May 8, 2018






From Bakersfield to DC, McCarthy's unlikely rise in GOP

The Business Journal

The rest of the country might be stunned, too, if Republicans win in November and McCarthy succeeds in his quest to become speaker of the House, next in line after the vice president to the presidency.


Nunes sticks to contempt threat against Sessions


The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), said on Monday that he planned to press ahead with holding Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt of Congress unless the Justice Department relented on a decision to deny sharing certain classified documents with lawmakers.

See also: 

     Nunes Doubles Down on Holding Sessions in Contempt for Documents Bloomberg

      Outrageous Redactions to the Russia Report National Review


EDITORIAL: Bateson has best chance (though slim) against McClintock

Modesto Bee

Just looking at Tom McClintock’s record, it’s hard to see why voters in California’s sprawling 4th Congressional District adore him so. Only five of his bills have become law in this Congress. Perhaps it’s because he’s a reliable conservative.

See also: 

      EDITORIAL: Democrats Regina Bateson and Jessica Morse would be better representatives than Tom McClintock Sacramento Bee


These candidates hope to replace Clint Olivier in Fresno City Council District 7

Fresno Bee 

Voters in Fresno City Council District 7 will have three candidates with markedly different backgrounds to choose from to replace Councilman Clint Olivier.


Absentee ballots delayed in Tulare County

Visalia Times-Delta

A delay in sending out absentee ballots across Tulare County has local Republicans red mad and Democrats feeling the election blues.


Kern County Elections Office needs poll workers

The Bakersfield Californian

The Kern County Elections Office is seeking poll workers for the Statewide Direct Primary Election to be held on June 5. Election officers are need to staff polling places throughout Kern County.


Clovis gets two Valley Blueprint Awards

Clovis Roundup

Clovis will be well represented at the 2018 San Joaquin Valley Blueprint Awards this week with two of its projects set to receive awards.


Budding cooks and businesses have a new place to make their creations in Clovis


The Fresno based business was started by Donna Mott, who is always evolving. She made a man-dough on a stick with smoked flour at the newly opened Clovis Culinary Center. The commercial kitchen is open for businesses just like Ooh de Lolli.


City gets unexpected funding for homeless outreach, infrastructure improvement

The Bakersfield Californian

The city of Bakersfield has received a funding windfall from the Department of Housing and Urban Development that is expected to provide additional dollars for homeless outreach, curb-and-gutter street improvements and other projects.




California governor's campaign could turn nasty as voters tune in

San Francisco Chronicle

For voters just starting to pay attention to the California governor’s race, Tuesday’s debate among the top six candidates offers a chance to catch up fast.

See also:

      Why California polls are wildly variable this spring Visalia Times Delta

      Who Runs California? A Baker's Dozen of Movers, Shakers & Blockers

      How California candidates use three words to sway voters OCRegister

      Candidates for California governor jockey for 2nd place Sacramento Bee

      GOP Candidates Cox, Allen Could Both Miss Ca Governor Runoff The Sacramento Bee

      Alexei Koseff @ Looking beyond one-party rule in California OC Register

      (Editorial) Newsom best choice to follow Brown’s success as governor  Santa Cruz Sentinel

      Gabby Giffords backs Gavin Newsom's gubernatorial campaign in her first television ad this election cycle Los Angeles Times

      Walters Warns California Republicans at State Convention Roll Call


California fears loss of congressional seat

San Francisco Chronicle

There are 435 seats in the House of Representatives and after every census, they are reapportioned among the states, based on how their populations have changed during the preceding decade. California’s growth rate is now very close to the nation’s and if the 2020 census confirms that trend, the state’s delegation, now 53 seats, could drop by one.


Kevin de León: Meet the 'unicorn' that's taking on Dianne Feinstein

Washington Post

The inflatable unicorn stood watch as I interviewed California state Sen. Kevin de León (D) in his spartan U.S. Senate campaign office in the Koreatown section of Los Angeles.


UC Davis CCEP Research Release: The Ballot Initiative Transparency Act

California Civic Engagement Project

In 2014, California passed the Ballot Initiative Transparency Act (BITA) which introduced reforms to California's citizens' ballot initiative process that allows for more public involvement. 


Editorial: Chronicle Recommends: Abolish the Board of Equalization

San Francisco Chronicle

Stripped of most of its powers and 96 percent of its staff but clinging to life by virtue of a 19th-century constitutional provision, the nation’s only such elected tax board has been reduced to an unadorned jobs program for politicians.




Republican Primaries 2018: Key Senate Battles Begin in Trump States

New York Times

Tuesday is decision day for contested Republican Senate primaries in Indiana, Ohio and West Virginia — three states that broadly supported President Trump in 2016.

See also:

       Pelosi Confident on Possible Speakership, Won’t Speculate on Minority Scenario Roll Call

       Should US political parties interfere in primaries? Brookings


Partisan Fight Over $15 Billion Rescissions Package Developing

Roll Call

The Trump administration on Monday outlined a roughly $15 billion “rescissions” request it plans to send to Congress on Tuesday, targeting unspent health care and green energy funds for the largest share of the cuts.


The U.S. Voting System Remains Vulnerable 6 Months Before Election Day. What Now?


As America heads toward the 2018 midterms, there's an elephant in the voting booth. Despite improvements since Russia's attack on the 2016 presidential race, the U.S. elections infrastructure is vulnerable — and will remain so in November.




What Stops Political Campaigns From Forging Signatures? Not Much.

Pew Charitable Trusts | Stateline

Theresa Greenfield’s campaign for Congress ended in March — not because she lost the Democratic primary in Iowa’s 3rd District, but because her campaign manager forged many voters’ signatures on the petition that put her on the ballot.


Political Corruption Is Ruining Everything, but We Can Fix It

The Nation

A bold new idea from Washington that might truly beat back routinized scandal.




Madera County ties for number one for most non-farm job growth


Former farmland is now harvesting economic benefits in Madera County. Madera County just ranked number one and tied with Calaveras County for non-farm job growth in the state.


EPA pesticide settlement comes under scrutiny

The Hill

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to dramatically scale back a pesticide fine on a California company has raised eyebrows, highlighting the ethical land mines facing an administration filled with former lobbyist and business executives.   




Criminal Justice:


Did California's serial killer have an accomplice? 'That is a possibility,' detective says

Fresno Bee

Detective Paul Holes, credited with coming up with the family-tree tracing method that caught suspect Joseph James DeAngelo last month, said Monday it's possible two people were involved in some of the crimes.


California could restart executions. These counties are most likely to condemn murderers.

The Sacramento Bee

California’s death row has ballooned to nearly 750 inmates, and the state hasn’t executed a murderer in more than 12 years. That could change soon.


CA peace officers memorial honors 6 killed in 2017

The Sacramento Bee

One was a new California Highway Patrol officer who died on Christmas Eve while his kids waited for him to open their presents.

See also:

       Watch the emotional ceremony honoring police officers killed on duty in 2017 Merced Sun-Star


EDITORIAL: Eyewitness testimony is often unreliable and police and lawmakers know it

Los Angeles Times

Wrongful convictions plague California's criminal justice system, and pretty much all participants and observers agree on the leading cause: faulty testimony from eyewitnesses. 


EDITORIAL: Cities should stop plundering the public on code-violation prosecutions


Late last year, the Desert Sun revealed an abusive practice in Indio and Coachella in which a city-contracted law firm, Silver & Wright, prosecuted city residents for minor crimes and then billed them for the costs of the prosecution.  The practice distorts the enforcement of local ordinances into a blatantly money-making enterprise.


Corrections Spending Remains High; Why "Full Implementation" of K-12 Funding Formula Matters

California Budget Center

Amid the ongoing deliberations on the 2018-19 state budget, the Budget Center has published a range of timely analyses on current state policy issues


Public Safety:


Now immigrants are being harassed on the witness stand in California courtrooms

Sacramento Bee

Public safety and the fair administration of justice require that everyone feels safe reporting crimes and testifying in court. Courts need to be safe zones, but with rhetoric coming out of Washington, D.C. that demonizes immigrants and threatens mass deportations, entering a courtroom is more daunting than ever. Public safety is suffering as a result.




Preparing for fire season


Cal Fire officials are ramping up for what they believe will be a dangerous fire season. On Monday, Cal Fire hired seasonal firefighters as they start ramping up for the season. 


Wildfire Awareness Week encourages residents to be proactive

The Bakersfield Californian

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has declared this week “Wildfire Awareness Week” in California and CAL Fire is advising the community to take personal responsibility for protecting yourself and your community.






Valadao, Costa, Denham Want Trump To Revise Tariffs

Eight California congressional representatives sent a bipartisan letter to the Trump administration Monday urging a second look at imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.


EDITORIAL: California is the world's fifth-largest economy. That's brought problems.

San Francisco Chronicle

If California were an independent country, its economy would rank as the world’s fifth-largest. But even a state as dynamic as California faces challenges. Separate evidence suggests we may be bumping up against new limitations right now.


California’s Persistently High Child Poverty Rate Is Even Higher for Children of Color

California Budget Center

A recent analysis by Senior Policy Analyst Alissa Anderson highlights the significant disparities in child poverty by race and ethnicity in our state. 




Madera County ties for number one for most non-farm job growth


Former farmland is now harvesting economic benefits in Madera County. Madera County just ranked number one and tied with Calaveras County for non-farm job growth in the state.


Want to work for Caltrans? The transportation dept is having a job fair May 8

Merced Sun Star

The California Department of Transportation is hosting a career fair at the Fresno Fairgrounds on May 8.


On the Federal Front: How the President's Trade Actions Could Affect Workers Across California

California Budget & Policy Center

To help shed light on the local impacts of the emerging trade dispute between the US and China — which began with the Trump Administration imposing tariffs on certain imported goods early this year — a new analysis by Senior Policy Analyst Sara Kimberlin shows how the tariffs proposed and enacted by China could harm California counties where unemployment is high and many are struggling economically.

See also: 

      Time is Running Out – Tell the White House a Trade Tax is Wrong Approach National Review / Consumer Technology Association


US employers post record high 6.6 million open jobs

Modesto Bee

U.S. employers advertised 6.6 million open jobs in March, the most on records dating back to December 2000, suggesting businesses want to staff up to meet strong demand.






In KHSD boundary dispute, it's all about where you draw the line

The Bakersfield Californian

More than 150 people, mostly residents of Lamont, Greenfield, Arvin and other small rural communities, had gathered outside before Monday’s Kern High School District board meeting to assert that their representation on the board is poor to non-existent. They want change, they say. They want two majority-Latino trustee areas. And they are losing patience.


GOP candidates for governor say California schools need changes, not more funding


The Republican candidates for governor of California are offering voters vastly different plans for education compared to their Democratic rivals and Gov. Jerry Brown.


New science test must be part of California's school accountability system


Science is a front-burner issue for California students, especially for those who are marginalized and disadvantaged. To ensure they receive the education they deserve and need, it is essential for the State Board of Education to add a placeholder for the California Science Test (CAST) to the California School Dashboard.


Higher Ed:


University of California nurses, medical workers join strike

The Bakersfield Californian

About 29,000 University of California nurses, pharmacists and radiologists have joined a three-day strike to support service workers' demands for higher wages. The medical workers joined the walkouts Tuesday, which led to the re-scheduling of thousands of surgeries and other medical appointments.

See also:

      University of California Workers Start 3-Day Strike Over Pay KQED

      UCSF workers walk off job; surgeries, health appointments canceled San Francisco Chronicle

      Picket line forms at UC Davis Med Center as three-day strike begins across UC system Sacramento Bee

      Sen. Kamala Harris to skip UC Berkeley commencement in support of striking workers Los Angeles Times

      University Of California Employees Go On Strike Demanding Pay Increases NPR

      Strike By University Of California Workers Disrupts Medical Appointments NPR


Out-of-State Students and Tuition at UC

Public Policy Institute of California

Nonresident tuition has been a reliable source of revenue for the University of California, but a potential slowdown in demand could change that.


Activism & College Education: Leftist Preaching Affects Students

National Review

Are college students affected by the preaching of their mostly “progressive” professors? We are often told to stop worrying about that because polling shows that on the whole, student beliefs are not changed much by their college experience.






Magnitude-4.5 earthquake rattles LA area

Los Angeles Times

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.5 shook a large portion of Southern California early Tuesday morning, authorities said.


Pruitt fast-tracked California cleanup after Hugh Hewitt brokered meeting


EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt placed a polluted California area on his personal priority list of Superfund sites targeted for “immediate and intense” action after conservative radio and television host Hugh Hewitt brokered a meeting between him and lawyers for the water district that was seeking federal help to clean up the polluted Orange County site.




The cost of the Porter Ranch gas leak is closing in on $1 billion

89.3 KPCC

The nation’s largest-ever natural gas leak has now cost Southern California Gas Company close to $1 billion. And that’s the tab before any legal damage awards or settlements.


California Energy Price Data for April 2018

California Business Roundtable

Here are the monthly updates for the most current April 2018 fuel price data ( and February 2018 electricity and natural gas price data (US Energy Information Agency).






Former mayor steps down at Hall Ambulance

The Bakersfield Californian

Illness has forced Harvey L. Hall, the dapper, four-time former mayor of Bakersfield, to step down as president of Hall Ambulance Service Inc.


California Gubernatorial hopefuls look to health care for election edge


California’s leading gubernatorial candidates agree that health care should work better for Golden State residents: Insurance should be more affordable, costs are unreasonably high, and robust competition among hospitals, doctors and other providers could help lower prices, they told California Healthline. What they don’t agree on is how to achieve those goals.


Assembly Democrats make pitch for $1 billion in healthcare spending in upcoming budget talks

Los Angeles Times

s budget negotiating season heats up, Assembly Democrats are making their priorities clear, proposing $1 billion in new healthcare spending that includes expanding Medi-Cal coverage to young adults without legal status and subsidizing insurance premiums for the poor.

See also:

       Ambitious Health Reform Package Needs $1 Billion From California Capital Public Radio News

       More undocumented immigrants would qualify for health care in $250 million California plan Sacramento Bee


California lawmakers move to limit opioids for minors

Sacramento Bee

A bill to limit how much opioid medication doctors can prescribe to children cleared a major hurdle in the California Legislature on Monday.

See also:

      Can a Judge Solve the Opioid CrisisWashington Post

      California Today: The Opioid Crisis in Humboldt County New York Times


Use Of Psychiatric Drugs Soars In California Jails

Washington Post

The number of jail inmates in California taking psychotropic drugs has jumped about 25 percent in five years, and they now account for about a fifth of the county jail population across the state, according to a new analysis of state data.


California judge affirms ruling for coffee cancer warnings

Sacramento Bee

A court ruling that gave coffee drinkers a jolt earlier this year was finalized Monday when a Los Angeles judge said coffee sold in California must carry cancer warnings.


Trump calls on Congress to pull back $15 billion in spending, including on Children’s Health Insurance Program

Washington Post

Almost half of the proposed cuts would come from two accounts within CHIP that White House officials said expired last year or are not expected to be drawn upon.


Nurses as intermediaries in the promotion of community health


In the American health care system, the operations of health facilities often are disconnected from the behavioral and economic drivers in communities that are most related to good long-term health, such as education and housing. This siloed nature of the system contributes to many avoidable readmissions, medical errors, and other adverse patient outcomes.


Human Services:


Senior Health Day planned for Wednesday

Hanford Sentinel

The Kings County Commission on Aging is suggesting that seniors “spring into good health” with its annual Senior Health Fair.


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

Pew Charitable Trusts | Stateline

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.




Sessions: Zero-tolerance policy may split families at border

Fresno Bee

A "zero-tolerance" policy toward people who enter the United States illegally may cause families to be separated while parents are prosecuted, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Monday.

See also:

      Immigration Courts Are Deeply Split On Who Can Claim Asylum Over Violence In Home Countries Los Angeles Times
      EDITORIAL: What kind of country would tear apart and lock up families fleeing violence in their homelands? Ours Los Angeles Times

     Stiffened U.S. Approach to Illegal Border Crossing Will Separate Families Wall Street Journal

     Fact-checking President Trump's claims on immigration Washington Post

      Trump Administration Threatens Jail and Separating Children From Parents for Those Who Illegally Cross Southwest Border  New York Times




Land Use:


Visalia council members vote pro-growth

Visalia Times-Delta

A proposed ARCO AM/PM gas station was given a second chance after Visalia City Council members voted to overturn the planning commission's denial for a conditional use permit.


Clovis gets two Valley Blueprint Awards

Clovis Roundup

Clovis will be well represented at the 2018 San Joaquin Valley Blueprint Awards this week with two of its projects set to receive awards.


Indoor shooting range could make bang in downtown Visalia

Visalia Times-Delta

Visalia will see new retailers in coming weeks and months including a new paint store on Mooney Boulevard, Dunn Edwards Paints and a new poké restaurant downtown




Housing prices: High costs, low wages pinch family budgets

Fresno Bee

A series of reports issued last week by Next 10 and Beacon Economics indicates that despite the statewide growth in the number of low-wage jobs, an increasing shortfall in the number of houses and apartments is driving housing costs up, and that is forcing a migration of lower-income families out of the state.

See also:

      If people are fleeing the Bay Area for cheaper housing, why is it still so costly? SFGate

     A single law is devastating the affordability of housing in California. Repeal Costa-Hawkins Los Angeles Times

     What you need to know about California's housing crisis CALmatters


Count finds fewer homeless in Stanislaus. But why?

The Modesto Bee

This year's count of Stanislaus County's homeless tallied 18 percent fewer people than last year's, but it's not clear if the numbers are down because there are fewer homeless. The lower numbers simply might reflect growing pains for the new organizers of the count.

See also:

     City gets unexpected funding for homeless outreach, infrastructure improvement Bakersfield Californian


City gets unexpected funding for homeless outreach, infrastructure improvement

The Bakersfield Californian

The city of Bakersfield has received a funding windfall from the Department of Housing and Urban Development that is expected to provide additional dollars for homeless outreach, curb-and-gutter street improvements and other projects.


Proposed California solar mandate could add $10,500 to cost of a house

San Francisco Chronicle

The California Energy Commission on Wednesday is expected to mandate solar arrays on almost all new single-family houses built after Jan. 1, 2020, as part of the state’s fight against global warming.


HUD Secretary Ben Carson to be sued for suspending Obama-era fair-housing rule

Washington Post

A lawsuit to be filed at midnight by fair-housing advocates accuses Carson of unlawfully suspending a 2015 rule intended to enforce the 1968 Fair Housing Act by compelling communities to draft plans to desegregate — or risk losing federal dollars. The Obama-era rule was intended to end nearly 50 years of inaction.




Pensions keep growing

Madera Tribune

When the city’s annual financial statements were presented to the City Council on Wednesday night, there was a piece of unsettling news: The city owes some $39 million in unfunded liabilities for pension payments. And those liabilities are likely to get bigger.


City introduces draft of budget

Hanford Sentinel

The city of Lemoore introduced a first draft of the 2018-2019 budget May 1 which had the city spending more than it would be taking in.


Sen. Josh Newman in fight for his political life over vote to raise California's gas tax

Los Angeles Times

A week after voting with fellow Democrats to raise California's gas tax, state Sen. Josh Newman was vacationing with his wife on a Caribbean island when he saw a news alert on his phone that said Republicans were targeting a lawmaker for recall over the action.


Making the Case for Further Strengthening the State's Earned Income Tax Credit

California Budget & Policy Center

At two budget subcommittee hearings last month, state legislators discussed the possibility of strengthening, and increasing outreach for, the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC).


Fiscal implications of Social Security–financed parental leave


The costs of each generation’s parental leave benefits might be spread over many future generations. The Social Security–financed parental leave proposal is therefore likely to shift fiscal burdens to future generations and reduce national saving.


Trump Spending Cut Proposal Now Expected At $15b 


The White House is expected to scale up its spending cuts proposal to $15 billion, according to multiple Republicans familiar with the request.




Parking Downtown? A $3 card could keep you from having to find change


The re-opening of Fulton Street in Downtown Fresno has brought with it a scramble for loose change to drop into parking meters. But the City of Fresno has a cash-free option that many people don't know about, a prepaid meter "Smartcard."


Why new train schedule will make a huge difference for some Modesto commuters

The Modesto Bee

Amtrak on Monday launched a new train that gets San Joaquin Valley residents to Sacramento by the start of each business day.


That stretch of California's Highway 1 that was supposed to reopen in May? It's delayed until September

Los Angeles Times

Travelers eager for Highway 1 to reopen in Big Sur will have to wait a little longer. The road was expected to reopen this May, but the date was pushed back to mid-September as crews work to realign the highway, Caltrans announced Monday.


Electric cars make inroads in California — but fast enough?

San Francisco Chronicle 

California continues to lead the nation in electric car sales.

But it must drive a long, hard road before it can achieve its goal of getting 5 million emissions-free cars on the road 12 years from now.


City of Clovis unveils counting system along Old Town Trail

Clovis Roundup

The new counters are a fun way for city staff to obtain data to ensure that trail users have the facilities and safety resources they need.




'The drought is not over': Residents still getting water from temporary tanks fear cutoff

Fresno Bee

The state started the water tank program three years ago when it declared a drought. At the height of the drought, 1,200 homes in the central San Joaquin Valley had tanks in their yards. There are still more than 300 families in the Valley whose homes have tanks.


Disappointment for Temperance Flat Reservoir Project

Hanford Sentinel

Action by the California Water Commission has left proponents of the massive Temperance Flat Reservoir Project searching for remaining options while wondering if the state agency’s crucial decision has made further project pursuit even feasible.


EDITORIAL: Hold water district board accountable for Delta tunnels vote

The Mercury News

It’s ludicrous for the Santa Clara Valley Water District board to believe it can steer Gov. Jerry Brown’s $16 billion Delta twin tunnels project by committing to help fund it.




A guide to ethnic food in Fresno? There's a website for that, thanks to some students

Fresno Bee

Fresno's food scene has been chronicled by all kinds of media, but an anthropology class? That might be a first.


Free Chipotle for teachers Tuesday, free ice cream for everybody

Fresno Bee

Chipotle is celebrating Teacher Appreciation Day — which includes teachers, faculty and school staff — with a free buy-one, get-one deal on meals. And the River Park Häagen-Dazs is celebrating Free Cone Day with free scoops of ice cream in cones.


Yosemite National Park adopts two wild mustangs trained by inmates

Sierra Star

Yosemite National Park announced May 7, that it adopted two mustangs, Drifter and Sandman, from the Sacramento Sheriff's Wild Horse Program — a 120 day program were inmates feed, care for, and eventually saddle wild horses.


On the Road: California's national historic districts, monuments make the state special

Stockton Record

California counts 37 national parks, national monuments, historic sites, trails and seashores; more than most other states (go to and search for California’s list). It’s one more reason to declare California a treasure trove of wonderful destinations.


Local car dealership rescues and adopts stray dog; pup becomes new team member

The Bakersfield Californian

The next time you visit Motor City Buick GMC, there's a good chance you'll see the Motor City's newest member, Lexie, the Motor City Mutt.