June 23, 2017



Senate Obamacare repeal bill has huge Medicaid cuts

Fresno Bee

The Senate health care bill to replace the Affordable Care Act would likely cause millions of Americans to lose their Medicaid and private insurance marketplace coverage. It also could make coverage more expensive for many sicker, older and low-income individuals.  (See more articles under “Health/Human Services” Section)


Brand touches on Fulton Mall, leadership, e-commerce in address

Fresno Business Journal

There were a couple pieces of news from Mayor Lee Brand’s State of the City address Wednesday in Downtown Fresno.


A conservative lawmaker is running for California governor

Sacramento Bee

Travis Allen, a conservative assemblyman from Orange County, said Thursday that he plans to enter next year’s contest for California governor.


John Chiang hits the road to raise his profile in California governor’s race

Los Angeles Times

As California treasurer, John Chiang is most comfortable immersed in the state’s finances and rattling off numbers that would sail over average voters’ heads. But as he embarks on a yearlong tour of the state for his gubernatorial bid, Chiang is trying to show off another side: He’s taking jabs at his rivals, meeting with voters in neighborhood stores and taquerias and doing anything he can to raise his name recognition in the state he hopes to lead, but where few voters know who he is.


How far left can California’s legislative Democrats go before Republicans benefit at the ballot box?

Los Angeles Times

Democrats in the state Legislature are walking a tightrope, seemingly oblivious to potential danger.  First, they raised gas taxes and vehicle fees. Then the Senate passed a ridiculously costly universal healthcare plan. Now, the Legislature is getting close to helping undocumented criminals avoid deportation.


Redistricting (and the “Stockton finger”)


Redistricting, the re-drawing of political district maps after each decade’s census, is an obscure subject, but there was nothing obscure about the political corruption of old that gave Stockton the shaft


Want to take back Congress? Flip California’s Republican seats

Sacramento Bee

The Democratic loss in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District on Tuesday wasn’t just a heartbreaker, it was a bank-buster, with Democrats dropping over $25 million to make a race of it in a traditionally Republican district in suburban Georgia.


California bans state travel to Texas, Alabama, Kentucky | The …

Sacramento Bee

Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced that the state will restrict travel to Texas, Alabama, Kentucky and South Dakota because of laws that California …





Democrats have no sense of shame

Fresno Bee

Whatever the reasons for the local disinterest in the shameful behavior occurring in the statehouse, it’s past time for voters to hold Democratic leaders accountable for treating the Golden State like it’s their very own syndicate. Three events, in particular, stand out from the past year. They should concern everyone who believes that the loyalty of our lawmakers and constitutional officers should be to the citizenry and not to a political party.


Sacramento County swears it’s part of the solution for homelessness. It’s actually the problem.

Sacramento Bee

It’s time for Sacramento County supervisors to start working with the city to get people into housing. Enough with the turf wars and bruised egos.


And you thought Republicans’ health care bill couldn’t get worse

Sacramento Bee

The bill unveiled by Senate GOP leaders would eventually make deeper cuts to the Medicaid program for the poor. Millions of Americans will lose their health insurance so that the richest Americans can get a huge tax cut they don’t need.


Sen. Dianne Feinstein turns 84. Is she getting ready to run?

Sacramento Bee

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein turned 84 on Thursday. As the oldest serving senator in Congress notches another birthday, questions continue to swirl about her political future. Feinstein has not yet publicly announced if she will seek another six-year term next year. She was first elected in 1992.




After heavy debate, and a curveball, Fresno moves forward with recreational pot bans 

Fresno Bee

After nearly two hours of often fierce debate Thursday, the Fresno City Council voted 4-3 to impose heavy restrictions on cannabis cultivation and move forward with a ban on marijuana dispensaries, deliveries and public use.


Lodi, San Joaquin County enjoy a record-breaking cherry harvest

Lodi News-Sentinel

Cherries are a big deal in San Joaquin County. They were the county’s No. 5 crop in 2015, the most recent year for which that information is available.

Searing temperatures pose risks for farmworkers

Stockton Record

While many fields in the area had already been cleared of workers by noon, at a handful of sites people remained working despite the soaring heat. Andrade and the rest of the workers expected to be done with work at about 3 p.m., when temperatures reached 106 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.


China takes delivery of first shipments of American beef in 14 years

Reuters  – ‎2 hours ago‎

China let through the first shipments of beef from the United States in 14 years on Friday, after the two nations agreed to resume the trade in May, state media reported.

The imports were brought in by Cofco Meat Holdings Ltd (1610.HK) from U.S. meat processor Tyson Foods Inc (TSN.N), China National Radio (CNR) reported on Friday, citing Beijing Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau.



California Democrats hate the gun, not the gunman – Orange …


Over time, the world’s most famous sayings tend to get updated to be applicable to a contemporary audience. For example, in 424 A.D. St. Augustine wrote, “With love for mankind and hatred of sins.” This quote evolved into the familiar adage, “Hate the sin, not the sinner.  Now that Democrats have supermajorities in the California state Legislature, they’ve rolled into Sacramento with a zest for lowering the state’s prison population and have interpreted St. Augustine’s words of wisdom to mean, “Hate the gun, not the gunman.”


US gun violence: crime or public health issue?

BBC World Service

New research looking into the question of gun ownership in the US has highlighted a big increase, in recent years, in the number of firearms being brought not for recreational use, like hunting or target shooting, but for self defense. What’s interesting is that the study was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Dr Michael Siegel, from the Boston University School of Public Health is the author of the research paper. 


Legal pot and car crashes: Yes, there’s a link

CBS News

Does driving while high have any impact on auto accident rates? Legalized recreational marijuana use in Colorado, Oregon and Washington correlates to about a 3 percent increase in auto collision claim frequencies compared to states without such legislation, according to a new Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) study.



Taxpayers could pay to attract teachers. But is California really running out of them? 

Sacramento Bee

Should taxpayers underwrite special benefits to attract new teachers, such as affordable housing, expanded maternity leave and tax breaks?


State officials cool to school districts’ request to become ‘Innovation Zone’


Four years ago, eight California schools districts that banded together in a nonprofit organization called CORE received federal permission under the No Child Left Behind Act to create their own school accountability system. Now the districts want the state’s permission to continue their experimentation with measurements of student growth, school climate and high school readiness. And CORE wants to let potentially dozens of other California districts participate in their work.


Students get a taste of healthy eating

Visalia Times-Delta

Nearly 50 percent of Tulare County fifth-graders are obese, according to 2015 data from the California Department of Education. With that rate steadily rising, from 44.4 percent in 2014 to 48.6 percent in 2015, Tulare Regional Medical Center decided to do something.




Another View: Cap-and trade is improving air, protecting jobs in California

The Bakersfield Californian

At the heart of CPRE’s argument is the recent bipartisan rejection of AB 378, a bill that if passed into law would have authorized the California Air Resources Board to arbitrarily ban the state’s highly successful cap-and-trade program


Heat wave won’t cause California blackouts | The Sacramento Bee

Sacramento Bee

You can put away the flashlights and candles for now. California is surviving the worst heat wave in 11 years without any major blackouts, and with megawatts to spare.

Billions of dollars in new power plants, and an explosion in solar and wind farms, have made the state’s electricity supply network – once a national laughingstock – remarkably robust. Today’s market has far more capacity than it did during the energy crisis of 2001. Back then, supply shortages and rampant market manipulation produced three days of rolling blackouts during winter, when electricity demand was well below this week’s.


Earthquakes may be the rare issue uniting Democrats and Republicans in California

Los Angeles Times

this hyper-partisan era, there may be one issue that unites California Democrats and Republicans: Earthquakes.  Elected officials from both parties have supported an earthquake early warning system for the West Coast that, after years of work, was scheduled to begin its first limited public operation next year.




Senate Obamacare repeal bill has huge Medicaid cuts

Fresno Bee

The Senate health care bill to replace the Affordable Care Act would likely cause millions of Americans to lose their Medicaid and private insurance marketplace coverage. It also could make coverage more expensive for many sicker, older and low-income individuals.


Senate health bill would lower the Medicaid per capita cap rate, causing greater state budget shortfalls

Urban Institute

The Senate’s health care bill reduces the growth rate for Medicaid per capita caps from the rate used in the American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed by the House last month.

Analysis: Why Senate Health Bill Is Even ‘Meaner’ for California 


To know whether it’s truly “better care,” and for which patients, if any, we still need the Congressional Budget Office to weigh in. But some California advocates say the “discussion draft” is clear enough to conclude that the bill would be “disproportionately devastating” for California’s health care system.


“Who’s on Medicaid Might Surprise You”

Consumer Reports

About half of Medicaid enrollees are children, many of them with special needs. The rest are adults without disabilities who earn too little to afford health insurance otherwise. Many of them are working: Six in 10 able-bodied adults on Medicaid have a job. And 78 percent of Medicaid recipients are part of a household with at least one person working full time. Many of those who don’t work are caregivers for other people.


Senate Republicans’ Health Bill Especially Hurts the Lowest-Income Californians

UC Berkeley Labor Center

Who are the 13.5 million Californians that potentially face Medi-Cal cuts under the Senate bill? Most Medi-Cal enrollees are in low-income households with annual income of less than $16,640 for a single individual or $33,900 for a family of four. Medi-Cal enrollees are disproportionately people of color: 78% of Medi-Cal enrollees versus 62% of the California population. In certain parts of the state, more than two out of five residents is enrolled in Medi-Cal; this includes most of the Central Valley.

Senate health care bill called ‘devastating’ to California 

San Francisco Chronicle

Senate Republicans’ health care bill to replace the Affordable Care Act, released Thursday, would lead to millions of Californians losing health coverage, paying more for insurance or seeing their benefits scaled back, according to health policy experts.


Millions of Californians could lose Medi-Cal coverage under …

Sacramento Bee

For the first year in history, over half of all visits to Sacramento County’s emergency rooms in 2016 were paid for using Medi-Cal, the state’s insurance program for the poor that was expanded by the passage of the Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare.

Democrats, let go of single payer. Californians just aren’t that extreme.

Sacramento Bee

Extremes make for good headlines. No one seems to know that better than our current president. But here in deep blue California, the extremes that are attracting all the attention are on the other side of the political spectrum.


You asked, we answered. Here are some of our readers’ questions on California’s proposed single-payer plan

Los Angeles Times

The single-payer proposal aims to replace Medicare (and Medicaid and other public health programs receiving federal dollars) with the “Healthy California” plan.


Guest view: Single payer the best health care solution

Stockton Record

Single Payer San Joaquin is a dedicated group of like-minded individuals who have worked on supporting the development of a single-payer health care program for many years. We were excited about Senate Bill 562, which recently passed the California Senate and moved on to the Assembly (healthycaliforniaact.org).


California Single Payer Health Care Rush

Fox and Hounds Daily

Echoes of California’s fabled Gold Rush can be heard in the proposal for single payer health care—but instead of migrants taking gold nuggets out of the ground, a new Health Care Rush likely would see many people rushing to California to claim health care coverage.

CalPERS faces court fight over long-term care fees 

Sacramento Bee

A class-action lawsuit against CalPERS filed on behalf of more than 130,000 California government workers and retirees can move forward to trial, a Los Angeles judge has ruled.


US gun violence: crime or public health issue?

BBC World Service

New research looking into the question of gun ownership in the US has highlighted a big increase, in recent years, in the number of firearms being brought not for recreational use, like hunting or target shooting, but for self defence. What’s interesting is that the study was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Dr Michael Siegel, from the Boston University School of Public Health is the author of the research paper. 



Discharged. Deported. Why California may cover vets’ legal bid to return 


Andy de Leon thought he was the only one. Deported to Mexico, the Vietnam-era Army cook struggled to find a way to live in Tijuana—landing in the sprawling border city after serving time for a drug conviction. At age 65 he lost his home in Madera, his car and his family. It’s been years since he’s seen his 10 grandchildren


​​​​​​​Democrats & Immigration: They Can’t Find a Sane Stance

National Review

Can the Democrats find a sane stance on immigration? I’m not so sure. In an article at The Atlantic, Peter Beinart eloquently shows Democrats have drifted farther from a mainstream point of view on this issue.




The Internet For All Now Act spells economic opportunity for Fresno

Fresno Bee

On June 2, Amazon announced it will open a new fulfillment center in Fresno and hire 1,500-2,500 local workers. This is good news for Fresno’s economy; it is also a sign that even in California’s agricultural center, today’s jobs are digital.

California: 6th largest economy in world and one of highest poverty rates in nation?

PolitiFact California

“What people don’t realize about California is that although we have the sixth largest economy in world, we have one of the highest poverty rates” in the nation, Villaraigosa said.


Under budget deal, most successful anti-poverty policy would be even more effective in California

Orange County Register

We both have the good fortune of teaching students about economic policies to address poverty and income inequality, challenging issues with few easy solutions. Yet one policy stands out for its proven track record: the Earned Income Tax Credit, a refundable tax credit for low-income workers. The EITC not only works, it is perhaps the best economic policy we have for lifting working parents and their children out of poverty.




John Beckman: Dictating construction wages won’t solve California’s housing crisis

Modesto Bee

The lack of housing in California is finally getting the attention it deserves from our legislature. The overall lack of housing is hurting all segments of our state from the upper-middle class to the homeless. However, this long overdue attention is not all good-news. Some see this as an opportunity to enhance their power in Sacramento.

Trade-union leaders are using the housing crisis to exhort benefits for themselves at the expense of everyone wishing to rent or buy a home in California. They are attempting to twist the narrative to focus on the wages paid to construction workers while ignoring the costs paid by renters and home buyers.


How do we address the housing crisis: one incremental step at a time

Fox and Hounds Daily

Productively addressing California’s housing crisis will require a long slog, not a magic bullet. The effective policies are politically treacherous, while the easy victories already have been chalked up.




More California Budget Votes Coming Thursday

Capital Public Radio News

So you thought California lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown wrapped up their work on the state budget last week? Think again.  Another dozen or so pieces of the budget package could come up for votes Thursday in the Senate and Assembly.


Gutting of California tax collection agency has begun

San Francisco Chronicle  – ‎52 minutes ago‎

A proposal to gut California’s tax collection agency sits on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk, but the state is already moving forward with parts of the overhaul, which would shift 90 percent of the agency’s responsibilities to two new state departments.


Assembly Bill 20 would worsen California’s public pension crisis


The average credit card debt in 2016 was $16,048 per household that carries a balance. Paying off this debt is an important financial goal. Obviously, this beneficial goal would be more difficult to meet if the Legislature imposed arbitrary restrictions on the types of jobs households with credit card debts can have. Yet, for some reason, California state lawmakers are applying this perverse logic to the state’s public pension systems.


California Advances Proposal To Pay Down Pension Debt

Capital Public Radio News

A proposal to pay down California pension debt is nearing passage in the state Legislature. It’s garnered bipartisan support, despite criticism from non-partisan analysts.




Congressman hammers high-speed rail for alleged lack of financial transparency

Silicon Valley Business Journal

One vision for how California’s high-speed rail trains will look. Enlarge. One vision for how California’s high-speed rail trains will look.


South Korea’s infrastructure boondoggle a boon for cyclists


Although fewer than 2 percent of people in South Korea get around on bikes (compared to 49 percent of European Union residents), bike paths that will eventually reach 3,106 miles are gaining popularity, both with recreational riders in South Korea and among a growing number of foreigners who are choosing bicycle tourism as a vacation. The routes are dotted with newer guesthouses, cafes and restaurants catering to cyclists…



Students learn about water quality in southwest Tulare County

Visalia Times-Delta

Also on Friday, California Assemblyman Devon Mathis (R-Visalia) and California State Senator Ed Hernandez (D-Los Angeles) visited with the students.


Why go for desal when California has cheaper options?

Modesto Bee

While winter rains have refilled California reservoirs and dumped near-record snow on the mountains, communities across the state are wisely seeking ways reduce their vulnerability to future droughts. One option some are considering is seawater desalination.

The Sierra snowpack is massive, and melting fast 

San Francisco Chronicle

The barrage of storms that pounded the Sierra Nevada this winter and spring added up to a snowpack that’s massive. Amid a major heat wave all of that snow is now melting — and fast.


California Reservoir on Shaky Ground Highlights Aging US Dams’ Risks

Wall Street Journal (subscription)

The coastal mountains that frame this working-class city next to San Francisco Bay harbor a hidden menace: a reservoir 10 miles away that sits next to an active earthquake fault, which experts say could cause a dam break and flood thousands of homes.




Video ads show a younger, hipper Fresno county

The Fresno Bee

The Fresno/Clovis Convention and Visitors Bureau got some good play out of its “Realize Fresno County” video, which was released last month as part of a larger campaign to “inspire a closer look at who we are. Not just as a community but as a culture.” The video certainly serves its purpose as a promo highlight-reel. It beautifully hits all the big notes for the area – the silhouetted downtown Fresno skyline, the vast Yosemite vistas and rolling ag lands.


Is anyone using those cooling centers in the heatwave?

Fresno Bee

Fresno has opened four cooling centers but a visit by The Bee on one of the hottest days of the year showed that most people were there to use other amenities, particularly swimming pools.


Fitzgerald: Hope floats at Lost Isle

Stockton Record

Lost Isle, the Delta’s once-dominant party resort, will reopen in April 2018 after a decade of closure, says its long-suffering but hangin’-in-there owner.  The remodeled thatched-roofed bar/restaurant and grounds finally complied with shifting regulations, said Southern California businessman Dave Wheeler.


From ‘Evil Librarians’ to John F. Kennedy, summer titles available at Oakhurst Library

Sierra Star

Oakhurst Branch Library staff have been busy stocking shelves with the latest books, including a few special books for this year’s Summer Reading Program.


Happy Hour Celebration

The Bakersfield Californian

Today. Free. Join Assemblyman Vince Fong as he recognizes Temblor Brewing Company as the 2017 small business for the 34th District.  Since opening in 2015, Temblor has become a hot spot for locals and economic activity. Temblor Brewing Company is a 14,000 square foot state of the art brewery, kitchen and Event and Concert Venue. Their local ownership group consists of passionate beer lovers who have gathered together to bring a high quality destination brewery experience to Bakersfield, California.

Local Governments Voice Concerns Over Rollout Of 5G Wireless Networks


Wireless carriers eager to roll out faster 5G technology want the California Legislature to streamline the local approvals process. But local governments argue the proposal would take away their powers of oversight and negotiation.