August 29, 2017





For the Golden State to be golden, all of it must be golden


Michael Tubbs is the first African-American mayor of Stockton, California, and the youngest mayor in American history of a city of more than 100,000 people. Before being elected mayor in November 2016, Tubbs served as a city council member. He was born and raised in Stockton, attended Stanford University graduating with a Master’s degree in Policy, Leadership and Organization Studies, plus a Bachelor’s degree with honors.  Tubbs is active on social media with his favorite hashtag: #reinventStockton. He spoke with Victor Abalos recently, sharing his concerns about the inability for too many Californians to work themselves into the middle class


Stockton still weighing City Hall options

Stockton Record

More than 2½ years after emerging from bankruptcy, Stockton still has not finished relocating to its new City Hall, a move that seemed certain in early 2015 when a judge approved the city’s Chapter 9 settlement plan.


Fresno State ranked 17th on top colleges list

The Fresno Bee

California State University, Fresno has been ranked No. 17 nationally by Washington Monthly, a publication in the nation’s capital that has ranked American colleges and universities for more than a decade.


California State University, Bakersfield ranks top 10 for masters degree programs


California State University, Bakersfield is getting on the map after ranking in the top 10 for best masters degree programs.  The university moved up from its previous ranking of 87 in 2015.


At least one of Devin Nunes’ challengers is making the Russia investigation a major campaign issue 

Los Angeles Times

Fresno County Deputy Dist. Atty. Andrew Janz put the Russia investigation front and center at a backyard barbecue Sunday as he made his case for running against Rep. Devin Nunes.




California lawmakers reach deal on affordable housing bond

LA Times

Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders agreed late Monday to a $4-billion bond aimed at the 2018 ballot that would fund low-income housing developments and subsidize home loans for California veterans.  “The bond agreement we have reached provides badly needed funding to help Californians, including our veterans, find safe, affordable housing,” Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) said in a statement announcing the deal.

See also:

CA bill requires political ads to include top donors The Sacramento Bee

Bills have been unsuccessfully kicking around the Capitol for years to address that problem by requiring political ads to clearly identify their major funders.  But proponents say they have finally reached the necessary two-thirds support in the Legislature to approve such a change, and they are rushing now to pass the recently-amended Assembly Bill 249 in the final three weeks of session. It gets its first hearing in the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee, 1:30 p.m. in Room 3191 of the Capitol.

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Schwarzenegger props up Mayes after lawmaker’s support of cap-and-trade costs him GOP leadership post

Los Angeles Times

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday offered support for Assemblyman Chad Mayes, who recently lost his Republican leadership post because of his support for the cap-and-trade climate change program championed by Democrats.


Governor candidate Travis Allen had $42,000 in late taxes

The Mercury News

Republican gubernatorial candidate Travis Allen’s number one campaign issue is taxes. Allen, a state assemblyman, launched a ballot initiative to repeal California’s new gas tax, and has promised to cut state tax rates if elected. “Californians pay among the highest taxes in the entire nation,” he said in a video announcing his campaign.


What California Latinos have at stake in the next census

The Sacramento Bee

Every decade, the census aims to count every person in our country – no matter who they are, where they were born or how much money they make. This information is used to allocate federal funds for public services and also draw election districts.


Feinstein makes would-be Senate replacements play the waiting game 

San Francisco Chronicle

Dianne Feinstein may be the nation’s oldest U.S. senator, but she shows no signs of slowing down — as evidenced Thursday night when she worked the room and talked to everyone in sight at a San Francisco re-election fundraiser.




California Voters Say U.S. Better Off If Trump Leaves Office | The California Report


According to a new survey, 60 percent of California voters — including 20 percent of Republicans — think the United States would be better off if Donald Trump left office before the end of his term in January of 2021.


Could Trump Deliver a Conservative Federal Judiciary?

The Weekly Standard

President Trump thinks the Gorsuch appointment to the Supreme Court is one of his biggest achievements.  Another major success may await him: the redirection of the lower federal courts, such that there will be more Republican than Democratic appointees, and thus a more conservative federal judiciary.


9th Circuit hears fight over interpretation of Trump travel ban


A federal appeals court on Monday struck a decidedly skeptical tone toward the administration’s efforts to deny grandparents an exemption from President Donald Trump’s travel-ban executive order.  All three judges on a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel that heard arguments on the controversial directive sounded doubtful about a Trump administration interpretation that excluded grandparents and certain other family members from those who could qualify for a carve-out that the Supreme Court ordered for foreigners with a “close familial relationship” to someone in the United States.

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Blood donations among many ways Valley residents can help Hurricane Harvey victims


Local residents can help those devastated by Hurricane Harvey. The Red Cross and The Central California Blood Center are among the local agencies providing assistance.


Where to Donate to Harvey Victims (and How to Avoid Scams)

If you are looking for ways to help, here is a list of organizations on the ground.





Another delay on bail reform in California

The Fresno Bee

Few issues are more urgently in need of attention from California lawmakers than bail reform. Every day, tens of thousands of presumably innocent Californians are sitting behind bars for no other reason than that they can’t afford the payment to go free.


There’s more to California than antifa thugs in Berkeley. Just ask Houston

Sacramento Bee

Anti-fascists may have been what people saw last weekend, but the response to Hurricane Harvey showed who we really are.


Ending DACA would upend the dreams of a generation of immigrants without fixing a thing

Los Angeles Times

It would be coldhearted indeed if President Trump were to end the Obama administration’s policy of not deporting immigrants who were brought illegally to the United States as children.


California lawmakers’ choice between voters, donors

San Francisco Chronicle

Given paralyzing divisions over campaign cash restrictions and influencers’ knack for evading rules, disclosure may be the most pragmatic available check on money in politics. Even the most conservative opponents of campaign finance regulation — including the current U.S. Supreme Court majority — have endorsed full disclosure of the sources of funds.




California voters legalized pot. Are ‘shrooms next?

Sacramento Bee

California wasn’t first to the pot legalization party, with last November’s Proposition 64 lagging behind decriminalization measures in Washington, Oregon, Colorado and some other parts of the U.S. State voters, though, could be the first to legalize psychedelic mushrooms under a recently filed proposal from a former candidate for mayor in the Central Coast city of Marina.



No bail reform this year in CA

The Sacramento Bee

Gov. Jerry Brown announced Friday that a California State Senate bill to overhaul the bail system will be held this year as negotiations continue with lawmakers and court officials.

The Wall: The real costs of a barrier between the United States and Mexico Brookings Institution

Undocumented workers and drugs will still find their way across any barrier the administration ends up building.  And such a wall will be irrelevant to those people who become undocumented immigrants by overstaying their visas—who for many years have outnumbered those who become undocumented immigrants by crossing the U.S.–Mexico border.  Nor will the physical wall enhance U.S. security.




A Moment Of Moral Clarity On Labor Day

Huffington Post

Have you heard the joke about Labor Day? It’s when Americans celebrate the contributions of working people with mattress sales and cookouts so they don’t have to think about how their wages and bargaining power have plummeted.






Fresno heat wave: Schools protect students. Cooling centers open

The Fresno Bee

As the Fresno set a record for heat Monday, school districts took steps to protect students and cooling centers offered relief to residents needing a place to take a break.


Fresno schools rolling back outdoor activities during triple digit heat


When the temperature hits 105, all coaches have to be extra cautious. Games will be shut down and teams have to practice after 7 p.m. when it cools down or hold off until morning.


Affordable, accessible training for educators teaching 4-year-olds

89.3 KPCC

Since California schools began offering a new grade for four-year-olds in 2012, more programs have popped up to train educators working with these younger students. Now, Santa Monica College will become the first community college in the state to offer a Transitional Kindergarten certificate program.


Voter initiative opens door to expansion of popular dual language immersion programs


As an initiative approved by California voters last November clears the path for districts to increase opportunities for students to become fluent in more than one language, the Fresno Unified School District is creating an educational track that will provide dual language instruction from preschool through 12th grade.


With multiple challenges, rural schools warrant far more attention


year ago last spring, I participated in a centennial forum at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, celebrating the publication in 1916 of philosopher John Dewey’s classic Democracy and Education. I shared with that audience my belief that our state’s return to local control through Gov. Jerry Brown’s Local Control Funding Formulainitiative is the best example among the fifty states of the principles that Dewey espoused so long ago — using the education of school children to further democratic ideals in local communities.


Strong support and opposition to proposed state STEM school


The California Department of Education directly runs only three schools, two for deaf children and one for the blind. Under a bill before the Legislature, it would add a fourth — specializing in math and science and serving low-income, ethnically diverse middle and high-school students in Los Angeles County.


Higher Ed:


Thirty-five highest paid employees of UC system all men

The Fresno Bee

Some keys to earning more than $1 million as a University of California employee: Be a doctor. Or a coach. Or maybe an administrator. Also, be a man.


Cal State Bakersfield launches new graduation, first-generation student initiatives this year

More than 10,000 students fresh off their summer breaks descended on Cal State Bakersfield Monday for the start of classes, and many of them might find new programs and initiatives on campus.  Chief among them? An initiative to graduate more students in four years by eliminating barriers for students.


Campus and community safety revived with new satellite police station near campus

The Collegian

The Fresno State community has another reason to feel safe. The El Dorado Park community is now home to a Fresno Police Department satellite station after the ribbon cutting on Aug. 15 officially established a new era for safety around Fresno State.





High temperatures equals bad air-quality in Valley

Calif ARB

Recent air quality readings in the Valley.


California defies Trump claim that environmental regulation kills economic growth


The California economy is thriving, according to a new report released Monday — and that’s despite the state instituting relatively restrictive environmental rules.


Fighting Cap-and-Trade with Senator Ted Gaines​

The California Channel

Republican state senator talks  against California’s cap and trade program


Trump’s Judges: A Second Front in the Environmental Onslaught


As the Trump administration keeps moving aggressively to roll back environmental protections, it has a potent legal weapon — the scores of federal judges that President Trump will be appointing, most of whom are expected to hold anti-regulatory, pro-business views.



Can California get 100 percent of its electricity from renewables? 

LA Daily News

The City Council threw its weight Monday behind legislation that would require California to deliver 100 percent of its electricity from renewable and carbon-free sources by 2045.


Harvey: Here’s why energy prices are falling l, not rising


Hurricane Harvey dealt a powerful blow to oil production in Texas and the Gulf of Mexico.  Normally, that would spark fears of a supply crunch and lift the price of oil. Yet the opposite is happening.



Valley fever skin test now offered at Public Health Clinic

If you’re curious about whether you’ve ever contracted valley fever, but never been tested, now you’ve got no excuse.  The Kern County Public Health Services Department began offering the antigen skin test, Spherusol, at its Mount Vernon Avenue clinic for $77 this week.


Single Payer Vs Universal Health Care: What’s The Difference?

Just two months after shooting down single payer health care, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon says he wants to achieve universal coverage in California.  So what’s the difference?  “Single payer” and “universal coverage” are two different ideas, but they’re not mutually exclusive. Scott Graves of the California Budget and Policy Center explains…


Effects of State-Level Earned Income Tax Credit Laws in the U.S. on Maternal Health Behaviors and Infant Health Outcomes


The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of state-level Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) laws in the U.S. on maternal health behaviors and infant health outcomes.


Average American’s Risk of Needing Nursing Home Care Is Higher Than Previously Estimated


Among persons age 57 to 61, 56 percent will stay in a nursing home at least one night during their lifetime, according findings published online by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.



‘Sanctuary state’ measure likely to become law in California | The …

Sacramento Bee

California’s so-called “sanctuary state” bill, introduced by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León as a direct response to President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to deport “bad hombres” and undocumented immigrants, is well on its way to becoming law.




North Fork Rancheria cuts ribbon on new Housing Services Office

Sierra Star

The North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians has opened its new Housing Services office, which will help improve accessibility for its tribal members, officials announced.


California lawmakers reach deal on affordable housing bond

LA Times

Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders agreed late Monday to a $4-billion bond aimed at the 2018 ballot that would fund low-income housing developments and subsidize home loans for California veterans.  “The bond agreement we have reached provides badly needed funding to help Californians, including our veterans, find safe, affordable housing,” Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) said in a statement announcing the deal.


Why SoCal is at a tipping point in its housing affordability crisis

89.3 KPCC

Paying affordable rent, let alone homeownership, has become an elusive dream for many trying to survive Southern California’s housing market.


The Solution to Our Housing Crisis Is to Let Communities Own Property

The Nation

Now housing justice activists want to seed the city with a new kind of urban homesteading: Community Land Trusts (CLT)—a model of collective ownership of housing on community-owned land.  CLTs develop property through a community-run organization, which is generally run by representatives from the community, the local government and the private sector, autonomous from conventional government-based funding streams or commercial financing.




Majority, Not Supermajority: Huge news for CA cities?

CA Supreme Court decision

Supreme Court rules taxes proposed by initiative only need majority to pass — not 2/3rds.

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Judge invalidates law that would have allowed public financing of political campaigns in California 

LA Times

A Superior Court judge has struck down a new law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown that would have allowed cities, counties and the state to provide public financing of political campaigns, ruling that it violates a ban on that use of taxpayer dollars established nearly 30 years ago, officials said Monday.


Pension woes cloud small fire district

Capitol Weekly

A worried Herald Fire Protection District board discussed the possibility last week that the fee for leaving CalPERS may be around $400,000, an amount some members fear could push the small district in southern Sacramento County into bankruptcy.


Gilbert Hyatt’s 24-year tax feud heads to BOE Aug. 29

The Sacramento Bee

A California tax board is scheduled this week to finally resolve a 24-year dispute that could blow a hole in the state budget.  The Board of Equalization will decide whether former Southern California inventor Gilbert Hyatt was a La Palma resident when he started cashing in on the proceeds from a lucrative microprocessor patent he received in 1990.



High-Speed Rail construction relocating factory that has called Downtown Fresno home for 80 years

Modern Custom Fabrication makes giant tanks that hold water, petroleum products, chemicals, and just about any liquid. They ship all over the country and around the world from its 80 year old plant in Downtown Fresno.  Because High-Speed Rail will come right through where they are located they have to move, and city leaders are happy they chose a new site in Southeast Fresno.


California seeks to boost electric-car rebate program

Sacramento Bee

California would spend up to $3 billion under a bill to widely expand its fledgling consumer rebate program for zero-emission vehicles.




Oroville Dam: New time-lapse video shows spillway being rebuilt

San Jose Mercury news



State: More than 99 percent of sustainable groundwater agencies have been formed

The Business Journal

According to the state’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) of 2014, key stakeholders of the state’s 127 high- and medium-priority groundwater basins were required to form a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) to manage groundwater pumping. The deadline for formation of the GSAs was June 30, and as of this week, more than 99 percent had been formed.



Preview exhibit for Sierra Art Trails this weekend

Sierra Star

The Sierra Art Trails will have its preview exhibit at Stellar Gallery in Oakhurst this weekend, where every participating artist will have an original work on display and up for sale.


Community Voices: Charlottesville lesson: Fight white supremacists with love

Bakersfield Californian

The fabric of democracy and the Bill of Rights that hold our country together have been sorely tested on numerous occasions in our history as a nation. Now, once again, they are under assault.


California closer to allowing third gender on state IDs

Sacramento Bee

California could become the U.S. state with the most fluid definition of gender on its official state IDs if a bill making its way through the legislature becomes law.


Opinion: California online privacy legislation threatens tech success

The Mercury News

California is America’s internet success story. The jobs, innovation, and economic success from the tech sector are fueling nearly 130,000 California jobs, and the state’s tech sector makes up more than 12 percent of the California economy.


California Wants to Crack Down on Sexual Harassment by Venture Capitalists


A rash of sexual harassment scandals this summer involving venture capitalists has laid bare a major weakness in laws meant to protect workers from unwelcome advances. While legislation is clear on many workplace interactions, there’s next to nothing on the books concerning the investor-entrepreneur relationships accounting for billions of dollars in startup funding.