October 5, 2020



North SJ Valley:

Merced County total COVID-19 cases pass 9K. Outlook for reopening economy still improving

Merced Sun-Star

The total number of Merced County residents who have contracted the novel coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic surpassed 9,000 on Thursday.  An additional 26 laboratory confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported Thursday by the Merced County Department of Public Health. The new positives pushed the county’s total caseload to 9,019.

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. Stanislaus Superior Court Commissioner Kenneth Hara came out of the primaries with 26.86% of the vote, edging out candidate Jarred Carrillo but trailing behind prosecutor John R. Mayne, who generated 46.3% of the votes.

3 newcomers, political veteran vie to represent northeast Modesto on City Council

Modesto Bee

Voters in northeast Modesto will choose among three political newcomers and a former council candidate in the November election to represent them on the City Council. The newcomers are Jessica Gonzalez, a 23-year-old office manager; Kelsten Obert, 31 and the owner of Knock-Out Landscape Services; and Hunter Sauls, a 23-year-old Army veteran and Willey Printing employee.

Amid pandemic, postponed Love Modesto brings out thousands to help in citywide cleanup

Modesto Bee

This year’s Love Modesto started without its traditional packed downtown rally, but people came out will full enthusiasm regardless for the annual city cleanup Saturday morning. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic meant the downtown kickoff was canceled, instead going online for a short live-streamed pep-talk from Love Modesto Executive Director Jeff Pishney.

Mayor wants Modesto to stop enforcing COVID rules and let business, life resume

Modesto Bee

Modesto Mayor Ted Brandvold is calling on city officials to stop enforcing the new coronavirus pandemic restrictions so the economy and everyday life can return to normal.

Central SJ Valley:

Robert Costa returns for virtual President’s Lecture Series on Thursday

Fresno State Campus News

Robert Costa, a national political reporter with The Washington Post and moderator and managing editor for PBS’s “Washington Week,” said “Fresno, Calif is a hotspot on the political map this year.”

Before next reopening, Fresno County required to meet equity metric for most vulnerable

Fresno Bee

Fresno County will have to meet the needs of its most vulnerable population before it can move to the next tier under Calif’s COVID-19 Blueprint for a Safer Economy. On Tuesday, the county moved into the red Tier 2, allowing for a safe and limited reopening of more businesses. It had been in the purple Tier 1, which is the most restrictive level.

80-year-old told cash not accepted, left Fresno store without groceries. Laws about this?

Fresno Bee

Alice Dominguez, 80, had trouble working her new debit card, so she brought cash to pay for groceries last month at a Save Mart in central Fresno. The basket of groceries she planned to purchase, including bread and milk, were being bagged when she was told by a cashier Sept. 22 that only debit or credit cards would be accepted.

Watch congressional candidates Costa, Cookingham talk with Fresno Bee Editorial Board

Fresno Bee

Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, and challenger Kevin Cookingham, a Republican, met with The Fresno Bee’s editorial board in late September. Here’s what they had to say.

County not cleared for red, yet

Madera Tribune

Madera County’s COVID-19 numbers have reached a level to move into the red category in reference to businesses, however Calif Governor Gavin Newsom has yet to sign off on the the movement. Businesses hope the movement comes sooner as that it will allow less restrictions in their establishments. As of Sept. 19, Madera County was in the purple, widespread category with 7.8 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 tests with a 6.6 positive rate.

South SJ Valley:

Lemoore City Council Election District C: Frank Gornick, WHC Chancellor, joins the race

The Leader

To provide the voters of Lemoore with important information about their candidates for Lemoore City Council, The Leader has requested that each of the candidates take a few minutes during their campaigns to answer a few questions about issues pertinent to the city of Lemoore and how they plan to address or highlight those issues.

Latino COVID-19 Taskforce formally kicks off campaign with community partners

Bakersfield Califn

The Latino COVID-19 Taskforce held a press conference at the Liberty Bell in downtown Bakersfield on Friday to formally kick off its campaign to end the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on the local Latino community.

Shame turns to pride as Kern County animal shelter reaches ‘no kill’ status

Bakersfield Califn

Once the “shame of Kern County,” euthanasia rates at the shelters run by Kern County Animal Services have dropped so low that the facility can be described as “no kill” for the first time on record. At its height, the shelters euthanized up to 150 dogs a day, a testament to the pressure put on the system by the large number of strays and low adoption rates in the community.


State adds new metric for counties to move into lower coronavirus restrictions


Coronavirus trends allowed Fresno County to move into a less restrictive tier last week, but the state has added a new hurdle for moving forward, so counties will have to pay special attention to poor neighborhoods.

How diverse is your government? These two laws changed who holds power in Calif

Sac Bee

Deborah Ortiz felt like an underdog when she ran for a seat on the Sacramento City Council in 1993. She was the only Latina in a field of six vying for the seat opened by Joe Serna Jr., who’d just won a race for mayor.

Federal Bill Could Increase Prescribed Burns In Calif, Incentivize State To Burn At A Larger Scale

Capital Public Radio

Calif wildfires have killed at least 31 people and burned nearly 4 million acres so far this year. Among those still burning is the August Complex, which has scorched nearly 1 million acres across seven counties and is just over 50% contained.

New Laws Keep Pandemic-Weary Calif at Forefront of Health Policy Innovation

Capital Public Radio

Though COVID-19 forced Calif leaders to scale back their ambitious health care agenda, they still managed to enact significant new laws intended to lower consumer health care spending and expand access to health coverage.

How the pandemic reshaped California politics in 2020


It’s not easy to get work done during a pandemic. Even for the fortunate who kept their pre-pandemic jobs, productivity has taken it on the chin in 2020. The same goes for those in the lawmaking business.

Here’s a look at some of the key measures Newsom signed into law and what they mean for Califns.


Gov. Gavin Newsom has just three days left to sign or veto some of the most high-profile and controversial bills of the legislative session — including a spate of proposals to police the police, a bill that would establish a state reparations committee, and a bill that would mandate the racial makeup of corporate boards.

See Also:

●     If voters raise taxes on corporate landlords, will small biz foot the bill? CalMatters

●     Creating a Homelessness Czar CalMatters

●     Creating a Student Loan Bill of Rights CalMatters

●     Expanding Mental Health Parity CalMatters

●     SB-132 Corrections. Calif Legislative Information

CA BALLOTS OUT — PADILLA: Mail voting ‘safest option’ — INTEREST GROUPS bombard airwaves on ballot measures — GARCETTI backs GASCÓN — PELOSI ‘out of the loop’ on TRUMP’s health


With more than 21 million ballots hitting mailboxes in Calif this week, Secretary of State Alex Padilla is pushing back on repeated criticisms from President Donald Trump and Republicans, who have alleged possible fraud.


What medical facilities does the White House have once Trump leaves the hospital?

Fresno Bee

Once President Donald Trump leaves the hospital, which his physicians say could be as early as Monday, he’ll receive further treatment for COVID-19 at the White House. Trump, who reportedly tested positive for the virus Thursday and was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Friday, could still face 10 or more days of illness, possibly posing serious health risks, doctors say.

See Also:

●     Trump could be discharged from hospital Monday if improvement continues, doctor says Fresno Bee

●     Trump says ‘I feel much better,’ but doctor says he’s ‘not yet out of the woods’ amid COVID-19 abc30

●     President Trump briefly leaves Walter Reed Medical Center in motorcade to surprise supporters abc30

●     Staying At Walter Reed Hospital, Trump Has Started Remdesivir Therapy VPR

●     Some Doctors Surprised By Decision To Treat Trump With Dexamethasone VPR

●     Doctors: Trump Being Treated With Steroid But Could Be Discharged As Early As Monday Capital Public Radio

●     In Calif Trump Country, supporters struggling to process the president having COVID-19 LA Times

●     News Analysis: A history of falsehoods comes back to haunt the COVID-stricken president LA Times

●     Trump stages drive-by for supporters after doctors disclose more serious symptoms LA Times

●     President’s blood oxygen levels dropped twice in recent days, doctors say Wash Post

●     Election live updates: White House press secretary tests positive for coronavirus; Trump could be discharged as soon as today Wash Post

●     Trump Took Steroid as Oxygen Levels Dropped, Doctors Say WSJ

●     Trump Exits Walter Reed Isolation in SUV to Greet Supporters WSJ

●     Trump’s health and COVID-19: Here’s what we know Politifact

●     OPINION: White House Medical Confusion WSJ

White House Outbreak Highlights Dangers Of Test-Only Strategy To Prevent Infections


The spread of the coronavirus inside the White House is a stark reminder of the danger of relying on testing to prevent outbreaks, experts say. “I think the takeaway is clear: Testing alone is not a sufficient strategy to prevent spread of the virus,” says Daniel Green, an assistant professor of pathology and cell biology at Columbia University.

After ‘Egregious’ Violation, Judge Orders Census To Count Through Oct. 31 For Now

Capital Public Radio

A federal judge has issued an order to clarify that, for now, the U.S. Census Bureau must continue counting for the 2020 census through Oct. 31 after finding the bureau made multiple violations of an earlier order that extends the national head count’s schedule.

Poll shows majority of Americans say Trump did not take COVID-19 risk seriously

The Hill

The ABC News/Ipsos poll showed 72 % of adults said the president did not take “the appropriate precautions when it came to his personal health.” The same percentage of people also said Trump did not take the “risk of contracting the virus seriously enough.”

After Republican COVID-19 positives, Senate to remain out until Oct. 19

Roll Call

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Saturday that he will seek permission for the Senate to remain out for two weeks instead of resuming work Monday, but hearings on Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett will continue as scheduled.

Supreme Court starts quiet term that could turn tumultuous

Roll Call

The Supreme Court begins its new term Monday on unsettled ground, still dealing with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic and staring down a consequential health care case and the possibility of a contested presidential election that could redefine the public’s perception of the high court’s legitimacy.

See Also:

●     The Election And A Fresh Obamacare Challenge Loom Over New Supreme Court Term VPR

●     Supreme Court opens new term on cusp of conservative control abc3340

●     Supreme Court will hear a third Obamacare appeal — this time from Calif Democrats trying to save it LA Times

●     Supreme Court starts new term, with healthcare, religion and gay rights on the docket LA Times

●     Supreme Court Returns Amid Political Rancor Over Trump’s Nominee WSJ

How a Democratic sweep on Nov. 3 could restore Congress’ power

Roll Call

Lawmakers enter the home stretch of the 2020 campaign season at a time when they have never looked weaker. Still hoping to pass another round of virus relief, but thus far unwilling to make the compromises needed to get there, they warred over Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett.

From Consensus to Conflict

Rand Corporation

Throughout the remaining U.S. political campaign season of 2020, Russia might try again to manipulate and divide U.S. voters through social media. This report is the first in a four-part series aimed at helping policymakers and the public understand—and mitigate—the threat of online foreign interference in national, state, and local elections.

We binge-watched 15 hours of Amy Barrett’s speeches. Here’s what we learned about her judicial philosophy.


Judge Amy Coney Barrett knows she’s in for an ugly fight as the Senate handles her Supreme Court nomination. During a chat with Notre Dame undergrads last year, she called the process “brutal” and “toxic.”

Commentary: What a second Trump term would mean for the world


If Donald Trump defies the odds and wins a second term, the next four years will likely be more disruptive to U.S. foreign policy and world affairs than the past four have been. Think of his reelection as a pincer movement, an attack on the international order from two sides. Trump will consolidate his control over the institutions of government, bending them to his will, removing any lingering resistance from the Republican Party.

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 NY Times

●     How many coronavirus cases have been reported in each U.S. state? Politico

●     Coronavirus Daily NPR

●     Coronavirus tracked: the latest figures as the pandemic spreads Financial Times

●     Coronavirus in 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.

How to spot disinformation in U.S. and Calif elections: A Guide

Fresno Bee

Voters, this year will see more misleading claims than ever before.We’ve pulled together tools to help you identify disinformation so you can focus on the facts. Please read on, and share with friends.

Drubbed in 2018, Calif GOP looks to regain House seats

Bakersfield Califn

Calif’s tarnished Republican Party is hoping to rebound in a handful of U.S. House races but its candidates must overcome widespread loathing for President Donald Trump and voting trends that have made the nation’s most populous state an exemplar of Democratic strength.

Stanislaus County prepares for all-mail election Nov. 3. What are the chances for fraud?

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County is poised for its first-ever vote-by-mail general election in November brought on by a coronavirus pandemic that’s gripped the nation and even infected the top executive of the United States.

See also:

●      Mail-In Voter Fraud: Anatomy of a Disinformation Campaign Berkman Klein Center

What’s Allowed And What’s Not At Voting Sites In Calif

Capital Public Radio

President Donald Trump this week called on his supporters to monitor voting locations during the election. “I am urging my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully,” Trump said at Tuesday’s presidential debate with Joe Biden in Cleveland. “Because that’s what has to happen. I am urging them to do it.”

Check your mailbox: 21 million Calif ballots are on their way to voters

LA Times

For the first time in Calif history, a ballot will make its way in the mail this week to every registered Calif voter, a decision made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that will reshape the election experience as well as the strategies of campaigns and candidates.

See Also:

●     2020 election: Voting information, drop box locations for Fresno County residents abc30

●     Incoming: mail-in ballots CalMatters

●     Calif ballot wars already in full blitz mode as voters head for the mailbox Politico

Justice Dept., FBI planning for the possibility of Election Day violence, voting disruptions

Wash Post

Bracing for possible civil unrest on Election Day, the Justice Department is planning to station officials in a command center at FBI headquarters to coordinate the federal response to any disturbances or other problems with voting that may arise across the country, officials familiar with the matter said.

See Also:

●     Coronavirus Surge in Mail Voting Likely to Lead to More Rejected Ballots WSJ

Biden campaign says it will now disclose the result of every coronavirus test

Wash Post

Joe Biden’s campaign said Saturday it will now disclose the result of every coronavirus test the candidate takes, following increased pressure for more transparency after President Trump recently tested positive for the virus and Vice President Pence has released results for two consecutive days.

How Joe Biden’s climate plan compares to the Green New Deal


At the first presidential debate on Tuesday night, former Vice President Joe Biden said point-blank that he does not support the Green New Deal — a progressive plan which not only aims to aggressively tackle climate change but also encompasses many other issues like social justice, jobs, housing and health care.

What we know about 2020 election interference: It’s not just Russia


Four years ago, Russian operatives hacked campaigns and spread disinformation online in an effort to sway the election. As Nov. 3 approaches, one question is on most everyone’s mind: Is Russia at it again? PolitiFact’s Daniel Funke consulted experts, news reports, and intelligence from the government and social media platforms to get a sense of how foreign actors are trying to interfere in 2020.

6 Reasons Not to Panic About the Election


In his bilious debate performance last week, President Donald Trump called for vigilantes to invade polling places and “watch very carefully,” and suggested he might reject a “fraudulent election” if many vote by mail. Before the debate, he had even refused to pledge a peaceful transfer of power.

EDITORIAL: Why The Fresno Bee will continue to provide its readers with election recommendations

Fresno Bee

A caller left a message recently that was equal parts surprise and scorn. “I just learned that you tell voters how to vote in the election,” the man said. “I don’t think that’s right. You are a NEWSpaper,” he went on. “Stick to the news and leave your opinion out of it.”

See Also:

●     EDITORIAL: The Bee’s endorsements for Modesto City Council: 3 candidates stand out Modesto Bee


Dolores Huerta’s 90th birthday and anniversary of Peace Garden celebrated at Fresno State

Fresno Bee

Dolores Huerta’s birthday was celebrated at Fresno State with a tree planting, along with the 30th anniversary of the Peace Garden Friday, Oct. 2, 2020 in Fresno.

As QAnon grew, Facebook and Twitter missed years of warning signs about the conspiracy theory’s violent nature

Wash Post

When an article on Facebook detailed a QAnon conspiracy theory about a “16-Year Plan to Destroy America,” commenters demanded death for those supposedly involved, including former president Barack Obama, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and other Democrats.

OPINION: Now the President and Frontline Workers Have Something in Common

NY Times

Most of the women in Maria Jose Bastias’s English language class, at Mujeres Unidas y Activas, a nonprofit in San Francisco, did not know that they could get a coronavirus test without health insurance, or that they were legally entitled to paid sick leave if they contracted the virus, regardless of their immigration status.


Sunday, October11, at 10 a.m. on ABC30 – Maddy Report: “Telemedicine: Path to Better and More Affordable Health Care?” – Guests: Dr. Casey Gray, Kaiser; Laurence Du Sault, Mercury News/CalMatters; Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula; Barb Yellowlees, CETF. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

Sunday, October 11, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) – Maddy Report – Valley Views Edition: “Will Telemedicine Cure the Valley’s Doctor Shortage?” – Guests: Dr. John Kinnison, Medical Director of Telemedicine at Valley Children’s Medical Center; Dr. Syed Ali, Family Medicine Physician with Gould Medical Group; Dr. Judi Binderman, Vice President, Chief Medical Informatics Officer at Community Medical Centers. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.


Food stamp benefits are going up because food prices are rising


Food stamp recipients will soon get more money to buy groceries due to the recent steep jump in food prices — an automatic change that will help needy Americans as Congress continues to stall over additional relief. The maximum benefit is going up 5.3% as of Thursday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

Newsom Signs COVID-19 Protections For Agricultural Workers

Capital Public Radio

Calif lawmakers are looking to protect one of the state’s most valuable workforces with a new COVID-19 relief package. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a farmworker relief package this week, which promises farmworkers stricter enforcement of health guidelines and education of paid sick leave for COVID-19, among other things. Lawmakers also requested Newsom prioritize farmworkers for both PPE and testing.



Fresno officer shoots and kills suspect armed with kitchen knife after family disturbance

Fresno Bee

One man was shot and killed by police Friday morning following a domestic situation between two family members in southeast Fresno. Police were called to the scene around 7 a.m. on a report of a domestic disturbance, according to Fresno Police Deputy Chief Pat Farmer.

See Also:

●     Police describe shooting in southeast Fresno Fresno Bee

Public Safety:

Gun violence on the uprise


Gun violence and homicide rates are rising in Calif cities, a concerning trend that police chiefs and advocates partially attribute to the pandemic, which has driven up gun sales along with anxiety and depression rates as the economy spirals downward.


Creek Fire updates: Hot and dry through the weekend; crews preparing for eventual rains

Fresno Bee

Firefighters are moving into the fire suppression repair phase in parts of the southern zone of the Creek Fire, as activity continues to the north and northeast. The fire, which has been burning in and around the Sierra National Forest since Sept. 4., added less than 2,000 acres on Thursday.

See Also:

●     Creek Fire updates: Wildfire 62% contained with significant gain overnight Fresno Bee

●     Creek Fire updates: Florence Lake area evacuations ordered Fresno Bee

●     Creek Fire updates: Containment nears 50%; rain could clear smoke later this week Fresno Bee

●     Creek Fire: 315,413 acres burned, 62% contained, latest evacuations orders abc30

●     Warszawski: Who or what ignited the Creek Fire? Early photos help narrow the possibilities Fresno Bee

SQF Complex Fire: 156,435 acres burned, 65% contained, latest evacuation orders


Fire crews are continuing to make progress on the SQF Complex Fire, which is now the largest wildfire in Tulare County’s modern history. As of Friday, the blaze was 156,435 acres with 65% containment. More evacuation orders were also downgraded to warnings, allowing for mountain residents to return to their homes.

Record-breaking Calif wildfires surpass 4 million acres

Bakersfield Califn

In a year that has already brought apocalyptic skies and smothering smoke to the West Coast, Calif set a grim new record Sunday when officials announced that the wildfires of 2020 have now scorched a record 4 million acres — in a fire season that is far from over.

See Also:

●     California Wildfires Have Burned 4 Million Acres And The Season Isn’t Over Yet VPR

●     Calif fire season shatters record with more than 4 million acres burned LA Times

●     Yet another record set CalMatters

Commentary: Mega fires and mega floods: Calif’s new extremes require a response of similar scale


Califns are understandably focused on the wildfires that have charred more than 3 million acres and darkened our skies – forcing us to find masks that protect us from both COVID-19 and smoke. But Califns should also pay attention to the multiple hurricanes that have devastated the Gulf Coast this season.  These disasters have much in common. 



River Park movie theater gets major facelift, rebranded as Regal Cinemas


Big changes are coming to the movie theater at North Fresno’s River Park. Edwards is being re-branded as Regal Cinemas while renovations are already underway to help modernize the longtime movie house.

Large-scale Amazon project coming to Visalia’s industrial park


In a recent city council meeting, Visalia’s mayor announced that there is a new Amazon project in Visalia’s industrial park. But he gave few details, only saying the 1.3 million-square-foot facility will create a number of jobs for the community. City officials weren’t able to comment any further on Friday.

Some businesses operate by their own rules in plain sight

Bakersfield Califn

Driving by Teaser Pleaser last week, Amber Weber noticed the front door of the Buck Owens Boulevard strip club was open and cars were in the parking lot. It made her blood boil. With schools closed and churches unable to hold indoor services, how could a strip club be open for business, she wondered.

Calif Exodus: An online industry seizes COVID-19 to sell the Red State Dream


At first, Stephanie Morris was nervous about leaving Modesto. She’d lived in the Central Valley her whole life, but her family couldn’t keep paying $850-a-month for her sons to share a living room while she, her husband and the baby slept in their apartment’s only bedroom.

Pope: Pandemic shows ‘trickle-down’ economic policies don’t work

The Hill

Pope Francis said on Sunday that the coronavirus pandemic shows that “trickle-down” economic policies don’t work. The pope signed an 86-page encyclical on human fraternity on Saturday in Assisi, in which he criticized trickle-down economics, Reuters reported.

‘Doomed to fail’: Why a $4 trillion bailout couldn’t revive the American economy

Wash Post

An avalanche of U.S. grants and loans helped the wealthy and companies that laid off workers. Individuals received about one-fifth of the aid.

U.S. Stocks Rise on Signs of Muted Political Risk


U.S. stocks rose Monday as investors cheered signs that political uncertainty may ebb following reports of President Trump’s improving health condition. The S&P 500 rose 1.3%, signaling that the broad market gauge may follow up on gains from early last week. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 1.6%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 361 points, or 1.3%.

Bethany Clough: This national chicken restaurant wants to come to the Fresno area. Here’s what we know

Fresno Bee

Popular national chain Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers wants to open a restaurant in Clovis. If all goes as planned, the company would be building a new restaurant with a drive-thru on the site of the now-closed Pier 1 store at the northwest corner of a Shaw and Cole avenues.

Commentary: Recommendations to help Calif’s economic recovery and to take action on climate


This is a dark time for Califns. In Los Angeles County, more than 897,500 people – 18.2% of the population, who are primarily people of color – are unemployed. Concurrently, raging wildfires and harmful smoke show the urgent need for climate action. How will we recover from COVID-19, record temperatures and wildfires?


Fresno Company Celebrates New Manufacturing Facility, 50 New Jobs

Business Journal

A Utah company

 that is moving a division headquarters to Fresno hosted a ribbon cutting for its new facility Thursday. City officials and business leaders turned out to welcome Trillium Pumps USA, Inc. to town. A part of Trillium Flow Technologies, the company is moving its self-primer pump line from Salt Lake City to Fresno.

States Overpaid Coronavirus Unemployment Claims, and They Want the Money Back


States accidentally overpaid thousands of workers over the spring and summer during a rush to get relief to unemployed and idled Americans. Now they want the money back. Funds have long since been spent and many of those workers continue to struggle with the coronavirus pandemic’s economic fallout.

This multimillion dollar CA ballot measure could decide the future of gig work


This November, Califns will vote on the future of gig work for rideshare and delivery drivers for companies like Uber, Doordash and Lyft. While a new state law categorizes the workers as ‘employees,’ the companies, who have put over $181 million towards the initiative, want them to be ‘independent contractors.’

See Also:

●     Uber, Lyft spend big in Calif to oppose even costlier gig worker law Reuters

Enough Already: Multiple Demands Causing Women To Abandon Workforce


Women are leaving the workforce at four times the rate as men. The burden of parenting and running a household while also working a job during the pandemic has created a pressure cooker environment in many households, and women are bearing the brunt of it.

See Also:

●     Sheryl Sandberg: Companies Need To ‘Lean In’ As Pandemic Threatens Women’s Progress NPR



Fresno-area school board candidate faces investigation over union contributions

Fresno Bee

The Calif Fair Political Practices Commission is investigating allegations that a candidate running for Central Unified School District’s board of trustees failed to disclose 2016 campaign contributions from the teachers union led by his wife.

Has distance learning improved for Fresno-area students? Here’s what the early data shows

Fresno Bee

Elementary school students in Fresno could start going back to campuses in a few weeks, but that doesn’t mean distance learning is going away. The three largest school districts in Fresno County are transitioning small groups of students to in-person classes, but students won’t be on campuses full-time.

Ed Lab: Distance learning, daily attendance, and Fresno’s digital divide

Fresno Bee

We are nearing the middle of the semester, and many teachers and students remain unsure how much educational growth is happening with distance learning. Daily class attendance has increased, but logging into a Zoom meeting with multiple blank screens doesn’t mean kids are engaging.

Parents: Online learning program has racist, sexist content

Bakersfield Califn

As parents help their children navigate remote classes, they’re more aware of what’s being taught, and it’s often not simply coming from an educator on Zoom.

BCSD school board election: An inside look at the competitive Area 5 race

Bakersfield Califn

Maybe it’s not a surprise that Area 5 is getting so much attention this cycle. Enrollment had declined in the area but in recent years, an increasing number of families with young children had moved in, particularly in the western edge around Harris Elementary.

See Also:

●     11 candidates vie for 4 out of 5 seats on BCSD’s board Bakersfield Califn

Seven Panama-Buena Vista Union School District candidates vie for three seats

Bakersfield Califn

Three seats of five on the Panama-Buena Vista Union School Board are up for reelection this year. With only one incumbent running for reelection, it’s certain that voters will be electing fresh faces onto the board responsible for a district that educates more than 18,500 students in southwest Bakersfield.

The hurdles facing Calif kids, explained


Calif is home to more than 9 million children, many of them hungry, poor and struggling to access health care and quality education. Child advocates were hoping for change with Gov. Gavin Newsom and his attention to early childhood development and education, plans for universal preschool and desire to give extra funding for children’s programs.

Letter to editor: Former VUSD superintendent says, district leadership ‘struggling’

Visalia Times Delta

VUSD district leadership is currently struggling to effectively serve students and families.  Humbly speaking, I do not endorse any of the incumbents in their bid for re-election.

Higher Ed:

Fresno State Receives $4.3M to Continue TRiO Student Support Services

Fresno State News

TRiO Student Support Services is a federally-funded grant program under the U.S. Department of Education to help first-generation students, those from low-income backgrounds and students with a disability. TRiO provides academic tutoring, financial aid literacy, career and college mentoring and other forms of assistance to enhance academic success.

Fresno State flags at half-staff to honor former Assemblyman Bronzan, 73, who died Monday

Fresno Bee

Former central San Joaquin Valley Assemblyman Bruce Bronzan died Monday. He was 73. Fresno State, in a news release Friday, described Bronzan as a “distinguished alumnus of Fresno State.” His cause of death was not disclosed.

College students upended by the pandemic wrestle with yet another challenge: How to vote this fall?

Wash Post

When students at the University of Texas at Austin were sent home this spring as the coronavirus pandemic shut down college campuses, Janae Steggall and other campus organizers scrambled to help students make sure they could still vote in the primaries.




Trump gets Harder bill aimed at ‘swamp rats’ threatening Central Valley waterways

Modesto Bee

Congress has given final approval to a bill that would take on nutria, a giant rodent threatening waterways in the Central Valley and beyond. The bill, by Rep. Josh Harder, D-Turlock, passed the U.S. Senate unanimously on Wednesday, Sept. 30. The House of Representatives approved it without opposition in February.

The climate science behind this year’s wildfires and powerful storms


At least 31 have died in the largest wildfires in Calif history. The east is defending itself against twice the usual number of tropical cyclones. And what may be the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth came in August in the United States. It’s a torrid 2020 and it was forecast 32 years ago.

Warszawski: During worst air pollution period ever, Valley Air District delivers hazy warnings

Fresno Bee

How many colors are there in a rainbow of polluted air? According to the federal Environmental Protection Agency and your smart phone’s weather app, the answer is six: green, yellow, orange, red, purple and maroon. Each of those six colors corresponds to an air pollution category as measured by the Air Quality Index: Good (green), Moderate (yellow), Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (orange), Unhealthy (red), Very Unhealthy (purple) and Hazardous (maroon).


City of Madera announces the installation of 150 solar streetlights

Madera Tribune

The new lights are included as part of the first phase of an $18.8 million project that seeks to create a more environmentally conscious, energy- efficient city. The planned improvements, once complete, are expected to provide a substantial savings of taxpayer dollars.

Calif needs to accelerate efforts to achieve clean energy goals


As our state has suffered through a summer of record-breaking heat waves, blackouts and wildfires, Gov. Gavin Newsom has rightly pegged what’s principally behind these challenges: “If you are in denial about climate change,” he said recently, “come to Calif.”

Opinion: Calif To Say Goodbye To The Gas-Powered Car

Hoover Institution

Calif governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order last week to ban new sales of autos powered by internal combustion engines by 2035. Why? To fight climate change. But prohibiting the internal combustion engine won’t move the climate change needle.



Kern Public Health: 48 new coronavirus cases Sunday

Bakersfield Califn

Kern County Public Health Services announced 48 new coronavirus cases Sunday morning, and no new deaths. Kern’s totals stand at 32,491 cases and 386 deaths since reporting on the virus began in mid-March. The county reports that 16,405 people have recovered from their illness.

See Also:

●     COVID-19 Stats Continue To Improve, But Death Data Tell A Darker Story – Virus Update For Oct. 2 VPR

●     Coronavirus: Friday brings no deaths, fewer cases to Merced County Merced Sun-Star

●     Coronavirus update: County reports its highest number of cases in several days Modesto Bee

●     Coronavirus update: Stanislaus County’s infection rate tipping higher Modesto Bee

●     Coronavirus update: Small uptick seen in Stanislaus County hospitalizations Modesto Bee

●     New U.S. Coronavirus Cases Fall Below 40,000 for First Time in a Week WSJ

How South Korea Successfully Managed Coronavirus


South Korea appears to have cracked the code for managing the coronavirus. Its solution is straightforward, flexible and relatively easy to replicate. The country has averaged about 77 new daily cases since early April and recently suppressed a spike in infections.

Health officials urge Americans to get flu vaccine as concerns mount over possible ‘twindemic’


Amid the coronavirus pandemic, health care experts have been urging Americans to get vaccinated against influenza during the 2020-2021 flu season, to prevent a “twindemic,” overlapping epidemics of the flu and COVID-19, which could overwhelm hospitals and increase people’s risk of death.

Masks for COVID-19 are effective, as a six-part Facebook takedown fails


Health officials largely agree that wearing any kind of face mask, coupled with social distancing and frequent hand-washing, is more protective than going unmasked.

Human Services:

UC Davis conducting clinical trials of experimental drug that Trump took for coronavirus

Fresno Bee

Dr. Timothy Albertson said Friday evening that he hopes COVID-19 patients at Sacramento’s UC Davis Medical Center will be willing to join a clinical trial of the experimental antibody cocktail that President Donald Trump said he’s taking to combat the disease.

Fact-checking claims about nurses getting nothing but false-positive COVID-19 tests


We could find no evidence that labs are deliberately manipulating COVID-19 test results to create false-positives. Similarly unproven claims have been circulating for weeks and echo months-old conspiracy theories.


Immigrant groups prepare for ICE raids targeting Calif, other ‘sanctuary’ states

Fresno Bee

A spokesperson for Calif Gov. Gavin Newsom said that reported plans for immigration raids across Calif this week were “cruel” and urged undocumented residents to become educated about their rights.


Land Use:

When will Oceano Dunes reopen for camping and off-road riding? State Parks extends closure

Fresno Bee

Those hoping to camp at the Oceano Dunes must wait a little longer. Campsites at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area are now due to reopen in mid-October, according to an email from Reserve Calif obtained by KMPH.

Future use uncertain as former power plant property hits the market

Bakersfield Califn

After years of extensive cleanup and remediation work southwest of Coffee Road and Rosedale Highway, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. on Thursday put up for sale a nearly 47-acre property that for decades housed part of a petroleum-fueled power plant.

Sacramento city wins court fight on bike trail that would link six neighborhoods

Sac Bee

The city of Sacramento cleared a key legal hurdle Friday for a planned bike trail that would run through a half-dozen south Sacramento neighborhoods, offering residents a safer off-street passage between Meadowview and William Land Park.


Califns rejected rent control two years ago. Will a pandemic change their minds?

Modesto Bee

For the second time in two years, Calif voters next month will decide whether more cities should be allowed to restrict rent hikes. The 2018 campaign to establish a state rent control law combusted after 59% of voters rejected Proposition 10.

EDITORIAL: Calif doesn’t need another rent control ballot measure. Vote no on Proposition 21

Fresno Bee

Calif has the second-highest rents in the nation, just behind Hawaii. Calif’s median rent as of 2016 was $1,297 per month. Median rental costs in the Bay Area and coastal Southern Calif are even higher.

Commentary: When legislators delay on housing reform, people of color lose


At the start of the last legislative session, Califns were assured that 2020 would be the year our representatives addressed our extreme housing shortage. Early on, both houses introduced 15 bills in packages that were promising, if not the bold reforms needed to fully solve the crisis or close the racial wealth gap. But instead of even these modest fixes, in the end only three bills, each offering important but minor changes, made it to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk due to fierce opposition.


Still haven’t gotten your stimulus payment? Here’s why you may not get it until 2021 — or at all.

Wash Post

The IRS is still sending out stimulus payments. But some people may not get their money until next year. And others may have the bad luck of getting no money.

Taxes Are Due Oct. 15 if You Received an Extension

NY Times

In a year when normal tax filing deadlines were postponed because of the pandemic, there is one more important date to note: Oct. 15. That’s the deadline for filing your 2019 income tax return if you got an automatic filing extension this year.


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.

Americans Are Driving Less Than Before Pandemic, and It’s Permanent


The early days of the Covid pandemic brought an unprecedented decline in driving in the U.S., with vehicle miles traveled down 41% from February to April on a seasonally adjusted basis. By July, the most recent month for which the Federal Highway Administration has released data, vehicle miles were still down 13% (seasonally adjusted) from February.

ROBERT PRICE: Go, Greyhound, and leave 18th Street to us

Bakersfield Califn

If you’ve spent any significant time, at work or at play, on Bakersfield’s true main street, 18th, you have seen them: solitary souls, faces of grit and exhaustion, towing battered, wheeled suitcases piled high with backpacks and shopping bags and worried Chihuahuas in tiny cages.


Dominoes from the massive Creek Fire teetering over San Joaquin Valley farmers

Fresno Bee

Southern Calif Edison crews will be able to restart some releases from lakes in the San Joaquin River watershed after the Creek Fire overran much of the area through September. Edison spokesman Reggie Kumar said portions of the Big Creek facility went back online Sept. 29 but restoration has been hampered partly because of extremely poor air quality. And the fire is still burning. It was at 49% containment as of Saturday.


Modesto region farms offer corn mazes, fall season fun — with pandemic precautions

Modesto Bee

As the season has switched to fall, the search for family fun turns to corn mazes, pumpkin patches and a variety of other autumn-inspired activities. In the Modesto region, many of those activities traditionally have been found at four large farms – Dell’Osso Family Farm in Lathrop, Dutch Hollow Farms in Modesto, Fantozzi Farms in Patterson and R.A.M. Farms in Turlock.

Fair food in October? When to get it at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds

Modesto Bee

Some of the summer’s Stanislaus County Fair food will make an October appearance the next two weekends. “Sit tight, Fair bites” will have a fall return at the fairgrounds in Turlock, according to a press release.

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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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