June 27, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories 

At least 10 hurt at chaotic, bloody neo-Nazi rally at Capitol — A rally by a small group of neo-Nazi demonstrators at the state Capitol on Sunday erupted into a violent clash with protesters that left at least 10 people injured – five of them stabbed – and closed down streets as more than 100 police in riot gear and on horseback intervened to halt the mayhem. Sacramento Bee article; LA Times article; AP article; San Francisco Chronicle article 

Speak up or stay hidden? Undocumented immigrants cautious after court ruling — Whether to speak out or stay hidden has long been a quandary for the millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States. The court’sdecision on Thursday is amplifying that angst as immigrants wonder how aggressively they can push for change, or just lead normal lives, when one wrong move could mean a one-way trip to the country they left. New York Times article

Valley politics 

Modesto Bee: Jeff Denham, do you support Trump or not? — Does Rep. Jeff Denham want Donald Trump to become president? We’ve asked our three-term congressman’s campaign that question twice by email and once in print. So far, crickets. Modesto Bee editorial

Election: Public servant clings to hope — Any day now, Elbert Holman and businessman Tom Patti are expecting to learn who finished second and who finished third in their tightly contested June 7 primary race for the District 3 seat on the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors. Incumbent Moses Zapien won the primary and will face the second-place finisher in the decisive November election.Stockton Record article

Other areas 

Uber, Lyft leave fingerprints on Sacramento ride-hailing bills — This year, the two San Francisco companies are inside Sacramento’s halls of power, lobbying for several bills that fit their business models — and that largely appear poised for passage. At the same time, they’ve succeeded in squashing bills they deem detrimental, such as one that would have banned price increases during busy times and another that would have allowed gig workers like Uber and Lyft drivers to collectively bargain. San Francisco Chronicle article 

Valley LGBT community still reeling after Orlando attack — The San Joaquin Valley’s LGBT community still is reeling two weeks after 49 people were killed and more than 50 injured in an Orlando, Fla., nightclub. Fresno Bee article 

Supreme Court set to close out term with 3 big cases — The last three cases concern regulation of Texas abortion clinics, the public corruption conviction of former Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia and a federal law that seeks to keep guns out of the hands of people convicted of domestic violence. AP article 

When the 8-member Supreme Court avoids deadlocks, it leans left — The court issued liberal decisions in 56 percent of cases so far this term, according to a widely accepted standard developed by political scientists that considers signed decisions in argued cases. The share is only slightly lower than in the 2014-15 term, which had the highest share of liberal decisions since the court led by Chief Justice Earl Warren in the 1950s and 1960s. New York Times article

George Skelton: Assemblywoman Bonilla, a former teacher, takes on a powerful union — School reformers keep suffering setbacks in California — first in court, now in the Legislature. Skelton column in LA Times 

Apple CEO Tim Cook’s fundraiser for Paul Ryan doesn’t compute — On Tuesday morning, Apple CEO Tim Cook will host a breakfast fundraiser in Menlo Park to raise untold thousands of dollars for House Speaker Paul Ryan and other House Republicans. Tim Cook? For Paul Ryan? Really? San Francisco Chronicle article

California Government Today:

Senate Daily File

Assembly Daily File

News Stories

Top Stories 

Erskine Fire leaves havoc, anger, gratitude in its wake – As firefighters battled to gain control of the deadly Erskine Fire Sunday, desperation overcame some residents. Seventy-two-year-old Joe Palme had waited as long as he could to evacuate his Squirrel Valley home on Thursday as flames roared down the mountain. Bakersfield Californian article; LA Times article 

Weary Kern County evacuees are eager to know if their homes survived massive wildfire – Robert Larsen was among dozens of people at the shelter who were losing patience with conflicting messages from law enforcement authorities about when evacuation orders would be lifted. They were eager to know if their homes and personal belongings had survived the devastation. LA Times article 

How much water are top suppliers committed to save this year? Zilch – A year after California attacked the drought with an unprecedented water rationing program that drove cities and towns to cut back 24 percent collectively, state officials have changed course and given local agencies the leeway to come up with their own water-saving goals. But the agencies are not exactly setting a high bar. San Francisco Chronicle article

Jobs and the Economy 

Stanislaus County could put transportation tax on November ballot – After months of planning and discussion, Stanislaus County supervisors could give approval Tuesday to put a countywide transportation tax on the Nov. 8 ballot. If approved by voters in November, the 25-year tax is expected to generate $19.2 million annually, or $480 million over 25 years, for local streets and roads. Modesto Bee article

Merced County supervisors don’t receive special benefits after three terms – Supervisors receive the same retirement packages as any other county employee, said Mike North, a county spokesman. While it’s technically correct that some supervisors may receive pensions for the rest of their lives after they retire, their retirement depends on many factors. There’s no policy that gives any special benefits to supervisors once they’ve served three terms or 10 years. Merced Sun-Star article 

Turn McHenry Museum, Mansion over to nonprofits? – Modesto should consider donating its McHenry Museum and McHenry Mansion to qualified, worthwhile nonprofit organizations that would take on the cost of running them while ensuring the two institutions remain true to their missions. That is among the recommendations outlined in the 10-page final report of Mayor Ted Brandvold’s 100-day budget review committee. Modesto Bee article 

Industrial construction booming in San Joaquin County – San Joaquin County developers have completed 6.7 million square feet of new industrial building space since 2013 and there’s another 6.6 million square feet currently under construction or in planning, San Joaquin Partnership officials said Thursday. Stockton Record article 

Stockton goes to court over troubled market – Employees at south Stockton’s New Grand Save Market urinated in jars rather than the store’s filthy bathroom so they could keep their eyes on the cash register. The store was in such poor condition that if there was a fire “anyone in the structures at the time, including any occupants and any responding firefighters, could very likely be trapped inside and severely injured or killed.” Those are among the allegations contained in documents filed in San Joaquin County Superior Court by the city, which is seeking to place New Grand Save into the hands of a receiver who would manage and oversee rehabilitation of the property. Stockton Record article

San Francisco homeless problem looks the same as it did 20 years ago — Today, despite the efforts of six mayoral administrations dating back to Dianne Feinstein, homelessness is stamped into the city so deeply it’s become a defining characteristic.  San Francisco Chronicle article; ‘In their words: How 5 mayors tackled homelessness’ in San Francisco Chronicle

Churches team up with local agencies to house homeless veterans – The effort calls on more than 250 local faith-based organizations to find housing for one homeless veteran by identifying church members who might have a room, housing them on church grounds or convincing a landlord to accept a federal housing voucher. Launched in March, it’s led by county Board of Supervisors President Dave Cortese, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and the nonprofit Destination: Home. San Jose Mercury News article 

Historic settlement for Volkswagen takes shape – Even as the warring parties in Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal prepare to offer a peace proposal this week, the German automaker’s travails are far from over. Taking shape after months of negotiations is a broad settlement agreement, expected to exceed $10 billion, involving Volkswagen, the federal government and a half-million car owners. The provisions are expected to offer those owners some financial compensation in addition to fixing or buying back their vehicles. New York Times article 

Tammy Anderson-Wise: Spread the word: Free summer lunches for kids – The CEO of the Dairy Council of California writes, “While school is out, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s free Summer Food Service Program ensures all children 18 and under have access to free, healthy meals with all five food groups. Coordinated in California by the California Department of Education, free meal sites are available at more than 60 locations throughout Fresno County and offer meals at breakfast and lunch, with no family documentation needed.” Anderson-Wise op-ed in Fresno Bee

North Beach tenant’s rent increased from $1,800 to $8,000 a month — It’s being called one of the largest rent increases ever in San Francisco. A North Beach tenant recently received notice from his landlord that the rent on his apartment was going up from $1,800 a month to $8,000. San Francisco Chronicle article


Residents in westside town get extra money to offset water bills — Residents of El Porvenir, threatened with water shutoff in August as their neighbors in Cantua Creek were last year, are getting financial relief from the state. The funding will allow the community’s residents to buffer their higher water bills to the county, which, in turn, can pay Westlands Water District for water to the town. Fresno Bee article 

Perdue aims to make chickens happier and more comfortable — Over the next several years, all of Perdue’s chickens – 676 million last year – will bask in sunlight, part of an ambitious overhaul of the company’s animal welfare practices, which it will announce Monday. The commitment will hold Perdue to standards similar to those in Europe, which the U.S. poultry industry has long dismissed as antiquated, inefficient and costly. New York Times article 

Don Curlee: On-farm tech use promoted in July — A light-hearted encouragement to apply more technology to farm operations is being promoted by the University of California at a special event at the California State Fair. Curlee in Visalia Times-Delta

Criminal Justice/Prisons 

Rash of shootings, gun-related incidents leave Stockton police scrambling – Police responded throughout the city to nine unrelated incidents during a 10-hour period Saturday night that involved guns, including five men that were shot and two more men that were fired upon. Stockton Record article

Vigil brings hundreds together to remember man shot by Fresno police – Family and friends of the man who was shot by Fresno police on Saturday gathered Sunday night for a vigil at the same east-central Fresno location to remember the 19-year-old. Fresno Bee article


Bill keeps longer tenure, scraps other ‘Vergara’ reforms – Determining that a less ambitious approach to reform has a better chance to succeed, Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, has scaled back a sweeping bill addressing teacher protections that are the focus in the Vergara v. State of California lawsuit. EdSource article 

New framework for teacher K-12 science moves closer to approval – A new framework for how science will be taught to California’s 6.2 million public school students moved closer to completion last week, as a state advisory panel approved sending the latest draft to the State Board of Education for approval. EdSource article 

Sarah Motola: Who changes lives? Veteran teacher’s recipe for success — “Change is contagious” – words often spoken by veteran teacher Diane Townsend, reflect the success of her students. After 33 years of teaching, for Townsend, 2015-16 was one of her most successful school years since arriving at Visalia Adult School in 1983. Motola in Visalia Times-Delta

From living in cars to UC Davis – one student’s journey — The first car he slept in, when he was 6, was his mother’s white Cadillac, parked in South Los Angeles. Angel Macias, legs crossed, dozed upright in the back seat. His older brother, Armando, sat next to him, often against him, because he needed to stretch his legs to sleep. Their mother snoozed up front, in the driver’s seat. LA Times article


Study links 6.5 million deaths each year to air pollution – A sobering report released on Monday by the International Energy Agency says air pollution has become a major public health crisis leading to around 6.5 million deaths each year, with “many of its root causes and cures” found in the energy industry. New York Times article 

Char Miller: The Erskine Fire and public-lands management in the West – The director of the Environmental Analysis Program at Pomona College writes, “Ecologists know that high-intensity, mixed-severity fires have been the norm in the Sierra for millennia. Many of the landscape’s key species — trees and shrubs — are fire-dependent or fire-adapted. Without fire, these forests would not exist.” Miller op-ed in Bakersfield Californian 

Drones force firefighters to temporarily halt air assault on wildfire – A wildfire that has scorched more than 5,200 acres in the San Gabriel Mountains above Duarte and Azusa was 62% contained as of early Sunday morning, according to the U.S. Forest Service. LA Times article 

Health/Human Services

35 million dead in 35 years – and people are still dying from HIV-AIDS — This month marks 35 years since the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first reported cases of a puzzling illness that was initially thought to primarily afflict gay men. The disease, which would eventually become a global pandemic known as HIV/AIDS, sparked widespread misunderstanding and fear. It remains a major public health issue, with no cure. LA Times article

Other areas 

Free spay-neuter program aims to reduce pit bulls, Chihuahuas in parts of Modesto, Ceres — The Stanislaus Animal Services Agency is targeting two canine breeds – pit bulls and Chihuahuas – for a free spay or neuter program that aims to reduce their numbers in four specific areas in Modesto and Ceres. Modesto Bee article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – No one can control the web – so stop trying, Paul Ryan.

Modesto Be – Does Rep. Jeff Denham want Donald Trump to become president? We’ve asked our three-term congressman’s campaign that question twice by email and once in print. So far, crickets.