September 18, 2017







Poythress makes a bid for senate

The Madera Tribune

Madera County Supervisor Rob Poythress, R-Madera, has announced his candidacy for the 12th Senate District.


California Central Valley Assemblyman Adam Gray Secures Rare Victory for Water Rights Holders

Sierra Sun Times

Assemblyman Adam C. Gray’s (D-Merced) announced the landmark passage of water rights fairness legislation after the bill received final approval on the last day of the Legislative session. The bill requires that unbiased administrative law judges conduct water rights enforcement hearings, instead of the State Water Board.


Trains: What is the future of passenger rail in Kern County?

Bakersfield Californian

Bakersfield is a big freight train hub and much of its history is steeped in smoke and gear grease. But is it a passenger train town? Will it be a decade from now? Currently, seven Amtrak trains running north from Bakersfield are the only passenger rail link to northern California.


Vandals smash up museum at Mooney Grove Park

Visalia Times-Delta

In a matter of 15 minutes, a group of vandals created a path of destruction through Tulare County’s museum at Mooney Grove Park.



Walters: Legislative session over, politicians turn to California elections

Fresno Bee (blog)

With the 2017 legislative session completed – for better or worse – California politicians are raising money, hiring campaign staffers and mapping strategies for the 2018 elections.


It’s a wrap for the California Legislature for 2017. Here’s what lawmakers accomplished

Los Angeles Times

California lawmakers wrapped up their work for the year early Saturday morning, with sweeping new legislation to address issues from illegal immigration to the state’s housing crunch — with hundreds of bills being debated and decided in the final 48 hours.

See also:

California Capitol controlled by rivalry between Senate, Assembly

The Sacramento Bee

Welcome to the state Legislature’s annual civil war. Forget Democrats and Republicans – the divide most likely to make an impact on the outcome of this session is the perpetual rivalry between the Senate and Assembly.

See also:

Connie Leyva’s in, as senators jockey for Kevin de León’s powerful job

Sacramento Bee

With Senate leader Kevin de León terming out at the end of next year, jockeying for his powerful job is intensifying. On Friday, Connie Leyva became the first to formally announce her intention to run for the Senate’s pro tem position.


Gavin Newsom leads 2018 California governor’s race

The Sacramento Bee

Democratic Gavin Newsom started off his political career on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Now he’s running for governor.


Parks and water improvements likely to be on California’s 2018 ballot

LA Times

Californians likely will see a $4-billion bond to fund improvements to parks and water infrastructure on the 2018 statewide ballot.


The Basics On California Lawmakers’ Housing Proposals

California lawmakers are voting on a package of bills designed to address the state’s housing crisis. Here’s a breakdown on the bills and strategies lawmakers are discussing to try and alleviate the crisis.


California Today: A Political Push for Affordable Housing

New York Times

Everyone agrees that it costs too much to live in California. Now Sacramento is trying to do something about that. Last week the California Legislature passed 15 housing bills in a sweeping attempt to tame the state’s astronomical cost of living. Each bill has a different target, but they all aim to increase the pace of new housing construction.




California lawmakers’ Trump `resistance’: Which bills passed?

In a supercharged year marked by hard-fought victories on affordable-housing and climate change, California lawmakers pushed through a passel of legislation to thwart initiatives from the Trump administration — but also discovered that even their popular resistance has limits.

See also:

California lawmakers approve bill moving up 2020 primary  


California state lawmakers approved a measure early Saturday that would move the state’s presidential primary up several months to the beginning of March, potentially granting California significantly more sway in the nominating process.

See also

Feinstein ducks questions on re-election bid

Sen. Dianne Feinstein dodged questions Sunday on whether she is planning to mount a re-election run for a fifth term as a U.S. senator in 2018 … ‘Well, we will see, won’t we?’ Feinstein told Dana Bash, the show’s host. ‘I’m not going to declare on CNN’.


Democrats’ road to winning back the House goes through California, and it won’t be as easy as it seems

Los Angeles Times

Democrats intent on taking back the House in 2018 have settled on a key strategy: focusing on the 23 districts nationwide where voters chose Republicansfor Congress last year but favored Democrat Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump for the presidency. Seven of those seats are in California, and Democrats must win at least a few of them to have a shot at regaining power.

See also:

California’s national monuments spared in Trump review

San Jose Mercury News

Six of America’s national monuments — from Utah’s red rock canyons to remote islands in the South Pacific — would be reduced in size, under recommendations that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has sent to President Trump.




Truth, opinion, lies, fake news and telling them all apart

Ed Wasserman, dean of the School of Journalism at UC Berkeley, is speaking Thursday night at CSU Bakersfield on the proliferation of fake news.

Joe Mathews: Gonzales shows smaller, nimbler cities can prosper

The Desert Sun

California’s small, rural towns are supposedly desperate and doomed, as state policy favors our coastal mega-regions.


World-class adventures abound on the Sierra’s western slopes

San Francisco Chronicle

The last steps to the summit of Castle Peak, the 9,103-foot conical mountain in Tahoe National Forest not far from Donner Pass, involve a short scramble over a series of volcanic crags. You emerge on a small perch overlooking the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada, some of California’s greatest recreation lands.



In this legislative session, plenty got done that will affect your life

Fresno Bee

Legislators pat themselves on the backs, and editorial writers offer jaundiced perspective. But this session was big.


CA Legislation will affect your life

Sacramento Bee

In many years, the Legislature’s approval of a $4 billion housing bond and a $75 tax on homeowners who refinance to help solve California’s housing crisis would be a signature achievement. In other years, approval of a $5.2 billion a year tax on gasoline to repair and maintain California’s rutted freeways would be a big deal. The gas tax hadn’t been touched in decades.


Progress at last on California housing crisis

San Francisco chronicle

It was never as certain or insistent as the state’s housing crisis, but when it finally came this week, the California Legislature’s response was substantial. With lawmakers about to adjourn for the year, an 11th-hour Assembly decision on a new real estate fee — just reaching a two-thirds supermajority around 10:30 p.m. Thursday after an hour of vote-wrangling — cleared the way for final approval of a package of bills to lower barriers to residential development and fund affordable housing.


How to boost Cal State graduation rates without cheapening the degree

Los Angeles Times

California State University officials vowed in 2014 to more than double the system’s four-year graduation rate by 2025, but their own policies for bringing students up to college-level speed were getting in the way. Students who were assigned through placement tests to remedial classes in English…


Editorial: Mount Umunhum finally open — and is it ever spectacular

San Jose Mercury News

Mount Umunhum, the South Bay’s Mount Diablo or Mount Tam, is ready for visitors thanks to MidPeninsula Regional Open Space District.


Law would bring fairness to water board disputes

Modesto Bee

The odds were against Assemblyman Adam Gray in his long-shot efforts to force fairness on decisions made by the State Water Resources Control Board.


Gov. Brown — don’t demand a decision on the delta tunnels

San Francisco Chronicle

California lawmakers sent Gov. Jerry Brown sweeping legislation early Saturday morning that would create a statewide sanctuary policy, end lifetime registration for some sex offenders and move up the state’s presidential primary election.




Clean meat may be coming to a store near you

The Madera Tribune

Most of us are unaware of the fact that the production of the meat that we eat has huge environmental costs. According to Global Meat News, 70 percent of the world’s agricultural land is currently used for animal pasture. Another 10 percent of earth’s land is needed to produce grains that are used exclusively for animal feed. So, about four-fifths of every acre of land is given over to putting beef, pork, mutton, or chicken on our tables.


The quest to breed better strawberries landed UC Davis in court. Here’s what happened

Sacramento Bee

Fear not, strawberry lovers. A nasty lawsuit over the strawberry breeding program at UC Davis – the wellspring of about half of California’s strawberry crop – is history.

If a marijuana grow warehouse opens nearby, will your home value suffer? 

Sacramento Bee

Dozens of large-scale pot growers are hoping to reap profits in the city of Sacramento soon, but their gains may mean losses for neighboring homeowners.





Fresno crime drops 9.3% in latest report, Dyer reports

Fresno Bee

Fresno police Chief Jerry Dyer credited a concentrated effort by his officers for a 9.3 percent drop in overall crime in the city in the past month. The chief, who crunches numbers with his command staff during a monthly “Crime View” session covering the prior 28 days, reported the results to the news media Tuesday afternoon. Among the highlights:


California lawmakers give youthful offenders shot at parole

Fresno Bee

California inmates sentenced to life in prison without parole for crimes they committed as teenagers would get a second chance under a bill lawmakers sent to Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday.


Kitten hurt in California jail, investigation under way

Bakersfield Californian

A California prison is investigating whether an injured feral kitten found at the jail was hurt by a corrections officer.  The Fresno Bee reported ( ) Friday that the kitten was likely part of the feral cat colony that has been at the Avenal State Prison, south of Fresno, for 30 years. Officials say the injured kitten was taken to veterinarian in Hanford.

See also:

Vallejo pastor who defrauded congregants sentenced to prison

East Bay Times

A Vallejo pastor who defrauded members of his congregation out of almost a million dollars was sentenced to nearly 24 years in prison, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Friday.


Judge rules Justice Department can’t keep grant money from uncooperative sanctuary cities

Washington Post

A federal judge on Friday blocked the Justice Department from withholding grant funds from places that do not provide immigration authorities access to local jails or give advance notice when suspected illegal immigrants are to be released — dealing a major blow to the Trump administration’s vowed crackdown on sanctuary cities.


The Effects of Marijuana Liberalizations: Evidence from Monitoring the Future

National Bureau of Economic Research

By the end of 2016, 28 states had liberalized their marijuana laws: by decriminalizing possession, by legalizing for medical purposes, or by legalizing more broadly. More states are considering such policy changes even while supporters and opponents continue to debate their impacts. Yet evidence on these liberalizations remains scarce, in part due to data limitations.


Cal Fire Reviews a Close Call for Bulldozer Driver Who Went Missing During Gold Country Blaze 


Cal Fire officials are reviewing a recent incident in which a contract bulldozer driver became isolated during a fast-spreading wildfire and had to deploy an emergency shelter to escape fast-moving flames.





How do old downtown Fresno businesses fit into new Fulton Street?

The Fresno Bee

Business owners talk about the challenges they are going through and the hopes they have for Fulton Street — the former Fulton Mall — which once was heralded as an urban trophy.


California Inc.: Why you’ll want to rethink a weekend road trip to Mexico

Los Angeles Times

We learned Friday that California lost 8,200 net jobs in August and the unemployment rate rose to 5.1% from 4.8% a month earlier. The drop in employment follows a robust July in which the Golden State gained the most jobs in more than a year: 84,500, revised up from a previous estimate of 82,600. August’s slide back was in large part driven by employers in the leisure and hospitality sector.


Small and Speedy Gonzales, California

Fox and Hounds Daily

Here’s a nasty bit of conventional wisdom: California’s small, rural places are desperate and doomed, with few economic prospects in an era when state policy favors the urban coastal mega-regions with high-paying jobs and reputations for world-class innovation. But if that’s true, how do you explain Gonzales?


U.S. middle-class incomes reached highest-ever level in 2016, Census Bureau says

The Washington Post

The incomes of middle-class Americans rose last year to the highest level ever recorded by the Census Bureau, as poverty declined and the scars of the past decade’s Great Recession seemed to finally fade.


Three charts showing you poverty in U.S. cities and metro areas

Brookings Institution

One of the biggest drops in poverty rates was in Stockton Lodi…


Racial Wealth Inequality In The U.S. Is Rampant





Unemployment: Fresno County breaks 70-month streak of good news

Fresno Bee

Unemployment rates throughout the central San Joaquin Valley went up in some counties and down in others between July and August, according to figures released Friday by the California Employment Development Department.


California’s growth slowdown continues in August as the state loses 8200 jobs

Los Angeles Times

California’s slowing economic expansion was evident in August as the state lost 8,200 net jobs and the unemployment rate rose to 5.1%, from 4.8% a month earlier, according to data released Friday from the state’s Employment Development Department.

See also:

Record Level of Job Openings Doesn’t Mean the Labor Market is Tight


A record-high level of job openings might overstate tightness in the labor market. There were 6.17 million job openings at the end of July, up by nearly 200,000 from a year earlier, the Labor Department said Tuesday. Openings during the month touched another record high.





Fresno Unified hires Bob Nelson as superintendent

Fresno Bee

Bob Nelson knows it’s a tough time to take on the role of Fresno Unified superintendent. At Wednesday’s school board meeting, where he was officially named leader of the state’s fourth-largest district, more than 60 people signed up to speak on another issue: whether school board president Brooke Ashjian should resign after recent controversial comments about the LGBT community.

High school: Bill ordering 8:30 or later start times dies in Assembly

San Jose Mercury News

A push to improve teens’ mental and physical health by ordering later start times for secondary schools died in the legislative rush Thursday, frustrating parents concerned about child safety. But many school district officials were relieved that Sacramento will not be controlling their schedules.


Gubernatorial candidate, former state superintendent to speak at Lodi AAUW meeting

Lodi News-Sentinel

Former California State Superintendent of Public Instruction and 2018 candidate for California governor Delaine Eastin will speaking at the Lodi’s American Association of University Women meeting next Tuesday at 6 p.m in the Lodi Library Community Room.


Later school start times for California students laid to rest for the year

Los Angeles Times

A bill that would require California middle and high schools to begin their day no earlier than 8:30 a.m. is being shelved for the year, its author said Friday, a day after it fell well short of the votes needed for passage.


Beyond Confederacy: California confronts its legacy of slavery and genocide 


Back when Assemblywoman Monique Limón served on the school board in Santa Barbara, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians donated an encyclopedia-style dictionary to the local schools about their language and culture. Limón, born and raised in Santa Barbara, was mesmerized when she turned the pages, learning so much about her community she never knew

See also:

California defines ‘effective’ and ‘ineffective’ teachers, and why it matters


Intern teachers in programs like Teach for America who earn their preliminary credential while on the job will not have the scarlet letter of being labeled an “ineffective teacher” in California.


Legislation roundup: STEM school, later school start, ‘meal shaming,’ budget reserves; what passed and what didn’t


In the final hours of the California legislative session, there was lots of drama without passage of bills to mandate a later start to middle and high schools and create a state STEM school in Los Angeles. There was success without drama for bills to end “meal shaming” of children without money for school lunches and to let districts keep more money in their budget reserves. Those were among the important education bills that lawmakers acted on — or put off till next year. What follows are a recap of other bills that EdSource followed.


Authority, schools, and America’s system of government


Although this was probably billed as a talk about school reform, it’s mostly an argument about an approach to governing. I just don’t think we can have a serious conversation about education policy unless we start by talking about who should be in charge of collective decisions and why.

Higher Ed:

This local college program connects students with $18-an-hour jobs in little time

Sacramento Bee

San Saeteurn took welding classes at American River College for only a few months before he was tapped by recruiters from Siemens USA who came to one of his classes.


Governor may approve big changes to remedial education at California’s Community Colleges


Four out of five California community college students must take a remedial math or English class at some point in their college career. For some, that’s largely repeating what they already learned in high school.


Mills College slashes tuition amid financial crisis

San Jose Mercury News

Mills College, the financially struggling Oakland women’s college, will cut tuition a whopping 36 percent in 2018. The unexpected move comes as the college grapples with a multi-million dollar deficit and as both the University of California and California State University raise their tuition for the first time in years.


How to boost Cal State graduation rates without cheapening the degree

Los Angeles Times

California State University officials vowed in 2014 to more than double the system’s four-year graduation rate by 2025, but their own policies for bringing students up to college-level speed were getting in the way. Students who were assigned through placement tests to remedial classes in English and math weren’t completing the courses successfully, making them more likely to drop out. The courses also didn’t earn the students any college credits, which made sense because these skills were supposed to be nailed down in high school. But taking non-credit courses delayed the time to graduation, another obstacle to staying in college.

How extra pay for graduate degrees may influence the teacher diversity gap

Brookings Institution

Graduate degree attainment for minorities lags behind whites and Asians. How this affects teacher diversity.


US leads the world in tuition fees


According to a new report, OECD countries have different approaches and methods when it comes to covering the cost of a university education. While public institutions in many countries charge hefty tuition fees, around a third of OECD countries do not charge any fee at bachelor or equivalent level. The OECD’s latest Education at a Glance report names the United States as having the highest average annual tuition fees of any country worldwide at $8,200 a year in public institutions at bachelor level.

Vocational Ed:


Why California is investing over $200 million in vocational education

One way students can invest in their futures without investing in a bachelor’s degree is through vocational education. By enrolling in vocational education programs, students can earn degrees in high-demand fields like nursing, business and engineering which can lead to high-paying jobs. Still, many students believe that a bachelor’s degree is the only path to success. In order to change this, the state of California is spending $200 million to encourage more students to earn a vocational certificate instead of a bachelor’s degree.





Gov. Brown signs plan to spend $1.5B in climate money

The Sacramento Bee

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed two bills that outline a plan to spend $1.5 billion on environmental initiatives using money from the state’s recently renewed cap and trade program.


Anti-Trump environmental protection proposal fails to advance in California Legislature

LA Times

A proposal to help California guard against rollbacks of federal regulations stalled early Saturday morning at the end of the state’s legislative session.


Next wave of EPA science advisers could include those who question climate change

Washington Post

People who have questioned aspects of mainstream climate research appear on a list of 132 possible candidates for positions on EPA’s influential Science Advisory Board, which the agency has opened for public comment until September 28. The board currently has 47 members, but 15 have terms ending in September and could be replaced by some of the candidates.

U.S. Still Out of Paris Climate Accord After Conflicting Reports: The Two-Way


With a pair of Sunday television interviews, President Trump’s administration furthered ambiguity on the United States’ position with regard to the Paris climate agreement.



China Fossil Fuel Deadline Shifts Focus to Electric Car Race


China will set a deadline for automakers to end sales of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles, becoming the biggest market to do so in a move that will accelerate the push into the electric car market led by companies including BYD Co. and BAIC Motor Corp.



US flu season may be worse this year if Australia is good gauge on estimate

Fresno Bee

Companies and pharmacies are already reminding people that it’s time to get a flu shot, and the push may be more warranted this year. A particularly bad flu season was reported in Australia, which has served as a rough measuring stick for the flu season that follows in the Northern Hemisphere.


Tulare Mayor: Bring in Kaiser Permanente

Visalia Times-Delta

Tulare Mayor Carlton Jones is on a campaign to bring in a Kaiser Permanente Hospital to Tulare as the local district hospital struggles to survive. “My post as mayor is just ceremonial and I have no power with the hospital board,” he said. But Jones says nevertheless, “I’m working my butt off to convince Kaiser to come to town.”


California, other states to extend Obamacare sign-up beyond federal limit 

Santa Cruz Sentinel

California and several other states will exempt themselves this year from a new Trump administration rule that cuts in half the amount of time consumers have to buy individual health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. In California, lawmakers are contemplating legislation that would circumvent the rule in future years, too.


Bernie Sanders’ Single-Payer Plan & Democrats

National Review

How rudderless is the Democratic party? Its membership is so bereft of leadership and policy direction that 16 of its senators have signed on to a health-care bill sponsored by a self-avowed independent democratic socialist from Vermont.


Why Bernie Sanders’s plan for universal health care is only half right

Brookings Institution

Sen. Bernie Sanders plans to introduce his universal health care bill Wednesday; it is likely to serve as a litmus test for Democrats with presidential aspirations. The legislation is bold and simple, which makes it very appealing. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center found that 60 percent of Americans believe the federal government should ensure health coverage for all Americans.

Medicare for All Would Damage Republic, Grant Government Too Much Power

National Review

Giving trillions to the medical-services industry would turn it into a kind of Praetorian Guard, wielding huge influence over the affairs of state.


California Central Valley Congressman Jeff Denham Promotes Need for Central Valley Teaching Health Center …

Sierra Sun Times

U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) on Thursday participated in a hearing held by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Health, highlighting the importance of reauthorizing the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program before the Sept. 30 deadline.


Corporate owner of Doctors Medical Center, under pressure to cut losses, may be sold

Modesto Bee

The health care industry is abuzz with news that the owner of Doctors Medical Center of Modesto could be sold or it could shed some of its assets to lower the company’s debt.


Doctor shortage is California’s primary public health problem

San Francisco Chronicle

California is taking on the state’s doctor shortage by budgeting $33 million to fund medical residencies in the Golden State’s neediest areas. That funding is sorely needed as the state’s doctor shortage is acute in many parts of the state and growing worse


No supervised heroin use in California after ‘safe injection sites’ bill fails

Sacramento Bee

A controversial proposal allowing some California communities to experiment with a new way to handle drug addiction has failed this legislative session.


A billion here, a billion there: Selectively disclosing actual generic drug prices would save real money

Brookings Institution

Brand and generic prescription drugs dispensed by retail pharmacies cost nearly $400 billion and accounted for more than 10 percent of health care spending in 2016. Despite totaling more than $100 billion, reimbursement for generic drugs has received relatively little policy attention. The combination of a complex distribution system and limited information about actual prices artificially inflates what patients and insurers pay retail pharmacies for generic drugs. A recent study by the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner confirms that retail pharmacies profit more when dispensing generic versus brand drugs.

Toxic stress is a killer — what can we do about it?

Bakersfield Californian

Isaiah Mosley’s father was gunned down when he was just 3 years old. Years later, his brother was killed in a high-profile shooting outside a hookah bar in Bakersfield. 


Care and connections: Bridging relational gaps for foster youths

Brookings Institution

In the United States, more than 20,000 youths “age out” of foster care each year. But leaving foster care presents its own challenges. Only 55 percent of former foster youths report having a high school diploma or GED by the time they’re 19, compared with 87 percent of their peers in the population sample.



Protestors march through Central Fresno sunday night.

The Fresno Bee

Hundreds of protestors gathered and marched in the Tower District on Sunday night in protest of President Donald Trump’s recent decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

California lawmakers approve landmark ‘sanctuary state’ bill to expand protections for immigrants

LA Times

California lawmakers on Saturday passed a “sanctuary state” bill to protect immigrants without legal residency in the U.S., part of a broader push by Democrats to counter expanded deportation orders under the Trump administration.

See also:

  • California Legislature approves ‘sanctuary state’ bill to protect immigrants


Gaspar: DACA recipients used as pawns for political gain

Born in Mexico City, Perez was brought to Arvin by his parents without proper documentation. “He’s an illegal alien!” some readers will shout and point fingers. Perez didn’t have much say in the matter — he was only 4.


The Dream Act came out of California 16 years ago. It’s still the bill Democrats want to be a model for DACA’s replacement

Los Angeles Times

Sixteen years ago, Downey Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard helped file legislation that would have allowed people brought to the country illegally as children to stay in the United States.

Dreamers in the military face more than DACA deadline 

San Diego Union-Tribune

Several hundred dreamers who enlisted in the Army through a special program are worried that they will be deported before they get to serve.


American Dream: How undocumented immigrants buy homes

Undocumented immigrants pay $3.6B in property taxes each year, dispelling the myth they don’t pay taxes.



Land Use:


California lawmakers approve new rules for rolling out 5G cellular systems, but local governments remain opposed

LA Times

Lawmakers gave final approval Thursday to new rules for how “small cell” high-speed cellular equipment will be installed in communities across California, even as local government officials warned the move will strip them of making choices tailored to their communities.


Historic Downtown Fresno building receiving exterior renovations


A century-old building in Downtown Fresno is being brought back to life. Major renovations are underway on the Rowell Building.


First of two new office buildings opens in Old Town Clovis

The Business Journal

For more than a year, people who work at and frequent Old Town Clovis have watched two almost neighboring office buildings undergoing construction. On Friday, the public will get its first look at one of the nearly completed buildings.


Planners OK Navy Drive medical cannabis cultivation site

Stockton Record

The Stockton Planning Commission approved a use permit for an indoor medical cannabis cultivation site on Navy Drive despite a “hostile” response from several existing business owners in the area.

Derelict plots under freeways in SF could become parklands

San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco may soon have an opportunity to transform up to 10 gritty, weed-choked plots of land beneath elevated freeways into public parks and recreation spaces, thanks to a state bill now awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature.


The Suburb of the Future, Almost Here

New York Times

The suburbanization of America marches on. That movement includes millennials, who, as it turns out, are not a monolithic generation of suburb-hating city dwellers. Most of that generation represents a powerful global trend. They may like the city, but they love the suburbs even more.



California’s housing costs are driving its No. 1 poverty ranking

89.3 KPCC

New figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show California has the country’s highest poverty rate, with nearly one in five residents facing economic hardship when factoring in living costs such as housing.


The Basics On California Lawmakers’ Housing Proposals

California lawmakers are voting on a package of bills designed to address the state’s housing crisis. Here’s a breakdown on the bills and strategies lawmakers are discussing to try and alleviate the crisis.

See also:

​   ​

 California Today: A Political Push for Affordable Housing New York Times

Would you live in a granny flat? New laws should help cities boost housing in Orange County

Orange County Register

A Lake Forest man wants to build a 500-square-foot cottage in his backyard so his parents can live with him when they retire. A Newport Beach woman with an eight-car garage wants to convert part of it into living space for a relative. And a Costa Mesa woman wants to build a 420-square-foot unit atop her garage for her daughter to use while she attends medical school.



California could require candidates to release tax returns

The Mercury News

In a jab at President Donald Trump, the state Assembly passed a bill Thursday requiring presidential candidates to publicly release their tax returns in order to get on California’s ballot.


Tax-Happy Session Ends; Could Have Been Worse

Fox and Hounds Daily

With the gas tax increase, the cap-and-trade extension, which many call a tax increase because it raises revenue for the government to spend, and now the document tax to fund housing issues, this legislative session probably produced the most tax-happy lawmakers since the 1935 legislature created both a state income tax and a vehicle license fee.

Senator Janet Nguyen and Senate Republican Leader Patricia Bates Announce Constitutional Amendment to Preserve Taxpayer Protections on Local Tax Initiatives

Janet Nguyen

In defense of California taxpayers, State Senator Janet Nguyen today announced that she has introduced Senate Constitutional Amendment (SCA 15) to preserve taxpayer protections that were approved by voters in 1996 through Proposition 218.



High-speed rail work will close Olive Avenue lanes in Fresno

Fresno Bee

Drivers on Olive Avenue near Roeding Park in central Fresno will encounter congestion for about two weeks starting on Wednesday as a result of work for California’s high-speed rail project.


Trains: What is the future of passenger rail in Kern County? | News

Bakersfield is a big freight train hub and much of its history is steeped in smoke and gear grease.  But is it a passenger train town?  Will it be a decade from now?


Roll back new gas tax hike? A second ballot measure is in the works

Orange County Register

A proposal for a second ballot measure to repeal a new 12-cent-per-gallon gas tax was filed with the state Thursday, with backers boasting they have 200,000 Californians pledged to sign the petition to qualify the initiative for the November 2018 election.


This is the future of driving

CNN Money

A number of countries around the world are looking to move away from fuel-burning automobiles. India, France, Britain and Norway all want to abandon gas and diesel cars in favor of cleaner vehicles. Even in Germany, the country that literally invented the internal combustion car, there is talk among politicians about eventually doing away with them.



Delta tunnels opponents target WaterFix money

The Sacramento Bee

Opponents of the Delta tunnels proposal, facing a long-shot bid to kill the controversial project on environmental grounds, are now trying to undermine the plan’s financial structure.

See also:

Oroville Dam: What exactly will be done by Nov. 1?

San Jose Mercury News

Repairs to the Oroville Dam spillway are on track for the Nov. 1 deadline, state Department of Water Resources representatives say, but work will be far from over then.


Groundwater Nitrate Sources and Contamination in the Central Valley

California WaterBlog

In California’s Central Valley, many communities depend significantly or entirely on groundwater as their drinking water supply. Studies estimate the number of private wells in the Central Valley to be on the order of 100,000 to 150,000.




Exhibit allows virtual ‘interviews’ with Holocaust survivors

The Modesto Bee

Technology is allowing people to ask these questions and many more in virtual interviews with actual Holocaust survivors, preparing for a day when the estimated 100,000 Jews remaining from camps, ghettos or hiding under Nazi occupation are no longer alive to give the accounts themselves.


Tehachapi Artisan Festival carries on the traditional values of handmade goods | News

The Tehachapi Artisan Festival had 45 different craft vendors, like Hanson, this year and all of them offered handmade goods. The festival, previously known as the Fall Harvest Fair, has been around for 36 years. For some vendors, being an artisan and possessing skills like sewing and making things by hand does not fall on deaf ears.


Why The Californian said goodbye to columnist Danny Morrison

The Californian and Morrison parted ways for one primary reason: Despite attempts at counseling him regarding the inclusion in his columns of people who are not real, he continued to introduce these composite or hypothetical figures without clearly identifying them as such.