September 12, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories

More than 235,000 ballots didn’t count in June U.S. Senate race, and some think ballot design didn’t help – A bumper crop of U.S. Senate candidates and the resulting challenge in designing ballots may be why more than 235,000 California voters had their selections for the race rejected in June. LA Times article (scroll to item)

Californians worry about poverty, income inequality, poll finds — A majority of Californians believe poverty is a serious problem, but they disagree over what to do about it. That’s according to a survey conducted for our California Counts public radio collaboration. KQED report

Gov. Brown

Brown sees Proposition 57 as key to ending court’s oversight of prisons – California is under a court order to reduce its prison population because of severe overcrowding that led to inhumane conditions. Since returning to the governor’s office five years ago, Brown has made reducing that population one of his main priorities and has instated a number of major criminal justice policy shifts. Now the governor thinks he has the final piece of the puzzle: Proposition 57. KQED report

‘An aggressive proposal that touched a lot of nerves’: Why Gov. Brown’s plan to stem the housing crisis failed — Because of the resistance, Brown’s effort became so unpopular in the state Capitol that not one of 120 lawmakers was willing to publicly stand behind it. After weeks of little action, the plandied a quiet death last month, never having received a vote in the Legislature.  LA Times article

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

Along with Kamala Harris, Loretta Sanchez is struggling to beat ‘none of the above’ – As many California voters prefer “none of the above” as plan to vote for Loretta Sanchez. Support for the Orange County congresswoman in the state’s U.S. Senate race not only lags far behind her rival, Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris, but is matched by the pool of Californians who say they don’t plan to vote for either candidate, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll. LA Times article

Prop 58 would help English learners retain native language — Proposition 58 on the November 8 ballot would repeal much of the English-only ballot measure approved by 61 percent of the state’s voters almost two decades ago. San Francisco Chronicle article

Prop 62, a measure to fund Medi-Cal, is its own worst enemy – Supporters of Proposition 52, a California ballot measure that would lock in an existing hospital fee that helps fund the state’s Medicaid program for the poor, know their biggest opposition is the measure itself. While the proposition lacks organized opponents, it’s just the sort of wonky, complicated and arcane type of measure that frustrates voters and makes them likely to skip that box on their elections form or to simply vote “no.” San Francisco Chronicle article

Sacramento Bee: Prop. 60:  How hardcore do we want to get in policing porn? — We share Weinstein’s frustration, but Proposition 60 is a legal overreach and too hardcore. Sacramento Bee editorial

Other areas

Art Pulaski: Let’s begin to return direct democracy back to the people – The executive secretary-treasurer of the California Labor Federation writes, “Direct democracy is a good thing. It gives voters a voice in setting policy in the Capitol. But currently billionaires are drowning out the voices of voters by paying millions of dollars to push their own pet projects, often to the detriment of Californians. By signing SB 1094, Brown can ensure that ballot measures have at least some grass-roots support, and can begin to give direct democracy back to the people.” Pulaski op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Presidential Politics

Clinton holds wide lead in California; third-party candidates are stronger among younger voters – Hillary Clinton holds a lopsided lead over Donald Trump in decidedly Democratic California, but weaknesses here with younger voters suggest problems that could thwart her campaign in more contested states, a new poll has found. LA Times article

Clinton health incident at Sept. 11 caps a rough week and gives fuel to critics — Hillary Clinton’s abrupt departure from a Sept. 11 ceremony in New York after falling ill Sunday and the subsequent disclosure that she is suffering from pneumonia are likely to intensify scrutiny on the Democratic nominee’s health and potentially inject a new campaign issue into a race between two of the oldest candidates ever to seek the White House. LA Times articleNew York Times articleSan Francisco Chronicle article

Clinton cancels California trip because of health concerns – Hillary Clinton was scheduled to return to California on Monday for still more finance events, but called off plans out West for two days of fundraising, campaign events and an appearance on Ellen DeGeneres‘ talk show after she had to abruptly leave a 9/11 anniversary ceremony Sunday complaining she was overheated. AP articleLA Times article

UC President Janet Napolitano leaves no doubt she’s with Hillary Clinton — Janet Napolitano is scheduled to be the star attraction at an upcoming fundraiser for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton — the first time in anyone’s memory that a sitting University of California president has campaigned for a White House candidate. San Francisco Chronicle article

Christians struggle with election choices — Unlike any other election in recent memory, the choices for president this November are proving to be difficult for many of the thousands of Christians who call Kings County home. Case in point: Lemoore resident and former U.S. Marine John Cardwell. Hanford Sentinel article

News Stories

Top Stories

New program offers PTSD help for Fresno families of service members, veterans — The Fresno chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness is offering a NAMI Homefronteducation and support program designed for family members, friends and significant others of service members and veterans who have PTSD, depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions. NAMI is the largest nonprofit grass-roots mental health organization in the United States. Fresno Bee article

Modesto could take step toward Amgen’s return – Modesto could take a big step toward having the Amgen Tour of California – the annual road race featuring some of the world’s elite bicyclists – return in May 2017. The City Council on Tuesday will consider approving a letter of intent between Modesto and AEG – the global sports and entertainment company that owns and operates the tour – and authorizing City Manager Jim Holgersson to negotiate an agreement with AEG for the tour’s return. Modesto Bee article

Jobs and the Economy

Merced supervisors don’t vote on their own raises – Supervisor pay is sort of wacky. It’s a good salary, but the mechanics behind the salary are a bit complicated.  Merced Sun-Star article 

Buyers squeezed as Sacramento-area home prices surge — As the economy strengthens, demand for homes has surged, driven by people who lost homes during the recession who are looking again to buy. At the same time, these “boomerang buyers,” as Shea calls them, are also competing with millennials – those in their 20s – who sometimes get financial help from family. Sacramento Bee article

Cap & Town returns to downtown Merced — Downtown Merced buzzed with community members Saturday afternoon. After more than a year, the Cap & Town Festival, once again, turned Main Street into a family friendly affair, with the help from local vendors and the Greater Merced Chamber of Commerce. Merced Sun-Star article

City tightening parking restrictions in residential zones surrounding Sacramento’s new arena — When the Golden 1 Center arena opens in three weeks, will thousands of drivers swarm into nearby residential areas to avoid paying at parking meters and garages? City officials say they think not, thanks to a new evening parking enforcement rule this month in the residential permit parking zones surrounding downtown. Sacramento Bee article

Pomona settles lawsuit over confiscation of homeless people’s property — Homeless residents of Pomona will be provided storage for their property and will be allowed to sleep in public spaces until shelter beds exist for all of them, following the settlement of a lawsuit challenging the city’s practice of homeless cleanups. LA Times article

Ireland doesn’t want Apple’s taxes, but some Irish do — Ireland doesn’t want Apple’s billions. Instead, the Irish government is appealing Europe’s tax ruling, a move that is exposing a rift in a country still feeling the aftershocks from years of harsh cutbacksNew York Times article


Don Curlee: Research is a neighbor — Farmers depend heavily on research, but they often feel it is accomplished at some remote location. A $23 million facility in Parlier helps bring it home for Fresno and Tulare county growers. Curlee in Visalia Times-Delta

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Vigil held in Sanger for Officer Juanita Davila, hurt in jail shooting — About 100 people gathered at Sanger High School on Sunday evening for a vigil honoring Juanita Davila, one of the correctional officers who was shot in the Fresno County Jail lobby Sept. 3. Members of the community and relatives of Davila lit candles, sang and prayed for Davila, who still is hospitalized. Fresno Bee article

Black leaders push Sacramento City Council for more police transparency — Prominent black and religious leaders will pressure Sacramento City Council members this week to increase independent review of police actions and video footage of incidents such as the July killing of a mentally ill black man by officers. Sacramento Bee article


For those parents who can afford them, ride services ease logistical burdens — The burgeoning child ride service industry has the potential to transform the lives of more affluent parents with young children, providing them with an alternative way to get their kids to an often seemingly endless list of activities, often at inconvenient times in the middle of the work day.  EdSource article


Meet the small gray songbird that has restricted to much California coastal development – For two decades, a small gray songbird has made the difference between development and conservation in some of the most coveted coastal land in California. A federal decision last week to leave the coastal California gnatcatcher on the endangered species list brought praise from environmentalists but left Southern California developers primed for an ongoing fight. LA Times article

In the battle to save frogs, scientists fight fungus with fungus — A deadly fungus that’s been devastating frog populations is spreading across the globe — it’s helped drive the extinction of 200 species so far. In California, the chytrid fungus has moved inexorably across the Sierra Nevada, leaving thousands of frogs dead. But scientists are trying to turn the tide against the fungus with an experimental treatment, one that could matter to frogs worldwide. KPCC report

Land Use/Housing

Fitz’s Stockton: An idea for ‘Central Parklet’ — Now that the politicians, public servants and desk jockeys of Stockton’s city government are moving to the WaMu Building at 400 E. Main St., some thought should be given to the plaza in front. They may not think so, but I do. Michael Fitzgerald in Stockton Record


Tesla says it’s improving Autopilot by boosting radar — Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the electric car company is making major improvements to the Autopilot system used by its vehicles, which will dramatically reduce the number and severity of crashes in which they are involved. AP articleLA Times article 

Other areas

Valley communities remember 9/11 – Valley residents across the Valley gathered to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.  Fresno Bee articleVisalia Times-Delta articleHanford Sentinel articleMerced Sun-Star articleModesto Bee articleStockton Record article

9/11 memorial unveiling helps community to never forget — The 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and those who perished in them were remembered locally Sunday with the unveiling of the 9/11 World Trade Center Memorial in southwest Bakersfield. Bakersfield Californian article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Sacramento Bee – We share Weinstein’s frustration, but Proposition 60 is a legal overreach and too hardcore.