July 10, 2018






As seen in the legal notices: myriad school and special districts deliver daily

Bakersfield Californian

They are the governing boards you've probably never heard of. They are the hospital districts and utility districts, the irrigation districts and the community services districts. They are often close to invisible — until what they deliver stops being delivered.


Kings County judge appointed by governor

Hanford Sentinel

Gov. Jerry Brown announced the appointment of longtime attorney and Kings County Superior Court Judge Thomas DeSantos to serve as an associate justice of the Fifth District Court of Appeal.


Lonnie Shelton, one of Kern County’s greatest athletes, dies at 62

Bakersfield Californian

Sadly, one of Kern County’s all-time greats died Sunday night in Los Angeles. He was 62. Those who knew Lonnie Shelton described him as a quality person with a good heart and a humble disposition. He was also a man-amongst-boys on the field of play.




California's primary election saw higher turnout than recent years, but most voters still skipped it
Los Angeles Times
In a sign of how modest expectations have become of Californians actually casting ballots, elections officials and advocates alike found relief Monday in the final tally showing 37% of voters cast ballots in June.

See also:

     Turnout climbed to 37% in California’s primary—here’s the who, where and why CALmatters


The Strength of the Latino Vote: Current and Future Impact on the U.S. Political Landscape

California Civic Engagement Process

In the 2016 presidential election, the number of Latino voters reached nearly 13 million nationwide.  Despite their record voting numbers in 2016, Latinos are still underrepresented in the electoral process.


A Preview of the California Governor’s Election

Public Policy Institute of California

Let’s look at recent PPIC surveys to help us understand the determining factors of this outcome and the political dynamics that will surface in this fall’s matchup.


John Cox, California governor candidate, says business background a big boost

San Francisco Chronicle

Cox said business executives are best suited to lead states because they bring a bottom-line mind-set to government that career politicians don’t. After a primary candidates debate in May, Cox said voters are paying more for “gasoline, housing, water and electricity, and they can’t live.”


VC Tim Draper hired Brexit consultant for bid to split California

Mercury News

If you want to take on the difficult challenge of convincing California voters to chop up their state into three pieces, who are you going to call? How about a company that helped engineer the U.K.’s “Brexit” departure from the European Union?

See also:

       Environmental group files lawsuit to block California's split-the-state measure from November ballot Los Angeles Times


Walters: Unintended consequences of new privacy law?


When individuals, corporations, organizations and governments take actions, they often see only the potential benefits. But lurking in the shadows are unforeseen effects, very often negative ones.


Email in a Purple Haze: PERB Holds Employees Have the Right to Use Employer Email for EERA Purposes

The California Public Employment Relations Board held that an employee engages in “protected activity” by using an employer-owned email system for any purpose related to the Educational Employment Relations Act, as long as (1) the employee had legitimate access to the email system and (2) the use occurred outside of work time. (
Napa Valley Community College District (2018) PERB Decision No. 2563.)


Resistance State: California in the Age of Trump


Between Sacramento and Washington D.C. sits the rest of the country, and a chasm. One year into President Trump’s first term, the push and pull continues—playing out under the Capitol dome, in the courts and on Twitter.




Trump announces Brett Kavanaugh as Supreme Court nominee

Fresno Bee

President Donald Trump on Monday evening announced Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee to succeed Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court.

See also:

     The senators to watch as the Supreme Court nomination fight unfolds Fresno Bee

     President nominates Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court ABC30

     Brett Kavanaugh is President Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court Visalia Times-Delta

     Trump names Brett Kavanaugh as second Supreme Court pick, aiming for conservative shift Hanford Sentinel

     Analysis: Will more conservative Supreme Court lurch to the right? Mercury News

     Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh, a Washington veteran, for the Supreme Court Los Angeles Times

     Kavanaugh picked for Supreme Court: Harris will vote ‘no’; Feinstein rejects invite San Francisco Chronicle

     Trump Taps Brett Kavanaugh As His 2nd Supreme Court Pick NPR

     Kavanaugh Nomination Sparks Partisan Uproar On Abortion Rights NPR

     California political response to Trump's Supreme Court pick splits on party lines San Diego Union-Tribune

     Trump Announces Brett Kavanaugh as Supreme Court Nominee: Full Video and Transcript New York Times

     President Trump Chooses Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court Vacancy Wall Street Journal

     Brett Kavanaugh is nominated by Trump to succeed Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy Washington Post

     Trump picks conservative Kavanaugh as Supreme Court nominee Reuters

     Brett Kavanaugh Supported Broad Leeway For Presidents Under Investigation NPR

     Trump’s Pick Brett Kavanaugh to Keep Republican-Appointed Majority on Supreme Court, 48 Years Running Wall Street Journal

     Anti-abortion groups rally around Trump’s SCOTUS pick Politico

     Supreme Court nominee has been a foe of emissions rules Reuters

     What Trump’s Supreme Court pick means for the Russia probe Politico

     Trump asks business groups for help pushing Kavanaugh confirmation Politico

     Brett Kavanaugh Has Shown Deep Skepticism of Regulatory State Wall Street Journal

     Trump Taps Brett Kavanaugh For Supreme Court, Rightward Shift in Mind Roll Call

     Democrats Have Few Tactical Options to Fight Supreme Court Pick Roll Call

     Taking Life out of the Court’s Hands National Review

     Opinion: GOP Should Beware of Roe v. Wade Becoming the Fight Roll Call

     A Champion of Constitutional Safeguards Wall Street Journal

     Conservative and Liberal Groups Gird for Battle Over Kavanaugh New York Times

     Gay Marriage Is Here to Stay, Even With a Conservative Court Wall Street Journal

     Kavanaugh Resembles Roberts, But They’re Hardly Clones Bloomberg

     8 Takeaways from the Kavanaugh Pick Weekly Standard

     4 big questions about Brett Kavanaugh Washington Post

     Winners and losers from Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination  Washington Post

     Who Is Brett Kavanaugh? Wall Street Journal

     Judge Brett Kavanaugh: In His Own Words Wall Street Journal

     Kavanaugh: Separation of Powers During the Forty- Fourth Presidency and Beyond Minnesota Law Review

     EDITORIAL: Feinstein and Harris must lead the charge on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Sacramento Bee

     EDITORIAL: Why Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh may be more independent than you expect San Diego Union-Tribune

     EDITORIAL: Trump’s court and its consequences San Francisco Chronicle

     EDITORIAL: Can the Supreme Court confirmation process ever be repaired? Los Angeles Times

     EDITORIAL: Kavanaugh for the Court Wall Street Journal


Atypical Lobbying Shop Targets Lawmakers From Poorest Districts

Roll Call

An unlikely cast of lobbyists, odd bedfellows even by K Street’s typically bipartisan approach, has spent the past year nurturing a fledgling firm aimed at building coalitions between dyed-in-the-wool conservatives and lefty progressives on Capitol Hill.


Silver: Are Democrats’ Senate Chances In 2018 Overrated?


Winning in Alabama certainly makes the Democrats’ path easier: They could now gain control of the Senate by retaining all of their own seats, plus picking up the Republican held-seats in purplish Nevada and Arizona. But they’re probably still the underdogs.


Trump’s delusions are about to blow up in his own voters’ faces

Washington Post

Given how often Trump preens about his “toughness” toward China before roaring, worshipful rally crowds, it’s hard to see how he’ll back down from his escalating trade war with China, no matter what the consequences.




Freaked-Out Americans Desperately Seek to Escape the News


Camping trips, home renovation shows and even a film about Mr. Rogers help citizens tune out what most are calling the nation’s lowest point in history.


NBC’s Capitol Hill Reporter Demonstrates Why So Many Dislike the Press

National Review

Every time I criticize the mainstream press, I am treated to a saccharine lecture on how wrong I am to cast aspersions about America’s most valuable profession.


Recent Polls Overstate Public Support for Roe v. Wade

National Review

One key talking point among many abortion-rights groups is that Roe is a decision that enjoys broad public support and should be considered settled. These polls are all misleading for several reasons. First, a significant number of Americans are unfamiliar with the Roe v. Wade decision.


Money is not destiny


There is belief structure that undermines campaign reporting—and that is the widespread conviction that, in politics, money is the measure of all things.





Sunday, July 15, at 10 a.m. on ABC 30 – Maddy Report“Climate Change: Adapting to a Slow Moving Emergency” – Guest: Carole D'Elia, Little Hoover Commission. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.


Sunday, July 15, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) – Maddy Report​​ ​​ - Valley Views Edition“Adapting to Climate Change: Implications for the Valley” – Guests: John Capitman, Executive Director of the Central Valley Health Policy Institute and Seyed Sedradin, Executive Director of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.


Sunday, July 15, at 7:30 a.m. on UniMas 61 (KTTF) – El Informe Maddy: “Climate Change Legislation”  Guest: Alvar Escriva-Bou, Public Policy Institute of California. Host: Maddy Institute Program Coordinator, Maria Jeans.


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California dairy farmers, part of Trump's base, stand to get creamed by his trade war

Merced Sun-Star

They voted for Donald Trump after he promised to protect American agriculture and reduce regulations. But many U.S. dairy farmers are now stinging from the trade war he's launched, particularly those in California's Central Valley, who have built their livelihoods on exports to Mexico, China and other markets.

See also:

     Record Crop For California Almonds As Growers Uncertain About Tariffs Capital Public Radio


Three Water Challenges for Almonds

Public Policy Institute of California

California is a force of nature when it comes to almonds. The state’s farmers produce virtually the entire US almond crop and dominate the international market.


Food expo will pick top items. Walnut butter from Hughson? Plum sauce from Patterson?

Modesto Bee

A few producers in and near Modesto have entered contests at the Fresno Food Expo, which showcases California goods to the world. An expert panel from the grocery business will decide the New Product Award, to be announced at the July 26 event.


Fresh food to be distributed at giveaway in Wasco

Bakersfield Californian

A farmer’s market fresh food giveaway will take place from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday at Annin Park, 935 Gromer Ave. in Wasco. Community Action Partnership of Kern’s Food Bank program will host the no-cost farmer’s market, made possible by The Wonderful Co. through a Wonderful Community Grant.






California police killed more than 170 civilians in 2017

Sacramento Bee

As the California Legislature considers a bill that would tighten restrictions for deadly use of force by law enforcement, the state Department of Justice reported Monday an increase in the number of casualties in 2017 during confrontations between police and suspects.


Hate crimes increase again by double digits in California

Sacramento Bee

The number of hate crimes reported in California surged more than 17 percent between 2016 and 2017, according to new data released Monday by the state Department of Justice, the third straight year of double-digit increases.

See also:

     ‘Disturbing’ rise in hate crimes in California SFGate


Private prisons are California political players

Capitol Weekly

So you think privately-run prisons are a Republican thing? Perhaps in Texas and Tennessee. But in deep blue California, it is the Democrats who take in the most contributions from for-profit correctional corporations


Public Safety:


Video: The Impact of Prop 47 on Crime & Recidivism

Public Policy Institute of California

By reducing penalties for some lower-level drug and property offenses, Prop 47 marked another significant step toward reducing California’s reliance on incarceration. A panel discussion in Sacramento last Thursday encapsulated this debate.


Initiative to toughen criminal penalties and expand DNA collection makes 2020 California ballot

Los Angeles Times

California voters will decide whether to increase penalties for some crimes while expanding the collection of DNA from those convicted of nonviolent offenses under an initiative that earned a place Monday on the 2020 ballot.


Federal law? State law? Which takes precedence when you want to travel with cannabis?

Los Angeles Times

You can’t take it with you. Actually, you can. But it’s not a good idea when you’re traveling, especially for the risk-averse. We speak, of course, of cannabis; its use was approved by 57% of California voters in November 2016.


Walking Drunk Can Be Deadly

Pew Charitable Trusts

A third of pedestrians killed in crashes in 2016 were over the legal limit, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That’s nearly 2,000 people — up more than 300 since 2014.




Fire that shut down I-580 at Altamont Pass now contained

Fresno Bee

The Grant Fire, which broke out Sunday evening on the Altamont Pass and shut down Interstate 580, grew to 640 acres overnight and was 100 percent contained as of 7 a.m. Monday, according to an update by Cal Fire shared on Twitter.






Which economic stats matter most?


Four of the top stats track employment or the likelihood that businesses will hire. Those measures are important because when people have jobs, and can find jobs easily, it drives more consumer spending, home construction, auto production, vacation travel and the like.


California Trade Report for May 2018

California Center for Jobs & the Economy
Below are highlights from the recently released trade data from the US Census Bureau and US Bureau of Economic Analysis.


Opinion: he United Nations’ Patently Ridiculous Report on American Poverty

National Review

It is patently ridiculous for the U.N. to spend its scarce resources — more of which come from the United States than from any other country — studying poverty in the wealthiest country in the world, a country where the vast majority is not in poverty.


Republicans Hesitant to Cross Trump on Trade
Wall Street Journal

Lawmakers return to Washington this week with Republicans divided over how aggressively to try to defuse a trade confrontation they worry is escalating because of President Donald Trump’s policies.


China’s currency depreciation should set off alarm bells
Not only does that movement likely presage further currency depreciation in China, the world’s second-largest economy, but it also increases the likelihood that China and the United States might be drifting inexorably toward both a currency and a trade war.


‘No comment’: The death of business reporting

Washington Post

Recently I went looking for a well-run company to write about — the sort of corporate profile that used to be the bread and butter of business reporting. Today, even the prospect of a positive story can’t crack open the door to the executive suite.




The economics and emotions behind slow wage growth
The labor market appears to be quite strong, judging by June’s unemployment figures. Why aren't workers getting raises? Maybe the boss knows the answer.

See also:

     Wage Gains Threaten to Squeeze Retail, Industrial Profits Wall Street Journal


In This Economy, Quitters Are Winning

Wall Street Journal

Labor Department data show that 3.4 million Americans quit their jobs in April, near a 2001 peak and twice the 1.7 million who were laid off from jobs in April.


Trump’s fight with federal employee unions gets real on Monday

Washington Post

Federal agencies on Monday begin implementing executive orders from President Trump on how to confront employee unions, following strict guidelines likely to escalate tensions that have been building since the president took office.


New Battleground Emerges Over State, Local Government Union Fees

Route Fifty

Public worker unions that represent state and local government employees are confronting new legal challenges after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month that fees they’d been collecting from non-members were unconstitutional.






The 2020 census could undercount 1 million kids — which means less money for California schools

Los Angeles Times

Almost a quarter of the nation’s children under 5 are at risk of not being counted in the 2020 census, which could have serious implications for the well-being of children around the United States, according to a recent study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.


New desks help encourage students to learn


Digital photography and marketing students at Sunnyside High School are on the move. Enrique Villanueva is one of those students taking advantage of the new flexible workspace.


Manteca Unified combines math, nutrition lessons at junior farmers markets

Stockton Record

The Manteca Unified School District Nutrition Education department is hosting six junior farmers markets this month at various public parks to give children additional access to healthy foods, with an educational twist.


More Money – and Stricter Scrutiny – for Child Care

Pew Charitable Trusts

Research suggests that early childhood education primes young minds for academic and social success. And yet in much of the country, many parents struggle to find any day care at all.


Higher Ed:


Fresno will be site for training medical students at UCSF branch campus

Fresno Bee

Fresno will have a branch campus of the UCSF School of Medicine under a plan to train medical students and retain them as doctors to serve residents in the medically needy San Joaquin Valley.


California’s gone without higher ed affirmative action since 1996. Black enrollment at top UCs never recovered.


California’s public universities have been banned from using race in admissions decisions since voters passed Proposition 209 in 1996. The percentage of African-American, Latino and Native American freshmen enrolling at the University of California plummeted after the​​ proposition went into effect.





Environmentally minded Californians love to recycle — but it's no longer doing any good

Los Angeles Times

Californians dutifully load up their recycling bins and feel good about themselves. They’re helping the environment and being good citizens. But their glow might turn to gloom if they realized that much of the stuff is headed to a landfill.


Record heat put thousands of Californians in the dark Friday. Scientists predicted this from climate change

Washington Post

Temperatures shot up over 110 degrees in Southern California on Friday, obliterating all kinds of long-standing heat records, and the lights went out for tens of thousands of customers.


Summer means sun, fun — and coyotes?

Hanford Sentinel

As the summer stretches on and their habitat gets dryer, life will get tougher for coyotes, which will cause an increase in activity at dawn and dusk, Associate Wildlife Biologist at California Department of Fish and Game Evan King said.


California wants to protect mountain lions. The first step? Figuring out how many there are
The Tribune

Scientists are chasing mountain lions through California's backcountry in the most ambitious research project ever focused on the state's famed predator — and it could change how the species is managed.



U.S. nuclear energy industry faces collapse, experts warn
Los Angeles Times

The United States is on the verge of losing more than half of its low-carbon energy as the fight against climate change reaches a crucial point — a reality the country hasn’t fully grappled with.


Why 'Orphan' Oil and Gas Wells Are a Growing Problem for States

Pew Charitable Trusts

So-called “orphan” oil and gas wells, which have been abandoned by defunct companies that cannot pay to plug them, are a growing problem in many states thanks to a recent slump in energy prices that has forced marginal operators out of business.






Work in health care? Keep an eye on these five California bills that could become law

Sacramento Bee

Among the hundreds of bills on the Legislature's agenda for August are ones that would make key changes in the lives of California health care workers. Here are five to watch.


Health Statistics See Funding Lag Amid Boosts Elsewhere

Roll Call

Stagnant funding for federal health statistics is raising concerns among medical professionals, patient advocates and other groups that one of the national surveys used to assess the death rate from opioid abuse and average life expectancy may soon disappear.


With marijuana legal, California flooded with dubious health claims about the drug

Los Angeles Times

Spend a few minutes surfing Twitter and you’re likely to encounter a startling claim that comes without proof: Cannabis cures cancer. The online world is awash with such posts, startling scientists and physicians who are urging weed’s proselytizers to tap the brakes.


Vaping Doesn’t Often Help Smokers Quit, New Study Finds

Wall Street Journal

Makers of electronic cigarettes and other vaping devices often tout their products as smoking cessation aids. But new research suggests that the devices haven’t helped many U.S. smokers quit.


Palliative Sedation, an End-of-Life Practice That Is Legal Everywhere

Pew Charitable Trusts

Under palliative sedation, a doctor gives a terminally ill patient enough sedatives to induce unconsciousness. The goal is to reduce or eliminate suffering, but in many cases the patient dies without regaining consciousness.


EDITORIAL: California women: Do this right now if you don’t want to lose your reproductive rights

Sacramento Bee

As the Trump administration connives to turn back the clock on family planning, California women might imagine that at least their hard-won reproductive rights are safe. But the rights of California women are not safe, particularly for those who are poor and uninsured.


Human Services:


Kaweah Delta emergency department expansion underway


The department will expand into the parking lot. When the project is finished in about two years, the emergency room will double the size of the facility and expand the waiting area. The hospital is also hiring new doctors and nurses to increase staffing and speed wait times.

See also:

     Kaweah Delta ER expansion brings parking nightmare, but hope for better service Visalia Times-Delta


Monsanto 'bullied scientists' and hid weedkiller cancer risk, lawyer tells court

The Guardian

As ill California man’s landmark case begins, attorney attacks Roundup maker’s response to researchers’ findings.


Hospital Drug Discount Program Under Lawmakers’ Microscope

Roll Call

A House panel that has been scrutinizing hospitals’ use of a drug discount program will examine on Wednesday pieces of legislation that stem from members’ concerns over the discounts.


The 2018 Medicare Trustees Report: Fiscal and Policy Challenges


Medicare’s financial outlook has deteriorated in the past year, according to the latest annual report by the program’s trustees. The Medicare Hospital Insurance trust fund is projected to be depleted in 2026, three years earlier than estimated in last year’s report.




Federal judge rejects Trump lawsuit against California's sanctuary state law

Sacramento Bee

A federal judge dismissed the Trump administration's lawsuit against California's "sanctuary state" law on Monday. The decision marks a major victory for California in its ongoing battle with the federal government.

See also:

     Judge rejects Trump administration bid to indefinitely detain immigrant children with parents Los Angeles Times

     Judge dismisses parts of administration suit over California sanctuary law San Francisco Chronicle

     Judge Refuses To Block California Sanctuary State Law Capital Public Radio

     Judge Denies US Claim on 2 of 3 California Immigration Laws U.S. News


Judge denies request to detain immigrant families together

Sacramento Bee

A California federal judge on Monday rejected the Trump administration's efforts to detain immigrant families for long terms, calling it a "cynical attempt" to undo a longstanding court settlement.

See also:

     Judge rejects Trump plan to detain families together Mercury News

     Judge rejects Trump administration bid to indefinitely detain immigrant children with parents Los Angeles Times

     Just over half of children under 5 to be reunited with parents by Tuesday deadline San Diego Union-Tribune

     Judge Blocks Effort to Detain Immigrant Families Together Wall Street Journal

     Dozens of Immigrant Children Will Be Reunited With Parents AP News

     The enormous cost of toxic stress: Repairing damage to refugee and separated children Brookings

     Migrant Families Who Enter at Legal Ports Are Rarely Separated, Customs Officials Say New York Times

     Why Should a Single Federal Judge Be Able to Make Law for the Whole Country? National Review

     Lawmakers Still Being Kept out of Facilities With Immigrant Children Roll Call

     The Elites Feed Anti-Immigrant Bias Wall Street Journal

     Opinion: Conservatives advance families, strong borders, not child separation Modesto Bee


Fast-track misdemeanor immigration court rolls out with confusion, tension

San Diego Union-Tribune

A separate fast-track court designed to quickly process the steady stream of misdemeanor border crossing cases under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy rolled out Monday in San Diego in a hearing that was punctuated by moments of confusion, tension and passionate objection.

See also:

     California, long a holdout, adopts mass immigration hearings Mercury News




Land Use:


Metro Galleries plans move to 'Eastchester'

Bakersfield Californian

As rents rise in central Bakersfield and momentum moves eastward, a gallery and events business credited as being a catalyst for downtown's arts district is planning a half-mile move to the area known as Eastchester.


One million square feet of offices are headed to this downtown San Jose corner

Mercury News

City officials have green-lighted the construction of a million-square-foot office complex that could accommodate 5,000 workers in sleek, new buildings rising near Google’s planned downtown transit village.




Modesto asks public to weigh on rental inspections

Modesto Bee

Modesto will hold Monday its first of two meetings to gather public input on whether it should inspect apartments and other rental housing to ensure the meeting of basic health and safety standards, such as being free of vermin and having working plumbing.

Patti calls for ordinance aimed at homeless encampments

Stockton Record

Supervisor Tom Patti wants the county to develop and ultimately adopt an ordinance cracking down on homeless encampments and the abandonment of shopping carts in unincorporated San Joaquin County.


Facebook founder’s fund pledges $250,000 to back affordable housing ballot measure

Mercury News

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative wants you to vote yes on Prop. 1 — a state ballot measure that would funnel money to affordable housing programs — and it’s ponying up $250,000 to help make sure that happens.


The situation on the streets

San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco has doubled the money it spends on homelessness and the street population has fallen. So why does the problem feel worse than ever?


Opinion: Rising rents threaten to create more homeless

Modesto Bee

If developers are going to construct housing and drive the rents up, the process should be yoked to providing low-income housing for the very people they are hurting.



Vacant positions at Sheriff's Office drives Youngblood's request for sales tax vote

Bakersfield Californian

At Tuesday’s meeting, the Kern County Board of Supervisors will deliberate on allowing a question on the November ballot that would ask voters to raise the sales tax by 1 percent for sales in unincorporated county areas.


Despite high taxes, rich people aren't fleeing California


Far more millionaires move into California than leave, despite the state’s highest-in-the-nation income-tax rate, a new study shows.


Public opinion on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017


Polls throughout late 2017 and early 2018 showed more opposition than support from a public not deeply engaged with tax reform. The most recent polls show only a slight softening of opposition to the law.

See also:

       TV ad cherry-picks tax cut benefits to top 1% PolitiFact




Billions of dollars at stake for transportation in California gas tax repeal effort

Press Democrat

The sharpest statewide political battle this November will be fought over California’s still-new gas tax, with billions of dollars for road and transit upgrades at stake in a repeal measure that has now earned a place on the ballot.

See also:

     Contractors, labor pour millions into campaign to save California gas tax hike for road repairs Los Angeles Times


How Stanislaus County, Modesto and other cities are spending your road tax money
Modesto Bee

Whether you're happy with the transportation tax embraced by 71 percent of voters throughout Stanislaus County a year and a half ago might depend on where you live. Road projects have been popping up since, here and there. But not everywhere.

What will become of Modesto's J Street? City Council needs longer to decide

Modesto Bee

Modesto is not yet ready to make a decision on whether to remake J Street — a major downtown thoroughfare — into what supporters call a destination street that will slow and reduce traffic while drawing in people to walk and shop along the street.


Have you mapped your route? Demaree expansion begins

Visalia Times-Delta

After years of work to create a plan to expand one of northwest Visalia's busiest intersections, construction is set to begin. City planners are hoping when the project is complete, traffic flow will improve in Northwest Visalia.


Going to the DMV? Be prepared

Mercury News

It’s a scene that’s been playing out across the state, said Assembly member Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, who’s been fielding an increased number of complaints from constituents. Now he and two other legislators are calling for an audit to address the recent increase in wait times.


The age of scooter sharing is upon us


Electric scooters from companies like Bird and Lime have overtaken the streets in several international cities. Now lawmakers are struggling to regulate the newest thing in urban mobility.

See also:

     A Taste of Lime: Uber Invests in an Electric Scooter Company New York Times




Be prepared to reduce water use. Here’s why


Hoping to save California’s remaining fisheries, the State Water Resources Control Board on Friday proposed  dedicating much more river water to the environment and less to farms, industry and individuals.


Dunbar: We must fight the water grab, not just talk about it
Modesto Bee

Friday, the board’s regulators released their plan to disrupt a century of California water law and demand twice as much water flow down the Tuolumne, Stanislaus and Merced rivers in a purported effort to save salmon.

Appeals court rejects effort to tear down Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Reservoir

San Francisco Chronicle

The push to drain Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and restore the Sierra canyon to its natural state was rejected by the courts — again — Monday, though opponents of the dam said they plan to take their fight to the California Supreme Court


Abolishing a water district isn't easy — even when it's accused of nepotism, mismanagement and delivering brown water
Los Angeles Times
For its litany of problems, it’s been hard to kill the tiny Sativa Los Angeles County Water District. It has survived scandals involving financial instability, nepotism, poor maintenance and mismanagement.


Paying for Water’s “Fiscal Orphans”

Public Policy Institute of California

California’s water system is generally well funded and adequately maintained, but there are a few areas that lack a steady funding source. The most prominent of these “fiscal orphans” are safe drinking water for disadvantaged rural communities, flood management, stormwater management, and water for the environment.




Three new-to-Fresno restaurants to bring Korean fried chicken, giant sandwiches, more

Fresno Bee

Fresno is the final frontier, at least when it comes to these three chain restaurants. The three restaurants all have multiple locations in Southern and Northern California. They're all planning new restaurants in Fresno, though they won't open for many months.


Cool off with sweet treats at 3 popular spots in Madera


Got a hankering for sweet treats? Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top sweet treat hot spots in Madera, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of where to go for paletas (ice pops), frozen yogurt and ice cream.


Chamber announces Lifetime Achievement Awards

Madera Tribune

This annual affair is a tribute to the life and work of five Madera civic leaders. Selected by members of the chamber board of directors, this year’s recipients have left their marks on the community through public services in an assortment of arenas.


Rodeo: It's more than a sport, it's a way of life for these Tulare County competitors

Visalia Times-Delta

Every conversation made between rodeo competitors ends in "good luck," said 16-year-old Kaiden Ayers. On Sunday, Ayers wished her long-time rodeo buddy, Lizzie Stewart, the best during a Jr. Rodeo competition at Woodlake Lions Rodeo grounds.




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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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