October 26, 2020




NPR’S Tamara Keith keynotes second fall President's Lecture Series tonight

Fresno State Campus News

Tamara Keith, who grew up in Hanford and worked as a reporter covering the Central Valley for KQED, will be the featured guest for a second virtual version of the President’s Lecture Series this fall at Fresno State.


North SJ Valley:


City Council candidates turn to social media to reach voters

Turlock Journal

As the races for open Turlock City Council seats swing into the final weeks before election day, two candidates are far out-spending their opponents in order to reach potential voters.


Runoff for Stanislaus judge seat between court commissioner, prosecutor

Modesto Bee

Two of Stanislaus County’s newest judges were elected during the March primary election, but the third seat will be decided in a runoff Nov. 3.


Merced County at risk of moving back to more restrictive category


Merced County is at risk of moving back to the more restrictive Purple (Widespread) Tier on the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. October 6 they progressed into the Red Tier which allowed several non-essential indoor businesses to resume operations with safety restrictions.

See also:


Stapley: What to look for in Modesto and Stanislaus County in Nov. 3 election

Modesto Bee

All three Modesto City Council races are intriguing as well. As is the thought of a newly constituted council with the will to break Modesto out of its doldrums. We’re looking for big things from this next group.


Central SJ Valley:


Coronavirus update: Fresno County adds 6 deaths; could slip back into purple tier

Fresno Bee

Fresno County added six new fatal cases to the running total that is now 436 deaths related to the coronavirus pandemic from Thursday to Saturday.

See also:


Is your drinking water contaminated? Check this Fresno-area map to find out

Fresno Bee

If you live in the central San Joaquin Valley, there’s a chance your tap water is unsafe to drink. Nearly 180,000 people in the region get their water from systems that do not meet​​ drinking water standards — and it’s hard, as a resident, to learn more and find out what to do to keep yourself and your family safe.


Fresno city council clashes over Chinatown cleanup contract

Fresno Bee

A heated exchange between Fresno, Calif, councilmembers on Thursday ended after one invited another to resign from the City Council.

See also:


Fresno Council Delays Purchase Agreement Of Former Bee Building

Business Journal

The Fresno City Council pushed back until November the $5.75 million purchase agreement of the former Fresno Bee building in Downtown Fresno on Thursday, according to a city spokesperson.


Survivor group slams Fresno Catholic churches for withholding names of accused priests

Fresno Bee

It remains unknown when the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno may release its list of credibly accused priests of sexual misconduct two years after it began to ponder what to release to the public.


Lemoore looks to dissolve downtown committee

Hanford Sentinel

At its meeting Tuesday evening, the Lemoore City Council decided to move forward with dissolving the city’s Downtown Merchants Advisory Committee.


COVID-19 update: Tulare County still no closer to red tier

Porterville Recorder

Tulare County's stubborn COVID-19 case rate continued to keep the county from moving closer to the red tier on Friday.


Local or not local: Council considering cannabis dispensary permits

Porterville Recorder

On Thursday night, the Porterville City Council hosted a special meeting where they conducted interviews on the retail cannabis dispensary candidates whose Request for Proposal (RFP) scores qualified them for an interview.


Rep. Eric Swalwell: Nunes buried evidence on Russian meddling to protect Trump. I know because I’m on the committee

Fresno Bee

No one really expected President Donald Trump, who benefited from Russia’s 2016 election interference, to counter that hostile regime’s active measures: Russia wanted him to win, and when they hacked, he invited them to hack more.


South SJ Valley:


Kern Public Health: 38 new coronavirus cases reported Saturday

Bakersfield Califn

Latest statistics


Behind the Battle for the Future of Calif’s Oil


Environmentalists, petroleum industry executives, union leaders and communities near oil drilling sites are all gearing up for what's expected to be a fierce political battle over efforts to reduce Calif's oil production.

See also:


Oilfield wastewater slowly gains value in agriculture

Bakersfield Califn

Conceptually it makes a lot of sense to farmers and oil producers alike: Use the latest filtration technology to turn one of Kern's most troublesome waste streams — oilfield produced water — into a safe irrigation source.


East Bakersfield's Amestoy's building suffering death by a thousand cuts

Bakersfield Califn

The east Bakersfield dive bar that stood for more than seven decades as a working-class counterpoint to the chrome, glass and potted-plant slickness of the suburban chains, closed for good more than a year ago.


Price: In the debate about police reform, some voices apparently matter more than others

Bakersfield Califn

I have tried to look at this from every angle, but there’s no way to view it as anything but what it is. Politics. Grandstanding. Because-we-can payback.




Other states are watching COVID-19 rates rise. Calif’s coronavirus numbers are steady

Sac Bee

Coronavirus hospitalizations in Calif are plateauing. So are intensive care unit admissions. Texas, the second most populous state after Calif, has 10 million fewer people. Yet as of mid-October, it had recorded more COVID-19 deaths.

See also:

     Now for some good news: Calif praised for recent handling of pandemic CalMatters


Rural Calif is divided, armed for revolt. What’s the matter in the State of Jefferson?

Fresno Bee

But here, in what’s arguably the capital of the State of Jefferson — a decades-old movement to break off conservative northern counties from Democrat-controlled Calif — many have shrugged Zapata off as commonplace.


Walters: Calif’s vague new financial regulation law


Assembly Bill 1864 didn’t get much media or public attention as it zipped through both houses of the Legislature on the last day of the 2020 session.




Mike Pence to keep up travel despite contact with aides infected with COVID-19


ABC News has confirmed at least five individuals in Vice President Mike Pence's orbit have tested positive as of Saturday night.

See also:

     Mike Pence's chief of staff, top adviser both test positive for coronavirus abc30

     Pence, a close contact to COVID-infected aides, will keep up his travel schedule LA Times

     Health experts question Pence campaigning as essential work LA Times


Senate votes to advance Barrett; confirmation expected Monday

LA Times

Senate Republicans voted overwhelmingly Sunday to advance Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett toward final confirmation despite Democratic objections, just over a week before the presidential election. The vote was 51-48.

See also:

     Senate Advances Supreme Court Nomination of Amy Coney Barrett WSJ

     Conservative-Dominated Supreme Court Fulfills Nixon-Era Dream WSJ

     Analysis: U.S. Supreme Court nominee Barrett often rules for police in excessive force cases Reuters

     Senate Set for Vote Today to Place Barrett on Supreme Court Bloomberg


Fact Check: Trump Says He Saved 2 Million Lives From COVID. Really?


President Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed to have saved 2 million lives from COVID-19 through his actions to combat the disease. Recently, he made the assertion during the NBC News town hall on Oct. 15 that replaced the second presidential debate.

See also:

     Lesley Stahl: Giant health care book in Trump interview had 'no comprehensive health care plan' The Hill

     Opinion: There Is No COVID Plan National Review


Apple, Google and a Deal That Controls the Internet

NY Times

In a landmark antitrust complaint, the Justice Department is targeting a secretive partnership that is worth billions of dollars to both companies.

See also:

     Opinion: The Government’s Case Against Google Is Good Slate


Without Senate-confirmed leaders, Interior rules may be at risk

Roll Call

Three Interior Department divisions have gone without Senate-confirmed leaders during the entire Trump administration, endangering department policies and decisions over violations of laws that govern presidential appointments and nominations.


Walters: Left wing wants to cancel Dianne Feinstein


Dianne Feinstein has been a fixture of Calif politics for 60 years, beginning with an appointment to the state’s then-separate parole board for women. To put that in context, her political career began seven years before Gov. Gavin Newsom was born.

See also:

     A hug that divided the Democratic Party: Feinstein could pay a price for Supreme Court hearings Sac Bee


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 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 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


Prop. 16: ‘It’s a one-time shot.’ Is it now or never for affirmative action in Calif?

Fresno Bee

When Calif Democrats first started working last year on a proposal to reinstate affirmative action — an effort that requires approval on Nov. 3 — it was months before a spring of coronavirus lockdowns and summer of racial reckoning in America.


Prop. 19: Making sense of the Prop 19 property tax measure

LA Times

Calif voters face a complicated ballot measure about property taxes in Proposition 19. The measure, backed by the Calif Assn. of Realtors, would expand a property tax break for homeowners 55 and older when they move.


Prop. 22: Uber, Lyft and allies break spending records on gig worker initiative. Here’s how much

Fresno Bee

A fight over the future of Calif gig drivers has drawn nearly $220 million in political spending, making it the most expensive initiative in the history of the state.

See also:


Money Bail, Risk-Based Tools & the Costs for Californians: Understanding Prop. 25

Calif Budget & Policy Center

Across Calif and the United States, the push for bail reform has gained momentum with increasing awareness and research showing the disproportionate impact the money bail system has on people of color and low-income households.


Meet the candidates: David Valadao

Hanford Sentinel

In preparation for the Nov. 3 general election, the Sentinel asked the two candidates running for the 21 Congressional District a few questions so voters can get to know them.


How Money, Message And Turnout Could Shape Local Congressional Races


Election season is in full swing and some of the nation's most contested congressional races are taking place in the Central Valley.

See also:

     In a toss-up Central Valley district, Republicans and Democrats wage a vicious campaign LA Times

     Slated for deception? Beware of all those glossy mailers telling you how to vote CalMatters

     Can the Electoral College be subverted by “faithless electors”? Brookings


Record 150M Ballots from 65% of Eligible Voters in U.S. Could Make Election Turnout Highest Since 1908


The U.S. could see record voter turnout in this year's presidential election as President Donald Trump fights to secure a second term. Early voting indicates that turnout could be the highest it's been since 1908 and set a record for 21st century elections.

See also:

     Voting Problems in March May Have Discouraged Some LA Voters PPIC

     Calif Republicans face turnout burden after Trump mail ballot attacks Politico

     Calif Democrats swamp Republicans in early voter turnout CalMatters

     Trump Told Supporters to ‘Watch’ Voting. His Staff Is More Than Watching. NY Times


With Debates Behind Them, Biden And Trump Enter The Final Stretch Before Election Day


In front of television cameras on Friday, President Trump chatted with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over speaker phone, lauding a new agreement between Israel and Sudan to normalize relations.

See also:

     With nine days to go, Trump faces two adversaries: Joe Biden and the pandemic LA Times

     Trump and Biden barnstorm battleground states as race moves into overdrive LA Times

     Biden campaign aide: Trump trying to distort former vice president's position on oil The Hill

     Business on Biden: Not So Bad, Given the Alternatives WSJ

     The Two Americas Financing the Trump and Biden Campaigns NY Times

     5 Things To Watch In The Final Week Of The 2020 Presidential Campaign  VPR

     Commentary: What happens if Trump and Biden tie in the Electoral College? Brookings


‘There is a voter-suppression wing’: An ugly American tradition clouds the 2020 presidential race

LA Times

A Memphis, Tenn., poll worker turned away people wearing Black Lives Matter T-shirts, saying they couldn’t vote. Robocalls warned thousands of Michigan residents that mail-in voting could put their personal information in the hands of debt collectors and police.


America wakes up to politics: 2020 brings a tsunami of voting and activism

LA Times

The American electorate, often apathetic and cynical about politics, is experiencing a great awakening, with the 2020 election inspiring extraordinary levels of engagement in both parties.

See also:

     Calif ‘shattering prior election returns’ with 6m ballots already cast The Guardian

     The Push to Vote Early Shows No Sign of Slowing WSJ

     Lines in New York and Calif illustrate strong turnout by early voters in large Democratic states Washington Post

     Early vote total exceeds 2016; GOP chips at Dems’ advantage AP News


How Police, National Guard And The Military Are Preparing For Election Day Tensions


Nov. 3 promises to be an Election Day unlike any other, and public safety entities say they're preparing for the tensions and the possibility of violence.

See also:

·       Cars Have Hit Protesters More Than 100 Times This Year WSJ


Griswold: Here’s why election officials say no need to hand deliver mail ballot


Calif election officials assure voters their ballot is safe in drop boxes and the mail, yet some voters are hand delivering anyway.

See also:

     The deadline to return Calif ballots is Nov. 3. But waiting until then is risky Sac Bee

     Advice For Making Sure Your Mail-In Ballot Gets Counted In Calif Capital Public Radio

     Ensuring the Safety and Integrity of the Vote Rand

     How Delayed Is Your Mail-In Ballot? WSJ




Pandemic Fatigue Is Real—And It’s Spreading


From the corridors of Washington to the cobblestones of Paris, the coronavirus is roaring back and authorities are ramping up restrictions again. This time around, however, everyone is tired.


Facebook Prepares Measures for Possible Election Unrest


Facebook Inc. teams have planned for the possibility of trying to calm election-related conflict in the U.S. by deploying internal tools designed for what it calls “at-risk” countries, according to people familiar with the matter.


The end of democracy? To many Americans, the future looks dark if the other side wins.

Washington Post

A psychiatrist examining what has happened to America’s soul chooses for his book cover an iconic image from “Planet of the Apes” — a charred, half-buried wreck of the Statue of Liberty.

See also:

     Commentary: America’s electoral future: The coming generational transformation Brookings





Sunday, November 1, at 10 a.m. on ABC30 – Maddy Report: "The November 2020 Propositions" - Guest: Ben Christopher, CalMatters. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.


Sunday, November 1, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) – Maddy Report - Valley Views Edition“Election Props: Valley Implications” - Guests: Jessica Trounstine, UC Merced; Greg Soydemir, Stanislaus State; Lisa Bryant, Fresno State; Ivy Cargile, CSU Bakersfield; Mary Roaf, Stanislaus State; Sebastian Sclofsky, Stanislaus State. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.




Many Calif farmworkers fear a winter of hunger and homelessness amid the pandemic

LA Times

In a year without pandemic, fire and extreme heat, Jose Luis Hernandez by now would have saved enough money picking summer fruit from Calif fields to make it through the slow winter months ahead.


AMB Labor Force distributes 500 more boxes of food

Madera Tribune

Adam Beas and AMB Labor Force is at it again. Last week, AMB Labor Force, owned by Beas, with Cornerstone Community Care distributed 500 boxes of food.


Oilfield wastewater slowly gains value in agriculture

Bakersfield Califn

Conceptually it makes a lot of sense to farmers and oil producers alike: Use the latest filtration technology to turn one of Kern's most troublesome waste streams — oilfield produced water — into a safe irrigation source.


County agricultural value entered pandemic on strong note, report says

Turlock Journal

While the future data concerning Stanislaus County agriculture may be uncertain due to the coronavirus pandemic, the annual agricultural report for 2019 reflected the strong farming economy local residents and consumers have come to expect.






City of Madera awarded $85,000

Madera Tribune

The safety of everyone traveling is the focus of a grant awarded to City of Madera Police Department. The $85,000 grant from the Calif Office of Traffic Safety will assist in the Police Department’s efforts to reduce deaths and injuries on Madera roads.


Federal Agents In Fresno To Address Rise In Violent Crimes


Federal agents announced Wednesday that they are now working with local officials in Fresno to mitigate the recent rise in crime. There have been 50 homicides and more than 560 shootings this year.


Public Safety:


Fresno police say they haven’t abandoned communities of color during surge of violence

Fresno Bee

As shootings and homicides surge across the city, some south and central Fresno residents say they fear police officers are pulling back efforts to combat gang violence in communities of color.


National advocacy groups protest in front of courthouse over domestic violence

Bakersfield Califn

National and local advocates for domestic violence survivors gathered in front of Kern County Superior Court in Bakersfield Friday morning to demand that the District Attorney’s Office drop charges against two Kern County women, Michaele Bowers and Wendy Howard.


‘That is unacceptable.’ Calif megachurch faces local backlash for dismissing COVID-19

Sacramento Bee

Shasta County Supervisor Les Baugh is a Christian pastor who has been the loudest voice among his colleagues pushing back against Calif’s COVID-19 restrictions on local businesses.


Money Bail, Risk-Based Tools & the Costs for Californians: Understanding Prop. 25

Calif Budget & Policy Center

Across Calif and the United States, the push for bail reform has gained momentum with increasing awareness and research showing the disproportionate impact the money bail system has on people of color and low-income households.


Price: In the debate about police reform, some voices apparently matter more than others

Bakersfield Califn

I have tried to look at this from every angle, but there’s no way to view it as anything but what it is. Politics. Grandstanding. Because-we-can payback.




Creek Fire update: Full containment of the Calif wildfire expected next week

Fresno Bee

The Creek Fire remained at 61 % containment while growing slightly to 358,967 acres as of Friday evening. Fire crews are expected to fully contain the fire by next week.

See also:

     Creek Fire updates: ‘Extreme fire activity is possible,’ winds prompt warning Fresno Bee

     ‘It’s been a lot to navigate.’ Fresno County residents struggle to access Creek Fire relief Fresno Bee

     Creek Fire update: Now 61% contained; rental assistance available for displaced Fresno Bee

     Creek Fire: 358,967 acres burned, 61% contained, latest evacuation warnings abc30

     FEMA Offering Relief for Residents Impacted by Creek Fire Clovis RoundUp


SQF Complex Fire: 169,330 acres burned, 75% contained, latest evacuation warnings


Fire crews are continuing to make progress on the SQF Complex Fire, which is now the largest wildfire in Tulare County's modern history. Crews held the line on the blaze which has burned 169,330 acres and is 75% containment as of Friday.

See also:

     Sequoia Complex remains at 75 percent contained Porterville Recorder


Calif girds for most dangerous fire weather of year

Bakersfield Califn

Calif, which has endured its worst wildfire season in history, is bracing for the most dangerous winds of the year, a forecast that prompted the largest utility to announce it will cut power Sunday to nearly 1 million people to guard against its equipment sparking new blazes.

See also:

     PG&E: More than 600 customers could lose power due to winds, fire danger Bakersfield Califn

     360,000 Customers Lose Power In Calif Amid Fire-Safety Shutoffs VPR

     Extreme wind bound for Calif similar to conditions that fanned state’s worst fires Sac Bee

     Calif braces for most dangerous fire weather of the season; PG&E already cutting off power to customers LA Times

     PG&E Cuts Power to Hundreds of Thousands WSJ

     Calif faces highest fire risk of 2020 with 70-plus mph winds, record dry conditions Washington Post






County increases business aid

Turlock Journal

Additional aid is on the way for some local businesses suffering during the pandemic after an increase to Stanislaus County’s Business Grant Program was approved by the Board of Supervisors this month.


Grocery stores prepare for shoppers to stockpile ahead of another coronavirus wave

Kansas City Star

Many of us won’t soon forget what we saw in grocery stores at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic — aisles and aisles of bare shelves, check-out lines stretching through stores and shopping carts filled to the brim.

See also:

     Why You Might Have Trouble Getting the Refrigerator, Can of Paint or Car You Want WSJ

     A Global Rebound Could Be Determined by How Freely Households Spend  WSJ


China Trade War Didn’t Boost U.S. Manufacturing Might


President Trump’s trade war against China didn’t achieve the central objective of reversing a U.S. decline in manufacturing, economic data show, despite tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese goods to discourage imports.


Stocks Drop on Coronavirus Uptick, Fading Stimulus Hopes


U.S. stocks dropped sharply Monday as coronavirus cases surged in the U.S. and Europe, adding to worries about the economic outlook after Congress and the White House failed to agree on a much-anticipated fiscal stimulus deal.


COVID-19: Household Debt During the Pandemic

Congressional Research Service

COVID-19 pandemic has had an economic impact across the U.S. Fear of infection, social distancing, and stay-at-home orders prompted business closures and a severe decline in demand for travel, accommodations, restaurants, and entertainment, among other industries.




Uber and Lyft must pay drivers as employees under Calif labor law AB 5, court rules

Fresno Bee

Uber and Lyft must pay their Calif drivers as employees within weeks to comply with a new state labor law that directs companies to provide benefits to more workers, according to a state appeals court ruling filed Thursday.

See also:

     Calif Court Says Uber, Lyft Drivers Are Employees Business Journal


Opinion: A $15 Minimum Wage Would Wreck U.S. Economic Recovery


In Thursday night’s debate, both President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden expressed openness to a $15-per-hour national minimum wage. Biden seems all for it, and Trump indicated it may be a good idea for some states.


Calif Theme Park Closures Hit Jobs, Shops, Budget

Business Journal

Calif’s amusement parks have been pining to reopen for months, hoping to bring back thousands of workers sent home in March when the coronavirus pandemic forced them to close their gates.


Gender Gaps in the COVID-19 Labor Market

Public Policy Institute of Calif

Women are slightly more likely to work in the industries most affected by the recession (16% of women and 14% of men worked in these industries in February 2020).






District By District, Some Valley Students Return To School


Now that most counties in the San Joaquin Valley have graduated out of the most restrictive “purple” tier of the governor’s reopening blueprint, many schools are preparing to bring students back to campus, and some already have.


Thousands of Fresno students chronically absent as schools weigh return to classrooms

Fresno Bee

Thousands of Fresno students are chronically absent from school this year compared to last year, and the overwhelming majority of those students are Hispanic, poor, and in the sixth-grade and below.


Merced County schools finalize reopening plans


North Valley school districts are slowly opening their classrooms to students, but rising COVID-19 numbers could bring their plans to a halt. It was just Monday that students finally stepped through the doors of Shaffer Elementary.


Selma Unified brings back small cohorts of students


Selma Unified is the latest Central Valley district to welcome back small groups of students to the classroom.


KHSD opens its brand-new Career Technical Education Center

Bakersfield Califn

It’s been years in the making and the crown jewel of the Kern High School District’s career education program, if not the district itself, has begun to open its doors.


Immanuel Schools, Fresno County Settle Legal Battle Over In-Person Instruction


The superintendent of Immanuel Schools said Wednesday he’s pleased to no longer be arguing the legality of keeping his K-12 private school in Reedley open. That’s due to a recent settlement among Immanuel, Fresno County, and the state attorney general’s office.


Higher Ed:


Stressed freshmen missing quintessential college experience

Bakersfield Califn

It’s a major life milestone, the first time many U.S. teens have ever been on their own. Even in normal times, freshman year in college can be a jumbled mix of anticipation, uncertainty and emotional highs and lows.


Calif State University graduation rates show steady improvement amid pandemic


Graduation rates across the 23 Calif State University campuses continue to increase even in a year when students were forced to complete their degrees mostly online due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it’s too early to know how the crisis will impact students.






Threatened species Yosemite toad impacted by Creek Fire. Here's why their existence is important

Fresno Bee

USFS aquatic biologist Stephanie Barnes is helping educate Creek Fire firefighters about the threatened Yosemite toad along Kaiser Pass Road Thursday.


Contaminated plant turned over to state environmental trust

Bakersfield Califn

A state environmental trust will take over a battery recycling plant in Southern Calif to prevent its bankrupt owners from abandoning the heavily contaminated facility, a newspaper reported Saturday.


Minority communities question election-year push by EPA

Bakersfield Califn

Theresa Landrum lives in southwest Detroit, where residents complain frequently about dirty air. Tree-shaded neighborhoods with schools, churches and parks lie on either side of an interstate highway and in the shadow of a sprawling oil refinery that belches soot and fumes.


Protecting our public lands is a national health issue

Roll Call

In recent months we’ve seen an outpouring of interest in visiting parks and rivers nationwide. As someone who loves spending time outdoors, I can relate to anyone who seeks comfort and relaxation in nature — especially right now.




Power shutoff scheduled in eastern Madera County. It may last days, PG&E says

Fresno Bee

A Public Safety Power Shutoff has been scheduled for eastern Madera County. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. sent a notification that the outage is expected to start Sunday afternoon and last through Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning.

See also:

     PG&E lowers numbers in preparation for largest Calif wildfire blackout of 2020 Fresno Bee


Behind the Battle for the Future of Calif’s Oil


Environmentalists, petroleum industry executives, union leaders and communities near oil drilling sites are all gearing up for what's expected to be a fierce political battle over efforts to reduce Calif's oil production.


Gov. Newsom Pledges to Ban Fracking in Calif – Then Greenlights More of It

Capital & Main

On Sept. 23, Calif Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order to ban hydrofracturing in the state by 2024. Just three weeks later, on Oct. 16, his administration approved permits to frack six new wells owned by a company with whom he has lobbying ties.


A coalition of electricity providers and clean energy companies call on Calif’s energy agencies to deliver clean, reliable energy by summer of 2021


A coalition of public electricity providers, leading clean energy technology companies and advocates submitted a letter to the Calif Assembly Committee on Utilities and Commerce in response to their October 12 hearing on the root causes of the August 2020 blackouts.






Coronavirus surge: US reports second-highest day of COVID cases. The highest day was Friday


As the fall surge continues, the United States has reported its second-highest day of new Covid-19 cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Saturday saw 83,718 new cases, just 39 cases shy of the all-time record that was reported Friday.

See also:


Health officials warn against ‘twin-demic’

Turlock Journal

Stanislaus County health officials are making a concerted effort to get residents vaccinated against the flu to help ward off a "twin-demic" of influenza and COVID-19.


How You Will Know If a Coronavirus Vaccine Is Safe and Effective

Consumer Reports

For people around the world whose lives have been upended by the coronavirus pandemic, one major development could help make gathering in crowded locations okay again: a safe and effective vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.


Covid-19 Is Surging at Weddings, Dinner Parties and Group Events


The coronavirus is spreading across the U.S. for a number of reasons, including family and social gatherings ranging from dinner parties to weddings, as well as eased shutdown restrictions nationwide.


The Price for Not Wearing Masks: Perhaps 130,000 Lives

NY Times

Universal mask use could prevent nearly 130,000 deaths from Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, in the United States through next spring, scientists reported on Friday.

See also:


Human Services:


States decide who gets first COVID-19 vaccines, feds tackle distribution


At least 2 COVID vaccine candidates could receive emergency use authorization by late Nov, according to Operation Warp Speed, which means the race is on at the federal, state and local level to ensure the people who need the vaccine most will have it as soon as possible.


Health Agency Halts Coronavirus Ad Campaign, Leaving Santa Claus in the Cold


A federal health agency halted a public-service coronavirus advertising campaign funded by $250 million in taxpayer money after it offered a special vaccine deal to an unusual set of essential workers: Santa Claus performers.


Reimagining America’s Infectious-Disease Defense

National Review

For several decades, health experts have warned about the potential for an infectious pandemic sweeping the globe.




Migrant parents could face fateful choice: Be separated from their children or stay together in jail

Washington Post

The federal judge who oversees long-running litigation about the treatment of migrant children in U.S. custody ordered the government Friday to finalize its procedures for providing parents a fateful choice: allow their children to be released to a designated guardian, or remain together in immigration jail.




Land Use:


East Bakersfield's Amestoy's building suffering death by a thousand cuts

Bakersfield Califn

The east Bakersfield dive bar that stood for more than seven decades as a working-class counterpoint to the chrome, glass and potted-plant slickness of the suburban chains, closed for good more than a year ago.


Oceano Dunes reopening to street-legal vehicles on October 30


Oceano Dunes in San Luis Obispo County will reopen next week as part of a phased plan, officials announced on Tuesday. Calif State Parks said they plan to allow vehicles back at the recreation area and Pismo State Beach in three steps.




Threatened with eviction in Fresno, Visalia or Merced? Renters have the right to fight

Fresno Bee

Renters in Calif are protected from eviction if their inability to pay rent is because of COVID-19-related income loss. But, there’s been an apparent surge in landlord actions against tenants recently after a ban on all evictions expired.


Center for Human Services to reach, help more homeless youth in Stanislaus County

Turlock Journal

By the early months of 2021, the Center for Human Services will have a new facility to better serve homeless teens and young adults.




State sending $22.8 million from CARES Act to Stanislaus homeless service providers

Modesto Bee

Providers that run emergency shelters, conduct homeless outreach and house homeless people in Stanislaus County and its cities are in line to receive nearly $22.8 million from the CARES Act, the federal stimulus designed to respond to the new coronavirus pandemic.


Three CalPERS health plans are in a ‘death spiral.’ Saving them could involve price hikes

Sac Bee

Three of the best health plans Calif state workers and retirees can buy are speeding toward collapse, according to CalPERS insurance experts.




Do you want to improve Fresno streets and transit system? This agency wants your ideas

Fresno Bee

Tired of dangerous intersections, missing sidewalks and potholes? Want faster bus service and safer bike routes? Then share your ideas in this survey by Thursday, Oct. 22. There are also Spanish and Punjabi versions of the form.

See also:

     2020 Transportation Needs Survey Fresno Council of Governments


Average US gas price falls 3 cents to $2.22/gallon

Modesto Bee

The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline fell 3 cents over the past two weeks to $2.22 per gallon.


Public transit faces uncertain future after pandemic

The Hill

The nation’s major metropolitan areas have seen drastic declines in the use of public transit for much of this year. But while some of that drop may stem from people avoiding crowds and public spaces, experts say it can also be attributed to the shift to remote work.


Biden, an Amtrak Evangelist, Could Be a Lifeline for a Rail Agency in Crisis

New York Times

Amtrak has reduced service and is poised to cut thousands of jobs. Rail supporters argue that, win or lose, the Democratic presidential candidate could shift the debate over the agency’s future.

See also:

     What has Trump done for the US rail industry? Railway Technology




Is your drinking water contaminated? Check this Fresno-area map to find out

Fresno Bee

If you live in the central San Joaquin Valley, there’s a chance your tap water is unsafe to drink. Nearly 180,000 people in the region get their water from systems that do not meet drinking water standards — and it’s hard, as a resident, to learn more and find out what to do to keep yourself and your family safe.


Friant-Kern Canal fix approved over concerns the plan isn’t fully baked

SJV Water

The Friant Water Authority on Thursday approved the final environmental review for a massive project to fix a 33-mile segment of the Friant-Kern Canal despite continued questions about funding and other concerns expressed by some Friant contractors.


Is Ecosystem Change In The Sacramento-san Joaquin Delta Outpacing The Ability Of Science To Keep Up?

Water Education Foundation

Radically transformed from its ancient origin as a vast tidal-influenced freshwater marsh, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem is in constant flux, influenced by factors within the estuary itself and the massive watersheds that drain though it into the Pacific Ocean.


Calif’s Landmark Groundwater Law Falls Short, Advocates Say

Capital Public Radio

In the midst of the last drought, Calif took its first step to regulate how the state uses groundwater. But advocates worry the new rules have favored big agricultural users over small communities, particularly in areas like the San Joaquin Valley.


Commentary: The hidden role of water infrastructure in driving a COVID-19 recovery


The COVID-19 pandemic has not only disrupted the social and economic realities of our communities, but also undermined some of the basic infrastructure we depend on.




CVMD Hosts Halloween Display Event

Clovis RoundUp

Beginning today through October 31, the Clovis Veterans Memorial District will be hosting their Halloween Spooktacular Display.


The Dish: Something New is headed downtown Bakersfield

Bakersfield Califn

As it stands, the new New Vintage Grill will open in either late December or early January. Although the space is two and half times bigger than the Hageman location, the Larsons are giving it a similar look and feel.


New questions surface about tradition of boat races at Lake Ming

Bakersfield Califn

Lake Ming was built in the late 1950s for boat racing and remains a destination for watercraft competitions, but a few Kern County residents wonder if it's time for the county to reconsider the long-running tradition.


Only 1 Modesto museum plans reopening; large art galleries already welcome patrons

Modesto Bee

While museums now are allowed to reopen in Modesto, only one has plans at this time to do so. Meanwhile, two of the region’s biggest art galleries have reopened.


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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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