May 20, 2020



North SJ Valley:

Merced County will move to next reopening phase, even if state doesn’t approve, says board

Fresno Bee

The Merced County Board of Supervisors is giving the state until noon Wednesday to approve the county’s readiness plan for a faster reopening through Stage 2 of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s pandemic road map.

Turlock City budget takes big hit with economic shutdown

Turlock Journal

The Turlock City Council will have some hard decisions to make in the coming weeks, as the City prepares for a budget shortfall of $4 million or more in fiscal year 2020-2021. City Manager Toby Wells and the City’s finance staff painted a bleak picture of Turlock’s finances during a budget workshop held May 13.

Stanislaus County asking the state to allow retail centers, malls, restaurants to open

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County leaders on Tuesday authorized a second application for a variance to the state’s shelter-in-place order, which would allow dine-in restaurants and shopping centers to open.

See also:

●     Stanislaus County will send second application to state to end shutdown of businesses Modesto Bee

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

●     Coronavirus update: Stanislaus tries again for re-openings; 10K Grants list Modesto Bee

Central SJ Valley:

Fresno’s shelter order will likely change this week. Here are the proposals and who supports them

Fresno Bee

Fresnans can expect more changes to the city’s shelter-in-place order this week. What exactly those changes will be won’t be clear until Thursday when the City Council meets and comes to a decision in conjunction with Mayor Lee Brand.

Clovis City Council Introduces Budget, Expects $10M in Losses Due to COVID-19

Clovis RoundUp

The Clovis City Council on Monday, May 18 introduced a budget of $282.4 million for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. Like city and state governments across the nation, Clovis is going to have to rely on its emergency reserve funds to make ends meet.

See also:

●     Clovis and Fresno Strengthen Ties, Newsom Announces Lowering of Reopening Criteria Clovis RoundUp

Tulare County reports 101 new cases as supervisors vote to reopen ‘effective immediately’

Visalia Times Delta

Tulare County reported a spike of 101 COVID-19 cases and four more deaths on Tuesday as supervisors voted to reopen businesses and churches “effective immediately” in defiance of the state’s public health orders.

See Also:

●     Coronavirus updates: Tulare County votes to reopen; Could Fresno’s shelter order change? Fresno Bee

●     Tulare County supervisors clarify that Tuesday vote means businesses can reopen abc30

Tulare & Kings Among 5 Counties that won’t reopen under relaxed Calif 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.

South SJ Valley:

Kern supervisors aim to reopen dining in restaurants by Memorial Day weekend

Bakersfield Californian

The Kern County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted Tuesday to approve a measure that could result in restaurants and retail locations opening their doors to the public by the weekend.

See also:

●     Kern supervisors move forward with small business relief program Bakersfield Californian

●     Kern Supervisors institute hiring freeze to forestall revenue shortfall Bakersfield Californian

●     Kern To Launch Relief Program For Small Businesses And Nonprofit Organizations Affected By Covid-19 Kern Sol News

Kern County Superior Court now requiring face coverings to enter


The Kern County Superior Court is now requiring anyone wishing to enter the courthouse to wear a face covering. The court said the new local emergency rule takes effect immediately. Face coverings may include coverings that secure the ears or the back of the head and must encompass the mouth and nose.


Map: See which California counties have partially reopened from coronavirus stay-at-home orders

Fresno Bee

Nearly two months after Gov. Gavin Newsom gave a statewide stay-at-home order to slow the spread of coronavirus on March 19, some counties have been given approval to reopen some of their nonessential businesses.

See Also:

●     California playing catch up on coronavirus contact tracing as counties push to reopen Visalia Times Delta

●     ‘We’re in phase what?’ Making sense of California’s phased reopening during coronavirus Sacramento Bee

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

Gov Newsom’s budget gives Gov 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.

Justice Dept warns California coronavirus rules may violate religious freedoms

Los Angeles Times

The measures Gov. Gavin Newsom enacted to slow the spread of the coronavirus and his plans to unwind them may discriminate against religious groups and violate their constitutional rights, the U.S. Justice Department warned in a letter Tuesday.

See Also:

●     U.S. Department of Justice Warns California Governor Over Pandemic Church Closings New York Times

●     U.S. Department of Justice warns California governor over pandemic church closings Reuters

●     Justice Department tells California to reopen churches Politico

●     US says California order discriminates against churches Associated Press

California Releases COVID-19 Guidance for 20 Different Industries as the State Goes Back to Work

Ogletree Deakins

The State of California, through the Department of Public Health, Department of Social Services, and the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA), has released COVID-19 guidance and checklists for 20 different industries as employers prepare to reopen and employees head back to work.

Newsom raises record $26M in donations for Covid-19, some from companies lobbying state


Prominent social media, broadcasting and other major interests have poured nearly $26 million into Covid-19 efforts at Gov. Gavin Newsom’s request, a record amount that came as some of the companies lobbied the governor’s office on data privacy and other thorny regulatory matters, state disclosures show.


White House advising states to expand COVID-19 testing in prisons, meatpacking plants

Fresno Bee

The White House is advising state and local leaders to focus their coronavirus testing efforts on nursing homes, prisons, meatpacking plants and other facilities with higher rates of infection to more rapidly contain COVID-19 outbreaks.

See also:

●     With Postmortem Testing, ‘Last Responders’ Shed Light On Pandemic’s Spread VPR

●     States accused of fudging or bungling COVID-19 testing data Business Journal

States rolled back more coronavirus-related restrictions, as confirmed cases in the U.S. topped 1.5 million.

Wall Street Journal

Slight declines in new cases in some states have prompted governors from New York to Ohio to reopen services—to varying extents—including restaurants, churches and schools. Public-health experts say that to reopen safely, communities need widespread testing and contact-tracing systems.

CDC guidelines, released at last, offer low-key guide to reopening

Washington Post

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week laid out its detailed, delayed road map for reopening schools, child-care facilities, restaurants and mass transit, weeks after covid-weary states began opening on their own terms.

See also:

●     CDC director says US ready to reopen, predicts thousands more contact tracers The Hill

●      CDC releases detailed reopening guidance The Hill

●     Coronavirus Live Updates: C.D.C. Releases More Guidelines for Reopening Schools and Businesses New York Times

●     OPINION: The key tool to a safe opening is not social distancing Washington Post

My ‘decision to make’: Trump defends criticized use of drug

Business Journal

President Donald Trump emphatically defended himself Tuesday against criticism from medical experts and others that his announced use of a malaria drug against the coronavirus could spark wide misuse by Americans of the unproven treatment with potentially fatal side effects.

See also

·       Trump allies lining up doctors to prescribe rapid reopening AP News

Trump Says Funding Cuts Will Be Permanent If WHO Doesn’t Commit To ‘Major’ Changes


President Trump is giving the World Health Organization 30 days to commit to substantial changes in how it operates — or he will make his hold on U.S. funding permanent. The threat came in a letter that sharply criticizes the WHO response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its relationship with China.

Opinion: The Covid-19 Deregulation

Wall Street Journal

The Trump Administration’s long parade of deregulation—on everything from Title IX, to net neutrality, to environmental-impact statements, to joint employers—is among its biggest achievements. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, this work has thankfully continued.

Opinion: Coronavirus and Policy Chaos

Wall Street Journal

With the emergence of the Wuhan virus, our situation became globally chaotic in the special sense that information theorists use the term: unpredictably complex. Those who talk of governments “following the science,” “acting on the science,” most of whom could not give a coherent account of the science of anything, are like dogs who yap because the other dogs are yapping.

Commentary: How COVID-19 might affect US nuclear weapons and planning


The Department of Defense has begun to ratchet up spending to recapitalize the U.S. strategic nuclear triad and its supporting infrastructure, as several programs move from research and development into the procurement phase.  The projected Pentagon expenditures are at least $167 billion from 2021-2025.

Commentary: Keep calm and regulate on?


Major changes to the nation’s school lunch program are afoot. Yes, you read that right. While millions of Americans are in lockdown and absorbed by COVID-19 and its fallout, the Trump administration has been working to change the way schools administer lunches to our kids—that is, whenever kids actually go to school.

To Figure Out Who’s A Citizen, Trump Administration Is Using These Records


In the months since federal courts permanently blocked the Trump administration from asking the hotly contested question for this year’s national head count, the administration has been pushing ahead with a backup plan — amassing government records to try to determine the U.S. citizenship status of every adult living in the country.

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:

From ‘shotgun wedding’ to political romance: How Obama picked Biden for VP

Los Angeles Times

When his second presidential campaign collapsed in 2008 after a dismal showing in the Iowa caucuses, Joe Biden told reporters he had no interest in becoming someone else’s vice president. He’d have more influence as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he figured.

See also:

●     Joe Biden fights skepticism with a simple immigration message: I’m not Trump or Obama Washington Post

●     Stacey Abrams is the Democrats’ Sarah Palin Washington Post

●     Biden campaign pressed on Latina VP prospects Politico

●     Biden hires Chávez granddaughter to help on Latino outreach AP News

How battleground states are preparing for the pandemic election


With the 2020 presidential election less than six months away, state and local election officials are scrambling to prepare for a potentially massive increase in voting by mail. In 2016, about one-quarter of votes nationally were cast by mail through absentee voting. This year, some state governments have already changed laws and policies to expand it.

Trump Repeats Unfounded Claims About Mail-In Voting, Threatens Funding To 2 States


President Trump on Wednesday escalated his rhetorical campaign against an expansion of mail-in voting amid the coronavirus pandemic by threatening the federal funding to two states with Democratic governors.

RNC rakes in more than $27 million in April

The Hill

The Republican National Committee (RNC) raised more than $27 million last month in a sign that the party’s finances have gone largely untouched by the coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic meltdown.

EDITORIAL: Trump fired another watchdog. If he’s ever going to be held accountable, voters will have to do it

Los Angeles Times

It’s too soon to say for certain that President Trump’s firing of State Department Inspector General Steve A. Linick was a politically motivated effort to stop Linick from doing his job, but the administration’s record of muzzling watchdogs inspires little confidence that his removal was appropriate.

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 membership of the U.S. House and more than a third of the U.S. Senate.

Walters: A not-so-special election


Clem Miller, a congressman from California’s North Coast known as Spendin’ Clem for his ability to bring home pork-barrel funding, was a shoo-in for re-election to a third term in 1962. However, a month before the election, a small plane carrying Miller to a campaign appearance crashed in the hills east of Eureka, killing him, the pilot and the pilot’s young son.


Your face mask selfies could be training the next facial recognition tool


Your face mask selfies aren’t just getting seen by your friends and family — they’re also getting collected by researchers looking to use them to improve facial recognition algorithms. CNET found thousands of face-masked selfies up for grabs in public data sets.

Gallup Poll: Americans more liberal socially than economically


The gap between Americans who view themselves economically conservative and fiscally liberal is narrower than it’s ever been — but a Gallup survey Wednesday showed that social issues are still where more citizens have a liberal viewpoint.

4 overly simplistic criticisms of the media’s Trump coverage

Washington Post

In recent weeks, President Trump has suggested injecting disinfectant into coronavirus patients, has lodged a baseless theory that his predecessor engaged in a criminal coup against him, and now claims to be taking a unproven drug to prevent his own coronavirus infection — a drug that studies suggest could be dangerous and has not even proved effective for treating the virus.

Opinion: The Worst Is Yet to Come

New York Times

For as long as I can remember, I have identified as an optimist. Like a seedling reaching toward the golden sun, I’m innately tuned to seek out the bright side. Of course, in recent years this confidence has grown tougher to maintain.

Commentary: From robots to 3D printing, how coronavirus can inspire waves of innovation


As strange as it may sound, we need to plan now for a dynamic post-pandemic world. The unique circumstances of the crisis have unleashed a wave of innovation and prompted unprecedented levels of regulatory relief as we deal with both a health and an economic crisis.

Commentary: AEI Political Report: How COVID-19 is changing us, voting in November, sexual misconduct and politicians, and China


In this issue of AEI’s Political Report, we examine how Americans are experiencing daily life with coronavirus, attitudes toward voting in November, sexual misconduct and politicians, and attitudes toward China.


Sunday, May 24, at 10 a.m. on ABC30 – Maddy Report: Countdown to the 2020 Census – Guests: California Secretary of State Padilla; Sarah Bohn, PPIC; and John Myers, LA Times. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

Sunday, May 24, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) – Maddy Report – Valley Views Edition: Census & Immigration: Distinctly Different Issues Intersect – Guests: Laura Hill and Sarah Bohn with PPIC, Taryn Luna with the Sacramento Bee, Dan Walters with CALmatters, California Secretary of State Padilla, and John Myers with LA Times. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

Sunday, May 24, at 7:30 a.m. on UniMas 61 (KTTF) – El Informe Maddy: Medi-Cal: miles de millones para pagos cuestionables – Guest: Margarita Fernandez, Jefe de Relaciones Publicas de las Oficina de la Auditora Estatal. Host: Maddy Institute Program Coordinator, Maria Jeans.


Farmers and ranchers who need relief can apply soon for $19 billion in federal aid

Fresno Bee

Farmers and ranchers who have suffered losses because of the coronavirus can begin applying for federal assistance May 26, news outlets report. The $19 billion farm relief program is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES), according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

With restaurants hurting, cities look to turn streets into dining rooms

Los Angeles Times

As coronavirus restrictions keep many indoor areas off-limits, some communities are talking about opening up streets to outdoor dining to help the battered restaurant industry.

See also

·       Cal/OSHA Issues COVID-19 Related Guidance for Dine-In Restaurants Ogletree Deakins



Courts nationwide awash in lawsuits over COVID restrictions on business, religion

Sacramento Bee

Across the nation, coronavirus has spawned more than 1,000 cases by inmates seeking early release, business owners challenging stay-at-home orders and religious institutions arguing their constitutional rights are being abridged and labeled as “non-essential.”

See also:

●     Justice Department warns California coronavirus rules may violate religious freedoms Los Angeles Times

Ammunition background checks in Calif uncover ‘ghost’ guns, heroin and more

Fresno Bee

A ‘ghost’ gun assault rifle in Pioneer.More than 15,000 rounds of ammunition in Auburn. Six large-capacity magazines and a gram of methamphetamine in Bakersfield.

Illegal street racing enforcement operations resume as instances increase

Bakersfield Californian

Illegal street racing has reemerged as a prevalent issue throughout Kern County and local law enforcement agencies have resumed enforcement, which was briefly disrupted by COVID-19 precautions.

The 14,000 untested rape kits in California are an undercount. Here’s why

Sacramento Bee

Sitting on shelves in California’s crime labs, medical facilities and law enforcement agencies, nearly 14,000 sexual assault evidence exams — so-called rape kits — are collecting dust.  The number is likely an undercount.

National Juvenile Recidivism: Lessons Learned from a Multistate Project to Track Subsequent Offending


In December, President Donald Trump signed the bipartisan Juvenile Justice Reform Act (JJRA) of 2018, which reauthorized the landmark Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) for the first time since 2002. Passage of the JJRA followed more than a decade of debate and will strengthen protections for youth in the justice system.

See Also:

●     How State Reform Efforts Are Transforming Juvenile Justice PEW

Public Safety:

Johnson & Johnson to stop selling talc-based baby powder after flurry of lawsuits

Fresno Bee

Johnson & Johnson discontinued the sale of its talc-based baby powder products in the U.S. and Canada this week, citing a fall in demand, CNBC reported.

See also:

●     Johnson & Johnson discontinues talc baby powder in U.S. and Canada Los Angeles Times

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

Sacramento Bee

Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to accelerate his plans to reduce incarceration in California by closing two state prisons in the next few years.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.

Lessons From Juvenile Justice Reforms Could Help Reduce Pandemic’s Impact on Confined Youth


As COVID-19 spreads among youth and staff in juvenile correctional facilities, some states are moving to reduce confined populations. Although motivated by urgent health concerns, many of these policies are consistent with public safety research and reflect a continuing effort by state policymakers to decrease both incarceration and crime.

See Also:

●     ‘Pacing and Praying’: Jailed Youths Seek Release as Virus Spreads NY Times



Congressional Budget Office forecasts high unemployment for years to come


The coronavirus-driven shutdowns across the country have driven U.S. unemployment to levels not seen in at least 90 years. But those numbers are expected to “get worse before they get better,” as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told the Senate banking committee Tuesday.

See also:

·       Coronavirus hit Calif’s self-employed hard. More money is on the way

Sacramento Bee

·       World Bank: 60 million people could go into ‘extreme poverty’ due to coronavirus Fresno Bee

·       Calif Gov says he’s not worried about Musk moving Tesla out of state ‘anytime soon’ CNBC

·       Opinion: How Trump’s tax cuts and tariffs will make coronavirus recession worse Los Angeles Times

·       Commentary: Here’s how to build a caring economy for post-pandemic California CalMatters

·       Commentary: Reopening the coronavirus-closed economy Brookings

·       Powell, Mnuchin Outline Contrasting Perils Facing Economy Wall Street Journal

·       Commentary: Skittish Treasury hobbles small-business loan plan AEI

·       Commentary: Eligible dependents in the CARES Act and HEROES Act economic relief payments AEI

Managing Your Small Business During The Pandemic #10

America’s ABDC California

In this week’s discussion, small business owners can learn details about the SBA’s Loan Forgiveness Application released Friday that allows borrowers to request forgiveness of their Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans.

See Also:

●     The Economic Toll of COVID-19 on Small Business PPIC

Pier 1 Imports, which has Fresno-area stores, will cease operations

Fresno Bee

National retailer Pier 1 Imports announced Tuesday it has filed a motion with a bankruptcy court to “begin an orderly wind-down” of the company as soon as possible.

See also:

●     Pier 1 is going out of business Los Angeles Times

Kern supervisors move forward with small business relief program

Bakersfield Californian

The Kern County Board of Supervisors has given its stamp of approval to a $25 million coronavirus relief fund meant for small businesses that have encountered difficulties receiving federal loans.

Valid assumptions or “tacky bluffs” — the econ forecast shaping Newsom’s budget


Forecasters across the state have run the numbers and found that — at least in the next three months — overall economic activity will decline and the joblessness rate will remain at an historic high.

See also:

·       Navigating fiscal emergencies in the time of coronavirus: Tools from the Great Recession revisited PublicCEO

No More Watercooler Talk And Other Ways Offices Will Adapt To The Pandemic


“There’s a human and intrinsic need for us to connect. In the last eight weeks, we’ve all felt it. We all miss our friends,” he tells NPR’s Ailsa Chang on All Things Considered. “This is the human need that’s part of us.”


Social distancing monitors to contact tracers: New jobs stem from COVID-19 pandemic

Fresno Bee

While the coronavirus pandemic has forced millions of Americans into unemployment, some positions are more in demand than ever, and entirely new jobs have been created as a result of the health crisis.

Walmart Hires Almost A Quarter-Million Workers As Sales Soar


As the largest retail chain that remained open during the coronavirus pandemic, Walmart became a huge draw for shoppers. Its sales skyrocketed as people stocked up on food and necessities, as well as supplies to work out, teach, play and work from home.

As America reopens, prepare for a flood of coronavirus workplace lawsuits


Like many small business owners, Edgar Comellas, owner of Aces Wild Entertainment in Florida, has seen business grind to a halt since March. His company, which arranges casino games for corporate, fundraising and private events, has returned deposits and doesn’t have any new bookings on the horizon.

See also:

·       McDonald’s isn’t protecting workers against coronavirus, employee lawsuit says Fresno Bee

Hair-cutters take big risks to work during the quarantine

Bakersfield Californian

She has another reason for turning away business in lean times: The state has threatened to fine and pull the license of any barbers and beauty professionals who defy Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-home order by keeping customers looking good during the quarantine.

Undocumented workers rush to apply for coronavirus aid, overwhelming Calif system

Fresno Bee

Undocumented workers flooded California’s coronavirus disaster relief website Monday, causing the site to crash for several hours, a state official said. Additionally, the hotlines for the nonprofits distributing the funding were “jammed,” and many people struggled to get through, an attorney told The Bee.

Job Killer Update: AB 2501 Added to List, 1 Bill Stalled, 1 Bill Removed


The bill requires lenders to maintain home and auto loans for an extended length of time with no payments from borrowers. This strain imposed on financial institutions will limit the availability of credit in the future, which will harm our economic recovery.



Fresno Unified kicks off experiment to help kids get internet access amid pandemic

Fresno Bee

Two buses will be equipped with WiFi and parked outside of Kirk Elementary School in southwest Fresno, starting Wednesday, district officials announced at last week’s special board meeting.

‘Difficult and horrible decision’ leads to alternative graduation plans in Tulare County

Visalia Times Delta

Visalia Unified School District will hold both a virtual graduation ceremony and a drive-through ceremony for its high school graduates — a “difficult and horrible decision” to make, according to Superintendent Tamara Ravalín.

Pandemic widens digital divide — Congress may spend billions to narrow it

San Francisco Chronicle

Jessica Ramos’ family had a decision to make after her father lost much of his work when the coronavirus pandemic struck: pay the mortgage on their East Oakland home or pay their internet bill.

CA is reopening. Will schools?


Most of California is gearing up to reopen, with one notable exception: schools. The superintendents of six school districts collectively enrolling nearly 1 million students warned Gov. Gavin Newsom and top lawmakers Monday that their fall reopening would be delayed due to the governor’s proposed $6.5 billion cut to school funding.

See also:

●     100 days since the first alert, Calif’s education system grapples with upheaval and uncertainty EdSource

●      Parents worry about school, childcare options when they have to go back to work ABC

●     The school year is ending. Can parents continue to get pandemic unemployment benefits? Sacramento Bee

●     How Long Can Public Schools Operate This Way? National Review

●     EDITORIAL: It’s time for Clovis Unified to admit the obvious: Students cannot go back to campus Fresno Bee

●     Commentary: What will it take to get back to school? (with Rick Hess and Candice McQueen) AEI

Counting All Kids: How the Census Impacts Education


As state education leaders begin thinking about rebuilding after school shutdowns and the economic consequences of COVID-19, some state leaders are devoting attention to a policy area that is unlikely to appear in daily headlines:  The 2020 census.

Higher Ed:

UC becomes nation’s largest university to divest fully from fossil fuels

Los Angeles Times

The University of California announced Tuesday that it has fully divested from all fossil fuels, the nation’s largest educational institution to do so as campaigns to fight climate change through investment strategies proliferate at campuses across the country.

CSU-trained Journalists: Vital to California


California citizens need reputable news and trusted information today more than ever, and the CSU is preparing the future workforce of truth-seeking journalists.

Colleges alter fall schedules as COVID-19 models suggest December surge

The Hill

Universities across the country are changing their fall schedules in hopes of avoiding what models forecast as a surge in coronavirus cases likely to sweep through the United States in early December.

See Also:

●     College Calendars in the Pandemic: No Fall Break and Home by Thanksgiving New York Times

Commentary: For-profit colleges drastically outspend competing institutions on advertising


A to attract students and laid-off workers stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new report from the Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings offers new, salient insights on the multimillion-dollar world of college advertising. Authors Stephanie Cellini and Latika Chaudhary found that for-profit institutions far outspend nonprofit and public universities on commercial advertising: In fact, degree-granting for-profit institutions account for about 40% of all higher education advertising spending, while serving just 6% of students.



California State Parks increase vehicular access, but coronavirus guidelines remain

Fresno Bee

Officials with the California Department of Parks and Recreation have increased access to public parking in some locations, but restrictions and guidelines remain in place to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

See also:

●     Some California Parks, Beaches Reopen. Coolers, Umbrellas Not Allowed At Many. Capital Public Radio

●     Coronavirus: Parking lots reopen at 27 California state parks Mercury News

Privately-operated marinas at Pine Flat, Kaweah and Success to reopen to public

Fresno Bee

The boat ramps, parking lots and restroom facilities at the privately-operated marinas at Pine Flat Lake, Lake Kaweah and Success Lake will be reopened to the public on Wednesday, just in time for the Memorial Day weekend. The facilities have been closed since March 26 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and state shelter-in-place orders.

Memorial Day in Yosemite? It’s a no-go for these services in still-closed national park

Fresno Bee

Yosemite National Park lodging and tour reservations are canceled at least through May 28, said the park’s concessionaire, Yosemite Hospitality, a subsidiary of Aramark. Does that mean the popular California park will remain closed through that time, which includes its normally-busy Memorial Day weekend? It’s unclear.

Coronavirus has altered the global warming trajectory. But for how long?

San Francisco Chronicle

The disruption caused by the coronavirus has been so profound that it’s altered the trajectory of global warming. Not since World War II — and perhaps never before — have the emissions of heat-trapping gases dropped as much around the planet as they have during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Utilizing municipal green bonds to advance community sustainability goals: Part I


When the Hayward Unified School District looked to advance its sustainable energy plan, it turned to green bond financing to fund the installation of solar energy systems at 33 schools in the East Bay.

EPA staff warned that mileage rollbacks had flaws. Trump officials ignored them.

Washington Post

In its rush to roll back the most significant climate policy enacted by President Barack Obama — mileage standards designed to reduce pollution from cars — the Trump administration ignored warnings that its new rule has serious flaws, according to documents shared with The Washington Post.


UC becomes nation’s largest university to divest fully from fossil fuels

Los Angeles Times

The University of California announced Tuesday that it has fully divested from all fossil fuels, the nation’s largest educational institution to do so as campaigns to fight climate change through investment strategies proliferate at campuses across the country.

First-of-its-kind clean hydrogen plant planned for LA County

Los Angeles Times

An energy company with big ambitions to produce the clean fuel of the future announced a deal Tuesday with Lancaster officials to make hydrogen by using plasma heating technology — originally developed for NASA — to disintegrate the city’s paper recyclables at temperatures as high as 7,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

GM says it is ‘almost there’ on million-mile electric vehicle battery


General Motors Co is “almost there” on developing an electric vehicle battery that will last one million miles, a top executive said on Tuesday. The automaker also is working on next-generation batteries even more advanced than the new Ultium battery that it unveiled in March, according to GM Executive Vice President Doug Parks, who was speaking at an online investor conference.



Fresno County coronavirus cases grow as Valley numbers climb – 103 new in Tulare County

Fresno Bee

Fresno County has 24 more COVID-19 cases – 1,287 in total, public health officials reported Tuesday afternoon. That follows 103 new coronavirus cases and four more deaths reported in Tulare County earlier in the day.

See also:

●     Tulare County reports 101 new cases as supervisors vote to reopen ‘effective immediately’ Visalia Times Delta

●     34 new coronavirus cases announced Tuesday Bakersfield Californian

Surgical masks can reduce coronavirus spread by 75%: researchers

The Hill

A study by Hong Kong researchers suggests wearing surgical masks can reduce the spread of coronavirus by up to 75 percent. “The findings implied to the world and the public is that the effectiveness of mask-wearing against the coronavirus pandemic is huge,” microbiologist Yuen Kwok-yung of Hong Kong University said on Sunday, according to Sky News.

See Also:

●     Wearing a mask can significantly reduce coronavirus transmission, study on hamsters claims CNBC

●     FALSE: Says wearing face masks is more harmful to your health than going without one. PolitiFact

Which social distancing measures work the best? Here’s what a new study found

Fresno Bee

As states begin to reopen from coronavirus lockdowns, a new study analyzed the effect that different social distancing practices have had on the number of COVID-19 cases. The study, by researchers from the University of Kentucky, Georgia State University and University of Louisville, considered the effects of closing schools, closing restaurants and bars, banning large gatherings and issuing shelter-in-place orders.

See also:

●     Should you worry about catching coronavirus in swimming pools? Here’s what experts say Fresno Bee

●     California is finally winning coronavirus battle, even as deaths keep rising Los Angeles Times

New Coronavirus Vaccine Candidate Shows Promise In Early, Limited Trial


A vaccine manufacturer is reporting preliminary data suggesting its COVID-19 vaccine is safe, and appears to be eliciting in test subjects the kind of immune response capable of preventing disease.

See also:

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

●     Scientists Raise Questions About Moderna Vaccine In Market-Shaking Report Forbes

●     How close is a coronavirus vaccine? PolitiFact

Childhood vaccinations drop more than 40%, thanks to coronavirus fears

San Francisco Chronicle

The number of vaccinations for kids in California dropped nearly in half this April compared to last April, following a worrying national trend as parents avoid doctors’ offices during the coronavirus pandemic, public health numbers show.

Study projects US COVID-19 deaths to triple by end of year

The Hill

A new study suggests the number of Americans who will die after contracting the novel coronavirus is likely to more than triple by the end of the year, even if current social distancing habits continue for months on end.

U.S. Birthrate Falls to Record Low

National Review

The U.S. birthrate has fallen to the lowest level since the federal government began compiling statistics in 1909, according to statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday.

China’s New Outbreak Shows Signs the Virus Could Be Changing


Chinese doctors are seeing the coronavirus manifest differently among patients in its new cluster of cases in the northeast region compared to the original outbreak in Wuhan, suggesting that the pathogen may be changing in unknown ways and complicating efforts to stamp it out.

Commentary: Developing policies for effective COVID-19 containment: The TRACE model


States across the U.S. are considering paths to re-opening following months of stay-at-home orders and a widespread shuttering of the economy in response to the threat of COVID-19.

See Also:

●      Commentary: Contact-tracing apps are political Brookings

Human Services:

Newsom announces hospitals can now schedule surgeries in first step in loosening coronavirus restrictions

Fresno Bee

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced at a press conference on Apr. 22, 2020 that hospitals can begin scheduling surgeries again, the first way the state is beginning to loosen its COVID-19 restrictions.

See also:

●     Visitation rules are relaxed at Modesto hospital. Elective procedures have resumed Modesto Bee

Visitation rules are relaxed at Modesto hospital. Elective procedures have resumed

Modesto Bee

Doctors Medical Center of Modesto is relaxing a no-visitor policy that was imposed near the start of the coronavirus outbreak. According to a press release Tuesday, the hospital on Florida Avenue is phasing in limited visitation. COVID-19 patients or those suspected of coronavirus infection remain under strict quarantine rules.

Community Health Centers Struggling As Fewer People Seek Care During Pandemic


Community health centers had been at the front lines of health care in the nation’s poorest neighborhoods even before the spread of the coronavirus. But in the midst of the pandemic, patients who fear deportation or infection are forcing many centers to close.

California Could See A ‘Massive Wave’ Of Cancer Patients If People Don’t Get Screened And Treated

Capital Public Radio

In late April, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a plan to return to some standard medical services after weeks of telling people to avoid clinics and hospitals. But almost a month later, many physicians say they’re seeing far fewer patients than normal.

“Might as well have them walk the plank” — Cuts may force many seniors into nursing homes


Linda Jacobs worked for non-profit organizations in California for years, including directing a substance abuse program for women. She never made much money. Now, Jacob lives off her monthly Social Security checks, and at 71, she suffers from many health problems, among them diabetes, asthma, heart disease and arthritis. 

Preventing Future Pandemic Devastation Starts With the Heart

Real Clear Health

While the U.S. copes with COVID-19, we need to consider how much less deadly and devastating the pandemic could have been if the country had better underlying cardiovascular health. Seventy-one percent of patients requiring hospitalization and 78 percent of those in intensive care (and in danger of dying) had underlying chronic conditions including diabetes and hypertension.

Did You Lose Your Health Insurance Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic? You May Have Other Options


Liz Clausen never thought her husband would lose his job. He was the first full-time hire at the Austin-based startup where he worked as a programmer, and the economy was booming just a few months ago. Then the COVID-19 outbreak hit, and he was unexpectedly laid off at the end of March.

Commentary: COVID-19 has shown that California must fix inequities in health care for communities of color


There is broad acknowledgement across the state that communities of color, particularly black and Latino communities, are bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic. This, unfortunately, does not come as a surprise to our community partners who are on the ground each and every day, seeing the lack of resources for groups that face stigma, implicit bias and language access barriers to care, treatment and beyond. 


Travels restrictions from Mexico and Canada extended by US in coronavirus pandemic

Fresno Bee

The Trump administration extended a ban on “nonessential” travel from Mexico and Canada, citing dangers of the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. Department of Homeland issued the travel ban set to expire at midnight Tuesday. The new order will last until June 22.

See Also:

●     U.S. Extends Mexico, Canada Border Closures for Additional 30 Days National Review

Trump’s preferred construction firm lands $1.3 billion border wall contract, the biggest so far

Washington Post

A North Dakota construction firm that has received backing from President Trump has now secured the largest border wall contract ever awarded, a $1.3 billion deal to build 42 miles of black-painted fencing through the rugged mountains of southern Arizona.

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

New York Times

For two decades, Adolfo Luna has earned his family’s keep as a musician, playing his accordion and singing at weddings and other events in Southern California. “I have been making an honest living, paying the bills and filing my taxes,” Mr. Luna said. Then the coronavirus pandemic struck, eliminating group gatherings — and all his bookings.


Land Use:

Privately-operated marinas at Pine Flat, Kaweah and Success to reopen to public

Fresno Bee

The boat ramps, parking lots and restroom facilities at the privately-operated marinas at Pine Flat Lake, Lake Kaweah and Success Lake will be reopened to the public on Wednesday, just in time for the Memorial Day weekend.

Transformation of Hart Park adobe into interpretive center may be delayed

Bakersfield Californian

At a Nov. 15 meeting of the Working Group, county staff indicated that construction work could begin after the end of February. The work had become possible thanks to a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant secured by Kern County Supervisor Mike Maggard.

Commentary: Big city downtowns are booming, but can their momentum outlast the coronavirus?


It was only a generation ago when many Americans left downtowns for dead. From New York to Chicago to Los Angeles, residents fled urban cores in droves after World War II. While many businesses stayed, it wasn’t uncommon to find entire downtowns with little street life after 5:00 PM.


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.

Coronavirus lockdown stifles Southern California home sales. But prices edge up

Los Angeles Times

Illustrating the chilling effects the coronavirus crisis has had on the housing market, data released Tuesday show that Southern California home sales fell 26.6% in April compared with a month earlier, while year-over-year sales were down 31.5%.

Housing and Homelessness

Each county and local government in California is working along with the state to protect people experiencing homelessness during COVID-19 and prevent others from losing their homes during the outbreak.


Don’t Forget To Get Forgiven: Take These Steps For Your PPP Loan To Become A Grant

Business Journal

As the coronavirus rages on, creating economic uncertainty, the federal government has been trying to soften the blow with loans and employee protections. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, was passed unanimously by the Senate and signed into law by President Trump near the end of March, bringing $1.8 trillion in direct aid to individuals and businesses.

Free money: Amid the coronavirus, a monthly paycheck from the feds doesn’t seem crazy

Los Angeles Times

The notion of the federal government handing out free money used to be a liberal dream and a conservative nightmare. No more. The coronavirus outbreak, which plunged the nation into an economic free fall, has created an opening for governments and nonprofits to experiment with giving money directly to Americans, with no strings attached.

Pay cuts, canceled raises and more telework: the recession reaches state workers

Sacramento Bee

Gov. Gavin Newsom last week proposed reducing state workers’ pay by 10 percent to help address a projected budget deficit of $54 billion. Questions are swirling over the specifics. Details have yet to be worked out. Below are five common questions and what we know so far.

See also:

●     California state workers face 10 percent pay cut, possible furloughs, union leader says Sacramento Bee

●     To soften blow of state worker pay cuts, California might suspend $2,600 health deductions Sacramento Bee


CHP: Despite decreases statewide, Bakersfield saw more fatal car accidents during stay-at-home orders

Bakersfield Californian

Despite the California Highway Patrol reporting a decrease in traffic accidents and deaths statewide since the stay-at-home orders issued in March, there’s been a 33 percent increase in fatal crashes in CHP’s local jurisdiction, according to spokesman Roberto Rodriguez.

GM says it is ‘almost there’ on million-mile electric vehicle battery


General Motors Co is “almost there” on developing an electric vehicle battery that will last one million miles, a top executive said on Tuesday. The automaker also is working on next-generation batteries even more advanced than the new Ultium battery that it unveiled in March, according to GM Executive Vice President Doug Parks, who was speaking at an online investor conference.


Remember Oroville? See the scene as Michigan towns evacuate after dams fail

Sacramento Bee

A deluge of rain caused two dams in central Michigan to breachWednesday, forcing the evacuation of about 10,000 residents and prompting officials to warn of life-threatening danger as floodwaters rose. Scenes of the flooding can be seen in the video above.

Commentary: State Water Board must act to protect the Bay-Delta and California’s fishing industry


When Jennifer Pierre of the State Water Contractors announced the end of negotiations to develop so-called “voluntary agreements” to protect the declining Bay-Delta ecosystem, it was the latest in a flurry of similar statements, including a State Water Contractors press release and a letter from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.


Fresno tech company says, ‘There’s no place like home,’ with virtual music, culture fest

Fresno Bee

The idea could be a mission statement for the No Place Like Home Virtual Culture Fest. The free, day-long event is organized by Bitwise and features everything you’d expect from an in-person festival — music, food and a marketplace for vendors — done at distance.

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

Fresno 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.

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Maddy Institute Updated List of San Joaquin Valley Elected Officials HERE.

The Kenneth L. Maddy Institute at California State University, Fresno was established to honor the legacy of one of California’s most principled and effective legislative leaders of the last half of the 20th Century by engaging, preparing and inspiring a new generation of governmental leaders for the 21st Century. Its mission is to inspire citizen participation, elevate government performance, provide non-partisan analysis and assist in providing solutions for public policy issues important to the region, state and nation.

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