September 18, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories

California bag ban: Voters to weigh industry’s fate at the ballot box — They lost in some of California’s biggest cities. They lost in the state Legislature. Now out-of-state plastic bag manufacturers are taking a final shot at keeping their product in the nation’s largest market, waging a high-stakes battle with environmentalists that will be decided by voters in November. San Jose Mercury News article

How janitors banded together to fight rape on the night shift — “End Rape on the Night Shift.” That’s been the motto for California janitors who for months have held demonstrations throughout the state, who have been arrested for blocking traffic in an act of civil disobedience, and who have fasted near the state Capitol to show support for survivors of workplace sexual assault. They’ve even posted the message on billboards in the San Francisco Bay Area that depict a female cleaner who is being grabbed and silenced. Center for Investigative Reporting article

Valley politics

CD 10: Eggman’s downtown Modesto campaign office burglarized — The Modesto campaign office of Michael Eggman, Democratic candidate in the 10th Congressional District, was burglarized sometime Friday night or Saturday morning, Eggman’s staff has confirmed. Modesto Bee article

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

Fresno Bee: Vote ‘no’ on half-baked Proposition 64 — California should wait on legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Fresno Bee editorial

Bakersfield California:  Concerned about plastic bags? Vote yes on Prop 67, no on 65 — Don’t be fooled. Vote yes on Prop. 67 to support a ban on single-use plastic bags. Vote no on Prop. 65 to foil the plastic bag manufacturers’ ploy to work both sides of the debate. Bakersfield Californian editorial

Other areas

Sens. Richard Pan and Lois Wolk: SB 877 would give California answers to many violent deaths – Pan (D-Sacramento) and Wolk (D-Davis) write, “We do not have to accept the current tragedy of violent death and gun violence in California. We can prevent many of the violent deaths in California when we understand why they occur. The governor should sign SB 877 so we will have the high-quality data to understand how to reduce violent deaths including gun violence.” Pan/Wolk op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Presidential Politics

Willie Brown: Donald Trump, presidential frontrunner? — Some recent polls show Donald Trump ahead of Hillary Clinton in key swing states Ohio and Florida. You may not want to hear this, but don’t be surprised if surveys show him pulling ahead in the “blue wall” state of Pennsylvania within the next couple of weeks. Brown column in San Francisco Chronicle

News Stories

Top Stories

So just where does that sheriff’s plane fly? – They call it the Turbo Commander. It’s a twin-propeller, business-class airplane flying under the N911KC aircraft number that the Kern County Sheriff’s Office uses to shuttle dignitaries around the state, fly detectives to distant interviews and bus suspects and warrant subjects to Kern County from other jurisdictions. And it has become a symbol of the budget battle between the Kern County Administrative Office and county public safety agencies. Bakersfield Californian article

Dan Walters: California’s ‘evaluation rubric’ for schools downplays academic tests — By grading schools that serve California’s 6-plus million K-12 students on “10 areas critical to student performance,” the system – whose precise details are yet to emerge – moves away from traditional academic standards into fuzzier areas. And that will likely make it more difficult for parents and the larger public to determine what’s really happening, or not, in the classroom. Walters column in Sacramento Bee

Jobs and the Economy

Officials ask whether Modesto can afford $3.3 million fire grants – Top city officials are questioning whether Modesto can afford to accept two grants totaling $3.3 million that would allow the Fire Department to hire nine firefighters for two years and send a dozen firefighters to paramedic school over one year. Modesto Bee article 

House Ag digs into getting SNAP recipients back to work — The program in California is focused on Fresno, where the Fresno Bridge Academy takes a holistic approach to fixing issues that lead to receiving SNAP benefits. The voluntary program deals with job training and workforce readiness, but it also takes a look at family issues and tackling things like drug problems or student truancy. Agri Pulse article

Golden 1 Center all cleared for opening – Golden 1 Center has passed its building inspections and can open for business. In a milestone for the Sacramento Kings’ new $557 million arena, Golden 1 received its temporary certificate of occupancy from the city late Friday. Sacramento Bee article

A new ‘gem’ opens up shop in downtown Modesto – La Petite Bijoux is French for “The Little Gem,” and that’s what Squires believes she has in the shop, located in a former barber shop next to The Brighter Side restaurant, a downtown gem of its own. Modesto Bee article

Jim Darling: Blaze flamed out, but it didn’t have to be that way – Darling, who runs a public relations firm, writes, “It’s a sad day for me and all baseball fans in Bakersfield. Having a decent minor league ballpark in your town is no different than having good air transportation, a symphony, an entertainment arena, good health care and good schools. When professional baseball died in Bakersfield, part of me died with it.” Darling op-ed in Bakersfield Californian


Assemblymembers Kristin Olsen and Adam Gray: What alternatives is state water board leaving us? – Olsen (R-Modesto) and Gray (D-Merced) write, “Despite repeated requests from stakeholders and legislators, the water board has failed to discuss its flow proposal with any of the local jurisdictions in our area responsible for groundwater and drinking water. They came to one meeting and used it to announce they would come to more meetings, would answer questions and would engage in technical discussions with the affected parties.” Olsen/Gray op-ed in Modesto Bee

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Accused Fresno County jail shooter is poster boy for deportation gaps — A Hmong refugee accused of shooting two Fresno County correctional officers is one of thousands of immigrants existing in a legal limbo because their home countries have declined to take them back. Fresno Bee article 

Wounded officer’s love for family fuels fight from hospital bed — When violent inmates at Fresno County Jail won’t stop yelling and screaming in their cells, they’re often paid a visit by a certain correctional officer. This particular CO is 6-feet-2 and 280 pounds worth of a tough- and mean-looking former Fresno State Bulldogs football player. Except when Toamalama Scanlan opens his mouth, what comes out aren’t angry threats. What comes out are soothing, calming Samoan chants. Fresno Bee article

Hundreds gather at #howlong summit to find solutions to gang violence – Danny Morrison is sick of seeing news reports of gang shootings. He’s sick of candlelight vigils, and car washes and GoFundMe accounts set up to pay for the burials of young black men whose potential was never hinted at, much less realized. Bakersfield Californian article

Southwest Fresno community marches for end to gun violence — A community gathering centered around stopping violence in Fresno on Saturday turned into a call to action for city residents. Taymah Jahsi, an organizer with Faith in Fresno, part of the recently launched Faith in the Valley, said the event was meant to bring the community together and encourage residents to seek change in their neighborhoods. Fresno Bee article

Sacramento council members push for more transparency, oversight in police shooting — After an emotional Sacramento City Council meeting last week that Kevin Johnson called “the most important” in his eight years as mayor, council members say they plan to take quick action to increase trust and transparency in the Police Department – including releasing video of a mentally ill man fatally shot by police in July. Sacramento Bee article 

Prop G would toughen civilian oversight of San Francisco police — San Francisco’s Office of Citizen Complaints is on the ballot again, with Supervisor Malia Cohen hoping to ride momentum from the June election to further strengthen the civilian police oversight agency. San Francisco Chronicle article 

Prop R, San Francisco anticrime measure, faces stiff criticism — Critics of Proposition R say Supervisor Scott Wiener’s proposal is a misguided play at residents’ fears that shifts power over day-to-day crime-fighting strategy from the Police Department to City Hall. San Francisco Chronicle article


Lewis Griswold: Parents seek end to athlete weight training mandate at Visalia school – A fight over the proper balance between academics and sports has erupted between parents and administrators at El Diamante High School. At issue is the school’s mandatory strength training program. Griswold in Fresno Bee 

Waterford student removed after telling of list of students he wanted to kill — A Waterford High School student was removed from the campus this week after sharing with a counselor that he had made a list of nine students he wanted to kill. Modesto Bee article

After Texas high school builds $60 million stadium, rival district plans one for nearly $70 million — In bigger-is-better Texas, Eagle Stadium, which rivals Staples Center in capacity with 18,000 seats, gives the suburban Dallas high school serious bragging rights. But in the battle of one-upmanship among Texas high schools, a challenger is rising close to home. LA Times article


San Francisco not as green as it thinks on garbage — San Francisco continues to throw away huge amounts of garbage. The city’s waste has averaged 1,463 tons every workday over the past year, according to Recology, the city’s trash collector. There’s no penalty for not meeting the target other than, of course, a swelling landfill that’s bad for the environment and a big dent in San Francisco’s reputation as one of the greenest cities in the world. San Francisco Chronicle article

Health/Human Services 

Terminally ill Californians struggle to find doctors to help them with aid in dying – Scores of terminally ill patients are learning to their dismay — and outrage — that the state’s new aid-in-dying law comes with no guarantee of finding a doctor. San Jose Mercury News article 

Pacific’s Medicare outreach program enters 10th year — This fall marks the 10th year the Medicare Part D outreach program provided by University of the Pacific has offered free clinics to beneficiaries throughout Northern California, helping them navigate the complex process of enrolling in the best prescription drug program for their personal needs. Stockton Record article

Land Use/Housing

Outdoor wedding venue proposal OK’s by Stanislaus planners — An ordinance amendment to create a permit process for outdoor wedding venues cleared a hurdle Thursday when the Stanislaus County Planning Commission OK’d the proposal. Modesto Bee article


ACE train extensions could ease Modesto-Bay Area commute, rail advocates say — Thursday evening brought more of the same – traffic backed up on Highways 120 and 99 as Bay Area workers headed home to the San Joaquin Valley. It doesn’t have to be that way, rail advocates said at a meeting the same evening at Manteca City Hall. They talked about possibly expanding the Altamont Corridor Express, which connects Stockton and San Jose, to Modesto by 2020 and Merced by 2023. Modesto Bee article

Are California’s hybrid and electric vehicle markets losing power? — Are hybrid and electric vehicles losing their juice in California, far and away the nation’s leading market for those auto segments? On the surface, the answer is yes. Up the road, experts believe that electric vehicles in particular are due to take off. Sacramento Bee article

TSA says it kept summer lines short by hiring and promoting more screeners — Next time you come across an airport screener, take the time to say “Thanks.” That is the request by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who credited major staffing changes at the Transportation Security Administration for avoiding gridlock and long lines at airport security checkpoints this summer. LA Times article

Other areas

Hanford medical marijuana facility proposed – An Oakland-based business is asking the Hanford City Council to consider allowing an “indoor medicinal cannabis cultivation site” in the city. Hanford Sentinel article

Carmen George: Like so any drug overdose victims in Valley, he was too young to die — Jackson Smith died at age 22 in Fresno of a drug overdose. Tears flow as family describes him: Kind, loyal, loving, sweet, good, respectful, polite – the kind of young man you would want for a son or a son-in-law. George in Fresno Bee

Lemoore to discuss marijuana ordinance – The city of Lemoore wants to have an ordinance in place that would limit the use and cultivation of marijuana within city limits if Proposition 64, also known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, passes in November. Hanford Sentinel article

Jeff Jardine: Is anti-bullying campaign as effective as ‘Just Say No?’ – While most of the dialogue focuses on prevention, discussion, and education and awareness, bullying continues to be punishable in most cases by a process that protects the bullies more than it does the victims. Anti-bullying slogans, T-shirts and whatnot appear to be about as effective as the 1980s “Just Say No” anti-drug campaign, which was not much. Jardine column in Modesto Bee 

Lois Henry: Big hearts, a petition for justice and Russian hackers — Time for a couple of updates and other stuff. Sometimes I forget how great the people in this town are. Bakersfield Californian article

Mike Klocke: Sagging pants, hurtful words, Job’s turkey — The Record’s Editorial Board has been meeting with candidates this week in advance of endorsement decisions for the Nov. 8 general election. We appreciate the candidates’ candor and willingness to discuss issues. The meetings also have spawned some interesting quotes. I’d like to share a few. Klocke column in Stockton Record

Valley Editorial Roundup

Bakersfield Californian – Don’t be fooled. Vote yes on Prop. 67 to support a ban on single-use plastic bags. Vote no on Prop. 65 to foil the plastic bag manufacturers’ ploy to work both sides of the debate.

Fresno Bee – California should wait on legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

Sacramento Bee – For all the spin by backers about how carefully they wrote Proposition 64, the initiative is not fully baked. Or maybe it’s cooked just right for the entrepreneurs promoting it.