November 1, 2015


Political Stories

Top stories

In new scales of presidential political donors, Valley doesn’t measure up – This is high time for presidential hopefuls to tour the country looking to raise campaign cash. But so far, the 2016 candidates have steered clear of the central San Joaquin Valley. Not that movers and shakers here haven’t thought about it. Fresno Bee article

Cathleen Decker: In key ways, California’s GOP, Democrats move in opposite directions from national parties — This year, the state’s Democrats and Republicans are moving, in some key ways, in exactly the opposite direction from the national parties. Decker in LA Times

Valley politics

Voters to pick mayor, council members – Modesto will go to the polls Tuesday to pick a mayor, three council members, and decide the fate of a sales tax increase and an urban growth boundary. Modesto Bee article

Modesto Bee: Want more voters? Get rid of off-year elections — Why are we having an election on Tuesday? The obvious answer, to elect public officials and decide important policy questions, misses the point. Why are we having any elections this yearModesto Bee editorial

Jeff Jardine: The bus stops here with mayoral candidate Lopez — From the outset of his campaign to become Modesto’s mayor, Councilman Dave Lopez began spewing that a large number and perhaps even the majority of Modesto’s homeless were, indeed, put on a bus and sent here by officials from other cities. That simply is not the case. Jardine column in Modesto Bee


EB-5 visas given to foreign investors under fire — A tiny federal program that grants visas to wealthy foreign investors has generated a major source of cheap money for redevelopment projects in San Francisco, including millions of dollars for the redevelopment of Hunters Point shipyard and Candlestick Point, of Treasure Island and the renovation of an old hotel on Market Street. San Francisco Chronicle article 

Other areas

Dan Walters: Let locals take care of issues – Allowing local politicians and voters to tailor such policies to local circumstances and sensitivities makes sense in such a complex state. It would embody the “subsidiarity” principle that Brown often espouses – but doesn’t always follow. Walters column in Sacramento Bee

Bush pulls out ahead in Bakersfield fundraising – Jeb Bush’s national bid for president may be lagging but he’s taken a commanding lead in fundraising among the people of Bakersfield, according to the latest campaign finance reports. Bakersfield Californian article 

Immigrant sanctuary plays role in San Francisco sheriff race – Only two incumbent San Francisco sheriffs have lost re-election in the last 60 years – but Ross Mirkarimi is facing a tough battle Tuesday to avoid being the third. AP article

Supreme Court case pits privacy rights against Internet data brokers – The Supreme Court is set to hear a clash between privacy laws that protect American consumers and the desire of online data providers to avoid potentially crippling lawsuits if they post inaccurate information on the Web. LA Times article

GOP fumes: That’s not science! — If Congress has its way, the next round of grants by the National Science Foundation, a hallmark of government funding for graduate students and scientists, will no longer be based on scientific merit. Proposals will not be reviewed by panels of preeminent scholars across the United States, as they have been for more than a half-century. Instead, they would all be “in the national interest,” with strict new rules adopted earlier this month by a Republican House committee. San Francisco Chronicle article

News Stories

Top Stories

Homeless camp in Mendota grows in drought — Hernandez, a tree pruner, is one of the newer inhabitants of the homeless camp, which sprang up about seven years ago. In the early days, about a dozen or so people set up residence. In the past two years, the number has mushroomed to 50 – by one estimate – and the camp has taken on the appearance of a shanty town, with people entrenched within its plywood walls. Fresno Bee article 

Water fears deepen in Kings – As drought continues, people are getting more and more nervous about the dwindling supply of Kings River water — so much so, fears are spreading that the water is or is going to be transferred out of the county for use elsewhere. Two proposals are causing some consternation. Hanford Sentinel article

Jobs and the Economy 

Bakersfield Business Conference names four more 2016 speakers – Two more Democrats and two more Republicans have committed to speak at the 2016 Bakersfield Business Conference. Event organizers disclosed a third round of names to help fill out the Oct. 8 conference roster: conservative commentator Laura Ingraham, former U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson, political strategist James Carville and former presidential candidate Herman Cain. Bakersfield Californian article

VIDEO: 2015 West Kern Petroleum Summit — Video highlights from the 2015 West Kern Petroleum Summit in Taft on Oct. 16, 2015. Bakersfield Californian video

Lemoore to weigh in on business license fees – The Lemoore City Council will hold a study session Tuesday to review a longstanding policy of waiving business license fees for some nonprofit organizations and military veterans. Hanford Sentinel article 

Oakland mayor trying to put together new stadium deal for Raiders — Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf is working to have yet another stadium plan for the Raiders to consider — and have it ready for the NFL to review within the next couple of weeks. San Francisco Chronicle article

Tackling homelessness in pricey San Francisco – In San Francisco, a city long known for its social tolerance and spirit of innovation, the response to homelessness has grown both more contentious and more creative. Everyone appears to agree on one central problem: The city is mired in a serious housing shortage that makes it hard for anyone without a six-figure income to find a place to live. While construction cranes fill the skyline, median rent for one-bedroom apartments is close to $3,300. Sacramento Bee article

In upscale Pacific Palisades, reaching out to a rising homeless population – While business districts in downtown Los Angeles often meet such problems by paying for private cleanup and security, Pacific Palisades residents are taking a different approach. Earlier this year, they launched a private $500,000 fundraising campaign to bring mental health and other services, along with interim and permanent housing, to the community’s estimated 180 homeless residents. LA Times article

Grocery union says it has new contract with Raley’s – The union representing thousands of Raley’s workers said Saturday it has reached a tentative contract with the West Sacramento grocery chain, avoiding a repeat of the strike of three years ago. Sacramento Bee article

Film tax credits, new media outlets help revive LA’s entertainment economy — California’s decision last year to offer more generous tax incentives for film and TV production is being credited for a sharp uptick in location shoots across Los Angeles. The local industry is also getting a push from Hollywood newcomers including Amazon, Netflix and Hulu as they muscle their way into show business with a flood of original programming. LA Times article

Arbitration everywhere, stacking the deck of justice – With a clause in complex contracts that few people read, corporations have insulated themselves from lawsuits and locked Americans into a system where arbitrators overwhelmingly favor business. New York Times article 

Port of San Diego wins $10-million federal grant — The Unified Port of San Diego has been awarded a $10-million federal transportation grant that will be used to help fund a major redevelopment project that will improve operations and create new jobs, officials said. LA Times article

Jack Dorsey charts new chapter for Twitter, Square — First, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey got straight to the point, telling employees in a frank memo he was cutting hundreds of jobs so he could put the social media company on a “stronger path to grow.” The next day, before Silicon Valley could catch its breath, Dorsey put on his Square CEO hat, announcing the mobile payment startup’s plans to go public. And it was only his second week as a dual CEO. San Jose Mercury News article


Dan Morain: Drought transforms Valley, right in our own backyards – Acre by acre, Sacramento Valley farmland is being transformed. Pastures and row crops are giving way to more valuable orchards. It happened not far from my backyard this summer, out where I take morning walks. Morain in Sacramento Bee

Jay Lund: Despite a potentially wet winter, the drought will continue – The director of the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC Davis writes, “When the first major storm of the season is upon us, a common thought will be that the drought of four years has ended. Hopefully the rains this year will be plentiful and without flood damage. But the drought will likely continue.” Lund op-ed in Sacramento Bee

David Purkey, Vishal Mehta, and Charles Young: Collaborative approach needed to manage groundwater – The senior scientists at the Davis office of the Stockholm Environment Institute write, “Up to now, the focus has been on how to manage surface water, but this is set to change as new legislation, approved in 2014, requires local water agencies to set rules to manage groundwater. Will this herald a new wave of water wars, this time taking the conflict underground?” Purkey/Mehta/Young op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Don Curlee: Farming’s growth based on research — Farming in California is more dependent on research than most people, even farmers, know, and the primary channel for providing it and transmitting it to farmers is now involved in a rebuilding and strengthening process. Curlee column in Visalia Times-Delta

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Bakersfield response times are improving citywide – Bakersfield police officers’ average response time to the most urgent calls, those frequently involving life-or-death situations, were down to 5 minutes, 45 seconds citywide in September. That’s more than one-third more quickly today than 16 months ago. Bakersfield Californian article

Tulare County Jail sued over ‘censorship’ charge by prisoner rights magazine — Prison Legal News magazine has filed a federal lawsuit accusing Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux of violating the free speech rights of inmates by not delivering its publications to them. Fresno Bee article

Hanford to look at program for at-risk youth — The Hanford City Council will consider hiring a firm Tuesday to develop a police department program that will serve at-risk youth. Hanford Sentinel article

Extraordinary case: Court rules man was denied a public trial — A man serving a 15-year prison sentence for conspiring to burn down his North Natomas restaurant had his conviction thrown out earlier this month on a rare argument: His trial was not actually public. Sacramento Bee article


How many recent college graduates get an $81,000 salary? Some CSU Maritime alumni do – Within 10 years of starting at CSU Maritime, the school’s alumni who received federal financial aid earn a median annual income of $81,000. That’s higher than Princeton ($75,100), which topped the 2015 U.S. News & World Report ranking. It’s also a little more than neighboring Stanford University ($80,900) and well above the median income earned by graduates of every school in the University of California system. LA Times article 

Most school districts withhold salary data from California state controller — When the State Controller’s Office asked school districts to hand over salary data, about 70 percent of the public school systems across the state – and a slightly higher share in Sacramento County – did not provide the requested information. Sacramento Bee article

Viral video: Other options available for handling disruptive students, Stockton Unified officials say — As nationwide outrage spread over video of a South Carolina student being battered by a school resource officer last week, no one questions whether the deputy’s actions were inappropriate. Stockton Unified School District administrators agree the situation could’ve been handled a lot more peacefully. Franklin High School Principal Juan Salas was at a loss for words when he first saw the video. Stockton Record article

Larry White: Steep learning curve for new teachers — Beginning teachers, for several reasons, are so overwhelmed by the numerous tasks required that it often takes years for them to “get it.” Of course, many new teachers cannot juggle at all or the stress of trying to do so results in the approximate 50 percent of new teachers who leave the profession within five years. We cannot allow this scenario to continue. White column in Stockton Record


Mud flows from Rough fire-scarred hillsides worry officials — When rain pelted mountains east of Fresno after the Rough fire, mud and sediment flowing off the burned hillsides swamped roads in the Hume Lake Ranger District. And that is not a problem that will end anytime soon: It could take three to five years before burned areas have revegetated to the point where mud flows are unlikely, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Fresno Bee article

Lois Henry: New ozone rule more hot air from EPA – With the Benghazi hearing sucking up everyone’s attention Oct. 22, I’m betting you missed the House Science, Space and Technology Committee’s hearing the same day on the new ozone standard set by the EPA earlier this month. Which is shocking because, of the two issues, the new ozone standard will definitely have a bigger impact on your personal world than whether Hillary lied about why our Libyan embassy was attacked. (Discuss on your own time.) Henry column in Bakersfield Californian

Fresno Bee: Salmon belong where they can survive – not in San Joaquin River – In the midst of global warming, trying to expand the range of salmon – instead of saving them where they are – is a fool’s errand. Fresno Bee editorial 

Mike Klocke: Water hyacinth once again rears its shaggy head – Just in time for the holidays, McLeod Lake in downtown Stockton is covered by beautiful, green shag carpeting. But there’s water under that covering. We know there is. We’ve seen it before. The carpeting, of course, actually is our annual scourge known as water hyacinth. Klocke column in Stockton Record 

Small menagerie displaced by Valley Fire remains homeless — Hundreds of animals left behind in the third most destructive fire in California’s history are slowly being reunited with their owners — or getting new homes. San Francisco Chronicle article
Health/Human Services 

California, feds reach deal on Medicaid reform — California and the federal government agreed in concept Saturday on a $6.2-billion deal to reform the Medicaid program and to help pay for care of the low-income population. KQED report

Officials push for more Californians to sign up for health insurance — Public officials have planned a promotional bus tour to get more Californians to enroll in the state’s health insurance exchange, Covered California, with the first day of this year’s open-enrollment period beginning Sunday. LA Times article

Kristin Todd: Fighting cancer, racing against time – The heart-failure race practitioner at UC Davis Medical Center writes, “As lawmakers and voters are asked to make important decisions about the future of health care, they must make sure they do so with the best interests of patients in mind. Their priority should be making it easier to navigate the insurance system and ensuring that these life-saving medications and treatments are available as quickly as possible to as many people as possible.” Todd op-ed in Sacramento Bee


Sacramento light rail forced to slow trains after two pedestrian deaths — Although settled, the long-running tug of war prompts several questions about the agencies: Why would RT refuse for two years to take what would appear to be a simple safety step; and why did it take two deaths for the PUC to require that RT slow down? Sacramento Bee article

Other areas

Man claims clerk-recorder’ lies put him behind bars for 19 years – Roger Steiner wasted 19 of his 77 years behind bars, he says, convicted on the word of a woman now facing prison time for allegedly lying to a U.S. Treasury Department agent in a recent investigation. “I’ll tell you upfront: It wasn’t me,” Steiner, a former crop-duster pilot, said of the 1994 brutal ambush and sexual assault of Stanislaus County’s elected clerk-recorder. “I never laid a finger on Karen Mathews,” he said. Modesto Bee article

Donald W. Blount: Race, police body-slammed into center stage again – The viral video of a female African-American student being body-slammed from the chair at her desk and then dragged across a classroom floor by a white South Carolina sheriff’s deputy is stark. It is a stark reminder of the use of police force, of the world we live in, race relations and the African-American men who died during police interactions in just over the past year. Blount column in Stockton Record

LA lawmakers’ shortcut backfired for animal rescue shops – Three years ago, Los Angeles lawmakers decided to ban pet shops from selling commercially bred dogs, cats and rabbits, arguing that such sales only added to the number of stray animals citywide. LA Times article

Train hero Spencer Stone promoted by Air Force — Spencer Stone, whose summertime heroics in foiling a terrorist attack on a French train were recognized by President Barack Obama, has been promoted, the U.S. Air Force announced Saturday.  Sacramento Bee article

Lori Gilbert: A day (or two) in the life of a juror — The dreaded call for jury duty arrived two weeks ago and since I’d been excused some years back by a kind judge when I told him I had a planned event that a three-day trial would stop me from attending, he let me go. I’ve always felt I owed Stanislaus County, where I’ve lived since 1991, my jury service. Gilbert in Stockton Record 

Michael Fitzgerald: The untold story of The Sherman — If you fall for a grand old Delta vessel, be warned: those Jezebels are trouble. The Sherman is such a case. The Sherman is the historic, 144-foot steam ferry towed into Stockton’s waterfront in June of last year. It’s a cool boat. Mayor Anthony Silva cheered it would make a fine restaurant. Fitzgerald column in Stockton Record

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – In the midst of global warming, trying to expand the range of salmon – instead of saving them where they are – is a fool’s errand.

Modesto Bee – Want more voters? Get rid of off-year elections. 

Sacramento Bee – We have come to accept that it’s OK that severe mental illness is left untreated. We have talked ourselves into believing that people who suffer from it have the right to be ill;

Maddy Events

Sunday, Nov. 1, at 10 a.m. on Fresno ABC30 – Maddy Report: “Year Two of Obamacare: How’s the Patient Doing?” — Guests: Jennifer Kent, director of the California Department of Health Care Services; Felix Su, an analyst with the Legislative Analyst’s Office; Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California; and Bill Emerson, senior vice president of the California Hospital Association. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director Mark Keppler.

Sunday, Nov. 1, at 10 a.m. on KMJ (580AM and 105.9FM Radio/podcast) – Maddy Report – Valley Views Edition: “Valley Prognosis in Year Two of Obamacare” – Guests: Daniel Zingale, senior vice president of California Endowment); Michelle Von Tersch, vice president of Corporate Communications, Community Medical Centers; and John Price, CEO of Artisan Construction & Design and chairman of the board for Golden Valley Health Centers. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director Mark Keppler. 

Sunday, Nov. 8, at 7 a.m. on Univision 21 (KFTV) and UniMas 61 (KTFF) – El Informe Maddy: “Californians and Civic Engagement” – Guest: Mony Flores-Bauer of League of Women Voters of California. Host: Maddy Institute Deputy Director Ana Melendez. 

The Maddy Report airs throughout California on The Cal Channel.  Check to find the Cal Channel and schedule in your area.  You also can view previous Maddy Report programs in their entirety at

Community Events

  • The fourth annual San Joaquin Valley Affordable Housing Summit will be held at the Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center on Tuesday, Nov. 3, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration and additional information is available here.
  • The 34thannual Agribusiness Management Conference will be held at the DoubleTree Hotel and Conference Center in Fresno on Wednesday, Nov. 4. The event will feature presentation on the economic outlook for agriculture, trade, water, and immigration.  More information:  559.278.4405 or
  • The 2015 California Economic Summit will be held in Ontario on Nov. 12-13.  Since its inception in 2012, the Summit has brought together hundreds of private, public and civic leaders from the state’s diverse regions in an effort to advance the triple bottom line: promoting a prosperous economy that respects environment and equity concerns.  More information and registration is available here.


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 challenge — The 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 at

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. 

More Information

Please visit if you want to view the Maddy Daily with our comprehensive list of links to all federal, state and local government, public affairs institutes/regional entities, Valley media and public policy blogs. (Please note new website address.)

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.

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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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