April 3, 2020




North SJ Valley:


Coronavirus update: Graffiti Festival off; latest case count; shopping tips

Modesto Bee

Grocers and other essential stores have refined their safeguards for shoppers amid the coronavirus. This includes sanitizing surfaces, reducing crowding and shielding workers at checkout lines. Read Marijke Rowland’s Biz Beat column.


EDITORIAL: Is Modesto too small? City may not make the cut for coronavirus aid in stimulus bill

Modesto Bee

Modesto may end up on the short end of the stick when Washington hands out billions of dollars in coronavirus relief during the coming weeks. Why? The city may be too small.


Central SJ Valley:


This Fresno councilmember thinks there should be fines for violating social distancing

Fresno Bee

Fresno City Councilmember Luis Chavez said he will propose a city ordinance to fine residents who are violating social distancing and other public health measures during the coronavirus pandemic.

See also:

     Opinion: How long will Fresno be social distancing? Buckle up, because it could be a while Fresno Bee


Fresno Mayor-Elect Jerry Dyer launches campaign to support organizations aiding the needy during coronavirus outbreak

Fresno Bee

At the Central California Food Bank, with dwindling stocks of food, Fresno Mayor-Elect Jerry Dyer launched a fundraising campaign, givehelpnow.org, to support organizations aiding the needy during coronavirus outbreak.

See also:

     5 Fresno businesses set up $500,000 fund to encourage donations amid coronavirus Fresno Bee

     Jerry Dyer creates donation site for local nonprofits abc30


Fresno, Clovis lift RV parking restrictions for workers to self-isolate during pandemic

Fresno Bee

The cities of Fresno and Clovis are easing restrictions over on-street parking of recreational vehicles to allow workers in essential functions to isolate themselves from their families during the coronavirus pandemic.

     Clovis Waives Rules On RV Parking For Covid-19 Isolation Business Journal


Fresno gets hundreds of complaints about non-essential businesses still open


The city of Fresno ordered non-essential businesses to shut down two weeks ago. But they've gotten hundreds of complaints about places that have stayed open anyway.


Answering Fresno-area reader questions about coronavirus: How many cases in each city?

Fresno Bee

As coronavirus continues to upend life in the central San Joaquin Valley, The Fresno Bee is here to answer your pandemic-related questions. 


GOP Rep. Devin Nunes again questions coronavirus distancing measures, calls California school closures 'way overkill'

USA Today

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., is in hot water again after he said the decision to close California schools for the remainder of the school year was "way overkill," and disagreed with the date the White House set to extend coronavirus social distancing guidelines. 


WARSZAWSKI: How long will Fresno be social distancing? Buckle up, because it could be a while

Fresno Bee

Most of us are in our third week of staying home, and sheltering in place is starting to feel like hibernation. 


South SJ Valley:


Kern County issues order banning private gatherings, begins crackdown on businesses

Bakersfield Californian

The Kern County Public Health Services Department has issued a new order banning all public and private gatherings, and will soon begin increasing enforcement against nonessential businesses that remain open despite the ban.


Kern County residents can now file complaints on non-compliant businesses online

Residents can now file complaints of businesses not following stay-at-home orders with Kern County Public Health. 


CSUB professor Dr. Jeanine Kraybill breaks down the politics of a pandemic

Kern Radio

How do politics bleed into the medical response of a pandemic? CSUB professor Jeannine Kraybill breaks it down.


CSUB economics professor says we may be flirting with a depression

Kern Radio

How bad is the economic impact of this virus? Dr. Richard Gearhart says we could be headed toward a depression.


Californian earns top honor in California Journalism Awards

Bakersfield Californian

The Bakersfield Californian earned first-place general excellence honors in the 2019 California Journalism Awards, recognizing the entire newsroom staff for its reporting and writing, photography, design and overall presentation.




Challenging Times for California


This is a time of global crisis. We are all living through a fast-moving, large-scale disaster that is having extraordinary public health and economic consequences. Here in California, public leaders and private industries took early action to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, putting policies in place to flatten the curve sooner than any other state.

See also:

·       See how California’s COVID-19 death curve is projected to look, compared to other large states Sacramento Bee

·       California, you’re doing a great job staying home, tracking data show. (Except these places) Sacramento Bee


California launches task force to deal with staggering testing backlog

SF Gate

During a Thursday news conference, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that his state is launching a "testing task force" to deal with the backlog and increase general testing capacity.


Newsom says face coverings can help, but California won’t mandate now

Los Angeles Times

Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that face coverings are beneficial for trips to grocery stores, but his administration has stopped short of telling Californians to wear them outside.


California Gov. Gavin Newsom announces initiative to help workers during coronavirus

Fresno Bee

California Gov. Gavin Newsom at noon Thursday will announce an initiative to help workers and small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, according to his office.

See also:

·       'We're not New York': Newsom says California has enough safeguards to continue construction Politico.


Federal Fiscal Relief and COVID-19: Implications for Californians

California Budget & Policy Center

In recent weeks, in response to the rapid spread of COVID-19, the ensuing public health crisis, and heightened concerns about the economic implications of the crisis, federal leaders enacted three fiscal relief packages intended to provide support for public health responses; economic assistance for affected workers, businesses, and households; and fiscal relief for state, local, and tribal governments. 


Commentary: Brown’s Decision on Funding Medical Supplies Understandable at the Time, Not Later

Fox & Hounds

Should Gov. Jerry Brown be blamed for the lack of California medical supplies? Hindsight is an unsympathetic observer. It often measures past events by current circumstances. Brown’s decision of not continuing the funding of the state’s built-up medical supply reserves at the time he was facing a huge budget deficit is understandable—but an opportunity to replenish later was ignored.


Backers of California tax initiative submit signatures

Hanford Sentinel

Supporters of a proposed amendment to the California Constitution that would raise property taxes on some businesses by up to $12 billion a year announced Thursday they have collected more than 1.7 million signatures, all but assuring it will appear on the November ballot.

See also:

     Backers of California Proposition 13 revision turn in ballot signatures San Francisco Chronicle


Unique California gun program clears fewer cases in 2019

Bakersfield Californian

State authorities cleared 8.6% fewer cases last year regarding people who no longer are allowed to own firearms, down from a record high in 2018, through a unique California program.




Experts and Trump’s advisers doubt White House’s 240,000 coronavirus deaths estimate

Washington Post

Leading disease forecasters, whose research the White House used to conclude 100,000 to 240,000 people will die nationwide from the coronavirus, were mystified when they saw the administration’s projection this week.

See also:

·       Commentary: Forget Trump’s daily briefings. Watch these coronavirus messengers instead Los Angeles Times


Most believe stopping virus is larger priority than saving economy: poll

The Hill

The majority of Americans believe that fighting and stopping the coronavirus outbreak should be the federal government's top priority, ahead of fixing the country's crippled economy, a new Public Agenda-USA Today-Ipsos poll finds.

See also:

·       Fewer than half of Americans believe their daily routine will return to normal by June, as fears over coronavirus rise: POLL abcNews



Rotting masks, busted ventilators in U.S. stockpile sent to states fighting coronavirus

Fresno Bee

As the Strategic National Stockpile dwindles, health officials across the country say they’ve received unusable masks and ventilators damaged by mold or broken with missing parts, media outlets report.

See also:

     States demand ventilators as feds ration limited supply Fresno Bee

     Fresno business manufactures protective face shields during pandemic abc30

     Less than 10% of the N95 masks requested have been received by 5 states Roll Call

     U.S. Expected to Recommend Cloth Face Masks for Americans in Coronavirus Hot Spots Wall Street Journal

     FEMA tells lawmakers most new ventilators won't be ready until June  Politico


Trump admin moves toward promoting broader use of face masks

Fresno Bee

The Trump administration is formalizing new guidance to recommend that many Americans wear face coverings in an effort to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, as the president is aggressively defending his response to the public health crisis.

See also:

     Trump admin moves toward promoting broader use of face masks abc30

     Health officials: Face coverings could help slow spread of virus Turlock Journal

     ‘Please, please, please step up:’ Union, employer make joint appeal to Trump on face masks Sacramento Bee

     Trump Administration To Recommend People In Coronavirus Hotspots Wear Masks Capital Public Radio

     Should Everyone Wear Masks Outside? Guidelines May be Changing, But For Now Medical Experts Are Mixed. Capital Public Radio

     Face masks could provide coronavirus protection. But there’s a ‘but’ Los Angeles Times

     Inside America’s mask crunch: A slow government reaction and an industry wary of liability Washington Post

     White House expected to urge Americans to wear face coverings in public to slow spread of coronavirus Washington Post


Company incorrectly claimed FDA approval of 2-minute coronavirus test

The Hill

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week said it did not approve a two-minute coronavirus blood test that a company touted as receiving government approval.

See also:

·       Exclusive: California Company Under Scrutiny For 'At-Home' Coronavirus Test Claims VPR


Trump's federal coronavirus quarantine isn't happening (for now). But what can states do?


How much can the government limit the actions of private individuals during a global health crisis? And specifically, can states quarantine out-of-state travelers? That is one of the big unanswered legal questions raised by the coronavirus crisis.

See Also:

     GOP senator: National shelter-in-place order would be an 'overreaction' The Hill

     OPINION: The States of Covid-19 Wall Street Journal

     OPINION: Coronavirus vs. Governors: Ranking the Best and Worst State Leaders Politico

     FALSE: Says the governors of Michigan, New York and Nevada “have issued orders banning the prescription of hydroxychloroquine to patients with COVID-19.” PolitiFact


In time of crisis, Trump-Pelosi relationship remains broken

Fresno Bee

Two of the most powerful people in Washington have not spoken in five months at a time when the nation is battling its worst health crisis in a century, one that has already killed more than 5,000 Americans and put 10 million others out of work.


Trump administration ended pandemic early-warning program to detect coronaviruses

Los Angeles Times

Two months before the novel coronavirus is thought to have begun spreading in Wuhan, China, the Trump administration ended a $200-million pandemic early-warning program aimed at training scientists in China and other countries to detect and respond to such a threat.


FACT CHECK: Trump Pushes Tax Break To Boost Restaurants, But Would It Actually Help?


President Trump wants to bring back the tax write-off for business meals and entertainment, but critics say reviving what is known as the "three-martini lunch" tax break is not the answer to the problem that restaurants face right now.


IRS to begin issuing $1,200 coronavirus payments April 9, but some Americans won’t receive checks until September, agency plan says

Washington Post

The Internal Revenue Service plans to send electronic payments as soon as late next week to millions of Americans as part of the $2 trillion coronavirus law, a week sooner than expected, according to a plan circulated internally on Thursday.

See Also:

     Some Americans may not get stimulus checks until August. Here's why. abc30

     Top Republican lawmakers maintain their opposition to ‘Phase 4’ coronavirus package MarketWatch


Trump Administration Plans to Pay Hospitals to Treat Uninsured Coronavirus Patients

Wall Street Journal

The Trump administration is expected to use a federal stimulus package to pay hospitals that treat uninsured people with the new coronavirus as long as they agree not to bill the patients or issue unexpected charges, according to two people familiar with the planning..


Commentary: COVID-19 relief package will save lives, protect working families

Bakersfield Californian

With fatalities in the thousands and job losses in the millions, the novel coronavirus pandemic is a crisis unlike any other we’ve ever faced. 


Opinion: What if the Supreme Court strikes down the ACA during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The Hill

With COVID-19 spreading across the United States, the fate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is once again up in the air, hanging on the outcome of a Supreme Court case. Should the law be overturned, upwards of 20 million people could lose their health insurance.


Coronavirus Trackers:


Coronavirus (COVID-19) in California


COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.

See also:

     California Department of Public Health

     Coronavirus (COVID-19) CDC

     Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic - WHO

     See how California’s COVID-19 death curve is projected to look, compared to other large states Fresno Bee

     Tulare County unveils COVID-19 map to give 'accurate' view of areas affected by the virus Visalia Times Delta

     John Hopkins University & Medicine John Hopkins University

     Tracking coronavirus in California Los Angeles Times

     Coronavirus Tracker San Francisco Chronicle

     Coronavirus in the U.S.: Latest Map and Case Count New York Times

     How many coronavirus cases have been reported in each U.S. state? Politico

     Coronavirus Daily NPR

     Coronavirus tracked: the latest figures as the pandemic spreads Financial Times

     Coronavirus in California by the numbers CalMatters


Elections 2020:


How Bernie Sanders could help fix Joe Biden’s Latino voter problem

Fresno Bee

One of the legacies of Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign is likely to be his success with engaging Latino voters, a constituency Democrats often take for granted that the Vermont senator invested in early and heavily.


Biden says he’ll put a black woman on the Supreme Court. This California justice is a leading candidate 

Los Angeles Times

Former Vice President Joe Biden has promised that if elected in November, he will appoint the first black woman to the Supreme Court — a step he called “long overdue.”


Coronavirus concerns prompt Democrats to move convention from July to August

Los Angeles Times

The Democratic National Convention has been delayed until Aug. 17 because of the coronavirus sweeping the country. 


Coronavirus voting: Dems renew drive for changes, while GOP pushes back

San Francisco Chronicle

A Democratic plan to spend $2 billion on changes that lawmakers say would make it safer and easier for voters to cast ballots in the shadow of the coronavirus is under attack by Republicans.

See also:

·       Trump campaign declares war on Dems over voting rules for Nov Politico


New election security funds won’t come easy for hard-hit states

Roll Call

Cash-strapped states, which Congress just pumped $150 billion into, will nonetheless have to pony up in order to access new election security grants in the massive new coronavirus aid package signed by President Donald Trump last week.


How the coronavirus is shaping the 2024 presidential race


Andrew Cuomo’s poll ratings are soaring. Jay Inslee is drawing more attention than his failed presidential campaign ever did. Gretchen Whitmer is burnishing her credentials as a possible running mate for Joe Biden.

See also:

·       Skelton: Newsom and Cuomo have been top leaders in the coronavirus crisis. Don’t count on them to challenge BidenLos Angeles Times




Can Democracy Survive Coronavirus?

U.S. News

STATE PRIMARY ELECTIONS have been delayed, and experts fret about how to hold a credible and accessible general election in November. Congress is out until at least April 20, and many state legislatures have suspended their sessions. Government buildings are closed. The Trump administration wants "emergency" powers to allow suspects to be detained indefinitely, while abroad, world leaders are using the pandemic to seize more power.


How Census Is Building a Citizenship Database Covering Everyone Living in the U.S.


By March 2021, the bureau plans to release anonymized statistics while keeping the raw data on individuals' citizenship status confidential.


Commentary: From Rural Digital Divides to Local Solutions


Thick snow flurries fell on the night that my colleague Mark Hoelscher, then Brookings’s resident photographer, and I left Washington, D.C., driving northwest on Interstate 270 toward Garrett County, Maryland. The trip, which is normally three hours, took five given the blinding and hazardous weather conditions in the Allegheny Mountains


Some Local Agencies Are No Longer Responding to Public Records Requests

Voice of San Diego

Most government agencies across the region are no longer providing records to the public as is typically required under a state law known as the California Public Records Act amid the coronavirus pandemic. Even requests for records related to the crisis that exist electronically are being largely denied indefinitely.


Column: You can thank the coronavirus for a plunge in robocalls

Los Angeles Times

Like most of us, Elaine Regus and her husband have adapted to being home most of the day, except for the occasional walk around the neighborhood. The San Dimas resident told me that in the past, they’d typically find several messages from robocallers awaiting them any time they returned home.


Opinion: America’s Pandemic War Games Don’t End Well


One simulation of an uncontrolled disease outbreak concluded with riots and the National 

Guard on the streets.




Farmworkers, Mostly Undocumented, Become ‘Essential’ During Pandemic

New York Times

Like legions of immigrant farmworkers, Nancy Silva for years has done the grueling work of picking fresh fruit that Americans savor, all the while afraid that one day she could lose her livelihood because she is in the country illegally.

See Also:

     Farmworkers face coronavirus risk: ‘You can’t pick strawberries over Zoom’ Los Angeles Times

     How Can We Make Farm Work Healthier? (Streaming Online, Tues, 4/14) Zócalo Public Square


Coronavirus safety comes first as Modesto Certified Farmers Market opens season

Modesto Bee

The market got off to a light start, which Burch Bees Pure Honey proprietor Shiela Burch said was fine with her. A quiet day would be perfect for working out any kinks involved in greeting customers amid the new measures in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.


KCCOA works around COVID-19 to distribute food

Hanford Sentinel

It was a windy Wednesday morning, but Kings County Commission on Aging Executive Director Bobbie Wartson and others were ready to distribute food to the community as always.


10 tips for safe shopping, from the California Grocers Association

Bakersfield Californian

The California Grocers Association released a list of 10 tips for safe shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here they are: Only visit the store when it’s essential. Then buy only​​ what you need for one week or a little more. There is enough for all if shopping patterns remain normal.

See also:

     First-responders get special shopping times at FoodMaxx, Save Mart stores Bakersfield Californian

     ‘Eggs were flying off the shelves.’ But they should return soon, experts say Sacramento Bee

     Leave your reusable grocery bag at home in coronavirus pandemic, markets tell customers Sacramento Bee


Commentary: As coronavirus impacts the hospitality business, chefs cook up a plan to help farmers and restaurants, and it also will help feed the hungry


For many of us working in restaurants, it’s about community, the whole community.  We are woven into a city’s social fabric as places for people to celebrate, negotiate, argue or fall in love. That is what hospitality does best — bring people together. 

See also:

·       Craft Brewers In California Grateful To Remain Open, Hopeful New Business Model Will See Them Through Capital Public Radio


Ordering takeout is probably safe during COVID-19 outbreak, experts say, but take precautions


Restaurant dining rooms across the U.S. are closed due to COVID-19, but many are offering more takeout and delivery service than ever before. The option to savor your favorite dish from your neighborhood haunt may feel like a silver lining during this time of stay-home directives. But one nagging question may spoil your appetite: Is it really safe?


Hemp grower whose crop was destroyed by KCSO presses for search warrant information

Bakersfield Californian

A hemp grower is asking a local judge to force the release of information about county authorities' destruction last fall of a large crop near Arvin that reportedly tested positive for marijuana.




‘Matter of life and death’: Judges implored to order California inmate releases

Fresno Bee

Calling the coronavirus crisis inside California prisons “literally a matter of life and death,” attorneys for state inmates called on federal judges Thursday to order a reduction in overcrowding prisons so that prisoners can be afforded the same 6-foot social distancing officials have mandated for the public.

See also:

     Tulare County judges start releasing some inmates early due to COVID-19 concerns abc30

     Employee at Valley State Prison tests positive for COVID-19 abc30

     Mass release of California prisoners weighed by judges amid coronavirus fears Los Angeles Times

     OPINION: Releasing Sex Offenders Is No Way to Fight Coronavirus Wall Street Journal


What, if anything, works in prisoner reentry?


Every year, 600,000 Americans are released from prison, and nearly two-thirds of them will be rearrested for new crimes within three years. Many attempts at reducing criminal​​ recidivism have yielded disappointing results, leading researchers and policymakers to ask “what works” in improving the odds of a successful return to society?


CA gun background checks surge amid COVID-19 pandemic


Californians are flocking to gun stores in big numbers during the coronavirus pandemic, even as gun buyers nationwide are setting new records according to new federal data.

See also:

·       Unique California gun program clears fewer cases in 2019 Bakersfield Californian.




Erin Brockovich: Why fire victims should accept PG&E settlement

San Francisco Chronicle

My goal was simple — I wanted every person who was a victim of fires caused by PG&E to be paid in full by the company that destroyed their homes, forever changing their lives.






CSUB economics professor says we may be flirting with a depression

Kern Radio

How bad is the economic impact of this virus? Dr. Richard Gearhart says we could be headed toward a depression.


Newsom: Small businesses are “devastated”


A record 6.6 million Americans filed new unemployment claims in the week ending March 28, in addition to the 3.3 million the week before, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday. Nearly 879,000 of them were Californians — more than twice as much as any other state.

See Also:

     California Announces Deferral of Sales & Use Tax up to $50,000 for Businesses with Less than $5 million in Taxable Sales AALRR

     Stimulus Aid For ‘small Business’ Will Go To Some Big Chains Business Journal

     California Gives Small Businesses Tax Extension Amid Pandemic KQED

     California Gov. Gavin Newsom Wants Sales Tax Relief For Businesses kpbs

     Need a Small Business Loan? Here’s What You Need to Know Wall Street Journal

     Government Doubles Interest Rate on SBA Loans After Banks Complain Wall Street Journal

     CARES Act Allocates $350 Billion for Small Business Loans Under Paycheck Protection Program AALRR


Paid Family Leave Could Spell End For Some Businesses

Business Journal

To try and provide protections for employees, the Senate recently passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, phase II, on March 18. 

See Also:

     Coronavirus relief law gives California state workers with children 12 weeks paid leave Sacramento Bee

     Trump Administration Scales Back Paid Leave in Coronavirus Relief Law New York Times

     A Future of Work That Complements Family Life Institute for Family Studies


California Trade Report for February 2020

California Center for Jobs & the Economy

The February data begins to capture the sharp downturn in economic activity related to the current COVID-19 emergency.  The table below shows the initial effects related to shutdowns in China, with goods trade with China, Hong Kong, and Macau through the state’s ports down 60.2% from the year earlier.


Stocks Decline as Investors Digest Collapse in Jobs Market

Wall Street Journal

U.S. stocks and government bond yields fell Friday after new data showed that March was the worst month for job losses since the last financial crisis. The S&P 500 fell 1.2% in morning trading. The Nasdaq Composite lost 1%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 306 points, or 1.4%. All three major U.S. indexes are on track for weekly declines.


Wall Street Rises For First Time In Three Days As Oil Spurts

Business Journal

Wall Street rallied Thursday for its first gain in three days after a sudden surge in oil prices revived beaten-down energy stocks. But, as has so often been the case in this year’s market sell-off, it took a few U-turns to get there.


Start-Ups Are Pummeled in the ‘Great Unwinding’

New York Times

After a crush of travel cancellations in March, WanderJaunt, a short-term home rental start-up in San Francisco, laid off 56 of its 240 employees last week.


Commentary: COVID-19 is hitting the nation’s largest metros that hardest, making a “restart” of the economy more difficult


The coronavirus pandemic has thrown America into a coast-to-coast lockdown, spurring ubiquitous economic impacts. 




A record 10 million sought US jobless aid in past 2 weeks

Fresno Bee

More than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week — doubling a record high set just one week earlier — a sign that layoffs are accelerating in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.

See also:

     6.6M applied for unemployment in US last week, shattering record abc30

     A record 6.6 million Americans seek jobless aid as layoffs mount amid coronavirus Los Angeles Times

     Companies Try to Preserve Jobs by Cutting Pay Amid Coronavirus Crisis Wall Street Journal

     Jobless rate jumps to 4.4 percent in March, but much worse lies ahead for American workers Washington Post

     Staggering: Record 10 Million File For Unemployment In 2 Weeks VPR

     CBO: Unemployment rate could hit 12 percent by summer Roll Call

     Unemployment insurance is not good enough. We should be backstopping every business's payroll Washington Examiner


As Unemployment Claims Approach 2 Million, California Incentivizes Small Businesses To Keep Paying Employees

Capital Public Radio

Companies that continue to pay their employees during the coronavirus pandemic can apply for grants up to $10 million. Gov. Gavin Newsom also announced that small businesses can keep up to $50,000 in sales taxes as an interest-free loan for a year.

See also:

     Government Works To Begin Disbursing Loans And Payments Amid Record Unemployment Capital Public Radio

     Jobs report Friday is expected to end record hiring streak Fresno Bee

     US sheds most jobs in a decade, ending record hiring streak KGET

     Jobs Data Will Be From Way Back When Things Were Normal: 3 Weeks Ago Capital Public Radio

     U.S. Employers Cut 701,000 Jobs in March Wall Street Journal

     Country in ‘Great Depression neighborhood’ and unemployment could top 32% San Francisco Chronicle

     First People Were Sent Home to Work. Now They’re Getting Laid Off Remotely. Wall Street Journal

     Disney To Furlough Employees ‘Whose Jobs Aren’t Necessary At This Time’ Starting April 19, Parks Are FirstDeadline

     Clinica Sierra Vista, Bill Wright Toyota disclose layoffs Bakersfield Californian

     Golden Valley Health Centers furloughs, lays off a quarter of its staff due to pandemic Modesto Bee


Lost your job? Here’s how to find openings, resources in California during coronavirus crisis

Fresno Bee

Hundreds of thousands of California residents have already lost jobs to the coronavirus pandemic, as sprawling “stay-at-home” orders to prevent the spread of coronavirus shuttered non-essential businesses.

See also:

     Bitwise creates website for Californians who lose job during COVID-19 outbreak abc30

     Have you lost your job or had your hours cut? Here are the state programs you might qualify for Stockton Record

     Non-English speakers struggle to file coronavirus unemployment claims CalMatters


‘The $2 is insulting’: Retail workers fight for more pay amid coronavirus crisis

Los Angeles Times

Work has changed for Daniel Reyes-Velarde, an employee at a CVS in Lakewood, Calif.

Lines are longer than ever, leaving him little time to restock the shelves and label items. Hand-washing is mandated, timed, and sometimes overseen by a manager. Customers are panicked, and every conversation feels like an added risk.


Grocery Workers Keep America Fed, While Fearing For Their Own Safety


Millions of essential workers are showing up for their jobs at warehouses, food processing plants, delivery trucks and grocery checkout lines. Work that is often low-paid, and comes with few protections, is now suddenly much more dangerous.


OPINION: Give Hospital Workers Hazard Pay

Wall Street Journal

Doctors, nurses and other medical workers have been justly praised for their heroism and courage. We owe them our lives, we are told. What are we doing for them?


Judge Reluctant to Designate Lyft Drivers as Employees Amid Pandemic, Despite ‘Obvious’ Worker Misclassification

The Recorder

A federal judge asked a lawyer representing a class of Lyft drivers if she was trying to use the COVID-19 pandemic to get her client’s reclassified as employees after failing to do so during past attempts.


What Will U.S. Labor Protections Look Like After Coronavirus?

Harvard Business Review

The consequences of Covid-19 fall more heavily on those at the bottom end of the wage distribution. Easily lost amid the chaos, however, is how this crisis may be an opportunity to improve employee protections — and not temporarily but permanently.






Fresno County schools will get millions in COVID-19 funds. Here’s how they can spend it

Fresno Bee

Fresno and Clovis-area schools will receive over $2 million from the state in COVID-19 relief funds to help sanitize school sites, provide meals and implement distance learning, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced this week.


Central Unified extends closure into the summer break

Fresno Bee

Central Unified will remain closed through June 11, the school district announced Thursday evening. Central’s Board of Trustees voted to keep all campuses closed while continuing online distance learning and the distribution of meals.

See also:

     FUSD extends school closures for remainder of 2019-2020 school year abc30

     Modesto super lays out some of what students, families can expect rest of school year Modesto Bee

     San Joaquin County calls for school sites to remain closed this year Stockton Record


CUSD Message to Students

Clovis Unified School District

Within 24 hours of  our videos posting , subtitles in multiple languages are available. Select the Closed Captioning (CC) button in the bottom-right of the video player and select your language of choice.


Kings County schools to transition to distance learning

Hanford Sentinel

Following a press conference held by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday, in which Newsom expressed that it is very unlikely schools would resume this year, school districts will shift their focus to distance learning.

See also:

     KCSOS turns attention to strengthening distance learning amid school closures Bakersfield Californian

     California Schools Give Laptops To Students As Districts Prepare For ‘Distance Learning’ Capital Public Radio

     California school unions, district leaders pledge to cooperate on coronavirus challenges EdSource


School board puts Lile in charge

Madera Tribune

In the face of the rising threat from the coronavirus pandemic, Madera Unified trustees have joined other school districts in placing unusual responsibilities on its school chief.


Sierra Tel Offering Free Internet to Students Impacted by Pandemic

Sierra News

Local internet service provider Sierra Tel is offering mountain area students from low-income households free internet service in order to continue their studies online in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak and ongoing school closures.


For Young Children With Autism And Other Developmental Disorders, School Closures Could Be A Major Setback

Capital Public Radio

Across California, children with special needs are home from school and missing their usual therapy, social interactions and other supports. Now, their parents are looking to the state, their school districts and the Internet for help.


How to help students during coronavirus lockdown


In a Wednesday virtual Q&A hosted by CalMatters, two of California’s top education leaders gave parents and teachers advice on how to educate students while schools remain physically closed.


After coronavirus subsides, we must pay teachers more


As Wall Street takes a pounding from the COVID-19 pandemic, the stock we place in teachers is on the rise. If you didn’t appreciate the expertise, labor, and dedication that teachers patiently pour into our children most days of the week, then you probably do now.


The Great Zoom-School Experiment

New Yorker 

In some ways, the Lang School, a small, private school in the Financial District, was well-suited to the age of the coronavirus. Online classes commenced on Tuesday, March 17th, via Zoom. But for second and third graders, “it was clear that it was a disaster.”

See also:

·       Watch at 1 pm:  Are Colleges Ready for Online Learning During the Pandemic? CalMatters


GOP Rep. Devin Nunes again questions coronavirus distancing measures, calls California school closures 'way overkill'

USA Today

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., is in hot water again after he said the decision to close California schools for the remainder of the school year was "way overkill," and disagreed with the date the White House set to extend coronavirus social distancing guidelines. 


EDITORIAL: School shutdowns threaten to worsen the achievement gap

Los Angeles Times

The COVID-19 crisis threatens to undo years of educational efforts to help disadvantaged students catch up to their more affluent classmates.

See also:

     How COVID-19 Closures May Disrupt Student Learning Public Policy Institute of California


Higher Ed:


Nursing Students at Bakersfield College Will Help Lighten The Load For Kern Hospitals


This week Governor Gavin Newsom announced a program to bring more professionals into the medical field, including students and retirees. Bakersfield College also announced a similar pipeline to help its upper-level nursing students finish their education.


Colleges Go Test-Optional After SAT, ACT Are Called Off


A growing list of colleges have announced they're going test-optional for the class of 2021, meaning the SAT or ACT will not be required for admission.


UC, the state’s 3rd largest employer, will not do layoffs through June amid coronavirus crisis

Los Angeles Times

The University of California, whose 227,000-member workforce is the third largest in the state, will not lay off any career employee through June 30 because of the coronavirus emergency, despite mounting financial uncertainty facing campuses, UC President Janet Napolitano announced Thursday. 


UC and Cal State relax admissions criteria due to coronavirus: What you need to know

Los Angeles Times

The University of California and California State University systems announced Wednesday a temporary easing of admissions requirements for applicants for fall 2020 and beyond, citing the wide disruptions to education faced by K-12 and community college students.


COMMUNITY VOICES: How to help your university students returning home during the COVID-19 pandemic: A psychiatrist’s guide for families

Bakersfield Californian

I am a UCLA trained physician, specialized and board certified in psychiatry, who has focused on treating the university student population during more than 20 years of practice. I was the psychiatrist at a university in southern Mississippi when Hurricane Katrina devastated the area, and saw firsthand the negative effect on students, which lasted several years.


Commentary: Governor, legislators helping to ensure equity to computer science education in California


Most kids like to play on their phone, but few know how to program one. Although they are avid consumers of technology, most students in California don’t have the opportunity to learn computer science in order to become creators of it.






Coronavirus will change our lives, but environment could see benefits

San Francisco Chronicle

When you look out at the crystal blue skies over California, it doesn’t look like a deadly pandemic. In fact, the Bay Area is basking in its cleanest air in months, if not years. And we’re not alone.


Cleanup of US nuclear waste takes back seat as virus spreads

Fresno Bee

The U.S. government’s efforts to clean up Cold War-era waste from nuclear research and bomb making at federal sites around the country has lumbered along for decades, often at a pace that watchdogs and other critics say threatens public health and the environment. 




PG&E customers to receive climate credit in April


If you’re using a little more energy at home in the wake of the stay-at-home orders during the pandemic, PG&E wants to help you out. The utility company said Thursday that all residential customers will receive the state-mandated California Climate Credit on their bills during the April billing cycle.

See also:

     PG&E Customers Getting $62 ‘California Climate Credit’ in April  Sierra News


OPINION: Trump’s Oil Summit

Wall Street Journal

U.S. crude oil prices jumped 25% Thursday to $25.32 a barrel after President Trump suggested that Saudi Arabia and Russia could soon settle their destructive price war. This is all the more reason to resist calls from the U.S. shale patch for domestic production quotas or import duties when he meets with oil executives on Friday.






12 more people test positive for coronavirus in Fresno County, officials say. Valley passes 200

Fresno Bee

Positive tests for the new coronavirus continue to rise in the central San Joaquin Valley as experts continue to implore people to stay home to slow the spread of the respiratory illness.

See also:

     Merced County reports four new infections, brings total to 16 confirmed cases Fresno Bee

     Tulare County has 15 new coronavirus cases, including several more at area nursing home Fresno Bee

     COVID-19 cases rise to 158 in Kern Bakersfield Californian

     COVID-19 cases rise to 158 in Kern County, public health says KGET

     California could see 5,000 coronavirus deaths a week if social distancing eases too soon Los Angeles Times

     Coronavirus: Much has changed as California marks grim 10,000 case milestone Mercury News


Lemoore sailor in isolation after testing positive for the coronavirus

Fresno Bee

A Lemoore sailor tested positive for the coronavirus, the Lemoore Naval Air Station said in a post on Facebook on Thursday.

See also:

     NAS Lemoore service member tests positive for coronavirus abc30

     NAS Lemoore sailors among nearly 3,000 sailors to leave carrier amid virus outbreak Hanford Sentinel


There are now 1 million coronavirus cases worldwide — with nearly a quarter in the US

Fresno Bee

Coronavirus cases worldwide have doubled in the last week and reached 1 million confirmed cases Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

See also:

     Global Coronavirus Cases Top One Million, as Economic Toll Mounts Wall Street Journal


FDA loosens restrictions on gay and bisexual men, encourages blood donations amid coronavirus crisis


The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday said it would loosen some of the restrictions that have blocked gay and bisexual men from donating blood.

See also:

·       Blood centers begin collecting coronavirus antibodies from COVID-19 survivors Los Angeles Times

Patients infected by coronavirus may be moved to California nursing homes

San Francisco Chronicle

California nursing homes, already struggling to fight the new coronavirus, could soon become landing spots for infected patients from overflowing hospitals, according to a controversial state order that nursing home experts have derided as a “death sentence” for vulnerable residents.

See also:

·       California senior-home inspectors now using Zoom, Skype to limit coronavirus exposure Sacramento Bee


A coronavirus immunity test is essential for the U.S. But will it work?

Los Angeles Times

It’s a potential saving grace salvaged from a pandemic: As people recover from the coronavirus, they may develop immunity that could allow them to return to school or work, helping place the U.S. on the road to recovery.

ecommended deferral period from 12 months to three months. 


California resumes disclosing how many health workers have the coronavirus

San Francisco Chronicle

The California Department of Public Health is again reporting daily counts of health workers infected with the coronavirus after The Chronicle reported its decision this week to withhold the data, prompting outrage from nurses and other medical professionals.

See also:

·       EDITORIAL: Health care workers inspire; their working conditions, not so much San Francisco Chronicle


Can you catch coronavirus from someone talking to you? Experts say it’s possible


Talking normally could transmit coronavirus through airborne particles, researchers say. People who are asymptomatic but infected with coronavirus could make enough infected air particles to spread the virus, according to aerosol scientists at the University of California, Davis.


EDITORIAL: Closing houses of worship during the pandemic is an act of faith and charity

Los Angeles Times

Among the other disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has been the closing of houses of worship and the cancellation of religious gatherings.


Commentary: Low U.S. COVID-19 Death Rate Means Efforts Are Working


The percentage of coronavirus cases that result in death is the only true reflection of how successfully a country is dealing with the challenge the virus presents.


Opinion: How did covid-19 begin? Its initial origin story is shaky.

Washington Post

The story of how the novel coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China, has produced a nasty propaganda battle between the United States and China. 


Human Services:


Emergency coronavirus hospital coming to Fresno. Here’s where it’s expected to go

Fresno Bee

Fresno County has picked the convention center as the site for the emergency coronavirus field hospital. If the state approves, the facility will be up and running next week, an official told The Bee.

See also:

     KDMC braces for surge, reserves convention center Visalia Times Delta

     PDC field hospital plans still in early stages Porterville Recorder

     California hospitals desperate for safety supplies, fear ‘disaster’ as coronavirus wave hits Los Angeles Times

     Listen: California hospitals prep for coronavirus — and life afterward CalMatters


Two weeks for coronavirus test results? Fresno officials say it’s rare and help is on the way

Fresno Bee

Coronavirus testing remains a controversial and frustrating topic for residents, politicians and doctors alike. While the U.S. faces a major shortage of tests, other countries have made widespread testing a priority and found it to be a handy tool to slow the spread of the virus.

See also:

     Testing issues cloud scope of California’s virus outbreak Fresno Bee

     Local man waited 12 days for positive COVID-19 results after backlog of tests at Quest Diagnostics Bakersfield Californian

     This Coronavirus Test Promises Results In 45 Minutes. But Some California Labs Can’t Get It. Capital Public Radio

     Trump Claims U.S. Testing For Coronavirus Most Per Capita — It's Not Capital Public Radio

     California’s coronavirus testing backlog is a vast 64% unprocessed San Francisco Chronicle

     Testing issues cloud scope of California’s virus outbreak Associated Press


Why are Fresno-area Native American clinics sending staff home during coronavirus pandemic?

Fresno Bee

Health care clinics serving Native Americans in the Fresno-area are grappling with the same testing and supply shortages faced by other hospitals, but they’re also sending many of their staff, including medical personnel, home.


     What Are the Benefits of Wearing a Face Mask? Wall Street Journal


Telemedicine provides opportunity for care during COVID-19 crisis


This week, the federal communications commission unveiled plans to provide $200 million to boost telemedicine programs. The technology gives doctors the ability to provide care while maintaining social distancing.

See also:

     Merced hospital offering virtual visits for possible patients and families abc30


Kaweah Delta reserves convention center for COVID-19 surge, expands drive-through testing

Visalia Times Delta

As coronavirus cases across the central San Joaquin Valley continue to climb, Kaweah Delta is bracing for a surge of COVID-19 patients expected to hit Tulare County in late April. Hospital leaders are working closely with city officials to potentially convert the Visalia Convention Center and Marriott into temporary medical centers should the need arise.


Employees: Redwood Springs not prepared for COVID-19

Visalia Times Delta

Workers at a Visalia nursing home hit by a COVID-19 outbreak say facility administrators aren't doing enough to keep patients and staff safe. But, administrators said "without hesitation" staff was given the tools and guidance to fight the pandemic. 


Opinion: Implement Critical Care Surge Strategies Now to Save Lives


Facing a potentially overwhelming increase in the number of critically ill patients seeking care, hospitals may need to make fundamental changes in the way they allocate space, staff, and stuff—changes that may have been unthinkable only a few weeks ago.


Opinion: Should patent protections be relaxed amidst the COVID-19 crisis?


As the coronavirus pandemic intensifies around the world, one particularly pressing intellectual property issue has arisen: Should patent protections be loosened when doing so may save lives?




Disaster in motion: 3.4 million travelers poured into US as coronavirus pandemic erupted


An ABC News investigation offers sobering insight into how COVID-19 has spread and penetrated so broadly, so deeply and so quickly in the United States. It also helps explain why Americans, no matter where they live, must continue to self distance.


U.S. stops issuing passports except in emergencies

Los Angeles Times

The U.S. State Department won’t be processing new passports and renewals except for emergency cases because of the coronavirus pandemic, the agency’s website said.


Leaked Border Patrol Memo Tells Agents to Send Migrants Back Immediately — Ignoring Asylum Law


Citing little-known power given to the CDC to ban entry of people who might spread disease and ignoring the Refugee Act of 1980, an internal memo has ordered Border Patrol agents to push the overwhelming majority of migrants back into Mexico.


California Supreme Court won’t hear immigration case from O.C.

Los Angeles Times

The California Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to hear a challenge to a state law that limits police collaboration with federal immigration agents.




California homeless advocate: ‘We’re moving way too slowly’

Fresno Bee

Since the beginning of an international pandemic, experts have known one population is particularly vulnerable to contracting and spreading the coronavirus: the homeless. 

See also:

     Billions in virus aid aim to shelter, test the homeless Hanford Sentinel

     First homeless patient tests positive for coronavirus in Fresno CalMatters

     U.S. Tries to House Its Homeless in a Hurry to Prevent Coronavirus Outbreaks Wall Street Journal


‘You can’t move and you can’t stay’: Top Democrats say COVID renter protections won’t work

Sacramento Bee

Two top Democrats in the California Legislature say Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order temporarily protecting tenants who can’t afford rent because of COVID-19 doesn’t stop landlords from initiating eviction proceedings and could allow a wave of evictions once the order ends on May 31.


Amid pandemic, some California sheriffs’ departments still evicting renters


Lori Waldman got lucky. She thought she and her 87-year-old father would be sleeping in her car tonight. As recently as yesterday, the 58-year-old expected to be locked out of her apartment by Riverside County Sheriff’s deputies. The eviction notice they received last week said they had to be out by April 1. But Waldman didn’t know where they were supposed to go in the middle of a pandemic. 


Home lenders brace for up to 15 million mortgage defaults

Los Angeles Times

Mortgage lenders are preparing for the biggest wave of delinquencies in history. If the plan to buy time works, they may avert an even worse crisis: Mass foreclosures and mortgage market mayhem.

See also:

·       How to Suspend Your Mortgage Payments During Coronavirus Turmoil Wall Street Journal




Gavin Newsom planned a $222 billion state budget. It’ll be ‘radically changed’ by coronavirus

Fresno Bee

California Gov. Gavin Newsom says he is going back to the drawing board for his budget proposal, abandoning the $222 billion plan he laid out in January as the coronavirus pandemic hammers the state’s economy.

See also:

·       Opinion: Post-Coronapocalypse pension reform checklist for California California Policy Center


Do you have to pay your property taxes? Gavin Newsom says he doesn’t want to ‘overpromise’

Merced Sun-Star

Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday he’s in talks with local governments about property taxes due April 10 as the coronavirus pandemic bludgeons the economy, but cautioned that he does not want to “overpromise” relief for taxpayers.

See Also:

     A coronavirus property tax delay? Californians shouldn’t count on it CalMatters

     Newsom seems unlikely to delay property tax deadline, but may consider alternative relief Politico


Coronavirus relief law gives California state workers with children 12 weeks paid leave

Sacramento Bee

State workers with children stuck at home may take up to 12 weeks of paid leave under a federal law that went into effect Wednesday, according to the California Department of Human Resources.


California delays sales tax payments for small businesses

Bakersfield Californian

California's governor on Thursday said small businesses can keep up to $50,000 in sales tax receipts for the next year as the COVID-19 outbreak has forced people to stay home and many shops to close.


It took her 20 years to claw out of poverty. Coronavirus could take it all away

Los Angeles Times

Raquel Lezama had reason to be proud. At 17, after crossing the Mexican border, she toiled in a Los Angeles garment factory, earning 5 cents for each blouse she ironed — $50 a day if she could manage 1,000 pieces.


Backers of California tax initiative submit signatures

Hanford Sentinel

Supporters of a proposed amendment to the California Constitution that would raise property taxes on some businesses by up to $12 billion a year announced Thursday they have collected more than 1.7 million signatures, all but assuring it will appear on the November ballot.

See also:

     Backers of California Proposition 13 revision turn in ballot signatures San Francisco Chronicle


Stimulus checks for the coronavirus pandemic won’t be sent to my family


The $2 trillion stimulus package will offer relief to many Americans affected by the economic downturn from the coronavirus pandemic, but the checks meant to ease the financial hardships won’t help families like mine.


Millions Are Suddenly Working From Home. Can They Claim a Tax Break?

Wall Street Journal

If you’re one of millions of Americans who are now working from home instead of the office because of the coronavirus pandemic, count yourself lucky: you aren’t sick and you have a job.





Mexican airline says coronavirus forces it to suspend service to Fresno, 13 other U.S. cities

Fresno Bee

Mexican airline Volaris says it has temporarily halted flights out of Fresno Yosemite International Airport because of the coronavirus until further notice.


Construction traffic near High-Speed Rail corridor in Kings County

Hanford Sentinel

The California High-Speed Rail Authority, in cooperation with design-build contractor Dragados-Flatiron Joint Venture, announced intermittent traffic impacts in Kings County for the next several months.

See also:

·       Video shows progress on Calif. high-speed rail project RT&S


Caltrain, battered by the coronavirus, pushes ahead with November sales tax measure

San Francisco Chronicle

As it stumbles through the coronavirus pandemic, Caltrain still has ambitious plans to electrify and nearly double the size of its fleet by 2022. All the agency needs is money.




Community Advocates Say Water Shutoff Order Is Good, But Not Enough


On Thursday, Governor Gavin Newsom placed an executive order restricting water shutoffs retroactively from March 4th. That’s good news, community advocates say, but it doesn’t help those whose water was already shut off. 

See also:

     Californians won’t have water service turned off for unpaid bills during coronavirus crisis, Newsom says Los Angeles Times

     Coronavirus: Newsom bans water shutoffs for customers with overdue bills Mercury News

     Gavin Newsom issues a moratorium on water utility shutoffs during the coronavirus emergency Sacramento Bee


March storms weren’t enough to boost California’s snowpack, officials say

Los Angeles Times

A series of late winter storms that dampened the Southland in March were not enough to boost California’s snowpack, despite high hopes among water managers. The snowpack, measured on Wednesday at the California Department of Water Resources’ Phillips station, was 43.5 inches, about 66% of average for the time of year at the location.

See also:

·       ‘Winter Storm Watch’ Issued for Mountain Area Through Weekend Sierra News




Chaffee Zoo staff, animals adapt to life under shelter-in-place order


While the Fresno Chaffee Zoo remains closed to visitors, staff and volunteers continue to work as normal to keep the animals fed and cared for.


Missing live music while sheltering in place? Visalia's Rudy Parris has you covered

Visalia Times Delta

Visalia's Rudy Parris, best known for his appearance on NBC's "The Voice" and for providing lead vocals for The Buckaroos at The Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, will perform free live online concerts for people sheltering in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Kern County has been safe haven for golfers during pandemic

Bakersfield Californian

In recent weeks, golfers from Los Angeles, Fresno and Porterville have been coming to Kern County to play golf at some of the few remaining open courses in the region, according to Allen Sorensen, owner of the North Kern Golf Course.