July 10, 2019



North SJ Valley

Grand jury says Modesto fixing problems that contributed to $16M in overspending

Modesto Bee

Modesto has taken big steps in fixing the breakdown in its purchasing practices that resulted in the city spending about $16 million over several years than had been authorized by the City Council or by the actual agreements.

California Democrat (Cong. Josh Harder) in hot election rakes in huge fundraising numbers – again

Sacramento Bee

Rep. Josh Harder raised more money than every other freshman Democrat in his first quarter in office, and his second quarter numbers show he’s not slowing down.

Central SJ Valley:

Fresno is 10th most dangerous city to ride a bike


Fresno has experienced a decline in bike commuters over the years, and a 2016 initiative to build a bike and pedestrian pathway has been stalled.

See also:

·       Fresno Canal project is meant to get people biking and walking. But there’s been little momentum Fresno Bee

Fresno Board of Supervisors approve new animal shelter location


On Tuesday, the Fresno County Board of Supervisors approved a motion to purchase a property to house the new county animal shelter. The current shelter is housed on the property of an old morgue in West Central Fresno.

Grand Jury blows lid off failures in Madera city government

Madera Tribune

The recently released 2018-2019 Madera County Grand Jury report has found “the public had reasons to be alarmed,” by the behavior and practices of the previous and interim city administrators and some staff, and also some current elected city officials.

See also:

●     The City of Madera: Veiled Transparency Madera Tribune

●     EDITORIAL: A tip of the hat for county Grand Jury Madera Tribune

Vice President and Second Lady to visit the South Valley


The Vice President of the United States and the second lady will be in the South Valley Wednesday. First, Vice President Mike Pence will have lunch with donors in Coalinga. Then he’ll head to Doug and Julie Freitas & Sons Farms just outside Lemoore.

See also:

●     Highway 41 near Lemoore closed Wednesday during vice president’s visit to area Fresno Bee

South SJ Valley:

New Kings County Grand Jury members

Hanford Sentinel

On July 2, the Honorable Randy Edwards, judge of the Kings County Superior Court, swore in the new 2019-2020 Grand Jury members in Department 2 of the court.

Picking a new city manager a weighty undertaking

Bakersfield Californian

The Bakersfield City Council is about to embark on an undertaking that will determine the city’s direction like no other single decision in recent memory: Finding the right person to call the shots.

Senator Shannon Grove hosts earthquake town hall in Trona Wednesday

Bakersfield Now

State Senator Shannon Grove is hosting a town hall in Trona Wednesday updating the community about the several services available for the people affected by last week’s earthquakes. Grove said state, federal and San Bernardino County officials will be in attendance Wednesday to update the current recovery efforts and status.

Greenpower President Named To Board Of Directors

The Business Journal

Canada’s GreenPower Motor Company, which manufactures all-electric busses out of two Porterville facilities, has appointed the company’s president to its board of directors.

California’s sustainable development (Bakersfield Ranked 101 out of 105)

Sacramento Bee

Several California regions cracked the top tier of 105 U.S. cities surveyed in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 report.


See the California cities where Republicans, Democrats are gaining – and losing – voters

Sacramento Bee

Among the roughly 300 California cities with at least 10,000 registered voters, the number of voters declining to state a party preference grew by about 1.8 million, or 64 %, from 2009 to 2019, according to the California Secretary of State.

Mathews: California Redistricting Commission Will Soon Be Toast

Fox & Hound

This may be the last version of the California redistricting commission. That may sound like a surprising prediction. After all, many commentators, including Joel Fox in this space, have argued that redistricting commissions may become more important as a result of a U.S. Supreme Court decision in late June.

Covered California says consumers will see lowest-ever premium hike for individual policies

Fresno Bee

Covered California announced Tuesday morning that it expects an average premium increase of 0.8 percent for 2020 in the state’s individual marketplace, the lowest such rate change since the health insurance exchange started business in 2013.

See also:

●     With Aca’s Future In Peril, California Reins In Rising Health Insurance Premiums The Business Journal

●      California Individual Health Insurance Rates To Increase Slightly Capital Weekly

CA gives immigrants here illegally unprecedented rights, benefits, protections

Los Angeles Times

It started with in-state tuition. Then came driver’s licenses, new rules designed to limit deportations and state-funded healthcare for children. And on Monday, in a gesture heavy with symbolism, came a new law to erase the word “alien” from California’s labor code.

Lawmakers must protect the California Consumer Privacy Act, not weaken it


A research study by my organization, Common Sense, shows that more than 9 in 10 parents and teens think it’s important that websites clearly label what data they collect and how it will be used.

Gavin Newsom signed a law changing the definition of beer in California

Sacramento Bee

Tom McCormick, executive director of the California Craft Brewers Association, said the new law won’t change what the average consumer thinks of as beer, which is made from malted grain or a malt substitute. California brewers have already been brewing beers using fruit for flavoring, he said.


Census judge denies Trump administration’s bid for new legal team

Fresno Bee

A federal judge rejected a request by the Trump administration to assign a new legal team to a lawsuit that blocked the U.S. from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

See also:

●     Judge blocks government lawyers from quitting census fight Bakersfield Californian

●     Trump puts the census citizenship question back in play Brookings

●     EDITORIAL: Trump searches for a lie to justify adding a citizenship question to the census Los Angeles Times

●     Census Case Judge Rejects Trump Plan to Switch Legal Team Wall Street Journal

Senate confirms Trump’s appointment to Ninth Circuit appeals court

San Francisco Chronicle

President Trump’s nomination of Washington, D.C., attorney Daniel Bress to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco was confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday on a party-line vote, giving Trump seven appointees to a court he has regularly denounced.

See Also:

●     California Senators Struggle in Vain to Block Trump Judges National Journal

U.S. Appeals Court Rules Trump Violated First Amendment By Blocking Twitter Followers

Capital Public Radio

The judges upheld a lower court decision that found Trump used the platform for official purposes, which precludes him from banning users because they disagree with his views.

See also:

●     A court rules (unpersuasively) that Trump can’t block critics on Twitter Los Angeles Times

●     Court rules Trump can’t deny access to his tweets San Francisco Chronicle

Trump says he’ll look into Labor Secretary Acosta’s lenient plea deal with Jeffrey Epstein

Los Angeles Times

President Trump said Tuesday that he would look “very carefully” at Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta’s lenient plea deal with a sex offender more than a decade ago as the embattled Cabinet member came under mounting pressure from Democrats to resign.

GOP touts swing-districts poll showing opposition to Trump impeachment

San Francisco Chronicle

When Orange County Rep. Katie Porter called last month for impeaching President Trump, she probably knew it wasn’t going to be a popular stance in a district that still leans Republican.

GOP senators sound optimistic about Trump’s new Fed picks

Roll Call

A week after President Donald Trump tweeted his intention to nominate Judy Shelton and Christopher Waller to the Federal Reserve Board, GOP senators are expressing cautious optimism about both picks, despite Shelton’s unorthodox views on monetary policy.

Feds Don’t Regulate Election Equipment, So States Are On Their Own

Behind nearly every voter registration database, voting machine and county website that posts results on Election Day, there’s an election technology company that has developed those systems and equipment.

The Affordable Care Act Is Back In Court: 5 Facts You Need To Know

The fate of the Affordable Care Act is again on the line Tuesday, as a federal appeals court in New Orleans takes up a case in which a lower court judge has already ruled the massive health law unconstitutional.

Both Democrats And Republicans Love ‘Opportunity Zones’— And That’s A Bad Sign


Opportunity zones is the term for the hundreds of places in California—some, but not all, impoverished—that have been targeted for tax-advantaged investment under Trump’s 2017 federal tax law. But the name, like pretty much everything else done by the government in Washington, D.C., these days, is profoundly deceptive.

Elections 2020:

Joe and Jill Biden reported more than $15 million in income since leaving White House


Former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden reported more than $15 million in income since leaving the White House in early 2017, newly released tax returns.

See also:

●     ‘Middle Class Joe’ No More: Biden Earned $15 Million Since Leaving Office Capital Public Radio

●     Joe Biden earned $15 million since leaving office, tax returns show Los Angeles Times

●     Biden is headed to Hollywood for major campaign fundraiser Los Angeles Times

Tom Steyer launches 2020 campaign after saying he wouldn’t

Bakersfield Californian

Tom Steyer, the billionaire investor and activist, said Tuesday he’s joining the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, reversing course after deciding earlier this year that he would forgo a run.

See also:

●     Billionaire Tom Steyer Changes His Mind And Is Now Running For President Capital Public Radio

●     Who is Tom Steyer? A Bio Of The Democratic Presidential Candidate Capital Public Radio

●     No one needs Tom Steyer in the race. We need presidential candidates to drop out Los Angeles Times

●     Billionaire Tom Steyer is running as an outsider. It’s very Trumpian San Francisco Chronicle

●     Who are the Democratic candidates for president?  Los Angeles Times

●     You Democratic presidential pretenders have had your fun. Now get back to work Los Angeles Times

Are Democrats helping Trump by promising healthcare to undocumented migrants?

Los Angeles Times

With a sharp left turn, Democrats are risking a backlash on an issue of raw emotional and political sensitivity: providing government healthcare to millions of people in the country illegally.

See also:

·       ‘Part of the problem.’ With Senate in sights, Democrats plot run against how GOP runs D.C. Fresno Bee

·       OPINION: How a Democrat Can Win Over a Never-Trumper Politico

A battle for the popular vote

Capitol Weekly

Millions of ballots are cast in a presidential election, but winning the White House comes down to just this: 270 votes. That’s the majority in the Electoral College, which picks the president. Sometimes the selection follows the national popular vote, sometimes not, and a candidate can become president by winning as little as 11 states.

Kamala Harris lags behind top-tier candidates in Q2 fundraising

San Francisco Chronicle

Sen. Kamala Harris trailed some of her fellow top-tier Democratic presidential hopefuls in fundraising last quarter, though all of the top five raised impressive hauls.

GOP at war over fundraising


Tensions over the future of the GOP’s grassroots fundraising are reaching a breaking point, with the national party turning to strong-arm tactics to get Republicans behind its new, Donald Trump-endorsed platform for small donors.


Library hosts citizenship ceremony

Hanford Sentinel

Anxious, excited and relieved. Those were the emotions the 18 new, young Americans were feeling after officially becoming United States citizens at a swearing-in ceremony July 5 at the Kingsburg Library Branch.

Political leanings may be rooted in our DNA, but we’re also more than our genes

Los Angeles Times

Increasingly, the intellectual consensus seems to be that our political leanings are hard-wired in our genes. There is some excellent research behind this thinking, and I’ve certainly come around to believing that DNA plays a bigger role in our political worldviews than many on the right or left are willing to accept.

How CALmatters is growing out of its startup stage

Nieman Lab

Four years agoCALmatters launched as a new statewide, policy-focused, nonprofit reporting machine for California. Two years ago, the organization was building relationships with other local and regional outlets to grow its presence.

Report: Google rewards reputable reporting, not left-wing politics

The Economist

“Google & others are suppressing voices of Conservatives”, tweeted Donald Trump in 2018. “They are controlling what we can & cannot see.” The president’s charges of bias are often dubious. But many people worry about algorithms absorbing human prejudices.


Fresno has some of the best farmers markets around. Here’s where to find them

Fresno Bee

One of the best things about Fresno? Its farmers markets. Since we feed the nation with what we grow here, it’s no surprise we have some pretty awesome markets.



Fresno Co DA Smittcamp Talks Gangs, Stolen Guns, Sentencing Reforms

GV Wire

Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp is calling for a community-wide effort to prevent children from joining gangs. She also has a message for otherwise law-abiding citizens: Lock up your guns! If you don’t, they could end up used in robberies and murders.

California has laws to disarm domestic abusers. Why don’t we enforce them?

Sacramento Bee

All over California, thousands of domestic abusers who are prohibited by law from possessing guns are still armed.

25 inmates riot at California prison, causing injuries

Sacramento Bee

About 25 inmates rioted at Salinas Valley State Prison Monday evening, according to a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation news release. Correctional officers quelled the riot with non-lethal rounds and pepper spray, avoiding injuries themselves, according to the release.

Bill requiring priests to report child-abuse confessions is pulled

San Francisco Chronicle

A bill that would have required members of the clergy to report information to police that they received about child abuse and neglect during private confessions has been pulled by its author, state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo.

California prosecutors push to overturn new law on who can be guilty of murder

San Francisco Chronicle

Eleven years into a possible life sentence, Brian Yang won his release from prison. It had a lot to do with where he committed his crime. Yang, 29, was convicted of murder for his role in a 2008 robbery that led to the death of a San Francisco man. A recent change to state law meant he could petition for resentencing because, although he was involved in the holdup, he was not the one who pulled the trigger.

Recidivism of Felony Offenders in California


California has undertaken numerous corrections reforms in the past decade—including public safety realignment in 2011 and Proposition 47 in 2014—in hopes of reducing the prison population, maintaining public safety, and improving persistently high recidivism rates.

Teen odds of using marijuana dip with recreational use laws

Associated Press

New research suggests legalizing recreational marijuana for U.S. adults in some states may have slightly reduced teens’ odds of using pot.

Public Safety:

Extra officers added to Fresno streets after second gang-related shooting in a week

Fresno Bee

The shooting of a young child during a week of surging gang violence prompted Police Chief Jerry Dyer on Tuesday to order more special units onto Fresno streets.

Senators say YouTube, Facebook haven’t done enough to protect children online

Fresno Bee

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children runs an online tip service that receives potential allegations of online child sexual exploitation from technology companies and internet users, and directs those tips to law enforcement. The line got over 18.4 million tips last year.

‘Breaking The Chains’ one step closer to building rescue center


‘Breaking The Chains’ is a local non-profit which provides hope, healing and education to victims of human trafficking. A $45,000 donation from Granville Homes will be used to help ‘Breaking The Chains’ build a new rescue facility.

Merced man hit by car, suffers major injuries. When do pedestrians have right of way?

Merced Sun-Star

A 63-year-old man suffered major injuries but is expected to survive after he was struck by a car at a Merced intersection. It’s good to review tips to keep pedestrians safe to remind ourselves how to get where we’re going safely.

California Lawmakers Approve Police Shootings Restrictions

Capital Public Radio

A measure setting new standards that would allow police to use deadly force only when necessary to defend against an imminent threat of death or serious injury to officers and bystanders has been sent to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

See Also:

●     New CA rules for deadly police force go to governor’s desk CALmatters

Transgender California prison guard receives $500,000 to settle discrimination case

Sacramento Bee

A transgender correctional officer has received a $500,000 settlement to end a lawsuit she filed against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in which she alleged her colleagues harassed her by calling her names and instructing her to comply with a male dress code.


Prisoners clearing brush for Cal Fire disappear in Amador County, officials say

Fresno Bee

Three inmates clearing brush for Cal Fire went missing on Tuesday, sparking a search in Amador County, according to state prison officials.

Cal Fire: Major fireworks bust in Fresno after busiest 4th of July in years


An illegal fireworks bust led to two arrests and more than 9,000 pounds of illegal fireworks taken off the streets of Fresno.

Busy July Fourth for Hanford Fire Department

Hanford Sentinel

The Fourth of July is always busy for firefighters, the looming threat of fires breaking out even more heightened than usual thanks to the use of fireworks, both legal and illegal.

Giant Forest will burn this week to preserve Sequoia National Park health, expect delays

Visalia Times Delta

The burn will begin today following consultations between park leadership and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. The controlled fire may last through the weekend, depending upon conditions, rangers said.

Trump administration still holding on to $9 million owed to California fire departments

Sacramento Bee

California still has not heard from the Trump administration about $9 million the state believes local fire departments are owed for work fighting wildfires last year, according to the Office of Emergency Services.

EDITORIAL: AB1054 will change the way California deals with wildfires, so the Legislature needs to get it right

San Francisco Chronicle

One of this year’s most critical pieces of state legislation is AB1054, a major overhaul of the way California deals with wildfires created by the major utilities, including Pacific Gas and Electric Co.



S&P 500 soars above 3,000 for first time as Fed Chair Jerome Powell hints interest rate cut likely in July

Washington Post

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell had two messages for Congress Wednesday: Central bank independence is critical and an interest-rate cut is likely at the end of July.

Is this a good US economy or not?


President Trump tweeted last week, “The Economy is the BEST IT HAS EVER BEEN!” And that was before the release of a surprisingly strong June jobs report. Non-farm employment increased 224,000 in June, easily topping expectations of 165,000.

Three decades ago, the bottom 90% of America held 40% of total net worth. Today, it holds 30%.

Washington Post

The distribution in wealth in the United States is shaped like a curve. Middle-tier households have slightly more wealth than the poorest. Wealthier Americans have significantly more than the middle, but as wealth increases, so does the gap between the haves and the have-a-little-lesses.

See also:

·       Capitalism used to promise a better future. Can it still do that? Brookings

California’s second largest pension fund says Trump’s tweets are a market risk

Sacramento Bee

President Donald Trump’s Twitter posts represent an investment risk for the nation’s second-largest public pension fund, according to a report from the California State Teachers’ Retirement System’s top investment official.


Parts of the Valley in need of more construction workers


Whether you’re in Fresno or Clovis after driving a few miles you’ll eventually see some kind of construction project. From residential to commercial, the industry is always in need of laborers. Marissa Bower with BMY Construction in Fresno says personally, they need more workers.

A strong endorsement of the $15 minimum wage from the Congressional Budget Office

Los Angeles Times

The Congressional Budget Office, that nonpartisan arbiter of the impacts of federal legislation, reports that raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour would increase the wages of 27 million Americans and lift 1.3 million out of poverty as of 2025.

See Also:

●     Minimum wage bill could eliminate 1.3 million jobs, CBO says Politico

OPINION: Can Trump Keep Bosses Happy?

Wall Street Journal

There has almost never been a better time to look for a job in America. But while rising wages and a tight labor market are great news for workers, the people who run U.S. businesses are lately feeling rather pessimistic. Can an economy continue to make employees happy if their bosses aren’t?

Automation and Artificial Intelligence


The power and prospect of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) initiallyalarmed technology experts, for fear that machine advancements would destroy jobs. Then came a correction of sorts, with a wave of reassurances minimizing their negative impacts.



CA may soon track graduation rates for students who finish high school in 5 years

Fresno Bee

The California Department of Education is recommending that the State Board of Education approve reporting five-year high school graduation rates, giving districts an incentive to help seniors stay in school.

Governor’s team jumps into fray over contested charter school bill

Ed Source

Newsom’s office submitted amendments to Assembly Bill 1505 after numerous discussions between his advisers and representatives of charters schools, organized labor and the bill’s author, Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach, according to sources familiar with the discussions.

See also:

·       Opinion: Charter Schools Don’t Fiscally Distress Regular Public Schools Fox & Hound

·       Fewer students attending private, religious schools in CA. Here’s why.  Sacramento Bee

Higher Ed:

Donation to help Stanislaus State transfer program for local community college students

Stockton Record

A large donation has been awarded to California State University, Stanislaus, to support and promote degree transfer pathways with its three largest feeder community colleges including San Joaquin Delta College.

3 California colleges are among the hardest schools to get into in the US

San Francisco Gate

College ranking site Niche just released its ranking of America’s most selective colleges for 2019, and three California schools are among the top 15. Spoiler: UC Berkeley isn’t one of them.



California’s Earthquake Risk Extends Far Beyond San Andreas Fault


When people think about California earthquakes, what likely comes to mind is the San Andreas Fault. But most of the state is not near the San Andreas, and yet there are still plenty of opportunities for seismicity.

See also:

●     From the archives: Fresno geology isn’t conducive to a big quake, yet vulnerabilities exist Fresno Bee

●     Largest Earthquake in 20 years hit California, aftershocks felt throughout community Clovis Roundup

●     California quakes left crack visible from space Visalia Times Delta

●     Flurry of state and federal aid expected to help Ridgecrest following earthquakes Bakersfield Californian

●     Will children be able to return? Inspectors evaluate on-base school following earthquakes Bakersfield Californian

●     China Lake on ‘mission unsustainable’ status following earthquake damage Bakersfield Californian

●     When It Comes To Earthquake Intensity, Fault Line Size Is A Big Deal Capital Public Radio

●     Ridgecrest earthquake mystery: Why so little destruction from huge temblors? Los Angeles Times

●     Los Angeles Asks Why Earthquake Alert System Didn’t Warn Residents Wall Street Journal

●     California Today: A Conversation With the Seismologist Lucy Jones New York Times

When It Comes To Earthquake Insurance, Only About 10% Of CA Homes Are Covered

Capital Public Radio

The largest California earthquake in more than two decades has the state again grappling with the prospect of major damage from “The Big One” and how property owners might recover.

Deadly bat fungus found in California. Why that’s bad news for all of us

Modesto Bee

For the second spring in a row, a fungus that has killed millions of bats across the country has been found in California — raising the specter of an outbreak in the state’s fragile, little-understood bat colonies.

Cap and trade fills state’s coffers with $2.7B


California will inject $2.7 billion into its upcoming budget by tackling climate change through a cap-and-trade program. The money will provide funding for a variety of projects, from a bullet train to housing near mass transit hubs.

Donald Trump Called Climate Change a Hoax. Now He’s Awkwardly Boasting About Fighting It


President Donald Trump has falsely called climate change a “hoax” invented by China, incorrectly suggested that wind turbines cause cancer and dismissed a landmark scientific report produced by the federal government’s own scientists. His Administration has sought to roll back key climate regulations at every turn.


Learn about possible SJ power outages at series of public meetings

Stockton Record

With a three- to five-day planned power outage a possibility this summer, Tom Patti of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors has announced a series of upcoming public meetings around the county to inform the region’s residents.



First West Nile virus death of the year reported in California, health officials say

Fresno Bee

An Imperial County, California, man died from West Nile virus complications earlier this month, according to local public health officials.

See also:

●     West Nile virus detected in Merced County, according to Mosquito Abatement District Merced Sun-Star

Bakersfield residents possibly exposed to measles

Bakersfield Californian

A person diagnosed with measles stayed in Kern County while infectious during the Fourth of July holiday, according to the Kern County Public Health Services Department.

See also:

·       What the Measles Epidemic Really Says About America The Atlantic

Human Services:

Caregivers make appeal for pay raise to Fresno County Board of Supervisors

Fresno Bee

Fresno County caregivers with the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Program, members of SEIU Local 2015 gather at Courthouse Park to make appeal to the Fresno County Board of Supervisors for a new contract.

Covered California says consumers will see lowest-ever premium hike for individual policies

Fresno Bee

Covered California announced Tuesday morning that it expects an average premium increase of 0.8 % for 2020 in the state’s individual marketplace, the lowest such rate change since the health insurance exchange started business in 2013.

See also:

●     With Aca’s Future In Peril, California Reins In Rising Health Insurance Premiums The Business Journal

●     California Individual Health Insurance Rates To Increase Slightly Capital Public Radio

Trump revamps kidney care to spur transplants, home dialysis

Fresno Bee

President Donald Trump is directing the government to revamp the nation’s care for kidney disease, so that more people whose kidneys fail have a chance at early transplants and home dialysis — along with better prevention so patients don’t get that sick to begin with.

CA OKs health benefits to immigrants who are in country illegally


California has become the first state to offer taxpayer-funded health benefits to young adults living in the country illegally.

See also:

●     California Becomes First In Nation To Expand Medicaid To Undocumented Young Adults Capital Public Radio

●     California becomes first state to offer health benefits to young adults in country illegally Los Angeles Times

With Rural Health Care Stretched Thin, More Patients Turn To Telehealth

A recent NPR poll of rural Americans found that nearly a quarter have used some kind of telehealth service within the past few years; 14% say they received a diagnosis or treatment from a doctor or other health care professional using email, text messaging, live text chat, a mobile app, or a live video like FaceTime or Skype. And 15% say they have received a diagnosis or treatment from a doctor or other health professional over the phone.

Owe Quest Diagnostics money? You might be one of 11.9 million whose data was breached

Sacramento Bee

Quest was informed in May by the American Medical Collection Agency that data from 11.9 million patients whose accounts were marked for debt collection was accessed by an unauthorized user, according to a news release issued by Quest.

Federal appeals court appears skeptical of Obamacare, putting future of law in doubt

Los Angeles Times

A panel of federal judges in New Orleans sharply questioned attorneys defending the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday, signaling that the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals may throw out at least part of the 2010 law.

See also:

●     With Obamacare in peril, California reins in rising health insurance premiums Los Angeles Times

●     Federal appeals court questions legality of Obamacare insurance mandate Roll Call

●     Appeals court skeptical Obamacare can survive Politico

●     Obamacare Court Case Could Impact Almost Every American And Throw Entire Health Care System Into ‘chaos’: Experts Newsweek

Rifts Emerge Over Congressional Move to Curb Surprise Medical Bills

Wall Street Journal

A Congressional plan to tackle surprise medical bills is spurring a furious lobbying campaign and disagreements among Republican lawmakers that could make it difficult to pass the legislation this month.

OPINION: Rebuking Trump on Drug Prices

Wall Street Journal

One abuse of the Trump years has been federal judges who exceed their power to strike down directives they don’t like on policy grounds, from association health plans to the travel ban. But on Monday the Trump Administration received a deserved rebuke on an extralegal rule on drug pricing.


Migrant Flow Across U.S.-Mexico Border Falls For First Time This Year

Capital Public Radio

About 104,000 migrants were taken into custody after crossing the Southwest border — a 28% drop from May. The hot-weather drop “outpaces last year’s decline by 11 %,” DHS said.

See also:

●     Border arrests drop for first time in 2019 as Mexico crackdown begins Stockton Record

●     Border arrests drop as Mexico’s migration crackdown appears to cut crossings Washington Post

DHS: Border arrests dropped 28 % in June


Arrests at the southwestern border dropped 28 % in June from the month previous, the Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday, crediting the decline to moves made by Mexico to stem the flow of migrants reaching the U.S. border.

Activists worry about potential abuse of face scans for ICE

Fresno Bee

Civil rights activists complained Monday of the potential for widespread abuse following confirmation that at least three states have scanned millions of driver’s license photos on behalf of Immigration and Customs Enforcement without the drivers’ knowledge or consent.

Cruelty to migrant children shouldn’t be a partisan issue

Los Angeles Times

Children held in overcrowded cells for weeks. Children sleeping on concrete floors because there aren’t enough mattresses. Children in filthy clothes with no showers, soap or toothbrushes. Children as young as 8 put in charge of infants because there’s no one to take care of them.

A Modest Immigration Proposal

National Review

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) believes that American detention centers that house illegal aliens — over 1 million illegal arrivals during the last six months alone — are similar to “concentration camps.” A storm of criticism met her historically fallacious comparisons.


Land Use:

Ground broken for new manufacturing plant

Madera Tribune

A groundbreaking ceremony  was held Monday as the City of Madera welcomed TranPak to the Freedom Industrial Park. Currently located in Fresno, TranPak will construct a new state-of-the-art facility.

Sadly, end is near

Porterville Recorder

The Sears Hometown appliance store, located at 580 South Jaye, has serviced the community’s needs for every appliance from tools to refrigerators and ovens. Nearly 10 years later, the store is in the midst of its final sale, a liquidation sale, to empty the building of all the appliances and tools.

In the battle for Oceano Dunes, off-roaders and residents are driving each other crazy

Los Angeles Times

For generations, off-road vehicle riders have flocked to this windy stretch of the Central Coast to camp on the shore, build bonfires in the sand, and gun their engines in the only state park in California that allows motor vehicles on the beach and dunes.


Historic downtown Fresno building will finally house now-overcrowded DA offices

Fresno Bee

The historic Rowell Building in downtown Fresno is once again on track to become the new home for the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office under a 20-year lease with an option for the county to buy the building after 10 years.

See Also:

●     Fresno County Inks $17.3m Da Lease For Rowell Building The Business Journal

Affordable housing permits lag across Kern

Bakersfield Californian

Kern and every municipality within its borders stands to lose a degree of local control over their housing approval processes after state officials concluded not even one government in the county has made sufficient progress toward permitting affordably priced homes and apartments.

Rent control bill struggles in California Legislature

San Francisco Chronicle

Lawmakers and landlords are haggling over how much California housing to carve out of a tenant protection bill that would cap rent increases and require a just cause for evictions.

Vanlord parks homeless crisis in residential neighborhoods

Santa Monica Daily Press

The vanlord’s name is Gary Gallerie. He lives in a van in Venice and rents out another 14, most of which don’t run. Bearing bumper stickers that proclaim “Van life is not a crime,” they sit in front of the neighborhood’s multimillion dollar homes for weeks at a time.

How California’s Housing Crisis Could Hit Seniors Hard

New York Times

I’m going to dig into what Californians say is the state’s most urgent and thorny problem: the housing crisis, which lawmakers are set to discuss this afternoon when they take up Assembly Bill 1482. I wrote about whom it could leave out.

OPINION: Democrats May Inflate Another Housing Bubble

Wall Street Journal

Politicians and regulators played a central role in the housing boom and bust that led to the 2008 financial crisis. But you’d never know that, judging from the Democratic presidential candidates’ housing proposals, which double down on the policies and interventions that caused the problem in the first place.


Walters: Local tax conflict heats up


For decades, it’s been an article of political faith – as well as law – that local government taxes designated for particular purposes require two-thirds approval by voters.

OPINION:Congress Is Coming for Your IRA

Wall Street Journal

Like grave robbers opening King Tut’s tomb, Congress can’t wait to get its hands on America’s retirement-account assets. The House passed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act, known by the acronym Secure, in May. The vote was 417-3.


Damage reported on Highway 99 in Tulare

Visalia Times Delta

Fire crews said there is damage to the No. 1 northbound lane under the fairly new Cartmill bridge. Firefighters described the damage as a “bump or buckle” in the road. The highway was never closed and traffic flowed normally as crews ensured motorists were safe.

How much would it take to get you to buy an electric car? California could increase rebates

Sacramento Bee

A California lawmaker who in the past has proposed banning sales of new gas-powered cars wants to find out. Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, is carrying a bill that would increase state-funded electric car rebates up to as much as $7,500, rising from today’s top rebate of $2,500.

23 governors join California in opposing Trump gas mileage standards

Los Angeles Times

Citing climate-damaging tailpipe emissions, 23 U.S. governors signed a pledge Tuesday backing California leaders in their showdown with the Trump administration over its plans to relax vehicle mileage standards.

California wants to allow credit cards at the DMV, but it’ll cost you a fee


Under the new state budget, the Department of Motor Vehicles will be making an administrative change to pass credit card fees on to customers, a practice that typically adds 2% or 3% to the cost of a transaction. The switch, expected by October, means drivers will pick up $45.3 million a year in transaction fees currently absorbed by the department.

Cyclist deaths are rising nationwide — here are the 20 most dangerous cities to ride a bike in (Fresno is #10)


So far this year, 15 cyclists have been fatally struck by cars in New York City, a 50% increase over the entirety of last year. The spate of cyclist deaths has spurred Mayor Bill de Blasio to declare that “we have an emergency on our hands.”

California air boss: open to compromise in mileage standoff

Associated Press

California’s air pollution control boss says she’s open to compromise with the Trump administration over its efforts to relax mileage standards, as the bitter standoff threatens to unleash years of court fights and confusion in the U.S. auto industry.

EDITORIAL: Diesel trucks are among California’s biggest polluters. Smog-check them

Los Angeles Times

The routine smog check is one of the basic requirements of owning a car in California. Older cars have to be taken to the shop every other year to ensure that they have been properly maintained and don’t spew excessive emissions from their tailpipes.


Officials monitoring Millerton after it reaches capacity, spilling water into San Joaquin River

Fresno Bee

Millerton Lake is at capacity, allowing officials to prepare for spilling by making sure equipment at Friant Dam is working properly. The gates atop the dam’s spillway were tested Tuesday morning to ensure they function ahead of any major spilling due to overflow.

See also:

●     Water released from full Millerton Lake abc30

●     Water levels at Friant Dam are at full capacity; what that means for the Central Valley Fox26 News

Never mind those earthquakes: Atmospheric rivers could put Sacramento 30 feet under water

Sacramento Bee

The biggest freshwater rivers on Earth don’t flow along the planet’s surface.  Instead, they surge and whip through the atmosphere thousands of feet above our heads, carrying 2½ times the amount of water that gushes through the Amazon River at any given time.

PG&E’s planned shutdowns could choke off water supplies

San Francisco Chronicle

California utilities are scrambling to find ways to keep the water running and toilets flushing during Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s planned power outages.

Water Use in California


Statewide, average water use is roughly 50% environmental, 40% agricultural, and 10% urban, although the percentage of water use by sector varies dramatically across regions and between wet and dry years. Some of the water used by each of these sectors returns to rivers and groundwater basins where it can be used again.


You can see Thomas Campbell’s new skateboard documentary in Visalia with a live soundtrack

Fresno Bee

Directed by well-know skateboard artist/photographer/filmmaker Thomas Campbell, the documentary was shot on 16-mm film over the past seven years and follows two cars (a ’70s Cadillac and black Ford station wagon) each with a collection of skaters on a road trip that includes stops through the central San Joaquin Valley.

Madera chamber announces Lifetime Achievement recipients

Madera Tribune

The Madera Chamber of Commerce has announced the winners of its annual Lifetime Achievement Awards. The Lifetime Achievement honorees must have significantly demonstrated a history of dedication to Madera within three areas.