June 21, 2015


Receive the Maddy Daily in your inbox every morning! To subscribe or unsubscribe, please send an email to Ana Melendez at ajovelmelendez@csufresno.edu

Political Briefs

Top stories

 Dan Walters: School reserves law entangled in California politics — Sir Walter Scott’s famous aphorism, “Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive,” is particularly applicable to one bill now pending in the state Senate. Assembly Bill 531 would not formally repeal an odd and indefensible decree by Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature, but would render it functionally moot by making the law even more obtuse and complex – tangled, if you will. Walters column in Sacramento Bee

 Cathleen Decker: Obama, Clinton mining state’s gold, not voters — Last week proved anew just how convincingly California has become the place where politicians go to rich people’s homes to talk about the lives of less-fortunate people they rarely meet.  Decker in LA Times


 Court orders feds to find, return deported mother and daughter — A U.S. Court of Appeals judge has ordered U.S. officials to intercept a mother and her 12-year-old daughter on a plane Friday being deported to Guatemala and immediately return them to the United States. McClatchy Newspapers article

 Other areas

Dan Morain: A cautionary tale for voters – As former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio began promoting a statewide initiative to cut civil servants’ pensions, people with passing knowledge of San Diego politics might have shared my first reaction: yuck. Morain in Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson looks forward in speech at mayors conference

In his final hours as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson shared a stage with politicians and music icons, athletes and CEOs. Sacramento Bee article

 George Runner: Time to regulate medical marijuana – The member of the State Board of Equalization writes, “Many conservatives fear that regulating the medical marijuana industry will pave the way for full legalization of recreational marijuana – I disagree. One can oppose recreational marijuana, as I do, while recognizing the reality of the current situation. To improve public safety and tax compliance, we need greater state structure and oversight.” Runner op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Debate over Confederate flag heats up in Republican presidential race — Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush and the GOP’s previous nominee, Mitt Romney, both called Saturday for the Confederate battle flag to be removed from the grounds of the South Carolina statehouse, pushing debate over the divisive symbol to the forefront of the Republican primary. LA Times article; AP article

 News Briefs

Top Stories

 Drought disaster in East Porterville turns to budding health crisis — Garcia’s story is about more than dry wells in a place where people already face water contamination, air pollution and poverty, an environment where experts say lives are shortened. While it’s easy to imagine the everyday struggles of life here, a drought-related health crisis is rising, catching people like her in its current. Fresno Bee article

 Will new incentives spark interest in electric cars? — State and regional officials hope to fill that gap by offering a series of financial incentives to promote development of electric vehicle “infrastructure” in the valley and elsewhere. Just this month they rolled out two new programs geared specifically toward construction of new electric vehicle charging stations. Bakersfield Californian article

Jobs and the Economy

 Drought a boom for Valley businesses offering water savings – California’s historic drought has triggered a flood of business for Valley companies and entrepreneurs specializing in water-saving equipment, tools and technology. Fresno Bee article

RTD approves budget, faces pension challenges – Pension reform is one of the challenges the San Joaquin Regional Transit District will face in the coming year as it balances its budget.Stockton Record article

 LA County minimum wage hike would have little effect on poverty, study says— A proposed minimum wage increase in Los Angeles County’s unincorporated areas would have “little impact, if any, on poverty,” according to a new report. LA Times article

 Lawsuit alleges cover-up in Sacramento arena deal — As the Kings’ new home rises from the ground, a trio of citizens opposed to the project is raising questions about how much the city is donating and whether the mayor found a way to meet the investors’ demands for more money. Starting Monday, these three Sacramentans will put the city’s arena deal with the Kings’ owners on trial. Sacramento Bee article

 Modesto Irrigation District uses favorable profits to lure investors, but says figures are imprecise – The Modesto Irrigation District, hoping to borrow $94 million on Thursday, understandably is putting on its best possible face for potential investors. Modesto Bee article

Debra Saunders: Exorbitant traffic fees stripped too many drivers of licenses – Everyone has a story: The time an unlicensed driver rear-ended me. The time an unlicensed driver ran a red light and killed a co-worker’s dog as her husband was walking the dog in a crosswalk. It seems as if there are so many unlicensed drivers in California that authorities are not capable of deterring the unlicensed from getting behind the wheel. Saunders column in San Francisco Chronicle

 Cannabis business gets higher and higher at Cow Palace — There is much to bring a smile to a cannabis supporter these days. With marijuana legal for adult recreational use in four states, and headed to the ballot in the next two years in potentially 10 others, including California, the industry is worth almost $3 billion in the United States. San Francisco Chronicle article

 Seeking balance, LA council members may soften homeless ordinances – After years of restraint, the Los Angeles City Council is embracing aggressive tactics against homeless encampments, setting the stage for sweeps aimed at eliminating tent cities and makeshift shelters. But amid widespread criticism that they have gone too far, some council members are talking about softening two ordinances that give authorities wide latitude in confiscating and destroying homeless people’s property. LA Times article

 Steve Lopez: Three stories of hardship put a face on LA’s exorbitant housing costs – In Reseda, an elderly couple fret about where they will go at the end of the month, when they are forced out of the one-room apartment they have lived in for 29 years. In Tujunga, a retired woman lives in a backyard shed, treating her high blood pressure with tea made from her garden and bathing in an outdoor tub with water heated by the sun. In Arleta, a supermarket employee rents a makeshift room in a house that is home to 10 people, and often waits in a long line to shower before work. Lopez column in LA Times


 Big difference in water use between wealthy communities and everyone else — Wealthy areas are using dramatically more water than lower-income areas. San Jose Mercury News article

 Kristin Olsen: Government red tape holds up reliable water supply – The Assembly Republican Leader from Modesto writes, “Government red tape continues to hold up the construction and completion of much-needed water projects across our state. One example involves proposed desalination plants.”  Olsen op-ed in Sacramento Bee

 Jon Rosenfield and Gary Bobker: It’s time to protect the Delta – The Bay Institute officials write, “There is enough water for everyone in California and all of our biological treasures, too – but we must improve and enforce environmental protections, drought-proof our water supplies with increased water recycling and conservation, and eliminate water-wasting practices.”Rosenfield/Bobker op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Say a prayer for rain? Interfaith ceremony gives it a try — The interfaith Prayer for Rain, sponsored by the Los Angeles chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, had its seed in a Friday sermon that Dr. Ahsan M. Khan, president of the sect’s Los Angeles East chapter, heard on a visit to the headquarters mosque in London. LA Times article

 Jeff Jardine: Veteran gained greater appreciation for fresh water while in Vietnam — Vivion understands a water shortage better than most people. The same can be said for others who fought in wars in the jungles and deserts, where drinkable water is scarce. Jardine column in Modesto Bee

Criminal Justice/Prisons

 Slayings have south side on edge – Residents and business leaders along one of south Stockton’s busiest corridors remained on edge Saturday, more than a week after three people were shot and two were killed amid a series of armed robberies involving perpetrators with similar descriptions. Stockton Record article

San Francisco Police Chief Suhr is hit by scandals but lands on his feet — A series of scandals has rocked the San Francisco Police Department in recent months, but the man at the helm of the troubled force has managed to remain unscathed and continues to have the unyielding support of the mayor and the Board of Supervisors. San Francisco Chronicle article


 Kern High School District to reduce class sizes with new money — The Kern High School District is all but finished with a three-year spending plan that details how it will use some $37 million in mostly state funding it’s expecting next school year. Much of it is new money. And a top district priority is reducing class sizes. Bakersfield Californian article

 Modesto City Schools will weigh shift to by-area elections — Modesto City Schools on Monday will consider switching to by-area elections, becoming the largest and among the last districts in Stanislaus County to explore making the change. Modesto Bee article

 In quest to raise $6 billion, USC runs a massive fundraising machine — In two decades, it has climbed from 51st to 25th in U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of national universities.Behind that success is an elaborate and powerful fundraising machine that extends from downtown Los Angeles to China, India and beyond. An eye-popping 450 people work on the university’s fundraising team, double the staff from four years ago when the current campaign began. LA Times article


 Big dairy solar projects multiply in Kern – Back in 2011, Mike Monteiro pioneered the first solar-powered dairy in Kings County history. Now it seems like his peers are scrambling to catch up. Three other large dairies in Kings — Medeiros and Son, Rosa Brothers Milk Co. and Zonneveld Dairy — are installing approximately one-megawatt systems that resemble the array Monteiro put in four years ago. Hanford Sentinel article

 Workers clean up oil spill on California beaches by hand — Along a stretch of beach heavily marred by a crude oil spill, workers in hard hats and white protective suits use wire brushes and putty knives to scrape the black liquid off cobblestones and cliff faces. AP article

 Douglas Bevington: Fires create vibrant forests – The forest program director for Environment Now writes, “Jane Braxton Little’s column, “A substitute plan to revive forest after fire” (Forum, Northern Exposure, June 7) about a 2014 forest fire left readers with a skewed impression of the effects of fire in California’s forests, and it overlooked the vibrant forest habitat created by intense fires.” Bevington op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Health/Human Services

 Report: Wait list for vets even longer today than last year – The number of veterans seeking health care but ending up on waiting lists of one month or more is 50 percent higher now than it was a year ago when a scandal over false records and long wait times wracked the Department of Veterans Affairs, The New York Times reported. AP article; New York Times article

 New therapies offer hope to cancer patients – The mouse research is one of a number of cutting-edge anti-cancer efforts happening across the Sacramento region. They mirror a worldwide trend in advances based on research into the genetic mutations that cause cancer. Sacramento Bee article

 Stroke deaths drop in Kern, nationwide – Stroke deaths in Kern County fell from 303 to 239, or 21 percent, over the 10-year period between 2004 and 2013, the latest year available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. During the same decade, stroke deaths dropped 18 percent in California, and 14 percent nationwide. Bakersfield Californian article

 Sacramento Bee: Keep up nursing home oversight – Age happens, and with it the inevitable failings of health and independence. It’s too bad, then, that in California, where nearly 9 million baby boomers are gray or going gray, finding a reputable nursing home remains a roll of the dice. Sacramento Bee editorial

 Different views of the same day – Tense contract negotiations between San Joaquin General Hospital administrators and clinical laboratory scientists have one side saying a worker shortage led to the shutdown of the hospital’s trauma unit earlier this month while the other says there was no impact on trauma operations. Stockton Record article

 Fresno Hmong and Asian communities working together to end domestic abuse — At least two Fresno groups — an Asian Pacific women’s organization and concerned Hmong community members — are working to identify ways to help victims and stop the cycle of abuse. Fresno Bee article

 Former NFL players promote health, raise cardiology center’s profile — Getting men into the doctor’s office can be challenging enough, but at Central Cardiology they decided to try a novel approach — invite a bunch of former NFL players to town to help raise awareness about health and wellness. Bakersfield Californian article

Other areas

 Mike Klocke: When words fail, others can help – Our community and our nation’s black people — friends, colleagues, students, acquaintances and strangers — are hurting once again. And I’m woefully lacking in words to try to make sense of it. Tama Brisbane has the words. Klocke column in Stockton Record

 Leadership flareup: Stanislaus Consolidated chief vents frustrations during McHenry fire – There was a personal flareup in the command post on McHenry Avenue, where officials coordinated the response of fire and police units to the blaze that threatened homes along McHenry, Hogue Road and the Del Rio community.  Randall Bradley, chief of the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District, acknowledged he became upset with other officials about the coordination and command functions. Modesto Bee article

 Oakhurst, North Fork wildfire evacuees find sense of community during disaster — While hundreds of firefighters continue to battle two wildfires raging in North Fork and above Oakhurst on Saturday, those evacuated from the blazes are taking solace in the support offered by the local communities and the American Red Cross. Fresno Bee article

 David Mas Masumoto: The placed selfie — With the popularity of camera phones and sharing websites like Facebook or Instagram, people are sharing these self portraits instantly and regularly. I found many silly, typical and boring. Some are in bad taste, done for the individual’s shock value. I find these worthless but it’s hard to unsee something. Masumoto column in Fresno Bee