January 21, 2020




APPLY NOW: 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:


New chair of Merced County supervisors selected – but not without criticism

Merced Sun-Star

After a Planada, CA resident said she “publicly mistrusts” Merced County Supervisor Rodrigo Espinoza, he was elected Board chair. He is up for reelection in 2020 after a first term full of controversies.

State senate candidates can’t escape the water wars. They disagree about high-speed rail.

Modesto Bee

It’s not surprising that the two Democrats and three Republicans running to succeed Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, D-Stockton, who is terming out this year, might tap dance around questions regarding Tuolumne and Stanislaus river flows and water quality in the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta.

EDITORIAL: Bee endorsement: To protect Modesto’s interests, the choice for state Senate is clear

Modesto Bee

Mani Grewal, a Modesto Democrat, is best suited to represent our area’s interests in the Fifth Senate District in Sacramento.

EDITORIAL: City manager, like all public figures, will be who he is

Stockton Record

The public never will know what really goes into the process of hiring a city manager for Stockton. Unlike some cities, which announce finalists or hold meet and greets, the candidates here are kept confidential until the deal is up for approval before the City Council.


Central SJ Valley:


Who is Devin Nunes’ aide caught up in Ukraine texts, and will they hurt his boss?

Fresno Bee

Derek Harvey, an aide to Rep. Devin Nunes and former Army officer, texted Lev Parnas, an indicted Ukrainian tied to President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani and the effort to find dirt on Joe Biden.

See also:


In the Studio: Fresno Mayoral Candidate Andrew Janz


Fresno mayoral candidate Andrew Janz came to the studio to discuss his campaign strategy and vision for the city ahead of California’s March 3 primary. Janz is facing former Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer.


Three Fresno council members get perfect grades from Fresno Chamber

Business Journal

Fresno City Council members Paul Caprioglio, Mike Karbassi and Luis Chavez received the top grades for their votes on business-related issues in the 2019 Legislative Report Card issued by the Fresno Chamber of Commerce.

South SJ Valley:


Christian Clegg announced as new Bakersfield City Manager

Bakersfield Californian

The city of Bakersfield has announced Christian Clegg as the new Bakersfield City Manager. Clegg, 41, has 14 years of experience in local government. He comes to Bakersfield from Stockton, where he served as the deputy city manager.

Hanford City Council to discuss Parks and Recreation Master Plan

Hanford Sentinel

The Hanford City Council will meet Tuesday to hold a public hearing on the adoption of the city’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan.


Lemoore City Council meets Tuesday

Hanford Sentinel

The Lemoore City Council will meet briefly Tuesday evening to approve their consent calendar. Besides approving the consent calendar, there are no public hearings or items of new business on the agenda to be discussed.

McFarland Planning Commission to hear presentation on likely expansion of immigrant detention capabilities

Bakersfield Californian

The McFarland Planning Commission will meet Tuesday to hear public comments on proposed changes to permits that could allow a private prison company to dramatically expand immigrant detention capacity in Kern County.

Price: One major valley city has Newsom's ear; this one needs it more

Bakersfield Californian

Each, considered by itself, is immensely consequential — alarming in one case and encouraging in the other — but in combination they portray something not unlike a ranking of children, favored and less favored.




Californians have subsidized Hollywood for a decade; has it been worth it?

Stockton Record

State lawmakers, Democratic and Republican alike, overwhelmingly vote in the industry’s favor — so much so that annual funding has grown threefold from $100 million to $330 million. And there’s no letup: last year, the state renewed its commitment through 2025, ensuring that Californians will help churn out more content in the streaming era.

California braces for slowdown: What state budget, new regulations could mean

San Francisco Chronicle

Mendonca, an economist and former chair of the Bay Area Council, discussed the jobs and economy aspects of the governor’s proposed $222 billion state budget for 2020-21. The Legislature has until June 15 to approve a budget; typically that comes only after months of negotiation.

See also:


Walters: The man who changed the Capitol


The genteel nature of the house was bolstered by an unwritten rule that neither party would try to unseat an incumbent of the other party, confining partisan contests to vacant seats

State skims from school funds to pay for trial courts

San Francisco Chronicle

Three small paragraphs in the state’s education code will shift up to $90 million from schools in 10 California counties this year, putting the money instead into the state’s coffers for trial courts. But the move could violate another section of state law, county officials said.



Supreme Court will hear cases on electoral college, birth control mandate

Washington Post

The Supreme Court on Friday said it will consider whether states may punish or replace “faithless” presidential electors who refuse to support the winner of their state’s popular vote, or whether the Constitution forbids dictating how such officials cast their ballots.

See also:


National Archives exhibit blurs images critical of President Trump

Washington Post

The Archives acknowledged in a statement this week that it made multiple alterations to the photo of the 2017 Women’s March showcased at the museum, blurring signs held by marchers that were critical of Trump. Words on signs that referenced women’s anatomy were also blurred.

President Trump made 16,241 false or misleading claims in his first three years

Washington Post

Three years after taking the oath of office, President Trump has made more than 16,200 false or misleading claims — a milestone that would have been unthinkable when we first created the Fact Checker’s database that analyzes, categorizes and tracks every suspect statement he has uttered.

See also:

EDITORIAL: Trump’s ‘religious freedom’ initiative is mostly a rehash of current law — yet still finds a way to be troubling

Los Angeles Times

Not for the first time, President Trump is trying to score political points with his evangelical supporters by unveiling a “religious freedom” initiative that suggests, cynically, that Christianity in America is under sustained attack and that the federal government must come to its rescue. Needless to say, that is not the case. 


Elections 2020:

Walters: How complicated math could make California’s March presidential primary irrelevant

Fresno Bee

A new poll of California voters finds a virtual tie among Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden just a couple of weeks before mail voting begins for the​​ March 3 Democratic presidential primary.

See also:

Democratic candidates link arms at MLK march; Sanders and Warren shake hands

Los Angeles Times

Democratic presidential contenders celebrated the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy at a Baptist church Monday and linked arms with each other and civil rights leaders in a march of tens of thousands to the Statehouse.

Bloomberg-curious in California wonder if he’s the one who could beat Trump

San Francisco Chronicle

Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg campaigned in Oakland on Friday during a California swing, drawing many who were curious to see if he could be the Democrat to beat President Trump in November.


Andrew Yang Interview with the Editorial Board

Washington Post

Andrew Yang, a former business executive, came to The Post on Thursday to talk about why he is running for president and what he hopes to accomplish if elected. Here is the full transcript and audio recording of our conversation.

Deval​​ Patrick Interview with the Editorial Board

Washington Post

Deval Patrick, the former governor of Massachusetts, came to The Post on Tuesday to talk about why he is running for president and what he hopes to accomplish if elected. Here is the full transcript and audio recording of our conversation.


Greta Van Susteren: The debate format isn’t working. Here’s a better alternative.

Washington Post

The only thing better about the latest presidential debate was having fewer people on the stage. Other than that, the evening was, for the most part, a rehash of the candidates’ previously stated positions, an upright tweet-fest.

Walters: An uber-complex presidential primary

Washington Post

A new poll of California voters finds a virtual tie among Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden just a couple of weeks before mail voting begins for the March 3 Democratic presidential primary.


Opinion: Bernie’s Delicate Dance on Israel

Wall Street Journal

Even skeptics are saying the democratic socialist may win the Democratic nomination. So why aren’t we talking about the possibility of America’s first Jewish president?

See also:

EDITORIAL: Biden’s Social Security Heresy

Wall Street Journal

Anyone who thinks American politics will enter a new period of compromise when President Trump leaves the White House isn’t watching the Democratic presidential race. The left is unloading on Joe Biden for the heresy of having once considered a bipartisan reform of Social Security.



‘His dream is still alive.’ Marchers celebrate MLK Day in Fresno

Fresno Bee

Hundreds of marchers participated in the annual Martin Luther King Jr walk and program in downtown Fresno. The first march was started by former Fresno City Councilman Les Kimber in 1984.

See also:


The Fourth Annual Women’s March Draws Thousands To The State Capitol

Capital Public Radio

Thousands gathered for the fourth annual Women’s March on Saturday morning. Some participants were hopeful that their messages — on everything from women’s rights to demanding Trump’s impeachment — would continue to inspire others. 


One Putt Broadcasting installs new transmitters

Business Journal

The local owners of FM 95.7 “The Fox” and K-Jewel FM 105.5 have installed new broadcast transmitters and completed technical upgrades to both stations that will expand the boundaries for them in all directions.


Many churchgoers in U.S. don’t know the political leanings of their clergy

Pew Research

During election years, many Americans hear at least something about politics at their place of worship. But a recent survey finds that churches and other houses of worship are not strongly political environments, at least according to the people in the pews.

Latino Democratic voters place high importance on 2020 presidential election

Pew Research

As the first 2020 primaries and caucuses near, the vast majority of Latino registered voters who are Democrats or lean toward the party see the 2020 presidential election results as of particular importance, and over half have a good or excellent impression of their own party’s candidates, according to a national Pew Research Center survey.


Americans Are Poorly Informed About Basic Constitutional Provisions

Annenberg Public Policy Center

Many Americans are poorly informed about basic constitutional provisions, according to a new national survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center. More than a third of those surveyed (37 percent) can’t name any of the rights guaranteed under the First Amendment.

Column: A female mayor denounces the harassment she receives. Hours later, a man is arrested at her office

Los Angeles Times

If you are a woman who is so bold as to inhabit a vaguely public stage, chances are high that you will be called a lot of things that can’t be printed in a family newspaper. And then some.

What you need to know before the 2020 Census starts


The 2020 Census kicks off Tuesday in remote Alaska. U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham will be there to conduct the first count in the Bering Sea community of Toksook Bay.

Opinion: How Did Americans Lose Faith in Everything?

New York Times

Americans are living through a social crisis. Our institutions lost the capacity to mold character and have become platforms for performance instead.



Sunday, January 26, at 10 a.m. on ABC30 –​​ Maddy Report:​​ preempted


Sunday, January 26, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) –​​ Maddy Report - Valley Views Edition: California’s Housing Crisis: Are Granny Flats the​​ Answer?​​ - Guests: Monica Davalos, Aureo Mesquita, and Adriana Ramos-Yamamoto from the California Budget and Policy Center; Matt Levin with CALmatters; Dan Dunmoyer with California Building Industry Association; John Myers with LA Times; and Dan Walters with CALmatters. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

Sunday, January 26, at 7:30 a.m. on UniMas 61 (KTTF) –​​ El Informe Maddy: State Auditors Nurses: Workers Comp Fraud​​ - Guest: Margarita Fernandez, PIO State Auditor's Office. Host: Maddy Institute Program Coordinator, Maria Jeans.




Nearly 100 beehives vanish from California orchard, owner says. But who took them?

Fresno Bee

Nearly 100 new beehives were stolen from an orchard in Northern California last week, and their owner is looking for help tracking down the missing bees, according to the California State Beekeepers Association.

See also:


California, 13 Other States Sue To Stop Trump’s Food Stamp Cuts

Capital Public Radio

Adults would no longer receive grocery money under the Trump administration rule if they aren't working 20 or more hours per week. In California, about 400,000 would be affected in the first year.


California beer, cheese, pickles win big at annual Good Food Awards

San Francisco Chronicle

The Good Food Awards’ 10th annual celebration of American food and beverage artisans convened Friday night at San Francisco’s Herbst Theater. Among the 219 winners, nearly a quarter were from California.

Drop in honey prices clouds future for Kern’s almond industry

Bakersfield Californian

A sharp drop in the price of honey threatens new harm to an already battered industry that every year provides an integral service to Kern County's $1.2 billion almond industry.


Planning Commission approves first cannabis dispensary

Turlock Journal

The City of Turlock’s first retail cannabis dispensary was approved unanimously by the Planning Commission Thursday night, despite opposition from concerned parents and wary neighbors.


Stuebbe: County government should go into the marijuana business

Bakersfield Californian

One, sponsored by marijuana industry promoters, would widely open the door to dispensaries, possibly as many as 60. This special interest group stands to make millions if it passes

California lawmakers say pot taxes must be cut to help an industry ‘on the brink’

Los Angeles Times

California lawmakers on Friday revived a proposal to temporarily cut taxes on marijuana to boost a legal market that one official said is “on the brink of collapse,” drawing encouragement from Gov. Gavin Newsom as he seeks to overhaul state pot regulators.






They allege abuse decades ago in Boy Scouts. Now they’re suing, thanks to new California law

Fresno Bee

Assembly Bill 218, known as the Child Victims Act, signed into law last year, provides a three-year “look-back window” starting this month in which sexual abuse claims that have since passed the statute of limitations can be pursued.


Kern DA joins others in petitioning California Supreme Court to rule on youth offender law

Bakersfield Californian

Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer is fighting back against a new state law that bars 14- and 15-year-olds from being tried in adult court, including for some of the most serious offenses like murder, rape and arson.


TSA caught people trying to fly with more guns than ever in 2019. Experts have questions.

Washington Post

Officers found 4,432 guns — most of them loaded — in carry-on bags or on passengers moving through checkpoints, the TSA said in a report released last week.


Public Safety:


Fresno State students create pesticide safety videos in Hmong language


For farmers, keeping food fresh is no easy task and for workers in the Hmong community trying to follow pesticide regulations, the lack of resources in their language posed a problem.


Snow Patrol: Keeping ‘Fun’ Safe Over Long Holiday Weekend

Sierra News

The Madera County Sheriff’s Office “snow patrol” stayed active as the long, Martin Luther King Day weekend — and abundant recent snowfall — drew throngs of visitors to the high country.


Report Finding: Collaborative Court and Pretrial Programs Work

California Courts

Collaborative justice courts—such as drug courts, veterans courts, and mental health courts—combine judicial supervision, rehabilitation services, and rigorous monitoring to reduce recidivism and improve offender outcomes. 


Weed impairs driving skills long after the high is gone


Despite having little THC in their system, heavy users consistently performed worse on driving tasks than non-users, making critical, dangerous mistakes.. The worst drivers?​​ Those who began using regularly before age 16.

Proposition 47 Criminal Justice Reform Projected to Save State Over $122 Million


Five years after California voters embraced a ballot measure aimed at sending fewer people to prison and investing more in victims services, schools and treatment programs, Proposition 47 is projected to save a record $122.5 million next fiscal year by keeping 4,569 inmates out of state prisons.




Controlled burns prevent California wildfires, study says. Why aren’t there more?

Fresno Bee

Experts from Stanford University are calling for more prescribed burns to prevent devastating wildfires in California, pointing to new research that asks why the approach hasn’t been pursued more aggressively in the fire-plagued state.


How global companies drive the home insurance crisis in California wildfire zones

Fresno Bee

The insurance crisis in California wildfire country is showing few signs of abating. Rural residents are losing coverage, rates are shooting up and experts say the problem defies easy remedies.

Tribe Seeking $1.2M Grant to Expand Rancheria Fire Station

Sierra News

The North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians is applying for a $1.2 million federal grant to construct a 4,050-square-foot emergency services building adjacent to the North Fork Fire Station.


Kern County Fire engineer named World’s Strongest Firefighter

Bakersfield Californian

Ben Gallaher, an engineer for the Kern County Fire Department, was crowned the top firefighter at the Arnold Pro Strongman USA Championship Saturday in Santa Monica. Gallaher faced off against competitors from around the world.



California must nurture economic opportunity in its heartland

San Francisco Chronicle

It’s time Silicon Valley takes notice. Its own future is tied to the Central Valley. The future is being scripted in the Central Valley.

Trump inked a deal with China. California is still sorting out the implications

Los Angeles Times

The trade deal inked Wednesday doesn’t do much to clear up that complexity, or relieve the impact of tariffs on California businesses and consumers.

See also:


Big stores are announcing hundreds of closures. Who’s closing, staying open in Fresno?

Fresno Bee

Department stores and other big-name national companies have announced hundreds of store closures the past few weeks. That includes some familiar names: Macy’s, Pier 1, Sears, Forever 21, Cost Plus World Market.


Mathews: The Bad News Behind California’s Good Times

Zócalo Public Square

Californians, being tougher than we look, have always found ways to survive our economic busts. It’s the booms that bring us to our breaking point. This essential truth is being missed in the way we talk about life in today’s California.


California must nurture economic opportunity in its heartland

San Francisco Chronicle

Just before the holidays, I drove to Stockton for a discussion with local businesses on access to capital. When I posted on Twitter earlier in the year about a similar roundtable we held in Venice, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs was quick to reach out: “Central California — Stockton next?”

‘Not OK, Boomers!’ Say Restless Millennials

Capital & Main

Baby boomers are criticized by younger, debt-burdened Americans frustrated by economic inequality. But many boomers are also hurting.

Opinion: Capitalism's discontents


More voters than ever oppose capitalism. That fact has profound implications for the 2020 presidential election, but also for the future of the entire U.S. and global economy.

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai says it’s ‘no question’ artificial intelligence needs regulation 

Mercury News

With several Bay Area cities moving to stop the use of facial recognition technology, the chief executive of Google parent company Alphabet has come out in favor of stricter, and more widespread regulation of artificial intelligence technologies. 


Injuries at Fresno’s Amazon warehouse double California’s industry average

Fresno Bee

In 2018, the Fresno warehouse’s rate of serious injuries — those that require job restrictions or days off work — was nearly 12 injuries per 100 workers. That was nearly three times the national warehouse industry average last year, and more than double the statewide industry average, according to OSHA records obtained by the Reveal Reporting Networks.

See also:

Fresno Co. Elections Office hiring workers for primary elections


The Fresno County Elections Office is to fill hundreds of positions in time for the primary elections. Here's where to apply.

Trump takes credit for low black unemployment rates. Most black voters disagree.

Washington Post

Few voting blocs disapprove of President Trump more than black Americans — only 10 percent approve of his job performance, according to Gallup.

Commentary: Paid leave and labor force participation: What do we know?


What are the short and long-term impacts of paid parental leave on workforce attachment for working mothers? It turns out that there is still much to learn.


The Employment-Related Legal Decisions Public Agencies Need to Know About

Public CEO

California and federal courts, along with the state’s Public Employer Relations Board, handed down a number of decisions last year that will impact public employers and employees in 2020 and beyond. 





Madera charter director leaves job amid school battery investigation, email shows

Fresno Bee

A Madera charter school parted ways with its executive director amid a criminal investigation into child battery allegations.


Local school employees to be recognized for ‘making a difference’

Turlock Journal

The Stanislaus County Office of Education will once again honor ‘Employees Making a Difference’ during an annual ceremony.


The achievement gap in education: Racial segregation versus segregation by poverty


So, as indicated in the opening quotes, while racial achievement gaps have been reduced since the days of King’s campaigns, the remaining gaps are still large.


More pizza, fewer vegetables: Trump administration further undercuts Obama school-lunch rules

Washington Post

On Friday, USDA Deputy Under Secretary Brandon Lipps proposed new rules for the Food and Nutrition Service that would allow schools to cut the amount of vegetables and fruits required at lunch and breakfasts while giving them license to sell more pizza, burgers and fries to students.

See also:


Years of reform efforts contribute to declining African-American suspension rates in California


After nearly a decade of school discipline reform in California, the suspension rate for African-American students continued to decline last year, according to recently released state data.


California governor joins those wanting to hold school districts more accountable for spending


In an audit last fall of three districts’ spending, State Auditor Elaine Howle called on the State Board of Education and the Legislature to hold districts more accountable for how they spend money they receive from the Local Control Funding Formula.


Higher Ed:


Newsom budget includes $15 million for UC Merced, Valley medical education

Merced Sun-Star

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s suggested budget offers $15 million in ongoing funding to expand medical education at UC San Francisco School of Medicine Fresno Branch Campus in collaboration with UC Merced. 


Free tuition at California public colleges helped the state prosper. There’s no reason it can’t again

Los Angeles Times

It wouldn’t be “free college” for all — no one anywhere is proposing that — but a state university diploma could become more affordable for many California students.


Leaders selected in California’s unprecedented searches will help shape future of higher education


With such lofty and perhaps unrealistic goals, unprecedented simultaneous searches are underway to fill the top leadership positions at the ten-campus University of California and at the 23-campus California State University. The unusual timing of the recruitment efforts brings complicated challenges and possible benefits, experts say.

Head​​ of California’s new online community college abruptly resigns


Heather Hiles had hoped to draw on tech industry experience to launch the college. But community college faculty complained the courses were redundant, a no-bid contract with a connected Bay Area recruiter drew attention and no full-time faculty have yet been hired. 


Textbooks are pricey. So students are getting creative.

Washington Post

As students return to campus for spring semester, many will do what they can to avoid paying full price for textbooks. The cost can be a barrier for students, particularly for those who are already in debt or come from low-income families.

Liberal arts education: Waste of money or practical investment? Study’s conclusions might surprise you.

Washington Post

A study from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce finds that over the course of a career, a liberal arts education is remarkably practical, providing a median return on investment 40 years after enrollment that approaches $1 million. 




Clovis Calls On Residents To Prevent Recyclable Waste Contamination

Clovis Roundup

Anniemarie Shelton, a recycling coordinator with Republic Services, which is contracted to handle waste disposal in Clovis, explained how contamination negatively affects recycling efforts.


Schultz and Halstead: The winning conservative climate solution

Washington Post

The Republican Party’s position on climate change is rapidly evolving, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying that we need conservative solutions and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy warning that the party ignores the issue at its own peril.




Closing coal power plants has saved thousands of lives, study says

Los Angeles Times

The number of coal-fired power plants in operation across the country has plummeted in recent years, quickly changing the power mix — especially in states such as California. 

California, again targeting Kern oil production, sues federal government over fracking review

Bakersfield Californian

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra led a coalition of state agencies Friday in suing the Trump administration over its recent review of fracking impacts in the Central Valley, essentially calling on the courts to block the Bureau of Land Management from resuming lease auctions of federal land for oil production primarily in Kern County.

See also:


Renewable energy is growing fast in the U.S., but fossil fuels still dominate

Pew Research Center

Most Americans (77%) say it’s more important for the United States to develop alternative energy sources, such as solar and wind power, than to produce more coal, oil and other fossil fuels, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. 






Stay safe out there. Fresno ranks in top 60 for STDs in America

Fresno Bee

Had unprotected sex with someone from Fresno lately? You might want to get checked out by a doctor. According to the latest national rankings, Fresno’s continued problem with sexual transmitted disease has not gone away.

The West outpaces the South in physical activity, CDC says. How does California rank?

Fresno Bee

The South had more physically inactive adults than any other U.S. region, according to a new study. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control survey also showed significant differences between black and Hispanic adults and whites.


Rare early emergence of influenza B virus seen for first time in 27 years

Visalia Times Delta

This year’s flu season has thrown a curveball: A predominant influenza B virus for the first time in 27 years. In Visalia, the past three flu seasons have been "very bizarre," according to Kathy Wittman, BSN RN, Kaweah Delta’s Infection Prevention Data Coordinator.


Momentum Builds Around Valley Fever Research With Funding Boosts


Researchers have been trying to understand valley fever for decades, but the playing field remained small until recently. 

See also:

Feds investigate causes of a norovirus outbreak at Yosemite National Park

Los Angeles Times

As of Monday, one of the West’s most majestic national parks had received reports of about 170 visitors and employees with similar symptoms and most had spent time in Yosemite Valley earlier this month.

See also:

What we know about the coronavirus spreading in China and elsewhere

Washington Post

The World Health Organization (WHO) is holding an emergency meeting in Geneva on Wednesday to make a fateful decision: Whether to designate the outbreak of a mysterious, pneumonialike virus that originated in China as an international public health emergency.

EDITORIAL: Flavored tobacco created an epidemic of youth addiction. California must ban it

Sacramento Bee

The California State Legislature revealed a cowardly streak last year when key leaders allowed tobacco industry money to kill legislation designed to end the youth vaping epidemic.

See also:


Human Services

New nonprofit to focus $130 million on solving California’s health care worker shortage

California Economic Summit

To address California’s health care worker shortage, a $130 million partnership between two major entities in the sector are teaming up. Kaiser Permanente and Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West are establishing a new nonprofit, called Futuro Health, with the goal of training the largest network of certified health care workers.

Opinion: Most women don’t regret their abortions. Will the Supreme Court care?

Fresno Bee

Of all the annoying arguments trotted out against legal abortion, the most irksome of them is the claim that women need to be protected from themselves, that they will act rashly to terminate unwanted pregnancies and then spend the rest of their lives regretting it.

Trump Administration to Soon Issue Guidance on Medicaid Block Grants

Wall Street Journal

The Trump administration plans to release guidance as soon as this month for granting states waivers to convert Medicaid funding to block grants, paving the way for a transformation of the 55-year-old program that is likely to reignite a partisan feud.



McFarland Planning Commission to hear presentation on likely expansion of immigrant detention capabilities

Bakersfield Californian

The McFarland Planning Commission will meet Tuesday to hear public comments on proposed changes to permits that could allow a private prison company to dramatically expand immigrant detention capacity in Kern County.

Trump administration targets 'birth tourism' with new vetting plans for visas


The Trump administration plans to move forward with a new rule aimed at stopping what it calls "birth tourism."


ICE, judges deny protections for disabled immigrants in custody, attorneys say

San Francisco Chronicle

Lawyers representing undocumented immigrants detained by ICE allege that courts and government authorities under the Trump administration are not complying with a federal court order that protects mentally disabled immigrants in California, Arizona and Washington.

Arrested Immigrants Are Being ‘Returned’ to Mexico

Capital & Main

Immigration Judge Lee O’Connor of the San Diego immigration court did not mince words when terminating the deportation case of a Salvadoran asylum-seeker placed into the Department of Homeland Security’s “Remain in Mexico” program.


$11 Billion And Counting: Trump's Border Wall Would Be The World's Most Costly


The pricetag for President Trump's border wall has topped $11 billion — or nearly $20 million a mile — to become the most expensive wall of its kind anywhere in the world.




Land Use:

Can it be true that Modesto leaders will close Muni Golf Course? Yes; here’s why

Modesto Bee

Upset golfers had crowded into a committee meeting upon learning of one option — shutting down their beloved Modesto Municipal Golf Course — for solving an unsolvable problem: not enough revenue to cover costs.


Apartment rents got more expensive in Fresno last year. Here’s what they cost now

Fresno Bee

A year-end apartment rent report released this week by RentCafe.com, an apartment-search website, shows that the average market-rate apartment rent in Fresno climbed 6.3% from January 2019, when the average was $1,048 per month, to a monthly average rent of $1,114 in December

Habitat for Humanity, City of Madera plan to build 5 homes in 6 months

Madera Tribune

Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Fresno Area (Habitat), in partnership with the City of Madera, Cal Viva Health, Noble Credit Union, and Suncrest Bank, officially broke ground Wednesday on the construction of five homes in the City of Madera. 


Merced County’s implementing a new plan to address its homeless problem. Will it work?

Merced Sun-Star

The Merced County Supervisors recently approved the next steps for the Regional Homeless Plan — a comprehensive approach to addressing the region’s homeless population that increases low-barrier temporary and permanent housing. 


New facility coming to South Merced to provide housing for homeless


It's been one year since crews demolished the former juvenile hall at B and 13th Streets in South Merced. Now, this property will be used for a 15,000 square feet "navigation center" with at least 75 beds for the homeless.

Frustrated Tulareans vent about homelessness to city

Visalia Times Delta

Tulareans are frustrated. Residents crowded into the city council chambers Thursday to share concerns about Tulare's growing homeless population.

See also:

Homeless count has added significance this year

Bakersfield Californian

Hundreds of volunteers will fan out across Kern County on Friday, venturing into parks and alleys and looking under bridges and along the Kern River, to get an accurate idea of the county's homeless population.


Newsom’s Big Move On Homelessness May Be Just In Political Time, New Poll Suggests

Capital Public Radio

Homelessness has shot to the top of the list of concerns for California voters. A new poll finds nearly a third name homelessness or housing as what the state should focus on this year.

See also:

Key California housing bill’s chances of passing just improved

San Francisco Chronicle

State Sen. Scott Wiener’s bill to clear a path for denser housing around public transit and in wealthy suburbs got a big push forward Friday when the Senate’s leader steered it out of the committee where it stalled last year.


Who’s to blame for high housing costs? It’s more complicated than you think.


Are government regulations making it impossible to build new homes, or are developers price gouging homebuyers and renters? Who really pockets the profits from building—or not building—new housing?


EDITORIAL: NIMBYs beware: California could make it harder to block homeless and affordable housing

Los Angeles Times

It’s a no-brainer to expand CEQA exemptions for homeless housing projects statewide. Of course the state should make it much easier to build homeless shelters. 



Lifting the cap on this federal tax break would be a big break for California’s rich

Sacramento Bee

Democrats are pushing hard to do away with the $10,000 limit on how much in state and local taxes Americans can deduct on their federal tax returns — a big deal in high-tax states such as California and New York, where the cap has cost many people serious money.


CalPERS hits milestone: Market value tops $400 billion

Sacramento Bee

The California Public Employees’ Retirement system doubled in market value over the last 10 years. But CalPERS is underfunded. The pension fund benefits from a rising stock market.


Tax season is coming. It might be as chaotic as last year

Los Angeles Times

Filing taxes last year was a nightmare for taxpayers, their accountants and the Internal Revenue Service. This year might not be much better.


Congress reversed kiddie-tax change that hurt some families

San Francisco Chronicle

Families who were hurt by the change in the “kiddie tax” that took effect after 2017 can undo the damage it caused in 2018 and 2019 and avoid it going forward, thanks to a provision buried in the big retirement bill known as the Secure Act enacted last year.


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.

Tax Breaks: California’s $60 Billion Loss

California Budget & Policy Center

California loses a large amount of state revenues through tax breaks, also called “tax expenditures,” with much of the benefits going to high-income households and corporations.



Valley gas prices still dropping to start 2020. How much are you paying at the pump?

Fresno Bee

Gasoline prices in Fresno and the central San Joaquin Valley on Monday reflected a continuing retreat from last fall’s peak prices, dropping by a few pennies on average since the beginning of last week.


Strathmore students able to STEP UP: Their effort leads to radar speed sign on Orange Belt

Porterville Recorder

Under the supervision of their advisor, Katie Meehan, students identified a need within their school and community and saw far too many vehicles quickly sped down Orange Belt Drive, a busy road that runs alongside the west of their campus. 


Owners of electric cars get a break on the gas tax. It’s costing California $32 million

Los Angeles Times

As most Californians reach deeper into their pockets to pay higher gas taxes for road repairs, electric vehicle owners have been getting a free pass. Many will continue to benefit under a little-known provision of the law, costing the state tens of millions of dollars.

See also:


California approves of US$1.6Bn bullet train

Construction Review Online

The California High-Speed Rail Authority is going forward with a potential $1.6 billion Request for Proposals process for a 30-year track and systems contract for the beleaguered and scaled-back Northern-to-Southern California bullet train project, despite previous objections from the Federal Railroad Administration.

See also:


Allensworth’s bad water to be tested

Visalia Times Delta

Two rural Tulare County towns will be the testing ground for a cutting-edge technology that could revolutionize the treatment of groundwater tainted with arsenic, the EPA announced​​ this week.

‘The dam must be moved.’ Speakers cite flood risk in opposing Stanislaus reservoir project

Modesto Bee

People commenting on an environmental study for a proposed dam near Patterson urged water districts to scrap the plan or build the dam someplace else.


Rain and snow return, but it won’t be enough to quench Northern California’s needs

Sacramento Bee

More rain and snow area headed to Northern California on Tuesday, although the storm won’t be nearly enough to make up for what’s been a relatively dry January.

California governor restarts giant water tunnel project

AP News

California’s governor has restarted a project to build a giant, underground tunnel that would pump billions of gallons of water from the San Joaquin Delta to the southern part of the state.


Time's Up on Groundwater Plans: One of the Most Important New California Water Laws in 50 Years Explained


Much of California’s water supply is a hidden asset: Deep below the surface, rocks, gravel and sand store water like a sponge, in an underground zone called an aquifer.

Indian Wells Valley groundwater sustainability plan OK'd

Bakersfield Californian

With the bang of a gavel, the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority board of directors passed its groundwater sustainability plan Thursday.

Henry: Nuts getting a bad rap for sinking the California Aqueduct

Bakersfield Californian

State water officials are blaming almond and pistachio orchards for sinking the California Aqueduct before all the evidence is in, according to one western Kern County water district manager.



Here's what you need to know about Yosemite's 'firefall' 


It's never too early to start planning a trip to Yosemite National Park to catch a glimpse of the annual "firefall" phenomenon.


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


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