February 21, 2019


North SJ Valley:

Former Merced County area mayor, ex-school board member pleads guilty in bribery case

Fresno Bee

Tommy Jones, a former Los Banos Unified School District board member and city mayor, has pleaded guilty in connection with the alleged bribing of a fellow ex-school board member for his vote on a school contract.

Former Modesto Irrigation District attorney claims discrimination in lawsuit

Modesto Bee

The Modesto Irrigation District’s former attorney is suing the utility, alleging that she endured sexual discrimination and gender-based harassment that male managers weren’t exposed to before she was fired in November.

Central SJ Valley:

Emails threaten sexual violence Against Fresno Co supervisor candidate Nasreen Johnson

Fresno Bee

Fresno County Board of Supervisors candidate Nasreen Johnson received two anonymous emails Monday threatening sexual violence against her, and police have been notified.

Absentee Returns Suggest Strong Interest in Supervisor Race

GV Wire

The election clerk’s office reports that voters have returned nearly 11,000 absentee ballots in the March 5 election for a vacant Fresno County supervisor seat. That is a 15% return rate of the approximately 71,600 sent out.

City’s attorney resigns

Madera Tribune

After months of 60-day contract extensions and closed-session negotiations with the Madera City Council, City Attorney Brent Richardson has reportedly resigned. His last day was Friday, according to sources with knowledge of the events.

Tulare City attorney defends validity of council vote for loan to healthcare district


Tulare Interim City Attorney Mario Zamora defends the Tulare City Council 2-0 vote on Feb. 12 to offer a $9 million line of credit to the Tulare Local Healthcare District (TLHCD).

South SJ Valley:

Possible gas leak at Justice building

Bakersfield Californian

The downtown Justice building is currently being evacuated due to a possible gas leak, according to the Kern County District Attorney’s Office.

McCarthy applauds DOT move, suggests HSR funds go to water, highways

Bakersfield Californian

President Trump has directed the Department of Transportation to cancel $929 million in funding that had been designated for California’s beleaguered high-speed rail project, and he wants the state to return the additional $2.5 billion in federal money it has already spent.

See also:

●     Trump administration demands California return billions doled out for high-speed rail abc30

●     Trump pulls nearly $1B from high-speed rail Visalia Times Delta

●     Trump Wants California To Pay Back Billions For Bullet Train Capital Public Radio

●     Trump’s plan to take back $2.5 billion in California’s high-speed rail funding ‘unprecedented’ Los Angeles Times

●     How trains under the bay – not high-speed rail – may connect Sacramento and San Francisco Sacramento Bee

●     Walters: It’s time to derail the train to nowhere CALmatters

●     How High-Speed Rail Got Caught Between Newsom and Trump New York Times

●      Feds Battle With California Over Bullet Train Funding May Be Just Beginning  KQED

●      Skelton: Newsom can thank Trump for saving him from his high-speed rail flub Los Angeles Times

●     EDITORIAL: Will California’s bullet train be derailed by a waffling governor and a petty president? Los Angeles Times

●     EDITORIAL: High-speed train wreck belongs to Newsom, not Trump San Francisco Chronicle

●     EDITORIAL: Trump Rescues Newsom Wall Street Journal

●     EDITORIAL: California bullet train setback shouldn’t be end of the line USA Today


New Governor can see past coast all the way to the Valley. That’s a change.

Modesto Bee

In his first State of the State address, Gov. Gavin Newsom proved that his map of California does in fact include the San Joaquin Valley, the Inland Empire and other back-bone communities too often ignored.

Funding for West Coast SEALs and submarines at risk under Trump border plan, Democrats say

Sacramento Bee

California stands to be among the biggest losers of President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration if he succeeds in using his executive power to redirect funds from military construction projects to build a border wall.

‘We Object To The President Doing His Job In An Illegal Way’: Becerra Comments On California’s Latest Lawsuit Against President Trump

Capital Public Radio

CapRadio’s Ben Adler asked California Attorney General Xavier Becerra about the legal battle over the president’s national emergency declaration and a debate over police use of force at the state Capitol.

See also:

●     Can progressives trust Xavier Becerra to police the police? CALmatters

●     Lawsuit targets Becerra over police secrecy Capitol Weekly

California youth, Latino and Asian-American vote jumped in 2018

NBC News

Last year, 27.5 percent of young Californians voted, up from about 8 percent in 2014, and 36 percent of eligible Latinos voted, up from 17 percent.

Trump’s War on California


It’s undoubtedly a blue-state bastion. But far from being a socialist hellhole, the Golden State is thriving after years of malaise.

With the California GOP on Life-Support, Members Look to New Leadership


What’s left of the Republican Party in California is meeting in Sacramento this weekend to elect a new party chair, listen to speeches from former White House spokesman Sean Spicer and failed gubernatorial candidate John Cox — and party like it’s 1994.

See also:

●     California Republicans look into the abyss Politico

California Democrats: are they really democratic?

Porterville Recorder

It was one of the biggest disconnects in last year’s elections. In early 2018, 54 percent of delegates to a convention of the California Democratic Party voted to desert longtime U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and endorse the termed-out former president of the state Senate, Kevin de Leon.

See also:

●     Fox: SoCal Key to Democratic Nomination? Fox & Hounds

California kids need $17 million to close digital divide, Newsom can make that happen

Sacramento Bee

Truly personalized learning. This is how Lindsay Unified School District in the Central Valley is shifting how we think about what it means to take ownership of one’s educational journey. A once low-performing district has now become a model for redesigned learning.

See also:

●     24 Million Americans Still Lack Broadband Connectivity Pew Charitable Trusts

Why cities, counties may turn to the state political watchdog to enforce local campaign finance issues

Riverside Press Enterprise

Cities and counties across California are reaching out to the state’s political watchdog about possibly enforcing their campaign finance and ethics ordinances under a new law that took effect on Jan. 1.


Democrats’ measure blocking Trump emergency will come Friday

Stockton Record

Though the effort seems almost certain to ultimately fall short — perhaps to a Trump veto — the votes will let Democrats take a defiant stance against Trump that is sure to please liberal voters. They will also put some Republicans from swing districts and states in a difficult spot.

After 2 years, Mueller’s Russia probe may be near its end. CNN says DOJ preparing for report as early as next week

Hanford Sentinel

Attorney General Bill Barr is preparing to announce as early as next week the completion of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, with plans for Barr to submit to Congress soon after a summary of Mueller’s confidential report.

See also:

●     Trump and His Associates Had More Than 100 Contacts With Russians Before the Inauguration New York Times

●     Republicans rally around Trump after McCabe asserts DOJ discussed removing the president Merced Sun-Star

●     Ex-Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen to Testify at Open House Hearing Feb. 27 Wall Street Journal

Will Joe Biden run in 2020? Some close to the former vice president say ‘yes.’


Former Vice President Joe Biden says he hasn’t made up his mind about a run for the White House, but sources who have spoken with him in private say they think he’ll run.

See also:

●     Bernie Sanders already moved Democrats to the left. Why is he running again? Los Angeles Times

●     Do Trump’s sagging approval ratings in key states mean trouble for his reelection? Los Angeles Times

●     How President Trump helps divide Democrats by fanning the flames of socialism Sacramento Bee

●     Initial 2020 House race ratings are here Roll Call

●     ‘Sustained and ongoing’ disinformation assault targets Dem presidential candidates Politico

●     How race and education are shaping ideology in the Democratic party Brookings

●     Byron York: Dems’ hard-left turn poses dilemma for ‘Never Trumpers’ Washington Post

‘America first’ increasingly looks like America alone

Los Angeles Times

The annual Munich Security Conference is usually a somnolent affair, a ritual renewal of vows between the United States and its European allies. This year was different. Germany’s outgoing chancellor, Angela Merkel, finally said what she thinks of President Trump.


ProPublica Editor: Transparency, Forthrightness Are Key To Regaining Trust In Media


In 2018, a Gallup poll reported that 45 percent of Americans trusted mass media to report the news accurately and fairly. That’s up from an all-time low of 32 percent in 2016, but still far lower than the levels of trust in the 1990s.

Your phone and TV are tracking you, and political campaigns are listening

Los Angeles Times

Welcome to the new frontier of campaign tech — a loosely regulated world in which simply downloading, connecting to Wi-Fi, or powering up a home router can allow a data broker to monitor your movements with ease, then compile the location information and sell it to a political candidate who can use it to surround you with messages.

Americans’ ignorance of history is a national scandal

Washington Post

You simply can’t understand the present if you don’t understand the past. There is no more alarming case study of the consequences of historical ignorance than President Trump.

Evidence-Based Policymaking Resource Center

Pew Charitable Trusts

This framework consists of five key components to help governments use rigorous evidence and data to guide policy and funding decisions.

See also:

●     Stateline 2019 Calendar Pew Charitable Trusts

EDITORIAL: No, there’s no #MeToo exception for LGBTQ

Los Angeles Times

It should be clear by now that people can’t justify their inappropriate sexual behavior by claiming that they’re fond of locker-room talk or that they came of age in a bygone era with different mores. That’s just as true for the LGBTQ community as for any other.


Sunday, February 24, at 10 a.m. on ABC 30 – Maddy Report: preempted

Sunday, February 24, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) – Maddy Report – Valley Views EditionValley Views Edition“Information Illiteracy, Fake news and Real (California) Facts”  – Guests: Senator Bill Dodd (D); Renée Ousley-Swank, President Elect – CA School Library Association; John Myers, Sacramento Bureau Chief – LA Times; Dan Walters, Reporter of the Sacramento Bee; and Mac Taylor – California Legislative Analyst, LAO. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

Sunday, February 24, at 7:30 a.m. on UniMas 61 (KTTF) – El Informe Maddy“‘Follow the Money!’ A Primer on the Calif Budget Process” – Guest: Edgar Cabral, Analista Oficina de Analisis Legislativo. Host: Maddy Institute Program Coordinator, Maria Jeans.


It’s official, Bill Lyons joins Gov. Newsom’s staff as a voice of the Valley

Modesto Bee

Former state secretary of Agriculture takes a new position – Governor’s Agriculture Liaison. He will advise Gavin Newsom on ag, water and the jobs so important to the Central Valley.

Cold, wet weather has almond growers worried about this year’s pollination

Bakersfield Californian

It’s still too early to say how big an effect recent chilly weather will have on this year’s almond bloom, but there is some concern in Kern almond orchards that the bees probably won’t be working as hard as they would be if conditions were warmer.

See also:

●     Could recent weather affect SJ almond crop? Stockton Record

Farmers, FarmHers, And Falcons: 2019 World Ag Expo Has It All


Farmers donning boots and stetsons, marketing-types in polos: The 2019 World Ag Expo in Tulare has a good mix of both.

Lodi Stops Using Roundup Weed Killer Near Playgrounds Due To Health Concerns

Capital Public Radio

The city of Lodi will no longer use the herbicide Roundup to control weeds around municipal playgrounds due to concerns about its long-term health effects.

California lawmakers seek tax, other limits on sugary drinks

Sacramento Bee

California lawmakers are trying again to discourage the consumption of sugary beverages, proposing a tax, warning labels, and a ban on soda displays near checkout lines among other measures.

See also:

●     California Lawmakers Want To Tax Sugary Drinks And Regulate Soda Sizes Capital Public Radio

●     California lawmakers propose soda tax, outlawing super-size sugary drinks Los Angeles Times

●     ‘Big Gulp ban,’ soda tax coming before California Legislature San Francisco Chronicle

In Garlic Capital, Tariffs And Immigration Crackdown Have Mixed Impacts

Valley Public Radio

Gilroy, Calif., is known as the garlic capital of the world. And two Trump administration policies — one on trade, the other on immigration — are having a mixed impact on this agricultural community south of San Francisco.



Fatal Fresno police shooting: Attorney releases body cam footage, Chief Dyer responds

Fresno Bee

The attorney for the family of a man shot and killed by a Fresno police officer in 2016 released for the first time on Wednesday body camera footage of the deadly shooting, saying the man was killed “in cold blood.”

Catholic priests would have to report child sex abuse under proposed California law

Fresno Bee

In California, priests are not required to report child sexual abuse if learned of under the seal of confession. A state senator has introduced a bill to make church clergy mandated reporters.

Reward offered to catch thieves stealing beehives from Central Valley orchards


There are millions of bees in the Central Valley to help the almond bloom this season, but thieves are also trying to get their hands on the precious hives.

Violent crime rises in Merced. Overall crime is down by 12 percent, chief says

Merced Sun-Star

Violent crime in Merced rose by 3 percent in 2018 but overall crime was down by 12 points, according to statistics delivered this week by the chief of police.

U.S. Hate Groups Rose 30% In Recent Years, Watchdog Group Reports


The Southern Poverty Law Center found a 30 percent increase in U.S. hate groups over the past four years and a 7 percent increase in hate groups in 2018 alone, according to the center’s annual “Year in Hate and Extremism” report.

Supreme Court limits states’ ability to seize private property involved in crimes


The Supreme Court moved to limit states’ ability to seize private property involved in a crime, saying the forfeitures are subject to protection against excessive fines.

See also:

●     Justices: States can’t impose ‘excessive’ fines Visalia Times Delta

●     Supreme Court Limits Civil Asset Forfeiture, Rules Excessive Fines Apply To States Capital Public Radio

●     Supreme Court bolsters the right of owners to fight police seizures of property Los Angeles Times

●     The Supreme Court ruling on ‘excessive fines’ has an Easter egg for libertarians Los Angeles Times

Public Safety:

Plenty of bite with these barks as three new K9 teams join Fresno PD

Fresno Bee

Three new K9 officers and their partners were sworn-in Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019 in Fresno. Two mounted patrol officers were also sworn-in.

Valley senator introduces bill to help prevent teen suicides


A Valley Senator is introducing a bill designed to help prevent teen suicides. Senator Melissa Hurtado a Democrat from Sanger along with other lawmakers introduced SB 331. If passed, the legislation would require all California counties to develop a suicide prevention plan.

‘One on One’: Of 2,000 KCSO candidates only 6 remain, Youngblood says

Bakersfield Californian

Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood was in the TBC Media studios Wednesday for “One on One with Robert Price,” talking about the challenges facing his cash- and personnel-strapped department.

Fatalities from police chases climbing, could be higher than records indicate

Sacramento Bee

At least 416 people were killed in police chases in 2017, the fourth straight year that the number of people killed during police pursuits went up.

1 in 55 U.S. Adults Is on Probation or Parole

Pew Charitable Trusts

Probation and parole populations grew 239 percent from 1980 to 2016, and with that came a dramatic rise in the per capita rate of community supervision, which was 1 in 55 U.S. adults—nearly 2 percent—in 2016.

Former top military advisers urge Congress to pass gun background checks bill

Roll Call

More than a dozen retired top military commanders, leaders and advisers, whose careers spanned both Republican and Democratic administrations, are throwing their weight behind a bill in the House and Senate that would require universal background checks for all U.S. gun sales.

EDITORIAL: Police unions lose on bottling up misconduct records

San Francisco Chronicle

Police unions aren’t winning the way they used to in bottling up records of officer misconduct. After a law took effect in January requiring open records, unions went to court to thwart such transparency, a tactic that’s just received a stinging setback.


Butte Strong Hires New Design Firm To Begin Rebuilding Paradise After Camp Fire

Capital Public Radio

Three months after the blaze burned most of Paradise to the ground, baby steps are being taken to remake the town, including the hiring of a group to ask residents the best way to rebuild.

See also:

●     Gov. Newsom signs wildfire recovery bills, visits Camp Fire survivors abc10


These four chain stores are bankrupt. So what’s next for these Fresno and Clovis retailers?

Fresno Bee

A flurry of familiar chain stores in the Fresno area has filed for bankruptcy. The retailers are facing many of the same challenges: Competition from online shopping, crushing debt and an inability to adapt to the changing retail world.

See also:

●     Here’s when Merced and Atwater Payless Shoes stores are set to close for good Merced Sun-Star

Stocks eke out third day of gains as investors await progress on trade talks

Los Angeles Times

Wall Street capped another day of listless trading Wednesday with a slight gain, extending the market’s winning streak to a third day.

Fiscal 50: State Trends and Analysis

Pew Charitable Trusts

State tax revenue rose sharply in mid-2018 for the third quarter in a row, closing out most states’ budget years with the second-strongest stretch of growth since the Great Recession.

See also:

●     States Strengthened Fiscal Policies in 2018 Pew Charitable Trusts

The solution to capitalist inequality: Radical markets


The problems the radical Left seeks to address are real. But their solutions are not nearly radical enough. Local experiments, rather than irreversible federal schemes, are the way to go.



Only Armenian School in the Central Valley is expanding


A small school in Clovis is making big plans for the future. Charlie Keyan Armenian Community School was just approved to increase enrollment to 220 students.

Bonds will raise $131 million for Modesto schools. Who will oversee how it’s spent?

Modesto Bee

In November, voters gave Modesto City Schools approval to issue a whopping $131 million in bonds for renovations and improvements to elementary and middle school campuses. Now, the school district needs to appoint an independent citizens committee to monitor the spending of Measure D and Measure E funds.

Visalia Unified purchases 83 acres at southwest corner of Lovers Lane and Caldwell


Visalia Unified has yet to begin constructing a fifth high school but it already knows at least one potential location for a sixth.

Higher Ed:

Deadline FAST APPROACHING:  Wonderful Public Service Graduate Fellowship

The Maddy Institute

Applications for two $56,000 Fellowships Due Friday, March 15th, 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.

A true national security threat

San Francisco Chronicle

In January, the Modern Language Association reported that colleges across the country have shut down a “stunning” 651 language programs over the past three years.

Creating an Affordable-College Model for California

California Budget & Policy Center

In order to meet the state’s workforce demands, reforms must be made to ensure all students have access to an affordable higher education that will prepare them to enter the workforce with the skills they need to be successful.

As Students Struggle With Stress and Depression, Colleges Act as Counselors

New York Times

More than 60 percent of college students said they had experienced “overwhelming anxiety” in the past year, according to a 2018 report from the American College Health Association.


BC’s Automotive Technology program gets master accreditation

Bakersfield Californian

Bakersfield College’s Automotive Technology program has been awarded a Master Automobile Service Technology Accreditation.



Climate threat doubter is leading effort to advise Trump

Merced Sun-Star

The Trump administration is exploring the idea of a special committee to look at climate change and security risks, with the effort being coordinated by a 79-year-old physicist who rejects mainstream climate science.

See also:

●     White House readies climate change panel, but some fear the game is rigged Los Angeles Times

●     Climate skeptic may lead WH panel to study climate change and national security CNN

Sacramento Might Feel More Like Bakersfield By 2080

Capital Public Radio

In six decades, you might wake up in Sacramento and feel like you’re living in Bakersfield. That will be the reality if emissions continue at their current rates, says Matt Fitzpatrick with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.

California lawmakers propose phasing out plastic products that aren’t recyclable

Los Angeles Times

With Californians already barred from getting plastic straws in many restaurants unless they request them and grocery stores not providing single-use plastic bags, state lawmakers are again proposing to ramp up efforts aimed at significantly reducing products that are not recyclable, including plastic cups, forks, spoons and packaging.

Market Expectations About Climate Change

National Bureau of Economic Research

An emerging literature examines how agents update their beliefs about climate change.


The Green New Deal’s Impossible Electric Grid

Wall Street Journal

The Democrats’ Green New Deal calls for a fully renewable electric power grid. Regardless of the economic or political challenges of bringing this about, it is likely technologically impossible.

See also:

●     Green New Deal Won’t Enjoy a Free Lunch at the Fed Wall Street Journal



California hits 207 flu deaths earlier than last year

Sacramento Bee

Although the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is classifying this flu season as low in severity, California medical providers have reported more deaths related to influenza during this flu season than they did for the comparable period a year ago.

Life expectancy in the US: You’re most likely to live a long life in Hawaii and California

Sacramento Bee

With the exception of the last two years, when it dropped largely because of spikes in opioid deaths, life expectancy in the United States has generally been increasing.

Human Services:

Camarena opens new pediatric center in downtown

Madera Tribune

Camarena Health opened its first Camarena Kids Pediatric Health Center in a facility in downtown Madera.

Modesto’s unpaid medical claims could reach millions of dollars

Modesto Bee

Modesto is acknowledging its employees are facing millions of dollars in unpaid medical claims related to Riverstone Capital, the city insurance carrier that is subject to U.S. Department of Labor legal action.

See also:

●     Health spending could rise 5.5 percent a year through 2027. Here’s why PBS NewsHour

●     Health-Care Spending Projected to Accelerate as Population Ages Wall Street Journal

‘A Coen Brothers Movie In The Making’ – Inside A Failed Attempt At Election Meddling In Tulare


When Tulare Regional Medical Center reopened its doors back in October, it was a new beginning. The embattled hospital had been closed for a year after its previous owner had bungled its finances so badly —and suspiciously—that declaring bankruptcy became the only way to start over.

We need a child care system that keeps California working and children learning


Uncertain times, like the recent partial shutdown of the federal government, have a ripple effect on working families. We saw countless reports of how families were experiencing financial chaos when federal workers missed paychecks and could not cover basic household costs.

Big Pharma companies sue CalPERS, state prisons to block disclosure of drug prices

Sacramento Bee

CalPERS could be on the hook for attorneys’ fees after a Los Angeles County judge ruled that pharmaceutical companies don’t have to publicly disclose plans to raise drug prices, according to information from CalPERS’.

See also:

●     The government quashes a nasty stunt used by drug makers to keep prescription prices high Los Angeles Times

●     California could be first state to bar drug makers from paying competitors to delay release Los Angeles Times

A tax penalty could help shore up Obamacare in California. Gavin Newsom wants to try it.

Sacramento Bee

But that could change if California Gov. Gavin Newsom recreates the individual mandate at the state level as part of his plan to prop up the state’s health insurance exchange and get more people insured.

See also:

●     Health insurers are exacting their revenge for the GOP’s sabotage of Obamacare Los Angeles Times


Advocates say US still separates migrant families needlessly

Merced Sun-Star

Advocates and lawmakers are questioning the treatment of children who cross the Mexico border with relatives other than their parents.

With Mesa Verde potentially on the brink of closure, more than 70 lawyers and advocacy groups demand transparency

Bakersfield Californian

A group of more than 70 legal service providers and advocacy groups are calling for more transparency of the Mesa Verde ICE Detention Facility in Bakersfield that could potentially be on the brink of closing.

Jared Kushner privately working on reshaping legal immigration

Sacramento Bee

As debate in public rages about illegal immigration and a border wall, Jared Kushner has been holding private meetings in the West Wing on ways to overhaul the legal immigration system.

Florida congressman misrepresents data on murders attributed to immigrants in the country illegally


Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., has defended bringing up illegal immigration and a need for a border wall at a hearing on gun violence.


California lawmaker makes aggressive push against local development restrictions

Los Angeles Times

Citing the increasing cost of housing across California, a Bay Area lawmaker wants to sweep away a host of local restrictions on development in an effort to spur new homebuilding.

Could this new bill help solve California’s housing crisis? New study suggests otherwise

Fresno Bee

Sen. Scott Wiener wants CA to use upzoning to help make housing more affordable. A new study on zoning changes near transit centers in Chicago found housing prices went up but the number of units built did not.

Gov. Newsom Takes Softer Approach To Housing Compliance At Meeting With California Mayors

Capital Public Radio

The California governor admitted Tuesday that suing the city of Huntington Beach was an aggressive start to getting California cities and counties to comply with state housing goals.

Modesto To House Homeless Campers In Temporary Tent City

Capital Public Radio

The Outdoor Emergency Shelter will eventually have 300 tents located under the Ninth Street Bridge at Tuolumne River Regional Park.

State Lawmakers Pursue One-Stop Shop for Homeless Funding


A group of Democratic state say California’s current system of helping the homeless is a bureaucratic maze, and want $450 million in the state budget to create a one-stop shop for local governments to access funds for everything from rental assistance, to health services, to shelters.

Housing is a human right. California lawmakers must work to provide it


It’s simple: housing is a necessity, a human right. Our state policies must be designed to ensure that everyone, regardless of income, race, or age, has safe, stable, affordable housing.


I owe how much? Americans shocked by impact of new tax law

Sacramento Bee

Wait, I owe the IRS? The first tax filing season under the new federal tax law is proving to be surprising, confusing — and occasionally frightening — for some Americans, especially those accustomed to getting money back from the government.

Expanding Social Security for the rich (huh?)


Yes, Social Security needs to be fixed – and soon, since the trust funds may run out. Social Security needs targeted reforms, not an across-the-board benefit increase for many retirees who already are doing well.


‘No speed limit lanes’ on 99, 5 highways?

Visalia Times Delta

Forget about the high-speed rail zipping commuters from San Francisco to Los Angeles. One Southern California politician, Senator John Moorlach (R- Orange County), introduced a bill that would do away with speed limits for certain lanes on I-5 and Highway 99.

See also:

●     German-style autobahn coming to California? One state senator sees the need for speed Visalia Times Delta

●     California Might Add Lanes With No Speed Limit to Major Highways The Drive

Union Pacific and Madera Police conduct railroad safety operation


Union Pacific Police along with Madera Police are working together to prevent tragedy. They are patrolling a busy intersection on Cleveland and Gateway in Madera. Three roads meet here and railroad tracks cut through all of it.

How trains under the bay – not high-speed rail – may connect Sacramento and San Francisco

Merced Sun-Star

Capitol Corridor officials have joined with BART to explore building a tunnel under the bay that would carry BART and Capitol Corridor trains from Sacramento to downtown San Francisco.

Belle Terrace Bridge demolition postponed because of impending weather

Bakersfield Californian

Demolition activities scheduled for tonight at the Belle Terrace Bridge have been cancelled due to anticipated rain.

Talks between Trump administration and California over fuel-economy standards break down

Los Angeles Times

The breakdown increases the likelihood that both sides will spend years fighting in the courts over car pollution standards.

See also:

●     Trump-California rift widens as auto emissions talks fail Reuters


‘The four lettered word that begins with S and ends with NOW’ could be hitting Valley

Fresno Bee

There’s a storm coming to the central San Joaquin Valley and depending on how things play out, it could bring a surprise for parts of the region. “The four lettered word that begins with S and ends with NOW,” according to an Area Forecast Discussion.

See also:

●     North end of Bass Lake iced over after heavy storms, frigid conditions Fresno Bee

●     State agencies say Valley is prepared for a California megastorm abc30

●     Modesto will get more rain, snow in its watershed. How do they compare with 2017? Modesto Bee

●     Snow likely around 500 feet on Thursday Visalia Times Delta

●     Few concerns over flooding after wet weather Stockton Record

●     More cold weather and snow expected for Northern California Sacramento Bee

●     Cold storm to drop snow levels to lower elevations Los Angeles Times

Feds announce initial Central Valley Project water allocation. Westlands isn’t pleased

Fresno Bee

San Joaquin Valley farmers on the east side will be getting their full allocation of San Joaquin River water, while farmers on the west side will be getting only 35 percent to start, according to the 2019 initial water supply allocation released by the federal Bureau of Reclamation.

See also:

●     Despite healthy snowpack, some water users disappointed in initial allocation abc30

●     Initial 2019 water allocation released for Central Valley Project KGET

●     Delta interests should seize the opportunity to cease water fights CALmatters

California wastes most of its rainwater, which simply goes down the drain

Los Angeles Times

California’s wet winter has dumped an estimated 18 trillion gallons of rain in February alone. But much of it is simply going down the drain.

See also:

●     Wet winter mostly wasted in California Sacramento Bee

●     See all that water flowing into the ocean? Bill by Sen. Hertzberg aims to save it Los Angeles Daily News

Why California should turn down Trump’s offer to raise Shasta Dam

Los Angeles Times

If the Trump administration wanted to increase California’s water supply by the most cost-effective means possible, it would immediately drop its attempt to raise Shasta Dam by 18.5 feet.


Iconic ‘firefall’ returns — briefly — at Yosemite as sunlight turns waterfall blazing red

Fresno Bee

An optical illusion dubbed “firefall,” in which sunlight turns Horsetail Fall in Yosemite National Park blazing red for a few days each year, has visitors crowding in to see the phenomenon before it vanishes once more, CNN reports.

See also:

●     ‘Firefall’ lights up Yosemite National Park Los Angeles Times

●     Rare ‘Firefall’ Makes Its Return to Yosemite for Just a Few Weeks (Video) Travel + Leisure

Valley Business Awards honor Matoian, Milano, Lanna Coffee and Gladys Sanchez

Fresno Bee

Leon S. Peters Award recipient Matty Matoian was honored Wednesday at the 2019 Valley Business Awards Luncheon at the Fresno Convention Center New Exhibit Hall presented by the Fresno Chamber of Commerce.

See the 2 big names booked for new Modesto amphitheater as it readies full 2019 season

Modesto Bee

Now the Basi Insurance Nationwide Amphitheatre at The Fruit Yard, the outdoor venue — competed just in time for its fledgling show in August featuring singer Amy Grant — has booked two new artists for its first full season of entertainment. They’re the first of several to be announced.

Raise a pint for these pups in need of homes

Bakersfield Californian

We all know dogs are man’s best friend, but beer is probably pretty high up on that list too. An event this weekend combines the two for a good cause.

How to See a Super Bloom

New York Times

In 2017, wildflower blooms in Southern California were so massive that they were visible from space. This year, experts say, a combination of fires to clear out competing flora, and rain mean that conditions are shaping up to be optimal for a similar display.

Test yourself with our new free game: PolitiTruth

Think you can tell the difference between True and False?

Do you really know what is fake news?

Have you supported the Maddy Daily today?


Is another chance 😉 


Maddy Institute Updated List of San Joaquin Valley Elected Officials HERE.

The Kenneth L. Maddy Institute at California State University, Fresno was established to honor the legacy of one of California’s most principled and effective legislative leaders of the last half of the 20th Century by engaging, preparing and inspiring a new generation of governmental leaders for the 21st Century. Its mission is to inspire citizen participation, elevate government performance, provide non-partisan analysis and assist in providing solutions for public policy issues important to the region, state and nation.

This document is to be used for informational purposes only. Unless specifically noted, The Maddy Institute at California State University, Fresno does not officially endorse or support views that may be expressed in the document. If you want to print a story, please do so now before the link expires.

To Subscribe or Unsubscribe: mjeans@csufresno.edu