September 6, 2018






Valley Air District Seeks Public Comment On Plan To Improve Air Quality

Valley Public Radio

A much-anticipated plan to reduce particulate matter in the San Joaquin Valley is now up for public comment.

See also:

       Inhalable Particulate Matter and Health (PM2.5 and PM10) California Air Resource Board

Rudy Salas’ bill to educate doctors and public on valley fever goes to governor

Bakersfield Californian

Assembly Bill 1790, authored by Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield), is on its way to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk after the state assembly unanimously approved it last week.


Obama to reportedly campaign for Valley candidates TJ Cox, Josh Harder on Saturday

The Fresno Bee

Former President Barack Obama will hit the campaign trail in support of San Joaquin Valley congressional candidates Josh Harder and TJ Cox at an Orange County rally on Saturday.

See Also:

       Obama to campaign for California Democrats in flip-the-House event San Francisco Chronicle

     Obama coming to Southern California to campaign for Democrats in key House races San Diego Union-Tribune

      Obama coming to Orange County to campaign for Democratic House hopefuls OCR

      Obama's Return to Politics: What It Means WSJ


Janz following high road to congress

The Business Journal /

The 34-year-old, who is taking on Rep. Devin Nunes this November in the midterm elections as the Democratic challenger, says he wants to preserve the ideals that made this country a bastion of freedom and offered his family a pathway to success.


Rudy Salas’ bill to educate doctors and public on valley fever goes to governor

Bakersfield Californian

Assembly Bill 1790, authored by Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield), is on its way to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk after the state assembly unanimously approved it last week.


Tulare City Council will seek city manager after all

Visalia Times-Delta

In an about-face, Tulare City Council will begin looking for a new city manager. Council members will select up to 10 applicants from the active pool of 38, keeping separate lists. Candidates most commonly chosen will go to the finalists' pile.


Raymond Gonzales, ‘catalyst’ for change in Kern County, area’s first Latino assemblyman, dead at 80

Bakersfield Californian

Raymond Gonzales built his legacy on dissent.


EDITORIAL: Stockton City Council back to people’s business twice a month

Stockton Record

In 2017, Stockton City Council reduced its number of regular monthly meetings from two a month to one. We objected to that decision, arguing that reducing the number of regular meetings limited public access and that it was unacceptable for a city of about 307,000 residents to have one regular meeting a month.




California DMV mishandled thousands of voter registrations

Fresno Bee

The California Department of Motor Vehicles said Sept. 5, 2018 that it had discovered 23,000 processing errors sending voter registrations in the state’s “Motor Voter” program.

See Also:

     More than 23,000 Californians were registered to vote incorrectly by state DMV Los Angeles Times


John Cox fined for mishandling clients’ investment funds

Fresno Bee

Securities and Exchange Commission records show regulators fined Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox $16,000 for financial irregularities while he was an investment adviser in Illinois.

See also:

     If you think California is too expensive, John Cox says he’s your guy for governor The Sacramento Bee


Newsom vs. Cox debate in California governor’s race? Don’t count on it.

The Sacramento Bee

Gubernatorial candidates Gavin Newsom and John Cox appear deadlocked over terms of a televised debate ahead of the Nov. 6 election.


Ban health insurance that doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions? Jerry Brown to decide

Sacramento Bee

California is poised to become the first state in the nation to ban cheap, short-term health insurance plans pushed by the Trump administration as a low-cost alternative to Obamacare.

Anne Gust Brown talks about governing and life with Jerry


The role of first lady is one of the most unusual in American politics and government. No one is elected to the job, or even appointed. But first ladies (and these days, first spouses) are expected to provide everything from social support to political advice for their mates, who are in executive positions running cities, states or the entire country.


Another issue, another CA brand


This week, the jeans company pledged $1 million in philanthropic grants over the next four years toward gun safety issues.


Californians still really like Prop. 13—except for the big parts they don’t like


California looks a lot different than it did a generation ago. Its residents are far more diverse, and they live in a far more expensive state. There’s way more renters and proportionately way fewer Republicans.


California’s Likely Voters


Just the FACTS

See also:

      California’s Independent Voters PPIC

      Race and Voting in California PPIC

      Millennial Voters and California Politics PPIC

      California Voter and Party Profiles PPIC


Video: A Conversation with Candidates for State Superintendent of Public Instruction


As part of our Speaker Series on California’s Future, PPIC is inviting all major candidates in selected statewide races to participate in public conversations. The purpose is to give Californians a better understanding of how candidates would approach the challenges facing our state.


EDITORIAL: Gov. Jerry Brown, veto this self-serving bill from Legislature

Sacramento Bee

California legislators passed a last-minute, self-serving bill to make it easier for them to live outside their districts. Gov. Jerry Brown should veto Senate Bill 1250.




5 key takeaways from Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation hearing


Protesters were removed from Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing for the second day on Wednesday morning.

See Also:

     Kavanaugh Defends Controversial Abortion, Gun-Control Dissents Capital Public Radio

     Dianne Feinstein isn't convinced that Kavanaugh will leave Roe vs. Wade alone. Should you be? Los Angeles Times

     Kavanaugh sticks to his position on guns, dodges questions about abortion and presidential power Los Angeles Times

     The Kavanaugh hearings are hollow, but they aren't vapid Los Angeles Times

     Roe vs. Wade: What Kavanaugh may have meant by ‘precedent on precedent’ San Francisco Chronicle

     Kamala Harris fears Brett Kavanaugh will put Trump before country San Francisco Chronicle

     Trump’s court pick a likely legal ally San Francisco Chronicle

     Kavanaugh Dodges Question on Pre-Existing Condition Provision Roll Call

      Kavanaugh Files: Second Amendment FactCheck

      Feinstein Overstates Deaths From Illegal Abortion in Kavanaugh Questioning Weekly Standard

     Listen to From Roe v. Wade to gun rights: A legal analysis of the Kavanaugh confirmation in Podcasts AirTalk

     Kavanaugh shows why he’d be a great Supreme Court justice AEI

     Brett Kavanaugh likened Supreme Court justices to 'umpires.' That's nonsense and he knows it Los Angeles Times

     Confirmation hearing fireworks are likely to be the new normal Brookings

      Kavanaugh hearing: Trump’s Supreme Court nominee won’t say whether presidents have to respond to subpoenas Washington Post

      Trump suggests protesting should be illegal  Washington Post

      The Daily 202: Kavanaugh hearing offers an ‘unprecedented’ display of the Senate’s institutional decline  Washington Post

      Ten issues likely to come up on second day of Kavanaugh hearings Washington Post

     EDITORIAL: The Kavanaugh hearings don’t have to be an exercise in futility Los Angeles Times

Woodward book 'means nothing, a work of fiction,' says Trump


Sanders disputed the contents as "another repeat of pure fiction" fueled by interviews with disgruntled White House employees and emphasized the president's successes.

See Also:

     Top 12 takeaways from Bob Woodward's new book on Donald Trump ABC30

      Trump, White House attack new book from Bob Woodward Washington Post

      Trump suggests libel laws should be changed after uproar over Woodward book Washington Post


House speaker dismisses Trump's criticisms over indictments against Republicans


House Speaker Paul Ryan downplayed the federal indictments of two GOP colleagues as "isolated incidents."

See Also:

     EDITORIAL: Politicizing Hunter, Collins indictments: This time, Trump’s tweet really went too far San Diego Union-Tribune


Trump lashes out at 'gutless' advisor who anonymously wrote that aides are saving America from the president

Los Angeles Times

President Trump lashed out at an unknown "gutless" advisor and at the New York Times after the publication Wednesday of an opinion piece from the anonymous aide alleging that officials throughout the administration are working to thwart the president's "ill-informed," "impulsive" and "erratic" instincts and "amorality."

See Also:

     The resistance is now coming from inside Trump’s administration San Francisco Chronicle

     The Four Men Most Likely to be Behind the New York Times Op-ed Weekly Standard

     No, anonymous Trump official, you're not 'part of the resistance.' You're a coward Los Angeles Times


Blame Congress for Politicizing the Court


Brett Kavanaugh has been accused of hating women, hating children, hating clean air, wanting dirty water. He’s been declared an existential threat to the nation. Alumni of Yale Law School, incensed that faculty members at his alma mater praised his selection, wrote a public letter to the school saying: “People will die if Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed.”


5 States That Will Decide the House Majority

Roll Call

Watch these states to tell if Democrats are having a good election night

See also:

       Blue Dogs See Single Digit Majority As Their ‘Sweet Spot’  Roll Call

       The 10 Most Vulnerable House Members in 2018 List Remains All-Republican  RollCall

       A Back-of-the-Envelope Look at How the House Could Flip RollCall


6 Takeaways From the 2018 Primary Season, So Far


With only three states left to hold primaries this year, the battle lines have firmed up for a midterm election that could also determine the future for President Donald Trump.




Silicon Valley gets it from both capitals and all sides


As Facebook and Twitter execs were called on the carpet in Washington, two California bills on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk echoed the calls to regulate Facebook and Twitter.

See also:


       Facebook and Twitter get to-do list from Congress San Francisco Chronicle

     Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey keeps his cool before Congress Sacramento Bee

     Justice Department to Examine Whether Social-Media Giants Are ‘Intentionally Stifling’ Some Viewpoints WSJ

     Republicans Accuse Twitter of Bias Against Conservatives New York Times


Lawmakers' Not-So-Social Media Struggle

Capital Journal

Congress plunged into a debate over information warfare, the process of attempting to steer public opinion in a certain direction through the selective disclosure or withholding of information, the emphasis on some facts and the minimization of others, and a sheer dramatic flair.


Full version of ‘Why Socialism Failed: A 2018 Update’ and some comments


Here’s a link to the full version of my updated article “Why Socialism Failed: A 2018 Update,” which got me nominated for a Nobel Prize in the comment section of the last post of the four updates




Governor reappoints 5 to Fair Board

Madera Tribune

Gov. Jerry Brown has announced reappointments to the 21st District Agricultural Association, Madera District Fair Board of Directors. The positions do not require Senate confirmation, and there is no compensation.


Agriland CEO honored

Madera Tribune

Jim Maxwell, CEO of Agriland Farming Company, Inc. was awarded with the National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association Plate of Bounty 2018 Award. California Congressman Jim Costa also presented Maxwell with a Congressional Record plaque from the House of Representatives.


Rosa Brothers Milk Company celebrates sixth anniversary

Hanford Sentinel

Rosa Brothers Milk Company marks its sixth year with an anniversary celebration from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Rosa Brothers Milk Company Creamery Store.


Backfire economics: Trump’s trade war forces US cherry growers to sell their products below cost and lose $86M


In April China retaliated against Mr. Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs by raising the tariff on U.S. cherries to 25% from 10%. American cherries are a luxury item, and affluent Chinese kept buying despite the price hike


Another Farm Bill Trouble Spot: Ex-Prisoners Growing Hemp

Roll Call

Advocates for criminal justice reform hope to convince lawmakers to reject a provision by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the Senate farm bill that would deny people with drug felony convictions the chance to be hemp farmers.






Chalk up another win for the Fresno Police Department. Another violent gang dismantled

Fresno Bee

The dismantling of Malos Hechos, Dyer said, proves once again that the police strategy of going after gang leaders is the right course.


How a court’s decision on a homeless camping ban may – or may not – affect Fresno

Fresno Bee

City leaders in Fresno, CA, are weighing options on camping ban ordinance after the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that punishing homeless people for camping amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.


Safe Streets meeting talks of spike in robbery crimes

Bakersfield Californian

They meet once a month to talk about reducing crime, building bridges between local police and the community and maybe saving a few souls in the meantime.


SJ to pay $500K over handling of slaying victim’s remains

Stockton Record

San Joaquin County has agreed to a $500,000 settlement of a lawsuit filed 5½ years ago by the mother and sisters of a teenage girl who was murdered in 1985. The suit alleged that the County Sheriff’s Office exhumed her remains in a “careless and wrongful” fashion.


Lawmakers seek answers for why Native American women vanish

Sacramento Bee

Why are Native American women going missing and facing violence at disproportionate rates? Is it racism, lack of resources, mistrust, a confusing jurisdictional maze - or all of the above?


Prosecutors protest "felony murder" bill


Forty-two county prosecutors signed a letter urging Gov. Jerry Brown to veto legislation that would significantly weaken California “felony murder” rule.


Public Safety:


U.S. Attorney honors BPD investigator with award for work on West Side Crips investigation

Bakersfield Californian

Bakersfield police Detective Robert Pair has received an Outstanding Investigator Award for his work on a multi-agency investigation that led to federal indictments against 11 West Side Crips gang members as well as state charges against 30 more people on charges ranging from burglary to murder.


Stunned by a surge in mass shootings, California lawmakers send nine gun-control bills to the governor

Los Angeles Times

Nearly 30 years after California became the first state to ban the sale of assault weapons and embarked on a path toward the strictest firearm laws in the nation, legislators have sent Gov. Jerry Brown nine new gun-control bills in response to a surge in mass shootings.


Does the U.S. lead the world in mass shootings?

Washington Post

In 2015, The Fact Checker awarded President Barack Obama two Pinocchios for a series of inconsistent and vague statements that he made about the United States and the rate of mass shootings compared with other countries. We noted that quantitative measures of cross-comparative crime statistics, especially where the crime is not consistently defined (e.g., “mass shooting”), usually end up being apples-to-oranges comparisons.




Delta Fire in Shasta County explodes to 2,000 acres, prompts evacuations and I-5 closure

Fresno Bee

The Delta Fire burning near Interstate 5 north of Lakehead, California, has exploded to 2,000 acres in just over 5 hours, posts by officials at Shasta-Trinity National Forest say. The highway has been closed.

See Also:

     2,000-acre fire closes I-5 north of Redding ABC30


Donnell Fire isn’t growing for now, but crews brace for rain that could erode soil

Modesto Bee

Crews working the Donnell Fire on upper Highway 108 are guarding against landslides that thunderstorms could unleash on the charred terrain.


Pilot shortage grounding CAL FIRE planes


California's long and deadly wildfire season is taking a toll on firefighting pilots, causing some burnout. CAL FIRE says it's been forced to ground as many as six aircraft at a time because of staffing shortages.






Tech shares drag down stock indexes as Congress scrutinizes social media

Los Angeles Times

Technology companies dropped Wednesday as Facebook and Twitter executives testified before Congress. Consumer-focused companies such as Amazon and Netflix also slumped.


Trump's first midterm pits a booming economy against one of history's most unpopular presidents

Los Angeles Times

The midterm election now just over eight weeks away is shaping up as a seismic collision between two powerful and competing forces, a rip-roaring national economy and a deeply polarizing and unpopular president.


California Trade Report for July 2018

California Center for Jobs & Economy

Recently released trade data from the US Census Bureau and US Bureau of Economic Analysis.


US trade deficit widened to $50.1 billion in July


The U.S. trade deficit widened for the second straight month in July, reaching the highest level since February, as imports hit an all-time high. The deficit in goods with China and the European Union set records.

See also:

       Did tariffs make America great? A long-read Q&A with trade historian Douglas A. Irwin AEI

       Trump Swims Against the Tide on Trade WSJ

       Canada left facing a fait accompli in NAFTA negotiations AEI

       U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission USCC


Trillion-dollar Amazon: Is this a problem?


Amazon in mid-day trading became the second $1 trillion company after more than doubling in price over the past year. (Apple hit the mark in early August.)




Bill would require publicly traded companies in Calif. to hire more women on boards


Only 16 percent of women in major corporations in the United States sit on boards. A new bill waiting to be signed by Governor Brown would require publicly traded companies based in California to hire more women on their boards.


Blog: Sport’s Gender Pay Gap Hits Turning Point — In Lemoore?

The Business Journal

The world of sport just took a key step toward gender equality, and it looks like the Kings County setting of Lemoore had something to do with it.


This state worker wants to quit her union — but it won’t let her go

Sacramento Bee

A new lawsuit from a University of California health worker says her union won’t let her quit.  Liliana Hernandez, who works in patient billing for UC Irvine’s health system, argues in her lawsuit that AFSCME Local 3299 is still collecting dues from her despite her repeated attempts to separate.


This Professor Wants Job Training To Start At Age 12

As a kid, Brian Robertson spent hours programming his own video games. By age 13, he was skipping school to code; by 16, he had dropped out. He tried his hand at an engineering college but was frustrated by the lack of experiential learning and dropped out again.


Labor unions can be great institutions again


Liberals typically celebrate Labor Day with a bit more enthusiasm than do conservatives. That’s because conservatives often see labor unions as inherently antagonistic institutions that are anti-business or socialist.


The 2018 AEI-Brookings Project on Paid Family Leave


Over the previous year, the AEI-Brookings Working Group on Paid Family Leave has analyzed the evidence on medical and family care leave and deliberated the potential framework of a federal policy on these issues


Thousands of Californians are working while homeless, and many don’t want their bosses to know


Pinning down exactly how many Californians are working while homeless is not easy. Many try to hide it. And it’s certainly true that most people without a place to live are out of work.


Bernie Sanders’s Half-Truth on Wages


Progressives are attempting to discredit the Trump economy by claiming workers aren’t seeing the benefits. Sen. Bernie Sanders recently claimed that the increase in wages last year “nets out to zero” because of inflation and that “the average American worker today, despite the strong economy, is not getting ahead.”


Bernie Sanders is wrong about workers on welfare


Senator Bernie Sanders is all set to propose legislation that proposes to put a tax on large businesses with employees who receive benefits from safety-net programs.






Salas hands out backpacks at preschool

Hanford Sentinel

Assemblyman Rudy Salas (D–Bakersfield) had one last backpack distribution event in Corcoran on Aug. 17 at Dolores Huerta Head Start preschool.


At 40, Modesto school is just a baby compared to another with milestone this year

The Modesto Bee

Sure, it’s had some work done, but Christine Sipherd Elementary School is looking fine at 40.


County schools are better than national rankings

The Sun Gazette

A recent report on Tulare County being the least educated area in the United States might have been statistically accurate but also somewhat misleading.


Ten questions for educators to chew on


So I offered some questions that don’t wade into the particulars of curriculum and instruction—but that offer a straightforward way to get a read on school culture, values, and mindset


Expanding students’ networks | Viewpoint


In Julia Freeland Fisher’s book “Who You Know: Unlocking Innovations That Expand Students’ Networks,” she addresses a surprising reason for inequality in education: Uneven access to networks.


Teachers aren’t getting younger, we’re just paying them less


As children head back to school after a wave of teacher strikes in several U.S. states this year, including ongoing strikes in Washington state, Michael Hansen shares evidence to counter a common argument about why teachers, especially young ones, have seen their salaries decline in recent years.


Where chronic student absence is a problem and strategies to make progress


On the first day of school, one of the teacher’s first tasks is taking attendance. In the days, weeks, and months to follow, some students will miss so much school that they will become what is considered chronically absent

Higher Ed:


Some Fresno State frats won’t be able to serve hard liquor following a new rule

Fresno Bee

As recruitment season begins for Fresno State’s Greek community, some fraternities are grappling with a new rule that bans hard alcohol at their chapters.

See Also:

     Association bans hard-alcohol from fraternity events ABC30

Educators brush up on financial aid process


About 200 college and Fresno Unified educators attended a Financial aid workshop put on by the California Student Aid Commission at Fresno State Wednesday morning.


CSUB opens new Student Advising and Success Center

Bakersfield Californian

California State University, Bakersfield held a grand opening for its new Student Advising and Success Center building on Wednesday.


Stockton actor blazing new trails for those with Down syndrome

Stockton Record

Stockton resident Nic Allen was one of hundreds across the state with varying disabilities to apply for California State University, Fresno’s Wayfinders program, a two-year non-degree independent living certificate program for young adults age 18-28 with intellectual and developmental disabilities.


Community Colleges Invest In Workforce Training As Need For Skilled Workers Increases

Capital Public Radio

Two years ago, the state started contributing $200 million a year to community colleges as part of the Strong Workforce Program. At the same time, California Community Colleges continue to expand offerings that give students job training, and recently received funding to launch a 115th campus, albeit online.


Remedial Education Reforms at California’s Community Colleges: Early Evidence on Placement and Curricular Reforms


Seeking to improve student outcomes, a few colleges have been experimenting with either placement reform and/or with reforms to the curricula and course structure of their developmental education offerings, but not at the scale that is needed to see system wide improvements.


Apple, Google, et al. strike a blow against the college cartel


Earlier this month, the job-search site Glassdoor compiled a list of 15 major companies that no longer require applicants for certain posts to have a college degree


In One Generation, A Farmworker Family Grows College Ambitions


For as long as he can remember, Angel has missed the beginning of the school year in Texas because his family stays in North Dakota through the harvest. It's weather-dependent, so there's no hard end; all Angel knows is they'll head home to Texas sometime in October or November.


Harvard Stays on Top of WSJ/THE College Rankings


Cambridge is king. Size doesn’t matter. And money talks.






Valley Air District Seeks Public Comment On Plan To Improve Air Quality

Valley Public Radio

A much-anticipated plan to reduce particulate matter in the San Joaquin Valley is now up for public comment.

See also:

       Inhalable Particulate Matter and Health (PM2.5 and PM10) California Air Resource Board


City Council considers options for struggling recycling program

Bakersfield Californian

The Bakersfield City Council is getting closer to deciding what is to be done with the city’s curbside recycling program, which is costing the city money due to market changes.


Environmental group sues to stop oilfield wastewater dumping at unlined pits in western Kern

Bakersfield Californian

A lawsuit filed Wednesday by an Arizona-based environmental activist group seeks to halt the disposal of oilfield wastewater at a series of unlined pits near Buttonwillow.


2018 California Green Innovation Index


Tenth annual California Green Innovation Index finds that policies driving record-setting investment and innovation, but transportation emissions keep rising


My turn: Here’s how to grow jobs: Fight climate change


California has the toughest clean air standards and some of the most ambitious climate policies in the country.




App Creators Seek To Revolutionize Home Energy Use

The Business Journal

A Fresno-made app might be the next big thing in energy-savings — and the local tech community is taking notice.


A blind spot in Gov. Jerry Brown’s green worldview? Critics say yes—it’s oil


The venue was a high-level international climate conference sponsored by the United Nations, but the demonstrators were undeterred.


California Today: A Bailout for the Power Company?

NY Times

After a succession of fierce California wildfires, lawmakers voted in the session’s final hours last week to approve Senate Bill 901, a measure aimed at protecting against future fires. But the legislation also protects Pacific Gas and Electric Company from liability for such fires, enabling it to pass the costs on to ratepayers.






California: A Health Care Laboratory With Mixed Results

California Healthline

California’s expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act enabled many low-income HIV patients to get health insurance previously denied to them.


Rudy Salas’ bill to educate doctors and public on valley fever goes to governor

Bakersfield Californian

Assembly Bill 1790, authored by Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield), is on its way to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk after the state assembly unanimously approved it last week.


Faster medicine: video calls bring psychiatrists to emergency room patients’ bedsides

The Modesto Bee

Memorial Medical Center is using technology to broaden patient access to psychiatry services in emergencies.


Common questions and misconceptions about children and fevers


Every family has been through it-- the uncertainty when your child has a fever. Even though it's common there are many misconceptions about it. Dr. Clint Pollack from Valley Children's Hospital has a few answers to common questions and clears up some common misconceptions.


What’s happened since California let fewer families reject vaccines


A California law that aims to limit the number of people who can refuse vaccines has led to a slight improvement in kindergartners’ vaccination rate in recent years, according to a new study in Health Affairs.


How California learned to keep pregnant women, new moms from dying

San Francisco Chronicle

As deaths of new and expectant moms multiplied in the United States, the picture in California and the rest of the developed world has veered in the opposite direction


Counting Kicks to Prevent Stillbirths

PEW center

Emily Eekhoff was in the 33rd week of her second pregnancy when she made an unsettling discovery.


Yes, there’s hope for health care reform


The political divide over the insurance provisions of the Affordable Care Act looks to be unbridgeable for now, but out of public view, Republicans and Democrats are quietly forging​​ a consensus on an even more consequential aspect of medical care: improving its value for all Americans by increasing its quality and lowering its cost.


Justice Department Nearing Antitrust Approval of Health Mergers Combining CVS-Aetna, Cigna-Express Scripts


Justice Department antitrust enforcers are preparing to give the green light to two deals in the healthcare industry, CVS Health Corp.’sCVS +1.32% planned acquisition of health insurer Aetna Inc. AET +0.47% and Cigna Corp.’s CI -1.05% planned purchase of Express Scripts ESRX -0.60%Holding Co., according to people familiar with the matter.


Human Services:


Adventist Health and Susan G. Komen work to make screening for breast cancer easier

Hanford Sentinel

Less than one percent of Kings County women are diagnosed with breast cancer according to the National Cancer Institute.


Mental health advocates come out in support of Clovis treatment center


Mental health advocates filled a Clovis City council meeting on Tuesday in support of a new treatment center, as neighbors shared their concerns.


Stockton roundtable aimed at re-envisioning role of public libraries

Stockton Record

A national organization will hold a community dialogue in Stockton on Friday focused on improving public libraries in the community.




Deportations, separations not just a Latino issue. They also impact these families

Fresno Bee

Under the Trump administration, the U. S. last year began to deport many Cambodians after imposing visa sanctions against the Southeast Asian country to pressure it to take back deportees.

See also:

       San Joaquin Valley’s elected officials must stand up for immigrants Fresno Bee

       Jim Costa talks about a 'broken' immigration system Fresno Bee

       Courthouse ICE Arrests Spark Concerns, But Aren't New Valley Public Radio.

       Does ICE Have Unlimited Authority To Make Courthouse Arrests? PolitiFact


Trump administration to circumvent court limits on detention of child migrants

Washington Post

The Trump administration took the first official step Thursday toward withdrawing from a court agreement that limits the government’s ability to hold minors in immigration jails, a move advocates say could lead to a rapid expansion of detention facilities and more time in custody for children.


One year after DACA rescinded, 'dreamers' still pushing for protection

San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego's young, unauthorized immigrants returned Wednesday to where they rallied one year ago when the Trump administration ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to say they are not backing down in their fight to stay in the U.S.




Land Use:


San Joaquin Valley Homes announces 80-home subdivision

The Business Journal

Visalia-based San Joaquin Valley Homes announced it has closed on a deal for 15 acres of Porterville-area farmland to build an 80-home subdivision.


Will supervisors give ok to new animal shelter west of 99?

GV Wire

Fresno Humane Animal Services wants to build a new $6 million shelter and animal hospital. It has the land. It has preliminary approvals. It is fundraising to build a first-rate operation.




Brown signs bill giving California tenants more time to fight evictions

San Francisco Chronicle

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Wednesday that will extend the amount of time tenants have to fight evictions.


Gimme Shelter podcast: Evictions and tenants’ rights


Matt and Liam discuss a handful of tenants’ rights bills with uncertain futures currently making their way through the Legislature.




House plans to vote on second phase of tax cuts this month, Paul Ryan says

Los Angeles Times

House GOP leaders are forging ahead with a plan to vote on a second phase of tax cuts this month, despite dissension from Republicans in high-tax states who say the measure would hurt their voters.


Some small business owners could avoid cap on state and local tax deduction after IRS clarifies new rules

Los Angeles Times

Small business owners could avoid a new federal limit on state and local tax deductions after the Internal Revenue Service said Wednesday that rules it released last month to prevent efforts in California and other states to circumvent the cap apply only to individuals.


Required vote for local tax increases in legal limbo


California’s booming economy is pouring many billions of additional tax dollars into state and local government treasuries.




Prop 6: The Fight Over Last Year’s California Gas Tax Hike

Capital Radio

Californians will be voting on 11 ballot measures in November. One of the most contested  is Proposition 6, which would reverse last year’s fuel tax and vehicle fee increases.

See also:

       Supervisors Defend Statewide Gas Tax SF Weekly


Modesto City Council creates committee to curb delays in sales tax-funded road projects

Modesto Bee

The Modesto City Council on Tuesday night unanimously voted to reject a recommendation to repeal an ordinance that created a commission to oversee Measure L sales tax spending to improve traffic conditions throughout Stanislaus County.


Take a ride on the Sequoia Shuttle runs before it's too late

Visalia Times-Delta

The Sequoia Shuttle will run until Sunday, proving the last weekend to ride out to the national park in an environmentally-friendly way.


High-speed rail open houses coming up in Tehachapi, Bakersfield

Bakersfield Now

A pair of community meetings are coming up in the next week for the planned bullet train route from Bakersfield to Palmdale

See also:

      California High-Speed Rail community meeting planned for tonight KGET


EDITORIAL: Want the 'subway to the sea' running by the 2028 Olympics? The feds need to show us the money

Los Angeles Times

2028 is not all that far away. And as the Summer Olympics that will be held in Los Angeles that year draw ever closer, the track to keep an eye on isn’t on the field.




Bills To Create Drinking Water Fund Die In State Legislature

Valley Public Radio

California’s legislative session ended last week, and with it, the hopes for a statewide pool of money that would have supported drinking water projects.


Oroville Dam repairs now exceed $1 billion and ‘may be adjusted further’ as work continues

Sacramento Bee

The price tag for the 2017 crisis at Oroville Dam has surged past $1 billion. On Wednesday, the state Department of Water Resources revealed a $1.1 billion cost estimate for the massive repair work at America’s tallest dam.

See Also:

     Oroville Dam repair costs soar past $1 billion Los Angeles Times


California sues federal government over Tijuana sewage spilling into San Diego

San Diego Union-Tribune

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra filed a lawsuit Tuesday night against the Trump administration, alleging that the federal government violated the Clean Water Act by allowing, in recent years, millions of gallons of raw sewage, heavy metals and other contamination to routinely spill from Tijuana into San Diego.


Prop 3: An $8.87 billion water and habitat bond


California needs a clean, safe and reliable water supply to meet its needs as the population grows and the climate changes.


Managing Drought in a Changing Climate: Four Essential Reforms


Managing water is at the forefront of climate change adaptation in California. A new report from PPIC combines lessons learned from the recent drought with climate change simulations to examine California’s capacity to prepare for greater extremes and growing water scarcity.




Teen falls to his death in Yosemite National Park after trying to take a selfie

The Fresno Bee

A teenager who was visiting from Israel died Wednesday in Yosemite National Park while reportedly trying to take a selfie.


Graffiti battle brewing. Artists taking over alley wall on Modesto’s Tenth Street

The Modesto Bee

There’s plenty of “American Graffiti”-themed art peppering downtown Modesto. This weekend, graffiti art of an entirely different kind will take over a large wall off the main drag.


How Stanislaus Library gives talented kids a place to shine

The Modesto Bee

Children who want to show their talents and make some money have about five weeks to prepare for the Stanislaus County Library’s annual All-Kids Craft Fair.