May 21, 2020



North SJ Valley:

New UC Merced chancellor is the son of a San Joaquin Valley farmworker

Los Angeles Times

Juan Sánchez Muñoz, president of the University of Houston Downtown, grew up hearing stories about the San Joaquin Valley from his father, who landed there from Mexico to pick grapes in the 1950s. Muñoz, 53, will be heading there himself in July — as the new chancellor of UC Merced.

See also:

●     UC Alum Juan Sánchez Muñoz Named UC Merced’s Fourth Chancellor UC Merced News

State approves Stanislaus County reopening after coronavirus

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County was approved Wednesday to progress further into the state’s Stage 2 reopening after a two-month shutdown of businesses due to the coronavirus pandemic.

See also:

●     Stanislaus-area folks get food and more amid coronavirus thanks to donors, businesses Modesto Bee

●     Stanislaus County restaurants reopen dining rooms; new Modesto program sets standards Modesto Bee

●     Stanislaus County gets state approval to open dine-in, retail Turlock Journal

●     EDITORIAL: Why California agrees with Stanislaus County’s reopening do-over Modesto Bee

Republican Cong Candidate Ted Howze loses GOP help after ‘disturbing’ social media posts

Modesto Bee

California Republican Ted Howze on Wednesday was removed from a GOP website that promotes 2020 congressional candidates and rebuked by House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy after a second batch of “disturbing” social media posts on his accounts was uncovered.

See also:

●     GOP leaders rebuke Republican House candidate in CD 10 (North Valley) over insulting social media posts Politico

Central SJ Valley:

Fresno State Pres. Castro: DACA Students Excluded from Coronavirus Emergency Grants


Emergency aid should go to the students who need it most, which is why I was incredibly disappointed to see that the U.S. Department of Education has gone to great lengths to turn its back on some of the most vulnerable students in our community: Dreamers or DACA students.

Hours after Tulare County reopens economy, state threatens to pull $47M in disaster funds

Visalia Times Delta

Hours after supervisors voted Tuesday to defy the state’s public health orders and reopen most of Tulare County’s economy, California officials sent a letter threatening to cut off the county’s disaster relief and $47 million in federal CARES Act funds.

See also:

●     Cities rebuke supervisors for reopening Tulare County as state threatens disaster money Visalia Times Delta

●     State threatens to pull millions of dollars in COVID-19 funding from Tulare County abc30

●     Despite many coronavirus deaths, Tulare County vows to defy Newsom and further reopen Los Angeles Times

●     Governor’s response to Tulare County’s plan to reopen KMPH

Fresno County Issues New Face Mask Recommendations

Clovis Roundup

Meaning, if a person is not able to maintain social distancing when out in public, such as: while at work, shopping, or when in contact with another person other than a family member; the person must wear a face mask or face covering.

See also:

●     Fresno County urges mask-wearing indoors at business and work starting Friday Fresno Bee

●     Fresno County mask confusion: supervisors say they will amend order to say people “should” wear face masks abc30

●     Vohra Makes Face Masks Voluntary After Fresno Co Supervisors Push Back GV Wire

Fresno County is not flattening its curve. Will that hurt its application to reopen?

Fresno Bee

While San Joaquin Valley counties to the north and south are getting state approval to move further into Stage 2 of reopening their economies, Fresno County is not flattening its curve, according to Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra.

See also:

●     EDITORIAL: Now is the time for Fresno City Council to sensibly, safely reopen the economy Fresno Bee

Madera Sheriff Jay Varney will become county’s chief administrative officer

Fresno Bee

Madera County Sheriff Jay Varney will become the county’s administrative officer, it was announced Wednesday morning. Undersheriff Tyson Pogue was designated to replace Varney on an interim basis.

South SJ Valley:

State gives Kern OK to reopen restaurants, malls, retail

Bakersfield Californian

The county received state approval late Wednesday afternoon to move faster into the second part of Stage 2 of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s reopening plan, which includes the reopening of malls and restaurant dining rooms, as well and in-store shopping in retail establishments.

See also:

●     Bakersfield City Council allows dining in the street as a way to expand restaurant capacity Bakersfield Californian

●     Kern restaurants on the brink of re-opening, but not all owners are ready KGET 17

McCarthy honors local US service academy graduates

Bakersfield Californian

U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy congratulated the six local servicemen and women who just graduated from U.S. service academies.

Taft City Council developing plans for safe reopening


During its city council meeting Tuesday, members discussed ways to safely begin reopening businesses including shopping malls and dine-in restaurants.


Thousands of churches say they will defy California governor and hold services May 31

Fresno Bee

Buoyed by a letter from the U.S. Justice Department to Gov. Gavin Newsom that emphasizes the right to worship, a lawyer for a church suing over California’s coronavirus ban on in-person services says he expects thousands of congregations to return to their churches a week from Sunday.

See also:

●     Fresno pastor says church will reopen May 31. ‘Constitutional rights were being violated’ Fresno Bee

●     Inside the Trump fight with California over opening churches amid coronavirus Los Angeles Times

●     Reopening guidance for churches delayed after White House and CDC disagree Washington Post

●     EDITORIAL: The First Amendment Faithful Wall Street Journal

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

Fresno Bee

Now, California is working its way through the second phase of the reopening, though some counties are even further along in the phase. It includes the reopening of retail, modified to be curbside pickup, as well as manufacturing, offices and some child care services.

See also:

●     As counties reopen, California rushes to build an army of coronavirus ‘disease detectives’ Modesto Bee

●     A big push to reopen restaurants, malls, even gyms ASAP. But it’s not that simple Los Angeles Times

●     California playing catch up on coronavirus contact tracing as counties push to reopen Desert Sun

California Gov. Newsom: Federal Government Has Responsibility To Help States Recover

Capital Public Radio

California led the nation in issuing a statewide stay-at-home order. But there’s been an economic cost for going first — in the form of a $54 billion budget shortfall and unemployment projected to be as high as 25% this quarter.

Skelton: Newsom wise to end one-man rule on coronavirus, giving local leaders more discretion

Los Angeles Times

Gov. Gavin Newsom has entered his own Phase 2 of the virus war: relinquishing one-man control over the state’s battle against the bug.

EDITORIAL: California’s COVID-19 deaths are no joke. Will Texas Gov. Greg Abbott learn the hard way?

Sacramento Bee

Texas experienced its biggest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases on Saturday, with 1,801 new cases reported. That didn’t stop Texas Gov. Greg Abbott from taking to Twitter in an attempt to mock California’s struggle to contain the deadly virus.

Walters: California population may be peaking


When California, with 17 million residents, surpassed New York to become the nation’s most populous state in 1962, it was a cause for celebration.


Supreme Court blocks for now release of Mueller grand jury materials to House

Los Angeles Times

The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted an emergency appeal from President Trump’s lawyers and blocked House Democrats — for now — from examining grand jury materials from Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

House to vote on stand-alone small-business loan program fixes

Roll Call

The House will vote next week on legislation changing terms of the so-called Paycheck Protection Program that have served as obstacles to some small businesses seeking relief under the forgivable loan program.

GOP seeking doctors to back reopening strategy: report

The Hill

The Trump campaign and allies of the president are reportedly looking for doctors to speak in support of the Trump administration’s efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus.

See also:

●     Opinion: What’s really behind Republicans wanting a swift reopening? Evangelicals. Washington Post

●     Experts warn of second coronavirus wave in Dallas, Houston, Alabama and parts of Florida Washington Post

●     Coronavirus testing is ‘a mess’ in the US, report says CNN

●     Opinion: What We’re Getting Right and Wrong with Reopening National Review

●     Opinion: Republicans begin looking beyond Trumpism National Journal

FCC commissioner, House Democrat call for expanding broadband access during pandemic

The Hill

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly (R) said that while many classrooms, doctor’s offices and workplaces have moved online, about 20 million Americans don’t have broadband.

Fact Check: Trump Twists Record on Inspectors General


According to a recently released Congressional Research Service report, since 2000, Barack Obama was the only president to remove an inspector general, and he removed one. Trump has now removed four in less than two months.

World Health Organization Projects $1.3 Billion Shortfall in Fighting Covid-19

Wall Street Journal

The World Health Organization says it is currently $1.3 billion short of what it expects it will need this year to fight the coronavirus pandemic and is looking for donors to fill the gap as the U.S. government threatens to cut funding.

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:

2020 Presidential Election Fundraising: Biden v. Trump


Also, groups like super PACs, which can raise and spend unlimited amounts, can help or hurt the fortunes of a presidential nominee. On both Biden’s and Trump’s sides, these independent groups have raised tens of millions of dollars on their own.

California Secretary of State slams Trump tweets on mail voting as effort to ‘undermine confidence’ in elections


California Secretary of State Alex Padilla condemned President Donald Trump’s latest tweetstorm threatening to pull federal funding to Nevada and Michigan if they proceed with vote-by-mail drives, calling it Trump’s “clearest example yet of using disinformation to try and influence the November election.”

See also:

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

●     Examining the arguments against voting by mail: Does it really lead to fraud or benefit only Democrats? Washington Post

●     Opinion: Democratic vote-by-mail efforts would actually help rural (and Trump) voters Washington Post

California election result means same for Dems, GOP: Time to ask for money

San Francisco Chronicle

Mike Garcia was sworn in Tuesday as the first Republican to flip a Democratic-held congressional seat in California in more than 20 years. But for both parties, his election means far more than the single GOP vote he’ll bring to the House for the next six months

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 ßefforts 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.

Trump blames Democrats for his grounded campaign, even as bipartisan restrictions ban his signature rallies

Washington Post

President Trump, approaching his longest stretch without a political rally since he announced his candidacy five years ago, has taken to blaming Democrats for grounding his campaign.

‘A game-changer’: Pandemic forces shift in black voter outreach

Roll Call

Strategies to ensure black turnout are being redrawn as Democratic groups and grassroots organizations test messages in real time to determine how best to educate African American voters reluctant about casting mail-in ballots and reassure them that it is safe and secure.

Poll: National Latino support for Biden sees slight increase

The Hill

A large majority of registered Latino voters support former Vice President Joe Biden over President Trump, according to a new poll released Tuesday.

Opinion: Will Bernie Take Over the Biden Campaign?

Wall Street Journal

It’s an unwise concession by the former vice president, which could lead to months of intrigue and posturing. Followers of Mr. Sanders will pressure Mr. Biden to adopt their views, policies and radical sensibilities.


Apple’s and Google’s coronavirus tools give health officials more data

Los Angeles Times

Apple Inc. and Google released their COVID-19 exposure-notification tools Wednesday, along with changes that will help public health authorities gather more information on who has the virus.

See also:

●     As all 50 states start reopening, questions on coronavirus tracking data fuel concerns Los Angeles Times

●     Contact-tracing apps face serious adoption obstacles Brookings

●     The crucial privacy debate happening in the shadows of the coronavirus Roll Call

Opinion: How COVID-19 Is Magnifying the ‘Politics of Division’

Zocalo Public Square

The COVID-19 pandemic has come at a critical historical moment. For the last two decades or so—since the collapse of the Soviet Union and communist rule in Eastern Europe—we have seen a growing erosion of liberal democracy in the West.

See also:

●     Opinion: Civil Society Was Made for Moments Like This Real Clear Policy

Most Americans think it will be at least 6 months before a return to normal from COVID-19


Most Americans think it will take six months or longer for daily life to return to a relative sense of normal, according to a new PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll. And as states begin the process of reopening, a majority of Americans are worried about a second wave of COVID-19 infections, too.

See also:

●     Poll: Americans harbor strong fear of new infections AP News


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.


California pandemic food stamps offer up to $356 per child


California issues one-time food stamps up to $365 per child to families with children who qualify for free or reduced-price meals at school.

Garlic shortage hits, a side effect of the coronavirus pandemic

San Jose Mercury

People largely confined to their homes have been cooking more and buying more garlic to cook with, Christopher said. Demand from restaurants has plummeted, but demand from

Can California marijuana trade groups coordinate to engage industry’s legislative gears?

Marijuana Business Daily

While the Los Angeles-based United Cannabis Business Association (UCBA) has undertaken a new effort to bring a majority of those trade groups together, the organization’s long-term potential to reshape the business landscape through political activism remains untested.

Experts fear worsening global food crisis if US does not lead

Roll Call

With global hunger projected to increase dramatically this year as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, humanitarian relief experts are calling on the U.S. government to play a leadership role in ensuring that global food supply lines remain open.



U.S. Policing After Wave One of COVID-19


During the coronavirus lockdowns, gang violence driven by tit-for-tat honor killings and fights over local retail drug markets declined dramatically at first, including in places where numerous policing strategies failed to reduce gang violence.

Public Safety:

Fact Check: Gavin Newsom warns of layoffs for police, firefighters. Is he exaggerating?

Fresno Bee

While such layoffs are a real possibility as the coronavirus pandemic-fueled budget crises persist, It’s difficult to say with any precision what could happen to those workers in the near future, let alone who would get the axe first.


Need help from Stanislaus Consolidated firefighters? You’ll soon be billed for some services

Fresno Bee

The Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District will soon begin billing people or their insurance companies when firefighters respond to vehicle fires, crashes, water rescues, hazmat calls and other rescue events.



Businesses Try To Navigate The World’s Coronavirus Cargo Pileup


Consumer goods are arriving from China and elsewhere, but a lot is not getting to its destination. “Demand has plummeted because you and I are not out at the stores every day,” Seroka says. “The orders that go to store are less than they normally would be.”

14-Day Quarantine Complicates Tourist Rentals

Pew Trusts

The requirements are devastating for people who rely on rental income from out-of-state tourists, especially those in New England or other northern climes with very short summer seasons.

Opinion: Unleash private enterprise to jumpstart California’s economy with these four moves


Needless to say, billions of dollars in tax revenues that state and local officials were counting on to provide the wide array of government services are gone as well. If the economy doesn’t rebound, the loss in tax dollars will be far greater, resulting in even more cuts.


2.4 million Americans filed jobless claims last week, bringing nine-week total to 38.6 million

Washington Post

President Trump and top Republican lawmakers are mounting fresh opposition to extending enhanced unemployment benefits to the millions of Americans who are still out of work, even as the administration released new jobless figures Thursday showing 2.4 million Americans sought benefits last week.

See also:

●     Unemployment claims rise by 2.4 million as states try to open for business Politico

●     Workers File 2.4 Million Unemployment Claims Wall Street Journal

●     Will laid-off California workers get their old jobs back? Most think they will Sacramento Bee

Day laborer centers close due to coronavirus, lack of work


Employment for these workers is now scarce, and they are among populations most exposed to the virus.

More Fresno Amazon employees test positive for coronavirus

Fresno Bee

Another employee at Fresno’s Amazon warehouse has tested positive for COVID-19, at least the fifth worker who has contracted the virus in the south Fresno facility.

What’s the future for California salons and barbershops? Hairstylists worry and wait

Los Angeles Times

Although some states have slowly begun reopening, allowing barbers and hairstylists to get back to work, those in personal grooming industries in California remain largely in the dark two months after establishments were ordered to close.

Musicians, freelancers and coaches could soon be free of California’s landmark labor law

Fresno Bee

A proposal to adjust a landmark California labor law passed its first legislative hurdle Wednesday, heartening freelance journalists, musicians and other independent contractors who say they’ve been burdened by a restrictive employment status.

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

Fresno Bee

Gov. Gavin Newsom last week proposed reducing state workers’ pay by 10 % to help address a projected budget deficit of $54 billion.

Hiltzik: Big employers are already shortchanging their ‘hero’ workers

Los Angeles Times

“Hero bonuses” and “appreciation pay” have been disappearing through this month, even as the number of new infections and deaths remained high and the hazards for consumer-facing employees may even have increased with relaxation of stay-at-home rules.



When and how will Fresno-area schools reopen? California says to prepare for big changes

Fresno Bee

When elementary and high schools reopen in the fall, students may have to get used to a new reality of hybrid scheduling, face masks, and social distancing, California State Superintendent Tony Thurmond announced Wednesday.

See also:

●     California education chief says schools can’t open without masks Politico

●     Most California school districts plan to open in the fall. Here’s how it would work Los Angeles Times

●     ‘Kids will be kids’: Furtive hugs, complex logistics on South Korea’s first day back at school Los Angeles Times

●     How State’s Pandemic Budget Will Hit Schools and Services: H.D. Palmer Makes Things Perfectly Clear Newsmakers

Clovis schools make it official, campuses won’t reopen. Trustees had a lot to say

Fresno Bee

Clovis Unified School Board, on Wednesday night, voted to keep classrooms closed through the end of the year on June 5, becoming one of the last districts in the state to eliminate the possibility of returning to campus.

See also:
Amid Pandemic, Clovis Unified’s Newest School Prepares for August Debut GV Wire

KHSD board approves scaled-down graduation ceremonies for late June

Bakersfield Californian

The Kern High School District Board of Trustees has decided to hold graduation ceremonies in late June but with limited guests and much less pomp and circumstance than previous years.

See also:

●     ‘Really sad.’ Clovis, Fresno high school graduates make the best of a tough situation Fresno Bee

●     Tulare Outlets honors high school seniors with ‘Gift a Grad’ program Visalia Times Delta

●     California’s smallest districts plan ‘socially distant’ in-person graduations this spring EdSource

Big cuts could hit little Californians: $1 billion in preschool and child care dollars at risk


Gov. Gavin Newsom’s ambitious plans to expand free preschool for low-income children and increase state support for child care now are on the chopping block. He also has proposed cuts to existing, early childhood funding that advocates worry could force child care providers to reduce the number of kids they serve, or even close their businesses.

Higher Ed:

Fresno State Pres. Castro: DACA Students Excluded from Coronavirus Emergency Grants


Emergency aid should go to the students who need it most, which is why I was incredibly disappointed to see that the U.S. Department of Education has gone to great lengths to turn its back on some of the most vulnerable students in our community: Dreamers or DACA students.

See also:

●     Tens of Thousands of Undocumented College Students in California Are Barred From Receiving Federal COVID-19 Aid California Budget & Policy Center

New UC Merced chancellor is the son of a San Joaquin Valley farmworker

Los Angeles Times

Juan Sánchez Muñoz, president of the University of Houston Downtown, grew up hearing stories about the San Joaquin Valley from his father, who landed there from Mexico to pick grapes in the 1950s. Muñoz, 53, will be heading there himself in July — as the new chancellor of UC Merced.

See also:

●     UC Alum Juan Sánchez Muñoz Named UC Merced’s Fourth Chancellor UC Merced News

UC may allow partial campus reopenings in the fall


The University of California on Wednesday adopted a health roadmap that could allow some or all of its 10 campuses to partly reopen in the fall if widespread testing and tracing for the coronavirus gets underway, all students and faculty wear face coverings and physical distancing is kept.

See also:

●     California educators: Expect ‘hybrid’ classrooms in the fall AP News

●     UC president Napolitano: Campuses will open in the fall San Jose Mercury

California community colleges will likely be online this fall


The chancellor of California’s largest college system today said he believes online instruction will be the best course of action this fall.

California’s college class of 2020 prepares for a shrinking job market


Just a few short months ago, the Class of 2020 was graduating into one of the best economies the country had seen in decades. Unemployment was at a record low, and college students had their pick of jobs and internships. But not anymore.

Living in a student dorm during coronavirus in California


At the University of California at Berkeley, several hundred stayed on campus, either because they couldn’t afford to make it home, did not have a home to go to or were afraid of exposing themselves or loved ones to the virus.

Opinion: Why California needs to invest in Independent colleges and universities


California’s 85 nonprofit colleges and universities award 20% of all undergraduate degrees and more than 50% of graduate degrees statewide. But those numbers don’t tell the full story.

See also:

●     Opinion: Why America’s students, colleges and universities deserve more financial relief Roll Call

●     Public Higher Education in California Faces a Fiscal Crisis Public Policy Institute of California

Opinion: In California, the Dream of Racial Preferences Never Dies

Wall Street Journal

It was the ban on race-based admissions at the University of California system that ruffled the most feathers on the left. Opponents predicted that, without preferential treatment, black and Hispanic enrollment would decline overall and virtually disappear at the system’s most elite schools, UCLA and Berkeley.



Yosemite National Park reopening plan includes fewer visitors, required reservations

Fresno Bee

Reservations will be required to visit Yosemite National Park when the popular California park reopens, possibly in early June, according to a draft reopening plan released this week.

See also:

●     National Parks reopen without release of plan or infection data Roll Call

As California beaches reopen, seawall construction becomes legislative battleground

Los Angeles Times

In a move this month that outraged environmentalists and caught coastal regulators off guard, a Republican senator pushed forward legislation that would revise a key section in the state’s landmark Coastal Act and allow homeowners in San Diego and Orange counties to build seawalls by right.

Pine Flat Lake Marina re-opens for fishing and boating

Fresno Bee

Anglers rejoiced as Pine Flat Lake Marina re-opened after the COVID-19 pandemic and state shelter-in-place orders had shut the facility down since March 26.

Attracting socially responsible investors to fund environmentally resilient public projects: Part II

Public CEO

There is no uniform method for designating green bonds; therefore the approach and execution can be tailored specifically to fit a public agency’s sustainability goals, funding needs and resources.

Why some spots on the planet are heating up faster than others

Washington Post

If the rest of the world is to avoid the same fate, United Nations scientists say, global greenhouse gas emissions must fall by 7.6 % per year between now and 2030. But nations’ commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement were nowhere near ambitious enough to meet this target.

Cleaner air, the pandemic and fighting the EPA

Capitol Weekly

From 2016 to 2018 — the years when the report takes its findings from— California again ranked as the worst, or one of the worst, in almost every category for clean air standards.

Opinion: As recycling rate drops, California should embrace innovative recycling technologies


California’s recycling rate has fallen from a peak of 50% to 40%, well short of the 75%-by-2020 goal established by the Legislature, according to a recent report by CalRecycle, the state agency that manages recycling programs.


How Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Can Help Drive the Clean Energy Transition

Visual Capitalist

While fossil fuels offer an easily transportable, affordable, and energy-dense fuel for everyday use, the burning of this fuel creates pollutants, which can concentrate in city centers degrading the quality of air and life for residents.



Fresno County Cases Reach 1,338, Clovis 63

Clovis Roundup

The Fresno County Department of Public Health has reported additional cases 51 COVID-19 cases, bringing the total of cases to 1,338.

See also:

●     Public Health reports 34 new COVID-19 cases and 34 additional recoveries Bakersfield Now

California hospitals saw sharp drop in heart attacks during COVID-19 shutdown

Sacramento Bee

The rate of hospitalization for heart attacks was nearly cut in half, falling by 48 % from the beginning of January until mid-April. The study used data from Kaiser Permanente’s 21 medical centers in Northern California and the Central Valley and measured the rate weekly.

A new high for coronavirus deaths in California as counties push ahead with reopening

Los Angeles Times

California recorded 132 new coronavirus-related fatalities Tuesday — the most in a single day since the pandemic began — as counties across the state continue cementing plans to reopen their economies.

See also:

●     California is finally making progress in the coronavirus battle, even as deaths keep rising Los Angeles Times

Social distancing a week earlier could’ve prevented 36,000 COVID-19 deaths, study says

Miami Herald

If strict social distancing measures began on March 1, researchers say the US would have had 960,937 fewer confirmed cases of coronavirus and 53,990 fewer deaths, according to their study.

See also:

●     Lockdown Delays Cost at Least 36,000 Lives, Data Show New York Times

●     Stanford researcher says coronavirus isn’t as fatal as we thought; critics say he’s missing the point San Jose Mercury

Study: What testing positive for COVID-19 after recovering means

SF Gate

One of the quirks of COVID-19 that has bothered doctors and scientists is that fully recovered patients who test negative for the disease will sometimes register a positive result on a later test.

Human Services:

California will take back the emergency coronavirus beds it sent to Fresno. Here’s why

Fresno Bee

The 250-bed site, which was set up by state and county officials to treat a potential surge in COVID-19 cases at regional hospitals, had not yet been used. Anticipating no future use for it, state officials said they would pick up their remaining supplies in the coming weeks.

Nearly 124,000 sign up through Covered California; plans include free coronavirus testing

San Francisco Chronicle

Nearly 124,000 people have signed up for medical insurance through Covered California since March 20 as the state grapples with the coronavirus pandemic and startling unemployment numbers.

Child vaccinations drop more than 40% in California, 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.

See also:

●     Vaccine misinformation takes root in anti-coronavirus lockdown Facebook groups Washington Post

“Might As Well Have Them Walk The Plank” — Cuts May Force Many Seniors Into Nursing Homes

Capital Public Radio

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed cuts to meet the new coronavirus economy include two California day programs aimed at keeping poor and medically fragile seniors in their homes, and out of institutions.

See also:

●     Nursing homes only test people with coronavirus symptoms. Should they test everyone? Modesto Bee

Mask shortage for most health-care workers extended into May, Post-Ipsos poll shows

Washington Post

Front-line health-care workers still experienced shortages of critical equipment needed for protection from the coronavirus into early May — including nearly two-thirds who cited insufficient supplies of the face masks that filter out most airborne particles.

New Study Shows the Largest Drop in U.S. Well-Being Since 2012


The U.S. Well-Being Index sees its most significant drop since our team started tracking started in 2012. The largest decline occurred amongst older females, who feel much less financially secure.


California’s coronavirus relief program for unemployed immigrant workers gets off to a rocky start

Los Angeles Times

Locked out of state unemployment benefits, hundreds of thousands of out-of-work immigrants are facing additional hurdles to tap into a new California program offering a $500 one-time payment during the COVID-19 pandemic to those without legal status.

See also:

●     Despair among immigrants: With phone lines swamped, state pandemic aid is out of reach CalMatters

With No Citizenship Question, Trump Officials Turn To Records


Information from the U.S. Army, federal prisons and the Department of the Interior’s law enforcement system are among the newly disclosed batch of records the Census Bureau says it is using to comply with President Trump’s executive order for citizenship data.


Land Use:

Warszawski: Building bridges: How pandemic stimulus could boost Fresno’s river parkway effort

Fresno Bee

As people stay closer to home during the coronavirus pandemic, the importance of nearby parks and open-space areas to our collective physical and mental health has never been more evident. Fresno lacks enough of either.

California Cities Rank In Both Top And Bottom Of Best Parks When It Comes To Public Access

Capital Public Radio

“The good news for California is that we have two cities in the top 10 (Irvine and San Francisco),” he said, and six cities in the top third, including Sacramento at the 30th spot.

See also:

●     Fresno, Bakersfield 2020 Park Rankings Stay The Same, When Compared To 100 Largest Cities VPR


California Democrats have new plan to battle housing crisis — by encouraging duplexes

Fresno Bee

Amid a coronavirus pandemic that’s shuttered the economy, California Senate Democrats announced on Wednesday a plan they said would recommit the state to solving another crisis: housing production.

These 30 US cities may be on the verge of a coronavirus pandemic-driven housing crisis

Visalia Times Delta

Areas where housing costs are high relative to income and where recent spikes in demand may have created local housing price bubbles may be at a greater risk of a COVID-19-driven crisis.

One-fifth of Americans fear they can’t pay June rent or mortgage, federal survey finds

Los Angeles Times

More than half of California households have seen a loss of income due to the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Census Bureau said Wednesday, based on a newly launched weekly survey.


CalPERS reviewing improper personal trades an employee made as markets swung in March

Sacramento Bee

The system recorded a spike of 133 violations of its employee trading policy in March, according to an audit the system’s compliance unit prepared for the CalPERS board’s April meeting.

Opinion: CA budgets are hurting, but proposing taxes too soon could backfire

Sacramento Bee

While the federal government is diverting trillions of dollars in an attempt to stabilize the economy and respond to the COVID-19 crisis, state and local governments across America are spreading their budgets thin with no relief in sight.

See also:

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

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.

Pandemic Pushes California Cities and Counties Into Fiscal Crises


Meanwhile, the League of California Cities projects that cities could experience a combined $7 billion shortfall during the next two years. In this hour of Forum, we talk to policy experts and elected officials about how local governments plan to weather the crisis.

As the backlogged IRS struggles to open mail and answer the phone, taxpayers face long delays

Washington Post

The Internal Revenue Service had barely begun bringing its lowest-paid workers back to the office in late April when someone in the Philadelphia call center came down with a fever, forcing the third-floor staff to head home.

EDITORIAL: Stop discriminating financially against taxpayers without Social Security numbers

Los Angeles Times

In the weeks since Congress passed the CARES Act — a $2-trillion stimulus package intended, among other things, to inject cash into a suddenly frozen economy — several organizations have filed lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of how the measure doled out individual stimulus checks. The legal challengers may have a point.


Is it safe to fly during coronavirus? What can you do to make your flight safer?

Fresno Bee

It would be wise for passengers to bring some antibacterial wipes with them and give their seating area a quick wipe-down as well, adding that passengers should target the armrests, headrest, window cover, tray table, seat pocket, air vent, and seat touch screen.

See also:

●     What can airlines do if people take off their masks in flight? Not much, actually Los Angeles Times

Americans turn to cycling during the coronavirus pandemic

A recent survey done by the company finds that 21% of adults with bicycles plan to ride more during the pandemic, and 50% say they’ll keep riding after the pandemic ends. That’s led to several record online sales in April.


Opinion: State water board must act to protect the Bay-Delta and California’s fishing industry


The debate over Bay-Delta flows represents one of California’s most longstanding and heated water conflicts.  The prospect of a negotiated solution had led to requests for the State Water Resources Control Board to delay regulatory action to update flow standards. 

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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.

This document is to be used for informational purposes only. Unless specifically noted, The Maddy Institute at California State University, Fresno does not officially endorse or support views that may be expressed in the document. If you want to print a story, please do so now before the link expires.

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