April 25, 2018






Nunes calls it ‘Armenian Genocide,’ but Trump carefully avoids that word in statement

Fresno Bee

On the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Rep. Devin Nunes took time to mark the occasion and use that word to describe the massacre of more than 1 million Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Turks.

See also:

      How Devin Nunes Turned the House Intelligence Committee Inside Out New York TImes

Fresno council wants to help small businesses, so a new plan is hatched

Fresno Bee

The program provides incentives for small businesses to move into vacant spaces along the Ventura Avenue-Kings Canyon Road corridor, an area where nearly 50 percent of the residents live below the federal poverty line, according to city estimates.

See also:

     Fresno City Council District 7 Race Could Shift City Politics NPR

Modesto Marathon out $60K from company that reportedly owes millions across nation

Modesto Bee

Organizers of the Modesto Marathon are out $60,000 after the race registration company it worked with on this year’s event shorted the nonprofit organization.


Report claims California City leaders violated open-meetings laws, harassed workers

Bakersfield Californian

The Kern County grand jury has published a report after an in-depth investigation into the City of California City’s operations and found several areas of concern.

See also:

     Grand jury report claims California City leaders violated open-meeting laws, harassed workers bakersfield.com



California Prepares For Challenging Census Count

Capital Public Radio

California officials are trying to prevent a possible undercount of the state’s population in the next census. They worry that fear in immigrant communities will depress response rates, which could cost California federal funding and Congressional representation.


California poll: Newsom, Villaraigosa and Cox lead race for governor

OC Register

Two Democrats, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, lead a crowded field for the state’s top elected position, with 21 percent and 18 percent of support respectively, according to an Eyewitness News/Southern California News Group poll conducted by Survey USA and released Tuesday.


Retro-Republican From a Pre-Trump Era: John Cox in Second Place, for Now


John Cox wants to slash the California income tax — abolish it, if possible. Maybe you disagree, but he thinks he can convince you.


Walters: Legislature’s hypocrisy prevails as bill dies


Last week, the Assembly’s Public Employment, Retirement and Social Security Committee had a golden opportunity to close one of the Capitol’s many hypocritical loopholes. But, true to historic form, its members muffed it.


California Sen. Kamala Harris spurns PACs, sparking 2020 rumblings

The Mercury News

Sen. Kamala D. Harris, D-Calif., said Monday that she will no longer accept donations from corporate political action committees, a shift in her public position from just a few weeks ago.

See also:

     Kamala Harris says she won’t take corporate donations anymore Los Angeles Times

     Prepare for the flood. Of campaign ads CALmatters

     California Senator Kamala Harris Just Announced that She Won’t Take Corporate PAC Money Black Press USA

The ‘Calexit’ plan to ‘divorce’ California from the US is back again

The San Diego Union-Tribune

Could the third time be the charm for advocates of California secession from the U.S.? Most likely not, but a group called “Yes California” is giving it another try anyway. Secretary of State Alex Padilla said on Monday that the backers of the secession initiative, commonly known as “Calexit,” can begin collecting signatures in an attempt to place it on a ballot.



How Congressional Republicans Have Neutered the Trump Agenda

National Review

Not one major piece of legislation has been taken up that ideologically reflects Trumpism rather than Republicans.


Mulvaney, Watchdog Bureau’s Leader, Advises Bankers on Ways to Curtail Agency

The New York Times

Mick Mulvaney, the interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, told banking industry executives on Tuesday that they should press lawmakers hard to pursue their agenda, and revealed that, as a congressman, he would meet only with lobbyists if they had contributed to his campaign.


Congress: The most family-unfriendly workplace in America


Want a more balanced Congress? Try making it a better place for a parent to work. Here’s a plan to to fix it.




Project Seeks To Preserve Delano’s History


Many communities across the valley have rich histories. The challenge in many cases is preserving those stories, memories, photos and artifacts for future generations. In one Kern County community, a new effort is underway to do just that. We recently spoke with history professor Oliver Rosales about the Digital Delano project.




Sunday, April 29, at 9 a.m. on ABC 30 – Maddy Report“Fake News & Info Illiteracy”​ – Guests: Senator Bill Dodd (D); Renée Ousley-Swank, President Elect – CA School Library Association; John Myers,Sacramento Bureau Chief – LA Times; and Dan Walters, Reporter of the Sacramento Bee. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.


Sunday, April 29, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) – Maddy Report ​ – Valley Views Edition​: Information Illiteracy, Fake news and Real (California) Facts” – Guests: Senator Bill Dodd (D); Renée Ousley-Swank, President Elect – CA School Library Association; John Myers, Sacramento Bureau Chief – LA Times; Dan Walters, Reporter of the Sacramento Bee; and Mac Taylor, California Legislative Office. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.


Sunday, April 29, at 7:30 a.m. on UniMas 61 (KTTF) – El Informe Maddy: “Civic Engagement and Voter Registration”  Guest: Alex Padilla, Secretario del Estado de California. Host: Maddy Institute Program Coordinator, Maria Jeans.



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Spring Rains Buoy California Cattle Ranchers’ Outlook

Sierra Sun Times

Recent spring rains that have boosted grass growth on rangelands also have improved the outlook for California ranchers, many of whom are still trying to rebuild their herds in the aftermath of the state’s multi-year drought.


How “Track and Trace” watches weed’s every move

The Mercury News

For the first time, the state will know where and how much licensed marijuana is being grown, sold and produced. Software will monitor a plant’s every move — and measure its weight along the way until it’s sold — assuring officials that licensed crops of cannabis grown for dispensaries aren’t crossing state lines or going into the black market. What happens in California stays in California.


Nourishment And Poison: Nitrogen’s Double Life


As new research suggests nitrogen is a problem not just for valley groundwater, but also air pollution, farmers are working on their own innovative ways to reduce their fertilizer use.


House Farm Bill: Good for Big Ag and Factory Farms, Bad for Us


Last week, after months of hype, the Farm Bill moved through the first step in the process. And it looks like farmers are going to have to keep waiting for Congress to come up with farm policies that actually work. 

See also:

     Food stamps, livestock and more are in the mix as farm bill takes shape Norfolk Daily News





New analyses look at state corrections spending in California

California Budget Center

In recent years, California has made a number of important criminal justice reforms, with voters as well as state policymakers approving policy changes intended to decrease the state’s reliance on incarceration while boosting resources for rehabilitation and related services.


Study: California gun deaths declined between 2000 and 2015

San Francisco Chronicle

Gun deaths have fallen in California over a 16-year period ending in 2015, driven largely by a decline in gang violence and falling homicide rates among black and Hispanic male victims, a recent study of firearm violence has found. Researchers at the University of California, Davis published their findings in the May issue of the journal Annals of Epidemiology after reviewing 50,921 firearm deaths recorded in California between 2000 and 2015.


San Joaquin County Sheriff Stripped of Role in Death Investigations


San Joaquin County supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt a new model for investigating deaths in the wake of allegations that the coroner, who is also the elected sheriff, used his political office to shield officers who killed civilians.


District attorney’s son says sheriff’s detectives ruined his life with false arrest

Merced Sun Star

Ethan Morse testified Tuesday in his federal civil rights trial that Merced County sheriff’s detectives ruined his life when they falsely arrested him in July 2014 in connection with a triple murder.


Public Safety:


Activist group to California Latinos: Don’t talk with cops

The Mercury News

As more cities and counties add their voices to an anti-sanctuary movement, one civil rights group wants to fight back by taking an unusual tack – asking Latinos not to cooperate with law enforcement.


Efforts to regulate bail companies have some unlikely allies: bail agents

Los Angeles Times

In recent years, the seriousness and number of official complaints related to the bail industry in California have significantly increased while bail agents and bounty hunters face limited oversight, putting vulnerable communities at risk of fraud, embezzlement and other forms of victimization.




California lawmakers take on insurance industry over wildfire coverage

The Sacramento Bee

All bets are off today as two North Bay lawmakers, whose districts were ravaged by wildfires, face off against the insurance industry at the Capitol.


Company that managed Oildale trailer park where fire killed a baby engaged in ‘total disregard for the law,’ reports say

Bakersfield Californian

Three weeks before a 5-month-old girl died in a mobile home fire, an inspection of the Oildale trailer park where the child lived turned up numerous violations and found that several homes where people were living weren’t certified for occupation, according to reports filed in Kern County Superior Court.






California tax revenues soar ahead of projections as economy booms

San Francisco Chronicle

Thanks to a booming economy and soaring stock market, California’s income tax revenue has continued to far exceed both projections and last year’s totals. The state still expects to rake in an additional $2 billion or so by the end of the month.


Sacramento’s poverty growth ranks among highest in the U.S., study finds

Sacramento Bee

A study published Monday shows the Sacramento-Roseville-Arden Arcade metropolitan area suffered one of the nation’s largest increases in poor neighborhoods over from 2010 through 2016.


Can This Millennial Stockton Mayor Make Universal Basic Income a Reality?


Out in Stockton, California, there’s an experiment underway in millennial-led government that’s trying to pull a city back from the brink using what is essentially privately funded socialism.


EDITORIAL: Local tax limit is a soda industry play that goes too far

The Sacramento Bee

If you get asked to sign a petition for a ballot initiative to limit local taxes in California, you might just want to walk away. This radical measure would require a two-thirds supermajority for any new tax, tax increase or tax extension, making it much more difficult for cities and counties to control their own financial destinies.




California state workers will keep monthly paydays

The Sacramento Bee

A bill that would have compelled state government to pay its employees twice a month died in a Senate committee on Monday. Sen. Andy Vidak, R-Hanford, pitched Senate Bill 1234 as a proposal to help lower-paid state workers better manage their finances by giving them two checks a month instead of one.


Is it more dangerous to be a cop, a pilot or a logger? The 12 most deadly jobs in California

The Sacramento Bee

More than 350 California workers die from work-related injuries during a typical year, but most of those deaths occur across a small number of occupations. The most deadly job in California – and across the nation – is working as a logger.






Two schools, district recognized among state’s best

Hanford Sentinel

The hard work and achievements of two Kings County schools and their district are being recognized by the state this year. Not only were Jefferson Charter Academy and Simas Elementary named 2018 California Distinguished Schools, but the California Department of Education recognized Hanford Elementary School District as a 2018 Exemplary District.


Rural schools find ways to bring science innovations closer to home


In an effort to bring the latest innovations in science education to students in some of the most remote parts of California, some county offices of education are investing in engineering labs, science camps, mobile classrooms and other initiatives to help rural students compete with their urban counterparts.


Where charter schools are built shows our commitment to integration


The simple fact that private schools are often located in affluent white neighborhoods while charter schools are often found in poor black areas is physical evidence of a lasting legacy of segregation in America, Andre Perry argues.


Higher Ed:


Fresno State professor Randa Jarrar won’t be fired for Barbara Bush tweets

The Fresno Bee

Fresno State president Joseph Castro announced Tuesday that professor Randa Jarrar won’t be fired for her controversial tweets regarding First Lady Barbara Bush a week ago.

See also:

      Cal State Fresno professor will keep job after ‘disgraceful’ tweets about Barbara Bush, campus president says Los Angeles Times

   Fresno State says it can’t discipline the professor who called Barbara Bush an ‘amazing racist’ The Washington Post

      Fresno State Professor Speaks Out for First Time Since Barbara Bush Backlash The Cut

      Conservatives keep sparking “free speech” battles. When a Muslim professor tweeted about racism, guess what happened?Vox

     This is what Randa Jarrar has to say about her Barbara Bush tweets Fresno Bee


College Campus Meltdowns: Where Are Adults

National Review

Last week, political scientist and author Charles Murray spoke at a dinner in Manhattan about the death, as he called it, of the American Dream. The “Disinvitation Dinner,” is given annually by Lauren Noble’s William F. Buckley Jr. Program to honor a speaker who has been kicked off a college campus for espousing unpopular views.


Fresno State may build new dorms to replace its ‘retro’ ones

Fresno Bee

Fresno State may build new on-campus housing to replace the university’s existing dorms, and could start seeking student input as soon as this semester.


CSU failed to ensure safety of students working with hazardous materials, audit says

The Sacramento Bee

The California State University Chancellor’s Office has failed to ensure the safety of employees and students who work with hazardous materials, including those at Sacramento State where a 2016 chemical spill caused injuries and possible long-term health damage, according to a state audit.

See also:

   Auditors Slam California State University System For Putting Student, Employee Health And Safety At Risk Capradio

      Audit questions student, staff safety at Sacramento State KCRA Sacramento


California Assemblymember Adam C. Gray Says Major Progress Made in Effort to Establish San Joaquin Valley Medical School

Sierra Sun-Times

Assemblymember Adam C. Gray (D – Merced) on Tuesday announced that his bill to fund the creation of a San Joaquin Valley medical school passed its first committee vote with unanimous, bipartisan support.


Lawmakers question Gov. Brown’s plan to overhaul funding for California’s community colleges


Governor Jerry Brown’s proposal calls for tying some money to student outcomes, moving away from a model that funds colleges largely based on how many students they enroll.

See also:

      Medical coding ​proposed as first program in proposed California online community college​ EdSource



How to raise earnings for America’s non-college graduates


Economist Harry Holzer outlines an agenda to equip non-college graduates with new skills, better and more widely available jobs, and stronger work incentives that together will improve employment outcomes for America’s working class.






Trump administration steps up war with California over environmental protections

Los Angeles Times

The Trump administration stepped up its offensive Monday on California’s environmental laws, suing to reverse a state law that seeks to handcuff the federal government from selling any of the 45.8 million acres of property it controls in the state.

See also:

      Trump admin sues California over state bill on land rights The Hill


Study Predicts Wetter Winters And Climate “Whiplash” In California’s Future


New research from top climate scientists suggests that California could be in for more extreme weather events, including so-called “climate whiplash” – prolonged droughts followed by mega-floods.


Pruitt Proposes New Rule Defining What Science Can Be Used By EPA


The head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, has proposed a new rule that restricts scientific research that can be used by the agency for its regulatory decisions.

See also:

     In the name of scientific ‘transparency,’ Pruitt’s EPA hobbles its own ability to regulate polluters Los Angeles Times

      Trump’s EPA proposes to block regulators from considering a wide range of scientific studies Los Angeles Times

      EDITORIAL: Scott Pruitt offers up another gift to polluters. You know, the people he’s supposed to monitor Los Angeles Times

     E.P.A. Announces a New Rule. One Likely Effect: Less Science in Policymaking.  The New York Times

     EPA Wants New Rules to Rely Solely on Public Data WSJ

     Pruitt unveils controversial ‘transparency’ rule limiting what research EPA can use The Washington Post

     Pruitt Proposes New Rule Defining What Science Can Be Used By EPA NPR


EDITORIAL: End discardable plastic bottle caps in California

The Mercury News

Californians should take pride that their state is the nation’s trend-setter for improving the environment. Whether it’s the plastic bags ban or gas mileage standards, California has led with common-sense solutions to long-standing problems.




Calif. Energy Bills Move Forward, but Big Ones Stall

RTO Insider

California lawmakers moved forward with several pieces of energy legislation last week, but hotly watched items such as a 100% renewable energy standard and CAISO regionalization seem to be set on simmer.






New law offers ‘hope’ to mentally ill people who need help but don’t want it

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County leaders gave approval Tuesday for trying a Laura’s Law program for three years. Supervisors said they overcame skepticism about the California law that authorizes court-ordered outpatient care for people who have resisted treatment for severe mental illness.


$31 million mental health facility now open in Merced

Merced Sun Star

Abandoned since 2010, the crumbling former Merced County Hospital is now the Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Center following a grand opening Friday, April 20, 2018. The director talked about what that means.


Public Health unveils mobile clinic to serve rural communities

Bakersfield Californian

For years, it’s been a burden for some patients to get to the Kern County Public Health Services Department’s clinics in outlying regions of the county.


Public Health shuts down three massage parlors, citing suspected prostitution

Bakersfield Californian

Kern County Public Health officials shut down three massage parlors Monday evening after taking part in a multi-agency sting operation that uncovered suspected prostitution, health officials said.


Prescription drugs are costly. This startup helps doctors find cheaper ones

San Francisco Chronicle

As consumers and health insurers grapple with ever-rising costs of prescription drugs, one Bay Area startup thinks it’s found a solution: Get doctors involved.


California regulators would set fair prices under AB3087

San Francisco Chronicle

Out-of-control health-care prices are squeezing workers, employers and state and local budgets alike. We all have a stake in getting the cost of medical procedures and medicine under control — it’s the first and most fundamental step needed to reshape our health-care system in terms of accountability, quality and access to all


Human Services:


California considers health coverage for low-income undocumented immigrants

The Sacramento Bee

Buried in the heated statewide debate over sanctuary protections for undocumented immigrants and single-payer health care, a pair of health care bills advancing again in the Legislature would grant health care to more than a million immigrants living in California illegally.

See also:

     The Health-Care Campaign To Cover California’s Remaining Uninsured International Business Times

California Lawmakers Seek Reparations For People Sterilized By The State

Washington Post

Rosie Zaballos liked to host playtime tea parties and was sweet to everyone she met. But her older brother worried that the 16-year-old, whom her family described as “a little slow,” might someday become pregnant.




Federal judge orders government to continue DACA and accept new applicants, in toughest blow yet to Trump’s efforts to end program

The Washington Post

U.S. District Judge John D. Bates called the decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program “virtually unexplained” and therefore “unlawful.”

See also:

     Federal Judge Upholds DACA, Calling White House Decision To Rescind It ‘Capricious’ NPR

     US Must Keep DACA and Accept New Applications, Federal Judge Rules The New York Times

     Judge Rules Trump Administration Must Continue DACA Program WSJ

     Third federal judge rejects Trump reasoning for ending DACA TheHill

Activist group to Latinos: Don’t talk with cops

Orange County Register

As more cities and counties add their voices to an anti-sanctuary movement, one civil rights group wants to fight back by taking an unusual tack – asking Latinos not to cooperate with law enforcement.


Supreme Court to consider Trump’s travel ban and the president’s authority

The Washington Post

The Supreme Court for the first time Wednesday considers a major initiative of the Trump administration, reviewing whether President Trump’s travel ban is a necessary step to protect the country from terrorism or an illegal and unconstitutional fulfillment of campaign promises to ban Muslim immigrants.

See also:

     Trump’s Travel Ban Faces a Supreme Court Test The New York Times

   Trump’s Travel Ban Reaches Supreme Court Bloomberg

   Supreme Court to Weigh Legality of Trump’s Travel Ban Roll Call



After death of major California housing bill, state Senator advances another proposal

The Mercury News

A week after the state Senate’s housing committee killed a closely watched bill from Sen. Scott Wiener to spur more housing near transit, another bill from the senator that takes aim at California’s housing shortage was headed to passage Tuesday.


What a change to rent control restrictions could mean for you

89.3 KPCC

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is among local leaders endorsing a proposed ballot initiative to lift state limitations on rent control. Supporters of the “Affordable Housing Act” are submitting signatures to counties this week to send the measure the November 2018 ballot.


Supervisors delay Fire Department loan, respond to concerns about the rise of homelessness

Bakersfield Californian

Kern County Supervisors pushed off a decision to give the Kern County Fire Department a $14 million “payday” loan on Tuesday.


With money tied up in court, California lawmakers try again with new plan to spend $2 billion on homeless housing

Los Angeles Times

A measure to spend $2 billion on housing homeless Californians could be on the November statewide ballot.




California tax revenues soar ahead of projections as economy booms

San Francisco Chronicle

Thanks to a booming economy and soaring stock market, California’s income tax revenue has continued to far exceed both projections and last year’s totals. The state still expects to rake in an additional $2 billion or so by the end of the month.


Gas tax repeal gets more cash from California GOP

Sacramento Bee

Federal financial disclosures reveal McCarthy donated $100,000 in late February to the political group seeking to put a gas tax repeal measure to a vote in November. The deadline for proponents to turn in signatures for the initiative is May 21.

See also:

     Republicans ready to turn in signatures for ballot measure to repeal California gas-tax increase Los Angeles Times

     GOP alliances rip over gas tax repeal: Anti-taxers vs. business establishment CALmatters

Cost-of-living adjustments for California state worker pensions are safe, for now

Sacramento Bee

Future state workers, your pension cost-of-living adjustments are safe, and you won’t get to choose between a CalPERS pension and a 401(k) plan anytime soon.

See also:

      The dimensions of California’s pension crisis The Sacramento Bee

      Calpers Urged to Divest From Automakers That Relax Fuel Standards  Bloomberg

California state workers will keep monthly paydays

Sacramento Bee

A bill that would have compelled state government to pay its employees twice a month died in a Senate committee on Monday.


Opinion: So Long, California. Sayonara, New York


Blue states will lose millions of people in the years to come—and they aren’t ready.




Gas tax repeal gets more cash from California GOP

Sacramento Bee

Federal financial disclosures reveal McCarthy donated $100,000 in late February to the political group seeking to put a gas tax repeal measure to a vote in November. The deadline for proponents to turn in signatures for the initiative is May 21.

See also:

     Republicans ready to turn in signatures for ballot measure to repeal California gas-tax increase Los Angeles Times

     GOP alliances rip over gas tax repeal: Anti-taxers vs. business establishment CALmatters

Construction & Road Closure Alert

California High-Speed Rail Authority

Westbound Lane Closure on Shaw Avenue Between Golden State Boulevard and Cornelia Avenue will be closed to thru traffic at Shaw Avenue. Work is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. starting Tuesday, April 24 through Friday, April 27.


The Road to Zero: A Vision for Achieving Zero Roadway Deaths by 2050


Imagine that, in 2050, not a single person in the United States dies in a traffic crash. This is the scenario described in this report, in which RAND researchers set forth a vision and strategy for achieving zero roadway deaths by 2050.




California announces tentative funding for new giant dams

SF Gate

California officials said Friday that eight major water projects qualify for a share of billions in state drought funds, an announcement that breathes new life into plans for two reservoir expansions in the Bay Area and two new massive dams in the Central Valley.


Buckle up, California. Some serious ‘precipitation whiplash’ predicted for the state

The Sacramento Bee

It was the greatest flood in recorded California history, 43 days of rain and snow that swamped the state, killed thousands of people and forced the newly elected governor to take a boat to his inauguration at the Capitol.


Tensions rise at KID; Irrigators allege water mismanagement

Herald and News

Klamath Irrigation District could start charging canals with water at a very low level by Friday, according to Ty Kliewer, chairman of KID. However, an overall water allocation for the Klamath Basin Project by the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) is still uncertain but anticipated to be between 205,000 and 255,000 acre feet on or before June 15; about one-fifth of the full 325,000 acre feet delivered in 2017.




This new hidden bar in northwest Fresno sells locally made wine and craft beer

Fresno Bee

There’s a new, hidden wine and craft beer bar in northwest Fresno. OK, hidden is an overstatement. But Tap & Cellar is not where you’d expect to find it, say, in a high-profile shopping center. The business with 25 craft beer taps and locally made wine is at 317 W. Bedford Ave.


Dinner is in the bag at Shrimpy’s in Turlock. New seafood boil spot draws crowds

Modesto Bee

When Shrimpy’s says they’ve got it in the bag, they mean it — quite literally. The new Turlock restaurant specializes in seafood in a bag, a popular Cajun-inspired style of boiling shrimp, crawfish and other specialties together with corn, potatoes, and sausage.


This is California’s best road trip

New York Post

The stretch of Route 1 south of San Francisco is, quite possibly, the best place for a family road trip. Consider starting in Half Moon Bay, around 45 minutes from the city, and taking a drive down the gorgeous Pacific Coast Highway.


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Maddy Institute Updated List of San Joaquin Valley Elected Officials HERE.


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.


This document is to be used for informational purposes only. Unless specifically noted, The Maddy Institute at California State University, Fresno does not officially endorse or support views that may be expressed in the document. If you want to print a story, please do so now before the link expires. ​​​​​​​



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