November 1, 2018






Forget to register? Don’t worry, you can still vote

Fresno Bee


You can still cast a ballot on Election Day Nov. 6 even if you missed the voter registration deadline with a conditional voter registration form & provisional ballot.


Voter registration runs high in Stanislaus ahead of midterm Election Day

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County has more registered voters in next week’s highly-contested election than it had in 2014’s midterms; even more than it had in the 2016 presidential election.


Nunes-Janz forecast just tilted a bit more in one candidate’s favor

Fresno Bee

With a week until the election, a new report shifts the 22nd District as less Republican — but still names Rep. Devin Nunes as the “heavy favorite” in the upcoming congressional race.


The Nation's Most Expensive Congressional Race Is in the Central Valley


Even if you don’t follow Central Valley politics closely, you’ve probably still heard of Republican congressman Devin Nunes. As chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Nunes has helped defend President Trump throughout the Robert Mueller investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election.


How the GOP tries to combat anti-Trump sentiment in a tossup district

Modesto Bee

Rep. Jeff Denham’s closing argument in his fight for political survival is all about water — and mostly pretending that President Donald Trump doesn’t exist.

See also:

      Will California flip the House? The key races to watch Los Angeles Times

     Checking Claims In The Fight For The House Capital Public Radio

      House Republicans See Risks in Trump's Immigration Gambit Wall Street Journal


Valadao campaign clarifies its claims about Cox's facility

Bakersfield Californian

The David Valadao campaign doubled down on its claims about problems at T.J. Cox's Fresno memory care facility Wednesday, issuing a press release with details about the complaints it had previously alleged.


McCarthy challenger faces possible fines for missing deadlines

Bakersfield Californian

Tatiana Matta's congressional campaign faces possible fines from the Federal Election Commission for missing deadlines for financial-disclosure filings.


Did top Fresno city staffer use city email to help political campaigns?

Fresno Bee

Tim Orman, the chief of staff for Fresno Mayor Lee Brand, sent at least one campaign-related email from his city account, raising questions whether he abused public resources.


SJCL grad Amy Guerra appointed to Fresno County Superior Court

Clovis  RoundUp

Amy Guerra is moving up the ladder in her respective profession as the 2007 San Joaquin College of Law graduate was recently appointed to the Fresno County Superior Court by Governor Jerry Brown.


EDITORIAL: The easiest part of ballot: Vote to retain Fifth District Court of Appeal justices

Fresno Bee

The Fresno Bee recommends retaining the Fifth District Court of Appeal justices on the November 6 ballot.




‘The adult in the room:’ Gavin Newsom says he’s not necessarily a big spender

Modesto Bee

Democrat Gavin Newsom stopped in Sacramento on Oct. 31, 2018, to hand out Halloween candy. He said he would lead as governor with the same ‘fiscal discipline’ as Gov. Jerry Brown, despite an ambitious liberal agenda.

See also:

      Gavin Newsom and Donald Trump are quarreling. Is money for California at risk? Sacramento Bee

     EDITORIAL: Newsom must agree to separate himself from his businesses San Francisco Chronicle


Cox blames ‘political class’ for a bleak California

San Francisco Chronicle

California’s two candidates for governor had agreed to speak in the same room for probably the last time Tuesday at a breakfast hosted by former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown.


Elected Democrats lagging in California statewide races, new poll finds

Sacramento Bee

Democratic businesswoman Eleni Kounalakis holds a commanding lead over fellow Democrat state Sen. Ed Hernandez in the race for California lieutenant governor, according to a new poll released Wednesday.  Two other Democratic lawmakers are lagging in their bids for statewide offices.


Democratic state Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra and Republican challenger Steven Bailey discuss the issues facing California

Los Angeles Times

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra has become a prolific litigant against the policies of Republican President Trump, suing the administration44 times since the Democrat was appointed as the state’s top lawyer nearly two years ago.


Donations reach $50 million in race for California state superintendent of schools


Heading down the stretch in a record $50 million campaign for state superintendent of public instruction, Marshall Tuck has a more than 2-to-1 money advantage over his opponent, Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, in combined direct contributions and funding by independent groups supporting the candidates.


Why spend $8.6 million on one state Senate race?


A state Senate race between two Democrats in the San Gabriel Valley apparently will end up as California’s costliest legislative campaign of 2018, at $8.6 million.


After court loss, California unions still have big money for politics. It might not be enough

Sacramento Bee

Fresh off a Supreme Court loss that stripped them of millions of dollars in an annual revenue, California public employee unions are finding that they still have the big money they need to run statewide political campaigns. It just might not be enough cash to keep up with their opponents.


Who To Thank (Or Blame) For California’s Version Of Direct Democracy

Capital Public Radio

How California came to have one of the most powerful, and least flexible initiative processes in the world.


Will California flip the House? The key races to watch

Los Angeles Times

The Nov. 6. midterm election is shaping up as a classic referendum on Donald Trump’s presidency, and California is one of the main battlefields as Democratstry to seize control of the House.

See also:

      Democrats in prime position to take House, but battleground district poll shows wild cards remain Washington Post

     Pelosi's script: Health care is a winner; Trump fixation isn’t  San Francisco Chronicle

     In key California House races, Republicans are turning out early and big  San Francisco Chronicle

     Congressional seats could hinge on voter turnout  CALmatters




Early voting is blowing the doors off this midterm election, but it's unclear what that means for Tuesday

Los Angeles Times

Election day is less than a week away, but nearly 25 million Americans are apparently so psyched or angry or frightened or inspired or whatever drives people to the polls that they have already cast their ballots.

See also:

      Early vote totals in at least 17 states already surpass 2014 turnout at this point Washington Post


Female candidates running in record numbers for the midterms — just not in California

The Conversation

The midterm elections are widely expected to usher in this century’s “year of the woman” – an explosion of women entering government.


The Kavanaugh confirmation polarized women, and motivated them to vote — some for Republicans, some for Democrats.

Washington Post

Brett M. Kavanaugh’s confirmation again revealed that profound polarization is, as one observer commented, “ deeply embedded into the current American DNA.” But did his confirmation make the gender gaps grow wider still? And did the confirmation erode the public’s confidence in the Supreme Court, particularly among female voters?

See also:

      Midterms Election Forecast: If Only Women Could Vote, They’d Give Democrats Massive House Majority Newsweek

      Will surges in minority and female turnout seal Democratic midterm victories? Brookings


Where's Kamala Harris? California Senator Making the 2020 Rounds


U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris will be campaigning for Democrats in California this weekend — the first time she's hit the trail at home since before the June primary.


Can President Trump end birthright citizenship with an executive order? Probably not. Here's why


This week, President Donald Trump said he might eliminate birthright citizenship -- the longstanding policy that virtually anyone born on U.S. soil has citizenship. And he said he could use an executive order to do it.




Some Rural Fresno County Towns Have A Local Newspaper, But They're Still News Deserts


In small towns, news travels fast. But it’s usually based on word of mouth, not verifiable facts.  More and more rural places in the San Joaquin Valley are becoming news deserts -- even the local newspapers are mostly ads and press releases.


ACLU unveils staff of new Bakersfield office

Bakersfield Californian

The American Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday identified the two people who will staff its new Bakersfield: a community engagement policy advocate who grew up in Weedpatch and a staff attorney from New York who has worked on immigrant and farmworkers' rights issues.


'It's Just Extremely Harmful': LGBTQ Valley Allies Respond to Leaked Memo Narrowing Gender


LGBTQ advocates rallied in Fresno last week in response to a leaked memo from the Trump Administration that would narrow the definition of gender.


2020 Census: Counting the Central Coast


PPIC’s interactive census maps are an important tool for Californians working to ensure an accurate census count. Using estimates from the Census Bureau and the Federal Communications Commission, they highlight hard-to-count communities across the state and pinpoint reasons why certain areas may be hard to reach.





Zacky Farms to close Fresno and Stockton plants; hundreds of workers to lose jobs

Fresno Bee

Zacky Farms, a family-run company that rose to prominence as a leading turkey producer, has officially announced it’s closing plants in Fresno and Stockton. About 1,000 workers will be impacted, a company official said.


Groundskeeper accepts reduced $78 million Monsanto verdict

Sacramento Bee

A Northern California groundskeeper said Wednesday that he will accept a judge's reduced verdict of $78 million against Monsanto after a jury found the company's weed killer caused his cancer.

See also:

       Groundskeeper in Monsanto case won’t appeal $211 million reduction in jury award San Francisco Chronicle


With Prop 12, California Voters Face Choices On Farm Animal Confinement

Capital Public Radio

To understand what Proposition 12 means for farm animals, it helps to understand a ballot measure California voters approved 10 years ago.


California Voters May Force Meat And Egg Producers Across The Country To Go Cage-Free


California voters will soon decide whether to ban the sale of meat and eggs from farm animals raised in cages.






Secret prison report alleges poor treatment of inmates, misleading reports on care

Sacramento Bee

A federal judge Wednesday released a scathing internal report about psychiatric care inside California’s prisons that accuses the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation of providing care for inmates that is far below what has been mandated by decades of court fights.


Public Safety:


Fresno police honor 35 for heroic and meritorious service

Fresno Bee

Thirty-five Fresno Police officers, including Santa's Village founder and police Detective Angie Isaak, recognized for all forms of heroic police work and achievement at the Major Commendation Awards Ceremony Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018 in Fresno.


Cops and doughnuts make the perfect combo for Dunkin' fundraiser

Bakersfield Californian

A doughnut shop with a cop on top? Sounds like a children's book but it's actually a fundraiser taking place Friday.


Waltrs: War over bail bonds has only just begun


One of this year’s most contentious legislative battles was over requiring those accused of serious crimes to post cash bail to be released from jail while their cases are pending.




Think modern wildfires are bad? Fires once burned up to 36 times more of the West, study says

Fresno Bee

Today’s Western wildfires are actually smaller than those a few centuries ago, a new study by Utah State University researchers has found. The report also expresses concerns over how fires affect water security.


When fire is desired, check before you burn

Bakersfield Californian

Some Bakersfield residents say it's a necessary check on the valley's chronic wintertime air pollution, while others assert it's a "nanny-state" intrusion on an individual's right to burn wood when fire is desired.






Valley economic index falls for third straight month

Hanford Sentinel

The San Joaquin Valley Business Conditions Index fell in September for the third straight month, but remains above growth neutral for the 25th consecutive month — pointing to slow, healthy growth in the next three to six months.


Bakersfield woman established 'sham' nonprofit for purposes of tax evasion, report says

A Bakersfield woman is accused of setting up a bogus nonprofit that claimed to help rescue and rehouse stray animals.


U.S. Falls to Eighth in World’s Best Places to Do Business

Wall Street Journal

America now ranked below Norway, Georgia in World Bank’s ranking as New Zealand, Singapore, Demark keep top three spots.


Fed Proposes Looser Rules for Large U.S. Banks

Wall Street Journal

Proposal marks one of the most significant rollbacks of bank regulations since Trump took office


Halloween 2018 spending expected to reach $9 billion


This year's Halloween is looking like an expensive one. The National Retail Federation's annual survey says Holiday spending is expected to reach nine-billion dollars!





Financial crisis affects Hanford Faraday Future employees, but extent unknown


The future of an electric car company is uncertain, as the company reveals a financial crisis. Faraday Future is based in Southern California but is developing its electric car at a manufacturing plant in Hanford.


Workers’ Pay Rises at Fastest Rate in a Decade

Wall Street Journal

Wages for private-sector workers accelerated in the third quarter, but benefit gains cooled.


Latino USA Reports That Warehouse Jobs Are Expanding, But Are They Solid Middle-Class Jobs Yet?


There’s an industry here in the Central Valley that’s not particularly new, but has grown significantly in recent years, especially with an Amazon fulfillment center on it’s way to Fresno. That industry is in warehouses, where employees fulfill online orders.


Google Faces Internal Backlash Over Handling of Sexual Harassment

New York Times

Google is struggling to contain a growing internal backlash over its handling of sexual harassment and its workplace culture.




Higher Ed:


Work And College: Students Take On Both, But Research Says That's Putting Them Behind


College has become more expensive over the years, but students have managed by taking out loans or working in addition to their studies.


Pacific regents say they ‘strongly’ support Eibeck

Stockton Record

Board of Regents Chairman Kevin Huber stated Wednesday that the governing body “strongly and unequivocally” supports University of the Pacific President Pamela Eibeck, whose firing has been called for recently by some of the institution’s students and faculty members.


UC Merced Professor Talks About Social Justice Award Recipient


Every year UC Merced presents the Alice and Clifford Spendlove Prize in Social Justice, Diplomacy and Tolerance. This year, the recipient is Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchú Tum.


New Education Department Rules to Change Procedures for Campus Sexual-Assault Cases

Wall Street Journal

Changes to Title IX won’t include a definition of gender, according to the most recent draft




White House Says Companies Pledge to Create Millions of Job-Training Opportunities

Wall Street Journal

The efforts are part of an initiative to address job market changes, though it’s unclear how far company plans go beyond what they would already be doing.






Doctors Want To Prescribe Nature To Communities Of Color. Here's How California Might Help.

Capital Public Radio

California State Parks doesn’t collect data on visitor demographics, but the most recent statistics available — a National Parks survey from 2009 — found that roughly one-third of Hispanic and African-American respondents had visited a park in the last two years, compared to more than half of white respondents.


Startling new research finds large buildup of heat in the oceans, suggesting a faster rate of global warming

Washington Post

The findings mean the world might have less time to curb carbon emissions.

See also:

       Study: Oceans warming faster than anticipated giving humanity even less time to stave off worst impacts of climate change  San Diego Union-Tribune

       'Global warming is nonsense' and the 'tax scam is a massive middle finger' to families  Los Angeles Times

       My turn: How to meet the new climate change challenge  CALmatters




Oil Industry And Anti-Fracking Advocates Collide In San Luis Obispo This Election Season — Along With Millions In Campaign Dollars

Capital Public Radio

The future of oil and gas production may be on the line in San Luis Obispo County this election. If it passes Measure G could have statewide ramifications.






Stockton nonprofit joins with CDC to promote healthy living among minorities

Stockton Record

A local nonprofit organization focused on fighting obesity has become one of 31 groups nationwide to enter into a cooperative agreement program with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to promote healthier living.


Human Services:


Medi-Cal’s $4 billion problem


California’s Department of Health Care Services paid $383,000 in health insurance premiums for a person who died in December 2013. The state might still be shelling out​​ money if the state auditor had not informed the department in August of the individual’s demise.

See also:

       Audit: California paid billions in questionable claims for Medi-Cal KCRA


Health Law Faces Its Toughest Stress Test Yet

Wall Street Journal

Recent and pending GOP efforts to chip away at Affordable Care Act cause new uncertainty as open enrollment begins.


Would State-Based Single-Payer Health Insurance Cure What Ails?

Milken Institute Review

alth care was likely to be an issue in the mid-term Congressional elections under almost any circumstance.


Opinion: Vote like Social Security and Medicare are at stake

PBS NewsHour

Let’s start with Social Security, whose challenges are well-documented. Protecting benefits for younger generations should be a cornerstone of national government policy. Improving benefits for people in or close to retirement should also be considered if it can be done in a fiscally responsible way.




Days before midterms, Trump now says up to 15K troops could be sent to border


In a move with potential major political implications just days before the midterm elections, President Donald Trump said Wednesday that the deployment of active duty forces to the southern U.S. border would increase dramatically -- to 10,000 or 15,000 troops.

See also:

     Trump ‘stoking fear’ by sending troops to the border, Feinstein says Sacramento Bee

     Border Patrol prepares for the arrival of both U.S. troops and migrant caravan Los Angeles Times

      Trump Calls for Up to 15,000 Troops at Border as Election Nears Wall Street Journal

      Trump drums up an immigration crisis that doesn't exist CNN

     EDITORIAL: Trump’s attack on birthright citizenship is unconstitutional San Francisco Chronicle


Trump’s shameful attack on birthright citizenship is probably a political ploy. But what if it's not?
Los Angeles Times

It’s unclear how serious President Trump is about issuing an executive order to abolish so-called “birthright citizenship.” Perhaps he will abandon the idea once it has served the purpose of riling up his anti-immigrant base in next week’s midterm elections.

See also:

      Trump lashes out at Paul Ryan over birthright citizenship comments, says he should be ‘should be focusing on holding the Majority’ Washington Post


When police team up with ICE, it ripples into classrooms

Los Angeles Times

Half of all Americans now reside in a “sanctuary” jurisdiction where state or local political leaders have committed to supporting refugees and undocumented residents by declining to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in certain ways. But other communities have moved in the opposite direction. These “reverse sanctuary” communities have adopted partnerships with ICE that effectively deputize local police to enforce federal immigration laws.




Land Use:


Is it urban sprawl or smart development? A battle is brewing over the future of Visalia

Visalia Times-Delta

A philosophical difference over the future of Visalia — whether development should be allowed to spread west towards Highway 99 or should existing commercial areas be developed through infill and redevelopment — is brewing on the city council.


Three new Big Lots stores are opening. That means free stuff for shoppers

Fresno Bee

Big Lots is opening several new stores – and that means freebies for shoppers.  The company is in the process of moving stores or remodeling existing ones in at least three locations in the central San Joaquin Valley: Clovis, Fresno and Tulare.


'Mini murals' brighten up the view at Panorama Park

Bakersfield Californian

Panorama Park is a little more colorful these days, thanks to Kern County Supervisor Mike Maggard and 20 local artists.


Five Ways to Explore Mission San Juan Capistrano, 'The Jewel of the Missions'


Mission San Juan Capistrano wasn't the first of the California missions to be built. In fact, it was the seventh.




Tiny Home Expo: Ten homes, lots of experts at this first-for-Fresno event

Fresno Bee

They may be small, but boy are they big right now. Tiny homes are so popular that the Fresno Home Shows will host its first-ever Tiny Home Expo this weekend.


How California has become a national battleground for rent control

Los Angeles Times

For some of California’s largest real estate investors, the fight over an initiative to expand rent control goes beyond the state’s borders. They’ve opened their wallets to prove it.


More U.S. Veterans Are Off the Streets

Wall Street Journal

Number of homeless vets falls to approximately 38,000, a 5.3% decline since last year and about half the 73,367 veterans tallied in 2009




Nepotism sanctions on California department could be lifted

Sacramento Bee

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration could regain control of its hiring practices one year after a state audit revealed thatalmost a fifth of its employees worked with a relative in the organization.




Here’s how you can learn how high-speed rail is changing the future of downtown Fresno

Fresno Bee

An open house on Thursday will give the public a chance to see a proposed master plan for the downtown Fresno area surrounding a future high-speed rail station.

See also
       Bullet train project scores possible victory in civil suit seeking to block bond money Los Angeles Times


Local agencies want drivers to be prepared for dense fog this winter


Weather-related accidents occur on highways due to snow and ice in the mountains, rain in the foothills and dense fog in the Central Valley. The National Weather Service says that is the most deadly type of severe weather here due to drivers not taking precautions.


Waymo given green light to start testing fully self-driving cars in California


The self-driving technology company, Waymo, announced it was given the green light to start testing fully driverless cars in California. Similar testing is already underway in Arizona.

See also:

     Waymo gets green light for robot cars in California San Francisco Chronicle


CHP effort literally shines a light on problem of bike, pedestrian deaths

Modesto Bee

California Highway Patrol Officer Thomas Olsen uses that adage frequently when talking of traffic collisions. And across the board, it applies to the 14 fatal crashes the Modesto-area CHP has investigated so far this year involving bicyclists or pedestrians.


EDITORIAL: Enough is enough: Vote yes on Prop 6 and say no to more gas taxes

Fresno Bee

Today voters in California prepare to decide the fate of Proposition 6, a measure that would repeal the 12 cents per gallon additional tax added to gas purchases, as well as more tax on diesel and a hefty hike in car registration fees.




‘Government overreach?’ Fresno may abandon water fines and credit customers

Fresno Bee

The Fresno CA City Council is scheduled to vote in a special meeting Nov. 1 whether to temporarily prohibit fines for excessive outdoor watering after outrage from thousands of residents cited in October.


California Conservation Corps Trains For Disaster Relief In Stockton

Capital Public Radio

Despite a dry October, flooding is always a concern in the Delta as winter approaches. This week 200 California Conservation Corps members from across the state were in Stockton training to protect people and property.


Is Oroville Dam ready for the rainy season? Main spillway fixed, but work remains

Sacramento Bee

State officials said Wednesday the damaged Oroville Dam flood-control spillway is ready for the rainy season, and will be able to fully blast water down its half-mile long concrete chute for the first time in nearly two years if lake levels rise.

See also:

       Officials: Oroville Dam Spillway Will Be Ready For Rain Capital Public Radio

       Oroville Dam fixed and ready — but at a big price San Francisco Chronicle




‘Voting is a chess move, not a valentine.’ Cake’s John McCrea on why the band is back

Fresno Bee

Sacramento, CA, rock band Cake is back with new music and playing political events in advance of the mid-term elections. Singer John McCrea is interviewed in advance of the band’s Nov. 2 performance at the Crest Theatre in Fresno, CA.


Madera County celebrates its 125th birthday


A North Valley community is honoring the founder of Madera County. The board of supervisors is recognizing the 125th birthday of the county. On Tuesday, county supervisors, students, and citizens honored the man who helped pave the way.


Free Cinnabon? That’s right, you can indulge as Modesto mall store readies reopening

Modesto Bee

Free cinnamon rolls are on the menu at the reopening of the Cinnabon in Vintage Faire Mall this weekend. The popular purveyor of sweet treats closed its upper floor location in the north Modesto mall in September for a remodel to “reflect the newest bakery design.”


Hundreds turn out for haunted house event at downtown police station

Bakersfield Californian

Trick-or-treaters mobbed the downtown headquarters of the Bakersfield Police Department Wednesday in what the agency called a surprisingly successful, first-year community outreach event.


Donald Munro Celebrates A Year Of Independent Arts Reporting On "The Munro Review"


Donald Munro is kind of a legend among arts lovers in Fresno and for 16 years covered theater, visual art, dance, classical music and more for the Fresno Bee.  Now, he’s keeping his arts reporting alive with a member-supported website called The Munro Review.