June 25, 2020



North SJ Valley:

Atwater passes balanced budget, no job cuts despite COVID-19’s impact to Valley economies

Merced Sun-Star

Congratulations all around were given at Atwater City Council this week, as the city passed a balanced budget for just the second time in a row in recent years — despite economic loss due to the coronavirus pandemic.

No police or fire chief: Turlock passes budget with several cuts amid coronavirus crisis

Modesto Bee

The Turlock City Council on Tuesday unanimously adopted a budget for the next fiscal year, approving cuts to public safety and other positions as economic uncertainty amid the coronavirus pandemic continues.

County has 38th death; Modesto schools discuss return

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County deaths to the coronavirus rose by one to 38 on Tuesday, a person at least 50 years old. Positive tests are at 1,714, according to the county Health Services Agency. Another 23,830 residents have tested negative.

Gov’t agency tells Modesto to hit the brakes on putting urban limit on 2020 ballot

Modesto Bee

The government agency that regulates cities’ boundaries has raised red flags over Modesto’s proposed urban limit line, saying the city is not following the normal process to set boundaries for its growth.

Stockton post office closes, then reopens with limited service after worker tests positive for COVID-19

Stockton Record

COVID-19 has struck the U.S. Post Office in downtown Stockton, known as the Delta Station at 240 E. Channel St., closing it for a full day Monday and impacting its hours and operations indefinitely moving forward. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service confirmed Tuesday that a Delta Station employee tested positive for the coronavirus.

EDITORIAL: Was it something we said? Stanislaus advocates no longer at Gov’s side

Modesto Bee

Newsom must prove that he still values the Valley by seating more of our people in his inner circle. He must choose at least another from among us to keep our previously ignored interests from being forgotten.

Central SJ Valley:

Fresno church that displayed Black Lives Matter banners to become polling place again

Fresno Bee

A northeast Fresno church that prominently displayed Black Lives Matter banners on church property will serve as a voter-polling place once again. The ACLU Foundation of Northern California settled a lawsuit with Fresno County on Tuesday that allows the Unitarian Universalist Church to be used as a voter ballot drop-box location for at least four years.

Fresno City Council expected to delay new growth outside of city limits. Here’s why

Fresno Bee

The Fresno City Council is expected to approve on Thursday a resolution that would effectively halt new development outside of current city limits until a more equitable tax sharing agreement with the county has been negotiated.

EDITORIAL: Fresno council could spend $300K on program to reduce gun violence. It’s worth the money

Fresno Bee

Between 2017 and 2019, Fresno averaged 44 murders and 414 shooting incidents.Fresno police say 55% to 60% of all murders and shootings in the city are gang-related. The cost to taxpayers to prosecute just one murder: $2.4 million.

Devin Nunes can’t sue Twitter over statements by fake cow, judge rules

Fresno Bee

A judge has ruled that Rep. Devin Nunes has no right to sue Twitter over statements made by a fake Internet cow, someone parodying his mother and a Republican strategist.

South SJ Valley:

Bakersfield City Council adopts budget following demands to defund BPD

Bakersfield Californian
After discussing the issue at length, the City Council unanimously adopted the $630 million budget for fiscal year 2020-21. The budget called for around a 10 percent increase for BPD, allocating $119.9 million in total to the department.

Two USPS employees test positive for coronavirus at south Bakersfield office

The U.S. Postal Service on Tuesday said two employees at a post office in south Bakersfield have tested positive for the coronavirus. The employees who tested positive work at the office at 3200 Larson Lane, east of Highway 99 and north of Planz Road, a postal official said.


Here’s what could be restored to the California budget if the Feds send aid

Fresno Bee

Gov. Newsom and the Legislature are poised to pass a budget with billions of dollars in cuts that could be reversed if the federal government decides to provide states with more aid.

See also:

●     Seven more weeks of unemployment benefits in California’s new budget plan Sac Bee

●     Gov. Newsom’s fourth budget is unbalanced, depends heavily on federal funds Fresno Bee

●     Walters: Budget No. 4 won’t be the last CalMatters

Most Calif counties seeing a surge in coronavirus. Health officials struggle to keep up

Fresno Bee

The number of COVID-19 cases is up nationally and in California in the last two weeks. It’s been called a surge, a spike or an uptick.

See also:

●     California’s coronavirus positive rate is jumping. Gavin Newsom blames private gatherings Fresno Bee

●     Calif sees 69% jump in COVID-19 cases in just 2 days, Gov. says abc30

●     Gavin Newsom gets power to withhold funds for counties that don’t follow COVID-19 rulesModesto Bee

●     ‘It is our behaviors that are leading to these numbers;’ Newsom announces increase in COVID-19 positive rate Sac Bee

●     California Sees Highest Single-Day COVID-19 Case Increase, Gov. Gavin Newsom Sticks With Re-Opening Plan Capital Public Radio

●     4 suburban Calif counties behind dangerous rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations LA Times

●     Alarming spike in coronavirus sparks fears California is ‘starting to lose this battle’ LA Times

●     Newsom asks Californians to ‘be more vigilant’ as state sees record-breaking coronavirus casesLA Times

●     Newsom threatens California counties that defy coronavirus rules as cases spike SF Chronicle

●     Coronavirus cases up among Latinos in Sac, California Sac Bee

●     California sets back-to-back records for highest daily coronavirus cases LA Times

●     Shutting down California was a challenge for Newsom. Reopening could prove even trickier LA Times

●     Newsom strikes concerned tone as Calif’s daily infection count soars to new record Politico

Yes, Gov. Newsom Has The Authority To Make Masks Mandatory In California, Legal Experts Say

Capital Public Radio

Following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s announcement last week that all Californians must wear face coverings in certain public settings, some local government officials and viral social media posts alleged the governor has no legal authority to make masks mandatory. 

See also:

●     Fauci: California doesn’t need another full lockdown Politico


US coronavirus cases surge to highest level in 2 months


New coronavirus cases in the U.S. have surged to their highest level in two months and are now back to where they were at the peak of the outbreak. The U.S. on Tuesday reported 34,700 new cases of the virus, according to a tally compiled by Johns Hopkins University that was published Wednesday.

See also:

●     U.S. coronavirus cases surge to highest level in 2 months, back to former peak LA Times

●     U.S. Sets Record for Daily New Cases as Virus Surges in South and West NY Times

●     Fact check: Trump claimed he was left ‘no ventilators.’ His administration just confirmed he had more than 16,000 CNN

●     Coronavirus deaths lag behind surging infections but may catch up soon Washington Post

●     Donald Trump accurate that deaths from coronavirus are falling PolitiFact

●     Donald Trump wrong that greater testing is driving coronavirus case load PolitiFact

●     Bolton: Trump ignored early warning signs of coronavirus pandemic The Hill

●     How the Virus Won NY Times

●     EDITORIAL: Coping With Covid-19 Wall Street Journal

Democrats block Senate GOP police reform bill

LA Times

Democrats on Wednesday denied Republicans the votes needed to advance the Senate GOP’s policing reform bill, casting doubt on the future of the effort as thousands of people continue to protest over the death of George Floyd and police misconduct and excessive use of force.

See also:

●     Senate GOP policing bill stalls as Democrats block it on floor, attention swerves to House Roll Call

●     Senate Democrats block GOP policing bill, stalling efforts to change law enforcement practicesWashington Post

●     How police reform collapsed in the Senate Politico

●     Coronavirus Cases Are Accelerating Across U.S. Wall Street Journal

●     Kamala Harris says blocking GOP police bill ‘not at all’ about vice presidential aspirations SF Gate

●     Opinion: The Police Reform Americans Want Wall Street Journal

●     EDITORIAL: The No Debate Democrats Wall Street Journal

Trump signs executive order to strengthen child welfare system


The order signed Wednesday by the president in the Oval Office directs Health and Human Services to create “robust” partnerships between its state and local partners, to improve federal oversight of key statutory child welfare requirements and to increase resources for caregivers and those under their charge.

Supreme Court 2020: Major rulings on abortion, Trump’s tax returns still to come

LA Times

The Supreme Court is nearing the end of its term and ready to release major decisions on abortion, religion and the separation of powers between the president and Congress — specifically, whether House Democrats or a NY grand jury can obtain President Trump’s tax returns.

Trump’s Impact on Courts Cemented As 200th Judge Appointed to Federal Bench


President Donald Trump’s impact on the U.S. court system was cemented on Wednesday after his 200th judicial appointment was confirmed by the Senate.

A second senior economist is abruptly leaving the White House amid ongoing economic crisis

Washington Post

One of President Trump’s senior economic officials has abruptly left the White House in the middle of the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. He becomes the second senior White House economic official whose departure was announced this month.

Opinion: The 6 Trump Bombshells Still Waiting to Explode


Almost every turn of the news cycle produces an episode that—in more conventional times—could easily be the headline of the last Woodward book or the kind of revelations coaxed from deep in the archives decades after the fact by the likes of a historian like Robert A. Caro.

Opinion: The very American Postal Service now a partisan pawn, with democracy at stake

Roll Call

God bless the Postal Service, an essential piece of America’s history before it was America and included in the U.S. Constitution, which gave Congress the power “to establish post offices and post roads.”

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 NY 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:

Affirmative action will be on California’s ballot in Nov

Fresno Bee

California voters will decide in Nov whether to reinstate affirmative action after lawmakers approved a proposal Wednesday asking them to repeal the 25-year-old law that bans the consideration of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in university admissions, public employment and contracting.

See also:

●     Calif voters will be asked to restore affirmative action in Nov LA Times

●     California voters will be asked whether to repeal Prop. 209 ban on affirmative action SF Chronicle

Initiative to restore voting rights to Californians on parole heads to Nov ballot

Sac Bee

Voters will decide this Nov whether to restore voting rights for Californians on parole after state lawmakers approved a proposal Wednesday to place that question on the ballot.

See also:

●     Should parolees be allowed to vote? Californians will decide in Nov SF Chronicle

Calif’s consumer privacy law could get stricter under new Nov ballot measure

Sac Bee

Known as the California Privacy Rights Act, the initiative would add more teeth to existing legislation by creating a new, $10 million state agency dedicated to protecting online consumer privacy.

Biden to Attend Milwaukee Convention, but Dems Will Tell Delegates to Stay Home

Wall Street Journal

The Democratic National Committee said Wednesday that Joe Biden will accept the presidential nomination in Milwaukee, but the party will urge delegates to skip the summer convention because of coronavirus concerns.

See also:

●     Biden Takes Lead Over Trump in 2020 Presidential Poll NY Times

●     Black Americans say racism, policing top issues for Nov, favor Biden by huge margin, Post-Ipsos poll finds Washington Post

●     Bad polls for Trump worry … Democrats ABC
Trump wrongly claims Biden wants to prosecute churchgoers PolitiFact

●     Victor Davis Hanson: 2020 Election – Contest of the Angry National Review

Stimulus Options Create Election-Season Quandary for Senate Republicans

Wall Street Journal

Joining Democrats and the White House to pass another bill could help speed a rebound from recession. But the prospect of more aid has started to alienate conservative supporters wary of large-scale spending.

Trump is headlining fireworks at Mount Rushmore. Experts worry two things could spread: virus and wildfire.

Washington Post

President Trump is planning a massive fireworks display at Mount Rushmore on July 3, despite a decade-long ban on pyrotechnics at the iconic spot because of concerns about public health, environmental and safety risks.

See also:

●     Trump Campaign Weighs Alternatives to Big Social Platforms Wall Street Journal

Wait weeks to tally Nov’s votes? One ex-official says that ‘could be generous’

Roll Call

This week’s key primary contests in Kentucky and NY have provided yet more evidence that Election Day will last beyond the first Tuesday in Nov.

Trump’s False Attacks on Voting by Mail Stir Broad Concern

NY Times

The president’s assertions about widespread fraud have little or no basis in fact but are resonating with his supporters and give him the option of raising doubts about the legitimacy of the outcome.


He helped start Latino public radio in Fresno in 1980. Now, he’s getting national honor

Fresno Bee

When Hugo Morales set out 40 years ago to create what would become the National Latino Public Radio Network, he was looking to give voice to the wide cross section of traditional cultures present in California’s San Joaquin Valley.

Albright, McMaster, Jeb Bush among figures warning coronavirus threatens democracy

The Hill

Officials who have served under presidents of both parties signed on to an open letter warning that the coronavirus pandemic threatens the future of liberal democracy. 

How a national health crisis fell on the backs of local leaders


With a leadership vacuum in Washington, the SF Bay Area’s shelter-in-place orders led the nation’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

100 years on, politics is where the US lags the most on gender equality


The U.S. compares badly to most other countries in the world in terms of gender equality in politics—including to our nearest neighbors, Canada and Mexico.

A Call For Reparations: How America Might Narrow The Racial Wealth Gap

Valley Public Radio

The killing of George Floyd has ignited protests and inspired conversations — and changes — across the globe. But NY Times Magazine writer Nikole Hannah-Jones says more needs to be done to address America’s racial wealth gap.

A quarter of all U.S. newspapers have died in 15 years, a new UNC news deserts study found


The relentless spread of news deserts was speeding up even before the coronavirus incapacitated local economies, and since then the rate has accelerated some more.

New research explores how conservative media misinformation may have intensified coronavirus

Washington Post

Coronavirus infections have surged in a number of states, setting the United States on a markedly different pandemic trajectory than other wealthy nations.


Will aid money keep farmers afloat during the pandemic?

Fresno Bee

Fresno County sheep rancher Ryan Indart talks about protecting the supply chain and asking if the federal aid money will be enough to keep him and others afloat during the pandemic.

Cheese prices are skyrocketing due to COVID-19. Why is pandemic increasing costs?

Fresno Bee

According to Capital Press, a weekly agricultural newspaper, retail demand for cheese went up between 20% and 30% during the pandemic. The same could be said for sales to fast-food restaurants and pizzerias that continued to operate, the newspaper reported.

Coronavirus update: Ag businesses see $2 billion in losses so far; a return to lockdown?

Fresno Bee

More than 10,000 people have been infected with the coronavirus in the central San Joaquin Valley since the pandemic began — and the numbers continue to surge. The six counties in the region are reporting a combined average of close to 250 new cases each day.

See also:

●     COVID-19 hitting California agriculture hard Stockton Record

The Failures Of California Cannabis

Green Market Report

Why did California fail so badly in transforming a stable, lightly-regulated medical cannabis industry into a heavily regulated medical and adult-use cannabis industry?



Does this Fresno police contract help victimize poor people of color? Critics say yes

Fresno Bee

Members of the board of commissioners of the Housing Authorities of the City and County of Fresno voiced strong support for renewing the agency’s $194,363 annual contract with the Fresno Police Department, despite pleas from community members to reconsider during its Tuesday evening meeting.

Reformers want Calif police to stop using a gang database seen as racially biased

LA Times

Police reform activists this week called on California’s top law enforcement officer to stop use of a secretive and problem-plagued database of suspected gang members, frustrated that it continues to function under rules they say disproportionately target Black and Latino men and that were ordered fixed by the state Legislature nearly three years ago.

Prop. 47’s Impact on Racial Disparity in Criminal Justice Outcomes

Public Policy Institute of California

After Prop 47 passed in Nov 2014, the number of bookings quickly dropped by 10.4 percent. As a result, California’s use of pretrial detention has declined.

See also:

●     Prop. 47 reduced gaps in arrests, jailings among Blacks and whites, report finds SF Chronicle

●     Virtual Event: Prop 47 and Racial Disparities in California Public Policy Institute of California

Public Safety:

More coronavirus infections at Fresno County Jail as correctional officers test positive

Fresno Bee

Three correctional officers at the Fresno County Jail tested positive for the coronavirus, the sheriff’s office announced Tuesday. The news comes after last week’s announcement that 13 inmates tested positive for COVID-19 and at least 1,200 inmates inside Fresno County’s North Annex jail were placed in quarantine.

See also:

●     2 inmates, 3 correctional officers at Fresno County Jail test positive for COVID-19, officials sayabc30

Second inmate at Avenal State Prison dies from apparent COVID-19 complications


Another inmate at Avenal State Prison has died from apparent complications of COVID-19, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said Wednesday. The department said the inmate died at a local hospital, but further information regarding their death was not released.

Firefighters rescue unconscious man from top of Fresno State water tower

Fresno Bee

Fresno firefighters Wednesday lowered a work crew from atop the Fresno State water tower to safety after one of the men became unconscious, apparently due to heat exhaustion.


Fireworks stands are opening in Fresno Co. But coronavirus means big changes

Fresno Bee

Fireworks stands across Fresno County will open for business on Sunday — but the coronavirus pandemic spells big changes both for customers and those working inside the wooden shacks.



Could ‘real repercussions’ of COVID-19 trigger a rollback of Fresno businesses reopening?

Fresno Bee

A continuing rise in coronavirus hospitalizations and deaths in Fresno County has the potential to trigger a reversal of businesses reopening if the epidemic’s trend continues.

See also:

●     City of Fresno hands out citations to businesses for violating safety orders during pandemic abc30

●     Businesses slow to adopt coronavirus expansion measures Bakersfield Californian

●     Companies Agonize Over Reopening Timetables as Covid-19 Spreads Wall Street Journal

Valley PPP borrowers face possible cliff with new changes

Business Journal

President Donald Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act into law in June, bringing some significant changes to the terms of federal relief loans favorable to borrowers.

California’s economic recovery will be like a slow ‘Nike swoosh’

LA Times

California is unlikely to recover its pre-coronavirus prosperity over the next three years, economists say, even as the state slowly rebuilds from a catastrophic economic lockdown.

See also:

●     Percentage of Americans who say economy is in a recession or depression drops sharply: GallupThe Hill

●     Walters: Is the economy headed up or down? CalMatters

Reopening America: The restaurant sector must adapt and innovate to survive


Over the next four months, restaurants and bars will need to try adaptation strategies that go beyond just retrofitting a dining room. 

Commentary: Why Calif’s spirit of community-led innovation will be key to our recovery


When Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed me the first ever senior advisor on Social Innovation for the state of California one year ago, it was clear that my job wasn’t about bringing partners to the same old table in Sac. It was about building a new table entirely, one with room for all Californians. 


Many Calif Latinos are essential workers & they’re getting COVID-19 at alarming rates

Modesto Bee

Latino residents of the Sac region and California – a population that experts say is more likely to be working on the front lines of “essential” professions outside the home – are falling ill to coronavirus at a higher rate than any other ethnic group.

See also:

●     New report: Essential Changes Needed for Essential Workers The James Irvine Foundation

●     Undocumented restaurant worker shares dark struggle during COVID-19 lockdown in CaliforniaFresno Bee

Calif unemployment agency keeps turning to same IT firm despite delays, cost overruns

Sac Bee

California’s unemployment agency gave a $47 million contract to a major consulting firm 10 years ago to upgrade old computer systems that were keeping the agency from paying jobless residents quickly.

Calif seeks court order against Uber & Lyft, saying they violate state labor law

Modesto Bee

California on Wednesday filed for a court order to require Uber and Lyft to stop classifying workers as independent contractors — a designation that Attorney General Xavier Becerra says illegally deprives drivers of workplace protections.

See also:

●     Calif to escalate legal battle with gig companies over worker classification  Politico

Undocumented restaurant worker shares dark struggle during COVID-19 lockdown in California

Fresno Bee

“I’ll be back in about a week… maybe 15 days.” That’s what Reyna Rubio thought when the restaurant where she works as a manager/server called to tell her she would not be needed until further notice. That was March 18.

Why are Black and Latino people still kept out of the tech industry?

LA Times

For years, the industry’s giants had resisted calls to disclose workforce diversity data, making it difficult to pinpoint precisely how much whiter and more male Silicon Valley was than the population at large. But Google’s 2014 decision to publish the racial and gender breakdown of its workforce appeared to signal a sea change.



Central Unified school official in Fresno resigns after making ‘insensitive’ comments

Fresno Bee

Central Unified School District Trustee Richard Atkins resigned on Tuesday night during the school board meeting, just days after making comments on social mediathat critics described as “racist,” “disgusting,” and “xenophobic.”

See also:

●     Central Unified trustee resigns days after posting allegedly racist message on social media abc30

Madera County Board of Education President resigns following backlash over social media post


The Madera County Board of Education President, Sara Wilkins, resigned from her position Thursday following backlash from the community regarding a controversial post shared to her personal Facebook page.

See also:

●     Madera Co school official urged to step down after Confederate flag post Fresno Bee

Over 20 Central Valley schools have a police officer but no counselors on campus


“Obviously that is a mismatch,” Thurmond told us. “Every one of our schools should have access to counseling staff. We know the way our state has funded education has made it difficult for schools to maintain these positions.”

See also

·       California schools chief: Officers needed in some schools Modesto Bee

VUSD ‘weeks out’ from finalizing fall plans, 44% of parents want students back in school

Visalia Times Delta

Visalia Unified School District’s fall semester is still several weeks away, but the window of time to decide if and how students will return to campus is shrinking. A formal plan hasn’t been adopted by Visalia trustees, but district staff is working to find the best model for students.

Masks on buses, fewer kids in class, no rallies. Modesto board gets schools update

Modesto Bee

Modesto City Schools staff sketched for board members Monday evening how the school year might look when it begins in August. But given how quickly the COVID-19 landscape still is changing, the picture they drew is more likely the equivalent of a single frame in an animated short.

For some California teens, school closures led to work in the fields


When the coronavirus pandemic interrupted education across the state, and classes shifted online, many teenage students  went to work picking strawberries or other crops. Advocates worry they’re falling behind.

California K-8 School Tests the Waters For In-Person Classes


Schools around the country are trying to figure out how they may safely reopen this fall while having to navigate safety protocols to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

What Parents Can Learn From Child Care Centers That Stayed Open During Lockdowns


Working in early days, and on very short notice, these two organizations followed safety guidance that closely resembles what’s now been officially put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

See also:

●     A lack of child care is keeping women on unemployment rolls Politico

Higher Ed:

UC students must ready for an online, socially distanced fall


The majority of UC campuses have released guidelines and policies for the next school year. UC guidelines call for the vast majority of classes to be taught online, sparsely populated dorms and regular symptom surveys of students and employees.

Higher ed institutions prepare for in-person instruction


Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday announced recommendations for public and private colleges and universities, who can resume in-person classroom instruction later this summer as long as they follow coronavirus protocols to protect those on campus.

Commentary: This is not the time to water down ethnic studies on CSU campuses


Even as the Assembly and Senate voted overwhelmingly with bipartisan support to make ethnic studies a graduation requirement at the California State University, CSU management and leadership is doing everything it can to blunt progress on inclusive learning.


5.8-magnitude quake hits Lone Pine in east-central California, rattling San Joaquin Valley

Fresno Bee

A 5.8-magnitude quake happened at 10:40 a.m. Wednesday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The quakes could be felt across the central San Joaquin Valley and into Visalia, Fresno and Merced and farther north in Turlock and Sac.

See also:

●     5.8 earthquake near Death Valley felt in Bakersfield Bakersfield Californian

●     Strong Earthquake Strikes Central California NY Times

Wildfire smoke impacting air quality in Fresno area

Fresno Bee

Multiple wildfires in the Fresno and Madera regions are degrading air quality and increasing the risk to vulnerable populations, according to San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution officials.

Most Americans say government must do more to fight climate change

Sac Bee

Majorities of both Republicans and Democrats favor a range of initiatives to reduce the impacts of our changing planet, from taxing companies based on carbon emissions to tightening fuel efficiency standards for vehicles, according to the Pew Research Center.

Nevada Takes Steps Toward California’s Clean Car Rules

Capital Public Radio

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak announced this week his administration would pursue the same vehicle efficiency standards in the Silver State as those that have been recently implemented in California.

National Park Service removes Robert E. Lee’s name from giant sequoia

SF Chronicle

It’s not just statues coming down but now the name of one of the world’s largest trees, which honors Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.



All You Wanted To Know About Coronavirus Vaccine Science But Were Afraid To Ask


Approximately 200 COVID-19 vaccines are being actively developed. All vaccines have one main goal: to prepare a person’s immune system to fight off an invading organism should the body encounter it.

See also:

·       Coronavirus: Symptoms, prevention and number of confirmed cases abc30

Fresno Co reports 3 more deaths, 187 new cases of coronavirus. Numbers up regionally

Fresno Bee

Fresno County reported three more deaths from issues related to COVID-19 on Tuesday and 187 new cases, according to health officials. Fresno County now has seen 70 fatal cases of the coronavirus among its 3,672 cases, numbers show.

See also:

●     Fresno County reports 220 new coronavirus cases. Are social gatherings to blame for rise? Fresno Bee

●     ‘Grave concerns’: COVID-19’s surge in Sunbelt states shows the virus, not testing, to blame Visalia Times Delta

●     COVID-19 outbreaks continue at nursing facilities, prisons Hanford Sentinel

●     Three new COVID-19 deaths in Kern reported Wednesday; outbreak spreads to fourth nursing home Bakersfield Californian

CA Medical Board orders public reprimand, discipline for Fresno doctor. Here’s why

Fresno Bee

A longtime Fresno urologist has been publicly reprimanded and disciplined by the California Medical Board over 2018 allegations of unprofessional conduct against two former female employees, according to the board’s order.

Face masks are mandatory. Does that mean more people around Modesto are wearing them?

Modesto Bee

Last Friday, Governor Gavin Newsom declared that face coverings are mandatory in public settings in California, with a few exceptions. The mandate may be the step that Stanislaus County, as well as a few other counties, needed to kick up the number of people donning masks to help slow the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the county and the state.

Model: If 95% of people wear masks, tens of thousands of lives could be saved

Sac Bee

If nearly everyone wears masks in public, tens of thousands of lives could be saved during the coronavirus pandemic, an updated forecast from the University of Washington predicted.

Trump promised to pay for Covid care. But patients with long-term symptoms see huge bills.


The Trump administration’s pledge to protect Covid-19 patients from massive medical bills is falling short for a growing number of survivors who experience long-term complications from the virus.

Human Services:

Covered Calif extends time for uninsured residents to sign up for health coverage

Fresno Bee

Covered California announced Tuesday that it would extend a special enrollment period to July 31 to give Californians additional time to sign up for health insurance. It had been set to end June 30.

Getting a coronavirus test is becoming harder, frustrating anxious protesters

LA Times

As tens of thousands of people took to the streets to protest police brutality earlier this month, health officials hammered home a single message: Get tested for the coronavirus. The massive demonstrations could become hotbeds for transmission, officials warned.

See also:

●     Easy To Say ‘Get Tested.’ Harder To Do. Here’s How Capital Public Radio

Pandemic forced insurers to pay for in-home treatments

Roll Call

As remote visits quickly ramped up, Medicare and many private insurers, which previously had limited telehealth coverage, temporarily relaxed payment rules, allowing an organic experiment to proceed.

Bungled Lancet study casts shadow over health data industry


Retracted paper linking hydroxychloroquine to increased deaths in Covid-19 patients relied on reams of suspect data.


Supreme Court Rules in Favor of ‘Expedited Removal’ Policies for Some Asylum Seekers


The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the Trump administration can deport some people seeking asylum without allowing them to make their case to a federal judge.

See also:

●     Supreme Court agrees with Trump administration on limits on asylum seekers Washington Post

●     Supreme Court Eases Path to Deport Asylum Seekers Wall Street Journal


Land Use:

See where a controversial quarry expansion could occur

Fresno Bee

CEMEX Rockfield Quarry on Friant Road has applied with Fresno County to expand their operation near the San Joaquin River by drilling and blasting a 600-foot deep pit.

Yosemite, after partial reopening, cancels campground reservations through July

Fresno Bee

Less than two weeks after Yosemite National Park partially reopened to the public, officials are slowing the process down some after seeing a spike in coronavirus cases in California.

See also:

●     Why you shouldn’t count on camping in Yosemite until August at least LA Times

Noriega Hotel will reopen under new ownership, at new location

Fresno Bee

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 long-standing ownership will be changing hands.

County closes camping, day-use amenities at regional park

Stockton Record

Overcrowding concerns have forced San Joaquin County Parks and Recreation to close camping and day-use amenities at Stillman Magee Regional Park in Clements.


Video: Tackling California’s Homelessness Crisis

Public Policy Institute of California

In an online event last Friday, LA County supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Sac mayor Darrell Steinberg talked with PPIC’s Mark Baldassare about what California can do to address homelessness during this unprecedented time.


Inmates got coronavirus stimulus check payments and IRS wants them back


Hundreds of thousands of dollars in coronavirus relief payments have been sent to people behind bars across the United States, and now the IRS is asking state officials to help claw back the cash that the federal tax agency says was mistakenly sent.

See also:

●     IRS Tries To Claw Back COVID-19 Stimulus Checks Sent To Prison Inmates CBS SF

Treasury sent more than 1 million coronavirus stimulus payments to dead people, congressional watchdog finds

Washington Post

The federal government sent coronavirus stimulus payments to almost 1.1 million dead people totaling nearly $1.4 billion, Congress’ independent watchdog reported Thursday.

Column: The coronavirus could cut your Social Security benefits for life, unless Congress acts

LA Times

The coronavirus continues to confound policymakers in its impact on public health, social structures and the economy. Now Social Security advocates are starting to come to grips with its unheralded impact on millions of older workers.


DMV resumes behind-the-wheel drive tests with new protocols on Friday

Hanford Sentinel

The California Department of Motor Vehicles will resume administering behind-the-wheel drive tests beginning Friday, June 26. The DMV will automatically reschedule all canceled drive test appointments.

Next phase starts on bringing ACE commuter trains to Turlock and Merced County

Modesto Bee

Rail planners are taking another step toward bringing the Altamont Corridor Express to Turlock and Merced County. They have launched the detailed environmental study on this segment, which could have one commuter train by 2023 and four by 2027.

Amtrak medical chief explains coronavirus safety measures on trains, in stations

Sac Bee

Enhanced cleaning, more space for physical distancing, travel flexibility and a contact-free travel experience are Amtrak’s new standard of travel during coronavirus pandemic, says Amtrak Medical Director Dr. Ann Kuhnen.

Calif high-speed rail board delays key finance plan after lawmakers push back

LA Times

Following a stunning rebuke by the State Assembly, the board of California’s high-speed rail authority this week put off approving a crucial 2020 business plan, a sign it has agreed to reassess the project’s current blueprint.


In Letter To Congress, Water Agencies Call For Drinking Water Relief Funding


In March, the COVID-19 relief bill known as the CARES Act set aside $900 million to help Americans pay their utility bills. Earlier this week, a broad coalition of water agencies delivered a letter to Congress advocating for more funding. 


Workers, volunteers move 80-year-old Noriega Hotel bar to Kern County Museum

Bakersfield Californian

The much-loved bar at Noriega Hotel, where about a million picon punches were mixed and nearly that many friendships were made during the lifetime of that legendary Basque eatery, was moved Wednesday from its former home in east Bakersfield to its new digs at the Kern County Museum.

Back on the big screen: Local movie theaters gear up for reopening

Bakersfield Californian

After three months of making the most of their home theaters, moviegoers can return to the real thing. Since California lifted the restriction on movie theaters June 12, these businesses have been hard at work meeting safety guidelines and training staff.

See also:

·       Not just movies: Drive-in concerts, drag shows planned with social distancing in mind Modesto Bee

Rawhide, Visalia cancel firework shows

Visalia Times Delta

Fourth of July firework displays draw big crowds in Tulare County. However, in the midst of a pandemic, local city officials are canceling traditional firework shows to curb the spread of COVID-19. On Tuesday, Visalia leaders announced that a joint decision was made with Rawhide Baseball Club not hold public firework shows this Independence Day.

Wineries reopen tasting rooms

Fresno Bee

On June 12, California wineries were given the green light by the state to reopen their tasting rooms to visitors in approved counties. Protecting the health and safety of their visitors is a top priority.

Disneyland reopening is delayed beyond July 17

LA Times

Disneyland’s reopening will be delayed beyond July 17, Walt Disney Co. announced Wednesday in a statement that did not specify an alternative date. Part of the reason for the delay is that it’s waiting for state guidelines, Disney said.