August 20, 2018





Press Release: Bakersfield’s Melissa Frank to Lead Maddy Institute Board

The Maddy Institute

Melissa (Poole) Frank, Senior Counsel/Director of Government Affairs for The Wonderful Company, was recently elected Chair of the Kenneth L. Maddy Institute at California State University, Fresno for the 2018-2021 term. 


Mayor blows his top at critic as council meeting opens

Madera Tribune

In a violation of City Council rules of conduct, Mayor Andy Medellin began yelling Wednesday night at​​ the principal sponsor of the anti-Medellin recall that is underway, and continued his diatribe until City Attorney Brent Richardson told him, in essence, to be quiet.


Did a Tulare County Judge violate Constitution?

Visalia Times-Delta

Tulare County Judge John Bianco barred the media and the public from attending a hearing regarding property seized during a series of search warrants aimed at Tulare hospital's former managers.  He gave no reason. 


Council continues in censure process

Hanford Sentinel

The Lemoore City council is taking further steps to censure Councilwoman Holly Blair on Tuesday.

See also: 

     Council to discuss bell tower, city projects Hanford Sentinel


City hopes new ordinance can help improve its image

The ordinance changes the standards for landscaping between roadways and parking lots. It will increase the height of the shrubbery that must be placed between the parking lot and the street from 2 to 4 feet and increase the width of the landscaped area from 10 to 15 feet.


Study: These​​ Valley cities among worst in US to raise children

Visalia Times-Delta

Three Central Valley cities were rated some of the worst places to raise children, according to a study conducted by 24/7 Wall Street.


OPINION: Trust the district attorney, but make her ‘verify’

President Reagan famously used the phrase “trust, but verify.” That’s what supervisors must do. Trust that Green is not just using her office’s Public Integrity Unit as a ploy to be spared budget cuts. Make Green and Zimmer verify that the money actually is being used to ferret​​ out public corruption.

OPINION: Has Devin Nunes forgotten who sent him to Congress?

The LA Times

But these days Nunes appears focused on parlaying his role as President Trump’s most ardent lapdog into national media stardom, even when doing so conflicts with the 22nd’s interests. And the district is noticing.


When protesters visit congressmen's homes

Bakersfield Californian

Last week 10 immigration reform activists brought their case to the Hanford home of U.S. Rep. David Valadao.

See also:

     EDITORIAL: One side was disruptive, the other not listening. Is this what we want in our politics? Fresno Bee




OPINION: What Makes California Politics So Special

The New York Times

“The core principle of the Party of California is that the state — its history and heritage, its environment, its economy and, above all, the well-being of its people — is worth imagining, worth struggling for.”


Before he leaves office, Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown lines up some jobs for staff

Gov. Jerry Brown, who leaves office in January, has just appointed his 29-year-old deputy legal affairs secretary, Katherine Williams Dodd, to the seven-member California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board at an annual salary of a $153,689.


Gavin Newsom criticized for flip-flopping on California's most pressing issues

Los Angeles Times

While mayor of San Francisco, Democrat Gavin Newsom supported high-speed rail in California so strongly that he partnered with Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2008 to push for a $10-billion state bond measure to help build it.


De León captures California's anti-Trump furor, but struggles to gain traction in run to oust Feinstein

Los Angeles Times

De León, 51, casts himself as a leader of the California resistance to President Trump. But Feinstein, a fellow Democrat who first won her Senate seat in 1992, is far better known, has more than nine times as much campaign cash and holds a wide lead in the polls

See also:

     Even Trump Resisters Prefer Feinstein to de León Calbuzz

California legislative leaders look to gather more campaign funds

The Fresno Bee

Interestingly, however, AB 84 also draws opposition from the California Democratic Party even though Rendon and Atkins are high-ranking leaders of the party, apparently because it​​ would erode the party’s powerful role in financing campaigns provided by Proposition 34.

See also:

     EDITORIAL: An unseemly legislative power grab Los Angeles Times


California lawmakers reject marijuana banking plan and panic buttons for hotel workers in a frenzy​​ of Sacramento action

Los Angeles Times

Facing a key deadline for legislation to move forward, California lawmakers on Thursday rejected dozens of bills, including a state-run bank for marijuana growers, government healthcare services for those in the U.S.​​ illegally and hotel panic buttons for cleaning crews who fear sexual assault.


EDITORIAL: Legislature Needs To Stop Chaos On Independent Contractors

The​​ Sacramento Bee 

Because of the potential disruption, the business community is asking the Legislature to immediately limit the court’s ruling to the workers directly involved in the Dynamex case and not have the decision apply to other contractors for the​​ next two years.


California effort to allow sports betting cleared to collect signatures​​ as foes emerge

Los Angeles Times

A proponent of an initiative to allow sports betting in California received the state’s approval to begin collecting signatures to put the measure on the 2020 ballot, but some key players in the gambling industry​​ distanced themselves from the idea Friday.


Judge allows California to sue over census question

San Francisco Chronicle

A federal judge says California and its local governments can sue to stop the Trump administration from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

See also:

     Judge won't throw out California suits over census question Napa Valley Register


Walters: Legislature's sneaky procedures on display


Two of the Legislature’s sneakiest procedures were on display last week as it​​ began its annual sprint to adjournment.


Prop. 13 could be partly undone in 2020—here’s what you should know


Advocates today submitted signatures to qualify a 2020 ballot initiative that would generate tens of billions of dollars for local and state governments by undoing part of California’s landmark Prop. 13.

See Also: 

      Big change in California’s Proposition 13 could be headed to ballot  SF Chronicle

      Initiative to Rework Property Tax Proposition Gathers Enough Signatures for 2020 Ballot Fox&Hounds




Women win primaries in record numbers, look to November

Stockton Record

More women than ever before have won major party primaries for governor,​​ U.S. Senate and House this year — setting a U.S. record and paving the way for November battles.

See also:

      ‘Year of the Woman Candidate’?: Democratic voters have welcomed a surge of women running. The Washington Post


Trump backed 'space force' after months of lobbying by officials with ties to aerospace industry

Los Angeles Times

The concept had been​​ pushed unsuccessfully since 2016 by a small group of current and former government officials, some with deep financial ties to the aerospace industry, who see creation of the sixth military service as a surefire way to hike Pentagon spending on satellite and other space systems.


How Trump’s war on regulation is trickle-down economics

Yet Trump is taking a meat ax​​ to all regulations. In so doing, he’s creating a new form of trickle-down economics — where the benefits go to corporate executives and major investors, while the costs and risks land on the rest of us.


Trump touts VA overhaul, but affected workers say the result has not been good for veterans

San Diego Union-Tribune

A trio of executive orders signed by President Trump in May to take on what he considers a bloated and inefficient federal workforce are working as intended, administration officials say, although Department of Veteran Affairs workers and union members say the implementation is hurting workers — and veterans.


Assault On America: 4 Ways Trump, GOP Are Killing Consumer Safeguards


“Smashing safety and consumer safeguards will lead​​ to deaths, injuries and diseases that provoke intense news coverage. Demands to hold the profit-obsessed Trump team accountable for conflicts of interest will intensify.”


Senate confirms more Trump judges

PBS Newshour

The Senate on Thursday confirmed two more of Trump’s nominees, bringing to 26 the number of new appellate judges that have​​ been approved this session of Congress.


Like Obama before him,​​ Trump is abandoning the political center


The bizarre irony is that Trump is less extreme on (some) policy issues than media coverage might lead you to believe.  


Trump’s war on ‘fake news’ could actually make the mainstream news stronger


After enduring decades of abusive rhetoric that started long before Trump, Thursday’s coalition of the willing suggests that journalism is finding its institutional voice and its will to push back.

See also:

     EDITORIAL: The Trump White House, where “truth isn’t truth” San Francisco Chronicle




Charter Spectrum plans to report local TV news, 24 hours a day, in Los Angeles

Los Angeles Times

Local TV news has settled into a​​ familiar routine: a pingpong of live shots with reporters standing near the scene of a crime, a wildfire or the wreckage of a deadly crash. Newscasts are peppered with helicopter views of freeway tie-ups, followed by weather reports and sports.


Dionne: America is slouching toward autocracy

Washington Post

A slow-motion dismantling of rules can be insidious because we don’t even notice what’s happening to us.


Conservatives Must Save the Republican Party From Itself

The Atlantic

“The Trump Republican party shames itself every day,” argues The Atlantic writer and David Frum. “Some people think we’d be better off if the GOP just went out of​​ business. That’s dangerous advice.”

See also:

      Is the Republican Party really Donald Trump’s party? Brookings

What exactly is government’s role in addressing misinformation online?


The white paper does acknowledge political problems — such as encouraging totalitarian governments — that legislators would have to navigate in constructing legislation along these​​ lines. But there may be further unintended consequences domestically.

See also:

     A Better Way to Regulate Social Media The Wall Street Journal





Jury Award In Roundup Case Opens Door For Other Monsanto Lawsuits

Valley Public Radio

The jury agreed with plaintiff Dewayne Johnson’s claim that his exposure to​​ the popular herbicide Roundup on the job (and its main component known as glyphosate) resulted in his non-Hodgkins lymphoma. With over $250 million in punitive damages in this one case alone, the stakes are high for Monsanto’s owner Bayer. 


The Super Bowl of Beekeeping

New York Times

Almond growing in California is a $7.6​​ billion industry that wouldn’t be possible without the 30 billion bees (and hundreds of human beekeepers) who keep the trees pollinated — and whose very existence is in peril.






Local organization hosts expo to stop gang violence


A movement to stop gang violence took place in southwest Fresno Saturday morning. Kids, parents, and community leaders attended the gang prevention and intervention expo called "Make it Stop".


Gov. Brown issues 67 pardons, sentence commutations

San Francisco Chronicle

Eighteen people serving life without the possibility of parole​​ for murder in California will have a chance at freedom after Gov. Jerry Brown agreed to commute their sentences.

See also:

      Gov. Jerry Brown grants dozens of pardons — including three for people facing deportation Los Angeles Times

Proposal to radically overhaul California's bail system advances in Legislature

Los Angeles Times

California could soon end money bail, but some of the criminal justice groups who worked toward that goal aren’t celebrating.

See also:

      Divided Loyalties California Politics Podcast

     California’s bill to end cash bail could make history—and splinter the left CALmatters


Legislation that would make it easier to prosecute police officers who kill civilians​​ is put on hold

Los Angeles Times

Major legislation that would make it easier to prosecute police officers who kill civilians is on hold, but its author said negotiations will continue before California lawmakers break for the year at the end of August.


Public Safety:


New Corcoran Police Station: 10 years in the making

Hanford Sentinel

By this time next year,​​ Corcoran Police officers will have a brand new 10,400 square-foot facility and will no longer have to remodel closets to fit more office spaces.


Tulare County Sheriff's Office looking for deputies to join the team


The Tulare County Sheriff's Office is looking for new deputies to join its team.


Just because someone wants a cop to shoot him dead doesn’t mean we have to comply

Sacramento Bee

Connecting the dots on issues, people and news in the Sacramento region.


Digital detecting: How FBI hackers catch criminals in cyberspace

San Diego Union-Tribune

Uncovering clues is like finding a virtual needle in a million electronic haystacks. Cracking the encryption systems of suspects’ cell phones, tablets and laptops is a daunting task, one often entrusted to the FBI’s national network of computer forensics laboratories.


How millennials and gun control can change the 2018 midterm landscape


What representatives do not understand is the energized role young people are likely to play in the upcoming midterm elections. 




Ferguson Fire fully contained,​​ cost of fire surpassed $100M

Fresno Bee

Following a month-long battle that cost two firefighters their lives and burned 96,901 acres, fire officials announced Sunday the Ferguson Fire is now 100 percent contained.

See also:

     Reopening date set for Highway 41 route to Yosemite. Ferguson Fire in ‘mop up’ phase Fresno Bee

      Ferguson Fire fully contained, cost of fire surpassed $100M Sierra Star

     Update: Firefighters have Ferguson Fire fully contained ABC30

     Blaze burning near Yosemite fully contained San Francisco Chronicle


California lawmakers end efforts to reduce PG&E’s liability for wildfires

Fresno Bee

California lawmakers had the chance to reduce PG&E's liability for wildfires, but chose not to continue​​ with the efforts.

     See also:

     Plan to lessen PG&E’s liability for wildfires is dead for the year, lawmaker says Fresno Bee

     PG&E’s bid to change liability rules appears dead for now San Francisco Chronicle

      Lawmakers scrap plan to lessen PG&E’s wildfire liability The Sacramento Bee

     EDITORIAL: The utilities’ liability for California’s wildfire woes OCRegister


California Wildfires Raising Environmental Issues For Vulnerable GOP

SF Chronicle

With flames forcing tens of thousands of residents to flee their homes and clouds of smoke​​ hovering over large chunks of the state, California Democrats already are using the disaster to flog GOP House members for their environmental votes.


Climate Has a Role in Wildfires? No. Wait, Yes.

The New York Times

Mr. Zinke and his boss, President Trump, also dismissed the impact of global warming on the fires. But the secretary later clarified his​​ comments, responding “of course” when asked if he accepted that climate change was part of the problem.


Behind Most Wildfires, a Person and a Spark: ‘We Bring Fire With Us’

The New York Times

Destructive wildfires nearly always begin with a human being, either intentionally or by mistake. There are endless ways people start fires — a discarded cigarette, a child playing with matches, a campfire, fireworks, a car accident.


No relief for soaring fire insurance rates


But of all the constituencies—from utility companies to first responders—clamoring for state help as firenados ravage California and legislators rush toward the Aug. 31 end of session, homeowners who live in fire-prone areas and fear losing coverage seem among the least likely to get legislative relief. 


Fire in the Sierra Workshop

Central Sierra Historical Society

The reintroduction of natural wildfire will be discussed and will be demonstrated. Attendees will also visit a location in the central Sierra to see first-hand different burn conditions, examples of fuel build-up, and rehabilitation work. This workshop is made possible with a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Attendees will hear presentations in the museum’s media room.. RSVP​​ to






Sun-Maid raisins new president promises big changes new products

The Fresno Bee

Sun-Maid Raisins is easily one of the most recognizable brands in the United States. But even the company’s iconic red bonnet-wearing farm girl hasn’t been enough to keep this century-old cooperative from losing touch with consumers, especially younger ones.


91% of Economists Say Trump's Tariffs Are Unfavorable for U.S. Growth


Business economists are sounding some sour notes​​ about Trump administration policies, from trade to immigration to the budget, while expecting the short-term boost to growth from Republican tax cuts to lessen over time.

See also:

       As the trade war worsens, the trade deficit increases Brookings

       U.S., China Plot Road Map to Resolve Trade Dispute by November The Wall Street Journal


U.S. Leading Economic Indicators Rose in July

The Wall Street Journal

An economic index that measures U.S. business trends rose again July.

The​​ Conference Board Leading Economic Index increased 0.6% in July to 110.7. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal expected a 0.5% gain in the index.

There Are Signs The U.S. Economy Is Approaching Its Speed Limit

The Wall Street Journal 

Few are arguing that the economy is about to​​ enter a tailspin, but there’s some evidence to suggest the rate of growth may be approaching its limit, if it’s not already there.

See also:

     Either Trump is delivering on his economic promises, or he’s very luckyAEI


CPAs Fight to Protect Part of Their Turf 

The Wall Street Journal

Some CPAs are fighting with their trade group about who gets to value​​ complex assets for companies




Manufacturing helps boost Valley employment in July

The Business Journal

Unemployment rates fell across the Central​​ Valley last month, boosted in part by job gains in the manufacturing industry, according to the latest data from the state Employment Development Department.

See also: 

     California adds nearly 47,000 jobs in July; unemployment Stays at record low Sacramento Bee

     California Employment Report for July 2018 California Center for Jobs and the Economy


California legislators shelve bill to address wage gap by collecting certain salary data

Los Angeles Times

A measure that would have required large businesses to report to the state more data on how they pay their employees failed to advance past a key legislative committee on Thursday.


Why we should train workers like we train machine learning algorithms


Makada Henry-Nickie argues that for a 21st-century workforce to be successful, educational training must not only build technical​​ skills but develop the kind of problem-solving abilities and experiential learning that makes artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms so effective.


Fewer Americans Uproot Themselves for a New Job

Wall Street Journal

Better job prospects near home, growing reluctance to disrupt children’s routines prompt more people to stay put.


Cherry-Picking to Overhype Jobs Gains from Tax Cuts

There has been a net​​ increase in the number of jobs added in the first six months of 2018 compared to a similar period in 2017. But the nationwide gain isn’t nearly as dramatic as those individual states highlighted by the Republican National Committee, and in 12 states fewer​​ jobs have been created this year. 






Dinuba High helping prep the next generation of medical professionals


Dinuba High School is getting national recognition for the​​ Medical Academy. Dinuba High School seniors are getting ready for their future careers in the medical field. Since they were freshman, the group has worked on mastering their craft through the Med. Academy.


Real talk on school safety

Stockton Record

No child should have to go to school in fear. How can one concentrate or study when the possibility of violence can be faced both on campus and at home? What resources are available now? Similar questions and comments were raised Saturday at a town hall meeting in the Chavez High School theater.


A quiet and important fight is brewing over how much must be spent on California's schools

Los Angeles Times

Few parts of California’s government are more maddeningly complex than the landmark education funding law​​ that voters enacted three decades ago, a labyrinth tucked inside one of the simplest political messages in state history.

See also:

     More money to schools but less going to the classroom San Francisco Chronicle


How To Make A Civics Education Stick


How do you teach kids to be active participants in government? Or to tell the difference between real news and fake news? In their last legislative sessions, 27 states considered bills or other​​ proposals that aim to answer these questions.


California May Create a Longitudinal Data System to Track Student Progress


California’s public education system is vital to the state’s future and success. However, there is currently no comprehensive method to track student progress throughout students’ educations and entry into the workforce.


California Gets High Grade In Measuring Teachers’ Reading Instruction Skills


California is one of 11 states that “thoroughly tests candidates’ knowledge of the​​ science of reading,” according to a new 50-state analysis released by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ). The report seemingly undercuts a lawsuit that a public interest law firm has filed against the state and top education officials for failing to effectively teach reading.

Higher Ed:


Fresno State, UC Merced partner to increase diversity in STEM​​ faculty

Hanford Sentinel

California State University, Fresno and University of California, Merced are teaming up over the next five years to train and mentor underrepresented minority doctoral students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields to teach at colleges and universities.


UC Merced Opens First Buildings of Massive Campus Expansion

UC Merced

The University of California’s newest campus continues to grow, with Phase 1 of an unprecedented $1.3 billion public-private partnership that will allow the university to grow to 10,000 students.


36 private colleges make transfer easier for JC students

Hanford Sentinel

Three Central Valley colleges joined 33 other private colleges and universities in providing a pathway for students at community colleges to attend easier than before.


Latino Life: Fresno City College offers new opportunities off campus

You can take college courses without leaving your neighborhood. Fresno City College is now offering Neighborhood Campuses at Edison High School and Sunnyside High School.


Bakersfield College kicks off fall semester

Bakersfield Californian

After students returned to K-12 schools earlier this week, now its Bakersfield College students’ turn. Classes begin for most students Monday, and they may notice a few differences on campus, especially when it comes to finding parking and getting to class.


Gold Stars awarded to CA Community Colleges in annual Strong Workforce commendations

California Economic Summit

The California Community Colleges have announced the recognition of more than 1,000 career education programs that are resulting in students gaining social mobility based on factors important to their future success.


Community Colleges Try New ‘Pathway’ To Student Success


But the very ambition and expansiveness of the reform effort could make it difficult to​​ realize across the 115-college system. Pathways asks colleges to change virtually every aspect of how they educate students, from the way they advise students to their strategies for remediation and even how they schedule classes.

See also:

Automation Means Opportunity for California Community Colleges

California Economic Summit

California's community colleges are creating opportunities for an automation workforce. And it was a topic that drew community college educators in electrical, mechanical, construction, engineering and architectural disciplines to Folsom this summer. 


EDITORIAL: California is crafting a new college sexual misconduct policy. It must be fair to all.

San Diego Union-Tribune

There is no question that colleges are far more sensitive and​​ responsive to allegations of sexual misconduct. But after a series of successful lawsuits against colleges over Title IX prosecutions, a powerful argument can be made that good intentions made for flawed policy — one that denied millions of college students the due process rights of other Americans.


A Long-term View of Higher Education Funding


Along with tuition, state General Fund allocations are the largest source of revenue for California’s public colleges and universities.






Bureau of Land Management starts local fracking study

The Business Journal

The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Bakersfield Office is asking for the public’s opinion on a plan to open some 1.6 million acres of land in Central​​ California to hydraulic fracturing–an oil and gas extraction method more commonly known as “fracking.”


Progressive veterans frame climate change as a national security issue


Candidates across the country are not only stressing environmental concerns like the upsurge in natural disasters, but also describing climate change as a national security threat and foreign policy issue, as​​ well as an arena for potential economic leadership.


Number of triple-digit days creeping up, but breaking record a longshot

Bakersfield Californian

Bakersfield is deep into the dog days of summer, that time of year when one furnace-hot day seems to merge into another ... and then another.


A new plan for coal emissions is expected

The Wall Street Journal

The Environmental Protection Agency is planning to reverse Obama-era restrictions on the coal industry, including changes that would help coal-burning plants run harder and stay open longer. The new rules are expected within days.

See also:

       New Trump power plant plan would release hundreds of millions of tons of CO2 into the air The Washington Post


California’s Zero-Carbon Bill Aims To Set Climate Example

Bloomberg News 

This bill will mean better lives for the residents of California — more jobs, less pollution, more innovation and lower costs — and it will reduce state and national dependence on fossil fuel.

See also:

       Here’s how CA can lead the climate change fight CALmatters




Green energy is gold for California, US

What California proposes, we research, debate and then accomplish. In fact, we often exceed the goals skeptics have deemed unmeetable. This is why I believe that California should — and ultimately will — pass into law the “100 Percent Clean Energy Act” (Senate Bill 100), which would establish a bold goal of 100 percent clean, zero-carbon electricity by 2045.


Court throws out EPA delay of Obama chemical plant safety rule

The Hill

A federal court Friday threw out the Trump administration’s attempt to delay a chemical plant safety regulation written by the Obama administration. 


A new technique moves us a step closer toward clean hydrogen fuel

Stanford School of Engineering

In the quest for clean alternative energy sources, hydrogen is a favorite.


EDITORIAL: Offshore drilling bans advance in Legislature

San Francisco Chronicle

While President Trump’s Interior Department was​​ mapping out oil and gas leases off California’s coast, the Legislature debated what to do. The sanctified cause of a drilling ban turned into a fight over a pair of bills that aimed to put hard restrictions on the White House idea.






Valley Fever: Why breathing dust in California can be deadly

Fresno Bee

In the central San Joaquin Valley, blowing dust can carry a deadly fungus, and 2017 was a bad year for breathing the fungal spores.


First human case of the year of West Nile Virus reported in Merced County


North​​ Valley officials are reporting the first human case of West Nile Virus in Merced County this year. They said a 62-year-old male contracted the virus from a mosquito bite.


Madera Police host "March against Meth" rally to help victims of addiction


In the North Valley, dozens of people showed up for a "March Against Meth" in Madera. The rally started at McNally Park and​​ ended at Madera County Courthouse Park.

See also:

     Drug addiction hasn’t gone away Madera Tribune


Bill to offer abortion pills heads to vote. But some don’t want student fees to pay for it

Fresno Bee

A bill that would provide access to abortion pills on all public university campuses in California is headed to a final vote before the end of the month after passing the Assembly Appropriations Committee Thursday.


New, expecting moms celebrated at Omni baby shower

Bakersfield Californian

Omni Family Health is helping new and expecting parents get a head start on parenthood. The health care provider held a community baby shower for around 100 new and expecting​​ parents on Friday.


What will it take to reverse childhood obesity? More than a single solution

PBS NewsHour

“Overall population health in the United States is unlikely to improve and the cost of health care is likely to continue to increase unless the prevalence of obesity and severe obesity in children, adolescents, and adults is reduced.”


Human Services:


With an epidemic of mental illness on the streets, counties struggle to spend huge cash reserves

Los Angeles Times

After nearly 15 years, Proposition 63 — the Mental Health Services Act — has steered billions of dollars to the counties across the state. But huge sums remain unspent.


Adventist Health Bakersfield among​​ local health care facilities to upgrade security plans following active shooter scares

Bakersfield Californian

A symposium held last week regarding active shooters at hospitals had been planned for months, but became especially relevant following a false​​ alarm early this month at Mercy Hospital Southwest in which someone reported an active shooter.


14,000 CalPERS members must find a new 2019 health plan

Sacramento Bee

Changes at California’s pension giant will force more than 14,000 CalPERS members and their dependents in the Sacramento region and Bay Area to find a new health plan over the coming year.


How California hopes to halt the revolving door to the ER


More than half the state’s health care budget will be spent on just 5 percent of its patients—and they’re not the sickest people. Officials are staging an intervention.


House Committee Pledges to Roll Back More Medicare Regulations

Roll Call

The House Ways and Means Committee said it would continue exploring ways to reduce regulations in Medicare, after issuing a report last week on its conversations with health care providers.


Veterans Affair Watchdog Finds Significant Problems in VA Caregiver Program

Roll Call

Family​​ caregivers seeking help from the Department of Veterans Affairs encountered extended wait times and spotty aid from the agency, according to a new report from the VA’s Office of Inspector General.


Videogame Developers Are Making It Harder to Stop Playing

The Wall Street Journal

Players are logging more hours as developers find new ways to keep them engaged




Forget ICE, the real problem is CBP

Los Angeles Times

Critics have called for the abolition of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. But the better target for elimination, or at least downsizing, is the Customs and Border Protection agency, ICE’s big, paramilitary brother. It’s bloated and riddled with corruption.


Federal immigration lawyers have asked to reactivate thousands of closed deportation cases

Los Angeles Times

Federal immigration prosecutors have sought to reactivate thousands of closed deportation cases, following a recent court decision by Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions that curbed the power of immigration judges to indefinitely suspend cases.




Land Use:


Beautifying our Parks: Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District

The Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District doesn't stop working for the community just because it's not raining. They are responsible for many of the beautiful parks in the city,​​ including Trolley Creek Park.


Letter Perfect: Why P is for Parks and Z is for Zoos

GV Wire

Is it a coincidence when a local ballot measure is assigned the​​ perfect letter to entice voter support? In Tulare County, that may be the case.


Would new Fresno CC Science building give​​ Blackstone a lift?

GV Wire

What can be done to make Blackstone Avenue more attractive to shoppers and businesses? The question has been batted around since the end of the Manchester Mall’s glory days in the 1960s and ’70s when families flocked to Sears, Rhodes, GallenKamp Shoes, and a host of other merchants.


Waterslides are coming back, but not all of Manteca feels welcomed by new resort

Modesto Bee

News that Great Wolf Lodge has finalized plans to bring a new indoor water-park resort to the city was greeted with much fanfare by local officials this week. But the 500-room resort, which will begin construction next month with a projected 2020 opening, comes with a catch. Only hotel guests will be allowed to use the waterslides and other water-park attractions. 


City Council expected to approve contract to design Stockton’s newest library

Stockton Record

The Stockton City Council on Tuesday is expected to approve a $1.3 million contract with Architectural Nexus, Inc. to take on the engineering and design responsibilities for the Northeast Stockton Library and Recreation Center.


City hopes new ordinance can help improve its image

Bakersfield Californian

The Bakersfield City​​ Council earlier this week approved a tweak to landscaping standards that will affect nearly every new major construction project within the city. 




SJ supes, Stockton City Council to vote Tuesday on homeless crisis

Stockton Record

On Tuesday, separate votes by the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors in the morning and the Stockton City Council in the evening are expected​​ to propel the region’s homelessness Continuum of Care group toward determining how to use the windfall of funding from California’s Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP).


Nonprofit that helps homeless with jobs, housing has its eye on Modesto

Modesto Bee

A nonprofit that provides volunteer work and services for the homeless and operates in nearly a dozen Northern California communities might come to Modesto.


Local parks departments grapple with homelessness

Bakersfield Californian

As homelessness has increased throughout the state and county, some local residents feel uncomfortable with the impact on public parks.


Tiny houses for homeless inching their way into SF’s strategy

San Francisco Chronicle

As with pretty much any possible solution to San Francisco’s stubborn homeless problem, building tiny homes has been talked about for ages. And then talked about some more.


Housing crisis prompts San Diego to pursue 'inclusionary' legislation opposed by developers

San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego officials say they plan to follow the​​ lead of other California cities and begin requiring developers building new apartment complexes to either include units reserved for low-income residents or pay hefty fees.


Young People Don’t Want Construction Jobs. That’s a Problem for the Housing Market.

Wall Street Journal

The construction business is having trouble attracting young job seekers.

The​​ share of workers in the sector who are 24 years old or younger has declined in 48 states since the last housing boom in 2000.


A New Smoking Ban in Public Housing Roils Some Residents

PEW Trusts

As of the end of July, lighting up in any of the nation’s public housing complexes is now against the rules. That means no cigarettes, cigars or hookahs within 25 feet of the property in hallways, common areas, offices — even in one’s own apartment, much to the aggravation of Hall and her compatriots. 


Home Building Disappoints Again, Raising the Specter of a Cementing Trend

The Wall Street Journal 

Housing starts grew 0.9% in July from the prior month, significantly weaker than the 8.3% bounce back economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected. This follows a sharp 12.9% drop in housing construction in June, the largest monthly decline since the end of 2016.


California Real Estate Market Shows Troubling Signs That May Keep New Buyers In Their Homes For Years To Come


In the California real estate market the “b” word is on the minds of many: bubble. With reports of sharp declines in home sales, shrinking inventory and rising home prices, it might be an understatement to call California’s situation a puzzle, and one that may have implications for the entire country.


How HUD can help the housing market


How about reducing development costs? Start with streamlining permitting processes and timelines. Eliminate or reduce off-street parking requirements. Offer property tax abatements, tax-increment financing and other incentives for building economically near service and line-production jobs without the use of housing subsidies. 




Gaspar: McFarland at a financial crossroads

Bakersfield Californian

By their own admission, city leaders say McFarland is more of a town rather than a city, and it's a long way from being your typical suburb.


Business Reacts to​​ Filing of Split Roll Initiative


With the announcement by supporters that enough signatures were gathered to qualify for the 2020 ballot a ‘split roll’ measure that would raise property taxes on commercial property, the business community issued​​ a condemnation of the effort and reasons why it is unnecessary.


Despite Law, Politicians Use Taxpayer Funds for Campaigns


Increasingly,​​ however, California officials are doing exactly that, with little fear of being slapped down by prosecutors or the state Fair Political Practices Commission. It’s now common for local officials seeking tax increases or bond issues from voters to hire​​ campaign consultants on the fiction that they will provide unbiased information to the voting public.


EDITORIAL: The real story behind Sacramento's push for tax hikes: pension red ink

San Diego Union-Tribune

Two bold proposals to increase both taxes and what can be taxed illustrate how California’s elected leaders are failing to be honest with voters about the nature of the budget problems facing the state.




YES or NO on Prop 6, voters will decide future of California's gas tax


California voters will have a​​ choice between lower gas taxes and vehicle fees, or street and highway repairs. A yes vote for Proposition 6 on the November election ballot would repeal the 12 cent a gallon gas tax hike and the increased vehicle registration fees approved by the state legislature.


German affordable bus service comes to Fresno

The Business Journal

Amid all the talk about transporting people between Southern California and the​​ Bay Area — through the Central Valley — on high-speed trains, a business that started in Germany is counting on people still wanting reliable, inexpensive bus service to these destinations.


Company offering electric scooters to Fresno State students


A new type of transportation is popping up near Fresno State. The company Bird began offering its fleet of electric scooters this week. 


Kings County lays down the law on high-speed rail trucks

Fresno Bee

Kings County Supervisor Doug Verboon, a critic of California High-Speed Rail being routed through the rural county, called the California Highway Patrol last week to complain about too many trucks on the road from the rail construction project.

See also:

      California high-speed rail agency unveils sustainability report Progressive Railroading 

     High-Speed Rail Authority Names Northern California Regional Director HSR Authority

Filling in the blanks along Coffee Road

Bakersfield Californian

Driving along Coffee Road these days, you can't​​ miss the signs that a long-neglected part of town is finally catching up with the times.


Pay to park at Modesto’s Vintage Faire Mall? New premium program gets mixed reviews

Modesto Bee

Last weekend the north Modesto mall launched a new paid parking program, called Front & Center Parking. 


Skelton: If Gov. Jerry Brown doesn't fix the DMV before he leaves office, it's a black mark on his legacy

Los Angeles Times

Gov. Jerry Brown hit a road bump and​​ maneuvered out of a perilous jam en route to retirement.


Uber’s Vision of Self-Driving Cars Begins to Blur

The New York Times

While one camp is pushing Mr. Khosrowshahi to seek partnerships or even a potential sale of the unit, known as the Advanced Technologies Group, a rival contingent is arguing that developing self-driving technology is crucial​​ to Uber’s future, the people said.




Why San Francisco is joining Valley farmers in a fight over precious California water

Fresno Bee

A​​ plan by California regulators to re-divide the waters of the Tuolumne — and much of the rest of the lower San Joaquin River watershed — has ignited one of the fiercest fights over water California has seen in years.

See also:

     Stanislaus, Merced County opponents gear for water rally at Capitol on Monday Modesto Bee

     Water fight is one we must win, but it’s not a fight to the death Modesto Bee

     Legislators, community members to rally against state water plan Turlock Journal

     State plans to cut SF’s​​ Sierra supply to save delta San Francisco Chronicle

     EDITORIAL: Go to the rally, but keep politics out Modesto Bee


Tax on California water revived to clean up drinking water – but it’s voluntary

Sacramento Bee

Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers​​ are rebooting an effort to pass a new tax to attack unsafe drinking water in California.


Drying Lake Mead could trigger federal water shortage by 2020


Nevada's Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the West, could fall below a critical threshold in just two years if a new forecast by the Bureau of Reclamation is correct.




There’s another Saturday morning farmers market now, plus a beefed-up existing one

Fresno Bee

Fresno now has another Saturday morning farmers market option. River Park has started hosting a farmers market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. It is also beefing up its existing farmers market on Tuesdays, adding new food trucks, a kids section and other local vendors. 


Kingsburg business is making a fun space for kids while providing tasty treats for adults


Playing, climbing, and bouncing by kids is allowed every day at new business Uptown Sprouts in Kingsburg. It's a playful environment that is winning over some loyal customers.


County to take over city animal-control work

Madera Tribune

Madera County and the City of Madera have entered into an​​ agreement to change the way they care for stray animals and determine who polices Courthouse Park.


Charity helps Valley Oak SPCA

Visalia Times-Delta

In 2017, Valley Oak SPCA facilitated 1,221 pet adoptions, including 572 dogs and 664 cats, according to SPCA officials.  The shelter's clinic also altered 5,473 animals and vaccinated 14,658 pets last year.


Clear the Shelters event gives animals new homes

Bakersfield Californian

The City of Bakersfield Animal Care Center held its second-annual Clear the Shelters event on Saturday, during which dogs and cats were handed out to​​ residents for free. Adoption​​ fees, microchips, vaccinations and other costs were all covered. The shelter also spays and neuters all animals.


With the reopening of California 1, Big Sur is back — and just in time

Los Angeles Times

The nation's premiere scenic highway, closed for nearly two years due to fire,​​ floods and mudslides, can be terrifying as well as stunning, with windswept Monterey cypress trees, brilliant sunsets, giant redwoods and crashing surf.


Fresno’s Southern Blackstone Smart Mobility Workshop August 23rd

Fresno Metro Ministry

A real opportunity to provide input on how design of a big street can help make a healthy & prosperous community.


Request for Proposal – Relationship Development with Organizations and Individuals Interested in Advancing Support for the First Amendment in California’s Central Valley

Central Valley Foundation

CVF seeks to hire a consultant for a five to six month effort to​​ contact, develop relationships, and explore possible program ideas with a wide variety of Central Valley nonprofit, academic, and civic leaders.