August 6, 2020



Birx warns 9 cities, Calif’s central valley about increasing coronavirus cases


The White House coronavirus task force is warning states about an uptick in coronavirus test positivity rates in a number of new cities this week.

North SJ Valley:

Merced Co Supervisors reject half-cent sales tax proposal after residents object

Merced Sun-Star

Merced County residents and local officials at Tuesday’s special Board of Supervisors meeting were adamant in their opposition toward seeing a half cent general sales tax on their ballot come Nov. 3.

See Also:

●     Sales tax increase rejected before going to voters in Merced County abc30

Will Merced approve a Black Lives Matter mural? City Council discussion moving forward

Merced Sun-Star

The Black Lives Matter movement could soon receive a boost from Merced’s leadership, as some members of the City Council on Monday vocalized support for approving a street mural near Bob Hart Square in downtown Merced.

Stanislaus adds 9 deaths. Another snag with schools

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County added nine residents to the virus death toll Tuesday, bringing the total to 135. The deaths happened over the past two weeks and included six men and three women, all with underlying health conditions, a county spokesman said. All were at least 61 years old.

See also:

●      System error skews coronavirus numbers in Stanislaus County Modesto Bee

Modesto is close to approving 20-year downtown master plan

Modesto Bee

Modesto’s downtown will have a lot more places to live, along with businesses and green spaces, under a plan endorsed by the city’s Planning Commission.

Central SJ Valley:

July fatalities among top causes of death; State unemployment upgrades

Fresno Bee

At least two dozen more people have died of the coronavirus in the central San Joaquin Valley, according to health departments across the six-county region on Tuesday.

Clovis mayor criticized for getting ‘used’ by Fresno’s Garry Bredefeld

Fresno Bee

Clovis Mayor Drew Bessinger faced criticism this week over his participation in a recent news conference in Fresno that was critical of the coronavirus-related shutdown of local schools.

Valley Voices: Hard hit by COVID-19, where does Valley go from here?

Fresno Bee

Six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and our nation is seeing alarming spread of this deadly virus — with more than 155,942 deaths and rising rates of spread. Calif continues to feel the impacts, with the San Joaquin Valley especially hard hit and fighting to contain the virus.

See also:

·       Pool hall signs in Fresno, mock coronavirus, Gov. Newsom Fresno Bee

·       Fresno gym owner allegedly had lookouts watch out for ‘dumb’ COVID-19 code enforcers Fresno Bee

Fresno Remains Behind State Average For 2020 Census Response

The City of Fresno’s response rate to the 2020 census is lower than the state average of 63.5%. Right now, 62.3% of households have responded, but the rate falls below 50% in certain Fresno zip codes.

See also:

·       VIEWPOINTS: For equity & social justice, Califns must participate in the 2020 Census Sac Bee

Fresno is America’s worst city for pets; survey

Fresno Bee

If you own a pet, Fresno is the worst.

Tulare County COVID-19 cases continue to rise

Visalia Times Delta

While hospitalizations continue to concern local public health officials, testing is another issue Tulare County is faced with.

Valley Voices: Faith leaders pledge to advance social justice in Fresno by re-imagining their lives

Fresno Bee

We are Fresno faith leaders from different faith traditions with different religious perspectives. But we are unified in a shared belief that Fresno has been propelled into a new chapter of the Civil Rights Movement.

Calif Forward Welcomes New Leadership Council Vice-Chairs (Swearengin)


CA Fwd’s Leadership Council and team members welcome Ashley Swearengin and Van Ton-Quinlivan who will join the leadership track of the organization serving as vice-chairs of the Leadership Council.

Devin Nunes can’t sue Esquire magazine over Iowa dairy story, judge rules

Fresno Bee

It’s the second one of Devin Nunes’ lawsuits to be dismissed by a judge.

South SJ Valley:

Kern County budget updates could soften impact on departments hit hard by COVID-19

Bakersfield Califn

The Kern County Administrative Office hopes to use unspent money from the previous fiscal year to help soften the financial blow that departments hit hard by coronavirus can expect going into fiscal year 2020-21.

Delay in coronavirus reporting impacts Kern County’s case rate, Public Health says

Bakersfield Califn

Delays in statewide coronavirus reporting have impacted Kern County’s testing rates and hindered efforts to control the spread of COVID-19, the county Public Health Services Department said in a news release Wednesday.

Most Kern COVID-19 cases traced back to family


Family spread — is up 138%.


Calif voters worried about health impact of pandemic, but Republicans less so


Calif voters at all levels are anxious about fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, especially the economic impacts, according to a new statewide poll by FM3 Research and Baughman Merrill. Respondents described themselves as feeling “fearful, anxious, depressed or worried” when it came to the coronavirus pandemic with 89% saying the economic impacts of the virus are an “extremely” or “very serious problem.”

Calif reports 200 new deaths; case totals still delayed by glitch

Sac Bee

Calif’s ongoing battle with the coronavirus has been further complicated by a recently disclosed technical issue with the electronic data reporting system used statewide, which has led to an underreporting of daily new COVID-19 cases by both the state and counties’ health departments for several days.

See Also:

●     Technical issue leads to CA under-reporting COVID-19 cases abc30

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

●     Calif COVID-19 data glitch interferes with contact tracing, school reopening waivers Sac Bee

●      Coronavirus: ‘Discrepancies’ in Calif’s case data cast doubt as deaths continue to rise Mercury News

●      And overhaul entire department CALmatters

Newsom searches for messaging rhythm as coronavirus fatigue sets in 


With the coronavirus firmly ensconced in the state, Newsom faces a new challenge: how to communicate for the long haul.

We heard from 600 Calif state workers in a coronavirus survey. Here are their concern

Sac Bee

Calif state workers want to be safe, to be heard and to keep their jobs.

Pandemic snafu: State mistakenly drops Medi-Cal coverage for some low-income Californians


As coronavirus infections and deaths rise dramatically, the Democratic Governor navigates pressure to both tighten restrictions and ease up on businesses.

Becerra Asking US To Step In To Increase Coronavirus Drug Supply, Decrease Cost


Calif’s AG Xavier Becerra is calling on the fed government to increase the availability and decrease the price of remdesivir, the only drug given FDA authorization to treat COVID-19. 

Mandate Diversity? Calif Bill Would Ban All-White Corporate Boards

Capital Public Radio

All-white corporate boards would be prohibited in Calif under a bill in the Legislature that follows in the footsteps of a controversial law that mandated women in corporate boardrooms.

OPINION: A decision looms for Gov. Newsom whether to borrow more money or raise taxes for the rich

Fresno Bee

The state budget that Gov. Gavin Newsom signed earlier this summer had been hastily adjusted to cope with projections that state revenues would plummet by tens of billions of dollars due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the sudden recession it sparked.

VIEWPOINTS: For equity & social justice, Californians must participate in the 2020 Census

Sac Bee

Every 10 years, the United States Census captures a moment in time to build a fiscal foundation for the next decade. By taking the survey, we are saying, “I am here and my needs count.” Consider it a statistical-version of a selfie.

Fox: Calif’s Choice: New and Enriched Public Programs or Freer Private Enterprise?

Fox & Hounds

Change is coming to Calif following the double whammy of a pandemic eruption and police reform protests. Responses to the extraordinary dual events will initially flow into Calif’s current cultural and political liberal tide—a move toward more government involvement in our lives and more spending. 


FDA Adviser: Not Realistic To Expect A COVID-19 Vaccine In 2020


In June, the Trump administration introduced Operation Warp Speed, an initiative to deliver 300 million doses of an effective COVID-19 vaccine by January 2021. Dr. Paul Offit, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who serves on a panel advising the Food and Drug Administration, tells All Things Considered that he’s cautiously optimistic for the future of an effective COVID-19 vaccine but that he doesn’t think one will be ready before the end of the year.

See also:

●      Early Coronavirus Vaccine Supplies Likely Won’t Be Enough for Everyone at High Risk WSJ

●      Trump says coronavirus vaccine possible before Nov. 3 Reuters

●     Trump: COVID-19 vaccine may be ready ‘right around’ Election Day TheHill

Trump stumbles to properly pronounce Yosemite. Is that a common mistake?

Fresno Bee

Know how to properly say Yosemite? President Donald Trump apparently does not. During a White House ceremony Tuesday about the Great American Outdoors Act, Trump twice stumbled to correctly pronounce the name of one of America’s most famous national parks.

New COVID-19 relief bill: Stimulus talks slow as urgency grows


Frustrated Senate Republicans re-upped their complaints that Democratic negotiators are taking too hard a line in talks on a sweeping coronavirus relief bill, but an afternoon negotiating session brought at least modest concessions from both sides, even as an agreement appears far off.

See Also:

●     Another $200 a week for Calif’s jobless? $500? Maybe, say Republicans Fresno Bee

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 SFChronicle

●      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:

Trump considering giving convention acceptance speech from White House


President Donald Trump said Wednesday he’ll probably deliver his Republican convention acceptance speech from the White House now that plans to hold the event in two battleground states have been foiled by coronavirus concerns and restrictions.

See also:

●     Trump considers giving his convention speech from the White House, again breaking political norms LA Times

●     Republicans fear disaster in November  TheHill

Joe Biden won’t go to Milwaukee to accept Democratic nomination


Joe Biden will not travel to Milwaukee to accept the Democratic presidential nomination because of concerns over the coronavirus, party officials said Wednesday, signaling a move to a convention that essentially has become entirely virtual.

See Also:

●     Joe Biden will not travel to convention in Milwaukee to accept nomination LA Times

Biden campaign announces $280 million ad buy through fall

Modesto Bee

Joe Biden’s Democratic presidential campaign is reserving $280 million in digital and television ads through the fall, nearly twice the amount President Donald Trump’s team has reserved.

Skelton: For Newsom and Calif, there’s a lot more riding on Biden’s decision than who becomes vice president

LA Times

Gov. Gavin Newsom would be anointed a Kingmaker — or Queenmaker — if Joe Biden selected Calif Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate. 

Bass faces flurry of attacks as Biden’s VP selection enters uncertain final stretch

Sac Bee

Last week, allies of Karen Bass saw her vice-presidential prospects on the ascent, believing she had supplanted fellow Califn Kamala Harris as one of the finalists to be Joe Biden’s running mate.

See Also:

●     Michelle Obama as Joe Biden’s vice president? Fans just keep lobbying her LA Times

●      Karen Bass paints herself as an activist. Is she really? Politico

●     Editorial: It’s taken Biden a while to pick a running mate. So what? LA Times

Politicizing COVID: Poll finds big gaps between Trump and Biden voters in support for reopening schools, masks

San Jose Mercury

Found 80 % of Biden voters thought the state moved too quickly to reopen businesses, while 79 % of Trump supporters thought the opposite.

The federal agency that enforces campaign finance laws can’t even meet. Why?

LA Times

When President Trump tweeted that the U.S. may need to delay the November election, the longest-serving member on the Federal Election Commission joined the chorus of voices pointing out that he does not have the authority to make that decision.

Critics demand fairer prop ballot labels and summaries, but lawsuits are flaming out


State courts defer to the attorney general’s word choice — but a growing chorus of critics say Calif should place the job in more objective hands.

Here Are the Billionaires Backing Donald Trump’s Campaign


Nearly five years ago Donald Trump descended an escalator inside Trump Tower and announced a long-shot bid to become president of the United States. Standing on a stage in the building’s lobby, in front of eight American flags, he spoke to a gaggle of cameras.

Election night? Think again—election month might be more like it


“If differences between in-person and absentee results persist and if the networks rush to judgement on election night, they will play right into the hands of conspiracy theorists who will argue that the election was rigged and corrupt.” Elaine Kamarck explains how mail-in and early voting will delay November’s election results and calls for patience on the part of election watchers and the media.


Facebook pulls Trump video for misinformation on COVID-19 and children

LA Times

Facebook Inc. removed a post from U.S. President Trump’s page on its social network for violating the company’s policy on coronavirus misinformation. The video posted included an interview Trump did Wednesday with Fox News in which he said children are “virtually immune” to getting COVID-19.

Twitter, Facebook Remove Trump Post Over False Claim About Children And COVID-19


Both Twitter and Facebook have removed a post shared by President Trump for breaking their rules against spreading coronavirus misinformation.

See also:

●      Twitter bans Trump from tweeting until he removes post containing coronavirus misinformation Wash Post

●      Twitter, Facebook Block Trump Video, Citing Covid Misinformation Bloomberg

●      Facebook removes post by Trump for the first time as social media giant toughens stance on misleading political speech Wash Post

Republicans don’t make a case for regulating Big Tech


The Republican hearing didn’t make a case for more regulation of Big Tech. Perhaps the best strategy for Republicans would be to develop a more carefully researched record on political bias.

Schumer’s overblown attack on GOP proposal for medical malpractice lawsuits

Wash Post

As Congress debates another round of coronavirus relief legislation, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) says his “red line” will be shielding businesses, schools and health-care providers from lawsuits related to covid-19. The Safe to Work Act, which McConnell is sponsoring with Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), does just that but in a highly technical manner.

New York AG sues to dissolve the NRA, alleging widespread fraud


The state of New York is suing to dissolve the National Rifle Association, according to court documents filed on Thursday. 

See also:

●      New York attorney general seeks to dissolve NRA in suit accusing gun rights group of wide-ranging fraud and self-dealing Wash Post


Grocery prices rise across the board amid COVID-19 pandemic 

Fresno Bee

The cost of groceries keeps climbing during the pandemic, hitting virtually every aisle and shelf at the store, data show, from the breakfast, lunch and dinner staples, to the less in-demand and specialty items.

Farmers warned of Covid-19 compliance checks

Business Journal

State safety inspectors announced they will be visiting farms to ensure Covid compliance.

VUSD families will be provided 5-day meal packs starting first day of school

Visalia Times Delta

This summer, Visalia Unified School District provided grab-and-to meals to thousands of students across Tulare County. The Seamless Summer Food Service Program ended on Friday, but district families will soon have access to meals again. 

This is what harvest of a 2020 record almond crop looks like

Merced Sun-Star

The almond harvest in Northern Calif is under way, with an initial forecast showing the 2020 Calif almond production will be 3 billion pounds, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

New program brings free COVID-19 testing to Valley farmworkers


The COVID-19 testing started at the crack of dawn on Wednesday morning at a Delano packing house.

Commentary: More resources needed this fall for school meals to feed Calif’s children


Many school children in Calif rely on the nutrition they receive from school meals; schools and families will need more resources to feed their kids this fall.



Calif county OKs legal enforcement of health orders

Fresno Bee

Ventura County leaders have approved restraining orders and other enforcement actions against individuals and businesses who refuse to comply with local and state health orders to control the spread of the coronavirus.

Calif may crack down on bad cops in wake of George Floyd’s killing


Just as the Calif Legislature was adjusting to the new reality of a session reshaped by the coronavirus pandemic, the killing of George Floyd on Memorial Day upended it again. Video of white Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin kneeling for nearly nine minutes on Floyd’s neck, killing the unarmed Black man, sparked a national upheaval that has thrust issues of police brutality and misconduct back into the spotlight at the state Capitol.

Public Safety:

Chowchilla prison sergeant is 8th state prison employee to die from COVID


A Valley native and correctional sergeant is the eighth state prison employee to die because of coronavirus. Sgt. Seeyengkee Ly is the second victim who worked at prisons in Chowchilla. His death has sent shock waves through the ranks of correctional officers at Valley State Prison in Chowchilla.

See also:

●      Calif correctional officer dies after contracting coronavirus Sac Bee

Calif ups early inmate release estimate amid objections

Fresno Bee

State prison officials say as many as 17,600 Calif inmates may be released early due to the coronavirus, 70% more than previously estimated and a total that victims and police say includes dangerous criminals who should stay locked up.

Calif may crack down on bad cops in wake of George Floyd’s killing

SF Chronicle

Just as the Calif Legislature was adjusting to the new reality of a session reshaped by the coronavirus pandemic, the killing of George Floyd on Memorial Day upended it again. 

Morain: Calif Counties Empty Juvenile Halls to Combat COVID-19

The Imprint

Seeking to avoid outbreaks of coronavirus, within a matter of months, county officials across Calif have dramatically reduced the numbers of youth locked in juvenile detention facilities – a decrease that justice advocates long decrying the over-incarceration of the nation’s young people might once have dreamed of. 


Calif firefighters’ other enemy at the Apple fire: Coronavirus

San Jose Mercury

How do you fight a massive wildfire and keep almost 2,600 firefighters safe from COVID-19? Lots of social distancing and masks, of course, but also thousands of pre-packaged salads.

Stagecoach Fire continues to spread, damaging properties in its path

Bakersfield Califn

A golden hue bathed Piute Meadows on Tuesday afternoon as sunlight peered through the Stagecoach Fire’s dark, towering plumes of smoke. Patricia Paine, a resident of Piute Meadow Ranches, examined the damage on her 20-acre property adjacent to where the wildfire began Monday. Fortunately, her home wasn’t damaged in the blaze that engulfed much of her and her neighbors’ properties Monday evening.



Sen. Borgeas bill for small businesses advances

Business Journal

Senate Bill 1457, also known as The Small Business Fairness Act, was approved by the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy on Aug. 4.

How to support Black owned businesses in Fresno, CA? Buy beer.

Fresno Bee

Full Circle Brewing Co. is selling a Black is Beautiful beer, with profits going to organizations that support Black-owned businesses and the fight against racial inequality.

Calif Trade Report for June 2020

Center for Jobs and the Economy

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

Dan Walters: Calif economy faces tough slog

SantaMaria Times

It now seems like ancient history, but only a few months ago, Calif’s economy was roaring. “By any standard measure, by nearly every recognizable metric, the state of Calif is not just thriving but, in many instances, leading the country, inventing the future, and inspiring the nation,” Gov. Gavin Newsom boasted in February’s state of the state address.

U.S. Economy On High Alert Over Shaky Future Of Extra Jobless Benefits


Ordinarily when people lose their job, they spend less money. But something unusual happened this spring when tens of millions of people were suddenly thrown out of work by the coronavirus pandemic. At first, their spending did go down, just as you would expect. But it quickly rebounded, once people started to receive unemployment benefits, which the federal government had boosted by $600 per week.

Fed’s Mester calls on Congress for pandemic recovery help, says ‘downside risks’ to the economy are on the rise


Cleveland Federal President Loretta Mester called Wednesday for more help from Congress and said the central bank stands at the ready to provide whatever resources it can to help an economy at risk from rising coronavirus cases.

How the Covid-19 economy is hurting US Latinos more than any other group


Latino households in the United States are having more trouble making ends meet during the coronavirus pandemic than any other demographic group, according to a new Pew Research study.


Calif sues Uber and Lyft for driver back wages and benefits — for the second time

Fresno Bee

The Calif state labor commissioner added on Wednesday two new lawsuits to the growing stack of state filings against Uber and Lyft, alleging that their drivers have long been mislabeled as independent contractors and denied fair wages and benefits by the ride-hailing companies.

See Also:

●     Calif labor commissioner sues Uber, Lyft, alleging wage theft LA Times

●     Calif lawsuit: Uber, Lyft committed wage theft SFChronicle

●     Calif sues Uber and Lyft — again CALmatters

Gone for good? Evidence signals many jobs aren’t coming back


Stark evidence of the damage the resurgent viral outbreak has caused the U.S. economy could come Friday when the government is expected to report that the pace of hiring has slowed significantly after a brief rebound in the spring.

Calif unemployment call center expansion lags as complaints pour in

Merced Sun-Star

Can’t get the help you need with unemployment benefits on the phones? An Employment Development Department will call you back — in four to six weeks. “Right now it’s four to six weeks wait time on the call list,” EDD Director Sharon Hilliard told an Assembly budget subcommittee recently.

See Also:

●     Six weeks to get a call back? What Calif is doing to improve unemployment wait times Sac Bee

●     Calif lawmakers ask Newsom to act immediately on unemployment claims LA Times

●     Calif unemployment call center expansion lags as complaints pour in Sac Bee

U.S. Jobless Claims Fell to 1.2 Million in Aug. 1 Week


Layoffs continue to be elevated across the U.S. economy as Covid-19 remains widespread

See also:

●      Jobless claims fell to 1.19M last week POLITICO

●     U.S. Jobs Report to Mark Slowdown, or Worse, in Labor Recovery Bloomberg

●     U.S. hiring slowed in July as coronavirus cases surged, report says LA Times

●     On unemployment, Pelosi cares more about a win than the American people Wash Post

1.2 million seek jobless aid after $600 federal check ends


Nearly 1.2 million laid-off Americans applied for state unemployment benefits last week, evidence that the coronavirus keeps forcing companies to slash jobs just as a critical $600 weekly federal jobless payment has expired.

Commentary: Gaps in paid sick days, leave puts families, communities at risk


Too many Calif workers are not provided sufficient paid sick days or job-protected leave, putting patients and their families in impossible situations.



Pandemic pod warning: Parents should be aware of these potential dangers


As the coronavirus pandemic has clouded hopes of reopening schools nationwide, parents who want more than remote instruction have been scrambling to hire tutors and private teachers for small groups of children. The race to set up “learning pods” threatens to vastly deepen inequities in access to education.

As teachers enter schools, Stanislaus Office of Education will test its online strength

Modesto Bee

With distance learning starting this week in at least four Stanislaus County school districts, and about 15 more joining next week, a stress test will be conducted Friday to ensure schools’ internet performance is up to snuff.

On-site child care for teachers’ kids? It’s problematic, says Stanislaus ed chief

Modesto Bee

A couple of developments late Monday could mean big changes in Stanislaus County school districts’ plans for distance vs. in-person learning and for providing on-campus care for employees’ children.

Over 1,000 sign petition demanding teach-from-home option for Woodland educators

Sac Bee

Over 1,000 people have signed a letter demanding that educators in the Woodland area be given the choice to work from home and facilitate distance learning with students. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in July that schools in counties on the COVID-19 watchlist, including Yolo County, would begin the year with distance learning. 

Some Kern schools seek waivers to resume in-class instruction

Bakersfield Califn

A handful of Kern County elementary schools have expressed interest in a waiver program to allow on-site instruction as the upcoming school year gets underway, but the chances of approval are slim since local COVID-19 cases are among the highest in the state right now, according to county health officials.

‘I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.’ Parents in distress over school opening online

LA Times

As a more detailed picture of the new online-only school day in LA emerges, a crescendo of concerns and questions is arising among parents, whose children will be expected to fire up computers in less than two weeks for the opening of the 2020-21 school year amid a global pandemic.

Calif’s elementary-school reopening rules may favor private schools, charters


Elementary schools in Calif that receive waivers from health officials to reopen in-classroom learning in the coming weeks will most likely be private or charter campuses, educators say — a possibility that teachers unions warn could exacerbate gaps between wealthy children and low-income students enrolled at traditional public schools.

School reformers win major skirmish


Calif’s education department has ruled that LA Unified School District’s plan for educating at-risk kids is deficient – a warning to other school systems.

Improving K–12 School Facilities in Calif


Amid a statewide spike in coronavirus cases, most Calif schools will start the year remotely. When in-person classes do resume, cleanliness and safety will be paramount. But four in ten students attend schools that do not meet minimum facility standards.

How Safe Is Your School’s Reopening Plan? Here’s What To Look For


As schools across the country grapple with bringing kids back into the classroom, parents — and teachers — are worried about safety. We asked pediatricians, infectious disease specialists and education experts for help evaluating school district plans. What we learned: There’s no such thing as zero risk, but certain practices can lower the risk of an outbreak at school and keep kids, teachers and families safer.

Alternative schools’ ‘relentless’ fight to keep track of students during pandemic


When Amistad continuation high school closed its campus in March due to the pandemic, the staff went into overdrive to stay in touch with students. They called all 205. If a student’s phone was disconnected, they went to the student’s house. If no one answered, they asked neighbors. 

See also:

·       Districts Pivot Their Strategies to Reduce Chronic Absenteeism During Distance Learning EdSurge News

Calif makes internet-enabled tablets available to nearly 1 million students


Calif education officials working to equip all students with computers and internet at home announced a new initiative on Wednesday that could connect up to 1 million students with internet-enabled tablets during distance learning this school year. 

Official figures released on state, federal CARES Act funding to districts to address Covid-19


As Congress and President Trump wrestle over how much to provide in the next round of relief from the coronavirus, Calif school districts, county offices of education and charter schools must decide what to do with the $6.8 billion that’s already coming their way. 

See also:

·       Editorial: The new school year is starting, ready or not. Much of Calif is not LA Times

Many parents prefer mixing online and in-person school, fearing covid-19 and missed classes, poll finds

Wash Post

A Wash Post-Schar School survey conducted by Ipsos finds most American parents think it’s unsafe to send their children back to school given risks of the coronavirus, and more than 80 % favor holding school at least partly online. But parents also express serious concerns with online schooling, and many are drawn to systems that mix the two.

Higher Ed:

Fresno-area community college chancellor abruptly calls to postpone contract vote

Fresno Bee

Without public explanation, State Center Community College trustees postponed voting for the contract extensions of Chancellor Paul Parnell and other top district leaders on Tuesday night.

Low-income households falling further behind on student debt due to COVID-19


Beginning March 13, the CARES Act paused most federal student loan payments and set interest rates at 0% until September 30, 2020. Despite this, America’s low-income households are falling further behind on their student loan payments. Jason Jabbari, Olga Kondratjeva, Mathieu Despard, and Michal Grinstein-Weiss assess the problem and propose a variety of short- and long-term solutions.



Exclusive: Calif’s Clean Air Programs Take A Hit In New Funding Squeeze

Capital Public Radio

Some of Calif’s key environmental programs for battling smog and climate change have lost nearly $105 million as the state grapples with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Race and Ethnicity Matter in Californians’ Views on Environmental Disparities


Communities of color are more concerned about environmental hazards than whites—and more willing to make lifestyle changes to address global warming.

Video: Califns and the Environment


PPIC’s Mark Baldassare and Alyssa Dykman discuss a new statewide survey that examines Califns’ views on climate change, energy policy, and other environmental issues, as well as on the COVID-19 outbreak and racial inequity. 


Oil company Allenco and its leaders face criminal charges over deteriorating wells

LA Times

Allenco Energy, which has operated a South LA drill site that spurred an outcry over nosebleeds and headaches suffered by neighbors, is facing criminal charges for allegedly flouting a state order and failing to properly abandon wells.



Fresno adds 327 new cases of COVID-19, no deaths. City employee tests positive

Fresno Bee

Fresno County added another 327 positive cases of coronavirus to its already leading total among the counties in the central San Joaquin Valley. The total now stands at 16,272 cases since the pandemic began. There were no new deaths reported in Fresno County on Wednesday so the total remained at 157.

See Also:

●     COVID-19: It’s all bad news in Tulare County as cases continue to rise Visalia Times Delta

●     County announces one new death, 205 additional COVID-19 cases Wednesday Bakersfield Califn

Coronavirus can affect kids’ brains and development 

Fresno Bee

Concerns are rising about the potential lasting effects of the novel coronavirus on children’s brains during a time when important development in the organ is underway.

Virus testing in the US is dropping, even as deaths mount

Stockton Record

U.S. testing for the coronavirus is dropping even as infections remain high and the death toll rises by more than 1,000 a day, a worrisome trend that officials attribute largely to Americans getting discouraged over having to wait hours to get a test and days or weeks to find out the results.

Fact Check: Yes, at least 5 randomized controlled studies say hydroxychloroquine doesn’t help


President Donald Trump and top health officials in his administration are now openly at odds over hydroxychloroquine.

FDA Adviser: Not Realistic To Expect A COVID-19 Vaccine In 2020


In June, the Trump administration introduced Operation Warp Speed, an initiative to deliver 300 million doses of an effective COVID-19 vaccine by January 2021. Dr. Paul Offit, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who serves on a panel advising the Food and Drug Administration, tells All Things Considered that he’s cautiously optimistic for the future of an effective COVID-19 vaccine but that he doesn’t think one will be ready before the end of the year.

See also:

●      Early Coronavirus Vaccine Supplies Likely Won’t Be Enough for Everyone at High Risk WSJ

●      Trump says coronavirus vaccine possible before Nov. 3 Reuters

●     Trump: COVID-19 vaccine may be ready ‘right around’ Election Day TheHill

●      Covid-19 Vaccine Makers Signal Prices  WSJ

Human Services:

Local nurses demand better staffing ratios, PPE

Bakersfield Califn

Mary Lynn Briggs, an intensive care unit registered nurse with Dignity Health, has been through several ups and downs in her field for more than 25 years, but “it has never been this bad before.”

State mistakenly drops Medi-Cal coverage for low-income Californians


An error involving the state’s automated system for Medi-Cal renewals triggered at least some of the drops in coverage, despite Gov. Gavin Newsom’s orders that recipients remain on the rolls during the coronavirus crisis.

After ‘Severe’ Delays, 6 States Band Together To Buy Coronavirus Tests

Six states led by a bipartisan group of governors are joining together in an effort to speed up coronavirus testing. As the nation’s death count continues to rise above 150,000, the states said they will jointly purchase 3 million rapid antigen tests that can quickly detect the virus

Deaths Of Mothers, Infants During Childbirth Prompt Calls To Revoke Bakersfield Doctor’s License


Following a string of patient injuries and deaths, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Bakersfield has been placed on probation. Dr. Arthur Park has been treating women and delivering babies in Bakersfield since 1988. In that time, he’s also been the defendant in at least 10 lawsuits alleging negligence, medical malpractice, or wrongful death, and he’s been associated with the deaths of at least two mothers and five newborns.

Coronavirus: A user’s guide to wearing a face mask to the shops

BBC News

There is now almost no excuse for not wearing a face mask while out shopping in England – covering your face is as essential as remembering your cash or bank card.

See also:

●      Group Of 12,000 Infectious Disease Experts Say Federal Mask Mandate ‘Needed To Save Lives’ Forbes


Americans Back Trump On Immigration — But Only To Stop COVID-19, Poll Finds

Most Americans support Trump administration efforts to stop immigrants from coming to the United States as long as it’s done in the name of slowing the spread of the coronavirus, according to a new NPR/Ipsos poll.

The cost of applying for U.S. citizenship is dramatically increasing


It’s going to cost more to apply for U.S. citizenship. A lot more. Starting Oct. 2, legal immigrants eligible to apply for citizenship will pay $1,160 if they submit their application online, or $1,170 if submitting a paper application.


Land Use:

Eagle Mountain Casino moving to larger facility in Porterville


Eagle Mountain Casino will be moving to a new location as it looks to expand. On Tuesday, Governor Gavin Newsom approved the Tule River Tribe’s proposed gaming project in Porterville. The tribe will be able to move forward with plans to relocate the casino, while also making plans to build a new hotel.

See Also:

●     Newsom supports EMC relocation project Porterville Recorder

Committee Formed to Save Landmark in Old Town Clovis

Clovis RoundUp

The Clovis Chamber of Commerce wants the public to know that their board of directors did not recently vote to demolish their building.

Parks In Nonwhite Areas Are Half The Size Of Ones In Majority-White Areas, Study Says


In the midst of another hot summer and an ongoing pandemic, public parks are vital refuge. But a new study has found that access to parks in the U.S. differs sharply according to income and race. A study published by The Trust for Public Land found that parks serving primarily nonwhite populations are, on average, half the size of parks that serve majority-white populations, and are potentially five times more crowded.


What to do about rent: Calif running out of time to avoid catastrophic wave of evictions


The Calif Legislature has less than a month left in its pandemic-shortened session to deal with one of the state’s worst economic crises in decades, and there’s no greater emergency than what to do about the rent.

Calif is trying to remove racist rules from housing documents. But we need to do more


In the kitchen of the dorm-room-size apartment my parents rented for a large part of my childhood, they used a refrigerator with the doors removed as a way to store extra pots and pans. Most of what they owned wouldn’t fit into the apartment’s tiny oven below the sink, or onto the stove top with its four tiny electric burners.

No on Prop 15: Stop Higher Property Taxes & Save Prop 13

Calif Business Roundtable

Amid an unprecedented economic crisis, special interests are pushing Prop 15 on the November 2020 statewide ballot that will destroy Prop 13’s property tax protections and will be the largest property tax increase in Calif history.

‘Restricted To Persons Of The Caucasian Race Forever’: Racist Language In Calif Property Records Could Finally Be Erased 

Capital Public Radio

When Angie Gould and Paul Hunt bought a house in South Land Park last year, they didn’t expect .their beautiful new home would hold a dark secret tied to America’s history of racist housing policies. 

Declining Commercial Real Estate Demand May Provide an Opportunity to Help Address Calif’s Housing Crisis


The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an estimated 175,000 business closures this spring, and the delinquency rate on commercial mortgage–backed securities has increased more than fivefold in recent months.

Wiener loses key labor endorsement due to housing proposals


The State Building and Construction Trade Council of Calif and member unions have clashed with Wiener and other Democratic legislators over bills that seek to streamline housing, arguing they do not have enough protections for workers like requirements that projects use ‘skilled and trained’ workforces.


Merced Co Supervisors reject half-cent sales tax proposal after residents object

Merced Sun-Star

Merced County residents and local officials at Tuesday’s special Board of Supervisors meeting were adamant in their opposition toward seeing a half cent general sales tax on their ballot come Nov. 3.

See Also:

●     Sales tax increase rejected before going to voters in Merced County abc30

Cities across the country are losing big bucks by not handing out parking tickets during pandemic

The Denver Channel

Economic experts say these decisions could impact already heavily slashed budgets.

Beleaguered Public Pension Funds Make Record Gains in Second Quarter 


Even so, annual returns for funds with June fiscal years were far short of long-term targets.


Stanislaus traffic court resumes after COVID-19 closure. Some things have changed

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County Traffic Court has returned to action, following a March suspension forced by the pandemic. The court started holding limited office hours Monday but urged the public to handle citations online or by mail as a safeguard against COVID-19.

Calif sues Uber and Lyft for driver back wages and benefits — for the second time

Sac Bee

Should Uber and Lyft pay more benefits to their drivers?

See also:

●      Calif labor commissioner sues Uber and Lyft for drivers’ back wages POLITICO

Coronavirus Has Upended Everything Airlines Know About Pricing


The pandemic has completely confounded the computers that spit out airfares based on passenger behavior.


Water company to pay $5 M for hazardous waste violations

Fresno Bee

A Calif company that produces Crystal Geyser bottled water was sentenced Wednesday to three years of probation and ordered to pay $5 million in fines for illegally storing and transporting hazardous waste, federal prosecutors said.

One step closer for $71 million for Friant-Kern Canal

Porterville Recorder

Funding for much needed repairs at least in the short-term for the Friant-Kern Canal continues to move closer to becoming reality. The House of Representatives last week passed H.R. 7617, the 2020-2021 appropriations bill needed to fund the federal government during the next fiscal year. The bill is a six-bill appropriations minibus, including the energy and water development minibus.

Climate Change Could Lead To More Incidents Like The Oroville Dam Spillway Failures, Experts Warn

Capital Public Radio

Nearly 200,000 people were evacuated when the spillways failed at Oroville Dam in 2017, an infrastructure disaster that cost around a billion dollars to repair. Three years later scientists say events that partially led to the incident could become more frequent. It comes down to how and when snow and rain fall. 


Fresno is the worst city in the U.S. to own a pet, new survey says. Here’s why

Fresno Bee

If you own a pet, Fresno is the worst. Worst of the country’s 100 largest U.S. cities anyway, according to the latest in WalletHub’s never-ending supply of city-ranking surveys.

EDITORIAL: It’s no fun when outdoor rec closes. But it helps keep COVID from spreading

Modesto Bee

It’s true that chances of catching the coronavirus are less if you’re outdoors. But if you’re close to other people without masks, you can still get the highly contagious disease, fresh air and sunshine or not.