November 14, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories 

Dan Walters: California’s 58 counties need governance reform – There are some steps that could improve all county governments, such as simplifying relations with the state. But Los Angeles and other big counties need a deeper overhaul – larger boards for broader representation and elected executives for accountability. Walters column in Sacramento Bee

Marijuana legalization measure drew strongest support from young voters, Clinton backers, poll finds – The initiative that legalized recreational use of marijuana in California found its strongest support among those who voted for Hillary Clinton for president, African-Americans and voters ages 18-29, according to a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times post-election poll.  LA Times article

Valley politics

Tulare registrar issues statement on voter issues — Rita Woodard, Tulare County’s registrar of voters, released a statement Saturday regarding the issues that surrounded long lines at the polls, late results and high voter turnout. Visalia Times-Delta article

Latest Results:

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

California Democrats bet big on anti-Trump strategy.  It didn’t work — Although Donald Trump’s victory stunned true-blue California, Democratic strategists in the state are grappling with another reality: Relying on anti-Trump sentiment as a strategy to launch more Democrats into the state Legislature doesn’t appear to have delivered as they’d hoped. LA Times article

George Skelton: Villaraigosa says he wants to be a uniter as he runs for governor – As the state Assembly speaker from 1998 to 2000, Villaraigosa was a tenacious, hard-charging deal maker who tended to get things done. He also was charismatic, with a quick smile. He didn’t come out charging in his campaign kickoff, however. He said all the right things, practically singing “Kumbaya” in an effort to attract the favorable attention of voters shocked by the presidential mud wrestle. Skelton column in LA Times

Merced smokers mixed on new tobacco tax – Starting in January, the cheapest pack of cigarettes at Cigarettes and Cigars on G Street in Merced will be in the $5 range, according to an employee, Kirsten Weston. Currently the cheapest pack of cigarettes is $3.77, she said, and the most expensive is around $8, soon to be $10. Merced Sun-Star article

Opponents fight California gun measure, count on Trump — California voters’ approval of even tougher gun restrictions leaves opponents trying to contain the damage within the most populous state and across the country, an effort buoyed by Donald Trump’s election. AP article

Loretta Sanchez went all-in on a failed bid for California’s U.S. Senate seat. Now her next move is unclear – Loretta Sanchez first went to Washington 20 years ago after winning a race by less than 1,000 votes and against all odds. Now, after losing what was her second long-shot bid, this time for a U.S. Senate seat, she has just a few weeks left to pack up her office. LA Times article

Other areas

Councilman seeks list of donors, members for Sacramento City Hall watchdog group – What happens when the lens is turned around and the watchdogs become the watched? That’s happening right now with the city’s best-known watchdog organization, Eye on Sacramento. The plucky group that’s been hammering City Hall since 2011 is now on the defensive after a councilman began demanding: Show me the money! Sacramento Bee article

Brik McDill: After the election, what does our future look like? – As the past election heated up the candidates and fired up their bases, each had a radically different view of the condition of the country. It had either never been worse or never been better. So, what kind of world are we bequeathing our children and their children? Important question that. Some time ago CSUB’s Kegley Institute of Ethics brought in Distinguished Professor Miguel De La Torre, Ph.D., of the Iliff School of Theology in Denver who argued three propositions. McDill column in Bakersfield Californian

Presidential Politics

Trump says he’ll seek to deport up to 3 million people in U.S. illegally – President-elect Donald Trump says his administration will seek to promptly deport up to 3 million immigrants with “criminal records’’ who are in the U.S. illegally but will defer the far wider exclusions he called for during the campaign until “after the border is secure.’’ LA Times articleMcClatchy Newspapers article 

Tempers on both sides flare in California after Trump’s unexpected election victory – In the days since Trump was elected president of the United States, one thing has been certain in this divided country: Tensions are high. LA Times article

Trump names Priebus as chief of staff; Bannon to play major role — President-elected Donald Trump signaled Sunday that the dual forces that helped get him elected — Republican loyalists and far-right conservatives — will share power in his White House, naming strategists to two top West Wing posts. LA Times articleNew York Times articleMcClatchy Newspapers article

Lawyers for president-elect file motion to delay Trump University trial – A motion to delay the Trump University trial until after the presidential inauguration was filed in San Diego federal court Saturday night, arguing a few extra months would give both sides time to videotape Donald Trump’s testimony or possibly reach a settlement. LA Times article

News Stories

Top Stories

Stanislaus County deputy ‘executed’ near Hughson; suspect caught in Tulare — Authorities in Tulare County on Sunday afternoon captured a man suspected of murdering Stanislaus County sheriff’s Deputy Dennis Wallace that morning near Hughson. The arrest of David Machado, 37, followed a statewide manhunt started shortly after Wallace was gunned down while investigating a stolen vehicle. Evidence showed that a gun had been held to the head of Wallace, 53, and the trigger pulled twice, Sheriff Adam Christianson said. “This was an execution,” he said. Modesto Bee articleVisalia Times-Delta articleLA Times article‘Community mourns deputy at Hughson vigil’ in Modesto Bee

Jeff Jardine: We weep for Deputy Wallace, but a killer simply does not care — Cold-blooded killers simply do not care. They do not care about the victim. They do not care about the victim’s family, friends, future or past. They do not care about the victim’s smile. They simply do not care. Stanislaus County sheriff’s Deputy Dennis Wallace died Sunday morning because the suspect cared only about avoiding capture after Wallace confirmed the vehicle the killer drove was indeed stolen. Jardine column in Modesto Bee

UC and Cal State to consider the first tuition hikes in six years — Squeezed to do far more with much less, the University of California and California State University are considering raising tuition for the first time in six years as they grapple with escalating demands to enroll more students, graduate them faster and hire more faculty — all with a smaller share of state dollars than in years past.  LA Times article

Jobs and the Economy

California’s civil service changes aim for a millennial workforce — Marybel Batjer says her year-by-year task overhauling the way California state government works is like “fixing the pipes” in an old building. If it goes well, taxpayers and workers alike won’t even notice that their 166-year-old state government has a fresh face, some new energy and a legion of eager employees. Sacramento Bee article

Making California housing affordable again will require new laws, more avenues to build — How can California increase the number of homes that people can afford? By giving more money to cities that build sufficient affordable housing, some said at a housing summit last week in Los Angeles. Or cutting off funding to those that don’t. AP article

Holly Culhane: Tread carefully: Prop 64 creates workplace minefield  — The California marijuana market is huge and so are the social and work-related questions looming over Proposition 64’s passage. But before people start lighting up or otherwise ingesting cannabis, which federal law still regards as a prohibited controlled substance, employers and employees need to be aware of the effects of marijuana use on the workplace. Culhane column in Bakersfield Californian

Transit agency considers allowing beer, wine ads on Sacramento buses and trains.  What about pot? — Leaders of Sacramento Regional Transit, in search of new revenue, say it’s time to allow alcohol advertisements on the sides of buses and light-rail trains. But they’re drawing the line – for now – on accepting marijuana ads. Sacramento Bee article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

ATF documents from Fresno raid: How a toy became a machine pistol – A mass arrest of Fresno street gang members by federal, state authorities and Fresno police in early November pulled back a curtain on the illegal arms trade in the city, and also revealed that a weapon used by terrorists in Eastern Europe and the Middle East was being offered for sale on local streets. Fresno Bee article


Remedial classes fail to help community college students reach academic goals.  But reforms are underway – The vast majority of California community college students take remedial math and English classes — but that college-prep work is largely failing to help most of them complete their academic or vocational programs. LA Times article 

An educator with a big heart for helping students succeed — Life never cheated Gabriel ‘Gabe’ Escalera. It never held back his boisterous talk, his infectious smile or his love for farming (he planted pomegranate trees to go with his 45 grapevines, cherry trees and citrus). He cheered on his cherished Green Bay Packers. Went fishing or skiing. Raised a family. Death didn’t cheat him either. Escalera – a big man who played tackle for Don Coryell’s San Diego State football team in the mid-1960s – left millions of memories, especially among the thousands of students he nurtured, fought for and inspired during his 36 years in education, including 16 with the Clovis Unified School District. Vida en el Valle article

Fresno City College declines bowl bid after brawl — Fresno City College is passing up a football bowl bid in the wake of a postgame brawl following Saturday’s regular-season finale against Sequoias. Fresno Bee article

Enochs High scientists under the microscope – Sure, it was just a car. But somebody had loved that car before it rolled away, a thief’s foot on the gas and hands on the wheel. Now, it was up to Enochs High forensic scientists to unravel the “Mystery of the Stolen Mustang,” and a visitor from London was watching. Modesto Bee article

Fitz’s Stockton: Pacific takes a wonderful ‘Fall’ — Nine of John Muir’s descendants attended University of the Pacific. Now one has donated a masterful oil painting that hung in John Muir’s home. Gladys Hanna, widow of Muir’s grandson Ross Hanna, has presented Pacific with “Vernal Fall,” a painting of Yosemite’s famously misty waterfall by William Keith (1838-1911).  Fitz’s Stockton in Stockton Record

LA Unified cites rising suicidal behavior and devises tools to address it — More than 5,000 incidents of suicidal behavior were reported in Los Angeles Unified in the last school year, an exponential jump from the 255 reported in 2010-2011 when the district, California’s largest, began tracking such incidents. EdSource article


Will Trump end California’s climate rules? — After eight years in which California had a partner in President Barack Obama in expanding renewable energy and electric vehicles, signing international deals and writing tougher pollution laws to the consternation of industry and Republicans, the election of Donald Trump now sets up the Golden State as a land in environmental exile. San Jose Mercury News article

Health/Human Services 

Genetic heart disease risk eased by healthy habits, study finds – Is genetics destiny when it comes to heart disease? A new analysis of data from more than 55,000 people provides an answer. It finds that by living right — by not smoking, by exercising moderately and by eating a healthy diet heavy in fruits, vegetables and grains — people can tamp down even the worst genetic risk. New York Times article

Changes in Medicare affect which doctors seniors have access to — For seniors ages 65 and up, there will be changes in Medicare health insurance plans this year. Seniors will have to decide between choosing a plan that restricts the doctors they have access to or a supplemental plan, said Tammy Rorabaugh, senior health insurance agent for Covered California. Merced Sun-Star article

Land Use/Housing

Teslas in the trailer park: A California city faces its housing squeeze – Given new marching orders from a reform-minded City Council that was swept into office here two years ago, Mountain View is looking to increase its housing stock by as much as 50 percent — including as many as 10,000 units in the area around Google’s main campus. New York Times article


Not made in America? California bullet train officials seek exemption to buy foreign parts — The California bullet train agency has begun a legal effort to import a significant amount of foreign equipment for its future Los Angeles-to-San Francisco system, a move that could prove politically controversial. LA Times article

Other areas

Firefighters save more than people’s lives — These are some of the items that people commonly ask firefighters to retrieve or that firefighters instinctively look for when working to salvage people’s possessions, but “What’s important to one person may not be important to another,” said Modesto Fire Department Battalion Chief Randy Anderson. Modesto Bee article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – California to Trump: America can’t afford for us to fail.

Sacramento Bee –- When Donald Trump is a role model, hate speech happens.