November 18, 2015


Political Stories

Top stories

Kamala Harris changes campaign managers, moves to cut costs – U.S. Senate frontrunner Kamala Harris is changing campaign managers and making moves to reduce costs, her campaign said Tuesday, after unusually heavy spending in recent months. Sacramento Bee articleLA Times article

U.S. officials defend decades-old refugee resettlement program — Obama administration officials pushed back Tuesday at an effort by more than half the nation’s governors to block entry for Syrian refugees, saying the campaign has no legal grounding and threatens a decades-old tradition of bipartisan support for giving sanctuary to the world’s most vulnerable. McClatchy Newspapers article

Valley politics

Valley Edition: Who wants to be Fresno’s next mayor? — As next June’s primary approaches, candidates are lining up to become Fresno’s next mayor. Two have already announced their attention to run, including current Fresno City Council Member Lee Brand and pastor/community activist H. Spees. Now the community is abuzz about whether Chief Jerry Dyer will enter the race. And what about the Perea family? Both Henry R. Perea, a currently a Fresno County Supervisor, and his son Assemblyman Henry T. Perea have been mentioned as potential candidates. John Ellis joined us on Valley Edition to analyze and handicap the race to replace Ashley Swearengin. KVPR report

Stanislaus County elections official not concerned about Measure I complaint – Stanislaus County’s top election official disagreed with a complaint that claims voter materials for Modesto’s Stamp Out Sprawl initiative did not meet legal requirements. Modesto Bee article

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures 

Joel Fox: State controller: Prop 30 extension will pass — At last Friday’s California Economic Summit sponsored byCalifornia Forward and the California Stewardship Network, state Controller Betty Yee predicted that a Proposition 30 extension and a cigarette tax will be on the 2016 ballot and both would pass. It was a prediction—not a desire. Yee said tax reform is imperative but it should be accomplished after deeper conversations rather than to rely on the initiative process. Fox in Fox & Hounds

Joe Mathews: It’s not voter fatigue, it’s voter ignorance — There’s an oft-repeated error in the recent rash of stories about what is shaping up as a very long slate of ballot initiatives for California voters in November 2016. The stories have quotes in which political consultants and others worry about “voter fatigue.” That’s the idea that with too many things on the ballot – measures and all kinds of candidates – people stop voting. I’m sorry, but “voter fatigue” isn’t the problem here. It’s voter ignorance. Mathews in Fox & Hounds


Contra Costa County prepares to offer health care to undocumented adults — Brookside Community Health Center in Richmond, east of San Francisco, serves a lot of immigrants — with legal papers and without — and it’s about to take on even more. Contra Costa County already provides insurance to undocumented children, and in September county supervisors voted to extend primary care services to 3,000 adults living here illegally. The one-year pilot program, Contra Costa Cares, will offer coverage to 15 percent of those eligible. KQED report

America’s long history of shunning refugees — Unlike more than half of the nation’s governors, California Gov. Jerry Brown is welcoming Syrian refugees to his state. But Brown sounded a lot different 40 years ago, when thousands of refugees from the Vietnam War were headed to California during his first term in office. San Francisco Chronicle article

Other areas

Big projects need more oversight, California lawmaker says – For Rep. Mark DeSaulnier of California, the widely criticized San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is an example of how infrastructure projects can go poorly, and the reason behind his push for federal oversight on “mega-projects” in the future. McClatchy Newspapers article

Leon Panetta’s son announces bid to replace Farr in Congress – With the historic Custom House and the Monterey Bay serving as a backdrop, Monterey County Deputy District Attorney Jimmy Panetta announced his campaign for U.S. Congress. Panetta, 45, was joined by his wife, parents and in-laws as he made the announcement he is running for the 20th Congressional District seat being vacated by Rep. Sam Farr in front of supporters and media. Monterey Herald article

See where Syrian refugees have resettled in California — About 250 Syrian refugees have arrived in California since 2012, with the large majority arriving this year, the latest federal statistics show. About half of those refugees were resettled in either San Diego or Sacramento. All refugees resettled in the United States are extensively screened, a process that can take two years. Sacramento Bee article

News Stories

Top Stories

Public questions state’s high-speed rail hopes for private investment — A stream of critics confronted California High-Speed Rail Authority board members in Fresno on Tuesday, reading form-letter questions about the agency’s prospects for attracting private-sector investment in the state’s planned $68 billion bullet train system. Fresno Bee article 

UC Merced 2020 Project goes before regents this week – UC Merced leaders and others are set to go before the University of California Board of Regents this week to show support for the university’s 2020 Project plan, which would nearly double the campus’s size. Merced Sun-Star articleContra Costa Times article

Jobs and the Economy

Dan Walters: Is California’s economy booming? Not really — Our job-growth rate is far from the nation’s highest, our unemployment rate is 10th highest, and our underemployment rate is third highest. We also are No. 1 in poverty with nearly a quarter of Californians impoverished. Walters column in Sacramento Bee

Merced leaders forecast continued growth – Merced’s finance director gave a forecast this week for the next five years of city spending in which he recommended new funds be established to prepare for unforeseen expenses. Brad Grant, the city’s chief financial officer, said Merced is projected to see gains in revenue during the next five years. He noted that the projected general fund balance is $10 million higher than was foreseen during the adoption of this fiscal year’s budget. Merced Sun-Star article

Kern supervisors call for adult talks on union contract – Kern County Supervisors called for negotiations between the county and its largest employees union to take a more adult tone in the future Tuesday. The county and Service Employees International Union, Local 521, have been in talks on a contract for around one year. Bakersfield Californian article 

Stockton City Council votes to spur jobs, home building — The City Council adopted a temporary construction-fee reduction plan Tuesday night in an effort to create jobs and increase the currently dormant pace of home building in Stockton. Stockton Record article

Downtown Merced needs effort to feel safe again, business owners say – Merced city leaders proposed some ideas for strengthening a sense of safety in the downtown after several business and homeowners this week complained that panhandlers and others are scaring off visitors. Merced Sun-Star article

Kern County Fire to patch budget hole with reserves – The Kern County Fire Department relied on a $4.8 million grant to fill a large chunk of the $17 million hole blown in its budget this year by the downturn in the price of oil and the accompanying drop in property tax revenue. It found out this month it didn’t get the grant. Bakersfield Californian article 

Housing affordability falls in Fresno – Higher mortgage interest rates drove home affordability down as home prices remained flat during the third quarter of 2015, according to the California Association of RealtorsFresno Bee article

United Way looks at real cost of family life in 2015 – The United Way is sharing a new study on poverty in California, aiming to figure out what it really costs to live in the Golden State. About one in three households statewide, measurably more in the Central Valley, are not making enough to pay housing, food, health care and child care, according to “Struggling to Get By: The Real Cost Measure in California 2015,” created by United Ways of CaliforniaModesto Bee article 

San Joaquin County supervisors set priorities for next three years – Maintaining fiscal health, improving economic development, improving public safety and staying abreast of water issues are the four priorities the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors hope to accomplish over the next 36 months. Stockton Record article 

Modesto Irrigation District approves electricity price changes – Modesto Irrigation District leaders on Tuesday changed how electricity bills are computed for 95,197 residential customers despite pleas from the audience to leave rates alone and a protest petition signed by 296 people. Modesto Bee articleModesto Bee editorial

CalPERS may lower investment expectations, costing taxpayers billions — Experts have warned for years that the state’s largest public pension plan has overestimated how much its investments will earn, leaving taxpayers to pay billions of dollars more than expected. Now the board of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System is reconsidering. As soon as Wednesday, the fund’s board could approve a plan that would slowly reduce to 6.5% the current 7.5% it says it expects to earn on its investments. LA Times article 

LA council declares shelter crisis in effort to help the homeless – Acknowledging the city’s growing homeless population, the Los Angeles City Council voted 14 to 0 Tuesday to declare a shelter crisis, paving the way for providing temporary housing to homeless men and women in public buildings. LA Times article

California pot farmers wrestle with new medical marijuana rules – An unmistakeable scent, rotten-sweet and earthy, greets visitors to Basil McMahon’s pine and oak sheltered Nevada County farm. It wafts from cannabis plants growing in a murky legal terrain between acceptance and prohibition. Over the next few years that will change, as a sweeping new package of laws will reverse years of state silence by regulating and licensing every stage of the medical marijuana industry. Sacramento Bee article

California is steering the auto industry toward its future – The state has led development of self-driving cars, advanced green vehicles and automotive software, including Google’s and Apple’s growing — though still somewhat secret — automotive operations. California’s aggressive environmental regulation and generous electric car subsidies have nurtured companies such as Tesla and its emerging rival Faraday Future. LA Times article

Consumer prices rise for first time in three months, a positive inflation sigh for the Fed – Consumer prices rose last month for the first time since July, an inflation signal that could help push the Federal Reserve to increase a key interest rate. LA Times article 

Nonprofit Blue Shield accused of backing out of $140-million charity pledge — California regulators and consumer groups say insurance giant Blue Shield of California is reneging on a $140-million charitable pledge it made to win approval for a big acquisition. LA Times article

Most LA small businesses expect to grow in 2016 — Los Angeles small-business owners say they are confident their sales will increase in the new year and are planning to step up hiring, according to a survey released Tuesday by Bank of America. More than two-thirds, 68%, said they expected their revenues to increase next year, with 62% of L.A.-area small-business owners reporting that they expect to hire more workers. LA Times article

LA officials may bar employers from asking right away about crimes – To try to help people like Martinez, Los Angeles could soon bar employers from immediately asking whether someone applying for a job has been convicted of a crime, requiring them to strip the question off their application forms. LA Times article

The State Worker: When unions collide – Since 2012, SEIU Local 1000 has been tangled in labor talks – as an employer, not as California’s largest state employee union. Now, after Local 1000 recently reached impasse with 135 of its administrative and support staff represented by United Auto Workers Local 2350, the last offer put on the table is going out for a vote. The deal offers a modest raise but rolls back retiree health benefits. Members have rejected similar agreements before. Sacramento Bee article 

UberESPAÑOL launches in Fresno – Uber launched its Spanish-language service in Fresno today, opening the door for Spanish-speaking drivers and passengers to find rides in their native language. The Business Journal article 

New restaurant The Republican takes over The Downtown Club – Downtown Fresno is changing and a longtime icon in the heart of it is evolving, too. The Downtown Club at 2120 Kern St. has a new name, a new menu and new people behind it. And they’ve got big plans for parts of the historic building people may not have seen before. Fresno Bee article 

Lemoore businessman taps into plastic pod coffee craze – In the last several years, Keurig coffee-makers and the plastic coffee-containing pods inserted into them have grown into a $5 billion industry, filling the display shelves at Target and showing up in more and more American homes. Lemoore coffee shop owner and coffee-maker Buzz Felleke has taken notice, and he’s getting into the game. Hanford Sentinel article

Caltrans contemplates hiring local veterans to clean highways – Inspired by one of its own programs that uses parolees to pick up litter, clear brush, weed and improve landscaping, and by a City of Bakersfield program that hires the homeless to collect highway trash, Caltrans is contemplating a similar program for veterans. Bakersfield Californian article

Kern library meetings will continue unabated – Kern County supervisors declined to change a schedule of community meetings aimed at gathering the community’s feelings about county library services. Bakersfield Californian article 

Dodge Ridge to open day before Thanksgiving – After receiving 32 inches of snow from three November storms and with more snow forecast for next week, the Dodge Ridge ski area plans to open Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving. Modesto Bee article 

Bay Area Dungeness crab fishermen stoic despite financial hardship — More than a week after the California Department of Fish and Wildlife shut down the commercial season because of high levels of neurotoxins in the crab, the outlook for California fishermen is as murky as the ocean depths where the prized crustaceans scuttle and scavenge. San Jose Mercury News article

Sacramento to host new professional rugby team — Sacramento was named Tuesday as the first of six cities to host teams playing in a new professional rugby league. The new team, which has yet to be named, will play at Bonney Field, home of the city’s Republic FC professional soccer team. Sacramento Bee article

LA Fire Department’s new recruitment chief on diversity: ‘We have work to do’ — The Los Angeles Fire Commission waded into the controversy over the city’s firefighter hiring practices Tuesday, debating what needs to be done to increase the number of women and minorities in the ranks. LA Times article

Corporate buses, symbol of changing San Francisco, gain approval — The ubiquitous corporate shuttles that came to be seen as a symbol if not a cause of gentrification in San Francisco are welcome to stay — or at least to go on sharing a network of street stops with public transit buses. San Francisco Chronicle article


Counties working together on water storage – County supervisors are hoping a new agreement will help secure billions of dollars for Valley water projects. The Tulare County Board of Supervisors approved a joint exercise of powers authority agreement Tuesday with four other counties to lobby together to get a portion of California’s $7.5 billion Proposition 1 dollars to fund Valley water-storage projects. Visalia Times-Delta article

Kern County lays out El Nino preparations – El Niño is coming, and Kern County supervisors heard Tuesday what their departments have done to prepare. They were also warned that no amount of preparation can prevent a big storm from wreaking havoc. Public Works Director Craig Pope laid out the facts of life under which most Kern County citizens live. Bakersfield Californian article

Lois Henry: Groundwater feud brewing in Kern? — First rule of groundwater: Not all parts of a groundwater basin are equal. Some are more equal than others. What that means is get ready for a good ol’ east-west water feud in Kern County as ag districts try to adhere to the state’s new groundwater law meant to stem over-pumping of our aquifers. Henry column in Bakersfield Californian 

Kern supports team approach to water regulation agency – Kern County supervisors voted Tuesday to pursue a partnership with multiple water agencies in the Indian Wells Valley to create a “groundwater sustainability agency” for the area. Bakersfield Californian article

Ellen Hanak: Paying for California’s water needs – Addressing our ability to provide a safe water supply for the poor, enable local water providers to charge appropriate water rates to cover needed investments, and maintain healthy watersheds and ecosystems are some key areas where change is needed.  Hanak on Public Policy Institute of California website

Groundwater recharge east of Turlock could get OK – A vote Thursday could launch a groundwater recharge project that aims to reduce the overdraft in the Eastside Water District by a tenth. The district, which serves about 61,000 acres in eastern Stanislaus and Merced counties, proposes a $6 million project funded by assessments on 320 or so parcel owners. Modesto Bee article

Merced Irrigation District and growers discuss long-term water plan – The Merced Irrigation District expects to face a growing dependence on the region’s groundwater due to trends forecast by its Water Resources Management Plan, an in-progress analysis that was discussed by directors and the public at a workshop Tuesday. Merced Sun-Star article

Agency seeks input on groundwater sustainability – Water conservation remains a focal point for local agencies in the Tulare and Visalia area and now city leaders turn to its citizens on ideas and input in managing the vital resource. Visalia Times-Delta article

LA County supervisors OK compromise plan on vineyards in Santa Monica Mountains — Drought-wary Los Angeles County supervisors voted Tuesday to approve a plan that will allow the continued creation of new vineyards in the northern portion of the Santa Monica Mountains with stricter regulations. LA Times article 

Meet the Oakland women who uses only 13 gallons of water a day — In light of the California drought, the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) asked its customers to cut back use to 35 gallons. Many are successfully meeting this request—and then there’s Oakland resident Faye Steiner who is getting by on only 13 gallons. EBMUD recently identified Steiner as one of its super-savers. San Francisco Chronicle article

Paul Wenger: Pesticides are used safely on California farms – The president of the California Farm Bureau Federation writes, “As a farmer who works directly with pesticides, it’s maddening to hear folks who have no first-hand knowledge make unsubstantiated claims about their use and safety.” Wenger op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Former top Sacramento cop Rick Braziel tapped to oversee county Sheriff’s Department — Former Sacramento police Chief Rick Braziel has been tapped to fill the vacant job of inspector general for Sacramento County, county officials announced Tuesday.  Sacramento Bee article

LA Police Commission approves contract for next wave of LAPD body cameras — The Los Angeles Police Commission on Tuesday approved a five-year, $31-million contract between the LAPD and Taser International for more than 6,000 body cameras that, if approved by the city, would move the department another step closer toward becoming the largest in the U.S. to use the technology on a wide scale. LA Times article

Kern County Sheriff’s Office encourage public to support suspicious activity — In light of the terrorist attacks in Paris on Nov. 13, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office said it is important for the community to remain alert and report any unusual or suspicious activity.  Bakersfield Californian article

Excessive force complaints top 300 in Santa Clara County jails — Inmates in Santa Clara County’s troubled jails have filed more than 300 excessive force complaints against guards since 2010, according to a new report compiled in the wake of a deadly beating that led to murder charges against three officers. San Jose Mercury News article


Cal State faculty rally for pay raises – Hundreds of chanting, banner-waving Cal State faculty members marched to the chancellor’s office in Long Beach on Tuesday, announcing their resolve to walk out of classes in the nation’s largest university system if an agreement is not reached in a long-running pay dispute. LA Times article

85,000 additional Corinthian students to get fast-track debt relief – More than 85,000 additional students who attended campuses owned by now-bankrupt Corinthian Colleges Inc. will be eligible for expedited debt relief, federal and state officials announced Tuesday. LA Times articleNew York Times article

Sacramento-area Corinthian colleges exaggerated job claims by up to 41 percent, report says — Sacramento-area campuses of schools owned by Corinthian Colleges, Inc. distorted job placement rates for students by as much as 41 percent, according to an analysis released Tuesday by the federal Department of Education and California Attorney General Kamala Harris. Sacramento Bee article

For migrant farmworkers, educating kids presents wrenching choices – As the growing season wraps up in the Salinas Valley, some workers are facing an age-old decision: move with the seasons or stay. The annual trek following harvests up and down the West Coast is calledla corrida. And although it has gone on for generations, it’s especially hard on families. KQED report

Sacramento Bee: Why is this still an elective office? – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Diego and Sacramento counties appoint their superintendents of schools, but the other 53 counties still elect them. Perhaps that’s something Californians should reconsider for a job that, in a growing number of places, has become exponentially more technical and complex. Sacramento Bee editorial 

LA Unified explores possibility of becoming an all-charter district – Converting the nation’s second-largest school system into an all-charter district is a long-shot—one that requires state approval and support from a majority of teachers. But members of the Los Angeles Unified Board of Education said they were exploring all options — even those that are unlikely — as the district contends with a charter school expansion plan spearheaded by the Broad Foundation. The plan seeks to enroll more than half the district’s students in charter schools over the next eight years. LA Times article

Nan Austin: What makes kids tune in, tackle the tough stuff? – After a decade devoted to studying how children learn, researchers from several disciplines are converging on why they learn.  Austin in Modesto Bee

Former Assembly leader urges dialogue, caution at California colleges – Former state Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, who graduated from Pitzer College in the 1990s, said students should beware of calling for the resignation of college administrators in the Claremont Colleges just because the tactic has been employed at the University of Missouri, where the president and chancellor resigned. LA Times article

Backlash brews against student race protests at Claremont McKenna College — Student protests that led to the resignation of a top administrator at Claremont McKenna College last week appeared widely supported in demanding actions to address the bias some minority students say they face at the elite liberal arts campus. But sharp dissent over the movement’s tactics is now emerging, as students who said they were fearful of speaking out last week have begun to step forward. LA Times articleRobin Abcarian column in LA Times

Aided by social media, college students find new power in campus protests – Since the resignation of its president and chancellor Nov. 9, protesters have organized at more than 100 colleges and universities nationwide. Social media sites have lighted up with voices of dissent, and what began as a grievance has evolved into a movement. LA Times article 

California voters say state must take action to address teacher shortage – California registered voters regard the emerging shortage of K-12 teachers as a very serious problem and think that the state should be taking decisive action to rectify the situation, according to a poll commissioned by EdSource and the Learning Policy Institute. EdSource article

Former Delta dean Hill made a difference — To know Hazel Hill was to love her, Hill’s close friends and colleagues said. The educator, philanthropist and advocate was devoted to her work and students at San Joaquin Delta College, and was an energetic and loving person. Hill died Friday, a week after suffering a stroke, McNeilly said. She was 65. Stockton Record article 

‘Destined for great things’ – Low-income students ask educators to believe they can succeed — “I am a leader.” “I am not ghetto.” “I am not incapable of being interested in mathematics and the sciences.” “I am destined for great things.” As part of a new school reform campaign, a statewide coalition of students from low-income families is posting statements on Twitter and Facebook that are both poignant and backed by research about system change: If you want schools to improve, they say, believe in us.  EdSource article

Fresno State entrepreneurial students compete at national pitch competition — Two Fresno State students had an opportunity to pitch their products in front of an audience of more than 700 people at the 2015 Collegiate Entrepeneuers’ Organization National Conference Nov. 5-7 in Kansas City, Missouri. Fresno State students Tyler Turk and Aubrey Lim advanced to the final round of the pitch competition, attracting students, faculty, business leaders and entrepreneurs from across the globe. Fresno Bee article


Seyed Sadredin: Wood smoke can make Valley air dangerous to breathe – The executive director/air pollution control officer of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District writes, “Wood smoke is a serious wintertime health threat.  It increases the risk of lung disease, respiratory illness, heart attacks and stroke. Residential wood burning can contribute up to two-thirds of total winter time PM2.5 emissions. Reducing emissions from wood stoves is crucial.” Sadredin op-ed in Modesto Bee 

Tom Frantz: A child’s exposure to fine particulates — A serious incident involving harm to scores of children occurred on Saturday in Kern County. It happened at the Kern County Soccer Park, where the American Youth Soccer Organization held an Under-19 and Under-16 soccer tournament. On this day, dozens of games were played at a location where the stagnating air was saturated with air pollution called fine particulate matter (PM 2.5). Frantz op-ed in Bakersfield Californian 

State investigators faulted PG&E after 2014 accident similar to last week’s gas explosion – Eighteen months before last week’s fatal gas line explosion south of Bakersfield, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. contributed to a similar accident by failing to mark the location of the same high-pressure pipeline, as requested by an excavation company, or have a representative on site during digging, state investigators have tentatively determined. Bakersfield Californian article 

Is California ready for the grizzly bear, again? — At one time there were over 10,000 grizzly bears in California, but people’s fear of the enormous animal drove the bears to extinction. The last California grizzly bearwas shot in Tulare County in 1924. One group would like to see the bears thrive again. But as Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero reports not everyone thinks the idea is a good one. KVPR report

Talk will resume on Tuolumne fish passage – Once again this fall, salmon are swimming up the Tuolumne River to spawn, going as far as La Grange Dam. Whether they went even higher before the dam was completed in 1893 is the topic of a meeting Thursday. Modesto Bee article

Sea turtle spotted far from home, along banks of San Joaquin River — A fisherman spotted and recorded a sea turtle in the San Joaquin River, the creature languidly swimming slowly many miles from its usual ocean habitat. Sacramento Bee article

Environmentalists ask judge to halt $500-million harbor-area rail yard – A coalition of environmentalists, community groups and Long Beach officials is seeking a court order to halt construction of a controversial $500-million Port of Los Angeles rail yard that they claim will increase pollution in surrounding low-income, minority communities. LA Times article

Health/Human Services 

Health care showdown: What’s driving a wedge between the Valley’s medical giants? – If there’s one word that epitomizes the state of health care today, it’s change. Nowhere is that more clear than in the San Joaquin Valley’s hospital landscape, where longtime friends have turned into bitter rivals. But what’s behind the shifting alliances that have divided much of the Fresno health care market in recent years? The answer could be one word, networks. KVPR report

Kern County pursuing life-saving phone app – Kern County supervisors directed county staff to purchase a software system that would link citizens trained in CPR with people in cardiac arrest. The PulsePoint software would be installed in Kern County Fire Department emergency dispatch systems. Bakersfield Californian article

March through downtown Fresno supports efforts to reduce premature births – In honor of World Prematurity Day on Tuesday, about 30 people – families and community members –gathered at the Lighthouse for Children in downtown Fresno to walk to Fresno City Hall, illuminating the night and the buildings in a purple glow to raise awareness of premature births. Fresno County has one of the highest premature birth rates in California. Each year, more than 1,500 premature babies are born in the county, more than 10 percent of births on average. Fresno Bee article

Premature birth ‘epidemic’ in several Bay Area counties — Nov. 17 is Prematurity Awareness Day and UCSF is working to raise awareness of it. Studies show that African-American and Latina women in Solano County, as well as in San Francisco, Alameda and Fresno counties, are at increased risk of pre-term birth, officials said.  San Jose Mercury News article

American River College student diagnosed with active TB — Sacramento County health officials are asking 150 American River College students to be tested for tuberculosis after a classmate was diagnosed with the active form of the infectious disease. Sacramento Bee article

HCCA brings in new amenities to hospital, Evolutions — Tulare Regional Medical Center has added a bone density-measuring machine and Evolutions Fitness & Wellness Center has opened saunas in each locker room, moves HealthCare Conglomerate Associates say enhance medical and health offerings. Visalia Times-Delta article 

American Medical Association backs prescription drug ad ban — The American Medical Association on Tuesday called for a ban on direct-to-consumer ads for prescription drugs and implantable medical devices, saying they contribute to rising costs and patients’ demands for inappropriate treatment. AP article

Land Use/Housing

Supervisors OK giving neighbors preference in subsidized units – People in San Francisco looking to move into affordable housing units sold or rented at below-market prices through a city lottery will have a much better chance of being selected if they live within a half mile of where the units are being built or in the supervisorial district, the Board of Supervisors decided Tuesday. San Francisco Chronicle article


Visalia launches shuttle bus service to Fresno – Round-trip bus service from Visalia to Fresno begins Wednesday, giving Visalia residents a new way to get to three major locations in the city to the north. Visalia Transit, the bus service division of Visalia government, is using 20-passenger shuttle buses and will stop in Fresno at the airport, Fresno State and downtown. Fresno Bee articleVisalia Times-Delta article 

Big Texas welcome for Google self-driving cars — With Google’s self-driving cars slowed in a gridlock of California regulation, Texas is offering a fast lane. Officials in Austin have embraced the technology, a welcome so warm that the mayor used talking points written by a Google lobbyist when the tech titan began testing prototypes on their streets over the summer. AP article

Other areas

Tulare County names top staff officer – The Tulare County Board of Supervisors has named Michael Spata as county administrative officer. Last month, Spata was appointed interim county administrator after Jean Rousseau resigned to take the same job with Fresno County. Fresno Bee articleVisalia Times-Delta article

Bakersfield will pay attorneys’ fees for group that sued to block 24th Street widening – The city will pay the attorneys’ fees for a citizens’ group that sued to stop the widening of 24th Street, an official said Tuesday after the Bakersfield City Council gave its approval during a special closed-session meeting. Bakersfield Californian article

Gov. Brown appoints three new judges to Fresno County bench – Gov. Jerry Brown Jr. on Monday named three new judges – federal prosecutor Mark E. Cullers, Court Commissioner Mary Dolas and veteran defense attorney Michael G. Idiart – to the Fresno Superior Court bench. The position pays $189,041 annually. Fresno Bee article 

Fresno County supervisors reach settlement on bridge project – Fresno County supervisors have agreed to a settlement on a bridge project that county officials said left too much debris in the Kings River and posed a danger to rafters and swimmers. Fresno Bee article 

Michael Fitzgerald: An American terrorized in Paris – James Mayfield, who grew up in Stockton, was in Paris last week, dining at a bistro near the Louvre when the texts came in. “Hey, are you all right?” And, “There has been a shooting.” Fitzgerald column in Stockton Record

Bill McEwen: Help this Fresno veteran recover his stolen classic cars – The inspiration came on Don and Faith Klein’s 30th anniversary in 1988. They would locate a 1956 Chevy Bel Air two-door hardtop and restore it to showroom condition, It would be two-tone – turquoise and white – and sport white widewall tires. Why that model? And why those colors? McEwen column in Fresno Bee

Paris attack sparks another fight against encryption – Pointing to terrorist attacks that killed more than 120 people in Paris, security officials are again pressuring Silicon Valley companies to weaken the ways they protect users’ private communications. San Francisco Chronicle article 

Oakland to pay for limiting seats in council chambers – Oakland will pay $37,000 to settle a lawsuit over the administration’s May decision to close off seats during City Council meetings, a measure that infuriated free speech activists and caused some officials to question whether they had violated state law. San Francisco Chronicle article

Q&A: Alex Honnold on climbing El Capitan without ropes, fear and his book ‘Alone on the Wall’ — Alex Honnold is a real life Spiderman. He’s climbed heights like El Capitan and Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. But what sets him apart from other climbers is that he leaves ropes and carabiners behind. In this interview FM89’s Ezra David Romero speaks with Honnold about his new book Alone on the Wall detailing 20 years of climbing history. KVPR report

Valley Editorial Roundup

Modesto Bee – Modesto Irrigation District should account for water and power rates.

Sacramento Bee – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Diego and Sacramento counties appoint their superintendents of schools, but the other 53 counties still elect them. Perhaps that’s something Californians should reconsider for a job that, in a growing number of places, has become exponentially more technical and complex; Violence directed at adolescents is a scourge, an epidemic, and a law enforcement and public health crisis. We must not become inured to it.

Maddy Events

Sunday, Nov. 22, at 5 p.m. on Fresno ABC30 – Maddy Report: California’s Right to Die Law: Facing an Age Old Question — Guests: UC Davis Professor Ben Rich, The Arc of California Executive Director Tony Anderson, and Disability Rights California Legislative Advocate Deborah Doctor. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director Mark Keppler.

Sunday, Nov. 22, at 7 a.m. on Univision 21 (KFTV) and UniMas 61 (KTFF) – El Informe Maddy: “Environmental and Water Issues in California” – Guest: Miryam Barajas of the State Water Resources Control Board. 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


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.

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!  

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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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