November 20, 2014


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Political Briefs

Top stories

Obama’s immigration overhaul could benefit many in California – Whatever the details of President Obama’s planned immigration overhaul, the stakes are particularly high for California. The state has the largest number of people who are in the country illegally, and many have especially deep roots. The changes could bring some form of legal status to hundreds of thousands of immigrants here and benefit two of the state’s leading industries: technology and agriculture. They will also undoubtedly leave some immigrants out — dividing families and the immigrant community into those who qualify for relief and those who don’t.  LA Times article;

CD16:  Jim Costa officially keeps House seat, edging out Johnny Tacherra in another late-vote rally – For the second time in the past three elections, Fresno Democrat Jim Costa has rallied from an election night vote deficit to win re-election to Congress. Fresno, Madera and Merced counties on Wednesday finished their vote counting in the 16th Congressional District, and the final tally has Costa ahead by 1,319 votes.  Fresno Bee article; AP article; LA Times article

California revenue projected to exceed budget estimates by $2 billion — California’s general fund will take in $2 billion more in revenue through June than lawmakers expected when they approved the current budget plan, the Legislature’s nonpartisan fiscal analyst said Wednesday, yet all of the increase will be absorbed by the state’s voter-approved constitutional school-funding guarantee.  Sacramento Bee article; John Myers in KQED

State budget

Analyst: No ‘fiscal cliff’ when tax hikes end — A steadily improving economy will buffer California’s budget from a drop in revenue expected when temporary tax hikes begin to expire in the coming years, the state’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office said Wednesday.  AP article

California sees reserves growing more than $4 billion over two years —  California’s state budget will accumulate more than $4 billion of reserves in the next two years, the budget watchdog estimated on Wednesday, a sign of significant progress for the debt-ridden state.  Reuters article

Gov. Brown

George Skelton: Brown’s unnecessary fundraising is certainly legal – but a turnoff – It’s not that Gov. Jerry Brown did anything illegal. It clearly was within the law. But it had an odor. It’s the kind of smell that turns off the public from politics and exacerbates the ridiculously low voter participation in elections.  Skelton column in LA Times

Valley politics

Opinski wins Merced school board seat — Merced area building contractor-developer Greg Opinski has defeated incumbent Trustee Ida Johnson for the Area 1 seat on the Merced Union High School District board in the Nov. 4 general election, the latest figures show.  Merced Sun-Star article


Obama poised to set political world on fire – President Barack Obama is about to flex his muscles on immigration; perhaps, skeptics believe, past the breaking point. As chief of the executive branch, Obama enjoys considerable authority to act on his own in certain areas, including national security and immigration. His predecessors, Republicans and Democrats alike, have employed similar powers.  McClatchy Newspapers article; Visalia Times-Delta article; New York Times article

Valley farmworkers rally at Capitol for immigration reform – Immigrant workers — including farmworkers from Madera and Sanger — joined Congressman Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., in front of the White House on Wednesday in an effort to remind Americans of the people working behind their Thanksgiving meal and show support for President Barack Obama’s proposed executive action on immigration reform.  Fresno Bee article

Business groups, farmworkers push for immigration reform in Bakersfield – Business groups and farmworker advocates staged separate events Wednesday in Bakersfield calling for quick action addressing the thorny questions of how to attract foreign nationals to work in the United States, and what to do about those already here without legal authorization.  Bakersfield Californian article

Clinton says Obama on firm ground on immigration – Former President Bill Clinton on Wednesday noted that previous U.S. presidents have issued some type of executive order on immigration, suggesting his Democratic successor was on “pretty firm legal ground.”  AP article

Bill Whalen: GOP should be smart, not petty, on immigration – Any fight over the details of the Obama edict will quickly settle on two points. One, it probably won’t constitute “amnesty,” not in the strictest sense of pardoning a criminal offense. And two, most any Republican counterstrike – defunding federal programs, shutting down the government – will come across as petty and mean-spirited.  Whalen column in Sacramento Bee

Sacramento Sheriff Jones takes Obama to task on YouTube over immigration reform – Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones has taken to YouTube to urge President Barack Obama to secure the nation’s borders in light of the death of one of his deputies allegedly by a man who had been deported only to return to the United States. Sacramento Bee article

Health care website a headache for green-card holders — is working better, but immigrants are running into what looks like an obvious slip-up. Call it the green-card glitch: The website has no clear path to upload the government identification document that shows they are legal U.S. residents, and entitled to benefits under President Obama’s health care law.  AP article

Other areas

Bera beats Ose in high-priced congressional race – More than two weeks after polls closed, Rep. Ami Bera has won a second term to represent a seat covering suburban Sacramento County, denying Republican challenger Doug Ose a return to Congress.  Capitol Alert

CCPOA’s clout high, but profile low — The California Correctional Peace Officers Association was once one of the most visible – and powerful – political forces in Sacramento. It thrived with the state’s vast prison expansion and it muscled concessions from Democratic and Republican governors alike. But the CCPOA now is in transition. The 28,500-member union still has the power – but it keeps a far lower profile.  Capitol Weekly article

Montana same-sex marriage ban overturned, effective immediately — Montana’s ban on same-sex marriage was struck down Wednesday afternoon by a federal judge who called the ban unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Brian Morris did not stay his injunction, which means state officials could begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples immediately.  LA Times article

NSA phone data collection could go on, even if a law expires — A little-known provision of thePatriot Act, overlooked by lawmakers and administration officials alike, appears to give President Obama a possible way to keep the National Security Agency’s bulk phone records program going indefinitely — even if Congress allows the law on which it is based to expire next year.  New York Times article

News Briefs

Top Stories

UC regents move tuition increase plan forward — University of California regents moved forward with a controversial plan Wednesday to raise tuition if the state does not give the system more money, with the proposal expected to be finalized Thursday.  Sacramento Bee article; San Francisco Chronicle article; LA Times article; New York Times article; KQED report

California schools, community colleges could get another $2 billion – California schools and community colleges could receive $2 billion in new funds as the state collects more revenue than expected, according to a report from the Legislature’s budget advisor.  LA Times article

Jobs and the Economy

Conference zeroes in on Valley economy – Officials gathered Wednesday at Modesto Centre Plaza to talk about why the Northern San Joaquin Valley should define itself as a region distinct from the rest of the San Joaquin Valley and align its economic destiny with the Bay Area and Sacramento region.  Modesto Bee article

Bakersfield City Council approves raises for police – Police union members got a new one-year labor contract with 2 and 3 percent raises following a swift Bakersfield City Council vote Wednesday.  Bakersfield Californian article

Employees feel disrespected over loss of loyalty bonus in Merced County labor talks – Merced County’s most veteran employees stand to lose a loyalty bonus they’ve gotten for nearly 15 years – a move several long-term workers likened to a slap in the face right before the holidays.  Merced Sun-Star article

San Bernardino given six months to come up with bankruptcy exit plan — San Bernardino has six months to come up with a detailed plan to exit bankruptcy or its case will be thrown out of court. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Meredith Jury ruled Tuesday that the city must file its plan no later than May 30, which is much closer to the March 1 deadline sought by the city’s pension obligation bondholders — and supported by the police and fire unions — than the September date that was part of the city’s agreement with CalPERS.  San Bernardino Sun article

San Bernardino hires Stockton exit plan architect – A former Stockton city manager, Bob Deis, regarded as the architect of the Stockton plan to exit bankruptcy, is part of a consulting team hired by bankrupt San Bernardino this week to develop an exit plan.  Stockton Record article

Report:  Statewide new car sales surge in third quarter – New car sales in California surged nearly 9 percent in this year’s third quarter compared with the same period in 2013, according to a report released Wednesday by the Sacramento-based California New Car Dealers Association.  Sacramento Bee article

Joel Fox: Workers’ comp – again — Stopping the increased costs must be a concern of the newly elected legislature. If workers’ comp costs climb to a point where they were during the workers’ comp war of ten years ago, another initiative may beckon. With the low turnout in the recent gubernatorial election the amount of signatures needed to qualify an initiative for the ballot has dropped. The necessary signatures to put a workers’ comp reform measure on the ballot would be easier to attain.  Fox in Fox & Hounds

It’s official: San Francisco aims for 2024 Olympics – A $350 million “pop-up” stadium in a Brisbane field. Beach volleyball in front of San Francisco City Hall. Table tennis in Chinatown. San Francisco is officially bidding on the 2024 Olympics, organizers have disclosed to The Chronicle, and their pitch for the Summer Games will focus on the Bay Area’s distinctions, ingenuity and character.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Alice Perez: Latino businesses at mercy of state costs – The president of the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce writes, “Whether the cost increases are in energy, health care or workers’ compensation, they all impact business. Too many are a bad recipe for small business success in California. We hope our lawmakers step up and represent their constituents as these far-reaching policies are proposed and implemented.”  Perez op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Sacramento and D.C. federal prosecutors rake in record revenues for 2014 – In Sacramento and Washington, D.C., federal prosecutors on Wednesday announced record revenue from fines and judgments, fueled largely by the JPMorgan Chase settlement over sales of soured mortgage bonds that contributed to the 2008 financial crisis. Sacramento Bee article

California postpones greenhouse-gas credits auction – Hoping to inaugurate an historic link with a Canadian province in the fight against global warming, California officials were forced instead to call off a scheduled auction of carbon-emissions allowances Wednesday due to technical problems.  Sacramento Bee article

Average gas prices in San Joaquin County drop below $3 a gallon – Today marks the first time in more than five years that the average price for a gallon of regular gas has dropped below $3 in San Joaquin County.  Stockton Record article

Turlock plastics recycling company to get $1 million grant — Peninsula Plastics Recycling Inc. has one of eight projects that the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) will support with its newly established greenhouse gas reduction grants.  Modesto Bee article

MLS to hear expansion pitches from Sacramento, Minneapolis, Las Vegas — Sacramento officials are heading back to New York on Thursday to pitch the city’s effort for a Major League Soccer expansion franchise, along with rival groups from Minneapolis and Las Vegas.  Sacramento Bee article

Symphony, union reach 3-year deal — The Stockton Symphony will reach the age of 91. That’s because the musicians and board members have agreed on a contract that extends until June 30, 2017.  Stockton Record article

Lessons from a lawsuit — Sen. Joe Dunn says he was fired by the California State Bar for reporting the agency’s failings. The bar says a lawsuit making that claim is “baseless” and falsely suggests that the termination decision was motivated by Dunn’s whistleblowing. Are you watching, state workers?  Sacramento Bee article


Limits end on most California stream diversions – Thousands of water users across California can again draw water directly from streams after state officials Wednesday lifted restrictions on one of the last major blocks of water rights, imposed in June due to the drought.  Sacramento Bee article

Oakdale Irrigation District water sales plan bashed by county advisory committee – A briefing of the Stanislaus County Water Advisory Committee on the state’s proposals to reduce river diversions for agriculture quickly turned into a pointed discussion about Oakdale Irrigation District’s determination to pump groundwater for its farmers while selling surface water to agencies outside the region.  Modesto Bee article

California almond growers welcome record revenue, rainy weather – Concerns over California’s ongoing drought were about the only drawback at the gathering, where growers were officially informed that the cooperative amassed record annual revenue of $1.5 billion with its 2013 crop, up 25 percent from $1.2 billion the prior year. Despite worries about the drought’s immediate and long-term effect on the state’s almond orchards, which stretch from Bakersfield to Redding, cooperative President and CEO Mark Jansen was decidedly upbeat.  Sacramento Bee article

Sacramento Bee: Feinstein freezes out Northern California from water talks – Sen. Dianne Feinstein and House Republicans have been secretly negotiating drought relief legislation that could severely alter California water policy. She should know better.  Sacramento Bee editorial

Jeff Jardine: Water meetings deepen public participation – Barking dog ordinances, raising garbage rates, approving zoning changes – all important stuff to some people. But water, whether pumped from the ground or from the foothill reservoirs, is everybody’s business.  Jardine column in Modesto Bee

Barbara Higgens: Let water flow in bathroom faucets – A founder of the Plumbing Industry Leadership Coalition writes, “The California Energy Commission will make a crucial mistake if it ignores a potential threat to the health and safety of Californians in favor of a proposal from investor-owned utilities.”  Higgens op-ed in Sacramento Bee

‘First Look’: Lois Henry talks about low groundwater levels, NASA imaging — California’s groundwater problem that Californian columnist Lois Henry has been reporting on for years hit the big screen Sunday night as the lead story on the “60 Minutes” television news program.  Bakersfield Californian article

Livestock families want answer from fair – The Kern County Fair’s chief executive and members of the livestock community clashed again this week at a meeting of the fair’s board of directors.  Bakersfield Californian article

Water feature sprays on amid drought — The county administration complex on San Diego’s downtown waterfront has been using 1.3 million more gallons of water per month since a popular new park and splashy water feature went in.  U-T San Diego article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Kern High School District gets pushback on hiring police – The Kern High School District is hiring two police sergeants who could, against wishes of a local classified union, come from departments outside the district police department.  Bakersfield Californian article

Oliver: I don’t remember events leading up to school shooting – Bryan Oliver took the stand in his trial on two counts of attempted murder Wednesday and said he’s sorry for opening fire with a shotgun in a Taft Union High School classroom the morning of Jan. 10, 2013. Oliver said he hopes Bowe Cleveland, whom he shot in the chest, recovers from his injuries. He said he never intended to kill Cleveland nor the other student, Jacob Nichols, at whom he’s accused of firing.  Bakersfield Californian article

Fresno woman wants answers as to why her brother’s killer released from prison — A Fresno man who killed a co-worker, and then cut out the man’s heart and put it in a jacket pocket in 1984, has been released from prison. Theodore LeLeaux Jr. was serving 16 years to life in prison for killing 25-year-old Kenneth Carlock. Carlock’s sister, Gayle McCracken, said Wednesday that learning of LeLeaux’s release from the California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo is “like being sucker punched.”  Fresno Bee article

Stockton Record:  Candid cameras — Somewhere out there is an anonymous donor. To that person, Stocktonians should say a collective “Thank you.” A donor has come forward with a six-figure contribution so Stockton can equip its police force with body cameras.  Stockton Record editorial

Beyond the call of duty — A Hanford police officer recently went above and beyond the call of duty to help out a local homeless man. Hanford Sentinel article

Ceres recruiting for police chief – The city on Wednesday opened the application period for the position of police chief. The position was created last month when the City Council voted to dissolve the Department of Public Safety in favor of creating separate police and fire departments.  Modesto Bee article

California man imprisoned for 36 years was wrongly convicted, prosecutors say – A man who has spent more than 36 years behind bars for murder was wrongfully convicted and is expected to be released next week. But prosecutors, who said newly tested DNA evidence does not match the man, are leaving the door open for a new trial. LA Times article

San Francisco sees sharp increase in violent and property crimes —  As San Francisco booms thanks to the tech industry, one side effect has emerged: an increase in crime. The city saw more than 20% jumps in both the rate of property crime, such as thefts and burglary, and the rate of violent crime, such as robbery and assault, between 2012 and 2013.  LA Times article

Orange County prostitution fight puts new focus on shaming of johns — Orange County prosecutors are taking the tactic to another level: Asking every police agency in the county to hand over photographs of offenders so that they can be posted on the district attorney’s website under the heading “Sex Purchasers.”  LA Times article


Merced schools’ workers get pay boost – The Merced City School District’s 489 classified or non-teaching employees got a raise this week, courtesy of the Board of Education. Board members Tuesday night gave members of California School Employees Association Chapter 530 a 3 percent raise retroactive to July and a one-time stipend of 2 percent covering July through March, along with added contributions to their health insurance.  Merced Sun-Star article

Nan Austin: Testing, testing, 1-2-3 testing – I spent two days this week at Stanford University at an Education Writers Association seminar on state testing that third-graders through high school students will take in the spring. I came to learn about the tests. But just as valuable are the fresh ideas sprouting from the tangents, and those along-the-way talks with colleagues. Even just the change of pace – a day without deadlines – lends itself to looking at the bigger picture.  Austin in Modesto Bee

Fresno State to receive $100,000 in honor of educator – A gift of $100,000 is on its way to Fresno State’s College of Health and Human Services in honor of lifelong educator and Fresno County library worker Faith Ann Searle. The gift, pledged from the estate of Patricia Powell, will support students of the college and their research.  The Business Journal article

Keen interest in vocational bachelor’s degrees – Half of the community college districts in California have expressed interest in offering vocational bachelor’s degrees allowed under a new law, offering up an expansive wish list of degree programs that run the gamut from mortuary science to electron microscopy.  EdSource article

Merced Office of Education donates auto to Project 10% — The Merced County Office of Education has donated use of an automobile that will make it easier for UC Merced students to visit eighth graders, urging them to stay in school and consider going to a college or university when they graduate.  Merced Sun-Star article

Nasdaq warns Corinthian Colleges on failure to file financial reports – Santa Ana-based Corinthian Colleges Inc. said Wednesday it received a warning that it is not in compliance with Nasdaq rules, after the company failed to file its last two quarterly financial reports.  LA Times article

UCLA student government votes for divestment in Israel – The UCLA undergraduate student government has voted to support a measure that urges the UC system to sell off stock in companies that do business with the Israeli military and profit from Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories.  LA Times article

Oversight of student records program ‘grossly inadequate,’ audit finds –  An investigation into the rollout of a new online student records system by the Los Angeles Unified School District found that management of the project was “grossly inadequate.”  LA Times article

Manhattan Beach high school closes for 2nd day after Yik Yak threats — Mira Costa High School was closed for a second day Wednesday after threats against the school were posted on the anonymous messaging app Yik Yak. Police say they don’t yet know who sent the messages.  LA Times article


PG&E could be fined over alleged secret dealings – State regulators are set to consider whether to fine Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and require its shareholders to cover as much as $200 million of a gas rate increase because of backroom negotiations between the utility and regulators.  AP article

PG&E got $29 million in ‘corrupt deal’ with state, group says — A ratepayer group demanded Wednesday that the California Public Utilities Commission undo a $29 million profit boost for Pacific Gas and Electric Co. that the commission approved after its president reportedly solicited the utility’s help in defeating a state ballot measure. San Francisco Chronicle article

Water board weighs phasing out Diablo Canyon’s cooling system — In 2010, California’s water board required all coastal power plants in the state to phase out this type of system, called once-through-cooling, bringing the state in line with part of the federal Clean Water Act. The State Water Resources Board held a hearing Tuesday afternoon to discuss whether PG&E should have to comply with that policy at Diablo Canyon.  KQED report

Woodbridge Wilderness Park in need of guidance — A nuisance. A fire danger. An unspoiled oasis of natural beauty. The 17-acre Woodbridge Wilderness Area along the Mokelumne River in northern San Joaquin County has been all of these things.  Stockton Record article

Health/Human Services

California health and child-welfare agency may seek increase in tobacco tax – With smoking on the decline and cigarette sales continuing to fall in California, a state health and child-welfare agency that relies on tobacco taxes for funding is exploring new ways to get money.  LA Times article

Southland employers expect 4.8 percent hike in health-benefit costs – Southern California employers expect their health-benefit costs to rise 4.8% next year as the economy recovers and mandates under the federal health law kick in, a new survey shows.  LA Times article

Covered California bus makes stop in Modesto to promote health care coverage – The Covered California bus stopped Wednesday at Modesto’s McHenry Village on the 10th day of a scheduled nine-day tour of the state.  Modesto Bee article

Judge won’t stop LA County from sending 91,000 Medi-Cal cancellations – More than 91,000 Medi-Cal recipients in Los Angeles County will be sent letters this week telling them that their state-supported healthcare coverage will end on Nov. 30. A judge this week refused to block the notices, even though health advocates argued that the letters lack important details that would help recipients renew their plans.  LA Times article

Doctors stumped as more breast cancer patients remove healthy breasts — Evidence is mounting that too many women with early-stage breast cancer are opting for mastectomies instead of having breast-conserving surgeries that offer the same odds of survival.  LA Times article

Covered California patients not only ones with network woes — Charlie Spiegel said he was “thrilled” when he learned that the Department of Managed Health Care was taking action against two major insurers that sell policies on the Covered California marketplace who, DMHC says, violated state law by listing doctors on their online directories who were not part of their network.  KQED report

Discussion of Laura’s Law held in Fresno – Funding has kept counties from implementing Laura’s Law, which allows people with serious mental illness to be ordered into outpatient treatment, the man who helped draft the law said Wednesday in Fresno.  Fresno Bee article

Two food banks feed the hungry in Tulare County – As Ana Villalobos donated corn, tuna, Jello and a cake mix to FoodLink for Tulare County’s Stuff the Trolley campaign Tuesday at Pinkham Elementary School, she explained why she donates. “I want to help people who don’t have food so they won’t suffer from hunger,” she said. In Tulare County, that’s 10,000 more people than last year asking for help from Tulare County food pantries, said Sarah Ramirez, executive director for FoodLink.  Visalia Times-Delta article

Death doesn’t stop Brittany Maynard’s advocacy — Advocates of aid-in-dying laws marked what would have been Brittany Maynard’s 30th birthday Wednesday by breathing new life into efforts to expand end-of-life choices for terminally ill patients, saying lawmakers in a dozen states have taken up the cause, including in California.  San Francisco Chronicle article

In California, West Nile deaths highest in more than a decade – There have been 752 cases of West Nile Virus reported in California so far this year. That’s more than three times the average number of annual cases over the past five years.  KPCC report

Children in need await your love — November is national Adoption Awareness Month, and the Haughts agreed to tell their story to encourage others to become foster or adoptive parents.  Bakersfield Californian article

Land Use/Housing

Church project receives full Tulare council support – The proposed $105-million project that would bring senior housing, a mental health clinic and church to northeast Tulare will continue.  Visalia Times-Delta article

Helena Chemical gets Hanford council go-ahead – A divided Hanford City Council approved provisions Tuesday night that will allow the expansion of Helena Chemical’s fertilizer facility on East Lacey Boulevard.  Hanford Sentinel article

Kingsburg Planning Commission hears Crestwood hospital plan — No, their minds are not made up yet. That’s the message Planning Commission members wanted the audience to hear as they continue taking public comments tomorrow night and weighing the conditional-use permit and variance for a 10-foot, six-inch tall fence filed by Crestwood Behavioral Health.  Kingsburg Recorder article in Hanford Sentinel


Officials tout clean machines to help Valley air during high-speed rail construction – Construction has yet to begin on the first stretch of California’s high-speed rail line through the central San Joaquin Valley. But once significant work does start, officials say the heavy equipment to be used will be some of the cleanest machinery available.  Fresno Bee article

JetBlue cutting legroom, adding checked-bag fees for some fliers — To boost revenue, JetBlue Airways announced plans Wednesday to eliminate free checked bags for its lowest fares and squeeze the legroom on most of its planes. Those changes and others to be adopted by 2017 are expected to generate more than $400 million annually. That leaves Southwest Airlines as the only U.S. carrier to offer free checked bags to all its passengers.  LA Times article

Other Areas

Fresno County dismisses Del Rey woman’s medical marijuana fines, she still seeks court order – Fresno County wants to dismiss $43,000 in fines against a Del Rey woman for cultivating medical marijuana, but her lawyer went to court Wednesday seeking an order from a Fresno County judge before she accepts the county’s decision. Fresno Bee article

Stockton Record: Another diversion – We’re not here to pass judgment in the sudden and unfortunate case of Christina Fugazi versus the Stockton Police Department. The facts are in dispute, and an investigation is needed. But allow us to exhale a breath of frustration that this has to be dealt with in the first place.  Stockton Record editorial

Tulare bans synthetic marijuana to crack down on teen use – An ordinance banning the sale or possession of synthetic marijuana and similar products goes into effect in Tulare today. The prohibition covers designer drugs known as “bath salts” and “spice” that are smoked, swallowed, inhaled or injected to get high.  Fresno Bee article

California’s most, least wired cities – Almost nine out of ten California households — the poor, the rich; the old, the young — owned some type of computer last year, new census figures show. About 80 percent of households owned a desktop or laptop; about 70 percent owned a smart phone or other handheld computer. This map shows the percentage of households that own a computer in each of the state’s largest urban areas.  Sacramento Bee article

Charles Manson’s notoriety gives Corcoran unavoidable identity — There’s no escaping Charles Manson in Corcoran, a city in Kings County once associated with cotton instead of a mass murderer.  Fresno Bee article

Merced shoos panhandlers by removing benches – The city of Merced recently removed several benches from Bob Hart Square after complaints that they are frequented by panhandlers and homeless people, but not all downtowners like the idea.  Merced Sun-Star article

Joe Mathews: California has become the Massage State — Judging by all the parlors along our thoroughfares, this is a state of massage. Since the 2007 arrival of the Great Recession, hotbeds of massage have emerged in San Francisco, San Mateo, Fresno, Sacramento, Orange County, and the San Gabriel Valley, where I live. On a recent walk in my own neighborhood, I counted 10 massage businesses within six blocks of my house. All this massage reveals quite a bit about today’s California.  Mathews in Bakersfield Californian

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – California has found its way back from its own fringes while the rest of the nation continues to be manipulated by partisan extremes.

Merced Sun-Star – If the UC regents can’t bring themselves to vote no, they should at least delay the vote until they can make a better case for these increases or find ways to assure us it will be well spent.

Modesto Bee – If the UC regents can’t bring themselves to vote no, they should at least delay the vote until they can make a better case for these increases or find ways to assure us it will be well spent.

Sacramento Bee – Sen. Dianne Feinstein and House Republicans have been secretly negotiating drought relief legislation that could severely alter California water policy. She should know better;  Reasonable limits on NSA go nowhere.

Stockton Record – We’re not here to pass judgment in the sudden and unfortunate case of Christina Fugazi versus the Stockton Police Department. The facts are in dispute, and an investigation is needed. But allow us to exhale a breath of frustration that this has to be dealt with in the first place; Somewhere out there is an anonymous donor. To that person, Stocktonians should say a collective “Thank you.” A donor has come forward with a six-figure contribution so Stockton can equip its police force with body cameras.