November 28, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories 

Donald Trump alleges widespread voter fraud in California. There’s no evidence to back it up — President-elect Donald Trump not only alleged widespread national voter fraud in a series of messages posted on Twitter on Sunday, but took the time in one tweet to target the ballots cast in California as an example of the problem. Trump called the fraud “serious” in the state, along with Virginia and New Hampshire, and blamed media “bias” for the lack of coverage the allegations have received. The tweet, posted on Sunday afternoon, was met with condemnation from the state’s top elections official. LA Times articleNew York Times article

Dan Walters: California’s legal system beset by scandal, conflict — While other, more pejorative, terms could be used to describe California’s massive legal system these days, let’s just say it’s in disarray, and count the ways. Walters column in Sacramento Bee

Valley politics

Ballots dwindle as counting nears end — As elections officials continue counting the thousands of mail-in and provisional ballots cast on Election Day, they’re finally down to manageable numbers. As of Saturday, Tulare County officials had counted more than 30,000 ballots post-election. They have 28 days after the Nov. 8 election to certify the results and declare official winners. Officials have spent six days a week counting ballots since Election Day. Visalia Times-Delta article


Cities vow to fight Trump’s policies on immigration — Officials in what are known as sanctuary cities say they will act as a bulwark against mass deportations, even at the risk of losing federal money for local services. New York Times article

Other areas 

A Californian will be the first woman of color elected to House leadership. The only question is which one – A woman of color will be elected to join House leadership this week for the first time, and she’ll be a Democrat from California. While most attention in Washington is focused on whether House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) will beat back a challenge in the Wednesday leadership election, House Democrats will also choose between Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Whittier) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) for vice chair of the Democratic Caucus. LA Times article

Presidential Politics

Cathleen Decker: Trump the president-elect: So far, acting a lot like Trump the candidate — Nearly three weeks into his presidential transition, Donald Trump has hewn closely to the habits that won him the presidency. He continues to brush aside fine points of policy and freely contradict earlier positions, with some of the shifts seemingly based simply on the latest advice he’s received or the most recent audience he’s spoken to. Decker in LA Times

News Stories

Top Stories

The city fought the utility, and won – It’s not in the City of Bakersfield’s job description to save thousands of residents millions of dollars in the price they pay for water delivered to their taps by a for-profit company. But this year the City became a major player in opposing a request by California Water Service Co. to raise its rates significantly across most of Bakersfield through 2019. And it appears the City has won the day. Bakersfield Californian article 

Some people drive distracted despite knowing the danger, UC Merced study says — People know using their cellphone while driving is dangerous, but they do it anyway, according to a recent survey of UC Merced students. Professor Stephen Wooding and his public health class dived into a research project examining what people know about distracted driving and how they feel about it. Merced Sun-Star article

Jobs and the Economy

This year’s Black Friday shoppers went online more – and spent less – Consumers increasingly turned online during the Black Friday weekend, boosting traffic during the crucial start of the holiday shopping season. Nearly 109 million people shopped from their computers and mobile devices from Thanksgiving Day through Sunday, while about 99 million hit the sales in brick-and-mortar stores, according to a survey from the trade group National Retail Federation. That’s compared to last year, when shoppers were more evenly split, with 103 million browsing online and 102 million in stores. LA Times article

Supreme Court agrees to rule on its own pensions – The state Supreme Court last week agreed to hear an appeal of a groundbreaking ruling that allows cuts in the pensions earned by current state and local government workers, including judges. Calpensions article

Latino Community Roundtable now in good standing with state — A state agency has reinstated the Latino Community Roundtable after the Modesto nonprofit submitted delinquent paperwork and put in place measures to prevent the lapses from happening again. The Office of the Attorney General’s registry of charitable trusts barred the roundtable from operating in April after suspending its registration in October 2014 for failing to file required paperwork over several years. The registry reinstated the roundtable Nov. 4 but on a three-year probationary basis. Modesto Bee article

Homeless man’s digs are so cool he charges rent, but city calls his place a hazard — Ceola Waddell Jr. has what may be the most eye-popping digs of any homeless man in Los Angeles. A video tour of his living room sofa and loveseat, porcelain toilet and zebra-skin slipcovers has been seen 1.4 million times on Facebook. His fans make pilgrimages to the tent-lined strip beneath the 110 Freeway near the Coliseum – he calls it “Paradise Lane” – to take selfies. LA Times article


Wet fall should help winter birds migrating to Central Valley — A wet autumn should continue a trend this year of improving habitat for Swainson’s hawks, western sandpipers and other migratory birds that arrive in the Sacramento Valley via the Pacific Flyway, a major north-south migratory route, each winter. Sacramento Bee article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

On Duty with the CHP: Holidays call for extra planning, vigilance in quest to stay safe — This holiday season, the California Highway Patrol shares a reminder about how to protect what you’ve bought before it gets home. On Duty with the CHP column in Fresno Bee


Can a child who starts kindergarten with few reading or math skills catch up? – A 2015 UC Berkeley study of 4,550 children nationwide found that although Latino children showed roughly the same level of language comprehension as their white peers at 9 months old, four-fifths had fallen up to 5 months behind by the time they were 2. The study found that only 28% of the Mexican American mothers who spoke English at home, as Giuliana’s mother does, read to their children daily, compared with 59% of white mothers. No preschool. No daily stories read out loud. Could Giuliana catch up? LA Times article 

Jose Gaspar: School leaders respond to post-election anxiety – Perhaps people in Arvin had a premonition about what was to come on Nov. 8. Three weeks before the presidential election, the Arvin Union School District board of trustees adopted a resolution in support of undocumented students, telling Immigration and Customs Enforcement not to show up at the schoolhouse door in search of deporting anyone. Gaspar column in Bakersfield Californian

Armenian genocide has long been largely hidden. Now, California schools might change that — New history lessons adopted by the California Board of Education this year may especially resonate with Fresno students and families. Schools are now required to teach about the Armenian genocide – an important history in the Fresno area, which has a large Armenian American community.  Fresno Bee article


Modesto Irrigation District adopts new terms for future solar customers — Incentives for installing home rooftop solar panels will drop Jan. 1. Whether new pricing hurts growth in the Modesto-area solar industry remains to be seen. Modesto Bee article


Speeders could start running into speed humps in Stanislaus County neighborhoods — Stanislaus County has a policy for speed humps: Residents can put the traffic-slowing features in their neighborhoods if they pay for them. The county Board of Supervisors approved the policy this week to help residents deal with speeding in their neighborhoods. The policy went into effect immediately in county-governed residential areas. Modesto Bee article

Which freeway has the most aggressive drivers? — Are there places on your freeway commute where, for some reason, drivers get ugly? Tailgating? Cutting in front of you? Not allowing you over even though you’re blinking? The local CHP may soon want to know. Sacramento Bee article

BART’s Oakland Airport Connector losing money: Uber, Lyft to blame? — BART’s Oakland Airport Connector — the sleek trams that whisk riders from the Coliseum station — seems to be falling victim to the ride-booking phenomenon that has also bedeviled taxis, shuttles and other airport transit services. San Jose Mercury News article

Other areas

California considers ban on sex between lawyers and clients — The nation’s largest state bar association is overhauling ethics rules for attorneys for the first time in 30 years, and some lawyers are unhappy about a proposal that would open them up to discipline for having sex with clients. AP article

Valley Editorial Roundup 

Fresno Bee – In the war of real news vs. fake news, it’s a draw.

Sacramento Bee –- UC Davis World Food Center still deserves a place in Sacramento.