November 9, 2016


Political Stories – Top stories

California voters approve Proposition 64 and the recreational use of marijuana — Twenty years after California voters made the Golden State the first in America to permit marijuana’s use as medicine, state voters on Tuesday night passed Proposition 64 to legalize pot for adult recreational use. Sacramento Bee articleLA Times articleSan Jose Mercury News articleRobin Abcarian column in LA TimesNew York Times article‘What does this mean for you?’ in Sacramento Bee

Valadao reelected, Honda defeated: Here’s where California’s congressional races stand – In the 21st District, Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford) defeated Democratic attorney Emilio Huerta. Democrats had hoped that Huerta’s name ID (his mother is labor rights icon Dolores Huerta) and Donald Trump’s shadow would be enough to take down the second-term Republican, but Valadao repudiated Trump early and kept the focus in the heavily agricultural district on water. With nearly 65% of precincts in, the congressman was leading 58.3% to 41.7%. LA Times article

CD 10: Denham leads Eggman for Modesto-area seat — Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, led Democrat Michael Eggman on Tuesday night in the high-profile race in the 10th Congressional District. Denham had 47,430 votes, or 52.2 percent, with 41.4 percent of the precincts counted in Stanislaus County and 27.2 percent counted in southern San Joaquin County. Eggman had 43,524 votes, or 47.8 percent. Modesto Bee article

California reaffirming death penalty in early returns – California appears poised for a historic change to its death penalty system – but not the one that opponents of capital punishment have spent decades pushing for. Sacramento Bee article

Gov. Brown

With so many ballot measures, Gov. Jerry Brown ponders further reforms — Gov. Jerry Brown, lamenting the glut of complicated measures on California’s ballot, suggested Tuesday that lawmakers may want to revisit a change that shifted most propositions to the fall election.  Sacramento Bee article

Valley politics


McNerney, Denham win in congressional rematches – Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton, will continue to represent the 9th Congressional District, vanquishing opponent Tony Amador 57 percent to 43 percent, according to the California Secretary of State. In the 10th district, which serves residents of southern San Joaquin County, incumbent Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, narrowly defeated Democratic challenger Michael Eggman 52.4 percent to 47.6 percent. Stockton Record article


AD 12: Flora edging Vogel in ferocious contest – Heath Flora appeared to beat Ken Vogel Tuesday in a bitter and rare general election race between two conservative Republicans for the 12th Assembly District. Modesto Bee article


Merced: Lor, Walsh in tight race; Pareira leads Ford – Early results for Merced County races showed Lloyd Pareira with a strong lead over Rich Ford in the race for the District 4 supervisor seat, while incumbent Hub Walsh was in a close battle with Lee Lor for District 2. Merced Sun-Star article

San Joaquin: Newcomers capture two supervisorial seats — Newcomers Tom Patti and Miguel Villapudua earned comfortable victories on Tuesday in races for two San Joaquin County Supervisors positions. Stockton Record article


Fresno mayor: Lee Brand holds lead over Henry Perea — As midnight approached Tuesday, Fresno mayor candidate Lee Brand’s election night party at The Cosmopolitan in downtown Fresno turned in to a victory celebration – even though victory is not yet in hand. Fresno Bee article

Goh widens her lead in Bakersfield mayor’s race — Karen Goh, the energetic, quick-talking nonprofit CEO, widened her lead over former homebuilder Kyle Carter in the race for Bakersfield mayor early Wednesday. At 12:22 a.m., Goh expanded her lead from seven to 685 votes, opening up an advantage over Carter of more than one percentage point. Bakersfield Californian article

‘This is history now’; Michael Tubbs becomes Stockton’s first black mayor – City Councilman Michael Tubbs appeared certain to become Stockton’s first black mayor Tuesday night, vaulting to a resounding lead over incumbent Anthony Silva, who seemed all but resigned to the outcome early in the evening. Stockton Record article

Incumbent ousted in Tracy race – Voters in five south San Joaquin County cities had important choices on the direction of their communities Tuesday, electing mayors in two cities and council members in all five. In Tracy, challenger Mayor Pro Tem Robert Rickman was elected mayor over one-term incumbent Mike Maciel, 55.2 percent to 44.5 percent. Stockton Record article

Novelli far ahead of McComak in race for mayor in Patterson — Patterson Councilwoman Deborah Novelli was on her way to an easy victory Tuesday in the race for mayor. In the incomplete results, Novelli had captured 77 percent of the vote. Her opponent, Troy McComak, had 21 percent. Modesto Bee article


Bredefeld, Chavez maintain lead for Fresno City Council seats – Former City Councilman Garry Bredefeld had a commanding lead in his bid to once again represent Council District 6 in northeast Fresno as returns rolled in from Tuesday’s election, while Luis Chavez – an assistant to Councilman Sal Quintero – was looking good in his effort to replace his boss in southeast Fresno’s District 5.  Fresno Bee article

Gonzales jumps to lead over Maxwell in Bakersfield Ward 2 — Andrae Gonzales, a rising star among local Democrats, surged to an early lead against incumbent City Councilman Terry Maxwell in their race to preside over Ward 2, which encompasses the city’s downtown and oldest neighborhoods. Bakersfield Californian article

Wright, Lenz, Andrade elected to Stockton City Council – Incumbent Dan Wright, challenger Susan Lenz and newcomer Jesús Andrade earned seats on Stockton City Council with convincing victories on Tuesday. Stockton Record article

Devine, Sorensen lead Hanford council races — With most of the absentee ballots counted Tuesday night, challenger Martin Devine was ahead of incumbent Gary Pannett in the District C Hanford City Council contest. Hanford Sentinel article

Nascimento, Esquer ahead in Turlock Council results – Steven Nascimento had the edge in the expensive battle of two incumbents over a single northwest Turlock seat on the City Council. Modesto Bee article

Close race for Lemoore City Council — The Lemoore City Council will soon have some new faces as well as a familiar one following Tuesday’s election. As of 10:20 p.m., incumbent Eddie Neal took the lead by 1,407 votes, or 21.05 percent, according to the Kings County Elections Office. Following behind is Holly Blair at 19.42 percent, or 1,298 votes, and David Brown at 15.42 percent, or 1,031 votes. Hanford Sentinel article

Vierra, Creighton grab large early leads in Atwater city race, more votes to count – Preliminary numbers showed two political newcomers — Cindy Vierra and Paul Creighton — poised to take over seats on the Atwater city council with incumbent Larry Bergman trailing by nearly 500 votes. Merced Sun-Star article

Santos, Lewis lead in Los Banos council races — City Council candidates Daronica Santos and Deborah Lewis have commanding leads, according to unofficial results just after midnight Wednesday. Los Banos Enterprise article


Stanislaus voters finally approve countywide transportation tax – Better streets could be on the horizon in Stanislaus County and its nine cities, where enough voters Tuesday appeared to be saying “yes” to higher sales tax for transportation needs. Modesto Bee article

Kings Measure K falling short again – Following a narrow defeat in June, Measure K, a countywide public safety sales tax initiative, was falling short again on its second try Tuesday night. Hanford Sentinel article

Library-recreation measure earns approval — Stockton voters said yes Tuesday to Measure M, the quarter-cent sales tax that will generate money for library and recreation services. Stockton Record article


Tulare County: Votes roll in, so does change – Visalia City Council will have at least one new member. Phil Cox leads Adam Peck in the race for the District 1 seat, recovering from a political defeat just five months ago. Visalia Times-Delta article

Some Tulare County polling places run short of paper ballots — Some Tulare County polling places ran short of paper ballots Tuesday night and late voters were being asked to use electronic voting machines.  Fresno Bee articleVisalia Times-Delta article

Lois Henry: Post-Election Day tidbits — It’s the day after Election Day and no one has the bandwidth for anything too serious, so here are a few snippets of my Tuesday. Henry column in Bakersfield Californian

 Latest Valley Results:

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

Kamala Harris makes history as California’s first black U.S. senator — California voters elected Kamala Harris, the daughter of immigrants from India and Jamaica, to the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, tearing down a color barrier that has stood for as long as California statehood. LA Times articleSacramento Bee article

Dan Walters: Who will Jerry Brown pick to fill very powerful office? – With Attorney General Kamala Harris easily claiming a U.S. Senate seat Tuesday, Gov. Jerry Brown must appoint her successor, subject to confirmation by both legislative houses. Brown could name a caretaker to oversee the Department of Justice for the next two years or launch someone on a political career that could lead to the governorship, a U.S. Senate seat or even the presidency. Walters column in Sacramento Bee

California governor’s initiative will allow earlier paroles – Voters’ approval of Gov. Jerry Brown’s sentencing changes on Tuesday means at least 30,000 of California’s 130,000 state inmates could soon be considered for early release, the latest step in an unprecedented five-year effort to reduce California’s prison population. AP article

Tax the rich for education? California votes ‘yes’ – California voters approved a ballot proposition Tuesday to continue taxing the rich at a higher rate to raise billions of dollars for public schools and health care. AP article

Californians reject plastic bag ban fee – California voters have rejected Proposition 65, which proposed to create an environmental fund with proceeds from a 10-cent charge for non-plastic retail carry-out bags. In a related measure, the “yes” vote is leading for Proposition 67, which would uphold a statewide ban on single-use plastic carry-out bags. AP article

California will bring back bilingual education as Proposition 58 cruises to victory — Public schools in California will have more power to develop their own bilingual and multilingual programs after voters on Tuesday approved a measure repealing English-only instruction across the state.  LA Times article

Cortopassi measure behind by slim margin — Proposition 53, the brainchild of Stockton agricultural icon Dean Cortopassi, was trailing early Wednesday morning, the closest of all the propositions on the ballot. Stockton Record article

Voters approve $2 tobacco tax, but remain divided on other health measures – Voters made a clear choice on raising the price of cigarettes, but were more circumspect about regulating the pornography and pharmaceutical industries at the ballot box. KQED report

California Legislature will have to pass bills under new transparency rules set by Prop 54 – California voters have approved a significant change of the rules in how proposed laws are approved by the Legislature, overwhelmingly supporting a new mandate for public review of legislation before any final vote. LA Times article

California voters enhance already tough gun laws — California voters on Tuesday expanded some of the nation’s toughest gun control measures. Voters approved Proposition 63, banning large-capacity ammunition magazines, requiring background checks for ammunition sales and speeding the seizure of firearms from owners who are no longer allowed to own them. AP article

Californians approve $9 billion for school construction — California voters approved $9 billion in state bonds for school and community college construction projects. Returns early Wednesday showed Proposition 51 had 53 percent of the vote. AP article

Big party money poured into California legislative races – Democratic and Republican party campaign committees had pumped more than $29 million into the state’s most competitive Assembly and Senate contests heading into Tuesday’s election, state filings show. Sacramento Bee article

GOP lawmakers fight to keep California legislative seats — Several Republican Assembly members were in extremely close contests in their re-election bids as the GOP faces an uphill battle to hold onto left-leaning districts and prevent Democrats from grabbing supermajorities in the Assembly and Senate. AP article

Other areas

Soda taxes win in San Francisco, Oakland and Albany – San Francisco, Oakland and Albany voters have passed soda taxes in each city by a wide margin. San Francisco now becomes the largest city on the West Coast to approve a levy on distributors of sugar-sweetened beverages. KQED report

Democrat Ami Bera barely leads Scott Jones in bid for re-election to Congress – Democratic Rep. Ami Bera, fighting for a third term in Congress, led Republican Scott Jones in an expensive race that saw both candidates and their parties lob blistering character attacks across suburban Sacramento County. Sacramento Bee article

Sacramento and Placer transportation taxes fail to pass – Measure B, the proposed half-cent transportation sales tax in Sacramento County, fell short of the two-thirds support it needed to pass. With all precincts accounted for early Wednesday, the measure had just shy of 65 percent approval. It needed to top two-thirds, or 67 percent, to pass. A similar transportation tax measure in Placer County, Measure M, had won nearly 64 percent of the vote with all precincts reporting, but it also needed a two-thirds majority to pass. Sacramento Bee article

San Joaquin County DA employees mock Black Lives Matter in skit — San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber-Salazar has apologized for a skit that staff members did during an office Halloween party last week that seemed to have mocked the Black Lives Matter movement. Stockton Record article

Presidential Politics

How Donald Trump won the White House and stunned the world – America, he’s hired. Donald Trump, the bombastic reality-TV-star-turned-politician, won by harnessing deep discontent with Washington and deep-seated loathing of his opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton. McClatchy Newspapers articleLA Times articleNew York Times article

Trump wins, sparking protests across California: ‘Not my president’ – The election of Donald Trump to the presidency sparked protests early Wednesday across California, drawing crowds to city streets and college campuses. LA Times article

UC Merced students launch furious midnight protest over Trump victory – Hundreds of incensed university students streamed through campus just after midnight Wednesday in a spontaneous, seething protest over the election of President-elect Donald Trump. Merced Sun-Star article

Disbelief, hope and a plan for California’s secession: How the tech industry is reacting to Trump’s win – It was an industry that united against Donald Trump, with dozens of executives penning open letters against the Republican candidate, dozens more publicly disavowing a longtime colleague and Trump supporter, and business leaders digging deep into their coffers in support of the Hillary Clinton campaign. LA Times article

McCarthy reacts to Trump win — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy late Tuesday called Donald Trump’s victory “a great opportunity” and attributed it to a nation wanting change. Bakersfield Californian article

News Stories –  Top Stories

Tejon revenues mixed this year while plans for its Grapevine village approved – Though Tejon Ranch Co.’s revenues were up in the third quarter of 2016, they were down over all this year, as reported in the company’s quarterly earnings statement. Meanwhile, the company’s plans for its 12,000-home Grapevine community were approved by Kern County Planning Commission Oct. 27. Bakersfield Californian article

Merced Mall upgrade aimed at millennials – The Merced Mall is set for a potential face-lift aimed at making it more appealing to the millennial generation, a direct reflection of the growth of UC Merced, according to investors.  Merced Sun-Star article

Jobs and the Economy

North Fork biomass plant an economic and symbolic step forward, officials say — After several years spent obtaining grants and working through red tape, ground was broken last week on an innovative biomass plant in North Fork that officials say will create jobs and serve as a pioneer facility for the state. Sierra Star article

Study: Nearly 58 percent of Fresno renters ‘cost-burdened’ — Fresno is No. 7 on the 19-city list for cost-burdened renters, with 57.75 percent percent of renters paying more than 30 percent of their income on rent. The Stockton-Lodi region comes in at 56.84 percent for the No. 9 spot, while Modesto ranks 16th with 54.37 percent. The Business Journal article

Stadium measures for Chargers in San Diego losing badly — Two ballot measures that could have brought a combined convention center annex and Chargers stadium to downtown San Diego were trailing badly Tuesday in early returns. LA Times article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Reedley police to attend national restorative justice retreat — The Reedley Police Department will take part in a national law enforcement retreat on restorative justice near Harrisburg, Virginia Nov. 11-13 as one of only 11 agencies in the country. Fresno Bee article

Prosecutor defends decision to charge woman with selling illegal ceviche – It wasn’t your average undercover sting or your usual contraband. San Joaquin County investigators launched the stealthy operation to infiltrate a 15,000-person ring — actually, a Facebook group — that peddled not cocaine or heroin or illegal weapons, but homemade food and recipes. LA Times article


Fresno Unified: Measure X, Jonasson Rosas, Cazares are winners in election — Measure X, the $225 million school bond aiming to renovate campuses in the Fresno Unified School District, was approved in Tuesday’s election, according to unofficial returns. According to unofficial final results, Elizabeth Jonasson Rosas and Claudia Cazares will serve on the Fresno Unified school board. Fresno Bee article

Flores, O’Connell lead Kern High School District board races – Incumbent Jeff Flores and newcomer Joey O’Connell were leading in their bids for seats on the Kern High School District board Tuesday night. Bakersfield Californian article

Early results show mixed bag in Merced school board races – Races for Merced school board seats remained too close to call Tuesday night, with incumbents fighting to keep their seats on boards for Merced College, Merced City schools and Merced Union High School. Merced Sun-Star article

Delta College board president defeated in District 2 – Two of three incumbents on the San Joaquin Delta College Board of Trustees were re-elected on Tuesday night, but a third incumbent was ousted. Challenger Carlos Huerta defeated board President Claudia Moreno 55.6 to 44 percent in San Joaquin County, where most of the votes to decide the race will come from. The two were battling to represent Area 2, which includes central Stockton. Stockton Record article

One incumbent, two newcomers win in Stockton Unified – Parents of more than 40,000 children enrolled in Stockton Unified, the largest school district in San Joaquin County, made their voices heard as to who will be trustees for the district. Stockton Record article

Kern County Superintendent announces retirement — Christine Lizardi Frazier, the first woman to serve as Kern County superintendent of schools, announced Tuesday she will retire in February. Associate Superintendent Mary Barlow is expected to be appointed to her position and serve out the remainder of her term, until the 2018 election. Bakersfield Californian article

Most school bonds on way to passing — Of the six local school bond measures on Tuesday’s ballots, five appear to be on their way to passing as of 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night. Hanford Sentinel article

Two incumbents, two newcomers heading for victor on Yosemite Community College District board – Two incumbents and two newcomers were leading in races for four seats on the Yosemite Community College District board based on early returns in Tuesday’s election. Modesto Bee article

California leaders join GOP critics of draft federal school funding rules — The state’s top education officials have issued new objections to how federal officials plan to enforce the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, the new law replacing the No Child Left Behind Act. EdSource article

Nan Austin: My vote: More civics education for our future leaders — While the specter of this election will be lying on a couch recounting its childhood for many days, one therapeutic direction is crystal clear: Civics education needs a reboot. Austin in Modesto Bee


Fracking ban: Environmentalists declare victory on Monterey Measure Z — Environmentalists declared victory early Wednesday on a nationally watched campaign to ban fracking, the controversial oil drilling technique, along with all new oil drilling, in Monterey County. San Jose Mercury News article

Health/Human Services 

Covered California executive director answers questions about open enrollment — November marks the start of Covered California’s insurance open enrollment. 2016 will be the fourth year that residents in the Central Valley can shop online for private, federally-subsidized health insurance. Valley Public Radio spoke with Executive Director Peter Lee about changes going on in the exchange that both people with insurance and the uninsured need to be aware of. KVPR report

Land Use/Housing

Proposed Hanford zoning brings controversy — Proposed zoning changes for development in Hanford are getting closer to reality, and not everybody is thrilled with the way things are shaping up. Hanford Sentinel article

Bay Area voters approving most affordable housing measure by wide margin — The dire need for more affordable housing in cities like San Francisco wasn’t a huge talking point in the presidential election. However, in the pricey Bay Area, the issue was front and center on a number of local ballots. Voters are embracing most local measures promising to create new housing for low- and middle-income residents. KQED report

Other areas

Bakersfield remembers Christo’s umbrellas – 25 years later — Twenty-five years ago this fall, the hills of Kern County became the focus of the international art community, with the temporary installation of over a thousand giant yellow umbrellas along the Grapevine. Now, two decades later, while the umbrellas are long gone, the event remains fresh in the minds of many. FM89’s Joe Moore brings us this report, which first aired on FM89 in 2011.  KVPR report

 Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – James Comey supposedly prides himself for his nonpartisanship. But the FBI director can’t seem to butt out of the presidential election; he should.

Sacramento Bee –- Donald Trump as the 45th president: We’re in for a harrowing ride.