July 6, 2018






Devin Nunes refers Clinton ally Sidney Blumenthal, others tied to Trump dossier for testimony

Washington Examiner

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., sent another letter Thursday — his third in a week — to two fellow GOP chairmen, referring to them 15 people connected to the Russia investigation for testimony in an "open setting."

See also:

     Nunes calls for public testimony from 15 people, many with links to anti-Trump dossier, Fusion GPS Fox News


New Kings County grand jury selected

Hanford Sentinel

Members of the Kings County Grand Jury were selected Monday for the upcoming 2018-2019 year, and it’s a commitment that isn’t taken lightly.




After public outcry, lawmakers revive California’s gutted net neutrality bill


Democratic legislators said today they’ve settled their differences on net neutrality in California, advancing bills that, if passed, would create the most far-reaching internet regulation in the country.

See also:

     California's new consumer privacy law isn't as sweeping as you might think  Sacramento Bee

     California lawmakers agree on plan for 'strongest net neutrality protection' in nation Los Angeles Times

     Net neutrality makes comeback in California; lawmakers agree to strict rules Ars Technica

     California senators reach agreement on net neutrality bill AP News


Supreme Court fight could spotlight California governor candidate’s anti-abortion stance

San Jose Mercury News

Republican businessman John Cox is hoping to pull off an upset win in the race for California governor by avoiding any mention of social issues — but his past extreme views on abortion, shaped by personal experience, could make that difficult.


Travis Allen wants to 'Take Back California' from the liberals

Sacramento Bee

On Tuesday, Travis Allen announced the formation of a political action committee, Take Back California, to fight the "liberal elites out of San Francisco" and return power to the people.

Big-name charter school backers donate to California and other key governor races

Mercury News

Prominent charter school supporters are dishing out campaign money, as key gubernatorial races in several states have now begun in earnest.


Companies must let customers cancel subscriptions online, California law says


A California law that went into effect July 1 is aimed at making it easier for customers to cancel their subscriptions online.  The law states that customers who accept an automatic renewal or continuous service offer online must be able to cancel the service online.


Feinstein won’t seek California Democratic Party endorsement

San Francisco Chronicle

Citing a need for unity, Sen. Dianne Feinstein won’t seek the California Democratic Party endorsement she was unlikely to receive anyway in her re-election campaign.


EDITORIAL: Is California’s direct democracy threatened by blackmail? Perhaps, but it could be worse
Sacramento Bee

In 2014, a new law tinkered with California’s initiative process, allowing the Legislature to make deals with proponents, who can then pull their measures even after they qualify for the ballot. In 2018, that law has had its biggest impact so far – and mostly for the good.



Scott Pruitt steps down as EPA head after ethics, management scandals

Washington Post

Scott Pruitt, the former Oklahoma attorney general who relentlessly pursued President Trump’s promises of deregulation at the Environmental Protection Agency, resigned Thursday after a cascade of controversies over his lavish spending, ethical lapses and controversial management decisions finally eroded the president’s confidence in one of his most ardent Cabinet members.

See also:

     Embattled EPA chief Scott Pruitt resigns amid scandals Los Angeles Times

     Schwarzenegger: Pruitt resignation is ‘fantastic’ Politico

     EPA Rollbacks Already Touching Americans' Lives AP News

     Embattled Scott Pruitt Resigns as EPA Administrator Wall Street Journal

     13 Reasons Scott Pruitt Lost His Job as E.P.A. Chief  The New York Times

     Pruitt is out, handing EPA reins to former coal lobbyist AP

     Ex-Coal and Energy Lobbyist Named Acting EPA Chief Wall Street Journal

     EDITORIAL: Scott Pruitt, toxic waste San Francisco Chronicle


Donald Trump Names Ex-Fox News Executive Bill Shine to Oversee White House Communications

Wall Street Journal

President Donald Trump has appointed former Fox News executive Bill Shine as an assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff for communications, the White House said Thursday.


Listen: Trump Narrows List Of Supreme Court Justice Nominees


President Trump has reportedly narrowed his list of Supreme Court nominees down to three. NPR's Nina Totenberg talks to Ailsa Chang about who is on that list — and what we know about them.

See also:

     Three truths about abortion and the Supreme Court AEI

     Democrats have only themselves to blame for their judicial predicament Washington Post

     Fellow conservatives, stop the baseless attacks on a potential Supreme Court pick Washington Post




Tips on identifying ‘fake news’

Fresno State Institute for Media and Public Trust

Have you ever forwarded a news item to friends on Facebook only to later learn from them that the item was phony or “fake news?” It’s embarrassing, but you can avoid sharing phony stories by taking a few simple precautions when assessing news content.

See also:

     How Trump weaponized fake news — and changed the rules for fact checkers Yahoo

     Podcast: Fake News: An Origin Story NPR

     These are the three types of bias that explain all the fake news, pseudoscience, and other junk in your News Feed Nieman Lab


Americans and the News Media: What they do — and don’t — understand about each other

American Press Institute

A key factor in the erosion of Americans’ trust of their news media is a failure to communicate — we have a public that doesn’t fully understand how journalists work, and journalism that doesn’t make itself understandable to much of the public.


Support local news — it’s crucial to our lives and our democracy
Modesto Bee

The murder of five people at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis was tragic. It was also a powerful reminder that local news organizations are the bedrock of engagement in a democratic republic.


Will 2018 be the year Democrats banish the demons of 1994? Signs point to yes.

USA Today

Democrats still have psychic scars on guns, taxes and health care from the 1994 election. But 2018 looks like the year they can leave all that behind.


Thousands of Americans Will Be Denied a Passport Because of Unpaid Taxes

Wall Street Journal

At least 362,000 Americans with overdue tax debts will be denied new or renewed passports if they don’t settle these debts, the Internal Revenue Service says.


The good news about black men in America


Despite a portrait of race relations that often highlights the negative, especially regarding black men, the truth is that most black men will not be incarcerated, are not unemployed, and are not poor — even if black men are more likely than other men to experience these outcomes.


Podcast: The people versus democracy


In his lecture, Dr. Mounk examined the growing success of populist movements worldwide. He outlined three conditions that have kept democracy stable in the post–World War II era: steady increases in living standards, largely mono-ethnic and monocultural societies, and strong public opinion gatekeepers that tempered political debate.


Podcast: What happened to compassionate conservatism — and can it return?


This AEI Events Podcast features conservative scholars discussing the history and potential return of the welfare-reform-focused movement known as compassionate conservatism.


Friedman: Where American Politics Can Still Work: From the Bottom Up

New York Times

If you want to be an optimist about America, stand on your head. The country looks so much better from the bottom up.


EDITORIAL: Thumbs up, thumbs down: Wheelchair kindness, house-fire danger

Fresno Bee

Thumbs up to Abel Vera of Fresno, who gave away a $10,000 wheelchair to a disabled man while in Russia for the World Cup soccer competition. Vera started an organization he calls What Pushes You? to raise money to benefit disabled people.




Sunday, July 8, at 10 a.m. on ABC 30 – Maddy Report“Fighting Fire with Fire: Rethinking Forest Management” – Guest: Pedro Nava, Chair of California Little Hoover Commission. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.


Sunday, July 8, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) – Maddy Report  - Valley Views Edition“How Prepared is California for Natural Disaster, Generally and Forest Fires, in Particular?” – Guests: Christina Curry, Cal OES Deputy Director of Planning, Preparedness and Prevention and Pedro Nava, Chair of California Little Hoover Commission. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.


Sunday, July 8, at 7:30 a.m. on UniMas 61 (KTTF) – El Informe Maddy: “Fighting Fire with Fire: Rethinking Forest Management”  Guest: Little Hoover Commission Representative, Julissa Delgado. Host: Maddy Institute Program Coordinator, Maria Jeans.



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Buy fresh produce for a good cause this weekend

Bakersfield Californian

The Kern County Farm Bureau announced Tuesday that its Young Farmers and Ranchers is hosting its 4th Annual Farmers Market from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday in the Chuy’s parking lot, 8660 Rosedale Highway.


Valley Farmers Have A New Crop: Carbon

Valley Public Radio

A new program funded by the state's cap-and-trade initative aims to help farmers add cover crops to their fields, with the idea that more carbon will be stored in the soil in the form of organic matter.


East valley grape growers liable for nearly $650,000 in wage theft of 1,374 seasonal workers

Desert Sun

A Coachella Valley company that contracts seasonal farmworkers to agriculture companies in the region has been hit with $646,875 in penalties for failing to pay 1,374 workers in 2016 and 2017.


New Federal Farm Bill Looks To Help Agriculturalists With Research, Specialty Crops


Josh Rolph with the California Farm Bureau Federation said the farm bill preserves conservation programs in the Golden State and also maintains investments in trade development and organic agriculture.


Local Food Prices, SNAP Purchasing Power, and Child Health
National Bureau of Economic Research
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) is one of the most important elements of the social safety net. Unlike most other safety net programs, SNAP varies little across states and over time, which creates challenges for quasi-experimental evaluation.

Farms in Trump country hit hard by Chinese tariffs


China’s retaliatory tariffs on $34 billion worth of U.S. goods are directly aimed at rural regions of the country that voted heavily for President Donald Trump.

See also:

     Chinese Tariffs Hit Trump Counties Harder Wall Street Journal

     Trump Distorts Facts on Agricultural Trade FactCheck


Mexico implements retaliatory tariffs on US agricultural products

The Hill

Mexico moved forward Thursday with its second round of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, according to a Politico report. Most of the latest tariffs will be applied to U.S. agricultural products, including apples, cranberries, cheeses, potatoes, pork and whiskey.


How pot companies will destroy tons of weed they can’t sell after marijuana fire sales

Desert Sun

A stash of California cannabis is headed for the trash bin. Businesses hurried to sell tens of thousands of dollars worth of inventory by the end of June. But after the fire sales, many cannabis companies are facing a burning question: What to do with the leftovers?






Despite 'hiccups', Visalia breaks record for illegal firework reports

Visalia Times-Delta

Last week, the city of Visalia unveiled a new online illegal firework reporting system. The system was an alternative to residents calling the city's non-emergency line.


Here's how California might enforce violations of marijuana business rules

Marijuana Business Daily

Now that it’s July and new mandated regulations involving packaging and lab testing have kicked in, many licensed companies in California may be wondering what will happen if they’re suddenly faced with a surprise inspection from a state official.


Public Safety:


Should Police Use Computers to Predict Crimes and Criminals?

U.S. News

Years of secrecy by America's police departments about their use of computer programs predicting where crimes will occur, and who will commit them, are under fire in legal cases nationwide.


The Only Winners In California’s Fines And Fees System Are Private Debt Collectors

The Appeal

San Francisco just became the first city in the nation to stop charging court fines and fees, but the rest of the state has a long way to go.


Suspected criminals get privacy rights—what about the rest of us?


The United States Supreme Court took an important step to protect Americans against unwarranted government intrusion in criminal investigations. Now it is time for another branch of government—the Congress—to act to protect our privacy the rest of the time.


EDITORIAL: It’s time for California to reform the felony-murder rule. Pass SB1437.

OC Register

If our criminal justice system is to fulfill its purpose and exact justice, it is imperative that laws are designed to truly hold individuals accountable for their actions. With Senate Bill 1437 California has an opportunity to better serve the interests of justice.



Where there's fire and fireworks, there's harmful smoke to breathe

Fresno Bee

A yellow haze of smoke from the County Fire near Napa Valley is filling the central San Joaquin Valley with small particles of soot and ash that can make the air unhealthy to breathe. And the smoke from the fire couldn't be drifting into the Valley at a worse time.


EDITORIAL: After fires, an unseemly rush to rescue PG&E

San Francisco Chronicle

With new blazes burning across Northern California and more than a dozen of last year’s wildfires freshly blamed on Pacific Gas and Electric Co., it’s an awkward time to consider pardoning power companies that start fires.






Rosa Brothers named Small Business of the Year

Hanford Sentinel

On June 19, Rosa Brothers Milk Company was honored by Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) at California Small Business Day as Small Business of the Year in Senate District 14.


China Says U.S. Has Begun 'Largest Trade War' In History, Retaliates With Tariffs


As the day dawned across the U.S. on Friday, a new economic reality dawned with it: The tariffs long threatened against billions of dollars in Chinese goods took effect just at midnight ET while many Americans were sleeping — but Beijing was ready immediately with a wake-up call of its own.

See also:

     U.S. levies tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports Washington Post

     Trade War begins: US and China exchange $34 billion in tariffs CNBC

     China: The US has started 'the biggest trade war' in history CNN

     China-U.S. tariffs: Trade war will push prices up, growth down - CBS News CBS News

     Trump confirms that tariffs against China will take effect AP News

     U.S. Industries Fear Worst Is Yet to Come From Trump Tariffs Bloomberg

     Trade Deficits and U.S. Trade Policy Congressional Research Service

     Americans to be first casualties of Trump's looming trade war The Hill

     The Use—and Abuse—of Tariffs Wall Street Journal

     There Isn’t Much the Fed Can Do to Ease the Pain of a Trade War New York Times

     Republican candidates in key Senate races struggle with Trump tariffs Washington Post

     How a trade war could turn into a recession CNN

     Trade Policy Information System TPIS

     China blames U.S. for 'largest-scale trade war' as tariffs kick in Reuters

     U.S. hits China with $34B round of tariffs; Beijing strikes back UPI

     China tariffs: We can do better AEI

     Confusion as China ports delay U.S. cargoes, disrupting trade Reuters

     Can China build an anti-U.S. alliance? Wall Street Journal

     Targeting China’s high-tech protectionism: CFIUS is not enough AEI

     EDITORIAL: Will Trump’s splendid little trade war live in infamy? Washington Post

     EDITORIAL: Trump wants to wield tariffs like a weapon. But who will he actually wound? Los Angeles Times

     EDITORIAL: Trump threatens the world’s trade order San Francisco Chronicle


Video: The truth about the retail apocalypse


There were a record number of store closings in 2017. But in that same year low-price and premium retailers saw strong sales. So is the hype about the retail apocalypse overblown? CNN’s Paul R. La Monica explains why the industry isn't struggling as much as you think.


Walmart Takes a Stand on Guns, Gay Rights to Get People to Like It More
Wall Street Journal

Consumers and employees expect companies to voice opinions on hot-button topics, and the world’s largest retailer is weighing in.




U.S. Adds 213,000 Jobs in June

Wall Street Journal

The U.S. added 213,000 jobs in June, topped economist forecasts of 195,000. The unemployment rate ticked up to 4% from 3.8%, and average hourly earnings rose 2.7% from a year earlier.

See also:

     The Jobs Numbers: Who’s Hiring in America—and Who’s Not Bloomberg

     U.S. added 213,000 jobs in June, unemployment rose to 4 percent Marketplace

     U.S. Added 213,000 Jobs In June NPR

     U.S. Added 213,000 Jobs in June; Unemployment Ticks Up to 4% New York Times

     U.S. Payrolls Rise 213,000; Wage Gains Slow, Unemployment Up Bloomberg

     Economy adds 213K jobs in June, unemployment ticks up to 4 percent The Hill


Low pay for child care workers puts more than half at poverty level, study finds


A majority of child care workers in California are paid so little they qualify for public assistance programs, according to a new report on the early education workforce.


How Tipping Shortchanges Workers

The Nation

Washington, DC residents approved a measure that, if implemented, would require tipped workers to be paid the minimum wage guaranteed to everyone else. In DC, that’s $15 an hour by mid-2020.


California Agency Opens Third Probe Into Tesla's Fremont Factory

U.S. News

A California agency for occupational safety said on Thursday it opened a third investigation at Tesla Inc's factory in Fremont, California, following a complaint.




Search for MJC president starts over after two finalists rejected

Modesto Bee

The Yosemite Community College District has turned down the two finalists for the president's job at Modesto Junior College.

Trump's new guidelines trigger debate on affirmative action, but California already bans it


California is likely to be little affected by the Trump administration’s latest moves against racial affirmative action in part because the state already banned such racial preferences in public education policies and state university admissions more than two decades ago.

See also:

     EDITORIAL: Trump didn’t gut affirmative action, but its future is far from secure Los Angeles Times


No, it's not correct that 39% of California students are undocumented


According to estimates by the University of Southern California, only about 3 percent of the child population in California -- defined as those under 18 -- were undocumented immigrants in the period 2008 to 2012.


Student loan interest rates just went up again

Los Angeles Times

Expect to pay more for federal student loans this coming school year.


FAFSA completion rates matter: But mind the data


FAFSA season has just ended — the final deadline to fill out the 2017-18 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) was June 30. This year, as every year, many students who are eligible for aid will have failed to complete the form.






In California Nutria Pose ‘Triple Threat,’ Officials Warn

Sierra Sun Times

Could a 20-pound swamp rodent ruin California's water delivery system and farmers' crops up and down the Central Valley? Left unchecked, nutria could well do exactly that, wildlife officials say.


Workers in Central Coast Pesticide Drift Tied to Dole, Driscoll's Were Sick for Days
A group of raspberry pickers, sickened by several chemicals that drifted onto the Watsonville field where they were working close to a year ago, felt sick for longer than previously known, according to newly revealed investigative findings.


Melting Roads And Runny Roofs: Heat Scorches The Northern Hemisphere


But the heat has been so notable in the past week or so that records are being stretched and scorched from Canada to Armenia, with roofs and roads going runny.

See also:

     A dangerous heat wave threatens millions of people in California and the southwest CNN


EPA blocks warnings on cancer-causing chemical
Burying the formaldehyde study is part of an effort by Pruitt and aides to undermine EPA's research program, current and former officials tell POLITICO.


EDITORIAL: Protecting your skin and saving baby corals doesn't have to be mutually exclusive

Los Angeles Times

A study conducted by an international team of scientists found that exposure to the two most common ingredients in sunscreen — oxybenzone, or BP-3, and octinoxate — is toxic to coral development in four ways.






Mosquitoes test positive for St. Louis Encephalitis in Fresno

Fresno Bee

Mosquitoes trapped in Fresno have tested positive for St. Louis Encephalitis. Fresno County health officials said Thursday the infected mosquitoes were in the areas of East Floradora Avenue and Highway 41, plus Shields and Van Ness avenues.

Some Move For Work Or Family. These Fresno Residents Want To Escape The Air

Valley Public Radio

Today, we report on a people who move out of the Valley for an entirely different reason—one that’s related to the Valley’s ozone concentrations, which have been creeping higher as the temperature has risen.


Doctors, nurses, insurance companies spending big to influence California's health care future

Sacramento Bee

Powerful political forces with a stake in the future of California's health care delivery system are pouring money into lobbying and lawmakers' campaign accounts in the current legislative session, battling over costly large-scale changes as they await Gov. Jerry Brown's successor.


How patients, doctors and police are navigating California’s right-to-die law, now at the mercy of state courts

OC Register

Patients, caregivers and coroners who are tasked with investigating deaths say they will now have to keep their ears to the ground until the wobbliness subsides and all issues surrounding the law are resolved, which could take several months.


Here are the 16 health care bills proposed after California shelved single-payer

Sacramento Bee

Here is a rundown of the 16 bills proposed by Democratic lawmakers after the Assembly's special health care hearings concluded. The hearings began following a decision last year by Speaker Anthony Rendon to shelve a controversial single-payer health care bill.
See also:

     CA health care proposals introduced after single-payer bill The Sacramento Bee

     California's likely next governor tamps down expectations for single payer Politico


California's push to make people healthy—and save taxpayers money


 “One of the biggest problems in health care,” Dooley said in an interview last week, “is we pay for treatment of illness but we don’t pay for the advancement of health.” That idea is at the heart of the state’s effort over the past two decades to revamp its system for delivering health care to the neediest.


Pharma companies pay FDA advisers after drugs are approved


This new analysis indicates people who sit on official government panels, and who are supposed to evaluate drugs impartially, are getting rewarded later from the drug companies they helped.


Has American medicine lost its spirit?

San Diego Union-Tribune

Physicians and nurses face ever-increasing technical and efficiency demands as they care for patients but their attention to testing, documentation and data has scaled down the time they can devote to the subjective issues of health and healing.


Walking Drunk Can Be Deadly

Pew Charitable Trusts

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


Human Services:


Valley Children’s achieves trauma center verification

Madera Tribune

Valley Children’s Hospital has achieved verification as a Level II Pediatric Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons (ACS), highlighting its quality of care for injured patients throughout Central California. It is the only pediatric trauma center in the region.




Judge largely rules for California in 'sanctuary state' fight


California’s “sanctuary state” laws largely survived a legal attack by the Trump administration on Thursday after a federal judge declined to block state measures aimed at thwarting cooperation with Washington’s crackdown on illegal immigration.

See also:

     Resistance State: California in the Age of Trump CALmatters

     Federal judge denies Trump administration effort to block California's 'sanctuary' law Los Angeles Times

     Trump administration loses most of challenge to California sanctuary laws San Francisco Chronicle

     California beats Trump in sanctuary state battle's first round Sacramento Bee

     Federal judge strikes down 'troubling' California sanctuary state law, upholds two others Fox News

     Judge largely rejects Trump bid to block California sanctuary laws Politico

     A Judge Rejected Most Of The Trump Administration's Challenge To California's "Sanctuary" Laws BuzzFeed

     A Judge Ruled Against Trump’s Challenge to California’s Sanctuary law. But That Doesn’t Mean the Immigration Battle is Over. Pacific Standard

     Judge denies Trump administration's bid to block California's immigrant sanctuary laws CNBC

     Trump Administration Loses Effort to Block 2 California Laws That Protect Illegal Immigrants TIME


HHS secretary says Trump administration rushing to reunite migrant families separated at the border

Washington Post

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Thursday that officials are racing against a federal judge’s “extreme” deadlines to reunite “under 3,000” migrant children separated from their parents at the U.S. border.

See also:

     What is the status of migrant family reunification? ABC

     As Many As 3,000 Migrant Families Separated At The Border Haven’t Been Reunited Huffington Post


US Army quietly discharging immigrant recruits

Sacramento Bee

Some immigrant U.S. Army reservists and recruits who enlisted in the military with a promised path to citizenship are being abruptly discharged, the Associated Press has learned.

See also:

     U.S. Army kills contracts for hundreds of immigrant recruits. Some face deportation. Washington Post


Most Americans oppose key parts of Trump immigration plans, including wall, limits on citizens bringing family to U.S., poll says

Washington Post

Americans overwhelmingly oppose the Trump administration’s now-rescinded policy of separating immigrant children from their parents, and smaller majorities also disagree with the president’s call to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.


From Texas to California, Older Women Take to Streets to Protest U.S. Immigration Policies


For the first time in her life, Judith Taylor made an appearance at a political rally in East County San Diego on Saturday. Well, not just an appearance. The 85-year-old led a protest against the Trump administration’s immigration policies from atop her mobility scooter.


No, it's not correct that 39% of California students are undocumented


According to estimates by the University of Southern California, only about 3 percent of the child population in California -- defined as those under 18 -- were undocumented immigrants in the period 2008 to 2012.




Land Use:


With lawsuit in the rearview mirror, city moves forward with 24th Street widening project

Bakersfield Californian

The city of Bakersfield scored a major victory in the Fifth District Court of Appeal on Monday, when the court issued a ruling that struck down arguments that could have barred the 24th Street Widening Project from moving forward.


Mesa Verde operator confirms property transactions, but denies expansion plans

Bakersfield Californian

The operator of the Mesa Verde immigration detention center on Golden State Avenue confirmed Thursday it will buy and bulldoze the nearby Bakersfield Dome events venue and El Morocco Motel, but denied the purchases are part of any plan to expand the federal holding facility.


Federal bill to reinstate Siskiyou-area tribe draws fire

Capitol Weekly

A controversial bill to reinstate federal tribal recognition to a long defunct Siskiyou County American Indian rancheria is stalled in the House of Representatives amid questions about the group’s authenticity and motivations.




Fresno Mayor's New Homeless Initiative Is A Change Of Tone To Homeless Advocates

Valley Public Radio

At his State of the City address last month, Mayor Lee Brand announced a new initiative that may strike a balance between cleaning up streets and offering assistance that homeless advocates agree with.


Modesto needs to repay $1.9M in poorly spent federal housing money, audit finds
Modesto Bee

An audit is faulting Modesto for how it spent federal housing money and recommends the city repay the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development nearly $258,000 and explain how it spent an additional $1.69 million or repay that money as well.

Is California’s legacy environmental law protecting the state’s beauty or blocking affordable housing?


“CEQA is the fundamental law in California for environmental protection that also protects the right of the public to be informed about projects that are going into our neighborhood,”​​ said attorney David Pettit. But critics say court decisions and opportunists have broadened and weaponized the law so it actively impedes housing, particularly in urban areas.


Thinking about moving to Sacramento? You might want to move fast.


According to a recent report by the California Department of Finance, Sacramento grew faster than the 10 largest cities in California last year. Rent prices are increasing faster in Sacramento than any other U.S. city, per report.


Podcast: What is driving America’s housing crisis?


In addition to harming individuals, this housing affordability crisis also having a deleterious effect on the country’s economic growth.




California’s State Budget: The Enacted 2018–19 Budget

Public Policy Institute of California

On June 27, 2018, Governor Brown signed the 2018–19 Budget Act, which includes $201.4 billion in spending.

See also:

     Walters: Did Brown fix California’s budget mess? Nope CALmatters


More than 100 millionaires fled California after 2012 tax increase, study says

San Francisco Chronicle

California lost a very small but statistically significant percentage of high-income residents after voters approved Proposition 30, the 2012 ballot measure that raised the top state income tax rate to 13.3 percent, the highest in the nation.

See also:

       Opinion: Rich Californians are leaving. Tax cuts will bring them back. Sacramento Bee


Fox: Big Gulp! A Soda Tax War is Coming

Fox & Hounds

In the tit-for-tat battle over soda taxes, the ball is now in the industry’s court—how will it respond to the announcement that healthcare advocates plan to push a 2020 initiative to allow taxes on sodas?


‘This is their Hail Mary’: California GOP bets on gas tax repeal


California Republicans are banking on a ballot measure this fall that the embattled state party believes can stave off a Democratic wave in November — and perhaps even spark a GOP revival in the run-up to 2020.

See also:

       How Control of Congress Could Swing on a Fight to Repeal California’s Gas Tax New York Times


Buyout Firms’ Profit-Goosing Scheme Spurs Backlash From Clients


Pension funds are taking aim at private equity firms for exploiting a financial sleight of hand that can make even mediocre investments look brilliant.




How to Replace the Gas Tax Law if its Repealed

Fox & Hounds

With the expected successful repeal of the SB1 gas tax in November, the real carrot will be next – a new initiative to REPLACE SB1.


Bird scooters — so much fun, so damn dangerous
Los Angeles Times
When Bird electric scooters began showing up, they really tickled me. The concept was so liberating. I often hear people claim electric scooters are just as safe as bicycles. I don’t think so.




Why California Needs a Plan to Protect Its Wetlands

News Deeply
The Clean Water Act has failed to protect California’s wetlands and a recent executive order by the Trump Administration could make things worse. California needs a state program to get the job done, says environmental law professor Holly Doremus.




Exhibit Captures The Valley's Rural African-American Communities In The 1960's With Rare Photos

Valley Public Radio

A new exhibit at the Fresno Art Museum opening Friday July 13th, sheds new light on the history of rural African-American communities in the San Joaquin Valley.


Who, what, when, where: A look at this year's Stanislaus County Fair
Modesto Bee

It's not every day that you can enjoy a massive carnival, an array of food and drink, concerts by national recording artists, livestock shows and cars slamming into each other just for the spectacle of it, all in one huge place.

Valley Cultural Calendar

Valley Cultural Coalition

Great things are happening in the Valley. Here's a list of VCC member offerings to keep you busy and entertained!


Summer at the MAC Continues

Merced Arts Council

Arbor Gallery Artist Memorial Show, Kids Days, Art & Spirits, and Last Chance to Register for Classes!


Parks and rec dept. have a new game to play

Hanford Sentinel

July is Parks Make Life Better month, a campaign started by the California Parks and Recreation Society. The campaign is more than just a saying to some of the residents of Hanford.



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Maddy Institute Updated List of San Joaquin Valley Elected Officials HERE.


The Kenneth L. Maddy Institute at California State University, Fresno was established to honor the legacy of one of California’s most principled and effective legislative leaders of the last half of the 20th Century by engaging, preparing and inspiring a new generation of governmental leaders for the 21st Century. Its mission is to inspire citizen participation, elevate government performance, provide non-partisan analysis and assist in providing solutions for public policy issues important to the region, state and nation.


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