October 5, 2015


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Political Stories

Top stories

Deadline week: These are the big issues Brown left for last minute — Brown can no doubt hear the loud rallies held on the Capitol steps. Meanwhile, his office mailbox has been stuffed with letters urging action on a proposed new system for regulating the sale of medical marijuana, help for women who want equal pay from employers and approval of a bill that would allow doctors to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients so they can hasten their deaths. LA Times articleContra Costa Times article

Brown signs bills on human trafficking, elephant ivory, butterflies and DNA collection — Victims of human trafficking or torture will get more time to sue their abusers, mass transit will receive a boost in the San Fernando Valley, and elephants and butterflies will acquire new protection under bills signed Sunday by Gov. Jerry Brown. LA Times articleSan Jose Mercury News articleSacramento Bee article

Dan Walters: Who pays California taxes and how much? — The political kvetching over California taxes mimics the famous porridge passage in “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” Some Californians – those on the right – believe taxes are too high. Others to the left believe they are too low. The rest, quantity unknown, believe they are just right. It’s not that simple, of course, because reactions to taxes also depend on what kind of taxes and, most importantly, who’s paying them. Walters column in Sacramento Bee

State budget

Sacramento Bee: Spare us from these needless tax breaks — The left-leaning California Tax Reform Association led by veteran tax expert Lenny Goldberg has identified three bills that would cut taxes in unnecessary ways, and urged Gov. Jerry Brown to veto the bills. We heartily agree. Sacramento Bee editorial

Gov. Brown 

 Jerry Brown signs ‘brew bike’ bill, goes for a spin — Brown signed legislation that evening allowing people on pedicabs with as many as 15 riders to imbibe if their city permits it and if a safety monitor is on board. Then he put down his pen and took a brief ride on a beer bike in Sacramento. Sacramento Bee article

Valley politics

 Merced leaders to take first look at voting district proposals — Merced City Council is set to get its first public look at the potential districts for future elections, and at least one group made an eleventh-hour push in south Merced to get voters to the meeting Monday. Merced Sun-Star article

Modesto City Schools Board, experience counts — The Bee endorses Amy Neumann, Chad Brown and Steve Grenbeaux for Modesto City Schools Board of Trustees. They offer steady hands, excellent expertise and strong recognition of the most confounding issues. Modesto Bee editorial

Other areas

San Francisco’s last gun store gets ready to shut down — The only gun store in San Francisco is shuttering for good, saying it can no longer operate in the city’s political climate of increased gun control regulations and vocal opposition to its business. AP article

Jose Gaspar: Local Muslims ‘demoralized’ by Carson’s comments — Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said he would not advocate that a Muslim be elected to the highest office in the land. “It’s very disheartening to hear people running for president say something like that,” said Emad Meerza. He is the amir, or president, of the Islamic Shoura Council of Bakersfield. The organization oversees five Islamic centers in Kern County. Gaspar column in Bakersfield Californian

Why liberals fear new Supreme Court term could hurt abortion rights and unions — If the five conservative justices prevail in the year ahead, they could deal a severe blow to labor unions, rein in abortion rights under Roe vs. Wade, restrict college affirmative-action programs and shift political power away from Democratic-controlled election districts by redefining who gets counted as an eligible voter. LA Times article

News Stories

Top Stories

Children in crisis wait for days in local ERs to transfer to mental health facilities — Last year, Stanislaus County opened a 16-bed psychiatric health facility, which added capacity for stabilizing adults. In addition, hospital officials say they have reduced the wait times for adults with psychiatric conditions by streamlining the transfer of patients to Doctors Behavioral Health Center on Claus Road. But no one has fixed the problem for children. Modesto Bee article

Will El Nino solve drought? Not if the rain falls in Southern California – In recent weeks, conditions have gelled for what forecasters say could be one of the strongest El Niño weather patterns in recorded history. Will it substantially ease California’s historic drought? If the storms center on Southern California, the answer is probably not. Sacramento Bee article 

UC Berkeley requests letters of recommendation from applicants – and sparks a debate — In a significant break from tradition, UC Berkeley will ask some freshman applicants to submit letters of recommendation from teachers and mentors this fall. And the UC system is studying whether all of its nine undergraduate campuses should do the same in future years as another way to choose among the avalanche of students seeking admission. LA Times article


Jobs and the Economy

Modesto to discuss permits requiring permits for groups that feed people in parks – The Modesto City Council is expected to hold a workshop Tuesday evening to discuss requiring organizations that feed people in city parks to get a permit in response to what officials say are growing complaints about litter and food being left in parks. Modesto Bee article

Sonoma County forms citizen group to curb pension costs — The size of the Sonoma County pension increase, along with the failure to anticipate more workers taking advantage of it, is one of things that led to unusual pension activism in the county and a distrust of county officials. Calpensions article

Disneyland annual pass with no blackout days now costs more than $1,000 —  As Disneyland ponders how to deal with hordes of visitors during peak seasons, it raised the prices of annual passes on Sunday, introducing one that costs more than $1,000. LA Times article

U.S. and 11 Pacific Rim nations reach deal on massive trade accord – After more than six years of stalled progress and political wrangling, negotiators from the U.S. and 11 trading partners across the Pacific Rim reached a deal on a landmark trade accord linking 40% of the global economy. The agreement in principle on the Trans-Pacific Partnership clears the way for what would be the world’s largest regional trade pact. LA Times articleNew York Times article

Stark San Francisco income gaps between whites, African Americans – The median household income for whites reached $104,300 last year, up 14 percent since 2011, according to recently released census data. The annual household median rose for Latinos and Asians, as well.  But not all have fared as well during the city’s seemingly relentless explosion of wealth. San Francisco Chronicle article 

American Apparel to file for bankruptcy after reaching deal with lenders — American Apparel, the trendy but troubled Los Angeles clothier, is preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday — yet another blow to a company that has been struggling since ousting its chief executive last year. LA Times articleAP article

In Chukchansi election, Morris Reid faction affiliates win sweep of seven seats — Affiliates of the Morris Reid faction won a sweep of seven seats in the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians’ election held Saturday. Fresno Bee article

Los Banos Tomato Festival draws thousands — The fifth annual Los Banos Tomato Festival entertained a crowd of a few thousand people with fun, food and education about one of the region’s most important crops. Los Banos Enterprise article

Families share recipes, traditions at Sweet Potato Festival — What started as a single booth has become a three-day family festival that was expected to attract 20,000 and 30,000 visitors, organizers said. Merced Sun-Star article



New turbulence in water dispute – The agencies that work together to push water through Stockton taps have had, at times, an antagonistic relationship. And that relationship has once more turned for the worse, with the water district that sells treated water to Stockton recently accusing its two biggest customers — the California Water Service Co. and the city of Stockton — of violating the terms of their contract. Stockton Record article

California drought: San Jose’s tough conservation rules have few appeals so far — Out of 230,000 customer connections, San Jose Water has received only 2,720 appeals so far from people asking for more water. By comparison, in 1989, during California’s last severe drought, the company received 45,000 appeals. San Jose Mercury News article

Tulare supervisors to consider dead trees emergency — Tulare County supervisors are expected to discuss Tuesday whether to join four other Valley counties in proclaiming a local state of emergency because of the large number of trees dying in the Sierrra-Nevada mountains due to the drought. Visalia Times-Delta article

National leaders in ag preservation gather in Modesto – National leaders in farmland preservation learned Sunday of efforts in Stanislaus County to keep sprawl at bay. The board of the American Farmland Trust heard about ballot measures that direct housing to less productive soil and about requirements for at least an acre of preserved agricultural land for every acre annexed to a city. Modesto Bee article 

Don Curlee: Research, sex allow citrus to proliferate — The citrus industry and its products are major sources of California’s pride, and the research that has sustained them is being intensified today in the face of serious threats from pests and disease. Visalia Times-Delta article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

California’s racial profiling law is ‘terrible’ legislation, police officials say — California is about to tackle head on the charged issue of racial bias in law enforcement. Gov. Jerry Brown this weekend signed legislation mandating that California law enforcement agencies collect — and make public — data on the racial makeup of all those encountered by police. LA Times article

Bee Investigator: Sex offenders face fewer restrictions – The idea of a sex offender living on your street or near your child’s school is concerning. It’s no surprise one west Modesto family was outraged when they learned a man classified as a “sexually violent predator” moved a stone’s throw away from both. Modesto Bee article

Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office names deputy shot in gunfight – Mariposa County sheriff’s deputy Rudy Mirelez, shot twice in a gunfight Oct. 1, is a 10-year veteran. The sheriff’s office released Mirelez’s name Sunday, saying he remains in critical condition in a Modesto hospital where he will undergo many more surgeries. Fresno Bee article

LA police shoot a man to death after patrol car window shatters — Los Angeles police officers shot a man to death after the rear window of their police cruiser shattered while the officers were at a stoplight in Van Nuys, authorities said Sunday. LA Times article

Debra Saunders: From crime uptick to crime wave? — “Crime drops to new lows,” read Tuesday’s Chronicle headline for a story about historic lows in crime statistics, nationally as well as in the Bay Area. I hope you enjoyed that headline, because it could be the last time you will read it for at least the next decade.  Saunders in San Francisco Chronicle

CHP office rising to new heights — The 140-foot tower and new one-story buildings rising from a 6-acre construction site, visible to motorists traveling Waterloo Road and a short distance east of Highway 99, is the new California Highway Patrol office. Stockton Record article


Growing Latino population nets millions of dollars for Sacramento colleges – After years of rising Latino enrollment at Sacramento State and Sacramento City College, both campuses will receive millions of federal dollars by qualifying as Hispanic-Serving Institutions for the first time. Sacramento Bee article

Late parent notification of test results frustrates some educators — Although parents were originally supposed to receive their children’s scores on new Smarter Balanced tests over the summer, most school districts received reports to send to parents much later than anticipated. EdSource article

Lodi Unified: Blue Ribbon School selected — Middle College High School, in Lodi Unified School District, was recognized last week as a 2015 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. MCHS is the only San Joaquin County school among the 33 selected statewide. Nationally, 285 public schools and 50 private schools were selected. Stockton Record article


How Valley Fire’s ‘wall of flame’ trapped, injured 4 in crew — In the first official account of how the four firefighters were injured in the early hours of the 76,000-acre blaze, which killed four people and destroyed nearly 2,000 structures, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, laid bare the details of how a four-man helicopter crew came to be cornered by a “wall of flame,” and ultimately how they came to be rescued. San Francisco Chronicle article

VW pollution test site under scrutiny amid cheating scandal — When Volkswagen opened its gleaming pollution testing center near the California coast, a top executive from the German automaker helped snip the blue ribbon and joined a tour of a lab so advanced that VW would brag the air inside was cleaner than in the surrounding strawberry fields. AP article

Erika D. Smith: A disturbing view of parkway destruction — I have no idea what the American River Parkway used to look like, but I’ve heard stories about its beauty between Discovery Park and Campus Commons. About how people once didn’t fear riding bikes, jogging or walking along trails that criss-cross the dense stretch of woods and water. It’s hard to imagine that now. Smith in Sacramento Bee


Health/Human Services 

Dust and desperation: How the drought is hurting health — Four years of drought in California is wearing on the bodies and minds of the people who live in the San Joaquin Valley. State health officials say they have not seen anything to link the drought to changes in residents’ health. But local doctors and health experts, and a drive south on Highway 99 from Sacramento to Tulare County, tell a different story. San Francisco Chronicle article

Safe haven for sex-trafficked minors has waiting list, poised for growth – Courage House is one of the few long-term facilities in the state licensed to help minor victims of sex trafficking. Forty girls, almost all of them American, have received therapy since Courage House got its start four years ago, and the sex trade is so prevalent that Williamson plans to expand the center to help 60 victims at a time. Sacramento Bee article

Promotoras: Community health workers bridge cultural barriers – For Rossy Gomar, promoting mental health is a full-time job. As a promotora at Oakdale’s Family Resource Center on West F Street, she has organized dance therapy classes and emotional support groups. She has also worked to disseminate health information. Modesto Bee article

Ombudsman serves as voice for the elderly — There are more than 100 nursing homes and residential care facilities in Stanislaus County. Whether the resident has family that is active in their life and well being or has no living relatives, there is a group of people who ensure residents are being cared for with dignity and respect. The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, operated through Catholic Charities, serves to resolve problems and advocate for the rights of residents of long-term care facilities. Modesto Bee article


LA County MTA may use even longer buses in San Fernando Valley — Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday approved a bill giving the Los Angeles County MTA authority to operate new, longer, articulated buses on the 14-mile Orange Line in the San Fernando Valley. LA Times article

Sacramento transit stops will get makeovers and regular cleanings — Light-rail stations across the Sacramento area are getting baths, and soon some will get makeovers, as part of an effort by Regional Transit to clean up its act. Sacramento Bee article

Other areas

May Rico and Carol Shipley: Breaking the silence, and the cycle – Rico, executive director of Haven Women’s Center of Stanislaus, and Shipley, executive director of the Stanislaus Family Justice Center, write, “When a victim remains silent, the abuse can continue and there is no consequence to the perpetrator. When victims break their silence, a supportive environment for them can be found.” Rico/Shipley op-ed in Modesto Bee

 Kids’ feelings about marijuana in sixth grade may predict future risk of drunk driving – A new study of Los Angeles-area kids suggests a specific way to reduce the risk that they will drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs as teenagers — challenge their positive beliefs about marijuana, and start doing it as early as sixth grade. LA Times article

First time at bat: Talking welcome signs in Merced – Merced is home to one of 19 California Welcome Centers and represents the Central Valley. There are signs for the welcome center five miles and one mile out from the city on north and southbound Highway 99, Baker said. These signs lead to the welcome center, located at 710 W. 16th St. The welcome center does a good amount of market and advertising for the city, Quintero said. Merced Sun-Star article

Edward Lund, Fresno artist and curator, killed in crash during bike ride — Edward Lund, a Fresno artist who also was widely regarded as a curator, art installer and gallery technician, was killed Saturday when he crashed during a charity bike ride in Sonoma County. Fresno Bee article

Craig Powell and Erik Smitt: Sacramento needs real ethics reform, not city’s fake version – The Eye on Sacramento officials write, “If backers of the council’s faux ethics package believe it will be effective in dealing with the misbehavior of city officials – or satisfy the public’s desire for real reform at City Hall – they’re very much mistaken.” Powell/Smitt op-ed in Sacramento Bee 


Valley Editorial Roundup


Modesto Bee – The Bee endorses Amy Neumann, Chad Brown and Steve Grenbeaux for Modesto City Schools Board of Trustees. They offer steady hands, excellent expertise and strong recognition of the most confounding issues.

Sacramento Bee – The left-leaning California Tax Reform Association led by veteran tax expert Lenny Goldberg has identified three bills that would cut taxes in unnecessary ways, and urged Gov. Jerry Brown to veto the bills. We heartily agree.


Maddy Events

Sunday, Oct. 11, at 10 a.m. on Fresno ABC30 – Maddy Report: “Highway Funding: Still Stuck in Political Gridlock” – Guests: Norma Ortega, chief financial officer, Caltrans; Rob Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable; Chris McKenzie, executive director of the California League of Cities; Matt Cate, executive director of the California State Association of Counties; and Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director Mark Keppler.

Sunday, Oct. 11, at 7 a.m. on Univision 21 (KFTV) and UniMas 61 (KTFF) – El Informe Maddy: “High Speed Rail in California” – Guest: Elizabeth Jonasson, information officer for California High-Speed Rail Authority. Host: Maddy Institute Deputy Director Ana Melendez. 

The Maddy Report airs throughout California on The Cal Channel.  Check http://www.calchannel.com to find the Cal Channel and schedule in your area.  You also can view previous Maddy Report programs in their entirety at http://www.maddyinstitute.org/policy-analysis/the-maddy-report-tv.


Community Events


  • West Hills Community College District will hold an event, “Shifting Ground — Adapting the San Joaquin Valley Economy to a Changing Climate,” on Oct. 8 at Harris Ranch in Coalinga. Senior leaders from business, agriculture, government agencies and nonprofits will gather to launch immediate actions and provide near-term guidance to create next generation jobs in a region battered by drought and struggling with multiple challenges. Visit www.essentialelementsseries.comfor details of this no-fee policy series.
  • Zocalo Public Square will hold an event, “Can Fresno Win the War on Poverty?,” at Frank’s Place at Warnors Center for the Performing Arts in Fresno on Tuesday, Oct. 13, at 7 p.m.  More information: www.ZocaloPublicSquare.org.
  • The fourth annual San Joaquin Valley Affordable Housing Summit will be held at the Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center on Tuesday, Nov. 3, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration and additional information is available here.
  • The 34thannual Agribusiness Management Conference will be held at the DoubleTree Hotel and Conference Center in Fresno on Wednesday, Nov. 4. The event will feature presentation on the economic outlook for agriculture, trade, water, and immigration.  More information:  559.278.4405 or www.csufcab.com.
  • The 2015 California Economic Summit will be held in Ontario on Nov. 12-13.  Since its inception in 2012, the Summit has brought together hundreds of private, public and civic leaders from the state’s diverse regions in an effort to advance the triple bottom line: promoting a prosperous economy that respects environment and equity concerns.  More information and registration is available here.




Next 10: UPDATED California budget challenge – For the first time in a decade, California’s budget is largely in balance.  However, the state has outstanding debts of $28 million, not counting long-term pension and retiree health care costs.  Budget choices affect us all.  Take the Challenge and decide how much should be spent on programs and where the money should come from.  Next 10 California Budget Challenge 

Next 10: Federal budget challenge — The Federal Budget Challenge is based on The Concord Coalition’s Principles and Priorities budget exercise, which has been used in numerous town hall meetings across the country by members of Congress from both parties, as well as in hundreds of high school and college classrooms.  Next 10 Federal Budget challenge at www.federalbudgetchallenge.org.

Next 10: California Water Challenge – As our state faces some of the most severe drought conditions in its history, Next 10 wants to issue a new challenge to Californians: can you create a plan to make sure there’s enough water for everyone?  Next 10 California Water Challenge

LEGISLATORS’ VOTING RECORDS: How often has a California legislator broken party ranks, abstained or switched sides? The Sacramento Bee has a database of the voting records of every member of the state Senate and Assembly. Enter a lawmaker’s last and first names to see how he or she voted, or enter a bill number to see how every legislator voted on it. Check it out at this link.  http://www.sacbee.com/votingrecord/

More Information


Please visit http://www.maddyinstitute.com/news/maddy-daily if you want to view the Maddy Daily with our comprehensive list of links to all federal, state and local government, public affairs institutes/regional entities, Valley media and public policy blogs. (Please note new website address.) 

Maddy Institute Updates List of San Joaquin Valley Elected Officials – The Maddy Institute has updated its list of San Joaquin Valley elected officials.  The list is available here.


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The Kenneth L. Maddy Institute at California State University, Fresno was established to honor the legacy of one of California’s most principled and effective legislative leaders of the last half of the 20th Century by engaging, preparing and inspiring a new generation of governmental leaders for the 21st Century. Its mission is to inspire citizen participation, elevate government performance, provide non-partisan analysis and assist in providing solutions for public policy issues important to the region, state and nation.


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