October 11, 2017



State Politics:

LA Mayor Garcetti could run for California governor

Sacramento Bee

Eric Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angeles, on Oct. 10, 2017 told the Sacramento Press Club that he is still thinking about running for governor in 2018.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti plays coy on possible runs for governor, president

LA Times

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti made clear from the outset of his appearance at the Sacramento Press Club on Tuesday that he would not be offering definitive pronouncements on his future.

California State Senator Newman recall effort uncertain as deadline for rescinding signatures passes 


Those who signed a petition supporting a recall election for California Sen. Josh Newman faced a deadline by close of business Tuesday if they wanted to withdraw their support for the effort. Opponents of Newman, a Democrat from Fullerton representing the 29th Senate District, want him out because of his support for the new gas tax increase set to take effect Nov 1.

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein once thought she might ‘just walk away’ from another race, she tells donors 

Los Angeles Times

A day after announcing she would seek a sixth term in office, Sen. Dianne Feinstein said at a Tuesday fundraiser that she had considered retiring but decided that she just couldn’t because of President Trump.

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Federal Politics: 

Nunes signs off on new subpoenas to firm behind Trump-Russia dossier


The chairman of the House intelligence committee has issued subpoenas to the partners who run Fusion GPS, the research firm that produced the dossier of memos on alleged Russian efforts to aid the Trump campaign, according to sources briefed on the matter.

VP Mike Pence touches down in Bakersfield, faces protesters

The Fresno Bee

Vice President Mike Pence salutes upon his arrival at Mather Airport. Pence attended a tax relief event in Rancho Cordova and was accompanied by his wife, Karen, Congressman Kevin McCarthy and his wife Judy.

Trump Brushes Off Corker Feud, Vows Tax Changes in Weeks


President Donald Trump said he plans to make changes to his tax plan within the next few weeks, while dismissing concerns that his public spat with Senator Bob Corker would scuttle an overhaul. Bloomberg’s Kevin Cirilli reports on “Bloomberg Markets.”

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SCOTUS Will Hear a Case About Public-Sector Unions, and Democrats Are Terrified

The Weekly Standard

Unions spend millions donating to Democrats, and this case threatens their ability to collect dues from non-members.


Conference focuses on SJ Valley challenges

Stockton Record

California Senator Kamala Harris will be among the speakers Thursday at an all-day conference downtown, an event that aims to bring together San Joaquin Valley cities from Stockton south to Bakersfield to address the region’s challenges.

After Las Vegas shooting, Congress debates gun control again

Las Vegas Review-Journal

A debate over bump stocks — devices that allowed semi-automatic rifles to fire at rapid speed during the Las Vegas shooting — will continue this week on Capitol Hill as lawmakers grapple with the politically stinging issue of gun control.

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How Sinclair Broadcasting puts a partisan tilt on trusted local news

PBS NewsHour

And now for a different kind of media story, and a question: Does it matter who owns the TV station that delivers your local news? Polls show that many Americans trust local news more than other sources. The largest owner of local stations in the country, Sinclair Broadcasting, planning a merger that would make them even bigger.


Cheers and jeers: No respect, justice needed

Stockton Record

Jeers It was a sad sight to see: an elderly man robbed while waiting for a bus Tuesday afternoon in central Stockton. Adding the odd to this oddity was that the robber made his getaway in a black Mercedes. The scene would merely have been absurd if not for the degradation of a senior citizen…

On fire from Disneyland to Wine Country, California must rethink disaster risk

Sacramento Bee

Global warming is worsening storms and lengthening fire seasons, and the future isn’t going to disaster-proof itself.

Weinstein was appalling, but so was his company for ignoring his behavior

Los Angeles Times

With horrific allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault swirling around co-chairman Harvey Weinstein, the company that bears his name fired him Sunday. But by waiting so long to take a step that should have been taken, frankly, years earlier, the company fostered a climate in which his

Editorial: Renew funding for California kids’ health insurance

San Jose Mercury News

If the program is not reauthorized, more than 200,000 kids in the Bay Area will lose their health care coverage.


Here’s how rice farmers prevent flooding and help wildlife

Sacramento Bee

Last winter’s heavy rains were a welcome relief for Central Valley farmers after years of drought. But the high water that came with them also made it clear that we must upgrade the flood control system designed to protect people, farms and cities from catastrophic flooding.

For the love of jerky: Kern man starts business

Bakersfield Californian

Meeting a personal need and a nationwide demand and having a passion for a product are three powerful incentives for any entrepreneur beginning a new business. But for Steven Tibbs, the founder of Tibbs Beef Jerky, these are the foundations of a business with a bright future.

California wildfires destroying pot farms just before legal sales begin in state 

Los Angeles Times

The Northern California wildfires this week have destroyed at least seven marijuana farms just months before the state begins licensing legal sales of cannabis, making it the “worst year on record” for loss of crops, an industry leader said Tuesday.

Organic Food Scams: Congress Should Investigate

National Review

Several lawmakers just introduced a bill that would nearly triple the budget for the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP), the federal agency in charge of overseeing the U.S. organic market. But before we hand over more tax dollars to this feckless bureaucracy, Congress should demand hearings about NOP’s complicity in what might be the biggest consumer scam in decades: the sale of phony organic food.


For stories on Las Vegas mass shooting and ”gun control,” See: “Top Stories – Other,” above 


Tulare Police Chief Hensley wants administration appeal hearing open to the public


Tulare Police Chief Wes Hensley said he wants his administration appeal heard by all.

Public Safety:

Why gun sales in California spiked in 2016

The Mercury News

2016 was a record-setting year for gun sales in California. More than 1.3 million guns were sold.


Toll from Northern California firestorms sharply rise: 2,000 structures destroyed, at least 17 dead

LA Times

The toll from Northern California’s ranging wildfires continued to grow Tuesday evening as officials said the fires destroyed up to 2,000 structures and killed at least 17 people.

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For the love of jerky: Kern man starts business

The Bakersfield Californian

Meeting a personal need and a nationwide demand and having a passion for a product are three powerful incentives for any entrepreneur beginning a new business. But for Steven Tibbs, the founder of Tibbs Beef Jerky, these are the foundations of a business with a bright future.

California exports surge 4 percent in August; running 5.3% ahead of last year

Sacramento Bee

California export trade, which has seen an up-and-down pattern throughout 2017, was up in August. Golden State businesses exported merchandise valued at $14.69 billion in August, up 4 percent from $14.12 billion in August 2016.

High Housing Costs, Scarcity Of Skilled Workers Slow Economic Growth 

Capital Public Radio

California’s economic growth will continue to expand at a steady rate over the next couple of years. That’s according to the latest forecast from economist Jeff Michael who heads the Center for Business and Policy Research at the University of the Pacific. He says a growing scarcity of skilled workers and extreme housing costs will prevent faster economic growth.

California Economy, California Economic Summit

2017 California Economic Summit Registration

The California Economic Summit is a two day event designed to accelerate coordinated implementation of the Roadmap to Shared Prosperity and strengthen the Summit network.

Three promising partnerships connecting employers and education earn California Economic Summit award

California Economy – California Economic Summit

Three regional public-private partnerships for workforce development will be honored at the 2017 California Economic Summit next month in San Diego. The three winners of the Partnership for Industry and Education (PIE) contest were selected from over two dozen nominees from across California.

Brown-Khanna Proposal to Expand EITC Would Raise Incomes of 47 Million Working Households

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

A proposal to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) from Senator Sherrod Brown and Representative Ro Khanna, along with 52 House cosponsors, would advance what should be a leading tax-reform goal — increasing the incomes of low- and moderate-income workers.[2]  It would benefit 47 million households and help to address the income stagnation that has plagued ordinary workers over the last several decades.


Central Valley partnership readies underserved locals to fill construction workforce demand

California Economy – California Economic Summit

Beatrice Siaz already had plans to change her life when her husband threw her and their children out of their Corcoran home. She was about to start a pre-apprenticeship training program and nothing was going to stop her. She was able to stay with a relative and find assistance through the Owens Valley Career Development Center, making it possible to complete the 12-week Valley Apprenticeship Connections training and become one of the first women the program has sent to become a union laborer.



Emails show Ashjian praising support from anti-LGBT groups

Fresno Bee

Fresno Unified trustees will discuss the censure or removal of Brooke Ashjian as board president on Wednesday. The meeting comes just after the district released emails that show the embattled official praising anti-LGBT advocates who support him and saying that Christians are under attack and “must unite.”

Record number of VUSD graduates eligible for college

Visalia Times-Delta

Of the more than 1,800 Visalia Unified School District seniors who threw their graduation caps into the air this spring, half had completed the required courses for entrance to University of California and California State University schools.

California’s high school exit exam is officially a thing of the past

Los Angeles Times

Eighteen years after lawmakers agreed that California high school students should prove their skills on a final exam before earning diplomas, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Tuesday to permanently repeal the requirement.

San Bernardino parole program helps its “students” reenter the community successfully


Partnership with state corrections and a university provides classes and keeps parolees on track.

U.S. Teachers’ Support of Their State Standards and Assessments: Findings from the American Teacher Panel


Amid questions about the future of state standards and assessments, this report provides a critical perspective for district and state policymakers to consider: U.S. teachers’ perceptions of and support for current standards and assessment. Our nationally representative data suggest that nearly all U.S. mathematics and English language arts teachers support use of state standards in instruction.

Study: Teachers like state education standards, not state tests to measure success


The vast majority of U.S. teachers favor the use of state standards for academic achievement, but most oppose the tests that states are using to measure student success, according to survey results released Thursday.

Higher Ed:

Plans to build community college in Southwest Fresno, key to revival of the community


The goal of the TCC Program is to help disadvantaged communities and reduce air pollution. The new campus, along with a park and transportation improvements is seen as a big boost to Southwest Fresno

Californians favor more college aid for both low- and middle-income students, poll finds 


California voters strongly support increasing state-funded financial aid for both low-income and middle-income students at public colleges and universities, according to a Berkeley IGS/EdSource poll. However, that support is uneven depending on party affiliation and geographic region.

Chancellor to tell students UC education is attainable, affordable

University of California

UC Santa Cruz Chancellor George Blumenthal will address hundreds of students at Pajaro Valley High School to deliver the message that an education at the University of California is attainable as part of an annual ‘Achieve UC’ outreach effort.

Testimony: Cybersecurity Needs and Higher Education

Public Policy Institute of California

Hans Johnson, director of the PPIC Higher Education Center and PPIC senior fellow, testified at the Joint Legislative Oversight Hearing on Cybersecurity Education and the Needs of the Workforce before the Assembly Committee on Higher Education in Sacramento today (October 10, 2017). Assemblymember Jose Medina chairs the Higher Education Committee and Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin chairs the Select Committee on Cybersecurity. Here are Johnson’s prepared remarks.

Public Higher Education is California’s Engine of Social Mobility

California Economy – California Economic Summit

California is in growth mode. Many cities and towns have bounced back from the Great Recession and companies across the state have grown and added new jobs. Much like the days of the Gold Rush, people from around the world are heading to California in search of opportunity afforded by the world’s sixth largest economy.



Valley air pollution district says smoke from NorCal, Sierra fires could cause problems

Fresno Bee

San Joaquin Valley air pollution officials are warning that smoke from the Northern California wildfires coupled with smoke from a big Tulare County wilderness fire could affect local skies.

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Gov. Brown signs Bill to Reduce Air Pollution

Bakersfield Now

California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assemblymember Rudy Salas’ Bill to Reduce Air Pollution on Tuesday.

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Scott Pruitt Says That EPA Will Repeal the Clean Power Plan – War on the EPA


The Trump administration took its first formal step on Tuesday to repeal the Clean Power Plan, the signature Obama-era climate policy, but did not offer an immediate replacement — leaving little indication as to how the Environmental Protection Agency plans to meet its obligation to regulate the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions.

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Here’s how rice farmers prevent flooding and help wildlife

Sacramento Bee

Last winter’s heavy rains were a welcome relief for Central Valley farmers after years of drought. But the high water that came with them also made it clear that we must upgrade the flood control system designed to protect people, farms and cities from catastrophic flooding.


First hydrogen fuel station in Contra Costa County opens in San Ramon

East Bay Times

Even a facility that represents the cutting edge of clean transportation technology doesn’t get an easy pass from California regulators.

Energy for the Planet: Open Ocean Wind Turbines Could Provide Enough Electricity to Power the Entire World


There is so much magnificence in the ocean, including, apparently, untapped kinetic energy. It turns out that wind turbines over open ocean could generate three times as much power—that’s right: three times as much—as placing them on land. This was the major finding of a new study Monday in PNAS authored by Anna Possner and Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institute and Stanford.

OPEC pressures US oil firms over high production


OPEC is asking American oil producers to meet with members of the group and to play a role in cutting global oil production.


Suicide rates among Kern children startles kids’ advocates


Six children took their own lives last year in Kern County.

River Park Golf Center closing, sells land to Valley Children’s

Fresno Bee

River Park Golf Center will close at the end of the year after nearly two decades in operation.

California Governor Signs Law To Make Drug Pricing More Transparent


California Gov. Jerry Brown defied the drug industry Monday, signing the most comprehensive drug price transparency bill in the nation that will force drug makers to publicly justify big price hikes.

Obamacare 101: How Trump might ‘use the power of the pen’ to overhaul healthcare

LA Times

President Trump, who has been unable to get Republicans in Congress to roll back the Affordable Care Act, is promising to issue an executive order this week that he says will offer relief to consumers facing rising insurance premiums.

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Will Federal CHIP Coverage Continue For California Kids?


Alla Moraru of Sacramento says she doesn’t know how she would keep her four children covered without the federally subsidized Children’s Health Insurance Program.

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AP-NORC Poll: Most don’t want young immigrants deported

Fresno Bee

Just 1 in 5 Americans want to deport young immigrants brought to the United States as children and now here illegally, the focus of a politically fraught debate between the White House and Congress.

Fearing deportation, many domestic violence victims are steering clear of police and courts 

Los Angeles Times

The woman on the other end of the line said her husband had been beating her for years, even while she was pregnant.

As the immigration debate ramps up, here are the leading bills already pending in Congress

LA Times

When President Trump withdrew deportation protection for people who illegally came to the United States as children, he tasked Congress with crafting an immigration plan to overhaul the system.

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Land Use:

A key change to a major state environmental law again misses a deadline

Los Angeles Times

California lawmakers keep passing bills to ease the burden of environmental lawsuits against big developments. And they keep ignoring the fact that the deadline they set for the end of the litigation is never met.


Tulare County experiencing ‘astronomical’ increase in homelessness


The city is facing an “astronomical” increase in homelessness, said Machael Smith, Kings and Tulare Homeless Alliance’s executive director.

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From Small Steps to Giant Leaps: What Must Come Next for the California Housing Agenda?

California Economy – California Economic Summit

On Friday, September 15th, the California Legislature approved a package of 17 bills aimed at putting a dent in the state’s housing crisis. While the votes came down to the wire, in the end, the need for solutions won the day, and in the coming weeks the Governor is expected to sign each piece of legislation, officially ushering in the most significant housing policy changes in recent memory. You can read our recap of these bills in an earlier blog post here.


For stories on “tax reform” See: “Top Stories – Federal Politics,” above

Council’s closed-session discussions about tax increase may have violated open-meetings laws


City of Bakersfield staff and City Council members may be in violation of the Ralph M. Brown Act for discussing city finances behind closed doors, open meeting law advocates say.

Tax board leader urged quick hiring to get state workers better pensions

Sacramento Bee

The elected leader of a California tax agency urged its executives to speed hiring for a project in late 2012 so new employees would benefit from more generous pension plans, according to documents obtained by The Bee.

CalPERS Critic Makes Runoff for CalPERS Board

Public CEO

The underfunded California Public Employees’ Retirement System faces daunting challenges in coming years, with local governments increasingly vocal about not being able to afford the ever-growing cost of their CalPERS-managed pension programs, as CalWatchdogreported July 20.


City Council to consider eliminating 24th street crosswalks, approve project contracts


Two crosswalks on 24th Street could soon become a thing of the past.

America’s commuting choices: 5 major takeaways from 2016 census data

Brookings Institution

While Americans travel for a variety of reasons, there’s arguably no more important trip each day than their commute to work. Each year, the U.S. Census Bureau updates its national statistics on commuting habits. These statistics—which extend down to large cities—enable consistent benchmarks about how the American commute may be changing or simply staying the same.


This project will supply farmers with treated water from kitchen and bathroom drains

Modesto Bee

Work is well under way on a project that will provide West Side farmers with highly treated water from sewage treatment plants in Modesto and Turlock.

SoCal water district says ‘yes’ to tunnels

Stockton Record

A behemoth Southern California water agency voted Tuesday to pay its share of the $17 billion Delta tunnels, a decision that keeps the project alive after some San Joaquin Valley farmers earlier gave an emphatic “no.”

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Effort to plug Tijuana sewage flows gets $2.1 million bump from state bill

San Diego Union-Tribune

The effort to prevent sewage from flowing from Tijuana into San Diego County got a small boost Monday when Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation to provide about $2.1 million in funds for the effort.


Celebrating the Fall Festival this weekend

Sierra Star

The Oakhurst Community Park is guaranteed to be a hopping spot this Friday and Saturday – with specialty booths offering everything from collectibles to area wine samplings and hand-crafted beers, and lively entertainment for adults and children alike – all part of the 25th Annual Oakhurst Fall Festival.

Taste the Arts returns to downtown Visalia

Visalia Times-Delta

The diversity of the Central Valley attracts a broad spectrum of cultures to our region, each with its own distinctive arts and traditions. Taste the Arts celebrates this multi-cultural background with an event just as unique.

Heaviest is best: Pumpkin sets record at California contest

Bakersfield Now

The winner of the 44th World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off had the heaviest pumpkin recorded in the history of the San Francisco Bay Area competition.

House of JuJu gets ready to relocate and welcome Papa’s Place

Clovis Roundup

When you’re in the mood for a juicy burger or a hefty salad full of fresh leafy greens and vegetables, House of JuJu in Old Town Clovis is the place to go.