September 1, 2020



North SJ Valley:

California Governor to appoint Stanislaus supervisor after death

Modesto Bee

The late Tom Berryhill’s Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors seat may remain vacant until November, County Counsel Thomas Boze said, leaving the governing body without a measure to break tie votes during the coronavirus pandemic.

Want to get to know candidates? Your best bet: Modesto Bee forums

Modesto Bee

The signs of campaign season are upon us. Political signs adorn major street corners. Candidates ask for our money. National conventions entertained us on TV, or maybe helped ease us to bed.

See also:

●      Candidate Forum: Supervisor candidates Condit, Zoslocki weigh in on Newsom, current board Modesto Bee

Central SJ Valley:

Fresno County school sues Newsom, claiming it has ‘herd immunity.’ Here’s what experts say

Fresno Bee

Immanuel Schools has made a claim of “herd immunity” from COVID-19 part of its lawsuit against California Gov. Gavin Newsom, arguing it’s safe to continue in-classroom instruction at its Reedley campus.

Fresno barbers, salons reopen; Foster Farms plant still open

Fresno Bee

The central San Joaquin Valley is coming off a deadly week for the coronavrius. Eighty-four people died from the disease from Aug. 24-28, according to health officials in Fresno, Kings, Madera, Merced and Tulare Counties.

South SJ Valley:

Who’s running: County board of education

Hanford Sentinel

Here’s a list of who’s running for Kings County Board of Education in the November general election.

Kern County falls in the ‘worst’ tier of Governor Newsom’s new COVID-19 guidelines

Kern Sol News

Kern County falls in the lowest Tier of Governor Gavin Newsom’s new guidelines for counties to reopen their economies, local health officials said at Monday’s press conference.

See also:

●      County officials: Public must do its part in new reopening process Bakersfield Californian


California companies to be required to name minority, LGBTQ leaders under bill heading to Newsom

Fresno Bee

The California Legislature late Sunday sent Gov. Gavin Newsom a bill that would direct public corporations headquartered in California to appoint minority or gay representatives to their boards of directors. Companies that don’t comply with the law could face fines between $100,000 and $300,000, according to the bill.

See also:

●      CA acts to increase diversity on corporate boards abc30

●      Bill tracking coronavirus in LGBTQ community passes California Legislature San Francisco Chronicle

●      California bill eliminating sex offender list inequity toward LGBTQ people passes San Francisco Chronicle

California renters to receive COVID-19 eviction protections under bill signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom

Los Angeles Times

Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state Legislature acted Monday to avert a housing crisis by approving legislation to extend protections against evictions by five months for California renters facing financial hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

See also:

●      Gov. Gavin Newsom signs eviction relief law as California ban expires during COVID-19 pandemic Sacramento Bee

●      Eviction moratorium moves forward in California Legislature San Francisco Chronicle

●      Millions of Californians could be evicted if COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act is not approved by Sept. 1abc30

●      California Enacts Eviction Moratorium Wall Street Journal

●      Analysis: How renters, landlords and banks fared in the eviction compromise CalMatters

Here Are Bills To Watch On Final Day Of California’s Legislative Session

Capital Public Radio

Monday caps off a strange and stressful legislative session in California, complicated by the coronavirus pandemic that kept lawmakers out of the Capitol for weeks at a time. Lawmakers have less than 24 hours to vote on some of the most substantive and controversial bills of the session. 

See also:

●      California legislators cap off session with several COVID-19 protection bills Los Angeles Times

●      The California Legislature’s final act for 2020 Los Angeles Times

●      On the verge of becoming law: These 2020 bills are up to California’s governor CalMatters

Republicans in COVID-19 quarantine throw California Senate in disarray as deadline nears

Sacramento Bee

Tensions in the California Senate boiled over Monday evening as Democrats limited debate on bills and Republicans complained of technical glitches interfering with their ability to vote as the clock ticked toward a midnight deadline for lawmakers to act on policy for the year.

See also:

●      Profanity, followed by Republicans on mute: Welcome to California’s last night of session Politico

California lawmaker brings newborn to Assembly floor after being denied proxy vote


While remote voting was allowed in the California State Senate on Monday, Assemblymember Buffy Wicks, who gave birth in late July, said Assembly leadership denied her request to vote by proxy despite Covid-19 concerns.

Millions of Californians would be eligible for job-protected leave under plan approved by lawmakers

Los Angeles Times

California lawmakers voted Monday to remove a key hurdle that new parents and employees caring for sick family members say keeps them from using the state’s paid leave program by offering job protections to those workers.

See also:

●      More Californians could take paid family leave under bill heading to Gov. Newsom Sacramento Bee

Andrew Yang takes lead role in California data privacy campaign

Los Angeles Times

Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang is throwing his weight behind California’s November data privacy ballot measure — not just endorsing the initiative but chairing its advisory board, the Proposition 24 campaign announced Monday.

Referendum filed to overturn California flavored tobacco ban


Opponents of California’s recently signed ban on flavored tobacco are seeking to overturn the law with a referendum, following a common industry playbook to battle unwanted California laws.

Opinion: California is a failed state. How do we know? They’re moving to Arizona in droves.

USA Today

Driving across Arizona, it’s hard not to notice a surge in California license plates. The reason for this is becoming more apparent every day. California is a failed state.

See also:

●      Opinion: California Is Coming for You Wall Street Journal

●      Opinion: California Needs Ideas Wall Street Journal

●      EDITORIAL: California’s Radical Indoctrination Wall Street Journal

EDITORIAL: California legislators must block Attorney General Becerra’s last-minute power grab

Sacramento Bee

In an unusual last-minute power grab, Attorney General Xavier Becerra is trying to ram something called Assembly Bill 6 through the California State Legislature. It’s a perfect example of bad, secretive and cynical government.


Where do second stimulus checks stand? Here’s what top Democrats, Republicans say

Sacramento Bee

A second round of coronavirus stimulus checks remains in limbo as August draws to a close without an agreement among lawmakers on a relief package. Talks about the relief package, which is expected to include stimulus checks, resumed last week, Nexstar/the Associated Press reported Sunday. But Democrats and Republicans remain locked in a stalemate and unable to reach a compromise on spending.

HHS bids $250 million contract meant to ‘defeat despair and inspire hope’ on coronavirus


As the presidential election fast approaches, the Department of Health and Human Services is bidding out a more than $250 million contract to a communications firm as it seeks to “defeat despair and inspire hope” about the coronavirus pandemic.

Federal workers will have taxes deferred under Trump’s order, sparking outcry they’re being treated as a ‘guinea pig’

Washington Post

The U.S. government will implement an across-the-board payroll tax deferral for about 1.3 million federal employees starting in mid-September, potentially forcing these workers to take a temporary financial boost now that they will have to repay next year.

See also:

●      Trump Payroll-Tax Deferral Leaves Employers Wary as Plan Starts Wall Street Journal

●      The Payroll Tax Delay Is Here, But So Is Confusion About It VPR

House set to vote on marijuana legalization


The House will vote on legalizing marijuana next month. States would still have to vote to legalize the drug. Marijuana is already legal in 11 states.

EDITORIAL: The census is in trouble. So is democracy

Los Angeles Times

If the 2020 census isn’t in a state of crisis, it is awfully close. The coronavirus pandemic, of course, has made pretty much everything about contemporary life in America a lot more difficult.

Coronavirus Trackers:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) in California

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

See also:

●      California Department of Public Health

●      Coronavirus (COVID-19) CDC

●      Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic – WHO

●      John Hopkins University & Medicine John Hopkins University

●      Tracking coronavirus in California Los Angeles Times

●      Coronavirus Tracker San Francisco Chronicle

●      Coronavirus in the U.S.: Latest Map and Case Count New York Times

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

●      Coronavirus Daily NPR

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

●      Coronavirus in California by the numbers CalMatters

Elections 2020:

When should you mail your ballot? Answers to your California election questions

Fresno Bee

The vast majority of California voters are expected to cast ballots by mail in the November general election, a prospect that has inspired questions from voters on how to be sure that their ballots will count.

See also:

●      Be patient on election night 2020: Counting the returns will take time PolitiFact

●      Only 36 percent expect presidential winner announced on election night: survey The Hill

Some In GOP Fear Trump’s Push Against Mail-In Voting Could Harm The Party’s Chances


President Trump’s campaign to discourage the use of mail-in voting this fall is raising concerns among Republicans, particularly in the key swing state of Wisconsin, that his efforts could hinder their party on election night.

Trying to flip the script, Biden accuses Trump of making America unsafe

Los Angeles Times

Joe Biden delivered a forceful response Monday to Republican attempts to blame Democrats for urban unrest, accusing President Trump of fomenting violence with a divisive presidency that has left Americans less safe than when he took office in 2017.

See also:

●      Trump compares police brutality to golfers who ‘miss a 3-foot putt’ Politico

●      Trump’s judicial nominees are his legacy — and why we cannot elect Joe Biden NBC

●      Biden Accuses Trump of Sowing Chaos, Division in Wisconsin and Oregon Wall Street Journal

●      Trump alleges Biden controlled by people in ‘dark shadows’ Politico

●      President Trump calls his supporters ‘peaceful’ and defends a 17-year-old who shot three people in Wisconsin New York Times

●      The clash over Kenosha: Biden flips script on Trump as campaign heats up Politico

●      Biden calls Trump ‘a toxic presence’ who is encouraging violence in America Washington Post

●      Opinion: Joe Biden’s statement on the violence and riots is way too little, way too late Wall Street Journal

●      EDITORIAL: Biden Speaks on the Violence Wall Street Journal

President Trump to visit Kenosha as local officials ask him to stay away

Washington Post

At a news conference Monday, Trump said he did not consider the requests not to come here. When asked if his visit could exacerbate tensions, Trump said, “Well, it could also increase enthusiasm and it could increase love and respect for our country.”

See also:

●      Trump Defends Kenosha Shooting Suspect VPR

Kamala Harris: Walking The Line Between Lawmaker And Law Enforcement


Throughout her time in politics, Harris has found herself caught between two very different groups that see themselves in her: law enforcement and progressive activists pushing for a more racially just legal system.

Campaigns, voting groups scramble to reach college students amid coronavirus

Los Angeles Times

Chase Gaines wishes he could get more young people in North Carolina to answer their front doors and take his GOP flyer. Rick Hart longs for the days where he would wake up at 6 a.m. to prep for a day of campaigning in the streets of Atlanta to persuade his classmates to elect Democrats.

See also:

●      These Swing Voters Will Decide if Trump, Biden Wins 2020 Election in November Bloomberg

Opinion: Democrats will be making a huge mistake if they let the left hijack the party

Los Angeles Times

American politics has become a contest between two competing caricatures of reality. The primary driver of this dynamic has been the media’s — particularly cable news’ — addiction to narrative journalism combined with the pernicious influence of social media. 

Willie Brown: Burning and looting in the name of justice will hand election to Trump

San Francisco Chronicle

The biggest threat to a Democratic election sweep in November isn’t the Republican in the White House, but the demonstrators who are tearing up cities in the name of racial justice.


Facebook Joins With Researchers to Study Its Influence on Elections

Wall Street Journal

A group led by professors from New York University and the University of Texas at Austin will study how Facebook and Instagram users in the U.S. engage on the platforms in the run-up to elections in November.

Twitter changing labeling practices after deceptive videos hit Biden


Twitter said Monday it will begin displaying warning labels on shared posts that contain misleading or doctored videos after facing complaints that it failed to do enough to limit the spread of deceptive clips targeting Joe Biden’s campaign.

Opinion: American individualism is an obstacle to wider mask wearing in the US


In our attempt to address this important question, we find that the number one reason given by Americans who are not wearing a mask is that it is their right as an American to not have to do so.

Opinion: Will Trumpism change Republican foreign policy permanently?


Trump sees U.S. allies as free riders who take advantage of Americans. He is a protectionist who loves tariffs. He is naturally drawn to authoritarian strongmen. And he sees U.S. foreign policy as purely transactional, with no larger purpose of building a better world.


Sunday, September 6, at 10 a.m. on ABC30 – Maddy Report: “California Migration: The Story of Us” – Guests: Judy Lin, CALmatters. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

Sunday, September 6, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) – Maddy Report – Valley Views Edition: “California Migration & Immigration: Who Is Coming and Who is Going?”  – Guests: SOS Padilla, Sarah Bohn- PPIC, John Myers, LA Times and Judy Lin with CALmatters. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.


Foster Farms in California under COVID-19 shutdown order. What’s next?

Fresno Bee

Foster Farms in Livingston CA is expected to shut down September 1, 2020, in the wake of more than half a dozen COVID-19-related deaths tied to the plant. The company agreed to the shutdown order and said it would clean the plant before reopening.

See also:

●      United Farm Workers threatens to boycott Foster Farms in California due to COVID-19 outbreakFresno Bee

●      Union threatens boycott of Foster Farms following COVID-19 outbreak abc30

205 meals to be delivered to farm workers in Lamont on Wednesday

Bakersfield Californian

The Kern Economic Development Foundation and Community Action Partnership of Kern will be delivering 205 meals from Hodel’s Country Dining to farm labor contractor Andrade Enterprises in Lamont on Wednesday.

Here’s What California’s New Color-Coded Reopening Plan Means for Restaurants

Eater Los Angeles

Meeting the needed criteria at the county level means that restaurants within those certain counties (Napa and El Dorado, for example) can begin to reopen for limited indoor dining service today. Newsom previously closed indoor dining statewide on July 13.



Making false, racist 911 calls could soon be a crime in California under bill sent to Newsom

Los Angeles Times

The legislation comes amid a nationwide reckoning on systemic racism and following confrontations across the country in which primarily white people have made discriminatory emergency calls to the police when encountering people of color bird watching and barbecuing in a park, among other everyday activities.

Warszawski: Marijuana is legal in California. So why is Clovis trying to ban home deliveries?

Fresno Bee

The War on Pot ended four years ago when California voters overwhelmingly passed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. So why do Clovis city leaders continue to wage an unnecessary battle against their own residents?

Opinion: Did the 1994 crime bill cause mass incarceration?


The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, commonly known as the crime bill, was sponsored by Joe Biden 26 years ago. It is often blamed for extending tough-on-crime policies that overly criminalized Black Americans. Is this narrative warranted? The issue is complicated, but we’ll do our best to make some sense of it.

Public Safety:

California passes some modest police oversight bills, but other measures fall short

Los Angeles Times

After weeks of protests against law enforcement treatment of Black people, California legislators on Monday were largely unable to pass a suite of police reform measures, as the session ended chaotically.

California Senate OKs state reviews for police shootings

AP News

California is close to requiring independent investigations any time police kill an unarmed civilian, a move that would strip authority from local prosecutors at a time of heightened distrust between law enforcement and communities of color.

Kings County prisons report coronavirus spike in two weeks

Fresno Bee

Avenal State Prison had a spike in coronavirus cases over the last two weeks, according to data posted by the Kings County Department of Public Health on Sunday. KCDPH reported 115 new cases in state prisons in the county bringing the total to 1,062.

Judge upholds California’s open-carry gun ban

San Francisco Chronicle

As protests around the country are increasingly met by gun-wielding antagonists, a federal judge allowed California on Monday to maintain its near-absolute ban on openly carrying guns in public, but refused to dismiss a suit challenging the ban.


Sequoia National Forest fire grows to 34,000-plus acres, with evacuations still active

Fresno Bee

Fire crews continued Sunday to battle the recently renamed SQF Complex wildfire, with flames having burned more than 34,000 acres in Sequoia National Forest. What had been called the Castle and Shotgun fires, spreading near and beyond the southeastern Tulare County mountain community of Ponderosa, are now being fought as one major blaze with the new designation.

See also:

●      SQF Complex Fire grows to 35,562 acres in Sequoia National Forest, 0% contained abc30

●      Sequoia Complex Fire now 35,000 acres, 0% contained; smoke trapped on Valley floor Visalia Times Delta

●      Sequoia Complex up to 36,562 acres Porterville Recorder

Firefighters continue to gain on California wildfires

Modesto Bee

California was free of extreme weather warnings Monday but firefighters working to contain massive wildfires were cautioned about increasingly warm and dry conditions heading toward the Labor Day weekend.

See also:

●      See a map of homes that burned in LNU Lightning Complex fires Modesto Bee

●      Why California’s 2020 lightning fires got so big so fast Sacramento Bee

●      DIY Firefighting In California VPR

Second effort to boost wildfire funding falls flat in the California Legislature

Los Angeles Times

An eleventh-hour push in the California Legislature to direct $500 million to wildfire response and prevention fell flat Monday, marking the second late attempt to boost fire funding that failed in the last week.

See also:

●      Skelton: In this year’s atypical California fire season, politicians find the blame game won’t work Los Angeles Times

California legislators push to let former prisoners become firefighters

San Francisco Chronicle

As California battles through another devastating wildfire season, state legislators have passed a bill that would make it easier for formerly incarcerated people to become firefighters.

See also:

●      Column: California could soon end its dumb policy on inmate firefighters. What took so long? Los Angeles Times



Fashion Fair mall reopened on Monday following Gov. Newsom’s announcment

Fresno Bee

Fashion Fair mall joined salons, barbershops and other retail businesses in reopening on Monday following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s announcement detailing new guidelines meant to keep customers safe and reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

See also:

●      Fresno-area barbers, salons reopen after new COVID-19 orders — but frustrations linger Fresno Bee

●      Hair salons, indoor shopping malls among businesses reopening with modifications Monday abc30

●      Fresno County adds 351 new cases of coronavirus. Barber shops, Fashion Fair mall reopen Fresno Bee

●      Coronavirus live updates: Indoor haircuts, mall shopping now OK in Contra Costa, Sonoma, Solano counties San Francisco Chronicle

Local companies achieve national sales-growth ranking

Bakersfield Californian

Service like that has put Proforma, a franchisee with 10 local employees, on a prestigious annual ranking released in mid-August of the 5,000 fastest-growing privately held companies in the country.

Tribal casinos weigh dueling risks of COVID-19, economic ruin

Visalia Times Delta

As the country’s economy slowly opens back up while COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise, tribal gaming finds itself caught in a bind: restoring an economic pillar many tribal nations rely on or shutting down operations and losing out on that funding.

State Supreme Court gives green light for Madera casino

Business Journal

The California Supreme Court has given the final nod to the North Fork Rancheria Hotel & Casino Resort, planned in Madera County along Highway 99.

‘Do I Really Need This Much Office Space?’ Pandemic Emptied Buildings, But How Long?


Blau says his office properties are all rented, with 100% of tenants paying rent. His concern is not for his commercial real estate holdings, he insists, but for the city life they provide a backdrop for. A prolonged shift to working from home could have dire consequences.

Amazon Gets U.S. Approval for Drone Fleet, a Package-Delivery Milestone

Wall Street Journal

Amazon Inc. said Monday it received federal approval to establish a fleet of drones and will begin limited tests of package deliveries to customers in the U.S., although a number of key steps remain before widespread use of the technology will be allowed.

U.S. Stocks Post Biggest Monthly Gains Since April

Wall Street Journal

U.S. stocks wrapped up their best month since April, continuing an extraordinary rally fueled by stimulus from Washington, signs of economic revival and progress toward a coronavirus vaccine.

Why Trump’s ‘Buy American’ campaign went nowhere

Wall Street Journal

From his earliest days in the White House, President Trump vowed to throw the full weight of the administration behind a “Buy American, Hire American” campaign that would bolster the economy and bring home jobs.

What’s Walmart see in TikTok? Millions of young shoppers

Los Angeles Times

As the Trump administration tries to force a sale of TikTok’s U.S. operations, the only confirmed suitors to buy the fast-growing video app are Walmart and Microsoft, which are teaming up on a bid.

EDITORIAL: ‘It’s big. It’s huge.’ How a new contract for Black-owned business benefits Fresno

Fresno Bee

In the overall finances of the city of Fresno, with its $1 billion budget, it was not a big deal: A local company received a $224,000 contract for janitorial services at city bus facilities. But in the campaign to improve prospects for local Black-owned businesses, it was a noteworthy step.


How has the loss of unemployment benefits impacted you? We want to know

Modesto Bee

After weekly unemployment benefits expired at the end of July and the coronavirus pandemic continues to keep thousands out of work, The Modesto Bee wants to know how individuals in Stanislaus County have been affected.

More California jobs to be exempted from landmark labor law under bills heading to Newsom

Sacramento Bee

The California Legislature on Monday sent two bills to Gov. Gavin Newsom that would allow flexibility in a state labor law for certain industries to hire independent contractors instead of employees while Democrats shot down late appeals from Republicans to exempt even more careers.

See also:

●      California lawmakers OK more exemptions from labor law AP News

Column: California could soon end its dumb policy on inmate firefighters. What took so long?

Los Angeles Times

All it would take is one phone call from a fire department. Any fire department. Joshua McKinney assured me of this one recent morning, standing in the shade in his grandmother’s driveway in South Los Angeles as an LAPD helicopter circled overhead.

Opinion: Why won’t counties report workplace COVID outbreaks to the public?


Coronavirus has exploded in essential workplaces across California, but many counties won’t report workplace outbreaks to the public, raising questions about who exactly ends up protected.



Class of 2020 to get a pass on California grad requirements in COVID-19 bill headed to Newsom

Fresno Bee

AB 1350, authored by Asm. Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, would authorize a school district, county office of education, or the governing body of a charter school to retroactively grant a high school diploma to a student who was in their senior year of high school during the 2019–2020 school year, but did not graduate because of the pandemic.

Fresno-area schools cancel online classes due to ransomware attacks, internet outages

Fresno Bee

With the fall semester in full swing, schools across the nation continue to struggle with the new technology issues that distance learning brings, including ransomware attacks and downed fiber lines.

See also:

●      RSVP for Learning Curve: Navigating Education Access in a Pandemic Fresno Bee

BCSD Superintendent Doc Ervin announces his medical leave following cancer diagnosis

Bakersfield Californian

BCSD’s Superintendent Doc Ervin announced in a letter sent to BCSD employees on Friday that he will be taking a medical leave of absence after receiving a cancer diagnosis.

What the first week of distance learning looked like in Kern County

Bakersfield Californian

Every year, Mira Monte High School Principal William Sandoval mentally prepares himself for things to go wrong when school starts, but this year worried him more than usual. The first big bump in the road came Monday morning with the worldwide Zoom outage that brought the first hour of distance learning screeching to a halt for thousands of students in the county.

What do you want to know about California schools’ reopening plans? Ask your questions here

Sacramento Bee

As California begins to relax reopening plans across the state during the coronavirus pandemic, school officials can begin planning for their campuses to reopen. Schools can open several ways, including with county approved waivers or with state permission to do limited instruction. The options can be confusing to some parents.

See also:

●      Color purple will determine whether California schools can open for in-class instruction EdSource

Ethnic studies requirement for California high school students passes Legislature

San Francisco Chronicle

Every high school student in California would be required to take a course on the contributions of racial and ethnic groups that have been oppressed and exploited through U.S. history, under a bill now on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk.

Remote Learning’s Distractions Put Extra Pressure On Students With ADHD


The different experiences with distance learning reflect the many variations of ADHD, says John Foxe, a neuroscientist at the University of Rochester and director of the Ernest J. Del Monte Institute for Neuroscience.

Higher Ed:

Who’s running: College governing boards

Hanford Sentinel

Here’s a list of who’s running for local college governing boards in the November general election.

No in-person classes at Chico State due to virus infections

Modesto Bee

California State University, Chico canceled its limited number of in-person classes Monday and told students in an urgently toned message to vacate campus housing by the weekend after nearly 30 people tested positive for the coronavirus days after the fall semester started.

See also:

●      After COVID-19 outbreak, Chico State halts in-person classes and orders dorms cleared immediatelyLos Angeles Times

College Is Everywhere Now

New York Times

But some students are pursuing a third option: Renting giant houses with friends — sometimes in far-flung locales — and doing school remotely, together. Call it the rise of the college “collab house.”



Newsom names new California state parks director amid wildfires and budget challenges

Mercury News

Gov. Gavin Newsom has named Armando Quintero, 64, of San Rafael, as the director of the state Department of Parks and Recreation. He begins Tuesday. “It’s an astonishing honor at an extraordinary time,” said Quintero, a former park ranger whose love of nature rose from reading National Geographic while working in his father’s auto shop.

Progress on wildfires, but it’s still hazy in Modesto — and 100-plus heat will return

Modesto Bee

Modesto area residents can expect widespread haze from wildfire smoke through Tuesday, according to the National Weather service, then a return to triple-digit heat for the weekend.

Cap-and-trade funded Fresno projects mostly on track

Business Journal

Transform Fresno, the cap-and-trade-funded initiative to create greening and environmentally friendly community construction projects, remains in full swing.

Legislature narrowly rejects nation’s toughest restrictions on plastics


After multiple close votes and hours of wrangling, California lawmakers on Monday rejected the nation’s toughest statewide restrictions on single-use plastic packaging, food containers and utensils.

Opinion: Trophy hunting produces little revenue for African countries


You don’t save endangered species by killing them, and African communities see little benefit from hunting.


California Public Utilities Commission fires executive director after staffing dispute

San Francisco Chronicle

California utility regulators on Monday chose to fire their top administrative official in response to several allegedly unethical hiring decisions discussed in a recent personnel audit.

See also:

●      Alleged hiring favoritism at California agency leads to firing of executive director Sacramento Bee

Letters to the Editor: California’s blackouts prove it: We still need oil and gas for energy

Los Angeles Times

The rolling blackouts in California recently were not the result of a “perfect storm,” as some officials claim. Blackouts are the direct result of poor planning. (“The power went out. Now California might let these gas plants stay open,” Aug. 24)

Opinion: Add nuclear waste to list of social injustices


Report: Black, Indigenous and people of color are especially vulnerable to harm from the handling and storage of radioactive waste.



94 new COVID-19 cases announced in Kern on Monday

Bakersfield Californian

The Kern County Public Health Services Department announced 94 new COVID-19 cases Monday morning. Total county case count now stands at 29,334 while virus-related deaths remain at 286.

See also:

●      COVID-19: 14-day case rate continues to decline Porterville Recorder

●      Coronavirus update: Stanislaus reports zero deaths as hospitalizations fall Modesto Bee

●      Fresno County CA adds 351 new cases of coronavirus Fresno Bee

●      California’s deadliest month of the COVID-19 pandemic is August Los Angeles Times

●      U.S. Surpasses Six Million Reported Covid-19 Cases Wall Street Journal

●      New U.S. Coronavirus Infections Slow to Lowest Level in More Than Two Months Wall Street Journal

How Trump Sowed Covid Supply Chaos

Wall Street Journal 

As the spread of the coronavirus pandemic was becoming clear in the U.S., causing panic about shortages of medical supplies, the Trump administration signaled to states they shouldn’t expect the federal government to meet their medical-supply needs.

See also:

●      The Covid Storm Wall Street Journal

●      Key to Preventing Covid-19 Indoors: Ventilation Wall Street Journal

Human Services:

Free coronavirus testing site opening in Tulare on Wednesday


A new free coronavirus testing site is opening for Tulare County residents on Wednesday, health officials say. The Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency partnered with OptumServe to open the new site at the International Agri-Center on Laspina Street in Tulare.

Houchin announces COVID-19 plasma drive

Bakersfield Californian

All COVID-19 plasma donors will receive a $50 gift card from a local business, and they will also be entered into a daily drawing for a $250 Visa Card and a weekly drawing for a $1,000 gift card.

California OKs bill to flex power on prescription drugs

AP News

California lawmakers on Monday passed a bill to use the most populous state’s market power to lower the cost and increase the availability of prescription drugs for its nearly 40 million residents, with supporters citing the coronavirus pandemic as proof that more is needed to reduce shortages in drugs and other medical supplies.

As Telemedicine Replaces The Physical Exam, What Are Doctors Missing?


Despite a foothold in medicine that predates Hippocrates himself, the traditional physical exam might be on the verge of extinction. The coronavirus crisis has driven more routine medical appointments online, accelerating a trend toward telemedicine that has already been underway.

Proposal Would Speed Up Approval of ‘Breakthrough’ Devices to Medicare Patients

Wall Street Journal

The Trump administration proposed a rule Monday that would allow Medicare to approve coverage of some innovative medical devices the same day the products are approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

An Alzheimer’s Quest: Enrolling More Black People in Clinical Trials

Wall Street Journal

Blacks are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease as whites, but they are underrepresented in medical research. “We don’t want communities left behind.”

Goodbye, nasal swabs? Saliva tests can detect coronavirus infection, studies show

Los Angeles Times

If there’s one thing we can safely predict about the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that plenty of coronavirus tests lie in our future. Luckily, researchers have some good news on that score.

Column: Trump hasn’t done anything to bring down drug costs. You’re paying the price

Los Angeles Times

If the Republican National Convention is any guide, you’re going to be hearing a lot in the next two months about how President Trump has brought down drug prices. “Now, I’m really doing it,” Trump said on Day 1 of the RNC last week. It wasn’t the first time he patted himself on the back for fighting Big Pharma.


Judge blocks asylum screening by border protection agents

Bakersfield Californian

A federal judge on Monday blocked U.S. Customs and Border Protection employees from conducting the initial screening for people seeking asylum, dealing a setback to one of the Trump administration’s efforts to rein in asylum.

Undocumented With COVID-19: Many Face A Long Recovery, Largely On Their Own


Latinos are more likely to deal with a more severe illness from COVID-19 — and when they’re undocumented, they’re less likely to be able to get the medical care they need to address it. It’s hard to track how many undocumented immigrants get COVID-19. 


Land Use:

Modesto reopens new, improved Roosevelt Park, part of $7.3M storm-water project

Modesto Bee

The city has reopened Roosevelt Park almost two years after closing the popular recreation spot in central Modesto for a $7.3 million storm-water project that reduces flooding on nearby streets and improves the park as well.


Fresno makes more rent and mortgage assistance available. Here’s how to apply

Fresno Bee

There is more rental and housing relief available to residents in Fresno whose wallets have been hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. The Fresno City Council added to its $5 million program to help people stay in their homes despite a hit to their hours at work or other hardships from COVID-19.

Bid to allow duplexes on most California lots dies after Assembly approval comes too late

Los Angeles Times

The bill did not reach the Senate with enough time for legislators to take it up, a spokeswoman for Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), the bill’s author, confirmed.


More undocumented Californians would get state tax credit under proposed law

Sacramento Bee

Advocates for undocumented immigrants have sought the tax benefit, known as the Earned Income Tax Credit, for years. They argue undocumented immigrants pay a number of taxes and should benefit from services meant to help people in financial straits.

Opinion: Is the US Federal Reserve opening an inflation Pandora’s box?


One can certainly agree with the Fed that there is no immediate inflation risk in the midst of the country’s deepest economic recession in the past ninety years. However, there would seem to be a number of basic reasons to question how wise it was for the Fed to make a long-run policy shift to greater monetary policy ease at this particular juncture.

Walters: Do crises help or hurt tax hikes?


In the midst of a pandemic, a recession and myriad other crises, California voters will decide the fate of tax increase measures that would raise billions of dollars if passed.

EDITORIAL: The Democratic State Budget Scare

Wall Street Journal

Congress’s latest virus relief package is hung up over aid to state and local governments with House Democrats still demanding as much as $1 trillion to forestall what they warn will be horrific cuts to public services. Don’t believe it. State tax revenues are rebounding as the economy reopens and improves.


Highway 99 offramp in Modesto reopens after five-month closure to help with new 132

Modesto Bee

The northbound offramp from Highway 99 to Kansas Avenue in Modesto has reopened after a nearly five-month closure as part of the Highway 132 rerouting.

Airports Check Passengers’ Temperatures for Coronavirus

Wall Street Journal

Airports from New York to Los Angeles, in some cases with help from airlines, are trying out ways to take passengers’ temperatures before they fly, after the government’s plans for a national program have lost momentum.

United Airlines drops ticket-change fees — for good

Los Angeles Times

Good news for airline passengers. United Airlines announced Sunday that it would no longer charge fliers $200 to change their tickets on flights within the U.S. The airline said in a statement that it was “permanently getting rid of change fees … effective immediately.”

See also:

●      Major airlines drop ticket-change fees amid pandemic slump Los Angeles Times


Study finds wastewater treatment plants could profit by processing food waste while reducing greenhouse gases

California Water News Daily

A new report issued earlier this week by the California Environmental Protection Agency (CAEPA) shows that at least half of California’s landfill-bound food waste could be processed at the state’s wastewater treatment plants and serve as an innovative power source.

Virtual Event: Making the Most of Water for the Environment

Public Policy Institute of California

Water and land management have greatly altered river flows across California, degrading ecosystems and decimating native species. A different approach to managing environmental flows is needed to arrest the decline.


Greater Kings County Foodie Month hopes to uplift local restaurants

Hanford Sentinel

For those with an extensive and eclectic palate, a mouthwatering event is coming to Kings County soon. The Greater Kings County Chamber of Commerce announced the first-ever Greater Kings County Foodie Month last Friday. Amy Ward, president and CEO of the chamber, said it’s their job to identify issues facing their members and this was one they wanted to address.

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The Kenneth L. Maddy Institute was established to honor the legacy of one of California’s most principled and effective legislative leaders of the last half of the 20th Century by engaging, preparing and inspiring a new generation of governmental leaders for the 21st Century. Its mission is to inspire citizen participation, elevate government performance, provide non-partisan analysis and assist in providing solutions for public policy issues important to the region, state and nation.

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