June 23, 2020



North SJ Valley:

New cases, hospitalizations on rise in Stanislaus County

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County deaths to the coronavirus remained at 35 on Monday morning. Positive tests are at 1599, according to the county Health Services Agency. Another 22,111 residents have tested negative.

Stanislaus won’t have its own face mask rules. Will the state order flatten the curve?

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County won’t have its own face-covering order to combat the local spread of coronavirus disease and a sharp rise in hospitalizations. That’s because Gov. Gavin Newsom’s face mask requirement went into effect statewide on Thursday. County residents, with a few exceptions, are expected to wear face masks when they leave home.

See also:

●      Stanislaus Co reports two more coronavirus deaths. Total stands at 37 Modesto Bee

Central SJ Valley:

Tests reveal more COVID-19 in Fresno region. Does it explain more hospitalizations, deaths?

Fresno Bee

The number of lives lost in June to COVID-19 in Fresno and nearby counties threatens to surpass May’s 81 deaths.

See also:

●     Tulare Co adds 131 cases; zero bail extended in Fresno Co Fresno Bee

●      Zero dollar bail extended at Fresno Co Jail for 90 days amid COVID-19 outbreak at North Jail  ABC30 Fresno

$15 million grant awarded to Fresno’s DRIVE Initiative

Fresno Bee

A 10-year community-driven initiative to sustain and support an inclusive economy in the Fresno region was given a boost on Monday, courtesy of a $15 million grant from the James Irvine Foundation.

Fresno may spend $30M in its poorest neighborhoods. Who’s behind the plan may surprise some

Fresno Bee

The council member said everyone can recognize the city’s “southwest Fresno residents too often have been ignored at City Hall.”

Fresno City Announces Members Of Police Reform Commission

The City of Fresno announced the 37 members of the new Police Reform Commission Friday. The city council, mayor, and mayor-elect all committed to taking the recommendations seriously. 

See also:

●      Policing overhaul hinges on compromise Roll Call

South SJ Valley:

City Attorney: Ward 1 special election can take place

Bakersfield Californian

A special election to replace outgoing Bakersfield City Councilman Willie Rivera can take place as planned, the City Attorney has determined. Rivera, who was most recently elected in 2018, submitted his letter of resignation to city officials in May, saying he intended to step down after an election to choose his successor had been held. He hoped the city could merge a special election for the Ward 1 seat with the general election scheduled for November in order to reduce costs.

COVID-19; County OK for now, still on watch list

Porterville Recorder

Confusion persists on what it means to be on the state watch list when it comes to meeting California’s COVID-19 recovery standards. When it comes to Tulare County what it means is the county can still move full steam ahead with its economic recovery.

Arvin, Lamont, southeast Bakersfield bear the brunt of COVID-19 cases

Bakersfield Californian

Arvin and Lamont, two small, poor and predominantly Hispanic communities in Kern County, have seen some of the highest rates of COVID-19 countywide.


California governor, lawmakers agree how to close deficit

Fresno Bee

California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Democratic state Legislature have agreed to a state spending plan that avoids billions of dollars in permanent cuts to public schools and health care programs but imposes pay cuts to state workers and other programs to cover an estimated $54.3 billion budget deficit brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

See Also:

●     Newsom and top Democrats have a Calif budget deal. Here’s what we know so far Fresno Bee

●     Here’s what people are saying about Calif’s state budget deal Fresno Bee

●     Facing $54 Billion Deficit, Gov & Leg Agree To Budget Deal Capital Public Radio

●     Newsom agrees to rethink sharp Calif budget cuts in deal with lawmakers LA Times

●     Gov. legislators reach deal on California budget SF Chronicle

●     Newsom and Legislature reach budget deal — but details scarce CALmatters

●     Calif budget deal preserves school funding, assumes Newsom ‘trigger’ approach Politico

With Calif’s COVID-19 hospitalizations rising, Gov says his mask order isn’t optional

Fresno Bee

California is seeing a growing number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations and intensive care unit cases, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday, making it all the more necessary that people follow his mandatory mask order in public.

See Also:

●     35.6% of Calif’s coronavirus cases were reported in the past 14 days, Newsom said abc30

●     Fresno area police won’t be proactive enforcing Newsom’s masks-in-public rule Fresno Bee

●     Coronavirus CA: A guide to face masks, what you need to know Fresno Bee

●     Gov points to rising COVID-19 cases to justify mask order Sac Bee

●     California Hits New High In COVID-19 Hospitalizations VPR

●      Yes, Wearing Masks Helps. Here’s Why VPR

●     Don’t like wearing a face mask? Schwarzenegger & Newsom say ‘Just do it.’ Sac Bee

●     Increase in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations tell ‘sobering story,’ Newsom says LA Times

●     Alarmed by spiking coronavirus numbers? Here’s why officials insist they aren’t worried LA Times

●     Newsom says Cali could reverse reopening economy if coronavirus cases surge SF Chronicle

Legal sports betting in Calif? Not yet — tribal casinos block effort in Leg

Fresno Bee

Legalized sports betting has flourished across the country, but a proposal to allow gambling in California on baseball, football and other sports died Monday in the Legislature.

Calif bans state travel to Idaho over transgender sports restrictions, birth certificate law

Modesto Bee

Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Monday extended California’s ban on taxpayer-funded trips to a 12th state, adding Idaho to the list based on the state’s passage of two laws limiting the state’s acknowledgment of gender preferences.


Surging US virus cases raise fear that progress is slipping

Fresno Bee

Alarming surges in coronavirus cases across the South and West raised fears Monday that the outbreak is spiraling out of control and that hard-won progress against the scourge is slipping away because of resistance among many Americans to wearing masks and keeping their distance from others.

Trump: US doing ‘too good a job’ on coronavirus testing


President Donald Trump said Monday the United States has done “too good a job” on testing for cases of COVID-19, even as his staff insisted the president was only joking when he said over the weekend that he had instructed aides to “slow the testing down, please.”

See Also:

●     Mike Pence says America is ‘winning the fight’ against COVID-19. Is he right? LA Times

●     Trump: ‘I don’t kid’ on coronavirus testing TheHill

●      Fauci says coronavirus task force never told to slow down testing, seemingly contradicting comments from Trump hours earlier Washington Post

●      ‘None Of Us Have Ever Been Told To Slow Down On Testing,’ Fauci Testifies  Valley Public Radio

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:

Kamala Harris Is Seen Clear Front-Runner To Be Joe Biden’s Running Mate

Capital Public Radio

More than a month before former Vice President Joe Biden’s stated deadline for naming his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris is seen as the consensus front-runner to become Democrats’ vice presidential nominee.

Biden is no Hillary Clinton, and that’s a problem for President Trump

LA Times

Joe Biden is old. He has a paper trail reaching back half a century. He is, by his own admission, a “gaffe machine” who regularly trips over his own tongue. He is not, however, as widely and viscerally disliked as the last Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and that’s complicating President Trump’s reelection effort.

Black primary candidates tap protest energy to challenge Democrats

LA Times

Amy McGrath and Eliot Engel live hundreds of miles apart in states with dramatically different politics. Yet they’re the preferred candidates of the Democratic Party’s Washington establishment as voters in Kentucky and New York decide their congressional primary elections on Tuesday. And both may be in trouble.

With unsubstantiated claim, Trump sows doubt on US election


President Donald Trump opened a new front Monday in his fight against mail-in voting, making unsubstantiated assertions that foreign countries will print up millions of bogus ballots to rig the results and create what he called the “scandal of our times.”

See also:

·       How does vote-by-mail work and does it increase election fraud? Brookings

Political Donors Linked to China Won Access to Trump, GOP

Wall Street Journal

Soon after Donald Trump took office, people with ties to the Chinese state poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into his re-election bid to get close to and potentially influence the new president.


Bridge The Digital Divide With Action On Creating Access To Broadband For All


Vice President of Government Relations at USC, Former State Senator, and Board Director of California Emerging Technology Fund Martha M. Escutia lays out urgent policy prescriptions to utilize existing resources in order the help children learn, improve healthcare services and promote economic growth.  For broadband access delayed is access denied.

Digital Divide Is Modern Incarnation Of Historic Lack Of Inclusion

Sac Business Journal

The Sac Metro Chamber of Commerce, Valley Vision, the Greater Sac Economic Council and Sac Area Council of Governments in a new report, Our Path Forward:  A Prosperity Strategy, call for digital access, more technology training and more inclusive policies. 

When it comes to public opinion on race, it’s not 1968 anymore


In light of the killing of George Floyd and others at the hands of police, Americans are starting to shift their opinions on race relations, and in many areas, are coming to a consensus. William Galston explores recent polling data on policing, peaceful protests, and the need for reform.

Percentage of Americans who say death penalty is morally acceptable at record low: Gallup


A slight majority of Americans say they think the death penalty is morally justifiable, the lowest percentage ever recorded, according to new pollingfrom Gallup.

Checks and Balance – Generals strike—the politicisation of the American military 

The Economist

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 defence editor, and Republican Congressman Mike Gallagher, an Iraq veteran.

Fox: The Shifting Adam Schiff and the Battle to “Defund or Defend” the Police

Fox & Hounds

Congressman Adam Schiff announced over the weekend that he is pulling his endorsement from LA County District Attorney Jackie Lacey in her re-election bid. Schiff joins Los Angles Mayor Eric Garcetti, another early Lacey endorser, who intimated in an interview that, “it may be time” for a change in leadership in the D.A.’s office.

Opinion: The Current Moral Purge

National Review

Outraged rioters spent the weekend indiscriminately toppling pretty much any statues they could get their hands on, President Trump returned to the campaign trail for a rally in Tulsa, and another quick reflection on the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s Bostock ruling.


Valley almond production may hit 3 billion-pound milestone this year


Almond trees are bearing a lot of weight right now. The crop is maturing quickly in orchards all over the Valley. It’s estimated that one out of every five almonds enjoyed by consumers is grown in Fresno County.



Fresno area police won’t be proactive enforcing Newsom’s masks-in-public rule

Fresno Bee

Area police agencies are taking a largely hands-off approach to enforcing Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order that masks should be worn in most public spaces due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

COVID-19 outbreak at Fresno jail forces extension of $0 bail release for most inmates

Fresno Bee

Fresno courts will extend the $0 bail policy for most prisoners due to “unforeseen circumstances” related to an outbreak of COVID-19 cases in the Fresno County North Jail. Tony Botti, spokesman for Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims, said the decision between the sheriff and presiding Judge Alvin Harrell was reached over the weekend after 1,200 inmates were placed in quarantine Friday.

See Also:

●     Zero dollar bail extended at Fresno County Jail for 90 days amid COVID-19 outbreak at North Jailabc30

Shafter Police Department cracking down on illegal fireworks, asks for the community’s help


The Shafter Police Department is cracking down on illegal fireworks.

Public Safety:

Fresno area police mainly follow Newsom’s move away from chokehold

Fresno Bee

Fresno-area police agencies are largely following the lead of Gov. Gavin Newsom in turning away from law enforcement use of the so-called “chokehold,” used to subdue an arrested person, although it remains in some department policies.

See Also:

●     Modesto joins other police agencies in ending the use of carotid neck hold Modesto Bee

●     Modesto cops stop use of neck hold after George Floyd’s death  Modesto Bee

●      How much does California spend on law enforcement, the criminal legal system, and incarceration?  California Budget & Policy Center

Inmate at Avenal State Prison dies from apparent COVID-19 complications


An inmate at Avenal State Prison has died from apparent complications of COVID-19. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation says the inmate died at a hospital but did not release many other details.

Tulare County child support services reopens to the public

Visalia Times Delta

Tulare County continues to reopen public service offices to the public following a four-month hiatus caused by the coronavirus. Today, both the Tulare County Department of Child Support Services Public Service units will reopen.

Mesa Verde Staff Member Tests Positive For COVID-19, ACLU Says

Prisons and detention centers across California continue to be at risk for more COVID-19 outbreaks. An ACLU attorney representing detainees at the ICE processing facility in Bakersfield says a staff member there has tested positive for the virus.

A politician’s son lobbies to let parolees vote in California


In early March, before the pandemic closed the state Capitol to visitors, Esteban Núñez led former prisoners through the regal building where his father was once one of California’s most powerful politicians.  

How to get help if you’re experiencing domestic violence

LA Times

Calls to LA County’s domestic violence hotline have risen during the pandemic. And the LA Police Department has seen an increase in domestic violence calls for service.

Police Ring Camera Registries Under Scrutiny

PEW Charitable Trusts

“These camera registries will only serve to exacerbate existing forms of discrimination that are rampant within policing and the criminal justice system,” said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future.


State, federal officials take different paths trying to stop utilities from causing wildfires

Public CEO

Nearly two years after one of the deadliest corporate crimes in California history — a utility-sparked wildfire that destroyed the City of Paradise in Butte County — state and federal officials have differing positions on how to prevent history from repeating itself.

Warszawski: Fresno’s public safety ‘redesign’ can’t be dumped on underfunded fire department

Fresno Bee

First thing Monday morning, the Fresno City Council will consider motions to relieve cops of their homeless and mental health duties. In doing so, Fresno joins a growing number of cities that are re-examining how their police departments are funded and deployed following weeks of nationwide protests over racism and police brutality.



These Fresno-area businesses and restaurants are closing — but not all because of COVID-19

Fresno Bee

When COVID-19 first hit, the predictions about its impact on businesses were dire. More than half of all small businesses would close, one survey said. That hasn’t happened in Fresno.

See also:

●      Downtown Fresno expecting to see many new businesses in 2020 ABC30 Fresno

Stocks recover after China trade deal scare 


Stocks opened with gains Tuesday after a warning from President Trump’s top trade adviser Monday threw the market into an after-hours selloff.


As unemployment dips, has Modesto area seen the worst of its coronavirus job losses?

Modesto Bee

After three straight months of “stunning” job losses due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the unemployment rate in Stanislaus County stopped its sharp upward climb but remained near a 20-year high for May.

See Also:

●     Despite gradual reopening, California’s unemployment rate remains stagnant LA Times

COVID-19 Job Losses Affect Undocumented Women Most, Report Shows

Before the pandemic hit, 59-year-old Maria had steady work cleaning houses in Merced and Winston. But COVID-19 changed everything. “When the governor told everyone to shelter in place, the homeowners called me and told me not to go to their houses until this is all over,” she said. 

Class of 2020 graduates job-search in worst market since 1933 

Fresno Bee

Graduates in the nation were pushed out into a job market that hasn’t looked this bleak since the Great Depression when unemployment peaked at 24.9%.

Academics call on news execs to hire more Black employees

LA Times

More than 320 scholars and practitioners in media and communications signed a letter sent to six CEOs of television news networks, including NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN and PBS, calling out issues of systemic racism within the organizations.

New data brief and other COVID-19 resources

Labor Center at UC Berkeley

This brief summarizes the Great Recession’s impact on public employment and the public sector job losses driven by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Our analysis points to the importance of focusing on the public sector as policymakers respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

Black Professionals Miss Out on Recent Job Gains


Black workers with bachelor’s degrees lost 200,000 jobs in May.

Opinion: The future of work in America is in the office


Although many have speculated that traditional offices will become a thing of the past, once the virus is vanquished, most workers will return to pre-pandemic working arrangements.



Central Unified board member speaks out about his controversial social media post

Fresno Bee

Central Unified trustee Richard Atkins released a statement concerning a controversial comment he made on social media that quickly sparked a public outcry in the community. 

See Also:

●     Central Unified School District board member speaks out after controversial Facebook post abc30

●     EDITORIAL: Fresno-area school trustee apologizes for racist comment. Next step: he must resignFresno Bee

PUSD continues to prepare for new school year

Porterville Recorder

The Porterville Unified School District is preparing to implement an AmericaCorps tutoring program to help low scoring students throughout the district. PUSD will participate in the AmericaCorps Mentor/Tutor program during the 2020-2021 school year. The program is part of Building Community, Changing Lives. 

Child care a primary concern for parents with proposed back-to-school options looming

Bakersfield Californian

Inside Hortencia Cabral’s south Bakersfield home sits two baggies full of face masks of all colors and styles. Her twin 10-year-old boys know the drill: before going anywhere, they have to pick and wear one.

Grads, guests brave the heat during first KHSD modified commencement ceremony

Bakersfield Californian

Nothing could stop several hundred people from celebrating graduates Monday night at Golden Valley High School — not COVID-19, nor the usual Bakersfield heat. Golden Valley High School was the first Kern High School District school to hold a modified graduation ceremony Monday night at its football stadium.

Gov. Newsom: California budget deal avoids teacher layoffs

San Jose Mercury News

As California struggles to manage the impact of the growing coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday announced a state budget deal that avoids deep education cuts to close a cavernous deficit created by the crisis.

See also:

●     Budgets put limits on social distancing options for schools AP

EDITORIAL: Here’s how classroom experience beats distance learning, retiring Modesto teacher says

Modesto Bee

Alison Hamilton — “Miss Hami” to students and parents, and my former sister-in-law — just retired after 20 years in a classroom, the last 15 as a fourth-grade teacher in Room 61 at Freedom Elementary in Modesto’s Sylvan Union School District.

Why There’s A Push To Get Police Out Of Schools

Valley Public Radio

At least two-thirds of American high school students attend a school with a police officer, according to the Urban Institute, and that proportion is higher for students of color. 

Higher Ed:

Class of 2020 graduates into bleakest job market since 1933. Here’s how some are faring

Fresno Bee

Bethany Theuret is working as a barista at Starbucks, but the 2020 criminology graduate said she’s applied for a dozen jobs, from a dispatcher to a victim advocate. She’s only landed one interview and no call-backs.

‘It’s just the beginning.’ Calif lawmakers send CSU ethnic studies bill to Newsom

Sac Bee

A bill requiring college students to complete an ethnic studies course to graduate from the California State University system has been approved by the state Senate. Following the 30-5 vote Thursday, the bill heads to the desk of Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has not indicated on whether he would sign the bill.

Calbright College survives in new California state budget agreement


Calbright College, on the brink of elimination by the Legislature, will survive in the 2020-21 budget that was agreed to Monday by Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders.



Battery-powered pickups? Calif’s next clean air rule targets gas-powered trucks, big rigs

Fresno Bee

Gas-powered work trucks — from the delivery vans bringing packages to your doorstep to the big rigs that roar along highways — may soon be fewer in number on California roads.

Nevada to adopt Calif’s stricter car pollution standards, rejecting Trump rollback

Sac Bee

Nevada’s governor on Monday announced that his state plans to adopt California’s car pollution rules, joining more than a dozen other states and pushing back against the Trump administration’s decision to weaken fuel efficiency standards.

See Also:

●     Nevada to adopt Calif’s stricter car pollution standards, rejecting Trump rollback LA Times

Judge prohibits California from putting cancer warning on weed killer Roundup

SF Chronicle

Despite three trial verdicts awarding nearly $200 million to cancer victims who used Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, California cannot require a cancer warning on the product label because it is contradicted by “the great weight of evidence,” a federal judge ruled Monday.


Your Home Battery Can Be Part Of A Virtual Power Plant In California


Sunrun pulls in customers with a catchy truth about the unpredictability of life, and electricity. To be sure that your house stays alive with power, even if the grid goes down, Sunrun’s rechargeable solar battery systems are one solution. They can make sure your home’s power stays stable and reliable, which we mostly take for granted but can become a problem if you’re struck by a hurricane in Florida or wildfire-related outages in California.

Battery-powered pickups? Calif’s next clean air rule targets gas-powered trucks, big rigs

Fresno Bee

Gas-powered work trucks — from the delivery vans bringing packages to your doorstep to the big rigs that roar along highways — may soon be fewer in number on California roads.

Amazon to Launch $2 Billion Venture Capital Fund to Invest in Clean Energy

Wall Street Journal

Tech giant plans to invest in transportation, energy, food and other industries.



Hundreds of at-risk Calif Filipinos not tested for COVID-19, UC Davis study finds

Fresno Bee

A new survey conducted by Filipino American researchers at the University of California, Davis shows that hundreds of California’s Filipino Americans are at risk for contracting the coronavirus, but have yet to be tested.

FDA issues warning about 9 Eskbiochem hand sanitizers


The Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to use hand sanitizer manufactured by the Mexican company Eskbiochem SA de CV because the products contain methanol, a toxic substance that can cause short- and long-term health problems.

Largest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases, WHO says


The World Health Organization on Sunday reported the largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases by its count, at more than 183,000 new cases in the latest 24 hours. The UN health agency said Brazil led the way with 54,771 cases tallied and the U.S. next at 36,617. Over 15,400 came in in India.

See Also:

●     News, statistics from Fresno, Kings counties Fresno Bee

●     COVID-19 update: Recoveries continue to increase in Tulare County Porterville Recorder

●     Kern County reports 75 new coronavirus cases Monday Bakersfield Californian

●     Modesto assisted living center struck by coronavirus outbreak, with 28 positive cases Modesto Bee

Coronavirus survivors, patients talk about their symptoms

Fresno Bee

The virus that has caused a worldwide pandemic has infected more than 330,000 people across the world, according to Johns Hopkins University. Many people who have been diagnosed with the virus have spoken out about its effects — some have recovered, while others are still fighting.

Why scientists say talk about a second wave of COVID-19 cases is premature

LA Times

About 120,000 Americans have died of COVID-19, and daily counts of new cases in the U.S. are the highest they’ve been in more than a month, driven by recent increases in the South and Southwest.

See also:

●      Is a second wave of COVID-19 infections coming? Politicfact

Social gatherings help fuel rising coronavirus spread in parts of California

LA Times

Elevated coronavirus transmissions and related hospitalizations are worsening in some parts of California, and a failure to wear masks in public and increased gatherings are partly to blame, health officials said.

Racial Disparities in COVID-19 Mortality


The intersection of social and economic inequities put African Americans at greater risk than other Californians of dying from the coronavirus.

See also:

·       California Surgeon General: Systemic Racism Is Linked To COVID-19 Pandemic Valley Public Radio

·       Black Americans four times more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19: Medicare data TheHill

US COVID-19 cases rise, marking ugly contrast with Europe


New U.S. coronavirus cases are rising again in a worrying new sign for the country’s outbreak. 

Blood type may influence coronavirus infection rates: study


More work is needed, but researchers found an intriguing correlation.

Trump team weighs a CDC scrubbing to deflect mounting criticism


With Trump under fire for his handling of the outbreak, his advisers are eyeing the federal bureaucracy for other culprits ahead of the election.

First human cases of West Nile virus in Stanislaus County. How to protect yourself

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County Public Health reported two cases of West Nile virus infections in humans on Monday. It’s the first reported infections in humans this year. In a press release, the cases were identified in two adult males without symptoms, though no information was provided about why they were tested or the geographic area of the county where they acquired the infection.

Human Services:

Dentists adjust to pandemic safety measures

Bakersfield Californian

The absence of magazines, toys and other people in the waiting room might come as a shock to some patients, but that won’t be their first indication that the coronavirus pandemic has drastically changed the experience of going to see a dentist.

Rehabilitation hospital breaks ground at northeast Bakersfield medical campus

Bakersfield Californian

Construction has begun in northeast Bakersfield on a two-story, 50-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital whose developers see it becoming part of a 46-acre medical-oriented complex along Highway 178 at Morning Drive.

Medicaid Rolls Surge, Adding to Budget Woes

PEW Trusts

States are pushing for more federal money so they can avoid an array of measures to cut Medicaid costs, from eliminating some optional benefits to reducing the already low reimbursement rates.

Growing number of public health officials are leaving positions following political pushback and threats of violence amid pandemic

Washington Post

Public health workers, who have long been underfunded and understaffed, are confronting waves of protest at their homes and offices in addition to pressure from politicians who favor a faster reopening.

Surprise medical bills: How to protect patients and make care more affordable

AEI  – Georgetown Law Journal

The authors argue that policymakers can use contract-forcing regulation to make hospitals behave more like body shops and prevent the majority of surprise bills.


Trump administration extends visa ban to non-immigrants


The Trump administration said Monday that it was extending a ban on green cards issued outside the United States until the end of the year and adding many temporary work visas to the freeze, including those used heavily by technology companies and multinational corporations.

See Also:

●     Trump ‘extending and expanding’ crackdown on work visas through year-end Sac Bee

●     Trump announces new visa restrictions on immigrant workers but exempts agriculture, food service, health LA Times

●     Trump extends foreign worker restrictions through end of year Politico

●      Trump Suspends Visas Allowing Hundreds of Thousands of Foreigners to Work in the U.S. New York Times

●      Factbox: Who is affected by Trump’s new rules on work visas? Reuters

●      Trump Moves to Temporarily Suspend New H-1B, Other Visas Amid Covid-19 Pandemic Wall Street Journal

●     Opinion: Trump visa restrictions won’t put Americans back to work  LA Times


Land Use:

CEMEX wants to blast 600-foot open pit mine on San Joaquin River north of Fresno. Here’s why

Fresno Bee

CEMEX has applied for permits to continue mining north of Fresno for another 100 years — with a proposal to expand operations by blasting and drilling a 600-feet deep pit into hard rock near the San Joaquin River.

Yosemite concessions boss out of a job after driving golf balls in Valley meadow

SF Gate

Video shows him whacking a drive toward Half Dome and saying, ‘That hit the rock’.

Democrats detail their $1.5T green infrastructure plan


House Democrats on Monday released nmmiew details about their $1.5 trillion green infrastructure plan slated to come to a vote as early as next week.

Editorial: Don’t make Wood Colony decision in a public vacuum, Modesto 

Modesto Bee

Slightly postponing a Modesto City Council vote with huge implications for jobs, the city’s growth and neighboring Wood Colony was a good move.


Stanislaus County housing market recovers after COVID-19

Modesto Bee

While the housing market in Modesto and Stanislaus County took a hit in late March and April due to COVID-19, real estate agents are already seeing it bounce back, with an increase in for-sale properties in May.

See also:

●      US new home sales rise surprisingly strong 16.6% in May AP News

Coronavirus runs through crowded homes and must-do jobs, hitting people of color hard

SF Chronicle

Low-income people of color are getting sick and dying from COVID-19 more than other groups in the Bay Area — a discouraging pattern mirrored across the U.S. that has exposed significant health and socioeconomic disparities.


Should States Borrow to Manage the Recession?


Short-term debt may help states buy time, but it’s not a long-term solution for coronavirus budget gaps.

See also:

●      How the State Pension Funding Gap Fares in an Unpredictable Economy PEW

●     Cities cut plans to fix roads, water systems to fill budget holes created by the coronavirusWashington Post

Walters: CalPERS gambles on risky investment move 


The California Public Employees Retirement System, the nation’s largest pension trust, benefited greatly from the runup in stocks and other investments during the last few years, topping $400 billion early this year.

~1.5 million public sector jobs lost


The sudden drop-off in public employment is a stark contrast to the Great Recession, when state and local governments initially avoided cutbacks.


California’s bullet train project faces unprecedented woes

SF Chronicle

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, it wasn’t clear how California would pay for its dream of running 220-mph bullet trains from SF to LA. Now, the project is as close to the precipice as it’s ever been. The California High-Speed Rail Authority faces two new threats: Its largest source of funding is evaporating and state legislators have attempted to derail the agency’s plans en masse.

Battery-powered pickups? Calif’s next clean air rule targets gas-powered trucks, big rigs

Fresno Bee

Gas-powered work trucks — from the delivery vans bringing packages to your doorstep to the big rigs that roar along highways — may soon be fewer in number on California roads.


DWR Submits Delta Conveyance Permit Application to Army Corps of Engineers

California Water News Daily

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has submitted a (revised) permit application to the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act (Section 404 permit application) to request authorization for the proposed Delta Conveyance Project activities in waters of the United States.

California’s 21st Century Mega-Drought


California is in the midst of a decades-long drought, which mimics what climate change is expected to bring. Water management should adapt accordingly.


Donations needed to help fund 2020 Kingsburg Fireworks Show


The Kingsburg Police Department is asking for the community’s help in paying for the Kingsburg Fireworks Show. The fireworks show will occur on Friday, July 3, at Kingsburg High School and begin around 9:15 p.m.

Planning for summer beach days? Docs share virus safety tips

Bakersfield Californian

Americans have never been more ready to get out of the house and bask in the sun. Warm-weather beach destinations are the most popular vacation searches, with Florida — particularly Key West — Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and San Diego among the top considerations.

California’s Vacation Industry Is Open For Business. Proceed With Caution.

Capital Public Radio

A week ago, Isabel Rasmussen and her husband drove over three hours from their home in South SF to South Lake Tahoe. They stayed at the 7 Seas Inn nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains for two nights.