August 6, 2018






Support from two U.S. presidents figures in Denham, Harder race

Modesto Bee

Former president Barack Obama endorsed Josh Harder in his bid to unseat Rep. Jeff Denham.


City salaries need better oversight, says consultant

Madera Tribune

A consultant’s report that says, in short, that the City of Madera pays higher management salaries overall than do other cities in the Central Valley — also known as the “market median” — was the focus of a special report at Wednesday’s City Council meeting.

See also:

     Residents scold council over salaries Madera Tribune

     Transparency should start now Madera Tribune

Tulare Councilman Greg Nunley has failed to pay the city a lot of money, according to lawsuit

Visalia Times-Delta

A lawsuit alleges Tulare Councilman Greg Nunley, a local developer when he's not on dais, failed to pay development impact fees totaling nearly $500,000.


Recall drive targets Lemoore Council member Holly Blair

Hanford Sentinel

The Committee to Recall Blair received approval Wednesday from the Lemoore elections office to proceed with its motion to recall Lemoore City Council member Holly Blair.


Hanford Council to hold special meeting Tuesday

Hanford Sentinel

While National Night Out is in full swing at Civic Center Park on Tuesday, the Hanford City Council will meet briefly to hold a public hearing concerning landscape assessment districts.


Sikh man beaten, told to “go back to your country” in Keyes; hate crime investigated

Modesto Bee

A Sikh man was beaten and a racist message spray-painted onto his truck this week in Keyes in what the Stanislaus Sheriff’s Department is calling a “heinous” hate crime.

See also:

      Sikh man attacked, told to go back to country while posting campaign signs supporting GOP Cong Denham TheHill


KLEA rejects contract offer from Board of Supervisors

Bakersfield Californian

Kern Law Enforcement Association has rejected a tentative contract offer from the Kern County Board of Supervisors.


City seeks funds for proposed bike path along Friant-Kern Canal

Bakersfield Californian

A new bike path along the Friant-Kern Canal could be in Bakersfield’s future.




Jerry Brown Has Months To Complete His Father’s Legacy On Water. He Just Might Succeed.

Sacramento Bee

Nearly six decades ago, shortly after becoming governor, Pat Brown persuaded the Legislature and voters to approve one of the nation’s largest public works projects, the State Water Plan.

See also:

      Walters: Warm and fuzzy book about Browns falls short CALmatters


The Five Biggest Battles During The California Legislature’s Final Month

Four furious weeks of deadline pressure await California lawmakers as they return to the state Capitol Monday after their month-long summer recess


GOP candidate for California governor John Cox shares his tax returns — partially

Los Angeles Times

Republican candidate for governor John Cox earned more than $2.1 million in 2016 and 2017, mostly from investments in apartment buildings in the Midwest, according to abbreviated portions of his tax returns released by his campaign Friday.

See also:

      Cox releases new ad blaming the ‘political class’ for California's ills Los Angeles Times


Census takers could miss counting millions of Californians, researchers say

Los Angeles Times

The U.S. Census Bureau stands to undercount millions of Californians across the state in its 2020 survey, an error that could result in less federal funding or the loss of a congressional seat, according to a new analysis by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California.

See also:

      Speak out now against the citizenship question on the 2020 census The Hill

      California Urges Resistance to Census Citizenship Question US News


Kevin de León’s money


State Sen. Kevin de León, challenging U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, ended June with a mere $425,963 in the bank and $83,000 in unpaid bills, his latest campaign finance report shows. That’s not enough to run an Assembly district race. Feinstein had $3.7 million in her campaign account.




Commission Launched by President Trump Finds No Widespread Voter Fraud in 2016 Election

Time Inc.

The now-disbanded voting integrity commission launched by the Trump administration to investigate the 2016 presidential election uncovered no evidence to support the president’s claims of widespread voter fraud, according to an analysis of administration documents released.

See also:

      Report: Trump commission did not find widespread voter fraud PBS

      Voter suppression, not fraud, looms large in U.S. elections Brookings

      Judge's ruling invalidates FEC regulation allowing anonymous donations to 'dark money' groups Politico

     Trump’s ‘bizarre’ voter fraud panel found none, former member Matthew Dunlap says The Washington Post

     EDITORIAL: Overzealous voter purges are undermining our democracy  Los Angeles Times


Political reforms could mean better elections and better candidates

Fresno Bee

Pew surveys show that ideological entrenchment within each party is alienating moderate voters. In effect, the two parties are burning each other’s tents to the ground.


Trump denies his son is at legal risk, yet concedes the 2016 meeting was to get dirt from Russians on Clinton

Los Angeles Times

The president is defending his son's participation in the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Kremlin-connected Russians even as he acknowledges that the gathering's purpose was to receive dirt on Hillary Clinton.

See also:

     Three Leaders Are Better Than One Weekly Standard


‘Never In My Wildest Dreams’: GOP Candidates Find Key to Winning Trump’s Strong Praise

Wall Street Journal

At high-stakes rallies, Republican hopefuls shower president with compliments, hoping he returns the favor


Democratic Aides on Hill Sour on Pelosi, Survey Finds

Roll Call

In a sign of the growing unrest on the left, a plurality of Democratic congressional aides surveyed by CQ Roll Call last month said the party should replace Nancy Pelosi as leader whether Democrats win a House majority in November or not.


Kavanaugh aside, consider what’s happening to America’s courts


Russell Wheeler argues that assaults on judicial norms from both political parties have degraded the U.S. judiciary’s confirmation process, leaving it in a weak position to fulfill its main duty of resolving civil and criminal cases.

See also:

       Trump's Supreme Court might overturn a doctrine, but that won't destroy the 'administrative state' Los Angeles Times




Here’s an idea: Divide California into three time zones

Fresno Bee

Do you know what time it is, California? It’s time for new thinking about time, and time zones. By putting Proposition 7 on November’s ballot, the state Legislature has granted us this opportunity to rethink our whole relationship to time.


Against the tyranny of the majority - The father of liberalism

The Economist

John Stuart Mill's warning still resonates today.


Opinion: Calling The Press The Enemy Of The People Is A Menacing Move


"Enemy of the people" is an incendiary phrase. It's been uttered by some of history's most vicious thugs — Robespierre, Goebbels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao — to vilify their opponents; who were often murdered.

See also:

      Opinion | Trump Will Have Blood on His Hands The New York Times

     A Government Press Corps Wall Street Journal


I was a real Republican, before the 'wingnuts' took over my party

USA Today

About the same time the Trump administration had perfected its cruelty against families and children, the Hamilton County Republican Party in Cincinnati decided to hand out bumper stickers proclaiming, "Trump 2020."


Pro Wrestlers Are Natural Republicans

Wall Street Journal

It’s one of the most free-market-oriented industries anywhere.


Trump’s worst political nightmare? Democrats with subpoena power.

Washington Post

A Democratic takeover of either congressional chamber could quickly set off investigations into the president’s personal finances, not to mention his administration’s policy decisions.


What’s Good for Democracy Is Also Good for Democrats

New York Times

Mr. Bonica is a political scientist at Stanford whose work sits at the intersection between data science and politics.


America is sacrificing the future

Washington Post

The future’s vital, and only, constituency is the conscience of the present.


Vladimir Putin’s goal was to destabilize the United States. He’s succeeding.

Washington Post

And Trump is helping (regardless of why).


An Asian American woman’s tweets ignite a debate: Is it okay to make fun of white people online?

Washington Post

The writer, hired by the New York Times, said the tweets were a satirical response to people who harassed her online.


An exhilarating attempt to stop partisan gerrymandering

Washington Post

Grass-roots groups are popping up nationwide to take on partisan redistricting, and that’s good news.


It’s True: Trump Is Lying More, and He’s Doing It on Purpose

The New Yorker

Should Donald Trump’s advisers share the blame for his unprecedented record of untruths—or is the President alone accountable?

Tech Firms, Embattled Over Privacy, Warm to Federal Regulation

Wall Street Journal

Industry coalitions are working with policymakers to shape potential laws they have long opposed 




Bees are at risk from common crop pesticides, California study finds

The Sacramento Bee

California farmers could face more restrictions on how they combat crop-eating insects after a state report concluded that one class of pesticide poses a significant risk to bees that pollinate almonds and other crops.


Kern Public Health drives toward a less hungry future with innovative program

Bakersfield Californian

Bakersfield has a hunger problem. The city ranks first in the nation with the most people in a metropolitan area who cannot afford to buy the food they need, according to the national nonprofit organization Food Research and Action Center.


California's salmon industry fears it will be wiped out by Trump

Los Angeles Times

Heather Sears has been fishing for salmon out of this unassuming coastal community for nearly two decades. This year, for the first time since she arrived in 1999, she won’t be going out to sea.


CA to Trump: Help state’s farmers


Ten California Congress members sent a letter to the Trump administration warning that the escalating trade war is damaging farm exports. Some could pay a price if they can’t persuade Trump to come to farmers’ aid.


Trump's trade announcements barely ease treacherous path farmers face


The ice between the United States and the European Union on the trade front may be beginning to thaw. 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.






Brown: Does killer understand the evil he committed?


Once again, David Weidert pleaded for his release from a life sentence for an awful murder he committed in 1980 when he was 18. As he did in 2015, Gov. Jerry Brown acknowledged Weidert improved himself while behind bars and has been discipline free.


U.S. appeals court rejects challenges to California gun laws


A federal appeals court on Friday upheld the constitutionality of two California laws restricting the ability of people to buy and carry firearms, rejecting appeals by gun rights advocates.

See also:

      After Parkland, States Pass 50 New Gun-Control Laws PEW


The Pot Breathalyzer Is Here. Maybe


As legalization of recreational and medical marijuana continues to expand, police across the country are more concerned than ever about stoned drivers taking to the nation's roads and freeways, endangering lives.


EDITORIAL: A shooting left two dead, but one of Fresno’s worst neighborhoods is improving

Fresno Bee

Violence is not new at West Shaw Estates. Yet despite the latest slayings there, West Shaw Estates has the potential to be a model for improving other crime-ridden neighborhoods in Fresno.


Public Safety:


COS taking applications for police academy

Hanford Sentinel

There is still time to sign-up to attend the Tulare/Kings Police Academy course at the College of the Sequoias, Hanford Educational Center, next spring.


Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra says California will join lawsuit to block 3-D-printed guns

Los Angeles Times

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra announced Thursday that the state will join a lawsuit filed against the Trump administration to block the release of blueprints for 3-D-printed guns.




Wildfire alerts didn’t reach everybody in danger. Gov. Brown is open to changes

Sacramento Bee

California’s intensifying wildfires, which have killed at least 50 people since October, have sparked forceful calls by state lawmakers to improve emergency alert systems that the public relies on to be notified of danger during disasters.

See also:

      California's deadly wildfires to be major focus of attention as Legislature return to work Los Angeles Times

      Brown: New money needed to boost 911 system Capitol Weekly

      California governor asks Trump for wildfire aid UPI

      AP News: Brown asks Trump for wildfire aid as state battles 17 blazes AP

      Congress sending 7 firefighting planes to California, but they won’t help this year McClatchy DC


Ferguson Fire Now the Biggest in Sierra National Forest History

AP News

Officials overseeing the effort against the deadly Ferguson Fire said Monday morning that it is the largest wildfire in Sierra National Forest history.

See also:

      Yosemite Valley, Wawona closed ‘indefinitely’ as Ferguson Fire approaches 90,000 acres Fresno Bee

      Yosemite Valley, Wawona closed ‘indefinitely’ as Ferguson Fire approaches 90,000 acres Sierra Star

     Yosemite Valley and sections of park remain closed indefinitely due to Ferguson Fire ABC30

      Crews continue battle for third week as Ferguson Fire jumps in size abc30

     Overnight winds cause Ferguson blaze to explode in size  ABC30

     Drones helping to fight wildfires in California ABC30

     Yosemite Park to be closed Madera Tribune

     California is on fire, burning with a vengeance Madera Tribune

     Trump: CA wildfires worse because rivers flow to ocean Visalia Times-Delta

      Smoke, power outages force mandatory evacuation for Yosemite Valley Visalia Times-Delta

     249 nights away at California fires: Firefighter families cope with a ‘new normal’ Sacramento Bee

     Indefinite Closures At Yosemite As Ferguson Fire Containment Fluctuates KMJ

     Sections of Yosemite National Park closed ‘indefinitely’ due to fire San Francisco Chronicle

     Trump tweet blaming water diversion for fires baffles experts San Francisco Chronicle

     Wildfires have changed. The technology to fight them hasn’t San Francisco Chronicle

     Scientists see fingerprints of climate change all over wildfires San Francisco Chronicle

      California fire explodes in size over weekend, is now 4th largest in state history CNN

      Fire siege leaves Yosemite empty of humans, filled with smoke during peak summer season Los Angeles Times

     Yes, humans have made wildfires like the Carr fire worse. Here’s how. The Washington Post


PG&E apprentice lineman killed in Carr Fire; seventh wildfire death

Fresno Bee

The Carr Fire in Shasta County, already the sixth most devastating fire in state history in terms of structural damage, claimed a seventh human victim Saturday.

See Also:

     Fallen firefighter honored in Fresno. ‘There will be a baby Hughes’ Fresno Bee

     Many pay respects at touching tribute to fallen firefighter Brian Hughes in Downtown Fresno ABC30

     ‘Thank You!’ Two words that so many want to say to those who put life on line for us Sierra Star


Firefighters work through Sunday to contain Tarina Fire

Bakersfield Californian

The Kern County Fire Department worked through Sunday to contain the Tarina Fire, which began Friday at Breckenridge Road near Tarina Court. KCFD gave an update Sunday evening that remaining crews expected 100 percent containment by 7 p.m.

See Also:

     Firefighters respond to grass fire on Breckenridge Road Bakersfield Californian


Mendocino Complex fire keeps growing: 68 homes are destroyed and more evacuations ordered

Los Angeles Times

The Mendocino Complex fire continued to grow at an alarming rate, burning more than 266,000 acres by Sunday morning and becoming the fourth-largest in California history.


California timber industry may be a 'piece of the puzzle' to help reduce state's raging wildfires


As California looks for answers to reduce wildfire risk, there's more debate about the thinning overly dense forest lands.


Burning money: The facts on California's soaring cost to fight wildfires

PolitiFact California

California’s current year-round fire season is producing more extreme and destructive blazes than in the past.






California Gov. Jerry Brown predicts recession within two years

Although he spent most of the time talking about wildfires and climate change, Gov. Jerry Brown strayed into the world of economics while talking to reporters the other day at the state emergency center and warned of another recession lurking on the horizon.


Once again, California lawmakers won’t crack down on payday lenders


California now has more payday lenders than it does McDonald’s. While some states have restricted their operations, California’s Legislature keeps burying bills that aim to crack down on predatory lending.


‘Too Little Too Late’: Bankruptcy Booms Among Older Americans

New York Times

For a rapidly growing share of older Americans, traditional ideas about life in retirement are being upended by a dismal reality: bankruptcy.


Trump is losing the trade war, according to his favorite measure

Business Insider

President Donald Trump is losing  his trade wars  — at least according to his favorite measure of success.

See also:

     U.S. Trade Gap Widened in June Wall Street Journal

     Value Stocks Stage a Rebound Wall Street Journal

      California Trade Report for June 2018 California Center For the Jobs & The Economy


Trump makes bizarre claim that tariffs will help pay down the massive U.S. debt

Washington Post

However, the money raised from the tariffs does little to counterbalance all the money Trump has added to the debt.


When Banks Bailed Out the Government

Wall Street Journal

Citigroup is ‘too big to fail.’ Its predecessor was once responsible enough to weather a panic.


Profits Surge at Big U.S. Firms

Wall Street Journal

Strong economy and tax cuts fuel gains and embolden companies to raise prices


Why Trillion-Dollar Deficits Could Be the New Normal

Wall Street Journal

Trump administration’s plan to keep deficits in check doesn’t take into account possible economic slowdown and recession.


U.S. Manufacturing Activity Loses Momentum

Wall Street Journal

Activity is still expanding at a healthy rate, but the latest numbers were weaker than what many economists had expected




U.S. Workers Get Biggest Pay Increase in Nearly a Decade

Wall Street Journal

Employment cost index, which measures wages and benefits, grew 2.8% in the 12 months to last month.

See also:

      Fewer Americans are making more than their parents did—especially if they grew up in the middle class Brookings


Jobs boom favors Democratic counties, not Trump strongholds

The Sacramento Bee

The United States is on pace to add about 2.6 million jobs this year under President Donald Trump's watch. Yet the bulk of the hiring has occurred in bastions of Democratic voters rather than in the Republican counties that put Trump in the White House.

See also:

      The recent rebound in prime-age labor force participation Brookings


With unemployment so low, where are the workers coming from?


The Labor Department announced Friday that 157,000 jobs were created in July.

See also:

      Unemployment is at rock bottom, so why haven’t companies had to pay workers more? NPR

     The recent rebound in prime-age labor force participation Brookings


Who is an employee? New standard for 2 million workers spurs clash at State Capitol

Sacramento Bee

A unanimous California Supreme Court ruling on independent contractors in April adopted a new “ABC test” for defining employees, throwing nearly three decades of legal precedent up in the air.

See also:

      Gig Firms Ask California Dems to Rescue Them From Court Ruling Bloomberg


Airline pilots protest a study on allowing cargo planes to be operated by only one pilot with remote help

Los Angeles Times

Unions representing nearly 50 commercial airlines have launched a protest against federal legislation to study the idea of putting cargo planes in the hands of only one pilot with the help of remote-control pilots on the ground.


Making America Work Again

Wall Street Journal

With better incentives, millions on the sidelines could join the workforce.



Ninth Circuit Voids “No Re-Hire” Provision in Settlement Agreement Between Employer and Former Employee


In Golden v. California Emergency Physicians Medical Group, et al., a divided Ninth Circuit panel held that a settlement agreement between a doctor and his former employer violated Cal. Prof. & Bus. Code § 16600 because a “no re-hire” provision of the agreement placed a “restraint of a substantial character” on the doctor’s medical practice.


Is Automation Labor-Displacing? Productivity Growth, Employment, and the Labor Share


Many technological innovations replace workers with machines, but this capital-labor substitution need not reduce aggregate labor demand because it simultaneously induces four countervailing responses: own-industry output effects; cross-industry input–output effects; between-industry shifts; and final demand effects.






Dear poverty: Education is the weapon to defeat you

Fresno Bee

Dear poverty: You have a paralyzing stranglehold on more than 45 million Americans, 13.3 million of which are children. As educators, we are in the business of creating the resilient child in order to defeat you.


Ceres students have long performed in gyms and cafeterias. A real theater is coming

Modesto Bee

Student performers from all over Ceres will be able to use a 400-seat theater to be built at Central Valley High School.


Help local second graders practice reading

Bakersfield Californian

The Kern County Superintendent of Schools is seeking volunteers for the Kern County Community Reading Project to work with second graders one day a week on their reading.


Parents Volunteering at School Should Tailor Skills to Different Stages

Wall Street Journal

Fewer parents are volunteering at their children’s schools just as new research shows it yields benefits from better grades to lower rates of depression


Pay teachers more. Get rid of the duds. How to cultivate top-notch educators in California?

Sacramento Bee

Everyone agrees that talented and committed teachers can have a huge impact on their students’ lives.


Two Events Frame California Educational Crisis


Two back-to-back events last month frame California’s educational conundrum.


Schools, illiteracy and poverty


A suit can proceed challenging California schools over a failure to teach African-American and Latino kids to read. Eleven of the 26 lowest performing school districts in America are in California, the suit says.


California High School Grad Rate Drops With New Methodology


82.7 percent in Class 2017 got their diplomas; racial, ethnic gaps are wide.


Do certain school policies improve outcomes for disadvantaged students?


As educational achievement gaps continue to widen between economically advantaged and disadvantaged students, David Figlio and Krzysztof Karbownik find that certain school policies and practices—like multi-age classrooms or summer school—often have divergent and even opposing impacts on the performance of students from different socio-economic backgrounds.


Forget The Lies In The State Schools Superintendent’s Race

Mercury News

One of the unfortunate side effects of the 2016 national election is that lying has become distressingly normal in public debate today. Media outlets have tracked thousands of lies coming from the president and the White House.


A California Election Offers A Glimmer Of Hope For Education Reform

National Review

November’s congressional elections will decide which party will control a narcoleptic institution that is uninterested in performing fundamental functions: Only 43 of the 535 House and Senate seats — ten in the Senate, 33 in the House — are occupied by legislators who were serving in 1996, the last time Congress obeyed the law requiring it to pass all appropriations bills before the October 1 beginning of the fiscal year.


Higher Ed:


Back to school budgeting tips for college students

Fresno Bee

School is in and tuition is due. Here are 5 easy ways you can save money this school year.


Extreme Registration starts for students looking to enroll in community college


Students looking to enroll in community college this spring semester can head out to several locations Friday for what's called Extreme Registration.


California’s Online Community College Will Break New Ground In Higher Ed


Plans for college blend influences from universities, companies and for-profit colleges.


Public Universities: State Funding Cuts Don’t Equal Tuition Hikes

National Review

New research from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston finds “strong evidence” that public universities raise tuition in response to state funding cuts.






California's destructive summer brings blunt talk about climate change

Los Angeles Times

At Scripps Pier in San Diego, the surface water reached the highest temperature in 102 years of records, 78.8 degrees.


World's Hottest Rain Fell in California, Setting New Record


Recently, the world’s hottest rain fell from the sky in California. It was 119 degrees (Fahrenheit) on July 24 in Imperial, California when it rained, according to weather expert Jeff Masters, prompting the hottest ever rainfall.


Fresno’s triple-digit temperature streak broken Sunday

Fresno Bee

Sunday marked the coolest day in Fresno in about a month, ending a record-breaking 30-day streak of triple-digit temperatures.


Poor air quality from Ferguson Fire has people changing routines


For some people just breathing is difficult due to the wildfire smoke while others are perfectly fine but a recent Action News Poll by Survey USA just about everyone is staying indoors.


City seeks funds for proposed bike path along Friant-Kern Canal

Bakersfield Californian

The City of Bakersfield recently applied for $11.6 million in state grants with the hopes of funding three projects with the money, including a six-mile bike route that would follow the Friant-Kern Canal, connecting 7th Standard Road to the Kern River Parkway.


How not to recycle

Bakersfield Californian

The original intentions may have been good, but not one of the items scattered on the floor of a South Mount Vernon Avenue recycling processing center the other day belonged there.


The marvel of LED lighting is now a global blight to health


Light pollution is often characterized as a soft issue in environmentalism.


EDITORIAL: Going strawless is good, but it won't save the planet. Let's go even further

Los Angeles Times

Here’s a reality check: Going strawless is not going to stop the flow of plastic trash into our landfills, streets and oceans.


EDITORIAL: These teens are trying to save the world — by suing the US government

San Francisco Chronicle

A group of teenagers and children took the federal government to court, saying it hadn’t done enough to protect them against climate change.




U.S. Officials Push New Penalties for Hackers of Electrical Grid

Wall Street Journal

Red line set for cyberattacks on infrastructure after Russian agents penetrated utility control rooms

See also:

      Russia has infiltrated the United States' electric grid, but only as a warning Axios


California Energy Price Data for July 2018

CA Center for Jobs and The Economy



California’s huge energy decision: link its grid to its neighbors, or stay autonomous?


The state must decide how jealously to guard its clean energy progress.






Whistleblower to share in $65-million settlement from Prime Healthcare in Medicare overbilling case

Los Angeles Times

A San Diego whistleblower will receive $17.2 million with the settlement of a 7-year-old false claims lawsuit against Prime Health Care regarding overbilling for Medicare services at 14 California hospitals.


Citing free speech rights, anti-vaccine activists sue state senator for blocking them on Twitter

Los Angeles Times

A pair of anti-vaccine activists recently filed a lawsuit against a state senator who authored a controversial vaccine law for blocking the activists on Twitter, arguing that it limited their 1st Amendment rights.

Poll: U.S. Smoking Rate Falls To Historic Low [Infographic]


Between the 1940s and the 1970s, the U.S. smoking rate remained relatively stable with about two in five adults saying they smoked a cigarette in the past week. It reached a peak of 45 percent in 1954 and despite the federal government issuing reports about the health hazards caused by smoking in the 1960s, it was still 43 percent in 1972. Progress was made in the late 1970s with the smoking rate falling to 36 percent in 1977. It finally dropped below 30 percent in 1989.


Tenfold Risk Of Preterm Birth For Moms With Lowest Omega-3 Levels, Harvard Study Finds


Danish women with the lowest levels of the fatty acids EPA and DHA in their blood in the first two trimesters of pregnancy were at much higher risk for giving birth prematurely.


Red States May Be Ready to Expand Medicaid — In Exchange for Work


Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin says he doesn’t want more able-bodied poor people to get Medicaid in his state unless a portion of them are required to work.


Human Services:


California lawmakers move against 'junk' health insurance


Legislators in California appear ready to counter a new Trump administration move, this time on health insurance.


On Point: Health Care, And The Price Tag On Bernie Sanders' 'Medicare For All' Plan


Did a conservative think tank just give Bernie Sanders the evidence for his "Medicare for All" plan? We’ll ask them and Sanders.


I thought I knew how to work the American health care system. Then I got pregnant.

Modesto Bee

I’d written about health care for seven years. Worked on the business side of a clinic for two years.




Judge reaffirms ruling that DACA must resume, but gives government time to appeal

Los Angeles Times

A federal judge has reaffirmed his ruling that the Trump administration must reinstate the program that has shielded hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation.


California considers cutting ties to firms carrying out Trump’s immigration policies


Although California can’t do much to block the Trump administration’s controversial immigration policies, opponents in the “Resistance State” keep finding ways to chip away at their foundations.

See also:

      Cities, States Resist — and Assist — Immigration Crackdown in New Ways PEW


Parents Were Targeted Under The "Zero Tolerance" Policy, A New Analysis Of Immigration Data Finds

Buzz Feed

The Trump administration said family separation was the result of a "zero tolerance" prosecution strategy. But a new analysis shows that parents with children were the ones sent to court, while adults without kids weren't.




Land Use:


Bakersfield arch getting crowded out by new building

Bakersfield Californian

Is it just me, or is the new headquarters of Kern Health Systems, the building going up on Buck Owens Boulevard just across Sillect Road from the Crystal Palace, uncomfortably and unnecessarily close to the iconic Bakersfield arch?


Murals multiply across Bakersfield's cityscape

Bakersfield Californian

Can you name your favorite mural in Bakersfield?


City seeks funds for proposed bike path along Friant-Kern Canal

Bakersfield Californian

A new bike path along the Friant-Kern Canal could be in Bakersfield’s future.




Award to rehabilitate houses and wells

Madera Tribune

SF Gate

Madera County has been awarded $1 million to be used for housing and well rehabilitation. The rehabilitation program will be focused specifically on low-income families who need assistance in making repairs and general property improvements.


Program offers homes without a required down payment

Bakersfield Californian

Self-Help Enterprises held an orientation on for families interested in participating in its Self-Help Housing Program. Through the program, those who meet the requirements will get a home without having to make a down payment.


Big money already entering California rent control campaign

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.


60% of tech workers in survey say they can’t afford a home in the Bay Area

SF Gate

Bay Area real estate is too expensive even for high paid tech workers, says a Team Blind survey. And indeed, these simple homes with huge price tags demonstrate the issue.  What would High Speed Rail and/or the ACE train mean for Bay Area tech workers looking for affordable housing?

See also

     The New Housing Crisis: Shut Out Of The Market NPR


Prop 1 is not the way to address affordable housing problem

San Diego Union-Tribune

An argument against Prop 1 is that instead of throwing money at the problem, legislators should address structural reforms and stop doing such things as imposing solar panels on new developments that make home ownership more expensive.


Opinion: Kamala Harris has a terrible idea to lower the high cost of renting


Rent control or tax credits won’t fix the affordability problem; only more houses will




Claims, lawsuits cost Modesto $2.3 million in past year

Modesto Bee

Modesto paid $2.3 million in its last budget year to resolve claims, lawsuits and other actions brought against it, including one in which a car stored at the police evidence lot was broken into and damaged.


Backers of California's gas tax repeal don't have much campaign cash left in the tank

Los Angeles Times

Supporters of an effort to repeal California’s fuel tax increase are looking for someone to fill the tank of their campaign bank account as new reports show the effort to pass Proposition 6 has spent most of the money it has raised.


California's Soda Tax Ban Stalled A Grassroots Movement, But Didn't Kill It

California Business Roundtable

After more than a decade of failed attempts at both the state and local levels to impose soda taxes, health advocates scored a watershed victory in 2014 when Berkeley voters approved by a two-thirds majority a one-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary beverages sold within the city limits. It was the first city in the nation to do so.


Despite law, politicians use taxpayer funds for campaigns


Government Code Section 8314 is unambiguous, declaring, “It is unlawful for any elected state or local officer, including any state or local appointee, employee, or consultant, to use or permit others to use public resources for a campaign activity, or personal or other purposes which are not authorized by law.”


California's Tax War On Business Owners


Over the years, various studies have found that about 70% of the wealth in the United States is in the hands of families that own middle market companies. 


Is State Legislature Hampering CalPERS, CalSTRS?

Public CEO

The California Public Employees Retirement System and the California State Teachers Retirement System recently announced that they had exceeded their investment goals by at least 1 percentage point in fiscal 2017-18, with CalPERS citing annual gains of 8.6 percent and CalSTRS reporting 9 percent returns.

See also:

     Opinion: California Faces Crushing Pension Debt That Only Tax Hikes May Solve  Times of San Diego


Unions Take a Hit After Supreme Court Ruling

Wall Street Journal

States are ordered to stop collecting millions of dollars in fees from public workers




These 6 California highways are among the most dangerous in the nation, report says

Fresno Bee

If you’re a driver in California, here’s some essential information — six of the nation’s top 50 most dangerous highways are in the Golden State, according to a report.


Electric vehicles gradually spark Valley interest. Will powering up be a problem?

Fresno Bee

There are fewer than 5,000 automobiles in Fresno, Kings, Madera and Tulare counties that are powered primarily by electricity – either battery-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles that get their charge from a cord and an outlet rather than a hose and a gas pump.

See also:

      More Valley chargers needed as numbers grow Fresno Bee

     The Revolution Will Be Electrified: How Cities Are Dealing With New Mobility Forbes


Government program offering money to people who live near Fresno airport


Across the street from the runway for the Fresno Yosemite International Airport sits a small neighborhood. Neighbors will get a million dollars for their own sound-proofing. Homes that are eligible have to be within the noise exposure map boundary.


DMV field officers to open on Saturdays now


Some changes are coming to the DMV. Starting Saturday, field offices on Olive Avenue in Fresno, in Clovis, Merced, Modesto, Bakersfield, and Visalia will be open every Saturday from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.


Passing Prop 6 will cost us more than a few extra pennies at the pump

Modesto Bee

Can’t wait to vote yes on Proposition 6 to roll back higher gas taxes?

If you do, then you’re going to need a pair of really sharp scissors. That’s because you’re cutting off your nose to spite your face. And your pocketbook.


Fix California Roads Without The New Gas Taxes? Here’s What It Would Take

Sacramento Bee

Whether or not voters this November approve an initiative to repeal recent increases to California fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees, its proponents are already planning a sequel.


Contractors claim Union Pacific is delaying bullet train project

Los Angeles Times

The most ambitious rail project of California’s future is increasingly dependent on the cooperation of the very railroad that shaped the state’s past — and there are signs their relationship is growing strained.


We're getting a good deal on this new freeway

Bakersfield Californian

The metro Bakersfield freeway taking shape right now before our eyes. The Centennial Corridor project, initially made possible by a $636 million federal appropriation that then-Congressman Bill Thomas brought home in 2005, is supposed to be complete by 2022.


Trump’s SAFE Fuel Rule Is Anything But


Backtracking on efficiency will leave the U.S. more exposed to oil markets and climate change.

See also:

     Trump’s Car Freedom Act Wall Street Journal

     The Trump administration’s fuel-efficiency proposal is unnecessary and harmful Brookings

      How Trump’s new rules for cars would hit California—if they survive in court CALmatters

      Fuel-Mileage Rules Are No Help to the Climate Wall Street Journal


Editorial: There’s no good excuse for DMV lines this long

Sacramento Bee

It’s not by accident that DMV has long been a symbol of sloth-like bureaucracy. And that notoriety is only getting worse with the unacceptably long lines this summer at its offices.

See also:

      Fed-up Californians deserve to know why DMV lines are so long Sacramento Bee




Zinke's Hetch Hetchy idea is familiar


U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s recent tweet that he would study whether to empty Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, the source of water for 2.6 million Bay Area residents, had a familiar ring.




Writer William Saroyan’s longtime Fresno home opens as museum

Fresno Bee

The Fresno house where famed writer William Saroyan spent the last two decades of his life will open as a museum on Aug. 31, the 110th anniversary of his birth, with a private reception. Beginning in September, the William Saroyan House-Museum will be open for tours by appointment online.


Drink up; five new craft beer bars opening across the valley, starting in Modesto

Modesto Bee

If it seems like craft beer is springing up all over the Valley, you’re right. The two new craft breweries planned.


Pint for Pint Blood Drive helping those in need


A number of people got a break from the heat Saturday with some free ice cream in exchange for a blood donation.


Backpack and supplies giveaway at Maya Cinemas


It's back to school time for many Valley families. School supplies can be costly, so Maya Cinemas along with Jamba Juice are teaming up to help hundreds of kids.


Murals multiply across Bakersfield's cityscape

Bakersfield Californian

Can you name your favorite mural in Bakersfield? Wait. Don't answer yet. Because there are new ones being painted in the city's downtown as we speak — and even more still in the conceptual stage.


Cesar Chavez Festival brings free entertainment, health services to community

Bakersfield Californian

Although it may be too early for fair season, the Kern County Fairgrounds was bustling on Sunday for the Cesar Chavez Festival, a yearly event sponsored by the Cesar Chavez Foundation with free entertainment, a car show and a health fair.


Seven summer heat-beating ideas from our California Bucket List

Los Angeles Times

Here are several ideas for fighting the heat that’s baking so much of the state right now. Most are in Southern California, a few are farther north.


When watering a plant is the biggest mistake you can make

Los Angeles Times

Summer’s heat hit early and hit hard. Plants are crunchy and dry, especially in the inland valleys.




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