May 11, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories 

California tax revenues fall below estimates as budget talks get under way — California’s economy is still growing – but at a slower pace than it has been. And that’s having a similar effect on state budget revenues, leaving Gov. Jerry Brown with less money to work with when he releases his updated spending proposal Friday. Capital Public Radio report

Kamala Harris is focus of California’s final U.S. Senate debate before primary – U.S. Senate hopeful Kamala Harris found herself under attack Tuesday night during a fiery debate where she was accused of putting her political ambitions ahead of serving Californians as state Attorney General and pressed about why she hasn’t investigated police shootings. LA Times articleKQED report‘Fleeing the interview, and other highlights of Tuesday’s Senate debate’ in KQEDSan Francisco Chronicle article 

Gov. Brown

Bernie Sanders praises Jerry Brown, a similar candidate – One of the final states Jerry Brown carried in his last of three failed presidential campaigns was Vermont, whose junior senator, Bernie Sanders, now finds himself in California in the final weeks – barring an upheaval – of his own insurgent presidential bid. Similarities between the two politicians are many, and they go beyond the Clinton name their rivals share. Sacramento Bee article

Valley politics

Bakersfield Californian: Vince Fong for 34th Assembly District – Endorsed by McCarthy, Grove and state Sen. Jean Fuller, R-Bakersfield, Fong has a deep understanding of the issues facing the 34th District and the state. There is no doubt he will hit the floor running when he arrives in Sacramento as a Kern County legislator. Bakersfield Californian editoria 

Interview: Former Bakersfield developer Kyle Carter runs for mayor – Twenty-five different people all want to become Bakersfield’s next mayor. One of those hopefuls is Kyle Carter.  Carter is former developer from Bakersfield. He’s run multiple companies and serves as a trustee of the Kern Community College District. He has also played a pivotal role in creating The Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame. And now today he is trying his hand at mayor. He hopes to replace Mayor Harvey Hall. KVPR report

Bakersfield mayoral candidate profile: Tyrone Smith — Tyrone Smith, 43, truck driver/diesel mechanic. Bakersfield Californian article

Fresno Bee: Ronquillo, Magsig for Fresno County supervisor posts – We recommend Dan Ronquillo, in District 3, and Nathan Magsig in District 5, to voters. Fresno Bee editorial 

Bredefeld leads money race for Fresno council District 6 seat — In an important but unofficial barometer of the Fresno City Council District 6 race, Garry Bredefeld is far outdistancing his competitors in raising funds ahead of the June 7 primary election. City Council candidates could begin collecting campaign donations on Feb. 15. As of Monday, campaign finance statements filed with the Fresno City Clerk’s office showed thatBredefeld reported raising $93,437 in campaign contributions from about 77 different donors. That’s more than the combined contributions of Jeremy Pearce and Holly Carter, the other two main candidates. Fresno Bee article

Modesto’s ballot mistake could cost a tidy sum – Modesto’s mishandling of a ballot measure in the November election could cost it at least $169,500. The mishap involves Measure F, which the City Council placed on the Nov. 3 ballot at the request of Modesto City Schools. Modesto Bee article

McCarthy, Fuller among Trump delegates — The list of pledged delegates in this year’s Republican National Convention was released Monday evening and locally it includes some familiar names. Rep. Kevin McCarthy and state Sen. Jean Fuller, both R-Bakersfield, will be Donald Trump delegates, according to the list released by the California Secretary of State’s office. Bakersfield Californian article

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures 

PoitiFact: Lorettz Sanchez dodges question about gun liability vote, cites Brady campaign support – U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., was asked to explain her 2005 vote to offer gun manufacturers liability protections during a debate in the U.S.Senate race. Sanchez never really directly answered the question but said that the law didn’t give gun manufacturers “blanket immunity.” She then pivoted to talk about her support from the nation’s leading gun control group, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. PolitiFact report

PolitiFact: Duf Sundheim wrongly says California’s violent crime rate is up 34 percent – Republican Duf Sundheim started on the attack at Wednesday’s debate in San Diegoamong five candidates vying to be California’s next U.S. senator. But the GOP hopeful missed hard on a fact about the state’s violent crime rate. He used his opening remarks to criticize the race’s frontrunner, Democratic California Attorney General Kamala Harris. PolitiFact report

How nonpartisans cast a vote for president in June primary – Those who checked “No Party Preference” when they registered to vote will need to take steps if they’re eager to vote for Donald Trump, Hillary or maybe a Green Party candidate for president in the June primary. Modesto Bee article 

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer paves potential GOP road to relevance – The idea of running a city as a nonpartisan manager or caretaker is not new, and Republican mayors such as Michael Bloomberg have won election in far bluer cities than San Diego. But Faulconer thinks his consensus-building path could be a roadmap for Republicans running for higher office in California, where GOP registration (27 percent) mirrors the numbers in San Diego. KQED report

Other areas 

‘Ready for a political revolution’: Sanders wows crowd in push to gain Democratic nomination – Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders brought his campaign to a downtown Stockton rally Tuesday morning, drank in the cheers of thousands and said that the citizens in this country and in this economically battered city are hungry for major change. Stockton Record articleModesto Bee articleRead Michael Tubbs’ introduction of Bernie Sanders in Stockton Record‘The guy’s a rock star’ in Stockton Record 

Bernie Sanders rallies Stockton, faces tough road in Valley – Not only does the Vermont senator lag behind Hillary Clinton in California, his deficit in the Central Valley and Sierra regions of the state is even more acute. Far from California’s more liberal, densely populated coast, California’s inland Democrats can traditionally be counted on to express their party’s more conservative strains. Sacramento Bee article

Presidential candidates’ appearances in Stockton are rare — Presidential candidates don’t often come to Stockton. Although presidential elections are held every four years (this will be the 42nd since California became a state in 1850), often the primary has been determined before Californians cast their ballots, and, since the state has voted Democrat every year since 1988, the party finalists tend to focus on battleground states. Stockton Record article

Cathleen Decker: Remarks by Sanders – and Trump – indicate more turbulence ahead for Clinton’s campaign — No front-runner wants to limp into the nominating convention, and a string of Clinton losses would further unnerve Democrats already worried about the unpredictability of a fight with Donald Trump. That, plus Sanders’ tough rhetoric, signals continued turbulence for Clinton, both in terms of her desire to shift attention to Trump, and in terms of the time and money she will need to spend to guard against a late-season embarrassment here. Decker in LA Times 

Sacramento Bee: Darrell Steinberg is clear choice for Sacramento mayor – Darrell Steinberg has put out a detailed and optimistic platform to move Sacramento forwardas the city’s next mayor, and clearly is the best-prepared and -equipped candidate to follow through. Sacramento Bee editorial

Rep. Ami Bera’s father pleads guilty to election fraud – The father of Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Sacramento federal court to two felony counts of election fraud involving the finances of his son’s campaign committee. Sacramento Bee articleLA Times articleSacramento Bee editorial

Republicans blast Ami Bera amid father’s campaign finance case – The National Republican Congressional Committee took aim at Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove, on Tuesday, after Bera’s father was charged with two counts of campaign finance violations, calling on Bera to return hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations. Sacramento Bee article

Closed-door talks at key California panels under scrutiny – California generally bans private conversations, known as ex parte communication, between state agencies, boards or commissions and representatives of groups with pending cases before them. The intent of the law is to promote public transparency, create even playing fields and prevent the unfair influence of decision-makers. But over time, lawmakers have made nearly 15 exceptions to the rule. Sacramento Bee article 

California diaper advocate pushes for low-income access – Norah Weinstein, head of a Los Angeles nonprofit called Baby2Baby that distributes diapers and other items to nonprofits that then pass them to children in low-income families, was in Sacramento on Tuesday to testify in favor of the California bill creating diaper welfare payments. Assembly Bill 492 passed the Senate Human Services Committee on an 4-0 vote. Sacramento Bee article 

Supervisors OK ballot measure to lower San Francisco voting age to 16 – A charter amendment to lower the voting age to 16 that will appear on the November ballot would put San Francisco at the forefront of expanding voting rights at a time when some other governments around the country have implemented increasingly restrictive voting laws. San Francisco Chronicle article 

Marcos Breton: Sacramento mayoral candidates should be talking about job creation – Darrell Steinberg and Angelique Ashby, Sacramento’s primary mayoral candidates, are adept at mouthing the words for what ails the city. But the need to create jobs in the state capital gets far less attention in the mayoral campaign than homelessness, an issue that disproportionately dominates public policy, discussion and media coverage in Sacramento. Breton column in Sacramento Bee

Rep. Judy Chu’s nephew took his own life after military hazing. Now she’s seeking justice for him and other families — On April 2, 2011, the fourth time he was found sleeping, a sergeant told his comrades that “peers should correct peers.” What happened over the next several hours has driven Lew’s aunt, U.S. Rep. Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park), to push repeatedly for changes in how the U.S. military defines, recognizes and prosecutes hazing, including a new amendment in a must-pass military spending bill this year. LA Times article

California Government Today:

Senate Daily File

Assembly Daily File

News Stories

Top Stories

Bakersfield-proposed route is new ‘preferred’ path for bullet train — A city-proposed path should be the new “recommended preferred” route into Bakersfield, board members at the agency responsible for designing and building California’s controversial bullet train decided Tuesday. Bakersfield Californian article 

Appeals court sends labor mediation case back to Superior Court – The Fifth District Court of Appeal is sending a case back to Fresno County Superior Court over the issue of whether the public should be allowed to attend state-approved, closed-door meetings where employee contracts are being settled. The issue stems from a 2013 request by farmworker Lupe Garcia to sit in on meetings between the United Farm Workers union and Fresno County-based Gerawan Farming Co. Fresno Bee articleLA Times article

Jobs and the Economy

Kern County libraries hope for boost from a new tax on June’s ballot — Public libraries are often seen as important pillars of knowledge and sources of civic pride. But in Kern County, they are struggling to keep their doors open. Now, voters have a chance to establish a dedicated funding stream for their libraries for the first time. A June 7th vote on Measure F could be a test of community support for their library system. KVPR report 

Lois Henry: More reasons to love Measure F – You know who really wins if Measure F passes? Well, everyone. But the really big winners will be residents in California City, Wasco, Buttonwillow, Wofford Heights, etc. You know, places that exist outside of Rome…er…Bakersfield. Henry column in Bakersfield Californian 

New state law eases penalty for minor ADA violations – Legislation to protect small businesses against costly lawsuits and fines over minor violations of disabled access laws, while helping increase access, was signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Jerry Brown. Stockton Record article

Stockton City Council takes step back on water rates – The city will start over with a plan and hearing regarding water rate hikes after an initial proposal was amended following public concerns. The Stockton City Council on Tuesday voted 6-1, with Mayor Anthony Silva dissenting, to cancel a May 24 meeting that was intended to discuss the Municipal Utilities Department’s initial 26 percent increase proposal. The new date for Stockton residents to protest the proposed water hike will be June 28. Stockton Record article 

It’s a tough job market for young without college degrees – A national study shows that high school graduates often struggle to find work. Their jobless rate is 17.8 percent, and it’s much worse for dropouts. New York Times article

Advocates seek funding for children – The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors will consider forming a task force to find a sustainable revenue stream for programs that will keep youth out of poverty and in local schools. Stockton Record article

Study finds Valley homebuilding at ’08 levels — The first quarter of the year saw a Central Valley housing market perform at its highest level in eight years, according to new data from housing industry analysis firm Metrostudy.  The Business Journal article

Hyperloop 1 attracts big money, big names – A Los Angeles startup chasing Elon Musk’s “hyperloop” dream of tube-based travel between cities reported Tuesday that it has raised $80 million in its latest financing round and forged partnerships with some of the world’s most prominent engineering firms. San Francisco Chronicle article 

Gas climbs 6 cents; more drivers hit the road — Gas prices rose 6 cents in Fresno over the last month to an average $2.76 for a gallon of unleaded, according to AAA of Northern California. The price in the Visalia-Tulare-Porterville area rose 7 cents to an average $2.82. Fresno Bee article 

Turlock’s Dust Bowl looking to hire dozens of workers – “It started as a hobby that turned into a business that turned into a company.” That’s how founder and co-owner Brett Tate described Dust Bowl Brewing Co., which started seven years ago with him and brewmaster Don Oliver. And now the company employs 100 people and is looking to hire dozens more. Modesto Bee article

LA County to seek state’s help on ‘millionaires tax’ for homelessness – Los Angeles County officials are eyeing a new income tax on millionaires to help address the region’s growing crisis of homelessness, but one of the county board’s three liberal members broke ranks to at least temporarily halt the push. LA Times article

Steve Lopez: Five ways to end homelessness in LA – Low wages. Ridiculous housing prices. Untreated mental illness. All the usual stuff. So what do we do? I don’t have all the answers, but I’ve got five thoughts to share. Lopez column in LA Times 

Earlimart grows with development – The shopping center in Earlimart is the latest commercial development in the southernTulare County town. The stores will also help increase sales tax revenue to the county’s coffers, which could bring more resources to Earlimart. Visalia Times-Delta article

California pension investment ticks off state engineers’ union – Add one more investment to the list of CalPERS’ controversial investments: a privately run state highway. The retirement fund recently purchased 10 percent of Indiana Toll Road Concession Co. The firm runs a 157-mile stretch of highway that runs across northern Indiana from Illinois to Ohio. California’s state engineers’ union says it’s a horrible investment that sinks government employees’ money into a project that, ironically, is hostile to government employees. Sacramento Bee article 

Sacramento council advances plan for drinking by beer bike riders – Sacramento’s beer bike companies may soon allow passengers to BYOB after Sacramento City Council’s Law and Legislation Committee moved a new ordinance forward Tuesday. Sacramento Bee article

Disney misses analysts’ expectations for second quarter and discontinues Infinity gaming line – The Walt Disney Co.’s film studio led the Burbank company to a 2% increase in profit for the fiscal second quarter, but the company missed analysts’ expectations. LA Times article

Staples-Office Depot merger is blocked by federal judge – A federal judge has blocked the proposed merger of Staples and Office Depot, saying the government had made the case that the merger had a “reasonable probability” of hurting competition in office supplies. LA Times article

Jay Schenirer: Measure Y is the best way to help Sacramento’s kids – The Sacramento City Council member and main author if Measure Y writes, “It’s clear that Sacramento’s youths need our help, and Measure Y will help them. It will keep our kids off the streets, provide vital funding for homeless youths, and put art and music back in our schools.” Schenirer op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Jeff Harris: Measure Y is a fiscally unsound way to help kids – The Sacramento City Council member writes, “Adopting Measure Y would set a precedent where any council member could try to lock up new revenue streams, leading to a very dysfunctional city process. We need to exercise fiscal responsibility and sound policy to achieve our goals. Promoting the health, safety and sound development of our children is prominent among them. Let’s support youths the right way.” Harris op-ed in Sacramento Bee


Congressman Jeff Denham, state Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, state Assemblymember Adam Gray, San Joaquin County Supervisor Bob Elliott: State board acts as prosecutor, judge and jury – The Valley elected officials write, “The State Water Resources Control Board has tried for too long to bully Byron-Bethany Irrigation District, and we’ve had enough. It’s time the board’s misguided case against BBID ends and remove the regulatory limbo the farmers within BBID currently face.” Denham/Galgiani/Gray/Elliott op-ed in Stockton Record

USDA projects 2 billion pounds of almonds – The federal government projected an even 2 billion pounds of almonds from California in 2016, up from the past two years but short of the record crop. The closely watched estimate will affect prices paid to growers, which have been in a slump after two very strong years. Modesto Bee article
California court upholds large urban water transfer – A California appeals court on Tuesday upheld plans for a large transfer of Mojave Desert groundwater to homes and businesses in Southern California. AP article

In another sign drought may be easing, Metropolitan Water District ends water limits – Citing the state’s improved hydrology and impressive regional conservation, officials at Southern California’s massive water wholesaler voted Tuesday to rescind the cuts they imposed on regional water deliveries last year. LA Times article

Argentina’s lemons scare the juice out of some California farmers — American consumers will save and some California farmers suffer if lemons from Argentina resume entering the United States, Agriculture Department officials say. McClatchy Newspapers article

Cage-free is the new standard — Michael Sheats, USDA’s director of ag analytics, has seen egg prices rise and fall – but nothing like this past year. When a virus swept the Midwest poultry belt last year where the bulk of the nation’s egg farms are – some 42 million egg-laying hens were lost over a short time. Iowa, the largest single egg-producing state, lost 30 million birds. Visalia Times-Delta article

Pesticide program warns schools before spraying — An experimental warning system to alert public schools of planned pesticide applications will be tested in Monterey County and could have a statewide impact if the program succeeds. Visalia Times-Delta article

Is quinoa California’s next niche crop? — If the harvest proves profitable here, California could dominate yet another niche crop, as the grain-like seed graduates from health-craze fad to a popular ingredient in energy bars, cereals and even drinks. Acreage dedicated to quinoa may reach into the thousands in the next two years in California, a state that already is a hub for quinoa imported from South America. LA Times article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

The drugs to execute criminals could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, California prison agency records show — Internal California prison agency records suggest the state might have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy drugs for lethal injection in executions, according to documents released Tuesday by a civil liberties group. LA Times article 

Lee proposes $17.5 million boost to San Francisco Police Department for violence prevention — San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee proposed $17.5 million in additional funding Tuesday for the Police Department to spend over the next two years on violence prevention and deescalation practices, including a controversial set-aside for 100 electronic stun guns. San Francisco Chronicle article

San Francisco sheriff responds to complaints of force against journalists – San Francisco Sheriff Vicki Hennessy said Tuesday she wants to change the city’s press credentialing system after four journalists said they were injured while trying to cover a demonstration Friday night inside City Hall. San Francisco Chronicle article

Livingston gets third police horse – The newest member of the Livingston Police Department is a horse of a different color – literally. Sonny, a white police horse, recently joined the department’s mounted patrol, which already includes brown-coated Lobo and Moe. Merced Sun-Star article 

Kern deputy pleads not guilty to charges stemming from two arrests – A Kern County sheriff’s deputy who was arrested twice in two days last week pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges including four felonies. Bakersfield Californian article

Officer involved: LA deputies shot at more moving cars in 2015, despite dangers — Incidents in which L.A. sheriff’s deputies shot into moving vehicles—a practice discouraged as “dangerous” by department policy—spiked in 2015. KPCC report

Nextdoor social site cracks down on fearmongering — After finding itself an unlikely hub for racial fearmongering, the social site says it is transforming into a model of respectful, neighborly conduct. San Francisco Chronicle article


What happens when you look past school test scores? – This week California’s State Board of Education will consider what measures beyond test scores should be included in the state’s new accountability system for public schools. In a shift away from the state’s exclusive reliance on standardized tests, the board is mulling the incorporation of multiple metrics such as suspension and graduation rates in determining how well a school is performing. CALmatters article

Some UC regrets fret that critical state audit resulted in unfair attacks on out-of-state students – University of California regents counseled a measured approach Tuesday in responding to a critical state audit that said UC schools were admitting too many applicants from outside the state, to the detriment of local students. LA Times article

Sacramento lawmaker would expand UC resident enrollment by 30,000 – At a budget subcommittee hearing Tuesday, Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, unveiled a proposal to expand California enrollment at the university by 30,000 students, or 17 percent, over the next six years. The plan would also mandate a reduction of nearly a third – about 10,000 – in the number of nonresidents, bringing them down to 10 percent of undergraduate students. Sacramento Bee article

UC Regents keeping sex harassment discussion secret may violate law, experts say – Students and open-government advocates are crying foul about University of California regents’ plan to close to the public a meeting to discuss sexual harassment and violence on campus, an issue that has roiled the university in recent months. East Bay Times article

Several Davis professors defend Chancellor Katehi at UC regents meeting – University of California regents drew a low turnout Tuesday when they convened their only Sacramento meetings this year, less than two weeks after UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi was suspended pending an ethics investigation. Sacramento Bee article

Policies of zero-tolerance for bullying don’t work, report says – Zero-tolerance policies are ineffective in combating bullying, an independent government advisory group says in urging schools to take a more preventative approach that includes teaching tolerance to address this “serious public health problem.” AP article

SoCal educator approved as new Stockton Unified superintendent – The Stockton Unified School District Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve Dr. Eliseo Davalos, a Stockton native, as the new superintendent of the district on Tuesday night. Stockton Record article

Judge denies Fresno Unified’s motion to dismiss no-bid contract case – A judge has denied Fresno Unified’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit that alleges district leaders signed an illegal $37 million no-bid contract. Fresno Bee article

Crime at California colleges: Shocker at the top – For once, Cal is happy to lose to Stanford. The crime rates among California colleges and universities have been tabulated and the biggest surprise is at the top of the list: yes, Stanford rules. San Francisco Chronicle article

Nan Austin: Reinventing high school takes making it all about the teens – Research and development – long a staple in science and business – has fixed an unblinking eye on education in recent years. And what reformers propose for high schools is a revolution not many districts stand ready to risk. No boredom. More outside work. Every lesson tailored to every student. Modesto Bee article 

Modesto City Schools board checks in with discipline shift, meeting manners – A Modesto City Schools board discussion of existing meeting protocols to manage disruptions drew little comment at a quiet meeting that ended atypically early. Modesto Bee article 

New Hmong program at Fresno State is one of five in U.S. – A new Hmong studies program at Fresno State is one of only five of its kind offered in the country, and the only one on the West Coast. Fresno Bee article

Fresno State hires Oregon State assistant, ex-Iowa star Troy Steiner as wrestling coach – Fresno State has named Oregon State assistant Troy Steiner as the coach of the Bulldogs’ reinstated wrestling program. The hiring was confirmed Tuesday by the university, which is poised to restore the sport after it was dropped in 2006 because of budgetary and Title IX pressures. Fresno Bee article

Math majors take center stage at CSU Stanislaus conference – Math majors at California State University, Stanislaus, took a turn at the podium, presenting papers to their peers. Topics they picked ranged from the intricacies of statistical algorithms to coping with being seen as campus brainiacs. Modesto Bee article 

Avenal High School gets top accreditation – Avenal High School received good news last week that highlighted the school’s work toward student success. The school received a six-year accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges – the highest level of accreditation a school can receive. Hanford Sentinel article

LA Unified’s message to philanthropists: ‘Don’t just invest in charter schools’ – Two Los Angeles Unified School Board members want the district to more aggressively court big funders and outside academic partners to expand district school offerings and win an escalating school choice arms race. KPCC report 

LA Unified turns to magnet schools to stem enrollment and revenue declines — In the face of losing more than 100,000 students since 2000, Los Angeles Unified is turning to magnet schools as a strategy to slow enrollment decline and provide an alternative to independent charter schools, which have nearly doubled in number over the same period, to more than 260.  EdSource article 


Merced Irrigation District board against delays action on project to build power lines – The Merced Irrigation District opted Tuesday to further delay a decision on whether to build 13 miles of power lines, a project that supporters say is needed to promote business growth but that some residents say would create an eyesore in their neighborhood and hurt property values. Merced Sun-Star article 

Katelyn Roedner Sutter and Jose Marin: Electric vehicles growing option for Valley – Sutter, Environmental Justice program manager for Catholic Charities, Diocese of Stockton and Marin, program manager for Valley Clean Air Now, write, “The San Joaquin Valley is starting a shift that will help our economy, our air quality, and our most disadvantaged communities. We want Valley residents to know that electric vehicles are quickly becoming a viable option for all families and can save money while improving air quality.” Sutter and Marin op-ed in Stockton Record

Dan Walters: California PUC’s big scandal over San Onofre closure heats up – The long-simmering scandal in the state Public Utilities Commission over a secret deal to stick ratepayers with most of the costs of shutting down the San Onofre nuclear power plant just got more interesting. Walters column in Sacramento Bee

Gov. Brown signs bill requiring testing before Aliso Canyon gas wells can resume operation – Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed legislation that sets strict rules barring injection of new natural gas into old wells at Aliso Canyon until independent experts determine the operations are safe. LA Times article

Valerie Termini named head of Fish and Game Commission — The California Fish and Game Commission has hired Valerie Termini, a policy adviser at the California Ocean Protection Council, to serve as executive director. San Francisco Chronicle article
Health/Human Services 

Kings human services, health clinics enrolling undocumented children – Beginning May 16, Kings County undocumented children who meet income requirements will be eligible for full Medi-Cal coverage, and health care centers are ready to admit them. Undocumented children are defined by the IRS as entering the U.S. illegally and eligible for deportation. Hanford Sentinel article 

How Kaiser, Blue Shield will seek to limit opioid overdoses — With research indicating that the risk for fatal overdose dramatically increases when people take higher doses of opioids, two of California’s major health players – an HMO and an insurance company – are launching efforts aimed at getting doctors to prescribe the painkillers in smaller amounts. KPCC report

Visalia Medical Clinic gives students first-hand look at medical field — Mt. Whitney freshman Nick Magana aspires to become a sports medicine physician, hopefully for the Denver Broncos football team. On Tuesday, he and 90 of his peers got a first-hand look at what a career in the medical field may look like. Visalia Times-Delta article

Land Use/Housing

Fresno County supervisors put Friant-area study aside for now — The Friant Corridor Study, which has drawn the ire of environmental groups that want the area between the northern edge of Fresno and the town of Friant to remain undeveloped, was placed in limbo Tuesday by Fresno County supervisors. Fresno Bee articleKVPR report

Living in Misery: Fresno Bee journalists chat about special housing reporting project — A new investigative report in the Fresno Bee called “Living in Misery” examines the issue and looks for solutions. Reporters Barbara AndersonBoNhia Lee and Andrea Castillo joined us on Valley Edition to talk about the project. KVPR report

Fresno urges residents to use phone app to report housing problems — The city is trying to make it easier for renters and tenant advocates to report problems and request inspections through the city’s FresGO website and mobile phone app. The website and app went live less than a year ago, and the app was updated last week to allow for reporting vacant or blighted properties requiring enforcement action by the city. Fresno Bee article

Other areas

Kern supervisors put a lid on pot dispensaries – Kern County supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to put a temporary moratorium on new medical marijuana shops in unincorporated areas, giving them time to develop permanent policy. Bakersfield Californian article

San Mateo Bridge limo fire: Ford faces wrongful-death trial in blaze that killed five nurses — The husband of a woman who died three years ago in a horrific limousine fire on the San Mateo Bridge is taking on one of the country’s biggest automakers in a wrongful-death suit, alleging that the Ford Motor Co. knew of dangers in the type of car in which his wife and four others died. San Jose Mercury News article 

Columnist David Brooks urges focus on ‘eulogy’ rather than ‘resume’ — The New York Times political and cultural columnist David Brooks believes American society has perhaps gotten a little big for its britches, having grown over the past half-century into “a more narcissistic culture” that has become “over-politicized and under-moralized.” Fresno Bee article 

Bakersfield bids farewell to Merle Haggard — They came in work shirts, cowboy hats, Wranglers and permanent tans. Suits were scarce and neck ties scarcer still. In many ways it looked like a typical Bakersfield funeral, a common man’s final farewell, but Merle Ronald Haggard, honored at Valley Baptist Church on Tuesday, was a most uncommon common man. Bakersfield Californian article