November 8, 2017




Local/Regional Politics:


Fresno To Update Bus System Routes—But Will Everyone Benefit?

Valley Public Radio

Just as Fresno’s downtown and southwest areas are preparing for makeovers, so is its transportation system. The city announced last month that it plans to restructure its bus system for the first time in decades—with public input. But there are bound to be limitations—and some community members are concerned.


‘Open for business’: Supes OK major tax incentives to lure industry; Sheriff to get more body cams

Bakersfield Californian

The Kern County Board of Supervisors voted to approve a new economic development policy for the county that widens the number of industries that can get tax incentives for bringing new businesses to the county and would remove the cap on those tax credits. The hope is that the change will make Kern County more competitive in the high-stakes game of luring businesses, new facilities and jobs to Kern County.


Fitzgerald: An elitist plan for Yosemite

Stockton Record

The reality is to drive from Stockton, and to pay the gas to get there and back, and to pay a $30 entrance fee,…


Fresno-based foundation makes $2.6M deposit with credit union

The Business Journal

), Ashley Swearengin today helped pave the way for 19 Southeast Fresno families to purchase their very own home. Swearengin, former Fresno mayor and current president and CEO of the Central Valley Community Foundation, was at the Self-Help Federal Credit Union branch at Kings Canyon Road and Peach Avenue Tuesday to make a big deposit — $2.6 million dollars the credit union will use for various loan products. Based on the credit unions average loan sizes, that money could fund the equivalent of 19 affordable mortgages, 1,300 personal loans, 217 auto loans or 3,642 credit-builder loans to a membership that includes minorities, women, rural residents, poor residents and others who haven’t traditionally had access to mainstream banking services.


State Politics:


Top lobbyist spending in California Capitol

Sacramento Bee

The end of California’s legislative session in September saw lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown make a deal on a housing stimulus package, extend California’s cap-and-trade program and hammer out legislation some say makes California a “sanctuary state” for undocumented immigrants. They also managed to pass – and kill – hundreds of lesser-known bills that were very important to at least some groups. None of it went down outside the watchful eye of Sacramento’s lobbying corps and the corporations, unions, local governments and other interest groups that employ them.


California treasurer wants the state to study a public bank option for pot businesses

LA Times

California Treasurer John Chiang wants the state to consider creating a government-owned bank that could serve cannabis businesses, one of several recommendations aimed at helping bring those businesses into the financial mainstream.

See also:


Governor candidate Delaine Eastin releases tax returns, gets most of income from public pension

San Jose Mercury News

Delaine Eastin, a Democratic candidate for governor, made an average of $170,785 annually over the last six years and paid an average of $37,539 in state and federal taxes, according to her tax returns.

See also:


GOP candidate John Cox launches attack against Democrat Gavin Newsom in California governor’s race

Los Angeles Times

GOP gubernatorial candidate John Cox is attacking one of his rivals in the race – but not the candidate one would expect. Rather than critiquing the record of the other main Republican in the race, Assemblyman Travis Allen of Huntington Beach, Cox is blasting Democratic front-runner Gavin Newsom in a fundraising plea.


Doug Ose considering run for California governor in 2018

The Sacramento Bee

Doug Ose, the former Sacramento-area Republican congressman and vocal supporter of President Donald Trump, is considering a run for California governor, he said in an interview Tuesday.


State A.G. slams federal crackdown on immigrants

Capitol Weekly

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ “Tough on Crime” program of maximum prison sentences and crackdowns on undocumented immigrants is “absolutely wrong” and threatens to drive the country into poverty, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Tuesday.


Veterans Day Message from Secretary of State

Office of Secretary of State

Thank you to all who have served. Californians can dedicate their vote in honor of a loved one who has served or is currently serving. When you dedicate your vote though the California Secretary of State’s “Honor Veterans. Vote.” program you can choose to receive a free lapel pin or certificate. To submit your dedication, visit:


Orange County is ground zero for fundraising in state’s hotly contested races

Los Angeles Times

More than half of the money raised for the most-contested House races in California is going to candidates in Orange County, another indication of its starring role in Democrats’ effort to win back control of the House next year.


Walters: Legislative employees should be in civil service


Eric Bauman, the state Democratic Party’s newly elected chairman, made an appearance before the Sacramento Press Club last week and, of course, the blowup over sexual harassment in and around the Capitol was a hot topic for questioning journalists. Bauman made some news during the joint event with his Republican counterpart, Jim Brulte, by suggesting that Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, whose groping of a woman when both were legislative staffers eight years ago has fueled the furor, should consider resigning.


Remove ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ as national anthem, California NAACP urges

Sacramento Bee

When California lawmakers return to the Capitol in January, the state chapter of the NAACP will be seeking their support for a campaign to remove “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the national anthem.


The Withering California Dream, by the Numbers | The California Dream

The California Report KQED News

The California dream isn’t dead. It just upped and moved to South Dakota.


Federal Politics:


East Coast Republicans pushed back against Trump’s tax plan. Why didn’t California’s GOP?

LA Times

When the House GOP released a plan last month that eliminated a popular tax break, some Republican representatives from high tax states like New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania were outraged.

See also:

For more stories on “tax reform” See: “Public Finance,” below


Nancy Pelosi fundraising a double-edged sword for 2018 Democrats

Fresno Bee

Ohio Democrat Tim Ryan tried to unseat Nancy Pelosi as House minority leader last November, after Donald Trump’s presidential victory left Democrats reeling. But even Ryan acknowledges Pelosi has a critical role to play in House Democrats’ bid to regain the majority in the 2018 midterm elections, which requires them posting a net gain of 24 House seats.


Tom Steyer’s campaign to impeach Trump hits nerves

Los Angeles Times

Billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer has pulled off a rarity in this hyper-charged partisan age: He raised the ire of both President Trump and the president’s Democratic nemesis, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

See also:





Mass shootings in the US: There is an obvious explanation, research suggests

Fresno Bee

When the world looks at the United States, it sees a land of exceptions: a time-tested if noisy democracy, a crusader in foreign policy, an exporter of beloved music and film. But there is one quirk that consistently puzzles America’s fans and critics alike. Why, they ask, does it experience so many mass shootings?

See also:


It’s been one year since the 2016 election. How are voters feeling?

Los Angeles Times

Emmotions were running high the night of Nov. 8, 2016. Donald Trump’s victory stunned the nation. For many, “Make America great again” — the mantra that guided his campaign — was about to become reality. For others, the dream of the first female U.S. president came to a halt at the glass ceiling.


Covert Influence Is the New Money Laundering


Google is the most recent company known to have discovered evidence of Russian covert influence on its books. As more media companies realize Russia bought advertising space or promoted news stories—fake and otherwise—on their platforms, covert influence has become the new money laundering. Both activities hide below the surface of legitimate enterprises, cast a shadow of disrepute on those very enterprises, and can be neutralized through transparency and accountability. Anti-money laundering laws provide useful lessons for combating covert influence and could be adapted for online media models that do not require users to be paid customers.





Sunday, November 12, at 10 a.m. on ABC 30 – Maddy Report: California Supreme Court: Special Taxes Are Special– Guests: Liam Dillon with Los Angeles Times, Jon Coupal President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Dan Walters with CalMatters, and John Myers with Los Angeles Times. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.


Sunday, November 12, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) –Maddy Report ​ – Valley Views Edition​: “Prop 13: The Case of the Voter-Initiated Special Tax” – Guests: Experts from CA’s Legislative Analyst Office: Brian Uhler and Carolyn Chu, Liam Dillon with Los Angeles Times, Jon Coupal with Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Dan Walters with CalMatters, and John Myers with Los Angeles Times. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.


Sunday, November 12, at 10:00 a.m. on UniMas 61 (KTTF) – Informe Maddy: CA’s Immigration Facts. Guests: Joe Hayes, Investigator PPIC and Liam Dillon with Los Angeles Times. Host: Maddy Institute Program Coordinator, Maria Jeans.


Support the Maddy Daily HERE. Thank you!




Topics in More Detail…




Voters can flush bad odor from MID board

Merced Sun-Star

These are the races that affect your life, so it’s even more important to vote


Have you had enough killing, America?

Modesto Bee

Another mass murder; how many more massacres must we endure before we resolve to keep guns out of the hands of the demented


Sacramento County has finally seen reason on homelessness. Now the real work begins

Sacramento Bee

Sacramento County Board of Supervisors has agreed to spend $44 million to combat homelessness. Residents, including the people who live on the streets, can rightly expect significant progress in the months and years to come.


Anti-vaxxers have found a way around California’s strict new immunization law. They need to be stopped

Los Angeles Times

Two years ago the state Legislature passed a law banning so-called personal belief exemptions that many parents were using to keep their children from being vaccinated because they believed — wrongly — that vaccines were linked to autism and other serious health problems. But even as the number…




Arvin City Council moves forward with cannabis ordinance

Bakersfield Californian

The Arvin City Council decided to take the next step with their commercial cannabis ordinance despite strong opposition from residents and the absence of two council members


Nail biter puts Modesto Irrigation District race in limbo

Modesto Bee

A tight contest for Modesto Irrigation District likely won’t be decided for two weeks. Only 60 votes – among more than 3,350 cast – separated incumbent Jake Wenger and challenger Stu Gilman in incomplete returns Tuesday evening, making their MID race much too close to call.


Got milk? Ending NAFTA could sour California’s booming dairy industry

Sacramento Bee

What California industry directly employs more than 104,000 people with a ripple effect that supports an additional 285,000 full-time jobs in retail, construction and other sectors? If you said dairy, reward yourself with a cold glass of milk. But don’t celebrate long. Our success is global and fragile. Seemingly small actions giving the European Union and other U.S. competitors the upper hand can inflict damage on the California economy.


Alice Waters on the Persuasive Power of the Peach

Vanity Fair

I was thinking about Bordeaux recently, and what constitutes a First Growth designation for a wine, the Premier Cru classification. How do they decide which wine deserves that highest designation? It all has to do with terroir. If a particular grape varietal is planted on a certain hillside and is tended in a certain way, you get a transcendent result. I was thinking that there must be a similar Premier Cru for peaches.


Maggard: County should explore mobile delivery system for medical marijuana patients   Bakersfield Californian

Nobody on the Kern County Board of Supervisors wants to keep medical marijuana patients from having access to the substance they use to deal with a variety of illnesses, Maggard said. But supervisors don’t want marijuana sold out of storefronts in unincorporated Kern County. The board voted, last month, to ban commercial cannabis operations in county jurisdictions.


Pot tax money should ride in armored cars, California treasurer says

San Francisco Chronicle

State Treasurer John Chiang proposed a stopgap Tuesday for a weighty issue cash-based cannabis businesses face: He recommended the use of armored cars to collect what might amount to $1 billion in annual taxes when recreational cannabis becomes legal Jan. 1.

See also:


California’s Marijuana Tax Could Cause Prices to Jump 70%


Buying weed in California is about to get less risky and much more expensive. A patchwork of new policies, including special taxes, will roll out in the state before sales of recreational marijuana begin at the start of 2018.


Where Buying Marijuana is Legal, But There’s Nowhere to Smoke It

Pew Charitable Trusts | Stateline

States face multiple legal issues as they try to create venues for lounges, tasting rooms and other semi-public venues for marijuana consumption.




For stories on Texas mass shooting and ”gun control,” See: “Top Stories – Other,” above




Where does SPD stand on national trust initiative?

Stockton Record

Police Chief Eric Jones is leading the effort to foster reconciliation between marginalized communities and law…1


Public Safety:


California’s County Jails

Public Policy Institute of California

California has a large number of diverse—and aging—county jail facilities. California’s counties operate several types of jails, including court holding facilities, temporary holding facilities, and long-term facilities. All counties except Alpine and Sierra operate at least one long-term facility, for a total of 117 facilities across the state. Over half of these facilities were built before 1990.




Wildfire victims could see easier utility billing process

San Francisco Chronicle

Californians displaced by last month’s devastating wildfires may get a little help dealing with their monthly utility bills, if state regulators approve a package ofemergency consumer protection measures Thursday. The measures facing a vote by the California Public Utilities Commission would order electric companies to discontinue billing at homes that were destroyed or rendered uninhabitable and waive deposits for displaced residents setting up service at new addresses.


Can utilities make customers pay wildfire costs? Regulators delay decision

San Jose Mercury

California regulators have delayed — again — a closely watched vote on whether electric utility companies can make their customers pay some of the costs of wildfires sparked by their equipment.


A 1960s Law Blocks Firefighting Contractors From Suing State

The California Report | KQED

The families of the hundreds of private contractors who help California battle wildfires every year can’t hold the state legally accountable if their loved ones are killed or injured during a blaze. That’s because under a law passed in 1963, neither public agencies in the state nor their employees can be held liable “for any injury caused in fighting fires.” The law recently prompted the family of Robert Reagan, a contract bulldozer operator killed in the 2016 Soberanes Fire, to drop a wrongful death lawsuit against the state.




Small business lending fund

Congressional Research Service

Congressional interest in small business access to capital has increased in recent years because of concerns that small businesses might be prevented from accessing sufficient capital to enable them to start, continue, or expand operations and create jobs.


Americans optimistic about jobs, but say incomes lagging

LA Times

Americans increasingly say jobs are plentiful in their communities, but they continue to worry that their incomes are lagging, according to a new poll released Tuesday.






Fresno Unified is preparing for a teacher strike


More than 73,000 students. who attend schools in the Fresno Unified School District could soon learn if there will be a teacher strike. Talks are underway to avert a strike by teachers at Fresno Unified, the fourth largest school district in California. The district and its teacher’s union are in the second and final day of fact-finding procedures as both sides work to avoid a strike.


Would changes to California’s color-coded school ratings lower the bar?

Los Angeles Times

After seeing this year’s standardized test scores, state education officials want to change the way those scores translate to school ratings — in a way that likely would make more schools look better.


Democratic candidates for governor declare support for California’s signature education reforms


The four leading Democratic candidates vying to be the next governor of California say they are committed to continuing landmark education reforms initiated by Gov. Jerry Brown, who will be termed out of office next year. Whether the next governor will support the Local Control Funding Formula and related reforms has been an issue of considerable concern in education circles across the state. But in early comments on the Local Control Funding Formula, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, State Treasurer John Chiang, and former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin all say they support the Local Control Funding Formula — with some caveats. They will all be on the June 5 primary ballot next year.


California Today: The Latino Education Crisis

New York Times

Latinos make up the majority of students in California. And the state is widely regarded as being a bastion of Latino political power, with Latinos holding many of the top positions in Sacramento. And yet, a new report from The Education Trust-West shows a stark and persistent achievement gap between Latino and white students. In every county in the state the majority of Latino students are not proficient in math or English language arts.


Higher Ed:


Cal State faculty caution trustees that deadline to loosen course requirements is too rushed

Los Angeles Times

Cal State faculty members lined up at the mic at the board of trustees meeting Tuesday to express their concerns about executive orders aimed at helping students graduate sooner by dropping non-credit remedial classes and loosening math requirements.


Cal State trustees face budget challenges amid efforts to lift graduation rates

Los Angeles Times

About 7,000 more students graduated from Cal State this year than last, and the more than 98,700 earning undergraduate degrees was the highest ever in a single academic year, administrators said.


Grad students and policy experts say taxing graduate students’ tuition waivers would spell disaster

Inside Higher ED

House Republicans say their tax bill will stimulate the economy by increasing the take-home pay of workers across income levels. So many graduate students were stunned to learn that instead of increasing their already meager stipend checks, the bill seeks to tax their waived tuition as income. The results of such a change, many graduate students and higher education experts say, would be devastating not only to graduate students’ day-to-day finances but to research and teaching across academe.




Gov. Jerry Brown and European Union leaders agree to work to combat climate change

Los Angeles Times

California and the European Union will discuss the possibility of creating a common carbon market to cut greenhouse gas emissions, another sign of the state assuming a global role in the fight against climate change. Gov. Jerry Brownannounced the move Tuesday in Brussels after meeting with Miguel Arias Cañete, the European Union commissioner in charge of climate action and energy, and other EU leaders to discuss how California and the region could work together to combat climate change, which Brown called an “existential crisis.”

See also:


California Ecologists Strike Back Against Invasive Green Crabs


As far as crabs go, the European green crab might not look like much. They’re small — only about 4 inches wide — and lack the giant claws of fiddler crabs or spindly limbs of king crabs. But don’t be fooled. Green crabs are voracious predators that rank among the world’s worst invasive species.


California bans use of some farming pesticides near schools


California has banned farmers from using certain pesticides near schools and day care centers under a new rule announced Tuesday that regulators said is among the toughest in the U.S.


Some Trump environmental picks finally get their day in Congress. Others are still waiting.

Washington Post

The name Andrew Wheeler, a former policy staffer for Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) turned coal and nuclear lobbyist, came up back in March as a possible choice to be deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. But it took until October for Wheeler’s nomination to the No. 2 post at the EPA tobecome official. On Wednesday, after a long wait, Wheeler will get a hearing in front of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Kathleen Hartnett-White, another controversial nominee for a key environmental post running the administration’s Council on Environmental Quality, will also get a committee hearing Wednesday.






Adventist Health Bakersfield shutters burn center citing competition

Bakersfield Californian

Two years after breaking ties with Grossman Burn Center, which established a facility at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital last year, Adventist Health Bakersfield shut the doors of its burn center this month, hospital officials announced. At the time Adventist Health Bakersfield broke ties with the Los Angeles-based burn center, officials said they would maintain their burn center, despite having a new competitor in town. On Monday, Adventist Health officials conceded that Bakersfield is too small a town for two comprehensive burn centers. Most comparably sized counties don’t even have one.


Valley fever has found its champion: Sheriff Donny Youngblood stars in awareness promotionals warning of the respiratory disease

Bakersfield Californian

Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood grew up in Kern County. He hikes here, he rides horses here and he golfs here. He has done just about everything that could put him at risk for breathing in the coccidioidal fungal spore that causes valley fever, the insidious respiratory disease endemic to the area. A relative got sick and died from the disease years ago after he was misdiagnosed. Then, a few months ago, Youngblood’s significant other got sick. Youngblood decided to get tested.


Human Services:


Mental health care a high priority

Capitol Weekley

According to a poll by the Institute for Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley, Californians are strongly supportive of insurance plans that cover mental health care. The survey, commissioned by the California Healthcare Foundation, reported that three in four Californians (74 percent) feel it’s very important for insurance plans to cover treatment for mental health conditions.




State A.G. slams federal crackdown on immigrants

Capitol Weekly

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ “Tough on Crime” program of maximum prison sentences and crackdowns on undocumented immigrants is “absolutely wrong” and threatens to drive the country into poverty, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Tuesday.


Lack of immigrant workers could hobble racing industry

San Diego Union-Tribune

Hours before the first ladies in elaborate hats and men in suits began to trickle into the grandstand for the Breeders’ Cup on Saturday, the backstretch filled with the quiet bustle of workers measuring feed, shoveling dirty straw and removing bandages from million-dollar legs.


Central American immigrants worry after Trump signals end to program protecting them from deportation

Los Angeles Times

After 25 years of cleaning hospitals, hotels and houses that belonged to others, Iris Acosta was on the verge of realizing her dream of owning a home. Then her real estate agent discovered something that made the 51-year-old Honduran’s life seem suddenly more uncertain: She had temporary protected status as an immigrant.




Music muted: Kern County supervisors shoot down Cal Centre festival plan

Bakersfield Californian

The Kern County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted down the proposed Cal Centre music festival project Tuesday afternoon. The project would have brought 65,000 people to an outdoor concert venue a few miles northwest of Bakersfield for up to three days a year. Project developer Daniel Rudnick urged the five supervisors to think about the dramatic financial benefit major festivals like the one he was proposing can bring to a community.




Estimated deficits & debt under the Chairman’s amendment to H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Congressional Budget Office

The staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation determined that provisions in the Chairman’s amendment would increase deficits over the 2018-2027 period by $1.4 trillion.

See also:




Fresno To Update Bus System Routes—But Will Everyone Benefit?

Valley Public Radio

Just as Fresno’s downtown and southwest areas are preparing for makeovers, so is its transportation system. The city announced last month that it plans to restructure its bus system for the first time in decades—with public input. But there are bound to be limitations—and some community members are concerned.




Nail biter puts Modesto Irrigation District race in limbo

Modesto Bee

A tight contest for Modesto Irrigation District likely won’t be decided for two weeks. Only 60 votes – among more than 3,350 cast – separated incumbent Jake Wenger and challenger Stu Gilman in incomplete returns Tuesday evening, making their MID race much too close to call.


Oroville Dam: Two California congressmen want additional safety review

San Jose Mercury News

Reps. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, and Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale, Monday introduced to a bill that would require the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to conduct an additional environmental review of the Oroville Dam.


California approves rescue plan for shrinking Salton Sea

San Francisco Chronicle

California regulators on Tuesday approved a plan to spend nearly $400 million over 10 years to slow the shrinking of the state’s largest lake, a vital migratory stop for birds and a buffer against swirling dust in farming towns.

See also:




Vida en el Valle recognized as country’s best bilingual newspaper

Vida en el Valle

Vida en el Valle has been named the country best bilingual newspaper by the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP) at its annual conference. The weekly newspaper, published by McClatchy Newspapers, also won eight other José Martí Media Awards. “This is a great honor not only for our hard-working staff but for our readers, who are the main reason we report on news that is of importance to them,” said editor Juan Esparza Loera.


Valley Cultural Calendar Thursday, November 9, 2017

Valley Cultural Coalition

Great things are happening in the Valley. Here’s a list of VCC member offerings to keep you busy and entertained!


Veterans Day Parade set for Saturday

Bakersfield Californian

American Legion Post 26 will be holding its annual Veterans Day Parade on Saturday.


Southland ensemble makes local debut in Dukes concert series

Bakersfield Californian

Expect innovation, energy and creativity with the Bakersfield debut of Valley Chamber Ensembles on Sunday. The nonprofit San Fernando Valley group of musicians dedicated to exploring connections among the arts will perform as part of the Fred & Beverly Dukes concert series, which is also supported by Valley Public Radio. This free concert starts at 4 p.m. at First Congregational Church, 5 Real Rd. and is co-sponsored by the Fred & Beverly Dukes endowment as well as Valley Public Radio (KVPR/KPRX FM, 89.1).


Local Happenings: Concord, Clayton, Pleasant Hill, Martinez Nov. 10 and beyond

East Bay Times