November 3, 2014


Receive the Maddy Daily in your inbox every morning! To subscribe or unsubscribe, please send an email to Ana Melendez at ajovelmelendez@csufresno.

Political Briefs

Top stories

Sleeping giant: GOP can’t afford to ignore Latinos’ future relevance, but for now onus is on Dems – Kern County is center stage in the nation’s courtship dance with Latino voters. Democrats don’t own the Latino vote here, but the connection is still stong between Latinos and the party that backed farmworker labor leaders Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta in the 1960s and ’70s. Republicans still suffer from the fallout from decades of anti-illegal immigration and anti-Latino party rhetoric. But Republicans like state Sen. Andy Vidak and U.S. Rep. David Valadao, both from Hanford, are working to overcome that past and appeal to a diverse community of Latino voters.  Bakersfield Californian article

Turnout for election could be worst ever in state – California is having an election Tuesday, but it might as well be a secret to many of the state’s voters. After a June primary in which a record low 25 percent of registered voters cast ballots, political analysts are predicting that Tuesday’s turnout could be the worst ever for a general election.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Valley politics

Sleeping giant: David and Amanda: A tale of two candidates – The two candidates for the 21st District Congressional seat are both the children of immigrants. Both have roots in California’s Central Valley. But their cultures and politics are continents apart. One is the Democratic daughter of Mexican immigrants. The other is the Republican son of immigrants from Europe. Who they are plays a big role in who will vote for them.  Bakersfield Californian article

Sales tax hike, election district switch on Stanislaus ballot with state, local races – Stanislaus County has a few lively races for city offices on Tuesday’s ballot, along with four local measures, several state offices and propositions, and a seat in Congress.  Modesto Bee article

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

John Myers: Five with a fistful of dollars for 2014 California elections – Now, more than ever, it’s a system dominated by big money from wealthy individuals. Some are well-known, others you’ve never heard of. No state, it seems, has more of wealthy players than California. Case in point: five people (four people, actually, and one family) whose combined California campaign contributions for 2014 now surpass $18.2 million.  Myers in KQED

40 percent of voters unaware that Jerry Brown is seeking another term – Here’s an eye-opener: With the election Tuesday, a whopping 4 out of 10 voters don’t even know Gov. Jerry Brown is running for another term.  San Francisco Chronicle article

George Skelton: A low voter turnout isn’t good for California – If you’ve read this far, you’re undoubtedly a committed voter. But if not, that just adds weight to the rest of our votes. We’ll be happy to vote for you.  Skelton column in LA Times

Expecting low turnout, California Democrats sharpen the focus – Anticipating the headwinds, Democrats in targeted congressional and state legislative races are mobilizing voters they think will move the needle in their favor. Sacramento Bee article

Superintendent race turns on future of reform – Spending in the race for California superintendent of public instruction has by far outstripped all other statewide races, including the campaign for governor. Although the superintendent has limited power, donors to incumbent Tom Torlakson and challenger Marshall Tuck are spending big sums to influence what they consider is at stake in this election: the direction of education reform.  EdSource article

Election 2014: Helpful resources for voters – Election Day is fast approaching. It’s Tuesday, Nov. 4. As you prepare to cast your ballot, use these helpful resources from The Sacramento Bee.  Sacramento Bee article

Other areas

Tom Steyer spends big to shift climate change’s political winds – By Tuesday, San Francisco hedge-fund billionaire Tom Steyer will have poured more than $85 million into his crusade to put climate change at the top of the political agenda and force Republicans and their fossil-fuel donors on the defensive.  San Francisco Chronicle article

News Briefs

Top Stories

Different pension rulings expected in Stockton, Detroit bankruptcies – Stockton employees and retirees avoided pension cuts when a federal judge last week approved the San Joaquin Valley city’s plan to emerge from bankruptcy. U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Christopher M. Klein opted to protect pensioners’ payouts despite ruling earlier that Stockton, population 298,000, could break a contract with the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. But that doesn’t mean that municipal employees — in California and across the country — have nothing to worry about if their governments seek protection from creditors.  LA Times article

Dan Walters: California’s plan to fund schools gets a test – For years, education and political circles have buzzed about the “achievement gap” in California’s education system – the wide and deep academic chasm separating Latino and black children, especially those from poor families – from white and Asian-American students.  Walters column in Sacramento Bee

Jobs and the Economy

Teague Paterson: Stockton shows that bankruptcy is no way to cut pension debt – The Sacramento attorney writes, “As much as pension opponents would like to focus their analyses of Stockton as a blow to pension security, bankruptcy is simply not a practical or desirable option for cities dealing with pension obligations.”  Paterson op-ed in Sacramento Bee

San Bernardino votes on pay links to other cities – The city charter has forced San Bernardino to give police two pay raises since declaring bankruptcy, one costing $1 million and the other $1.3 million. Now voters are being asked Tuesday to change the charter and prevent a third automatic pay raise.  Calpensions article

Proposed winery rules reach San Joaquin County supervisors – The Lodi wine industry has flourished and grown in rural San Joaquin County, an expansive, but not unlimited area, shared with quiet, country homes and the heart of a $2.9 billion agriculture industry. For the most part, those neighbors have gotten along, but the weddings, concerts and other events that have helped fuel the wine-country’s success have also caused some friction, particularly as the number of wineries continues to grow. Stockton Record article

Backers of Measure Z in Oakland raise specter of police layoffs – Fifty fewer Oakland police officers. Millions of dollars less for programs to stop violence and prevent crime. Such are the stakes, supporters say, over Measure Z, which asks voters to extend for 10 years two taxes that pay for police and anticrime services — a $100-per-year parcel tax on single-family homes and an 8.5 percent parking tax on drivers who park in lots or garages.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Silicon Valley tech workers locked in jobs with dubious legal tactics – Northern California’s high-tech industry is famous for foosball, free snacks and other friendly methods for holding on to talented workers. But Silicon Valley also has become a hub for less generous retention practices: freezing employees in place and depressing their wages by pushing legal boundaries.  Center for Investigative Reporting article

State to workplace bullies: Knock it off – The legislation, authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, requires that employers in California with 50 or more workers include lessons on anti-workplace bullying when they carry out state-mandated sexual harassment training for supervisors every two years.  U-T San Diego article

LA city unions urge officials to end deals with Wall Street banks –  As Los Angeles labor unions lock horns with City Hall managers over their next employment contract, they are taking aim at deals the city made with Wall Street banks.  LA Times article

NTSB says SpaceShipTwo’s ‘feathers’ deployed early – Video and data recovered from SpaceShipTwo’s debris field indicate the aircraft’s two rear “feathers” were changed from the locked position to unlocked two seconds before the Friday morning “in-flight separation” that killed one pilot and injured a second, the acting chairman of the National Safety Transportation Board said Sunday night.  Bakersfield Californian article‘Virgin Galactic statement about SpaceShipTwo’ in Bakersfield Californian

Fatal Virgin Galactic crash raises serious safety issues – The fatal crash last week of an experimental rocket ship designed to shoot wealthy tourists into space raises serious safety issues, including questions over pilot error, the escape system for its crew, and the ship’s exotic rocket motor.  LA Times article

AEG could play big role in backup plan if downtown stadium fails – The machinations now playing out between AEG and City Hall go well beyond football. That’s because AEG, the company that built Staples Center and the adjacent L.A. Live entertainment complex, has been given a key role in helping the city figure out what to do should the stadium plan fall apart.  LA Times article


Drought may have prevented flooding from weekend storm – Who would have thought that the Valley’s drought could be a blessing? It turns out the dry conditions here likely prevented severe flooding after a strong storm hit the Valley on Friday night and dropped more than an inch of rain here through much of Saturday.  Visalia Times-Delta article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Madera sheriff: Chukchansi takeover suspect captured in Tulare County – Tulare County sheriff’s deputies arrested one of 15 men wanted in connection with the Oct. 9 armed takeover attempt at Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino, a Madera County sheriff’s official said.  Fresno Bee article

David Singer: CHP’s history: From early signal flags to today’s multifaceted mission – In addition to its enforcement responsibilities, the department has taken a leadership role in educating the public concerning driver safety issues. The CHP has received state and national recognition for its innovative public awareness campaigns promoting use of safety belts, having a designated driver when drinking, securing small children in safety seats and wearing motorcycle and bicycle helmets.  Singer in Fresno Bee


Panel that rejected City College of San Francisco appeal over accreditation had ties to commission – Four people on the independent panel that rejected City College of San Francisco’s appeal of the 2013 decision to revoke its accreditation had ties to the commission that made that decision, a witness testified Friday under questioning from a San Francisco city attorney trying to prove bias against the school.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Proposed arena billed as ‘hub’ of Sac State campus – Terry and his classmates took on a project this fall: running a campaign to persuade the student body to approve a $219-per-semester fee to fund a new $125 million arena on campus. Students will vote on the proposal Dec. 2 and 3.  Sacramento Bee article

Eibeck appointed to committee looking at student-athletes – University of the Pacific President Pamela A. Eibeck has been appointed to the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Committee on Academics.  Stockton Record article


Fresno Bee: New wood-burning rules will save Valley lives – Dozens of lives will be saved this winter by the new rules, district officials say. One of those spared might be someone you know. Fresno Bee article

Scientists sound the alarm in climate change report – Climate change driven by the burning of fossil fuels is already affecting life on every continent and in the oceans, and the window is closing rapidly for governments to avert the worst damage expected to occur later this century, scientists warned in one of the loudest alarms yet sounded by the international scientific community.  LA Times article

Forest giant survives fires, succumbs to beetles, fungus – In a land known for spectacular trees, this was one of the finest. The Whelan Tree — believed to be the largest sugar pine in the world — was cut down earlier this fall after experts concluded it was dying.  Stockton Record article

Yellowstone park considers bumping up bandwidth – Can Old Faithful compete with Netflix? The prospect of streaming wireless service deep inside Yellowstone National Park is re-igniting the debate over whether there should be any place off limits to technology.  AP article

Health/Human Services

Death-with-dignity advocate Brittany Maynard ends her life –  A young woman who moved to Oregon to take advantage of the state’s assisted-suicide law took lethal drugs prescribed by a doctor and has died, a spokesman said Sunday.  AP article

Bye-bye burgers:  New fast-food chains bet on healthy eating – America’s interest in locally sourced and healthy foods has spurred a boom in farmers markets and farm-to-table restaurants and has expanded organic produce at the supermarket. Now, a number of upstart chains trying to tap that interest are taking aim at traditional fast food by moving leafy greens and fruits to the center of the plate.  LA Times article

Ask TBC: What’s Hall Ambulance doing to protect its workers and us from Ebola? – Hall Ambulance is in the process of developing Ebola-specific protocols, said company spokesman Mark Corum, but he added that it would be “premature” to disclose details of the plan because it’s a work in progress.  Bakersfield Californian article

Land Use/Housing

Assemi’s Westlake project in Fresno’s frontier on hold – A master-planned Fresno community with a private lake billed to be a “destination” in an otherwise arid and sporadically developed area west of Highway 99 is on hold for what could be another decade.  Fresno Bee article


Hurry up, wait for high-speed rail in San Diego – Six years after voters green-lighted California’s high-speed rail network, San Diego remains firmly at the end of the project’s line, lacking any money to build track in the region and even an estimated date for when bullet trains could zip through. U-T San Diego article

Bay Bridge deficit expected, forcing officials to shift funds – The new Bay Bridge eastern span will likely end up at least $35 million in the red, and officials are shifting money from other completed Caltrans bridge projects to make up the difference, bridge managers say.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Other Areas

Hundreds pack Fresno State for groundbreaking of Armenian Genocide Monument – Hundreds of people packed a small outdoor ceremony at Fresno State to mark the start of construction of the Armenian Genocide Monument, which will be completed in time to mark next year’s 100th anniversary of the genocide.  Fresno Bee article

Fresno State football: Training table, seen as key building block in development of Bulldogs’ athletic programs, to start – Fresno State will start its training table program for football and all student-athletes who wish to take part in the program. Dinner, finally, is served — 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.  Fresno Bee article

Fitz’s Stockton: Loving the city in six words – So, I’m asking you: What do you love about Stockton? In six words, please.  Michael Fitzgerald in Stockton Record

Old becomes new:  California State Library digitizes 3-D images from 1800s – They’re coming out of the vault and into the digital age. In slow but meticulous work at the California State Library in downtown Sacramento, more than 10,000 old sepia-toned 3-D photos – most from the 1800s – are being dusted off and converted to computer-ready images.  Sacramento Bee article

Field of Honor: A tribute to heroes – The Merced College lawn was dressed in red, white and blue on Sunday as more than 1,000 flags were raised, marking the commencement of this year’s Field of Honor tribute.  Merced Sun-Star article

Sacramento shelter manager saving lives, one animal at a time – Gina Knepp remembers the confused looks she got last year when she decided to haul adoptable cats and dogs to a “drag-queen bingo” event at a Sacramento midtown bar. She remembers the scoffs, back in 2012, when she brought stray felines to a professional cat show. Sacramento Bee article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – Dozens of lives will be saved this winter by the new wood-burning rules, district officials say.

Sacramento Bee – Report on bike deaths misses a chance to focus on the real problems.