July 22, 2020

22Jul

POLICY & POLITICS

North SJ Valley:

Stanislaus has 8 more deaths. Adult ICU beds fill up

Modesto Bee

Eight more Stanislaus Co residents have died from COVID-19, bringing the total to 71, the Co Health Services Agency said Monday. Twenty of the deaths were reported over the past seven days, the Co’s online update stated. No details were available on the eight people who died most recently.

See also:

●      Stanislaus deaths reach 73 as COVID-19 burdens hospitals Modesto Bee

●      ICU capacity hits zero at coronavirus-stricken hospitals in Stanislaus Co  Modesto Bee

●     Editorial: Stanislaus Co leaders continue to fall short on messaging Modesto Bee

Patterson, Ceres mayors aren’t running for reelection. These candidates are lining up

Modesto Bee

The mayors of Patterson and Ceres aren’t seeking reelection this November, leaving the races open to longtime council members and newcomers. After 10 years on the Patterson City Council, Mayor Deborah Novelli on Monday told the Bee she won’t run for a third mayoral term. 

COVID-19 claims the lives of 7 Merced Co residents over weekend. Deaths now total 22 Merced Sun-Star

‘I’m not gonna resign.’ Merced councilman defiant amid censure, public calls to step down

Merced Sun-Star

Merced City Councilmember Fernando Echevarria attended his first meeting in almost 60 days Monday, and thus was able to maintain his seat despite a series of absences. His return to the council dais, however, was not met warmly by the public, or by his fellow councilmembers.

See Also:

●     Merced city manager terminated from job by City Council. Who will lead in his place? Merced Sun-Star

San Joaquin councilmember died from Covid-19, city says

Business Journal

Ornelas served on the San Joaquin City Council since 2014 and recently elected to the Fresno Co Democratic Central Committee as a representative of District 1.

New State Report Says a CSU Campus In Stockton Isn’t Feasible

Capital Public Radio

A new state report gives a thumbs down to the feasibility of a CSU campus in Stockton. The report looked at five possible sites in Calif but found future enrollment didn’t justify building a new campus.

See also:

·       Enrollment growth doesn’t justify cost of a new CSU campus EdSource

Central SJ Valley:

Fresno Co adds nearly 700 new cases in latest report. Hospitals fill up

Fresno Bee

Fresno Co added 685 cases of the coronavirus — but no new deaths — to its running tally on Monday, according to the state Department of Public Health. The state numbers are always a day behind, so Monday’s total of 10,639 represents the amount counted through Sunday. The Co has seen 100 deaths.

See Also:

●     Co announces 834 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday Bakersfield Califn

●     Interactive map: COVID-19 cases by city in Fresno region Fresno Bee

Tribal casinos remain open; Drug, bed shortage at hospitals

Fresno Bee

Ten more people have died of the coronavirus in the central San Joaquin Valley, according to updates from Tulare, Merced and Kings counties on Monday. Madera and Mariposa counties reported no new deaths and Fresno Co didn’t have an update on Monday.

Summer heat is doing little to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Fresno, Valley

Fresno Bee

There was hope in the spring that Fresno’s notorious summer heat might hinder the novel coronavirus.

Warszawski: Fresno Co supervisors should be called out on COVID-19, political stunt or not

Fresno Bee

We can’t go to movies or plays anymore, but there’s always political theater. Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula and Fresno Co Supervisor Nathan Magsig, two of our more thoughtful, mild-mannered local politicians, were the central players in a fairly heated confrontation over the Co’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Valley Voices: Fresno must be united in the fight against COVID-19. It starts by wearing a mask

Fresno Bee

As I write this, Fresno Co public health announced another nine COVID-related deaths in Fresno Co, bringing the total deaths to 100. While we all have opinions, I hope we can agree that this virus is a threat to everyone. We may differ in our thoughts about how government should respond, but I hope we are all willing to embrace enough common sense to take preventative measures to stop the spread and get things back on track.

Sierra View hit hard; elementary schools can apply for waiver

Porterville Recorder

The expected surge of COVID-19 cases that was expected months ago made its way to Sierra View Medical Center on Monday as far as the hospital’s overall ability to serve the community is concerned. At the Tulare Co Board of Supervisors meeting on Monday, Tulare Co Health and Human Services director Tim Lutz reported there was a nine-hour wait at Sierra View’s emergency room on Monday.

Warszawski: Fresno police reform commission must be more transparent 

Fresno Bee

The much-ballyhooed Fresno Commission for Police Reform assembled in public view Monday evening for the first time.

See also:

·       Bill Atwood: Don’t let the few bad apples sour your appreciation for law enforcement Sierra Star

·       Calif sheriff condemns ‘violent protests,’ downplays masks in Tea Party talk

Fresno Bee

·       Almost 100% of Americans polled think police reform is needed TheHill

Some Clovis teachers want a union following school board’s COVID-19 decision

Fresno Bee

Angered by the Clovis school board’s recent decision to reopen campuses despite surging coronavirus cases, many teachers who spoke with The Fresno Bee said they’re considering forming the district’s first-ever teachers union.

Clovis residents must wait on decision to allow backyard chickens, as council delays vote

Fresno Bee

Clovis will wait 1 yr before it officially votes on allowing backyard chickens after the topic resurfaced this summer. At their Monday night meeting, the Clovis City Council voted unanimously to revisit a proposed ordinance next year once the city can address other issues it faces.

South SJ Valley:

10 deaths, 1,120 new COVID-19 cases reported Wednesday morning

The Bakersfield Califn

Ten more people have died and more than 1,000 new cases of coronavirus in Kern Co were reported Wednesday morning, as cases continue a rapid ascent locally. Total deaths has now reached 115 in Kern and cases now exceed 11,000. The number of individuals tested is approaching 110,000 out of a Cowide population 900,000. Why the huge increase in cases is happening is not entirely clear. In recent weeks numbers were hovering around 100 to 150 per day

See also:

●     County announces 834 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday Bakersfield Califn

●      Kern health department bets consultant will turn around coronavirus outbreaks in skilled nursing facilities Bakersfield Califn

Bakersfield joins new app to send notifications for events, emergencies

Bakersfield Califn

Bakersfield residents can now download a new app to get real-time information on local events or emergency situations. The city of Bakersfield has joined Atlas One, a location-based civic engagement network that sends pertinent alerts. The app uses location data to notify nearby users when an event or incident is nearby.

First ‘flagged,’ now listed: shutdown of many businesses will likely begin Friday in Kern

Bakersfield Califn

People are looking for a little COVID clarity, though it’s not always easy to find. Michelle Corson, a spokeswoman for the Kern Co Department of Public Health, said in an email Tuesday that Kern Co has been placed on the Co data monitoring list, which is expected to lead to the shutdown of many indoor businesses. 

State:

400,700 Californians infected, hospitals brace for patient surge

Sac Bee

A sustained surge in COVID-19 patients pouring into some Calif hospitals has alarmed local and state officials, and is putting pressure on other counties in the state to prepared for an influx of cases not yet seen since the coronavirus pandemic began.

See Also:

●      State workers trained as Calif contact tracers await assignment, even as counties struggle Sac Bee

●     Calif surpasses 400,000 COVID-19 cases as state sets record for infections, death toll LA Times

●     Coronavirus cases in Calif soar past 400,000, poised to surpass NY SF Chronicle

●     Calif tops 400,000 coronavirus cases; health leader says could be ‘4-5 weeks’ before decline San Jose Mercury

●     Calif Surpasses NY for Most COVID-19 Cases in US Time

Calif backtracks after removing COVID-19 death counts for assisted living homes

Fresno Bee

Last week, the state agency that regulates assisted living facilities quietly posted a memo announcing it was going to delete from its website the names of facilities where people had died from COVID-19.

See Also:

●     Calif has too many COVID-19 cases to trace each new infection, Newsom administration saysFresno Bee

●     ‘We’re in this for the long run’: Health officials say CA will continue adapting to data to mitigate COVID-19 abc30

●     Calif sets new records for coronavirus cases & related deaths Stockton Record

Fox: Because of COVID-19, Fewer Laws

Fox & Hounds

Back in April, I wondered on this page if the pandemic’s effect on the legislature shutting down the capitol during an extended break would result in fewer bills passed and signed into law. Apparently, that will be the case. 

These Calif privacy initiative opponents might surprise you

POLITICO

The Consumer Federation of Calif, the ACLU of Calif and Media Alliance have gone public with scathing critiques of Proposition 24 — a move that will complicate the pro-consumer narrative of a campaign to rewrite the state’s landmark Privacy Act.

Calif could lose congressional seat under new Trump order

CALmatters

Calif could lose at least one seat in the U.S. House of Representatives if a memo President Donald Trump signed Tuesday goes into effect that wouldn’t take undocumented immigrants into account while determining congressional representation after the 2020 census, the LA Times reports. An estimated 2 million undocumented immigrants live in Calif, and Trump’s order — almost certain to be challenged in court — drew immediate pushback from state leaders.

See also:

·       Trump Seeks to Stop Counting Unauthorized Immigrants in Drawing House Districts NY Times

·       Trump’s new immigration fight: how to redraw House districts Modesto Bee

Federal:

Trump says coronavirus in US will get worse before it gets better

abc30

President Donald Trump sought to paint a rosier picture of the coronavirus for the nation Tuesday but conceded the pandemic is likely to get worse for a time as he revived his daily briefings with an eye to halting a campaign-season erosion of support as new cases spike across the country.

See also:

●      Trump shifts tone on pandemic in U.S., saying it will probably ‘get worse before it gets better’Wash Post

●     Coronavirus Infections Far Higher Than Confirmed But Most Americans Still Not Exposed NPR

●     CDC: US coronavirus infections likely 10 times higher than reported  TheHill

●     Staring down defeat, Trump attempts a coronavirus reset  Politico

Senate GOP supports second round of coronavirus stimulus checks: McConnell

abc30

The price tag for the next COVID-19 aid package could quickly swell above $1 trillion as White House officials negotiate with Congress over money to reopen schools, prop up small businesses, boost virus testing and keep cash flowing to Americans while the virus crisis deepens in the U.S.

See Also:

●     With GOP now on board, another coronavirus stimulus check is likely. But for how much? LA Times

●     Calif budget rides on Congress’ race to pass coronavirus bailout SF Chronicle

Why the U.S. still doesn’t have control of COVID-19, 6 months after pandemic began

PBS NewsHour

It was just about six months ago that the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the U.S. Since then, the pandemic has exacted an enormous toll in terms of both human lives and economic harm — with no end in sight. Amna Nawaz marks the moment with two people focused on solving the pandemic: Dr. Rajiv Shah of the Rockefeller Foundation and John Barry of Tulane University School of Public Health.

Fact-checking which Trump supporters and allies got PPP loans

Politifact

A popular Facebook post claims that some wealthy Republicans and other public figures have benefited from the federal government’s $2 trillion coronavirus relief package.

Senate panel approves Trump’s controversial Fed nominee

Modesto Bee

The Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday approved President Donald Trump’s choice of Judy Shelton for the Federal Reserve board of governors on a party-line vote, overcoming widespread questions about her qualifications for the Fed.

Trump’s show of federal force sparking alarm in cities

AP

President Donald Trump is using the Department of Homeland Security in unprecedented ways as he tries to bolster his law and order credentials by making a heavy-handed show of force in cities around the nation in the lead-up to the November elections.

See also:

●      Down In The Polls, Trump Pitches Fear: ‘They Want To Destroy Our Suburbs’ NPR

●      Conservative media helps Trump perform ‘law and order’ in Portland, with risks for NovemberWash Post

●      Opinion: Nothing can justify the attack on Portland Brookings

Coronavirus Trackers:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Calif

Covid19.ca.gov

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: Latest figures as the pandemic spreads Financial Times

●     Coronavirus in Calif by the numbers CalMatters

Elections 2020:

Biden calls for overhauling the nation’s caregiving system to boost the economy

LA Times

Joe Biden proposed on Tuesday a $775-billion overhaul of the nation’s caregiving system, efforts that he argued will create 3 million jobs while freeing up millions of people — largely women and people of color — to enter the workforce.

OPINION: Who will Joe Biden pick for his running mate? History may be the best guide

Fresno Bee

For a candidate challenging an incumbent U.S. president, Joe Biden doesn’t appear to be doing very much. Online speeches, an event down the street from his Delaware basement studio, media interviews via Zoom.

‘I don’t trust it’: Is Trump’s false rhetoric on vote-by-mail resonating?

ABC News

49% of Americans believe mail-in voting is susceptible to significant fraud.

Why COVID-19 Threatens Student Votes in Calif

KQED

This year was supposed to be a comeback year for Kyle Schulz and the College Republicans at Cal Poly Pomona, in eastern LA Co. In 2018, the House district in which the campus resides was caught up in the Blue Wave — sending freshman Democrat Gil Cisneros to Congress.

Other:

An Opportunity to Build a Better Society

Brookings

The COVID-19 pandemic has left a swift and severe impact on many places, but America’s climate challenges continue to mount as well.

AGRICULTURE/FOOD

Farmworkers Are Among Those at Highest Risk for COVID-19, Studies Show 

PBS

As the novel coronavirus spread across the U.S., Osmar Orellana kept going into work. Unlike millions of Americans who were able to shelter in place, Orellana was deemed “essential”: He works as a lettuce picker for a large grower called Tanimura and Antle in Salinas, Calif, a region that produces most of the country’s leafy greens.

Floyd Zaiger of Modesto invented the pluot and did plenty more for fruit lovers

Modesto Bee

Floyd Zaiger transformed the stone fruit industry from his farm just west of Modesto. Experts the world over praised the peaches, plums and other crops he bred. Everyday shoppers enjoyed them, too.

Calif kills 3.2 million trout to halt bacteria outbreak

Business Journal

Calif will kill 3.2 million trout to stop the outbreak of a bacterial infection that’s threatening hatcheries, wildlife officials said Monday.

Vallarta Supermarkets opening in Madera this fall

Business Journal

Vallarta Supermarkets is opening in Madera — and they need workers to staff the aisles.

Natural-meat stalwart Bill Niman’s newest company: an ‘antibiotic-free’ labeling brand

SF Chronicle

One of the most recognizable names in meat is now turning his attention to yet another mission: testing and labeling meat for antibiotics. Bill Niman, owner of BN Ranch in Bolinas and original founder of the natural meat company Niman Ranch, is putting his weight behind a new San Mateo company called FoodID, which says it can quickly test meat for antibiotics. It also has created a labeling system with a QR code that grocery store customers can use to find out the test results.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE/FIRE/PUBLIC SAFETY

Crime:

Crime Has Declined Overall During Pandemic, But Shootings And Killings Are Up

NPR
Across the country, we’ve seen massive change brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, including a dramatic drop in the overall crime rate. David Abrams, a University of Pennsylvania law and economics professor, has been keeping an eye on numbers across the country. The website he created details what’s been happening with crime in more than 25 major cities during the COVID-19 crisis.

Public Safety:

Warszawski: Fresno police reform commission must be more transparent 

Fresno Bee

The much-ballyhooed Fresno Commission for Police Reform assembled in public view Monday evening for the first time.

See also:

·       Bill Atwood: Don’t let the few bad apples sour your appreciation for law enforcement Sierra Star

·       Calif sheriff condemns ‘violent protests,’ downplays masks in Tea Party talk

Fresno Bee

·       Almost 100% of Americans polled think police reform is needed TheHill

Calls grow for federal officers to shed military-style uniforms

Wash Post

As authorities crack down on protests in Portland, Ore., military leaders, lawmakers and former government officials have intensified calls for federal officers to shed the camouflage and return to wearing uniforms that clearly identify them as law enforcement.

Hidden Risk of Domestic Violence during COVID-19

PPIC

Although police reports of domestic violence do not seem to have increased during shelter-in-place, data from hotlines and service providers suggest a troubling upward trend.

Fire:

Time-lapse video shows Hog Fire in Lassen Co growing to 12,000 acres

Fresno Bee

Timelapse video captured plumes of smoke rising from the Hog Fire in Lassen Co, Calif, which has rapidly grown to 12,188 acres as of July 21. 2020. Local media reported that the fire was 0% contained and threatened 170 structures.

Firefighters battle twin blazes in northeastern Calif forests

LA Times

Firefighters and aircraft worked Tuesday to halt the spread of two forest fires in rural northeastern Calif. The Gold fire in northern Lassen Co nearly doubled in size to 7 square miles south of the tiny Modoc Co community of Adin, and there was zero containment.

Rise in wildfires keeps Kern Co firefighters busy

Bakersfield Califn

Kern Co hasn’t been excluded in an uptick in statewide wildfires this year.

ECONOMY/JOBS

Economy:

Tribal casinos’ continued operation deemed ‘patently unfair’ by Fresno-area cardrooms

Fresno Bee

Though many Calif businesses have been ordered to close again due to a spike in coronavirus cases, tribal facilities have remained open, sparking frustration within the Calif gaming community.

Local salon owners prepare to move their services outdoors after Gov.’s order

abc30

Chairs that should be filled now sit empty at the Coterie Atelier. It wasn’t the grand opening creative director Eric Gomez was expecting for the new salon, but he plans to take customers and give them haircuts steps from his front door.

See Also:

●     ‘A logistical nightmare’: Opening outdoors is easier said than done Stockton Record

●     Calif barbershops and salons can open outside, but challenges await SF Chronicle

Advocate for business: Brackeen new chamber CEO

Porterville Recorder

Despite the Chamber of Commerce catching fire on her first day as the new CEO, Jessica Brackeen is excited to begin her new career as the face of Porterville’s Chamber of Commerce. Brackeen is eager to bring new and fresh ideas to the Chamber, and can’t wait to network and partner with local businesses.

Jobs:

New Stockton Amazon facility will create hundreds of jobs in SJ region

Stockton Record

There were smiles all around Tuesday as the San Joaquin Co Board of Supervisors approved a lease with e-commerce giant Amazon to develop property at the Stockton Metropolitan Airport, creating hundreds of jobs and bringing significant new activity to the region.

United Airlines posts $1.6-billion loss, says it’s shedding 6,000 workers

LA Times

United Airlines Holdings Inc. said Tuesday that it lost $1.63 billion in the second quarter as revenue plunged 87%, and it will operate at barely over one-third of capacity through September as the COVID-19 pandemic throttles air travel.

Full Calif Employment Report for June 2020 Now Available

Calif Employment Development Department

The Center for Jobs and the Economy has released our full analysis of the June Employment Report.

How does unemployment insurance work? And how is it changing during the pandemic?

Brookings

Unemployment insurance is a major element of the U.S. government’s response to the economic dislocation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted in March 2020, expanded the unemployment insurance system to provide relief to those who are out of work, but some of those benefits expire on July 31 unless Congress acts before then. Here is a primer on unemployment insurance before and during the pandemic.

EDUCATION

K-12:

Some Clovis teachers want a union following school board’s COVID-19 decision

Fresno Bee

Angered by the Clovis school board’s recent decision to reopen campuses despite surging coronavirus cases, many teachers who spoke with The Fresno Bee said they’re considering forming the district’s first-ever teachers union.

‘I will not sacrifice myself,’ says teacher fed up with back-to-school debate

abc30

A middle school teacher spoke to Good Morning America after her post on Facebook went viral. The teacher, who asked to be referred to as Sarah over fears of reprimand from her school district, said she is fed up with the back-to-school debate raging across the country.

DUSD will begin 2020-21 school year with distance learning

Bakersfield Califn

The Delano Union School District board of trustees adopted a plan to begin the 2020-21 school year with distance learning during its Monday meeting. “Our highest priority is to provide a safe and healthy environment for students, families and staff,” said Superintendent Rosalina Rivera in a statement.

Panama-Buena Vista Union School District board approves distance learning plan for fall

Bakersfield Califn

The Panama-Buena Vista Union School District board of education approved a plan to begin the 2020-21 school year through distance learning and a closure plan for when students return to school during Tuesday’s meeting. 

Conservative group sues over Calif ban on most in-person schools

SF Chronicle

A conservative legal foundation filed suit Tuesday to overturn Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order barring schools in most of the state from bringing students into the classrooms this fall.

Calif using virus-closed classrooms for child care

AP

While most Calif school districts are planning only virtual instruction to start the academic year, some are offering child care programs that will bring students into the same buildings that are off-limits for classroom instruction. 

Higher Ed:

Calif’s newest community college is in the Valley. Here’s how it happened

Fresno Bee

Bill Mask, a history professor at Calif’s newest community college, grew up in Madera when teens had to leave their hometown if they wanted to attend college. “We always wanted to know why you had to leave home for schooling, back in the day when we were just a small country farming town,” he said.

See also:

●      Madera Center becomes Calif’s newest community college  Fresno Bee

●      Board of Governors Recognizes Madera Community College as the 116th Community College in Calif Calif Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office

BC launches Contact Tracing Course to train ‘coronavirus detectives’

Bakersfield Califn

Bakersfield College has announced a one-week course beginning July 27 that will allow individuals to gain employability skills needed to provide contract tracing for employers and the community. BC’s Contact Tracing Course is open to all community members.

Calif State University eyes ethnic studies requirement

KTVU

Trustees of Calif State University, the nation’s largest four-year public university system, are expected to vote Wednesday on making ethnic studies a graduation requirement.

See also:

●      Calif State University eyes ethnic studies requirement  AP

New State Report Says a CSU Campus In Stockton Isn’t Feasible

Capital Public Radio

A new state report gives a thumbs down to the feasibility of a CSU campus in Stockton. The report looked at five possible sites in Calif but found future enrollment didn’t justify building a new campus.

See also:

·       Enrollment growth doesn’t justify cost of a new CSU campus EdSource

Bulldogs have many questions coming into 2020. Mountain West prediction reflects that

Fresno Bee

The Mountain West postponed its virtual media days, which were scheduled to start on July 27 and run for three days. But the conference did release its annual media poll on Tuesday, even though a 2020 college football season is looking to be more and more of a long shot in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

ENVIRONMENT/ENERGY

Environment:

Calif way ahead in game of life and death: carbon emissions 

San Jose Mercury

Calif households emit 33% less carbon than any other state, while the per-capita footprint in SF is nearly three times lower than the national average. 

What the pandemic reveals about governance, state capture, and natural resources.

Brookings

The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the contrasting strengths and weaknesses in governance and leadership across the globe. Among high-income countries, many European states that have excelled in various governance dimensions, as measured by the annual Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI), have also addressed the pandemic well. These include the women-led Germany and the Nordic countries (except for Sweden). By contrast, the pandemic is raging in much of the United States, with well over 130,000 deaths and 3 million reported cases (accounting for one-quarter worldwide, with only 4 percent of the world’s population).

Editorial: Trump’s continued disregard for the environment and climate change poses a mortal threat

Sac Bee

It’s fitting that President Donald Trump invoked an interstate highway expansion in Atlanta last week to announce final rules that, if they survive the inevitable legal challenges, will undermine one of the nation’s bedrock environmental laws, the National Environmental Policy Act.

Energy:

Demand for solar brings Vacaville-based company to Fresno

The Vacaville-based roofing and solar installation company is opening up an office in Fresno to meet the growing demand for its products for homeowners and builders. Citadel is already provides panels to many homebuilders in the area, including Bonadelle Neighborhoods and Granville Homes.

Berry Corp. hires former top state oil regulator

Bakersfield Califn

The head of one of Kern’s biggest oil producers says he knew it might raise eyebrows to hire a man who used to be Calif top oil regulator.

Energy isn’t just electricity – the common mistake obscuring the mammoth task of decarbonisation

The Conversation

One of the first things I teach students is the difference between energy and electricity. Electricity is a particular form of energy, but often the two words are used interchangeably.

HEALTH/HUMAN SERVICES

Health:

Fresno Co adds nearly 700 new cases in latest report. Hospitals fill up

Fresno Bee

Fresno Co added 685 cases of the coronavirus — but no new deaths — to its running tally on Monday, according to the state Department of Public Health. The state numbers are always a day behind, so Monday’s total of 10,639 represents the amount counted through Sunday. The Co has seen 100 deaths.

See Also:

●     Co announces 834 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday Bakersfield Califn

●     COVID-19 claims the lives of 7 Merced Co residents over weekend. Deaths now total 22 Merced Sun-Star

As Coronavirus patients skew younger, tracing task seems all but impossible

Business Journal

Younger people are less likely to be hospitalized or die of COVID-19 than their elders, but they circulate more freely while carrying the disease, and their cases are harder to trace. Together, these facts terrify Calif hospital officials.

Calif court upholds verdict in Monsanto cancer case

Business Journal

A Calif appeals court on Monday upheld a groundbreaking verdict that Monsanto’s widely used weed killer caused cancer in a school groundskeeper but the panel also slashed the damage award from $78.5 million to $21.5 million.

Virus antibodies fade fast but not necessarily protection

Bakersfield Califn

New research suggests that antibodies the immune system makes to fight the new coronavirus may only last a few months in people with mild illness, but that doesn’t mean protection also is gone or that it won’t be possible to develop an effective vaccine.

COVID-19 Death Rates Highest For Latino Californians, Latest Data Show

Capital Public Radio

From early in the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders in Calif’s communities of color worried they would lose more lives to the virus than their white neighbors. As the state’s death numbers continue to roll in, their concerns are being captured in the data.

The Crisis in Calif Mental Health

CALmatters

Before the pandemic and recession, Calif was already struggling with a mental health system widely considered to be dysfunctional. Gov. Newsom promised “an aggressive agenda to lift Calif’s approach to mental healthcare into a national model.” What have the pandemic and recession done to this issue and these plans? What are the mental health impacts of the virus and how is a struggling government system, now facing budget cuts, responding?

Wearing masks could help you avoid major illness even if you get coronavirus, experts say

LA Times

As health experts urge the public to wear masks to slow the spread of the coronavirus, they continue to get pushback. Among the arguments of skeptics: If masks can’t fully protect me against COVID-19, what is the point of wearing them?

Pfizer gets $1.95 billion to produce vaccine by year’s end

NY Times

The Trump administration on Wednesday announced a nearly $2 billion contract with the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and a smaller German biotechnology company for up to 600 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, with the companies on track to manufacture the first 100 million doses by December.

See also:

●      U.S. government reaches $1.95 billion deal with Pfizer, BioNTech to distribute millions of doses of potential coronavirus vaccine Wash Post

Human Services:

2 Central Valley hospitals in ‘dire’ COVID-19 situations. Do others face similar future?

Fresno Bee

Lodi Memorial Hospital, which sits in the heart of a Central Valley town framed by vineyards, suddenly has found itself front and center in the latest and perhaps most ominous phase of Calif’s viral epidemic — a sustained surge in coronavirus patients that is pushing some hospitals beyond the limit.

See Also:

●     Local hospitals seek ‘hundreds’ more workers as surge looms Bakersfield Califn

●     Modesto’s coronavirus-stricken hospitals run out of ICU space. ‘We try to stay positive’ Modesto Bee

Why Merced Co has stopped contact tracing as coronavirus surges

Merced Sun-Star

A month ago, everyone in Merced Co infected with the coronavirus got a call from Co officials, asking questions about whom they’d come in contact with. It’s a tracing process that experts say is critical to stopping the spread of the highly infectious disease.

IMMIGRATION

Trump’s new immigration fight: how to redraw House districts

Modesto Bee

President Donald Trump signed a memorandum Tuesday that seeks to bar people in the U.S. illegally from being included in the headcount as congressional districts are redrawn, a move that drew immediate criticism and promises of court challenges on constitutional grounds.

See Also:

●     Trump tries new move to restrict census, could cut Calif’s seats in Congress LA Times

●     Trump’s census order could strike 2 million Calif immigrants from 2020 count Fresno Bee

●      Why the Trump administration’s anti-immigratin policies at the State’s loss and the rest of the world’s gain? Brookings

●      Trump administration seeks to bar undocumented immigrants from portion of the census countWash Post

Thousands in Calif to Face Delays If Feds Furlough Immigration Workers

KQED

The stakes are high in Calif, where hundreds of thousands of immigrants — as well as their American employers and relatives — depend on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for work permits, green cards, naturalization and other benefits.

LAND USE/HOUSING

Land Use:

It’s Not Just A Ski Resort. From Tahoe To Carson, Indigenous People Say Sierra Names Misrepresent Them

Capital Public Radio

A famous ski resort in the Tahoe region is considering changing its name because it derives from a derogatory term for Native American women. But it’s just the most recent place in the Sierra that Indigenous people say need altering.

How to take advantage of national parks in Calif during pandemic

SF Chronicle

Amid the Summer of COVID-19 and the strangest year ever for national parks, there is a series of hidden portals into Yosemite and other national parks in Calif that can save your summer vacation.

Liberal, progressive — and racist? The Sierra Club faces its white-supremacist history.

Wash Post

No one is more important to the history of environmental conservation than John Muir — the “wilderness prophet,” “patron saint of the American wilderness” and “father of the national parks” who founded the nation’s oldest conservation organization, the Sierra Club. But on Wednesday, citing the current racial reckoning, the group announced it will end its blind reverence to a figure who was also racist.

Housing:

Mother-In-Law Units Helping to Fill Housing Demand

Mortgage News Daily

One of the trends in attempts to provide more affordable housing is the growth of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) such as granny flats, garage apartments, or in-law suites. These aren’t a new thing, Freddie Mac points out, in a research paper on the subject, that Fonzie occupied an above-garage apartment at the Cunningham home, but they have been somewhat invisible, and often illegal.

PUBLIC FINANCES

Extra $600 in weekly unemployment benefits will end this month

abc30

People on unemployment could be in for an unwelcome surprise. The extra $600 in weekly benefits is set to expire on July 31st. The $600 per week in additional benefits has helped keep many households afloat during the pandemic.

See also:

●        The end of the $600 unemployment bonus NY Times

Opinion: Don’t fix the paycheck protection program, replace it

Brookings

Congress already has alternatives.

State workers trained as Calif contact tracers await assignment, even as counties struggle

Fresno Bee

Most Calif state workers trained to be COVID-19 “contact tracers” still haven’t started tracking down people exposed to the coronavirus, even as many counties say they don’t have enough staff to do the work.

Another Calif pension fund falls short of investment target after coronavirus downturn

Fresno Bee

Calif’s pension fund for teachers missed its investment target for the last fiscal year, reflecting a global market downturn brought on by the coronavirus outbreak. The Calif State Teachers’ Retirement System on Monday reported a 3.9% return on investments in the fiscal year that ended June 30, falling short of its 7% goal.

TRANSPORTATION

Watch: Calif. high-speed rail construction in Kern Co – Railway Track & Structures

RT&S

The Calif High-Speed Rail Authority has just released a new video showing construction of a high-speed rail structure in Kern Co, Calif. Upon completion, the structure will span nearly 240 ft in length.

Walters: COVID-19 clobbers weak transit systems

CalMatters

Calif transit systems were struggling even before COVID-19, with stagnant ridership and soaring costs. Now they are seeking a huge bailout, saying they face an existential crisis.

See also:

·       COVID-19 Has Been ‘Apocalyptic’ for Public Transit. Will Congress Offer More Help? Time

Transportation takes a leading edge with smart technology

Tech HQ

The world is becoming increasingly urban. By 2050, 7.5 billion people will be city dwellers. This means that cities around the world are experiencing unprecedented population growth: Tokyo is now home to over 37 million people, and Mumbai’s population is to rise to 42 million by 2050.

WATER

21 state attorneys general sue over new Trump water rule

Bakersfield Califn

Attorneys general in 20 states and the District of Columbia sued the Trump administration on Tuesday, alleging that new federal rules undermine their ability to protect rivers, lakes and streams within their borders.

“Xtra”

Camp Nelson Mountain Festival canceled

Porterville Recorder

As the summer progresses, the reality continues to set in that popular Porterville area events during this time of year won’t be held. The Camp Nelson Mountain Festival presented by the Upper Tule Association is another one of those events that won’t be held this year.