POLICY & POLITICS
Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson challenged House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., on Wednesday to give him the unredacted version of the application used by the Justice Department and FBI to obtain a surveillance warrant so they could spy on a Trump campaign associate.
The so-called FORWARD Act, introduced by Bakersfield Congressman and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, would establish a national valley fever working group and would award grants to entities researching the disease.
Dolores Huerta has endorsed Delano Mayor Grace Vallejo in her bid to become the Kern County Supervisor for the 4th District, Vallejo announced Thursday.
The Hanford Sentinel
The plan focuses on an existing rail corridor between the cities of Huron in Fresno County and Porterville in Tulare County, with direct access to the planned Kings/Tulare high-speed rail station to be located in the center of this corridor near the intersection.
At least six people dead. More than 1,000 homes leveled and another 17,000 under threat. Nearly 13,000 firefighters, from as far away as Florida and Maine to Australia and New Zealand, battling ferocious wildfires burning across California.
San Francisco Chronicle
From John Cox on down, the latest state campaign finance reports are nothing but bad news for Republicans running for statewide office.
San Francisco Chronicle
Former President Barack Obama jumped into the November elections Wednesday, endorsing Gavin Newsom for governor and several other California Democrats running for office — but not all of them.
Explore poverty rates across California counties and congressional, state senate, and state assembly districts with PPIC’s new interactive maps.
Do you know what time it is, California? It’s time for new thinking about time, and time zones. By putting Proposition 7 on the Nov. 6 ballot, the Legislature has granted us this opportunity.
Los Angeles Times
The Trump administration Thursday pushed ahead with plans to unravel the federal government’s most effective action to fight climate change — aggressive fuel economy standards aimed at getting the nation’s cars and trucks to average more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025.
● Trump’s challenge of California’s emissions rules could zap its electric car industry Sacramento Bee
● Trump attack on Calif.’s emission standards faces battle San Francisco Chronicle
● Five myths about Trump’s fuel-economy freeze San Francisco Chronicle
● California's car dealers worry about Trump rollback on fuel standards San Diego Union-Tribune
● Trump Officials Link Fuel Economy Rules to Deadly Crashes. Experts Are Skeptical. - The New York Times
● What Trump’s Auto Emissions Plan Means for California - The New York Times
● How would Trump’s fuel standard rules affect Americans? - PBS NewsHour
On the defensive, White House showcases top officials to attest to its efforts to bolster election security
Los Angeles Times
The White House put five top national security officials before cameras in the briefing room Thursday afternoon to stress — as President Trump still has not — how seriously the administration is taking the threat of Russia’s ongoing interference in U.S. elections.
● U.S. Intelligence Officials Warn of ‘Pervasive’ Russian Efforts to Disrupt 2018 Elections The Wall Street Journal
● Senate Republicans shoot down extra funds for election security Washington Post
Time and time again, Trump denounced the press for underselling his accomplishments and doubting his political rise.
There’s a virus in Trumpland Washington Post
Los Angeles Times
During a testy White House briefing Thursday, a reporter challenged Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to counter President Trump’s claim that the American press is the “enemy of the people.” She wouldn’t.
● Sarah Huckabee Sanders indicts the media — on bogus, Trumped-up charges Washington Post
Republicans want to campaign on big military improvements this fall. To do so, they’re willing to buck fiscal hawks and tie the funding to Democrat’s top priorities of health and labor programs.
Over the years, the parents, in-laws and husband of U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have given hundreds of millions of dollars to conservative causes. And many of those causes are front and center of policy initiatives and goals of the Trump administration right now.
Imagine what would happen if our nation’s federal courts were to order that 18 Senators of the 100-member U.S. Senate not be seated, or that 75 Representatives not be allowed to participate in votes or deliberations in the House of Representatives. Something similar is happening in America’s federal court system, and no outrage has arisen.
The National Archives and Records Administration said it won't be able to finish reviewing nearly 1 million documents regarding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's until the end of October, a potential roadblock in GOP hopes for confirmation before the November election.
Unlike political ads on television, online ads are not required to disclose who pays for them, making it harder to evaluate their message. And it makes it much easier for people to disguise their true motives when buying political ads.
Zócalo Public Square
Revitalizing modern politics requires rejuvenating parties, which remain the best means for organizing voters with common interests. The question is, how can we rebuild parties in a way that ensures better elections and a better government?
Crime rates? Way down from the 1990s. Drunk-driving rates? They hit a new all-time low a few years ago. Air travel keeps getting safer and cheaper. Teen-pregnancy rates?Steadily declining. The abortion rate? The lowest since Roe v. Wade passed. Our infant-mortality rate is low and getting even lower.
MADDY INSTITUTE PUBLIC POLICY PROGRAMMING
Sunday, August 5, at 10 a.m. on ABC 30 – Maddy Report: “Fake News & Info Illiteracy” – Guests: Senator Bill Dodd (D), Renée Ousley-Swank, President Elect - CA School Library Association, John Myers,Sacramento Bureau Chief – LA Times and Dan Walters, Reporter of the Sacramento Bee. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.
Sunday, August 5, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) – Maddy Report - Valley Views Edition: “Alt Facts & Lies: A Lie By Any Other Name?” – Guests: Paul Hurley, former editorial page editor of the Visalia Times Delta and Mike Dunbar, Editorial Page Editor with the Merced Sun Star and the Modesto Bee. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.
Sunday, August 5, at 7:30 a.m. on UniMas 61 (KTTF) – El Informe Maddy: “CA School libraries: are we failing our kids?” – Guest: Margarita Fernandez, PIO State Auditor's Office. Host: Maddy Institute Program Coordinator, Maria Jeans.
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Raising backyard chickens has become a fun hobby for many urban dwellers in the San Joaquin Valley, but a devastating poultry disease currently raging in Southern California could put those birds and others in jeopardy.
Fresno rated extremely high on another national list. This one was unfortunate but it was not surprising. The ranking dealt with the number of households struggling with hunger and it came at a time the food bank was expanding.
For the second year in a row, Danny Mendes, owner of Tulare Meat Locker & Sausage Co., took home several wins at the American Association of Meat Processors' American Cured Meat Championships.
President Donald Trump is siding with House Republicans in the showdown over work requirements for food stamp recipients, adding a new wrinkle to difficult negotiations that are set to begin this fall.
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump publicly announced an agreement with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to work on negotiating away the tariffs he put in place. That came on the heels of Tuesday's announcement that $12 billion in aid would be given to farmers suffering from losses due to tariffs.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE / FIRE / PUBLIC SAFETY
San Francisco Chronicle
The San Francisco district attorney’s office hosted a symposium Thursday at the Women’s Building in the Mission District to focus attention on drug-facilitated sexual assault — a controversial issue in the city after several women recently alleged their cases were not taken seriously.
National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police and community partnerships and neighborhood togetherness. Many cities across the country take part in National Night Out on the first Tuesday in August.
The Ferguson Fire tore through nine abandoned structures as it grew to 68,601 acres overnight, authorities reported.
● For victims and potential victims of California's wildfires Hanford Sentinel
● Back to rubble, some 'lost everything' in Redding fire Bakersfield Californian
● Congress sending 7 firefighting planes to California, but they won’t help this year Sacramento Bee
● Over 5 days, requests for 900 engines went unfilled San Francisco Chronicle
● Bulldozer slipped 3 times before firefighter’s fatal plunge San Francisco Chronicle
As huge swaths of California burn, both sides are digging in for the huge fight over who pays for wildfire damage – a high-stakes debate that will intensify when the Legislature reconvenes on Monday.
ECONOMY / JOBS
The county has been drawing attention with its new Advance Kern business incentives, and hopes to soon have companies sign up for this program, which allows eligible companies to earn tax rebates when they relocate to the county or expand their operations here.
The question is not if, but when.
If the election were about only the economy, Republicans would still face stiff headwinds but might at least weather them to the degree needed to hold the House.
China said it was taking the action “because the U.S. side has repeatedly escalated the situation despite the interests of both enterprises and consumers,” according to an informal translation from a China Ministry of Commerce statement.
● China warns it could fire back with tariffs of $60 billion in U.S. goods - The Washington Post
Trump, who has long distrusted the institution, has said WTO members are not playing fair with America, even though the United States has won many of the cases it has lodged against other countries.
The unemployment rate fell to 3.9% and the economy added 157,000 jobs in July, the Labor Department said Friday. But workers' average hourly paychecks grew tepidly from the previous month and are up just 2.7% compared to the same time last year.
● U.S. Payrolls Rise 157,000 While Wage Gains Hold at 2.7% - Bloomberg
● U.S. economy adds 157,000 jobs in July, slightly below expectations Washington Post
One thing that hasn’t impressed much is wage growth. Average hourly earnings increased 2.7 percent year over year — the same rate as it did in June. But drill down, and there’s a lot of nuance in those income numbers. Some jobs are in high demand, and people in those professions are seeing their incomes soar. Other sectors are seeing wages stagnate or even fall.
Stockton Unified was the latest school district to wake from its summer slumber as 40,000 children returned to school.
Fitzgerald: What Stockton most needs to change Stockton Record
National Association of Agricultural Educators chose a Hanford High teacher to be an Agriscience Teacher Ambassador.
It’s not just football feeling the impact of summer practices in Kern County. For all fall high school sports it’s much of the same.
Student performers from all over Ceres will be able to use a 400-seat theater to be built at Central Valley High School.
All parents want the best for their children, and that starts with great public schools. Unfortunately California students rank well below the national average. So there is much to do in Sacramento and with local school boards.
It’s no surprise that generating economic opportunity and upward mobility are top concerns right now for California leaders and families across the state. If we want to close these wide and increasing gaps, we must clear the path for students to succeed.
Charter advocates see teachers unions as caring more about working conditions for teachers than learning outcomes for kids. Union leaders see charters, most of which hire non-union teachers, as threats to their livelihoods. But the two sides also clash more broadly over how to improve public education.
Cal State Bakersfield faculty and staff raised a total of $776,655 for school programs benefiting students this past school year.
Bakersfield College students are likely to notice a few changes when they return for the fall semester on Aug. 27, including maintenance projects and the offering a few new certificates and associate’s degree programs starting in the fall.
California State University, Stanislaus
In addition to underwriting scholarships, the 2017-18 awards fund campus projects and programs that will lead to a more robust and diverse talent pipeline of K-12 science and math teachers — with a focus on recruiting candidates from underrepresented communities. California continues to face a critical shortage of qualified math and science teachers, projecting a need of more than 33,000 additional teachers in the next 10 years.
Fresno State began collaborating with CERN in 2008, thanks to a physics professor named Yongsheng Gao who established Fresno as the first California State University campus there.
Cross country is now the third sport in the school’s athletics program along with soccer and swim and dive. Coaching the team in its inaugural season is Clayton Albertson.
San Diego Union-Tribune
The sea surface temperature at the Scripps Pier in La Jolla hit 78.6 degrees on Wednesday, the highest reading in the pier’s 102-year history, according to UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Senators from both sides of the aisle questioned Andrew Wheeler, the acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, about fuel economy standards and renewable energy at a hearing on Wednesday.
One of Kern County's leading oil producers, California Resources Corp., on Thursday posted an $82 million second-quarter loss as price and production gains were outweighed by higher expenses related to oilfield operations, hedging contracts and stock compensation.
Recent legislation introduced by Rep. Kevin McCarthy is being hailed by valley fever advocates and researchers as a huge step forward in combating the disease, which is on the rise locally.
It’s been a decades-long struggle for breastfeeding advocates, like those at Delta Heath Care, to educate moms and moms-to-be and the general public while calming those offended by women feeding infants in public.
UC Davis Health is now able to diagnose heart attacks faster thanks to the use of a blood test only recently approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration last year.
California was one of the first states in the country to legalize abortion, and its expansive laws on reproductive rights mean that it will still be legal to terminate a pregnancy in the state, even if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
In coming weeks, the Legislature will have the opportunity to pass a measure that would change the lives of thousands of Californians at risk of serious mental illness, increase access to quality mental health treatment, and ultimately turn the tide in our homelessness crisis.
More than 12,000 Californians lost limbs or toes to diabetes in 2016, state data show. More than 2.5 million people in the state have been diagnosed with adult diabetes, or Type 2, and risk a similar fate if it goes unchecked.
I’d written about health care for seven years. Worked on the business side of a clinic for two years. Was raised by a nurse. So I thought I had a pretty good understanding of health care in the U.S. Then I got pregnant.
Los Angeles Times
The planned expansion of short-term health plans under a new Trump administration rule unveiled this week is on a crash course with a brick wall in California.
Sen. Bernie Sanders' "Medicare for all" plan would boost government health spending by $32.6 trillion over 10 years, requiring historic tax hikes, says a study released Monday by a university-based libertarian policy center.
San Francisco Chronicle
The extraordinary potential ascribed to stem cells has captivated scientists around the world. In 2004, California voters were so convinced of their promise that they approved a $3 billion bond measure to pay for research into them.
● Trumpcare Means Leaving the Poor and Sick to Fend for Themselves New York Magazine
● We’ve finally learned Trump’s grand plan for fixing health care The Washington Post
The illicit market of variable products is therefore the cause of many overdoses, but the high addiction rate is almost entirely due to unwise prescribing practices of physicians.
New U.S. Department of Health Human Services research confirms that, on average, areas with lower economic prospects have higher rates of opioid prescriptions, hospitalizations, and overdose deaths.
ICE agents last month began arresting undocumented immigrants at the Fresno courthouse. The arrests have prompted concerns among attorneys and human rights activists over whether individuals’ rights to due process are being violated.
● ICE makes arrest at Fresno Courthouse Fresno Bee
San Francisco Chronicle
President Trump abused his authority by ordering the denial of federal funds to San Francisco and other sanctuary cities for refusing to cooperate with immigration officers, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.
San Diego Union-Tribune
Government attorneys are asking that the American Civil Liberties Union take the lead in finding hundreds of parents who have not yet been reunited with their children, according to a court document filed Thursday.
Ivanka Trump: Migrant family separation a 'low point' in White House Los Angeles Times
Many big cities with large immigrant populations and left-leaning voters have enacted sanctuary policies on principle — or out of political expedience. Some smaller cities and counties, however, have done so out of fear of lawsuits.
Visalia Times Delta
For the second time this week, Yosemite National Park officials have pushed back the opening date of some of the park's most heavily visited areas.
Los Angeles Times
Opponents of expanding rent control in California raised nearly $10 million through the first half of this year, the beginning of what’s expected to be one of the costliest fights on the state’s November ballot.
In a win for public employee unions, the California Supreme Court on Thursday said San Diego's mayor should have met with representatives for city workers before the city placed a measure on the 2012 ballot that cut workers' retirement benefits.
● EDITORIAL: San Diego's pension mess just got a lot messier. Now what? San Diego Union-Tribune
The Business Journal
The Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT) system, including Fresno’s Chandler Executive Airport (FCH), generates just shy of $1 billion in economic punch, according to new data.
Federal grants announced Thursday will upgrade airports in Oakdale, Columbia, Stockton, Atwater, Gustine and other locales across the nation.
For people living in the Northern San Joaquin Valley, the gas tax does a lot more good than harm. That’s why we’re hoping Proposition 6 fails.
Freight railroads continue to make news in California, home of several policymakers that oversee the sector – including Modesto’s U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham.
Civic and business leaders in Cupertino are trying to a high-tech solution to traffic congestion. Several ideas are being discussed, including magnetic levitation vehicles, automated buses, a monorail and autonomous transit. There's one more -- a hyperloop.
John Moorlach, an Orange County Republican state senator from Costa Mesa, used a July 30 editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle, to advocate ways to help California fight an increasing number of deadly fires, including, for example, shifting $621 million this year away from the ridiculous boondoggle known as Gov. Jerry Brown’s high-speed rail project.
An unwelcome surprise in the mail for some Fresno residents: they received a warning from the city about their water use. It's part of a new electronic monitoring system that alerts residents if they appear to be using too much water.
Stanislaus County leaders hope that broader outreach will help win a battle against a powerful state board’s plan to take water rights from local irrigation districts.
The State Water Resources Control Board proposal to increase water releases into local rivers by 40 percent will be a devastating blow to the city of Modesto and Stanislaus County. I join many other local leaders who say “Hell no!” and are banding together.
Currently only about 20 percent of the river's natural flow makes it through the system. If adopted, the new proposal would increase those number to between 30 to 50 percent of natural flow.
Valley Cultural Coalition
Great things are happening in the Valley. Here's a list of VCC member offerings to keep you busy and entertained!
There are so many interesting things to share about the Tower District’s newest restaurant that I’m not sure where to start.
Hollywood has come to Kings County as web series “Les Moore” films locally in Hanford and Lemoore. The series follows Les Moore, a former theater director and youth drama teacher, as he tries to find a new purpose in life.
If you thought the weather has been hot, check out the lineup of events for this First Friday, which is packed with fun to be had.
The project would include about 63,000 square feet of community and office use, according to the site plan. The plan is to move the county library from its current location in the Clovis Civic Center and to move the city senior center from its current location at 850 Fourth Street.
Her career took her to the LA Times, Marcum won a Pultizer for her coverage of California’s great drought. Now she’s telling her own story, and that of the people of the Azores – in a new memoir - The Tenth Island: Finding Joy, Beauty, and Unexpected Love in the Azores.