May 19, 2020



North SJ Valley:

Atwater is now a business ‘sanctuary city’ during coronavirus pandemic. What does it mean?

Modesto Bee

Atwater residents gave City Council a standing ovation and cheers Friday when they unanimously passed a resolution to make Atwater a sanctuary city for all businesses to open amid the coronavirus pandemic.

EDITORIAL: UC professors decry Merced County Sheriff’s COVID-19 response

Merced Sun Star

Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke issued a statement that he will not be taking any enforcement action in Merced County for violating the statewide shelter in place orders. 

‘Doing less with less.’ Turlock budget troubles increase amid coronavirus pandemic

Modesto Bee

After a series of cuts to non-essential services before the pandemic hit, the City Finance Department is wrestling with the projected $4 million shortfall for the 2020-21 budget and the City Council’s instruction to avoid dipping into reserve funds.

Central SJ Valley:

Coronavirus updates: Fresno County gets more tests, contact tracers; Inside a packed flight

Fresno Bee

The central San Joaquin Valley’s week-long surge in the coronavirus and related deaths slowed somewhat over the weekend, according to reports from the six counties in the region.

See also:

●     Will Fresno County Reopen Under Newsom’s New Guidelines? GV Wire

Councilmember Luis Chavez proposes new changes to Fresno’s shelter-in-place order


Fresno City Council member Luis Chavez is offering up a proposal to modify the City of Fresno’s shelter-in-place order on Monday. The proposal outlines five changes to the stay-at-home order, including opening dine-in areas at restaurants.

Tulare, Kings counties among 5 that won’t reopen under relaxed California metrics

Visalia Times Delta

Tulare County is one of five California counties that will not qualify to reopen at a quicker pace than the state, according to revised metrics announced Monday by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

See also:

●     Kings County Supervisors tell businesses to open at their own risk abc30

South SJ Valley:

Kern County poised to begin loosening restrictions under governor’s new criteria

Bakersfield Californian

Kern County could soon begin allowing dining in restaurants and retail shopping after Gov. Gavin Newsom relaxed reopening criteria Monday. Under state guidelines, counties can move more quickly through the second stage of the governor’s four-part reopening plan if they meet certain qualifications.

See also:

●     Kern County meets new state criteria for accelerating further into Phase 2 of reopening, officials say KGET 17


When will pro sports restart in California? Newsom says teams could play games in early June

Fresno Bee

After weeks of dour statements about the future of sporting events in California during the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday afternoon professional sports might be able to play games without fans in attendance in early June.

See also:

●     California governor: sports can return in June, without fans The Hill

●     Newsom opens door for Giants, A’s returning to field San Francisco Chronicle

New CA guidelines to allow most counties to relax stay at home orders, open restaurant dining rooms


California Gov. Gavin Newsom is relaxing reopening criteria, a move he said will allow most of the state’s 58 counties to begin allowing dining in restaurants and other services. In a news conference Monday, Newsom said that the changes come as California’s hospitalization rates for coronavirus patients has steadily declined.

See also:

●     California relaxes some county criteria for reopening Fresno Bee

●     New California coronavirus rules will let more counties reopen, Gavin Newsom says Fresno Bee

●     Sacramento, Yolo counties could finally reopen more businesses under new Newsom guidelinesSacramento Bee

●     California Relaxes Rules, Allowing More Counties To Re-open Businesses Capital Public Radio

●     Newsom eases California reopening rules, allowing more counties to restart their economies Los Angeles Times

●     Gov. Gavin Newsom eases reopening requirements for California counties San Francisco Chronicle

●     State eases rules for reopening dine-in restaurants, stores CalMatters

●     California Relaxes Some Criteria for Economic Reopening Time

Gavin Newsom’s budget gives governor too much power over COVID-19 spending, top Democrat says

Sacramento Bee

A top-ranking Democratic lawmaker is pushing back against part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s revised budget proposal, arguing it would curtail the Legislature’s power over COVID-19 spending decisions.

How a single insurance company came to dominate Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 testing team

Sacramento Bee

As Gov. Gavin Newsom navigates one of his most vexing problems during the pandemic, supplying the state with enough tests for COVID-19, he has relied heavily on a single company: insurance giant Blue Shield of California, a generous campaign contributor.

Skelton: To balance California’s budget, state will stick it to its most vulnerable citizens

Los Angeles Times

The aged, blind and disabled always get the shaft whenever a governor pulls out his cutting knife. So it was no surprise last week when 1.2 million Californians who are aged, blind or disabled and living on the edge — clinging to government benefits for subsistence — got whacked again, this time by Gov. Gavin Newsom.


Trump says he’s taking malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to protect against coronavirus


President Donald Trump said Monday that he is taking a malaria drug to protect against the new coronavirus, despite warnings from his own government that it should only be administered for COVID-19 in a hospital or research setting due to potentially fatal side effects.

See also:

●     Trump taking hydroxychloroquine after COVID-19 cases at White House Sacramento Bee

●     Trump says he’s taking hydroxychloroquine to protect against coronavirus Los Angeles Times

●     ‘Crazy thing to do’: Health experts alarmed by Trump’s use of unproven drug Politico

●     Pelosi criticizes Trump for taking hydroxychloroquine, ‘something that has not been approved by the scientists’ Washington Post

Stay-at-home orders saved hundreds of thousands, report finds

The Hill

A new analysis says nearly 250,000 people in the nation’s 30 largest cities are alive today because of strict stay-at-home orders issued by local and state governments.

Almost none of the $500 billion in a coronavirus relief fund for businesses has been spent

Los Angeles Times

The Treasury Department has disbursed less than 8% — just $37.5 billion of $500 billion — of the emergency funds that Congress approved two months ago for loans and loan guarantees to help stabilize the economy.

Trump Threatens to Permanently Cut Funding to World Health Organization

Wall Street Journal

President Trump threatened to permanently cut off funding to the World Health Organization and revoke U.S. membership if the group doesn’t make changes meant to curb what he called its pro-China bias.

See also:

●     Trump threatens to permanently cut WHO funding, leave body if changes aren’t made within 30 days Washington Post

●     Trump threatens permanent freeze on WHO funding without ‘major’ reforms within 30 days The Hill

●     WHO Says It Will Submit to Investigation of Coronavirus Response National Review

State, local virus aid bill gains bipartisan momentum

Roll Call

New bipartisan legislation would provide $500 billion in aid to state and local governments, territories and tribes to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, with the smallest communities in line for a direct slice of the money, unlike some earlier iterations.

Passed By for Decades, Clarence Thomas Is a New Symbol of the Trump Era

New York Times

Among certain conservatives, an idea has started to take hold: Could Justice Clarence Thomas ever be the kind of pop-culture icon to his followers that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has become to hers?

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:

Never mind big California election win — GOP doubles down on fight against mail voting

San Francisco Chronicle

Republican Mike Garcia may have won a nearly all-mail congressional runoff election in California last week, but that’s not stopping GOP leaders from fighting efforts to expand voting by mail in states across the country.

See also:

●     Opinion: All Mail Voting Works – for Republicans Fox&Hounds

We’ve Updated Our Pollster Ratings Ahead Of The 2020 General Election


The competitive phase of the 2020 presidential primaries is over — which means we’ve updated FiveThirtyEight’s pollster ratings. These ratings cover this year’s presidential primaries, the 2019 gubernatorial elections and the occasional straggler poll.

Opinion: It’s Trump’s party now — and will be even after he’s gone

Washington Post

The media reports that Republican legislators privately shake their heads and roll their eyes at Trump’s outrages. But with rare and noble exceptions, Republican politicians in general defend the indefensible and promote the problematic.

EDITORIAL: Congress must act now to ensure a safe presidential election

Los Angeles Times

Even as some states and localities are “reopening” businesses and public spaces, it is likely that the COVID-19 pandemic will still be with us in November when Americans will elect a president, the entire U.S. House and more than a third of the U.S. Senate.


Many people use Google to research illness symptoms, but here’s why that’s a bad idea

Sacramento Bee

Have you ever googled symptoms you were feeling in an attempt to self-diagnose only to find your slight ear pain wasn’t the result of an infection, but rather some rare consequence of cancer?

Mathews: How Gonzales, CA Waged a 15-Year Fight for Universal Broadband

Zocalo Public Square

The city, not residents, pays monthly service charges, at a discounted rate of $12.50 monthly per household device. Partnership documents value T-Mobile’s donation at more than $504,000.

See also:

●     COVID-19 shows that America’s broadband plan is still in beta Los Angeles Times

●     Under Social Distancing, Rural Regions Push For More Broadband Pew Trusts

Now More Than Ever, Facebook Is a ‘Mark Zuckerberg Production’

New York Times

For years, he was an obsessive C.E.O. in some ways, distant in others. Then Facebook’s problems became too acute to leave to anyone else.


Food stamp applications skyrocket in Fresno County amid coronavirus pandemic

Fresno Bee

A Mendota mother of three says she has endured stressful weeks to feed her family since the outbreak of coronavirus here. The 34-year-old mother says being able to put food on the table – especially now with kids at home during the coronavirus pandemic – is getting more difficult. Although, she said, the milk and meals the schools provide have helped a lot.

Following New Restaurant Guidelines, More Dine-In Options

Capital Public Radio

California restaurants across the state are reopening their doors to patrons as stay-at-home restrictions continue to ease. Dine-in options are being offered again at certain eateries in counties that have been officially approved to reopen.



Court makes return to ‘more normal’ operations following virus disruption

Bakersfield Californian

After COVID-19 concerns caused disruptions to operations at the Kern County Superior Court, a vast majority of the staff at the county’s District Attorney’s Office has returned to work in anticipation of “more normal” operations soon according to Joseph Kinzel, spokesman for the DA’s office.

Officials mishandled coronavirus outbreaks at Lompoc and Terminal Island prisons, lawsuits claim

Los Angeles Times

The American Civil Liberties Union on Saturday filed a pair of class-action lawsuits on behalf of federal prisoners at Lompoc and Terminal Island, claiming officials mishandled coronavirus outbreaks at the facilities that have infected a combined total of 1,775 inmates.

Did That Drone Just Tell Us to Stay 6 Feet Apart?

Pew Trusts

At least 40 law enforcement agencies across the country have used drones in the past few months for coronavirus-related purposes, according to a Stateline review of police websites and news reports. 

EDITORIAL: UC professors decry Merced County Sheriff’s COVID-19 response

Merced Sun Star

Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke issued a statement that he will not be taking any enforcement action in Merced County for violating the statewide shelter in place orders. 

Public Safety:

Cellphone data shows how recent protests against coronavirus lockdowns may have spread the outbreak

The Hill

Public health officials have warned that such gatherings are ripe for the spread of disease, especially COVID-19, to large numbers of people. Cellphone data shows that some protestors may have travelled hundreds of miles and across state borders, potentially widening the spread of the disease. 

Gavin Newsom speeds up plans to close two California prisons, worrying employees

Sacramento Bee

Newsom announced plans for closing a second prison during a budget address last week, expanding on a previous proposal to close one prison while putting more resources into rehabilitation.

Face Recognition Technologies: Designing Systems that Protect Privacy and Prevent Bias


The research reported here was intended to highlight for policymakers the high-level privacy and bias implications of face recognition technologies systems.

‘Hard stop’: States could lose National Guard virus workers


More than 40,000 National Guard members currently helping states test residents for the coronavirus and trace the spread of infections will face a “hard stop” on their deployments on June 24 — just one day shy of many members becoming eligible for key federal benefits, according to a senior FEMA official.

Opinion: California must decrease jail population to save lives from COVID-19. Here’s how

Sacramento Bee

The California Judicial Council is putting lives in grave danger by increasing the number of people who are held in jails awaiting trial. Its order on April 30, extending again the time individuals can be detained without trial will keep more people in jail for longer, risking the health of those detained and also those in the community.

See also:

●     California’s prisons and jails have emptied thousands into a world changed by coronavirus Los Angeles Times


California wildfire victims approve $13.5 billion payout by ‘overwhelming’ margin, PG&E says

Sacramento Bee

PG&E Corp. said Monday it believes thousands of Northern California wildfire victims have approved the utility’s $13.5 billion payout plan, clearing the way for PG&E to emerge from bankruptcy.

See also:

●     PG&E Says Wildfire Victims Voted for $13.5 Billion Settlement Offer  Wall Street Journal

●     California lawmakers introduce PG&E ‘Plan B’ that outlines state takeover contingency Politico



Which Stanislaus County businesses received $10,000 coronavirus grants? Here is the list

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County has awarded $3.1 million in grants to help local small businesses struggling in the new coronavirus pandemic. The grants are for as much as $10,000 each and help businesses cover such expenses as rent, utilities and payroll.

Hair And Nail Salons Squeezed As They’re Deemed ‘High Risk’ Businesses During Pandemic

Capital Public Radio

At Exquisite U hair salon in Arden Arcade, Stephanie Hunter Ray is doing business a little differently these days. Before the coronavirus, the salon she’s owned for 15 years on Fulton Avenue was packed with regular clients.

See also:

●     Need a haircut? Gavin Newsom says salons are a ‘few weeks’ away from reopening statewideSacramento Bee

U.S. stocks rise on coronavirus vaccine and reopening optimism

Los Angeles Times

Stocks jumped after an experimental vaccine showed promising early signs of helping to fend off the new coronavirus. Crude oil advanced and yields on Treasuries rose. All three main U.S. equity indexes opened higher after Moderna Inc. said its vaccine tests yielded signs it can create an immune-system response in the body.

See also:

●     ‘Triple whammy’ of good news catapults Dow more than 900 points Washington Post

●     Moderna says White House coronavirus vaccine chief is divesting Los Angeles Times

●     Moderna Coronavirus Vaccine Shows Promising Early Results New York Magazine

●     EDITORIAL: Moderna’s Vaccine Hope Wall Street Journal

Global Economic Recovery Might Take Up to 3 Years, Say European Bosses

Wall Street Journal

A global economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis will take between one and three years, more than 80% of top European business leaders said in a survey to be released Tuesday.

In an Attempt to Help Struggling Restaurants, Cities Regulate Food Delivery Apps

Route Fifty

In response, lawmakers in large cities are setting commission caps on app-based takeout and delivery services to ensure that more money spent at local restaurants stays with the business.

Sen. Wieckowski: With millions out of work, California needs greater oversight of debt collectors


In these uncertain times, it is more critical than ever that our state government step up and protect struggling families by approving Senate Bill 908, legislation to require the licensing of debt collectors in California.

Commentary: Creating an investment strategy for Calif economic recovery


What remains largely missing from the fiscal agenda, though, is urgent stimulus to the California economy that invigorates job creation while rectifying the significant racial and geographic inequities that existed before the crisis.


Uber cuts an additional 3,000 jobs and says more may follow

Los Angeles Times

Uber Technologies Inc. is slashing another 3,000 jobs and closing dozens of offices, the company said Monday, part of a series of dramatic moves intended to shore up a business that has been gutted by the coronavirus.

See also:

●     Uber cuts 3,000 more jobs as coronavirus devastates ride-hailing San Francisco Chronicle

●     Uber Cuts 3,000 More Jobs, Shuts 45 Offices in Coronavirus Crunch Wall Street Journal

Some grocery workers “scared to death” to return to work


With dozens of grocery store workers around the U.S. having died of COVID-19, some Kroger employees say the nation’s largest supermarket chain isn’t doing enough to keep them safe. 

Walters: Business targets COVID-19 bills as ‘job killers’


Since 1997, when the program began, the “job killer” label has been applied to 761 bills and just 62 became law, a 92% kill ratio.



Garces Memorial online summer school classes open to all 5th through 12th graders

Bakersfield Californian

Garces Memorial High School announced Monday it will hold summer classes online through the Zoom app beginning June 1. Garces Memorial summer school is open to students entering fifth through 12th grade, and because it’s online, students anywhere can enroll. 

AP exams to get new safeguards after widespread reports of technical glitches

San Francisco Chronicle

The College Board is introducing new safeguards for high school students submitting their at-home Advanced Placement exams this week after widespread reports of technical problems.

See also:

●     After widespread glitches in online AP testing, students can now submit by email Los Angeles Times

With the coronavirus keeping campuses closed, parents report academic, financial struggles and stress

Los Angeles Times

Parents fear that their children are losing vital learning opportunities with school campuses closed due to the coronavirus, and these academic struggles appear linked to economic hardship and possibly race, according to local and national surveys released Monday.

Higher Ed:

Coronavirus-related cutbacks affect about 130 auxiliary workers at Fresno State

Fresno Bee

About 130 “auxiliary employees” who worked on and around Fresno State have been laid off or furloughed since schools across the nation shut down in March, the university has confirmed.

Modesto Junior College to distribute $4.8 million in CARES Act Grant money to students

Modesto Bee

Modesto Junior College reported last week it has been awarded $4.8 million as the first part of the federal CARES Act Grant to be delivered directly to students suffering hardships as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

California community college chancellor endorses going online-only this fall

Los Angeles Times

California’s 115 community colleges will likely remain an online system of higher education in the fall, its chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley said today.

ACT chief says UC students would be hurt by Napolitano plan to scrap SAT and ACT

Los Angeles Times

UC President Janet Napolitano’s proposal to suspend a standardized testing requirement will fuel student uncertainty, strain budgets and exacerbate concerns about fairness by making the admissions process more subjective, the head of the ACT testing organization said.

Napolitano and UC chancellors will take a 10% pay cut amid coronavirus-related budget crisis

Los Angeles Times

University of California President Janet Napolitano announced Monday that she and all 10 campus chancellors will take a 10% pay cut in the coming fiscal year to help offset the public university system’s staggering financial losses caused by the coronavirus crisis. 



Bee species rediscovered after scientists thought it may no longer exist

Sacramento Bee

A species of bee from Florida that scientists thought might no longer exist was rediscovered earlier this spring, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History. Before then, the blue calamintha bee had not been observed since 2016.

Greenhouse gas emissions plunged 17% during pandemic

Washington Post

The wave of lockdowns and shuttered economies caused by the coronavirus pandemic fueled a momentous decline in global greenhouse gas emissions, although one unlikely to last, a group of scientists reported Tuesday.

See also:

●     Why Air Pollution Hasn’t Fallen More With Everyone Driving Less NPR


Trump admin slaps solar, wind operators with retroactive rent bills


The Trump administration has ended a two-year rent holiday for solar and wind projects operating on federal lands, handing them whopping retroactive bills at a time the industry is struggling with the fallout of the coronavirus outbreak, according to company officials.



Fresno County boosts COVID-19 testing, medical supplies and contact tracers

Fresno Bee

Fresno County recently secured thousands of COVID-19 test kits and swabs, along with refurbished N95 masks and face shields, health officials said Monday. The boost in test supplies helps Fresno move closer to meeting California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s criteria for counties to move to the next step of reopening their economy.

See also:

●     Free N95 face mask handout at Fresno City College Monday Fresno Bee

22 new cases of COVID-19 reported Monday in Kern County

Bakersfield Californian

Kern County officials announced 22 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. That brings total cases too 1,547. There have been 25 deaths so far, and county leaders said 13 of those deaths were among residents at nursing homes, also known as skilled nursing facilities. 

See also:

●     One new death, a jump in coronavirus cases in Fresno County as state signals faster reopeningFresno Bee

●     1430 COVID-19 cases in Tulare County Porterville Recorder

●     Just six new COVID-19 cases in Tulare County Porterville Recorder

●     Two new COVID-19 deaths reported in Merced County. Pandemic’s total caseload hits 200 Merced Sun-Star

●     California records 80,000 coronavirus cases, more than 3,200 deaths Los Angeles Times

●     Coronavirus update, May 19: Stanislaus deaths at 26; Turlock faces budget troubles Modesto Bee

●     Stanislaus County reports two more deaths. Reopening request to state hits snag Modesto Bee

●     Coronavirus Hits Southern California Harder Than Northern Counties Wall Street Journal

Texas, North Carolina, Arizona see rising cases as they reopen

The Hill

Texas, North Carolina and Arizona are among the states seeing rising numbers of coronavirus cases, intensifying concerns as they seek to reopen shuttered economies. 

●     California reopening: Tracking progress across counties Los Angeles Times

●     Opinion: The new political battleground over the coronavirus? Math. Washington Post

4 children with rare inflammatory disease test positive for coronavirus; 21 under investigation

Los Angeles Times

Four children in Los Angeles County diagnosed with a rare inflammatory disease have tested positive for COVID-19 through antibody testing, officials said Monday. The county is investigating an additional 21 possible cases of the multisystem inflammatory syndrome associated with the illness, County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said.

New HIV drug ‘highly effective’ at preventing infection, study shows

San Francisco Chronicle

A new HIV drug injected every two months effectively prevents infection, providing longer and stronger protection than daily pills, the results of a global trial published Monday revealed.

When a coronavirus vaccine is developed, who will be first in line to get it? A CDC panel usually decides

Visalia Times Delta

No matter how well-prepared we are, there won’t immediately be enough coronavirus vaccine to immunize all Americans. Choices will have to be made about who goes to the front of the line.

See also:

●     Politics could dictate who gets a coronavirus vaccine Politico

●     Coronavirus vaccine could come from California, with no shot needed San Francisco Chronicle

●     UCSF scientists race to decode the deadly disease San Francisco Chronicle

Human Services:

Feds urge ‘extreme caution’ for reopening nursing homes

Merced Sun-Star

Federal authorities are urging governors to use “extreme caution” in deciding when to resume visits at nursing homes, saying it shouldn’t come before all residents and staff have tested negative for the coronavirus for at least 28 days.

See also:

●     Staffing Nursing Homes Was Hard Before the Pandemic. Now It’s Even Tougher. Pew Trusts

●     Trump administration charts a slow path for reopening nursing homes Washington Post

The director of National Nurses United on the lack of PPE during the pandemic: ‘This is just out of control’

Washington Post

The hospitals and our health-care industry subscribe to what is known as “just in time.” Just-in-time staffing. Just-in-time purchasing of supplies. They’ve taken a calculated risk because we have a profit-driven health-care system.

See also:

●     Surgical masks can reduce coronavirus spread by 75 percent: researchers The Hill

●     Opinion: The Massive Trump Coronavirus Supply Effort that the Media Loves to Hate National Review

How Newsom budget yanks back Medi-Cal health care gains for low-income residents


Earlier this year, Gov. Gavin Newsom had proposed expanding the state’s health coverage program to reach more people. Then along came the coronavirus, and the Medi-Cal cuts began anew.

Hospice Care Continues — Without the Human Touch

Pew Trusts

“Hugs used to be a big part of my job,” said Luan Biggs, a certified nursing assistant with the southern Wisconsin hospice and palliative care provider Agrace. Skin-on-skin contact — so prevalent, if not essential, in hospice work — is off limits now.

On the trail of the coronavirus: How scientists track the pathogen

San Francisco Chronicle

Laboratory sleuths at universities and laboratories around the Bay Area are using the virus’ genome to construct a microbial family tree — and they are using that information to plot the contagion’s wide-ranging path of destruction from person to person and place to place. 


Immigration courts in ‘chaos,’ with coronavirus effects to last years

San Francisco Chronicle

Raquel and her sons fled gang threats in El Salvador, survived the weeks-long journey to the U.S., and then endured the Trump administration’s 2018 separations at the southern border.

California Offers $500 in Covid-19 Aid to Undocumented Immigrants

New York Times

A barrage of calls to sign up for the $75 million in aid crashed phone lines. Undocumented immigrants do not qualify for most federal assistance.

See also:

●     Undocumented workers rush to apply for coronavirus aid, overwhelming California system Fresno Bee


Land Use:

Parking lots reopen at 27 California state parks
San Jose Mercury

Over the weekend, and without an official announcement, the state began to partially reopen lots at 27 state parks and beaches in Santa Cruz, San Benito, Sonoma, Riverside and Orange counties, along with the Lake Tahoe Area, and several other mostly rural parts of the state. 

See also:

●     Two of California’s national parks are reopening. Here’s what you can and can’t do Sacramento Bee

●     Joshua Tree National Park reopens, but with limitations Los Angeles Times

●     Memorial Day in Yosemite? Park lodging, tours canceled Fresno Bee


Bakersfield’s home market outperforms rest of state during crisis

Bakersfield Californian

New data show Bakersfield’s home market and that of the Central Valley as a whole are holding up better through the coronavirus crisis than most of the rest of the state.

California leased 15,000 hotel rooms to help homeless people. Half now sit empty

Los Angeles Times

Only about half of the 15,000 hotel and motel rooms that California has leased for mostly homeless people to slow the spread of the coronavirus are now occupied, a review of state records by The Times shows.


Shelter In Place In California, Pay California Tax?


High tax stakes like California and New York have been notoriously aggressive in trying to collect from people who try to skip out on their full state tax payment obligations when the state thinks they shouldn’t.

Skelton: To balance California’s budget, state will stick it to its most vulnerable citizens

Los Angeles Times

The aged, blind and disabled always get the shaft whenever a governor pulls out his cutting knife. So it was no surprise last week when 1.2 million Californians who are aged, blind or disabled and living on the edge — clinging to government benefits for subsistence — got whacked again, this time by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Underfunded pensions make GOP leaders reluctant to send federal aid to states like California

Merced Sun-Star

Top Washington Republicans determined not to send federal money to states say their biggest fear is Democrats will use it to help reeling public employee pensions funds. The GOP leaders insist they won’t enable what they call years of mismanagement.

GOP: No federal aid for states’ mismanaged pension funds

Fresno Bee

Top Washington Republicans determined not to send federal money to states say their biggest fear is Democrats will use it to help reeling public employee pensions funds.

Opinion: Government debt still matters – just ask Italy | American Enterprise Institute


It has become fashionable in academic and political circles to argue that large government budget deficits are harmless as long as the interest rate at which the government can borrow remains very low. Proponents of such a theory have to contend with the difficult case currently unfolding in Italy.


‘Never felt so unsafe in my life.’ Woman captures packed flight out of Fresno

Fresno Bee

Video of a packed American Airlines flight from Fresno to Dallas on Sunday is being shared widely online. “So overcrowded,” says Tammy Gonzalez in a short clip she posted to Twitter, which shows some passengers onboard without face masks.

See also:

●     Video of crowded flight from Fresno CA to Dallas going viral Fresno Bee

●     The New Airline Travel: Fewer Flights, More Layovers, Rules for Bathrooms Wall Street Journal


Keep momentum going to remove Klamath River dams and restore salmon runs


Many people face economic uncertainty and food shortages for the first time in their lives. For Indians, confronting economic uncertainty and food shortages has been part of life since Europeans arrived in our lands.

Event: A Review of San Joaquin Valley Groundwater Sustainability Plans

Public Policy Institute of California

In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, work to manage groundwater for the long term continues as required by California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. 


Cemeteries open again, but Memorial Day ceremonies muted because of coronavirus pandemic

Modesto Bee

Even with loosened restrictions on Fresno County cemeteries, local American Legion and Veterans of Foreign War posts have all but canceled Memorial Day ceremonies this year in fear of spreading the coronavirus.

Madera Drive-in to reopen Friday with new rules

Business Journal

The Madera Drive-in has released a list of rules for moviegoers to follow as it becomes among the first entertainment-related venues to reopen in the Central Valley.