May 1, 2018






Merced election has been 'hijacked,' booted candidate says. She wants back in

Merced Sun-Star

A teacher who wants to be a candidate for the Merced County Office of Education's superintendent seat is doubling down on her claims she qualifies for the race and is calling for the election office to put her back on the ballot.


Candidates tackle issues

Porterville Recorder

Visalia mayor Warren Gubler, rancher Jack Lavers, and Tulare City Council Member Jose Sigala are all seeking to unseat incumbent 26th District Assemblyman Devon Mathis in this year’s election, and all were at a candidate forum hosted Thursday night by Comision Honorifica Mexicana-Americana in Porterville to speak their minds and field questions from the community.


EDITORIAL: Vidak, Hurtado in 14th Senate District

Bakersfield Californian

In this "top-two" primary, The Californian recommends both Republican incumbent Andy Vidak and Democratic challenger Melissa Hurtado in the 14th California Senate District.

Give Big Kern Day is Tuesday

Bakersfield Californian

Giving back to the community isn't limited to one day a year, but the mother lode of philanthropic events is here: Give Big Kern Day.



California voters won't give Trump a break

Fresno Bee

President Donald Trump isn't growing on California voters. Two-thirds of registered voters in the Golden State are dissatisfied with Trump's overall job performance and feel special counsel Robert Mueller's work to investigate Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election is important, according to a new UC Berkeley IGS Poll.


Undocumented immigrants could serve on California boards under new bill

Sacramento Bee

Immigrants residing in California illegally would be able to serve on all state and local boards and commissions under a proposal introduced in the state Senate on Monday. Senate Bill 174 amends existing state law to allow the appointment of any resident over the age of 18 to a civil office regardless of citizenship or immigration status.


Voter fraud conviction inspires bill loosening oversight of lawmaker residency

Sacramento Bee

Four years ago, Rod Wright​​ resigned from the California Senate​​ and​​ served 71 minutes in jail​​ after being convicted of eight felonies, including perjury and voter fraud, for living outside the district where he ran for office.


Tale of two different Gavin Newsom TV ads

PolitiFact California

PolitiFact California on Friday rated​​ False​​ a claim in the campaign’s​​ "First"​​ ad, which is still airing statewide, according to Newsom’s campaign spokesman.

Also See:




Trump to address NRA for first time since Florida school shootings

Washington Post

This will be the fourth year in a row that Trump has addressed the NRA. Last year, he became the first sitting president to do so.


How Mike Pence is trying to save California Republicans

Sacramento Bee

The most consequential part of Vice President Mike Pence's visit to Southern California wasn't his border wall photo-op in Calexico Monday morning, it's who he rubbed shoulders with behind closed doors later in the day.

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Ryan and McCarthy will jointly raise midterm campaign funds for House Republicans

Washington Post

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) are scheduled to join in hosting big-money fundraisers across the country over coming months, an unusual arrangement that could both boost Republican coffers ahead of the November midterm elections and also solidify McCarthy’s bid to succeed Ryan as speaker.

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      ​​ Conservative Groups Rally Behind Potential Jim Jordan Speaker Bid​​ Roll Call


Comey calls House Intelligence (Nunes) Committee’s Russia investigation ‘a wreck’

Washington Post

Former FBI director James B. Comey on Sunday called the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election “a wreck” and its report a “political document.”


Voters Reward a Do-Something Congress. Wrong, Recent Results Show

Roll Call

Four years ago, the second session of the 113th Congress was widely identified as one of the most profoundly unproductive stretches at the Capitol in the run-up to a midterm election.


Sluggish Supreme Court Poised to Deliver Big Decisions

Roll Call

The Supreme Court started the current term in October with a docket that could have a lasting impact on politics and culture, including major cases on partisan gerrymandering and LGBT rights.




Facebook developer conference kicks off amid scandal

The Bakersfield Californian

A​​ year ago​​ , Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was dazzling thousands of software developers with the prospect of augmented reality features that could let people spruce up apartments with digital art. This year, things might be different.


Young, not elderly, are the loneliest generation in America, poll finds

Sacramento Bee

Young people, or those ages 18 to 22, are the loneliest generation in the United States, reports a new survey. And social media doesn’t seem to be a factor.



California pot shops about to be on the hook for steep state fees, background checks

Los Angeles Times

California sought to jump-start its marijuana industry in January by giving businesses temporary, 120-day permits that briefly waived big fees and other costly requirements, but that grace period is ending and many say the expense and red tape of getting a regular license is a headache.


This Is What That 'Salmon-Safe' Label Says About Your Wine Or Eggs


The salmon-safe label was created in the late 1990s to try to translate consumer interest in salmon into money for farmers who did right by fish. "We started out working with vineyards in the Willamette Valley," Dan Kent, executive director of​​ Salmon-Safe, recalls.






As California moves to speed up executions, a man is exonerated after 25 years on death row

Washington Post

A Kern County Superior Court judge last week ordered that a 68-year-old former farmworker, Vicente Benavides Figueroa,​​ be released from San Quentin’s death row​​ after the local district attorney declared she would not retry him.​​ 


Vehicle burglaries are down, but leaving things in sight can still make you a target

Fresno Bee

Vehicle burglaries and auto theft crimes are down in the city of Fresno, but still an issue, asa recent case serves to show.


Visalia Ransacker put law enforcement against each other in the 70s

Visalia Times-Delta

Four decades ago,​​ Sacramento Sheriff's Department​​ investigators doubted the connection between the East Area Rapist and the Visalia Ransacker.  Sacramento law enforcement called Visalia detectives "irresponsible" in the summer of 1978.

Also See:

Visalia Ransacker suspect was a 'black sheep,' described as a loner in Exeter​​ Visalia Times-Delta​​ 


San Jose police chief receives NAACP award for community presence

The Mercury News

At a time when national headlines steadily highlight strained relationships between big-city police departments and communities of color, one of San Jose’s most prominent organizations is pointing its spotlight at a different dynamic.


EDITORIAL: Ex-inmates deserve a shot at positive lives after nonviolent crime convictions

San Diego Union-Tribune

CA State Assembly members David Chiu, D-San Francisco, Chris Holden, D-Pasadena, and Eloise Gómez Reyes, D-Grand Terrace, have brought this understanding to the fore in three bills that won Assembly committee passage this week that would​​ remove obstacles​​ to released prisoners getting permits to work in about 1,800 occupations that add up to nearly 30 percent of jobs in the state.




EDITORIAL: A pass for PG&E?

San Francisco Chronicle

Legislation making swift progress in Sacramento would require the state’s utilities to take further steps to protect their infrastructure and customers from wildfires and other emergencies. But critics are rightly concerned that the bill would also protect the utilities’ bottom lines.​​ 






Trump Postpones Steel Tariff Decision for EU, Other U.S. Allies

Wall Street Journal

President Donald Trump decided to postpone decisions about imposing steel and aluminum tariffs on the European Union and other U.S. allies until June 1, a senior administration official said. Additionally, the White House has finalized a deal to exempt South Korea from the tariffs.


The U.S. Just Borrowed $488 Billion, a Record High for the First Quarter


During the first three months of this year, the department borrowed about $47 billion more than it had previously estimated, according to a​​ statement​​ released Monday in Washington.


T-Mobile and Sprint announce plans to merge

Washington Post

T-Mobile and Sprint, the nation’s third- and fourth-largest wireless carriers, respectively, agreed to a nearly $27 billion merger Sunday that could dramatically reshape the U.S. telecom industry while testing the appetites of consumers and regulators alike for further corporate consolidation.

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Rare trifecta of soaring stocks, cheap loans and low inflation coming to an end

Washington Post

The good fortune is melting away, imperiling the props that have supported American economic confidence and incomes.


The Federal Reserve has fallen behind the interest rate curve


The last thing the Fed can afford is to have long-term interest rates spike higher. It would likely burst today’s equity and housing market bubbles and cause a disruptive repricing of credit market risk.


Export Monitor 2018


The annual update of the Brookings Export Monitor presents trends on export growth in the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas and provides a look at the cities most exposed in a U.S.-China trade war.




California's top court makes it more difficult for employers to classify workers as independent contractors

Los Angeles Times

In a ruling that could change the workplace status of people across the state, the California Supreme Court made it harder Monday for employers to classify their workers as independent contractors.

Also See:


How a Common Interview Question Fuels the Gender Pay Gap (and How to Stop It)

New York Times

Aileen Rizo was training math teachers in the public schools in Fresno, Calif., when she discovered that her male colleagues with comparable jobs were being paid significantly more. She was told there was a justifiable reason: Employees’ pay was based on their salaries at previous jobs, and she had been paid less than they had earlier in their careers.






CHSU set to break ground on new Clovis campus

Clovis Round-up

The new permanent campus will include labs, classrooms, a student center, a library, an auditorium, along with support buildings.


Finalist picked in search for new SUSD superintendent

Stockton Record

A finalist has been chosen by Stockton Unified School District Board of Trustees to become its next leader. Over the weekend, trustees held interviews with an undetermined number of candidates who were interested in taking the job of superintendent.


How A Major Tech Company Could Help Educate California High School Students

Capital Public Radio News

IBM wants to create 20 new California schools offering career training in science and technology, with the support of state lawmakers. The schools would be a combination high school, community college and career training program, part of a concept called P-TECH.


California schools getting a little greener as environmental education standards roll out


As Californians celebrate Earth Day and the ecology movement over the past month, the state’s public schools are making steady progress in implementing some of the most comprehensive environmental education standards in the country, educators and environmentalists say.


Race for California state schools chief begins to attract major contributions


The race for​​ state superintendent for public instruction​​ between the two major candidates, Marshall Tuck and Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, has begun to attract some of the massive contributions from wealthy individuals that characterized the last contest, when Tuck ran unsuccessfully against incumbent Tom Torlakson four years ago.


Higher Ed:


Fresno State to hold community forum over embattled professor's tweets

Fresno Bee

While Fresno State President Joseph Castro announced last week that professor Randa Jarrar​​ would not be fired​​ for her controversial tweets, the aftermath is still being felt around campus. To address those feelings, the university is hosting a community forum at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Save Mart Center.


Creativity comes to Fresno State during 36-hour hackathon

The Collegian

HackFresno celebrated its second annual 36-hourlong Hackathon, which aims to develop programs that can solve real-world problems.


UC Merced police probe social media post. College Republican says it's 'harassment'

Merced Sun-Star

UC Merced officials Monday released a brief statement on Twitter saying campus police are investigating "concerns about specific social media posts by a certain individual," adding that classes have not been canceled "despite rumors to the contrary."


Major university allowed conservative donors say in hiring and firing of faculty: documents


Newly released documents reveal that Virginia’s George Mason University allowed conservative donors to influence hiring decisions in exchange for financial donations.


Why top US universities have law schools but not police schools

San Francisco Chronicle​​ 

In response to protests calling for police reform and accountability, some U.S. police departments are partnering with colleges and universities to develop anti-bias training for their employees.​​ 





Grant and Incentive Programs from the Air District for replacing your dirty fireplace with a clean fireplace

San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District

Replace your old wood or pellet burning device with a new cleaner option! The Burn Cleaner program helps reduce particulate matter that comes from older devices in the Valley which contribute significantly to air pollution during the Fall and Winter months.


Slowdown in emissions reductions could explain stalled progress on smog, study finds

Los Angeles Times

After decades of improvement, reductions in smog-forming emissions have slowed dramatically, according to new nationwide study based on satellite measurements. The findings could explain why progress cleaning air pollution in California and other parts of the country is faltering at a time when official estimates show pollution should be steadily declining.

News Analysis: Here's what's important for land, sea and air in California's fight with Trump


The punch-counterpunch​​ sparring​​ between the Trump administration and the state of California over rollbacks of federal environmental regulations is often described as a war of words, with neither the president nor Gov. Jerry Brown giving an inch.


California Is Gearing Up For a Big Fight Over Tailpipe Emissions. Here's Why.

New York Times

The Environmental Protection Agency’s draft proposal to relax federal auto emissions standards,​​ described to The New York Times last week, sets up a legal clash with California. The state has pledged to stick with stricter Obama-era targets.




EDITORIAL: Proposition 70 is little more than ballot clutter. Vote no

Los Angeles Times

To reach the​​ grand bargain​​ with the Legislature that ensured the survival of California's signature cap-and-trade program last summer, Gov. Jerry Brown had to agree to a​​ compromise. He needed a two-thirds majority in the Assembly and Senate to protect cap-and-trade, which is the centerpiece of the state's ambitious climate change agenda.


Here's how to sound off on latest version of San Onofre cost settlement


How many billions of dollars should ratepayers fork over for San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station’s premature shutdown? A subject of passionate debate since a remodel of San Onofre’s steam generators led to the plant’s retirement in 2013.




Fresno doctors don't want to feed the opioid crisis. But is Tylenol enough for pain?

Fresno Bee

Tylenol is taking away the pain of surgery instead of morphine for an increasing number of patients at Fresno hospitals, as doctors move to reduce prescriptions of opioid painkillers.


Nonprofit gets second crack at suit to amend FDA drug-trial consent forms


A California-based nonprofit suffered a setback on Friday in its lawsuit against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration over the warnings given to people who participate in clinical drug trials.​​ 




Trump's pick to lead immigration agency announces retirement

Sacramento Bee

President Donald Trump's pick to lead U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has taken himself out of the running less than six months after he was nominated, saying Monday that he will retire this summer to focus more on family.

Also See:


California sanctuary law draws fire

Capitol Weekly

Tehama, Shasta, Siskiyou and Kern counties have passed anti-sanctuary law resolutions. Cities that have done something similar include Orange County communities Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley and Yorba Linda and San Joaquin County town Ripon. In a Twitter post last week, President Trump said the actions amount to a “revolution.”​​ 


EDITORIAL: Why migrant caravan on U.S.-Mexico border merits asylum consideration

San Diego Union-Tribune

President​​ Donald Trump’s outraged reaction to some 200 Central American residents who have​​ arrived in Tijuana​​ to​​ seek U.S. asylum​​ after a five-week “caravan” across Mexico clearly plays to his base, whose opposition to both illegal and legal immigration may be their​​ most defining characteristic.

Also See:

Young Migrants: Victims of Gangs or Members of Them?

New York Times

Over the past month, the Trump administration has taken aim at a set of child protection laws created to protect young people who cross into the United States without a parent or guardian, perhaps aided by smugglers. The administration now sees some of these same youths as a threat, and is portraying the laws as “loopholes” that are preventing the quick deportation of teenagers involved in gangs.

E-Verify Immigrant Job Screening Is a Game of Chicken, Politics and State Laws

Pew Charitable Trusts

E-Verify, which is run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and matches job applicants and federal immigration data, has been touted as a solution to helping employers determine whether a potential hire is legally entitled to work in the United States.



Land Use:


River Park getting new restaurants, stores selling clothing, pizza and chocolate

Fresno Bee

River Park is gearing up to welcome a slew of new stores and restaurants, with some other changes on the way, too.


Should Sacramento or NIMBYs control land use in California?


The death of far-reaching — even revolutionary — legislation to facilitate housing development crystallized a conflict that’s been simmering in California for decades: Who controls land use?



Failed California housing bill was 'not a bad idea,' Gov. Jerry Brown says

Los Angeles Times

Earlier this month, high-profile housing legislation that would have allowed for four- to five-story apartments and condominiums near transit stops​​ failed to advance in the state Legislature.


Housing: What would the candidates for governor do?


The cost of housing has been on the most talked about issues on the campaign trail this year. Where do the gubernatorial candidates stand on the issue? CALmatters asked the top six what they would do to make living in California more affordable.

Also See:




How California is jeopardizing your unemployment benefits

Modesto Bee

Last month, the U.S. Department of Labor issued its​​ annual report​​ on the condition of state unemployment insurance programs and declared that California was the only state with a​​ zero “solvency level.” In fact, it’s the only one to still owe the federal government for loans it took out to prop up its Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) during the Great Recession.



$500M grant will help improve Central Valley rail travel

Stockton Record

The state awarded the startling sum of $500.5 million late last week to a project proponents say will transform Central Valley rail travel from Merced north to Sacramento, with Stockton and San Joaquin County right in the middle of the improvements.


Gas tax critics turn in signatures for California initiative

The Bakersfield Californian

An effort by California conservatives to repeal a recent increase in gas taxes and vehicle registration fees ramped up Monday as the supporters turned in more than 940,000 signatures to put the question before voters in November.

Also See:


Self-driving cars' shortcomings revealed in DMV reports

The Mercury News

A demand from the California DMV of eight companies testing self-driving cars has highlighted a number of areas where the technology falls short of being safe to operate with no human backup.


Pain at the pump: Summer driving season will be most expensive in years


Get ready for a little bit more pain at the pump this summer. Crude oil prices are at the highest level in more than three years and expected to climb higher, pushing up gasoline prices along the way.


High-Speed-Rail Projects Face Mounting Skepticism, Roadblocks

National Review

In January, the California High Speed Rail Authority released its new business plan. Assemblyman Jim Patterson, a train critic who represents Fresno, promptly labeled it a “going-out-of-business plan.”


California Is Gearing Up For a Big Fight Over Tailpipe Emissions. Here's Why.

New York Times

The Environmental Protection Agency’s draft proposal to relax federal auto emissions standards,​​ described to The New York Times last week, sets up a legal clash with California. The state has pledged to stick with stricter Obama-era targets.



Did Gov. Brown promise the Bay Area a new reservoir in exchange for Delta tunnels support?

Sacramento Bee

Just six months ago, a major Bay Area water district only would commit about a third of the $650 million Gov. Jerry Brown's office had hoped it would pay for his controversial​​ Delta tunnels project.​​ In a sudden reversal, the Santa Clara Valley Water District board now may pay the full amount. The board is scheduled to vote on the issue Wednesday.

EDITORIAL: California is dammed enough already

Los Angeles Times

The value of new, giant dams is extremely limited and costly without new giant rivers to fill them, and California has no such new rivers. That's the gist of the situation that faces the California Water Commission.

Vidak: Brown Disrespects Valley Again With Dam Funding

Many of my Central Valley legislative colleagues are furious that the staff at Gov. Jerry Brown’s​​ Water Commission​​ have rigged the system so the recently announced​​ proposed funding for Temperance Flat​​ Reservoir is just that — flat.

Are California’s Cities Ready for the Next Drought?


California’s urban areas—where more than 90% of residents live—managed the last drought quite well. How well prepared are cities and suburbs to weather the next long dry spell? Here are two things to know about urban drought preparedness.

Wetlands at Risk from Federal Rule Change

Public Policy Institute of California

The federal government’s Clean Water Act includes dozens of regulations to reduce water pollution. But it doesn’t include a clear definition of​​ what types of water systems it covers.