October 31, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories

CD 10: This GOP congressional race may turn out to be a prime example of GOP’s worst fears — With Donald Trump as the deeply divisive Republican nominee for president and no Republican running for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat, those same observers are now wondering if keeping a GOP House member in office will be enough of a motivation for voters to go to the polls or lick the mail-in ballot stamp. Jeff Denham hopes it will be.  LA Times article

Dan Walters: California has new carbon reduction goal, but details of impacts still fluid– A few weeks ago, Gov. Jerry Brown and his predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, jointly celebrated the 10th anniversary of Assembly Bill 32, the legislation that launched California’s war on greenhouse gases. Walters column in Sacramento Bee

Valley politics

One of two open seats on Lincoln board contested — Voters with children enrolled in the Lincoln Unified School District have only one contested race this election with two candidates. Stockton Record article

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

George Skelton: Motivating bad guys to become good guys? That’s worth a ‘yes’ vote for Prop 57 – People usually act better when there are rewards for being good and punishment for misbehaving — that’s the concept of heaven and hell. Opponents have good points. Brown should have conferred with more experts in planning. And he should have better defined “nonviolent.” But the broad goal of motivating bad guys to become good guys is worth a “yes” vote. Skelton column in LA Times

Gavin Newsom’s gun-control bid has a surprising surrogate – Kevin de Leon – First he tried to convince Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom to remove his gun-control initiative from the November ballot. Now, in the waning days of the election, California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León is putting his name, and his face, behind Newsom’s Proposition 63 – and Newsom’s camp is magnanimous (with tongue firmly in cheek). Sacramento Bee article

Riding high in the U.S. Senate race, Kamala Harris pushes to help down-ballot Democrats – Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Kamala Harris kicked off her 10-day campaign tour of California in a part of California that had, until recently, been the solid domain of the GOP. LA Times article

California voters will decide fate of plastic bags — Plastic bag manufacturers have one last chance to keep their product in the nation’s largest market.  The industry has placed two measures on California’s November ballot. One is a referendum on a law that bans single-use plastic bags. The other would require retailers to send bag fee revenues to an environmental fund.  Capital Public Radio report

Prop 58 asks voters to undo ‘English first’ — The ballot measure aims to throw open the possibilities of bilingual education for two kinds of students: the more than 1.3 million public school students whose primary language is not English, and native English-speaking students whose parents now like the idea of sending them to classrooms where they could learn to be bilingual, too. CALmatters article 

When California was a red state — California hasn’t always been a lock for the Democratic presidential nominee. Republicans won the state in nearly every presidential election between 1952 and 1988. Ahead of an election that could see more blue in the Golden State than ever before, here’s a look at how Democrats gained, lost and won back California.  LA Times article

Presidential Politics

Cathleen Decker: The upside for Clinton in the latest email controversy? Almost nothing has upended 2016 race – The late resurfacing of a controversy involving Hillary Clinton’s emails will test the one stubborn truth in this demolition derby of a presidential campaign: Almost nothing has dramatically altered for any length of time the narrow lead in polls held by the former secretary of State. Decker in LA Times

How AP rates the presidential race and the Road to 270 – Hillary Clinton appears to have expanded her likely electoral college advantage amid strong early vote numbers in key states and national polling that, while tightening, consistently shows her leading Republican rival Donald Trump. AP articleMcClatchy Newspapers article

Silicon Valley watching from the sidelines this election season – This is what it’s like, Silicon Valley, to be ignored. It used to be that presidential hopefuls would hold up tech as the light guiding the nation toward its future while they hashed out the industry’s policy issues in debates and speeches. San Jose Mercury News article

News Stories

Top Stories

In California, a $350 million social experiment over lawns – California water agencies that spent more than $350 million in the last two years of drought to pay property owners to rip out water-slurping lawns are now trying to answer whether the nation’s biggest lawn removal experiment was all worth the cost. AP article

The drought eased up, and these Californians turned on the spigot – The San Juan Water District’s especially steep backslide stood out as part of a statewide trend: With mandatory state restrictions lifted, the overwhelming majority of local suppliers saved less this summer, according to a Times analysis of state water data. LA Times article

Jobs and the Economy

Turlock farmers market ends season on upswing – A fractious start and abrupt move behind it, the Turlock Certified Farmers Market ended its 2016 season with its tradition of trick-or-treating and a sense of satisfaction. Modesto Bee article

Lewis Griswold: Volunteers spend week in Exeter building food bank gardens — Twenty employees of several of the most progressive companies in America spent a week in Exeter last week doing major volunteer work at FoodLink for Tulare County, a food bank with a vision of fresh and healthy food for the hungry. Griswold in Fresno Bee

San Francisco plans support for George Lucas’ museum, which has a competing proposal in LA — San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim plans to introduce a resolution supporting George Lucas’ proposal for a museum on Treasure Island, a campaign consultant confirmed Sunday. LA Times article


California considers new rules for waste water recycling – California is moving forward with rules for how water districts can turn what goes down your toilet back into drinking water. State regulators are taking comments on a kind of water recycling where wastewater sits in a lake before being treated. Next up might be a way to skip the wait. Capital Public Radio report

Doubts about the bounty of genetically modified crops — Higher yields with less pesticides was the sales pitch for genetically modified seeds. But that has not proved to be the outcome in the United States. New York Times article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Operation Boo keeps children safe on Halloween – Parole agents went inside the house looking for pornography and Halloween candy. What they found led a sex offender back to prison. Visalia Times-Delta articleFresno Bee article

Father of man fatally shot by El Cajon police establishes foundation for police reform — The father of Alfred Olango has announced the creation of a foundation for police reform, in the name of his son, who was killed by El Cajon police last month. Richard Olango said San Diego would be the headquarters of the Alfred Olango Justice and Unity Foundation “for the whole world.” LA Times article

LAPD police chief fractures pelvis falling off motorcycle on mountain trail — Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck fractured his pelvis Saturday after he fell off his motorcycle on a rocky trail in the Techachapi Mountains north of Los Angeles, the department said in a statement. LA Times article


Push to expand California charter school enrollments provokes backlash – After a quarter century of uninterrupted growth, aggressive efforts by charter school advocates to increase enrollments and to elect sympathetic school board members and legislators have triggered a backlash unlike anything that has occurred since the first charter school opened in California. EdSource article

South High coach dies in single vehicle crash in Northwest Bakersfield — South High boys basketball coach Brian Carter died Sunday morning in a single-vehicle traffic collision. Carter, the boys basketball coach at South, was ejected from his vehicle after crashing into a tree just before 9 a.m. Sunday morning. Bakersfield Californian article

Health/Human Services 

‘My Healthy Hometown’ program offers discounted prescriptions for Stockton residents — The soaring cost of prescription medications has been a topic in presidential politics this year and also is the target of a measure on the California ballot in next month’s election. In Stockton, though, there is an immediate way for residents to get significant discounts on the retail prices of their prescription drugs. Stockton Record article

Medicare premiums going up for some in Stanislaus County — Monthly premiums are rising for some Medicare Advantage plans in Stanislaus County, effective Jan. 1. Other folks will save a few dollars paying for their Medicare health plans next year. Modesto Bee article

Women in California should be able to get birth control without a doctor’s prescription.  But many can’t — For many women in California, a new law that was supposed to make getting birth control easier has been a little disappointing. LA Times article

Land Use/Housing

KaBoom playground, county improvements to revamp south Modesto park — The play equipment that volunteers will assemble at a south Modesto park will be more than a playground. Organizers say it will be a brain-expander, a friend-maker – and a sign that neighborhood residents are taking back a park once closed by gang and drug activity. Modesto Bee article

Other areas

Helmet cameras take public inside burning buildings with firefighters – As a firefighter prepared to enter a burning home in Modesto’s airport neighborhood, flames burst through the window he stood next to. A flash of white fire hit him and embers whirled around his face. The firefighter didn’t know at the time what caused the surge, but when he returned, uninjured, to the station after the incident, he reviewed the video from his helmet cameras. He saw another firefighter spraying water into an adjacent window. Modesto Bee article

After $38-million deal collapsed, LA County secretly launched public corruption probe of retired CEO — The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors secretly launched a public corruption investigation of its former Chief Executive William T Fujioka shortly after his retirement two years ago, examining his role in real estate dealings, a multimillion-dollar emergency communications project and other county business, according to a document obtained by The Times and officials familiar with the probe. LA Times article