December 12, 2017



Local/Regional Politics:

DEADLINE EXTENDED  – Qualify for a scholarship of up to $6,000

Maddy Institute Legislative Intern Scholar Program

Deadline extended to December 18th, 2017. PAID Legislative Scholar-Internsare placed on assignment in regional government offices, as well as in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. Examples of placements include: U.S. Senate and Congressional offices (Capitol and district offices), California Assembly and Senate offices (Capitol and district offices) and the Governor’s Office.

Fresno police chief revives controversial ‘bar watch’ program to combat DUIs

Fresno Bee

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer announced Monday he’s reviving the controversial “bar watch” program in which undercover officers monitor drinking establishments and arrest suspected drunken drivers. The program, originally started in 2002 and ended during the recession due to budget cuts, will be back in operation by the New Year’s Eve holiday and continue, he said.

The San Joaquin Valley really needed the rain last winter. But did we need the disease that came with it?

Fresno Bee

What has caused the record number of valley fever cases in California? El Nino and other winter storm phenomena are most likely to blame, according to the best available information on the disease. Stanislaus County’s almond harvest dust is off the hook.

Jim Van Volkinburg selected as 2018 CUSD board president

Clovis Roundup

The Clovis Unified School District board held its annual election of governing board officers at the last meeting of 2017 on Dec. 6. During the meeting, the board unanimously voted to elect Jim Van Volkinburg as its president for 2018. The new term was effective immediately and will continue until the reorganization of the board next December.

AB109 will bring $17 million to Tulare County

Visalia Times-Delta

Four departments will split more than $17 million in state funding to pay for the implementation of criminal justice realignment in Tulare County.

Sierra National Forest hardest hit by tree mortality, now at 129 million statewide

Sierra Star

Today, Dec. 11, The U.S.D.A. Forest Service announced that an additional 27 million trees, mostly conifers, died throughout California since Nov. 2016, bringing the total number of trees that have died due to drought and bark beetle infestation to a historic 129 million on 8.9 million acres.

Study says Kern second most affordable county in California, but costs still challenge families

Bakersfield Californian

It’s no surprise to learn that the cost to live in Kern County is lower than many other places in California. But a recent study by the non-partisan California Budget and Policy Center offers a twist on what locals already know about the place they live. The study looked at the cost to support a family in California, breaking out data about each of the state’s counties.

State Politics:

PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government

Public Policy Institute of California

In California’s gubernatorial race, Democrats Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa lead among likely voters—but three in ten are undecided. In the US Senate race, Dianne Feinstein has a two-to-one edge over fellow Democrat Kevin de León.

‘The planet is warming and all hell is breaking loose,’ says Gov. Jerry Brown as he heads to Paris for a climate event

Los Angeles Times

Renewing his criticism of President Trump’s stance on climate change as he traveled to Paris for an international meeting, Gov. Jerry Brown said on Sunday that the president’s agenda has a “reckless disregard” for the seriousness of the problem.

Walters: State’s information technology debacle continues


One of the great—and quite irksome—anomalies of California is that while its economy is largely driven by Silicon Valley’s digital innovation, its state government in Sacramento, just 100 miles northeast, has abysmally failed to use that technology effectively.

How sexual harassment is playing out in the California governor’s race

Sacramento Bee

Accusations of habitual sexual harassment and assault have cut down politicians, business and media moguls, entertainers and celebrity chefs, and forced a mass reckoning of the cost of silence on society. But as harassment changes continue to roil the California Legislature – where two Assembly Democrats have said they are stepping down and a senator is clinging to his seat after losing his committee posts – the year’s biggest story has yet to have any major influence on next year’s race to succeed Gov. Jerry Brown.

California Democrats temporarily lose Assembly supermajority

Sacramento Bee

California Democrats will be without a supermajority in the Assembly for months and risk losing the two-thirds edge needed to pass tax and fee increases in the Senate. When lawmakers return in January, they will have two vacant Assembly seats that won’t be filled until at least April after Los Angeles members resigned amid sexual misconduct allegations.

A special recall election for state Sen. Josh Newman would cost a lot more than waiting for the June primary, state says

Los Angeles Times

State finance officials said Monday it would cost about $2.67 million for a special election on the recall of state Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton), but only $931,000 to put his potential recall on the regular June primary ballot, which will also feature races for governor and congressional seats.

Assemblymen Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, Frank Bigelow agree to pay fines for campaign finance violations

Los Angeles Times

Assemblymen Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (D-Los Angeles) and Frank Bigelow (R-O’Neals) have agreed to pay fines to the state’s political watchdog agency for violating campaign finance rules, according to documents released Monday. Ridley-Thomas has agreed to pay $3,500 in fines to the state Fair Political Practices Commission for failing to properly report contributions he received for his 2014 election.

Here are the new California gun laws that take effect in 2018

Fresno Bee

California’s more than 6 million gun owners are going to see new restrictions in 2018 stemming from sweeping regulations lawmakers and voters have approved over the past two years. But due to pending court challenges, shifting deadlines and contradictions in the laws, many gun owners say they’re unsure about new rules regulating where they can buy ammunition, what classifies as an assault rifle and whether it’s still legal to own high-capacity ammunition magazines.

California’s chief justice has had her own #MeToo moments

Los Angeles Times

California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye said Monday that she has had her own #MeToo moments during her legal career, being addressed as “sugar and honey and dear” and one of the “girls.” During a meeting with reporters, the state’s top judge also confirmed that a state appellate justice who resigned Oct. 31 had been under investigation for improprieties.

California Chief Justice Expects More Death Penalty Lawsuits

The California Supreme Court has largely upheld the new, expedited death penalty procedure voters approved last November through Proposition 66, but the chief justice expects more challenges. In a roundtable discussion with reporters, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye suggested two areas she thinks the court will likely have to rule: She says Proposition 66 puts competing pressures on the state’s pool of attorneys who represent death row inmates in a certain type of appeal, called habeas corpus petitions.

Walters: State’s information technology debacle continues


One of the great—and quite irksome—anomalies of California is that while its economy is largely driven by Silicon Valley’s digital innovation, its state government in Sacramento, just 100 miles northeast, has abysmally failed to use that technology effectively.

Federal Politics: 

Poll: Most Americans doubt GOP bill will cut their taxes or boost the economy

USA Today

Congressional Republicans are poised to pass the biggest tax overhaul in a generation, but Americans remain unconvinced that the measure will cut their own taxes or significantly boost the economy. A new USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll finds just 32% support the GOP tax plan; 48% oppose it. That’s the lowest level of public support for any major piece of legislation enacted in the past three decades, including the Affordable Care Act in 2009. Americans are skeptical of the fundamental arguments Republicans have made in selling the bill: A 53% majority of those surveyed predict their own families won’t pay lower taxes as a result of the measure, and an equal 53% say it won’t help the economy in a major way.

See also:

·       A helpful guide to wonky tax terminology Marketplace

·       Hurtling toward the tax bill’s unintended consequences  Marketplace

·       Six Things to Watch as Tax Overhaul Endgame Nears Roll Call

·       A Tax Challenge for Sacramento New York Times

·       Obstacles to a CA Response on Federal Tax Plan  Fox&Hounds

·       Would the G.O.P. Tax Bill Penalize California Wildfire Victims? The New York Times

·       The GOP Tax Bills: Expensive Giveaways for the Wealthy, Paid for by Everyone Else (Especially Californians)  California Budget & Policy Center

Where’s the fire? With unclear legal authority, Trump FCC rushes to hand responsibility over internet service to FTC


The Trump Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has determined, amazingly but not surprisingly, to rush through its transfer of authority over internet service providers to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)—even before knowing if that agency possesses the authority to handle such matters. You can’t make this stuff up, folks!

See also:

·       Net Neutrality Op-ed From Kamala Harris – Tell FCC to Keep Net Neutrality Rules Cosmopolitan

Public  Sector Union Dues:  Grappling with Fixed Stars and Stare Decisis (Part 1) and(PART 2)  Congressional Research Service

As discussed in Part I of this two-part Sidebar, on March 29, 2016, an eight-member Supreme Court divided equally over whether to overrule its 1977 decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education and hold that public sector agency fees violate core First Amendment principles (the Court’s “fixed star”). Earlier this this Term, the Court agreed to consider the question again in the case of Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31. Part II of this Sidebar begins with a brief summary of the parties’ arguments in Janus. It then highlights some key statements from the prior decisions of Justice Gorsuch, who is likely to be a critical voice in deciding whether to overturn Abood. The post concludes by exploring the potential implications of the Janus decision.


San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee dies suddenly at 65

Fresno Bee

Mayor Ed Lee, who oversaw a technology-driven economic boom in San Francisco that brought with it sky-high housing prices despite his lifelong commitment to economic equality, died suddenly early Tuesday at age 65. A statement from Lee’s office said the city’s first Asian-American mayor died at 1:11 a.m. at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. Lee was surrounded by family, friends and colleagues. No cause was given.

See also:

·       Ed Lee, San Francisco Mayor, Dies at 65 The New York Times

·       Ed Lee Dead: San Francisco Mayor Dies Suddenly at 65 Fortune

·       Who Is London Breed? Acting San Francisco Mayor After Ed Lee Dies IBT

Potential Women Candidates for U.S. Congress and Statewide Elected Executive


General Election Codes: I=Incumbent, O=Open Seat, C=Challenger, I/U=Incumbent Unopposed, O/U=Open Unopposed, CP=Challenger in the Primary, O?=May run if incumbent does not. Each listing of a potential candidate is based on information from at least two of the following sources: KnowWho Data Services; Campaigns and Elections; House Race Hotline; CQ Politics Daily;; The Hill; Roll Call; Politico; Real Clear Politics; and local newspapers in many states.

Pelosi’s claim the House GOP is ‘inviting’ violent criminals to carry concealed weapons

Washington Post

“Inviting violent criminals to carry concealed weapons doesn’t save lives. Inviting domestic abusers to carry concealed weapons doesn’t save lives. Inviting convicted stalkers to carry concealed weapons doesn’t save lives. Yet the @HouseGOP just voted to do exactly that.” — House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), in a tweet, Dec. 6, 2017 Many readers asked for a fact check of this tweet, which inspired about 6,000 retweets and 10,000 likes — and about 10,000 responses, many of them critical.

U.N. monitor on extreme poverty tours skid row in L.A.

Los Angeles Times

A ghostly chant of “Bill of Rights, Bill of Rights” drifted out of a sidewalk tent as the United Nations monitor on extreme poverty walked the streets of skid row as part of a national tour investigating human rights conditions for the poorest U.S. citizens. Philip Alston, an Australian and a New York University law professor, got a full taste of the epicenter of L.A. homelessness last week, passing by a shelter courtyard with dozens of people bedding down on the concrete because there was no room inside.

To Fend Off Hackers, Local Governments Get Help From States

Pew Charitable Trusts | Stateline

The city of Mill Creek, Washington, has only 55 full-time employees and just one of them — James Busch — is responsible for handling information technology and cybersecurity. He worries about the growing sophistication of hackers and cybercriminals and the city computer network’s vulnerabilities. So when the Washington State Auditor’s Office started offering local governments a free, in-depth evaluation of their cybersecurity systems, Mill Creek, a city of about 20,000 near Seattle, jumped at the chance in 2015.

Topics in More Detail…



‘Dreamers’ must be saved, but not by Democrats holding government hostage

Fresno Bee

Blackmail is a dirty business, even if it’s done for a noble cause. And, these days, it’s hard to find a more noble cause than protecting the 700,000 young, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as kids and are now at risk of losing their legal protections from deportation.

City can’t delay any longer on weed rules

Modesto Bee

Modesto, Stanislaus County staff and elected officials have worked out a good deal; city should implement it Tuesday

Pay to fix dams or pay more in a catastrophe

Merced Sun-Star

California must face the costs of living in this re-engineered state. The price of not acting could become huge.

Police union clout is interfering with California’s efforts to deal with problem officers

Los Angeles Times

It’s troubling enough that the members of the public in California have no access to the discipline and misconduct files of their police and therefore can’t know the caliber of officers serving them, or whether a particular handful are unreliable or dangerous on the street or are costing too much…

CVS and Aetna say their massive merger is needed to keep prices down. That remains to be seen

Los Angeles Times

American consumers aren’t the only ones struggling with higher healthcare costs.CVS Health’s proposed $69-billion purchase of health insurer Aetna is driven in part by the companies’ efforts to get control over more of the costs they face, and to make their operations more efficient. The question for regulators, though, is whether the combination results in a company that uses its clout to help consumers or squeeze more dollars out of them.


Marijuana in California: Legal weed, legal burden

Bakersfield Californian

California’s 2018 transition to legal marijuana contains a mind-bending paradox: Ending prohibitions on marijuana will require new and aggressive law enforcement. On January 1, California will not merely be permitting adults 21 and older to use marijuana for recreational purposes. The state and its cities will be creating a new regime to regulate and tax cannabis.

See also:

·       State offers new tool to help cannabis businesses go legit San Francisco Chronicle

·       Cheech Marin teaches Californians how to register marijuana businesses with the state on new website Los Angeles Times

·       Marijuana enters the buttoned-down mainstream — and pays taxes San Diego Union-Tribune

10 steps to starting a marijuana business in California

Orange County Register

These steps are required of every size and type of cannabis business, from cultivators to sellers. And they’re required for new businesses and for businesses emerging from the legal shadows of California’s massive gray market.

Why It’s Getting Easier for Marijuana Companies to Open Bank Accounts

Pew Charitable Trusts | Stateline

State and local officials in places that recently legalized marijuana are bracing for the arrival of a sector that largely runs on cash. They’re anxiously envisioning burglars targeting dispensaries and business owners showing up at tax offices with duffel bags full of money. But the marijuana industry’s banking problems may be more manageable than many officials realize.



DA calls for medical examiner’s office to be separate from Sheriff’s office

Stockton Record

District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar says her office is investigating allegations of interference in autopsies by Sheriff-Coroner Steve Moore, and added Monday afternoon that she believes San Joaquin County should establish a separate, independent medical examiner’s office. It was the latest development in a two-week span in which chief medical examiner Dr. Bennet Omalu and forensic pathologist Dr. Susan Parson submitted their resignations because of Moore’s alleged interference.

Riverside County finds success, earns praise in justice system change effort


State’s influential CSAC organization hears about county’s data-driven work to lower jail populations

Realignment and Recidivism in California

Public Policy Institute of California

California has experienced significant changes in its criminal justice landscape since the 2011 implementation of public safety realignment—which shifted the management of lower-level offenders from the state prison and parole system to county jail and probation systems. The prison population has dropped dramatically, and though jail populations rose, overall incarceration levels have declined.

Public Safety: 

New gun restrictions are coming to California in 2018

Sacramento Bee

California’s more than 6 million gun owners are going to see new restrictions in 2018 stemming from sweeping regulations lawmakers and voters have approved over the past two years. But due to pending court challenges, shifting deadlines and contradictions in the laws, many gun owners say they’re unsure about new rules regulating where they can buy ammunition, what classifies as an assault rifle and whether it’s still legal to own high-capacity ammunition magazines.

California gun owners still unsure of what new rules mean for them

Sacramento Bee

Gun owners have a lot of questions about new restrictions on weapons and ammunition that take effect Jan. 1. The Bee’s Ryan Sabalow answers them.


Is Bakersfield ready for wildfires? We provide tips, advice to prepare you before disaster strikes

Bakersfield Californian

This year, California has experienced massive wildfires in the northern and southern parts of its regions. 230,500 acres have burned by Santa Paula’s 150 and 126 highways. Cal Fire Thomas Quick Update sheet reported that 94,607 of Santa Paula’s residents have been affected by the wildfires, which have burned thousands of miles of land, buildings, houses and personal belongings of residents.

California’s fire suppression costs

Cal Fire Statistics & Events

California’s fire suppression costs have been growing far faster than inflation.

How the Thomas fire became such a monster

Los Angeles Times

Flames as tall as a high-rise galloping up and down mountainsides. Coastal communities shrouded in smoke. Armies of firefighters on the defensive with little hope of corralling a wildfire that refuses to quit. The scene from this month’s Thomas fire could just as easily be taken from the 2007 Zaca fire and decades before that, the 1932 Matilija fire.

See also:

·       California wildfires scorch area bigger than New York City and Boston The Guardian

·       In California, Mixed Results for Regulations Meant to Help Stop Fires New York Times

·       Would the GOP Tax Bill Penalize California Wildfire Victims? New York Times



GAO factoids purporting retirement crisis are highly misleading


Writing in The Hill, Robert Stammers of the CFA Institute warned that “a real retirement crisis is still impending” that could create “a generation of retired poor.” In support of his view, Stammer points to recent work by the Government Accountability Office which, Stammer stated, “paints a very bleak picture” of the U.S. retirement saving system. But the GAO claim that Stammer thinks illustrates America’s coming retirement crisis is in fact one of several misleading arguments in GAO’s recent work on retirement saving.


Tech jobs are already in the Valley, but legislators need to push for more

Modesto Bee

If you want to get a glimpse of Google’s self-driving cars, you’ll have to look a little outside Silicon Valley.  The company is busy making sure the cars can handle unexpected situations, like being cut off by a human-driven car. But it’s doing it in a town of just 27,000 in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley: Atwater.



Fresno Unified’s Brooke Ashjian predicts teacher strike

Fresno Bee

Recent comments made by Fresno Unified’s school board president have sparked new concern that a teacher strike is inevitable.  “There’s probably going to be a strike,” FUSD school board president Brooke Ashjian told a reporter for the Charger Online, Bullard High School’s student newspaper, last week. “There’s 18 articles that (FTA) brought.

New California ‘dashboard’ will prompt deeper questions about student and school performance


If someone asked you how well your child was doing in school, would you say simply, “He’s an 85,” or “He’s a C”? I doubt it. Instead, you’d more likely say something like “He’s doing well in math and he’s showing a lot of creativity in his drama class. He was having some trouble in English, but he’s making progress. And socially, things are okay, though for a while there was some bullying going on in one of his classes.”

How one California district narrowed its Latino achievement gap


Last year, a girl in Melody Gonzalez’s class at Las Palmas Middle School, in the San Gabriel Valley, started sobbing in class one day. Gonzales asked her what was wrong. The girl said her father had just been deported.

Stalled Bill To Help California Schools Fight Fake News To Be Revived

Three bills aimed at fighting fake news stalled in the California Legislature this past year. At least one could resurface in the year ahead. Democratic State Sen. Bill Dodd said he plans to revive his bill, SB 135, in January or introduce a similar one. His legislation was aimed at helping K-12 students better evaluate the accuracy of digital information. It would have required the state to create new curriculum, though Dodd emphasized it would give schools the flexibility to craft courses as they see fit.

Higher Ed:

How well paid are California’s university presidents? For one, the answer is very well

San Jose Mercury News

The president of the University of Southern California is the highest paid college president in California and among the best paid in the country. In 2015, C.L. Max Nikias made nearly $3.2 million to lead the Los Angeles-based private school, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education’s recently updated roundup of executive pay. The publication analyzed data from more than 600 private universities and nearly 250 public colleges.

What’s College Good For?

The Atlantic

I have been in school for more than 40 years. First preschool, kindergarten, elementary school, junior high, and high school. Then a bachelor’s degree at UC Berkeley, followed by a doctoral program at Princeton. The next step was what you could call my first “real” job—as an economics professor at George Mason University. Thanks to tenure, I have a dream job for life. Personally, I have no reason to lash out at our system of higher education. Yet a lifetime of experience, plus a quarter century of reading and reflection, has convinced me that it is a big waste of time and money. When politicians vow to send more Americans to college, I can’t help gasping, “Why? You want us to waste even more?”

For Foster Care Kids, College Degrees Are Elusive

Pew Charitable Trusts | Stateline

Since she was 2, Alexis Barries has bounced from foster home to group home to finally, a place of her own. She’s got dreams of becoming an attorney, and even started college early, at 16. Eight years and five community colleges later, the Californian is still a freshman, working her way through school at an exceedingly slow pace, punctuated by a frustrating series of stops and starts, from financial aid snafus to housing mix-ups. Without an adult to help her figure things out, she says, the obstacles she encountered took on Kafkaesque proportions.



California losing 2 million trees a month as drought-related plague drags on

San Francisco Chronicle

The U.S. Forest Service announced Monday that 27 million trees died over the past 13 months after five dry years left them severely dehydrated and vulnerable to bark beetle attack.


Saudi Arabia Plans to Raise Gas Prices by 80% in January


Saudi Arabia plans to raise domestic gasoline and jet fuel prices in January, part of a program to gradually eliminate energy subsidies as the kingdom seeks to overhaul its economy and balance the budget, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. Gasoline prices are set to increase by about 80 percent, while jet fuel prices will be raised to international levels in one go, the person said, asking not to be identified because the matter isn’t public. Gasoline and other fuels such as diesel, kerosene and heavy fuel oil, will see incremental price increases over several years, the person said.


Military’s early valley fever research still benefiting public health today

Bakersfield Californian

Looking out at the airstrips cutting through dusty fields of cotton and corn, it’s no surprise that the naval base, about 100 miles from the ocean, struggles with this desert disease, caused when people breath in spores from a fungus that lives in parched soil. Kings County, where Lemoore is located, ranks consistently among California’s three worst counties for valley fever.

Universal Coverage Committee Looks To Other States’ Single Payer Plans For Lessons

California lawmakers pushing for universal health care are hoping to draw on the experiences of other states and cities that have tried similar models. The California Assembly’s Select Committee on Health Care Delivery Systems and Universal Coverage will meet for a second hearing Monday, this time with a panel of experts from across the country.

See also:

·       Californians like single-payer health care — until they learn taxes must rise to pay for it  San Francisco Chronicle

An Overlooked Epidemic: Older Americans Taking Too Many Unneeded Drugs

Washington Post

Consider it America’s other prescription drug epidemic. For decades, experts have warned that older Americans are taking too many unnecessary drugs, often prescribed by multiple doctors, for dubious or unknown reasons. Researchersestimate that 25 percent of people ages 65 to 69 take at least five prescription drugs to treat chronic conditions, a figure that jumps to nearly 46 percent for those between 70 and 79. Doctors say it is not uncommon to encounter patients taking more than 20 drugs to treat acid reflux, heart disease, depression or insomnia or other disorders

Is ‘man flu’ real? Medical science delivers comfort to helpless male snufflers

Los Angeles Times

The diagnosis often comes with a roll of the eyes. It’s “man flu,” an infectious disease that renders healthy males utterly incapable of self-care. But is man flu “a thing”? Or is it, well, a thing? In the annual issue of the British Medical Journal that is devoted to exploring the whimsical side of medical research, Dr. Kyle Sue of Canada’s Memorial University of Newfoundland mounts an ardent defense of males who suffer total collapse in the face of influenza or the common cold.

Yes, you got your flu shot … so why are you so sick?

San Jose Mercury News

Congratulations, you already got your flu shot. Except now you’re home sick … with the flu. What happened? 


Amid climate of fear, network formed to support immigrants

Stockton Record

When a flurry of false rumors of immigration raids spread earlier this year in Stockton, there were few ways to stop them or verify them. The false sightings continued spreading on social media over several weeks in January and February. City officials, activists and religious leaders tried to quell concerns with little success. Eventually, the panic subsided, but for the people involved, the need to create a better system was clear.

California’s new ‘sanctuary’ law will aid some immigrants, but not all


One of the most controversial issues in Sacramento this year has been widely referred to as the “sanctuary state” law, which will take effect Jan. 1.


Study says Kern second most affordable county in California, but costs still challenge families

Bakersfield Californian

It’s no surprise to learn that the cost to live in Kern County is lower than many other places in California. But a recent study by the non-partisan California Budget and Policy Center offers a twist on what locals already know about the place they live. The study looked at the cost to support a family in California, breaking out data about each of the state’s counties.

Sacramento is in a building boom, and here are the numbers to prove it

Sacramento Bee

New Prop. 13 initiative aims to help older homeowners move on

San Jose Mercury News

In the midst of California’s severe housing shortage and a federal tax overhaul, a statewide ballot initiative was quietly submitted this fall with the idea of getting longtime, older owners to sell their homes, freeing them up for younger families to buy. The proposal from the California Association of Realtors would expand Proposition 13, the landmark constitutional amendment passed by voters in 1978 that has kept homeowners’ property taxes artificially low over the years, even as their home values have doubled or even quadrupled.

Donald Trump wrong that black homeownership rate is at a record high


When President Donald Trump noticed some African-American support at a recent rally in Pensacola, Fla., he offered a statistic about black homeownership.


For a discussion of “federal tax reform,” See: “Top Stories: Federal,” above

Report says CalPERS investments too focused on environmental and social activism

San Diego Union-Tribune

A pro-business group released a report last week, saying the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) is too concerned about going green than it is about making green.


Centennial Corridor construction advancing as concrete work begins on Kern River bridges

Bakersfield Californian

The Centennial Corridor has begun rising out of the ground after decades of opposition, study and preparation.

Unfair competition: The battle between high-speed rail and low-cost airlines

DW Environment

Germany’s long-awaited high-speed rail link between Berlin and Munich has finally been inaugurated. But Green MEP Michael Cramer says it’s not enough to lure most travelers away from carbon-heavy road and air travel. On Friday, German politicians celebrated the opening of a long-awaited high-speed train line between Munich and Berlin. The 632-kilometer (392-mile) ride will shave two hours off current journey times, raising hopes that fewer people will opt to fly between two of Germany’s biggest cities.

You have a short reprieve to use this popular American River crossing

Sacramento Bee

Sacramento County officials have postponed closure of the Jibboom Street bridge until Jan. 2. The bridge, which serves as a route into Discovery Park from downtown, is scheduled to be closed for six months, until May 31, for a series of major repairs.


State Releases Analysis of Oroville Spillway Cracks

The California Report | KQED

The California Department of Water Resources has released a technical memorandum laying out its detailed explanation for widespread cracking that has appeared in concrete placed this year during the Oroville Dam spillway rebuilding project. The report, embedded below recounts measures taken to prevent cracking in the massive slabs intended to serve as the final, finished concrete surface in two large sections of the spillway. The document was compiled after an Oct. 2 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission letter asked DWR to explain the cracks and document their extent.


Best clam chowder in San Luis Obispo County

Fresno Bee

After a breezy day on the beach there’s nothing like a warm, filling cup or bowl of clam chowder. Creamy, salty, hearty – the quintessentially coastal dish is offered at nearly every seafood restaurant in San Luis Obispo County and it’s not hard to find a good one, loaded with clams. Most local places cover the basics just fine.

2017 Best Restaurants In California: OpenTable

Los Angeles, CA Patch

From seafood in San Francisco to Mexican cuisine in San Diego, California has some of the most delicious food and fantastic restaurants in the country. That’s why it’s no surprise The Golden State is tied with The Empire State at the top of OpenTable’s “100 Best Restaurants in America” list for 2017. From longtime favorites to breakthrough newcomers, restaurants in 24 states and Washington, D.C. are represented on the annual list. California and New York each have 19 restaurants on the list. Illinois, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. tied for second with eight restaurants each.