December 3, 2018




DEADLINE THIS FRIDAY DEC. 7TH - Scholarship Of Up To $6,000

For The Maddy Institute Legislative Intern Scholar Program  San Joaquin Valley Spring 2019 and Washington D.C./Sacramento Summer 2019

The Maddy Institute

The Maddy Scholar Intern Program’s goal is to prepare the next generation of political, governmental, business, non-profit leaders for the San Joaquin Valley through internship opportunities in local, state and federal government offices in Washington, D.C., Sacramento and throughout the region.


North SJ Valley:


Merced County pensions still only 51.4% funded


Merced County pensions may have the lowest funding level of any public pension system in California, a shortfall officials attribute to a big retroactive pension increase for all county employees a decade ago and faulty actuarial work.


Josh Harder upset Jeff Denham. What’s next as he takes his ‘nerdiness’ to Washington?

Modesto Bee

Part of his job in coming months, Harder said, involves reaching out to Denham’s supporters in a search for middle ground. Harder had repeatedly criticized the incumbent for failing to host town hall meetings where he might be asked tough questions, and for voting with GOP principles 97.8 percent of the time, and said he wants to avoid those mistakes.


Withrow hangs on – by 129 votes – to beat Madrigal for Board of Supervisors

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County Supervisor Terry Withrow has been re-elected in a tight race against Modesto Councilman Tony Madrigal


Are Bay Area transplants changing CA Central Valley politics?

Sacramento Bee

Despite an influx of thousands of new residents from the typically-liberal Bay Area, the Central Valley is maintaining its moderate-to-conservative politics.


Central SJ Valley: 

Congressman Jim Costa returns from Mexico after serving on delegation to Presidential Inauguration


Congressman Jim Costa spoke with members of the media about serving on the congressional delegation to Mexico's Presidential Inauguration. "Clearly there is a lot that we can do to improve the well being of the Mexican people but it starts first with Mexico," Rep. Jim Costa said.


Fresno City Council to Vote on 23% Raises in Lame Duck Session

GV Wire

Oliver Baines hopes to give two of his colleagues and two incoming councilmen a parting gift — a 23% raise. Baines is headed into the last month of his council tenure. He is termed out, with his service concluding Jan. 3, 2019.


Can a sexually violent predator in state custody run for office in California?

Fresno Bee

In the weeks leading up to the November election, Coalinga Mayor Nathan Vosburg was scrambling to get people to vote. He worried that a sexually violent predator living at Coalinga State Hospital was going to be elected to City Council.


Frank Powell – hypnosis-using psychologist, veteran-turned-Peace-Corps leader – aided Fresno

Fresno Bee

Powell, who died Saturday of cancer, is remembered as a man of integrity and insight who improved Fresno as a prominent psychologist,Fresno State professor, veteran, Peace Corps leader and businessman who was behind the scenes of numerous organizations.


Addressing digital deserts of rural California can help lift entire economy


In many rural areas, a basic technological lifeline that most Californians take for granted is missing:  Accessible broadband service.


South SJ Valley:

County crackdown on underage tobacco sales yields results

Bakersfield Californian

The number of local businesses who have being caught selling tobacco products to underage customers has dropped by half from 20 percent in 2007 to an expected 9 percent this year, according to Kern County Public Health.


George H.W. Bush was once a Bakersfield resident

Bakersfield Californian

Former President George H.W. Bush and his young family once lived — albeit briefly — in Bakersfield. Barbara and George H.W. Bush, who later became the nation’s 41st president, lived for from June to September 1949 in the small, white, wood-sided house at 2101 Monterey St.

See Also:

     Former President George H.W. Bush dies at age 94 Bakersfield Californian

      See former President George H.W. Bush's funeral route Visalia Times-Delta




A new Legislature, a new session


California’s new Legislature gets sworn in today, featuring more Democrats and more women, though fewer new faces than in past years.

See also:

      Fun facts about California’s newcomers in the Capitol Sacramento Bee


Women in the CA 2016 General Election

California Women Lead

There will be at least 23 women in the Assembly out of 80 seats, up from 17 in the class of 2016. In the Senate,  the eight female senators elected last month will bring the number of women in that chamber to 14 out of 40.  Prior to the election, there had been 10.


Democrats rule California Legislature, but they may not be united

San Francisco Chronicle

There is not yet a word for the Democratic dominance in the state Assembly. It used to be supermajority, but Democrats eclipsed that two-thirds threshold during last month’s election. What do you call the Democrats’ three-fourths majority that will be sworn in Monday in the 80-member Assembly? Ultra-super majority? Super-duper majority? Or as Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon suggested, giga-majority?

See also:

      Skelton: Democrats have a mega-majority in the California Legislature. Expect them to swing for the fences Los Angeles Times

      California Democrats thank Trump for legislative majorities  Associated Press

      Rendon: ‘Supermajority’ doesn’t change Democratic Party’s goals Sacramento Bee

      Those flipped House seats created a visible Dem wave—but big blue shifts also lurked beneath the surface CALmatters

     My turn: How Democrats flipped 7 of 7 GOP Congressional seats in 2018 CALmatters

     California’s new Legislature will look a lot like the old one — and that's just what voters ordered Los Angeles Times

     Dem domination: California Legislature is turning many shades of blue CALmatters

     Democrats have a mega-majority in the California Legislature. Expect them to swing for the fences Los Angeles Times


PODCAST: What's Next for the California Republican Party?


California Democrats crushed state Republicans in the recent midterm election, reducing the GOP to seven of the state's 53 seats in the House of Representatives. We'll talk with California republicans about how the party plans to move forward.

See Also:

      These men want to lead California’s Republican Party – what’s left of it The Orange County Register

      The New Republican Myth of California Voter Fraud New York Intelligencer

      Why bother? Many Republicans skipped voting when their option was Dem or Dem CALmatters

     The Suburban Revolt: For Republicans, the midterm results suggest a daunting challenge ahead. City Journal


Walters: Where do middle-of-the-road voters go now?


Perhaps NewWay California and Govern for California should join forces and create a new party, or quasi-party, to represent the interests of middle-of-the-road Californians, who otherwise are becoming political refugees in their own state.


How much did interest groups pay per vote? The answer, as we break down the midterms with data


Who got the best deal at the ballot box this year? We look at how much money was spent on each ballot proposition per vote.


OPINION: California’s New Privacy Law Is No Model For The Nation

The Daily Caller

Understanding “privacy” can be a daunting task. Crafting a law to protect consumer “privacy,” especially online privacy, is a challenge even under the best of circumstances.​​ Unfortunately, California’s new privacy law hurts consumers in the Golden State and nationwide.


California officials, including Earl Warren, once opposed birthright citizenship

San Francisco Chronicle

President Trump’s promise last month to do away with birthright citizenship for U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants drew predictable scorn from some prominent Californians. 


One lesson from Bauman’s resignation? MeToo isn’t going away


The resignation of California Democratic Party chairman Eric Bauman comes at a particularly emotional moment in California politics—on the heels of historic wins for Democrats and after a year of bipartisan reckoning over the apparent culture of sexual bullying within the political class.



Congress, White House on the brink of another government shutdown


Washington is on the brink of another government shutdown, with Democrats and Republicans sparring over funding President Donald Trump's signature (and unfulfilled) campaign promise, with government funding set to expire on Dec. 7 at midnight.

See Also:

      Congress considers measure to postpone shutdown deadline until after Bush memorial services The Washington Post

      VIDEO: New Washington, Different Questions? The Wall Street Journal


Top House Intel committee Dem says Trump and his business were 'compromised'


Rep. Adam Schiff, the leading Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said that there is now a witness in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, President Donald Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen, who Schiff said confirms that "the president and his business are compromised."

See also:

      Willie Brown: What Robert Mueller must be thinking: I signed up for this? San Francisco Chronicle

     A web of lies and deceit: The Trump-Russia plot thickens with Michael Cohen guilty plea  Visalia Times Delta:

     Trump’s towering conflict of interest San Francisco Chronicle

     Pardoning Manafort would be unambiguous grounds for impeachment. Take it off the table, Mr. President  Los Angeles Times.


Democrats have the House, now they need an economic agenda that gives Americans better-paying jobs


Isabel Sawhill argues that Democrats should use their House majority to build a new social contract centered around creating better jobs and giving more workers a shot at the American Dream. 

See Also:

      Democrats won big in CA but face big challenges nationally CALmatters

      Victories, Then Scandal. What’s Next for Democrats? New York Times

      OPINION: Democrats and Racial Division The Wall Street Journal.


Trump Administration to Try Again to Fulfill Infrastructure Pledge

The Wall Street Journal

The Trump administration is preparing to make another attempt at honoring one of the biggest unfulfilled promises of the president’s election campaign: a $1 trillion upgrade of the nation’s road, rail and energy infrastructure.

See Also:

      Rebuilding crumbling infrastructure has bipartisan support. But who gets to pay for it? Los Angeles Times


Kamala Harris to decide on 2020 White House bid ‘over the holiday’

Washington Post

Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) said Saturday that she plans to make the “very serious” decision about a potential 2020 presidential bid in the coming weeks. “Over the holiday, I will make that decision with my family,” Harris said in an interview with MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski at the Know Your Value conference in San Francisco.


Tom Steyer inches closer to 2020 White House bid

The Washington Post

Steyer announced the move Tuesday on his website and with a full-page ad in newspapers across the country. His “five rights” focus on education, the environment, voting rights, the economy and health care




Dramatic improvements in campaign technology reshaped the midterm election; the presidential race awaits

Los Angeles Times

The new technologies could give fresh-faced candidates with appeal to grass-roots donors a major advantage over older, more established names.


Implications of Differential Privacy for Census Bureau Data and Research


The new approach, known as differential privacy, represents a radical departure from current practice. In its pure form, differential privacy techniques may make the release of useful microdata impossible and severely limit the utility of tabular small-area data.


Sunset magazine, a California icon, struggles amid declining ad sales and management missteps

Los Angeles Times

More than a dozen current and former employees and contributors interviewed by The Times describe an organization in disarray. Five top editors, including the editor in chief, have quit in recent weeks. Some freelance writers haven’t been paid for months


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Want To Start a Food Truck Business? They'll Show You How.

GV Wire

Thinking about going into the mobile food business? Then you might want to attend a mobile vendor summit Monday, Dec. 10, in Fresno.


California lawmakers propose ban on sale of flavored tobacco products, including those used in e-cigarettes

Los Angeles Times

Six California legislators proposed Thursday to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products — including those used in electronic cigarettes — in retail stores and vending machines in the state, citing concern over a steep increase in nicotine use among youths.


The farm bill: On SNAP, Congress chooses welfare over work once again


So it looks as though the farm bill is going to pass through Congress without making any substantial changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps).




Public Safety:


Police find girl with gun in backpack at Gateway High in Clovis

Fresno Bee

The girl told police she had the gun “for personal protection for a fight after school at a location in Fresno,” Munro said. No one at Gateway was threatened with the gun, he added.


Gavin Newsom plans to go further on gun control than Jerry Brown

Sacramento Bee

“There are a number of things he vetoed that I would not have vetoed, and there are a number of things that I want that haven’t been done,” Newsom said in an interview with The Sacramento Bee. He declined to discuss specific policies.


Why this UC Davis gun violence researcher says the NRA did a big favor for his cause

Sacramento Bee

“The NRA kicked a hornets’ nest, and there’s just been a tremendous spike in interest,” said Wintemute, who practices at UC Davis Medical Center.


The Tensions Over Criminal-Justice Reform

Wall Street Journal

Video: Journal Editorial Report




California’s choice: Let it burn or figure out how to fight these ferocious fires

Merced Sun Star

Scientists predict extreme fire danger across the West will become the new normal by the middle of the 21st century, says report by the U.S Forest Service. Gov. Jerry Brown says we’re already living in the new abnormal.

See Also:

      OPINION: To Help Prevent the Next Big Wildfire, Let the Forest Burn The New York Times


One small change to California’s wildfire prevention law could spark a huge political fight in Sacramento

Sacramento Bee

California’s biggest utilities will soon have more flexibility in covering costs associated with wildfires sparked last year and in years to come — but not those that began in 2018, a gap in state law one legislator hopes to soon close.

See Also:

     Would legislation have prevented California wildfires? PolitiFact

     Lawmakers: After Yet More Wildfires, What Now For PG&E? KQED


California takes over failing insurer after wildfire

AP News

California regulators moved to take over an insurance company that can’t pay out all claims following the Camp Fire, a massive wildfire that destroyed more than 13,000 homes.


EDITORIAL: Lessons for the future of California’s fire country

San Francisco Chronicle

The toll for the most destructive fire in California history has been steep: 88 people are dead, hundreds are still missing, 18,000 buildings have burned, and the final cost of recovery will be in the billions.






Many California Families Struggle to Afford a Basic Household Budget, Which Averages Nearly $76,000 a Year for a Family of Four With Two Working Parents

California Budget & Policy Center

Despite strong economic growth and declining unemployment in California in recent years, many households across the state still face significant challenges in affording basic expenses, according to a new report from the California Budget & Policy Center


Keeping the CA Dream alive and thriving in the Central Valley

California Forward

“We represent California’s next frontier,” said Mark Hendrickson, co-chair of the California Central Valley Economic Development Corporation. For starters, costs of living and of doing business in the Northern San Joaquin Valley are less than in Southern California or coastal areas. We’re just over the hill from the booming Silicon Valley and its high-tech magic. 


What went wrong at the Bakersfield Investment Club

Bakersfield Californian

The now-defunct Bakersfield Investment Club was one of the city’s biggest financial scams in recent memory. A complex resolution 2½ years in the works is coming to a head this month. More than 200 investors will likely take losses totaling about $8 million.


The Trump Administration’s Trade War With China Is Likely to Affect Businesses in All California Congressional Districts

California Budget & Policy Center

The ongoing US trade war with China, initiated by the Trump Administration, shows little sign of ending soon.

See also:

      Trump’s China Trade Truce Wall Street Journal

      Trump Names Lighthizer to Run U.S.-China Negotiations  Wall Street Journal

      After 'highly successful meeting,' U.S. and China agree to new talks and hold off on raising tariffs for 90 days The Washington Post

      Trump, China’s Xi Agree to End Trade and Tariff Standoff Roll Call

     Dow surges 425 points, global markets rally on investor optimism following trade truce between U.S. and China The Washington Post

     U.S., China Face Thorny Obstacles to Lasting Trade Peace The Wall Street Journal

     Trump-Xi deal buys time but doesn’t solve deep U.S.-China differences over trade Los Angeles Times

      OPINION: New Nafta’s Bad Omens The Wall Street Journal


5 things to know about USMCA, the new NAFTA


Overall, the changes from the old NAFTA are mostly cosmetic. After a year and a half of negotiations, the three parties are going to end up with a new trade deal that looks remarkably similar to the old NAFTA.

See Also:

      Trump and leaders of Mexico and Canada sign new trade pact to revise NAFTA, but uncertainty remains Los Angeles Times

      Trump Says He Plans to Withdraw From Nafta New York Times

      Nafta Suicide Note Wall Street Journal

      Is the new NAFTA the biggest trade deal ever, as Donald Trump said? PolitiFact


The Joint Budget Committee failed, but it produced some useful ideas


Because the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform was unable to approve a bill, it will be viewed, for the time being, as having failed to produce anything of lasting value. But that might be a premature verdict.


American Exceptionalism May Be Ending—at Least in Stocks

Wall Street Journal

The S&P 500’s dominance over the MSCI All Country World Index has looked shaky in recent weeks.


Nexstar Reaches Deal to Buy Tribune Media for $4.1 Billion

Wall Street Journal

Deal would make Nexstar the largest local TV company in the U.S..


EDITORIAL: New governor will face California’s economic challenges

Santa Cruz Sentinel

In addition to challenges Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom faces on high-speed rail and health care (Nov. 25 Editorial), here’s another: The state’s economy — including housing,  pension liabilities and public education.




Labor pushes to protect California ruling that redefines who is an employee

Sacramento Bee

Seeking to protect a legal victory they believe is the most important for California workers in a generation, organized labor and its allies on Monday will launch efforts to bolster a recent state court decision on independent contractors.


Lawsuit Seeks to Have Private Attorneys General Act Declared Unconstitutional

Fox & Hounds

On Wednesday, the California Business & Industrial Alliance (CABIA) representing hundreds of employers filed a complaint in Orange County challenging the Private Attorneys General Act’s (PAGA) constitutionality.


Do meaningless jobs exist in America?


A recent book claims 40 percent of jobs are meaningless. But a closer look at the data reveals quite a different picture of American job satisfaction.


Jobless Claims Increased Last Week

Wall Street JOurnal

Claims, a proxy for layoffs across the U.S., remain at a low level indicative of a tight labor market


How the US military became the exception to America’s wage stagnation problem


Pay increases for America’s mid-grade, active duty military members have significantly outpaced those of middle-class civilians over the last 18 years. Federal Executive Fellow Brendan Stickles explains why, and argues that military service has become one of “the last bastions of middle-class social mobility.”






More California kids would attend preschool under push in Legislature

Sacramento Bee

Democrats return to the California Capitol on Monday with their strongest political advantage in decades poised to fulfill a huge item on their list of pent-up demands: Vastly expanded access to preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds.


California school districts to get ‘wake-up call’ with new absenteeism measures


At least 40 percent of California school districts and charter schools have rates of chronic absence in grades K-8 that are high or very high based on new performance measures that will be unveiled next month as part of the state’s updated school accountability system, known as the California School Dashboard.


California's graduation rate ticks up but, still, 1 in 10 high school students drops out


Gaps among student groups persist despite overall gains.


Teacher Pay: How California Ranks


Following midterm elections that attracted nearly 180 teacher candidates, pay for educators could be a big issue in state legislatures.


Higher Ed:


Applications for Wonderful Public Service Graduate Fellowship

The Maddy Institute

Applications for two $56,000 Fellowships Due Friday, February 22nd, 2019. Through the generosity of The Wonderful Company, San Joaquin Valley students will have the opportunity to become the next generation of Valley leaders through The Wonderful Public Service Graduate Fellowship. The Maddy Institute will award two $56,000 Fellowships to Valley students who are accepted into a nationally ranked, qualified graduate program in the fall of 2019.


How A Fresno State Physicist Got More Instagram Followers Than Neil DeGrasse Tyson


When you think of Instagram celebrities, the Kardashians and performers like Beyonce probably come to mind. But with the Instagram handle@PhysicsFun, one of Fresno’s own scientists recently reached a million followers. He has almost as many as the astronaut Scott Kelly, and even more than celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.


Fresno State alumnus credits English professors with helping him succeed

Fresno State Campus News

So how do you go from being a traveling hardware salesman and college dropout to landing your dream teaching job at your high school alma mater?


Increasing Latino college completion is key for California's economy, report states

NBC News

By 2060, almost half of the state's residents will be Latino. College graduation rates have improved, but only 18% of Latino adults have a degree.

See also:

       'Latinos' is out, 'Latinx' is in at UC San Diego in nod to evolving gender and sexuality terms Los Angeles Times

What is the Role of Higher Education in the Gig Economy?

California Forward

Technology is leading the transformation and causing a continual need for skilling, reskilling and upskilling, particularly for those who comprise the gig economy -- freelancers, independent contractors and professionals, consultants, side giggers and more.

California students find tuition discounts, less-crowded campuses out of state


While the exchange helps only a sliver of California’s college-bound students, the state has become the top exporter of students among 15 states in the exchange. The number of California students who received tuition discounts through the exchange has more than tripled over the last decade, from 5,082 in the 2008-09 school year to 17,584 last year.

California Student Aid Commission backs expansion of Cal Grant program


The California Student Aid Commission, which oversees the state’s financial aid system, voted unanimously to endorse a package of changes that estimates say could provide Cal Grants to more than 200,000 additional students.


Measuring growth in test scores is key to understanding student progress


With the campaign behind him, incoming State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond has a tremendous opportunity to champion systems and policies put in place to benefit students. One way we can do that is to change the way the state measures progress on its standardized tests in math and English.


Betsy DeVos is wrong about the ‘government takeover’ of student loans


Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has a reputation as a champion of the free market. It was therefore disappointing to see her praise a defunct program that appeared to bring the market into student loans, but actually represented big government at is worst.

See Also:

      OPINION: Judges for Betsy DeVos The Wall Street Journal




Welding program at Richmond high school idled: lack of teacher

San Francisco Chronicle

The welding program at John F. Kennedy High School in Richmond has been unable to offer any classes this year because the teaching job is vacant. You read that right. There’s a school in the home city of Rosie the Riveter national historic park that can’t find someone to teach students how to join metal with heat.






California wildfire emissions equal year of power pollution

AP News

Wildfires in California in 2018 released the rough equivalent of about 68 million tons of heat-trapping carbon dioxide — about the same amount of carbon emissions as are produced in a year to provide electricity to the state, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Friday.

See also:

     Camp Fire’s climate toll: Greenhouse gases equal about a week of California auto emissions San Francisco Chronicle

      Hazardous Waste Cleanup From Camp Fire to Begin in Paradise KQED

      About 6 to 8 Million Tons of Toxic Debris, Soil and Concrete Left Behind in Wake of Camp Fire KTLA


As Fires Burn: It’s Time to Take Climate Change Seriously in Rural California

California Forward

The 2018 California wild fire season is expected to surpass the 1.4 million acres burned in 2017, which was the second most destructive wildfire season on state record. As of today, fires are fiercely burning in both Northern and Southern California.

See also:

     California talks good game on climate change, but it’s still a land of SUVs and sprawl

     West Hawaii Today

     State’s Progress on 5 Million Zero Emission Vehicles by 2030 California Center for Jobs and the Economy


2018 Is On Track To Be the Fourth Hottest Year On Record, Scientists Say


The average global temperature for the period between January and October was close to 1°C above the pre-industrial baseline (1850-1900), the WHO says. The figures are based on five independently maintained global temperature data sets

See also:

       What to watch at the COP 24 climate change conference Brookings

       Mobilize the Private Sector to Avert a Climate Crash Wall Street Journal




Path to Zero Net Energy

Fresno State Campus News

The future of homebuilding and its alignment with California’s advanced energy goals took center stage at A Path to Zero Net Energy Symposium held on campus Nov. 15.


What happens if PG&E goes bankrupt?


It’s a concern not just for PG&E—one of the largest utilities in the nation—but also for utilities and their customers throughout California. State laws make power companies especially liable for fires sparked by and around their equipment, and California’s fire season is year-round now, thanks to global warming.

See also:   

Oil’s Swings Hit Junk Bonds, Prompting Fresh Debt-Market Concerns

Wall Street Journal

Investors scramble to assess risks for businesses and financial markets.






County records first flu death of the season

Bakersfield Californian

Kern County has registered its first flu-related death for the 2018-19 flu season. The county Public Health Services Department declined to provide any information about the person for privacy and safety reasons.


Recognizing suicide’s warning signs could save lives


Only 1 in 25 suicide attempts results in death. Research shows that most are preceded by warning signs such as extreme agitation or calm, withdrawal, and excessive drinking or drug use. Many people will talk about wanting to end their lives, say goodbye to others and give away belongings.

See Also:

      The off-duty killer: Suicide has become an occupational hazard for police officers Fresno Bee


Drug Overdose Deaths in the United States, 1999–2017

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Deaths from drug overdose continue to be a public health burden in the United States (1–5). This report uses the most recent final mortality data from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) to update trends in drug overdose deaths, describe demographic and geographic patterns, and identify shifts in the types of drugs involved.


Human Services:


Fresno’s black community lives in a crisis. Will city leaders finally work to end it?

Fresno Bee

In key metrics like employment, income and home ownership, African Americans living in Fresno fare much worse than their peers nationwide. Fresno was ranked the 10th worst city for blacks in 24/7 Wall St.’s list of Top 15 worst cities in the nation.


Trends in Social Security Disability Insurance Enrollment

Congressional Research Service

The total number of disabled-worker beneficiaries was approximately 2.7 million in 1985, peaked at approximately 9.0 million in 2014, and then declined over the last three years by nearly 0.3 million. In December 2017, 8.7 million disabled workers received SSDI benefits.


Divided government unlikely to deliver any real health care reforms, former Permanente CEO says

The Hill

"Yes it can be done but it’s not going to come out of Congress, I don’t believe," he said, referring to major improvements in patient costs and health outcomes.


GOP balks at Trump drug pricing plan


Republican opposition is building to a proposal from President Trump to lower drug prices in Medicare.

EDITORIAL: California will pay for Congress’ health care failures

San Francisco Chronicle

new report by the UC Berkeley Labor Center and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research projects a substantial increase in the statewide uninsured rate by 2020 and an even larger increase by 2023.



Newsom vows to withdraw Guard from border, seeks help for humanitarian crisis


A month out from his inauguration, California Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom is staking out his own ground when it comes to immigration policy and relations with Mexico, signaling he’s not interested in keeping National Guard troops at the border and that he intends to seek more state resources to address humanitarian concerns.

See also:

     FACT CHECK: What's Happening On The U.S.-Mexico Border? NPR


Immigration question is complex and so is the answer

Stockton Record

One of the few things clear is that immigration has become a highly emotional and divisive issue. Look no further than Sunday when about 500 migrants rushed the San Ysidro border crossing.

See also:

       What does it say about us when we slam shut our doors? Modesto Bee

       Border Wall Fight Overshadows Other Policy Battles in Congress The Wall Street Journal

       Countering Trump at the Border The New Yorker


Donald Trump falsely says family separations were Obama policy


Despite President Donald Trump’s repeated claims that the Obama administration separated immigrant children from their parents at the border the same way the Trump administration did, the facts remain unchanged: that’s not true.




Land Use:


Join us at the 4th Annual Code Enforcement Symposium!

San Joaquin Valley Housing Collaborative

On December 6th from 10 AM - 2 PM in Madera, as we explore updates and hot topics in community-led code enforcement.


The Best Bike Cities in America


From building bike lanes to boosting bike share to installing bike-specific traffic signals and simply creating more fun places and ways to ride, here's our ranking of the 50 cities that are doing the most to make urban riding awesome.




The U.S. Housing Boom Is Coming to an End, Starting in Dallas

Wall Street Journal

Home prices zoomed higher in recent years, and mortgage rates are climbing. Buyers are queasy.


No Place Like Home

California Sunday Magazine

The very concept of home is under siege in the Golden State. Here is what it looks like, from living at the top to the very bottom. California Sunday Magazine


Solving homelessness shouldn’t be Caltrans’ responsibility

Sacramento Bee

A growing number of California agencies and local governmental entities are forced to confront homelessness, a humanitarian crisis that often isn’t suited to agencies’ missions.



Gavin Newsom wants to redesign California’s tax system. It’s so hard, Jerry Brown didn’t try

Sacramento Bee

California likes to tax the rich. A lot. The top 1 percent of earners provides about half of personal income tax revenue, by far the largest source of funding for the state government.

See also:

      Gov.-Elect Newsom’s Tax Reform Plans Will Face Bipartisan Resistance Fox & Hounds


Public employees won’t recover union fees after court ruling

Sacramento Bee

For now, public sector unions don’t have to return money they collected from workers under a now prohibited system that allowed them for decades to charge fees to workers who did not want to join them.

The state’s smart move to help Californians save for retirement

Los Angeles Times

The program, called CalSavers, automatically creates tax-advantaged individual retirement accounts for workers whose employers do not provide pensions, 401(k) plans or other retirement benefits. 


CalPERS plans new way to invest in private equity

Public CEO

Private equity has been the highest-yielding investment for CalPERS. But it’s also resulted in prison for a former chief executive, criticism because sky-high fees were not tracked, and frustration from being unable to target specific investments and shunned by some big firms.

House Republicans Work Against the Clock on Tax Bill

Wall Street Journal

Lawmakers have just days to pass package of fixes to last year’s tax overhaul before Democrats take control of House.

See also:

     Lessons From the Tax Overhaul, a Year In Wall Street Journal




Assemblyman calls for high-speed rail chair’s resignation, amid critical audit

Fresno Bee

The chairman of the state Assembly Transportation Committee is calling for California High-Speed Rail Authority board chairman Dan Richardto resign after a state audit that was critical of the rail agency’s decision-making and oversight of billions of dollars worth of in consulting contracts.


Walters: Newsom will inherit troubled bullet train project


The messiest bit of unfinished business Gov. Jerry Brown will bequeath to successor Gavin Newsom is one of the outgoing governor’s pet projects, a north-south bullet train project.


Gas-tax repeal backers’ next target: high-speed rail

Fresno Bee

Secretary of State Alex Padilla’s office announced Friday that Carl DeMaio, a conservative radio talk show host and former San Diego City Council member, and other backers of the the proposed initiative have six months to gather nearly 600,000 signatures from registered voters to qualify the measure for the ballot.

See Also:

      California paves way for possible petition drive for initiative that would cancel bullet train Los Angeles Times


The Best Bike Cities in America


From building bike lanes to boosting bike share to installing bike-specific traffic signals and simply creating more fun places and ways to ride, here's our ranking of the 50 cities that are doing the most to make urban riding awesome.




Huge Delta water deal backed by Dianne Feinstein, Jerry Brown, Kevin McCarthy

Fresno Bee

California’s most senior Democrat and most powerful Republican in Washington are teaming up to extend a federal law designed to delivermore Northern California water south, despite the objections of some of the state’s environmentalists.


My turn: How Newsom can use water management to confront climate change


If Newsom can modernize the state’s water governance and provide clean drinking water to all, he would truly make his own mark in establishing California as a world leader by building resilience to climate change.

See also:

      Steyer’s next steps: water CALmatters



China Peak welcome hundreds of skiers, snowboarders for opening weekend


It was a big weekend for China Peak as they welcomed hundreds of skiers and snowboarders for an opening that came three months earlier than it did last year.


Fresno State will play in the Las Vegas Bowl against Arizona State


Saturday night the Bulldogs beat Boise State 19-16 in overtime to win the Mountain West Championship for the first time since 2013.


HOLIDAY GIVING: CSUB to host 2nd annual holiday mixer

Bakersfield Californian

California State University Bakersfield Alumni Association will celebrate its 2nd annual holiday mixer on Tuesday. It will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at The Padre Hotel's Prairie Fire Lounge.


Gift ideas at the Gibson Farm Market

Fresno State Campus News

New seasonal products are in at the Gibson Farm Market!