October 3, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories

Dan Walters: California sees sharp increase in crime, fueling political debate — When California’s crime rates, both violent and nonviolent, spike much higher than national trends, we should legitimately wonder whether releasing tens of thousands of criminals who otherwise would have been behind bars is having a negative effect. Orinda’s residents certainly must wonder. Walters column in Sacramento Bee

George Skelton: School bonds used to be as controversial as mom and apple pie. Not anymore under Gov. Jerry Brown – It’s a sign of our contentious times and California’s contrarian governor that people are even bickering over routine state school construction bonds. Selling state bonds to help local districts build new schools and modernize old ones used to be about as controversial as motherhood and apple pie. No longer. Practically everything these days seems politically divisive. Skelton column in LA Times 

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures 

Pete Wilson: Tough-on-crime laws have saved lives; don’t turn back – The former California governor writes, “Voters have the power and the responsibility to keep innocent people safe in their homes, places of work and public spaces by rejecting Proposition 57. It is the first duty of a civilized society to protect its citizens from predators.” Wilson op-ed in Sacramento Bee 

Proposition 62 backers: ‘It’s time to end California’s death penalty’ — Wilson no longer supports capital punishment. In fact, she’s become an advocate for criminal justice reform and supports Proposition 62 to end the death penalty and make life in prison without the possibility of parole the toughest penalty for first-degree murder in California. KQED report


Land of opportunity becomes home – When Victoria Moreno left San Salvador, El Salvador, to immigrate to the U.S., she didn’t know anything about her future home. What she did know was that she was ready to leave her crime-ridden hometown. Stockton Record article

Other areas 

Ailing Health Care Act may have to change to survive – The fierce struggle to enact and carry out the Affordable Care Act was supposed to put an end to 75 years of fighting for a health care system to insure all Americans. Instead, the law’s troubles could make it just a way station on the road to another, more stable health care system, the shape of which could be determined on Election Day. New York Times article

 Supreme Court set to decide cases on insider trading, death penalty, and aid to church schools – The Supreme Court begins hearing cases this week, but none of them looks to be a high-profile legal dispute that will split the eight justices. Here are a few notable legal questions due to be decided in the new term. LA Times article

Mayor Eric Garcetti’s house egged after protestors marched there Saturday — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Hancock Park house was egged after protesters angry about the police shooting of a man in South Los Angeles demonstrated there Saturday night. LA Times article

Presidential Politics

Cathleen Decker: Tax troubles threaten Trump as election day nears, and so does his own approach to campaigning – The last weeks of a campaign are about building momentum and finishing strong. That is why the roughest week of Donald Trump‘s presidential run, one that worsened with a report that he may not have paid federal income taxes for 18 years due to a nearly billion-dollar business loss, poses a new threat to his candidacy. Decker in LA Times 

Video shows female hit, Trump signs stolen from yard in Kings County – A video that has gone viral online shows two Kings County youths disparaging Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and stealing the candidate’s signs from a number of people’s yards. But did their video also show a female being attacked as she tried to defend a Trump sign in her yard? Fresno Bee article

News Stories

Top Stories

Violent crime spike in Stockton causes angst — The homicide rate rose by about 18 percent in August when compared to the same time last year, but it was the senseless killing of a 3-year-old girl caught in the crossfires that prompted the community to loudly say enough with the violence. Stockton Record article

Community paramedic program aims to ease ER overcrowding — California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, through a pilot program, is allowing five AMR paramedics in Stanislaus County to sidestep state regulation to help better serve the mentally ill here and ease the burden on overcrowded emergency departments. Called community paramedics, the senior AMR paramedics taking part in the program were selected by a panel of health officials and underwent nearly 200 hours of additional training. Modesto Bee article

Jobs and the Economy

From unloved, uninhabited to revitalized – Downtown Stockton attorney Jacob Benguerel is refurbishing the squatty single-story building at 19 N. California Street, between Main Street and Weber Avenue. He plans to open a law-themed bar/restaurant at the site later this year. Stockton Record article 

Ask TBC: What do taxpayers really pay when insurance carriers settle lawsuits? – The Sept. 20 article on Dr. Mohamad Harb’s $4 million settlement ($2.5 million from the city, $1.5 million from Hall Ambulance) included a comment from City Attorney Ginny Gennaro who “stressed that insurance companies are paying for the total amount and no city money is being paid to Harb or his attorneys.” Bakersfield Californian article

Two of three incumbents lose in Chukchansi council election – Dora Jones and Nokomis Hernandez, incumbent members of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians tribal council, were ousted in an election Saturday night. Fresno Bee article

Former Fresno opera director buys Sunnyside Department Store — The former artistic director of the Fresno Grand Opera, who was once a professional dancer, is the new owner of Sunnyside Department Store. Joseph Bascetta bought the dancewear portion of the 66-year-old southeast Fresno business and will move it to the mezzanine of Chesterfield’s Antiques & Consignments, near the corner of Blackstone and Shaw avenues. Fresno Bee article

Tesla deliveries up 70 percent but may short of 2016 forecasts — The company said deliveries of its Model S sedan and Model X SUV hit 24,500 from July to September, up 70% from the second quarter. But that might not be enough for Tesla to meet its earlier forecast of 80,000 to 90,000 deliveries in 2016. LA Times article

Faulconer endorses Chargers stadium measure — Mayor Kevin Faulconer is endorsing the Chargers stadium ballot measure after reaching agreement with the team on a series of new financial safeguards and other concessions. San Diego Union-Tribune article


River flow proposal will be discussed in Turlock, Sacramento – The board of the Turlock Irrigation District will get its turn Tuesday to denounce the river flow increases proposed by the state. Later in the morning in Sacramento, supporters and opponents of higher flows will speak to the California State Board of Food and Agriculture. TID board member Michael Frantz will take part in this meeting, which can be viewed online. Modesto Bee article

Backers to travel to Washington, D.C., to push Temperance Flat – Members of the San Joaquin Valley Water Infrastructure Authority, which include Avenal Mayor Pro Tem Alvaro Preciado, Tulare County Supervisor Steve Worthley and Fresno Supervisor Buddy Mendes, will travel to Washington Oct. 4-5 to push for funding for Temperance Flat reservoir. Visalia Times-Delta article

Now that Golden 1 Center is here, will more A-list musicians actually come? – The building boasts technological and acoustical considerations far beyond those of the former Arco Arena, long dubbed by locals as “Echo Arena” for its dismal sound. Acoustic panels hang around Golden 1 Center to absorb sound, preventing bass and guitar riffs from bouncing around the room and contributing to a cavernous feel. The speaker system is electronically focused, which means sound can be directed in various intensities around the arena instead of just being blasted from a few main spots. Sacramento Bee article

Los Banos Tomato Festival educates on crop – Thousands of people participated in dozens of tomato- and festival-themed activities such as carnival rides, music and art shows, a farmers market and cooking demonstrations. Tomatoes are one of the most important crops coming out of the Los Banos area, officials said. Merced Sun-Star article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Family seeks murder charges, federal probe in Sacramento police shooting – The family of a mentally ill man shot by police 14 times after officers attempted to run him down with their vehicle will ask for a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the Sacramento Police Department, as well as push for murder charges against the two officers who fired the shots. Sacramento Bee article 

Protests erupt in South LA for a second night after police fatally shoot armed teen — Angry demonstrators poured into the streets of a South Los Angeles neighborhood Sunday night, the second night of protests over the fatal shooting of an armed 18-year-old man. LA Times article


California’s largest school districts use aggressive tactics to find teachers — Against the backdrop of a widely reported teacher shortage, most of California’s 25 largest school districts were able to fill nearly all their job openings for fully credentialed teachers by the time school started this year, according to an EdSource survey. EdSource article


Atwater residents on their own for recycling — The city of Atwater contracts with Republic Services/Allied Waste for its garbage, which includes garbage and green waste. “They’re ready to launch (with recycling) at any time,” said Patrick Faretta, the interim director of the city’s public works department. But every time the city considers it, residents state at City Council meetings that they don’t want to pay the extra fees, he said. “We’re not going to do it if the majority of residents don’t want to pay for it,” he said. Merced Sun-Star article

Health/Human Services 

Addiction treatment changes following pressure from federal rules — Drug treatment professionals have long preached abstinence from all drugs—including medication aimed at managing addiction. But those who oppose medication-assisted treatment must face an inconvenient truth, say addiction medicine specialists like Richard Rawson, a psychologist who recently retired as co-director of the UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Program: Scientific studies show medication saves lives. California Health Report article


Fans got to new Sacramento downtown arena every which way Saturday night — A new multimodal era has arrived in downtown Sacramento. The Kings hosted an evening practice before a nearly packed house at Golden 1 Center on Saturday, and despite some hiccups, fans appeared to flow into the downtown easily for the event, using a variety of modes. Sacramento Bee article

Other areas

Rabies: The shots don’t hurt much, but paying for them might – Treatment after a potential exposure to rabies consists of one dose of human rabies immune globulin and four doses of rabies vaccine over a 14-day period. The immune globulin and the first dose of rabies vaccine need to be given very soon after the bite or scratch. The additional doses of rabies vaccine are given on the third day after the first shot and on days seven and 14. Fresno Bee article

Former planning director, Fresno State professor Tokmakian was always teaching – Former Fresno County planning director and Fresno State professor Harold “Hal” Tokmakian died last month of natural causes. Mr. Tokmakian was born in Sanger on June 5, 1927, the oldest child of Armenian immigrants. He died at the age of 89 on Sept. 20. Fresno Bee article

Fitz’s Stockton: The Stockton invention that changed WWI — The tank made its fearsome debut at World War I’s Battle of the Somme 100 years ago. Mon Dieu, there’s a Stockton angle. Fitz’s Stockton in Stockton Record

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – Vote “No” on Prop 65, “Yes” on Prop 67 to limit plastic bags.