August 12, 2020



2020-2021 budget includes $27 billion for Valley

Porterville Recorder

The U.S. House of Representatives have passed a series of necessary minibus bills to fund the federal government during the 2020-2021 fiscal year. Included in the bills are $27 billion for the Central Valley in areas such as agriculture, providing clean drinking water, upgrading water infrastructure, treating asthma, providing help for rural small businesses and providing medical care for veterans.

North SJ Valley:

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.

See also:

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

·       PPE shortage fueled California coronavirus woes LA Times

Annual Stanislaus count finds record number of homeless people in county & cities

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County reported this year’s annual homeless count turned up 2,107 people, which is the most that has ever been tallied since homeless service providers started conducting these surveys in 2005.

See also:

●      Count finds increase in homelessness throughout Stanislaus Co Turlock Journal

Candidates set for most local races

Turlock Journal

As the candidate deadline for local elections came and went on Friday, several area races were set while others saw their filing periods extended.

Central SJ Valley:

Fresno-area continues to see COVID-19 cases rise, but is ‘curve’ starting to bend?

Fresno Bee

The number of confirmed coronavirus infections identified throughout the central San Joaquin Valley on Monday lurched up by more than 2,100 cases since Friday – an increase of almost 5.4% in a single weekend.

See Also:

●     Fresno adds 20 new deaths from COVID-19 as cases surge Fresno Bee

Fresno County plan hopes to slow coronavirus spread among disadvantaged groups

Fresno Bee

Fresno County supervisors announced a plan to garner help from the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission to educate and provide resources in preventing the spread of coronavirus among its residents.

See Also:

●     Fresno County deploys ‘trusted messengers’ to reach Black, immigrant residents in COVID-19 response Fresno Bee

●     Fresno County Announces Contracts to Help Combat COVID-19

Local leaders say they’re pleased after Joe Biden picks Kamala Harris as VP


Local Democratic leaders say this is exactly what Biden’s campaign was missing.

How racism leaves a lingering economic ‘glass ceiling’ for Fresno’s Black residents

Fresno Bee

In their “little corner” of the city, Fresno’s Black residents lag behind other races in economic participation. 

Tulare County catches up to state backlog; No football at Fresno State

Fresno Bee

There was a large jump in the reported cases of coronavirus across the central San Joaquin Valley on Monday, driven by triple-digit increases in Fresno, Merced and Tulare counties. Nearly 1,500 new cases were added between the six counties in the region South SJ Valley:

See also:

●     COVID-19: 687 new cases in Tulare Co, 2 new deaths Visalia Times Delta

Hanford Councilman Martin Devine will not seek re-election

Hanford Sentinel

There will be two Hanford City Council seats up for election this November in districts B and C. District C incumbent Martin Devine, who was elected in 2016, has announced that he will not seek re-election to his seat.

KCDPH works to update COVID-19 data

Hanford Sentinel

As Calif continues to deal with issues regarding the state’s lab reporting system, Kings County hopes to have updated COVID-19 information as soon as possible. In early August, the Calif Department of Public Health discovered technology issues with the electronic laboratory reporting system which reports into the state’s disease registry system, known as CalREDIE, likely causing an underreporting of COVID-19 cases.

COVID-19 update: State team to meet with county leaders

Porterville Recorder

The ramped up effort to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in Tulare County begins in earnest on Wednesday. The state’s Unified Support Team will hold extensive meetings with Tulare County leaders Wednesday and Thursday. The objective of the meetings is to come up with a comprehensive plan to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in Tulare County.

South SJ Valley:

County supervisors have held private briefings since March

Bakersfield Califn

The Kern County Board of Supervisors has held private teleconferences with other county officials at least six times since March to discuss the COVID-19 crisis, citing an executive order that suspends some open meetings laws as a result of the pandemic.

People Detained At Mesa Verde Are Experiencing Severe COVID-19 Symptoms, Advocates Say

At least 10 people have tested positive for COVID-19 at the ICE Processing Facility in Bakersfield as of Monday, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Advocates say the people detained are not getting proper medical attention.

See Also:

●     12 deaths, 555 new COVID-19 cases reported Tuesday in Kern Bakersfield Califn

Report predicts 20,000 local households could face eviction during COVID-19 crisis

Bakersfield Califn

A new report advocating rent cancellation and other government-led housing measures in the Central Valley warns that economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic could result in evictions for 20,000 households across Kern County.

See also:

·       More than 1,600 Californians have been evicted since March CalMatters

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

·       Vote nears on resuming eviction proceedings in California AP

Local educator announces candidacy for BCSD board area 5 seat

Bakersfield Califn

Homegrown educator Brooke Malley Ault is running for Bakersfield City School District Area Five trustee, according to a news release. “I had the good fortune of attending wonderful Bakersfield City schools, and I want to make sure that all the children in the district, including my son, have that same opportunity,” says Ault.


Calif begins adding backlogged virus cases to record

Fresno Bee

Calif began adding additional coronavirus cases to its public record Tuesday, a week after state officials acknowledged a data problem in late July had caused nearly 300,000 records not to appear in its health system.

See Also:

●     More than 13,000 new coronavirus cases recorded as state reports test result backlog LA Times

‘Extremely frustrating:’ How tech breakdowns are hurting Gavin Newsom’s coronavirus response 

Sac Bee

Technology problems have become a major stumbling block to Newsom’s coronavirus strategy.

See also:

●     Walters: State tech failures hit home again CalMatters

PPE shortage fueled California coronavirus woes

LA Times

At least 15,800 essential workers would not have contracted COVID-19 if California had stockpiled enough masks and other protective equipment, while the state would have saved $93 million weekly on unemployment claims for out of work healthcare workers and avoided overpaying for supplies, according to a UC Berkeley Labor Center study released Wed.

OPINION: Calif state legislators use coronavirus as an excuse to hijack democratic process

Fresno Bee

Three democratic procedures safeguard Californians against hasty and dangerous actions by the Calif State Legislature: Every bill gets a legislative hearing. Committee staff provides an impartial analysis of each bill. Members of the public are heard.

Shorter Timeline Threatens Census Count


As the in-person follow-up phase of Census 2020 gets underway, COVID-19 and an earlier-than-expected deadline pose challenges for ensuring a complete count. 

Capitol Weekly’s Top 100: Tales from the pandemic

Capitol Weekly

The atmospherics surrounding the Top 100 list vary slightly from year to year, but they usually stem from such things as elections, retirements, hires, campaign staffing, bureaucratic shuffling, news stories and who’s doing what to whom. Normally, we set up interviews in coffee shops or, better yet, taverns, and pick the brains of people who know the Capitol.

Not this year.

Who Newsom might tap for a U.S. Senate seat if Kamala Harris becomes VP

Fresno Bee

As soon as presidential candidate Joe Biden named Calif Sen. Kamala Harris his running mate Tuesday, speculation began to swirl about who Gov. Gavin Newsom would pick to replace her in the U.S. Senate. 

See Also:

●     With Kamala Harris as Biden’s VP pick, Newsom has a chance to appoint history-making senatorLA Times

●     Capitol Weekly Podcast: Senatorial Speculation Capitol Weekly

●     Californians’ reactions to Kamala Harris’ VP nod range from excited to disappointed LA Times

●     What Calif knows about Kamala Harris CalMatters

●      Trump backers’ dizzying response to Kamala Harris’s selection Was Post

●      Opinion | Kamala Harris, the woman California Republicans could not stop Wash Post

●     Skelton: California should let voters fill Senate vacancies  LA Times


Worldwide COVID-19 case count tops 20 million, doubling in six weeks


It took six months for the world to reach 10 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus. It took just over six weeks for that number to double. The worldwide count of known COVID-19 infections climbed past 20 million on Monday, with more than half of them from just three countries: the U.S., India and Brazil, according to the tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.

Editorial: Trump’s rescue plan would let state & local govts drown in red ink

LA Times

The pandemic rages on. Millions of laid-off Americans teeter on the edge of financial disaster now that extended unemployment benefits have ended. The courts and homeless shelters are preparing for a tsunami of evictions now that federal eviction moratoriums have expired. State and local governments are facing layoffs and service cuts because tax revenue has plummeted.

It’s Illegal for Federal Officials to Campaign on the Job. Trump Staffers Keep Doing It Anyway.

Pro Publica

Trump administration officials have been cited 13 times for violating the Hatch Act, a New Deal-era law prohibiting government officials from engaging in campaigning.

Opinion: The return of pen-and-phone constitutionalism

American Enterprise Institute – AEI

President Trump’s executive actions for COVID relief offer little relief but are constitutionally dangerous.

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 California 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

Elections 2020:

‘Let’s go win this.’ What Calif Democrats are saying about Biden’s VP pick of Kamala Harris

Fresno Bee

Tuesday’s news that Sen. Kamala Harris would be presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s running mate struck social media like a thunderclap.

See Also:

●     Joe Biden picks Kamala Harris as his running mate Fresno Bee

●     Kamala Harris in Calif: Big winner but a polarizing figure Fresno Bee

●     Joe Biden selects Calif Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate abc30

●     President Trump, politicians react to Joe Biden’s Vice President pick California Senator Kamala Harris abc30

●     ‘Extraordinarily nasty’: Trump and his campaign launch swift attack on VP pick Harris Sac Bee

●     Biden picks Harris as running mate, first Black woman Bakersfield Califn

●     In Historic Pick, Joe Biden Taps Kamala Harris To Be His Running Mate VPR

●     She once called herself Calif’s ‘top cop.’ Where is Kamala Harris on police reform now? Sac Bee

●     Fact check: Is Joe Biden right that Kamala Harris failed to act on school segregation? Sac Bee

●     Fact check: Did Harris block evidence that would have freed inmates? Sac Bee

●     Kamala Harris is Joe Biden’s pick for vice president LA Times

●     Why Kamala Harris was picked as Joe Biden’s running mate SF Chronicle

●     Spotlight on Harris exposes solitude of black women at top of politics SF Chronicle

●      Biden picks Kamala Harris as VP nominee POLITICO

●      Running mates don’t usually matter. Kamala Harris might. POLITICO

●      Joe Biden picks Sen. Kamala D. Harris as his running mate, putting a woman of color on the presidential ticket for the first time Washington Post

●      Morain: America is about to see what smart Republicans saw in Kamala Harris years ago Wash Post

●      VP pick Kamala Harris and the campaign road ahead Brookings

●      Fact Check: Did Kamala Harris flip-flop on independent probes of police shootings? PolitiFact

●      The Harris Pick: Geographic Balance Takes Back Seat to Gender, Race NY Times

●      Harris, a Political Fighter Shaped by Life In Two Worlds NY Times

●      Supports Healthcare for Illegal Immigrants National Review

●     Opinion: Harris VP pick shows Biden isn’t afraid of a strong woman LA Times

●     Editorial: Kamala Harris VP pick shows Biden isn’t afraid to have a strong woman at his side LA Times

Fresno County taking additional safety measures for voters during election


Fresno County Clerk Brandi Orth wants every eligible resident to know they will have the opportunity to vote in the Presidential Election on November 3. The safety of Fresno County voters and election workers is a top priority during the coronavirus pandemic, Orth said. The office will enforce additional health precautions to help keep people safe.

Freed from legal constraints, GOP ramps up effort to monitor voting

LA Times

Since 1937, the state of Pennsylvania has had strict rules about who can stand in polling stations and challenge the eligibility of voters. The restrictions are meant to limit the use of “poll monitors” long sent by both parties to look out for voting mishaps but at times used to intimidate voters.

California Voters Will Decide Whether They Want To End Cash Bail Once and for All


Complicating the vote is an unusual coalition of opponents: insurers and bail bond companies that would lose their businesses entirely and civil rights and criminal justice groups who fear that the solution may end up being worse than the problem.

California lawmakers advance bill benefitting newspapers

Santa Rosa Press Democrat’s Guy Kovner

The measure by Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio, D-Baldwin Park, and co-authored by state Sens. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, Bill Dodd, D-Napa, and others would allow newspapers to continue using independent contractors as carriers until Jan. 1, 2023. Currently, newspapers must end that practice on Jan. 1, a little over four months away, under a law passed last year aimed at curbing the so-called gig economy.

See also:

·       Calif could give newspapers a 2-year labor law reprieve Bakersfield Califn

2020 Election Forecast 


The presidential race is in many ways just getting started. On Tuesday, we got Joe Biden’s VP pick (Sen. Kamala Harris), the Democratic National Convention is next week, and the Republican National Convention soon after. 

How Local Communities Across America Will Decide the 2020 Election


Swing-state cities will play a major role in the November presidential race. The Wall Street Journal has been reporting on the places that reveal broader trends shaping the election.

Biden’s budget: $8 trillion in new spending and at least $3 trillion in new taxes

Real Clear Policy

If Biden were to win in November, health care, education, green energy, manufacturing jobs, and tax hikes would certainly be front and center on the congressional agenda, along with continued pandemic relief measures.


Pew poll finds most Latinos haven’t heard of ‘Latinx.’ Only 3% use the term

LA Times

The term “Latinx” has been embraced by 3% of Latinos in the United States, according to the first major poll on the topic by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, which closely tracks “Hispanic/Latino” demographic and social trends. The study, released Tuesday, also found that roughly three out of four Latinos in the U.S. hadn’t even heard of the term.

Will COVID-19 change Americans’ views of social safety net?

LA Times

This spring, as the coronavirus charted its deadly path across the country, Brady decided to temporarily stop accepting clients from Washington state and the NY City area — two early hot spots — and capped client capacity at 12, instead of 30, so patients didn’t have to share bathrooms.

People who engage with false news are hyper-concerned about truth. But they think it’s being hidden.

Nieman Journalism Lab

“On Google, searching for ‘coronavirus facts’ gives you a full overview of official statistics and visualizations. That’s not the case for ‘coronavirus truth.’”


The latest onion recalls (Costco, Trader Joe’s among them) in the salmonella outbreak

Fresno Bee

The latest recalls in the salmonella outbreak traced to Thomson International onions come from Progressive Produce, Onions 52’s Hartley’s Best, Saddlin’ Up. They affect Costco, Trader Joe’s, Ralphs.

Farmworkers fear retaliation for airing COVID-19 concerns. What can be done to help? 

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County farmworkers fear asking for coronavirus safety measures and few can count on financial safety nets, researchers say.

Bakersfield American Legion hosting pick-up dinner fundraiser

Bakersfield Califn

The Bakersfield American Legion will be hosting a public dinner fundraiser Friday at its Post 26, located at 220 H Street. The drive-thru meal service will feature enchiladas, rice, beans and cheesecake for $10. No reservation is needed for the 5:30 p.m. event.

Rural California Ranchers Deal With Uncertainty As Meatpacking Plants Struggle With COVID-19

Capital Public Radio

As the sun rises over three cowboys and one cowgirl are already at work in the Sierra Valley. They’re negotiating with dozens of cattle waiting to be shipped to their next destination, a feedlot, and eventually, processing. 



She’s accused of discarding Madera Co child abuse reports. What she told investigators

Fresno Bee

Former Madera County social worker Sierra Lindman denied intentionally discarding hundreds of child abuse reports and told an investigator she would never “jeopardize children,” according to new law enforcement documents obtained by The Fresno Bee.

Tulare County DA files charges against health care executives

Fresno Bee

Three health care executives have been charged by the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office with 40 felonies and six misdemeanors including embezzlement, misappropriation of government funds, conflicts of interest and money laundering.

Public Safety:

Calif’s post-prison chaos: Thousands released early, including many with coronavirus


California’s patchwork reentry system is scrambling to find housing and services for former inmates. “What this pandemic has done is highlight the inadequacies in the system,” said one program director.


Wildfire near Pine Flat Lake at 90% containment after a week. Crews mopping up

Fresno Bee

The week-old Trimmer Fire near Pine Flat Lake on Tuesday morning was reported to be 90% contained, the U.S. Forest Service said. Crews will continue suppression repair work and mopping up. Fire officials are working to reopen the area and road closures.

Could A Phone App Help Prevent California Wildfires?

Capital Public Radio

Some of Calif’s largest wildfires in recent history were started when trees or branches fell on power lines. As a result, a judge this week ordered PG&E to increase power line inspections, upgrade records of equipment used and to hire more tree-trimmer supervisors. 

See How Wildfires Endanger Older Californians — and it’s Getting Worse


Climate change and COVID-19 are disasters. Long-term care homes and seniors may not be ready.



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

Modesto Bee

As hair salons and barbershops remain closed for indoor cuts, a few intrepid Central Valley stylists are taking their clippers into the great outdoors instead. After being shut down again last month because of the continued spike in COVID-19 infections in Stanislaus County, salon owners were given the green light to cut hair outside — with safety and other restrictions.

See also:

·       Californians are going to Vegas salons to get hair done, stylists say abc30

Webinar will discuss PPP forgiveness provisions

Bakersfield Califn

Small businesses can learn about federal provisions for forgiving Paycheck Protection Program loans by participating in a free, one-hour webinar set to start at noon Wednesday. Hosted by Kelly Bearden, director of Cal State Bakersfield’s Small Business Development Center, the online event will examine different scenarios facing PPP recipients.

Hotel bookings start to recover as leisure travel helps make up for loss of big events

Bakersfield Califn

Bakersfield’s hospitality industry has recently begun to pick up — some hotels are even hiring again — as road-trippers and locals help put an end to a streak of slow business during the coronavirus pandemic.

Struggling Families and Economy Need Robust, Bipartisan COVID Relief Agreement

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

The only way to adequately meet the needs of a reeling economy, struggling families, and cash-strapped states and localities is for President Trump and Congress to come to agreement on a robust, bipartisan economic relief package.


Gov. Newsom says ‘no money in the piggy bank’ to fund Trump’s $400 weekly unemployment order


As millions of Californias remain without work amid the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state does not have the means to sustain 25% of the funding for President Donald Trump’s recent executive order that issues a $400 boost to unemployment benefits.



Despite calls from teachers to delay start date, Fresno superintendent says ‘we’re ready’

Fresno Bee

One week before the first day of school, Fresno Unified School District’s superintendent said “we’re ready” for the coronavirus pandemic era despite calls from teachers to delay the start date.

Fresno, Tulare will not grant waivers to reopen schools

Fresno Bee

School districts in Fresno and Tulare counties will not be approved for a waiver to reopen elementary schools until the number of positive COVID-19 cases decreases, according to public health officials.

Fresno Unified Board to Consider Renewing Censure Against Slatic

GV Wire

Fresno Unified School Board trustees on Wednesday will consider renewing the censure of controversial trustee Terry Slatic and asking the Fresno County Grand Jury “and other appropriate regulatory agencies” to launch an investigation of his conduct.

Kings Lions Club collects school supplies during ‘Stuff the Bus’

Hanford Sentinel

The Kings Lions Club teamed up with Rudy Salas and other community groups for “Stuff the Bus” on Saturday. Martie Rodriguez, president of the Kings Lions Club, said the “Stuff the Bus” school supply drive is a long-term project over 10 years. He was thankful for the generous support from the community who came and donated school supplies for children.

See Also:

●     “Back 2 School Bash” hands out backpacks and fun Hanford Sentinel

As Stanislaus Co leaders weigh summer surge, Withrow pushes for schools to open

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County supervisors heard a presentation Tuesday on a coronavirus outbreak that may or may not be receding a bit. It’s hard for health experts to tell given recent lapses in reporting new cases and the severe slowdown in turnaround time for test results.

See also:

·       Growing number of voters oppose Trump demand to fully reopen schools POLITICO

·       Opinion: Closed schools are a national emergency Bloomberg

·       Opinion: Reopening Schools Can Be Done Safely National Review

COVID-19 distance learning challenge: ‘Trusty neighborhood day cares’ to the rescue

San Jose Mercury

Certainly, Agarwal is eager to rebuild her business, which was devastated by the pandemic. But she’s also among a growing number of child-care providers who say they want to “help working parents” by making space for their older children, whose K-12 campuses are closed to in-person learning. 

‘It’s more than just academic needs.’ San Juan Unified prepares for the fall semester

Sac Bee

San Juan Unified School District distribute laptops for another semester of distance learning at Greer Elementary School on Friday, Aug. 7, 2020. Many schools begin fall classes from a distance as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread.

Rural Districts Still Lack Devices, Internet Access as School Year Draws Near

School districts in Bonsall, Borrego Springs, Rainbow and elsewhere are still struggling to connect students and teachers with laptops and broadband internet, a reality that threatens to widen the achievement gap. 

Warszawski: All the faces on this school catalog are white. Clovis Unified must do better in 2020

Fresno Bee

In any other year, I may not have noticed the cover of the Clovis Adult Education class catalog that recently arrived in the mail. In 2020, it was impossible not to.

The New California Curriculum

Journal of Alta California

Literature of so many kinds and so many genres from so many different types of people—at the highest level—has been coming out of California and from Californians for decades now. In fact, if there’s been an American moment in any genre over the past 20 years, it’s had a California component.

Higher Ed:

Fresno State’s fall college football season canceled due to Mountain West ruling


The Fresno State football team will not take the field at Bulldog Stadium in 2020. The Mountain West Conference has announced that its fall sports season, including football, has been canceled due to concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

See Also: 

●     Big Ten and Pac-12 pull plug on fall football amid pandemic abc30

●     Pac-12 joins Big Ten in canceling fall football season because of COVID-19 concerns LA Times

More Doctors For The Valley? Region’s First Medical School Opens Doors In Clovis


The San Joaquin Valley’s first four-year medical school has finally opened in Fresno County. And, despite virtual learning at many universities during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, classes are being held in person.

How the pandemic has upended college admissions


Because of the pandemic, many students will be applying without standardized test scores and several other metrics selective schools have long relied on to make admissions decisions.

Parents and students reevaluate college costs amid virtual learning 

PBS NewsHour

For higher education, the pandemic has forced major questions about affordability and cost into the spotlight. Both students and parents are hesitant to spend tens of thousands of dollars on classes taken via video, and many feel that the loss of on-campus life upends the college value proposition entirely. Scott Galloway, a marketing professor at NY University, joins John Yang to discuss.

Don’t Derail! State Policy Solutions to Keep College Plans on Track


Transitions in the COVID-19 Era, presenting a framework to help state leaders think through options to ease high school to college transitions during the pandemic.

A tale of two ethnic studies proposals for California State University students


With the debate settled on whether California college students must study ethnic studies, Gov. Gavin Newsom must decide this week what those courses will look like for students in the nation’s largest public university system. 


Hiring investigation at California utility regulator finds ‘highly questionable’ appointments 

Sac Bee

The director’s attorney argues that she is the victim of whistleblower retaliation.

Energy Bills Skyrocket As More Californians Stay At Home And Work Remotely

Capital Public Radio

Word to the wise: Brace yourself before opening this month’s electric bill. With Californias spending more time at home and working remotely during the pandemic, household appliances are sucking up way more energy than usual. Couple that with a few wicked heat waves, and you’ve got a recipe for some shocking electric bills.



Fresno-area continues to see COVID-19 cases rise, but is the ‘curve’ starting to bend?

Fresno Bee

The number of confirmed coronavirus infections identified throughout the central San Joaquin Valley on Monday lurched up by more than 2,100 cases since Friday – an increase of almost 5.4% in a single weekend.

See Also:

●     COVID-19: 687 new cases reported in Tulare County, 2 new deaths Visalia Times Delta

●     Fresno adds 20 new deaths from COVID-19 as cases surge Fresno Bee

●     12 deaths, 555 new COVID-19 cases reported Tuesday in Kern Bakersfield Califn

Certain masks may be worse than no mask at all, preliminary Duke study finds


By now we all know that N-95 masks are better than surgical masks which are better than cloth masks which are better than a scarf or bandana. But are they all better than nothing?

See Also:

●     Does your coronavirus mask work? New study separates the worthy from the worthless SF Chronicle

Russia registers COVID-19 vaccine, Putin’s daughter given it


Russia on Tuesday became the first country to officially register a coronavirus vaccine and declare it ready for use, despite international skepticism. President Vladimir Putin said that one of his daughters has already been inoculated.

UCSF researchers invent coronavirus antiviral in nasal spray

Fresno Bee

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, reported Tuesday they have formulated a nasal spray that can help ward off the coronavirus. They are working with business partners to get it manufactured and clinically tested.

COVID-19 Studies Are Proving That Density Is Not the Enemy

NY Magazine

The real risk factor is different.

Coronavirus may spread much farther than 6 feet in indoor spaces with poor ventilation

CBS News

As students head back to school, parents and teachers are increasingly concerned about how the coronavirus could spread — especially in buildings with inadequate ventilation. 

Coronavirus Special Report: Public health experts fear a surge in COVID-19 in the fall

Roll Call

In today’s episode, we have a report on why the fall may bring a surge of cases in the United States — even as it holds the dubious distinction of leading the world in the highest number of confirmed cases and deaths from COVID-19.

Human Services:

Kaiser Permanente donates $63 million to expand tracing of coronavirus cases in Calif

Fresno Bee

Kaiser Permanente will pour $63 million into building teams of hundreds of home-grown contract tracers to slow the spread of the coronavirus, which has killed more than 10,000 Californias and pummeled communities of color here and across the U.S.

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.

See also:

·       PPE shortage fueled California coronavirus woes LA Times

Calif National Guard camp opened as COVID surged. Then, some cadets got sick

Sac Bee

Despite its own board of directors recommending canceling this summer’s Grizzly Youth Academy amid surging statewide coronavirus cases, the Calif National Guard went ahead and sent dozens of cadets to San Luis Obispo last month — only to see several fall ill with COVID-19.

Amid Pandemic Chaos, Calif Legislators Fight for Major Health Care Bills

Capital Public Radio

Calif lawmakers are barreling toward an end-of-month deadline to pass or kill bills amid the biggest public health crisis the state has faced in a century. Yet even in a year consumed by sickness, they’re considering significant — sometimes controversial — health policy measures that aren’t directly related to COVID-19.

Calif & Texas Health Officials: Mistrust A Major Hurdle For Contact Tracers

Capital Public Radio

Contact tracing has been one of the key tools in the fight against the coronavirus. Now, as the virus has infected more than 5 million Americans, the U.S. has at least 41,122 contact tracers — but that’s not even half what public health experts said would be needed to help contain the spread.


People Detained At Mesa Verde Are Experiencing Severe COVID-19 Symptoms, Advocates Say

At least 10 people have tested positive for COVID-19 at the ICE Processing Facility in Bakersfield as of Monday, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Advocates say the people detained are not getting proper medical attention.


Land Use:

Turlock Public Library construction on schedule with coronavirus safety measures

Modesto Bee

Construction is underway at the Turlock Public Library in Turlock, Calif. on August 7, 2020. The expansion and renovations are on schedule to be completed in early 2021.


White House pushes back after Newsom dismisses Trump’s eviction action as a ‘study’

Fresno Bee

The White House is pushing back after Calif Gov. Gavin Newsom called on the Trump administration to do more to stop a potential flood of evictions and foreclosures now that a federal moratorium protecting renters and homeowners during the coronavirus pandemic has expired.

Report predicts 20,000 local households could face eviction during COVID-19 crisis

Bakersfield Califn

A new report advocating rent cancellation and other government-led housing measures in the Central Valley warns that economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic could result in evictions for 20,000 households across Kern County.

See also:

·       More than 1,600 Californians have been evicted since March CalMatters

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

·       Vote nears on resuming eviction proceedings in California AP

Commercial Properties’ Ability to Repay Mortgages Was Overstated, Study Finds


Many borrowers are now struggling because of coronavirus, though study finds income often fell short of underwritten amount before the pandemic.


CalPERS chief’s resignation followed ethics complaint, allegations over $1 billion deal 

Sac Bee

CalPERS provides pensions for 2 million retirees and California public employees.

Payroll Tax Delay To Boost Take-Home Pay, But Don’t Spend It Yet


President Trump wants to give a $100 billion boost to the U.S. economy by hitting the “pause” button on workers’ payroll taxes. That would leave more money in people’s paychecks. But the move — which Trump ordered over the weekend — is only temporary. And that could produce headaches down the road for workers, employers and the Social Security system.


How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your commute?

LA Times

The pandemic has forced tens of thousands of workplaces to quickly adjust to remote work. Will your employer keep some of those changes in place permanently? We want to hear from you.

Can I travel abroad soon? These passport & pandemic updates will help you decide

LA Times

The U.S. State Department on Aug. 6 relaxed its pandemic warnings about international travel, which means more Americans may be thinking about big trips. Certainly, more people are boarding planes. Government tallies show that 831,789 travelers went through TSA airport checkpoints on Sunday, far below last year’s numbers, but the highest total since March 17.

‘Alarming’ Trend: TSA Intercepting Many More Guns Despite Far Fewer Air Travelers


The Transportation Security Administration says despite a huge drop in air travel since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency’s officers found three times as many firearms last month in carry-on luggage as they did during the same period last year. In a statement, the agency said the statistic was “particularly alarming, given that TSA screened about 75% fewer passengers in July 2020, over the previous year’s volume.”


If CPUC eliminates ‘decoupling,’ water rates would rise

Capitol Weekly

As early as Aug. 6, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) could vote to adopt a proposal that would eliminate a best-practice regulatory tool – known as decoupling – that currently removes the incentive of water suppliers to sell more water.

Public comment period open for critical Shasta Dam proposal

Calif Water News Daily

The Bureau of Reclamation has proposed raising the Shasta Dam and is seeking public input on the Shasta Lake Water Resources Investigation Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. By raising the 600-foot-tall Shasta Dam by 3% or an additional 18.5 feet, the proposed project would increase water storage capacity in the Shasta Lake reservoir by 634,000 acre-feet or more than 200 billion gallons—enough water to support two million people a year.


Ready to return to the drive-in? Modesto’s State Theatre to show comedy this week

Modesto Bee

Modesto’s State Theatre brings back a drive-in movie night with a comedy offering this week. “Ghostbusters” will have two showings on Friday, Aug. 14, at John Thurman Field in Modesto, according to the theater’s website. The film is presented by the State Theatre and the Modesto Nuts.

Coronavirus continues to delay Manteca’s Great Wolf Lodge opening; New fall date 

Sac Bee

Long-anticipated as one of the largest tourist attractions to come to the Central Valley in years, Great Wolf Lodge again is delaying the opening of its new Manteca water park resort due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.