August 9, 2018






Nunes says in audio that Republicans need majority to protect Trump

Los Angeles Times

In a recording released by MSNBC, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes says Republicans have to hold the House in order to protect Trump from the Russia investigation.

See also:

     Secret recording shows GOP's Nunes saying Rosenstein impeachment would delay Supreme Court pick NBC News

     Devin Nunes, in secretly recorded tape, tells donors GOP majority is necessary to protect Trump: ‘We’re the only ones’ The Washington Post

     Senate SCOTUS Confirmation Preventing Rosenstein Impeachment, Nunes Says

      Roll Call

     The worst -- and most intriguing -- parts of the secret Devin Nunes tape The Washington Post

      In leaked audio, Devin Nunes makes strong case for Democratic Congress The Washington Post

      Jennifer Rubin: Nunes tape proof ‘irredeemable’ GOP needs to be defeated TheHill


Tweet threatens to ‘waste’ everyone at Janz town hall event in Clovis, police involved

Fresno Bee

A social media threat made against a town hall event for senior citizens at the Clovis Veterans Memorial Building on Wednesday led to an increased police presence and a full investigation, according to host and Democratic congressional candidate Andrew Janz.


Jeff Denham Claims He’ll Be Transportation Chair — But What About Sam Graves?

Roll Call

California Rep. Jeff Denham told a local GOP women’s group Friday that he will be the next House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman, ignoring the fact that he is not the only member running for the position, the Republicans are far from a lock to hold their majority and Denham himself faces a potentially competitive race.


House Republicans Considering Leadership Bids — So Far

Roll Call

Much will depend on whether Republicans hold the majority and if so how speaker’s race unfolds


Watchdogs, lawsuit say FUSD's Ashjian should pay district million


A new lawsuit by a self-proclaimed watchdog is trying to force Fresno Unified school board member Brooke Ashjian to pay the district millions of dollars.


Budget draws critical looks

Madera Tribune

Counting on future economic growth and fee increases the Madera City Council has unanimously passed the city’s 2018-2019 budget with a $1.3 million dollar deficit, based on the recommendations of current City Administrator Steve Frazier.


Councilwoman Gallegos seeks second, full term

Madera Tribune

Madera City Councilwoman CeCe Gallegos, District 1, is seeking a second term, of four years, in the belief that in her first term, of two years, she learned a lot about the city and its citizenry, and learned what it takes to be an effective council member.


3 of 4 city councilmen on November ballot likely to have challengers

Bakersfield Californian

Ward 1 City Councilman Willie Rivera will have some company on the November ballot, as will at least one of his council colleagues. Ward 7 City Councilman Chris Parlier does not yet have a challenger. The filing deadline is Friday.




California's candidates for governor spending much of their time campaigning for other candidates and causes

Los Angeles Times

Gavin Newsom and John Cox are preparing for a general election battle to decide who will be the state’s next governor, but much of what they plan to focus on has little to do with how either candidate would lead the state.


Time to get off the special election merry-go-round

Los Angeles Times

California voters this year were again faced with a slew of special elections to fill vacant seats in the Legislature. But the job of filling the 32nd Senate seat has been especially confusing.


Walters: Brown's being tricky about filling Supreme Court seat


Jerry Brown has become somewhat tricky in his later years, one of the many contrasts with how he functioned during his first governorship four decades ago.


California's political bubbles are getting worse

California Sun

A couple weeks ago, the N.Y. Times published an addictive precinct-level map of results from the 2016 presidential election.


California may mandate a woman in the boardroom—but businesses are fighting it


California is moving toward becoming the first state to require companies to have women on their boards—assuming the idea could survive a likely court challenge.


Future of a third of California is uncertain


Climate change, megafires, and population pressures are prompting officials to question how much of California’s forests are sustainable.




Blue wave? Republicans say Democrats are overestimating their strength

Fresno Bee

While many Republicans remain clear-eyed about the tough national environment and the difficulty of holding control of the House this midterm year, some think Democrats are overestimating their strength 90 days out from the elections.


Here’s how Trump could pull off another election surprise

Modesto Bee

Perhaps you thought America’s politicians might take off much of August, given the heat, vacations and the fact that so many of us aren’t paying much.


Republicans promote fear, not tax cuts, in key elections

AP News

There’s a border crisis in Pennsylvania. The radical left is surging in New Jersey. And Nancy Pelosi is a threat to New York.


Trump Court Pick Brett Kavanaugh Could Have A Big Impact On Mueller Probe


Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh shares one important view with President Trump: Both are deeply suspicious of any attempt to limit the president's power over executive branch officials.


EDITORIAL: CFPB no place for Donald Trump's neophyte nominee

Visalia Times-Delta

As early as next month, the Senate could confirm Trump nominee Kathy Kraninger as director of the CFPB, the nation's chief financial watchdog. If President Donald Trump has his way, someone with zero experience regulating or overseeing financial institutions will be charged with protecting American consumers.




Fresno ranked among nation’s worst cities for pets

Fresno Bee

WalletHub ranked Fresno, CA among the nation's worst cities for pets in its 2018 Most Pet-Friendly Cities report.


Say fleas! Stanislaus shelter joins the Finding Rover facial-recognition database

Modesto Bee

The latest partner is the Stanislaus Animal Services Agency, which on Tuesday went live with Finding Rover. Every dog in the shelter now is in the nationwide database, Executive Director Annette Patton said.


Price: We've got to be willing to sing our own praises

Bakersfield Californian

We may be our own worse enemies. We're certainly our own worst critics.


With a little respect, we can restore relational equality in America


Richard Reeves argues that the United States is suffering from a respect deficit—relational neglect from those at the top of the income distribution toward those at the bottom—and offers two ways to restore equality and understanding between classes.


Deepfakes are coming. Is Big Tech ready?

CNN Money

Mark Zuckerberg insisted at Facebook's annual developer conference earlier this year that his company "will never be unprepared ... again" for meddling and disinformation efforts like those run by Russian trolls on its platform during the run-up to the 2016 election.


11 Warning Signs of Gaslighting | Psychology Today

Psychology Today

Gaslighting is a manipulation tactic used to gain power. And it works too well.


Russia Doesn’t Need to Change Votes — Just Sow Confusion

PEW Trust

In Los Angeles, even The Fonz had to cast a provisional ballot.





America's nut industry relies on exports. That's why tariffs hurt so much.


The world loves America's nuts. The United States is the largest producer and exporter of tree nuts such as almonds, walnuts and pecans. That's why international trade is so vital to this industry.


Retaliatory tariffs take heavy toll on U.S. farmers


As President Donald Trump’s trade war wages on, we decided to check in on the most affected sectors.






1 of 2 arrested in attack on Sikh man in Manteca is a police chief’s son

Modesto Bee

An 18-year-old arrested in Monday’s attack on a Sikh man at a Manteca park is the son of the Union City police chief, the Police Department in that Alameda County.


Snapchatting while driving got him pulled over. What he snapped got him arrested.

Modesto Bee

A Riverbank teenager was arrested Tuesday after he drove by a deputy while snapchatting a video of himself smoking marijuana and driving


Public Safety:


They work overtime answering Fresno’s 911 calls. How could they answer calls faster?

Fresno Bee

The Fresno Police Department is not meeting a state requirement on 911 wait times because of low staffing of dispatchers. There may be a solution if the mayor and city council could agree on funding sources.


Police, residents use National Night Out as connection to create a community

Stockton Record

The heat and hazy conditions did not seem to be much of a deterrent to the public as they mingled with law enforcement and fellow neighbors during the 35th annual National Night Out on Tuesday.




Firefighters made big strides containing Ferguson Fire in the past 24 hours

Fresno Bee

Containment of the Ferguson Fire leaped to 68 percent as of Wednesday night, fire officials announced — a large jump from where it’s been hovering at around 40 percent.

See also:

     Firefighters nearly double containment of Ferguson Fire The Fresno Bee

Firefighters make major progress on Ferguson Fire, containment jumps to 79% abc30

     Ferguson Fire impacting peak of Yosemite tourist season ABC30

     Evacuations from Ferguson Fire to be lifted for Foresta tomorrow ABC30

     Some Yosemite National Park residents return home ABC30

     Ferguson Fire now biggest in Sierra history Madera Tribune

     A 'game changer' helps California firefighters pierce the haze and target hot spots Los Angeles Times
     As wildfire blazes on, Yosemite-area tourist industry ravaged San Francisco Chronicle


Mendocino Complex expected to be contained in September

San Francisco Chronicle

California’s biggest-ever wildfire grew to 10 times the size of San Francisco on Wednesday, as the Mendocino Complex sent clouds of cough-inducing smoke across the Bay Area and forced officials to admit the conflagration might not be contained until September.


California's 'new normal' for wildfires is unacceptable

Los Angeles Times

As of Wednesday 14,000 firefighters were battling 15 large wildfires across California, according to the state government. More than 2,000 structures — mostly homes — had been damaged or destroyed.

See also:

     The fires get worse every year in California. Here’s a firefighter’s advice Sacramento Bee

     California fire coverage: 18 blazes scorch 600,000 acres across the state Los Angeles Times

Outdoor burning banned in parts of Bay Area, Central Valley

San Francisco Chronicle

The bombardment of fire that turned large portions of California into a smoking pyre prompted state fire officials Wednesday to ban outdoor burning over much of the Bay Area and parts of the Central Valley.


State Supreme Court rejects PG&E’s plea


The California Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to hear Pacific Gas & Electric Co. appeal seeking relief from strict liability rules governing wildfires its equipment caused.


October fire survivors press California lawmakers amid debate over utility liability

Press Democrat

Dozens of wildfire survivors from the North Bay and beyond brought their stories of terror and loss Wednesday to the state Capitol amid lawmakers’ deliberations over wildfire response and the billion-dollar liabilities faced by utilities.


The Earth Ablaze

New York Times

Drs. Melnick, Pearl and Cochrane are scientists who work on environmental issues at the species, landscape, ecosystem and global levels.


Where There’s Fire, Trump Blows Smoke

New York Times

The president, either willfully ignorant or playing to his base, tweets nonsense about the California wildfires and refuses to acknowledge the role of climate change in the disaster.






Terrible Tariffs

National Review

Apart from slavery and Jim Crow, no economic policy comes close to the tariff in terms of its deranging effect on our body politic. The tariff basically created a national political machine that was able to resist almost all efforts of popular reform until the Great Depression


IRS Cracks Down on the ‘Crack and Pack’

Wall Street Journal

Eight months after tax overhaul, Treasury Department sets guidelines for which small businesses benefit from pass-through tax break


U.S. Corporate Tax Cuts Likely to Hit Other Countries’ Bottom Lines

Wall Street Journal

The law will reduce what other countries collect from multinational corporations by 1.6% to 13.5%, a new paper suggests


Profits Surge at Big U.S. Firms

Wall Street Journal

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


EDITORIAL: Court was right about rigged gig economy

San Francisco Chronicle

The gig economy is in large part a euphemism for reclassifying droves of tech sector serfs as independent contractors to avoid such supposedly outmoded paradigms as minimum wages, overtime and health care.




The Right-to-Work Rout

Wall Street Journal

Unions spend big to repeal a worker freedom law in Missouri.


Unions Triumph at the Ballot Box

Wall Street Journal

Missouri voters reject ‘right to work,’ and there’s more to come.






Several South Valley schools back in session


Students went back to campus on Wednesday at Sundale Union School District near Tulare. Other districts starting school today include-- Buena Vista, Tulare City elementary schools, and University Preparatory High School, on the College of the Sequoias campus.


BCSD's dual immersion program expands to second school

Bakersfield Californian

The Bakersfield City School District is expanding its dual immersion program, offering two kindergarten classes at Harris Elementary School in addition to the existing program at Voorhies Elementary. The program teaches students both English and Spanish.


More Merced high schools add private rooms for staff, students to breastfeed infants

Modesto Bee

Most Merced County high schools have added specialized rooms on campus where staff members and students can breastfeed their infants.


Higher Ed:


Fresno City College Goes Extra Mile to Serve Community

GV Wire

Fresno City College is expanding opportunities for high school students and the general public to earn credits toward a college degree by starting neighborhood campuses at Edison and Sunnyside high schools.

See also:

     Fresno City College hosts inaugural "State of the College" ABC30

Community colleges gear up for fall semester

Hanford Sentinel

Before all the elementary and high schools start classes next week, local community colleges will start their fall semesters and officials are looking forward to what the new school year will bring.






It doesn’t feel like it, but Fresno ranks in national Top 10 for ‘nice’ weather days

Fresno Bee

The Washington Post released a list of U.S. cities with the most days of nice weather. Fresno, CA., ranked seventh on the list, which took into account daily temperatures, humidity, wind speeds and rain.


Smoke from several California wildfires trapped in the Central Valley


For nearly a month now the Central Valley has been breathing some of the dirtiest air it has ever seen thanks to a ridge of high pressure trapping in the smoke from several wildfires.

See also:

     Wildfires continue to bring smoke into the Valley Hanford Sentinel

     Bad air could get worse with smoke from Orange County fire Bakersfield Californian

      California Today: Amid Wildfires, Bad Air Becomes a Threat, Too The New York Times


Trump's minions are using California wildfires as excuse to attack endangered species protections

Los Angeles Times

Just two days after President Trump issued an utterly uninformed tweet about the causes of the California wildfires, his ulterior motives began to come into focus.


Environmental Priorities and the Midterm Election


Where do California voters stand on environmental issues and what are the implications for November?




Trump administration moves to open 1.6 million acres to fracking, drilling in California

Sacramento Bee

Ending a five-year moratorium, the Trump administration Wednesday took a first step toward opening 1.6 million acres of California public land to fracking and conventional oil drilling, triggering alarm bells among environmentalists.


SoCal Gas agrees to $119.5-million settlement for Aliso Canyon methane leak — biggest in U.S. history

Los Angeles Times

A $119.5-million settlement announced Wednesday of claims stemming from the Aliso Canyon gas leak marks the biggest action yet to deal with the health effects and climate damage of the largest release of methane in U.S. history.






One more thing on the back-to-school list: Vaccinations for the kids, offered Friday

Modesto Bee

With schools set to open next week, health services officials with Stanislaus County and Modesto City Schools are pushing the state-required immunizations for schoolchildren.


Health care jobs boom in Sacramento region: Here are the top eight employers

Sacramento Bee

The Sacramento health care sector has grown by 23 percent in the last four years, the highest growth rate of any economic sector except construction, according to numbers from the state Employment Development Department.


‘Dopesick’ and ‘The Addiction Solution’ Review: Examining an epidemic


The emotional devastation of opioid addiction is staggering. So is the economic fall-out. Families can be bankrupted by the cost of in-patient rehab


Human Services:


AP FACT CHECK: Sanders spins savings in Medicare plan


Sen. Bernie Sanders is skimming over the facts in claiming that his "Medicare for all" plan will lead to.


New options for short-term limited-duration plans


On balance, the new rule offers modest progress toward alleviating the coverage availability and affordability woes of a particular subset of individual insurance market customers whose plight was worsened by the Affordable Care Act.




California seeks records showing separation policy's impact on children

Los Angeles Times

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a Freedom of Information Act request for all records involving federal agencies’ consideration of the separation policy’s effects on the mental and physical state of children. At a congressional hearing last week, administration officials indicated they were made aware that the separation policy could traumatize children.

New questions arise over the costs of Trump's border wall plans

Los Angeles Times

As the Trump administration pushes Congress for billions to fund a border wall, a new government oversight report cautioned that officials need to do more cost analysis and documented planning.


L.A. Immigration Judge: 'Independence of Immigration Judges is Under Siege'

Los Angeles Times

The U.S. Department of Justice’s decision last month to replace a sitting Philadelphia immigration judge with an assistant chief judge from Washington, D.C., in a closely watched removal case “subverted the judicial process,” the National Association of Immigration Judges said in a formal grievance against the DOJ.




Land Use:

Growing pains: Outlets at Tejon struggles to find right tenant mix

Bakersfield Californian

The Outlets at Tejon was such a hit when it opened four years ago this week, with throngs of shoppers filing through a shopping center full almost to the point of overflowing.  How things change.


Webinar on Unequal Neighborhoods

Central Valley Health Policy Institute

Join Central Valley Health Policy Institute Monday August 10th from 10am-11am as we debut the work we've done in collaboration with Fresno Building Healthy Communities on the policies and practices that created the way neighborhoods look in Fresno today.




Home affordability hits 10-year low in California. Same goes for Sacramento region

Sacramento Bee

Housing affordability has hit a 10-year low throughout most of California, new data show, as three out of four state residents can no longer afford sky-high median homes prices. Buyers in the capital region are feeling similar pressure.


Only 18% of households could afford median-priced home

San Francisco Chronicle

Housing affordability in the Bay Area fell sharply in the second quarter, as record home prices and rising mortgage rates more than offset rising incomes.




U.S. Corporate Tax Cuts Likely to Hit Other Countries’ Bottom Lines

Wall Street Journal

The law will reduce what other countries collect from multinational corporations by 1.6% to 13.5%, a new paper suggests




With Democrats’ help, California DMV dodges audit of wait times

Fresno Bee

On Wednesday, California’s Joint Legislative Audit Committee decided not to audit the Department of Motor Vehicles. Audit supporters say Gov. Jerry Brown is to blame for inaction.

See also:

     EDITORIAL: Hate waiting at the DMV? You will stay in line longer, as legislators whiff on audit Fresno Bee

     Dems scuttle DMV audit as complaints besiege lawmakers San Francisco Chronicle

RTD earns national special achievement award

Stockton Record

San Joaquin Regional Transit District has been named the 2018 Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award winner by the American Public Transportation Association.


Rising Transportation Costs Help Drive Up U.S. Business Prices

Wall Street Journal

Trucking freight expenses helped drive overall costs higher




California water regulators help target black market marijuana farmers

Mercury News

The state water agency created a pilot cannabis team four years ago to investigate marijuana growers in Northern California who divert or pollute waterways in their effort to profit via cannabis. Last year, the enforcement effort expanded into Southern California, with increased staffing in Santa Ana that’s part of a broader push to minimize the damage that cannabis cultivation can wreak on water quality and water supply.


California Water Service Selected to Provide Water and Wastewater Services in Madera County Master-Planned Community


California Water Service (Cal Water), the largest subsidiary of California Water Service Group (NYSE:CWT), announced today that it has entered into an Operations & Maintenance agreement with Tesoro Viejo Development, Inc. to operate the water, wastewater, recycled water, storm water, and agricultural water systems serving the Tesoro Viejo development in Madera County, Calif., a mixed-use master-planned community that is approved for up to 5,190 residential units and approximately 3 million square feet of commercial and retail space, as well as parks, schools, and light industrial operations.


To See How Levees Increase Flooding, We Built Our Own

Pro Republica

Levees — massive earthen or concrete structures that keep rivers confined to their channels — tame the flow of rivers and make life possible for the millions of people who live behind them. But they come with often-unexamined risks, as they can make floods worse for the communities across the river or upstream from them.




Trump tweeted out ‘Red Wave’ and many tied to Fresno State roared back on social media

Fresno Bee

President Donald Trump’s “Red Wave” tweet likely wasn’t about Fresno State. But don’t tell that to the Bulldogs fan base, which is nicknamed the Red Wave. Fresno State fans enthusiastically responded to Trump’s tweet.


Italian eats: The top 3 spots in Clovis for pizza, pasta and more


Craving Italian food? Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top Italian restaurants around Clovis, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of where to achieve your dreams.


Sheriff patrols world of video

Madera Tribune

With the new craze going around, in which law enforcement agencies produce lip sync videos as public relations tools, the Madera County Sheriff’s Office staff pulled together to produce a video that has drawn attention and praise.


Lemoore mural changes locations

Hanford Sentinel

After a few setbacks, the Lemoore mural project – "The Fabric of Our Heritage” fully funded by a grant from California Humanities spearheaded by the Sarah Mooney Museum – is still moving forward.


Clear the shelters event to be held next week

Bakersfield Californian

The City of Bakersfield Animal Care Center will be throwing a “Clear the Shelters” event from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Aug. 18, at 201 S. Mt Vernon Ave in Bakersfield. The city hopes to find as many homes for pets as it can during the event.


Magic the gathering: Convention brings conjurers to Bakersfield

Bakersfield Californian

For Bakersfield's next trick, it will conjure a convention bringing skilled performers to town this week for an event last held here 30 years ago.