November 13, 2017



Local/Regional Politics:

The State of Groundwater Recharge in the San Joaquin Valley

Public Policy Institute of California

When strong winter rains finally ended the recent five-year drought, many water districts seized the opportunity to recharge depleted aquifers. How did they do, and what barriers did they face? A public forum brought more than 30 experts together to discuss the benefits, opportunities, and barriers to groundwater recharge. The event was hosted by the California State Board of Food and Agriculture and the state Department of Water Resources. My presentation focused on recharge in the San Joaquin Valley—a region that is home to more than four million people, half the state’s agricultural output, and most of its critically overdrafted groundwater basins, where pumping exceeds replenishment. Consequences include dry wells, sinking lands, and reduced supplies to weather future droughts.

Marek Warszawski: San Joaquin River Parkway vote preview

The Fresno Bee

Should the public have the right to drive on a public street to get to a public park? Of course they should, right? It’s a no-brainer. Who in the heck would oppose that? The city of Fresno and Mayor Lee Brand, that’s who.

County board’s editing reveals ignorance about government priorities

Fresno Bee

Fresno County’s Board of Supervisors agreed by consensus to eliminate four of the County’s Guiding Principles at their special meeting at Harris Ranch last month.

Human trafficking: See how traffickers trap victims

The Fresno Bee

Sgt. Curt Chastain and detectives from the Fresno Police Department execute an undercover operation to get a young human trafficking victim off the streets. Chastain explains how the department’s philosophy has changed since he began his career.

Twitter attacks on Bee reporter backfire on FUSD’s Ashjian

Fresno Bee

In recent months, Fresno School Board President Brooke Ashjian has called Fresno Bee education reporter Mackenzie Mays, one of our Center’s 2017 California Fellows, “ministress of propaganda,” “#mysoultroll,” “Mackenzie ‘fakenews’ Mays” and“#cutandpastemays.” In a radio interview, he likened her behavior to that of a “child sex predator.” He denounced her on talk radio and published her work phone number on Facebook, urging others to chime in.

Visalia police to get body cameras

Visalia Times Delta

Visalia City Council approved the acceptance of a federal $153,000 grant that will enable Visalia police officers to be equipped with body-worn cameras as soon as next spring.

ACLU study blasts Bakersfield police, Kern County Sheriff’s Office for ‘disturbing pattern’ of force

Los Angeles Times

The American Civil Liberties Union called for major reforms in the Bakersfield Police Department and the Kern County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday, releasing a scathing report that detailed repeated allegations of excessive force and the misuse of police dogs to injure and intimidate suspects. Both departments were already the subject of a civil rights investigation by the California attorney general’s office, and the ACLU said Thursday that its study shows officers and deputies have been involved in “a disturbing pattern of shootings, beatings and canine attacks” in recent years, many of which involved unarmed suspects.

Two more Tulare cops placed on administrative leave

Visalia Times-Delta

Two high-ranking members of the Tulare Police Department were placed on paid administrative leave this week. Capt. Fred Ynclan, who has been with the department for nearly 17 years, and Lt. Jerod Boatman, who just completed his 16th year with Tulare police, were notified on Tuesday.

City of Delano dismisses police chief

Bakersfield Californian

Mark DeRosia has been ousted as the Delano police chief, the City of Delano announced this week. The city notified police department staff about the change in a memo sent out on Tuesday. No additional information was provided on DeRosia’s abrupt dismissal; the city said is a personnel matter.

KHSD whistleblowing officers file civil suit against district alleging ‘campaign of intimidation’ in CLETS scandal

Bakersfield Californian

Lt. Jerald Wyatt and Sgt. Gilbert Valdez, two Kern High School District police officers who claim that school officials retaliated against them for their part in uncovering the district’s alleged misuse of a sensitive police information database, filed lawsuits this week against the district.

TRMC: Benzeevi calls board incompetent, staff remains unpaid

Visalia Times-Delta

As Tulare Regional Medical Center staff pulled into the hospital’s parking lot to pick up their checks Thursday afternoon, they were met with a familiar scene. The Human Resources building was closed and security guards were blocking the front doors. They were given the same message they had received in late September: there’s no money to pay employees.

Councilman Andrade used falsified documents to register son for youth league

Stockton Record

Stockton City Councilman Jesus Andrade submitted falsified documents so his son could play for a youth football league team out of his area. An investigation by the Delta Youth Football League found that Andrade, who represents District 6 and lives in south Stockton, used an address that was not really his home address to register his son with the Chavez Junior Titans in north Stockton. Andrade’s son should have played with Weston Ranch Jr. Cougars.

This 27-Year-Old California Mayor Wants To Pay You $500 Cash Per Month To Live Here

Forbes Mobile

Michael Tubbs is the 27-year-old mayor of Stockton, California. In October, Tubbs introduced an experimental program to give about $500 per month to at least some Stockton residents.

Staffers accuse Assemblyman Devon Mathis of sexism, partying, bullying

Visalia Times Delta

Assembly District 26 is embroiled in scandal and its representative has stayed silent as accusations of misconduct mount.

Dreamers to Valadao: It’s time to act on DREAM Act

Bakersfield Californian

Dreamers and their supporters have a message for Congressman David Valadao: It’s time to act on a new DREAM Act. The Inside Out/Dreamers project came to Bakersfield on Wednesday to hold a press conference as part of the DREAM Act National Day of Action. Dreamers and members of organizations such as the UFW Foundation, Dolores Huerta Foundation and Youth2Leaders spoke at the event

Devin Nunes attended breakfast with Flynn, Turkish foreign minister before inauguration

Business Insider

Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, attended a breakfast meeting in January that Michael Flynn, then the incoming national security adviser, and Mevlut Cavusoglu, the Turkish foreign minister, also attended.
Huckabee talks politics with Tulare County Republicans

Visalia Times-Delta

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee stopped in Tulare County to talk politics and raise money for local Republican candidates. California Senate candidate Shannon Grove helped bring the former presidential candidate to the Valley. Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux, Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward, Tulare County Board of Supervisors Chairman Pete Vander Poel and Visalia Mayor Warren Gubler also attended the fundraiser.

State Politics:

Jerry Brown, President of the Independent Republic of California


As he crusades across Europe, the governor is acting like the leader of a sovereign country— an alternative to the United States in the Trump era.

See also:

Jerry Brown Meets Doc Brown: Has California Gone “Back to the Future” on Taxes and Crime?

Fox and Hounds Daily

From the time when cinema’s Doc Brown (Dr. Emmett L. Brown, ably played by Christopher Lloyd) was sending his flux-capacitor equipped DeLorean back in time to today’s California run by Jerry Brown—a past-and-future character if there ever was one—attitudes on the issues of taxes and crime seemed to have shifted dramatically.

The race for California governor could be close

Los Angeles Times

Californians overwhelmingly support Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s reelection bid, and she is far better known than her top rival, Kevin de León, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll. Voters are more divided in the governor’s race, creating a closer contest between Democrats Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa. Newsom leads Villaraigosa by more than 10 percentage points in an election that is shaping up to be competitive, the USC/Times poll found. Newsom, the state’s lieutenant governor, has dominated early polls and fundraising.

See also:

It’s a tightening race for governor and Sen. Dianne Feinstein holds strong lead for reelection

Los Angeles Times

Californians overwhelmingly support Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s reelection bid, and she is far better known than her top rival, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll. Voters are more divided in the governor’s race, creating a closer contest between Democrats Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa. Newsom leads Villaraigosa by more than 10 percentage points in an election that is shaping up to be competitive, the USC/Times poll found. Newsom, the state’s lieutenant governor, has dominated early polls and fundraising.

Walters: CA Capitol had 30 sex harassment investigations since 2007

Sacramento Bee

The California Legislature says it has investigated 30 allegations of sexual harassment in the past decade. In response to a public records request by The Bee, the Senate and Assembly rules committees on Thursday provided a “summary of information concerning sexual harassment related matters.” The nearly identical letters break down the number of “investigations related to allegations of sexual harassment” by year since 2007. According to Secretary of the Senate Daniel Alvarez, Senate “records indicate 14 investigations” in the past decade, ranging from zero (in 2008, 2012 and 2013) to three (2009 and 2015). Debra Gravert, the Assembly’s chief administrative officer, said Assembly “records indicate 16 investigations,” ranging from zero (2007 and 2012) to four (2009).

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Covered California outspends feds to get out the word about open enrollment

Sacramento Bee

The Trump administration is spending just $10 million to tell consumers in 35 states that it’s time for open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act – a 90 percent reduction from last year. California’s state-run marketplace, in contrast, is spending five times that much on advertising.

California voters could decide on $1.5 billion in children’s hospital improvements next year

Los Angeles Times

Californians could vote on a $1.5-billion bond measure to expand and renovate children’s hospitals across the state under a proposed 2018 ballot measure submitted Thursday. The measure, authored by the California Children’s Hospital Assn., would create a fund for children’s hospitals in the University of California system or nonprofit hospitals that specialize in children’s services to receive grants.

Most California voters already want to overturn gas tax increase, poll finds

Los Angeles Times

Most California voters would scrap the higher gas tax and vehicle fees recently approved by the Legislature to provide money to repair the state’s roads and bridges and improve mass transit, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll. When asked their preference if the matter were put to a vote today, 54.2% of registered voters surveyed said they would cancel the tax and fee hikes, and 45.8% said they would vote to keep the increases in place.

See also:

Audio: Locked out in Sacramento, California Republicans drive recall efforts, ballot measures

89.3 KPCC

As California Democrats forge ahead into next year’s midterm elections with progressive legislative wins in their pockets, Republicans are finding ways to push back outside of Sacramento — and seeing some success for their efforts.

East Coast elections suggest West Coast GOP will pay a price for Trump


You’ve heard the term “all politics is local”? California Republicans had better hope so.

Democrats outline how tax plan hurts middle-class Californians


California taxpayers could see as much as a 22-percent increase in personal income taxes. Eliminating the state and local tax deduction forces Californians to pay taxes on taxes they have already paid. And capping property-tax deductions effectively raises the property tax for California homeowners, while reducing the mortgage deduction will make it harder for middle-class families to buy homes. These are among a bevy of concerns Democrats are taking to their congressional delegates, saying the Republican tax plan would hurt the middle class in California—a state with high property values and scarce housing stock.

Proposed tax overhaul hurts affordable housing in GOP districts, California treasurer says

Los Angeles Times

Low-income housing programs on the chopping block in the House GOP’s proposed tax overhaul.

Day One: 2017 Summit aims to elevate Californians into the middle class

California Economic Summit

The 2017 California Economic Summit opened today in San Diego with a focus on creating a stronger, more equitable economy for all of California. A new initiative,Elevate California, was introduced to address crucial issues facing many Californians including poverty, income growth and the high cost of living.

Day Two: Spotlight turns to opening up access to higher education at 2017 Summit

California Economic Summit

On day two of the 2017 California Economic Summit last week, the statewide gathering highlighted higher education as an important component to Elevate California, a new initiative to restore upward mobility in the state. And, to top it all off, the location of next year’s 2018 Summit was revealed. Co-presented by CA Fwd and the California Stewardship Network, the Summit convened more than 500 civic, business and community leaders in San Diego.

How climate change affects California

The Sacramento Bee

California could one day be uninhabitable. Fire. Heat. Floods. Infestation. Disease. Suffering.

Federal Politics:

Senate plan to scrap income and property tax deductions would be a blow to Californians

Los Angeles Times

Congressional Republicans advanced two competing visions of tax reform Thursday, setting up a potentially bruising battle in the weeks ahead as they struggle to agree on a bill President Trump can sign. With the Senate GOP’s unveiling of its tax plan, key differences with the House version became apparent. Among the biggest potential losers in both plans are residents of California and other high-cost states, who rely heavily on itemized deductions for state, local and property taxes.

See also:

Californians strongly oppose Trump — and 53% say state’s members of Congress should ‘never’ work with him  LA Times

A year after his election, President Trump remains wildly unpopular in California, and the state’s voters are split over whether members of Congress should work with him when possible, a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll has found.

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Tom Steyer adds $10 million to his Trump impeachment campaign, remains undecided about running for office

Los Angeles Times

Billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer said Thursday that he planned to double his spending on his impeachment campaign against President Trump to $20 million. “The American people have responded beyond our expectations to this message, and it’s clear we’re giving voice to the deep concerns about this president,” Steyer told reporters on a conference call. He said that in addition to millions of viewers of the “Need to Impeach” group’s television ad, 1.3 million people have watched the spot on YouTube and 1.9 million have signed a petition calling for the president’s removal from office.

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Trump Administration Guiding Health Shoppers to Agents Paid by Insurers

After cutting funds for nonprofit groups that help people obtain health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, the Trump administration is encouraging the use of insurance agents and brokers who are often paid by insurers when they help people sign up.

Broadband gaps impact every member of Congress


Fully tapping into the internet’s economic benefits will require legislators and their staff to also address the country’s subscription gaps.


Walters: Another reminder that there’s no free lunch

Bakersfield Californian

It’s doubtful whether more than a relative handful of Californians have heard of the Unemployment Insurance Fund. It is, however, one of state government’s largest activities – and a case study in political mismanagement. Currently, California employers pay about $6 billion in payroll taxes into the UIF each year. And currently, the state Employment Development Department annually pays almost that much to jobless workers.

Fitzgerald: What the mayor spends his money on

Stockton Record

When Anthony Silva was still mayor, council members voted to give themselves an annual sum of tax dollars to spend as they see fit, within certain guidelines. So since fiscal 2016-17 the mayor gets $60,000 a year in “discretionary funding.” Each council member gets $15,000. Curious what they spent, I pulled public records.

Fitzgerald: Councilman, please don’t feed the trolls

Stockton Record

If, Stockton leaders being what they are, a guy’s got to write something negative now and then, my hope is that it’s big negative. Felony negative.

Fitzgerald: A three-state solution with Stockton as the capital

Stockton Record

Could ‘Ecotopia’ fantasy become a reality?

Sacramento Bee

Ernest Callenbach’s 1975 novel “Ecotopia” described a mythical nation carved out of the Pacific Northwest region of the United States – Washington, Oregon and Northern California – on the premise of environmental stewardship.

Religious groups demand Congress take action on gun violence


Fifty religious organizations sent a letter to congressional leaders Thursday demanding lawmakers take action on gun violence in the wake of the mass shooting at a Texas church last week.


Topics in More Detail…


Thumbs up, thumbs down: Jessica’s home at last. Scammer impersonates deputies.

Fresno Bee

Fresno Bee’s weekly Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down opinion. This week includes celebrity chef Tyler Florence, Las Vegas shooting victim Jessica Milam and more.

Is it fact or fake; you’ve got to do your homework to know

Modesto Bee

Even in Stanislaus County, not all “news” is real and not every site is legitimate

Our view: Two happy endings, but a much larger problem continues

Stockton Record

We see them camped beside the highway. We see them in various parts of cities. And yet, we try not to see them. Homelessness is an issue that is all around us. People end up on the streets for a number of reasons, including: • Lack of affordable housing • Unemployment • Poverty • Low wages So when a story of someone homeless ends with them in a…

Our View: Celebrating Veterans Day

Stockton Record

Today is a day to honor U.S. military veterans. It is because of their service, their sacrifice and their commitment that we can enjoy the freedoms we have today. When Veterans Day originated as Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1919, its intent was to celebrate the first anniversary of the end of World War I. The Great War, as it was known, ended on Nov. 11, 1918, in the…


California bans use of some farming pesticides near schools on weekdays

Los Angeles Times

California will restrict farmers’ use of certain pesticides near schools and day-care centers under a new rule announced this week that regulators said is among the toughest in the U.S. Under the new rule, California farmers will be prohibited from spraying pesticides within a quarter of a mile of public K-12 schools and licensed day-care centers from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the school week, the state Department of Pesticide Regulation said in a statement.

As Trump targets immigrants, U.S. farm sector looks to automate


Convincing big U.S. dairy owners to buy robots to milk their cows – and reduce the farmhands they employ – used to be a tough sell for Steve Fried. Recently, his job has gotten easier, he says, in part because of President Donald Trump.

Think you’ll be able to buy recreational marijuana in Sacramento Jan. 1? Think again

Sacramento Bee

Very few places in the capital region, for example, are considering allowing retail sales or delivery of cannabis, and the ones that are don’t expect sales to begin by the start of the year.



Police: ‘Every 16-year-old girl in Fresno’ has been targeted by sex trade recruiters

Fresno Bee

Human trafficking is a widespread concern that advocates and law enforcement officials say is on the rise throughout Fresno. Three women tell their stories of horror, survival and healing.

Sheriff’s deputy to stand trial for manslaughter in sergeant’s shooting death

Fresno Bee

Fresno County Sheriff’s deputy Jared Mullis will stand trial for involuntary manslaughter in the death of Sgt. Rod Lucas following a ruling against him by Judge Jonathan Conklin Thursday afternoon. Mullis showed no obvious reaction at the defense table, but defense attorney Roger Wilson said his client was upset by the ruling.

There’s no way the sheriff’s sergeant shot himself, prosecutor says

Fresno Bee

Fresno County sheriff’s Sgt. Rod Lucas could not have shot himself based on evidence presented this week by Fresno County coroner Dr. Michael Chambliss, prosecutor Noelle Pebet said Wednesday. The muzzle of the gun that fired the single fatal bullet that hit Lucas on Oct. 31, 2016, was 32 inches away from him, Chambliss testified according to Pebet.1

Two more Tulare cops placed on administrative leave

Visalia Times Delta

Two high-ranking members of the Tulare Police Department were placed on paid administrative leave this week.


Wildfire safety rules proposed for PG&E, other utilities

San Jose Mercury News

California regulators, alarmed by a series of wildfires that have scorched the state in recent years, are proposing a wide-ranging set of new fire-safety rules for PG&E and other big electricity utilities.

Large swaths of Southern California face significant fire risk

Los Angeles Times

The wine country wildfires — the most destructive in California history — have focused new attention on the kinds of neighborhoods most at risk. A Times analysis of the state’s maps for the highest-risk fire areas in Southern California shows about 550,000 properties covered by the zones. If areas with a lower but still significant fire risk were added, the number would roughly double, The Times’ analysis found.

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Trump era brings lowest stock market volatility since early 1960s

Financial Times


California women earn 88% of men’s pay, second-smallest gap nationwide

Orange County Register

Is the much-debated pay gap between women and men actually narrowing? A recent report shows California women earned 88 percent of what men were paid last year, the second-narrowest pay gap in the nation.



Walters: California’s school war flares up on three fronts


Three recent and seemingly discrete events neatly frame California’s political and legal war over whether the state’s six million K-12 students are being adequately educated.

Did the toasty classrooms at Orchard school impact Sylvan board election?

Modesto Bee

Some time ago, Christine Harvey was talking with her class at Glick Middle School in Empire about elections and citizenship, when students asked if she wanted to run for office. Harvey says she looked into it and threw her hat into the ring in the Sylvan Union School District in Modesto, where she lives. When the votes were tallied last week, Harvey had unseated the president of the Sylvan school district board. The results are incomplete, with 2,300 ballots that need to be tabulated countywide.

Teacher salary report unclear as 75% of employers withhold info


Salary and compensation data for 634,314 K-12 educators in California is online and updated for 2016, as of Wednesday. But your local educator’s data may be incomplete or unavailable.

Education board greenlights changes to the way test scores are categorized

Los Angeles Times

The California State Board of Education voted unanimously on a controversial proposal to change how test scores translate into ratings for schools and school districts. The vote Wednesday followed a long discussion about whether the state’s statistical design group works in secret, and whether the change might mislead parents. The change would be made to the California School Dashboard, a new education rating tool unveiled in preview form this year. It’s supposed to provide a more holistic sense of how a school is doing.

After hours of testimony, California state board rejects two history textbooks, approves 10 others


After hours of testimony, the state Board of Education Thursday rejected two history textbooks from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, but approved 10 others based on new history social sciences guidelines.

Will a college degree requirement lead to better, more respected preschool teachers?

Washington Post

“We are going to use a bear claw to hold our vegetable,” instructs Miss Tara from Tiny Chefs, demonstrating the fearsome grip that each toddler should use on a slice of red pepper.

School Discipline: Federal Rules Not Helping

National Review

After a rocky start, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has done an admirable job of reining in Barack Obama’s executive overreach. From giving states more freedom on K–12 schooling to paring back heavy-handed higher-education regulations, she’s taken step after step toward restoring a limited and principled federal role. But there is, unfortunately, one glaring exception: The Obama administration’s guidance on school discipline remains in full force.

Higher Ed:

California promises free community college tuition, but how will it pay?

Sacramento Bee

Weeks after Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 19, which waives fees for first-time freshmen at California community colleges, officials in the Los Rios Community College District are wondering where the money will come to pay for the tuition breaks. AB 19, authored by Assemblyman Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles), would expand upon the current Board of Governors’ fee waiver for low-income students, recently renamed the California Promise Grant. The new grant would waive the first year of fees for all first-time, full-time students attending a California community college, regardless of need.

Enrollment of first-time foreign students dips in the US, but California is still No. 1

Los Angeles Times

After years of rapid growth, enrollment of first-time international students in U.S. colleges and universities dipped last year amid concerns about political uncertainty, tuition increases, visa delays and reductions in scholarship money, an annual survey found. California remained the nation’s most popular destination for foreign students, with 157,000 coming to the state in 2016-17.

California has millions of good-paying jobs for workers without a bachelor’s degree


Workers who want to earn at least $35,000 a year increasingly need to have some training beyond high school but not necessarily a bachelor’s degree.

Opinion: How the tax code overhaul could slam higher ed

PBS NewsHour

The tax code overhaul pending in Congress is littered with provisions that would make it a lot harder for most Americans to go to college or grad school. All told, the changes proposed by House Republicans would require Americans to spend US$65 billion more to get a higher education in 2027 versus 2018 by increasing costs for both students and universities, according to a projection by the American Council on Education, a trade group that represents colleges and universities, which based its forecast on the House’s own report.



Will we be ‘wiped out?’ How climate change is affecting California

Sacramento Bee

California could one day be uninhabitable. Fire. Heat. Floods. Infestation. Disease. Suffering. Scientists have for years warned about the ravaging consequences of a warming planet.

The good news? Gov. Brown has world’s attention on climate. The bad news? There’s no time to lose

Sacramento Bee

Like polar bears on an Arctic ice floe, “climate denialists,” as California Gov. Jerry Brown calls them, have less and less to cling to. It has been sad and grotesque, in recent days, to hear Trumpian dead-enders yammer as the rest of the world gathers in Germany for the United Nations conference on climate change.

Why greenhouse gases are increasing — again

San Jose Mercury News

After three years of barely budging, fossil fuel emissions are once again climbing, according to new Stanford-led analyses. Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from human activities were nearly flat between 2014 and 2106, despite growth in the global economy, reports the Global Carbon Project, an international team chaired by Stanford scientist Rob Jackson. But they are now inching up.

California Proves That Environmental Regulations Don’t Kill Profits


To anyone who believes environmental regulation is poison for profits, Californiamust be infuriating. The state’s pollution policies rarely wilt its perennially blooming economy.

What Air Pollution Can Do To Your Bones And Osteoporosis


You may have bones to pick with air pollution, according to a pair of studies published in The Lancet Planetary Health. But for how long?


Wondering what you’ll pay for electricity next year? MID, TID budgets address that

Modesto Bee

Electricity customers will not confront higher prices in 2018 in the Modesto or Turlock irrigation districts, budget documents suggest. The MID board on Tuesday will consider approving a 2018 budget, which envisions unchanged power rates. TID’s proposed budget also assumes no rate increase, notes from an Oct. 31 workshop say.

California’s plans for offshore wind power run into Navy opposition

San Francisco Chronicle

End may be nearing for Diablo Canyon nuclear plant

San Francisco Chronicle


Marketing ‘Obamacare’ With Less Help From the Feds

Pew Charitable Trusts | Stateline

With tough rhetoric, a shortened open enrollment period, and fewer federal funds, the federal government is making it harder to get the word out on “Obamacare” sign-ups

Botox-injection parties in homes and a day spa get a nurse and doctor in trouble

Fresno Bee

A state board has accused registered nurse Rebekah Demoss of injecting Botox and other cosmetic drugs into patients at a Clovis day spa, at “Botox parties” at private homes, and even at her own home in Kingsburg, all without a doctor’s supervision. Meanwhile, another state board is accusing Dr. Robert Adams Graham of aiding and abetting Demoss in her alleged unauthorized practice of medicine.


Here’s why they marched from Merced to Livingston

Merced Sun-Star

“Hey, Congress, don’t wait. Now is time to legislate,” rang out as marchers walked along Santa Fe Drive in Merced County on Friday to bring awareness to the plight of young immigrants brought into the U.S. illegally.

More than half of Californians support ‘sanctuary state’ legislation

Los Angeles Times

More than 50% of Californians favor a new “sanctuary state” law to shield people from deportation, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

Most California sheriffs fiercely opposed the ‘sanctuary state’ law …

Los Angeles Times

Two years ago, as others in California were limiting cooperation with federal immigration agents, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department welcomed them into its jail. Sheriff Margaret Mims gave U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement unrestricted access to databases and private rooms to interview inmates. She reorganized release times so agents could easily pick up people who had served their sentences.


Land Use:

California will turn private ranch land into new public beach

San Jose Mercury News

The California Coastal Commission on Thursday agreed to carve a mile of public beach out of ranch land that has been in private hands for more than a century.


‘Homes for human beings’: Millennial-driven anti-NIMBY movement is winning with a simple message

San Jose Mercury News

California’s unprecedented housing crisis has ushered a new power player onto the scene with a supply-and-demand message so succinct it could fit on a T-shirt: Build more homes. Meet the YIMBYs, a network of pro-development, tech-funded, ‘Yes-In-My-Backyard’ organizations cropping up throughout the Bay Area and beyond to counter the sentiment against building more homes in existing neighborhoods.

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Understanding how California serves its homeless children: a quick guide


As California’s housing shortage intensifies, the number of homeless children is expected to climb. Since 2014, the number of homeless youth in California has jumped 20 percent, to more than 202,329, and accounts for nearly 4 percent of the overall public school population. Homeless children are enrolled in nearly every district in the state, according to the California Homeless Youth Project. An EdSource special projectexplored the issue in detail, and includes a map showing the number of homeless students in California schools.


CalPERS wants broke cities to deliver bad news to out-of-luck pensioners

Sacramento Bee

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System would like someone else to deliver the bad news when local governments quit paying their bills and put a retiree’s pension in jeopardy. CalPERS at a three-day meeting that begins today plans to propose a new law that would compel public agencies to notify their employees and retirees when a local government decides to separate from the $343 billion fund.

Borenstein: End CalPERS’ reckless pension debt repayment plans

San Jose Mercury News

CalPERS’ actuary says the nation’s largest pension system should stop kicking the proverbial can so far down the road. He’s right. But his proposed solution addresses only future debt. It would do nothing to address repayment of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System’s current shortfall of more than $150 billion. CalPERS administers pension plans for the state and most local governments. And it sets the minimum payments those agencies must make to fund their workers’ retirements.

GOP gears up for intense tax battle as Senate debuts plan

PBS NewsHour

Republicans pushed ahead on their plan for a tax overhaul, with two major developments. The House Ways and Means Committee passed its sweeping tax bill, while the Senate released their own version. Lisa Desjardins sits down with Judy Woodruff to discuss how the two bills compare, which GOP senators aren’t yet convinced and how Democrats are reacting.

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Fingerprinting not required for Uber and Lyft drivers in California

Sacramento Bee

Despite a push by the taxi industry, California will not require Uber and Lyft to fingerprint their drivers. The California Public Utilities Commission is set to adopt new rules on background checks for ride-hailing services during its meeting, 9:30 a.m. in San Francisco. The proposed regulations, which were released last month, mandate companies conduct annual screenings of their drivers with firms that are accredited by a national association.

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Meet the ‘Trackless Train,’ a Chinese Rail-Bus Hybrid


It’s the shape of a swoopy modern streetcar, but it’s got rubber-shod wheels of a bus. Also, there’s no driver—it’s automated like a tram. The “trackless train” is sort of a jackalope of public transportation. Or maybe it’s more like a donkey than a truly mythical creature; unlike a certain infamous straddling bus, this hybrid transportation innovation is for real.


And the winner is … still unclear, after new MID election tally

Modesto Bee

The only local political race without a clear outcome – between Modesto Irrigation District incumbent Jake Wenger and challenger Stu Gilman – remained undecided Thursday after election officials released a voting count update. 

How Data Is Making California’s Water Wars Worse


If you thought California’s famously bitter water wars were hard-fought, just wait until you see our water data wars. Californians fight over water because we all need it and there is rarely enough to satisfy the full needs of many competing interests—farmers and fishermen, environmentalists and industry, state and local water agencies, and, of course, residents. In this way, California water history mirrors that of the entire state: Californians’ desires always outstrip our abundance, and we never stop battling over how to divide things up.

The Oroville Dam spillway was wrecked months ago. Here’s where repairs currently stand

Los Angeles Times

New images released by state water officials Thursday highlight the immensity of repairs made to the Oroville Dam spillway as seasonal rains begin to fall once again

Kern River: Our fickle beauty reduced to a trickle

The once-surging Kern River has shriveled into a sad little foot-wide channel. No one at this juncture can say whether it will return anytime soon to the powerful, fast-moving waterway of mid-2017.

Return of La Niña: Climate Prediction Center

ENSO Diagnostic Discussion

La Niña conditions are predicted to continue (~65-75% chance) at least through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2017-18.

The State of Groundwater Recharge in the San Joaquin Valley

Public Policy Institute of California

When strong winter rains finally ended the recent five-year drought, many water districts seized the opportunity to recharge depleted aquifers. How did they do, and what barriers did they face? A public forum brought more than 30 experts together to discuss the benefits, opportunities, and barriers to groundwater recharge. The event was hosted by the California State Board of Food and Agriculture and the state Department of Water Resources. My presentation focused on recharge in the San Joaquin Valley—a region that is home to more than four million people, half the state’s agricultural output, and most of its critically overdrafted groundwater basins, where pumping exceeds replenishment. Consequences include dry wells, sinking lands, and reduced supplies to weather future droughts.


Second annual Bakersfield Marathon brings strong sense of Bakersfield kinship
The cheers were nonstop as clusters of runners, one after another, turned the final corner and came into the view of the crowd. The soft clanging of medals and robust applause added to the euphonium of the second annual Bakersfield Marathon as the runners crossed beneath the red, white and blue inflatable arch that marked the finish line.

Senior center: Fresno task force recommends next steps

Fresno Bee

The Fresno City Council unanimously voted Thursday afternoon to accept the report of a senior citizen task force providing recommendations for establishing a senior center in the city.

Take me home! Dogs available for adoption

Bakersfield Californian

These four dogs at Kern County Animal Services are looking for their forever homes. Can you help?

Tehachapi library branch’s renovation opening delayed 3 weeks

Bakersfield Californian

Tehachapi’s updated library branch will open three weeks later than planned — Dec. 4 rather than Nov. 13. 

Pacific presenting a feast for Beethoven lovers

Stockton Record

Frank Wiens will play Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 during the University’s Symphony Orchestra’s Festival on Saturday

National Novel Writing Month an ‘adventure’ for Stockton writers

Stockton Record

Thirty days. Fifty thousand words. Untold volumes of black coffee and Red Bull.This is National Novel Writing Month. In the Stockton area alone, 85 people have decided — of their own free will — to write a short novel by the time the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 1.