May 13, 2015


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Political Briefs

Top stories

Dan Walters: Tax break for California’s poor? — The Legislature’s majority Democrats have claimed poverty as this year’s spotlight issue – with good reason.  Walters column in Sacramento Bee

California special interests spent $48.5 million to lobby in first quarter – Local governments, businesses, unions and other special interests reported spending more than $48.5 million on direct state lobbying expenses from January through March, according to first-quarter reports filed earlier this month. Sacramento Bee article

Law enforcement officials look for immigration changes – Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims on Tuesday joined other law enforcement officers at the White House in trying to make an arresting case for comprehensive immigration reform. But with Congress stalled and immediate Capitol Hill progress extremely unlikely, Mims and her uniformed allies know they must aim long. McClatchy Newspapers article

State budget

Sacramento Bee: Brown should borrow from Reagan, adopt tax break for working poor – Long-term measures to help people escape poverty with better education and training are crucial. But an earned-income tax credit is a proven way to help the working poor.  Sacramento Bee editorial

Fred Silva: This is a boom, and it should be treated as a boom – The senior fiscal policy advisor for California Forward writes, “As CA Fwd is highlighting in Boom, Bust, Repeat?, there are certainly ways to avoid these budgetary mistakes of the past—using a portion of what are likely one-time resources this year to hold down future costs, for example, and prepare the budget for the next recession. But the first step is to start with thinking of this year as a boom—some of which will eventually go bust.”  Silva in Fox & Hounds

Valley politics

Valley Edition: Talking politics with John Ellis of The Fresno Bee — This week we take a look at the world of politics with John Ellis of The Fresno Bee. We talk about John’s recent article that suggests how a case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding redistricting in Arizona could shake up local congressional districts, including the hotly contested seat in CA-21 currently held by David Valadao. We also talk about what candidates are already jockeying for position for Assembly and other races throughout the regions. KVPR report

Stockton mayoral race: Villapudua officially declares candidacy — Saying his focus will be on public safety, jobs and education, Carlos Villapudua made it official Monday night, launching his 2016 mayoral campaign as he heads into his final 11Ž2 years as a San Joaquin County supervisor.  Stockton Record article

Stockton police union chief responds to charges — Sgt. Kathryn Nance responded strongly Tuesday to a letter written by Sgt. Bill Hutto, vice president of the Stockton Police Officers’ Association, questioning whether she should continue to serve as president of the SPOA while running for political office. Stockton Record article

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

Loretta Sanchez campaign changes course, says she hasn’t decided to run – A campaign consultant working with Rep. Loretta Sanchez said an email to supporters informing them of a Thursday U.S. Senate announcement was sent inadvertently. Capitol Alert; LA Times article; AP article

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff declines U.S. Senate run — Rep. Adam Schiff said Tuesday that he will not run for the U.S. Senate seat coming open next year with the departure of fellow Democrat Barbara Boxer. Capitol Alert; LA Time article


If migrant kids leave detention, moms would stay behind, Justice Department says – Federal officials are threatening to split up mothers and children if they’re forced to dismantle three family detention centers holding nearly 1,000 migrant women and children, most of whom said they fled violence in Central America. McClatchy Newspapers article

LA County ends contract with ICE, then Oks future collaboration – Los Angeles County supervisors voted Tuesday to end a controversial program that places immigration agents inside county jails to determine whether inmates are deportable. LA Times article

New federal effort to deport criminal immigrants draws local skepticism — As the Obama administration prepares to alter how it enforces immigration laws, top officials have been conducting weeks of shuttle diplomacy, touring the country to try to reenlist police chiefs and mayors in the cause of deporting people convicted of crimes. LA Times article

Thousands of young immigrant in limbo, losing work permits — Thousands of undocumented people gained work permits in 2012 as part of an Obama administration effort to shield young people from deportation. Now, as it comes time to renew their paperwork some of these same immigrants- known as “dreamers”- are losing the chance to work legally in the states. Fm89’s Diana Aguilera reports how some people in the Central Valley are left in limbo. KVPR report

Other areas

Sacramento Bee: Senators should approve vaccine bill — A bill to significantly strengthen vaccine requirements for California schoolchildren is heading for the full Senate, and could come up with a vote as soon as Thursday. Responsible lawmakers should vote yes.  Sacramento Bee editorial

Assembly committee rejects another soda tax bill – The Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday rejected the latest effort by health groups to impose taxes on sugar-flavored soft drinks and other beverages to fight what was described as an epidemic of diabetes. Sacramento Bee article; LA Times article

Joe Mathews: The best revenge is giving the press your calendars – Many in the press and the government accountability world see the right to read politicians’ calendars as an example of democracy and free information. I see it as punishment. Mathews in Fox & Hounds

Disabled access reform sidetracked – State Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, D-Stockton, has taken her disability access reform legislation out of immediate consideration for this year, hoping to build support for possible passage next year. Stockton Record article; Galgiani op-ed in Stockton Record

House bill targets NSA’s power to hold phone data — The House is poised to pass a bipartisan bill Wednesday intended to dial back the once-secret National Security Agency program that collects and stores Americans’ telephone data and that a federal appeals court has ruled is illegal. LA Times article

Kevin de León called about job for daughter at nonprofit he helped with bill – State Sen. Kevin de León’s daughter landed a job last year with an organization whose proposal he was shepherding through the Legislature after he called the group on her behalf. LA Times article

Effort underway to remove ‘lynching’ from penal code – The term “lynching” is generally associated with brutal mob killings of African-Americans. But in California, it’s legally defined as taking a person from the lawful custody of a peace officer during a riot. That led to recent lynching charges against a Sacramento African-American woman who tried to pull friends away from police during a protest. Democratic state Senator Holly Mitchell has authored a bill that would eliminate the word “lynching” from the California Penal Code. Capital Public Radio report

Boxer, Feinstein help block Obama’s big trade initiative – California’s two Democratic senators helped block President Obama’s big trade initiative Tuesday, dealing a stunning blow to their own party leader and his rare alliance with the new Senate Republican majority. San Francisco Chronicle article

Robin Abcarian: Carly Fiorina’s imaginary race against Hillary Clinton – Finally, the Republican Party is fielding a woman who is up to the challenge of running for president. Unfortunately, she seems to have forgotten there’s a primary going on right now. She has skipped over all that, and is waging her own general election against presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton. Abcarian column in LA Times

Commentary: Too many ‘firsts’ when talking about women running for president — Is America ready to elect a woman to the Presidency? In this edition of The Moral Is, Communication Professor Diane Blair argues that how we talk about women’s presidential candidacies emphasizes their novelty in the presidential political arena and belittles the long legacy of the women’s political leadership and accomplishments. KVPR report

California Government Today:

Senate Daily File

Assembly Daily File

News Briefs

Top Stories

Mike Dunbar: UC Merced chancellor unveils ambitious plans for future growth – It took a decade for UC Merced to grow from 875 students in 2004 to the 6,200 students who attend the campus beyond the edge of Merced today. If Chancellor Dorothy Leland has her way, and she very likely will, it should take only four years for the campus to more than double its footprint.Dunbar column in Modesto Bee

California urban water cuts are a matter of ‘self-interest,’ state says – Facing resistance to sweeping mandatory restrictions approved last week for urban water districts, California water board Chair Felicia Marcus defended the cuts as a matter of “self-interest” at a Senate hearing on Tuesday. Sacramento Bee article

Jobs and the Economy

Merced City Council to review proposed budget – Public safety is likely to be center stage on Wednesday, when Merced City Council starts to peel back the layers of the budget. City Manager John Bramble is proposing a $201 million budget, which would be a 3 percent increase from last year. The general fund has grown by 4 percent to $35.8 million, according to the budget. The budget calls for a number of new positions, including additions to the city’s Economic Development Department, Parks and Recreation Department and public safety. Merced Sun-Star article

Fresno Bee: Take a bow, Fresno, for outlasting tough times – This budget reflects Fresno’s rebounding economy and the fact that Mayor Ashley Swearengin — in concert with the City Council and residents — has done an outstanding job of navigating the city through difficult financial times that, at one point, included a threat of municipal bankruptcy.  Fresno Bee editorial

Community members on Fresno’s parks budget: It’s not enough Concerned community members, local nonprofit leaders and a group of young kids wearing bright pink soccer uniforms filled folding chairs set up inside Grace United Methodist Church in southeast Fresno on Tuesday night to raise a call to action for more parks and greenspace. Fresno Bee article

CalPERS wins ruling in San Bernardino bankruptcy – Government pensions in California have withstood another fierce challenge in bankruptcy court. A bankruptcy judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by two disgruntled bond creditors challenging the city of San Bernardino’s decision to make its pension payments in full to CalPERS.  Sacramento Bee article

Fresno housing affordability remains steady in first quarter of this year – Home affordability remained even in the central San Joaquin Valley during the first quarter of the year compared to the end of last year as interest rates stayed low and home prices stabilized. Fresno Bee article

LA minimum wage up for discussion; business group says issue rushed – Los Angeles lawmakers are expected to take up the question of increasing the citywide minimum wage at a special hearing Wednesday afternoon that could begin the final process of hammering out crucial details of the hotly contested plan.  LA Times article

Only 12 percent of San Francisco households can afford median-priced home – Homes in the Bay Area got slightly more affordable in the first quarter compared to the fourth quarter of last year, mainly because of lower interest rates and slightly higher incomes. Even so, less than a quarter of households could theoretically afford to buy a median-priced home, according to a California Association of Realtors study released Tuesday.  San Francisco Chronicle article

ACLU calls for investigation of gender discrimination in Hollywood — The organization on Tuesday called on state and federal agencies to investigate gender discrimination at major Hollywood studios, networks and talent agencies, contending that “women are systematically excluded from or underemployed in directing jobs.” LA Times article

Fresno gas prices rising, and California average tops nation – A spike in gas prices has pushed California prices to the highest in the nation, with the average price in Fresno climbing 52 cents in the last month. Prices in Fresno now average $3.61 for a gallon of unleaded, according to AAA of Northern California. Prices in the Visalia-Tulare-Porterville area rose 48 cents in the last month to an average $3.55. Fresno Bee article; Sacramento Bee article

Company to renovate Fresno’s Manchester Mall – A new company is preparing to renovate Fresno’s nearly dead Manchester Mall. Omninet is asking the city for a small section of land to increase the appeal of the struggling shopping center.  KVPR report

Visalia may qualify for $10 million grant – At a projected cost of more than $141 million, upgrades to the Visalia Water Conservation Plan is the costliest public works project in the city’s history. So it was welcome news when city leaders were told on Monday that the city likely will be eligible to receive up to $10 million in state grant money to offset some of the costs because additional money that may be available from Proposition 1.  Visalia Times-Delta article

State Sen. Bob Hertzberg: Traffic fines fund the courts, prey on poor – The Van Nuys Democrat writes, “Whether it’s a broken taillight or late car registration, we all know the deal: pay up. Monetary penalties are embedded in our system of justice. But we’re not telling the truth about fines and penalties. In California, Ferguson, Mo., and across America, penalties are no longer deterrents, but a primary source of government funding.”  Hertzberg op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Pre-wedding planning business launches in Fresno — Rae Pardini is what you might call a veteran bridesmaid. She’s been in that role seven times, twice as a maid of honor. So with her personal experience and professional background — she’s an event planner, and marketing and public relations specialist — Pardini launched a new personal services company: hooRAE.  Fresno Bee article

House passes bill to make police death benefits tax-free – Death benefits for the families of fallen police officers would not be subject to federal income tax under a bill passed by the House Tuesday as part of National Police Week. AP article

LA County considers giving edge to contractors hiring ex-offenders – Los Angeles County supervisors agreed Tuesday to consider giving an edge on county contracts to companies that hire former jail or prison inmates. LA Times article

Gov. Brown fast-tracks Warriors arena deal – Gov. Jerry Brown’s office just quietly certified that the Warriors arena has met the environmental benchmarks it needs to be exempted from open-ended legal challenges.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Proposed staff increase for Mayor Johnson sparks debate at council meeting – A routine review of the proposed city budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year was punctured Tuesday night by a fiery exchange between two Sacramento City Council members over five new positions that would bolster the mayor’s staff and increase his spending by 70 percent. Sacramento Bee article

Airbnb crackdown: Santa Monica leads short-term rental backlash — Santa Monica’s City Council voted quickly and unanimously Tuesday night to enact some of the nation’s strictest regulations on the booming short-term rental industry. LA Times article

Egg, turkey meat prices begin to rise as bird flu spreads — Prices for eggs and turkey meat are rising as an outbreak of bird flu in the Midwest claims an increasing number of chickens and turkeys. Market experts say grocery stores and wholesalers are trying to stock up on eggs, but there’s no need to worry about having enough turkeys for Thanksgiving. AP article


Water flows freely in drought-resistant farm towns of Southern California – for now – Thanks to so-called first-in-time federal agreements established nearly 100 years ago, Imperial County drinks up the lion’s share of Colorado River water that flows into Southern California, buffering it from much of the drought anxiety gripping the rest of the state. KQED report

You know it’s bad when officials suggest watering lawns with washing machine water – Kern County has a water-saving tip for all you crafty people out there. You can divert the water from your washing machine into your landscaping to help keep plants alive as watering restrictions hit in the city of Bakersfield. County supervisors, on Tuesday, ordered staff to promote the idea to the public. Bakersfield Californian article

Drought update: Dry wells, debate over water cutbacks – With Californians increasing efforts to deal with the drought, lawmakers got an update Tuesday on exactly how bad things are and heard little to cheer them. LA Times article

New details emerge about San Jose’s mandatory rationing program – Think of it like a diet. Or a household budget. Only for water. But instead of counting calories or pennies, hundreds of thousands of Silicon Valley residents are soon going to have to learn how to read their water meters and keep weekly records of their water use if they want to avoid fines under the region’s strict new water-rationing rules. San Jose Mercury News article

UC Merced expert: Forest thinning could free up water, reduce fire risk — Forest managers throughout California say that thinning forests to a more natural state is a good way to reduce the severity of wildfires. Now scientists suggest that it also could offer help in saving water in the drought.  KVPR report

Drought may mean the end for some native fish – The Delta smelt, the small fish that is often at the center of California’s water wars, is likely headed toward extinction. Capital Public Radio report

California golf courses tee up water-saving measures amid drought – Pressed by the four-year dry spell and state-mandated water cuts, some of the finest courses in California are taking such steps as tearing out the grass in places where it won’t affect the game, planting drought-resistant vegetation, letting the turf turn brown in spots and installing smart watering systems. AP article

Few seem to mourn street medians’ slow death – Under sweeping drought rules adopted last week, cities and towns are now barred from using drinking water on the ornamental turf on medians, portending a slow death for these ribbons of green. And, truth be told: Nobody seems to care. The median, it seems, will not be the drought’s Gettysburg. San Francisco Chronicle article

Modesto goofed in Del Rio well process, judge says – Modesto City Hall three years ago violated constitutional rights of some ranchette owners north of town by failing to notify them of a City Council hearing potentially affecting their properties, a judge said Monday in a tentative ruling. However, it appears the city will push forward with plans for a well serving the exclusive Del Rio community a half-mile away.  Modesto Bee article

Water district found itself drowning in steep legal fees — Facing a lawsuit from cities over its pumping rates, the Water Replenishment District of Southern California called in the big guns. Latham & Watkins LLP — a blue-chip, international law firm with more than 2,000 lawyers – would be the “bazooka” the agency needed, director Albert Robles said. LA Times article

Raw almonds might not be as ‘raw’ as you think — When you’re talking about raw almonds the product may not be quite what you think. All California almonds, which would be virtually all the nuts in the country, are either heat-pasteurized, or sprayed with a fumigant. The processes are intended to prevent food-borne illness. But, some almond aficionados say the treatments change the flavor, and mislead consumers. Capital Public Radio report

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Lemoore announces new policing team — The Lemoore Police Department has announced the implementation of a Problem Oriented Policing Team aimed at tackling specific quality of life issues within the city. The new unit will be responsible for identifying a range of community problems and working on developing solutions to those problems. Hanford Sentinel article

Bakersfield police memorialize their fallen — With the number of peace officers killed in the line of duty rising nationwide after a decline last year, about 200 first responders remembered Bakersfield Police Department’s fallen at a short, somber ceremony Tuesday morning outside its headquarters. Bakersfield Californian article

Officers accused in San Francisco Police Department text scandal ask judge to stop disciplinary proceedings — One of the officers facing termination for sending some of the racist, anti-gay and sexist text messages that have mired the San Francisco Police Department in scandal since mid-March is leading a legal charge to keep his job and those of nine others. KQED report; San Francisco Chronicle article

Lois Henry: Figure in ‘satanic molestation’ case still hopes for justice — I finally got around to reading the Kern County District Attorney’s opposition to a man’s attempt to withdraw his plea from the most notorious molestation ring case of the 1980s. I’m not surprised by the DA’s arguments, just a little exasperated. Henry column in Bakersfield Californian


Fresno State student overcomes parents’ death and learning disability to earn diploma — Jazzman Hester can see clear around the corner now. It took seven years, a shot at three different majors, a year off from school when her grades tanked, and a discovery that she has a learning disability. But at long last, the 25-year-old will earn her bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Fresno State on Saturday and plans to walk at the university’s spring commencement ceremony at Save Mart Center this weekend. Fresno Bee article

Merced Matters: Local woman passionate about higher education for local youth – UC Merced this week will hold its 10th graduating ceremonies, which will feature at least one homegrown scholar who has worked to help others better themselves through education. Merced Sun-Star article

Head Start may have new grantee – After weeks of speculation, San Joaquin County’s Head Start program may finally have its new grantee. The Head Start Child Development Council, Inc. posted on its website last Friday an announcement from the county Human Services Agency stating the San Joaquin County Office of Education and Community Action Partnership of Kern are in negotiations with the Federal Office of Head Start to become Head Start’s new grantee for fiscal year 2015-16. Stockton Record article

One under-fire trustee in Manteca resigns – Alexander Bronson, one of the two Manteca Unified School Board trustees accused of using false addresses to get elected, has resigned.Stockton Record article

SECA ranked as one of nation’s best – Stockton Unified School District made history Tuesday morning, receiving an award as bright as a gold medal. Stockton Early College Academy earned a gold ranking as one of the best high schools as far as college readiness, according to the U.S. News and World Reports rankings. Stockton Record article

UC Berkeley: Bittman video series, ‘California Matters,’ now on the menu — Food writer, author and New York Times columnist Mark Bittman has teamed with the University of California and the campus’s Berkeley Food Institute — where he’s currently a distinguished visiting fellow — on a video series focused on food-related research that launched earlier this week.  UC Berkeley website

Debate over LA Unified graduation standards is postponed – The Los Angeles Board of Education on Tuesday postponed action on new college prep requirements that could deny diplomas to thousands of students. LA Times article

Families sue Roseville school district alleging abuse of special education students – Two families have filed suit alleging that a Roseville City School District special education teacher abused their children, ages 3 and 4, and that the district failed to tell parents about the abuse despite firing the teacher and calling police. Sacramento Bee article

Controversy at UC San Diego over nudity in visual arts class — For the last 11 years, professor Ricardo Dominguez has taught a course at UC San Diego titled Visual Arts 104A: Performing the Self. As part of the final exam, students are asked to make a nude “gesture” in front of the class in a darkened room. LA Times article


House votes to block EPA regulation of streams, wetlands – House Republicans on Tuesday voted to block government rules that would clarify which streams, tributaries and wetlands should be protected from pollution and development under theClean Water Act. AP article

Oil industry challenges rules meant to stop train explosions — The U.S. oil industry has filed a court challenge to new rules aimed at reducing the risk of catastrophic accidents involving crude moved by rail, following a string of fiery derailments in recent years. AP article

Taft trucking company agrees to record fine under 2012 diesel rule — Air quality violations have cost a Taft trucking company a half-million dollars — the largest settlement amount under a landmark diesel rule the industry says has hammered all but the largest operators since the regulation took effect in 2012.  Bakersfield Californian article

Emails show UCLA, CPUC dealmaking — Former California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey filed a public notice disclosing an email he received from UCLA regarding grants for greenhouse gas research. What he didn’t disclose was his own reply, which indicates ongoing behind-the-scenes maneuvering involving Peevey, Commissioner Michel Florio and university faculty. U-T San Diego article

Health/Human Services

Amid slower growth, California’s Obamacare exchange cuts proposed spending – After using most of $1 billion in federal start-up money, California’s Obamacare exchange is preparing to go on a diet. That financial reality is reflected in Covered California’s proposed budget, to be released Wednesday, as well as a reduced forecast calling for 2016 enrollment of fewer than 1.5 million people. LA Times article

FDA proposes letting gay men donate blood, with some caveats – In a move that has been anticipated for months, the FDA released draft regulations that would eliminate the blanket ban on donor blood from any man who has had sex with another man at least once since 1977. Instead, such men would be allowed to donate blood as long as they are healthy and have not had same-sex relations for at least one year. LA Times article

Carmela Castellano-Garcia: Let’s fill gaps in state’s health care system – The president and CEO of California Primary Care Association writes, “The shortage of primary care providers is growing, and insured patients still face significant barriers to care. Our health care systems are in transition, trapped between the past and the future, and we still don’t have enough clinics and health centers. Our work is not done.” Castellano-Garcia op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Gadke returns to medical center board — Laura Gadke is back with the Tulare Regional Medical Center Board of Directors, replacing Rosalinda Avita, the opponent she lost an election race to a little more than two years ago. Visalia Times-Delta article

Land Use/Housing

New director to focus on Stockton general plan – David Kwong, whose résumé includes a seven-year stint as an associate planner for Stockton, will replace retired Community Development Director Steve Chase, City Manager Kurt Wilson has announced. Stockton Record article

Pro-chicken supporters speak out in Visalia — After more than a dozen people offered arguments for and against lifting Visalia’s prohibition against raising chickens in residential areas, the city’s Planning Commission voted Monday night against recommending the change — at least in its current form. Visalia Times-Delta article


Five construction teams invited to bid for next high-speed rail contract in Valley – Five teams of contractors will be invited later this month to compete for a contract to design and build the third segment of a high-speed rail route through the San Joaquin Valley. Fresno Bee article

Wrong-way freeway crashes send state officials scrambling for answers – The crashes have been as bizarre and nightmarish as they have been catastrophic. Four times this year, wrong-way drivers on Sacramento-area freeways have plowed head-on into other vehicles – each time at night –taking 14 lives and leaving highway safety officials scurrying for answers. Alcohol was involved in at least two of the cases, officials said. Sacramento Bee article

Humans at fault in self-driving car crashes — The riskiest thing about self-driving vehicles may turn out to be human drivers. Four of the nearly 50 self-driving cars undergoing tests on California roads since September, when the state began issuing permits to auto companies, have crashed. But the cars, three owned by Google and one by Delphi, were in collisions caused by human error.  LA Times article

Consumer group:  Self-driving cars need steering wheels, too — As companies from Google to Tesla Motors race to develop self-driving cars, the nonprofit group Consumer Watchdog has a helpful suggestion: Don’t leave out the steering wheel. Or the brake pedal.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Marcos Breton: Drawing a line with cyclists and sidewalks — The Sacramento City Council is weighing the issue of fines for cyclists who ride on sidewalks where it’s prohibited. Breton column in Sacramento Bee

Other areas

Modesto may keep red-light cameras for 5 more years – Modesto’s four red-light cameras – which have been around for about a decade – may stay on for five more years, and the city might put cameras at more intersections. Modesto Bee article

Fresno County supervisors approve $159,000 in marijuana fines — Fresno County supervisors issued $159,000 in medical marijuana cultivation fines Tuesday and supported the appeal of a man who was initially fined but whose property ownership in question. Fresno Bee article

Modesto puts temporary hold on new massage parlors – Modesto has temporarily banned new massage parlors from opening and existing ones from expanding or relocating as it develops an ordinance to deal with those establishments that operate as a front for prostitution and human trafficking. Modesto Bee article

Hanford men’s shelter losing 14 of its 20 beds – Hanford’s Christian-inspired shelter for homeless men will lose 14 of its 20-bed capacity when a federal grant expires May 31, several members of the Board of Directors of Andy’s House said Monday.  Hanford Sentinel article

Homelessness on the rise in Kings County — Kings County’s homeless population has increased by about 30 percent over the past year, and a shortage of housing programs could be to blame.  Hanford Sentinel article

Steve Lopez: No excuse for LA’s surging homeless population – Enough is enough. I’d like to see someone step up and take charge. And here’s the speech I’d like to hear shouted from the podium by the mayor or any of our so-called leaders. Lopez column in LA Times

As homelessness increases in LA, temporary housing disappears – Monday’s surprise announcement that the number of homeless counted in Los Angeles County’s bi-annual census is growing highlights a shift in policy: a decrease in temporary housing meant to help the homeless get their lives together before moving into permanent homes. KPCC report

Oakland puts off acting on controversial surveillance system – Activists are keeping an eye on Oakland as city officials grapple with new proposed restrictions for the Domain Awareness Center, a controversial surveillance system at the city’s port.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Changes may come to Stockton mayor’s salary-setting process – A citizen’s commission reviewing Stockton’s charter may recommend changes in the future to the process that appears certain to result in a 30-percent pay cut for Mayor Anthony Silva starting July 1. Stockton Record article

Public nudity ban OK’d by Sacramento committee – Walking naked along Sacramento streets may soon be outlawed, as Sacramento officials on Tuesday advanced an amendment to the city’s public nudity ordinance. Sacramento Bee article

Fresno Bee’s Hannah Furfaro wins Gruner journalism honor – Hannah Furfaro, The Fresno Bee’s education reporter, was honored for her coverage of career technical education efforts in the Valley at the 27th annual George F. Gruner Prizes for Meritorious Public Service in Journalism competition. Fresno Bee article

Merced Sun-Star collects top journalism honors — The Merced Sun-Star captured top honors over the weekend and was named the best newspaper in the state in its size category by the California Newspaper Publishers Association. Merced Sun-Star article

Losing our religion: Report shows spike in Californians shunning church More than one in four California adults say they have no religion, a sharp rise from just a few years ago, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center. The state is at the vanguard of a national trend: The proportion of Americans unaffiliated with any faith rose from 16 percent in 2007 to 23 percent in 2014. Sacramento Bee article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – This budget reflects Fresno’s rebounding economy and the fact that Mayor Ashley Swearengin — in concert with the City Council and residents — has done an outstanding job of navigating the city through difficult financial times that, at one point, included a threat of municipal bankruptcy.

Merced Sun-Star – Long-term measures to help people escape poverty with better education and training are crucial. But an earned-income tax credit is a proven way to help the working poor.

Modesto Bee – Long-term measures to help people escape poverty with better education and training are crucial. But an earned-income tax credit is a proven way to help the working poor; If Hughson Mayor Matthew Beekman is ousted from LAFCO, shame on other mayors.

Sacramento Bee – Long-term measures to help people escape poverty with better education and training are crucial. But an earned-income tax credit is a proven way to help the working poor; A bill to significantly strengthen vaccine requirements for California schoolchildren is heading for the full Senate, and could come up with a vote as soon as Thursday. Responsible lawmakers should vote yes.

Stockton RecordLodi shines as Amgen Tour race host.