November 1, 2017


Top Policy/Political Stories

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Local/Regional Politics:


New gas tax will pay for Highway 99 repairs, other Valley road work

Fresno Bee

There’s a new gasoline tax that drivers will see at fuel pumps starting Nov. 1, and state and local transportation officials already have big plans for catching up on much-needed road repairs in Fresno County and around the state. A stretch of Highway 99 from downtown Fresno to a mile north of the San Joaquin River in Madera County is in line for $5.2 million to repair and resurface the freeway – one of the most visible components of work to be funded by SB 1, a bill that adds 12 cents per gallon to the price of a gallon of gasoline.

See also:

·       California’s gas tax increases Wednesday, and the political fallout is likely to spill over into 2018 elections  Los Angeles Times

·       California Fuel Taxes Rise Wednesday

·       Fox: The Gas Tax is Going Up—Treat or Trick?  Fox & Hounds


Caltrans Wants Input on California State Rail Plan

Streetsblog California

The just-released 2018 California State Rail Plan is the state’s strategic plan for creating a coordinated, statewide rail network. It calls for increased investments in existing networks, including electrification, more grade separations, higher frequency service, and better integration among different systems. The plan includes a vision to expand and improve both passenger and freight rail service, including seamless connections, increased reliability, modern and comfortable trains, and quick and easy transfers between services. It projects greatly increased ridership from these investments, which include high speed rail and connections to it via other existing rail services, as well as other new rail connections and better express bus services.


Jim Boren Announces Retirement After 48 Years With The Fresno Bee

Valley Public Radio

The Fresno Bee’s executive editor Jim Boren announced on Monday that he plans to retire in January. In his 48 year career he’s covered countless stories – from the Chowchilla school bus kidnapping to the Operation Rezone scandal at Fresno City Hall. Prior to his current position, he helped lead the paper’s coverage of local politics, and served as editor of the editorial page.

See also:

·       New publisher: Ken Riddick returns to Fresno Bee  Fresno Bee


Which candidate is raising the most campaign money for Modesto’s 3 council seats?

Modesto Bee

Councilman Tony Madrigal is the top fundraiser among the seven candidates running for three seats on the Modesto City Council in Tuesday’s election and has raised about $88,000 as he seeks a second term, according to the candidates’ most recent campaign finance forms. The six other candidates have raised more than $60,000 combined. Madrigal also was a prolific fundraiser when he ran in 2013, raising nearly $42,000. He has brought in about $130,000 for his two council campaigns.


After Hospital Shutdown, What’s Next For Tulare’s TRMC?

Valley Public Radio

Last week a bankruptcy court judge allowed the Tulare Local Health Care District board to part ways with HCCA, the private company that has been running the Tulare Regional Medical Center for several years.


In its 15th season, Check Before You Burn resulting in cleaner air

Bakersfield Californian

Every emission counts when you live in the downwind end of a valley that traps air pollution close to the ground. Traps it where we breathe. During the winter, the largest generator of the valley’s air pollution comes from an otherwise pleasant source: the warm glow of the home hearth, the residential fireplace, according to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.


State Politics:


Governor’s Race:


California’s candidates for governor square off in their first debate


Ready? Set? Go! The horse race for the 2018 election is on. Four candidates hoping to become the state’s next governor met to speak before the National Union of Healthcare Workers in Anaheim this Sunday. Each is looking to succeed Jerry Brown, who’s been governor for nearly four terms total, dating back to the 1970s. The participants included State Treasurer John Chiang, former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

See also:

·       Walters: Garcetti’s opt-out for governor may have saved VillaraigosaCALmatters

·       Eastin: Jerry Brown “Has Really Hurt” California Schools



Gov. Jerry Brown plans climate trip to Vatican, Belgium, Norway and Germany

Los Angeles Times

“While the White House declares war on climate science and retreats from the Paris Agreement, California is doing the opposite and taking action,” Brown said in a statement. “We are joining with our partners from every part of the world to do what needs to be done to prevent irreversible climate change.”


Obamacare isn’t imploding in California

Sacramento Bee

Covered California’s open enrollment period begins Wednesday, and Californians need to know that the state’s health insurance marketplace is open for business. Until Jan. 31, Californians can sign up for quality health care coverage, and current members can change plans or see if they qualify for extra financial help.

See also

·       The bicoastal bid to shore up Obamacare  POLITICO

For more articles on ACA/Omabcare/Health Care Reform, see “Health” below.

California Senate paid $89500 to employee fired after argument over Colin Kaepernick

Sacramento Bee

The California Senate earlier this year reached a five-figure settlement with a former employee over allegations of discrimination and retaliation, including that he was fired for complaining about illegal political activities, sexual trysts and racist behavior in the office. In January, the Senate agreed to pay $89,500 to Douglas L. Miller, a former district representative for Sen. Tom Berryhill, R-Modesto, two weeks after a Sacramento County judge allowed his lawsuit to proceed to trial.


California Assembly announces hearings on sexual harassment


Hearings are set for late November to discuss ways to deter sexual harassment at the state Capitol, the California Assembly announced Tuesday.

See also:

·       California lawmaker faces calls to resign over Capitol groping incidentSacramento Bee

·       Whistle-blower protections sought for California lawmakers’ staffers  San Francisco Chronicle


Review of the California Competes Tax Credit

Legislative Analyst’s Office

California Competes awards income tax credits to attract or retain businesses considering a significant new investment in California. In this report, we reviewed California Competes’ experience to date in meeting the Legislature’s goals for the program.

See also:

·       California business tax incentive program should end, legislative analyst says Los Angeles Times


California marijuana tax will reach 45 percent, could fuel black market sales

Marijuana is legal in California, but the state’s taxes could be so high that illegal purchases will be more attractive to buyers, according to a report released Monday. Global credit firm Fitch Ratings said in the report that marijuana taxes in California could reach as high as 45 percent — and that could put legal sellers at a disadvantage to their illegal competitors.


California Needs Congress to Renew Funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program

California Budget & Policy Center

In recent years, Californians have enjoyed expanded access to health care coverage, including sizeable gains among our state’s young people. From 2013 to 2016 alone, the share of California children without health coverage dropped sharply, declining by more than 60 percent. States depend heavily on federal support for CHIP, and federal funding is set to expire soon; Congress should act quickly to renew this spending and reaffirm our nation’s commitment to children’s health.


Proposed initiative would end early release for some crimes, allow more DNA collection

Los Angeles Times

A coalition including police officers and prosecutors on Monday proposed a California state initiative that would end early release of rapists and child traffickers and expand the number of crimes for which authorities could collect DNA samples from those convicted. The ballot measure is sponsored by the California Public Safety Partnership, and would reverse some elements of Prop 47, which was approved by voters in 2014 and reduced some crimes deemed nonviolent from a felony to a misdemeanor.


California’s Top Two Primary is on the Voters’ Side


Election reform working as intended, favoring coalition-seeking candidates


Inclusive governance a necessity to elevating Californians


Podcast: Promoting more participatory governing will help build an economy that reflects more of us


Federal Politics:


U.S. Senate Race


Age a big factor as younger Dems circle Feinstein

Visalia Times-Delta

They see her as road-kill, the younger California Democrats hovering over longtime Democratic U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein this month just before and just after she announced her bid for election to a sixth term.


Kevin de León distorts Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s environmental record in fundraising plea

Los Angeles Times

U.S. Senate candidate Kevin de León mischaracterized Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s environmental record on Tuesday in a fundraising plea to supporters. In the email, De León wrote that he was “so disappointed” that Feinstein was not among 19 senators who sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency last week opposing the repeal of a federal policy that sought to reduce power plant emissions.


Federal Tax Reform:


GOP deal to keep property deduction as part of tax overhaul leaves California lagging some other states

Los Angeles Times

The decision by a key House Republican to maintain the deduction for property taxes but not for other state and local taxes is a victory for California but a bigger win for residents of other states. While California has the highest top state income tax rate in the nation, the state ranks in the bottom third by one measure for property taxes, which have been limited since voters passed Proposition 13 in 1978.


For more articles on Federal Tax Reform, see “Public Finance” below.



Tom Steyer’s impeachment petition gets over 1 million signatures in first week

Los Angeles Times

Billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer says his online petition asking Congress to impeach President Trump garnered more than 1.1 million signatures in its first week. Last week, Steyer began airing an ad calling for Trump’s impeachment and asking viewers to sign his petition urging Congress to do so. He has spent more than $10 million to air the ad nationwide, including during the World Series.


Poll: Most say this is lowest point they can remember for US


A majority of people surveyed in a new poll say this is the lowest point in U.S. history. A recent poll published by the American Psychological Association finds 59 percent of Americans surveyed think this is the lowest point in the nation’s history that they can remember. A slightly larger percentage, 63 percent, say they are stressed about the nation’s future, according to the poll.




They bought cars from a broker, but the costs – and stress – were just beginning

Fresno Bee

They thought they could trust him. They knew his father, he came recommended, they or their relatives had bought cars from him with no problems, and hadn’t he been in business for years? Not only that, he got them the right car at a fair price. What’s not to like?




Gas taxes just increased. Now Caltrans needs to prove we’re not wasting our money

Fresno Bee

The gas tax hike will be the stuff of talk radio chatter. People may curse Gov. Jerry Brown. But we have ignored our roads and other infrastructure for too long, and the bill is coming due.


If California insists on keeping its car culture alive, it needs to do so without fossil fuels

Los Angeles Times

Is it possible to imagine a world without carbon-spewing gasoline-powered cars and trucks? A growing number of countries around the world are doing just that, phasing out the sale of such vehicles over the next few decades. Meanwhile, some automakers have announced plans to shift their lineups exclusively to hybrid or electric vehicles. California should join the effort and move toward banning sales of new carbon-emitting vehicles as soon as is practical. And maybe even a little sooner


On this All Saints Day, we can pray for patience in dealing with government

Modesto Bee

Price is gas is going up, watering days are going down and you can’t burn as often. Harumph


Cheers and Jeers: Sometimes late is better than never

Stockton Record

Cheers Courage is the ability to do something that frightens you. It would be reasonable to presume war is frightening. Yet thousands of young men and women go to war to represent and fight for our country. Yet it took decades for the U.S. to recognize native Filipinos who fought for the U.S. in…




Farmers Search For Answers As California Mulls New Restrictions Over Chlorpyrifos

Valley Public Radio

One of the most widely used insecticides in America is the subject of a regulatory battle. Earlier this year the Trump administration chose not to move ahead with efforts to ban chlorpyrifos, first put in place by the Obama administration.  Now, California is in the process of tightening its own regulations of the insecticide, and that has some farmers searching for answers.


Pesticide residue on fruits and veggies tied to infertility


Women who eat more fruits and vegetables with high levels of pesticide residue may be less likely to get pregnant than women whose diets don’t include a lot of this type of produce, a U.S. study suggests. Researchers examined data on eating habits and pregnancy outcomes for 325 women who went through a total of 541 cycles of fertility treatments at a clinic in Boston. Overall, 228 of the fertility treatment cycles resulted in a live birth.


Dean Florez: Scientists shouldn’t shill for industry on animal welfare

Fresno Bee

California is the nation’s leading state for agricultural production, and also the country’s leader on animal welfare. When I was a state lawmaker, I endorsed Proposition 2, which required that laying hens be allowed to “stand up, lie down, turn around, and freely extend their limbs.” I saw no contradiction in advocating for our agricultural economy and for farm animals receiving proper care. Proposition 2 was an important advance, but a decade later, it’s time for an upgrade. That’s precisely what a new proposed ballot measure would do. It would stipulate that laying hens live cage-free, and it would make sure that veal, eggs and pork sold in the state come from farms that do not keep animals in extreme confinement, no matter where the farms operate.







Tulare County Law Enforcement Double Down On Domestic Violence

Valley Public Radio

Today marks the final day of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Across the United States, it’s estimated that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been physically abused by an intimate partner. Here in the San Joaquin Valley, law enforcement agencies receive 15-20,000 reports of domestic violence each year.


Effectiveness of California crime laws fuels debate

San Francisco Chronicle

Another round of the debate over crime and punishment is opening in California, where lawmakers and voters in recent years have added some elements of leniency to a justice system that has long been one of the nation’s most punitive. A new study and a proposed ballot measure gave conflicting grades this week to the wave of changes in state law.


Public Safety:


LA bans pepper spray, baseball bats, weapons and other items at protests

Los Angeles Times

The City Council voted 13 to 1 to pass an ordinance that would prohibit a long list of items at rallies, demonstrations and public assemblies, including metal pipes, swords, torches with an open flame, bricks, signs that are not made out of soft material or thin cardboard, and shields made of wood, metal or hard plastic.




Losses from Northern California wildfires top $3 billion; 14,000 homes destroyed or damaged

Los Angeles Times

The wildfires that ravaged wine country this month caused at least $3 billion in insured losses, officials said Tuesday. Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced the staggering number and warned it will likely grow as more claims are reported by insurers. Santa Rosa alone lost 5% of its housing in California’s most destructive wildfire, and some residents have questioned whether they will be able to afford to stay in a region known for its tight housing market and high prices.

See also:

·       California insurance agency: wildfires losses at $3.3 billion, rising Reuters

·       Tubbs, Nuns, Pocket fires fully contained in Sonoma and Napa counties  The Press Democrat

·       After the wine country fires, what happens to the crops?  CALmatters

·       PG&E Reports Describe Falling Trees, Downed Power Lines on Night Deadly Fires Started The California Report – KQED News

·       PG&E reports from fire zones show toppled trees, downed lines, broken poles San Francisco Chronicle

·       Electric companies found at fault in North Bay fires won’t be able to pass costs onto residents under proposed bill  Los Angeles Times

·       Electric utilities that cause wildfires should eat the costs, lawmakers saySacramento Bee

·       Cal Fire must prioritize prevention  San Francisco Chronicle







Center for Retirement Research at Boston

The key supplement to Social Security benefits is accumulations in employer-sponsored retirement plans.  Increasingly these accumulations occur in 401(k) plans and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).  The release of the Federal Reserve’s 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) is a great opportunity to see how a strengthening economy, the continued maturation of the 401(k) system, and steady stock market returns have affected workers’ retirement wealth.




Merced County inks deal with Port of LA

Merced Sun-Star

Merced County has landed a deal with the Port of Los Angeles in a plan that leaders say could help revitalize the former Castle Air Base, not to mention bring thousands of jobs to the area in the coming decades. The board of supervisors voted 4-0 on Tuesday to approve the effort to make more than 8 million square feet available for industrial development. Supervisor Rodrigo Espinoza was absent.


U.S. Companies Add Most Workers in Seven Months, ADP Data Show

Bloomberg Business

Companies added more workers than forecast to U.S. payrolls in October, indicating hiring snapped back after hurricanes Harvey and Irma, according to data released Wednesday from the ADP Research Institute in Roseland, New Jersey.






Bee sex-ed survey done with Fresno Unified’s OK. Now, district drawing law group’s fire

Fresno Bee

The Fresno Bee recently reported on the results of an anonymous survey of Fresno Unified students about sex education, conducted with the permission of the school district, as part of an investigation into teen pregnancy rates in the Valley. Now, a conservative law group wants Fresno Unified to discipline staff who allowed The Bee to distribute the survey, demand a retraction from the newspaper, and limit reporters’ access to school campuses.


High hopes but few details for Trump’s $200 million STEM pledge


The White House’s pledge to spend $200 million on science, math and computer education could potentially transform U.S. classrooms, but educators are waiting to celebrate until they know how the money will be spent.


Seal on diploma will be badge of honor for civically active California students


Johnny Rebel, the 20-foot tall mural of a Civil war soldier carrying a rifle, may soon be sanded and scraped off the gym wall and into the dustbin of history at Savanna High in Southern California. All because students got involved and came up with a recommendation for their school board. Their work is just the type of civic engagement that in the future should earn students a California Seal of Civic Engagement, said Michelle Herczog, a history consultant with the Los Angeles County Office of Education and activist for civics education. When first awarded, probably in 2021, students who put good grades in civics, social studies and government to good use in the community will see the seal affixed to their high school diploma.


Higher Ed:


Wait begins for free community college

Capitol Weekly

It will take awhile before Californians can enjoy the much-heralded free community college offer recently approved by Gov. Jerry Brown. The earliest the free tuition could go into effect is fall 2018 and that’s only if the Legislature agrees to budget the $31.1 million needed to pay for the expected 19,000 students who would take advantage of a school-offered tuition waiver.


Colleges should protect speech—or lose funds


Almost every week brings a new campus controversy: a college speech code that goes too far, an invited speaker shouted down by students, a professor investigated for wrongthink. While lamentations abound for the state of free inquiry at American universities, few have suggested substantive proposals for redress. Here’s a straightforward idea that would be easy to put into practice: Require schools to assure free speech and inquiry as a condition of accepting federal research funding. In addition to subsidizing tuition and providing student loans, Washington disburses billions of dollars to colleges and universities for research—nearly $38 billion in fiscal 2015 alone.







In its 15th season, Check Before You Burn resulting in cleaner air

Bakersfield Californian

Every emission counts when you live in the downwind end of a valley that traps air pollution close to the ground. Traps it where we breathe. During the winter, the largest generator of the valley’s air pollution comes from an otherwise pleasant source: the warm glow of the home hearth, the residential fireplace, according to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.


As climate change threatens a California tribe’s ‘Jerusalem and Mecca,’ a model deal could save the day

Sacramento Bee

Before rushing to join the Klamath River, the waters of Blue Creek pause in a turquoise pool beside a bed of stone-gray cobbles. Salmon pause here, too – coho and fall Chinook, basking in the cool-water refuge to rally for the upstream swim to spawning grounds.




US gasoline demand hits record high in August: EIA


U.S. gasoline demand hit a record in August, delivering a strong end to the summer driving season, according to data released on Tuesday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. U.S. gasoline demand rose by a modest 0.9 percent, or 83,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 9.77 million bpd in August compared to the same month last year, the data showed. The level was the highest on record, according to the EIA’s data. It was the fourth increase in the past five months, EIA data showed.




5 changes for Obamacare open enrollment for 2018

CNN Money

Some things will stay the same. Consumers can still sign up on the federal exchange,, or their state marketplaces. They can still get subsidies to help lower their premiums or reduce their deductibles and co-pays, if they qualify. And, they can still shop and compare coverage options, which is especially important this time around.

See also

·       Health Analysts Expect Lower ACA Enrollments as Shorter Sign-Up Period Opens  WSJ

·       Obamacare 2018 enrollment clouded by uncertainty under Trump  Reuters
As Americans begin signing up for Obamacare health insurance plans on Wednesday, experts expect reduced participation as a bitter political debate clouds the program’s future.

·       The bicoastal bid to shore up Obamacare POLITICO

·       ‘Obamacare’ curveball: free insurance in 1,500-plus counties  AP


Preterm births up, says March of Dimes

Fresno Bee

For the second year in a row, Fresno County has the highest preterm birth rate in California, putting infants who are born too soon at increased risk of death before their first birthday or of a lifetime of disabilities. And despite a community effort to prevent and reduce prematurity in Fresno County, the rate increased this year, according to the latest March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card that was released Wednesday.


FDA warns candy lovers: Too much black licorice could land you in hospital

Sacramento Bee

As trick-or-treaters finish their rounds this Halloween, children and parents will end up with stashes of candy lasting days or even weeks to come. But don’t binge eat it – especially black licorice, the Food and Drug Administration warned this week. Experts with the FDA advise moderation after finding that adults over 40 who eat two ounces of black licorice a day for two weeks could experience irregular heart rhythm, arrhythmia or even a trip to the hospital, according to news release posted Monday.


US FDA panel backs approval for Indivior opioid addiction drug


Indivior’s experimental drug to help fight America’s growing opioid addiction crisis has been recommended for approval by a U.S. advisory panel, boosting its sales prospects as competitors threaten revenues from an older product. Shares in the London-listed company, which specializes in addiction treatment, were 11 percent higher by 0855 GMT on Wednesday on the overnight news, extending gains this week.








California homeowners would likely keep key deduction under revised GOP tax plan

Sacramento Bee

House Republicans will unveil tax legislation this week that likely allows taxpayers to continue to write off their property taxes, but not their state and local income and sales taxes. That’s good news for California homeowners, who received billions back from the IRS in 2015 thanks to the property tax deduction. But it’s still far less than what California taxpayers will lose by no longer being able to deduct other state and local taxes, which are some of the highest in the country.


Bakersfield home prices steady among national surge

Bakersfield Californian

Home prices are going up across the nation — except, it seems, in Bakersfield. According to a new report by the Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, home prices in the U.S. went up 6.1 percent in August compared to last year. July had a similar increase of 5.9 percent. The index looked only at the nation’s top 20 markets, but local analysts, supported by their own data and a recent U.S. affordability study, say median home prices in Bakersfield have remained steady.


Yet more evidence that housing affordability is getting worse

Brookings Institute

Evidence continues to pile up revealing that housing affordability is getting worse, particularly for low-income households.[1] One of the latest examples, an analysis by Freddie Mac, examines rent changes for a sample of apartment buildings that the company financed at least twice between 2010 and 2016.[2] The bottom line: it wasn’t easy for poor families to find an apartment they could afford in 2010 – in fact, only 11.2 percent of unsubsidized apartments were affordable to very low income households – and matters have gotten worse. In 2016, only 4.3 percent of units still met that standard. The data from Freddie Mac suggest three other notable, troubling facts.





Republican rollout of tax plan is delayed as talks continue

Los Angeles Times

Republicans delayed the long-awaited introduction of their tax-cut bill Tuesday as members continued to argue over key elements, including how fast to cut corporate rates, which state tax deductions to eliminate and whether to impose new caps on popular 401(k) retirement accounts, according to people familiar with the negotiations. After promising that the bill would be released on Wednesday, the chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), announced late in the day that the unveiling would have to wait another day.

See also:

·       Eleventh Hour Tax Hiccups for GOP Roll Call

·       GOP House bill likely preserves property tax deduction  Sacramento Bee

·       Democrats Face Messaging Hurdles on GOP Tax Plan Roll Call

·       House GOP tax plan will keep top 39.6% tax rate for rich, delay estate tax repeal for 2-3 years Los Angeles Times

·       The National Association of Home Builders opposes the Republican tax billMarketplace

·       Repeal of the Estate Tax Would Reduce Federal Resources While Key Public Services Are on the Chopping Block California Budget & Policy Center

·       Poll: Voters like tax reform overall but cool to corporate cut  POLITICO


California business tax incentive program should end, legislative analyst says

Los Angeles Times

California no longer should give specific tax incentives to businesses and instead should provide broad-based tax relief, the state’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office said in a new report. The analyst’s office examined California Competes, a program that began four years ago to give tax credits to businesses looking to move to the state or remain here, and found it puts existing companies that don’t receive the awards at a disadvantage without clear benefits to the overall economy.

See also:

·       Report urges end to California’s tax credit program for businessesOCRegister




US gasoline demand hits record high in August: EIA


U.S. gasoline demand hit a record in August, delivering a strong end to the summer driving season, according to data released on Tuesday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. U.S. gasoline demand rose by a modest 0.9 percent, or 83,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 9.77 million bpd in August compared to the same month last year, the data showed. The level was the highest on record, according to the EIA’s data. It was the fourth increase in the past five months, EIA data showed.


Poor California planning caused bus crash that killed 13

Washington Post

A bus that crashed into a big-rig whose driver fell asleep during a freeway closure last year, killing 13 people, had no advance warning because state workers didn’t properly plan for the closure, federal officials said Tuesday. California Highway Patrol officers briefly stopped traffic on Interstate 10 near Palm Springs on Oct. 23, 2016, because of utility work. The truck was in a lane and didn’t move again immediately. The National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday released a summary of its upcoming report on the crash. It said the California Department of Transportation didn’t have a proper traffic management plan for the road stoppage, which meant CHP officers didn’t realize the truck hadn’t begun moving and the bus driver had no advance warning.


Why It’s Hard to Crack Down on Drowsy Driving

Pew Charitable Trust

Whether it’s working the night shift, caring for a newborn, studying all night for exams, or simply living in a 24/7 society, Americans are sleep-deprived — and that can be deadly on the nation’s roads..




DWR Set To Finish Major Work On Lake Oroville Main Spillway Project

The California Department of Water Resources says crews are pouring the last bit of concrete on the bottom sections of the new Lake Oroville main spillway project. Erin Mellon with DWR says that Wednesday is the deadline for the major work to be completed. “The work that will continue past Nov. 1 on the main spillway is going to be focused on site cleanup, sealing of drains, concrete seams and drainage pipes,” Mellon said




ClovisFest Soars

Clovis Roundup

As the crowd watched expectantly in the cool morning air, the whoosh of propane burners did their job. One by one, hot air balloons glided gracefully overhead, and spectators cheered as the 43rd ClovisFest got underway. “This is really awesome,” a little boy said watching the balloons soar overhead. “One day I want to ride in one and see if I can make it go real fast.”


Isn’t it Romantic: BSO concert opts for Brahms, Dvorak, Strauss

Bakersfield Californian

The Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra’s all-Romantic Era program for this Saturday’s concert is a nice foil to the season opener of 20th century American symphonic music. Conducted by Stilian Kirov, Saturday’s concert will feature the music of Late Romantic hero Johannes Brahms, and his Symphony No. 4 in E minor; Brahms’ “discovery” and protégé Antonin Dvorak, and his Concerto for Cello; and the Overture to the operetta “Die Fledermaus” by Johann Strauss II. It doesn’t get much more European than this.


After 70 years, St. Mark’s fall bazaar get fresh start at new location

Bakersfield Californian

This year might be the 70th annual bazaar for St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, but in some ways, the milestone is also a new beginning. When the bazaar returns Saturday, it will be the first time it is held in the church’s new location on Minner Avenue, where the congregation moved from its longtime location on McCray Street earlier this year.