June 17, 2019



North SJ Valley:

Here are some victories Merced County can count from state budget, state leaders say

Merced Sun-Star

The $215 billion budget deal reached this week in California comes with a number of highlights for Merced County, including investments in education, health care and a new fire station on the Westside.

‘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. But the conversations showed that circumstances, experiences, decisions and other factors throughout life mean the two age groups themselves really aren’t that separate.

EDITORIAL: Modesto city manager is outraged by insurance debacle. But he largely created it

Modesto Bee

Some employees have shared horror stories — paying tens of thousands of dollars out of their own pockets to satisfy medical providers, or being sent to collections when they couldn’t pay, and the attendant anxiety and stress. They’re frustrated and angry, and we don’t blame them. How did we get to this point?

Central SJ Valley:

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 even though the state’s new $214.8 billion budget provides coverage to a fraction of them.

Save the date: Newsom to unveil revitalization plans at Fresno summit

The Business Journal

Fresno will host the 8th CA Economic Summit in November, and the two-day event will include an announcement by California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

South SJ Valley:

Hanford City Council to meet Monday and Tuesday

Hanford Sentinel

The Hanford City Council will meet on both Monday and Tuesday to discuss zoning and the interim city manager position.

Hearing set for public comment on applicants for District 5 seat

Porterville Recorder

The Porterville City Council has a full agenda set for Tuesday night with six public hearings, two second readings and one scheduled matter.

Assemblymember Mathis opposes the 2019-2020 budget

Porterville Recorder

Yesterday, the office of Assemblymember Devon Mathis (R-Visalia) released a statement summarizing his thoughts on the 2019-2020 state budget. This budget entails a total expenditure of $320.9 billion, a 3.5% increase over last year’s budget.


Central Valley secures state budget funds for water and Valley Fever

Hanford Sentinel

Thursday, both houses of the California Legislature approved the 2019-20 state budget with Assembly Bill 74.

California mulls adopting portions of despised Trump tax law

Bakersfield Californian

California’s liberal Legislature wants to give poor people a lot more money in their state tax refunds each year, including an extra $1,000 for people who earn less than $30,000 a year and have at least one child under 6.

See also:

Vaccine skeptic files recall petition against California senator

Sacramento Bee

A vaccine skeptic who airs conspiracy theories on social media has filed a recall petition against Sen. Richard Pan, the Sacramento Democrat behind a bill that would restrict medical exemptions for vaccines.

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

Sacramento Bee

What major problems do senior citizens face in California? Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed an executive order to address issues with affording housing as rents rise, living on a fixed income and finding health care.

Republicans need to change their product. Californians aren’t buying it

Los Angeles Times

Politics is like private enterprise. You either sell your product or perish.

California’s Newsom takes aim: GOP destined for ‘waste bin of history’


The generously coiffed former San Francisco mayor, who spent the better part of the last decade waiting his turn back in the political klieg lights, is on the attack, and on multiple fronts.

Newsom administration launches podcast, ‘Made in California’


Let me start with an admission: government officials—at all levels—don’t do a good job of engaging the public as we grapple with big, complex challenges.

Video: Californians and Their Government


PPIC researcher Dean Bonner outlined these and other key findings from the latest statewide survey.


After Trump’s controversial comments, Congress fights over foreign influence measures


Democrats on Capitol Hill use controversial remarks to renew their push for legislation targeting foreign assistance in American campaigns.

6 Themes To Pay Attention To In Upcoming Supreme Court Decisions


It’s decision season at the U.S. Supreme Court, and there are a host of consequential cases the justices are deciding, from a controversial Trump administration proposal to adding a citizenship question to the census to gerrymandering and a question of separation of church and state.

See also:

The Supreme Court Should Take a Field Trip to California

New York TImes

Immigrants want to take part in the census, a basic exercise in our democracy. But many are afraid.

Justice Department sides with Treasury in blocking Trump tax returns

Roll Call

Mnuchin rejected demand by House Ways and Means Democrats.

Elections 2020:

Trump campaign dumps pollsters after low numbers, reports say

Fresno Bee

President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign has severed ties with some of its pollsters after the leak of months-old surveys showed him trailing former Vice President Joe Biden in key states, according to multiple reports.

See also:

Democratic debate matchups set: Which candidates will face off in Miami?

Visalia Times Delta

Twenty Democratic presidential candidates were divvied up between two planned nights of debates in a drawing by NBC News on Friday morning. The candidates will face off on June 26 and 27 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Miami.

California is up in the air for 2020 Democrats – and so is this politician’s endorsement

Sacramento Bee

There aren’t too many California politicians left on the sidelines in the 2020 primary fight.

Kamala Harris would lean on presidential power, not Congress, for big plans

San Francisco Chronicle

Kamala Harris has unveiled an ambitious set of policies as part of her presidential campaign that have a common theme: going it alone.

Wall Street Donors Are Swooning for Mayor Pete. (They Like Biden and Harris, Too.)

Wall Street Journal

The behind-the-scenes competition for Wall Street money in the 2020 presidential race is reaching a fevered peak this week as no less than nine Democrats are holding New York fund-raisers in a span of nine days, racing ahead of a June 30 filing deadline when they must disclose their latest financial hauls.

See also:

Meet the candidates: Elizabeth Warren and Jay Inslee


All candidate bios will eventually be findable on this page.

See also:

Fueled by voter fraud fears, man registered his dead father, golden retrievers to vote

The Californian

A retired veteran found himself on the wrong side of the law after an attempt at what he called whistleblowing blew up in his face.  


Fresno’s waste bin lids will now have Braille on them


The City of Fresno has developed new waste bin lids for blind or low-vision residents. These new lids have Braille, raised print and symbols to differentiate between trash and green waste.

Financial Woes Forcing ‘Temporary’ Closure of Oakhurst Boys & Girls Club

Sierra News

A valuable community resource for area youth is closing at the end of this month — and an emergency meeting has been scheduled to try to keep the temporary closure from becoming permanent.

New California law makes it easier to adopt kittens

Sacramento Bee

California’s stray kittens can be adopted more easily.

Majority of American men are fathers

Los Angeles Times

Fathers in the U.S. tend to be better educated than men without children, and relatively few men have children over age 40.

Don’t Forget the ‘Net Neutrality’ Panic


A year ago, the FCC killed the internet. Or so we were told.

Inside the NRA’s finances: Deepening debt, increased spending on legal fees — and cuts to gun training

Washington Post

The National Rifle Association spent growing sums on overhead in 2018 even as it cut money for core activities such as gun training and political efforts, ending the year deeper in debt, new financial documents show.


Sunday, June 23, at 10 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 23, 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 23, at 7:30 a.m. on UniMas 61 (KTTF) – El Informe Maddy: “TBD”


Harris Farms names a new CEO. He’s already got strong ties to the Coalinga company

Fresno Bee

James Beecher, president of Farming D Logistical Support and Beecher/Ryan Harvesting in Five Points, is the new president/CEO of Harris Farms Inc.

California budget deal helps keep marijuana growers in business

Fresno Bee

California cannabis farmers facing a potential “extinction event” could see help in the state budget package with measures that would allow nascent businesses to continue operating with provisional licenses and open opportunities for new growers.

Hazmat incident: Many questions about chemical that killed Merced County farmer


The only thing detectives do know is that the toxic chemical is so dangerous that responding Merced County deputies also had to be treated for exposure.

CA food stamp program expanding to include 200K more people


California’s food stamps program is expanding to include 200,000 more people. Under the expansion, 200,000 elderly and disabled people would be eligible for food stamps.

California to give struggling cannabis businesses more time on provisional permits

Los Angeles Times

In another sign that California’s legal cannabis market is in deep trouble, state officials plan to extend the period that growers and sellers can operate with provisional licenses by five years, giving them a delay in complying with stricter rules for regular permits.

With state’s help, Kern dairies turn cow manure into clean energy

Bakersfield Californian

Don’t hold your nose: Methane from cow manure at local dairies has taken on new value as both a clean-burning fuel and a greenhouse gas to be harnessed.

Agriculture Agencies Headed to the Heartland


Supporters say the move will cut costs. Opponents argue it’ll dilute important work.

Listen to Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Driving Change in Food and Agriculture in Podcasts

Commonwealth Club of California

Driving Change in Food and Agriculture.



Possessing Marijuana In Prison ‘Is Not A Felony,’ California Court Says

Capital Public Radio

A three-judge panel ruled that because it’s legal to have small amounts of pot in California, the same is true inside prison. They also say it’s still illegal to smoke or ingest cannabis in prison.

Nearly all Democratic candidates oppose death penalty as public opinion shifts

San Francisco Chronicle

Joe Biden is the notable exception among Democratic presidential candidates as opposition to capital punishment grows.

See also:

Open Forum: Exaggerating California crime to protect their livelihoods

San Francisco Chronicle

California has seen seven years of transformative justice system reforms: AB109, enacted in 2011, lowered the prison population; Proposition 47, approved by voters in 2014, reduced certain nonviolent crimes to misdemeanors; Prop. 57, passed in 2016, gave more people a chance at parole and reduced prosecutors’ power to try children in adult court; and, in March, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a moratorium on the death penalty.

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.

EDITORIAL: Tighten the blindfold on justice? Or remove it? The answer isn’t as easy as it seems

Los Angeles Times

Well-meaning (or perhaps not-so-well-meaning) even-handedness does its perverse work at even the most basic level of the criminal justice system.

Public Safety:

City of Clovis announces next police chief


Clovis Police Chief Matt Basgall is retiring in August. The City of Clovis has appointed Captain Curt Fleming to take Basgall’s place as the new police chief.

Audit finds Fresno officers taught classes on city time. Could police funding get cut?

Fresno Bee

A city audit concludes that at least four Fresno police officers were paid for hours they didn’t actually work – but Chief Jerry Dyer said it’s more complicated than that.

Warszawski: To curb gun violence, Fresno CA should pay for Advance Peace

Fresno Bee

Gang-banging in Fresno no longer pays. Because of this most gang members, including those who commit the bulk of the city’s shootings, can be steered onto a different path.

That’s my takeaway from a conversation with Aaron Foster, a reformed gang member (“One of the most violent people you’ll ever meet”) who’s now a community organizer for Faith in the Valley.

Children learn when and when not to call 911

Hanford Sentinel

Hanford Police Department Dispatch and Hanford Parks and Recreation hosted a 911 for Kids education program Thursday where dozens of children learned the importance of when and when not to call the emergency number.  

Two Porterville men sworn in as CHP officers

Porterville Recorder

Shane A. Hernandez and Cesar Castelo, Jr., both from Porterville, have successfully completed the cadet-training course at the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Academy.

Some activists pull support from California compromise on police deadly force

San Francisco Chronicle

Like dozens of other Californians whose family members were killed by police, Quintus Moore traveled to the state Capitol in April to ask lawmakers to raise the legal standard for when officers can use deadly force on a suspect.

See also:

Legislative Analyst: Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Proposed Raises For California Prison Guards Not Justified

Capital Public Radio

California’s nonpartisan budget watchdog is blasting a labor deal between Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration and the state prison guards’ union, which lawmakers could vote on as soon as Monday.

California could become first to limit facial recognition technology; police aren’t happy

USA Today

A routine traffic stop goes dangerously awry when a police officer’s body camera uses its built-in facial recognition software to misidentify a motorist as a convicted felon.

Study: Civil asset forfeiture doesn’t discourage drug use or help police solve crimes

The Washington Post

When you tell people who know little of our criminal justice system about civil asset forfeiture, they often don’t believe you. And it isn’t difficult to see why. It’s a practice so contrary to a basic sense of justice and fairness that you want to believe someone is pulling your leg, or at least exaggerating.

EDITORIAL: County moves toward gold standard with medical-examiner system

Stockton Record

The recent hiring of Dr. Michael Hunter to head San Joaquin County’s newly created Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is a start, but not a cure-all.

EDITORIAL: It’s high noon, and high time for accountability for California sheriffs

Sacramento Bee

McCarty, a Democrat from Sacramento, authored Assembly Bill 1185, which would create citizen oversight boards for sheriffs in each of California’s 58 counties. The bill narrowly passed in the Assembly and is nearing a vote in the Senate.


Crews complete critical burn operation inside Kings Canyon National Park


Prescribed burn reduces the threat of wildfire by eliminating hazardous fuels that have accumulated over nearly a decade.

County Hosts ‘Fire Safety In The Foothills’ Event

Sierra News

With the season already upon us, Madera County will host a fire safety educational event on Saturday, June 15, with County staff and partners including Cal Fire, the Madera County Sheriff’s Office, PG&E and others.

Sand Fire in Yolo County fully contained after a week

Sacramento Bee

The Sand Fire in Yolo County is now 100 percent contained, Cal Fire said Saturday morning. The fire started a week ago, June 8, near the village of Rumsey in the Capay Valley and grew quickly from a few hundred acres to over a thousand acres in the first six hours.

Cal Fire union launches TV ads as it presses Gavin Newsom to hire more firefighters

Sacramento Bee

The union that represents state firefighters is airing commercials in Sacramento.

EDITORIAL: California’s wildfire commission delivers its reform plan, only to be promptly ignored

Los Angeles Times

The five members of the Commission on Catastrophic Wildfire Cost and Recovery were given no small task: Dive into the highly wonky issues of electric utilities, finance and insurance to come up with a fair and workable plan to spread the cost of future wildfires caused by power lines. And do it without letting power companies off the hook or dumping the entire burden onto ratepayers. And do it in less than six months. With no pay.

See also:



Pro AB 539: Historic opportunity to stop legal loan sharking in California

Fresno Bee

Predatory lenders are preying on Californians where consumer protection laws are weaker than 37 other states.

See also:

Cash registers back on at Target after outage nationwide, including in California

Fresno Bee

Target customers experienced delays in their Father’s Day eve shopping after widespread outages took out cash registers. At least three of the five Target stores in Fresno experienced outages to cashing systems.

See also:

Lenny Mendonca looks to bolster Central Valley

Sacramento Business Journal

With California facing a housing shortage and wealth inequality, Lenny Mendonca is traveling the state to inform coastal employers and civic leaders about opportunities to create jobs in Sacramento, Stockton, Fresno and Bakersfield.

Trump Administration Proposal to Shrink the Poverty Line Means More Hardship for Californians

California Budget & Policy Center

The Trump Administration has quietly announced a proposal to change the way the federal poverty line is updated each year for inflation. This proposal is far more than a minor technical change affecting government statistics — it would cut low-income Californians’ access to health care, basic nutrition, and other essential needs.

See also:

How to fix capitalism for America’s workers


From slow wage growth, to increasing numbers of men out of the labor market, to rising inequality and rising compensation for CEOs, today’s capitalism may not be working for workers.


Postmates — Like Uber And Lyft — Is Working With California Labor Groups To Keep Independent Contractors. Critics Aren’t Sold.

Capital Public Radio

In a remarkable shift from their historically contentious relationship with organized labor, gig companies are negotiating with unions to potentially extend benefits to their hundreds of thousands of California workers — as long as the companies can continue to classify them as contractors.

Walters: New workers’ compensation battle on horizon


About once a decade – or to put it another way, about once in each governor’s reign – powerful interest groups wage political war over the state’s system of compensating workers for job-related illnesses and injuries.

Mexicans have a special route to the US job market. Trade wars could close it off

San Francisco Chronicle

The Trade National, or TN, visa is a three-year permit for Mexicans and Canadians to work in the U.S. If NAFTA gets revoked, thousands of workers will be affected.

How much paid parental leave do Americans really want?


Paid leave for parents is likely to be an important issue on the campaign trail this year. Hillary Clinton, positioning herself as the candidate on the side of families, argues for all parents to be paid for 12 weeks of family leave, at two-thirds of their salary up to a (so far unspecified) cap. Donald Trump has not so far ruled it out, simply saying: “We have to keep our country very competitive, so you have to be careful of it.”



How scammers stole more than $50 million from Valley charter school students


The San Diego District Attorney’s Office is investigating a major charter school scam that investigators claim involves the Raisin City School District. More than $50 million was stolen from the state using the names of students from the Valley.

See also:

Merced City School District accepting applications for new Montessori preschool classes


Parents in the North Valley have a new education option for their young children. The Merced City School District is now accepting applications for its new Montessori preschool classes, which will be held at Ada Givens elementary starting this fall.

Students need protection from student loan lenders

Sacramento Bee

California should act to protect millions of its residents by being the first state in the country to adopt a law requiring student loan companies to treat borrowers fairly and giving borrowers the right to hold these companies accountable when they fail to meet basic servicing standards.

Advocates Call California’s Budget A ‘Big Win’ For Early Childhood Education

Capital Public Radio

The budget Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to sign later this month pays for thousands more children to attend free, all-day preschool and for families to receive subsidized childcare.

How Idealistic High-Tech Schools Often Fail to Help Poor Kids Get Ahead

Zocalo Public Square

The Benefits of Computers and Special Instruction Are Eclipsed by Economic Disadvantage

See also:

Higher Ed:

Fresno woman born in Mexico accepted into UCLA medical school

The Fresno Bee

I was 5 years old when my parents made the difficult decision to leave our impoverished hometown in Mexico. My elementary school there only offered coloring activities and my mother did not want my education to end like her’s did. To provide me with an American education and to escape violence, my parents gave up their life and family in Mexico.

See also:

Fresno State gets million-dollar boost helping students become math teachers


Fresno State’s mathematics department is giving students a million reasons to consider math as a major.

2020 race brings free college back to the national stage


After receding from the national stage, the free college movement is resurfacing as a central rallying point for Democrats as they set their sights on the White House.

CSU Accessible Technology Initiative

Fresno State News

The CSU Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) is the system’s commitment to make information and communication technology accessible to all students, employees and the general public, including those with disabilities. The initiative addresses accessibility on the web, in instructional materials, and in the procurement process.

UC vs. UT: Why have spending and tuition grown so much faster at the University of California?

San Jose Mercury

Texas and California are natural rivals when it comes to everything from their culture and influence to their economies. But when it comes to the two states’ vaunted public university systems, the Lone Star State may have a better handle on a major concern in higher education over the last decade: costs and tuition.

Stockton Scholars seeks mentors for first-generation college students

Stockton Record

Stockton Scholars are looking for interested individuals to act as mentors for first-generation college students across San Joaquin County.

Answers to an SAT subject exam were leaked from overseas, watchdog group says

Sacramento Bee

Answers to a recent SAT college admissions exam were circulating on the internet for more than half a day before the test was administered, according to a watchdog group that received a copy.

After decades of pushing bachelor’s degrees, U.S. needs more tradespeople

PBS NewsHour

At a steel factory dwarfed by the adjacent Auto Club Speedway, Fernando Esparza is working toward his next promotion.

More aid for older and homeless students in California’s higher education budget


Gov. Newsom wins funding for students who are parents; no tuition increases.

Affording college a top worry among California voters


Voters across California worry about affording college, but the fear is more pressing for those in rural areas. That’s the conclusion of a report released Monday by Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) which shows that voters in certain counties — typically those in rural areas and places close to the borders with Nevada and Oregon — are more likely to have greater concerns about college affordability than voters in other parts of the state.




California hunters face nation’s first lead ammo ban

San Francisco Chronicle

The nation’s first 100% lead-free ammunition ban for hunters takes effect in two weeks in California. The law shows a will to protect individual animals and birds and is taking effect as a fait accompli among hunters.

EDITORIAL: California lawmakers are turning cap-and-trade into the slush fund critics long feared

Los Angeles Times

For years, critics of California’s cap-and-trade program have lambasted it as a government slush fund.


Transition to clean energy will fall to California’s drivers, Influencers say

Fresno Bee

A few years ago, California lawmakers developed an aggressive plan to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. So far, we’re ahead of schedule, mainly because renewable energy sources like solar, wind and hydropower have allowed the state’s electricity grid to move away from traditional fossil fuels.

See also:



Mosquitoes found in Fresno test positive for West Nile. Here’s what you can do to be safe

Fresno Bee

The Fresno County Department of Public Health issued a warning on Friday about the West Nile virus.

See also:

US cities and counties in behemoth federal opioid lawsuit file for class status


Thousands of U.S. cities and counties in federal opioid litigation file for class status. The move could inch the parties closer to a global settlement.

Overdose and suicide among top causes of death for new moms in California, study finds

Sacramento Bee

Drug overdose and suicide are leading causes of death among California mothers within the first year after delivery, a recent study shows.

See also:

We were 19. She was pregnant. Abortion was illegal

Los Angeles Times

Reflecting upon an abortion during the days before Roe vs. Wade illuminates the need for men to add their voices to the debate.

Human Services:

California goes even bigger on Obamacare


The state is advancing a sweeping health care package that could shape Democrats’ debate over universal coverage.

See also:

California relies on federal funds to expand undocumented health coverage


California is poised to adopt a sweeping health care expansion that extends full Medicaid benefits to undocumented young adults — with the expectation that the Trump administration will foot some of the bill despite the president’s aggressive stance against illegal immigration.


Record number of African migrants coming to Mexican border

Bakersfield Californian

Undaunted by a dangerous journey over thousands of miles, people fleeing economic hardship and human rights abuses in African countries are coming to the U.S.-Mexico border in unprecedented numbers, surprising Border Patrol agents more accustomed to Spanish-speaking migrants.

Trump has gone too far on immigration, voters say in Fox poll

Bakersfield Californian

Half of American voters say the Trump administration has gone too far on immigration enforcement, and optimism about the U.S. economy, while still high, has slipped over the past quarter as trade tensions ramp up, a Fox News poll shows.

Americans See ‘Better Food’ As Biggest Benefit Immigration Brings to the U.S., YouGov Poll Finds


Of all the ways that migrants contribute to the U.S., the majority of Americans view “better food” as being the best benefit the country has received as a result of immigration, a recently released YouGov poll shows.

Americans make up Mexico’s largest demographic of immigrants

San Diego Union-Tribune

They come for the tacos. Or the music. Or the nightlife. They stay to live a less-expensive lifestyle or to retire in a casita in the sand. Americans immigrants living the Mexican dream can have the same hopes and goals of the Mexican immigrant in the U.S.: to get a little ahead or to start a new life.


Land Use:

These Bakersfield residents don’t wait for city to improve neighborhood, they do it themselves

Bakersfield Californian

The Greenfield Walking Group scored another victory recently when they received a $12,000 grant to make improvements to three parks in south Bakersfield.

Ten dollars buys an abandoned Bakersfield mall

Bakersfield Californian

In the end, the dilapidated, weed-strewn property that is East Hills Mall boomeranged on its former owner.

Landlords rip out escalators and walls to attract tenants like Google and Netflix

Los Angeles Times

Companies including Google, Amazon and Netflix have agreed to rent entire buildings before construction has even begun, setting off a scramble in recent years to erect billions of dollars’ worth of new offices and production facilities to accommodate them.

Bakersfield downtown real estate: Can it become a California boom town?


Local entrepreneurs want to turn a boom in new businesses into an urban renaissance.

Blight is eating American cities. Here’s how Mobile, Alabama, stopped it

Fast Company

The story of blight in Mobile, Alabama, is the story of the rich and poor in America, of unregulated real estate, and of centuries of inequality. But in Mobile, a small team figured out how to change the narrative.

Beyond Smart Cities: Emerging Design and Technology online short course

MIT Media Lab

Knowledge of how innovations in technology, design, planning, and policycan bring dramatic improvements to urban living – at both a local and global level.


Patience pays off for Grand View Village

Stockton Record

Grand View Village, a proposed affordable-housing development first mentioned by Carol Ornelas of Visionary Home Builders in downtown Stockton in late 2014 has been granted $17,894,572. The long wait was over.

Affordable rental community for seniors is coming to Southwest Fresno

Vida en el Valle

The need for quality senior housing is critical in Fresno. And thanks to the construction of a 40-unit senior affordable rental community, the quality of life of southwest Fresno residents will improve.


Big caveats in new state budget


California’s political leaders, Democrats all, are touting a new state budget that expands spending on services for the state’s poor while building reserves.

Will ‘opportunity zone’ tax breaks help low-income communities?

PBS NewsHour Weekend

The 2017 tax law created more than 8,700 “opportunity zones” around the country, where investors receive tax breaks in exchange for putting money in designated, low-income areas. It’s an approach that, according to its supporters, will spur economic development. But critics say it may not do much for the residents it was designed to help. Hari Sreenivasan reports from Tempe, Arizona.

Big businesses paying even less than expected under GOP tax law


Though profits remain up and the economy is strong, total corporate taxes are at the lowest levels seen in more than 50 years.

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


Governor gets most of what he wanted in his first go-round.

Calpers’ Dilemma: Save the World or Make Money?

Wall Street Journal

California’s public pension system wrestles with new doubts about divestments based on social concerns.

How Government Can Get Brave About Spectrum


Ignore the groups that gripe about a taxpayer rip-off. The public benefits when airwaves trade freely.


Summer brings heat, fun and added rules of the road to follow. Knowing them is key

Fresno Bee

As of Friday, June 21, summer is officially upon us! With temperatures exceeding 100 degrees here in the San Joaquin Valley, the California Highway Patrol wants to make sure the motoring public is ready to beat the heat.

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

Fresno Bee

To help the DMV promote the federally mandated Real ID program and navigate ongoing implementation challenges, state lawmakers approved a budget on Thursday that will boost the department’s budget by more than $242 million.

Transition to clean energy will fall to California’s drivers, Influencers say

Fresno Bee

A few years ago, California lawmakers developed an aggressive plan to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. So far, we’re ahead of schedule, mainly because renewable energy sources like solar, wind and hydropower have allowed the state’s electricity grid to move away from traditional fossil fuels.

See also:

‘Clean’ freight traffic is elusive as California rolls toward zero emissions


Work used to be much simpler for the California Department of Transportation: widen highways, fill potholes, build new freeways. Alas, those quaint days are gone.

EDITORIAL: Why shouldn’t we give up on high-speed rail? Because it can transform Valley and state

Fresno Bee

In today’s heated political climate, it is easy to lose sight of why the high-speed rail project was ever conceived. Its original purpose: To connect Northern and Southern California in an environmentally sound way.

See also:

EDITORIAL: Towing can devastate a poor family. But the solution isn’t to throw out the rules

Los Angeles Times

Over the last several years, California lawmakers have come to grips with how the increasingly pricey fines and penalties they’ve imposed for minor traffic and parking offenses can lead to financial ruin for low-income drivers.

EDITORIAL: California’s Backseat Drivers


Auto CEOs who disliked Obama fuel rules now bow to Sacramento.


Designers creating clothing that can be washed less often


In response to an eco-friendly movement to conserve water, designers are now creating clothes that are able to be washed less often.

SAR Teams Demo Swift Water Rescues In Yosemite

Sierra News

The Merced River pushes past spectators with enormous gusto, as temperatures rise and the annual spring runoff causes rivers and creeks to run very high. This cold and swiftly moving water creates a hazard even for the strongest of swimmers.

See also:

California needs water, not stubborn political games

Modesto Bee

After years of defending its proposed water grab from our region’s rivers, the state Water Board chose to ignore all science and impose orders to take the water anyway.

See also:

The Future of Water

The Pew Charitable Trusts

In this edition, we look at how fresh water is being used throughout the world, in many places faster than it can be naturally replenished. This behavior will affect access to drinking water and water for irrigation, with risks to global food production—and it poses new opportunities and challenges for policymakers.

‘The Dreamt Land’ Review: California’s Precious Resource


One essential resource shaped California’s history: water. The Gold Rush began with grizzled 49ers dipping their shallow pans into streams. But in just a few years industrial-scale hydraulic mining would tear away whole mountainsides in quest of the precious mineral.


New attraction with four water slides opens at Visalia park just in time to beat the heat

Fresno Bee

After years of talks about adding a new splash zone at the Visalia Adventure Park, a new water attraction debuted Saturday. The Visalia park held a soft opening for its new Sequoia Springs Splash Park, a 42-foot megastructure that features four water slides.

CSU Summer Arts returns with more than 25 public events

Fresno State News

For over 30 years, the California State University program has assembled some of the world’s top creative artists to be a part of the annual festival while teaching students and performing for the public. Summer Arts will feature more than 25 live events, so members of the community can see the world-class talent for themselves.

Hiking the Wawona Meadow Loop

Sierra News

We heard a rumor that some very pretty flowers were showing off on the Wawona Meadow Loop Trail, so you know where we headed. It was a short hike in cooler country and that rumor was true! Many beautiful wildflowers along the way and this one is also a good dog hike.

Take me home! Dogs available for adoption

Bakersfield Californian

These six dogs at Kern County Animal Services are looking for their forever homes. Can you help?