October 24, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories

George Skelton: If California voters approve stronger gun control, the message sent at the ballot box will be head across the U.S. — Proposition 63 would enact the toughest gun controls in the United States. But it also would do something else: represent an astonishing historical milestone. And if passed as expected, the ballot measure would illustrate a textbook example of how public policy can be radically changed in a democracy laden with competing checks and balances. Skelton column in LA Times

CD 21: In this California district, water is more important than Donald Trump – In California’s Central Valley, the nation’s most productive agricultural region, the drought drives everything. And the ongoing fight over how much water flows could be the reason Democrats haven’t been able to win in the 21st Congressional District with a national race.  On paper, David Valadao’s seat looks like an easy play for Democrats trying to win back control of the House: 47% of registered voters are Democrats, 30% are Republican. Latinos make up nearly 75% of the population and 57% of registered voters in the district, one of California’s largest, stretching from which covers a vast stretch of the Central Valley from Bakersfield north into Kettleman City and Wood Ranch. LA Times article

Valley politics

Video: Off the Press: Jeff Tkac – Jeff Tkac is running for the 5th Ward seat on the Bakersfield City Council against incumbent Harold Hanson. He spoke to the Off the Press team about his service as a volunteer officer in the Bakersfield Police Department and his years on the Bakersfield City Planning Commission. Bakersfield Californian video

Video: Off the Press: Ryan Nance — Ward 5 Bakersfield City Council candidate Ryan Nance is challenging long-time councilman Harold Hanson. He talked with the Off the Press team on Oct. 5 about his history in the area, His family’s history with the building trades and how a person who can build big things like corporate offices and major freeways can make a difference on the Bakersfield City Council. Bakersfield Californian video

Fresno Bee: Jonasson Rosas and Cazares for Fresno Unified trustees — We recommend Elizabeth Jonasson Rosas and Claudia Cázares for seats on the Fresno Unified school board.  Fresno Bee editorial

Three measures on ballot in Lodi — Along with 17 state measures on the Nov. 8 ballot, Lodi residents will vote on three local measures aimed at improving public safety, parks and schools. Two of those measures, S and R, are parcel taxes proposed by the city of Lodi. The third, Measure U, is bond measure proposed by the Lodi Unified School District. Stockton Record article

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

CA120: Crunching the poll numbers, big time — This month has seen the release of dozens of new public polls, ranging from the presidential contest to statewide and local races. We have seen many of these publicly available surveys, but the vast majority of polling is still private – done by candidates and political action committees. The results are rarely shared with those outside a very small circle of candidates and consultants. Capitol Weekly article

Teachers union mobilizes to boost turnout for education-related initiatives — With less than three weeks to go before the Nov. 8 election, the California Teachers Association this weekend mobilized teachers, elected officials and other supporters to boost voter turnout on behalf of two ballot measures —Propositions 55 and 58 — that will have a direct bearing on schools and community colleges. EdSource article

Other areas

Lawmakers condemn Pentagon effort to recover enlistment bonuses from California veterans – Lawmakers on Sunday condemned a Pentagon effort to recoup enlistment bonuses improperly paid to thousands of California National Guard soldiers a decade ago, saying the overpayments were not the soldiers’ fault and calling on the Pentagon or Congress to waive their debts. LA Times article 

Tom Hayden, 1960s radical who became a champion of liberal causes, dies at 76 — Tom Hayden, a 1960s radical who was in the vanguard of the movement to stop the Vietnam War and became one of the nation’s best-known champions of liberal causes, has died in Santa Monica after a lengthy illness. He was 76. LA Times articleAP article

News Stories

Top Stories

Modesto weighs cutting cost to park in garages, lots – It could become a lot cheaper to park in the evening in Modesto’s three downtown parking garages and five parking lots. The City Council on Tuesday will consider lowering the parking charges for those facilities. It now costs a $5 flat fee to park from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., whether a car is parked for an hour or 12. The new pricing would change that to $1 an hour, to a maximum of $5. Modesto Bee article

Stockton: A stop on the ‘electric highway’? — A Southern California energy firm says it wants to install the Stockton area’s first group of high-powered public charging stations for electric vehicles. The question is where. Venice-based Recargo says it will partner with property owners within a mile or so of Highway 99 anywhere from Lodi to Manteca. Stockton Record article

Jobs and the Economy

Sacramento transportation sales tax mailers stir questions — Several Sacramento County governments recently sent residents mailers about Measure B, the transportation sales tax proposal on the November ballot. Measure B opponents argue these mailers represent an improper use of public funds to try to sway the vote. Sacramento Bee article

After minimum wage changes, Bay Area workers push for ‘fair’ scheduling — As cities all over the state have raised their minimum wages in recent years, labor advocates in the Bay Area are turning to what they see as another piece of the puzzle for improving workers’ lives: scheduling. East Bay Times article 

KART drivers may not strike – Bus drivers for Kings Area Rural Transit have reached a tentative agreement with their employer that could prevent a strike from happening. Hanford Sentinel article 

How pensions pass the buck to future generations — A surprising reason dissident actuaries advocate using a much lower earnings forecast for public pension investment funds is “intergenerational equity,” ensuring that the pensions of government workers are paid by the generation that receives their services. Calpensions article

Sacramento’s soccer future could soon become more clear — Here’s a prediction: Sacramento and Republic FC will receive concrete news about their MLS future around the day Kevin Johnson jumps into his black SUV outside City Hall one last time. Sacramento Bee article

Airbnb campaign committee donates $100,000 to promote LA homeless housing measure — The home-sharing company that has been accused of helping to take thousands of units out of the tight Los Angeles rental market has become a major contributor to the campaign to build new homeless housing. LA Times article


Don Curlee: Tech for veggies — California agriculture is attracting the world of technology the way spring blossoms attract bees, and a half dozen outstanding applications are competing for a substantial prize that will support their growth and deeper involvement. Curlee in Visalia Times-Delta

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Gunmen shoot at Madera police, injuring civilian on ride-along — Madera police are looking for the people who fired more than a dozen rounds at an officer as he tried to pull over their vehicle early Sunday morning. The officer was unhurt, but a civilian who was doing a ride-along received minor cuts from glass from the patrol car’s windshield. Fresno Bee article

Corcoran correctional officer survives inmate attack — A correctional officer was airlifted to a local hospital after Corcoran State Prison officials say he was stabbed multiple times by an inmate. Visalia Times-Delta article


Bay Area colleges keep most sexual assault reports quiet — A Bay Area News Group analysis of 2015 crime statistics and alerts for five major Bay Area campuses shows it is not unusual for colleges to keep quiet about sexual assaults, even as they warn students about other crimes. San Jose Mercury News article

Chiefs for Change seeks to diversify education leadership — Antwan Wilson is one of only 26 African-American school district or charter superintendents in California, out of nearly 1,000 districts. As the leader of Oakland Unified, he heads up a large, diverse district and faces many of the same challenges that superintendents of other large, diverse districts must tackle around the country. One way he gets support is through Chiefs for Change, a nonprofit committed to providing a professional network for leaders like Wilson. EdSource article 

Tiny house built by COS students earns awards — The first tiny house project for College of the Sequoias construction technology students has meant huge success. At a recent competition in Sacramento, COS student grabbed three awards, including People’s Choice and Curb Appeal trophies. The tiny house, all 289 square foot of it, took the class two years to build from scratch. Visalia Times-Delta article

LA Unified takes a harder look at its charter schools. Critics blame politics — Although district officials insist they’ve been consistent and diligent, some pro- and anti-charter forces perceive a charter division that demands more from — and favors fewer — charters. LA Times article

Land Use/Housing

Would you accept denser, taller neighborhoods to fight climate change? — San Diegans face the first tough decision in trying to realize the city’s Climate Action Plan, which calls for hundreds of thousands of commuters to ditch their cars in favor of walking, biking or using public transit. San Diego Union-Tribune article

Other areas 

Tim DeRuyter fired as Fresno State football coach — Fresno State fired football coach Tim DeRuyter on Sunday with the Bulldogs in a two-year tailspin, 1-7 this season and 4-16 since playing in the Mountain West Conference championship game in 2014. Fresno Bee article

Valley Editorial Roundup


Fresno Bee – We recommend Elizabeth Jonasson Rosas and Claudia Cázares for seats on the Fresno Unified school board.