September 30, 2015


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Political Stories

Top stories

California on verge of unprecedented clout in Congress, but McCarthy and Pelosi barely speak – Kevin McCarthy and Nancy Pelosi are about to make history. If McCarthy becomes speaker of the House, as is widely expected, his ascent would mark the first time in history that both the speaker and minority leader of the chamber have hailed from the same state. Several colleagues said they can’t recall ever seeing the two together. LA Times article

John Myers: A new way to track California’s biggest political cash – Tracking independent expenditure contributions has never been easy, in part because the state’s official campaign finance system has always treated the cash like a secondary part of the political money machine. That’s why MapLight decided to build its own system. Myers in KQED

State budget

Lawsuit says California budget violates school funding guarantee — In a lawsuit last week, the California School Boards Association argues that the budget improperly included additional spending on childcare within the voter-approved constitutional guarantee for spending on K-12 schools and community colleges. The guarantee should have been adjusted, or “rebenched,” to reflect the change, the suit contends. Sacramento Bee article

Gov. Brown 

Dan Walters: Old issues flare up for Brown — Diamond lanes, it might be said, are forever. This week, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have opened up lanes of two Southern California freeways now restricted to buses and multi-passenger and low-emission vehicles to general use in non-commute periods. Walters column in Sacramento Bee

Art Pulaski: Brown should sign bill to protect worker rights – The executive secretary-treasurer of the California Labor Federation writes, “If you’ve ever signed a job application, you’re familiar with the overly technical fine print. What you may not know is an arbitration agreement hidden in the fine print nullifies your rights to seek justice in a court of law if your boss sexually harasses you, cheats you out of pay or commits a host of other abuses.” Pulaski op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Allan Zaremberg: Brown should veto bill that would blow up process that works – The president of the California Chamber of Commerce writes, “Assembly Bill 465 attempts to provide a blanket prohibition of all mandatory employment arbitration agreements made as a condition of employment. The bill not only is unnecessary but is a complete overreach that will blow up a whole process that works.” Zaremberg op-ed in Sacramento Bee


Valley politics 

House speaker candidate talks basics: highways, agencies – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who hopes to become speaker, is talking about fixing some basics of government after years of social issues rocking his party. The California Republican told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday that he wants to pass a six-year bill to pay for highway and transportation repairs — an issue that has been stuck in short-term fixes. And he wants to embark on a government-wide reorganization of federal agencies to eliminate wasteful duplication. AP article

Political Junkie Ken Rudin talks Kevin McCarthy on Valley Edition – The current House Majority Leader announced Monday he is seeking to become the 62nd speaker of the House. What sort of speaker might McCarthy become? And what would it mean for the San Joaquin Valley? Political Junkie Ken Rudin joins us on Valley Edition to offer his insights into McCarthy’s remarkable political career. KVPR report 

Dana Milbank: Rep. McCarthy’s battle with English — Kevin McCarthy is about to ascend to the highest office in the House of Representatives and become second in line to the presidency. But there is a problem: The speaker-apparent apparently still can’t speak. Milbank in Washington Post

Oakdale Irrigation District candidates butt heads over water, leadership, transparency — Challengers Gail Altieri and Linda Santos hammered at what they see lacking in district leadership, while incumbents Frank Clark, Al Bairos and Gary Osmundson defended what Clark called the best water agency in California during Tuesday’s debate among five candidates for three Oakdale Irrigation District seats. Modesto Bee article


Statewide politics/Ballot Measures 

How race helped shape the politics of Senate candidate Kamala Harris — State Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris has never liked it when people try to wedge her into “this box or that box” of racial and ethnic groups. So as an undergraduate at Howard University, Harris, now a top contender for U.S. Senate, appreciated that students at the historically black university in Washington could be “anyone you want to be and just go for it.” LA Times article

Other areas

Divided House Republicans in soul-searching mode as McCarthy locks up support for top job – Stunned and divided, House Republicans sought a way forward Tuesday as Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy pledged to bring them together after Speaker John Boehner’s sudden resignation. AP article

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe and Doug Jeffe: Reforms loosen grip of legislative leaders – After California’s stringent term limits were enacted in 1990, the legislative power equation in Sacramento shifted noticeably. For nearly a quarter of a century, clout has been concentrated in the offices of the Senate President pro Tempore and the Speaker of the Assembly.  Individual members have been generally expected to toe the line.  However, this year’s legislative session may be a sign that the concentration of power has been diluted somewhat and that the voices of individual legislators may be becoming relevant again. Bebitch Jeffe and Jeffe in Fox & Hounds

Vermont senator calls for confirmation of new Fresno judge – The crushing workload isn’t getting any lighter, and still there’s no sign that Dale A. Drozd is close to winning U.S. Senate confirmation as a federal judge in Fresno. Locally, officials are nervously watching the days go by. Fresno Bee article 

Mistrial declared in Ty Champ Jr. shooting trial — A jury said Tuesday it wasn’t sure whether former California gubernatorial candidate Tye Glenn Champ Jr. tried to kill a Prather man last year, but jurors were sure he didn’t kill a horse. Fresno Bee article


News Stories

Top Stories 

California economy is expected to grow faster than U.S. through 2020 — California’s economic growth will continue to outpace the rest of the nation over the next five years, according to a new forecast, though the expansion is expected to slow after next year. LA Times article

Tulare County to plan high-speed rail connection – Visalia and the Tulare County Association of Governments (TCAG) appear ready to carry on with a “connectivity study” that was proposed by Hanford City Manager Darrel Pyle recently — part of a two-prong effort to work with the High-Speed Rail Authority on station design as well as a look at a possible light rail route connecting the proposed Hanford rail station to Tulare County. The Business Journal article

Jobs and the Economy

Poochigian hails Fresno County’s improving financial health — Fresno County government is well on its way to economic recovery because county supervisors and staff made difficult cuts to county programs and services when the recession hit, Debbie Poochigian, the board’s chairwoman, said during Tuesday’s annual State of the County address. Fresno Bee articleThe Business Journal article

State offers partial payment for overdue traffic fines – California courts will give drivers with unpaid traffic tickets a financial break under a limited state amnesty program launched this week. Motorists with certain outstanding tickets –originally due on or before Jan. 1, 2013 –will be allowed to pay the ticket off at a reduced amount, either 50 or 80 percent of the citation amount, depending on the driver’s income, state officials said. Sacramento Bee articleModesto Bee articleLA Times article

Bakersfield tops ranking of state’s lowest-cost distribution centers – A national firm that helps employers find new places to do business has concluded metropolitan Bakersfield is California’s most cost-effective city for warehousing and distribution work, an unsurprising pronouncement that could nevertheless enhance the city’s economic competitiveness. Bakersfield Californian article 

Merced group to give incentives for planning events downtown – The Merced Main Street Association has announced a new sponsorship program intended to encourage organizations to hold public events in the downtown area. The program called “Celebrate Downtown” offers up to $500 to cover the cost of permits and insurance requirements for public events within the downtown tax district, the association said Monday. Merced Sun-Star article 

Restaurant Depot brings warehouse, big reinvestment to Fresno’s downtown — Restaurant Depot opens at 7 a.m. Wednesday, bringing the company’s first restaurant supply warehouse to the Valley and a multimillion-dollar reinvestment in the industrial fringe of downtown. The New York-based retailer sells everything from 50-pound bags of tamale flour to take-out containers, cash registers and frozen French fries. Fresno Bee article

Majority of Fresno, Valley banks and credit unions earn top ratings – The majority of banks and credit unions headquartered in the central San Joaquin Valley appear to be in excellent financial shape, according to new ratings issued by a Florida bank analytics firm. Fresno Bee article

Matt Leu: Fresno needs trade agreements like TPP – The general manager of Cargill’s Meat Solutions in Fresno writes, “President Barack Obama is gathering support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an ambitious trade deal among 12 nations that would open markets in Asia up to goods produced in the U.S. As general manager of Cargill’s food production plant, which employs more than a thousand people in Fresno, I’m reminded every day how important trade deals like the TPP are for California jobs.” Leu op-ed in Fresno Bee

A good buy for $16.97 million – While it may seem a bit out of order to authorize the $16.97 million purchase of an office building and then taking a look inside, but that’s exactly what Tulare County Supervisors did on Tuesday. Visalia Times-Delta article

LA County adds $50 million to funds for fighting homelessness – A week after Los Angeles city officials announced a plan to commit $100 million toward addressing homelessness, Los Angeles County supervisors voted Tuesday to add $50 million in funding for the issue as part of their midyear budget update. LA Times article

LA and Orange County home prices jump — Home prices in Los Angeles and Orange counties posted strong gains in July, rising 6.1% from a year earlier, according to a closely tracked gauge released Tuesday. LA Times article 

Airbnb fights back, says it isn’t hurting LA housing – In the latest salvo in Los Angeles’ ongoing war over Airbnb, the online rental powerhouse released a new study Tuesday arguing that its rentals have not worsened the housing crunch in the city. LA Times article 

New allegations about CalPERS long-term care management — Actuaries cautioned CalPERS nearly 20 years ago that its new long-term care insurance fund was set up for failure, an attorney suing on behalf of policyholders says, but officials ignored the warning. Sacramento Bee article

Michael Fitzgerald: Reno Righetti’s wrenching 60 years — When 18-wheel tomato tubs from the Valley, long-haul freighters from back East and even truckers from Canada or Mexico suffer mechanical problems, they grind into Stockton and ask for Reno.

Reno Righetti fixes their engines. Righetti has worked at Holt since 1955. He joined as a mechanically inclined 19-year-old. Now he’s a mechanically inclined 79-year-old. Sixty years. Fitzgerald column in Stockton Record



Water, 2015, California: The no-good, very bad year – now ‘pray for rain’ — The year of the brown lawn and shortened showers concludes Wednesday, with water officials citing bleak statistics and expressing hope that the next few months will bring the heavy rains California so desperately needs. LA Times article

2015 water year called ‘warmest ever’ – The Oct. 1, 2014-Sept. 30, 2015 water year was the warmest ever in California, and it marked the fourth year of one of the driest periods in the state’s recorded history, according to a Department of Water Resources statement released Tuesday. Hanford Sentinel article

 Poll: Californians willing to sacrifice in drought – The Hoover Institution’s Golden State Poll focused on how to address the state’s fourth year of drought. It found 54 percent of likely voters back current water cuts. An even higher percentage would support sharing groundwater or restricting its use. A majority would also rather see people fined for using too much water rather than being forced to pay higher rates. Capital Public Radio report 

Stanislaus farm income hits record high – Gross income for Stanislaus County farmers hit a record $4.4 billion in 2014, according to a report Tuesday that also noted increased production costs. High prices for almonds, milk and cattle accounted for most of the 20 percent jump in total income over the previous year, Agricultural Commissioner Milton O’Haire told the Board of Supervisors. Modesto Bee article

El Nino: Rain this winter plus water repellent soil may result in mountain flooding – Weather in the Sierra Nevada can change on a whim. The sun will be out in full array and then all of a sudden a thunderstorm will let loose. With such parched and fire scorched land around many mountain communities in California that could mean a greater chance of flash floods this fall and winter. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports on how one scientist is working to prevent mountain flooding in the region. KVPR report

$12.3 million study looks at crop drought tolerance – University of California researchers are taking a closer look at sorghum grown in the San Joaquin Valley to try to figure out how crops can become more drought-tolerant. The $12.3 million, five-year study will examine how sorghum actives certain parts of its genetic code and deactivates other sections when receiving low amounts of water. Hanford Sentinel article 

Merced to use recycled water on trees, parks — The city of Merced announced Tuesday it received permission from the state to use non-potable water from the city’s Wastewater Treatment Plant to keep public parks greener. Merced Sun-Star article

Michael Hiltzik: A huge water district defends a secret handout – The Westlands Water District, which reached a legal settlement with the federal government earlier this month after months of confidential negotiations, takes issue with my description of the deal as a secret arrangement that guarantees the district a permanent water supply while hamstringing policy-makers’ ability to plan for drought and climate change. Hiltzik in LA Times 

Drought is keeping beekeepers and their hives from California – The drought in California over the past four years has hit the agriculture industry hard, especially one of the smallest farm creatures: honeybees. A lack of crops for bees to pollinate has California’s beekeeping industry on edge. KVPR report 

Photos: Faces of the drought – The stress of finding ways to cope with California’s historic drought is written across the faces of those closest to it.  Fresno Bee photographers are finding people affected by the crisis. Fresno Bee photo gallery

Despite drought, navel oranges could be up 8.5 percent – Exeter-based California Citrus Mutual announced that it may be a very good year for naval oranges. The California Navel Orange Objective Measurement Report is anticipating 86 million 40 pound cartons of navels, or 3.4 billion pounds of navel oranges. About 83 million of those cartons are expected to come out of the Central Valley. Visalia Times-Delta article

Water rate structure finally approved in north Morada — The San Joaquin County Public Works Department received no protest votes from Morada residents on Tuesday opposing a proposed water rate, bringing to an end a months-long negotiation. Stockton Record article

Four San Joaquin County farms honored for water efficiency – Four San Joaquin County farms were selected to receive water efficiency grants totaling nearly $500,000, the California Department of Food and Agriculture said this week. Stockton Record article

Goshen company recalls feed after horses die — A Goshen company has recalled animal feed that a Clovis horse farm claims may have caused the death of three horses. Fresno Bee articleVisalia Times-Delta articleHanford Sentinel article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

6 Merced County Jail inmates to be charged with murder, deputies say — Six Merced County Jail inmates face murder charges in connection with the death last week of another inmate who was apparently beaten in his housing unit, the Merced County Sheriff’s Department confirmed. Merced Sun-Star article

Atwater correctional officer’s killer sentenced to life in prison – The man convicted of killing correctional Officer Jose Rivera in 2008 at the federal prison in Atwater was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of release, U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner reported. Merced Sun-Star article

Kern supervisors reject arbitrator’s ruling against sheriff – Kern County Supervisors rejected an arbitrator’s ruling that awarded 12 sheriff’s deputies damages after their personal patrol vehicles were taken away for driving too fast. Bakersfield Californian article 

Bakersfield officer involved shooting within guidelines – A fatal shooting involving an officer with the Bakersfield Police Department has been determined to be within state and federal guidelines by the Critical Incident Review Board, and the officer has returned to normal duty.  Bakersfield Californian article 

Homicides continue to rise in LA, police chief says – After a “very, very tough weekend” where 19 people were shot across Los Angeles, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said Tuesday that homicides were now up nearly 11% so far this year. LA Times article

Teen shot by LAPD officer files federal civil rights lawsuit against city — The family of a 15-year-old boy who was shot and wounded by a Los Angeles police officer in May has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city. LA Times article 

Fresno State student could face death penalty if convicted in UCLA student slaying — Alberto Hinojosa Medina, the 22-year-old Fresno State junior arrested Sept. 26 for allegedly stabbing a UCLA student to death, would be eligible for the death penalty if convicted, the Los Angeles County district attorney said Tuesday. Fresno Bee articleLA Times article



Fresno Unified Superintendent Hanson admits to using Cyber Dust privacy app – Fresno Unified Superintendent Michael Hanson says he used a controversial privacy phone app to conduct school district business, but denies allegations that it was used to cover up his involvement in no-bid contracts that are now the subject of a federal investigation. Fresno Bee articleKVPR report

Bill McEwen: Fresno Unified’s leaders’ use of secretive Cyber Dust message app is inexcusable – If Cyber Dust proves to be just a bump in the road for this superintendent, then, indeed, it can be written: Fresno is a city with no sense of shame. And no understanding of how democracy is supposed to work. McEwen in Fresno Bee

What colleges are doing to address students’ unprecedented levels of stress – Information about mental health and counseling is a focus at many new student orientations and more faculty and staff are being trained to identify students in crisis. Beyond professional counseling, colleges increasingly are adding amenities to lift spirits. LA Times article

Fresno State’s Castro among 20 most interesting college presidents —  As a grandson of Mexican migrant farm workers turned university president, Joseph Castro has presided over California State University Fresno since 2013. The college and university presidents on this list are all colorful personalities who not only lead their institutions effectively but do so with a panache and verve that excites their campus communities.  These are presidents with intriguing life stories, with impressive records of accomplishment, with charisma and vision that inspires faculty, staff, and students to strive for new heights. The Best Schools website 

Sacramento-area schools make big push to identify low-income students – As the state directs more money to low-income students, some Sacramento-area schools are pushing harder to solicit family applications for subsidized meals, including campuses in affluent neighborhoods where a fraction of students have qualified in the past. Sacramento Bee article

Teachers say critical thinking key to college and career readiness — California teachers say critical thinking skills, not scores on standardized tests, are the best way to assess whether students are prepared for success in college and the workplace, according to an online survey by EdSource in partnership with the California Teachers Association. EdSource article

Playing his cards right — Vineyard Christian Middle School teacher Josh Christensen has a cabinet in his classroom of several recognizable board games for his sixth- through eighth-grade students. But it’s not the average game that they are crazy about. It’s a card game he has created that is so popular on their campus on 2301 W. Lodi Ave., that the cards are well worn and students lunge for the next available deck. Stockton Record article


New regulations on smog remain as divisive as ever – In August 2011, as President Obama prepared to unveil a major new environmental regulation on smog, his political advisers issued a warning: The rule would affect power plants and factories throughout the Midwest, slowing the economy in states like Ohio that would be crucial to the president’s re-election. New York Times article 

Guardian helps fund wood-burning stove program in EPA deal — Guardian Industries Corp. has reached a federal settlement to reduce air pollution emissions at seven of its flat glass manufacturing facilities, including a plant in Kingsburg. As part of the resolution of a Clean Air Act enforcement action, Guardian will fund an environmental mitigation project valued at $150,000 with the San Joaquin Air Pollution Control District to provide incentives to low-income Valley residents to replace inefficient wood-burning stoves. The Business Journal articleFresno Bee articleHanford Sentinel article 

Sacramento Bee: Shell’s retreat on arctic oil just makes sense — Environmentalists are high-fiving, and bitter-enders are blaming government regulation. But this week’s decision by Royal Dutch Shell to abandon oil exploration off the coast of the Alaskan was mainly about supply and demand. Sacramento Bee editorial

EPA adopts rules to limit oil refineries’ emissions into neighborhoods — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency adopted new rules Tuesday intended to clean the air around oil refineries across the nation, including communities near six major refineries in Southern California. LA Times article 

Scientists raise alarm over seal deaths off California coast — The rare Guadalupe fur seal, once hunted nearly to extinction, is falling victim to a new and deadly culprit — the unusually warm ocean waters off the West Coast. San Francisco Chronicle article

2 Butte fire victims sue PG&E over losses — A Southern California law firm announced that it has filed a civil lawsuit against Pacific Gas and Electric Co. on behalf of two Calaveras County residents who are victims of the Butte fire. Sacramento Bee article

Health/Human Services 

California anti-smoking drive cut rates in half – Smoking in California has dropped by more than 50 percent since the state launched its Tobacco Control Program in 1988, according to a Department of Public Health report. In 1988, the report says, 23.7 per cent of California adults were puffing away, but by 2013, it had dropped to 11.7 percent, the second lowest (to Utah) of any state. Sacramento Bee article

Fifth case of human West Nile reported in Kern County – Last week brought Kern County a new case of West Nile Virus, bringing the total local number of human infections this year to five. It could be worse. In 2007 Kern County had 140 human cases of the virus and four deaths, Kern Mosquito and Vector Control Superintendent Gene Abbott said. Bakersfield Californian article

Kern supervisors approve hospital authority — Kern County supervisors took a major step, Tuesday, on the road to transferring Kern Medical Center to a Kern County Hospital Authority. They voted to approve the ordinance that will create the hospital authority. Bakersfield Californian article

LA County to merge three health-related departments under one mega agency — Los Angeles County supervisors voted Tuesday to consolidate three health-related departments that deal with physical health, mental health and broader public health issues into a single agency. LA Times article 

$400,000 raised for Merced hospital’s 3-D mammography system – Mercy Medical Center in Merced will have a “state-of-the-art” 3-D mammography system for breast cancer screenings by the beginning of next year, the Mercy Foundation Board announced after surpassing its fundraising goal at this weekend’s gala. Merced Sun-Star article 

State health leaders meet in Fresno to tackle chlamydia outbreak – In a rare occasion, the state department of public health sent a team of experts to Fresno. They’re meeting with local health providers in hopes of reducing the alarming rates of chlamydia, especially in teens and young adults. KVPR report 

San Francisco seeks to improve heart health for minorities – San Francisco’s poorest residents — particularly Latinos and African Americans living in the neighborhoods that account for about 80 percent of the city’s cases of heart disease — are targets of a new federally funded program to try to improve their cardiac health. San Francisco Chronicle article

Lemoore pushes forward with senior grant — Almost one year after it was awarded a $1.4 million federal grant to rehabilitate the Lemoore Senior Center, city officials are still pushing through red tape. Hanford Sentinel article

Land Use/Housing

Judge: Bakersfield’s Amberton wall must come down — The Amberton wall must come down, a Kern County Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday. The cinderblock structure homeowner Michael Hansen had built on his private property in June 2013 blocked a public walkway, Kern County Superior Court Judge David R. Lampe wrote in a tentative decision. Bakersfield Californian article 

Davis City Council approves 45-day ban on bar expansions after fatal fight — Responding to a fatal Sept. 19 bar fight at a downtown Davis nightclub, the Davis City Council imposed a temporary ban Tuesday on new restaurants and nightspots to give the community time to evaluate whether entertainment venues are expanding too fast for the city’s safety. Sacramento Bee article


Air carrier to begin flights from Merced — San Francisco-based Boutique Air, which was awarded a two-year contract to provide Essential Air Service to Merced Municipal Airport, will begin providing flights next month, the company announced this week. Merced Sun-Star article 

Sacramento transit agency challenges $10,000 fine for runaway train — Saying the state is being punitive, Sacramento Regional Transit has challenged a $10,000 fine issued by the California Public Utilities Commission in connection with a runaway light-rail train in North Sacramento earlier this year. Sacramento Bee article 

Sacramento proposes first ‘cycle track’ downtown — The city of Sacramento is laying plans this week for its first “cycle track,” a two-way bike boulevard that will take the place of a car lane on a mile-plus stretch of 12th Street between Richards Boulevard and H Street. Sacramento Bee article

Other areas

Private email servers? Cyber Dust? Not at Fresno City Hall – Locally and nationally, open government has been in the news. At the national level, it’s been Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton’s use of a private email server for official business when she was Secretary of State. Locally, it’s been Fresno Unified’s use of an app that quickly deletes electronic messages. At Fresno City Hall, Mayor Ashley Swearengin said none of that happens. Fresno Bee article

Stanislaus supervisors raise questions about cat capture, neuter and release program – A catch-spay-and-release program intended to control the feral cat population has its critics, including county Supervisor Jim DeMartini. Modesto Bee article

Sacramento mayor raised $100,000 for heroes parade – Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson raised roughly $100,000 to run the parade earlier this month that honored three local men who thwarted a terrorist attack in France, according to his spokesman. Sacramento Bee article

Charles Shulz, Robert Downey Jr. to be inducted into California Hall of Fame — A celebrated cartoonist, an Olympic gold medalist and Iron Man himself are among the latest inductees to the California Hall of Fame. Gov. Jerry Brown, First Lady Anne Gust Brown and the California Museum jointly announced Tuesday the ninth class of Californians to be recognized for exemplifying the state’s “spirit of innovation,” including Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz, figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi and actor Robert Downey, Jr. Sacramento Bee article 

Kern supervisors uphold illegal fireworks penalties — Kern County supervisors, on Tuesday, upheld two penalties against homeowners who appealed citations they received for use of illegal fireworks. Bakersfield Californian article

Ticket-fixing judge not entitled to pension — A Santa Clara County judge who was forced off the bench after being convicted of fixing traffic tickets in 2004 is not entitled to a pension, even though his felony conviction was reduced to a misdemeanor and later expunged, a state appeals court ruled Tuesday. San Francisco Chronicle article

Dispensaries offer free marijuana to Valley fire victims — Medical marijuana dispensaries in Northern California are giving patients affected by a hugely destructive wildfire up to $200 in free cannabis per patient for the next week. LA Times article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – Now is the time to capitalize on the country’s collective wonder about the cosmos.

Merced Sun-Star – Ten years ago, UC Merced seemed little more than a mirage rising from the fields with only a few capable of seeing its potential. Today it is a concrete reality and the more who see it, who invest in it, who partner with it, the greater it becomes for all of us and for all of California.

Sacramento Bee – Environmentalists are high-fiving, and bitter-enders are blaming government regulation. But this week’s decision by Royal Dutch Shell to abandon oil exploration off the coast of the Alaskan was mainly about supply and demand; President Obama has little choice but to work with Putin in Syria.

Maddy Events

Sunday, Oct. 4, at 7 a.m. on Univision 21 (KFTV) and UniMas 61 (KTFF) – El Informe Maddy: “Recividism and Realignment” – Guests: Tulare County District Attorney Investigator Jose Benavides and Tulare County Assistant District Attorney Erica Gonzalez. Host: Maddy Institute Deputy Director Ana Melendez. 

Sunday, Oct. 4, at 5 p.m. on Fresno ABC30 – Maddy Report: “Public Safety Realignment: Emerging Trends in Year 2” – Guests: Public Policy Institute of California analysts Steven Raphael and Magnus Lofstrom. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director Mark Keppler. 

Sunday, Oct. 4, at 10 a.m. on KMJ (580AM and 105.9FM Radio/podcast) – Maddy Report – Valley Views Edition: “Realignment and Valley Crime: Has the Second Year Been the Charm?” — Guests: Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims and Fresno State criminology professor Emma Hughes. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director Mark Keppler. 

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

  • IAP2NorCal and the Institute for Local Government will hold an event, “Public Participation for 21stCentury Democracy,” in San Jose on Thursday, Oct. 1, from 12:30-2:30 p.m.  More information is available here.
  • 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.
  • Zocalo Public Square will hold an event, “Can Fresno Win the War on Poverty?,” at Frank’s Place at Warnors Center for the Performing Arts in Fresno on Tuesday, Oct. 13, at 7 p.m.  More information:
  • 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 34thannual Agribusiness Management Conference will be held at the DoubleTree Hotel and Conference Center in Fresno on Wednesday, Nov. 4. The event will feature presentation on the economic outlook for agriculture, trade, water, and immigration.  More information:  559.278.4405 or
  • 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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