October 14, 2020



North SJ Valley:

Coronavirus Infection rate inches up as county awaits tier designation

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County announced its 386th death and 38 new cases on Monday, the eve of a possible easing of state rules on business and other activities. The one death makes for 28 straight days with at least one reported by the county Health Services Agency.

See also:

●     Stanislaus County moves into Red Tier Turlock Journal

●     Stanislaus County approved for less restrictive coronavirus tier. Businesses to reopen Modesto Bee

●     With Stanislaus in red, Modesto City Schools sets aside waiver app, talks reopening Modesto Bee

●     How this Modesto restaurant plans to re-open indoor dining after county moves into red tier Modesto Bee

FAQ: What you need to know to vote in the November election in Stanislaus County

Modesto Bee

With the move to even-year elections, this is the first time that Modesto voters will be making their selections for mayor during a presidential election.

See also:

●     EDITORIAL: The Modesto Bee’s editorial endorsements for the 2020 general election in November Modesto Bee

Candidates for Stanislaus Co board criticize COVID-19 response, discuss dam site

Modesto Bee

Voters have a choice between youth and experience in the contest for the District 5 seat on Stanislaus County’s board of supervisors.

Modesto cancels appeal hearing over fines after Velvet Grill supporters pack room

Modesto Bee

The city will hold the restaurants’ appeal of $1,000 a day fines for indoor dining Wednesday over Zoom.

Central SJ Valley:

GOP’s unauthorized ballot boxes in Fresno Co prompt investigation by DA’s office

Fresno Bee

The Fresno County District Attorney’s Office said it will investigate the placement of unauthorized ballot boxes and will prosecute those who are found to have committed criminal violations of the elections code.

See Also:

●     Unauthorized ballot boxes pop up around Turlock Turlock Journal

●     Nunes to State on Ballot Box Battle: ‘Screw You’’ GVWire

Note:  See “ballot harvesting” articles below (under “State – Top Stories”)

Fresno Co keeps red-tier COVID-19 status. What’s that mean for restaurants, businesses?

Fresno Bee

Fresno County dodged a bullet Tuesday, managing to remain in the state’s second tier for economic reopening from the COVID-19 pandemic for a third straight week.

See Also:

●     What Fresno County remaining in ‘red tier’ means for Valley schools abc30

●     Fresno businesses fined for being open against COVID-19 orders Fresno Bee

●     COVID-19 claims 18 more lives in Fresno County. Kings County can reopen more businesses Fresno Bee

●     COVID-19 updates: Fresno County remains in ‘red tier,’ Kings County also moves to ‘red tier’ abc30

●     Clovis City Manager Reports Covid Cases Trending Down Clovis Roundup

●     Tulare County case rate still too high to reopen further abc30

Toxic chemicals found at community center in southwest Fresno. Here’s what you need to know

Fresno Bee

The Maxie Parks Community Center in southwest Fresno has been evacuated and barred to the public since Sept. 3, after testing found contamination in and around the building, likely from toxic chemicals used by Imperial Cleaners, a former dry cleaning business.

See also:

●     Two potentially harmful chemicals found in groundwater at Maxie Park Community Center abc30

●     Video: The latest word from Fresno City Hall on West Fresno toxic contamination Fresno Bee

●     Public Meeting To Address Contaminants Found In West Fresno Community Center VPR

Fresno Council passes resolution condemning violence against Armenians


The city of Fresno held a special council meeting Monday morning condemning the violence by Turkey and Azerbaijan against Armenians.

Warzsawski: Is Clovis truly anti-racism? Then end decades of discriminatory housing policies

Fresno Bee

At the start of last week’s Clovis City Council meeting, the five council members took turns reading aloud a proclamation condemning racism in their city.

EDITORIAL: Election 2020: The Fresno Bee Editorial Board’s local and state recommendations

Fresno Bee

The Fresno Bee Editorial Board recommends the following candidates and choices for local measures and Calif state propositions. This list will be updated as editorials are published.

EDITORIAL: Fresno Bee offers recommendations for three seats on the Clovis Unified school board

Fresno Bee

Without question 2020 will go down as one of the more challenging years for Calif educators, given the upheaval brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Clovis Unified is no exception.

South SJ Valley:

Kern County moves to red after meeting state coronavirus benchmarks, allowing more business activity

Bakersfield Califn

After meeting state coronavirus metrics for two weeks straight, Kern County is seeing red. The county has moved from the most restrictive purple tier on the state’s four-tiered system into the red tier.

See Also:

●     Kings County moves into red tier Hanford Sentinel

●     What county’s ‘red tier’ status means for Kern Co schools Bakersfield Califn

●     Milt’s Coffee Shop hits the ground running as state gives green light to indoor dining in Kern Bakersfield Califn

COVID-19 update: Case rate still doesn’t meet red tier standard

Porterville Recorder

Tulare County’s case rate still doesn’t meet the standard when it comes to moving into the red tier. Tulare County Health and Human Services Director Tim Lutz reported Tues night at the Tulare County Board of Supervisors meeting.

McCarthy commends advancement of Valley Fever Research Center proposal

Bakersfield Califn

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, on Tuesday applauded a decision to move forward with setting up valley fever research teams.


What is ‘ballot harvesting’ and why is Calif fighting about it?

Fresno Bee

Ballot drop boxes appearing in CA this week prompted state officials to issue cease and desist orders against Republican Party organizations that set them up. CA Republicans are refusing to remove them, which Democratic officials say are illegal under state election law.

See Also:

●     Trump urges Calif GOP to ‘fight on’ with unofficial ballot boxes despite prosecution threat Politico

●     Calif Republican Party placed illegal ballot drop boxes in LA, Orange and Fresno counties abc30

●     Calif GOP considers adding more disputed ballot boxes Bakersfield Califn

●     Calif Officials Tell State GOP To Stop Distributing Ballot Drop Boxes VPR

●     Calif Demands State GOP Remove Unauthorized Ballot Boxes, Threatens Legal Action Capital Public Radio

●     Calif Officials Issue Cease-And-Desist On State GOP’s Voting Drop Boxes NPR

●     Calif officials say GOP’s ballot boxes are illegal. Republicans may expand the practice LA Times

●     Calif GOP in legal standoff over ‘ballot harvesting’ with unofficial drop boxes CalMatters

10 Calif counties see restrictions eased, risks remain

Bakersfield Califn

Ten Calif counties were cleared to ease coronavirus restrictions Tuesday, including some in the Central Valley that saw major case spikes over the summer, but the state’s top health official warned that upcoming Halloween celebrations pose a risk for renewed spread.

See Also:

●     Calif Eases Coronavirus Restrictions For 10 Counties, Release Guidelines For Halloween And Día de Los Muertos Capital Public Radio

How a days-old company pressured Calif into $450 million deal on COVID-19 gear

Sac Bee

Just days after Gov. Newsom put CA under a stay-at-home order to slow the coronavirus outbreak, executives at a newly formed company called Blue Flame began aggressively pressuring state officials to buy 100mill masks and wire nearly half a bill dollars in prepayment.

What No Trump Stimulus Means For Calif Schools, Unemployment And More

Capital Public Radio

An Oct. 15 state deadline to restore $11 billion in funding for education, housing and state workers looks likely to pass with no more financial help from Wash. Is there still hope for a reprieve, and could deeper cuts follow?

See also:

●     Op-Ed: Reopening Calif depends on keeping the virus out of low-income neighborhoods LA Times

Calif has a reputation for progressive politics. Don’t tell that to the state’s progressives.


Every couple of months, a conservative writer warns America about CA. “CA Has Become the Far Left Coast,” a WSJ op-ed proclaimed last year. Columnists say the state is a “liberal fiasco,” a “liberal American nightmare,” a “dystopian nightmare” thanks to Democrats.


Supreme Court halts census in latest twist of 2020 count

Bakersfield Califn

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday stopped the once-a-decade head count of every U.S. resident from continuing through the end of October.

See Also:

●      Supreme Court rules Trump administration can halt census work early LA Times

●      Supreme Court allows Trump administration to end census count Politico

●      Supreme Court says Trump administration can shut down the census count now despite plaintiffs’ worries of an undercount Wash Post

●      Supreme Court Allows Trump Administration to End Census Count Early WSJ

Barrett Says She Does Not Consider Roe V. Wade ‘Super-Precedent’


Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett has, like many of the recent nominees before her, been unwilling to tip her hand as to how she might rule on potential high-profile cases if confirmed to the high court.

See Also:

●     What is the Democrats’ strategy for Barrett’s confirmation hearing and how will the GOP respond? LA Times

●     Barrett says her past criticisms of rulings on abortion, Obamacare don’t signal how she would vote now LA Times

●     Not since Bork has a Supreme Court pick had such a public record on issues. Will it matter for Barrett? LA Times

●     During confirmation hearing, Barrett says she has made ‘no commitment’ on election cases, abortion, ACA Wash Post

●     In her own words: Amy Coney Barrett on faith, precedent, abortion LA Times

●     Dianne Feinstein tries to pin down Barrett on abortion, LGBT rights and guns, without success SF Chronicle

●     Election issues loom large in Senate questioning of Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court seat Roll Call

●     Trump nominee says ‘no one is above the law’ but declines to say whether president has power to pardon himself Wash Post

●     Amy Coney Barrett Faces Final Day of Questioning by Senators WSJ

●     How the Senate’s Rules Might Play Out in the Amy Coney Barrett Supreme Court Hearing WSJ

●     The Senators to Watch During Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court Hearings WSJ

●     How Conservative Is Amy Coney Barrett? FiveThirtyEight

●     Opinion: Who’s Afraid of Amy Coney Barrett? WSJ

●     Opinion: Postpone the election? Voter intimidation? Amy Coney Barrett is open to it Wash Post

Another ‘skinny’ coronavirus relief bill on tap in Senate

Roll Call

The Senate will vote next week on a roughly $500 billion COVID-19 relief package that mirrors an earlier Republican proposal, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced

See Also:

●     Senate to Vote on New Funding for Small Businesses Next Week, McConnell Says WSJ

●     McConnell plans vote on narrow economic relief measure while Trump urges lawmakers to ‘Go big or go home!!!’ Wash Post

●     Where Trump and Biden Stand on Helping Small Businesses WSJ

Trump declares himself immune to COVID: ‘I’ll kiss everyone in that audience’

LA Times

President Trump burst back onto the campaign trail Monday night, delivering an energetic and combative hourlong speech in central Florida meant to demonstrate his recovery from COVID-19 and resuscitate his faltering reelection campaign.

See also:

●     ‘Asking for trouble,’ Fauci says of Trump rallies as COVID-19 surges in some states Fresno Bee

●     Trump Renews Criticism of Dr. Anthony Fauci WSJ

‘Unmasking’ probe commissioned by Barr concludes without charges or any public report

Wash Post

The federal prosecutor appointed by AG Barr to review whether Obama-era officials improperly requested the identities of individuals whose names were redacted in intelligence docs has completed his work without finding any substantive wrongdoing.

Supreme Court Won’t Review Democrats’ Emoluments Case Against Trump


The Supreme Court on Tuesday denied a request by a group of Democratic lawmakers to review whether President Trump’s continuing control of his business empire may have run afoul of a constitutional prohibition on receiving foreign gifts.

Trump Again Asks Supreme Court to Block Tax-Return Subpoena


President Trump asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday to delay the enforcement of a grand jury subpoena issued by New York state prosecutors for a swath of financial documents, including his tax returns.

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:

●     Calif Department of Public Health

●     Coronavirus (COVID-19) CDC

●     Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic – WHO

●     John Hopkins University & Medicine John Hopkins University

●     Tracking coronavirus in Calif LA Times

●     Coronavirus Tracker SF 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 Fin Times

●     Coronavirus in Calif by the numbers CalMatters

Elections 2020:

●     Register to vote

●     Check voter registration status

●     Online Voter Guide and Printable Voter Guide

●     List of county elections offices

●     “Where’s My Ballot?” tool

Your Calif mail ballot is coming. 5 things to do to make sure it gets counted

Sac Bee

Calif has hit a record number of registered voters this year, and thanks to an executive order issued this year from Gov. Gavin Newsom, all 21 million of them will be receiving a ballot in the mail starting Oct. 5.

See Also:

●     Is voting in person safe during a pandemic? It can be if you’re careful, experts say Fresno Bee

●     Election Day is fast approaching. Here are the do’s and don’ts of filling out your ballot Visalia Times Delta

●     Mail Balloting Is Fueling Historic Early Voting in the 2020 Election WSJ

●     Voting in Person? Here’s What It Might Look Like in Calif NY Times

●     2020 Calif Voter Guide NY Times

●     Opinion: Mail Voting Done Better WSJ

Californians have an opportunity to reverse Prop 209 and reinstate Affirmative Action

Fresno Bee

Proposition 16 is a constitutional amendment repealing Proposition 209 passed in 1996. When the people of Calif approved Prop. 209, they effectively ended Affirmative Action in this state.

See also:

●     Calif poised to reject affirmative action measure despite summer of activism Politico

●     Commentary: Prop. 16 will level the playing field for women and communities of color CalMatters

●     Prop. 16 will pave the way to goals that operate much like quotas CalMatters

●     Opinion: New CA Task Force on Reparations is a Dangerous Exercise in Virtue-Signaling Fox & Hounds

Signature errors could disenfranchise a record number of voters in the election

LA Times

A record number of Americans are expected to vote by mail in the November general election because of the pandemic — and a record number may have their ballots rejected over signature issues.

At a glance: See the biggest spenders in Calif’s prop battles


Califns are voting on 12 propositions, but not all are funded equally. Just take a look at that fat slab of lilac in the graphic below.

See also:

●     Opinion: Calif Initiative Editorial Scorecard Fox & Hounds

‘Lock ’em up!’: Trump reprises 2016 playbook in hope of another upset

LA Times

President Trump’s campaign appears in chaos and has cancelled TV ads in key states because it’s so short on cash. He’s sinking in polls and many Republicans fear he will take the Senate and state offices down with him on election day.

See also:

●     Trump hasn’t recovered from tailspin set off by raucous debate performance, poll shows LA Times

●     Trump refuses remote debate with Biden. Nixon and Kennedy did one 60 years ago today LA Times

●     The Macho Appeal of Donald Trump NY Times

●     Trump intensifies focus on Harris in final weeks of campaign  AP News

●     Trump’s Numbers, Preelection Update FactCheck

●     Misinformation Stokes Calls for Violence on Election Day NY Times

●     Opinion: Trump’s demonization of Biden is not normal LA Times

●     Opinion: Is There Still Hope for the Trump Campaign? WSJ

Biden’s tax plan would likely hit wealthy Californians hard. Here’s why

Fresno Bee

Because the rich in Calif tend to be richer than most and pay a higher share of state income taxes, Califns could feel more of a sting than other states from Joe Biden’s tax plan.

See also:

●     Biden Keeps Everyone Guessing on Wall Street Regulation WSJ

●     Biden’s wrong claim that Senate GOP’s Supreme Court move is ‘not constitutional’ PolitiFact

●     Biden making increasingly aggressive pitch to moderate voters Wash Post

Democrats aim for a Senate majority; the polling looks favorable

LA Times

As Republicans inch closer to confirming Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, and Joe Biden enjoys a national lead over Donald Trump in the presidential race, there’s also an intense battle going on for control of Congress.

These are the Nightmare Scenarios for the 2020 Election


The 2020 presidential election could be so tight, and the result so hotly contested, that the losing party refuses to concede, triggering a chaotic free-for-all in which Congress, the courts, and, in the most extreme case, the military could determine the winner.

See also:

●     ‘A really destructive scenario’: Pennsylvania could hold up outcome of presidential election LA Times

Opinion: Next US president will be oldest in history. Why do voters keep electing aging leaders?

Fresno Bee

Americans cannot agree on much these days, but one source of unanimity is that aging is better than the alternative.

Opinion: Business Doesn’t Stop for the Election


Get ready for an unlooked-for sideshow in the presidential election in coming days, in the form of a patent dispute between two South Korean battery giants before the deservedly obscure U.S. International Trade Commission.

The Right Way to Cover Hacks and Leaks Before the Election


The political media did almost everything wrong in covering the theft-and-leak of private emails amid the heat of the 2016 presidential campaign, 4 years ago —and yet it’s not at all clear that if confronted by an operation similar to what Russian intelligence executed in targeting the DNC via Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair, that we’d get it any more right now.


Facebook to Ban Ads Discouraging Vaccines


Facebook Inc. said it would ban ads that discourage immunization, part of a broader effort to combat misinformation about health vaccinations in the coronavirus pandemic.

See also:

●      Mark Zuckerberg donates $100M more to help election offices AP News

●     Why Facebook Can’t Fix Itself New Yorker


Sunday, October 18, at 10 a.m. on ABC30 – Maddy Report: “UC Merced Chancellor Juan Sánchez Muñoz: Valley Roots – Guests: UC Merced Chancellor Juan Sánchez Muñoz. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

Sunday, October 18, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) – Maddy Report – Valley Views Edition: “The Valley’s Public Universities: An Update – Guests: Fresno State President Joseph Castro; Stanislaus State President Ellen Junn; CSU Bakersfield President Lynnette Zelezny. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.


Local growers debut carrot hot dogs, pasta, chips

Bakersfield Califn

From the land of tri-tip sandwich fundraisers and 24-hour biscuits-and-gravy sales now comes this: hot dogs made from whole carrots.

The ultimate guide to marijuana legalization

Business Insider

With less than a month to go until the election, cannabis executives, investors, and activists are focused on five key states.

Pilgrim’s Pride Reaches Plea Deal With Justice Department on Chicken Price-Fixing Allegations


Chicken processor Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. said it has agreed to a plea deal with the U.S. Justice Department to resolve price-fixing charges, and will pay a fine of $110.5 million.



Fresno Police continuing operation to crack down on growing shootings, murders


Sirens and sadness have plagued Fresno in recent months. In just one week, a 16-year-old was killed in a car and a 28-year old woman and a 47-year-old man were found dead in cars.

As COVID-19 Cases Soar, Avenal Inmates Increasingly Concerned About Mental Health


As officials work to contain the virus, inmates claim life is chaotic and confusing, and they worry that the pandemic is taking a psychological toll.

Newsom advisers urge changes in policing at Calif protests

SF Chronicle

Calif should restrict the use of rubber bullets and tear gas at protests, clarify when police can declare an unlawful assembly to disperse crowds and require officers to intervene when their colleagues are using excessive force, advisers to Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday.

Should felons keep their Calif pensions? This court case could give a new answer

Fresno Bee

A landmark state Supreme Court decision from July might have breathed new life into a felon’s four-year fight to get his full public pension back.

Public Safety:

Fresno police chief asks for $10 million more in budget amid outcries to defund

Fresno Bee

The Fresno Police Department is asking for a $10 million increase to its operating budget after months of a public outcry to defund police.

Mobile Crisis Team to aid Merced police on mental health calls

Merced Sun-Star

The Merced Police Department will have help when responding to situations involving a mental health crisis with the formation of the Merced County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Mobile Crisis Response Team.

Calif panel recommends limits to police crowd control

Bakersfield Califn

Newsom sought the more than three-dozen recommendations after months of nationwide demonstrations followed the death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police.

See also:

●     Calif panel recommends limits to police crowd control LA Times

When cops abuse social media, the results are explosive: “One post can become a movement”

LA Times

As a young cop in Richmond, Calif., in 2008, Ben Murdoch made a mistake that cost him his career and led some to label him a racist.

Emboldened Far-Right Groups Challenge Cities, States

Pew Trusts

Experts who monitor right-wing vigilantes and White nationalist organizations are on even higher alert for the possibility of violence at political rallies.


Creek Fire updates: With rising temperatures, firefighters expect increased activity

Fresno Bee

The Creek Fire continued with small growth on Monday, as firefighters used the past few days of favorable weather conditions to battle the blaze directly at the fire line.

See Also:

●     Creek Fire: 337,655 acres burned, 55% contained, latest evacuations orders abc30

●     Creek Fire updates: Fire active near Cassidy Meadows; assistance services move online Fresno Bee

Gusts, heat bring ‘critical’ fire risk back to Northern Calif. How windy will it get?

Fresno Bee

Hot, gusty conditions expected to arrive by midweek will bring dangerous wildfire weather conditions back to Calif after only a brief reprieve, according to the latest forecasts.

See also:

●     Fall heat wave bringing Calif more fire danger Turlock Journal

●     Calif faces stretch of ‘critical’ fire risk as heat dome builds Wednesday Wash Post

●     Dry Days Ahead For Calif This Year And Beyond, Experts Say Capital Public Radio

●     Fall blast of heat and wind heightens Calif fire danger LA Times

PG&E says wildfire blackouts to begin late Wednesday. Winds coming in two waves

Fresno Bee

PG&E Corp. said Tuesday it expects to begin blacking out thousands of customers Wednesday evening as high winds raise the risk of wildfires.

See Also:

●     Potential PG&E blackouts could leave Calif homes without power until Friday SF Chronicle

●     Fast winds incoming: PG&E power shutoffs could last 3 days CalMatters

●     Utility tells regulators branches on a power line may have sparked Southern Calif blaze Fresno Bee

●     PG&E under investigation for deadly Shasta County fire CalMatters

Little Hoover Commission had answer to reduce massive wildfires in 2018, Sac ignored it

Turlock Journal

Dead trees — 130 million of them — were dotting Calif’s forests and wild lands in 2018.

Calif hasn’t needed this many firefighters since 2008. Here’s why

SF Chronicle

At its peak deployment so far, on Sept. 19, the state needed more than 19,000 firefighters working to corral blazes sparked in August by a barrage of lightning strikes, including the LNU, SCU and CZU fires in the Bay Area and the gargantuan August Complex farther north.



Fresno businesses fined for being open against COVID-19 orders

Fresno Bee

Six Fresno businesses have gotten the most recent $1,000 fines for operating against state coronavirus orders, according to records.

See Also:

●     Fresno-area business owners pledge to stay open regardless of county’s tier abc30

Webinar will focus on federal business loan forgiveness

Bakersfield Califn

A free, hourlong webinar starting at noon Wednesday will focus on a new, simpler way businesses that received $50,000 or less through federal Paycheck Protection Program loans can apply for forgiveness.

Calif’s equity metric aims to protect vulnerable communities. But will small businesses suffer?

SF Chronicle

For public health leaders and community advocates across the Bay Area, Calif’s new health equity metric, which aims to tackle coronavirus disparities in communities of color, is a forward-thinking plan that will aid those hit hardest by the virus.

Theater Chain AMC Says It Could Run Out of Cash by Year-End


The world’s largest movie-theater company may run out of cash by year’s end if it doesn’t raise additional funds or get more people back to theaters following pandemic shutdowns that have disrupted businesses dependent on consumers gathering in public spaces.

See Also:

●     AMC Theatres says it’s running out of cash as studios flee 2020 LA Times


Uber, Lyft seek to stave off AB5 at appeals court

SF Chronicle

Uber and Lyft asked a Calif appeals court Tuesday to reject a preliminary injunction that would force them to immediately reclassify their drivers as employees under AB5, the state’s gig-work law.

See Also:

●     Calif, Reject Prop 22 NY Times

●     If Prop. 22 fails, will the price go up for Uber and Lyft? Sac Bee

●     New Frontier: How Gig Economy Titans Are Lobbying Their Customers Capital Public Radio

●     AB 2257 Enacts Significant Changes to AB 5 on Classification of Workers as Independent Contractors Ogletree Deakins

New Calif Pay Data Collection Law Establishes March 31 Reporting Deadline

Ogletree Deakins

On September 30, 2020, Calif Governor Gavin Newsom signed Calif Senate Bill 973 into law as Government Code Title 2, Division 3, Part 2.8, Chapter 10, § 12999.

More Companies Are Using Technology To Monitor For Coronavirus In The Workplace


As more and more businesses look to reopen, technology firms have an array of monitoring systems to try to keep the coronavirus out of office buildings, medical facilities and industrial plants.

Oakland Amazon workers want to unionize their East Bay warehouse


If a union forms at Amazon’s San Leandro distribution center, where many Oakland residents work, it would be the first of its kind in the nation.



Most students in Fresno’s Central schools won’t return to campus before the New Year

Fresno Bee

Fresno students in the Central Unified School District won’t be returning to campuses until after the New Year, despite the county receiving a green light for all grades to reopen schools this week.

CUSD Hosts Virtual Forum for Parents on School Reopening

Clovis Roundup

Clovis Unified School District and the Fresno County health officials hosted an online parent forum to discuss elementary students’ return to in-class instruction.

Selma Unified School District submits waiver to bring some students on campus


Selma Unified is the next district working to bring students safely back to the classroom. “Very small group, very self-contained, those cohorts have to work consistently in a very tight group,” says Superintendent Dr. Tanya Fisher. “Those cohorts can’t intermingle.”

See also:

●     With Stanislaus in red, Modesto City Schools sets aside waiver app, talks reopening Modesto Bee

Opinion: Veto hurts educations of at-risk kids


Ever since the Local Control Funding Formula was passed nearly a decade ago, controversy has raged over how the overhaul in school finance was being administered.

EDITORIAL: Fresno Bee offers recommendations for three seats on the Clovis Unified school board

Fresno Bee

Without question 2020 will go down as one of the more challenging years for Calif educators, given the upheaval brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Clovis Unified is no exception.

Higher Ed:

BC to celebrate grand opening of CityServe project for students

Bakersfield Califn

Bakersfield College will virtually celebrate the opening of CityServe Educational Collaborative Center this Thursday.

Gates Foundation Gift to Support Covid-19 Testing at Historically Black Colleges


Several historically Black colleges and universities will share a $15 million dollar donation over the next three years from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support Covid-19 testing on their campuses, the foundation announced Tuesday.



Trump creates federal government council on global tree planting initiative

The Hill

President Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order involving the federal government in a global tree planting initiative that already has private sector participation in the U.S.


Opinion: Replace deadly carbon combustion with clean solar and wind power

SF Chronicle

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, made up of noted scientists and Nobel Laureates, reported on Oct. 8, 2018 that the world may have only 12 years to reverse that global warming trend to avoid the inevitable climate collapse that terminates life as we know it on Earth.



Kern Public Health reports 2 new coronavirus deaths, 69 new cases Tuesday

Bakersfield Califn

Kern County Public Health Services announced two new coronavirus deaths and 69 new confirmed cases Tuesday morning. That brings Kern’s totals to 397 deaths and 33,089 cases since reporting began in mid-March.

See Also:

●     Stanislaus rules finally ease; 11 new cases, 1 death Modesto Bee

●     U.S. Daily Coronavirus-Case Count Climbs Back Above 50,000 WSJ

●     Americans Are Dying In The Pandemic At Rates Far Higher Than In Other Countries NPR

First US patient reinfected with COVID-19, study says. What does it mean for immunity?

Fresno Bee

After the first known reinfection in the United States, scientists warn COVID-19 immunity may not be guaranteed.

Trying to reach herd immunity is ‘unethical’ and unprecedented, WHO head says

Wash Post

The head of the World Health Organization said Monday that allowing the novel coronavirus to spread in an attempt to reach herd immunity was “simply unethical.”

Human Services:

Without COVID-19 vaccine before election, Trump pushes experimental drug for seniors

Fresno Bee

President Trump is promising emergency approval of a drug produced by Regeneron, which he credits with his own swift recovery from COVID-19, as a way to appeal to senior citizens who are breaking sharply away from his campaign over his response to the pandemic.

Eli Lilly pauses COVID-19 antibody trial, citing potential safety concern

LA Times

Eli Lilly & Co. said enrollment of participants in a clinical trial of its antibody treatment for COVID-19 has been paused due to a potential safety concern.

See Also:

●     Study of Eli Lilly Covid-19 Drug Paused Due to Safety Concern WSJ

●     J&J Vaccine Pause Shows Challenges Still Ahead for Covid-19 Shots WSJ

●     Opinion: Regeneron’s Coronavirus October Surprise WSJ

Help Wanted at Covid-19 Testing Labs


Many of the 23 technologists involved with Covid-19 testing are working overtime, running patient samples and chasing down scarce supplies—all while trying to keep turnaround times low.

Trump’s Drug-Discount Cards Expected to Reach Medicare Recipients After Election


President Trump’s plan to send 33 million Medicare beneficiaries a card that can be used to help pay for as much as $200 in prescription drug costs won’t be completed until after the election, according to a person familiar with the plan.

See also:

·       Commentary: Post-pandemic health care reform AEI

A heavy burden: Should dialysis rules be up to voters?


In a state of 40 million, about 80,000 people rely on dialysis centers for treatment of kidney failure. The vast majority of Califns have never been inside one of these clinics, let alone understand how they operate.

See Also:

●     Opinion: Prop. 23 threatens treatments that keep kidney dialysis patients alive Fresno Bee


U.S. Agents Returned Migrants to Honduras in Unauthorized Operation, Senate Report Says


Democrats on the Foreign Relations Committee say that several hundred U.S.-bound migrants were rounded up in Guatemala and returned to Honduras in January by Customs and Border Protection agents.

Immigration was a dominant issue in the 2016 election, but not this time


Three words echoed throughout Donald Trump’s successful 2016 presidential campaign: “Build the wall.” Then, as president, Trump made immigration and border security defining issues of his administration.


Land Use:

Toxic chemicals found at community center in southwest Fresno. Here’s what you need to know

Fresno Bee

The Maxie Parks Community Center in southwest Fresno has been evacuated and barred to the public since Sept. 3, after testing found contamination in and around the building, likely from toxic chemicals used by Imperial Cleaners, a former dry cleaning business.

See also:

●     Two potentially harmful chemicals found in groundwater at Maxie Park Community Center abc30

●     Video: The latest word from Fresno City Hall on West Fresno toxic contamination Fresno Bee

●     Public Meeting To Address Contaminants Found In West Fresno Community Center VPR


How will Prop 21 rent control measure impact Fresno-area residents? It’s complicated

Fresno Bee

Will the passage of Proposition 21 lead to lower rents for Fresno and central San Joaquin Valley residents? It depends on whom you ask. The “Local Rent Control Initiative” is fracturing old alliances and pitting friends against each other.

Vacation Home Demand Soars During the Covid-19 Pandemic


Home sales are booming in popular vacation spots, as the pandemic leads more Americans to seek places to work or relax within driving distance of home.

Renters Flock to Suburbia, Upending Decade long Urbanization Trend


Apartment rents are rising in suburban markets across the U.S. as city dwellers look for bigger spaces in smaller towns.

Warzsawski: Is Clovis truly anti-racism? Then end decades of discriminatory housing policies

Fresno Bee

At the start of last week’s Clovis City Council meeting, the five council members took turns reading aloud a proclamation condemning racism in their city.


If CalPERS beats earnings targets, its next investment chief could take home $2.4 million

Sac Bee

The maximum possible compensation for Calif state government’s highest-paid employee could increase significantly under a proposal CalPERS is considering.

Calif lottery demands workers repay 3-year-old travel claims after expense audit

Sac Bee

A group of Calif State Lottery employees got letters in the mail last week saying they were overpaid for mileage, lodging and other expenses and have to pay the money back.

Federal stimulus checks must go to prison inmates, U.S. judge in Calif rules

LA Times

For months, incarcerated people across the country have received conflicting and confusing information about whether they can legally collect federal coronavirus stimulus funds, while the Internal Revenue Service flip-flopped on the question.


2020 Transportation Needs Survey

Fresno Council of Governments

Have a say in how future transportation dollars are spent.  The Fresno Council of Governments (Fresno COG) is looking for transportation project suggestions that could become part of its 20-year Regional Transportation Plan or RTP.

Delta Says Air Travel Recovery Still Far Off Amid Pandemic


Delta Air Lines Inc. offered cautious optimism that demand for travel is starting to return but said its losses were mounting, as the coronavirus pandemic looks likely to continue weighing on travel for years.


Trump makes water demand of farms priority for new office

Bakersfield Califn

President Donald Trump on Tuesday created what he called a “subcabinet” for federal water issues, with a mandate that includes water-use changes sought by corporate farm interests and oil and gas.


Trick-or-treating ‘strongly discouraged’ in Calif this Halloween

Fresno Bee

Trick-or-treating and Halloween parties are “strongly discouraged” in Calif this year because they present a high risk of spreading COVID-19, Calif Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly announced Tuesday.

See Also:

●     Calif health officials urging public to avoid trick or treating on Halloween abc30

●     Califns shouldn’t trick-or-treat this Halloween, state health officials say LA Times

●     Halloween 2020: Candy Chutes. Quarantined Books. Virtual Costume Contests. WSJ

County to host free bulky waste collection event

Bakersfield Califn

Bulky waste includes household appliances such as refrigerators and water heaters, mattresses, furniture, electronics and other large household items. All items will be accepted at no charge.

As holidays approach, Calif unveils new rules on family gatherings, social events

LA Times

With the holiday season approaching, Calif last week released new guidelines for socializing that prohibit gatherings among more than three households.

Before letting Calif theme parks reopen, Newsom is looking out of state

LA Times

Gov. Gavin Newsom, aiming for an eventual safe reopening of Calif theme parks, said Monday that he was sending a team of people to parks open in other states to learn what precautions they are taking to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

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

The Kenneth L. Maddy Institute 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.

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