September 17, 2014


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Political Briefs

Top stories

John Myers: Drought becomes powerful political tool for Brown, lawmakers – Gov. Jerry Brown didn’t miss a beat on Tuesday when asked what made a deal come together on a first-ever law regulating the use of groundwater in California. “First of all, we’ve got a drought,” said Brown. “And that’s got everybody’s attention.” And that attention has allowed Brown, partially in public and a lot behind the scenes, to wield some real power on one of the most contentious issues in the history of the Golden State. On Tuesday, the governor signed into law three bills that put in place a first series of steps to limit what, until now, has been almost limitless: the power of individuals and industries to tap underground water supplies.  Myers in KQEDAP articleLA Times articleSacramento Bee article

Jerry Brown surges ahead with the ‘non-campaign’ campaign – Gov. Jerry Brown has $22 million in the bank and a 21-point lead in the polls, but as he seeks a historic fourth term, he’s conducting one of the most unusual re-election campaigns ever witnessed by state voters – one in which he hasn’t starred in a single TV or radio spot, campaign mailer, or Web video.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Valley politics

Candidates face off at Visalia forum – Seven candidates on Tulare County’s November ballot discussed immigration, dealing with California’s drought and the state’s plans to build a high-speed rail line Tuesday evening during a candidates forum in the Visalia Convention Center.  Visalia Times-Delta article

Merced sheriff’s candidate Warnke clarifies ‘tent city’ comments – Merced County sheriff’s candidate Vern Warnke on Tuesday clarified his position on the possibility of implementing the so-called tent city model of county jail inmate housing used by a well-known Arizona sheriff.  Merced Sun-Star article

Fresno County judge candidates Gamoian, Hill debate – Watch a replay of Monday’s debate between Fresno County Superior Court judge candidates Lisa Gamoian and Rachel Hill. The debate, broadcast by the Community Media Access Collaborative (CMAC), was part of the Rotary Club of Fresno’s luncheon meeting. Bill McEwen, The Bee’s editorial page editor, was the moderator.  Fresno Bee article

David Losa: Is it time for introspection in our district? – The retired Bakersfield resident writes, “So much has been said and written about the performance of Congressman Kevin McCarthy that I feel a lot of us are tempted to say, “Same old stuff.” Now I think is the time for introspection to try to determine what has happened, how it happened, and why. Everyone is probably going to agree with me that there are always two sides to the story. To find out what those two sides involves seeing the issue or issues objectively.”  Losa op-ed in Bakersfield Californian

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

Catching up with Ashley Swearengin – A barrage of attacks from her Democratic rival has Ashley Swearengin, Fresno’s mayor and the Republican candidate for state controller, convinced her campaign is running strong.  Political Blotter

Peter Weber: A very important election – The retired business executive from the Fresno area writes, “Despite the virtual certainty that Governor Brown will win his bid for reelection, voter’s voices at the ballot box in November will count more than they have in a very long time. First, because passage of Proposition 1, the Water Bond, is critical to the future of California’s economy and because passage of Proposition 2, the Rainy Day Fund, is critical to the future stability of California’s finances.  And second because of three races for constitutional offices with great importance to how our state is governed.” Weber in Fox & Hounds

Joe Mathews: More transparency needed in Ballot Initiative Transparency Act – The good government coalition backing SB 1253 argues that the bill represents significant ballot initiative reform – it does not, as I’ve explained here and here previously – by emphasizing the provisions to improve transparency in the measure, which is called the Ballot Initiative Transparency Act. But even in transparency, this legislation falls short.  Mathews in Fox & Hounds

New Gingrich: What California can learn from red states on crime and punishment – The former Speaker of the House writes, “It is time to stop wasting taxpayer dollars on locking up low-level offenders. Proposition 47 on the November ballot will do this by changing six nonviolent, petty offenses from felony punishments (which now can carry prison time) to misdemeanor punishments and local accountability.” Gingrich op-ed in LA Times

LA County board wades into debate on medical malpractice insurance – Los Angeles County supervisors waded into a debate on the merits of a November ballot initiative that would raise the cap on medical malpractice claims for pain and suffering.  LA Times article


San Francisco supervisors OK funds for undocumented kids legal aid – The board voted to draw $2.1 million from a city reserve over the next two years to provide lawyers for undocumented youth and parents with children who are now residing in San Francisco as they await expedited immigration proceedings.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Other areas

Dan Walters: Three obscure bills show how big policy gets buried – In time-dishonored fashion, many of the bills were either newly minted or underwent last-minute changes and therefore received only cursory attention. Buried in them were some fairly significant changes of public policy. These three measures typify the syndrome.  Walters column in Sacramento Bee

State Sen. Alex Padilla on Valley Edition – Californians may soon need to give up one staple of the trip to the grocery store – the single use plastic grocery bag. Governor Brown has indicated that he will most likely sign a new bill on his desk that will effectively outlaw the bags. The co-author of that bill, State Senator Alex Padilla (D-Los Angeles) joined us on Valley Edition this week.  KVPR report

News Briefs

Top Stories

Poverty rate posts first notable drop since ’06; Latinos show big strides – The poorest Americans, particularly those who are Latino, finally are showing signs of joining in the economic recovery as the nation’s poverty rate dropped significantly last year for the first time since 2006. The improving labor market drove the decrease in the rate to 14.5% from 15%, which was near the highest level in a generation, the Census Bureau said Tuesday.  LA Times article

Stockton police reach benchmark; sales-tax officers hired – The Stockton Police Department reached an important benchmark in its recruiting efforts Tuesday, achieving the requisite staffing levels needed to activate funding from a voter-approved initiative to hire additional officers.  Stockton Record article

Jobs and the Economy

Outlets at Tejon’s opening brings little worry to Tulare – Tulare leaders said the opening last month of Outlets at Tejon at the Interstate 5 and Highway 99 junction has so far had little impact on business activity at the Tulare Outlets Center, which brings in about 15 percent of the city’s sales tax revenue.  Visalia Times-Delta article

San Joaquin County real GDP growth up in 2013 – San Joaquin County’s gross domestic product rose nearly 2 percent in 2013, the strongest year-to-year gain seen since the start of the Great Recession, federal economic watchers reported Tuesday.  Stockton Record article

Stanislaus County home prices up 18 percent – Stanislaus County home prices continue to bounce along on a generally upward trend, August sales data show. Median-priced Stanislaus homes sold for $219,750 last month. That was about $5,000 more than what they went for in July, but $5,000 less than June’s median price, CoreLogic DataQuick sales statistics show. Modesto Bee article

Tulare County approves $1.009 billion budget – Tulare County Supervisors have approved the county’s largest budget ever at $1.009 billion, the first to ever exceed a billion dollars. Chief Administrative Officer Jean Rousseau told the supervisors that there is room in this budget to pay down county debts, unfreeze six county jobs and to add $2 million to the county’s General Fund Reserve.  Visalia Times-Delta article

Fresno Bee: Giants’ owners hold their hammer over Fresno – It would be nice if the Giants continue to groom their future players in Fresno. That would mean City Hall finally is serious about addressing some of our city’s shortcomings.  Fresno Bee editorial

Reds may not renew affiliation with Bakersfield Blaze – The Cincinnati Reds have not renewed their affiliation contract with the Bakersfield Blaze, leaving the local minor-league baseball team in limbo for the next two weeks as it searches for a major-league parent organization. But rest assured, said Blaze assistant general manager Dan Besbris: The Blaze isn’t going anywhere.Bakersfield Californian article

LA Chamber formally denounces Garcetti plan for $13.25 minimum wage – The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce formally came out against Mayor Eric Garcetti’s $13.25 an hour minimum wage proposal on Tuesday, saying that boosting the rate would “reduce, not increase the number of jobs” in the city.  LA Times article

San Diego wage hike foes exceed signature goal – Opponents of gradually raising San Diego’s minimum wage to $11.50 an hour by 2017 said Tuesday they have collected and submitted significantly more than enough signatures to require a referendum in June 2016.  U-T San Diego articleKPBS article

Judge affirms ruling; lawsuit against Kings arena subsidy still alive – A lawsuit challenging Sacramento’s subsidy for the new Kings arena has cleared a legal hurdle, keeping the suit alive. Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley last week mostly affirmed a tentative ruling, issued two weeks earlier, that knocked down a portion of the lawsuit but said much of the case remains intact.  Sacramento Bee article

NASA picks Boeing and SpaceX to ferry astronauts – NASA is a giant step closer to launching Americans again from U.S. soil. On Tuesday, the space agency announced it has picked Boeing and SpaceX to transport astronauts to the International Space Station in the next few years.  AP articleLA Times article

Tulare County Fair attendance up 59 percent – More than 103,000 attended the Tulare County Fair earlier this month, surpassing last year’s attendance by 59 percent.  The Business Journal article

GET board members give CEO $4,100 raise – Six days after the Bakersfield City Council dismissed two of five Golden Empire Transit board members, the remaining three completed CEO Karen King’s performance evaluation Tuesday and gave her a nearly $4,100 raise.  Bakersfield Californian article

Ride services decimate San Francisco taxi industry’s business – The fall of the taxi industry in San Francisco, as less-regulated ride services have taken hold, has been both steep and sharp. The number of trips taken by taxi plummeted 65 percent in just 15 months, according to a report presented to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board Tuesday.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Protestors say California too slow in spending $2 billion aid to homeowners – Two dozen protesters wearing yellow T-shirts marched through a downtown Sacramento conference room and chanted slogans Tuesday during a meeting of the California Housing Finance Agency’s board of directors.  Sacramento Bee article

Gov. Jerry Brown to sign California film tax credit bill – Gov. Jerry Brown is poised to put his signature to a bill that would triple annual funding for California’s film and TV tax credit program.  LA Times article

LA Fire Department gets new anti-nepotism rules in wake of hiring controversy – The Los Angeles Fire Commission adopted new rules Tuesday to prevent conflicts of interest and reform a firefighter hiring process that a city report called “tainted” by concerns of nepotism.  LA Times article

California operating engineers approve contract with Gov. Jerry Brown – After months of rancorous talks over pay and a threat to strike, California’s state building operators have ratified a contract with Gov. Jerry Brown.  Sacramento Bee article

MLS executives with meet with team owners, party with fans in Sacramento – When Major League Soccer executives visit Sacramento on Thursday to discuss a potential expansion team, they’ll get high-level briefings with the corporate community – and a chance to party with fans.  Sacramento Bee article

LA’s DWP managers agree to undergo formal evaluations – Hundreds of managers in the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power are agreeing to formal, annual evaluations as part of a new pact with the utility — a groundbreaking move for an agency long targeted for reform.  LA Times article

Michael Hilzik: Why did it take so long for CalPERS to dump its lousy hedge funds? – That big thunderclap you might have heard Monday afternoon rumbling from California to the New York island (apologies to Woody Guthrie) was the sound of CalPERS, the nation’s largest public pension fund, dumping its entire portfolio of hedge fund investments. The faint murmur that followed was a chorus of investment market analysts wondering, “What took it so long?”  Hiltzik in LA Times

Buy a car? The DMV may owe you money – If you bought a car from a private party in California, the Department of Motor Vehicles may have over-charged you in taxes, state officials said Tuesday.  San Francisco Chronicle article


Things to know about California groundwater law – Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Tuesday that will require the first-ever rules for pumping groundwater in California. Why lawmakers and the governor acted, and what the new laws mean.  AP articleKVPR reportHanford Sentinel articleMerced Sun-Star editorialModesto Bee articleDan Walters Daily in Sacramento Bee

Lois Henry: Expect turf battles over new groundwater legislation – There will be stutter steps. And lawsuits. No doubt. But the groundwater legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday will ultimately go a long way to help get California’s water house in order.  Henry column in Bakersfield Californian

‘First Look’: ‘We are in chronic water overdraft,’ water district manager says – Do you let your water run while you brush your teeth? Do you water your lawn midday? You can make simple changes to conserve water, especially since in August, Gov. Jerry Brown declared California is in a drought.  Bakersfield Californian article

Farmer lawsuit blames crop loss on oil companies’ waste injections – A local farming company has sued four Kern County oil producers, claiming their waste disposal injections contaminated groundwater it uses for irrigation.  Bakersfield Californian article

More settle with Modesto Irrigation District on alleged water theft – Half the people accused of stealing water from the Modesto Irrigation District have negotiated settlements with the district, effectively canceling all penalties.  Modesto Bee article

Drought a rare opportunity to find ‘buried treasure’ – Even the most wild-eyed optimist might have difficulty finding anything positive to say about the California drought. For three hours on Saturday, however, the drought might actually help scores of volunteers as they remove hundreds of thousands of pounds of trash from our lakes, rivers and streams.  Stockton Record article

Oakdale Irrigation District rejects request to fund Paulsell Valley expansion study – The idea of expanding Oakdale Irrigation District water deliveries into the Paulsell Valley has been kicked around for years. But if that’s going to happen, the farmers there are going to have to bear the entire cost.  Modesto Bee article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Ceres confirms probe of police use of cameras in workplace – City officials confirmed today that they have conducted and are conducting investigations into the use of cameras by police officers in the workplace and the extent to which the cameras were hidden or concealed.  Modesto Bee article

Police shoot, kill murder suspect in central Fresno – A gang member sought in connection with three murders was shot and killed Tuesday morning by police officers sent to arrest him at a central Fresno apartment complex.  Fresno Bee article

Merced forum on safe protesting educates, draws questions and ire – A forum meant to educate Merced residents on safe ways to protest drew about 50 people Tuesday night, but irked a few members of the audience who took exception to the screening of some questions.  Merced Sun-Star article

Stanislaus County won’t change policy on use of law enforcement vehicles at events – Despite a recommendation from the civil grand jury, the county won’t change a policy that sets boundaries for the use of Sheriff’s Department helicopters and other county-owned equipment.  Modesto Bee article

Newman leaving Stanislaus Regional 911 to contract with Oakdale dispatchers – The Newman Police Department is leaving Stanislaus Regional 911 and will have its emergency calls handled by Oakdale dispatchers under an arrangement officials say will save the cities money and provide them with better service.  Modesto Bee article

LAPD to give up some weaponry obtained in federal program – Los Angeles Unified school police officials said Tuesday that the department will relinquish some of the military weaponry it acquired through a federal program that furnishes local law enforcement with surplus equipment. The move comes as education and civil rights groups have called on the U.S. Department of Defense to halt the practice for schools.  LA Times article

Daniele Watts, LAPD encounter raises question:  When must you show ID? –  In the aftermath of the uproar over ”Django Unchained” actress Daniele Watts’ detainment by Los Angeles police officers, questions have been raised about what rights an individual has when approached by law enforcement.  LA Times articleRobin Abcarian column in LA Times

Walking the dog without a leash? You could soon be fined $100 or more –  If you walk your dog without a leash in Los Angeles, you could soon be slapped with a $100 fine — or more if it happens again. That’s because the Los Angeles City Council adopted a new system Tuesday that allows police officers to issue citations for minor “quality of life” crimes that would typically be resolved with a warning.  LA Times article


Fresno State receives national honor for excellence in diversity – Fresno State received the 2014 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award from “INSIGHT Into Diversity” magazine, one of the nation’s largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.  Fresno State news releaseVisalia Times-Delta article

Corinthian College private student loans could be wiped clear in federal lawsuit – In an unusual move to help those who took out private loans to attend the for-profit Heald, Everest and WyoTech colleges, the federal government is suing to wipe away $569 million in outstanding private debt held by tens of thousands of current and former students.  San Jose Mercury News articleLA Times article

Aera to help Bakersfield College develop science center – Aera Energy will donate $500,000 to help Bakersfield College transform a maintenance building into a center for students pursuing science and technology careers, officials plan to announce Wednesday.  Bakersfield California article

Pair get jail time in Fresno State hazing death – The mother of a Fresno State fraternity pledge who died during a night of binge-drinking in 2012 told the two defendants connected with his death Tuesday that she knows they didn’t intend to harm him.  Fresno Bee article

Fresno Pacific students seek answers after president’s abrupt resignation – A determined group of Fresno Pacific University students and faculty members gathered on campus Tuesday night seeking to learn more about why university President Pete Menjares resigned last Friday.  Fresno Bee article

Lawsuit challenges teachers’ compulsory dues – Vergara v. State of California, threatening teacher protection laws in California, has consumed the attention of the California Teachers Association. But another lawsuit working its way through the courts is striking at the core of the CTA’s power: its authority to automatically deduct hundreds of millions of dollars a year in dues from the paychecks of both members and non-members.  EdSource article

Historically black colleges open doors at Modesto Junior College – Busloads of high school students crowded the Historically Black Colleges and Universities recruitment fair at Modesto Junior College. At least a handful got back on the buses with scholarships in hand. Many more had acceptance letters in the bag.  Modesto Bee article

San Jose State investigates campus group’s use of student funds – San Jose State is investigating whether a San Jose State student government misused its funds and its executive director is on indefinite administrative leave during the review.  San Jose Mercury News article

San Francisco to require private schools to be seismically evaluated – San Francisco will become the first city in California to close a major loophole in laws that are supposed to keep schoolchildren safe during earthquakes with a vote Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors.  LA Times article


Climate change may add billions to wildfire costs, study says –  As wildfires burned in California, a study by several major environmental groups estimated that climate change could mean that future blazes will be much larger and add billions of dollars to already costly losses.  LA Times article

Residents rally as fire continues burning near Bass Lake – Thirty-three homes destroyed. That number continues to be a startling reality for residents of this small mountain community south of Yosemite National Park that was ravaged by the Courtney fire. Residents were escorted into Bass Lake Heights — now rubble-strewn and smoking — for the first time Tuesday afternoon.  Fresno Bee articleKVPR report

Stockton Record: Wildfires show need for more preventative measures – Given the drought, there’s no guarantee these type of fires would not have occurred even if better preventative approaches had been taken. But we urge state officials to look once again at the potential for more preventative measures.  Stockton Record editorial

Earth Log: Fireplace owners, the wood-burning vote is this week – Set the sweaty September aside for a moment. Your wood fires in your fireplace on Thanksgiving and Christmas will probably go away — this year. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District board is scheduled Thursday to vote on tighter wood-burning restrictions.  Fresno Bee article

Arvin City Council to petition state to inspect pipelines – The Arvin City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to make a historic petition to the state to test the town’s small pipelines in an effort to avoid future leaks like the one that has kept residents out of their homes for six months. According to the state Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, Arvin is the first municipality to pursue such a petition.  Bakersfield Californian article

California’s toxics regulator eyes lead fishing weights – California fishermen might need to swap out the content of their tackle boxes, depending on the progress of a proposed state regulation targeting what are considered chemically hazardous weights and sinkers.  Sacramento Bee article

Big firms agree to cut use of coolants that add to global warming – A week before world leaders will discuss how to slow the increase of dangerous gases in the atmosphere, the Obama administration announced that it has reached agreements with a range of major companies to voluntarily phase out a class of chemicals, used in refrigerators and air conditioners, and seen as contributors to global warming.  LA Times article

Valley beetle remains threatened species, but regulators shrink its range – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday withdrew a proposal to remove the valley elderberry longhorn beetle from protected status, but Kings, Tulare and Kern counties will no longer be subject to the regulatory protection of the beetle.  Fresno Bee article

Sheet metal reflection cause of California fire – A Southern California wildfire that prompted evacuations over the weekend in the Cleveland National Forest was started by the sun’s rays reflecting off sheet metal that edged a homeowner’s backyard garden, fire officials said Monday.  AP article

Health/Human Services

UC Merced students spread the word about Valley fever – Through carnival-style games and free food researchers at UC Merced took a new approach at introducing students tococcidioidomycosis, also known as Valley fever.  Merced Sun-Star article

Poll: Most Californians lack knowledge of plans’ mental health benefits – Less than 40 percent of Californians realize that health insurance plans generally cover mental health treatment as well as other types of medical care, according to a new Field Poll that found a lack of knowledge about mental health assistance and varying levels of willingness to seek it.  Sacramento Bee article

New pharmacy pathway program comes to Clovis Community College Center – Local Clovis Community College Center students hoping to someday become pharmacists will soon have a new pathway to their dream career. A $50,000 grant from the California State University system will help create a transfer program that will give aspiring pharmacy students who do well in school guaranteed admission to California Health Sciences University in Clovis.  Fresno Bee article

Gov. Brown signs bill to let pharmacists distribute overdose antidote – California is joining five other states in allowing residents to access the overdose antidote naloxone without a prescription. Governor Jerry Brown signed the legislation into law on Monday.  KPCC report

Obesity rates have stabilized, but our waistlines are growing – Americans may have stopped putting on pounds, but their waistlines are still expanding, according to a new analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  LA Times article

New Anthem Blue Cross plan takes on Kaiser – Taking aim at HMO giant Kaiser Permanente, insurer Anthem Blue Cross is joining forces with several big-name hospitals and their doctors to create an unusual health plan option for employers in Southern California.  LA Times article

OC mercury contamination cases highlight dangers of homemade creams – It’s a reality in many immigrant communities: some dark-skinned people use products to make their skin lighter. But the products aren’t always safe. In April, 40 people in six Orange County homes, mostly in Santa Ana, were exposed to dangerous levels of mercury after someone in each household used skin lightening cream laced with the toxic metal, health officials said. At least one young girl was hospitalized with symptoms of mercury poisoning.  KPCC report

Beleaguered Tulare hospital planning second tower – Despite a multi-year delay and a $40-$50 million shortfall to complete its first medical tower project, Tulare Regional Medical Center (TRMC) is planning to build a second 111,000 square-foot tower with 105 more patient rooms.  The Business Journal article

Merced County moving forward on senior volunteer program – The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday received an update on a volunteer program aimed at senior citizens who no longer receive daily visits due to Merced County’s elimination of hot meal deliveries.  Merced Sun-Star article

David Lazarus: A cure for diabetes? Don’t look to chiropractors, state says – There are thousands of competent chiropractors in California helping people deal with back or neck pain. And then there are some who run newspaper ads with bold claims about breakthrough treatments for diabetes and other chronic illnesses.  Lazarus in LA Times

Land Use/Housing

‘Tiny house movement’ takes hold in Sonoma County – Fleck considers himself part of a national “tiny house movement” that embraces homes that are about 500 square feet or less. Sonoma County is one of the trend’s hubs. County planning chief Tennis Wick says the relatively high cost of living is one reason: The median home price hovers around $500,000.  KQED report


Eight firms picked to help rail agency buy Valley land – Up to $35 million will be divided among eight firms over the next four years to help the California High-Speed Rail Authority play catch-up in acquiring the land it needs for its bullet-train route through the San Joaquin Valley. The agency’s board, meeting Tuesday in Palmdale, granted CEO Jeff Morales the authority to ink deals with consulting firms that will be responsible for negotiating with property owners for more than 1,000 parcels along the high-speed rail line in Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern counties.  Fresno Bee article

Frontier quits Fresno-Denver flights as Fresno airport nears passenger record – Frontier Airlines’ service between Fresno and Denver appears to be flying off into the sunset — again — as the airline confirmed that it is pulling out of the Fresno market in early 2015. Jan. 5 will be the carrier’s final flights between the two cities. The news comes even as the U.S. Department of Transportation released figures this week that underscored what representatives at Fresno Yosemite International Airport already knew: 2014 is shaping up to be a record-breaking year for passenger travel through the Fresno airport.  Fresno Bee article

Merced council doesn’t change expansion plan for Parsons Avenue – After more than 21/2 hours of debate and comments from scores of Merced residents on the future of Parsons Avenue – as well as three failed votes – the City Council on Monday made no change to plans to eventually expand the roadway into a major north-south route.  Merced Sun-Star article

Audi gets first permit to test self-driving cars on California roads – Audi announced Tuesday that it is the first automaker to get a permit from the state of California to test self-driving cars on public roads. New state regulations took effect the same day specifically allowing such testing for the first time in California, per a law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2012.  LA Times article

Self-driving cars now need a permit in California – Computer-driven cars have been testing their skills on California roads for more than four years — but until now, the Department of Motor Vehicles wasn’t sure just how many were rolling around. That changed Tuesday, when the agency required self-driving cars to be registered and issued testing permits that let three companies dispatch 29 vehicles onto freeways and into neighborhoods — with a human behind the wheel in case the onboard equipment makes a bad decision.  AP article

Three-foot buffer law for cyclists now in effect – California’s new three-foot law in effect Tuesday, requiring drivers to give cyclists 36 inches of elbow room, will not lead to a bout of ticket writing, Sacramento area local law enforcement officials predicted this week.  Sacramento Bee articleLA Times article

Other Areas

Fresno County board falls short of votes needed to sell Elkhorn Boot Camp – A majority of Fresno County supervisors want to sell the old Elkhorn Boot Camp near Caruthers, but they were unable Tuesday to put it up for auction.  Fresno Bee article

Additional claims against Stockton diocese – The Diocese of Stockton said it has received 34 claims of sexual abuse since it notified the public of a deadline to file such claims imposed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. In a statement, the diocese also announced that no priest in active ministry was named in those claims.  Stockton Record article

Michael Fitzgerald: Numerous museums in works to preserve Stockton’s history – Today: budding Stockton museums. Tuesday’s paper reported that the Filipino-American National Historical Society will open a modest museum in the Newberry Building downtown. In fact, numerous local museums are getting off the ground. Others are somewhere between taxiing for takeoff and assembling themselves from a kit in the hangar.  Fitzgerald column in Stockton Record

Valerie Bertinelli tells Fresno women’s conference participants to be fearless – Actress Valerie Bertinelli asked a record crowd of 3,451 people at the Central California Women’s Conference to close their eyes and take a deep breath.  Fresno Bee article

Concerns surround Lemoore Sports Complex – A recent dispute over the “fair use” of the Lemoore Sports Complex has led to questions about who is really in charge of the facility. Hanford Sentinel article

San Francisco supervisor says Fire Department puts public safety at risk – Supervisor London Breed will announce Tuesday that she has lost confidence in the leadership of the San Francisco Fire Department, saying its inability to get ambulances to medical emergencies quickly is putting public safety at risk. She also wants a change to city law that would require minimum standards for emergency medical services.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Blacks, Hispanics have doubts about media accuracy – A new study shows a large majority of African-American and Hispanic news consumers don’t fully trust the media to portray their communities accurately, a statistic that could be troubling for the news industry as the minority population of the United States grows.  AP article

Kern supervisors appoint three department heads – Kern County supervisors appointed three long-term interim department heads as permanent ones Tuesday. The three have been doing the job for months following the retirements of their predecessors.  Bakersfield Californian article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – It would be nice if the Giants continue to groom their future players in Fresno. That would mean City Hall finally is serious about addressing some of our city’s shortcomings.

Merced Sun-Star – Merced County must make the best of new groundwater law.

Modesto Bee – Stanislaus County must make the best of new groundwater law.

Sacramento Bee – President Obama is finally getting serious about Ebola outbreakNFL talks a great game, but advertisers will determine its response to off-field violence.

Stockton Record – Given the drought, there’s no guarantee these type of fires would not have occurred even if better preventative approaches had been taken. But we urge state officials to look once again at the potential for more preventative measures.