October 21, 2014


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

Political Briefs

Top stories

Gov. Jerry Brown touts decades of experience on water policy — Gov. Jerry Brown pitched his decades-long political career as an asset in tackling California’s vexing water problems in a speech at Stanford University on Monday, portraying this year’s major water legislation as a continuation of his first gubernatorial term nearly 40 years ago.  LA Times article; Capitol Alert; AP article

Ballot measure would overhaul rainy day fund – California would revamp its little-used rainy day fund to pay down billions in pension obligations and other debt and to provide a larger cushion against future economic downturns under a measure voters will decide in November.  AP article

Lawyers versus doctors in costly Prop 46 campaign wars – A ballot initiative that pits lawyers against doctors has set off one of this year’s fiercest campaign wars, a costly clash over increasing state limits on malpractice damages and imposing drug testing on physicians.  LA Times article

Valley politics

The Fresno Bee’s voter guide – The Nov. 4 general election is around the corner. Make an informed decision with the help of our voter guide, which compares candidates on issues and qualifications. It also describes the state propositions. Make a customized sample ballot and take it to the polls.  Fresno Bee article

Bakersfield council election profile:  McCallum pushes public safety, jobs in Ward 3 – One of two challengers vying to unseat Ward 3 representative Ken Weir, Mark McCallum has mulled running for elective office but never mounted a campaign. He’s a former field representative for Assemblyman Bill Maze, R-Visalia, and Congressman Richard Pombo, R-Tracy, who works as a substitute teacher for Kern High School District.  Bakersfield Californian article

‘First Look’: Bakersfield Ward 7 candidate Chris Parlier advocates neighborhood unity — Chris Parlier said he believes in neighborhood watch programs and neighbors knowing neighbors. Those are simple programs that can help reduce crime in Bakersfield.  Bakersfield Californian article

‘First Look’:  Bakersfield Ward 7 candidate Harmeet Dhindsa talks about neighborhood watch —Harmeet Dhindsa said he knows his Ward 7 community. He has lived in the area for 27 years and just like there are great assets, there is also room for improvement.  Bakersfield Californian article

‘First Look’:  Bakersfield Ward 7 candidate Matthew Braman discusses plan — City council races are foot races. That is the advice Matthew Braman received before he took on the journey of campaigning for the Bakersfield City Council Ward 7 seat.  Bakersfield Californian article

Mikes face off in Los Banos mayor candidates forum — The two candidates for Los Banos mayor went head-to-head Tuesday night at Los Banos City Hall in the final Community Candidates Night forum. The forum, hosted by the League of Women Voters and the Los Banos Enterprise, posed 22 audience-submitted questions to incumbent Mike Villalta and former mayor Michael Amabile, who threw his hat back into the ring after an eight-year absence.  Merced Sun-Star article

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

Legacy of a bailout: Why Kashkari is proud of TARP, but doesn’t trumpet it – There’s no question about what the top line is on Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari’s resume: Kashkari led the federal government’s high-profile response to the 2008 economic meltdown. But on the campaign trail, Kashkari doesn’t spend too much time talking about the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. And there’s a reason: Even though the bailout plan worked, it was messy, complicated and deeply unpopular.  KQED report

Scott Lay: The Supermajorities – Senate – Democrats are in a tough position this year. Some folks will credit a Republican surge if Democrats lose the supermajority in the State Senate. It’s a flaw if Democrats think they have a structural supermajority and a similar flaw if Republicans walk away from this election feeling confident about some sort of political shift. At the end of the day, this is a status quo, non-presidential, election.  Lay in Fox & Hounds

Health insurers boost No on 45 funding — California insurers have pumped more than $12 million over the last five days into a campaign to defeat Proposition 45, an initiative on the Nov. 4 ballot that would regulate health insurance rates. Blue Shield gave $2.66 million, WellPoint $6 million, Kaiser Permanente $3.73 million and Health Net $350,000, according to late filings at the secretary of state’s office.  LA Times article

Prop 45 seeks health insurance rate review – Proposition 45 offers a simple choice for voters: Do they want the state insurance commissioner to regulate health care rates for small businesses and individual health plans?  AP article

Joel Fox: Prop 45 debate by insurance commissioner candidates is a good idea — As the Los Angeles Times headlined a story last week: Prop 45 is a Tough Issue for Voters. The issue is complex. A debate by the candidates for the office that has the most to do with Prop 45 would be beneficial as voters try to figure out whether to support or reject that measure and to understand the thinking of the candidates vying for the office.  Fox in Fox & Hounds

Bakersfield Californian: We have to have one, so re-elect Gavin Newsom — Re-elect Gavin Newsom. Since we have to have a lieutenant governor, we might as well make the best choice.  Bakersfield Californian editorial

Fresno Bee: Pete Peterson for California secretary of state – Pete Peterson is the better choice in the Nov. 4 election.  Fresno Bee editorial

Visalia Times-Delta: Vote Yes on Prop 1, no on Prop 46 – The Visalia Times-Delta recommended voting “yes” on Prop 1, the water bond, and “no” on Prop 46, which it says will send medical costs soaring and do nothing to improve health care.  Visalia Times-Delta editorial

Other areas

Kevin Johnson makes pitch for strong mayor in new TV ad – In a television ad released last week, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson makes his pitch for the strong-mayor November ballot measure. Sacramento Bee article

Bera-Ose race among most expensive nationally – The race between Democratic Rep. Ami Bera and Republican Doug Ose has vaulted into the 10 most expensive House contests in the nation, with the candidates and outside groups pouring millions into the Sacramento County district. Outside organizations have spent $5.4 million in the general election. Combined with the $1.83 million spent by the candidates, California’s 7th District race has become the eighth most expensive in the nation, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.  Capitol Alert

In Berkeley, soda tax measure is new front in social activism — Berkeley, the originator of movements ranging from Free Speech to Healthy Eating has a new cause: taking on the soft drink industry. On November 4th, the city’s voters will decide whether to tax sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages. The effort is bringing out progressives in Berkeley who have lobbied for social change for decades.  KQED report

Supreme Court to decide LA hotel-motel privacy case – The Supreme Court said Monday it will decide whether Los Angeles police can enter hotels and motels and demand to check the guest registry without a search warrant.  LA Times article

VIDEO: Hillary Clinton rallies donors ahead of midterms in SF — Hillary Clinton, appealing to women voters Monday in the run-up to this year’s mid-term elections, cast the Republican Party as a pariah on issues of health care and income inequality.  Capitol Alert;

News Briefs

Top Stories

Dan Walters:  Local measures will test support for sales tax extension – There will be a test of voter support for taxes next month as local governments and school districts seek approval of many billions of dollars in new taxes, plus bonds that would require property tax hikes to repay. The sheer volume of the local tax and bond measures on the Nov. 4 ballot is impressive, as a compilation by the California Taxpayers Association shows.  Walters column in Sacramento Bee

Yosemite’s entrance fees to jump 50 percent — For the first time in nearly two decades, Yosemite National Park is poised to bump up entrance fees for visitors. Park administrators are looking to increase the cost of driving into the park from $20 to $30 per vehicle — good for a seven-day visit — and increase the price of an annual pass from $40 to $60.  San Francisco Chronicle article; Merced Sun-Star article; AP article; KVPR report

Amid California’s drought, a bruising battle for cheap water – In a state where three-quarters of the water use is by agriculture, powerful farm districts such as Westlands play an outsized role in the rough-and-tumble world of water politics.  LA Times article

Jobs and the Economy

Stanislaus County supervisors could restore pay cut, increase wages for 1,700 workers – Stanislaus County leaders could restore a pay cut and increase salaries in a proposed contract with the union that represents half of the county government workforce.  Modesto Bee article

Stockton City Council: Tax-incentive programs up for approval — Though the city fell short last month in its bid for the jackpot of a lucrative Tesla Motors battery plant, two unrelated automobile-themed matters on tonight’s City Council agenda are, perhaps, illustrative of an improving business climate in Stockton.  Stockton Record article

Business economists report solid but slowing growth in third quarter – Business economists reported solid but slowing growth at their companies over the summer as gauges of sales, hiring and profit margins fell slightly from the second quarter, according to survey results released Monday.  LA Times article

Defaults low:  Valley homeowners keeping up on mortgage payments – Foreclosure notices have dropped down to pre-recession levels in the Northern San Joaquin Valley. Only 242 notices of default were filed in Stanislaus this July, August and September. Those legal notices are the first step in the drawn-out foreclosure process, which takes many months to resolve. Ten times that many default notices were filed during the summer of 2009, when Stanislaus’ mortgage mess was at its worst. Modesto Bee article

Earl Smittcamp, founder of Wawona Frozen Foods in Clovis, dies at 96 — Earl Smittcamp was a hard worker and a natural entrepreneur, with a love of politics, who started out a milk man before turning 200 acres in Clovis into a fruit-packing and processing empire with the help of his beloved wife. Fresno Bee article

Panhandling law could hurt Fill the Boot fundraiser in Merced – Organizers say they expect Merced’s new panhandling ordinance to put a damper on the annual Fill the Boot fundraiser, which collects cash for a muscular dystrophy group from drivers stopped at busy intersections.  Merced Sun-Star article

Summit will explore tourism in San Joaquin Valley Promoters of tourism in the San Joaquin Valley will gather next week at a Modesto venue that’s a fine example of how to draw visitors.  Modesto Bee article

Merced council approves Pro Oil Lube Change commercial project – The corner of G and 23rd streets will be the new home to Pro Lube Oil Change Center’s corporate office after a unanimous vote by Merced City Council on Monday.  Merced Sun-Star article

San Diego wage hike headed for ballot – San Diego voters will get a chance to decide in June 2016 whether the city should have a higher minimum wage than the state requires.  U-T San Diego article

MTA’s rail-car contract falls apart at last minute, scuttling hundreds of jobs — A tentative and controversial deal to build 100 rail cars for Los Angeles County’s transit system has fallen through — taking with it plans to build a $70-million factory that would have created hundreds of local jobs.  LA Times article

Food concessionaire also advised Sacramento Kings on arena naming rights — The company that will operate food concessions at the new Sacramento Kings arena has also consulted with the team on the arena’s naming rights and other sponsorship opportunities.  Sacramento Bee article

Sacramento to host Tour of California bike race in 2015 — Sacramento has been chosen as host city for the opening day of the 2015 Amgen Tour of California bicycle race, according to a press release from Amgen. Stage two of the race will travel through Nevada City to Lodi, a first-time participant. Sacramento Bee article; Stockton Record article

Ernie does it again: $2.96 a gallon of gas – An independent gas station east of Highway 99 has done it again, dropping its cash price for regular gasoline to the lowest in California — and shattering the $3 per gallon barrier for the first time in these parts in more than four years.  Stockton Record article

Oakland tenants say bully landlords taking advantage of market — As many as 200 people a month call Oakland’s rent board complaining that their landlords are intimidating or harassing them in the hopes, tenant advocates say, that the renters will flee and make room for higher-paying tenants forced out of San Francisco.  San Francisco Chronicle article

U.S. to ease repurchase demands on bad mortgages — Hoping to boost mortgage approvals for more borrowers, the federal regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac told lenders that the home financing giants would ease up on demands that banks buy back loans that go delinquent.  LA Times article


NASA spacecraft will help California address drought and floods – Scientists may soon have a more accurate way to predict the extent and severity of droughts, floods and even the amount of food California can produce. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, a NASA spacecraft getting set to launch will measure soil moisture, one of the most important components of the earth’s water cycle. Capital Public Radio report

Thomas Esqueda: It’s all about water reliability for Fresno’s water future – The City of Fresno’s Public Utilities director writes, “We have an opportunity to bring mountain water here so that our groundwater supply can rest, recharge and be restored. There is no ‘do nothing’ option. We must stop procrastinating and act now to ensure water reliability.”  Esqueda op-ed in Fresno Bee

Oakdale Irrigation District to consider water rate increases – The Oakdale Irrigation District will hold another hearing Tuesday morning before taking a final vote on proposed increases to irrigation water rates. OID hasn’t raised its water rates in more than 20 years. It’s been charging farmers about $25 per year per acre for water, no matter how much they use.  Modesto Bee article

San Diego adopts mandatory water limits – San Diego is cracking down on water waste, after the city council voted unanimously Monday to invoke mandatory water restrictions. The shift from Stage 1 “drought watch” conditions to Stage 2 “drought alert” restrictions transforms voluntary water conservation measures into legal requirements, and stiffens some existing restrictions, such as those on ornamental fountains.  U-T San Diego article

Drought-stressed crops may be better for you – Tiziana Centofanti carefully hand-waters some pomegranate trees with a tiny bucket. “The important thing is to go really slowly,” she says. “The soil is very dry right now.” Centofanti is a research scientist affiliated with the Center for Irrigation Technology at Fresno State. She’s based at the U.S. Department of Agriculture lab in Parlier, a sprawling campus of experimental farmland about half an hour south of Fresno.  KQED report

Matt Patterson: UFW, labor board are hurting farm workers – The executive director of the Center for Worker Freedom writes, “Marc Grossman, spokesman for the United Farm Workers, recently argued that field workers at Fresno-based Gerawan Farming need protection from their employer (“Farmworkers need more protection,” Another View, Oct. 11). I have personally met with hundreds of these workers, and can testify that they do need protection, but not from their employer. Rather, the Gerawan workers feel besieged – and violated – by the very union Grossman represents, along with its government enforcers at the state Agricultural Labor Relations Board.  Patterson op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Breaking down the number of that Temperance Flat Reservoir plan — Readers asked a very good question last week about the proposed $2.6 billion reservoir project that would more than double the capacity of Millerton Lake. Here’s the setup: A new Temperance Flat Reservoir upstream of Millerton would add a net 1.26 million acre-feet of capacity. Millerton’s capacity is 520,000 acre-feet. The question: So why does this add only an average of 70,000 acre-feet of water to the yield each year? Readers basically were saying: “We thought you just said there would be more than double the capacity.” They’re right. This is confusing.  Fresno Bee article

South San Joaquin Irrigation District wins global award for farm water conservation – Irrigation experts from around the world think highly of a water-saving project on Ripon-area farmland. The International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage, meeting last month in Gwangju, South Korea, presented its annual WatSave Technology Award to the South San Joaquin Irrigation District.  Modesto Bee article

Oakland plowing a path for urban farming on vacant lots — Oakland’s getting ready for a rhubarb revolution. After four years of planning, the city is poised to eliminate bureaucratic roadblocks for urban gardeners, making it easier for residents to turn the city’s 3,000 vacant lots into fields of arugula and marigolds.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Ban on GMO plants advances at LA City Hall — Citing environmental and health concerns, a panel of Los Angeles lawmakers Monday threw their support behind a citywide ban on growing genetically modified crops.  LA Times article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Prisons balk at Solvadi’s $84,000 cost for hepatitis C treatment — In San Francisco’s jails, no inmates with hepatitis C are receiving Sovaldi, the breakthrough pill that can cure most patients in an unprecedented amount of time. In California’s prisons, the drug, made by Gilead Sciences of Foster City, is being given to less than 1 percent of the 17,000 inmates with the virus. Sovaldi could wipe out what has long been an intractable disease. But its $84,000 cost for a 12-week supply doesn’t fit into lean government budgets.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Man who fired at Fresno police shot, wounded by officer, Dyer says — A man who fired a handgun at Fresno police was shot by an officer early Monday during a violent struggle in downtown Fresno, Police Chief Jerry Dyer said.  Fresno Bee article

One charge dismissed in Taft school shooting case — One of the charges filed against alleged school shooter Bryan Oliver was dismissed Monday, leaving the teen facing two counts of attempted murder in his upcoming trial.  Bakersfield Californian article

California Supreme Court clarifies law on sex assault — Sexually assaulting someone who is both drunk and unconscious is two crimes, not one, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday.  San Francisco Chronicle article


Olivia Garcia:  CSU Bakersfield preps for ‘Wrath’ academic conference — In its continuing plans to honor the 75th anniversary of John Steinbeck’s novel “The Grapes of Wrath,” Cal State Bakersfield will hold “The Cultural Legacy of The Grapes of Wrath,” an interdisciplinary academic conference on Nov. 7 and 8.  Garcia in Bakersfield Californian

Modesto City Schools board debates wellness policy — The Modesto City Schools board moved forward with revamping the district’s wellness policy, despite concerns over new limits on club fundraising. The broad policy, which addresses everything from physical-education classes to recess, will return for a final vote.  Modesto Bee article

Deasy’s exit reflects other school battles across U.S. — Top leaders in some of the largest districts — in Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, Washington, D.C., Texas and elsewhere — have come under tremendous pressure: some lost their jobs, one faced a massive teachers strike, and lawsuits have been filed against them, among other things.  LA Times article


California looks to curb methane emissions — Pressure is growing on regulators in California and Washington, D.C., to crack down on methane, a greenhouse gas that’s 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide and is accelerating the warming of the planet.  McClatchy Newspapers article

Major structures are gone but demolition work continues at former PG&E power plant — The big jumble of twisted metal is gone, but demolition work continues at the former power plant site Pacific Gas and Electric Co. owns southwest of Coffee Road and Rosedale Highway.  Bakersfield Californian article

Health/Human Services

Children’s Hospital sees record visits in ’14 – Children’s Hospital Central California saw a record 99,908 visits during fiscal year 2014, making it one of the busiest pediatric emergency departments in California.  The Business Journal article

With Ebola, it’s better to screen outbound flights, study suggests – Research concludes that screening air travelers in a bid to block the virus’ export would be far more effective if conducted in airports inside the three stricken countries than screening done in arrival destinations such as the United States.  LA Times article

San Francisco supervisor proposes drugmakers fund take-back program – After Alameda County became the first in the nation to require pharmaceutical companies to pay for a drug take-back program, San Francisco may follow suit. Seeking to prevent overdoses and reduce contaminants in water, Supervisor David Chiu told The Chronicle he will introduce legislation before the Board of Supervisors Tuesday that would require drugmakers, and no longer taxpayers, to fund the disposal of unused and unwanted medications.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Urgent warning on potentially deadly, recalled air bags — A potential safety crisis over defective air bags widened Monday as the U.S. government issued an urgent plea to more than 4.7 million people to get their cars fixed.  AP article

Thomason made life better for countless boys — Every day, Frank Thomason made life better for the boys on the east and south sides of Stockton as program director and then executive director of the Boys Club of Stockton. Thomason, 78, passed away Wednesday, and a memorial will take place at 6 p.m. today at Greater Christ Temple, 1616 E. Main St., Stockton.  Stockton Record article

Land Use/Housing

Clovis City Council Oks largest apartment complex in a decade — An apartment project that is the largest approved in Clovis in 10 years was supported by Clovis City Council members Monday night. Fresno Bee article


Amid Ebola scare, airlines approve fare hike — The nation’s largest airlines have approved a $4 round-trip fare hike, despite anxiety over Ebola and higher travel prices for the upcoming holiday season.  LA Times article

Fresno’s Willow-Nees expansion about to start — Fresno City Hall is ready to tackle one of the city’s most maddening traffic bottlenecks — Willow and Nees avenues.  Fresno Bee article

Other Areas

Fresno County supervisors voice concern over marijuana ordinance – Fresno County supervisors expressed frustration Monday with how they’re handling medical marijuana cultivation appeals, but stopped short of one board member’s suggestion that they suspend the hearings.  Fresno Bee article

Hanford may finalize marijuana ban — In an effort to address public safety concerns stemming from the cultivation and distribution of medical marijuana, the Hanford City Council will consider an ordinance Tuesday to ban those activities.  Hanford Sentinel article

Holgersson chosen for Modesto’s new city manager – Jim Holgersson – who has more than 35 years of experience running cities – is poised to become Modesto’s next city manager.  Modesto Bee article

Tubbs faces DUI charges, apologizes for ‘mistake’ – Councilman Michael Tubbs had a preliminary blood-alcohol level of .137, nearly double the 0.08 legal limit, when he was arrested early Saturday morning by the California Highway Patrol on charges he was driving under the influence as he headed south on Highway 99 near Hammer Lane.  Stockton Record article; Sacramento Bee article

Several heroes emerge to rescue elderly man from Fresno house fire — In his backyard Saturday morning, his home on fire, Robert Wells couldn’t escape the flames. “I guess I just froze,” he said, recounting the fire two days later. On Monday, Fresno Fire Department officials identified the man being called a hero for carrying Wells away from his burning duplex near McLane High School in east-central Fresno.  Fresno Bee article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Bakersfield Californian Re-elect Gavin Newsom. Since we have to have a lieutenant governor, we might as well make the best choice.

Fresno Bee – Pete Peterson is the better choice for California Secretary of State in the Nov. 4 election.

Sacramento Bee – Ebola’s lesson? Get real on public health; The San Francisco Giants ride magic carpet to another World Series.

Stockton RecordCheers and jeers on the San Francisco Giants’ chase for a third title in five years, how low criminals can go and other issues.

Visalia Times-Delta – Vote “yes” on Prop 1, the water bond, and “no” on Prop 46, which will send medical costs soaring and do nothing to improve health care.