December 2, 2019

02Dec

POLICY & POLITICS

 

North SJ Valley:

 

Modesto Bee receives grant for new reporter to cover economic development

Modesto Bee

For the second consecutive year, The Modesto Bee has been awarded a grant from Report for America, which will help fund a full-time reporter in the newsroom to cover economic development in Stanislaus County.

 

Stanislaus County can’t agree to contract with 911 dispatchers. Sides await mediation

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County declared an impasse in negotiations with emergency dispatchers at the Stanislaus Regional 911 center. The dispatchers who handle 911 calls have been working without a contract for five years.

 

California agriculture in 2050 – where we are headed and why

Turlock Journal

At its monthly meeting on Nov. 5, the California State Board of Food and Agriculture heard a cautiously optimistic appraisal of agriculture’s future through 2050 from economist Daniel Sumner, director of the Agricultural Issues Center at UC Davis.

 

Central SJ Valley:

 

Giuliani associate willing to testify Nunes went to Europe for Biden dirt

CNN

Lev Parnas, an indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, would tell Congress that the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee met with an ex-Ukraine official to try to get information on Joe Biden, his lawyer says.

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Fresno Bee awarded grant to hire reporter to cover area’s Latino communities

Fresno Bee

For the second consecutive year, The Fresno Bee has been awarded a grant to help fund a full-time reporter in the newsroom to cover Latino issues in the central San Joaquin Valley.

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EDITORIAL: Devin Nunes must stop suing fake cows and explain $60,000 Europe trip

Sacramento Bee

Rep. Devin Nunes’ decision to sue anyone who dares to criticize him – including a fictitious cow on Twitter – backfired spectacularly this week. Again.

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South SJ Valley:

 

Receipts reveal Kern County Fair officials spent thousands at Las Vegas restaurants

abc23

Receipts have revealed new information about the state audit released in August that alleged the gross mismanagement of funds by an unnamed county fair organization.

 

Phil Wyman, former legislator known for conservative positions, dies at 74

Bakersfield Californian

Former state legislator Phil Wyman, frequent political candidate and relentless conservative died Friday at age 74. The longtime Tehachapi resident spent 18 years in the legislature

 

Chandler named publisher of The Bakersfield Californian

Bakersfield Californian

Cliff Chandler has been named publisher of The Bakersfield Californian, effective Sunday. Chandler was promoted from the position of general manager, a role he had held since the July 1 purchase of The Californian by Sound News Media.

 

How Racism Ripples Through Rural California’s Pipes

New York Times

In the 20th century, California’s black farmworkers settled in waterless colonies. The history endures underground, through old pipes, dry wells and shoddy septic tanks.

 

State:

 

California DMV wants $2.2 million to register voters ahead of 2020 election

Sacramento Bee

California’s Department of Motor Vehicles is asking lawmakers for a budget boost of $2.2 million to help it register voters ahead of the state’s March 3, 2020 primary.

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The number of people fleeing California is growing. Is the Golden State too expensive?

Sacramento Bee

About 691,000 people left California to live in other states in 2018, new census estimates indicate. At the same time, roughly 501,000 people came to California from other states, creating a net loss of about 190,000 residents in 2018.

 

California is hardly ‘over.’ But it does need to make two big changes

Los Angeles Times

Maybe it’s the fires, but the news seems filled with California apocalypse stories. One San Francisco based columnist recently wrote, “I’m starting to suspect we’re over.”

 

California Democratic leader says he will not seek re-election in 2020

Sacramento Bee

Assembly Majority Leader Ian Calderon announced on Tuesday that he will not seek re-election next year in his Southern California district, saying he instead plans to spend more time with wife and young children.

 

Walters: The GOP's decline and fall

CalMatters

The very rapid decline of California’s Republican Party — from near-dominance in the 1980s and early 1990s to its current irrelevance — has been one of the state’s most dramatic political events.

 

Federal:

 

Trump dispenses billions of dollars in aid to farmers, hoping to shore up rural base

Los Angeles Times

Moving to offset the impact his trade war has had on rural America, President Trump has bypassed Congress to send some $20 billion in aid to farmers, mostly going to a bundle of states that are essential to his reelection chances next year.

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Richard Spencer: I was fired as Navy secretary. Here’s what I’ve learned because of it.

Washington Post

It is highly irregular for a secretary to become deeply involved in most personnel matters. Normally, military justice works best when senior leadership stays far away. A system that prevents command influence is what separates our armed forces from others. 

 

Religious Freedom Commission: Proposed Changes Divide Lawmakers and Bureaucrats

National Review

In September of this year, the Senate put forward a bill that would change the mission of the USCIRF to include opposition to the “abuse of religion to justify human rights violations,” and would adjust the roles of USCIRF’s nine commissioners.

 

State lawmakers acknowledge lobbyists helped craft their op-eds attacking Medicare-for-all

Washington Post

Lobbyists either helped draft or made extensive revisions to opinion columns published by three state lawmakers in a way that warned against the dangers of Medicare-for-all and other government involvement in health care.

 

Elections 2020:

 

‘I know Joe’s heart’: Why black voters are backing Joe Biden

Fresno Bee

After Kamala Harris challenged Joe Biden’s past opposition to school busing in a Democratic presidential debate, the former vice president who prides himself on strong relationships in the black community was in an unfamiliar place, playing defense on race.

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Sanders: Scripture calls for renewed focus on justice in US

Fresno Bee

As he vies for the chance to replace President Donald Trump, Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders said Sunday that he is running a campaign that, like Scripture, calls for a renewed focus on justice in the way all people should be treated.

 

Harris faces uphill climb amid questions about who she is

Washington Post

It was typical of Harris and her campaign, which has often displayed a desire to be everything to everyone that has instead left voters with questions about who she is, what she believes and what her priorities and convictions would be as president.

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Michael Bloomberg’s chances to become president seem slim. But never say never

Los Angeles Times

Michael R. Bloomberg can’t possibly win the Democratic nomination for president, right? That’s the conventional wisdom. And it makes sense. But political wisdom has become pretty shaky in recent years.

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Andrew Yang seems invisible to the mainstream media — just like most Asian Americans

Los Angeles Times

Asian Americans are often invisible in American culture, and judging by the experience of presidential candidate Andrew Yang, even more so in politics.

 

New Hampshire voters to Steyer: Make it stop!

Politico

The billionaire candidate is flooding New Hampshire with online ads. One reporter sat through 17 of them in an hour of YouTube viewing. Even some of Steyer’s local staff privately acknowledge the volume of ads has gone overboard.

 

O.K., Mayor: Why 37-Year-Old Pete Buttigieg Is Attracting Boomers

New York Times

Calling himself the “retirement guy” and pitching a “Gray New Deal,” Mr. Buttigieg has crafted a message that resonates among older white Americans, helping him rocket past other candidates in some polls.

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How a fight over health care entangled Elizabeth Warren — and reshaped the Democratic presidential race

Washington Post

Warren had pleased many on the left with proposals to take on entrenched corporate and political power. But she was being warned that support for Medicare-for-all could cost her support among Democrats looking for the strongest candidate to take on President Trump.

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Joe Sestak Ends Democratic Presidential Bid

Wall Street Journal

Former Rep. Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania said Sunday he is ending his 2020 presidential campaign after failing to build support in the crowded Democratic field. Mr. Sestak, age 67, failed to qualify for any presidential debates.

 

Montana Gov. Bullock Ends Democratic Presidential Campaign

Wall Street Journal

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, who campaigned for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination by emphasizing his record of winning in a conservative state, said Monday he was dropping out of the race.

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Trump has turned the suburbs into a GOP disaster zone. Does that doom his reelection?

Los Angeles Times

For decades, there was an unvaried rhythm to life in America’s suburbs: Carpool in the morning, watch sports on weekends, barbecue in the summer, vote Republican in November. Then came President Trump.

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Pro-Trump Ads Won’t Bother Sanitizing Image

Wall Street Journal

“We’re not going to try to rehab the president’s image.” Instead, future ads will portray Trump as a fighter who is trying to get things done despite Washington obstinance.

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How old is too old to be president? We are entering uncharted waters

Los Angeles Times

In the entire history of the United States, we have had only two presidents who finished their terms in office after the age of 70.  In 2020, however, we could well have an election in which both of the major party candidates are septuagenarians.

 

What Happens When You Hold an Election and Nobody Runs? Confusion Wins

Los Angeles Times

Although the Democratic field for president is so crowded it is difficult to fit all the candidates onto a debate stage, small municipalities are having trouble persuading anyone at all to run for some positions. 

 

Other:

 

Is it still worth getting to know your neighbors?

Visalia Times Delta

Polls show that most of us Californians love our neighborhoods, but we are less sure about our neighbors.  Californians are less likely than other Americans to work with our neighbors to improve the community.

 

Madera’s cemetery district honored

Madera Tribune

Madera cemeteries are being honored as runner-up to a very prestigious award. Madera Cemetery District has been named runner-up in the 2019 American Cemetery Excellence Award.

 

‘Nothing on this page is real’: How lies become truth in online America

Washington Post

A new message popped onto Blair’s screen from a friend who helped with his website. “What viral insanity should we spread this morning?” the friend asked. “The more extreme we become, the more people believe it,” Blair replied.

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How to Call B.S. on Big Data: A Practical Guide

The New Yorker

To paraphrase the philosopher Harry Frankfurt, the liar knows the truth and leads others away from it; the bullshitter either doesn’t know the truth or doesn’t care about it, and is most interested in showing off his or her advantages.

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AGRICULTURE/FOOD

 

Valley citrus growers welcome rain despite inconvenience

abc30

Recent rains created some sloppy conditions in Valley citrus groves, putting any picking operations on hold for now. But it's a minor inconvenience compared to the benefits growers see with the current weather conditions.

 

Dairy Council of California welcomes four new board members

Hanford Sentinel

Dairy Council of California, a quasi-state government nutrition education organization committed to elevating the health of children and families, welcomed four new members to its board of directors on November 1, 2019.

 

Trump dispenses billions of dollars in aid to farmers, hoping to shore up rural base

Los Angeles Times

Moving to offset the impact his trade war has had on rural America, President Trump has bypassed Congress to send some $20 billion in aid to farmers, mostly going to a bundle of states that are essential to his reelection chances next year.

See also:

 

California agriculture in 2050 – where we are headed and why

Turlock Journal

At its monthly meeting on Nov. 5, the California State Board of Food and Agriculture heard a cautiously optimistic appraisal of agriculture’s future through 2050 from economist Daniel Sumner, director of the Agricultural Issues Center at UC Davis.

 

Farmers Rushed Into Hemp. Now They Face a Glut.

Wall Street Journal

A rush of farmers seeking to grow hemp, which became legal to cultivate in the U.S. last year, is creating a glut, damping prices and leaving some farmers struggling to unload their product.

 

CRIMINAL JUSTICE​​ /​​ FIRE​​ /​​ PUBLIC SAFETY

 

Crime:

 

Are sex traffickers marking targets with zip ties on cars? Here’s what police say

Fresno Bee

From the Montauk Monster to fairy sightings in England, outlandish internet hoaxes have been quickly and easily debunked. It’s the more realistic fakes that are harder to spot. 

 

Supervisors to Hold Special Meeting Monday to Choose Inmate Health Care Provider

Sierra News

The Madera County Board of Supervisors will hold a rare special meeting on Monday to choose a health care services provider for adult and juvenile inmates in county correctional facilities.

 

Their kids died on the psych ward. They were far from alone, a Times investigation found 

Los Angeles Times

A Times review identified nearly 100 preventable deaths over the last decade at California psychiatric facilities.

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This government price-fixing case makes the tuna industry sound like the mafia

Los Angeles Times

The three brands involved are household names: Bumble Bee, StarKist and Chicken of the Sea. The first two have pleaded guilty to criminal price-fixing, agreeing to fines of $25 million and $100 million, respectively. Chicken of the Sea has been awarded amnesty for blowing the whistle on the two others.

 

With state executions on hold, death penalty foes rethink ballot strategy

San Francisco Chronicle

California advocates of abolishing the death penalty got a jolt of momentum in March, when Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that he would not allow any executions to take place while he was in office.

 

New 2020 law #3: California limits when police can use deadly force

CalMatters

Starting Jan. 1, police can legally use deadly force only when “necessary in defense of human life.” That’s a higher standard than prosecutors apply now, when officers are permitted to use such force when it is “reasonable.” 

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EDITORIAL: David Weidert buried a disabled man alive. Now Gov. Newsom must keep him in prison

Fresno Bee

There is justification for the recent trend in criminal justice of lowering penalties for low-level crimes and reviewing long sentences on people who might have been wrongly convicted. However, convicted murderer David Weidert does not evoke any sympathy.

 

EDITORIAL: Newsom must start planning to close a California prison now

San Francisco Chronicle

Though some aspects of the state’s nearly decade-long effort to reform sentencing and reduce severe overcrowding in its prison system have been controversial, they have also proved to be a model for other states seeking to reduce the financial and social toll of incarceration. So Gov. Gavin Newsom’s idea to close one of the state’s prisons is an intriguing next step.

 

Public Safety:

 

Festival of Trees fundraiser helps victims of human trafficking

abc30

The Festival of Trees at River Park is a raffle fundraiser to win a fully decorated tree. All proceeds benefit Made for Them, an organization combating human trafficking in the Valley. The goal is to build a new facility in downtown Fresno to help survivors of trafficking, including children.

 

CHP serving up safety for the holidays

Madera Tribune

As millions of motorists head out for the Thanksgiving holiday, the California Highway Patrol is prepared for one of the busiest travel weekends in America. Unfortunately, in the past, Thanksgiving has also been one of the deadlier holidays on our roadways.

 

Stanislaus County can’t agree to contract with 911 dispatchers. Sides await mediation

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County declared an impasse in negotiations with emergency dispatchers at the Stanislaus Regional 911 center. The dispatchers who handle 911 calls have been working without a contract for five years.

 

A thief evaded police. So a wealthy Sacramento-area community installed license plate readers

Sacramento Bee

Cities and communities in suburban California install license plate readers to help police catch burglars, car thieves and other criminals. The ACLU raises privacy concerns about surveillance.

 

Taft Correctional Institution to remain open at least through March 31

Taft Midway Driller

Taft Correctional Institution got a new lease on life, at least temporarily. The United States Department of Justice announced Friday that the federal prison that employs nearly 350 people will stay open through at least March 31, 2020.

 

Controversy follows Arvin Police Chief

Bakersfield Califorinian

Arvin police chief Scot Kimble appears to have had his share of controversy during his career. Kimble became Arvin's top cop in April and before that he was police chief in McFarland.

 

EDITORIAL: How new laws offer a real chance at reducing fatal officer-involved shootings

Modesto Bee

The seeming recent trend of lawsuit settlements involving officers who killed local people probably is more coincidence than anything else. All are reminders that each life taken is a tragedy, regardless of whether victims’ actions contributed to their demise or they were entirely innocent.

 

Fire: 

 

PG&E says blackouts limited fires despite 1 likely failure

Fresno Bee

The nation’s largest utility said Friday that its distribution lines haven’t sparked any major wildfires since it began shutting off power to Northern California customers during periods of high fire risk.

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Judge Rejects PG&E Challenge To California Law Requiring Utilities To Pay For Wildfire Damage

Capital Public Radio

A federal bankruptcy court judge on Wednesday rejected Pacific Gas & Electric's latest attempt to change a California law requiring utilities to pay for the devastation from wildfires ignited by their electrical equipment.

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EDITORIAL: The clock is ticking on California’s next fire season. We need to get ready

Los Angeles Times

Dangerous, destructive, seemingly apocalyptic wildfires have always been an element of life in California. Like earthquakes, they’re part of the deal people make to live in a state that also offers a culture of reinvention, extraordinary natural beauty and fabulous weather. 

 

ECONOMY / JOBS

 

Economy:

 

Fresno business owners discuss importance of shopping local 

abc30

According to American Express, Small Business Saturday spending nation has reached an estimated $103 billion since it began back in 2010, and every time you buy local on this day around 67 cents stays in the community.

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Merry Clickmas! Black Friday online sales hit record $7.4B

abc30

Much of the shopping is happening on people's phones, which accounted for 39% of all online sales Friday and 61% of online traffic.

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What should California’s economic and job priorities be in 2020? Inequality, homelessness and more

Sacramento Bee

California Influencers this week answered the following question: What should the most important priority in the area of economic policy and job creation be for Governor Newsom and the State Legislature in 2020? Below are the Influencers’ answers in their entirety.

 

America's income inequality gap is growing

Changing America

The gap between rich and poor in the United States is the largest it’s been since the Census Bureau started monitoring income inequality more than 50 years ago. Yet, the nation’s poverty and unemployment rates are at all-time lows.

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Elon Musk and the Dying Art of the Big Bet

Wall Street Journal

In the age of Big Data, Tesla’s stated approach to market research—ignoring it altogether—seems especially reckless. 

 

Jobs:

 

Low unemployment numbers hide income inequality, other economic issues in California

Fresno Bee

California has now experienced almost 10 years of uninterrupted economic growth. But as the state braces itself for the inevitable downturn, the storm clouds on the horizon are becoming more menacing.

 

Gig economy companies made workers arbitrate disputes. Then didn’t pay fees to start cases.

San Francisco Chronicle

In his San Francisco courtroom, U.S. District Judge William Alsup has berated lawyers for Google, Oracle, Uber and PG&E. Last week, an attorney for DoorDash found himself the target. The issue was the way the meal-delivery startup pushed its couriers into arbitration.

 

Job Quality Index indicates American jobs are getting worse

CBS News

Although the U.S. is on a record streak for job-creation, many Americans still feel like they can't get ahead — it's not their imagination. The last three decades have seen the economy churn out more and more jobs that offer inadequate pay, a group of researchers found.

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As Trump Courts Unions, His Apprentice Plan Risks Alienating Them

Wall Street Journal

President Trump’s plan to expand apprenticeships into more vocations risks creating a rift with construction workers he is courting for support in next year’s election.

 

At The Mercy Of An App: Workers Feel The Instacart Squeeze

NPR

Quickly, they find themselves at the mercy of an algorithm — ever-changing pay structures, no assurance of a minimum wage, the smallest tweak of the app capable of upending their livelihoods.

 

EDUCATION

 

K-12:

 

How SCOE, Stanislaus Community Foundation are teaming to make young kids ‘Ready!’

Modesto Bee

The preschoolers were unaware of the attention focused on them and their future careers by team members of StanReady!, a program designed to ensure that every Stanislaus County child is just that —​​ ready, when it’s time to start kindergarten.

 

Walters: Will schools get more state aid?

CalMatters

To the denizens of the state Capitol, the onset of the holiday season also marks the beginning of the state budget cycle.

 

Higher Ed:

 

Survivor stories to be shared at Stanislaus State program keep a light on Holocaust

Modesto Bee

Eva Kor had been lined up to speak at the first Holocaust remembrance event at California State University, Stanislaus, called We Can All Create Light. The event, Sunday afternoon, Dec. 8, in the Turlock university’s Main Stage Theatre, will include a tribute to her.

 

After 23 years, Ag Science Center joins up with Stan State

Modesto Bee

The National Ag Science Center, best known for a lab that travels to Modesto-area junior high schools, has come under the wing of California State University, Stanislaus.

 

Dean Robert Harper from Craig School to retire

Fresno State News

After a long and rewarding career in higher education, Robert M. Harper, dean of the Craig School of Business, will be retiring on Dec. 31.

 

California higher education hangs in the balance as UC, Cal State search for new leaders

Los Angeles Times

In a rare confluence that will shape the future of California higher education, the state’s two top university jobs are open, high-profile vacancies that position its leaders as national pacesetters because of the size and status of the two systems.

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UC outsources thousands of jobs to private contractors. Is that a good idea?

Los Angeles Times

The University of California is at war with its largest union, the 26,000-member Local 3299 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

 

Just how selective have UC schools become? Top students feel the pressure

San Francisco Chronicle

Tens of thousands of students applied to the University of California in November for admission in the fall. In-state students who once would have been shoo-ins are coming up with backup plans.

 

For a day, they were individuals, not just inmates. CSUB takes Ethics Bowl to California Correctional Institution

Bakersfield Californian

This was the Ethics Bowl, a debate of sorts pitting a team of incarcerated men against a small group of philosophy students from CSU Bakersfield.

 

Med school free rides and loan repayments — California tries to boost its dwindling doctor supply

CalMatters

Students are being lured by full-ride scholarships to medical schools. New grads are specifically recruited for training residencies. And full-fledged doctors are being offered loan repayment programs to serve low-income residents or work in underserved areas.

 

Podcast: How universities can help tackle global challenges

Brookings

The world faces a range of challenges, including increasing numbers of refugees, income inequality, loss of fertile land leading to rising hunger, and climate change. Governments and global institutions are addressing these problems using a variety of tools.

 

ENVIRONMENT/ ENERGY

 

Environment:

 

Toxic fog may be poisoning some of California’s mountain lions, study says

Fresno Bee

Mountain lions dwelling in the Santa Cruz Mountains along the California coastline have three times as much mercury in their system as those in other parts of the state, a UC Santa Cruz study shows.

 

UN chief warns of ‘point of no return’ on climate change

Fresno Bee

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Sunday that the world’s efforts to stop climate change have been “utterly inadequate" so far and there is a danger global warming could pass the “point of no return.”

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Margaret Mangan wants Californians to know — and love — their backyard volcanoes

Los Angeles Times

California is famous for its catastrophic earthquakes and wildfires, but they are not our only natural hazards. As head of CalVO, Mangan has drawn attention to the state’s more overlooked threats: a dozen restive volcanoes.

 

California banned plastic bags. So why do stores keep using them?

San Francisco Chronicle

Three years ago, California voters upheld a state law prohibiting single-use plastic grocery bags. Environmentalists declared victory. Business groups cried government overreach.

 

The Secret Weapon in the Fight Against Climate Change: Worker Power

The Nation

We have a powerful enemy in the form of fossil capital. To defeat it, we need a powerful low-carbon labor movement.

 

California banned plastic bags. So why do stores keep using them?

Sam Francisco Chronicle

Three years ago, California voters upheld a state law prohibiting single-use plastic grocery bags. But for all the furor, shopping bags made from plastic film remain commonplace in checkout lines across the state. 

 

Energy:

 

Fresno, Madera, Kern Residents Likely To See Fewer Burn Days This Winter

VPR

Tuesday night’s storm may have cleaned up the air for much of the Valley and foothills, but winter is still the season the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District limits wood burning.

 

Republican Fervor Ebbs for Offshore Drilling

Wall Street Journal

Mr. Trump campaigned on a promise to boost domestic energy production. Instead, Republican leaders up and down the Southeastern seaboard have pledged to put the beauty of the coastal waters above the U.S. thirst for oil, posing a formidable obstacle to any expansion of offshore drilling.

 

Millennial and Gen Z Republicans stand out from their elders on climate and energy issues

Pew Research

There are significant divides between younger Republicans – Millennial and Gen Z adults, currently ages 18 to 38 – and their elders in the GOP on a range of environmental and energy issues.

 

HEALTH/HUMAN SERVICES

 

Health:

 

Is poverty a matter of life or death? Here’s where Fresno life expectancy is shorter

Fresno Bee

Neighborhoods with higher poverty rates face many challenges, including lower educational attainment, greater reliance on public assistance, and higher rates of people who are uninsured.

 

Birthrates in the U.S. are falling. Abortions have also hit an all-time low.

Washington Post

Rates of births and abortions in the United States again declined in the most recent years for which data is available, as women experience fewer pregnancies, according to analyses released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

Human Services:

 

How text messages from Kaiser put 11,000-plus Californians on road to food, better health

Sacramento Bee

In the last three months, the health care team at Kaiser Permanente used text messaging to sign up more than 11,000 of its neediest California members for a government program that will give them up to $200 a month for groceries.

 

Dignity Health Sports Complex hopes to provide unique space for Bakersfield youth

Bakersfield Califorinian

Bakersfield youth will soon have a space all their own for a whole host of sports, even the electronic kind. Work on the Dignity Health Sports Complex is nearly done, and the facility plans to open its doors to the public next week.

 

'It’s like a nightmare you never wake up from.' Parents wait years for subsidized daycare

CalMatters

Some parents have become so discouraged that they've taken to calling the long paper line for California's daycare subsidy the “no hope list.” Just one out of every nine eligible children are enrolled in full-time subsidized care programs.

 

A Prescription of Poetry to Help Patients Speak Their Minds

Wall Street Journal

Doctors at several major hospitals are experimenting with poems as a source of psychological relief and connection.

 

IMMIGRATION

 

Cost Of Citizenship Would Rise 60% Under Trump Plan

Capital Public Radio

Low-income immigrants would be affected the most, since they already have trouble paying the naturalization fee. “Every penny counts for these families," one advocate said.

 

As Supreme Court decision looms, undocumented Asians say they must speak up or risk losing DACA

Los Angeles Times

Experts say Asian and Pacific Islander recipients of DACA are often overlooked despite there being over 1.7 million undocumented members of this group in the country.

 

LAND USE/HOUSING

 

Land Use:

 

Housing versus agriculture: The battle for California's land

abc10

California loses square mile of farmland every five days, according to the state’s Department of Conservation. And 70 percent of that loss is prime farmland, areas with rich soils and water access.

 

Clovis Planning Commission Approves Indoor Playground, 24-hour Permit for Crunch Fitness

Clovis Roundup

During the meeting a request was made to approve 24-hour operations at the new gym, Crunch Fitness on Shaw and Peach. The hours of operation are currently 5 a.m. to midnight. The request was granted and will move forward to the City Council meeting.

 

Sierra National Forest to Hold Public Meeting on Special Use Permits for Summer

Sierra News

The Sierra National Forest (SNF) will be holding a public meeting regarding Special Use Permits (SUP.) The intent of this meeting is to reach out to any person(s) or entities that organize and/or hold recreational events in the SNF.

 

Park group submits ballot initiative

Hanford Sentinel

Once again, citizens are fighting to keep the vacant, city-owned, 18-acre parcel west of Hidden Valley Park as public facilities.

 

If wish list comes true, Hart Park visitor center poised to become park jewel

Bakersfield Califorinian

It's been a year of change and improvement at Hart Park. Now the race is on to establish an official visitor center alongside the Kern River in this picturesque county location. 

 

Housing:

 

The homeless are fed and embraced across the country at Thanksgiving. The rest of the year? Cities are pushing back

Visalia Times Delta

Thanksgiving is a time to remember the less fortunate, donate food and host community turkey dinners. But when it comes to coping with unsheltered homeless people, some cities are running low on patience.

 

Can money, new dwellings stem homelessness?

Madera Tribune

Californians are about to find out whether money and new apartment-style dwellings can do much about the state’s expanding and seemingly intransigent problem with homelessness.

 

Modesto police have plan to combat illegal camping when outdoor shelter closes

Modesto Bee

Modesto police have started rolling out a plan to handle the potential increase in illegal camping — including in parks and downtown — and other violations of city ordinances in response to the impending closure of the Modesto Outdoor Emergency Shelter.

 

Council approves housing complex

Porterville Recorder

A second complex sporting the Palm Terrace name will be making its way into the City of Lindsay, as the site plan for the housing development was approved by the Lindsay City Council at their regular meeting Tuesday evening.

 

A possible homelessness ballot measure in 2020

Los Angeles Times

Californians might be asked to vote on another homelessness ballot measure next year under a new proposal being considered by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s top homelessness advisers.

 

Opinion: Don’t Blame Tech Bros for the Housing Crisis

New York Times

The spiraling housing costs in West Coast tech hubs are the result of 40 years of tax and land use policy — a period that mirrored the explosive growth of the tax-averse tech industry.

 

PUBLIC FINANCES

 

Gavin Newsom’s climate order focuses on pensions and roads. What does it mean for taxpayers?

Sacramento Bee

Newsom’s order directs the state’s Transportation Agency, pension funds and the department that manages government contracts to reconsider how they spend the public’s money with an eye toward investing in projects that could help Californians prepare for climate change. 

 

Late raises for California state workers won’t arrive by Christmas

Sacramento Bee

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation Oct. 13 approving union contracts with general salary increases and a collection of special pay bumps. Raises for about 19,000 workers represented by four unions were set to go into effect as soon as the state could process them.

 

The Tax Code Can’t Handle Negative Rates

Wall Street Journal

While recent comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell indicate that the Fed hopes to avoid resorting to negative interest rates during the next recession, without them the central bank’s ability to stimulate growth may be limited. 

 

TRANSPORTATION

 

California leadership is delivering truly high-speed rail. Now is not the time to return to yesterday

Fresno Bee

“Let’s get this 171-mile project done,” Gov. Gavin Newsom declared. At a recent economic summit in Fresno designed to further his Regions Rise Initiative, the Governor reiterated his commitment to delivering the nation’s first truly high-speed rail system in America.

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Wet roadways cause spinouts, traffic collisions on Valley highways

abc30

First responders have had a busy morning as steady rainfall caused several incidents on highways across the Valley.

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Competition greets bus operators between Bakersfield and Los Angeles

Bakersfield Californian

Greyhound Lines still makes the trip, of course, but now it has competition — from four different services if you count Kern County's 7-month-old commuter route to the Metrolink station in Santa Clarita.

 

California Asks For Clarity In Clean Car Rollbacks. EPA’s Answer Might Affect Your Commute.

Capital Public Radio

The rule stripping California of its power to police climate-warming car pollution is supposed to take effect Nov. 26. Still unknown is whether this affects 2021 vehicles or earlier editions — and what it means for California's commuters.

 

California electric vehicle sales are up. But will we reach the 5 million goal by 2030?

Los Angeles Times

While overall sales for new cars in California dipped in the third quarter, the combined market share for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids in the Golden State has continued to grow.

 

WATER

 

Locals gear up for fight to keep Kings River water away from Kern district

Fresno Bee

Just as they did more than two generations ago, Kern County farmers are looking to another Central Valley river to the north to refill their groundwater shortfall. But this time around, natives in the Kings River watershed are “sharpening their knives” to fight off what they say is a desperate water grab.

 

More rain on the way in the Valley and snow in the mountains. What you need to know

Fresno Bee

More wet weather heads to the Valley this week as one storm ends Monday and another lands Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

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Water in the bank: Coalition of agencies develops ‘historic’ sustainable groundwater plan

Stockton Record

There’s progress to report in the momentous task of ensuring that San Joaquin County and surrounding communities have enough water to meet anticipated needs for the next 20 years.

 

White House, CDC in dispute over crucial study on toxic chemicals, sources say

Stockton Record

A multimillion-dollar federal study on toxic chemicals in drinking water across the country is facing delays due to a dispute within the Trump administration, according to several sources involved in the study or who have knowledge of the process.

 

“Xtra”

 

Fresno State Symphony Orchestra presents their ‘Winter Celebration’ concert

The College of Arts and Humanities at Fresno State

The Winter Celebration concert is at 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 6 in the Fresno State Concert Hall. Tickets for this family-friendly event are $15 general, $10 for seniors and employees and $5 for students. Parking is free after 4 p.m. in Lot P1 or P31.

 

People want to save first tree of Christmas Tree Lane. ‘It’s part of our history’

Fresno Bee

This is the deodar cedar that turned a stretch of Van Ness Boulevard into beloved Christmas Tree Lane with its decoration a century ago.  The tree is over 100 years old now, with many lopped limbs and a thin, scraggly canopy.

 

Historical Perspective: Enduring magic of Storyland came to life in 1962

Fresno Bee

Another in John Walker’s occasional Historical Perspective series looks at Storyland in Fresno CA. A major fundraising effort helped bring it to life in 1962. After falling into disrepair, it reopened in 2014.

 

Downtown Visalia ready for Candy Cane Lane Parade

Visalia Times Delta

For many Visalians, the holiday season officially kicks off with Candy Cane Lane parade downtown. Those in the holiday spirit are set to march 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2, along with a 1.5-mile stretch west down Main Street.

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Local organizations to raise money, awareness on Giving Tuesday

Bakersfield Califorinian

The season of giving is just getting started and several local organizations are taking part in the global generosity movement known as Giving Tuesday.

 

EDITORIAL: Focus on what’s important this holiday season

Stockton Record

This may be the season of giving and thankfulness. It’s also the season, especially this year, of rushing and panicking. It will feel, no doubt it already feels, like the tasks that must be done exceed the time available to get them done.