October 16, 2018




How to vote in California? CALmatters answers your questions


Oct. 22 is the deadline to register to vote in California.

Democratic committee pulls $70,000 worth of ads in Valadao’s district

Fresno Bee

The Democrat’s chief campaign funding arm has yanked $70,000 in advertising buys in the district of House Republican Rep. David Valadao, a move typically signifying the group no longer sees the race as winnable.

Devin Nunes reaches fundraising milestone, but did he beat Andrew Janz in the quarter?

Fresno Bee

Despite a strong surge from Democrat Andrew Janz, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, has now raised more than $10 million in his bid for re-election to California’s 22nd Congressional District seat.​​ 

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Eastern Madera County takes action against Bass Lake courthouse closure

Sierra Star

Madera County Bass Lake Superior Court is scheduled to be closed on Nov. 30, but the Eastern Madera County Bar Association is making an effort to combat the closure.

Local advocacy group encourages west Modesto voters to make their voices heard

Modesto Bee

The neighborhood canvassing was organized by Faith in the Valley, a nonprofit group that offers help to underserved residents in Stanislaus County.

Public meetings set to discuss planned blasting at Isabella Dam

Bakersfield Californian​​ 

More than a dozen years have passed since the U.S Army Corps of Engineers became concerned about water seeping through the auxiliary dam at Isabella Lake — not to mention the possibility of a massive earthquake leveling the earthen structure.

McCarthy dismissive of report about in-law's 'Cherokee' minority contracting work

Bakersfield Californian

Congressman Kevin McCarthy's office is dismissing as a "charade" a Los Angeles Times report that a company owned by his wife's family won more than $7 million over nine years​​ in no-bid and other federal contracts at U.S. military bases — contracts that were based on her brother's questionable claim of Native American ancestry.


California Governor candidates: cost of living is the top issue facing the state


The hour-long public radio debate remained civil, with the two candidates for governor sparring on policy and mostly avoiding personal attacks.

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EDITORIAL: Gavin Newsom for governor of California

San Diego Union-Tribune

Lt. Gov.​​ Gavin Newsom, the front-runner to succeed Gov.​​ Jerry Brown, can be seen in two distinct ways.

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How hackable are American voting machines? It depends who you ask


With the midterms fast approaching amid the ongoing fallout from Russia's interference in the 2016 elections, concerns about vote hacking have never been higher.

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Trump speculates about 'rogue killers' as Saudi Arabia reportedly prepares to say Khashoggi was killed during an interrogation

Los Angeles Times

President Trump suggested Monday that “rogue killers,” not the Saudi royal family, may be to blame for the suspected murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the Virginia-based dissident Saudi journalist, offering a possible escape hatch to the beleaguered Saudi government as it pushed back against a global furor.

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Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein Again Sparring Over Judicial Nominations Schedule

Roll Call

Even with senators having left the Capitol, the battle over the pace of judicial nominations is not slowing down.

Tech policy and the midterm elections


Considering the 2018 midterm election, this is a timely opportunity to review the key accomplishments of technology policy in the past two years.​​ 

Three Bellwether Races That Could Determine Control of the Senate

Wall Street Journal

The November midterm elections are just 21 days away. And three states could help decide who controls the Senate.

Fiscal 2018 Deficit Clocks In at $779 Billion, White House Reports

Roll Call

The federal government ran a $779 billion deficit in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, the largest budget shortfall in six years, the White House reported Monday.

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EDITORIAL: No defense for Trump’s attack on Mattis

San Francisco Chronicle

President Trump applied perhaps the worst epithet he could think of — “Democrat” — to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis last weekend.


'Justices On Justice' Event Features Anthony Kennedy In Conversation With An International Panel Of Jurists

Capital Public Radio

McGeorge School of Law Prof. Leslie Jacobs previews an event with Justice Anthony Kennedy and a panel of international jurists called “Justices On Justice.”

How Involved Can an Agency, Officials and Employees Be in Local Elections?

Public CEO

There’s a fine line public agencies, officials and employees walk between legally disseminating information and illegally advocating for or against a ballot measure or candidate.

In 'Them,' Sen. Sasse Aims To Find Ways To Move America Beyond Divisive Politics


his new book about why liberals and conservatives hate one another comes out right on the heels of a debate that tore an already divided nation apart: the fight over the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Elizabeth Warren angers prominent Native Americans with politically fraught DNA test

The Washington Post

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s release of a DNA test that suggested a lineage to a distant Native American ancestor has roiled the indigenous community, frustrated about the seizure of cultural and social ties for political maneuvering.

Gov. Jerry Brown to Partner With KQED on Oral History Project


Gov. Jerry Brown has agreed to a series of interviews aimed at documenting his extraordinary life in California, going back to his years in the seminary all the way through his fourth term as governor, which ends in January.

Social Media Bots Draw Public’s Attention and Concern

Pew Center

Since the 2016 U.S. presidential election, many Americans have expressed concern about the presence of misinformation online, particularly on social media.​​ 


Citrus packing house looking for up to 300 workers for upcoming season

Fresno Bee

Bee Sweet Citrus, one of Fresno County’s leading citrus packing houses, is seeking up to 300 workers for the upcoming harvest season in Fowler, CA.

FDA expands E-Cigarette investigation


The agency is now targeting 21 e-cigarette companies to find out if they've been marketing products illegally.

Monsanto case: Jurors urge judge not to overturn $289 million award

San Francisco Chronicle

Jurors who awarded $289 million to an ex-groundskeeper with cancer are imploring a judge to reconsider her decision to overturn most of the damages against Monsanto.

Farm and food policy innovations for the digital age


We urgently need to rethink public policy interventions to help countries navigate opportunities and challenges linked to digital advances in the food economy.



Justice Department announces task force to tackle international criminal gangs

Los Angeles Times

The Justice Department announced Monday it was creating a task force to coordinate the fight against international criminal gangs such as MS-13 and drug cartels from Mexico and Colombia, the latest effort to control cross-border organized crime groups that the Trump administration has trumpeted as a major threat.

Pot legalization campaigns aim to throw out old convictions across the US

Stockton Record

Hundreds of thousands of Americans have had their future prospects diminished by criminal records for marijuana cultivation or possession.

Crime Trends in California


California’s violent crime rate rose in 2017—but it remains historically low.​​ 

Public Safety:

1 year after MeToo, survivors reflect on their disclosure

Sacramento Bee

One year after the #MeToo hashtag set Twitter ablaze, survivors who shared their stories in the past year reflect what the movement means to them.

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Officials reveal some new details on what may have sparked the Ferguson Fire

Fresno Bee

Stanton Florea, spokesperson for the U.S. Forest Service, revealed some signs that point to a truck being responsible for the Ferguson Fire, which burned 96,901 acres in Mariposa County.

Schools Close As PG&E Shuts Off Power In Sierra Foothills Due To Fire Conditions. Residents Concerned About Additional Outages

Capital Public Radio

Strong winds, low humidity and dry vegetation caused PG&E to turn off power to customers in the Sierra Nevada foothills on Sunday night.

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Utility companies and fire agencies on high alert as Santa Ana winds prove to be deadly and destructive

Los Angeles Times

Utility companies and fire agencies are on high alert as the powerful Santa Ana winds paired with bone-dry vegetation and low humidity created welcoming conditions for wildfires.



Stocks finish down as tech companies fall again

Los Angeles Times

After a wobbly day of trading, U.S. stocks fell for the seventh time in eight days Monday as technology companies continued to slide. Industrial companies and stocks that pay high dividends rose, and the market's losses were limited relative to the steep drops it suffered last week.

Downturn Looms as Leadership Test for California, World’s 5th Largest Economy

New York Times

It has the highest concentration of billionaires in the country. It exports more computers than any other state. It is the nation’s largest producer of agriculture products by far: More than $6 billion in dairy products alone last year.

Unemployment is the lowest it’s been in almost 50 years, but the labor market still isn’t completely over the recession

The Washington Post

Unemployment, after all, has just fallen to an almost-50-year low of 3.7 percent, and wages are still rising at a more respectable rate of 2.8 percent — but despite all that, prices have only gone up a restrained 2.3 percent the past year.


Sears closing several Valley stores as company files for bankruptcy

Fresno Bee

A number of “underperforming” Sears and Kmart stores in the Valley, including Merced, Visalia, Bakersfield and Modesto, are expected to close near the end of the year as part of Sears Holding’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to court records.

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California state worker union accepts contract with 10 percent pay hike

Sacramento Bee

A small California state employee union decided on Thursday that a contract with two more consecutive years of 5 percent raises was too good to pass up in the waning months of Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration.

Uber, Lyft drivers fear getting booted from work

San Francisco Chronicle

In the easy-come, easy-go gig world, workers can be deactivated with the click of a button or, more often, the soulless calculations of an algorithm. Because drivers aren’t employees, they don’t get unemployment coverage.

Can "Infrastructure Academies" Solve Our Most Pressing Workforce Challenges


The need to hire and train a new generation of workers to construct, operate, and maintain the country’s infrastructure systems represents a pressing challenge in years to come.



New program putting tablets into the hands of Fresno Unified students


Fresno Unified will be putting new tablets into the hands of thousands of students to make sure they have the resources needed to be successful. The Learning Companion Device program is seen as one which helps even the educational playing field.

KHSD opens doors for 400 local leaders

Bakersfield Californian

The Kern High School District will hold Principal Partner’s Day on Wednesday, opening the district’s doors to visitors from over 400 local business, government and educational leaders.

Foothill High School students hear from the valley fever experts

Bakersfield Californian

Students at Foothill High School heard a special presentation on valley fever by Kern Medical on Monday morning. Dr. Augustine Munoz, a valley fever specialist with the​​ hospital, explained the facts and figures behind the fungal infection to about 100 biology students.

Tuck has a plan to fix California schools

Bakersfield Californian

In just three weeks, we have the opportunity to elect a new state superintendent and send an individual to that office who will work tirelessly to renew the promise of public education for all of California’s students. That individual is Marshall Tuck.

California’s school ‘achievement gap’ proves persistent


The massive “Getting Down to Facts” report on the pluses and minuses of public education in California, issued last month, was a sobering reminder of the stakes involved in how well youngsters are educated.

Are K–12 Students Keeping Pace in Math?

The California Department of Education recently released 2018 SBAC test scores that showed very modest improvement. Since last year, the percent of students meeting or exceeding state standards grew 1.1 percentage points in math.

Are states providing adequate financial literacy education?


Young people in America face an economic landscape marked by increasingly expensive higher education costs, more frequent job changes, and greater personal responsibility for retirement savings.

Higher Ed:

New school for barbers and cosmetologists opens in Clovis


For those looking to break into the cosmetology or barbering field Clovis' Institute of Technology now offers a career training program. Officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday to help kick off the Academy of Hair Design.





Strong winds cause damage in Madera County, preparing for more


The Madera County Sheriff's Office says if you see trees that are down and blocking the road, give them a call.

Supreme Court deals final blow to lead paint manufacturers' years-long effort to avoid cleanup costs

Los Angeles Times

The lead paint industry’s efforts to avoid a cleanup bill for more than $400 million has reached the end of the road.

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US states agree on plan to manage overtaxed Colorado River


Seven Southwestern U.S. states that depend on the overtaxed Colorado River have reached landmark agreements on how to manage the waterway amid an unprecedented drought, including a commitment by California to bear part of the burden before it is legally required to do so, officials said Tuesday.

The U.N.’s Doomsday Climate Clock

Wall Street Journal

Have we reached peak alarmism on climate change? The question occurs after the muted reaction last week to the latest forecast from the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.


California's carbon-credit market often pays for greenhouse gas reductions that would've happened anyway

San Diego Union-Tribune​​ 

The methane coming off the animal waste is trapped, he said, and sucked into a generator that creates more than enough power to run the 4,000-cow operation.



New HHS rule would require drug companies to disclose prices in TV ads


The Trump administration said Monday it plans to require drug makers to start disclosing its prices in television advertisements, a move that prompted immediate pushback from the pharmaceutical industry and raised questions about whether it would actually work to lower drug costs.

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How Facebook could help doctors screen patients for depression

Los Angeles Times

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force​​ advises​​ primary care physicians to screen all of their patients for depression and make sure proper care gets to those who need it, but this is a big job and doctors could use some help. Paging Dr. Facebook, stat!

Dialysis Industry Raises $99 Million To Defeat California’s Prop 8

Capital Public Radio

But the one raising the most cash, at nearly $120 million, is the lesser known Proposition 8, a​​ measure to regulate dialysis clinics. That’s according​​ campaign finance totals​​ on the California Secretary of State’s website.

The Percentage Of Young Children In The US Who Haven't Been Vaccinated Is On The Rise

Buzzfeed News

Although overall vaccination coverage among children in the US remained relatively stable in 2017, a growing percentage of toddlers have received no vaccines at all, according to a new report from the CDC.​​ 

Drugmakers may have to disclose prices of medicine in television ads

The Washington Post

The nation’s top health official proposed on Monday that pharmaceutical companies be required to include the list price of medicines in television advertisements to consumers — the boldest in a series of efforts by the Trump administration to curb rampant drug spending.

Human Services:

Tulare hospital opens its doors to patients after being closed for a year

Fresno Bee

Tulare Regional Medical Center​​ re-opened Monday under new management a year after closing its doors. The reopening of the 112-bed hospital in Tulare means local patients no longer have to go north to​​ Kaweah Delta Medical Center​​ in Visalia.

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Health insurer Anthem to pay $16-million settlement after big 2015 data breach

Los Angeles Times

Anthem Inc., the nation’s second-largest health insurer, has agreed to pay a record $16 million to the government to settle potential privacy violations in the biggest known healthcare hack in U.S. history, federal officials said Monday.


GOP’s No. 2 to meet with Latino group on immigration — after the election

Fresno Bee

League of United Latin American Citizens President Domingo Garcia says he plans to meet with Texas Sen. John Cornyn to discuss, among other things, finding a solution to keep DACA recipients in the country.

Who's in ICE custody at Otay Mesa Detention Center? At least one person has been there five years, report says

Los Angeles Times

At least one person has spent more than five years in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody at the Otay Mesa Detention Center,​​ according to data​​ obtained through a records request by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse of Syracuse University.

Your tax dollars at work: The U.S. vows to keep stopping Canadian pot-smokers from crossing the border

Los Angeles Times

On Wednesday, Canada will legalize recreational pot nationwide. But Canadians who admit to using this now-legal product could be banned from entering the United States.

EDITORIAL: Trump wants to resurrect family separation policy

San Francisco Chronicle

The Trump administration’s policy of separating parents and children as they attempted to cross the U.S.-Mexico border was a disaster both morally and politically.


Land Use:

RecFest organizers say party at the river will go on, next to homeless camp at park

Modesto Bee

Organizers are inviting families to Saturday’s Modesto RecFest at Gateway Park, a free event that provides participants a chance to do some trail running, bicycle rides and fishing along the Tuolumne River.


Did we learn anything from Proposition 13? Proposition 5 says no

Los Angeles Times

California began an experiment 40 years ago called Proposition 13. The 1978 voter-passed initiative rolled back property tax rates and then capped annual increases at 2% a year.

Column: California's housing situation is a mess. Proposition 10 isn't going to help

Los Angeles Times

California voters will decide on Nov. 6 whether government rent controls would make housing more affordable or even more expensive.

In Shift, States Step in on Affordable Housing​​ 

PEW Charitable Trusts

As an affordable housing crisis continues to escalate in big cities and small towns alike, states are scrambling to find ways to combat it.

C.A.R. releases its 2019 California Housing Market Forecast


A combination of high home prices and eroding affordability is expected to cut into housing demand and contribute to a weaker housing market in 2019

EDITORIAL: Want to get homeless people's dirty belongings off the sidewalks? Put them in apartments
Los Angeles Times

As homeless encampments have sprawled across sidewalks, officials have struggled to balance the needs of the people who live in them with the needs of the other city residents who are alternately annoyed and discomfited by their presence.


The economy is booming. Why do so many Central Valley cities want to raise taxes?

Fresno Bee

More than a dozen cities in California’s Central Valley are asking voters to raise the sales tax as cities tackle increasing populations, crime and aging and roads and other infrastructure.

‘Split roll’ tax measure to weaken Prop. 13 qualifies for California ballot

Fresno Bee

California Secretary of State announced on Oct. 15, 2018, that an initiative to undo part of Proposition 13 qualified for the 2020 ballot. The measure creates a “split roll” system between residential and commercial property.

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Time to hit the pause button on high-speed rail, some California leaders say

Fresno Bee

Only weeks away from the election to replace him, neither candidate for governor appears to share the depth of Brown’s commitment to the​​ high-speed rail system.

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Emails show California transportation agency’s cozy ties to gas tax backers

Mercury News

As the political battle to overturn California’s gas tax increase intensified, the state transportation agency coordinated frequently with the public affairs firm working to block the repeal on behalf of unions, construction companies and local government groups, emails obtained by The Associated Press show.

How many problems will it take for a real review of California’s DMV?

Sacramento Bee

By now, most California drivers know there’s a​​ serious problem with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Many know what it feels like to spend hours in the grips of a failing state bureaucracy.

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Gas tax repeal proves why California needs this election reform

Sacramento Bee

Imagine my surprise when, while reading California’s official voter information guide, I discovered that Proposition 6, which seeks to repeal last year’s gasoline tax increase, doesn’t run on petrol.

Why San Diego airport's plan for $3B makeover has drawn an avalanche of criticism

San Diego Union-Tribune

More than a decade after voters dashed any hopes of replacing San Diego’s cramped one-runway airport, its overseers are going all in on a $3 billion makeover they say will ease air travel for the millions more passengers who will be coming to Lindbergh Field.

Even in California, Electric Vehicle Sales Are Meager. So Here Comes a New Campaign …


Electric cars have been on the market for some time now but surveys show that even in California adoption has been slow.

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Californians, Step Away From Your Cars

New York Times

The planet depends on it. California can show true leadership on climate by rejecting a ballot measure that would cut off money for mass transit.


California might see construction on water storage


For the first time in decades California may see construction of new water storage.

Water board’s proposed cutbacks will affect all Californians

San Francisco Chronicle

Our state is in a fight over water policy that could hit all Californians squarely in their grocery carts.

The Connection between Groundwater and Surface Water


When the California Legislature created the “modern” water rights regulatory system more than a century ago, it focused exclusively on surface water, exempting groundwater from the permitting system. Yet in most watersheds, surface water and groundwater are closely linked.


Fresh off his sitcom’s move to FOX, Tim Allen bringing stand-up show to Fresno

Fresno Bee

Tim Allen is best known for his TV and film roles. It would be easy to forget that he toured as stand-up comic through much of the 1980s, and never gave up the craft. His list of upcoming shows​​ includes a stop at Fresno’s Saroyan Theatre on Jan. 12.

Celebrating the 26th annual Oakhurst Fall Festival

Sierra Star

The 26th annual Oakhurst Fall Festival came and went over the weekend and brought its usual batch of rides, attractions and smiles.

Halfway through the season the Bulldogs gearing up for tougher tests


Kickoff in Albuquerque is set for 4:30 Fresno time. You can watch the game on ESPN U. The Bulldogs return home the following week to take on Hawaii on homecoming night (10/27) with kick-off set for 7:30 PM.

Central Valley Blue Star Moms try to make holiday season memorable with drive


The Central Valley Blue Star Moms are trying to make this holiday season a memorable one for our troops overseas and they need your help. They're collecting items for their annual Remember the Troops Package Drive.

American Legion post seeks Ripon service members, veterans to honor with street banners

Modesto Bee

The American Legion post in Ripon plans to honor the city’s active military service members and veterans with personalized banners on Fulton Avenue light poles.

Clovis City Council honors Dwight Kroll

Clovis Roundup

Clovis city planning director Dwight Kroll was recognized at the Clovis City Council meeting on Monday, Oct. 8. The city honored Kroll for receiving the Spirit of Clovis Award at the Clovis Hall of Fame ceremony on Sept. 15.