November 4, 2015


Political Stories

Top stories

CD21: Connie Perez drops out of race — Tulare County native Connie Perez, who less than a month ago jumped into the 21st Congressional District race with a slick campaign video and the apparent support of national Democrats who are looking for ways to oust incumbent Republican David Valadao, abruptly ended her campaign Tuesday. Fresno Bee article; Bakersfield Californian article

Competing minimum wage hike proposed for California ballot – California’s largest labor union on Tuesday unveiled its own bid to increase the statewide minimum wage, setting up dueling pay measures aimed for next year’s ballot amid persistent concerns over income inequality. Sacramento Bee article; LA Times article

Valley politics

Modesto mayor’s race appears to be headed to runoff – Modesto Mayor Garrad Marsh was leading in Tuesday’s election results but may not garner enough votes to avoid a runoff election with an unheralded candidate who entered the race at the last minute. Modesto Bee article

Modesto’s Measure G – safe neighborhoods — goes down to defeat – Voters are rejecting Modesto’s second request in two years for a sales tax increase for public safety and other services. Modesto Bee article

Ah You, Grewel, Ridenour leading in race for Modesto council seats – If early returns hold, it looks as though three newcomers will take seats on the Modesto City Council. Three candidates are running to represent council District 3, which encompasses central Modesto. Incumbent Dave Lopez could not run for re-election because of term limits; he ran for mayor. Modesto Bee article

In Modesto, Measure I vote count is very tight – The count for the anti-sprawl initiative in Modesto remains tight. The latest tally shows 50.17 percent in favor of Measure I and 49.83 percent opposed, with the proponents ahead by only 41 votes. Modesto Bee article

‘Old guard’ Oakdale Irrigation District incumbents ousted – Voters soundly rejected two long-serving incumbents in the Oakdale Irrigation District, preferring challengers calling for transparency and an end to “good old boys” leadership, according to unofficial results late Tuesday. Modesto Bee article

Ceres council incumbents win easily – City Council incumbents Bret Durossette and Mike Kline easily won re-election Tuesday against two challengers. Modesto Bee article

Ceres voters appear in favor of district elections, increased motel tax – In early returns Tuesday night, Ceres voters were approving two measures before them. Measure D, which would move the city from at-large to district-based council elections, was passing 66 percent to 34 percent. Measure E, which would double the transient occupancy tax paid by occupants of hotels and motels, was ahead 56 percent to 44 percent. Modesto Bee article

Incumbents, Walker lead early in results for Modesto City Schools board race In early results, dissatisfaction with state testing and standards appeared to have helped a challenger push ahead in the Modesto City Schools board race. Modesto Bee article

Early returns suggest Patterson Unified board may have five new faces – With only half the ballots counted, James Leonard in Area 7 and Jeffrey Nosek in Area 5 held early leads. The third contested race was only two votes apart. Modesto Bee article

Merced Irrigation District board changes election cycle to odd years — The Merced Irrigation District board has decided to move voting for its membership to odd years, reasoning that separating it from the even-year general elections would boost local control and protect farm interests from environmentalist-led campaigning. Merced Sun-Star article

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

Dan Walters: Could pot become new giant in California? — Just weeks ago, the Legislature passed a package of bills aimed at further legalizing – and regulating – the medical uses of pot. And this week, the most ambitious of several ballot measures aimed at complete legalization was unveiled. Walters column in Sacramento Bee

Pot legalization measure gets mixed response in Merced – An effort to put recreational marijuana on next year’s ballot in California was greeted with mixed reactions in Merced County. Merced Sun-Star article

Merced Sun-Star: Cortopassi’s initiative gets in Brown’s way — The same day we learned that Dean Cortopassi’s No Blank Checks initiative has advanced to the November 2016 ballot, we got a perfect example of why many people believe it is needed. Merced Sun-Star editorial

Anonymous tip may trigger ethics inquiry on alleged gifts to Kamala Harris – A state ethics agency has told California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris that it may launch an inquiry into an allegation that she received gifts from a company owned by a San Francisco interior designer that exceed legal limits. LA Times article


Sacramento Bee: Paul Ryan caves on immigration as he becomes House speaker — House Speaker Paul Ryan’s weekend pronouncement that a much-needed immigration overhaul won’t happen provides a sad commentary on the start of his speakership. Sacramento Bee editorial

Other areas

Twenty California lawmakers are headed to Hawaii resort for conference – Twenty California lawmakers have registered for a six-day annual conference in Maui, where beginning Nov. 15 they will have an opportunity to spend time with representatives of special interests on the golf course and at poolside. LA Times article

Capitol lobbying tab nearly a quarter-billion dollars – More than 3,200 businesses, unions, and trade groups spent almost a quarter-billion dollars on lobbying and other payments to influence during the 2015 legislative session, according to new state filings. Sacramento Bee article

San Francisco Mayor Lee easily re-elected to 2nd 4-year term – Mayor Ed Lee, a little-known civil servant when he was appointed to office in 2010, easily won his second four-year term Tuesday night, putting him in line to become one of the longest-serving mayors in San Francisco’s 165-year history. San Francisco Chronicle article

Tighter rules for lobbying win San Francisco voter approval – A proposition to tighten rules on lobbying in San Francisco won handily in Tuesday’s election, while a proposal to require live Internet coverage of every San Francisco government meeting met resounding rejection. San Francisco Chronicle article

Hennessey defeats scandal-plagued Mirkarimi in San Francisco sheriff race – Former Chief Deputy Sheriff Vicki Hennessy won her bid Tuesday to unseat Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, who cast himself as an innovator in the hidebound law-enforcement community but was dragged down by a series of personal and professional controversies. San Francisco Chronicle article

Death penalty opponents split over taking issue to Supreme Court – In a passionate dissent in June, Justice Stephen G. Breyer invited a major challenge to the constitutionality of capital punishment. This fall, Justice Antonin Scalia all but predicted that the court’s more liberal justices would strike down the death penalty. But lawyers and activists opposed to the death penalty, acutely conscious of what is at stake, are bitterly divided about how to proceed. Some say it is imperative to bring a major case to the court as soon as practicable. Others worry that haste may result in a losing decision that could entrench capital punishment for years. New York Times article

News Stories

Top Stories

At lawmaker’s urging, agency reveals report on growing bullet train costs — The California high-speed rail authority bowed to pressure from California legislators and members of Congress late Tuesday and released a copy of a 2013 report showing a large estimated increase in the cost of building the initial segment of the bullet train project. LA Times article

Kern County inks tax split deal – The battle over property tax revenue between the County of Kern and the City of Bakersfield is over, at least from the point of view of the Kern County Board of Supervisors. Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a memorandum of understanding that will lay out how the taxes from future annexations will be shared. Bakersfield Californian article

Jobs and the Economy

Michael Fitzgerald: Stolen parking meters? A good start – Two homeless guys who allegedly stole nearly 100 parking meters were arraigned Monday. It was either that or give them a medal. Keeping parking meters in downtown Stockton seems like charging double for flights to Duluth, Minnesota. Nobody wants to go there in the first place; penalizing them seems absurd. Fitzgerald column in Stockton Record

Stockton building fees debate goes late into night – A discussion of two proposals to spark home construction by temporarily reducing the fees paid by builders in Stockton stretched late into Tuesday night at City Hall. Stockton Record article

Entrepreneur education, finance blossoming in Valley – While lingering concerns over a lack of resources have led many to believe local entrepreneurship is stunted, industry leaders say there’s more support than ever before in the Central Valley. The Business Journal article

Prop F: San Francisco voters reject measure to restrict Airbnb rentals – San Francisco voters handed a victory Tuesday to Airbnb and city residents who want to turn their homes into vacation rentals. Proposition F, a measure that would have drastically curbed short-term rentals, lost by 55 percent to 45 percent, with all precincts reporting and most mail ballots counted. San Francisco Chronicle article; LA Times article; AP article

Ag dominates Kings economic development awards – At last week’s Kings County Economic Development Corp. awards for the 2014-15 fiscal year, big retail outlets weren’t the headliners. Rather, the big drivers of expanding business activity in Kings were agri-chemical companies and other farm-related businesses that have figured out ways to keep prospering despite a withering lack of precipitation. Hanford Sentinel article

Pot tax could help Sacramento close budget gap – Sacramento city leaders may turn to a cash crop next year to help address a looming financial cliff at City Hall: weed. Taxing the sale of recreational marijuana is one of five revenue options included in a report by city finance director Leyne Milstein that paints a bleak picture of the city’s budget. Sacramento Bee article

The State Worker: Judges lose pension-padding lawsuit – So. Now we know. The first day of work that counts toward a CalPERS pension is … your first day of work. And for this insight we needed a lawsuit? Six judges thought so. They sued CalPERS and the state Judicial Council last year, claiming their pension benefits were shortchanged because they were assigned the wrong starting date. Kings County Judge Jennifer Guiliani mentioned. Sacramento Bee article

LA County supervisors approve three-year, 10 percent pay increase for deputies, firefighters – Los Angeles County supervisors approved a new contract for sheriff’s deputies, firefighters and several other employee groups Tuesday, giving them a 10% pay bump over three years. LA Times article

Businesses must be accessible – As Kings County businesses continue to get hit with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuits, there are a few things businesses can do to protect themselves. About 17 area businesses have had ADA lawsuits filed against them this year, mostly in Hanford. The most recent case was filed last month against Best Buy Market in Lemoore. Hanford Sentinel article

Merced will look at more poker tables; city speeds up solar panel process – Merced city staffers will research the possible effects of adding more gambling tables in town after a recent request from a local card-room owner. Merced Sun-Star article

Head of money-losing LA County Fair Association made nearly $900,000 in total compensation — Despite the public subsidies, it lost a total of $6.25 million from 2010 through 2013 — though it rewarded its top executives with large bonuses and incentive pay in each of those years, the Internal Revenue Service records show. The fair’s chief executive, James Henwood Jr., 69, collected nearly $900,000 in total compensation in 2013, dwarfing that of other fair managers in California, according to the tax filings and state records. That same year, the association lost $3.4 million. LA Times article

Supervisors seek audit and possible lease renegotiation with LA County Fair Association — The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday ordered an audit of the Los Angeles County Fair Assn. and called for a possible renegotiation of the organization’s long-term lease in response to a Times investigation that found the fair’s managers were richly compensated even as the association lost money. LA Times article

Judge holds off again on preliminary OK for deal on bloated DWP bills – For the second time this year, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge held off on giving preliminary approval to a legal settlement that could credit or refund tens of millions of dollars to Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers who were overcharged after the bungled rollout of a new billing system. LA Times article

NFL invites St. Louis, San Diego and Oakland to make stadium presentations – After staging town-hall meetings in St. Louis, San Diego and Oakland, the NFL is ready to hear from those cities about their specific plans to keep their teams. LA Times article

Oakland leaders to blitz NFL brass with plan to keep Raiders – Pressure is mounting for Oakland city officials to come up with a plan that will keep the Raiders at home, days after team owner Mark Davis appeared at an NFL town hall to vent his frustrations. San Francisco Chronicle article

Faulconer gets big shot with NFL owners – Mayor Kevin Faulconer will get his next and best (and possibly last) chance to convince the NFL to give San Diego another year to keep the Chargers in San Diego. San Diego Union-Tribune article

Google confirms it will launch a drone delivery service in 2017 – Even as companies like Wal-Mart and Amazon move ahead with drone delivery, Google has given a concrete date for when it plans to delivery packages by drone. Washington Post article

Giants’ high-rise development plan wins easy victory – The San Francisco Giants’ bid to build a high-rise district on a parking lot across McCovey Cove from AT&T Park received emphatic voter support on Tuesday. San Francisco Chronicle article

Key environmental report OKd for Warriors Mission Bay arena — The proposed Golden State Warriors arena in Mission Bay took a step toward approval Tuesday as a key aspect of the $1 billion project was approved. San Francisco Chronicle article

Oakland council votes to drop daily parking passes to $5 — Months after approving an 800 percent increase in visitor parking rates, a move that prompted heavy criticism, the Oakland City Council voted to decrease the parking fees. San Francisco Chronicle article

Prop J: Measure to help save longtime ‘legacy’ businesses passes — An initiative to help preserve longtime San Francisco businesses through financial incentives was approved by voters Tuesday. San Francisco Chronicle article

Prop A, affordable-housing measure, wins in San Francisco — Housing advocates can rejoice: A measure that aims to create a $310 million fund for much-needed affordable housing won at the polls Tuesday. San Francisco Chronicle article


Heavy snows in Sierra Nevada raise hopes of relief from drought – A day of heavy snow may have turned swaths of the Sierra Nevada into a winter landscape, but it’s too early to tell if it will have a lasting effect on the winter snowpack, forecasters say. LA Times article

Household Tank Program could cost Tulare County $309,000 — Programs to provide water to residents of unincorporated Tulare County whose wells have run dry could cost more than $4.1 million by year’s end, with the county footing more than $309,000 of that bill. Visalia Times-Delta article

Video: How Fresno-area Hmong farmers are surviving California drought — How are the Fresno area’s Hmong farmers adjusting their crops and business plans in the face of California’s drought? New York Times food writer and columnist Mark Bittman visits the central San Joaquin Valley to find some answers. New York Times video

California olive oil industry ripe for expansion – California’s burgeoning olive oil industry is expected to have a record-breaking year in 2015 as demand and acreage continue to grow. This year, the state’s olive growers are estimated to churn out four million gallons of California extra virgin olive oil, nearly double the amount milled in 2014. Fresno Bee article

Fresno hosts first-ever conference for Latino growers – More than 300 farmers and ranchers from across the state gathered Tuesday in Fresno for the first-ever Latino Growers Conference. Sponsored by the National Center for Appropriate Technology and the U.S. Department of Agriculture — and held at the Radisson Conference Center — the daylong event was unique because it was conducted entirely in Spanish. The Business Journal article

Planned purification plant would eliminate need for imported water, officials say –As the worst drought in California history threatens to enter a fifth straight year, officials are advocating a variety of water reuse projects they say will reduce Southern California’s unquenchable thirst for imported water. LA Times article

Tulare County considers red tagging drought stricken rental homes – Tulare County is ground zero for drought. More than 2,000 household wells have gone dry leaving families without water. The county has provided tanks and water to many homeowners, but as FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports, officials says their hands are tied when it comes to providing the service to renters. KVPR report

One possible El Nino effect: Rains unearthing more skeletal human remains —  In a span of two days, starting on Halloween, hunters and hikers found three sets of skeletal remains off of forest trails. A skull, a spine, a femur and a hand. Los Angeles County sheriff’s homicide Lt. Victor Lewandowski said he doesn’t know why there have been so many finds in and around the Angeles National Forest in such a short amount of time. But he said that with a rainy winter predicted due to El Niño, more human bones are likely to be found. LA Times article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Data Tracker: California jail population falls by almost 9,000 after Prop 47 — California’s jail population dropped by roughly 8,600, or 11 percent, in the months following the November approval of Proposition 47, the latest state figures show. Sacramento Bee article

Merced County recommended to receive $40 million for jail renovations – The California Board of State and Community Corrections has recommended Merced County to be awarded $40 million to renovate the John Latorraca Correctional Facility on Sandy Mush Road. Merced Sun-Star article

AP Investigation: Broken system lets problem officers jump from job to job — Law enforcement officers accused of sexual misconduct have jumped from job to job — and at times faced fresh allegations that include raping women — because of a tattered network of laws and lax screening that allowed them to stay on the beat. AP article

LAPD to compile ‘much more comprehensive’ review of force, chief says – Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said Tuesday that his department will put together a “much more comprehensive” review this year than ever before of incidents in which his officers used force.  LA Times article; AP article

One Kern deputy takes plea deal, another faces trial for firing shot outside casino — A Kern County sheriff’s deputy who was present when another deputy fired a shot into the air outside a Bakersfield casino has pleaded no contest to aiding in a misdemeanor, court records show. Bakersfield Californian article

How Prop 47 helped one man keep his job — Donyell Green knew his bosses at the Tesoro Refinery in Martinez would eventually find out about his past. He just didn’t know when. KQED report


Campus threat a young man’s horrible mistake, not a pure act of terrorism, Fresno State officials say — The online threat of deadly gunfire that rocked Fresno State on Monday was a case of a young man making a horrible mistake and not a serious act of terrorism, university officials said Tuesday afternoon. However, authorities will continue to pursue criminal charges against Christian Malik Pryor, a now-former Fresno State football player who allegedly posted on Yik Yak that he would use a weapon to “release my frustrations.” Fresno Bee article

Trustees recalled in Selma, Golden Plains school districts – Voters replaced three trustees each in Selma Unified and Golden Plains Unified school districts Tuesday, in recall elections sparked in part by decisions to replace district superintendents. Fresno Bee article

Tom Torlakson: California’s students should aim for the stars – California’s superintendent of public instruction writes, “California’s economic prosperity has long been fueled by its creativity and cutting-edge technologies. It’s imperative that our education system keep up and prepare students for careers that have not yet even been invented.” Torlakson op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Breyer High to unveil STEM center Thursday — Just as science is about experimenting and exploring, Beyer High teachers hope students, families and the interested public on Thursday evening will turn out to explore what’s being taught in the school’s new STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Center. Modesto Bee article

As transgender students make gains, schools hesitate at bathrooms – As transgender students assert themselves more, schools have hesitated at the locker room and the bathroom. Many have developed policies that require transgender students to use private changing and showering facilities, drawing opposition from these students, their parents and advocates who say the rules are discriminatory. New York Times article

Nan Austin: Retired teachers take a bow this week for what they’ve done for us lately — In honor of Retired Teachers Week, Nov. 1-7, CalRTA Stanislaus released its total for the year: 27,000 hours racked up – and that is by just the 13 percent of its membership that logs their time. To put that in teacher-time perspective, 27,000 hours equals more than 18 school years’ worth of work donated by the senior corps over the last 12 months. Austin in Modesto Bee

‘We really are Notre Dame’ — Inside a third-grade classroom at Taylor Leadership Academy, the self-described University of Notre Dame class of 2029 is learning about math using the names of Fighting Irish players. Stockton Record article


Massive pine tree die-off scares Forest Service, dead trees could harm visitors – The bark beetle has killed so many trees in the Sierra Nevada that officials are worried that people visiting places like the Sierra National Forest are in danger just by being there. Last week Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency when it comes to the dead trees and is asking for federal resources to remove them safely. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports from the Bass Lake area on what the Forest Service is doing to protect visitors. KVPR report

Federal government undecided whether to extend subsidy for Kern’s Hydrogen Energy clean coal plant – The U.S. Department of Energy has ended financial support to the $4 billion Hydrogen Energy California clean coal project in western Kern County, and said Tuesday it remains undecided whether to extend the proposal’s federal subsidy. Bakersfield Californian article

Edison will spend $12 billion on electric system over next three years — Over the next three years, Southern California Edison, the state’s second-largest investor-owned utility, plans to spend $12 billion to modernize the electric grid, the chief executive of the utility’s parent company said Tuesday. LA Times article

A guide to green energy savings for low-income Californians – Billions of dollars worth of incentives, support and rebates have already flowed to poorer Californians. That stream looks likely to widen thanks to a requirement that struggling communities get a quarter of the money from California’s cap-and-trade system, which has reaped a huge and growing pot of money by selling carbon emissions permits to business. Here’s a look at what’s available.  Sacramento Bee article

Edison sees little risk in San Onofre nuclear storage plan — Southern California Edison said it is confident in its plans to store tons of highly radioactive waste at San Onofre indefinitely. But reports that the company knew about potential problems with faulty steam generators and installed the system anyway has undermined Edison’s credibility. KPBS report

Grant repays costs for cleanup of illegal dump site in Kings County — A landowner in Kings County has been awarded a grant of more than $56,000 to reimburse for cleaning up tons of illegally dumped trash that had accumulated over the years. Fresno Bee article

Don’t eat Dungeness crab, California health department warns — Do not — repeat, not — eat crab caught along much of the California coast until further notice. That’s the stunning message issued Tuesday by health officials just days before Saturday’s start of the recreational crab season, which may be delayed. San Francisco Chronicle article; San Jose Mercury News article

Bay Area to test landslide early-warning system during El Nino — There was no way to see last year’s deadly mudslide in Oso, Wash., coming — 43 lives lost with no warning. The same was true of the slide in 1982 that killed 10 in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Jonathon Stock, a geomorphologist for the U.S. Geological Survey, is trying to change this. The director of the Innovation Center for Earth Sciences in Menlo Park is putting together an early-detection system for landslides, which is taking root in the Bay Area. San Francisco Chronicle article

Health/Human Services

California fines top health insurers for overstating Obamacare networks — California regulators fined two insurance giants for overstating their Obamacare doctor networks, and said the companies will pay out millions of dollars in refunds to patients. LA Times article; Sacramento Bee article

Millions eligible but still uninsured in California – Covered California has begun its annual open enrollment period. About 11 percent of adults in California remain uninsured. New data show about 2 million are eligible for either the state’s health insurance exchange or Medi-Cal but have not yet enrolled. Capital Public Radio report

Congresswoman Doris Matsui: Requiring mentally ill to get treatment isn’t always the right answer – The Sacramento Democrat writes, “I am sincerely concerned that mandating outpatient treatment at the federal level would divert resources from other options that should be there for patients and families, and would limit our communities’ ability to make local decisions.” Matsui op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Asian tiger mosquito’s disease-spreading potential worries health officials — At least 28 people in California this year have died from West Nile virus, the neurologically debilitating disease spread through mosquito bites. Riverside and Los Angeles counties both recorded a surge in human infections not seen in several years. But with peak West Nile virus season coming to an end, attention is shifting to a potentially virulent mosquito species rarely seen in California; the Asian tiger mosquito. KQED report

Land Use/Housing

Stanislaus supervisors OK rezone for farm equipment dealership — Stanislaus County supervisors unanimously approved a 17-acre rezone Tuesday for a John Deere dealership near Keyes. Modesto Bee article

Fresno County supervisors reject Selma cemetery expansion — A proposed cemetery a mile east of Selma was denied Tuesday by Fresno County supervisors, who backed up a previous decision by the county’s Planning Commission. Fresno Bee article


Kings County attorneys take aim at confidential memo in high-speed rail lawsuit — A consultant’s internal memo to the California High-Speed Rail Authority, cited last week in a Los Angeles Times analysis on the likelihood of cost overruns for the state’s high-speed train project, is at the center of legal wrangling between the agency and Kings County interests who are suing over plans for the system. Fresno Bee article

Second Bakersfield meeting on controversial bullet train coming Thursday – Officials from the agency responsible for California’s greatly debated bullet train will join city and federal officials at a workshop Thursday to educate residents and property owners on its new proposed path through Bakersfield. Bakersfield Californian article

Carol Bender: Examining the new High Speed Rail alignment misperceptions – The Bakersfield resident writes, “In Adam Cohen’s Oct. 30 Community Voices article, ‘Quit HSR Russian roulette, endorse Truxtun station,’ the author spins information to his own liking and grounds his article on reports done over a decade ago or that simply do not exist.” Bender op-ed in Bakersfield Californian

Caltrans delays old Bay Bridge pier implosion – Caltrans’ much-touted plan to implode the largest concrete pier of the old Bay Bridge eastern span has been delayed a week until Nov. 14 because of packaging problems with the dynamite needed to destroy the structure, agency officials said Tuesday. San Francisco Chronicle article

House rejects proposal to let heavier trucks on interstates — A controversial proposal to allow heavier trucks on interstate highways in an effort to save shippers time and money was rejected by the House on Tuesday, one of dozens of amendments expected to be offered to a sweeping transportation bill this week. AP article

LAX air traffic controllers fatigued by understaffing and soaring overtime — Air traffic controllers are working longer and harder than ever to safely handle the enormous volume of aircraft that arrives and departs at this prominent West Coast gateway. Overtime is soaring and serious staff shortages loom despite warnings issued in 2009 by the inspector general for the U.S. Transportation Department. LA Times article

Other areas

Lois Henry: Restricting cameras in the courthouse goes too far – I understand the need to protect a person’s right to a fair trial. Believe me, if I were in the defendant’s seat, I’d want all the rights I could get. You would, too. But new rules that arbitrarily prohibit any recording and still photography from pretty much the entire courthouse, except two designated areas, without prior judicial approval go too far. Henry column in Bakersfield Californian

Susan Rothman: ‘Club no one wants to join’ – I am a member of a club no one wants to join. I did not seek membership, nor would I wish it for anyone else. I became a member on January 17, 1989. I am a survivor of gun violence. Rothman op-ed in Stockton Record

Merced warming tent may be open fewer days this winter – Organizers of a warming tent for homeless people in Merced are looking to change the operating policies that have been used during the past few winters, making the tent open less often. Merced Sun-Star article

Protestors again disrupt Sacramento City Council meeting – For the second straight week, protesters disrupted a Sacramento City Council meeting. Tuesday night’s meeting was delayed 12 minutes after a protester stood up and began reading prepared remarks criticizing the arrests of two women during a heated meeting Oct. 27 in which the council approved an increase in the minimum wage. Sacramento Bee article

Kerman City Council to vote on whether to recognize 1984 anti-Sikh violence as genocide – The Kerman City Council is scheduled to vote Wednesday night on whether to recognize the anti-Sikh violence that started in 1984 in India as a genocide. Fresno Bee article

San Joaquin County supervisors: Chairs shuffle, but not much change in the end — San Joaquin County Supervisor Bob Elliott will remain primary delegate to the California State Association of Counties, after a lengthy discussion regarding who was best qualified to represent the county. Stockton Record article

Multicultural California leads nation in linguistic complexity — California’s cultural complexity, unmatched by any other state, is on graphic display in a new Census Bureau report. Just 56 percent of the 35 million Californians over the age of 4 speak only English at home, the Census Bureau study found, proportionately far fewer than residents of any other state. Sacramento Bee article; AP article

Is the California Dream turning dark? — With a new piece in the New York Times (My Dark California Dream), writer Daniel Duane suggests that California is entering a new age, one where the California dream isn’t filled with sunny optimism but a much darker vision – one filled with in his words a “profound sense of loss.” KVPR report

Google pumps $2.35 million into racial justice projects, including #BlackLivesMatter video app — One of the founders of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and three racial and social justice initiatives in Oakland and San Jose are sharing $2.35 million in grants from Google’s philanthropic arm. San Jose Mercury News article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – House Speaker Paul Ryan’s weekend pronouncement that a much-needed immigration overhaul won’t happen provides a sad commentary on the start of his speakership.

Merced Sun-Star – The same day we learned that Dean Cortopassi’s No Blank Checks initiative has advanced to the November 2016 ballot, we got a perfect example of why many people believe it is needed.

Modesto Bee – Salmon belong where they can thrive.

Sacramento BeeIssuing ultimatums is no way to fix GOP debates; House Speaker Paul Ryan’s weekend pronouncement that a much-needed immigration overhaul won’t happen provides a sad commentary on the start of his speakership.

Maddy Events

Sunday, Nov. 8, at 10 a.m. on KMJ (580AM and 105.9FM Radio/podcast)Maddy Report – Valley Views Edition: “Is the Valley’s Political Influence Growing?” – Guests: Bill McEwen, opinion page editor of the Fresno Bee, and Dr. Thomas Holyoke, political science professor at Fresno State. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director Mark Keppler.

Sunday, Nov. 8, at 7 a.m. on Univision 21 (KFTV) and UniMas 61 (KTFF)El Informe Maddy: “Californians and Civic Engagement” – Guest: Mony Flores-Bauer of League of Women Voters of California. Host: Maddy Institute Deputy Director Ana Melendez.

Sunday, Nov. 8, at 10 a.m. on Fresno ABC30Maddy Report: Political Influence in California Politics: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly” — Guests: John Myers, former senior editor for California politics and government for KQED and currently Sacramento bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times, and Marisa Lagos, KQED California politics and government reporter. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director Mark Keppler.

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

Community Events

  • The 34th annual Agribusiness Management Conference will be held at the DoubleTree Hotel and Conference Center in Fresno on Wednesday, Nov. 4. The event will feature presentation on the economic outlook for agriculture, trade, water, and immigration.  More information:  559.278.4405 or
  • The 2015 California Economic Summit will be held in Ontario on Nov. 12-13.  Since its inception in 2012, the Summit has brought together hundreds of private, public and civic leaders from the state’s diverse regions in an effort to advance the triple bottom line: promoting a prosperous economy that respects environment and equity concerns.  More information and registration is available here.


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 challengeThe 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.

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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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