May 5, 2015


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Political Briefs

Top stories

 Healthcare for those in U.S. illegally could cost California $740 million a year — Extending state-subsidized healthcare coverage to people in the country illegally could cost California as much as $740 million annually, according to a Senate fiscal analysis released Monday. LA Times article; Capital Public Radio report

 Dan Walters: California’s teacher, police unions beat up on bills they dislike – The Capitol’s big guns came out last week – and they were aimed at a 66-year-old grandmother who dared to buck two of California’s most powerful political interests – teacher and cop unions.  Walters column in Sacramento Bee


Valley politics

 Visalia council delays choice of election district boundaries — The Visalia City Council held a public hearing Monday about boundaries of council districts when the city switches next year from at-large to district elections, but stopped short of choosing a final map until the next regular meeting of May 11. Fresno Bee article; Visalia Times-Delta article

 Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

Gavin Newsom could be key to pot legalization initiative – Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a candidate for governor in 2018, recognizes his support for legalizing recreational marijuana could backfire on him personally. But as activists prepare a draft legalization initiative for next year’s ballot, it’s Newsom who now appears to have much of the political leverage.  Sacramento Bee article

 Joel Fox: You thought only tax increases would be on the 2016 ballot — For months the assumption in Sacramento was that at least one and possibly more tax increase measures would find their way on the 2016 General Election ballot by initiative. The litany of possible tax increases just might have to move over to make room for a tax cut on the same ballot. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association has filed an initiative to increase the homeowner’s property tax exemption along with a comparable increase in the renter’s credit.  Fox in Fox & Hounds

 Mark Baldassare: Automatic voter registration is no panacea for low turnout – The president and CEO of the Public Policy Institute of California writes, “There’s no question that such a system would swell California’s voter rolls. But would it significantly increase turnout? That’s much less clear.”  Baldassare op-ed in Sacramento Bee


 California health care bill for illegal immigrants on hold — Closely watched California legislation that would extend free or low-cost health care coverage to immigrants who are in the country illegally is on hold until month’s end, when it will either be moved to the full Senate for a vote or shelved.  Contra Costa Times article


Other areas


California Assembly passes bill to ditch ‘Redskins’ mascots – A handful of California high schools would need to ditch their “Redskins” mascots under legislation that passed the state Assembly on Monday.  Sacramento Bee article; San Francisco Chronicle article; AP article


California Assembly votes to stop e-cigarette sales to minors — The state Assembly on Monday acted to plug a loophole in the law prohibiting the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors by extending the ban to include devices that don’t include nicotine cartridges.  LA Times article

 John Ambrose: Raise cigarette taxes and end the tobacco menace – The fellow of the American College of Cardiology writes, “The easiest method for significantly reducing these serious diseases that are tobacco-related would be to make cigarettes, over time, economically unaffordable with tax increases on tobacco.”  Ambrose op-ed in Fresno Bee

Marriage plaintiffs in San Francisco – How does it feel to watch the nation’s highest court debate whether your home state, which you may not have chosen voluntarily, has to recognize your marriage? And to hear some of the justices ask whether recognizing same-sex marriage would also require a state to grant legal status to polygamy or the out-of-state wedding of a 12-year-old girl? San Francisco Chronicle article

 John Myers: Did Carly Fiorina’s 2010 defeat in California leave a lasting lesson for 2016? – For a political candidate with a rough-and-tumble reputation, Carly Fiorina’s announcement of a run for the nation’s highest office was notable for its setting: The more subdued world of a network morning show.  Myers in KQED

Carly Fiorina fails to register website, gets whacked — Newly announced Republican presidential contender Carly Fiorina may have once led a tech giant, but that didn’t prevent her fledgling campaign from making a tech oops. Fiorina’s campaign apparently neglected to register the domain — but someone else did and that person is hammering the former Hewlett-Packard chief on the number of layoffs she oversaw during her tenure at the company.  McClatchy Newspapers article

 Carly Fiorina’s Silicon Valley story could boost or bust her presidential bid — Carly Fiorina is as close as it gets to a Silicon Valley candidate for president. So why did the former Hewlett-Packard CEO move 2,400 miles across the country to leave her California story behind?  Contra Costa Times article

 Obama talks race relations, retirement with David Letterman — President Obama insisted that race relations have improved during his presidency despite a series of flashpoints like recent riots in Baltimore. LA Times article; AP article

 Tom Fife: What’s the point again about Baltimore? — Isn’t Baltimore a perfect example of a bad situation made much worse by leftwing radicals? Fife column in Visalia Times-Delta

 Joe Altschule: There are still wrongs that need to be fixed — The events in Baltimore and Ferguson, Mo., and elsewhere which have recently played out with alarming frequency show us a problem that means we have to take serious and prompt steps to fix abusive behavior toward any citizen, to fix racism wherever it exists, to fix institutions that flaunt, ignore, or break the law and to see to it that those fixes are permanent and don’t reoccur. Altschule column in Visalia Times-Delta


California Government Today:

Senate Daily File

Assembly Daily File

News Briefs

Top Stories

 Fresno’s proposed city budget calls for more police, firefighters — More cops, another fire truck company, better parks and a growing reserve highlight Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin’s new budget. Hard to believe this is the same Fresno that was careening toward bankruptcy just two years ago. Fresno Bee article; KVPR report

 Water bans, conservation mandates on tap for regulators – Residents and businesses across California would be forced to slash their water use under unprecedented drought restrictions regulators will take up Tuesday. AP article


Jobs and the Economy

 Michael Fitzgerald: 6,999 new Stocktonians — Stockton added just shy of 7,000 new residents to its population over the last year, according to new Department of Finance figures. A population increase of 2.4 percent. This means various things, such as more demand for city services, more stress on city infrastructure and upward pressure on home prices. Fitzgerald blog in Stockton Record

 Clovis led Valley cities in growth during 2014, state says – Clovis was one of California’s fastest-growing cities in 2014, with a growth rate that beat all but two other cities with more than 100,000 residents, according to state Department of Finance estimates. Clovis now has a population of 104,339, making it the 67th largest among California’s 482 cities. Clovis’ growth rate was 2.4%. The only cities with more than 100,000 residents growing at a faster rate were Irvine and Temecula, both in Southern California. Fresno Bee article

 James Fallows: Can cars save downtown Fresno? – Fresno, California prepares to rip up its landmark pedestrian mall and replace it with a street. Fallows in The Atlantic

Downtown Neighborhood Association meets, shares ideas in Merced — The Downtown Neighborhood Association held a kickoff event last week to start to talk about ideas for revitalizing Merced’s historic city blocks. Merced Sun-Star article

 Kelly Bearden: Small businesses continue to drive the American economy – The director of the Small Business Development Center at CSU Bakersfield writes, “The SBDC network is considered to be the largest provider of technical assistance for small businesses in the state and nation. In California alone, the centers are estimated to have provided free one-on-one consulting and low-cost workshops to about 60,000 small businesses in 2014. Why is this important? Historically small businesses create about two-thirds of the nation’s net new jobs. They employ about half of the U.S. private-sector workers. They are considered the engines for innovation and economic stability.” Bakersfield Californian article


Modesto getting update on risk assessment – The Modesto City Council on Tuesday is expected to hear from its auditor regarding a risk assessment of the city’s operations and to hold a workshop after the meeting to discuss, among other topics, its initiative to strengthen neighborhoods.  Modesto Bee article


Sacramento Bee: Sacramento region can show it is the most generous place in the nation – Of all the national rankings that come along, this is one the Sacramento region can be really proud of: Last year, the first Big Day of Giving raised more than $3 million for nearly 400 nonprofits, the second-highest total in the country, behind only Sarasota County in Florida.Sacramento Bee editorial

State court aids unsuccessful plaintiffs in discrimination suits — Californians who sue unsuccessfully for discrimination can’t be penalized with orders to pay their employer’s or landlord’s legal costs unless their suit was obviously baseless, the state Supreme Court ruled Monday. San Francisco Chronicle article

 Mayor Ed Lee unveils $1 billion transportation budget — After years of underinvestment, neglected maintenance and service cuts, things are looking up for Muni — at least financially. Mayor Ed Lee said Monday that the Municipal Transportation Agency’s budget will get a $48.1 million boost for the coming fiscal year — it will hit $1 billion for the first time. San Francisco Chronicle article

 Highest court backs law requiring rest, meal breaks for truckers – The U.S. Supreme Court rejected challenges by trucking companies Monday to a century-old California law entitling thousands of truck drivers to meal breaks and rest periods.  San Francisco Chronicle article

 New Southland port trucking firm starts up with employee drivers – The owners of a trucking firm targeted by the Teamsters union have launched a company with employee drivers, giving the union and drivers a win in their effort to classify truckers who serve the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports as employees, rather than independent contractors.  LA Times article

 LA pushing regulators to legalize ride-sharing services at LAX – More than a year after airport police began cracking down on ride-hailing services picking up passengers in the terminal area, Los Angeles city officials are pushing regulators to legalize Uber and Lyft. In his recent State of the City speech, Mayor Eric Garcetti promised that travelers would be able to hail a ride “by the summer.” LA Times article

 LA sues Wells Fargo, alleging ‘unlawful and fraudulent conduct’ — Rigid sales quotas at Wells Fargo Bank have driven employees to open unauthorized accounts for customers, sticking them with bogus fees and damaging their credit, according to a city of Los Angeles lawsuit that echoes a Times investigation. LA Times article



 Mapping the drought: How much water must your community save? – California water officials are expected to sign off on first-ever water cuts this week. The plan calls for communities to reduce their water use a specific amount between 8 percent and 36 percent, compared to 2013 consumption, as spelled out in the map above. Places that have historically used more water are targeted for deeper cuts.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Earth Log: Why does drought make Valley’s dirty air worse? – There’s little doubt California’s problem gets worse in drought, as the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District has been saying for a while now. The problem is pretty obvious with specks of soot, dust, chemicals and moisture — microscopic debris called PM-25. Why? Because drought conditions tend to turn the air stagnant, allowing pollution to build in the atmosphere. Fresno Bee article

 California water-saving targets are all over the map – Local water agencies are racing to get programs in place to cut urban water use anywhere from eight to 36 percent, depending on how much water their residents have been using on a per-capita basis. But the actual savings that cities will have to achieve vary much more widely than that range ofstate-assigned “tiers” would suggest. Just as important are the savings achieved over roughly the past year.  KQED report

Allan Zaremberg and Robbie Hunter: There’s no time to waste on Gov. Brown’s Delta plan – Zaremberg, president of the California Chamber of Commerce, and Hunter, president of the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California, write, “There’s no time to waste. We need to move forward with the governor’s plan to secure our limited water supply now and into the future.”  Zaremberg/Hunter op-ed in Sacramento Bee

 Silvia Lopez: Farmworkers should have the same rights as other union employees – The worker at Fresno-based Gerawan Farming writes, “Farmworkers also should receive the same basic rights as other organized workers when it comes to having a voice in labor relations. Most, if not all, unions in California and elsewhere do allow their workers to decide on their negotiated contracts.” Lopez op-ed in Sacramento Bee


Plans to make State Water Project flow backward shelved for this year – An emergency $6.7 million plan to make the State Water Project’s California Aqueduct flow backward for roughly 100 miles to bring water from the Bakersfield area to Silicon Valley has been shelved for this year.  San Jose Mercury News article

 Two water districts OK with spray park openings – The water will go on at at least some North of the River Recreation and Park District spray parks, it was looking ike Monday. Officials with two of the three water districts that serve NOR said they’re OK with the park district opening its spray parks as long as it meets overall conservation goals.  Bakersfield Californian article

Smart water meters help users, agencies gauge usage – For Californians with traditional water meters, conservation is more or less a guessing game as they await their monthly bill detailing usage. But some utilities have done away with the guesswork by installing smart meters, which provide customers with real-time consumption data. LA Times article

California drought killed 12 million forest trees since last year — An estimated 12 million trees across California’s forestlands have died over the past year because of extreme drought conditions, according to an aerial survey conducted April 8-17 by the U.S. Forest Service. KPBS report

Is drought behind uptick in abandoned kittens? — The California drought has had a pronounced effect on the animal kingdom — salmon are getting stuck up dry riverbeds, bears are wandering farther in search of food and water, and newts have stayed in hibernation longer, perhaps because it’s not wet enough to come out. Now, there may be another critter to add to the list of the drought-afflicted: kittens.  San Francisco Chronicle article


Criminal Justice/Prisons

 Some young Fresnans remain skeptical of police outreach – In Fresno tonight, police officers and teenagers will meet to look for ways to build trust and bridging the gap between them. The violent protests in Baltimore have thrust the issue dramatically back into the spotlight. Outreach to young people in Fresno is being pitched as essential to improving relations between police and the people they are supposed to protect. KVPR report

 Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf proposes 40 new police officers – In her first budget since being elected on the promise that she would strengthen public safety in Oakland, Mayor Libby Schaaf is pushing a plan to boost the city’s police force by 40 sworn officers.  San Francisco Chronicle article

 Federal monitor keeps Oakland police in compliance on most reforms – Despite a recent report that condemned the city’s frequent mishandling of police discipline cases, the Police Department remains in good standing with its federal overseers. In his quarterly report released Monday, Robert Warshaw, a former U.S. deputy drug czar, kept the department in full compliance with 19 of the remaining 22 reform tasks.  Contra Costa Times article

 Oakland police discipline blasted again – Oakland police failed to properly discipline an officer who violated internal rules three times in alcohol-related incidents, according to a report issued Monday by the department’s court-appointed monitor.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Police rethink long tradition of using force – Amid the largest national debate over policing since the 1991 beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles, a small but vocal set of law enforcement officials are calling for a rethinking of the 21-foot rule and other axioms that have emphasized how to use force, not how to avoid it. New York Times article

 Former Fresno police detective Kumagai gets prison time for taking bribe from suspected drug dealer – Former Fresno police detective Derik Carson Kumagai will spend two years in federal prison in what prosecutors said was a “discount” sentence for taking a $20,000 bribe from a suspected drug dealer. Fresno Bee article

 Valley Springs native is 387th Stockton officer – When Police Chief Eric Jones asked Stewart Zabel if he was ready, the 21-year-old responded with youthful exuberance, “Let’s do it.” Getting an affirmative, Jones administered the police oath and presented Zabel with his badge, acknowledging him as Stockton’s 387th sworn officer during a ceremony Monday afternoon attended by family, friends and senior department officers. Stockton Record article

 California seeks court stay of inmate’s sex reassignment surgery – California officials asked an appellate court on Monday to intervene to stay a lower court’s order that the state immediately provide a transgender prison inmate with sex reassignment surgery.  AP article

 Attorney who drove county vehicle in alleged DUI crash no longer employed by Kern Public Defender’s Office – An attorney who crashed a county-owned vehicle while allegedly driving under the influence is no longer employed by the Kern County Public Defender’s office.  Bakersfield Californian article

 Fresno man facing charges in Keith Foster federal drug case released from jail – Rafael Guzman, who is facing federal drug charges along with former Fresno police Deputy Chief Keith Foster and five others, was allowed Monday to go free from jail while the case makes it way through the courts. Fresno Bee article

Officer charged with disability fraud after Ice Bucket Challenge video — Prosecutors said Pasadena police Officer Jaime Robison, 39, was supposed to be on disability for a lower back injury when she participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge. In a video posted online in July 2014, Robison was shown picking up a five-gallon bucket containing ice water and pouring it over a fellow police officer, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. LA Times article


 With new funds on the horizon, it’s back to school for adult education – In the San Joaquin Valley alone, about half the adult schools closed after K-12 school districts shifted the funds to other programs during the recession. The programs that managed to stay open suffered severe cuts. But there’s some good news on the horizon: Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed budget includes a $500 million block grant to breathe new life into adult education.  KQED report

 Corinthian Colleges files for bankruptcy — Corinthian Colleges Inc. formally filed for bankruptcy Monday, a week after closing its remaining two dozen campuses and leaving 16,000 students scrambling for alternatives. LA Times article

 Heald students can get help in Salida, Stockton – Students displaced by the closure of Heald College can get help Thursday with transferring to other schools. They also could benefit down the line from state legislation inspired by last week’s closure of Corinthian Colleges, the for-profit parent company of Heald, amid questions about its job-placement claims and other issues. Modesto Bee article; Stockton Record article

 State board again to seek waiver from No Child Left Behind – The State Board of Education isn’t giving up on the hope that U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan might grant California at least a partial waiver from the No Child Left Behind law that he has given to 43 other states.  EdSource article

 Fresno State President Joseph Castro to hold community forum — Fresno State President Joseph Castro wants to hear what Fresnans have to say about the university. Castro will host a public forum later this month and take questions from students, staff and anyone else about Fresno State. The forum will be held from 4:30-6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26. Attendees must RSVP to the free eventusing the code “Forum.” Fresno Bee article

 Lodi, Manteca teachers at impasse in talks – While teachers in Stockton and Lincoln Unified have reached contract agreements that carry them through to the end of the year, teachers unions in Lodi and Manteca have reached impasse in negotiations, with Lodi holding out for a 7 percent total increase over two years and Manteca, 6 percent.  Stockton Record article

 Former Fresno City College president may become its temporary leader — A former Fresno City College president may become the interim president there following the untimely death of President Tony Cantú. Cynthia Azari, who served as president of Fresno City from 2009 until 2011, is State Center Community College District Interim Chancellor Bill Stewart’s pick for the temporary post, spokeswoman Lucy Ruiz said Monday.  Fresno Bee article

 Fidel Vargas: Why aren’t more Latinos going to UC, CSU schools? – The president and CEO of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund writes, “Community colleges are an appropriate choice for some students, including those who eventually transfer to a UC or CSU campus to complete a bachelor’s degree. But we would like to see more of our highest-achieving Latino students go directly to a four-year institution.”  Vargas op-ed in Sacramento Bee

 Dozens supporting school climate review at Mira Monte High wear red to meeting — Teachers and students called for a new principal at Mira Monte High School Monday at a Kern High School District board meeting. They claimed Principal Jaime Quinónez has encouraged a culture of fear and bullying at the school and that he rewards his favorites and punishes his opposers. Bakersfield Californian article

 CSU Bakersfield to get new provost – Jenny Zorn, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs at Humboldt State University, will become Cal State Bakersfield’s provost July 31. Zorn will take over a position previously held by Soraya Coley, who was named president of Cal Poly Pomona last fall.  Bakersfield Californian article

 Fresno State’s Humanics Program donates $15,000 to nonprofits – The Fresno State Humanics Program, a certificate program that offers community service-related experience to students, donated $5,000 to each of three local nonprofit organizations on Monday. Fresno Bee article

 Frank Barajas: Do something about immense student debt in California – The professor of history at CSU Channel Islands writes, “Eavesdrop long enough to their conversations where they meet and eventually you will hear students lament over the mountain of college debt they are accruing each school year. They can range from $40,000 to $100,000 or more and will take most graduates decades to eliminate.  Barajas op-ed in Bakersfield Californian


Fresno Pacific graduate wants to dedicate life to service — A call to serve runs deep in Ray Trembley. The Selma native served for a decade as an electrician’s mate on a U.S. Navy submarine. Now enrolled at Fresno Pacific University, he has been a student leader. He’ll soon close the chapter on his university career, but his drive to serve is unabated: he wants to treat the sick as a physician in the central San Joaquin Valley.  Fresno Bee article

 School gardens sprout in central San Joaquin Valley — All 25 Visalia Unified elementary schools have an after-school gardening program, the latest example in a growing national movement. At least 11 schools in Fresno Unified have school gardens, some for as long as 10 years. Fresno Bee article


 EPA faults air district’s approval of oil train terminal near Taft – Federal officials say a new oil-by-rail terminal near Taft qualifies as a major air polluter that should have undergone a more rigorous environmental review. Bakersfield Californian article


Cal Fire says fire conditions in 2015 worst on record – About a dozen fire chiefs kicked off Wildfire Awareness Week in Pollock Pines on Monday. The backdrop for the meeting -97,717 acres burned in the King Fire last year. Cal Fire says the timing of this year’s rains and four years of drought will combine to make fire conditions in 2015 the worst on record. Capital Public Radio report

 Merced residents, leaders fear environmental proposals for dam relicensing — More than 250 Merced County residents, farmers and political leaders expressed their concerns, and some their anger, at a public hearing on the relicensing of New Exchequer Dam, authorities said.  Merced Sun-Star article

Nurseries join effort against invasive plants — An alliance is taking on water hyacinth, Scotch broom and other introduced plants that threaten California’s wildlands, farms and waterways.Modesto Bee article

Health/Human Services

 Laws on junk food, sugary drinks in schools don’t pay off for poor kids — Restrictions on sugary drinks and junk food snacks in California elementary schools appear to have slightly reduced kids’ risk of becoming overweight or obese – but mostly among children from wealthier neighborhoods, a new study suggests.  LA Times article

 Whooping cough vaccine effectiveness fades – and fast – A new analysis from a recent whooping cough epidemic in Washington state shows that the Tdap vaccine used to fight whooping cough waned significantly. For adolescents who received all their shots, effectiveness within one year of the final booster was 73 percent. That rate plummeted to 34 percent within two to four years. KQED report

 Tokay student diagnosed with TB; no risk to others — San Joaquin County Public Health Services confirmed Monday that a Tokay High School student has been diagnosed with active tuberculosis. The student, whose name is being withheld for privacy reasons, is under medical care, and officials said there is no longer a risk of exposure to Tokay students or staff. Stockton Record article

 San Diego man sentenced to jail for not telling partner he is HIV positive – A San Diego man was sentenced Monday to six months in jail after pleading no contest to a charge of violating a California health code by failing to tell a sex partner that he was HIV positive. LA Times article


Land Use/Housing

Merced approves HUD plan, second guesses nonprofit that oversees homeless efforts – The Merced City Council unanimously approved this year’s U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development plan overseen by the city’s Housing Department on Monday, but it didn’t agree on other issues related to the department. Merced Sun-Star article

 Denny Jackman: Angry mayors must learn they represent us – The former Modesto City Council member writes, “In January 2014, the Modesto City Council voted not to protect farmland, choosing to expand their urban plan onto prime ag land! What? What is going on with piecemeal county projects outside of our city spheres of influence? Why not stay in areas already approved for urbanization by our Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO)? And what is going on with most of the mayors within Stanislaus County?”  Jackman op-ed in Modesto Bee

Visalia seeking to annex county island — The Visalia City Council has authorized city staff to file an application to request that more than 28 acres of county land within the borders of northern Visalia be annexed into the city. A partnership of developers purchased a 25-acre parcel off the west side of North Demaree Street, between West Ferguson and West Riggin avenues, with plans to build 117 single-family homes there.  Visalia Times-Delta article

 Pastor pull plug on plans for program in Chowchilla — A Merced pastor who was planning to open up transitional housing in Chowchilla said he has dumped his plans this week after public outrage turned emotional. Merced Sun-Star article



California lays tracks for high-speed rail but will it ever become a reality? – Gov. Jerry Brown and other supporters are betting on this $64bn gamble, but the polarising project has its naysayers.  The Guardian article

 Two dozen Bakersfield bus stops will be upgraded to improve access – A $600,000 Caltrans grant announced Monday will pay for the upgrade of about two dozen Bakersfield bus stops, improving access and ensuring their compliance with the Americans with Disability Act.  Bakersfield Californian article

 Judge’s ruling may be only a speed bump on 24th Street project — The city of Bakersfield has acquired 18 of the 21 homes it plans to demolish in order to begin a widening project on 24th Street, a city official said Monday. And unless the city plans to become a residential landlord, chances are it will ultimately move ahead with the $60 million project.  Bakersfield Californian article

Uncomfortable airlines seats are travelers’ top gripe — Several of the nation’s largest airlines have reported record profits for the first three months of the year, thanks in part to lower fuel costs, steady travel demand and the growing use of thin-cushion seats that allow carriers to squeeze more passengers into each plane.  LA Times article


Other areas

 Loza named to Tulare County court judge seat – Hugo Loza said his upbringing and his education prepared him to be a Tulare County Superior Court judge. Visalia Times-Delta article

 Mendoza expected to resign from Livingston City Council – David Mendoza is expected to resign Tuesday from the Livingston City Council, according to the council’s agenda posted Monday. Mendoza did not return phone calls and an email seeking comment.  Merced Sun-Star article

 Son of Parlier council member Yolanda Padilla, two others shot in park — Parlier police are searching for the gunman responsible for shooting three men Sunday night at Veterans Park. One victim is the 18-year-old son of City Council member Yolanda Padilla.  Fresno Bee article

 CalFire chief seeks to change discipline after scandal – Two captains demoted after a scandal at California’s firefighting training academy were restored to their previous rank within a month, prompting the agency’s chief to say Monday that he will try to demote them again.  AP article

 Attack on horses in Valley Home could be mountain lion; Fish and Game investigating — It was evident something had spooked the horses at JG Horse ranch when owner Gina Rosario arrived at their pen Sunday morning. Several of them had managed to break through a fence and were standing in an alleyway between pens. Water was spewing from a trough where the line to the hose connection had been broken. There were deep holes in the earth where the horses stampeded. Modesto Bee article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – A pilot project to expand the role of paramedics in California is intriguing. It could cut costs and relieve doctors and hospitals of work that could and should be done by others.

Sacramento Bee – Of all the national rankings that come along, this is one the Sacramento region can be really proud of: Last year, the first Big Day of Giving raised more than $3 million for nearly 400 nonprofits, the second-highest total in the country, behind only Sarasota County in Florida.

Stockton RecordCheers and jeers on stiffing our veterans, o Promise Zone for Stockton and other issues.

Upcoming Events

  • Fresno Metro Ministry and the Relational Cultural Institute will hold Abundant Community 2015 regional convening on May 14-15 in Fresno.  Featured speakers include Ramon Leon, founder, president and CEO of the Latino Economic Development Center in Minneapolis; Scott Spencer, associate director for advocacy and influence with The Annie E. Casey Foundation; and Katherine Perez-Estolano, co-founder of ELP Advisors.  More information and registration:, (559) 485-1416, or email at
  • Maddy Institute Executive Director Mark Keppler will speak to the League of Women Voters of Tulare County at the Lamp Liter Inn in Visalia on Tuesday, May 19, at noon.  His topic: “State Politics, Valley Implications.” RSVP by May 14.  More information:  (559) 732-1251 or


 Next 10: UPDATED California budget challenge For the first time in a decade, California’s budget is largely in balance.  However, the state has outstanding debts of $28 million, not counting long-term pension and retiree health care costs.  Budget choices affect us all.  Take the Challenge and decide how much should be spent on programs and where the money should come from.  Next 10 California Budget Challenge

 Next 10: Federal budget challengeThe Federal Budget Challenge is based on The Concord Coalition’s Principles and Priorities budget exercise, which has been used in numerous town hall meetings across the country by members of Congress from both parties, as well as in hundreds of high school and college classrooms.  Next 10 Federal Budget challenge

 Next 10: California Water Challenge – As our state faces some of the most severe drought conditions in its history, Next 10 wants to issue a new challenge to Californians: can you create a plan to make sure there’s enough water for everyone?  Next 10 California Water Challenge

 LEGISLATORS’ VOTING RECORDS: How often has a California legislator broken party ranks, abstained or switched sides? The Sacramento Bee has a database of the voting records of every member of the state Senate and Assembly. Enter a lawmaker’s last and first names to see how he or she voted, or enter a bill number to see how every legislator voted on it. Check it out at this link.

 Maddy Institute Updates List of San Joaquin Valley Elected Officials – The Maddy Institute has updated its list of San Joaquin Valley elected officials.  The list is available here.

Maddy Institute on Facebook and Twitter – To learn about Maddy Institute activities (e.g. The Maddy Report tv show, The Maddy Associates’ Luncheons, the Maddy Legislative Intern Program), become a fan of the Maddy Institute on Facebook or log on to And if you have a Facebook or Twitter account, please add us and follow us!

The Kenneth L. Maddy Institute at California State University, Fresno was established to honor the legacy of one of California’s most principled and effective legislative leaders of the last half of the 20th Century by engaging, preparing and inspiring a new generation of governmental leaders for the 21st Century. Its mission is to inspire citizen participation, elevate government performance, provide non-partisan analysis and assist in providing solutions for public policy issues important to the region, state and nation.

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