May 11, 2020



North SJ Valley:

Will Merced County reopen before much of California? There’s a plan for that, officials say

Fresno Bee

As some businesses across Merced County reopened Friday, the Board of Supervisors held a special meeting to begin progressing the county through the stay-at-home order faster than the rest of the state. 

See also:

●     Some Merced County businesses are back, after being shuttered by coronavirus pandemic Merced Sun-Star

Protesters wanting Turlock to re-open gather on Geer Road. Those on Twitter lash out.

Modesto Bee

A rally on a busy Turlock street Saturday morning with people imploring that businesses be allowed to open drew a lot of attention among passersby — and on Twitter.

See also:

●     Reopen Turlock Rally Turlock Journal

COVID-19 orders: Education and enforcement in Turlock

Turlock Journal

We understand that these changes lead to questions and confusion that we hope to clarify with this communication and continued education.

‘We need to open now’: Hundreds protest in Stockton, Lodi to reopen California

Stockton Record

Hundreds of protesters organized at rallies Saturday afternoon in Stockton and Lodi with a clear message: It’s time to open up California and get back to work.

Is California’s stay-at-home order violating your civil rights? Tom McClintock wants to help

Sacramento Bee

Arrested for peacefully protesting at the state Capitol? Or for leaving your house in defiance of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order? Rep. Tom McClintock sees authorities potentially violating your constitutional rights, and wants to help.

Central SJ Valley:

Here’s what Fresno County must do to reach California benchmarks for COVID-19 reopening

Fresno Bee

New benchmarks issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state Department of Health Services set forth a path for California counties to enter the next phase of reopening their economies from a coronavirus lockdown at a faster pace than the state as a whole.

See also:

●     Fresno chamber of commerce supports businesses reopening Fresno Bee

●     As California moves into ‘Stage 2’ of reopening, some Central Valley cities go all-in Fresno Bee

●     Defiance or patience? Hurdles in place before next phase for Fresno County abc30

●     Parlier businesses start opening after city declares all businesses ‘essential’ abc30

●     Coalinga declares all its businesses ‘essential’ abc30

●     What You Should Know About Phase Two Clovis RoundUp

●     How Tiny Sierra Towns are Coping With Pandemic KQED

●     EDITORIAL: The next step in Fresno County’s war with COVID-19? More testing sites need to be set up Fresno Bee

Downtown Visalia begins to reopen — slowly, safely

Visalia Times Delta

On Tuesday, the Visalia City Council announced it would not direct code or law enforcement to crack down on the governor’s stay-at-home order, letting businesses decide for themselves whether they felt comfortable returning to work.

See also:

●     ‘We just have too many cases’ Visalia Times Delta

State Sen. Borgeas Wants COVID-19 Legal Immunity for Businesses

GV Wire

Restaurants and other businesses on the verge of reopening face legal uncertainty from COVID-19 after they open their doors. State Sen. Andreas Borgeas (R-Fresno) says the threat of coronavirus lawsuits against businesses is real.

See also:

●     Wave of COVID-19 Litigation Already Rising, Threatening Employers as They Return to Work Littler

●     Opinion: We need to protect reopened businesses from a lawsuit pandemic Washington Post

●     Commentary: Providing legal immunity for health care providers could be dangerous CalMatters

Community Organizations Look For New Ways To Tell Residents To Fill Out The Census Amid COVID-19


Mi Familia Vota is an organization that focuses on Census outreach for communities who typically do not fill out the form. Prior to COVID-19, the organization had planned to co-host events with Fresno Barrios Unidos and the Fresno Unified School District. 

See also:

●     California is responding in force to the 2020 census. But these rural areas are way behindSacramento Bee

South SJ Valley:

‘We’re desperate’: As businesses seek a return to normalcy, county hopes Governor alters COVID-19 reopening requirements

Bakersfield Californian

For some local businesses, the first day of Stage 2 of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s reopening plan came and went without much change.

Religious, local leaders press for churches to be allowed to reopen sooner

Bakersfield Californian

As Gov. Gavin Newsom laid out what the path to reopening will look like this week, one thing became clear for the faithful locally and statewide: Churches aren’t reopening soon enough. 

Cox asks Newsom for more support for rural schools

Bakersfield Californian

Rep. TJ Cox joined Central Valley Reps. Josh Harder and Jim Costa in asking Gov. Gavin Newsom to prioritize support for rural school districts during the coronavirus pandemic. 


CalChamber Releases 2020 Job Killer List


The California Chamber of Commerce today released its annual job killer list, which includes 10 bills that threaten California’s economic recovery and would hurt the ability of employers to rehire or maintain employment of California workers should they become law.

California takes steps to reopen public spaces, businesses

Bakersfield Californian

Pressure has been building to reopen the state, seven weeks after Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order shut down nonessential businesses and told 40 million residents to stay mainly in their homes.

See also:

●     Californians can hike, shop, golf as virus restrictions ease Bakersfield Californian

●     Reopening In The COVID Era: How To Adapt To A New Normal Capital Public Radio

●     The California businesses that can reopen, and the rules Los Angeles Times

●     California Warns Reopening Counties To Follow Governor’s COVID-19 Orders Or Risk Loss Of Disaster Funding Capital Public Radio

●     Defiant counties could lose coronavirus funds for reopening early, Newsom warns Los Angeles Times

●     County Leaders to Governors: Let Us Make Our Own Calls on Reopening PEW

●     EDITORIAL: California isn’t ready to reopen San Francisco Chronicle

●     EDITORIAL: Placer County official must fight COVID-19 instead of suing Gavin Newsom over shutdown Sacramento Bee

CHP can ban protests at California Capitol, federal judge rules

Sacramento Bee

A federal judge has rejected a request that he scuttle the California Highway Patrol’s temporary ban on protests at the state Capitol, saying the state’s emergency powers during the coronavirus pandemic give it the authority to order a halt to such gatherings.

See also:

●     Anti-Vaccine Groups Take Lead Role In California Stay-At-Home Order Protests Capital Public Radio

●     ‘Abusive, dictatorial, tyrannical’: Republicans ramp up attacks on lockdowns Politico

●      Unarmed militia one of many groups protesting California coronavirus order at Capitol Sacramento Bee

●     Opinion: Lockdowns Necessary, but Unsustainable National Review

●     Opinion: The news from Washington suggests we the people need to demand action Sierra News

Projections show California COVID-19 cases and deaths rising more than expected

Los Angeles Times

California is one of a handful of states where coronavirus cases and deaths are going up more than researchers expected, according to the latest projections in a widely relied-upon model of the COVID-19 outbreak. The model suggests the nationwide fatality count could reach 137,000 by Aug. 4.

In the coronavirus crisis, Newsom uses social media to raise awareness of the pandemic — and his profile

Los Angeles Times

As Gov. Gavin Newsom delivered a somber briefing in late April about the devastation wrought by coronavirus, his personal Twitter and Instagram feeds never ceased to whir.

See also:

●     Opinion: Gavin Newsom has been the leader California needs during coronavirus. But he can still do better Los Angeles Times

A politically connected firm gets an $800-million mask contract with California. Then it falls apart

Los Angeles Times

A nearly $800-million deal California struck with a politically connected vendor of medical masks has collapsed after state officials said the company failed to deliver most of the supply, renewing questions over how the state is vetting vendors during the coronavirus crisis.

See Also:

●     Exclusive: California wires mask dealer half a billion dollars, then claws it back CalMatters

●     Lawmakers want to know: What’s up with that half-billion-dollar mask deal? CalMatters

●     Newsom welcomes ‘new partners’ in coronavirus supply deals: federal investigators CalMatters

●      In the early days of the pandemic, the U.S. government turned down an offer to manufacture millions of N95 masks in America Washington Post

COVID-19 crisis or not, racist policies have no place in California


Another day ticks by in the COVID-19 health and economic crisis, and it becomes more evident than before that this pandemic is not affecting all Californians equally.

Walters: California Republican lawmaker fights for tax and bond transparency, accountability

Sacramento Bee

About three-fourths of the Legislature’s 120 seats are occupied by Democrats, which renders the Capitol’s relatively tiny band of Republicans pretty much irrelevant.

See also:

●     Walters: Newsom shakes up disability politics CalMatters

Commentary: Pool of finalists for California redistricting commission lacks adequate representation for Latinos


The coronavirus pandemic that has not slowed down the timeline to select finalists for the California Citizens Redistricting Commission from an existing pool of applicants that does not accurately represent the state’s diversity or geographic population distribution. 


As deaths mount, Trump tries to convince Americans it’s safe to inch back to normal

Washington Post

In a week when the novel coronavirus ravaged new communities across the country and the number of dead soared past 78,000, President Trump and his advisers shifted from hour-by-hour crisis management to what they characterize as a long-term strategy aimed at reviving the decimated economy and preparing for additional outbreaks this fall.

See also:

●     Trump Says More Testing Makes U.S. ‘Look Bad,’ But Its Availability Remains A Concern NPR

●     New week brings new challenges for White House Fresno Bee

●     Trump advisers cite need to stop ‘permanent’ economic tollFresno Bee

●     Trump’s economic team braces for worsening job market in May Fresno Bee

●     Obama says White House response to coronavirus has been ‘absolute chaotic disaster’ CNN

●     AP Fact Check: Trump is not credible on virus death tolls AP News

●     Trump’s new 2020 message — it’s not my fault Los Angeles Times

●     Trump: I Was Unable to Restock PPE for 3 Years Due to Hoaxes New York Magazine

●     Docs show top WH officials buried CDC report AP News

●     U.S. Government Drafts Guidelines for Reopening Hard-Hit Nursing Homes Wall Street Journal

●     Opinion: Trump wants America to ‘normalize’ coronavirus deaths. It’s the media’s job not to play along. Washington Post

Pence spends weekend at home after exposure to infected aide

Fresno Bee

Vice President Mike Pence was self-isolating Sunday after an aide tested positive for the coronavirus last week, but he planned to return to the White House on Monday.

See also:

●     Fauci and two other White House coronavirus task force members in quarantine Los Angeles Times

●      Mike Pence didn’t pretend to carry empty boxes of PPE. The clip is cut off PolitiFact

●      Top Trump health officials will isolate themselves after exposure to White House aides with coronavirus Washington Post

●     FDA Chief Hahn Enters Quarantine After Coronavirus Exposure Bloomberg

COVID-19 Has Created A Legal Aid Crisis. FEMA’s Usual Response Is Missing

Unprecedented job losses and furloughs have pushed millions of Americans to the brink of eviction during the coronavirus pandemic, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the White House have failed to fund a legal assistance program that is routinely available to disaster survivors.

Federal watchdog backs reinstating ousted vaccine expert


A federal watchdog is recommending that ousted vaccine expert Rick Bright be reinstated while it investigates whether the Trump administration retaliated against his whistleblower complaints when it removed him from a key post overseeing the coronavirus response.

See also:

●      Anti-Vaccination Activists Join Stay-At-Home Order Protesters NPR

●      Mark Zandi worries US risking second COVID-19 wave and depression without vaccine TheHill

Listen Live: Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments Remotely


The Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments remotely for a second week, once again streaming the audio live — a first for the court. The arguments for Week 2 include high-profile cases about religious freedom, President Trump’s financial records and the Electoral College.

A closer look at Michael Flynn’s reversal of legal fortune


The Justice Department has reversed course on its prosecution of President Donald Trump’s one-time national security adviser, seeking a dismissal of the charges that he had previously pled guilty to.

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 Los Angeles Times

●     Coronavirus Tracker San Francisco Chronicle

●      Coronavirus in the U.S.: Latest Map and Case Count New York Times

●     How many coronavirus cases have been reported in each U.S. state? Politico

●     Coronavirus Daily NPR

●     Coronavirus tracked: the latest figures as the pandemic spreads Financial Times

●     Coronavirus in California by the numbers CalMatters

Elections 2020:

California moves to protect voters with mail-in ballots; Trump critical of vote centers

Fresno Bee

Every registered California voter will receive a mail-in ballot this November, according to an executive order signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday. 

See also:

●     All Californians Will Get Mail-In Ballots For November Election Capital Public Radio

●     Not if, but how: California prepares for an all vote-by-mail election in November CalMatters

●     Coronavirus: California voters asked to vote by mail in fall Los Angeles Times

●     Trump: California too slow to reopen, suggests it’s intended to hurt his re-election chances San Francisco Chronicle

●     Postal Service’s Struggles Could Hurt Mail-In Election PEW

●     Trump attacks decision to add in-person voting center in California House race Washington Post

●     California to Mail All Voters Ballots for November Election New York Times

●     Trump intensifies war with Democrats over voting laws Politico

●     Gavin Newsom Signs Executive Order to Mail Every Voter a Ballot for November Elections National Review

●     OPINION: Counting on coronavirus luck is not a fall election strategy. Best bet is vote by mail.USAToday

A crippled US Postal Service could throw a wrench in November election

Bakersfield Californian

The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated problems for the U.S. Postal Service and sparked a debate in Washington, D.C., that could carry major ramifications for the November general election.

See also:

●     The fate of the US Postal Service Roll Call

Gavin Newsom endorses Joe Biden for president during high-dollar fundraiser

Los Angeles Times

California Gov. Gavin Newsom endorsed Joe Biden for president on Friday, saying he was “enlivened” by his candidacy as he headlined a virtual fundraiser for the presumptive Democratic nominee.

See also:

●     California Gov. Newsom formally endorses Biden for president Fresno Bee

●     ‘Clear warning signs’: Focus group shows lack of enthusiasm for Biden among the young NBC

●     Kamala emerges as early Biden VP favorite as sting of debate attack fades Politico

California Republicans prepared to match Democrats on ‘ballot harvesting.’ Then came coronavirus


Leaders of the embattled California Republican Party are reversing course during the Covid-19 pandemic to demand Gov. Gavin Newsom ban a voting practice they until recently endorsed.

Anxious About the Virus, Older Voters Grow More Wary of Trump

New York Times

Surveys show the president’s standing with seniors, the group most vulnerable to the coronavirus, has fallen as he pushes to reopen the country.

See also:

●     Trump lashes out at GOP critics, exponentially increasing their visibility Los Angeles Times

●      Biden accuser says she is ‘not here to influence a national election’ Washington Post

Democrats Fear Losing U.S. House Special Election In Southern California

Capital Public Radio

In a rural and suburban district north of Los Angeles that Democrats flipped in 2018, a Republican candidate is gaining ground amid debates about how to respond to the pandemic.

See also:

●     During the pandemic, Republicans see a rare political opportunity in California Los Angeles Times

●     Republicans Look to Win Back House Seat in California Special Election Wall Street Journal

Exclusive: 1996 court document confirms Tara Reade told of harassment in Biden’s office

San Luis Obispo Tribune

A court document from 1996 shows former Senate staffer Tara Reade told her ex-husband she was sexually harassed while working for Joe Biden in 1993. The declaration — exclusively obtained by The Tribune in San Luis Obispo, California — does not say Biden committed the harassment nor does it mention Reade’s more recent allegations of sexual assault.

See also:

●     Republicans Try to Put Biden on Defense Over Assault Claim Wall Street Journal

●     Trump takes cautious approach to highlighting Biden accuser Fresno Bee

Opinion: Ugly, disgusting social media posts just another of Ted Howze’s many missteps

Modesto Bee

“Disgusting” and “ugly.” Those are the words congressional candidate Ted Howze chose to describe alarmingly hateful posts and retweets emanating from his own social media accounts, while simultaneously trying to deflect responsibility for them.

See also:

●     CA10 Congressional candidate Ted Howze denies making disparaging social media posts Modesto Bee

OPINION: Why the GOP may lose everything

Washington Post

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) says that when he first announced he would run for the U.S. Senate, he “didn’t know what Montana and the country was going to look like in the short period thereafter.” With the covid-19 crisis, all his time has been taken up by being a governor, not a candidate. So far, that has only helped him in his campaign to unseat Republican Sen. Steve Daines.

Asian Americans are the fastest-growing racial or ethnic group in the U.S. electorate

Asian Americans are the fastest-growing segment of eligible voters out of the major racial and ethnic groups in the United States. More than 11 million will be able to vote this year, making up nearly 5% of the nation’s eligible voters (for this analysis, U.S. citizens ages 18 and older). 

As 2020 presidential contest looms, U.S. Supreme Court mulls power of ‘electors’


The justices must decide if states can penalize so-called “faithless” electors like Chiafalo who disregard their pledges with actions such as monetary fines or removal from the role. 

Commentary: Here’s a voting system that would have counted all of California’s Super Tuesday votes


If California voters had been allowed to rank multiple candidates on their ballot in order of their preference, as one state does, the real winner of the Super Tuesday primary held nearly two months would have been announced much sooner.


Longtime Fresno Bee reporter George Hostetter dies

Fresno Bee

In a statement Friday, Fresno Mayor Lee Brand remembered Hostetter as “the consummate journalist – tough, dogged, curious and always fair.”

Fewer Americans now say media exaggerated COVID-19 risks, but big partisan gaps persist


As Americans continue to give the news media a solid grade overall for coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, the percentage who say journalists have exaggerated the risks of the outbreak has decreased notably in recent weeks, according to survey data from Pew Research Center’s Election News Pathway project.

U.S. drops to 45 in ranking of countries based on freedom of the press


So much for that First Amendment right to freedom of the press. The U.S. has dropped to spot 45 in this year’s ranking of countries based on press freedom, conducted by NGO Reporters Without Borders.

The ‘Plandemic’ video: full of inaccurate conspiracy theories


If you were on social media this weekend, there’s a good chance you’ve seen someone talking about “Plandemic: The Hidden Agenda Behind COVID-19,” a 26-minute video about the coronavirus pandemic.

See also:

●     I’m an Investigative Journalist. These Are the Questions I Asked About the Viral “Plandemic” Video. ProPublica


‘The grapes will not wait.’ A field worker shows how health care is not provided equally

Fresno Bee

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread sickness across our nation, it will simultaneously unveil our fragmented and inequitable health care system, starkly juxtaposing those that we have labeled as “essential” but are left without essential healthcare.

Blue Diamond completes expansions in Turlock and Salida. Let the almond milk flow

Modesto Bee

Blue Diamond Growers has finished an expansion of its Turlock plant, adding production of almond milk. And it is about done with a big new warehouse in Salida. The projects add a modest number of jobs, which the company declined to specify. It did say the total workforce is now about 230 in Turlock, 500 in Salida and 1,000 at the Sacramento headquarters.

Still working, farmers take hit during crisis

Bakersfield Californian

Permission to keep working as an essential activity during California’s stay-at-home order has obviously made a big difference for the state’s farmers. But that doesn’t mean local growers are raking in money during the COVID-19 crisis.

COVID-19 Deepens Food Insecurity In The San Joaquin Valley


COVID-19, and the stay-at-home directives enacted to minimize its spread, have led to a shocking decline in employment. For many, the loss of wages means an increased reliance on food distribution centers.

As Food Supply Chain Breaks Down, Farm-To-Door CSAs Take Off

Capital Public Radio

Community Supported Agriculture programs that sell a weekly box of produce directly to consumers are popular amid concerns about grocery shopping during the pandemic.

Billions in coronavirus aid will go to farms. But farmers say it’s not enough to keep them afloat


Ryan Indart says he may have to kill off some of the sheep at his east Clovis ranch this fall. With restaurants shuttered amid the coronavirus pandemic, he has no market for his animals. When a new flock arrives in October, he won’t have enough space in his pasture if his current flock is still there.

Tulareans flock to fairgrounds for food fix

Visalia Times Delta

Dozens of cars lined up Saturday outside the Tulare County Fairgrounds entrance and out onto K Street to get their cotton candy, lemonade and corndog fixes. On Friday and Saturday, the fairgrounds hosted a drive-through food festival that exceeded organizer’s expectations. 

First Old Town Clovis Farmers Market held Friday evening

Fresno Bee

Old Town Clovis held its first Farmers Market of the year with rules to help socially distance attendees Friday, May 8, 2020 in Clovis.

See also:

●     Town hall lays out relief options for farmers Turlock Journal

●     Farmers market opening pushed to June Turlock Journal

These Fresno restaurants are closing while others are opening. Here’s the latest

Fresno Bee

It’s been more than seven weeks since California’s governor ordered restaurants to shut their dining rooms. Even though restaurants in Fresno and Clovis are open for takeout and delivery, the restrictions are taking a toll.

See also:

●      Restaurant continues to defy orders, receive fines; area numbers rise Fresno Bee

●      Fresno Restaurateurs On Running A Business During A Pandemic VPR

Cash Crop: Supervisors Poised to OK New Industrial Hemp Rules

Sierra News

The Madera County Board of Supervisors this week could OK a new, recently revised ordinance regulating the growth of industrial hemp in the county. The effort to OK large-scale industrial hemp operations in Madera County has been underway for more than a year. 



Imprisonment rate of black Americans fell by a third from 2006 to 2018

Pew Research

The nation’s imprisonment rate is at its lowest level in more than two decades. The greatest decline has come among black Americans, whose imprisonment rate has decreased 34% since 2006.

Public Safety:

Police order review after man detained as tempers flare at reopened Waffle Shop

Fresno Bee

One man was briefly detained by police Sunday morning when a scuffle involving a police officer broke out at the Waffle Shop in northwest Fresno after owner Ammar Ibrahim opened the restaurant in defiance of emergency city orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

See also:

●     Fresno restaurant fined for opening a second day during pandemic. Supporters pay it Fresno Bee

Lack of COVID-19 testing in California jails sets up ‘perfect storm’ for outbreak, experts warn

Sacramento Bee

Just 4 percent of inmates in California’s largest jails are known to have been tested for COVID-19, despite a drumbeat of warnings about the potential for outbreaks in facilities where people are confined in tight spaces, a Sacramento Bee review has found.

See also:

●     California’s Jail Population Has Plummeted during COVID-19 Public Policy Institute of California

California prisons sell coronavirus masks to the state. Are the prices too high?

Sacramento Bee

A California prison agency that relies on inmate labor is selling hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of masks and sanitizer to state government agencies, charging prices that give it a profit of about 80 cents a mask.


Start preparing your homes for wildfire season, CAL FIRE says


Whether you’re in the mountains or Valley floor, we’re surrounded by it – dry grass, brush, pine needle. And it’s all drying by the day as we approach triple-digit summer months. “With winds as high as we’ve seen any fire can get large very quickly,” says Seth Brown of CAL FIRE.

California faces a perilous fire season as coronavirus threatens firefighters

Los Angeles Times

As forecasters predict higher-than-normal chances of large fires in Northern California this year — as well as the usual risk of “large significant” burning in Southern California — fire authorities are growing increasingly concerned over their ability to muster a large, healthy force of firefighters in the face of COVID-19.

Commentary: States’ insurer of last resort should not become the primary insurance market


While Californians prepare for a new normal as orders to stay home ease and businesses reopen, springtime temperatures are topping charts and fears of fire season are rising.



These Fresno restaurants are closing while others are opening. Here’s the latest

Fresno Bee

Even though restaurants in Fresno and Clovis are open for takeout and delivery, the restrictions are taking a toll. At least one or two places have closed, with one high-end restaurant deciding to close for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.

See also:

●     Bass Lake businesses open for season  abc30

●     Dining Out? Cities Allow Restaurants to Reopen with Seating in Streets, Parking Lots RouteFifty

Investor group puts its faith in two local grads who made good

Bakersfield Californian

Kern Venture Group’s early investments went to startups based outside the area. But KVG kept its eye on two local grads, one innovating in science and the other in the film industry.

Elon Musk Says Tesla Suing California County, Moving Headquarters Out Of State

Capital Public Radio

The company’s CEO tweeted Saturday that the automaker is seeking legal action against Alameda County. The billionaire executive has been sharply critical of shelter-in-place orders in recent weeks.

See also:

●     ‘^%#! Elon Musk,’ California lawmaker says after Tesla chief threatens move to Texas Sacramento Bee

●     Elon Musk threatens to move Tesla headquarters to Nevada or Texas over shutdown Los Angeles Times

●     Tesla sues — and Elon Musk threatens to leave — California over lockdown Politico

●     EDITORIAL: Tesla’s Elon Musk says he’ll leave California due to coronavirus shutdown. Who cares? Sacramento Bee

Stocks Fall As Investors Anticipate Rocky Reopening, Possible Coronavirus Second Wave


Stocks opened lower on Monday morning as investors braced for the possibility of a second wave of coronavirus cases even as economies around the world take their first cautious steps toward reopening.

See also:

●      Stocks drop amid concerns over long downturn The Hill

●      Coronavirus Slump Is Worst Since Great Depression. Will It Be as Painful? Wall Street Journal

Despite Recent Bets, Fed Isn’t Likely to Consider Negative Interest Rates

Washington Post

Federal Reserve officials are unlikely to consider using negative interest rates to stimulate economic growth in the current coronavirus-induced downturn after concluding the tool’s clear costs outweigh its uncertain benefits.

Commentary: Changes to household retirement savings since 1989


This report uses two new data sources to provide insights on the evolution of retirement savings over the past three decades and how future retirees may fare. 

Commentary: Latinas are more vulnerable to economic insecurity because of COVID-19


As our communities grapple with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, structural inequities in our health care systems and economy have been brought to light, with Latinos and people of color bearing the brunt of these injustices.

Commentary: California consumers need new protections


The state of California is the 5th largest economy in the world. Its 40 million people deserve world-class consumer protections in the financial marketplace. That requires an agency with a singular focus on protecting Californians against scams, frauds and predatory conduct.

Opinion: Six flaws in the arguments for reopening

Washington Post

Most states are reopening to some degree this week, even as public-health experts warn that it’s too soon


Help Wanted: Job opportunities in the Central Valley


With so many people’s jobs in the Central Valley impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis, we’ve compiled a list of available job opportunities for anyone looking for work.

Jobs picture will get worse before improving, Mnuchin says

Fresno Bee

With the coronavirus outbreak ravaging the U.S. economy and joblessness reaching Depression-era heights, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin acknowledged Sunday that things were “probably going to get worse before they get better,” but he predicted a rebound later in the year.

See also:

●     Unemployment Numbers ‘Will Get Worse Before They Get Better’ Mnuchin Says Capital Public Radio

●     Jobs picture will get worse before improving, Treasury secretary says Los Angeles Times

California’s essential workers to get benefit of the doubt if they contract COVID


Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order today that presumes workers who contracted COVID-19 were infected on the job and therefore entitled to workers’ compensation. Labor advocates applaud the order while business interests say the costs could be prohibitive. 

Price: The post-COVID-19 workplace might continue to look a lot like your kitchen table (and other revelations from the county transportation chief)

Bakersfield Californian

We’re not clear of this pandemic, not even close, no matter how much we might want to be, but we are starting to get a picture of what it might look like when we get there. Half the picture is grim.

Some States Let Vulnerable Workers Turn Down Jobs


As governors start to allow businesses to reopen, they’re under pressure to clarify whether people can refuse a job offer and stay on unemployment if they’re afraid of catching the coronavirus at work.

Telework may save U.S. jobs in COVID-19 downturn, especially among college graduates


The option to perform a job remotely – to telework – may prove to be a financial lifeline for many workers during the COVID-19 downturn, which has shut down large segmentsof the U.S. economy and caused about 30 million American workers to file unemployment insurance claims since the middle of March 2020.

AFL-CIO Chief Keeps Up Attack On DOL’s Pandemic Response


The AFL-CIO continued a back-and-forth with U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia over his decision not to issue coronavirus safety rules, saying the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has not even flexed the power it has in the absence of a mandate.

As Hospitals Lose Revenue, More Than A Million Health Care Workers Lose Jobs


Michelle Sweeney could barely sleep. The nurse in Plymouth, Mass., had just learned she would be furloughed. She only had four hours the next day to call all of her patients. “I was in a panic state. I was sick over it,” Sweeney said. “Our patients are the frailest, sickest group.”

Covid-19 Is Also A Reallocation Shock

National Bureau of Economic Research

Drawing on firm-level expectations at a one-year forecast horizon in the Survey of Business Uncertainty (SBU), we construct novel, forward-looking reallocation measures for jobs and sales. These measures rise sharply after February 2020, reaching rates in April that are 2.4 (3.9) times the pre-COVID average for jobs (sales).

Opinion: How Government Jobs Programs Could Boost Employment

Urban Institute

The Works Progress Administration (WPA) created during the Great Depression showed how a large-scale, federally funded, locally administered jobs program could address an employment crisis.



Some Fresno students still haven’t been contacted by a teacher, superintendent says

Fresno Bee

Fresno Unified staff during a live video session urged students to keep studying through the end of the year, despite low motivation, connectivity issues and other challenges brought of the coronavirus pandemic.

See also:

●     How coronavirus has changed grading policies CalMatters

●     Schools need to be prepared to reopen this fall: Here are five steps they can take now The Hill

●     Commentary: COVID-19 is creating a school personnel crisis AEI

●     Commentary: Closed for the year: Some schools strengthen offerings while others throw in the towel AEI

High Schools Team up to Make and Donate PPE

Clovis RoundUp

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing a greater need for personal protective equipment than at any time in recent history, students and alumni of Clovis high schools are doing their part to help.

High school performing arts were shut down by coronavirus. Will it derail students’ careers?

Los Angeles Times

Talent shows, art exhibitions, dance competitions, concerts and theater productions that students nationwide had been tirelessly preparing before the pandemic have now been canceled for the school year.

Students to take Advanced Placement tests online at home, with mixed feelings

San Francisco Chronicle

Over the next two weeks, millions of teenagers across the country will take Advanced Placement exams to determine whether they should earn college credit for high school coursework.

Legislators vote to close school spending loophole


A proposal to strengthen school spending transparency is among the few education bills that have survived a legislative session upended by the coronavirus pandemic.

New state child care website comes up short


The state’s new child care portal to help essential workers find child care during the pandemic lacks key information, including many providers’ names, available slots, violations and cost. But a more elaborate site is to launch in July.

A Few Schools Reopen, But Remote Learning Could Go On For Years In U.S.


May 7 is the date that Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, declared it was safe to open up schools. The state has had fewer than 500 reported cases of the coronavirus as of this week.

Higher Ed:

Fresno-area colleges could look a lot different this fall. Here’s what we know so far

Fresno Bee

Millions of young people across the nation are struggling to plan for the first few months after high school, while universities and colleges scramble to reinvent education amid the coronavirus pandemic. Universities have grappled with indecisiveness about how to conduct fall classes.

See also:

●     How a Central Valley community college adapted to COVID-19 online learning shift CAFWD

●     How California community college foundations are trying to help students CalMatters

●     Disasters have shut down California colleges in the past: Here’s how they fared CalMatters

●     Commentary: Here is the next wave of online learning for higher education CalMatters

●     Opinion: Higher Ed’s Coronavirus Opportunity Wall Street Journal

Coronavirus cash for Fresno City College students on its way — but there’s some bad news

Fresno Bee

Some Fresno City College students will begin seeing some extra cash in their bank accounts as part of the federal coronavirus relief effort, but it’s not all good news. 

Introducing the CalMatters College Journalism Network


More than 3 million students. Hundreds of campuses. A state higher education budget of $36 billion. As we’ve heard so often lately, California is a nation-state, and its system of colleges and universities is equally gargantuan.



Hot weather doesn’t cool Fresno’s desire to escape COVID-19 shelter-in-place rules

Fresno Bee

Temperatures approached 100 degrees in some parts of the Valley on Saturday, but that did little to keep some people from taking an opportunity to get out of their houses and into the sunshine after seven weeks of sheltering in place during the coronavirus pandemic.

These Yosemite accommodations aren’t expected back in 2020 when national park reopens

Fresno Bee

A number of concessions in Yosemite National Park are expected to remain closed when the popular California park reopens, according to an internal memo written by union leaders representing Yosemite workers.

See also:

●     ‘We’re waiting for a Hail Mary.’ Yosemite employees evicted amid coronavirus pandemic Sierra News

●     National parks visitors should plan for ‘new normal’ Sacramento Bee

Tree Crews to Begin Sugar Pine Road Project Next Week

Sierra News

Tree crews will begin clearing hundreds of dead trees starting next week along Road 630 (Sugar Pine Road). The road closure adjacent to the work site will start May 14 and will be in place with 20-minute delays Monday through Friday. 

Can California’s Air Remain Clean Post Pandemic? Yes, If The State Amps Up Its Climate Goals, Studies Say.

Capital Public Radio

Californians are breathing cleaner air now due to pandemic travel restrictions, but it could go away as fast as it cleared up. Although some scientists say it doesn’t have to if we double our climate goals and keep cars off roads.

G.O.P. Coronavirus Message: Economic Crisis Is a Green New Deal Preview

New York Times

As the economy melts down, embattled conservatives are testing a political response: saying Democratic climate policies would bring similar pain.


Who Needs Oil When Even OPEC Telecommutes?

Wall Street Journal

The drop in demand will be sudden and rapid—not gradual, as was expected with the introduction of electric cars. Businesses are already realizing that many workers can report to the office for face-to-face meetings no more than once a week.



Two more COVID-19 deaths reported in Tulare County, where total cases top 1,100

Fresno Bee

Two more people in Tulare County have died of complications related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the county’s health department reported Sunday.

See also:

●     Three more patients hospitalized for coronavirus in latest Fresno County case update Fresno Bee

●     COVID-19 Updates: Cases Reach 841 in Fresno County, 45 in Clovis Clovis RoundUp

●     Madera County Reports 1 New Case Saturday Sierra News

●     COVID-19: Two more dead, 1,140 cases Visalia Times Delta

●     Kern adds 26 coronavirus cases to count Bakersfield Californian

●     Nursing home outbreak accounts for nearly half of Kern’s COVID-19 deaths Bakersfield Californian

●     Kern County Public Health: 26 new cases, brings total to 1,264. 763 recoveries in Kern. Bakersfield Now

●     Turlock has most COVID-19 cases in Stanislaus County Turlock Journal

●     New COVID-19 infections in Tulare County push Valley past 2,400 cases, with 61 deaths Modesto Bee

●     Stanislaus County records 1 more death; cases above 500 Modesto Bee

Latinos being hard hit by coronavirus in Stanislaus County. What the data reveals

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County, California data have revealed the disproportionate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Latino community. Latinos account for 64 percent of the confirmed cases; only 23 percent are white.

See also:

●     Track us better: Overlooked Pacific Islanders hit hard by coronavirus CalMatters

●     Why is the coronavirus deadly for so many blacks in Los Angeles? CalMatters

●     VALLEY VOICES: ‘The grapes will not wait.’ A field worker shows how health care is not provided equally Fresno Bee

Know who you came in contact with in the last 24 hours? That’s a key to beating COVID-19

Modesto Bee

If you are unfamiliar with the phrase “contact tracing,” you will soon get to know it well. Health officials say it is a key to overcoming COVID-19. But it will feel intrusive and like an infringement on one’s privacy.

See also:

●     California readies army of coronavirus detectives CalMatters

●     U.S. Falling Short on Needed Contact Tracers, Experts Say Wall Street Journal

●     U.S. Coronavirus Testing Still Falls Short. How’s Your State Doing? Capital Public Radio

●     EDITORIAL: Contact tracing is next front in the war against COVID-19 Modesto Bee

The Coronavirus Is Mutating. That’s Normal. Does That Mean It’s More Dangerous?


This week, the question of mutation has been front and center in coverage of the coronavirus — from controversial claims about changes that make the virus more contagious to reassurances that any mutations are not yet consequential. 

See also:

●     EDITORIAL: More Covid-19 Patient Data, Please Wall Street Journal

California’s coronavirus outlook worse than researchers expected, as cases, deaths rise

Los Angeles Times

While California has avoided the grim death toll of coronavirus hot spots like New York, there are growing concerns that the state’s most populous regions have not yet seen the rapid decline in deaths and cases needed to significantly reopen the economy.

See also:

●     Does California Need a Defense Production Act for Medical Supplies? KQED

●     Commentary: California needs to make critical investments now in emergency preparedness for the next time CalMatters

Trump administration cuts funding for coronavirus researcher, jeopardizing possible COVID-19 cure

Peter Daszak is a scientist whose work is helping in the search for a COVID-19 cure. So why did the president just cancel Daszak’s funding? It’s the kind of politics which might seem ill-advised in a health crisis. President Trump is blaming China’s government for the pandemic

See also:

·       Trump administration announces plan for distributing remdesivir after chaotic rollout Politico

Doctors keep discovering new ways the coronavirus attacks the body

Washington Post

Deborah Coughlin was neither short of breath nor coughing. In those first days after she became infected by the novel coronavirus, her fever never spiked above 100 degrees. It was vomiting and diarrhea that brought her to a Hartford, CT, emergency room on May 1.

See also:

●     Fever, Cough & Body Aches With Mild COVID-19 Consumer Reports

A third of Americans experienced high levels of psychological distress during the coronavirus outbreak


One-third of Americans (33%) have experienced high levels of psychological distress at some point during the extended period of social distancing undertaken to slow the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. 

7 Coronavirus Protection Strategies for Seniors

Consumer Reports

As the COVID-19 pandemic—caused by the novel coronavirus—has spread, expert knowledge and guidance on the viral illness has evolved time and again as we learn more about it.

How to Handle Fever, Cough, and Body Aches If You Have Mild COVID-19

Consumer Reports

Though some people with COVID-19 experience severe illness that requires hospitalization, “the vast majority will have mild symptoms that can be managed safely and effectively at home with simple supportive measures,” says Michael Hochman, M.D., director of the Gehr 

Poll: Mandatory quarantines top priority for Americans before resumption of activities

The Hill

An overwhelming majority of Americans say it’s important for the government to implement mandatory quarantines for people who have tested positive for the coronavirus and improve medical therapies to treat the disease in order for them to feel comfortable resuming normal activities, according to a new poll from Gallup.

Commentary: Why Weren’t We Ready for the Coronavirus?

The New Yorker

Why we should have known to prepare for COVID-19.

‘Immunization rates are plummeting’ due to fear of coronavirus at doctors’ offices

Modesto Bee

Erica Enz didn’t hesitate to take her little girl, Clarke, for her 1-year-old vaccines in late March, when the coronavirus pandemic was hitting the area. Since then, Clarke has had another vaccine visit and a sick visit at her pediatrician’s office.

Human Services:

Market For Blood Plasma From COVID-19 Survivors Heats Up

Diana Berrent learned she had tested positive for COVID-19 on a Wednesday in mid-March. Within a day, she had received 30 emails from people urging her to donate blood.

Meet the 73-year-old surgeon working to keep California veterans safe from COVID-19

Los Angeles Times

Dr. Vito Imbasciani has been at war with viruses since he was 5. Growing up near the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in New York, he contracted polio in 1952 and couldn’t walk for two months. In medical school in Vermont 30 years later, he saw AIDS steal the lives of otherwise healthy gay men.

Hospice Care Continues — Without the Human Touch

As Melissa Moody leaned over the bed of her patient, a dying old woman with COVID-19 and dementia, she was surprised when the woman raised a wavering hand and gently caressed the shield that covered the hospice nurse’s face.

FDA approves new coronavirus antigen test with fast results


U.S. regulators have approved a new type of coronavirus test that administration officials have promoted as a key to opening up the country. The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday announced emergency authorization for antigen tests developed by Quidel Corp.

Commentary: Providing legal immunity for health care providers could be dangerous


Under cover of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Gavin Newsom is poised to sign off on a request to slash health care provider accountability for negligent, reckless and abusive conduct toward patients. The governor needs to change his mind.

Commentary: COVID-19 has gutted hospitals’ resources and they are considering layoffs, furloughs


COVID-19 has claimed the lives of more than 2,500 Californians, a tragic toll that could have been far greater if not for the hundreds of thousands of women and men who put their own safety, and the safety of their families, on the line to care for those afflicted with this new virus.

See also:

●     Opinion: Estimating potential spending on COVID-19 care Brookings

●     Commentary: Our part in the global vaccine hunt AEI

Commentary: Removing regulatory barriers to telehealth before & after COVID-19


A combination of escalating costs, an aging population, and rising chronic health-care conditions that account for 75% of the nation’s health-care costs paint a bleak picture of the current state of American health care. In 2018, national health expenditures grew to $3.6 trillion and accounted for 17.7% of GDP.


ICE Releases A Group of Women Detained At Mesa Verde Detention Center In Bakersfield  


Immigration and Customs Enforcement released 18 women this week detained at the Mesa Verde Detention Center in Bakersfield. But neither the women nor their attorneys were given advance notice to make accommodations. 


Land Use:

Will Manteca’s Great Wolf open on time? Coronavirus changes water park resort plans

Modesto Bee

Great Wolf Lodge, Manteca’s new water park resort, was going to open early to much fanfare this July. But then the coronavirus happened. But how and when and what it will look like when the 500-room resort finally opens its doors remains in question.

Opinion: Coronavirus offers opportunity to rethink urban design in Modesto and beyond

Modesto Bee

People aren’t dying from COVID-19 because they live close to each other. They’re dying — although fewer here in Stanislaus County compared to many other places, thankfully — after becoming ill from breathing the same air as an infected person, or touching some infected surface. 


Fresno drops plans to shelter homeless in hotels during pandemic. What’s the new plan?

Fresno Bee

As the pandemic took hold of Fresno around mid-March, officials rushed to shelter the homeless. The goal, city leaders told The Bee, was to bring inside “every single person” experiencing homelessness — about 2,000 people in Fresno — to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

What will California do about the rent?


Every first of the month, California’s past due rent bill gets bigger. As the state enters May sheltering in place for the seventh straight week to stop the spread of COVID-19, nearly 1 in 5 California workers have filed for unemployment, with millions more wondering if their next paycheck will actually materialize.

See also:

·       EDITORIAL: The underlying condition weakening coronavirus-stricken California San Francisco Chronicle

The Mortgage Market Never Got Fixed After 2008. Now It’s Breaking Again.

Wall Street Journal

Many mortgage companies are nonbanks that don’t have deposits or other business lines to cushion them amid the coronavirus pandemic.


Here’s how a $54 billion deficit will hurt Californians


California faces an unprecedented $54 billion deficit. Finance officials announce the unemployment rate could reach 18%, worse than the Great Recession. Schools, health care and safety-net programs face devastating cuts as state and local officials seek additional federal stimulus. 

See also:

●     California can’t cope with its budget deficit without federal help, Gavin Newsom says Sacramento Bee

●     Coronavirus plunges California into worst budget deficit in state history Los Angeles Times

●     California’s Spring Fiscal Outlook Legislative Analyst’s Office

●     California’s fiscal analyst sees smaller deficit than Newsom, but still up to $31B Politico

●     Are California businesses getting a fair share of coronavirus loans? CalMatters

●     Walters: Could California really go it alone? CalMatters

Opinion: The national debt is out of control

Washington Post

The U.S. Treasury is planning to borrow almost $3 trillion during the second quarter (April to June) of 2020, a figure astounding in its size and implications. About $800 billion of that sum is designated as a financial reserve. 

See also:

●     GOP Rekindles Deficit Concerns, Adding Snag to Talks on Aid Bloomberg

●     Opinion: The CARES Act Risks Becoming a Caste Act. Here’s How We Change That Newsweek

●     EDITORIAL: A Trillion Here, a Trillion There Wall Street Journal

●     EDITORIAL: The Economic Lockdown Catastrophe Wall Street Journal

State workers got furloughs before with a $40 billion budget hole. Now it’s $54 billion

Sacramento Bee

The last time California faced a massive budget deficit, the governor soon started talking about furloughs. Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed unpaid days off for state workers in 2008, when the state faced a roughly $40 billion deficit.

“Everything Happened All At Once”: Can California Cities Weather The COVID Recession?

Capital Public Radio

For local governments still sporting the budgetary scars of the last “once in a generation” recession, this downturn is at once familiar — forcing elected leaders to cut, furlough and delay — and entirely new.

See also:

●     Watch: How the pandemic is busting California cities’ budgets CalMatters

●     Coronavirus pandemic could bring on extreme poverty worldwide Los Angeles Times

●     Local governments must plan without delay for post-pandemic fiscal realities PublicCEO

Round 2 of pension reform kicks off before California Supreme Court


Today’s socially distanced oral argument was just the latest installment in a nearly decade’s long legal drama that pits unionized public-sector workers against cash-strapped state and local governments and pension debt hawks.

Still waiting for your stimulus check? You have until 12 p.m. Wednesday to give the IRS your bank information.

Washington Post

The IRS says 130 million stimulus payments worth more than $200 billion have been sent out. But for the millions of people who haven’t received their payments — up to $1,200 for individuals — not knowing when, or if, the money is coming has them on edge.

See Also:

●     Where’s My Refund? State AGs Step in to Help PEW


Oakhurst Sewer Line Replacement Project Reaches ‘Cross-Over’

Sierra News

Northbound lanes of Highway 41 between the Fresno River and Road 426 have been reopened to traffic, according to the latest update from the Madera County Public Works Department.

Bakersfield’s downtown DMV reopens with limited services, restrictions

Bakersfield Californian

After six weeks of closing the doors of 170 DMVs in California due to COVID-19, the California Department of Motor Vehicles reopened 25 field offices across the state late last week.

California to reopen 25 DMV field offices on Friday after they were shut down amid coronavirus

Los Angeles Times

Six weeks after closing field offices to the public because of the coronavirus, the California Department of Motor Vehicles will reopen 25 locations to people with appointments on Friday, including offices in Los Angeles, Inglewood, Glendale and Santa Ana.

One way the coronavirus could transform Europe’s cities: More space for bikes

Washington Post

When residents of Europe’s major cities finally emerge from weeks of lockdowns later this month, they’ll be met with at least one enduring change from the pandemic: miles and miles of new bike lanes.


Turlock recycled water fill station can help keep lawns green during summer months

Turlock Journal

The City of Turlock’s recycled water fill station provides free recycled water to local residents to water lawns, gardens and landscaped areas.

Rain likely in Northern California as late-season system arrives from the Pacific 

Los Angeles Times

A low-pressure trough pushing into Northern California from the eastern Pacific will bring widespread showers to the part of the state most in need of rain.

Beneficiaries of Headwater Forests Can Be Key Partners in Developing More Resilient California


The gifts of headwater forests – trees in abundance, water supplies, wildlife habitat, recreational assets and more – benefit not only those who live nearby but people throughout California. 

Ominous trend in American West could signal a looming “megadrought”

Come spring, the American West’s vast water reservoirs are supposed to fill with melting snow. However, this year, as in recent years, the large reservoirs of Lake Mead and Lake Powell in the Colorado River basin area have seen declining water levels — an ominous trend that a new study warns could signal a looming megadrought. 


Madera Drive-In planning to open doors to customers by end of May 


The Madera Drive-In plans to reopen its gates and welcome guests for a night out at the movies again soon. Officials with the drive-in say they are working with county health officials to determine safe practices to operate the snack bar but hope to open either the 22nd or 29th of this month.

What will concerts look like when California reopens?

Los Angeles Times

Even in the most optimistic future under COVID-19, live music will be one of the last things to return to normal. When it does — and it will eventually — shows will be profoundly different.