July 23, 2020



North SJ Valley:

Stanislaus deaths at 73. Hospital workers talk of stress

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County announced Tuesday that two more residents have died from the virus, raising the total to 73. Detail on the most recent deaths were not available. The last eight days have brought 22 deaths, the county’s online update said.

See also:

●      Salvation Army reports 3 COVID-19 cases among homeless at Berberian Center shelter Modesto Bee

EDITORIALS: Give us important coronavirus information, Stanislaus leaders — not cosmetics

Modesto Bee

On Monday, Stanislaus County officials learned that eight more of our people had died of COVID-19. They also learned that the coronavirus surge has filled every one of our available adult ICU beds.

Central SJ Valley:

Infection rate reaches 1% in Fresno County; deaths top 360 for the region

Fresno Bee

Wednesday was a record-breaker for the coronavirus in Calif. The state reported 12,807 new cases for the day. About 1 in 96 state residents have now been infected by the coronavirus. Of those, 7,870 have died as of Wednesday morning.

See also:

·       Fresno County’s COVID-19 infection rate is at 1% — but health officials say it’s likely higher Fresno Bee

·       New review shows lack of equal access for COVID testing in many major cities, see how Fresno compares abc30

Clovis schools won’t seek waiver to reopen amid COVID-19. What are their fall online plans?

Fresno Bee

The Clovis Unified School District won’t request a state waiver to reopen in the fall as coronavirus cases surge in Fresno County, school officials confirmed.

See also:

·       EDITORIALS: Learn at home or school? Clovis trustees tried to create options, but lost gamble Fresno Bee

Clovis City Council Approves City’s COVID-19 Response, Postpones Vote on Backyard Chickens

Clovis RoundUp

Clovis City Council for now, voted not to allow residents to keep hen chickens as pets.

Tulare County adds nearly 500 cases; summer heat vs. the spread

Fresno Bee

In the first of its two updates this week, health officials in Fresno County reported four more people have died of the coronavirus. This brings the number of people in the county who have died from the virus to 104.

Access Plus Capital selects Tate Hill as the new Executive Director

Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission

Access Plus Capital, a subsidiary of Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission (Fresno EOC), announces Tate Hill as the new Executive Director. Hill brings 16 years of community development and business technical assistance experiences well as 12 years in nonprofit management. For the last four years at Access Plus Capital, Hill has served as Senior Manager of Administration, Interim CEO, and Director of Administration leading fund development, strategic initiatives and administrative functions.

South SJ Valley:

What’s behind the skyrocketing virus cases in Kern

Bakersfield Califn

An astounding 1,120 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Kern County Wednesday, a nearly tenfold increase over the number of daily cases reported in recent weeks.

See Also:

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

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. Is your barbershop going to be open? What about your favorite coffee shop, fitness center or nail salon? It’s not looking good for many of those businesses.

Kern County’s coronavirus relief loan program is now out of funds


The program to help Kern County small businesses struggling during the coronavirus pandemic is out of funds. Kern Recovers offers forgivable loans for locally owned businesses that had to close earlier this year. According the county’s website, all $25 million in the account has been spent.

Wilk, Hurtado request Governor keep EDD open 24/7 to clear backlog

Hanford Sentinel

Senators Scott Wilk, representing the 21st Senate District and Melissa Hurtado, representing the 14th Senate District, announced they have submitted a request to Governor Newsom urging him to issue an Executive Order to keep EDD phone lines and operations open and fully staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until the delay in claims processing is addressed.

Bankrupt CRC owes Kern $26 million in back taxes

Bakersfield Califn

The bankruptcy of local oil producer Calif Resources Corp. has drilled a nearly $26 million hole in Kern County’s fiscal 2019-20 property tax receipts.

Tehachapi, Rosedale, Wasco see significant surge in active coronavirus cases


The coronavirus is spreading out of control in Kern County as more cases are confirmed. Some areas of the county are seeing significant surges in active cases.


Calif surpasses New York state in confirmed virus cases

Fresno Bee

Calif has surpassed New York for the most coronavirus cases in the country, reporting more than 409,000 infections after setting a record on Tuesday for the state’s most confirmed new cases in a single day since the start of the pandemic.

See Also:

●     Coronavirus: Calif reports record number of new COVID-19 cases abc30

●     Calif surpasses New York state in confirmed COVID-19 cases abc30

●     Who’s handling coronavirus better, Calif or New York? It’s getting harder to tell Modesto Bee

●     Calif has most COVID-19 cases in U.S., surpassing New York, as spike continues LA Times

●     Calif reports record daily cases Wednesday, passes New York for most in U.S. SF Chronicle

●     Who’s handling coronavirus better, Calif or New York? It’s getting harder to tell Sac Bee

Calif adds $315M to mask contract from China-based BYD, Gov. announces

Fresno Bee

Calif is extending its agreement with China-based manufacturer BYD to buy hundreds of millions more masks to protect essential workers from the coronavirus, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday.

See Also:

●     Calif to obtain more masks, gear as it becomes state with most COVID-19 cases LA Times

●     Newsom extends Calif’s medical-mask deal with BYD SF Chronicle

●      Calif Extends A Controversial Mask Contract — But Gets A Better Deal This Time Capital Public Radio

●     3 in 4 Americans back requiring wearing masks AP

●      Sent 17 million masks to other states CALmatters

State Allows Limited Outdoor Personal Care Services

Clovis RoundUp

Barbershops and cosmetology establishments are allowed to perform certain services as long as they are done outdoors.

Mathews: Some Californians are tuning out Gov, with consequences for everyone


Gov Newsom understands the science and has a flair for communication, and most Califns believe he’s been making responsible decisions during the coronavirus pandemic. However, a certain percentage of us don’t want to hear it. Joe Mathews says it’s because Newsom is a partisan politician, not a scientist. As capable as Newsom is at delivering his daily updates, Mathews is asking the governor to back down for the good of the state.

Commentary: Newsom may have erred on re-opening, but he has embraced accountability


A funny thing happened on Calif’s path to re-opening during the pandemic. We had about 100 miles ahead of us, and then Gov. Newsom told us it was safe to take a short-cut.

Put people of color on Calif boards or pay $100K, proposed law says

Sac Bee

First Calif lawmakers mandated more women on Calif boards. Now they are aiming at boosting the ranks of people of color.

Calif GOP wants to oust two anti-Trump Republicans

LA Times

Calif GOP leaders will consider ousting two state party members who are leaders of an anti-Trump group supporting the presidential candidacy of Democrat Joe Biden, according to interviews.

Labor, industry tangle over dialysis ballot initiative

Capitol Weekly

Kidney dialysis may sound like an odd topic for a Calif ballot proposition, but voters will tangle with the issue on Nov. 3 — for the second time.

These Calif privacy initiative opponents might surprise you


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.

Fox: The Attorney General’s Uneven View on What’s Right

Fox & Hounds

Two events yesterday showed an unequal outlook on fairness by Calif’s Attorney General. In one instance, AG Xavier Becerra rightly objected to President Trump’s order attempting to limit the people counted in the census as ignoring the plain language of the United States Constitution. On the other hand, he issued titles and summaries for Calif ballot initiatives that are raising complaints that his political ideology is interfering with his official duties to write neutral ballot descriptions.

Walters: Appeals court makes tax increases easier


Calif voters may see a slew of new local tax proposals after a state appeallete court ruled that the two-thirds vote requirement doesn’t apply to those placed on the ballot via initiative petitions.


World COVID-19 cases top 15M; Trump says things will get worse


The global tally of people infected with the coronavirus topped 15 million Wednesday, while in the worst-hit pandemic hot spot of the United States, President Donald Trump warned the pandemic would “get worse before it gets better.”

See also:

●      Fact Check: Donald Trump wrong to say U.S. has “one of the lowest mortality rates in the world” from COVID-19 Politifact

●     Timeline: How Donald Trump responded to the coronavirus pandemic Politifact

●      U.S. Coronavirus Cases Near Four Million WSJ

●      U.S. nearing 4 million coronavirus cases; daily deaths reach highest level since late May Wash Post

White House And Congress At Odds Over Pandemic Relief Package


Wash is racing to complete a fifth round of legislation to address the ongoing, and still surging, coronavirus pandemic in the next three weeks. The two parties and the White House are at odds over what the major pillars of the legislation should include and how much it should cost. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., wants to get a bill to President Trump by Aug. 7 when Congress is scheduled to adjourn for the rest of the summer.

See also:

●     Next COVID-19 relief bill: Bipartisan support for 2nd stimulus check, but disagreements on unemployment aid, school funding, more abc30

●      Republicans scrap Trump’s demand for payroll tax cut as they cobble together draft coronavirus bill Wash Post

Mnuchin: Payroll Tax Cut Won’t Be in Senate Republican Coronavirus Relief Bill


Senate Republicans won’t include a payroll tax cut, a measure long sought by President Trump, in the coronavirus relief legislation they are planning to release publicly on Thursday.

Rural hospitals hang on as pandemic reaches smaller communities


“We’re due for reckoning in our rural hospital policy.”

The federal government crackdown in Portland: What you need to know


We surveyed news reports, reviewed the government’s statements and spoke to legal experts to answer a few big questions about the situation in Oregon’s largest city.

See Also:

●     Pres Trump deploys feds to more states under ‘law-and-order’ push abc30

●     Trump doubles down on plans to send federal law enforcement officers to U.S. cities LA Times

House votes to remove Confederate statues from Capitol


The House has approved a bill to remove statues of Gen. Robert E. Lee and other Confederate leaders from the U.S. Capitol, as a reckoning over racial injustice continues following the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis.

Coronavirus Trackers:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Calif


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

See also:

●     Calif Department of Public Health

●     Coronavirus (COVID-19) CDC

●     Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic – WHO

●     John Hopkins University & Medicine John Hopkins University

●     Tracking coronavirus in Calif LA Times

●     Coronavirus Tracker SF Chronicle

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

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

●     Coronavirus Daily NPR

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

●     Coronavirus in Calif by the numbers CalMatters

Elections 2020:

Trump cognitive test: Challenges Biden on Fox News

Fresno Bee

President Trump on Wednesday described the cognitive test he says he “aced” in an interview with Fox News.

See also:

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

●      Republican feuding this week represents broader reckoning over party’s future as Trump sinks in the polls Wash Post

●      Trump keeps boasting about passing a cognitive test — but it doesn’t mean what he thinks it does Wash Post

Editorial: Trump’s Performance in Coronavirus Pandemic Is Sinking His Presidency

National Review

it’s hard to remember a more damaging Sunday morning interview than Chris Wallace’s sit-down with President Trump over the weekend.

Trump’s assault on election integrity is forcing both parties to reckon with the possibility he may dispute the result if he loses

Wash Post

The president’s unwillingness to commit to a smooth transition of power has led academics and political leaders to contemplate scenarios that could shake public confidence in the security of the vote.

Biden says Trump is America’s first ‘racist’ president

Wash Post

Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, on Wednesday called President Trump the country’s first racist to be elected to the White House.

Post office concerns highlighted at Senate hearing on elections amid COVID-19

Roll Call

A hearing Wednesday at the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, which has jurisdiction over election operations matters, was more broadly about preparations for the fall election in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, the status of the U.S. Postal Service became a recurring theme.

The Valley Votes – 2020 Elections Coverage


This year, Valley Public Radio is doing elections coverage differently. We’re asking listeners and residents, what do you want candidates to talk about? Are you concerned about healthcare, housing, or homelessness? Please fill out our survey to tell us what issues matter the most to you.


Twitter Removes Thousands Of QAnon Accounts, Promises Sweeping Ban On The Conspiracy


Twitter said on Tuesday it has removed more than 7,000 accounts associated with the QAnon conspiracy theory, a loose group of online provocateurs who support President Trump and spread absurd claims about forces supposedly attempting to topple the president. Content associated with QAnon will be banned from the platform’s trends section and tweets sharing links involving QAnon theories will be blocked, Twitter officials said.

Opinion: American exceptionalism was our preexisting condition

Wash Post

America is sick. Still sick. The fever spikes, abates, returns. The shortness of breath lingers. America is waiting in virtual bread lines, listening to bad jazz, on hold with the unemployment office. America is strewn with the glass shards of Starbucks windows, busted by protesters, and bullied by unidentifiable agents of the government.


Outdoor dining changing majorly in Fresno area. Plus check out what’s coming to Tower

Fresno Bee

Cities have loosened the rules on setting up tables and chairs — and restaurants are getting creative with it.

See also:

●     Too hot to cook? Here’s what Fresno chefs and foodies say you should make in this heat Fresno Bee

Visalia historic courthouse now hotel, rooftop restaurant

Fresno Bee

The building originally opened in 1935 and served as an annex to the Tulare County courthouse and part of the old courthouse square. The courthouse itself was demolished in 1952 after being damaged in an earthquake, but the annex continued to be used by the county until 2008.

Pismo’s in Fresno ends dine-in after COVID-19 rules dispute. Here’s what it’s doing now

Fresno Bee

The restaurant had continued to seat people inside after the governor ordered a halt to indoor dining, claiming its large roll-up windows made it outdoor dining.

CAPK, Kern County launch program to deliver food to seniors during pandemic

Kern Sol News

Because seniors face elevated risks from the COVID-19 virus, Kern County and the Community Action Partnership of Kern (CAPK) have teamed up to launch the Food2Door program. The program aims to  help seniors get critical food supplies delivered to their door to minimize trips to grocery stores and other public places in search of a meal, helping them to protect their health. “This program is important because it minimizes the risk of elders contracting COVID-19” said James Burger, CAPK’s Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator.



Calif prison watchdog recommends discipline for supervisors over use-of-force reports

Sac Bee

The watchdog found thousands of potential policy violations in use-of-force reports

Commentary: Fresno’s police chief politicizes the impact of zero bail on crime

Fresno Bee

Between 2000 and 2020, the per capita consumption of margarine in Maine decreased. During this period, divorce in Maine decreased at exactly the same rate. Therefore, eating less margarine improves your marriage.

Public Safety:

Pres Trump deploys feds to more states under ‘law-and-order’ push


President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he will send federal agents into Chicago and Albuquerque to help combat rising crime, expanding the administration’s intervention in local enforcement as he runs for reelection under a “law-and-order” mantle.

See Also:

●     Trump doubles down on plans to send federal law enforcement officers to U.S. cities LA Times


Calif wildfires burn amid red flag weather conditions

Fresno Bee

Firefighters battled forest fires in northeastern Calif on Wednesday amid red flag weather conditions. The Gold Fire ballooned to nearly 22 square miles (57 square kilometers) in Lassen County, the Calif Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

Rise in wildfires keeps Kern County firefighters busy

Bakersfield Califn

Kern County hasn’t been excluded in an uptick in statewide wildfires this year. Spokesman Andrew Freeborn said the Kern County Fire Department has already seen a significant number of local wildfires, starting in May.

Schools Adjusting to the Pandemic May Also Be Affected by Wildfire Season


As school districts across Calif face closures during COVID-19, schools in some parts of the state could experience further disruption due to wildfires.

Join Us for a PG&E Wildfire Safety & PSPS Readiness Webinar

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

PG&E is hosting a series of online webinars for anyone who is interested in learning more about our Community Wildfire Safety Program. These virtual gatherings will allow community members to learn more about wildfire safety and emergency preparedness, meet with PG&E representatives, ask questions and share feedback.



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. Is your barbershop going to be open? What about your favorite coffee shop, fitness center or nail salon? It’s not looking good for many of those businesses.

Kern County’s coronavirus relief loan program is now out of funds


The program to help Kern County small businesses struggling during the coronavirus pandemic is out of funds. Kern Recovers offers forgivable loans for locally owned businesses that had to close earlier this year. According the county’s website, all $25 million in the account has been spent.

What happens to U.S. economy if the $600 federal unemployment benefit ends?

LA Times

When the COVID-19 pandemic first drove the country into lockdown and tens of millions of workers lost their jobs, Congress voted to add $600 a week to whatever individual states paid in unemployment insurance.

See also:

●      $600 benefit for unemployed workers would be reduced but not ended under new Trump plan Sac Bee

Small Businesses Brace for Prolonged Crisis, Short on Cash and Customers


Hopes for a quick economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic have been dashed, and companies are exhausting rescue funds. Many are shutting down or slashing jobs again.

If a business is still closed at this point in the crisis, it’s probably permanent

Wash Post

The economic crisis caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic has entered a new phase, with permanent business closures now outnumbering temporary ones, new data shows.


How the pandemic is changing working from home


In an event co-hosted by CalMatters and the Milken Institute, policymakers and advocates explain where they see the state heading — and why Calif desperately needs to bridge its digital divide.

Rise in Weekly Unemployment Claims Points to Faltering Jobs Recovery


Initial claims rise for first time in nearly four months to 1.4 million amid uptick in coronavirus cases.

See also:

●      New unemployment claims rose last week to 1.4 million Politico

●      New Unemployment Claims Are Up For The First Time In 4 Months : Coronavirus Live Updates NPR



Ed Lab Newsletter: Online education isn’t going away + A Clovis teachers union?

Fresno Bee

Last week, Fresno-area school districts began rolling out plans for distance learning this fall. Clovis Unified made a controversial decision that sparked outrage among many of its teachers.

Clovis schools won’t seek waiver to reopen amid COVID-19. What are their fall online plans?

Fresno Bee

The Clovis Unified School District won’t request a state waiver to reopen in the fall as coronavirus cases surge in Fresno County, school officials confirmed.

See also:

·       EDITORIALS: Learn at home or school? Clovis trustees tried to create options, but lost gamble Fresno Bee

Fresno school employee mocked George Floyd’s death. Teachers say they’re not surprised

Fresno Bee

At least one Fresno Unified School District employee mocked the death of George Floyd during an online end-of-the-year celebration in June, according to emails obtained by The Fresno Bee through a Public Records Act request.

Burton to remain online to start year: Will implement modified schedule when allowed

Porterville Recorder

The Burton School District Board announced on Tuesday the schools in their district will continue distance learning online at the beginning of the school year on August 11.

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.

Gov. orders most Calif schools to stay closed until coronavirus spread lessens

Modesto Bee

Gov. Gavin Newsom handed down strict guidelines that will require most Calif schools to keep their buildings closed to start the year to cope with the coronavirus outbreak. Those that do reopen during the coronavirus outbreak must require masks for older children as well as makes and consistent testing for staff.

See Also:

●     Conservative group sues to halt Calif school closure order Stockton Record

●     Lawsuit seeks to halt Newsom’s school closure order LA Times

●     Parents sue over Calif school closures CapRadio

●     Has Calif figured out online school? ‘I forgave them for the spring. I’m not going to forgive them for the fall.’ San Jose Mercury

Are schoolchildren not vectors for COVID-19?


National Institutes of Health study will follow 2,000 families for six months to determine in part how often children get infected and then infect their families. For now, U.S. health officials have discussed a lack of data on children and COVID-19 transmission.

Calif is short 1 million laptops and hot spots for kids as it prepares online school

Sac Bee

Most Calif schools are now required to start online this fall. They need another 1 million technology devices to help kids learn. When COVID-19 forced schools to close across Calif in March, state education officials estimated that 1.2 million students — 20 percent of the total K-12 population — didn’t have the technology necessary to participate in distance learning.

Calif childcare centers take big hit as parents try to go back to work

San Jose Mercury

Hernandez’s struggles to keep her childcare business afloat are not unique. Some Bay Area in-home care providers have decided to stop offering their services entirely for fear of exposing their family members to COVID-19. Other daycare providers have gone into credit card debt just to pay rent.

See also:

·       Calif using virus-closed classrooms for child care AP

School reopening ‘strings’ bedevil stimulus talks


“Any attempt to condition schools on physically reopening is a non-starter for Democrats,” Sen. Patty Murray said.

NAACP sues to stop coronavirus spending rule for schools

Roll Call

The NAACP filed a lawsuit Wednesday to stop the Education Department’s rule about how to distribute $13.5 billion in coronavirus-related relief for K-12 schools, arguing that it will send hundreds of millions of dollars to private schools against the will of Congress.

Only 8% of Americans Believe Schools Should Resume Normal In-Person Instruction


About three in 10 Americans believe schools should not be permitted to have any in-person classes this fall while only one in 10 want a return to normal operations without restrictions, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs poll that comes amid a push by the Trump administration to resume in-person classes.

See also:

●      Poll: Very few Americans back schools fully reopening in the fall KBAK

Higher Ed:

No in-person classes at UC Merced to start fall semester. Merced County reports 119 new cases

Merced Sun-Star

UC Merced announced Tuesday there will be no in-person classes when the fall semester begins on Aug. 26 due to the recent surge in coronavirus cases. UC Merced Executive Vice Chancelor and Provost Gregg Camfield made the announcement in a letter to the university community.

Largest US public university system requires ethnic studies

Bakersfield Califn

Ethnic and social justice studies will join English and science courses as graduation requirements at Calif State University, after the Board of Trustees at the nation’s largest four-year public university system approved the idea Wednesday.

See Also:

●     CSU students will have to take ethnic studies. Why supporters turned on the policy Modesto Bee

●     CSU undergrads must take an ethnic studies or social justice class starting in 2023 LA Times

●      Calif State University students required to take ethnic studies or social justice class under new policy EdSource

Colleges Spent Months Planning For Fall, But A COVID-19 Surge Is Changing Everything


When Irem Ozturk got the email from Dickinson College in mid-June announcing “we intend to bring all students back to campus,” she was elated. She’s originally from Turkey, but after two years on campus, she’s come to think of Carlisle, Pa., as home. “I was thrilled because I felt like I was returning back home, excited to see friends and faculty,” she says. “I felt happy. I felt like I had something to look forward to.” That happiness lasted a little more than a month.

Financial aid appeals surge as students cope with pandemic hardships


Many students filing appeals are coping with unemployment. About 71% of returning college students in Calif say they have lost some or all of their income due to the pandemic, according to a recent survey of 76,000 students by the Calif Student Aid Commission. Thirty-four percent say they’ll need to work more in the fall to afford educational and living expenses, while 21% think they should attend a college that is less expensive.

Calif’s online community college still has much to prove


Calbright College, Calif’s online community college, may have survived elimination in the state’s budget, but the pressure is on to prove its value to the state.



Calif ahead of other states in game of life and death: carbon emissions

Sac Bee

Is Calif – home to Tesla, solar panels galore and gobs of scientists – the green-energy paradise it’s made out to be? A new, peer-reviewed study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal reinforces the idea.

Big Tech Has a Big Climate Problem. Now, It’s Being Forced to Clean Up.

New York Times

Apple said on Tuesday its devices would be carbon-neutral by 2030, making it the latest tech giant to ramp up voluntary climate targets.


Bankrupt CRC owes Kern $26 million in back taxes

Bakersfield Califn

The bankruptcy of local oil producer Calif Resources Corp. has drilled a nearly $26 million hole in Kern County’s fiscal 2019-20 property tax receipts.

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’s top oil regulator. The man CEO and Chairman Trem Smith chose to be his director of strategic partnerships and alliances, Jason Marshall, had a leading role in enforcing and even helping draft rules for some of the state’s most contentious oilfield practices, including fracking and steam injections.

Calif still doesn’t have a plan to bring back clean energy jobs lost to COVID-19

LA Times

Ever since it became clear the COVID-19 pandemic would send the U.S. economy into a tailspin, there’s been lots of talk about using government stimulus funds to create clean energy jobs rather than propping up fossil fuel companies whose business model is fueling the climate crisis.

Energy’s Winning Wagers: Against Natural-Gas Prices, for Natural-Gas Producers


Low prices have pushed producers to strip out costs, squeeze cash from each well.



Fresno County’s COVID-19 infection rate is at 1% — but health officials say it’s likely higher

Fresno Bee

Fresno County reached a few unfortunate coronavirus milestones this week: 1% of the population has tested positive for COVID-19, and 1% of those infected have died. While the percentages may seem small, they translate to over 11,000 cases and 100 deaths in a county with roughly 1 million people.

See Also:

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

Kids with health problems, Latinos have higher risks for COVID-19. How can they stay safe?

Fresno Bee

Eleven-year-old Gabriel Alvarez was looking forward to starting sixth grade at Great Valley Academy because he misses his friends. He’s disappointed school will begin with distance learning. He isn’t afraid of catching the coronavirus, though he has asthma.

See Also:

●     Vulnerable children are at higher risk for coronavirus. A Modesto student has a few ideas how to keep them safe. Modesto Bee

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

Fresno Bee

There had been hope in some quarters that the Central Valley’s hot summer weather would slow or even halt the spread of the novel coronavirus. But in Valley counties and across the state, quite the opposite has happened. The number of people being tested for COVID-19 is up, so more cases are to be expected.

Calif nursing facility devastated by 17 coronavirus deaths will close permanently

Sac Bee

Stollwood Convalescent Hospital, a Woodland skilled nursing facility devastated by 17 coronavirus deaths in the earlier months of the pandemic, will close permanently this fall. A message posted Wednesday morning to Stollwood’s website, signed by CEO Sean Beloud, says that after a “thorough financial analysis,” the facility “would operate at a significant monthly loss with no assurance the admissions would increase.”

See also:

●      Trump administration releases new plan for COVID-19 prevention in nursing homes UPI.com

●      Trump Administration to Mandate Covid-19 Tests for Nursing-Home Staff  WSJ

●      Trump administration to give additional $5B to nursing homes TheHill

Calif feared pandemic would overwhelm Medicaid, but that hasn’t happened. Why?

LA Times

“It’s a mystery,” said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access Calif, an advocacy group for health consumers. “We have lots of plausible explanations, but they don’t seem to add up.” Even the state is stumped.

Medicaid Mystery: Millions of Enrollees Haven’t Materialized

Calif Healthline

The predictions were dire: Coronavirus lockdowns would put millions of Americans out of work, stripping them of their health insurance and pushing them into Medicaid, the health insurance program for low-income people.

US signs contract with Pfizer for COVID-19 vaccine doses, aims for December delivery


The Trump administration will pay Pfizer nearly $2 billion for a December delivery of 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine the pharmaceutical company is developing, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced Wednesday. The U.S. could buy another 500 million doses under the agreement, Azar said.

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


Coronavirus infections in the United States are far higher than what has been confirmed, although the number of Americans who have been exposed is far below what is required for widespread immunity, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Rise in Testing Is Not Driving the Rise in U.S. Virus Cases

New York Times

As coronavirus cases have surged in recent weeks, President Trump has repeatedly said the growing case count is a result of increased testing, not a worsening outbreak. An analysis by The New York Times, however, shows the rise in cases far outpaces the growth in testing.

See also:

●      Rapid, Cheap, Less Accurate Coronavirus Testing Has A Place, Scientists Say VPR

Can you get coronavirus twice? Doctors are unsure even as anecdotal reports mount.

Wash Post

Such assertions, if proved, could complicate efforts to make a long-lasting vaccine and to achieve herd immunity.

How to Pick Sunglasses That Actually Protect Your Eyes

Consumer Reports Health

Proper shades can shield your eyes from the sun’s harmful radiation. And while you’re out in the sun, pick the best sunscreen after checking our Sunscreen Buying Guide.

Human Services:

New review shows lack of equal access for COVID testing in many major cities, see how Fresno compares


Counties across the Valley have continued to add new COVID-19 testing sites throughout the pandemic, from facilities at local fairgrounds to mobile units to drive through options. Residents we spoke with outside the Fresno City College location say it took at least a few days to get an appointment, but the process itself was fast.

Comprehensive Health Coverage Can Help Calif’s Undocumented Seniors Now and Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic

Calif Budget & Policy Center

Policymakers have implemented various short-term actions to mitigate the serious health threat caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Judge declines to order release of detained migrant families

Fresno Bee

A federal judge on Wednesday declined to order the release of roughly 300 migrant parents and children held in U.S. family detention centers despite what he called immigration authorities’ “shortcomings” in controlling the coronavirus.

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

Fresno Bee

Calif Democrats vowed to fight a policy change from the Trump administration that would exclude undocumented immigrants from the 2020 census, potentially depriving the state of the federal funding and political power that is tied the decennial count.

See Also:

●     With No Final Say, Trump Wants To Change Who Counts For Dividing Up Congress’ Seats VPR

●      Newsom rips Trump order targeting undocumented immigrants in census: ‘Rooted in racism’ TheHill

●     Opinion: Can Trump Subtract Illegal Immigrants from the 2020 Census? National Review


Land Use:

Sierra Club removing monuments to founder John Muir over white supremacist ties

Fresno Bee

An environmentalist group announced they will remove monuments dedicated to its founder and renowned conservationist, John Muir, because of his ties to white supremacists. The Sierra Clubfounded by Muir in 1892, posted a statement on its website explaining that some of its historical members were vocal advocates of white supremacy, The Hill reported.

●      Sierra Club director cancels founder John Muir — should parks, schools, be renamed? San Jose Mercury

●      List of over 50 John Muir namesakes shows how widespread memorials to him are in Calif  SF Chronicle

Modesto’s Roosevelt Park closed about 2 years reopening soon

Modesto Bee

The city expects to reopen Roosevelt Park almost two years after closing the popular recreation spot in central Modesto for a $7.3 million storm-water project that reduces flooding on nearby streets and improves the park as well.

Congress passes sprawling plan to boost conservation and national parks

LA Times

A bipartisan bill that would spend nearly $3 billion on conservation projects, outdoor recreation and maintenance of national parks and other public lands is on its way to the president’s desk after winning final legislative approval.


U.S. sales of existing homes jump 20% after a 3-month slump

LA Times

Americans stepped up their home purchases in June by a robust 20.7% after the pandemic had caused sales to crater in the prior three months. But the housing market could struggle to rebound further in the face of the resurgent viral outbreak and a shrinking supply of homes for sale.

It ‘Looks Very Scary For Renters’ As Federal Eviction Relief Expiration Nears


Millions of Americans are facing the threat of eviction as a federal moratorium that has protected renters during the pandemic is set to expire Friday. That eviction moratorium, coupled with unemployment assistance established in the CARES Act, has helped some renters stay in their homes.

U.S. Existing-Home Sales Rose 20.7% in June


Monthly activity remains well below pre-pandemic levels as fears about job security and health keep many potential buyers sidelined.


Stimulus check or unemployment boost? What’s the best way to support coronavirus economy?

Fresno Bee

The best way the government can help the millions of people out of work right away? Keep giving them that extra $600 a week, or at least some emergency payment, as unemployment benefits.

The pandemic is not a good reason to expand a flawed safety net


Mindlessly expanding safety-net programs in the wake of COVID-19 reinforces a broken approach. Instead, we need to reduce steep “taxes” on low-income families for earning more from work and enact policies that expect work in exchange for benefits.

Why aren’t Republicans trying to juice the economy?


While Democrats want to spend another $3 trillion on a “phase four” package, Republicans are trying to keep the price tag around $1 trillion. This relative stinginess is confusing to many Wash watchers.

Corporations Seek Tax-Credit Cash-Out in Next Coronavirus Relief Plan


Duke Energy, Ford poised to benefit if Congress lets firms accelerate accumulated tax breaks.


Pandemic taking financial toll on small airports like Hanford


Look up in Hanford these days, and you’ll see there are far fewer planes flying overhead.

Qantas bids farewell to its last Boeing 747, headed to its graveyard in the Mojave desert


Australia said goodbye to an era of aviation Wednesday as it sent its final Boeing 747, fondly dubbed the “Queen of the Skies”, to its retirement in Calif’s Mojave Desert, where it will be parked and stripped for parts.


Calif, 19 other states sue Trump administration over new water rules

LA Times

Calif joined 19 other states and the District of Columbia sued the Trump administration Tuesday, alleging that new federal rules undermine their ability to protect rivers, lakes and streams within their borders.

Delta Conveyance Project Scoping Summary Report Now Available

Department of Water Resources

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has published a Scoping Summary Report for the proposed Delta Conveyance Project. This scoping report is a summary of the public scoping period that concluded in April. It includes all public comments received. The information collected during scoping will help inform the ongoing environmental analysis.


Animals, caretakers at Disney theme park getting TV show

Fresno Bee

The lions, kangaroos and elephants at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom are ready for their closeups. A new television show about the residents and caretakers at the animal-themed park in Florida is being produced by National Geographic and will start streaming this fall on the Disney+, Disney officials said in a blog post this week.