say about crime in the two cities? East Bay Times article 

At Stanford, Brock Turner case touches off criminal-justice debate amid recall campaign – An elite campus where law students dissect case studies in criminal justice has become ground zero in a real-life political exercise that could have far-reaching implications: a campaign to unseat the judge who spared Brock Turner from serving time in state prison for three felony sexual assault convictions. San Jose Mercury News article 

Police chief reassigns two officers implicated in sex scandal — As a Bay Area police sex scandal investigation continues, two Richmond police officers have been reassigned from positions where they interacted regularly with youth, Mayor Tom Butt said in an electronic forum Saturday. San Francisco Chronicle article


Tween filmmakers rate star treatment — The Stanislaus Union School District sneaked reading, writing and working together into artistic activities for about 600 elementary and junior high students in summer school programs that ran through June. Modesto Bee article 

New University of the Pacific dean appointed — The University of the Pacific announced it has appointed Vanessa Sheared as dean of the Gladys L. Benerd School of Education. She will start her post on July 11. Stockton Record article


Authorities lift Deer Fire evacuation orders as containment reaches 50 percent – Evacuation orders put in place because of the Deer Fire were lifted Sunday as firefighters continued to make good progress against the blaze east of Arvin. Bakersfield Californian article 

Jose Gaspar: Erskine Fire brings out human connections – At first there was nothing to indicate that a small two-acre fire that started in the Lake Isabella area at around 4 p.m. would be much cause for concern. This is summer, this is Kern County and calls such as this come in frequently. Gaspar column in Bakersfield Californian 

Curry Fire evacuation warning in Coalinga lifted — The Curry fire evacuation warning for Coalinga was lifted Sunday morning as containment lines around the blaze grew. Fresno Bee article 

Wildfire near Angels Camp grows to 425 acres – Firefighters Sunday were battling a 425-acre wildfire in a sparsely populated area of Calaveras County south of Highway 4 between Copperopolis and Angels Camp. Stockton Record article

Reports show fireworks increase pollution — Fourth of July fireworks can be fun to watch but they also increase pollution in the valley. The Valley Air District is encouraging residents to attend local firework shows as alternative to using personal fireworks. Visalia Times-Delta article

Health/Human Services 

Having a baby in Sacramento priciest among 30 biggest U.S. cities — The cost of delivering a baby runs higher in the Sacramento region than in any other of the country’s 30 biggest metropolitan areas, with cesarean sections priced at more than twice the national average, according to a new study from a California-based research firm. Sacramento Bee article


Transit tripper: Crossing America by train, bus, bike — Ask most people about their travels and they will talk of sights and cities. Ask Josephine Hazelton and she will tell you about the journey. Getting from here to there is much on the Turlock grad student’s mind these days, as she winds down from presenting her research on Central Valley transportation at an academic conference at the University of San Francisco, prepares to give another talk in Southern California later this summer and co-writes a paper about transportation challenges that women face for an academic journal. Modesto Bee article 

Is Sacramento ready to solve its bike vs. pedestrian sidewalk fight? — The city of Sacramento finally is closing in on rules about where and how bicyclists can ride on sidewalks. Sacramento Bee article

Other areas 

Merced alarm systems now require permits — Anyone who has a security alarm system probably understands how easy it can be to set off accidentally. The noise is excruciatingly loud. But for Merced Police Department officers, it’s become such a nuisance, particularly for schools and businesses, that the City Council recently adopted a new ordinance on alarm systems. Merced Sun-Star article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776, The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America.

Sacramento Bee – On our 240th birthday, let’s recognize interdependence; Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendón deserves praise for yanking the committee assignments of his fellow Democrat and supporter, Assemblyman Roger Hernández, last week. But more must be done.