March 16, 2020




North SJ Valley:


All Stockton city offices closed to the public during coronavirus outbreak

Stockton Record

Numerous changes affecting daily life for thousands of area residents were announced Sunday in a massive effort to stem the spread of COVID-19, the new coronavirus.


Incoming Turlock manager Toby Wells identifies public trust, finances, as challenges

Modesto Bee

Turlock’s City Council on Tuesday appointed Toby Wells as its new city manager, despite multiple residents calling for a more transparent recruitment process during the public hearing. 


Turlock police chief to retire

Turlock Journal

Turlock Police Chief Nino Amirfar announced that he will be retiring from City of Turlock service in October. “When you start law enforcement, you have a goal you want to reach and I’ve reached beyond my goals,” said Amirfar. “It’s never the right time (to retire), but it’s just time.”


Parks commission talks future goals, committees

Turlock Journal

In their first meeting since narrowly avoiding disbandment, Turlock’s Parks, Arts and Recreation Commissioners established goals and new committees for the upcoming year. The PAR Commission now meets quarterly following a vote by the City Council in January, when Council members were tasked with the decision of whether or not to temporarily shut down the group of community volunteers.


North Fork CDC’s Annual Meeting Postponed

Sierra News

The North Fork Community Development Council has decided to postpone its annual meeting, which had been scheduled for Monday, March 16.


EDITORIAL: Modesto, let’s use our downtime wisely during coronavirus crisis

Modesto Bee

When these times come, if we’re smart, we learn something about ourselves — perhaps individually, often as a people. If we’re wise, we find ways to benefit from the true-up, the reset that comes with epic happenings.


Central SJ Valley:


Against public health advice, Devin Nunes urges people to go to pubs as coronavirus spreads

Fresno Bee

Rep. Devin Nunes on Sunday urged people go out to local pubs in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, a recommendation that runs contrary to advice a federal health official made the same morning.

See Also:

     Devin Nunes talks COVID-19 coronavirus Visalia Times Delta

     Nunes Encourages People to Dine Out as Experts Urge Them to Stay Home New York Times

     EDITORIAL: Go to restaurants during coronavirus outbreak? Ignore Devin Nunes’ dangerous advice Fresno Bee


EDITORIAL: For Jerry Dyer, winning Fresno’s race for mayor was easy. Now comes the hard part

Fresno Bee

Congratulations to Jerry Dyer for winning the campaign to become Fresno’s next mayor. Now comes the hard part. It might not feel that way to Dyer, who for months has kept up a hectic pace meeting with community and church groups, clubs and fraternal orders, experts in things like land use, and even The Bee’s Editorial Board.


South SJ Valley:


McFarland City Council Appoints New Mayor Following Detention Center Controversy


The McFarland City Council appointed a new mayor Thursday to replace former Mayor Manuel Cantu. Cantu quit in February after the city declined a proposal that would allow The GEO Group, Inc. to turn two state prisons into immigration detention centers.


Bakersfield refuse rates proposed to increase

Bakersfield Californian

The city of Bakersfield is set to increase refuse and recycling rates by 4 percent for the next fiscal year, while keeping sewer rates stable. The city said in a memorandum that the increase is needed to pay for the higher costs required by hauling contractors as well as the significant expenditure increases for handling recyclables combined with declines in revenue.




Gov. Newsom asks California bars to close, tells older residents to isolate due to coronavirus

Fresno Bee

Faced with mounting coronavirus infections, California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday issued sweeping new restrictions in California, calling for home isolation of everyone in the state age 65 and older, and people with chronic disease, both high-risk populations.

See Also:

     California just asked millions of seniors to isolate themselves. How that would work Fresno Bee

     ‘Martial law’ not needed to combat coronavirus in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom saysFresno Bee

     Newsom Calls for Restaurant, Bar Closures; Home Isolation for Seniors Sierra News

     Newsom: Close all bars, seniors should stay home Visalia Times Delta

     California governor calls for closure of all bars, wineries Bakersfield Californian

     Gov. Newsom Calls For Home Isolation For California Seniors And Closing Bars, Nightclubs To Slow Coronavirus Capital Public Radio

     To help fight coronavirus, California seniors should isolate and bars should close, Gov. Gavin Newsom says Los Angeles Times

     CA urges seniors to stay home, bars to close, restaurants to cut seating San Francisco Chronicle

     Facing pandemic, California takes cover, from the Capitol to Disneyland CalMatters

     What you need to know about California’s lockdown of seniors and the chronically illCalMatters

     California adds online triage for coronavirus to help with test shortages CalMatters

     California governor calls for closure of all bars, wineries Associated Press

     EDITORIAL: Coronavirus: Was California slow to respond? Here’s one lesson for future pandemics Sacramento Bee


California Legislature will consider a work hiatus due to coronavirus

Los Angeles Times

California lawmakers attempting to help the state respond to the COVID-19 pandemic are grappling with whether to continue to meet as a legislative body or adjourn temporarily to lessen the risk of virus spread inside the state Capitol.

See also:

·       California Senate cancels all hearings for the coming week due to coronavirus Sacramento Bee


California has recorded 335 cases of the coronavirus as of Sunday

Los Angeles Times

Amid the stepped-up measures, California had recorded 335 cases of the virus as of Sunday, a 14% increase from the day before, Newsom said.


California conservatives will hold conference featuring Bannon despite coronavirus concerns


The coronavirus has closed schools and knocked pro sports out of commission.

But not the California Republican Assembly. The conservative group plans to soldier on with a conference of more than 200 next weekend in Tulare County that includes former White House adviser Steve Bannon and indicted former Trump aide George Papadopoulos on topics that include “the Deep State.”

See also:

·       EDITORIAL: Pandemic party? California Republicans must respect coronavirus threat, cancel soirée Sacramento Bee


I ran San Francisco after 9/11. This is worse

San Francisco Chronicle

I’ve dealt with earthquakes. I’ve dealt with the fallout from terrorist attacks. They scarcely hold a candle to what we’re facing now. If I were mayor today, I would do what Gov. Gavin Newsom and Mayor London Breed are doing: Take a breath, calm down, put on my best game face and wing it.

See also:

·       EDITORIAL: Coronavirus: Was California slow to respond? Here’s one lesson for future pandemics Sacramento Bee


State AGs Crack Down on Coronavirus Scams 


From disgraced televangelist Jim Bakker in Missouri to a convenience store operator in New Jersey, suspected fraudsters are trying to take advantage of the coronavirus panic to trick​​ consumers into buying useless or harmful products, triggering state anti-gouging laws and anti-fraud efforts by state attorneys general.


Opinion: Census ball now in California's court

Hanford Sentinel

Because the U.S. Supreme Court essentially laughed President Trump’s arguments for a citizenship question out of its courtroom last summer, the start of America’s once-a-decade official head count at the beginning of next month will be far from an April Fool’s joke.


Bill would force tech firms to keep inappropriate content from kids

San Francisco Chronicle

Parents no longer have to worry only about whether their children are seeking out violent or harmful content on the internet. Increasingly, the inappropriate content is finding the children, through features like auto-play videos and push alerts that coax users to spend more time glued to the screen.




U.S. Officials Urge More Action to Combat Coronavirus

Wall Street Journal

U.S. officials warned that much more needs to be done to slow the spread of the coronavirus and help the economy cope, urging Americans to significantly curb their social activity and calling for more action from Congress.


Cyberattack on HHS meant to slow coronavirus response, sources say


The Department of Health and Human Services experienced a cyberattack Sunday night related to its coronavirus response, administration sources confirm to ABC News.

See also:

·       Cyber-Attack Hits U.S. Health Agency Amid Covid-19 Outbreak Bloomberg


White House Says Up To 4,000 Coronavirus Tests A Day To Start This Week

Capital Public Radio

The Trump administration said Sunday that starting this week, labs across the country will be able to process coronavirus screenings of up to 4,000 people a day, as the deadly virus worsens across America and criticism mounts over the availability of tests.

See Also:

     White House Says More Drive-Through Coronavirus Test Sites To Open This Week Capital Public Radio

     Federal vaccine development sites ill-suited to counter covid-19 epidemic Washington Post

     EDITORIAL: Trump’s wobbly coronavirus course correction San Francisco Chronicle


FACT CHECK: Trump's Accusations About The Obama Administration And Swine Flu

President Trump, widely criticized for his administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic, tried to shift blame Friday to his predecessor's handling of a health crisis 11 years ago. In a series of 
tweets Friday morning, Trump accused former President Barack Obama of making unspecified changes that "complicated" the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention's testing system.


‘Last to leave’: Pelosi has no plans to close House due to coronavirus

San Francisco Chronicle

As thousands of workplaces, schools and government buildings are shuttered to slow the spread of the coronavirus, work goes on largely uninterrupted in one place: the crowded hallways of Congress.


Coronavirus bill needs a do-over while small businesses chafe

Roll Call

The House will have to vote once more on the COVID-19 aid package the chamber passed in the wee hours of Saturday morning due to agreed-upon "technical" changes that didn't make it into the version that eventually hit the floor.

See Also: 

     Free testing, paid sick leave, food relief — what’s in the new coronavirus bill? Sacramento Bee 

     House passes aid bill after Trump declares coronavirus emergency Los Angeles Times


At Census Time, Asian Americans Again Confront the Question of Who 'Counts' as Asian. Here's How the Answer Got So Complicated


With the U.S. Census online form set to go live starting March 12, Americans will soon get the once-in-a-decade opportunity to stand up and be counted. But while many of the questions on the Census may seem simple — name or date of birth — at least one is more complicated: race. 

See Also:

     What to know about the 2020 census PEW


EDITORIAL: A bipartisan compromise would reform surveillance. Trump should be willing to sign it

Los Angeles Times

Almost seven years after former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the government was scooping up a vast quantity of Americans’ telephone records, the House has approvedbipartisan legislation that would finally end that sort of intrusive surveillance.


Elections 2020:


Biden, Sanders pressed on coronavirus, VP picks at first head-to-head debate

Fresno Bee

After ten debates and more than two dozen candidates fell by the wayside, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders finally met for a one-on-one showdown in the 2020 Democratic presidential race. It was anything but a typical debate.

See Also:

     Biden shifts stance on progressive policies as he seeks to grow his coalition  abc30

     Biden proposes free tuition plan, adopting part of progressive agenda Los Angeles Times

     6 takeaways from the Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders Democratic debate Los Angeles Times

     Democrats see Biden and Sanders as very different ideologically PEW

     Biden endorses Warren bankruptcy plan The Hill

     Winners and losers from the Bernie Sanders-Joe Biden debate Washington Post

     Commentary: The Democratic debate: Biden’s VP pledge shows that women will be key in 2020 Brookings

     Fact Check: Bernie Sanders: Says Joe Biden "has advocated cutting Social Security for 40 years" PolitiFact

     Tuesday's primaries offer chance for Biden to reach Latinos Porterville Recorder


Walters: Vice President Kamala Harris? Here’s how a Biden win could reshape California politics

Sacramento Bee

The high point — or low point — of U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris’ campaign for president occurred last June during a multi-candidate debate when she lashed out at former Vice President Joe Biden on racial justice.

See Also:

     Biden says he'll pick a female VP; Sanders 'in all likelihood' would too abc30

     Biden’s debate surprise: He’ll pick a woman for vice president San Francisco Chronicle

     Georgia, Louisiana Postpone Primaries Over Coronavirus Concerns Wall Street Journal


Coronavirus reshaping political campaigns into work-from-home affairs

San Francisco Chronicle

Political campaigns are all about talking to voters. But fears of spreading the coronavirus are making campaigns rethink how they will connect with voters.

See also:

·       Coronavirus Could Get U.S. to Vote by Mail  PEW

Republican tug-of-war: Election raises a familiar GOP dilemma in California


What to do when your party wants one thing, but your state wants another? It’s a perennial quandary for the California GOP. And primary election results in Orange County are once again raising the question.


In California primaries, sometimes the winning strategy is to help a foe


These days, campaigning doesn't just mean attacking all challengers. A sly assist for a favorite opponent can, in fact, prove useful.  




Amid decline, newspapers press less for records in court

Hanford Sentinel

Industry experts said they fear the demise has taken a toll on public access to records and government transparency, as beleaguered news organizations are pursuing fewer challenges in court


Black and white Democrats differ in their media diets, assessments of primaries

In the fateful four days from the South Carolina primary through Super Tuesday that transformed the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination, one recurring media narrative was – and continues to be today – the strong support for Joe Biden among black voters, support 
some analysts credit with saving the former vice president’s candidacy.


The Electoral College Still Makes Sense Because We’re Not A Democracy

The Federalist

The Electoral College has been on life support since a chad—specifically a “hanging” chad—tipped the White House to George W. Bush in 2000. The painful reality of how our Constitution works was never more apparent. The Gore/Lieberman ticket won the popular vote 50,994,086 to 50,461,092 but lost the electoral vote 266 to 271.

See Also:

     A majority of Americans continue to favor replacing Electoral College with a nationwide popular vote PEW






Fewer dining out as coronavirus fear spreads. Here’s what Fresno restaurants are doing

Fresno Bee

Fewer people are eating out at some local restaurants as fears over coronavirus are changing the way people live their lives. Several restaurants are reporting slower than normal mealtimes in the last few days.


Valley shoppers find long lines, empty shelves at grocery stores


Lines out the doors and hour-long waits to check out were just some of the surprises shoppers saw this weekend. This is even causing some places to limit how much people can buy of certain items.

See Also:

     Trump calls on Americans to cease hoarding food abc30

     Customers scramble to stock up at stores amid COVID-19 pandemic Stockton Record

     Food Delivery’s Big Coronavirus Test: Can It Deliver?  Wall Street Journal


Federal judge cites coronavirus in decision blocking Trump admin cut to food stamps 

The Hill

A Trump administration rule that would have tightened work requirements for food stamps was blocked by a federal judge on Friday, who cited the rapidly spreading coronavirus in her decision. D.C. District Court Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell granted a preliminary injunction blocking the new rule, which government estimates predicted would kick as many as 700,000 Americans off of food stamps.


Farmers Fear Property Tax Changes Under Split-roll Initiative

The Business Journal

Last year, when a revised edition of the split roll property tax ballot initiative was filed that would require taxes on commercial and industrial properties to be assessed at market value, while leaving taxes on residential properties based on the purchase price, it seemed that agricultural land was exempt.






Price gougers will be fined and prosecuted, Fresno leaders warn

Fresno Bee

Fresno city officials are warning consumers about local retailers “price gouging” for necessary goods, such as bottled water, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. They’re sending a message to violators, too.

See Also:

     Price gouging during coronavirus emergency? Stanislaus DA wants to hear about it Modesto Bee


Removing the scars left by the bars

Stockton Record

The newly sworn-in AmeriCorps members will act as re-entry navigators for young adults who recently have been released or currently are incarcerated in juvenile facilities and help them successfully transition back into their communities and obtain honorable discharges.


Public Safety:


BPD's motorcycle traffic enforcement unit rides again

Bakersfield Californian

Justin Enns had the distinction in 2016 of being the last full-time motorcycle officer in the Bakersfield Police Department's traffic enforcement division. By 2018, even his motorcycle had been retired, making the BPD one of the largest city police departments in the country without an active motor unit.


Kern County Fire Department shows how firefighters might arrive to emergency calls as precaution against coronavirus          

The Kern County Fire Department is showing residents what their firefighters might look like when responding to some calls during the coronavirus outbreak. The department shared a photo of one of their firefighters in protective gear they’ll be using on some calls with people who are sick.




Could coronavirus collide with wildfire season? California preparing for it

San Francisco Chronicle

Northern California may still be grappling with the novel coronavirus outbreak when it begins to face the more familiar threat of dangerous wildfires, and emergency officials are already contemplating that possibility.


Contractor denies PG&E’s claims of overcharging after Camp Fire

San Francisco Chronicle

“We stand firmly by our work, reputation and commitment to our clients,” said Kevin Olivero, CEO of Bay Area Concrete Recycling.






As coronavirus spreads, fears of taking down California’s economy


As the stock market tumbled and oil prices collapsed on Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s top economic officials sought to project calm from the world’s fifth-largest economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and a Russia-Saudi Arabia oil price war.

See Also:

     Coronavirus updates: Californians adjusting to state of emergency, tax deadline extendedSacramento Bee

     Recession due to coronavirus could hit California harder than rest of U.S. Sacramento Bee

     Coronavirus Could Take Big Bite Out of California Budget U.S. News


COMMUNITY VOICES: As oil prices crash, Calif must lead communities and workers through the inevitable decline of the industry

Bakersfield Californian

On Monday, global oil prices dropped to the lowest level in three decades as a result of a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia and reduced demand for oil globally. As the oil industry protects its bottom line during this price plunge, oil industry workers are at risk of losing their jobs. 


Stocks nosedive on Wall Street, triggering trading halt

Fresno Bee

Stocks are down 9% after trading resumed on Wall Street following a temporary halt Monday morning. Markets are down by similar percentages around the world as huge swaths of the economy come closer to shutting down due to the coronavirus outbreak.

See Also:

     Wall Street trading halted after Dow plunges 2,250 points at open abc30

     Stocks lose 6% on Wall Street as more businesses shut doors Porterville Recorder

     U.S. stock futures tumble 5% despite Federal Reserve’s moves Los Angeles Times

     Historical volatility points to more wild rides ahead for the stock market Los Angeles Times

     U.S. Consumers Increasingly Rattled by Coronavirus Fears Wall Street Journal

     Economists See Rising Risks of Recession World-Wide Wall Street Journal

     Live updates: U.S. stocks nosedive, trading paused as emergency Fed action fails to mollify investors Washington Post

     Commentary: Coronavirus: What the global economy is up against AEI


Fed takes emergency steps to slash rates and ease bank rules

Fresno Bee

The Federal Reserve took massive emergency action Sunday to try to help the economy withstand the coronavirus by slashing its benchmark interest rate to near zero and saying it would buy $700 billion in Treasury and mortgage bonds.

See Also:

     Federal Reserve slashes interest rates to near zero abc30

     Fed slashes rates to near zero, eases bank lending rules Stockton Record

     Fed Cuts Rates To Near Zero As Coronavirus Rips Through Economy Capital Public Radio

     Fed slashes rate to near zero to counter coronavirus as Fauci warns ‘worst is yet ahead’ Los Angeles Times

     What The Fed’s Near Zero Rates Means for You Wall Street Journal

     Stocks Fall Sharply After Fed Slashes Rates Wall Street Journal

     OPINION: The Federal Reserve Returns to 2008 Wall Street Journal


Covid-19’s Full Impact To Local Tourism Remains To Be Seen

The Business Journal

For operators of hotels, restaurants and gas stations — along with ride-share drivers, caterers and other businesses serving tourists in the Fresno area — this weekend likely will be a tough one.


Airline industry seeking more than $50 billion in government aid amid coronavirus crisis

Washington Post

U.S. airlines are asking for more than $50 billion in federal assistance amid the economic uncertainty caused by the dramatic decrease in passenger traffic due to the coronavirus outbreak. The aid would come in the form of grants, loans and tax relief.


Donald Trump Promised To Eliminate The Deficit In 8 Years. So Far, He Has Increased It By 68%


During the 2016 campaign, President Donald Trump made an aggressive promise on federal finances: He would eliminate the budget deficit within eight years. Now, three years into his presidency, the deficit is 68 percent higher than when he started.


About one-in-four Americans say they’ve had fewer advantages in life than others their age


Amid debates about the impact of privilege and inequality in the country, a Pew Research Center survey conducted in late 2018 asked U.S. adults how they would compare their advantages in life with those who are about their same age. 


Commentary: Three factors hindering economic mobility in the workplace


Inequality is a hot political topic. Donald Trump boasted in his State of the Union that he had created a “blue collar boom,” pointing to evidence that wages are rising fastest on the bottom rungs of the labor market. The Democrats competing to face the president in November are highlighting the gap between rich and poor.




Gov’s Chief Economic and Business Advisor Releases Joint Statement with Calif Labor Secretary on January Employment Numbers

California Governor’s Office of Business

Following the California Employment Development Department’s (EDD) release of the state’s employment datafrom January, the Governor’s Chief Economic and Business Advisor and Director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, Lenny Mendonca issued the following joint statement with California’s Labor Secretary, Julie A. Su:

See Also:

     California Employment Report for January 2020 California Center for Jobs & the Economy

     Commentary: Pres Trump is attacking Calif’s salmon fishing industry and its 23,000 jobsCalMatters


Downtown Fresno Grocery Store Hiring For April Opening

The Business Journal

Something is stirring at a long-anticipated grocery store in Downtown Fresno that points to an opening this spring. Valley Foods, at 50 N. Van Ness Ave., is opening in April “as long as everything goes as planned,” according to General Manager Mansoor Mohamed.


Virtual Happy Hour Anyone? Working From Home But Keeping Connected

Capital Public Radio

How do you keep your office connected when people are working from home and practicing social distancing? One CEO is throwing virtual happy hours and online karaoke parties.

See Also:

     Virus concerns begin to reshape local workplaces Bakersfield Californian

     Is your state government job ‘essential?’ Newsom administration to tell you on TuesdaySacramento Bee

     California Legislature will consider a work hiatus due to coronavirus Los Angeles Times

     As coronavirus spreads, which U.S. workers have paid sick leave – and which don’t? PEW

     LIVE WEBINAR: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Fallout: Employment Law Perspectives Sutton Hague

     Paid sick leave: Who gets it during the coronavirus outbreak Washington Post


How do we support restaurant workers during a pandemic?

San Francisco Chronicle

We’ve urged diners to support restaurants suffering from xenophobia and skittish customers; but after a certain point, the necessity of halting the COVID-19 pandemic seems more important.

See Also:

     How are restaurants and venues dealing with the coronavirus in Modesto, valley? Modesto Bee

     With bars set to close because of coronavirus, owners worry about employees Los Angeles Times 

     Coronavirus Social-Distancing Forces Painful Choices on Small Businesses Wall Street Journal


Workers say gig companies doing 'bare minimum' during coronavirus outbreak

CNN Business 

One after the other, many gig companies have said in recent days that they will compensate workers diagnosed with coronavirus or placed under quarantine by public health authorities. Putting aside the fact a diagnosis may be difficult to prove given availability and criteria for a test, many workers can't afford to stop working, yet fear contracting the virus.






Millions of California school kids staying home amid virus

Porterville Recorder

Millions of California's oldest and youngest residents are staying home Monday as state and local governments take increasingly strident steps to separate people and contain the spread of the coronavirus.

See Also:

     Fresno Unified offering meals for students during school closure due to coronavirus concerns Fresno Bee

     Central Unified and other Fresno schools will close for a month to fight coronavirus Fresno Bee

     Clovis Unified schools to close until mid-April to fight spreading coronavirus Fresno Bee

     Fresno School Districts Close Temporarily Amid Coronavirus Concerns VPR

     Merced County schools to close Thursday, in response to coronavirus threat, officials sayFresno Bee

     Clovis Unified schools to close until mid-April to fight spreading coronavirus Fresno Bee

     YUSD to Offer Free Meals for Children 18 and Under During School Closures Sierra News

     Tulare plans to close high schools Visalia Times Delta

     Tulare follows Visalia, Exeter, will close schools as coronavirus fears rise Visalia Times Delta

     Has your school closed? Here is a list of shuttered Tulare County schools Visalia Times Delta

     County superintendent: Kern County public schools to close temporarily Bakersfield Californian

     KHSD issues plan for school closures Bakersfield Californian

     BCSD to close schools starting Wednesday Bakersfield Californian

     School closure plans in Kern County rapidly evolving Bakersfield Californian

     San Joaquin County schools suspend classes; confirmed coronavirus cases rise to 8 Stockton Record

     All Stanislaus public schools closing this week because of coronavirus concerns Modesto Bee

     Close all California public schools to contain coronavirus, teachers’ union advises Sacramento Bee

     Parents and teachers scramble to keep education going now that school’s ‘out’ for springSacramento Bee

     Newsom won’t order closing of all public schools over coronavirus, for now Los Angeles Times

     Newsom orders more aid to California campuses shuttered by coronavirus, opting not to close schools statewide Los Angeles Times

     Parents Hustle To Find Child Care, Teachers Seek Out Additional Income As Northern California Schools Close Capital Public Radio

     Parents and teachers scramble to keep education going now that school’s ‘out’ for springSacramento Bee

     Governor Newsom Signs Executive Order Ensuring State Funding for Schools Even in Event of Physical Closure Office of Governor Gavin Newsom

     Schools shut down in massive numbers across California amid coronavirus fears CalMatters

     Amid concerns about children’s health and safety, Gov. Newsom holds off on ordering closure of California schools EdSource

     OPINION: As schools close, we need systemic ways to ease hardships that many children will face Washington Post


How learning will change across California's K-12 schools amid coronavirus closures


California schools facing inevitable closures because of coronavirus outbreaks are finding various ways to keep learning going as students are forced to stay home. Across the state, more than 1,200 public and private K-12 schools announced this week that they will close or move to remote learning due to concerns about coronavirus, including the state’s two​​ largest school districts, Los Angeles Unified and San Diego Unified, which announced Friday morning in a joint statement that they will close schools beginning Monday.


Prop. 13 school bond is officially defeated

Stockton Record

California voters have rejected Proposition 13, the only statewide measure on the March 3 ballot, making it the first failed state school bond proposal in more than two decades.


Commentary: To prevent mass school shootings, California should rely on facts and science, not for-profit fear-mongers


Despite crime being at record setting lows, national polling reveals 93% of parents consider school safety a top priority. In the aftermath of isolated but widely reported horrific school shootings, education leaders report they’re inundated with sales pitches from security companies, each with the same basic message: You could be next.


Higher Ed:


Fresno City College, other SCCCD campuses temporarily suspend in-person classes


Several more college campuses are asking students to shift from classrooms to computers in hopes of keeping students and staff safe from the coronavirus.

See Also:

     COS, Porterville, Fresno State respond to COVID-19 Visalia Times Delta

     Students: What You Need To Know CSU Bakersfield


CSUB officially suspends athletic activities

Bakersfield Californian

A seeming formality became reality as Cal State Bakersfield has officially suspended all athletic activities indefinitely. The school made a formal announcement on its athletics website Friday morning, stating: "With the best interests of its student-athletes, coaches, staff, fans, and the Bakersfield community in mind, the CSU Bakersfield Athletics Department has decided to indefinitely suspend all team athletics activities.


EDITORIAL: California should reconsider affirmative action ban

San Francisco Chronicle

Proposition 209 was not about advancing civil rights. It was about prohibiting the consideration of race and gender in public education, employment and contracting.


Commentary: Free college won’t be enough to prepare Americans for the future of work


As the Democratic presidential candidates gather in Westerville, Ohio for the fourth primary debate on Tuesday, they would do well to acknowledge the growing public concern about the “future of work.”






Congress members support youth effort to force action on climate change

San Francisco Chronicle

A federal appeals court’s ruling that climate change can be addressed only by elected officials, not the judiciary, is being challenged by 24 members of Congress, who say the crisis has become so politicized that the courts must step in and demand action.

See also:

·       Opinion: Coronavirus concern: Climate needs similar sense of urgency San Francisco Chronicle


Environmental Planning

California Department of Water Resources

DWR is pursuing a new environmental planning process under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and will seek new permits for a single tunnel option to modernize Delta conveyance. Initiating the environmental review process under CEQA, DWR has released a Notice of Preparation (NOP) for the development of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR). 


Commentary: Mattress recycling program helping California achieve statewide goal


As the recycling industry faces global challenges, California’s program to recycle used mattresses continues to be overwhelmingly successful: more than 5 million mattresses recycled in less than five years, supporting the state’s recycling goals and serving as a global model.




As coronavirus shuts down economies, global oil use is headed for a record drop

Los Angeles Times

Global oil consumption is in free-fall, heading for the biggest annual contraction in history, as more countries introduce unprecedented measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic.


COMMUNITY VOICES: As oil prices crash, Calif must lead communities and workers through the inevitable decline of the industry

Bakersfield Californian

On Monday, global oil prices dropped to the lowest level in three decades as a result of a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia and reduced demand for oil globally. As the oil industry protects its bottom line during this price plunge, oil industry workers are at risk of losing their jobs. 






Flattening A Pandemic's Curve: Why Staying Home Now Can Save Lives

Capital Public Radio

From school closures to event cancellations, the disruptions are real — and vital. It's all to slow the spread of coronavirus, so hospitals don't get so overwhelmed that they can't treat the sickest.

See Also:

     Add Fresno Chaffee Zoo among establishments closing to combat spreading of coronavirusFresno Bee

     Central CA events canceled, postponed amid COVID-19 concerns abc30

     Clovis Braces For Coronavirus Clovis RoundUp

     Agency Updates COVID-19 Coronavirus Fresno EOC

     Best weapon to contain coronavirus: #StayHomeVisalia Times Delta

     Virus concerns hit California casinos, entertainment venues Bakersfield Californian

     CDC and Newsom are giving different numbers on coronavirus testing in CaliforniaSacramento Bee

     Should you visit grandma? Is this media hype? Doctors answer our questions about coronavirus Sacramento Bee

     ‘Spike’ in coronavirus cases expected as testing expands this week to private labsSacramento Bee

     How to self-quarantine if you think you have coronavirus Sacramento Bee

     Coronavirus forces radical changes to California with sweeping restrictions on life Los Angeles Times

     California coronavirus cases hit 335, with six deaths: Here is what you need to know Los Angeles Times

     Quarantine grandma? California families scramble as coronavirus hits CalMatters

     CDC urges halting gatherings of 50 people or more Washington Post

     Live updates: U.S. life shuts down over coronavirus as surgeon general warns ‘we could be Italy’ Washington Post

     CDC urges halting gatherings of 50 people or more Washington Post

     Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to “flatten the curve”Washington Post

     Americans Fear Worst Is Yet to Come From Coronavirus, WSJ/NBC Poll Finds Wall Street Journal

     Please Stay Home. Talk to Your Pets. Wall Street Journal

     Coronavirus Threatens Americans With Underlying Conditions New York Times

     What to Know About Coronavirus New York Times

     Rural Towns Insulated From Coronavirus Now May Take A Harder Hit Later NPR

     Coronavirus (COVID-19) CDC

     Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak WHO

     OPINION: It’s Dangerous to Test Only the Sick Wall Street Journal


‘COVID-19 is here.’ Fresno County declares state of emergency in response to coronavirus

Fresno Bee

Fresno County declared a state of emergency Sunday after health officials confirmed a second case of coronavirus and await results from dozens of tests.

See Also:

     Local emergency to be declared after second coronavirus case confirmed in Fresno CountyFresno Bee

     Fresno Catholic diocese suspends all church services in the midst of Lent over coronavirusFresno Bee

     Health officials confirm second COVID-19 case in Fresno County abc30

     Fresno County Declares A Local Emergency After Confirming Second COVID-19 Case VPR


Second coronavirus case confirmed in Tulare County, after person traveled to Bay Area

Fresno Bee

A second case of the coronavirus has popped up in Tulare County. The Tulare County Public Health confirmed Friday night that another patient has tested positive for COVID-19.

See Also:

     Second person in Tulare County tests positive for COVID-19 abc30

     2nd person tests positive for COVID-19 coronavirus Visalia Times Delta

     Sierra View address COVID-19 case Porterville Recorder


Coronavirus: 1st dose to be delivered in clinical trial of vaccine


A clinical trial evaluating a vaccine designed to protect against the new coronavirus will begin Monday, according to a government official.


Coronavirus update: Modesto declares emergency; Stanislaus Catholic schools closed

Modesto Bee

Here is the latest on the coronavirus outbreak in and around Stanislaus County. No new cases in the area have been immediately reported, though the county’s website has not been updated since Friday.

See Also:

     Modesto declares emergency to respond to coronavirus, including toll on local economyModesto Bee


SLO County confirms second case of coronavirus

The Tribune

A second person has tested positive for coronavirus in San Luis Obispo County. According to a news release from the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department on Sunday, a person who lives in the South County tested positive for COVID-19. This comes a day after a North County resident was confirmed to have the virus.


ROBERT PRICE: The surprisingly subtle sound of a pandemic

Bakersfield Californian

Justin Trudeau’s wife, Sophie, has tested positive for COVID-19. The mayor of Miami has it, too. Major League Baseball has postponed opening day. Major League Soccer has called off its season until further notice. One sobering announcement after another, all within the space of several minutes. This, I guess, is what a pandemic looks like. Sounds like.


Human Services:


Coronavirus tests are free for 1.5 million people with CalPERS health insurance

Fresno Bee

The 1.5 million people with CalPERS health insurance won’t have to pay for medically necessary coronavirus tests, according to a spokeswoman for the retirement system. The CalPERS policyholders won’t have to pay deductibles or co-pays for screening or tests for COVID-19, the disease that can result from coronavirus, spokeswoman Deborah Reyman said.


Comcast giving free internet to low-income families to help out with coronavirus

Fresno Bee

Starting Monday, Comcast Cable is giving WiFi to low-income families for two months to help out on the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The cable company’s gesture comes on the heels of many schools — from elementary all the way to the college level — suspending classes because of the pandemic. In addition, some companies have encouraged employees to work from home if possible.


Bakersfield Memorial Hospital puts up COVID-19 prescreening tent

Bakersfield Californian

Bakersfield Memorial Hospital is putting up an emergency room triage tent on its grounds "to expand our screening and treatment capabilities in the event we experience an influx of patients presenting with symptoms of infectious disease, including coronavirus," a hospital statement issued Saturday evening said.

See Also:

     Memorial Hospital prepares for COVID-19 with pre-screening tent Bakersfield Now


Priority Urgent Care to offer coronavirus testing starting Tuesday       


Priority Urgent Care announced that they will begin testing patients for COVID-19 at all four of their locations tomorrow. Patients with respiratory symptoms who have either recently traveled or have come in contact with a conformed COVID-19 positive person will be notified in their cars.


New urgent care opens in downtown Gustine, aims to assist underserved community

Merced Sun-Star

Multiple agencies are partnering to bring increased medical care to the city of Gustine, on the west side of Merced County. A new urgent care center at 489 5th St. in downtown Gustine opened in February, according to a Legacy Health Endowment news release.


As coronavirus toll rises, so does health care workers’ alarm


When the novel coronavirus hit California, Jamille Cabacungan, a registered nurse at UCSF Medical Center, rushed to sign up as a volunteer to treat infected patients. She hesitated to answer, however, when asked recently about her preparation for that job. 

See Also:

     Nurses, doctors and other medical professionals face hazards in coronavirus pandemicSacramento Bee


National Emergency Declaration Speeds Low-Income Health Care 


The national emergency declaration President Donald Trump delivered today increases states’ authority to help low-income residents get testing and treatment for the new coronavirus.


Will U.S. Health Care Ever Be the Same? 

Wall Street Journal

When the dust settles on the Covid-19 crisis, the investing public may have to face significant changes in the huge U.S. health-care system. How effectively the U.S. can beat back the novel coronavirus, and what parts of the system shine or disappoint, may well determine whether the federal government expands its role in the system or reduces it.

See Also:

     COVID-19: A Stress Test for a U.S. Health Care System Already Under Stress Rand Corporation


OPINION: Some have called me a coronavirus idiot. But I just don’t believe toilet paper should divide us

Sacramento Bee

Some Bee readers have taken me to task for criticizing the Elk Grove Unified School District shortly after the largest district in Northern California shut down its more than 60​​ schools serving 64,000 students amid concerns that some kids had tested positive for COVD-19.


WALTERS: A looming shortage of nurses?


Now that election year hoopla has abated in California, at least for the moment, it’s time to discuss an issue of real world importance — whether the state faces a serious shortage of registered nurses. A polite debate has been underway in health planning circles over that question because while supply is relatively easy to quantify — we have about 350,000 RNs now and are graduating about 11,000 more each year — there’s no agreement on how to measure demand.


Commentary: Congress should increase the federal Medicaid matching rate

Among the four of us, one of us served in President Trump’s administration and two of us served in President Obama’s administration. Two of us are doctors and two of us are economists. All four of us strongly believe that one of the many critical steps Congress should take to slow the spread of the COVID-19 disease, help the families and communities most affected by it, and aid the overall economy would be to increase the federal matching rate for the Medicaid program.




US: Immigrants can seek coronavirus care without fear

Porterville Recorder

The U.S. government says a new rule disqualifying more people from green cards if they use government benefits will not apply to immigrants with coronavirus or virus symptoms if they seek care.


Coronavirus testing won’t count against immigrants trying to get green cards, feds say

Miami Herald

When immigration officials rolled out their “public charge” rule last month, people who were sick were deemed a “burden” to the U.S. and their health conditions were counted against them when applying for a green card.




California plans to use private hotels, motels to shelter homeless people as coronavirus spreads

Fresno Bee

California state government is procuring hotels and motels to shelter the homeless as part of the state’s effort to slow the spread of coronavirus, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Sunday.


Coronavirus makes homeless people vulnerable like never before

San Francisco Chronicle

Many who experience chronic homelessness also have chronic health problems. And because they’re homeless, social distancing isn’t something that’s easily done when you live clustered on sidewalks or crammed into shelters.

See Also:

     An unexpected side effect of the coronavirus? A new urgency about helping homeless people Los Angeles Times


Could vacancy fines ease California’s housing crisis? Vancouver tries it, with mixed results


California has a housing shortage, so the idea of a big, faceless corporation keeping thousands of homes empty for months is pretty frustrating. But a new proposal in California is aimed at changing that by allowing cities and counties to impose vacancy fines.


Older people are more likely to live alone in the U.S. than elsewhere in the world

Living with an extended circle of relatives is the most common type of household arrangement for older people around the world, according to a 
recent Pew Research Center study. But in the United States, older people are far less likely to live this way – and far more likely to live alone or with only a spouse or partner.


Commentary: California can stem the tidal wave of senior citizen homelessness


A woman in her late 70s receives an eviction notice from her mobile home park.  She’s fallen victim to a financial scam and is several months behind on her rent. She’s unable to care for herself and living in squalor.

See also:

·       Commentary: California is its own worst enemy when it comes to homelessness. But here’s how the state can start to make real change CalMatters


Commentary: America’s inequitable housing system is completely unprepared for coronavirus


As COVID-19 (or the coronavirus) spreads and Americans prepare for potential quarantines, public health officials have recommended some advice for U.S. households: Namely, stock up two weeks of supplies, avoid crowds, and stay in your homes.


Commentary: America’s housing crisis and the gatekeeping of opportunity


In this episode: a conversation about the prohibitive cost of home ownership in America. Jenny Schuetz, a fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program and an expert on housing issues, interviews Conor Dougherty, an economics reporter at the New York Times and author of the new book Golden Gates: Fighting for Housing in America


OPINION: The Unbuildable American Home   

National Review

The United States has developed a split housing market. There are cities where homes have become extremely expensive, and others where home prices have stayed low. Look at it from the perspective of a young family: In the expensive cities, it probably seems as though homes have been spectacular investments for their parents, but now housing is overpriced and makes for a poor investment.




Before coronavirus, infectious disease was on rise in California — but spending got cut

San Francisco Chronicle

An 18% plunge in dollars spent per person at the California Department of Public Health over a dozen years is the backdrop to today’s COVID-19 crisis, a Chronicle analysis shows


Commentary: Disadvantaged Americans need attention amid this health crisis


The New York Times ran an important piece earlier this week about the challenges low income communities face in the event of a widespread coronavirus outbreak. Federal, state, and local policymakers and program leaders should pay close attention to it.


The Economic Benefits of CalEITC for Families and Local Communities: Fact Sheets by State Legislative District

California Budget & Policy Center

Too many families and individuals in all regions of California struggle to afford the costs of housing, child care, health care, food, and other basic necessities – with serious consequences for health and well-being that can also affect the broader community and economy.


Opinion: California’s ‘rainy-day fund’ is ready for its close-up

San Francisco Chronicle

But the time is coming — quite quickly — when I, California’s humble “rainy-day fund,” will stand at the center of our state’s civic stage, and my fellow Californians will finally have to pay me the attention I deserve.


WALTERS: Even more confusion over tax vote


Throughout California, local government and school officials have been stunned by voters’ reluctance this month to approve new taxes and bonds. The California Taxpayers Association has reported that more than half of the local measures appeared to fail on March 3, although some may squeak through when all votes are tallied.




Caltrans sends message on California highways about coronavirus

Fresno Bee

More than 700 electronic highway signs in California, including in Fresno, is on display with the different types of public health safety messages about the coronavirus (COVID-19).

See Also:

     Look up! Caltrans has an awareness message for you about the coronavirus Fresno Bee


Travelers Greeted With Hours-Long Airport Lines As Coronavirus Screenings Begin

Capital Public Radio

Across the U.S., airport lines stretched for up to eight hours in some cases, as workers rushed to conduct medical screenings of those arriving from mainland Europe, now the epicenter of the outbreak.

See Also:

     For LAX passengers returning from Europe, it’s nothing like the chaos at other major airports Los Angeles Times

     Virus screenings jam U.S. airports; ‘atrocious,’ a flier says Los Angeles Times

     No virus delays at SFO, but international travelers not medically screened San Francisco Chronicle


Coronavirus outbreak could force Real ID deadline extension, California lawmaker says

Los Angeles Times

Already alarmed that California is falling short in issuing Real IDs to millions who need them, state lawmakers now worry the efforts will be further hampered by the coronavirus outbreak, which they believe will discourage people from visiting crowded DMV field offices.

See also:

·       OPINION: Large gatherings are banned during coronavirus crisis. Why are California DMV offices open? Sacramento Bee


Analyst: California Bullet Train Plans May Be Too Ambitious 

CourtHouse News

The agency tasked with analyzing legislation has found the embattled California high-speed rail project has immediate- and long-term funding issues, boasts an “ambitious” construction schedule that potentially rests on overly optimistic assumptions and may have violated the spirit of the voter-approved plan by outsourcing too much to the private sector.




Storm hitting California with up to 6 feet of snow possible


A large and potent storm system on the West Coast is already bringing very heavy snow to the northern and central California Mountains.

See also:

·       Cold storm washes away dry spell Modesto had been suffering. And more rain on wayModesto Bee

·       California gets rain, mountain snow from late-winter storm Porterville Recorder

·       If coronavirus doesn’t keep you inside, this upcoming cold storm might Los Angeles Times




Table Mountain Casino announces temporary closure, as coronavirus precaution

Fresno Bee

The Table Mountain Casino in Friant will close its doors at 6 p.m. tomorrow in response to growing coronavirus concerns, the casino announced late Sunday. The Table Mountain Rancheria Tribal Council and the casino’s board of directors met and reached the decision Sunday, according to a news release.


Updated: Keep track of canceled Tulare County events near you

Visalia Times Delta

Under a new policy issued by the California Department of Public Health, Gov. Gavin Newsom said public events should be limited to no more than 250 people and should not proceed unless organizers could ensure at least six feet of distance between attendees.