February 28, 2019



Deadline extended: March 15, 2019

Wonderful Public Service Graduate Fellowship

The Maddy Institute

Applications for two $56,000 Fellowships

North SJ Valley:

Eyes on Stockton, US economic future at summit 

Stockton Record

Stockton apparently now is widely known for the Universal Basic Income experiment, in which 100 residents will be given $500 monthly stipends for 18 months with no strings attached through the Economic Security Project and other backers.

Central SJ Valley:

Fresno names interim parks director but remains tight-lipped on departure of former head

Fresno Bee

Parvin Neloms Jr. is no long the director of Fresno’s Parks, After school, Recreation and Community Services (PARCS) department. His last day working for the city was Friday. City officials declined to say whether he was fired or quit, citing personnel rules.

South SJ Valley:

Valley outpaces LA in misuse of background checks

Visalia Times Delta

According to data compiled by the California Attorney General’s office, Tulare, Fresno, Kern and Kings counties government agencies were over-represented in incorrectly using a computer network that shows criminal histories and drivers’ records.

Lawmaker proposes $400M Friant-Kern Canal fix

Visalia Times Delta

State Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger) is proposing a $400 million bill to lift the sinking Friant-Kern Canal.


California DMV audited after lawmakers become suspicious of voter fraud


California’s DMV has been rife with scandal. On Wednesday morning, lawmakers agreed to yet another audit, this time focusing on the program that registers drivers to vote. 

Commission Censures Ex-Judge Who Lost Attorney General Bid

Capital Public Radio

The Republican judge who ran unsuccessfully for California attorney general last year has been barred from the bench or working in state courts for using his position to help his campaign, accepting gifts and aiding his son’s employer.

See also:

●     Former candidate for state attorney general censured by state judicial panelLos Angeles Times

●     GOP candidate for CA attorney general in 2018 is barred from bench for lifeSan Francisco Chronicle

Who wants to go to work in the dark? Californians need Permanent Standard Time

Modesto Bee

Here in California, where the sun rises over San Diego nearly an hour earlier than it does at the Oregon border, choosing permanent Daylight Saving Time could create real health and safety issues for the northern part of the state.

Newsom Visits The New York Times and Talks Trump and the Future

New York Times

“In every way we are America’s coming attraction,” Mr. Newsom said. “And I say every way because literally America in 2019 was California in the 1980s and 1990s. Everything we’re experiencing — the xenophobia, the nativism, the fear of the other, think back to Pete Wilson and Prop 187 — that would make Donald Trump blush.”

Bill would make clergy report abuse revealed in confessions

AP News

A California lawmaker said Wednesday the state should require clergy members to report suspected child abuse or neglect even if they learn of it during confession.

An Agenda to Make California’s GOP Relevant Again

Fox & Hounds

California’s Republican party has nothing to lose. California’s GOP should seize this opportunity. This is a tremendous moment.


Trump, Kim open talks with one-on-one meeting

Fresno Bee

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are beginning the second day of their high-stakes nuclear summit with a one-on-one discussion.

See also:

●     Trump-Kim go one-on-one: Who will know what was really saidSan Francisco Chronicle

●     At Hanoi summit with Kim Jong Un, Trump says he’s in ‘no rush’ to denuclearize North KoreaLos Angeles Times

●     Trump-Kim summit ends early with no dealPBS NewsHour

●     Trump and Kim abruptly cut short summit after failing to reach nuclear dealWashington Post

●     Trump-Kim Summit: Meetings End With No AgreementNew York Times

●     ‘Sometimes you have to walk’: Trump leaves summit empty-handed at tough point in presidencyWashington Post

●     Trump, North Korea’s Kim End Nuclear Summit Early Without Agreement Wall Street Journal

●     The Hanoi summit shines a light on the “Vietnam model” of developmentBrookings

●     EDITORIAL: The Trump-Kim summit carries obvious risks but also possible rewardsLos Angeles Times

Trump never told Cohen to lie — but suggested it by talking in code, Cohen says

Fresno Bee

Michael Cohen said in testimony to Congress on Wednesday that President Donald Trump never directly ordered him to lie, but instead made his wishes clear by speaking in “code” understood by anyone who works with him.

See also:

●     ‘Why did they even bother?’ Trump spokeswoman pushes back against Cohen testimonyFresno Bee

●     ‘Racist,’ ‘con man’: Michael Cohen assails Trump before Congressabc30

●     Trump never told Cohen to lie — but suggested it by talking in code, Cohen saysMerced Sun-Star

●     Cohen: ‘I am not protecting Mr. Trump anymore’Visalia Times Delta

●     Trump’s former lawyer testifies: Key takeaways from Michael Cohen’s House hearingHanford Sentinel

●     GOP Attacks After Opening Focused On Trump: Highlights From Cohen’s TestimonyCapital Public Radio

●     Cohen delivers warning to GOP lawmakers: Don’t ‘blindly’ follow TrumpLos Angeles Times

●     Here are the big questions Cohen answered today Los Angeles Times

●     Michael Cohen testifies to ‘high crimes and misdemeanors,’ but will it matter?Brookings

●     Michael Cohen Details Allegations of Trump’s Role in Hush-Money SchemeWall Street Journal

●     A Day of Jarring Images for President TrumpWall Street Journal

●     Cohen implicates Trump’s sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, in mistress hush money schemeRoll Call

●     Matt Gaetz under investigation by Florida Bar over Cohen tweetRoll Call

●     Does Michael Cohen testimony change political strategies?Roll Call

●     Trump blasts Cohen: ‘He lied so many times’ except about collusionRoll Call

●     Pelosi and top Dems won’t bite on impeachment despite Cohen bombshellsPolitico

●     EDITORIAL: Michael Cohen’s bleak portrait of the presidentSan Francisco Chronicle

CPAC 2019: Conservatives rally the base against AOC and Democratic socialism

Sacramento Bee

Conservatives begin gathering Wednesday for the CPAC conference, fired up by what they see as a radical, socialist turn by Democrats.

See also:

●     Some conservatives are rejecting star-studded CPAC to talk about the national debtFresno Bee

Transgender troops tell Congress they excel in military

Sacramento Bee

Transgender troops testifying for the first time to Congress say transitioning to another sex made them stronger while Pentagon officials defended the Trump administration’s desire to bar people like them from enlisting in the future.

Elizabeth Warren demands investigation of Interior nominee’s alleged conflicts

Los Angeles Times

From the moment that President Trump nominated David Bernhardt to the No. 2 job at the Interior Department, it was clear that Bernhardt would come trailing clouds of conflicts of interest.

Kamala Harris elbows out rivals as she courts California donors


The California senator is trying to monopolize Democratic money in the donor-rich state, fueling her campaign and cutting off rivals.

Nancy Pelosi: The Rolling Stone Interview

Rolling Stone

The Speaker of the House on outsmarting Republicans, skepticism of the Green New Deal and not having any regrets.

The rise of black-majority cities


American cities in which blacks constitute a majority of the population—what we call “black-majority cities”—are on the rise. They are rising amid a national conversation surrounding whether they can improve and develop while retaining their black majority. 


Interview with Veteran

Hometown Heroes Radio

101 year old Valley veteran talks about growing up in the Valley and his experience in WWII

Editor-in-Chief at ProPublica discusses the issue of ‘fake news’

Fresno Bee

Stephen Engelberg, Editor-in-Chief at ProPublica, discussed the issue of “fake news” and media distrust on Tuesday Feb. 26, 2019 during a Roger Tatarian Symposium held at Fresno State’s Satellite Student Union.

See also:

●     Again, must there be a Facebook?AEI


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 Edition: “The California Republican Party’s Challenges: Temporary or Generational?” – Guests: Paul Hurley – formerly with the Visalia Times Delta; Lisa Bryant – political science professor at Fresno State; and Nate Monroe – political science professor at UC Merced. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

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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Sun-Maid takes a ‘monumental step,’ moving headquarters from Kingsburg to Fresno

Fresno Bee

As part of transforming the iconic Sun-Maid brand, the raisin cooperative is relocating its headquarters from Kingsburg to Fresno, where the company was founded more than a century ago.

See also:

●     Sun-Maid will move corporate headquarters to Fresnoabc30

●     Sun-Maid Growers to Relocated Corporate OfficesBusiness Journal

California farmers surviving Trump’s trade war with China, but how long will it last?

Sacramento Bee

Roughly a year into President Donald Trump’s trade wars, California farmers have escaped the kind of economic blow that has walloped some of their Midwestern counterparts. But it’s not clear how much longer they can continue to avoid more serious repercussions.

See also:

●     U.S. Drops Threat of 25% Tariffs on Chinese Goods in Sign That Accord Is NearWall Street Journal

●     On China, Trump Risks Repeating Experience of Bush and ObamaWall Street Journal

●     U.S. Trade Gap in Goods Widened 10% in 2018Wall Street Journal

Ventura County Helps Keep Farming Alive in Southern California


As you drive north on the U.S. Highway 101 Freeway from downtown Los Angeles, you probably don’t realize those picturesque open spaces about an hour away are some of the most productive farmland in the nation.

2019 World Ag Expo Highlights

Sustainable Conservation

We had a blast going behind the scenes with our staff and partners at the 2019 World Ag Expo earlier this month in Tulare. The Expo hosts over 100,000 participants each year – from producers and growers to industry groups, equipment vendors, state agencies and research entities. 

Measuring the body’s response to aromas in wine

Fresno State News

Winemaking involves a lot of science, but finding out whether someone likes a specific kind of wine or not often involves just one sip and a few questions.

See also:

●     Wine make you emotional? Apply for this Fresno State studyBusiness Journal

To Revive Rural America, We Must Fix Our Broken Food System

American Conservative

America’s agricultural system has become extractive, and more and more of the profits are flowing to a few.

Farmers Hope for Hemp Riches Despite Risks

Pew Trusts

The farm bill, which President Donald Trump signed in December, makes growing hemp in the United States legal again. Now Kentucky, which the Brookings Institution called one of the best places to cultivate hemp in the world, is returning to its roots.



LPD Chief reports decreased crime in 2018

Hanford Sentinel

Police Chief Darrell Smith gave the Lemoore Police Department annual report during the Lemoore City Council study session on Feb. 19, and had some good news to share.

New solutions for the old problem of illegal massage parlors

Sacramento Bee

They’re nestled amid bustling downtowns and tucked into nondescript strip malls across quiet suburbs. Brothels posing as massage parlors and Asian spas have been part of the American landscape for decades, hidden in plain sight.

Public Safety:

California AG Tries To Take Back Details On Police Crimes

Capital Public Radio

The attorney general’s office sent reporters from the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California, Berkeley a notice saying that possessing a list on police crimes was a misdemeanor and asked them to destroy it.

See also:

●     Xavier Becerra is wrong to fight release of police officers’ crimesCALmatters

●     EDITORIAL: Becerra tries to bottle up police misconduct recordsSan Francisco Chronicle

Terminal Island prison inmates went without heat during the coldest February in decades

Los Angeles Times

As outside temperatures plunged into the low 40s at night, two units that housed more than 200 inmates lost heat after an underground steam line failed in January at the low-security federal lockup that sits at the entrance to Los Angeles Harbor in San Pedro.

House Passes Sweeping Gun Bill

Capital Public Radio

The legislation mandates background checks be performed on all gun sales, including firearm purchases made privately. The Senate is unlikely to take it up.

See also:

●     House approves bill to expand gun-sale background checksStockton Record

●     Bay Area Democrat’s gun bill passes House, but faces GOP obstacle in SenateSan Francisco Chronicle

●     House Passes Gun-Control Measure Expanding Background ChecksWall Street Journal

●     Meet the lawmakers who didn’t stick to their parties’ position on gunsRoll Call


Staying sharp

Porterville Recorder

A week long annual wildland fire training camp for Sequoia Forest Service is currently underway at the Porterville Airport and runs through March 1, and about 500 instructors and students will be attending to sharpen up on skills critical for survival.

PG&E says equipment ‘probably’ caused Camp Fire, says its future is in doubt

Sacramento Bee

PG&E acknowledged Thursday that its power equipment is likely to blame for the Camp Fire, the deadliest fire in California history. The company, which filed for bankruptcy a month ago, also said its wildfire liabilities “raise substantial doubt about PG&E Corporation and the utility’s ability to continue as going concerns.”

See also:

●     Skelton: Should California insure itself against spending too much on fighting wildfires?Los Angeles Times

●     PG&E Delayed Safety Work on Power Line That Is Prime Suspect in California WildfireWall Street Journal

With heavy rain and snow, will California get a break from wildfires? The science is tricky

San Francisco Chronicle

As Bay Area residents ride canoes through neighborhoods to cope with flooded rivers, and as the Sierra sets records for snowfall, historical data show the wet winter could bode well for a state desperate for a mild fire season after two years of catastrophic damage.



Eyes on Stockton, US economic future at summit 

Stockton Record

Stockton apparently now is widely known for the Universal Basic Income experiment, in which 100 residents will be given $500 monthly stipends for 18 months with no strings attached through the Economic Security Project and other backers.

Bank of the Sierra issues new debit cards after thwarting attempted thefts of customer information

Bakersfield Californian

Bank of the Sierra said it issued new debit cards to an undisclosed number of customers after identifying and thwarting “unsophisticated” attempts Wednesday morning to guess card information.

Walters: What are the limits on a ‘gig economy?’


The line between those legitimately and voluntarily working as contractors and those who are being cheated out of even minimum wages and basic benefits has always been a little fuzzy.

Gatto: Time for Democrats to abandon myth about Citizens United

Mercury News

Citizens United must stay on the books because there is no way to draft a law overturning it without violating another First Amendment principle: The Press Clause.

U.S. economy grew at a strong 2.9 percent rate in 2018, but missed Trump’s goal

Washington Post

The U.S. economy expanded at a 2.9 percent pace last year, the Commerce Department reported Thursday, a strong rate but just shy of President Trump’s goal of 3 percent.




Former Clovis cheerleaders say coach bullied them. So they filed $1.3 million lawsuit

Fresno Bee

Former Clovis High cheerleaders are suing the district and their ex-coach for negligence, emotional distress and questionable bookkeeping, asking for over $1.3 million in damages. 

Visalia names new elementary school principal

Visalia Times Delta

Northwest Visalia’s newest school has a mascot, now it has a principal. Hurley parents may be moving from one school to another.

See also:

●     Visalia principal shift underway as VUSD moves longtime Hurley leaderVisalia Times-Delta

Read Across America on Dr. Seuss Day

Porterville Recorder

On March 2nd Dr. Seuss would celebrate his 115th birthday if he were still alive.  His legacy of delightful children’s books lives on in schools who celebrate Read Across America.

BCSD summer school may resume in 2020, district officials say

Bakersfield Californian

The Bakersfield City School District’s summer school program could return as soon as the 2020-21 school year.

Ever Dissect A Frog In Grade School? In California, That May Become A Thing Of The Past

Capital Public Radio

A group of lawmakers and organizations have created a bill that would make classroom dissections a thing of the past for California K-12 students.

Renewed push underway to expand California’s ban on some suspensions


Hoping for a friendlier response from Gov. Gavin Newsom than she got from Jerry Brown, state Sen. Nancy Skinner is again proposing legislation that would ban out-of-school suspensions in all grades for student behavior deemed “defiant and disruptive” by school authorities. 

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 programin the fall of 2019.

Visalia community college upgrades Valley workforce with soft skills, management training

California Economic Summit

For several years in Visalia, employers had a problem. For Jorge Zegarra at the College of the Sequoias that was a clue to get to identify and refine trainings to meet the employer needs.

Bakersfield College President Sonya Christian talked about her work at the state level

Bakersfield Californian

Bakersfield College President Sonya Christian talked to columnist Robert Price about the half-billion dollars in capital projects the Kern Community College District has undertaken with the Measure J money approved by voters.

10,000 UC hospital, campus workers could strike after contract talks hit wall

Sacramento Bee

Union leaders for roughly 10,000research and technical workersare contemplating whether to strike against the University of California after their union bargaining team rejected the last, best and final offer presented last week by the administration.

Bills target Trump rollbacks of crackdown on for-profit colleges

San Francisco Chronicle

California would add financial protections for students at for-profit colleges under measures that Democratic legislators introduced Wednesday in response to the Trump administration’s rollback of Obama-era regulations.

Serving California’s Diverse College Students

Public Policy Institute of California

As part of his cradle-to-career initiative, Governor Newsom has emphasized higher education as a key means of expanding Californians’ social and economic opportunities.




200,000 exposed to California volcanic zones

Visalia Times Delta

Nearly 200,000 people live, work or pass through one of California’s volcanic hazard zones on a daily basis, and there’s a 16 percent chance of an eruption in the state within the next 30 years.

Californians lose millions of dollars in recycling deposits

AP News

California consumers lost out on at least $308 million in nickel deposits on cans and bottles in 2018, largely because it’s increasingly difficult to find a place to recycle them, according to a new report.

Show Us Your Climate Risks, Investors Tell Companies

Wall Street Journal

Companies are expected to face a record of 75 or more climate-related shareholder proposals at coming annual meetings.

This Photographer Capture The Stunning Annual “Firefall” In Yosemite National Park Beautifully

DIY Photography

One lesser known spectacular visual treat of nature is the “Firefall” in Yosemite National Park. Each year in February, at Horsetail Fall, if the sun if the weather conditions are right, it turns into a fiery looking flow of water.

EDITORIAL: Amazon, Google and Microsoft want to burn the planet? Let’s yell at Sen. Feinstein

Sacramento Bee

Tech giants Google, Amazon and Microsoft are going into the oil business. A viral video from Sen. Dianne Feinstein at an elementary school in support of the Green New Deal went viral for all the wrong reasons.


California Resources Corp. posts fourth-quarter earnings

Bakersfield Californian

California Resources Corp., a leading oil producer in Kern County, on Wednesday posted net income of $346 million in the fourth quarter of last year. The Chatsworth-based company’s results easily surpassed those of a year before, when it reported losing $138 million.

California’s biggest county could severely restrict solar energy projects

Los Angeles Times

The state is aiming for 100% renewable energy. But San Bernardino County may adopt new regulations strictly limiting big solar farms.



Is it a cold or the flu?


While the flu season is well underway, the CDC says it’s still not too late to get vaccinated. But there are medicines to treat the flu if you do get it. But how do you really know if you have it or just a nasty cold? Consumer Reports breaks down the differences. There’s one telltale sign to look out for.

Storing Health Records On Your Phone: Can Apple Live Up To Its Privacy Values?

Capital Public Radio

As its iPhone sales growth slows, Apple has been expanding its presence in health care, where privacy matters. Apple’s privacy values could give it an edge, if the company lives up to them.

Moms can reduce rate of autism — even for kids at high risk, new UC Davis study shows

Sacramento Bee

The risk and severity of autism decreases for high-risk siblings of children with autism if moms take prenatal vitamins in their first month of pregnancy, according to research released Wednesday by the MIND Institute at the University of California, Davis.

Human Services:

Gov. Gavin Newsom to sue Trump over abortion policy, chief of staff says

Fresno Bee

California Gov. Gavin Newsom plans to sue the Trump administration over a rule that denies Title X funds to family planning groups that provide abortion referrals. Pregnancy crisis centers could get the money.

New facility offers support for Fresno kids dealing with traumatic events


The daily calls can be heart-breaking, from domestic violence and gang activity. Kids often see it all and carry the pain with them. The Resiliency Center will be located at Fulton and Dudley. 

Kern Health Systems receives $9.2 million bid for surplus property along Stockdale Highway

Bakersfield Californian

Kern Health Systems said Wednesday it has received a bid of $9.2 million for a 2.5-acre property it owns on Stockdale Highway. The local Medi-Cal administrator decided Dec. 13 to put the property out to bid because the company is moving its operation there to a new building under construction.

Service that helps seniors age in place arrives in Stockton

Stockton Record

If you’re from any other California metro area, you may be familiar with PACE, or Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. That’s because up until this year, the Stockton/Modesto region was the most populous area in the state not being served by PACE.

Few Californians pay the health insurance penalty. Often, those that do are poor

Sacramento Bee

A Sacramento Bee analysis of tax data showed that in 2016 more than 598,000 people paid a penalty to the federal government. Political leaders are eyeing a new state-level penalty to replace the federal health coverage mandate.

Saying no to the nurses: California Democrats aren’t pushing government-run health care this year

Sacramento Bee

Many California Democrats say they support single-payer health care, but none introduced a new version of the state’s landmark single-payer bill before a key deadline last week.

See also:

●     New California lawmaker puts his face on Medicare for all – and a target on his backSacramento Bee

●     House Budget chairman may slow Medicare for all effortsMcClatchy DC

●     ‘Medicare for all’ is popular, but it’s likely doomed to failLos Angeles Times


Deficiencies and poor oversight at Bakersfield ICE detention center cited in two state reports

Bakersfield Californian

Multiple inadequacies and a lack of oversight at the Mesa Verde ICE Detention Facility in Bakersfield were found by state agencies and detailed in two reports released Tuesday.

See also:

●     Immigrants At Federal Detention Centers In California Lack Health, Legal Access, State Officials SayCapital Public Radio

●     ICE detention: California finds poor conditions in immigrant holding centersSan Francisco Chronicle

Border Wall Prototypes Destroyed, Making Way For New Fencing 

Capital Public Radio

Eight steel-and-concrete mock-ups of border wall prototypes were put up near the San Diego-Tijuana border in 2017. They were supposed to represent the “next generation” of border barriers.

See also:

●     Border wall prototypes are demolishedLos Angeles Times


Land Use:

North Fork woman looking to breathe new life into downtown area


Jennifer McMillan of North Fork has a big plan for their Downtown. She recently purchased a strip of buildings along road 222, the main passageway through town. It includes the K & B Auto Parts, two empty storefronts and two houses.

Modesto seeks to have troubled Budgetel motel condemned

Modesto Bee

Modesto could condemn the Budgetel Inn & Suites, the McHenry Avenue motel that has provided housing for poor people but officials say also has been home for crime and vagrancy.

Hanford Mall Forever 21 Space To Be Divided For New Tenants

Business Journal

Fast-growing Western wear retailer Boot Barn will open a new 10,000 square-foot store in Hanford in the next month, carving out a corner of the vacant Forever 21 space at the Hanford Mall.

A new deal is needed for US public lands

Visalia Times Delta

Across the nation, volunteerism to protect our national parks and other public lands during the government shutdown was positively heroic. From the Everglades to Joshua Tree, park enthusiasts from all walks of life cleaned bathrooms and picked up trash to protect the places they love.

Developer schedules meeting on proposal for five-story dorms at Coffee and Stockdale

Bakersfield Californian

A pair of five-story student dormitory buildings has been proposed for 6.45 acres of vacant land at the northeast corner of Coffee Road and Stockdale Highway. The proposal submitted for city review Tuesday would replace earlier plans for three two- or three-story office buildings at the site.


Crews clear out Merced homeless encampment, residents ask for permanent solution


Clearing pile after pile, Merced Public Works crews worked for hours to dismantle a homeless encampment along Highway 59, calling it the worst they’ve seen in the city.  “It’s horrific. Everything’s soiled. Mud. Nothing’s salvageable,” said Solid Waste Supervisor Dan McComb. 

Modesto joins Stanislaus in support of 180-bed homeless shelter

Modesto Bee

Modesto’s elected officials have joined their Stanislaus County colleagues in supporting a multimillion-dollar plan to provide more help for the homeless, including opening a 180-bed shelter at The Salvation Army’s Berberian Center near downtown.

California’s housing supply law fails to spur enough construction, study says

Los Angeles Times

California’s housing supply law has failed in its goal of spurring enough new home building to meet demand, especially for low-income residents, according to a new report from public policy think tank Next 10.

New Regulations, Big Impacts Part II: Housing and Land Use

Public CEO

In Part II, we take a look at the numerous new laws that local leaders should be aware of that deal with affordable housing and housing discrimination, building inspections and safety violations, and disability access requirements.

U.S. Pending Home Sales Rose 4.6% in January

Wall Street Journal

Rising incomes, a strong labor market and steady mortgage rates should help positive trend to continue, NAR says.


Limit on state and local tax deduction will hit 11 million taxpayers, Treasury finds

Los Angeles Times

The new limit on the state and local tax deduction will hit nearly 11 million taxpayers nationwide this year, according to a report by a Treasury Department inspector general.


High-Speed Rail to hold open house

Hanford Sentinel

The California High-Speed Rail Authority is scheduled to host an open house Thursday evening in Hanford. According to the Authority, the purpose of the meeting is to provide information about the high-speed rail project.

See also:

●     High-Speed Rail Authority and Kings County near legal settlementVisalia Times-Delta

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

●     The California High-Speed Rail project: Re-boot, not rejectGlobal Railway Review

●     Even California’s Analysts Are Confused About Bullet Train FateBloomberg

●     California analysts: Make up your mind on high-speed rail, GavinMercury News

E-Scooter Ride-Share Industry Leaves Injuries and Angered Cities in its Path

Consumer Reports

A Consumer Reports investigation finds 1,500 e-scooter injuries across the country, and many hospitals still don’t track them.

Pedestrian Deaths Reach Highest Level in Nearly 30 Years

Wall Street Journal

Pedestrian deaths now account for about 16% of motor-vehicle crash deaths, up from 12% a decade ago. In that span, all other traffic deaths grew by less than 5%. Smartphones and the prevalence of SUVs are cited as possible reasons for the increase.


Conservancy board backs San Joaquin River access from upscale Bluffs neighborhood

Fresno Bee

A compromise to provide three public access points to the Lewis Eaton Trail along the San Joaquin River west of Highway 41 in northwest Fresno fell apart Wednesday, as members of a joint state-local board failed to reach agreement on how to proceed.

With two storms brewing, forecasters concerned about flooding in Sierra Nevada, Central Valley

Fresno Bee

The southern Sierra Nevada is expected to see a pair of storm systems in the coming days that could create “significant flooding” over the several burn scars in the area, according to weather officials.

See also:

●     With ‘atmospheric river’ winding down, flooding risk peaks and snow removal proves trickySacramento Bee

●     Sierra ski resort hits 300 inches of snowfall in February, and that smashed monthly recordsSacramento Bee

●     With heavy rain and snow, will California get a break from wildfires? The science is trickySan Francisco Chronicle

●     Epic snow in Sierra as atmospheric river storms keep on comingLos Angeles Times

●     New scale for atmospheric rivers puts Bay Area deluge at nearly ‘Category 4’San Francisco Chronicle

Lawmaker proposes $400M Friant-Kern Canal fix

Visalia Times Delta

State Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger) is proposing a $400 million bill to lift the sinking Friant-Kern Canal.

Self-Help Enterprises to host free Water Managers Leadership Institute

Porterville Recorder

To help build leadership capacity and acquire water management tools for valley communities, Self-Help Enterprises invites water board members and staff, water leaders, and residents from rural communities to participate in the 2019 Rural Communities Water Managers Leadership Institute.

New Regulations, Big Impacts Part III: Water and the Environment

Public CEO

Part III of this three-part series, examines the numerous new laws that local leaders should be aware dealing with residential water usage, on-site water recycling and the California Environmental Quality Act.


Do you know an awesome mom? Nominate her for 2019 ‘Mother of the Year’


Do you know an incredible mother living in our community?  You have the opportunity to honor her thanks to the Fresno County Women’s Chamber of Commerce!  The chamber is looking for the “2019 Mother of the Year,” and it needs your help! 

Enchanted Playhouse travels to Narnia in new play

Visalia Times Delta

If you’ve paid attention to the news the last year and a half, you know The Enchanted Playhouse needs a new home. So if you are surprised to learn that Visalia’s venerable children’s theater company will perform its latest production at its old home — The Main Street Theatre — you are not alone.

Rogue Festival takes over Tower District for the next two weeks. Here are 7 shows to see

Fresno Bee

Fresno’s “largest, craziest and most courageous” theater and performing arts festival kicks off its 18th year Friday (with a teaser show Thursday). More than 250 theater, music, dance, comedy, spoken word and magic performances are happening at 11 Tower District venues over its two week run.

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Maddy Institute Updated List of San Joaquin Valley Elected OfficialsHERE.

The Kenneth L. Maddy Instituteat 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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