March 7, 2017


Political Stories – Top stories

Valadao meets constituents one-on-one – home folks say they understand why — Several dozen constituents patiently waited their turn Monday to speak one-on-one with congressman David Valadao, R-Hanford, who eschewed a town hall meeting during a visit home from Capitol Hill in favor of what his office called a “Hometown Huddle.” Fresno Bee articleVisalia Times-Delta articleLA Times article

Silva accused of stealing millions, arraigned on 6 felony counts; judge won’t lower $1 million bail — A San Joaquin County prosecutor alleged Monday afternoon that former Mayor Anthony Silva, once the CEO of the now-defunct Stockton Boys & Girls Club, used an elaborate “double-dipping scheme” to funnel millions in federal grant money into his own pockets from 2010 through early 2014.  Stockton Record articleMichael Fitzgerald column in Stockton RecordAP article‘Silva indictment’ in Stockton RecordSacramento Bee article

Gov. Brown

Jerry Brown talks about the first time he decided to run for California governor — California Gov. Jerry Brown delivered a speech to Pepperdine University School of Law’s 44th annual dinner late Friday in Beverly Hills. Here’s a few memorable lines from the Democratic governor’s address. Sacramento Bee article

Valley politics

Jeff Jardine: Denham inspiring the base, but which one more? Conservative or liberal? – If nothing else, Rep. Jeff Denham is motivating the base. But which one? Try both. Jardine column in Modesto Bee

Dear Kevin — More letters from Bakersfield Californian readers to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield). Bakersfield Californian letters

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

See gifts given to California state leaders, aides – This database shows every gift given by lobbyists and those that employ them to legislators, state leaders and their staff from October 2014 through December 2016. Updated with 2016 gifts in March 2017.  Sacramento Bee article

‘I think she enjoyed the 15 minutes of fame,’ de Leon says of Janet Nguyen’s Senate ejection – Sen. Janet Nguyen, whose ejection from the floor of the chamber last month turned her into something of a folk hero, had just wrapped up a rally at the Capitol Monday when Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León made his way toward the crowd. Sacramento Bee articleLA Times article

Joel Fox: Effects of the CA-DC staredown: Brown walks a tightrope. Feinstein re-election opponent? — While CALmatters gives a complete rundown of the CA-DC differences, let’s comment on two items dealing with the most senior of California’s politicians that arise out of the stare-down between the state and national governments: Jerry Brown’s delicate dance with the Washington powers and Dianne Feinstein’s re-election. Fox in Fox & Hounds


Trump’s new travel ban hopes to avoid 1st edict’s flaws – President Trump’s revised executive order temporarily banning people from six Muslim-majority countries tries to sidestep some of the flaws of its predecessor that the courts rejected and thousands protested — but while some of the changes in the new order are significant, much of the difference was in how the administration rolled out the new travel ban Monday. San Francisco Chronicle article‘Protestors rally against travel ban at SFO’ in San Francisco ChronicleSacramento Bee editorial

Attorney General Xavier Becerra says Trump’s decision to rescind first travel ban confirms it was unconstitutional – California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra issued a statement Monday saying President Trump’s decision to rescind a travel ban bogged down in court challenges “confirms what we all knew: the travel ban was unconstitutional and un-American.” LA Times article

California Senate calls on Trump to end immigration enforcement at churches, schools and hospitals — The state Senate on Monday adopted a resolution calling on President Trump and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to honor a 2011 policy that prohibits federal agents from enforcing immigration laws at “sensitive locations,” such as schools, hospitals, churches and marches. LA Times article

Sheriff Scott Jones says ‘sanctuary state’ bill is invalid: ‘Federal law reigns supreme’ – Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said Monday that he believes pending legislation preventing state and local police agencies from using their resources to assist federal immigration authorities would be invalid because it conflicts with federal law. Sacramento Bee article

Kelly confirms he’s considering program to separate migrant children and parents – Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly confirmed Monday that the Trump administration is considering separating migrant parents from their children who cross the U.S.-Mexico border together illegally. Politico article

Trump puts the brakes on H-1B visas — In what could be a blow to Silicon Valley’s ability to import the best and the brightest tech workers to fuel its innovation engine, the Trump Administration’s immigration gatekeepers have announced they are suspending their 15-day “premium processing” program to fast-track applicants of H-1B visas. San Jose Mercury News article

Other areas

House GOP releases bill replacing Obama health care overhaul – House Republicans on Monday released their long-awaited plan for unraveling former President Barack Obama’s health care law, a package that would scale back the government’s role in health care and likely leave more Americans uninsured. AP articleMcClatchy Newspapers article

Supreme Court won’t say if trans teen can pick bathroom — The Supreme Court is leaving the issue of transgender rights in schools to lower courts for now after backing out of a high-profile case Monday of a Virginia high school student who sued to be able to use the boys’ bathroom. AP article

Danny Morrison: I will fight for your reproductive rights, Ms. Shrider — I’m not sure if you’re a conservative, Ms. Shrider, but I’d bet a dollar to a dime that you are. Regardless, I cram to understand your unwillingness to protect the rights of your fellow female counterparts. But don’t worry about putting forth an effort to solidify your liberties and freedoms. I’ll take it from here. I’ll continue to fight for your right to control your own body without your permission. You seem content with allowing us men to make major decisions for you. I accept. Morrison column in Bakersfield Californian

Joe Altschule: Nunes is in way over his head — Usually our own long-serving Congressman Devin Nunes keeps a low profile not saying much, and that keeps us from having to explain his fecklessness, inept leadership and general all-around lack of effectiveness. Altschule column in Visalia Times-Delta

Tom Fife: Joe can’t handle a conservative winner — Joe Altschule is a classic liberal. Joe believes the way to judge the effectiveness of an elected official is by the amount of legislation he or she produces. Liberals see the ability to manufacture copious amounts of legislation as a litmus test for success. Fife column in Visalia Times-Delta

Presidential Politics

White House rejects Comey’s assertion that wiretapping claim in false – The White House on Monday refused to acknowledge reports that James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, had asked the Justice Department to refute President Trump’s claim that President Barack Obama wiretapped him during the 2016 presidential campaign, and said Mr. Trump still believes he was spied on.  New York Times article

Trump’s travel ban contains a tool that could change how the U.S. conducts foreign policy – A little-noticed provision in President Trump’s revised restrictions on entry into the country could remake how the U.S. conducts foreign policy, creating leverage for a president who promised to bring his hard-nosed deal-making mind-set to American diplomacy. LA Times article

While Trump tweets grab spotlight, appointees make crucial changes – While President Trump’s angry tweets and pugnacious public statements make the headlines, the growing number of under-the-radar decisions and rule changes being carried out by his political appointees throughout the government are far more likely to change the direction of the country.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Trump University lawsuits may not be closed after all — President Trump’s postelection agreement to pay $25 million appeared to settle the fraud claims arising from his defunct for-profit education venture, Trump University. But a former student is now asking to opt out of the settlement, a move that, if permitted, could put the deal in jeopardy. New York Times article

California Government Today:

Senate Daily File

Assembly Daily File

News Stories – Top Stories

UC proposes its first enrollment cap – 20 percent – on out-of-state students – On Monday, UC finally acted, proposing a 20% systemwide limit on nonresident undergraduate enrollment and vowing to continue to give Californians top priority. Nonresident students numbered 34,673 in fall 2016, 16.5% of the system’s 210,170 undergraduates. The limit would be the first of its kind for the 10-campus public research university. But UC officials hope it will be enough to get state officials to release the funds. LA Times article

Ulta Beauty warehouse and its 600 jobs appear destined for Fresno site — There has been no formal announcement, but indications are that Ulta Beauty has selected Fresno as the site of a large distribution center that will generate more than 600 jobs by the time the facility is in full operation. Fresno Bee article

Jobs and the Economy

Raiders secure Las Vegas financing – Bets are back on for Las Vegas, as far as the Oakland Raiders are concerned. Team President Marc Badain told the NFL stadium and finance committees Monday that the Raiders have secured financing for a 65,000-seat stadium, league sources told The Chronicle. Bank of America will replace Goldman Sachs in bankrolling the $1.9 billion project, which temporarily went off the tracks in January when Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson pulled out. San Francisco Chronicle articleLA Times article

Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf met with NFL owners about Raiders stadium — Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf presented a plan Monday to the NFL joint stadium and finance committee in Florida that she said “responsibly meets the needs of all parties.” San Jose Mercury News article

Donald Trump’s hiring freeze brings concern, creativity to federal offices — The ice is melting on the Trump administration’s hiring freeze. Uncle Sam posted about 650 new help-wanted ads for work in California in the weeks since President Donald Trump announced a federal hiring freeze, offering opportunities from the Border Patrol to the National Park Service and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Sacramento Bee article

Google, Apple, Tesla, HP, and other Silicon Valley firms imperiled by proposed Trump import tariffs and Republicans’ ‘border adjustment tax’ — While Apple has been singled out by Trump before, the administration’s actions would affect a who’s who of the Bay Area’s big name tech companies — which could see sales, revenue and access to global talent take a hit from new fees and the trade wars that could follow. San Jose Mercury News article

H&M to open store in Valley Plaza — Retailer H & M, or Hennes and Mauritz Inc., will open a store inside Valley Plaza in the winter of 2018, the company announced Monday. The new location, totaling about 24,000 square feet, will offer clothing for men, women, teens and younger children, and include a separate “store within a store” for accessories, H&M said. It will also sell the H&M Kids collection for newborns to 14 year olds. Bakersfield Californian article

Tenants sought for CIGNA building — County administrators are seeking would be tenants interested in renting space at the Tulare/Akers Professional Center. Visalia Times-Delta article

San Francisco may require breastfeeding-friendly work places — San Francisco could soon have the most sweeping lactation policy in the nation, making it easier for mothers to pump breast milk in the workplace. San Francisco Chronicle article


Modesto Irrigation District expects full 42-inch allotment this year for growers – Modesto-area growers could get 42 inches of water this year – an average allotment, at long last – and probably won’t have to worry about higher prices, they learned Monday at a Modesto Irrigation District landowner meeting. Modesto Bee article

Oroville Dam: Farmers blame sudden spillway shutdown for eroded riverbanks – For three generations, Phillip Filter’s family has tended orchards that grow on a shelf of floodplain above the Feather River.  Sacramento Bee article

Fowler farming couple donate $1.5 million to Cal Poly’s J.G. Boswell ag tech center — Jim and Michelle Marderosian, owners of Bee Sweet Citrus in Fowler, have pledged $1.5 million to Cal Poly’s new J.G. Boswell Agricultural Technology Center. Fresno Bee article

Ripon plant will keep making cow health products under new owner — The La Belle Inc. plant here makes cattle health products from colostrum, the stuff cows feed their newborns before the regular milk starts flowing. The 30-employee operation could get bigger with its sale last month to PanTheryx, based in Boulder, Colo. The buyer plans upgrades that would make the East Fourth Street plant a bigger player in this low-profile niche of the dairy industry. Modesto Bee article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Chief Dyer says officer in southeast Fresno was targeted by gunfire – Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said investigators believe one of his officers was the target of gunfire early Monday in southeast Fresno while he was taking part in a citywide operation targeting violent criminals. Dyer said it appears his car was struck twice by bullets and one round may have grazed the officer’s forehead. Fresno Bee article

Kings County authorities look at whether man killed by officer was on drugs or alcohol – Kings County officials are trying to determine whether the man who was fatally shot by a gang officer Friday at the Santa Rosa Rancheria near Lemoore was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time. Fresno Bee article

Sacramento hit with $5 million verdict in lawsuit saying wrong man was arrested for Internet child abuse — A Los Angeles man charged in an Internet child-sex-abuse case in 2011 and held for six months before the charges were dismissed has won a $5 million civil suit against the city of Sacramento and its police department, the man’s attorney said Monday. Sacramento Bee article

LA sheriff gains support in legal fight over secret list of 300 problem deputies — The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and three other advocacy groups have gone to court to back Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell’s attempt to send prosecutors the names of deputies found to have committed serious misconduct on the job. LA Times article

California eases conditions at death row disciplinary unit — California will no longer keep death row inmates in solitary confinement for years only because of their purported gang affiliations, according to a lawsuit settlement announced Monday. AP article


Kern High School District board votes to offer, archive video of meetings — The Kern High School District governing board voted Monday to televise and archive video of its board meetings, a move that supporters argued will enhance transparency and allow parents and other interested parties to more easily keep track of issues in the district and the positions of board trustees.  Bakersfield Californian article

Merced County students earn recognition for dual-language proficiency — Nearly 300 Merced County high school students will be recognized next week for attaining proficiency in English and at least one other language. Merced Sun-Star article

Sacramento school district launches campaign to protect undocumented students — The Sacramento City Unified School District will launch a campaign Tuesday to protect undocumented students in the face of deportation threats and attacks targeting immigrants. Sacramento Bee article

New California commission looks for long-range plan to meet child care needs — Opening the first meeting of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Childhood Education, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Paramount, said that the reason he ran for office was to address child care needs. EdSource article


Global warming is slamming California. Will Trump take notice? – The drought has been declared over in most of California, with heavy winter rains sending water over the Oroville dam and forcing the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people. But climate change is still in the air, and the recent weather pattern is a harbinger of what’s to come. The abrupt shift to record rainfall is the kind of extreme weather forecast for a warming planet.  McClatchy Newspapers article

Major earthquake could be overdue on San Andreas Fault north of LA, study finds — Southern California could be overdue for a major earthquake along the Grapevine north of Los Angeles, according to a sobering new study by the U.S. Geological Survey. LA Times article

Health/Human Services 

Sexual harassment, misconduct also plague UC Medical Centers — The University of California operates five nationally recognized medical centers known for their breakthrough research, medical specialties and doctor-training programs. But documents released last week show sexual harassment and misconduct are not only plaguing UC campuses, but also the system’s medical centers and hospitals. KQED report

Why California cancer rates dropped during the recession – Cancer diagnosis rates dropped during the last recession as people lost their income or health insurance and were less likely to get routine screenings or visit a doctor. With more people insured because of the Affordable Care Act, cancer rates could be heading back up. Sacramento Bee article

With legalization of marijuana, health teachers struggle to find right tone — Californians voted to legalize adult use of marijuana last November, but the change in law has introduced a quandary for health educators who teach teens about drug use. California Health Report article

St. Joseph’s ER praised and panned – As the partnership between St. Joseph’s Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente nears the one-year mark and the Affordable Care Act continues to provide thousands more residents access to health care, San Joaquin County’s largest hospital has completed several major projects to expand its offerings to meet the significant increase in demand.  Stockton Record article

Land Use/Housing

Ban continues on commercial pot cultivation – A ban on commercial marijuana activities and cultivation in unincorporated areas of San Joaquin County will remain in place until at least the end of the year.  Stockton Record article

Merced ranks 7th on list of cities with more renters than owners — The Merced area ranks toward the top of a list of cities with more renters than owners, according to a recent report from a rental website. The trend is a growing one and is expected to continue to rise, according to experts from Madison, Wis.-based Abodo. Merced Sun-Star article

Modesto considers digital billboards along Highway 99 — Motorists along Highway 99 in Modesto could have something new to look at – digital billboards. The City Council on Tuesday will consider allowing these billboards along the highway. A city report says Vintage Faire Mall asked the city last year about allowing a digital billboard at the mall. That spurred the city to look into regulations. Modesto Bee article


Pothole alert: It’s a rough road for drivers after the rains recede — Rain, though welcomed by farmers, is no friend of asphalt. And this winter, with so much rain falling, roadways in the Fresno metro area have taken a beating. Last year, 303 potholes were reported to Fresno City Hall from Jan. 4 through the end of February. This year, for the same period, it’s up to 743. Fresno Bee article

Foon Rhee: Can smarter bus routes help save Regional Transit? — Only a few major transit systems in America increased ridership last year, and the top two, Seattle and Houston, have one thing in common – they completely redesigned their bus routes. So you can hardly blame Sacramento Regional Transit for hoping that will be the secret to its success, too.  Rhee in Sacramento Bee

Other areas

Community Food Bank, Souza win national anti-hunger award – Community Food Bank of Fresno and its CEO, Andy Souza, were recognized Monday with a national award for their anti-hunger efforts at a conference of food banks in Washington, D.C. Fresno Bee article

Valley author David ‘Mas’ Masumoto contributes to book on food and farming – Local farmer, Fresno Bee contributor and author, David “Mas” Masumoto, is one of the contributors to the book “Letters to a Young Farmer: On Food, Farming, and Our Future” (Princeton Architectural Press, $19.95). The book is being released Tuesday, March 7, by Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. Fresno Bee article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Sacramento Bee – Trump’s new travel ban is scaled back to avoid court fights. But it’s still counterproductive, bigoted and fiction-based; We Californians pride ourselves on being opening and welcoming. We have more new Americans than any other state. We are, in many ways, the new Ellis Island, and proud of it. But we want nothing built in our backyard; it’s a fundamental disconnect.

Stockton Record – Cheers and jeers: The dual impacts of a huge snowpack, well-deserved honors for law enforcement and other issues.