November 6, 2019




North SJ Valley:


Clovis mayor joins 20 endorsing idea to buy out PG&E, turn utility into co-op


The mayor of Clovis joined 19 other California mayors to endorse a plan that could turn PG&E into a customer-owned cooperative, similar to a credit union.

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Updated results are in for Oakdale sales tax measure, Ceres school board

Modesto Bee

Oakdale’s tax proposal, Measure H, had 1,266 votes in favor, or 74 percent, to 452 votes against in the 10:10 p.m. report. It needs a simple majority. The measure would extend for 11 years a tax increase first enacted in 2011 to help pay for police, fire and other services.


Co-founder of local progressives group enters race for Modesto mayor

Modesto Bee

One of the founders of Indivisible Stanislaus — part of a nationwide effort to elect progressives, enact progressive policies and oppose the Trump administration — has entered the Modesto mayoral race.


Central SJ Valley:


Fake cow account must go, Devin Nunes demands in letter to Democrat over Twitter taunts

Fresno Bee

Rep. Devin Nunes’ attorney last month demanded that his 2018 Democratic political opponent pressure an anonymous social media writer to delete comments on Twitter that mock Republican Nunes “day and night.”


California Economic Summit in Fresno Is Biggest Ever

GV Wire

For the eighth year — and the first time in Fresno — California Forward is holding an economic summit focused on how to improve the Golden State across many different sectors.


Fresno’s Pete Weber earns 2019 California Steward Leader Award


That’s how Pete Weber of Fresno described his approach to public service over the last twenty years. The former private sector CEO turned community leader will be honored as a California Steward Leader of the Year at the 2019 California Economic Summit in his adopted hometown this week.

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EDITORIAL: Fresno councilman revises law that would have criminalized reporters. It’s only right

Fresno Bee

Facing a backlash from Fresno media, City Councilman Mike Karbassi has revised a law he is proposing that would make it illegal for city officials to disclose information from confidential closed sessions or which falls under attorney-client privilege.


South SJ Valley:


Non-recyclable trash cans pile up in Visalia, city doesn't know what to do with them


Stacked up high and piled up as far as the eye can see, tens of thousands of split trash cans are littered across several acres behind Visalia's Waste Water Treatment Facility.




PG&E gets all the blame for deadly wildfires. But do California regulators go easy on them?

Sacramento Bee

Critics say the commission hasn’t been aggressive enough about cracking down on PG&E’s safety flaws. They say its financial penalties — the main tool it has at its disposal for disciplining PG&E — haven’t been nearly big enough to bring the utility to heel.

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California Priorities Summit: Join us Nov. 14 to discuss housing, economy and inclusive solutions

Sacramento Bee

The Sacramento Bee will host its second annual California Priorities Summit, where California policy experts will lead discussions on some of the state’s most significant issues as viewed through a lens of inclusivity.


Newsom has an organized labor problem


Some of California's most powerful unions are openly denouncing Gov. Gavin Newsom less than a year into his tenure, exposing early fractures in the Democratic governor's base after he spurned proposals they considered a bellwether of his support for labor.




Impeachment reversal: Diplomat now acknowledges quid pro quo

Fresno Bee

With that stunning reversal, diplomat Gordon Sondland handed House impeachment investigators another key piece of corroborating testimony Tuesday. He acknowledged what Democrats contend was a clear quid pro quo, pushed by President Donald Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, with Ukraine.

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GOP Leader Eyes Intel Committee Shake-Up To Boost President Trump's Defenders


"If Democrats are going to turn Intel into the impeachment committee, I am going to make adjustments to that committee accordingly, for a short period of time, McCarthy told Politico on Tuesday. A spokesman for McCarthy confirmed his comments to NPR.


Phone records 'irrefutable proof' of sexual assault claim against Trump, lawyer says


Cell phone records provide "irrefutable proof" of the sexual assault accusations former "Apprentice" contestant Summer Zevos has leveled against President Donald Trump, her attorney claimed Tuesday.


Elections 2020:


Trump’s well-oiled campaign has everything planned — except Trump

Fresno Bee

One year away from a referendum on his presidency, Trump and his campaign are embracing elements of his political identity that have sharply divided the nation. But this time he sits atop a campaign infrastructure fueled by an unprecedented war chest, a sophisticated digital operation and a disciplined staff.

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Biden and Warren ‘publicly snub’ California Democrats and Latinos, state party’s leader says

Sacramento Bee

When California Democrats meet at the state party’s convention in Long Beach next week, they’ll be without two top presidential contenders. Hicks chastised the candidates’ move to skip the event, calling it a “misguided decision to publicly snub California’s Democrats & Latino Voters across the nation.”

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Biden accuses Warren of having elitist view of policy

Fresno Bee

Without naming her, Joe Biden attacked fellow Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday for employing a "condescending" approach to politics that smacks of "elitism."


How Kamala Harris Went From ‘Female Obama’ to Fifth Place


She entered the 2020 presidential race with promise and charisma, but is now sliding perilously close to irrelevance. What went wrong? And is it too late for her to reverse course?


Warren Wants to Restrict Government Officials From Joining Big Companies

Wall Street Journal

On Tuesday, the Massachusetts senator and Democratic presidential candidate said she would prohibit large corporations and banks from hiring senior government officials for at least four years after they leave government.

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Pete Buttigieg drives for the middle ground between Biden and Warren

Washington Post

That positioning represents a significant shift from Buttigieg’s posture when he entered the race. Buttigieg made early headlines by portraying himself as the vanguard of generational change, a 37-year-old seeking to become the first openly gay president and talking up big liberal ideas, like abolishing the electoral college and restructuring the Supreme Court. 


Vulnerable House Democrats Wary of Campaigning for Medicare for All in 2020 Race

Wall Street Journal

Some Democratic lawmakers key to holding the House majority worry that the health-care pledges made by Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders could hurt their re-election chances.


Kentucky outcome embarrasses Trump and worries many Republicans ahead of 2020

Washington Post

Democrats’ claim of victory Tuesday in Kentucky’s gubernatorial race, as well as the Democratic takeover of the Virginia state legislature, left Republicans stumbling and​​ increasingly uncertain about their own political fates next year tied to an embattled and unpopular president.


Election Day: In some states, a test of 2020 voter enthusiasm

Stockton Record

Gubernatorial and legislative elections in four states Tuesday will test voter enthusiasm and party organization amid impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump and a fevered Democratic presidential primary scramble.


One year until the most important election in American history

Roll Call

While it feels as if we’ve all been watching the 2020 race for years, it’s still 12 months until voters decide whether or not to give President Donald Trump a second term.

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Data Show Social Security Expansion Shouldn’t Be Presidential Priority


Retirement security is a hugely important issue, both to Americans trying to boost their savings and for policymakers thinking about Social Security and retirement savings programs. But in many ways, we’re flying blind because we lack solid data. 




AT&T resolves FTC allegations for $60 million after complaints of data 'throttling'


AT&T customers could receive a check or credit after the wireless company settled a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint with a $60 million fund to reimburse customers who had their data "throttled" by the company, the FTC announced Wednesday.

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FTC Issues Rules For Disclosure Of Ads By Social Media Influencers


"Disclosures 101 for Social Media Influencers" offers guidance for when and how influencers should disclose ads. According to the document, it is the responsibility of influencers to be transparent.


Facebook Unknowingly Shared Private Group Data With Partners


Facebook Inc. said it unknowingly gave outside developers access to private user information shared within some groups on its main social network, including the names and profile photos of people who were part of those groups.


Opinion: California’s Anti-Deepfake Law Is Far Too Feeble


The intention to quell the spread of malicious deepfakes before the 2020 election is laudable. But four major flaws will significantly impede the law’s success: timing, misplaced responsibility, burden of proof, and inadequate remedies.




Hundreds of thousands in CA miss out on food stamps

Sacramento Bee

Roughly 1.6 million Californians are not getting help from the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as CalFresh here, even though they are eligible. That means 28 percent of people with poverty-level budgets didn’t receive the food assistance they needed.


Farm Run By Inmates Saves Taxpayers $1 Million Each Year


The inmates at the Tulare County Sheriff's jail facilities are fed with food grown at a farm tended by fellow inmates. It's an experiment that's saving nearly $1 million of taxpayer money each year.


Citing Economic Concerns, California’s Oldest Dairy Closes Its Doors


After more than a century of milk production, California’s oldest dairy is closing. The owner isn’t getting out of agriculture altogether, however—he’s switching out cows for trees.


Farm Country Feeds America. But Just Try Buying Groceries There.

New York Times

An exodus of grocery stores is turning rural towns into food deserts. But some are fighting back by opening their own local markets.






California DMV ‘inappropriately’ shared customers’ Social Security information with feds

Fresno Bee

California’s Department of Motor Vehicles on Tuesday acknowledged that it inappropriately shared personal information regarding 3,200 customers with seven outside law enforcement, immigration, and administrative agencies over the past four years.

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Ex-CEO Of Merced Clinic Sentenced Five Years In Federal Prison, Fined Millions In Health Care Scam


The former chief executive officer of a Merced-area health care clinic was sentenced Monday to five years in federal prison and fined millions of dollars for committing health care fraud and conspiracy to receive kickbacks. 

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Lemoore student arrested after alleged threat to ‘shoot up’ community college

Fresno Bee

West Hills College in Lemoore went on lockdown for about 30 minutes Tuesday morning after a student received a text message from another student threatening to “shoot up” the community college.


Too dangerous to go to court? Feds say Aryan gang members eyeing jail security, locks

Sacramento Bee

Now, prosecutors are asking a federal judge to have 10 of the defendants – eight housed at the jail and two others at California State Prison, Sacramento – appear at routine court hearings by video conferencing rather than have them brought to court over the course of what is expected to be a years-long prosecution effort.


A Jail Increased Extreme Isolation to Stop Suicides. More People Killed Themselves.


The Kern County, CA Sheriff’s Office places hundreds of people into suicide watch each year. They’re held for days or weeks in rooms without mattresses and sometimes toilets. The state can’t stop it.


Public Safety:


BPD to start wearing body cameras Wednesday

Bakersfield Californian

Bakersfield Police will begin wearing body cameras Wednesday as part of a rollout that aims to equip all officers with cameras by the end of 2020. 


Are California laws to blame for Tulare County man's deadly run-in with law enforcement?

Visalia Times Delta

Arturo Moreno was shot and killed by a Tulare County sergeant at a home in Porterville nearly a week ago. Moreno, according to deputies, assaulted the deputy and a police dog with a shovel.


Knockoff car seats are infiltrating the market, and they could be deadly

Washington Post

Buying a seat that shouldn’t be allowed on the market at all is one thing. Another issue is a proliferation of knockoff seats that look just like the safety-tested seats.




California fire season likely to last through December, with no rain in sight

Stockton Record

A report from the National Interagency Fire Center, released Friday, predicts a higher-than-normal chance for other large fires in Southern California through December, with a late start to the rainy season looking increasingly likely.


Donald Trump Continues to Attack California During Wildfires: 'Los Angeles Looks Like a Third-world City'


At a Monday night rally in Lexington, Kentucky, the president panned San Francisco and Los Angeles, lambasting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over her district, which he claimed had gone downhill like "no place in our country."

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McDonald's Fired CEO Is Getting Millions, Putting Spotlight On Pay Gap


Former McDonald's CEO Stephen Easterbrook is getting an exit package of almost $42 million after his relationship with an employee was found to violate company policy. The size of his compensation puts a new focus on the widening gap between the pay at the top and the bottom of the corporate ladder.


To unite a divided nation, we must tackle both vertical and horizontal inequality


America was once a country defined by our confident self-perception that we sometimes called “American exceptionalism.” Now we wonder whether we are a nation coming apart at the seams.


The Truth About Income Inequality

Wall Street Journal

Since households in the top income quintile pay almost two-thirds of all taxes, ignoring the earned income lost to taxes substantially overstates inequality.




How the Google walkout transformed tech workers into activists

Los Angeles Times

Although most of the protesters’ demands remain unmet, their efforts have given rise to a network of worker-led movements both inside Google and in the broader tech industry, marking a new era of tech companies being challenged by their own employees.

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US job openings decline in September though remain healthy

Fresno Bee

The Labor Department said Tuesday that employers listed 7 million jobs, down from 7.3 million in August. Job openings peaked at 7.6 million in November and have slowly declined since.

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KHSD board approves policy that outlines professional adult, student boundaries

Bakersfield Californian

The Kern High School District's Board of Education approved a policy at its meeting Monday night that explains what interactions are deemed inappropriate between staff members and students.


As California spends billions on high-needs students, calls grow for more oversight


A new state audit has found that the state’s landmark school funding law isn’t adequately ensuring that targeted money is actually going to the disadvantaged students it’s supposed to help.


Partnering to Bring the Arts to Students in Rural Communities


Integrating arts education into other core academic curricula offers a holistic approach to education that supports the enrichment of learning environments and the developmental and continued success of students. 


What Can We Learn From NAEP?


Mississippi and the District of Columbia, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you, the only jurisdictions to see significant improvements in both math and reading in the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress, the results of which became public last Wednesday. 


Higher Ed:


In wake of scandals, USC radically cuts number of trustees, imposes age limits, pledges more diversity

Los Angeles Times

USC trustees approved far-reaching changes to their governing board Tuesday aimed at reforming leadership weaknesses that prevented the private university from effectively handling a series of scandals over the last few years.


For Sale: SAT-Takers’ Names. Colleges Buy Student Data and Boost Exclusivity

Wall Street Journal

Colleges rise in national rankings and reputation when they show data suggesting they are more selective. They can do that by rejecting more applicants, whether or not those candidates ever stood a chance. Some applicants, in effect, become unknowing pawns.








Argument over light bulbs sends California to court against Donald Trump

Sacramento Bee

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and New York Attorney General Letitia James are leading a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Energy, challenging the department’s decision to roll back efficiency standards for light bulbs.


California Air Quality: Mapping The Progress

California Healthline

California is now engaged in a high-stakes legal battle with President Donald Trump and his administration over the state’s longstanding authority to set its own emissions standards for cars and trucks sold in California.


First case of snake fungal disease found in California. Here’s what to look for

Sacramento Bee

The fungus appeared again this week on the skin of a deceased Florida watersnake that was found in Folsom, according to the news release, “suggest the original case was not isolated.”


More than 11,000 scientists from around the world declare a ‘climate emergency’

Washington Post

A new report by 11,258 scientists in 153 countries from a broad range of disciplines warns that the planet “clearly and unequivocally faces a climate emergency,” and provides six broad policy goals that must be met to address it.


These Countries Have Some of the World’s Worst Emissions Gains


India, the U.S and China saw some of the biggest rises in greenhouse gas emissions last year due to booming energy consumption dominated by fossil fuels, putting global climate goals at risk, according to a new report.


Commentary: Newsom must stand up to Trump assault on the Delta and California’s endangered species


A recent United Nations report concluded that “nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely.”  


Proposed California Rule Threatens to Drive Out Plastics, Californians

Wall Street Journal

In ways large and small, California’s “alternative universe” of overactive government has been making life more difficult for its citizens. In response, many of them are choosing not to be citizens.


EDITORIAL: Food trucks and Amazon deliveries in national parks are a horrific idea

Los Angeles Times

It’s insulting to younger people to suggest they won’t be interested in an outdoor experience without all the luxuries and conveniences of home. And it’s not in anyone’s interests to chip away at the very thing that makes the parks worth visiting.




Federal oil lease auctions may soon resume after BLM finds minimal fracking risks in California

Bakersfield Californian

A long-running legal battle over federal oil-and-gas leasing in California may be nearing resolution after new findings by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management that the oilfield technique known as fracking does not pose undue environmental harm to 1.2 million acres in Kern County and other parts of California.


PG&E outages prompt clean energy programs to focus on solar, batteries

San Francisco Chronicle

Facing the prospect of a decade of PG&E power shut-offs, Bay Area programs that buy energy for local communities are pushing for more solar-powered backup batteries to survive blackouts before next fire season hits.






Kern Supervisors back off vaping and smoking ban

Bakersfield Californian

Instead, the county will move forward with strengthening its existing ordinance, potentially increasing penalties for shops that sell tobacco and vaping products to minors.

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Fresno County is in ‘state of preterm birth crisis among women of color.’ What’s being done?

Fresno Bee

Preterm birth rates have remained higher than much of California for years. But more worrisome, the county’s preterm birth rate for African American women – and women of color in general – is even higher and hasn’t seen much change.

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Human Services:


Kaweah Delta negotiates new billing arrangement for urgent care

Business Journal

Effective last Friday, people who have Anthem Blue Cross through independent policies or through employers such as school districts, cities or the County of Tulare, among others, can visit Kaweah Delta Urgent Care Centers, expect to pay their typical co-pay amount (for an urgent care visit), and receive a bill that is reflective of being seen at any freestanding urgent care center.


CDC: Childhood Trauma Is A Public Health Issue And We Can Do More Prevent It


Childhood trauma causes serious health repercussions throughout life and is a public health issue that calls for concerted prevention efforts. That's the takeaway of a report published Tuesday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


1 in 2 seriously ill Medicare enrollees struggles with bills

PBS NewsHour

More than half of seriously ill Medicare enrollees face financial hardships with medical bills, with prescription drug costs the leading problem, according to a study published Monday.


America’s Largest Health Insurer Is Giving Apartments to Homeless People


As a society, we’ve effectively decided that people shouldn’t die on the street, but it’s acceptable for them to live there. There are more than half a million homeless in the U.S., about a third of them unsheltered.


Open enrollment season for Medicare can be confusing but worth the effort

Roll Call

It’s that time of year again when the annual Medicare open enrollment period has begun. More than 60 million Americans will make important, personal decisions about their health coverage for the year ahead.




White House backing off $8.6 billion demand for border wall funding

Roll Call

The Trump administration is backing off its demand for $8.6 billion in fiscal 2020 border wall spending in negotiations with top congressional leaders and appropriators, according to a source familiar with the talks.


ACLU Files Suit Over Access To Lawyers For Asylum-Seekers Being Sent Back To Mexico


The American Civil Liberties Union filed a class-action lawsuit against Customs and Border Protection on Tuesday, condemning the treatment of asylum-seekers in the "Remain In Mexico" program. The suit was filed in the Southern District of California. The ACLU says that the migrants are not being allowed to see their lawyers. 


EDITORIAL: California is the only home they know. Will Newsom let Trump deport them?

Sacramento Bee

Four decades ago, a murderous dictator named Pol Pot seized power in Cambodia. The horrific genocide he unleashed created over 150,000 refugees and immigrants, many of whom settled in California and have never known life in the land of their birth.




Land Use:


Goodbye, Forever 21. What should fill its massive Vintage Faire Mall space instead?

Modesto Bee

The company released its list of confirmed store closures last week, sealing the Vintage Faire Mall store’s fate. The Modesto location had been on a list of potential closures since early October, when the company targeted 178 under-performing locations as part of its ongoing bankruptcy proceedings.


New Modesto manufacturing plant Entekra could turn city into hub for home building

Modesto Bee

Construction company Entekra, which specializes in automated off-site wood framing for homes, showed off its new $35 million headquarters and facility in south Modesto on Monday.


What else is going in around Modesto’s new Save Mart? Restaurants and more planned

Modesto Bee

Construction on The Marketplace, a new shopping center at the corner of Oakdale Road and Sylvan Avenue, has been underway for close to two years. And, let me tell you, for almost that long people have been asking me what else is coming into the complex.


EDITORIAL: A truck stop in Salida? Here’s why planners should tap the brakes on this proposal

Modesto Bee

As of Tuesday afternoon, 512 people had signed an online petition against a “travel plaza” just east of Highway 99, at Hammett Road. Opponents are worried about noise and light pollution from a 24-7 operation, and the potential for vagrancy and crime.

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High-speed rail, Homeless Center finalize long-awaited agreement

Bakersfield Californian

The emergency shelter on East Truxtun Avenue, situated in the path of the state's bullet train project, has reached an agreement with the California High-Speed Rail Authority to acquire the property, paving the way for a new, expanded facility elsewhere in the city.

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Homeless shelter in Modesto is ready. ‘A place to be inside is really a great thing’

Modesto Bee

More than 100 people gathered Tuesday by The Salvation Army’s Berberian Center to celebrate a big step in helping homeless people — a 182-bed low-barrier shelter that will take couples, pets and belongings and an access center staffed with workers who will help people find housing and other services.


Homeless Collaborative seeks 500 volunteers for upcoming count

Bakersfield Californian

The Kern County Homeless Collaborative is seeking 500 volunteers to participate in the annual countywide point-in-time homeless count taking place the morning of Jan. 24.


Bakersfield Pastor calls city's plan for new 450-bed homeless shelter a 'recipe for disaster'


In Pastor Ron Vietti's post, he explains how he thinks the facility would be too close to his church and it would be overwhelming for the area, calling it a "recipe for disaster."


California’s Affordable Housing Crisis: Why Prices Are So High and How to Solve It


California, the land of golden dreams, has become America’s worst housing nightmare. Recent wildfires have only heightened the stakes for a state that can’t seem to build enough new homes.




Should California pension funds quit oil and gas? Report says they can earn more if they do

Sacramento Bee

California’s two biggest public pension funds could have made about $17 billion more if they had dumped their fossil fuel investments a decade ago, climate advocacy group argues in a study it’s publishing Tuesday.




Yellow school buses might be getting a hint of green as districts look to electric transportation

Bakersfield Californian

The Electric School Bus Incentive Program through the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District provides monetary incentives to replace existing diesel yellow school buses with all-electric ones, according to its website.


Biggest reason for fatal cycling crashes? Drivers overtaking bikes

Fresno Bee

Bike safety is a growing problem that appears to be getting more worrisome, and, the board reported, “current available data likely underestimate the level of bicycling activity in the United States.”




Pipe hazard surfaces in Delta west of Stockton

Stockton Record

Several hundred feet of a partially submerged steel pipe were discovered in the Delta west of Stockton on Sunday when a boat ran over the pipe, damaging its propulsion gear, the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office reported.


Fourteen-year Turlock Irrigation District employee is appointed to lead agency

Modesto Bee

Michelle Reimers was appointed Tuesday as general manager of the Turlock Irrigation District. The district board voted to hire Reimers, who has been assistant general manager of external affairs at TID since 2016.


Farmers urged to think big and small to survive groundwater cutbacks

Bakersfield Californian

By some estimates, up to 1.5 million acres of Central Valley farmland will have to be taken out of production, with potentially devastating effects on local communities as plummeting land values reduce property tax revenues that support local schools and governments.


Wildfires, power outages, now flooding? California has a dam problem – and desert communities might be in danger

USA Today

Californians have recently endured the dual hardships of wildfires and mass power outages meant to prevent them, not always effectively. Now comes word that desert communities in the Golden State could be at risk of flooding.


EDITORIAL: Regulatory Mop Up at the Court

Wall Street Journal

At issue is whether the County of Maui must obtain a permit from the Environmental Protection Administration to inject treated wastewater into underground wells. The county is in compliance with state law and the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, but environmental groups say it needs an EPA discharge permit.




Warszawski: No solid footing: The backstory on why Fresno’s pro soccer club folded after two seasons

Fresno Bee

Twenty-seven months later, the Foxes (or Zorros as they became known) are kaput. On Saturday, Oct. 26, they suffered a heartbreaking 3-2 loss at Chukchansi Park in the first round of the USL Championship playoffs that left players and supporters in tears.


Fresno Film Festival brings diverse titles to Valley

Visalia Times Delta

The festival features two don't miss titles: The powerful family drama "Ms. Purple" and the documentary "Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins" about the progressive Texas newspaper columnist. 


Veteran Visalia actor does it all for one-man show 'Buyer and Cellar'

Visalia Times Delta

Inspired by Barbra Streisand’s 2010 coffee-table book, “My Passion for Design” —which showcases the personal shopping mall in the basement of the singer’s Malibu barn— the show explores what would happen if Alex, a struggling actor, is hired as the storekeeper to oversee her collections.


Local Filmmaker Plans Project in Fresno Area

Clovis Roundup

Local award-winning filmmaker, Brock Heasley, partnered with VidAngel Studios and Stellar Lense Productions, announced plans to make a feature film in the Fresno area. Specific dates will be determined once financing is finalized.