February 3, 2020




Deadline February 28 for Two $56,000 Wonderful Public Service Graduate Fellowships

The Maddy Institute

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. This program helps students obtain an advanced degree from a top graduate program, return home, and apply what they have learned to help make the Valley a better place. 


North SJ Valley:


EDITORIAL:  Modesto Bee Superior Court judge endorsements: Mangar, Carrillo and Rees. Here’s why

Modesto Bee

The Modesto Bee has confidence that Jeff Mangar, Jared Carrillo and Annette Rees will make good judges in Stanislaus County Superior Court. Their opponents are smart, respected members of the legal profession who have provided valuable service to our judicial system.


EDITORIAL: Our endorsement in the 10th Congressional District comes down to these reasons

Modesto Bee

In his short time in office, Harder has proven an unusual ability to connect with Republican colleagues, and to succeed with them.


Modesto area community groups spread the word about the importance of the 2020 Census

Modesto Bee

A distrust of the government. A language barrier. A reluctance to participate in a process they don’t understand. These are just some of the obstacles that stand in the way of getting an accurate census count in some of Stanislaus County’s most impoverished and underrepresented neighborhoods.


Central SJ Valley:


Voter registration is rising in Fresno, Valley. But how many will vote in primary election?

Fresno Bee

With just over a month left before the March 3 primary election, more people are registered to vote in the central San Joaquin Valley than at any time over the past 20 years. And there is still a little more than two weeks left for would-be voters to sign up.


Warszawski: Both candidates in this Fresno City council race are young. Only one of them scares Fresno’s old guard

Fresno Bee

Both Alonzo and Maxwell are running for the right reasons. I believe both of them genuinely want to improve the quality of life for residents of central and east Fresno, an area of town that tends to get overlooked.


EDITORIAL: Devin Nunes cares more for Trump than his district. Vote for Phil Arballo for Congress

Fresno Bee

Sadly, Devin Nunes has continued to fail his district and has peddled wild conspiracy theories about how Democrats are out to get the president. He does so despite the fact that Congress is an independent branch of government.

See also:


Supervisor candidates clash over homelessness

Visalia Times Delta

The March 3 Presidential Primary is just a month away. Hoping to secure support from voters both in-person and online, candidates for Tulare County Board of Supervisors District 3 and for California's Congressional District 22 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives took to the mic Thursday.


South SJ Valley:


Kings County ends 2019 with 7.7% unemployment rate

Hanford Sentinel

The California Employment Development Department recently reported the unemployment rate for Kings County as 7.7% in December 2019, up from 7.1% in November but below the December 2018 rate of 8%.


Hanford City Council meets Tuesday

Hanford Sentinel

The Hanford City Council is set to meet Tuesday to discuss just one item of new business. Under general business, council is scheduled to discuss a contract with David A. Bush, Inc., for the Civic Park Bathroom Renovation Project.


Plans For A Second Homeless Shelter In East Bakersfield Get Mixed Reaction


Like many other cities in California, Bakersfield is struggling with a large and growing homeless population. To address the issue, the city  just approved plans for a new 70,000 square foot emergency low-barrier homeless shelter.


Bakersfield City Hall North visitors to be required to check in with BPD officer

Bakersfield Californian

Starting Monday, visitors to Bakersfield City Hall North will be required to check in with a plain-clothed Bakersfield Police officer to access the building’s elevator service and upper floors.


Bakersfield mayoral candidates share vision for city ahead of KGET debate Monday

Four of the five candidates running for Bakersfield mayor shared their visions for the city. The debate will air live on KGET at 7 p.m. The first half hour will air on TV and the KGET.com, and the second half-hour will air only on KGET.com. Jim scott and Eytan Wallace will moderate.


ELECTION 2020: Slew of candidates will attempt to take down Leticia Perez in Fifth District race

Bakersfield Californian

Political challengers licked their lips after Leticia Perez admitted to conflict of interest violations related to the marijuana industry earlier this year, but the Fifth District supervisor has made it clear she will not be unseated without a fight. As the newly-minted chairwoman of the board, Perez is positioning herself as a woman who can get things done, both at the state and local level.


Election 2020: David Couch and Emilio Huerta face off in hotly-contested Fourth District race

Bakersfield Californian

After winning with just 43 percent of the vote in 2018, Supervisor David Couch will attempt to hold on to his seat when facing attorney Emilio Huerta in March.


JOSE GASPAR: GEO dangles money carrot in front of McFarland city officials

Bakersfield Californian

Last month, two weeks after Three Kings' Day, three wise men from a private company followed the star in the east from their headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla., to the Kern County town of McFarland. They came to a public hearing of the McFarland Planning Commission bearing gifts, only in this case it was not gold, frankincense or myrrh. Instead, they dangled promises of dollars. Millions of dollars. Millions for a cash-strapped city in a financial crisis.


SOUND OFF: But is Solis less disparaging than Donald Trump?

Bakersfield Californian

Robert Price's Jan. 26 column, "Unplugged, ejected and exiled, now-candidate Solis has fellow Dems exhausted and wary," which somehow merited front page placement, was "opinionated grease" into the swamp of thinly veiled bias and prejudicial politics. Let's acknowledge that The Californian routinely buries opinions deep in the interior of the paper.




Little and no choice in many Californian legislative races

Sacramento Bee

Millions of Californians have little or no choice when it comes to choosing a state legislator. In 24 of the 100 districts on the ballot, only candidates from one party are running. And in 15 of those districts, the incumbent lawmaker is unopposed and all but assured of re-election.


California faces $1.2 billion budget hit after Trump administration rejects Medi-Cal proposal

Sacramento Bee

The federal government notified Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration Friday that it is rejecting California’s Medicaid financing proposal, a decision that could cost the state $1.2 billion.


Plan could force California utilities to reimburse customers for power shut-offs

Los Angeles Times

California utilities could be banned from charging for electricity during power shut-offs and required to reimburse their customers for spoiled food or other financial losses under legislation that cleared the state Senate on Monday.


Facebook could be forced to remove videos of violent crime under California proposal

Los Angeles Times

Alarmed by a trend of people livestreaming violent crimes, a California state senator proposed Tuesday to require social media websites including Facebook and YouTube to remove photographs and videos of crimes posted by alleged perpetrators when a request is made by victims.


A Practitioner’s Guide to Lobbying and Advocacy in California


Who Qualifies as a Lobbyist? And What Does That Mean? This chapter details the legal definition of a lobbyist, what constitutes lobbying activities, and what the implications are for lobbyists, lobbying firms, and lobbyist employers.


Walters: ‘California for All’ vs. daunting reality


Gov. Gavin Newsom’s website is topped by his official slogan, “California for All.” “The California Dream — the idea that every person can achieve a better life, regardless of where they start out — is central to who we are as Californians,” it declares.​​ 


Fight for California House may be barometer for November

Porterville Recorder

If there is going to be a comeback for California’s traumatized Republican Party — a so-called “red recovery” that could threaten Democratic control of the U.S. House — Mike Garcia wants to be part of it.


California voters are tired of impeachment. Here’s what they want Democrats to talk about

Sacramento Bee

Impeachment isn’t the big topic on constituents’ minds in a lot of Sacramento and Central Valley area congressional districts, their congressional representatives say.




Impeachment trial heads to historic end in frenetic week

Fresno Bee

President Donald Trump's impeachment trial heads toward a historic conclusion this week, with senators all-but-certain to acquit him on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress after narrowly rejecting Democratic demands to summon witnesses.

See​​ also:


Justice Department acknowledges 24 emails reveal Trump’s thinking on Ukraine

Washington Post

Hours after the Senate voted against seeking new evidence in the impeachment case against President Trump, the administration acknowledged the existence of two dozen emails that could reveal the president’s thinking about withholding military aid to Ukraine.


Trump’s travel ban expansion is an unexpected win — for China

Washington Post

In January 2017, President Trump issued his initial travel ban, closing U.S. borders to refugees from around the world and barring entry to people from seven Muslim-majority countries. After additions and Supreme Court challenges, the ban came to restrict entry of some citizens from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela and North Korea. (Chad was added and then removed.)


Opinion: A Dishonorable Senate

New York Times

Alas, no one ever lost money betting on the cynicism of today’s congressional Republicans. On Friday evening, Republican senators voted in near lock step to block testimony from any new witnesses or the production of any new documents, a vote that was tantamount to an acquittal of the impeachment charges against President Trump.

See also:


Elections 2020:


In Iowa, anxiety and unpredictability cloud caucus finish

Fresno Bee

On the eve of the Iowa caucuses, Democratic presidential candidates hustled across the state trying to fire up voters and make a last appeal to those struggling to make a final decision about their choice in the crowded field.

See​​ also:


Your guide to the 2020 California Primary


California: Get ready for your close-up. Long viewed as a cash-rich afterthought on the presidential campaign trail, the country’s largest state will finally have an early say in who will win each political party’s presidential nomination — and by extension, who will occupy the White House come January 2021.


You can start voting in California now. But should you wait?

Sacramento Bee

California is mailing ballots to millions of residents a month ahead of the March 3 presidential primary. That doesn’t necessarily mean voters should send them back right away. While the state’s election is earlier than usual, a lot could change before election day.


California independents can cast ballots for Democrats — but not Trump — in March primary

Los Angeles Times

California voters who are unaffiliated with a political party will be able to participate in the Democratic presidential primary next year, but they will be prohibited from casting ballots for President Trump or any possible Republican challenger, according to information released Monday by state elections officials.

See​​ also:


Michael Bloomberg to visit Sacramento, Fresno on Monday: ’Our Iowa is California’

Fresno Bee

Michael Bloomberg will visit Sacramento and Fresno during his fourth California trip since declaring his candidacy in late-November.

See also:


Bernie Sanders grabs lead in California presidential primary poll

Los Angeles Times

Sen. Bernie Sanders, consolidating support from voters on the left, has taken a clear lead in the race for California’s huge trove of Democratic convention delegates as the presidential campaign moves toward a critical month of primary contests.

See​​ also:

     How Bernie Sanders Learned to Love Campaigning in California New York Times

     Commentary: The Bernie Sanders surge AEI


Where Latinos have the most eligible voters in the 2020 election

Pew Research
This year, Latinos are expected for the first time to be the nation’s 
largest racial or ethnic minority in a U.S. presidential election, with a record 32 million projected to be eligible to vote. They will account for 13.3% of all eligible voters. However, the number of Latino eligible voters is still far below the 60 million Latinos who live in the country.


As Voting Begins, Democrats Are Upbeat About the 2020 Field, Divided in Their Preferences

Pew Research
Ahead of the first contests in the 2020 election, Democratic voters are highly engaged with the race for their party’s nomination, express positive views of the Democratic field and are united in opposition to Donald Trump.


Opinion: Election misinformation tricks Democrats and Republicans alike. Voters beware

Fresno Bee

Some of the confusion stems from the process by which “no party preference” voters can vote in party primaries. NPP voters must take the extra step of requesting party ballots. The state is making efforts to ensure NPP voters know how to do so.




An oasis of bipartisanship: Republicans and Democrats distrust social media sites for political and election news

As we enter the 2020 election year, a large majority of Americans are familiar with the major social media sites in the rapidly expanding digital universe. Moreover, a number of them are also sources for political and election news for many Americans, according to a new analysis of data from Pew Research Center’s 
Election News Pathways project.

See also:


Poll: Republicans more satisfied than Democrats with U.S. life

Republicans are far more satisfied about current aspects of American life than are Democrats, according to a new survey a day before President 
Donald Trump gives his annual assessment in his State of the Union address. Gallup said its research has shown most in the United States are largely happy with the domestic economy and national security, but dissatisfied on issues like public education and healthcare.

See also:


U.S. churchgoers are satisfied with the sermons they hear, though content varies by religious tradition


Sermons are a major part of many churchgoers’ religious experiences. But there are differences by religious tradition in how satisfied churchgoers are with what they hear from the pulpit – as well as in the length and content of those sermons, according to two recent Pew Research Center studies.


Commentary: The EU should take an evolutionary approach to artificial intelligence regulation


It is trendy today to worry about artificial intelligence (AI). Elon Musk — perhaps the highest-profile worrier — sees AI as an existential threat to humanity. The new president of the European Commission (EC), Ursula von der Leyen, is also a worrier: She has made AI regulation one of her priorities, expressing concerns about medical robots and self-driving cars.




Sunday, February 9, at 10 a.m. on ABC30 – pre-empted


Sunday, February 9, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) – Maddy Report - Valley Views EditionHow Will AB5 Impact the Valley? - Guests: Dillon Savory, Executive Director of the Fresno-Madera-Tulare-Kings Central Labor Council; Nathan Ahle, Executive Director of the Fresno Chamber of Commerce; and Jamie Bossuat, member of the Stockton Chamber of Commerce and attorney with the law firm Kroloff, Belcher, Smart, Perry, & Christopherson. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.


Sunday, February 9, at 7:30 a.m. on UniMas 61 (KTTF) – El Informe MaddyComo Entender las Reservas del Presupuesto Estatal - Guests: Jacqueline Barocio & Lourdes Morales, investigadores de LAO y Alexei Koseff, Reportero de San Francisco Chronicle. Host: Maddy Institute Program Coordinator, Maria Jeans.




Project seeks to convert dairy farm manure to natural gas

Fresno Bee

Harmful emissions from the agriculture sector are increasingly scrutinized as the climate changes. Now, energy companies want to help dairy farmers reduce emissions.

See also:


Modesto gathering will catch up on high tech in farming and food processing

Modesto Bee

Modesto’s second annual AgTech Summit on Thursday, Feb. 6, will explore the latest in farming and food processing technologies. The $30 tickets were still available as of Friday for the event, set to run 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at in the big pavilion on the Modesto Junior College West Campus.


U.S. farm bankruptcies hit an eight-year high: court data


U.S. farm bankruptcy rates jumped 20% in 2019 - to an eight-year high - as financial woes in the U.S. agricultural economy continued in spite of massive federal bail-out funding, according to federal court data.


Scientists discovered a weed compound that may be 30xmore powerful than THC

 newly discovered cannabis compound has been shown in the lab to potentially be 30 times more potent than THC, the most studied psychoactive compound in marijuana. Whether the new cannabinoid, named tetrahydrocannabiphorol, or THCP, will deliver 30 times the high of THC — or any high at all — is unclear.






Offenders under 21 would be automatically tried as juveniles under new California bill

Los Angeles Times

California lawmakers will consider expanding the reach of the state’s juvenile justice system so that those under age 21 are automatically tried as minors — an idea backed by some state probation officers, who say teenagers aren’t mature enough to be held responsible in the same way as older offenders.


How a private prison giant has continued to thrive in a state that wants it out

Desert Sun

California's Democrat-dominated legislature is waging a fierce battle to rid the state of private immigration detention centers, which many lawmakers say prioritize profits over the health and safety of detainees.


Public Safety:


ROBERT PRICE: He was never a cop, but former councilman Ken Vetter still bleeds blue

Bakersfield Californian

One of the first important tasks Bakersfield's new, incoming city manager must undertake will be the hiring of a new police chief. Christian Clegg, who starts March 2, will pick from a field of three finalists forwarded from the city's police commission. The new chief will be a known commodity: He or she already works for the BPD, per terms of the city charter.




Newsom Signs Wildfire Liability Bill, Utility Customers to Pay $10.5 Billion Into New Fund

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a complex wildfire liability bill into law Friday morning. The passage of AB 1054 is a big win for Newsom, who was elected governor just days before PG&E equipment sparked the Camp Fire, which raged across Butte County, killing 85 people. Just weeks later, the utility entered into bankruptcy protection. Newsom has been highly critical of the power company. But he also noted the problem of utility-caused wildfires is bigger than just one company.






The New CEO Of Fresno’s Largest Nonprofit Says Her Own Life Experiences Inform Her Work


Today, the largest of these agencies in California is the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission. Its scope of services is vast and now for the first time, it’s being run by a woman.


SARS Stung the Global Economy. The Coronavirus Is a Greater Menace.

New York Times

In 2002, when a lethal, pneumonialike virus known as SARS emerged in China, the country’s factories were mostly churning out low-cost goods like T-shirts and sneakers for customers around the world.


Commentary: Even a partial dose of democratic socialism seems to be economic poison


When Bernie Sanders talks about socialism, he wants voters to think Scandinavia, not Soviet Russia or Cuba. For example: When asked back in 2016 to explain what he meant by “democratic socialism,” he responded, “I think we should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway and learn what they have accomplished for their working people.”


Opinion: If business leaders are serious about doing good, they can start by paying their taxes

Washington Post

Over the past year, the concept that corporations owe a responsibility to the broader society beyond their responsibility to their shareholders has flourished. The Business Roundtable renounced its earlier view that companies exist to serve stockholders and endorsed stakeholder capitalism last summer.




Kings County ends 2019 with 7.7% unemployment rate

Hanford Sentinel

The California Employment Development Department recently reported the unemployment rate for Kings County as 7.7% in December 2019, up from 7.1% in November but below the December 2018 rate of 8%.


Women Make Gains in the Workplace Amid a Rising Demand for Skilled Workers

Employers in the United States are increasingly in pursuit of workers who are adept in social skills, like negotiation and persuasion, and have a strong grounding in fundamental skills, such as critical thinking and writing. In the past nearly four decades, employment in the U.S. has expanded most rapidly in jobs in which these skill sets are most valued.

See also:


I Can't Work With You! How Political Fights Leave Workplaces Divided

A few months ago, a skirmish broke out on the factory floor of a clothing maker in Portland, Ore. It had received an order to make T-shirts for the Trump presidential campaign — but some people refused to work on the project.


Commentary: DoorDash Accused of Violating Wage Laws in Multiple States

Bloomberg Law

Delivery drivers in California, Illinois, and Massachusetts filed a proposed class action against DoorDash Inc. in California federal court, alleging the company blatantly disregards federal and state labor laws by continuing to classify them as independent contractors instead of employees entitled to certain protections and benefits.






Teacher bonuses and classroom prep: Inside Newsom’s $900 million plan for California schools

Fresno Bee

Gov. Gavin Newsom has pledged $900 million in his 2020-2021 budget to recruit and retain high-quality teachers in struggling California schools where achievement gaps persist.


Mind the achievement gap: California’s disparities in education, explained


Few goals in education have been as frustrating and urgent as the deep, generational disparity in achievement between the haves and the have-nots in California schools. It is an article of faith in the K-12 school system that every student — regardless of race, creed, wealth or color — can and should be academically successful.


WALTERS: California’s big educational dilemma


California’s largest, most important — and perhaps most troubled — governmental program is the education of nearly 6 million elementary, middle and high school students. Federal, state and local taxpayers are spending more than $100 billion each year on the assumption, or hope, that the state’s 944 school districts, ranging in size from 400,000 students (Los Angeles Unified) to four (Lincoln Elementary) will adequately educate our kids.


The new Proposition 13: A $15 billion bond for school facilities


This Proposition 13 would authorize a $15 billion bond for school modernization and construction projects. Here’s how it would break down: $9 billion for K-12 schools ,and $2 billion each for community colleges and the state’s two public university systems, the California State University and University of California.

See​​ also:


Academic Decathlon ... the ‘Super Bowl of local academic contests’ for high schoolers

Fresno Bee

Spirits rode high for the 29 high school teams competing in the Academic Decathlon Super Quiz. Fresno County Superintendent of Schools Jim Yovino called the event "the Super Bowl of local high school academic contests."

See also:


Stanislaus County kids math skills don’t add up. StanMath is looking for answers

Modesto Bee

Only 26% of fifth graders perform at or above grade level for math on standardized testing, compared to 39% of their peers across the state, according to the California Department of Education.


Are Merced County teachers paid enough? See the average pay for every school district

Merced Sun-Star

Average teacher pay in California public schools rose to $82,746 last school year, an increase of 2.6 percent from the prior year, new state data show. Teacher pay was highest in Silicon Valley’s Mountain View-Los Altos Union High school district, where teachers earned, on average, about $136,500.


3D powers of STEAM: McFarland students creating prosthetic arm for Porterville child

Bakersfield Californian

In McFarland, elementary students at Browning Road STEAM Academy, with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, have used several 3D printers over the years to learn more about these fields and create life-changing devices.


Stockdale High School wins 39th annual Academic Decathlon


Stockdale High School won the 39th annual Kern County Academic Decathlon on Saturday and will head to the state championships next month, according to the Kern County Superintendent of Schools. The event was held Saturday at Mira Monte High School.

Americans went to the library more often than they went to the movies, poll finds

Who says libraries are dying? Last year, Americans visited the library more than they went to the movies, live sporting events, museums, concerts, amusement parks and casinos, among other activities, 
according to a Gallup poll.


Higher Ed:


Boeing confirms major project in the works with this Fresno County community college

Fresno Bee

Reedley College is poised to announce a partnership with the world’s largest aerospace company to research and develop all-electric aircraft.


Chevron powers innovation with $450,000 gift to Fresno State

Fresno State Campus News

Thanks to generous support from Chevron, several Fresno State programs will benefit, improving STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education for current and future students. Chevron announced a $450,000 donation to Fresno State on Jan. 31 in support of initiatives in engineering, science and homecoming.


Report: Students earn associate degrees, certificates at equal rates to bachelor's

Education Dive

Colleges awarded roughly the same number of associate degrees and certificates combined (1.95 million) in 2016 as bachelor's degrees (1.92 million), according to a new report from Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce.


College, a way out of poverty, is a distant dream in much of rural Michigan

Detroit Free Press

The squeals of elementary students at recess coming from a playground behind a two-story building and the occasional hiss of a tractor-trailer's tires on the main drag a couple of blocks away serve as the only soundtrack as a quartet of high school students saunter down a Baldwin street, heading for some fun away from school.


Walters: Community college report ignores reality


The Legislative Analyst’s Office, which advises state lawmakers on budgetary matters, prides itself on taking an independent, nonpartisan and even nonpolitical approach to important policy issues.






Opinion:​​ That Junk in the Air Is Really Bad for Us


Amid all the hubbub about climate change, Americans don't think much about regular old air pollution these days. The coal smoke that once choked cities such as Pittsburgh now exists only in old photographs, and even famously hazy Los Angeles has much less smog. A long string of laws passed during the past 70 years has strengthened government regulation of air quality.




PG&E announces new bankruptcy plan. Does it go far enough for California Gov. Newsom?

Sacramento Bee

Facing threats of a state takeover, PG&E Corp. on Friday unveiled a new plan for pulling out of bankruptcy that would overhaul the utility’s leadership and dedicate more executives to wildfire safety.


Another top California oil regulator will step down amid continued probes

Desert Sun

Jason Marshall, one of California's top oil and gas regulators, is stepping down. Marshall will resign in mid-February from his post as chief deputy director of the Department of Conservation. In that role, he has overseen the beleaguered Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) as well as the mining division and other key department functions.






3 new cases of coronavirus confirmed in Northern California; U.S. cases jump to 11

Fresno Bee

Public health officials confirmed three new cases of coronavirus in Northern California – including an adult woman in Santa Clara County and a husband and wife in San Benito County – bringing the number of cases of the disease in the United States to 11. In California, according to the CDC, six people are now sickened by the virus.

See​​ also:


11 confirmed cases of mumps in Fresno County Jail

Visalia Times Delta

The California Department of Public Health confirmed 11 Fresno County inmates tested positive for mumps, according to sheriff's officials. An investigation is underway to try and figure out who the original inmate is that contracted the mumps virus and spread it.


FDA approves first-ever peanut allergy treatment

The Hill

Aimmune Therapeutics is behind the drug, called Palforzia, which exposes patients to small amounts of peanuts and helps build up their resistance. It announced its FDA approval in a press release Friday.


Human Services:


Fresno Center Provides Mental Health Support to Hmong Community


Two and a half months ago, four members of the Hmong community died in a mass shooting in Fresno. As the victims’ loved ones continue to process their feelings of anger and loss, The Fresno Center has provided counseling and support programs. Now it’s expanding its efforts thanks to an $80,000 grant from Kaiser Permanente.


California charity raised millions for veterans. Almost none of it helped the needy

Sacramento Bee

Each year, Fred Salanti receives a check in the mail for a few thousand dollars. Salanti, a 72-year-old Vietnam veteran, uses the money to keep his small Redding-based charity afloat. It buys a few wheelchairs for veterans, covers student scholarships and sometimes funds a monument at the cemetery, he said.


California faces $1.2 billion budget hit after Trump administration rejects Medi-Cal proposal

Sacramento Bee

The federal government notified Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration Friday that it is rejecting California’s Medicaid financing proposal, a decision that could cost the state $1.2 billion.

See​​ also:


California is right to focus on adverse childhood experiences. Other states should follow


It’s time to change the conversation in health care. Rather than asking, “What is wrong with this person?” medical professionals might ask, “What happened to this person?” California​​ Surgeon General Nadine Burke Harris and an increasing number of practitioners are changing the conversation because they recognize that trauma early in life—child separation, racism, neglect, abuse or poverty, for instance—can manifest itself years later with devastating consequences.


How The Loss Of U.S. Psychiatric Hospitals Led To A Mental Health Crisis

A severe shortage of inpatient care for people with mental illness is amounting to a public health crisis, as the number of individuals struggling with a range of psychiatric problems continues to rise. The revelation that the gunman in the Sutherland Springs, Texas, church shooting escaped from a psychiatric hospital in 2012 is renewing concerns about the state of mental health care in this country.




Five Reasons Why California Should Extend the CalEITC and Young Child Tax Credit to Immigrant Families and Communities

California Budget & Policy Center

State policymakers have significantly expanded California’s Earned Income Tax Credit — the CalEITC — since the credit was first enacted in 2015. However, hundreds of thousands of immigrant families are excluded from benefiting from the CalEITC as well as from California’s new Young Child Tax Credit, which is tied to CalEITC eligibility.


Trump expands long-standing immigration ban to include six more countries, most in Africa

Washington Post

President Trump added six countries to his administration’s travel ban Friday — including Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country — in a widely anticipated expansion that Democrats blasted as “clearly discriminatory” against people from predominantly black and Muslim nations.


Republican judges do Trump’s bidding on border wall


All eyes are on impeachment this week. But President Donald Trump’s border wall is churning up a second constitutional crisis all by itself on the sidelines. The wall is not the issue. Instead, it is the extreme steps taken to undercut Congress’ constitutional power over spending and the response thus far by the judicial branch, which has run for cover in a manner that strains credibility.


Despite Findings Of 'Negligent' Care, ICE To Expand Troubled Calif. Detention Center

When a government expert in mental health visited one of the largest immigration detention centers in the U.S. in 2017, she knew the conditions that detainees there sometimes face. A past inspection had found that staff often failed to obtain adequate mental health histories, leading to faulty diagnoses and, in some cases, treatment plans that were incorrect.


Gaspar: GEO dangles money carrot in front of McFarland city officials

Bakersfield Californian

In order to survive in California, GEO is making an all-out effort to convert its privately run prisons into more lucrative immigration detention facilities.




Land Use:


Efforts to clean up Oildale parks continue

Bakersfield Californian

Local entities have teamed up to address issues at Oildale parks to make them safer and more usable for residents living nearby.


Unfinished home development sparks embezzlement investigation

Bakersfield Californian

A partially built housing development off Highway 178 has become the focus of a police inquiry after contractors working on the project went unpaid and one of the development partners sued another alleging misappropriation of millions of dollars.


North Merced annexation study leaves questions: Here’s what you should know

Merced Sun-Star

The Merced city officials and community members explored the pros, cons and logistics of annexing a large swath of land in north Merced. The 7,600 acres in question would increase the city’s size by at least a whopping 50 percent.




California just counted its homeless. The tally is inaccurate, and politically weaponized

Fresno Bee

With yellow vests and flashlights, over 200 volunteers fanned out across Fresno to count homeless people on Tuesday night. Along the railway, one group walked by a freight container with a mattress and shoes inside, and past a dirt cot enclosed in a tarp pegged to a bush.


Plans For A Second Homeless Shelter In East Bakersfield Get Mixed Reaction


Like many other cities in California, Bakersfield is struggling with a large and growing homeless population. To address the issue, the city  just approved plans for a new 70,000 square foot emergency low-barrier homeless shelter.


Modesto tent city attracting interest from other cities dealing with homelessness

Modesto Bee

As homeless men, women and children in Sacramento wait for three new shelters to open, another model that Sacramento officials repeatedly have rejected over the years is now quickly gaining traction.


California’s Most Controversial Homebuilding Bill Just Died. What Will Newsom Do Now?

Capital Public Radio

Senate Bill 50 failed to get enough votes in the California Legislature to survive in 2020 before time ran out. The question now is how Gov. Gavin Newsom plans to meet one of his signature campaign goals: building millions of new homes.

See​​ also:


America’s Rental Affordability Crisis Is Climbing The Income Ladder

Joint Center for Housing Studies

Rental market conditions in the United States have changed fundamentally since the Great Recession, according to America’s Rental Housing 2020, our new report out today. The report shows that it has become harder than ever for middle-income Americans to pay the rent.


Why Texans Don’t Want Any More Californians

The Atlantic

Across a frightened nation divided by politics and culture, a fragile harmony is ascendant, as Americans in small towns and large cities alike cry out in trembling unison: Hey, where did all these Californians come from?

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Commentary: How beauty could help solve the housing crisis

Forget politics for a minute; I know it’s hard, but bear with me. If conservatism is a moral and social disposition of gratitude and appreciation for an inheritance of permanent creations, then we have a strong obligation to make beautiful things that naturally draw out the devotion and protection of our children.




Burden of Health Care Payments Is Greatest Among Americans with the Lowest Incomes

Rand Corporation

Higher-income American households pay the most to finance the nation's health care system, but the burden of payments as a share of income is greatest among households with the lowest incomes, according to a new RAND Corporation study.


Commentary: How a VAT could tax the rich and pay for universal basic income


One solution that I’ve laid out in a new Hamilton Project paper, “Raising Revenue with a Progressive Value-Added Tax,” is a 10 percent Value-Added Tax (VAT) combined with a universal basic income (UBI)—effectively a cash payment to every US household.’




Latest milestone reached for project that will help traffic from 99 to north Merced

Merced Sun-Star

The Campus Parkway Project is part of Merced County’s Regional plan to improve traffic circulation between Highway 99 and growing neighborhoods and retail centers near north Merced and UC Merced.


Off-road riders say they’re ‘under attack’ by California, ask for re-opening of Oceano Dunes

Sacramento Bee

Dave Kraus said he came to Sacramento to put a human face on the financial toll of a decision to close part of Oceano Dunes, California’s only coastal state park that allows off-road vehicles. The beach concession stand he owns once had eight full-time employees, as well as seasonal hires. Now he’s down to seven, with no plans to hire any seasonal help this year.


Why must California invest in electric vehicles? There are billions of reasons


How will we pay for it? That’s the No. 1 question that gets asked in response to bold climate solutions. The economy vs. environment narrative has been driven by decades of well-funded persuasion that we cannot transition off of fossil fuels without damaging the economy.


San Francisco's hallmark, Market Street is now car-free


Over two miles of downtown San Francisco's Market Street, a major artery of the city and gathering place for residents and visitors alike, are now car-free as part of a movement that puts pedestrians first.


L.A. considers bold makeover for Hollywood Boulevard: Fewer cars, bike lanes, wider sidewalks

Los Angeles Times

Though its terrazzo sidewalks and bronze inlaid stars show off the glitz of Los Angeles to the world, the Hollywood Walk of Fame often feels decidedly short on glamour of its own. That may change under a new makeover proposed for the iconic boulevard.




Dry January causes below-average snowpack

Hanford Sentinel

The Department of Water Resources conducted the second manual snow survey of 2020 Thursday, recording below average snow depth after a relatively dry January.

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New Film Documents the Fight for Clean Water in Tooleville


Contaminated water has flown from faucets in Tooleville, a small community in Tulare County, since the 1980s. "The Great Water Divide: California's Water Crisis" is a new documentary that follows the residents' efforts to connect to neighboring Exeter's water supply.


‘Our voices are not being heard’: Colorado town a test case for California PFAS victims

Los Angeles Times

PFAS chemicals — used in food packaging, waterproof fabrics and nonstick pan coatings — have been found in the water and soil in more than 1,300 communities in 49 states, including California.


Even after Oroville near-disaster, California dams remain potentially hazardous

San Francisco Chronicle

An audit of 650 California dams considered hazardous found that only a small fraction have completed emergency plans required after the Oroville Dam spillway collapsed three years ago and forced the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people.




Fosters 4 Rescues Fresno helping give dogs a second chance at life


Rescued from a hoarding house after the owner died, 24 dogs will now get a second chance at life thanks to the SPCA teaming up with Fosters 4 Rescues. It is a volunteer network committed to saving the lives of hopeless shelter animals through short term foster.


Wine tasting just got easier thanks to this Valley business


Wine tasting just got a little easier thanks to an online store based in the Valley. Fresno resident Sara Baronian has been able to turn her passion for wine into a budding business.


Clovis Friends of the Library to Celebrate Clovis’ 108th Anniversary

Clovis RoundUp

Incorporated in Feb. 1912, the City of Clovis is commemorating its 108th anniversary with the theme of “Celebrating Clovis” at the Clovis Library. The Clovis Friends of the Library in partnership with the Clovis Regional Library is featuring a month-long historical exhibition of artifacts, written works, paintings, and photographs of the city. The Clovis- Big Dry Creek Historical Society will loan artifacts for the exhibit and the Fresno County Library will contribute photographs.


Sign-ups open for April’s Love Modesto day of giving, which includes new projects

Modesto Bee

Volunteer sign-ups for the 12th annual Love Modesto event opened Saturday, and two of the anticipated 100-plus projects already are full, Executive Director Jeff Pishney said early Sunday afternoon.


Operation Headstone: unmarked graves of military veterans to get markers

Bakersfield Californian

If a grave can be lonely, U.S. Navy veteran Hulen Lovelady's final resting place surely fits the bill. The former Bakersfield resident died in 2005, and while his grave at Greenlawn Cemetery Southwest is surrounded by markers, Lovelady's grave is covered only by green grass. The military veteran has no marker on his grave — no name to identify him.


Golden Chain Presents Three-Night Special Event Dinner Show

Sierra News

Tickets are going fast for the Golden Chain Theatre’s Feb. 14 –16, one weekend only performance of the interactive, comedy dinner-show Contempt of Court by David Landau.


Will there be a ‘super bloom’ in California this year?

Visalia Times Delta

Wildflowers are fickle. Ample rain is needed each winter month, especially in January and February, in order for the plants to blossom at the proportions that create a super bloom, flower enthusiasts say.



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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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