May 14, 2017


Political Stories

Top stories


Gov. Brown’s budget proposal includes an extra $15 million to help Californians facing deportation — Gov. Jerry Brown has earmarked an extra $15 million in the state’s budget to expand legal defense services for people battling deportation, a move that could be interpreted as a response to the Trump administration’s broadened immigration enforcement orders. LA Times article


Dan Walters: Memo to California pols: Don’t let anti-Trump fury blind you to vital issues — It’s far-fetched for candidates for lesser offices such as lieutenant governor, treasurer, insurance commissioner or superintendent of schools to dwell on Trump, since they would have little or no role to play, unlike the governor or the attorney general. And even the candidates for those two higher offices should be reminded that if elected, they will – or at least should – face myriad issues that have nothing to do with Washington’s current occupiers, but are vital to California. Walters column in Sacramento Bee


John Myers: Here’s how (and why) the state is making a $12-billion pension payment next year — The governor’s newly revised state budget includes an almost $12- billion payment in the coming fiscal year to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS). Part of that amount is mandatory: a $5.8- billion payment required by law to cover retirement promises that were made to workers, in some cases, decades ago.  Myers column in LA Times


State budget


California Politics Podcast: Brown’s revised expectations — This week: We delve into Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised state budget and some of the winners and losers. Plus, we take a look at the unsettled and angry politics for many California congressional Republicans after they voted to repeal Obamacare. With John Myers and Melanie Mason of the Los Angeles Times and Anthony York of the Grizzly Bear Project. California Politics Podcast


Gov. Brown


Jerry Brown on Donald Trump: ‘He doesn’t have the answer’ — Gov. Jerry Brown said in a national TV interview on Saturday that President Trump was able to tap populist anger on the way to victory last fall, but dismissed his ability to do anything with it after taking office. LA Times article


Statewide politics/Ballot Measures


Robin Abcarian: Meet the Malibu lawyer who is upending California’s political system, one town at a time — Kevin Shenkman, who is tall and bookish, does not look like the aspiring light heavyweight boxer he once was. Clearly, though, he still relishes a good fight. For the past several years, Shenkman, 38, who lives and practices law in Malibu, has been suing, or threatening to sue, cities all over Southern California, demanding they change the way they elect members of their city councils in order to increase the numbers of African-American and Latino representatives. Abcarian in LA Times


Presidential Politics


As FBI controversy rages, Trump doubles down on outsider message before a friendly crowd — Seeking respite from the tumult he set off in Washington after firing his FBI director, an embattled President Trump on Saturday spoke before a friendly crowd of tens of thousands at Liberty University, where he lashed out at what he charges are “pathetic” critics and an establishment class trying to undermine him. LA Times article


After a week of self-inflicted chaos, Trump could see long-term costs to his presidency — Besides potential legal problems for Trump and his associates stemming from the investigation, the crisis set off by Comey’s sacking threatens long-term damage to Trump’s presidency — further undermining the White House’s credibility across the board, imperiling the president’s legislative agenda and stunting his ability to attract qualified professionals to serve in an administration already woefully behind in filling top positions. LA Times article


Willie Brown: The man President Trump fears most — Strip away all the spin on why President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, and it comes down to this: Trump did it because he feared him. And believe me, if survival depends on the actions of someone and you cannot control that person, then you make emotional moves. Sometimes for the worse. Brown column in San Francisco Chronicle


The election is over, but Trump can’t seem to get past it – In the small dining room next to the Oval Office where he works much of the time, President Trump keeps a stack of color-coded maps of the United States representing the results of the 2016 election. The counties he won are blotchy red and span most of the nation.  New York Times article


Dan Schnur: Why Kamala Harris should not run in 2020 — A look back at the two presidencies that preceded Trump demonstrate that it is much easier for a rising political star to get to the Oval Office than to succeed there. Schnur column in San Francisco Chronicle


News Stories

Top Stories


Lois Henry: Groundwater repayment coming due early for some valley farmers — Fixing our groundwater deficit will be painful. No way around it. And growers in the massive Semitropic Water Storage District are learning that sooner than most. Henry column in Bakersfield Californian


Who keeps an eye on how Stanislaus County leaders spend new tax? You can, here’s how — Three weeks after a call went out seeking volunteers to keep an eye on spending for a new transportation tax, only four people throughout Stanislaus County have applied.  Modesto Bee article


Jobs and the Economy


Marek Warszawski: For pro soccer to thrive in Fresno, the team needs its own field of dreams.  Where? Downtown — Now that we’ve gotten used to the idea Fresno is getting a pro soccer team, the next step is finding that team a home. That home should be downtown, and I don’t mean Chukchansi Park. Warszawski column in Fresno Bee


Michael Tubbs: Stockton: Time to reinvent – Stockton’s mayor writes, “Reinventing Stockton means having a willingness to take a different approach to solve old problems. We have an opportunity to shape our city for generations to come. I know collectively, there is no challenge our community cannot match. Now, it is time to write the next chapter in our history. We have the opportunity to serve as a model for the nation. It is time to reinvent Stockton!” Tubbs op-ed in Stockton Record


Bakersfield Craft Beer Festival marks fifth year — Five years has changed the craft beer scene in Bakersfield and the Bakersfield Craft Beer Festival has followed that trend. Bakersfield’s first dedicated craft beer festival celebrated those changes with brews, food and picture-perfect weather Saturday at the Cal State Bakersfield amphitheater.  Bakersfield Californian article




‘Lethal arrogance?’ Oroville Dam crisis sprung from Pat Brown’s towering ambition — America’s tallest dam was built from earth, stone and concrete – and the towering ambition of Gov. Pat Brown. Sixty years before a crisis at Oroville Dam sent thousands fleeing for their lives in February, the late governor brought an almost evangelical zeal to erecting the structure that would hold back the Feather River to deliver water to the parched southern half of the state. Sacramento Bee article


Criminal Justice/Prisons


Two of their own die in fiery crash, Stanislaus County Sheriff’s grieving yet again – The Stanislaus County Sheriff and his command staff were in Washington, D.C., on Saturday to pay tribute to a deputy who was killed six months ago in the line of duty when they got word of another tragedy for the department. A sheriff’s deputy and a community service officer were killed in a fiery crash while on their way to a burglary call in south Modesto. Modesto Bee article


Reaching out to help Stockton’s police family – Tracy Jones — wife of Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones — has met with every new officer’s loved ones over the past five years to give them some insight into the challenges ahead. That’s more than 300 officers’ families. Stockton Record article


Escaped inmate from Atwater prison captured, Merced sheriff confirms — A 26-year-old Guatemalan man who somehow managed to escape a maximum security federal prison in Atwater is back in custody, the Merced County sheriff confirmed late Saturday. Merced Sun-Star article


How would Charter Amendment C affect LAPD’s disciplinary system? — The department’s disciplinary process could undergo one of the most significant changes in decades if Los Angeles voters approve Charter Amendment C on Tuesday’s ballot. Here’s a breakdown of the measure. LA Times article




Key UC regent is standing by Napolitano — University of California President Janet Napolitano may be on the hot seat with state lawmakers over the state auditor’s findings that her office had $175 million hidden away — but she is on firm footing with UC’s regents, even after their call to bring in their own auditor to review the state’s assessment. “It’s total nonsense,” Regent Richard Blum, a major financial contributor to UC, said of the Board of Regents-ordered audit. “But if I were still (the board’s) chairman, I might feel the need to do it as well.” San Francisco Chronicle article


Will fund-raising drive save Catholic school from closure? — The superintendent of Catholic schools in Fresno has given a May 31 fund-raising deadline to St. Helen’s Catholic School in order to avoid its closure after it became unable to cover the cost of employee benefits – the minimum a school must do. Fresno Bee article


Merced mother to walk UC Merced graduation stage on Mother’s Day — There was a time when a Merced mother had trouble walking anywhere, but on Mother’s Day, she’ll walk pain-free across the commencement stage at UC Merced. Merced Sun-Star article


Diversity is the watchword – The flurry of last-minute studying for finals behind them, more than 1,500 students tossed the tassle on Saturday, earning degrees from many of the schools and colleges that make up University of the Pacific. Stockton Record article


First to graduate: Fatherhood leads to focus – Armando Uribe once believed he would be dead or be locked away in prison before he would ever graduate from high school. Stockton Record article


Modestan White to head 480,000-member State Student Association — California State University, Stanislaus, graduate student Maggie White has been elected 2017-18 president of the California State Student Association, representing the 480,000 students of the CSU system. Modesto Bee article


Jeff Jardine: This autistic teen, his prom date and a local costume shop combine for a magical night — This one comes with a fairytale feel: two teens going to a high school prom together wearing “Beauty and the Beast” costumes. And at a time when so many people are polarized by politics, worried about their access to healthcare, wondering whether a nutcase in North Korea will start a nuclear war, or even fretting over the Giants’ horrible start to the season, I suspect some folks might appreciate this momentary escape. Jardine column in Modesto Bee


New campus targets hot healthcare jobs: Medical assistants, MRI, ultrasound imaging — Aiming to heal a “quality-skills gap,” a new campus for training medical assistants, ultrasound, X-ray and MRI technnologists made its debut this week in Sacramento County. When it opens for classes in July, Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts, part of a San Mateo-based small chain, will offer certificate and two-year associate degrees. Sacramento Bee article




California rains brought super bloom – and toxic invaders — Nonnative plant species have invaded in full force this spring along with the colorful super bloom of native wildflowers blanketing Southern California due to the rainiest winter in years. Ecologists, park rangers and botanists across the region are mobilizing to confront and pull these pesky invaders from parks and trails. Sacramento Bee article


Health/Human Services


Medical investigator hunts illness, spreads kindness on the streets — Her target has syphilis. He doesn’t know it yet. So Shantell Waldo is hunting for him on the streets of Bakersfield, through the homeless shelters, low-price hotels, old homes and transient hangouts. He needs treatment and she plans to get it to him. That’s her job. And it’s her passion. Bakersfield Californian article


Land Use/Housing


Scarce land in San Francisco forces city to seek creative housing solutions — San Francisco is getting creative in its quest for a scarce commodity: land where it can build affordable housing. An overheated real estate market is forcing city officials and nonprofit housing developers to pursue sites and parcels that have been seen as off-limits because of their current use or an unwilling seller. They include a Muni bus maintenance yard, a Chinatown banquet hall and a parking lot owned by the federal government. San Francisco Chronicle article




Get ready for a new two-way bridge in downtown Fresno — After more than a year of jackhammers, road closures and annoying detours, the Tuolumne Street bridge is getting ready to open. If you have driven by the downtown bridge lately you’ve seen work crews paving or installing lighting. Fresno Bee article


Massive relocation of LAX airline gates off to a smooth start, officials say — Work continued Saturday on a massive reorganization of airline terminals at Los Angeles International Airport, the nation’s second-busiest commercial airport. LA Times article


Other areas


Modesto investigations fault top officer over treatment of female staffers — Modesto’s top information technology official faces accusations of disrespecting two female employees by interrupting one as she spoke and telling her in a raised voice as he pointed at her, “look, honey,” and trying to slap the wrist of the other one on one occasion and poking her in the arm on another. Modesto Bee article


Mike Klocke: Appreciation for 27 great years — My last day at The Record is May 19. My next opportunity and challenge will be as Community Relations Director at University of the Pacific. The Record has given me thousands of memories. But I will leave you with 27 — the number of years I worked for the newspaper built by the Martin family. Klocke column in Stockton Record; Donald W. Blount column in Stockton Record: ‘Moving up one journalistic step’