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The inside story of how power struggles doomed Jerry Brown’s top priority — One of Gov. Jerry Brown’s most ambitious environmental goals was hanging in the balance when two powerful California lawmakers met for dinner near the Capitol. Pushing the governor’s proposal to slash gasoline use on state roads was Senate leader Kevin de León, a Democrat from Los Angeles. Sitting across from him was Assemblyman Henry Perea, the Fresno leader of business-friendly Democrats fighting the plan. LA Times article
A rising force, moderate Democrats put their stamp on California legislative session — The level of persuasion needed to advance even weakened legislation underscores the influence of moderate Assembly Democrats – a loosely formed group elected with the help of corporate interests. Their mark was most indelible on the just-completed session, where time after time they thwarted liberal legislation, from climate change to minimum wage. Sacramento Bee article
Valley Latinos show partisan presidential split – except on Trump — If there’s one thing that unites central San Joaquin Valley Latinos of all political persuasions, it’s a near-universal revulsion to the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump. Beyond that, local Hispanics are much like the rest of the nation: Their presidential preferences break down largely along partisan political lines. Fresno Bee article
Dan Walters: Moderate bloc bests governor — Brown may be tempted to retaliate against the moderate bloc by vetoing members’ bills, but that would likely backfire as the governor seeks other measures to polish up his political legacy during the remaining years of his two-part governorship. Walters column in Sacramento Bee
Democratic California governor confronts political setbacks – California Gov. Jerry Brown has grown accustomed to reveling in political victories since his return to the state capital in 2011, his national luster restored by shoring up the state’s finances and the spotlight on his agenda to cut carbon emissions. But the Democratic governor faced his biggest loss in recent memory this week as he and the Senate leader were forced to abandon a key provision of their climate change package – aiming to cut the state’s oil use in half within 15 years – and he failed to gain traction on a promised transportation infrastructure plan. AP article
Analysis: Gov. Brown shares blame for oil bill’s problems — While Brown was quick to blame Big Oil for scaring voters with charges that SB350 could bring gasoline rationing and cost them their sport utility vehicles, a quick glance in the mirror could show the governor who shared the blame. San Francisco Chronicle article; Fresno Bee editorial
Legislature wraps up, leaving Brown with major decisions to make — California lawmakers wrapped up their work for the regular session Friday, sending a torrent of bills to Gov. Jerry Brown and leaving a lengthy to-do list for when they return in January. Brown now has 249 bills on his desk. He has until Oct. 11 to sign or veto the proposed legislation. San Francisco Chronicle article
Statewide politics/Ballot Measures
Cathleen Decker: Are Republicans losing white voters too? — Many Republican tears have been shed over the party’s inability to win over Latino voters in California. And many more have been shed over the party’s inability to win over the state’s Asian voters, at least in big ticket races. And now there’s another, more surprising reason for Republicans to fret. Are they losing white voters too? Decker in LA Times
Dan Morain: How oil won the battle for SB 350 — Before he would commit to voting for landmark legislation to cut petroleum use by 50 percent, Assemblyman Adam Gray had a few requests. Actually, it was more than a few. The term sheet runs three pages. The quid for the quo is something to behold. In one of his more remarkably bold suggestions, the Merced Democrat sought $550 million a year in cap-and-trade revenue to pay for more water storage. Additional water storage is a great idea. But cap-and-trade money must be used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, not provide water in perpetuity for Central Valley farmers. Morain in Sacramento Bee
Highlights of key bills California lawmakers sent to Brown – California lawmakers sent Gov. Jerry Brown hundreds of bills in the final sprint to the end of their legislative session Friday. The following is a look at key bills now headed to the governor. AP article
Legislature leaves anti-tobacco measures and health plan tax on the table — California lawmakers headed home Saturday after a breakneck end to their 2015 session, having passed landmark bills on climate change and assisted dying, among others. But they also left behind a pile of unfinished business. LA Times article
Sacramento County seeks review of elections office — Sacramento County plans to hire a consultant to review its elections office following complaints from city clerks about the handling of last year’s elections. Sacramento Bee article
California Republicans echo U.S. trends, favoring outsiders Trump and Carson — Fueled by derision for politics as usual, Donald Trump has vaulted to the top of the Republican race for president among California voters, a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll has found. Trump won the support of 24% of California Republicans surveyed, while Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and lesser-known conservative favorite, was backed by 18%. LA Times article
Gerald Haslam: Candidates, stereotypes and nonsense – The author who has been called the “quintessential California writer” writes, “In the political season, some speakers seem convinced that they can overwhelm verifiable reality with opinions and lies until only their self-serving interpretations remain.” Haslam op-ed in Sacramento Bee
Kathryn Olmstead: Modern conservatism grew from California roots – The professor and chair of the history department at UC Davis writes, “With this week’s Republican presidential debates in Simi Valley, the modern conservative movement returns to its roots.” Olmstead op-ed in Sacramento Bee
Justice delayed: Wheels of Stanislaus County legal system turn slowly — Among 17 counties with readily available data, Stanislaus has the most homicide cases pending – 108. That number exceeds counties that are far larger and where many more murders are committed, such as San Diego (95 open homicide cases) and Sacramento (105). Adjusted for population, Stanislaus has more than three times the average of murder cases waiting to be tried. Modesto Bee article
George Hostetter: Code enforcement: New battleground for Fresno’s future – Fresno’s challenge has long been people migrating from old Fresno to new Fresno. The new challenge is getting people to migrate from new Fresno back to old Fresno. The challenge also is doing right for people who have migrated here from all parts of the globe. And the big challenge is whether to use the omnipotent hand of government to keep people from migrating to the home of their choice in the name of a higher social good. Hostetter in Fresno Bee
Jobs and the Economy
Negative bailout for Stanislaus County set to end – The text message from Stanislaus County Supervisor Vito Chiesa to a staff member Friday night summed it up: “Boom. Drop mic.” After more than 30 years of fighting a state law that penalized Stanislaus and five other counties, it appears the county is poised to win. Assembly Bill 107, written to fix the “negative bailout” of 1978’s Proposition 13, passed the state Senate on Friday and is headed to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. Modesto Bee article; Modesto Bee editorial
Tour pitches downtown Stockton as ‘Land of Opportunity’ – Potential pioneers arrived in Stockton on Saturday morning, not in a covered wagon but in a climate-controlled bus that delivered them to a city ready to welcome newcomers with real-estate costs low enough to make a pricing-gouging San Francisco landlord weep. Stockton Record article
Stockmarket turnout hints at signs of rebirth – Not far from the booth scooping artisan gelato, and surrounded by vendors peddling jewelry, vintage clothing and even haircuts, lifelong Stockton resident Tara Heinzen looked around and speculated that downtown finally may be awakening following decades of dormancy and desolation. Stockton Record article
Coast motels get boost from Rough fire fallout – Dirty air from the Rough fire is giving Valley residents another reason to do what is second nature for many — head to the coast. Several hotel and motel operators along the Pacific Ocean said they’re busy as usual as summer winds down. Fresno Bee article
Bill Camp: ‘Total compensation’ in city’s minimum wage plan is a sham – The former executive-secretary of the Sacramento Central Labor Council writes, “This provision is nothing more that an attempt by statewide corporate interests to use Sacramento as a test case for a political and legal gambit to fight minimum wage increases across California, and we must not let ourselves be used as guinea pigs for a law that will harm, not help, workers and citizens.” Camp op-ed in Sacramento Bee
As San Jose looks to boost manufacturing jobs, local are already, and often quietly, creating a host of products — With a major public-private push underway to strengthen a regional manufacturing industry that’s been downsized over the past 25 years, it’s easy to forget there’s a whole lot of stuff getting made in San Jose, much of it just below the radar. Folks in the state’s third-largest city are busy crafting cheeses and catheters, hard drives and packing labels. They’re making satellite receivers and digital tags that can track a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label right to your liquor cabinet. San Jose Mercury News article
Q&A: Areo CEO talks climate change, wastewater management and her new neighbors – She’s worked in Houston, New Orleans, the Netherlands and even the Arctic. But not until earlier this summer had Christina Sistrunk’s 30-year career in the oil industry stationed her in the heart of West Coast oil production. Bakersfield Californian article
For grocers, Southern California is an irresistible – and cutthroat – market — As the Haggen bankruptcy filing last week illustrated, Brown and the rest of the industry are seeing a fresh flurry of activity among rival stores that has roiled a Southern California grocery business that already is “arguably the most competitive in the country,” said Ron Johnston, who publishes the industry-tracking Shelby Report. LA Times article
Daniel Borenstein: Pension-spiking Bay Area fire chief’s comments suggest conflict of interest and illegal secrecy — Retired fire Chief Peter Nowicki’s comments last week suggest he violated state conflict-of-interest rules and his board ran afoul of open-meeting laws as they colluded to spike his pension. Borenstein in Contra Costa Times
Companies can buck tradition with mass hiring blitz – Although not on the scale of the Chipotle push, the Sacramento area has seen some mass hires, especially in another rapidly growing business segment: solar power. Local employment experts couldn’t predict whether the mass-hiring method will catch on with other employers, but recent events by SolarCity offered a nontraditional way of reaching potential employees, said Jonathan Bass, SolarCity’s vice president of communications. Sacramento Bee article
Ex-Bullard High football star cleaning up on stinky garbage cans — Scrubbing trash cans filled with muck, sticky paper and flies is a dirty job, but Corey Jackson has found a way to clean it up. Jackson started a business that takes recycled water from the city of Fresno, heats it to 200 degrees and shoots it through a pressure washer to scrape the inside of garbage cans. During the process, he recaptures and recycles the water to use again. Fresno Bee article
Steve Taylor: Connecting with those in need online – The Oakdale resident writes, “2Hands is an “online assistance platform,” according to Jon Bishop, who founded the cyberpleading site more than a decade ago in Spokane, Wash. Now, there have been more than 10 million visits to the site from people in every state and Canada. After entering the name of your city, browse the listings for something that grabs your heart; but hold onto your wallet.” Taylor op-ed in Modesto Bee
Bakersfield poised to oppose Cal Water rate increase – Bakersfield is ready to fight a proposed fee hike from the city’s largest water company, one that would raise rates nearly 17 percent over three years. Bakersfield Californian article
Diving in on groundwater law – For years, an obscure team of water wonks has met each month in a conference room at the California Water Service Co. offices in downtown Stockton. Their charge: To protect the region’s precious groundwater, an invisible natural resource as little-known as those who guard it. Those monthly meetings used to be small. Now, all of a sudden, you can hardly find a seat. Stockton Record article
Spreck Rosekrans: Groundwater recharge could help replace storage function of Hetch Hetchy – The executive director of Restore Hetch Hetchy writes, “Fixing our groundwater problem will not only provide supply benefits, it can fix environmental problems as well. Improved groundwater recharge, managed conjunctively with other surface storage on the Tuolumne River, could easily replace the storage function provided by Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.” Rosekrans op-ed in Sacramento Bee
Bottled water going to residents in western Fresno County – Most residents in the western Fresno County communities of Cantua Creek and El Porvenir drive out of town to buy drinking water, sometimes spending more than $100 monthly. But now drinking water is coming to them. Fresno Bee article
Gold Rush era mementos emerge at depleted Folsom Lake – Low water levels change more than the lake’s aesthetics. They unveil remnants of a usually inundated Gold Rush-era town known as Mormon Island. Currently, rusted tools and trinkets, a large road bridge and withered building foundations are exposed. Sacramento Bee article
Stanislaus Academy is pilot program for scenario-based training – In the next few weeks, 21 rookie police officers and deputies will begin patrolling the streets equipped with real-life, hands-on experiences only being offered in Stanislaus County. Modesto Bee article
Parks worker uses past to help inmates — Lonny Adams started his 16-year career with the Kern County Parks and Recreation Department in an orange vest. Now the groundskeeper oversees a crew of people in those vests: Kern County sheriff’s work release inmates living the life he used to. Bakersfield Californian article
Body cameras settle dispute over jaywalking incident — Body cameras increasingly have become part of police equipment to tell the truth and eliminate discrepancy between police and people with whom they are interacting. It appears that the cameras did just that for Stockton Police during a recent jaywalking incident. Stockton Record article
Gaps in alumni earnings stand out in release of college data – Colleges give prospective students very little information about how much money they can expect to earn in the job market. In part that’s because colleges may not want people to know, and in part it’s because such information is difficult and expensive to gather. Colleges are good at tracking down rich alumni to hit up for donations, but people who make little or no money are harder and less lucrative to find. New York Times article
Test scores reflect familiar wealth gap among school districts — While this was the first time students took the computerized Common Core test, the scores released last week matched an all-too-familiar historical pattern: They followed the money. They reflected entrenched economic and racial patterns despite decades spent trying to counter them and level one of the country’s most important playing fields. San Francisco Chronicle article
Sacramento Bee: Gun violence happens, colleges must be ready – With on-campus shootings a grim and inevitable reality, institutions of higher learning have both a moral and legal responsibility to prepare for and then manage the chaos. Schools must make sure students and faculty are kept in the loop, and know what to do to protect themselves. Sacramento Bee editorial
Students pay for improvements at Fresno Pacific University – Fresno Pacific University students contributed $90,000 to make renovations to the school’s “forest,” the school said. The forest is the most popular outdoor gathering place on the main campus, the school said. Faculty, staff and students meet around tables for lunch, studying and social breaks. Fresno Bee article
Larry White: AP classes not Always Plausible – At what age do you think were you ready, in terms of ability and maturity, to be enrolled in and successfully complete a University of California course? Fourteen? Seventeen? Twenty-one? Or, in my case, probably never. White column in Stockton Record
Sac State president and wife, Iowa couple share grief over suicide of sons — Julie and Ed Law arrived in Sacramento last month in a state of numbness and disbelief, crushed by the suicide of their handsome, stubborn, accomplished son Jeff. Sacramento Bee article
General Grant, Boole trees spared from Rough fire so far – Being on tree watch puts a lot of weight on Luis Magana’s shoulders. Because he’s not watching just any tree. Magana is monitoring General Grant, the second-tallest tree in the world and a longtime destination for tourists worldwide. On Saturday, fears that the 129,000-acre Rough fire might fell the magnificent sequoia in Grant Grove lessened when it became apparent that backfiring and monitoring efforts have helped protect some of the world’s most highly treasured trees. Fresno Bee article
Wildfire in Yosemite still burning, Squaw Valley fire contained — Firefighters continued on Saturday to battle a wildfire in Yosemite National Park that has scorched 455 acres and is 25 percent contained. The Tenaya fire, which broke out Sept. 7, is located along Lehamite Creek Trail from the north rim of the Valley to Tioga Road. Fresno Bee article
Jeff Jardine: Air alert didn’t blame almond dust, and here’s why – Thursday, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District issued an air alert pleading with people to reduce emissions by driving less. It suggested carpooling and eating at work rather than driving to restaurants. It suggested avoiding drive-thrus, where your car will idle and spew exhaust. The agency cited smoke from the Rough fire in Tulare and Fresno counties. What the agency didn’t blame was the almond dust. So, having an inquiring mind and all, I contacted air board officials to ask: Why not? Jardine column in Modesto Bee
4 firefighters burned in new Lake County blaze – Four firefighters were hospitalized Saturday after suffering burns from a fast-moving blaze just south of Loch Lomond in Lake County that exploded in size to more than 25,000 acres, said officials of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. San Francisco Chronicle article; AP article
Heavy smoke grounds air attack on Butte fire – A 101-square-mile wall of flames and smoke laid siege to the drought-stricken Gold Country area for a fourth straight day Saturday as an army of firefighters tried to corral the state’s latest large wildfire. Sacramento Bee article; Stockton Record article
Antelope fire south of Tehachapi almost out, official says – A three-day-old wildfire sparked by multiple lightning strikes south of Tehachapi is 75 percent contained, a Kern County Fire Department officials said Saturday. Bakersfield Californian article
Town burns as treacherous wildfire marches on — Homes and businesses burned as a fast-moving wildfire fueled by heat and winds exploded in Lake County, forcing thousands to flee and leaving four firefighters with burns. The small town of Middletown was particularly hard-hit, with blocks of homes and other structures lost. Photos showed Middleton’s main street on fire, with cars burning. Part of a school caught fire. LA Times article
PG&E’ s ‘shady’ conduct hindered probe, investigators say — Federal investigators complained that secret meddling, arrogance and “shady” conduct on the part of Pacific Gas and Electric Co. hindered their probe into the deadly San Bruno gas pipeline explosion, according to new court filings that shed light on prosecutors’ decision to seek a criminal obstruction-of-justice case against the company. San Francisco Chronicle article
Lewis Griswold: Visalia to toss its innovative trash can — The era of Visalia’s unusual but innovative trash can is coming to a close. The Visalia City Council last week gave the go-ahead to switch to a traditional three-can system – one for trash, another for recyclables, and one for green waste. Griswold in Fresno Bee
Modesto looks to ban smoking at transportation center, bus stops — The city is considering banning smoking at its Modesto Transportation Center in downtown and at its 800 bus stops. The City Council’s Safety and Communities Committee is scheduled to hear the proposal at its Monday meeting. The proposal is part of an update to the city code that regulates smoking. The update would ban the use of e-cigarettes, vaping and medical marijuana. Modesto Bee article
He’s the new U.S. poet laureate: Hear Juan Felipe Herrera soar — Poets aren’t pop culture stars, though it’s fun to contemplate an alternate universe in whichJuan Felipe Herrera has 35 million Twitter followers and Kim Kardashian flies coach. For poets, however, there is a particular honor that can help penetrate the thick, hazy fog of disregard that often seems to blanket the intellectual arts: being named poet laureate of the United States. Fresno Bee article
Michael Fitzgerald: Saving Stockton’s old design with software — Whether you see Stockton’s old buildings as a brick boneyard or a valuable architectural heritage, those old ziggurats sport some spiffy design touches. Take the wonderful 1933 Federal Building. David Lipari, 29, used to drive past the old edifice daily. A graphic artist, he appreciated numerous accomplished flourishes. So Lipari launched Heritage Stockton. His goal is to digitize and catalog the city’s design elements. Not only to save them but possibly to allow their reuse. Stockton Record article
Valley Editorial Roundup
Fresno Bee – Gov. Brown loses his touch on SB 350 negotiations.
Modesto Bee – Team effort brings Stanislaus a big legislative win on negative bailout.
Sacramento Bee — With on-campus shootings a grim and inevitable reality, institutions of higher learning have both a moral and legal responsibility to prepare for and then manage the chaos.
Sunday, Sept. 13, at 10 a.m. on Fresno ABC30 – Maddy Report: “Livable Communities: Coming to a Neighborhood Near You?” — — Guests: Laura Podolsky, policy director, National Center for Sustainable Transportation– Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis; Gian-Carla Sciara, assistant professional researcher, Urban Land Use and Transportation Center, UC Davis, and Paul Zykofsky, associate director of the Local Government Commission. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director Mark Keppler.
Sunday, Sept. 13, at 10 a.m. on KMJ (580AM and 105.9FM Radio/podcast) – Maddy Report – Valley Views Edition: “Walkable, Bikeable Transit-Oriented Communities: What (is the) Demand?” — Guests: Keith Bergthold, executive director of Fresno Metro Ministry and past assistant director of Planning for the City of Fresno; Mike Prandini, executive officer for Fresno & Madera Counties, California Building Industry Association; and John Wright, former planning director for the City of Clovis). Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director Mark Keppler.
Sunday, Sept. 20, at 7 a.m. on Univision 21 (KFTV) and UniMas 61 (KTFF) – El Informe Maddy: “Prop 63 and the State’s Mental Health Programs” – Guest: Jose Oseguera (Mental Health Services Oversight & Accountability Commission). 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.
- The Wonderful Company will hold information sessions in Avenal and Wasco for area nonprofits, churches, religious organizations and local government agencies interested in applying for the Wonderful Community Grants initiative. The Wasco event will be held at Wasco City Hall on Monday, Sept. 14, from 10-11 a.m. The Avenal event will be held at the Avenal Recreation Center on Tuesday, Sept. 15, from 10:30-11:30 a.m. More information: www.wonderfulcommunitygrants.com.
- CA Fwd will hold an event on “Money, Schools, Jobs and You – A Bipartisan Conversation in Clovis” at the Center for Advanced Research Technology on Tuesday, Sept. 29, from 6-8 p.m. Speakers are Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin; former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed; Pete Peterson, executive director of Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership; and Marshall Tuck, Educator in Residence, New Teacher Center. Event is free but registration is required. More information: www.CAFWD.org.
- 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.
- 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 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 availablehere.
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/
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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