January 3, 2019



North SJ Valley:

Fact check : Did California sanctuary law protect alleged cop killer?

Sacramento Bee

California’s “sanctuary state” law does not appear to have helped the immigrant accused of killing a San Joaquin Valley police officer last week, despite a sheriff’s claim that immigrant-friendly policies protected the suspected shooter.

Central SJ Valley:

Sequoia, Kings Canyon completely close as trash piles up, government shutdown goes on

Fresno Bee

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks will close Wednesday night and will likely remain closed until the government shutdown is over, spokeswoman Sintia Kawasaki-Lee said.

See Also:

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

South SJ Valley:

Fishbough to retire as HJUHSD superintendent

Hanford Sentinel

After a 35-year career in education, the last 13 as superintendent of Hanford Joint Union High School District, William Fishbough has announced his upcoming retirement.


Will CA Governor Gavin Newsom keep his campaign promises? Sacramento Bee

Democrat Gavin Newsom vowed while running for governor to tackle many of California’s biggest problems, from health care to homelessness to wildfires. We’re watching his efforts to keep his campaign promises.

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

Bakersfield Californian

The new year brings with it resolutions for some, the status quo for others, and new laws impacting everyone.

California’s New Gender-Affirming Laws

Capital Public Radio

In 2018, two new laws were approved that extend services for trans and nonbinary Californians: SB 179 adds a nonbinary gender option to state-issued IDs and AB 2119 requires that trans foster youth are given access to gender-affirming health care.

Fox: A “Little Shop of Horrors” Legislature?

Fox & Hounds

Elements of the hit 80s musical Little Shop of Horrors might serve as a parable for the way California governance is shaping up for the new year. With all the demands for new programs and more taxes can’t you hear an echo of the Shop’s devouring plant in the quest for an enlarged government: Feed me!

The Massive Election Change In California You’ve Likely Never Heard Of


Not too long ago, it was fairly rare for California cities to elect council members based on separate districts rather than competing citywide. But now, a rapid shift is underway.

Qualifying a state ballot measure: a ‘playground of billionaires’

San Francisco Chronicle

The price of putting an initiative on the ballot is soaring, and California voters have only themselves to blame.

Say what? Use our decoder to decipher those mysterious Brownisms and snippets of Gavinese


With Gov. Jerry Brown on his way out, soon to be replaced by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, California’s political landscape is shifting. So, too, is its political lexicon.

Wells Fargo pays fine, drops insurance license in California


Wells Fargo has agreed to pay California $5 million to settle allegations that it opened insurance policies for its customers and charged them without their consent.

EDITORIAL: Is PG&E a serial offender?

San Francisco Chronicle

Federal prosecutors, California’s attorney general and even Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s own lawyers acknowledged in recent court filings that the utility could face grave legal consequences for its central role in a series of deadly disasters.


A preview of 2019 and a few New Year’s resolutions for Trump and Pelosi

Fresno Bee

One thing Americans have learned lo these past two years is that the only thing predictable in our national political life is that it will be unpredictable. So, is there anything we can foresee about the upcoming events of 2019?

See Also:

●     Nancy Pelosi set to take power amid standoff with Trump San Francisco Chronicle

●     Divided government will pose an obstacle to lawmaking in 2019 Roll Call

Democrats Set to Push Election Overhaul, Without GOP Support

Wall Street Journal

House’s immediate priorities include adopting a package changing government-ethics law as well as ending partial shutdown.

See also:

●      ‘Trump Show,’ Act III: What to Watch as House Democrats Take Control Roll Call

●      House Democrats’ Rules Could Make It Easier to Raise Debt Limit Wall Street Journal

●      Will Democrats Overplay Their Good Hand? Wall Street Journal

●     Democrats retaking control of House for first time since 2011 CBS News

●     What to Expect as the New 116th Congress Gets Underway RollCall

Government shutdown closes county’s federal offices, national parks

Bakersfield Californian

Some Kern County workers have not escaped the clutches of the ongoing federal government shutdown. Several agencies and organizations currently are closed due to the shutdown, which began on Dec. 22, with some federal employees on furlough until funding is restored.

See Also:

●     Don’t miss jury duty and thank your TSA agent. How the government shutdown affects you Fresno Bee

●     Government shutdown: What will and won’t happen during federal shutdown abc30

●     Trump says shutdown will continue for ‘as long as it takes’ to secure border abc30

●     In shutdown, janitors, security guards, and other federal contractors get no back pay abc30

●      House Democrats will move to reopen government as partial shutdown enters its 13th day Visalia Times – Delta

●     President Trump says government shutdown, in 12th day, could last a ‘long time’ Visalia Times – Delta

●     New Year, Same Government Shutdown Capital Public Radio

●     Trump and congressional leaders dig in over government shutdown Los Angeles Times

●      In a Shutdown, IRS Will Take Your Money, but Give No Refunds Wall Street Journal

●      Federal Courts May Feel Pinch of Government Shutdown Soon Wall Street Journal

●      What Is and Isn’t Affected by the Partial Government Shutdown Wall Street Journal

●      Shutdown, House Democrats’ divisions set tone as new era of divided government begins Roll Call

GOP confronts anxiety about Trump primary challenge

Sacramento Bee

Donald Trump declared himself “the most popular president in the history of the Republican Party” on Wednesday. Yet his allies fear a primary challenge from a high-profile Republican could doom his re-election.

See Also:

●     New GOP rivalry? Romney bolts into Washington, blasts Trump Sacramento Bee

●     Trump answers Romney criticism: ‘I won big, and he didn’t’ Los Angeles Time

●     Romney asserts his independence — and Trump’s GOP critics see an opening Washington Post

These are the 2019 court fights that will decide the future of net neutrality

Los Angeles Times

The battle over net neutrality is far from over. Their legal challenges will play out in 2019. Here’s what to expect as the fight over the future of the internet enters its next act.

EDITORIAL: The Democratic presidential race for 2020 has begun

San Francisco Chronicle

They’re off. On the final day of 2018, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., fired the first shot in the Democratic race for the 2020 presidential nomination.


David McDonald, former Pelco CEO and Fresno philanthropist, dies

Fresno Bee

David McDonald, a Fresno philanthropist and former Pelco CEO, died Wednesday. McDonald in 1987 bought Pelco — a small company that specialized in security cameras — and over the course of several years turned it into a multi-billion dollar enterprise.

See Also:

●     David McDonald, the former owner of Pelco, has died at the age of 69 abc30


Sunday, January 6, at 10 a.m. on ABC 30 –Maddy Report:“State’a Fiscal Outlook:  Remarkably Good” – Guests: California’s Legislative Analyst, Mac Taylor. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

Sunday, January 6, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) – Maddy Report – Valley Views Edition“State’s Fiscal Outlook Sets the Stage for Upcoming Budget Negotiation”  – Guests: Scott Graves, Director of Research for the Calif Budget & Policy Center and Mac Taylor with the LAO. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

Sunday, January 6, at 7:30 a.m. on UniMas 61 (KTTF) – El Informe Maddy“Medi-Cal: miles de millones para pagos cuestionables” – Guests: Margarita Fernandez, PIO State Auditor’s Office. Host: Maddy Institute Program Coordinator, Maria Jeans.


Citrus growers avoid major damage after hard freeze warning


A hard freeze warning passed without major damage to the Valley’s valuable citrus crop which is worth close to $2 billion. Growers say frosty temperatures are needed to help bring their fruit to maturity – as long as they don’t dip too low.

See Also:

●     First frost of the season good reminder to protect the plants outside your home abc30

Legalized pot in CA: A look at the industry 1 year later


It’s now been one year since California legalized recreational marijuana, and Eyewitness News took a look at how the industry is doing.

See Also:

●      Now for the Hard Part: Getting Californians to Buy Legal Weed New York Times

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

Medical marijuana dispensaries fight to stay open as Kern County deadline approaches

Bakersfield Californian

Eighteen medical marijuana dispensaries have filed an appeal with the Kern County Board of Supervisors, requesting more time before a mandatory closure set by the county takes effect.

It’s now legal to sell home-cooked food — but there’s a catch

San Francisco Chronicle

Jan. 1 was supposed to be the date when California cooks could apply to their local health department for a permit to sell food cooked in their home kitchens. But now Bay Area cooks may have to wait.



Stockton Homicides Decrease 40 Percent In 2018

Capital Public Radio

Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones says the department now has a record high of 470 officers, which he sees as among the factors in lowering violent crime.

The Supreme Court Is Too Gun-Shy on the Second Amendment

Wall Street Journal

The justices haven’t clarified the law since 2010, causing confusion in the lower courts.

Public Safety:

Guards at Mendota prison are still going to work. They’re just not getting paid

Fresno Bee

Correctional officers are reporting to work at the federal prison in Mendota but are suffering financial hardships in the government shutdown, the president of the local prison employees union said Wednesday.

Violence Against Women Act lapses during shutdown, putting help for victims at risk

Fresno Bee

The government shutdown means the Violence Against Women Act hasn’t been funded, jeopardizing programs that service victims of domestic abuse.

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

Fresno Bee

In-car ignition interlock devices, also known as breathalyzers, will be mandated for many drunk driving offenders in California.

New law holds pet owner responsible for dangerous dog attacks


A new law sponsored by a north suburban state senator will hold pet owners responsible for their pooch’s behavior.

California Justices Deny Challenge To New Police Records Law

Capital Public Radio

The California Supreme Court on Wednesday denied a last-minute challenge to a state law that opens police records to the public and eases what currently is one of the nation’s most secretive police privacy laws.

See Also:

●     Californians Will Have Access To Police Use-Of-Force Records Under New Law Capital Public Radio

Organize U.S. military to respond to natural disasters

San Francisco Chronicle

It’s time to call in the Marines, and also the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard to respond to the growing number of climate-linked natural disasters.


Volunteers carry out difficult task of finding wildfire victims

San Francisco Chronicle

When the Camp Fire started, these volunteers took time off from their day jobs to carry out one of the most difficult tasks in the fire zone: finding victims.

Numerous PG&E employees saw flames soon after Camp Fire started

San Francisco Chronicle

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. said in a federal filing on Monday that numerous employees spotted and reported flames shortly after the Camp Fire started on Nov. 8. The company also provided new details on equipment inspections and damage in response to a federal judge’s request for information.

PG&E Says Unlicensed Electrical Work May Have Sparked Tubbs Fire Disaster


PG&E has released new details about the start of one of California’s most devastating wildfires — the October 2017 Tubbs Fire — in a court filing that appears to shift blame onto a handyman the company says performed unlicensed electrical work on a rural property near Calistoga.



US stocks bounce back after posting early losses


U.S. stocks have bounded have starting the new year in negative territory. All major U.S. indices were up in early afternoon trading.

See Also:

●     Stock market starts 2019 with more turbulence Los Angeles Times

●      U.S. stocks yanked lower by Apple’s rare cut in sales outlook Washington Post

Fresno business sees success after High-Speed Rail forces them to relocate


Gymnastics Beat in Northwest Fresno is ending 2018 on a high note. Business is better than ever, they’re celebrating 15 years of service and a successful first year at their new location. It wasn’t too long ago Owner Sam Shima said the future seemed unsure. The high-speed rail started construction and they were right in its path. They were forced to move.

CA Economic Summit Unites CA Leaders in Divisive Times

California Forward

The 2018 California Economic Summit was the first Summit to take place outside of a major metro area but the event drew hundreds, including legislators, public officials, and private-sector leaders, to Santa Rosa just a few weeks ago.

Economic shocks and clinging


During his first campaign for president, Barack Obama was criticized when he argued that residents of towns with poor local labor markets “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustration.” Michael Strain and Stan Veuger test empirically whether this is the case.


Valley Animal Center searching for another vet


The Valley Animal Center in Fresno is expanding but having a hard time find another veterinarian for their newly renovated facility. Devon Prendergast, with Valley Animal Center, said they have been searching for a vet for a few months.

The tech talent is rumbling in Silicon Valley

Los Angeles Times

In November, the tech industry’s most cherished assets — its employees — mobilized with speed and scale to question their companies’ controversial defense contracts, protest inequities in pay and promotion, and demand better protections for the contractors and part-timers who make up a significant chunk of tech’s workforce.

See Also:

●     Some brilliant predictions for tech in 2019 San Francisco Chronicle

Labor Group Renews Effort to Unionize Childcare Providers


With a new governor taking office, a powerful California labor group is renewing its push to unionize some in-home childcare providers. The Service Employees International Union says it will again sponsor legislation to unionize in-home childcare providers who care for children receiving state subsidies.

New workers are entering the labor force and adapting


All workplaces are little communities, and new members grow by learning how to be a part of the community’s routines and fulfill its expectations. It is good that new workers are placed outside their comfort zones. Work, even behind the deli counter, is an essential step to a better life.



Fishbough to retire as HJUHSD superintendent

Hanford Sentinel

After a 35-year career in education, the last 13 as superintendent of Hanford Joint Union High School District, William Fishbough has announced his upcoming retirement.

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.

Higher Ed:

DEADLINE FAST APPROACHING:  Wonderful Public Service Graduate Fellowship

The Maddy Institute

Applications for two $56,000 Fellowships Due Friday, February 22, 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.

California higher education leaders have high hopes for Newsom’s spending plans


As California’s new governor, Gavin Newsom will face a rare and well-timed opportunity to put his mark on the world’s largest higher education system.

My turn: Higher ed is a prerequisite for our future. Community colleges are key to that


Pick an issue, any issue, and you’ll hear from the well-meaning throngs that theirs is a top priority for California’s long-term success.



As national parks buckle under shutdown weight, volunteer efforts and cash losses mount

Fresno Bee

As reports of trash and human waste flooding some of the country’s most beautiful land have trickled out since the U.S. government shut down, deeper problems – and a few volunteer-powered solutions – have also begun to surface.

See Also:

●      It’s not just trash — money lost during shutdown could have long-term effects at Yosemite Fresno Bee

●     Sequoia, Kings Canyon completely close as trash piles up, government shutdown goes on Fresno Bee

●     Planning a Yosemite daytrip from Fresno? You’re likely going to have to take the long way Fresno Bee

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

●     Access into Yosemite National Park limited due to government shutdown abc30

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

●     Human waste, champagne bottles, even a prom dress: Joshua Tree and Yosemite get trashed as shutdown continues Los Angeles Times

What happened to the monarch butterflies? Pismo Beach grove reports record-low  numbers

Fresno Bee

The monarch butterfly population in Pismo Beach, California, was at a record low at its Thanksgiving Day count in November 2018. The state butterfly population is also on the decline.

More Than 200,000 Clean Cars Will Lose California HOV Access In 2019

Capital Public Radio

The rules for which vehicles are allowed in California’s carpool lanes have changed in 2019. Clean Air Vehicles in California get colored stickers so they can access the state’s High Occupancy Vehicle, or HOV, lanes. They allow you to drive in those lanes even when there’s only one person in the car.

Five Big Things Governor Brown Did on Climate Change


It was his first tour as governor and Brown talked about environmentalism long before it was mainstream, promoting the nascent technologies of solar and wind power. At the time, critics thought his ideas were on the fringe. That approach earned him the nickname “Governor Moonbeam.”

5 New Governors to Watch on Climate

Scientific American

From California to Florida, these state leaders could have major influence on U.S. climate policy.


Oil drops as volatile markets, supply surge unsettle investors


Oil prices edged lower in choppy trade on Thursday, pressured by concerns about slowing global economic growth that could dent demand for crude but drawing support from signs of output cuts by Saudi Arabia.



One more company recalls blood pressure and heart meds for possibly cancerous ingredient

Fresno Bee

Aurobindo Pharma is recalling 80 lots of Valsartan blood pressure and heart medication for presence of NDEA, which the International Agency for Research on Cancer says is a probable carcinogen.

Kaiser Permanente faces scrutiny for labor negotiating

Stockton Record

The union that represents more than 2,000 Kaiser Permanente employees in San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties and 85,000 workers nationwide issued a statement Wednesday that the health care giant was indicted by the federal government for refusing to negotiate its labor contract and wrongly tying those negotiations to a ban on political activity against the company.

Big Pharma returning to U.S. price hikes in January after pause


Novartis AG (NOVN.S) and Bayer AG (BAYGn.DE) are among nearly 30 drugmakers that have taken steps to raise the U.S. prices of their medicines in January, ending a self-declared halt to increases made by a pharma industry under pressure from the Trump administration, according to documents seen by Reuters.

Human Services:

Gavin Newsom’s first hires suggest the next California governor has 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.

Covered California enrollee fights Blue Shield plan to limit out-of-state care

Sacramento Bee

Blue Shield alerted customers whose coverage started after Dec. 31, 2013, that it would be limiting out-of-state medical care to emergencies, urgent care or follow-ups to those visits. A Covered California enrollee who frequently works outside California called the action discriminatory.

Long-awaited earthquake early warning app for L.A. can now be downloaded

Los Angeles Times

ShakeAlertLA, an app created under the oversight of Mayor Eric Garcetti and the city, is designed to work with the U.S. Geological Survey’s earthquake early warning system, which has been under development for years. It’s designed to give users seconds, and perhaps even tens of seconds, before shaking from a distant earthquake arrives at a user’s location.


US fires tear gas into Mexico as migrants attempt to cross border into San Diego


U.S. border authorities fired tear gas into Mexico on Monday night when group of roughly 150 migrants attempted to illegally cross the border to San Diego.

See Also:

●     Migrant describes capture by Border Patrol during tear gas deployment Los Angeles Times

Despite Huge Backlogs, The Government Shutdown Halts Most Immigration Court Hearings

Capital Public Radio

Hundreds of thousands await hearings in the already-congested system. Those delays could help some cases but hurt many others.

Trump says Mexico will pay for his border wall thanks to the new NAFTA deal. It won’t

Los Angeles Times

President Trump claimed yet again Wednesday morning that Mexico is paying for a wall along the shared border through his renegotiated NAFTA trade deal (which he re-branded as USMCA) with Canada and Mexico. No, it’s not.

Young immigrants who suffered abuse sue over changes to special protection program

Los Angeles Times

When Alex thinks about her childhood in Guerrero, Mexico, she remembers the abuse.

Administration denies status to young immigrants due to age

Associated Press

Some immigrant youth looking to start over in the United States after fleeing abusive homes are seeing their applications for green cards rejected because the Trump administration says they’re too old. A U.S. government program in place since 1990 has let young immigrants subject to abuse, abandonment or neglect by a parent seek a court-appointed guardian and a green card to stay in the country.


Environmentalists made a troubling deal with Tejon Ranch

Los Angeles Times

Tejon Ranch is privately owned, but the land is supposed to be protected by a conservation agreement. Yet the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recently approved the 5,800-acre Centennial development on the ranch — 19,000 homes and 8.4 million square feet of commercial space that would destroy crucial wildlife habitat.

‘It’s like we don’t exist’: California’s invisible rural housing crisis

The Christian Science Monitor

Much has been written about the housing shortage in US cities from Boston to Boise. But behind the headlines, an unnoticed crisis is growing in America’s countryside.


Walters: Finally, a crackdown on misuse of taxpayer money


Although state law specifically prohibits public officials from using taxpayers’ money for political campaigning, they have been doing exactly that throughout California.

Krugman: The Trump Tax Cut: Even Worse Than You’ve Heard

New York Times

Skeptical reporting has still been too favorable.

One Year Later, Benefits From Corporate Tax Cut Seem Muted

Wall Street Journal

Pace of growth looks uncertain as companies paint mixed picture on capital spending.


Brown reappoints top California high-speed rail leaders

Associated Press

He gave Dan Richard and Tom Richards fresh four-year terms on the board of directors that oversees the California High-Speed Rail Authority, which is tasked with building a high-speed train to shuttle passengers between Los Angeles and San Francisco in less than three hours.

See also:

●      Horgan: Surging Democrats may well keep the fast-train project alive Mercury News

●      California High-Speed Rail Program Highlights Major Accomplishments of 2018 Sierra Sun Times

New road rules take effect

Hanford Sentinel

Now that the New Year has begun, several new laws or changes to existing motor safety laws will affect the roadway in several ways.

More Than 200,000 Clean Cars Will Lose California HOV Access In 2019

Capital Public Radio

California is changing the rules for who can access the state’s carpool lanes, and the new law will affect more than 200,000 drivers of Clean Air Vehicles.

Appeals court rebukes federal government in ‘no-fly’ case, ruling it owes millions in legal fees

Los Angeles Times

A federal appeals court decided Wednesday that the U.S. government must pay millions of dollars to lawyers for a Muslim woman who was mistakenly classified as a potential terrorist and placed on a “no-fly” list.

Air traffic controllers, whose ranks are at a 30-year low, feel the shutdown


Planes rely on lights to guide them onto the runway, and while they are normally repaired quickly, a government shutdown means those type of fixes could be delayed, according to Ryan Hampton, an air traffic controller and a representative for the controllers’ union, told ABC News.


State water managers to conduct first snow survey


California water managers will conduct the season’s first manual surveys of the state’s crucial winter snowfall. A more limited index from the Department of Water Resources shows mountain precipitation has been lower than average so far this year.

Rain in store for weekend, weather service predicts

Modesto Bee

The Modesto area should get between a quarter and half inch of rain over the weekend, the National Weather Service predicts. The moderately strong storm also will dump enough snow in the mountains to create travel issues, the forecast says.

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

Modesto Bee

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.


Winter ice and snow in Modesto region? Yes, it’s part of the week’s top 5 attractions

Modesto Bee

Modesto on Ice, now open for its fourth season, continues its winter events and activities for families in downtown Modesto. Besides having open ice sessions daily, skating lessons and ice hockey times, the rink can be booked for birthday parties and private events.

It will be a chill First Friday downtown

Bakersfield Californian

Although it’s not easy to haul ourselves out of this post-holiday haze and get into the swing of things, some folks are determined to make First Friday a fun night downtown. Here’s a sampling of what’s on tap.