November 27, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories

John Myers: Revamped primaries changed California politics, but not like everyone thought – California has now conducted 469 regularly scheduled races under the top-two primary — elections for governor, Congress and every seat in the Legislature. The bottom line: changes, yes, but likely only on the margins. Myers column in LA Times

Dan Walters: How California became a very blue state — California’s political evolution over the last four decades, from a mostly red state to a purple state and finally to a very blue state, corresponds to its powerful demographic trends, driven largely by equally powerful economic forces.  Walters column in Sacramento Bee


Kevin R. Johnson: Trump’s immigration promises fraught with obstacles – The dean of the UC Davis School of Law writes, “There are a number of ways that a Trump administration might seek to accomplish mass removals, but they are fraught with legal obstacles and potential public backlash.” Johnson op-ed in Sacramento Bee 

Victor Davis Hanson: With ‘sanctuary city,’ enemies of language rebrand their biases – “Sanctuary city” is a euphemism for the local and state nullification of federal law – a subversive tactic that dates back to the nullification crises during the Andrew Jackson administration and, later, in the years leading up to the Civil War. Hanson column in Fresno Bee

Other areas

‘Calexit’: Just some flaky California dreamin’? — We’ve got more people than Canada, a bigger economy than France, and enough farms to feed half the world and leave the other half stoned out of their minds. So could California really go it alone? Or is this independence “Calexit” thing just its latest pipe dream? San Jose Mercury News article

Donald W. Blount: Haters gotta hate, but by no means does anyone have to accept it – Dear Haters, Let me wish all of you a belated Happy Thanksgiving. In addition, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa and Happy Holidays. I also want to thank you for calling and writing. I certainly I appreciate the feedback. Whenever I write about race, you feel the need to call me names, attack my family, attack my intelligence, sensibility, etc. Blount column in Stockton Record 

Activists find solace in victories — One group turned out to express gratitude. The other turned out to have its voice heard with peaceful protest. The two small, separate groups took to the streets of downtown Stockton at the same moment last week, both seeking to raise awareness of issues recently in the news. Stockton Record article

Presidential Politics 

Letters threatening genocide against Muslims and praising Trump sent to multiple mosques — The Council on American-Islamic Relations has called for increased police protection of local mosques after letters that threatened the genocide of Muslims and praised President-elect Donald Trump were sent to multiple California mosques this week. LA Times article

Will Fidel Castro’s death offer Trump an opening on Cuba? — Fidel Castro’s death may offer President-elect Donald Trump an opening to back away from a sweeping pledge the Republican candidate made to South Florida voters to reverse U.S. rapprochement with Cuba. McClatchy Newspapers article 

Clinton camp will join recount efforts – Nearly three weeks after Election Day, Hillary Clinton’s campaign said on Saturday that it would participate in a recount process in Wisconsin incited by a third-party candidate and would join any potential recounts in two other closely contested states, Pennsylvania and Michigan. New York Times article

How Nancy Pelosi’s daughter and Dianne Feinstein’s granddaughter became part of Electoral College — Among the electors are Janine Bera, the wife of Rep. Ami Bera of Elk Grove; Christine Pelosi, the daughter of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and chairwoman of the state party’s women’s caucus; Eileen Feinstein Mariano, granddaughter of Sen. Dianne Feinstein; and Olivia Reyes-Becerra, daughter of Rep. Xavier Becerra of Los Angeles. State Assemblywomen Susan Eggman of Stockton and Shirley Weber of San Diego, former state Sen. Christine Kehoe of San Diego, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nury Martinez and Laphonza Butler, president of the Service Employees International Union chapter that represents home care employees, also are on the list. LA Times article

News Stories

Top Stories

Accurate valley fever counts elude health officials — Estimates of the number of valley fever cases recorded by local, state and federal agencies vary so widely that they call into question the accuracy of the figures released to the public, a Center for Health Journalism Collaborative investigation has found. Bakersfield Californian article 

Sides brace for hearing on river flow plan – Fishing and environmental groups will get the first say Tuesday about how much water should run down the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers. Modesto Bee article

Jobs and the Economy

Customers flock to Old Town Clovis stores in support of Small Business Saturday — Inside the Fifth Street Antiques store at the corner of Fifth Street and Pollasky Avenue in Old Town Clovis on Saturday, owner Wanda Leon greeted customers who popped in. Leon was in on the effort to draw shoppers to her small antique shop, charging no sales taxes on items in her store as crowds flocked to Old Town Clovis for Small Business Saturday. Fresno Bee article

Sacramento Bee: We can’t fix homelessness without regional strategy – To truly move the needle, an agreed upon, coordinated regional plan is needed to roll out services and manage spending. Sacramento Bee editorial

As soda taxes gain acceptance, your bottle could be next – Following successful measures on Election Day, advocates believe more cities will consider them, not just to fight obesity, but also to bring in more money. New York Times article

How costly are Sacramento Kings tickets? It’s no longer just about where you sit — The price you pay for a Sacramento Kings ticket at Golden 1 Center doesn’t just depend on where you sit. It also depends on which game you’re attending, how you buy the ticket and even when you make your purchase. Sacramento Bee article


Mark Arax: Desert and farm, water drainage and a new deal in the Central Valley – The Fresno author writes, “California finally has begun the process of regulating groundwater. Sometime in the next decade, Westlands won’t be able to willy-nilly stick more 1,800-foot wells in the ground to make up for water that drought and fish take. And sometime beyond that, as the ancient Sumerians discovered, salt inexorably will have its way. The whale, these farmers will whisper, cannot be sustained.” Arax op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Don Curlee: Forests require farm technique — Talk about a huge spread! California’s national forests occupy 20.8 million acres, all requiring hands-on maintenance. Some say they are not receiving enough of it. Dean Gould, who is Supervisor of the Sierra National Forest, headquartered in Clovis, talked about the sometimes conflicting, always demanding and usually difficult functions National Forest Servicepersonnel must perform. They extend from fighting raging fires to protecting chipmunks and children. All of them relate to farm life as well. Curlee column in Visalia Times-Delta

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Lois Henry: More cameras sneaking into daily local law enforcement – Kern and Bakersfield law enforcement are taking a wade-in, rather than cannonball, approach to cameras. I think that’s a good thing. Henry column in Bakersfield Californian

When the driver couldn’t hear that his pickup was on fire, the cop knew what to do next — Fresno police Officer Bernie Vizcarra was on a routine patrol Saturday evening in downtown Fresno when he noticed sparks and small flames erupting from beneath a blue Toyota pickup heading south on M Street. His first thought? “Wow, that doesn’t look good.” Fresno Bee article

Lewis Griswold: Gang graffiti is nasty stuff, and the new lieutenant at the sheriff’s substation wants to wipe it out — Lt. Gabriel Macias, the new commander of the Cutler-Orosi sheriff’s substation in Tulare County, surveyed the towns and saw that the time had come to do something about all the gang graffiti. “I come in with the attitude, let’s improve our communities,” Macias said. Griswold in Fresno Bee

Jeff Jardine: Riverbank package thief shamed on social media, but other crooks await Cyber Monday — Pilfer packages from porches, and expect no pity from the public. And also know that you soon could become an online celebrity in a very bad way. “It’s a great source for us,” Gingerich said. “We catch lots of people through the social media.” But more get away with it because most folks don’t install the surveillance cameras. And thieves tend to hit nearby communities where they don’t think they’ll be as recognizable, though social media can be the great equalizer. Jardine column in Modesto Bee

Sacramento City Council to vote on police reform — Nearly five months after police officers shot and killed a mentally ill man in North Sacramento, prompting community demands for police reform, a proposal before the Sacramento City Council this week may increase oversight of the department. Sacramento Bee article


Fresno Bee: Planned Clovis medical school deserves Valley’s support — This medical school would be a life-changer for many. We urge Valley residents, and especially our leaders, to support this mission. There undoubtedly will be bumps and hurdles along the way, so it is vital that everyone focus on what’s possible and what’s best for our region.  Fresno Bee editorial


Is one small California city exempt from state’s plastic bag ban? — As plastic bags are taken off checkout counters across California, one Placer County suburb says its businesses are protected from the statewide plastic bag ban. In August 2014, Lincoln passed a resolution intended to allow businesses to choose whether or not to follow a statewide bag ban. Sacramento Bee article

Health/Human Services 

Some fear California’s tax on e-cigarettes may deter smokers – Smoking has dropped to historic lows nationwide, dramatically decreasing revenue from tobacco taxes. In search of funds, a growing number of states are taxing electronic cigarettes – a trend that is sparking a fierce public health debate over whether it will deter smokers from switching to a safer alternative. AP article

New tricks in canine cancer aim to treat humans, too — Flyer is part of a burgeoning field called “comparative oncology.” It focuses on finding new ways to treat cancer in pets, mostly dogs, in an effort to develop innovative treatments for people and animals. The growing interest in dogs reflects researchers’ frustration with the standard approach to developing cancer treatments: testing them in lab animals, especially mice. Washington Post article

Land Use/Housing

General Plan meeting set for Monday — The local Sierra Club chapter will host a meeting Monday evening to inform residents about the work being done by the city to amend its General Plan for Stockton’s growth over the next quarter-century. Stockton Record article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – The planned Clovis medical school would be a life-changer for many. We urge Valley residents, and especially our leaders, to support this mission. There undoubtedly will be bumps and hurdles along the way, so it is vital that everyone focus on what’s possible and what’s best for our region.

Sacramento Bee –- To truly move the needle on homelessness, an agreed upon, coordinated regional plan is needed to roll out services and manage spending.