August 11, 2017




Fitzgerald: Ex-Miracle Mile chief admits ‘big mistakes,’ may have faked résumé

Stockton Record

The woman who left the Miracle Mile Improvement District after abusing its credit card appears to have falsified her résumé with fraudulent college degrees.


Atwater’s McBride explains switch to post in Merced

Merced County Times

Scott McBride, Atwater’s Community Development Director, will leave his position in mid-August, after devoting 23 years to the city in a full-time capacity in many roles.

But he won’t be going very far. McBride is taking up the Development Services Director position in Merced.



Why is Sacramento spending so much on lobbyists?

Sacramento Bee

Mayor Darrell Steinberg likely has more political clout at the state Capitol than any Sacramento mayor in recent history. He’s been an assemblyman, president of the state Senate and an attorney at a powerful law firm.


Parks And Water Bond Linked To Housing Deal At California Capitol

Capital Public Radio News

As California lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown work to hammer out an affordable housing deal that includes a multi-billion dollar bond measure, they’re also negotiating a parks and water bond that would advance at the same time.


CALMatters’ Dan Walters Discusses 2018 Gubernatorial Race, 2028 Los Angeles Olympics

Despite the legislature’s summer recess, it’s still a very busy time for California politics. There’s a heated gubernatorial race with a north-south split in the top contenders, Los Angeles just landed the U.S. first Olympic bid in decades with costs still in question and major housing legislation is on the books for lawmakers return.



Congressman David Valadao talks health care, immigration, Washington, D.C., and Donald Trump

The only time Congressman David Valadao, R-Hanford, got nervous Thursday as he met with the editorial board of The Californian was when he was given a chance to brag.

Costa denounces Trump’s ‘fire and fury’ stance on North Korea

Visalia Times-Delta

President Donald Trump’s “fire and fury” comments against North Korea and its leader Kim Jong Un were denounced today by Congressman Jim Costa (D-Fresno) and Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Monterey) at a Farm Bill Forum in Salinas.


A new ad opposing California’s Rep. Jeff Denham has nothing to do with Trump

Los Angeles Times

For many California Democrats hoping to defeat Republican incumbents in the House next year, the tone is shaping up to be pretty anti-President Trump, with some early ads tying GOP members to the president.




Mathews: The best place in California to greet the apocalypse

Sacramento Bee

If the apocalypse comes to California, I’ll be ready. I’ve been to San Juan Bautista.


Political advice for Zuckerberg: Keep writing the checks 

San Francisco Chronicle

Word that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg just hired Hillary Clinton’s former top political strategist, Joel Benenson, to advise him and his wife, Priscilla Chan, on their philanthropic pursuits is being met with predictable overheated reaction in the political world: Philanthropy? Yeah, right. Zuck is running for president!


How Conservatives Survive in Silicon Valley

The Weekly Standard

Aaron Ginn co-founded the Lincoln Network with fellow Romney campaign veteran Garrett Johnson, 31, in 2013 to link up right-of-center outliers in the insular, competitive, and staunchly liberal tech hub south of the San Francisco Bay. The group holds networking events, debates, and hackathons, and they crop up at techie conferences. But they’re also known for a new initiative called ‘Deployed’ that gives conservative outfits gig economy-style access to coders’ spare time. Like Uber, but for under-the-radar right wing tech bros.



Tom Berryhill turned his back on Stanislaus residents, but now wants us to vote for him?

Modesto Bee

Maybe it would be more fitting if Tom Berryhill ran for supervisor in Fresno County instead of Stanislaus.


Relief from the high cost of traffic tickets — for some Californians, at least

Los Angeles Times

The settlement of a lawsuit against Solano County Superior Court this week is good news for Californians of limited means who get ticketed for minor traffic violations in that Northern California county. Under an agreement between public interest groups and the court, people who legitimately cannot afford to pay California’s traffic fines will be able to pay reduced amounts, pay in installments or do community service.


If Sacramento must take on ‘aggressive panhandling,’ then do it this way

Sacramento Bee

Sacramento is weighing a crackdown on panhandlers. The details will determine whether it’ll help the city’s quality of life.


We’re with Sully–don’t privatize air traffic control

San Jose Mercury News

Many nations have privatized air traffic control, but bipartisan opposition to the Trump plan and the advice of Sully Sullenberger persuade us to hold off


City Council’s effort to penalize border-wall contractors is as silly as the wall itself

Los Angeles Times

It’s funny how sometimes a really stupid idea can give rise to other stupid ideas. Donald J. Trump won the presidency in part on promises to build “a big, beautiful wall” the entire length of the nearly 2,000-mile border with Mexico. He has since wobbled on that — maybe it doesn’t have to cover…




Immigration, labor shortage among agriculture industry’s top concerns

The Salinas Californian

A continued and growing labor shortage, immigration reform, nutrition and research funding are some of the top priorities and concerns of the agriculture industry here in the Salinas Valley.


It’s almond harvest time, and the crop is booming and shaking

Sacramento Bee

As the 2017 almond harvest gets underway, California growers may see their biggest crop ever.


Steve Forbes Talks Unnecessary Regulations in Ag – California Agriculture News

California Agriculture Today
Forbes explained why agriculture is high on his list of interest. “It’s simple: Without food, nothing else is possible. and what we’re seeing now is that we just don’t need to produce necessities. Human beings being what we are, we want more variety, we want more different kinds, we want to know how it is grown, we want more instant delivery, and so all of this is stimulating.”


Struggling L.A. cities look for business opportunities in relaxed marijuana laws — and face pushback

Los Angeles Times

As California braces for the impact of relaxed marijuana laws that allow recreational use for adults, several small, financially strapped cities in southeast Los Angeles and elsewhere are at the forefront of efforts to seize business opportunities — despite pushback from some residents.



His arrest exposed a human trafficking ring that led to six more arrests

Fresno Bee

A Hanford man was sentenced to 20 years in prison Thursday in a human trafficking ring that involved six others in Tulare and Kings counties.


Former Deputy DA Robert Barton appointed to Board of Parole Hearings

The Bakersfield Californian

Robert Barton, a former Kern County deputy district attorney who now lives in Rancho Cordova, has been appointed to the Board of Parole Hearings, the governor’s office said Thursday.


Three medical marijuana dispensaries targeted Thursday for operating illegally, supervisor says

Thousands of dollars in unsafe edible products were seized and violations issued Thursday against three medical marijuana dispensaries operating illegally, Kern County Supervisor Zack Scrivner said in a news release.

How much does it cost to transport an inmate?

Visalia Times-Delta

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will continue to provide out-of-the-area inmate transportation services for the sheriff’s department, following an agreement extension approved Tuesday.

Under the agreement, supported by Tulare County supervisors, the Southern California law enforcement agency will bring inmates to Central Valley upon request. The agency operates a statewide prisoner transportation bus system, which features weekly trips up and down the state.


Does it cost $75K per year to lock up an inmate in California?

PolitiFact California

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris believes taxpayers aren’t “getting a good return on investment” when it comes to California’s prison system.  The California Democrat told the Women Unshackled forum in Washington D.C. in July that alternatives to locking up inmates, such as drug treatment programs, are far cheaper and sometimes more effective than prison sentences. Her figures for California’s per inmate costs were eye-opening.


MOSTLY TRUE: Undocumented immigrants less likely to commit crimes than U.S. citizens

PolitiFact California

Candidate for California governor Antonio Villaraigosa jumped into the nation’s heated debate on immigration reform during a recent interview on MSNBC.  The Democrat and former Los Angeles mayor rejected the idea that deporting undocumented immigrants was a sound strategy for reducing crime.



Hundreds apply for the chance to work at the Big Fresno Fair

Fresno Bee

The seventh annual Big Fresno Fair’s job fair Thursday drew hundreds of people looking for employment to the Fresno Fairgrounds.


Equal opportunity to build America workforce


The U.S. Department of Labor developed criteria for pre-apprenticeship funding to be administered by a wide swath of community based organizations — business (including Associated Builders and Contractors), labor and key non-profits to create and maintain pre-apprenticeship programs. Which brings us to a “good news, bad news” bill currently winding its way through the state Capitol: Assembly Bill 1111, D-Eduardo Garcia, Coachella. The legislation has an encouraging premise behind it: the allocation of workforce development grants by the state to encourage a diverse population to enter the workforce. Nothing is more important than ensuring every Californian and American is afforded the tools and resources they need to become self-sufficient and successful in life; pre-apprenticeship programs can help people get the skills and training they need for a good career.


Robots – and humans – to help Sacramento get packages faster 

Sacramento Bee

The new human jobs – 1,500 in this case – got the headlines, but it’s the robots that make online retail giant Amazon’s new Sacramento distribution center zing.


Expanded CalEITC Is a Major Advance for Working Families

California Budget & Policy Center

In a major advance for California workers, the 2017-18 state budget package significantly expanded eligibility for the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC), a refundable credit that helps people who earn very little from their jobs to better afford basic necessities. The CalEITC expansion extends the credit to previously ineligible self-employed workers and also raises the income limits to qualify for the credit. These changes mean that well over 1 million additional families could benefit from the CalEITC each year. Our recently released “explainer” from Senior Policy Analyst Alissa Anderson discusses how the CalEITC expansion will help low-earning Californians and shows, for instance, that it will allow single parents working full-time minimum wage jobs to be eligible for the credit.


Gainful Employment regulations will protect students and taxpayers. Don’t change them

Brookings Institution

In the past decade, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of American student-loan borrowers leaving college with high debt and low earnings. The resulting unsustainable debt burdens impose substantial costs on students and on federal taxpayers.






Nation’s largest LGBT group calls for Ashjian’s resignation from school board

Fresno Bee

The Human Rights Campaign – the largest LGBT organization in the country – is calling for Fresno Unified school board president Brooke Ashjian to resign after he made controversial statements about teaching sex education that includes lessons on LGBT.


Rite of summer: Central Unified kicks off new school year for Valley

The Fresno Bee

Central was the first of the major central San Joaquin Valley districts to resume classes after the summer break. Fresno Unified starts Monday, and Clovis Unifiedbegins Aug. 21.


Tell Trump to leave the kids alone

Sacramento Bee

After-school and summer programs are particularly popular with parents, and for good reason. They help improve attendance, decrease dropout rates, reduce juvenile crime and boost academic performance. Every $1 spent saves $9 in societal costs, such as the cost of dealing with juvenile offenders.


A later start to the school day? Why California could delay the bell


Coaxing groggy teenagers out of bed and onto an early morning school bus is a challenge for many parents.  Democratic state Sen. Anthony Portantino of La Cañada Flintridge says you can count him among them.


Testimony before the California Assembly Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Childhood Education

California Budget and Policy Center

Policy Analyst Kristin Schumacher provided invited testimony before the California Assembly Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Childhood Education at its July 27 meeting at Cerritos College in Norwalk. Established earlier this year by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, the Commission aims to develop policy solutions to improve outcomes for California’s youngest learners and their families. Kristin’s presentation discussed state support for child care and development programs and the need for continued reinvestment in subsidized child care and preschool.

Higher Ed:


CSU must tell students cost of off-campus housing under new law

San Jose Mercury News

Assembly Bill 990 aims to provide students and families a more complete picture of the cost of attending college.


CSU Ends Remedial Courses


Last fall, more than one in three students starting as freshmen at the California State University (CSU) system had to take a remedial course in either English or math before they could take college-level courses in those subjects. These remedial courses generally cover material from high school and don’t count toward a degree—even though they cost the same amount and require as much class time as a college course. But this situation is about to change.

Undergraduate education major, banned for 56 years, returns


With the stroke of a pen, Gov. Jerry Brown has reversed a half-century-old law that prevented aspiring teachers in California from majoring in education and required them to pursue a teaching credential only after earning a bachelor’s degree.



2016 confirmed as planet’s hottest year

2016 was the warmest year on the Earth’s surface in nearly 150 years of measuring, scientists said today in an international report that also found the highest sea levels since 1993 and the highest carbon dioxide concentrations in about 800,000 years.


Feds to expand review of emissions standards for cars


The Trump administration is expanding its review of greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars.  In a Federal Register notice Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it would consider whether to loosen the emissions standards for cars beginning in model year 2021 rather than model year 2022.



New map shows wind farms spreading rapidly across US

San Jose Mercury News

Wind power started in California in 1981 when the Altamont wind farm in Alameda County was built as a reaction to the Arab Oil Embargo of the 1970s.



Trump administration’s actions raise health insurance premiums, study says

PBS NewsHour
The analysis released Thursday by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that mixed signals from President Donald Trump have created uncertainty “far outside the norm,” leading insurers to seek higher premium increases for 2018 than would otherwise have been the case.


Insurer competition in rural areas: A bipartisan challenge

Brookings Institution

In 2017, 1,021 counties—about a third of the counties in the U.S.—had only one insurer offering plans on their health insurance market place set up by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This lack of choice was disproportionately concentrated in rural America: 41 percent of enrollees in non-metro counties had only one insurer on their marketplace, compared to 21

California’s Ambitious Single-Payer Plan Isn’t Dead — Yet


Despite rumors of its death, the Healthy California Act, a bill that would create a massive single-payer insurance system for nearly all 39 million Golden State residents, is alive and, in the eyes of its supporters, imperative.


Can California Implement a Single-Payer Health Care System Without Going to the Ballot?

California Budget & Policy Center

Although legislation to create a single-payer health care system in California (Senate Bill 562) has stalled, it could be revived in 2018, and interest remains high in light of threats to the coverage gains made possible by federal health care reform. In the first of a new blog series on the prospect of single-payer health care in California, Director of Research Scott Graves examines key questions related to SB 562 and discusses whether voter approval would be needed to approve single-payer in our state.

Is your doctor drug tested? That depends on where he works 


Many southern California hospitals have anti-drug policies for their employees, but they don’t always drug test their physicians.




What it means when a school district declares itself a ‘safe haven’ or ‘sanctuary’: a quick guide


Some elected school boards have declared their districts “safe havens” or “sanctuaries,” which means they offer protections and create a welcoming environment for students and families who are undocumented immigrants.


California Today: Renewed Scrutiny of Sanctuary Bill

New York Times

California’s so-called sanctuary state bill is back under the microscope. Last weekend, Gov. Jerry Brown suggested he was unhappy with the measure as is.


Feinstein criticizes Trump over deportation that splits Oakland family 

San Francisco Chronicle

Sen. Dianne Feinstein called Thursday for the federal government to reverse the deportation of an Oakland nurse and her husband, saying their removal after more than two decades in the country revealed the “cruel and arbitrary nature” of President Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration.


California’s Attempt At “Massive Resistance”


In 1956, in response to the Supreme Court’s 1954 school integration decision, the state of Virginia devised a theory that it had the right to defy a federal law it did not like and could retain its racially segregated public schools. This became known as Massive Resistance, state sponsored resistance to federal law. California now seems set to go down the same path with its Sanctuary State bill that tries to prevent federal immigration law enforcement.



Land Use:


Porterville eyes requiring parks, pools with new development

The Business Journal

The City of Porterville’s general plan calls for the city to have 650 acres of additional park space by 2030 to meet the recreation needs of its residents.


Businesses start to open at Costco shopping Center

Hanford Sentinel

With the opening of Starbucks and Verizon, businesses are slowly starting to inhabit the Costco shopping center; but the area is still quite a way from being a commercial hub.



Having a hard time finding a place to rent in the Fresno area? Here’s why

Fresno Bee

Fresno has a low supply of apartments for rent and little new construction, causing demand and the cost of rent to go up.


Calling out Adam Gray to get onboard for building more affordable housing

Merced Sun-Star (blog)

California is facing the worst housing crisis in its history and the effects are being felt in the San Joaquin Valley, where residents earning local wages are being priced out of communities in which their families have lived for generations.


State Senate bills aim to make homes more affordable, but they won’t spur nearly enough construction

Los Angeles Times

Last month, Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders promised in a joint statement to pass a package of bills that “will help ensure Californians won’t have to pay an arm and a leg to have a roof over their head.”


Parks And Water Bond Linked To Housing Deal At California Capitol

Capital Public Radio News

As California lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown work to hammer out an affordable housing deal that includes a multi-billion dollar bond measure, they’re also negotiating a parks and water bond that would advance at the same time.


Amid Housing Crisis, Why 2 Out of 5 Young Californians Live at Home


State lawmakers have introduced more than 130 bills this legislative session to try to solve California’s housing affordability crisis, proposing everything from more 150 square-foot apartments to a $3 billion affordable housing bond.


Homelessness—Task force to tackle growing social problem

Porterville Recorder

Living without a place to call home is a daunting thought, but for 631 people in Tulare County, it is a reality.  According to the Kings and Tulare Counties 2016 Point In Time Count, which was compiled in October 2016, out of the 631 homeless people in Tulare County, the majority, 322, are in Visalia. Porterville, which according to estimates in 2016 is home to 58,978 people, has the second-largest concentration of homelessness with 177 people, followed by Tulare with 108.




California and Federal Dollars: A Two-Way Street

California Budget & Policy Center

Senior Policy Analyst Sara Kimberlin looks at how federal dollars are central to sustaining vital public systems and services in our state, while California taxpayers contribute a large share of federal revenues. Overall, federal funds make up more than one-third of the state budget, and billions more in federal dollars go directly to California residents in the form of Social Security payments, housing subsidies, food assistance, and other benefits. At the same time, California’s taxpayers contribute one in every eight dollars of total federal tax revenues, and California’s economy represents nearly one-seventh of the national economy.


Bull? Stocks can’t stave off California pension crisis forever

Orange County Register

Remember 2003? Gray Davis was recalled, porn stars ran for governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger catapulted into office – and California’s state and, for the last time in many, many years, local governments paid more into their pension plans than they owed in outstanding pension debt.



Tuolumne Street bridge creates confusion for Fresno drivers

The Fresno Bee

In the days after the opening of the new Tuolumne Street bridge over a future high-speed rail line in downtown Fresno, drivers are still getting used to new traffic patterns in the area.


Westside Parkway lanes to close for project work

The eastbound Westside Parkway loop off-ramp to Truxtun Avenue will be reduced to one lane next week to enable work on the Kern River Bridge Improvements Project, according to the City of Bakersfield.


CHP expands ‘Start Smart’ teen driver class

Hanford Sentinel

The Start Smart program focuses on providing comprehensive traffic safety education classes for teenagers and their parents. Start Smart employs innovative techniques to capture the attention of teenagers and parents, providing a lasting experience.

Trump rule change ignites safety debate

The Trump administration is forging ahead with a controversial decision to scrap Obama-era plans to require that all truck, train and bus operators be screened for sleep apnea.



Panel Weighed Oroville Spillway Failure in 2014 — and Called It ‘Highly Unlikely’


The study — called a potential failure mode analysis, or PFMA — was performed in 2014 as part of what’s called a Part 12D safety review, a title that refers to a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regulation that requires independent safety inspections for most large dams every five years.


California receives $22 million from FEMA for Oroville Reservoir emergency

Los Angeles Times

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has sent $22.8 million to California to help the state cover expenses related to the crisis at the Oroville Reservoir earlier this year, the federal agency said.


Southern Californians, here’s how much your water bills could rise to pay for Delta tunnels

Sacramento Bee

More than 6 million Southern Californian households could pay $3 more a month to help cover the costs of Gov. Jerry Brown’s controversial plan to bore two huge tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.




Knitters wanted! 5000 purple baby hats needed for shaken baby syndrome awareness


The OSDH and the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome are teaming up to collect 5,000 purple baby hats by October. Their Click for Babies campaign, referring to the clicking sound knitting needles makes, aims to “prevent shaken and abusive head trauma of infants.”


Former pro athlete from Clovis making it his mission to keep kids away from addiction

Thirty-three-year-old Tony Hoffman from Clovis had the world at his fingertips. An incredible talent for BMX racing that got him the cover of a BMX magazine in 2001.


Thousands worldwide, hundreds in Bakersfield attend leadership summit

More than 600 people gathered Thursday and Friday in Bakersfield to participate in the annual international Global Leadership Summit, where they obtained inspiration and received practical leadership training to enhance their businesses, organizations and communities.


CHP expands ‘Start Smart’ teen driver class

Hanford Sentinel

A teenager is killed in a traffic collision every four hours nationwide, equating to more than 1,870 teenagers killed each year. Another 184,000 teenagers are injured in traffic collisions every year.


Rural Libraries Help Bridge the Digital Divide


Who needs libraries these days? With the internet and smart phones, the world’s wealth of information is available at your fingertips. However, in much of rural California, libraries are still playing a vital role in accessing information and building community. For 100 years, the Tuolumne County Library has been a community focal point. Recently, however, it has also become an essential place for many people to access the internet, because phone service and the internet are still not available everywhere.