January 8, 2019



North SJ Valley:

Merced County is ‘healthy, not wealthy,’ new supe says in opening remarks

Merced Sun-Star

Los Banos native Scott Silveira joined the Merced County Board of Supervisors Monday, saying elected officials and county employees should strive for service.

Merced County’s new district attorney takes office

Merced Sun-Star

Merced County’s new district attorney took the oath of office Monday afternoon in during a ceremony on the steps of the Merced County Courthouse Museum.

Stanislaus County officials take oath of office

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County officials elected in November took the oath of office on Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Modesto, California.

See Also:

●     Berryhill is no-show for county swearing-in ceremony. What are the possible reasons why?Modesto Bee

Central SJ Valley:

Welcome to California’s Unemployment Belt


The state’s inland metropolitan areas are plagued by stubbornly high joblessness. That’s not healthy.

South SJ Valley:

Supervisor Couch will hold the gavel this term

Bakersfield Californian

The Kern County Board of Supervisors have named David Couch as Chairman of the Board. Couch, who was recently re-elected in November, received unanimous approval from his colleagues in a vote that occurred during a special supervisors meeting Monday at noon.


Local politicians hope for party collaborations under new governor


In his speech, newly-elected Governor Gavin Newsompromised to follow in the progressive footsteps of Jerry Brown. The governor mentioned many of the promises he made during his campaign. The new governor also mentioned the Central Valley.

See Also:

●     Gavin Newsom criticizes Trump White House’s ‘incompetence’ in inaugural speechFresno Bee

●     Gavin Newsom’s first pat on the back was tiny, but has big implicationsFresno Bee

●     Gavin Newsom sworn in as California’s 40th governorabc30

●     Day 1 is kind to Gavin Newsom: First-day speech gets praise from both partiesModesto Bee

●     Read Gov. Gavin Newsom’s inaugural addressLos Angeles Times

●     Newsom rebukes White House in inaugural address Stockton Record

●     California’s Newsom rebukes White House in inauguralBakersfield Californian

●     California welcomes new governorBakersfield Californian

●     ‘One House For One California’: Governor Gavin Newsom Talks Growth, Unification At Inauguration SpeechCapital Public Radio

●     As Gavin Newsom Becomes Governor, How He Could Shape California’s Future—Issue By IssueCapital Public Radio

●     Schwarzenegger On Gavin Newsom: ‘The Key Thing Is That He Governs For The People’Capital Public Radio

●     As California’s most powerful politician, Gov. Newsom’s choices to wield that influence seem boundlessLos Angeles Times

●     Gov. Gavin Newsom promises a ‘progressive, principled’ CaliforniaSan Francisco Chronicle

●     Governor Dad: How Gavin Newsom’s kids are about to shape CaliforniaCALmatters

●     Opening remarks: Gov. Gavin Newsom takes the reins of state governmentCALmatters

●     Politifact CA: Fact-checking California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Inauguration Speech  PolitiFact California

●     Gavin Newsom’s son steals the show PolitiFact

●     As Newsom takes office, liberal California fully embraces its role as the ‘state of resistance’Washington Post

●     EDITORIAL: Brown to Newsom — from austere to audaciousSan Francisco Chronicle

●     EDITORIAL: Governor Newsom’s defining challengeFresno Bee

●     EDITORIAL: Gavin Newsom has a daunting task in front of him. California needs him to thrive Los Angeles Times

Day 1 is kind to Gavin Newsom: First-day speech gets praise from both parties

Sacramento Bee

“To Governor @GavinNewsom and first partner @JenSiebelNewsom, congratulations and best of luck. It is a great honor to serve the people of CA and I’m proud of you. I am here if you need anything at all,” Arnold Schwarzenegger, the last Republican governor, wrote on Twitter. 

See also:

●     Bretón: Gavin Newsom’s first pat on the back was tiny, but has big implicationsSacramento Bee

Passing The Torch, California Gov. Jerry Brown Tells Newsom, ‘Don’t Screw It Up’Valley Public Radio

Depending on how you interpreted Gavin Newsom’s campaign slogan “Courage For a Change,” he either has more courage than Jerry Brown — his campaign says that’s not what they meant — or that Newsom has the courage needed to bring about big changes. 

See Also:

●     Jerry Brown and former first dog Colusa head into the sunset — on TwitterFresno Bee

●     In True Jerry Brown Style, California’s Longest Serving Governor Challenges Every Premise, From Legacy To RetirementCapital Public Radio

My turn: Here’s a way to help California can get moving again


California’s promise to move people and goods efficiently and safely remains a cornerstone of economic, social and environmental quality for all.

What Jerry Brown Means to California 

New York Times

Tracing the strands of the retiring governor and his family offered a way to make sense of the Golden State.

California: New Laws 2019

Capital Public Radio

Every year hundreds of new California laws take effect Jan. 1. Many of them won’t have much effect on your daily life. Here’s a closer look at some that might in 2019.


Racist? Immoral? The shutdown fight becomes a rhetorical war

Fresno Bee

Sen. Lindsey Graham declared there would be no deal to end the government shutdown until Democrats stopped calling Republicans “racists” — the latest example of incendiary rhetoric in both parties.

See Also:

●     Fact Check: Can Trump Use Emergency Powers To Build The Wall?Capital Public Radio

●     Trump Sees Border Wall As Another Boost For U.S. Steel IndustryCapital Public Radio

●     Trump will address nation and visit border to press for a wall as shutdown drags on  Los Angeles Times

●     Why Trump can’t simply build his wall. Hint: It’s that pesky ConstitutionLos Angeles Times

●     Listen: Can Trump declare a national emergency to build a border wall? Brookings

●     AP Explains: Can Trump declare emergency to build his wall?AP News

●     Fact Check: Trump’s Emergency Powers And The Border WallNPR

●     Trump to Appeal to Public in Push for WallWall Street Journal

●     The Trump administration’s misleading spin on immigration, crime and terrorismWashington Post

●     Has the Trump administration spent only 6 percent of border money?PolitiFact

●     Democratic Spin on Border Security FundsFactCheck.org

●     EDITORIAL: Fake emergency, real abuseSan Francisco Chronicle

Joe Biden expected to announce plans for 2020 election in coming weeks


Former Vice President Joe Biden will soon announce his plans for the 2020 election. According to CNN, Biden is in the final stages of deciding if he’ll made a bid to become the 46th President of the United States. The official decision is expected in the coming month.

Eyeing 2020, Harris addresses prosecutorial past in memoir

Associated Press

As she nears a decision on whether to seek the presidency, Sen. Kamala Harris is taking on what could be a hurdle in a Democratic primary: her past as a prosecutor. 

See also:

●     Kamala Harris readies her 2020 rolloutPolitico

What really happens during a government shutdown, explained

Roll Call

President Donald Trump and Congress continue to spar over federal funding for the remaining seven bills left to pass for fiscal year 2019. As the shutdown drags on, what really happens? Roll Call explains who is affected and what the impact of a government shutdown entails.

Can House Democrats release Donald Trump’s tax returns?


As Democrats edge closer to taking control of the U.S. House, many of the party’s supporters are wondering what, if anything, the new House majority can do to obtain and make public President Donald Trump’s tax returns.

EDITORIAL: Majority Preservation Act

Wall Street Journal

The first House Democratic bill aims to hamstring opponents.


California’s first Muslim judge on faith and public service


Justice Halim Dhanidina was recently elevated to California’s Courts of Appeal, making him the state’s most senior judge of Muslim faith. 


Sunday, January 13, at 10 a.m. on ABC 30 –Maddy Report:“Billions for Questionable Medi-Cal Payments:  What Went Wrong?”– Guest: California State Auditor, Elaine Howle.Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

Sunday, January 13, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) – Maddy Report – Valley Views EditionValley Views Edition“The Senior Boom: Preparing for the Baby Boom Aftershock”  – Guest: PPIC Analyst Laurel Beck.Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

Sunday, January 13, at 7:30 a.m. on UniMas 61 (KTTF) – El Informe Maddy“San Joaquin Valley Water: a comprehensive review”– Guest: Alvar Escriva-Bou, expert Public Policy Institute of California. Host: Maddy Institute Program Coordinator, Maria Jeans.


We spend hours collecting articles from local, state and national sources to provide you with a thorough and balanced review of public policy issues that directly impact the Valley to produce the Maddy Daily.  

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Law enforcement reminds ag workers to take precaution following fatal industrial accident 


As investigators look into what led up to the death of two workers at a Fresno County farm, Sheriff’s deputies are stressing how incidents like this can be avoided.

Local grower’s ‘brand ambassador’ lights up social media with Golden Globes showing

Bakersfield Californian

The marketing geniuses behind one of Kern County’s powerhouse brands have done it again. What looked to many like an oddly prolific photobomber at Sunday’s Golden Globes awards ceremony was actually an ambassador for Fiji Water, one of many brands owned by local citrus and fruit grower The Wonderful Co.

Firms race to get the first cell-based ‘meat’ to market

San Francisco Chronicle

A group of companies are vying to get the first cell-based meat to market: a meat product created with in-vitro cells derived from chicken, fish, beef or pork, rather than from slaughtered animals.



Mental illness increasingly helps defendants avoid trial. But not always.

Modesto Bee

Whether more of the general population is mentally ill, or claiming a mental defect is increasingly popular as a legal maneuver, is open to debate.

Public Safety:

144 police officers died in the line of duty in 2018, reversing a one-year decline

Visalia Times Delta

While Tulare police will remember slain police dog, Bane, this week, law enforcement across the nation have had to face a reality — more officers are dying in the line of duty.

‘A new day’ at SJ Sheriff’s Office

Stockton Record

Seven months after voters had their say, new San Joaquin County Sheriff Pat Withrow has finally taken the reins from Steve Moore, the three-term incumbent he defeated decisively in last June’s election.

Some States Change Census Count of Prison Inmates

PEW Trusts

More states plan to count state prisoners as residents of their home communities, rather than residents of the places where they are incarcerated — a change that would shift political power away from conservative rural areas to more liberal cities during legislative redistricting.


How PG&E Lobbied for Wildfire Protection

New York Times

After California’s deadliest wildfireall but wiped out the town of Paradise and killed 86 people in November, calls have risenfor Pacific Gas & Electric to be held financially accountable for any role the company may have played in sparking the blaze.

Lodi Animal Shelter Out Of Space, In Part Due To Wildfires

Capital Public Radio

Officials with the shelter say the recent wildfires have worsened the situation, leaving many animals without a home and affecting adoptions in Lodi.



What would happen if PG&E sold its gas business or filed for bankruptcy?

Los Angeles Times

California’s largest power company faces an existential crisis as it confronts the looming possibility of tens of billions of dollars in wildfire liability.

See also:

●     PG&E shares are hammered as potential liabilities mountabc30

●     Devastating Wildfires Force California’s Largest Utility To Plan Sale Of Gas AssetsValley Public Radio

●     PG&E in trouble: Will the lights stay on? Will customers pay more?San Francisco Chronicle

●     PG&E tanks on Wall Street amid bankruptcy concernsSan Francisco Chronicle

●     S&P downgrades PG&E ratings to ‘junk’ statusReuters

●      PG&E Dives as Utility Giant Plays Dangerous Game With StateBloomberg

Stocks end higher, led by retailers

Los Angeles Times

Stocks rose again Monday, led by gains in retailers and smaller companies after a report showed that service-sector companies — where most Americans work — had strong December orders. Investors were also encouraged by the resumption of trade talks between the United States and China.

See also:

●     U.S., China Negotiators Narrow Differences on TradeWall Street Journal

Banks and brokers are forming a new stock market

Los Angeles Times

A group of big banks and brokers is forming a new U.S. stock market, funneling years of frustration about how much exchanges charge into the creation of a competitor.

Real Time Economics: How Long Can the Shutdown Last?

Wall Street Journal

The Trump administration is trying to ease the pain from a government shutdown entering its 18th day.

Outsmart the Scammers: How You Can Avoid Fraud

Wall Street Journal

Recognize the red flags of a potential scam so you can take steps to keep your money and information safe.

The top economic issues in 2019


David Wessel, senior fellow and director of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy, discusses the top economic issues facing the United States in the upcoming year. 


Welcome to California’s Unemployment Belt


The state’s inland metropolitan areas are plagued by stubbornly high joblessness. That’s not healthy.

Jobs for the Forgotten Man

Wall Street Journal

Wage increases are reaching even unskilled corners of the labor force.



Fresno is ‘ready’ for universal preschool. But is Newsom’s plan the best way to fund it?

Fresno Bee

Freshly sworn-in Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to propose a nearly $2 billion plan to expand early childhood education in California.

See also:

●     Gov. Newsom wants universal preschool for low-income children in California to be phased in over three years  EdSource

‘This is very personal to me’: Eleni Kounalakis pushes education at inauguration 

Fresno Bee

California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis highlighted educational issues during her inaugural address on Monday.

Special needs campus in Fresno Unified reopens after 18-month renovation


One by one students returned to Rata High School Monday morning after a break for the holidays. But the first day back to class in 2019 marks a brand new beginning at the northwest Fresno campus.

Tulare County welcomes new Superintendent of Schools

Visalia Times Delta

Jim Vidak has served educators, administrators, students and their families as the leader of Tulare County education for seven terms.  Today, his work as superintendent of schools comes to a close as he bids farewell to his 28-year position.  Tim Hire, former Exeter Unified School District superintendent, will take over at the helm. 

Academic competitions look for the best in local students

Bakersfield Californian

Students across Kern are preparing for their big shot at glory as the time nears for a series of academic events that will put their education to the test. The county Superintendent of Schools office on Monday released a list of competitions and showcases it will administer through spring.

The economy is booming. Why are so many California schools broke?

Sacramento Bee

Facing a $36 million deficit and a possible state takeover, the top budget officer at the Sacramento City Unified School District has a sober message for his counterparts around California. 

See also:

●      California education issues to watch in 2019 — and predictions of what will happenEdSource

Tony Thurmond sworn in as California’s new superintendent of public instruction


After taking the oath of office administered by retired Superior Court Judge Gordon Baranco, Thurmond said in his inaugural speech, “I could have ended up in state prison. Instead I ended up as state superintendent of public instruction. That is why it is so important to break the school to prison pipeline.” 

Higher Ed:

Deadline FAST APPROACHING:  Wonderful Public Service Graduate Fellowship

The Maddy Institute

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

Bakersfield College starts cashing in to $502 million bond with $38 million campus center

Bakersfield Californian

Bakersfield College students can expect to see more commotion on campus this spring as work begins on a few construction projects, the largest of which is a new campus center.

Should state adopt lower passing score for the bar exam? Current one may harm students of color

Sacramento Bee

A continuing decline in California’s bar exam pass rate is prompting nearly all of the state’s law school deans to call for an overhaul of the exam.




Money for repairs, visitor enhancement diverted to pay for national park cleanup


Within days of the government shutdown, the heaping messes at Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks were piling up. A problem Congressman Tom McClintock found to be more than deplorable. He says they caused health and safety concerns.

See Also:

●     National Park Service Plans To Expand Operations Amid Government ShutdownValley Public Radio

Count Finds Sharp Drop In Monarch Butterflies In California

Capital Public Radio

Researchers with an environmental group have labeled as “disturbingly low” the number of western monarch butterflies that migrate along the California coast.

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions spiked in 2018 — and it couldn’t happen at a worse time

Washington Post

U.S. carbon dioxide emissions rose an estimated 3.4 percent in 2018, according to new research — a jarring increase that comes as scientists say the world needs to be aggressively cutting its emissions to avoid the most devastating effects of climate change.


California Energy Price Data for December 2018

Center for Jobs and the Economy

To view additional data and analysis related to the California economy visit www.centerforjobs.org/ca.

Before the Electric Car Takes Over, Someone Needs to Reinvent the Battery


Solid-state technology promises to be cheaper and charge faster than anything on the road today. But no one is close to figuring it out.



‘You’re here again.’ Mom says she was shamed at Fresno OB-GYN for having another baby

Fresno Bee

A mother says she was shamed at a Fresno OB-GYN office for becoming pregnant again – spurring complaints from several other women who allege they have been insulted by the same nurse practitioner.

Social media linked to higher risk of depression in teen girls


Social media has been linked to a higher risk of depression among teenage girls. That’s according to a new study involving nearly 11,000 teenagers in Britain. Researchers found that girls were twice as likely as boys to show depressive symptoms linked to social media use.

Some Drug Users in Western U.S. Seek Out Deadly Fentanyl

PEW Trusts

Fentanyl-seekers reported in San Francisco Tenderloin district, and nowhere else.

The FDA is still letting doctors implant untested devices into our bodies

Washington Post

A proposed reform would exempt many of the most dangerous products from clinical trials.

Human Services:

Gavin Newsom’s health plan would restore Obamacare mandate, expand access for undocumented

Fresno Bee

California Governor Gavin Newsom on Jan. 7, 2019 released a health care plan that would reinstate Obamacare’s individual mandate, expanded access for undocumented immigrants and allow drug price negotiations.

See Also:

●     Gavin Newsom’s first actions as governor target health careabc30

●     Gavin Newsom’s first hires suggest the next California governor has big health care plansSacramento Bee

●     Newsom proposes healthcare mandate and Medi-Cal expansion to more immigrants without legal statusLos Angeles Times

●     Gov. Gavin Newsom throws California into battle against health care costsSan Francisco Chronicle

●     Newsom’s First Act as Governor? Expanding Health CoverageKQED

Sun, fun, stay, weigh in: Residents rankle at Bakersfield’s low rating for active living

Bakersfield Californian

Getting fit isn’t exactly easy. That’s why it’s such a common New Year’s resolution. But in addition to the hard work of working out, it’s possible that where we live might be making it even more difficult.

Prescription Drug Costs Driven By Manufacturer Price Hikes, Not Innovation

Capital Public Radio

A recent study shows the cost of brand-name drugs is rising — not because of expensive new therapies entering the market but because manufacturers are raising prices on existing drugs.

See also:

●     The Drug Price-Control ThreatWall Street Journal


For asylum seekers, a wall of support by strangers

San Francisco Chronicle

On a gray November afternoon, outside a U.S. Department of Homeland Security building in San Francisco, a dozen people joined hands to pray.

Only six immigrants in terrorism database stopped by CBP at southern border from October to March

NBC News

The low number contradicts statements by Trump administration officials.


Land Use:

Kingsburg cracking down on code to restore historic buildings


The Swedish Mill in Kingsburg has stood dormant for years, the parking lot empty and the windmill motionless. It is an issue the city faces with other empty buildings as well. Things needed to change, so the City of Kingsburg started to crack down by strengthening their abatement laws.

Fresno Is 2019’s 5th Worst City for an Active Lifestyle

WalletHub Study

To determine where Americans have the best chance of balancing a healthy diet with ample physical activity, WalletHub compared the 100 biggest U.S. cities across 38 key metrics. The data set ranges from average monthly fitness-club fee to bike score to share of physically inactive adults.


Are we making housing even less affordable in Merced?

Merced Sun-Star

Dreams of linking Merced to Silicon Valley are great for those living over there. But what about people who live here and who can’t afford a home?

More housing for homeless on docket for supervisors meeting

Bakersfield Californian

New efforts to combat homelessness will be taken up at Tuesday’s Kern County Board of Supervisors meeting.

Newsom must prioritize affordable middle-class housing

San Francisco Chronicle

With a 62 percent electoral mandate, legislative supermajority and large war chest, Gavin Newsom is in a better position than any governor in recent memory to address California’s housing and homelessness crisis.

More First-Time Home Buyers Are Turning to the Bank of Mom and Dad 

Wall Street Journal

Among borrowers using FHA loans, which come with low down payments, more than 26% tap relatives for financial help. That’s up from 22% in 2011.


IRS workers across the country, in Fresno to rally over government shutdown on Thursday


More than 5,000 IRS workers in Fresno make up the biggest chapter of the National Treasury Employees Union, and most are not working, and they are feeling the pain of the shutdown.

See Also:

●     2018 income tax refunds will go out on time despite shutdownabc30

●     Administration: Government shutdown won’t delay tax refundsSacramento Bee

●     Despite 70,000 Furloughed IRS Workers, White House Vows Refunds Will Be IssuedCapital Public Radio

How tax brackets actually work: A simple visual guide

Washington Post

In a recent “60 Minutes” interview, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) proposed raising the federal tax rate on incomes above $10 million up to 70 percent. The move would affect less than one-tenth of 1 percentof U.S. households and return the top marginal tax rate to its 1980 level.

Non-Pension Retirement Benefit Costs Stacking Up

PEW Trusts

State governments face mounting costs for non-pension retirement benefits—mainly consisting of health care expenses, newly updated figures from The Pew Charitable Trusts indicate.


Pilots worry national shortage puts passengers in danger


Safety in the skies: Airlines around the world are scrambling to fill vacant pilot seats, but are they willing to sacrifice safety to do that? That’s the debate raging right now in the airline industry.

City staff wants you to stop at this northwest Visalia intersection

Visalia Times Delta

Visalia city staff wants to give motorists a heads up about an upcoming change to traffic flow in northwest Visalia.  An all-way stop sign will soon be posted at the Giddings Street and Riggin Avenue intersection.

Real ID hits a bump, but if you already have yours, don’t panic. It will work

Los Angeles Times

Just when we thought it was safe to stop writing about Real ID, along comes a bump in the road. How big a bump? Depends on your perspective. It’s a bit of news that got buried in the holiday rush.

Gender inequality in auto insurance rates no longer allowed

San Francisco Chronicle

California’s outgoing insurance commissioner has banned the apparently widespread practice of charging different rates for male and female drivers, regardless of their records.


3 feet of snow forecast for Yosemite National Park this week, weather service says

Fresno Bee

Three feet of snow is expected to fall on Yosemite National Park this week as two storm systems move east from the Pacific. Rain and heavy winds are in the forecast for much of the central San Joaquin Valley floor.

See Also:

●     Storm by the numbers: A look at the weekend’s record-setting precipitationSacramento Bee

●     Weekend storm knocks out power to thousandsStockton Record

●     Windy winter storms expected to douse Bay Area, deliver more snow to SierraSan Francisco Chronicle

California Moves, Haltingly, Toward a Post-Lawn Future


On the first Saturday of December in a northeast neighborhood of Fresno, California, Jeff Collins and his neighbors were putting up their Christmas decorations: strings of lights along identical gable roofs, animated reindeer, and inflatable snowmen. But for Collins, the task involved an extra step—laying down tarps to help the inflatables stay upright in his grass-free yard.


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Maddy Institute Updated List of San Joaquin Valley Elected OfficialsHERE.

The Kenneth L. Maddy Instituteat 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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