September 4, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories 

Sacramento Bee: Some pressing ballot issues that aren’t about the White House — Hijacked by a poser, the nation has gawked at Trump’s antics like Sunday drivers passing a big-rig explosion. That’s normal; it’s instinctive to notice unusual behavior. But this ballot also asks serious policy questions that Californians don’t want to get wrong. Sacramento Bee editorial 

Rep. Pelosi, a ‘scary liberal,’ is No. 1 on GOP hit list – Republicans, worried that Donald Trump’s unpopularity among voters will cost them their majority in the House in November, are expected to target someone they see as just as loathed among their base: San Francisco Democrat Nancy Pelosi. San Francisco Chronicle article

Gov. Brown 

Dan Morain: Jerry Brown’s time with Mother Teresa in streets of Calcutta — If only in passing on Sunday, Gov. Jerry Brown’s mind surely will wander to the 3 1/2 weeks in 1988 he spent in the fetid slums of Calcutta, back when he was trying to find his way. Morain in Sacramento Bee 

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures 

Bakersfield Californian: Vote YES on Prop 57; reform California’s sentencing law — Californians now have two choices: continue to pay more taxes to build more prisons to keep more people behind bars; or reform the sentencing and incarceration system to more reasonably punish and rehabilitate criminals. To do nothing and allow California’s prison overcrowding to grow is a dangerous alternative. Bakersfield Californian editorial 

Local police brace for marijuana legalization – As the November election approaches, local law enforcement agencies are weighing their options regarding the possible legalization of recreational marijuana in California. Hanford Sentinel article 

PolitiFact: Would California’s Prop 60 expose adult film workers to lawsuits? — We wondered: Does Proposition 60 — a measure intended to curb sexually transmitted diseases among porn workers — really expose those same people to legal action? We decided to fact-check that provocative claim.  PolitFact article

Other areas 

Santa Clara: Police chief urges officers to protect public, despite Kaepernick’s stance – Santa Clara’s police chief on Saturday delivered a mild rebuke to officers who threatened to boycott 49ers games in response to quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protests over police brutality and racial injustice. San Jose Mercury News article 

Willie Brown: Kaepernick making it up as he goes along — I don’t think 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick had any idea what he was getting into by declining to stand for the national anthem. Brown column in San Francisco Chronicle 

Mike Klocke: Top storylines for Nov. 8 — Two months and counting. The 2016 General Election — under The Big Top, nationally and locally — is almost upon us. Depending on your point of view, the next nine weeks will either be sweet dessert or root canal. They will not, however, be boring. Here are my Top 10 storylines as we hit the home stretch. Klocke column in Stockton Record

Developers play big role in Sacramento County supervisor elections — Development interests have accounted for two-thirds of the contributions and independent expenditures in Sacramento County supervisor races this year, a Sacramento Bee analysis shows. Sacramento Bee article

Bay Area ballots bulge with measures to pay for homeless housing — All told, local measures on the Nov. 8 ballot would generate $3 billion over the next 25 years to build affordable housing and provide services for the down and out. Community leaders from San Jose to San Francisco say they can’t remember when so much funding for the problem of extreme poverty has been tossed before the voters at the same time. San Francisco Chronicle article

Presidential Politics 

Doyle McManus: Trump’s hard-line stance on immigration may hurt the GOP for generations to come – Donald Trump’s passionate revival last week of his hard-line stance on immigration looks more and more like a political disaster for the Republican nominee and his party. McManus in LA Times 

Trump’s California volunteers struggle with ‘racist’ label – Donald Trump flew the proverbial white flag over California last week by sweeping through the Bay Area and Central Valley for big-money fundraisers and then flying away without a making a single public appearance. But his state political director and many of his most ardent Bay Area supporters say they are just beginning to fight, and to the befuddlement of political experts, they say that at least for now they will try to win over voters in bright blue California rather than swing states like Nevada. San Jose Mercury News article

Greg McGiffney: Within our Constitution, some electoral intrigue – The Bakersfield businessman, adjunct professor and retired Naval Officer writes, “What would it take for a third party candidate to actually win a U.S. presidential election?” McGiffney op-ed in Bakersfield Californian 

Donald Blount: This stump for Trump goes kerplunk — I’m usually prepared to have these conversations go either way, often the best defense is to play hard of hearing and ignore any rude comments. I glanced over to check traffic. The driver looked at me and said: “Nice day for a bike ride.” Ah, this may end up just fine, I thought. “Yes, it is,” I said. She then said something else, which was just small talk before saying: “Vote for Trump. He’ll do great things for the inner city.” Well, knock me over with a feather. Blount column in Stockton Record

News Stories

Top Stories

Armed felon critically wounds 2 officers in Fresno County Jail lobby — Two Fresno County correctional officers were in critical condition after they were shot by an ex-convict during a terrifying confrontation inside the downtown Fresno jail lobby Saturday morning. Fresno Bee article; Visalia Times-Delta article; LA Times article

Modesto looks at providing high-speed internet service – Modesto is looking at creating its own high-speed fiber optic network to provide super-fast internet service for city operations and local business. The City Council recently approved hiring the consulting firm Kimley-Horn and Associates at a cost of $167,365 for a fiber optic network infrastructure design and services master plan. The project is expected to take six months.Modesto Bee article

Jobs and the Economy 

Our long stagnant-paycheck nightmare may finally be nearing an end – The falling unemployment rate has led to more competition for workers, spurring solid gains in average hourly earnings in recent months. Those pressures, amplified by laws providing significant minimum-wage hikes in California, New York and elsewhere, also are triggering changes for the workers who need raises the most. LA Times article 

Why Bay Area tech companies are key to Sacramento’s economic strategy – Barry Broome, who was brought to Sacramento after a successful stint running Phoenix’s economic development organization, said going after the big dogs of high tech is no longer realistic; California’s costs are too high and the companies are more apt to wind up in a place like Austin or Denver. It makes more sense to recruit scores of small fish that want to stay in California – and hope some of them blossom into major tech companies. Sacramento Bee article 

As Norwood departs Reedley Opera House, he wishes leaders would show more support — Mark Norwood didn’t have any illusions over the years about how hard it is to run a small community theater company.Fresno Bee article 

Lewis Griswold: Singer Chris Brown filmed part of his new video in Tulare County — Singer Chris Brown released a new music video last week, and the Tulare County Film Commission couldn’t be happier about it.Griswold in Fresno Bee 

San Francisco falling short on many goals, controller finds – Surely San Francisco’s massive $9.6 billion annual budget is enough to pay for top-of-the-line services, like police arriving in a snap when beckoned for help, 911 call operators answering the phones promptly, the trauma hospital having plenty of space and buses coming — gasp — on time. Well, one can dream.  San Francisco Chronicle article 

So what’s that (much) taller building rising next to downtown arena? — A big new building is altering the downtown skyline, brought to you by the Sacramento Kings. It’s not the arena, however. It’s a 16-story hotel and condominium tower, a bounce pass from the Kings’ new Golden 1 Center. This building and the adjacent pedestrian plaza – while still under construction – offer a glimpse of the new vision taking shape on land that for the last 45 years housed the Downtown Plaza shopping center. Sacramento Bee article

Criminal Justice/Prisons 

Lois Henry: Case against Erskine Fire survivors should be dropped — Can someone over at the District Attorney’s office open up a can of common sense and take a swig? Maybe two swigs. Then relook at the case against Denis Desmond. He’s charged with three misdemeanors (reduced from two felonies and one misdemeanor) for going past a barricade the night of the deadly Erskine Fire to get his wife out of their home on Yankee Canyon Drive. Henry column in Bakersfield Californian 

Some attorneys shielding clients from photography — Manila folders have recently become the accessory of choice for attorneys in the Kern County Public Defender’s office. In the past few months, attorneys have used folders and pads of legal-sized paper to block the faces of defendants from the media during arraignments in Kern County Superior Court. There has been a noticeable uptick of such incidents, some successful in preventing cameras from getting a clear photograph of the accused, some not. Bakersfield Californian article 

Michael Fitzgerald: Vendor alleges sheriff lost slew of evidence — The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office has lost about 10,000 pieces of evidence and stored items, says the vendor who provides the software that manages the evidence room. Brian Germann, 52, of Linden-based Wayne Enterprises says “gross negligence” has left the evidence room a mess, and that could compromise criminal court cases. Fitzgerald column in Stockton Record 

Marcos Breton: Should be trust Sacramento Police Department to investigate its own shooting of homeless black man? — A mentally ill African American man is killed after being shot at least 16 times by Sacramento police and those of us on the outside are left with unanswered questions as city leaders circle the wagons. Breton column in Sacramento Bee


Teachers union slams Fresno Unified for spending on public relations, attorneys – The Fresno Unified School District has spent more than $52,000 to promote its I Am Ready campaign, which aims to increase the high school graduation rate. According to records obtained by The Bee, as of Aug. 1 nearly $30,000 had been spent on public service announcements aired on ABC 30 and KSEE 24 and for an “online presence” on their websites. About $15,000 has been spent on advertisements in The Bee, and more than $7,000 has been spent on posters. The Fresno Teachers Association has criticized the district’s spending, saying that money should go to classrooms instead. Fresno Bee article 

Two bills would give greater job security to community college adjunct faculty – Close to two-thirds of community college teachers in California are adjuncts or part-timers, and many of them have little job security. But two companion bills are now headed to Gov. Jerry Brown, which advocates say could improve conditions. KQED report 

Why parents send their kids to private schools — Parents have different reasons why they pay for their children to attend a private school rather than enrolling them at a public school. Hanford Sentinel article

Health/Human Services 

Former Community Hospice nurses say work environment was toxic — Carolynn Peterson was making a fresh start in late 2014 as interim director of a nonprofit hospice in Grass Valley after spending almost 10 years in leadership positions with Modesto-based Community Hospice Inc.  Modesto Bee article

Land Use/Housing 

Fresno Bee: Fresno slumlords and their political allies are winning — The forces that want to retain the status quo of slumlords operating as they please are mighty in Fresno. Fresno Bee editorial 

Jeff Jardine: There’s nothing right about housing blight, but the battle never ends — Plywood covers the windows on both stories, the doors and the garage. Trash piles continue to grow in the backyard. Paperwork stapled to the garage door of the bank-owned property details the numerous code violations and orders it to make repairs. Indeed, this house on Phoenix Avenue in Modesto’s La Loma Neighborhood certainly stands out along a street lined with otherwise well-maintained homes, most about 30 years old and all but that one well-kept. Jardine column in Modesto Bee 

Maneuvering occurring over ‘nuisance property’ – The perpetually troubled New Grand Save Market has been padlocked for two months now, and to the naked eye nothing much has happened since the morning police officers swept in and shut down a southeast Stockton site that had been among the city’s hotter crime hotspots. The big question now for neighborhood residents is, “What next?” Stockton Record article 

Construction to begin on 3-acre park in downtown Oakdale — Construction will begin soon on a nearly 3-acre park in the center of Oakdale, and the city is asking the public to help name it. The park on South Yosemite Avenue between H and J streets will feature a skate park, amphitheater, basketball court and agility course. Modesto Bee article

Other areas 

‘Blackie’ Gejeian, Fresno Autorama icon, dies at age 90— Fresno auto show icon and hot rod legend Michael “Blackie” Gejeian, who celebrated his 90th birthday in June, died Friday, the Fresno County Coroner’s Office said. Fresno Bee article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Bakersfield Californian Vote YES on Prop 57; reform California’s sentencing law.

Fresno Bee – The forces that want to retain the status quo of slumlords operating as they please are mighty in Fresno. 

Sacramento Bee – Hijacked by a poser, the nation has gawked at Trump’s antics like Sunday drivers passing a big-rig explosion. That’s normal; it’s instinctive to notice unusual behavior. But this ballot also asks serious policy questions that Californians don’t want to get wrong.