September 18, 2014


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Political Briefs

Top stories

California water bond, budget reserve campaign committee raises $650,000 – A campaign committee to pass a $7.5 billion water bond and budget reserve ballot measure championed by Gov. Jerry Brown received its first infusion of money late Tuesday.  Sacramento Bee article

Stanislaus County could get ‘border children’ – Latino leaders said Tuesday that Stanislaus County could get some of the 50,000-plus Central American children caught up in an immigration dispute. And if they’re coming, the children could need help, ranging from clothing and toothbrushes to legal aid and foster families.  Modesto Bee article

Valley politics

Candidates have mixed views on Stockton mayor’s endorsement – Two weeks ago on Facebook, Mayor Anthony Silva donned sunglasses and a smile, stood outdoors in the blazing Stockton sun and posed for a photograph showing him holding the posters of the two City Council challengers he actively supports. During recent interviews with The Record, however, Rick Grewal and Christine Fugazi had markedly different reactions to the mayor’s endorsements.  Stockton Record article

Bakersfield council election profile:  Ward 4 candidate would work with business – Retirement never got a hold on Ward 4 candidate Richard Schwartz, the grandson of a Russian immigrant whose father sold newspapers as a boy, but went on to become a doctor. The automobile claims section manager retired from State Farm Insurance June 1, 2012, but has stayed busy, joining the Bakersfield Planning Commission, a part-time position, in December. Mere months after presiding over such contentious projects as the Mesa Marin Sports Complex land swap, Schwartz, a 21-year Bakersfield resident, is running for the northwest council ward. Bakersfield Californian article

Young Republicans endorse in City Council races – The Kern County Young Republicans endorsed candidates Wednesday in four Bakersfield City Council wards, prompting one incumbent to question how the group made its choices.  Bakersfield Californian article

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

John Wildermuth: Giants rumors are making life hard for GOP hopeful Ashley Swearengin – It’s tough for a big-city mayor to be elected to statewide office, and Republican Ashley Swearengin of Fresno is finding out exactly why. The San Francisco Giants are rumored to be moving their Pacific Coast League affiliate from Fresno to Sacramento, where the Rivercats have just told the Oakland A’s minor league franchise to take a hike. It might seem that the mayor, a candidate for state controller, doesn’t have much to do with a private company’s decision to relocate. That would be wrong.  Wildermuth in San Francisco Chronicle

Other areas

George Skelton: Convoluted residency law makes no sense – Never mind that once elected, he can move outside the district. Also, never mind that for at least seven months of a year, while the Legislature is in session, he’ll be living more than half his time far outside the district, in Sacramento. And never mind that the law is more complicated than simply requiring a lawmaker to live among the people he represents.  Skelton column in LA Times

Unions line up against, for Sacramento strong mayor plan – The campaign opposing the November ballot measure seeking to increase the powers of the mayor’s office in Sacramento has landed its first organized labor support.  Sacramento Bee article

Marcus Breton: Kevin Johnson seeks to strengthen his office – does Sacramento care? – Despite national acclaim, Mayor Kevin Johnson faces his most formidable foe of all right now – one with the power to pour cold water on him and his political legacy. This foe is apathy. It’s voters who have no idea how the city works or that KJ has less power than a bureaucrat whose name I bet you don’t know.  Breton column in Sacramento Bee

Judges:  School ban on U.S. flag shirts bends to ‘will of the people’ – Three conservative judges accused a federal appeals court Wednesday of catering to “the will of the mob” by refusing to reconsider a ruling upholding Morgan Hill school officials’ decision to ban shirts showing American flags on Cinco de Mayo for fear of ethnic violence. San Francisco Chronicle article

LA Elections:  Report calls for date change to boost municipal voter turnout – Mark your calendars — Los Angeles city elections could be moving to coincide with state and federal races.  A report released Wednesday by the city’s top budget official recommended the Los Angeles City Council move municipal elections to June and November of even-numbered years. Local elections are currently held in March and May of odd-numbered years. KPCC reportLA Times article

Dan Walters Daily: Successors to Rod Wright already lining up – A special election hasn’t even been called yet, but several candidates launched campaigns this week to replace resigning state Sen. Rod Wright, Dan says.  Dan Walters Daily in Sacramento Bee


Labor leader Camp reinstated, announces retirement – Central Labor Council leader Bill Camp was reinstated to his position as the group’s executive secretary this week after an internal power struggle, and immediately announced he will retire at the end of the year. Camp will be on a committee tasked with choosing his replacement. Sacramento Bee article

News Briefs

Top Stories

Poverty rates soar in Stanislaus County, census survey finds – Poverty has tightened its grip on Stanislaus County, with more than 22 percent of the population living below the poverty line, data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau show. While poverty rates declined nationwide and in California as a whole last year, they increased in Stanislaus and the Northern San Joaquin Valley, according to the 2013 American Community Survey.  Modesto Bee article

New census data show 35 percent living in poverty in Merced – Mentz is just one of the 35.1 percent of Mercedians living below the poverty level, according to new statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Thursday. The data from the 2013 survey paints a grim picture for Merced – poverty in the city has climbed 5 percentage points in a year, rising from 30.3 percent in 2012.  Merced Sun-Star article

Jobs and the Economy

Tulare supervisors give themselves raises – With higher-than-expected revenues, the Tulare County Supervisors are helping pay for cost-of-living raises for employees and to unfreeze this fiscal year six positions frozen during the Great Recession.  Visalia Times-Delta article

Oil producers wonder what effect refinery project will have on barrel prices – California’s oil industry is raising questions about what effect Alon USA Energy Inc.’s oil-by-rail project on Rosedale Highway will have on local crude prices. An electronic newsletter issued Monday by the California Independent Petroleum Association says the project poses “economic questions … including how bringing additional barrels of crude into the California market will affect local crude prices.”  Bakersfield Californian article

Officials slam pay raise for GET chief – Reaction to Golden Empire Transit CEO Karen King’s new, nearly $4,100 raise was swift and negative Wednesday from many of the officials who appoint the bus agency’s board of directors. Members of the Bakersfield City Council and Kern County Board of Supervisors — who select four of the five members — said King’s raise is exactly why a big change at the agency is needed.  Bakersfield Californian article

Tehachapi entrepreneur busy as a bee – Beeswax is the secret to the Guzzos’ budding empire of two distinct web-based companies: Tehacha-Bee Farm, which sells Guzzo’s homemade soaps, deodorants and other products; and Handcrafted Honey Bee, a DIY-based company that sells kits to consumers eager to customize their own balms and lotions.  Bakersfield Californian article

Joel Fox: San Diego minimum wage referendum in for a tough fight – The San Diego Small Business Coalition said they have enough signatures to freeze the new San Diego minimum wage law and force a vote on the issue in 2016. The business coalition better put away whatever savings they gain from the wage freeze because history shows they will have a tough fight ahead of them. Fox in Fox & Hounds

California marijuana market poised to explode – Looking around last week at the exhibitor showroom of CannaCon, the huge marijuana-business expo held outside Seattle, Greg James had something of an epiphany: The pot industry in America is growing like, you guessed it, a weed.  Contra Costa Times article

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoes anti-discrimination measure for unemployed – Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a measure Wednesday that would have barred employers from discriminating against unemployed job seekers.  LA Times article

Jerry Brown signs ride-sharing insurance bill – Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation requiring drivers in the burgeoning ride-sharing industry to carry more insurance, his office announced Wednesday.  Capitol AlertLA Times article

Ivanhoe packinghouse fire idles 75 workers – A three-alarm fire destroyed one of the largest fruit packing businesses in town early Wednesday, putting about 75 people out of work.  Fresno Bee articleVisalia Times-Delta article

Kohl’s to hire around 300 Valley seasonal workers – Kohl’s Corp. says it will hire more than 67,000 seasonal workers nationwide for the holiday shopping season, about a third more than last year’s 50,000. With three stores in the Fresno-Clovis area and one each in Hanford, Visalia and Porterville, that means expected hiring of about 300 seasonal workers in the Central Valley.  AP article

Idea for easier showering advances at Stanislaus Innovation Challenge – Fred Axton’s idea for easier showering won the kickoff event Wednesday night for the Stanislaus Innovation Challenge. Axton impressed judges and audience voters with a sliding door that can be installed in the tub wall of a shower-tub combination, helpful to people with limited mobility.  Modesto Bee article

New app lets customers pay Stockton utility bills – When it comes to paying your Stockton utility bills, now there’s a free app for that. Visit details on using the secure payment method, which accepts a wide variety of payment methods, including all major credit cards. The city’s partner, Check®, is offering a $10 incentive for first-time users of the app.  Stockton Record article

Fresno’s Fiore Di Pasta expanding – Fresno pasta maker Fiore Di Pasta is following the demand for gluten-free products as it expands its facility on Jensen Avenue. Now, Fiore Di Pasta is preparing for the future with a new 36,000 square-foot building being built by Valley Steel Construction of Fresno on the north side of its 4 1/2-acre property. The Business Journal article

Airbnb to collect San Francisco hotel tax Oct. 1 – In a move that could add over $11 million a year to city coffers, Airbnb will collect San Francisco’s 14 percent hotel tax from visitors who book apartments or rooms in the city starting Oct. 1, the company said on Wednesday. But the $10 billion company, which has enjoyed explosive growth, did not address whether it will pay back taxes for the six years it has been in business.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Sacramento Republic FC releases plans for soccer stadium in downtown railyard – Sacramento Republic FC released drawings Wednesday of a planned soccer stadium in the downtown railyard that the club says could host a Major League Soccer franchise. The release of the renderings comes on the eve of a visit by MLS executives who plan to spend Thursday and Friday evaluating Sacramento’s viability as a potential expansion city into the nation’s top professional soccer league.  Sacramento Bee article

Mexico becoming major force in world’s automotive industry – It might be a stretch to describe Aguascalientes in north-central Mexico as the new Detroit. But it wouldn’t be a huge stretch. Mexico’s automotive sector is at full throttle, and Aguascalientes is one of several cities primed by foreign car manufacturers to rev its engines. Once a sleepy railway crossroads, Aguascalientes now has two massive auto plants and a third on the way. This is making it what one national newspaper called a “mini-Detroit.”  McClatchy Newspapers article

U.S. home construction drops 14.4 percent in August – U.S. home construction plunged in August, led by steep decline in the pace of building apartments. The Commerce Department says construction fell 14.4 percent in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 956,000 homes.  AP article

Sacramento Bee: Push on tipping for maids doesn’t promote a livable wage – It’s hard to see how the goal of gaining a living wage is advanced by helping a company avoid having to pay one.  Sacramento Bee editorial

U.S. to train veterans to install solar panels – The U.S. will train at least 50,000 veterans to become solar panel installers in the next six years, the White House said Thursday.  AP article

CalPERS picks Ted Eliopoulos to be investment chief – California’s huge pension fund has turned to a trusted insider to take over the daunting job of directing almost $300 billion in investments, crucial to the retirement of more than 1 million current and former state and local government workers.  LA Times article


‘Hi, do you have water?’ In a central California town, the answer is often no – The grandmother sat outside in her Sunday best next to a house with peeling paint, her canned iced tea resting on top of a washing machine that didn’t work. She’d been without running water for four months. The scattered Tulare County community of East Porterville may be the hardest-hit place in California’s punishing drought. Of its 7,300 people, almost 1,000 have no running water.  LA Times article

Landscape experts say Caltrans water-saving projects could harm trees – In its effort to save water, however, Caltrans has approved new irrigation systems that arborists say are threatening the lives of mature trees on thousands of acres near California freeways, offramps and rest areas.  Sacramento Bee article

Dinners on the farm are a growing trend in the Valley – As interest in food and farming continues to grow, one trend that is slowly taking root in the San Joaquin Valley are dinners on the farm.  Fresno Bee article

California groundwater: Court case could speed up regulation – California’s Supreme Court is being pressed to take up a case that could dramatically alter oversight for groundwater, building on a landmark water rights ruling the court made a generation ago.  KQED report

‘First Look’: Columnist talks about groundwater monitoring legislation – On Tuesday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed groundwater legislation that will give the state broad controls over groundwater use in California. A prominent feature in the three bills is that groundwater management is best accomplished locally. Thursday on “First Look with Scott Cox,” Californian columnist Lois Henry talked about her take on the legislation.  Bakersfield Californian article

Groundwater stewardship is everybody’s responsibility – Protecting and conserving the state’s groundwater, dubbed the “hidden sea” by the California Groundwater Association, is everyone’s job, according to a notice the association sent out last week that included water conservation and protection tips.  Visalia Times-Delta article

As groundwater wells go dry, Stanislaus County offers homeowners loans to drill – The new rules to regulate California’s groundwater supply will take years to implement. But in the meantime, as many as 1.5 million Californians rely on domestic groundwater wells for drinking water — and some of them need help now, because those wells are starting to go dry. Drilling new wells may be their only option, and it’s expensive. California Report

Can’t afford to dig a new well? You’ll have to hire this guy – With fires raging in the region and no sign that the drought will ease up, farmers and even homeowners are on the hunt for water. The initial answer is to dig a new well. But wells are expensive. In this piece FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports on a solution that many Valley homeowners rely on.  KVPR report

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Mental illness program could transform LA County justice system – Los Angeles officials announced Wednesday the launch of an alternative sentencing program aimed at diverting mentally ill, low-level offenders from jail into treatment, a project they hope will signal a dramatic shift for the county’s criminal justice system.  LA Times article

Apple will no longer unlock most iPhones, iPads for police, even with search warrants – Apple said Wednesday night that it is making it impossible for the company to turn over data from most iPhones or iPads to police — even when they have a search warrant — taking a hard new line as tech companies attempt to blunt allegations that they have too readily participated in government efforts to collect user information.  Washington Post article


Fresno State President Joseph Castro: Ranking doesn’t tell whole story – Fresno State’s president writes, “The recent U.S. News and World Report rankings of “best colleges” provides an ideal opportunity for me to highlight the academic achievements and progress of California State University, Fresno. The news is good, and the positive student impact is worth sharing.” Castro op-ed in Fresno Bee

UC proposes systemwide plan to fight sexual misconduct –  In a sweeping effort to combat sexual misconduct on campus, University of California officials unveiled a systemwide plan Wednesday, calling for mandatory training for all students, staff and faculty, improved support for victims and more thorough investigations.  LA Times article

Fresno Pacific names ex-president Richard Kriegbaum as new president – A new president has been appointed to lead Fresno Pacific University following the abrupt resignation of President Pete Menjares last week. The university announced Wednesday that its Board of Trustees unanimously appointed Richard Kriegbaum as the university’s 12th president. The board met Tuesday.  Fresno Bee article

On Campus: Modesto is simply not an intellectual hub – but it could be – WalletHub has judged Modesto the fifth-least-educated city in America, basing that mostly on the high number of adults who never graduated from high school, low number of college grads, few doctors, few techies and fewer kids cracking laptops at top-ranked universities. On the plus side, the quality of Modesto’s schools and colleges got a much higher rating. It could be argued, then, that there’s hope.  Modesto Bee article

Candy maker Mars commits millions to food research at UC Davis – Candy manufacturing giant Mars Inc. said Wednesday it will commit at least $40 million to food-related research at UC Davis in a deal that would support a food institute that’s expected to be built in Sacramento.  Sacramento Bee article

COS paves the way to law school – Elizabeth Hammond of Hanford might not be pursuing a degree in law had it not been for College of the Sequoias’ Pathway to Law School Initiative, which made its debut this school year at not only COS, but across the state. Visalia Times-Delta article

The Grade: Taft hazing update, Bakersfield High School to enclose campus – The Taft Union High School District plans to determine by the end of this week how long head football coach Jarudd Prosser will remain on leave after reporting a hazing incident earlier this month. Prosser earns an annual salary of $84,493 and a $6,219 stipend to coach varsity football at Taft Union High School, according to the district.  Bakersfield Californian article

UC Davis enters into $12 million partnership with Chile – The University of California, Davis, announced Wednesday that it is entering into a partnership with the Chilean government on a $12 million life science center. The center will focus on collaboration between experts at UC Davis and Chile in transforming research into regional and national business endeavors, said a written release from the university.  Sacramento Bee article

School district police stock up free military gear – School police departments across the country have taken advantage of free military surplus gear, stocking up on mine resistant armored vehicles, grenade launchers and scores of M16 rifles.  AP article

LA schools police will return grenade launchers but keep rifles, armored vehicle – 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

New report on LA Unified’s iPads reflects problems with curriculum –  An evaluation of the iPads-for-all project in Los Angeles schools found that only 1 of 245 classrooms surveyed even used the costly curriculum. LA Times article

UC regents support renewal energy but not coal and oil divestments – A UC regents committee decided Wednesday not to sell off stocks and holdings in oil, coal and natural gas from the university’s $91-billion endowment and retirement funds but moved to have environmental and social issues more deeply influence investment decisions. LA Times article

Fate of high school exam undecided – While the state’s standardized testing program is being revamped during the transition to the new Common Core State Standards, the fate of the high school exit exam – the one test students must pass – remains murky.  EdSource article

Leadership Academy student shadows Modesto firefighters – Modesto High School junior Yunah Kim got a firsthand look at what firefighters do Wednesday afternoon as part of the Stanislaus County Office of Education’s Leadership Academy.  Modesto Bee article

Visalia Unified purchases land for new school – The Visalia Unified School District has finalized the purchase of 12.5 acres of land near Riverway Sports Park for a new elementary school.  Visalia Times-Delta article


2014 on track to be hottest year on record in California – This year is on track to be the hottest year in California since record-keeping began roughly 119 years ago, scientists announced Wednesday. Prolonged drought and increasing temperatures over the last four decades have resulted in the warmer conditions currently plaguing California, said Paul Iniguez, science and operation officer for the National Weather Service in Hanford.  LA Times article

Officials warn of danger as Courtney fire near Bass Lake keeps burning – As firefighters work to contain the Courtney fire near Bass Lake, officials reminded residents of the heightened fire danger this summer that has been all too apparent for residents in the Oakhurst area.  Fresno Bee article

Why fewer acres have burned this year despite California drought – While the fire season has been active and intense – with the number of fires actually up – it hasn’t caused as much catastrophic damage to homes and lives as in some years. Experts are crediting both good fortune and a hyper-awareness of the danger wrought by the historic drought, now in its third year.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Sacramento Bee: California’s fire problem is in our collective backyards – Californians tend to think of this as a rural problem. It isn’t.  Sacramento Bee editorial

Maps provide early warning of California fire risk – Fire-hardened Southern Californians know that when the Santa Ana winds blow, a wildfire probably isn’t very far behind — the only questions are where it will erupt and how bad it will be. A new online mapping tool rolled out Wednesday by the U.S. Forest Service and San Diego Gas & Electric will help homeowners and emergency responders answer both those questions with a color-coded early warning system indicating which areas have the highest fire risk when the hot, dry wind blows.  AP article

PG&E facing big fine for judge-shopping in rate case – Pacific Gas and Electric Co. could face millions of dollars in fines for the lobbying campaign it waged with state regulators to assign its preferred judge to a rate-setting case stemming from the deadly San Bruno explosion, under a proposed order that the California Public Utilities Commission issued Wednesday.  San Francisco Chronicle article

More emergency water releases for Klamath salmon – For the second time this year, federal officials are releasing additional water from a Northern California reservoir to combat a parasite that threatens to kill thousands of salmon in the drought-parched Klamath River.  AP article

Sierra Club questions coal plant’s mention in PG&E emails to regulator – Environmentalists against a proposed clean coal plant in Kern County are raising concerns about the project’s mention in newly disclosed emails showing possibly inappropriate communication between Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and its primary regulator. Bakersfield Californian article

CPUC president’s ousted aide may come back as judge – The top aide to the head of the California Public Utilities Commission, forced from her post after e-mails showed she intervened in the selection of an administrative law judge to hear a Pacific Gas and Electric Co. rate case, is on paid leave from the agency but retains her current civil service rank – administrative law judge, The Chronicle has learned.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Health/Human Services

Medi-Cal patients sue over application backlog – Medi-Cal patients and health care advocates filed a lawsuit against the state Wednesday for leaving hundreds of thousands of low-income and disabled people waiting months for care.  AP article

New grants to help health care enrollment efforts in Valley – Covered California announced its new community outreach campaign, which includes $14.6 million in grants to community organizations that provide outreach, education and enrollment services. Seven of the organizations awarded funding serve Merced County.  Merced Sun-Star article

LA hospital closes amid falling revenue, earthquake retrofit tab – Temple Community Hospital of Los Angeles has closed its doors after more than 70 years in business, citing low revenue and increasing costs of maintaining its aging building.  LA Times article

Fake sweeteners may mess with the way our bodies metabolize sugar – Diet sodas and those packets of artificial sweetener you put in your coffee may not be as benign as we thought, a new study suggests. High doses of artificial sweeteners like saccharin, sucralose and aspartame can change the population of healthy gut bacteria in mice and in some humans. And those changes can affect how well their bodies metabolize sugar, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature.  LA Times article


Demolition work starts on old Del Monte building, clearing way for high-speed rail – The hardened steel teeth of a large excavating machine took the first bites out of the derelict former Del Monte building in downtown Fresno Wednesday, marking the start of several weeks of work to demolish the former packinghouse to make way for California’s high-speed rail project.  Fresno Bee article

Stockton airport to expand airline capacity – With a $1.4 million federal grant in hand, Stockton Metropolitan Airport should start construction this month on a new aircraft parking apron next to the passenger terminal, allowing it to handle multiple airline flights at once, officials said.  Stockton Record article

Visalia dumps Great Lakes Airlines – The Visalia City Council this week decided to wave goodbye to Great Lakes Airlines and welcome SeaPort Airlines to serve Visalia through the federal Essential Air Service (EAS). The vote was 3 to 2 to go with SeaPort rather than quit the EAS program altogether and qualify to receive $2.9 million for airport use.  Visalia Times-Delta article

Folsom to sue Sacramento County over expansion of Mather Airport – The Folsom City Council and the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to sue Sacramento County over its planned Mather Airport expansion.  Sacramento Bee article

Thousands diverted into 110 ExpressLanes, then fined by toll operator – Thousands of drivers who were diverted onto toll lanes following a dramatic gun battle in Los Angeles last month were fined for not having the transponder needed to travel on the pay-to-drive lanes.  LA Times article

Other Areas

Jorge Barrientos: First-hand tragedies show need to stop drunken driving in Kern – Hundreds of Kern County residents will come together on Saturday at The Park at Riverwalk in Bakersfield with a message we seem to be repeating all too often this year: Stop drinking and driving.  Barrientos op-ed in Bakersfield Californian

Wynne named new Lemoore mayor – Facing criticism from fellow council members and citizens, the Lemoore City Council rebuffed Mayor Billy Siegel and appointed Councilwoman Lois Wynne to serve as mayor.  Hanford Sentinel article

Marc Boyd: Harsh penalties for homelessness in foothills – The Arnold resident writes, “Last July, the Sonora City Council passed an ‘unlawful camping’ urgency ordinance that authorizes the Sonora police to cite campers and have them charged with a misdemeanor.” Boyd op-ed in Modesto Bee

Minor league hockey could face big changes – Rumors have circulated for years about some NHL teams in the western part of the United States and Canada planning to move their high-level minor affiliates in the American Hockey League to the West Coast, which has long been the domain of ECHL teams, such as the Stockton Thunder. The speculation has become louder in recent months, and whether new teams move into or others move up to the AHL, it’s almost certain the hockey landscape is shifting. Stockton Record article

Speech free and FIRE-d up on U.S. Constitution Day at Modesto Junior College – The First Amendment got some exercise at Modesto Junior College, with free-speech walls displaying the profound as well as the profane. Student groups handed out copies of the U.S. Constitution on both MJC campuses in honor of Constitution Day.  Modesto Bee article

Fresno zoo’s Sea Lion Cove gets national attention – The Fresno Chaffee Zoo’s Sea Lion Cove received the 2014 Top Honor Exhibit Award on Tuesday from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.  Fresno Bee article

Photos: Stunning aerial shots of California – Whether it’s disrupting fire operations in the north or ticking off crowds of fans in the south, drones have developed a bad rep among some in California. But one thing even drone detractors would have a hard time denying is their ability to capture stunning images.  LA Times article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – President Obama finally gets serious about deadly Ebola outbreak; NFL has zero tolerance – but only for loss of its advertisers.

 Merced Sun-Star – There is little chance we would have endorsed a division of the state, but threatening to vote our way out might make Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento take notice just as those in London belatedly noticed the unhappiness in Glasgow and began to sweeten the pot with more benefits and autonomy.

Modesto Bee – There is little chance we would have endorsed a division of the state, but threatening to vote our way out might make Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento take notice just as those in London belatedly noticed the unhappiness in Glasgow and began to sweeten the pot with more benefits and autonomy; Proposition 45 would undermine the Affordable Care Act, which is reason to oppose it.

Sacramento Bee – Californians tend to think of fires as a rural problem. It isn’t; Push on tipping for maids doesn’t promote a livable wage.

Stockton Record – United Way drive is crucial for San Joaquin County; The always-feisty rivalry between the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics has another chapter related to minor-league affiliates.

Visalia Times-Delta – A political forum held Tuesday evening in Visalia was so well attended it’s clear voters have a thirst for information about local candidates for office.