POLICY & POLITICS
Criticized for being outspoken and abrasive, Madera County District Attorney David Linn is unapologetic about his management style and isn't backing down from the fight to win re-election. Linn, who overwhelmingly defeated an embattled incumbent four years ago, is facing some tough competition from two prosecutors.
As part of its efforts to improve its services to citizens, the City Council of Chowchilla on Tuesday approved rules of procedure for the conduct of the council and all other local agencies for which members of the City Council serve as governing body.
Sanchez is running against incumbent Kathy Miller and fellow challenger Steve Smith to represent District 2, which includes much of Stockton and is the most populous supervisorial district, with more than 141,000 residents.
The feud between California and President Trump is about to get very strange – or so says our resident psychic.
Since former California Gov. George Deukmejian died a week ago at age 89, the "Iron Duke" has inspired reflections on everything from his tough-on-crime approach that reshaped the state's justice system to his quiet, friendly manner.
Los Angeles Times
On paper, California's "top two" open primary made sense: When one political party dominated an election, the weaker party could support a consolation moderate. But the whole theory collapses if voters are so polarized that they refuse to vote for any candidate from the other party.
● Your guide to the 5 propositions on California's primary ballot Los Angeles Times
● How could California's primary affect House races? Los Angeles Times
● California’s ‘Jungle Primary’ Threatens Democrats’ Plans Bloomberg
A new TV ad in the campaign for California governor attacks former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for what it calls his "reckless" role in Los Angeles’ massive rape kit backlog. But is it accurate? The ad was paid for by the John Chiang for Governor campaign. It began airing in markets statewide this past weekend.
As Californians open their June 5 voting packets this month, they may be a little shocked by the sheer number of candidates for the state’s highest offices – 32 for U.S. senator and 27 for governor.
Fox & Hounds
How business might fare under the candidates for Attorney General was on display at the first debate in which all four leading candidates for the job debated in Downey yesterday. The BizFed Institute associated with the Los Angeles County Business Federation along with the Southern California News Group managed to bring together the four candidates vying for what many describe as the second most important office in state government.
The Mercury News
Vivek Viswanathan is the real deal. The 31-year-old Democratic candidate for state treasurer understands California policy better than any other candidate we’ve interviewed this year. His mastery of complex issues surpasses most elected officials twice his age.
This centennial year since the first women were elected to the California Legislature could be another big one for women in politics, both in California and across the country.
● Video: Celebrating 100 Years of Women in the California Legislature Public Policy Institute of California
California's attorney general plans to appeal a Riverside County judge's ruling blocking a 2016 state law that allows adults to obtain a prescription for life-ending drugs.
If Democrats hope to take back control of Congress this November, they’re going to need to keep their base energized, engaged and voting. But if “The Resistance” decides to swap out their pussyhats for sun hats and head to the beach instead of the voting booth this June, Congress will almost certainly remain in the hands of the GOP.
Capital Public Radio
The Senate approved a resolution Wednesday to nullify the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rollback, dealing a symbolic blow to the FCC's new rule that remains on track to take effect next month.
FBI Director Christopher Wray on Wednesday reaffirmed concerns about Chinese telecommunications company ZTE that President Donald Trump wants to help — and defended the agency from political attacks coming from the White House and Congress.
Documents detail a billionaire Russian-Azerbaijani family’s push for an easing of sanctions against Moscow
RAND is studying “Truth Decay”—the diminishing role of facts and analysis in American public life. As a nonpartisan institution that seeks to advance the public good through research and analysis, RAND is concerned about the threat Truth Decay poses to evidence-based policymaking.
The Internet of Things is a fancy way of talking about how the internet is embedded in more and more consumer products — in stuff like televisions, lights, TVs and cars. These “smart” devices can be communicated with and manipulated through the web by users. They are also outfitted with sensors and, in some cases, cameras that can capture and transmit all sorts of data about their users. Us.
● Campaigns don't need a Cambridge Analytica to target you Marketplace
This gauzy version of youth politics, born in the romanticization of the 1960s, is near and dear to Hollywood, academia, and Democrats alike.
Every few years, Congress passes a pork-laden monstrosity called a farm bill. This year’s farm legislation is no different.
The makers of a futuristic looking mobile spray machine are preparing to begin mass production in Kingsburg. Dave Crinklaw is proud of his invention that he calls the, "Global Unmanned Spray System, and what that is is the whole package of what we've done here."
San Jose Mercury
The last romaine lettuce shipments from the Yuma, Ariz., growing region, the source of the latest E. coli outbreak, were harvested April 16. That means the contaminated lettuce is now past its 21-day shelf life. The FDA says the romaine lettuce being sold and served today is not the romaine linked to illnesses.
● CDC comes close to an all-clear on romaine lettuce as E. coli outbreak nears historic level Washington Post
The Bakersfield Californian
Local cherry growers, as well as blueberry farmers and possibly others in Kern County agriculture, face huge losses because of unfavorable weather conditions that denied fruit trees the "chill hours" they require.
The main event of Zinfest is the grand wine tasting, where about 40 of Lodi's best wineries will pour more than 150 selections, representing the wide variety of wine grapes being grown in the Lodi American Viticultural Area.
Certain facts seem to be proving that the expected windfall from legalized marijuana hasn’t materialized. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the anticipated tax income from marijuana sales is only about a third of the $100 million that had been projected.
● Make Money from Pot? Then Forget About a Federally Subsidized Loan Pew Charitable Trusts
CRIMINAL JUSTICE / FIRE / PUBLIC SAFETY
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Thursday filed extortion and money laundering charges against the owners of a website that publishes mugshot photos and charges a fee to remove them.
New York Times
In 2016, California voters decided to legalize the personal use and growth of marijuana. This year, the state legalized recreational cannabis sales. Even so, hundreds of thousands of Californians’ permanent records remain stained with marijuana convictions, making it difficult to secure loans, housing or jobs. What gives?
Can law enforcement be trusted to fairly review law enforcement-involved shootings?
The attorney whose client was at the center of an alleged "secret deal" with county prosecutor-now-district attorney candidate Noah Phillips was suspended Monday from practicing law in California for allegedly misappropriating funds, according to State Bar filings.
Capital Public Radio
One bill, SB 1449, is authored by Democratic Sen. Connie Leyva. She says the bill would change existing law with one word: “By saying that law enforcement agencies and forensic laboratories shall follow, instead of should follow, as it currently states, listed time frames for submitting and analyzing rape kit evidence,” Leyvah explains.
Last week the Madera County Board of Supervisors announced California has granted $6 million to counties for their efforts to tackle high-risk public areas affected by dying or dead trees.
CalFire announced that all burning in Madera and Mariposa counties below 2,000 feet elevation is suspended beginning Thursday, May 17, at 8 a.m. Open burning is allowed above 2,000 feet with valid permits only.
For the past six months, the Lemoore Volunteer Fire Department has functioned as usual in addition to having to negotiate with the city to get the department funded again.
ECONOMY / JOBS
Traditional retailing may still be under pressure from online retailers such as Amazon, but results released Wednesday by Macy's show there's still plenty of hope as the sector evolves and transforms itself.
A longtime Fresno city employee has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the city, accusing his former boss, public utilities director Thomas Esqueda, of firing him in March 2017 so a younger, less experienced employee could replace him.
What do these billionaires have in common? They aim to shake up public education by promoting charters—schools that receive taxpayer funds but are not required to follow all the rules that govern traditional schools. And their newest goal is to try to elect California’s next governor.
It doesn’t get the attention that curriculums and test scores do, but classroom management — the art and craft of keeping a room full of 20 eight-year-olds, or 35 teenagers, engaged and under control — is among the most challenging aspects of a teacher’s job.
San Diego Union-Tribune
The governor’s plan, contained in his proposed budget that lawmakers will vote on shortly, would increase resources for colleges that serve large numbers of underrepresented and low-income students and reward colleges that are improving student outcomes. It would enable colleges to transition away from enrollment-based funding as the primary means for revenue growth.
While 850 students were enrolled in the course, the lecture hall could only hold 650, Filippenko explained. The fire marshal might shut down the class if too many people attended.
Simplify student loans, expand vocational options, protect free speech, end ‘public service’ subsidies.
Proposition 68 is designed to help make our communities more resilient to the impacts of climate change. The measure was placed on the June 5 ballot by a bipartisan, two-thirds vote of the Legislature to make much-needed investments to bolster the reliability of our water supply and the infrastructure we depend on to help get us through wet and dry years.
● Prop. 68 means more debt and higher taxes Sacramento Bee
Valley Public Radio
Tensions with China have resulted in piles of recyclable goods piling up at valley facilities, with nowhere to go.
KQED | Science
Marine life across North America will experience a substantial shift northward over the next few decades, according to a new comprehensive report that looks at how climate change will alter the habitats of 686 marine species.
The Trump administration is going to war with itself after the White House warned of a "public relations nightmare" if a federal study about contaminated water supplies is released.
While most Republicans tend to oppose policies aimed at reducing the effects of climate change, there is a noticeable generational gap between millennials and baby boomers on narrower energy and environmental issues, such as fracking, coal mining, and offshore drilling.
Power may be out to some customers until 6 p.m. Thursday after a driver knocked down a big Pacific Gas & Electric Co. transmission tower in northwest Fresno.
● Major power outage in Fresno, thousands of customers affected Fresno Bee
SF-based First Solar has filed for a conditional-use permit to build a 300-megawatt solar farm on 2,103 acres. The project, named Daylight Legacy Solar, is being proposed along the Avenal Cutoff, following on the filing of another 300-megawatts project by Recurrent Energy, RE Slate, last month. The proposal continues a trend of construction of solar farms on water-short farmland in the western part of Kings County.
The standoff between California and the Trump administration over automobile emissions standards continued this week, despite reports that the president ordered two federal agencies to begin negotiating with the state.
Before we become too hopeful about the prospects of using offshore wind power as a fuel source of the future, let’s not forget that government data shows that offshore wind power cannot survive in a competitive environment without huge taxpayer subsidies.
A federal judge ruled Tuesday to overturn a ban on coal shipping through Oakland, California—which could pave the way for the city’s port to become one of the largest coal-export facilities in the country.
Seven nonprofits went away with $105,068.79 in grants from the Selma Health Care District after its board approved the majority of the funds requested at its latest quarterly meeting May 8.
Jody Hudson believes that her daughter Alex got a tick bite at Shaver Lake during one of the summers the family spent there at a friend's cabin. No one suspected Lyme disease earlier because it's not on the radar of most California doctors, she says.
Nearly two years after it took effect, California's controversial assisted death law is back in limbo. A judge in Riverside County on Tuesday overturned the law because of concerns about how it was passed by the Legislature.
● EDITORIAL: California's historic and successful right-to-die law is itself on life-support Los Angeles Times
The Sacramento City Council on Tuesday evening gave unanimous support to a project that would offer residential care for homeless people suffering from terminal illnesses.
In recognition of the fact that we cannot continue to jail individuals with mental illness, Santa Clara County, together with neighboring counties and more than 420 counties nationwide, signed on to the Stepping Up Initiative to reduce the number of people with mental illness in our jails. The goal is to divert people suffering from mental illness away from the jail and into treatment.
Drugmaker Purdue Pharma minimized risks and overstated benefits of long-term use of narcotic opioids, according to a civil complaint filed in Nevada state court in Las Vegas.
● A dangerous opioid is killing people in California. It’s starting to show up in cocaine and meth Los Angeles Times
The Food and Drug Administration is announcing a plan to publicly expose drug companies it says may be gaming the system by improperly blocking competition from generics.
In a case with broad implications for health-care pricing and transparency, Sutter Health has asked the San Francisco Superior Court to refuse to hear the California attorney general’s antitrust lawsuit because it would impose expensive, unwieldy regulations that would upend Sutter's business.
● Sutter Health fixes system-wide outage, says it will investigate cause Sacramento Bee
● California Hospital Giant Sutter Health Faces Heavy Backlash On Prices Washington Post
The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors has decided on its own to eliminate the sheriff-coroner’s office and install separate sheriff’s and medical examiner positions.
Mims joined a group of more than 15 local law enforcement officials, lawmakers and administration officials from California, including Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson and El Dorado Sheriff John D’Agostini for a roundtable discussion with Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and ICE Director Thomas Homan on their opposition to California's sanctuary state policies.
● Sheriff Mims says Trump will help law enforcement fight sanctuary state restrictions Fresno Bee
● Trump rails against California for its immigration policies The Bakersfield Californian
● Stanislaus County sheriff tells Trump sanctuary laws interfere with community safety Modesto Bee
● 'Shared efforts' to kill sanctuary law draw California officials to Trump's office Sacramento Bee
● The Latest: GOP leaders warn against immigration roll calls San Francisco Chronicle
Los Angeles Times
California state auditors will soon begin a detailed examination of city and county jails that have formal partnerships with federal immigration agents — including how much local agencies are paid and whether holding immigrants has forced the early release of other inmates.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy warned centrist Republicans that their effort to force a vote to protect Dreamers could cost the party its House majority and empower Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
McCain, a longtime supporter of overhauling immigration laws, has some advice for newer colleagues searching for the path to legislative victory, even when their own leadership may not be on board.
Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Wednesday that the discharge petition led by some Republicans to bring four immigration bills hurts the GOP majority.
Congressional Research Services
Four major principles currently underlie U.S. policy on legal permanent immigration: the reunification of families, the admission of immigrants with needed skills, the protection of refugees and asylees, and the diversity of immigrants by country of origin.
The future of three downtown crosswalks has been set, while two still hang in the balance.
California High-Speed Rail Authority
The Board of Directors yesterday approved an amended agreement with the City of Fresno for the realignment of G Street needed for the relocation of the Fresno Rescue Mission that is impacted by the high-speed rail alignment.
Crews have started construction on the new All Wheels Skate Park in South Merced. Members of Building Healthy Communities (BHC), along with city and county officials attended a groundbreaking for the project on Wednesday in McNamara Park.
The Bakersfield Californian
Starting Thursday, Delano movie lovers will be able to take in the latest flicks closer to home when a new 12-screen theater opens in town
Madera City Council Member Charles Rigby has been honored as Housing Commissioner of the Year by the Pacific Southwest Regional Council of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Agencies.
Los Angeles Times
The plan would put $1 billion of the state’s projected $8.8-billion tax windfall toward financing low-income housing projects, supporting local efforts to provide rental assistance and shelters for homeless residents, and funding other programs. By comparison, Brown proposed $359 million for homelessness programs in his revised budget unveiled last week.
● Bay Area senators want to spend $5 billion on housing, homelessness San Francisco Chronicle
The median price of a California single family home is now well over half a million dollars. That’s more than double what the average house costs in the rest of the U.S. Put a more nauseating way, you could buy two “average” non-California houses for the price of one California house.
● Southern California needs nearly 1 million affordable homes, report says OCRegister
California public employees might save some money if the Supreme Court lets them quit paying union fees, but they stand to lose a lot of salary over time.
The Bakersfield Californian
The Downtown Bakersfield Property-based Business Improvement District Committee did not garner enough signatures of support from owners to make the 50 percent-plus-one threshold required by May 15 to move forward with an effort to add an assessment to the county’s property tax roll for next year.
Most California public workers and retirees are feeling a little better about their pensions, but their bosses are very worried. A new survey by the California Public Employees’ Retirement showed a steep drop in confidence in the $355 billion pension fund among government executives.
● CalPERS slashed pensions for 200 workers. Their boss is suing to keep his. Sacramento Bee
● Stop opening my mail, CalPERS board member demands Sacramento Bee
When a small online seller starts a business, should she have to comply with the laws of every country, state and county that her customers live in? When it comes to sales taxes, the answer is yes according to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and 40 other state AGs.
The city is starting a new effort that aims to solve some big problems for area residents.
It was a drill, but the response is very real. An emergency on board a flight landing at Fresno International Airport-- with several passengers injured.
The board tasked with overseeing California’s ambitious high-speed rail project approved a new business plan this week and pledged to keep pushing forward even as the plan faces stark financial challenges. It's also possible millions of dollars from the controversial California cap-and-trade bill be used to help get the project.
Los Angeles Times
It's the biggest infrastructure project in state history, but the California bullet train gets hardly any attention on the campaign trail. The leading candidates for governor have said little publicly about how they would fix dire problems in the $77-billion mega-project that has already overrun its initial cost estimate by $44 billion.
California High-Speed Authority
The G Street Realignment project will require the relocation, construction and removal of a portion of G Street between Santa Clara Street and E California Avenue.
For more than a decade California has pushed automakers to green their lineups by selling zero-emission vehicles to aid its fight against pollution and greenhouse gases. But as more people opt for on-demand ride services rather than driving themselves, it was only a matter of time before state officials targeted Uber and Lyft fleets to reduce emissions.
The Business Journal
The Westlands Water District Board of Directors appointed Jon D. Rubin to the position of general counsel, which will be effective beginning this June.
The earth's wet regions are getting wetter, and dry ones, like California, are getting drier, according to a first-of-its-kind study that used NASA satellites to track 14 years of change in how water is moving around the globe.
● Humans are causing massive changes in the location of water around the world, NASA says Washington Post
A Riverside County congressman wants to ban environmental lawsuits challenging a plan to build two gigantic tunnels to divert water from the north to the thirsty south.
In the heart of Madera, at the Madera County Park, a new tree is being planted honoring the counties past and embracing its future. The Ray Burn Ash Tree is celebrating the counties 125th anniversary.
The Kingsburg District Chamber of Commerce’s 52nd Annual Kingsburg Swedish Festival is May 17-19.
The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, held on May 17 every year, is a rallying event offering an opportunity for people to get together and reach out to one another.
Bowlero is celebrating the opening of its Clovis location this Saturday with an official launch party.
Summer plans are in full swing with high school graduation right around the corner, but for Cassidy Porter, the Adoration Conference is the most important date this spring — and has been for months.
Surfing has been part of California's culture for more than 100 years. So it seems fitting that lawmakers are now considering making surfing, the official state sport of California.