October 15, 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

Schools chief race may be election’s tightest – The statewide election that could end up as one of the closest and most expensive in California this fall is for an office many voters probably have only the dimmest awareness of: state schools superintendent.  AP article

Turlock residents to vote on council district elections – This city will start a transition to council district elections if voters approve Measure A next month. City leaders have felt the same pressure as other local governments and school districts: Either elect governing board members by district or face a lawsuit under the California Voting Rights Act of 2001. The law has enabled groups to contest at-large elections by showing that voting patterns keep minorities from winning office.  Modesto Bee article

Valley politics

Fresno Bee: Chavez, Berryhill, Cannella for state Senate – We recommend Tom Berryhill (District 8), Anthony Cannella (District 12) and Luis Chavez (District 14) for the Senate in the Nov. 4 election.  Fresno Bee editorial\

Tax bill increases become election issue in Kern assessor race – Assessor-Recorder candidate Russell Johnson brought two unhappy taxpayers with him to the Kern County Board of Supervisors’ meeting Tuesday. Current Assessor-Recorder Jim Fitch, who backs Johnson’s opponent, office Chief Appraiser Jon Lifquist, called the move election-year gamesmenship.  Bakersfield Californian article

Empty Fresno Unified seat leaves room for newcomers – A political rookie is looking to fill the Fresno Unified Area 7 seat being vacated by Trustee Michelle Asadoorian in what’s been a quiet — but relatively expensive — race. Businessman Brooke Ashjian and cafeteria worker Ruben Martinez are both on the ballot for the spot that represents Bullard High and its feeder schools.  Fresno Bee article

Visions of Merced sheriff’s role separates Lunney, Warnke – Perhaps the clearest difference between the two candidates running for Merced County sheriff emerged in April during a primary debate in Atwater. Candidates Vern Warnke and Pat Lunney were asked about their administrative experiences; both candidates expressed distinct philosophical differences regarding the role of the sheriff as they see it.  Merced Sun-Star article

Atwater City Council and mayor candidates tout their experience – By this time next month, voters will have chosen two new members for the Atwater City Council – and possibly a new mayor. Four candidates are vying for two seats on the City Council: James Vineyard, Bill Barkman, Brian Raymond and Fernando Echevarria. Longtime Atwater Mayor Joan Faul is being challenged by Jim Price.  Merced Sun-Star article

Vineyard campaign at issue in argument at Atwater City Council meeting – In the latest round of Atwater political fireworks, a confrontation between a resident and a City Council candidate briefly interrupted a council meeting Monday, spilling out of the chamber and prompting police and fire officials to rush out. Merced Sun-Star article

Candidate Terry challenges Tulare Mayor Macedo for council seat – The race for the Tulare City County District 4 seat is pairing Mayor David Macedo, the local elected official with the longest service tenure, and Nathan Terry, Lighthouse Rescue Mission and Resource Center director, a rookie in local politics.  Visalia Times-Delta article

Samra defends Livingston council seat against planning commissioner – In less than a month, Livingston voters will decide whether to re-elect a longtime politician for another term or go with his challenger – the brother of a current city councilman.  Merced Sun-Star article

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

Kashkari hits Brown for union ties, but motive unproven – Neel Kashkari, the Republican candidate for governor, is running a TV ad that depicts him saving a drowning child and claims Gov. Jerry Brown “betrayed our kids to protect his donors.”  Sacramento Bee article

Bakersfield Californian: Prop 47 about lawmakers’ lack of courage – Proposition 47 is on the November ballot because California legislators — yes, both Democrats and Republicans — haven’t had the political courage to do the right thing. They have pandered to voters by taking knee-jerk, “tough on crime” stands, rather than revising criminal sentencing formulas and allocating funds for rehabilitation.  Bakersfield Californian editorial

Robin Abcarian: Women suffer disproportionately under California’s harsh laws – She’s probably told her story thousands of times, but when we talk, Susan Burton’s tale comes spilling out of her as if it’s the first time she’s shared it: in and out of prison for years for possessing small amounts of crack cocaine, never offered drug diversion or help with housing or work. When Burton argues that Proposition 47, a ballot initiative that would reclassify many small-time felonies as misdemeanors, would have spared her years of a “turnstile” life, she is persuasive.  Abcarian column in LA Times

Ralph Kingsford: Prop 46 would increase health care costs – The pediatrician in practice at Visalia Medical Clinic writes, “This November, Californians will be asked to weigh in on Proposition 46, a deviously crafted measure sponsored by trial attorneys under the false pretense of protecting patient safety. It is in fact, a budget buster that will increase health-care costs for all Californians and decrease access to trusted physicians.” Kingsford op-ed in Visalia Times-Delta

Other areas

As Senate head, Kevin De León hopes to wed agenda with leadership – Now, as the Los Angeles Democrat prepares to take over Wednesday as leader of the state Senate, De León must prove he can balance his political agenda with the demands of the new post: shepherding colleagues with disparate political views onto common ground.  LA Times article

California leader preps for expensive swearing-in – Two thousand guests have been invited to help celebrate Wednesday’s swearing-in of the first Latino to head the California Senate in more than a century.  AP article

Rep. Tom McClintock, Art Moore get personal in lone debate – Rep. Tom McClintock and challenger Art Moore sparred in an early morning debate Tuesday marked by fierce character attacks that generated audience groans but put some distance between the two Republicans.  Capitol Alert

Dan Morain: McClintock is no paragon of bipartisanship – Suddenly, Rep. Tom McClintock is portraying himself as willing to work with Democrats. But the conservative Republican did not quite have that reaching-across-the-aisle thing down when he showed up for a debate of his choosing – at 7 a.m. Tuesday at Auburn City Hall – with his challenger, Art Moore.  Morain in Sacramento Bee

Sacramento council members line up behind strong-mayor measure – The campaign to strengthen the authority of the Sacramento mayor’s office picked up key political support Tuesday with the announcement that four current members of the Sacramento City Council and a council member set to take office later this year are supporting Measure L.  Sacramento Bee article

Dan Walters Daily: LA cooks the books – It’s getting harder to distinguish fact from fiction in Los Angeles, Dan Walters says.  Dan Walters Daily in Sacramento Bee

Texas’ voter ID law is reinstated as election nears – Texas’ voter identification law was back in force Tuesday in time for the November election as a federal appeals court lifted a lower court’s injunction.  LA Times article

Hillary Clinton: Social media creating ‘hurdles’ to higher office – Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is becoming a regular at San Francisco’s tech mega-conventions as she mulls a 2016 presidential run, said Tuesday that information technology and social media are creating “very difficult hurdles” for those who want to run for higher office.  San Francisco Chronicle article

News Briefs

Top Stories

Ag summit expert: Expect fewer crops and farm jobs – A decrease of 185,200 acres in irrigated Kern County crops could mean 12,400 fewer farm jobs and a $631-million loss in farm income. Kern County could come close to those numbers in 21 years, a water storage expert explained at the first Kern Agriculture Summit Tuesday. Bakersfield Californian article

State rejects appeal over Kettleman Hills expansion – The state on Monday rejected activists’ appeals of the hazardous waste landfill expansion at Kettleman Hills. Expect a lawsuit soon.  Fresno Bee article

Jobs and the Economy

Valley opponents want to kill state proposal that could increase gas prices – With a new proposal to lower greenhouse gases due to kick in Jan. 1, opponents are calling on Gov. Jerry Brown and the state Air Resources Board to kill the plan because they say it will significantly increase gas prices.  Fresno Bee article

Turlock council Oks employee contracts – The City Council got some major pieces of business done Tuesday night: contract extensions for the city manager and attorney, small raises for most employee groups, and a few new officers and patrol cars for the Police Department.  Modesto Bee article

Chukchansi factions head to federal court on possible casino reopening – Officials with the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians will learn Wednesday whether the tribe’s Coarsegold casino will reopen sooner or later when a judge hears from state and federal lawyers who ordered it closed.  Fresno Bee article

Botanics & Organics cosmetics distribution firm to launch in Modesto – A Welsh cosmetics company will open an office and distribution center in downtown Modesto this fall, and it expects to start hiring staff in November.  Modesto Bee article

Sacramento County home market warmed in September – The median price of a resale home in Sacramento County rose slightly and more homes sold in September vs. August, when prices were flat and sales were down, CoreLogic DataQuick reported Tuesday.  Sacramento Bee article

LA gives AEG more time to find a team for downtown NFL stadium – The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday granted developer Anschutz Entertainment Group another six months to find a team for its proposed downtown NFL stadium, while also giving it more influence over any backup plan for the site.  LA Times article

Ebola now an issue in nurses’ contract bargaining – Nurses’ calls for better hospital preparation around Ebola have landed on the bargaining table. California’s powerful nurses’ union has been bargaining with Kaiser Permanente for months over a new contract, and is now adding to its list of demands better training, protection, and insurance coverage for nurses who may treat patients infected with Ebola.  KQED report

Ireland to close corporate tax loophole used by Google and others – Bowing to pressure from U.S. and European officials, Ireland will phase out a notorious loophole that helps multinational corporations legally dodge billions of dollars in taxes in their homelands.  LA Times article

Supreme Court considers if state board serves public or limits competition –  The Supreme Court could rein in state licensing boards that critics argue have become antitrust “cartels” that hurt consumers and hinder competition. The high court heard arguments Tuesday in a case involving dentists who used their control over a state licensing board to block kiosks in shopping malls from offering teeth-whitening products at lower prices.  LA Times article

Fig Garden Village owner building Visalia retail space – Donahue Schriber Realty Group — owner of Fresno’s Fig Garden Village — is building two new retail buildings at Orchard Walk East shopping center in Visalia.  The Business Journal article

Parking, local opposition add to affordable housing costs, study finds – Community opposition, design changes and parking are among the factors driving up the cost of building affordable housing in California, according to a report released this week by several state housing agencies.  LA Times article

Dozier elected development association president – Fresno State’s Mike Dozier has been elected the 2014-15 president of the University Economic Development Association (UEDA). Dozier has worked at Fresno State since 2009 and is the executive director of the Office of Community and Economic Development.  The Business Journal article


High temps intensified California drought – The showers and cooler temperatures in the forecast this week won’t be a drought buster — but they may help take the edge off conditions that have been been making the drought even worse.  KQED report

Amid drought, mayor directs LA to cut water use by 20 percent by 2017 – Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued an executive directive on Tuesday requiring Los Angeles to reduce its fresh water use 20% by 2017 as a response to the prolonged drought.  LA Times article

Drought taking bite out of almonds – The prediction a few months ago was that the 2014 California almond crop would top last year’s. That turns out not to be the case as water issues put a bigger dent in the harvest than forecasters expected.  Hanford Sentinel article

Invasive insect found in Lodi, Manteca – Asian Citrus Psyllids, an invasive insect, have been found in Manteca and Lodi, according to San Joaquin County Agricultural Commissioner Tim Pelican.  Stockton Record article

George Hostetter: Time for a fifth water forum – Fresno City Hall should schedule a fifth water forum. I suggest Monday, Nov. 3, at a site to be determined. That means it would come halfway between Forum No. 3 (Oct. 27, Gaston Middle School) and the concluding forum (Nov. 10, City Hall council chamber). The extra forum would have a simple agenda: Water experts riff without interruption.  Hostetter in Fresno Bee

Modesto Irrigation District directors reflect on irrigation water transfers – Drought-coping programs introduced this year got mixed reviews at Tuesday’s Modesto Irrigation District board meeting. Also, the board expects on Dec. 2 to discuss the idea of raising electricity rates, and in January will take up whether to increase the price of irrigation.  Modesto Bee article

San Joaquin County’s new farm leader settles in – Tim Pelican, who last week took over as San Joaquin County agricultural commissioner and responsibility for overseeing and fostering a $2.9 billion industry, said he likes a challenge.  Stockton Record article

County residents seek Tulare city water system connection – Manuel Delgado steps out of his West Prosperity Avenue home and walks on the front lawn, which has turned brown because he has stopped watering it. Only smaller, decorative plants get water regularly, he said. Delgado, who has lived at the county home for 15 years, says he has also stopped watering his back yard, which once was a grassy area with a handful of green-leafed trees. The lack of water is taking its toll on the smaller trees.  Visalia Times-Delta article

Big debut for first-of-its-kind water tunnel below San Francisco Bay – Four years ago, a few dozen miners and engineers, hired to work around the clock, set out to do something no one else had done: dig a tunnel beneath San Francisco Bay.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Mayor: Stockton in ‘state of emergency’ – Mayor Anthony Silva says Stockton’s recent crime wave is indicative of a “state of emergency,” adding that he wants “input” into the deployment of police officers, and renewed his call Tuesday for voters to oust two incumbent City Council members in the upcoming elections.  Stockton Record article

Michael Fitzgerald: Homicides don’t tell whole story – Part of the Stockton experience is watching the lid blow off crime every now and then, startling everyone and causing widespread dismay. Another part, if it’s an election year, is the appearance of unqualified candidates who are not above exploiting public fear for political gain. Fitzgerald column in Stockton Record

Fresno County sheriff: Violence has decreased since marijuana ordinance introduced – Violence related to marijuana growing is “down considerably” since cultivation was banned in Fresno County’s unincorporated areas early this year, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office said at Tuesday’s supervisors’ meeting.  Fresno Bee article

Porterville chief calls it quits – Just days after being placed on administrative leave, Porterville Police Chief Chuck McMillan handed in his retirement papers Friday.  Visalia Times-Delta article

LAPD officials downplay report on ‘ghost cars’ – Los Angeles police officials Tuesday downplayed a recent report about falsified patrol records, saying it was an isolated problem that had been overstated and corrected.  LA Times article

LAPD watchdogs warn ‘ghost cars’ may indicate deeper problem – Los Angeles police commissioners on Tuesday expressed concern that the falsification of patrol reports and the misclassification of crime statistics may be symptoms of deeper problems at the LAPD. KPPC report

Shasta atheist wins $2 million settlement over drug program – Shasta County atheist whose parole agent required him to participate in a religious-oriented drug treatment program has settled his lawsuit against the state and a rehabilitation contractor for nearly $2 million.  Sacramento Bee article


Fresno State receives grant for social work training – Fresno State received a $606,226 grant Tuesday that will help train social work students working with Spanish-speaking children, adolescents, youth ages 16-25 and their families.  Fresno Bee article

Teach for America reaches into Stockton, hopes to inspire – FranShawn Croft still remembers the name of the second-grade teacher who helped show her the way out of Chicago’s gritty projects: Bobbie L. Steele, who went on to become a Cook County commissioner and author most noted for being an agent of change. Fast forward three decades later, and Croft, now a second-grade teacher herself, is paying that forward in her own classroom.  Stockton Record article

Steve Lopez: A fortune for iPads, but not enough for math books – Something was missing last week from a seventh-grade math class at Palms Middle School in West Los Angeles. It wasn’t the students; they were at their desks. It wasn’t teacher Bruce Kravets; he was eager to dive in, as he has been for 45 years. But there were no textbooks.  Lopez column in LA Times


Attorneys argue over evidence in Rim fire case – A defense attorney for a Tuolumne County man accused of starting the massive Rim fire that charred part of Yosemite National Park last year says prosecutors aren’t providing all of the evidence they have collected against her client.  AP article

Kern orders additional study of Arvin gas leak – Kern County supervisors voted in closed session Tuesday to perform toxic chemical and explosive gas studies of the eight Arvin homes evacuated in March because of a gas pipeline leak.  Bakersfield Californian article

Health/Human Services

Second hospital caregiver tests positive for Ebola in Dallas – A second health care worker at Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas has tested positive for Ebola after providing care for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan.  McClatchy Newspapers articleLA Times article

Dr. Ashok Daftary: Ebola education remains crucial – The member of the Department of Pharmacy Practice at University of the Pacific writes, “A lesson learned from the sad case of David Duncan that we should all take to heart is contained in Preston’s thriller: ‘All the earth’s cities are connected by a web of airline routes. The web is a network. Once the virus hits the net it can shoot anywhere in a day — Paris, Tokyo, Los Angeles, New York, wherever planes fly.’ This demands we educate ourselves about the disease because its containment is the only cure we currently possess.” Daftary op-ed in Stockton Record

Ebola pet threat?  No evidence that dogs or cats spread virus – Public health experts and animal lovers are carefully monitoring the health of a Dallas-area resident who may have had close contact with Nina Pham, the nurse being treated for Ebola virus disease at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.  LA Times article

UCLA study offers hope on emergency room crowding – A new UCLA study has found that while people enrolled in low-cost, government-run health plans visit emergency rooms at high rates soon after becoming insured, the number falls dramatically within a year.  LA Times articleKQED report

Facebook and Apple now covering cost for women to freeze eggs – Apple and Facebook are now offering women a huge job perk: egg freezing. For those who want to temporarily stop their biological clocks and delay having children, the Silicon Valley tech giants will cover the cost of this procedure that allows women to store their unfertilized eggs to use in the future.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Santa Monica approves e-smoking restrictions – The Santa Monica City Council unanimously approved an ordinance Tuesday that will restrict the use of electronic smoking devices, or e-cigarettes, in the same way as traditional cigarettes.  LA Times article

Fresno heart surgeon sues man for defamation – A prominent Fresno heart surgeon who’s accused of leaving an open-heart surgery before his patient’s chest was closed is suing the person who told state investigators about the alleged incident that resulted in a $75,000 fine to Community Regional Medical Center.  Fresno Bee article

Land Use/Housing

Visalia General Plan update approved – After four-and-a-half years of work, $1.1 million in cost and a lot of delays, the Visalia City Council approved the city’s 2030 General Plan Update Monday night.  Visalia Times-Delta article

Turlock Gospel Mission shows off year-round homeless shelter – Rosemary Israel said she often has slept on a concrete slab across South Broadway from a former warehouse. That building now offers hope. Turlock Gospel Mission is converting it into a year-round shelter for homeless people, with 34 beds for men and 22 for women and children, possibly by the end of December.  Modesto Bee article

Other Areas

Fresno Judge Petrucelli faces inquiry into alleged misconduct – A Fresno County judge is in trouble again with the California Commission on Judicial Performance — this time for helping an acquaintance accused of felony domestic violence get out of jail on his own recognizance.  Fresno Bee article

Modesto city manager finalists named – The finalists for Modesto city manager are interim City Manager Jim Holgersson and Rocklin City Manager Ricky Horst.  Modesto Bee article

Lois Henry: B-town’s good, bad and ugly, real ugly – Thought I’d catch you up with a few tidbits from the “notes” file.  Henry column in Bakersfield Californian

Dinuba city manager Elizabeth Nunes dies of cancer at 51 – Dinuba City Manager Elizabeth “Beth” Nunes, appointed to the top job only last year, has died of cancer. Nunes died Sunday at age 51, an announcement by the city said.  Fresno Bee article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Bakersfield Californian  Proposition 47 is on the November ballot because California legislators — yes, both Democrats and Republicans — haven’t had the political courage to do the right thing. They have pandered to voters by taking knee-jerk, “tough on crime” stands, rather than revising criminal sentencing formulas and allocating funds for rehabilitation.

Fresno Bee – We recommend Tom Berryhill (District 8), Anthony Cannella (District 12) and Luis Chavez (District 14) for the Senate in the Nov. 4 election.

Merced Sun-Star – Unlike Texas politicians, California leaders don’t suppress the vote intentionally, but they fail to count tens of thousands of vote-by-mail ballots.

Modesto Bee – Unlike Texas politicians, California leaders don’t suppress the vote intentionally, but they fail to count tens of thousands of vote-by-mail ballots.