January 31, 2019




 Wonderful Public Service $56,000 Graduate Fellowship

The Maddy Institute

Applications for two $56,000 Fellowships

Due Friday, February 22nd, 2019.

North SJ Valley:

Madera County Supervisors Continue “On The Road” Meetings

Sierra News

The Madera County Board of Supervisors is excited to announce that they will continue to conduct several regular meetings “on the road” this year. These meetings are part of an ongoing effort to increase transparency and encourage public participation, say Board members.

Stanislaus County gets pushback on proposal to appoint MAC members

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County leaders have backpedaled on a proposal to change municipal advisory council seats from elected to appointed positions. After getting some pushback on the recent proposal, the county will let each of the eight MACs decide if their councils are elected or appointed.

What should Stockton improve?

Stockton Record

The question was posed to a diverse group of citizens and stakeholders from throughout the city who basically just want to see Stockton improve: What makes a great public space and how do we activate that space?

Central SJ Valley:

Visalia has the most affordable homes in the state, says study


Visalia’s median multiple is a 3.6, putting it at the top of the list for most affordable homes in the state.

Can Fresno Mayor Brand Forge Unity for Parks/Public Safety Tax?

GV Wire

Lee Brand is still optimistic about proposing a combined parks and public safety tax to voters in 2020. He reiterated his plan during remarks at a Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation breakfast Wednesday (Jan. 30).

Bredefeld’s Money-Back Guarantee Gains New Support

GV Wire

Garry Bredefeld (District 6) and Steve Brandau (District 2) want a money-back-guarantee program for the city of Fresno planning department (officially called Development and Resource Management, or DARM).

Devin Nunes is back on Democrats’ target list for 2020

San Francisco Chronicle

Democrats are renewing their efforts to eradicate all California Republicans from Congress, targeting two more GOP representatives for 2020.

Boren: Democracy, Taxpayers Suffer When Fewer Local Journalists Serve as Government Watchdogs

GV Wire

We’re seeing more journalists being laid off in the news industry, and just about everyone thinks they know why the business model is so broken.

South SJ Valley:

The Wonderful Co. hands out $600K in grants to local organizations

Bakersfield Californian

The Wonderful Co. have awarded $600,000 this year to many organizations across the Central Valley as part of its Wonderful Community Grants program. The grants will fund projects and programs that will help meet the needs of the communities in the Valley.

See also:

●     The Wonderful Company awards $600,000 to Central Valley nonprofits abc23

Four takeaways from the State of the County address

Bakersfield Californian

Chairman of the Kern County Board of Supervisors David Couch delivered the annual State of the County address in front of a sold-out crowd of 600 Wednesday evening at the Kern County Fairgrounds.


Election officials said DMV wasn’t ready to launch Motor Voter. California went ahead anyway

Sacramento Bee

As California prepared to launch its new Motor Voter program last year, top elections officials say they asked Secretary of State Alex Padilla to hold off on the roll-out.

See also:

●     Fact Check: Did Motor Voter tilt midterm elections against California Republicans? Sacramento Bee

EDITORIAL: California’s dubious voter roll purge

San Francisco Chronicle

Nearly half the country’s voting-age population failed to show up for November’s supposedly pivotal midterm congressional elections. Remarkably, this was considered a success — indeed, it was the highest turnout for a midterm in more than a century.


Thanks to Nancy Pelosi, Californians dominate the new House like never before

Los Angeles Times

The next two years may mark the peak of California’s power in Congress. Thanks in part to Pelosi, Californians hold an even larger share of House leadership posts, nearly 30%.

See also:

●     Walters: Willie Brown sees protégés rise to the top CALmatters

Border security talks begin with no sign of compromise to avert a government shutdown


Talks between House and Senate negotiators showed little sign of progress Wednesday on the stickiest of issues: border wall funding.

See also:

●     Relief for California wildfire victims tied up in federal talks about the border wall Sacramento Bee

●     Dems make opening offer, with no money for Trump’s wall Sacramento Bee

●     Trump: Congressional negotiators ‘wasting their time’ if they’re not talking about border wall Los Angeles Times

●     Trump’s First Two Years, Charted Bloomberg

●     House Republicans block passage of anti-shutdown resolution despite removal of language blaming Trump Roll Call

●     Democrats’ Opening Offer: More Customs Officers and Technology, but No Wall New York Times

●     Trump tells GOP members they’re ‘wasting their time’ in border security talks Roll Call

●     EDITORIAL: As Trump demands the wall, he loses sight of what really works: more border agents  Fresno Bee

What is the designated survivor? What to know about government’s contingency plan during State of the Union


Andrew Cuomo has done it. Eric Holder has done it. Even former Vice President Dick Cheney has done it. But what exactly is the role of the designated survivor?

PolitiFact California Cross Examines Claims About Sen. Kamala Harris Time As DA

Capital Public Radio

PolitiFact California reporter Chris Nichols focuses on claims about California U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris’ record as a prosecutor.

See also:

●     Skelton: Kamala Harris aces her first test with campaign rollout  Los Angeles Times

●     Harris dives into ‘Medicare for All’ minefield Politico

●     Poll: Kamala Harris gaining among Democratic voters Politico

●     ‘Medicare for All’ Will Terrify Voters Wall Street Journal

●     LA Mayor Garcetti Says He Won’t Run For President In 2020 Capital Public Radio

●     With the national spotlight fading, Mayor Eric Garcetti turns to problems in L.A. Los Angeles Times

●     Being L.A.’s mayor is a political road to nowhere Los Angeles Times

●     Would President Schultz do anything to stop the environmental nightmare he helped create at Starbucks? Los Angeles Times

Latinos on track to be largest share of nonwhite voters in 2020, Pew says

San Francisco Chronicle

In the next presidential election, 32 million Hispanics will be eligible to vote, just slightly more than the 30 million voters who are black.

See also:

●     EDITORIAL: The importance of counting Latinos in the 2020 Census Fresno Bee

McConnell blasts House bill that makes Election Day a federal holiday

The Hill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday blasted a key House Democratic proposal over a provision that would make Election Day a federal holiday.

Clovis Veteran Helen James Says Military Transgender Ban Means ‘Going Backwards’


Last week, the Supreme Court took a step toward allowing President Donald Trump to ban transgender troops from serving in the military. Trump originally tweeted this policy back in July of 2017, but federal courts stopped the ban in early 2018.

EDITORIAL: Trump turns on his spies

San Francisco Chronicle

Every president is entitled to a handpicked crew of intelligence advisers, the team composed to provide unvarnished advice on global trouble spots. President Trump is no different, naming top leaders to the FBI, CIA and national security agencies.


Want to talk about racism? I’m ready even if Brokaw isn’t.

Sacramento Bee

Into this arena entered venerated journalist Tom Brokaw, with the echoes of how we need to have “conversations” about race and culture in our country but we don’t really have them.

Apple busts Facebook for distributing data-sucking app

Porterville Recorder

Apple says Facebook can no longer distribute an app that paid users, including teenagers, to extensively track their phone and web use. In doing so, Apple closed off Facebook’s efforts to sidestep Apple’s app store and its tighter rules on privacy.

See also:

●     Facebook, Google Draw Scrutiny Over Apps That Collected Data From Teens Capital Public Radio

●     Facebook paid kids to download app that monitors their online activity Los Angeles Times

●     Facebook revenue soars despite growing privacy concerns San Francisco Chronicle

●     Facebook’s Profits and Revenue Climb as It Gains More Users New York Times

Listening to the people who think we are wrong

Hewlett Foundation

The term du jour, “tribalism,” replaced the earlier “polarization” precisely to capture the added ingredient of animosity that has made even conversation across partisan divides difficult. Mistrust and hostility have been grafted onto disagreement about ideas.


Sunday, February 3, at 10 a.m. on ABC 30 – Maddy Report: “What’s Wrong with the Fed Courts?” – Guests: Lawrence O’Neil, Chief U.S. District Judge; McGregor Scott, U.S. Attorney General for the Eastern District;  Daniel Jamison, Dowling Aaron; and Richard Watters with Miles, Sears & Eanni. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

Sunday, February 3, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) – Maddy Report – Valley Views EditionValley Views Edition“More Issues, Fewer Federal Judges: What Will it Mean for the Valley?”  – Guests: Lawrence O’Neil, Chief U.S. District Judge; McGregor Scott, U.S. Attorney General for the Eastern District; Daniel Jamison, Dowling Aaron, Richard Watters with Miles, Sears & Eanni; and California’s Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

Sunday, February 3, at 7:30 a.m. on UniMas 61 (KTTF) – El Informe Maddy“Immigration: Dreaming in a Sanctuary State” – Guests: Joe Hayes, Investigator PPIC and Liam Dillon with LA Times. Host: Maddy Institute Program Coordinator, Maria Jeans.


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Tyson chicken nuggets recalled, may contain rubber

Visalia Times Delta

Tyson Foods Inc. has recalled approximately 36,420 pounds of chicken nuggets because the products may be contaminated with rubber, the United States Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday.

There’s Arsenic And Lead In Many Brands Of Fruit Juice. Should You Be Concerned?

Capital Public Radio

Testing by Consumer Reports found “concerning levels” of cadmium, arsenic and lead in 21 samples of apple and other juices. But the FDA has yet to issue a guideline on arsenic limits in juice.

This May Be the Worst Regulation Ever

Wall Street Journal

In July 2016, Congress passed a law mandating that all food containing genetic material that has been modified with recombinant DNA or “gene-splicing” techniques bear labels clearly identifying it as “bioengineered.”



48 people rescued during human trafficking sting

Visalia Times Delta

Dozens of human trafficking victims are being taken care of following a three-day, statewide sting to crackdown on the crime.  More than 90 Tulare County and state law enforcement officers gathered for the fifth annual Operation Reclaim and Rebuild.

See Also:

●     PPD participates in human trafficking crackdown Porterville Recorder

2018 homicides: What Stanislaus County city broke a record? Was Modesto up, down?

Modesto Bee

The 42 homicides in Stanislaus County, CA, in 2018 is about average for the last decade but among those were nine homicides in Turlock, a record for the city. Modesto and Stanislaus County homicides were down.

Public Safety:

Pot shop alliance sues county, claims uneven enforcement of ban

Bakersfield Californian

A confederation of local cannabis dispensaries has sued Kern County in federal court, alleging its ban on medical marijuana shops violates the group’s constitutional rights.

Why Davis police won’t release video footage from Officer Natalie Corona shooting

Fresno Bee

Davis Police are won’t release body camera video footage from the Natalie Corona shooting, saying they don’t have to under a new California law requiring law enforcement to do so following “critical” incidents.

Her Husband Died By Suicide, So This Law Enforcement Wife Is Sharing His Story To Help Others


Officer Jonathan Giles was one of 12 law enforcement officers in California who took their lives last year. In total, 159 officers died by suicide in the U.S., which is more than the number who died from assault, gunfire, car crashes, and even job-related illnesses combined.


‘Safety is not your No. 1 thing.’ Judge rips PG&E over California wildfires

Fresno Bee

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that PG&E had violated the terms of its criminal probation over wildfire safety, but for the time being stopped short of ordering massive changes in how the embattled utility manages fire risk.

See also:

●     Judge: California utility PG&E put profits over wildfire safety Stockton Record

●     Judge Says PG&E Violated Its Probation In San Bruno Pipeline Explosion Case Capital Public Radio

●     What’s Next After The PG&E Bankruptcy? Capital Public Radio

●      Safety is not a top priority for PG&E, federal judge says San Francisco Chronicle

●     California lawmakers grill top utilities regulator over wildfire prevention Los Angeles Times

●     The Spark That Burned Down a Utility: The Decline and Fall of PG&E Bloomberg

●     What Happens Next for PG&E Executives? New York Times

Plans to increase vegetation treatment projects to reduce wildfire risk

Porterville Recorder

Chair of the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection Dr. Keith Gilless and CAL FIRE Director Thom Porter have announced plans to initiate preparation of the new California Vegetation Treatment Program Environmental Impact Report (CalVTP).

Camp Fire victims have been through ‘hell.’ As last shelter closes, where will they go?

Sacramento Bee

Camp Fire survivors Lisa Butcher and Randy Viehmeyer remember waking up one night to the screams of a nearby shelter resident reliving the nightmare of watching her dog burn alive.

California lawmakers grill top utilities regulator over wildfire prevention

Los Angeles Times

Under intense questioning from state lawmakers, California’s top utilities regulator said the state is ill-equipped to deal with a new reality of destructive and deadly wildfires brought on by climate change.



Magic Touch: $3M Online Fresno Business Brings Illusion To The World

Business Journal

A Fresno native, Gross began his love of magic at the age of 8, when his grandparents took him to a movie theater — back when they put on vaudeville-style acts before matinees — and he saw his first magician.

Insider info from the retail beat: What’s up with Costco, Sears shrinking, new stores?

Fresno Bee

The Sears store at Manchester Center in Fresno, California, is getting smaller and looking for retail renters. A new Costco is being built in Clovis. And Amazon lockers is expanding with 10 locations in the area.

Shaw Avenue experiences robust investment: Clovis’ Retail Corridor’s growth is the biggest since 1987

Clovis Roundup

More commercial development is expected for the area as retail users look for vacant buildings and land. This includes another hotel, additional office space, and a new Red Carpet Car Wash.

Why California Warehouses Are Bursting With Chinese Goods


Customers for Chinese goods expedited their orders in the expectation that duties would rise at the end of 2018, which had the benefit of cushioning the blow from the trade war on China’s economy through most of last year.

Stocks jump after Fed indicates patience on interest rate increases

Los Angeles Times

U.S. stocks jumped Wednesday after the Federal Reserve signaled it could hold off on interest rate increases in the coming months, citing muted inflation.

See also:

●     Federal Reserve says it will be ‘patient’ on rate hikes, a change that Trump urged Washington Post

Checking Howard Schultz’s claim that 40% of Americans don’t have $400 in the bank


Former Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz told CBS’ “60 Minutes” that he’s “seriously considering” a 2020 run for the White House.

U.S. Economy Is Slowing, Survey Says

Wall Street Journal

The U.S. economy’s brief flirtation with 3% growth is over for now, economists say, cut short by a dimming global outlook, market tremors and sluggish business investment.

See also:

●     CBO projects modest growth and wide deficits AEI

U.S. Trade Policy Primer: Frequently Asked Questions

Congressional Research Service

Since the end of World War II, U.S. trade policy has focused on fostering an open, rules-based global trading system, liberalizing markets by reducing trade and investment barriers through negotiations and agreements, and enforcing trade commitments.


Democrats renew push for equal pay for equal work


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says every member of her caucus signed onto an effort reintroducing the Paycheck Fairness Act, and with the partial government shutdownfinally over, her new majority is pressing on with its agenda.



Assistant principal sexually abused homeless student, lawsuit alleges

Bakersfield Californian

A former Highland High School student is suing the Kern High School District and former Assistant Principal Mark Weir, claiming Weir sexually abused him. The abuse lasted until after the victim left the school in 2011, according to the lawsuit.

FUSD receives grant money for security cameras in elementary schools


Eight elementary schools in Fresno Unified received grant money from Measure “X” funding to install video cameras. The project is designed to improve safety for students and staff.

MUSD Area 5 Trustee certified

Madera Tribune

County Registrar of Voters Rebecca Martinez has certified the result of the Madera Unified School District’s governing board trustee Area 5 election, conducted as part of the November 2018 General Election.

Hoping for the best, preparing for the worst

Hanford Sentinel

Hanford Police School Resource Officer Per Westlund, assigned to Hanford Elementary School District, is always looking for ways to keep his students and staff safe.

Can Frontier High teacher who allegedly appeared in porn videos keep her job? Attorneys weigh in

Bakersfield Californian

Based on the allegations, it appears the Frontier High School teacher believed to have appeared in pornographic online videos did nothing illegal. That may not matter when it comes to whether she keeps her job.

California schools help unaccompanied immigrant students combat trauma, language barriers


José Sánchez crossed three borders on his own to get to Oakland, California when he was just 17. But once here, he found another barrier that proved even more difficult to overcome — graduating high school.

Higher Ed:

Deadline 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.

Jean Fuller discusses legislation that allows college students to save money and time

Bakersfield Californian

Jean Fuller discusses legislation that allows college students to save money and time. Early College at Bakersfield College. Simultaneous HS diploma and AA degree or work certification at local High Schools.

Bakersfield College to offer classes in Wasco

Bakersfield Californian

Bakersfield College will soon begin offering classes in Wasco through the Wasco Adult Education Center. The college will be offering classes, counseling services and matriculation support, with a plan to bring other services to the center in the near future.



NOAA appears to dispute Trump tweet casting doubt on global warming


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration denied that it was sending President Donald Trump a message with a new tweet directed at climate change deniers.

See also:

·       No, this polar vortex doesn’t disprove global warming  Sacramento Bee

Living In One Of The Most Polluted Places In California

Capital Public Radio

Imperial County does not meet federal air quality standards, and state officials are working on plans to begin to decrease pollution.  Only two other places in California have the same distinction, the San Joaquin Valley and the South Coast Air Basin, which includes most of Los Angeles County.

National parks reopen, some more quickly than others, after shutdown

Los Angeles Times

National parks started to return to regular operations, some more quickly than others, after the 35-day partial government shutdown ended.

See Also:

●     Piles of poop, toilet paper ‘flowers’ greet rangers as parks reopen after government shutdown Los Angeles Times


6 threats to California’s power grid

Merced Sun-Star

Fire, cyberattacks and animals are just some of the threats to California’s power grid that could lead to electrical outages.

See also:

●     A web of threats to California’s power supply could leave the state in the dark CALmatters

Are California’s solar and wind projects at risk in PG&E bankruptcy?

San Jose Mercury

PG&E has asked a bankruptcy judge for the authority to nullify billions of dollars in contracts with solar and wind farms.



American Lung Assoc graded tobacco policies across CA. How did your city score?

Fresno Bee

A recent report by the American Lung Association says California remains one of the top states in the U.S. in terms of curbing tobacco use, but cities in the central San Joaquin Valley didn’t score well.

See also:

●     Several counties in the Valley receive poor grades for tobacco prevention programs abc30

Some Drug Users in Western U.S. Seek Out Deadly Fentanyl. Here’s Why.


For many drug users, fentanyl is a high-value drug that, if used carefully, can prevent dope sickness and deliver a strong high for a fraction of the price of heroin.

Human Services:

Did dropping tax penalty hurt Covered California enrollment? The numbers are in

Sacramento Bee

Despite the elimination of a tax penalty for those who forgo health insurance, enrollment in Covered California’s health plans remained at almost the same level as last year, with more than 1.5 million people signing up.

See also:

●     Enrollments plummet in Covered California health plans with end of tax penalty Los Angeles Times

●     Covered California sees largest decline of new signups in six-year history San Francisco Chronicle

Newsom’s move: Not yet health care for all, but health care for more


It was way easier for candidate Gavin Newsom to endorse single-payer health care coverage for everyone than it is now for Gov. Newsom to deliver it.

Interactive: A Look at Child Poverty across California


Governor Newsom’s first budget proposal included notable efforts to address poverty—especially child poverty—by increasing CalWORKs cash assistance grants, expanding assistance to low-income parents pursuing higher education, and further expanding the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit.

VA Issues New Rules Expanding Access to Private Care

Wall Street Journal

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced new rules greatly expanding the amount of medical care provided to military veterans through the private sector, potentially costing billions of dollars and fueling debate over the privatization of the health services.

Clovis Rodeo donates $12,000 to Valley Children’s Hospital

CLovis Roundup

The Clovis Rodeo Association and Valley Children’s Healthcare partnered in Oct. 2018 to host the second annual Kids, Cowboys, & Clays fundraiser at Sun Mountain Gun Club in Coarsegold.

Aetna settles Calif privacy lawsuit over mailings that exposed patients’ HIV status

Fresno Bee

The $935,000 settlement was announced Wednesday, and court documents detail the 2017 breach of patient confidentiality that led to the lawsuit and a multimillion-dollar class action settlement.

Would loans have helped keep TRMC open?

Visalia Times Delta

Monday kicked off a hearing to determine whether Dr. Benny Benzeevi should be given access to his $1 million bank account seized during an investigation headed by the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office.


In break with past policy, US tells first asylum seeker to wait in Mexico


The U.S. has begun turning back asylum seekers at the border, with the first person Tuesday being told to wait in Mexico.

Under Trump, more kids separated at border than originally estimated


Under President Donald Trump’s administration, more kids may have been separated from their parents at the border, according to an internal government report.

U.S. Navy veteran must surrender to ICE, could face deportation over criminal past

Fresno Bee

A U.S. Navy veteran facing possible confinement in an immigration facility or deportation due to his criminal history has asked Sen. Dianne Feinstein to intervene ahead of his Feb. 12 surrender to a Fresno ICE office.

Pentagon sending about 2,000 additional US troops to southern border


About 2,000 additional active duty U.S. troops are expected to deploy to the southern border, joining about 2,350 already deployed across Texas, Arizona and California.

’Woken Up’ By Trump Presidency; Southeast Asian Immigrants Flock To Citizenship Classes


Last summer, The Department of Homeland Security put restrictions on visas from Laos, sending ripples of fear and paranoia through the community. Visa sanctions were initiated after the Laos government refused to take back people the U.S. deported.

U.S. Changes Visa Process for High-Skilled Workers

Wall Street Journal

The Trump administration unveiled changes to how the coveted visas for high-skilled foreign workers are allocated, starting this April, in an effort to boost the number awarded to people with advanced degrees from U.S. universities.

EDITORIAL: Fighting Central American corruption will help prevent migration more than any border wall

Los Angeles Times

If Trump sincerely believes there is a humanitarian crisis at play, then he also needs to recognize that holding up a stop sign on the border won’t resolve it.


Land Use:

Meeting To Discuss Proposed RV & Camping Park On Road 632

Sierra News

Developer Red Tail Acquisitions LLC will host a public meeting on Thursday, Jan. 31, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Pavillion Building of the Oakhurst Community Center to get public comment on the RV and camping park proposed for Road 632 (Sky Ranch Road).

Stockton Council To Update Public On Effort To Preserve Swenson Golf Course

Capital Public Radio

Last year, Mayor Michael Tubbs said the city could not afford to subsidize its two municipal golf courses at more than $800,000 a year.


Rise in homelessness expected to be shown in recent count

Bakersfield Californian

Kern County officials expect to see a rise in homelessness after completing an expansive count of the homeless countywide.

See also:

●     Fresno’s homeless population has grown over 30-% in 2 years abc30

●     Stockton Council Members, Volunteers Hit Streets To Count The Homeless Capital Public Radio

Visalia has the most affordable homes in the state, says study


Visalia’s median multiple is a 3.6, putting it at the top of the list for most affordable homes in the state.

Will ‘Blue Wave’ Dems Stave Off Newsom’s Housing Suit Against Huntington Beach?

Capital Public Radio

The fact that traditionally GOP-held Huntington Beach has new Democratic legislators might enable a deal to end the state’s lawsuit over its housing plan.

California doesn’t have enough land set aside to meet Gov. Gavin Newsom’s housing goals, report says

Los Angeles Times

Among the hurdles Gov. Gavin Newsom will face in his goal to see 3.5 million new homes built across California over the next seven years is that the state hasn’t set aside enough land for that development, a forthcoming report by UCLA concludes.

See also:

●     Gov. Newsom is serious about building more houses across the state Modesto Bee

Santa Rosa’s new granny unit policies spur secondary home spike as city works to build housing

Press Democrat

New data shows Santa Rosa received more applications to build “granny units” last year than it had in the entire preceding decade, evidence that the city’s efforts to spur housing just about any way it can is starting to yield results.

Home sales plunge in Southern California to lowest level since 2007, as prices inch up

Los Angeles Times

The housing market’s chill grew colder in December, as sales plunged across Southern California and home prices barely rose.

Fox: hanging Prop. 13 could worsen housing crisis. Here’s how


For four decades, Proposition 13, the property tax reform that passed in 1978, has been blamed for many of the ills that have befallen California.

EDITORIAL: It’s already hard to get a Section 8 voucher. It’s even harder to find a landlord willing to take it

Los Angeles Times

Housing subsidies are one of the fastest ways to get a homeless person off the street or to prevent someone from becoming homeless in the first place.


Bredefeld’s Money-Back Guarantee Gains New Support

GV Wire

Garry Bredefeld (District 6) and Steve Brandau (District 2) want a money-back-guarantee program for the planning department (officially called Development and Resource Management, or DARM).

Here’s what you need to know about filing your taxes


The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) approved by Congress in December of 2017 did more than just reduce the taxes taken out of our paychecks. Here are some of the most significant changes.

See also:

●     Expecting a Big Tax Refund? Don’t Be So Sure Wall Street Journal

Can Fresno Mayor Brand Forge Unity for Parks/Public Safety Tax?

GV Wire

Lee Brand is still optimistic about proposing a combined parks and public safety tax to voters in 2020. He reiterated his plan during remarks at a Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation breakfast Wednesday (Jan. 30).

California and tax reform: Easier said than done

Visalia Times Delta

Deflecting a question at a budget briefing about where he stands on a ballot proposal to raise property taxes on business, the Governor disclosed his “desire is to use this as an exercise in bringing the parties together to see if we can compromise on a more comprehensive tax package.”

Gavin Newsom’s record offers hints about how he’ll handle unions and California pensions

Sacramento Bee

Unions backed Gov. Gavin Newsom, who pledged to uphold the California Rule. His record suggests he’s open to negotiation on pensions. CCPOA, CSLEA and CHP have open or expiring contracts.


Gas is getting more and more expensive. California lawmakers demand an investigation

Fresno Bee

California has the second highest fuel costs in the nation, with gas prices only rising in recent years. A committee working on behalf of the California Energy Commission discovered an “unexplained surcharge” in September 2017 costing Californians over $17 billion since February 2015.

See also:

●     Californian lawmakers request investigation into gas surcharge abc30

Amtrak’s flash sale takes 30% off spring and summer fares

Los Angeles Times

Amtrak will take 30% off rail tickets for spring and summer travel nationwide, but only through Thursday. One-way sale fares on coach seats from Los Angeles are as low as $49 to Sacramento and $87 to Portland, Ore.

Northern California Regional Newsletter January 2019

California High-Speed Rail

Construction continues to move forward on 119 miles in the Central Valley, and we continue to advance through the environmental process in Northern and Southern California.

See also:

●     Construction Package 4 Open House California High-Speed Rail


Early winter storms bring promising snowpack


The Valley’s early winter storms have kept the skiers and snowboarders happy but, more importantly, the series of systems have created a healthy snowpack.

See Also:

●     Back-to-back storms will bring heavy rain, potential for debris flows in burn areas Los Angeles Times

Water workshop set for next weekend

Madera Tribune

Local nonprofits and others plan to host a workshop for rural residents next Saturday on how to help shape new local groundwater rules.

Prop. 218: 5 Steps for Every Water District to Prepare for their Next Rate Survey

Public CEO

State law requires that water districts notify customers of any rate adjustments through a Proposition 218 hearing. For even the most seasoned water pros, a rate survey is a trying time. It doesn’t have to be.


Baby rhino born at Fresno Chaffee Zoo. No name yet, but you can help with that

Fresno Bee

Say hello to the newest member of the Fresno Chaffee Zoo. What a cutie! A newborn baby southern white rhinoceros was born Tuesday as rhino parents Tim and Kayla welcomed their second calf into the world.

This global chain restaurant opened a location here. It has two things Fresnans love

Fresno Bee

Fried chicken and spicy flavors – two things that Fresnans apparently love. Bonchon restaurant has them both and recently opened its first location in Fresno. The global chain has 300 locations in 12 countries.

‘All-Breed Dog Show’ coming to Fresno Fairgrounds this weekend


If you’re a dog lover, the Fresno Fairgrounds is the place to be this weekend. The Sun Maid Kennel Club is hosting their All-Breed Dog Show that will feature nearly 800 dogs.

See the trio of specialty cafes opening in Modesto

Modesto Bee

Three new cafes, two bubble tea shops and a juice bar, have opened or will open along Modesto, CA’s McHenry Avenue. They are Kung Fu Tea, Quickly and Nekter Juice Bar. They sell everything from boba to pressed juice.

The Wonderful Co. hands out $600K in grants to local organizations

Bakersfield Californian

The Wonderful Co. have awarded $600,000 this year to many organizations across the Central Valley as part of its Wonderful Community Grants program.

See Also:

●     The Wonderful Company awards grants in Avenal area Hanford Sentinel

Free yoga returns to Centennial Plaza with White Wolf Wellness Foundation

Bakersfield Californian

Everyone can use a little more tranquility in their lives, and one local organization wants to break down some of the barriers that might keep people from trying yoga and enjoying its benefits.

Powerhouse Science Center begins construction, with museum slated for 2021 opening

Sacramento Bee

Construction is underway at the Powerhouse Science Center, a $50 million project slated for an early 2021 opening along the riverfront.

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

The Kenneth L. Maddy Institute at California State University, Fresno was established to honor the legacy of one of California’s most principled and effective legislative leaders of the last half of the 20th Century by engaging, preparing and inspiring a new generation of governmental leaders for the 21st Century. Its mission is to inspire citizen participation, elevate government performance, provide non-partisan analysis and assist in providing solutions for public policy issues important to the region, state and nation.

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