May 10, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories

All-gender bathroom bill passes California Assembly – Breaking with Republican-led states and cities that have moved to restrict bathroom use, the California Assembly on Monday passed legislation requiring all single-stall bathrooms to be open to people of any gender. Sacramento Bee articleLA Times article

Dan Walters: California lawmakers’ secrecy fight should apply to themselves — Not only should the secrecy surrounding internal police investigations be breached, but also the secrecy that envelops the budget. A pending ballot measure would do the latter, requiring bills, such as those sneaky trailer bills, to be in print for 72 hours before votes. Walters column in Sacramento Bee

Multiple California incumbents have bulls-eye on backs – Independent groups with money from oil companies, grocery workers and apartment owners have unleashed hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent days to take out several members of the California Legislature, breaking with political custom that generally protects incumbents from well-funded challenges from within their party. Tulare Republican Devon Mathis mentioned.  Sacramento Bee article

State budget

Brown preps California budget revision amid tighter revenue – As Gov. Jerry Brown prepares to release his revised state budget this week, he’s hearing a chorus of calls from Democratic lawmakers, liberal interest groups and even some Republicans urging him to significantly boost spending to help California’s poorest residents. Brown’s budget comes after tax collections in April, the state’s biggest revenue month, fell $1 billion short of expectations and cast uncertainty on what the state can afford. AP article

More California employers urging Legislative action on workforce funding — California employers are urging the Legislature to fully fund two promising programs this year with $250 million to bolster the state’s workforce. A letter to key legislators from the Regional Economic Association Leaders of California (REAL Coalition), which represents more than 15,000 employers, makes the case succinctly to approve $200 million for theStrong Workforce Program and a $48-million annual commitment to the Career Technical Education Pathways Program. California Economic Summit report

Valley politics

Fresno Bee: Henry R. Perea for Fresno mayor — Of the five candidates running to succeed Ashley Swearengin as mayor, Fresno County Supervisor Henry R. Perea is best equipped to help our city realize more of its immense potential and also elevate other cities whose fortunes are heavily influenced by what happens in Fresno. Fresno Bee editorial

Bakersfield Californian: Re-elect 4th District Kern County Supervisor David Couch – Now, more than ever, we need an experienced and tested elected representative to guide Kern County through these turbulent waters. We need David Couch re-elected 4th District supervisor. Bakersfield Californian article

Silva, Tubbs clash over ‘outside interests’ – Mayor Anthony Silva and Councilman Michael Tubbs agreed Monday night that Stockton policy is influenced, at times, by people who do not live within the city limits. But after that, their paths diverged during a public candidates forum hosted Monday night by People and Congregations Together. Stockton Record article

Bakersfield mayoral candidate profile: Opal Morland – Opal Morland, 58, hula dance instructor. Former Kern County Department of Human Services foster parent coordinator, Bakersfield Police Department tele-communicator, Kern County Treasurer-Tax Collector account clerk. Bakersfield Californian article

Bakersfield councilman faces conflict-of-interest fine — A state watchdog agency will consider fining Bakersfield City Councilman Bob Smith $3,000 for a conflict of interest later this month, according to an agenda for its next meeting. Bakersfield California article

What voters need to know for June 7 primary — With the June 7 primary less than a month away, some residents may be confused as to what they need to do in order to vote. Some of it is simple: Those who registered with a political party can vote for that party’s candidates. But those who are registered with one party and want to vote for another should take note: This year they may not be able to. Stockton Record article

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

California candidates to begin race to June with $42 million in bank – California legislative candidates on the June 7 ballot headed into the final several weeks of primary campaigning with almost $42 million in the bank, according to recent filings with the state. The nearly 300 people running for the Assembly and state Senate collectively had $41.7 million cash on hand as of April 23. Sacramento Bee article

Should the voting age be lowered to 16? – They pay taxes. They have to abide by the same laws as everyone else. And many are old enough to work and get behind the wheel. But for teens under 18, the right to vote is still out of reach. And that’s just not fair, say a number of youth rights groups, who for years have pushed to lower America’s voting age to 16. KQED report

Report: California voter registration experiencing ‘historic growth’ – According to the report, voter registration in the state is experiencing “historic growth” with more than 850,000 Californians registering to vote in the first three months of the year. KPBS report

5 things to know about tonight’s U.S. Senate debate – The debate is part of California Counts, an election coverage initiative from KPBS, KPCC, KQED and Capital Public Radio. The partnership is a first for the stations. Reports from California Counts focus on major issues and solicit diverse voices on what’s important to the future of the state. KQED report

Ron Paul endorses Ron Unz for California’s U.S. Senate seat — Republican Ron Unz, trying to vault his U.S. Senate campaign into November, said Monday that he’s been endorsed by former Rep. Ron Paul. Sacramento Bee article


Debra Saunders: Sanctuary City: Welcome, criminals – Tuesday the San Francisco Board of Supervisors will vote on a measure to reinforce a sanctuary city policy — named “Due Process for All” and passed in 2013. On KQED’s “Forum” on Monday, Supervisor John Avalos talked about the ordinance as protecting the undocumented immigrant community, when in fact the policy shields undocumented immigrants with serious criminal records. Like Trump, Avalos can’t distinguish between undocumented and felonious. Saunders column in San Francisco Chronicle

Other areas 

California Supreme Court rules backpack no different from clothing in gun case – Carrying a loaded gun in a backpack strapped to the body is no different from carrying it in the clothes a person is wearing, and a state law makes both illegal in public, the California Supreme Court said Monday. AP articleSan Francisco Chronicle article 

Will it matter if hospitals opt out of California’s assisted suicide law – Huntington Hospital in Pasadena is considering joining the state’s Catholic hospitals in opting out of participating in the physician-assisted suicide law that takes effect on June 9. But it’s unclear that such a move would have much practical effect. KPCC report

Former California lawmaker Tony Strickland faces $80,000 FPPC fine – Former legislator Tony Strickland faces up to $80,000 in fines from the Fair Political Practices Commission for laundering money to a campaign fund supporting his failed bid for state controller. Sacramento Bee articleLA Times article 

Meeting the Donald — Congressman Kevin McCarthy is scheduled to meet with presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump later this week. McCarthy has long said he will “support the Republican nominee” and has reiterated his backing of Trump now that he is. Bakersfield Californian article

Foon Rhee: How huge will the ‘Trump effect’ be? – While local races are officially nonpartisan, they’re typically low-turnout contests that can sometimes turn on a relatively small number of votes. So as mail ballots began going out Monday, local candidates and campaigns wonder if Trump will boost Republican turnout or draw a different mix of voters than in a normal presidential primary. Rhee in Sacramento Bee 

Trump’s California delegates include former, current officials – Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has tapped a mix of current and former elected officials, party operatives, spouses and others as his pledged California delegates to the GOP convention in Cleveland, according to a list released Monday. U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and state Senate Republic Leader Jean Fuller mentioned.  Sacramento Bee articleAP article

Sanders stop in Stockton big deal for many — Kari Khoury had hoped for the longest time that this day would come, but it wasn’t until late last week that she knew for certain. Early Tuesday morning, Khoury will drive from her north Stockton home to Sacramento. When she returns, she will be part of the motorcade accompanying Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders as he travels to his downtown rally at Weber Point Events Center. Stockton Record article 

Jeff Jardine: Once again, Modesto area shunned by Oval Office campaigners – The presidential campaign finally arrived in the Valley, and no, Bernie Sanders didn’t come to Modesto. No plans for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump to visit, either. Candidates for the Oval Office rarely make it to town, and when they do, they usually aren’t the frontrunners at the time. Jardine column in Modesto Bee 

Bernie Sanders rallies thousands, weighs cost of California TV — While thousands of supporters cheered Bernie Sanders at a rally in Sacramento on Monday, the insurgent presidential candidate said he may not air TV advertisements in California, a vast state in which television advertising is typically crucial. Sacramento Bee articleLA Times articleSan Francisco Chronicle article

Bernie Sanders hasn’t studied California marijuana initiative — When Bernie Sanders was asked last year if he would support a measure to legalize marijuana for recreational use in Nevada if he lived in that state, Sanders said, “I suspect I would vote yes.” On Monday, he was slightly – only slightly – more circumspect about the initiative looming in California. Sacramento Bee article

Bernie Sanders’ Red Bus visits Fresno State’s Red Wave – The Big Red Bus paid a visit to Fresno State on Monday as part of Vermont Democrat Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign in California. National Nurses United and the California Nurses Association have endorsed Sanders and drove the bus to the university to meet with students and outline Sanders’ support for a free education. Fresno Bee article

Army waives grooming rules for Sikh recruit from California — California resident Harpal Singh begins his Army training this week, unshorn and religiously intact. Facing legal and political heat, including from Central Valley lawmakers, the Army is accommodating Singh and several other soldiers whose Sikh faith sets unique grooming and clothing requirements. The beginning of Singh’s military service marks a victory for Sikhs. McClatchy Newspapers article 

Rep. Ami Bera’s father to enter plea in campaign finance case — The father of Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove, has been charged with two counts of campaign finance violations and is scheduled to appear in federal court Tuesday to enter a plea in the case, federal court documents state. Sacramento Bee article 

Steinberg, Ashby focus on experience in Sacramento mayoral debate — Darrell Steinberg on Monday touted his experience as one of the state Capitol’s most powerful leaders, saying it will give him an edge if he’s elected Sacramento mayor. Angelique Ashby, the city councilwoman running against him for the job, sought to portray Steinberg’s experience as state Senate leader as a liability rather than an asset. Sacramento Bee article

Mark Mannis: Letting optometrists do surgery endangers patients – The chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences at UC Davis writes, “Anyone would be a bit unnerved even thinking about someone approaching our eyes with a scalpel or a needle. So it stands to reason we want surgeries performed by well-trained surgeons. Unfortunately, optometrists under Senate Bill 622 would not even come close to meeting that standard.” Mannis op-ed in Sacramento Bee

California Government Today:

Senate Daily File

Assembly Daily File

News Stories

Top Stories

California water regulators propose major shift in drought conservation rules — In a major shift in California’s urban water policy, state regulators Monday issued proposed conservation rules that would lift the mandatory 25 percent statewide water cuts in place since last June. Instead, urban water agencies across the state would be required to conserve on a sliding scale tailored to their unique water supply conditions. Sacramento Bee articleSan Francisco Chronicle articleLA Times articleSan Jose Mercury News articleKQED report

After Fresno Bee investigation, Fresno’s substandard housing demands full attention, leaders say — Fresno’s leaders no longer can ignore the city’s substandard housing crisis, community activists and apartment industry executives said Monday. The extent of slum housing, detailed in a Fresno Bee investigative report called “Living in Misery,” should wake up the community, said Sergio Cortes of No More Slumlords, a volunteer advocacy group. “This is our Flint, Michigan,” Cortes said. “Instead of a water crisis, this is Fresno’s housing crisis.” Fresno Bee article

Yosemite National Park, brought to you by Starbucks? — The national park system, created a century ago to preserve the country’s natural treasures for the public, has long been a bulwark against commercialization. But as it jockeys for donors in a more competitive environment than ever, the National Park Service is starting to tread a delicate path: Making aggressive corporate appeals without giving the impression that it’s selling public spaces to the highest bidder. Washington Post article

Jobs and the Economy

Bakersfield council signals support for cost-cutting plans – The heads of several major city divisions — though not the Fire Department — unveiled plans to cut spending at the first of two Bakersfield City Council budget workshops Monday. In the wake of an estimated $3.5 million loss in sales tax revenue through June 30, Bakersfield’s new proposed city budget is about 19 percent smaller than last year. Bakersfield Californian article 

Correctional officer pay raise, health cap in Merced County deal – Merced County and the union representing its correctional officers have agreed to a contract that includes a pay raise and a cap on health benefits.  Merced Sun-Star article 

San Joaquin County attracting higher-income families – San Joaquin County housing affordability improved dramatically in the first three months of the year, with 47 percent of area residents able to buy the $295,000 median-priced home, compared to 38 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, the California Association of Realtors reported Monday. Stockton Record article

Fresno Bee: Voters rejection of Madera casino should be respected – California-based Indian tribes have every right to operate casinos on reservations, so long as the governor, the Legislature and, on occasion, the electorate can have their say. Based on two recent federal court decisions, however, California’s authority is in doubt. Judges essentially have told the state to acquiesce to tribes and their commercial partners. That’s hardly what voters had in mind in 2000 when they granted tribes monopoly rights to operate slot machines in casinos on their land. Fresno Bee editorial

Business forum in Ceres focuses on Latino owners, consumers – A forum with the theme “Our World is Changing” was held Monday to help Latino business owners and would-be business owners understand opportunities and responsibilities. It also aimed to help the business community at large with marketing to the growing Latino population. Modesto Bee article

San Francisco made $2 million on Super Bowl activities, controller says – The city of San Francisco made nearly $2 million from Super Bowl 50 activities, the city controller said Monday in a long-awaited report about whether the sporting event was a money winner or loser for the city. San Francisco Chronicle article

Kern: $1 million settlement in jeopardy after plaintiff’s attorneys violate non-disclosure terms – A $1 million settlement for a woman who was sexually assaulted by a former Kern County sheriff’s deputy may be in jeopardy as county lawyers say the woman’s attorneys violated a non-disclosure agreement by sending out a news release Monday. Bakersfield Californian article

Some visitors could pay extra at Woodward, Modesto reservoirs – Stanislaus County will charge an extra $5 for park visitors from outside the county, if supervisors approve a bunch of fee changes Tuesday. Modesto Bee article

Hilmar Cheese Barn complete – The Merced County Fairgrounds recently marked the completion of its first new building in more than three decades. The new 33,800-square-foot Hilmar Cheese Barn came to fruition after an eight-year campaign to fund the $1.2 million building, according to a news release. Organizers have dubbed it “the big barn.” Merced Sun-Star article

Airbnb estimates its home-sharing platform added $920 million to LA economy — Home sharing in Los Angeles through the Airbnb online platform injected $920 million into the local economy last year, the San Francisco-based home sharing business estimates. LA Times article

Downtrodden desert town is experiencing a marijuana boom – As the first city in Southern California to legalize large-scale medical marijuana cultivation, Desert Hot Springs has been inundated by marijuana growers and developers. They are buying up dusty desert land — some with no utilities or roads — in hopes of cashing in as California’s marijuana growers come into the open under new state regulations. LA Times article

Superpublic lab in San Francisco to focus on urban problems – Nimble, creative, collaborative, tech-savvy: Few people use those adjectives to describe government. But a new “innovation lab” called Superpublic coming to San Francisco next month aims to upend the stereotypes of stodgy bureaucracy with a workspace where policymakers, academics, entrepreneurs, industry experts, nonprofit leaders and others can jointly tackle urban problems and devise futuristic solutions. San Francisco Chronicle article

Joel Fox: One coming, one going, and one that got away – The attention-grabbing tiff between California Governor Jerry Brown and Florida Governor Rick Scott over the latter’s business-snatching safari to the Golden State highlighted a week of the state’s constant struggle to stay on top of business recruitment. The scorecard was mixed with news highlights of one business coming, one leaving and, watching with regret, one that got away. Fox in Fox & Hounds 

Vast new limits urged for proposed Oakland shipping terminal— A planned shipping terminal in Oakland could face a new set of restrictions, even after officials decide, in June, whether to ban its developer from exporting millions of tons of coal from Oakland’s docks. San Francisco Chronicle article

Tribune Publishing adopts ‘poison pill’ defense against Gannett – Tribune Publishing Co.’s board has adopted a shareholder rights plan to defend itself against Gannett Co.‘s unsolicited bid to buy the newspaper company. LA Times article


California braces for unending drought — With California entering its fifth year of a statewide drought, Gov. Jerry Brown moved on Monday to impose permanent water conservation measures and called on water suppliers to prepare for a future made drier by climate change. New York Times article 

State orders recall of Organic Pastures Dairy milk and cream – California officials have issued a statewide recall of Organic Pastures Dairy’s raw milk and cream after routine testing found the presence of salmonella in a sample of raw cream. Fresno Bee article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Heroin dealer implicates former Fresno Deputy Chief Keith Foster in drug scheme – A Clovis man pleaded guilty Monday to conspiring with former Fresno Deputy Police Chief Keith Foster to sell heroin – the second defendant to accept a plea deal, but the first to implicate Foster in a widespread drug-trafficking ring. Fresno Bee article

San Francisco Police Department unaccountable, uses ‘stop and frisk,’ D.A.’s panel says – The San Francisco Police Department has outdated policies, engages in “stop and frisk” tactics on the street that have drawn outrage around the country, and does a poor job tracking officers’ conduct so it can root out problems, according to a blue-ribbon panel of judges created by District Attorney George Gascón to investigate bias in the police force. San Francisco Chronicle article

San Francisco pilot program looks to help drug users, not arrest them — The Department of Public Health is working with the city and BART police forces, as well as the district attorney, the public defender and the nonprofit Drug Policy Alliance, to launch a program that would see officers directly divert many drug offenders to treatment rather than arrest them. San Francisco Chronicle article 

LA County sheriff’s deputies sentenced to federal prison in jail beating case — Two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies were sentenced Monday to more than a year each in federal prison for lying on reports they wrote about violently subduing a handcuffed jail inmate. LA Times article 

Journalism group seeks release of license-plate data — The plaintiffs are seeking access to bulk data collected by automated license plate readers, technology deployed by numerous law enforcement agencies that collects and stores information about vehicle locations. San Diego Union-Tribune article 

CHP’s latest headache: Dealing with skateboarders who film their stunts on freeways — While authorities say freeway skateboarding is nothing new, these videos have gone viral and sparked concern by California Highway Patrol officials about copycats and the potential for accidents. LA Times article


Avoiding controversy, California declines to clarify vaccination law and special ed – Let the courts decide. That appears to be the stance of the California Department of Education as state regulators have so far declined to answer pleas from school districts to clarify what California’s new vaccination law means for the 700,000 students who receive special education services. EdSource article

UC regents get their first chance to weigh in on scathing audit of admissions policies – University of California regents are expected to weigh in Tuesday on a scathing state audit that said UC schools have harmed local students by admitting too many out-of-state and international applicants. LA Times article

Sacramento Bee: Another offensive attack on UC – After criticism from one end of California to the other, Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, has rewritten his latest attack on the constitutional autonomy of the University of California. It’s almost as pointless and offensive as the first. Sacramento Bee editorial

San Francisco State hunger strikers keep up fight for ethnic studies – One group of San Francisco hunger strikers may have started eating again, but an equally determined group of hunger strikers at San Francisco State University went through its eighth day on Monday without solid food to protest budget cuts to a popular ethnic studies program. San Francisco Chronicle article

Sacramento State students pursue HIV research with federal grant – Professor Katherine McReynolds’ team of chemistry students hasn’t cracked the case on HIV prevention yet, but it’s getting closer in a beaker-strewn lab on the California State University, Sacramento, campus. Sacramento Bee article
Union-commissioned report says charter schools are bleeding money from traditional ones – A teachers union-funded report on charter schools concludes that these largely nonunion campuses are costing traditional schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District millions of dollars in tax money. LA Times article

‘Phishing attack’ compromises KCSOS employees’ information — The Kern County Superintendent of Schools office is working to contain and help investigate a data breach after a human resources manager mistakenly sent out confidential information on 2,507 employees, including their Social Security numbers. Bakersfield Californian article

Randy Villegas: Put equity before equality in school funding – The student at Cal State Bakersfield writes, “Sadly, Kern High School District has chosen instead to distribute most of its state dollars aimed at higher need students equally across all of the schools in the district. It has done so without regard to differences in student population and the need for more resources to serve higher need students. And if the data is to be believed those differences are dramatic.” Villegas op-ed in Bakersfield Californian

Hickman Charter families get their geek on at STEM Maker Faire — Science projects, whiz-bang tech and hands-on activities all came together for a family-centered celebration of smart at Hickman Charter School. Modesto Bee article


Court fight over, sludge trial enters written phase – Nothing about Los Angeles’ 10-year battle with Kern County over the voter-approved Measure E ban on the land application of treated human and industrial waste goes quickly. Bakersfield California article

State regulators reopen case on San Onofre nuclear plant – State regulators announced Monday that they have reopened the case involving the premature shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear plant, which closed after a replacement steam generator leaked. LA Times article

Coalition wants to see more diversity in national parks – A first-of-its kind coalition of more than 30 civil rights, environmental justice and conservation groups is pushing for greater efforts to promote diversity in national parks and other public lands. USA Today article 

Ethanol plant branches out into side products – Calgren Renewable Fuels in Pixley, Tulare County’s only ethanol plant, has invested in key co-products to sell over the years as it cranks out 58 million gallons of fuel ethanol each year. Visalia Times-Delta article 

Measure AA asks Bay Area residents to help protect against sea level rise — Sea levels are expected to rise significantly by mid-century, threatening airports and major highways around San Francisco Bay. A first-of-its-kind measure on the June ballot is designed to jump-start the Bay Area’s preparation for that. KQED report

California looks to Texas to solve nuclear waste problem – California lawmakers are rallying around a plan to relocate radioactive waste from the state’s shuttered nuclear power plants to a storage site in West Texas after failing to secure enough political support to move that waste to a repository in Nevada. McClatchy Newspapers article 

Drunken rampage leaves endangered fish dead in Death Valley — A $15,000 reward is being offered for details leading to the arrest and conviction of three men who went on a drunken rampage involving gunfire, vomiting, skinny dipping and the death of a tiny endangered fish in Death Valley National Park, officials said Monday. LA Times article
Health/Human Services 

Hello, White House, how about Obamacare for California’s undocumented? — California health care advocates and immigrant rights groups want to allow undocumented immigrants the option of buying a health plan, without government subsidies, through the state-run marketplace, Covered California. The proposal needs federal approval, an involved bureaucratic process that could be thwarted under a new presidency. So California advocates are acting swiftly to get their application to President Obama before he leaves office, and to do so must win support from at least a few California Republican lawmakers. CALmatters article

Community Medical Centers announces pediatric expansion – Community Medical Centers unveiled two major expansion plans Monday that will add a 180,000-square-foot pediatric building and increase bed space by one-third at the hospital’s main Fresno campus. Fresno Bee articleThe Business Journal article

County, Tulare pediatrics cut ties – County officials and the Tulare Pediatric Health Care Center are parting ways. In a mutual agreement, the two decided not to renew a contract for a pediatric clinic in Tulare. It would have been the fourth contract renewal since 2008. Visalia Times-Delta article 

Taking pills off the streets – Three law enforcement agencies in Tulare Countyteamed up to recover more than 500 pounds of expired prescription medication, during National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Visalia Times-Delta article

Should you be allowed to order your own blood tests? — One aspect of the multidimensional mess that is the Theranos story is the company’s leveraging of the Do-It-Yourself ethos to promote its product. Theranos provides consumers with a menu of over 200 low-cost diagnostic blood tests for any array of ailments and diseases. KQED report

Lodi oncologist and wife pay U.S. $300,000 to settle chemo drug claim — A Lodi oncologist and his wife, who was his office administrator, have paid the United States $300,000 to settle allegations that they billed Medicare for chemotherapy drugs purchased from an unlicensed foreign distributor, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip Talbert announced Monday. Sacramento Bee article

Land Use/Housing 

Fresno supervisors to consider Friant Corridor study — The Fresno County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will consider the Friant Corridor Land Use Feasibility Study, which, if adopted, could foreshadow increased urban development in northeast Fresno County. The Business Journal articleFresno Bee article


Daniel Weintraub: ‘Bicycle friendly’ an afterthought in Sacramento — As the region marks bike month – which celebrates cycling and encourages commuting by bicycle – it’s worth examining the link, or lack of one, between downtown and Township Nine, the first of many developments expected in the new River District emerging between the urban core and the American River. Weintraub in Sacramento Bee

Other areas 

Kern County considers ‘urgent’ moratorium on pot shops — Kern County supervisors will launch the newest round in their fight against medical marijuana shops Tuesday when they consider a moratorium on the establishment of new storefronts. The “urgency” ordinance, which would take effect immediately, would stop new medical marijuana cooperatives from opening their doors in unincorporated areas for at least 45 days. Bakersfield Californian article

Stockton council to discuss city charter amendments – Come November, voters in Stockton are likely to get the opportunity to make decisions dramatically altering how the city is governed. Voters may get the chance to do away with citywide voting for the City Council. They also may get the chance to expand the council from six districts to eight. Stockton Record article

Kern County Museum has new director — The foundation that operates the Kern County Museum has hired a man with an extensive background in the arts — including as a former actor/model/break dancer — as chief executive officer. Zoot Valasco, who currently runs the Muckenthaler Cultural Center in Fullerton, replaces former executive director Roger Perez, who resigned in March. Bakersfield Californian article

Standards for driving while stoned not accurate, study shows – Legal blood limits for marijuana are not an accurate way to measure whether someone was driving while impaired, and can lead to unsafe drivers going free while others are wrongfully convicted, according to a new study. Chicago Tribune article 

Benjamin Wagner reflects on his tenure as U.S. attorney in Sacramento — Charles “Chuck” Stevens, as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of California, once remarked that he so highly valued the work of Benjamin Wagner that he would like to clone the assistant U.S. attorney. Wagner achieved many things in his tenure as a federal prosecutor, including 6 1/2 years as U.S. attorney, but being cloned was not one of them. Sacramento Bee article

Merced Hmong community leader dies – A high-ranking Hmong soldier who fought with the U.S. in the Vietnam War before helping thousands to settle in Merced has died. Lt. Col. Vang Chou, also called Peter Chou Vang, died Wednesday from cardiac arrest while recovering from pneumonia and a blood infection in Merced. He was 82, according to his family. Merced Sun-Star article

Gregory Kondos, LeVar Burton among first honored in Sacramento’s ‘Walk of Fame’ — Midtown Sacramento soon will have more star power. Organizers for the Sacramento Walk of Stars on Monday announced its first class of inductees, a group that will be honored in a series of late-summer events including their star installations at 18th and L streets. Sacramento Bee article 

David Collins: The hazards of navigating Bakersfield on foot are many – The founder and director of South Oswell Neighborhood Watch writes, “In light of the people who have been pounded by vehicles in our streets, things need to change. These accidents aren’t limited to one part of town or group, either. They have ambushed residents all over Bakersfield and sacked victims ranging from children to mature.” Collins op-ed in Bakersfield Californian

Head of California liquor licensing agency calls it quits — The director of the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has retired, a state official said Monday, with the state beginning a nationwide search for someone to lead the agency that regulates almost 90,000 alcohol licenses in California. Sacramento Bee article 

Valley Editorial Roundup

Bakersfield Californian – Now, more than ever, we need an experienced and tested elected representative to guide Kern County through these turbulent waters. We need David Couch re-elected 4th District supervisor.

Fresno Bee – Of the five candidates running to succeed Ashley Swearengin as mayor, Fresno County Supervisor Henry R. Perea is best equipped to help our city realize more of its immense potential and also elevate other cities whose fortunes are heavily influenced by what happens in Fresno; Tribes have right to operate casinos, but that right comes with some strings.

Merced Sun-Star  Tribes have right to operate casinos, but that right comes with some strings.

Modesto Bee – Tribes have right to operate casinos, but that right comes with some strings.

Sacramento Bee – California-based Indian tribes have every right to operate casinos on reservations, so long as the governor, the Legislature and, on occasion, the electorate can have their say; After criticism from one end of California to the other, Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, has rewritten his latest attack on the constitutional autonomy of the University of California. It’s almost as pointless and offensive as the first.

Stockton Record – Cheers and jeers: Water conservation continues, information for San Joaquin County voters, and other issues.