Government & Politics

News about government and politics

Kerry Klein / KQED

The soundtrack of Luis Medellin’s childhood was the sound of the orange and lemon harves

Early mornings, he’d hear the clink of farmworkers setting up tall ladders in the orchards to pick the fruit. On cold nights, giant wind machines would whirr to life, as farmers scrambled to warm up the trees. All day long, trucks would rumble past his house, hauling loads of fresh fruit to one of the nearby packinghouses.

  Medellin grew up in Lindsay, a largely Latino town in Tulare County, in the heart of the state’s citrus belt.

Lyft Press

For the first time, a ride-hailing company will be allowed legally to pick up and drop off riders at the Fresno Yosemite International Airport.

On Friday, the city of Fresno reached an agreement with the Ride-hailing company Lyft to allow their drivers to run to and from the airport.

Previously, because of Public Utility Commission rules only taxi companies had official permission to operate at the airport. Lyft is now agreeing to follow all the same rules. The deal takes effect immediately.

High Speed Rail Authority

The decision by the California High-Speed Rail Authority to build the northern section of track first is having big consequences for the location of the project’s heavy maintenance facility. The facility and is highly sought after by several valley communities, and is expected to bring with it around 1,500 jobs.

In the authority’s new proposal, the first section of functional track would run from San Jose to Shafter.

Christopher Rocha - http://www.vintagefresno.com/ - used with permission

UPDATED 2/26:

A long-awaited development project near Chukchansi Park has earned the Fresno City Council’s unanimous approval.

The city authorized more than $1 million dollars in public money to enable developers to construct a mixed use commercial-residental building at the corner of Fulton and Inyo streets next to the park.

Council member Oliver Baines, whose district includes the project, urged support for the deal.

California High-Speed Rail Authority

The California High Speed Rail Authority has officially released an updated plan that makes big changes to first section of the bullet train.

The plan confirms that the Authority wants to change the first functional section of track to run from Bakersfield to San Jose. The original plan was for the first working segment of track to run from the Central Valley to Burbank outside LA.

The report leaked on Wednesday, but Thursday evening the Rail Authority released an official version of the document confirming the route change.

CA Senate Considers Further Uber And Lyft Regulations

Feb 18, 2016
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft are facing the prospect of tighter regulation in California this year. At a hearing today, the companies got an earful from cab drivers and a state Senator. Ben Bradford reports from Sacramento.

The rules governing ride-hailing services are new, and limited, compared to the many local regulations that govern taxi companies and which vary from city to city. Marco Soto of the Taxicab Paratransit Association of California said that’s more than unfair.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Affordable housing advocates have filed a lawsuit against the city of Fresno, claiming it has failed to make enough land available for low cost housing.

Residents of southwest Fresno say the city has failed to re-zone some 700-acres of land it promised to set aside for multifamily homes and apartments.

Attorney Ashley Werner with the Leadership Council for Justice says Fresno is facing an affordable housing crisis.

Change Of Destination Expected For High Speed Rail

Feb 18, 2016
California High Speed Rail Authority

A big change appears to be in the works for California’s high speed rail project. Valley Public Radio’s Jeffrey Hess has more.

The original plan was to connect cities in the Central Valley to Burbank in Southern California with the first functional stretch of track. Now according to multiple media reports, the High-Speed Rail Authority appears ready to run the first trains from Bakersfield to San Jose.

The rail authority is expected to release a report tomorrow detailing the need for the change.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

The Central Valley is often considered as the epicenter of poverty in California. But one Fresno-based nonprofit thinks they have found a way to lift more families off the bottom of the economic ladder. The name of the program is the Fresno Bridge Academy.

Beningo Garza, who goes by Bennie, knows exactly what he wants in life.

“Because I want my own home. I want a big home for my wife and kids. I want a boat. I want things,” Garza said.

But recently the 36-year old came to a realization.  

“And you can’t get that one welfare.”

Legal Challenge Could Freeze Billions In Funds For California's Bullet Train

Feb 11, 2016
California High Speed Rail Authority

The future of California's high speed rail project may now rest with a Sacramento judge. Oral Arguments wrapped up Thursday in a case that says the project has strayed from what voters approved in 2008.

Stuart Flashman is the attorney representing Central Valley landowners who oppose the project. He wants the judge to stop high-speed rail in its tracks.

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