July 25, 2017





In memoriam: Cogdill stood tall for the Valley and California

Fresno Bee

Dave Cogdill, who died Sunday morning from pancreatic cancer at the age of 66, was the kind of lawmaker that California and the nation desperately needs. He was a man of high principles and character, yet also a legislator who knew that sometimes serving your constituents’ best interests required compromise. He put people ahead of party and was one of the rare politicians whose motivation for aspiring to public office was to serve his community.  It’s no coincidence that Mr. Cogdill served as chairman of the Maddy Institute at Fresno State University in 2011-12. His style was very much in the mold of the late Kenneth L. Maddy, a Valley lawmaker who excelled at getting to know people on both sides of the aisle, learning their priorities and bringing legislators together to find solutions for thorny problems.


Senator Cogdill’s role in 2009 budget deal remembered

Capitol Radio

Former California Senate Republican leader (and Maddy Institute Chair) Dave Cogdill died over the weekend. He’s being remembered with bipartisan praise for his role in a crucial budget deal that helped end the largest deficit in the state’s history.


Kimberly Ellis to contest ruling that upheld her loss in race for California Democratic Party chair

Los Angeles Times

The drama and division over the California Democratic Party chairperson’s election does not appear to be ending anytime soon.  Kimberly Ellis, who narrowly lost the race to lead the party, announcedMonday that she planned to appeal a party committee’s affirmation of the election results two days ago, a potential precursor to a lawsuit.


As candidates for governor are pressed on affirmative action, Antonio Villaraigosa says it’s vital to California

Los Angeles Times

Gubernatorial candidates, who have been pressed to offer their thoughts on affirmative action by Latino and black state lawmakers, began to weigh in Monday evening.  Antonio Villaraigosa, the former mayor of Los Angeles, gave the most concrete response.


Latino, black state lawmakers press California gubernatorial candidates on affirmative action

Los Angeles Times

Latino and black state lawmakers are calling on gubernatorial candidates to publicly state their opinion about affirmative action, injecting into the 2018 contest a potentially volatile racial issue that has previously splintered California Democrats.


At Comic-Con, California treasurer John Chiang explains what infrastructure repair has to do with superhero movies

Los Angeles Times

Comic-Con is, at its root, an escapist event for fans and obsessives of pop culture. This year it made room for public policy wonks as well.



Poll Shows California is Not Trump’s Biggest Foe


According to the latest Gallup poll, despite leading the charge against many of the president priorities, California is not the administration’s biggest opponent.


Nunes to attend Kushner hearing


House intelligence committee chairman Devin Nunes — who stepped aside from the House’s Russia probe amid partisan infighting — is expected to attend Tuesday’s highly anticipated closed door interview of Jared Kushner, according to a GOP source.

Major Democratic donor hosts Sen. Kamala Harris in the Hamptons as speculation mounts about her political future

Los Angeles Times

Speculation over California Sen. Kamala Harris’ political ambitions was stoked over the weekend by her appearance at the Hamptons home of major Democratic donor Michael 

Kempner, a top bundler for former President Obama and bankroller for liberal causes across the country.


In SF, Gore sees world leaving Trump behind on climate change


Former Vice President Al Gore thought there was a chance that President Trump wouldn’t pull out ofthe Paris climate accord after conversations they had in Trump Tower in New York and in the White House.



Pharma ducks Obamacare debate and fights transparency. And yet it wants our trust

Fresno Bee

Drug companies fight drug price transparency, take no stand on the repeal of Obamacare, and claim they have patients’ interests at heart.


Will California Republicans put country or Trump first? Russia sanctions bill is a test.

Sacramento Bee

A veto-proof majority for a Russia sanctions bill before the House on Tuesday would draw a line for potential constitutional crises to come. Republicans may be called upon again to stand up to the president if he tries to dismiss special counsel Robert Mueller, or pardon aides or even himself in the Russia investigation.


Exempting Santa Clara County from labor bill proves how awful it is

San Jose Mercury News

If the California Senate doesn’t kill AB 1250, which was passed by the Assembly in June. Gov. Jerry Brown has to veto it. Lives depend on it.






Davis biotech firm Marrone Bio makes first product shipments to Africa

Sacramento Bee

Davis biotech firm Marrone Bio Innovations Inc. said Monday that it has shipped its first product to the African continent. MBI said it has shipped its biofungicide, Reysana, to Morocco for use by growers of tomatoes, grapes and cucurbits, a diverse plant of the gourd family.


Rice Growers In Sacramento Valley Could Export Product To China

Capitol Radio

For the first time in history, an agreement is in place that gives U.S. rice growers access to China, the world’s largest consumer of rice.






Jeff Sessions cites study on sanctuary cities, researchers say he misrepresented it


Attorney General Jeff Sessions told law enforcement officers that cities with policies protecting immigrants have more violent crime and attributed the conclusion to a university study.


Advocacy groups want L.A. sheriff to tell prosecutors about problem deputies

Los Angeles Times

One court after another has ruled that a secret list of about 300 Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies who have lied, stolen, tampered with evidence, and committed other misconduct must remain confidential.




Detwiler Fire showcases CA mutual aid program’s effectiveness


As one, but take a closer look at the names decaled on the side doors. Each boasts a different city or county.  Thanks to California’s world-renowned mutual aid and incident command systems, more than 5,000 fire personnel continue to battle the flames ravaging Mariposa County.


Residents Learn The Fate Of Their Homes Following The Detwiler Fire


Monday is the first day some are learning if their homes survived the blaze. Linda Scoggin’s home is the only one left standing on a remote road in Mt. Bullion north of Mariposa but that doesn’t mean everything survived.






Lemoore’s Tachi casino places bets on family entertainment

Fresno Bee

Tachi Yokut tribe is laying odds that its new family entertainment project will have a bigger payoff.  The new entertainment complex has movie theaters, a bowling alley, billiards room, arcade and concourse, bar and concessions at Tachi Palace near Lemoore.


Mariposa merchants open to sluggish weekend sales

Sierra Star

With tourist season at its peak, the three-day mandatory evacuation of Mariposa’s downtown last week due to the fast moving Detwiler Fire left many cash registers silent



Hundreds of Facebook cafeteria workers join union

San Jose Mercury News

More than 500 cafeteria workers who serve food at Facebook have unionized to push for higher wages and more affordable health benefits, UNITE HERE Local 19, a union that represents Northern California workers, said Monday.






KHSD to pay $670,000, train staff, to settle suit alleging minorities targeted for suspension and expulsion


The Kern High School District acknowledged it had disproportionately expelled and suspended black and Latino students and agreed to pay $670,000 and strengthen training programs related to disciplinary practices in a settlement agreement finalized Monday.


Settlement in Kern discrimination lawsuit calls for new school discipline policies


The Kern High School District announced Monday that it had settled a discrimination lawsuit brought by parents, students and community groups that alleged a history of racially biased practices and disproportionate rates of suspension, expulsion and transfers to undesirable alternative schools for black and Latino students.


Charter school’s demise prompts debate about strengthening oversight


Prompted by investigations into alleged misappropriation of funds at Tri-Valley Learning Corporation, a charter school chain based in Alameda County, the California Charter Schools Association and advocates for more charter school transparency are stepping up efforts to advance competing approaches to combating financial fraud, waste and mismanagement.


U.S. math team finishes 4th behind Korea, China, Vietnam in int’l competition


The U.S. International Mathematical Olympiad team finished in fourth place in the international competition, taking home gold and silver medals, the Mathematical Association of America announced.


Higher Ed:


A new vision for California community colleges

Sacramento Bee

The largest college system in the nation is in 114 communities and serves more than 2.1 million students, nearly 40 percent the first in their family to go to college. The colleges prepare students for the jobs of today and tomorrow and provide opportunities for adults striving to earn a GED or to learn English after immigrating to this country.  It’s a big and complicated job, and we must get it right. The community college Board of Governors has adopted a vision that lays out bold goals and commitments.


The spiraling costs of a student loan relief program


The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program was intended to be small. Instead, its costs doubled.






Arnold Schwarzenegger teams with Jerry Brown on climate change bill

Sacramento Bee

Gov. Jerry Brown scored a major political victory last week when the Legislature voted to renewCalifornia’s signature climate change program for another decade.


How Giant Batteries Can Help Reduce Emissions

Pew Charitable Trusts

In Southern California, where an extreme energy shortage has threatened for months to shut off power for millions of homeowners, an unconventional source of electricity is helping to keep the lights on: giant batteries.


In San Francisco, Al Gore praises Gov. Jerry Brown’s work against climate change

Los Angeles Times

It has been a decade since Al Gore released “An Inconvenient Truth,” the Oscar-winning documentary that catapulted the one-time presidential candidate to the front lines of climate change activism. Now he’s back with “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” which follows the former vice president as he travels the world to talk about global warming.




Lemon Grove rejects pot dispensary near daycare

San Diego Union-Tribune

Marty Frank, who was hoping to open a “Native Health” medical marijuana dispensary in Lemon Grove, has lost his appeal of an earlier rejection by city staff.




Religious leaders protest L.A. pastor’s detention during a routine ICE appointment

Los Angeles Times

The arrest of a pastor during a routine appointment with an immigration officer Monday has sparked protest and sent worry through Los Angeles’ Latino religious community.



New San Diego legislation aims to solve housing crisis

San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego began tackling its housing crisis on Monday by approving legislation aimed at quickly increasing the amount of housing constructed at prices affordable to middle and low-income workers.




Searching for the greatest need

Stockton Record

If you could invest a few extra bucks in Stockton, what exactly would you spend it on?  The City Council faces that question tonight as it decides how to use $750,000 in so-called “discretionary funding.”


Airport Parking Takes Hit From Uber, Lyft

Pew Charitable Trust

Ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft already have struck a financial blow to their competitors in the taxi industry. Now many officials fear they may take a big bite out of airport parking revenue.




Elon Musk’s Hyperloop Tunnel Plan Isn’t as Crazy as SpaceX or Tesla


To say that there are a few issues with this plan is probably a kind way to put it. Let’s start with the technical ones: That superfast train, known as the hyperloop, exists only as a prototype, and a tunnel from New York to Washington would be more than twice as long as the longest tunnel ever drilled, and more than five times longer than the longest rail tunnel.



Pollution from Geer Road dump threatens drinking water. County will try a pricey fix

Modesto Bee

 Stanislaus County will try a new groundwater treatment system to keep the former Geer Road landfill from polluting the Tuolumne River and nearby wells.




Is Southern California suffering a tech brain drain?

Orange County Register

Is Southern California suffering from a technology brain drain? A new study of U.S. and Canadian technology talent by the CBRE real estate brokerage certainly suggests that the region isn’t fully absorbing its slew of tech-savvy college graduates.