May 3, 2018





House speaker Paul Ryan promotes republican tax cuts at Kerman factory


Business is booming at the MEC factory in Kerman. They make man lifts for construction and industrial purposes. Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan says its due to tax cut legislation giving business owners the ability to write off more of their purchases.


Fresno council candidate Brian Whelan zooms ahead of opponents in race for money

Fresno Bee

Brian Whelan, a candidate for District 7 on the Fresno City Council, has raised nearly three times the money of any other candidate running for election, according to campaign finance records released last week.

Your vote ballot will arrive soon

Madera Tribune

Madera is one of only five counties in California currently engaged in a new effort to auto enroll all registered voters in the existing vote by mail system, according to Rebecca Martinez, the Madera County Clerk/Recorder/Registrar.


Election for DA just 34 days away

Sierra Star

The Oakhurst Democratic Club hosted a second major debate April 26 between candidates for Madera County District Attorney in the Yosemite High School Theater, including the incumbent David Linn, his current Senior Deputy District Attorney, Paul Hornick, and Fresno Assistant DA, Sally Moreno.

Fox: Kevin McCarthy on Political Anger and Political Risk


If the harsh division in congress reflects attitudes across the country, as House majority leader and California congressman Kevin McCarthy asserted at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills yesterday, there is a belief among many political observers that the midterm elections will mirror a political environment not friendly to McCarthy’s team.


Fresno council candidate Brian Whelan zooms ahead of opponents in race for money

Fresno Bee

Brian Whelan, a candidate for District 7 on the Fresno City Council, has raised nearly three times the money of any other candidate running for election, according to campaign finance records released last week.



Jerry Brown pushes California economic ties to China

The Sacramento Bee

Gov. Jerry Brown delivers the keynote address at a economic forum today in Beverly Hills focused on business between California and China.


5 Questions From Gubernatorial Campaign Ad Season

Fox & Hounds

Your answers to five questions about California gubernatorial candidates’ ads.

A glance at the candidates for California attorney general

The Bakersfield Californian

A glance at each the candidates running for California attorney general: Steven Bailey, Xavier Becerra, Eric Early, and Dave Jones.

Candidates compete for schools chief, lieutenant governor

The Bakersfield Californian

Voters will choose candidates for lieutenant governor, schools chief and other statewide offices in California's June 5 primary. The race for superintendent of public education is shaping up to be an expensive showdown between unions and charter school advocates. In the crowded contest to become California's next lieutenant governor, several Democrats have emerged as front-runners.


Election 2018: Ted Gaines seeks tax board seat

Capitol Weekly

Gaines is running for the District 1 seat on the state Board of Equalization that comprises a vast portion of rural, interior California, stretching from deep in Southern California to the Oregon line.


Voter Fraud Conviction Inspires Bill Loosening Oversight of Lawmaker Residency

Sacramento Bee

Senate Bill 1250, which is set for its first hearing in the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee this afternoon, would clarify that a domicile is determined solely by where an individual is registered to vote and no other factors — reverting to the longtime legal standard and overriding the precedent set by Wright's conviction.


Event: Women in California’s Legislature

Public Policy Institute of California

A panel of current and former legislators will share experiences and discuss the dynamics of diversity in setting better policy for the state. There is no charge to attend, but space is limited. This event will also be webcast live.


Remember the Alamo: California Republicans face an existential moment

San Francisco Chronicle

The party faces an existential moment. With only 25 percent of California voters registered as Republicans, it’s Battle of the Alamo time.


Walters: California again goes to war with Trump


It’s a game of three-cushion billiards, being played not in a dingy pool hall but in Donald Trump’s Washington, Jerry Brown’s Sacramento and in the executive suites of major automakers.


Walters: Political x-factors can cut both ways


Voters often make snap judgments based on ideological predispositions and unpredictable events that unfold during campaigns, what those in politics call “x-factors.”




The Supreme Court has a blockbuster season

The Washington Post

Whether, for instance, the Supreme Court might be called upon sooner rather than later to decide the fate of DACA and the “dreamers” brought here as undocumented children. Or — just to pull a hypothetical from thin air — whether a special counsel has the power to subpoena a president.


Conservative judges slam Ninth Circuit ruling on campaign finance

San Francisco Chronicle

Five conservative judges on the federal appeals court in San Francisco accused the court Wednesday of flouting U.S. Supreme Court protections for economic free speech by upholding a state’s limits on political contributions. The case involved a Montana law, but the judges were inviting a new ruling by the high court that might also apply to campaign finance limits in California.


Video: What’s the Nuclear Option? Dismantling This Senate Jargon

Roll Call

Senate leaders have already gotten rid of the filibuster on executive and Supreme Court nominees, so why has the chamber avoided this final nuke on legislation? Senior editor David Hawkings explains.



Why are the Boy Scouts changing their name? And what do the Girl Scouts think?

Hanford Sentinel

For 108 years, the Boy Scouts of America's flagship program has been known simply as the Boy Scouts. With girls soon entering the ranks, the group says that iconic name will change.

Group of Modesto students walks out for gun rights in Stand for the Second

Modesto Bee

About 20 Johansen High School students exercised their First Amendment rights Wednesday morning to protect their Second Amendment rights. The 16-minute class walkout was part of the nationwide Stand for the Second demonstration.

California activists organize response to police shootings

Washington Post

Following the police shooting of an unarmed black man in California’s capital city, activists seeking police accountability have formed a statewide network to help communities respond to police shootings and to weaken protections for the officers involved.


Cambridge Analytica Closing Operations Following Facebook Data Controversy

Wall Street Journal

Cambridge Analytica, a data firm that worked for President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, is shutting down following disclosures about its use of Facebook data and the campaign tactics it pitched to clients.

Also See:


Fighting Fake News In French Schools


Our Take A Number series is exploring problems around the world through the lens of a single number. Today's number is 81, which is how many French schools a journalist visited to teach kids about disinformation on the Internet.


California death is 1st in romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak

Merced Sun-Star

The romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak turned deadly this week, with the first reported death, according to Wednesday's update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Also See:


Why farmers only get 7.8 cents of every dollar Americans spend on food

Washington Post

For every dollar consumers spend on food, only 7.8 cents goes to farmers — a record low that reflects shifts in how Americans eat, according to the Department of Agriculture.


The future of farm subsidy programs and US agriculture sector productivity


The House Agricultural Committee recently approved a proposal for a new farm bill. Four leading scholars in agricultural economics will discuss and assess the bill’s implications in the context of current and proposed changes to farm subsidy and price support programs. 


Cultivating clout: Marijuana money flows into California politics


As marijuana companies seek laws more favorable to their industry, they are using the traditional tools of politics: hiring well-heeled lobbyists and donating money to politicians. The industry’s spending on California politics soared in 2016, when voters made it legal for adults to use the drug.


Fresno police raid marijuana dispensary and seize candy on concern children might eat it

Fresno Bee

Fresno police raided a marijuana dispensary and seized candy inside packages labeled with cartoon characters that would appeal to children, police chief Jerry Dyer said at a news conference Wednesday.




It's not just Parkland. Teenagers are better than you in California, too

Fresno Bee

Social trends among California youth have been spectacular. Over the last generation, rates of arrests of Californians under age 20 have fallen by 80 percent, murder arrests by 85 percent, gun killings by 75 percentimprisonments by 88 percent, births by teen mothers by 75 percent, and school dropout by more than half while college enrollments have risen 45 percent.


Genetic Website Subpoenaed In California Serial Killer Probe

Capital Public Radio

The revelation that investigators compelled a genetic company to provide user information adds to a growing debate about legal and privacy concerns involving law enforcement and companies whose millions of users submit their DNA to discover their heritage.


More than a thousand acres burn in Merced County

Fresno Bee

More than a thousand acres burned through Merced County on Wednesday night, Merced County Cal Fire officials reported.

Also See:

Prescribed burning under way in hills

Madera Tribune

Sierra National Forest (SNF) officials continue their spring prescribed burning program within the Bass Lake Ranger District. Using the advantage of favorable weather conditions, extra fire personnel and equipment will be committed to the project until the treatments are extinguished, as burn days permit.

Also See:


It's time for California's wine country to prepare for the next wildfire

Sacramento Bee

The reality is, we’re facing a changing landscape here in the Napa Valley. Wildfire is nothing new in California; in this region, the climate and topography make it a virtual guarantee. 




Hanford continues commercial growth with stores like Aldi


In late 2016, Costco opened on Hanford's east side-an area that is expected to grow. But commercial activity is still strong along 12th Avenue, including another store where you can get your groceries. The store will be much smaller than Costco, and it's relatively new to California: Aldi.


This could be your entrepreneurial big break

Bakersfield Californian

Stop practicing your 10-second elevator pitch. Your product could be on shelves in Walmarts across the United States. Entrepreneurs and small business owners can still apply for Walmart's Open Call, a seat at the table with one of the company's buyers.


Small-business owners honored at annual luncheon

Bakersfield Californian

The seventh annual Kern County Small Business Week Luncheon held Wednesday at the Bakersfield Marriott included human stories of struggle and triumph, faith and hope, doubt and determination.




The Trump Administration’s Trade Actions Are Likely To Hit Hardest in California Counties Where Unemployment Is Already High

California Budget & Policy Center

Though California’s overall economy is less dependent on exports than those of many states, the California counties most likely to be harmed by the potential emerging trade war with China include many that are already struggling economically.


Kaiser workers rally for fair wages, job security

Sacramento Bee

Dozens of Kaiser Permanente workers -- members of Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West -- shouted their demands for job security and equal wages in a protest Wednesday outside the health-care giant's South Sacramento Medical Center.

Strike looms at UCSD, hospital delays surgeries

The San Diego Union-Tribune

threatened strike involving three different unions could impact everything from surgeries to trash collection at University of California campuses across the state.



MUSD advised to put bond on ballot

Madera Tribune

Madera Unified trustees have been advised to go for a school bond to help meet the need for more classrooms. Brian Moore of Isom Advisors told school board members at their April 24 meeting that his company’s recommendation would be for the District “to...plan on placing a bond measure on the November 2018 ballot.”

VUSD students may get $3 million textbook upgrade

Visalia Times-Delta

As soon as August, Visalia students may see new history/social science textbooks hit their classrooms and libraries. District board members are scheduled to vote to approve the purchase of a new set of history/social science textbooks —at a cost of $3 million. 

Helping students get ahead

Stockton Record

A new program available to auto students at Weber Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology, while barely a month old, will be able to not only to help them grow as local technicians, but work to secure well-paying careers in diesel.

See also:

       Former Los Angeles superintendent picked to lead Stockton Unified Stockton Record

Federal Spending Bill Boosts Education Funds in California

Public Policy Institute of California

Since funding for most of Department of Education programs is based on student headcounts, California is expected to receive more federal money this year.


Unionized Or Not, Teachers Struggle To Make Ends Meet, NPR/Ipsos Poll Finds


More than 9 in 10 teachers say they joined the profession for idealistic reasons — "I wanted to do good" — but most are struggling to some extent economically.


Educators face new challenges in 'superdiverse' classrooms where multiple languages are spoken


Teachers of English learners find it challenging to communicate in classrooms where students come from a variety of language and cultural backgrounds. Some children may speak Spanish at home, while others speak Vietnamese, Punjabi or Arabic.


Charter school growth puts fiscal pressure on traditional public schools


Findings from a study in North Carolina suggest that the presence of charter schools significantly reduces spending and education quality for students in nearby traditional public schools.

Higher Ed:

Fresno State staff fielded 'tens of thousands' of calls in wake of Jarrar controversy

Fresno Bee

Fresno State staff fielded “tens of thousands of calls” in the wake of the controversy involving English professor Randa Jarrar, university President Joseph Castro said Wednesday. He offered the detail to students and staff who packed the North Gym to voice their thoughts on the university’s response to Jarrar.

Also See:


Revelations Over Koch Gifts Prompt Inquiry at George Mason University

The New York Times

The president of George Mason University has ordered an inquiry into whether big-money donors are being given undue influence over academic matters, after documents were released showing that the Charles Koch Foundation had been given a voice in hiring and firing professors.


State auditor says UC missed deadline to fix problems found in year-old probe

San Francisco Chronicle

A year after a scathing state audit found that the University of California president’s office squirreled away $175 million for preferred projects rather than disclosing the money to the public, a new report concludes that the office missed the April 30 deadline for complying with the recommended fixes.

California university students are stretching...and it is all happening in writing class, not the gym


Stretch classes are expected to become much more common around the California State University system as it moves to eliminate non-credit remedial classes in the fall on all its 23 campuses and replaces them with alternatives that carry academic credit yet also offer extra help.

Trust students, not tests, to open pathway to community college success


It’s all about accurately measuring college readiness — and annihilating the achievement gap in the process.

Community college students in Calif. leave millions of federal aid on the table

Inside Higher Ed

The state's community college students missed out on nearly $130 million in federal Pell Grant funds in a single semester, according to research from the Wheelhouse Center for Community College Leadership and Research at the University of California, Davis, School of Education.


America's Declining Investment in Higher Education

The Atlantic

As younger generations become more racially diverse, many states are allocating fewer tax dollars to public colleges and universities.


Diversity Found Lacking In California Higher Ed

Jefferson Public Radio

Latinos are California's largest single minority group.  But Latinos can be hard to find among the faculty and administration of California's public colleges, both two- and four-year.



To help clean the Valley's air, plan would scrap dirty diesel trucks and tractors

Fresno Bee

The San Joaquin Valley is getting money to replace older diesel trucks and tractors with newer, cleaner-burning models in a move to clear up air pollution.


A million salmon were released into the Sacramento River. So why are anglers unhappy?

Sacramento Bee

Standing next to a Department of Fish and Wildlife tanker on Wednesday morning, Scott Hambelton pulled a long lever. Tens of thousands of four-inch silver fish gushed from a connected pipe and into the Sacramento River.





Google-Backed Project Brings 20 Million Mosquitoes To Fresno

Valley Public Radio

Last week it made national headlines: a company with ties to Google is releasing 20 million mosquitoes in Fresno. It might sound like a bad idea, but it's actually part of an innovative plan called "Debug Fresno" that aims to stop the local spread of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which can spread dengue fever and the zika virus.

Merced County cracking down on neglected pools, concerned of more mosquitoes

Merced County is cleaning up, especially water in neglected pools. The county's mosquito abatement district recently found there is a large number of those pools, which are the perfect place for mosquitoes to breed.

Federal Government Sends Warning To Vaping Companies


The Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday sent warning letters to 13 manufacturers, distributors and retailers of e-cigarette liquids. In a phone briefing for reporters, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the companies are endangering kids by marketing the products to resemble juice boxes, cookies or candy.


Why health price regulations in California are misguided

Sacramento Bee

Anger over rising health care prices is boiling over in California. But good long term results rarely emerge from a red-hot pot.


Human Services:

Innovative approaches help families reduce dependence on food stamps

Fresno Bee

The Food Stamp program, now known as SNAP (CalFresh in California), is managed by the Food and Nutrition Services Agency. During the great recession the number of SNAP beneficiaries almost doubled from 26 million in 2007 to 47 million in 2013. The number is now 41 million.


This New Federal Law Will Change Foster Care As We Know It

The Pew Charitable Trusts

A new federal law, propelled by the belief that children in difficult homes nearly always fare best with their parents, effectively blows up the nation’s troubled foster care system.



Immigrants in California

Public Policy Institute of California

California has more immigrants than any other state. California is home to more than 10 million immigrants—about a quarter of the foreign-born population nationwide.

US adds prosecutors, judges for immigration cases on border

Washington Post

More prosecutors and judges will be assigned to help whittle away at a backlog of immigration cases along the U.S.-Mexico border, the U.S. Justice Department said Wednesday.



Land Use:

Despite revision, opposition to Visalia ARCO remains hot

Visalia Times-Delta

Southeast Visalia residents remain opposed to the construction of a proposed ARCO AM/PM gas station, despite a trimmed-down proposal by the developer.

NW Visalia will get Starbucks and sandwiches, rolled ice cream coming soon

Visalia Times-Delta

Five new eateries are expected to open around Visalia, ranging from popular chains such as Starbucks coffee house to regional businesses such as Southern California-based Cowboy Burgers and BBQ. And, did we mention, rolled ice cream?

Council discusses Hidden Valley Park expansion

Hanford Sentinel

As it did last year around this same time, the issue involving the vacant 18-acre parcel west of Hidden Valley Park resurfaced as the main talking point of the Hanford City Council.


Post office that are also banks? Genius idea. But don’t hold your breath

Los Angeles Times

Last week, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, introduced legislation to create a Postal Bank, empowering the nation's vast network of post offices to offer checking and savings accounts, and to provide low-interest short-term loans.


Why the Bay Area is the epicenter of California's housing crisis

The Mercury News

A new study released Thursday points to why the California housing crisis is so acute, particularly in the Bay Area — where a home destroyed by fire sold for more than $900,000 and it would take four minimum wage jobs to afford an apartment: More people are moving in from other states than moving out.

In California, rent control is needed to protect working families

The San Diego Union-Tribune

In San Diego, we have a powder keg that is getting ready to explode. We have seen rents skyrocket in the last several years and as a direct result homelessness has also risen uncontrollably.


9 rules for better US housing policy


On issues like affordability, location, and environmental impact, Jenny Schuetz outlines six goals that U.S. housing policy should aspire to achieve and three pitfalls it should avoid.



House Speaker Paul Ryan, Majority Whip Steve Scalise contribute to initiative to repeal California's gas-tax increase

Los Angeles Times

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin is among the Republicans from outside California who have contributed to the campaign to repeal the state’s gas-tax increase, showing the effort has national interest from GOP leaders who see it as a way to boost their party’s chances in the Golden State for this year's election.



High Speed Rail construction driving customers away


The intersection of Ashlan Avenue and Golden State Boulevard is ground zero for the Highway 99 Realignment Project to make room for High-Speed Rail in Northwest Fresno. Construction began nearly two years ago and it's making access to local businesses is a difficult task.

See also:

       High-Speed Rail Authority Announces Agreement with L.A. Metro for Major SoCal Grade Separation Project California High-Speed Rail

House Speaker Paul Ryan, Majority Whip Steve Scalise contribute to initiative to repeal California's gas-tax increase

Los Angeles Times

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin is among the Republicans from outside California who have contributed to the campaign to repeal the state’s gas-tax increase, showing the effort has national interest from GOP leaders who see it as a way to boost their party’s chances in the Golden State for this year's election.


EDITORIAL: California's challenge over fuel economy rules its most important anti-Trump lawsuit yet

San Diego Union-Tribune

Trump administration made a decision to scrap federal rules requiring cars and SUVs to average nearly 55 miles per gallon by 2025 and to lower the target to 42 miles per gallon. Reducing vehicle emissions is one of the most basic steps that humanity can take to try to avoid catastrophic climatic change.


Dockless Bikeshare Systems Expanding Across the U.S.

Public CEO

In a clear indication that dockless bikeshare is here to stay (at least for now), two cities announced new dockless bikeshare pilot programs and another extended its existing pilot program. The moves were hailed by biking and transportation advocates and caused concern among communities worried about the “urban trash” caused by riders leaving bikes blocking sidewalks and entrances and appearing in trees and lakes.



No decision yet on funding for Temperance Flat Dam


The California Water Commission did not make a decision on fully funding the Temperance Flat Project after the second day of hearings on Wednesday.

See also:

       EDITORIAL: More water storage doesn’t mean build more dams  Los Angeles Times

Key California water district may back massive tunnel system

The Bakersfield Californian

A Northern California water agency will vote Wednesday on whether to give its full support to Gov. Jerry Brown's controversial plan to build two multibillion dollar massive tunnels to remake the state's water system, reversing an earlier decision.

Also See:

Address state's drinking water crisis while protecting farming

The Bakersfield Californian

Such a complex problem as providing clean, reliable drinking water for all Californians requires a holistic solution, not one that pins the tail on farmers.

Proposal to Put New State Fee on Water Returns

Public CEO

A proposal to add new fees to water bills to help pay for improvements to water systems in rural areas with tainted supplies is back before the Legislature, and this time it has the support of the Brown administration.


Gubernatorial candidate draws winning ticket in Home of Hope house giveaway

Fresno Bee

Navneet Gill was announced Wednesday night as the winner in the 13th annual Granville Home of Hope fundraiser raffle that raised $600,000 for nine local nonprofits. Gill was not present for the drawing, which was done by California gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa.


The Kelly Slater Surf Ranch wave pool will be opening to the public for its Founders Cup surfing competition

The Fresno Bee

The World Surf League event will allow public to see the one-of-a kind wave pool in Lemoore, CA where some of the best surfers in the world will compete on Saturday and Sunday, May 5-6, 2018.

That ‘Captain Marvel’ shoot in Shaver Lake? It’s happening soon and needs extras

Fresno Bee

Production for the upcoming “Captain Marvel” film is officially back on and scheduled to be in Shaver Lake later this month.

Locals honored with spot on Visalia's Avenues of Heroes

Visalia Times-Delta

The banners are part of The BRAVE Project Visalia, which — through donations —hangs military acknowledgment banners on the street lights of busy streets in the city.