March 6, 2017



Political Stories

Top stories


Nunes, acceding to White House, says Trump’s wiretap claims will be investigated – Although many Republicans were caught unawares by President Trump’s unproven claim that the Obama White House ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower, Rep. Devin Nunes has promised to look into it. Nunes (R-Tulare), who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, said the probe of the president’s allegation would be wrapped into an existing investigation of Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential campaign. LA Times articleAP article


Former Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva arrested at SFO, booked into San Joaquin County Jail — Former Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva was taken into custody Sunday afternoon by authorities upon his arrival at San Francisco International Airport and was transported to San Joaquin County Jail, according to county authorities and one of his attorneys. Stockton Record articleAP articleMichael Fitzgerald column in Stockton RecordSacramento Bee articleSan Francisco Chronicle article

Valley politics


McNerney hears frustration, concern from town hall audience — Jerry McNerney held a town hall meeting Sunday night that was in stark contrast to civic meetings recently for some of his Republican colleagues in Congress. There was no shortage of frustration from the estimated 300 attendees at Mayfair Seventh Day Adventist Church in north Stockton. But the demeanor was quite docile with the only real “noise” coming from frequent ovations. Stockton Record article




Here’s the reality about illegal immigrants in the U.S. – There are 11 million of them, the best estimates say, laboring in American fields, atop half-built towers and in restaurant kitchens, and swelling American classrooms, detention centers and immigration courts. New York Times article


Protestors block street in front of Fresno County Jail in stand against ICE – About 100 people blocked the street outside the Fresno County Jail on Sunday afternoon, protesting the county’s collaboration with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the jail. Fresno Bee article


Trump expected to sign new travel ban order, excluding Iran — President Donald Trump is preparing to sign a revised executive order temporarily barring the entry of people from certain Muslim-majority countries and halting the nation’s refugee program. AP articleNew York Times articleSan Francisco Chronicle article


Fresno’s faithful on the front lines of protecting undocumented immigrants — The Rev. Sharon Avril thinks of her church’s history helping runaway slaves on the underground railroad as she works to protect undocumented immigrants in Fresno. Fresno Bee article


Kamala Harris invites ‘Dreamer’ Ph.D. to Congress — Yuriana Aguilar, an undocumented immigrant who recently earned a doctorate from UC Merced, says watching Trump talk to Congress made her feel like she was in ‘the cave of the wolf.’ KQED report


Other areas


Where the California congressional resistance can go from here – California Democrats have talked for months about resisting President Trump, and many of their constituents have demanded it, loudly. With more details about the president’s policies expected to come out in the next few weeks, the state’s congressional Democrats will get their chance to try to turn that talk into action. At least they hope. LA Times article


GOP’s Obamacare repeal would steer more financial help to affluent — 
Republican plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act will ultimately steer more of its financial assistance up the income ladder and away from lower middle-class workers, experts say. McClatchy Newspapers articleLA Times article


Another powerful woman in politics. Same sexist attacks — What powerful political woman is mocked for her clothes, is the target of pictures on Twitter depicting her as haggard and is routinely called a witch and a bitch? If you guessed Hillary Clinton, you’re right. But if you guessed Kellyanne Conway, you’re right, too. Misogyny, it seems, remains a bipartisan exercise. New York Times article


Presidential Politics


Obama’s intel chief says he knows of no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion — James Clapper, the longtime director of national intelligence under former President Barack Obama, said unequivocally Sunday that Donald Trump’s home and office were not wiretapped before the presidential election last year. McClatchy Newspapers article


FBI director Comey asks FBI to reject Trump’s wiretapping claim — FBI director James B. Comey asked the Justice Department this weekend to publicly reject President Donald Trump’s assertion that President Barack Obama ordered the tapping of Trump’s phones, senior U.S. officials said Sunday. Comey has argued that the highly charged claim is false and must be corrected, they said, but the department has not released any such statement. New York Times article


Cathleen Decker: The Trump administration faces multiple threats as it seeks to investigate itself — After six weeks spent scrambling to fend off chaos, the Trump White House has found itself in territory familiar to several past administrations: trying to pursue a sense of normality as it conducts an investigation into itself. Decker in LA Times


A chaotic week leaves President Trump irate, his friends say – President Donald Trump spent the weekend at “the winter White House,” Mar-a-Lago, the secluded Florida castle where he is king. The sun sparkles off the glistening lawn and warms the russet clay Spanish tiles, and the steaks are cooked just how he likes them (well done). His daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner – celebrated as calming influences on the tempestuous president – joined him. But they were helpless to contain his fury. Trump was mad – steaming, raging mad. Washington Post article


California transit chiefs wonder: Will Trump ding them in his budget? — Does President Trump spell trouble for transit in California? With the Trump administration’s first federal budget proposal due soon, transit executives are worried. California Transit Association officials say they will head to Washington next week to lobby Congress and they hope to talk to some Trump transportation officials, offering this message: Transit is good for the economy. Sacramento Bee article


Black, whites and Latinos agree: Race relations are getting worse under Trump — African-Americans, whites and Latinos are united in their pessimism about the current and future state of race relations under President Donald Trump, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll. More than half of Americans believe race relations in the country have worsened over the last year and will continue to deteriorate under Trump. McClatchy Newspapers article


California Government Today:

Senate Daily File

Assembly Daily File

News Stories

Top Stories


Trash rebate cut, high-speed rail station update on Bakersfield council agendas — A special meeting of the Bakersfield City Council has been called for late Wednesday afternoon to update the public on plans for a downtown high-speed rail station and to review council goals. And then the council’s regular meeting will follow, where it will consider ending a senior trash rebate program. Bakersfield Californian article


California won’t meet its climate change goals without a lot more housing density in its cities —  To meet the bold new climate change goals put in place last year, California will work to put millions of electric cars on the road, revolutionize its dairy industry and generate half of all power from solar panels and other renewable sources. But those efforts will come up short, warn state regulators, without dramatic changes to how Californians live and travel. LA Times article

Jobs and the Economy


State payroll retirement savings plan can take hit – A Secure Choice lawyer thinks private-sector employees can still be automatically enrolled in the new state retirement savings plan, even if the Republican-controlled Congress repeals a regulation exempting state savings plans from federal pension law. Calpensions article


Despite movement, no uptick in volunteering — Despite this nationwide call to get involved, San Joaquin County has not seen an uptick in the number of residents volunteering for various boards and commissions that report to Supervisors. Stockton Record article


Push for healthier nail salons in California finding success — California’s voluntary program stands out for the local government certification and for giving salon owners and workers the say on what health measures salons could best afford, as well as the training and encouragement to speak out on their health concerns. AP article




Farmers bear brunt of flood – When the water receded, and Bill Berryhill was finally able to drive to the farthest corner of his vineyard, he was stunned by what he saw. The levee along questionably named Dry Creek had burst open, leaving a 50-foot chasm through which water flooded most of his 400-acre ranch north of Clements. Branches, logs and other debris were caught on the trellises and strewn among the rows like mounds of driftwood on a beach. Stockton Record article


Modesto Irrigation District will hear about 2017 water supply — Farmers will hear about the much-improved supply for the Modesto Irrigation District at meetings Monday and Tuesday. MID stands a good chance of returning water deliveries to normal following the five-year drought. Don Pedro Reservoir filled early, forcing downstream releases that could stay high for months. The MID board will act on the exact allotment later this month. Modesto Bee article


George Skelton: California’s reservoirs are filled with gunk, and it’s crowding out room to store water — That’s pretty much the situation with many reservoirs in California. They’ve got too much gunk in them. And it’s crowding out space for water storage. But you don’t hear any deep breaths being taken in Sacramento. There’s no serious thought of removing the junk — silt, sand, gravel — and making more room for storm runoff. Skelton column in LA Times


Criminal Justice/Prisons


Man dies after he waves gun replica and authorities shoot him near Tachi Palace — A man who was brandishing his gun at people on the Santa Rosa Rancheria near Tachi Palace Casino in Lemoore is dead after he was shot at by a Avenal police officer. Fresno Bee article


Locals become sworn CHP officers — There’s nothing easy about becoming a California Highway Patrol officer. Cadets spend 28 weeks prepping to hit California highways, learning various rules, laws and techniques. On Friday, all that hard work paid off for 126 men and women, CHP’s newest officers. A handful are Valley natives and will represent their hometowns across the state. Visalia Times-Delta articleMerced Sun-Star article


Tracy Gallian: Core values of the CHP motivate her to serve every day – Recently I attended a seminar sponsored by the California Highway Patrol regarding public service and trust. The training and discussion reflected on the core values of the CHP. I was captivated by the wise words of retired CHP Capt. Gordon Graham. His comments regarding the nobility of the law enforcement profession and the pride one has in wearing the uniform while serving the public reminded me why I joined the CHP. Gallian column in Fresno Bee


Oakland sex misconduct investigators paid, but no reports issued — A team of attorneys enlisted by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf to investigate the Police Department’s sexual misconduct scandal was paid for eight months of work but produced no reports. Now it appears their contract with the city has come to an end — or at least been put on hold indefinitely. San Francisco Chronicle article




Patterson High teens enter kinder type of Shark Tank — What do soles with interchangeable shoe tops and a ride-sharing app for college commuters have in common? Everything that matters, in the eyes of judges at Patterson High School’s annual Shark Tank-style scholarship challenge. Modesto Bee article


Santa Clara University reverses student vote, Oks conservative group — A conservative student organization, fighting for a toe-hold of official recognition in the liberal Bay Area, scored a victory at Santa Clara University where a vice provost overturned a student senate decision and granted a charter to Turning Point USA. San Jose Mercury News article


Health/Human Services


Modesto parkgoers react to smoking ban — Modesto’s effort to ban smoking in its parks and on its trails – including the Virginia Corridor – drew mixed responses from parkgoers Sunday, from those who support it and say it promotes a healthy lifestyle to those who believe the city is being heavy-handed and question whether it can enforce the prohibition. Modesto Bee article


Donald W. Blount: Health care: Stark realities of the costs — I recently received the first statement for my daughter’s December five-night stay in the hospital. The total cost was about $31,000. A few weeks later, a second statement arrived for her January seven-night hospital stay. That cost was about $45,000. It included a four-figure expense for a last-minute MRI. Finally, a last statement arrived for an ambulance ride from Modesto to Roseville. Uber would have been far less expensive; that cost was $5,600. Blount column in Stockton Record


Land Use/Housing


Who has access to turf soccer fields? — During a town hall meeting last month in South Merced, residents complained about the upkeep and access to local parks. They specifically asked how individual residents could gain access of the artificial turf soccer fields at McNamara Park. Merced Sun-Star article




Caltrain tries to put electrification back on track — Caltrain officials are scrambling to pull together a Plan B to make up for the $647 million in electrification money they may lose thanks to the change at the top in Washington. San Francisco Chronicle article


Other areas


Merced looking at policies on fairness and the official seal — Merced leaders will discuss policy issues during Monday’s City Council meeting, including questions over who is allowed to use the city’s seal and how the council fairly handles competitive bidding on contracts. Merced Sun-Star article