September 14, 2018




Can Janz beat Nunes? Few think so, but the Democrat says ‘Let’s try something new’

Fresno Bee

As Nunes dominated national headlines with memos and secret trips to the White House, Janz rode a wave of publicity and fundraising cash that placed the Visalia-born son of immigrants among the most visible House challengers in the country. And yet, Nunes’ victory seems almost a foregone conclusion.

‘We expect to win out here.’ Newsom campaigns for TJ Cox, Hurtado in Fresno

Fresno Bee

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the Democratic candidate for governor, was in Fresno Wednesday to campaign for fellow Democrats​​ TJ Cox​​ and​​ Melissa Hurtado, who are running for Congress and state senate.

Ramirez drops out of Council race

Hanford Sentinel

The race for Hanford City Council District D has gone from two candidates to one after former councilman Francisco Ramirez announced recently that he has decided not to run for the office.

Stanislaus Supervisor Olsen arrested in Sacramento County on suspicion of DUI

The Modesto Bee

An unmarked Sheriff’s Department vehicle stopped Olsen, 44, at about 10:50 p.m. as she was eastbound on Interstate 80 near the Greenback Lane exit because she was driving erratically and with her headlights off, said Officer Mike Zerfas, the public information officer for the CHP’s North Sacramento office.

EDITORIAL: Two good candidates seek the District 3 council seat. The Bee recommends Miguel Arias

Fresno Bee

Miguel Arias has the necessary passion, drive, and public-service experience to earn The Fresno Bee’s recommendation for the District 3 seat.


CalPERS hired a CEO without a college degree. Now the public pension fund is explaining why

The Sacramento Bee

The report from blogger Susan Webber now is raising questions among retirees who are learning for the first time that the CalPERS chief executive officer did not graduate from​​ college. Webber’s reporting this year has already led CalPERS to oust a chief financial officer and she has a dedicated readership among people who pay close attention to the fund.

It's not just Trump — California voters can thank themselves for the state's relevancy in this November's midterm election

Los Angeles Times

Sure, President Trump deserves a lot of credit for putting a half dozen or more House seats in play, fully a quarter of the number Democrats need to seize control. But even the strongest blue wave might have passed unnoticed if voters hadn’t changed the way the state draws its congressional boundaries, taking the process away from politicians and giving it to an independent commission.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice endorses John Cox for California governor

Los Angeles Times

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice endorsed Republican John Cox for California governor on Thursday, saying he has the vision to address the state’s most vexing problems.

California Business Roundtable Takes Positions on November Ballot Measures

California Business Roundtable​​ 

The California Business Roundtable (CBRT) Board of Directors voted at the Fall Board Meeting to support several initiative measures that will be on the ballot this November.

New Census data on the official poverty rate in California

California Budget & Policy Center

The latest Census figures indicate that median household income in California grew to $71,805 in 2017, an increase of 3.8% over the prior year after adjusting for inflation. Median family income and median earnings for all workers also increased compared to inflation-adjusted income and earnings in 2016, and a larger share of Californians were employed.​​ 

The Exceptional State

The Pacific Standard

In retracing the birth of California, a writer finds the roots of the state’s modern identity — and clues about why it’s become a center of resistance.

OPINION: Is California a Good Role Model?

The New York Times

Conservatives argue that California’s liberal politics have failed. They point out that by one key measure the state now has the highest poverty rate in the nation and they argue that its liberal minimum wage and restrictive housing codes have more than a hundred thousand people homeless, more than a million unemployed and millions more stuck on the bottom rungs of the socioeconomic ladder.

EDITORIAL: Ready for California’s next emergency? We hope so

Modesto Bee

The Carolinas are getting hit today, but in California the next natural catastrophe – fire, rain, drought, disease – is just around the corner.

EDITORIAL: Betty Yee deserves another term as California's controller

Los Angeles Times

When Democrat​​ Betty Yee​​ ran for state controller four years ago, we weren’t persuaded that she was better prepared for the post than her Republican opponent, Fresno’s then-Mayor Ashley Swearengin, whom we endorsed. Yee won, of course, and we’re pleased to acknowledge that she has performed her official duties well. We enthusiastically endorse her for reelection.


Top Democrat refers confidential 'information' about Kavanaugh to FBI


The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, says she has received "information" about Brett Kavanaugh and has passed it on to the FBI. Sen. Dianne Feinstein would not reveal details of the confidential information.

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Surf the crest or batten down the hatches? California insiders predict Dem wave


All 45 respondents in the​​ Insider Track Survey—including campaign consultants, party players, lobbyists, and labor and business group reps who are California Target Book subscribers—predict that Democrats here will gain at least one congressional seat. More than a quarter of respondents saying they’ll gain five seats or more.

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Paul Manafort, Trump's ex-campaign chairman, agrees to plead guilty to federal crimes in special counsel probe, officials say

The Washington Post

President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has agreed to plead guilty to federal crimes at a hearing Friday morning, ending his long losing battle with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

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15 Members Pledge to Withhold Speaker Vote Without Rule Changes

Roll Call

At least 15 members of the bipartisan Problems Solvers Caucus have pledged to withhold their vote for speaker if the candidate that emerges as the majority party’s nominee does not back the caucus’s proposed rule changes.

Trump rated worse on ethics than predecessors going back to Nixon: Gallup

The Hill

Americans view President Trump as having lower ethical standards than each of his six predecessors, according to a new poll, and significantly less than half say he has better ethics than former President Richard Nixon.

Republicans Take Aim at Judges Issuing Nationwide Rulings

The Wall Street Journal

Although the legislation’s path to enactment is far from clear, the proposal from the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee reflects a frustration among some conservatives and the administration about the workings of the court system.

Congress Passes Spending Package to Fund Part of the Government

The Wall Street Journal

The House passed the package of bills, known as a “minibus,” in a 377-20 vote Thursday afternoon, a day after the Senate passed the same package.

The Daily 202: Preexisting conditions take center stage in Democratic attack ads

The Washington Post

Democrats are pummeling Republican candidates for governor and Senate over a pending lawsuit by 20 GOP-led states that could allow insurance companies to stop covering people with preexisting medical conditions.

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The Washington Post

The Washington Post


Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo Defeats Cynthia Nixon in New York Primary

The Wall Street Journal

Gov. Andrew Cuomo fended off a left-flank challenge from Cynthia Nixon in a Democratic primary Thursday, but several insurgents running on a slate with Ms. Nixon scored​​ victories—lightly bruising the governor’s centrist brand but bringing him closer to a third term and preserving a path for a presidential run.

Mass burial held for hundreds in Fresno County


The Fresno County Sheriff's Department is giving 740 people a proper burial because many were not claimed by loved ones when they passed, some were poor and could not afford a funeral, and others were homeless.

Two dozen Sacramento firefighters driving 48 hours straight to help hurricane efforts

Sacramento Bee

Two 16-person teams consisting mostly of Sacramento firefighters have been deployed to the East Coast this week to assist emergency preparation and relief efforts as Hurricane Florence approaches the Carolinas.

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California wine month

Fresno Bee

It’s time to celebrate! September is California Wine Month. California makes a significant contribution to the state and the nation by providing quality jobs and bolstering the economy through hospitality, taxes and tourism.​​ 

FDA calls e-cigarettes 'an epidemic' among minors, cracks down on retailers​​ 


The use of e-cigarettes has become an "epidemic" among children, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which said it is taking the most aggressive steps in the history of the agency to slow the rate at which young people become addicted to the product.

Will Donald Trump's trade wars raise grocery prices?

Visalia Times-Delta

Donald Trump has bet his presidency that his trade wars won't affect U.S. consumers as he seeks to rewrite – or end – international trade deals.

A healthy approach to garden pest management

Stockton Record

For as long as human beings have been cultivating crops and growing ornamental plants, pest control has been an important to-do. Anyone who grows plants for food or pleasure also must be concerned with the organisms that might harm those plants.



Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood talks about domestic violence

Fresno Bee

Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood talks about domestic violence following Thursday morning's news conference to discuss the shooting that left six people dead, including the alleged shooter.

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Crime rate falls in Fresno, but concerns remain


At the monthly "Crime View" news conference, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer outlined the latest crime trends. He noted there had been five homicides in Fresno over the past month.

Criminal records, even minor ones, mean life of obstacles, report says

San Francisco Chronicle

Nearly 80 percent of Californians with even low-level criminal records struggle to find a job, locate housing or achieve other hallmarks of success despite having paid their full debt to society, according to a sweeping new report published Thursday.

Public Safety:

Is Bakersfield's mass shooting part of the 'new normal?'

Bakersfield Californian

When asked whether the proliferation of such mass shootings, and his characterization that they are the "new normal" in America suggested more people should carry firearms for their own protection, Youngblood responded in the negative.

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Delta Fire flareup causes closure of northbound Interstate 5, Caltrans reports

Modesto Bee

Caltrans on Thursday afternoon reported that Interstate 5 is closed northbound at Dog Creek Road and southbound at Mott Road due to a Delta Fire flare-up in Northern California. Drivers should avoid the area.

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California Has One Of The Nation's Highest Poverty Rates, Again

Capital Public Radio

Experts say a combination of increasing government assistance programs and policies to lower housing costs would be necessary to bring California’s poverty rate down.

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OPINION: Did we learn enough from the Lehman Bros. bankruptcy to handle the next financial meltdown?

Los Angeles Times

As unpopular as those interventions may be, we would be in much worse shape today if Washington had done nothing. But in the face of an even bigger backlash today, would the Trump administration and Congress have the fortitude to take necessary but politically poisonous steps to avert a depression?​​ 


Small Business Majority

“Alternative lending products offer exciting new financing opportunities for small businesses but these products cannot exist in an unregulated space, leaving small business owners everywhere open to predatory practices that can cripple their business and undermine their financial security. SB 1235 would extend important protections to small businesses.”

Trump Plans to Rebrand Nafta, Warns Canada

The Wall Street Journal

President Trump revealed plans to rebrand the North American Free Trade Agreement as the “USMC” pact—for the U.S., Mexico and Canada—telling Republican donors at a private fundraiser Wednesday that he will drop the “C” if Canada doesn’t agree to changes he is seeking, according to people familiar with the matter.

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Most Economists See Tariff Effects on U.S. Economy as Limited

The Wall Street Journal

More than three quarters of economists surveyed between Friday and Tuesday, 78.4%, said the reason why tariffs on U.S. imports and exports so far don’t seem to be having much of​​ an effect on the strength of the U.S. economy was because the amount hasn’t been significant.

Government ignorance is no excuse for another dreadful financial crisis


The American people would be justified in wanting to know why there was a financial crisis in the first place, not just that the system will better survive the next one.


Fresno Mayor Lee Brand on local jobs

Fresno Bee

Fresno Mayor Lee Brand discusses the challenges posed by high rates of unemployment and poverty, and the opportunities for new future jobs in the city. His comments address new demographic data for 2017 from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Faraday Future announces mass hiring

Hanford Sentinel

Faraday Future officials welcomed newly hired employees Tuesday at its Hanford factory and have announced even more hiring efforts.

Americans Want to Believe Jobs Are the Solution to Poverty. They’re Not.

New York Times

Unemployment is down, the Dow Jones industrial average is north of 25,000 and millions of jobs are going unfilled. But for people like Vanessa, the question is not, Can I land a job? Instead the question is, What kinds of jobs are available to people without much education?



Disturbing 9/11 recordings cause concern with Clovis Unified parents


Clovis North sophomores are still taking in the video they saw in history class Wednesday showing people jumping out of the Twin Towers on September 11.

Sacramento Press Club presents: superintendent of public instruction debate

Politics and Public Affairs That Shape California

Video Debate​​ 

Higher Ed:

How does Stan State score in western college rankings? See how UC Merced fares, too

Modesto Bee

The latest college rankings by U.S. News & World Report show the campus in Turlock is on the rise. California State University, Stanislaus, was 10th among 37 public universities in the West, up from 13th last year, the​​ magazine​​ reported Monday.

JobRedi program provides high school graduates ‘experience in the workforce’

Stockton Record

The JobRedi Foundation was established in 2014 by wealthy San Joaquin County businessman Dino Cortopassi and his wife, Joan. According to JobRedi literature, it was founded to provide assistance to high school graduates “who have overcome tough times and want to earn a living wage and get a good job.”

Trigger warning: An embarrassing fragility on college campuses

Washington Post

Colleges and universities are increasingly susceptible to intellectual fads and political hysteria, partly because the institutions employ so many people whose talents, such as they are, are extraneous to the institutions’ core mission: scholarship.





At Jerry Brown's climate summit, a lot of drama and a measure of momentum

Los Angeles Times

It was equal parts theater, venting session and business meeting where stuff got done. At Gov. Jerry Brown’s climate summit Thursday, there were no sweeping agreements struck as there were in Paris in 2015.

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Court throws out California law raising money for hazardous cleanup

San Francisco Chronicle

Rejecting a 2015 state law, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday that California cannot charge railroads a $45-per-car fee for carrying crude oil, gasoline and other hazardous​​ materials into the state to help pay for cleanup costs resulting from environmental accidents.

As Trump retreats, businesses assume new prominence in fighting climate change

Los Angeles Times

But at Gov. Jerry Brown’s global climate summit this week, some of the world’s biggest companies are in the spotlight as partners in tackling global warming. The private sector has emerged as a growing player in the alliance of cities, states and other institutions pledging to uphold emissions cuts of the Paris climate agreement, which has been disavowed by President Trump.

The Price Californians Will Pay

The Wall Street Journal

Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed a bill requiring that 100% of California’s electricity be generated by renewables like wind and solar by 2045. The price of his green virtue won’t be cheap.​​ 


America is now the world's largest oil producer


For the first time since 1973, the United States is the world's largest producer of crude oil, according to​​ preliminary estimates​​ published on Wednesday by the Energy Department.​​ 



Number of U.S. cancer survivors at all-time high


The number of cancer survivors in the U.S. is at an all-time high, according to an annual report from the American Association of Cancer Research.

How Suicide Trainings, Community Connections Could Patch Holes In Amador’s Mental Health Safety Net

Capital Public Radio

Amador County residents and social service providers say there’s a serious lack of services and awareness around mental illness in the community. They’re planning to use a special cache of leftover state funding to solve the problem.

California actions to lower dangerous maternal death rate may help rest of US

The Guardian

In the US, about 26 women are dying for every 100,000 live births, almost triple the rate of most western European countries – and some countries, such as Finland, have a rate as low as three deaths. But in California, new collaborations between health experts have helped those rates drop precipitously – to about seven deaths per 100,000 births.

An 'epidemic of nicotine addiction' among kids prompts FDA to get tough on e-cigarette makers

Los Angeles Times

Responding to an “epidemic of nicotine addiction” among American youths, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday​​ announced​​ a comprehensive crackdown on e-cigarette manufacturers, directing the industry’s giants to draw up detailed plans for halting sales to minors and threatening to pull a wide range of products, including flavorings that appeal to underage buyers.

EDITORIAL: The Bee recommends no vote on Proposition 8, yes on Proposition 11

Fresno Bee

If California voters focus on protecting patients, two labor-related measures on the statewide Nov. 6 ballot are both clear calls.

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Human Services:

Valley Hospitals Eye Expansion, Reopening, Bankruptcy

Valley Public Radio

Local hospitals in three San Joaquin Valley communities are making big plans for the future, including an expansion, a reopening, and a bankruptcy filing.  

Fortune 500 company finalizes deal for massive Sacramento campus, developer closes escrow

Sacramento Bee

Fortune 500 health insurance company Centene has finalized a deal to buy land in North Natomas and start construction on a new West Coast corporate campus that will eventually employ 5,000 people.


Residents in South Valley put on edge after fake flyer claiming ICE agents will soon conduct raids


Some residents in the South Valley were recently put on edge by some fake flyers saying ICE agents would be conducting raids there soon.

In response to Trump policies, some Californians open their homes to asylum seekers

Los Angeles Times

When it comes to fighting the Trump administration’s immigration policies, California has two “resistances.” There’s the official one, conducted by politicians, that includes the state’s landmark “sanctuary” law.

Detention of Migrant Children Has Skyrocketed to Highest Levels Ever

New York Times

Even though hundreds of children separated from their families after crossing the border have been released under court order, the overall number of detained migrant children has exploded to the highest ever recorded.

International migration: What happens to those left behind?


In an analysis of more than 144,000 individuals across 114 countries, Milena Nikolova, Carol Graham, and Artjoms Ivlevs find that out-migration of family members leads to improved life satisfaction and happiness for those left behind—especially those who receive remittances—but also substantial stress and depression as a result of separation.


Land Use:

‘Upscale’ hotel and conference center could be coming to Oakhurst

Fresno Bee

The Madera County Board of Supervisors is expected vote next month on a $20 million project that would bring an upscale hotel and conference center to Oakhurst.

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Fresno has taken back one park already from developer. Is Granite Park next?

Fresno Bee

Nearly three years ago, the city of Fresno took a bold step in fixing its unfortunate past with Granite Park by signing an agreement to turn over control of the sports park to developers Terance Frazier and TJ Cox.


Concerned about California’s housing crisis? In November, you can make a difference

Fresno Bee

California’s housing crisis, driven by rising costs, threatens not just low-income families but our entire economy. Two ballot measures, Propositions 1 and 2, in the November election could help.

Tiny homes coming to Old Town Clovis


Developers continue to build new neighborhoods with large family homes. But in Old Town Clovis, the trend is moving towards tiny houses.

If California doesn’t address housing crisis, businesses and residents will flee

Modesto Bee

California has the nation’s second lowest rate of homeownership. After decades of inaction, lack of housing supply drives high costs. More than 50 percent of renters spend​​ more than 30 percent of their income on housing.

Affordable housing a growing problem in San Joaquin County

Stockton Record

The California Housing Partnership Corporation and the California Coalition For Rural Housing recently released a​​ study on the housing problem​​ in San Joaquin County.

Santa Monica offers cash to seniors to help with rent


Aging in California is becoming less about cruises, the pursuit of hobbies and time with the grandkids under the sun and more about survival. One in five seniors in the state lives in poverty, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Half of the state’s single seniors don’t have enough money to cover basic expenses.

Could This Tax On Vacant Properties Help End Homelessness?

Capital Public Radio

Oakland voters could approve the state’s first tax on privately owned vacant properties in November. The city estimates the tax could raise as much as $10 million annually for homeless services, blight remediation and to stem illegal dumping. Tax revenue would also go toward new affordable housing.

Employed, but still homeless


At the end of May, the​​ Los Angeles Homeless Services conducted their 2018 count​​ and found that the overall number of homeless people in LA county was down about 3 percent from last year, to 53,195. One reason for the decrease was that about 16,500 people were placed in housing in 2017.

EDITORIAL: Proposition 10: Vote no on rent control, a 'solution' that worsens housing crisis

San Diego Union-Tribune

The severity of California’s housing crisis is difficult to exaggerate. Stories about people with decent jobs having no choice but to live in vehicles are increasingly common.


Tulare County Board of Supervisors approve $1.26 billion budget

Visalia Times-Delta

The financial future of Tulare County looks bright, according to county officials.  Tulare County Board of Supervisors approved a $1.26 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year. County officials said the budget is "balanced and sustainable."

CalPERS hired a CEO without a college degree. Now the public pension fund is explaining why

Sacramento Bee

The questions date back to the CalPERS Board of Administration’s decision in 2016 to select Frost as the​​ successor to Anne Stausboll. Board members said they chose Frost because of her commitment to engaging with retirees and public employers, as well as her track record leading Washington state’s public pension fund, the $90 billion Department of Retirement Systems.

Congress races to avert government shutdown — and may actually do it

Los Angeles Times

Congress is scrambling to fund much of the federal government before the fiscal year ends, anxious to avoid an unpopular government shutdown or a bitter battle over President Trump’s demands for a border wall less than two months before the midterm election.

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New transportation system coming to Lemoore

Hanford Sentinel

Kings Area Regional Transit (KART) will begin a new bus system in November in Lemoore with the goal to improve service.

PARK(ing) Day to find a space in Stockton

Stockton Record

For the second consecutive year, the Stockton community will join artists, activists and citizens from around the world in marking international PARK(ing) Day, which aims to provide a glimpse of what’s possible in a public space if there is not a car and a meter taking up room.

Stockton Testing New Parking Meters To Replace Hundreds That Were Stolen

Capital Public Radio

Stockton is getting new parking meters to replace hundreds that have been stolen. Officials say the thefts have meant a loss of revenue of $50,000 a month.

California will push for new, cheaper options for zero-emission vehicles under bills signed by Gov. Jerry Brown

Los Angeles Times

Gov. Jerry Brown embraced a package of proposals from lawmakers Thursday to boost the number of zero-emissions vehicles on California roads, from incentives to buy used cars to new emissions goals for the ride-share industry.

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California tries to goose electric car sales with rebates—but is it enough?


Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign the bill, which matches his proposed amount to keep the rebate program going. The rebates—about $2,500 for buyers of small electric cars—are seen as a critical incentive to help meet the​​ state’s goal​​ of putting 1.5 million electric cars on the roads by 2025. It has a long way to go: There are 323,000 clean vehicles in California now.


More critical water storage is finally coming to California. It took nearly 40 years.

Fresno cee

After 40 years of pushing, California officials are finally going to get more water storage thanks to Reps. Jeff Denham and Jim Costa.


Danny, Osa, Rumi and Tiger are looking for forever homes!

Fresno Bee

Four central San Joaquin Valley agencies are highlighting pets for adoption.

Yosemite resort offers new twist in glamping: covered wagons — with air-conditioning

Sierra Star

Yosemite Pines RV Resort and Family Lodging​​ in Groveland, California, has tricked out covered wagons with all manner of modern-day amenities. The resort, 22 miles from Yosemite National Park’s western entrance, made over six Conestoga covered wagons for “glamping” — camping with creature comforts.

An 800-pound pig was a pen pal to 32 kids in 1972. Now, SLO teacher wants to find her students

Modesto Bee

A former teacher from Citrus Heights, California, who now lives in San Luis Obispo wrote a book about her class writing letters to an 800-pound pig from Firebaugh in the 1970s. Now, she wants to reconnect with her former students.

Love to read? You can bind over books with local authors on Modesto Library portico

Modesto Bee

The annual Local Author Fair returns Saturday, Sept. 15, on the portico of the Modesto Library, a chance to chat up authors from around the Modesto region, browse their works — and buy a few of their books.

Families, veterans take a 'Sentimental Journey' on a 70-year-old bomber in Visalia

Visalia Times-Delta

Tulare County residents can board a piece of living history at Visalia Municipal Airport this week. Sentimental Journey, a Boeing B-17, the iconic four-engined World War II heavy bomber, touched the tarmac on Sept. 10.

Golden (State) rules for Bakersfield Museum of Art opening

Bakersfield Californian

The Bakersfield Museum of Art prides itself on bringing in work from around the world but sometimes it's nice to celebrate a little California love. The fall exhibitions, which open Thursday, highlight the work of a local teacher and artist as well as OG group of Oakland plein air painters.