August 14, 2017






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.


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

LA 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.  But Fight Back California, a political action committee headed by former congresswoman and Obama administration official Ellen Tauscher, is using a different tactic in its first ad against Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock), one of seven GOP members the group is hoping to defeat.



Walters: Fake news: California voting rolls are rid dled with ineligible voters 


Travis Allen, a Republican assemblyman from Orange County and self-anointed candidate for governor, dropped this Twitter bomb the other day: “11 counties in California have more total registered voters than citizens over the age of 18. How is this possible?” As a matter of fact, it isn’t possible. Allen’s tweet just parrots a subtle falsehood that California’s voter rolls are packed with countless names of people who either don’t exist or are ineligible to vote.


Election Fraud? Registered Voters Outnumber the Eligible, in 462 Counties

National Review

The Election Integrity Project of Judicial Watch — a Washington-based legal-watchdog group — analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011–2015 American Community Survey and last month’s statistics from the federal Election Assistance Commission. The latter included figures provided by 38 states. According to Judicial Watch, eleven states gave the EAC insufficient or questionable information. Pennsylvania’s legitimate numbers place it just below the over-registration threshold.


Political Road Map: Knowing who is (and isn’t) legally registered to vote in California

LA Times

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from President Trump’s unproven allegations about the security of elections is that he’s managed to blur the difference between voting records and the act of voting.  Or put another way, it’s a distraction from resolving the challenges in keeping voter registration data accurate and up to date.


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.


After dividing California Democrats in 2014, affirmative action resurfaces in the race for governor

Los Angeles Times

A debate about affirmative action has emerged in the campaign for governor, threatening to inject a potentially volatile racial element into the 2018 contest after the issue divided California Democrats along ethnic lines three years ago.


Hanson: Is California finally reaching the breaking point?

San Jose Mercury News

California — after raising its top income tax rate to 13.3 percent and receiving record revenues — is still facing a budget deficit of more than $1 billion. There is a much more foreboding state crisis of unfunded liabilities and pension obligations of nearly $1 trillion.


Rep. Ted Lieu endorses state Treasurer John Chiang for California governor

LA Times

“John has a strong record of standing up for the common person, taking a different road and getting things done,” Lieu said in statement. “We need a candidate we can trust, one we can relate to, one with the courage to hold others accountable. The future is uncertain but we have an opportunity to leave them in capable hands. We need new leadership that doesn’t add to the rhetoric but instead is resistant to policies that take us backwards in the progress we have made in this country.”


John Chiang helped his donors with tax breaks

The Sacramento Bee

California Treasurer John Chiang has helped award tens of millions in tax credits and bonds over the last decade to a handful of affordable housing developers who contributed to his political campaigns.


While wooing California tea party, GOP candidates for governor pledge full support for President Trump

Los Angeles Times

The two most prominent Republicans running for California governor swung through Fresno on Saturday, doing their best to woo riled-up tea party activists who spent two days there bashing the GOP establishment.


California Republicans face backlash for backing climate change program

Los Angeles Times

After weeks of escalating criticism, Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes still doesn’t have any regrets over bucking his party to support California’s cap-and-trade program on climate change.


California Assembly Leaders Face Rebellions From Party Grassroots

Capital Public Radio News

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) is the target of a recall effort after shelving a single-payer health care bill for the year.


Essential Politics: Deep divisions on display among California Republicans

Los Angeles Times

Last week, Essential Politics opined on the potential for a slow week in news with the California Legislature, Congress and President Trump on vacation. Boy, was I wrong.


Former California lawmaker seeks early release from prison on corruption charges

Sacramento Bee

Seven months into his prison term for corruption charges, former California Sen. Ron Calderon is already preparing for possible release.


Tea Partiers aren’t just mad at Democrats, they’re mad at Republicans, too

San Francisco Chronicle

Organizers called it the Real Resistance Conference. But the 140 Tea Party-organized activists who gathered in a hotel by the Fresno airport this weekend have been as far from the anti-President Trump resistance as you can get. Yet their targets – other than the “cultural Marxists” (i.e., Democrats) in the Legislature – were largely Republicans who they are convinced have betrayed them.

See also:

·       California tea party conservatives take shots at GOP establishment, sounding downright progressive Los Angeles Times

·       The Two-Party System Is Not Working—and Not Going Anywhere  The Takeaway – Zócalo Public Square

Donors seek Gov. Brown’s favor with big contributions to his pet causes

San Francisco Chronicle

Termed-out Gov. Jerry Brown doesn’t have a campaign that political donors can contribute to in attempts to win his favor, but businesses, unions, foundations and wealthy donors have another way to try to attract special attention




Willie Brown: Apprentice’ presidency should scare us all

San Francisco Chronicle

Trump is desperately trying to shore up his base by adopting a strategy nominally directed at Kim, but which in fact is intended for the guy in Fresno who voted for him and might be wondering why the president hasn’t gotten anything done.


Rep. Maxine Waters mocked at California tea party conference in Fresno

LA Times

A fair number of politicians faced withering criticism and ridicule at the Tea Party California Caucus meeting in Fresno this weekend, especially Los Angeles Democrat Rep. Maxine Waters.


Fact-checking Donald Trump’s misleading tweet about U.S. nuclear arsenal PolitiFact

One day after threatening North Korea with “fire and fury like the world has never seen” if it menaces the United States, President Donald Trump tweeted about the strength of U.S. nuclear weapons and improvements made on his watch.


Marijuana politics emerge as 2020 flash point


Marijuana legalization just moved from the fringes of the last presidential campaign to center stage in 2020. Between a sweeping new package of legislation introduced last week by one of the top Democratic presidential prospects and, on the other end of the spectrum, Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ vigorous opposition to recreational use of marijuana, the debate over legalization of cannabis is about to receive a full airing on the presidential campaign trail.


Senator Kamala Harris: There Are Not “Many Sides” to This

San Diego Free Press

The following was originally posted to Facebook by California Senator Kamala Harris, speaking directly to the ‘many sides’ misdirect being bandied about by assorted conservative apologists. I thought it was worth sharing


Demonstrators gather in downtown L.A. to protest Charlottesville violence 

Los Angeles Times

Hundreds of protesters marched peacefully through downtown Los Angeles on Sunday to denounce the white nationalist violence in Charlottesville, Va., and to excoriate President Trump.

See also:

·       Southern California residents ‘can’t sit home’ after Charlottesville attack  Los Angeles Daily News;

·       Bay Area comes together at rallies to oppose racism, Virginia violence  San Francisco Chronicle;

·       Demonstrators in San Jose protest white supremacist violence at Charlottesville  San Jose Mercury




Price: Why we sometimes use anonymous sources
Last week I wrote about leaks — classified or privileged information disclosed by individuals not authorized to do so and the news media’s duty to protect those confidential sources. The public has a right to know when its government is straying toward corruption and authoritarianism, and agents of conscience — leakers — are the ones often best positioned to do something about it.

Act Now to Save the 2020 Census


The U.S. Constitution has fewer than 5,000 words, not much more than five times the length of this column. Only a small fraction of what the government actually does is in this founding document. Yet the Constitution requires the United States government to conduct a census every 10 years to determine how many seats each state will have in the House of Representatives.




Trump’s weak statement failed the people of Charlottesville and the rest of us

Fresno Bee

This white racist riot is not a conservative vs. liberal question. It is a matter of what it means to be the children of fathers and grandfathers who stormed the beaches at Normandy.


Thumbs up, thumbs down

Fresno Bee

How to donate shoes, socks to Syrian refugees in Fresno Sunday; police are watching school zones closely for bad drivers.


Integrity was the hallmark of Stan Risen’s term as CEO

Modesto Bee

Risen’s time at Stanislaus County’s helm saw improvements in county finances, passage of a road tax and help for the poor and homeless


More than murals, Wide Open Walls is a sign Sacramento has finally arrived

Sacramento Bee

Murals can help put Sacramento on the cultural map after years of trying to ditch its reputation as a boring government town.


Editorial: Ben Carson’s HUD report on housing for the poor is an eye opener

San Jose Mercury News

HUD’s “Worst Case Housing Needs: 2017 Report to Congress” shows housing is in crisis across the country, with low income people left out in the cold


Congress starts work on net neutrality — but does it understand the issue?

Los Angeles Times

Pushed by its new Republican chairman, Ajit Pai, who seems to have never met a regulation he didn’t want to kill, the Federal Communications Commission has proposed repealing the tough net neutrality rules his predecessor, Democrat Tom Wheeler, adopted in 2015 and replacing them with … well, that…


County should seek the whole truth, and nothing but, on criminal justice

Los Angeles Times

Whittier Police Officer Keith Boyer was shot to death Feb. 20 while assisting at the scene of a traffic accident. The following day, the Board of Supervisors called for L.A. County officials to report back within 30 days on the suspect’s previous contacts with the criminal justice system. Accompanying statements by the motion’s co-authors, Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn, provided the subtext: Tell us whether criminal justice reform laws adopted by the Legislature and by voters led to this killing. A second subtext was better hidden but even more urgent: Please tell us this wasn’t a county screw-up.




Funding will help low-income families buy fruits, vegetables

Porterville Recorder

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has received a $3.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help low-income Californians purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at certified farmers’ markets.


Avocado, guacamole prices about to soar in California

Sacramento Bee
Local prices are beginning to soar this month after the California crop of avocados fell short of expectations and a record-breaking heat wave hurt the supply of the fatty fruit


Will California’s Pesticide Regulations Hurt the Weed Industry?

L.A. Weekly

California’s organics-loving, go-green mentality is what makes the state a hub for environmental progress, but in the case of the cannabis industry, some say it could be its downfall. Pesticide regulations released earlier this year by the California Bureau of Medical Cannabis are some of the most strict — if not the strictest — requirements in the country, and have left both cultivators and testing laboratories reeling.





Rising number of burglars using AC window units to force way into Valley homes

Thousands of homes and apartments in the Central Valley have window AC units, and many are tough to secure and the number of burglary victims is growing.


To fix ‘unfair’ bail system, will California copy Kentucky?

It’s rare that a California lawmaker seeking a policy model would turn to Kentucky. But with the Legislature on summer recess, that’s precisely what state Sen. Bob Hertzberg is doing.


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.


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.


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.


How mental-health training for police can save lives — and taxpayer dollars

Every day seems to bring a new tragic story of a person with serious mental illness killed by police.



Here’s how to protect your home with defensible space

Sierra Star
After the rampaging Detwiler Fire devastated a large portion of Mariposa County in July, the importance of keeping defensible space around homes and property was made all the more clear. The defensible space inspection team from Cal Fire’s Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit offers these tips on how to make sure your home is one that can be saved during wildfires.






Why does California have the nation’s highest poverty rate?

The Sacramento Bee

With all the recent hoopla about California’s record-low unemployment rate and the heady prospect of its becoming No. 5 in global economic rankings, it is easy to lose sight of another salient fact: It is the nation’s most poverty-stricken state.


A tale of two regions: In California’s economy, North trumps South — for now


How Los Angeles wound up eating the Bay Area’s dust, at least in economic terms, is a tale of civic and political decisions, demographic circumstance and even global politics. And with the two regions accounting for most of the state’s population and the economic output that makes it a global powerhouse, whether the stark differences widen or narrow will have a huge impact as California meanders further into the 21st century.


Walters: California’s economy booms, but a slowdown looms

What’s not to like about California’s economy this summer? The state’s $2.6 trillion economy would be the sixth largest in the world were it a nation, and many politicians are already crowing that it may move into the No. 5 spot due to economic turmoil in Great Britain.


A decade after the crisis’ first tremor, are we ready for another?

Brookings Institution

It was 10 years ago, on Aug. 9, 2007, that France’s BNP Paribas suspended withdrawals from three funds that held U.S. mortgages, a move seen in hindsight as the first tremor of the global financial crisis that shook the world economy.




Businesses concerned about hiring and retaining enough high-skilled workers in Bakersfield, Chamber survey reveals
A new survey conducted by the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce indicates a steady economy, as more than half of the businesses surveyed expected to see no change in their industry in 2017, and only one said it plans to subtract jobs this year.


State gas tax driving 1,100 new Caltrans jobs and new work for Bakersfield and Kern, too

California’s new state gas tax, Senate Bill 1, is poised to pour billions of dollars into state road-building agencies and millions into the coffers of their Kern County counterparts.


Hiltzik: How a factory deal Trump touted puts the ‘con’ in ‘Foxconn’ — and how taxpayers will get taken

Los Angeles Times

The entirety of President Trump’s job-creation strategy was visible July 26 during a White House ceremony to announce a deal bringing a $10-billion video-screen factory for the Taiwan electronics company Foxconn to southeastern Wisconsin.


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.





Fresno Unified trustee Ashjian gives terse answer to national LGBT group’s demand that he quit

Fresno Bee

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


Fresno Unified names superintendent finalist

The Fresno Bee

Fresno Unified said interim Superintendent Bob Nelson is the finalist to lead the district on a permanent basis.  The announcement came via a Saturday night news release, just two days before a new school year begins.

See also:​


Bullard High will have a brand new look just in time for the first day of school

After three years of construction a major renovation project at Bullard High School is almost complete.


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

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.


Don’t think the new school year impacts you? Think again

The Bakersfield Police Department is stepping up enforcement in school zones this week as thousands of kids get ready to head back to the classroom.


Essential California: Despite state law, hundreds of schools still don’t have enough vaccinated kids

Los Angeles Times

Despite a strict new California law, hundreds of schools still don’t have enough vaccinated kids. At nearly 750 schools, 90% or fewer kindergartners had been fully vaccinated last year, an analysis by the Los Angeles Times found. Experts say the rate should be at least 95% to prevent the spread of highly contagious diseases such as measles. Los Angeles Times


Editorial: California’s school funding experiment has little success so far

San Francisco Chronicle

As students begin heading back to school this week, the Legislature is working to figure out whether the dramatic change in how California funds its schools is working. There are few answers.


Teachers spend hundreds for back to school supplies


Parents aren’t the only ones who spend biggetting ready for the school year. Teachers, it turns out, fork over about $500 of their own money each year for school supplies, according to a survey by Scholastic.


Watchdog agency’s new CEO warns of impact of dwindling school revenue


Michael Fine is the new CEO of the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team, perhaps the most important education agency Californians may never have heard of — unless their school district has been in financial peril.


State superintendent candidates agree teacher shortage must be top priority 


The two announced candidates for state superintendent of public instruction are calling for more strategies to counter a teacher shortage they say is gripping the state.


Analyzing ‘the homework gap’ among high school students

Brookings Institution

Researchers have struggled for decades to identify a causal, or even correlational, relationship between time spent in school and improved learning outcomes for students. Some studies have focused on the length of a school yearwhile others have focused on hours in a day and others on hours in the week.

Higher Ed:


COS president announces retirement

Visalia Times-Delta
Three days before the start of the fall semester, College of the Sequoias President/Superintendent Stan Carrizosa announced his retirement.


UC settles investigation into accidental underpayment of workers

Sacramento Bee
The University of California has reached a $1.3 million settlement with the U.S. Department of Labor over a payroll issue that resulted in thousands of non-academic employees being routinely underpaid by small dollar amounts on each paycheck


College of Alameda gets $250,000 grant to boost student skills

East Bay Times

The College of Alameda has gotten a $250,000 grant to help create curriculum and develop internships to promote innovation and entrepreneurial skills among students.


CSU Ends Remedial Courses

Public Policy Institute of California

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.


For better learning in college lectures, lay down the laptop and pick up a pen

Brookings Institution

Do computers help or hinder classroom learning in college?


Vocational Ed:


Cortopassi expands vocational grants for students

Stockton Record
Judging by the crowd earlier this week at Stockton Arena, Dino Cortopassi’s “forgotten minority” has been remembered.  Cortopassi, a wealthy agribusinessman and philanthropist, launched a foundation three years ago with his wife, Joan, awarding grants to high school graduates who want to learn vocational skills at community colleges.



IEA study unveils key role for trucks in global oil-demand growth


(Note: The greatest source of Valley pollution is diesel engines.) Trucks are a major contributor to the growth in transport-fuel consumption, as well as rising carbon dioxide and air pollutant emissions. But the sector gets far less attention and policy focus than passenger vehicles. Only four countries have energy-efficiency standards for heavy trucks, compared with about 40 countries with passenger-vehicle standards.




California sues EPA for documents to determine whether Administrator Scott Pruitt has conflict of interest

Los Angeles Times

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra on Friday filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, alleging it failed to comply with a request for documents that might indicate whether agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has a conflict of interest.


2016 was the hottest year on record and other takeaways from NOAA’s new climate report

PBS NewsHour

Last year was the hottest on record, according to a new report from the American Meteorological Society.  The group’s annual State of the Climate report, led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, found global temperatures and the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere hit record highs in 2016.


How conservatives are joining the climate change fight

University of California

Environmentalism was once a bipartisan issue — the Environmental Protection Agency was created by Republican President Richard Nixon — but today it’s often portrayed as a liberal cause in the United States.


New climate report discussion

Brookings institution
16 of the last 17 years were the world’s warmest on record. Samantha Gross discusses a new climate report:


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.



California Aims to Use 100% Renewable Energy by 2045

California is striding closer to a future that includes 100 percent renewable energy, faster than ever before. California Senate President Kevin de León (D) has proposed a bill which would simultaneously limit California’s hydrocarbon consumption and increase its consumption of renewables according to several goals, and the bill has, as of now, officially cleared the committee stage. Experts feel it is likely to be signed into law by Governor Brown, and when it is, it will push California to produce 50 percent renewable energy from 2030 to 2026, and set new goals for 60 percent renewable energy by 2030, and 100 percent renewable energy by 2045.

California’s Grid Prepares for Solar Power to Be Eclipsed 


Spectators around the country are gearing up, eclipse glasses at the ready, for the big event on August 21. But another group — perhaps more anxious than eager — is preparing as well: the people who run California’s electric grid.


LOIS HENRY: Time to tell the state how you think PG&E’s latest rate increase should be divvied up — just try and keep it clean

I love that the California Public Utilities Commission is coming to Bakersfield in August, after the second-hottest July on record, to hold a hearing about how PG&E should spread the pain of its latest rate increase.


A Senate panel speaks for sound clean energy policy — and rebukes Trump

Brookings Institution

A dramatic example of legislative pushback in clean energy policy received too little attention.  Recently, the Senate Committee on Appropriations issued a bipartisan reporton the FY18 Budget for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) leads this committee, which it turns out has now set out a completely different clean energy agenda than the President’s proposed budget.




Severe cases of child abuse increasing in Fresno

The Fresno Bee

Why more children are being physically harmed is difficult to answer, but poverty, drug abuse, domestic violence and mental health are risk factors for child abuse, the experts say.


Poll: Most say time to stop trying to repeal ‘Obamacare’

Fresno Bee

Message to President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans: Stop trying to scuttle the Obama health care law, and start trying to make it more effective.


Skelton: Forget about single-payer healthcare. This California congressman has the real solution: Medicare for all

Los Angeles Times

Dreaming of a state-run single-payer healthcare system? Wake up and enter the real world. Want universal healthcare for all Americans? Medicare for all is the solution.


Embattled Merced health clinic closes all its locations

Modesto Bee
A Merced-based health clinic that recently filed for bankruptcy and has been embroiled in legal battles between clinic leaders since March has closed down all of its clinics, according to a notice on a clinic door.


Horisons clinics close in Stanislaus, Merced and other counties amid legal battles

Modesto Bee

A nonprofit organization with health centers in Merced and Stanislaus counties has closed down all of its clinics, according to a notice on a clinic door.


Union will represent nurses at Emanuel Medical Center in Turlock. The vote was surprising.

Modesto Bee

It was almost unanimous.  Registered nurses at Emanuel Medical Center in Turlock chose this week to join the California Nurses Association. The vote held Wednesday was 284 for union membership and four against.


California’s assisted-dying loophole: Some doctors won’t help patients die

San Francisco Chronicle

Judy Dale died of cancer in her San Francisco home in September, in agony, after being denied the pain-relieving medication she might have received under the state’s aid-in-dying law that had taken effect three months earlier.


Kaweah Delta seeks members for advisory committee

The Business Journal
Kaweah Delta Health Care District in Visalia is accepting applications for three new advisory committees designed to generate ideas about how to better serve community health needs. Members of the public are invited to apply.


The 20-year life expectancy gap within the U.S.


Life expectancy in the U.S. varies by more than 20 years depending on what county someone lives in, according to a new report in JAMA Internal Medicine. University of Washington researchers found the gap between counties grew from 1980 to 2014 and predicted the trend will continue.


Employer health benefit costs expected to rise 5% next year


Workers, get ready to pay more for health benefits next year.  Total costs for on-the-job health care

​ ​

benefits are expected to rise an average of 5% in 2018, surpassing $14,000 a year per employee, according to a National Business Group on Health survey of large employers. Specialty drugs continue to be the top driver of increasing costs.



California plans to sue Trump administration over sanctuary policy


California plans to file a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice over federal restrictions on some law enforcement grants to so-called sanctuary cities, a spokesperson for the California’s attorney general office said on Monday.

See also:

·       Navarrette: Sanctuary cities put California in showdown with Trump  The Mercury News

Can we get along? A California conversation about immigration

San Jose Mercury News

The premise of the Talking Across Borders project is that progress will come when we figure out how to talk about the issue with civility


Fewer Foreign Workers on Marthas Vineyard

National Review

In Vanity Fair this week, T.A. Frank published The Democratic Case for Restricting Immigration, which isn’t actually all that different from the Republican case. He’s no Trump fan, but he lays out his “vision of what might happen with a Trumpian immigration policy, a best-case theory for a world that admittedly tends to surprise us in practice.” He looks forward to higher wages for less-skilled workers, tax funds freed up for other purposes, less pressure on natural resources, stronger social cohesion, etc.  Frank isn’t new to this – he opposed the Gang of Eight bill, as well. But coming on the heels of deviations from the party line by Peter Beinart and Fareed Zakaria, we might be seeing some minor cracks


Land Use:


Bill McEwen | Fresno making mistake approving more liquor licenses

The Fresno Bee

It happened with the approval of one conditional use permit at a time – usually in the name of job creation and property rights, and often over the objections of the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, school districts, neighbors and religious leaders.


Coming soon: Market, restaurants at the long-awaited Stockdale Centre
Building up the corner of what was once the premiere site for campaign signs in Bakersfield is well underway.


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.


After tons of drama with the California Coastal Commission, things are looking up

Los Angeles Times

Yes it’s true, sharks are everywhere along the California coast this summer. But by all appearances, a far bigger threat to your enjoyment of the state’s fabulous beaches has been contained for now.



Buyers scramble to find homes in Visalia, Tulare

Visalia Times-Delta

The number of residential houses available to buy is at a 20-year low as the appeal of McMansions wanes and Baby Boomers grow increasingly reluctant to trade up or down from their current homes, according to a survey by

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.”

See also:

·       Marin Lawmaker Wants California Corporations to Pay for Affordable Housing | The California Report  KQED

·       Housing crisis: Will California force its cities to OK more building? San Jose Mercury News

·       Bay Area real estate: To buy a median priced home, you now need income over $179,000  San Jose Mercury News

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

Poll Reveals Strong Support for Large Affordable Housing Bond

Markets Insider
Amid Californians’ mounting concern over rising homelessness and out-of-reach rents, California State Treasurer John Chiang and a coalition of affordable housing advocates have released the results of a new poll, which shows strong voter support for a $6-9 billionstatewide affordable housing bond in 2018. Today in California, more than 1 in 3 families can’t afford their rent and 1.5 households pay more than half their income toward housing.


Foreclosures: The little noticed effect of deportations


Research shows that deportations lead to higher rates of foreclosure among Latino communities. That’s because the loss of an income for families – especially if it is the breadwinner who is detained – can make it harder for remaining family members to make mortgage payments.


Amid Homeless Concerns, Brandau Wants Fresno To Ban Camping

Valley Public Radio
A Fresno City Councilmember has a new idea on dealing with the city’s homeless population – a law that would ban camping in the city. Councilmember Steve Brandau is set to take the proposed ordinance before the city council next Thursday. If adopted, the law would ban camping on both public and private property in the city.



Sanger tops county tax growth list

Sanger Herald

When you walk into the Sanger community and economic development department on 7th street, it takes time to find his office. You make your way through a few doorways and eventually arrive in front of one with a name and title listed on it.


California already may be ‘paying’ for Trump’s hypothetical tax cuts

LA Daily News

Tax reform may not be much more than a glimmer in the eye of Republicans in Washington D.C., but their promise of lower rates and closed loopholes appears to be already jostling state and local finances.


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

LA Daily

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.


Should CalSTRS join UC in offering 401(k) option?


While public pensions are often said to be too generous, CalSTRS and other teacher pension systems face another kind of criticsm. For short-term teachers, a 401(k)-style plan can be a better deal.


Can an investment pro persuade state workers to let him manage their pensions?

Sacramento Bee

Michael Flaherman calls his eight-year stint on the board that manages the nation’s largest public pension fund “glory days” for him and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.


State gas tax driving 1,100 new Caltrans jobs and new work for Bakersfield and Kern, too

California’s new state gas tax, Senate Bill 1, is poised to pour billions of dollars into state road-building agencies and millions into the coffers of their Kern County counterparts.

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.


Tuolumne Street bridge creates confusion for Fresno drivers

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.


Complaints over delays, cancellations plague Allegiant Air

Fresno Bee

Passengers who book on Allegiant may feel like they’re facing a gamble before they even get off the ground at Fresno Yosemite International Airport, thanks to the airline’s spotty track record. Recent months have been filled with delays and cancellations both to and from Fresno. On July 30 and 31, the airline canceled five scheduled flights between Fresno and Las Vegas – two departures from Las Vegas and three from Fresno.


North County Corridor key study kicks off debate over final route options

Modesto Bee

Six decades of talking about a bypass around Oakdale are coming together in a newly released planning document that should spark new discussion on which path the future road should take.


Measure N funds start to come into Visalia’s coffers

Visalia Times-Delta

Visalia City Council members say signs show Measure N is working — literally if you drive the streets of Visalia.

See also:

·       Measure N money being put to use in Visalia  ABC30


Yosemite struggles to find an answer to traffic woes

Los Angeles Times
When they arrived at the park on Saturday, Celloto, 31, and Humbert, 29, were greeted by the reality: diesel smoke, honking horns and miles-long processions of buses and cars.


California truck safety regulations face challenge from GOP Congress

Los Angeles Times

After half a century driving semitrucks, Charles Oaks, 71, developed a strategy to stave off fatigue during 14-hour days on the road.



Temperance Flat Dam investment will pay off for California

Modesto Bee

The winter of 2017 was a gift in many ways. Not only did it bring desperately needed water to California and end a statewide drought emergency, it highlighted the need to build more surface water storage projects like Temperance Flat on the San Joaquin River.


Adam Gray: Here’s what you won’t read in the LA Times

Modesto Bee

An Aug. 3 Times editorial begins: “As California water becomes an increasingly precious and contentious resource, the state needs an umpire with the power to enforce laws against illegal diversions and protect the rights of the public and others…”


California’s water troubles didn’t end with the drought — they just went underground

After one of the wettest winters on record, Governor Jerry Brown announced in April that the drought had ended. But situation remains grim, says Rios, 80, who lives in rural Madera County in California’s San Joaquin Valley. She thought she was being hooked up to the city of Madera’s water system. Now, the emergency money for such projects has dried up.


California WaterFix and Delta Smelt

California WaterBlog

The delta smelt is on a trajectory towards extinction in the wild.  Heading into 2017, the spawning adult population was at an all-time low although this past wet winter has apparently seen a small resurgence.  However, increasingly warm summer temperatures in the Delta may dampen any upswing.  Given the long-term trajectory of the population and climate predictions for California, maintaining Delta smelt in the Delta for the next 20-30 years is not likely to happen without significant improvements to the habitat.



Best tacos in Fresno | Central California food trucks

Fresno Bee

Missed out on the annual Taco Truck Throwdown or craving certain tacos but don’t know where to find the particular truck?  We’ve got you covered.


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.


San Juan Bautista knows how to live with looming destruction

San Francisco Chronicle

This summer I visited the San Benito County town, which has centuries of experience with the ending of worlds, as Armageddon drew closer than ever. North Korean missiles can reach California. The American president has the nuclear codes and no impulse control. State-size icebergs break off Antarctica.


Fitz’s Stockton: Mom’s ‘rock concert’ becomes a Woodstock

Stockton Record

Eileena Mendiola may be the rockin’est rocker mom on the third rock from the sun. We met Eileena and husband Chuy in June. She hit upon social media rock hunts as a wholesome hobby to occupy her five kids ages 1 to 10 during their summer vacation.


Fitzgerald: No jackpot in strip poker case

Stockton Record

The once-sensational Amador strip poker case against Anthony Silva fizzled to next to nothing on Friday, as Stockton’s former mayor pleaded out to a single misdemeanor. Silva admitted to furnishing alcohol to a person under 21 at Silver Lake camp in 2015. He got a year’s probation. He must wear an ankle monitor for 30 days, which he already does. He must perform community service.


Late bloomers: Seniors find meaning in caring for garden

Stockton Record

The Commons’ parent company issued a challenge to work with the theme, “April Showers Bring May Flowers,” according to Kim Boccia, activities manager. She and her staff got to work devising activities.


Al Smith: Words of wisdom as the birthdays add up

The Business Journal
One of the people who helped shape my professional life was also one of America’s great radio disc jockeys named Chuck Dunaway. Recently he passed along some great advice as it relates to aging. I don’t know if he composed this or found it and just passed it along. But I thought it worthy enough to pass it along as well.


Nearly 100 Mountain Area artists prepare to awe large crowds during Sierra Art Trails

Sierra Star
Nearly 100 artists in 10 communities of Eastern Madera and Mariposa counties will participate in Sierra Art Trails, one of the premier art events in Central California.