March 15, 2019



Deadline TODAY  

Wonderful Public Service Graduate Fellowship

Applications for two $56,000 Fellowships

North SJ Valley:

More HUD woes for Modesto. Why city is losing hundreds of thousands in funding

Modesto Bee

Modesto has $385,135 less federal money to help low- and moderate-income people and underserved communities after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development dinged the city.

Ex-student of Ripon school has cancer, family says. District looks for answers

Modesto Bee

Officials with Ripon Unified School District are not saying when a cellular tower could be moved from an elementary school that’s become a center of strife over potential health effects of cell phone radiation.

Stockton loses a ‘jewel of a person’


The “mayor,” a leader in the African-American community, father of eight and friend of many, died Friday at his home while recovering from a medical procedure on his prostate gland. He was 98.

Central SJ Valley:

DA Smittcamp speaks on Arambula case: ‘I am a prosecutor, not a politician’

Fresno Bee

Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp took the rare step of publicly discussing an open case on Thursday, saying she felt compelled to speak out against accusations from the attorneys of Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula who claimed that her decision to charge him with misdemeanor child abuse was politically motivated.

See also:

●     Warszewski:  rambula’s claim of political conspiracy by Fresno County DA doesn’t pass smell test Fresno Bee

Three incumbents win Clovis City Council elections

Clovis Roundup

Incumbents Jose Flores, Drew Bessinger and Bob Whalen defeated new challenger Maeketah Rivera in the Clovis City elections held on Tuesday, March 5.

The four candidates were fighting for three positions.

South SJ Valley:

Gomez to give High Speed Rail update

Hanford Sentinel

California High Speed Rail Regional Director Diana Gomez will give an update on the rail project during a Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Amigo Luncheon.


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

Sacramento Bee

The effort to collect use taxes reflects the state’s decision to more strictly enforce a 2012 law that compelled online retailers, such as Amazon, to collect tax from their customers if the company had any kind of physical presence in California.

Rent control died at the ballot box — California Democrats are trying again

Sacramento Bee

A group of Assembly Democrats introduced a bundle of housing bills on Thursday, signaling to Gavin Newsom that they were ready to work with him on fulfilling one of the new governor’s campaign promises.

California GOP’s vanishing act gets worse with latest voter numbers

San Francisco Chronicle

When Jessica Millan Patterson was chosen to run the California Republican Party last month, she promised to bring the moribund group back to political life by attracting more people to the GOP. California’s latest voter registration figures show just how difficult that task is likely to be.

See also:

●     Historical Voter Registration Statistics For Odd-numbered Year ReportsSOS CA

●     ‘We got our clocks cleaned’: GOP quietly works to expand ballot harvesting in California while criticizing Democrats for the practice Washington Post

New PAC aims to boost political fortunes of Asian American candidates

Los Angeles Times

In an email to supporters Thursday, Chiang said he’s launching a political action committee aimed at electing Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the country, with a particular focus on congressional seats.

Political Breakdown: Inside the Horseshoe with Newsom Chief of Staff Ann O’Leary


Gavin Newsom places a moratorium on executions in California, and Scott and Marisa delve into the factors that weighed into the governor’s decision. Then, Newsom’s chief of staff Ann O’Leary joins to discuss life inside the governor’s office, her childhood in Maine, clipping newspapers in the Clinton White House, running the Clinton-Kaine transition, and the days leading up to Newsom’s death penalty decision.


What if top vote-getter became president? Plan would bypass Electoral College

San Francisco Chronicle

Governors in Colorado, New Mexico and Delaware are poised join California in signing the National Popular Vote compact, under which states would pledge to give all their electoral votes to the candidate who collects the most votes nationwide.

Medicare for All and Green New Deal spur Red Scare tactics

Roll Call

Nearly every day the 116th Congress is in session, on average, a Republican member takes to the House or Senate floor and says Democrats are veering toward socialism, warning that their progressive colleagues would lead America down some disastrous path akin to Nicolás  Maduro’s Venezuela.

EDITORIAL: Don’t impeach Trump (yet)

San Francisco Chronicle

Though united in their low opinion of the president, the freshman and the speaker had apparently reached opposite conclusions on whether to exercise one of the House’s gravest powers.

Elections 2020:

Beto O’Rourke announces 2020 presidential run


After weeks of speculation, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke finally announced Thursday that he is running for president in 2020.

See also:

●     Beto O’Rourke seeks to recreate energy from Senate run in 2020 presidential bid Sacramento Bee

●     O’Rourke begins 2020 bid with big crowds, centrist message Sacramento Bee

What is packing the Supreme Court, and could Democratic presidential hopefuls do it?

Merced Sun-Star

2020 Democratic presidential candidates Beto O’Rourke, Kirsten Gillibrand and Pete Buttigieg say they are open to the idea of adding more justices to the Supreme Court. Here’s what court packing is.

America has its first ever millennial candidate for president

Sacramento Bee

Like many millennials, Pete Buttigieg created a Facebook account in college. He listened to the Dave Matthews Band in high school. And he met his future husband on the dating app Hinge.

Why is the 2020 race starting so early?

Washington Post

We are currently 600 days from the general election in 2020. As of writing, there are at least a dozen serious Democratic candidates who’ve announced their presidential bids, depending on how you define “serious.”

See also:

·       Campaigns without end: Today’s presidential marathons took root in 1968 Los Angeles Times

Opinion: Facebook’s awkward election sauce — too toxic for 2020?

Roll Call

Neither the Republican nor Democratic parties will say on the record whether or not Facebook will be a presidential debate partner this time around. The DNC has sanctioned twelve debates, partnering with CNN and NBC on the first two. That’s all we know so far.

See also:

·       Facebook says its top product executive, Chris Cox, is leaving, the highest-level departure in years Washington Post

Opinion: We may be headed toward a political realignment

Washington Post

Dick Cheney, the former vice president, made just about the nastiest crack a Republican could offer about President Trump’s foreign policy when he said it “looks a lot more like Barack Obama than Ronald Reagan.”

Opinion: Democrats, Stop Pretending to Be Socialists

Wall Street Journal

If this be socialism—oh, never mind.

It is now clear that the Republican trope for the 2020 campaign will be that the Democrats are a bunch of socialists. That’s ridiculous, of course. But sadly, a tiny number of Democrats are playing right into their hands.


As officials resist transparency, public’s right to know more important than ever

Sacramento Bee

This is National Sunshine Week, a time when we raise awareness of the public’s right to know what’s going on behind the scenes of government. This year is especially important due to sustained attacks on transparency and accountability at the local, state and national levels.

Opinion: Shocked by Biased Journalism? Please.

Wall Street Journal

The Democratic National Committee will regret its decision to bar Fox News from hosting any of its 2020 presidential primary debates. Just as the game begins, the committee has planted the idea that the Democrats mean to run a rigged election—not a happy thought to encourage in view of the way the party’s leaders fiddled with the process in 2016 to favor Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders.

Political Independents: Who They Are, What They Think

Pew Research Center

Most ‘lean’ toward a party; ‘true’ independents tend to avoid politics 


Plant quarantine in place for Sacramento County after Asian citrus pest is seen for first time

Fresno Bee

The entirety of Sacramento County is under a plant pest quarantine after the Asian citrus psyllid was detected in the Lemon Hill area, the California Department of Food and Agriculture said Thursday.

Modesto farmers market launches its 41st season

Modesto Bee

Season 41 for the Modesto Certified Farmers Market kicked off Thursday at its accustomed downtown location. It will return to 16th Street between H and I streets from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Thursday and Saturday through Nov. 23, plus the first three Saturdays in December.

Lindsay’s market future still up in the air

Porterville Recorder

The night was full of public outcry on Tuesday at the Lindsay City Council meeting, where the Council Chambers were packed once again. After the meeting was called to order by Mayor Pamela Kimball, public comment was opened and a dozen people approached the podium to speak to the Council.

Corky Anderson’s energy, innovation helped save California’s pistachio industry

Bakersfield Californian

The burgeoning success of California pistachios — an industry that became No. 1 in the world in 2008 — can be traced back at least in part to a young farm kid from Tulare who later came to Kern County to develop a solution to a killer problem.

Round 2 begins over cannabis banking

Capitol Weekly

Closely watched by California’s cannabis industry, a new effort is underway to allow the creation of basic banking services for marijuana growers, distributors, sellers and others.

No One’s Really Sure How to Regulate This Hemp Food Craze

Despite limited research on the compound’s health benefits, hemp CBD has become a nationwide health food craze. Stressed-out people flock to cafes and restaurants that sell CBD cocktails and cookies, doughnuts and dog treats. Martha Stewart is advising a cannabis company on a line of CBD products for humans and pets.



Support the death penalty in California? Oppose it? You soon could get to vote on it

Fresno Bee

After California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s issued a moratorium on the death penalty, a lawmaker introduced an amendment to abolish capital punishment. Voters in 2016 rejected a similar initiative, Prop 62.

See also:

●     DA Ward: Voters not a priority in Newsom’s moratorium on executions Porterville Recorder

●     Death penalty supporters in Kern decry governor’s suspension of executions Bakersfield Californian

●     How Scott Peterson’s sister-in-law, law enforcement feel about death penalty moratoriumModesto Bee

●     What families of murder victims have to say about Gavin Newsom’s death penalty ban Los Angeles Times

●     Newsom’s credibility takes hit: Some Dems could suffer San Francisco Chronicle

●     Newsom tries to turn California death penalty halt into national causePolitico

●     EDITORIAL: Newsom takes page from Trump playbook by scrapping California death penalty Merced Sun-Star

Facebook under criminal investigation over data-sharing deals with tech firms


Federal prosecutors are looking into the social networking giant’s sharing deals with other big tech companies.

Inside 100 million police traffic stops: New evidence of racial bias

NBC News

Stanford researchers found that black and Latino drivers were stopped more often than white drivers, based on less evidence of wrongdoing.

Public Safety:

Fresno police unions back alternative use of force bill, amid calls for reform

Fresno Bee

Unions associated with Fresno’s two main law enforcement agencies Thursday called for support of a statewide plan they believe will make California safer by getting more guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.

Dads and daughters self-defense course a knockout

Visalia Times Delta

Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted, according to anti-sexual violence organization RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.)

Sheriff’s Office to purchase device granting access to locked iPhones

Bakersfield Californian

The Kern County Sheriff’s Office will soon have the capability to unlock iPhones without knowing the passcode, likely granting investigators access to any Apple product that comes across their path.

Court rules gun maker can be sued over Sandy Hook shooting


The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that gun maker Remington can be sued over how it marketed the Bushmaster rifle used to kill 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

See Also:

●     Gun maker can be sued over Newtown shooting, court rulesPBS News


Utilities Pushed Toward Fire Prevention As Edison Is blamed For Thomas Fire

Capital Public Radio

Pressure mounted on California utilities Wednesday to shift priorities to fire prevention, as investigators determined that Southern California Edison power lines sparked a major 2017 blaze that later resulted in a deadly mudflow.

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.



Stock indexes finish nearly flat

Los Angeles Times

U.S. stock indexes barely budged Thursday as the market’s three-day winning streak stalled. The benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 index finished essentially flat as declines by communications, industrial and healthcare stocks outweighed gains by financial and technology companies.

The world is knocking at California’s door, and we welcome it


Last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom answered the call. By executive order, he established a road map to expand the role that California plays globally and advance the innovation and values that have made California the world’s fifth largest economy.


Labor Lawyer Takes On Mexico’s Exporters, Wins Higher Wages

Wall Street Journal

The heads of a Coca-Cola bottler in this border city arrived at their closed plant this month armed with a court order that declared a strike by the company’s workers illegal. Standing in their way was Susana Prieto.

Job Slowdown Isn’t Imaginary

Wall Street Journal

The job market really is slowing.

The Labor Department reported on Thursday that initial claims for unemployment insurance rose to 229,000 in the week ended March 9 from a week earlier.



Ex-student of Ripon school has cancer, family says. District looks for answers

Modesto Bee

Officials with Ripon Unified School District are not saying when a cellular tower could be moved from an elementary school that’s become a center of strife over potential health effects of cell phone radiation.

HJUHSD picks new superintendent

Hanford Sentinel

It was announced Tuesday that Dr. Victor Rosa has been selected as the next superintendent of Hanford Joint Union High School District.

PUSD to reduce child care services at Prospect

Porterville Recorder

More changes are in store for Porterville Unified School District’s Prospect Education Center than their upcoming move across town to the campus of Butterfield Charter High School.

2019 Kern County Regional Science Fair winners

Bakersfield Californian

The 31st annual Kern County Science Fair took place at the Rabobank Convention Center on Tuesday.

Elementary students experience joy of literature during Peach Blossom Festival

Fresno Bee

Over 5,000 students in grades 1-6 from throughout the Central Valley took part in the 61st Peach Blossom Festival, an interpretive literature performance event, hosted at Fresno State beginning Thursday.

Valley school competing in My Scholar Dollars contest


Bullard Talent in Fresno Unified is participating in the My Scholar Dollars scholarship contest aimed at giving money to schools to improve their extracurricular activities, like the performing arts.

Charter school supporters unveil battle strategy against push to restrict growth in California


Thousands of charter school supporters gathered on the steps of the state Capitol in Sacramento Wednesday for a high-powered rally meant to send a clear message to legislators: Don’t pass laws that harm their schools.

Education Dept. faces 10% funding cut under Trump’s 2020 budget proposal

President Donald Trump’s budget proposal unveiled on Monday would slash funding for the U.S. Education Department by more than 10 percent.

The plan, titled “A Budget for a Better America, ” requests $62 billion for the Department of Education, or $7.1 billion less than the agency’s allowance in 2019.

Families of Sandy Hook shooting victims can sue gunmaker Remington over 2012 attack, court says

Washington Post

Connecticut’s Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the manufacturer of the Bushmaster AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle can be sued and potentially held liable in the 2012 mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Higher Ed:

Deadline TODAY:  Wonderful Public Service Graduate Fellowship

The Maddy Institute

Applications for two $56,000 Fellowships Due TODAY. 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.

Feds uncovered the nationwide college admissions scandal by accident


The FBI uncovered the $25 million nationwide college admissions cheating scandal by accident while agents were working an unrelated securities fraud case, two law enforcement sources told ABC News.

See also:

●     Alleged college admissions scam: Students file class-action abc30

●     Students target colleges in lawsuit over bribery scheme Sacramento Bee

●     College cheating scandal prompts resignations and questions at elite prep schools Los Angeles Times

●     Opinion: The college admissions scandal isn’t fair. Nothing about our social mobility system is.Washington Post

●     Stanford: Third student with ‘fabricated sailing credentials’ surfaces East Bay Times

●     A lingering question in the college admissions scandal: Why? Los Angeles Times

●     College cheating scandal prompts resignations and questions at elite prep schoolsLos Angeles Times

●     Surprised? Not Really. Bay Area Educators React to College Admissions Scandal EdSource

●     The college admissions scandal proves that we need affirmative action Brookings

●     EDITORIAL: Sadly, it’s no surprise that USC was at the center of the college admissions scandal Los Angeles Times

This Fresno State nursing program was never accredited. Now alumni credentials are at risk

Fresno Bee

Graduates of Fresno State’s Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program have been able to obtain their certifications from the American Nurses Association in the past, but the program was never actually accredited.

Welcome to Fresno State’s School of Wine


Have you ever thought about where your favorite wine comes from? Fresno State’s Winemaking program is using state-of-the-art science and artistic creativity to grow future leaders of the wine industry.

UC regents hold off on raising nonresident tuition after some protest

Los Angeles Times

The University of California backed away Thursday from a tuition increase for students from other states and countries after several regents expressed concern that it could limit diversity and hurt some immigrants.

See also:

●     UC regents revolt against $762 tuition hike for non-CaliforniansEdSource

One-In-Five California Community College Students May Experience Homelessness. A New Law Could Help.

Capital Public Radio

A new survey found that 19 percent of community college students in California have faced homelessness in the past year. One lawmaker wants to make it legal for students to sleep in their cars on campuses.



California Is At The Vanguard Of Climate Change Policy. But Does The State Need A ‘Green New Deal’ Of Its Own?

Capital Public Radio

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez helped lay out a grand plan for the nation to address climate change. But is California already accomplishing the goals outlined in the federal Green New Deal?

To combat climate change, California must wean buildings off fossil fuels


For decades, innovators in California have understood that the challenge of climate change demands ingenuity. Several technological improvements related to transportation and clean energy have emerged, helping to drive a concrete reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. But we’ve still got a long way to go, and the urgency of climate change demands we focus on some not-so-sexy solutions.

Environmental group questions dozers use to fight wildfires

Associated Press

Bulldozer drivers cut 305 miles (491 kilometers) of fire lines through scenic forest land last year in a desperate bid to stop a massive wildfire’s advance on a Northern California city; an effort an environmentalist group said Thursday was largely ineffective.

Don’t Leave California’s Climate Goals Stuck In Traffic


If Californians wants to hit their greenhouse gas goals, we’re going to have to create clean mass transit options. Expecting working Californians to drive hours from the homes they can afford to the jobs they can get put’s an extraordinary burden on their quality of life and bank accounts, and on the state’s ability to reach its aggressive carbon targets. 

Super bloom ‘better than going to Disneyland.’ But will flowers survive the crowds?

Los Angeles Times

In the hills of Lake Elsinore, children carried drooping apricot-colored poppies while panting dogs ran alongside them, their paws tainted orange. Girls braided flowers into their hair and nature photographers juggled tripods and cameras, waiting for the lighting to be just right in Walker Canyon.

No Snowflake Left Unturned: Yosemite Winter Rangers Report

Sierra News

Tuolumne Winter Rangers Laura and Rob Pilewski latest report from the field recounts some windy time at Tioga Pass as they remind wilderness travelers to prepare for potentially difficult conditions in the higher elevations.

Wolves prove resilient, but proposal could curtail expansion

Sacramento Bee

U.S. wildlife officials want to strip gray wolves of their remaining endangered species protections and declare them recovered following a decades-long restoration effort.


Feds to ease land restrictions across US West

Sacramento Bee

The Trump administration is finalizing plans to ease restrictions on oil and natural gas drilling and other industry activities that are meant to protect an imperiled bird species that ranges across the American West.

California’s wildfire threat could be an opportunity for clean-energy microgrids

Los Angeles Times

To the untrained eye, the shipping containers clustered on the outskirts of Borrego Springs don’t look like an innovative clean-energy technology that could help California cope with wildfires.

A historic oil platform off Santa Barbara turns into a rusty ghost ship

Los Angeles Times

For nearly five decades, Platform Holly and other ungainly structures like it have earned a nearly iconic, inescapable status in the California landscape.



Want to cut your risk of dementia? Moisturize your skin, UCSF researchers say

Sacramento Bee

Researchers at UC San Francisco announced this week that age-damaged skin in older adults may be contributing to a wide range of chronic, age-related conditions that include heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Study: One in three teens screens positive in emergency rooms for suicide risk

Visalia Times Delta

One in three preteens screened positive for suicide risk during hospital emergency room visits, according to a small but alarming recent study by the National Institutes of Health.

County’s deadly flu season shows no signs of slowing down

Bakersfield Californian

Kern County has seen the deadliest flu season in five years, and data suggests it could be a while before the season winds down.

Human Services:

Kaweah Delta ER relocation makes way for expansion

Visalia Times Delta

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

Opinion: Allow teenagers to protect themselves from their anti-vax parents

Los Angeles Times

California law gives teenagers the legal right to consent to abortions, obtain birth control, get tested for HIV or vaccinated for sexually transmitted diseases, even if their parents object. Should they also have the right to seek out immunization for other serious and potentially deadly diseases such as measles, tetanus and polio?


Dozens of migrants breach U.S.-Mexico border fence in Tijuana

Los Angeles Times

A group of migrants who breached the U.S.-Mexico border fence by the Pacific Ocean at Playas de Tijuana was detained Thursday by Border Patrol agents in Border Field State Park on the U.S. side.

ICE is tracking immigrants with the help of California sanctuary cities, court records show

Los Angeles Times

Civil rights groups in California want police and sheriff’s departments to stop sending license plate scanner information to a national private database, saying new public documents show federal immigration agents are using the system in breach of sanctuary state and city laws.

Amid Trump’s border showdown, UC immigration lawyer comforts and fights


With federal courts weighing the fate of DACA and pitched partisan battles in Congress over border enforcement, California is spending $4 million over three years to fund free immigration legal assistance for UC students and their families. More than a quarter of the country’s 700,000 DACA recipients live in California.

U.S. weighs plan to phase out family detention at Texas facility, despite migration surge

Washington Post

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials are discussing a plan to phase out family detention at the Karnes County Residential Center in Texas, according to three Homeland Security officials, a move that would significantly reduce the government’s capacity to hold parents with children as record numbers of migrant families are crossing the U.S. southern border.

‘The Conveyor Belt’: U.S. officials say massive smuggling effort is speeding immigrants to — and across — the southern border

Washington Post

Criminal organizations in Mexico have mounted a lucrative new smuggling operation that uses express buses to deliver Guatemalan migrant families to the U.S. border in a matter of days, making the journey faster, easier and safer, according to U.S. law enforcement reports and U.S. and Guatemalan officials.


Land Use:

Businesses band together to create garden offering ‘peace and quiet’ for those in recovery

Bakersfield Californian

Land that was once was a patch of weeds has been transformed into a tranquil refuge for people undergoing treatment for substance abuse.


Rent control died at the ballot box — California Democrats are trying again

Fresno Bee

California voters rejected rent control in 2018. Democrats are trying again with a bill that they say would help Gov. Gavin Newsom fulfill a campaign pledge to address the state’s affordability crisis.

See also:

●     California Lawmakers Try Again To Tamp Down Rising Rents Capital Public Radio

●     After ballot failure, there’s a new bid to control what California landlords can charge tenants Los Angeles Times

●     Rent control back on agenda with package of Democratic bills San Francisco Chronicle

California housing crisis podcast: San Diego’s ‘Yes in My Backyard’ turn

Los Angeles Times

State politicians have focused on city and county restrictions on development as a driver of California’s housing problems. But bigger cities now are pushing their own ideas to allow developers to build taller, with fewer required parking spots and other inducements to support growth.


More HUD woes for Modesto. Why city is losing hundreds of thousands in funding

Modesto Bee

Modesto has $385,135 less federal money to help low- and moderate-income people and underserved communities after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development dinged the city.

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

Sacramento Bee

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.

Sales tax bite looms for Internet consumers


We’re now seeing the third wave of retail business—shopping via the Internet—that is a refined version of the old catalog era and is killing brick-and-mortar stores. Several new companies, such as Carvana, even allow you to buy a used car on the Internet and have it delivered to your door.


What Is New At FAX – March 2019

Fresno Area Express

Every several years, FAX conducts a statistically reliable customer opinion and satisfaction survey of FAX and Handy Ride transit riders to hear directly from transit riders throughout our City and refine our bus services to better meet changing needs.  This latest survey provides comparisons to the 2011 and 2014 customer satisfaction surveys.

Gomez to give High Speed Rail update

Hanford Sentinel

California High Speed Rail Regional Director Diana Gomez will give an update on the rail project during a Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Amigo Luncheon.

More than 120,000 Bay Area residents spend at least 3 hours commuting every day, study says


If you live in San Francisco, Oakland or Hayward, there is a 4.8 percent chance you spend at least 90 minutes getting to work, and another 90 getting back. That works out to about 95,600 people crowding onto BART trains and clogging up the highways every day, according to a new study on working trends.

Fox: Halting a Bad Precedent

Fox & Hounds

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s call for withholding state funds—in this instance transportation money– from cities for not meeting their housing goals was wrong from the beginning. Newsom has now pulled back on that dictate opting for a carrot rather than a stick solution, at least temporarily. But it would be a terrible precedent, one that has been suggested before.

At tense meeting with Boeing executives, pilots fumed about being left in dark on plane software

Washington Post

One of Boeing’s new jets — hailed by the company as an even more reliable version of Boeing’s stalwart 737 — had crashed into the ocean off Indonesia shortly after takeoff, killing all 189 people on board the flight operated by Lion Air.

See also:

·       EDITORIAL: Why was the FAA so late to deplane from Boeing’s 737 Max? Los Angeles Times


California is now drought-free, monitor says. Wait, didn’t that happen 2 years ago?

Fresno Bee

Thanks to a wet winter across the state, the entirety of California is free of drought for the first time since 2011, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor’s Thursday update.

See also:

●     First time since 2011 California is not in a drought abc30

●     Wet Winter Ends California Drought After 376 Straight Weeks Capital Public Radio

●     California is drought-free for the first time in nearly 8 years San Francisco Chronicle

Judge says lawsuit’s claims of racism, corruption at Oroville Dam can go forward

Sacramento Bee

The Sacramento Superior Court ruling allows claims that a toxic, corrupt culture at Oroville Dam contributed to the February 2017 spillway failure that chased nearly 200,000 people from their homes.

Two California Water Agencies Battling Over Colorado River Drought Plan

Associated Press

A major Southern California water agency is trying to push the state through a final hurdle in joining a larger plan to preserve a key river in the U.S. West that serves 40 million people.


Flowers blooming along Wildflower Trail in Clovis foothills


As sightseers flock to the Fresno County Blossom Trail, another local trail is promising colorful views as well. The Wildflower Trail is a 50-mile trail that begins in Old Town Clovis, heads south on Clovis Avenue and then turns east on Ashlan Avenue.

See also:

●     Where to see California’s wildflower super blooms — from SLO County to San Diego Fresno Bee

Fresno’s restaurant row: This hidden corner is home to five thriving fine dining restaurants

Fresno Bee

Looking for a place to eat serving high end food? Restaurant row, home to Cracked Pepper Bistro, at Palm and Herndon avenues in Fresno, California, features eateries with menus of Mexican, Italian and Japanese.

Justin Timberlake is a singing, dancing band leader extraordinaire on immersive tour stop

Fresno Bee

Timberlake took several moments Wednesday night at Save Mart Center (a make-up for last December) to just let the near sell-out crowd be heard. It was loud. The moments were quick breaks in what was otherwise an expansive and immersive performance.

Ampersand Ice Cream opens new shop in Northwest Fresno


Ice cream and sorbet fans, take heed: there’s a new spot in town to get your fix. The newcomer to Northwest Fresno, called Ampersand Ice Cream, is located at 7010 N. Marks Ave., Suite 101. Its original location is on North Echo Avenue.

Take me home! Dogs available for adoption

Bakersfield Californian

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

Santa Anita Bans Drugs and Whips After Spate of Horse Deaths

New York Times

One of horse racing’s most celebrated tracks, Santa Anita Park in Southern California, said on Thursday that it would ban the use of drugs and whips on racing days after the death of another horse there, the 22nd since Dec. 26, an unusual spate that has puzzled investigators