July 30, 2018

30Jul

POLICY & POLITICS

 

Valley:

 

Devin Nunes, Washington’s Public Enemy No. 1

Wall Street Journal

What did the FBI do in the 2016 campaign? The head of the House inquiry on what he has found—and questions still unanswered.

See also:

      House Republicans cannot be allowed to obstruct justice Wall Street Journal

     House Intel chair Devin Nunwa calls for ban on electronic voting systems TheHill

 

A tale of two cities and one congressman

Bakersfield Californian

Congressman Kevin McCarthy leads a double life. In Washington, he's golden. In Bakersfield, not quite so much anymore. Recent events have at least some of them wondering on which coast his allegiances truly lie.

 

Kevin McCarthy Targets Valley Fever With New Bill

Valley Public Radio

A new bill in congress is aimed at preventing the fungal disease valley fever that’s endemic to Central and Southern California.

 

Former Lemoore mayor one of several killed in Madera crash

The Fresno Bee

A former Lemoore mayor was among those killed in a fiery crash in Madera on Saturday, according to his uncle.

 

The DA's office wants to bolster the unit that investigated Leticia Perez, citing backlog of cases

Bakersfield Californian

The Public Integrity Unit of the Kern County District Attorney's Office investigates some high-profile cases. But there's many other cases involving alleged crimes committed by public officials or public employees in their official roles that haven't yet seen the light of day. And District Attorney Lisa Green and incoming DA Cynthia Zimmer want to change that.

See also:

       With Perez Facing Criminal Charges, How Do Most Conflict Of Interest Cases Play Out In California?  Valley Public Radio

 

Second challenger says he'll take on Couch, too

Bakersfield Californian

Lamont Chamber of Commerce president Jose Gonzalez said Friday he expects to turn in by Monday the final document required to make official his challenge to 4th District Supervisor David Couch in the November election.

 

Grant and Incentive Programs for Fireplaces

Valley Air

Replace your old wood or pellet burning device with a new cleaner option! The Burn Cleaner program helps reduce particulate matter that comes from older devices in the Valley which contribute significantly to air pollution during the Fall and Winter months. Please review the program guidelines; choose from our list of participating retailers that sell clean devices on behalf of the Burn Cleaner program and select an application packet from the four options below. You may qualify for a low-income voucher if your household meets the income levels in this table. Para obtener la aplicación y el guía en español, por favor llame al (559) 230-5800

 

Community rallies for tax hike to improve local parks

ABC30

Locals are taking matters into their own hands to improve parks in the City of Fresno, exceeding the required 35,000 signatures to get a measure placed on the ballot aimed at renovating current parks and creating new ones.

 

State:

 

California’s attorney general is waging war against Trump. These are the battlefronts

Los Angeles Times

California has become a flag bearer in the nationwide resistance to Trump administration policies on immigration, the environment, regulation, government ethics and healthcare policy.

See also:

       Hiltzik: Trump policies affect Californians in all walks of life. Here's how the state is fighting back Los Angeles Times

 

Gov. Brown, state watchdog learn reform is complicated

San Francisco Chronicle

The watchdog commission’s power has ebbed and flowed over the decades. At other times it’s been criticized — even by Brown himself, who sued the agency in 2000 — for getting bogged down with small-time violations, missing the broader goal of instilling what he called “a deep sense of ethics.”

 

Former legislator David Hadley appointed vice chairman of California GOP, easing path to become next party leader

Los Angeles Times

Former legislator David Hadley was unanimously appointed vice chairman of the California Republican Party on Tuesday by its board of directors. The move eases the path for the Manhattan Beach resident to become the party’s next leader once current Chairman Jim Brulte’s term ends in February.

 

EDITORIAL: Why political debates still matter

Los Angeles Times

Voters have a lot to gain. In the era of multimillion-dollar campaigns and slick political messaging, nothing beats the potential of old-school debates to reveal and humanize the men and women behind the glossy ads and focus-group-approved slogans.

 

Federal:

 

Why Washington insiders think Democrats will take back the House

Washington Post

Here's a striking stat: The House of Representatives has flipped parties only three times in the past 60 years. The conventional wisdom in Washington right now is that Democrats are about to make it four.

 

No mystery to Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh's gun views

AP News

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh says he recognizes that gun, drug and gang violence “has plagued all of us.” Still, he believes the Constitution limits how far government can go to restrict gun use to prevent crime.

See also:

        Calling Judge Kavanaugh Wall Street Journal

 

Trump backers stand by president in face of Russia criticism — CBS poll

CBSNews

Nearly all Americans say Russian meddling in the 2018 midterm elections would be unacceptable, even if their party was the beneficiary of any interference. But the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign remains a divisive political issue, with Republicans more likely to doubt the FBI and U.S. intelligence agencies and more likely to back the president, a new CBS News poll found.

See also:

      A Major Network Of Conservative Donors Is Distancing Itself From The Republican Party Buzzfeed

     Bush vs. Trump: America needs the first Republican family to speak up Brookings

 

Supply-side congressional reform?

Brookings

Dismayed by the apparent dysfunctionality of Congress, many scholars and reformers have proposed strengthening its institutional capacity. Think of it as a supply-side approach to revitalizing the first branch of government: “If we build it, they will use it.” But what if there is no market among its members for an assertive and functional Congress—a “Madisonian Congress?”

 

George Will: Our socialist president

Washington Post

For three months in 1917, Leon Trotsky lived in the Bronx, just south of the congressional district where Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently defeated a 10-term incumbent in a Democratic primary.

 

EDITORIAL: Federal judges step up to do the job Congress won't — check the president's excesses

Los Angeles Times

The Trump administration has gone through a few bad days recently in federal courts — and the country is the better for it. It’s reassuring to see that some federal judges, at least, are willing to live up to their responsibilities and actually check some of the president’s actions.

 

Was the 2016 election legitimate? It's now definitely worth asking the question

Los Angeles Times

Raising the question of Trump’s legitimacy risks detonating a full-blown crisis of faith — kindling distrust not just in Trump, but also in the system that installed him.

 

Trump And 'New York Times' Publisher Clash Over Their Private Meeting

NPR

President Trump on Sunday intensified his assaults on media organizations that cover him and his administration, dismissing them as unpatriotic and irresponsible.

See also:

      Statement of A.G. Sulzberger, Publisher, The New York Times, in Response to President Trump’s Tweet About Their Meeting  The New York Times Company

     Venting about press, Trump has repeatedly sought to ban reporters over questions Washington Post

      Times publisher asks Trump to reconsider anti-media rhetoric PBS

 

Other:

 

Democratic socialist groups are booming in America. Here’s what they believe — and what they want to do

NPR

Membership in the Democratic Socialists of America has gone up sevenfold, to about 43,000 nationwide, in three years. The group views capitalism as oppressive and “fundamentally undemocratic” and believes some sectors of the economy, like health care and utilities, should be government-controlled — though it’s pragmatic in its pursuit of those ideals.

 

Four Bad Habits to Avoid at City Council Meetings

CitiesSpeak

There are a number of “urban myths” about Robert’s Rules of Order that can get in the way of democratic process for your council. If your municipality, county council, or special district avoids these bad habits, congratulations! If these errors happen at your meetings, however, you might want to bring them to the attention of your colleagues to straighten them out – in a pleasant way, of course.

 

We owe our children a big apology

Washington Post

Why did so many decent people in America at the time fail to see the cruelty and unfairness of what they were doing? What caused such blindness to democratic and humane values? These questions are comforting to us, because they are accusations against the past.

 

MADDY INSTITUTE PUBLIC POLICY PROGRAMMING  

 

Sunday, August 5, at 10 a.m. on ABC 30 – Maddy Report“Fake News & Info Illiteracy” – Guests: Senator Bill Dodd (D), Renée Ousley-Swank, President Elect - CA School Library Association, John Myers,Sacramento Bureau Chief – LA Times and Dan Walters, Reporter of the Sacramento Bee. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

 

Sunday, August 5, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) – Maddy Report - Valley Views Edition: “Alt Facts & Lies:  A Lie By Any Other Name?” – Guests: Paul Hurley, former editorial page editor of the Visalia Times Delta and Mike Dunbar, Editorial Page Editor with the Merced Sun Star and the Modesto Bee. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

 

Sunday, August 5, at 7:30 a.m. on UniMas 61 (KTTF) – El Informe Maddy: “CA School libraries: are we failing our kids?”  Guest: Margarita Fernandez, PIO State Auditor's Office. Host: Maddy Institute Program Coordinator, Maria Jeans.

 

 

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AGRICULTURE/FOOD

 

U.S. Almond Farmers Are Reeling From Chinese Tariffs

Wall Street Journal

Prices for California almonds have fallen by more than 10% over past two months

 

Trump's trade battles rattle some Tulare County farmers. Others say it's just bluffing

Visalia Delta Times

Tulare County agricultural producers are split on how the Trump administration’s trade policies have or will affect their bottom lines.

See also:

       Trump Says He ‘Opened Up Europe’ for Farmers. Europeans Disagree. WSJ

 

Trump’s farm bailout is burning bridges in blue states

Washington Post

Two big-dollar deals took place on the same day recently — one of them high-profile, the other low-profile to anyone whose last name isn’t Sloan.

See also:

      Get to Work, Senators Wall Street Journal

      Federal aid for farmers is nothing new, but Trump's bailout is CNN

 

Horticulture and produce deliveries available

Fresno State Campus News

Campus employees can enjoy vegetable plants, flower arrangements and Gibson Farm Market produce all without leaving their offices.

 

Chicken disease outbreak rattles commercial, backyard egg producers

Bakersfield Californian

64 cases of virulent Newcastle disease have been confirmed in Southern California, prompting state officials earlier this month to declare poultry quarantines in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

 

Cannabis operation holds groundbreaking in Mendota

ABC30

Inside an old packing shed on the outskirts of Mendota, a new cannabis operation is moving in, hoping to revitalize the space and the town's economy.

See also:

     Cannabis business park breaks ground in Mendota The Business Journal

 

Kern County veterans speak out for medical marijuana as dispensary deadline nears

Bakersfield Californian

Veterans, along with every other medical marijuana user in the county, could soon be dealing with the closure of the local market. All 31 medical marijuana dispensaries currently legally operating are scheduled to shut down Nov. 24 or shortly afterward.

 

First tests are in, and one in five marijuana samples in CA isn’t making grade

The Cannifornian

One in five batches of marijuana has failed laboratory testing since new state safety requirements kicked in July 1, according to data from the California Bureau of Cannabis Control.

 

CRIMINAL JUSTICE / FIRE / PUBLIC SAFETY

 

Crime:

 

‘Everyone is vulnerable.’ Fresno’s senseless, random killings date back decades

Fresno Bee

Two teens taken by random acts of violence, in Fresno neighborhoods that had been considered safe from the gunfire that other parts of the city seemed to have gotten used to. Then and now, the community held vigils and rallied for justice for the innocent victims.

 

As deputy faces manslaughter charges, there’s debate over policy of shooting at cars

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Deputy Justin Wall will make his first court appearance Monday on charges of voluntary manslaughter for fatally shooting a woman who led deputies on a pursuit in 2017.

 

Grant will help Lodi police fight alcohol crimes

Recordnet

The Lodi Police Department has received a grant from the California Alcoholic Beverage Control to combat alcohol-related crime.

 

Public Safety:

 

California Court of Appeal - Fifth Appellate District

The Court of Appeal, Fifth District, is pleased to announce the confirmation of the

appointments of Honorable Thomas DeSantos and Hon. Mark W. Snauffer as justices of the court of appeal. The nominations by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. were confirmed today, July 26, 2018, during a hearing at the Supreme Court in San Francisco.

 

Chowchilla council votes to put public safety tax on Nov. ballot

Madera Tribune

Chowchilla’s City Council has voted to put a public safety tax on the November ballot, following a survey, begun last year to assess the public’s support for such a tax.

 

New Delano police chief has work cut out for him

Bakersfield Californian

If trust is what he wants, Robert Nevarez has got a lot of work to do. Delano has had 19 homicides since 2016 with five this year as of this writing. Ten cases are considered closed. Nine cases remain unsolved.

 

More Research Could Help Prevent Gun Violence in America

RAND

Do gun-free zones prevent mass shootings, or encourage them? The truth is, no one has enough good evidence to say for sure.

 

Don’t defend the cowards who abuse the Second Amendment

Washington Post

Far too many people have needlessly killed people and are still walking free.

 

Fire:

 

Yosemite closure extended as Ferguson Fire burns

Fresno Bee

Yosemite Valley won’t reopen to the public until Friday, Aug. 3 at 4 p.m., Yosemite National Park officials announced Friday evening.

See also:

     Firefighter hurt in ‘serious accident’ fighting Ferguson Fire, officials confirm The Fresno Bee

     Fire crews moving to a direct attack on Ferguson Fire ABC30

     Ferguson Fire News Releases - InciWeb the Incident Information System Inciweb

     Ferguson fire now equivalent to 66,000 football fields. Crews keep watch of homes Sierra Star

     Visalia crews asked to stay and fight Yosemite-area fire Visalia Times-Delta

      Sequoia firefighter identified after being killed on duty Visalia Times-Delta

      Crews continue to fight to keep Ferguson Fire away from Yosemite and populated areas ABC30

      Is smoke from wildfires affecting Bakersfield? Bakersfield Californian

     Wildfires in Mendocino County grow, Napa County blaze dies down San Francisco Chronicle

 

California Today: The Increasing Strain on State Firefighters

NY Times

Firefighters are working 24- to 36-hour shifts to put out several large fires across the state, often with little rest between assignments. For many, the strain of this recent spate of blazes has been compounded with a wildfire season that has become year-round and more intense.

See also:

     California fights wildfires aggressively—but prevention takes a back seat CALmatters

      California runs up huge firefighting bill early in season Sacramento Bee

     How A Booming Population And Climate Change Made California’s Wildfires Worse Than Eve Buzzfeed

      High temperatures and dry conditions are helping wildfires spread PBS NewsHour

Death toll mounts as wildfires rage across California

Los Angeles Times

Eight fatalities have now been reported from blazes burning in Shasta County and near Yosemite National Park. Firefighters are battling 17 wildfires across the state.

See also:

      Calif. wildfire nears 90,000 acres; search for missing persons UPI

     After days of dread, a family learns a great-grandmother and kids perished in flames Fresno Bee

     Firefighter who died in Ferguson Fire identified as 33-year old Brian Hughes Fresno Bee

     Firefighter struck by tree and killed while battling Ferguson Fire ABC30

     Update: Sequoia firefighter identified after being killed on duty Visalia Times-Delta

      Redding was scorched by a fire so strong it created its own weather system Los Angeles Times

      Deadly blaze near Redding claims 6th life San Francisco Chronicle

 

ECONOMY / JOBS

 

Economy:

 

Millions of Californians are poor, and they don't always live where you'd expect

Los Angeles Times

Some live in rural regions removed from the state’s economic recovery. Others live in bustling cities or even along the state’s world-famous coastline. Most impoverished adults, contrary to conventional wisdom, have a job. A disturbingly large number of the poor are children.

 

Child Poverty in California

PPIC

More than 1 in 5  California children lived in poverty in 2016, and 83.5 percent lived in families where at least one parent worked, an indication of stagnant wages, a new report shows.

 

Trump touts economic growth, but it hasn't lifted his support — or his party's election prospects

Los Angeles Times

President Trump jauntily celebrated the strong growth numbers released on Friday, appearing in the sun-kissed Rose Garden to claim credit for a humming economy. Yet his own numbers — for the public’s approval — remain unusually low for a president presiding over good times.

See also:

     Trump Takes Full Ownership of Economy As Midterms Approach Roll Call

     The Return of 3% Growth Wall Street Journal

     The economy’s great. That doesn’t mean Trumponomics is. Washington Post

      AP fact check: Trump overstates his claims on the economy PBS

     Trump falsely claims historic turnaround AP FACT CHECK

     GDP Growth Hits 4.1 Percent National Review

      Fewer Americans are making more than their parents did—especially if they grew up in the middle class Brookings


 

 

Back to the 1930s: Do US tariffs signal a shift to Smoot-Hawley-type protectionism?

Brookings

Throughout 2018, the United States has introduced new tariffs on products imported from several trading partners, citing national security concerns, unfair trade practices, or serious injury to domestic industries.

See also:

      On trade policy, Trump is turning GOP orthodoxy on its head AP News

      Did the US and EU secure a trade deal? Brookings

      Opinion - Trump is using tariffs to advance a radical free-trade agenda Washington Post

      Midwest Lawmakers United Against Tariffs as Trump Unveils Farm Bailout Roll Call

     Kudlow: Trump Administration Will Lower Deficit Despite Projections Roll Call

      Trump Adviser Kudlow Says U.S. to ‘Immediately’ Start EU Trade Talks on Agriculture  Wall Street Journal

      Soda, Motorcycle Prices Rise as Tariffs Hit Home for Consumers  Wall Street Journal

 

‘Eye-popping’ payouts for CEOs follow Trump’s tax cuts

Politico

The insider sales feed the narrative that corporate tax cuts enrich executives in the short term while yielding less clear long-term benefits for workers.

 

Republicans Go For Broke on Tax Cut Message With 2.0 Effort

Roll Call

Making individual tax cuts permanent is centerpiece of developing 3-bill package

See also:

      Tax Cuts Bust 'Secular Stagnation' Wall Street Journal

Rethinking cluster initiatives

Brookings

As mid-size metropolitan areas across the country look to diversify their economies, a new policy framework offers regional leaders guidance on when to embrace industry clusters—groups of firms that gain a competitive advantage through proximity and interdependence—or consider equally powerful development alternatives instead.

 

Best and Worst Charities for Your Donations

Consumer Reports

Important tips to keep in mind when giving

 

Jobs:

 

Workers Leaving California Labor Force Even As Unemployment Stays Near Record Lows

California Business Roundtable

California’s unemployment rate remains at a record low of 4.2 percent in the latest jobs report. But a closer look shows 2018 has not exactly been a banner year for the state’s labor market.

 

Fed Looks for Goldilocks Path as Jobless Rate Drops

Wall Street Journal

Central-bank researchers study metro-areas data for clues on inflation when unemployment is low

 

Share of U.S. Employees Offered Health Care Through Work Rise

California Business Roundtable

For the first time in six years, the share of U.S. workers offered health insurance through their employer has risen, a sign a tighter labor market is prompting businesses to offer more generous benefits.

 

Fewer teens have summer jobs than ever; guidance counselors think that’s great

NPR

Flipping burgers or stocking shelves won’t prepare them for a career as well as an unpaid internship or a good summer camp will, one high school counselor says. Teens won’t need much convincing — their participation in the workforce has fallen in the past 20 years to 35 percent.

 

Why does one of the most needed jobs pay so poorly?

PBS NewsHour

With about 10,000 baby boomers retiring every single day, home care is one of the fastest growing, most needed occupations in America. But there's a problem: The current median pay is just $10.49 per hour. Economics correspondent Paul Solman reports on why these vital workers get paid so little.

 

About a third of large U.S. newspapers have suffered layoffs since 2017

PEW

Newspaper layoffs have far from abated in the past year, and digital-native news outlets are also suffering losses, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis.

 

White House uses foreign aid agency to give jobs to Trump loyalists

Washington Post

The White House has assumed control over hiring at a small federal agency that promotes economic growth in poor countries, installing political allies and loyalists in appointed jobs intended for development experts, according to documents and interviews.

 

Employers Eager to Hire Try a New Policy: ‘No Experience Necessary’

Wall Street Journal

Inexperienced job applicants face better odds in the labor market as more companies drop work-history and degree requirements

 

EDUCATION

 

K-12:

 

Kern County districts see increase in graduation rates for 2017

Bakersfield Californian

Kern County graduation rates are going up.

See also:

       School districts expect strong growth in student enrollment for fall Bakersfield Californian

       New graduation data: racial disparities persist CALmatters

 

Dive Into STEM Program

ABC30

Local students had the opportunity to brush up on their science skills in a very interactive way on Tuesday by building robots, and scuba diving. The Dive Into STEM Program has been going on for three summers now, thanks to a partnership with the Clovis Unified School District.

 

Al Galvez resigns from MUSD board, citing serious family health issue

Madera Tribune

Al Galvez, in his third consecutive term as president of the Madera Unified School board, resigned from the board effective Thursday.

 

Three San Joaquin County districts begin school year under new leadership

Stockton Record

Three of San Joaquin County’s larger school districts will be led by new faces in their first year as superintendent.

 

Back to school drives ease financial burden

Hanford Sentinel

For some parents, buying supplies can be a burden, so some organizations in Hanford are hosting back-to-school fundraisers and events to help parents and their children.

 

Backpack giveaway helps students prepare for school year

Stockton Record

Another outstanding example of the community’s heart was on display Sunday as 40 volunteers spent the day helping distribute free backpacks and class supplies to hundreds of children from struggling families just in time for the start of school.

 

Early start has football coaches worried about practices in Central Valley heat

Visalia Times-Delta

This year, football games will be played earlier than usual after the CIF shifted the athletic calendar up a week. Football was the only sport in this section to start practice on Monday.

 

Best way to improve student math scores? Change teachers’ attitudes, study says

EdSource

Students do better in math when their teachers have a positive attitude about math, a Stanford study says.

 

California schools aren’t exactly leading the nation. What should we do about it?

Sacramento Bee

Pay teachers better. Get rid of the least effective ones. Tell schools to make class sizes smaller. Let schools make their own decisions. Put parents in charge. Put teachers in charge. Go back to basics. Do something new. Just do…something.

 

Can schools commit malpractice? It depends

Brookings

After seven students in Detroit sued the state of Michigan over poor schools, Mark Dynarski examines the history of education malpractice lawsuits in the United States—most of which have failed—and the legal precedent they have created for future cases.

 

Editorial: Taking on teacher tenure in California is no small undertaking

Sacramento Bee

Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, treading where most legislators fear to go, is challenging the public school teachers’ unions on the issue of tenure.

 

Will California Schools Pass Their Tough Test On Pensions?

California Business Roundtable

It’s not just many California cities and counties that face crushing pension obligations. It’s also a lot of public school districts.

 

Higher Ed:

 

Limited admissions for spring 2019

Fresno State Campus News

Fresno State will accept a limited number of student applications for the spring 2019 semester from new upper-division transfer applicants and graduate students starting on Aug. 1. The application deadline is Aug. 31.

STEM partnership to be pipeline for diverse faculty

Fresno State Campus News

Fresno State and University of California, Merced are teaming up over the next five years to train and mentor underrepresented minority doctoral students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields to teach at colleges and universities.

 

California students flocking to universities in Arizona

abc30

Californians, including many turned away by public universities in their own state, are flocking to four-year state and private universities in neighboring Arizona.

 

The Market Doesn’t Care About Your High School Diploma. Prepare For Lifelong Higher Ed

California Business Roundtable

The White House, with its recent executive order establishing the National Council on the American Worker, is recognizing a seismic shift in the world of work, one that California’s community colleges have been focused on in recent years.

 

How do you get into Harvard? For the lucky few, there’s the Z list.

Boston Globe

Getting into Harvard requires top grades, impressive extracurricular pursuits, and a dynamic personality. But there’s another way in: the Z list.

 

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

CALmatters

While the Trump administration caused a stir last week when it reversed Obama-era policies encouraging universities to consider racial diversity in admissions, reaction in California was muted. That’s because California’s public universities have been banned from using race in admissions decisions since voters passed Proposition 209 in 1996.

 

Big changes coming to vital community colleges

CALmatters

California’s 114 community colleges are the Rodney Dangerfields of higher education, overshadowed by the state’s four-year universities and not getting much respect.

 

Guaranteed Admission For California Community College Students At Private Universities

California Business Roundtable

Students at California’s community colleges are about to get more options for earning a bachelor’s degree in four years.

 

Not living in the dorms? Good luck figuring out what college is gonna cost

CALmatters

As newly minted college students get ready to start classes next month, some will find their school’s estimates for costs are way off. If students relied on what colleges report, they’d expect to pay nearly the same amount for food and off-campus housing at Fresno State as at UCLA, even though the two areas have dramatically different housing costs.

 

California Dream: College costs are elusive

CALmatters

In the latest California Dream episode, KQED’s Vanessa Rancaño in collaboration with CALmatters reports that universities’ cost estimates for housing and food are way off. Fresno State and UCLA, for example, claim students should expect to pay nearly the same for food and housing, though costs are dramatically different. The estimates skew students’ budgets as they struggle to attain the California Dream of an affordable education at a great public university.

 

Most Americans say higher ed is heading in wrong direction, but partisans disagree on why

PEW Research Center

Americans (61%) say the higher education system in the United States is going in the wrong direction, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. But Republicans and Democrats differ over why they think this is the case.

 

ENVIRONMENT/ ENERGY

 

Environment:

 

Environmental Issues Weigh Heavily for California Voters

California Business Roundtable

Environmental policy appears to be especially important to California voters this year, particularly in the gubernatorial race between Democratic Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom and Republican businessman John Cox.

See also:

       California-Trump Fight Looms Over Fuel Air Standards California Business Roundtable

       Why California Goes Its Own Way on the Environment Bloomberg

 

Climate change is supercharging a hot and dangerous summer

Washington Post

Scientists point to the effects of global warming amid extreme weather in the Northern Hemisphere.

See also:

      Science Says: Record heat, fires worsened by climate change AP News

      California Is Preparing for Extreme Weather. It’s Time to Plant Some Trees. The New York Times

     We know it’s hot. The question is when will this record end? You won’t like the answer Fresno Bee

     'Disheartening' heart, air conditions continue Hanford Sentinel

     Is smoke from wildfires affecting Bakersfield? Bakersfield Californian

 

California's climate change regulator will keep its leadership through 2020

Los Angeles Times

Gov. Jerry Brown will keep his imprint on the state’s powerful climate change agency beyond his time in office following an agency vote Thursday.

 

Fishing industry at odds with environmentalists over changes to U.S. fishing laws

Los Angeles Times

Fishermen and environmentalists are at odds over a suite of changes to U.S. fishing laws that was approved by the House of Representatives, and the proposal faces a new hurdle in the Senate.

 

From Dow’s ‘Dioxin Lawyer’ to Trump’s Choice to Run Superfund

The New York Times

The lawyer nominated to run the Superfund toxic cleanup program is steeped in the complexities of restoring polluted rivers and chemical dumps. He spent more than a decade on one of the nation’s most extensive cleanups, one involving Dow Chemical’s sprawling headquarters in Midland, Mich.

 

Energy:

 

California Was Warned Months Ago Its Grid Could Buckle In The Heat. Now It's Happening

California Business Roundtable

California’s grid operator is asking customers to limit electricity use during peak hours to help keep power flowing as a “heat dome” settles over the southwestern U.S.

 

HEALTH/HUMAN SERVICES

 

Experts recommend people take precautions in triple-digit heat

ABC30

Kelly Ochoa pediatric emergency physician at Valley Children's Hospital said prolonged exposure can result in heat exhaustion. Recently they have seen more people come in to be treated for heat-related illnesses.

 

Study looks at factors in preterm birth

Fresno State Campus News

The Central Valley Health Policy Institute is conducting a study, SOLARS, to learn more about the prevalence of preterm birth in Latina/Hispanic mothers.

See also:

       To Keep Women From Dying In Childbirth, Look To California  NPR

 

Kaiser Permanente teaches seniors how to prevent falling and improve balance

ABC30

Some Valley seniors found themselves back in school for a lesson designed to help keep them on solid ground. About 20 residents of the Clovis Senior Center took part in a Falls Prevention and Balance Class hosted by Kaiser Permanente's Fresno Rehabilitation Department.

 

Major medical errors associated with high levels of physician burnout, study says

Sacramento Bee

Physicians in this country experience extremely high levels of burnout - and that’s contributing to medical errors.

 

If your doctor misunderstands your pain, you won’t just be uncomfortable — it could hamper your treatment and recovery

NPR

Being clear not just about how much pain you’re feeling but also about how it’s limiting you can help clinicians choose the right mix of therapies or medications. For injuries, that could mean being able to properly do your physical therapy. For chronic pain, it could allow you to stay as active as possible.

 

In rural America, tightened access to Medicaid means tough choices

PBS

In March, Casey Britton fed her two 13-page Medicaid renewal applications into an ancient fax machine in Linden, Tennessee’s career center before the state’s March 31 deadline. But on April 30, the state sent her a letter, saying it reviewed her paperwork and had decided she didn’t qualify anymore. Their coverage would end May 21, the letter read.

 

Outdated facilities create difficult environment at SJ’s Public Health Services

Stockton Record

Using matter-of-fact language, the three-page report bluntly expressed a need that was emerging for San Joaquin County’s Public Health Services department.

 

Bad medicine: Tales of medical professionals busted for ethics, criminal violations in Kern County

Bakersfield Californian

By and large, most people working in medical fields in Kern County are properly certified, adept at what they do and manage to keep their names from appearing on arrest sheets or malpractice lawsuits. Some, however, have run into trouble, whether legally or with discipline meted out by a licensing board or other agency. 

 

Top-Down and Bottom-Up Approaches to Health Care Quality: The Impacts of Regulation and Report Cards

Annual Review of Public Health

The high cost of the US healthcare system does not buy uniformly high quality of care. Concern about low quality has prompted two major types of public policy responses: regulation, a top-down approach, and report cards, a bottom-up approach.

 

The GOP's Clean Bills of Health Savings

Wall street Journal

The Senate plans to stay in Washington for August this year, and here’s an idea to keep busy: Pass some House health-care reforms that are modest improvements even Democrats should like.

 

Study: "Medicare for all" plan touted by Bernie Sanders would cost $32.6 trillion

CBS News

Sen. Bernie Sanders' "Medicare for all" plan would increase government health care spending by $32.6 trillion over 10 years, according to a study by a university-based libertarian policy center. That's trillion with a "T."

 

New Veterans Affairs chief plans to reassign, sideline Trump loyalists now in power

Washington Post

In one of his first acts as President Trump’s Veterans Affairs secretary, Robert Wilkie intends to reassign several high-ranking political appointees at the center of the agency’s ongoing morale crisis and staffing exodus, according to three people familiar with his plans.

 

IMMIGRATION

 

EDITORIAL: Fresno’s courthouse should not be an arresting field for ICE agents

Fresno Bee

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrests at Fresno Superior Court need to stop. Such arrests thwart justice by scaring off undocumented people who are needed in court, either as suspects, victims or witnesses.

 

Trump threatens government shut down over border security

Sacramento Bee

Republicans anxious about keeping control of Congress think it's a bad idea, but President Donald Trump still says he's willing to close the government over border security issues, including money he wants to build a promised U.S.-Mexico border wall.

 

Cruelty of Trump's separation policy plainer than ever

San Diego Union-Tribune

The Trump administration’s decision to separate more than 2,500 children from immigrant families detained at the border continues to be a humanitarian disaster. Government lawyers on Friday said that about 650 children are still separated, meaning the U.S. missed the Thursday deadline for reunification.

 

EDITORIAL: Noncitizens in America deserve a pathway to citizenship, not the ability to vote

Los Angeles Times

Voting acts as a vital form of oversight for all three branches of government in California, and that check on governmental power should be reserved for those who have the formal, binding tie to the nation and each other of citizenship.

 

LAND USE/HOUSING

 

Land Use:

 

How a California Landfill in Fresno Became a Landmark

Atlas Obscura

Getting historical recognition for a dump can be a messy process.

 

How Can Cities Succeed in the 21st Century? Focus on Community.

The Atlantic

A few years ago, Boeing closed its sprawling aircraft manufacturing plant in the Southern California city just outside Los Angeles, decimating the local economy.

 

Housing:

 

California housing crisis collides with 2020 presidential race

Politico

A ballot initiative designed to address the problem threatens to fracture Democrats.

 

Buyer Fatigue’ Hits California Home Sale Market As Sales Drop

California Business Roundtable

Sacramento home sales have hit a summer slump as potential buyers back away from escalating prices and rising mortgage interest rates.

See also:

      High Prices Dent California Home Sales – Where Could This Happen Next? California Business Roundtable

Architects were asked to design appealing homeless shelters on a $1-million budget. Here's what they came up with

Los Angeles Times

The goal is to come up with standard designs that could be placed on a lot anywhere in the city, and are pleasing enough to help the shelter plan overcome its two biggest obstacles.

 

PUBLIC FINANCES

 

California’s $290 million tax-filing system stumbling in first big test

Fresno Bee

California’s brand new $290 million system for collecting sales tax is off to a rocky start with a key filing deadline just days away.

 

Pension Fund Earnings Up, But Crushing Debts Remain

California Business Roundtable

California’s two immense public employee pension funds this month reported investment earnings higher than their assumed rate for the second straight year.

 

(Opinion) Want to convince California voters to keep the gas tax? This is the wrong way to do it

Sacramento Bee

By now, it’s clear that the backers of Gov. Jerry Brown’s gas tax have a problem. It’s just not the problem they think it is.

 

TRANSPORTATION

 

Drivers are fed up with the DMV. So are California lawmakers.

Fresno Bee

Some California lawmakers are infuriated with the DMV’s handling of the issue, accusing upper management of fudging wait times, misleading the public and poorly preparing itself for increased customer traffic expected with the advent of the Real ID card, which requires a visit to the DMV.

 

Southwest CEO firm: no assigned seats, baggage fees

Visalia Times-Delta

Southwest Airlines is aggressively plotting ways to boost revenue, but CEO Gary Kelly says three things are definitely off the table, at least for now: baggage fees, ticket-change fees and assigned seating.

 

$30 million roadway project aims to connect Highway 99 with UC Merced.

Modesto Bee

A roadway expansion project that aims to improve traffic and generate economic activity between the UC Merced and Highway 99 is entering its next phase, according to city, county and state officials.

 

Two-wheeled transportation transforms lives in our city

Bakersfield Californian

Why does Bakersfield need a nonprofit advocacy, education and bike repair organization? After 13 years, the answer is clear. I dropped by Bike Bakersfield last week and saw it buzzing with action. You wouldn’t know that an invention as simple as a bicycle could change lives, until you experience that change and see it in person.

 

Calculations show bullet train can complete route within 2 hours and 40 minutes. Reality may prove slower

Los Angeles Times

When California voters approved construction of a bullet train in 2008, they had a legal promise that passengers would be able to speed from Los Angeles to San Francisco in two hours and 40 minutes. The authority says it can still meet its trip time commitments, though not by much.

See also:

       A $100 Billion Train: The Future of California or a Boondoggle? The New York Times

 

Don’t build a streetcar in Downtown LA, use the buses, but gussy ’em up a bit

LA Curbed

Los Angeles is gearing up to drop about $291 million on a streetcar that will serve Downtown. It’s a bad idea.

 

WATER

 

Walters: Big water moves mark Brown’s final months

CALmatters

Nearly six decades ago, shortly after becoming governor, Pat Brown persuaded the Legislature and voters to approve one of the nation’s largest public works projects, the State Water Plan.

 

The Great Era of California Dam Building May Be Over. Here's What's Next

California Business Roundtable

For a century, California has harnessed its water with concrete, building dams and reservoirs on an epic scale.

 

Interior Secretary Zinke Considers Draining Hetch Hetchy Reservoir

Valley Public Radio

A group called Restore Hetch Hetchy met with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke Sunday to discuss draining the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, located in Yosemite National Park. The reservoir supplies water to San Francisco.

See also:

       EDITORIAL: Preserve Hetch Hetchy reservoir San Francisco Chronicle

 

The California Drought Isn’t Over, It Just Went Underground

Water Deeply

Drought conditions continue for thousands of rural residents in the San Joaquin valley who rely on groundwater. And the race to dig deeper wells is a losing game for small communities and those on private wells.

 

A week after visit to New Melones, Department of Interior blasts state water plan

The Modesto Bee

The Department of the Interior issued a blistering attack against the state’s proposed water grab, saying it would “cripple the Central Valley’s economy, farms and community.”

 

Lead found in water from drinking fountain at Fresno high school

Fresno Bee

Fresno Unified has found lead in the water of a drinking fountain at Duncan Polytechnical High School.

 

California says this chemical causes cancer. So why is it being sprayed into drinking water?

Sacramento Bee

A year ago, the active ingredient in Roundup, the nation’s most widely used weed-killing herbicide, was added to California’s official list of chemicals known to cause cancer.

 

California Farms’ Water Use Still Unclear, Despite New Reporting Rules

News Deeply

While some other states monitor water deliveries to farms in real time, California has allowed irrigation districts to submit annual reports on paper. According to one recent analysis, fewer than half are even doing that much.

 

 

“Xtra”

 

Opening celebration for Saroyan House-Museum is Aug. 31

Fresno State Campus News

The Fresno house where famed writer William Saroyan spent the last two decades of his life will open as a museum on Aug. 31, the 110th anniversary of his birth, with a private reception.

 

Fresno Food Expo | Favorite foods | Ice cream, beer, hard lemonade, cookies

The Fresno Bee

The Fresno Food Expo has become a hotbed for launching new and interesting food and drink products. This year did not disappoint.

 

 

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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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