October 10, 2019




North SJ Valley:


Stockton’s mayor doesn’t like Andrew Yang’s universal basic income plan. Here’s why

Sacramento Bee

Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs announced last year that some residents in his city will receive $500 a month, no strings attached, sparking a flurry of national attention for a closely watched program.


Central SJ Valley:


Warszawski: Hey, whaddya know? Devin Nunes IS a conspiracy theorist. Our own Justice Dept. says so

Fresno Bee

Breaking news out of Washington, D.C.: Devin Nunes is a conspiracy theorist. In other words, he peddles false narratives invoking powerful and sinister forces for political gain. My source on this isn’t The New York Times, CNN or any other media entity. Nor is it a politician or some anonymous political staffer who spoke under the cloak of anonymity.


South SJ Valley:


Visalia leaders don't put 'a lot of credence' behind public opinion survey

Visalia Times Delta

Some Visalia City Council members questioned whether respondents of an annual public opinion survey represented many of the city's residents. "I don't put a lot of credence in a survey of less than 1% of the population," Vice Mayor Steve Nelsen said during the council's work session Monday.


Kern County Sheriff's Office begins adding 'In God We Trust' decals to vehicles

Bakersfield Californian

The first “In God We Trust” decal was placed on a Kern County Sheriff’s Office vehicle Wednesday, perhaps the first of many. “This is just the tip of the spear,” said local pastor Angelo Frazier.


Price: McCarthy needs to catch a different train while he can

Bakersfield Californian

McCarthy was never the policy guy his mentor was. He was the caucus builder, the vote-counter, the fundraiser, the fund dispenser and one of the party's chief spokesmen.




2019 California Economic Summit Registration Opens


Registration has opened for the 2019 California Economic Summit, which will take place in Fresno on November 7-8. The Summit, produced by California Forward, marks the eighth annual gathering of private, public and civic leaders from across California’s diverse regions committed to creating a shared economic agenda to expand prosperity for all.


New California law allows voters to register at all polling places on Election Day


California will allow voters to register on Election Day at all polling places in 2020. Legislation signed Tuesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom expands conditional voter registration in the state. Voters who register conditionally on Election Day will not have their ballots counted until their registration has been verified.


GOP asking activists to heckle California Democrats over impeachment. It’s not working

Sacramento Bee

The fundraising arm of House Republicans has been giddily inviting people unhappy about impeachment to attend town halls hosted by Democrats in purple districts and voice their displeasure. In California’s Central Valley, it doesn’t seem to be working.


California’s only ‘independent’ political party won’t have to change its name

Los Angeles Times

An effort to limit voter confusion in California by banning the use of the word “independent” in a political party’s name was vetoed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday, a rejection of a proposal that would have forced one of the state’s lesser-known political parties to change its name.




Trump’s legal strategy against impeachment is on shaky constitutional grounds, scholars say

Los Angeles Times

Constitutional lawyers said Wednesday that President Trump’s vow not to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry is both unprecedented and unlikely to spare him from being formally charged by the House.

See also:


Two Giuliani Associates Who Helped Him on Ukraine Charged With Campaign-Finance Violations

Wall Street Journal

Two Soviet-born donors to a pro-Trump fundraising committee who helped Rudy Giuliani’s efforts to investigate Democrat Joe Biden were arrested late Wednesday on criminal charges of violating campaign finance rules, including funneling Russian money into President Trump’s campaign.


Trump claims a photo shows the Bidens playing golf with a Ukrainian company ‘boss.’ But it doesn’t


President Donald Trump is doubling down on a photo he says shows Joe Biden and his son posing with a Ukrainian gas executive as evidence Biden knows more than he has let on.


Column: How Never Trumpers can get the GOP to stand up for constitutional conservatism again

Los Angeles Times

Several groups are working to restore traditional GOP standards on tariffs, on welcoming legal immigration — and now, on persuading other Republicans to support the impeachment inquiry as a matter of constitutional principle.


Opinion: Donald Trump pollutes America with California scheming

USA Today

California is an impressive place. It is home to Hollywood, Silicon Valley and, in the estimation of Forbes magazine, six of the world's 10 most innovative companies. President Donald Trump, however, is out to convince people that California is a problem.


Elections 2020:


Joe Biden calls for President Trump’s impeachment

Los Angeles Times

Joe Biden said for the first time Wednesday that President Trump should be impeached for abusing his powers in soliciting help for his own reelection, calling his actions “un-American.”


Walters: High-octane ballot measures


Gov. Gavin Newsom this week vetoed a perennial effort by his fellow Democrats to hamstring business and conservative groups’ use of statewide ballot measures. Assembly Bill 1451 would have prohibited qualifying ballot measures by paying professional circulators on a per-signature basis, but gave Democrats’ union allies a carveout.


Schwarzenegger on voting Trump 2020: 'I doubt it'

The Hill

During a Monday appearance on SiriusXM’s “Howard Stern Show,” Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was asked if he would be supporting President Trump’s reelection next year. "I doubt it," he replied with a laugh. "I could [vote for Elizabeth Warren].”


Elizabeth Warren Vows to Remake Capitalism. Businesses Are Bracing.

Wall Street Journal

For the past generation, Democratic presidential candidates have mostly talked of redistributing the rewards of American capitalism while leaving its basic structure intact.


Facebook denies Biden campaign's request to remove false Ukraine ad by Trump campaign

Facebook denied a request from Joe Biden's campaign to take down a video ad by President Donald Trump's reelection campaign that falsely accuses the former vice president of corruption for his role in Ukraine policy during the Obama administration.


Nearly A Year Before Presidential Electon, Do Americans Trust The Election Process?


Just over half (53%) of Americans are confident that the 2020 presidential election will be open and fair. The poll shows a large partisan divide: While 72% of Republicans believe the election will be open and fair, only 39% of Democrats feel the same way.


Political Campaigns Know Where You’ve Been. They’re Tracking Your Phone.

Wall Street Journal

Unknown to the crowd, a Republican political-action committee that supports Mr. Trump, had hired a company to collect unique identification numbers from attendees’ smartphones that evening, based on location data those phones were sending to third parties.




Fox: Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week is Done, But the Problem Persists

Fox & Hounds

California is still considered a minefield of legal traps and costs when it comes to doing business here and adding to all Californians cost of living.




Sunday, October 13, at 10 a.m. on ABC30 – Maddy Report: “Assessing State Policies on Climate Change” – Guest: Ross Brown, Legislative Analyst’s Office. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.


Sunday, October 6, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) – Maddy Report - Valley Views Edition“Climate Change Generally and Air Pollution Locally” – Guests: Will Barrett, Director of Advocacy, Clean Air for the American Lung Association in California and Samir Sheikh, Executive Director of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.


Sunday, October 6, at 7:30 a.m. on UniMas 61 (KTTF) – El Informe Maddy“Workers Comp Fraud” – Invitado: Margarita Fernandez, PIO State Auditor's Office. Presentado Por: Coordinadora del Programa del Maddy Institute, Maria Jeans.




The Central Valley tops the list of ag producing counties in the US


According to the Tulare County's Crop and Livestock Report, the Central Valley is at the top of the nation's most successful agriculture producing counties. Fresno County has regained its reign as the nation's number one agricultural producing county, totaling at $7.88 billion.


You’ve heard of chestnuts roasting on an open fire. The Modesto area also grows them

Modesto Bee

A few miles east of Modesto grows a nut that’s rare in California but rich in Christmas tradition. The Avila family has six acres of chestnuts on Albers Road a little south of Milnes Road.


Dairy leaders talk in Hilmar about trade and labor. And what ‘natural cheese’ means

Modesto Bee

Dairy industry leaders convened Wednesday at Hilmar Cheese Co. to ask three congressman to help expand their markets. They seek to reduce barriers to exports and to reform immigration laws to bolster the dairy farm workforce.


California City becomes Central California hub for budding marijuana business

Bakersfield Now

While pro-marijuana Kern County voters await the March 2020 election, they're flocking to California City, where a new cannabis dispensary just opened. It's the only legal storefront within 70 miles of Bakersfield.


Chemical companies agree to end fight over pesticide ban

Los Angeles Times

Chemical companies gave up their fight over California’s ban of the pesticide chlorpyrifos, which has been linked to learning and development disorders.

See also:


Mitch McConnell meets with pot execs in California, pitched need for cannabis banking reform


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a longtime opponent of reforming marijuana laws, is spending more time than usual thinking about cannabis on a trip to California this week.






Lawsuit claims excessive use of force during February shooting

Bakersfield Californian

A federal lawsuit filed Monday against two Bakersfield Police officers alleges they used excessive force in "one of the most devastating and awful" cases attorney John L. Burris said he's ever worked.


Charleston mass murderer got his gun because of background check gaps, internal report shows

Roll Call

Dylann Roof got the pistol he used to kill nine people in a historic black church in South Carolina without a completed background check because of gaps in FBI databases, legal restrictions on how long the FBI can keep data on gun purchasers and other breakdowns in the system, according to an internal report obtained by CQ Roll Call.


Public Safety:


California jail inmates promised free medical visits under new law banning co-pays

Sacramento Bee

Assembly Bill 45, which will take effect at the start of 2020, will bar city and county jails from charging inmates a copayment in order for them to see a doctor or dentist. It will also prevent those jails from charging a fee for equipment or supplies that are medically necessary to an incarcerated person.


Exposure to air pollution is linked to an increase in violent crime

The Economist

Breathing dirty air is linked to aggressive behaviour, according to a new paper by Jesse Burkhardt and his colleagues at Colorado State University and the University of Minnesota.


Farmersville extends worker’s comp to its out-of-state officers


Two years after the mass shooting in Las Vegas, cities are taking steps to ensure that off-duty officers who spring into action while visiting other states will be eligible to receive worker’s compensation benefits for putting themselves in harm’s way.


New California Law Targets Scam Robocalls


Gov. Gavin Newsom this week signed into law a bill that promises to protect California consumers from scam robocalls. The bill, authored by Sen. Ben Hueso, requires telecom providers to implement software that identifies the bogus calls by no later than 2021.


Commentary: Access to civil justice in California remains elusive. It could be an opportunity


More than half of California households had problems last year that are civil legal issues, but nearly 70% of them received no legal help.That is one of the stark findings of the State Bar’s California Justice Gap Study.




Lights out: Power cut in California to prevent deadly fires

Fresno Bee

California's biggest utility cut power to more than a million people Wednesday for what could be days on end in the most sweeping effort in state history to prevent wildfires caused by windblown power lines.

See also:


Spectacular footage shows spread of Briceburg Fire near Yosemite

Fresno Bee

The Briceburg Fire showed no signs of slowing down as the weather changes with high winds in the forecast. The fire reached 2,000 acres Tuesday and mandatory evacuation orders were in effect. The fire was 10 percent contained.


Here’s where wildfires are burning in Northern California right now

Modesto Bee

Fire crews across Northern California are responding to a number of wildfires that ignited amid critical weather conditions Wednesday, as well as a 4,400-acre blaze that has been burning near the entrance to Yosemite National Park since the weekend.






2019 California Economic Summit Registration Opens


Registration has opened for the 2019 California Economic Summit, which will take place in Fresno on November 7-8. The Summit, produced by California Forward, marks the eighth annual gathering of private, public and civic leaders from across California’s diverse regions committed to creating a shared economic agenda to expand prosperity for all.


PG&E loses exclusive control of its bankruptcy recovery plan

Los Angeles Times

California power giant PG&E Corp. was stripped of its right to exclusively pitch a reorganization plan in court, escalating an already heated battle over the largest utility bankruptcy in U.S. history. The shares dropped more than 25% in after-hours trading.


Manufacturing is now officially in recession, despite Trump’s vow to boost industry

Los Angeles Times

During President Trump’s first two years in office, his standing with many voters was buoyed by a surge in manufacturing that helped create millions of new jobs and undergirded the whole U.S. economy.


Why are millenials unfazed by national debt?


On September 23rd I was unable to drive to work at the Brookings Institution because activists in Washington DC blocked key intersections. They were part of worldwide demonstrations designed to draw attention to climate change. Like my economist colleagues at Brookings, I was struck by the size and passion of these demonstrations.


Erie Hit ‘Rock Bottom.’ The Former Factory Hub Thinks It Has a Way Out.

Wall Street Journal

To local leaders, a row of abandoned redbrick buildings in the heart of this Rust Belt city’s ailing downtown presents the best hope to spark a citywide revival.


Trump to Sign Executive Order Requiring Agencies to Offset Administrative Spending Increases

Wall Street Journal

President Trump is planning to sign an executive order as soon as this week requiring administrative action by a federal agency that boosts federal spending to be offset with spending cuts elsewhere, according to people familiar with the matter.


Trade Talks Resume at Pivotal Moment in U.S.-China Relations

Wall Street Journal

Senior U.S. and Chinese officials will square off for trade talks Thursday at a pivotal moment in the countries’ relationship, with higher tariffs looming if negotiators fail to break a five-month stalemate.

See also:


America has two economies—and they’re diverging fast


Not only are red and blue America experiencing two different economies, but those economies are diverging fast. In fact, radical change is transforming the two parties’ economies in real time.




CRC, Nestle lay off local workers; Bank of America opens financial center in Old Town Kern

Bakersfield Californian

An operation thought to be the world's largest ice cream plant, the Nestle USA Inc. manufacturing facility at 7301 District Blvd., will soon shed nearly a dozen employees as part of a reorganization, the company has announced.






Superintendent Barlow: Policy on school start times should be left to informed local trustees

Bakersfield Californian

In a state as large, geographically and socioeconomically diverse as ours, this is a decision that should only be made by locally elected school district trustees — informed by input from parents, teachers and other stakeholders — who know and understand the needs of their students and community.


Bins of donated supplies give boost to Stanislaus schools in need

Modesto Bee

Ten schools within Stanislaus County that have attendance struggles and families in need are being gifted with student supplies thanks to a retailer and the Sheriff’s Department.


Only half of California students meet English standards and fewer meet math standards, test scores show

Los Angeles Times

Just over half of public school students who took the state’s standardized English language arts test performed at grade level, while only four in 10 are proficient in math, scores that represent a slow upward trend over the past four years.

See also:


Native American boys suspended more than other students in Sacramento area, state, report says

Sacramento Bee

Native American boys are suspended at a higher rate than other students in Sacramento-area schools and throughout California, according to a newly released report.


Higher Ed:


Twitter poll: Cost is top factor when choosing a college

Visalia Times Delta

What matters most when you’re choosing a college? In a recent Twitter poll run by USA TODAY on behalf of College Ave Student Loans, cost is king, with 45% of 41,025 participants claiming it as their No. 1 consideration when choosing a higher education institution.









Climate change will make CA wildfires even worse, study says

Sacramento Bee

As bad as wildfires have been in Northern and Central California in recent years, another new study shows that climate change could make them even worse in the coming years.


Your SUV Is Really Messing With California's Climate Plans


According to the latest report from the annual California Green Innovation Index, at its current rate of emissions reduction, the state is 31 years behind its 2030 goal, which it wouldn't meet until 2061.

See also:


Local oil company agrees to pay $464,000 over dumping allegations

Bakersfield Californian

One of Kern's largest oil producers has agreed to pay nearly half a million dollars to settle accusations it hauled oilfield waste from six different local leases to a facility in Ventura County, where the company allegedly dumped the hazardous waste at a site not permitted for such uses.




Opinion: Trump forcibly expands oil and gas drilling in California. Will Newsom fight back?

Fresno Bee

“The Trump administration has finalized its plans to open hundreds of thousands of acres of federal land in Central California to oil and gas leasing, paving the way for more fracking to soon begin in the state,” reports McClatchy DC’s Emily Cadei.






Congenital syphilis continues to rise at an alarming rate in California, U.S.

Modesto Bee

One of the nation’s most preventable diseases is killing newborns in ever-increasing numbers. Nationwide, 1,306 infants acquired syphilis from their mother in 2018, a 40% rise over 2017, according to federal data released Tuesday.


Kern County supervisors considering vaping ban following injuries to local residents

Bakersfield Californian

The Kern County Public Health Department is drafting a list of possible actions that could be taken by the Board of Supervisors at their Nov. 5 meeting. The department plans to add some version of a vaping ban to the list, which could also include restrictions on where the devices could be used.


‘Stay indoors:’ California health officials warn of dusty winds amid power shutoff

Fresno Bee

As engineered power shutoffs persisted Wednesday amid increasingly gusty winds across California, air quality officials warned of worsening air quality conditions from the dust and debris being kicked up.


Davis High student diagnosed with TB. School determining if others exposed

Modesto Bee

Davis High students and staff possibly exposed to tuberculosis will undergo tests after school officials learned one of its pupils was diagnosed with the active form of the bacterial infection.


Human Services:


Will California renew its bet on stem cells? Agency touts economic impact as its seeks funding

Sacramento Bee

A California agency tasked with funding stem cell research has supported tens of thousands of jobs and generated hundreds of millions of dollars in state and local tax revenue, according to a report released Wednesday.




California set to end private prisons and immigrant detention camps


America’s largest state prison system is moving to quit the practice of farming out inmates to lockups run under contract by private companies, following a nationwide decline in the for-profit incarceration business.




Land Use:


Hart Park's Peacock House will be preserved, transformed into visitor center

Bakersfield Californian

At a small gathering Wednesday morning in front of the Depression-era adobe structure that has crouched on the east side of Hart Park since 1939, Kern County Supervisor Mike Maggard announced that the county of Kern is committed to repurposing the building.




California housing: New laws aim to make it easier to build

San Francisco Chronicle

California will try to boost housing production by freezing local regulations and lowering the barriers to build backyard cottages and other secondary units on properties.

See also:


EDITORIAL: A new audit says housing for L.A.'s homeless costs too much and isn’t ready. Yeah, we knew that

Los Angeles Times

At the heart of the strategy to combat homelessness in the city of Los Angeles is Proposition HHH, the $1.2-billion bond measure that was passed in 2016 to help finance the construction of 10,000 units of housing, mostly for the chronically homeless.




Retiree checks to rise modestly amid push to expand benefits

Associated Press

Millions of retirees will get a modest 1.6% cost-of-living increase from Social Security in 2020, an uptick with potential political consequences in an election year when Democrats are pushing more generous inflation protection.




Highway 99 expansion funding cuts elicit angry reactions


Proposed funding cuts affecting expansion projects on Highway 99 have Central Valley politicians riled up. Caltrans has proposed at least delaying and possibly canceling a couple of projects along the highway -- in Madera and Tulare Counties.


Metrolink proposes new trains from Burbank to Anaheim, using billions from bullet train

Los Angeles Times

Ridership on Metrolink would double between Burbank and Anaheim, relieving freeway congestion, and new high-speed electric trains would slash emissions along the route under​​ a plan that would shift up to $5.5 billion from the bullet train project in the Central Valley to Southern California.


ACE on track for Manteca & Ripon stops

Manteca Ripon Bulletin

The San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission is preparing to fast track decisions to meet a state-imposed deadline of 2023 to get Altamont Corridor Express service from Lathrop to Ceres as well as Lathrop to Natomas just north of Sacramento up and running.

See also:


Nobel Prize Winner Says Battery Recycling Key to Meeting Electric Car Demand


Recycling batteries is the key to securing enough raw materials to power the surge in electric vehicle demand, according to a winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.


EDITORIAL: Did Gavin Newsom pull a fast one on California with the gas tax?

Fresno Bee

It is a distinction nobody wants: California has the highest gas prices in the nation. With a statewide average on Tuesday of $4.18 per gallon of regular unleaded, California easily surpassed the second-highest state, Hawaii, which was at $3.67.




What Happens When Your Town Dries Up?

The Atlantic

Joris Debeij’s short documentary When a Town Runs Dry offers a window into the front lines of the water crisis. In the film, which is based on Diana Marcum’s Pulitzer Prize–winning reporting, we hear from several residents of Stratford, a farming community in which much of the land was decimated by the drought.




Everything in this new Fresno restaurant is served in bowls. Plus, there’s a rock garden

Fresno Bee

Viva Be Bowl’d is a little quick-service place in a former Subway next door to Mexican restaurant Casa Corona at Cedar and Herndon avenues. The same woman who opened Viva, Elsa Rodriguez Killion, is also one of the owners of Casa Corona.


Love movies? Historic Modesto theater is expanding to bring more films, options

Modesto Bee

Called The Jewel, the small new theater is meant to help diversify the theater’s film selection and expand its private rental options, said State Executive Director Kirstie Boyett.


Big changes for upcoming St. Andrew’s Highland Games: New season, home, attractions

Modesto Bee

The St. Andrew’s Society of Modesto event, now in its 36th year, will be held Saturday, Oct. 19, at the Stanislaus County Fairground in Turlock. Though once held at Graceada Park in Modesto, the games for most of their history have been at Tuolumne River Regional Park.


Farmersville awarded $1.9 million grant to expand its largest park

Visalia Times Delta

The largest park in Farmersville will expand an additional half-acre, thanks to a $1.9 million grant from California's Cultural, Community and Natural Resources Grant Program.


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Maddy Institute Updated List of San Joaquin Valley Elected Officials HERE.


The Kenneth L. Maddy Institute at California State University, Fresno was established to honor the legacy of one of California’s most principled and effective legislative leaders of the last half of the 20th Century by engaging, preparing and inspiring a new generation of governmental leaders for the 21st Century. Its mission is to inspire citizen participation, elevate government performance, provide non-partisan analysis and assist in providing solutions for public policy issues important to the region, state and nation.


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