POLICY & POLITICS
North SJ Valley:
Turlock’s City Council will vote Tuesday whether to hire a new city manager, a position with a high turnover rate that has been held by five people on either a permanent or interim basis since 2015. The city posted a proposed contract on its website Thursday, showing the council may offer a $220,000 annual salary to Toby Wells, who currently works as the city manager for Ceres.
The Stanislaus County elections office has about half the ballots from Tuesday’s presidential primary left to count and expects to release updated results Monday evening. Registrar of Voters Donna Linder said in a Wednesday evening news release that her office has counted 55,731 ballots so far and has roughly 57,000 ballots to process and count.
Central SJ Valley:
The Fresno City Council unanimously passed a resolution Thursday to put pressure on officials at Fresno City College’s parent district to fund a bus pass program used by thousands of students.
Former Fresno police chief Jerry Dyer took several thousand more steps toward becoming the city’s next mayor, but his lead over prosecutor Andrew Janz shrank by a couple of percentage points since Tuesday night.
South SJ Valley:
The first time Democrat T.J. Cox faced Republican David Valadao in a primary election for California's 21st Congressional District seat, in 2018, Valadao won by a whopping 26 percentage points. Eight months later, however, Cox eked out a narrow victory, winning by fewer than 900 votes.
Nobody will say it, but the city of Bakersfield is experiencing something of a financial boom. Sales tax revenue has swelled over 2019, providing the city with millions of dollars in unanticipated revenue. In the fourth quarter of 2019 — the last three months of the year that consist of crucial holiday spending — sales tax returns were around 6 percent higher than the same quarter in 2018.
The Golden State has 10 of the Top 20 happiest cities in the United States for 2020, Wallethub reports.
A massive federal government project that's been ramping up behind the scenes for a while now is about to go public — the U.S. census, an effort undertaken every 10 years to count every living person in the United States.
Higher ed leaders launch $187 million census campaign to engage college students San Francisco Chronicle
Gov. Gavin Newsom and First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom made $1.2 million dollars in 2018, mostly from wine businesses, according to tax returns viewed by The Bee. On Friday, the governor’s office let reporters view, but not photograph or copy, the Newsoms’ 2018 tax returns. Reporters had 45 minutes to study the filing, which contained more than 150 pages.
Ballots from last week’s election are still being counted and it will be weeks before the final numbers are tallied, but with that caveat, it appears that a $15 billion school bond issue — the only statewide ballot measure — has been decisively rejected.
In an encouraging sign of progress, new bills introduced in the California Legislature this year are taking a regional, inclusive approach to problem-solving to address CA Fwd and California Economic Summit priorities.
Trump said at a Fox News town hall forum that he was intending to reduce funding for Social Security and Medicare, two of the largest federal entitlement programs. "Oh, we'll be cutting," he said. "We're also going to have growth like you've never seen before."
On Friday, as coronavirus infections rapidly multiplied aboard a cruise ship marooned off the coast of California, health department officials and Vice President Mike Pence came up with a plan to evacuate thousands of passengers, avoiding the fate of a similar cruise ship, the Diamond Princess, which became a petri dish of coronavirus infections.
This week, the United States Census Department rolls out their 2020 census nationwide, aiming to count everyone living in the country and the U.S. territories. The findings will determine how federal dollars are distributed. Hansi Lo Wang, a national correspondent for NPR, has been reporting on the 2020 census and joins Hari Sreenivasan to discuss what to expect.
In the age of the always-on Internet, what happens when a government decides to turn it off? For many people around the world, this is no longer a theoretical question.
Vida en el Valle
Latinos in elected office, prior to the turn of the century, were not as common as they are now in California despite some early successes like a Latino-majority Fresno City Council and Lt. Gov. Cruz M. Bustamante becoming the first Latino elected to statewide office in more than a century.
Former Vice President Joe Biden is narrowing the gap over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the California delegate count. Final numbers remain in flux, as at least 3.5 million ballots remain uncounted, according to reports from Los Angeles County and the Secretary of State’s Office.
Sen. Kamala Harris endorses Joe Biden for president Los Angeles Times
Sen. Cory Booker endorses Joe Biden for president Washington Post
Kamala Harris Endorses Joe Biden for President New York Times
Kamala Harris endorses Biden Politico
California has at least half a dozen races to watch in this year’s battle for control of the House of Representatives, and voters have a little more clarity on who their choices will be following last week’s primary election.
More than 150,000 Kern County voters cast a ballot on Super Tuesday, according to the Kern County Elections Department.
Los Angeles Times
Learning the final outcome in a California election can take weeks but the reason for that delay — laws that offer more time and methods to vote — outweighs the frustration, according to a new statewide poll.
PEW Research Center
About one-in-ten people eligible to vote in this year’s U.S. presidential election are immigrants. And most (61%) of these 23 million naturalized citizens live in just five states. California has more immigrant eligible voters (5.5 million) than any other state, more than New York (2.5 million) and Florida (2.5 million) combined. Texas and New Jersey round out the top five, with 1.8 million and 1.2 million immigrant eligible voters, respectively.
Picking a vice president is always about winning the election. If you lose, it won’t matter who goes down with you. But for the Democratic nominee this year, good politics matches good governance as never before, because voters’ No. 1 question will be: Is this vice presidential nominee ready to be president?
The Washington Post
How the Russian president has infected our national trust
Pew Research Center
We asked Americans in a 2018 Pew Research Center survey for their views about the state of female leadership in the United States and the obstacles women face.
San Diego Union-Tribune
State legislators believe if their state votes early in the process, their personal endorsement will be more sought after.
Los Angeles Times
More than a dozen Californians will win their first terms in the state Legislature or U.S. Congress if current election results hold, most for two-year terms in office. But they won’t even get half of that time — less than any freshmen lawmakers in more than a decade — to do the job before the pressure of fundraising, opponents and electoral politics begins to build again.
Despite a fairly weak showing in Super Tuesday primary elections, Bernie Sanders remains a top contender for the Democratic presidential nomination. Clearly, his populist message resonates with many millions of voters. And even his chief rival, Joe Biden, now regularly beckons “…those who have been knocked down, counted out” to join his campaign.
New York Times
I love meeting Americans. Before I ran for president, I had the opportunity to meet people across the country while fighting climate change, registering young people and working to impeach President Donald Trump. I loved hearing their stories and learning about their lives.
New York Times
How did the political left squander the opportunity that was the 2020 primary campaign? The Trump presidency has created tremendous energy among progressives. More than half of Democratic voters now identify as liberal. Most favor “Medicare for all.” A growing number are unhappy with American capitalism.
Some members of the California State Assembly seem to believe there is no better Valentine’s Day gift than the promise of cyber insurance. Assemblyman Edwin Chau (D-Monterey Park) introduced Assembly Bill 2320 on Feb. 14, which would require any business that contracts with the state and has access to people’s personal information to maintain cyber insurance coverage. Federal lawmakers should pay attention to what happens with the bill.
Harvard Business Review
As scholars of gender inequality in the workplace, we are routinely asked by companies to investigate why they are having trouble retaining women and promoting them to senior ranks. It’s a pervasive problem.
As trust in our institutions fades, local news suffers from layoffs and closures, and communities continue to suffer in America, the Knight Media Forum brought the brightest minds in media together to discuss ways to turn the tide.
Twitter applied its new “manipulated media“ label for the first time Sunday on an edited video of Joe Biden that a White House official posted and that President Donald Trump retweeted.
Twitter flags video retweeted by President Trump as ‘manipulated media’ Washington Post
Manipulated Biden Video Escalates Online Speech War With Trump New York Times
More than half of Facebook pages that displayed U.S. political ads during a recent 13-month period concealed the identities of their backers, according to research reviewed by POLITICO — a tide of deceptive messaging that raises new questions about the social network’s promises of transparency.
MADDY INSTITUTE PUBLIC POLICY PROGRAMMING
Sunday, March 8, at 10 a.m. on ABC30 – Maddy Report: California’s Concealed Carry Permits: The Wild West of Permitting? - Guest: California State Auditor Elaine Howle. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.
Sunday, March 8, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) – Maddy Report - Valley Views Edition: Concealed Carry Permits: Are Valley Standards the De Facto State Standards? - Guests: Fresno Co Sheriff Margaret Mims, Tulare Co Sheriff Mike Boudreaux, and Stanislaus Co Sheriff Adam Christianson. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.
Sunday, March 8, at 7:30 a.m. on UniMas 61 (KTTF) – El Informe Maddy: Higher Education and Path in California - Guests: PPIC Olga Rodriguez and Marisol Cuellar. Host: Maddy Institute Program Coordinator, Maria Jeans.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the country wasted 133 billion pounds — or $161 billion worth — of food in 2010. The United States aims to cut that number in half by the year 2030, and four Turlock High School students recently earned recognition for creating an app that could help.
A free Health Fair will be held on March 11 and 12, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Modesto Centre Plaza, 1000 L St. in Modesto. The event is presented by Ag Safe Food & Farm, as part of their ACTIVATE20 conference and offers free health screenings for all ages, with a focus on farmworkers.
Rented bees by the billions have been at work in Central Valley almond orchards, tasked with pollinating the 2020 crop. It has happened amid renewed scrutiny over whether this process – crucial to growing 80 percent of the world’s almonds – is sustainable.
The approval of another Turlock cannabis dispensary came with little opposition from the public Thursday night, moving the second of four planned retail locations one step closer toward opening its doors.
California’s agriculture industry helps feed the world. California grows more than 400 food and fiber products including a third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of the nation’s fruits and nuts. In fact, 99.9 percent of our nation’s commodities, including peaches, artichokes, olives, pistachios, almonds, walnuts, and so many others, are grown right here in the Golden State.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE/FIRE/PUBLIC SAFETY
Fox & Hounds
This year, there is another effort to enact a “predictable scheduling” mandate on California employers, SB 850 (Leyva), which many believe would impose an unfair, one-size-fits-all, scheduling mandate on retail and food employers that penalizes these employers with “additional pay” for making changes to their employees’ schedule.
Hundreds of people confined to a single space every day. People — many with existing health problems — come and go, bringing untold illness and viruses inside. Scores of inmates and staff sharing chow halls and recreation yards, cell blocks and bathrooms.
Jails and prisons are petri dishes.
The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District is warning that residents in Eastern Fresno County may experience short-term impacts to air quality. In a effort to reduce the fuel load and risk of wildfires in the Sierra National Forest, the U.S. Forest Service is conducting a prescribed burn project in Eastern Fresno County, with smoke currently visible in the area.
San Francisco Chronicle
Concluding PG&E Corp.’s bankruptcy was always going to be an extremely expensive undertaking, but the company has recently provided a clearer sense of just how costly the process is likely to become.
The Kern County Economic Summit is a clear depiction of what markets our county is capable of tapping into, bringing economic and scholastic movers and shakers near and far to brainstorm what economic trends will shine through this year.
California Business Roundtable
The share of total US goods trade (exports and imports) through California ports continued dropping to 17.46% (12 month moving average; compared to 17.54% in Dec 2019 and 18.14% in Jan 2019).
A new oil price war sparked by the coronavirus sent shock waves through financial markets, with stocks tumbling around the world as more countries implemented measures to contain the outbreak and the United States’ tally of known infections passed 500.
Quarantines. Cruise ships idling offshore. Silicon Valley workers holed up at home. Dwindling international trade, and the possibility of sustained damage to the fifth largest economy in the world.
Social enterprise is a term many may not be aware of: a new model for business and community development. It’s about a future of how to contribute to society and be sustainable. Social enterprise is an organization that’s both a business and is also doing social good.
The culture of particular places, often developed and cast into institutional form during their founding period, affects their economy in important and understudied ways
Pew Research Center
Young people have more negative views of impact of billionaires.
San Francisco Chronicle
Lenore Estrada has seen orders plunge at her Three Babes Bakeshop, which caters to San Francisco tech companies whose workers are now telecommuting.
When Silicon Valley-based Adesto Technologies invited Susan Uthayakumar to join its all-male board last year, she had no idea California had just passed a gender quota. She's the country president and CEO of Schneider Electric Canada, where she's spent the last several years working in IoT, or the Internet of things, which powers devices like smart speakers and Internet-connected doorbells.
The Washington Post
The U.S. economy added 273,000 jobs in February, showing impressive strength before the coronavirus outbreak began weighing heavily.
For years, Tesla Inc. has refuted concerns about worker safety at its main assembly plant by describing reviews from a California regulator as vindication. But new documents and statements from the agency contradict those claims.
Schools and campuses across Fresno County opened classes as usual Monday, two days after county health officials confirmed a local man tested positive for coronavirus. A Madera County resident also has tested positive for COVID-19, health officials reported over the weekend.
Modesto City Schools said the concept of relocating the Fremont Open Plan and Garrison Elementary School won’t move forward after an informal vote went against the proposal. In a letter sent last week, Superintendent Sara Noguchi told families at Fremont Elementary and Garrison the proposal will not be taken to the school board for consideration.
From 2016 to 2018, voters in various school districts throughout Stanislaus County embraced 11 different school bonds, bringing hundreds of millions of dollars in improvements to campuses in Modesto, Turlock, Hughson, Riverbank, Waterford, Patterson, Newman, Crows Landing and Salida.
Merced Sun Star
The Mondo Building in downtown Merced was filled with local educators and officials from the state, county and city level Wednesday for the ninth Merced County Schools Annual Education Report.
Los Angeles Times
A combination of confusing messages and an unfortunate name contributed to what appears to be the first failure of a state school bond measure in a quarter of a century, education and public policy experts said Wednesday.
California Bond Measure and School Board Smears Fail Capital & Main
There’s more room to make changes within the current education system than many people think. Schools operate as they do not because they have to but because they choose to.
Last month, Education Commission of the States President Jeremy Anderson shared six trending education policy topics we will likely see in 2020. Arts education stakeholders and advocates may not be surprised to see that the arts were not listed among the top education issues — but don’t worry!
State leaders, including Wyoming’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow, are learning that access to technology alone does not guarantee improved pedagogy. Access must be matched by efforts to build educators’ capacities to provide meaningful learning experiences for all students.
A fraction of 1 percent is creating stress for school superintendents. California districts have been building their budgets for next year under the assumption they’ll get a 3 percent cost of living adjustment. Instead, Gov. Gavin Newsom has included an adjustment of only 2.29 percent for K-12 schools in 2020-21.
The College Homeless and Housing Insecure Pilot program is funded through the 2019-2020 state budget to provide rapid rehousing and shelter services to students.
Coronavirus concerns are sending some Fresno State students who were studying abroad home, and canceling the plans of other San Joaquin Valley students hoping to travel in the summer.
Just as any kids would be, students from Washington Middle School were excited to check out CSU Bakersfield’s augmented reality sandbox. But for these 15 students visiting the campus, it wasn’t just a chance to have some educational fun. The field trip would give them a chance to ask the experts how to make an AR sandbox of their own.
Among rising coronavirus concerns, Cal State Bakersfield is looking to help students stay up-to-date on the latest information. The university has developed a webpage that will continue to be updated in the coming days, weeks, and or months with the latest information on the coronavirus.
Los Angeles Times
A growing number of students and faculty members across University of California campuses walked out of class, held rallies and signed letters this week, as a systemwide movement takes hold in support of graduate students demanding cost-of-living adjustments to their salaries.
The Harvard Crimson distributed a survey to more than 1,000 faculty members in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, seeking to gauge the political and electoral commitments of faculty members at Harvard. The anonymous survey received just short of 500 responses.
Los Angeles Times
California regulators are ordering Allenco Energy to plug wells and decommission an oil drilling site whose neighbors once complained of nosebleeds, headaches and other ailments, permanently closing the South Los Angeles facility.
Los Angeles Times
Behind the tap-of-your-phone convenience of hailing an Uber or Lyft lies an inconvenient truth: Such rides generate more carbon emissions than simply driving yourself.
Merced Sun Star
With backing from NextEra Energy – the world's largest operator of solar and wind farms – Steve Lowe is working to fill two mining pits with billions of gallons of water, creating a gigantic "pumped storage" plant that he says would help California get more of its power from renewable sources, and less from fossil fuels.
Oil prices plunged to multi-year lows on Monday as tensions between Russia and Saudi Arabia escalate, sparking fears on the Street that an all-out price war is imminent.
An elderly Fresno County man who tested positive for the coronavirus is recovering as officials monitor him and the potential for the spread of the disease. The man traveled on a Grand Princess cruise ship in late February before coming forward this month to be tested by health officials for the virus, also called COVID-19, according to Rais Vohra, the interim health officer for Fresno County Department of Public Health.
Emergency rooms would likely be swamped, overflowing into “surge tents” outside. Intensive care units might fill to capacity. Test kits and masks could run low. And medical personnel would almost certainly get overwhelmed.
‘We’re past the point of containment’: Coronavirus fight enters new phase Los Angeles Times
As coronavirus spreads, warnings become more urgent for the elderly and frail Los Angeles Times
Chaos at hospitals due to shortage of coronavirus testing Los Angeles Times
Events to Prepare and Protect Californians from COVID-19 California Department of Public Health
The U.S. Isn’t Ready for What’s About to Happen The Atlantic
The Over/Under Reaction to the Coronavirus National Review
The Coronavirus Is Not a Personal Affront National Review
Merced Sun Star
Breakthrough collaborative science by an interdisciplinary team of researchers brought together by UC Merced computational biology Professor David Ardell promises a new approach for treating all types of infections.
Handshakes are potential harbingers of covid-19 The Economist
Merced Sun Star
Has the COVID-19 virus mutated into a second, even deadlier form? Not exactly, despite some alarming rumors, New Scientist reports.
Merced Sun Star
In fact, Merced is considered an endemic area for the disease. We have positive cases every year. In the 30 plus years I have lived and worked here, I have watched both the Public Health Department and Animal Control cooperate to monitor rabies-positive cases turned in to the county.
It's the season for colds and flus — and a newly identified respiratory disease, COVID-19. To cut your risk of catching a respiratory illness on your next flight, experts offer two pieces of common-sense advice: Wash your hands frequently and keep a distance from people who are sick.
One child in five suffers from a mental health issue, a Turlock audience heard Thursday night. But adults can offer help, whether it’s urgent intervention against suicide or just a warm smile on a rough day.
Now that election year hoopla has abated in California, at least for the moment, it’s time to discuss an issue of real world importance — whether the state faces a serious shortage of registered nurses.
The Justice Department is asking the Supreme Court to block an appeals court ruling that threatens to prevent the Trump administration from carrying out its remain-in-Mexico asylum policy along much of the southern border starting next week.
Pew Research Center
Donald Trump has long pushed for a tougher approach on illegal immigration, both on the U.S.-Mexico border and elsewhere in the country. As a candidate for president, Trump pledged to build a border wall to reduce illegal crossings. And shortly after being elected, Trump said his administration would deport as many as 3 million unauthorized immigrants with criminal records living in the United States.
A San Francisco Democrat unveiled legislation this week to let religious groups and nonprofit hospitals use excess land and parking lots for affordable housing projects. Senate Bill 899 would permit those organizations and their partnered developers to work around local zoning rules that often limit or block affordable projects.
Homelessness is a vexing national problem, but nearly half of the country's unsheltered homeless live in one state: California. Gov. Gavin Newsom has vowed to make to make solutions his top priority, calling homelessness in the Golden State "a disgrace." He's proposed significantly boosting funds for shelters, housing and support services and building 3.5 million new affordable homes by 2025, among other measures.
In his State of the State address, Gov. Gavin Newsom declaredCalifornia’s homelessness crisis a disgrace and declared: “Health care and housing can no longer be divorced.” Newly released data from the federal government unequivocally supports the governor’s assertion.
President Trump said at a Fox News town hall forum that he intended to cut entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.
In early January, you released your proposed state budget for the next fiscal year. Thanks to a sustained economic recovery within the business community, the state has near-full employment and $78 billion more in total budget tax revenue since 2010–11.
Fox & Hounds
There is something happening here in California on the bread-and-butter issue of taxes, a possible shift in the state’s political orbit for it seems that voter approved tax increases may not be a near sure thing anymore.
A new program starting Monday aims to clean up highways in the City of Fresno.
Los Angeles Times
The officials say it helps explain why California’s high-speed rail endeavor has barreled ahead for more than a decade, despite warnings it was structured on risky assumptions and could run out of money before any trains operate.
A high-speed train between Las Vegas and Southern California is one step closer to becoming a reality. Clark County says they have approved permits for Virgin Trains USA to build a station for their train.
Your Central Valley
The Valley will get some much-needed rain Tuesday. The wet weather is coming from the south and areas south of Fresno will get much more than those to the north.
Southern California expecting wettest storm of 2020 OC Register
If agriculture in the valley is going to survive, water leaders need to get cozy with new ideas and new allies. And, yes, that means environmentalists. “Historically, water supplies have been developed in a vacuum,” said Eric Averett, general manager of Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District, at the Water Association of Kern County’s annual daylong Water Summit Wednesday.
Ms. Brennan will draw on her extensive experience as a journalist and moderator to provide an overview of the most important stories that drive the 24-hour news cycle. During her talk, she will also draw parallels between domestic and foreign stories to bridge the gap between the local and the global. The event with Ms. Brennan is scheduled for 6 p.m. on March 17 at the Save Mart Center and will be followed by a question-and-answer session from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
Fresno State is proud to support San Joaquin Valley Town Hall, a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring nationally and internationally renowned, thought-provoking speakers who inform, educate and entertain audience members.
Zócalo Public Square
On Tuesday, April 14th, Organic farmer and artist Nikiko Masumoto, Huron Mayor Rey León, health researcher Chia Thao, and Tania Pacheco-Werner, co-assistant director of the Central Valley Health Policy Institute, visit Zócalo to consider how to make farm work healthier.
From Yosemite Valley to the Golden Gate, California boasts extraordinary vistas. But if you’re looking for the state’s most thought-provoking view, skip the beaches and mountains, and head for Bakersfield’s Panorama Park.
Think you can tell the difference between True and False?
Do you really know what is fake news?
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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.
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