May 8, 2019



North SJ Valley:

Is there big money in Merced County hemp? Farmers say yes, but supervisors ban it

Merced Sun-Star

The Merced County Board of Supervisors put a 45-day moratorium on the growing of hemp on unincorporated farmland, a move that critics say will cost them money and prevent them from providing local jobs.

Grove: Ag crime bill will help California farmers

Visalia Times Delta

California is the top agricultural-producing state in the nation and is recognized as the breadbasket and salad bowl of the world. Unfortunately, this blessing goes unrecognized and our hard-working farmers and agricultural workers are often taken for granted.

Central SJ Valley:

Second daughter testifies in Assemblyman Arambula’s child abuse trial. She gives dad a hug

Fresno Bee

The trial of Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula continued Tuesday with testimony from witnesses for the prosecution, including the Fresno police detective in charge of investigating Arambula and the assemblyman’s 6-year-old middle daughter.

See also:

He Made National Headlines In Race Against Nunes: Why Does Janz Want To Be Fresno’s Next Mayor?


Andrew Janz, a prosecutor with the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office, made national headlines in 2018 when he challenged Devin Nunes for his congressional seat. Last week, he announced his run for Fresno mayor.

South SJ Valley:

Democratic state lawmakers try to get Trump tax returns, too

Bakersfield Californian

Congress won’t be seeing President Donald Trump’s tax returns any time soon, but that request isn’t the only way Democrats are trying to pry them loose.

See also:


Gavin Newsom’s $209 billion budget calls for new taxes. Can he get them passed?

Fresno Bee

Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed new taxes and fees to fund health care subsidies, clean drinking water and tax credits for low-income families. But state revenue outpacing even his most optimistic predictions could present a challenge for him as he attempts to raise taxes.

See also:

California audit finds thousands in improper state payments

Fresno Bee

The report, released Tuesday, outlined improper activities by state agencies and employees going back as far as 2016. The investigations were completed last year. The audit blames mismanagement. Most of the agencies said they’ll investigate or implement reforms.

See also:

California’s AG cracks down on jewelry containing lead and a toxic metal that’s even worse

Sacramento Bee

California’s efforts to crack down on lead and cadmium in jewelry resulted in a victory for the state’s top law enforcer but a state senate bill to toughen the amount of toxic materials in trinkets like earrings and bracelets also faced a set back this week.

Census offices are being cut across the country — and California is losing 24

Sacramento Bee

The Sacramento region hosted four census offices the last time the decennial Census was conducted. For the 2020 Census, which will be conducted a little less than a year from now, it will have just one.

Deleted texts and ‘show stopper defects’: California tech official raced to launch Motor Voter

Sacramento Bee

The California government technology officials who developed an automatic voter registration program for the Department of Motor Vehicles last year raced to the finish line even though they acknowledged they should have slowed down.

Inside the Capitol: California News and Analysis


Where to find news about how the California Capitol works—the players, the policies that affect how state government affects you.

Newsom is shrinking Brown’s pet projects


The elder Brown’s legacy had been an immense expansion of the state’s public-works infrastructure—new colleges and universities, a web of freeways and, most of all, a massive project to carry water from Northern California to the fast-growing cities of Southern California.


Republicans want to move on from Russia investigation even as they reopen probe

Los Angeles Times

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell offered a definitive verdict in the Mueller investigation: ‘case closed.’

Trump proposes to use a sham inflation rate to throw millions off poverty rolls

Los Angeles Times

If there’s any field in which the Trump administration excels, it’s in coming up with more ways to disadvantage the already disadvantaged in American society. This week, the administration proposed to redefine “poverty” in a way that could deprive millions of low-income Americans of needed assistance.

White House escalates fight with Congress over McGahn documents

Los Angeles Times

The Trump administration told former White House Counsel Don McGahn not to turn over documents subpoenaed by congressional investigators, escalating a battle between the two branches of government.

FBI chief says there is no evidence the agency spied on Trump’s 2016 campaign

Los Angeles Times

FBI Director Christopher A. Wray said Tuesday that he did not consider court-approved FBI surveillance to be “spying” and said he had no evidence the FBI illegally monitored Donald Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election.

Trump’s federal judge pace matches recent presidents — but with a big twist

Roll Call

In what the White House, Republican senators and right-leaning organizations hailed as a major milestone, President Donald Trump last week saw his 100th judicial nominee confirmed by the Senate.

Nunes, Top Ally to Trump, Signals Vote to Subpoena Special Counsel Evidence

Wall Street Journal

A top Republican ally of President Trump in the House of Representatives signaled to the Justice Department that he may join with congressional Democrats in voting to subpoena evidence gathered by special counsel Robert Mueller.

White House asserts executive privilege over Mueller report in latest confrontation with Congress

Washington Post

The White House formally asserted executive privilege over special counsel Robert S Mueller III’s report Wednesday, President Trump’s first use of the executive authority in the latest confrontation with Congress.

See Also:

How often should Trump be fact-checked? Readers weigh in


In our most recent weekly email to readers (sign up here), we noted that the Washington Post Fact-checker has released their latest count of Trump’s falsehoods: 10,000 false or misleading statements since Trump assumed the presidency.

OPINION: Roads and Bridges Can Bridge the Parties

Wall Street Journal

‘Finally—something America can agree on!” That was my thought seeing President Trump, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer discuss infrastructure last week.

Elections 2020:

With all eyes on the White House, another political battle looms large in 2020

Fresno Bee

While America’s fickle media and inattentive voters obsess over a platoon of Democrats seeking that Oval Office chair, an even larger, potentially more important struggle is well underway. Who will control the United States Senate starting in January 2021?

Democrats plan new push on election security, voting rights

Fresno Bee

Democratic leaders are launching a more aggressive push this month that could widen their probe of possible voter suppression into states other than those now under scrutiny, seeking to make it particularly less difficult for minority voters, who tend to vote Democratic, to go to the polls.

Trump campaign accuses Trump ally group of false advertising


The Trump campaign Tuesday released a tough statement that “condemns any organization that deceptively uses the President’s name, likeness, trademarks, or branding and confuses voters.”

Americans want a ‘normal’ president after Trump. So why are Democrats going radical?

Los Angeles Times

That feeling has defined our politics for a long time bringing us one “change election” after another. But politicians often seem to miss that the change many voters are looking for is a reversion from the abnormal to the normal.

Female candidates for president still face bias in 2020

Roll Call

The six women vying for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2020 start the race with more than 1 in 10 Americans saying they’re less suited to politics, merely because of their gender.


Powerful exhibit honors veterans who died fighting for our freedom


The “Remembering Our Fallen” traveling memorial allows family, friends and the public to mourn and celebrate, to ensure their veterans are never forgotten.  755 California veterans who have died since 9/11 are pictured. Close to 60 were from the Valley.

That old 3G phone grandpa keeps in his car for emergencies may not work much longer

Fresno Bee

3G, or third-generation, service is going the way of the video-cassette recorder. Verizon plans to turn off its 3G system by December. The three other major carriers are expected to keep their 3G systems operational for another few years.

CFPB rules would let debt collectors send unlimited texts, with a caveat

Los Angeles Times

A U.S. regulator unveiled proposed rules for debt collectors on Tuesday that would restrict how often they can call borrowers, while making clear that firms can send unlimited text messages and emails as long as consumers don’t opt out of such communications.

Nearly half of white Republicans say it bothers them to hear people speaking foreign languages

Washington Post

According to Pew Research Center, 47 percent of such Republicans say it would bother them “some” or “a lot” to “hear people speak a language other than English in a public place.” Just 18 percent of white Democrats said they would be similarly bothered.

EDITORIAL: Facebook has the right to ban extreme voices, but it needs to tread lightly

Los Angeles Times

The first thing to be said about Facebook’s decision to ban Louis Farrakhan, Alex Jones and a handful of other controversial figures is that the company is entirely within its rights to decide who will appear on its site.

EDITORIAL: Henry Waxman: Congress should act now to ensure a free and open internet

Los Angeles Times

Since the rise of the internet, there have been concerns that the dominance of a relatively small number of internet service providers could potentially threaten its open nature. I sought to prevent that outcome during my time in Congress by writing principles of net neutrality into law.

OPINION: Our Brush With Google Censorship

Wall Street Journal

Google wasn’t represented at a Senate hearing last month on political censorship. But it assured lawmakers in a written statement that “our products serve users of all viewpoints and remain politically neutral” while acknowledging that “sometimes our content moderation systems do make mistakes.”


Porterville poised to allow for three marijuana dispensaries


Tuesday night, Porterville city councilman Daniel Penaloza and his fellow councilmembers will vote to allow three marijuana dispensaries within the city, likely located in the downtown area.

Is there big money in Merced County hemp? Farmers say yes, but supervisors ban it

Merced Sun-Star

The Merced County Board of Supervisors put a 45-day moratorium on the growing of hemp on unincorporated farmland, a move that critics say will cost them money and prevent them from providing local jobs.

Nearly 12M pounds of Tyson frozen chicken recalled

Visalia Times Delta

Tyson Foods Inc. has recalled approximately 11.8 million pounds of frozen chicken strips because the products may be contaminated with metal, the United States Department of Agriculture announced.

Grove: Ag crime bill will help California farmers

Visalia Times Delta

California is the top agricultural-producing state in the nation and is recognized as the breadbasket and salad bowl of the world. Unfortunately, this blessing goes unrecognized and our hard-working farmers and agricultural workers are often taken for granted.

Food Fight: Trump Administration Levels Tariffs On Mexican Tomatoes

Capital Public Radio

Under pressure from Florida lawmakers, the Trump administration is taking steps to protect domestic tomato growers from Mexican competition.

See Also:

America’s farmworkers are aging, not being replaced

The average age of America’s hired farm laborers is steadily increasing, threatening the future of the nation’s farming industry, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.



New Diocese of Fresno bishop faces scrutiny after attorney’s comments on alleged abuse victims

Sacramento Bee

The Diocese of Fresno’s new bishop is already facing scrutiny after a defense attorney for Monsignor Craig Francis Harrison made comments toward alleged victims of sex abuse that many have deemed rude and insensitive.

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Think public defenders are overworked and underpaid? Kamala Harris wants to change that

Sacramento Bee

Kamala Harris jailed criminals as California’s top prosecutor before she was elected to the Senate. Now she’s trying to help the other side of the criminal justice system — public defenders.

California man awarded $60K from Bakersfield in wrongful arrest suit


Robert Mitchell, 25, from Bakersfield, and the American Civil Liberties Union District of Southern California filed a lawsuit against the city after his arrest in 2017. The city agreed to a settlement this month.

Public Safety:

California prison manager watched thousands of YouTube videos at work

Fresno Bee

An administrator at the Valley State Prison in Chowchilla watched thousands of YouTube videos while on the clock, according to a new report from the California State Auditor.

Stockton weighing new rules on massage businesses in effort to fight trafficking, prostitution

Stockton Record

In an effort to further deter prostitution and human trafficking, the city of Stockton has proposed more regulations on massage establishments.

Police Misconduct and Transparency in California


As national attention toward police misconduct grows, California lawmakers are seeking greater accountability for officers, in part by dramatically changing the laws governing public access to police files.

EDITORIAL: San Francisco and Oakland must say no to facial recognition technology

San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco is on the verge of becoming the first U.S. city to ban the governmental use of facial recognition technology, and Oakland isn’t far behind.


Firefighter’s death in Ferguson fire ruled ‘serious accident,’ prompts safety changes

Fresno Bee

The July 2018 death of an inter-agency captain who was helping fight the Ferguson wildfire was ruled a “serious accident” and sparked an investigation and change in policies for the National Park Service.

See also:

Rebuilding begins in Paradise 6 months after Camp Fire


The last time we left fire-flattened Paradise, we saw a sign on the way out of town. It read, “Dead End.” If you’re the kind of person who believes whatever he reads, then you might accept such a scene as the end of this story. But you haven’t spent the last six months here.

See also:

Prescribed burning at Bass Lake to continue into June

Sierra Star

The Sierra National Forest will continue the prescribed burning project in the Bass Lake Ranger District to reduce the risk of wildfire in the area, according to a news release.

Are You Prepared For Public Safety Power Shutoffs During Fire Season?

Sierra News

As wildfire season approaches, residents need to be aware of and prepared for the possibility that their power will be shut off – sometimes for several days – as a safety precaution.

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Strong winds fuel Refuge fire in Kern County, estimated at 1,500 acres

Los Angeles Times

A brush fire broke out Tuesday evening at the Kern National Wildlife Refuge and grew to an estimated 1,500 acres in about an hour.



Worsening US-China trade tensions rattle financial markets

Fresno Bee

The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled more than 470 points Tuesday amid a broad sell-off on Wall Street as the U.S. and China moved closer to an escalation of their already costly trade war.

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Hello, Traveler! Tourism Continues To Enrich Our Economy

Sierra News

The numbers are in and it’s clear Madera County continued to thrive from visitor spending in 2018. Visit California’s latest economic impact report demonstrates visitor spending reached $338.8 million and supported 4,230 jobs in Madera County, a 4.4 percent boost from last year.

Visalia company grows since plastic straw ban

Visalia Times Delta

Congressman Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) is no fan of the “straw police,” but in the heart of the Central Valley a longstanding company has become just the second in America to manufacture paper straws at scale — bringing dozens of jobs and tax revenue to his district.

With an Expanding UC Campus and More Jobs, Merced Is Booming. But That Growth Isn’t for Everyone

For many Merced families it is tough to make ends meet. Forty-three percent of all babies and toddlers in this county live in poverty. Merced is booming, but it hasn’t reached everyone.

Economists quit Trump admin after their studies showed tariffs hurt US farmers: report

The Hill

Trump administration economists are quitting their jobs, saying they’ve faced retaliation for publishing reports highlighting how President Trump‘s tariffs and other trade policies have hurt farmers, Politico reports.

China threatens to respond ‘in kind’ if President Trump imposes higher tariffs on Friday

Washington Post

The warning from China’s commerce ministry comes as China’s vice premier arrives in Washington for another round of trade talks. The statement suggested that China was prepared to retaliate with higher tariffs on American products in response to Trump’s threats.

OPINION: Trump’s economy is booming, and Democrats can’t handle it

Roll Call

Though they try to maintain the false narrative, the one that worked so well for them in the 2018 elections — that the Republican tax cuts only benefited the rich — the strong economy increasingly undermines their central argument.

OPINION: The Economics of Donald J. Keynes

New York Times

I made a bad economic call on election night 2016, predicting a Trump recession. But I quickly realized that political dismay had clouded my judgment, and retracted the call three days later. “It’s at least possible,” I wrote on Nov. 11, 2016, “that bigger budget deficits will, if anything, strengthen the economy briefly.”


U.S. to add 30,000 seasonal worker visas as soon as this week

Los Angeles Times

The Trump administration plans to let an additional 30,000 people return to the United States through September for seasonal work, a move that reflects how the booming economy has complicated President Trump’s hard-line efforts on immigration.

Uber protest planned Wednesday — and drivers are hoping you’ll notice

San Francisco Chronicle

Uber and Lyft drivers will air their grievances in a strike on Wednesday, two days before Uber is scheduled to go public.

5 Big Mistakes California Employers Make


Workplace compliance mistakes can lead to costly litigation for California employers and continue to make the state golden for employment lawyers. So what are employers doing wrong? Here are five big mistakes that employee-side attorneys say businesses make when it comes to preventing lawsuits.



Fear and favoritism at Fresno Unified is ‘devastating to morale,’ teachers say

Fresno Bee

Teachers say incidents like this are the bedrock of a “culture of fear” at Fresno Unified – a much-whispered about issue of alleged retaliation that the district is now trying to address in the open.

Clovis East students showcase their skills learned in medical training program


Students demonstrated their skills in taking blood pressure, measuring pulse and respiration, and even how to deliver a baby.

Todd Oto out at Visalia Unified after 5-2 vote, admin says ‘students will suffer’

Visalia Times Delta

In a surprising move that caused rumors to swirl for nearly a week, Visalia Unified School District board members voted to dismiss the superintendent after a closed session at Tuesday night’s board meeting.

Students and staff celebrate Measure M modernization project at Fremont Elementary

Merced Sun-Star

The Merced City School District, along with students and staff at Fremont Elementary School, celebrated the completion of a modernization project on Monday.

Cyber-attack threat is costly for Modesto schools. The total estimate may surprise you.

Modesto Bee

The costs of combating a recent cyber attack and securing computer services against further attacks will easily exceed $1 million for Sylvan Union School District.

Special board meeting to address PBIS on Tuesday

Visalia Times Delta

Visalia Unified School District board members will look deeper into a proposed plan to make up where the district’s current system falls short at a special board meeting Tuesday.

Can two new schools fix ‘broken’ behavior system?

Visalia Times Delta

The framework used to serve Visalia students with social-emotional and behavioral issues is ‘broken,’ according to teachers, parents and even board members. The foundation, though, is solid.

California must reform charter schools

Visalia Times Delta

In education circles in California and nationally, the fundamental question is this: How do we ensure all public schools are high quality? In Sacramento, much of the debate focuses on charter schools, as the Legislature considers several related bills related to them.

Want to avoid a state takeover of Sac City Unified? Make these smart cuts

Sacramento Bee

The president of the Sacramento City Unified School District school board, Jessie Ryan, called for a “ceasefire” following the recent strike by Sac City Unified educators, saying “together we can solve this fiscal crisis and unite to save our schools with smart solutions.”

Divided Views on Charter Schools and School Choice

Nearly three decades after California started authorizing charter schools, state lawmakers have renewed the debate over their rules and regulations. Today, there is a package of bills aimed increasing charter oversight moving through the legislature, and the governor has taken steps to address related issues.

Higher Ed:

State Center trustee may have to pay $66,000 penalty for violating campaign laws

Fresno Bee

A trustee for State Center Community College District is facing a potential fine of $66,000 from state regulators for campaign violations dating back to 2016.

Summer institute for local teachers to be held at CSUB

Bakersfield Californian

The Kegley Institute of Ethics and CSUB Department of Teacher Education at Cal State Bakersfield are collaborating to host the Social-Emotional, Ethics, and Democratic Education Summer Institute for local K-6 educators from July 22-24 and 26.

Forget rich parents buying admission. Here’s California’s real college scandal

Sacramento Bee

While the recent college admissions scandal ensnared a handful of wealthy parents, there are thousands of students who are ensnared by a much deeper and more troubling problem: student homelessness.

Stanford Moves to Stop Supporting Its University Press

Inside Higher Ed

Many academics were stunned and angry to learn that Stanford University has announced that it will no longer provide any financial support for its press. Professors at Stanford are pushing back, but there are no signs that the university will reconsider.

OPINION: In Praise of Great Professors

Wall Street Journal

This Future View is about great professors. Next week we’ll discuss the history major, which has declined more rapidly than any other major on U.S. campuses.




Foxtails becoming a growing problem for Valley pet owners


Fields across the Central Valley may look harmless for your pup but it is ground zero for foxtails and straws that could have ticks. But it is not just fields, walkways, backyards, and parks could have them too.

Hundreds Of California Species At Risk Of Extinction, United Nations Report Says — In Addition To Millions Globally

Capital Public Radio

More than a million species are at risk of extinction globally, including hundreds in California. That’s what the United Nations revealed on Monday.

See also:

As you wait for Tioga Road to reopen, these big changes are coming to Yosemite

Sacramento Bee

Travelers awaiting the reopening of Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park will have to keep waiting as snowplows continue their journey across the remote road over the Sierra Nevada.

In Trump vs. California, the state is winning nearly all its environmental cases

Los Angeles Times

More than two years into the Trump presidency, California has embraced its role as chief antagonist — already suing the administration more times than Texas took President Obama to court during eight years in office. It’s having an effect.

A Green New Deal ignites an old red scare

Washington Post

There are hundreds of caucuses in Congress. There’s a wine caucus. There’s a horse caucus. There’s a Mongolia caucus. There are caucuses for hockey, for shellfish, for unexploded ordnance. Rep. Chris Stewart (R) wanted an anti-socialism caucus.


Is PACE ‘bad for homeowners’ in Visalia?

Visalia Times Delta

Property Assessed Clean Energy is dead in Visalia. Along with it, the number of future solar customers citywide. After six years, city council members sent the program commonly known as PACE packing in a 4-1 vote following a heated, standing-room only council meeting on Monday.

A war is brewing over lithium mining at the edge of Death Valley

Los Angeles Times

This prehistoric lake bed is shaping up to be an unlikely battleground between environmentalists and battery technologists who believe the area might hold the key to a carbon-free future.



State surgeon general says she’s hearing Fresno’s health challenges — and taking notes

Fresno Bee

California’s new surgeon general Dr. Nadine Burke Harris on Tuesday stopped in Fresno at the California Endowment offices for the latest leg of her statewide listening tour. Burke Harris has already paid a visit to other parts of the state like Los Angeles and Orange counties.

Report: 3 In 5 U.S. pregnancy-related deaths preventable


A new Centers for Disease Control report shows 60 percent of the approximately 700 pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S. each year are preventable.

RSV/ flu season at an end, but SVMC visitation restrictions remain in effect as measles precaution

Porterville Recorder

Sierra View Medical Center (SVMC) has not seen recent cases for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) or Influenza, but due to the number of measles outbreaks throughout the U.S., including California, the hospital is taking all safety precaution to protect their patients and is keeping the same visitation restriction in place.

Advanced alcohol-related liver disease on rise in US, study finds

Bakersfield Californian

The most deadly forms of alcohol-related liver disease appear to be on the rise in the U.S., a new study finds.

School nurses on front line against anti-vaxxers, measles outbreaks. Why aren’t there more of them?

Sacramento Bee

Experts say nurses play a key role in containing communicable diseases by spotting and isolating infected students and keeping track of children who haven’t been vaccinated. Nurses also can more easily detect whether parents are using a bogus medical exemption to prevent their children from getting vaccinated.

Misguided doctors and bad information are fueling the return of measles

Los Angeles Times

Before the creation of a vaccine in 1963, measles infected 3 to 4 million people a year in the United States. Nearly 50,000 measles patients each year required hospitalization, and the disease infected the brains of 1,000 and killed 400 to 500 people. Today, we shouldn’t be seeing any cases.

Huge Racial Disparities Found in Deaths Linked to Pregnancy

New York Times

African-American, Native American and Alaska Native women die of pregnancy-related causes at a rate about three times higher than those of white women, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Tuesday.

Human Services:

Adventist Health Tulare unveils new signs, logo

Visalia Times Delta

Adventist Health Tulare made its public debut to patients and passersby on Monday. New signs brandishing Adventist Health’s colorful leaf logo replaced all mentions of Tulare Regional Medical Center in the hospital’s parking lot, building and entrances.

Kaweah Delta: We ’blew it’ with Measure H

Visalia Times Delta

After Visalia voters in 2016 overwhelmingly defeated a proposed $327 million bond to bring Kaweah Health Care District’s hospital up to state-mandated seismic standards, hospital officials scrambled to come up with ideas to meet the 2030 deadline.  

Social Security’s Financial Outlook: The 2019 Update in Perspective

Center for Retirement Research

Contrary to media reports, the 2019 Trustees Report shows little change overall: Social Security’s 75-year deficit ticked down from 2.84 percent to 2.78 percent of payroll.


Trump can make asylum seekers wait in Mexico, appeals court rules

Los Angeles Times

A federal appeals court says the Trump administration can force asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for court hearings while the policy is challenged in court.

See also:

A Plan To Cover Immigrants Would Divert Public Health Dollars

California Healthline

Public health officials describe the proposed reallocation of state dollars as a well-meaning initiative that nonetheless would have “dire consequences” to core public health services.

Immigration talks at White House produce vague path forward

Roll Call

Tuesday started with talk of White House officials preparing to lay out a centrist immigration plan born from Jared Kushner’s monthslong efforts to bridge wide divides between Republicans and Democrats.

EDITORIAL: Are migrant families still being separated at the border? We need to find out. Now

Los Angeles Times

The policy was put in place last year to serve as a warning to people who were living in fear of gangs and other mortal dangers in their home countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador and who were considering seeking asylum in the U.S.

OPINION: The Asylum System Is Breaking the Border

Wall Street Journal

Suppose U.S. elected officials and candidates in both parties were serious about addressing the refugee problem, rather than using it to score partisan points. What would they do?


Land Use:


Cost, crowding, or commuting? Housing stress on the middle class


Over the past decade, housing costs in the U.S. have risen faster than average incomes. While housing affordability has long been a problem for low-income families, middle-income families are increasingly facing affordability challenges, especially in urban areas with strong labor markets.


New federal rules aim to stop debt collector harassment

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a proposal Tuesday to set new rules to protect consumers from harassment by debt collectors.

FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

The FDIC is committed to expanding Americans’ access

to safe, secure, and affordable banking services. The FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households is one contribution to this end.


Plan to widen Hwy. 101 too risky for giant redwoods on North Coast, court tells Caltrans

Fresno Bee

A controversial Caltrans plan to widen a stretch of Highway 101 through a popular state park on California’s North Coast and home to ancient stands of old-growth redwoods was blocked again by a federal judge last week who said the project would threaten the mighty trees.

More motorists turning toward electric cars as gas prices rise


Gas prices are on the rise in the Central Valley and across the state. If you’re looking to fill your tank, it’ll cost you about $4 a gallon. The spike in prices has some turning to alternatives. One of those is electric cars.

Supervisors Approve Controversial Roundabout In North Fork

Sierra News

The Madera County Board of Supervisors today voted unanimously to approve a $1.97-million contract to build Madera County’s first public roundabout in North Fork.


A Little-Known Company Is Quietly Making Massive Water Deals

Voice of San Diego

In the past several years, Los Angeles-based Renewable Resources Group has helped sell 33,000 acres of land to California’s most powerful water agency, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.


‘Sequoia Shuttle’ takes visitors to favorite park attractions


You can now enjoy the Sequoia National Forest without the drive. The Sequoia Shuttle is gearing up for the 2019 season, and online reservations have begun. But act quick, the dates are already filling up.

Mexico’s most successful pop/rock band just added Fresno to its U.S. tour

Fresno Bee

The group will be at the Save Mart Center on Dec. 5 for what is currently the tour’s final night. Tickets for the show are $32.59-$232.50 and available 10 a.m. Friday at the arena box office, online at or by phone at 800-745-3000.

Celebrate Creativity At Free Madera County ArtsFest

Sierra News

Families are invited to attend the sixth annual Madera County ArtsFest on Saturday, May 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This free event will promote art in Madera County in a carnival-type atmosphere.

Locals say ‘I do’ to Free Comic Book Day

Hanford Sentinel

From Marvel fans to “Game of Thrones” fans to Star Wars” fans and everything in between, Free Comic Book Day’s mantra is that it doesn’t matter what you like, as long as you like it as much as you can.

Who Saved the Redwoods: The Unsung Heroines of the 1920s Who Fought for Our Redwood Forests


Powerful lumber interests stood in the way of the first campaigns to save the redwood trees of Humboldt County, California, but they were boldly opposed and pushed back. This history of the early 1900s recalls the Progressive Era crusades of women and men who prevailed against great odds, protecting the best of California’s northern redwood forests.