June 14, 2019



North SJ Valley:

‘California Priorities’ panels examine health and care of kids, seniors

Modesto Bee

Issues of health and care as they relate to children and senior citizens were discussed by two separate panels Thursday at a downtown Modesto event.

Harder: U.S. Senate: Do the right thing and pass the Dream Act

Modesto Bee

Dreamers are our family, friends and neighbors. They work hard. They pay their taxes. And they’re American in every way except on paper. For most Dreamers, this is the only country they’ve ever known.

SJ Administration Building boosting security with walk-through metal detectors

Stockton Record

Starting Monday, employees and visitors entering the San Joaquin County Administration Building located at 44 N. San Joaquin St. will have to pass through a metal detector similar to those at the courthouse, the county announced Thursday.

Grand jury faults SJ for parks, Micke Grove Zoo funding

Stockton Record

The San Joaquin County civil grand jury released two reports Thursday, shining spotlights on the county’s parks and recreation budget and on Micke Grove Zoo.

Central SJ Valley:

Devin Nunes spent campaign cash on private flight. A federal agency just dropped the complaint

Fresno Bee

The Federal Election Commission has dismissed a complaint against Rep. Devin Nunes that accused him of improperly using his leadership PAC to charter a private jet.

State budget gives health care to some undocumented immigrants. Arambula wants to go further

Fresno Bee

Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula intends to continue pushing to expand health care options for all undocumented immigrants in California.

Brand discusses final goals as Fresno mayor

Business Journal

With a little more than 18 months left before his term as Fresno’s mayor ends, Lee Brand said he’ll be busy on the job during that time.

South SJ Valley:

US considers more options for detaining transgender migrants

Bakersfield Californian

Immigration and Customs Enforcement is considering opening a second permanent facility where transgender migrants can be detained amid the influx of Central Americans crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.


California passes $215 billion budget with new spending for families, immigrants and housing

Fresno Bee

California lawmakers passed a $214.8 billion budget deal Thursday, with new spending on schools, homelessness and health care for undocumented immigrants.

See also:

California DMV budget rises 17 percent — that’s $242 million — in Real ID push

Sacramento Bee

Millions of Californians have yet to visit the Department of Motor Vehicles for a driver’s license that will soon be required.

Legal fight tougher for congressman as wife pleads guilty

Fresno Bee

Indicted six-term GOP Congressman Duncan Hunter has held steadfast to his contention that a corruption case against him is the result of a political witch hunt.

The 2020 census is coming. Will Native Americans be counted?

Los Angeles Times

As the 2020 census nears, concern about an undercount of Native Americans is gaining traction here and across the country.

In California, a blue wave and progressive governor: So why are so many leftist plans going under?


An unprecedented haul of tax dollars generated by a roaring economy. A governor who campaigned on a big-ticket policy agenda of long-time lefty favorites, including universal childcare and state-funded healthcare for all. A Legislature so thoroughly packed with Democrats it gives rise to a new term—”giga-majority.”

EDITORIAL: Gavin is a socialist but won’t admit it

Sierra Star

Our governor has a long record of ignoring laws and regulations as he feels privileged by his wealth and powerful political connections.


Sarah Sanders leaving White House job; governor run ahead?

Fresno Bee

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, whose tenure was marked by a breakdown in regular press briefings and questions about the administration’s credibility, as well as her own, will leave her post at the end of the month, President Donald Trump announced.

See also:

Federal agency recommends Kellyanne Conway be fired from White House


Kellyanne Conway allegedly violated the Hatch Act by disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity.

See also:

Here’s where each California Democrat stands on opening an impeachment inquiry on Trump

Los Angeles Times

Among House Democrats, a majority do not currently support opening a formal impeachment inquiry, let alone an actual vote to impeach President Trump, according to members of Congress.

See also:

Lowery: Citizenship on the Census: What’s Wrong with Asking?

National Review

A donnybrook has broken out over how the administration decided to add a citizenship question to the census. We’ll presumably learn more one way or the other, but it’s worth asking why it is considered such a scandal to ask about citizenship, which is a question on other government surveys and isn’t new on the census.

EDITORIAL: Battle over the census shows the need to rein in executive privilege

Los Angeles Times

For the second time in five weeks, President Trump has invoked executive privilege to block Democrats in the House of Representatives from obtaining important documents and testimony.

Elections 2020:

The 20 candidates who made the 1st 2020 Democratic debate

Fresno Bee

The Democratic National Committee on Thursday announced the 20 candidates who met the polling or fundraising measures required to qualify for the party’s first presidential debate later this month. Here’s who’s in and who’s out.

See also:

California shows 2020 Democrats how to get to Medicare for All

San Francisco Chronicle

As the Democratic presidential candidates make the case for Medicare for All without scaring away voters wary of “socialism,” they might look to California for guidance.

California poll: Warren surges to second, Harris falls to fourth


Elizabeth Warren is threatening Joe Biden’s front-runner standing in California, and Kamala Harris is showing signs of weakness in her delegate-rich home state, according to a new poll.

See also:

Meet the candidates: Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders


All candidate bios will eventually be findable on this page.

California 2020: Census and Elections Are Important to Californians

Public Policy Institute of California

The 2020 Census is fast approaching. With political representation and billions in federal funds on the line, the importance of an accurate count cannot be overstated. Californians recognize this, according to our latest survey—but many have concerns about the confidentiality of the information they provide. Even more Californians say that the 2020 elections are important. Both are critical to the future of the state.

2020 Campaigns Remain Vulnerable as Signs of Russian Hackers Re-Emerge


Three years after Hillary Clinton’s campaign was hacked by Russians, presidential campaigns face challenges in rebuffing attacks on their networks.

See also:


The dangerous falsehoods fabricated by Machiavellian leaders afflict the world today

Fresno Bee

Authoritarian leaders are gaining power around the world by appealing to ordinary people who feel forgotten and forsaken by established governments.

Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds

The New Yorker

New discoveries about the human mind show the limitations of reason.


Sunday, June 16, at 9 a.m. on ABC30 – Maddy Report: “Assessing State Policies on Climate Change” – Guest: Ross Brown – LAO. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

Sunday, June 16, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) – Maddy Report – Valley Views Edition:  “Climate Change Generally and Air Pollution Locally” – Guests: Will Barrett, Director of Advocacy, Clean Air for the American Lung Association in California and Samir Sheikh, Executive Director of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

Sunday, June 16, at 7:30 a.m. on UniMas 61 (KTTF) – El Informe Maddy: “Agua en el Valle de San Joaquin: Un reporte de PPIC” – Guest: Alvar Escriva-Bou, investigador del PPIC. Host: Maddy Institute Program Coordinator, Maria Jeans.


May Was The Pits For California Cherry Growers

Business Journal

Though California’s worst-ever recorded drought was declared over more than two years ago, the five years of dry weather left their mark on Californians.

Growing the red, green and black: table grape farmers work to overcome weather woes

Bakersfield Californian

It’s been a crazy year for table grape growers in Kern County and beyond. Rain, hail and unseasonably cold weather in May conspired to delay the grape harvest — from Coachella in Southern California to Arvin in southern Kern.

How Almonds Went From Deadly To Delicious

Capital Public Radio

In a new study, researchers pinpoint the genetic mutation that transformed almonds from toxic and bitter to tasty and sweet.

Emergency Food Bank announces Mary Lucero as new CEO

Stockton Record

Mary Ann Lucero began as chief executive officer of the Emergency Food Bank of Stockton/San Joaquin on May 13, the nonprofit’s board of directors announced Thursday.



‘Hellbent’ on killing: Homicides surge in overwhelmed California jails

Fresno Bee

More inmates are being killed in California’s county jails since the 2011 realignment of the state’s prison system. The increase in violent deaths happens as many local jails run by sheriffs become overcrowded. Overcorrection: An investigation.

One dead several others hospitalized in Merced County hazmat incident, deputies say


The Merced County Sheriff’s Office was investigating a hazmat incident which left one person dead and nine others hospitalized Thursday.

At White House, Kardashian promotes prisoner reentry effort

Bakersfield Californian

Reality star-turned-criminal justice reform advocate Kim Kardashian West returned to the White House on Thursday to help President Donald Trump promote efforts to help those leaving prison get jobs and stay on track.

Public Safety:

Buying ammunition in California? It’s about to get more expensive. Here’s why.

Sacramento Bee

This July, it will get more expensive to purchase firearm ammunition in California.  That’s because the second phase of 2016’s Proposition 63 goes into effect, mandating that all ammunition buyers submit to a spot background check when purchasing rounds, at the cost of $1.

See also:

As Newsom rethinks juvenile justice, California reconsiders prison for kids


As for most high school students, commencement day was big for Osvaldo Moreno. “This is a proud moment for me,” he beamed on a recent June weekend, and not just because he was the first to finish school among six—soon-to-be seven—children in his family.


Crews complete critical burn operation inside Kings Canyon National Park


The massive 2015 Rough Fire raged for months. But officials with Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks say hundreds of millions of dollars worth of assets, such as campgrounds and visitor centers, were saved thanks to previous prescribed burns.

Highway 41 Prescribed Burn Completes Ahead Of Schedule

Sierra Star

With a combination of favorable conditions, dedicated resources, private landowner cooperation and professional collaboration, Cal Fire and its allies have completed a prescribed burn on Highway 41, with no additional impact to traffic anticipated at this time along the corridor.

Special elections keep fire services alive in Placer County

Sacramento Bee

Placer County residents have voted to strengthen fire services in Foresthill and Placer Hills. At the county’s special elections on May 7, voters approved two ballot measures aimed at improving local fire services by establishing a new $185 annual special tax.

Worry mounts as California braces for another wildfire season

Los Angeles Times

In Big Bear Lake, officials worry about an explosive wildfire roaring through the resort city, trapping tens of thousands of people.

See also:



The gig economy is here. How do current regulations measure up?

Modesto Bee

When it comes to setting the rules that govern part-time workers in a rapidly changing gig economy, the answer depends on which type of driver you see in the front seat – a wage slave or an entrepreneur.

Trump Turns Trade Talks Into Spectator Sport

Capital Public Radio

President Trump plans to hold trade talks with his Chinese counterpart. The administration’s rhetoric is not the kind of dry, technocratic language one usually associates with trade negotiations.

Stocks rise, snapping their short losing streak

Los Angeles Times

Energy and internet companies helped drive stocks on Wall Street broadly higher Thursday, snapping a two-day losing streak for the market in a choppy week of trading.

States ambush Sprint and T-Mobile deal


The lawsuit to block the Sprint and T-Mobile merger reinforces the idea that telecommunications law is becoming another flash point in an increasingly confrontational political environment.

How Washington Learned to Love Debt and Deficits


Political support for taming federal debt has melted away, and the U.S. is testing just how much it can borrow.

Tariffs Loom Over Car Makers, Despite Mexico Deal


Specter of new import duties remains a threat on multiple fronts; ‘there’s so much money on the line’.


See the Valley’s top three public salaries

Fresno Bee

The Bee has compiled a database that shows the 2018 compensation, including salary, overtime and benefits, for not only elected officials throughout the Valley, but also more than 45,000 public employees from local government agencies.

Expanding Employment Opportunities For Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Capital Public Radio

Adults with autism are underrepresented in the labor market. We’ll talk with guests involved in a pilot project that aims to break down the barriers to their employment.

Uber, Lyft to make wage concessions to keep drivers contractors

San Francisco Chronicle

Uber and Lyft are joining forces for a public battle to keep their workers as independent contractors while making wage and benefits concessions.


Pension relief, special education funding highlight Gov. Newsom’s budget


Gov. Gavin Newsom’s first education budget, which the Legislature passed on Thursday, remains his budget. After negotiations with legislative leaders, Newsom’s spending priorities remain largely intact and signal the directions his administration will take over his first term.

See also:


Fresno teachers reach ‘revolutionary’ tentative agreement with school district

Fresno Bee

The Fresno Teachers Association has reached a tentative agreement with Fresno Unified School District — a deal Superintendent Bob Nelson called revolutionary.

McEwen: Finally, Fresno Unified’s Trajectory Is Pointing Up

GV Wire

After 43 years of bare-knuckled brawling, the leaders of Fresno Unified and its teachers union tried something different in hope of getting a better result. It worked.

Charter schools accused of stealing $50M from California, including three Valley schools


A network of charter schools in California stole more than $50 million from the state by creating phantom institutions that enrolled unwitting students it found through other schools and youth programs, prosecutors said May 29.

A Merced school district tried to end its Punjabi classes. It didn’t go over very well

Merced Sun-Star

Students and parents in Livingston, where about 20 percent of the residents are Sikh Punjabi, said they felt blindsided recently by a decision from high school leaders to end the Punjabi language program.

New leadership at VUSD’s helm focuses on budget

Visalia Times Delta

The Visalia Unified board room was considerably quieter on Tuesday night than it had been just one day before when hundreds of VUSD staff, parents and teachers flooded the district building to bid farewell to outgoing Superintendent Todd Oto.

Tawny Robinson appointed to Kings County Board of Education

Hanford Sentinel

With the unexpected death of Mike Robinson, the Kings County Board of Education had the daunting task of filling the vacant seat left by the businessman and philanthropist.

Manteca, Lodi Unified ranked among best employers in state

Stockton Record

Two San Joaquin County school districts were named as being among the best employers to work for in California, according to Forbes.

California’s First Governor Was Racist. San Jose School Will Join Others in Removing His Name


You might think that the first U.S. governor of California would be a household name in the state he helped usher into being. But not many people know much about Peter Burnett, and those who do aren’t exactly singing his praises as a founding father.

Education Freedom Scholarships: A promising approach


In spring 2019, Betsy DeVos proposed the Education Freedom Scholarships, a major school choice initiative. Although it met criticism from both the left and right, its approach has some promise.

Higher Ed:

Fresno State receives $1.4 million to provide teacher scholarships

Porterville Recorder

Fresno State is working to reverse an acute shortage of qualified math teachers in California by introducing students with an interest in math to rewarding teaching careers.

Bridge to BC program helps incoming students conquer their college fears

Bakersfield Californian

Transitioning from high school to college can feel like one is climbing the tallest mountain in the world and encountering obstacles along the way. Or it can feel like a wild roller coaster ride with its many twists, turns and surprises.

CSU’s Prudent Saving Strategy


According to its new, publicly available financial reporting tool, the California State University has significantly strengthened its reserves in recent years.

EDITORIAL: California Senate must act to regulate for-profit colleges

San Francisco Chronicle

The California Legislature should tighten regulation of for-profit colleges, marked by high costs and poor performance.




Emails: Trump official consulting climate-change rejecters

Fresno Bee

A Trump administration national security official has sought help from advisers to a think tank that disavows climate change to challenge widely accepted scientific findings on global warming, according to his emails.

West Nile found in SJ mosquitoes; spraying underway

Stockton Record

The first confirmed West Nile virus positive mosquito samples this year were found in San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties, the San Joaquin Mosquito & Vector Control District announced Thursday.

California takes on an ocean of plastic waste, considers changes

San Francisco Chronicle

California lawmakers say the state must act to stop plastics from crowding landfills and polluting the ocean. They’ve proposed sweeping legislation to require manufacturers to reduce the reliance on single-use plastics.

How to reduce the risk of wildfire and other climate change-related disasters


Millions of Californians face an unprecedented increase in natural disasters brought about climate change with an accompanying increase in risk. Unless.

The new plan to remove a trillion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere: Bury it

The Washington Post

It sounds like an idea plucked from science fiction, but the reality is that trees and plants already do it.




Human Services:

Modesto’s Central Valley hospital goes above and beyond to boost patient outcomes

Modesto Bee

Central Valley Specialty Hospital is working on its public image after state regulators in March noted deficiencies in infection control and nursing services at the hospital, at 17th and H streets, and required a plan for corrections.

‘California Priorities’ panels examine health and care of kids, seniors

Modesto Bee

Issues of health and care as they relate to children and senior citizens were discussed by two separate panels Thursday.

Modesto’s Central Valley hospital goes above and beyond to boost patient outcomes

Modesto Bee

Jesus Juarez of Fresno still is recovering from a bad fall last year and doesn’t seem to mind rehabbing in a facility 95 miles from his home.

A silver wave? California braces for elderly boom that could overburden state

Sacramento Bee

By 2030, the 60-and-over population will be 40 percent larger than it is now, according to the California Department of Aging. Seniors will be a larger share of the population than kids under the age of 18 by 2036, the state projects.

What Medicine Can Learn From Doctors And Researchers With Disabilities

Capital Public Radio

Swenor is pushing for medical institutions to collect more data on individuals with disabilities in their workforces, invite people with disabilities to speak at seminars, and place faculty members with disabilities in leadership roles so they can help shape conditions and policies.

How Trump administration undermines reproductive and LGBTQ rights in California


A pregnant woman arrives at a Catholic hospital with vaginal bleeding. The  doctor determines that she has a rare condition that means her pregnancy will not survive and is a threat to her life. The standard treatment is to terminate the pregnancy.

3 ways to make health insurance auto-enrollment work


Despite a dramatic drop in the number of uninsured Americans since the Affordable Care Act was passed, millions remain without coverage. In a new report, Christen Linke Young explores how automatic enrollment proposals could help close the coverage gap.

EDITORIAL: Jean Purdy and the history of not giving brilliant women their due

Los Angeles Times

Jean Purdy, a nurse and embryologist, was one of three people who developed in vitro fertilization 50 years ago. But until recently, her contribution to this scientific breakthrough was largely unknown and credit was given only to the two male scientists with whom she worked.


Man’s deportation reversed in rebuke of government practices

Fresno Bee

A federal court has ruled that a Mexican man who was arrested during an immigration sting at a Los Angeles manufacturing plant should not be deported.

See also:

Calif. AG files motion to prevent border wall construction


California Attorney General Xavier Becerra says he has filed a motion to permanently prevent President Trump from constructing a wall in California and New Mexico.

US considers more options for detaining transgender migrants

Bakersfield Californian

Immigration and Customs Enforcement is considering opening a second permanent facility where transgender migrants can be detained amid the influx of Central Americans crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.


Land Use:

Locals say Applegate Park is getting bad. But that’s not why the city put up a fence

Merced Sun-Star

A new fence sprung up this week around the Applegate Park gazebo where neighbors say homeless people sit and sleep around the clock.

Local agencies leading new community effort to make Oildale parks cleaner, safer

Bakersfield Californian

To help improve park conditions, the Kern County Public Health Services Department has partnered with Supervisor Mike Maggard and the North of the River Recreation and Park District to lead a community effort to make the Oildale parks cleaner and safer.


The interest rate on these loans can top 100% in California. Does a 36% cap solve the problem?

Fresno Bee

If passed, Assembly Bill 539 would end a decades-long practice of allowing installment loans of $2,500 to $10,000 to carry such high interest rates by limiting that number to 36%.

California cities lead the U.S. in inflation. Housing costs are a big reason why

Los Angeles Times

Nationally, consumer prices are barely moving, with inflation clocking in at just 1.8% for May. But if you live in a major urban area of California, you’ve noticed a much bigger hit. Among the chief culprits? Housing costs.

Why Housing Policy Feels Like Generational Warfare

The Atlantic

In his magisterial 2005 history, A Nation of Realtors, Jeffrey Hornstein laid out the country-shaping effect of 20th-century housing policy. In the decades following the Great Depression, the federal government—as well as states and cities—subsidized the creation and consumption of single-family homes. The American dream’s most important archetype became buying a home.


911 upgrade could cost Californians despite budget surplus

Associated Press

A $214.8 billion budget approved Thursday by California lawmakers would upgrade the state’s aging 911 system following the most devastating wildfire season in state history and help middle class families pay their monthly health insurance premiums. To fund those changes, however, lawmakers want to impose a new monthly fee on phone bills and tax people who refuse to buy private health insurance, even though the state has a projected $21.5 billion surplus, the largest in at least 20 years.

Big businesses paying even less than expected under GOP tax law


Federal tax payments by big businesses are falling much faster than anticipated in the wake of Republicans’ tax cuts, providing ammunition to Democrats who are calling for corporate tax increases.


When will Yosemite’s Tioga Road reopen? Here’s what we know about the road over the Sierra

Fresno Bee

The scenic Tioga Road – Yosemite National Park’s only road over the Sierra Nevada – remains closed at least through this weekend.

Fresno Yosemite Airport upgrade: Taxi drivers forced to wait in sweltering heat


While Fresno Yosemite International Airport gets set for a major parking upgrade, construction is forcing taxi drivers out of their normal waiting area. The cabbies’ ground transportation facility is currently off limits until work is completed nearby.

North Fork Roundabout Construction Starts ‘Smoothly’

Sierra Star

Work on Madera County’s first public roundabout, a $1.9-million project that will dramatically transform the intersection of Roads 225 and 274 in North Fork, kicked off this week.

Gas leak shuts down ACE train service to Stockton

Stockton Record

A major gas leak in Livermore has forced all train services to Stockton to be canceled on Thursday.

Bird buys Scoot, more electric scooter deals on the way

San Francisco Chronicle

Scoot, one of two companies allowed to rent electric scooters on San Francisco streets, has been acquired by Bird, a larger Santa Monica rival.

State Still Wants its Bullet Train

StreetBlog SF

Despite years of mudslinging and attacks, people still just want a modern train system in California

Legal pot makes it harder to recruit truck drivers, industry leader says

Roll Call

As the trucking industry struggles with a driver shortage, the president of a major lobby placed part of the blame on wider acceptance by states of marijuana use.


Calif. AG Accuses EPA of Failing to Protect Groundwater


Democratic California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has sent a letter to the EPA, accusing the agency of failing to ensure cleanup of groundwater contamination.

If you’re visiting Yosemite, stay away from the water!


Visitors to Yosemite National Park are being told to stay away from the water. The Merced River is at flood stage and rescue personnel are training for what could be a deadly summer.

See also:

As Californians Save More Water, Their Sewers Get Less And That’s A Problem

Water Education

Lower flows damage equipment, concentrate waste and stink up neighborhoods; should water conservation focus shift outdoors?


New California law makes it easier to adopt kittens

Fresno Bee

California’s stray kittens can be adopted more easily, thanks to a new law signed by the governor on Wednesday. The law will allow people to adopt kittens under 8 weeks old at animal shelters, waiving a mandatory six-day waiting period that California had required for stray cats since 1998.

Come out to support local vets or go for a Father’s Day Run this weekend


If you’re looking for a couple of family-friendly events this weekend, we’ve got you covered, from a free movie to a softball game in your weekend.

Fresno County Public Library offering free film editing workshops for kids


Kids are learning how to create their own summer blockbusters in Fresno County. The Fresno County Public Library is partnering with CMAC this year to offer free workshops on how to shoot and edit films on mobile devices.

Registration now open for summer S.M.A.R.T. Lab camps

Porterville Recorder

Registration is now open for the Porterville College Foundation’s summer Science, Mathematics and Resource Technology (S.M.A.R.T.) Lab camps. Space is limited so register today! Camps are open to students grade 4 – 6 and explore life, earth and physical science.

Transgender, LGBTQ art exhibit in Merced. Believed to be largest such exhibit in state

Merced Sun-Star

A new art exhibition showcasing the work of primarily transgender and non-binary identified local and Northern California artists is on display in downtown Merced.