March 8, 2019




Deadline NEXT WEEK

Wonderful Public Service Graduate Fellowship

Applications for two $56,000 Fellowships

Due Friday, March 15th, 2019


North SJ Valley:


Tom McClintock suggests DACA is to blame for border-crossing surge. Is it?

Sierra Star

California Rep. Tom McClintock suggested Wednesday that the spike in migrant families apprehended at the southern border this winter is due to government policies that “reward” their behavior.

See also:

      Cong McClintock gave Pres. Trump the green light to violate Constitution Modesto Bee


Former member of Merced City Council will challenge for county supervisor seat

Merced Sun-Star

A former member of the Merced City Council who is also the son of a one-time Merced County supervisor plans to run for the District 2 supervisor seat. Josh Pedrozo said he’ll challenge first-term Supervisor Lee Lor for the district that primarily covers the city of Merced north of Highway 99.


Central SJ Valley:


Moreno speaks about state of DA office during dinner

Madera Tribune

Sally Moreno, the first woman elected as Madera County District Attorney, spoke to the Madera Republican Women Federated Feb. 28 to thank them for their support and update them on the current situation in the office.


South SJ Valley:


Californians, take part in city governance

Visalia Times Delta

Los Angeles is a city of 4 million people. And it might soon launch a tiny office — of as many as eight people — to help those residents better participate in their government. And in California, this would be a big advance. Because while governance in our state is as complicated as a Google algorithm, we offer precious little assistance to Californians who seek to engage with it.


Assm Salas Hosts Free Tax Preparation Workshop in Hanford

Hanford Sentinel

Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) is hosting a free tax return preparation workshop this Friday in Hanford. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program provides free basic tax return preparation for low- to moderate-income taxpayers.




California’s failed tech projects come in late and over budget. Gavin Newsom wants to fix them

Sacramento Bee

Gov. Gavin Newsom declared technology to be a priority his opening budget with a $36 million proposal to create an Office of Digital Innovation that he says would foster a more flexible, creative approach to government technology.


State union contracts are expiring. Gavin Newsom is picking a new bargaining team

Sacramento Bee

Gov. Gavin Newsom is replacing the state officials who handle union negotiations as California enters a busy year for collective bargaining.


Big-name Republican won’t run for seat. It’s a bad sign for GOP

San Francisco Chronicle

When Orange County Republican Scott Baugh said last week that he won’t challenge freshman Democratic Rep. Harley Rouda in 2020, waves from his decision reverberated across the country.

See also:

     3 Women Are Now the California GOP's Most Prominent Leaders KQED


Year-round daylight-saving: Its time has come, lawmaker says

San Francisco Chronicle

A Democratic assemblyman from San Jose is pursuing a new bill to move the state to daylight-saving time all year long instead of from March to November


Umberg: Cutting Through the Fake News About 'Ballot Harvesting'

GV Wire

As the chair of the California Senate Committee on Elections and Constitutional Amendments, I am both disheartened and angry at President Trump’s ongoing lies about the nonexistent, massive voter fraud he claims to have occurred in California.




Second Judge Blocks Trump Administration's Census Citizenship Question Plans

Capital Public Radio

A second federal judge has issued a court ruling against the administration's plans to ask whether every person living in the country is a U.S. citizen in the 2020 census.

See also:

     California scores win against Trump’s citizenship census question Sacramento Bee

     Ahead of court ruling, Census Bureau seeks citizenship data AP News

     Census Bureau Will Ask for Federal Files on Noncitizens New York Times


Senate Republicans opposed to Trump’s emergency race to detangle from Dems

Fresno Bee

GOP senators say they’re looking to tweak House Democrats’ resolution of disapproval, as President Donald Trump warns them not to defect from his plans.

See also:

     Window for Bipartisan Compromise in Washington Narrows Wall Street Journal

     Only one thing can save Trump now: Democrats Washington Post


House passes resolution rejecting hate after Rep. Ilhan Omar flap


The House of Representatives voted Thursday evening to overwhelmingly pass a resolution rejecting hate and racism -- ending a week of consternation that divided Democrats after comments by their freshman colleague Rep. Ilhan Omar.

See also:

     House broadly condemns hate after anti-Semitism dispute Stockton Record

     House Votes To Condemn Anti-Semitism After Rep. Omar's Comments Capital Public Radio

      House passes anti-hate resolution after furor over Ilhan Omar comments Los Angeles Times

     House Overwhelmingly Backs Resolution Opposing Hate Wall Street Journal

     House passes anti-hate resolution after days of debate over response to Omar comments Roll Call

     EDITORIAL: House Democrats’ dubious vote against prejudice San Francisco Chronicle


Bill Shine to Resign as White House Message Chief

New York Times

Bill Shine, the former Fox News executive who joined the White House staff last summer to manage President Trump’s communications operation, has resigned and will move to the re-election campaign, the White House announced Friday.


EDITORIAL: One of Trump’s few solid picks is stepping down.

San Francisco Chronicle

A climate change skeptic runs the Environmental Protection Agency, and a former oil and gas lobbyist is the acting Interior Department secretary.


Paul Manafort sentenced to nearly 4 years in prison

Los Angeles Times

A federal judge sentenced Paul Manafort, who served as Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman, to 47 months in prison on Thursday for dodging taxes and committing bank fraud, much less than he could have faced.

See also:

     Paul Manafort Sentenced to 47 Months  Wall Street Journal


Campaign Finance Overhaul Bill Passes House, But No Senate Vote Planned


The House passed an extensive bill Friday that would overhaul the way Americans vote, and take aim at the money currently flowing through the U.S. political system.

See also:

     After HR 1 vote, Democrats ready to move quickly on other top 10 bills Roll Call

     House passes HR 1 government overhaul, sending it back to campaign trail Roll Call

     Why everyone wants to talk about HR 1 Roll Call



When powerful people get away with lying, everything falls under suspicion

Fresno Bee

Washington, D.C. is awash in lies and lies about lying. Michael Cohen appeared in Congress to say that President Trump is a con man who encouraged him to lie to Congress. The president called Cohen a liar.

See also:

     Trump Says Cohen ‘Directly Asked Me’ for a Pardon; President Adds He ‘said NO’ Wall Street Journal


Elections 2020:


Conservatives diving into podcasts to find younger voters, activists

Sacramento Bee

Conservatives have long relied on talk radio and cable television to mobilize activists. But liberals have turned to podcasts, and now conservatives are starting to catch up.


Kamala Harris endorsed by SF, Oakland, San Jose mayors

San Francisco Chronicle

The mayors of San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose endorsed Sen. Kamala Harris for president Thursday, continuing the senator’s effort to lock up support for the California Democratic primary next March 3.

See also:

       Crime lab scandal rocked Kamala Harris’s term as San Francisco district attorney Washington Post


Nikki Haley lays the foundation to seize Trump's mantle in 2024

Washington Examiner

Republican Nikki Haley is meticulously laying the foundation for a presidential bid in 2024, forming a nonprofit organization to sustain her political-rock-star profile while she builds a financial nest egg so her family can afford her political ambitions.




When Mark Zuckerberg Said Privacy, He Didn’t Mean Privacy From Facebook

Wall Street Journal

The CEO’s privacy manifesto is a road map for getting the company’s services more embedded in our daily lives so it can gather data in new and creative ways.


Alice Rivlin: A career spent making better public policy


“I was always interested in doing good policy analysis, and improving the policy process,” says Alice M. Rivlin in this interview about her career in public policy and contributions to making the policy process better.





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.




Disaster aid fix would open spigot for cherry growers

Roll Call

An arcane provision moving through Congress as part of must-pass disaster aid legislation would let farmers earning more than $900,000 on average for the past three years qualify for President Donald Trump’s $12 billion program compensating producers for trade-related losses.


Council set to make cannabis permit changes

Hanford Sentinel

After cautiously entering the cannabis game during its first go-round, Hanford is tweaking its strategy moving forward. The Hanford City Council met Tuesday to discuss possible changes to the city’s cannabis permit process, and has decided to take more of an open-ended approach.


Cannabis ordinance coming soon

Porterville Recorder

Tuesday night was a busy one for City Council.  Although there were many conversations that took place amongst the Council, a few of their discussions led to some important decisions regarding moving forward on possibly introducing cannabis businesses to the city






Clovis domestic violence case draws Smittcamp back into the role of courtroom prosecutor

Fresno Bee

It’s unusual in Fresno County to see the elected district attorney personally prosecuting a case in Fresno County Superior Court.  But District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp, who has spent much of her career handling domestic violence cases, returned to the courtroom Thursday for the start of an attempted murder case.


East Sacramento arrests a ‘disgrace,’ activists say at Capitol rally for use-of-force bill

Fresno Bee

AB 392 would make it easier to prosecute California police after questionable shootings. Activists rallied for it in Sacramento on March 7, 2019 after officials declined to charge officers who shot Stephon Clark.

See also:

     Have Fatal Shootings By Police In California Dropped 40 Percent Since 2015? Capital Public Radio

     With No Charges In Stephon Clark Shooting, Activists Switch Focus To Changing California's Use-Of-Force Laws Capital Public Radio

     Professor Robert Weisberg Explains California’s Police Use Of Force Bills Capital Public Radio

     Commentary: 1872 law gives police a license to kill Sacramento Bee

     Who’s Accountable For The Mass Arrests During Monday’s Stephon Clark Protest? The Boss Of Sacramento’s Police Chief Answers Capital Public Radio


FBI report shows fewer murders in California last year. See the trend in your city

Fresno Bee

California police in cities with more than 100,000 people reported 488 murders in the first half of 2018, 67 fewer than the first half of 2017. The largest decline was in Fresno. What is the rate in your city?


California could pass strictest DUI law in U.S.

Visalia Times Delta

California may soon have the strictest DUI laws in the country. Last week, California assembly members Autumn Burke (D-Marina Del Rey) and Heath Flora (R-Ripon) proposed legislation that would lower the legal, behind-the-wheel limit for blood-alcohol content by nearly half — from .08 to .05.


California Bill Would Seal 8 Million Criminal Convictions

Capital Public Radio

A Northern California lawmaker and district attorney announced Thursday a proposed law that would automatically clear some 8 million criminal convictions eligible for sealing but that remain public records.

See also:

     A new push in California to automatically clear old arrest and conviction records Los Angeles Times

     Many Californians can clear criminal records, but don’t. This bill would make it automatic San Francisco Chronicle

     California bill would seal 8 million criminal convictions AP News




US Judge Eases Wildfire Safety Plan For California Utility

Capital Public Radio

U.S. Judge William Alsup said in an order Tuesday that he would scale back his proposals to prevent PG&E equipment from causing future fires.

See also:

     Judge proposes tighter tree-trimming oversight for PG&E San Francisco Chronicle

     Pimco, Elliott Lead Distressed-Debt Heavyweights in PG&E Faceoff Bloomberg


'Re-Imagining Paradise' — Making Plans To Rebuild A Town Destroyed By Wildfire

Capital Public Radio

Residents of Paradise are being given reassurances that their town — completely destroyed by last fall's Camp Fire — will be rebuilt. But will the new town be too expensive for many?






This mall retailer is closing two stores in the Fresno area. Sales have started

Fresno Bee

Women’s clothing retailer Charlotte Russe filed for Chapter 11 federal bankruptcy protection and is closing all its shops including in Fashion Fair Mall in Fresno, California, and at the Visalia shopping center.

See also:

      New retailer closure hits Modesto’s Vintage Faire Mall, others could be coming Modesto Bee


Run, bull, run. Longest bull market looks to keep going

Fresno Bee

Wall Street has rewarded its most patient investors handsomely over the past 10 years. Is there more to come? This bull market's lifespan, the longest on record, speaks to financial markets' resiliency in the face of a variety of shocks, including a brutal fourth quarter of 2018.

See also:

     Inside a Decade long Bull Run Wall Street Journal

     Stocks fall, extending this week’s losses Los Angeles Times




A seat at the table: Fresno using agreement for local, minority workers in airport project

Fresno Bee

The city of Fresno, California, is using a project labor agreement to contract local minority groups for construction work on a $115 million expansion project at Fresno Yosemite International Airport.


Look Ma, no cashier! Automated store valley-bound

Business Journal

Computer scientist Aamir A. Farooqui plans to open a 1,800 square-foot, fully automated convenience store, similar to those Amazon has launched in larger urban areas.


After Winning a $15 Minimum Wage, Fast Food Workers Now Battle Unfair Firings

New York Times

City Councilman Brad Lander said he planned to introduce a bill on Wednesday that would require fast-food businesses to show “just cause” for firing workers and give them a chance to appeal dismissals through arbitration.


Trump Administration Proposes Expanding Overtime Coverage

Wall Street Journal

An additional 1.3 million Americans who work more than 40 hours a week would become eligible for overtime pay under a rule proposed Thursday by the Labor Department.


Bankrupt PG&E wants to revive employee bonuses. Here’s what that would cost

Sacramento Bee

PG&E wants to start paying out millions of dollars in employee bonuses again. The utility asked a bankruptcy judge late Wednesday for permission to resume its employee incentive program for 2019. The cost could be as high as $235 million and would be spread among thousands of workers.

See also:

     Bankrupt PG&E wants to give its workers $235 million in bonuses Los Angeles Times

     Bankrupt California utility wants to give $235M in bonuses AP News


U.S. economy adds just 20,000 jobs in February, well below expectations

Washington Post

The United States added just 20,000 jobs in February, way below expectations of a 180,000 gain, and a sign that the job market might be beginning to cool.

See also:

     How Hot Is Your City’s Job Market? Wall Street Journal


Which cities lead the nation for women founding venture-backed startups?


In 2017, just 16 percent of venture capital funding in the United States went to startups with at least one female founder, and only 2.5 percent went to companies with all female founders.






ACLU fights for LGBTQ students’ free speech rights in lawsuit against school district

Fresno Bee

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against Chawanakee Unified School District after the quotes of two LGBTQ students were removed from the yearbook at Minarets High School in O’Neals, California.

See also:

     ACLU sues after students' quotes removed from yearbook abc30

     ACLU Sues Madera County School For Calling Student Yearbook Quotes 'Politically Divisive' VPR


Thomas Jefferson students carry out service projects

Madera Tribune

Thomas Jefferson Leadership students are actively learning how to use their skills and interests to benefit their community. The 36 students in Mr. Hernandez’s leadership class are challenging themselves to create and carry out a total of 12 projects this school year.


Speakers share dark, important memories at Modesto High’s Day of Respect

Modesto Bee

Day of Respect, now in its 20th year at Modesto High, brought more than 40 speakers into classrooms. Coordinator Andrea Pegarella, a teacher at the school, said the speakers share their stories, often of discrimination but also often encouraging volunteerism and activism.


Is Visalia’s discipline policy working?

Visalia Times Delta

Visalia Unified School District board members and administrators will meet Thursday to discuss the district's discipline policy.  The special board meeting will focus on the district's implementation of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports — PBIS.


Kern County schools get nearly $52K for breakfast programs

Bakersfield Californian

No Kid Hungry California has announced it has awarded nearly $52,000 in breakfast grants to five Kern County schools in honor of National Schools Breakfast Week this week.


Driving home a sobering message

Stockton Record

A large, twisted pile of steel and glass, all that remained of what used to be a vehicle, sat before hundreds of Stagg High School students to help them visualize the devastation and consequences of drinking behind the wheel.


Democrats Have Taken Over Education Reform

Wall Street Journal

The K-12 education-reform movement was once led primarily by conservatives and libertarians with centrist Democrats as junior partners. But over the past decade, education reform has taken a hard left turn.


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.


Hands on history

Porterville Recorder

National Park Service archaeologist Jeff Burton invited the public and anthropology students from Robert Simpkins’ classes at Porterville College to participate in an archeological dig at Manzanar Historical site during a Cultural and Historical Awareness Program (CHAP) lecture.


California tax deduction for 529 college savings considered

Sacramento Bee

The proposal, Assembly Bill 211, would give families a deduction of up to $10,000 if they contribute money to a state-managed college savings plan known as ScholarShare.


UC will not raise tuition for California students this fall, Napolitano says

Los Angeles Times

The University of California has announced that it will not raise tuition for California students this fall — but expects increases for students from other states and countries.


Community colleges can cost more than universities, leaving neediest students homeless

Los Angeles Times

In many places in California, the out-of-pocket cost of attending a community college, including housing and other necessities, is out of reach for low-income students — making the effective cost of an education higher than for those who attend state colleges and universities.


Coordinating California’s Higher Education System

Public Policy Institute of California

As postsecondary education has become increasingly important to California’s economy and quality of life, the state has been considering how best to meet student and workforce needs over the long term.






Meet California’s new environment czar, who walked the state to ‘reset’


“What you realize is the complexity of the environmental issues. We have so many people talking about environmental issues, but we say it in a way that most people don’t understand.”


Feinstein’s Green New Deal is ‘like shifting to Deck B on the Titanic,’ progressives say

Sacramento Bee

Sen. Dianne Feinstein has a greenhouse gas reduction bill that is less aggressive than Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal. Progressives say the Californian’s bill it too kind to fossil fuel industry.


On the economics of a carbon tax for the United States


Climate change is driven by a buildup of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere, predominantly the result of the world’s consumption of fossil fuels.  GHGs are a global pollution externality for which a global solution is required.




Power restored after outage left thousands in the dark in Madera


Thousands of families woke up in the dark in Madera County on Thursday morning. Pacific Gas and Electric says that as of 7:00am, power was largely restored, but earlier in the morning as many as 2,455 customers were without power.






Genes could increase your chance of dying from stress, doctor says


One of your genes could increase your chance of dying behind the wheel, according to Duke Professor Dr. Redford Williams. Williams said stress could be deadly and his studies have found that some of us are more likely to die than others from that stress.


Airline passenger spread measles to travelers on flight to SF, officials say

Merced Sun-Star

A Santa Cruz flier gave measles to a San Francisco and a Santa Clara resident on an international flight to SFO, health experts said. Officials don’t think the virus, which vaccination protects against, spread more.

See also:

       Facebook Announces Plan to Curb Vaccine Misinformation  New York Times


As Calif ranks worst in nation for STIs, we need to address public health crisis

Sacramento Bee

California has long been a leader on forward-thinking policies, but the state is falling behind in addressing a major public health crisis: the continuing spread of HIV, hepatitis C (HCV), and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).


A path to defeat Parkinson’s? UCSF team cracks molecular lock to target treatment

Sacramento Bee

Researchers long ago identified a molecule that they felt held the secrets to a treatment for Parkinson’s disease, but the tiny protein known as Nurr1 had a complex lock that no one has been able to crack for more than a decade.


The Unforced Error of Medicare for All

Wall Street Journal

Democrats would be wise to seek reform, not revolution. It’s easy to demand universal health care, but as efforts dating back to FDR have shown, legislative victories are a slow burn. Megaphones on social media won’t change that.


Trump Administration Weighs Publicizing Secret Rates Hospitals and Doctors Negotiate With Insurers

Wall Street Journal

The Trump administration is sounding out the medical industry on requiring hospitals, doctors and other health-care providers to publicly disclose the secretly negotiated prices they charge insurance companies for services, a move that would expose for the first time the actual cost of care.


Human Services:


Saint Agnes Expands Residency Program

Business Journal

According to Dana Lucka, Ed.D, director of graduate medical education for Saint Agnes, this grant will cover family medicine residency education for three years.


Merced County has shortage of medical doctors. Will this help?

Merced Sun-Star

Two clinics in small Merced County communities are expected to expand health care offerings in a county that struggles to keep doctors. Livingston Community Health’s new Live Well Campus and Castle Family Health Centers’ Winton clinic are set to open this month.




Mesa Verde center will stay open with new contract

Bakersfield Californian

The Mesa Verde ICE Detention Center will stay open for at least another year. The company that runs the center, GEO Group, Inc., has contracted with the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to keep the center open through March 18, 2020.

See also:

     State Law Could Shutter Mesa Verde: Some Say There Are Benefits To Keeping It Open VPR


Pentagon may tap military pay, pensions for Trump border wall

Stockton Record

The Pentagon is planning to tap $1 billion in leftover funds from military pay and pension accounts to help President Donald Trump pay for his long-sought border wall, a top Senate Democrat said Thursday.


Court deals blow to attempt to speed up deportations

San Francisco Chronicle

In a setback for the Trump administration’s efforts to speed up deportations, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday that immigrants seeking asylum in the United States have the right to judicial review of deportation orders.


Immigrants rejected for asylum may appeal removal orders, 9th Circuit rules

Los Angeles Times

A federal appeals court decided Thursday that immigrants who cross the border without authorization may go to court to appeal a decision by U.S. immigration authorities to deny them asylum.

See also:

     Ninth Circuit Appeals Court Grants More Protections for Asylum Seekers New York Times


U.S. database on immigrant-rights advocates, lawyers and journalists sparks outrage

Los Angeles Times

Reports that the U.S. government kept a database on journalists, activists and immigration attorneys during an investigation into last year's migrant caravan has stirred outrage among civil rights groups, drawn concern from lawmakers and prompted more people to come forward with additional allegations of being detained by U.S. immigration authorities.

See also:

     U.S. Tracked Activists and Journalists as Migrant Caravans Headed to the Border New York Times


EDITORIAL: Trump's harsh immigration tactics aren't working. Migrant crossings are soaring

Los Angeles Times

The numbers are sobering. The federal government reported Tuesday that immigration agents apprehended 76,000 people — most of them families or unaccompanied minors — at the U.S.-Mexico border in February, twice the level of the previous year and the highest for February in 11 years.




Land Use:


Fresno Council votes to negotiate PLA for $115M airport project

Business Journal

The Fresno City Council Thursday unanimously voted to begin negotiations on a project labor agreement for the $115 million FATforward project for Fresno Yosemite International Airport.

See also:

      A seat at the table: Fresno using agreement for local, minority workers in airport project Fresno Bee


Hanford sign installed

Hanford Sentinel

The city of Hanford has a new landmark. A large metal sign bearing the city’s name is now on prominent display in the median at Lacey Boulevard and Garner Avenue.


Weston Ranch residents say project approval was premature

Stockton Record

While residents of a west Stockton neighborhood want to see improvements such as new development in their community, some say they are not happy with a proposed project set to move forward in the near future.




Fresno has a shortage of affordable rental housing. What’s happening to fix that?

Fresno Bee

The median rent for apartments in Fresno County is the second lowest among California’s largest cities. But for families and households scraping just to make ends meet, what’s “affordable” for rent is in the eye of the beholder.


Homelessness is getting worse in Merced. New report shows troubling spike in population

Merced Sun-Star

The number of people in Merced County who are homeless rose by more than 18 percent this year up to 607, according to an annual tally by volunteers released on Wednesday.


Turf’s up (if you’re looking for some juicy rebates!)

Los Angeles Times

If you’re thinking this may be the year to replace your turf with a new water-saving landscape, the Metropolitan Water District has just super-sweetened the deal.




City Council votes to restart selection process for sales tax oversight committee vacancy

Bakersfield Californian

The Bakersfield City Council opted to start from scratch in selecting someone to fill the vacancy on the city’s sales tax oversight committee.


Assm Salas Hosts Free Tax Preparation Workshop in Hanford

Hanford Sentinel

Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) is hosting a free tax return preparation workshop this Friday in Hanford. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program provides free basic tax return preparation for low- to moderate-income taxpayers.


Newsom’s expanded tax credit for working poor wouldn’t help much, report says

San Francisco Chronicle

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposal to increase the state earned income tax credit for low-paid workers would provide a “modest benefit increase” to a relatively large number of people, according to a report by the Legislative Analyst’s Office.


Tax hikes are unnecessary. California businesses already pay their fair share


With news of California companies moving to states where taxes and other operating costs are lower, it’s difficult to believe that some groups want to hit in-state employers with another tax increase.


Kamala Harris' crowd-pleasing cause could cost trillions

San Francisco Chronicle

Even at this early stage in the presidential race, California Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris has hit upon a crowd-pleasing proposal: Give a $500 monthly tax credit to families earning less than $100,000.


Contractors want to hide how your tax money is spent

San Francisco Chronicle

The military-industrial complex and the rest of the federal government want your money, but they don’t want to let you know how it’s spent.




Highway 41 near Rocky Cut remains closed after rock slide. Here’s what you need to know

Fresno Bee

Highway 41 near Rocky Cut in eastern Madera County CA will remain closed, Caltrans announced Thursday afternoon, and it is unknown when it could reopen. The roadway was closed Wednesday afternoon due to rock slides.

See also:

     Highway 41 likely to stay closed tonight, geologist coming Friday abc30

     Traffic to be one way for 2 weeks on SR 41 Madera Tribune

     Highway 41 To Remain Closed Tonight, Likely Most Of Tomorrow Sierra News

     Rain forces closure of major highway leading to Yosemite Merced Sun-Star


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

Sacramento Bee

California lawmakers have unveiled a number of proposals to help fix the DMV. Among the ideas are accepting credit cards at DMV offices and allowing customers to get on payment plans.


California Cong Calls On Feds To Take Back High Speed Rail Funding

Capital Public Radio

Republican Rep. Doug LaMalfa of Butte County introduced the High-Speed Rail Refund Act, saying it's time to kill what he calls a misguided project. The resolution directs the Secretary of Transportation to take all necessary actions to get California to return the funds.


EDITORIAL: All those scooters everywhere? That’s a good thing

Los Angeles Times

Scooters are a convenient, affordable option for people who want to travel a short distance, including those who need to traverse the “first-mile, last-mile” distance between their homes and jobs and transit stations.




California’s Rainfall Totals Are Above Average Thanks To Latest Storms

Capital Public Radio

Precipitation readings in the northern and southern Sierra Nevada jumped above the 50-year average, and the central Sierra’s are expected to do the same soon.

See also:

     Several funnel clouds spotted over Valley abc30


Crews monitor high flow rates on Kaweah River


All of the Tulare County Fire Department's stations are fully staffed, and they've called in two strike teams to help respond to storm-related calls. They're keeping a close eye on conditions in Three Rivers, where they've seen a spike in the flow rate on the Kaweah River.

See also:

     Flood threat prompts evacuation recommendation for Kelso Creek communities Bakersfield Californian


Hundreds wade into complex, challenging world of California water

Bakersfield Californian

Hundreds of Bakersfield agriculture, oil and political leaders came together Thursday to examine the challenges and opportunities associated with providing California residents and businesses with a secure, reliable supply of clean water.


Petroleum company fined $660,521 after Quincy site contaminated groundwater, town well

Sacramento Bee

The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board fined Reno-based petroleum company Washoe Fuel Inc. $660,521 for contaminating the water supply in Quincy.


Trump's California Water Order Rushes Science and Cuts Out Public, Emails Show


The Trump Administration has ordered federal biologists to speed up critical decisions about whether to send more water from Northern California to farmers in the Central Valley, a move that critics say threatens the integrity of the science and cuts the public out of the process.


A Winning Approach for Managing Groundwater in the San Joaquin Valley


Decades of groundwater overuse have caused drinking water and irrigation wells to go dry, increased the amount of energy required to pump water, harmed ecosystems, and reduced the reserves available to cope with future droughts.




Here’s how much money Valley Children’s has counted from this year’s Kids Day

Fresno Bee

An estimated 8,000 volunteers lined street corners in the San Joaquin Valley on Tuesday, March 5, 2019, to sell special edition copies of The Fresno Bee for $1.


This local coffee chain is taking over a Starbucks – and wine and chocolate are involved

Fresno Bee

A northeast Fresno Starbucks is closing and locally owned Kuppa Joy is taking it over – but this one will be totally different than the other Kuppa Joy coffee shops. Think wine. And chocolate.


Public invited to help with Women’s Day events

Madera Tribune

The city’s annual International Women’s Day Celebration will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Virginia Lee Rose Elementary School, 1001 Lilly St., in the cafeteria. The day’s focus will be honoring the late Virginia Lee Rose, a prominent advocate for schools and women.


Register Now For Interpreting Yosemite Artist Retreat

Sierra News

Two local nonprofit organizations have banded together in order to produce a collaborative event and the public, from near and far, is invited to join in. Registration is now open for Yosemite Western Artists (YWA) Interpreting Yosemite Artist Retreat & Creative Event.


Take me home! Animals available for adoption

Bakersfield Californian

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


Want to see Hearst Castle under the stars? Night tours are back

Modesto Bee

Night tours at Hearst Castle State Park high above San Simeon, California, will be conducted most Friday and Saturday nights through May 18, and mid-week nights in mid-April.


Pismo Beach surfing goats eat gum at SLO Bubblegum Alley

Fresno Bee

Here’s proof that goats will eat just about anything: The world-famous Pismo Beach Surfing Goats recently feasted on an unusual snack in San Luis Obispo — Bubblegum Alley.



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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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