November 27, 2018




North SJ Valley:


Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs is one of two Valley representatives on governor-elect Gavin Newsom’s transition team

Stockton Record

About six weeks ago, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs received a telephone call from governor-elect Gavin Newsom’s chief of staff, inviting him to be part of a team that will help shape the future of California.


Central SJ Valley:


Costa, other Democrats might oppose Pelosi unless demands are met

Fresno Bee

Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, has joined eight of his fellow Problem Solvers Caucus members in issuing a set of demands to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: Do your part to ease the partisanship rampant in Congress, or risk losing our votes in your bid for speaker of the House.


Black in Fresno: A ‘silent crisis’ that’s getting worse

Fresno Bee

For generations, JePahl White’s family has been talking about Fresno’s inequities for its black residents. He describes it as a “silent crisis.”


South SJ Valley:


Cox now leading Valadao after Kern County update

Fresno Bee

Democrat TJ Cox has passed Republican incumbent David Valadao in their race for California’s 21st Congressional District seat. Cox now leads by 438 votes after Kern County released a vote count update Nov. 26.

See Also:

     Dem. TJ Cox leads Rep. David Valadao by 438 votes in race for Dist. 21 abc30

     Cox now leads Valadao in race for Congress seat Visalia Times Delta

     Democrat edges ahead in California US House contest Sacramento Bee

     Democrat TJ Cox grabs lead over Republican David Valadao in nation's last remaining undecided House race Los Angeles Times

     CA GOP House disaster worsens: Rep. David Valadao falls behind Dem T.J. Cox San Francisco Chronicle


City sales tax measure now within 14 votes of approval

Bakersfield Californian

The city of Bakersfield may yet see a sales tax increase. Measure N, the ballot measure to increase the sales tax 1 percent, appeared to be within just 14 votes of passing late Monday following another update from Kern County Elections.




It’s been decades since California Democrats had this much power at the Capitol

Fresno Bee

California Democrats will have “unprecedented” control of the Legislature when they arrive in Sacramento. But it’s unclear whether historic margins will have any impact on policy.


Sexual misconduct investigation prompts California Democrat to take leave

Fresno Bee

Eric Bauman, chairman of the California Democratic Party, announced on Nov. 26, 2018, that he would take a leave of absence during the course of an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against him.

See Also:

     California Democrats Investigate Allegations Against Chair Capital Public Radio

     California Democratic Party chairman takes leave of absence following sexual misconduct allegations Los Angeles Times

     CA Dem chair Eric Bauman goes on leave amid sexual misconduct allegations San Francisco Chronicle


‘Never Trump’ Republicans Weigh Whether To Start New Political Party In California

Capital Public Radio

The Democratic domination in California’s midterm elections is prompting some prominent ‘Never Trump’ Republicans to debate whether to start a new political party.

See also:

       Can the News for Republicans in California Get Any Worse?  Weekly Standard:

       Death of California GOP may be greatly exaggerated Sacramento Bee

       The GOP is now the party of neo-Confederates Washington Post


California’s politician-free redistricting taking hold

San Francisco Chronicle

California’s 2008 effort to take the politics out of redistricting is the hit of the land.


How much did interest groups pay per vote? The answer, as we break down the midterms with data


Ballot propositions are an expensive business in California. In the lead-up to November’s election, advocates spent an eye-popping $409 million for or against 11 ballot measures.


CA can’t prove it would be hurt by census citizenship question, US says

San Francisco Chronicle

California’s legal challenge to the Trump administration’s addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census should be dismissed because the state — which fears the loss of congressional representation and billions in federal aid — can’t show it would actually be harmed, the Justice Department told a federal judge Monday.


Gov. Jerry Brown asks California Supreme Court to keep pardon records sealed

Los Angeles Times

Gov. Jerry Brown has asked the California Supreme Court to keep records sealed that involve his pardon of former state Sen. Roderick Wright, arguing confidentiality is consistent with historic practice and is supported by state law.




Trump sticks with old playbook in return to campaign trail

Sacramento Bee

President Donald Trump has brought back the playbook he used for the midterm elections in his return to the campaign trail to try to keep a Mississippi Senate seat in GOP hands.


Trump charity that gave away millions before 2016 election did not donate last year

Los Angeles Times

President Trump’s charitable foundation made no donations last year, a sharp break from the 2016 election year when it gave away millions of dollars and drew a lawsuit alleging the charity was acting as a quasi-political group.


The Democratic majority’s first order of business: Restore democracy

Washington Post

Earlier this month, Americans went to the polls and sent a powerful message: The election not only was a resounding verdict against Republicans’ assault on Americans’ health care and wages, but it also was a vote to rescue our broken democracy.

See also:

     Where The Suburbs Moved Left — And How The Shift Swung Elections NPR


Exclusive: The Pentagon’s Massive Accounting Fraud Exposed

The Nation

On November 15, Ernst & Young and other private firms that were hired to audit the Pentagon announced that they could not complete the job.


EDITORIAL: Another ‘cross’ case could undermine our separation of church and state

Los Angeles Times

The Supreme Court long has struggled with the question of when religious symbols on public property violate the 1st Amendment’s ban on an “establishment of religion.”



'Misinformation' is's word of the year


In a press release sent to Poynter, said it chose the word — which it defines as “false information that is spread, regardless of whether there is intent to mislead” — amid the growing role of technology platforms in spreading fakery online.


How Loneliness Is Tearing America Apart

New York Times

When people have a hole in their life, they often fill it with angry politics.




FDA updates advice on romaine lettuce: only some of it from Calif. should be avoided

Fresno Bee

Romaine lettuce harvested in the Central Coastal growing regions of Northern and Central California is probably the source of the contamination, the FDA now says. Romaine from other areas should be safe.

See Also:

     FDA: Some romaine lettuce OK to eat again abc30

     US Health Officials Say It's OK To Eat Some Romaine Again Capital Public Radio

     Only romaine lettuce from parts of California should be avoided, FDA says in new warning Los Angeles Times

     Federal regulators ease warning on romaine lettuce San Francisco Chronicle


Forest Fires Add Snag to Getting Farm Bill Passed

Roll Call

Forestry provisions have emerged as the latest snag in farm bill negotiations, sending the issue to congressional leaders for talks to break the impasse.






Thieves found a way to beat auto break-in charges. This California bill could stop them.

Fresno Bee

Amid an epidemic of vehicle break-ins in San Francisco, a state senator announced he would again try to tighten the state law that makes it difficult to prove vehicle burglary cases.

See Also:

     'Epidemic' of car break-ins prompts California bill to assist prosecutions Los Angeles Times


Supreme Court Hears Case Stemming From Arctic Man Festival Arrest

Wall Street Journal

Supreme Court justices searched Monday for ways to protect police from nuisance suits by people they arrest, without giving officers carte blanche to make retaliatory arrests of reporters, demonstrators and others for exercising free-speech rights.


Public Safety:


Tips to stay safe as dense fog returns to the Valley


The recent rains have led the start of the fog season. CHP reported several accidents this morning due to people driving too fast.

See Also:

     Foggy morning envelops valley and greets the return to work, school Bakersfield Californian


Reform done right promotes safety

San Francisco Chronicle

With a criminal justice system plagued by persistent racial inequities, staggering incarceration rates and costs, and one of the highest recidivism rates in the country, our justice system is in dire need of reform. But there’s a right way to reform the system, and there’s a wrong way.


Countless Americans carry guns. Police are killing too many of them

Los Angeles Times

Certainly, if a man holds a gun at the scene of a shooting, police are more likely zero in on him than on others. Officers arrive in the midst of extremely tense, life-threatening and fast-moving situations and must think quickly.




'Like Being In A War Zone': California Fire Search And Rescue Could Take Months


More than two weeks after the nation's worst fire in a century erupted in Northern California, crews are still trying to find hundreds of people.

See Also:

     ‘This fire was outrunning us’: Surviving the Camp Fire took bravery, stamina and luck Modesto Bee

     As Camp Fire reaches 100 percent containment, death count drops due to authorities’ error Sacramento Bee

     Aiding Camp Fire Evacuees Capital Public Radio

     Camp Fire Is Contained But Work Continues Capital Public Radio

     Catastrophic Camp Wildfire Finally Contained Capital Public Radio

     California fires live updates: Camp fire death toll at 85; nearly 250 people still missing  Los Angeles Times

     EDITORIAL: Rebuild Paradise? California has to reconsider putting homes in the path of more dangerous fires Los Angeles Times


Zinke says Northern California fire costs likely in billions

Sacramento Bee

Costs associated with a deadly Northern California wildfire will likely be in the billions, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Monday as he returned to the town of Paradise, saying he has never witnessed such devastation.

See Also:

     In Trump administration’s third visit to Paradise, the message remains clear: Thin the forests Sacramento Bee


Forest Fires Add Snag to Getting Farm Bill Passed

Roll Call

Forestry provisions have emerged as the latest snag in farm bill negotiations, sending the issue to congressional leaders for talks to break the impasse.






Fresno's rising technology scene getting noticed


Inside an office space at Bitwise's The Hive in Downtown Fresno, deals and orders are being made globally.


Supreme Court signals Apple could stand trial in antitrust suit centered on App Store

Los Angeles Times

The Supreme Court sounded open Monday to letting Apple stand trial in a civil suit alleging the maker of iPhones uses monopolistic power to unfairly profit from the sale of third-party apps offered on the devices.


Just ahead of talks with Xi, Trump says he won't back down on higher tariffs on China

Los Angeles Times

President Trump, heaping pressure on China to make trade concessions ahead of his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping this week, is signaling that he will not back down from his plan to escalate tariffs in January.


The Right Is Wrong to Lose Faith in Economic Growth


Or, more specifically, the idea that public policy should place a large amount of emphasis on the economy’s rate of growth is under assault by the political right as well as the left.




GM to slash 14,700 jobs in North America

Hanford Sentinel

General Motors will lay off up to 14,000 factory and white-collar workers in North America and put five plants up for possible closure as it restructures to cut costs and focus more on autonomous and electric vehicles.

See Also:

     Car industry in a nutshell: GM shrinks while Cruise grows San Francisco Chronicle

     GM Closings a Fresh Sign of Worry for Economy Wall Street Journal


Aldi Sets Grand Opening For First Valley Grocery Store

Business Journal

Porterville residents will have the first chance to shop at ALDI, a low-cost German grocery store, when the Central Valley’s first location opens Dec. 6.


Downtown Fresno’s Quesadilla Gorilla To Close

Business Journal

The menu will shrink for Downtown Fresno’s food options in mid-December.


Can California’s new boardroom diversity law withstand courtroom backlash? Women say ‘bring it on’


When Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a measure that made California the first state to require public companies to add women to their boards of directors, he professed himself undeterred by its potentially fatal legal flaws.






Fire destroys old East Union School near Visalia. New textbooks lost

Fresno Bee

A former elementary school used as a textbook warehouse by Visalia Unified School District has been all but destroyed by fire, the Tulare County Fire Department said Monday.

See Also:

     Fire at storage facility costs VUSD $1 million in damages Visalia Times Delta


Three Stockton Unified races remain unsettled

Stockton Record

A lot can happen in two weeks. As the San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters continue to count thousands of votes, at least two races in Stockton Unified School District have a different individual in front to eventually join its Board of Trustees.


How to Make a Fortune in Public Education

Wall Street Journal

Adjusted for inflation, state and local government revenues have more than doubled since the 1970s. But state and local politicians haven’t collected nearly enough taxes to pay for the retirement promises they’ve made to their friends in government employees unions.


Higher Ed:


APPLY NOW!  Currently Accepting Applications For The Maddy Institute Legislative Intern Scholar Program San Joaquin Valley Spring 2019 and Washington D.C./Sacramento Summer 2019

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

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.


Fresno City College aims to raise $50k for student pantry on Giving Tuesday


After an extended weekend of holiday shopping, tomorrow is your chance to get charitable. Black Friday and Cyber Monday will give way to "Giving Tuesday."


Craig School MBA program ranked among nation's best

Fresno State

Fresno State’s graduate program in the Craig School of Business is among the best on-campus MBA programs in the country, according to The Princeton Review.


President's Lecture Series - Speaker Robert Costa

Fresno State

Robert Costa, a national political reporter with The Washington Post and a moderator for PBS’s “Washington Week,” will return as a guest speaker for the President’s Lecture Series.


10 questions with dean of Kremen School of Education at Fresno State: Dr. Laura Alamillo: ‘I was raised in a home where we always talked about education’

Vida en el valle

Dr. Laura Alamillo was recently appointed the interim dean of the Kremen School of Education and Human Development at Fresno State. She held the position of associate dean and professor of language, literacy and culture; and, executive director for programs for children.




California regions ‘moving in the wrong direction’ to meet climate goals, agency finds

Fresno Bee

California has some of the most ambitious clean air goals in the country, but a report the state’s Air Resources Board released Monday shows regions are not on track to meet their climate change and greenhouse gas reduction benchmarks.

See also:

     California falling short on climate change goals because driving is increasing, report finds Los Angeles Times


Analyzing The Federal Climate Change Report

Capital Public Radio

Political Junkie Ken Rudin joins Insight to talk about the new federal climate report released last week.

See Also:

     Trump: ‘I don’t believe’ government climate report finding Sacramento Bee

     How Trump Is Ensuring That Greenhouse Gas Emissions Will Rise New York Times

     EDITORIAL: On climate change, White House denies itself San Francisco Chronicle


San Joaquin River salmon make big gains, but don’t call it a comeback yet

Fresno Bee

Fish biologists bringing back salmon runs on the San Joaquin River say a record number of fish nests have been found in the river below Friant Dam east of Fresno.


Early morning earthquake jolts central San Joaquin Valley. Did you feel it?

Fresno Bee

A 4.1 magnitude earthquake shook near Avenal early Tuesday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.


Supreme Court limits habitats protected under the Endangered Species Act

Los Angeles Times

The Supreme Court in a unanimous decision on Tuesday limited the reach of the Endangered Species Act, ruling that the government can designate a protected “habitat” only in areas where a threatened animal could currently live.






Free cancer screening in Shafter on Dec. 2.

Bakersfield Californian

Join the Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center in Shafter for a free cancer screening on Dec. 2. Screenings will take place at the Shafter Veterans Hall at 309 California Ave. from 12 to 4 p.m.


Overdoses, bedsores, broken bones: What happened when a private-equity firm sought to care for society’s most vulnerable

Washington Post

To the state inspectors visiting the HCR Manor­Care nursing home here last year, the signs of neglect were conspicuous. A disabled man who had long, dirty fingernails told them he was tended to “once in a blue moon.”


FDA approves ‘precision medicine’ drug for different cancers with same mutation

Washington Post

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved a drug for a wide range of cancers based on a shared mutation, rather than the tumors' locations — an advance for the sometimes controversial field of “precision medicine.”


Human Services:

Kaweah Delta's partnership with Sierra View could drive down drug prices

Visalia Times Delta

The main hospitals in Visalia and Porterville may join forces in an effort to reduce drug prices, navigate the public health system and bring doctors to a region that struggles to recruit.


Gavin Newsom will not fulfill his health care promise

San Francisco Chronicle

Candidate Gavin Newsom promised the people of California that he would get them universal health care. Gov. Gavin Newsom is not going to fulfill that promise. And that’s fine.


California’s Health Coverage Gains to Erode Without Further State Action

Labor Stuides at UC Berkeley

California’s successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) resulted in historic increases in health insurance coverage. Over one million Californians have subsidized insurance through Covered California, the state’s ACA marketplace.  


With Federal Public Charge Rule Pending, California Braces For Possible Medi-Cal Exodus

Capital Public Radio

A draft Trump administration rule that would penalize immigrants seeking green cards for accessing social services — including Medicaid — could cause thousands of kids to lose their health insurance, some advocates fear.

Trump team proposes changes to Medicare's prescription drug rules

Los Angeles Times

The Trump administration on Monday proposed changes to Medicare's prescription drug benefit that would affect patients' costs over the next few years, creating winners and losers.

See also:

       Why prescription drug prices have skyrocketed  Washington Post




US-Mexico border reopened after migrants attempt to breach fence: Border Patrol


Tear gas was deployed on the migrants at least twice, according to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

See Also:

     Arrests, deportations, and rising complaints follow Sunday's border shutdown San Diego Union-Tribune

     U.S. closes major crossing as caravan migrants mass at border in Mexico Washington Post

     Storming the Southern Border Wall Street Journal

     Border clash leaves caravan migrants dejected, worried Sacramento Bee

     Border skirmish worsens anxiety for migrants desperate to enter the U.S.: 'We are still in danger' Los Angeles Times

     Facing no way into U.S., some caravan members head home San Diego Union-Tribune

     EDITORIAL: Law, order, economy should drive response to migrants at U.S.-Mexico border San Francisco Chronicle


Trump strongly defends use of tear gas on caravan migrants

Sacramento Bee

President Donald Trump is strongly defending the U.S. use of tear gas at the Mexican border to repel a crowd of migrants that included angry rock-throwers but also barefoot, crying children.

See Also:

     Border Patrol chief defends use of tear gas on migrants at Mexican border San Francisco Chronicle

     ‘These children are barefoot. In diapers. Choking on tear gas.’ Washington Post

      300 troops shifted to California for border duty APNews

     EDITORIAL: Tear gas is the result of Trump’s cruel border policy San Francisco Chronicle

The chaos behind Donald Trump's policy of family separation at the border

CBS News

A 60 Minutes investigation has found the separations that dominated headlines this summer began earlier and were greater in number than the Trump administration admits


Jeff Sessions’ unfinished legacy of reversing courts’ pro-immigrant rulings

San Francisco Chronicle

In 21 months as the nation’s attorney general, Jeff Sessions affected no area of public policy more than immigration, from his “zero tolerance” orders to arrest and prosecute all unauthorized border crossers to establishing new rules speeding up deportations and limiting legal challenges.




Land Use:


Long-delayed Ceres Walmart Supercenter should start construction early next year

Modesto Bee

As shoppers across the Central Valley pack stores this holiday season, this time next year in Ceres customers could be lining up for at a brand new Walmart Supercenter.


Steel Tariffs and Hot Economy Take Toll on Infrastructure Projects

Wall Street Journal

The cost of these and other infrastructure projects around the country are likely to rise as prices for materials and labor increase under pressure from the Trump administration’s steel tariffs, a strong economy and a tight job market.




Fresno rated among California’s top flipping hot spots. Here’s why

Fresno Bee

With new-home prices on the rise, older homes remain in demand in many markets – not only as starter homes for families, but as investment opportunities for would-be “flippers” anxious to fix ‘em and turn a tidy profit.


Pricey Real Estate Prompts Scammers To Target Senior Homeowners

Capital Public Radio

Amid California’s record-shattering housing prices, the state’s senior homeowners are sitting on a gold mine. That’s made them marks for con artists.


It’s time to rethink how we insure woodland homes

Modesto Bee

The human toll of this month’s California wildfires is staggering – dozens known to have died and hundreds still unaccounted for, especially residents of Paradise.




City sales tax measure now within 14 votes of approval

Bakersfield Californian

The city of Bakersfield may yet see a sales tax increase. Measure N, the ballot measure to increase the sales tax 1 percent, appeared to be within just 14 votes of passing late Monday following another update from Kern County Elections.


Republicans say they want free-market innovation. Then they should want a carbon tax.

Washington Post

Republicans’ latest excuse for ignoring climate change — like all their other excuses — gets the problem exactly backward.




High-speed rail gets a financial boost from state’s heaviest polluters

Fresno Bee

The California Air Resources Board will get more than $813 million from a Nov. 14 auction of pollution allowances for its cap-and-trade program. That’s a key source of money for California’s controversial high-speed rail project.

See also:

     California Raises More Than $800 Million in Carbon Permits — Funding High-Speed Rail, Other Projects  KTLA




Local Measures Address Water, Fire in the Midterm Elections


The biggest water news from the recent election was the failure of the $8.9 billion statewide water bond, Proposition 3. This was the first time voters have rejected a statewide water bond since 1990. But this wasn’t the only story for water-related measures on Californians’ ballots.




Philanthropy program gives Wonderful workers a voice in donations

Bakersfield Californian

Philanthropy would be so much easier if every year you could just choose a charity — or maybe two or three charities — and let someone else write the donation check.


Want to get in the Christmas spirit? Try trees and toys with two special organizations

Sierra Star

The Thanksgiving turkey is now just a memory and most of us have finished off the last of the leftovers. With the last bite of Turkey-ala-King we begin to realize that the season of Christmas is upon us. In today’s culture there happen to really exist two Christmases that have little in common except December.


G’ma and Pappa’s to give out 150 bicycles and more in the spirit of Christmas Sierra Star


Candy Cane Lane lights up downtown Visalia on Monday night

Visalia Times Delta

On Monday, downtown Visalia will be flooded with holiday spirit. Children will be wrapped and bundled — hot cocoa in mitten-covered hands.


Anxiety, elation: NASA scientists erupt in cheers as spacecraft lands on Mars

Fresno Bee

NASA InSight rover successfully landed on the planet Mars on November 26, 2018.

See Also:

     Mars lander makes touchdown Visalia Times Delta