September 18, 2018






Mystery Nunes event requires guests to submit to personal search, no cell phone photos

Fresno Bee

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, will reportedly hold a private, invitation-only meet-and-greet for supporters in the Sanger, CA area on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018. Guests must submit to a personal search.


Janz poll has the Democrat six points behind Devin Nunes

Fresno Bee

Fresno Democrat Andrew Janz released a poll Monday placing him just six points behind Republican Devin Nunes. The poll also says Janz improved his popularity since July, when he was 12 points down.


Stanislaus County residents weigh in on Jeff Denham, Josh Harder

Modesto Bee

With control of Congress teetering and elections just six weeks away, political junkies across the United States are watching close congressional races like the one pitting Republican Rep. Jeff Denham against Democratic challenger Josh Harder.


Former Tulare police chief ready to battle city over job, reputation

Visalia Times-Delta

Tulare City Council is expected to reject a seven-point claim for damages filed by former police Chief Wes Hensley, who was fired on March 20.




Newsom, Cox agree to Oct. 8 debate

San Francisco Chronicle

California voters will have a chance to listen to gubernatorial candidates Gavin Newsom and John Cox debate next month, with the radio faceoff on KQED-FM the only one that the candidates have agreed to ahead of the November election.


Can Vulnerable California Republicans Stay Out Of Trump’s Shadow?


 By most accounts, Rep. Jeff Denham is a strong incumbent. He has represented California’s Central Valley for four terms in Congress. His campaign signs line dusty street corners and the almond fields here in the state’s socially conservative agricultural region.


Trump's FCC chief takes aim at California's net neutrality bill, reviving threadbare arguments

Los Angeles Times

Ajit Pai, the Trump-appointed chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, is mightily ticked off at California’s effort to impose network neutrality rules on the internet after he worked so hard to kill them.


California Legislature’s New Sexual Harassment Investigative Unit Signed Into Law

Capital Public Radio

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill that implements the California Legislature’s new system for investigating sexual harassment complaints against lawmakers and senior staff.


Taking money meant for financially pressed homeowners and using it to balance California's budget is plain wrong

Los Angeles Times

You don’t take money meant for financially pressed homeowners — or former owners who were improperly foreclosed on — and spend it on convenient budget balancing.


Young Californians are politically aware, they just don't vote. Here's how we turn them out

Los Angeles Times

In California, there are more than 2.2 million registered voters age 25 or younger. How many of them turn out on election day will depend on how hard the rest of us work to mobilize them.




Washington matters become California matters


Brett Kavanaugh’s U.S. Supreme Court nomination has quickly become a California campaign issue.


Kavanaugh and Ford to testify in public hearing Monday


The Senate Judiciary Committee is planning to hold a public hearing on Monday and expects to call Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford to testify.

See Also:

     The sometimes rocky road to the Supreme Court ABC30

     Christine Blasey Ford feared an avalanche of attacks if she went public about Kavanaugh, friends say The Mercury News

     Accuser coming forward with story of attack roils plan for vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh Hanford Sentinel

     Feinstein was right to withhold Kavanaugh letter, accuser’s attorney says Sacramento Bee

     Hearing sets up dramatic showdown between Kavanaugh, accuser Stockton Record

     Supreme Court Nomination On Hold Capital Public Radio

     A generation after Clarence Thomas, the Senate heads for another battle over judging allegations of sexual misconduct Los Angeles Times

     Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh and accuser to testify next week about sexual assault allegations Los Angeles Times

     California professor, writer of confidential Brett Kavanaugh letter, speaks out about her allegation of sexual assault Los Angeles Times

     Trump on Kavanaugh: 'We want to go through a full process ... and hear everybody out' Los Angeles Times

     Congratulations, Sen. Feinstein: You've managed to make our politics even uglier Los Angeles Times

     Kavanaugh accuser is respected among colleagues San Francisco Chronicle

     Editorial: Senate is right to let accuser, Kavanaugh testify San Francisco Chronicle

     Hearing sets up dramatic showdown between Kavanaugh, accuser San Francisco Chronicle

     Senate committee to hold public hearing with Kavanaugh, accuser after sexual assault allegation The Washington Post

     Three Senators Key to the Kavanaugh Confirmation WSJ

     The #MeToo Kavanaugh Ambush WSJ

     EDITORIAL: America needs to hear from Christine Blasey Ford Los Angeles Times


The Senate and the Supreme Court have been granted too much power


Recently, progressive public intellectuals have taken to complaining about the United States Senate. This is nothing new, admittedly. Progressives have been complaining about one thing or another in our Constitution at least since Woodrow Wilson was a professor at Princeton University.

See also:

     Resisting the Supreme Court WSJ


The FEC could ban Congress from using leadership PACs for personal use

Fresno Bee

The Federal Election Commission is for the first time considering banning members of Congress from using political donations outside of their main campaign accounts for their personal use.


What’s really behind Obama’s stealth midterm campaign?

The Modesto Bee

In one of those ironies that make politics so interesting, Democrats have turned for campaign help this fall to the same man who set them on a long road to electoral disaster in 2010.


Trump Orders Declassification of Intelligence Documents Related to Former Adviser Carter Page


President Trump ordered the declassification of sensitive documents related to the investigation into Russian election interference, a move that could eventually allow the public unprecedented access to a probe that he has repeatedly railed against.

See also:

     Trump orders Justice Dept. to declassify Russia-related material The Washington Post

     Trump directs release of new portions of warrant tied to Russia probe ABC30


2018 midterms look volatile


The upcoming 2018 midterm looks to be a strange one. Increasingly, it looks as though Democrats will take control of the House of Representatives. The newly released 538 predictive model gives them a better than 80 percent chance of success.


Democrats’ To-Do List: Translate Anger Into Actual Votes


To win control of Congress, party will have to overcome historically challenging midterm turnout

See also:

      What’s happening to the Democratic Party? Brookings


Republicans Are Favorites In The Senate, But Democrats Have Two Paths To An Upset


Many of the individual race forecasts in the FiveThirtyEight Senate model, which launched on Wednesday, look pretty optimistic for Democrats.




The ominous decline of social democracy

The Washington Post

The rise of Donald Trump was shocking, but it was not a one-off. The forces that brought him to power have parallels across democracies as fears about immigration, inward-looking nationalism and discontent over economic globalization push an ever-larger share of voters to the far right.




Rosedale Middle students learn gardening in new farm-to-table class

Bakersfield Californian

Students at Rosedale Middle School are getting a firsthand understanding of the phrase “farm-to-table.”


How the United Farm Workers can regain their influence

The Washington Post

There are 2 million to 3 million farmworkers in the U.S. today, but the United Farm Workers (UFW) union only has a membership of 10,000 people, sapping it of its political potential and negotiating heft.






Police chiefs warn of increased crime if California allows pot deliveries statewide

Los Angeles Times

The prospect of vans loaded with pot delivering to homes in quiet Morgan Hill makes Police Chief David Swing uneasy.


There’s overwhelming evidence that the criminal-justice system is racist. Here’s the proof.

The Washington Post

A couple years ago, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) gave a powerful speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Scott talked about how he had been repeatedly pulled over by police officers who seemed to be suspicious of a black man driving a nice car. He added that a black senior-level staffer had experienced the same thing and had even downgraded his car in the hope of avoiding the problem.


Public Safety:


The Number of Youth in Juvenile Detention in California Has Quietly Plummeted

Voice of San Diego

In the past decade, the number of children behind bars decreased so dramatically that in San Diego County – and across the state – juvenile halls and camps stand at unprecedented levels of emptiness.


Shootings Thrust Gun Control Into Campaign Ads


After Las Vegas and Parkland, ads promoting some aspect of gun control are up 22-fold from four years earlier




Mendocino Complex Firefighter's Death Caused By Retardant Drop From 747

Capital Public Radio

A firefighter battling the largest wildfire in California history was killed last month when thousands of gallons of flame-suppressing liquid were dropped from an aircraft flying barely above the treetops.


Hold property owners accountable on wildfires

San Francisco Chronicle

In the aftermath of last year’s Wine Country fires, the focus has been on how PG&E can do a better job of preventing fires and how much of related costs should be covered by ratepayers. But the wildfire challenge is much bigger than PG&E.






Valley Economic Index falls for August; tariffs having impact

Hanford Sentinel

The San Joaquin Valley Business Conditions Index fell in August, but remains above growth neutral for the 24th consecutive month and pointing to healthy growth in the next three to six months.


Trump’s tariffs will make recovery from Hurricane Florence more expensive

Fresno Bee

President Trump’s tariffs have already raised the costs of construction materials that Hurricane Florence’s victims will need to rebuild. The extra tariffs he announced Monday, on $200 billion of Chinese imports, could further raise costs.

See Also:

     Trump imposes tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, escalating trade war to include many household items Los Angeles Times

     Psst, President Trump! The Chinese aren't paying for the tariffs you're imposing. We are Los Angeles Times

     U.S.-China trade worries weigh on stocks Los Angeles Times

     U.S. increases China tariffs by $200 billion, but spares Apple, Fitbit San Francisco Chronicle

      Trump Announces New Tariffs on Chinese Imports WSJ

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

      Collapsing Investment Doesn’t Mean Collapsing China WSJ

      U.S. Businesses Ramp Up Lobbying Against Trump’s Tariffs WSJ

     Trump Says Tariffs Will Save American Factories. History Shows Otherwise. The New York Times


The crisis next time


At the turn of this century, most economists in the developed world believed that major economic disasters were a thing of the past, or at least relegated to volatile emerging markets.


We ignore risks posed by emerging economies at our own peril


A strange sense of complacency continues to characterize the thinking of both U.S. policymakers and mainstream U.S. economists about the potential risks to the U.S. economic outlook from the deepening emerging market economic crisis.

Show Me the Money: Sports Betting Off and Running

PEW Trusts

Are you ready for some football? How about some football bets? With the opening of the NFL season, states that recently legalized sports gambling are hoping to cash in through increased tax revenue.




Amazon will build second fulfillment center in Stockton, with 1,000-plus jobs

Modesto Bee

Amazon announced Monday that Stockton will get a second fulfillment center, with more than 1,000 jobs.

See Also:

     Second Amazon facility coming to Stockton Stockton Record


Help wanted at Walmart, with $86,000 pay and $1,500 bounties for new truckers

Los Angeles Times

Walmart Inc., pinched by the worsening shortage of truckers, plans to double its spending on attracting and retaining drivers by year-end.


Just who is an independent contractor?

Capitol Weekly

A sweeping new California Supreme Court ruling restricting who is an independent contractor is shaking up an exceptionally diverse range of industries.


My turn: Why more women aren’t on corporate boards


The pipeline of women qualified to serve on corporate boards is overflowing with talented, smart, well-educated candidates.

New California law to help sidewalk vendors operate legally


It’s one of dozens of bills Brown announced signing Monday, including measures to help voters ensure their mail ballots are counted and standardize balcony inspections.






Parents with child who are deaf or hard of hearing have new resource in California


Seventeen-month-old Copper loves to play and his hearing loss can't slow him down. When he was born, his parents learned they would be dealing with a new parenting challenge.


Students evacuated from Cutler Elementary School after gas leak


According to the Tulare County Sheriff's Office, Cutler Elementary School was evacuated after a construction crew accidentally cut a natural gas line.

See Also:

     No injuries reported in school evacuation Visalia Times-Delta


New Visalia school means winners and losers

Visalia Times-Delta

Visalia Unified School District is one step closer to opening its 27th elementary school. Administrators presented a final suggested boundary change for the area near the site of the new elementary school.


California children enter school unprepared and never catch up, landmark research finds

Los Angeles Times

When students enter school in California, they learn at a pace on par with — if not better than — those in other states.


Study shows education establishment doesn't want to know what works

San Diego Union-Tribune

Public schools have many needs that would benefit from additional funding, but no such funding was a good idea until profound reforms were in place that ensured schools would actually improve.


Walters: Study provides new ammo for K-12 schools battle


A decade ago, an academic research team produced a massive report on the shortcomings in how California’s K-12 schools educate about 6 million children and adolescents.


Second chance or second track? Credit recovery participation in US high schools


Credit recovery programs help students who have fallen behind get back on track for graduation, without repeating a year of school.

Higher Ed:


UCSF gets $20 million to research health effects of e-cigarettes, other products

San Francisco Chronicle

UCSF has won a $20 million federal grant to fund research into the health effects of new tobacco products such as electronic cigarettes, the use of which, especially among teenagers, is raising alarm among public health experts.


Cal Poly grads’ starting pay is better than all public California universities but one

The Tribune

Cal Poly graduates have some of the highest average starting salaries of all California colleges and universities, according to a recent study of the state’s best-value colleges by the personal finance website SmartAsset.


Lessons for universities on preventing sexual harassment


Academia has the second highest rate of workplace sexual harassment in the United States, behind the military. Dick Startz explains from his experience as a university professor why power structures, inadequate reporting mechanisms, and “plain old insensitivity” are to blame.






It's been an especially bad summer for mosquitoes. These fish can help

Los Angeles Times

Everyone hates mosquito bites, but the insects are more than just a nuisance — they can be dangerous. As they seek out hosts to provide their next blood meal, they can spread viruses such as Zika and West Nile.


California plans to show the world how to meet the Paris climate target

The Guardian

Last week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed State Senator and US Senate candidate Kevin de León’s SB 100, which mandates that the state obtain all of its electricity from zero-carbon sources by 2045.


Hurricanes Are Getting Worse. California Should Take Note


As Hurricane Florence ground its way through the Carolinas this past weekend, climate watchers couldn’t help but notice that the size and behavior of the storm have been eerily reminiscent of Hurricane Harvey, which devastated Houston last year.


Climate change is real. Welcome to the new normal.

The Washington Post

Hurricane Florence has drenched eastern North Carolina with more than 30 inches of rain, an all-time record for the state. Last year, Hurricane Harvey stalled over Houston and dumped more than 60 inches of rain, an all-time record for the whole country. Also last year, Hurricane Maria ravaged the island of Puerto Rico and caused, according to an independent study, nearly 3,000 deaths.




Visalia's street lighting project nears completion

Visalia Times-Delta

Tulare County is lighting up the way for energy efficiency across the state...and street. Southern California Edison workers are nearly done installing LED lamps at 5,500 company-owned poles in Visalia, giving the company the largest, latest milestone in a massive regional infrastructure-improvement project.


The Road To California’s Coveted Electric Highway Is Congested; Will A New Alliance Help Clear The Way?

Capital Public Radio

The road to California’s coveted electric highway—like traffic in the Golden State—is congested. California Air Board Chairwoman and Gov. Jerry Brown both took steps to clear the way at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco on Thursday.


By the numbers: ZEV purchases


Californians have a long way to go to reach Gov. Jerry Brown’s goal of having 5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2030, even as ZEV sales grow each year.

OK, You Met Your Renewable Goals — Now What?

PEW Trusts

State laws boosting wind and solar power have seen remarkable success over the past two decades.


States See Energy Boom Along With Economic Expansion

PEW trusts

An oil and gas bonanza in Southwestern states may be helping to drive the continuing national economic boom.






At Modesto hospital, pediatric patients go to surgery in style

The Modesto Bee

Pediatric surgery patients at Doctors Medical Center now have an option to riding a gurney into the operating room: driving a sleek black Mercedes Benz convertible.


What your stylist doesn’t know about hair products could make them, and you, sick

Sacramento Bee

Did you know that manufacturers of professional cosmetics are not required to disclose their ingredients? Unlike consumers, who can look at ingredient labels on their store-bought cosmetics, hair and nail salon workers don’t benefit from the same disclosure.


Prop. 71 funds lay groundwork for stem cell therapies

San Francisco Chronicle

In 2004, the voters of California approved Proposition 71, creating the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and setting the state on the path to becoming a global leader in stem cell research. Today the therapies resulting from the institute’s work are not just changing lives — they are already saving lives.


In California, saving teeth and money—one mouth at a time


At the children’s dental clinic that Dr. John Blake runs in Long Beach, toddlers come in all the time with problems so severe they need root canals.


Drug rebates aren’t ‘kickbacks’


The Trump administration is close to issuing a new rule that could effectively ban rebate payments from drug manufacturers to pharmaceutical benefit managers, or PBMs. The plan is misguided. A full ban would backfire and increase costs to consumers.


Senate Passes Bipartisan Legislation to Combat Opioid Epidemic


The Senate on Monday passed sweeping, bipartisan legislation aimed at combating the opioid epidemic through new research, treatment and help for families affected by addiction.


Human Services:


How many of your Fresno neighbors are on food stamps, welfare? You may be surprised

Fresno Bee

More than one out of every five households in both the city of Fresno and Fresno County receive food stamps or other supplemental food assistance – by far the highest rates of people getting food aid among California’s most populous cities and counties.


County could cut short contracts with Hall, Liberty ambulance companies in certain parts of Kern following lawsuit

Bakersfield Californian

Kern County Supervisors are set to approve amendments to the contracts of Hall Ambulance and Liberty Ambulance, which would allow the county to request competitive bids for ambulance services in the areas of Wasco, Ridgecrest, California City and Mojave.




They take ‘their last dollar.’ Immigrants at the mercy of fraudsters

Fresno Bee

Organizations serving the Valley immigrant community and specifically Fresno County say many immigrants are being victimized by notaries public, immigration consultants and unlicensed individuals who are defrauding them, consequently placing those individuals in a worse legal situation.


Trump admin proposes lowest cap ever for refugee admissions amid historic global need


The Trump administration is proposing a cap of 30,000 refugee admissions in the 2019 fiscal year, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in what would be the lowest cap ever set in the refugee admissions program's 43-year history.

See Also:

     US slashes number of refugees to 30,000 for next year Stockton Record

     U.S. slashes number of refugees to 30,000 for next year Los Angeles Times

      U.S. To Limit The Number Of Refugees Allowed Entry To 30,000 NPR

     U.S. slashes the number of refugees it will allow into the country The Washington Post


ICE held an American man in custody for 1,273 days. He’s not the only one who had to prove his citizenship

Los Angeles Times

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents repeatedly target U.S. citizens for deportation by mistake, making wrongful arrests based on incomplete government records, bad data and lax investigations.


Another judge slaps down Jeff Sessions for trying to punish 'sanctuary' cities like L.A.

Los Angeles Times

Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions must be getting tired of so much winning in his campaign to punish cities and states with the temerity to challenge his attempted crackdown on immigration.




Homelessness: I Feel Your Pain, Or Do I?

Capital Public Radio

A lot of Californians worry about homeless people in their neighborhoods creating health risks, committing crimes and driving down property values. And many people living on California’s streets feel hurt, dejected, invisible and excluded by the rest of society.


EDITORIAL: Two props aim to ease affordable housing problem and are worth supporting

Fresno Bee

For all of the disagreements over how best to solve the affordable housing crisis, most Californians can agree that the problem ultimately stems from a shortage of housing.​​ Developers should be building 180,000 units every year just to keep up with population growth, but over the past decade, the state has averaged less than half of that.


EDITORIAL: Supporters say Prop 5 would help California’s housing crisis. That’s a sham

Sacramento Bee

Proposition 5 on the Nov. 6, 2018, ballot would make property taxes in California even less fair while devastating the budgets of local schools and governments. Voters should reject it.




Stanislaus County hiring, investing in former Crows Landing airfield as finances improve

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County’s final budget for this year reflects a solid financial position as county government deals with challenges including homelessness, employee retention and the need for employment opportunities.


Trump's plan to create 'space force' would cost $13 billion over five years, Air Force says in first official estimate

Los Angeles Times

President Trump’s proposal to create a “space force” would cost nearly $13 billion over five years and require a sweeping reorganization of parts of the Pentagon and intelligence community — including shifting the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center in El Segundo into the new military service — according to an internal Air Force memo.




HSR projected real estate costs nearly double to $1.5 billion for Valley segment

Fresno Bee

Among the many challenges that threaten California’s embattled high-speed rail project now under construction in the San Joaquin Valley, one of the more persistent has been the state’s difficulties in buying the real estate it needs for the route.

See also:

     $130 billion statewide rail plan targets high-speed rail as it seeks to reshape how Californians travel Long Beach Post

DMV disasters drive home the need for reform

Bakersfield Californian

It’s time for serious reform at the Department of Motor Vehicles. It’s an opinion shared by Californians of all political persuasions in virtually every corner of the state. And it makes sense.


Caltrans studying possible passing lanes on Highway 58

Bakersfield Californian

Truck-climbing lanes that would allow motorists to pass big rigs traveling on Highway 58 from Bakersfield to Tehachapi may be a future project due to a new study Caltrans is endeavoring to complete by next summer.


Meadows Field to receive $1.3 million grant from FAA

Bakersfield Californian

Meadows Field Airport will receive a $1.3 million infrastructure grant from the Federal Aviation Administration for taxiway repairs.

Anger in California's carpool lanes as more than 200,000 drivers are set to lose decals

Los Angeles Times

For some California commuters, cutting down on carbon emissions isn’t a sexy enough reason to buy an electric car. But the ability to bypass freeway traffic without having to carpool — that’s another story.


By the numbers: ZEV purchases


Californians have a long way to go to reach Gov. Jerry Brown’s goal of having 5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2030, even as ZEV sales grow each year.




Farmers thought they had 20 years to use groundwater as they wished - maybe not anymore

Fresno Bee

A court ruled that groundwater pumping that depletes a river could violate California law. Farmers might have to deal with new restrictions before SGMA, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, kicks in.


Stockton wastewater plant getting major makeover

Stockton Record

The city’s wastewater treatment facility is set to get a huge face-lift in the coming years. According to the city’s Municipal Utilities District staff, the plant’s current treatment processes do not meet lower discharge limits set forth by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System.


Restore the Delta to release environmental justice report

Stockton Record

The environmental advocacy group Restore the Delta will release a major report this afternoon on the potential negative impact that will be felt by the Delta region’s poorest residents if Gov. Jerry Brown’s Twin Tunnels project is built.




Carnival at Kern County Fair to bring delights, easier way through lines

Bakersfield Californian

Every once in a while, you just need to be shot into the air, spun around or flipped upside down a couple of times. The perfect opportunity to satisfy that itch is fast approaching with opening day of the Kern County Fair right around the corner.


Cirque du Soleil’s 'Corteo' lands in Central Valley for 4-day run

Visalia Times-Delta

With its daring acrobatics and fanciful approach to storytelling, Cirque du Soleil has dazzled more than 180 million spectators around the world since 1984. But with its popular “Corteo,” which arrives Sept. 20-23 at the Save Mart Center on the campus of Fresno State, the innovative entertainment company celebrates a single life well-lived.


Looking for budget fall color trips? California will have you turning over a new leaf

Los Angeles Times

Something magical happens in autumn to leaves on deciduous trees and shrubs. They change color. Even in California. Or, as the tagline of says, “Dude, autumn happens here, too.”

See Also:

     On The Road: Take your time exploring the American River Stockton Record

Popular sixth-grade destination Camp KEEP opens new coastal campus

Bakersfield Californian

Camp KEEP, the Kern Environmental Education Program that has been inviting 11- and 12-year-olds to five-day environmental science education camps on the California coast since 1971, has just opened a new camp to replace its longtime Cambria campus, which is closing.