August 10, 2020



North SJ Valley:

Calif to Atwater that is defying the COVID-19 shutdown: No cash for you

LA Times

It was a boast heard around this Central Valley town of 30,000, courtesy of Mayor Paul Creighton. Atwater had not just flattened the COVID-19 case curve. “We’ve smashed the curve,” he declared.

Modesto councilman wants plaza in downtown’s heart named for Martin Luther King Jr.

Modesto Bee

Modesto Councilman Tony Madrigal wants the plaza in front of Tenth Street Place — the city-county Admin center in the heart of downtown — renamed in honor of assassinated civil rights leader Martin Luther King. Jr.

Hundreds line McHenry in Modesto to show support for law enforcement

Modesto Bee

A second rally organized by Back the Badge Calif, a group founded by a Stanislaus County native, was held in Modesto on Sunday morning. Its first was held in late June in Turlock. The rally was scheduled to last until noon. By 10 a.m., the end of its first hour, easily a couple of hundred people lined the sidewalks of McHenry Avenue from Briggsmore Avenue to just north of Tokay Avenue.

One more candidate joins City Council race

Turlock Journal

The race for the Turlock City Council District 2 seat heated up this week as one more candidate threw his hat into the ring, while the filing period for District 4 was extended as incumbent Council member Becky Arellano decided not to run.

School races set for upcoming election

Turlock Journal

With the Nov. 3 election less than three months away, local races are heating up as candidates step forward to govern the area’s school districts.

Central SJ Valley:

Prison deaths from COVID-19: How many staff, inmates have died in the Fresno region?

Fresno Bee

Up and down Calif, the state’s prison system has provided the novel coronavirus with a captive population in which to spread during the pandemic. Since the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 were identified earlier this year, more than 1,950 prison staff within the Calif Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation have contracted the virus.

Tracking data delayed; No-cost testing in Fresno; Restaurant, bar closures

Fresno Bee

The number of positive case of coronavirus in the six-county central San Joaquin Valley grew by more than 750 on Thursday —slightly more than the average number of new cases reported in the area over the past two weeks.

Honoring a hero: Fresno man who sacrificed his life to save children to be celebrated

Fresno Bee

The tragic death of a Fresno resident who drowned while saving children he’d never met appears to have touched many people around the world. Manjeet Singh, 29, died Wednesday while helping rescue two of three kids who had been swept away by a swift, cold current in the Kings River near Reedley Beach. The third child ended up getting swept away and remains in critical condition at Valley Children’s Hospital.

Fresno Congressman TJ Cox’s Yosemite trip won’t be investigated by Interior inspector general

Fresno Bee

The top ethics official at the Department of Interior is declining to pursue an investigation into Calif Democratic Rep. TJ Cox’s push to get two car tickets into Yosemite National Park on July 4 outside of the daily lottery system the park is using to release vehicle passes during the coronavirus outbreak.

South SJ Valley:

Candidates file for City Council, school board races

Porterville Recorder

As of 5 p.m. Friday, two Porterville City Council seats up for election were set to be contested in the November 3 general election while a third Porterville City Council incumbent looked to be unopposed.

Local doctors featured in viral video of doctors that was later banned from social media

Bakersfield Califn

As hundreds of new COVID-19 cases were being reported daily and Bakersfield hospitals were filling to capacity two weeks ago, two local doctors and their Bakersfield marketing representative were in the nation’s capital sharing controversial claims about the virus in a video on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Kern officials knock state guidance on COVID-19 enforcement measures

Bakersfield Califn

State and local cooperation seen as key to bringing local industry into compliance with the latest COVID-19 restrictions has gotten off to a slow start despite hundreds of recent complaints that local businesses are operating in violation of rules issued by Sac.

Gov’t watchdog alleges McCarthy exerted improper influence in VA clinic bidding process

Bakersfield Califn

A nonprofit government watchdog group has filed a formal complaint with the inspector general of the Department of Veterans Affairs alleging that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has exercised improper influence over the bidding process for a long-delayed VA health clinic in Bakersfield.


10,000 dead of coronavirus in Calif. 100 dead in its capital. How did we get here?

Modesto Bee

We have hit milestones and barely flinched. More than 10,000 in Calif. More than 100 in the city of Sac. They are those grim milestones, the death tolls we eclipsed last week because of the coronavirus.

See Also:

●     Coronavirus updates: Cases reach 5 million nationwide; more than 10,000 dead in Calif Sac Bee

●     Coronavirus update: Calif surpasses 10,000 deaths as Trump signs economic relief orders Wash Post

Faced With Dying Californians And Withering Businesses, Gov. Newsom Steers A Middle Path. Can It Last?

Califns could be forgiven for feeling like we’re running in place. Three months after Gov. Gavin Newsom began easing the stay-at-home order meant to curb the coronavirus pandemic, the virus is raging — and the vast majority of residents are back to living under major government restrictions.

See Also:

·       Most Americans Say State Governments Have Lifted COVID-19 Restrictions Too Quickly PEW

·       An all-star economic task force is advising Newsom during the pandemic. Little is known about its work LA Times

Calif’s COVID-19 tracking system failed. This is what is being done to fix it

Fresno Bee

A server outage and a delay in renewing a certificate to receive lab data blocked thousands of COVID-19 test results from reaching the state since late last month, keeping officials in the dark about the disease’s spread, Calif’s health agency chief said Friday.

See Also:

●     Calif’s top public health official leaves job five months into COVID-19 pandemic Sac Bee

●     Calif’s public health director resigns amid questions about coronavirus test data LA Times

●     Calif public health director abruptly resigns as state manages data snafu Politico

●     Calif Grapples With COVID-19 Data Error, Resulting In Undercounts, But Official Says Cases Still On Decline Capital Public Radio

●     Calif vows to fix coronavirus reporting system amid huge backlog of unreported tests LA Times

●     Going down? Maybe not. State reports technical glitch led to COVID-19 undercount CalMatters

●     Bill Gates on Covid: Most US Tests Are ‘Completely Garbage’ Wired

●     Calif told counties about data flaw before Newsom, Ghaly apparently knew Politico

●     Commentary: Bill Gates Says U.S. Virus Testing Has ‘Mind-Blowing’ Problems Bloomberg

Calif church holds indoor services despite judge’s ban

Fresno Bee

A Calif church held indoor worship services Sunday despite a judge’s temporary restraining order barring the church from doing so. Pastor Rob McCoy led three services in defiance of coronavirus health orders at Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Ventura County’s Newbury Park.

See Also:

●     Americans Oppose Religious Exemptions From Coronavirus-Related Restrictions PEW

Calif legislative leaders ask courts to keep coronavirus eviction ban in place

LA Times

Calif’s legislative leaders are asking the state’s Judicial Council for more time before renter evictions resume during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying they are facing “an impossible decision” between rushing legislation and leaving millions of tenants unprotected.

Calif has spent $43 million suing the Trump Admin. It’s paying off, officials say

Sac Bee

Calif has spent $43 million suing President Donald Trump’s Admin over the past four years in a legal campaign that the state’s Democratic attorney general says has saved billions of dollars in funding the state would have lost had the White House carried out its policies.

Billions for Californians riding on coronavirus stimulus talks in Congress

SF Chronicle

Calif and its residents are waiting on the result of heated negotiations over the latest coronavirus stimulus package in Congress — and tens of billions of dollars are at stake. From money directly into the pockets of millions Califns, to billions to avoid deep cuts to public universities and housing programs, the state has a lot riding on talks that hit a standstill Friday.

Calif Democrats divided over COVID-19 stimulus, millionaire tax to fund economic recovery


They show up at county meetings. They post calls to action on Instagram. In the age of coronavirus, they organize car caravans and Facebook town halls. For Crisantema Gallardo, the 29-year-old director of Central Valley youth organizing group 99Rootz, years of groundwork are coming to a head with a high-stakes battle over how to dig Calif out of a sudden $54 billion deficit.

A Renewed Call for Statewide Broadband Action Policy


Calif has long struggled with a stubborn “digital divide,” with far too many residents, businesses and communities facing inadequate or absent broadband services. The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent recession have only exacerbated the problem.

In Calif, It Will Take More Than a Parade to Save an Imperiled Census

NY Times

For one day at least, as a 10-car parade of vehicles with honking horns, pompoms and signs reading “Get Counted” crawled through this predominantly Latino agricultural town about 70 miles east of LA on Friday, it was hard to forget that the 2020 census was going on and that it mattered.

2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission Is Fully Formed—The Final 6 Selected 

Shape Calif’s Future

Thank you for participating in the application and selection process in forming the 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission (Commission). The process is now completed and the 2020 Commission is fully formed. 


Pelosi, Mnuchin open door to narrower COVID-19 aid through 2020


U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday said they were open to restarting COVID-19 aid talks, after weeks of failed negotiations prompted President Donald Trump to take executive actions that Democrats argued would do little to ease Americans’ financial distress.

Trump announces executive actions after stimulus talks break down


President Donald Trump on Saturday announced he would move forward with multiple executive actions designed to provide relief to millions of financially struggling Americans after talks between his aides and Democratic leaders on a new pandemic relief package broke down this week.

See Also:

●     How Much Would President Trump’s Executive Orders Cost? Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

●     OPINION: Trump’s Executive Orders WSJ

●     Trump signs exec order to boost unemployment checks. Can he do that? Fresno Bee

●     Trump order could continue $400 in unemployment benefits — but Calif would have to help Fresno Bee

●     COVID-19 orders: A breakdown of Trump’s actions on $400 weekly unemployment boost, evictions, student loans, payroll taxes abc30

●     Schumer calls Trump’s COVID-related orders ‘paltry,’ denounces unemployment aid reduction to $400 per week abc30

●     Pres. Trump signs COVID-related orders, including unemployment benefit reduced to $400 per week abc30

●     States on hook for billions under Trump’s unemployment plan Modesto Bee

●     Trump order could continue $400 in unemployment benefits — but Calif would have to help Sac Bee 

●     In Executive Actions, Trump Extends Some Unemployment Benefits, Defers Payroll Taxes Capital Public Radio

●     Trump signs COVID-19 economic relief actions Roll Call

●     Trump attempts to wrest tax and spending powers from Congress with new executive actionsWash Post

●     Trump Authorizes Extending Special Unemployment Benefit at $400 a Week WSJ

●     Trump’s Go-It-Alone Stimulus Won’t Do Much to Lift the Recovery NY Times

Trump aides struggle to defend his pandemic relief orders as U.S. cases reach 5 million

LA Times

As the United States surpassed 5 million confirmed coronavirus cases, President Trump’s senior aides on Sunday defended his handling of intertwined economic and public health crises, declaring that Democrats would bear the blame for millions of Americans’ financial distress if lawmakers challenged Trump’s controversial new directives on pandemic relief.

See also:

·       Lost days of Summer: How Trump fell short in containing the virus Wash Post

Trump’s postmaster general is playing with political fire

The Hill

Louis DeJoy came to Wash to deliver for his ally, Donald Trump. He’s stepping into a political minefield. DeJoy was tapped this spring to be postmaster general by the Postal Board of Governors, headed by a former chairman of the Republican Party.

See also:

·       Postal Service overhauls leadership as Democrats press for investigation of mail delays Wash Post

Abrupt change to census deadline could result in an undercount of Latino and Black communities

Wash Post

Census experts and advocates warn that the Trump Admin’s decision to end the decennial count a month earlier than expected will result in a dramatic undercount of Black and Latino communities across the country, which could have grave effects on federal funding and political representation in their neighborhoods.

See Also:

●     Commentary: Trump’s new plan to hijack the census will imperil America’s future Brookings

Fact-checking 22 claims from Donald Trump’s Axios interview


In a rare sit-down interview at the White House, President Donald Trump repeated a slew of misleading claims aimed at painting a rosy picture of the United States’ coronavirus response.

See also:

·       A president ignored: Trump’s outlandish claims increasingly met with a collective shrug Wash Post

Stephen Hahn, F.D.A. Chief, Is Caught Between Scientists and the President

NY Times

As the coronavirus surged across the Sunbelt, President Trump told a crowd gathered at the White House on July 4 that 99 % of virus cases are “totally harmless.” The next morning on CNN, the host Dana Bash asked Dr. Stephen Hahn, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Admin and one of the nation’s most powerful health officials: “Is the president wrong?”

Should Governments Spend Away?

Project Syndicate

Advanced economies have already spent enormous amounts providing pandemic relief to households and small- and medium-size businesses. The International Monetary Fund’s June outlook estimates that, including fiscal measures and credit guarantees, spending reached approximately 20 %age points of GDP. 

Commentary: Trump’s new plan to hijack the census will imperil America’s future


If Donald Trump winds up as a one-term president—which current polling suggests will be the case—he seems determined to go out with a final blow in his war against the nation’s changing demography. This time, he has set his sights on the Census Bureau, as it struggles to overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and complete its once-in-a-decade headcount that is vital to our democracy.

Editorial:  Eighteen (years) is enough: Limit the terms of Supreme Court justices

LA Times

The Supreme Court term that ended last month was a refreshing reproach to the perception that the justices are simply politicians in black robes. True, there were several 5-4 decisions in which Republican appointees voted one way and Democratic appointees the other. 

Coronavirus Trackers:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Calif

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

See also:

●     Calif Department of Public Health

●     Coronavirus (COVID-19) CDC

●     Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic – WHO

●     John Hopkins University & Medicine John Hopkins University

●     Tracking coronavirus in Calif LA Times

●     Coronavirus Tracker SF Chronicle

●      Coronavirus in the U.S.: Latest Map and Case Count NY 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 Fin Times

●     Coronavirus in Calif by the numbers CalMatters

Nearly 66,000 lives may be saved if most in US wear masks, COVID-19 model predicts

Fresno Bee

On the afternoon of Aug. 6, the U.S. death toll for COVID-19 inched closer to 160,000, which represents 22.5% of all coronavirus deaths in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University.

See Also:

●     Poll: 90% Of Califns Back Mask Rules, But Splits Remain Over Reopening CBS SF Bay Area

●     It’s World Mask Week, Here Are 10 Misconceptions About Face Coverings Forbes

●     Wearing A Mask Could Be Even More Important Than We Thought NPR

Elections 2020:

Fact Check: Will Calif’s vote-by-mail order really lead to election fraud in Nov?

Sac Bee

Republicans have renewed their effort to stop, or at least discourage, mail voting. The GOP’s latest bid to curtail mail voting echoes the party’s attempt this spring to thwart Calif’s mail strategy. The party claimed in a lawsuit — which it has since dropped — that Gov.

See Also:

●     Trump aides exploring executive actions to curb voting by mail Politico

●     Commentary: Taking a closer look at rejected mail ballots in Calif’s March primary CalMatters

●     OPINION: Mail-in voting could accidentally disenfranchise millions of voters Wash Post

●     Postmaster General Touts Postal Service Overhaul But Promises On-Time Election Mail VPR

●     Vote-by-mail worries: A ‘leaky pipeline’ in many states Bakersfield Califn

●     As Trump leans into attacks on mail voting, GOP officials confront signs of Republican turnout crisis Wash Post

How Calif is preparing for in-person voting this year due to coronavirus

LA Times

Even as Calif elections officials prepare to mail ballots to all of the state’s 21 million voters this fall, they do so with the expectation that some portion of the electorate will still choose to participate in person during the pandemic, requiring a delicate balance between voting rights and public health.

See also:

●     Calif Eyes Turning Arenas, Businesses Into Polling Places Courthouse News

Doctors, hospitals launch voter registration efforts

Bakersfield Califn

An emergency room doctor in Boston is assembling thousands of voter registration kits for distribution at hospitals and doctor’s offices. Later this month, students at Harvard and Yale’s medical schools are planning a contest to see which of the Ivy League rivals can register the most voters.

With Contentious Measures On Calif’s Ballot, Lawsuits Over Language Pile Up

Capital Public Radio

Ballot propositions offer a unique set of political battles every election cycle in Calif. But even with the election months away, another type of fight over initiatives has been playing out in the Sac Superior Court this week.

See also:

●     Critics demand fairer prop ballot labels and summaries, but lawsuits tend to flame out CalMatters

Calif Republicans are turning on Trump, poll finds

Berkeley News

As the United States struggles with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread protests against racism, President Donald Trump’s support among Calif voters is eroding even in conservative areas of the state, according to a new poll from UC Berkeley’s Institute for Governmental Studies (IGS).

U.S. National Security Adviser Says China Targeting 2020 Election


National security adviser Robert O’Brien said Sunday that Chinese hackers were targeting U.S. election infrastructure in the lead up to the Nov. 3 presidential election, making a new claim about the level of Beijing’s activity in the election.

See also:

●     China targeting U.S. election infrastructure with cyberattacks Reuters

Trump Loses Ground in Suburbs Key to His Path in Several States


Four years ago Donald Trump ran away with this longtime battleground county, capturing it by more than 15 points. The president’s re-election chances could hinge on his ability to replicate that feat in places like this in 2020.

See also:

●     Voters Rarely Switch Parties, but Recent Shifts Further Educational, Racial Divergence PEW

A growing share of voters say it’s important to them to hear from the Trump and Biden campaigns

A growing share of registered voters say it is personally important to them to get messages about the presidential election and other important issues from the Donald Trump and Joe Biden campaigns, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in early June as part of the American News Pathways project.

Willie Brown: Kamala Harris should ‘politely decline’ any offer to be Biden’s running mate

The Hill

Former SF Mayor Willie Brown (D) advised Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) to “politely decline” any offer to be presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s running mate. Brown wrote that the vice presidency would likely hinder any further political ambitions for Harris.

Your Guide to Voting During the Pandemic

Consumer Reports

Concerned about voting in this fall’s elections? That’s understandable. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic, combined with the unusually high level of voter participation widely expected in November, will put extraordinary pressure on our electoral system. 

Five More Things You Probably Didn’t Know about Susan Rice

National Review

Joe Biden is reportedly considering Barack Obama’s former national-security adviser Susan Rice to be his running mate. National Review’s Jim Geraghty recently told us “20 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Susan Rice.”

Commentary: 2020: The Year of the Woman Voter


The 1992 election was called the “Year of the Woman” because the number of female senators tripled (from two all the way to six) and two dozen women were elected to their first term in the House, the largest number in congressional history. By contrast, this year’s election is being driven by the increasingly overwhelming determination of a significant number of women from every demographic to vote Democratic at every level of the ballot regardless of the gender of the candidate.


‘Christianity Will Have Power’

NY Times

They walked to the sanctuary in the frozen silence before dawn, footsteps crunching over the snow. Soon, hundreds joined in line. It was January 2016, and the unlikely Republican front-runner, Donald J. Trump, had come to town.

Opinion: Do Americans Even Care If There’s a Constitution?

National Review

Yuval Levin and Adam J. White covered almost all that needs to be said about the most recent Trump executive orders, the spiritual descendants of Barack Obama’s declaring “I have a pen and a phone” and deciding to enact the DACA and DAPA programs without congressional concurrence, authorization, or action.

Commentary: The real threat to America is from the right wing, not street protesters

Fresno Bee

American cities are shaken by violence — much of it the work of disguised police provocateurs and uniformed officers. Nevertheless, the liberal public has been quick to condemn the “violent protests.” Meanwhile, Mr. Trump is fanning the conflict by issuing escalating threats of violent reprisal.

Commentary: The Unraveling of America 

Rolling Stone

Never in our lives have we experienced such a global phenomenon. For the first time in the history of the world, all of humanity, informed by the unprecedented reach of digital technology, has come together, focused on the same existential threat, consumed by the same fears and uncertainties, eagerly anticipating the same, as yet unrealized, promises of medical science.

Commentary: Why is the Trump Admin banning TikTok and WeChat?


Late Wednesday night, President Trump issued executive orders that will effectively ban two major Chinese apps from the U.S. market. The orders state that, 45 days from now, Americans will be prohibited from carrying out any transactions with the parent companies of TikTok and WeChat—meaning U.S. companies and individuals couldn’t advertise with the platforms, offer them for download via app stores, or enter into licensing agreements with them. 

EDITORIAL: An only-in-Calif problem: Why your newspaper delivery driver could disappear

Modesto Bee

There’s only one industry that appears in this country’s Bill of Rights. It’s journalism. America’s architects viewed the press as essential to the functioning of our democracy. And yet today we are testing what a post-news world looks like, with attacks on credible news and information due to double recessions and the polarized political arena.


How growers are protecting the Valley’s grape crop from hungry birds


Harvest is well underway for Fresno County’s billion-dollar grape crop. The valley’s valuable vines produce table grapes, wine grapes as well as grapes for juice and raisins. And they need to be protected.

Feeding Covid-19 Frontline Workers

Turlock Journal

Community Hospice partnered with locally-owned restaurant Greens to feed the Intensive Care Unit staff members at seven area hospitals.

Farm, nutrition provisions remain in play as talks on aid bill drag


Major farm groups are working to ensure that a new coronavirus relief package provides more specific directions to the Agriculture Department on how to distribute $20 billion in additional relief. The request with perhaps the broadest support among farm groups is for a specific requirement for USDA to make payments to ethanol producers. 

Commentary: Protection of the Calif agriculture-port relationship should be a top priority


Calif’s agricultural industry and its port system are inextricably linked, and both are now at risk. Calif is the largest agricultural producer and exporter in the nation. Calif’s farmers exported approximately 26% of their production by volume in 2018, worth about $21 billion.

Calif, cities battle over marijuana home-delivery rule


Calif faced off in court Thursday against some of its own cities that want to overturn a government rule allowing home marijuana deliveries statewide, even into communities that banned commercial pot sales.



Exeter Police Department warning community of fake police officer scam


A phone scam making its way through Tulare County is praying on a parent’s worst fear. “That person advised her that her daughter had been in an accident of some sort,” says Exeter Police Sgt. Bret Inglehart.

Scammers could be targeting unemployment benefits in Calif, state warns

LA Times

Many Califns are anxiously waiting for unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic, but James Myers was not happy when he received a letter from the state notifying him that his application for assistance had been approved.

Commentary: A proposal to transform Calif’s juvenile justice system


How Calif ultimately decides to transform juvenile justice will have long-term impacts on families and communities for generations. This transformation will influence whether young adults sink deeper into the criminal justice system or rehabilitate into independent individuals. 

Commentary: The legal and technical danger in moving criminal courts online


Today, our lives happen in video conferences. The big events we used to share in person with friends and family—graduations, weddings, and birthdays—now take place in small boxes on a screen. While increasing our ability to be in multiple places at once, video conferences have come with hair-pulling frustrations: the garbled connection, people talking over each other, the family members that can’t unmute themselves or start their camera.

Public Safety:

Prison deaths from COVID-19: How many staff, inmates have died in the Fresno region?

Fresno Bee

Up and down Calif, the state’s prison system has provided the novel coronavirus with a captive population in which to spread during the pandemic. Since the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 were identified earlier this year, more than 1,950 prison staff within the Calif Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation have contracted the virus.

See also:

●     Social distancing in jails? Supreme Court rules it’s not required in Calif county Sac Bee

●     San Quentin State Prison guard dies from coronavirus LA Times

●     Amid COVID-19, Calif releases some inmates doing time for murder. Advocates push to free moreLA Times

Are Calif police officers trained enough and in the right things?

Mercury News

Facing demonstrations this summer in cities large and small, from LA to Portland and San Jose to Walnut Creek, police resorted to force against protesters. Often, it seemed to make things worse.

They’re Children at Risk of Abuse, and Their Caseworkers Are Stuck Home

NY Times

In February, the child abuse hotline for Tollhouse, a small community in the Central Valley, received the first of several tips raising urgent concerns about the well-being of twin infant boys.

Opinion: America’s Policing System Is Broken. It’s Time to Radically Rethink Public Safety


In Minneapolis, the first days after George Floyd’s killing exist in memory as kind of a blur. Even so, the burning of the Third Precinct police station on May 28 was a signal event, and not only for residents of the south side, where Floyd was killed and so many buildings went up in flames.


Crews fighting 600-acre wildfire near Pine Flat Lake in Fresno County

Fresno Bee

At around 11:30 a.m on Friday the Sierra National Forest officials reported the fire had remained at 600 aces and 15% contained. Fire crews are battling a wildfire that is threatening cultural resources and transmission lines north of Pine Flat Lake.

See Also:

●     Firefighters crank up fight against wildfire in national forest near Pine Flat Lake Fresno Bee

Judge orders PG&E to improve records, power line inspections

Bakersfield Califn

A federal judge has ordered Pacific Gas and Electric to better inspect high-voltage power lines, hire more tree-trimming supervisors and upgrade records regarding the age of electrical equipment as part of efforts to prevent deadly and destructive wildfires and other disasters, The SF Chronicle reported.

City: New rescue units reduce response times

Bakersfield Califn

The Bakersfield Fire Department’s new Rescue Unit program will help reduce response times at two of the city’s busiest stations, the city said. The program is at Fire Station 2 on East 21st Street near Baker Street and Fire Station 6 on Brundage Lane just west of Union Avenue.

Stagecoach Fire: 7,760 acres burned, 57 % contained Sunday

Bakersfield Califn

The Stagecoach wildfire in Havilah and Piute has burned about 7,760 acres and was 57 % contained Sunday morning, according to the fire agencies working on the front lines. The cause of the fire that started Monday is under investigation. A total of 949 personnel are fighting the fire.



Less cash, fewer loans: How Latino businesses are fighting for customers in the pandemic

Fresno Bee

David Garcia and Cuahutemoc Vargas opened the doors to Kulture, a retail shop, in 2015 with a vision to bring something “new and unique” to midtown Sac. They succeeded beyond their expectations, generating enough buzz and revenue to move to a bigger K Street location. Garcia and his wife opened a second shop in Woodland, too.

Supervisors approve pandemic relief program for local small businesses

Madera Tribune

The Madera County Board of Supervisors has approved a Small Business Pandemic Assistance Grant program to help support small businesses located in Madera County, including the cities of Madera and Chowchilla. 

Kern Recovers loan program taps out

Bakersfield Califn

All $30 million of Kern’s pandemic recovery fund has been spoken for and no new applications are being accepted, though the county has indicated it hopes to put more money into the program soon. Publicly available information shows Kern Recovers, similar in many respects to the federal Paycheck Protection Program that has helped sustain small businesses nationwide, has benefited local restaurants far more than any other industry.

See also:

●     More businesses get city OK to operate on sidewalks, in parking lots Bakersfield Califn

●     Bakersfield lenders see most local borrowers doing fine for now Bakersfield Califn

Local Historic Theaters Count On Community Support During Pandemic Shutdown


Performing arts venues have been dark since the coronavirus pandemic hit in March – including some of the Central Valley’s most historic theatres. But efforts are taking place to help these landmarks weather the storm.

Three more Modesto-area restaurants close due to impacts of coronavirus; one reopens

Modesto Bee

The ongoing coronavirus crisis and economic downtown have claimed three more Central Valley restaurants. Modesto’s Fuddruckers, Ceres’ Pastas Pronto and Escalon’s The Tri-Tipery have all closed permanently in the past couple of months. 

See also:

●     Outside haircut? Modesto-area salons take scissors to streets amid COVID-19 closures Modesto Bee

●     Names of Note: Modesto’s Save Mart scores with Forbes. Local author in pandemic book Modesto Bee

Loan Program Ends, Hard-hit Businesses Hope For 2nd Chance

Business Journal

Small businesses are in limbo again as the coronavirus outbreak rages and the government’s $659 billion relief program draws to a close. Companies still struggling with sharply reduced revenue are wondering if Congress will give them a second chance at the Paycheck Protection Program, which ends Saturday after giving out 5.1 million loans worth $523 billion.

See Also:

●     Paycheck Protection Program ends Saturday, businesses struggling during COVID-19 pandemic hope for 2nd chance abc30

More PPP loans went to businesses in whiter, wealthier neighborhoods, data show

San Diego Union-Tribune

More businesses in predominantly White, wealthier neighborhoods in San Diego County received federal coronavirus payroll relief loans than businesses in areas with large minority and low-income populations, an analysis of loan program data shows.

Big companies shake off recession and pandemic to resume mergers and acquisitions

LA Times

A series of blockbuster deals has led a resurgence in merger and acquisition activity since the start of July, with companies rushing to prepare themselves for the recession and dusting off deals that were shelved because of the pandemic.

While Covid-19 Donations Soar, Other Charities See a Big Hit to Funds


When the pandemic hit, the blow to ReInspire, a nonprofit in Johnson County, Texas, was swift and sudden. Executive Director Charise Olson could no longer counsel teens at schools, the library or fast-food restaurants, all of which had closed. She had to cancel classes in job and life skills, and let go five interns and other workers.


Valley Farm Workers Describe Working Conditions And Fears During Pandemic

Farm workers in the San Joaquin Valley are facing higher risks of contracting COVID-19 compared to non-agricultural industries, according to a new farmworkers study. That’s on top of dealing with extreme heat and pesticide exposure. 

See also:

●     ‘Everyone tested positive’: Covid devastates agriculture workers in Calif’s heartland yahoo!news

‘We’re Risking Our Lives’: Front-Line Federal Workers Sue For Hazard Pay


For the first few months of the coronavirus pandemic, correctional officer Kareen “Troy” Troitino says things were “pretty relaxed” at FCI Miami. There were no cases of COVID-19 at the low-security federal prison, which currently houses some 1,000 inmates.

Coronavirus Cases Are Surging. The Contact Tracing Workforce Is Not

The United States needs as many as 100,000 contact tracers to fight the pandemic, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told Congress in June. We need billions of dollars to fund them, public health leaders pleaded in April.

Side hustles, liquidating 401(k)s: Here’s how jobless Californians are getting by without the extra $600


While Republicans and Democrats disagree whether President Trump’s executive order for $400-a-week enhanced unemployment benefits will work, pressure mounts for both parties to act. Without an expired federal $600 weekly boost, unemployed Califns are living on the brink by making candy and emptying out their 401(k)s.

State Options to Expand Unemployment Benefits


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has pushed unemployment in Calif to record highs. With so many Califns out of work, the state may want to explore options to expand assistance to unemployed workers. There are two potential motivations for doing so.

‘Nothing Feels Tangible’: Virtual Is New Reality For Grads Starting New Jobs


It was supposed to be a great year for Golden Daka. He would be the first member of his family to graduate from college. He had a big commencement speech planned for his graduation from Morehouse College, where he was a valedictorian. “I wanted to give that huge speech onstage with my family, friends and loved ones there, who made it very possible for me to go to Morehouse,” says Daka.

OPINION: States of Unemployment


Friday’s employment report for July shows the labor market continues to improve, despite a setback from the surge in coronavirus infections this summer in the South and West. The progress should continue without overly strict lockdowns and policy mistakes by Congress.



Clovis Unified ranks among top 10 US employers for women in 2020, Forbes magazine says

Fresno Bee

Clovis Unified ranked among the top 10 employers in America for women in Forbes magazine 2020 list. “While I was surprised, I think what separates us from other school districts is we really do have a strong organizational culture that promotes the ability for people to become the best versions of themselves,” Clovis Unified Superintendent Eimear O’Farrell said in an interview with The Bee.

Ed Lab: Fresno schools start in 10 days. Are you ready?

Fresno Bee

Districts are starting to roll out their fall distance learning plans, but some teachers have said they aren’t ready. Fresno Unified last late last week released some details about their plans for the fall semester. Teachers said the 19-page document was short on key information such as how attendance will be taken and the students’ schedule.

Parents protest to reopen TUSD schools

Turlock Journal

Turlock Unified School District students will kick the school year off from home next week due to the coronavirus pandemic, but a group of parents hoping to see campuses reopen sooner rather than later took to this week’s Board of Trustees meeting to protest the decision.

HESD to distribute student devices and materials

Hanford Sentinel

Hanford Elementary School District sites have developed site specific schedules for the distribution of student devices and instructional materials. Distribution will take place the week of Aug. 10. Devices and instructional materials will be issued to enrolled students.

Survey shows Visalia teachers aren’t ready to go back

Visalia Times Delta

A survey that could lead to a strike among Visalia Unified School District teachers showed one thing is clear: Teachers aren’t ready to teach in the educational landscape built by COVID-19. 

‘See you online!’: Monache hands out 720 Chromebooks to start distance learning

Porterville Recorder

A line of cars snaked through Monache High School’s parking lot with a dozen more waiting patiently to enter on Newcomb Street and another line coming from Henderson Avenue on Thursday. 

Virtual format raises concerns for first-year teachers

Bakersfield Califn

Starting a new job anywhere is a stressful and daunting task, but first-year teachers might take the cake while launching their careers in an unfamiliar distance learning format this fall. “I had no idea that this was going to be how my first year of teaching would begin,” said fifth-grade teacher Shawn Rader. “Back in March, it still didn’t seem real.”

See also:

●     Boys & Girls Club of Kern Co providing space for distance learning students Bakersfield Califn

●     ‘The sky’s the limit’ when KHSD’s Career Technical Education Center opens in a few weeksBakersfield Califn

●     KCSOS worried number of homeless students may rise, ramps up student support effortsBakersfieldNow

Longtime Turlock schools employee sues district after board member takes his job

Modesto Bee

A former Turlock Unified School District assistant superintendent is suing the district, alleging he was forced out of his job and back into teaching last year, which then allowed a former board member to take his top management position.

Update: Glitch is fixed. Distance learning resumes in Oakdale, Riverbank, Valley Home

Modesto Bee

Distance learning resumed in the Oakdale, Riverbank and Valley Home school districts on Friday afternoon, following computer trouble in the morning. The glitch involved the system used by the Stanislaus County Office of Education and 14 of the county’s 25 school districts.

Calif Dept of Public Health Updates School Guidance to Account for Sports and Extra Curricular Activities

On August 3, 2020, the Calif Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) updated its COVID-19 Industry Guidance for Schools and School-Based Programs to account for Sports and Extra Curricular Activities (“CDPH Guidance”).  At the same time, CDPH issued a “Youth Sports Questions and Answers” document applicable to youth sports, including school, club, and recreational youth sports.

Calif Dept of Public Health Issues New Guidance Concerning a Pathway to Physically Open Elementary Schools for In-Person Instruction

Earlier this week, the Calif Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued new guidance to school officials and local public health officers concerning waivers to open elementary schools for in-person instruction.  The new guidance has been anticipated since July 17, when CDPH issued general guidance on a number of different topics, including school reopening (you can view our prior alert on this topic here). 

OPINION: The Cares Act Creates an Opportunity for School Choice


Elizabeth Reilly was preparing for a hard conversation with her children. She couldn’t afford to keep them in the private school they had always attended. The Reillys had worked hard and relied on family help to keep their two children—who each face learning challenges—in the school that met their needs. 

OPINION: School Closures Damage the Youngest Children


In the contentious debate over opening schools, there is almost no mention of the youngest learners—children 2 to 5, who attend day care, nursery schools or prekindergarten programs. That’s a terrible omission. What those children need to accomplish can’t be done in isolation or in front of a laptop, and it has to be done during a brief developmental window that closes around age 5 and never opens again.

OPINION: If Teachers Won’t Teach, Follow Ronald Reagan’s Example and Fire Them


When 13,000 air traffic controllers walked off the job in August 1981, President Ronald Reagan had this to say: “Tell them when the strike’s over, they don’t have any jobs.” The media, not yet fully familiar with the seriousness with which Reagan intended to govern, scoffed at the president’s threat. 

Higher Ed:

Calif releases new guidance for colleges, univ’s: Meet these conditions to reopen

Fresno Bee

Calif’s colleges and universities may reopen to in-person learning if local conditions permit it, according to guidancereleased by the Calif Department of Public Health on Friday. The 34-page document released by the state details the conditions for which institutions of higher education may reopen, including college athletic programs.

See Also:

●     State releases guidelines for reopening college campuses Turlock Journal

●     No parties, no trips: Colleges set COVID-19 rules for fall Sac Bee

●     Calif colleges can reopen with a ton of restrictions, limited dorms, online classes LA Times

UC schools to require flu shots for all students, staff

Fresno Bee

A new item on back-to-school to-do lists: get your flu shot. The University of Calif announced Friday that all students, staff and faculty will be required to get a flu shot prior to Nov. 1. Those with approved medical exemptions will not face this new requirement.

Merced 2020 Project Wraps; Stands as Largest Public-Private Partnership Completed in U.S.

UC Merced

A new chapter began at UC Merced on June 1 with the completion of the massive $1.2 billion Merced 2020 Project, an extensive expansion of the campus’ physical space and capacity.

OPINION; If ‘ethnic studies’ become a requirement in schools, the Legislature better get it right

Fresno Bee

A year ago, the Calif Department of Education released a draft of guidelines for implementing “ethnic studies” in public high schools. It unleashed a torrent of controversy — for good reason. The 303-page document was ersatz Marxist agitprop that, if adopted, would have drummed into young minds the notion that in America, anyone not a white male is virtually enslaved.

See Also:

●     Walters: Another version of ‘ethnic studies’ CalMatters



Why Sprawl Could Be The Next Big Climate Change Battle

Capital Public Radio

President Trump is attacking Democrats on a new front: suburbia. “They want to eliminate single-family zoning, bringing who knows into your suburbs,” Trump said on a July campaign call.

This giant climate hot spot is robbing the West of its water

Wash Post

On New Year’s Day in 2018, Paul Kehmeier and his father drove up Grand Mesa until they got to the county line, 10,000 feet above sea level. Instead of the three to five feet of snow that should have been on the ground, there wasn’t enough of a dusting to even cover the grass.

PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and the Environment

Most Califns support policies to address climate change, including laws to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Two-thirds say air pollution is a serious threat, with Latinos and African Americans most likely to say it is a health concern. Majorities oppose offshore drilling and favor protecting marine sanctuaries. In light of COVID-19, 74% support always wearing masks in public.


Natural Gas Bans Will Worsen Calif’s Poverty Problem


Last year, Berkeley became the first city in the United States to pass a ban on natural gas hookups in new buildings. Since then, about 30 local governments in Calif have passed restrictions or bans on the use of natural gas and several cities in other states may follow the Golden State’s lead.



As data reporting issues linger, Fresno County adds 248 coronavirus cases

Fresno Bee

Fresno County added 248 coronavirus cases Sunday, even as regional and state health experts caution that current increases remain underreported because of a technical glitch. The latest totals, posted by the Calif Department of Public Health based on new cases through Saturday night, bring the total number of confirmed positive test results for COVID-19 since March to 17,538.

See Also:

●     Fresno County adds 259 cases to latest coronavirus count, hospitalizations fall Fresno Bee

●     US surpasses 5 million confirmed coronavirus cases, highest in the world abc30

●     Valley’s COVID-19 surge has White House task force concerned abc30

●     COVID-19 update: Recoveries continue to increase; active cases continue to decrease Porterville Recorder

●     Public Health: 957 new coronavirus cases reported Sunday Bakersfield Califn

●     Kern public health: 857 additional cases and 31 new recoveries BakersfieldNow

●     Two more Merced County residents reported dead due to COVID-19; hospitalizations spike Merced Sun-Star

●     Coronavirus update: Infection rate drops after release of more than 1,800 results Modesto Bee

●     Coronavirus Update: Results show mild stabilization. Infection rate still high Modesto Bee

●     As COVID-19 cases surge, patients are dying at a lower rate. Here’s why LA Times

●     ICU admissions up 49% before 4th of July CalMatters 

●     U.S. coronavirus infections surpass 5 million Wash Post

●     US tops 5 million confirmed virus cases, to Europe’s alarm Associated Press

Nearly 66,000 lives may be saved if most in US wear masks, COVID-19 model predicts

Fresno Bee

On the afternoon of Aug. 6, the U.S. death toll for COVID-19 inched closer to 160,000, which represents 22.5% of all coronavirus deaths in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University.

See Also:

●     Poll: 90% Of Californians Back Mask Rules, But Splits Remain Over Reopening CBS SF Bay Area

●     It’s World Mask Week, Here Are 10 Misconceptions About Face Coverings Forbes

●     Wearing A Mask Could Be Even More Important Than We Thought NPR

More children stricken with COVID-19 inflammatory reaction, 29 in Calif

SF Chronicle

An increasing number of children are being infected with COVID-19 and more than 200 of them, including 29 patients in Calif, are suffering from severe inflammatory reactions that can be life threatening, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday.

See Also:

●     Can kids be COVID-19 ‘long haulers?’ Some fear yes as nearly 100,000 test positive Miami Herald

●     Latest Research Points to Children Carrying, Transmitting Coronavirus WSJ

●     Children and the virus: As schools reopen, much remains unknown about the risk to kids and the peril they pose to others Wash Post

●     How widespread is COVID-19 in children? A look at the latest data as schools reopen abc news

●     Children Can Get Severe COVID-19, CDC Says — Especially Black And Hispanic Children VPR

●     CDC warns of dangerous COVID complication for children Sac Bee

COVID-19 May Never Go Away — With Or Without A Vaccine

Humans have never been particularly good at eradicating entire viruses, and COVID-19 might not be any different. More than 19 million people have tested positive for the coronavirus globally, and at least 722,000 have died. In the U.S., nearly 5 million people have tested positive and more than 160,000 have died. 
See Also:

●     Winter is coming: Why America’s window of opportunity to beat back Covid-19 is closing statnews

●     Coronavirus updates: Virus not showing signs of seasonal pattern, WHO says abcnews

●     A coronavirus vaccine by November? Severe outbreaks may speed up research, Fauci says Sac Bee

●     Prices For COVID-19 Vaccines Are Starting To Come Into Focus VPR

Hispanic, Black children at higher risk of coronavirus-related hospitalization, CDC finds

Wash Post

Hispanic children are approximately eight times more likely and Black children five times more likely to be hospitalized with covid-19 than their White peers, according to a study released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

See Also:

●     Worries about COVID-19 divide along racial, ethnic lines, state poll finds Berkeley News

Nasal Spray Is A New Antidepressant Option For People At High Risk of Suicide

The Food and Drug Admin has approved a variant of the anesthetic and party drug ketamine for suicidal patients with major depression. The drug is a nasal spray called Spravato and it contains esketamine, a chemical cousin of ketamine.

Calif scientists want to know if air pollution makes COVID-19 worse

Desert Sun

Calif has emerged as one of the states hardest hit by the coronavirus nationwide. Now, scientists across the Golden State are launching research to better understand the reasons, including studying whether air pollution from LA to the Central Valley is to blame.

Asymptomatic people have as much coronavirus as noticeably sick patients, study finds

Miami Herald

Studies suggest millions of people who have been infected with the coronavirusnever even realized they had it, never felt ill, never had any symptoms. That doesn’t mean they didn’t pass it along.

The common cold may protect you from severe COVID-19 symptoms, study says. Here’s why

Miami Herald

If you’ve ever had the common cold, the cells in your immune system might be able to recognize those of the novel coronavirus, meaning you might have better protection against the disease it causes if infected.

OPINION: Confessions of a Calif Covid Nurse


The Humboldt County Public Health department in Calif is inside what used to be a juvenile jail. The offices are former prison cells. A few of the doors still have the small windows with the sliding panels that allowed guards to observe prisoners. The basement is a dungeon, the lab equipment is jammed into a small room never meant to be a lab, and the staff are on top of each other in ways that would have seemed unhealthy even before the pandemic.

West Nile Virus on the rise in Turlock, county

Turlock Journal

The Turlock area is a hotspot in Calif for West Nile Virus and officials are urging residents to take extra precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

See also:

●     Stanislaus County now a hot spot in the state for West Nile virus, officials say Modesto Bee

Human Services:

Trump commits to cover costs of Calif National Guard COVID-19 response — for now

Fresno Bee

The Trump Admin committed on Friday to cover all of the costs of National Guard troops responding to the coronavirus pandemic in Calif, Arizona and Connecticut through September, expanding on a short list of states that will not have to share the cost burden — at least for now.

See Also:

●     State personnel, including National Guard medical unit, arrive at Modesto-area hospitals Modesto Bee

Merced church, groups help donate nearly 8,000 masks to protect homeless from COVID-19

Merced Sun-Star

Gateway Community Church on Friday helped deliver close 8,000 donated face masks to the Merced County Rescue Mission, in order to help protect people who are homeless during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Local medical practices get a free stash of PPE to help deal with shortages

Modesto Bee

Dr. Sukhjit Samra gladly skipped office hours Wednesday morning to help distribute free personal protective equipment to local small and midsize medical practices. Samra is the president of the Stanislaus Medical Society and a family practice physician at Kaiser Modesto.

SJ volunteers needed to continue assembling COVID-19 kits

Stockton Record

Volunteers are needed to put together mask kits that will be distributed throughout the community. Dignity Health, San Joaquin Public Health Services and the United Way have partnered to assemble and distribute 100,000 kits that include a reusable face covering, hand sanitizer and information to help stop the spread of the coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19

‘It’s always good to check.’ No-cost COVID-19 testing arrives in Fresno neighborhoods

Fresno Bee

My only previous visit to Lions Park in west central Fresno was for a feature story about a skateboarder with one leg. Nine years later, I returned. To observe, from a reasonable distance, dozens of people of all ages and skin colors get screened and tested for a highly contagious virus.

See also:

●     Can you get a coronavirus test in Calif if you want one? It depends Fresno Bee

Federal test site to stay at fairgrounds another 12 days

Bakersfield Califn

A federal surge testing site for COVID-19 at the fairgrounds will remain in Bakersfield an additional 12 days, county officials said this week. The site was announced by Rep. Kevin McCarthy and opened on July 29 with the goal of testing up to 5,000 people per day over 12 days in an effort to alleviate high demand for testing and help bring COVID-19 under control in Kern County.

New Report Shows Impact Of Covid-19 On The Dental Industry

Fresno State News

Since March, dental providers at Tooth Berry Kids Dental in Carmichael, as well as many other dental providers nationwide, have seen a limited number of patients with practices operating at 50% below normal capacity.


Trump Admin claims victory in rulings on asylum restrictions, but courts differ

SF Chronicle

Two years after then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions declared thousands of immigrants fleeing domestic abuse or gang violence to be ineligible for U.S. asylum in virtually all cases, the Trump Admin is celebrating the courts’ response.

Undocumented in the Pandemic


With The Marshall Project and the Pulitzer Center, a look at one immigrant mother’s struggle to keep her children safe and housed, with her husband detained by ICE in a facility where COVID is spreading. Airing Tues., Aug. 11 on PBS in a two-part hour that also includes Love, Life & the Virus.


Land Use:

Councilman wants to do more about nuisance properties that damage neighborhoods

Bakersfield Califn

It once was a family home where lawns were mown, trees were trimmed and children were raised. But for the past decade and a half, the house on the edge of the Oleander-Sunset neighborhood has become a place where lawns are brown, trees are dead and children should never go.

State Parks closes Turlock Lake campground to help stop COVID-19, but day use OK

Modesto Bee

Calif State Parks is temporarily closing Turlock Lake State Recreation Area’s campground as of Friday to help stop the spread of the new coronavirus, but still will allow day use, including boating and fishing.


Fresno Housing Advocates on Eviction and COVID-19


Calif Gov. Gavin Newsom suspended most evictions in April. But now state lawmakers are debating whether to lift the moratorium, leaving renters who have lost their jobs to the pandemic facing an uncertain future.

See also:

●     Eviction protections are expiring. What does this mean for struggling Calif tenants? LA Times

●     Column: Facing a wave of evictions, Calif is about to make thousands of kids homeless LA Times

Backyard homes could stem the state’s housing crisis. In Fresno, most can’t afford to build them

Fresno Bee

For Lorena Gonzalez, renting out her Fresno backyard cottage isn’t just a way of alleviating the state’s housing crisis — it’s an essential source of income. She and her husband are undocumented and have relied on farm work, packhouses and construction to provide for their three children.

Tejon Ranch reports limited need for rent deferments at two of its shopping centers

Bakersfield Califn

It’s times like these that the wisdom of having a drive-thru window becomes clear. The latest evidence comes from Lebec-based Tejon Ranch Co., which on Wednesday reported that just eight tenants at two of its properties — those at the foot of The Grapevine and its commerce center a few miles to the north — asked for and received rent deferments as of June 30.

Bakersfield affordable? RealtyHop report says ‘yes’

Bakersfield Califn

In yet another measure of the local housing market, property investment company RealtyHop says Bakersfield has the fifth most affordable housing in the country.

How COVID-19 Could Deepen Calif’s Housing Crisis

As COVID-19 remains an immediate threat to the health of Califns, the public health response to the virus has also brought on a major economic downturn. These concurrent crises may exacerbate the state’s existing housing crisis.


CBO: Deficit hit record $2.8 trillion in 10 months

The Hill

The deficit climbed to a record $2.8 trillion during the first 10 months of fiscal 2020, roughly doubling the biggest annual deficit, according to figures released Monday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

Calif Has Lost A Greater Share Of Revenue Than Most States Due To COVID-19


Calif’s progressive tax structure means state revenue does well in good economic times but suffers more than most other states when there’s a downturn. In January, Calif was projecting a $5.6 billion surplus, but the pandemic quickly transformed that into a $54 billion deficit. 

See also:

●     Income Tax Withholding Tracker: August 3-August 9 LAO

Walters: Calif’s immense pension dilemma


Calif’s public employee pension dilemma boils down to this: The Calif Public Employees Retirement System has scarcely two-thirds of the money it needs to pay benefits that state and local governments have promised their workers.

State Options to Expand Unemployment Benefits


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has pushed unemployment in Calif to record highs. With so many Califns out of work, the state may want to explore options to expand assistance to unemployed workers. There are two potential motivations for doing so.

Calif Democrats Divided Over COVID-19 Stimulus, Millionaire Tax To Fund Economic Recovery

Capital Public Radio

They show up at county meetings. They post calls to action on Instagram. In the age of coronavirus, they organize car caravans and Facebook town halls. For Crisantema Gallardo, the 29-year-old director of Central Valley youth organizing group 99Rootz, years of groundwork are coming to a head with a high-stakes battle over how to dig Calif out of a sudden $54 billion deficit.

Trump promises permanent cut to payroll tax funding Social Security and Medicare if he’s reelected

Wash Post

President Trump pledged on Saturday to pursue a permanent cut to the payroll taxes that fund Social Security and Medicare if he wins reelection in November, a hard-to-accomplish political gambit that some experts see as a major headache for the future of the country’s entitlement programs.

See also:

●     Ask PolitiFact: When is a second stimulus check arriving? PolitiFact

●     Foreign Workers Living Overseas Mistakenly Received $1,200 U.S. Stimulus Checks NPR

Commentary: Federal consumer protections have been gutted; it’s time for Calif to create its own agency


It’s been more than four months since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Millions of us have lost jobs, are juggling caring for children at home or struggling to keep up with rent. Payday lenders areviciously targeting desperate consumers with loans with triple-digit interest rates – even as these businesses receivedbillions of dollars in federal relief aid.


‘Horrible sequence of mistakes’: How bullet train contractors botched a bridge project

LA Times

A series of errors by contractors and consultants on the Calif bullet train venture caused support cables to fail on a massive bridge crucial to the project, triggering an order to stop work that further delayed a project already years behind schedule, the LA Times has learned.

See Also:

●     OPINION: Why is the bullet train farce still going? Orange County Register

$27 Million Now Available for Zero-Emission Trucks in Calif

Calif Mitigation Trust

Today, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD) Governing Board approved the statewide Admin of $27 million in funding to replace higher polluting trucks with zero-emission vehicles. The funding is part of the Volkswagen (VW) Environmental Mitigation Trust program, which is intended to fund projects that will fully mitigate the excess nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions caused by the vehicles included in the VW settlement. 

Key Democrats pledge support for more federal aid for transit

Wash Post

Key congressional Democrats on Wednesday pledged their support for at least $32 billion in federal coronavirus relief for public transit, one week after Republicans included nothing in their stimulus proposals for an industry that agency heads warn is on the brink of layoffs without help.

How I Learned to Cycle Like a Dutchman


It was April of 2017. We were to live in Delft for three months, and our canalside apartment, on a street named Hippolytusbuurt, was within riding distance of the grocery, the bakery, the girls’ school, the library, the ikea. Back home, in Virginia, our lives had been a blur of traffic, from drop-offs at soccer practice to hectic commutes. 


Are you on a private well? We’re investigating risks to drinking water and need your help

Fresno Bee

Thousands of families who rent or own homes with private wells are at risk of losing their drinking water in Madera, Fresno, Tulare and Kings counties — and some already have. The Fresno Bee is investigating the risks to private wells and proposed solutions, and we need to hear your stories and your questions to guide our reporting.

Funding Water Infrastructure for the San Joaquin Valley

Fresno State Calif Water Institute

Hear from leading experts on what strategies are available to finance capital investments in water infrastructure to reduce the economic losses in the agricultural sector. 

Volunteers team up with Forest Service to keep the Kern River clean

Bakersfield Califn

Gary Ananian loves the Kern River Valley’s rugged landscape and the ancient river that cuts through it, grinding boulders into rocks and rocks into sand.

Senator Hurtado hopes to freshen farmworkers’ water

Hanford Sentinel

Contaminated water has long plagued Calif’s Southern Central Valley, a region home to many farmworkers. SB 974, a bill by Senator Melissa Hurtado, seeks to provide safe drinking water by exempting small disadvantaged communities from certain CEQA provisions.

Drought continues to expand as the monsoon in the Southwest has been largely a no-show

LA Times

Hot and dry conditions pushed portions of Arizona, southern Nevada and Southern Calif either into drought or further into drought, data from the U.S. Drought monitor show. The portion of Calif deemed  abnormally dry grew by almost 7%, mainly in eastern San Bernardino County. 


Volunteers Restore Musical Instruments at Dry Creek Park

Clovis RoundUp

The Music Park installation at Clovis’ Dry Creek Park on Alluvial and Clovis Ave. has been repaired nine months after it was vandalized. Volunteers from the community came together this week to fix the popular attraction at the park after instruments were stolen.

County coronavirus case increases force change in plans for Modesto’s Gallo Center

Modesto Bee

While hopes were that Modesto’s Gallo Center for the Arts could reopen with shows in November, that won’t happen. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has pushed those hopes to March, according to Chief Executive Officer Lynn Dickerson.

Time to return to theme parks? Not yet, say nearly 80% of parents, poll finds

Sac Bee

Even Disneyland, which remains closed, and Walt Disney World can’t lure most parents back to theme parks with their kids as the coronavirus pandemic continues, a new poll finds. The poll, by Morning Consult and The Hollywood Reporter, finds that 78% of U.S. parents say it’s too soon to return to any theme park this summer.

How to salvage your summer vacation during coronavirus: Go farther

SF Chronicle

Finding paradise in Calif this summer isn’t a given like it usually is. You have to earn it. Campsites are booked solid everywhere. Yosemite requires online reservations in advance to enter the park. Planning a trip is more complicated during the coronavirus pandemic.

‘Smiles through their masks’ as first Calif cardroom reopens

SF Chronicle

Shaded from the blazing sun by canopies and refreshed by fans, gamblers on Sunday regained some sense of normalcy by returning to an outdoor cardroom in Tracy. Stars Casino opened for the first extended period since mid-March, becoming the first cardroom in the state allowed to reopen with outdoor gaming. It could become a model for Bay Area casinos and cardrooms that are leaking money.

See Also:

●     Coronavirus shut us down again, but Northern Calif casinos remain open. Are they safe? Sac Bee

Commentary: Big Ten Leads ‘Power Five’ in Halting Football, Free Press Says


The Big Ten became the first “Power Five” conference to cancel football for the upcoming season, forgoing a major revenue source as the Covid-19 pandemic upends college sports, the Detroit Free Press reported, citing multiple unnamed sources.