September 24, 2018






Devin Nunes’ false ad targets Fresno County DA

The Fresno Bee

But peel away the ad’s top layer and the person who is most targeted by such an accusation is Janz’s boss, District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp. That’s because the ad strongly implies she does not have control of her department, or at least one employee, namely Janz.


Morse, McClintock trade jabs on residence, policy in Mariposa debate

Fresno Bee

Democrat Jessica Morse and Republican Tom McClintock questioned each other’s stances and their loyalty to the district in the first and only debate scheduled, so far, in the race for the 4th Congressional District seat.

See also:

     Watch highlights from McClintock, Morse debate Sacramento Bee


Gloves come off at second Denham-Harder debate as candidates trade verbal blows

Modesto Bee

After several weeks spent accusing each other of being too afraid to meet head-to-head in public, Republican Rep. Jeff Denham and Democratic challenger Josh Harder debated twice in three days, including Saturday’s lively forum in Turlock, claimed by both as their home base.

See Also:

      Denham, Harder address array of issues in first face-to-face meeting Modesto Bee

Valley leaders kick off Prop 3 campaign

Clovis RoundUp

Valley leaders gathered at Friant Kern Canal near Millerton Lake Thursday to kick off a campaign in favor of Proposition 3, the Water Supply and Water Quality Act.


Fresno’s north-south divide is real and rooted in racism, income inequality

Fresno Bee

The Fresno Bee is convening a dialogue about Fresno’s north-south divide with residents who live north and south of Shaw Avenue, the city’s historical dividing line. Here’s how residents described the divide.


Keith Wolaridge, Kern High School Board of Trustees candidate.

Bakersfield Californian

WATCH: Keith Wolaridge, Kern High School Board of Trustees candidate.

See also:

      Jenifer Pitcher, Kern High School Board of Trustees candidate. Bakersfield Californian

      Janice Graves, Kern High School Board of Trustees candidate. Bakersfield Californian

      Brian Colebrook, Kern High School Board of Trustees candidate. Bakersfield Californian


City and county vie for voters for sales tax initiatives

Bakersfield Californian

Both the county and the city have sold the taxes as a way to boost law enforcement, but the methods by which the city and county came to put a sales tax measure on the ballot differ slightly, as well as the estimated dollars that could be raised.


EDITORIAL: Why would you vote for anyone else for Stanislaus County supervisor?

Modesto Bee

The choices for Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors couldn’t be any clearer if they were written in the sky. In red, white and blue. Terry Withrow should remain District 3 supervisor and Frank Damrell should be elected to represent District 4. Their alternatives are simply unacceptable.




Free Airtime Project: 2018 CA Candidates | The California Channel

California Channel

These interviews are provided to the public by Cable’s Free Airtime Project, a collaborative effort between the League of Women Voters of California, The California Channel and your local cable provider.


Last stop: On these 2018 California bills, it’s the governor’s call


When the Legislature finally gaveled down, it had approved about 900 bills this year. Here’s a look at some of the most interesting or consequential ones heading to Brown’s desk. He has until Sept. 30 to sign or veto all bills—or he could do neither, in which case a bill would become law without his signature


The Next California

Los Angeles Times

Some challenges that have long vexed the state have taken on new urgency. Others are unique to this moment in the state’s history. This series will introduce those issues and the Californians affected by them. We’ll also press the candidates on their plans to tackle the challenges.


Do Gavin Newsom and John Cox even want the same job? Their visions of California's governorship radically differ

Los Angeles Times

Sometimes it seems that California's two candidates for governor are running for different offices.  The contrast in approach shows how differently the candidates see the issues facing California, and the role they would play in addressing them.


California gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom compares Trump to Pennywise, a terrifying clown

The Washington Post

Newsom shot back in a tweet that began, “lol, hi @realDonaldTrump.”

“Interesting description coming from the guy who is literally locking up kids like Pennywise,” he wrote, referring to Trump’s zero-tolerance policy at the border that led to migrant family separations.


PolitiFact statements about The 2018 California Governor's Race


Recent statements involving The 2018 California Governor's Race


Dianne Feinstein Rode One Court Fight to the Senate. Another Has Left Her Under Siege.

New York Times

Twenty-seven years later, Ms. Feinstein, now the Judiciary Committee’s top Democrat, appears to finally have a chance to alter the course not just of a Supreme Court nomination but also a churning cultural conversation about women and sexual assault. But “change” is proving to be very complicated.

See also:

       EDITORIAL: Feinstein for Senate: Why recent events make her case for re-election even stronger San Diego Union-Tribune


De León wants to crash Senate ‘country club’ to battle Trump

San Francisco Chronicle

Kevin de León, Los Angeles state senator and Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, was on a roll.

See also:

     De León tries to link Feinstein to Trump on immigration: Can this finally get him traction? Los Angeles Times


Once an electoral juggernaut, California's prison-guard union steps back into the spotlight

Los Angeles Times

The old adage that California government has three main functions — to educate, medicate and incarcerate — is a handy road map for where to find some of the state’s most politically powerful players. For a time, none was more active or feared than the union representing prison guards.


California watchdog agency prohibits use of cryptocurrency for campaign contributions

Los Angeles Times

California’s campaign finance watchdog agency voted Thursday to prohibit the use of cryptocurrency including bitcoin for political contributions in the state amid concerns that the anonymity it provides would make it difficult to identify who is trying to influence elections.


California voters will be able to fix sloppy signatures and track their ballots under new election laws

Los Angeles Times

A California voter whose signature can’t be verified on an absentee ballot will have eight days to fix the problem under a law signed Monday that takes effect immediately.


Capitol lawsuit hints at the limits of #MeToo laws


In one of the first legal challenges since the #MeToo movement forced the California Legislature to confront its history of dismissing sexual misconduct in its own workplace, the Senate is trying to fend off a former employee’s lawsuit with arguments that she’s not covered by new whistleblower protections and that the Capitol, as part of the public sector, isn’t covered by state labor laws.

See also:

      How close is #MeToo to full riot mode? Los Angeles Times


California’s Mortgage Raid

The Wall Street Journal

California Governor Jerry Brown was ordered by a state appellate court this summer to return $331 million in funds that his administration had unlawfully diverted from the national mortgage settlement for budget triage. His response? Take a judicial hike.


EDITORIAL: Steve Poizner for California insurance commissioner

San Diego Union-Tribune

The race for state insurance commissioner pits independent Steve Poizner, who held the job as a Republican from 2007 to 2011, against state Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens. Poizner’s background as a tech entrepreneur served him well in his first stint.




Trump supporters want Kavanaugh accuser to testify. They’re sure he will be cleared.

Fresno Bee

President Donald Trump’s supporters want the Senate to hear from Christine Blasey Ford before it votes on Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation. They think it will free him from the cloud she has cast over his nomination to the Supreme Court.

See Also:

     Kavanaugh accuser, panel agree on timing of hearing; unclear who will question her ABC30

      Why isn’t Kavanaugh pushing for an investigation? Modesto Bee

     Pence boasts support for embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh ABC30

     Second woman accuses Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct Hanford Sentinel

     Second woman accuses Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault in New Yorker report Visalia Times-Delta

     As Senate hearing set for Brett Kavanaugh, new accuser emerges  Stockton Record

     New sexual abuse allegations roil Kavanaugh nomination Los Angeles Times

     Two More Women Come Forward With Kavanaugh Allegations Roll Call

     GOP troubles with women get worse after Trump defends Kavanaugh on sexual assault allegation — and a second accuser comes forward Los Angeles Times

     Kavanaugh to give Senate calendars from 1982 to back up denial San Francisco Chronicle

      How the Democrats Could Have Handled the Allegations Against Kavanaugh Weekly Standard

      Trump calls accusations against Kavanaugh 'totally political' UPI

     GOP, Lawyers for Kavanaugh Accuser Tentatively Agree to Thursday Hearing The Wall Street Journal

      OPINION: The GOP Can’t Win for Losing The Wall Street Journal

      OPINION: The Supreme Court was America’s least damaged institution — until now The Washington Post

     OPINION: A Kavanaugh Hearing Without Facts Would Be a Sham The Wall Street Journal


Federal judge orders Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to be deposed in 2020 census case


Secretary Wilbur Ross will be deposed over adding a question on citizenship status to the 2020 census.


Russia's Divisive Twitter Campaign Took A Rare Consistent Stance: Pro-Gun


Russia's influence campaign on Twitter pushed pro-gun and pro-National Rifle Association messages during the 2016 election and beyond — a rare example of consistency in a scheme that mostly sought to play up extremes on the left and right.

See also:

      How Russia Helped Swing the Election for Trump NewYorker


White House considers executive order for antitrust investigation of bias at Google and Facebook

Business Insider

The president and other conservatives have repeatedly complained that they believe Facebook and Google (owned by corporate parent Alphabet) bias the way they show news to users by dampening down conservative voices or outlets. But there is no evidence that either Facebook or Google systematically discriminates left or right.

See also:

       Regulating free speech on social media is dangerous and futile Brookings

       Google Workers Discussed Tweaking Search Function to Counter Travel Ban WSJ


Senate E-Filing Launches New Era in Campaign Disclosures

Roll Call

With President Donald Trump’s signature Friday, it’s official: Senate candidates now must file their campaign finance reports electronically with the Federal Election Commission, making it easier for reporters, voters and opponents alike to sift through donor and spending disclosures.  


Forget Trump and demonize Democrats as wild-eyed radicals — that's the Republican midterm strategy

Los Angeles Times

Saddled with an unpopular president and getting little or no traction from a robust economy, Republicans have settled on a blunt-force strategy as they struggle to hang onto the House in November: Paint the opposition as wild-eyed and dangerous.

See also:

       More Voters Want Democrats to Control Congress, New Poll Shows The Wall Street Journal

       VIDEO: Why Democrats Might Feel Good About the Midterms WSJ

       PODCAST: How to Read Midterm Polls Roll Call

       OPINION: Republicans stunned to learn voters understand exactly what their tax cut did The Washington Post


The limits of city power in the age of Trump


In the Age of Trump, some experts have been urging cities to declare independence from the federal-level chaos in Washington. Others heraldlocal power and local actions as antidotes to national dysfunction.


Courting change


Republican President Donald Trump has made transforming the federal judiciary one of his top priorities.

See also:

       Will Democrats Regret Weaponizing the Judiciary? Politico


Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General, Is Considering Resigning

The New York Times

Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, was considering resigning on Monday, days after private discussions were revealed in which he talked about invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office and secretly taping him to expose chaos in the administration.

See also:

      Rod J. Rosenstein has offered to resign as deputy attorney general The Washington Post


Fact-checking Donald Trump's rally in North Dakota


President Donald Trump headed back to the campaign trail  to promote the candidacy of Rep. Kevin Cramer, the Republican challenger to North Dakota Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp.


EDITORIAL: A clarion call to restore protections of the Voting Rights Act

Los Angeles Times

Five years after the Supreme Court gutted a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, a new report from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has confirmed predictions that the ruling would hobble enforcement of that landmark law.




How to maintain a trusted brand in local media


It’s no secret that trust in media has gone down in recent years. But this isn’t the case with all brands and platforms. Consistent with Magid insights, a recent Poynter survey showed that trust in local media is actually on the rise. 76% of Americans across the political spectrum have “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of trust in their local television news, and 73% have confidence in local newspapers.

See also:

       Bee’s owner McClatchy reportedly eyes purchase of newspaper chain Tronc Modesto Bee


Some students aren't voting absentee because they don't know where to buy stamps: Report


Some college students who want to vote in elections apparently don't mail back their absentee ballots because they don't know where to buy stamps.


OPINION: Why the Left Is Consumed With Hate


For many on the left a hateful anti-Americanism has become a self-congratulatory lifestyle. “America was never that great,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently said. For radical groups like Black Lives Matter, hatred of America is a theme of identity, a display of racial pride.


The Entitlement Crisis Is Looming

Weekly Standard

Who says there is no bipartisanship in the age of Trump? When it comes to federal deficits and debt, the parties have never been more aligned. For most of the last two decades, Republicans insisted they wanted to reform the federal entitlement programs to avert a painful fiscal crunch.


OPINION: When Fried Pickles Lead to Better Policymaking

Roll Call

Relationships are foundational. Just as it is hard to trust someone you don’t know, it’s also difficult to disparage a person with whom you’ve broken bread — or shared hibiscus water, eaten fried pickles or tasted olive oil on ice cream. The same holds true in Congress. Most people would agree we need a Congress that works better for the American people.


OPINION: He Made Politics a Knockdown Brawl. (Hint: It Wasn’t Trump)

Roll Call

Contrary to the common cries of “It’s never been worse,” politics has always been personal, passionate and contentious. The vitriol we experience today is hardly unique to present-day America.




Grapes of Union Wrath


Workers at Dan Gerawan’s third-generation family farm in Fresno, Calif., voted five long years ago to decertify the United Farm Workers. Their ballots were finally counted this week following a tortuous battle that illustrates how liberal government often subjugates individual worker rights to union politics.


Here are retail stores that might’ve gotten the beef in Thursday’s E. coli-related recall

Fresno Bee

The USDA retail list for the 132,000 pounds of beef recalled by Cargill Meat Solutions Thursday on E. coli concerns includes Meijer, Safeway, Target and Sam’s Club.


Struggling U.S. Farmers Worry About a Resurgent Russia


The major difference between Mr. Mishurov and a farmer on America’s Great Plains: The Russian’s costs are lower, and mostly in rubles, making his overseas sales—priced in dollars—immensely more valuable.


Food stamps dropped nationally, but after temporary spike following hurricanes


The number of people on food stamps plummeted nationwide in November, according to Breitbart, a conservative news website.


Merced soccer center used by thousands to close. Will grow, distribute weed, owner says

Fresno Bee

The Merced Indoor Sports Center was recently approved as a site to grow, manufacture and distribute cannabis, according to city records. The plans have upset parents who say closing the center is a problem in a town of few recreational options for children.

See Also:

     Four marijuana dispensaries approved to open in Merced ABC30


Three marijuana ballot measures to compete in November

Bakersfield Californian

Three marijuana initiatives by two citizens groups have qualified for the November ballot through signature drives that collected more signatures than 10 percent of the city and county’s voting population.


Wall Street’s Marijuana Madness: ‘It’s Like the Internet in 1997’


Entrepreneurs and investors are rushing headlong into the nascent legal marijuana industry, fueling a stock craze reminiscent of the late 1990s dot-com bubble and the recent bitcoin mania. Big companies, wealthy families and amateurs alike are taking stakes in speculative companies, many of which have scant revenue or history.




Public Safety:


California police uphold few complaints of officer misconduct and the investigations stay secret

Los Angeles Times

A Times analysis shows law enforcement agencies upheld 8.4% of complaints over the last decade. Most were rejected without explanation.

See Also:

      GOP candidate for Attorney General has a surprising view on police oversight CALmatters


Once an electoral juggernaut, California's prison-guard union steps back into the spotlight

Los Angeles Times

But while unions representing teachers and nurses have remained a constant presence, the California Correctional Peace Officers Assn. seemed to step back from the spotlight over the past decade. The CCPOA remained a political force but eschewed the kind of splashy statewide campaigns that had made it an electoral juggernaut.


Protecting second chances for the formerly incarcerated in the age of facial recognition


Facial recognition would give law enforcement instantaneous access to stigmatizing information, with significant consequences. With facial recognition, officers will be able to single out justice-involved individuals, making them more likely to draw attention and be stopped. Even a perfect facial recognition tool in imperfect hands can lead to unjust outcomes.


EDITORIAL: A vote for Propo 11 is a sensible vote for public safety

Los Angeles Times

Proposition 11 on the Nov. 6 ballot would make clear that emergency medical technicians and paramedics working for private ambulance services must remain reachable during paid work breaks so that they can respond immediately when needed. It’s a sensible proposal that would maintain the status quo among emergency responders, and voters should support it.

See Also:

     EDITORIAL: Prop. 11: Vote yes to maintain public safety with private first responders San Diego Union-Tribune




Fire near Oakhurst grows, 125 buildings threatened. Some evacuation orders remain

Fresno Bee

The Oak Fire, burning just a few miles north of Oakhurst, had consumed 390 acres with containment at 35 percent as of Sunday night.

See Also:

     390 acre fire prompts mandatory evacuations northeast of Ahwahnee ABC30


Castaic brush fire chars 3,000 acres, prompts evacuations


Firefighters battled a fast-moving brush fire in Castaic, which charred 3,000 acres and prompted evacuations Saturday afternoon.

See Also:

     Brush fire burns 3,000 acres in Castaic area, prompting road closures and evacuations Los Angeles Times


What ignited many of California’s worst wildfires a mystery

Sacramento Bee

California officials quickly determined an arsonist started last month's huge wildfire southeast of Los Angeles, and that two weeks earlier sparks from a vehicle produced a deadly wildfire in the far northern part of the state. But causes for many of California's worst blazes of the past decade remain a mystery.


As climate change worsens wildfires, California will spend $1 billion and give utilities new ways to shrink their fire expenses

Los Angeles Times

The far-reaching proposal signed by Brown boosts government fire-protection efforts by $1 billion over the next five years, providing funds that could help clear thousands of acres of dense, dry forests and brittle coastal brush.


New California Law Helps Utilities With Wildfire Lawsuits

Capital Public Radio

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a measure allowing utilities to bill their customers to pay for future legal settlements stemming from devastating 2017 wildfires.

See Also:

      In deadly fires, many residents never got emergency phone alerts. New law aims to fix that Sacramento Bee






Impact Investing in the San Joaquin Valley | Join us 10/3 in Stockton

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Join us for a day-long immersion opportunity to network and learn from a range of investors, mission-driven investment funds, and community partners focused on building equitable, healthy, and sustainable communities in the region.


Trade war hits electronics, almonds — and even an NBA star

San Francisco Chronicle

The escalating trade war between China and the United States is threatening commerce worth hundreds of billions of dollars, but some businesses in California appear to be particularly at risk.


California an economic model? Not quite


California is prospering these days mostly because the nation as a whole is experiencing a record-long economic expansion. The steps it has taken so far to reduce its carbon footprint have been relatively mild, so their economic impact, positive or negative, has been relatively scant.


China Cancels Trade Talks With U.S. Amid Escalation in Tariff Threats


Move comes after U.S. announces tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese good.

See also:

      Trump Announces New Tariffs on Chinese Imports WSJ

      U.S. Reliance on Obscure Imports From China Points to Strategic Vulnerability The Wall Street Journal

      The U.S.-China trade war won’t be ending soon Brookings

      OPINION: Trump and Xi Are Destined to Divorce Bloomberg


Global Economy Week Ahead: Fed Policy Statement, GDP Estimate and Other Data


Indicators to take the economic temperature in the U.S.


OPINION: The United States of Free Trade


Free trade allows maximal use of “comparative advantage” to minimize the price of goods for everyone. The lower the prices, the higher the demand and thus the larger the economy.


The online shopping boom has led to a flood of fakes. With some products, that’s annoying; with bike helmets, it’s life-threatening


When Clint Mattacola tests the knockoffs of his company’s bike helmets, the results can be pretty grim: "Their skull would have hit the surface — most likely would have suffered from skull fracture, brain damage or death." U.S. Customs officials confiscate almost twice as many counterfeits now as they did 10 years ago thanks to the rise of e-commerce.


Share Buybacks Help Lift Corporate Earnings

The Wall Street Journal

The legislation lowered companies’ tax bills, improving their earnings. But the change has also helped them fund record stock buybacks—a move that makes their results appear even better, by boosting the per-share earnings they highlight for investors.




The time to apply for a holiday job is now. Here’s who’s hiring and how to apply

Fresno Bee

Retailers are hiring for temporary holiday jobs now – and job seekers likely have a better chance at getting one this year.


California Employment Report for August 2018

California Center for Jobs & The Economy

At a 12-month gain of 85,200, california ranked 5th among the states for employment growth. Texas led with 274,500, followed by Florida at 148,900, Massachusetts at 141,800, and Georgia at 115,000.

See also:

      California Unemployment Rate Steady At 4.2 Percent In August The Virginian Pilot / CA Business Roundtable

      U.S. Jobless Claims Fall to 49-Year Low for Third Straight Week The Wall Street Journal

     Unemployment rates in Fresno County at a 12 year low ABC30

      Valley unemployment rates down in August The Business Journal

     Kern's unemployment rate fell to 7.3% in August Bakersfield Californian


Low Unemployment, Slow Wage Growth Bring Renewed Labor Strife

The Wall Street Journal

With the national unemployment rate at 3.9% in August, just above an 18-year low, and skilled workers in scarce supply, union officials say they have more leverage at the bargaining table and that workers are more comfortable with the risks associated with striking.


Union leader challenges Dem ‘opportunists’


In an ad in the LA Times last week, the State Building and Construction Trades Council urged LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and other Democrats to defy “well-funded ivory tower elites” who seek to shutter Southern California oil refineries, which employ thousands of union workers.


Employers Choose Bonuses Over Raises


U.S. employers are boosting benefits—including bonuses and vacation time—at a faster pace than salaries, a move that gives them more flexibility to dial back that compensation if the economy turns sour.


Machines Will Create 58 Million More Jobs Than They Displace By 2022, World Economic Forum Says

The Washington Post

In the next four years, more than 75 million jobs may be lost as companies shift to more automation, according to new estimates by the World Economic Forum. But the projections have an upside: 133 million new jobs will emerge during that period, as businesses develop a new division of labor between people and machines.

See also:

      It's largely accurate that manufacturing jobs have been on a roll PolitiFact


The Econometrics and Economics of the Employment Effects of Minimum Wages: Getting from Known Unknowns to Known Knowns


I discuss the econometrics and the economics of past research on the effects of minimum wages on employment in the United States.






Fresno Unified leaders got their report card. See how they did

Fresno Bee

The Fresno Unified Board of Trustees and district superintendent Bob Nelson received evaluations on Sept. 19: high marks for community relations and policy development, but low scores for working as a team.


Fresno elementary school helping special education students learn the aspects of the business world


A group of special education students at Lincoln Elementary are learning to run a business called "Wildcat Café" on campus.


Groundbreaking for Farmersville High School aquatic center


Farmersville High School's Aquatic Center will be named after Jim Wiley, a longtime and beloved Farmersville pastor.


What had cops and kids chasing one another around at a Modesto school Saturday?

Modesto Bee

Modesto and Turlock students and police officers have kicked off 10K With a Cop, a program that will continue through the school year to promote health and wellness, as well as positive relationships between kids and law enforcement.


Mike Williams, Cynthia Brakeman vying for KHSD board seat

Bakersfield Californian

Businessman Mike Williams is making another bid to continue his tenure on the Kern High School District board of trustees this November.


Governor Signs Bill To Boost Media Literacy In California Schools

Capital Public Radio

The new law requires the state to publish a list of media literacy resources online to help students better evaluate sources of digital information.


New California law brings sex ed to charter schools

Visalia Times-Delta

Educators at California charter schools will now be required to teach sex education and reproductive health.


Suspensions in California schools drop, but trouble spots remain


What youth and civil rights advocates have called a decades-long suspension epidemic in California schools is showing signs of subsiding, with a new report finding that suspensions have dropped significantly across all student groups over a recent five-year period.


EDITORIAL: Don't let the SAT become the yardstick to measure California high schools

Los Angeles Times

There's no doubt that low-income students are at a disadvantage when it comes to taking college admissions exams, and it is understandable that some school districts want to help them. But a bill that would allow districts to substitute one of those tests in place of the state's own academic proficiency exam for high school juniors isn't the way to solve the problem.


EDITORIAL: Brown's veto of later school start times is callous about student health

San Diego Union-Tribune

On Thursday, alas, the governor doubled down on local control with a decision that is awful for student health. In vetoing SB 328 — a bill that would have required middle and high schools to start their classes no earlier than 8:30 a.m. — Brown noted it was opposed by teachers and school boards, touted local control and knocked a “one-size-fits-all” policy.


Higher Ed:


California’s next governor has opportunity to set a bold new higher education agenda


The next governor of California will have two primary responsibilities: uphold economic productivity and lay the foundation for a more prosperous California. And he could accomplish both in one fell swoop — by setting ambitious higher education goals.


Colleges, Buffeted by Courts and Washington, Navigate Sexual Assault


Amid rising claims, schools are outsourcing investigations and hearings, experimenting with alternative forms of dispute resolution.






Annual Ozone Summary for Valley


Latest Year's (Annual) Ozone Summaries for Selected Regions.


Where air pollution isn’t an abstraction

San Francisco Chronicle

In the San Joaquin Valley, where we breathe some of the dirtiest air in the United States, California’s infamous smog is not just a statistic. It’s a fact that follows us every day and affects every breath.


Earth’s climate-change liposuction: Sucking carbon from the air

There is so much buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, scientists say we’ve reached a point that some needs to be removed to limit Earth’s temperature rise and avoid the worst impacts of a warmer world. Technology exists to do it, but it’s costly, zany-sounding and not well known.


Social infrastructure can help save us from the ravages of climate change

Los Angeles Times

It is important to invest in social infrastructure — the physical spaces where communities gather — as part of our response to climate change.




If California wants to go carbon-free, it needs to end its nuclear moratorium

Los Angeles TImes

A new state law signed this month, SB 100, requires all of California’s electricity to come from zero-carbon sources by 2045. Many news reports advertised the law as a mandate for renewable energy, but lawmakers in Sacramento quietly acknowledged that the state may need more than wind turbines, solar panels and hydroelectric dams to meet its climate goals.


Oil Producers Won’t Hike Output Soon, Putting a Floor on Oil Price


OPEC members and non-OPEC countries meeting in Algiers weigh approach once sanctions on Iran take effect in November.

See also:

      OPEC Aims for Oil Below $80 Amid Disagreement Over Quotas WSJ


Carbon tax could give liberals vast power to grow federal government


Thanks to bold tax cuts and critically needed regulatory reforms led by President Trump and Republican leaders in Congress, the economy is booming. Small businesses and major manufacturers across the country are hiring and working Americans are reaping the benefits. Yet, critical to maintaining this vigorous, long awaited expansion is ensuring that employers and families have access to affordable energy.






Woman fights to help the homeless recover

Madera Tribune

A Madera woman on a mission to help local homeless people transition out of drug addiction spoke before the city council Wednesday night, about the growing problem of the number of drug-addicted homeless from Fresno being given a one-way ride into Madera.


Open hearts greet new Camp Taylor facility at old Honor Farm near Grayson

Modesto Bee

Camp Taylor held the groundbreaking for its new, permanent facility Saturday at the old Honor Farm site near Grayson. The facility will be the first medically supervised permanent camp facility dedicated to children with heart disease.


Maternal Mental Health Issues Affect One In Five New Moms. These California Bills Could Point Them To Treatment

Capital Public Radio

California could soon require doctors to screen moms for postpartum depression and other disorders. If left untreated, maternal mental health challenges can lead to poor birth outcomes and childhood behavioral issues.


Tiny Device Is a ‘Huge Advance’ for Treatment of Severe Heart Failure

The New York Times

In a large clinical trial, doctors found that these patients also avoided additional hospitalizations and described a drastically improved quality of life with fewer symptoms.


Human Services:


In a rebuke to Trump, Gov. Jerry Brown signs bans on short-term health plans, Medi-Cal work requirements

Los Angeles Times

California will formally forbid the sale of short-term health plans and work requirements for those who receive subsidized healthcare, under laws signed on Saturday by Gov. Jerry Brown, with both proposals crafted as sharp rejoinders to efforts by the Trump administration.


2018 Children’s Health Conference

The California Channel


Hospital to show off its lawn, gardens at annual fundraiser

Madera Tribune

The Madera Community Hospital Foundation will play host at its annual fundraiser on Sept. 28 with a few changes in menu and venue from past parties.


Families attend workshop in hopes of becoming foster parents


It is part of the Harvest of Hope Foster Program through the Saint Rest Church. They want to place 15 kids in foster homes in 15 months. Becoming a foster parent can take some time some don't know where to start.


Your chance to speak up about Tulare County animal control ordinances

Visalia Times-Delta

Those residents who would like to see changes made to local animal service ordinances will soon have their chance to voice their opinions.


CASA of Kern County celebrates 25 years of championing children in need

Bakersfield Californian

CASAs, as the advocates are called, are all about being a voice for children in dependency court and giving them a constant they can rely on until their case is settled.


Research Evidence on the Impact of Work Requirements in Need-Tested Programs

Congressional Research Service

Work requirements for recipients of government assistance seek to achieve a variety of policy goals, including promoting work, reducing assistance caseloads, and improving the economic status of individuals and families. What does the research evidence indicate about the impact of work requirements?


How Congress Made CHIP a Budgetary Boondoggle

Roll Call

Lawmakers are on the verge of wringing another $7.7 billion in budgetary savings out of the Children’s Health Insurance Program to finance the discretionary portion of the Department of Health and Human Services’ fiscal 2019 budget, among other expenses in the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations conference report.




Federal agency says it lost track of 1,488 migrant children

AP News

The Health and Human Services Department recently told Senate staffers that case managers could not find 1,488 children after they made follow-up calls to check on their safety from April through June. That number represents about 13 percent of all​​ unaccompanied children the administration moved out of shelters and foster homes during that time.


Trump administration seeks to limit access to visas or residency for immigrants who use or are likely to use public assistance

The Washington Post

U.S. immigration laws have long contained provisions limiting foreigners who are likely to be dependent on financial aid and therefore a “public charge.” But the proposed changes amount to a broad expansion of the government’s ability to deny visas or residency to immigrants if they or members of their household benefit from subsidies like Medicaid programs, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Section 8 housing vouchers.

See Also:

     Trump Administration Targets Immigrants on Public Assistance The Wall Street Journal

     Trump administration to restrict green cards for those likely to receive public assistance Los Angeles Times




Land Use:


Here’s what the Hotel Tioga rooms will look like when the remodel is done

Modesto Bee

Hotel Tioga is seen as a gem by many longtime residents that has fallen into disrepair, but city leaders announced earlier this year that new ownership will put millions of dollars into renovating the 90-year-old building.


Downtown Fresno post office has a new home

The Business Journal

If you’ve been looking for the Downtown Fresno post office in recent days, there’s a chance you went to the wrong place.


City Council takes step toward approving Country Club care facility

Stockton Record

A long vacant piece of land along the Smith Canal finally could see some development. The Stockton City Council on Tuesday voted 6-0 to rezone 4.3 acres of land from low-density residential to high-density residential in order to make way for a 100-bed assisted-living and memory-care facility in the Country Club area.


What Is Your Local Business Improvement District Funding?

BIDs are commonly quasi-public entities, established as nonprofits but funded by a city-sanctioned levy on top of existing property taxes, assessed to property owners within the BID area. The funds pay for things like the fancy BID-branded trash cans and the maintenance teams that empty them and sweep up the street. BIDs might also pay for programming to help attract shoppers to the area.




After years of dramatic increases, rents are finally showing signs of slowing

Los Angeles Times

After a remarkable run-up in housing costs that has crimped budgets, forced families from their neighborhoods and contributed to homelessness, it appears rent growth is slowing in Southern California and across the nation.


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

Los Angeles Times

Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature just showed why many voters don’t trust Sacramento politicians with money — and why last year’s gas tax increase could be repealed on election day.


The state passed a major housing package last year. Is it working so far?


Though slow-growth groups could still delay the project with litigation, SB 35 unquestionably provided the developer with enormous leverage over reticent local elected officials. Critics say the project has too much office space, which could inadvertently exacerbate the housing crisis in Cupertino. The Vallco project will offer a valuable gauge of at least one tool to make affordable housing work.


It Can Cost $750,000 to Build an Affordable Housing Unit in California. Here’s Why.


A new government report highlights cost disparities among cities and states.


Why Drug Makers Are Opposing Rent Control


“The industry’s investment in the state is threatened when our employees cannot find housing and Proposition 10 could make the situation much worse,”PhRMA said in a statement. “That’s why we are opposing Proposition 10 and contributing to its defeat.”


Prop 5 would give homeowners who move a property tax break


Proposition 5 would protect people 55 years and older by letting them take their property tax protections with them when they move. The initiative would give them the flexibility to move to more suitable homes closer to loved ones or healthcare facilities.




Can California’s next governor fix the state’s problems? It depends on Palo Alto

Los Angeles Times

The state's budget is propped up by its richest citizens. What happens if they fall on hard times?


Congress set to fund government, but not Trump’s wall

Sacramento Bee

Congress is set to pass a crucial spending bill that averts a government shutdown, but there's one potential obstacle: President Donald Trump.


The Opportunity Created by California's Overly-Generous Public Pensions


Americans are facing two very different pension outlooks. Most private sector workers contribute to 401(k) plans (which are often matched by employers), and rely on investments, savings, and Social Security for their retirement. But, their savings is inadequate.




California to audit DMV amid hours long wait times, outages


Gov. Jerry Brown ordered an audit Friday of the Department of Motor Vehicles in light of long wait times at field offices.

See also:

      California’s DMV to undergo audit after all Sacramento Bee

     California To Audit DMV Amid Hourslong Wait Times, Outages Capital Public Radio

      For some, there is a way to avoid the long lines at the DMV Los Angeles Daily News


The most dangerous county in every state for car fatalities

Hanford Sentinel

Recently released data from the U.S. government shows an alarming trend in car-related deaths.


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

Los Angeles Times

Clean-air advocates say that the new policy unfairly punishes early adopters of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, and will discourage drivers who can’t afford to buy a newer zero-emission vehicle — but may have purchased a used one to secure the carpool benefit — from entering the electric vehicle market.


Walters: The high cost of a zero-emission California


It’s time again, boys and girls, for more fun with numbers – this edition being about electrical power generation and consumption in California.


Dueling sides of gas tax repeal dispute the levy's impact on California's low-income residents

Los Angeles Times

Supporters of Proposition 6, the gas tax repeal measure, released an analysis that estimates the new taxes and fees have resulted in a family of four paying between $650 and $800 more in annual taxes and living expenses.

See also:

     EDITORIAL: It’s hard to overstate how destructive Prop 6 would be for California. Vote no  Los Angeles Times


EDITORIAL: It’s time to make cars great again, and Trump plan does just that

Fresno Bee

The Trump administration wants to put you in a newer, better car sooner and for less money. California and radical environmentalists want you in your clunker longer or to put you in a smaller, more expensive electric vehicle.


California’s train to nowhere chooses a route

Daily News

Along with the 2018 business plan, the rail authority released a Ridership and Revenue Risk Analysis that discloses how much the cap-and-trade program is projected to add to the cost of gasoline: 23-73 cents in 2029, 26-77 cents in 2033 and 33-84 cents in 2040. That’s per gallon, in 2017 dollars.





Stanislaus County appeals ruling that would make it harder for farmers to dig wells

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County will ask the state Supreme Court for a ruling on whether environmental review is a necessary step for a new water well.


State likes its old science even when new studies prove it wrong

Modesto Bee

When the state of California decided it wanted more water from the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers to use elsewhere, it turned to 10-, 20-, 30-year-old studies – the “best available science” – to prove more water equals more fish.


What was an ATM doing in San Joaquin water?

Stockton Record

There was bad news and good news Sept. 15 when San Joaquin County participated in international Coastal Cleanup for the 20th year.


County downsizes groundwater management role, raising concerns of state intervention

Bakersfield Californian

The county informed property owners Aug. 24 it does not have the expertise or the money to actively manage groundwater use in portions of Kern where no other management authority exists. It encouraged them to join a local water district or form their own​​ management organization, either of which would be expected to come up with a plan for making the practice sustainable.


Despite Risk Of Unprecedented Shortage On The Colorado River, Reclamation Commissioner Sees Room For Optimism

Water Education Foundation

During a keynote address at the Water Education Foundation’s Sept. 20 Water Summit in Sacramento, Burman said there is opportunity for Colorado River Basin states to control their destiny, but acknowledged that in water, there are no guarantees that agreement can be reached.




Before he died, he asked mom to help kids like him play sports. Birthday fundraiser does

Fresno Bee

In honor of what would have been her son’s 13th birthday, Elisha Nelson has a request: $13 donations to a hospital program that helps sick, disabled and injured children play sports. It’s in line with a final wish of Aidan Nelson, who died at age 12.


Honoring POWs in Clovis

Fresno Bee

Several prisoners of war and the families of those missing in action gathered at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District on Saturday, in honor of National POW/MIA Day.


Warnors Theater Celebrates 90 Years


The historic Warnors Theater in Downtown Fresno is about to turn 90 years old. A new documentary will be produced that will delve into its origins and impact on the community.


Valley Focus: Hecho En Fresno Celebrates Mexican-American Culture


Hecho en Fresno or Made in Fresno is down to become a night of Latin music, dance and culture. Artists include Omar Naré , Patrick Contreras aka El Violin, and dancer Jasmín La Carís.


Tulare County museum works with youth to restore Valley history

Visalia Times-Delta

A group of students enrolled in the Visalia school's ag mechanic class will work to restore the grain driller, which will be displayed at the Tulare County Museum.


Love Stockton volunteers are up to the task of sprucing up the city

Stockton Record

Hundreds of volunteers gave Stockton a little extra love on Saturday. It was part of a day-long act of community service called Love Stockton that got people to unite, come together and improve quality of life throughout the city.


A night to remember

Clovis Veterans Memorial District

Join Clovis Veterans Memorial District in celebrating veterans by attending their “a night to remember” celebration on September 28, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. in People’s Church.