September 17, 2015


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Political Stories

Top stories

California farm drainage deal faces Capitol Hill currents — A Congress that has stumbled over a California water bill amid record drought now faces a challenging new fight over irrigation drainage. But this time, some of the state’s most politically powerful farmers have the Obama administration explicitly on their side. Together, they will be seeking approval of a far-reaching settlement that satisfies the Justice Department and Westlands Water District but alarms critics. McClatchy Newspapers article

California initiative would require more campaign finance disclosure — A coalition of campaign-finance transparency advocates said Wednesday they are pursuing an initiative for next year’s statewide ballot that will shed more light on political spending and eliminate some of the perks of elected office in California. Sacramento Bee article

State budget

August state budget revenues top projections — California tax revenues continue to stream in. The state is nearly half a billion dollars above budget projections just two months into the new fiscal year – though there’s one big caveat. Capital Public Radio report

Gov. Brown 

Jerry Brown talks wildfires with Obama, keeps goading GOP — As the Republican presidential candidates prepared to debate Wednesday in Simi Valley, Gov. Jerry Brown took to CNN – the network carrying the contest – to goad them once again on climate change. Sacramento Bee articleLA Times article

Video: What Ben Carson thinks of Jerry Brown’s flash drive — In his scolding of Republican presidential candidates on the issue of climate change, Gov. Jerry Brown last week sent retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson a flash drive containing a United Nations report on the subject. Brown’s flash drive, it would appear, did little to change Carson’s view. Speaking to reporters before the Republican presidential debate Wednesday, Carson said he was “already quite familiar with the data.” Capitol AlertLA Times article

Valley politics

Bakersfield Mayor Hall: Please stop asking if I’m running for re-election – An emotional Mayor Harvey Hall closed Wednesday’s council meeting by apologizing to his constituents for not being able to keep up with his public duties the way he used to because of continuing pain he’s in following two surgeries. Hall also urged people to quit calling his office asking if he’s going to run for re-election next year. He said he won’t make a decision and announcement until next February when the filing period opens. Bakersfield Californian article 

SD 5: Republican Hesselein to run against Galgiani — Alameda County Drug Task Force Commander Derrick Hesselein, R-Tracy, has announced he is running for the state Senate’s 5th District seat held by Cathleen Galgiani, D-Stockton, in 2016. Stockton Record article

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

Will California guarantee the right to know the names of political donors? – Dubbed the Voter’s Right to Know Act, the proposed amendment would enshrine in the state Constitution the right to campaign finance disclosure — making California the first state to put it on par with the rights to speech and privacy, among other fundamental guarantees. Washington Post article

Padilla makes third Valley visit in as many months – He may not be in former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s league — yet — but California’s Secretary of State, Alex Padilla, sure looks like he’s making the central San Joaquin Valley a home away from home. Padilla, who took office in January, made his third area visit in as many months on Wednesday. The visits continue to fuel speculation that Padilla is already campaigning for a higher office, such as U.S. Senate. Fresno Bee article 

Chavez touts his U.S. Senate credentials — Oceanside Republican Rocky Chávez, a state Assembly member and U.S. Senate candidate, came to the central San Joaquin Valley on Wednesday, where he spoke in Porterville to the Southern Tulare County Republican Women Federated luncheon. Fresno Bee article


Chronicle announces crowdfunded immigration project — We’re starting a news experiment at The San Francisco Chronicle, and we need you, our readers, to help make it a success. Wednesday we became the first newspaper-based media company to pursue crowdfunding with Beacon, an Oakland-based journalism startup. Our first collaboration will produce a multimedia project on issues surrounding immigration and the region’s tech industry. San Francisco Chronicle article

Ruben Navarrette Jr.: Wanted: Serious leadership on immigration — I’m often asked which of the two major political parties is better on immigration. It’s a trick question. They’re both dreadful. Navarrette column in Visalia Times-Delta

Other areas

George Skelton: The time is right for a tax on oil extraction to pay for California road repairs — Caifornia still is the only major oil-producing state that doesn’t tax the goo as it’s pumped from the earth. Yes, high-tax California. But never has there been a better time to change that and start making the oil companies pay their fair share. Skelton column in LA Times

Catholic Church quietly guides efforts against assisted death measure – The Catholic Church has for decades waded into matters of state, on issues as varied as immigration and abortion to the death penalty and climate change. The church also advocates on behalf of a substantial financial empire that includes hospitals and schools. To that end, it has resorted to more traditional lobbying approaches, spending hundreds of thousands annually to influence the Capitol. Sacramento Bee article

Joel Fox: When temporary is not temporary — Of course, Proposition 30 was never meant to be a temporary tax by some of its proponents. A little more than a year after it passed supporters were talking about extending it or making it permanent. Neither is the extension of the Prop 30 income tax piece now offered up by the California Teachers Association (CTA) meant to be temporary. The newly filed initiative pushes the deadline of the “temporary” tax from 2019 to 2031. What do you think will happen then? Fox in Fox & Hounds

Sacramento Bee: Bills that should never become law – Gov. Jerry Brown calls himself the Capitol’s brooding omnipresence. We suggest another moniker: turkey bill killer, not to defame the noble bird. Sacramento Bee editorial

Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye and Alex Padilla: Engage in democracy to protect your rights – Cantil-Sakauye, the California Supreme Court’s chief justice, and Secretary of State Padilla write, “On Constitution Day, we celebrate these rights. But to preserve them, we must exercise them through active civic engagement and join together to provide the next generation, and each generation thereafter, with a high-quality civics education.” Cantil-Sakauye/Padilla op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Cathleen Decker: Analysis: This time, Trump is grounded by barrage from his GOP rivals —  All summer long — including in last month’s first presidential debate — Donald Trump has floated above the rest of the Republican presidential field, like a malevolent puppeteer pulling everyone else’s strings. On Wednesday night, in an often bludgeoning debate at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, the New Yorker was forced earthward by a blast of criticism from most of the rest of the field. Decker in LA TimesWashington Post articleNew York Times article

Donald Trump accused Carly Fiorina of being a terrible businesswoman.  Here are the facts  — Carly Fiorina, the former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, is running for president on her business smarts. She led the company from 1999 to 2005, the first female head of a Fortune 50 firm — and controversies from her high-profile tenure resurfaced Wednesday at the Republican debate. Washington Post article

Fiorina rises as foreign policy takes center stage in debate – Carly Fiorina emerged Wednesday as a formidable challenger to front-runner Donald Trump, as issues such as national security got a serious airing in the second GOP debate and suggested a turning point in the 2016 campaign. McClatchy Newspapers articleAP articleSan Francisco Chronicle article 

Mary McNamara: Forget the debate, CNN orchestrates a political smackdown for GOP presidential candidates – Mere minutes into the second leg of Wednesday night’s Republican presidential debate, Donald Trump offered his idea of foreign policy: Instead of fighting Islamic State in Syria, the United States should let the militants fight it out themselves and then pick up the remnants. CNN seemed to have the same strategy. McNamara column in LA Times

Hillary Clinton talks emails, roasts the Donald in ‘Tonight Show’ appearance — Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton visited “The Tonight Show” on Wednesday, making her first late-night appearance since declaring her presidential candidacy in April. LA Times article

News Stories

Top Stories 

Census: Health coverage expands in 2014; poverty, wages stagnate – The share of Americans without health insurance fell to 10.4 percent in 2014 as nearly 9 million people gained health coverage, according to government figures released Wednesday. Meanwhile, the nation’s median household income – the amount at which half of Americans earn more or less – remained virtually unchanged at $53,657 in 2014, the bureau reported. The poverty rate was likewise unchanged at 14.8 percent in 2014, with nearly 47 million Americans living in poverty. McClatchy Newspapers article

Bakersfield council postpones vote on water-wasting fines – The Bakersfield City Council on Wednesday punted on a plan to begin fining people who flout water-conservation rules when confusion broke out over whether it would apply citywide or just to people on the city water system. Bakersfield Californian article

Jobs and the Economy

Sales tax increase not garnering support among Modesto candidates – It can’t be good for supporters of Measure G — Modesto’s one-half percent general sales tax increase — when three-quarters of the dozen candidates for mayor and City Council in the November election don’t support it. Modesto Bee article

Moody’s boosts Fresno’s credit ratings — Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded Fresno’s general obligation bond rating to A3 from Baa1. Moody’s upgraded various lease-backed bonds one notch. Some of these bonds went to Ba1 from Ba2. Others went to Ba2 from Ba3. A3 is investment grade. Ba1 and Ba2 are at the top end of speculative grade. Fresno Bee articleThe Business Journal article

Ag, industry expansions brewing in southwest Turlock – Eight projects, large and small, are in some phase of the planning and building pipeline within Turlock’s Turlock Regional Industrial Park adopted in 2006. Its black-and-white vision of “an Agri-Science Cluster” is coming to life nearly a decade later in the swath bounded by West Fulkerth, Highway 99, West Linwood Avenue and Washington Road. Modesto Bee article

Xerox hiring to expand Cal LifeLine call center in Fresno — An expanding Xerox call center in Fresno that handles phone inquiries for the California LifeLine telephone program is seeking applications to fill at least 30 positions as bilingual customer-service representatives. Fresno Bee article

Coming attraction: Riverbank businesses urged to build on IMAX coming to town — Galaxy Theatres saw an attractive market in Riverbank that led it to open a 12-screen cineplex here in 2000, upgrade to its Luxury+ format last year and now be building a 440-seat IMAX theater. President and CEO Frank Rimkus gave a pep talk of sorts to a Chamber of Commerce audience gathered at the Patterson Road business Wednesday morning. He urged business leaders to take advantage of the same factors that attracted Galaxy and to build on the success the theater has had. Modesto Bee article 

Nonprofit sees bright future for troubled Granite Park site – Two businessmen want to turn Granite Park into a place with lots of games and no risk to City Hall. In other words, the seemingly impossible dream is here again for the controversial 20 acres of city-owned land in east-central Fresno. Terance Frazier and TJ Cox are pitching a plan that calls for about $2.7 million of improvements to Granite Park, located on Cedar Avenue about a mile south of Fresno State. Fresno Bee article

Livingston wants to rebrand self with sweet potatoes – It’s the end of the road for Livingston’s longtime city motto “The Last Stop,” a reference to a long-ago traffic signal that once stopped motorists on Highway 99. The City Council agreed Tuesday that it will replace the outdated slogan with a new motto honoring the community’s most celebrated crop. Livingston will tout itself as “The Sweet Potato Capital.” Merced Sun-Star article

Sacramento area’s income rises faster than state’s, nation’s – In a sign that middle-class families are benefiting from the improving economy, household incomes increased across the region and state in 2014, according to census data released Thursday. Sacramento Bee article

Valley, Butte fire regions face long road to economic recovery – The Valley and Butte fires struck areas of the state that could least afford a natural disaster. Already saddled with relatively low incomes and high unemployment, Lake and Calaveras counties’ rural economies could take years to recover completely. Tourism could suffer, and the destruction of hundreds of homes will prompt residents to leave their communities. Some could leave for good. Sacramento Bee article

Toys R Us plans to hire fewer holiday season workers — Toys R Us says it won’t hire as many holiday season employees as it did last year, but the toy and baby products retailer says it will give current employees and seasonal workers a chance to work more hours. AP article

Sacramento Kings rename plaza site Downtown Commons — Much of Downtown Plaza is gone, and now the name is disappearing, too. The Sacramento Kings said Wednesday they’re renaming the 44-year-old shopping mall, home of their new arena, Downtown Commons. Sacramento Bee article

Five things to watch for as Federal Reserve makes its rate hike decision — Nearly a decade after the last increase in the benchmark federal funds rate — and after almost seven years of keeping it at the unprecedented level of near-zero — central bank policymakers will announce if the time has come for an increase. Analysts said the potential for a rate hike is too close to call as the Federal Open Market Committee on Thursday wraps up its most eagerly awaited meeting in years. LA Times articleNew York Times article


First Look: Californian columnist Lois Henry talks state water mandate, local reduction – The West Kern Water District, which supplies water to places like Taft, Maricopa and other industrial buildings, seems to be facing even more censure from the state for its conservation efforts. Recently West Kern was told to reduce its water consumption by 28 percent from its 2013 usage. The only problem is, the reduction, it appears, is not within their power to control. At least 80% of it, that is. Bakersfield Californian article

What is El Nino bringing up besides rain?  Hammerhead sharks, experts say – A possible record-breaking El Niño is attracting dozens of sharks, even hammerheads, off the coast of Southern California, experts say. LA Times article

A rough year for grape growers – Last year wasn’t a great year for grape growers in the Valley, as they contended with a third, straight year of drought, which lead to losses in surface allotments and wells going dry at alarming rates. On top of that, extremely cold weather over the prior winter caused frost damage to many grape vines, further hurting production. Visalia Times-Delta article 

The shell is there, but nothing’s inside — It may seem hard to believe, but experts say this year’s pistachio crop is just a shell of its former self. Literally. Reports are coming in from some areas of the Valley of a harvest with 50 percent or more of the shells completely empty, meaning no nuts formed inside. Hanford Sentinel article 

Merced County crop report expected by late October — Crop reports released recently from San Joaquin Valley counties show records set in 2014, but residents of Merced County will have to wait until late October to learn of local results. Merced Sun-Star article 

Five named to San Joaquin County Ag Hall of Fame — To be honored in formal ceremonies Oct. 15 in Stockton are Tom Hoffman, Lodi grape grower and owner of Heritage Oak Winery; Joseph Valente, vineyard manager for John Kautz Farms in Lodi and Farm Bureau leader; Ken Vogel, Lodi cherry grower and former San Joaquin County supervisor; Ken Yasui, Tracy dry bean grower and exporter; and the late Lester Krohn, San Joaquin Delta hay and grain producer who helped establish the San Joaquin Valley Hay Growers Association. Stockton Record article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

San Jose: Undisclosed inmate death after Tyree beating spurs talk over public notice — Four days after Michael Tyree was found fatally beaten in his cell at the Santa Clara County Main Jail allegedly at the hands of three correctional officers, an inmate died at another county facility with far less attention. San Jose Mercury News article


California’s upward-mobility machine – The University of California is struggling with budget woes that have deeply affected campus life. Yet the system’s nine colleges still lead the nation in providing top-flight college education to the masses. New York Times article

Two ex-California governors come out against teacher tenure laws – Former Govs. Pete Wilson and Arnold Schwarzenegger and constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe joined the legal attack on California’s teacher tenure laws Wednesday, telling a state appeals court the job-security and seniority statutes leave some of the state’s neediest students in the hands of incompetent teachers. San Francisco Chronicle article 

UC regents chair defends proposed principles against intolerance – On the eve of what is expected to be a contentious debate over a proposed new UC policy statement on bias and free speech, the head of the UC regents board on Wednesday defended what are called “principles against intolerance.” LA Times articleSan Francisco Chronicle article

Kerman Unified boasts best attendance in Fresno County — Students in the Kerman Unified School District attend school more often than other local students, boasting a 98 percent average daily attendance rate – the highest in Fresno County. Fresno Bee article

Shawn Hubler: What college is worth in California – What college is worth is on many minds as tuition soars and paychecks stagnate. A middle-income American family now earns less than in 1999, adjusting for inflation, according to U.S. census data released Wednesday. And a new trove of federal college statistics confirms that too few institutions are delivering on the promise that higher education will boost the next generation. Hubler column in Sacramento Bee

Visalia Unified sticks to school boundary maps approved earlier this year — School trustees voted Tuesday night on boundary maps for five middle schools and four high schools, but in the end chose the same maps approved earlier this year. Fresno Bee articleVisalia Times-Delta article

Bakersfield College students rally for president – Students wandered in and out of an outdoor campus rally held Wednesday in support of Bakersfield College’s embattled president, Sonya Christian. Bakersfield Californian article

The Grade: Looking into Kern Community College District chancellor’s pay – The Kern Community College District argues that all of its colleges save money by being part of KCCD. But Bakersfield College faculty members say since the district evaluates the cost effectiveness of its own services, it’s difficult to say that structure truly results in cost savings for BC. Bakersfield Californian article

Hendrickson named to Atwater school board seat — Mark Hendrickson, Merced County’s Community and Economic Development director, hopes to “connect the dots” between education and workforce development as the new Area 2 trustee on the Atwater Elementary School District governing board. Merced Sun-Star article

Nan Austin: Technology having impact on education in myriad ways — For weeks, I have been writing about technology in education for our next Eye on Education special tab (look for it Saturday). The big takeaway: The shakeup technology brought to the economy is coming to education – it has to. Austin in Modesto Bee

Ticket broker sues Fresno State for false arrest – A ticket broker who was arrested outside the Fresno State-Nebraska football game last year has filed a civil rights lawsuit, contending campus police didn’t have probable cause to arrest and detain him for reselling game-day tickets. Fresno Bee article 

#IStandWithAhmed lesson: Curiosity is for white kids —  This week, brown children across America learned a lesson: If you try to be like Steve Jobs, you could get arrested. LA Times articleSan Francisco Chronicle article

San Francisco Unified relying on homegrown teachers and interns to fill void — San Francisco public school leaders desperately want and need people like 22-year-old Tina Yang. She was born and raised in the city, and knew she wanted to be a teacher when she was 5 years old. KQED report

LA Unified cannot blame 14-year-old for her own sexual assault, appellate court rules — The Los Angeles Unified School District cannot blame a 14-year-old girl for her own sexual assault or introduce evidence of her prior sexual history in a case involving her teacher, an appellate court ruled Wednesday. LA Times article


Butte and Valley fires among most destructive in state’s history – State fire officials are calling the Valley and Butte fires two of the most destructive in state history, ranking 9th and 14th based on the number of homes burned. Sacramento Bee articleKQED report

Rough fire containment jumps to 67 percent – Containment of the Rough fire east of Fresno jumped to 67 percent Wednesday, as cooler temperatures and higher humidity moderated the spread of the flames, officials said. At 140,760 acres, the Rough fire remains the largest active fire in California, and the largest fire in Fresno County recorded history. Fresno Bee article

Second death confirmed in Butte fire burning in foothills – Searchers using “cadaver dogs” have found two bodies in the Mountain Ranch area of Calaveras County, the first two confirmed deaths as a result of the massive Butte fire that swept through the foothills this past week. Sacramento Bee article 

Search crews look for people missing in California wildfires – Crews recovered two more bodies in homes decimated by Northern California wildfires and searched for several other people who are feared dead, even as firefighters gained ground on the massive blazes thanks to cooler weather. AP article

Butte fire may have been caused by PG&E line – A wildfire that has killed two people and destroyed more than 200 homes in the Sierra foothills may have been started by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. power lines coming into contact with a tree, a company executive said Wednesday. San Francisco Chronicle article

The California wildfires: What’s making this season so wild? – Officials were reporting one death from the Valley Fire and a second death from the Butte Fire. There were also four injuries, all to firefighters. Here are answers to some questions about the developments. New York Times article

Valley fire evacuees get first glimpse of losses as weather aids crews – After fleeing in terror three days earlier, Valley fire evacuees faced a new fear Tuesday as authorities began to arrange for them to cross barricade lines under escort and gain a first glimpse at their ravaged neighborhoods: What would they find when they got there? LA Times article

Protecting homes elsewhere, California firefighters find their own burned down — At least eight of the 585 homes destroyed in the Valley Firehere belonged to firefighters, and others lost cars or garages or had some property damage. Their families fled with the rest of the evacuees, to relatives’ homes or emergency shelters. New York Times article

Gallo donates $100,000 to wildfire relief – E.&J. Gallo Winery of Modesto has donated $100,000 to wildfire relief efforts in and near Calaveras and Lake counties. The company itself has been affected by the latter blaze, which displaced some of its North Coast employees and apparently damaged one of its vineyards, spokesman John Segale said Wednesday. Modesto Bee article

Rising seas threaten San Francisco Bay and Delta wetlands and land – Rising sea levels threaten not only structures around San Francisco Bay and the Delta but the shoreline marshes critical to the environmental health of the estuary, and the results could be “catastrophic” if action is not taken, scientists warned Thursday. Contra Costa Times article

Jeff Jardine: Butte, Old Gulch fire of 1992 have plenty in common — When it comes to fighting wildland fires, experience is the best teacher. The problem is that the lessons too often are learned in arrears and at a tremendous cost of property and sometimes even life. And even when folks heed the warnings, take every precaution and play by the rules, fire exempts itself. Jardine column in Modesto Bee

George Hostetter: A great fire hit the forests 60 years ago – The Valley’s own version of Minutemen (and women) answered the call exactly 60 years ago during another terrible Sierra Nevada fire. Citizens — and convicts — helped save Miramonte in the Great Fire of 1955. Here’s the story, a complement to news coverage of the current Rough Fire that appears to be finally coming under control. Hostetter in Fresno Bee

Putting the brakes on big-rig pollution – It wasn’t excessive speed or a faulty taillight that got some truckers into trouble with the law Wednesday as they crossed the San Joaquin River and rumbled into town on Highway 4. It was their emissions. They didn’t know it, but enforcement agents with the California Air Resources Board were waiting on the east side of the bridge to inspect their rigs and ensure compliance with new clean-air rules that have taken effect in recent years. Stockton Record article

LA renters, landlords should split the cost of quake retrofitting equally, housing officials say — The cost of making buildings strong enough to withstand a major earthquake should be equally divided between apartment owners and renters in Los Angeles, a compromise that could clear the way for mandatory retrofitting laws, according to a proposal from city housing officials. LA Times article

Health/Human Services 

California among states with biggest drop in uninsured – In a significant yardstick of how health care coverage has blanketed the country under the Affordable Care Act, California ranked among states recording the biggest drop – 4.7 percent – in uninsured residents from 2013 to 2014, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released Wednesday. Sacramento Bee article

Community Medical Centers to partner with UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals — Community Medical Centers announced Wednesday it is joining with UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals to expand specialty services for children in Fresno. The agreement places Community in more head-to-head competition with Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera County. Fresno Bee articleThe Business Journal article

Sacramento Bee: Study adds urgency to call for e-cigarette regulation – Last week, as meaningful e-cigarette regulation continued to languish, the Journal of the American Medical Association confirmed that kids who try e-cigs are far more likely to graduate to regular cigarettes. Sacramento Bee editorial

Cancer free, Fresno man encourages people to get preventive care — Stubbornness nearly killed Rick Hatton. The 56-year-old Fresno mechanic said it took losing half his large intestine and more than two-thirds of his liver to show him the importance of medical checkups. Fresno Bee article

Foster youth the focus of kickoff luncheon —  Veronica Etier and her sister grew up in foster care. Their mother was too consumed by drugs to care for them. On Wednesday, Etier, now a 32-year-old production and sourcing manager for Tommy Bahama, delivered one of three powerful speeches by former foster youth during the 89th annual kickoff luncheon for United Way of San Joaquin County. Stockton Record article


Free Wi-Fi now available on The Bus — Free Wi-Fi is now available on The Bus, Merced’s Regional Transit Authority announced Wednesday. According to officials, “state-of-the-art 4G network” has been installed on nearly all buses servicing Merced County. Merced Sun-Star article

Other areas

Kern County government partners with software developers on services coordination effort – Kern County is working with Google and a Sacramento technology firm to create and test an online system intended to improve the way local residents interact with government on things like job searches, veterans services and child care. Bakersfield Californian article

Fresno cotton executive among injured in Alaska crash that killed Clovis periodontist, Hanford dairy owner — At least three central San Joaquin Valley residents were among the victims of a plane crash Tuesday in rural southwestern Alaska that claimed three lives and injured seven. Providence Alaska Medical Center confirmed Rodger Glaspey, 65, of Fresno, was transported to its facilities after the crash. Spokesman Mikal Canfield said Glaspey was “in good condition” but declined to comment further. Fresno Bee article

Looking back on a local legend — Maybe to best way to grasp the life of renowned Hanford dairyman Tony DeGroot Sr., who died Tuesday in an Alaska plane crash at the age of 80, is to listen to his old friend Mary Cameron. Hanford Sentinel article

Vigil for a visionary: Mourners remember Tim Egkan as a ray of hope — The last rays of the day’s sunshine gleamed through heavy clouds on a gloomy evening in Stockton as hundreds gathered Wednesday to memorialize a man who lost his life to violence earlier this week. Somehow that seemed fitting. Tim Egkan, 32, the chief brand manager for Ten Space Development and a young visionary whose passion, energy and imagination made him a leader in the movement to reinvent downtown Stockton, had represented a ray of hope for the city. Stockton Record article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Sacramento Bee – Study adds urgency to call for e-cigarette regulation; Gov. Jerry Brown calls himself the Capitol’s brooding omnipresence. We suggest another moniker: turkey bill killer, not to defame the noble bird.

Maddy Events

Sunday, Sept. 20, at 10 a.m. on Fresno ABC30 – Maddy Report: “Prop 63 and the State’s Mental Health Programs: Promises (Un)Fulfilled?” — — Guests: Darrell Steinberg, former president pro tem of the California Senate and current director of Policy and Advocacy at the UC Davis Behavioral Health Center of Excellence, and Carole D’Elia, executive director of the Little Hoover Commission. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director Mark Keppler. 

Sunday, Sept. 20, at 10 a.m. on KMJ (580AM and 105.9FM Radio/podcast) – Maddy Report – Valley Views Edition: “Prop 63 in Action: Tulare County’s Innovative Mental Health Program” — Guests: Dr. Timothy Durick, the director of the Tulare County Mental Health Department, and John Moreno Gonzales with the California Health Care Foundation’s Center for Health Reporting. 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 to find the Cal Channel and schedule in your area.  You also can view previous Maddy Report programs in their entirety at

Community Events

  • 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:
  • 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:
  • 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 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 

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.

More Information

Please visit 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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