June 16, 2020



North SJ Valley:

Coronavirus update, June 15: Huge spike in Stanislaus County cases, hospitalizations

Modesto Bee

The number of Stanislaus County residents who have died of the virus remained at 34 on Sunday, according to its Health Services Agency. But positive tests spiked to 1,212, up from 1,100 on Saturday. Another 18,096 residents have tested negative. The positivity rate was 6.3%, up from 5.9 % on Saturday.

Stanislaus Court apologizes for Tweet mocking Confederate protesters, endorsing Trump

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County Superior Court is apologizing for a post on its Twitter account mocking protesters tearing down a Confederate statue — including one who was critically injured — while endorsing President Donald Trump’s re-election.

Central SJ Valley:

Weekend case increases; Back to normal at Fresno bars, gyms?

Fresno Bee

The number of reported new coronavirus cases in the central San Joaquin Valley remained steady over the weekend, according to updates that came in from Fresno and Kings counties.

George Floyd, Black Lives and other murals to be painted in Fresno

Fresno Bee

Muralists are painting a Black Lives Matter mural in downtown Fresno. Other murals, including George Floyd, will continue for the next two weeks.

‘I’m pissed.’ Fresno staff defy council direction, don’t apply for firefighter grant
Fresno Bee

Some of Fresno’s top administrators decided not to apply for a grant that could have funded nine firefighter positions over five years — even though the City Council directed them to do otherwise.

Can Fresno’s police force be re-imagined? Council & Chief discuss defunding cops

Fresno Bee

Dozens of Fresno residents spoke Monday during a city council budget hearing to call for a re-imagining of the city’s police force, saying an armed officer doesn’t need to respond to every 911 call.

Coronavirus cases climbing. Fresno Co now tops region in number of confirmed infections

Fresno Bee

Fresno County added almost 160 confirmed new coronavirus infections since Saturday afternoon, and three more deaths were attributed to the virus, as the number of cases and deaths continue to grow.

South SJ Valley:

Kern Co libraries in crisis, but county leaders working toward solutions

Bakersfield Californian

It’s been a difficult year for Kern County’s library system, a sprawling collection of 24 branches and two bookmobiles that stretches from Taft in the west to Ridgecrest in the east, Delano in the north to Arvin in the south.

Calif AG calls out Bakersfield Police, Kern Sheriff for troubling tactics

On Monday, while announcing reforms to reduce police violence, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra specifically called out the Bakersfield Police Department and Kern County Sheriff’s Office for patterns of troubling behavior.


A ‘no-cuts budget’: How Calif Democrats are trying to preserve programs despite deficit

Fresno Bee

Last week, powerful California lawmakers in the Capitol wore masks with a message: “Invest. Don’t cut.” The masks underscored their preferences for how they want to navigate the unprecedented situation brought on by the coronavirus outbreak, which has forced the Legislature to implement new safety protocols and rethink the budget.

See Also:

●     California governor agrees to nix cuts for seniors, others Fresno Bee

●     Calif lawmakers poised to send Gov. Newsom a budget that will ensure they get paid Fresno Bee

●     No California budget deal yet as Newsom, lawmakers approach big deadlines LA Times

●     California Legislature OK’s budget, but changes coming Associated Press

Coronavirus California: Updates on state’s response to COVID-19


California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom will hold daily briefings on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

See also:

·       ‘My father has a factory.’ How hucksters flooded Gov. Newsom’s coronavirus marketplaceSacramento Bee

How to avoid a second wave as California coronavirus-related deaths top 5,000

LA Times

California hit another grim milestone in its battle with coronavirus, with the death toll topping 5,000 people over the weekend. Coronavirus cases also continue to rise, though there is debate whether that is the result of more testing — and identifying mildly ill or asymptomatic people infected with the virus — or due in part to the reopening of the economy.

See Also:

●     Calif bars, zoos and more reopen as state passes 5,000 dead Sacramento Bee

●     California’s COVID-19 numbers are stable, Gavin Newsom says – but state is ‘watching’ some counties Sacramento Bee

●     Newsom defends California reopening rules even as coronavirus cases rise LA Times

●     California has firm handle on coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Gavin Newsom says SF Chronicle

●     Divided States of the Pandemic Reveal

●     Opinion:  The Party of Science (When They Feel Like It) National Review

●     Commentary: Churches, cinemas and the politics of COVID-19 CalMatters

Opinion: Hypocrisy check: Those Republicans fighting Newsom on vote-by-mail? That’s how they vote

Fresno Bee

Remember how the California Republican Party joined in a lawsuit seeking to stop Gov. Gavin Newsom from giving every Californian the option of voting by mail in the November general election?


House demands coronavirus loan info from Treasury, banks

Modesto Bee

A House subcommittee investigating billions of dollars in coronavirus aid is demanding that the Trump administration and some of the nation’s largest banks turn over detailed information about companies that applied for and received federal loans intended for small businesses.

See also:

·       Treasury withholding $679M in virus relief funds for tribes Modesto Bee

·       Conservatives urge Trump, McConnell to halt spending on coronavirus relief The Hill

Coronavirus won’t slow in US until 60% have had it, expert says. Where are we now?

Miami Herald

A University of Minnesota health expert says the United States may be a long way from seeing the end of the coronavirus pandemic, Fox News reports.  “What we have to understand is that about 5% of the U.S. population has been infected to date with this virus — some locations slightly higher,” said Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, according to the network.

See also:

·       Opinion:  The Media Said Trump Didn’t Have a COVID Testing Strategy. The Media Was Wrong.National Review

·       Opinion: The Data Are In: It’s Time for Major Reopening Wall Street Journal

Americans’ views on World Health Organization split along partisan lines as Trump calls for U.S. to withdraw

The World Health Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations, has historically served several public health functions, including fighting communicable and non-communicable diseases. It has played a high-profile role in addressing the global spread of the coronavirus, which it characterized as a pandemic in early March. 

Trump to Sign Executive Order on Policing

Wall Street Journal

President Trump will sign an executive order on Tuesday addressing police misconduct by setting incentives to get police forces to adopt best practices for the use of force and creating a tracking program for bad officers, officials said.

Supreme Court Removes Hurdle for $8 Billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Wall Street Journal

The Supreme Court removed a legal barrier to the construction of an $8 billion pipeline that would deliver natural gas from West Virginia to the East Coast, ruling the project could run under a major hiking trail.

Opinion:  Can the Constitution Reach Trump’s Corruption?

The New Yorker

In the more than two hundred and thirty years since the Constitution was ratified, no lawsuit had attempted to enforce its anti-corruption provisions—until the Presidency of Donald Trump.

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 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 California by the numbers CalMatters

Elections 2020:

Trump Writes Campaign Script With 3 Big Themes

Wall Street Journal

It’s pretty easy to summarize President Trump’s political position: His re-election bid is in serious trouble. He trails Democrat Joe Biden by 8.1 percentage points in the RealClearPolitics average of the latest national polls.

Biden’s lead has been similar to Clinton’s, but it has been more stable

Sabato’s Crystal Ball 

With less than five months left in the 2020 election campaign, former Vice President Joseph Biden continues to lead President Donald Trump in both national and swing state polling. In the past few weeks, Biden has widened his lead in the RealClearPolitics national poll average from less than six points to about eight points.

See Also:

●     Commentary: An analysis of Joe Biden’s tax proposals AEI

As Biden Decides on Running Mate, Kamala Harris Stresses Law-Enforcement Roles
Wall Street Journal

As a presidential candidate, Sen. Kamala Harris repeatedly tried to explain her record on criminal justice and told voters stories about her family’s history of activism in the civil-rights movement.

See also:

·       Commentary: Picking vice presidents AEI


Nonracist to antiracist: 7 rapid culture shifts since the killing of George Floyd

LA Times

Brandon Laushaul marched to the Martin Luther King Jr. monument in Compton in dress shoes, slacks and, despite the heat, a dress shirt and egg-colored sweater. It was Sunday, after all. More than that, formal attire seemed especially appropriate to Laushaul.

See also:

·       Why Rural America Is Joining the Movement for Black Lives PEW

·       Large partisan divide on news media’s performance and the President’s message, smaller divide on attention to events PEW

·       America’s Newsrooms Face a Reckoning on Race After Floyd Protests Wall Street Journal

Gallup: Pride in the US falls to new low

The Hill

A new survey from Gallup finds that Americans’ pride in the U.S. has hit the lowest point ever recorded amid the coronavirus pandemic and civil unrest over the police killing of George Floyd.

Americans at unhappiest level in almost 50 years, research finds

The Hill

Americans are at their unhappiest level in almost 50 years, according to new research, as the country continues to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. The National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago, using General Social Survey data, discovered that only 14 percent of American adults reported being very happy in 2020. 

Report: NOAA ‘sharpiegate’ statement ‘not based on science’ but political influence

The Hill

Leaders at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) violated the agency’s scientific integrity policy by issuing a statement in Sept contradicting the National Weather Service shortly after President Trump said Hurricane Dorian was headed toward Alabama.

See also:

·       NOAA leaders violated agency’s scientific integrity policy, Hurricane Dorian ‘Sharpiegate’ investigation finds Washington Post.

Commentary: Bridge the digital divide with action on creating access to broadband for all


The headlines underscore the massive challenges ahead of us: 1 in 5 California students lack computers and Wi-Fi.  Coronavirus exposes L.A.’s economic and racial digital divide. Depression-era jobless rates loom.


Farmers come together to feed those in need


Many have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Seeing the need, Central California farmers and local organizations came together to feed those in need. Since the beginning of the pandemic, over 400,000 meals and 1,000 volunteer hours have been given to help those in rural communities throughout Central California.

Valley Pure opens new dispensary in Lemoore


Valley Pure, the cannabis company that opened the Valley’s first recreational dispensary in Woodlake, opened a new location on Friday. Valley Pure Lemoore is located at the old train depot building on E Street.

In a pear orchard, reminders of Japanese Americans imprisoned at Manzanar

LA Times

The orchards planted in the 1920s around the old town of Manzanar have faced drought, flooding, wildfires, pests, marauding elk and trespassers armed with chain saws. Still, they survived, reminders of what happened here, site of the nation’s most famous internment camp.

Commentary: Remove barriers to accessing CalFresh, the state’s food assistance program


The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a spotlight on the shortcomings of many of the programs that help protect older adults in California, including our state’s food assistance program, CalFresh. As California builds momentum toward recovery, the time is now to ensure that, going forward, programs like CalFresh are effectively providing for our state’s most vulnerable residents.



Calif Justice Dept would investigate more police shootings under Democrat’s plan

Sacramento Bee

Amid national protests over police brutality and calls for changes to how officers do their jobs, a California Democrat wants the state Department of Justice to more often handle independent investigations into incidents of deadly force.

Report: Calif prison guard kept job after incident that severed girlfriend’s thumb

Sacramento Bee

A California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officer accused of assaulting his girlfriend, permanently disfiguring her, faced no discipline for his actions despite sufficient evidence of his guilt, according to a new report from the California Office of the Inspector General.

Report: Calif prosecutors routinely strike Black & Latino people from juries

LA Times

A UC Berkeley study released Monday found that prosecutors often routinely strike Black and Latino prospective jurors and that appellate courts have failed to rein in the practice.

Report: More black people than white die in police encounters involving tasers

The Hill

The news service analyzed 1,081 cases in which people died after police shocked them with a stun gun, the majority occurring after 2000, when the weapon came into widespread usage by police departments. The analysis found that the plurality of deaths — at least 32 percent — were African American, compared to at least 29 percent white.

Column: Defund the police? California is trying to hire more cannabis cops

LA Times

Now about that promise to address structural racism. It hasn’t even been two weeks since Gov. Gavin Newsom, shaken by a night of violent upheaval over the death of George Floyd, stood in front of a camera at a black church in Sacramento and told all of us Californians that government had a duty to fix what was broken.

Public Safety:

Obama-Era Policing Proposals Find Some Success, but Ambitious Ideas Are Slow-Moving

Wall Street Journal

After the 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., President Obama created a task force that offered 59 recommendations for better policing and building public trust.

The City That Disbanded Its Police

Wall Street Journal

Activists are demanding a radical reshaping of police departments across the country. Years before this movement, one city scrapped its police department and started from scratch. Camden, N.J.’s former police chief Scott Thomson explains how they rebuilt, and what happened.

Willie Brown: ‘Defund the police’ is bad policy, terrible politics

SF Chronicle

The call to “defund the police” as part of the anti-racism, anti-police-brutality movement is either one of the dumbest ideas of all time or the hands-down winner of the worst slogan ever.

Opinion: The Police Can Help Rebuild Lives

Wall Street Journal

In the wake of George Floyd’s killing, I have watched and spoken out, with gratitude that evil has been exposed and heartbreak at the damage that has been caused to innocent people as a result. I keep asking: How did we get here?

Commentary: The collateral consequences of state-sanctioned police violence for women


Erica Garner died of a heart attack on December 30, 2017 at the young age of 27. Her death came three years after police squeezed her father, Eric Garner, to death.

Police unions become target of labor activists who see them as blocking reform

LA Times

It was a far cry from “defund the police,” but the response was severe anyway. In 2019, Steve Fletcher, a first-term member of the Minneapolis City Council, decided to oppose a budget proposal to add more officers to the Police Department.

Commentary: Continued attacks on unions and campaign contributions


Police unions’ “power to raise and dispense large amounts of campaign cash has warped the electoral process and has slowed or blocked reasonable efforts to hold officers accountable for bad performance,” the LA Times declared recently in an editorial supporting prohibitions against candidates accepting contributions from such unions.

Supreme Court rejects several gun rights cases for next term

Bakersfield Californian

The Supreme Court on Monday passed up several challenges to federal and state gun control laws, over the dissent of two conservative justices. Gun rights advocates had hoped the court would expand the constitutional right to “keep and bear arms” beyond the home.

See Also:

●     Justice Thomas Chides the Court for Dodging Gun Rights, Qualified Immunity National Review

●     Editorial: New reports confirm what should be obvious: Smart gun laws save lives LA Times


Firefighters battling blaze that has burned 191 acres in Mariposa County, 95% contained

Fresno Bee

Firefighters are battling a fire that had burned 191 acres of vegetation in Mariposa County, according to Cal Fire’s Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit. Crews were dispatched to the Cornetts Fire, which is the area of Cornetts Road and Old Highway South, at 10:55 a.m. Saturday.

Pine Flat-area wildfire dies down. Investigators have a potential cause, but ask public’s help

Fresno Bee

Crews continued to work Monday toward full containment of the Hog Fire near Pine Flat Reservoir, while investigators said they had zeroed in on a potential cause. Officially, the blaze remains under investigation but there is suspicion it was caused by a vehicle, according to Sierra National Forest spokesperson Alex Olow.



Fresno bars & breweries open to customers after months of closures


Fresno bars and breweries are back open for business after months of closed doors. “It has been a big change and I’m excited,” says Steven Garcia. “I’ve been cooped up for too long. I’m glad to be outside again.”

See also:

·       Bars are packed and COVID-19 cases are spiking. Why Sacramento isn’t slowing reopening planSacramento Bee

·       The Return of Dine-In Restaurants: What Restaurateurs Must Know Before Reopening in California amid COVID-19 Littler

Hair Salons, Tattooists Get State Guidance Ahead Of June 19 Opening

Business Journal

For those that have had to delay a trip to the nail salon, or are waiting to finish a tattoo, the state is releasing guidance for certain industries to safely reopen following California’s stay-at-home orders.

See also:

·       Commentary: State should protect essential businesses from frivolous and predatory lawsuitsCalMatters

Rural Californians Balance Restarting Tourism Economy With Risk of Outbreak

Capital Public Radio

When you drive into Sierra County, a bright yellow sign blares in all caps, “VISITORS, KINDLY DISTANCE FROM OUR COMMUNITIES.”  A one-lane bridge crosses the North Yuba River in the town of Downieville, which is in the middle of the Tahoe National Forest. 

The Economic Toll of COVID-19 on Self-Employed Workers

Before the pandemic, more than 2.2 million Californians, accounting for 11.7% of total state employment, were self-employed. How are these workers doing in the current economic downturn? According to the Census Bureau’s weekly survey, self-employment in California fell by nearly a million between late April and mid May and then rebounded by about half in the last week of May.

Retail sales spiked 17.7% in May, after 2-month collapse, sending markets higher

Washington Post

Retail sales spiked 17.7 percent in May, rising sharply from rock-bottom levels, and sending stocks rallying with fresh hopes for a stronger-than-expected recovery from the pandemic-related slump.

Commentary: We’re experiencing ‘emergency inflation’ on some issues – if everything is a crisis, then nothing is


The coronavirus pandemic and the protests against police brutality are laying bare long-standing problems and inequities. We are in the midst of social crisis. It makes sense to think that if we can bring this same sense of urgency to other, more specific issues, people will be more likely to act to solve them. But crisis framing doesn’t always work that way. 


Supreme Court rules LGBT people protected from job discrimination under Title VII of Civil Rights Act


The Supreme Court ruled Monday that a landmark civil rights law protects LGBT people from discrimination in employment, a resounding victory for LGBT rights from a conservative court.

See Also:

●     Supreme Court Delivers Major Victory To LGBTQ Employees VPR

●     Landmark civil rights law extends to LGBTQ employees, Supreme Court rules LA Times

●     GOP Senate sits on broad gay rights bill as high court bans LGBTQ job bias SF Chronicle

●     U.S. Supreme Court rules job discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is illegal SF Chronicle

●     Gorsuch draws surprise, anger with LGBT decision The Hill

●     Supreme Court’s LGBT decision could shake up other laws and lawsuits Roll Call

●     Why Roberts, Gorsuch Voted With Liberals on LGBT Case RealClear Politics

●     OPINION: Another Win for the Kagan Court Wall Street Journal

Can Job Market Sustain Its Gains? Uncertainties Cloud Future

Business Journal

Layoffs are slowing, unemployment is declining and hiring is gradually rising, suggesting that a steady rebound may be afoot in the U.S. job market. Or is it?  So many uncertainties are overhanging the economy that no one knows whether hiring will expand steadily in the months ahead or merely plateau as employers recall only enough of their laid-off staffers to partially reopen for business.

Amazon may hire more than 3,000 people in Kern

Bakersfield Californian

A local college official says Amazon is looking to hire more than 3,000 people — three times the total required under a subsidy agreement worked out with Kern County officials — to work full- and part-time at a large distribution center the e-commerce giant expects to open this summer just north of Meadows Field Airport.

The next jobs report might be even more confusing

LA Times

If you thought the U.S. jobs report for May was confusing, June’s could be even worse. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which publishes the widely watched monthly figures on the world’s largest economy, is taking additional steps to solve data-collection issues that since March have resulted in an official unemployment rate that appears to understate the true scale of joblessness in America during the coronavirus outbreak.

Getting Skills Right

OECD iLibrary

Skills have the potential to transform lives and drive economies. However, in many countries, imbalances between the supply and demand for skills lead to significant skill mismatches and shortages, with as many as three in five workers in the OECD employed in jobs that do not make the best use of their skills.

Parents are ready to return to work, but where will their kids go?


The resurgence of California’s economy — the fifth largest in the world — could rest on one sector in particular that’s been shattered by the pandemic: child care. Steep revenue losses and costly new health and safety requirements are putting beleaguered child care programs out of existence in the high-cost state just as more parents return to the workplace. 



Local school districts preparing for significant deficits next fiscal year

Bakersfield Californian

As if preparing to reopen schools in a coronavirus world wasn’t difficult enough, local districts are facing proposed substantial deficits and cuts the next fiscal year.

How 132 Epidemiologists Are Deciding When to Send Their Children to School

New York Times

For many parents, the most pressing question as the nation emerges from pandemic lockdown is when they can send their children to school, camp or child care.

The Case for Home-Based Child Care

National Review

Small in-home centers care for fewer kids at a time, which means less opportunity for disease transmission — and more opportunity for small-business owners.

Another Fresno Unified employee under investigation for offensive remarks, district says

Fresno Bee

Another Fresno Unified School District employee is under fire this month for posting offensive comments on social media, the district announced late Monday. The comments were made on Twitter in 2017 and 2018 by a Design Science Middle College High School staffer, the news release said.

After George Floyd, Some School Districts Cut Ties With Police

Some school leaders want to replace the armed officers who patrol school hallways with nurses, counselors or unarmed guards — who, they say, can help keep students safe without reminding them of police officers who have killed George Floyd and other unarmed black people.

Higher Ed:

Central Valley colleges unite for new medical school. Will it fix our doctor shortage?

Fresno Bee

Aspiring doctors will soon be able to attend medical school at UC Merced, something state legislators and local health officials have fought for since the school opened 15 years ago.

University of California endorses affirmative action measure

Fresno Bee

The University of California’s governing board voted Monday to unanimously support a measure to restore affirmative action programs and repeal a controversial statewide ban that has been blamed for a decline in diversity in the prestigious university system.

See Also:

●     UC regents unanimously endorse restoring affirmative action LA Times

UCLA to reopen with mainly online classes because of the coronavirus, officials say

LA Times

The vast majority of classes at UCLA this fall will be virtual, with only a small percentage offered on campus, the university announced Monday. Officials announced the plan in a letter to the community as each university in the 10-campus UC system is likewise preparing to release its own reopening plans.

Porterville College to implement hybrid instructional model for fall 2020

Bakersfield Californian

Porterville College announced Monday it will implement a hybrid learning approach for the fall semester, where instruction and support services will be predominantly online with a few exceptions.

Safety first as Pacific prepares to start new academic year

Stockton Record

University of the Pacific announced on Thursday a schedule to reopen all three of the school’s campuses for the new academic year, with numerous social-distancing adjustments for students and faculty.

Cadet becomes first observant Sikh to graduate from West Point

The Hill

The United States Military Academy at West Point will graduate its first observant Sikh cadet on Saturday. Second Lt. Anmol Narang, a Georgia native, will become the first observant woman Sikh cadet to successfully graduate from the country’s military academy.



Exposure to Air Pollution & COVID-19 mortality in the United States: A nationwide cross-sectional study 

Harvard University

United States government scientists estimate that COVID-19 may kill tens of thousands of Americans. Many of the pre-existing conditions that increase the risk of death in those with COVID-19 are the same diseases that are affected by long-term exposure to air pollution. 

OPINION: Coronavirus and the Climate

Wall Street Journal

As Covid-19 continues to disrupt the world economic and political order, the global climate-change movement faces a choice: Learn the lessons of the pandemic or fail.

Proposed California law would fast-track environmentally sustainable transit

SF Chronicle

Transportation projects focused on public transit, bikes and pedestrians — but not cars — would get fast-tracked for construction under a bill Sen. Scott Wiener, D-SF, plans to announce on Monday.


Oil producer CRC gets more time to make debt payments

Bakersfield Californian

A large local oil producer has won a deadline extension from its creditors that allows it to avoid filing for bankruptcy protection after it was unable twice recently to make scheduled interest payments totaling tens of millions of dollars.



Kings Co adds 46 more coronavirus cases, prison total closes in on 1,000

Fresno Bee

Kings County added 46 more coronavirus cases to its total in a Sunday night update, including 10 from state prisons in the county. Cases in the general community rose from by 36 to a total of 806 since the pandemic began.

See Also:

●     2 facilities, in Fresno and Visalia, tied for most COVID-19 nursing home deaths in state Fresno Bee

●     100 new COVID-19 cases in Tulare County, as spread of disease continues Visalia Times Delta

●     New model predicts coronavirus will peak in Kern in February but ICU beds could run out soonerBakersfield Californian

●     Ten Thousand Cases And Counting: This Week’s Valley COVID-19 Roundup VPR

●     More than 100 new cases in one day. How will Stanislaus respond to COVID-19 surge? Modesto Bee

Who’s watching now? COVID-19 cases swell in nursing homes with poor track records


During multiple visits last year, state inspectors identified 85 violationsat the home, including failure to provide dental care to a resident with rotten teeth, allowing pressure sores to develop in another resident and serving whole hot dogs to a resident at risk of choking, according to one inspection report posted on Nursing Home Compare, Medicare’s consumer website.

FDA revokes coronavirus emergency authorization for Trump-touted hydroxychloroquine

Sacramento Bee

A drug touted by President Donald Trump as a coronavirus treatment has had its emergency use authorization revoked by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine “are unlikely to produce an antiviral effect” in coronavirus treatment, an FDA chief scientist wrote in a letter to the agency’s top official on Wednesday.

Guidance, Tips For Staying Safe In Public During COVID-19

Capital Public Radio
A summer road trip or two is on the mind of many who want to get away as many states lift their stay-at-home restrictions. But with social distancing guidelines still in place in many states, travelers will be forced to adjust, from researching up-to-date health information in places you may be visiting to stringent use of face masks and gloves.

See also:

·       The New Rules of Social Distancing: Health Experts Answer Your Questions Wall Street Journal

Nearly 160 coronavirus vaccines are in the works. Here’s a closer look at the science

LA Times

In the world of virology, the nomenclature of war comes easy. The human body is a citadel that relies on the immune system to defend it. A virus is an attacking army that does everything it can to overrun those defenses.

See Also:

●     First drug proves able to improve survival from COVID-19 AP News

●     Rare, super coronavirus antibodies likely to yield vaccine, say Stanford, UCSF experts SF Chronicle

Mutation in new coronavirus increases chance of infection: study


A specific mutation in the new coronavirus can significantly increase its ability to infect cells, according to a study by U.S. researchers. The research may explain why early outbreaks in some parts of the world did not end up overwhelming health systems as much as other outbreaks in New York and Italy, according to experts at Scripps Research.

55% Of U.S. Coronavirus Cases In CDC Analysis Are Black And Hispanic


An analysis from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of over a million coronavirus cases in the U.S. puts new numbers behind previous observations that the disease “disproportionately” affects racial and ethnic minority groups in the United States, as well as older people and those with underlying health conditions.

Coronavirus death rate is higher for those with chronic illnesses

Death rates are 12 times higher for coronavirus patients with chronic illnesses than for others who become infected, a new U.S. government report says.

Commentary: Half a million fewer children? The coming COVID baby bust


The COVID-19 episode will likely lead to a large, lasting baby bust. The pandemic has thrust the country into an economic recession. Economic reasoning and past evidence suggest that this will lead people to have fewer children. The decline in births could be on the order of 300,000 to 500,000 fewer births next year. 

Human Services:

Finance company donates thousands of masks to local nursing homes


Several local nursing homes are receiving surgical masks thanks to World Financial Group’s Fresno office. The company is partnering with the non-profit Nurse Angel Network to provide protective equipment through a fundraising effort.

Fresno Business Produces COVID-19 Test Kits For International Market

Business Journal

A company in Fresno is taking on Covid-19 by producing one of the most needed products in the fight — and their work is getting international demand. At the southernmost end of Fresno, Universal Meditech Inc. is rolling out coronavirus antibody testing kits with the approval of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. 

Opinion: At A Time Of Great Need, Public Health Lacks ‘Lobbying Muscle’


If there were ever a time for more public health funding, health experts say, it’s now. Yet California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state’s Democratic-controlled legislature are expected to reject a plea from local public health officials for an additional $150 million a year to battle the COVID-19 pandemic and protect against future public health threats.

‘Things have gotten ugly’ — pandemic pushback drives health directors to quit


Local public health officers haven’t been this important in a century. They’re also being second-guessed, harassed and threatened by residents angry about pandemic precautions.

As Businesses Reopen, Workplace Testing Is the ‘Wild West’

Testing employees for the coronavirus as they come into work will be an important step in safely getting Americans back on the job. But employers have been left to their own devices as they navigate the public health and legal minefield of creating testing plans for the workplace.

See also:

·       $25 billion coronavirus testing problem — no one wants to cover the cost Business Insider

·       Want a COVID-19 antibody test? Donate your blood to Red Cross to help amid shortagesSacramento Bee

Commentary: Calif should be a leader in telehealth services for low-income communities


The increased use of virtual care, or telehealth, has proven successful amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and its ongoing use offers long-term solutions as uncertainty remains over potentially multiple waves of COVID-19 and the timeline for a vaccine. 

OPINION: A Real Market in Medical Care? Singapore Shows the Way

Wall Street Journal

Does a real health-care market exist anywhere in the world? It certainly doesn’t in the U.S., where health-care providers don’t tell patients in advance about pricing, outcomes or alternatives.


Justices reject Trump bid to void California sanctuary law

Bakersfield Californian

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected the Trump administration’s bid to throw out a California immigrant-sanctuary law that limits local police cooperation with federal immigration authorities. The justices’ order leaves in place lower court rulings that upheld the law. Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas voted to hear the administration’s appeal.

See Also:

●     California’s ‘sanctuary’ cities rules stay in place after Supreme Court rejects Trump’s challengeModesto Bee

●     California ‘sanctuary’ rules stay in place after Supreme Court rejects Trump’s challenge LA Times

●     U.S. Supreme Court rejects Trump administration challenge to California sanctuary law SF Chronicle

●     Supreme Court Won’t Hear Case on California Sanctuary Law New York Times

●     California ‘sanctuary’ law won’t face Supreme Court review Politico

●     Editorial: California can remain a ‘sanctuary’ for immigrants LA Times

Commentary: Lessons learned in the journey from Prop. 187 to DACA to the Supreme Court


Three summers ago, my Stanford Law classmates and I were volunteering at an immigration detention center in rural Texas to help asylum seekers. While we were there, President Donald Trump, in a blink of a tweet, rescinded DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.


Land Use:

Campgrounds Reopen with Reduced Capacity at Several State Water Project Lakes: Group Campsites Remain Closed

California Department of Water Resources

Today, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced that campgrounds at Pyramid Lake in LA County, Silverwood Lake in San Bernardino County and Lake Perris in Riverside County have reopened. In order to follow Department of Public Health guidelines, the campgrounds will be available at half capacity to allow for physical distancing.

‘We’re loving our national parks to death,’ Senator warns

Roll Call

Sen. Angus King is one of several co-sponsors of a bipartisan package of bills that would provide permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and also addresses the National Parks Service’s maintenance logjam.


A right to housing & a $2 billion program: What’s in Calif Democrats’ homeless plan

Fresno Bee

Before the coronavirus sickened nearly 150,000 Californians and crashed the economy, Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers pledged to solve what was just months ago the state’s most pressing crisis: homelessness.

Calif’s overcrowded homes fuel spread of coronavirus among workers


Until the pandemic struck, every day for the last 10 years, Isidoro Flores Contreras stood at the edge of the Sand City Costco parking lot, just a few feet from a set of McDonald’s arches, selling $15 flower bouquets. 

COVID-19 Forces Tough Decisions in Housing Assistance

After distributing hundreds of millions of dollars in the past three months, states and cities don’t have much money left to help struggling renters, leaving officials with an uncomfortable question: Who gets prioritized for help? 


First deal on Calif state worker pay cuts: What correctional officers give up, get

Fresno Bee

California correctional officers would take one furlough day per month and defer raises for two years under a proposed agreement their union has negotiated with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration.

National Debt Has Increased $5.2 Trillion During Trump’s 3 Years as President


The national debt has increased by $5.2 trillion since President Donald Trump took office.


Traveling during the coronavirus pandemic? Here’s what you should pack, experts say

Fresno Bee

If you plan to take a road trip or flight during the coronavirus pandemic, health experts suggest putting certain items on your packing list. These items may help keep you from getting sick or navigate potential closures on your trip, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Bike Bakersfield announces new hours, services

Bakersfield Californian

Bike Bakersfield is now be open Monday through Wednesday and Friday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They’re able to take tune-ups and overhaul repairs, and can determine customer wait time upon arrival. To limit large groups forming, the Volunteer Earn-A-Bike program is still on hold until further notice, Bike Bakersfield said in a news release.

High-speed rail agency trumpets 4,000-job milestone during economic slowdown

Bakersfield Californian

Slumping employment levels during the coronavirus crisis has provided the California High-Speed Rail Authority an opportune moment to tout a new job-creation milestone in the Central Valley.

Airlines seek to block consumer lawsuits


Faced with an increasing number of lawsuits over their failure to provide prompt refunds for canceled flights during the coronavirus epidemic, some airlines are trying to protect themselves – and their cash – by adding new restrictions to their contracts of carriage.


San Luis Reservoir Algal Bloom Advisory Lowers to Caution Level: Public Urged to Avoid Direct Contact with Blue-Green Algae

California Department of Water Resources

Today, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) lowered a warning advisory that had been in effect since June 1 at San Luis Reservoir in Merced County to caution level. Water contact is now allowed, but DWR urges all recreational users to exercise caution and avoid direct contact with blue-green algae.

Commentary: How to Address Groundwater Planning Gaps


Groundwater sustainability planning for the San Joaquin Valley will have to resolve gaps in three key areas to ensure success.


Post-lockdown rec options grow with return of bowling, mini golf, more in Modesto area

Modesto Bee

As COVID-19 pandemic restrictions continue to be lifted, Stanislaus County is getting back to the business of having fun. Escape Modesto, McHenry Bowl and Funworks have reopened — the latter two only partially — and a few similar businesses are working to follow suit.

A Dip in the Public Pool This Summer? Local Leaders Weigh What’s Possible

Route Fifty

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf will allow public swimming pools to open this summer once counties reach certain benchmarks to decrease spread of the coronavirus.