March 19, 2017


Political Stories – Top stories

Will California farms find enough workers amid Trump’s immigration crackdown? — As the spring picking season approaches, farmworkers are convinced the fields will be raided by federal agents intent on rounding up undocumented immigrants and shipping them back to Mexico or Central America. With many fearing the authorities will also set up checkpoints on the highways, the United Farm Workers union said the labor flow has already been cut in half at some farms. Sacramento Bee article

John Myers: California has long depended on an illegal-immigration program that Trump wants to kill — For all of the unprecedented elements of President Trump’s federal budget plans, there’s an item buried in the list of detailed spending cuts that has a familiar, contentious political legacy in California. Trump has proposed canceling federal government subsidies to states that house prisoners and inmates who are in the U.S. illegally. He’s not the first president to try it, and undoubtedly will get an earful from states like California. Myers in LA Times

 Gov. Brown

Jerry Brown heads to Washington to talk nuclear danger, and more — California Gov. Jerry Brown will travel to Washington next week for meetings, his first trip to the nation’s capital since the election of President Donald Trump. Sacramento Bee article

Valley politics

Michael Fitzgerald: Don’t lose your cool over Coulter — Ann Coulter, the conservative provocateur who’s been called “a hate crime in heels,” is coming to Modesto to speak to the Republican Central Committee. Big Stink. Fitzgerald column in Stockton Record


Dan Schnur: Economics, not insults, will win over Trump voters on immigration – If the voters who support Trump’s immigration crackdown are simply castigated for their intolerance, they will have little reason to reconsider their thinking. The much more difficult and time-consuming alternative, helping them understand that there are better ways to provide for their own economic futures than denying opportunities to others, will also be a more productive one. Schnur column in San Francisco Chronicle

Legislators demand answers on refugee boy’s detention — California legislators who say they are “disturbed” by the 11-month incarceration in Yolo County of a young boy who fled Honduras and crossed the U.S. border alone want officials to explain his lengthy detention and reveal any other cases like it. San Francisco Chronicle article

Other areas

Lower-income residents would lose, wealthier families win under GOP place to replace Obamacare, figures show — In Stanislaus County, lower-income residents and older working adults who rely on Obamacare for insurance against crushing medical bills are worried about their prospects under the Republicans’ replacement plan. They should be. A preliminary analysis last week showed the GOP plan will reduce government subsidies for lower income and older residents, causing dramatic increases in their health insurance premiums. Modesto Bee articleSacramento Bee editorial

California housing bills could take away subsidies for homeowners and add them for renters – Here’s a guide to some of the most significant housing bills up for debate in Sacramento and what they might do. LA Times article

Eggman bill would help victims of sex trafficking — Assemblywoman Susan Eggman has reintroduced a bill that aims to aid children exploited by sex traffickers. Assembly Bill 223 would call for a pilot project in three counties — San Joaquin, Alameda and Sacramento — in which the county’s probation department or child welfare agency, or both, would be required to create a program to offer services to juveniles who have been sexually exploited. Stockton Record article

Marcos Breton: How Tom McClintock’s cowardly words motivated these grandmothers – and others – to get him out — An “anarchist” is what Smith has become, at least in the eyes of Congressman Tom McClintock. During the past six weeks, she has been one of the hundreds of vocal people attending McClintock’s town hall meetings to express concerns about the policies of President Donald Trump and McClintock’s support of them. Breton column in Sacramento Bee

Presidential Politics

Feinstein on potential Trump ouster: ‘I think he’s gonna get himself out’ – Sen. Dianne Feinstein seemed to indicate Friday that she expects President Donald Trump may disqualify himself from office over potential constitutional breaches and conflicts of interest. Politico article

Willie Brown: News media falling for President Trump’s tricks – I’m starting to wonder if the media will ever get wise to President Trump’s tricks. I can’t help but think that his operation was behind last week’s “anonymous” drop of Trump tax returns to Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist David Cay Johnston. The news was then heavily hyped by my friend avowed anti-Trumpest Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. Brown column in San Francisco Chronicle

Inside Trump’s White House, New York moderates spark infighting and suspicion – Inside the White House, they are dismissed by their rivals as “the Democrats.” Outspoken, worldly and polished, this coterie of ascendant Manhattan business figures-turned-presidential advisers is scrambling the still-evolving power centers swirling around President Trump. Washington Post article

Obstacles are ahead, but Gorsuch seems set to clear Supreme Court confirmation bar — Polished and scrutinized to a fare-thee-well, Colorado-based appellate Judge Neil Gorsuch has political momentum as he enters his Supreme Court confirmation hearing starting Monday. McClatchy Newspapers articleLA Times article

News Stories – Top Stories

Trump’s proposed budget cuts may hurt Fresno’s poor, first-generation students — Thousands of Fresno high school and college students benefit from federal programs that could be downsized or eliminated under President Donald Trump’s budget proposal. The budget, unveiled last week, protects Pell Grants – the primary source of federal funding for low-income students – but proposes cuts to TRIO programs, which help disadvantaged students and those who are the first in their families to attend college. Fresno Bee article

Exclusive: Kern High School District chief files suit against district, alleges retaliation – Joseph Lopeteguy, the whistleblowing police chief who discovered that his bosses at the Kern High School District were for decades misusing a sensitive police database to spy on students, job applicants and others, filed a civil suit Friday in what could be the first of several related complaints. Bakersfield Californian article

Jobs and the Economy

Hanford council could award contract to renovate Bastille — The Hanford City Council on Tuesday could approve an approximately $1 million contract to renovate the Bastille. The former Kings County Jail, with its historic facade in Civic Park, has become dilapidated and has been vacant since the last tenant, a nightclub, left in 2009. Hanford Sentinel article

Guy Fieri came, ate, and gave these Modesto restaurants the bona fide Triple D bounce — For three Modesto eateries, the “Triple D Effect” is real and it’s spectacular. Almost a year after appearing on the hit Food Network series “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” each of the restaurants has seen business boom and all have plans for expansion. Show host and celebrity chef Guy Fieri spent a day in Modesto in January 2016 filming at Food Fix TruckBauer’s 66 1/2 Skillet & Grill and Commonwealth Gastropub. The spots were then featured on episodes of the popular food travel series, nicknamed “Triple D” by its fans, in April and May of last year.  Modesto Bee article

Q&A: Carlos Vallapudua has a new role, goal in county – Carlos Villapudua graduated high school thinking he would pursue a career in law enforcement. But a desire to directly help other people and his community — and a career assessment test at San Joaquin Delta College — ultimately led him to take a much different route than he had envisioned. Villapudua, 48, recently was named chief executive officer for the San Joaquin County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Stockton Record article

Oakland Raiders: Mark Davis focused on Las Vegas as vote nears – Davis appears dead set on Vegas. Once he began negotiating with that city, he stopped engaging with Oakland, and has never made a public comment on the Lott plan. The lack of information has sparked speculation and wonder at what is motivating Davis. East Bay Times article

Patty Guerra: A new future for the old Modesto Elephant Bar — Looks like there will be something new ahead for another high-profile Modesto vacancy. The Elephant Bar near Vintage Faire Mall, which closed in 2014, could well be a Panera sandwich shop one day soon. I don’t yet have confirmation from either Panera or the mall, but a city of Modesto newsletter mentioned Panera going into the mall and that seems the only spot available. Modesto Bee article

Marijuana industry presses ahead in California wine country – In the heart of Northern California’s wine country, a civil engineer turned marijuana entrepreneur is adding a new dimension to the art of matching fine wines with gourmet food: cannabis and wine pairing dinners. New York Times article

Robin Abcarian: Big Sur is once again coping with natural disaster and looming economic catastrophe – The closure of Highway 1 along a 48-mile stretch between Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge and Ragged Point has been a headache for schoolchildren and working folks, but is also shaping up as an economic disaster for the famous businesses — Nepenthe, Esalen, Ventana — that serve visitors along this storied squiggle of California coastline. Abcarian in LA Times

Tugboat assists The Sherman on farewell voyage out of Stockton — After three years of gathering graffiti on Stockton’s waterfront, the 144-foot steam ferry known as The Sherman finally made its farewell voyage on Saturday afternoon with little fanfare. Stockton Record article


Lois Henry: Water districts’ split leaves groundwater bank even more up in the air — If all had gone as planned six years ago, the failed McAllister Ranch housing development would be brimming with water right now. Instead, the two agricultural water districts that had hoped to turn the foreclosed subdivision into a groundwater bank are now in court over the 2,000-acre property. Henry column in Bakersfield Californian

Water agency with highest salaries in region to raise rates again — One of the largest water providers in the Sacramento region is once again facing criticism for employee compensation, this time as it seeks to raise rates by 41 percent over five years. Sacramento Bee article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Report: Irregular heartbeat killed man in Lemoore Police Department custody — A forensic pathologist said the death of a man while in Lemoore police custody was cardiac arrhythmia, or an irregular heartbeat. The report from Dr. Gary Walter left the manner of death as undetermined. Hanford Sentinel article

Forum shares way to combat crime – Officials in city government, law enforcement and the criminal justice system examined and discussed the local impact of gun violence at a forum early Saturday.  Stockton Record article

Parole recommended for 86-year-old Modesto woman — An 86-year-old Modesto woman has been found suitable for parole after more than 30 years in prison after being convicting in the 1985 murder of her husband, according to a news release issued Friday by the Stanislaus County district attorney’s office. Modesto Bee article

Two sheriffs elected as reformers end up destroyed by corruption scandals — Lee Baca and Mike Carona rose to power in the wake of the 1992 L.A. riots, and both sought to bring new ideas to their departments. Both left in disgrace. LA Times article


During Public Health Hackathon, students search for solutions to big problems – A group of about 50 students from Bakersfield College and CSU Bakersfield collaborated this weekend for BC’s first Public Health Hackathon, an event that challenges programmers and health students to come together to form solutions to some of public health’s most challenging problems, but with just one catch – teams have just 72 hours to complete their projects. Bakersfield Californian article

Carmen George: ‘Dream big, never give up’ – Clovis teens push through the pain of loss and isolation to shine – Ramiro Corral Guerrero used to eat his lunch in the bathroom to hide from bullies and because he didn’t know how to speak English. After about a month of this, he found friends in his teachers at Clark Intermediate School and started eating lunch in their classrooms. They were much different than the teachers he had in his small childhood village in Mexico ruled by drug cartels. George in Fresno Bee

You Matter Day: Kids learn they can change the world, one small act of kindness at a time — I matter. You matter. We matter. Entrepreneur and author Matthew Emerzian was in Fresno on Saturday to deliver that message in a tangible way to hundreds of Fresno County children and supportive adults gathered at Chukchansi Park for the second annual You Matter Day. It’s billed as a celebration of the power of all people, especially children, to change the world. Fresno Bee article

Oakland coding school’s new pay model: No tuition until you land a job — The program is one of a handful of coding schools that offer “income-share agreements,” which means students don’t have to pay until they get a job making more than $50,000 a year. And depending on their salary, graduates will fork over 12 to 20 percent of it for three years. KQED report


Fresnans Against Fracking urge Wells Fargo customers to close their accounts – Three women stood outside the Wells Fargo Bank in central Fresno on Saturday afternoon urging customers to close their accounts with the bank, which they say would protect taxpayers and the environment. Fresno Bee article

Sequoia-Kings parks group hires a leader who loves small communities — Sequoia Parks Conservancy in Three Rivers and Ash Mountain has hired Karen Dallett, who shares a love for small towns, big trees and the American West, as its new executive director. Fresno Bee article

Health/Human Services 

For many seniors, medical cannabis is more threat than remedy — Twenty-one years after Californians legalized medical marijuana for the seriously ill, experts say the elderly are still the least likely to seek out the botanical or be able to access it. Just 2.2 percent of Californians age 65 and over had ever used medical cannabis, according to the most recent state survey, in 2014, from the California Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. San Francisco Chronicle article

Other areas

Jeff Jardine: One of ‘those people’ saved two lives before his own quiet death along Salida railroad tracks – Sonny Molten was homeless and had his share of demons. But he helped two young women by keeping them safe and encouraging them to get off of the streets before he died quietly along the railroad tracks in Salida last week. Jardine column in Modesto Bee

Turlock State of the City address will salute police, fire – Mayor Gary Soiseth will give his third State of the City address at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at the city’s Public Safety Facility. “Last year’s address focused on our pressing needs regarding water and roads,” Soiseth said in a statement. “With the passage of Measure L and the substantial progress with our surface water project, Turlock is well on its way to accomplishing our goals of improved roads and sustainable drinking water. So, this year, the focus will highlight our commitment to police and fire services.” Modesto Bee article

Gail Marshall: How Matt Emerzian changes the world one Monday at a time — A Modesto native takes a drastic U-turn from a star-studded job working for the Kardashian family in Los Angeles to helping schoolchildren, convicts and executives internationally understand that they matter. Matthew Emerzian’s Every Monday Matters program reaches about 500,000 children in 45 states and six countries. Marshall in Fresno Bee

Joyce Terhaar: Want to keep a politician honest? Here’s our approach – Our right to keep an eye on public officials affects lives. And it helps keep the powerful honest – or expose them when they aren’t. That’s why The Bee fights for access to public records. It’s why we support efforts like Sunshine Week that are intended to remind and teach people about their right to know. This year that “week” – which started March 12 – will become a yearlong effort to hold governments accountable for transparency. Terhaar column in Sacramento Bee

Mike Klocke: Cleaning out my ‘Tweet slams’ — Welcome to another edition of Record Editor Mean Tweets! Klocke in Stockton Record

Valley Editorial Roundup

Modesto Bee – Visiting editors: Leaving politics outside ER door; leaving behind aggravation of driving.

Sacramento Bee – If major insurers support the Republican proposal, they would be making a tragic mistake, reinforcing their status as one of the country’s most reviled industries.