July 29, 2020



North SJ Valley:

Atwater leaders remain defiant against Newsom’s COVID-19 rules, amid support and criticism

Merced Sun-Star

Atwater City Hall was buzzing Monday night with a crowd that spilled outside of the council chambers. Most were gathered in anticipation of Mayor Paul Creighton’s statement about the state cutting off the city’s Coronavirus Relief Funds, due to its stance that defies Gov. Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 orders.

Stanislaus deaths at 95. Numbers rise in all area counties

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County announced five more deaths to the virus Monday, bringing its total to 95. More than half of the deaths have been reported in July. No information has been released about the age, gender or medical state of the victims before their deaths.

See also:

●      Stanislaus County health officer on COVID-19: ‘It seems to be everywhere’ Modesto Bee

Despite complications due to COVID-19, census outreach in Stanislaus County continues

Modesto Bee

Three months into the 2020 census, Stanislaus County is close to matching its 2010 self-response rate, local officials say, but there’s still work to be done. As of July 21, the county has a census self-response rate of 64.9%, according to the California Census Office. The 2010 census self-response rate for Stanislaus County was 66.7%.

Bobbie Singh-Allen announces bid for Elk Grove mayor, challenging embattled incumbent

Sacramento Bee

Bobbie Singh-Allen, a longtime Elk Grove school board member, will challenge Steve Ly for the city’s mayoral position in November, saying alleged harassment toward her and other women “fueled my fire” to run against the incumbent mayor.

Candidates step forward in City Council races

Turlock Journal

With 10 days remaining in the nomination period for the November election, three candidates have filed papers so far to run for the open Turlock City Council seats.

Central SJ Valley:

Long wait for Fresno relief funds; Newsom sends in ‘strike team’

Fresno Bee

The number of lives lost to the coronavirus continues to rise across the central San Joaquin Valley. On Monday, health officials reported 10 people had died across Kings, Madera, Merced and Tulare counties. Kings, Madera and Merced counties reported two deaths each. Tulare County reported four deaths.

See also:

●      California withholds virus money from 2 defiant Central Valley cities AP

Fresno leaders pushed to reopen some businesses early. Then COVID-19 cases surged, records show

Fresno Bee

In late May, pressure from the local business community was building to reopen Fresno County’s economy after two months of shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Dozens of records obtained by The Fresno Bee through a Public Records Act request detail the often contentious discussions that took place behind the scenes leading up to the county’s reopening plan request to the state, and soon after.

See also:

●      All business essential, Fresno County city affirms. And Newsom’s a ‘bully,’ councilman adds Fresno Bee

Fresno county, city officials get list of challenges in first joint meeting since pandemic

Fresno Bee

With social and economic issues haunting local residents, elected officials from Fresno County the City of Fresno met Tuesday for a joint meeting to discuss each agency’s response to the most obvious concern these days: the coronavirus pandemic.

See also:

●      Valley’s coronavirus crisis is here. Data, past decisions provide key lessons for moving forwardFresno Bee

How Central CA counties will use $50 million federal grant money to fight COVID-19


More than $50 million in federal grant money will be dispersed through the eight counties in the Central Valley, including Tulare, Merced, Madera, Fresno, and Kings counties. Carrie Monteiro with the Tulare County health department says they’re averaging about 1,000 new COVID-19 cases a week, which is leading to a backlog in contact tracing.

See Also:

●      Central California is a COVID-19 hotspot, state investing $52M to help slow surge abc30

●      Central Valley to receive $52 million from state to fight coronavirus surge Bakersfield Californian

●      Coronavirus ravages California’s Central Valley, following a cruel and familiar path Los Angeles Times

●      Newsom wants to send $52 million to help Central Valley fight coronavirus surge Los Angeles Times

New ‘stay at home’ order possible for Tulare County

Visalia Times Delta

Tulare County now fails to meet every benchmark required to remove the county from the state’s coronavirus watch list.

Central Valley becomes California’s new coronavirus concern


California’s vast Central Valley survived the early months of the pandemic without the problems seen in coastal cities, and some local officials suggested that the rural region may be protected due to less density and fewer overseas travelers.

South SJ Valley:

Tulare County ‘knocking at door’ of new stay-at-home order with state’s highest infection rate

Visalia Times Delta

Tulare County reported 328 new COVID-19 cases and one more death on Tuesday, continuing a trend of elevated virus spread that is sure to keep schools closed and many sectors of the local economy on lockdown.


California sues Trump over census policy that could exclude 2 million residents from count

Fresno Bee

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced on Tuesday a new lawsuit against the Trump administration over a memorandum it released last week that aims to exclude undocumented immigrants from the 2020 Census formula used to calculate the number of congressional seats each state is given.

See Also:

●      California sues to stop Trump’s order to keep undocumented immigrants from census count San Francisco Chronicle

●      California sues Trump to ensure undocumented immigrants are counted Politico

California can’t keep up with demand for coronavirus tests. Will Congress help?

Fresno Bee

The next coronavirus relief bill from Congress is expected to have billions of dollars for COVID-19 testing, but competing plans from Republicans and Democrats are far apart on how much money to provide.

466,000 Californians infected, big outbreaks in Central Valley

Sacramento Bee

Though the rate of new infections has slowed slightly compared to that in late June and early July, certain parts of California are experiencing surges that have local and state officials on high alert.

See also:

●      California hits new record high in coronavirus death count TheHill

California Legislature to consider new tax on millionaires for schools, other services

Los Angeles Times

Democrats in the California Legislature have unveiled a new effort to significantly raise tax rates on taxable income of $1 million and higher, an effort they say would provide billions of dollars to improve K-12 schools and a variety of government services vital to the state’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

California could create its own $600 weekly unemployment benefit

Los Angeles Times

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to damage the California economy, state lawmakers are weighing whether to provide a supplemental unemployment benefit with the extra $600 per week provided by the federal government expiring this month.

See also:

●      California may offer $600 a week in extra jobless benefits if Congress doesn’t act SFChronicle

●      Could lose billons of $, thousands of jobs CAlmatters

●      Is $600 a Week in Extra Unemployment Aid Deterring People From Seeking Work? WSJ

If feds let jobless benefits drop, key California Dems have “backdoor borrowing” idea to extend them


California’s constitution requires a balanced budget, leaving the state few options to stimulate the economy or help people without jobs. Democrats, however, have found a loophole: “borrowing” federal dollars to continue benefits for the state’s unemployed. 


Second stimulus package officially unveiled. Here’s what to know

Fresno Bee

Senate Republicans introduced a second coronavirus relief package on Monday and their plan includes another round of stimulus checks, funding for schools and unemployment benefits.

See Also:

●      GOP tucks $8 billion for military weaponry in virus bill Bakersfield Californian

●      From $600 a week to $200: How Republicans want to cut coronavirus unemployment benefitsSacramento Bee

●      Republicans want to cut unemployment aid. Here’s how it would work San Francisco Chronicle

●      Hiltzik: GOP slips an attack on Social Security into its coronavirus relief bill Los Angeles Times

●      Coronavirus Special Report: GOP lawmakers tuck billions for defense industry into latest relief package Roll Call

●      Coronavirus Stimulus: How the Republican and Democratic Plans Compare WSJ

●      Editorial: Senate Republicans sat for months on coronavirus relief. Their new plan is too little and far too late Los Angeles Times

New Census Worry: A Rushed Count Could Mean a Botched One

New York Times

Stalled by the pandemic, the count is supposed to resume soon. But census experts are rattled by signs of a push from the White House to finish it early.

Trump confirms he did not raise bounties with Putin


President Trump this week confirmed that he has never confronted Russian President Vladimir Putin with intelligence reports that Russian units paid Taliban-linked militants to attack U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Coronavirus Trackers:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) in California


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

See also:

●      California Department of Public Health

●      Coronavirus (COVID-19) CDC

●      Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic – WHO

●      John Hopkins University & Medicine John Hopkins University

●      Tracking coronavirus in California Los Angeles Times

●      Coronavirus Tracker San Francisco 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 California by the numbers CalMatters

Elections 2020:

Watchdog group accuses Trump campaign of hiding $170 million in spending

Los Angeles Times

President Trump’s reelection effort hid nearly $170 million in spending from mandatory public disclosure by routing payments through companies tied to his former campaign manager, a government oversight group alleged Tuesday.

Biden lays out plan to address racial injustice, slams Trump

Los Angeles Times

Joe Biden unveiled plans for addressing systemic racism that has put Black people and other nonwhite communities at an economic disadvantage, promising “bold, practical investments” to rebuild as the country struggles with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and as American streets are rocked by protests over racial injustice.

See also:

●      ‘Do not hold grudges’ against Kamala Harris POLITICO

●      California will be on the ballot, too, if Kamala Harris or Karen Bass is Biden’s VP pick San Francisco Chronicle

●      Biden: I’ll have a running mate picked next week TheHill

Here’s how Trump’s opposition to mail-in voting hurts the GOP

Los Angeles Times

Republicans once dominated voting by mail in Florida. But that was before President Trump got involved. After months of hearing Trump denigrate mail-in balloting, Republicans in the critical battleground state now find themselves far behind Democrats in the perennial push to urge their voters to cast ballots remotely.

That email asking you to check your California voter information? It’s legit

San Francisco Chronicle

With the prospect of a virtually all-mail election looming this fall, more than 6 million Californians received an email from the secretary of state this week asking them to check online to make sure their voter registration information is up to date. 

Citizenship Backlog Could Prevent Hundreds of Thousands From Voting


Hundreds of thousands of other lawful immigrants applying to become American citizens, may be shut out on Election Day because of massive delays at USCIS, according to analysts. Those delays are expected to get a lot worse if the agency furloughs more than two-thirds of its staff later this summer, as officials plan to do unless Congress intervenes.

Amid pandemic, California ballot measures facing tough sell

Capitol Weekly

Qualifying a proposition for the ballot – much less convincing millions of voters to support it – is always a Herculean task. In the best of times, it requires a near limitless supply of money, talent and luck.

Poll: 77% of voters trust CDC over Trump administration on reporting coronavirus data


A majority of voters trust the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) more than the White House when it comes to accurately reporting coronavirus data, a new Hill-HarrisX poll finds.

See also:

●      Three Months In, Many Americans See Exaggeration, Conspiracy Theories and Partisanship in COVID-19 News PEW

Column: Is an army of secret Trump voters skewing the polls toward Biden?

Los Angeles Times

Trump and his staunch supporters are pinning their hopes on a silent majority that polls aren’t capturing.

Absentee and Early Voting


States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Every state’s election rules are different. And each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Many are still in the process of deciding how they will handle voting during the pandemic. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.

In Changing U.S. Electorate, Race and Education Remain Stark Dividing Lines


Gender gap in party identification remains widest in a quarter century.

Two-Thirds of Americans Expect Presidential Election Will Be Disrupted by COVID-19


Sizable majority favors option of voting by mail.

Opinion: Budowsky: Trump October surprise could devastate GOP


The odds are extremely high that the October surprise that will dominate and determine the results of the election will be a devastating new wave of COVID-19 infections, a catastrophic increase in COVID-19 deaths, and a disastrous increase in the jobless rate even more punishing and painful than what Americans endure today.


Churches strive to maintain personal connections amid pandemic

Bakersfield Californian

Members of Rosedale Bible Church, lead pastor Dan Krause included, have learned a lot during the coronavirus pandemic.

The devastating impact of COVID-19 on Latino families


Job and business losses, difficulties making housing and rent payments, and underemployment are among the economic stressors disproportionately affecting Latino Americans amid the pandemic. Gabriel Sanchez, Edward Vargas, and Adrián Pedroza detail how financially devastating COVID-19 has been for Latino families across America and propose targeted steps policymakers can take to help.

Many Black and Asian Americans Say They Have Experienced Discrimination Amid the COVID-19 Outbreak


About four-in-ten U.S. adults say it has become more common for people to express racist views toward Asians since the pandemic began.

See also:

●      California wants to know more about coronavirus and ethnicity after surge in Latino casesSacramento Bee

Republicans, Democrats Move Even Further Apart in Coronavirus Concerns


Growing share of Republicans say ‘the worst is behind us’.

Don’t fall for the viral video claiming hydroxychloroquine is a cure for COVID-19


By now, you’ve likely probably seen it or heard about it.

Millions of people, including the president, saw or shared a video where a doctor falsely claims there is a cure to the coronavirus. What’s at the center of this video? Hydroxychloroquine. 


How the agriculture industry is dealing with COVID-19


When businesses and restaurants closed, the pandemic put a strain on the supply chain causing store shelves to go empty. During all of this, the Ag industry kept working, making sure the food we eat is clean, safe, and plenty. But it didn’t mean the agriculture industry was immune to the difficulties of COVID-19.

Federal class action lawsuit filed against Hanford’s Central Valley Meat Co.


Meat processing plants were hit hard and early by COVID-19 in the United States. A San Diego law firm believes at least 200 employees at Central Valley Meat Company in Hanford have tested positive for the disease since an outbreak at the facility in April.

See also:

●      Local slaughterhouse faces class-action suit related to Covid-19 Business Journal

Experimental treatment could save California citrus

Porterville Recorder

Recent research has been hailed as a potential breakthrough when it comes to preventing citrus disease. It’s hoped this potential breakthrough will prevent this citrus disease that could possibly wipe Central Valley’s citrus industry from ever happening once and for all.

Mysterious seed packets, possibly from China, arriving in Southern California mailboxes

OC Register

Authorities said shipments may be part of a scam designed to boost business for companies.

Outdoor-only dining in triple-digit heat brings new challenges

Los Angeles Times

The pivot to outdoor-only dining has been particularly challenging in California’s hottest cities, where summer temperatures often hover in the triple-digits and restaurant operators have had to find creative solutions for beating the heat.

Primex Employees Call On State Attorney General To Investigate Company Practices Amid COVID Outbreak

As COVID-19 outbreaks in food production plants continue to make workers sick in the San Joaquin Valley, employees at one plant outside Bakersfield are calling on the State Attorney General to step in. Primex Farms in Wasco employs around 400 people. As of last Wednesday, 150 workers had tested positive for COVID-19 and over 70 had gone back to work, a company spokesman said. 

Arvin cannabis delivery service gets off to a hot start

Bakersfield Californian

As many businesses struggle to remain open under the state’s coronavirus restrictions, one new company in Arvin is making a killing.



Sexual Assault Survivors Want Less Police, More Trauma-Informed Professionals — Especially For Black Victims

Capital Public Radio

Two days before her 22nd birthday last fall, Dominique Green was at the Rocklin Police Department reporting a rape, still shaken from a violent incident with a former coworker the night before. “I just couldn’t even make words,” she recalled. “And I was like ‘I think I need to go to the police station.’ … I just felt very numb. It was hard for me to comprehend that that had even just happened. And I was definitely in a headspace of ‘Am I overreacting?’”

Public Safety:

Plan to reform Fresno Police Department could take longer than expected. Here’s why

Fresno Bee

It’s becoming clear to many members of Fresno’s police reform committee that they need more time than the 90 days allotted to go through the complex question of re-thinking the Fresno Police Department.

Valley correctional officer dies suddenly and unexpectedly from COVID-19


Memories made and smiles shared on trips remind Michael Marin just how special his father Mike is. “There are very few people who come like him. He was perfect,” says Michael. Those memories are all he has left of his dad.

Local officials brace for influx of inmate releases

Bakersfield Californian

While Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood maintains a shred of hope for the aftermath of the local influx of inmates being released by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, he said he understands the patterns of reoffenders. 

Majority of Public Favors Giving Civilians the Power to Sue Police Officers for Misconduct


Little public support for cuts in spending on local policing.

Majorities of Americans Say News Coverage of George Floyd Protests Has Been Good, Trump’s Public Message Wrong


Among black adults, 72% say coverage has been good or excellent and 85% say Trump’s message has been completely or mostly wrong.

Evidence-Based Reforms to Reduce California’s Overcrowded Prisons

Little Hoover Commission

California’s overcrowded prisons have become a breeding ground for the coronavirus. The state’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has reported a total of 7,703 confirmed COVID-19 cases in its 35 facilities since the start of the pandemic.


Evacuations as Caldwell Fire nears 50,000 acres

Mercury News

A lightning-sparked fire in far northern California has grown to more than 45,000 acres, the Modoc National Forest reported on Monday morning. The Caldwell Fire is part of the July Complex, a cluster of fires that ignited during a lightning storm on July 22. It is burning in Modoc and Siskiyou counties, in the area of Lava Beds National Monument and south of the town of Tulelake.

California fires prompt evacuations as they explode in size and threaten homes

Los Angeles Times

The Branch fire in San Luis Obispo County grew to nearly 3,000 acres; the Gold fire is burning almost 22,000 acres; the Hog fire in Lassen County is 72% contained.



California’s recession could get worse if Congress cuts unemployment aid, studies say

Fresno Bee

Unemployed California workers stand to lose about 43% of their weekly benefit — and the state’s already-reeling economy is likely to lose billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs — if the Republican plan to dramatically cut jobless payments becomes law, new studies reported Tuesday.

CSUB’s Small Business Development Center offers free webinar on business assistance programs

Bakersfield Californian

The president and CEO of Mid State Development Corp., Keith Brice, will guest-host a one-hour webinar today focused on business lending and the federal Paycheck Protection Program.

Coronavirus & Economy: American Economic Growth Outpaces Other Countries

National Review

Don’t ignore gross annual increases in per capita GDP.  ‘Economic growth,” as one reference puts it, “is an increase in the production of economic goods and services, compared from one period of time to another.” Even before the novel coronavirus cratered U.S. GDP, many worried about the future of economic growth in America.


San Joaquin Valley company ‘encouraging’ COVID-19 infected employees to work, lawyer says

Fresno Bee

Maria Pilar Ornelas felt she was suffocating when she asked her supervisor at Central Valley Meat Company in April to go home and test for the coronavirus, according to the lawsuit she filed last week.

See also:

●      San Joaquin Valley company ‘encouraging’ COVID-19 infected employees to work, lawyer saysCALmatters

Tachi Palace employees say they fear for their health

Hanford Sentinel

Tachi Palace Casino Resort reopened on May 28 after a nearly 10-week closure due to COVID-19. Now, some employees are alleging the casino is not taking their health seriously. According to several employees who spoke to Sentinel on the condition of anonymity, Tachi Palace Casino Resort is currently experiencing multiple cases of COVID-19.

GOP’s jobless benefit plan could mean delays, states warn

Bakersfield Californian

A Republican proposal to slash the $600 weekly benefit boost for those left jobless because of the coronavirus shutdown could result in weeks or even months of delayed payments in some states. Older computer systems that took weeks to set up for the initial federal unemployment enhancement would need to be reprogrammed again twice under the GOP plan.

California investigates Amazon’s treatment of workers during pandemic

The Guardian

Filings allege employees had to share equipment and were not allowed extra time to account for social distancing.

US cannabis employment to surpass computer programming in 2020

Marijuanan Business Daily

The number of people working in the U.S. cannabis industry is expected to jump to 240,000-295,000 by the end of 2020, slightly higher than the number of computer programmers employed in the United States.

Blacks, Latinos feel unwelcome in STEM careers. And that’s a big problem for our economy.

USA Today

This survey shows that making STEM education and careers as welcoming and accessible as possible for these populations should be a top priority for industry and policymakers.

Opinion: Ending bias in hiring takes much more than diversity training

Los Angeles Times

In the midst of a national reckoning on race, many companies have reaffirmed their commitment to racial equity and justice. But as business school professors, we’re used to hearing that large, prosperous companies are making efforts to diversify their workforces and yet have found it difficult to make progress. What is holding them back?



Some Fresno-area schools will try to reopen campuses to start the school year amid COVID-19

Fresno Bee

The largest public schools in the Fresno area have said they are not applying for waivers to open schools in August, but some private schools and smaller public schools will move forward with the option.

See also:

●      Some Countries Reopened Schools. What Did They Learn About Kids and Covid? WIRED

Local education Henson talks about reopening schools

Porterville Recorder

Mike Henson definitely has a great deal of perspective when it comes to schools grappling with the issue of whether or not to re-open for in-person learning. And when it comes to the “new normal,” Henson has been ahead of the curve as he’s been working on the kinds of issues schools are now dealing with for some time now.

How the Coronavirus Could Shrink the Number of Child Care Providers


Outside the daily routine at Baby Steps, the entire child care industry has taken a seismic jolt. Parents are grappling with the decision of whether to send their kids back to day care, and persistent low enrollment endangers the long-term health of the field.

How Teacher Reciprocity Can Help Schools Reopen

Ed Note

In response to continued interest in teacher license reciprocity, Education Commission of the States just updated the50-State Comparison that examines teacher license reciprocity across the states. This is the second post of a three-part series that explores state updates to teacher license reciprocity, how states might consider reciprocity during the pandemic and how states can support reciprocity for military spouses.

See also:

●      Teacher License Reciprocity: An Updated Look EdNote

Can Online Learning Be Better This Fall? These Educators Think So


Wayne Banks is a middle school math teacher and principal in residence for KIPP charter schools. These days, like many teachers around the country, the 29-year-old is working from his apartment in Brooklyn, New York. Banks has never been formally trained to teach online, but that hasn’t stopped him from trying to make his classes as engaging and challenging as possible. Now, with many of the nation’s largest school districts beginning the fall semester online-only, Banks is part of a national effort to improve the quality of distance learning.

California charter schools sue state for not funding additional students this year


Four growing charter school organizations are suing Gov. Gavin Newsom, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and the California Department of Education, charging that the state’s formula for funding K-12 schools during the pandemic will illegally deny payments for additional students in their schools.

Walters: Reading test bill should be shelved 


The pandemic-truncated 2020 legislative session, which resumed this week, has no shortage of business to conduct and just a month to do it — unless Gov. Gavin Newsom grants an extension.

EDITORIAL: Let’s face it: No way Stanislaus schools should open any time soon

Modesto Bee

Calls for schools to open in August with on-campus instruction throughout Stanislaus County are premature. There is no way around this truth: We are stricken with an ugly COVID-19 surge. Until things get far better, our children are safer at home than mingling with others in classrooms.

Higher Ed:

Med students make history in Clovis

Business Journal

California Health Sciences University College of Osteopathic Medicine (CHSU-COM) in Clovis has officially welcomed its first cohort of medical students. 

Quarantine, social bubbles will define on-campus experience for Bay Area college students

San Francisco Chronicle

For UC Berkeley students, move-in day this fall will lack much of the commotion of a regular year. There will be no meeting roommates, no families unloading cars and carrying boxes through the halls. This year’s cohort will have an entirely new set of challenges.

Who should choose UC campus chancellors? Faculty protest proposal to reduce their role

Los Angeles Times

In a highly unusual protest, University of California faculty leaders are collectively opposing a proposal to alter the search process for campus chancellors, which they believe will significantly reduce their role and potentially affect the quality of the UC system.

Republicans release their plan for coronavirus relief. Not included: help for DACA students.

Inside Higher Ed

The proposal for the next coronavirus relief package unveiled by Senate Republicans Monday would continue to exclude college students who are undocumented immigrants from receiving emergency aid during the pandemic, potentially setting up a politically charged debate with Democrats.

Video: New Realities for Higher Education


California’s public higher education leaders—UC’s Janet Napolitano, California Community Colleges’ Eloy Ortiz Oakley, and CSU’s Timothy White—discuss how their systems are addressing COVID-19 and other key challenges.

See also:

●      Back-to-College Plans Devolve Into a Jumble of Fast-Changing Rules WSJ



‘Man cannot win against nature’: Amid catastrophic floods, China’s dams come into question

Los Angeles Times

The white-haired farmer ran barefoot to his fields at 2 a.m. so he could harvest his crops before the floods came. He was one of tens of thousands of villagers whose homes and fields were about to be engulfed as a dam gushed open to prevent further damage downstream.

Fox: Polling the Environment that Surrounds Covid-19 and Social Justice

Fox & Hounds

The Public Policy Institute of California is out with its regular “Californians and the Environment” poll, but this time the environment measured were attitudes around the three headline grabbing issues of the last few months: effects of the coronavirus; social justice issues; and the economy. 


Nuclear fusion gets ready for its close-up

Los Angeles Times

For more than half a century, the prospect of nuclear fusion powering the modern electric grid has been long on dreams but short on reality. But Tuesday in a town in southern France, assembly will officially begin on a massive device designed to show nuclear fusion has applications that can eventually lead to the construction of commercial power plants — generating a virtually inexhaustible source of energy while emitting no greenhouse gases and leaving no long-lived nuclear waste behind.



Trump again pushes disproven drug hydroxychloroquine as COVID-19 treatment, amplifies Fauci criticism


The feud between conservatives and social media companies over alleged censorship escalated Tuesday after President Donald Trump and his son shared a fresh dose of misinformation about a disproven drug for treating the coronavirus in videos that were quickly taken down by Twitter and Facebook.

See also:

●      Trump Retweets Attacks Against Fauci on Coronavirus Policy WSJ

Which drugs are and aren’t working against COVID-19, according to California health secretary


In a Tuesday press conference on California’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly explained which drugs are helping COVID-19 patients and the state — and which ones aren’t.

Hospitalizations ease in Fresno, but COVID infections are up

Fresno Bee

The number of people hospitalized in Fresno County and neighboring counties for confirmed coronavirus infections has declined in recent days.

California’s hard-hit Central Valley to get federal health workers, more state help

Business Journal

Help is on the way for California’s Central Valley, where hospitals are inundated with coronavirus patients and local infection rates far outpace the statewide average.

Scientists get closer to blood test for Alzheimer’s disease

Business Journal

An experimental blood test was highly accurate at distinguishing people with Alzheimer’s disease from those without it in several studies, boosting hopes that there soon may be a simple way to help diagnose this most common form of dementia.

12 deaths, 1,893 new COVID-19 cases announced Tuesday in Kern

Bakersfield Californian

The Kern County Public Health Services Department reported 12 new COVID-19 deaths and 1,893 new coronavirus cases Tuesday morning. There have now been 16,706 total COVID-19 cases identified in Kern during the pandemic. The county has confirmed 135 virus-related deaths during that time.

See Also:

●      Number of active case goes down in county Porterville Recorder

●      Kern health officials confirm nearly 1,900 new cases Kern Sol News

Stanislaus County health officer on COVID-19: ‘It seems to be everywhere’

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County leaders were still unclear Tuesday about what assistance the state will provide for bringing a coronavirus surge under control. But they hope to use the state’s influence to do more testing and get test results faster.

‘Underserved and underfunded’: Inside California’s county hit hardest by COVID-19

Los Angeles Times

In all of their 47 years of marriage, Pedro and Patricia Luera had never been apart. Even now, in sickness, they were together. The couple had tested positive for COVID-19. They were feverish, weak and struggling to breathe. On July 2, a day after his wife had been admitted, 68-year-old Pedro Luera walked into the emergency room of El Centro Regional Medical Center, one of two hospitals serving Imperial County, a rural and impoverished region of about 180,000 people.

Scientists get closer to detecting Alzheimer’s disease with a blood test

Los Angeles Times

An experimental blood test was highly accurate at distinguishing people with Alzheimer’s disease from those without it in several studies, boosting hopes that there soon may be a simple way to help diagnose this most common form of dementia.

Most Californians Worry About Illness and Finances Due to Covid-19; Overwhelming Majority Believe Masks Should Be Worn in Public


Two-thirds of Californians Support Black Lives Matter Movement

See also:

●      Top health official: More mask wearing could cut California coronavirus spread up to 60 percent San Jose Mercury

●      UCSF Study: Masks Protect Wearer from Coronavirus KCBS Radio

●      Demand Surges For See-Through Face Masks As Pandemic Swells VPR

●      Bernie Sanders introduces bill to provide ‘Masks for all’ CNN

●      How Face Masks Work and Which Types Offer the Best Covid-19 Protection WSJ

Even with vaccine, ‘We will be dealing with this forever’: Virus experts


Former CDC director Thomas Frieden and infectious disease expert Michael Osterholm warn that Covid-19 will persist in the U.S. for a long time causing more suffering, death and economic damage.

Human Services:

Veterans hall to be testing site through end of August

Porterville Recorder

The Porterville Veterans Memorial Building will be open for one more month for COVID-19 testing. Originally the hall was supposed to be turned back over for veterans activities at the end of this month on July 31. But American Legion Post 20 Commander Don Dowling said the state asked id the building could be used for one more month for testing and he added the local veterans organization was happy to oblige.

Adventist Health Bakersfield, Chevron to donate PPE to Kern Medical Center

Bakersfield Californian

Through a donation from Chevron to Adventist Health Bakersfield, the two organizations are now able to support Kern Medical Center in the fight against COVID-19. Adventist Health will be donating personal protective equipment to Kern Medical beginning 10 a.m. Wednesday. Kern Medical Center is located at 1700 Mt. Vernon Ave.

See also:

●      Adventist Health hospitals get emergency field units, supplies from international organization KGET

Supervisors approve $12 million to bring nurses to Kern County amidst COVID-19 surge

Bakersfield Californian

The Kern County Board of Supervisors took action Tuesday to expand intensive care unit capacity, as local hospitals are pushed to the limit with a surge in COVID-19 patients. Although some beds remain available, hospitals have struggled to staff intensive care units, limiting the number of patients who can be treated. A state model accurately predicted Kern would reach its ICU capacity on Tuesday, Public Health Services Director Matt Constantine said during the supervisors meeting. 

California’s Hard-Hit Central Valley To Get Federal Health Workers, More State Help

Help is on the way for California’s Central Valley, where hospitals are inundated with coronavirus patients and local infection rates far outpace the statewide average. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a slate of new state and federal resources for eight Central Valley counties in a press briefing on Monday.

Pandemic Is Overwhelming U.S. Public Health Capacity In Many States. What Now?


When the coronavirus pandemic began, public health experts had high hopes for the United States. After all, the U.S. literally invented the tactics that have been used for decades to quash outbreaks around the world: Quickly identify everyone who gets infected. Track down everyone exposed to the virus. Test everyone. Isolate the sick and quarantine the exposed to stop the virus from spreading. The hope was that a wealthy country like the United States would deploy those tried-and-true measures to rapidly contain the virus.

Group puts up $5 million in prizes to expedite development of fast, easy coronavirus test

Sacramento Bee

Hoping to expand testing capabilities for COVID-19, scientists, business leaders and humanitarians said Tuesday that they are funding a $5 million competition to encourage an easy, low-cost diagnostic tool that will turn around results in minutes or, at the most, hours.

Humans are notoriously bad at assessing their risk. In a pandemic, that’s a problem

San Francisco Chronicle

In the first few weeks of the pandemic, the familiar options of everyday life narrowed to almost nothing. 

California will track coronavirus’ toll on LGBTQ community, after months of delay

San Francisco Chronicle

Months after advocates warned that the coronavirus pandemic could take a severe toll on LGBTQ people, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration is telling health professionals to track the disease’s impact on the community.

Court rules pet owners may sue producers of prescription pet foods over price inflation

San Francisco Chronicle

A federal appeals court reinstated a lawsuit Tuesday by dog and cat owners who accused sellers of “prescription pet food” of consumer fraud and price inflation by advertising their products as medically approved.

Audit: Don’t make it easier to force mentally ill Californians into treatment — just improve treatment


California’s half-century-old involuntary mental health treatment law isn’t broken, but much of the system meant to serve those with serious mental illness is, state auditors concluded in a much-anticipated report released today.


DACA: Trump administration won’t accept new applications for ‘Dreamer’ immigrants


The Trump administration will deny new applications for so-called “Dreamer” immigrants and cut renewals to one year from two years, despite reversals in court that kept alive the Obama-era program to shield young people from deportation.

See Also:

●      Trump administration won’t accept new DACA applications Los Angeles Times

●      Trump administration refuses to accept new applications for DACA program EdSource

●      Trump administration rejects new DACA applications as it works to end program Politico

●      Trump Administration to Halt New DACA Applicants, Review Canceling Program WSJ



Land Use:

California Indian tribe gets back Big Sur ancestral lands

Fresno Bee

A Native American tribe has reclaimed a small part of ancestral lands on California’s scenic Big Sur coast that were lost to Spanish colonial settlement nearly 250 years ago. The Esselen Tribe of Monterey County closed escrow on 1,199 acres (485 hectares) about 5 miles (8 kilometers) inland from the ocean that was part of a $4.5 million deal involving the state and the Western Rivers Conservancy, The Mercury News reported Monday.

Parks, trails close in Waterford after enforcement failed to deter crowds, mayor says

Modesto Bee

The city of Waterford closed two parks on Tuesday because of crowds, lack of social distancing and concerns of the coronavirus spreading. Mayor Michael Van Winkle said officials asked the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department to patrol the area and write citations, but enforcement didn’t deter unsafe activities at River Park and South Reinway Park and Trail Head.


There is $3.5 million to come in phase two of Fresno Retention Grant. Phase one left renters feeling frustrated.

Fresno Bee

Fresno families are unable to get through the lines to apply for the Retention Grant, leaving them desperate for help. City Councilmember Esmeralda Soria says the next round could look different.

See Also:

●      Have you tried to apply for Fresno’s Retention Housing Grant program? You are not alone Fresno Bee

CA coronavirus eviction ban aims to help homeowners, renters

Sacramento Bee

A month after the California Assembly rejected a measure to provide temporary mortgage relief for homeowners affected by COVID-19, two Democrats have teamed up to nestle elements of the bill into an eviction moratorium that’s already halfway through the Legislature.

Mortgage relief and help for renters promised in California Democrats’ coronavirus plan

Los Angeles Times

A month after the California Assembly rejected a measure to provide temporary mortgage relief for homeowners affected by COVID-19, two Democrats have teamed up to nestle elements of the bill into an eviction moratorium that’s already halfway through the Legislature.


PG&E offers tips for keeping air conditioning costs down this summer

Bakersfield Californian

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing customers to stay indoors more than normal during one of the hottest months of the year, which could drive up energy costs. During the summer, as much as half of residential energy usage goes to cooling the home.

Opinion: Who Will Fund $24 Trillion in New Government Debt? 

National Review

The federal government’s expensive response to the coronavirus pandemic makes an already-bleak long-term fiscal outlook even bleaker.


Hyperloop gets regulatory clarity

Business Journal

The U.S. Department of Transportation on Thursday provided guidance that Virgin Group sees as key to advancing its Hyperloop project.

Commentary: Local transportation agencies are tracking e-bikes and e-scooters: They aren’t Big Brother


Los Angeles and other California cities are requiring rented mobility devices – e-bikes and e-scooters – to share real-time location data with government agencies.


California water park shuts down after permit threat


On Monday 23ABC told you about a water park in Northern California that stayed open during the pandemic despite orders to shut down. It is now officially closed. WaterWorks Park in Redding remained open during the pandemic with the park’s owner saying it was meeting safety guidelines.


Big Fresno Fair reinvents itself amid pandemic. Here’s how things will be different

Fresno Bee

Earlier this month, the Big Fresno Fair announced it would be pulling its annual concerts series for 2020. At the time, the fair said it could not get needed approval from the Fresno County Department of Public Health for use of the Paul Paul Theater due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it was working with health officials on modifications that would allow the fair to continue to operate at some capacity.

See Also:

●      Fresno Fair cancels in-person events, will hold virtual and drive-thru fair amid Fresno Co. COVID-19 spike abc30

Regal Cinemas announces opening date with COVID-19 safety measures in movie theaters

Modesto Bee

Regal Cinemas says it will reopen its movie theaters in August after an extended closure during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company announced Monday it is reopening on Friday, Aug. 21. Its movie theaters will look and feel different with new health measures intended to prevent spread of the coronavirus.

Episode 1: Bakersfield Storytellers Take The Stage


For as long as we’ve had the ability to speak, humans have been telling stories. Today, story telling pervades all forms of media — books, music, film, advertising, video games and more. And yet, nothing is quite as engaging as a live human sharing their story. In December 2019, the Beale Memorial Library in Bakersfield, in association with Bakersfield Toastmasters Clubs and Valley Public Radio, presented an evening of true stories told before a live audience. Join us on Thursday, July 30, 2020, at 8pm for a special broadcast of this Storyteller’s Showcase, exclusively on Valley Public Radio.