August 4, 2017






Race a factor for low-info, distracted voters, UC Merced study finds. Guess who wins?

Merced Sun-Star

When voters are distracted or looking at an overly complicated ballot, they’re more likely to vote for the white candidate, according to the findings of a UC Merced professor.



Gavin Newsom campaigns hard on liberal San Francisco record

Sacramento Bee
Gavin Newsom, the lieutenant governor running to succeed Jerry Brown, was nearly an hour into his town hall meeting late Wednesday when someone asked about protecting the planet.


Hollywood picks Gavin Newsom over Antonio Villaraigosa in …

Los Angeles Time

As mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa built relationships in Hollywood: He sought the counsel of studio heads, fought for state tax credits to keep film and television production in the city and mingled with celebrities on the red carpet at glitzy film premieres and HBO parties.


Donations in the California governor’s race top $30 million

Los Angeles Times
The Times Data Team breaks down the money race, looking at how much the candidates have raised and where the money is flowing from.

Lobbying in the Trump era: Californians say little has changed but the language

The Mercury News

President Donald Trump came to Washington, D.C. decrying lobbyists and vowing to “drain the swamp” — but six months into his administration, California’s top lobbyists say the only major changes they’ve had to make are in their language.


Padilla: Voting Rights Act: Anniversary marks Trump assaults on democracy

Sacramento Bee
Sunday marks the 52nd anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act.


Mathews: Non-citizens should get to vote in California

Fresno Bee
President Trump claims California allowed millions of non-citizens to vote in the 2016 elections. This allegation, while totally bogus, has put California on the defensive as Trump uses the lie to justify a new federal commission devoted to making it harder for all Americans to vote.



Attorney General Sessions threatens 2 California ‘sanctuary cities’ with loss of crime-fighting funds

The Mercury News

Attorney General Jeff Sessions moved Thursday to again punish so-called sanctuary cities, this time threatening to deny federal crime-fighting resources to four cities beset by violence – including Stockton San Bernardino – if they don’t step up efforts to help detain and deport people living in the country illegally.


Democrats fear Republican attacks tying them to Pelosi

Modesto Bee

Nancy Pelosi might actually be in trouble.  In a survey of 20 Democratic House candidates, only one – a former Senate staffer from Orange County, California – would state support for the congresswoman staying on as leader of the House Democratic Caucus. Of the rest, 18 declined to say if Pelosi should keep her job, while one, a political newcomer from a culturally conservative Ohio district, said he would vote for someone other than Pelosi.

Trump v. California: Scoring the Bout


Don’t expect a clean fight.



Online Efforts Make Public Engagement More Effective


Technology can help counties change the who, when, where and how of educating and engaging local residents. Whether it’s economic development, housing, immigrant integration or a contentious local issue, counties are experimenting with different kinds of technology to enhance their engagement of the public.



Community Voices: Tell Washington how you feel about Sequoia Revision

The Bakersfield Californian

I recently wrote to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to oppose any revisions to the designation of Giant Sequoia National Monument. In April, President Donald Trump issued an arbitrary executive order to review 27 of our nation’s national monuments, including Giant Sequoia. The Department of Interior just concluded a public comment period for an ongoing review of national monuments. I wanted to ensure my voice was heard, as did more than 2.7 million people who commented.

Threats against legislators intensify. We must find a path back to civility.

Fresno Bee

In our raucous, unruly democracy, politicians develop thick skins, knowing the job’s occupational hazards include sharp criticism and verbal assaults.

Why VW windfall is a rare chance for Sacramento, UC Davis

Sacramento Bee

The city’s $44 million piece of the Volkswagen settlement could be a catalyst to create high-tech jobs. Mayor Darrell Steinberg and new UC Davis Chancellor Gary May both want an innovation hub in the city.

Forget Linda Katehi’s salary. That’s not the real faculty pay outrage.

Sacramento Bee

Cal State students will pay $270 apiece more for tuition, thanks to the pay bump negotiated last year under the threat of a strike by the California Faculty Association, which consumed most of this year’s CSU appropriation from the state.




Tulare County orange packer packs up

Visalia Times-Delta

LoBue Bros. are selling their Tulare County orange groves and packing operation near Lindsay as they exit the citrus business after more than 83 years.

Farming, a gamble with mother nature

Visalia Times-Delta

Mother Nature is known for her unpredictability. It’s something Central Valley farmers gamble with every day.


How Will President Trump’s Immigration Plan Affect California Farm Labor?

CBS Sacramento

There is concern among Republicans and Democrats that President Donald Trump’s immigration plan will cut into California’s shrinking supply of low skilled farm labor.


Fewer Immigrants Mean More Jobs? Not So, Economists Say
When the federal government banned the use of farmworkers from Mexico in 1964, California’s tomato growers did not enlist Americans to harvest the fragile crop. They replaced the lost workers with tomato-picking machines.


At Wine and Weed Symposium, vintners find themselves surrounded by economic opportunity 

Santa Rosa Press

Wine professionals found themselves surrounded by potential economic opportunity Thursday as they learned about possibilities for capitalizing on cannabis — and a few pitfalls — at a sold-out conference.


Despite Marijuana Legalization, California’s Black Market Could Remain Huge


Legalizing marijuana, California voters were told last year, would create a “safe, legal and comprehensive system” allowing adults to consume the drug while keeping it out of the hands of children. Marijuana would be sold in highly regulated stores, the Proposition 64 campaign promised, and California would gain new tax revenue by bringing the cannabis marketplace “out into the open.”

Cannabis company plans to turn desert town into pot paradise 


Now that one of the nation’s largest cannabis companies has bought the entire California desert town of Nipton, a question remains: Will the new owners rename the place Potsylvania? The name Weed already belongs to an old mill town in Northern California.

See also:

·       American Green wants to buy the entire California town of Nipton to create a cannabis tourist destination Quartz

·       Marijuana company buys entire US town to create ‘cannabis-friendly municipality’  BBC Newsbeat



Fresno City Council get into heated debate over marijuana cultivation ordinance

The proposed law would limit city residents to grow up to six pot plants in their own home. Anything more and they face a $1,000 fine per plant.


Visalia mayor opposes marijuana dispensaries

Fresno Bee

Although medical marijuana was legalized in California in 1996, the Visalia City Council chose to not allow medical marijuana dispensaries within city limits. Now, with the passage of Proposition 64, which 55% of Tulare County voters opposed, California has moved to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.


Tulare embraces ‘We Don’t Serve Teens’ alcohol campaign

Fresno Bee

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of Tulare County would like to thank the over 600 Tulare County merchants participating in the “We Don’t Serve Teens” Campaign and the businesses and employees that have participated in the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control: Licensee Education on Alcohol and Drug Program.


Fitzgerald: The slow start of city peacemakers

Stockton Record

Another “key staffer” quit Stockton’s Office of Violence Prevention last week. At the OVP, they quit. They get fired. They sue. Do they prevent violence?

That’s the question.


Police in California will soon record the race of everyone they stop

89.3 KPCC

Under a state law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2015, police in California are supposed to record the race of everyone they stop and enter that information into a statewide database.

California inmates 80 and over could get out earlier

Sacramento Bee

Some elderly prison inmates would become eligible for parole sooner under a proposed November 2018 ballot measure cleared to begin gathering signatures Thursday.

DOJ threatens to deny crime-fighting assistance for 4 sanctuary cities

PBS NewsHour
Stockton is one of those cities…





Push To Regulate Next Generation Wireless Tech Hits Fresno, Sacramento

Valley Public Radio
Most smartphone users are used to an immediate internet connection in their pocket, thanks to improved phones and carrier coverage. But increasing use of data and unlimited data plans mean wireless carriers are struggling to meet the demand for a faster, better connection. To address this issue, the next generation of wireless technology has state and local lawmakers at odds.



Trump (finally!) reaches million-jobs mark


The economy added a robust 209,000 jobs in July, the Labor Department reported Friday, down from 231,000 in June. Average hourly private-sector earnings were up 2.5 percent over the previous year. In June, they also were up 2.5 percent. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had predicted the creation of 178,000 jobs, an unemployment rate of 4.3 percent, and an increase in over-the-year hourly earnings of 2.5 percent.

See also:


Fewer Immigrants Mean More Jobs? Not So, Economists Say
When the federal government banned the use of farmworkers from Mexico in 1964, California’s tomato growers did not enlist Americans to harvest the fragile crop. They replaced the lost workers with tomato-picking machines.






EDUCATION ROUNDUP: Students getting ready to go back to school

The Bakersfield Californian

A dozen high school seniors received backpacks and back-to-school supplies Wednesday when they went on a shopping spree at Walmart in East Hills.

Salas to host Stuff the Bus school supply drive

Bakersfield Now

Assemblyman Rudy Salas will be hosting a Stuff the Bus school supply drive on Saturday.


Summer and after-school programs—big in California—fight to survive under Trump


federally funded summer and after-school programs—serving more than 100,000 California students, predominantly middle and high schoolers—will be fighting for survival next month as Congress and President Donald Trump start negotiations over the federal budget.

Bridging the gap

Hanford Sentinel

Going from high school to college can be nerve-wracking, but for students with disabilities, the transition can be even tougher — which is why West Hills College Lemoore’s Disabled Students Program and Services created the ALPS Academy.

English Language Learners: How Your State Is Doing

About 1 out of every 10 public school students in the United States right now is learning to speak English. They’re called ELLs, for “English Language Learners.”

Higher Ed:


CSU will eliminate remedial classes in 2018

Sacramento Bee
Aiming to help thousands of students who get sidetracked in developmental courses that don’t count toward their degrees, California State University will do away next year with traditional remedial education.

See also:

·       Cal State will no longer require placement exams and remedial classes for freshmen  Los Angeles Times

·       One Less Hurdle For California Transfer Students Beginning In 2018  KPBS

California universities fear their affirmative action programs will be targeted

89.3 KPCC

Recent reports that the United States Department of Justice is considering scrutiny of affirmative action programs at universities has California university administrators concerned that federal officials will target some of their programs.


Campus Affirmative Action: Rule of Law Must Trump ‘Social Justice’

National Review
Those who argue that the policies of our public institutions should be racially neutral have the better end of the argument, and always have. But conservatives should spare a moment to give some consideration to the merits — which are real but not dispositive — of the other side of the argument.




Mathis faces firing line over cap-and-trade vote

The Business Journal

When California Assemblyman Devon Mathis first ran for office in 2014, he told voters he was somebody who could reach across the aisle to Democrats to get things done in Sacramento.

State’s leaders came together to combat climate change


The Legislature’s bipartisan vote to reform and extend cap and trade this month was a defining moment for California and our country.

California’s Cap-and-Trade Bill Enhances Existing Tax Incentive

Fox and Hounds Daily

As part of the cap-and-trade deal that was ironed out shortly before the Legislature went on its summer recess, two bills were enacted. AB 617 (Cristina Garcia) dealt with air emissions, while AB 398 (Eduardo Garcia) dealt with the program itself. Contained in AB 398 was an elimination of an existing fee, as well as enhancements to an existing tax incentive for businesses. AB 398 was signed on July 25 and became Chapter 135. As an urgency clause statute, the bill took effect immediately on that same date.


Taking aim at the Clean Air Act, Congress threatens California’s power to fight smog

Los Angeles Times

California is confronting the limits of its power to save federal environmental protections as Congress and the Trump administration take aim at a landmark law the state has relied on for decades to clean the air of noxious smog.


House-passed bill would eviscerate state water, environmental laws

San Francisco Chronicle

Public attention has focused on the Trump administration’s many proposals that would harm our environment and endanger public health. But it would be a mistake for Californians and the media to focus exclusively on White House efforts to roll back existing environmental protections. That’s because, largely under the radar, the Republican-controlled Congress is pursuing its own anti-environment agenda.


On Environment and Energy, Trump Often Picks His Own Facts

The New York Times

But many of the things Mr. Trump says about coal, climate change and the environment bear a strained relationship with the truth. He often cherry-picks facts that prove to be exaggerations when the broader context is considered. He has made inaccurate assertions many times; he is more likely to repeat than to retract.  Here are five of Mr. Trump’s most prominent climate and environmental claims as president…


Schwarzenegger unveils initiative to tweak Trump on climate

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, flexing his muscles in an effort to counter President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, will unveil an ambitious new national effort Friday aimed at providing lawmakers with a comprehensive set of tools to pass substantive climate change legislation at the state and local level.



Brighter lights could be coming to Hanford

Hanford Sentinel

On the consent calendar for council was an agreement with Southern California Edison Company to retrofit all SCE-owned street lights located within the city with LED lights.

Closing in on a clean energy future

Hewlett Foundation

Recently, ClimateWorks Foundation and the Climate Action Tracker published a report, “Faster and Cleaner 2: Kick-starting Global Decarbonization,” that summarized progress in three major sectors of the economy — power, transportation and buildings


Five years after wake up call on refinery safety, more work needed

San Francisco Chronicle

“Only nonstop labor and community organizing can make oil refineries less harmful to their own workers, air quality, community health and the environment in general.”



Sacramento Bee

The move by Anthem, the nation’s second-largest health insurer, means about 153,000 Californians like Daitchman, who buy insurance on the California exchange, must look for new plans for 2018. That’s more than 10 percent of Covered California’s total enrollment of 1.4 million. Fewer than half of Anthem policyholders on the exchange — about 108,000 customers in the California marketplace — will be able to renew their Anthem policies.

Want a better Obamacare rate? You may have to call the movers 

Sacramento Bee

According to Covered California, the disparity reflects the number of insurance carriers serving a particular area as well as the number of providers. Rural areas often have less competition between providers, and there’s also less coordination of care – which helps keep costs down – between the providers that do exist.


Health-Care Reform Lives: Bipartisan Group Seeks Solutions

National Review

Is legislative health-care reform really dead?  Most of Congress seems to think so, and President Trump agrees, if his irate tweets about taking executive action to fix health care on his own are any indication. But the fact remains that Obamacare exchanges are still struggling all across the country. While a GOP-led repeal bill might not be on the table again anytime in the near future, some lawmakers continue to float possible solutions.

The real barrier to single payer health care

Sacramento Bee

With Covered California announcing this week that health insurance premiums will jump an average of 12.5 percent next year, and possibly far more depending on actions in Washington, it’s worth repeating that a real cure for Californians, Senate Bill 562, is still achievable this year.


Fresno doctor in trouble for text messages sent to teen

Fresno Bee

The Medical Board of California is accusing a Fresno cardiologist of professional misconduct for sending harassing telephone text messages to a teenage girl who was participating in the UCSF Fresno Doctors Academy Program.  Dr. Khoi Manh Le pleaded no contest on March 6 in Fresno County Superior Court to one count of “anonymous telephone calls,” a misdemeanor, for sending “multiple annoying messages via electronic device” to a girl under 18 in July 2015.


Doctors still don’t have to tell you about their misconduct

89.3 KPCC

For the second year in a row, a bill that would have required doctors placed on probation for certain offenses to notify their patients has died in the state legislature.


Hanford Sentinel

Is there a legal basis in California to dispute the charge for transporting a minor for a non-life threatening condition without parental permission? When children are brought into a hospital ER, in non-life threatening situations, every effort to contact a responsible adult is attempted before doing anything. Any guidance or suggestions is appreciated.”


This entrepreneur says health care for all starts with keeping local talent

PBS NewsHour

A lesson for the Valley?



ICE agents asked to leave CA labor offices

The Sacramento Bee

California’s top labor law enforcer wants federal immigration agents to stay away from offices where state investigators weigh claims about underpaid employees and workplace retaliation. Labor Commissioner Julie Su last month directed her staff to turn away Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents unless the federal officers have warrants.


Hispanic Republicans worry Trump’s immigration plan will drive voters away

Sacramento Bee
Latino Republicans are warning anew about the political perils of Trump’s hardline position — for him, and for the rest of the party.


Does Trump want to Make America White Again?

Sacramento Bee

It would be good for the economy if more immigrants coming to America had higher skills.  But when that idea is tied to slashing the total number of legal immigrants in half, keeping families apart and putting English speakers at the front of the line, it goes against America’s history as a nation where all kinds of people from all over the globe can seek their dreams. That’s especially true in California, home to one-fourth of the nation’s immigrants, who have helped build the state’s powerful economy.


Stockton says it won’t change immigration enforcement policy, even under Trump scrutiny 

Sacramento Bee

Stockton officials said the city will not change its policies toward undocumented immigrants following U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement Thursday morning that cities will not receive resources from a federal public safety program unless they cooperate with federal immigration enforcement.

$15 billion border bill wouldn’t fund a wall 


Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) and three other Senate Republicans rolled out legislation on Thursday making it clear that, in their view, a stand-alone wall running the length of the U.S.-Mexico border — a core Trump campaign promise — isn’t the answer.


Instead of cutting legal immigration in half over a decade, let’s increase it


I want to make sure I understand this. President Trump is supporting an immigration bill from GOP Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue that would replace, as The New York Times explains, “a system that favors family ties in deciding who can legally move to the United States with one based on skills and employability.”  So more a merit-based system that gives an edge to those who have advanced skill and restricts those who don’t.


Analysis: Would the U.S. benefit from a merit-based immigration system?

PBS NewsHour

Jennifer Hunt, a professor of economics at Rutgers and former chief economist at the Department of Labor, has studied the U.S. immigration system and its effects on the U.S. economy extensively. We are publishing her memo on a points-based system in collaboration with EconoFact, a nonpartisan economic publication to which she regularly contributes.


Fewer Immigrants Mean More Jobs? Not So, Economists Say
When the federal government banned the use of farmworkers from Mexico in 1964, California’s tomato growers did not enlist Americans to harvest the fragile crop. They replaced the lost workers with tomato-picking machines.


Land Use:


Hanford Sentinel

If you can plop down a critical U.S. Navy base 120 miles from the ocean, why scratch your head when you hear about a 155-acre competitive surfing event center, a ”Surf Ranch” located near Lemoore?

Google village property deals resume in downtown San Jose 

San Jose Mercury News

Google’s development partner for a game-changing proposed transit village near Diridon Station in downtown San Jose has scooped up another property that would be used for the vast project, the seller confirmed Thursday.




Families in Oakhurst struggling to find homes to rent

Madera County Supervisor Tom Wheeler said as soon as a new house comes on the market, they are quickly being bought to turn into a vacation rental. He also said the tree mortality is bringing more workers to the area for work.


Housing negotiations move ahead during legislative recess

Capitol Public Radio
California lawmakers are on summer recess right now, but while they’re away, Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders are putting the finishing touches on a package of bills to address the state’s housing crisis.


High prices and student loans put housing out of reach, readers say

Los Angeles Times

Courtney Pickard is a real estate agent who holds an MBA from Loyola Marymount University and makes around $100,000 a year. But Pickard, 27, said she can’t buy a house.



Think California Owes You Money For Damages? Here’s How To Seek Payment. 

Capital Public Radio

A Butte County walnut farmer has filed a $15 million claim with the state of California as a result of the Oroville Dam’s spillway failure this year. That precursor to a lawsuit got us wondering: How do you sue the state? Turns out it’s not that easy. Here’s how the process works.




These Fresno businesses say overpass closure cripples commerce

Fresno Bee
It’s been a rough few months for businesses in the area of Clinton and Weber avenues, just east of Highway 99.  (Think about making them a visit…)


Federal court avoids big issue for California bullet train

89.3 KPCC

A federal appeals court on Wednesday refused to weigh in on a thorny issue that could complicate California’s plans for a $64 billion bullet train between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Downtown Fresno’s Tuolumne Street Bridge reopens Friday

The Business Journal

A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held in commemoration of the Tuolumne Street Bridge reopening Friday at 9 a.m.


Hyperloop One achieves second milestone this year — nearly 200 mph

SJ Mercury

Los Angeles-based Hyperloop One’s electromagnetically propelled passenger pod reached nearly 200 mph in its most recent milestone announced Wednesday.

Uber Freight expands trucking service to California, other states 

San Francisco Chronicle

But since March they’ve been trying out Uber Freight, a service from San Francisco’s Uber that connects truck drivers to loads, much as the company matches Uber drivers with passengers. The Gilmores can simply look at the Uber Freight app, view loads with set pricing, and select one that matches Edwin’s preference to stick to about 600 miles from home.


Electric-Car Maker Faraday Secures Rescue Loan 

Wall Street Journal

Faraday Future, a high-profile electric-car startup, has pledged its corporate headquarters in Los Angeles as collateral to secure a rescue loan intended to keep the lights on while it seeks new investors, according to people familiar with the matter.

Fox: Car Wars 

Fox and Hounds

Government efforts to upend California’s car culture often face stiff opposition from the public. Look no farther than the battle in the state’s big cities over road lane reductions or even banning cars from vital arteries.



$15 Million Claim Filed For Damages From Oroville Dam Spillway Incident

The operators of a Walnut farm in Butte County say flooding from the Oroville Dam emergency in February cost them $15 million due to damaged trees, equipment, and buildings.


How Much Drinking Water Has California Lost to Oil Industry Waste? No One Knows


California survived its historic drought, in large part by using groundwater. It was a lifeline in the Central Valley, where it was the only source of water for many farmers.


Walnut farmers file $15-million claim against California for Oroville Dan Crisis

Los Angeles Times

Two Butte County farmers have filed a $15-million claim against the state of California, claiming they lost valuable walnut trees as a result of the Oroville Reservoir crisis in February.




Trump’s ‘local milk people’ comment boggles, amuses online posters

Fresno Bee
Online wags are milking a seemingly incongruous reference by President Donald Trump to “local milk people” in a transcript of a Jan. 27 call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull made public Thursday.

There’s ‘clay therapy’ and local art at this ArtHop venue

Fresno Bee
In addition to the weekly classes on offer, the studio is home to a creative space for local ceramic artists. It also hosts an ArtHop exhibit every month.