August 17, 2016



Denham blasts white supremacists, but what he doesn’t say draws fire

Modesto Bee

Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, released a statement Wednesday denouncing groups that promote bigotry, appearing to direct his comments at a white nationalist leader from his own district.

See also:

·       Rep. Jeff Denham’s newest challenger isn’t old enough to be a congressman yet  Los Angeles Times

County may get new voting machines
The Kings County Board of Supervisors met Tuesday morning and discussed the possibility of getting new county voting machines for elections.


PINC named 23rd Assembly District’s Nonprofit of the Year

The Business Journal

Fresno nonprofit Philanthropy Inspired by the Needs of our Community (PINC) was recently honored as the Nonprofit of the Year in the 23rd Assembly District.



Skelton: When it comes to racism and bigotry, California has had its own cross to bear 

Los Angeles Times

So this is making America great again? We’re losing respect around the world. The president is striking out in Congress. And he seems incapable of leading a nation that he increasingly is tearing apart.

See also:

·       Called ‘antidote to Charlottesville,’ anti-racism center to open in Sacramento  Sacramento Bee

·       Can anything be done about hate speech?  The Sacramento Bee

·       Northern California pushes back as white nationalists plan rallies  Los Angeles Times

·       California confronts its Confederate past as monuments are abruptly removed  Los Angeles Times

·       Borenstein: Bigots are coming to the Bay Area. Just ignore them. San Jose Mercury News

Billions in new spending for housing, water, parks and more could be on the 2018 ballot

Los Angeles Times

Californians could vote on billions of dollars in new spending for low-income housing developments and water and parks improvements next year.


Court Action Puts Focus on FPPC Recall Funding Decision

Fox & Hounds

The Fair Political Practices Commission decision on Thursday about whether elected officials can exceed limits to help in a recall campaign became more urgent for Sen. Josh Newman when a Court of Appeal froze the new law that would have delayed the recall.


Kevin Faulconer: The New California Republicans in Podcasts

Commonwealth Club of California podcast
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer discusses the future of Republicans and conservatives in California.

See also:

·       California Republicans ‘shouldn’t be a carbon copy’ of national GOP, San Diego mayor says  Sacramento Bee


Josh Newman recall: CA could change campaign finance rules

The Sacramento Bee

With a law extending the election timeline now tied up in court, Senate Democrats’ best hope of a leg up in fighting the recall of Sen. Josh Newman may be California’s political ethics watchdog.  The Fair Political Practices Commission will vote Thursday on whether to reverse a longstanding rule that limits how much money politicians can give to a candidate-controlled recall committee. The board is set to meet at 10 a.m. at its headquarters on Q Street.


Why the heck does the size of LA County’s Board of Supervisors matter so much to these state guys?

Sacramento Bee

It’s hard to imagine that voters in Northern or Central California have the knowledge or even the appetite to vote on a constitutional amendment to change the governance of a county hundreds of miles away.


Ross Johnson, a longtime California lawmaker and ethics agency chairman, dies at 77

Los Angeles Times

Ross Johnson, a former Republican legislative leader from Orange County who later served as chairman of the state ethics panel, died Wednesday in Sacramento after a fight with cancer. He was 77.



Costa Statement on White Supremacist Attack in Charlottesville

Jim Costa (CA-16) released the following statement about the white supremacist attack that occurred yesterday in Charlottesville, Virginia.


Donald Trump creates moral crisis with ‘both sides’ comment excusing white supremacists, Nazis, KKK

The Sacramento Bee

It boggles the mind that the occupant of the Oval Office in 2017 would so openly engage in false moral equivalencies that give comfort to racists and embolden those who seek to dominate people of darker skin, different religions and cultures. But that’s what Trump did at a contentious press conference in New York earlier this week.


Trump alienates business execs, another group that was supposed to help him

San Francisco Chronicle

It was more than just political fallout when several top business leaders turned against President Trump this week, a response to his saying “both sides” were responsible for the violence during a white supremacist demonstration in Virginia.


Lawmakers raise cash off Trump-Russia probe


Rep. Eric Swalwell’s campaign website features ominous photos of President Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner. It warns about Russia’s attacks on last year’s presidential election and asks visitors to sign a petition demanding that a bipartisan commission investigate.


Trump administration will keep hands off California’s Sand to Snow National Monument

Los Angeles Times

At least one expanse of protected land in California is now officially safe from the Trump administration’s plan to eliminate or shrink some country’s national monuments.


Mayor Eric Garcetti will travel to New Hampshire to rally Democrats 

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will travel to New Hampshire this month o campaign for a fellow Democrat, the politician’s latest trip to a presidential swing state.



Are Democratic women being sold out in the name of ‘A Better Deal’?

Sacramento Bee

How many #NeverthelessShePersisted, pink pussy hats or Wonder Woman “likes” does the Democratic National Committee need in order to stay the course of progress on behalf of women? When did dumping women’s rights become a spicy strategy for rebuilding a party that got trumped by hatred, fear and lies?





Doctors and nurses unions fight disclosure. What they don’t want you to know

Fresno Bee

Sen. Jerry Hill is trying to impose ever-so-mild disclosure requirements giving patients some protection against problem doctors and nurses

Nazis aren’t good for business. Neither is Donald Trump.

Sacramento Bee

Most CEOs don’t want to sit on a board for President Donald Trump, who thinks “fine people” attend white supremacist rallies like the one in Charlottesville.


Hate speech is loathsome, but trying to silence it is dangerous

Los Angeles Times

Despite the debacle in Charlottesville, Va. — or perhaps because of it — you can rest assured that there will be more marches around the nation in the coming weeks by people who espouse hateful, racist ideas. And those events, some of which are already planned, will undoubtedly draw counter-protesters…


Editorial: Sessions should back off of crackdown on reporters

San Jose Mercury News

All who support journalism’s constitutional check on the government should push back against U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ threat to make it easier to subpoena reporters.





As Wine Grape Harvest Begins, Calif. Growers Face Ongoing Farmworker Shortage

When you hear ‘vineyard’ you may imagine a leafy canopy with green tendrils along a vine.  But if you’re talking about the vast acres of wine grapes planted in the Central Valley, then machines are also a central aspect of the winescape.


After 120 years, Orangevale’s last commercial orchards to close

Sacramento Bee

An end of an agricultural era is near in Sacramento County. Tom Tomich Orchards, Orangevale’s last commercial fruit operation, is shutting down in midseason. Aug. 31 will be the final day its popular fruit stand is open to the public.


Northern California farmer who plowed wetlands is fined $1.1 million

Los Angeles Times

A California farmer will pay $1.1 million for plowing federally protected wetlands and streams, the U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday, closing a years-long legal battle that made him a rallying figure for critics of environmental regulation.


California experts say the black market for weed might continue despite legalization

Bakersfield Now

On January 1st, 2018 marijuana will be legal in the state of California. While many retailers are ready to leave the black market behind, it might continue.


L.A. City Council approves new Cannabis Department head

Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday backed Mayor Eric Garcetti’s picks to oversee City Hall’s new Department of Cannabis Regulation, a vote that comes as officials prepare for legalization of recreational marijuana in California.



Clovis 500 Club card room shut down

Fresno Bee

The California Attorney General’s Office has revoked the license of the 500 Club in Clovis.  The state’s action said the card room’s owners failed to disclose loans from those who should have been listed as partners in the card room’s ownership.


Motorcycle, pedestrian safety on CHP slate

San Jose Mercury News

California Highway Patrol is planning two safety enforcement operations in the Redwood City area, starting Saturday. Beginning Saturday and running through Sept. 30, CHP officers will monitor motorcycle safety on state roads 1 and 35, due to the high usage of those highways by motorcyclists. On Aug. 22, officers will monitor pedestrian safety at Middlefield Road and Pacific Avenue, near where a pedestrian was struck and killed by a vehicle while crossing Middlefield on July 24. CHP did not state the hours of the pedestrian enforcement operation.


What does Laci’s mother really think of Scott Peterson?

Modesto Bee

Renewed widespread interest in the captivating tragedy of Laci Peterson’s death and subsequent 2004 trial of her husband, Scott, is prompting the re-release of video interviews with key figures conducted by The Modesto Bee in 2007, five years after Laci disappeared.

Body scanners being piloted in Los Angeles subway system 


Aiming to stay ahead of an evolving threat against transit systems worldwide, officials in Los Angeles are testing out airport-style body scanners that screen subway passengers for firearms and explosives.




Nazis aren’t good for business. Neither is Donald Trump.

Sacramento Bee

Most CEOs don’t want to sit on a board for President Donald Trump, who thinks “fine people” attend white supremacist rallies like the one in Charlottesville.




FUSD middle school students treated to brand new water filling station


In an effort to encourage students to choose water over soda and sports drinks Fresno Unified debuted water bottle refilling stations at each of its middle schools.


Change of (lesson) plans: BCSD focuses on relationship-building on first day of school

Most grade-school kids start the first day of school the same way: class rules, arithmetic, language-arts, maybe some science and art.  But in most Bakersfield City School District classrooms, that wasn’t the case.


‘The first-graders will cry.’ Schools rethink policies that shame kids at lunch.

Sacramento Bee

There won’t be any more cheese sandwiches served at Elk Grove Unified schools. The region’s largest school district will no longer give students a bland, alternative lunch when they run out of meal funds or forget their lunch money.


What emerging research says about the promise of personalized learning

Brookings Institution

Personalized learning has grown increasingly popular in recent years, encouraged in part by a 2015 RAND study showing large gains from the practice. But newer research has found more modest achievement gains and identified implementation challenges. At first glance, this might seem like bad news, but a more encouraging picture emerges by looking at details of the two studies together.


A summer rich in history for students who looked, listened and questioned


History is all around yet often invisible, with stories and sites waiting for the curious to discover them. This summer, 30 Bay Area high school juniors and seniors got the opportunity to compress lessons from four decades into four weeks of study through tangible, personal encounters with history in their own backyards.





Cap & Trade shows difference in California politics

Visalia Times Delta

No other state has a cap-and-trade system anything like California’s for limiting and, in the long run, vastly reducing production of greenhouse gases behind climate change.


California Republicans face backlash for backing climate change …

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 climate deal could net big bucks for polluters


Gov. Jerry Brown last month signed a bill extending California’s cap-and-trade program.  Two days later, the California Air Resources Board approved a paragraph, tucked within a 17-page resolution, that will likely result in benefits worth hundreds of millions of dollars for the oil and agriculture industries. It was the first domino to visibly fall as a consequence of behind-the-scenes deal making that produced a cap-and-trade program acceptable to both key environmental groups and major polluters.

Climate Lessons from California

New York Times

California faces serious risks from climate change. Some are already being felt, like the severe heat this summer and recent episodes of extremely low snowpack in the mountains, which the state depends on for much of its water. Those are among the key messages in a new climate science report now under review in the White House. The good news is that California has been working hard to catch up with the climate change that has already happened, and to get ahead of what is still to come.


Trump administration kills push to ban bottled water in national parks


The Trump administration’s latest environmental rollback is an unusual one, but with a familiar feature: It benefits big business.


This colorful frog’s survival is at risk in California’s streams. Here’s how the state could save it

Sacramento Bee

Shy of 3 inches with skin in muddy shades of red, green or brown, the foothill yellow-legged frog is unremarkable at first glance. Flipping it over, however, reveals the signature gold shading of its legs and lower abdomen that leads some to exclaim its beauty.


Legislation calls for $3B in rebates for electric cars in California

San Diego Union-Tribune

alifornia Assembly member Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, says electric cars are the future. And the future he envisions in a bill making its way through the Legislature comes with a $3 billion price tag.



Trump administration agrees to continue healthcare subsidy for now

LA Times

The decision to make this month’s payment, due next week, signaled that the administration has decided against immediately precipitating a collapse, potentially giving Congress time to pass a bipartisan package of fixes to some of the law’s problems.


CBO: Pulling Obamacare subsidies would drive up premiums, increase deficit


Insurance premiums for Obamacare plans would rise 20 percent next year and people in small pockets of the country wouldn’t have any insurance options if President Donald Trump scraps a key insurance subsidy, according to a new analysis from the CBO. 


Federal Cuts to Food Assistance Would Harm Older Californians, Many of Whom Already Struggle to Afford Enough Food

California Budget & Policy Center

Federal policy changes being pursued by the Trump Administration and Republicans in Congress threaten to inflict serious harm on older adults, and the rapid aging of California’s population means that a growing number of state residents are at risk. One of the most significant threats comes from recent proposals to slash food assistance provided through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), called CalFresh in California.



Deported: End of the line for undocumented Oakland couple

San Jose Mercury News

The much-publicized saga of Highland Hospital nurse Maria Sanchez and her husband Eusebio, who for the last 15 years had sought to obtain green cards and remain in the U.S. legally, ended with hugs and tears Wednesday night before the undocumented couple boarded a United Airlines flight bound for their native Mexico.


UCSD researcher says Breitbart misused his study on refugees and TB 

San Diego Union-Tribune

A San Diego researcher said a recent Breitbart article on Starbucks’ push to hire refugees misused data from his study to promote fear of tuberculosis in the county’s new arrivals.


More Employers May Be Using Temps to Skirt Immigration Laws

Pew Charitable Trust

States that have required private employers to use E-Verify have seen especially dramatic growth in the number of temporary workers. Experts say that’s no accident.



Walters: Bills would make California housing even more expensive

Fresno Bee

California obviously has a severe shortage of housing, but the crisis is felt most acutely by low- and moderate-income families.


Fresno homeless population increases, no shelter available for most

Private charities hope to fill the void as a new survey shows Fresno’s homeless situation is getting worse.


Navy Mayor: 15,000 sailors and families coming to San Diego, housing crunch looms

San Diego Union-Tribune

By 2025, the U.S. Navy will add 20 more warships and 15,000 sailors — plus their families — to a San Diego region already reeling from high home prices and rents, forcing the community to work together to find solutions, the “Navy Mayor” said Wednesday.



After critical audit, feds eying Fresno’s use of money marked for low-income areas 

Fresno Bee

The federal government is watching how the city of Fresno handles federal dollars earmarked for cleaning up low-income neighborhoods, after an independent audit found inconsistencies with more than $8 million of the city’s spending on code enforcement, after-school programs and graffiti cleanup.


Outsourcing proposed to trim Lodi budget

Lodi News-Sentinel

With the City of Lodi already struggling to balance budgets, local leaders are exploring ways to make sure the city stays solvent with soaring pension costs expected to eat up bigger chunks of the general budget in the coming years.


Airbnb agrees to collect bed taxes for Madera County

Sierra Star
The Madera County Board of Supervisors approved an arrangement with Airbnb Aug. 8 that will allow the online vacation rental company to collect Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) from homeowners the company works with in the county.


CalPERS elections pits investor against union leader

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.


Monthly Cash Report from the state Department of Finance 

California Department of Finance

Preliminary General Fund revenue for July, the first month of the new fiscal year, came in $190 million above the budget forecast of $6.9 billion.


State holds $7.1B in unclaimed property

Central Valley Business Journal

California is in possession of $7.1 billion in unclaimed property belonging to an estimated 27.9 million individuals and organizations.



The ‘good ol’ boy’ system at work? State transportation board seat becomes hot issue

Merced Sun-Star

The recommendation for a state commission appointment has drawn controversy in Merced County this week, and one area leader said the “good-ol’-boy” system is at work.


United takes inaugural mainline flight in Fresno today

The Business Journal
United Airlines officially launched its mainline service between Fresno Yosemite International Airport and San Francisco International Airport


Exclusive: SFO makes changes for pilots, air traffic controllers after Air Canada close call

The Mercury News

In the wake of last month’s near-collision at SFO where an Air Canada passenger jet nearly crashed into four fully loaded airplanes on the taxiway, federal officials have made significant changes to how pilots land at the airport and how many air traffic controllers must be operating in the tower during nighttime hours, the Bay Area News Group has learned.


Motorcycle, pedestrian safety on CHP slate – The Mercury News

The Mercury News

California Highway Patrol is planning two safety enforcement operations in the Redwood City area, starting Saturday.

Body scanners being piloted in Los Angeles subway system 


Aiming to stay ahead of an evolving threat against transit systems worldwide, officials in Los Angeles are testing out airport-style body scanners that screen subway passengers for firearms and explosives.



Merced irrigation district accuses board member of stealing water

Fresno Bee

The Merced Irrigation District is accusing one of its own board members of stealing more than $200,000 worth of district water to irrigate his almond orchard.  Staff with the Merced Irrigation District sent board director Kevin Gonzalves a cease and desist letter last month after finding that he was pumping water from Canal Creek to his own orchards.


California water bill ‘a huge deal’ to combat dirty water

Visalia Times-Delta

The Community Water Center has made California Senate Bill 623 a top priority. And mid-August is no time to let up their goal off seeing the bill all the way through. Susana De Anda, the center’s co-executive director and co-founder, said the state’s legislative calendar includes SB 623 for review and a decision could be made as early next month.


Sites Reservoir Supporters Want $1.6 Billion From Water Bond
Supporters of Sites Reservoir, which would be located an hour northwest of Sacramento, say they are asking for $1.6 billion from the bond. That’s more than half of the money in the bond that is set aside for water storage projects in California.

Water agencies chase billions in California Prop 1 project money

89.3 KPCC

State officials this week unveiled a dozen water storage project proposals competing for $2.7 billion dollars of state money. It’s part of the much larger $7.5 billion Prop 1 water bond that California voters approved in 2014.



CHP offers senior citizen driving program

Hanford Sentinel

The Hanford area CHP is conducting “Age Well, Drive Smart” classes at their local office, with the next available class being Friday morning. There will also be a class in September at the Lemoore Senior Citizens Center.

Unity on agenda for Women in Politics Luncheon

If you’d like to attend the Women in Politics Luncheon, you’ll have to act quickly: Thursday is the last chance to get tickets, and organizers believe the guest speaker will be one you won’t want to miss.