November 19, 2018




DEADLINE DEC. 7TH - Qualify For A Scholarship Of Up To $6,000

San Joaquin Valley Spring 2019 and Washington D.C./Sacramento Summer Internships

The Maddy Institute

The Maddy Scholar Intern Program’s goal is to prepare the next generation of political, governmental, business, non-profit leaders for the San Joaquin Valley through internship opportunities in local, state and federal government offices in Washington, D.C., Sacramento and throughout the region.


North SJ Valley:


Ted Howze’s plan to go after soon-to-be Josh Harder’s 10 Congressional seat in works

Modesto Bee

All the votes haven’t yet been counted, but Howze is already sending out requests for meetings with influential people – usually a prelude to a campaign-donation pinch.


Central SJ Valley:


Swearengin to represent Valley as adviser to Newsom transition team

Fresno Bee

Former Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin announced Friday that she will be assisting the transition team of incoming Gov. Gavin Newsom as part of a statewide advisory board.


Andrew Janz, back at work after 19 months of hard campaigning, takes a breath

Fresno Bee

Janz spent 19 months on the campaign trail in his bid to topple 16-year Republican incumbent Congressman Devin Nunes. Janz and his staff raised $9.1 million, and they spent nearly every cent.


MS-13 terrorized Mendota for nearly a decade. Why didn’t help come sooner?

Sacramento Bee

President Trump’s administration has targeted murderous gang MS-13, but the federal government hasn’t helped the town of Mendota CA in their fight against the criminals, say former and current city leaders.


How local philanthropy is addressing Fresno, California’s severe economic inequities

Urban Institute

Sitting in the shadows between San Francisco and Los Angeles, the inland city of Fresno, California, is one of the youngest, most diverse, and fastest-growing US cities


South SJ Valley:


How Orange County Foiled Kevin McCarthy’s Plans

New York Times

Representative Kevin McCarthy, the House majority leader, had hoped to become the House speaker next year. Instead, Mr. McCarthy, a California Republican, will be returning as the minority leader after Democrats seized control of the House.


With Measure H Approval, A New Era Begins For Tulare Regional Medical Center


About a month ago, in mid-October, Tulare Regional Medical Center was in the middle of a makeover. In less than a week, it was due to reopen, after closing abruptly a year earlier due to mismanagement. New pavement was still drying and workers in forklifts were painting the whole building a uniform beige.




Another House win caps Democratic rout in California

Sacramento Bee

Democrat Gil Cisneros captured a Republican-held U.S. House seat in Southern California, capping a Democratic rout in which the party picked up six congressional seats in the state.

See Also:

     After midterm wipeout, California Republican Party drifts closer to irrelevance Sacramento Bee

     Orange County goes blue, as Democrats complete historic sweep of its seven congressional seats Los Angeles Times

      Going, going ... with midterm wipeout, California Republican Party drifts closer to irrelevance Los Angeles Times

     Democrats Complete House Sweep of California’s Orange County  Wall Street Journal


RIP, California GOP: Republicans lash out after midterm election debacle


‘There is no message. There is no messenger. There is no money. And there is no infrastructure,' says one top Republican.

See also:

      California’s blue tsunami decimates weakened GOP San Francisco Chronicle

     California's Orange County Now a 'Blue Sea' Wall Street Journal


Assemblyman Travis Allen announces bid for chairman of the California GOP

Los Angeles Times

Travis Allen, a Huntington Beach assemblyman who unsuccessfully ran for California governor, announced Thursday he is running for chairman of the state Republican Party.


California’s campaign season goes extra innings when it comes to some unsigned absentee ballot envelopes

Los Angeles Times

The section of California election law governing absentee ballots lays out a principle that grows more important every year: The rules “shall be liberally construed” in favor of the voter.

See also:

      Provisional Ballots Protect Voting Rights — When They Are Counted PEW Trusts


Walters: One election over, another looms on the horizon


They are still counting votes in California’s $1 billion off-year election, but the state’s professional politicians are already thinking ahead to the next one because it might give them a rare opportunity to play roles in presidential politicking.


A landslide, supermajorities and now a fat budget surplus: It's good to be Gavin right now


The good news just keeps coming for California Gov.elect Gavin Newsom. Not only did he win a resounding 60 percent plus landslide, but he will be greeted by a two thirds supermajority of fellow Democrats in both houses more than sufficient to approve a tax increase. Not that he'll need it any time soon.


Jerry Brown signed $1 billion in wildfire prevention—and none of it applies to the fires this year


Protecting California from devastating wildfires was the Legislature’s biggest focus in this year’s session. Recognizing the urgency, lawmakers formed a special wildfire committee, heard from numerous experts, and, after several emotional debates, passed a $1 billion new law they said would “prevent catastrophic wildfires and protect Californians.”


EDITORIAL: No, slow vote counts don't mean fraud. To suggest otherwise is irresponsible

Los Angeles Times

As of Thursday, more than a week after election day, about 2.7 million ballots cast by California voters remained uncounted. In all but two of the 58 California counties — lightly populated Sierra and Inyo — vote-counting is ongoing and may continue until the Dec. 7 deadline.




Legislation or gridlock after the 2018 midterms?


Sarah Binder and Molly Reynolds discuss what to expect from the 116th Congress, including the prospects for bipartisan legislation, how Democrats might use their new House majority, and what it all could mean for the Trump administration.


Democrats say Latino turnout surged 174% in 2018 midterms

CBS News

Democrats say a $30 million investment to engage with Latino and other minority voters helped the party achieve a net gain of 34 House seats and improve on 2014 turnout numbers.


The Gerrymander Excuse Implodes

Wall Street Journal

Democrats’ total vote share roughly matches their House majority.


How blue states help red states

San Francisco Chronicle

Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress love to demonize government handouts. But their own red-state supporters depend on these handouts. And the handouts are increasingly financed by the inhabitants of blue states.


Whose Money Is It, Anyway?

Public CEO

Across the whole country, stakeholder groups can join together and exercise their First Amendment rights to build coalitions to drive voter opinion for or against ballot propositions.


Counties Need to Take Leadership Role in State’s Complete Count Efforts

Public CEO

This Census comes at a time when government services play an increasingly important role in our residents’ lives.




Obituary | Mary Stanley of Fresno: A Tribute from Nancy Pelosi

Fresno Bee

She never held office, but she helped countless women politicians get their start


EDITORIAL: Fix it, Facebook

San Francisco Chronicle

Facebook’s terrible year keeps getting worse. On Wednesday, the New York Times published an investigation into the way Facebook handled the discovery of Russian disinformation campaigns on its platform ahead of the 2016 presidential election. What the investigation revealed can only be described as rot at the top.

See Also:

     EDITORIAL: That Facebook needs most: competition San Diego Union-Tribune

      ‘Nothing on this page is real’: How lies become truth in online America Washington Post





Beef industry hands out year-end awards

Madera Tribune

Beef, it’s what’s for dinner, as the advertising campaign says. Not exactly, a sophisticated slogan but beef isn’t precisely an elegant meal. It is, however, so much better than any other entre, especially when prepared correctly.


Volunteers help Emergency Food Bank prepare for Monday’s food box giveaway

Stockton Record

More than 2,000 people will line up outside in the cold Monday morning to wait for their chance to secure a Thanksgiving meal from the Emergency Food Bank.


Why a salmonella outbreak shouldn’t ruin your Thanksgiving

Sacramento Bee

Health officials: No reason to skip Thanksgiving dinner because of a salmonella outbreak linked to raw turkey.


A $12 Billion Program to Help Farmers Stung by Trump’s Trade War Has Aided Few

The New York Times

America’s farmers have been shut out of foreign markets, hit with retaliatory tariffs and lost lucrative contracts in the face of President Trump’s trade war. But a $12 billion bailout program Mr. Trump created to “make it up” to farmers has done little to cushion the blow, with red tape and long waiting periods resulting in few payouts so far.






MS-13 terrorized Mendota for nearly a decade. Why didn’t help come sooner?

Sacramento Bee

President Trump’s administration has targeted murderous gang MS-13, but the federal government hasn’t helped the town of Mendota CA in their fight against the criminals, say former and current city leaders.


One Stanislaus County city moves to control ‘unmanageable problem with fireworks’

Modesto Bee

What time is too late to set off Fourth of July fireworks? If you’re in Riverbank, the answer is 10 p.m., a City Council majority decided on Tuesday. Violators of the new ordinance, if finalized on Dec. 11, could be fined $250, or $750 for a third offense.


EDITORIAL: Bipartisan criminal-justice reform could happen soon — if the 1990s wing of the GOP gets out of the way

Los Angeles Times

A federal criminal-justice reform bill designed to make sentencing more rational and inmates’ return to society more successful has bipartisan support and last week won the backing of President Trump.


Public Safety:


Betsy DeVos pitches new protections for students accused of sexual assault


The Trump administration has proposed new guidelines for schools dealing with sexual assault and harassment allegations.


This trauma surgeon patches up gunshot wounds. Here’s what he says about gun safety

Fresno Bee

Doctors by the thousands took to social media this past week to rebut a National Rifle Association tweet scolding them to “stay in their lane

See also:

     As Doctor Debate With NRA Flares, New Study Sheds Light On California Background Check Policy Capital Public Radio


A new survey reveals who owns guns in California—and how many got them without background checks


In a state that has some of the nation’s toughest gun control laws, one in four California gun owners own firearms that they somehow managed to buy without undergoing background checks, researchers at UC Davis’ Violence Prevention Research Program reported Sunday.


EDITORIAL: Federal government should renew oversight of troubled police forces

San Diego Union-Tribune

This week, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights called on the president to reverse decisions Sessions made and resume federal oversight of troubled police departments and reinstate the Justice Department’s community policing office. He should.




Trump cites ‘total devastation’ in Paradise, pushes plan to thin forests; death toll rises to 77 Sunday

Fresno Bee

President Donald Trump toured the damage wrought by California’s deadliest wildfire Saturday, visiting the ruins of a mobile home park and pressing his argument that the state’s forests must be managed more aggressively to prevent future disasters.

See Also:

     Trump was right: California’s forests have been grossly mismanaged Fresno Bee

      Trump Calls for Better Forest Management During California Visit Wall Street Journal

      Facing Deadlier Fires, California Tries Something New: More Logging Wall Street Journal

      Trump mocked for telling California to rake its forests like Finland to reduce fire risk Mercury News

     She walked Saturday in Paradise with Trump and Brown, and came away soothed Fresno Bee

     California congressman says Trump 'needs to listen to the experts' on fires abc30

     'This is very sad to see': Trump surveys California wildfire devastation after 76 killed Visalia Times-Delta

     Handshakes And Kind Words From Trump, Brown And Newsom, Touring Wildfire Damage Capital Public Radio

      Trump Blames Forest Management For Wildfires Again During California Visit NPR

      How Misguided Environmentalism Is To Blame For California’s Wildfires The Federalist


‘Some of these people are not going to be identified.’ Naming Camp Fire victims an uncertain task

Fresno Bee

The search-and-rescue crew was sifting through ashes at a skilled-nursing facility when the radio call came in: a potential discovery just a quarter-mile up the road, at the Pine Springs Mobile Home Park.

See Also:

     Camp Fire update: 77 now dead, 993 still listed as missing Fresno Bee

     Relentless California wildfires leave 80 dead, over 1,200 others still missing abc30

     Camp Fire is now California's most destructive wildfire abc30

     More Than 1,000 People Now Listed As Missing In California's Deadliest Fire VPR

     More Than 1,000 Reported Missing, At Least 71 Dead In Camp Wildfire's Wake Capital Public Radio

     Could nearly 1,000 people really have died in the blaze? Staggering number of missing haunts Paradise Los Angeles Times

     California fire: What started as a tiny brush fire became the state’s deadliest wildfire. Here’s how Los Angeles Times

      For California fire victims, it will be a long, tough road to rebuild Los Angeles Times


How do you rebuild Paradise when all seems lost?

San Jose Mercury

Her name is Jody Jones and she lived on Lighty Lane and she is the mayor of Paradise.


Power lines keep sparking wildfires. Why don’t California utility companies bury them?

Modesto Bee

Cal Fire investigators this summer said they believe at least 17 major wildfires in Northern California last year were caused by problems with power lines. Fire liability costs are putting PG&E in financial peril.

See Also:

     PG&E reports second power line problem before Camp Fire. Paradise residents file lawsuits Sacramento Bee

     California fire: PG&E canceled planned power shut-off in Paradise area just before Camp fire broke out  Los Angeles Times

     PG&E electric rates: Utility asked to hike bills over California fires CBS News


Insured losses from Camp and Woolsey wildfires estimated at $9-13 billion


RMS estimates insured losses of $7.5 billion-$10 billion from the Camp wildfire and $1.5 billion-$3 billion for the Woolsey fire, which caused massive destruction in Malibu, southern California, where million-dollar homes once stood.


A political firestorm is about to hit the Capitol: Who will pay for wildfire damages?


Asked this spring to identify the most important issue facing California lawmakers, the leader of the state Senate didn’t hesitate: wildfires. Two months later—with fires blazing from the Oregon border to San Diego—legislators are poised to wade into a political firestorm sparked by last year’s historic fires and mudslides, which destroyed about 10,000 buildings and killed at least 66 people.


Now Living Side By Side, Camp Fire Evacuees And Homeless Chico Residents Receive Aid

Capital Public Radio

It's been a week since the Camp Fire forced 52,000 people in Butte County into some phase of homelessness. Many of the people who got out ahead of the fire now find themselves in Chico living next to people who were already homeless. Now both groups are being helped.

See Also:

     Several Fresno businesses taking donations for victims of Camp Fire abc30

     Camp Fire refugees create new town of ‘Wallywood’ as officials struggle with housing crisis Sacramento Bee

     Firestorm evacuees in tents at Walmart pack up after services dismantled San Francisco Chronicle

     Butte County fire survivors lean on faith and on each other after deadly fire rages San Francisco Chronicle


California Offers Safe Space For Firefighters To Work Through Stress And Trauma

Capital Public Radio

With wildfires now a year-round problem in California, officials are adding emotional support to the services they provide to the firefighters in the field.


EDITORIAL: California’s choice: Let it burn, or figure out how to fight these deadly fires

Fresno Bee

State and federal agencies, environmentalists, businesses and homeowners must take seats at the same table. We need a clear understanding of risks and tradeoffs and we need strategies to reduce the likelihood of another catastrophe.

See Also:

     Data era changes approach to fighting fires Stockton Record

     Jerry Brown Signed $1 Billion In Wildfire Prevention—And None Of It Applies To The Fires This Year Capital Public Radio

     Examining Jerry Brown’s Veto Of California Wildfire Legislation And The Criticism Of It Capital Public Radio

     Trying to get a handle on California's deadly wildfires has lawmakers flummoxed Los Angeles Times
     Fireproof shelters, strict zoning rules and buyouts: Bold ideas to prevent another deadly California fire Los Angeles Times

     EDITORIAL: New governor, Legislature face an all-too-familiar crisis San Francisco Chronicle


EDITORIAL:  Camp Fire the tragedy we were all warned about

Chico Enterprise-Record

“Nobody would have ever thought this could happen,” President Donald Trump said while touring the Camp Fire devastation Saturday. That’s not true. The Camp Fire was inevitable. It is the event that so many dreaded for so long.


EDITORIAL: In the wake of deadly wildfires, California needs a reliable emergency alert system to save lives

Los Angeles Times

Disasters have revealed that the state’s emergency warning systems, which are generally administered by cities and counties, are not working adequately.






Alternative retailers go big on Black Friday, too

Bakersfield Californian

The longest lines on Black Friday often lead to big-box retailers, which isn't surprising given the resources they invest in the start of the holiday shopping season. But they're hardly the only stores looking to rack up big sales this week.


Trump's Mexico-Canada deal hits trouble in Congress


Liberals and conservatives alike are raising objections that could imperil the president's signature trade agreement.


California going bankrupt? Well, government finances get kind words from credit-rating agencies

Daily News

With question swirling about the durability of California’s long-running economic expansion, state finances got surprisingly kind words from three major credit-rating agencies.


America’s two economies remain far apart


In the sequel to an analysis conducted just after the 2016 election, Mark Muro and Jacob Whiton find that the midterm elections reaffirmed America’s stark economic divides, with nearly 61 percent of the nation’s economic activity concentrated in the 228 congressional districts won by Democrats this year.


EDITORIAL: What will Gavin Newsom do now that he’s in charge of the world’s fifth largest economy?


In January 2019, Gavin Newsom will become the governor of California. It’s a big job. The state has a population of about 40 million people and a GDP of about $2.8 trillion. If it were a country, it would be the world’s fifth-largest, just ahead of the UK, France, and India.




Kern's unemployment rate holds steady, Kern Federal changes names

Bakersfield Californian

Joblessness in Kern County rose only slightly in October to a seasonally unadjusted 6.6 percent.


California Employment Report for October 2018

California Center for Jobs & The Economy

The Center for Jobs and the Economy has released our initial analysis of the October Employment Report released by the California Employment Development Department.

See also:

      California unemployment rate holds at record low 4.1% Sacramento Bee






State officials cancel important high school sporting events due to poor air quality


Fresno is typically known for having California's worst air quality. But this weekend, the Valley is turning into a Mecca for student-athletes.

See Also:

     Poor air quality leads to concerns for student-athletes Stockton Record


Charter school backers spent millions on statewide races in 2018. They still lost twice.

Sacramento Bee

When former charter school executive Marshall Tuck called Assemblyman Tony Thurmond to concede over the weekend, it marked another defeat for charter-school advocates in California.

See also:

      Tony Thurmond is the new schools chief. Now what? CALmatters


Michael Horne, newly elected BCSD trustee aims to be voice for disabled, foster youth

Bakersfield Californian

Michael Horne describes himself as a developmentally disabled man who will advocate for students who face hardship and live with disabilities.


Higher Ed:


Modesto Junior College and Columbia faculty schedule two-day strike

Modesto Bee

Instructors at Modesto Junior College and Columbia College near Sonora will strike Nov. 27 and 28 to protest what faculty calls unfair labor practices by their bosses at the Yosemite Community College District.


Poll: California should guarantee minimum funding level for UC, CSU


Since the recession, a yearly drama has played out in the halls of California’s Capitol as representatives of the state’s public universities beg lawmakers for more money to cope with rising demand. Now a new poll suggests a majority of Californians agree with an argument long made by students, faculty and administrators: The University of California and California State University need a dedicated funding source free from the political jockeying of annual budget debates.

See also:

      UC regents approve budget to enroll 2,500 more California students without a tuition hike Los Angeles Times

     Make college affordable and accessible, Californians tell Gavin Newsom Sacramento Bee


Stanislaus State, MJC, other schools announce plans for week ahead

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus State, Modesto Junior College and UC Merced announce plans about closures due to poor air quality from the Camp Fire. Modesto City Schools announces classes will remain open.

See Also:

     Merced College cancels classes due to air quality abc30

     UC Merced cancels classes through Thanksgiving abc30


CSUB's new trans library honors former student

Bakersfield Californian

Cal State Bakersfield’s transgender students now have a new safe space on campus to use when needed.


Latino students in California still lag in college success

Lake County Record Bee

California’s Latino students are making progress in higher education but colleges and state policymakers should take further steps to help close a continuing ethnic achievement gap, according to a new report by the Campaign for College Opportunity.


Outstanding Student Loan Debt Approaches $1.5 Trillion


Outstanding student loan debt increased by $37 billion in the third quarter and stood at $1.44 trillion as of September 30, 2018, according to newly released data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.






Got the bad air blues? Rain is coming, says weather service

Fresno Bee

The Valley’s air quality remained poor Saturday, as smoke from California’s wildfires traveled across the state. However, help from Mother Nature could arrive just in time for Thanksgiving.

See Also:

      Camp Fire smoke rolls south, worsening air quality and prompting warnings to stay inside Fresno Bee

     Smoke from several wildfires affecting air quality in the Valley abc30

     NWS: Expect a rainy Thanksgiving weekend, two storm systems heading to California abc30

     Rain on the menu for Thanksgiving Hanford Sentinel

     Gear up for a rainy, snowy Thanksgiving in Northern California Sacramento Bee

     Unhealthy air to plague Northern California until rain arrives Tuesday San Francisco Chronicle

      Air Quality in California: Devastating Fire Leads to a New Danger  The New York Times

      California’s Fires Wrecked Its Air Quality: Here’s How to Protect Yourself The New York Times


Gadgets for the Climate Hellscape

The Atlantic

What will climate adaptation look like? A million individual products, each precisely targeted on social media to the intersection of a consumer culture and a catastrophe.


Wildfires Are Threatening California's Renewables Strategy


California’s ambitious drive to combat climate change may hinge on the fate of its biggest utility owner.


Cracks on Display as Democrats Plan for Climate Action

Roll Call

Democrats agree they want to act on climate change, but even before they take charge of the House, they are signs of cracks in their coalition over how to advance the cause.


Trump and Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown — Strange Company on Climate Change?

Roll Call

President Donald Trump on Saturday stopped just shy of saying he believes climate change is a legitimate scientific phenomenon, a statement that likely would not sit well with his conservative base and most GOP lawmakers.

Trump plans to nominate Andrew Wheeler, former coal lobbyist, as EPA chief

Washington Post

Wheeler took over as the agency’s acting administrator in early July after Scott Pruitt resigned amid ethics scandals.




A Green Logrolling Classic

Wall Street Journal

Offshore wind for 78 cents a kilowatt-hour. On the open market: 3 cents






Will wildfire smoke hurt your health long-term? Pollution studies offer clues

Sacramento Bee

Last year, as the Tubbs Fire scorched its way across Napa and Sonoma counties, environmental researchers at UC Davis fielded questions about the health impact of chronic exposure to smoke from a wildfire.


Air pollution is shaving years from people’s lives. Where is it claiming the most?

Fresno Bee

People could add years to their lives in California and other smog-plagued parts of the world if authorities could reduce particulates in the air.


Human Services:


Did Tulare hospital board sell 'dignity for cash' in HCCA settlement?

Visalia Times-Delta

While there's plenty of hard feelings, Tulare Regional Medical Center's board has settled a lawsuit with the company that managed the hospital up until its closure last fall.


With Measure H Approval, A New Era Begins For Tulare Regional Medical Center


About a month ago, in mid-October, Tulare Regional Medical Center was in the middle of a makeover. In less than a week, it was due to reopen, after closing abruptly a year earlier due to mismanagement. New pavement was still drying and workers in forklifts were painting the whole building a uniform beige.


Hospital to light 40-foot tree; blood drive also scheduled

Madera Tribune

Each month, Madera Community Hospital provides an average of 100 pints of blood for patients needing transfusions. The Madera Evening Lion’s Club responded to the need to replenish what our community uses by promoting and coordinating a blood drive on the eve of Giving Tuesday.


Scores of kids — including Lenzy and Kassidy — get forever homes on National Adoption Day

Bakersfield Californian

About 40 adoptions were finalized in Juvenile Court on Friday, and more than 20 others were expected to be signed off in the Family Law Division, the Kern County Department of Human Services said in a news release.




Border control protesters hit the streets in Tulare

Visalia Times-Delta

With President Donald Trump in California, protesters took to the streets this weekend in Tulare to urge more border security along the Mexico - U.S. line.


Tijuana protesters chant ‘Out!’ at migrants camped in city

Sacramento Bee

Hundreds of Tijuana residents protested the thousands of Central American migrants who have arrived via caravan in hopes of a new life in the U.S.

See Also:

     In Tijuana, a city of migrants turns on Central American caravan that's reached the border Los Angeles Times

      Anti-caravan protest starts peaceful, turns tense outside Tijuana shelter San Diego Union-Tribune

      Migrant Caravan Is Just Yards From U.S. Border, but Long Wait Lies Ahead New York Times


Do Californians want out of sanctuary cities? Mostly not


President Donald Trump sought to make immigration the centerpiece of the closing days of the 2018 midterm elections. One of his biggest targets was sanctuary cities -- a somewhat fuzzy term that refers to localities that limit their cooperation with federal immigration enforcement authorities.


4 myths about how immigrants affect the U.S. economy

PBS NewsHour

President Donald Trump has been stoking fears about immigrants in the days leading up to the midterm elections. He’s tweeted anti-immigrant ads and threatened to revoke birthright citizenship, something lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have said would be unconstitutional, as he campaigns to drive up Republican turnout.




Land Use:


Lemoore gets a massive all-in-one entertainment center. Here’s a sneak peek

Fresno Bee

By design, the Coyote Entertainment Center is the kind of place you’ll want to bring the family for the day.




California’s Big City Mayors Say More Political Will Needed To Solve Homeless Crisis

Capital Public Radio

Big city mayors from across California promised to push forward with solutions to the state’s homelessness crisis on Friday, but cautioned the problem won’t be fully solved without stronger political will and tackling root causes.


What the election means for California's housing crisis


On this episode of the Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis podcast, Matt and Liam break down all of the important housing-related results from last week’s election.


California Fires Only Add to Acute Housing Crisis

New York Times

Within hours of the flames igniting in Northern California last week, an instant new homeless crisis was born. In a state already suffering an acute housing shortage, the fire that swept through the town of Paradise and neighboring hamlets has once again laid bare one of California’s biggest vulnerabilities: With each disaster — wildfire, mudslide or earthquake — there are thousands of people who cannot find homes in a market that for years has had very little vacancy.


Why affordable housing is scarce in progressive cities


In Generation Priced Out, activist Randy Shaw shows how policies have pushed up rent and excluded many long-time residents




Gavin Newsom wants to redesign California’s tax system. It’s so hard, Jerry Brown didn’t try

Fresno Bee

California’s tax system relies heavily on personal income taxes from the rich, a volatile revenue source that leads to steeper budget cuts in an economic recession. Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom wants to change that.


California pot tax revenue improves but is still short of projections

Los Angeles Times

The amount of money collected by the state from taxes on cannabis grown and sold legally in California continues to increase but is still falling short of budget estimates, according to figures released Wednesday.


As CalPERS rates climb, how high can they go?


A new report shows a third of local governments in CalPERS will have police and firefighter employer rates next fiscal year that are at least 50 percent of pay, a level that a former CalPERS chief actuary believed a decade ago would be “unsustainable.”


Trump Tax Break Aims to Turn Distressed Areas Into ‘Opportunity Zones’

PEW Trusts

The tax break could be a game changer for towns in rural areas — unless cities win out.


EDITORIAL: Only at Fresno City Hall: A day off for simply showing up regularly to work

Fresno Bee

Imagine getting a day off just for showing up regularly for work. Sounds like something any employee working anywhere would love. You can qualify for that perk if you work for the city of Fresno, specifically in one of several unions that have negotiated that benefit.




’Tis the season to travel, so here are helpful tips to ensure a safe trip

Fresno Bee

The busiest travel period of the year is upon us as more than 54.3 million Americans are projected to travel 50 miles or more for the Thanksgiving holiday. Will you be amongst the holiday travel madness?

See Also:

     AAA predicts busiest travel period in a decade this Thanksgiving Bakersfield Californian

     One day separates a heaven or hell for Thanksgiving travel San Francisco Chronicle


Audit cites flaws in costly California bullet train project

Bakersfield Californian

Flawed decision-making and poor contract management contributed to billions in cost overruns and years of delays.

See also:

      Audit cites flaws in costly California bullet train project (multiple outlets) Associated Press

      State audit blames bullet train mismanagement for delays and price hikes Los Angeles Times


Richard Branson, Virgin to partner with Brightline high-speed rail

Las Vegas Review-Journal

Brightline, the company that in September announced plans to acquire the rights to develop the XpressWest high-speed rail route, will partner with Richard Branson and the Virgin Group on the project.


Arvin debuts electric bus it hopes will spur change throughout region

Bakersfield Californian

On a day when poor air quality almost totally obscured the foothills in the background, the city of Arvin debuted its new electric bus system.


Full Truxtun Avenue closure planned for next two weeks

Bakersfield Californian

Truxtun Avenue will be closed to all traffic near the Westside Parkway on- and off-ramps in the evenings starting next week.


10% Of New Vehicles Purchased in California Are EVs


Trends in the US often start in California, expand to other Western states and/or Northeastern states, and then fill in eventually in the Midwest and South. This same pattern is also occurring with sales of EVs in the US and is creating in essence green versus brown states, similar to our political division of blue versus red states.




Walters: Outgoing Gov. Jerry Brown tries to forge big water deal

Fresno Bee

As the Civil War raged, William Brewer, a young botanist from upstate New York, spent five years cataloging California’s natural attributes for its Legislature.


Video: Water Priorities for California’s Next Governor


California’s many water challenges are complex, with many possible solutions and even more opinions about best approaches. How can a new governor forge a path forward in this critical area?


My turn: A chance to finally solve the Delta quandary


It is imperative to improve the health of the greater Delta watershed, a major source of water for cities and farms across the state. And various stakeholders have a chance to achieve that goal in the coming weeks while protecting important economic interests.




A list of parades and more events to celebrate Christmas time in the Valley.

Fresno Bee

Parades, tree lightings and much more are scheduled in the central San Joaquin Valley from now through Dec. 10. Here’s a list of community-wide events.


Could this famous clam chowder from Pismo come to Fresno? Depends on you

Fresno Bee

The famed clam chowder from Splash Cafe in Pismo Beach and San Luis Obispo could come to Fresno if enough restaurants request it. The soup is for sale at Costco stores in Fresno and Visalia, and The Salad Shop in Visalia recently began selling it in bread bowls.

See Also:

     Surfs up at The Salad Shop, now serving Splash Cafe clam chowder Visalia Times-Delta


Bulldogs back in Top 25 after clinching division in win over San Diego State

Fresno Bee

The Fresno State Bulldogs moved back into the national rankings on Sunday, a day after clinching a West Division title and spot in the Mountain West Conference championship game with a 23-14 victory over San Diego State.


Baby, it’s ice outside. Modesto skating rink and others opening for the season

Modesto Bee

Modesto on Ice opens for its fourth season Saturday. It joins Turlock’s Fields of Ice, which opened Friday, to start ice skating season in the valley. Both covered outdoor rinks will be open for the next nine weeks, through Jan. 21.


'Lion King' brings circle of life to the Valley

Hanford Sentinel

“Hakuna Matata.” Any Disney fan knows that it means no worries for the rest of your days. And it’s that carefree spirit that Timon, Pumbaa, Simba and the rest of “Lion King” crew will bring to the Central Valley this month.


Big turnout for the 3rd annual Bakersfield Marathon

Bakersfield Californian

There was a big turnout for the third annual Bakersfield Marathon on Sunday. The route took runners from Cal State Bakersfield to Bakersfield College and back.


Roy Clark, country guitar virtuoso, 'Hee Haw' star, has died

Bakersfield Californian

Country star Roy Clark, the guitar virtuoso and singer who headlined the cornpone TV show "Hee Haw" for nearly a quarter century and was known for such hits as "Yesterday When I was Young" and "Honeymoon Feeling," has died.