POLICY & POLITICS
North SJ Valley:
As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in the state and in the county, health officiaLA are issuing new orders that mandate wearing face coverings when out in public.
Central SJ Valley:
The Fresno City Council on Thursday banned the use of the chokehold police commonly call a “carotid restraint,” which was deemed too dangerous by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The fallout from the crisis only intensified the existing food insecurity issue, making it even tougher for families to afford healthy and nutritious meals.
● Listen: Race and gender gaps in COVID-19 deaths Brookings
About 200 people came together in front of Fresno City Hall on Thursday morning for the Black Lives Matter Annual Proclamation and Street Art Event.
Cloth masks can help significantly reduce the spread of the coronavirus. That’s why Gov. Gavin Newsom was right on Thursday to order the mandatory wearing of masks throughout the state, superseding local authority.
South SJ Valley:
The Kern County Public Health Services Department announced 78 new confirmed COVID-19 cases Wednesday as well as an additional coronavirus-related fatality locally.
Californians must wear masks in all indoor public spaces under a mandate announced Thursday by Gov. Gavin Newsom designed to slow the spread of COVID-19.
● Californians Must Now Wear Masks Or Face Coverings In Public Capital Public Radio
● Surging covid-19 cases lead to new wave of mask requirements Washington Post
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law Thursday requiring elections officials to mail a ballot to every registered, active voter in the state ahead of the November election.
Two Senate Democrats have introduced a measure that would require the state Department of Public Health to stockpile a 90-day supply of PPE in preparation for the next pandemic or health crisis. They estimate it would cost about $250 million.
Californians might get the right to bet legally on sports as early as 2021, joining nearly two dozen other states. Californians already wager billions of dollars illegally on sports. Here are five things to know about legal sports betting here.
Capital Public Radio
In a major rebuke to President Trump, the U.S. Supreme Court has blocked the administration’s plan to dismantle an Obama-era program that has protected more than 600,000 so-called DREAMers from deportation.
● CSUB president praises Supreme Court’s decision on DACA Bakersfield Californian
● California ‘Dreamers’ Celebrate U.S. Supreme Court’s DACA Ruling Capital Public Radio
● Trump says he will renew effort to end DACA protections PBS newsHour
The self-justification for the entire exercise comes after some 483 pages, when Bolton tries to explain why he refused to testify during Trump’s impeachment in the House — only to lay it all out in this book, for which he was given a $2-million advance.
COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus.
● John Hopkins University & Medicine John Hopkins University
● Tracking coronavirus in California LA Times
● Coronavirus Tracker San Francisco Chronicle
● Coronavirus in the U.S.: Latest Map and Case Count New York Times
● Coronavirus Daily NPR
● Coronavirus tracked: the latest figures as the pandemic spreads Financial Times
● Coronavirus in California by the numbers CalMatters
Facebook has removed campaign ads by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence that featured an upside-down red triangle, a symbol once used by Nazis to designate political prisoners, communists and others in concentration camps.
Public Policy Institute of California
There is remarkable consensus when it comes to Trump’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak. Majorities across the state’s major regional, racial/ethnic, age, education, and income groups say they disapprove. Partisans are deeply divided (81% Republicans approve, 89% Democrats disapprove), while 54% of independents disapprove.
The president has tapped Rudy Giuliani to press the Commission on Presidential Debates for major change.
President Donald Trump called mail-in voting the biggest threat to his reelection and said his campaign’s multimillion-dollar legal effort to block expanded ballot access could determine whether he wins a second term.
Joe Biden has launched his first major advertising campaign of the general election race, spending $15 million in key states where President Trump is running spots attacking the former vice president.
Klobuchar, a Democrat from Minnesota and a former presidential candidate, effectively withdrew from consideration as Biden’s running mate. She told MSNBC that she spoke to Biden on Wednesday, telling him, “This is a historic moment and America must seize on this moment.”
A network of deep-pocketed progressive donors is launching a $59 million effort to encourage people of color to vote by mail in November, a step many Democrats view as crucial to turning out the party’s base during the coronavirus pandemic.
A Facebook post that gained traction ahead of California’s presidential primary in March has new life, but spouts some of the same misleading information. The post — reposted to Facebook June 6 — claims California’s registered independents must re-register with the GOP “to vote republican come 2020.” It also alleges, without evidence, that the state came up with this requirement “hoping no one figures it out in time.”
Friday’s celebrations will be marked from coast to coast with marches and demonstrations of civil disobedience, along with expressions of black joy in spite of an especially traumatic time for the nation.
● Opinion: The Gaps Between White and Black America, in Charts New York Times
● Opinion: Why Juneteenth matters New York Times
America is in the midst of its worst civil-military crisis for a generation. President Trump’s call to use military force to quell protests caused alarm up and down the chain of command. What is the place of the military in political life? We speak to Shashank Joshi, The Economist’s defense editor, and Republican Congressman Mike Gallagher, an Iraq veteran.
Secession was a traitorous act that threatened to destroy the American nation, and the South’s leaders don’t deserve to be given a place of honor.
Since the executive order, COVID-19 cases tied to meatpacking plants have skyrocketed from fewer than 5,000 to more than 25,000 as of last week, according to tracking from the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.
California AG Today
How is California agriculture adapting to the new reality of COVID-19 and social distancing?
Small farms that lost business from restaurants and other food-service clients have been looking for alternative customers or business models.
China plans to accelerate purchases of American farm goods to comply with the phase one trade deal with the U.S. following talks in Hawaii this week.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE/FIRE/PUBLIC SAFETY
Nearly three weeks after video footage emerged showing a Jeep appearing to hit two protesters at a Black Lives Matter protest in Visalia, the case has been officially turned over to the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office for review.
It would be perfectly fine if the people who showed up to counter Wednesday’s Black Lives Matter protest in Oakdale had something valuable to say. But that clearly wasn’t the intent of counterprotesters, some of whom just wanted to pick a fight.
Visalia Times Delta
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will continue the early release of some inmates to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Beginning July 1, the agency will implement a community supervision program.
The state wants the cops to investigate unlicensed and criminal cannabis activity and conduct activities that require a peace officer’s authority, according to a budget request document submitted by the bureau.
Kern County has settled a class-action lawsuit filed by two disability rights groups.
San Francisco Chronicle
While three of California’s biggest local police unions are taking out full-page newspaper ads promising to back reforms, other law enforcement organizations have pumped more than $2 million into a November ballot measure that would partially overturn laws that some call modeLA for reforming the criminal justice system.
GOP divisions are emerging on whether to change qualified immunity for police as part of a reform bill.
Defunding the police has been a critical part of the national conversation around police misconduct toward Black Americans, but there are many different interpretations of the phrase. Rashawn Ray explains what “defund the police” means in terms of fiscal responsibility, arguments in its favor, and what it would look like to make it possible.
● What does ‘Defund the Police’ really mean? World Economic Forum
Something is weirdly absent from the general discussion about police violence in America: the weapon most commonly used to inflict it.
PG&E Corp. received its criminal sentence Thursday for igniting the deadliest wildfire in California history: a $4 million fine that the judge and prosecutor acknowledged may have been too small for the crimes committed.
Capital Public Radio
California should take a lesson from what’s happening with wildfires in Arizona right now, says UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain. More than 220,000 acres have burned in active wildfires across that state.
Eagle Mountain Casino, located in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Tulare County east of Porterville, closed its doors at 4 a.m. on March 18, after having already canceled a couple of entertainment performances that were planned for March and April.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a mighty toll on the small businesses of the Truckee and North Lake Tahoe region of the Sierra Nevada. A new and innovative nonprofit lending program seeks to help make them whole again.
AMC Chief Executive Adam Aron said the company has worked for months on its four-phase plan for limited capacity and strict sanitation protocols that he hopes will make customers feel safe returning to theaters for the first time since mid-March.
The surprising jobs rebound in May, which fueled hopes for a fast recovery from the pandemic recession, was almost certainly due in large part to tens of billions of dollars of forgivable government loans to small businesses.
But a jaw-dropping 5.43 million California workers have filed first-time claims for unemployment benefits, a milestone reached almost exactly three months after state and local government officiaLA began to impose business shutdowns and stay-at-home orders to combat the deadly bug.
● 6.2 Million Californians Claim UI and PUA in 13 Weeks California Center for Jobs & the Economy
● U.S. Unemployment Claims Edge Lower but Remain Historically High Wall Street Journal
Staggered times for parents to drop off children. No field trips. Lunches eaten in classrooms where students will remain throughout the day instead of moving between periods.
Laton Middle School breaks ground for a long-sought multi-purpose building and administrative offices in a ceremony Thursday, June 18, 2020 in Laton. The project should be complete by fall 2021.
Kern Sol News
The Kern High School District on Wednesday released guidelines for graduation ceremonies, which are set to take place the week of June 22, to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Visalia Times Delta
But even if students are back in the classroom in the fall, distance learning likely isn’t going away, as schools explore hybrid models of in-person and remote learning to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
COVID-19 has introduced both new costs and threatened funding for California’s schools, which are facing unprecedented questions about classroom safety as they plan for fall reopening.
A coalition of five Fresno Unified School District teachers is asking the district to develop an ethnic studies program for the K-12 curriculum. Right now ethnic studies classes are considered elective and are currently only offered in high school. Lauren Beal, an ethnic studies teacher at Edison High School, says the class should be a requirement at every grade level.
As the Black Lives Matter movement gains momentum nationwide, some communities in California are moving to rename local schools that some say glorify a racist and painful past.
Fresno City College can begin issuing cash grants to undocumented and other previously ineligible students left out of the CARES funding that went out in May, according to the California Community College system.
An online petition to remove “extra fees” being charged to California State University, Stanislaus, students for the fall semester, during which they’ll study remotely, was well on its way Thursday to its goal of 5,000 signatures.
California State University, Fresno recently received $32 million of the more than $525 million given to the California State University system via the CARES Act. Of that $32 million, $16 million was provided to students as emergency grants. The money is meant to help students pay for things like food, housing, childcare, healthcare and course materiaLA, amid the economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus.
At the prompting of Bee staff writer Robert Kuwada, Fresno State admitted it is investigating if a stripper performed at a party held for recruits to the Bulldog men’s wrestling program.
California State University, Bakersfield was recently selected to receive funding under the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) and the High School Equivalency Program (HEP). For the next five years, CAMP will be given a grant in the amount of $424,950.
California State University students may soon have a new course requirement for graduation — a 3-unit class in ethnic studies, aimed at broadening students’ awareness of nonwhite racial and ethnic groups. But whether the requirement is one described by a state law or the leadership of the university is up in the air.
In the wake of the heartless killing of George Floyd, and as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to exact a devastating and disproportionate toll on communities of color, never before have I sensed a feeling of helplessness so profound, held by so many.
What some are calling the most important conservation bill passed in 50 years made its way out of the U.S. Senate and will soon be before the House of Representatives.
Proposal would expand operations by blasting and drilling into hard rock.
A utility-scale solar developer from LA that’s already spent more than $1 billion building projects in eastern Kern has signed its first agreement with coastal groups looking to leverage available land in the county’s high desert to achieve ambitious renewable energy goals.
Fresno County reported its largest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases on Thursday, adding 158 new coronavirus cases and one more death.
● COVID-19: 8 more deaths, Tulare Co infections near 3,000 cases Visalia Times Delta
But unlike testing, which has recently increased tenfold across much of the U.S., “hospitalizations can help give officials a real-time visual of how many people are severely ill with COVID-19,” the Miami Herald reported.
t’s been months now since U.S. President Donald Trump predicted his miracle. That was back in February, during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the president announced that come April, when the weather got warmer, the coronavirus would “miraculously [go] away.”
Famously Albert Einstein developed thought experiments to decipher mysteries of nature. We are trying to decipher our perilous lives in times of COVID-19. It’s time for a thought experiment. Societal consequences, a jump in mental illnesses, a ruined school year, delayed careers, exacerbation of preexisting political divide, erosion of trust in science and building quarantine fatigue compelled, and to some degree, hastened the reopening of society.
The American Red Cross has begun COVID-19 antibody testing of all blood, platelet and plasma donations, providing donors insight into whether they have been exposed to the virus and an opportunity to help people suffering from it.
As the race intensifies for a vaccine against the new coronavirus, rich countries are rushing to place advance orders for the inevitably limited supply to guarantee their citizens get immunized first — leaving significant questions about whether developing countries will get any vaccines in time to save lives before the pandemic ends.
An NPR survey of state health departments shows that the national coronavirus contact tracing workforce has tripled in the past six weeks, from 11,142 workers to 37,110. Yet given their current case counts, only seven states and the District of Columbia are staffed to the level that public health researchers say is needed to contain outbreaks.
In the wake of the massive turnout at anti-racism demonstrations around the country, public health officials are encouraging protesters to get tested for the coronavirus. As purely precautionary testing has become more common, some insurance companies are arguing they can’t just pay for everyone who’s concerned about their risk to get tested. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act passed by Congress requires health plans to fully pay for testing deemed “medically necessary.” But as testing expands enough to allow people without symptoms to be tested, a gray area is beginning to appear.
In 13 states, public health officials have resigned, retired or been fired.
New York Times
The shift, quietly disclosed on a government website, highlights how the Trump administration is favoring development of vaccines over treatments for the sickest patients.
After the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision allowing the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals Program to remain in place, calling the Trump administration’s rescinding of the program “arbitrary and capricious”, it’s been a cause for celebration—if a cautious one— by advocates and the “Dreamers”. Since the program was announced in 2012, DACA has been a lifeline for immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children.
It was a technical and splintered ruling, but — at least for now — a joyous one. The Supreme Court on Thursday preserved the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, better known as DACA. The more than 700,000 “dreamers” whom the program protects — men and women brought to the United States as children, who have done nothing wrong, who grew up as Americans and contribute to the only country they know as home — are safe from immediate deportation. This is good news for them, and good news for the country.
Twenty-three campgrounds and a number of picnic sites and boat launches reopened in Sierra National Forest on Thursday, including popular recreation areas around Bass Lake and Huntington Lake above Fresno.
The Noriega Hotel stands as a pillar of Bakersfield’s culinary scene. The Elizalde family has owned and operated the Basque restaurant since 1931. But soon, that longstanding ownership will be changing hands.
Looking back at the two months during shelter in place, the demand Realtor Don Scordino saw from homebuyers surprised him.
Data show that the state’s housing crisis is worse for black communities, with decades of systemic racism having led to significant barriers to building and retaining wealth.
CalFresh food assistance is a key support for people confronting homelessness, and efforts to expand access to CalFresh are critical.
CalPERS has suspended enrollment in its long term care insurance plans and is preparing for a rate hike as the coronavirus takes a toll on the plans.
California Budget and Policy Center
With Governor Newsom and the Legislature still negotiating the 2020-21 state budget, it’s unclear to what extent cuts will disproportionately fall upon Black, Latinx, undocumented, and low-income Californians — even as they suffer the greatest job and income losses and face the highest health risks under COVID-19.
Although the federal government’s fiscal imbalance must be addressed, lawmakers should avoid raising taxes while the economy is still weak, as businesses and individuals may require additional economic relief.
A state order requiring people to wear masks in public came as Regional Transit officials in Sacramento were planning to roll out their own mandate for passengers, following in the footsteps of rideshare companies and passenger railroad services.
Amtrak’s Coast Starlight and California Zephyr, favorites for generations of railfans and others traveling up and down the West Coast and across the country, will be cut to three days a week from its current daily schedule starting Oct. 1.
San Francisco Gate
Passenger tells seatmate to “Go back to China” in confrontation over masks
A snapshot of global transportation data during six months of coronavirus reveaLA diverging paths for cities.
The goal of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, or SGMA, is to better regulate the state’s water reserves. But as the law rolls out, a new study predicts tens of thousands of people could lose their drinking water. Under current SGMA proposals, known as groundwater sustainability plans, the study estimates that as many as 12,000 domestic welLA could run dry by the year 2040.
Despite this year’s Stanislaus County Fair being canceled because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, you’ll still be able to get your fair food fix down in Turlock this summer.