October 23, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories

‘Trump factor’ inspires Latino, Asian voters, but will they vote in local elections? — Experts say the representation gap hasn’t narrowed enough to fully mitigate the disparity between older white voters and, essentially, everyone else. But in a place like the central San Joaquin Valley, where the majority of residents are people of color, increased turnout among those groups could sway some local races. The question is, will the increased interest in the presidential race trickle down to local politics? Fresno Bee article

John Myers: How unlimited cash gets funneled into legislative campaigns — Donations made to a candidate for the state Assembly or Senate are usually a small part of California’s political money machine, a function of the relatively low limits on the size of contributions. Except when the money comes from a political party. That cash can flow into the campaigns in unlimited amounts. And it’s completely legal. Myers in LA Times

Valley politics

Fresno Bee: Costa, Valadao, Nunes and McCarthy deserve re-election to Congress – The Bee recommends Democrat Jim Costa and Republicans David Valadao, Devin Nunes and Kevin McCarthy for re-election to Congress.  Fresno Bee editorial


Stockton pot measures in shadow of Prop 64 – A random survey of Stockton marijuana dispensary workers and clients last week — at both legal and questionable locations — found a complete lack of awareness that voters have a say in the future of the marijuana industry in the city. Back in June, the Stockton City Council voted unanimously to place the two measures on the fall ballot. Stockton Record article

Newcomer trying to dislodge a ‘saint’ from Bakersfield City Council — On Nov. 8, Bakersfield family law attorney Bobby Cloud will attempt a feat no one has tried since 2004: he hopes to unseat Ward 6 Councilwoman Jacquie Sullivan, who’s seeking re-election to a sixth full term. Bakersfield Californian article

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

Modesto Bee: Governor’s Prop 57 could be a danger to our communities — We trust Gov. Jerry Brown’s intentions, but want to see a better solution to prison crowding. Modesto Bee editorial

Mike Klocke: Election 2016, from A to Z — With two weeks to go — mercifully — a look at the election, from A to Z.  Klocke column in Stockton Record


Dan Morain: Lessons from a pilgrimage to Ellis Island — Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric teaches us that we have learned little since 1905. Morain in Sacramento Bee

Other areas

Why is an 11-year-old registering his neighbors to vote? It’s the water —  Meet 11-year-old Isaiah Rocha Morales. He sounds pretty typical for a kid his age. “Everything’s boring here. There’s not a lot to do. Almost no one goes to the park to play,” says the sixth-grader at Pleasant View Elementary School in Poplar, a tiny Latino farmworker town of about 2,500 people in Tulare County. The water shortage in his community has inspired a group of young activists to knock on doors to register voters. In the June primary, fewer than 100 voters in Poplar cast ballots. In the first political campaign of Isaiah’s life, he’s already managed to register his parents and three other people. KQED report

Presidential Politics 

Donald Trump’s brand takes a hit from sexual assault allegations and lewd video – There are increasing signs that the ugliest presidential race in modern history has tarnished the Trump name to such degree that it may jeopardize — or, at a minimum, alter — the future of his business enterprises. LA Times article

What a clash at a Trump really reveals about a divided U.S. – In June in San Jose, Calif., a tug of war over a sign supporting Donald J. Trump sent one man to jail for six days and another man to self-reflection. This is their story. New York Times article

Jeremy Adams: An apology to my students voting for the first time – The government teacher at Bakersfield High School and CSU Bakersfield writes, “To my current high school and university students voting for the first time: I’m sorry. Really, I am. Most presidential elections aren’t like this.” Adams op-ed in Bakersfield Californian

News Stories

Top Stories

A community in need: Rate of Latino physicians shrinks, even as Latino population swells — The group Latino Physicians of California is emphasizing the need for more Latino physicians in the state, where about 40 percent of the population is Latino, but less than 5 percent of doctors are Latino. Stockton Record article

Mike Dunbar: Hundreds rise in defense of region’s rights to water – If the state insists on using phony numbers and disingenuous justifications to take water, this will become a bitter, bitter fight. It will be costly and protracted and involve lots of lawyers. But it’s a fight that must be waged. And won. Dunbar column in Modesto Bee

Jobs and the Economy

Sales tax increases headed to Bay Area ballots — Voters in several Bay Area cities, and two counties, will decide Nov. 8 whether to enact new sales taxes, which have increasingly become the ballot measure du jour for local agencies looking to fund infrastructure projects and public services. San Jose Mercury News article

The state is watching these 6 cities closely for financial fraud – The Bell fiasco led the state to take a proactive look at local governments, from cities to municipal agencies, like it had not done before. Last year, the California state auditor launched a new program to crack down on fraud, waste and mismanagement — with six cities  identified as being vulnerable. The cities being monitored by state auditors are Chico, Richmond, Ridgecrest, Monrovia, Hemet and Maywood. LA Times article

When a weed-friendly world collides with your job application – Now that the economy has improved post-recession, companies are fishing from a smaller pool of job seekers who can pass mandatory drug screenings, said Hans Kueck, an economic development specialist with Pierce County. Sacramento Bee article

5.11 Tactical expanding: Dan Costa gets back in the game – The business of making the gear favored by SWAT teams and military members is booming. 5.11 Tactical, which started in Modesto with one pair of pants in 1999 and grew into a company with $300 million in annual sales, is expanding with a new warehouse in Manteca, where it will move its Modesto employees next year. Modesto Bee article 

Michael Fitzgerald: A building with Stockton DNA – Wreckers demolished a decrepit and forgotten building in downtown Stockton recently. Wait a minute. 325 S. Center St. deserves a modest eulogy. Older Stocktonians commonly referred to the two-story, L-shaped brick building as the Black Elks lodge. The north wall still had a big, antlered elk painted on it when it came tumblin’ down. Fitzgerald column in Stockton Record

Is Hollister’s hovering aircraft Google co-founder’s flying car? — That, apparently, was a flying car, or perhaps a prototype of another sort of aircraft under development by a mysterious startup called Zee.Aero. The company, one of two reportedly funded by Google co-founder Larry Page to develop revolutionary forms of transportation, has set up shop in rural Hollister, far from its Mountain View headquarters and the prying eyes of tech-obsessed Silicon Valley. San Jose Mercury News article

AT&T agrees to buy Time Warner for $85.4 billion — In the world of media, bigger remains better. So in the wake of Comcast’s $30 billion takeover of NBCUniversal and Verizon Communications’ serial acquisitions of the Huffington Post and Yahoo, AT&T has bought one of the remaining crown jewels of the entertainment industry. New York Times article


Major California river adding key ingredient: water — A decade ago, environmentalists and the federal government agreed to revive a 150-mile stretch of California’s second-longest river, an ambitious effort aimed at allowing salmon again to swim up to the Sierra Nevada foothills to spawn. A major milestone is expected by the end of the month, when the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation says the stretch of the San Joaquin River will be flowing year-round for the first time in more than 60 years. AP article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

School shooting drill tests readiness and new police drones — How do you prepare for the unspeakable? With precision, coordination – and a few drones don’t hurt. The Modesto Police Department and Stanislaus Union School District held a daylong active-shooter training exercise Saturday at Prescott Junior High. The drill allowed Modesto SWAT teams to practice real-world school-shooting scenarios and allowed staff members at the north Modesto school district to improve their campus safety plans. Modesto Bee article

South Sacramento mother seeks answers, mourns mentally ill son shot by police — The encounter between Dazion Jerome Flenaugh and police on a cool morning last April began peacefully enough, with an officer helping Flenaugh into a patrol car. It ended with afrenzy of bullets that left Flenaugh dead on a south Sacramento street. Sacramento Bee article

Marcos Breton: What’s been missing from Sacramento’s response to the killing of a mentally ill black man — Anyone who has viewed the Mann video can tell what happened was not right and not reflective of what Sacramento would want from its police officers. It’s just that no one in charge has had the courage to truly say it out loud. Breton column in Sacramento Bee

LAPD officer fatally shoots two people just days apart. How quickly should officers who kill return to work? — It’s even more unusual for an officer to fatally shoot two people in such a short period of time. The case raises questions about how much training and psychological help the LAPD provides officers who fire their weapons and whether they spend enough time away from the job after a deadly encounter. LA Times article


UC Merced to honor Anita Hill with Spendlove Prize – Anita Hill, who raised awareness about sexual harassment when she testified in the 1991 Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court justice nominee Clarence Thomas, will be honored Monday by UC Merced in a ceremony downtown. Modesto Bee article

Did Sacramento City Unified cross the line by calling parents about tax measures? — Sacramento City Unified School District used robocalls a week ago to contact thousands of parents with “important information” about the benefits of Measure G and statewide Proposition 55 on the Nov. 8 ballot.  Sacramento Bee article

Counselors tour every College of the Sequoias campus — One of a high school student’s first steps in finding a college that offers classes they’re interested in could be a stop at their school’s counselor’s office. On Thursday, more than 50 area high school counselors saw first-hand some of the Career Technical Education programs offered at all three College of the Sequoias campuses during a counselor caravan. Hanford Sentinel article

UC Berkeley Greek parties banned amid sexual assault reports — Fraternities and sororities at the University of California, Berkeley have taken a bold stance against sexual violence, voluntarily banning all parties following reports of two sexual assaults last week at off-campus frat functions. AP article


Tapping landfills to generate power seemed smart.  So why is this industry threatened? – Tapping methane produced from decaying garbage in landfills to generate electricity was among California’s earliest experiments in renewable energy. But in order to comply with a new regional rule to cut another pollutant — the one that often leaves Southern California blanketed in a layer of smog — a Riverside County landfill has decided to shut down its generators and will simply flare the methane, sending tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. LA Times article 

Annual ‘Check Before You Burn’ program to kick off Nov. 1 – The valley air district’s annual wintertime “Check Before You Burn” program begins next week — on Nov. 1 — and a key component of the program is a daily wood-burning declaration for each valley county issued by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. The three declaration levels are “No Burning for All,” “No Burning Unless Registered” and “No Restrictions, Burning Discouraged.” Bakersfield Californian article

Yosemite partners with three international parks — Yosemite National Park signed a partnership with three international sister parks at the Partners in Global Conservation event last month. Fresno Bee article

Daniel Weintraub: Alone on the trail, contemplating life, Muir and Yosemite — What started out as a trip of a lifetime and family adventure turned into a solo hike on the John Muir Trail. Meticulous planning didn’t take reality into account. Weintraub in Sacramento Bee

Health/Human Services

Dr. William Dominic: Marijuana, technology create burn dangers – The medical director of Community Regional Medical Center’s Leon S. Peters Burn Center writes, “What you don’t know can burn you. As a burn surgeon, I am seeing some unusual types of injuries coming through the Valley’s only burn center: honey oil and lithium batteries – think e-cigarettes and cellphones. Dominic op-ed in Fresno Bee

Land Use/Housing

Hearing on Clovis mental health hospital delayed — A hearing on a controversial Clovis behavioral health hospital scheduled for Monday night has been postponed indefinitely by the City Council. Fresno Bee article

Other areas

Program helps students understand responsible pet ownership – The assembly at Stella Hills Elementary School on Friday was alternately funny, sad and educational. But it definitely wasn’t boring if reactions from the nearly 100 third-graders in attendance were any indication. The youngsters had finished a week of special instruction provided by PAWS (Pet Awareness Week for Students), all about responsible pet ownership. Bakersfield Californian article

Lois Henry: Lifetime security offered to former San Diego Chargers player, but will he take it? — This is such a pivotal time for Kenny Graham that I almost didn’t write this story for fear of jinxing things. The former superstar San Diego Chargers football player has finally obtained full approval from the NFL Player Care Foundation for what they call the “88 Plan.” Henry column in Bakersfield Californian

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – The Bee recommends Democrat Jim Costa and Republicans David Valadao, Devin Nunes and Kevin McCarthy for re-election to Congress.

Modesto Bee – We trust Gov. Jerry Brown’s intentions on Prop 57, but want to see a better solution to prison crowding.