August 23, 2018






Accepting Fall Applications for Valley Legislative Intern Scholar Program - Deadline Sept. 7th

The Maddy Institute

The Maddy​​ Scholar Intern Program’s goal is to prepare the next generation of political, governmental, business, non-profit leaders for the San Joaquin Valley through internship opportunities in local, state and federal government offices in Washington, D.C., Sacramento and throughout the region. Students from ALL majors encouraged to apply.


Funding approved for hundreds of transportation infrastructure, rail and local projects

Hanford Sentinel

Caltrans announced that the California Transportation Commission (CTC) approved funding for more than 100 transportation projects funded entirely or at least partly by $690 million from SB 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.


Air District to provide rebates for old vehicle replacement to qualifying individuals

Bakersfield Californian

The San Joaquin Valley Air District is providing money for replacements of 1999 or older high-polluting vehicles.​​ The rebates are limited to those who meet the income and vehicle requirements


Water hearings, sometimes contentious, end with hope for agreement between farms, fish

Modesto Bee

Two days​​ of hearings before the State Water Resources Control Board created some hope of voluntary agreements with local irrigation districts, which are under pressure to release more water in rivers to help salmon.

See also:

     EDITORIAL: Letting​​ California's rivers run isn't a 'water grab' Los Angeles Times


Campaign consultant sues Costa challenger Heng, who says she’s being extorted

Fresno Bee

Elizabeth Heng, the Fresno Republican challenging longtime Democratic congressional incumbent Jim Costa, has been sued by her former campaign consultant for allegedly breaching their contract.


Janz reports monster fundraising month, doubles next closest state congressional Democrat

Fresno Bee

Andrew Janz, the Fresno Democrat running against longtime incumbent Rep. Devin Nunes, raised nearly $1 million in July – more than any other Democratic congressional challenger or incumbent in California.

See Also:

     Janz Is One of Many Dems Who Want to Ditch Pelosi GV Wire


TJ Cox campaign calls for debates in Congressional District 21

Hanford Sentinel

On Tuesday, the TJ Cox for Congress campaign called for three televised, public,​​ town-hall style debates in the 21st Congressional District between Democratic nominee Cox and Republican Congressman David Valadao.


Mayor recall effort fails

Madera Tribune

Although they failed to meet the deadline for signatures in their effort to recall Mayor Andrew J. Medellin, backers of the recall say they will file again and continue to push for the recall.


‘We didn’t do the things he did in his office.’ Legal battle between DA David Linn and supervisors rages on

Sierra Star

In light of the lawsuit filed on Monday by Madera County District Attorney David Linn​​ against the county’s Board of Supervisors, District 5 Supervisor Tom Wheeler believes it’s just the DA’s attempt at “saving face.”

See Also:

     Madera County DA sues Board of Supervisors, blames them for losing election Sierra Star

Measure N, Visalia's public safety tax used for youth programs

Visalia Times Delta

The center, managed by Visalia Parks and Recreation, was one of several youth programs chosen to receive​​ Measure N money to improve programs.


Kern County court commissioner censured for online posts disparaging Muslims, immigrants and gay marriage

Bakersfield Californian

Former Kern County Superior Court Commissioner Joseph J. Gianquinto has been publicly censured for Facebook posts.


Housing crisis defined: Stanislaus lacks 20,000 rentals for the poor, report says

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County needs nearly 20,000 more apartments and other affordable housing to meet the needs of its low-income renters, according​​ to a California Housing Partnership Corp. report issued Wednesday.




Tequila, golf, and vacations: What Duncan Hunter and his wife allegedly bought with $250,000 of campaign funds

Los Angeles Times

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) and his wife, Margaret, were indicted Tuesday on campaign corruption charges, accused of spending $250,000 on personal expenses, then filing false campaign finance reports with the Federal Election Commission.

See Also:

     Doubt enters California race as Rep. Duncan Hunter charged Business Journal

     Uncertainty Looms Over House Race After Hunter Indictment GV Wire

     Read the indictment against San Diego Rep. Duncan Hunter and his wife for campaign finance violations Los Angeles Times

     Duncan Hunter should do the right thing and step down. He probably won't Los Angeles Times

        Hunter indictment spells trouble for California GOP San Francisco Chronicle

        Rep. Duncan Hunter says Democrats, 'deep state' behind indictment, says he's not resigning San Diego Union-Tribune

        Criminal charges against Hunters stun, flummox 50th District San Diego Union-Tribune

        Rep. Duncan Hunter, do the honorable thing. Resign. San Diego Union-Tribune


Pelosi says she deserves to be House Speaker: "Nobody wants to sit across the table from me"


In downtown San Francisco today, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi reconfirmed—as she’s been saying for months—that she wants her old job back. Her bid seems to guarantee that regardless of which party wins emerges victorious in the November midterm elections, the​​ favored contender to become Speaker of the House will be a Californian.


California net neutrality bill passes out of committee that initially tried to water it down

Los Angeles Times

A California Assembly panel on Wednesday advanced major legislation to prevent companies from hindering access to the internet, setting up a​​ battle on the floor next week over whether California will enact the strongest net neutrality protections in the country.

See Also:

     California net neutrality bill advances to Assembly The Mercury News

California​​ lawmakers limit nondisclosure agreements

AP News

California would bar forced arbitration and nondisclosure agreements under a bill sent to Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday that enjoys celebrity backing from some in the #MeToo movement.


Misleading claim by ‘Fox & Friends’ on California kids meal bill


Would a California bill really limit​​ restaurant drink options for children to "only milk and water"?

See also:

     Milk and water would be default drink options in California kids' meals under bill passed by lawmakers Los Angeles Times


State Supreme Court Ruling Could Make Local Ballot Initiatives More Difficult


recent unanimous ruling by the California Supreme Court (pictured) that may force the city of San Diego to retroactively create pensions for non-police employees hired since the start of 2013 isn’t just bad news for pension reformers.




Trump gives himself a grade of 'A+'

The Hill

President Trump said in​​ an interview broadcast early Thursday that he gives himself an "A+" for his time in office thus far.

See also:

       Trump and Quarterly Capitalism Wall Street Journal

       Republicans won’t have anything left to​​ salvage The Washington Post

       In Trump’s right-wing media universe, it was a day like any other The Washington Post

     Conservative media, even on a dismal news day for Trump, stand by their man  Los Angeles Times

Fact Check: Not just misleading. Not merely false. A lie.

The Washington Post

The first denial that Donald Trump​​ knew about hush-money payments to silence women came four days before he was elected president, when his spokeswoman Hope Hicks said, without hedging, “We have no knowledge of any of this.”


What Trump Knew and Voters Didn't

The Atlantic

The 2016 election was won​​ amid a cover-up of illegal conduct designed to keep the truth from the electorate.


Michael Cohen subpoenaed in probe of Trump foundation


State investigators in New York issued a subpoena to Michael Cohen on Wednesday as part of an ongoing multi-agency investigation into the Donald J. Trump Foundation, a spokesperson with the state's department of taxation and finance told ABC News.

See Also:

     After fast turn against Trump, Michael Cohen threatens to leverage secrets against the president Stockton Record

     Cohen’s plea done, where will federal prosecutors turn next? Sacramento Bee

     Trump faces legal assault on two fronts as prosecutors in New York and Washington take aim Los Angeles Times
     Q&A: What happens now that President Trump has been accused in court of helping commit a crime? Los Angeles Times

     Trump faces legal assault on two fronts as prosecutors in New York and Washington take aim Los Angeles Times

     Michael Cohen was present when President Trump and his son discussed Russia-provided Clinton 'dirt,' lawyer saysSan​​ Diego Union-Tribune

     Can Democrats leverage Trump's legal problems in the midterm election or will they overreach? Los Angeles Times

     Trump's 'everybody does it' view of politics comes to color his conduct, and that of his aides Los Angeles Times

      How the Manafort and Cohen news could impact the midterm elections Brookings

     EDITORIAL: Silence is complicity on Trump. California Republicans are guilty Sacramento Bee

     EDITORIAL: Things changed for Trump this week. Do Republicans have the spine to do something about it? Los Angeles Times

     Cohen’s plea could hurt Trump the most San Francisco Chronicle

     EDITORIAL: Misusing pardon power would further imperil Trump San Francisco Chronicle


Democrats not using word ‘impeachment’ in midterm campaign — at least not yet

San Francisco Chronicle

Now that President Trump has been implicated by his former attorney in a federal crime, talk of impeaching him would seem to be a godsend to Democrats in the run-up to the midterm elections. But the party is divided about whether to go there yet.

See also:

     Republicans Are Talking About Impeachment Way More Than Democrats FiveThirtyEight

     Presidential obstruction of justice: The case of Donald J. Trump Brookings

DNC Says Reported Hack Attempt Was a False Alarm


Committee was hacked by Russian intelligence in 2016 campaign

See also:

      Democratic National Committee says hackers unsuccessfully targeted voter database  Washington Post

We now know Russia isn't the only foe that's learned to exploit U.S. social media

Los Angeles Times

It’s not the endorsement Facebook, Twitter or Google wants. But the U.S.’s geopolitical adversaries appear to be in agreement: Silicon Valley’s biggest social media companies provide some of the best tools for spreading propaganda.


Expect An Autumn Of Outrage: Both Parties On Offense In Bruising Midterm Campaigns


The Trump era has already produced many moments of unprecedented strangeness, but perhaps none to match his triumphal visit to West Virginia just hours after two of his key associates were found guilty or pleaded guilty on a total 16 federal counts in two separate proceedings in two courts.


Kavanaugh’s confirmation must wait

The Washington Post

There is​​ no way Republicans will halt their march toward Brett M. Kavanaugh’s confirmation as an associate justice of the Supreme Court. But if the party still cared about limited government and the rule of law, it would wait until after November to proceed.

See also:

     Democrats Aim Fire at Kavanaugh Nomination After Cohen Plea Wall Street Journal

     Is Kavanaugh Legitimate? The Wall Street Journal

     Cohen, Manafort and Midterms Wall Street Journal




Happy birthday, Pete Wilson. And thanks: You made​​ California what it is

Los Angeles Times

Former California Gov. Pete Wilson turns 85 tomorrow, so on behalf of all Californians, I say: gracias. Gracias for your 30-plus years of service as a public official — first, as an assemblyman for San Diego, then as​​ the mayor of that city, followed by two terms apiece as our U.S. senator and governor. Your career helped shaped the modern-day Golden State.




Almond harvest will be kicking up dust — but it shouldn’t affect air quality

Stockton Record

Welcome to the 2018 almond harvest, which began two weeks ago in Bakersfield and is working its way up​​ California’s Central Valley.


California Could Make It Legal To Sell Home-Cooked Meals

Capital Public Radio

Home cooks rallied on the steps of the state Capitol Wednesday in support of a bill that would make California the first state to permit and regulate the small-scale sale of meals from home kitchens.


What Will​​ the World Eat in the Next Decade?


these trends will reshape global trade flows in agriculture, creating new winners—and forcing companies to adjust their food chains to serve shifting tastes.


The Food Stamp Farce

The Wall Street Journal

The House and Senate are negotiating a farm bill, and for once the stakes are more important than subsidies for wealthy sugar farmers. Republicans are debating reforms to a food stamp program that is divorced from work and economic advancement.






Big changes for Fresno’s cash bail system sit on governor’s desk

Fresno Bee

bill to end California’s cash bail system sits on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk, and both opponents and supporters in the central San Joaquin Valley agree on one thing: His signature will send massive changes through the state’s criminal justice system — a legal big rig hurtling down the criminal justice Grapevine.

See Also:

     Bill to End Bail in California Heads to Gov. Brown GV Wire


California Lawmakers Pass Bill To Erase Old Pot Convictions

Capital Public Radio

A bill requiring California prosecutors to erase or reduce thousands of marijuana​​ criminal convictions was approved by the state Legislature on Wednesday and now awaits Gov. Jerry Brown's signature.

See also:

      California lawmakers move to help expunge pot-related convictions Los Angeles Times

Walters: Softer crime laws will loom large in Brown’s legacy


Jerry Brown spent much of his first governorship four decades ago dodging the political fallout of California’s rising crime rates.

‘Dozens’ of cases being reviewed after sheriff’s recording

San Francisco Chronicle

The Alameda County district attorney’s office is reviewing “dozens” of juvenile cases dating back to January following revelations that the county Sheriff’s Office recorded at least one confidential conversation with a youth suspect and his attorney.


Public​​ Safety:


Gun control bills to watch in California

The Sacramento Bee

California is on the verge of making some of the most​​ restrictive firearms laws in the country even tougher six months after a shooting at a Florida high school left 17 dead and ignited a national debate about the influence of the gun lobby over politicians.


States aim to stop internet release of 3D-printed gun plans

Business Journal

A federal judge in Seattle hearing arguments over a settlement that allows a Texas company to post online plans for printing 3D guns said Tuesday the overall issue of such untraceable plastic weapons should be decided by the president or Congress.


Los Angeles sues U.S. over law enforcement grants

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles is seeking an injunction prohibiting the U.S. Justice Department from imposing immigration enforcement conditions on the city in order to receive federal funding for anti-gang programs.


The problem with prisons in America


Why the criminal-justice system is so very fond of incarceration



College of the Sequoias arson suspect identified by students, busted

Visalia Times Delta

After nearly two days of​​ putting out restroom fires at College of the Sequoias, police believe Captain America and college students helped save the day.


Massive early fires show merit in State's Trump response

Hanford Sentinel

No state has been more visible than California in resisting the environmental policies of President Trump, filing 38 lawsuits by the beginning of this month. Now the state’s massive early fire season is demonstrating the merit of those legal actions.


California wildfires: How​​ many fires are burning and where are they?

Sacramento Bee

Firefighters are making progress on the wildfires that continue to suffocate California. On Sunday, the Ferguson Fire near Yosemite reached 100 percent containment and officials said they expect to reach full containment on the Holy Fire in Southern California by Sunday. The devastating Carr Fire’s containment has also bumped up.


Highway 41, the road to Yosemite's popular Tunnel View, to reopen. Just don't hike in burn areas

Los Angeles Times

Yosemite is getting back on track after the deadly Ferguson fire shut portions of the national park during its busiest season. Wawona Road, a.k.a. Highway 41,​​ which leads to the popular Tunnel View and Yosemite Valley, will reopen 8 a.m. Friday. It had been closed since July 25 to support firefighting efforts.


Chief: Verizon's data throttling endangered fire crews

San Francisco Chronicle

Santa Clara County firefighters were hobbled by poor internet service while they battled the Mendocino Complex fires in July because Verizon​​ its data, the fire chief says in a court filing.

See Also:

     Verizon Throttled Firefighters' Data As Mendocino​​ Wildfire Raged, Fire Chief Says Capital Public Radio

     Firefighters battling California's largest fire hit by crippling data slowdown, slam Verizon's tactics Los Angeles Times

      The California wildfire and net neutrality: The conversation we should really have AEIdeas


To prevent wildfires, require utilities to underground lines

San Francisco Chronicle

Instead of changing the law to protect PG&E​​ from liability, as PG&E has asked the Legislature to do, we must make wildfire prevention our highest priority. A great place​​ to start is requiring utilities to underground electrical lines in high risk locations.


California Today: The Human Element in California’s Wildfires

New​​ York Times

Up against the ferocity of fire, it is easy to feel that forces beyond our control are at work. In the middle of the worst wildfire season in memory in California, there is a great sense of powerlessness in the face of nature.






Berry Petroleum brings focus, investment back to Kern

Bakersfield Californian

The new logo atop Berry Petroleum Co. LLC's Truxtun Avenue headquarters is apt as symbols go — an oil droplet surrounded by a water-evoking blue curve with a lowercase "B" nestled in between. But it hardly begins to tell the story​​ of the company's dramatic homecoming.


On a listless trading day, the stock market sets record with the longest bull run ever

Los Angeles Times

The bull market in U.S. stocks is now the longest on record. It became the longest in Wall Street history on Wednesday at 3,453 days, beating the bull market of the 1990s that ended in the dot-com collapse in 2000.

See Also:

     Bull market became longest in history Wednesday. Maybe San Francisco Chronicle


Target records best sales gain in more​​ than a decade as new brands draw shoppers

Los Angeles Times

Target Corp. kept pace with rival Walmart Inc. by posting its best sales in 13 years, sending its shares to a historic high.


Will the Market Crash If Trump Is Impeached? Here's What Analysts Say


How seriously should people take Donald Trump’s claim that stocks would crash if he were kicked out of office? As you mull over an answer, consider what someone in the other party would say.

See also:

      Trump says 'market would crash' if he were impeached Politico




This new-to-Fresno chain restaurant plans to hire 200 workers. Here’s the latest

Fresno Bee

An October opening is planned for the Fresno Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar, which is midway through renovating the former Elephant Bar on Blackstone Avenue. Lazy Dog is looking to hire 200 workers.

See Also:

     Fresno’s Lazy Dog Restaurant to host fair to fill 200 jobs Business Journal


An ‘unprofitable’ Valley Kmart is closing — and local Sears stores may be shrinking

Fresno Bee

The Clovis Kmart is closing — and Sears stores in the Valley may be shrinking. No other Kmarts or Sears in the central San Joaquin Valley were on the latest list of closures.

See Also:

     Clovis Kmart next on chopping block Business Journal

     Visalia Sears to be cut in half, empty Sport Chalet will be filled soon Visalia​​ Times Delta


Orchard Supply Hardware stores everywhere are closing for good by February, CEO says

Fresno Bee

All Orchard Supply Hardware stores in California and elsewhere will close by February, the company’s parent — home-improvement retail giant Lowe’s — announced Wednesday.

See Also:

     Seven Orchard Supply stores to close​​ in Central Valley Business Journal

     Lowe's closing Orchard Supply Hardware chain it acquired out of bankruptcy Los Angeles Times

     ‘Just not running well’: Why OSH is closing San Francisco Chronicle


Ready to Work, ready to succeed

Stockton Record

An inaugural cohort of ten homeless men are enrolled in a residential job-training program run by Ready To Work, a Stockton-based nonprofit that was awarded $1.4 million in grant funding three months ago by the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors.


Sacramento City Council passes contentious local-hire ordinance

Sacramento Bee

In a City Hall meeting​​ packed with men and women wearing hardhats and reflective yellow vests, the Sacramento City Council approved a new ordinance Tuesday night that gives Sacramento building contractors an incentive to hire local workers. The vote was 7-2 in favor of the ordinance.


California July 2018 State Jobs Report


California's Employment Development Department and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released California's July 2018 state jobs report on August 17, 2018.

See also:

     Jobless Claims Fall for Third Week in Tight U.S. Labor Market Bloomberg

     BLS: Geographic Profile of Employment and Unemployment, 2016 BLS


The Promotion That Comes Without the Pay Raise

Wall Street Journal

More workers are facing the same dilemma: How do you respond when your boss offers you a nice new title, without a nice new raise to match?


What’s Holding Back Wages in America?


America’s labor market is a jigsaw puzzle whose pieces don’t quite fit together.






Fresno middle school inspiring young girls with inspirational sayings


Inspirational messages are popping up in a unique spot on​​ a Fresno middle school. Powerful messages with sayings like "you are a strong girl never ever forget that" are the newest decorations that can be found in the girl's locker room at Computech Middle School.


Drink up: Central Unified schools add filtered water filling stations


Kids on the playground need to rehydrate after working up a good sweat. At Northwest Fresno's Saroyan Elementary, students have a​​ new filtered water filling station to help with rehydration.


New elementary school in Madera County


You can't miss the construction of new roads and homes​​ along Highway 41 in Madera County north of Avenue 14. Right in the middle of what will be the new community of "Tesoro Viejo" sits the new Hillside Elementary School.


Lemoore MIQ school gets new principal, sports area

Hanford Sentinel

When students stepped on campus this new school year at Mary Immaculate Queen School in Lemoore, they were greeted by new Principal Rachael Manzo.


Increased enrollment at Hanford high schools

Hanford Sentinel

This year Sierra Pacific High School had an increase in students enrolled so far this year as did Hanford High and Hanford​​ West High schools. In total, the three high schools have an increased enrollment of 3,807 students.


CUSD introduces new administrators

Clovis Roundup

Clovis Unified introduced four new administrators at its board meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 15.


Education Secretary Considers Using Federal Funds to Arm Schools

New York​​ Times

The Education Department is considering whether to allow states to use federal funding to purchase guns for educators, according to multiple people with knowledge of the plan.


A Conversation with Candidates for State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Public Policy Institute of California

California educates more than 6 million children in its K–12 public schools, and​​ education is by far the largest area of state spending.


Higher Ed:


Accepting Fall Applications for Valley Legislative Intern Scholar Program - Deadline Sept. 7th

The Maddy Institute

The Maddy Scholar Intern Program’s goal is to prepare the next generation of political, governmental, business, non-profit leaders for the San Joaquin Valley through internship​​ opportunities in local, state and federal government offices in Washington, D.C., Sacramento and throughout the region.


UC Merced students have a lot to look forward at the start of fall semester


Thanks to a new expansion more than 700 other students can now live at the university, but that's not the only new addition to campus. A new dining hall can now accommodate 600 people and a new cafeteria can feed them. An additional 20 classrooms were also added.


How Fresno State Helped Students Save $1 Million on Books

GV Wire

As part of the California State University system’s AL$ effort, campus programs are funded by grants from the Chancellor’s Office and Assembly Bill 7989 The goal of AL$ at Fresno State is to have faculty reduce costs for course materials by at least 30 percent.


California to community colleges: graduate more students or lose your funding

Los Angeles Times

California’s politicians and educators are getting serious about​​ how to solve an immense and vexing problem — the graduation rate at the community colleges.


Feds Say Marketplace Will Expose Bad Colleges, But States Find It’s Not So Easy

PEW Trusts

Post-college salary data isn’t reaching students who could benefit most.






State tries to fix ‘glitches’ in camp reservation system

San Francisco Chronicle

Latching onto a good campsite​​ in California is going to get a little easier, now that the state believes it has fixed an online reservation system that allowed campers to game the system.


Some counties reject U.S. policy of killing predators

San Francisco Chronicle

A growing number of Northern California counties where hunting and ranching predominate are cutting ties with the federal agency that traps and kills predatory animals

The Green Economy: Is California’s bid to lead the world on climate solutions paying off at home?


It was​​ Arnold Schwarzenegger at his most persuasive: The then-California governor laid out an audacious vision, borrowed from legislators, of the Golden State leading the world in fighting the damaging effects of climate change.


Public Health vs. Private Property in War on Lead

PEW Trusts

Utilities want lead pipes gone, but many times their power stops at the curb.




Wonderful suing now-defunct Kern County company for overcharging jet fuel

Bakersfield Californian

Wonderful Citrus Holdings is suing a now-defunct Kern County company that overcharged it for nearly $200,000 in jet fuel.






Health officials warning residents of possible measles exposure in Fresno County


The Fresno County Department of Public​​ Health is warning residents that a person with measles may have exposed others while visiting Fresno County.

See Also:

     Fresno County warned of possible​​ measles exposure          Business Journal

     Measles Exposure At Harris Ranch Prompts Public Health Warning KMJ


How UCD research of rare genetic mutation could unlock clues to Alzheimer’s, cancer

Sacramento Bee

Medical researchers know the enemy that 12-year-old Jordan Lang and at least 66 other children are confronting. It’s a gene​​ mutation that also has been linked to autism, Alzheimer’s disease and even cancer.


Why Prop 11 protects public​​ safety

San Diego Union-Tribune

Prop 11, which will be on California’s November general election ballot, will allow private EMTs and paramedics to continue providing patients with quick life-saving medical care when it is needed most.

See Also:

     Why passing Prop 11 puts ambulance workers at risk San Diego Union-Tribune


Returns on Recovery: Expanding county substance abuse services benefits community over long term


San Bernardino County residents have access to wider array of services to​​ treat substance use disorders thanks to the Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System (DMC-ODS), which began implementation in March. Known as the Medi-Cal 1115 waiver, the system is part of the California Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.


Keeping score at home? Soda loses, tobacco wins


Lawmakers voted Wednesday to require fast food joints to offer milk or water as the primary drink in kids’ meals, rather than default to soda or other sugary drinks.


Human Services:


70% of Americans support Medicare for all in new poll

The Hill

A vast majority -- 70 percent -- of Americans​​ in a new poll supports Medicare for all, also known as a single-payer health-care system.




People begin the path to citizenship at FIRM

Fresno Bee

People begin the path to citizenship in classes at Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministries, which​​ works with ethnic communities from Laos, Cambodia and Syria. Fears regarding immigration policies puts some on the fast track to citizenship.


Immigration Attorneys Raise Concerns About U Visa Policy Changes

Valley Public Radio

A U visa is an option offered to undocumented immigrants who have been victims of violent crimes. The program was designed to help law enforcement catch criminals and can be a​​ pathway to citizenship for immigrants.  Although, federal changes and Immigration and Customs Enforcement presence at local courthouses could threaten the program.




Land Use:


Report: Bakersfield could use more parks

Bakersfield Californian

What do Memphis, Oklahoma​​ City and Phoenix all have in common with Bakersfield?




Housing crisis defined: Stanislaus lacks 20,000 rentals for the poor, report says

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County​​ needs nearly 20,000 more apartments and other affordable housing to meet the needs of its low-income renters, according to a California Housing Partnership Corp. report issued Wednesday.


U.S. New-Home Sales Dropped in June

Wall Street Journal

U.S. new-home sales fell in June to the weakest pace in eight months, the latest evidence that the housing market is cooling.




Soaring overtime fattens paychecks of Valley cops and firefighters. But at a cost

Fresno Bee

California cities and counties have too few cops and too many wildfires to get a handle on their soaring overtime budgets. That’s how they explain the $3.7 billion they spent collectively on overtime last year, a 60 percent increase from the $2.3 billion they shelled out for overtime in 2012.

See also

     Soaring overtime fattens paychecks of California cops and firefighters. But at a cost  The Sacramento Bee

California tax agency gives businesses access to the wrong accounts

Fresno Bee

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration on Aug. 21, 2018, accidentally exposed confidential account information for dozens of companies in email messages to accountants and other business owners.


Lawmakers kill a proposed tax​​ deduction for California union members

Sacramento Bee

A bill that would have given California union members a break on their state income taxes isn’t going to make it this year.

See also:

     Treasury Readies Its Punch Back at Blue States’ Workarounds on Tax Deduction Cap Wall Street Journal

When to Ignore the Crowd and Shun a Roth IRA

Wall Street Journal

Switching your traditional individual retirement account to a Roth IRA is​​ often a terrific tax strategy—except when it’s a terrible one.




Funding approved for hundreds of transportation infrastructure, rail and local projects

Hanford Sentinel

Caltrans announced that the California Transportation Commission (CTC) approved funding for more than 100 transportation projects funded entirely or at least partly by $690 million from SB 1,​​ the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.


Air District to provide rebates for old vehicle replacement to qualifying individuals

Bakersfield Californian

The San Joaquin Valley Air District is providing money for replacements of 1999 or older high-polluting vehicles. The rebates are limited to those who meet the income and vehicle requirements


Former Greyhound site focusing on people 'on the go'


The Greyhound depot that once was located on​​ Center Street finally was demolished in early August, and motorists will see a new development being built in the coming weeks.


California lawmakers consider proposal to bring thousands of homes to BART stations

San Jose Mercury News

In another attempt to ease the housing crisis gripping the Bay Area, a state proposal to turn some of BART’s vast parking lots into bustling developments with thousands of new homes has pitted housing and business interests against cities and others worried about giving the transit agency new land-use powers.


Plan for High Speed Rail to be selected as early as 2019

Morgan Hill Times

A plan to run the High Speed Rail parallel to U.S. 101 is one of three alternatives proposed for the “San Jose to Merced project section.”

See also:

     EDITORIAL: Time for Gavin Newsom to get real on bullet train San Diego Union-Tribune


The Scooting Life: Are Electric Scooters Worth the Trouble?

The New Yorker

Let’s get one thing out of the way: battery-powered scooters,​​ which, in recent months, have littered the sidewalks of American cities, are fantastically ugly


Driverless-Car Legislation Is Unsafe​​ at This Speed

The Wall Street Journal

In my 1965 book, “Unsafe at Any Speed,” I strongly urged auto companies to accelerate their adoption of proven lifesaving technologies.




Clean water is near for Hillview Water Company customers in Oakhurst

Sierra Star

Hillview Water Company customers in Oakhurst can finally expect clean tap water this fall, 20 years after the water’s contamination was discovered by the company.


Historic, tragic Dennett Dam removed as part of plan to restore river in Modesto

Modesto Bee

Crews​​ removed the Dennett Dam from the Tuolumne River, where it had become a dangerous hazard and an eyesore near Modesto’s Ninth Street Bridge.


Water hearings, sometimes contentious, end with​​ hope for agreement between farms, fish

Modesto Bee

Two days of hearings before the State Water Resources Control Board created some hope of voluntary agreements with local irrigation districts, which are under pressure to release more water in rivers to help salmon.

See also:

     EDITORIAL: Letting California's rivers run isn't a 'water grab' Los Angeles Times


California’s rivers are under assault by feds, and the state isn’t helping much

The Sacramento Bee

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump continued gas-lighting the public in a Twitter rant about “bad environmental laws” that supposedly limit water available to fight California’s wildfires. Fire officials immediately rejected the claim.


North America hasn’t had a megadrought in recorded history. It could be overdue


Water in the North American Southwest is governed by chaos. A bad drought happens roughly twice a century, but​​ there seems to be no discernable pattern beyond that.




‘Greek for the weekend.’ Orthodox church marks 58th year of its annual food festival

Fresno Bee

For those new to Fresno, or just not paying attention, Greek​​ Fest has earned a spot as one of Fresno’s longest-running — if not most popular — cultural events.


Madera Fair gearing up for 4-day menu of entertainment

Madera Tribune

Madera Fair is preparing for another entertainment weekend, beginning Sept. 6 and ending Sept. 9. The free festival concerts, introduced in 2017, are back with a lively entertainment line-up for 2018.


Never mind Shoreline. Modesto has a new amphitheater with big plans for big acts

Modesto Bee

The Hollywood Bowl, Shoreline Amphitheatre and now The Fruit Yard. After more than 40 years in business, the Modesto restaurant and market way out on Yosemite Avenue is stepping into the outdoor concert business in a big way.


See 'Coco' at free movie night at Artisan Square on Saturday

Bakersfield Californian

Summer is nearly over but Artisan Square Shopping Center had time to squeeze in another outdoor movie night.​​ On Saturday night, the northwest complex will host a free screening of "Coco."


A newly hired editor at the L.A. Times asked on Twitter which books he should read to better understand California


So, friends and @latimes readers: I'm moving to California next month. What books should I read to prepare?