March 14, 2019



Deadline TOMORROW  

Wonderful Public Service Graduate Fellowship

Applications for two $56,000 Fellowships

Due Friday, March 15th, 2019.

North SJ Valley:

City clerk to retire by end of month

Madera Tribune

Long time Madera City Clerk Sonia Alvarez has announced her decision to retire at the end of March, according to Madera City Manager Arnoldo Rodriguez. Alvarez had at least 27 years of combined employment with the city.

Congressman McClintock gave President Trump the green light to violate Constitution

Sierra Star

Just five days before President Donald Trump declared a national emergency to build an unnecessary vanity wall, the president sent out a tweet quoting foothill Congressman Tom McClintock.

Central SJ Valley:

California Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula enters not guilty plea in child cruelty case

Fresno Bee

Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula, D-Fresno, entered a not guilty plea to a misdemeanor child cruelty charge on Wednesday in Fresno County Superior Court. Arambula’s attorneys, Michael Aed and Margarita Martinez-Baly, appeared on behalf of Arambula, who was not present.

See also:

Ready To Vote On Weekends? Fresno County Board Adopts Voter’s Choice Act Elections Model

Valley Public Radio

Under the newly approved Voter’s Choice Act election model, you don’t have to worry about going to one specific polling place. In fact, you can vote at any of the fifty voting centers as early as ten days before the election.

South SJ Valley:

Economic summit highlights local strength without overlooking challenges ahead

Bakersfield Californian

If there was an overriding theme to Wednesday’s Kern County Economic Summit, aside from a consensus that things are going better locally than anyone could have expected, it’s that now may be the right time to take on big-picture challenges like the housing shortage, tax reform and the need to provide greater support for small businesses.


DMV anticipates ‘summer surge,’ as millions still don’t have Real IDs

Fresno Bee

California’s Department of Motor Vehicles is telling lawmakers it expects a substantial increase in customers at its offices this summer, potentially leading to longer wait times.

Trump pick on track to join California’s 9th Circuit despite Feinstein, Harris opposition

Sacramento Bee

A key Republican senator expressed “confidence” in Kenneth Lee’s nomination to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California despite the Los Angeles-based lawyer’s controversial past writing on race, gender and affirmative action.


Senate heads toward rejection of Trump border emergency

Fresno Bee

Republican-led Senate set to deal Trump a stinging rebuke on his declaration of a national emergency at the Mexican border.

See also:

‘Extraordinary’: GOP heads for unprecedented clash with Trump


The president couldn’t quite get the looming GOP rebuke of his national emergency declaration off his mind. Republicans are preparing to force Trump to issue the first vetoes of his presidency.

EDITORIAL: Census question holds answer for GOP

Visalia Times Delta

Republican strength over the past decade has relied in part on the unique circumstances of 2010, when an electoral romp at the state level afforded the GOP the power to grotesquely gerrymander congressional districts to its advantage.

EDITORIAL: Nancy Pelosi’s critics are ignoring what she actually said about impeaching Trump

Los Angeles Times

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) has said multiple times over the last two years that it was premature to talk about impeaching President Trump. In an interview published Monday by the Washington Post, however, she added five words that put an exclamation point on her view: “He’s just not worth it.”

Elections 2020:

Beto O’Rourke enters 2020 race attempting bipartisan appeal

Sacramento Bee

Former Texas Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke jumped into the 2020 presidential race Thursday, shaking up the already packed field and pledging to win over voters from both major parties as he tries to translate his political celebrity into a formidable White House bid.

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Joe Biden’s poll lead: does it actually mean anything?


The big question is whether that lead will prove durable once the campaign gets serious — or whether it will evaporate, as several past national frontrunners’ early leads have once exposed to reality.

See also:

Republicans Plan Outreach to Women Ahead of 2020 Elections

Wall Street Journal

After an election that left the House with nearly seven times as many Democratic women as GOP women, Republicans on and off Capitol Hill vowed to even out those numbers.


Inside The Fight For Free Press

National Public Radio

David McCraw, deputy general counsel for ‘The New York Times,’ talks about legal issues he’s faced on the job — from the president’s lawyer threatening to sue for libel to the decision to publish WikiLeaks documents and #MeToo allegations.

Facebook’s Data Deals Are Under Criminal Investigation

New York Times

Federal prosecutors are conducting a criminal investigation into data deals Facebook struck with some of the world’s largest technology companies, intensifying scrutiny of the social media giant’s business practices as it seeks to rebound from a year of scandal and setbacks.


Sunday, March 17, at 5 p.m. on ABC 30 – Maddy Report: “The Valley’s New State Senators:  Return of the Valleycrats” – Guests: State Sen. Anna Caballero (D-Salinas), State Sen. Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger), and State Sen. Andreas Borgeas (R- Fresno). Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

Sunday, March 17, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) – Maddy Report – Valley Views Edition: “Voters and Legislators: The Midterm’s New Faces” – Guests: State Sen. Anna Caballero (D-Salinas); State Sen. Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger); State Sen. Andreas Borgeas (R- Fresno); Mindy Romero, USC Price School of Public Policy; John Myers, LA Times; and Secretary of State, Alex Padilla. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

Sunday, March 17, at 7:30 a.m. on UniMas 61 (KTTF) – El Informe Maddy: “PPIC Water” – Guest: Alvar Escriva-Bou, investigador del PPIC. Host: Maddy Institute Program Coordinator, Maria Jeans.


Rescue Mission, Food Bank 5k to be run again

Madera Tribune

Madera Rescue Mission and Madera County Food Bank will partner again for the 6th year, Saturday, March 23, at the Madera Speedway and Fairgrounds for the Second Wind 5k and Kids Mini Sprint.

Another sign that winter is waning: Modesto farmers market about to launch

Modesto Bee

The Modesto Certified Farmers Market will kick off its 41st season Thursday morning, amid weather that’s starting to feel like spring.

It’s (farmers) market day for Adventist Health Bakersfield

Bakersfield Californian

Adventist Health Bakersfield is back in the market for providing healthy shopping resources downtown. Now through September, it will host monthly farmers markets in its parking lot off Chester Avenue.

We wanted to know: Why are there so many orange trees in Sacramento?

Sacramento Bee

The Sacramento region and suburbs have many orange trees. The Northern California climate helps the citrus fruit grow, but pests and infestations, such as fruit flies, put the crop at risk.

Cannabis Black Market Thriving Despite Legalization


According to a statewide investigation last year by the Southern California News Group, of the 540 cities and counties in California, only 162 – just 30% – have permitted medical cannabis businesses.



Fresno law enforcement calls Newsom’s decision halting death penalty an insult to victims

Fresno Bee

Calling it an insult to the families of murder victims, Fresno area law enforcement leaders on Wednesday roundly criticized Gov. Gavin Newsom’s decision to suspend the death penalty. Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp reacted strongly to the Governor’s executive action.

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New software helps DA’s office clear felony convictions

Stockton Record

The San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday unveiled new technology it is using to clear felony convictions faster and at a more cost-effective rate.

Dick’s to halt sales of rifles, ammo at 125 of its stores

AP News

Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. said on Tuesday that it will stop selling hunting rifles and ammunition at 125 of its stores, replacing the gear with merchandise it believes will sell better at those locations.

Jordan Cunningham bill targets police who abuse their authority to gain sexual favors

Sacramento Bee

San Luis Obispo, California, Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham introduced a bill that would criminalize sexual battery by police and public officials who use their positions of authority to gain sexual favors.

Public Safety:

Ceres police veteran to be new chief

Modesto Bee

A 22-year veteran of the Ceres Police Department has been appointed to become its new chief following the retirement of Brent Smith. Capt. Rick Collins will replace Smith, who is retiring after serving as chief since 2015. Like Smith, Collins’ entire law enforcement career has been in Ceres.

Lodi police hold active threat training at Tokay High

Stockton Record

While there was no real threat on Wednesday morning, Lodi authorities took part of an active threat training that incorporated the Lodi Police Department, Lodi Unified School District and Adventist Health Lodi Memorial Hospital for officials to better understand how to work together during a major incident.

FBI’s Trump dilemma: ‘It can’t get in a Twitter war,’ Andrew McCabe says

San Francisco Chronicle

Andrew McCabe, the FBI director fired by President Trump, told a sold-out Commonwealth Club audience the president’s attacks are making it harder for agents to do their jobs.


Erik Newman will remain Stockton’s fire chief

Stockton Record

Stockton’s top fire official is staying put. Fire Chief Erik Newman was not selected for the top post within the San Francisco Fire Department this week.

Trump says his budget has more money than ever for wildfire prevention. It doesn’t.

Sacramento Bee

President Donald Trump says in his budget that he’s asking for the highest amount ever for certain wildfire prevention programs. His proposal actually contains less money for wildfire prevention efforts than the current federal spending plan.

Report: Power Lines Sparked Massive Southern California Fire

Capital Public Radio

One of the largest fires in California history was sparked by Southern California Edison power lines that came into contact during high winds, investigators said Wednesday.

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PG&E bankruptcy raises concerns about wildfire-linked $5.5 billion loan default

Mercury News

PG&E was forced to wait until later this month to learn if it can land $5.5 billion in financing in a bankruptcy case linked to a series of lethal infernos in Northern California, and some attorneys urged a judge to remember the victims of the wildfires of recent years.

See also:

Economic summit highlights local strength without overlooking challenges ahead

Bakersfield Californian

If there was an overriding theme to Wednesday’s Kern County Economic Summit, aside from a consensus that things are going better locally than anyone could have expected, it’s that now may be the right time to take on big-picture challenges like the housing shortage, tax reform and the need to provide greater support for small businesses.

Stocks rise for third straight day, boosted by health and tech companies

Los Angeles Times

Healthcare and technology companies powered stocks broadly higher on Wall Street on Wednesday, giving the market its third straight gain.

California’s Digital Divide

Public Policy Institute of California

Though most demographic groups have seen significant increases in broadband subscriptions at home, gaps persist for low-income, less educated, rural, African American, and Latino households.

White House on collision course with Democrats over labor issues in new NAFTA


The Trump administration is stepping up efforts to get House Democrats to support the new North American trade pact — but for now, the White House appears content to let the deal’s fate on Capitol Hill depend on Mexico’s willingness to improve its labor laws.


Job fair at the Rabobank

Bakersfield Californian

Hundreds of employment-seekers turned up Wednesday morning for a job fair the Kern County Department of Human Services hosted at the Rabobank Convention Center. The event was one in a series the agency puts on every year.

California state workers in L.A., San Francisco should be paid more, new report finds

Sacramento Bee

California state employees working in expensive cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles could receive higher pay under new recommendations from a task force made up of state officials and union representatives.

California jobs outlook: slowdown ahead

Mercury News

California’s job market will continue to grow over the next year or so, but at a pace more sluggish than recent years, according to a closely watched economic prediction that was released Wednesday.

The Brewers Who Make Iconic Anchor Steam Beer in San Francisco Join Union


Brewery workers at the iconic Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco voted on Wednesday to unionize, saying one of the reasons they needed to organize was due to high living costs in one of the nation’s most expensive cities.

See also:

Walmart’s Food Delivery Challenges: Patchwork of Drivers, Tolls, Crowded Aisles

Wall Street Journal

Walmart Inc. was caught off guard after it began offering to deliver fresh groceries from a store in North Bergen, N.J., earlier this month, only to find orders flooding in from across the Hudson River.



One of the Valley’s largest school districts is celebrating a huge achievement in the classroom


One classroom Central Unified is just one of many leading the way to success across Fresno County.  Since 2015 the district has participated in “Cradle to Career Partnership” that focuses on improving educational and health outcomes for students.

MadTown Robotics wins place in world championships

Madera Tribune

The MadTown Robotics team from Madera High School competed alongside teams from California, Idaho, and Chinese Taipei in the first Robotics Competition Central Valley Regional over the weekend and came away with the championship, earning the Madera team a place in the World Championships next month in Houston.

Starting early: Young students explore options Los Robles Career Day

Porterville Recorder

During career day at Los Robles Elementary School Friday, March 8, second, third, and sixth graders shared with their parents what they enjoyed working on, and what their ideas, plans and hopes were for future careers and college education.

In The Studio: Educators Talk Diversity, Hiring, And The Many Paths To Teaching

Valley Public Radio

How do teachers even become interested in teaching, how do districts recruit them and what goes into trying to hire teachers that reflect the diversity of Valley classrooms?

Forty-Three Years At Peach Blossom Festival: This Teacher Prompts Performers

Valley Public Radio

For many adults, public speaking is terrifying. Well, the Peach Blossom Festival at Fresno State helps thousands of elementary school students each year tackle this fear early on by performing — and interpreting — poems and stories to an audience.

Are California Schools Undercounting Homeless Students?

Capital Public Radio

A quarter of schools in the state have not identified a single homeless student. What does it take to get it right?

California can’t afford to skimp on computer science education


If we are committed to closing the academic achievement gap, we must close the growing computer science access gap for all students.

Mental Health Trails Metal Detectors in School Safety Dollars

Pew Research

So far, physical security measures are garnering the lion’s share of dollars in legislative spending proposals. But mental health advocates say they’re confident that the state will make the first substantial investment in school mental health services in decades.

Higher Ed:

Deadline TOMORROW:  Wonderful Public Service Graduate Fellowship

The Maddy Institute

Applications for two $56,000 Fellowships Due Friday, March 15th, 2019. Through the generosity of The Wonderful Company, San Joaquin Valley students will have the opportunity to become the next generation of Valley leaders through The Wonderful Public Service Graduate Fellowship. The Maddy Institute will award two $56,000 Fellowships to Valley students who are accepted into a nationally ranked, qualified graduate program in the fall of 2019.

Colleges Use More Than SAT Scores When Deciding Which Students To Admit

Capital Public Radio

The criminal case about parents who allegedly paid bribes to get their children into top schools spotlights the admissions process. Officials look for aspects of the applications that reveal lies.

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Following Scathing Report, Air District’s Emissions Banking Program Faces Scrutiny

Valley Public Radio

When he began looking into the emission reduction credits, or ERC program a few years ago, he was disappointed that so little information was available on who was earning credits and for how much.

Where are California’s ‘high-threat’ volcanoes? Closer to Fresno than you may think

Fresno Bee

Californians have gotten used to the ground beneath their feet flinching spasmodically from earthquakes that occasionally ripple from seismic faults. Far less common are another geologic hazard confronting the state: the prospect of volcanoes belching lava, ash and gases.

Spring is on hold in Yosemite, park officials say. See some of the winter damage

Fresno Bee

Winter storms caused extensive damage to Yosemite National Park facilities, resulting in some late seasonal openings throughout the park, Yosemite officials announced Wednesday.

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Climate change will endanger 3 times more Californians than previous estimates, study says

Sacramento Bee

Climate change through the rest of the 21st century could be much more threatening to coastal California than previously anticipated, based on newly published research led by the U.S. Geological Survey.

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SF, Oakland ask appeals court to revive climate-change suits

San Francisco Chronicle

The cities of San Francisco and Oakland asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to reconsider their previously dismissed lawsuits against five oil companies that they want held accountable for climate change.

Ernst uses flabby $93 trillion estimate for Green New Deal


Interestingly, the report does not state its bottom-line estimate of what the Green New Deal would cost. But if you add up the various figures, the cost is pegged at somewhere between $51 trillion and $93 trillion.


PG&E bankruptcy judge raises prospect of government running company

San Francisco Chronicle

Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s bankruptcy judge publicly wondered Wednesday about what would happen if another federal judge put the government in control of the embattled company.



Why handwashing is important for your kids and the proper was to do it


In our weekly feature, ‘Doc Talk’, pediatric emergency doctor, Clint Pollack from Valley Children’s Hospital talks about one of the most basic and important ways to ward off germs, washing your hands.

Blacks, Hispanics can cut dementia risk with heart-healthy habits, UC Davis study finds

Sacramento Bee

UC Davis researchers announced Tuesday that, after studying brain tissue from 423 Americans of Latino, African and non-Hispanic white descent, they have discovered startling variations in the causes of dementia among people of different races and ethnicities.

Johnson & Johnson is found liable for California woman’s baby-powder-linked cancer

Los Angeles Times

Johnson & Johnson must pay $29 million to a dying California woman who blamed asbestos-tainted talc for causing her cancer, the company’s latest loss over its iconic baby powder.

Unlocking Secrets of Memory and Time in the Brain

Wall Street Journal

New insights into the workings of the brain, paired with other findings, could help in the understanding and early detection of diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s, scientists say.

Trump’s latest self-inflicted wound: Medicare cuts

Wall Street Journal

Willfully handing the Democrats a potent 2020 campaign issue, the Trump budget calls for more than $800 billion in trims to Medicare spending over the next decade.

The Fentanyl Failure

Washington Post

Despite mounting deaths and warnings, the Obama administration did not take extraordinary measures to confront an extraordinary crisis, experts say.

Human Services:

Kaweah Delta ER relocation makes way for expansion

Visalia Times Delta

Starting tomorrow, patients heading to Kaweah Delta Medical Center’s emergency department will notice a few changes. The biggest change will be the location.

Parents Projected to Spend $233,610 to Raise a Child Born in 2015


For the overall United States, annual child-rearing expense estimates ranged between $12,350 and $13,900 for a child in a two-child, married-couple family in the middle-income group.


Is ICE watching you? Police around California are sharing license plate info with agents, says ACLU

Fresno Bee

Dozens of law enforcement agencies nationwide — including some Valley agencies — are sharing license plate information with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement as part of an operation targeting undocumented immigrants, according to documents released by the American Civil Liberties Union.

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US immigration agents find ways around ‘sanctuary’ policies

Sacramento Bee

Despite scores of “sanctuary” laws around the country to shield immigrants from deportation, federal authorities are still getting under-the-table cooperation from some local law enforcement agencies.

Judges skeptical of challenge to California immigration law

Sacramento Bee

A U.S. appeals court appears inclined to reject a request by the Trump administration to block a California law that limits police cooperation with federal immigration officials.

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No, House Democrats did not vote to allow noncitizens to vote as part of HR 1


A misleading social media post suggests that House Democrats want to give the right to vote to noncitizens. The quote was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed.


Land Use:

Hearing On Sky Ranch RV Park Postponed, Rescheduled For April In Oakhurst

Sierra News

The Madera County Board of Supervisors decided to move the public hearing after several people living near the proposed development site spoke during the public comment segment of Tuesday’s regular board meeting in Madera.

Dutch Bros in pipeline for Northwest, Fresno Mall locations

Business Journal

It appears one of Fresno’s favorite coffee shops isn’t stopping at one new store, with plans for locations at Manchester Center and northwest Fresno.

Supervisors OK Snow Line Liquor License, Oakhurst Bar Could Reopen By May

Sierra News

Plans to reopen Oakhurst’s iconic Snow Line Depot took a giant step forward Tuesday when Madera County supervisors unanimously OK’d a so-called Letter of Public Convenience and Necessity required for the new owner to obtain a liquor license.


Can Gavin Newsom solve the state’s housing problems?

Madera Tribune

It turns out Gov. Gavin Newsom was deadly serious when he insisted as a candidate last year that California needs to build 3.5 million new housing units over the next ten years in order to solve its affordable housing crisis.

Kaiser picks Fresno, Madera counties for homelessness initiative

Business Journal

Fresno and Madera counties are among 15  communities who will be participating in a new effort fight the issue of chronic homelessness.

County approves Homelessness Collaborative

Hanford Sentinel

In an effort to address the ever-growing issue of homelessness within the county, the Board of Supervisors approved at their meeting Tuesday the formation of a Kings County Homelessness Collaborative.

Strict Airbnb rules in Santa Monica upheld

San Francisco Chronicle

A federal appeals court has upheld Santa Monica’s vacation-rental regulations, which are among the strictest in the nation, in a blow to Airbnb.


Sales Tax Rises in these Local Cities April 1

Business Journal

Three Fresno County cities are among dozens of municipalities that will see increases in local sales and use tax rates.

‘We’ll pay until we die’: California wants back taxes from retailers who sold on Amazon

Merced Sun-Star

California is attempting to collect years of back taxes from e-commerce businesses that sold products on Amazon and at least temporarily housed their merchandise in the state.

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New Pension-Cut Rulings Begin with Little Change

Public CEO

The Marin case is part of a new wave of court challenges to pension cuts, this time to fringe parts of the Public Employees Pension Reform Act (PEPRA) pushed through the Legislature by former Gov. Jerry Brown that took effect on Jan. 1, 2013.

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The Fed Is a Threat to Growth

Wall Street Journal

The real economy is ready to reignite, but Powell’s tight-money policy is acting like a wet blanket.


Kern supervisors approve total abandonment of the high-speed rail

Bakersfield Now

In a four-to-one vote, Kern County supervisors approved a resolution that calls for total abandonment of the California High-Speed Rail project at today’s Board of Supervisors meeting.

Clovis trying to make travel exciting through trolley rental


It is hard to miss the Clovis Old Town Trolley when it’s on the road. It is bright red and green colors make it a standout. On the weekends it makes stops around town, but it is also available for rentals.

Ethiopia crash: Trump grounds Boeing 737 Max planes


President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that the U.S. is issuing an emergency order grounding all Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft in the wake of a crash of an Ethiopian Airliner that killed 157 people. He called it “an emergency order of prohibition.”

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Caltrans announces projects to improve roads in Merced County

Merced Sun-Star

The California Department of Transportation announced that several projects are planned to improve the safety and conditions of roads in Merced County, according to a news release.

Fiat Chrysler Recalling Nearly 900,000 Vehicles On Emissions

Capital Public Radio

Fiat Chrysler is voluntarily recalling 862,520 vehicles in the U.S. because they don’t meet the country’s emission standards.


FWA: Strathmore flooding not the result of canal subsidence or overflow

Porterville Recorder

The Friant Water Authority Tuesday morning issued the following statement regarding the flooding in Strathmore last weekend with the hope of clearing up some possible misunderstandings as to the cause of the flooding.


See colorful blossom orchard trees near Sanger in this drone video

Fresno Bee

As the weather warms up and the blossom season winds down, now may be a good time to check out the Fresno County Blossom Trail.

What is Pi? And where did pie come from? And who mashed them together for Pi Day?

Fresno Bee

Pi Day is celebrated on March 14 with pie making contests, eating, pizza, and other activities. The holiday honors the mathematical constant involving circles discovered by Archimedes & baking food, desserts.

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Vince Neil is coming this spring. And, yes, he’ll be singing some Mötley Crüe classics

Fresno Bee

Vince Neil, the rock-and-roll frontman of Mötley Crüe, will perform at Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino in Lemoore on May 31. Tickets for the show range from $35 to $75 and go on sale Friday. They can be purchased online at

‘Wicked’ set for two-week run in Valley

Visalia Times Delta

A “Wizard of Oz” for jaded adults, the blockbuster “Wicked” us returning to the Central Valley for a two-week run starting March 20.

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Arte Américas Exhibit Chronicles History Of Latinos In The Valley


A new exhibit at Arte Américas in downtown Fresno shows the history of Latinos in the San Joaquin Valley through pictures, paintings, maps, and stories. The exhibit, Caminos: Latino History of the Central Valley, covers the 1700s to present day.

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Maddy Institute Updated List of San Joaquin Valley Elected Officials HERE.

The Kenneth L. Maddy Institute at California State University, Fresno was established to honor the legacy of one of California’s most principled and effective legislative leaders of the last half of the 20th Century by engaging, preparing and inspiring a new generation of governmental leaders for the 21st Century. Its mission is to inspire citizen participation, elevate government performance, provide non-partisan analysis and assist in providing solutions for public policy issues important to the region, state and nation.

This document is to be used for informational purposes only. Unless specifically noted, The Maddy Institute at California State University, Fresno does not officially endorse or support views that may be expressed in the document. If you want to print a story, please do so now before the link expires.

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