September 23, 2014


Receive the Maddy Daily in your inbox every morning! To subscribe or unsubscribe, please send an email to Ana Melendez at

Political Briefs

Top stories

Ashley Swearengin stands by her independence after controversial state GOP convention – Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin was in and out of the state Republican convention in Los Angeles in less than 12 hours, but in that short time she found herself the biggest story of the weekend-long event. Not in a good way.  Fresno Bee article

Brown veto message:  $35 school traffic fine was actually lots higher – A bill to add $35 to fines for traffic violations in school zones sailed through both houses of the Legislature without any opposing votes. The money was earmarked for school safety programs. Who could possibly be against that? Gov. Jerry Brown. And he had a reason. San Francisco Chronicle article

Gov. Brown

Dan Walters: Beach access bill puts Brown in middle of class war – On its merits, the conflict could be, it seems, easily resolved. But the real issue isn’t the beach; there are many others in the area open to the public. Rather, it’s a symbol of the Bay Area’s burgeoning class conflict over the impact of the techno-wealthy, and Brown’s in the middle.  Walters column in Sacramento Bee

Valley politics

Stockton council candidates to face off in series of public forums – Voters will have the chance at two separate public forums over the next eight days to hear from the candidates for the three City Council races that will be decided Nov. 4.  Stockton Record article

Bakersfield council election profile: Safety, infrastructure big for Rivera in Ward 1 – Willie Rivera beat five opponents last June to finish the unexpired council term of Assemblyman Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield, and end an impressive game of political musical chairs. Now he’s running for his first full term.  Bakersfield Californian article

Recall against Modesto council’s Kenoyer falls short – First-year Modesto Councilwoman Jenny Kenoyer has survived an attempt to oust her from office.  Modesto Bee article

Michael Eggman: Let’s work together to solve water crisis – The candidate for the 10th Congressional District writes, “I look forward to being an advocate in Congress for increasing the Valley’s water supply, and I’m disappointed so many politicians have resorted to using the issue as a political football instead of solving it.” Eggman op-ed in Modesto Bee

Joey Titus: Local government should have control – The candidate for Bakersfield City Council Ward 4 writes, “I believe our country is headed in the wrong direction, and I sincerely want to make a difference. I mean no disrespect to our Bakersfield City Council members — or to city council members around the state and country — but I believe this seat is taken very lightly. A city council member is the one who interacts with the community on a daily basis, so we are the first voice for the people of Bakersfield, California and the U.S.” Titus op-ed in Bakersfield Californian

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

LA Times: Ashley Swearengin for state controller – It is because of her professional experience and skill-set that The Times endorses Republican Ashley Swearengin, the mayor of Fresno, for state controller.  LA Times editorial

John Myers: Candidates for elections chief spar on performance, politics – They both want to shake up the job, but the two candidates vying for secretary of state sparred Monday on a host of issues, from their resumes to Republicanism and beyond.  Myers in KQED

Joel Fox: Aid disunity talk GOP rebuilding – The key phrase emphasized by organizers of the state Republican convention in Los Angeles this weekend was the changing face of the GOP. There clearly has been some progress in the face-changing direction as diverse candidates were introduced to the delegates.  Fox in Fox & Hounds

‘First Look’: Kern district attorney addresses issues with Prop 47 – For Kern County District Attorney Lisa Green, California Proposition 47 — The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act — is anything but safe. “It’s another initiative that is designed to change the criminal justice system in a bad way,” Green said Monday on “First Look with Scott Cox.”  Bakersfield Californian article

United Auburn tribe gives $100,000 to anti-casino compact campaign – Signaling a potential increase in deep-pocketed opposition to a proposed Madera tribal casino, the United Auburn Indian Community has given$100,000 to the campaign to defeat Proposition 48. The Nov. 4 measure is a referendum on a 2013 casino compact between California and the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians that allows the Yosemite-area tribe to build a casino off Highway 99 in Madera.  Capitol Alert

Other areas

VIDEO: Business groups lobby Brown to veto subcontractor bill – As Gov. Brown left the state Monday for climate change talks in New York, business groups held a thinly-attended news conference at the Capitol to step up pressure on the subcontractor measure. Imposing liabilty for the behavior of subcontractors, they said, would increase costs and degrade the state’s business climate.  Capitol Alert

LA part of new federal effort to deter homegrown jihadists – Los Angeles is one of three cities in which the Obama administration has launched pilot programs aimed at deterring U.S. citizens from traveling abroad to fight alongside terrorist groups and to prevent possible terrorist attacks at home by those returning from fighting in Syria and Iraq, a senior administration official told reporters Monday.  LA Times article

GOP Texas gubernatorial candidate riding California – That Texas-California rivalry may not be going away for some time. In a newly released TV ad, Texas Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott, rolls his wheelchair over a large map of the United States from California to the Texas border.  Capitol Alert

News Briefs

Top Stories

30,000 Californians face Obamacare enrollment delays, dropped coverage – California’s health insurance exchange is vowing to fix enrollment delays and dropped coverage for about 30,000 consumers before the next sign-up period this fall. Covered California said it failed to promptly send insurance applications for 20,000 people to health plans recently, causing delays and confusion over their coverage.  LA Times article

Madera County launches investigation into jail escape – Five inmates who bolted Friday from the Madera County jail were housed together before their escape but are now being kept apart while investigations are underway into how they got out undetected, the head of the jail said Monday night.  Fresno Bee article

Jobs and the Economy

Modesto expected to implement downtown business incentives – The Modesto City Council on Tuesday is expected to approve the implementation of a downtown incentive program that would offer cash payments to businesses that meet hiring targets, matching funds for facade improvements and other assistance.  Modesto Bee article

CalSTRS to increase clean tech investments – CalSTRS plans to dramatically increase its investment in clean technology industries over the next five years. The California State Teachers’ Retirement System said it will increase its clean tech holdings from $1.4 billion to $3.7 billion in direct response to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s call for action to reduce carbon emissions.  Sacramento Bee article

Real estate professionals establish fund to help their own – Kern County real estate professionals have set up a fund to help colleagues who have fallen on hard economic times because of a medical crisis or death in their immediate family. Organizers say the new Real Estate Professionals Family Relief Fund is not intended to replace contributions the local industry already makes to charities, but to expand efforts to look after their own.  Bakersfield Californian article

Turlock Irrigation District to look at power rate hike – The staff of the Turlock Irrigation District has proposed electricity rate increases averaging 5 percent. The district board on Tuesday will consider setting a Dec. 2 public hearing on the proposal, which could be followed by a vote.  Modesto Bee article

Ceres hangs on to six firefighters while it seeks grant funding – The City Council on Monday approved a plan to retain six firefighters who otherwise would have lost their jobs Sunday, when a two-year federal grant expired.  Modesto Bee article

California property taxes could skyrocket – Proposition 13 regulates property tax values in California by limiting increases to 2 percent annually. But homeowners could see larger increases this year thanks to another, lesser-known proposition.  Capital Public Radio report

LA council to vote on $15.37 minimum wage for workers at big hotels – The drive to boost minimum wages in Los Angeles could reach a milestone this week as the City Council votes on a proposal to raise the hourly pay of thousands of workers at big hotels to at least $15.37.  LA Times article

LA small-business owners weigh both sides of a wage hike – Some small-business owners say the higher labor costs would be offset by productivity gains from employee retention and better morale. Others, such as Letelier, call the plan a “heavy-handed move” that makes it impossible for struggling mom-and-pops to survive in a city where it’s tough to turn a profit. With much slimmer margins than corporations, small businesses’ additional costs will prevent entrepreneurs from expanding and hiring, he said.  LA Times article

San Francisco Supervisor David Campos wants to make equal pay a law – The proposed law, which Campos will officially introduce Tuesday, would require city contractors with at least 20 employees to report annually — and confidentially — their employees’ pay to the city’s Human Rights Commission. The reports would include information about workers’ sex and race, and if they raise concerns about wage discrimination, the Human Rights Commission could investigate. The legislation would also require annual reports to the Board of Supervisors.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Survey: California wine industry adapting to aging baby boomers, foreign competition, drought – As aging baby boomers taper off their wine consumption, the millennial generation is poised to pick up the slack, according to a new UC Davis survey of California wine executives. And despite water shortages and increased competition from craft beers, cocktails and imported wines, California’s wine industry is holding its own globally.  Sacramento Bee article

San Francisco taxi owners, cabbies join forces against Uber, Lyft, others – Taxis, badly losing the battle on San Francisco’s streets, are finally fighting back. After seeing 65 percent of their business migrate to ride services like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar, taxi drivers and company owners, at odds for decades, have joined forces — not only with one another but with their overseer, the Municipal Transportation Agency.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Treasury takes steps to discourage offshore tax-shifting inversions – The Obama administration on Monday announced long-awaited executive actions to try to discourage companies from reincorporating abroad to reduce their U.S. taxes.  LA Times article

Apple reports 10 million iPhone 6, 6 Plus models sold –  For Apple Inc., bigger iPhones meant bigger sales. The company said Monday that it sold more than 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models over the weekend, breaking a company record.  LA Times article


Amid drought, a water damage bill for Stockton – Perhaps only in Stockton might the City Council be asked to declare a Stage 1 Water Shortage Emergency and simultaneously have to shell out nearly $50,000 to repair City Hall rainwater damage at the very same meeting.  Stockton Record article

Reserves narrowing for California water wholesaler – The giant wholesaler that provides drinking water for half the California population has drained two-thirds of its stored supplies as the state contends with a punishing drought, officials said Monday.  AP article

Stanislaus County planning for water shortage emergencies – Stanislaus County leaders could approve a plan Tuesday for responding to water shortage emergencies. Modesto Bee article

Quest for ag water has wacky outcome – The search for water to irrigate thirsty crops has led to one of the most twisted, unexpected and bizarre results imaginable, and wouldn’t you know, it involves the Delta.   Visalia Times-Delta article

Mt. Shasta mudslide blamed on drought, melting glacier – California’s prolonged drought is believed to have caused a massive mudslide on Mt. Shasta over the weekend after meltwater from a glacier sent torrents of debris and mud down the mountain, officials said.  LA Times articleSacramento Bee article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Hole carved into wall, not a tunnel, allowed Madera County inmates to escape – Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Madera County Board of Supervisors, said Monday he learned from county officials that five inmates broke free from their county jail cell through a hole carved into a wall — not by tunneling out of the unit. The inmates slipped into a common room and from there, somehow managed to remove the bars on a window to escape, Wheeler said.  Fresno Bee article

Kern supervisors to review meth report, sheriff’s audit – Kern County supervisors have a long list of issues to dig through Tuesday. In the 9 a.m. session, they will hear an update to the county’s ongoing battle with methamphetamine. Supervisors will also review the results of an audit of the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, which outlines potential problems in the way the department tracks things like donated cars and employee records and hands out employee reviews.  Bakersfield Californian article


Cal State plan to aid sexual assault victims praised – California State University will appoint advocates for victims of sexual assault on all 23 of its campuses — a move that may spur other colleges around the nation to take similar action, lawmakers said Monday.  LA Times article

Brice Harris: Community colleges are helping students be smart about loans – The chancellor of California Community Colleges writes, “Our students do not have to borrow excessive amounts to fund their educations. The vast majority repay their loans. Mounting student loan debt is a rising concern, but is not a major problem in California’s community college system. We intend to keep it that way.” Harris op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Judge suggests shift in defense to keep City College of San Francisco open – As City College of San Francisco faces a trial next month against an accrediting commission that wants to shut it down, the judge is signaling that the school should shift its focus from alleged conflicts of interest and procedural missteps by the commission and instead try to show that the overall assessment process was unfair.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Boyer to leave Fresno State’s ag college – Dr. Charles Boyer, dean of Fresno State’s Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, announced Monday that he will step down at the end of the year. Boyer, who was appointed to lead the Jordan College in 2006, will now leave for a position as the head of the College of Agriculture and the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station at Montana State University.  The Business Journal article;  Fresno Bee article

Sacramento taxpayer group tries new tactic on school bonds – The Sacramento Taxpayers Association is changing its tactics when it comes to school bonds. Instead of simply opposing school bonds they don’t like, representatives from the organization have been meeting with Sacramento County school districts since early summer to collaborate on them. They recently dubbed the effort the Better Ways to Build Schools initiative.  Sacramento Bee article

Fresno State mock trial team preps for big year – The mock trial program at Fresno State has been relatively under the radar since the first group of students began presenting simulated law cases around nine years ago. As the latest academic year begins, however, the program is enjoying a little more recognition on campus and across the country since making it to the national championship in Orlando, Florida in April.  The Business Journal article


Fewer scorchers, but summer’s average temperature was warmer than usual – For the fifth year in a row, Stockton has escaped the summer season with relatively few 100-degree days. But don’t be fooled: This year was actually warmer than normal, the National Weather Service says.  Stockton Record article

West Coast warming linked to naturally occurring changes – A naturally occurring changes in winds, not human-caused climate change, are responsible for most of the warming on land and in the sea along the West Coast of North America over the last century, a study has found.  LA Times article

Earth Log: Let’s talk about those wood-burning rules again – The short version of the rule changes: Folks who register their federally certified wood-burning stove or heater with the local air district probably will be able to burn most of the winter. Those with fireplaces and old units will probably see wood-burning bans for most of the winter, depending on the weather. Expect more burning bans if we get a dry, stagnant or foggy winter.  Fresno Bee article

Great white sharks partly to blame for otter recovery stall – The population of California sea otters, a species whose painfully slow recovery from near extinction has been as baffling as it has been disturbing, is nearly the same as it was last year despite intensive efforts to bring the frolicsome marine mammals back from the brink.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Health/Human Services

Mosquito that can spread yellow fever found in southeast Fresno – Day-biting mosquitoes that can spread deadly dengue and yellow fever diseases have been found for the first time in southeast Fresno.  Fresno Bee article

Fresno couple donates $1.5 million to Terry’s House – The Fresno couple who sponsored a dog-friendly room at Terry’s House, a hospital respite house across the street from Community Regional Medical Center, have made a $1.5 million gift to help sustain the service. Jim and Debbie Christian donated property to help start an endowment for Terry’s House, the Community Medical Foundation said Monday.  Fresno Bee article

Oakland kids to be offered free flu shots right at their schools – Children at more than 100 Oakland schools are eligible for free flu shots this fall as part of a new program aimed at protecting children and the broader community against influenza. All pre-K students through fifth grade at public, private, charter and parochial schools are eligible. At some schools, students through sixth or eighth grade may participate.  KQED report

Dry-roasting process may turn harmless peanuts into allergy nightmares – Peanuts are one of the most common foods that trigger allergies in people, but a new study suggests that it’s not peanuts that are the problem – it’s the dry-roasting process that makes them so tasty.  LA Times article

Immune response may explain worse flu symptoms among pregnant women – Women who get the flu while pregnant have a much higher risk of hospitalization and death and are four times more likely to deliver a premature baby. During the 1918 epidemic, in fact, the death rate among pregnant women was at least 28 times that of the general population.  LA Times article

Kaweah Delta expands services in services in Visalia, Dinuba – Kaweah Delta hospital will expand a number of services in Visalia as well as in Dinuba, the district’s board decided last week.  Visalia Times-Delta article

Ebola virus in humans may be here to stay; fatality rate is 71 percent –  In a grim assessment of the Ebola epidemic, researchers say the deadly virus threatens to become endemic to West Africa instead of eventually disappearing from humans.  LA Times article

Land Use/Housing

‘Horror show’ hotel transformed into home for veterans – Four years ago it was described as San Francisco’s worst SRO and a “horror show.” Now, after almost $10 million in renovations, the former Stanford Hotel on Kearny Street is about to give 130 veterans something many have lacked for years: a home.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Other Areas

Six appeals on med-pot growing denied in Fresno County – Fresno County supervisors denied appeals Monday in six of 12 cases where marijuana was grown in violation of the medical marijuana ordinance, which started being enforced in February.  Fresno Bee article

Stockton plans for soon-to-be-empty council seat – Though attention currently is focused on the three City Council races to be decided by voters Nov. 4, a potentially pivotal fourth seat soon will open for qualified applicants. The City Council is scheduled at tonight’s meeting to consider and adopt the procedure for replacing District 2 Councilwoman Kathy Miller, who is leaving for the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors at the end of 2014.  Stockton Record article

Pedrozo hires a new assistant nearly a year after controversy – Merced County Supervisor John Pedrozo has hired a new assistant, seven months after the controversial departure of his former aide.  Merced Sun-Star article

Harry Baker AWOL again from Fresno court appearance – Former Madera County Supervisor Harry Baker missed another court hearing Monday afternoon, prompting Judge Jonathan Conklin to once again issue a no-bail warrant for his arrest.  Fresno Bee article

After three bear deaths, one happy ending – Four black bears have made the news this month after wandering into cities and towns in Kern County. And three of them are dead. But a fourth bear, a 100-pound female spotted in an east Bakersfield neighborhood Friday night, is getting another chance at a normal life, bear-style.  Bakersfield Californian article

Search for Turlock mountain lion in wait-and-see mode – In the search for Turlock’s mountain lion, police and wildlife authorities await the cat’s next move.  Modesto Bee articleJeff Jardine column in Modesto Bee

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – Recording devices for police may have their issues, but they can be a step toward civility.

Merced Sun-Star – Even for this do-nothing Congress, this is disheartening. After a five-week summer vacation, the honorables spent barely a week at work before heading home again – this time until after the November election.

Modesto Bee – Even for this do-nothing Congress, this is disheartening. After a five-week summer vacation, the honorables spent barely a week at work before heading home again – this time until after the November election.

Sacramento Bee – Even for this do-nothing Congress, this is disheartening. After a five-week summer vacation, the honorables spent barely a week at work before heading home again – this time until after the November election; White House fence jumper exposes how we’ve failed veterans.

Stockton Record – Cheers and jeers:  A word you simply can’t say, a strike that must not happen and other issues.