September 5, 2017






‘A nerve-wracking time for many of us’ with DACA in jeopardy, undocumented say

Fresno Bee

Latino and Muslim speakers shared the mic during a Labor Day rally at Fresno’s Courthouse Park, calling attention to what they say are the two communities most targeted by the Trump administration.

See also:

·       DACA uncertainty leaves many nervous  Vida en el Valle

New challenger for Congressman Devin Nunes

Visalia Times-Delta

Fresno-based businessman Ricardo Franco will announce on Wednesday his candidacy for the 22nd US Congressional district, becoming the second challenger for incumbent Devin Nunes (R-Visalia). Franco, a Democrat, said he has been encouraged to seek political office for a while and decided to jump into the political arena for the 2018 election. He said elected officials should be open to all constituents.


Congressman Kevin McCarthy accounces new VA clinic in 2021


Congressman Kevin McCarthy praised a major step toward replacement of the Bakersfield Veterans Affairs (VA) Community-Based Outpatient Clinic. The VA announced Thursday Solicitation for Offers on local properties to build a replacement clinic.


Goodbye, Yosemite. Hello, What?

My parents celebrated their 50th anniversary at the Ahwahnee, so I could be annoyed that the National Park Service recently renamed it the Majestic Yosemite Hotel, an exquisitely vapid choice. For reasons stemming from a contract dispute, the Park Service simultaneously renamed four other sites that have been dear to California families like mine for generations. So I could be outraged: They’re messing with my heritage!




In Legislature’s final days, here are some special interest bills that ought to die

Sacramento Bee

In the final two weeks of the 2017 session, California legislators face all sorts of weighty issues, including a parks and water bond, housing legislation and whether California should become a sanctuary state.


California lawmakers shelve dozens of bills, including measures keeping bars open later and limiting gun purchases

LA Times

State lawmakers gutted or shelved dozens of bills for the year on Friday, including proposals to allow bars to stay open later, examine police practices, regulate marijuana and prohibit Californians from buying more than one rifle a month.  Friday was the deadline for the Senate’s and Assembly’s appropriations committees to pare down the list of bills to be acted on this year, ostensibly rejecting those without sufficient support or that cost too much.


Political Road Map: It’s no secret why so many Sacramento lawmakers are collecting campaign cash right now

LA Times

Think of what’s going on most every weeknight right now in Sacramento as a kind of political pub crawl. More specifically, a political pub crawl for cash.


Republicans vying for California governor face skeptical donors

San Jose Mercury News

The electoral math — the 19-point advantage Democrats enjoy among registered voters — suggests the odds are long for any GOP contender hoping to succeed Jerry Brown as governor.


Media literacy bill fails in California Legislature

LA Times

Lawmakers killed legislation Friday to teach students how to evaluate the accuracy, credibility and comprehensiveness of online news.


Gov. Jerry Brown lays out his plan for cap-and-trade spending

LA Times

Now that the debate over extending the cap-and-trade program is finished, Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers are turning their attention to spending the cash. There’s $1.5 billion on the table. The governor unveiled his idea last week, including $350 million to improve air quality in polluted communities and $607.5 million for low-carbon transportation. That’s less than the $1 billion sought by some Democratic lawmakers to phase out diesel engines in trucks, buses and farm vehicles, so expect some give and take before the legislative session ends.


California Politics Podcast: A week of suspense over the fate of bills and the 2018 Senate race

LA Times

The long Labor Day holiday arrives with significant buzz about how the week ended in Sacramento and what might happen on the campaign trail in 2018.


Trump’s decision on the ‘Dreamers’ is personal for some Californians in Congress

LA Times

Trump is expected to announce Tuesday the future of the DACA program, which grants temporary deportation reprieves to about 800,000 people brought to the country illegally as children. One-fourth of the program’s recipients, 200,000 people, are thought to live in California.

See also:

·       Trump’s DACA decision could have a sweeping effect on who controls the House in 2018, especially in California LA Times

New California Law Will Extend Protections For Immigrants

California police will soon be barred from arresting crime victims or witnesses just because of actual or suspected immigration violations under a new law.


Special interests shovel cash to California Democrats and Republicans alike

San Francisco Chronicle

When it comes to taking in big bucks from big business, California’s Democrats and Republicans have a lot more in common than you might think.  More than 40 percent of the $60 million raised by California’s two major political parties for state candidates and campaigns during the 2016 election season came from corporate interests that gave to both sides, according to secretary of state finance records researched by MapLight, a nonpartisan, political-money, watchdog group.


Too moderate for California Republicans, Chad Mayes paid a price

San Francisco Chronicle

Days after losing his position as leader of Assembly Republicans, Chad Mayes was entertaining lobbyists and lawmakers at a bar near the state Capitol, raising money for his re-election with a live video message from Arnold Schwarzenegger.


California Lawmakers Shelve, Gut Hundreds Of Bills In Rapid-Fire Sessions

California lawmakers shelved, gutted or advanced hundreds of bills on Friday in rapid-fire committee hearings at the state Capitol.


California unions on a political roll, but see threats on horizon


California’s labor unions should be celebrating on this Labor Day because they’ve been on a political roll.  Overall union membership in California, 2.6 million, is by far the most of any state, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, and at 15.9 percent of the state’s workers, is one of the nation’s highest.


Capitol recap: School start times, bar closing times, and `sanctuary state’ bill

The Mercury News

A bill to require later start times at California’s middle and high schools cleared one of its final hurdles Friday, as did the Legislature’s closely watched “sanctuary state” immigration bill — and legislation to make it easier for transgender people to have their gender identity reflected on legal documents.




Dreamers’ ability to apply for legal status under DACA ending under Trump administration

The Fresno Bee

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Tuesday that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an Obama-era initiative that shielded young undocumented immigrants from deportation, will end.

See also:

·       Sessions says DACA ‘being rescinded’ with window for Congress to act –  POLITICO

·       Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Data Tools

·       What we know about the nearly 800,000 immigrants protected by DACA  ABC news

·       Trump has decided to end DACA, with 6-month delay POLITICO

·       Regardless of what President Trump does on DACA, these Dreamers are defiant, optimistic and aren’t going anywhere   Los Angeles Times

·       White House watch: Trump and sessions to end DACA  The Weekly Standard

·       Republicans Tell Democrats: ‘We’ll Give you DACA if You Fund Trump’s Border Wall’  Newsweek

·       Donald Trump & DACA – Democrats Must Compromise  National Review

·       Republicans crank up pressure on Trump to not scrap DACA  POLITICO

·       GOP leaders add their voices to the chorus calling for DACA program to stay  The Washington Post

·       DACA — Donald Trump Should End Amnesty  National Review

·       Trump to End DACA — in Six Months  National Review


DACA: What is it I’m one of the political implications?

The Nooner

As of March 2017, 242,319 applications were filed from California, of which 64% were immediately eligible and the rest potentially eligible (such as those not of school age or those out of school looking for a job). It is estimated that there are 519,000 eligible in the Golden State. Data are from the Migration Policy Institute, a nonprofit funded by most of the largest foundations, including Gates, Annie E. Casey, as well other nonpartisan policy organizations like the National Conference of State Legislators and the U.S. State Department.


Skelton:  Ignore the critics. Sen. Dianne Feinstein is outperforming many half her age, with old-fashioned civility

LA Times

Maybe civility, tact and graciousness have become so untrendy in politics that when a U.S. senator plays nice to an American president she just naturally gets booed.

Willie Brown:  Feinstein’s lesson in political correctness – Root for disaster from Trump

San Francisco Chronicle

Sen. Dianne Feinstein has become the latest victim in our new world of politics — one where instant emotional gratification and ideological reinforcement crowd out intelligent discourse.




Why we must teach students to recognize news — our democracy depends upon it San Francisco Chronicle

A fragmented media landscape populated by news outlets and impostor outlets that abide by different journalistic standards has transformed what was once a basic task — reading the daily news — into a major challenge. In an era of unprecedented access to information, we are experiencing an unprecedented era of noise.


Borenstein: No excuse to trash First Amendment rights

Record Bee

Liberals don’t own the First Amendment.

Bigoted speech of ultra-conservatives, even neo-Nazis, is protected, too. Most of us are repulsed by it. But, in a nation premised on free expression, the answer is not silencing political opponents.

Is the Electoral College Doomed?


The Electoral College is under fresh assault on the heels of Donald Trump’s victory last November—the second time in five presidential races the popularly elected candidate lost the election—but it’s not due to any groundswell in Congress for a constitutional amendment to adopt a national popular vote. Instead, the most viable campaign to change how Americans choose their leader is being waged at booze-soaked junkets in luxury hotels around the country and even abroad, as an obscure entity called the Institute for Research on Presidential Elections peddles a controversial idea: that state legislatures can put the popular-vote winner in the White House.




A Labor Day salute to work that really mattered this year

The Fresno Bee

Honor the Valley workers sweltering in the hot sun by doing cannonballs in the pool. It’s Labor Day, so grab a burger and toast everyone with a job.

See also:

·       Labor Day salute to work that mattered  Modesto Bee


Don’t kill bills to fix California housing crisis

The Sacramento Bee

Democrats in the Legislature are right. What California is experiencing isn’t merely a housing crisis. It’s a housing “catastrophe”– and after years of stalemates and inaction, it’s encouraging that many at the Capitol are finally starting to treat it like one.


Don’t let California’s housing crisis get worse. Lawmakers need to act on these bills

Los Angeles Times

California’s housing crisis is eroding the quality of life in the Golden State.

Rising rents and house prices are forcing Californians to spend more of their paychecks to keep a roof over their heads. Among renters, 1 in 3 pays more than half his income to his landlord, leaving little money for food, transportation and other essentials, much less for savings. Too many residents are one unexpected expense or rent increase away from homelessness.


As Hurricane Harvey hits Gulf Coast, Central Valley must prepare for the coming storm

Fresno Bee

A day before Hurricane Harvey inundated Houston, an obscure arm of the California Department of Water Resources delivered a report detailing the impact of the Central Valley deluge that surely will strike, and how best to prepare for it.

See also:

·       Central Valley must prepare for coming super-storm  The Sacramento Bee

·       Houston’s floods are a warning for California to shore up its water systems. The good news: We’re getting started.  Los Angeles Times


The pendulum swings too far on school accountability

Los Angeles Times

Is California’s committment to school accountability dead? Probably not, but it’s certainly withering. The days of California’s Academic Performance Index and the federal No Child Left Behind Act are over, and they won’t be missed.




Pesticide continues to put farmworkers and fetuses in harm’s way

She soon noticed a weird scent on her clothes that wouldn’t come off, even after washing. Her brother-in-law told her it was sulfur that growers applied to fields to help the grapes grow faster


California farmers say they don’t have enough workers – but it’s not because of Trump

Sacramento Bee

As temperatures plunged from 94 degrees into the 60s on a recent August evening, Lodi grower Brad Goehring dispatched his crew of Mexican workers into a field to pick Pinot gris. The grapes were finally sweet enough, and the 2017 wine harvest had begun.


Under Trump, ICE agents aren’t targeting California farmworkers

The Sacramento Bee

Instead of plucking the grapes by hand, workers climbed into the cabs of giant yellow harvesters imported from France. They rumbled through 36 acres, row by row. Rods attached to the giant machines shook juicy clumps of pearl-sized indigo grapes off the vines and onto a conveyer belt. As the trucks filled with grapes, workers drove them straight to the winemaker.


Pulling back from strawberry market, Dole Food Co. to lay off 402 workers in Northern California

LA Times

Dole Food Co. will lay off 402 workers from its Pajaro Valley fields and packing facilities as part of a widening move out of California’s strawberry market.  The vast majority of the layoffs will fall on 268 unionized pickers, but also includes other laborers, drivers and supervisors from harvesting and cooling operations in Watsonville, according to a notice the company sent last week to state employment officials


Lemoore Chamber of Commerce holding Ag Banquet

Hanford Sentinel

Congressman David Valadao and Angie Avila of Kings Fair will be honored Friday at the 23rd Annual Jack Stone-Kings County Salute to Agriculture Banquet by the Lemoore Chamber of Commerce.


Ag families move ahead on Salinas farm worker housing complex

The Salinas Californian

Three big agriculture families have banded together to work on building a farmworker housing complex in Salinas.






Governor Wants More Reforms For California’s Prison System


“A determinant sentence gives no reward for turning your life around. If you, by your behavior, can alter your sentence by years, that’s an incentive to avoid the gangs, to avoid the dope, to avoid violence and shape up and take programs. That is absent for too long in our prisons,” Brown said.


Prop 57: Debate rages on about which inmates should be released early

The Mercury News

Ten months after California voters approved a proposition allowing thousands of prison inmates to apply for early release, a debate is still raging over who ought to be freed.


California Legislature approves bill extending protections for immigrant witnesses

LA Times

California law enforcement officers will be prohibited from detaining crime victims or witnesses on immigration violations under a state bill headed to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature.


Justice or vengeance? Kern prosecutor, public defender on the future of death penalty in California

A recent California Supreme Court ruling could lead to executions resuming in months, and the county’s top prosecutor and a high-ranking public defender spoke this week about whether the decision will in fact speed up the death penalty process and what benefits, if any, that will have.

Billions of dollars at stake for CA as CHIP deadline looms

89.3 KPCC

Congress has until the end of the month to renew funding for a program that provides health insurance for millions of lower-income children. If Washington doesn’t continue federal support, California would have to come up with as much as $2.7 billion a year in additional funds to keep the program going.


After Bay Area violence, California debates classifying ‘antifa’ as a street gang

LA Times

California law enforcement officials and politicians have started debating whether these extremist groups should be classified as street gangs.


With 220 languages spoken in California, courts face an interpreter shortage

Los Angeles Times

Federal law enforcement began investigating California’s courts seven years ago after receiving complaints that two Korean-speaking women in Los Angeles had been denied court interpreters.




More than 7,500 firefighters are battling 25 large wildfires in California

Sierra Star

In wildland areas, grinding and welding operations require a permit and 10 feet of clearance. Keep a shovel and a fire extinguisher ready to use. Don’t drive your vehicle onto dry grass or brush. Hot exhaust pipes and mufflers can start fires that you won’t even see – until it’s too late. Visit to learn more about being prepared for wildfires. Get ready for wildfire with the new CAL FIRE app available on Android and IPhone. For current fire information,

See also:

·       More than 10000 battle major fires throughout California Sacramento Bee

Railroad Fire Sept. 4 night update | Fish Camp open to residents

Sierra Star

Orders that had kept the Fish Camp area closed to residents because of the Railroad Fire were lifted late Monday night, the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office announced.

See also:

·       Wildfire singed its core, but Sugar Pine railroad determined to ‘keep going’  Sierra Star

Evacuation advisories lifted for Peak Fire in Mariposa, now 30% contained

Sierra Star

In a positive sign as at least four wildfires continued to burn across the Mountain Area and state and state on Monday, all evacuation advisories due to the Peak Fire, which began on Usona Road near Indian Peak, were lifted in Mariposa that afternoon.


Pier Fire makes history in Tulare County

Visalia Times Delta

The blaze, reported early last week, has destroyed nearly 20,000 acres in an area that hasn’t seen fire activity in more than a century, officials said.

See also:

·       Pier Fire in Tulare County explodes in size over weekend, burning over 17,000 acres  ABC30

California wildfire reaches giant sequoia grove


The Latest on heat and wildfires in the Western United States.


Mission Fire threatens hundreds of homes near North Fork


FRESNO, Calif. – Fire crews from around the state started this holiday sweating, cutting lines and dumping water on the growing flames of the Mission Fire. Firefighters are navigating steep terrain and other dangers that are making the wildfire even more hazardous.  Over 350 Firefighters are there and more are on the way. It is very smoky, so planes haven’t been able to fly. Right now 200 homes remain under evacuation.


California governor declares state of emergency for wildfire


The Ponderosa Fire has burned 3,715 acres (1,503 hectares) and destroyed 30 homes in Butte County, prompting authorities to issue evacuation orders to residents of some 500 homes in the area, officials said. It was 40 percent contained on Friday, up from 30 percent the day before.






What would happen if the United States pulled out of NAFTA  

Brookings Institution

Dany Bahar, fellow in the Global Economy and Development program, discusses what we can expect from the upcoming NAFTA negotiations in Mexico City. Bahar explains how this decision would “make life for the average American more difficult.”




What would happen to employers and employees if President Trump ends DACA


Hundreds of thousands of immigrants who were children when they arrived in the U.S. could soon be in legal limbo. They’re beneficiaries of DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program put in place under President Barack Obama in 2012. DACA allows people who arrived in the U.S. as undocumented immigrant children to avoid deportation and to obtain two-year renewable work authorizations.


Labor leaders say protecting workers’ rights will be uphill battle under Trump administration

Scores of people might have been celebrating Labor Day with barbecue, trips to the beach or relaxing at home, but about 200 sweltered in the heat downtown to remember and march for what the holiday memorializes: worker rights.


Labor Day: Union rallies demand raises, decry employers 

San Jose Mercury

When it comes to surviving in Silicon Valley, the working poor face a merciless choice. “You can be homeless or pennyless,” Albert Brown III, said. “If your salary pays for a place to live, that is all it pays for. Or you can live in your car and get a 24 Hour fitness membership,” said security contractor Brown, who has experience with both choices.


Low-wage workers, union activists rally for higher pay and right to organize without fear of retribution 

Los Angeles Times

Uber drivers, street vendors, fast-food workers and union activists arrived downtown by the busload on Monday to participate in a boisterous march and rally aimed at mustering the political power of low-wage employees in next year’s United States congressional elections.


Union labor targets Valley’s major issue, eliminating poverty

The Fresno Bee

Unions and the right to organize are critical to building a healthy future for all of us in the Valley, writes Amulfo De La Cruz.


Mural honors San Joaquin Valley’s diverse workforce  

Fresno Bee

Don Hunsucker of Fresno has made work his life’s work. The work, the workers, the workplace, the working conditions, working it out, making it work, making work, doing what works. As a labor leader, he can conjugate the word any way you want.  Now he’s retired and working on a legacy project called the Union Park and Workers Memorial Foundation, which the organizers call “labor’s labor of love.” The foundation has a garden spot at the Fresno Fairgrounds created to honor workers who died on the job serving our community. It’s also designed to be a place to tell their story.


Policy Choices Can Help More Midwage Workers Share in Economic Gains

California Budget & Policy Center

This Labor Day brings a measure of good news for the state’s lowest-paid workers: recent increases in the state’s minimum wage helped to boost their earnings significantly. However, earnings for midwage workers have declined or stagnated in recent years despite a growing economy, pointing to the need for state policymakers to do more to strengthen economic security for the middle class.






California’s response to federal school accountability law falls short


Gov. Jerry Brown, state schools Supt. Tom Torlakson and the state Board of Education have indicated by word and deed that they want soft oversight of how local schools are performing. That’s particularly true regarding how well schools are using billions of dollars in extra state aid to close the “achievement gap” separating poor, Latino and black students from their more affluent white and Asian classmates.


Lawmaker to request state audit of districts’ compliance with funding formula


Hours before formally proposing an audit of three California districts’ spending under the state’s school funding formula, the sponsoring legislator pulled the request Tuesday but plans to bring it back.


Is an 8 am start time too early for students?

Visalia Times-Delta

On a regular school day, every Visalia and Tulare student is in their seat before 8:30 a.m.  With early start times, students have more time for extra-curricular activities after school and parents have more flexibility when it comes to work and scheduling.


Education news

Hanford Sentinel

Nichols Farms announced their 2017 scholarship recipients. Local first-time winners receive 10,000 dollars towards tuition, books, and school fees. In order to receive this scholarship, students must be in excellent academic standing, have extracurricular activities, and have a parent or guardian working on the Nichols Farms team.


Education and accelerated change: The imperative for design learning


According to research at Gartner, for example, one-third of all jobs will be converted into software, robots, and smart machines by as early as 2025. Meanwhile, some 65 percent of children in grade school today are predicted to work in jobs that have yet to be invented


Andrew Hacker Debates the Value of Math

The New Yorker

Andrew Hacker, an outspoken critic of mandatory algebra education, is asked to defend his contentions at the National Museum of Mathematics.


Higher Ed:


Universities fear what Trump policy shift could mean for immigrant ‘dreamers’

Washington Post

College and university leaders expressed deep concern Monday about what an imminent Trump administration policy shift on immigration could mean for students who were brought to the United States as undocumented immigrants when they were children.


California’s travel regulations only a small complication for CSUB

The Bakersfield Californian

The California state legislature has thrown a curveball to college athletic departments around the state, including that of Cal State Bakersfield.


‘Free college’ is a new rallying cry in California

Sacramento Bee

When State University of New York and City University of New York students return to campus this fall, tens of thousands of low-income undergraduates will pay no tuition under a new scholarship program.






Gov. Jerry Brown lays out his plan for cap-and-trade spending

LA Times

Now that the debate over extending the cap-and-trade program is finished, Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers are turning their attention to spending the cash. There’s $1.5 billion on the table. The governor unveiled his idea last week, including $350 million to improve air quality in polluted communities and $607.5 million for low-carbon transportation. That’s less than the $1 billion sought by some Democratic lawmakers to phase out diesel engines in trucks, buses and farm vehicles, so expect some give and take before the legislative session ends.


California Today: Is This What Climate Change Looks Like?

New York Times

One of the biggest wildfires in Los Angeles history. Record high temperatures at dozens of locations around California. And a bizarre “microburst” in Santa Barbara. It was a wild weather weekend in California.




California’s goal: an electricity grid moving only clean energy

LA Times

California already has some of the world’s toughest policies for fighting global warming, but now lawmakers are considering a new one. If approved at the end of the legislative session, the state would completely phase out the use of fossil fuels for generating electricity by 2045. Here’s how the measure would work.





Valley fever bill advances to state Senate floor

The Bakersfield Californian

The state Senate Appropriations Committee approved a bill Friday that would bring enhanced reporting guidelines and mandate public outreach for valley fever, Assemblyman Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield, announced Friday in a press release.


West Nile virus claims three lives statewide, including one in Kern County

A Kern County resident has died of West Nile virus, Kern County Public Health Services Department officials announced Friday.  The death is one of three statewide. The other two died in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. State public health officials withheld demographic information, hospitals providing care or more precise regions where the infections occurred, citing patient privacy laws.


California faces major physician shortage

Capitol Weekly            

California is facing a primary care physician shortage, and one of the only solutions to address it is sitting on the edge of a fiscal cliff.  The Teaching Health Center program, which places new resident physicians in underserved communities, will lose federal funding unless Congress acts to reauthorize it by Sept. 30.  


Four Steps That Could Stabilize the Health Insurance Market


In September, Congress will hold bipartisan hearings to discuss options to stabilize the individual market and ensure that all Americans have access to affordable coverage. Here are four options they could consider.                 




See articles on DACA repeal under “Top Stories – National and State”


The Wall: The real costs of a barrier between the United States and Mexico Brookings Institution

The wall comes with many costs, some obvious though hard to estimate, some unforeseen. The most obvious is the large financial outlay required to build it, in whatever form it eventually takes. Although during the election campaign candidate Trump claimed that the wall would cost only $12 billion, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) internal report in February put the cost at $21.6 billion, but that may be a major underestimate.




Land Use:


Fulton Street project: Interest in downtown Fresno growing, property manager says

The Fresno Bee

Charles Atikian may not be the key to downtown Fresno revitalization, but he certainly has the keys.


Fancher Creek retail construction to start again in the fall

The Fresno Bee

The town center is expected to have about 970,000 square feet of commercial and retail space, multifamily housing and a park similar to Oso de Oro Park in northwest Fresno. It will have a Fresno Police Department substation, a Bus Rapid Transit station and a 1.5-mile walking trail along the canal


Modesto City Council to talk about golf courses

The Modesto Bee

The City Council will meet Tuesday afternoon to talk about Modesto’s three city golf courses in a workshop.


Modesto considers $3.1 million purchase of downtown block

The Modesto Bee

The City Council is expected to vote Tuesday on whether to spend $3.1 million to buy an entire downtown block that officials say could one day play a pivotal role in revitalizing the city center, though the mayor has strong reservations about the proposal.


Why can’t we get cities right?

The Sacramento Bee

Harvey was an epic disaster. And it was a disaster brought on, in large part, by bad policy. As many have pointed out, what made Houston so vulnerable to flooding was rampant, unregulated development. Put it this way: Greater Houston still has less than a third as many people as greater New York, but it covers roughly the same area, and probably has a smaller percentage of land that hasn’t been paved or built on.  Houston’s sprawl gave the city terrible traffic and an outsized pollution footprint even before the hurricane. When the rains came, the vast paved-over area meant that rising waters had nowhere to go.




Is key housing measure stuck in the California Assembly?

Sacramento Bee

After balking last week, the California Legislature is preparing for a vote on a series of bills that would help offset the state’s housing crisis.


More affordable housing? California could try these 9 wild ideas

LA Daily News

Let me toss out nine unorthodox ideas that might change the housing paradigm. Not all are plausible and none are completely thought out to legal or economic considerations. This may not win me many friends, but here it goes…


California housing crisis isn’t about prevailing wage

The Sacramento Bee

Years ago, as ironworkers in downtown Los Angeles built some of the tallest skyscrapers west of the Mississippi River, our union crews proved the point of the prevailing wage: You get what you pay for.




California Needs To Invest Billions For Flood Protection

A new plan, approved last week by the Central Valley Flood Protection Board, recommends the state invest more than $20 billion over the next 30 years to protect people from flooding.




Voters, get ready for a Caltrain sales tax measure

The Mercury News

A state Senate bill to allow local authorities to place a 1/8-cent sales tax for Caltrain on the ballot in Santa Clara, San Francisco and San Mateo counties cleared the Assembly on Friday, pushing it close to the finish line.


Caltrans wants to spend $28 million fixing this highway, but locals call it overkill

Sacramento Bee

A sinewy stretch of mountain highway in Nevada County has become the site this summer of a $28 million tug-of-war between the state and local residents.

Cummins Beats Tesla To The Punch, Unveiling Heavy Duty Electric Truck


Cummins, a leading maker of diesel and natural gas engines for commercial trucks, unveiled a Class 7 heavy-duty truck cab Tuesday featuring an advanced 140 kWh battery pack that it will sell to bus operators and commercial truck fleets starting in 2019.

The 18,000-pound tractor cab, dubbed AEOS after one of the four-winged horses driving the chariot of the Sun God, Helios, across the sky in Greek mythology, is just a demonstration model. But the Class 7 urban hauler tractor is fully operational and capable of hauling a 22-ton trailer.




Water Officials Release Information On The Condition Of California Dams

California water officials released the latest information on the conditions of the state’s dams Friday.  A lot of focus has been given to the aging infrastructure in the wake of this past winter’s spillway problems at Lake Oroville.  DWR Spokeswoman Erin Mellon says the state is now prioritizing which dams need attention first.


Push for Temperance Flat Dam, Assembly Speaker Rendón boards barge in Millerton Lake tour

Vida en el Valle

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendón boarded a barge the morning of Aug. 22 to see what supporters of the Temperance Flat Dam envision as a $3 billion answer for additional water storage to provide water for agricultural and residential use in drought years.


Report: Green Spot Not A Risk To Oroville Dam Safety

The independent Board of Consultants agreed with the California Department of Water Resources that the vegetative green spot that appears across the face of the earthen Oroville dam is caused by temporarily trapped rainwater. The report finds the spot poses no threat to public safety.

See also:

·       Oroville Dam: UC Berkeley group says DWR ‘green spot’ report is not enough  The Mercury News

California Needs To Invest Billions For Flood Protection

A new plan, approved last week by the Central Valley Flood Protection Board, recommends the state invest more than $20 billion over the next 30 years to protect people from flooding.


Plan to protect Lamont from floods calls for tough decisions from farmers, Kern County leaders

Water from 470 square miles of mountains above the small, rural community came rushing down Caliente Creek, restrained, diverted and channeled by farmers’ berms and levees, and onto county roads that took the flood into Lamont.


Jerry Brown loses fight to block Cadiz water project

The Sacramento Bee

Assembly Bill 1000, the California Desert Protection Act, was supported by the likes of Brown, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and a slew of environmental groups.  It would have stalled a project by Cadiz Inc., a prolific campaign contributor which has sought the help of powerful politicians for decades. Cadiz this year celebrated the Trump administration’s reversal of two Obama-era directives that would have prevented it from using a federal railroad right-of-way to build a pipeline. Still, the threat of the state legislation caused its stock to plunge.




An Audio Road Trip: Unearthing California’s Hidden Gems


California is full of incredible, unique places. Even for those of us who have lived here all our lives, there are still secret, off-the-beaten-path spots we’ve never even heard of.