January 2, 2019


North SJ Valley:

In California’s red counties, sheriffs decry sanctuary laws after crime spree, cop killing

Los Angeles Times

Standing before a battery of reporters and television cameras, Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson declared: “Unlike Ron, who immigrated to this country lawfully and legally to pursue his lifelong career of public safety, public service and being a police officer, this suspect is in our country illegally. He doesn’t belong here. He’s a criminal.”

Central SJ Valley:

From $70M grants to giant rodents: 10 Fresno-area stories that deserved more buzz

Fresno Bee

From midterm-election madness to wildfires and mouthy Fresno State professors — 2018 was jam-packed with news and events.

See also:

●      CapRadio Best Of 2018 Capital Public Radio

●      Recapping 2018: A dozen political stories that left California shaken or stirred CALmatters

●      2018 in 5 Minutes: The Best of Congressional Hits and Misses Roll Call

●     EDITORIAL: A look at 2018 – Yes, it was a watershed year for our region Modesto Bee

Fresno mayor ‘won the battle but lost the war,’ Measure P allies say. What’s next?

Fresno Bee

After the Fresno parks sales tax on the November ballot failed to receive the two-thirds voter approval needed to pass, Mayor Lee Brand resolved to bring proponents and critics together to draft a “more balanced” tax measure to fund both parks and public safety.

Arambula keeps Assembly chairmanship, committee positions after arrest

Fresno Bee

Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula, D-Fresno, will remain the chairman of the state Assembly’s budget subcommittee on health and human services .

EDITORIAL: Jim Costa’s unconscionable Yemen votes

Sacramento Bee

Fresno Democratic Congressman Jim Costa voted twice to support Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen while taking campaign cash from oil and gas companies. He has said he will take a stronger stand early next year. Hold him to account.

South SJ Valley:

Tulare hires outside firm to handle Greg Nunley’s projects

Visalia Times Delta

Tulare city administrators adopted a policy calling for a consulting firm to perform all plan checks and inspections related to projects fronted by Councilman Greg Nunley, partial fallout of an on-going harassment investigation.

Tulare voter participation in council races raises concerns

Visalia Times Delta

This election’s voter turnout for Tulare City Council’s District 2 is the latest entry in a growing list of concerns for a local law firm that specializes in voters’ rights.

Tulare Councilman Jones says he believed investigation report was public record

Visalia Times Delta

A Tulare council member said he shared a report about the police department and former Chief Wes Hensley thinking the document was a public record.

A productive 2018 for Porterville

Porterville Recorder

As the cold winter days of 2018 begin to fade into the new year, it is time to reflect upon the past year and take a look at what the city of Porterville and its residents have accomplished. This year has brought some great advancements and changes to the city.

Lindsay on the rise in 2018

Porterville Recorder

A year marked by better roads, new facilities and new leader.  Lindsay made great strides in 2018, and as the year draws to an end, The Recorder takes a look back at all the city has accomplished.

In 2019, city will turn from TRIP toward sales tax spending and the homeless issue looms on the horizon

Bakersfield Californian

Heading into 2019, the city of Bakersfield will turn its attention away from a project that’s occupied most of the past decade and look toward a new project that could dominate the next 10 years.

DA Lisa Green reflects on her time as top prosecutor and notable trials as retirement looms

Bakersfield Californian

With an unwavering dedication to victims’ rights, Kern County District Attorney Lisa Green successfully prosecuted a multitude of complex cases — including that of one of the most notorious murderers in county history — and oversaw the office at a time when technological advances brought greater scrutiny on law enforcement in general.


New Year brings new California laws


2019 is here and with it comes new changes to California law.

See Also:

●     New laws are putting California further at odds with Trump Fresno Bee

●     This Merced soldier did something special to celebrate the New Year and veterans  Merced Sun-Star

●      Preparing for the onslaught of new laws starting Jan. 1? Here’s what you should know. Visalia Times Delta

●     From plastic straws to pet CPR: How new California laws could change your life in 2019 Modesto Bee

●     How will California’s 2019 laws affect you? Los Angeles Times

●     Minimum wage rises, plastic straws banned and other laws taking effect in 2019 Bakersfield Californian

●     New California Laws For 2019 Capital Public Radio

●     New Year, New Laws: Changes Coming to Labor, Transportation and Wildfire Rules in 2019 KQED News

●     EDITORIAL: Let’s drink to new laws — just not with a straw San Francisco Chronicle

Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom will propose almost $2 billion for early childhood programs

Los Angeles Times

Seeking to frame his new administration as one with a firm focus on closing the gap between children from affluent and poor families, Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom will propose spending some $1.8 billion on an array of programs designed to boost California’s enrollment in early education and child-care programs.

See also:

●      For California’s new governor, big mistakes will lead to greatness Modesto Bee

●      California’s next governor and lawmakers enter a new power dynamic in Sacramento Los Angeles Times

●      Walters: Newsom may not be so lucky on the economy CALmatters

As Gov. Jerry Brown leaves office, he seems unlikely to retire from the only profession he’s ever known

Los Angeles Times

Deep in the recesses of Jerry Brown’s mind, there seems to be an anecdote or a philosopher’s teaching for most every quandary faced by an elected official.

See also:

●      Walters: The story of Jerry Brown’s second act in California politics  CALmatters

●      Walters: What will be Gov. Jerry Brown’s legacy? CALmatters

●      Brown Redux, Part 1: The son also rises CALmatters

●      What Jerry Brown fixed and couldn’t fix CALmatters

●      CALmatters Analysis Part 4: Jerry Brown: What will be his legacy?  Appeal Democrat

●      Jerry Brown’s legacy: Climate, California budget and more San Francisco Gate

●      What Pat Brown knew and Jerry Brown finally understands Los Angeles Times

●      Gov. Brown, departing, eyes future Capitol Weekly

●      Jerry Brown’s Greatest Legacy Is Proving California Is Governable The Atlantic

●      From the 1970s to today, Jerry Brown defined modern California. What his legacy means depends on whom you ask CNBC

California leads with #MeToo reforms

San Francisco Chronicle

At this time last year, a steady stream of shocking and remarkably common #MeToo stories were pouring through the media.

Another Headache for California From the D.M.V., This Time Involving ‘Real ID’

New York Times

The California Department of Motor Vehicles is under renewed scrutiny after a federal government warning that its Real ID protocols do not comply with security standards, the latest in a series of missteps by a state agency struggling to maintain public trust.

In Orange County, a Republican Fortress Turns Democratic

New York Times

The Democratic capture of four Republican-held congressional seats in Orange County in November — more than half the seven congressional seats Democrats won from Republicans in California — toppled what had long been a fortress of conservative Republicanism.

See also:

●      California Republican Party fractured after 2018 election  Sacramento Bee

●      The Democratic wave was more a Republican drought in some of California’s biggest congressional races Los Angeles Times

●      The Blue State Challenge Wall Street Journal

●      Democrats hold slightly wider edge in leaned party affiliation than in 2015-16 Pew Research Center

●     Republicans expect the worst in 2019 but see glimmers of hope from doom and gloom Sacramento Bee

Victor Davis Hanson: Wealth, Poverty, and Flight: The State of California

National Review

California ranks first among the states in the percentage of residents over 25 who have never finished the ninth grade— 9.7 percent of California residents, or about 4 million Californians. It also rates 49th in the number of state residents who never graduated from high school — or about 18 percent of the current population.


‘The time for accountability has arrived’ as Democrats put White House under microscope

Fresno Bee

Democrats take charge of the House in January and are ready to investigate a myriad of Trump White House issues, including Cabinet secretaries’ travel and family detention policies. But above all, they don’t want to go too fast or interrupt Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

See also:

·       Departure of Trump’s GOP critics in Senate leaves a void Sacramento Bee

·       Time for G.O.P. to Threaten to Fire Trump  New York Times

·       Congress in 2019: The 2nd most educated and least politically experienced House freshman class Brookings

Fallout Grows As Partial Government Shutdown Drags On Into New Year

Capital Public Radio

There’s no end in sight for the spending standoff that has forced the shutdown of about a quarter of the federal government. The longer the shutdown continues, the more services will be affected.

See Also:

●     Trump Invites Congressional Leaders For Talks As Shutdown Continues Capital Public Radio

Where do the investigations related to Trump stand?

Porterville Recorder

Where the investigations related to President Donald Trump stand and what may lie ahead for him: WHAT’S THIS ALL ABOUT? Trump is facing criminal investigations in Washington and New York.

See Also:

●     Here’s What Could Be Ahead In The Russia Investigations In 2019 Capital  Public Radio

Here is your handy guide to the 2020 presidential campaign

Fresno Bee

A new two-year presidential election cycle is about to begin. From exploratory committees to caucuses to conventions to the general election, here is how to follow the fight for the White House.

See Also:

●     Sen. Elizabeth Warren inches toward presidential run in new video abc30

A year of unprecedented deception: Trump averaged 15 false claims a day in 2018

Washington Post

President Trump’s year of lies, false statements and misleading claims started with some morning tweets.


2019 shapes up as another big political year


While 2018 has been a pivotal year in California’s political history – particularly the Republican Party’s losing half of its congressional seats – 2019 may be even more significant.

See also:

●      Let’s hope we’re not shouting ‘good riddance’ again 12 months from now Bakersfield Californian

●      What Did We Learn About American Politics in 2018? Wall Street Journal

●      The Trailer: Welcome to the 2020 Democratic primary Washington Post

●      The New Year’s resolution that can save CA’s shriveling GOP: Don’t be evil LA Times

●      EDITORIAL: Change that will do you good in 2019 Los Angeles Times

Watch these people make their marks in 2019

Bakersfield Californian

Every year at this time The Californian looks back on the year just completed and the local events that shaped our present. It’s logical, though, that we also look ahead at the local people poised to make a difference in the 12 months that lie ahead.

See also:

●     Notable deaths of 2018 included two former Bakersfield mayors

In a political year, Fresno Bee used transparency and conversation to help community understand journalism, and itself

News Co/Lab

When The Fresno Bee published a profile of a nationally known local politician as his race for re-election heated up, the news organization faced some major hurdles — including the candidate’s refusal to be interviewed or, in fact, communicate in any direct way with the journalists. Actually, Rep. Devin Nunes, his allies, and several other area power brokers spent much of 2018 attacking The Bee itself.

See also:

●      I’ve Studied the Trump-Fox Feedback Loop for Months. It’s Crazier Than You Think. POLITICO Magazine

EDITORIAL: Corporations are finding their politically responsible side

Los Angeles Times

From the Muslim travel ban to the rollback of transgender rights, President Trump’s policies and rhetoric have put proponents of tolerance and equality on the ropes for two years. But social justice warriors have also discovered a new, rich and powerful ally who can help them in the year ahead: big business.

Warszawski:  Right or wrong. Black or white. Red or blue. Binary thinking only serves to polarize us

Fresno Bee

Binary thinking is our national affliction. It’s the primary reason our discourse on everything from politics to immigration to climate change has become so polarized. And I don’t want to encourage, propagate or even be exposed to it.

EJ Dionne: There is much to fear about nationalism. But liberals need to address it the right way.

Washington Post

In affluent neighborhoods around Washington, New York and Los Angeles — and, for that matter, Paris, London and Berlin — it’s common to denounce nationalism, to disdain supposedly mindless, angry populists, and to praise those with an open-minded, cosmopolitan outlook. Note that those involved are praising themselves.


What to know about the avocado bacteria warning

Hanford Sentinel

The recent avocado warning from the Food and Drug Administration couldn’t have come at a worse time. While avocados are available year-round, we are heading into a popular time for them: February’s Super Bowl, when more are consumed than at any other time.

Central Valley citrus growers prepare for cold weather

Porterville Recorder

At this time, forecasts do not suggest a critical freeze event will occur this weekend, however, growers will certainly be watching the temperature closely and activating freeze precautions as necessary.

Romaine Lettuce Labels Have Shortcomings

Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports’ shoppers find confusing information in stores and on product labels.

How to become a farmer in California? Get a mentor


The lack of business skills is an issue for many beginning farmers, according to Evan Wiig, spokesman for the California Alliance with Family Farmers. The non-profit advocacy organization offers entrepreneurial business training for new farmers and ranchers who want to do small-scale sustainable agriculture.

Dairy farming is dying. After 40 years, I’m done.

The Washington Post

After 40 years of dairy farming, I sold my herd of cows this summer. The herd had been in my family since 1904; I know all 45 cows by name. I couldn’t find anyone who wanted to take over our farm — who would? Dairy farming is little more than hard work and possible economic suicide.

Year 1 A Mixed Bag For Businesses In California’s Pot Market

Capital Public Radio

The illegal market continues to flourish in California, snatching profits from legal storefronts.

See Also:

●     One year of legal pot sales and California doesn’t have the bustling industry it expected. Here’s why Los Angeles Times

●     EDITORIAL: California must correct course to create a healthy cannabis market San Francisco Chronicle


Public Safety:

New California law mandates in-car breathalyzers for repeat drunk drivers

Fresno Bee

Under a new law on Jan. 1, more people convicted of a DUI will be able to keep their full driving privileges, but only because they will be required to install an ignition interlock device, commonly known as a breathalyzer, in their cars.

‘Ballistic Fingerprint’ Database Expands Amid Questions About Its Precision

Capital Public Radio

A federal database of shell casings was expanded to over 200 local law enforcement agencies this year to let police use it in investigations that match casings with guns.

Valley law enforcement agencies prepare for release of officer records under new law


The Porterville Police Department doesn’t receive very many public records requests. But Chief Eric Kroutil is making sure his agency is ready to comply with a new state law that allows members of the public to request and receive previously confidential police records.

See Also:

●     EDITORIAL: Police: Stop resisting the new disclosure law on officer conduct Los Angeles Times

Human rights advocates, bail industry leaders fight to stop no cash bail law

Visalia Times Delta

California’s plans to reform bail have been put on hold.

See also:

●     The economics of bail and pretrial detention Bookings

Chowchilla talks of future

Madera Tribune

A small gathering of Chowchilla residents discussed future public safety and development needs with city officials at a town hall meeting this week.

Council focuses on abuse prevention

Madera Tribune

When Maria Salazar started leading the county’s Child Abuse Prevention Council in 2017, the agency only offered only “mandated reporter training and parenting classes,” she said. The council’s governing board returned to being a working board, and this year new pilot programs were tested with the aid of the board and other volunteers.

Lawmakers propose new gun tax following rise in mass shootings

Visalia Times Delta

A new plan to impose a tax on the sale of semi-automatic firearms has been proposed in California. The initiative follows a mass shooting in Thousand Oaks that left 12 dead at the Borderline Bar and Grill. 

New California law allows some mentally ill offenders to get treatment, possibly get charges dropped

San Diego Union Tribune

The Mental Health Diversion law was slipped inside a massive budget trailer bill, stuffed with other provisions, that was passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on June 27. The law is intended to steer people with mental health conditions into treatment and away from jail or prison. It gives judges discretion to order defendants into a pretrial diversion program for treatment instead of prosecution.

Top Supreme Court cases to watch in 2019


The Supreme Court’s 2018-2019 term got off to a sleepy start, but there are a number of potential blockbusters on the docket for the new year.

See also:

●      Here’s a look at the biggest Tulare County cases in court in 2018 Visalia Times Delta

The Idea That Made America’s Cities Safer

Wall Street Journal

Thirty years ago, crime was out of control. Then came ‘broken windows’ policing. Are politicians forgetting its lessons?


Prosecutors: Fires May Mean PG&E Violated Criminal Sentence

Capital Public Radio

Pacific Gas & Electric’s role in igniting wildfires last year could allow a judge to find that it violated terms of its criminal sentence in a 2010 gas pipeline explosion that killed eight people, federal prosecutors said Monday.

See Also:

●     Utility may have violated probation for its role in deadly California wildfires, federal prosecutors say Los Angeles Times

●      Criminal charges against PG&E possible if utility is found responsible for recent wildfires, prosecutors say Los Angeles Times

●     Murder charges against PG&E? There’s precedent San Francisco Chronicle

●      California’s PG&E Roiled as Regulator Raises Breakup Threat Bloomberg

●      Numerous PG&E employees saw flames soon after Camp Fire started San Francisco Chronicle

·       ‘Toxic-laden stuff.’ Will anyone take the Camp Fire debris from Paradise? Sacramento Bee

·       When Paradise became hell: the story of the Camp Fire Sacramento Bee

A million California buildings face wildfire risk. ‘Extraordinary steps’ are needed to protect them

Los Angeles Times

A Times analysis of wildfire hazard across California found that hundreds of communities from Redding to San Diego are at high risk of deadly wildfires like those in Paradise and Malibu last month.

Here’s how California can use fire to solve its wildfire problem

Los Angeles Times

If California wants to get out in front of its wildfire problem, scientists have some clear but counterintuitive advice: Start more forest fires.



US stocks suffer worst year since 2008 financial crisis


The stock market ended a miserable year on a positive note but still closed out 2018 with its worst showing in a decade.

See Also:

●     2018 was a year to forget for stock strategists, who missed by 400 points Los Angeles Times

●      All three market indexes finish 2018 in the red Washington Post

Could California succeed where Wall Street fails? Five things to know about a state-run bank


California’s treasurer and attorney general just published two studies that look at whether a state bank could help the newly legal weed industry by providing a safe repository for cash that major banks won’t accept.

It Will Soon Be Easier For Sidewalk Vendors To Operate Legally In California

Capital Public Radio

California will limit the kinds of rules and punishments local governments can impose on sidewalk vendors under a law going into effect Jan. 1.

There’s a hidden cost in Trump’s new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico

Washington Post

The Trump administration recently renegotiated NAFTA, and Donald Trump is now threatening to revoke the trade treaty in effect among the United States, Canada and Mexico since 1994. The replacement treaty — the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement(USMCA) — is pending approval from Congress.

How AI Will Affect the Economy

National Press Foundation

Studies aiming to predict the impact of AI on the workforce are all over the map in their conclusions – from the low teens to half of the workforce.


U.S. jobless claims dip in sign of labor market strength


A measure of U.S. consumer confidence posted its sharpest decline in more than three years in December, rattling investors already nervous about the prospect that a global economic slowdown was spilling over into the United States.

In 2019, California workers gain on pay and job conditions. Employers say it will be costly

Los Angeles Times

For minimum-wage earners, port truckers, farm laborers, sexual harassment victims, nursing mothers, high-powered female executives and workers injured on the job, 2019 offers reason to celebrate.

See also:

●      29 states have minimum wages above the federal level AP News

My turn: Corporate boards must avoid ‘check-the-box’ mentality as they diversify


Legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown takes effect in 2019 requiring that California-based publicly traded corporations place women on their boards. I have reservations about legislating board membership quotas because that process can side-step merit. But I applaud the spirit behind California’s landmark mandate to increase the number of women on boards at publicly traded companies headquartered in the state. 

EDITORIAL: California’s push for women on boards of directors may be overreach, but it’s valuable nonetheless

Los Angeles Times

When Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill requiring publicly traded corporations based in California to have at least one woman on their board of directors by the end of 2019, he did so even though he expressed doubt that it could survive a court challenge.


California education in 2018; A look back at EdSource’s top stories


Student activism, changing leadership and continuing challenges helped define California education in 2018.


Surprise move on MUSD board

Madera Tribune

Observers of school board politics got a surprise when Madera Unified School District trustees voted to give the president’s gavel to Ray Seibert, the board’s most senior member in terms of years of service. The new president has held a seat on the MUSD board for 26 years.

California teachers can pin students face down. Does the danger outweigh the benefit?

Merced Sun-Star

It’s a scenario that sounds more likely in jails than schools: Arms pulled behind their back, a person is forced into a “prone restraint,” pinned face down on the floor with limbs held immobile by at least two people.

My turn: What other states can teach California about preschool for all


Every child in California deserves that same opportunity, and that’s why we are advocating for pre-kindergarten education for all kids.

Back to school: Is the United States falling behind on education?


The United States spends big on education. But what is the return on that investment compared with the rest of the world? The answer is not amazing, but not terrible, either.

The Science Behind Making Your Child Smarter

Wall Street Journal

We all have our assumptions about what works—here’s what the data really tells us about ways we can improve intelligence

‘What if someone was shooting?’

Washington Post

More than 4 million children endured lockdowns last school year, a groundbreaking Washington Post analysis found. The experience left many traumatized.

Teachers Quit Jobs at Highest Rate on Record

Wall Street Journal

Small raises, budget frustration and opportunities elsewhere persuade teachers and other public-education workers to move on.

Higher Ed:

Deadline Fast Approaching: Wonderful Public Service Graduate Fellowship

The Maddy Institute

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

Fresno State may adopt behavior guidelines. Some say the university is policing speech

Fresno Bee

Fresno State may adopt a set of guidelines for the behavior of its faculty and staff, a move that has drawn criticism.

Let’s establish a cradle-to-career education policy

Capitol Weekly

“Our role begins when babies are still in the womb and it doesn’t end until we’ve done all we can to prepare them for a quality job and successful career.” Those were the words Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom used to describe his “cradle-to-career” education platform during the 2018 campaign.

The Ten Most Significant Happenings in Higher Ed in 2018 | National Review

National Review

The Martin Center’s staff discusses them.


Closing the Gap: The Future of Apprenticeship in California

Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning

California’s new governor hopes to increase the number of apprentices in the state by nearly 500 percent in the next 10 years. This ambitious goal will require a rethinking of California’s apprenticeship system, from how it works to who is involved.

Stop Calling It ‘Vocational Training’

Wall Street Journal

How we speak about education reflects class prejudice.



Yosemite visitors turn roads into toilets as shutdown crises mount at national parks

Fresno Bee

Mountains of garbage and human waste are challenging efforts to keep U.S. national parks open during a partial shutdown of the federal government, National Parks Traveler reported.

See Also:

●     National Parks Dealing With Vandals, Human Waste In Shutdown Capital Public Radio

●      Shutdown Means Fewer Visitors to National Parks, and Small Businesses Suffer Wall Street Journal

●     Government shutdown leads to Sequoia, Kings Canyon park closures Visalia Times Delta

●     Parts of Generals Highway, other areas in Sequoia/Kings Canyon parks closed Fresno Bee

●     Federal shutdown closes major portions of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Los Angeles Times

California Supreme Court demands a do-over on Friant Ranch environmental analysis

Fresno Bee

The developers of a proposed 942-acre community of homes and businesses adjacent to the town of Friant near Millerton Lake were dealt a split decision by the California Supreme Court over the fate of their would-be community – almost eight years after it was initially approved by the Fresno County Board of Supervisors.

Want A Straw In Your Drink At A California Diner? You’ll Have To Ask For One Starting Jan. 1

Capital Public Radio

California will be the first state to prohibit sit-down restaurants from serving drinks with plastic straws, though diners will still be able to request them.

See also:

●      How will California’s new laws affect…  the environment? Los Angeles Times

My turn: Smart land use policy can help combat climate change


The Nature Conservancy has spent decades examining how land can be managed in ways that benefit all of us.

See also:

●      How we can combat climate change Washington Post

●      Listen to The Big Climate Stories of 2018 in Podcasts Commonwealth Club of California Podcast

●     Opinion | Going Nowhere Fast on Climate, Year After Year New York Times

●      One Man’s Money-Draining Bet on Climate Change Wall Street Journal

●     More Republicans Than You Think Support Action on Climate Change  The New York Times

President Trump’s Retreat on the Environment Is Affecting Communities Across America

The New York Times

In just two years, President Trump has unleashed a regulatory rollback, lobbied for and cheered on by industry, with little parallel in the past half-century. Mr. Trump enthusiastically promotes the changes as creating jobs, freeing business from the shackles of government and helping the economy grow.

EPA to make it harder to tighten mercury rules in the future

Washington Post

Proposed changes could revamp how the government values human health.


Tulare County towns to get energy upgrades through grants

Visalia Times Delta

Five Tulare County low-income towns will get state funds to install gas and or electric lines and appliances.

Oil’s Turbulence Extends Into 2019 on Economic and Supply Risks


Oil prices rallied on the first trading day of 2019 on signs that Saudi Arabia was fulfilling a pledge to cut exports and U.S. equities pared some of their losses.

See also:

●      Oil’s Stormy Quarter Draws to Close With Biggest Loss Since 2014  Bloomberg



Low carb? Low fat? What the latest dieting studies tell us

Sacramento Bee

Two major studies last year offered some insight into the role carbs play in making us fat, but unfortunately they don’t settle the question of how best to lose weight in 2019.

Want to reduce opioid use? Nudge the doctors who prescribe them

Los Angeles Times

The reality is that we still vastly overprescribe opioids. In Los Angeles County, doctors in 2017 wrote 4,266,149 opioid prescriptions. So how can that number be reduced? Nudge us.

Local hospitals say flu cases are low but could ramp up in January

Bakersfield Californian

The holidays are a time for sharing food and conversation, but that’s not all that people are sharing. The holidays also mark a period when people are more likely to get sick.

Hospitals Rush to Offer New Stroke Treatment

Wall Street Journal

Dramatic results of thrombectomies pave way for greater availability, though some doctors say the fast expansion brings risks.

Human Services:

Gavin Newsom’s first hires suggest big health care plans

Sacramento Bee

Gavin Newsom might not be able to accomplish his ambitious campaign goal of bringing government-funded universal health care to California, but his first hires suggest he’s planning something big.

See also:

●      These Are the Economies With the Most (and Least) Efficient Health Care Bloomberg

Local healthcare providers to pay for reported employee discrimination, safety failures

Visalia Times Delta

Visalia-based Family Healthcare Network will pay $1.75 million in a settlement stemming from legal action alleging systemic disability and pregnancy discrimination, according to a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filing.

VPD, county health service team up to tackle homeless mental health

Visalia Times Delta

With increased talk of the need for more initiatives and programs for Visalia’s homeless, two local agencies are looking to help.

Judd leads KMC to financial turnaround

Bakersfield Californian

The constraints of running a public hospital became painfully clear to Russell Judd soon after he took over five years ago at Kern Medical Center.

Walters: California sees slower population growth


The U.S. Census Bureau and the state Department of Finance issue annual population estimates each December and they don’t always agree on how many human beings occupy California.

See also:

●      California is in danger of losing a House seat after adding 2.3 million people Quartz

●      US population growth hits 80-year low, capping off a year of demographic stagnation Brookings

The Hidden System That Explains How Your Doctor Makes Referrals

Wall Street Journal

More primary-care doctors work directly for hospitals, and they are being pushed to keep lucrative referrals in-house.


Congress leaders invited to White House for border briefing

Sacramento Bee

President Donald Trump invites congressional leaders to a White House briefing on border security Wednesday.

See Also:

●     Trump says concrete border wall was ‘never abandoned,’ contradicting Kelly’s comments abc30

●      President Trump’s error-filled holiday tweets on the border wall Washington Post

●      Gerson: Trump’s wall is a monument to vanity and bigotry Washington Post

●     AP FACT CHECK: Trump confuses, misleads on border wall AP News

New law could lead to closure of Mesa Verde, but outcome remains unknown after decision by McFarland to end agreement with ICE

Bakersfield Californian

A new law may result in the closure of the Mesa Verde ICE Processing Facility in Bakersfield, although experts say the federal immigration agency could find a workaround to keep the detention center open.

Immigration court backlog grows under government shutdown

Los Angeles Times

The government shutdown over President Trump’s request for border wall funding is probably increasing the immigration court backlog.

In the home of the Dream Act, young immigrants came out in force on a personal quest to flip control of the House

Los Angeles Time

Young immigrants, known as “Dreamers,” have become a political force over the last two decades as they have pushed Congress to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws. Part of a new wave of immigrant activists who mobilized this year to return control of the House to Democrats, Cruz and others in the movement see in President Trump an existential threat to their futures, and to their friends and family.


Land Use:

Fresno mayor ‘won the battle but lost the war,’ Measure P allies say. What’s next?

Fresno Bee

After the Fresno parks sales tax on the November ballot failed to receive the two-thirds voter approval needed to pass, Mayor Lee Brand resolved to bring proponents and critics together to draft a “more balanced” tax measure to fund both parks and public safety.

As the city changes and grows, balance is needed to maintain the ‘Clovis Way of Life’

Clovis Roundup

According to the movers and shakers of Clovis, the biggest challenge of 2018 had to do with the success the city has experienced and maintaining that momentum in a positive way.

Tulare council denies land designation change

Visalia Times Delta

Tulare council sided with south central Tulare property owners and neighborhood residents who requested rejecting rezoning eight parcels for apartments.

Developer buys Visalia Sears property, future of the Sequoia Mall remains unclear

Visalia Times Delta

It’s one giant step toward a new vision for Visalia’s Sequoia Mall. The mall’s owner, developer Dave Paynter, has confirmed he purchased the Sears building and its 430-car parking lot.

Building the community we want our children to grow up in

Bakersfield Californian

Several weeks ago, I asked a question: do I want my daughter growing up in Bakersfield?


Who moves to California? The wealthier and better educated, mostly

Los Angeles Times

The latest data are far from dire. The U.S. Census Bureau, in its newly released surveys for 2017, shows that California’s net migration remained fairly stable. Since 2010, as the economic recovery took hold and housing prices skyrocketed, departures accelerated — but the number of newcomers rose steadily as well.

So Long Silicon Valley, Hello Heartland: Top 10 Markets and Neighborhoods to Watch in 2019

Trulia Research

Bakersfield at #4 and Fresno at #6.

Proposition 13 is no longer off-limits in California


Proposition 13 is untouchable. That’s been the thinking for 40 years in California. Politicians have feared for their careers if they dared suggest changes to the measure that capped property taxes, took a scythe to government spending and spawned antitax initiatives across the country.

Jerry Brown’s ‘Two Legacies’ on Housing


Even as Gov. Jerry Brown took his most decisive action to address California’s crisis of housing affordability, he did so with a declaration of weariness.

Homelessness, then and now


How much progress has California made against homelessness during Gov. Jerry Brown’s tenure? The annual census by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development shows that over the past eight years, thousands were moved off the streets.

Minneapolis just eliminated single-family zoning. Should California cities follow suit?


“Zoning reform”—changing how cities decide what types of homes can be built where—isn’t just a hot topic in California.

Rising costs will continue to hit homebuilders


When it comes to building new homes, there’s very little builders can do about higher interest rates, rising labor costs or tariffs. What they can control is the materials they use. This is leading to more homebuilders keeping costs down by switching things up.


Our Top Fiscal Charts of 2018

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

The year 2018 was a busy time for budget policy, which gave us plenty of opportunities for analysis via tables and graphs. We published over 250 blogs, papers, and other products. As we get ready to pop the champagne and ring in the new year, here are our top charts of (calendar year) 2018.

See also:

●      Tax cuts one year on: ‘we are on a very unstable fiscal path’ Financial Times

●      (Not so) Happy birthday to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Brookings

High-Tax State Exodus

Wall Street Journal

Growth-friendly states gain population, and it isn’t just the weather.

California Voters Approve Tax Increases for Public Services, But Pension Payments and Debt May Eat the Money

Reason Foundation

Local governments say increased taxes are a path for increased public services, but the money is going to have to go to pension payments.


What are California’s new traffic, road laws of 2019?

Sacramento Bee

California drivers and bicyclists, get ready. There are a host of new rules of the road going into effect in California on Jan. 1.

Don’t pull up along highway to see snow, warns Caltrans


A reminder if you plan to take the family up to experience the snow anytime soon – Caltrans is urging drivers to to use designated snow parks – which are meant for public to have fun and enjoy the the weather. You should never pull over alongside a highway or near on ramps and off ramps.

See Also:

●     How to safely get around those large Caltrans snow vehicles on way to Lake Tahoe Merced Sun-Star

LA flights returning to Modesto area for first time in a decade

Modesto Bee

Daily flights to and from Los Angeles are returning to the Modesto area for the first time in a decade, making air travel more convenient to those who fly for business or pleasure.

V-Line bus line to get two new buses

Visalia Times Delta

Visalia council approved the purchase of two new buses for the V-Line, a route connecting Tulare County to Fresno.

Among the headaches Gavin Newsom will inherit as governor: California’s troubled bullet train project

Los Angeles Times

Gov. Jerry Brown has devoted half a century of political knowledge and power to advance the California bullet train construction project, but he leaves office with its future badly damaged by cost overruns, mismanagement and delays.

See also:

●      California’s bullet train struggles with funding, construction schedules Sacramento Bee

The man who literally cleared the way for the Centennial Corridor

Bakersfield Californian

Anyone who has driven the surface streets of Bakersfield recently knows big changes are coming. The Centennial Corridor is about to roll across and over the city’s west side, and the 24th Street widening project northwest of downtown is gaining momentum.

Think Electric Vehicles Are Great Now? Just Wait…

Wall Street Journal

Exceptional electrics and hybrids will roll off the line over the next 18 to 36 months.

See also:

·       The Electric Kool-Aid Subsidy Test  Wall Street Journal


Is Valley drought back? 2018 ends as a drier-than-normal year

Merced Sun-Star

In a state where dead trees in the Sierra Nevada still stand as a testament to a severe seven-year stretch of dry weather that ended in 2017, some nervously wonder whether the state may slide back into a drought.

See also:

●      There’s A Lot At Stake In The Weekly U.S. Drought Map NPR

My turn: What new water deals mean and what work is left to be done


California’s State Water Project and federal Central Valley Project span several northern watersheds, converging in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, where their pumping stations operate a stone’s throw away from one another. They coordinate their operations on a daily basis and have done so for decades.

See also:

●      Opinion: New agreements will help fish in the Delta & farms in the Valley  Fresno Bee

Contamination forces idling of some eastside water wells

Madera Tribune

Some of the drinking-water wells on the northeast side of Madera are being idled or abandoned because of fluctuating water levels and significant plumes of groundwater contamination by the agricultural chemical DBCP, a powerful pesticide suspected to cause sterility and cancer.

Water advisers up pace for 2019

Madera Tribune

Madera County’s three advisory committees for its Groundwater Sustainability Agency will meet as one this new year — and more often.

MID honored again

Madera Tribune

The Madera Irrigation District (MID) has earned the “District of Distinction” accreditation by California’s Special District Leadership Foundation for a second time. The District was recognized in 2018 for its achievements in the areas of governance, transparency, finances, and board conduct.

Ranchos gets new water tank

Madera Tribune

Four-year-old plans for a shopping center across from Liberty High School finally changed 40.2 acres of fallow farmland — by adding a 175-foot water storage tank.


New Clovis business has super trampolines, a zip line and ninja-style obstacle courses

Fresno Bee

Clovis just got a new indoor trampoline park. But that’s an understatement. Defy Extreme Air Sports is an amped-up version of a trampoline place with a zip line, trapeze swings, tight ropes, obstacle courses inspired by American Ninja Warrior and other adventurous attractions.

See Also:

●     New trampoline park opens in Clovis abc30

Thousands mark new year with Native American history in downtown Fresno


A decades-old New Year tradition in the central Valley drew thousands to downtown Fresno. A two-day event celebrates the “new year” with Native American history. It’s a new beginning celebrated by honoring the past.

Oakhurst welcomes new yoga studio

Sierra Star

On Jan. 1, the doors to Yosemite Yoga Studio opened and classes began. The studio is located at 40034 Highway 41, Unit A-7, right under the Taste of China restaurant.

Hanford gym opens in time for New Year’s resolutions

Hanford Sentinel

Everyone’s favorite part of the New Year — aside from the parties and excuses to buy new “Garfield” calendars, of course — is making New Year’s resolutions. And for those in Hanford whose resolutions include hitting the gym or losing weight, a new option has popped up right in time.

‘This is our freedom day’: Parade celebrates liberation of millions of slaves

Stockton Record

For the 10th year, dozens of people lined the streets of Airport Way on New Year’s Day as they eagerly waited for the procession of public safety vehicles, “souped-up cars,” horseback riders and community groups to parade down the neighborhood.