July 27, 2017






Sen. Dave Cogdill: He dared to agree with the ‘other side’

Bakersfield California​n

Former State Sen. Republican Leader and Maddy Institute Board Chair passed away last Sunday at 66.

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New Rankings: Most & Least Educated Cities — a Tale of Two Californias

The 74
An annual ranking of America’s most and least educated places reveals a true split in California when it comes to educational equity, with six of its cities scoring in the top 10 and six scoring at the very bottom.  San Jose, Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara, taken together, scored third, while the area encompassing San Francisco, Oakland, and Hayward ranked as the survey’s eighth-most-educated metropolitan area. Taking up five of the seven lowest spots, however, are Salinas, Fresno, Modesto, Bakersfield, Visalia, and Porterville, all cities in California’s Central Valley.

Lawyer: Ousted leader offered $35,000 repayment to Miracle Mile group

Stockton Record

The attorney for the woman who parted ways Monday with the Miracle Mile Improvement District for misusing her employer’s credit card says she resigned and was not fired.


There’s plenty of work to be done for Bakersfield City Manager

Kern Newstalk 1180/96.1

After 25 years of public service as Bakersfield’s City Manager Alan Tandy said he’s proud of many of the city’s quality of life improvements, and that he has no plan to retire from his job.



The cannabis candidate: Gavin Newsom dominates donations from a growing industry aiming for influence

LA Times

The fundraising dinner for Gavin Newsom in Salinas was in most ways a typical night for a political candidate. Local business leaders paid up to $5,000 for a chance to talk with the man aiming to be California’s next governor over cauliflower bisque, strip steak and Meyer lemon pudding cake.


Governor hopeful Villaraigosa offers vision for improving California 

Orange County Register

While gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa displayed his Democratic colors on key issues during visit to Orange County Wednesday, he also took several positions more commonly associated with Republicans.


Statistical look at Latinos in California in 2017

California Legislature Latino Caucus

This report provides an update in these areas based on recent data and includes new sections on public health and environmental pollution.


Schwarzenegger: We did it CA, Now Let’s Make Washington Work for Us

Fox and Hounds Daily

Congress spends year after year failing to pass immigration reform, infrastructure investment, an actual energy policy, any measures to reduce our debt, or really anything at all. The people complain, and give them an approval rating worse than Herpes, colonoscopies, and cockroaches. But every two years, we re-elect 98% of them.


California Today: A Republican Candidate for Governor Talks About Corruption

New York Times

Kevin Faulconer, San Diego’s mayor, was viewed as the best Republican shot for California governor.


For California’s GOP, Trump rings familiar


In a state where nearly 40 percent of the population is now Hispanic and another 20 percent are of Asian or African descent, the long legacy of Proposition 187 has driven minorities to the Democratic Party. And Trump pushed more voters away from the state GOP.


Trump falls to new low of 25% approval rate in California poll

San Jose Mercury News

Only one in four Californians think President Donald Trump is doing a good job in the Oval Office, a poll released Wednesday found — the lowest approval rate in the state so far in Trump’s six-month presidency.


‘CalExit’ is back on the table as new initiative


California’s Secretary of State announced Wednesday that proponents of a new initiative to have California become its own country are cleared to begin collecting signatures.



President Trump’s voter fraud panel asks again for data from California — and again the answer is no

Los Angeles Times
For the second time in less than a month, California’s chief elections officer has refused to hand over data to President Trump’s voter fraud commission, arguing on Wednesday that the inquiry is still part of an “illegitimate” exercise.


Emily’s List is putting Republicans ‘on notice’ and seven of them are in California

LA Times

List includes Valley congressmen Denham and Nunes


Republicans look for California House wins in 2018 midterms


The GOP is optimistic that a leftward-lurching Democratic Party will give it room to go on the offense in the Golden State, with four Democratic seats in their sights.




Transgender ban is all about Trump shoring up his base

San Francisco Chronicle

President Trump’s decision to ban transgender people from the military reminds us of all the reasons his administration has gone nowhere fast in seven months.



Trump wants to reinstate hate in the military

Fresno Bee

The president’s declaration that transgender Americans will not be allowed to serve in the military is a disgrace. The ban is discriminatory and unpatriotic, and civil rights groups and others were right to blast it.


Sacramento wants you to save water. It’s your choice how

Sacramento Bee

The city of Sacramento is wise to move toward stricter water conservation rules even when we’re not officially in a drought.


Patients have a right to know when a doctor is on probation for a serious violation

Los Angeles Times

Before you schedule a physical for your teenage daughter, wouldn’t you like to know if her physician has been put on probation by the state medical board for inappropriately touching young female patients? Similarly, wouldn’t you want to know if the surgeon who’s about to operate on you had been sanctioned for operating while under the influence of drugs?


Ban transgender soldiers? Why not just stop covering Viagra?

San Jose Mercury San Jose

This isn’t about money. It’s about Donald Trump and some military leaders buying into prejudice and fears of people who are not precisely like them.




Fresno County grower gets into hop farming for beer

Fresno Bee

Fowler Packing, one of the region’s largest farming companies, is getting into the craft beer business. Well, sort of. The Parnagian family is jumping into hop farming.


California’s booming almond crop hits 1 million acres

Bakersfield Now

California’s almond boom has hit 1 million acres, covering a total area bigger than the state of Rhode Island.


California has too much pot, and growers won’t be able to export the surplus

Los Angeles Times

A leader of California’s marijuana industry warned Wednesday that the state’s cannabis growers produce eight times the pot that is consumed in the state so some will face “painful” pressure to reduce crops under new state regulations that will ban exports after Jan. 1.


Should California start its own bank to serve marijuana companies? It wouldn’t be easy

Los Angeles Times

With recreational marijuana sales set to become legal in California next year and most banks unwilling to open accounts for cannabis companies, pot entrepreneurs are desperate to figure out what to do with their piles of cash. Now, some want the state or cities to get involved.


Should your veterinarian be allowed to prescribe weed to your dog?

Sacramento Bee

Legalization of weed in California is leading to an increase in veterinarians seeking expertise about whether marijuana can safely treat pet conditions and illnesses. Veterinary practice regulators say to steer clear, but some in the industry want state lawmakers to step in.






Teen who streamed crash, sister’s death charged with DUI, gross vehicular manslaughter

Merced Sun Star

The Merced County District Attorney’s Office on Wednesday morning filed charges of gross vehicular manslaughter and DUI against Obdulia Sanchez, the teen driver accused of crashing her car while apparently live streaming.


City Workers to Carry Guns?


A new proposal could make it possible for Fresno City workers to carry concealed weapons in the workplace. Right now, employees are not allowed to carry them, even if they have a concealed carry permit.


Key staffer resigns from Stockton’s Office of Violence Prevention

Stockton Record
The city’s Office of Violence Prevention “doesn’t have a strategic plan for preventing violence”


How California’s parole board has a front seat to the state’s shifting approach to crime and punishment

Los Angeles Times

An Alameda County probation report details facts that Kao Saelee can’t change: He was 17 and armed with a sawed-off shotgun when he and three friends opened fire on a group of teens they believed belonged to a rival Oakland gang.


California deputy attorney general charged with child porn


A California deputy attorney general has been charged with possessing child pornography at his San Diego County home following a months-long investigation, according to court records and local media.


Spurred by drug deaths, Legislature advances idea of supervised injection sites


Many California communities could open centers inviting addicts to shoot up hard drugs under a little-noticed bill that has cleared the state Assembly and now awaits a vote on the Senate floor. The goal is to reduce deaths.



Rep. McClintock praises heroic efforts to quench Detwiler fire

Fresno Bee

We are posting the remarks that Rep. Tom McClintock made on the House floor today. He represents California’s 4th District, which includes the area devastated.


Firefighters continue to gain hold of Detwiler Fire, with 70% contained

Sierra Star
The Detwiler Fire in Mariposa County continues its slow rate of expansion in a positive sign it will soon be under complete containment.





California consumer confidence dips to eight-month low

Orange County Register

California shoppers are getting a bit queasy about the economy. The Conference Board’s California consumer confidence index for July fell to its lowest level since November, when this measure of optimism began to climb following Donald Trump’s win in the presidential election.


Underemployment adds to growing income inequality problem


Income inequality in the United States has increased significantly in the last four decades. From 1977 to 2007 three-fourths of the income growth in the U.S. economy went to the top 10 percent of households. One factor contributing to this trend is the increase in involuntary part time workers


Report: More than a third of California households have virtually no savings, are at risk of financial ruin

San Jose Mercury News

More than 37 percent of California households have so little cash saved that they couldn’t live at the poverty level for even three months if they lost a job or suffered another significant loss of income.


Starting a Business Checklist

California Secretary of State
Want to start a business in California? Consult our checklist before getting started.



Amazon announces U.S. hiring spree as labor market tightens

Los Angeles Times

The Seattle e-commerce giant said Wednesday that it’s looking to fill more than 50,000 positions across the United States. The announcement comes at a time when the labor market is growing tight with back-to-school and holiday shopping around the corner. Others will be competing for many of those potential hires.


California’s gender pay gap: How two proposed laws aim to close it


California boasts some of the toughest “fair pay” laws in the country-yet the average full-time working woman has been earning only 86 cents every dollar earned by a man. A recent study concluded that gap won’t close before the year 2043.






Civil rights groups call settlement with Kern High School District ‘first step’


The Dolores Huerta Foundation, Faith in Kern and several local civil rights groups will watch the Kern High School District for the next three years to ensure it changes policies that they say unfairly targeted minorities, the civil rights groups said at a press conference Wednesday.


Inspiring the next generation

Hanford Sentinel

Over 25 students sat in a classroom on Hanford West High School’s campus, and no, they weren’t there for summer school; they were there to be inspired. The students were taking part in Inspire California, a community-based organization that seeks to provide comprehensive college preparatory counseling, professional development and mentoring opportunities to high school students in Hanford.


Rural districts need support to implement Common Core standards


Limited resources for teacher training have made it difficult for some rural districts in California to fully implement Common Core standards in math and English language arts, according to a new study.


Higher Ed:


UC Berkeley fights back over epic loss in CRISPR verdict

San Jose Mercury News

The University of California is fighting back in its quest to regain control over the rights to the powerful gene-editing technology known as CRISPR-Cas9.


Essential California: USC says it ‘could have done better’

Los Angeles Times

USC President C.L. Max Nikias acknowledged Wednesday that the university “could have done better” in its handling of a former medical school dean who a Times investigation found took drugs and associated with criminals and drug abusers.


Report: Student loan forgiveness program has halted under Trump

PBS NewsHour
The U.S. Education Department has not approved any applications for student-loan forgiveness in cases of possible fraud since President Donald Trump took office.






Adam Gray: Cap-and-Trade extension fails Central Valley residents

Modesto Bee

Climate change is real and is a serious threat to the quality of life on our planet.

Across California, most people believe we have a responsibility to do something to address our climate challenges. I agree.


PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and the Environment

Public Policy Institute of California
New survey: CA climate change actions get majority support even though most expect gas prices to rise

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Questions remain as Gov. Brown signs legislation to address neighborhood-level air pollution

Los Angeles Times
Activists succeeded in making air quality a key part of California’s climate debate. So why are they still unhappy?


Latinos are more likely to live in polluted communities. A new law could help

Sacramento Bee

California has made great strides in scrubbing smog from its skies, yet pollution remains a problem in some parts of the state, with 44 percent of Latinos living in communities with poor air quality compared to about one-quarter of non-Latinos, according to a new state Senate report



How electric vehicles could take a bite out of the oil market

San Francisco Chronicle

When will cars powered by gas-guzzling internal combustion engines become obsolete? Not as soon as it seems, even with the latest automotive news out of Europe.




What’s Next In The Health Care Debate?


Senate Republicans have at least narrowed the options on what comes next for the Affordable Care Act — casting two separate votes since Tuesday that knocked out a “repeal-only” proposal and rejected a plan for replacement.  So, as lawmakers resume debate on Thursday, they will be staring at basically one possibility: a so-called “skinny repeal” that would surgically remove some key provisions from Obamacare, while leaving the rest intact — at least for now.

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State, county agencies report large increase in valley fever infections

Fresno Bee

Valley fever is on the rise, with state health officials recording the largest-ever number of cases in 2016. California had 5,372 new cases of valley fever last year, more than a 70 percent increase over the previous year, the state Department of Public Health said.

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Hospitals awarded for excellence in health care


Bakersfield Memorial Hospital and Mercy Hospital Southwest received a five-star achievement award for their OB/GYN Care and seven national awards from Healthgrades, Dignity Health announced in a press release Tuesday.


Yelp adds C-section rates and other stats for all baby delivery hospitals in California


Expectant mothers have been able to get similar information about the maternity care of a particular hospital from state websites already but the information is often hard to find. Yelp, which rolled the feature out today, starting in California, aims to make these rates available in a consumer-friendly format.


Spurred by drug deaths, Legislature advances idea of supervised injection sites

Many California communities could open centers inviting addicts to shoot up hard drugs under a little-noticed bill that has cleared the state Assembly and now awaits a vote on the Senate floor. The goal is to reduce deaths.

Stanford: Measles could spread as vaccination rates decline

The Mercury News

As vaccination coverage declines in states that let people opt out of immunizations for personal beliefs, researchers from Stanford University warn there could be serious consequences ahead.


Palo Alto state assemblyman helps curb food insecurity with bill

San Jose Mercury News

The first bill proposed by a Palo Alto state assemblyman to be signed into law will make it easier for low-income California residents to access emergency food services.




Undocumented immigrant driver’s licenses top 900,000 in CA

Fresno Bee

Passed in 2013, after more than 15 years of lobbying by advocates, AB 60 was intended to bolster public safety and reduce penalties for undocumented immigrants who drive. When it finally took effect at the beginning of 2015, making California the 10th state to offer driver’s licenses to immigrants living in the country illegally, the response was so immense that it doubled initial expectations.


Patterson: Get to know a Sikh and you will make a new friend

Fresno Bee

California’s Central Valley is a special place. It’s the heart of California, fueled by the most fertile agricultural soil in the nation. It’s also home to the largest population of a group of very special people who want to be seen for the patriotic, generous, hardworking Americans they are. They are teachers, farmers, doctors and business owners. They are Sikhs.




Land Use:


Compromise on north-side development

Stockton Record

City leaders cracked the door this week for allowing a major development project like a hospital or university north of Eight Mile Road.


Designing Age Friendly Cities

Commonwealth Club of California
Listen to podcast.



Rents in Sacramento & Valley are skyrocketing

The Sacramento Bee

The real estate firm Yardi Matrix analyzed trends across California, and found rents are rising faster in Sacramento and the Central Valley than any other part of the state.


Mathews: Why is Utah’s housing crisis so much less dire than California’s? Hint: It’s not what you think.

Sacramento Bee

Sorry, Utah. California’s epidemic shortage of housing hasn’t just sickened our own state – driving up prices, inspiring homelessness, and putting a $140 billion annual drag on our economy. The disease is spreading to our neighbors, too. Today, most major Western cities are experiencing minor league versions of our housing crisis.


It’s called Ice Blocks and it’s cool. But it’ll cost you serious money to live there.

Sacramento Bee

The corner of 16th and R streets was for decades a dead zone in the center of Sacramento – a place where homeless campers hunkered in the empty husk of a former ice manufacturing plant.


Permanent housing for the homeless? City discussing options for funding

Stockton Record
Bigger decisions are coming, with a larger sum of money available to potentially provide permanent housing like…




County government watchdog steps in as treasurer-tax collector

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County leaders voted Tuesday to appoint Auditor-Controller Lauren Klein to serve as interim treasurer-tax collector.


Cigarette sales take a dive after California tax hike

Bakersfield Now

Cigarette sales in California took a dive in the first months when the $2-a-pack tax hike took effect. This is according to a report done by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office.


Expanding their taxing power would be one way to provide school districts more money


Rick Simpson didn’t write Proposition 98, the complex formula that determines how much money in the state budget goes to K-12 schools and community colleges each year. But for three decades after its inception in 1988, Simpson was an expert in its implementation as a senior adviser on education for eight Assembly Speakers.




Cannella’s controversial gas tax vote for ACE train to Ceres, Turlock and Merced applauded

Ceres Courier

State Senator Anthony Cannella’s controversial swing vote in April to support a massive state gasoline tax hike in trade for an ACE train station in Ceres, Turlock and Merced, was heralded as a brave political move during intermission of the Tuesday’s Ceres Concert in the Park.


Kettleman City to get Tesla Supercharging Station

Hanford Sentinel

Elon Musk’s Tesla company has applied to Kings County to build a 40-car supercharging station along I-5 in Kettleman City. The solar-powered station would be reconstructed in a former Burger King in town. The development would be larger than the existing charging station at Harris Ranch – the only other along this long stretch of Interstate 5.


California Supreme Court ruling could end bullet train suits

San Francisco Chronicle

A California Supreme Court ruling expected Thursday could help speed construction of the state’s $64 billion high-speed rail project by exempting it from a key environmental review law.


Walters: Could complex cap-and-trade deal derail Jerry Brown’s bullet train? 


The political deal that led to reauthorization of California’s cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon emissions has many pieces, but one of the strangest is Assembly Constitutional Amendment 1.


Chain Reaction: Why Two Wheels Are Better Than Four

Commonwealth Club of California

Listen to Podcast.




Video: Kevin McCarthy’s Claim on California Water Storage

Fact Check

Is it true CA hasn’t completed a single major water storage project since the 1970s?


Oroville Dam’s ‘green spot’ raises new worries

The Mercury News

A new report from a UC Berkeley group researching what caused the Lake Oroville spillway to fail in February is concerned that a green spot on the nation’s tallest dam might mean it is leaking.


Oroville Dam, other flood-safety projects could get permits faster

The Sacramento Bee

Work to strengthen Oroville Dam, shore up downstream levees and other types of flood-prevention projects would be eligible for fast-tracked state approval under new California legislation lawmakers will consider when they return from summer recess next month.


Walters: Bureaucratic bungling on Oroville Dam bodes ill for future projects

Slowly – but surely – we are learning that the near-catastrophic failure of Oroville Dam’s main spillway wasn’t truly caused by weather, even though the state claims that in seeking federal aid for repairs.


Water conservation bill proposed by Sonora High students signed into law by Gov. Brown

Orange County Register

An award-winning middle school project by four female students on water conservation has become law. Assembly Bill 1343, which encourages partnerships between California school districts and public water systems, was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday, July 21.




Fresno pro soccer team name and venue revealed


Fresno soccer fans learned the name of the pro team they’ll be cheering for by springtime. At Chukchansi Park on Wednesday, management for the team revealed its name to be the Fresno Football Club.


Bakersfield Museum of Art accepting submissions for Via Arte


The Bakersfield Museum of Art announced the 19th annual Via Arte Italian Street Painting Festival will return Oct. 21-22.


Duel in the fun: Piano acts make scene at Padre Hotel, The Mark


It’s hard to say if dueling pianos are having a resurgence in popularity or if Bakersfield is just now getting in on a longtime trend, but either way, now is a good time for local fans of the double-trouble, ivory-tickling experience.


After a near-record 270 days, Mammoth Mountain’s snow season is coming to a close

San Francisco Chronicle

During one of the longest ski seasons in California’s history, Mammoth Mountain is getting ready to say goodbye to skiers and snowboarders who’ve been relishing their time on the slopes deep into summer.