May 29, 2018

29May

POLICY & POLITICS

 

Valley:

 

Five challengers want to boot Devin Nunes from his safe seat

Fresno Bee

Eight-term Congressman Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, represents a Republican-friendly district that has returned him to office without a lot of fuss. This time might be different.

See also:

     Nunes collects big money in D.C. but barely any from back home McClatchy

     Nunes feels Russia probe blowback at home Politico

     Ned Price: Devin Nunes wants to run an intel operation for the White House — against our intelligence agencies NBC News

     In California’s Farm Country, the Tide of ‘Resistance’ Runs Dry Ahead of the Primary New York Times

 

Is Denham bucking party leadership to score political points at home?

Modesto Bee

For more than two weeks, U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham has been splashed in national news almost daily for his role in a debate on immigration reform, appearing on virtually every major television channel and in scads of print media from The Washington Post to the Los Angeles Times.

 

'Your state's in trouble,' evangelist Franklin Graham tells Christians in Fresno

Fresno Bee

Politics and sin were cornerstones of an impassioned sermon by evangelist Franklin Graham on Monday night in Fresno. The message: Christians need to pray for politicians, vote for candidates who support biblical principles, run for local offices, and find a relationship with God through Jesus Christ so their sins can be forgiven.

Also See:

      Thousands once turned out for Billy Graham in Fresno. Now his son is coming Fresno Bee

      The Evangelical Fight to Win Back California The New York Times

 

Ivanka Trump is visiting Fresno for a fundraiser. Could it help Devin Nunes' opponent?

Fresno Bee

On Friday, Politico reported that Ivanka Trump would be visiting California next month on a fundraising trip with Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Political commentators ponder what the trip might symbolize for both political parties.

See also:

     Playbook scoop: Ivanka heading to California to fundraise with Kevin McCarthy Poltico

 

Goodbye, neighborhood polling places — five California counties (Madera is 1) switch to mega-vote centers

Mercury News

The 2016 Voter’s Choice Act establishes the vote centers in San Mateo, Madera, Napa, Nevada, and Sacramento. Like traditional polling places, the centers will be located mostly in churches, firehouses, high schools and other community buildings. The difference: Voters will be able to do all things voter-related at any center in their county.

See also:

     Voting by mail is growing and should grow more. New York Magazine

     One voter, two registration forms: Errors reported in rollout of California's 'motor voter' system Los Angeles Times

 

Court warns about phone scam

Hanford Sentinel

The Kings County Superior Court is warning the community about a possible phone scam.

 

Company was fined $300,000 after Merced DA lawsuit. It just donated to election opponent

Merced Sun-Star

The re-election team for Merced County District Attorney Larry Morse II has called into question a "stunningly large" donation taken by his opponent that came from a company that paid a hefty fine after it was sued on behalf of Merced County and others in the region.

 

He's helped fix bridges and reduce traffic in Stanislaus County. Now he's leaving

Modesto Bee

The man who guided many projects to improve traffic flow in Stanislaus County is hitting the road for a job in Santa Cruz.

 

State of the City: ‘A community of possibility’

Stockton Record

“We know far too well of the troubles of our not too distant past, but today Stockton is being reinvented into a community of possibility,” Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs said Thursday to open his second State of the City Address.

 

Stockton's young mayor has bold turnaround plan: Basic income and stipends for potential shooters

Los Angeles Times

Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs says that for way too long, his city has been known for headlines about bankruptcy, violent crime and the housing collapse. In the future, he wants it to be known as a place willing to test bold solutions.

See also:

     How School Shootings Spread New Yorker

 

State:

 

How to sort through those 27 candidates running for California governor in 2018

Sacramento Bee

Californians, you have one week left to cast a ballot before the June 5 primary election. Your vote will help decide the two individuals who face off in November to be our next governor. If you're still having trouble deciding who to support, here is some helpful reading.

See also:

     Who’s voting in California, and who we’re voting for Los Angeles Daily News

     Your guide to California's primary election in one week Los Angeles Times

     Video: California Primary Preview Public Policy Institute of California

      Fueled by unlimited donations, independent groups play their biggest role yet in a California primary for governor Los Angeles Times

      Video: On-the-job Governor role play CALmatters

     The Primary Is Coming. Here’s a Look at the Key Races. New York Times

     In California’s Farm Country, the Tide of ‘Resistance’ Runs Dry Ahead of the Primary New York Times

     Could Negative Campaigning in California Primaries Dampen Democratic Energy? Roll Call

     The Primary is Coming. Here’s a Look at the Key Races. New York Times

      Skelton: Newsom’s Strategy Is So Cynical, Putin Would Be Proud Of It’ Mercury News

 

What will big money buy? Candidates and outside groups spent more than $40 million on the governor’s race last month

Mercury News

What will it take to win the governor’s race? In just 27 days, the candidates running for California’s top job and outside groups supporting them spent more than $40 million trying to win your vote.

See also:

     These billionaires are setting a new spending record for a California governor's race Sacramento Bee

     Fueled by unlimited donations, independent groups play their biggest role yet in a California primary for governor Los Angeles Times

     Dem money floods Calif. primaries to avert electoral disaster The Hill

 

Why Republicans Are Fighting So Hard to Get Into California’s Gubernatorial Election

New York Magazine

In California’s top-two (or as some describe it, “jungle”) primary system, all candidates are thrown into one big pool, and then the first- and second-place finishers, regardless of party or percentage, advance to the general election in November.

See also:

      John Cox did lose 13 campaigns before running for governor, but he isn't a secret Democrat Sacramento Bee

      Trump again tweets support of Cox, who hopes to capitalize on the president's endorsement with new TV ad Los Angeles Times

      Travis Allen at Border Urges Backers to Tweet Trump: GOP Favors Me  Times of San Diego

      Did a GOP candidate for California governor really donate to Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom? PolitiFact

 

Propositions offer voters significant choices in California election

Visalia Times Delta

This spring’s ballot also features five significant propositions, and if voters overlook them, they may come to rue the inattention.

See also:

      Here's why you should vote for the five state propositions on the primary election ballot Los Angeles Times

     Do Not Sell My Personal Information: California Eyes Data Privacy Measure  NPR

     Here's why you're getting all those privacy policy emails in your inbox Washington Post

 

It could be another 'Year of the Woman' in California, but probably not

Los Angeles Times

In California, that’s a wish that is likely to remain unfulfilled, with many top-tier female candidates at risk of getting left behind in the approaching primaries.

 

California lawmakers’ per diem allowance rises to new peak

Sacramento Bee

Under the state constitution, California legislators receive daily tax-free living expenses on top of their salaries, as long as they are not out of session for more than three consecutive days. Moving session allows them to collect their per diem allowances over the holiday weekend.

 

New sexual harassment policies on the way, California lawmakers say

Sacramento Bee

The California Legislature's bicameral committee on sexual harassment pledged late last week to present recommendations for new policies by the end of June. 

 

Federal:

 

Decision time: Supreme Court will soon rule on gay rights, gerrymandering, unions

Los Angeles Times

This term's best-known case is a culture wars clash that pits equal rights for gay customers against a claim of religious liberty from a Christian store owner. The others involve union fees and California's required disclosures for crisis pregnancy centers.

 

The Split-Screen Existence of Jeff Sessions and Rod Rosenstein

Wall Street Journal

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal from Russia probe gives him space to pursue immigration and crime policies.

 

Video: 3 Reasons Republicans Are More Optimistic About the Midterms

Wall Street Journal

Republicans’ prospects for the midterm elections are improving, thanks to President Trump's approval rating, the improving economy, and new poll results. Gerald F. Seib explains.

 

Other:

 

Ultimate sacrifice honored around the Valley on Memorial Day 2018

Fresno Bee

Steady breezes kept the thousands of flags flying during the Memorial Day commemoration Monday at the Clovis Cemetery, one of several solemn events around the central San Joaquin Valley honoring those who gave all in service of the United States.

See also:

     Families remember their loved ones lost during battle ABC30

     ‘To those who didn’t make it home’ Stockton Record

     EDITORIAL: Gordon Scott of Kingsburg heard ‘Abandon ship’ when he was a sailor in World War II Fresno Bee

      EDITORIAL: Between the Memorial Day sales, picnics and chores, let's remember: War is still hell Los Angeles Times

 

The West is ill-prepared for the wave of “deep fakes” that artificial intelligence could unleash

Brookings

Fueled by advances in artificial intelligence and decentralized computing, the next generation of disinformation promises to be even more sophisticated and difficult to detect.

 

How the ‘Watergate Babies’ Broke American Politics

Politico

They arrived and began opening up Congress. They ended up inadvertently institutionalizing a distinctly partisan and confrontational style that permeates contemporary American politics today.

 

The problems with that study saying centrists are most hostile to democracy

AEI

A recent opinion piece by David Adler in the New York Times makes the highly questionable claim that “Centrists are hostile to democracy, not extremists.” Unfortunately, this work suffers from several fatal flaws.

 

The best way to tell if someone is a conservative

Washington Post

The 1912 strife between conservative and progressive-populist Republicans feels familiar.

 

MADDY INSTITUTE PUBLIC POLICY PROGRAMMING  

 

Sunday, June 3, at 10 a.m. on ABC 30 – Maddy Report“Candidate for Governor: Antonio Villaraigosa” – Guest: Antonio Villaraigosa, Former LA Mayor and Candidate for Governor. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

 

Sunday, June 3, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) – Maddy Report  - Valley Views EditionGubernatorial Candidate Antonio Villaraigosa & Cal Facts  – Guests: Former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; James Mayer, President and CEO, CA Fwd; Fred Silva, Senior Fiscal Policy Advisor, CA Fwd; Matt Lege, Research Analyst, SEIU UHW; Cathy Martin, VP of Workforce Policy, California Hospital Association; Cathy Creswell, Housing Policy Specialist, Creswell Consulting. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

 

Sunday, June 3, at 7:30 a.m. on UniMas 61 (KTTF) – El Informe Maddy: “California's Top Ten”  Guest: Alexei Koseff, Sacramento Bee reporter. Host: Maddy Institute Program Coordinator, Maria Jeans.

 

Support the Maddy Daily HERE.


Thank you!


AGRICULTURE/FOOD

 

Tulare mayor to hold town hall on ag in Valley

Visalia Times-Delta

Tulare farmers will soon have the opportunity to voice their concerns regarding comments made by Mayor Carlton Jones regarding their livelihood.

 

Farm wages rise as labor supply tightens

Bakersfield Californian

With fewer people to do harvesting and other skilled farm work, local growers may soon face steeper labor costs. People across Kern's ag industry say a federal immigration crackdown, competition from farmers to the north and improvement in the general economy threaten to cut into the profitability of local growing operations.

 

Could blockchain have solved the mystery of the romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak?

Los Angeles Times

Food safety advocates and industry insiders say it may be time to borrow the encrypted accounting platform that drives cryptocurrency: blockchain.

 

California scientists hope feeding cows seaweed will make them less gassy — which could be great news for the environment

CNBC

California is pushing for a reduction in greenhouse gases generated from cows, and adding seaweed to the cattle's feed shows promise in reducing potent methane emissions by more than 30 percent, researchers said this week.

 

From pumpkins to cannabis? Half Moon Bay debates the future of family farms

The Mercury News

In an era of Big Ag, pumpkins and produce don’t pay the bills anymore. And this next crop — baby cannabis plants — is carving a rift through the community like a slice into a jack-o’-lantern.

See also:

     Legalizing marijuana is fine. But don’t ignore the science on its dangers. Washington Post

     Marijuana: Big Tobacco 2.0 National Review

 

The thrill of finding Steinbeck's magical lily on a botany outing to California's Central Coast

Los Angeles Times

Each semester, these professors require their students to read the first chapter of John Steinbeck's "East of Eden," a rhapsodic description of the terrain and plants of the Salinas Valley that shares many of the characteristics of the landscape, including calochortus albus, an exquisite little lily, which goes by many common names.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE / FIRE / PUBLIC SAFETY

 

Crime:

 

California prisons phase out 'sensitive needs' yards. Critics see a rough transition

Sacramento Bee

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is changing how inmates are housed, saying current separations between general population inmates and those held in sensitive needs yards have been ineffective in eliminating gangs and violence within prison walls.

 

Prison reform bill isn’t perfect, but it’s a First Step

Sacramento Bee

The bipartisan First Step Act, passed last week by the House, deserves to be approved by the Senate and signed into law.

 

Decline in number of arrests and guns seized for BPD gang unit following massive operations against local gangs

Bakersfield Californian

A year-to-date comparison of arrests, guns seized and field interviews by the Bakersfield Police Department's Special Enforcement Unit shows a steep drop in comparison with the two prior years, a decline the BPD says is due in part to resources put into two massive operations that resulted in the arrests of 78 local gang members. 

 

Public Safety:

 

Countywide Smart911 system begins Monday, allows residents to create profile regarding their health conditions

Bakersfield Californian

Beginning Monday, the county is implementing a new 911 system for emergency calls where any Kern resident can create a custom profile online detailing any behavioral, medical or health conditions they have.

 

Paint companies poisoned people with lead additives. Now they want a billion-dollar bailout

Los Angeles Times

This isn't the first time Californians have faced a misleading, self-serving ballot initiative bankrolled by special interests. But the chutzpah behind the Healthy Homes and Schools Act sets a new standard.

 

After pointlessly groping countless Americans, the TSA is keeping a secret watchlist of those who fight back

Los Angeles Times

The Transportation Security Administration has created a secret watchlist for troublesome passengers. The TSA justified the list by saying that its screeners were assaulted 34 times last year, but did not release any details about the alleged assaults.

 

Most U.S. gun owners support stronger gun laws

Reuters

While gun owners and non-gun owners disagree on a handful of proposed policies, they agree on many new measures to strengthen gun laws, according to a new study. 

 

Fire:

 

Salida Fire looks to bill insurance for some of its calls

Sacramento Bee

The Salida Fire Protection District intends to bill the insurance of the people it helps, including when its firefighters respond to car crashes and house fires, though it will not bill for emergency medical calls.

 

PG&E responsible for three Northern California wildfires, Cal Fire alleges

Sacramento Bee

Cal Fire alleged Friday that Pacific Gas and Electric Co. failed to remove and cut back trees around power lines that sparked three wildfires in Butte and Nevada Counties in October. In all, nearly 1,000 acres burned and 60 structures were destroyed by the three fires that forced thousands of residents to flee their homes.

See also: 

     Power lines touching trees caused 4 Northern California blazes, Cal Fire says Los Angeles Times

 

ECONOMY / JOBS

 

Economy:

 

Clovis supports CSBG and Fresno EOC

Clovis Roundup

Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funds are vital to Fresno County, as the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission (EOC) uses these federal dollars to aid impoverished and low-income communities with services like job placement, housing, emergency assistance and the like.

 

Google could face millions if Mountain View approves new tax

Mercury News
Google could be slapped with a new tax in its hometown of Mountain View under a plan that’s due to be debated by council members this week.

 

California’s creative economy back to pre-recession job count, generating $407 billion    

OCRegister

California’s creative economy generated $407 billion and supported more than 1.6 million jobs in 2016 and it’s still picking up speed, according to a report by the Otis College of Art and Design.

 

Report: Can New Technology Help California’s Workforce Get Future-Ready?

California Economic Summit

One thing is for sure about the future of work in California: It’s going to keep changing. That’s the theme repeated at 21 economic MeetUps sponsored by the California Community Colleges and California Forward and a plethora of regional partners.

 

The growing investment impact of Big Tech on the US economy

AEI

Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple — what Wall Street calls GAFA — are four of America’s most valuable and important companies, providing a massive benefit to consumers.

 

EDITORIAL: The Art of a Banking Deal

Wall Street Journal

Congress eases the Dodd-Frank pain on non-giant banks.

 

EDITORIAL: Trump’s Trade Confusion

Wall Street Journal

Auto tariffs, Nafta bullying and China disarray, oh my.

 

Jobs:

 

Is California’s High Cost Of Housing Scaring Off Job Seekers?

Valley Public Radio

Plenty of workers still move West each year for a new job in California. But the state’s high cost of housing may be deterring many other job seekers from moving into the state.  

 

How the Supreme Court is invoking a 1925 law to restrict workers' rights today

Los Angeles Times

In 1925, at the behest of New York merchants, Congress passed the Federal Arbitration Act to uphold as "valid, irrevocable and enforceable" the contracts they had negotiated for shipping and delivering goods. They agreed to settle disputes through private arbitration, which was seen as quicker and cheaper than going to court. 

 

COMMUNITY VOICES: Graduation, now what?

Bakersfield Californian

Aren’t second chances one of the lasting values that makes America America? As a nation, our collective ability to provide a second chance as our gift is what separates us from the rest of the world.

 

Chipotle moving headquarters from Colorado to California

Food Business News

Citing a “tremendous opportunity” to drive growth through a new strategy, Chipotle Mexican Grill on May 23 announced plans to relocate its headquarters to Newport Beach, Calif., from Denver.

 

Evaluating Increases in Think-Tank Executive Compensation

American Affairs

Compensation of top think-tank executives has risen tremendously, growing faster on average than for-profit executive compensation and dramatically outpacing general economic indicators.

 

EDUCATION

 

K-12:

 

Turning blind eye to teacher sex abuse has cost small Valley school district $6.8 million

ABC30

Turning a blind eye during two decades of abuse by a South Valley teacher and coach has cost a small school district millions of dollars.

 

Tony Thurmond says his journey makes him the best candidate to lead K-12 education in California

EdSource

Tony Thurmond wants students to know about his life. He knows adversity. Thurmond, 49, a candidate for a 4-year-term as state superintendent of public instruction, is a two-term Democratic assemblyman in the San Francisco Bay Area, a former school board member and city councilman from Richmond with a career in social work and nonprofit management.

See also:

      Meet the candidates: Superintendent Hanford Sentinel

 

Every State’s Economic Future Lies with School Reform

AEI

A key element of any successful economy, whether a nation or a state, is the quality of its workforce. The economic gains to each state from improving its schools are enormous and justify significant changes in state policies.

 

Talking with children matters: Defending the 30 million word gap

Brookings

Children who start out with lower language skills are projected to have lower school readiness scores and will follow a dampened trajectory through school and life.

 

Higher Ed:

 

New chair of California State University system cites need to improve graduation rate, manage enrollment

San Diego Union-Tribune

In a candid interview with the Union-Tribune, Adam Day, the new board chairman of California State University, said that the system needs to improve its graduation rate, more efficiently manage enrollment, find effective ways to use online courses, and carefully weed out academic majors that are no longer drawing significant numbers of students.

See also:

     Video: CSU Chancellor White on Straight Talk with Art Levine Straight Talk

 

Barriers to Higher Education Attainment: Students’ Unmet Basic Needs

California Budget & Policy Center

Many college students across the state experience food and housing insecurity. State and federal public supports have not kept pace with rising costs of living, leaving many students unable to meet their basic needs such as food and housing.

 

Crowded, crumbling classrooms—will one-time cash infusion be enough to fix the University of California?

CALmatters

The message popped into UC Berkeley sophomore Varsha Sarveshwar’s inbox a few days before the start of her Introduction to General Astronomy course in the fall of her freshman year.* It contained the usual details about class times and textbooks. But then there was something surprising: a plea from the professor to skip the first day of class.

 

U.S.C. President Agrees to Step Down Over Scandal Involving Gynecologist

New York Times

The president of the University of Southern California, C. L. Max Nikias, agreed to step down Friday in the wake of a scandal over a gynecologist accused of abusing students at the campus health center

 

Community College Students Have New Path To UC Enrollment

San Luis Obispo Tribune

“Enhancing Student Transfer” begins fall 2019 and under this agreement, students who complete one of the UC pathways and achieve the requisite GPA will be guaranteed a place within the UC system.

 

Businesses Can Help California Schools Train Students for ‘New Collar’ Jobs

Fox & Hounds

A promising public-private partnership is taking shape in the Legislature that focuses on high school and college completion, along with meaningful workplace experiences.

 

ACT/SAT for all: A cheap, effective way to narrow income gaps in college

Brookings

In Michigan, in 2007, the ACT became part of the test required of juniors in the public schools. The share of students taking a college entrance exam rose from 54 percent to nearly 99 percent.

 

Opinion: Conservatives Can Benefit From Liberal Colleges

Wall Street Journal

I believe every young conservative should consider attending a college like Pomona, where the adversity I faced paid extraordinary dividends.

 

Apprenticeships:

 

The Unintended Consequences of Senate Bill 825

Fox & Hounds

What Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) and pre-apprenticeship training programs lack in eye-grabbing and ear-riveting attention, they more than make up for in unintended consequences for thousands of working Californians. If Senate Bill 825 becomes law, there will be serious consequences worth every taxpayer’s concern.

 

California Announces 'Record Number' Of Active Apprentices

HRDIVE

The Labor and Workforce Development Agency for the state of California announced the highest level of participation in its apprenticeship program this year, with 82,000 active apprenticeships in place. The state is expected to reach near 100,000 apprenticeships by 2020.

 

How history explains America’s struggle to revive apprenticeships

Brookings

Donald Trump is the latest in a long line of presidents to announce ambitious plans to slash the cost of college and create millions of new apprenticeships. But, as I argue in a forthcoming history on the 19th-century origins of student debt, American students have repeatedly rejected attempts to mainstream vocational education for over a century because ‘career courses’ often preclude them from aspirational jobs in technology, finance, law, and medicine.

 

ENVIRONMENT/ ENERGY

 

Environment:

 

EPA used disavowed research to justify putting dirtier trucks on the road

Los Angeles Times

At a time when acts of defiance against the Trump administration are ​​​​routine in Sacramento, the rebuke that breezed through the California Assembly this month still came as a jolt. Even Trump loyalists in the chamber joined in. The message to the administration was clear: Forget about your plan to unleash on freeways a class of rebuilt trucks that spew as much as 400 times the choking soot that conventional new big rigs do. Getting caught behind the wheel of one of these mega-polluters in California would carry a punishing $25,000 minimum fine under the measure that lawmakers passed 73 to 0. It had the support of 25 Republicans

 

Emails show collaboration among EPA, climate-change deniers

AP News

Newly released emails show senior Environmental Protection Agency officials collaborating with a conservative group that dismisses climate change to rally like-minded people for public hearings on science and global warming, counter negative news coverage and tout Administrator Scott Pruitt's stewardship of the agency.

 

Seeking protections for the Sierra National Forest in light of the Forest Plan Revision

Fresno Bee

Jamie Irvin of the Sierra Forest Legacy with local dignitaries flew over the Kings River Area of the Sierra National Forest, on a EcoFlight plane, to advocate the need for protection for low-elevation roadless areas in the Sierra National Forest.

 

Straws. Bottle caps. Polyester. These are the new targets of California's environmental movement

Los Angeles Times

It took years of activist campaigns to turn the plastic bag into a villain, and hard-fought legislation to reduce its presence in oceans and waterways. Now, environmentalists and lawmakers are deploying similar tactics against a new generation of plastic pollutants.

 

Energy:

 

State appoints former industry geologist to head local oil regulatory office

Bakersfield Californian

A former geologist at Chevron and Exxon Mobil has been appointed to lead the Bakersfield office of California’s primary oil regulation agency.

 

Walters: Battle over gas-tax hike intensifies

CALmatters

A measure to repeal California’s hefty new increases in taxes and fees on motorists, more than $5 billion a year, is awaiting signature verification for a place on November’s ballot.

 

State’s Progress on 5 Million Zero Emission Vehicles by 2030

California Center for Jobs & The Economy

The latest new vehicle sales data from California New Car Dealers Association shows that as expected, the above trend Zero Emission Vehicles sales in Q4 2017 were likely consumer responses to the potential sunset of related federal subsidies.

 

HEALTH/HUMAN SERVICES

 

Health:

 

Polinelli Appointed CEO of Madera Community Hospital

Madera Tribune

Karen Paolinelli, registered nurse, physician assistant and family nurse practitioner, has been appointed chief executive officer of Madera Community Hospital.

 

'Medicare at 55' now on Dianne Feinstein's agenda

Sacramento Bee

In the past month, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein has thrown her support behind two liberal health care bills. Shortly thereafter, her re-election campaign began airing a statewide ad touting her embrace of the policies promoted by the two bills she co-sponsored. 

 

A dangerous opioid is killing people in California. It's starting to show up in cocaine and meth

Sacramento Bee

Fentanyl, a potent opioid already responsible for thousands of deaths nationwide, is increasingly showing up in drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine in California, officials say.

 

California's physician-assisted suicide law is overturned — for now

Los Angeles Times

Nearly two years after it was enacted, California’s physician-assisted suicide law is, at least for the moment, no longer in effect. A Riverside County judge who ruled against the law last week issued a formal judgment Friday deeming it unconstitutional.

See also:

     California’s assisted-death law in legal limbo San Francisco Chronicle

 

Health is a hot topic in the race for California insurance commissioner, but power is limited

Los Angeles Times

The person who wins the four-way race to become California's next insurance commissioner will inherit a job with broad authority over policies that cover homes, businesses, cars and even airplanes. But medical insurance? Not so much.

 

A scaled-back bid to care for undocumented Californians

CALmatters

After shelving a plan to provide full government health benefits to all undocumented, low-income adults in the state, California lawmakers are trying to extend coverage to seniors and the disabled in that population.

 

Kaiser Permanente Cultivates the Digital Doctor-Patient Relationship

Wall Street Journal

Kaiser Permanente, based in Oakland, Calif., closely manages the medical care of people enrolled in its health-insurance plan, who use Kaiser’s integrated network of hospitals and doctors. Increasingly, that network is also a digital one.

 

Johnson & Johnson hit with $25.75 million verdict in talc-asbestos case

CNN

A California jury hit Johnson & Johnson and other companies with a $25.75 million verdict, saying the company was negligent and did not warn consumers about possible health risks from its Baby Powder.

 

Birth rates keep falling for U.S. women

NBC News

U.S. birth rates declined last year for women in their teens, 20s and — surprisingly — their 30s, leading to the fewest babies in 30 years, according to a government report released Thursday.

 

NPR is now covering the problem of inferior medicines, but we’re still not discussing what allows them to flourish

AEI

The reason the problem exists is because folks make money doing it. The reason no one wants to talk about it is convoluted, but completely understandable.

 

Human Services:

 

A state commission formed to set price limits on health care could be hazardous

Fresno Bee

Assembly Bill 3087 would create a government-run commission that will set price limits on hospitals, doctors, pharmacists and dentists in California. The consequence could be a loss of medical services and providers for our local community, and nearly the entire medical community of experts is strongly opposed to this proposal.

See also:

     Bill to create health care price controls in California dies Sacramento Bee

     Democrats, Long Blamed for Heath-Care Costs, Seek to Shift Ownership to GOP Wall Street Journal

     How to make health care prices transparent AEI

     Single-Payer Health Care in California: Here’s What It Would Take New York Times

     A Chance to Overcome ObamaCare Wall Street Journal

Camarena gets $90,000 from Kaiser

Madera Tribune

Kaiser Permanente has awarded a $90,000 grant to Camarena Health to help improve opinions about treatment for the mentally ill.

 

IMMIGRATION

 

Dodging Deportation: When ICE comes calling, this Stanislaus County group jumps into action

Modesto Bee

The fear of deportation has intensified the past two years for undocumented immigrants living in Stanislaus County and throughout the Northern San Joaquin Valley, advocates say.

 

DHS secretary insists on funding sanctuary cities despite Trump promise to cut off grants

Merced Sun Star

President Donald Trump repeatedly promised to stop giving federal money to cities that refuse to cooperate with U.S. agencies trying to enforce immigration law.

 

Is 'sanctuary state' the best political issue for the GOP in years? Not in California, experts warn

Sacramento Bee

Thousands of Californians have spoken up in public forums across the state this year to influence local elected officials to take stands on the ‘sanctuary state’ law, the most polarizing immigration issue since voters approved Proposition 187 in 1994. 

See also:

     County jails released 349 people wanted by ICE since 'sanctuary law' started San Diego Union-Tribune

 

Don’t bet the farm on immigration reform any time soon, expert says

The Business Journal

Members of Congress are working on immigration reform and even have some bills in the works. “Am I bullish we’re going to get something done? No. I wouldn’t bet the farm,” Jon Baselice told the audience attending the Fresno Chamber of Commerce’s Eggs & Issues event this morning at Pardini’s Catering & Banquets restaurant in north Fresno.

 

'You need to speak English': Encounters in viral videos show Spanish is still polarizing in the U.S.

Los Angeles Times

Spanish, the first European tongue to take root in North America, has established itself as perhaps the most relentlessly polarizing language in the United States. Two decades ago it sparked an emotional debate in California about banning bilingual education, a topic that divided even Latino families. 

 

Kamala Harris: Trump should send officials to testify on immigration policy separating migrant families

The Hill

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said on Saturday that the Trump administration should have its officials testify on what she dubbed “inhumane” immigration policies.

 

The U.S. lost track of 1,475 immigrant children last year. Here’s why people are outraged now.

Washington Post

In the recent days, outrage about treatment of children taken into U.S. custody at the Southwest border has reached a fever pitch, exploding in a barrage of tweets and calls to action.

See also:

     Trump is blaming Democrats for separating migrant families at the border. Here’s why this isn’t a surprise. Washington Post

     Did the Trump Administration Separate Immigrant Children From Parents and Lose Them? New York Times

 

LAND USE/HOUSING

 

Land Use:

 

Fresno's Fulton Street named one of America's top main streets 

ABC30

From art to architecture you will find a little something different along Fresno's Fulton Street. The longtime pedestrian mall re-opened to vehicular traffic last October. On Monday the street was recognized in America's main street contest.

 

Clovis addresses need for new parks, still uncertain on locations

Clovis Roundup

Clovis is home to a number of beautiful parks, many of which connect to its stellar trail system, but as the community continues to expand in size and population, more open space is needed, and as the recent Clovis Citizen Survey makes clear, more parks are definitely wanted.

 

Swenson group says latest 'solution' only a 'first step'

Stockton Record

Members of a community organization dedicated to preserving Swenson Park Golf Course 

said last week that the City of Stockton’s efforts to save the site are sub-par.

See also:

     EDITORIAL: Taking a mulligan on Swenson golf course Stockton Record

 

Similarities and differences between urban, suburban and rural communities in America

Pew Research Center

Large demographic shifts are reshaping America. The country is growing in numbers, it’s becoming more racially and ethnically diverse and the population is aging. But according to a new analysis by Pew Research Center, these trends are playing out differently across community types.

 

Housing:

 

County starts over in its effort to open shelter

Modesto Bee

Officials have abandoned their efforts to open a homeless shelter and day center near downtown Modesto on Stanislaus Food Products land, but say they are optimistic they can open another shelter by winter.

See also:

      Homeless families’ tough decision: Split up to get a shelter bed? The Mercury News

 

Granny flats and renters’ tax credits: Which California housing bills lived and died Friday

Mercury News

An array of bills aimed at easing California’s housing crisis, from banning fees on “granny flats” to pushing housing development on BART property, cleared a key hurdle on Friday, while others died quietly in fiscal committees.

 

California housing is such a surreal nightmare, even Kafka would find it Kafkaesque

Sacramento Bee

I keep hearing Californians calling your state’s housing crisis Kafkaesque. You are far too kind. I never imagined a nightmare this cruel, absurd, and surreal. 

See also:

     Sacramento home prices jump to highest level since big bubble years Sacramento Bee

 

California’s rooftop solar mandate may not be all sunshine

OCRegister

The California Energy Commission, more or less on the fly, has decreed that beginning in 2020 all new single-family homes and low-rise multi-family residential projects must be built with rooftop solar panels.

See also: 

     The new solar mandate: A leap forward or a step back?  San Diego Union-Tribune

     Solar gardens? Tenants want working windows first The Riverdale Press

 

PUBLIC FINANCES

 

EDITORIAL: Democrats Cash In on Tax Reform

Wall Street Journal

How progressive states are quietly exploiting the new federal tax law.

 

TRANSPORTATION

 

California’s transportation revolution

Madera Tribune

Another revolution is brewing, and it’s being led by California. A little more than a century ago, our means of transportation made a relatively swift transition from horse and buggy to automobile. Now, California companies are leading us away from traditional motor cars with new transportation devices.

 

He's helped fix bridges and reduce traffic in Stanislaus County. Now he's leaving

Sacramento Bee

The man who guided many projects to improve traffic flow in Stanislaus County is hitting the road for a job in Santa Cruz. Public Works Director Matt Machado has accepted a position as deputy county administrative officer for Santa Cruz County.

 

California debuts ‘digital’ license plates. Here’s what they’ll cost you.

Sacramento Bee

California’s dramatic new license plate is hitting the streets — a digital display board that allows changeable messages controlled by the driver or remotely by fleet managers.

 

As bullet train costs rise, only 31% of California voters want to keep paying for it

Los Angeles Times

Californians still support the concept of a bullet train from Los Angeles to San Francisco, but after months of troubling disclosures about the project's cost and schedule, just 31% of voters across the state want to keep building it, according to a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

 

California regulators approve $423 million for clean transportation

San Francisco Chronicle

The California Air Resources Board voted Friday to allocate $423 million in funding from the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal settlement to a variety of clean transportation projects.

 

WATER

--

 

“Xtra”

 

Fitzgerald: Good news from a gloomy web page

Stockton Record

If you ever want to lose all faith in humanity, read those Stockton crime Facebook pages. 
But not always. This week, read an inspiring story about Dustin Weeks, 20. 

 

Bacharach, Oswalt, 98 Degrees: Gallo Center's upcoming season packed with star power

Modesto Bee

Today, about to close an 11th season that could notch another recording-breaking year in ticket sales, the downtown Modesto performing arts venue has slashed debt to less than $2 million.

 

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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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