July 9, 2019



North SJ Valley:

Olsen won’t seek second term on Stanislaus County board. Councilman to vie for seat.

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County Supervisor Kristin Olsen announced Monday that she won’t seek re-election to the county Board of Supervisors.

Big Valley pastor announces his run for Modesto mayor

Modesto Bee

The senior pastor of Big Valley Grace Community Church — which is one of Modesto’s biggest churches — confirmed Monday that he is running for mayor in the November 2020 election.

Council members question Modesto’s spending on food for employee meals, events

Modesto Bee

Modesto spent $80,753 on food and beverages in one year for such occasions as feeding officers at crime scenes, community events, working lunches, employee recognition and snacks for employee training.

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

Modesto Bee

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

Stockton Mayor Tubbs:  One of the youngest mayors in the US

Since he became mayor in 2017, Michael Tubbs has helped pull his home city of Stockton, California, out of bankruptcy and his TED talk on the political power of being kind has gone viral. He grew up in poverty and had not planned to stay in Stockton. He told Newsday’s Karnie Sharp what then led him to run for office.

Cong.  Josh Harder, in hot election, rakes in huge fundraising numbers – again

Modesto Bee

Harder, D-Turlock, raised about $750,000 in the second quarter of 2019, according to numbers his campaign provided to McClatchy. He raised about $870,000 in the first three months of the year and has about $1.3 million in cash on hand as he prepares to run for re-election in 2020.

Central SJ Valley:

As VP Pence visits a Lemoore farm, his wife will talk to Navy spouses

Fresno Bee

Karen Pence, wife of Vice President Mike Pence, will be addressing military spouses at Lemoore Naval Air Station on Wednesday, the same day that her husband will be talking about trade at a Lemoore farm.

Fresno mayor axes funding for these controversial items in city budget

Fresno Bee

Fresno Mayor Lee Brand announced Monday he’s vetoing funding for the controversial Advance Peace program and an immigrant affairs committee, among other items, in an effort to ensure the city budget is balanced. In a news release, Brand said he issued seven line-item vetoes.

See also:

●     Fresno Mayor Vetoes Funding For Advance Peace, Budget Now Back To Council VPR

Did Fresno Parks Tax Pass? Court Delays Its Ruling.

GV Wire

Judge Kimberly Gaab pushed back a decision on whether the Fresno sales tax for parks was approved by voters with 53% of the vote. The city contends it needed two-thirds to pass. The decision will be continued until Aug. 6. The court did not reveal why the decision was delayed.

See Also:

●     SF Judge’s Ruling Offers Hope for Fresno Parks Tax Backers GV Wire

Candidates for Fresno Council Introduce Themselves

GV Wire

Fresno City Council candidates, tell us about yourselves. Three of the five men seeking to fill the council’s empty seat and represent the city’s northwest residents laid out their backgrounds and their ties to District 2 at a recent candidates forum.

South SJ Valley:

Husband of Lemoore councilwoman releases statement after recent arrest


A Lemoore councilmember has been arrested again. Holly Blair appeared in court Monday not only domestic violence charges but for committing a felony while on bail.

See also:

●     Lemoore Councilwoman Holly Blair faces four more charges including domestic battery Hanford Sentinel

District attorney warns Kern County residents of illegal price gouging following earthquakes

Bakersfield Californian

Kern County residents are being warned by District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer about illegal price gouging or charitable solicitation fraud following last week’s earthquakes just outside of Ridgecrest.


California lawmakers took thousands from Big Tobacco before they wrote this anti-vaping bill

Fresno Bee

Two California lawmakers with a history of taking money from tobacco giant Philip Morris USA have introduced a bill aimed at curbing teen vaping by creating new penalties on retailer and teenage buyers.

California high court: Child support counts toward welfare income limit

San Francisco Chronicle

In a setback for families on welfare, the state Supreme Court ruled Monday that their application for benefits must include income that one parent is required to pay to support a child who lives outside the home.

California Senate approves strict police use-of-force bill, citing police killings of black people

San Francisco Chronicle

Calling the bill a national model to confront racial bias in police shootings, the California Senate sent the governor legislation Monday to tighten the rules for when officers can open fire on suspects.

State may push cities and counties to draw “fairer” districts


In 2016, the city agreed to ditch its at-large election system and adopt a new map with five distinct districts. That came after the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund threatened to sue the city, arguing that the old system, with each council member representing the entire city, made it all but impossible for Placentia’s minority Latino community to elect a representative of their choosing.

Progress Stalls for Minor Parties to Get on State Ballots

Senate Bill 27 was “the hot bill of the day” at the committee’s June 19 public hearing, Berman said. The bill would require all presidential and gubernatorial candidates to release five years of income tax returns to the California secretary of state as a condition for appearing on California’s primary ballot starting in 2020.

Californians’ Alert Apps Didn’t Sound for 2 Big Earthquakes. Why Not?

New York Times

Los Angeles residents were not pleased last week when a pair of earthquakes struck and the ShakeAlertLA app on their phones did just what it was supposed to do: nothing.

See also:

·       Big earthquakes raise interest in West Coast warning system Bakersfield Californian

·       How Disaster Warnings Can Get Your Attention PEW

·       Earthquake insurance: Is it worth it? Los Angeles Times

Didn’t get the Real ID letter fixing proof of residence issue? Here’s what to do

Los Angeles Times

Attention, Real ID license holders: Have you received a letter from the California Department of Motor Vehicles informing you that the DMV wants more documentation? No? Don’t panic.


Interview: Citizenship and the 2020 Census

After a heated legal battle, the Supreme Court has ruled that the Trump administration cannot for now include a question on the 2020 Census asking if residents are US citizens. We spoke with PPIC senior fellow Eric McGhee about what this decision means for California.

See also:

●     Cities and Immigrants Drove Census Controversy — 100 Years Ago NPR

●     Barr sees a legal way to ask about citizenship on census Fresno Bee

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

●     The Justice Department just pulled its lawyers from the census case. That could signal something ugly ahead. Washington Post

As Congress struggles with trade deal, here are the lawmakers to watch

Fresno Bee

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement could mean more jobs around the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and at ports around the country. But it might hurt the produce industries in Florida and Georgia.

President Trump cannot block his critics on Twitter, federal appeals court rules

Washington Post

President Trump cannot block his critics from the Twitter feed he regularly uses to communicate with the public, a federal appeals court said Tuesday, in a case with implications for how elected officials nationwide interact with constituents on social media.

Trump shares fictitious quote of Reagan predicting his presidency

The Hill

President Trump on Monday shared a fictitious quote from former President Reagan said to predict his own presidency, calling it “cute.” Trump retweeted a two-year-old post from an account with 13 followers, which included a 1987 photo of Reagan and Trump.

Making the Switch from Republican to Democrat


Turning 18 years old days before my freshman year of college in Norman, Oklahoma, and just two months after the first AIDS cases were discovered in 1981, I had no idea that my twenties would be consumed by worry, fear, stigma, anger, and the brutal early death of friends my age. Eighteen was not supposed to be middle age. For all I knew, I wouldn’t live to be 30.

Conservatism Is Doing Just Fine, Thank You Very Much

National Review

Conservative ideas and policies are doing just fine beyond the nation’s capital, but many political observers are too Washington-focused and Trump obsessed to notice; Bill Clinton offers a statement about Jeffrey Epstein that doesn’t add up; the Washington Post theorizes that Kirsten Gillibrand is too boring to be president.

See also:

·       OPINION: If the latest polls are right, Trump is favored to win reelection Washington Post

·       OPINION: Republican Senate Harakiri Wall Street Journal

OPINION: American pride is now a partisan issue

Washington Post

According to an annual Gallup survey, released two days before Independence Day, only 45 percent of U.S. adults consider themselves “extremely” proud to be American, the lowest level recorded since 2001. (Twenty-five percent are “very” proud; 18 percent “moderately”; 12 percent “a little or “not at all.”)

OPINION: Adam Smith’s Refreshing Idea of Justice

Wall Street Journal

In a world full of people looking to impose their concepts of justice on others, it’s refreshing to revisit Adam Smith’s thinking. One of the best-known quotations from “The Wealth of Nations” (1776) defines natural liberty: “Every man, as long as he does not violate the laws of justice, is left perfectly free to pursue his own interest his own way, and to bring both his industry and capital into competition with those of any other man.”

Ross Perot, eccentric billionaire who made two independent runs for president, dies at 89

Washington Post

H. Ross Perot, an eccentric Dallas billionaire whose two independent runs for president in the 1990s tapped into voters’ frustration with the major political parties and foreshadowed the rise of the tea party two decades later, died July 9 at his home in Dallas. He was 89.

Elections 2020:

The deciding factor in the 2020 presidential campaign will be surprisingly simple

Merced Sun-Star

Republicans are going with an incumbent whose post-inaugural job approval until last weekend has never exceeded 46%, not coincidentally the exact same percentage of the popular vote he received.

Q&A with Elizabeth Warren: Why she thinks she can beat Trump and won’t attack Bernie

Fresno Bee

In an interview with the California Nation podcast, Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren discussed her approach to the Golden State, friendship with opponent Bernie Sanders and left-leaning policy proposals on immigration and health care.

See also:

●     Elizabeth Warren out-raises Harris, Sanders — turning momentum into money Los Angeles Times

Rep. Swalwell says he’s dropping out of presidential race


“Today ends our presidential campaign, but it is the beginning of an opportunity in Congress.” Congressman Eric Swalwell announced he’s dropping out of the 2020 presidential race and running for reelection to his California congressional seat next year.

Gay voters take pride in Pete Buttigieg’s candidacy, but many question whether he can win

Los Angeles Times

Win or lose in the 2020 presidential race, Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Ind., is energizing LGBTQ Americans.

California billionaire Tom Steyer poised to announce White House run

Los Angeles Times

California billionaire and liberal activist Tom Steyer will announce this week that he plans to enter the already crowded field of candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination, according to a person close to him.

See also:

●     Billionaire San Francisco Democratic donor Tom Steyer may run for president after all San Francisco Chronicle

●     San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer running for president in 2020 UPI


Agencies stall on public records access


The Los Angeles Times and other media outlets jointly explored how police officials are complying with requests for information and found that “six months after Senate Bill 1421 went into effect, some of the state’s largest law enforcement agencies haven’t provided a single record. Some law enforcement organizations are charging high fees for records, destroying documents and even ignoring court orders to produce the files.”

Searching for Truth: Q&A with Jennifer Kavanagh


Senior political scientist Jennifer Kavanagh helps lead RAND’s work on “Truth Decay,” the diminishing role of facts and analysis in American public life. Her research has helped set a national agenda to better understand and combat the problem, to explore its historical precedents, and to mitigate its consequences.

ADA Web Accessibility Litigation is on the Rise

Public CEO

The Americans with Disability Act (“ADA”) has been law since 1990. This federal statute prohibits discrimination against disabled individuals in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.

The One Political Job Where Women Are Overrepresented

Route Fifty

A new study finds that women are more likely to hold county clerk positions, possibly because the job’s responsibilities conform to traditional gender roles for women in the workplace.


Eating better without breaking the bank

Hanford Sentinel

Getting a grasp on eating better — without breaking the bank — can be a daunting task. Luckily, Hanford Parks and Recreation and UC CalFresh are offering a helping hand.

Porterville gets fresh

Porterville Recorder

The debut of the 2019 farmers market on Main Street begins on Thursday. Instead of hosting the certified farmers market in the Sierra View Medical Center (SVMC) parking lot, the market will be moving to Main Street, just outside of City Hall.

Market-based program would encourage farmers to buy, sell local groundwater

Bakersfield Californian

A local water district is developing a novel, market-based groundwater trading program that, if successful, could be expanded or copied to help Central Valley farmers cope with new state restrictions against over-pumping the region’s aquifers.

Teen odds of using marijuana dip with recreational use laws

Stockton Record

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

Before you buy cannabis, brush up on California laws and safety precautions

USA Today

Cannabis is now legal in the state of California for both medicinal and adult use for those 21 and older. Even so, there is a lot of misinformation about cannabis. Uninformed cannabis users may put themselves at risk and inadvertently help support illegal black-market companies, which outnumber legal companies in California by five to one.



DA warns Kern County residents of illegal price gouging following earthquakes

Bakersfield Californian

Kern County residents are being warned by District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer about illegal price gouging or charitable solicitation fraud following last week’s earthquakes just outside of Ridgecrest.

San Joaquin County piloting experimental restorative justice effort

Stockton Record

California officials are experimenting with a new San Joaquin County-centered diversion program for criminals that includes allowing victims to directly confront their offenders.

All that’s left to overhaul California’s police use-of-force law is Gavin Newsom’s signature

Fresno Bee

A measure that would make California’s law governing police use of force one of the strictest in the country cleared the Legislature late Monday and is on its way to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk.

See also:

●     Senate OKs strict police use-of-force bill, citing police killings of black people San Francisco Chronicle

California prosecutors pushing back against new murder law

San Francisco Chronicle

Bombarded by hundreds of petitions to revisit past murder cases, district attorneys across the state are seeking to overturn the accomplice liability law. It is all but inevitable that the legal challenges will end up before the California Supreme Court.

Digital Jail: How Electronic Monitoring Drives Defendants Into Debt

Pro Publica

Ankle bracelets are promoted as a humane alternative to jail. But private companies charge defendants hundreds of dollars a month to wear the surveillance devices. If people can’t pay, they may end up behind bars.

Public Safety:

In a deadly gunfight between Merced police and an off-duty cop, the DA makes a ruling

Fresno Bee

The Merced officer who killed an off-duty Dos Palos police officer in February has been cleared of any wrongdoing, the Merced County District Attorney’s Office said Monday.

National Night Out

Hanford Sentinel

Neighborhoods throughout Hanford are invited to join over 38 million neighbors across 16 thousand communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories and military bases worldwide.

A weekend of healing for Stockton: HEAT Wave events aimed at addressing community trauma

Stockton Record

Faith-based and community leaders are hosting what they say is a weekend of healing for the city of Stockton.

Californians’ Alert Apps Didn’t Sound for 2 Big Earthquakes. Why Not?

New York Times

Los Angeles residents were not pleased last week when a pair of earthquakes struck and the ShakeAlertLA app on their phones did just what it was supposed to do: nothing.

See also:

·       Big earthquakes raise interest in West Coast warning system Bakersfield Californian

·       How Disaster Warnings Can Get Your Attention PEW

·       Earthquake insurance: Is it worth it? Los Angeles Times


Mariposa County wildfire burning in a fire-prone area. Here’s what we know

Fresno Bee

Calfire crews on Monday were fighting a Mariposa County wildfire located in an area with a recent history of massive blazes. Called the Lake Fire, 222 acres have burned near the Lake McSwain entrance and Lake McClure road in Hornitos, according to Calfire

Giant Forest will burn this week, expect delays

Visalia Times Delta

Sequoia National Park officials will set fire to portions of the Giant Forest beginning today.  The 245-acre prescribed burn is necessary to prevent future, far-more devastating fire from scarring the iconic scenic landscape, park rangers said.

California Senate OKs wildfire proposal with bipartisan vote

Bakersfield Californian

California senators approved a proposal Monday aimed at stabilizing the state’s electric utilities and putting a renewed focus on safety in the face of devastating wildfires caused by utility equipment, with supporters calling it a plan that holds utilities accountable and protects ratepayers.

See also:

●     California Proposal For $21 Billion Wildfire Liability Fund Passes First Hearing Capital Public Radio

●     California Senate approves Newsom bill to protect utilities from wildfire costs Los Angeles Times

●     Communities prepare for wildfires with help from federal program San Francisco Chronicle

●     California Senate easily passes bill to protect utilities from wildfire costs San Francisco Chronicle

●     California’s big PG&E wildfire bill: What you need to know San Francisco Chronicle

●     California Senate approves Newsom bill to protect utilities from wildfire costs Los Angeles Times

●     California lawmakers take up key wildfire proposals Associated Press

Invasive Grass Increases Wildfire Threat in Western States

After a wet spring, Western states are experiencing a massive bloom of cheatgrass, a yellowish, knee-high and highly flammable grass that carpets rangelands across 13 states. In Nevada, samples show up to 3,000 pounds of the invasive plant growing per acre, according to the Bureau of Land Management.



Report Today on Latino Economic Well-Being in California

Fox & Hound

The California Latino Economic Institute (CLEI), the leading organization serving as a catalyst to grow the Latino middle class in California, today released The State of Latino Economic Well-Being in California.

U.S. government could hit the debt limit in September, report says

Los Angeles Times

Lower-than-expected tax revenues now mean there is a “significant risk” that the federal government will run out of borrowing authority in early September, according to a new analysis by the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington think tank and advocacy group.

Stocks fall after a slew of record highs

Los Angeles Times

Technology and healthcare companies drove U.S. stocks to a lower finish Monday as the market fell for a second straight day following a run of record highs.

U.S., China Tentatively Move to Revive Trade Talks

Wall Street Journal

Top American and China negotiators are set to speak this week in an effort to revive stalled trade talks, as discord over prior commitments and political considerations threaten to bog down discussions.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s Approach to Interest-Rate Policy Wins Bipartisan Backing

Wall Street Journal

President Trump’s relentless public criticism of the man he picked to run the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, isn’t broadly shared by lawmakers who confirmed the central bank leader to his post last year.

See also:

·       Kudlow: Fed Chair Powell’s job safe ‘presently’ Politico

What are automatic stabilizers?


Someday, the U.S. will suffer another recession. With interest rates already very low, monetary policy may not be able to carry the entire burden of mitigating economic downturns.

‘It’s really troubling’: Parts of America are trapped in a ‘catch-22’ economic situation

Yahoo Finance

While the economy and the job market have boomed in the post-Financial Crisis period, Americans living in “distressed” zip codes — which are increasingly rural — are struggling to find stability.

Why Are So Many Households Unable to Cover a $400 Unexpected Expense?

Center for Retirement Research

About 40 percent of households, spanning the income spectrum, say that they couldn’t cover a $400 unexpected expense. In fact, some of these households actually do have enough to cover this modest expense, but they feel constrained by credit card debt.

Parents Who Provide Financial Assistance to Unemployed Adult Children Curb Food Consumption, Work More, and Decrease Retirement Savings


Parents who financially help their unemployed adult children offset such costs by adjusting their behavior, particularly by spending less money on food, working more and reducing retirement savings, according to a new RAND Corporation study.


Hospitality Hiring Event In Oakhurst For Tenaya Lodge

Sierra News

With the new cabins at Tenaya Lodge already hosting guests and the newly remodeled Jackalopes restaurant open for business, the folks at Tenaya Lodge continue to expand their team.

$15 Minimum Wage Would Boost 17 Million Workers, Cut 1.3 Million Jobs, CBO Says

Capital Public Radio

The Congressional Budget Office analyzed the impact of lifting the $7.25 federal minimum wage to $15 by 2025. The House is expected to vote next week on a bill to lift the federal minimum.

See Also:

●     $15 Minimum Wage Would Bring Mixed Fortunes for U.S. Workers Wall Street Journal

●     OPINION: How Many Jobs Would the $15 Minimum Wage Kill? Wall Street Journal

OPINION: California legislators could save gig workers — or ruin the part-time economy

Los Angeles Times

California’s Silicon Valley created the “gig economy,” in which on-demand services are powered by on-demand workers, typically working part-time. Now, the California Legislature is considering proposals that could fundamentally change how the companies behind these services treat their workers — for better or for worse.

Setting quotas on women in the boardroom is probably unconstitutional. It also doesn’t work

Los Angeles Times

California recently became the first state in the nation to require publicly traded companies to include women on their boards of directors. Now IllinoisNew Jersey and Massachusettsappear poised to establish their own “woman quotas.”

Why are out-of-work men so unhappy in the US?


We are in an era of progress paradoxes. Unprecedented gains in technological innovation, poverty reduction, and life expectancy around the world coexist with persistent poverty traps in the poorest countries and increasing inequality and anomie in some of the wealthiest ones. In the U.S., one of the wealthiest countries, we see booming stock markets and record low levels of unemployment alongside stories of profoundly unequal hopes, lives, and lifespans.



Children learn about engineering through technology camp at Fresno State


This summer, about 160 kids grades first to eighth are enrolled in the camp and learning about engineering through coding, robotics, and other technologies. This means piloting a plane via a simulator or throwing on a lab coat and mixing some chemicals.

Fewer students attending private, religious schools in California. Here’s why.

Sacramento Bee

The number of California students enrolled in private schools has fallen by nearly 25 percent since 2000 – dragged down by a significant drop in the number of students attending religious schools.

Higher Ed:

California to pay off nearly $60 million in student loans for doctors


The state of California is spending nearly $60 million to pay off the student loans of 247 doctors. In return, those doctors have promised to take on more patients covered by Medi-Cal.

Two Fresno State Nursing Programs Not Accredited: University Seeks To Rectify Problems


In mid-June, Fresno State announced that one of its nursing programs – the Master’s of Science in Nursing – had lost its accreditation. It’s the first Fresno State program that’s ever had its accreditation withdrawn, but it’s actually the second accreditation-related snafu to hit the university’s nursing school in the past year.

Students shut out at CSUs due to overcrowding receive a second chance at CSUB

Bakersfield Californian

Through a redirection policy, several CSUs, including Cal State Bakersfield, are offering admissions to thousands of eligible students who were shut out from impacted CSUs because they could not accommodate additional students. Impacted universities include Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Fresno State, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Long Beach, San Diego State and San Jose State.



Ridgecrest quake: President Trump approves emergency declaration


President Donald Trump has approved a federal declaration of emergency to assist California after the massive earthquakes in the Ridgecrest area.

See also:

●     Group of local firefighters return from Ridgecrest after massive quake abc30

●     How close is California to a ‘ShakeAlert’ earthquake warning system roll out? Closer than you think abc30

●     Recent Earthquakes And (Lack Of) Rockfalls In Yosemite Sierra News

●     Trump issues emergency declaration for Ridgecrest and surrounding areas Bakersfield Californian

●     Ridgecrest searches for stability as aftershocks roll through city Bakersfield Californian

●     Rocking, Shaking, Sloshing: How Californians Outside Ridgecrest Experienced The Big Quakes VPR

●     Ridgecrest earthquake shattered California’s cool Los Angeles Times

●     San Andreas fault ‘locked, loaded and ready to roll’ with big earthquake, expert says Los Angeles Times

Trump makes environment pitch to Florida voters without saying ‘climate change’

Fresno Bee

President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign has a plan to talk about the environment with Florida voters: Address the problems you see, not the causes you don’t.

See also:

●     Trump Touts ‘Environmental Leadership,’ Even As D.C. Has Floods And Critics Pounce Capital Public Radio

●     Few of Trump’s environmental claims stand up to scrutiny Los Angeles Times

●     Trump defends environmental record that critics call disastrous Washington Post

●     How Trump’s environmental record compares to his claims PBS

●     Trump touts environment record, green groups scoff Reuters

Honeybees hit by Trump budget cuts


The US Department of Agriculture has suspended data collection for its annual Honey Bee Colonies report, citing cost cuts — a move that robs researchers and the honeybee industry of a critical tool for understanding honeybee population declines, and comes as the USDA is curtailing other research programs.

Need to report pesticide exposure? There’s an app for that.

Monterey County Weekly

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation receives about 300 pesticide complaints annually, according to a press release. (In 2018, there were more than 989,000 agriculture workers in California.)

Lake McClure stocked with more than 150,000 pounds of trout, according to MID

Fresno Bee

More than 150,000 pounds of trout have been added to Lake McClure, the Merced Irrigation District said Monday.

See also:

●     Lake McClure restocked with 150,000 pounds of trout abc30

The California coast is disappearing under the rising sea. Our choices are grim

Los Angeles Times

Lines in the sand are meant to shift. In the last 100 years, the sea rose less than 9 inches in California. By the end of this century, the surge could be greater than 9 feet.

California’s pollution enforcers would like to save tropical forests. But at what cost?


California’s climate change enforcers are grappling with the thorniest of controversies: how to prevent the planet’s tropical forests from disappearing. The question they aren’t ready to answer—at least not yet—is what focusing on far-away forests could mean for pollution at home.

It’s New York vs. California in a New Climate Race. Who Will Win?

New York Times

California and New York have recently set some of the world’s most ambitious climate targets, aiming to slash their net emissions of planet-warming greenhouse gases down to nearly zero in just three short decades.



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

Sacramento Bee

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

‘Early warning sign’ of West Nile virus: First bird tests positive in Sacramento County

Sacramento Bee

The first bird of the season has tested positive for West Nile virus in Sacramento County, and officials said they are on alert for the mosquito-borne disease that killed 11 people and infected more than 200 in California last year.

Trump aims to shake up kidney care market


The Trump administration this week will announce a series of initiatives to encourage more kidney transplants and treatment at home, the start of a process intended to overhaul a market in which the federal government spends more than $100 billion per year.

Human Services:

Stanislaus physician training program threatened with loss of federal funding

Modesto Bee

Two years after Congress extended a funding source for training family physicians, Stanislaus County’s residency program is again facing a fiscal cliff.

A large group of Californians are aging quickly. Here’s how we care for them

Sacramento Bee

Over the next decade or so, the over-65 population will increase by 4 million, nearly doubling today’s population of older Californians. Policymakers must consider major changes to the way services are provided to seniors to allow them to live with dignity at home if possible and allow their family members to continue in the workforce.

Mental Health Patients Are Pouring Into Local Emergency Rooms

Voice of San Diego

Emergency room visits for mental disorders have surged in San Diego County over the last decade, challenging both hospitals and patients who can be traumatized by their experiences in chaotic ERs.

HHS Inspector General Finds Serious Flaws In 20% Of U.S. Hospice Programs

Capital Public Radio

Two new reports from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have found widespread problems in hospice care and say the government needs to open its scorecards on hospice care to the public.

Doctors aren’t much better at picking the best medical treatments than laypersons

Los Angeles Times

In recent years, the idea has spread that forcing consumers to pay more for healthcare — giving them “skin in the game” is the usual mantra — will prompt them to become more discerning medical shoppers.

States grapple with Medicaid work requirements

Roll Call

New Hampshire announced Monday it would delay suspending any Medicaid coverage until September because of consumers’ noncompliance with the work requirements. Meanwhile, Indiana on July 1 began the first steps of implementing its work requirements. Court action in three other states is expected in the coming months.

Trump Hopes to Stem Tide of Legal Setbacks on Health Care

Wall Street Journal

President Trump’s efforts to roll back provisions of the Affordable Care Act are being repeatedly thwarted by the courts, leaving many of his key health policy initiatives in limbo before the 2020 presidential election.

See also:

●     Obamacare returns to court, creating new uncertainty about health coverage for millions Los Angeles Times

Judge rules against Trump on drug pricing disclosures

The Hill

A federal judge on Monday sided with a coalition of drug companies and blocked the Trump administration from implementing a policy that would require prescription drug manufacturers to disclose list prices in TV ads.

See also:

●     Drug Prices Can Take A Surprising Turn When A Poor Country Gets Richer Capital Public Radio

The Feds Are Cutting Back on Group Homes. Some Say That’s a Big Mistake.


A landmark federal law aiming to revamp the foster care system will make it much harder for group homes like this one to exist. (States can delay implementation of the law up to two years, but that means forgoing funding for prevention services.)

Hospices go unpunished for reported maggots and uncontrolled pain, watchdog finds

Washington Post

A state inspector in Missouri documented the grim details: a deep, poorly treated pressure wound on the patient’s tailbone, apparent pain that caused grimacing and — in a crisis requiring a trip to the emergency room — a “maggot infestation’’ where the feeding tube entered his abdomen.


‘ICE is in Modesto’: Social media spreads misinformation, panic, official says

Fresno Bee

Twitter and Facebook have connected communities for over a decade. But officials and advocates worry that use of the social media platforms have spread misinformation and unwarranted fear about the operations of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

Activists worry about potential abuse of face scans for ICE

Fresno Bee

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

See also:

●     ICE Uses Facial Recognition To Sift State Driver’s License Records, Researchers Say Capital Public Radio

●     Immigration Officials Use Secretive Gang Databases to Deny Migrant Asylum Claims Pro Publica

Death at the border: 4 from Guatemala, 3 of them children, succumb to heat in Texas

Los Angeles Times

The deadly border incidents dramatize how the current wave of Central American family emigration leaves children especially vulnerable.

The facts behind the detention of immigrants


The arrival of more children and families at the southwest border is leading to overcrowding at border processing facilities and prompting Democratic lawmakers to scrutinize how President Donald Trump and his administration are handling the surge.

Republicans turn more negative toward refugees as number admitted to U.S. plummets

Pew Research Center

Opinions about whether the United States has a responsibility to accept refugees – which were already deeply polarized – have grown even more so, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in April and May. The survey comes as the nation is likely to admit its smallest number of refugees in decades.

SunTrust to stop financing private prisons and immigrant-detention centers

Los Angeles Times

SunTrust Banks Inc., the lender merging with BB&T Corp., said it won’t provide future financing to companies that manage private prisons and immigrant-holding facilities.


Land Use:

Largest land offering in California—50,000 acres in Bay Area— hits market at $72 million      

Fresno Bee

A massive, unspoiled property in the Bay Area that stretches over 50,500 acres has hit the market for $72 million. The N3 Cattle Company is for sale for the first time in 85 years.

Pismo Preserve will offer breathtaking views, hiking trails. Here’s how much money it needs

Fresno Bee

After years of work fundraising, procuring grants, purchasing the land, working with experts to build multi-use trails, designing and paying for road modifications for public safety, the Land Conservancy is in the homestretch toward opening day.

Developer looking to build Hilton Hotel and convention center in Merced


A developer is looking to building a Hilton Hotel and small convention center in Merced. It would be located right off Highway 99 at the Campus Parkway exit.


Here’s how state money is helping the homeless in Fresno

Fresno Bee

For the first time in years, multiple new homeless shelters are opening in Fresno — thanks to state money. The Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission, Turning Point of Central California, Mental Health Systems and the Poverello House will open new or previously shuttered shelters and provide new housing options.

See also:

●     Tiny homes and floating apartments: California mayors’ reply to the growing homeless problem Big Think

●     EDITORIAL: Sacramento’s homeless population is rising. Are we doing enough to solve the crisis? Sacramento Bee

Mountain Area Home Sales For First Half Of 2019

Sierra News

During the first half of 2019, members of the Fresno Realtors Association Multiple Listing Services primarily in the Yosemite Gateway Branch sold 266 mountain area homes (single family residential properties), compared to 285 sold in the same period of time last year.

Dream Big, Live Small: Why The Van Life Is Taking Hold In California

Capital Public Radio

A growing enclave of millennials is choosing van life as an alternative to a 9-to-5 job and a mortgage.  At the same time, California’s housing crisis has forced hundreds of people, particularly in the Bay Area and Los Angeles, to move into their vehicles just to get by.

See also:

●     EDITORIAL: Let California’s homeless community college students park overnight in school lots Los Angeles Times

What does London lack that SF has in abundance? Misery on the streets

San Francisco Chronicle

Most tourists visiting London are awed by Buckingham Palace, St. Paul’s Cathedral and Tower Bridge. But when you’re a longtime San Franciscan traipsing around the British capital, some of the city’s most striking sights are those that aren’t there at all.

California Today: How California’s Housing Crisis Could Hit Seniors Hard

New York Times

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


Debt Limit Deadline Accelerates, Research Group Finds, Raising Pressure on Congress

Wall Street Journal

The U.S. government could exhaust its ability to pay its bills in the first half of September, according to a new estimate, creating pressure on Congress to suspend or raise the federal debt ceiling sooner than lawmakers had expected.


Emergency repairs underway on major highway after Ridgecrest quake. Could cost millions

Fresno Bee

Caltrans crews on Sunday began repairing damage to Highway 178 caused by the recent earthquakes that rocked the Ridgecrest area and beyond.

Private charter company expands to Chandler airport


Flight Level Aviation is propelling itself into a new location at Fresno Chandler Executive Airport. The company will have its own space, with a 6,700 square foot hangar and office building at Chandler airport.

Will California ban OHV, ATV use at Oceano Dunes? Beach access battle heats up

Los Angeles Times

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

California bill could triple rebates for electric car buyers

San Francisco Chronicle

California could triple the rebate it gives to drivers who purchase zero-emission cars under a San Francisco lawmaker’s bill that seeks to put the state on track to meet its goals to combat climate change.

23 US governors join Calif. in opposing Trump mileage freeze

Fresno Bee

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

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

Los Angeles Times

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

Public Transit Agencies Think Rewards Programs Can Bring Back Riders


Four Decades After American Airlines Invented The Frequent Flier, Loyalty Programs Have Started To Spread Beyond Airlines And Into Urban Travel. Last November, Uber Launched Uber Rewards, Using Perks Like Vehicle Upgrades To Woo And Keep Fickle Customers.

How to End U.S. Roadway Deaths by 2050


Tens of thousands of people die on American roads every year. A recent RAND study looked at what it would take to bring that number down to zero. We could do it by 2050, the study concluded, if we change how we think about road safety, make smart investments in vehicle technology, and stop accepting car crashes as car accidents.


Water being released from overflowing Millerton Lake


Millerton Lake is now full of water this morning northeast of Fresno. Officials with the United States Bureau of Reclamation said the reservoir is at 100 percent capacity. As a result, officials are releasing some water over the Friant Dam spillway to bring water levels back down. The release is also increasing the flow of water into the San Joaquin River.

California needs Sites Reservoir. Here’s why


Shorter, more intense rain storms, less snowpack and more prolonged stretches of drought reflect the reality of climate change. There’s no one project, no single action, that will save California from a dry and unreliable water future.

Got Surface Water? Groundwater-only Lands in the San Joaquin Valley

The San Joaquin Valley—California’s largest agricultural region—has the largest groundwater deficit in the state. However, water scarcity is not experienced equally across the valley. Some areas receive abundant surface water to support cropland irrigation and drinking water supplies.

California Senate approve clean drinking water fund

Bakersfield Californian

The California Senate on Monday sent legislation to Gov Gavin Newsom’s desk that will spend $130 million a year over the next decade to improve drinking water for about a million people.

See also:

●     Senate approves clean drinking water fund Stockton Record


What is K-Pop? And why is Fresno a hotbed for fans? The city ranks No. 1 for ticket sales

Fresno Bee

Yang is indicative of a growing number of K-pop fans, both in the U.S. generally and in Fresno, specifically. As a mid-sized market, the city ranked No. 1 in the nation for K-pop ticket sales, according to data from the online ticketing marketplace Vivid Seats.

Dot, Dumbo and Caesar are looking for new homes!

Fresno Bee

These sweet pets at CCSPCA are looking for forever homes!  Can you help?

It’s all about the PEACH!

Old Town Clovis

Our annual Peach Party will take place on the evening of July 12th, 2019, during our Friday Night Farmers Market (5:30pm-9:00pm). Our Peach Party is a highly-praised and locally-adored event sponsored by Wawona Frozen Foods.

North American Pole Vault Championships

Old Town Clovis

The North American Pole Vault Championship is in conjunction with the Old Town Clovis Farmers Market. Bring your children, young relatives and friends as one of the most compelling reasons we love the Pole Vault at the Farmers Market, is the affect the athletes have on the young children who watch the event.

What’s going on in the Modesto region? A lot, here’s a look

Modesto Bee


“SINGING IN THE RAIN” ▪  July 19-28

YES Company presentation of musical classic. 7:30 p.m. July 19, 25-26; 3 p.m. 20-21, 27-28, 31. $14-$45.