August 10, 2018






Devin Nunes’ candid thoughts recorded during fundraiser event

Fresno Bee

During a meeting with donors last month, Rep. Devin Nunes made clear, among other things, the importance of retaining a GOP-lead Congress in the midterm elections.

See also:

     Tulare County farmer asking court to make Devin Nunes stop calling himself one, too Fresno Bee

     Man files petition to remove "farmer" from Rep. Nunes ballot description ABC30

     Devin Nunes and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Summer Visalia Times Delta


Fresno City Council sends parks sales tax initiative to November ballot

Fresno Bee

The Fresno City Council voted unanimously Thursday to send the Fresno for Parks initiative to voters on the November ballot, despite three council members voicing strong opposition to the measure.

See also:

     Park tax measure passes Fresno City Council unanimously Fresno Bee


Former candidate Marvin Dean to run again for Bakersfield City Council

Bakersfield Now

The Bakersfield City Clerk certified Bakersfield native Marvin Dean as a candidate for the​​ Bakersfield City Council Ward 1 on Tuesday.


General Plan goals include making Stockton a regional destination 

Stockton Record

Although the 45-day review of the City of Stockton’s General Plan 2040 ends today, the public will have several chances to provide feedback on the policy-making document.




Newsom, Cox spending much of their time campaigning for other candidates and causes in California's race for governor

Los Angeles Times

Gavin Newsom and John Cox are preparing for a general election battle to decide who will be the state’s next governor, but much of what they plan to focus on has little to do with how either candidate would lead the state.


Drunken, bawdy behavior at California Lottery alleged in letter, photos to Jerry Brown

Fresno Bee

A package of bawdy photos allegedly showing senior state Lottery leaders carrying on at a Southern California piano bar was sent to Gov. Jerry Brown’s office last week in an appeal from an anonymous employee urging the administration to investigate the department.


‘Three Californias’ plan is dead — and not coming back

Fresno Bee

The proponent of a plan to split California into three states said a court decision to remove the measure from the November ballot “effectively put an end to this movement.” 

See also:

     Billionaire drops quest to split​​ California in 3 ABC30


Far ahead in the polls, Feinstein is in no hurry to campaign during August recess

Los Angeles Times

For senators facing reelection in November, the August recess is typically a frantic dash to squeeze in last-minute campaigning back home. But California’s Sen. Dianne Feinstein isn’t hosting any public campaign events during the 13-day break.




Trump's​​ core support remains solid, but a significant minority of Republicans have soured, study finds

Los Angeles Times

Nearly one in five voters who backed the president in 2016 have changed their minds since he took office, according to a Pew survey. Another problem for him: He's not winning over Clinton voters.

See also:

     The Trump Voters We Don’t Talk About  The New York Times


Analyzing the Trump effect: Is America having a nervous breakdown?

San Francisco Chronicle

The American Psychological Association is holding its annual convention in San Francisco, and there are no fewer than 15 symposiums, panel discussions and paper presentations devoted to the psychological ills that practitioners believe are spreading under the president.


Pelosi is the star of GOP attack ads, worrying Democrats upbeat about midterms

Washington Post

While Democrats grow optimistic about their chances of taking control of the House in November, they are increasingly anxious that the presence of their longtime and polarizing leader, Nancy Pelosi, is making it harder for many​​ of their candidates to compete in crucial swing districts.

See also:

     Poll: Three-quarters of Americans say Nancy​​ Pelosi should be replaced, including half of DemocratsTheHill


Explain the Chinese spy, Sen. Feinstein

Washington Post

Imagine if it emerged that the Republican chairman of the House or Senate intelligence committee had a Russian spy working on their staff. Think it would cause a political firestorm? Well, this month we learned that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) had a Chinese spy on her staff who worked for her for about 20 years, was listed as an “office director” on payroll records and served as her driver when she was in San Francisco, all while reporting to China’s Ministry of State Security through China’s San Francisco Consulate. The reaction of the mainstream media? Barely a peep.


Where are the Hottest House Races?

Wall Street Journal

California has the largest number of competitive House races this fall, a significant change in a state where carefully drawn House districts used to mean few seats were in danger of flipping from one party to the other.




Civil​​ case dismissed, but ADA battle involving Fresno restaurant family still brewing

Fresno Bee

A Fresno judge has dismissed a civil lawsuit against a family-run business whose owners maintain they’re the target of what amounts to a shakedown over Americans with Disabilities Act rules.


CALQuiz: The state burns, Trump tweets, and a celebrity visits Sacramento


If it’s Friday, it means it’s time for another round of the CALQuiz. Do you consider yourself an expert on political and policy news in the Golden State? Let’s see if you’ve been paying attention this week. Test your knowledge and share your score.


The only way to save the GOP is to defeat it

Washington Post

University of Chicago researchers — who clearly have a lot of time on their hands — have found that the use of certain brands and products is a good predictor of your level of affluence. This is an exercise in the obvious when it comes to a $1,000 iPhone. But the same proves true with Ziploc plastic bags, Kikkoman soy sauce and Cascade Complete dishwasher detergent.


Progressives versus the establishment: An updated score


Despite the number of progressive candidates running and winning in this year’s primaries, experts from the Primaries Project explain​​ why the progressive revolution might not come to fruition in November.


United States: One of the world’s worst countries for women?


In June 2018, the Thomson​​ Reuters Foundation published the results of a poll identifying “the world’s most dangerous countries for women.” 


Corruption and Double Standards

Wall Street Journal

Funny, the left’s anti-corruption campaign ignores Bob Menendez.


Fact-checking Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s media blitz

Washington Post

The self-described “democratic socialist” keeps making statements that are false, misleading or incorrect


Laura Ingraham’s ‘demographic changes’ monologue is a rallying cry to​​ Trump’s base

Washington Post

There are multiple reasons that supporters of President Trump latched on to his campaign. But one of the more controversial ones was “cultural anxiety.”


EDITORIAL: Facebook wants your financial data

San Francisco Chronicle

Big Tech knows your name, who your friends are, where you live, your political beliefs, and the types of events you attend in​​ your community. Does it also deserve to know how much is in your checking account?




Court orders ban on harmful pesticide, says EPA violated law

Bakersfield Californian

A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that the Trump administration endangered public health by keeping a widely used pesticide on the market despite extensive scientific evidence that even tiny levels of exposure can harm babies' brains.

See also:

     Court bans popular farm pesticide defended by Trump. What it means for farms, workers, kidsSacramento Bee

      Trump administration ordered to ban widely used farm pesticide

      A Court Tells the EPA: Ban This Insecticide  Los Angeles Times

      Appeals court orders​​ Trump administration to ban pesticide harmful to children's brains within 60 days   Los Angeles Times

     Court Orders E.P.A. to Ban Chlorpyrifos, Pesticide Tied to Children’s Health Problems New York Times


Former Valadao staffer selected to lead farm bureau

Bakersfield Californian

The Kern County Farm Bureau has chosen a former staff member to Rep. David Valadao to take over as executive director starting Sept. 4.


Why California​​ grapes are changing color right now

San Francisco Chronicle

This is the moment in a grapevine’s growing season when the grapes take on color — the clear visual signal that harvest is near. One by one, all those hard, lime-green berries are softening into​​ shades of purple.


Chicken owner to petition Stockton to change regulation

Stockton Record

City code 6.04.420 says that homes in Stockton are not to be fowl territory. Poultry, when it’s alive, cannot be kept as household pets, and if a violation is discovered, the fine is $430 plus proof the infraction has been corrected.


Has craft beer peaked? Recent data indicates turbulent times ahead

San Diego union Tribune

Numbers Don’t Lie… but sometimes they mumble.


The Debate That Evenly Divides Economists: Is This a ‘Trade War?’

Wall Street Journal

In a WSJ survey, exactly half say it's a 'trade war;' other half says 'skirmish,' 'tensions,' 'dispute,' 'battle'

See also:

      Tracking Trump’s Trade Talks Wall​​ Street Journal

     EDITORIAL: Trump slammed California farmers with tariffs. Now he’s stiffing them on aid Sacramento Bee






Violent crime in Fresno drastically down this year


Violent crime in Southwest Fresno is already down 12 percent compared to last year. And​​ the district is on track to have less than 100 shootings this year.


Fresno City Council approves record settlement in Dylan Noble shooting case

Fresno Bee

The​​ Fresno City Council approved a record $2.8 million settlement Thursday between the city and the family of 19-year-old Dylan Noble, who was killed by Fresno police in 2016.

See also:

     City of Fresno agrees to settle lawsuit with Dylan Noble's parents for $2.8-Million ABC30


Public Safety:


National Night Out bridges gap between cops, community

Hanford Sentinel

Local law enforcement departments invited the community to Civic Center Park Tuesday Night for the annual National Night Out.


The Democratic Party’s New Litmus Test: Gun Control

Wall Street Journal

Candidates​​ for the 2018 House midterms are pushing a muscular firearms-regulation agenda, a wholesale repositioning after the party for a generation avoided new limits.


EDITORIAL: Release of police video ought to be simple and quick

Los Angeles Times

Quickly releasing body camera video can help enhance​​ public trust in police. Delays can do the opposite.




Ferguson Fire 80% contained, though challenges remain

Fresno Bee

Containment of the Ferguson Fire spiked again overnight, reaching 79 percent by Thursday, an 11 percent jump from the prior day, fire officials said. By Thursday evening, the fire was reported at 80 percent containment.

See also:

     North Fork Rancheria expresses condolences, support for fallen firefighters Hanford Sentinel

     As wildfire blazes on, Yosemite-area tourist industry ravaged San​​ Francisco Chronicle

     Firefighters battle to curb wildfire before winds return AP News

     EDITORIAL: Ferguson Fire leaves many neighbors hurting. Here’s how you can help Sierra Star


‘Our notice was fight or flight:’ Redding residents who fled fire talk about no evacuation orders

Fresno Bee

Redding area residents say they did not receive evacuation notices from the authorities and had to flee flames at the last minute in the Carr Fire of August 2018.

See also:

     Eighth person dies in relation to Carr Fire Sacramento Bee


Frazier Park Residents Raise Concerns About Forest Thinning And Fire Risks


With wildfires burning up and down the state, a new plan for residents near Frazier Park is drawing attention from a number of groups.


Extreme Weather, Extreme Fires Mark California's Summer 2018 


With a record-setting stretch of triple digit temperatures, skies filled with smoke, and fires creating their own weather, 2018 has proven to be anything but normal. We recently spoke with meteorologist Sean Boyd about the science behind extreme weather, fires and climate change.


Skelton: California's 'new normal' for wildfires is unacceptable

Los Angeles Times

Please spare me all the political patter about California burning being the “new normal.” It’s really getting old.


BC campus closed due to brush fire on bluffs, one person suffers smoke inhalation

Bakersfield Californian

Bakersfield College closed Thursday due to a brush fire on the Panorama bluffs just north of the campus that chewed up roughly 100 acres by late afternoon.


Trump cabinet officials to inspect California fire damage

Sacramento Bee

Two Trump cabinet officials are heading to Northern California next week to meet with officials working to contain the deadly Carr Fire, as the administration seeks to show its helping to fight this and other blazes ravaging the state.


As California lawmakers grapple with the state's fiery future, utility company liability dominates the discussion

Los Angeles Times

California lawmakers who vowed to craft a plan to address the growing danger of wildfires this summer knew they’d spend a lot of time talking about life and death. Few may have known how much time they would spend talking about the survival of electric utility companies.

See also:

      Legislators skeptical of plan to limit utilities fire liability CALmatters

     Legislators assail plan to limit utilities’ liability in wildfires San Francisco Chronicle


As Capitol wildfire debate rages, utilities have doubled dollars on lobbying


Between the end of last year’s deadly wildfires​​ and the start of this summer’s fatal blazes, utilities and insurers with a huge stake in the aftermath have poured more than $3.2 million into California campaign donations and another $5.2 million into state lobbying—a big spike.






A closer look at the new state budget; helping low-wage workers get by

California Budget & Policy Center

With California facing some critical economic challenges, such as high levels of poverty and inequality, a central focus of the Budget Center's work involves shedding light not just on the various dimensions of these challenges, but also on strategies by which we could expand opportunity and help more Californians to advance economically. 


Second Quarter GDP Growth Not a ‘Record’


The estimated second quarter gross domestic product growth rate of 4.1 percent is not “record” or “close-to-record GDP,” as President Donald Trump recently claimed.


Trump Vows to Double Metals Tariffs on Turkey as Dispute Escalates

Wall Street​​ Journal

President Trump said he would double steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey, more than a week after he imposed sanctions against two top Turkish officials over the country’s refusal to free an American pastor held for nearly two years.


Inflation Is Eating Away Worker Wage Gains

Wall Street Journal

For the second month in a​​ row, annual inflation fully offset workers’ average hourly wage growth

See also:

      Trump’s rotten economic plan shows how not to improve wages Washington Post


The Myth of American Inequality

Wall Street Journal

Taxes and transfers in the U.S. put its income distribution in line with its large developed peers.


Better Data for a Better Economy

Wall Street Journal

Moving the Bureau of Labor Statistics to the Commerce Department is worth consideration.


Valuations Are Slipping Even as Stocks Hover Near Records

Wall Street Journal

Strong corporate earnings are making stocks look less expensive than they did before.


401(k) or ATM? Automated Retirement Savings Prove Easy to Pluck Prematurely

Wall Street Journal

Researchers find that workers withdraw nearly half of their enforced contributions within eight years.




California Legislature Will Not Act This Year To Modernize Labor Laws For 'Gig Economy' Companies

Capitol Public Radio

Businesses that rely on the “gig economy” have been urging state lawmakers to overturn a California Supreme Court ruling that limits them​​ from classifying workers as independent contractors. 


Restoring America’s employment security system 


“Rust Belt communities, industries, and workers created and benefited greatly from the old [economic] system in its prime—and they have arguably suffered the most from its collapse. In turn, they have the most to gain from a needed remaking of employment security and safety net policies that recognize​​ and respond to today’s economic realities.” 






Public encouraged to keep ‘head on a swivel’ as​​ back-to-school season approaches

Clovis RoundUp

As students prepare to return to school, one of the top priorities for parents, teachers and administrators is student safety.


It's that time! Back to school for several Valley school districts


Kids in Madera, Tulare, and Kings Counties all starting back up Thursday. It's also the first day back to class for secondary schools in Los Banos.

See also:

     Back to business: Lemoore Middle College begins school Hanford Sentinel


Backpack and supply giveaway at Fresno State


Dozens of families had a head start on back-to-school shopping, thanks to a new local non-profit.​​ The T.R.O.Y. Center held a back to school 'Backpack and Supply' giveaway at Fresno State on Wednesday.


Kings Canyon Unified schools get summer renovations


Students at Reedley's Jefferson Elementary will be walking into more than just a brand new school year, they will also have new classrooms. A modernization project is bringing eight of them into the now.


Thinking of homeschooling? Mountain Home School Charter looking for students

Sierra Star

The Mountain Home School Charter in Oakhurst is still registering students for its 2018-2019 school year​​ ahead of its first day of school on Aug. 16.


Sacramento city schools paid $5.2 million to tech firms. Now it wants its money back

Sacramento Bee

Sacramento City Unified has sued two Delaware-based technology companies it says didn’t deliver on a $5.2 million cloud computing system.


Higher Ed:


College of the Sequoias to train new Faraday Future employees in Hanford 


Faraday Future is hiring hundreds of employees to​​ work at their Hanford factory getting their first electric car on the market and on the road. They plan to have some of them train at College of the Sequoias in Hanford later this month before they even begin their new jobs.

See also:

     COS to provide training for Faraday Future Hanford Sentinel


A Futurist Predicts the Death of Higher Education

The Atlantic

A futurist says the industry may​​ have nowhere to go but down. What does the slide look like?


Average individual student loan debt up $313 in 2017

The average amount of individual student loan debt owned by U.S. college students increased by more than $300 in 2017, according to a study by LendEDU.




Fresno medians to get green again


A state law enacted during the drought has eased and the City of Fresno is planning to green up its parkway medians.


Wildfire smoke trapped in Valley prompts warning by health officials

Visalia Times-Delta

Blazing wildfires have surrounded the Central Valley, bringing with them thick smoke and unsafe air quality conditions.  As school starts, districts and health experts are having to look closer at the impacts. 

See also:

     Unhealthy air quality likely to impact schools when class is back in session next week ABC30

     A break from the smoke is coming, Sacramento forecasters say. Here’s when, and for how longSacramento Bee


California plays a leading, effective role in confronting climate change

Sacramento Bee

Fortunately, many of the policies to tackle climate change also create jobs and grow California’s economy, the fifth-largest in the world. We’re home to​​ the country’s largest, most advanced clean energy sector. 


They Thought It Was Extinct, But This Kern County Bug Was Just Flying Under The Radar


In a small section of Kern County, outside the city of Bakersfield, a dirt ridge rises above the farmland. It’s home to a couple of cell towers, an orchard, and a creature that we didn’t know was there up until the last 25 years.


National park trail maintenance isn't sexy

Los Angeles Times

Congress is poised to commit significant funding for the upkeep of America’s national parks. In recent weeks, bipartisan bills have been introduced that would create a fund, consisting of up to $1.3 billion, devoted to maintenance projects in national parks and other public lands.


The Trump administration wants to open public lands in California to fracking,​​ linked to quakes in other states

Los Angeles Times

The federal government on Wednesday posted notice that it is considering opening up 400,000 acres of public land in California, and 1.2 million acres for which the government holds mineral rights, to fracking.


Voters See Environment as Major Issue


With the November election approaching, nearly all likely voters say candidates’ positions on the environment are important in the governor’s race. The latest PPIC Statewide Survey takes stock of Californians’ views on climate change, water policy, oil drilling, and more.






Influenza A virus found in two people following exposure to infected pig


The individuals were exposed to a pig at the California​​ Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles, California that was infected with influenza. They have recovered after experiencing brief illnesses.


Valley Children's Hospital Orthopaedic Department helping kids live normal healthy lives


The EOS is a state of the art imaging machine that takes fast x-rays with less radiation. This is the only functioning EOS in the Central​​ Valley and located at Valley Children's Specialty Care Center in Fresno.


Valley Children's take care of the little patients in their NICU unit


Valley Children's Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is the only level four NICU in the Central Valley and was recently ranked as one of the best children's hospitals in the country in neonatology.


For Valley Fever Survivors, A Growing Need: Wigs


Valley fever itself doesn’t cause substantial hair loss, but the antifungal drugs used​​ to treat it can. The most commonly prescribed valley fever medication is fluconazole — brand name Diflucan — a daily pill that patients may need to take for months to years to keep valley fever’s worst symptoms at bay.


A coroner sent letters to doctors whose patients died of opioid overdoses. Doctors' habits changed

Los Angeles Times

The letters were part of an experiment to gauge how to reduce the prescribing of drugs implicated in fatal overdoses. Doctors who got the “courtesy communication” started fewer patients on a regimen of prescription opioids.


Meet the Chatbots Providing Mental Health Care

Wall Street Journal

Researchers are working to teach empathy to​​ artificially intelligent messaging tools, with the goal of supplementing human therapists.


EDITORIAL: The legislator and the Twitter trolls

Los Angeles Times

State Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) has been a target of vaccine skeptics since he first proposed SB 277, which abolished the “personal belief exemption” to the requirement that public school children must be vaccinated.


Human Services:


Sacramento welfare investigators track drivers to find​​ fraud. Privacy group raises red flags

Sacramento Bee

Police in recent years have tapped into a vast database of license plate images to track drivers and solve crimes. Few people know, however, that Sacramento County welfare fraud investigators have been using that same data since 2016.




Advocates urge lawmakers to pass bill to support migrant and refugee students

Modesto Bee

A proposed bill would assist high​​ schoolers in migrant education with earning credits for a diploma or making preparations for college.


Trump loses more battles in his war on immigration

Washington Post

More setbacks on the legal, moral and political fronts.

It’s been six weeks since a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to fix the crisis it created when it separated more than 2,500 children from their parents under a heartless​​ policy designed to deter desperate families from entering the U.S. illegally.

See also:

      Three​​ reasons Trump’s new immigration rule should make your blood boil  Washington Post

       Terminate Barack Obama's immigration executive orders 'immediately' Politifact

       Editorial: Trump's hard-hearted immigration policies are a stain on the nation Los Angeles Times




Land Use:


How L.A. can​​ gain housing (and transit ridership) without infuriating the neighbors

Los Angeles Times

Should Los Angeles allow higher density housing in single-family neighborhoods near rail transit stations? Higher density will create more housing and increase transit​​ ridership, but many homeowners view higher density as a bad neighbor


New Podcast Examines Yosemite's Wonders And Problems


A new podcast from Capital Public Radio reporter Ezra David Romero is digging into stories about Yosemite National Park. Called Yosemiteland, the limited-run series explores everything from commercialization to climate change.




Less than 25% of SLO County residents can afford a median-priced home

Fresno Bee

Housing affordability has hit a 10-year low throughout most of California, new data show,​​ as less than a quarter of San Luis Obispo County residents can now afford to buy a median-priced home.


New problems at shuttered Miracle Mile building?

Stockton Record

A former tenant of a building on the Miracle Mile that was forcibly vacated last year is enraged that the property has now become home to transients.




California’s new online tax program leads a major firm to ask for paper instead

Sacramento Bee

One of the world’s largest accounting firms chose a low-tech option when the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration asked it to start using a new online system for filing business sales tax returns.


How on earth have we let Trump get away with hiding his tax returns?

The Washington Post

The Treasury Department has issued a set of proposed regulations clarifying who can and can’t take advantage of the “pass-through” loophole that Republicans included in the tax cut they passed last year, which, in ordinary circumstances, would be a​​ story of interest only to a relatively small number of tax nerds.




The airline biz is booming. Here’s how big it is at Fresno Yosemite International

Fresno Bee

Passengers flying into and out of Fresno Yosemite International Airport set a new record for the airport in 2017-18, topping 1.63 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30.

See also:

      Fresno Yosemite International breaks passenger record The Business Journal


Secret DMV office near California Capitol serves lawmakers and their staff

Fresno Bee

Inside the Legislative Office Building in downtown Sacramento you will find the Capitol office of the California Department of Motor Vehicles, an unlisted branch where elected officials can register their cars, renew their driver’s licenses — or apply for the new federally-mandated Real ID card that has been driving up wait times at DMV field offices across the state.

See also:

     EDITORIAL: Of course California's struggling DMV needs an audit San Diego Union-Tribune

      Editorial: California lawmakers flunk a DMV test San Francisco Chronicle


Pilot posted nude pics of flight attendant — and United knew but didn’t​​ stop it, lawsuit says

Fresno Bee

A United Airlines pilot posted sexually explicit, humiliating pictures of a flight attendant, and though United knew it didn’t stop it for years, per a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lawsuit.


First phase of Centennial Corridor project moves forward

Bakersfield Californian

Concrete was poured early Thursday for the first major phase of the Centennial Corridor Project, which will eventually connect Highway 99 to the Westside Parkway.


(Opinion) Community Voices: High-speed rail: Economically feasible or a 'Casey Jones?' 

Bakersfield Californian 

California high-speed rail is one of the most ambitious infrastructural projects of the 21st Century. However, as of March 2018, the budgetary costs are projected to reach $100 billion, with the current baseline budget currently at $77 billion, having increased from a $40 billion baseline in 2008, according to a CNBC report.


Fax Fixed-route Restructure Study Update

FAX Fresno Area Express

FAX staff and participating transit riders complete the fax fixed-route restructure study


What is the future of transportation? Ohio looks overseas for answers

Dayton Daily News

As large companies like Amazon flirt with the idea of making major investments in the Midwest, transportation experts say the region will have to invest in a high-speed rail system or another transportation concept if states like Ohio want to remain competitive in a changing economy.







Clovis police were ‘chomping at the bit’ to perform this lip sync challenge video

Fresno Bee

The Clovis Police Department is getting in on the #LipSyncChallenge fun with the release of its music video.


Adopt a pet for $5 Friday

Bakersfield Californian

Kern County Animal Services is offering pet adoptions Friday for just $5 due to impacted kennels. 

See also:

     Take me home! Cats available for adoption Bakersfield Californian


Valley Cultural Calendar

Valley Cultural Coalition

Great things are happening in the Valley.