February 26, 2019


North SJ Valley:

After three years in office, Modesto mayor to give state of city talk

Modesto Bee

Modesto Mayor Ted Brandvold will do something he has not done in the three years since he took office: give a state of the city address. Mayors across the nation give these speeches every year to celebrate their cities’ achievements, share their visions for their cities and take notice of their cities’ challenges and opportunities.

Plenty of reasons Turlock should be celebrating

Modesto Bee

New jobs, crucial reforms in city governance and a new council members are reasons the people of Turlock should be celebrating. Finding ways to take better care of our roads, provide clean drinking water and rebuilding our reserves are reasons they should be excited.

Stockton Council to discuss progress on 2018 priorities

Stockton Record

Last year, the Stockton City Council set public safety, homelessness, affordable housing and economic development as some of its priorities to address. On Tuesday, the council will receive a status report from city staff on the progress of tackling those priorities.

Tubbs sued, accused of First Amendment violation over social media block

Stockton Record

An outspoken critic of Michael Tubbs has asked a federal court to declare the mayor’s decision to block him on social media unconstitutional. Motecuzoma Sanchez, a one-time candidate for Stockton City Council, filed a complaint in United States District Court on Feb. 22.

Dunbar: Yes, we’ve got problems. But we’ve got problem-solvers, too

Modesto Bee

Our Valley has no shortage of problems. You can either throw up your hands in despair … or dig deeper to find a better way. Several people in high-profile jobs are doing just that. It’s too soon to celebrate many victories, but they’re on the right track.

Central SJ Valley:

Meet the four candidates vying for Clovis City Council seats


Voters in Clovis will be asked to decide who is best qualified to steer their city into its future growth. Three of the candidates are city council veterans including Jose Flores, who was first elected twenty years ago.

Meth problem puts Fresno in the national spotlight, again


A recent documentary on “Vice News” highlighted the methamphetamine addiction problems among Fresno’s homeless.

These five Fresno-area schools were just awarded one of California’s highest honors

Fresno Bee

Three Fresno-area schools have been named Distinguished Schools for 2019 according to the California Department of Education.

South SJ Valley:

Kern County In Depth: What’s next for High Speed Rail in Kern County?


Now that Governor Newsom has revealed intentions to scale back California’s High Speed Rail project, what happens next, and what does it mean for Kern County? A City Council member, a transportation planner and Assemblyman Vince Fong weigh in.

See also:

●     Why not try a ‘faster’ speed rail system first? It could work now CALmatters

●     How Regulation Could Slow Down the Future New York Times

Perez trial vacated, lawyers slated to reschedule

Bakersfield Californian

The jury trial for Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez has been vacated. The trial had been set for late March, but lawyers for both sides are now scheduled to work out a new trial date on May 10.

Lemoore changes street plans

Hanford Sentinel

The Lemoore City Council met Tuesday and discussed several items, including a General Plan amendment and a project in conjunction with Kings County Office of Education.


Democrats are ‘the enemy’: California GOP elects leader less focused on Trump

Fresno Bee

California’s Republican Party took a small step on Sunday in an effort to regain political power, selecting a person to lead the party who is less vocally supportive of President Donald Trump.

See also:

●     California Republicans Just Elected Their First Female Party Chairperson, But The GOP Still Faces A Daunting Comeback Capital Public Radio

●     California GOP Reevaluates Political Future At State Party Convention Capital Public Radio

●     ‘Republican comeback’: California’s new GOP leader vows to take fight to Democrats Sacramento Bee

●     California Republican Party elects Jessica Patterson, a Latina, as first female leader Los Angeles Times

●     With new Latina chair, party insiders say GOP “dodged a bullet.” Now what?  CALmatters

●     Jessica Patterson will lead California Republicans – but where? Orange County Register

●     In Conservative Districts, Democrats Have to Answer for Party’s Left Wing New York Times

●     The Identity Crisis Facing Both Republicans and Democrats Wall Street Journal

Analyzing California’s Changing Electorate

Capital Public Radio

The California Civic Engagement Project at the USC Price School of Public Policy has been studying voter turnout results from the 2018 election. The November 2018 races saw the highest turnout in a midterm election since 1982.

California May Broaden Far-Reaching Data Privacy Law

Capital Public Radio

California consumers would have more power to sue corporations for misusing their data under a proposal by the attorney general Monday to expand what already is the nation’s most far-reaching law protecting personal information.

See also:

●     California attorney general looks to expand new data privacy law San Francisco Chronicle

●     Sweeping California consumer privacy bill approved by Jerry Brown Sacramento Bee

●     California’s new consumer privacy law isn’t as sweeping as you might think Sacramento Bee

●     California AG endorses bill expanding consumer privacy protections Reuters

●     California Data Privacy Proposal May Give Law Tough New Teeth Bloomberg

●     California’s Toughest-in-U.S. Privacy Law May Get Even Stricter Bloomberg

●     California wants Silicon Valley to pay you a data dividend CNET

Gavin Newsom: ‘I want to continue to have a relationship’ with Trump

San Francisco Chronicle

Gov. Gavin Newsom says he’s spending his time in the nation’s capital building relationships — including with President Trump.

See also:

●     Gavin Newsom joins other governors to confront — and dine with — President Trump Los Angeles Times

●     Newsom tries to sidestep California’s clash with Trump in visit to Washington Los Angeles Times

This 21-year-old tweeted lies about Robert Mueller and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Now, he’s eyeing the 2020 election

Visalia Times Delta

Wohl, a self-professed “political and corporate intel consultant” and supporter of President Donald Trump, is dedicated to playing the malleable fringe of the electorate with dubious claims and disinformation schemes.

Walters: Political rules can change game’s outcome


Anyone who harbors the quaint notion that high-stakes politics are rational, much less ethical, should be disabused by two terms: “gerrymandering” and “ballot harvesting.”

Fox: Feinstein’s Stand and “Lower-the-Voting-Age” Bill

Fox & Hounds

Watching the young people challenging Senator Dianne Feinstein on the New Green Deal legislation with the environmental group that brought them to the senator’s office, the issue of lowering the voting age comes to mind. A bill to lower the voting age to 17 in California, ACA 8, was introduced once again by Assemblyman Evan Low two weeks ago.


NAFTA 2.0 leans on Texas Democrats to counter liberals

Star Telegram

Democrats who have clashed with President Donald Trump on nearly every policy issue see room to cut a deal with the president on a renegotiated NAFTA trade agreement, if the liberal voices gaining volume in their party don’t stop them.

‘A totally different world’: As the party lurches left, can Sanders still stand out?

Fresno Bee

Bernie Sanders’ boundary-pushing policy agenda defined the septuagenarian senator as a fresh, revolutionary candidate to legions of young and progressive supporters, helping carry him to unexpected success in his first try for the presidency.

2020 Census Preparations Were Slowed By The Partial Government Shutdown

Capital Public Radio

The recent partial government shutdown delayed preparations for the 2020 headcount, including for a field test of the controversial citizenship question, internal Census Bureau documents suggest.

EDITORIAL: Does the GOP have enough principle left to end Trump’s bogus state of emergency?

Los Angeles Times

The House of Representatives is expected to vote Tuesday on a resolution ending the bogus state of emergency President Trump declared in order to to speed construction of his “big, beautiful wall” on the southern border.

All-male military draft ruled unconstitutional

Visalia Times Delta

A federal judge in Texas has declared that an all-male military draft is unconstitutional, ruling that “the time has passed” for a debate on whether women belong in the military


Who are the most alienated Americans?


The question is, which Americans are the loneliest, and how can we help them? The answers to this question lie in the generational and gender gaps of American society.

EDITORIAL: Some say The Bee has a political agenda. We’re pursuing the truth, like we always have

Fresno Bee

The Fresno Bee’s editor, Joe Kieta, says the newsroom is not bias to liberal or conservative views but seeks daily to pursue the facts & report the news, shedding light on issues in the Fresno, California, area.

See also:

·       Venture philanthropy for local news might not be as scary as it sounds Nieman Journalism Lab

EDITORIAL: Pinterest strikes back at online disinformation. Are you paying attention, Facebook?

Los Angeles Times

In the two years since the fake-news problem on Facebook and other major social media networks burst into the spotlight, the companies have taken one dramatic action after another to try to rid themselves of disinformation.

See also:

·       The Trauma Floor: The secret lives of Facebook moderators in America The Verge


Sunday, March 3, at 10 a.m. on ABC 30 – Maddy Report: “Retrospective: Former State Senate Minority Leader Jean Fuller”  – Guest: Former State Senate Minority Leader Jean Fuller (R). Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

Sunday, March 3, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) – Maddy Report – Valley Views EditionTBD

Sunday, March 3, at 7:30 a.m. on UniMas 61 (KTTF) – El Informe Maddy“Opportunities for New Businesses in the Valley” – Guests: Dora Westerlund, CEO – The Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation; Yeru Olivares, CFO –  The Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation, Yolanda Garcia, Owner – YO’MAMMAS!; Robert Zapata, Opportunity Fund. Host: Maddy Institute Program Coordinator, Maria Jeans.


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Central Valley growers, undocumented farmworkers condemn Trump’s ’emergency’

Visalia Times Delta

Growers across the state have condemned Trump’s immigration policy. They say it has contributed to a mass labor shortage that is devastating farms across California — and inflating grocery store prices for citizens across the country.

See also:

●     ‘No factual basis’ for a wall emergency, former national security officials declare Los Angeles Times

Fresno’s Pro Culinary gives chefs new opportunity to run a business


At Pro Culinary in Central Fresno, It’s all about providing cooks with an opportunity. It’s a commercial kitchen, a licensed commissary, and culinary incubator all wrapped into one. It’s the only place like it in all of the Central Valley.

“My Job Depends on Ag” the focus of Bass Lake native’s latest docuseries

Sierra Star

For many, the phrase “My job depends on ag” may mean nothing more than a saying on a car decal, but a Yosemite High School graduate is hoping his new docuseries can change that.

“This president is all talk, no action in the Central Valley.”

Visalia Times Delta

While the World Ag Expo took place, most farmworkers in the fields had no idea it was even happening.

CalFresh benefits released ahead of schedule

Visalia Times Delta

On Friday, Tulare County Health and Human Services officials announced that to help offset February CalFresh benefits being released early, benefits for March are being issued on March 1, county officials announced on Friday.

How Kern County dairies are benefiting from Aliso Canyon settlement agreement

Bakersfield Californian

Over the objection of environmental and other groups, six Kern County dairies will get access to millions of dollars in loan financing as part of a legal agreement approved Monday to settle a key lawsuit filed in response to the massive, 2015-16 Aliso Canyon methane leak.

Zacky Farms’ Assets Up For Auction

Business Journal

Zacky Farms is undergoing asset liquidation by way of three live and online auctions for its more than 200 units of farm and food processing equipment, fleet of vehicles and real estate.

Last round of appeals set to be heard by supervisors on Tuesday

Bakersfield Californian

The last five medical marijuana dispensaries fighting closure are set to be heard by the Kern County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

Davis Researchers Have Helped Map The Strawberry Genome, Which Could Lead To Healthier, Tastier Berries

Capital Public Radio

For the first time scientists have mapped the DNA of the cultivated strawberry, which they hope will lead the way to breeding disease resistant berries.

High-stakes trial starts in Roundup weed killer cancer claim

Fresno Bee

A jury in federal court in San Francisco will decide whether Roundup weed killer caused a California man’s cancer in a trial that plaintiffs’ attorneys say could help determine the fate of hundreds of similar lawsuits.



Meth problem puts Fresno in the national spotlight, again


A recent documentary on “Vice News” highlighted the methamphetamine addiction problems among Fresno’s homeless.

MS-13 gang members to be tried for alleged murders, crimes in Fresno & LA

Fresno Bee

Thirteen alleged MS-13 gang members arrested during a recent operation carried out in Mendota by federal and local law enforcement are scheduled to be tried next month on a range of charges, including murder and street terrorism.

California inmates accuse prison guards of orchestrating ‘gladiator fights’

Visalia Times Delta

Family members protesting the treatment of inmates at the prison say inmates are being treated inhumanely and forced into “gladiator-style” fights that stem from officers releasing certain inmates into the yard at the same time.

Public Safety:

A New Plan Aims To Train Thousands of First Responders in Rural Areas

Capital Public Radio

Five million Californians live in rural settings and they are the most vulnerable when disasters hit with medical help far away.

CEOs Urge Congress To Expand Gun Background Checks

Capital Public Radio

The heads of four U.S. companies are lobbying for a law requiring background checks on all gun purchases. One of them, the founder of TOMS shoes, concedes his company will lose business as a result.

The Jail Health-Care Crisis

New Yorker

The opioid epidemic and other public-health emergencies are being aggravated by failings in the criminal-justice system.

EDITORIAL: We must make certain that deadly force is justified when used by police

Modesto Bee

Without laws, civilization would be hopeless; the words safety, order and accountability would be meaningless. We have police officers, sheriff’s deputies and prosecutors because without enforcement, laws are meaningless.

See also:

●     EDITORIAL: To save lives, deadly force policy needs serious reform – not window dressing Sacramento Bee

TCSO deputy Jairo Perez honored in Three Rivers

Porterville Recorder

The community of Three Rivers honored Deputy Jairo Perez Friday, Feb. 22 as part of its Heroes Appreciation Month Law Enforcement Celebration at the Sequoia Cider Mill Restaurant. This is the 13th year that Three Rivers has honored law enforcement.


California considers wildfire insurance fund to avoid repeat of PG&E’s woes

San Francisco Chronicle

Hoping to prevent another California utility from being driven into bankruptcy by wildfires, state officials may create a new kind of insurance fund to help cover costs.

See also:

●     To make sure its utilities survive climate change, California needs liability law reform Los Angeles Times



Trump extends China tariff deadline, cites progress in talks

Fresno Bee

President Donald Trump said Sunday he will extend a deadline to escalate tariffs on Chinese imports, citing “substantial progress” in weekend talks between the two countries.

See also:

·       Stocks rise modestly after Trump delays boosting tariffs on Chinese goods Los Angeles Times

·       World Trade Slowed at End of 2018  Wall Street Journal


Supreme Court overturns 9th Circuit equal-pay decision because of judge’s death

Los Angeles Times

The Supreme Court on Monday overturned a U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision on equal pay because Judge Stephen Reinhardt from Los Angeles died 11 days before the ruling was announced.

See also:

●     Supreme Court tosses California equal-pay case, saying ruling died with judge San Francisco Chronicle

●     Supreme Court tosses equal pay ruling released after judge’s death The Hill

Looking for a job? Fresno bosses want ‘independent thinkers.’ Here’s what else employers want

Fresno Bee

Fresno and Bakersfield, California, employers like certain jargon words in help wanted job ads when hiring workers. These are the most overused word was for Fresno, Bay Area and elsewhere in California.

California’s biggest state worker union kicks off contract talks with town halls

Sacramento Bee

California state government’s largest union is holding two dozen town halls over the next two months to hear from its members ahead of contract negotiations with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration.

Executive Positions Filled For Central Valley Community Bank

Business Journal

Central Valley Community Bancorp (CVCY) announced they have filled two executive positions. James Kim has been named executive vice president and chief operating officer. Teresa Gilio was named executive vice president and chief administrative officer.

Walmart Is Eliminating Greeters. Workers With Disabilities Feel Targeted

Capital Public Radio

NPR has found that Walmart is changing the job requirements for front-door greeters in a way that appears to disproportionately affect workers with disabilities.

Doctors, teachers have similar roles but different pay — Why?

San Francisco Chronicle

How can it be 36 hours of respiratory checks, switching antibiotics, and attending newborn deliveries to make sure babies are breathing is the equivalent to about 200 hours of classroom planning and executing the instruction and supports that shape the future of our citizens and this country?

In a Hotter California, Employers May Soon Have to Protect Workers Indoors


California was the first in the nation to set heat safety limits outdoors, and now workplace regulators have a new proposal to keep employees safe indoors as well. These rules would also be the first of their kind in the country.



These five Fresno-area schools were just awarded one of California’s highest honors

Fresno Bee

Three Fresno-area schools have been named Distinguished Schools for 2019 according to the California Department of Education.

A Fresno teen is suing her school for banning her from wearing a MAGA hat


The school claims MAGA hats violate the dress code. The student claims the ban violates her First Amendment rights.

Blending tech, traditional teaching helps kids hit stride in Newman-Crows Landing district

Modesto Bee

An adaptive tech program called Stride is a key tool in the blended learning approach taken in the Newman-Crows Landing Unified School District.

Should marching band count as PE credit?

Visalia Times Delta

At Tuesday’s board meeting, Visalia Unified School Board members will discuss the possibility of allowing marching band students to qualify for a PE waiver.

Did Bakersfield City Schools jump the gun by canceling summer school?

Bakersfield Californian

Last Dec. 20, the Bakersfield City School District sent a letter to its teachers letting them know that summer school for the 2019 school year was being canceled.

New West High food-sharing program aims to reduce waste, food insecurity

Bakersfield Californian

Trash bins in the West High School cafeteria have historically been the destination for students’ uneaten food, but now the school is doing something to change that.

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.

Fresno State students will have to wait to graduate this May. That may be a good thing

Fresno Bee

Fresno State students won’t need to be awake, dressed and ready to graduate by 8 a.m. anymore. The university announced Friday that commencement will be held in the afternoon for the first time since the ceremony moved indoors to the Save Mart Center.

A $162,000 mistake: University of California to pay student victims of faulty payroll system

Fresno Bee

Hundreds of University of California student employees reported unpaid or underpaid wages as a result of the UCPath payroll system. Now, the UC system is paying out more than $160,000 to make them whole.

What marriage means for your student debt


About 60 percent of recent college graduates borrowed money to pay for school, each graduating with an average of $28,500 in debt. For those thinking about marrying, figuring out how to manage those loans can get complicated.

Cal State L.A. plan to raise admissions standards faces pushback from students and faculty

Los Angeles Times

If officials decide to do so and the Cal State chancellor’s office approves, Cal State L.A. will join six other Cal State campuses — Fresno, Fullerton, Long Beach, San Diego, San Jose and San Luis Obispo — that declared themselves fully “impacted,” meaning they have too many qualified applicants for all levels and programs, and made similar changes.

See also:

·       Cal State remedial education reforms help thousands more LA Times

The search for viewpoint diversity in higher education

Spectator USA

America’s institutions are deeply embedded in and influenced by the local communities where they are spatially situated. Thus, college administrators are not as uniformly left-wing in those areas that have surrounding Republican majorities.

EDITORIAL: Why not let homeless college students park in campus lots?

Los Angeles Times

Obviously, it’s hard to get through college if you have to worry about whether you will eat on any given day or where you will sleep at night. But that’s the situation that many students in California face.



$70M In Fresno Cap-And-Trade Grants In The Pipeline

Business Journal

The City of Fresno is awaiting the final grant agreement from the state after the award was announced last month for an ambitious revitalization project in southern Fresno. The amount, however, will be less than originally pledged.

Judge for yourself: Full video of Dianne Feinstein talking to children about the Green New Deal

Sacramento Bee

Sen. Dianne Feinstein was scorned on social media by people who accused her of talking down to middle and high school students who called on her to support the Green New Deal in a widely watched, edited video.

See also:

●     Young environmental activists demand McConnell act against climate change abc30

●     Whom would Newsom pick to replace Dianne Feinstein? CALmatters

●     The Nuclear Option Is the Real Green Deal Wall Street Journal

●     The farcical ‘Green New Deal’ AEI

Kern Oil threatens to sue EPA over delayed biofuel waiver decision


Kern Oil & Refining Co. has threatened to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for failing to respond to its request for a small refinery biofuel waiver within the proscribed 90 days, according to a letter seen by Reuters on Tuesday.

Greener Childhood Associated With Happier Adulthood

Valley Public Radio

A study published Monday in the journal PNAS details what the scientists say is the largest investigation of the association between green spaces and mental health.

Study details California volcanic hazards

Associated Press

Nearly 200,000 people live, work or pass through California’s volcanic hazard zones on a daily basis, researchers said Monday in a report broadly assessing what could be at risk from an eruption.

Bad Science May Banish Paper Receipts

Wall Street Journal

Having vanquished plastic straws, the California Legislature is now considering a bill to ban paper cash-register receipts. One reason offered for the ban is to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions.

Scientists’ response to Rush Limbaugh’s climate denial: ‘utter nonsense’


Conservative pundit Rush Limbaugh dismissed climate change as the work of agenda-driven computer models spitting out threats that loom just beyond the horizon, where scientists can elude accountability for their dubious predictions.


Higher rates for PG&E? New bill would require state approval for increases on customers

Fresno Bee

California lawmakers are considering a plan that would require PG&E to get their approval before increasing customer rates. State Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, introduced Senate Bill 549 on Friday to make it more difficult for the company to pass along bankruptcy costs to customers.

See also:

●     PG&E cancels $130 million in bonuses, cites ‘greater’ hardships of wildfire victims Merced Sun-Star

●     California utilities and fire costs in focus as new commission starts work San Francisco Chronicle

●     California considers wildfire insurance fund to avoid repeat of PG&E’s woes San Francisco Chronicle

Judge OKs settlement from nation’s largest natural gas leak

Sacramento Bee

A $120 million court settlement from the nation’s largest-known natural gas leak was approved by a California judge Monday despite objections from local residents and criticism from environmentalists.

Crank Up the A/C, Crank Up the Cost: States Consider ‘Surge Pricing’ for Power

Pew Charitable Trusts

Starting in March, the state’s utility regulator will require major utilities to increase prices during the hours when electricity is in high demand and lower prices the rest of the time — a change that’s expected to affect some 6 million households.



Student group tells council meeting of smoking’s dangers

Madera Tribune

Students who belong to a group called SWAT, or Students Working Against Tobacco, made a presentation to City Council members Wednesday, promoting the possible declaration of Madera’s city parks as tobacco free.

Anti-vaxers face backlash as measles cases surge

Washington Post

The resurgence of measles across the United States is spurring a backlash against vaccine critics, from congressional hearings probing the spread of vaccine misinformation to state measures that would make it harder for parents to opt out of immunizing their children.

These Are the World’s Healthiest Nations


The index grades nations based on variables including life expectancy while imposing penalties on risks such as tobacco use and obesity. It also takes into consideration environmental factors including access to clean water and sanitation.  U.S. ranks 35th.

Human Services:

A record number of babies have been surrendered in California. Some say that’s ‘hopeful’

Fresno Bee

The number of babies who have been safely surrendered spiked in 2017 to a record. The number of illegally abandoned baby cases has dropped and slowed overtime. The last three years on record show that out of just nine abandoned babies, all survived.

More Retirees Find Themselves Taking Care Of Mom And Dad

Capital Public Radio

People are living longer compared to decades ago, spawning a trend: Senior citizens taking care of their very elderly parents.

Did a world-famous science journal become a shill for a questionable stem cell claim?

Los Angeles Times

Readers of Nature, one of the world’s most important scientific journals, might have been struck recently by an audacious claim appearing on its website about a possible stem cell treatment for heart attacks.

Bringing Competitive Direct Primary Care to Medicare

Real Clear Policy

Direct primary care (DPC) is fast becoming an accepted alternative to fee-for-service payment in the private market, but it has yet to find its way into Medicare. That needs to change as soon as possible, and there is reason to hope that it will.


Immigrants are suffering in detention. They need adequate healthcare now

Los Angeles Times

High-profile deaths are only one small piece of the story of severely substandard healthcare in America’s immigration detention system.

Refugee arrivals up 85% from last year

San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego County has resettled 85 percent more refugees so far in fiscal 2019 than it had at the same point last year, according to data from the State Department.


Land Use:

More business coming to Madera

Madera Tribune

The Madera Planning Commission recently approved the plans for a third Starbucks coffee store, with drive-thru and outdoor patio seating area in the Bethard Square shopping center on west Olive Avenue and south I Streets.

Big Plans For New Businesses In Downtown North Fork

Sierra News

Big changes are coming to downtown North Fork as Bandit Town owner Jennifer McMillan gets busy on the three store fronts and two houses she recently purchased from Doug and Lois Betty.


Uncovering rampant sexual harassment in housing systems


Khristen Sellers went to court after being solicited for sex by a man who had the power to evict her – and dozens of other women with similar stories came forward.

City, county propose 180-bed homeless shelter for Modesto

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County and the City of Modesto are poised to take a big step toward providing more services for the homeless with The Salvation Army that includes opening a 180-bed shelter with services.

What Has California Gov. Gavin Newsom Done So Far For The Homeless?

Capital Public Radio

During his run for governor, Gavin Newsom said California needed state leadership “laser-focused” on its homeless crisis. PolitiFact California is tracking now-Gov. Newsom’s progress, or lack thereof, on this and other promises.

U.S. housing starts fall to more than two-year low


U.S. homebuilding tumbled to a more than two-year low in December as construction of both single and multi-family housing declined, the latest indication that the economy lost momentum in the fourth quarter.


This board used to collect billions in California taxes. Voters might get to kill it.

Fresno Bee

The California Board of Equalization could be eliminated if the Legislature puts an amendment on the ballot abolishing its last tax oversight responsibilities. It was diminished by a 2017 law creating CDTFA.

Soda, water, guns, and tires: They could all be taxed if California Democrats have their way

Fresno Bee

California Democrats have proposed several tax-raising bills to the Legislature. Among the items that could see tax or fee increases include oil and gas drilling, firearms, soda, water meters and tires.

See also:

●     California Democrats are proposing some tax cuts on these items Fresno Bee

●     Tampons, diapers and marijuana: California Democrats propose tax cuts and aid to renters Sacramento Bee

Shrinking tax refunds are a growing problem for GOP tax law

Los Angeles Times

The average tax refund so far has shrunk to $2,640 from $3,169 at the same point last year, according to Internal Revenue Service data through Feb. 15 that were released late Friday. That’s a 16.7% drop.

How a payday-lending insider tilted academic research in the industry’s favor

Los Angeles Times

In a December 2013 exchange, Miller told Priestley that he wanted to persuade her to change the way she analyzed data about borrowers’ credit scores. “I am here to serve,” Priestley responded. “I just want to make sure that what I am doing analytically is reflecting your thinking.”

Former Fed Chair Janet Yellen: Far from retired, nowhere near done


Janet Yellen made history as the first woman to chair the Federal Reserve Board — a position that has been called “the second most powerful person in government” and the peak of a nearly 17-year career at the institution.


Feel the need for speed? Local reactions mixed to no speed limit proposal on Hwy. 99

Modesto Bee

State Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa. has proposed a bill to add new lanes to Interstate 5 and Highway 99 without speed limits, an idea that has drawn mixed reactions from Fresno, Merced and other Central San Joaquin Valley representatives.

What’s more popular than Uber? Shockingly, it’s Jump bikes

Sacramento Bee

Uber conducted a study in Sacramento of its Jump e-bike usage and found more people are renting and riding the bikes than ride share Uber car usage.

See also:

●     L.A. may tax on Uber and Lyft to curb traffic congestion Los Angeles Times

EDITORIAL: California keeps fighting for clean cars as Trump digs in

Los Angeles Times

It’s disappointing but not surprising that the Trump administration has stopped trying to negotiate a deal with California to avert a fight over fuel efficiency standards.

Kern County In Depth: What’s next for High Speed Rail in Kern County?


Now that Governor Newsom has revealed intentions to scale back California’s High Speed Rail project, what happens next, and what does it mean for Kern County? A City Council member, a transportation planner and Assemblyman Vince Fong weigh in.

See also:

●     Why not try a ‘faster’ speed rail system first? It could work now CALmatters

●     How Regulation Could Slow Down the Future New York Times


Central Valley farmland must be retired to get new water

Fresno Bee

The San Joaquin Valley is on the brink of a major transition as it seeks to balance its groundwater accounts. California’s largest farming region has the state’s biggest groundwater deficit — almost 2 million acre-feet per year by our estimates.

See also:

●     Commentary: A Balancing Act for the Water-Stressed San Joaquin Valley Public Policy Institute of California

California district stalls West drought plan over lake money

Fresno Bee

A California irrigation district with the highest-priority rights to Colorado River water is using its power to demand federal funds to restore the state’s largest lake, hoping to capitalize on one of its best opportunities to tackle an environmental and human health hazard.

Bass Lake spillage levels steadily dropping, PG&E reports

Sierra Star

Bass Lake reached its spillage levels Friday morning, but by Monday those levels began to steadily drop, according to PG&E officials. On Monday, Denny Boyles, spokesperson for PG&E, the water was trickling into the spill channel at 214 cubic feet per second.

Flood watch ahead for Modesto as rain hits already wet soil. Strong winds expected, too.

Modesto Bee

The National Weather Service predicts a wet week for Modesto, even putting a flood watch in effect from 10 p.m. Monday to 8 a.m. Thursday. The area could get up to 2 inches of rain during that period, according to an NWS map released Sunday.

See also:

●     Rain, Snow And Wind Batter Northern California In Latest Winter Storm Capital Public Radio

●     Atmospheric river to bring drenching rain, significant snow to Northern California Los Angeles Times

●     February is coldest in Los Angeles in nearly 60 years Los Angeles Times

Water in the Kern River on city’s west side not ‘river water’

Bakersfield Californian

Other than head-gate seepage, the river is dry from Rocky Point Weir — east over a mile from Manor Street — to just upstream of Coffee Road where the Cross Valley Canal and Friant-Kern Canal are putting water into the river for water banking.

EDITORIAL: What’s Gavin Newsom’s plan for sustainable water in California? We still have little idea

Los Angeles Times

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s references to water in his first State of the State address were brief and a bit patchy, but they were enough to make fiercely competing factions each believe the new governor had their backs.


2019 Blossom Trail is in full bloom!


The Fresno County Blossom Trail is in full bloom! 2019 marks 31 years of the trail, which attracts more than 20,000 visitors each year. The recent storms did cause some concern for the Fresno County Farm Bureau because too much rain could impact the blossoms which start to open around this time.

Quilt show to revisit Madera

Madera Tribune

Heart of California Quilters’ Guild will host play host at its biennial two-day quilt show. A Rainbow of Quilts will fill Hatfield Hall at the Madera District Fairgrounds 1850 W. Cleveland Avenue, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, March 2 and 3.

Hiking Along Hensley Lake On The Buck Ridge Trail

Sierra News

If you need a break from snow, ice, and cold, head down the hill to warm up with a hike along Hensley Lake. A rolling hilly hike while walking through history, white puffy clouds and the first wildflowers of spring are welcoming.

What a circus

Porterville Recorder

Dick Eckhoff, show producer, and a troupe of organizers, managers, dance studios and performers pulled out all the stops for an entertaining and enjoyable evening Saturday, February 23 for the 57th annual Buck Shaffer Spectacular at the Porterville Memorial auditorium.

Toby Keith to play “Country, Bro” at Rabobank Arena in August

Bakersfield Californian

Toby Keith isn’t shy about aligning himself with a certain sub-genre of country music. It’s basically right there in the name of his tour.

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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.

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