May 26, 2020



Event: Cannabis Education Seminars presents: “The Future of Cannabis in the Central Valley”

Cannabis Education Seminars

“The Future of Cannabis in the Central Valley” live webinar provides a forum for local and state regulators and business leaders to discuss the cannabis industry in the Central Valley. This virtual panel will be held on Wednesday, May 27, at 1:30 PM, moderated by Mark Keppler from The Maddy Report, a weekly public affairs TV program covering how State and Federal policy and politics impact Calif. and the San Joaquin Valley.

North SJ Valley:

Merced County given approval to move to stage 2 of reopening businesses


Tuesday evening, Merced County was given the approval to move to phase 2 of reopening businesses. The County Health Department submitted an attestation to the state at midnight on Tuesday requesting approval to move into what’s become known as stage 2.5, which allows dine-in restaurants, retail, and other facilities to re-open.

Merced approves $2M recovery plan to help residents, businesses with loans, other needs

Merced Sun-Star

Merced City Council this week furthered its ongoing initiative of breathing new life into the local economy by moving forward with several components of its COVID-19 recovery plan.

Stanislaus County ERs quiet due to coronavirus fears. What’s cost to people’s health?

Modesto Bee

‘People are waiting too long to come in’.

Coronavirus closures cut into Modesto-area residents’ options for heat-wave relief

Modesto Bee

No movie theaters, public pools or reservoir swimming.

Min Leader McCarthy yanks endorsement of CA 10 House candidate who made offensive social media posts


In a statement, the House GOP leader said “hateful rhetoric has no place within the Republican Party.”

including ones denigrating immigrants, Muslims and the Black Lives Matter movement.

See also:

Central SJ Valley:

Varney to take over as Madera County’s chief executive officer

Madera Tribune

In an unexpected move that sent shockwaves through the county of Madera, it was announced Wednesday that Madera County Sheriff Jay Varney, 59, had accepted the top position of Chief Administrative Officer of Madera County.

Newsom calls Tulare County ‘an exception,’ highlights conflict between supervisors, cities

Visalia Times Delta

Gov. Gavin Newsom called Tulare County “an exception” following supervisors’ decision to progress to Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan against the advice of health officials. “I’m deeply sensitive and have deep admiration and respect for the elected officials of Tulare County.

Fresno County To Open Dine-In Restaurants, City To End Shelter In Place


With state approval, dine-in restaurants can now reopen in Fresno County, as long as measures like social distancing and employee face coverings are used. This comes just after the city of Fresno announced an end to its shelter-in-place order, starting Tuesday.

See also:

Warszawski: COVID-19 shines light on Fresno, Tulare county supervisors. What we’re seeing should alarm us

Fresno Bee

Of all the levels of government, counties are the least understood. Counties also receive the least amount of scrutiny — at least in normal times. As a society, citizenship is not our strong suit. Recently, we’ve learned an entire segment of Americans define the words “freedom” and “liberty” as “I can do whatever I want whenever I want, regardless of the potential consequences to anyone else.”

Devin Nunes’ CNN defamation lawsuit moved to New York

Fresno Bee

A Virginia judge on Friday moved Rep. Devin Nunes’ lawsuit against CNN to New York and wrote that there was no “logical connection” for the Calif. congressman to sue the media company in Virginia.

South SJ Valley:

How Kern County won approval to reopen

Bakersfield Calif.n

County leaders scored a major victory last week when Kern won approval from the state to accelerate the reopening of the local economy.

Kern reports 47 new coronavirus cases Monday

Bakersfield Calif.n

Kern County Public Health Services reported 47 new coronavirus cases Monday morning, bringing the total in the county to 1,881.

Kern unemployment rate shoots to 18.6%

Bakersfield Calif.n

New data shows Kern’s unemployment rate surpassed the Great Recession’s peak by a full point in April as bars and restaurants took the brunt of the quarantine, followed in raw numbers by health care, farming, support services and construction.

See also:

Supervisors Verboon, Neves talk COVID-19, local business and more in meeting

Hanford Sentinel

With local businesses beginning to reopen, the Lemoore Chamber of Commerce held an informational meeting with Kings County Board of Supervisors Doug Verboon and Joe Neves on Friday morning.

McCarthy yanks endorsement of House candidate who made offensive social media posts


In a statement, the House GOP leader said “hateful rhetoric has no place within the Republican Party.”


Calif. issues guidelines for church re-openings

Fresno Bee

Calif. churches can resume in-person services but worshippers will be limited to 100 people and they should wear masks, avoid sharing prayer books and skip the collection plate under state guidelines released Monday.

See also:

Updated: See how prepared Calif. is to reopen in 6 charts

Fresno Bee

After weeks of a stay-at-home order and closed non-essential businesses, Gov. Gavin Newsom has begun to move forward in the next phase in Calif.’s four stage reopening plan.

Calif. veterans home eyed for closure in Gov. Newsom’s proposed budget cuts

Fresno Bee

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to close a $54 billion state budget deficit includes one small but difficult cut for an under-used state veterans home in the Mojave Desert.

These 11 Calif counties are still not allowed to reopen restaurants, malls & schools


Exactly what’s open and what’s not in Calif. really depends on which county you find yourself in. Why the staggered response? It’s because Gov. Gavin Newsom is allowing for local variance when it comes to how quickly (or slowly) counties want to reopen their economies.

Coronavirus updates: Newsom, Calif health officials share reopening guidelines

Sacramento Bee

Gov. Gavin Newsom and Calif. health officials on Monday released guidelines for places of worship to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic, while “strongly” recommending that churches continue to hold services remotely.

See also:

Trump Admin yanks approval for homeless shelters in Sacramento, across Calif

Sacramento Bee

The Trump administration has yanked approval for major homeless shelter projects it previously approved in Sacramento and San Francisco.

2,000 join rally against Newsom’s stay-at-home coronavirus orders at Calif’s Capitol

Sacramento Bee

It was the largest protest rally in Sacramento so far over COVID-19 shutdowns — with haircuts on the side. At least 2,000 demonstrators came to the Capitol on Saturday to march around the grounds, feast on barbecue and demand that Gov. Gavin Newsom lift his restrictions on business, religious gatherings and other trappings of everyday life.

See also:

Blind spot: Lobbying behind Calif. coronavirus contracts can stay secret


Lobbyists are not required to disclose their work on government contracts, leaving the public in the dark about who’s influencing state spending on the pandemic.

Opinion: Newsom’s budget revisions raise serious concerns for Latinos hit hardest by COVID-19

Sacramento Bee

Gov. Gavin Newsom recently released his May revision to the state’s 2020-21 budget. While we understand the fiscal challenges our state is facing with a $54 billion deficit and a looming pandemic induced recession, this is not the time to cut critical programs and retract commitments intended to protect the most vulnerable Calif.ns.

See also:

●     Calif. lawmakers pushing back on Gavin Newsom’s pandemic spending plans San Francisco Chronicle

Opinion: How long can Gov. Gavin Newsom handle the coronavirus crisis on his own?

Sacramento Bee

For the past decade, Calif. has been a case study in one-party rule. Democrats hold every statewide office and enjoy overwhelming majorities in the congressional delegation and both legislative houses. Republicans, due largely to their own failures, are irrelevant.


White House opposes extending $600 weekly jobless benefit

Fresno Bee

The White House does not support extending increased federal unemployment assistance to workers who lost jobs during the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, economic advisers to President Donald Trump say they prefer to help closed businesses reopen.

Coronavirus Trackers:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Calif.

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus.

See also:

Elections 2020:

Joe Biden appears in public on Memorial Day after staying home for months in pandemic

Sacramento Bee

Former Vice President Joe Biden left his home for his first public appearance in months on Memorial Day. The presumptive Democratic nominee for president has stayed home during the coronavirus pandemic since March, campaigning from home with social media and videos instead of the usual slate of campaign events, The Associated Press reported.

See also:

Trump says he’ll pull GOP convention unless N.C. commits to ‘full attendance’ despite coronavirus

Los Angeles Times

President Trump threatened Monday to move the Republican National Convention out of North Carolina if its Democratic governor doesn’t immediately guarantee party members can fill a Charlotte arena in August, though the state’s coronavirus outbreak is far from contained.

See also:

Calif. Republicans think reopening the state is a winning election issue

San Francisco Chronicle

With Calif.’s economy racked by the coronavirus pandemic, a growing number of GOP congressional candidates are calling on Gov. Gavin Newsom to move much more quickly to fully reopen the state’s economy. In Orange County, Mission Viejo Councilman Greg Raths, who will challenge Democratic Rep. Katie Porter in November, sued Newsom this month after the governor ordered the county’s beaches closed.

See also:

The general election scenario that Democrats are dreading – Politico

“We are about to see the best economic data we’ve seen in the history of this country,” says a top former economic adviser to Obama.

See also:

‘Dark money’ networks hide political agendas behind fake news sites

At a time when trustworthy journalism is more important than ever, political operations are pouring millions of “dark money” dollars into ads and digital content masquerading as news coverage to influence the 2020 election.

Pandemic Puts A Crimp On Voter Registration, Potentially Altering Electorate


No door-to-door canvassing. Public gatherings are canceled. Motor vehicle offices are closed. Naturalization ceremonies are on hiatus. Almost every place where Americans usually register to vote has been out of reach since March and it’s led to a big drop in new registrations right before a presidential election that was expected to see record turnout.

Effects of Automatic Voter Registration in the United States

The USC Calif. Civic Engagement Project

This new research also takes an in-depth look at the effect of AVR on registration rates in four states that have implemented AVR (Oregon, Colorado, Calif., and Delaware).

Calif. could use schools for in-person November voting

Los Angeles Times

Elections officials across Calif., seeking a way to offer in-person voting in November with strict coronavirus protections, are urging lawmakers to close schools in the days leading up to and including election day and allow campus gyms and auditoriums to be used.

Voting by Mail in November? States Need to Prepare Now

Wall Street Journal

Widespread absentee balloting faces several potential choke points ahead of the fall presidential election.

See also:


Opinion: It’s Time to Be Americans Again


There is more to life than not dying from COVID-19. And, this just in, you can die from causes other than the coronavirus. As Americans, we need to remember this, or else risk an extended period of economic distress that will cost lives as well as economic hardship. The choice is not between people and profits. We can indeed both walk and chew gum at the same time. Let’s get started.

In $16 Billion Push to Expand Broadband, America Is Flying Through a Fog

Wall Street Journal

Under FCC’s latest plan to fund to internet providers’ service expansions, many rural customers who lack broadband could be counted as already having it.

Trump Considers Forming Panel to Review Complaints of Online Bias

Wall Street Journal

Move is likely to draw pushback from tech companies; ACLU raises free-speech concerns.

See also:

Opinion: Twitter Must Cleanse the Trump Stain

New York Times

The president is spreading a vile conspiracy theory on the platform. Maybe Twitter should finally hold him to its rules.

See also:

Half of Americans say Bible should influence U.S. laws, including 28% who favor it over the will of the people

Pew Research Center

The U.S. Constitution does not mention the Bible, God, Jesus or Christianity, and the First Amendment clarifies that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Still, some scholars have argued that the Bible heavily influenced America’s founders.

Politics and Pandemic: Impacts on Local Government

Pepperdine School of Public Policy

We hosted this important conversation with local government practitioner, Rick Cole, about the impact of COVID-19 on local governments and how the work of public leaders will need to change in the months and years ahead.

Opinion: Intrusive interventions have unintended consequences

American Enterprise Institute

The last three months in America provide a taste of life in a socialist economy.

EDITORIAL: Local newspapers are dying. Here’s how we can save them

Los Angeles Times

Last month, the Baltimore Sun won a Pulitzer Prize for local reporting for uncovering a scheme in which the mayor of Baltimore sold thousands of copies (in some cases, nonexistent copies) of a children’s book she had self-published to Maryland’s flagship hospital network, which she helped oversee. The mayor resigned.


Sunday, May 31, at 10 a.m. on ABC30 – Maddy Report: Fighting Fire with Fire: Rethinking Forest Management – Guests: Chair of Calif. Little Hoover Commission< pedro Nava. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

Sunday, May 31, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) – Maddy Report – Valley Views Edition: How Prepared is Calif. for Natural Disaster, Generally and Forest Fires, in Particular? – Guests: Christina Curry, Cal OES Deputy Director of Planning, Preparedness and Prevention and Pedro Nava, Chair of Calif. Little Hoover Commissions. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

Sunday, May 31, 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.


More Calif. bars, wineries, breweries can serve to-go drinks under new relaxed rules

Fresno Bee

The Calif. Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is relaxing some of its regulations regarding a previously announced action that allowed for bars to sell to-go drinks.

See also:

●     Update: These Stanislaus County restaurants reopen dine-in service after coronavirus shutdown Modesto Bee

●     Bethany Clough: Ready to eat at a restaurant? Here’s who’s opening and when in Fresno, Clovis area Fresno Bee

●     How To Be A Polite Patron As Restaurants Reopen Capital Public Radio

●     Rats are getting aggressive hunting for food amid restaurant closures, CDC warns Washington Post

Large turnout for Fresno State opening-day corn sales despite COVID-19, heat warnings

Fresno Bee

The coronavirus pandemic and heat warnings didn’t keep hundreds from a Fresno favorite: Opening day of corn sales at Fresno State. A larger-than-normal crowd was at the university’s Gibson Farm Market when it opened at 8 a.m. Memorial Day with around 320 shoppers waiting compared to the normal 200 to 250, said Geoff Thurner, a spokesperson for the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences & Technology.

Coronavirus update: Supermarket closes after positive test

Modesto Bee

Deaths in Stanislaus County remained at 28 as of Saturday. A total of 646 people in the county have tested positive for the virus. Another 10,865 tested negative. The number of people hospitalized at some point is at 112, and 514 are presumed to be recovered.

P-EBT Calif.: Online applications for free food for CA kids are now open, worth up to $365 per child

If your child is eligible to receive free or reduced-price school meals and you have not already received a P-EBT card for free food, you can now apply online for the benefit.

Small Farmers In Fresno County Discuss The Challenges Of Operating During A Pandemic


Small farms are at the heart of the San Joaquin Valley’s rich agricultural industry, but the challenges facing these operations are numerous. Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock checked-in with three Fresno County farmers about the most recent obstacle they are facing: COVID-19.

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s promise to feed Calif. seniors falling short so far

Los Angeles Times

When Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the start of an initiative last month to deliver free meals to Calif. seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic, he declared that “the universe of those eligible is certainly in the millions.”

Opinion: Cattle Ranchers Are Essential, Too

Wall Street Journal

Why have steaks become so expensive? Ask a meat packer.



Lock your cars! Vehicle theft spikes in COVID-19 pandemic

Bakersfield Calif.n

The coronavirus hasn’t been kind to car owners. With more people than ever staying home to lessen the spread of COVID-19, their sedans, pickup trucks and SUVs are parked unattended on the streets, making them easy targets for opportunistic thieves.

See also:

●     Calif. Coronavirus Updates: As People Drive Less, Car Thefts Increase Capital Public Radio

Public Safety:

115 inmates test positive for COVID-19 at Avenal State Prison

Hanford Sentinel

The Kings County Department of Public Health confirmed 130 new cases of COVID-19 in the county on Sunday, of which 115 cases are inmates at Avenal State Prison.

See also:

●      All employees at Calif. prison hit by COVID-19 outbreak to be tested for virus Sacramento Bee

EDITORIAL: Some Valley sheriffs pledge to ignore Newsom’s COVID-19 orders, betraying their oaths

Merced Sun-Star

Does one have the constitutional right to infect another with the COVID-19 virus? And do sheriffs in Calif. have the right to ignore orders by the governor? Those questions came to mind this past week after several central San Joaquin Valley sheriffs posted on social media their displeasure with Gov. Gavin Newsom and his emergency orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Opinion: Fires and blackouts are Calif.’s wake-up call on climate change. Will we listen?

Sacramento Bee

Calif. fires and related electricity blackouts are a very visible equivalent of Pearl Harbor, the wake-up call that united and energized America to mobilize and win World War II. Mother Nature has demonstrated it can deliver a blow that over time could be worse than even a World War.



Opportunity in the pandemic: Madera’s drive-in theater opens with extended season

Fresno Bee

The drive-in opens Friday with two double features, “Trolls World Tour” and “Doolittle” or “Knives Out” and “The Hunt.”

Modesto’s Vintage Faire Mall reopens after coronavirus shutdown; most shops closed

Modesto Bee

Which retailers reopened as the Modesto mall opens its doors again?

See also:

●      Fresno’s Fashion Fair Mall is reopening Fresno Bee

Amid hard times, some Merced County businesses prepare to reopen after state approval

Merced Sun-Star

Wednesday morning marked the first day in weeks that Merced County restaurants and retailers were permitted to open for in-person patronage under state guidelines. The news that the state approved Merced County to advance further through Stage 2 reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic came Tuesday evening.

How Calif. Can Invest in an Economic Renewal


The budget revision unveiled by Governor Newsom last week showed the flexibility in the state’s budgeting process to quickly adapt to changing conditions.

The Price of a Virus Lockdown: Economic ‘Free Fall’ in Calif.

New York Times

Calif.’s strengths — as a hub for commerce, tourism and education in the Pacific Rim — have become liabilities in the pandemic.

Treasury, SBA fall short of employers’ goals in new small business loan rules


Lawmakers are considering legislation that would give employers up to 24 weeks to spend the money.

EDITORIAL: Taking Care of Small Business

Wall Street Journal

Congress can fix Treasury’s mistakes on paycheck protection

See also:

●      Pence: Next coronavirus relief bill would need legal shield for businesses TheHill

●      Preserving Small Businesses: Small-Business Owners Speak About Surviving the COVID-19 Pandemic RAND

Stocks climb with U.S. futures

Los Angeles Times

Stocks in Europe and Asia gained along with American equity-index futures as investors weighed more signs of economies reopening around the world against the rise in U.S.-China tensions. The dollar was steady, and crude oil added to last week’s strong advance.

See also:

●      Stocks soar, with Dow jumping nearly 600 points, as New York Stock Exchange reopens floor Washington Post


Looking for work? New Patterson manufacturing facility to fill jobs, boost economy

Modesto Bee

A technology company expects to hire 250 workers to run newPatterson facilities scheduled to open by the end of this year. The full-time openings will include construction, sales, engineering and architecture jobs, said John Rowland, President and Co-founder of S²A Modular, a sustainable building company.

Kern unemployment rate shoots to 18.6%

Bakersfield Calif.n

New data shows Kern’s unemployment rate surpassed the Great Recession’s peak by a full point in April as bars and restaurants took the brunt of the quarantine, followed in raw numbers by health care, farming, support services and construction.

See also:

●      Unemployment tops 76,000 in Fresno County as coronavirus takes toll on jobs Fresno Bee

●     Trump Economic Adviser: Unemployment Could Remain In Double Digits Through November Forbes

●     ‘Like Nothing Before Seen’: Calif. Lost Record 2.3 Million Jobs In April As Unemployment Rate Spiked To 15.5% Capital Public Radio

Deloitte Gets No-Bid Contract To Improve Calif.’s Unemployment System Despite Criticism Over Previous Work

Capital Public Radio

As unemployment claims flood its Employment Development Department, Calif. is seeking help from a company that has been criticized for past department projects. Calif. awarded a no-bid, $5 million contract this month to multinational company Deloitte for services that include improving the online portal for processing unemployment claims.

Scared To Return To Work Or Can’t With Kids At Home? Here’s What You Need To Know


As businesses reopen, many Americans being called back to work say they don’t feel safe — especially those who work in restaurants, hair salons or other high-contact jobs.

When Returning To Your Job Means A Cut In Pay


Preschool teacher Lainy Morse has been out of work for more than two months. But the Portland, Ore., child care center where she worked is considering a reopening.

Will the coronavirus pandemic open the door to a four-day workweek?

Washington Post

The world is watching New Zealand.

Minimum wage analysis using a pre-committed research design: Evidence through 2018

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Relatively large minimum wage increases reduced employment among low-skilled individuals by roughly 2.5 %age points.

White House opposes extending $600 weekly jobless benefit

Fresno Bee

The White House does not support extending increased federal unemployment assistance to workers who lost jobs during the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, economic advisers to President Donald Trump say they prefer to help closed businesses reopen.

Blacks, Asians, women, young hit hardest by COVID-19 economy

Sacramento Bee

Women, people under 25 and people of color are getting hit the hardest by the massive cutbacks in jobs, a new study has found.

Washington prepares for a summer without interns

The Hil

As the federal government, think tanks and other organizations across Washington work to address the coronavirus pandemic, many of them will do so without the support of interns.



Merced County high school holds in-person graduation

Fresno Bee

Merced County Health Department’s current coronavirus pandemic guidelines limit gatherings to 10 or fewer people. The state also has similar guidelines for public gatherings.

Calif. schools can’t reopen safely without more federal dollars, state schools chief says


Calif. schools will not be able to reopen safely next school year unless they receive additional federal dollars, said Calif. Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond on Wednesday.

See also:

●      Schools need flexibility in coronavirus stabilization funds Brookings

The Path Back to School

Pepperdine School of Public Policy

Co-hosted with our friends at AEI and Bellwether Partners, our Visiting Professor of Education Policy & Impact, Hanna Skandera, launches this new monthly webinar series on education policy.

Reviewing CDC’s suggestions for how protect students and educators from the coronavirus


Memorial Day is over, and many schools would normally be winding down right about now. But as school districts try to make plans to educate students in the next academic year amid the coronavirus, a list summarizing some of the federal government’s suggestions for how to safely return to the classroom is being shared on social media. It’s missing some context.

Op-Ed: Distance learning? Even my students will tell you that’s not the future

Los Angeles Times

In the coming era of cataclysmic budget cuts to education, this educational experiment under crisis conditions could be exploited to pioneer a new era of instruction, one in which the presence and power of traditional classroom teaching is permanently swapped in favor of distance or hybrid instruction requiring far fewer teachers.

A Looming Financial Meltdown For America’s Schools


Austin Beutner looked haggard, his face a curtain of worry lines. The superintendent of the second-largest school district in the nation sat at a desk last week delivering a video address to Los Angeles families. But he began with a stark message clearly meant for another audience: Lawmakers in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. “Cuts to funding at schools will forever impact the lives of children,” Beutner said less than a week after Calif.’s governor called for emergency cuts in education spending.

Higher Ed:

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. It is to assist with food, housing and technology expenses, for example, the college said.

Clovis school trains new doctors for San Joaquin Valley

Fresno Bee

Despite all the bounty that the Central Valley provides, it’s no secret that the region has long been plagued with a shortage of professional education opportunities, large-scale economic drivers and health-care providers, specifically physicians.

UCs Ditch The SAT And ACT — Set Out To Make A “Fairer” Standardized Test

Capital Public Radio

It’s time’s up, pencils down for the SAT and ACT tests at the University of Calif.. In a historic move likely to have national repercussions, the University of Calif. Board of Regents voted Thursday to stop requiring students to submit college-entrance tests the SAT or ACT for admissions purposes. The vote was a unanimous 23-0.

See also:

●     Students no longer need the SAT to get into the University of Calif.. Here’s why Sacramento Bee

Equity in higher education essential for Calif.’s strong economic recovery


In its devastation, the COVID-19 pandemic has magnified our society’s deep inequities and pushed those who have the least even further behind.

Pandemic effects on higher ed funding

PEW Charitable Trusts

Higher education frequently bears the brunt of state cuts during recessions even as federal funding increases. Can we expect the trend to play out again?



How hot will it get this week in Fresno area? Weather service has scorching forecast

Fresno Bee

Record-breaking and potentially dangerous heat is predicted for the coming week in the Fresno area. The National Weather Service in Hanford expects a string of 100-degree weather starting Tuesday.


Report says removing state energy mandates would save consumers money

Bakersfield Calif.n

A new study questions the wisdom of Calif. energy policies aimed at fighting climate change, concluding that their economic toll has been steep despite achieving unimpressive greenhouse-gas reductions.

As states reopen, consumers’ unpaid utility bills loom

Los Angeles Times

As states begin to reopen from coronavirus-related shutdowns, a wave of unpaid utility bills coming due will not only saddle Americans still out of work with new debt, it could also drive up rates for everyone.



More people hospitalized as coronavirus count in Fresno County climbs toward 1,500 cases

Fresno Bee

Thirty-one new positive tests for the coronavirus were announced in Fresno County on Saturday, as the total case count grew to 1,448, according to the county Department of Public Health.

See also:

●     Fresno County adds another 30-plus coronavirus cases Fresno Bee

●     Kings County adds 130 coronavirus cases, fueled by huge jump at Avenal State Prison Fresno Bee

●     ‘Lord help us,’ Valero says of reopening; Tulare Co. has 1 new COVID-19 death, 51 new cases Visalia Times Delta

●     Sierra View announces 12th death due to COVID-19 Porterville Recorder

●     Merced County reports 17 new coronavirus cases — pandemic’s highest daily jump locally Merced Sun-Star

Pew survey says 72% of Americans would take COVID-19 vaccine

Fresno Bee

A new survey from the Pew Research Center found the majority of Americans expect a coronavirus vaccine in the next year and 72% would get one when it arrives.

WHO pauses hydroxychloroquine study due to safety concerns


The World Health Organization said that it will temporarily drop hydroxychloroquine – the malaria drug U.S. President Trump said he is taking – from its global study into experimental COVID-19 treatments, saying that its experts need to review all available evidence to date.

See also:

●     Politics Around Hydroxychloroquine Hamper Science VPR

●     Remdesivir alone not enough to treat COVID-19, study says TheHill

Getting An Antibody Test For The Coronavirus? Here’s What It Won’t Tell You


Salvador Perez got really sick in April. He’s 53 and spent weeks isolated in his room in his family’s Chicago apartment, suffering through burning fevers, shivering chills, intense chest pain and other symptoms of COVID-19.

Are you doing it wrong? Fresno doctors explain how to properly wear a mask and why

Fresno Bee

Masks do’s and don’ts, and why some of the highest risk activities are interacting with people indoors

See also:

●      Fresno County health leaders say wear a mask now even more important Fresno Bee

●      GOP governor offers emotional plea to the anti-mask crowd: Stop this senseless culture war Washington Post

Summer could determine the pandemic’s future: 5 things to watch


Swelling crowds at parks, beaches and home improvement stores during the traditional start of summer already are showing that many Americans want to venture out and declare the pandemic is over.

Human Services:

Stanislaus County ERs quiet due to coronavirus fears. What’s cost to people’s health?

Modesto Bee

The coronavirus pandemic vacated streets, shopping malls and movie theaters as millions of people stayed sheltered in their homes. Unless they had a fever or other COVID-19 like symptoms, many also stayed away from hospital emergency departments in Stanislaus County and other parts of Calif. and the nation with potentially serious consequences for their health, according to data reported by hospitals.

See also:

●      Working In The ICU During A Pandemic: A Tulare County Doctor Weighs In Valley Public Radio

EDITORIAL: COVID-19 testing is a must in hard-hit south, west Modesto. Mobile solution is best

Modesto Bee

Everyone should cheer when Stanislaus County finally establishes a COVID-19 testing site in west Modesto, maybe in a couple of weeks. It will be a blessing to many in a coronavirus hotspot marked by lower-income neighborhoods.

See also:

●      Trump admin testing strategy draws concerns MSN

Coronavirus widens healthcare divide between red states and blue states

Los Angeles Times

Jenny Morones and Courtney Marrs are both working mothers. Both labor to raise three children on low incomes. Both fled abusive relationships. But because Morones lives in Calif. — a state that expanded its safety net through the Affordable Care Act — she has health coverage. It protected her from financial ruin last year when a severe infection put her in the hospital.

Calif. should eliminate cost-sharing for abortion during COVID-19 pandemic


We live in a state with a staunchly pro-choice governor, yet even in Calif., we still see major inequities in accessing abortion through insurance. Legal and safe abortion is available, but only in theory and not in practice, if cost-prohibitive.

Senior services, health care to be cut in Calif. budget

Sacramento Bee

Newsom’s revised budget plan, announced earlier this month, seeks to close a projected $54.3 billion budget deficit brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. It includes about $646 million in proposed cuts that worry seniors and their advocates because they would reduce health care options and access to programs that allow elderly residents to stay at home and out of nursing homes, which have been hotbeds for COVID-19 outbreaks.

‘The price you pay’: Sweden’s ‘herd immunity’ experiment backfires


Unlike its Nordic neighbors, Sweden decided early on in the pandemic to forgo lockdown in the hope of achieving broad immunity to the coronavirus. While social distancing was promoted, the government allowed bars, restaurants, salons, gyms and schools to stay open.

WHO warns of ‘second peak’ in areas where virus declining


Countries where coronavirus infections are declining could still face an “immediate second peak” if they let up too soon on measures to halt the outbreak, the World Health Organization said on Monday.

Covid-19 pandemic and chaos theory: Why the future is impossible to precisely predict


The pandemic, chaos, and coming to terms with uncertainty.

What can be done to protect front-line communities from COVID-19?


There are similar front-line communities all over the country. What steps, then, can governments take to protect them as COVID-19 ravages the nation?

See alo:

●      On the front lines of the pandemic, grocery workers are in the dark about risks Washington Post

A deadly ‘checkerboard’: Covid-19’s new surge across rural America

Washington Post

As the death toll nears 100,000, the disease caused by the virus has made a fundamental shift in who it touches and where it reaches in America, according to a Washington Post analysis of case data and interviews with public health professionals in several states.

See also:

●     Coronavirus in US: Country nears 100,000 COVID-19 deaths, twice what Trump once predicted

Stimulus turns political as SBA tries to claw back funding from Planned Parenthood

Washington Post

A political fight over $80 million in subsidized Small Business Administration loans that were awarded to Planned Parenthood nonprofits is escalating, with 127 Republican lawmakers on Friday calling for a federal investigation of the loans and 41 Democratic senators on Saturday defending them.

U.S. births fall to a 35-year low – CBS News

CBS News

The number of babies born in the U.S. hit the lowest level in more than three decades last year, furthering the country’s ongoing “baby bust.” Experts say the coronavirus pandemic is likely to drive down numbers even further.

Trust in Medical Scientists Has Grown in U.S., but Mainly Among Democrats

Pew Research Center

About six-in-ten believe social distancing measures are helping a lot to slow the spread of coronavirus in the nation


Relief for Calif.’s undocumented workers on the ‘verge of failure,’ critics say

Fresno Bee

A coronavirus-relief program for Calif.’s undocumented residents is on “the verge of failure,” just days after its launch, according to a letter sent Friday to Gov. Gavin Newsom. Monday marked the first day undocumented workers could apply for the one-time payment of $500 per individual or $1,000 per household.

The Chilling Effect of the ‘Public Charge’ Rule


Fears of visa rejection or deportation keep immigrant families from receiving health care and food aid, despite increasingly urgent needs due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Digital Citizenship in the Time of COVID-19: How Can States Change the Narrative?

Ed Note

As technology becomes increasingly ubiquitous in students’ lives, it is becoming more important for educators to model and teach how to conduct positive, safe, legal and ethical behaviors online. The challenge of fostering effective digital citizenship is particularly critical as the COVID-19 pandemic pushes millions of students to interact virtually.


Land Use:

Yosemite National Park reopening plan includes fewer visitors, required reservations

Sierra Star

Reservations will be required to visit Yosemite National Parkwhen the popular Calif. park reopens, possibly in early June, according to a draft reopening plan released this week. Visitor capacity will be reduced by about 50% to promote social distancing in busy Yosemite Valley, Yosemite officials said while presenting their plan to Yosemite Gateway Partners affiliates.

See also:

·       Reopened Calif. park quickly shuts down again as Memorial Day weekend crowds surge Merced Sun-Star

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


As shelter-in-place continues, parks are one outlet for residents to stretch their legs and clear their heads. For the ninth year in a row, however, Fresno’s acreage and investment in parks ranks near the bottom compared to the largest 100 cities in the nation.

Cities are closing streets to make way for restaurants & pedestrians

Washington Post

The forced distancing required by the coronavirus prompted several cities to quickly close some public roads to make room so cooped-up residents anxious to get outside for exercise could do so safely.

Is It Safe To Go To The Beach? Camp? Eat Out? Here’s How To Evaluate The Risks: Shots – Health News


It has been around two months of quarantine for many of us. The urge to get out and enjoy the summer is real. But what’s safe? We asked a panel of infectious disease and public health experts to rate the risk of summer activities, from backyard gatherings to a day at the pool to sharing a vacation house with another household.


Calif. bars, restaurants could renegotiate rent or quit leases in coronavirus relief bill

Fresno Bee

Calif. restaurants and nonprofits financially devastated by the coronavirus outbreak could gain a safeguard from eviction and rent relief in a proposal approved Friday by state senators.

See also:

●      Five questions about the next COVID-19 relief package TheHill

Collaborative developing project to house vulnerable homeless in local hotel

Bakersfield Calif.n

The Bakersfield-Kern Regional Homeless Collaborative is hopeful about leasing hotel space to temporarily house homeless individuals most vulnerable to COVID-19 mortality, according to the governing board chair with the collaborative.

The Pandemic Hasn’t Killed Calif.’s Big Housing Plans — But They Have Mutated

Capital Public Radio

Toni Atkins stood on the state Senate floor in January and vowed, come hell or high water, that 2020 would see the state pass a bill to build more homes in Calif.. Even her wrangling as Senate pro tem wasn’t enough to save Senate Bill 50, a zoning reform proposal pushing for more apartment buildings around Calif., from a third straight year of failure.

See also:

·       New Calif. bill could expand land available for more homes Calif. Forward

·       EDITORIAL: Seven steps Calif. can take to prevent a coronavirus housing and homelessness disaster Los Angeles Times.


Walters: Tax hikes in the midst of recession?


In the midst of a sudden recession that has erased, at least temporarily, millions of jobs, would Calif.ns support a batch of new taxes to prop up state and local government services?

See also:

●      Walters: How long will one-man rule last? CalMatters

Column: Calif. gives too many unchecked tax breaks. It’s time to shine a light on them

Los Angeles Times

Calif.’s state government is dishing out $73 billion in tax breaks annually to millions of people and hundreds of interests. But there’s no evidence that this generosity is good or bad for the state. Does it create jobs? Attract businesses to Calif.? Help companies expand?

Calif. state unions have three weeks to negotiate pay cuts. Can they avoid furloughs?

Sacramento Bee

Calif.’s state worker unions are weighing furloughs against more creative ways to trim payroll in sped-up negotiations with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration. The administration has given the unions a June 12 deadline to reach deals that will reduce state workers’ compensation by 10%, according to several of the unions.

See also:

●     ‘It’s scary.’ State workers face 10% pay cut in Gov. Newsom’s budget proposal Sacramento Bee

Tax Credit for Keeping Workers on Payrolls Draws Bipartisan Interest

Wall Street Journal

Lawmakers seek to expand a wage subsidy alongside small-business aid and unemployment insurance to help amid the coronavirus pandemic.


Visalia awarded $17.2M in transportation funds through CARES Act

Visalia Times Delta

The grants are part of the Federal CARES Act. The money will be used to support bus service for Visalia Transit and the Tulare InterModal Express (TIME) during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Calif. DMV issues another extension for expiring licenses, driving permits

Sacramento Bee

The Calif. Department of Motor Vehicles will be pushing back expiration dates for license holders due to the coronavirus pandemic. In a news release, the DMV said the extra extensions for noncommercial licenses and permits was meant to prevent unnecessary visits to DMV offices.

Uber, Lyft ballot initiative heads to CA November election

Sacramento Bee

An expensive ballot measure championed by Uber, Lyft and DoorDash to exempt their drivers from a new Calif. law that requires companies to give benefits to more workers qualified Friday for the November election.

See also:

●      What would Uber and Lyft owe to the State Unemployment Insurance Fund? Berkeley Labor Center


Modesto water rescue crews help 17 people on Stanislaus River

Modesto Bee

The Modesto Fire Department rescued 17 people who were trying to float down the river in rubber rafts and inner tubes.

Seville turns on the taps for the first time in 5 years

Visalia Times

For the first time in five years, Seville residents can safely drink and cook with the water that flows from their taps.

New Research Finds Climate Change Is Contributing To A Historic Mega-drought In The Valley


The San Joaquin Valley is accustomed to dealing with drought, but when those conditions last for decades, scientists call it a megadrought. According to a study recently published in the journal Science, the Southwest is currently experiencing a nearly two-decade megadrought that is fueled in part by global warming and is among the worst in human history.


Crowds flock to Millerton Lake to kick off Memorial Day Weekend

Fresno Bee

Even with some restrictions in place, crowds took to Millerton Lake to take advantage of the lifting of the coronavirus shelter-in-place orders, to kick off Memorial Day Weekend.

From Camping To Dining Out: Here’s How Experts Rate The Risks Of 14 Summer Activities

Capital Public Radio

It has been around two months of quarantine for many of us. The urge to get out and enjoy the summer is real. But what’s safe? We asked a panel of infectious disease and public health experts to rate the risk of summer activities, from backyard gatherings to a day at the pool to sharing a vacation house with another household.

Coronavirus cancels Modesto MoBand June concerts

Modesto Bee

One year after celebrating its 100th anniversary, MoBand will go silent this June.

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

The Kenneth L. Maddy Institute at Calif. State University, Fresno was established to honor the legacy of one of Calif.’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 Calif. 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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