Sunday, October 26, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Toler files suit to get name on ballot for Solano sheriff

Election2014

By
From page A3 | March 15, 2014 |

FAIRFIELD — A Fairfield bail bondman who wants to be Solano County sheriff-coroner turned to the courts Friday one week after the Solano County Registrar of Voters Office deemed him unqualified.

Joel “Tom” Toler filed a lawsuit seeking a court order compelling the registrar’s office to put his name on the ballot alongside incumbent Sheriff Thomas Ferrara.

Toler had filed a last-minute candidate application that he believes complies with state laws that require five years of law enforcement experience, including a requirement that some of that experience must be within a year of the election.

Toler, who many years ago worked for more than five years as a cop in Vacaville and in Winters, spent two weeks earlier this year working as a cop in the New Mexico city of Jemez Springs, population 250.

Toler believes the brief stint in New Mexico complies with state law, which make no mention of the law enforcement having to be done in California. An hour after the candidate registration period had closed March 7, Toler received a phone from the registrar’s office telling him they had decided he was not qualified.

Judge Scott L. Kays is scheduled to hear from Toler’s lawyers and lawyer for the county on March 26.

Assistant Registrar of Voters John Gardner said the county plans to have the ballot for the June 3 primary election sent off for printing March 28. Gardner declined to comment on Toler’s effort.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or jsullivan@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.
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Discussion | 50 comments

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  • RobertMarch 14, 2014 - 8:00 pm

    There are going to be some folks loosing a lot of sleep tonight...........

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  • The MisterMarch 14, 2014 - 9:36 pm

    You are so right, Robert, particularly with 42 US Code - 1983 "Civil action for deprivation of rights" hanging over their heads. To paraphrase, "Every person who, under color of any statute... subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen... to the deprivation of any rights... secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in any action at law, suit in equity..." This means that Solano County Registrar, Ira Rosenthal, and anyone who had played any periphery part, can be held personally financially liable for depriving Tom Toler a place on the ballot... to include legal expenses. In the past when the County abused Tom Toler and a judge found agents of Solano County at fault, it was always the taxpayers who had to pay the fines and fees. This time it won't be the taxpayers paying for another Solano County screw-up... it will be a few people, including Ira Rosenthal, who will be paying out of their own personal pockets. More than loosing sleep, Robert, I expect to see panic this coming week.

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  • DeniseMarch 15, 2014 - 4:15 am

    Here is some sound financial advice. Before Toler is elected start investing in shredding machine manufacturers. Maybe Toler can give some them liars over there a two for one discount on bail bonds. I am sure they will need them when the FEDs come calling........

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  • CD BrooksMarch 15, 2014 - 6:18 am

    This is no big deal, he gets his name on the ballot or he doesn't. He will still have to get the votes to win, I don't think that will happen.

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  • DeniseMarch 15, 2014 - 6:36 am

    CDB, You insult the public's intelligence and insight!

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  • CD BrooksMarch 15, 2014 - 6:54 am

    Denise, how so? You support your candidate as you please cast your vote and let the chips land where they may. I won't debate the intelligence or question the insight of those making the same choice. From the tone of your comment it doesn't appear we'll be voting alike.

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  • The CheifMarch 15, 2014 - 7:05 am

    I don't see what the fuss is aboutToler supposedly not having enough law enforcement experience, since neither does our current "Sheriff". In fact, Toler's recent stint as a police officer in NM actually was probably more than the sum total of Mr. Ferrara's law enforcement experience - as his was briefly - long ago. As we know, Mr. Ferrara began his "career" running for coffee for Al and the Big Boys, progressively working his way up to Chief Factotum and paper shuffler. Recent events have shown Mr. Ferrara's executive abilities to be somewhat - lacking? -shall we say? Insofar as his winning the election being a foregone conclusion, I can only say that cynicism can be a dangerous thing.

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  • CD BrooksMarch 15, 2014 - 7:25 am

    Funny, "cynicism can be dangerous." There are so many ways to respond to that but in this case it would be redundant.

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  • TaylorMarch 15, 2014 - 9:31 am

    Wow the plot thickens day after day and more and more departments in the County are joining the party! Let's see how many county employees we can expose. I can only hope something gets done about all this corruption. Time to clean house!

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  • Bill of RightsMarch 15, 2014 - 10:48 am

    I keep hearing from Toler supporters how Toler may have more LEO experience than sitting Sherriff Ferrar. I don't know what Ferrar's career was as it relates to working the streets, investigations, etc. but he has maintained his POST certificate for his entire career. There are some police officers who promote early and find supervision and leadership is what they enjoy. Toler can't even get a cop job and has to do some Mayberry RFD work in New Mexico. I don't know much about the sitting Sherriff other than he took over for Stanton (who Toler also attacked publicly), but I will never vote for a lot stirrer like Toler to run a Sheriff Office when he has NO, NO management experience!

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  • The MisterMarch 15, 2014 - 11:02 am

    Hey, BOR, are you saying that successful small business owners have NO management experience? Really?? Are you saying that one has to be an uppity-up in a government job to gain the right kind of management experience to make you happy... like the experience of our current sheriff, our DA and the registrar? That's certainly not the kind of "management" experience this county needs more of, BOR. We need management with honesty and service to the people... not self-serving dishonesty like that playing out in the courts and the press recently of the incumbent uppity-ups.

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  • A Different PerspectiveMarch 15, 2014 - 4:19 pm

    The Mister, successful business man? I went by his office every day for more than two weeks on unrelated business. The lighted open sign is on and he's never there. How does someone run a business like that? I wouldn't trust him as far as I can throw him. Looks like we're going to be voting for the lesser of two evils.

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  • George Guynn, JrMarch 15, 2014 - 11:29 am

    The Mister, well said! Mt. Toler is the type of public servant we need. He is independent, fair, and not there to serve himself like so many of those presently in office! CD, if you see nothing wrong with the present lineup of no competition for Sheriff , then you need your glasses fixed! I am voting for Toler!!!!!

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  • Bill of RightsMarch 15, 2014 - 1:49 pm

    @The Mister, in essence that is exactly what I am saying! Go and run a small business if that is what you do. But don't think running a mom and pop bail bonnds business is anything like running a fully operational sheriffs office. Apples and oranges. question for Toler, what is your educational level? What degrees do you have? You clearly are not capable of being a California cop, so what makes anyone think you can run a fully operational Sheriffs office with thousands of émigrés associated with different labor groups? Please give me insight into your last comes budget you had to manage? What was the outcome? What was the most employees you have ever managed? Please answer and prove yourself to the public that you can handle this job! I have my opinions, but will wait for your answer.

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  • RobertMarch 15, 2014 - 2:53 pm

    At this stage my primary requirement is "Honesty". Do you really believe Ferrara runs that department. Why don't you ask him who prepares his budget?

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  • Bill of RightsMarch 15, 2014 - 5:37 pm

    @Tom Toler, can you please answer the questions I have asked you? I think us voters need to know.

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  • MDSMarch 16, 2014 - 9:07 am

    So the man wants to be Sheriff but he can't even read the law? Does he think the judge isn't going to be able to read the law? This article falsely makes the statement that the law doesn't specify the experience has to be in California. That is a complete lie! The law specifically says the experience must comply with California Penal Code sections 830.1 or 830.2. Those two laws describe California law enforcement officers. They do not describe New Mexico law enforcement officers. New Mexico experience doesn't count. Not to mention how do you go get a job for two weeks? Sounds like somebody pulled a scam on the tax payers of New Mexico. I wonder what New Mexico law says about a two week cop? In California in order to get a job that complies with 830.1 or 830.2 the applicant must have a complete comprehensive background, a psychological evaluation, and a physical evaluation. Also you would have had to have been a police academy graduate within three years or had previous full time experience within three years. Absent that you have to go back to a recertification course. So in 2014 you can go an just get a full time cop job in New Mexico without any updated training or qualifications?

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  • CD BrooksMarch 16, 2014 - 9:24 am

    MDS, you're speaking to a bunch of folks here that have never seen a fact they can't distort or ignore completely. They live in an alternate universe and will actually write in this guys name. Glad they are not the majority. And trust me, they're not.

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  • The MisterMarch 16, 2014 - 10:33 am

    MDS, on March 26th, you will 1) get an education; or 2) witness corruption in action. I expect the former, but would not be surprised at the latter.

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  • CD BrooksMarch 16, 2014 - 10:43 am

    The Mister, OH NO! You are not?! Taking a step back? Good grief, what is this city going to do? ;) What a mishmash of slop your comment was...

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  • The MisterMarch 16, 2014 - 11:33 am

    Not sure what you're talking about, Seedy. I'm sure the complaint filed speaks very clearly on the several counts of violation of Constitutional law and improper (illegal) application of such law and prior court rulings. If the judge on the 26th finds such a clear reading of the law supported by numerous rulings contrary to the County's decision as expressed by the Registrar, then justice may proceed. If, on the other hand, the judge finds for the County, then the corruption that just drips from our County will flow more freely. (I'm sure that Registrar Ira Rosenthal is just about passing bricks right now as he will be held personally financially responsible for violating Tom Toler's civil rights. Either the wagon train of corrupt County power brokers had better circle tight or Ira will be on the hook for some big bucks... which will be a nice change of pace because usually it's the Solano taxpayers who have to pay the financial price when the corrupt County players get caught.)

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  • MDSMarch 16, 2014 - 3:18 pm

    So The Mister, if the judge doesn't interpret the law the way you see it, even though you're wrong, then that is corruption? Since Mr. Toler is your buddy, ask him if before he was a cop for two weeks in New Mexico, if he complied with New Mexico law and met all their requirements to be a peace officer. I tried several times to post a link to their web site, but I guess you can't post links here. Basically New Mexico has some of the same requirements to be a cop as California does. He would have had to have become certified in New Mexico to be a cop. Did he do that? I doubt he did, but it really doesn't matter anyway as California law clearly states the experience required to be a Sheriff in California has to be California experience. That is how the judge will rule. You can't scam your way into a Sheriffs seat. If Mr. Toler wants to qualify next time around, all he has to do is get a full time paid peace officer job in California that qualifies under 830.1 or 830.2 of the penal code, just like the law says.

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  • The MisterMarch 16, 2014 - 3:38 pm

    MDS, I've read the applicable laws... and there is absolutely nothing that says the experience must be obtained in California. For Ira Rosenthal to make a decision, in his official capacity as Registrar, that violates the civil rights of Tom Toler, according to US Code 42-1983, Mr Rosenthal is personally financially responsible to Mr Toler for such a violation to include paying the legal expenses. This means that Mr Rosenthal's Uppity Hill Vinyards could be at risk. It's a heck of a gamble on Mr Rosenthal's part to expect the judge to be corruptible enough to read into law something that is expressly not there.

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  • MDSMarch 16, 2014 - 3:20 pm

    And while you're asking Mr. Toler those questions, don't forget to ask him if he surrendered his California drivers license and got a New Mexico drivers license since that is also required to be a cop in New Mexico.

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  • The MisterMarch 16, 2014 - 3:40 pm

    MDS, you can come to California and work and reside here for up to 30 days before you have to get a California DL. Sounds like you are really grasping at straws. Don't feel alone, MDS... I'm sure there a many people in Solano County this week who will be grasping at any straw they can.

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  • RobertMarch 16, 2014 - 3:49 pm

    MDS, Why are some people so eager to argue that Toler is not qualified. Why not hold your breath thus reducing the global warming. Now,sit back relax and see what the judges says. What he decides is what matters and not what you think!

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  • MDSMarch 16, 2014 - 4:06 pm

    Robert, why are so many people quick to argue that Mr. Toler is qualified? You expect that you should be allowed to come on here and make all the false claims you want but nobody can reply to those false claims? Sorry, Toler is a fraud and he's trying to scam his way onto the ballot.

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  • RobertMarch 16, 2014 - 4:15 pm

    What false claims? baby nothing that I have written on this site is false. Lying is not in my DNA.......

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  • DeniseMarch 16, 2014 - 4:09 pm

    I keeping hearing Ferrara supporters tout about Toler's lack of qualification. If Ferrara's supporters are confident that he will triumphantly win his be re-election, then I can't understand why their behavior depict that of a pack of hyenas about ready to get pounced by a lion.

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  • MDSMarch 16, 2014 - 4:02 pm

    The Mister, you can work in California for 30 days without a California Drivers license, but you can't be a police officer without a California Drivers license. That's the law. As is the law under the requirements for being Sheriff that the required law enforcement experience must comply with section 830.1 and 830.2 of the California Penal Code. Please explain to me how the California Penal code can possibly be describing a peace officer in New Mexico? The law is clear.

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  • MDSMarch 16, 2014 - 4:04 pm

    What are the NMLEA Minimum Standards to Become a Cop in New Mexico? •You must be 21 years of age at the time of your academy graduation. •You must have a high school diploma or GED. •You must have a valid New Mexico driver’s license. •You must be a U.S. citizen. •You must have no felonies, frequent criminal activity or improper conduct on your record and you must have an excellent driver history. •You must have 20/30 corrected or 20/100 uncorrected vision along with satisfactory color and depth perception. These are the minimum requirements to even start the process to be a peace officer in New Mexico. Notice the drivers license requirement?

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  • The MisterMarch 16, 2014 - 4:08 pm

    So you're saying that Toler didn't get a NM DL? Have you looked in his wallet? Did Stanton show you his DL? What about Ferreira; did he show you his DL? Are you creating a new standard here that only applies to Toler? If so, you qualify to work in the Registrar's Office.

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  • MDSMarch 16, 2014 - 4:36 pm

    I didn't say he didn't have a NM drivers license, but I seriously doubt he did. I asked the question. Mr. Toler has posted on here before so he can answer the question. Not only was he required to have a New Mexico driver license he was also required to meet the New Mexico Standards to be a peace officer. That means he needed to attend a New Mexico Police Academy, or he needed to me the challenge requirements for the academy which is a pretty long process. I want to know if he did all that so he could get his two weeks in as a cop? Can you answer that question? Hey County Counsel, if you're following this discussion make sure those questions get asked at the hearing. Find out if Mr. Toler complied with New Mexico law. Not that it really matters because even if he did it still doesn't qualify with California law, but if he didn't do all that then that just makes it even more clear that he doesn't comply.

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  • The MisterMarch 16, 2014 - 4:55 pm

    So MDS, this a forum where we can ask candidates for Sheriff questions? Okay, here it goes: Mr Ferrara, are you corrupt? As a fairly new sheriff on the heals of a generational dynasty, did you inherit a corrupt organization? Mr Ferrara, are you covering up evidence and facts that thwarted justice for the accused? Are you helping others with a cover up of the same? Mr Ferrara, can the people of Solano County reasonably expect you to clean up the corruption in Solano County government give that you haven't done so in the time you have been sheriff? If so, then why? Mr Ferrara, do you have a California driver license? Yes? Okay, that makes everything alright.

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  • The MisterMarch 16, 2014 - 5:04 pm

    Let me continue on this theme and ask a candidate for DA some questions: Mr du Bain, are you corrupt? Is your organization corrupt? Are you now or have you thwarted justice of the accused? Are you or members of your office covering up evidence and facts, now or in the past, that calls into question justice served in our courts? If there is corruption in the DA's office now, why should the people of Solano County expect that you will now stop that corruption? If, on the other hand, there is no corruption in the DA's office now, do these recent reports in the media just reveal business as usual in the DA's office? Mr du Bain, do you have a California driver license? Yes? Alright then, you're good.

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  • MDSMarch 16, 2014 - 5:38 pm

    You can ask all the questions of the candidates you want. So lets ask Tom Toler some more. Mr. Toler how is it you landed a full time job as a "Deputy Police Chief" in a town that already had a Police Chief when that town only has a population of 250 people? How many cops does a 250 person town have that they need a Chief and a Deputy Chief? Mr. Toler did you surrender your California Drivers license and obtain a New Mexico Drivers license as is required by California Law? Mr. Toler, what makes you think New Mexico experience qualifies as law enforcement experience as defined by sections 830.1 or 830.2 of the CALIFORNIA Penal code? Mr. Toler, did you fully qualify to be a peace officer in New Mexico pursuant to all of the requirements of the New Mexico POST rules? Mr. Toler did the town council of Jemez Springs, New Mexico create the position of Deputy Police Chief in an official meeting of the council? Mr. Toler how come a Google search doesn't turn up a single mention of you in any newspaper article in New Mexico? Isn't the hiring of a Deputy Police Chief normally an event that makes the local news? Mr. Toler when the town hired you, did they do a complete background check, physical, and psychological exam? Who paid for all that for your two weeks of employment?

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  • The MisterMarch 16, 2014 - 6:16 pm

    If you have the law, hammer the law. If you have the facts, hammer the facts. If you have neither the law nor the facts, hammer the table. MDS, you must be about down to sawdust!

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  • MDSMarch 16, 2014 - 6:54 pm

    At least I'm able to read the law unlike you and Mr. Toler.

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  • The MisterMarch 17, 2014 - 6:25 am

    @MDS... because you went to a California public school? That is special.

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  • MDSMarch 17, 2014 - 9:33 am

    @The Mister, lets take a reading lesson since you're so smart. Read this for me, "salaried law enforcement experience within the provisions of Section 830.1 or 830.2 of the Penal Code at least a portion of which shall have been accomplished within five years prior to the date of filing." Have you read it? Do you understand it? Now please tell me how a phony two week appointment to a position of Deputy Police Chief in a town of 250 people in New Mexico qualifies as police service that falls "within the provisions of Section 830.1 or 830.2 of the 'CALIFORNIA' Penal Code? Go ahead I'm waiting.

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  • MDSMarch 16, 2014 - 9:10 am

    And if you don't believe me read the information on this link: http://nmlea.dps.state.nm.us/index.php/directors-office/certification-by-waiver/ Did Mr. Toler comply with all the requirements to become certified in New Mexico as a Peace Officer? It's really not a question that needs to be asked since New Mexico time doesn't count anyway, but somebody should check it out anyway.

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  • MDSMarch 16, 2014 - 9:19 am

    http://nmlea.dps.state.nm.us/index.php/directors-office/certification-by-waiver/ Just as I thought, New Mexico has strict standards for becoming a peace officer too. Did Mr. Toler comply with all these standards? (See the above link) Not to mention things like he would have had to surrender his California drivers license and obtain a New Mexico drivers license. Did he do that? But this is all a moot point as per California law you have to have recent experience as a peace officer that complies with sections 830.1 or 830.2 of the California Penal Code and those sections say nothing about New Mexico.

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  • NitPickerMarch 16, 2014 - 4:24 pm

    California Government Code says the following: 24004.3. (a) No person is eligible to become a candidate for the office of sheriff in any county unless, at the time of the final filing date for election, he or she meets one of the following criteria: (1) An active or inactive advanced certificate issued by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training. (2) One year of full-time, salaried law enforcement experience within the provisions of Section 830.1 or 830.2 of the Penal Code at least a portion of which shall have been accomplished within five years prior to the date of filing, and possesses a master's degree from an accredited college or university. (3) Two years of full-time, salaried law enforcement experience within the provisions of Section 830.1 or 830.2 of the Penal Code at least a portion of which shall have been accomplished within five years prior to the date of filing, and possesses a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. (4) Three years of full-time, salaried law enforcement experience within the provisions of Section 830.1 or 830.2 of the Penal Code at least a portion of which shall have been accomplished within five years prior to the date of filing, and possesses an associate in arts or associate in science degree, or the equivalent, from an accredited college. (5) Four years of full-time, salaried law enforcement experience within the provisions of Section 830.1 or 830.2 of the Penal Code at least a portion of which shall have been accomplished within five years prior to the date of filing, and possesses a high school diploma or the equivalent. (b) All persons holding the office of sheriff on January 1, 1989 shall be deemed to have met all qualifications required for candidates seeking election or appointment to the office of sheriff.

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  • The MisterMarch 16, 2014 - 4:33 pm

    Thanks, Nitpicker. "at least a portion of which shall have been accomplished within five years prior" Says nothing about similar to 'shall have been accomplished in California within five years prior'. For a requirement "in California" to be in the current law, the current law would have to be changed. Registrar Ira Rosenthal is not a lawmaker... and has no capacity whatsoever to change law.

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  • MDSMarch 16, 2014 - 4:40 pm

    Just funny as heck how you look at the law in black and white and misquote it. Why didn't you include this part in your quotes, "within the provisions of Section 830.1 or 830.2 of the Penal Code?" The law is clear that the required experience must fall within the provision of those two laws. Go look up those two laws and find the work New Mexico in them for me. Find the words "out of state." Find anything in those two laws that defines anything other than a California Peace officer. I'll save you some time, it isn't there!

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  • Puddin TaneMarch 17, 2014 - 12:01 pm

    @ MDS - the Mister is notorious for being immune to facts. As you can see, even when he is presented with evidence he will either ignore it or claim that it is false. His usual defense against posted facts is "TL;DR" ("too long; didnt read" for the older folks). I'm not sure if his reaction to NitPicker's posting of the relevant sections of the CA Goverment Code is an example of his illiteracy or cognitive dissonance, but either way you won't be able to break through his walls of selective ignorance. As CD mentioned, it's a good thing that folks like him aren't the majority.

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  • MDSMarch 17, 2014 - 3:09 pm

    Yeah, he sounds like the kind of person who will deny the sky is blue on a warm sunny day. I'm not posting this info for him, but mainly for anybody else who may read this stuff. I'm also posting it so hopefully the Registrar of Voters and County Counsel will read it. I saw one quote from the Registrar where he allegedly stated the spirit of the law is that the experience is in California. That is not a correct statement. It's the actual letter of the law that says the experience must be in California. He used the "spirit of the law" context incorrectly. I'm hoping they read this and attack the case from two angles. First of all, the law is clear that the experience must be in California within the last five years for the exemption Mr. Toler wants to use. So they really don't need to attack what he did in New Mexico, but just in case they should anyway. New Mexico has rules and laws similar to California on what it takes to be a peace officer there. Including things like having a New Mexico drivers license and being certified through New Mexico training. I'm speculating, but I'm sure Mr. Toler did not meet all of New Mexico's requirements for being a peace officer. So the County attorneys should come at that with both barrels. Give the judge two completely different reasons to deny this, either one of which stands on their own.

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  • Rich GiddensMarch 17, 2014 - 5:58 pm

    By subjectively and illegally declaring Mr. Toler ineligible for office in despite of his qualifications, Solano County has just earned itself another lawsuit. Solano County is scared Mr. Toler is going to win so it must lie and cheat to have its way.

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  • MDSMarch 20, 2014 - 12:47 pm

    The law is very CLEAR. Mr. Toler does not meet the qualifications. The Registrar of Voters is 100% correct.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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