June 21, 2017





California’s north-south rivalry could play out in 2018 race for governor

Dan Walters – Fresno Bee & Cal Matters

A recent poll by the University of California, Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies points in that direction, showing Newsom, now the lieutenant governor, leading with support from 22 percent of the state’s likely voters, and Villaraigosa not far behind.

In Governor’s Race, Left Turns Worry Business Community

Fox and Hounds Daily

In deep blue California, many Democratic gubernatorial candidates have their left turn blinker on constantly supporting policy moves in a progressive and risky direction. How does that sit with the state’s business community, which treasures certainty?


Run as a Republican, Then Leave the State

Fox and Hounds Daily

Neel Kashkari, the Republican nominee for governor in 2014, no longer lives in California. He’s president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Before that, the 2010 GOP nominee for U.S. Senate Carly Fiorina decamped for Virginia shortly after she lost. (And one of the men she beat in the primary, Chuck DeVore, quickly fled for Texas).  Those departures suggest the GOP is nominating candidates whose commitment to California is less than ironclad. That’s not good politics. It isn’t good business either.


Democratic elder John Burton endorses Gavin Newsom for governor

San Francisco Chronicle  ‎

Burton, recently freed from the political shackles of his job as chairman of the California Democratic Party, made that endorsement official this week, giving the former San Francisco mayor his blessing in next June’s crowded Democratic primary.


Rep. Devin Nunes stricken by political amnesia. We’ve got the quotes to prove it

Fresno Bee (blog)

Fresno Bee opinion editor Bill McEwen says Rep. Devin Nunes should know about civil discourse – here are a few examples of his past rhetoric.


Nunes says he never recused himself from Russia probe

Los Angeles Times

Rep. Devin Nunes, the California Republican and head of the House Intelligence Committee, spoke at length Monday on a Fresno radio talk show about the recent shooting of a fellow congressman, the investigations into President Donald Trump. etc.


New super PAC targets seven California Republicans – LA Times

Los Angeles Times

Former Northern California Rep. Ellen Tauscher has launched a new super PAC targeting seven vulnerable Republicans in the state’s congressional delegation, hoping to aid the Democratic effort to win control of the House of Representatives in 2018.


Politicians do what they can to hold power. That doesn’t make it right.

Sacramento Bee

Hoping to chip away at Democratic supremacy, the California Republican Party, egged on by Southern California talk show bloviaters and $500,000 from Chevron, is using the state constitutional power of recall in an attempt to unseat Sen. Josh Newman.


Thomas Elias: No limit to state parties’ money laundering

Hanford Sentinel

Just in case anyone wonders what the real issue was in the very close race between Eric Bauman and Kimberly Ellis over who would become the next chairperson of the California Democratic Party, it was money.


How to close the gender gap in political ambition

89.3 KPCC

Pointing out the obvious: both California senators are women. That has been the case for decades. At the local level (at least here in Silicon Valley) women are about half of city council memberships.


Some States Beat Supreme Court to Punch on Eliminating Gerrymanders

New York Times

California redrew its state legislative and congressional districts the same year with far less rancor.


Here’s what you need to know about the pay raises given to Gov. Jerry Brown and state legislators

Los Angeles Times

Gov. Jerry Brown, state legislators and other state elected officials were granted 3% raises by a state panel this week that noted the increases are slightly less than the salary increase recently given to rank-and-file state workers.  The raises, which take effect in December, follow a 4% raise for elected officials last year, and a total of 10% in raises spread out over the previous three years


Too often, politicians ride roughshod over voters – because they can

Sacramento Bee

Lauren Gambill: Behind closed doors, U.S. senators are working on their version of the American Health Care Act to replace the Affordable Care Act.


I’m O.K. — You’re Pure Evil


In denouncing the hatred that brought bloodshed to a baseball diamond in Alexandria, Va., some people went ahead and spread more of it.


Republican mayor and Democratic union leader: Californians looking for better solutions

California Forward

Middle way that grows middle-class jobs, tackles housing could inspire change across country



Taxpayers can’t afford John Chiang’s CalPERS proposal

Fresno Bee

Treasurer John Chiang’s proxy on the CalPERS board is advocating a labor-backed proposal that would side with labor in private organizing efforts. It goes too far.


Politicians do what they can to hold power. That doesn’t make it right.

Sacramento Bee

From Sacramento to D.C., politicians do what it takes to maintain their control. So we offer this pox on both parties.


California’s regulations put farms, farmers and food in danger

Merced Sun-Star

For decades, environmental regulations have been severely limiting the amount of water available for agriculture. If this is allowed to continue, we will see a significant decrease in available farmland, an increase in food prices and an even tougher future for family farmers.


Editorial: Force doctors to disclose malpractice discipline

The Mercury News

State Sen. Jerry Hill is trying again to help patients learn if their doctors are on the verge of losing their licenses, but the California Medical Association says no.


Politicians alter rules for their benefit

The Sacramento Bee

Politicians who hold power wield it, whether it’s in Sacramento, Madison or Washington, D.C.  They do what it takes to maintain their control. They cannot help themselves. And so we offer this pox on both parties.




California’s regulations put farms, farmers and food in danger

Merced Sun-Star (blog)

A new UC Berkeley report commissioned by the Southern California Water Committee concludes that for decades, environmental regulations have been severely limiting the amount of water available for agriculture.

Fresno voters backed recreational pot. Their leaders are rushing to ban it

Fresno Bee

Marijuana could remain a clandestine and illegal industry in the largest city in the central San Joaquin Valley. The Fresno City Council will vote Thursday on whether to ban all marijuana cultivation – including medical and personal use – within city limits. The council will also decide whether to direct staff to draft bans on cannabis dispensaries, sales and public consumption that would be voted on in the next month or two.


Legal Weed: It Really is Coming Soon to a Store Near You


Seven months after Californians voted to legalize and tax recreational marijuana, state leaders are moving full speed ahead with a system to oversee the cultivation, distribution and sales of cannabis — rules that have to be in place, under law, by January.





The end for ‘Hall of Shame’ – old Fresno County juvenile hall campus sold

Fresno Bee

After four years of trying, Fresno County supervisors have sold the old juvenile hall property near downtown. The $1.5 million sale – the minimum bid the county would take – was approved by supervisors Tuesday in a 5-0 vote.


Central California Legal Services looking to expand reach under new leadership


Central California Legal Services offers the poor equal access to legal advice on issues ranging from medical debt to special education. “Approximately 70 to 80-percent of the people that contact this program are calling about housing issues. So either they complained about conditions, they’re getting evicted retalitorily or their place isn’t safe and decent,” said Patience Milrod, CCLS Executive Director.

Rape kit testing lags, so lawmakers want Californiataxpayers to donate

Sacramento Bee

Hundreds of thousands of rape kits are sitting untested at crime labs and law enforcements agencies across the country.  In California, legislation periodically emerges to prod the process. With each test running $1,000 or more, however, cost is a major barrier, and bills with significant funding requirements have generally fallen by the wayside over the past decade


A study finds racial disparities in police officers’ use of language

Stanford Univ. School of Engineering

After analyzing more than 100 hours of body camera footage from Oakland Police, here’s what Stanford researchers found.




Planned Clovis Medical School Has A Fresno Rival—And Both Could Open In 2019

Valley Public Radio

For decades, San Joaquin Valley residents have been calling for a medical school. Plans at UC Merced have stalled, and a state bill that would have brought a public medical school to Fresno State died in the state assembly in March. And yet, the Fresno area could be home to not only one, but two private medical schools—in just two years


How the 2017-18 funding increase for California education will be spent


Includes interactive graphic below showing how the funding increase of $3.2 billion approved by the state Legislature will be spent


EDUCATION ROUNDUP: Local teacher elected to state CTA board

The Bakersfield Californian

Jesse Aguilar, the vocal vice president of the Kern High Teachers Association who sparred regularly with district trustees about issues like whether to allow guns in schools, has been elected to the state California Teachers Association board of directors.

California is Still Golden for College Graduates

Public Policy Institute of California

Over the past 15 years, 1.5 million more people have left California than have moved here from other states, according to estimates from the California Department of Finance. Remarkably, even in the face of this outflow, California still experiences net gains of college graduates (those with at least a bachelor’s degree).

Critics rip University of California for favoring illegal immigrants over out-of-state Americans

Fox News

A California university’s decision to put a limit on the number of American citizens it enrolls — while placing no such restrictions on illegal immigrants who want to attend the school — is drawing sharp criticism from education activists.  The regents in the University of California system recently instituted Regents Policy 2109 in response to state lawmakers threatening to withhold from the university system nearly $20 million if school officials didn’t cap the number of out-of-state American students. The university’s response to the state government’s threat was to limit the percentage of out-of-state American students in the student body to 18 percent on most campuses


UC paying top dollar to investigate Napolitano’s office

San Francisco Chronicle

In keeping with its tradition of big-name and big-bucks investigations, the University of California will pay up to $210,000 for an independent look into allegations that President Janet Napolitano’s office interfered with a recent state audit into its spending habits.


California colleges transform remedial courses to raise graduation rates


Such combination classes – known as co-requisites, bridges or hybrids – are seen as a crucial tool to help hundreds of thousands of CSU students climb out of the remedial education hole in which some feel trapped…CSU system administrators earlier this year said they want to turn all non-credit remedial classes into college-level credit bearing ones by 2018, with the co-requisite classes as the likely model. That move is an important part of the CSU campaign to bolster the system wide four-year completion rate for first-time freshmen to 40 percent from the current 19 percent by 2025. More than a third of entering CSU freshmen are found to need some remedial work.


Education: Senate reviews campus free speech

The Business Journals

The Senate Judiciary Committee examined free speech at college campuses during a hearing Tuesday, as some senators raised questions about balancing First Amendment rights and safety, The Washington Post reported.


Trump’s DACA announcement leaves California college students nervous

The Mercury News

When President Donald Trump said last week that he plans to maintain a program that offers temporary deportation relief to some young undocumented immigrants, including thousands of California college students, the announcement drew praise from local activists and university leaders.  He has not indicated what he is going to do long term—leaving students in limbo.


Betsy DeVos Named This Student Loan CEO To Manage Your Student Loans


DeVos announced Tuesday her intent to appoint Dr. A. Wayne Johnson, who is the Founder, Chairman and former CEO of First Performance Corporation, a global payment card technology platform company.  Johnson is also currently the CEO of Reunion Student Loan Services, which originates, services and refinances private student loans.


Oakland charters more likely to enroll higher-performing students than district schools


Oakland’s charter schools enroll students who are more academically prepared than students who attend district-run schools, giving city charter schools an edge on the question of which kind of school excels at educating its students, according to a new analysis of the city’s public school landscape




Plan To Regionalize Western Power Grid Stalls Post-Trump

Capital Public Radio News

California energy regulators say the state could benefit from sharing more electricity with its neighbors during heat waves such as this week’s, but a proposal to do so has stalled after the election of President Trump.  While an enormous electric grid carries power throughout the western United States, it’s divided into 38 fiefdoms, where regional operators figure out their own power needs. That can leave solar energy unused in one state while another fires up reserve gas plants to meet demand.


13 red states threaten to sue over a California initiative to fight climate change

Los Angeles Times

You can say one thing for California’s initiatives aimed at stemming fossil-fuel-driven climate change: They have the ability to drive conservative politicians from oil, gas and coal states batty.


California’s Clean Air Act waiver should be yanked, Trump’s former environmental advisor says

Los Angeles Times

Myron Ebell, who works at the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington and helped devise Trump’s environmental agenda, said California should not be allowed to set its own standards for greenhouse gas emissions from vehicle tailpipes


Judge upholds California’s low-carbon fuel standards


The California Air Resources Board assigns “carbon intensity” scores to ethanol sold in the state, ratings that determine the price that producers can charge.




Congressman David Valadao invites US health secretary to the Central Valley

The Bakersfield Californian

Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, has asked U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to visit his valley district and see first-hand the negative implications of California’s low Medicaid reimbursement rates.  Valadao and Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, recently introduced H.R. 2779, the Assessing Critical Care Efforts to Strengthen Services Act, to create a demonstration project that improves payment models in ways that attract and retain doctors in low-income communities like those in Valadao’s 21st Congressional District


Emergency room visits by Medi-Cal patients soaring, state data shows

The Mercury News

California’s low-income residents continue to head straight for the emergency room — instead of their doctor’s office — for expensive treatment, a practice that the Affordable Care Act was supposed to curb.  Three years into Obamacare, new figures show, ER visits by the state’s Medi-Cal patients rose 44 percent from early 2014 to late 2016.

Poll: Californians fear losing insurance if AHCA passes 

Los Angeles Daily News

More than half of Californians worry that they or a family member could lose their health insurance if the Affordable Care Act is repealed and replaced, according to a poll released Tuesday.


Writing a bill in private by either party is not unusual

PBS NewsHour

The Republican effort to secretly craft a health care bill and whisk it through the Senate is drawing fire from members of both parties. But it’s not uncommon for either party to draft bills or resolve stubborn final hurdles behind closed doors, foregoing the step-by-step, civics-book version of how Congress works.


‘Super lice’ are a vexing problem for parents in Central Valley

Modesto Bee

Head lice, the scourge of many a parent during the school year, do not take the summer off. Wherever children congregate – day care, summer camp or summer school – lice can spread.


Planned Clovis Medical School Has A Fresno Rival—And Both Could Open In 2019

Valley Public Radio

For decades, San Joaquin Valley residents have been calling for a medical school. Plans at UC Merced have stalled, and a state bill that would have brought a public medical school to Fresno State died in the state assembly in March. And yet, the Fresno area could be home to not only one, but two private medical schools—in just two years.




Fresno won’t chip in to defend undocumented immigrants

Fresno Bee

The city of Fresno will not contribute public funds to help establish a legal defense fund for undocumented immigrants facing possible deportation by the Trump administration.

By a 4-2 vote Tuesday, the Fresno City Council shot down a proposal by Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria to include $200,000 in the city’s 2017-18 budget for a public-private fund advocated by local immigration and civil rights advocates.

‘On a Sunday, take your family to a Gurdwara, I have’ says state Sen. Andy Vidak

Fresno Bee (Andy Vidak)

Unfortunately, some members of our community are faced with terrible, unspeakable hate, whether it is bullying, discrimination or even physical violence and murder. The Sikh community in Fresno has been a particular target. Sikhs first arrived in California in 1899 and have become pillars of our cultural, economic, and business communities.


‘CA’s Not a Country’: Tucker Spars With Undocumented Immigrant …

Fox News Insider

California residents v. U.S. citizens:  Julissa Arce, an undocumented immigrant and former Goldman Sachs executive, said the University of California was correct to allow illegal immigrants to receive preferential treatment versus out-of-state citizens




Amazon Breaks Ground On Fresno Fulfillment Center

Valley Public Radio

This facility will also be a ‘robotics’ plant, meaning workers will be trailed by robotic assistants. Fresno Mayor Lee Brand welcomed the company with open arms. “Thank you. Thank you for choosing Fresno. Thank you for believing in Fresno.”


Fed likely to pause rate hikes as inflation falls

Business Insider

The Federal Reserve’s latest interest-rate increase has come despite evidence that inflation is actually moving further below the central bank’s 2% target rather than toward it.




It’s alive! It’s alive! California’s housing market, that is

Central Valley Business Times

The increase in sales, coupled with the double-digit decline in active listings, worsened May’s housing inventory outlook.


California’s housing crisis likely to worsen without action in Sacramento

The Sacramento Bee

If you’re a renter in California concerned about the high cost of living here, or looking to purchase your first home, your prospects aren’t looking up.  Projections show rents will continue to surge, especially for low- and middle-income people in places like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Sacramento, and home prices will become increasingly expensive, according to an economic analysis in the Anderson Forecast from the University of California, Los Angeles, released this month.


What to do with dying malls? Readers suggest turning them into artist colonies, parks, apartments, homeless shelters

Los Angeles Times

These ideas are all worth considering, not just for malls, but for any large, under-utilized buildings in warehouse districts or elsewhere.




State pays a premium price for its Fresno field office

The Fresno Bee

State tax board paying about 50% more than going rate for gleaming glass building overlooking San Joaquin River.


California tax board officials questioned in criminal probe

The Mercury News

Investigators with the state Attorney General’s Office are questioning leaders and employees of the embattled Board of Equalization as part of a state probe that could lead to criminal or civil penalties…


Overhaul of California’s state tax board plagued by confusion, members say 

Los Angeles Times

State tax board members on Tuesday said there remain a lot of unanswered questions about how their agency will transfer many of its duties to two new offices, a reorganization approved last week by the state Legislature in response to problems with the panel.

Noncompetitve contracts get lax oversight by CA government

The Sacramento Bee

State Auditor Elaine Howle released a report on Tuesday that draws attention to poor oversight of noncompetitive contracts awarded by state government.

Audit: Low-income phone program grew to $84 million from $36 million because of poor oversight 

San Diego Tribune

State officials are not regulating the procurement of goods and services by departments across the California government, allowing some vendors to extend contracts worth millions of dollars for years without competitive bidding, a new audit concludes.


Doctor reimbursements, FFA funding included in approved state budget

The Turlock Journal

Despite proposing to completely eliminate funding for the Future Farmers of America and other Career Technical Education programs for high schools in the budget’s May Revise, Brown reinstated the funding after the decision was met with outrage by agricultural stakeholders up and down the state. Rather than diverting funds meant for the FFA and CTE programs to the Community College Chancellor’s Office to supplement other workforce funds already in existence, ongoing funding for these programs is included in the state budget.




Poll: Road Repair Law Could Be Political Liability for California Democrats


Nobody seems to remember…quite some years ago the gas taxes WE all paid went into a separate fund to be used for roads, bridges etc…..that was until the fund was abolished and the fuel taxes WE paid were reallocated into California’s General Fund.


A Beginner’s Guide to Biking to Work


If that bicyclist whizzing by seems a little happier than the average gridlock-bound car commuter, you’re not imagining it: A recent study found that two-wheeled commuters were happier than their gas pedal-stomping, car-caged peers.




California farms are thirsty and in danger

The Sacramento Bee

A new UC Berkeley report commissioned by the Southern California Water Committee concludes that for decades, environmental regulations have been severely limiting the amount of water available for agriculture.

Bill aims to help California save water for a not-so-rainy day 

McClatchy DC

McClintock’s bill would streamline the process for building dams and reservoirs by having the federal Bureau of Reclamation serve as a “one stop shop,” coordinating between federal agencies that oversee water storage projects to speed up the process.


Fishing: North Delta smallmouth bass bite gets going

Stockton Record

The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is known mainly as a quality largemouth bass fishery, but it also supports a superb smallmouth bass population, particularly in its northern reaches.




City of Fresno Looking for New Public Works Director
Since Scott Mozier’s promotion to Assistant City Manager, the City of Fresno is looking for a new Public Works Director.


Native seeks justice, equality through politics

Hanford Sentinel

Matt Rogers, who lives on his family farm on Stroud Avenue outside of Selma, serves as the Central Valley district director for California Senator Kamala Harris’ Office. Rogers, who was hired to the position earlier this year, runs the Fresno division.


LOIS HENRY: Sick of illegal fireworks? Time to get involved

The Bakersfield Californian

The Bakersfield City Council recently restricted that by one day, so now it’s July 2 through July 4 in city limits. The other thing I would suggest people advocate for is more free professional shows.


The record no one wants to break (or tie) – 110 in Fresno, and more heat on the way

Fresno Bee

Temperatures well over 100 degrees with no break expected until next week is putting a strain on people in Fresno and the Valley.


Sizzling temperatures in Modesto tax the power grid, result in canceled events

Modesto Bee

Tuesday evening, residents in a two-story mental health residential facility on Evergreen Avenue in Modesto were removed from the second floor of a wing due to a failed air-conditioning system.


Heat Wave: Lower your power usage today or you could lose it completely

Modesto Bee  ‎

The agency that operates the state’s electrical grid asked consumers in California to reduce power consumption because of the heat wave

Fitzgerald: Stockton’s turbulent Summer of ’67

Stockton Record

Everything was turbulent in Stockton during the Summer of Love, which began 50 years ago this week.