August 30, 2019



North SJ Valley:

EDITORIALS: Turlock’s revolving door is troubling, but not fatal

Modesto Bee

Turlock, Stanislaus County’s second-largest city, seems stable enough on the elected side with Amy Bublak now in the mayor’s seat. But non-elected leadership once again is twisting in the wind after former City Manager​​ Robert Lawton was shown the door​​ earlier this week.

Central SJ Valley:

The Maddy Institute, Valley universities announce agreement

The Business Journal

The Maddy Institute has announced a major collaboration with the four public universities in the San Joaquin Valley (CSU Stanislaus, CSU Bakersfield, Fresno State and UC Merced) — one which they hope will “help develop the next generation of government and civic leaders” in the region.

Judge wants real name of fake cow before acting on Devin Nunes’ Twitter lawsuit

Fresno Bee

A Virginia judge has asked Twitter to provide more information about the authors of two anonymous parody accounts that heckle California Republican Rep. Devin Nunes before deciding whether to dismiss the congressman’s lawsuit against the social media company.

Fresno County fires back at Janz campaign accusations over employee leave policy

Fresno Bee

Fresno County Counsel Daniel Cederborg is firing back at accusations from prosecutor Andrew Janz’s campaign that a proposed rule change for employee leave was targeting him.

See Also:

Two Guys Talk Governing with New Fresno City Council Member Mike Karbassi

Two Guys Talkin' Fresno

Michael Karbassi is the newly elected Council Member from District 2 in Northwest Fresno. 

South SJ Valley:

CSU to roll out delivery of immigration legal services for students, employees


The California State University (CSU) Thursday announced a systemwide plan for the provision of immigration legal services for CSU students and employees.​​ Immigrant Legal Defense​​ (ILD) will provide services for CSU Bakersfield, as well as Cal State East Bay, San Francisco State, San José State, CSU Monterey Bay, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Fresno State and Stanislaus State. 


2019 California Economic Summit Registration Opens


Registration has opened for the​​ 2019 California Economic Summit, which will take place in Fresno on November 7-8. The Summit, produced by​​ California Forward, marks the eighth annual gathering of private, public and civic leaders from across California’s diverse regions committed to creating a shared economic agenda to expand prosperity for all.

California lawmaker was accused of harassment. Now his campaign spending is under investigation

Fresno Bee

California ethics officials have opened an investigation into Assemblyman Bill Brough, R-Dana Point, over concerns about his use of campaign funds. He is accused of using the money to pay off his family’s cell phone bill, go out to fancy restaurants and take a personal trip to a Boston Red Sox game.

Fresno hires new economic development director, mayor says

Fresno Bee

The city of Fresno has named a new economic development director, and she comes from within the city’s administration.

Ricardo Lara’s troubles aside, reverting to an appointed insurance commissioner would hurt consumers


Where the troubling trail of accusations dogging Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara will lead is hard to tell. State records show that insurance industry executives and their relatives gave tens of thousands of dollars to​​ Lara’s campaign committee–even as he intervened on their behalf in cases before his agency. 

Rules changes could come to NCAA if California bill passes


The NCAA wants a level playing field for all athletes, even if state law proposals threaten its longtime model for amateur sports.

Politicians mull the future of work


The Legislature’s 2019 session will end in two weeks and no issue will have more impact on California’s workers and economic future than​​ Assembly Bill 5​​ – even if it doesn’t pass.

Editorial: Jerry Brown killed redevelopment in California. Gavin Newsom should bring it back to life

Los Angeles Times

To deal with California’s crushing budget crisis in 2011, then-Gov. Jerry Brown snuffed out “redevelopment” — an investment program designed to bring jobs, construction and growth to struggling neighborhoods.


Trump eyes mental institutions as answer to gun violence

Fresno Bee

When shots rang out last year at a high school in Parkland, Florida, leaving 17 people dead, President Donald Trump quickly turned his thoughts to creating more mental institutions.

UN atomic watchdog: Iran still in violation of nuclear deal

Modesto Bee

In a confidential quarterly report distributed to member states and seen by The Associated Press, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Friday that Iran's stockpile of low-enriched uranium still exceeds the amount allowed by the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Elections 2020:

10 Democrats confirmed for next debate on ABC as several others miss cut


Struggling Democratic presidential candidates are facing the bad news that they are not among the 10 who have qualified for the next debate, a predicament that is likely to spell doom for their campaigns.

See Also:

Can Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders skip fundraisers and still win California?

San Francisco Chronicle

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who​​ is just now ramping up her presidential campaign​​ in California, shares something in common with Sen. Bernie Sanders besides their conviction that the system is rigged in favor of the wealthy and powerful.

Billionaire presidential candidate Tom Steyer releases tax returns with key omissions

Los Angeles Times

Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer made nearly $1.2 billion in gross income over the course of nine years, according to personal tax returns he released Thursday.

Bluer than blue: Are California Democrats ready to exploit a possible lopsided primary turnout?


The March 3 primary could be a golden opportunity for progressive causes and candidates. But so far, Democratic lawmakers seem to be holding back.

Biden Hears Frustration From Labor Union In His Campaign's Backyard


Former Vice President Joe Biden plays up his Pennsylvania roots as much as anything and has heavily courted organized labor in his presidential campaign, but a key union in Biden's backyard is feeling neglected by the leading Democratic candidate.

Bernie Sanders’ Half True claim on number of people in jail who can’t afford bail

PolitiFact California

Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders recently claimed "some 200,000 people are in jail for the crime of being poor and not being able to afford bail."

We analyzed the schedules of every top 2020 Democrat. Here are the big takeaways.


Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have had to make sacrifices others did not to accommodate their reliance on big-dollar fundraising.

2020 Election Preview

Public Policy Institute of California

California’s presidential primary is just around the corner. How will California voters influence the 2020 election? And what are the implications for the state’s future? Please join us for a wide-ranging discussion of the upcoming election season.

Trump’s hostility to election security preparedness


From the very beginning of his presidency, Donald Trump has denied or downplayed Russian interference in the 2016 campaign.


Inside the media industry’s struggle to take on Silicon Valley


U.S. news companies are using a playbook from Europe to challenge the online platforms they see as an existential threat.

Instagram post misconstrues food companies’ support for Donald Trump


A popular social media hoax is trying to link about a dozen chain restaurants to President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.

The Left Can’t Stop Lying About The Tea Party

The Federalist

There's no evidence that the Tea Party’s popularity was propelled by racism.

Facebook bans ads from The Epoch Times after huge pro-Trump buy

NBC News

By hiding its multimillion-dollar dark money ad spend, the organization bypassed Facebook's political advertising transparency rules.


Sunday, September 1, at 10 a.m. on ABC30 –​​ Maddy Report:​​ “Countdown to the 2020 Census”​​ – Guests: Secretary of State, Alex Padilla; Sarah Bohn, PPIC; and John Myers, Los Angeles Times. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

Sunday, September 1, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) –​​ Maddy Report - Valley Views Edition:​​ “Census & Immigration: Distinctly Different Issues Intersect”​​ – Guests: Laura Hill with the Public Policy Institute of California; Taryn Luna with the Sacramento Bee; Dan Walters with CALmatters, Secretary of State, Alex Padilla; Sarah Bohn, PPIC; and John Myers, Los Angeles Times. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

Sunday, September 1, at 7:30 a.m. on UniMas 61 (KTTF) –​​ El Informe Maddy:​​ “Participación en 2018: lo que puede significar para 2020”​​ – Invitados: Secretario de Estado Alex Padilla, Gisell Gasca - Mi Familia Vota y Alexei Koseff con San Francisco Chronicle. Presentado Por: Coordinadora del Programa del Maddy Institute, Maria Jeans.


Illegal cannabis farms still scarring public lands, two years after Prop. 64

Los Angeles Times

When California voters legalized cannabis in 2016, supporters of Proposition 64 hoped it would significantly reduce the scourge of black market weed cultivation, particularly on public lands.

It rained so much in California, this year’s lemons are gigantic

Los Angeles Times

Southern California got​​ so much rain​​ last fall and winter that the lemons grown in the region have became gigantic — but that’s bad news for Limoneira Co., one of the top producers. Bigger lemons are less profitable because they more often get turned into juice rather than heading to grocery stores to be sold as fresh fruit.

The Peaches Are Sweet, but Growing Them Isn’t 

New York Times

An annual picking trip to a California farm has become a window into our daunting climate and work challenges.



Former Clovis pastor could spend 20 years in prison if convicted of alleged fraud

Fresno Bee

A former Clovis pastor faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of alleged fraud charges related to a proposed church development, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.

Former high school teacher, coach sent to prison for stalking female students in Valley

Fresno Bee

A former high school teacher and coach in Tulare County was sentenced to four years and four months in prison on Thursday for stalking female students while he was employed at​​ Lindsay High School.

Hate crime? Sikh community asks FBI to investigate stabbing death in Tracy


Members of the Sikh community are asking the FBI to investigate the death of a 64-year-old man killed during a nighttime walk in Gretchen Talley Park in Tracy. Parmjit Singh was wearing his turban when he was fatally stabbed on Sunday night. "This is the seventh attack on an elderly, turban-wearing Sikh man since 2011 in the Central Valley and Northern California region," said Amrith Kaur, legal director of the Sikh Coalition, a civil rights organization.

Public Safety:

Threat of mass shootings give rise to AI-powered cameras

Fresno Bee

AI is transforming surveillance cameras from passive sentries into active observers that can identify people, suspicious behavior and guns, amassing large amounts of data that help them learn over time to recognize mannerisms, gait and dress.

South County Detention Facility: How much did it cost you?

Visalia Times Delta

The 100,000 square foot South County Detention Facility is "state-of-the-art," the sheriff says. It can house 519 inmates and includes a kitchen, bakery, laundry room, medical area, booking and intake section, administration and visitation space. 


What to know as California's peak fire months loom


History shows that September and October, with their hot, fierce winds, are the state’s worst times for fire.



Trump’s new tariffs will begin Sunday — here’s what they mean for your wallet

Fresno Bee

The U.S.-China trade war is set to enter a new phase, one expected to be so costly that it will take away much of what Americans gained from the 2017 tax cut.

Stocks power on, heading for strong finish to volatile month

Fresno Bee

Stocks climbed broadly on Wall Street in early trading Friday as the market extended a recent rally and closed in on a big weekly gain after four straight weeks of losses. Despite marching higher most of this week, the market is on track to finish August with a loss. That would be only the second monthly decline this year after May.

New Fresno economic development director cut her teeth downtown

Business Journal

Lupe Perez, a veteran of the City of Fresno’s redevelopment pipeline, has been selected as the city’s director of economic development.

Potential buyers offer new vision for East Hills Mall

Bakersfield Californian

Prospective buyers of the boarded-up East Hills Mall recently reached out to Bakersfield city officials with a new vision for demolishing and redeveloping the property into a village-like mixed-use center.

The Chief Economic and Business Advisor for CA- Lenny Mendonca


Podcast By The Bay sits down for a conversation with the Chief Economic and Business Advisor for the state of CA, Lenny Mendonca.

U.S. Second-Quarter Growth Slowed, Corporate Profits Rose

Wall Street Journal

Turnaround in profits, stronger consumer spending nudged economy as expansion reached 10th anniversary.


Health care perk nets California state workers an extra $3,100 a year through SEIU contract

Fresno Bee

The state’s largest union has reached a tentative contract agreement with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s bargaining team that provides a 7 percent raise over three years and boosts take-home compensation with perks that include new or increased stipends for health care, commuting and bilingual speakers.

See Also:

Riverbank plant could create 2,000 jobs. Is a federal agency dropping the ball?

Modesto Bee

A federal agency is catching heat from a Central Valley congressman, who says red tape is stalling a Riverbank project expected to create 2,000 jobs in the Central Valley.

Elk Grove, Sac City districts failed to train staff on sex-abuse ‘red flags,’ lawsuits say

Sacramento Bee

After two recent high-profile child molestation arrests and convictions, lawsuits filed Wednesday against the Sacramento City Unified and Elk Grove Unified school districts accuse them of failing to train their employees to recognize signs of child abuse.

Late lobbying is fast and furious as California lawmakers decide who’s an employee

Sacramento Bee

Days before California lawmakers act on legislation to force employers to treat independent contractors as employees.

Gavin Newsom’s deal with state’s largest union nets workers a raise and new health care perks

Sacramento Bee

The state’s largest union has reached a tentative contract agreement with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s bargaining team that provides a 7 percent raise over three years and boosts take-home compensation with perks that include new or increased stipends for health care, commuting and bilingual speakers.

Governments Must Secure Employees’ Janus Rights

Wall Street Journal

The feds, and many states and localities, still deduct union dues from paychecks without consent.

Trump Administration Close to Expanding Overtime Pay

Wall Street Journal

Measure would raise the annual salary threshold that generally determines who qualifies for overtime.

EDITORIAL:​​ California’s War on Gigs

Wall Street Journal

Democrats move legislation to unleash unions and the trial bar on contract workers.



California Assembly approves medical cannabis on K-12 campuses


The California Assembly approved a bill Monday that lets school boards decide whether parents can administer medical marijuana on school campuses. It would allow the use of marijuana in non-smoking form.

California Poised To Overhaul Charter Schools

Capital Public Radio

California is poised to tighten rules for charter schools as the state sees growing enrollment in communities serving mostly low-income families.

More on the phenomenal, 'eye-popping' success of Success Academy Charter Schools in NYC


If you haven’t yet heard about the amazing, appropriately-named​​ Success​​ Academy Charter Schools in New York City,.

Higher Ed:

To get into CSU, you may soon have to take an extra math or science class. Here’s why

Fresno Bee

The California State University Board of Trustees on Thursday considered adding an extra requirement for freshman admission – a proposal that is drawing opposition from student advocates and educators who say it could reduce access for low-income and minority students.

CSUB named 6th Best Bang for the Buck by Washington Monthly

Bakersfield Californian

Cal State Bakersfield is a top choice among students looking for a quality education without spending a fortune on tuition — so much so that the university has been recognized as being among the West's top 10 Best Bangs for the Buck.





More than 400 bears hit by cars in Yosemite. Here’s what park is doing to save wildlife

Fresno Bee

In an effort to keep more from being injured and killed, the California park announced Thursday that it has designated some areas along​​ park roads​​ where bears and other animals have been hit as new Wildlife Protection Zones.

See Also:

Trump administration to roll back rules on methane pollution; California threatens suit

Los Angeles Times

The Trump administration plans to roll back regulations on leaks of natural gas from wells,​​ pipelines​​ and other equipment, a move that could significantly increase emissions that cause global warming.

See Also:

The Amazon rainforest is on fire. Climate scientists fear a tipping point is near

Los Angeles Times

Flames are spreading across the Amazon rainforest this summer, spewing millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each day. But scientists say that’s not their biggest concern. They’re far more worried about what the fires represent: a dramatic increase in illegal deforestation that could deprive the world of a critical buffer against climate change.

EPA Aims To Roll Back Limits On Methane Emissions From Oil And Gas Industry

Valley Public Radio

The Trump administration is proposing to slash restrictions on the oil and gas industry for methane emissions, a greenhouse gas that is a powerful driver of climate change.

Easy Fix to Cut Food Waste: Cleaning Up Date Labels

Wall Street Journal

Stamps like ‘use by,’ ‘expires on,’ ‘best by’ sow consumer confusion and waste; new labeling rules could help.


Oil and Gas Bankruptcies Grow as Investors Lose Appetite for Shale 

Wall Street Journal

Smaller drillers, which account for sizable part of U.S. oil production, are struggling to pay off hefty debt burdens.



Opioid settlement would divide money based on local impact

Hanford Sentinel

The multibillion-dollar settlement that the maker of OxyContin is negotiating to settle a crush of lawsuits over the nation's opioid crisis contains formulas for dividing up the money among state and local governments across the country, The Associated Press has learned.

California vaccine activists rally at Capitol in last-ditch appeal

Merced Sun-Star

Hundreds of vaccine-skeptical families made a last-ditch appeal on Wednesday to California lawmakers, asking them to kill a proposed law that would restrict vaccine medical exemptions for children attending schools.

E-cigarette maker Juul faces mounting scrutiny across U.S. over teen vaping craze

Los Angeles Times

E-cigarette giant Juul Labs is facing mounting scrutiny from state and local law enforcement officials, with the attorneys general in Illinois and the District of Columbia investigating how the company’s blockbuster vaping device became so popular with underage teens, the Associated Press has learned.

See also:

Human Services:

State finds Kaweah Delta had inadequate nursing staff levels — again

Visalia Times Delta

The California Department of Public Health has again found Kaweah Delta Medical Center had inadequate nursing levels in one of the hospital's medical units. The staffing levels so concerned Kaweah Delta nurses, they told state investigators the quality of care for patients was in jeopardy, according to the publicly available report.  

No single ‘gay gene’ determines same-sex sexual behavior, DNA analysis finds

Los Angeles Times

A new study that analyzed the DNA of nearly half a million people has found that, while genetic differences play a significant role in sexual behavior,​​ there is no single gene​​ responsible.

See also:

The Rise Of The 'granny State' In America's Nursing Homes


It’s easy to decry the nanny state. But what about the granny state?


Trump administration appears to violate law in forcing asylum seekers back to Mexico, officials warn

Los Angeles Times

From the roadside, Oswaldo Ortiz-Luna offered a box of candy to the cars idling in the golden dust of northern Mexico. His wife hawked another box of sweets farther up the line of traffic, perching their 18-month-old daughter on one hip. Sticky fruit and tears smudged the baby’s cheeks.

CSU to roll out delivery of immigration legal services for students, employees


The California State University (CSU) Thursday announced a systemwide plan for the provision of immigration legal services for CSU students and employees. “I am delighted that we will be able to increase the availability of immigration legal services to the California State University community. We remain committed to ensuring that all CSU students have the opportunity to pursue their higher education goals regardless of their country of origin,” said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White.​​ Immigrant Legal Defense​​ (ILD) will provide services for CSU Bakersfield, as well as Cal State East Bay, San Francisco State, San José State, CSU Monterey Bay, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Fresno State and Stanislaus State. 

Sick Migrants Undergoing Lifesaving Care Can Now Be Deported

New York Times

Without any public announcement, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services eliminated a “deferred action” program this month that had allowed immigrants like Ms. Bueso to avoid deportation while they or their relatives were undergoing lifesaving medical treatment. The agency said that it received 1,000 deferred-action applications related to medical issues each year.

Editorial: Trump’s border wall crosses more lines

San Francisco Chronicle

Remember the wall? While the casual observer could almost forget President Trump’s old, unhealthy obsession amid the daily encroachment of chaos that is his administration, the president is rightly concerned that his core supporters haven’t. 


Land Use:

See the transformation of Kingsburg’s new, old neighbor. There’s a prize at stake

Fresno Bee

A documentary chronicling the building’s transformation is up for an award.

Landfill expansion project hits another bump

Stockton Record

A proposal before the county’s Board of Supervisors to expand the massive Forward Landfill southeast of Stockton along Austin Road remains in limbo today while its backers have been given time to meet with Federal Aviation Administration officials who sent a letter last Friday objecting to the project.


Lawmakers tackle a severe housing shortage for renters who have federal vouchers

Fresno Bee

As California struggles with a crisis in affordable housing, state lawmakers are trying to improve a severe shortage of housing available to renters who have federal Section 8 vouchers.

City officials suddenly support homeless tent cities, car camps in Sacramento neighborhoods

Sacramento Bee

As homeless men, women and children in Sacramento wait for three new large shelters to open, another model that local officials have repeatedly rejected over the years is now quickly gaining traction.

Where can you afford to rent in California?

Los Angeles Times

Economists say you shouldn't spend more than 30% of your earnings on rental costs. Using Zillow data, we mapped out the state's rental market. Use this tool to see where you can afford to live.

Seniors facing eviction fear homelessness and isolation as California’s housing crisis rolls on

Los Angeles Times

The threat of displacement and loss of community and routine can take a mental and physical toll. Experts say that’s especially true for seniors, who are perhaps the most vulnerable to California’s rising rents and evictions of any age group, and the fastest growing in the state.

California can’t solve homelessness without more housing. This legislation will be key


On any given day, as many as 150,000 Californians are homeless, struggling to exist without the most fundamental of necessities: shelter. 

NIMBYism is a California thing, and it’s wrecking cities. Consider Loomis


It isn’t just the Bay Area where Nimbyism is exacerbating California’s housing crisis. 


South County Detention Facility: How much did it cost you?

Visalia Times Delta

The 100,000 square foot South County Detention Facility is "state-of-the-art," the sheriff says. It can house 519 inmates and includes a kitchen, bakery, laundry room, medical area, booking and intake section, administration and visitation space. 

Second tax measure to fund California schools proposed for 2020 ballot 


The California School Boards Association is exploring whether to place a $15 billion tax for K-12 schools, early education and community colleges before voters, creating the possibility of dueling tax initiatives on the statewide ballot in November 2020. 

Refinance U.S. Debt While Rates Are Low

Wall Street Journal

Taxpayers will save billions if the government takes new low-interest loans to pay off its current liabilities.

Companies Say They Can Ignore Cost of U.S. Tax Rules

Wall Street Journal

Treasury regulations would retroactively unravel an international tax maneuver. Corporations say the rules aren’t valid.


APNewsBreak: Coming to national park trails: electric bikes

Hanford Sentinel

Motorized electric bicycles may soon be humming their way into serene national parks and other public lands nationwide under a new Trump administration order.

Uber, Lyft pitch landmark California worker proposal — and tech industry's first ballot threat


Uber and Lyft proposed a deal Thursday that would give their drivers better wages and bargaining rights, and the companies are prepared to pour millions of dollars into launching the tech industry's first ballot battle in California in order to get their way.

See also:


PFAS toxins found in drinking water throughout Southern California

Orange County Register

Wells of nearly two dozen Southern California water agencies have reportable levels of PFAS, a chemical family increasingly linked to cancer, liver and kidney damage, thyroid disease, high cholesterol, low fertility, low birth weight and ulcerative colitis.


Aug. 31 is Free Fishing Day in California


Get your fishing pole ready! Free Fishing Day will be August 31 in California, according to the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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Maddy Institute Updated List of San Joaquin Valley Elected Officials​​ HERE.

The Kenneth L. Maddy Institute​​ at California State University, Fresno was established to honor the legacy of one of California’s most principled and effective legislative leaders of the last half of the 20th Century by engaging, preparing and inspiring a new generation of governmental leaders for the 21st Century. Its mission is to inspire citizen participation,​​ elevate government performance, provide non-partisan analysis and assist in providing solutions for public policy issues important to the region, state and nation.


This document is to be used for informational purposes only. Unless specifically noted, The Maddy Institute at California State University, Fresno does not officially endorse or support views that may be expressed in the document. If you want to print a story, please do so now before the link expires.​​ 

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