March 6, 2019




 Wonderful Public Service Graduate Fellowship

Applications for two $56,000 Fellowships

Due Friday, March 15th, 2019

North SJ Valley:

Homelessness, water and public safety loom large in Stanislaus, Withrow says in speech

Modesto Bee

In his state-of-the-county speech Tuesday, Board of Supervisors Chairman Terry Withrow touched on the dominant issues of the past year: water, homelessness and public safety.

See also:

●     EDITORIAL: Stanislaus County needs to continue backing up words with action Modesto Bee

Stanislaus Superior Court seeks applicants for civil grand jury; deadline approaching

Modesto Bee

The Stanislaus Superior Court is looking for residents to serve on the 2019-20 civil grand jury. The deadline for applications is April 30. The primary function of the grand jury is to act as a public “watchdog” by investigating and issuing reports about local government agencies.

Central SJ Valley:

Maddy Associates Luncheon: “Unfinished Business: Jerry Brown’s Legacy & Gavin Newsom’s Agenda” with Political Columnist Dan Walters(CALmatters)

The Maddy Institute

Today, The Maddy Institute will be hosting Dan Walters with CALmatters at a Maddy Associates Speakers Series luncheon. Business, Elected Officials and Community leaders have been invited to attend this private event in Fresno, CA.

Incumbents Headed Toward Clovis Re-Election

GV Wire

With 100% of the precincts reporting, Bob Whalen (32%), Drew Bessinger (31%) and Jose Flores (29%) appear to be headed back to City Hall. Challenger Maeketah Rivera drew 8% of the 20,633 votes counted thus far.

South SJ Valley:

Updates on McCarthy, city at government affairs meeting

Porterville Recorder

Over a dozen local officials, ranging from state to local business representatives, gathered in the Chamber of Commerce conference room on Friday morning to discuss current developments.

Park rental fees, sidewalk vending to be discussed at Council meeting

Porterville Recorder

The first of the public hearings concerns a proposed sidewalk vending ordinance. The second public hearing for the night will discuss rentable park area fees. In a previous Council meeting, rental fees for park areas, both covered and uncovered, were brought forward for discussion.

Advocates push for woman to take final seat on oversight committee

Bakersfield Californian

With the resignation of one member of Bakersfield’s sales tax oversight committee, the city council must appoint a new member to the advisory board. Some see the impending vote as an opportunity for the council to add another woman to the committee.


‘Everything’s going well’ for Newsom, but Schwarzenegger wants Republicans back in power

Fresno Bee

Arnold Schwarzenegger, California’s former Republican governor, came to Sacramento on Tuesday to urge the party to distance itself from President Donald Trump.

See also:

●     Will California GOP become a dinosaur? Porterville Recorder

●     California GOP Moderates Call For Focus On People Over Partisanship Capital Public Radio

California lawmakers accepted $810,000 in gifts and overseas trips in 2018

Los Angeles Times

California lawmakers were showered with more than $810,000 in gifts last year, many from powerful interest groups lobbying the state who handed out concert and professional sports tickets, spa treatments, gourmet dinners and trips to a dozen countries, new state reports show.

California’s Supreme Court takes cautious steps on public employee pensions

Los Angeles Times

The pension systems estimate that they are underfunded by $331 billion, according to the California Pension Tracker project at Stanford University, while many argue that the amount is several times higher.

“California Rule” Survives (For Now) — But “Airtime” Does Not


Today, the California Supreme Court issued its decision in Cal Fire Local 2881 v. CalPERS, and affirmed the underlying trial court and Court of Appeal decisions. Cal Fire is one of four cases addressing the “California Rule,” which generally provides that employees are forever entitled to the pension benefits that were promised to them on the first day that they began their service.

The Trouble With the Split Roll Initiative

Fox & Hound

Specifically, the initiative creates new constitutional formulas for spending and walls off the new tax money from any kind of democratic accountability or discretion. This is exactly the kind of ballot-box budgeting nonsense that has become a plague in the Prop 13 era.

The Fruits of One Party Government

Fox & Hound

The stories come at us from every direction, relentlessly, 24/7/365, our newsfeeds bombarding us with scandals and catastrophes both natural and man-made, with obvious outrages demanding our immediate attention, as well as a steady stream of lesser or localized transgressions we just don’t have the bandwidth to absorb.

Where’s Gavin?

Fox & Hound

The Post established the rankings on February 1 to take a weekly look at who’s hot and who’s not as the strongest challengers to President Trump, be they Democratic, Republican or of no party at all. The Post column lists the top 15 contenders with names of additional individuals who received votes.


‘I’m not leaving,’ Trump’s FDA commissioner said 2 months before resigning

Fresno Bee

FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb, known for fighting teen vaping and opioids, resigned 2 months after saying “I’m not leaving.” Top officials have turned over at a high rate in the first years of Trump’s presidency.

See also:

●     FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb Announces He Will Resign Capital Public Radio

●     FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb resigns Los Angeles Times

●     FDA Chief Scott Gottlieb to Leave Agency Wall Street Journal

Commerce secretary seeks to delay high-profile congressional hearing


Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is seeking to postpone his March 14 appearance before the House Oversight Committee.

Trump’s changes to Title X put the health of low-income women in danger

Los Angeles Times

The Department of Health and Human Services recently finalized a set of onerous restrictions on clinics that participate in the federal Title X program, which funds free and low-cost family planning services.

The President’s Authority to Withdraw the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Without Further Congressional Action

Congressional Research Service

This report examines the President’s authority to terminate the United States’ international obligations under NAFTA without further action from Congress. It also examines whether the NAFTA Implementation Act, the primary federal statute that implements the agreement in domestic law, would remain in effect if the President successfully terminated U.S. obligations under the agreement.

See also:

·       EDITORIAL: Senate rebuke would be a political emergency for Trump San Francisco Chronicle

Trump promised to shrink the trade deficit. Instead, it exploded.

Washington Post

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that — despite more than two years of President Trump’s “America First” policies — the United States last year posted a $891.2 billion merchandise trade deficit, the largest in the nation’s 243-year history.

In the Middle of His Official Business, Trump Took the Time to Send Checks to Michael Cohen

New York Times

On a busy day at the White House, President Trump hosted senators to talk about tax cuts, accused a Democratic congresswoman of distorting his condolence call to a soldier’s widow and suffered another court defeat for his travel ban targeting Muslim countries.

Congress is finally going to pot

Roll Call

An unlikely coalition of lawmakers is plotting how to revise the nation’s marijuana laws during the 116th Congress — a mission that’s become much more viable in recent years as public support for legalizing cannabis shoots up and members introduce bills in higher numbers than ever before.

See also:

●     Wait, there’s a Cannabis Caucus? Pot proponents on the Hill say it’s high time for serious policy debate Roll Call

10 things you might not know about HR 1

Roll Call

As the House begins debate Wednesday on HR 1 — the Democratic majority’s package overhauling voting, campaign finance and ethics law — some parts of the bill will likely get more attention than others, but several under-the-radar provisions in the 622-page legislation would nevertheless have sweeping impacts.

See also:

·       K Street mounts offensive to HR 1 Roll Call

Democrats Aim for Financial-Transactions Tax

Wall Street Journal

Progressive Democrats renewed their push to curb high-frequency trading, introducing a bill Tuesday that would impose a 0.1% tax on financial transactions such as stock purchases and derivatives trades.

Precedent, Meet Clarence Thomas. You May Not Get Along.

New York Times

Justice Clarence Thomas was busy in February. As usual, he asked no questions during Supreme Court arguments. But he made up for his silence with three opinions in eight days that took issue with some of the court’s most prominent precedents.

Elections 2020:

California’s early primary no pot of gold for Kamala Harris

Sacramento Bee

Ever since Sen. Kamala Harris announced her presidential campaign, there’s been a gush of speculation about the importance of her home state in the nomination process – especially since the California primary has been moved up to March.

See also:

●     Big-dollar donors, including Donald Trump, fueled Kamala Harris’ political rise in California Sacramento Bee

Bernie Sanders Signs Democratic Party Loyalty Pledge For 2020 Run

Capital Public Radio

The Vermont senator, who serves as an independent and is running for president as a Democrat, is obliging with a new requirement from the Democratic National Committee.

Hillary Clinton says she won’t run for president in 2020

Los Angeles Times

Hillary Clinton says she won’t run for president in 2020, but vows she’s “not going anywhere.” The former secretary of State, senator and first lady ruled out another campaign during an interview posted Monday by New York TV station News12.

Michael Bloomberg will not be running for president in 2020


Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he won’t run for president in 2020. He joins Hillary Clinton and Eric Holder, who recently made similar announcements.

See also:

●     Ex-NYC Mayor Bloomberg won’t run for president in 2020 Stockton Record

●     Former New York Mayor Bloomberg Decides Against 2020 Presidential Bid Capital Public Radio

●     Michael Bloomberg bows out of 2020 Democratic presidential contest Los Angeles Times

●     Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg bows out of 2020 Democratic presidential contest Washington Post

Julian Castro’s run for president banks on Latinos, but it’s a steep climb to White House

Los Angeles Times

With more than a dozen Democrats now vying for president, Julian Castro is charting a path unlike any of the others, as his visit to California on Monday made clear.

Charter schools, long divisive among Democrats, could shadow presidential hopefuls

Los Angeles Times

Just a few years ago, the appetite for school privatization ran strong in parts of the Democratic Party. It has waned since, but candidates seeking the Democratic nomination include some of the movement’s biggest backers.


The Geography of Partisan Prejudice

The Atlantic

Political intolerance seems to vary significantly within the country, according to the analysis. In some places, Americans seem to be quicker to stereotype and dismiss one another based on political differences. In other places, people tend to be more accepting, even when they disagree.

Inside the unprecedented partnership between Fox News and the Trump White House


President Trump has long acknowledged top-rated Fox News as his favorite media outlet, and the network relishes its role as a conservative voice. But its increasingly close relationship with the administration is drawing criticism. William Brangham talks to the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer about an unprecedented “feedback loop” and whether the president has made policy decisions to help Fox succeed.

Opinion: The Duty of the Free Press

Wall Street Journal

Editor’s note: In this Future View, students write about the media. Next week’s question centers on the $1.5 trillion Americans owe in student debt. We’ll ask, “How have student loans changed your plans for the future?” Students should click here to submit opinions fewer than 250 words before March 12. The best responses will be published that night.


Sunday, March 10, at 10 a.m. on ABC 30 – Maddy Report: “Ready, Fire, Aim:  High Speed Rail’s Initial Rollout”  – Guest: California State Auditor, Elaine Howle. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

Sunday, March 10, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) –Maddy Report – Valley Views Edition: “High Speed Rail: Leaving the Station?”– Guest: Tim Sheehan with the Fresno Bee. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

Sunday, March 10, at 7:30 a.m. on UniMas 61 (KTTF) – El Informe Maddy“Los Diez Mas Importantes De California” – Guest: Alexei Koseff, Reportero de San Francisco Chronicle Host: Maddy Institute Program Coordinator, Maria Jeans.


Study: Calorie content has spiked at US fast food restaurants


The study found that the calorie count has increased in some of the country’s most popular food chains over the past decade.

State anglers can expect good salmon season

Stockton Record

Anglers can look forward to another solid recreational salmon fishing season on the ocean this year, according to California Department of Fish and Wildlife.



Stephon Clark: No charges to be filed against police officers by California attorney general

Fresno Bee

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra declines to file criminal charges against police officers who shot and killed Stephon Clark. “We did an independent, separate investigation of the facts and evidence in this case,” he said.

See also:

●     Stephon Clark protests result in more than 80 arrests abc30

●     Stephon Clark’s death didn’t produce criminal charges. But it could change California law. Sacramento Bee

●     Sacramento mayor, City Council want independent investigation of Stephon Clark protest arrests Sacramento Bee

●     Chaos erupts at City Council meeting; police chief not ready to answer questions Sacramento Bee

●     California AG Xavier Becerra to announce results of his Stephon Clark investigation Sacramento Bee

●     Attorney General Xavier Becerra Announces No Charges For Officers Who Killed Stephon Clark Capital Public Radio

●     Public Condemns Sacramento Police Over Response To East Sacramento Stephon Clark Protest Capital Public Radio

●     EDITORIAL: On Monday night police launched attack on our 1st Amendment. Here’s how you can respond. Fresno Bee

●     EDITORIAL: Stephon Clark’s death must changerules for police use of deadly force Modesto Bee

●     Federal agents to probe Stephon Clark shooting after state declines to charge police Los Angeles Times

●     EDITORIAL: Stephon Clark’s killing was an injustice, yes, but not a murder Los Angeles Times

●     California Today: What’s Next for the Stephon Clark Case New York Times

More police training is not enough. We need real action and change

Sacramento Bee

Since 2014, the Greater Sacramento NAACP has proactively worked with Mayor Darrell Steinberg and the City Council to ensure that our community is safe and that our concerns are heard. As a result, the Just Justice Committee was formed.

Judge: SF’s cash bail system violates rights of poor

San Francisco Chronicle

A federal judge has dealt another blow to the cash-bail system, ruling that San Francisco’s policy requiring newly arrested defendants to pay dollar amounts based on the crimes charged in order to be released from jail violates the rights of poor defendants while having no effect on public safety.

Public Safety:

Watch the Downtown Fresno CA Police Unit’s bike patrol in action

Fresno Bee

gt. Alfonso Castillo, leader of the Downtown Police Unit, talks about the overall reduction in crime in downtown Fresno, and the important role the bike unit plays in it.

These wilderness survival tips saved California girls lost 2 days in woods, cops say

Sacramento Bee

Humboldt County’s sheriff said 4-H wilderness survival training helped save two girls lost in rugged Northern California woods for 44 hours. They stayed in one location and drank fresh water, authorities said.

How Federal Disaster Money Favors The Rich


The federal government spends billions of dollars annually helping communities rebuild and prevent future damage. But an NPR investigation has found that across the country, white Americans and those with more wealth often receive more federal dollars after a disaster than do minorities and those with less wealth.


California officials focus on forest management after fires

Sacramento Bee

California fire officials want to dramatically increase the removal of dead trees and other forest management practices to reduce fuel for wildfires and are calling on the National Guard to help with the effort.

See also:

●     California wildfires: Report names priority projects for thinning vegetation San Francisco Chronicle

●     Steady rains could pose later problems in mountain areas during fire season abc30

CA insurer gives $2 million for Paradise health services after fire

San Francisco Chronicle

The health insurer Blue Shield of California has donated $2 million to one of the largest medical groups in the town of Paradise to help restore health care services to residents affected by November’s Camp Fire.

California wildfire relief struggles to get through Senate

San Francisco Chronicle

After a months-long delay, key negotiators say Congress is closing in on a deal to pass a disaster relief package, including billions in funding for California wildfire recovery that has been hanging in limbo.



Best Of The Valley Restaurant Award Winners Announced

Business Journal

The California Restaurant Association hosted its 28th annual Best of the Valley Restaurant Awards ceremony Monday night in Fresno, honoring the industry’s top talent in 34 categories.

Challenges ahead even if a US-China trade deal is reached


Before leaving Washington to attend his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, U.S President Donald Trump tweeted that he would delay hiking tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods because of “substantial progress” during the talks between American and Chinese negotiators.

Stocks edge down during a listless day

Los Angeles Times

Tuesday’s mostly listless session on Wall Street ended with stocks closing slightly lower as losses in the industrial, technology and financial sectors outweighed gains elsewhere in the market.

Five economic development takeaways from the Amazon HQ2 bids


The split culminated Amazon’s very public search process in which 238 U.S. cities submitted detailed bids to the company to host its “second headquarters,” or HQ2.

U.S. Budget Gap Widened 77% in First Four Months of Fiscal Year

Wall Street Journal

The U.S. budget gap widened in the first four months of the fiscal year as tax collections fell and federal spending increased.

See also:

·       The federal deficit ballooned at start of new fiscal year, up 77% from a year before Washington Post

●     U.S. budget deficit up 77% so far this budget year PBS

Opinion: Trump’s economic hoaxes just collided with reality

Washington Post

Last week, the Commerce Department reported that during the third quarter of 2018 — the period during which Trump took his Charleston victory lap — West Virginia’s gross domestic product grew exactly 0.0 percent. As in, zilch. As in, the worst in the nation.

Tastries lawsuit moving forward and trial date expected to be set at hearing next month

Bakersfield Californian

A lawsuit filed against a local baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple was allowed to proceed Tuesday and a trial date is expected to be set during a hearing next month.


California Needs to Hit the Brakes on Minimum Staffing Requirements for Automated Vehicles

Fox & Hound

Regulation is often one, two or even three steps behind technology’s pace of development. But occasionally, a policymaker will seek to move proactively — too proactively — to address a policy challenge that may never come to pass.



Never tell them the odds. Stanislaus students saluted for perseverance.

Modesto Bee

Twenty-three students from across Stanislaus County were saluted Tuesday morning in downtown Modesto for overcoming major challenges and/or succeeding beyond expectations.

John J. Cairns High School recognized as 2019 Model Continuation School

Porterville Recorder

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced last month that 31 schools were newly designated as Model Continuation High Schools for 2019, and John J. Cairns High School in Lindsay ranked among the best in California.

BCSD considering year-round calendar to improve student learning

Bakersfield Californian

Bakersfield City School District students and teachers may soon be getting a smaller summer break. The district is working to implement a modified academic calendar in which the school year would start at the end of July rather than August.

See also:

·       Teachers Balk At Summer School Cancellation In Bakersfield VPR

Bear Creek class equips students for pediatric CPR, first-aid certification

Stockton Record

While there was no real emergency on Tuesday morning, dozens of students in Geena Wade’s human relations and parenting class participated in a daylong training to receive their pediatric CPR and first-aid certification.

Gov. Newsom signs legislation requiring charter school transparency in California


Underscoring the high priority he has placed on the issue, Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed into law a bill approved by lawmakers at lightning speed that will require more transparency in charter school operations.

See also:

●     ‘Common sense regulations’ or ‘an extended middle finger’—how far will California go on charter schools? CALmatters

California gets boost from federal government to expand early learning


Though California has been at odds with the federal government on many fronts, the state is getting a boost from the Trump administration to lay the groundwork for expanding preschool and child care programs.

Democrats, conservative group knock down Betsy DeVos ‘education freedom’ plan


A Trump administration proposal aimed at encouraging “school choice” seems dead on arrival in Congress after both House Democrats and a conservative think tank objected.

Higher Ed:

Deadline FAST APPROACHING:  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.

What to do about student debt? These ideas are brewing in the California Legislature

Fresno Bee

A growing student loan crisis has prompted California lawmakers to introduce dozens of bills aimed at controlling college debt.

See also:

●     Chiu wants to know the real number of homeless students San Francisco Chronicle

Will fewer college students report sexual assault after this California court ruling?

Merced Sun-Star

Title IX investigations at California universities will have live hearings, which Betsy DeVos wants on national level. Victim advocates say it prevents sexual assault, abuse survivors from reporting crimes.

For a Dissatisfied Public, Colleges’ Internal Affairs Become Fair Game

Chronicle of Higher Education

Proponents of these steps say they are necessary to protect the public interest. For many in higher education, they are an unwelcome intrusion, an attempt by outsiders at micromanagement.

‘Free College’ Is Increasingly Popular — and Complicated for States

Lawmakers in 23 states are floating “free college” bills this year. And several high-profile Democratic presidential candidates want to not only make college tuition-free but also eliminate student loan debt.



Here’s why Arnold Schwarzenegger and Kevin de León are teaming up on climate change

Los Angeles Times

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, is joining forces with an influential Democrat to tackle one of California’s biggest problems: pollution from cars and trucks.

The Ocean Is Running Out of Breath, Scientists Warn

Scientific American

Widespread and sometimes drastic marine oxygen declines are stressing sensitive species—a trend that will continue with climate change.


Russian oil imports surge in US as Venezuela’s slow to a trickle

Sacramento Bee

Only two ships carrying 766,000 barrels of crude oil from Venezuela arrived in the United States last week in the wake of debilitating oil sanctions lodged against the state-run oil company, PDVSA, according to investment bank Caracas Capital Markets, which tracks Venezuelan oil shipments.

Southern California Edison new rate plan jeopardizes renewable energy


California leads the nation in renewable energy. Almost 20 percent of the state’s total energy is derived from renewable solar. We’re doing this because it’s the right thing to do for our communities. It lowers long-term energy costs while staving off the damage done by climate change.

Chevron, Exxon Mobil Tighten Their Grip on Fracking

Wall Street Journal

Chevron Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp. plan to significantly ramp up production in the oil field at the heart of the American fracking boom, the latest sign that the next era of shale drilling is likely to be led by the major oil companies.



206 measles cases in 11 states already in 2019, CDC reports


Troubling new figures on the rising number of measles cases in the United States this year.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 206 individual cases of measles were confirmed in 11 states between January 1 and the end of February.

See also:

●     Measles vaccine doesn’t cause autism, says a new, decade-long study  Stockton Record

President Trump orders creation of new task force to prevent veteran suicides


President Trump will task his VA secretary with creating a task force to combat the scourge of veteran suicides.

Alzheimer’s Screenings Often Left Out Of Seniors’ Wellness Exams

Capital Public Radio

A brief cognitive test can detect signs of Alzheimer’s in older patients. Only half of primary care doctors routinely give one, despite coverage by Medicare as part of annual wellness visits.

For persistent depression, FDA approves a novel treatment based on ketamine

Los Angeles Times

The Food and Drug Administration approved a novel antidepressant — the first in decades to work in a completely new way in the brain — for people with depression that does not respond to other treatments.

See also:

●     In biggest advance for depression in years, FDA approves novel treatment for hardest cases Washington Post

More Seniors Should Be Getting Brain Health Screenings, Experts Say


Alzheimer’s disease is a growing issue among Americans, but just 16% of seniors reported being regularly screened for cognitive issues, according to theAlzheimer’s Association’s new 2019 report.

Human Services:

How badly are we being ripped off on eyewear? Former industry execs tell all

Los Angeles Times

Charles Dahan was one of the leading suppliers of frames to LensCrafters, before the company was purchased by optical behemoth Luxottica. Glasses that cost him $20 to make would be sold for five times that amount.

California Looks To Lead Nation In Unraveling Childhood Trauma

California Healthline

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, California’s newly appointed surgeon general, will tell you this is not a hypothetical scenario. She is a leading voice in a movement trying to transform our understanding of how the traumatic experiences that affect so many American children can trigger serious physical and mental illness.

California Senate Bill 142 Aims to Expand Lactation Accommodation Requirements

Olgetree Deakins

California legislators continue to advocate new legislation expanding employer requirements to provide lactation accommodations for employees. California Senate Bill 142 (SB 142) would amend the California Labor Code and the Health and Safety Code to require additional lactation accommodations for employees.

Reviving the Health Care Mandate: Who Pays?


Governor Newsom has proposed creating a state individual mandate to help fund increased health insurance subsidies for low- and middle-income Californians. One of the major reforms ushered in by the Affordable Care Act, the federal individual mandate—which was rolled back in the federal tax bill passed in 2017—required most individuals to have comprehensive health insurance or pay a tax penalty.

Finding common ground to reduce health care costs

In response to Congressional outreach, scholars at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the Brookings Institution (Brookings) worked to identify policy options that could accomplish this goal while appealing to lawmakers from across the aisle.

Coming To A City Near You, 5G. Fastest Wireless Yet Will Bring New Services

Capital Public Radio

Sacramento, Calif., is one of the first U.S. cities to have 5G wireless service, and its mayor sees 5G giving the city an edge in attracting businesses and autonomous-vehicle technology.


Company that runs Homestead detention center cancels stock offering after growing outcry

Fresno Bee

Caliburn International said Tuesday it canceled its public stock offering. The company runs the Homestead detention center that is holding more than 1,000 migrant children and has been a site of growing protests.

Last month’s illegal border crossings maxed out system capacity, U.S. officials say

Los Angeles Times

More than 76,000 migrants crossed the U.S.-Mexico border last month, more than double the number from the same period last year.

See also:

·       More migrants crossing US southern border in large groups Sacramento Bee

·       More Migrants Are Crossing the Border This Year. What’s Changed? New York Times

·       Border at ‘Breaking Point’ as More than 76,000 Unauthorized Migrants Cross in a Month New York Times

SF judge orders Trump administration to restart young migrant refugee program

San Francisco Chronicle

Nearly 3,000 Central Americans may reunite with their families in the United States after a San Francisco judge ordered the Trump administration to revive a program for young migrants it had quietly ended more than two years ago.

Trump fails second try to penalize state over sanctuary laws

San Francisco Chronicle

When the Trump administration tried to withdraw funds from California and San Francisco because of their sanctuary policies, a federal judge said the pullback would be unconstitutional.

Border Patrol Facilities Put Detainees With Medical Conditions at Risk

New York Times

The steady flow of migrants who arrived that night at the volunteer respite center operated by Catholic Charities here in the Rio Grande Valley had just been released by Customs and Border Protection after being apprehended near the border. The new arrivals had been in federal custody for up to 72 hours, but most had received no real medical attention — the volunteer physicians at the private clinic were the first doctors many had seen since crossing the border.


Land Use:

Sky Ranch Road Residents Step Up Opposition To Planned RV Park, Circulating Petition

Sierra News

plan to build an RV and camping park along Road 632 in Oakhurst could pose “life threatening impacts” to area residents, according to a new petition being circulated this week by people living in the Sky Ranch Road neighborhood.

Here are the plans to upgrade the Merced Mall. But what’s happening with the movie theater?

Merced Sun-Star

Plans to revamp the Merced Mall moved forward this week and an official behind the company that runs the shopping center says construction could begin this year.

Raley’s announces first round of tenants at upcoming South Land Park shopping center

Modesto Bee

The new Raley’s store planned for South Land Park will anchor a shopping center known as The Park, with five other confirmed tenants Tuesday.


Could former K-Mart become Visalia’s first city-operated homeless shelter?

Visalia Times Delta

More than 150 people turned out to the latest 210 Connect panel on Feb. 11, where community leaders and residents gathered to discuss innovative, humane solutions to Visalia’s growing homeless problem.

How tiny shotgun houses can help solve Dallas’ housing crisis — if we’d just stop knocking them down

Dallas News

A combination of obsolescence, neglect and development has pushed the shotgun house to the brink of extinction in Dallas. Just a few weeks ago, on Valentine’s Day, the city demolished a shotgun house on Cliff Street in the Tenth Street Historic District for code violations, despite protests from preservation advocates.


Fresno Employee-benefits Brokerage Acquired

Business Journal

Villane Ward Insurance Services, Inc. is now part of Relation Insurance Services, which has more than 500 employees in more than 30 locations across the U.S.

What does the California Supreme Court pension ruling mean for you?

Sacramento Bee

The California Supreme Court issued a major decision on public worker benefits such as CalPERS Monday. What does the ruling mean for public workers, taxpayers, retirees and local governments? What happens next?

See also:

●     Walters: State Supreme Court ducks key pension issue CALmatters

●     EDITORIAL: California’s Supreme Court takes cautious steps on public employee pensions Los Angeles Times

●     EDITORIAL: California’s high court upholds a pension reform but sidesteps a bigger challenge San Francisco Chronicle

●     CalPERS Can’t Get Enough of Its Top-Earning Asset PublicCEO

U.S. Budget Gap Widened 77% in First Four Months of Fiscal Year

Wall Street Journal

The U.S. budget gap widened in the first four months of the fiscal year as tax collections fell and federal spending increased.

See also:

·       The federal deficit ballooned at start of new fiscal year, up 77% from a year before Washington Post

●     U.S. budget deficit up 77% so far this budget year PBS

After slow start and surprised taxpayers, refunds are up


The average 2018 refund is up, according to the latest IRS accounting, after a sharp decrease at the start of tax season surprised taxpayers expecting to see more benefits from the Trump tax cut.

Democrats Aim for Financial-Transactions Tax

Wall Street Journal

Progressive Democrats renewed their push to curb high-frequency trading, introducing a bill Tuesday that would impose a 0.1% tax on financial transactions such as stock purchases and derivatives trades.

Why Taxpayers Should Pay For Local News

Zocal Public Square

These days, wealthy people and companies consider restoring a public-spirited local media to be a worthy cause. Last year, Google announced it was putting $300 million into supporting local news. A few weeks ago, Facebook announced its own $300 million local news initiative. Philanthropists and foundations have invested in news nonprofits, like the Voice of San Diego.


California calls on Trump officials to stop threats on high-speed rail funding

Sacramento Bee

California high-speed rail officials on Monday called on the Trump administration to engage in constructive talks – rather than threats – over $3.5 billion in disputed federal funding for the state’s bullet train project in the Central Valley.

See also:

·       California: Trump plan to take back rail money ‘disastrous’

Credit cards, payment plans, shorter lines: California lawmakers move to fix DMV

Sacramento Bee

California lawmakers are moving to address some of the biggest problems at the state Department of Motor Vehicles. A number of proposals aimed at reducing wait times and improving service have recently been introduced.

Why Eating Roadkill Makes Roads Safer for People and Animals

Between 1 million and 2 million large animals are hit by vehicles every year in the United States in accidents that kill 200 people and cost nearly $8.4 billion in damages, according to estimates from the Federal Highway Administration.


Sierra snowpack doubles in a month

Hanford Sentinel

The Department of Water Resources conducted the third snow survey of 2019 on Thursday, with results boasting an excellent snowpack.

See also:

●     Mariposa County residents reel in from weekend floods, brace for next storm abc30

●     What to expect as heavy rain returns to Sacramento Valley, prompting flood watch Merced Sun-Star

●     Evacuations in California take place as storm approaches Sacramento Bee

Members of Congress to question EPA, DoD on response to ‘forever chemicals’


In the first of several expected hearings targeting the EPA under Trump, members of Congress will question officials on the response to chemicals in water.

Skelton:  California should stop thinking about more dams. The state is brimming with them

Los Angeles Times

The fact is, however, there are nearly 1,500 dams in California. At least 1,000 are major, and 55 can hold 100,000 acre-feet or more of water. There are 36 reservoirs that can contain at least 200,000 acre-feet. Eleven are in the 1-million-plus category.


Rain doesn’t dampen enthusiasm as about 8,000 volunteers fan out to sell Kids Day papers

Fresno Bee

The 32nd annual Kids Day to benefit Valley Children’s Hospital went on Tuesday despite rain across central San Joaquin Valley. The hospital said about 8,000 volunteers hit the streets selling special editions of The Fresno Bee for a $1 donation.

See also:

●     Kids Day: More than 8,000 volunteers brave rain to raise funds for children abc30

Half Dome preseason permit lottery to open next week


Outdoor enthusiasts won’t have to wait long to apply for a Half Dome permit. The annual lottery, which usually begins on March 1, will now open March 13. Last week, the park announced delays because of its transition to a new contract provider.

See also:

●     Half Dome Preseason Lottery To Open Next Week Sierra News

●     Yosemite postpones lottery for Half Dome hiking permits Los Angeles Times

 Amenities: The key to a happy community? | In 60 Seconds


In a time of social division, AEI’s Ryan Streeter takes a look at one of the keys to bringing people together rather than driving them apart: community amenities.

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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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