September 16, 2020



North SJ Valley:

Pastor, ex-councilwoman, promoter offer Modesto District 3 voters clear-cut choice

Modesto Bee

The voters in City Council District 3 — which encompasses central Modesto — will have a clear-cut choice among the three candidates seeking to replace Councilwoman Kristi Ah You in the November election.

Garth Stapley: How to meet Modesto mayoral, other candidates, up close and (sort of) personal

Modesto Bee

Almost everyone knows whom they will vote for this fall for president of the United States. How many Modesto voters already have decided which candidate for mayor will get their vote?

Central SJ Valley:

Fresno organization offers food to the hungry. The requirement? Take your mask off

Fresno Bee

A Fresno organization that offers food boxes to the hungry in Fresno’s Tower District is raising a controversy with its requirement that recipients first remove face masks. H. Stuart Barrett, of the Joint Military Assistance Command, freely admits that the requirement is a way of making a point about wearing masks during the COVID-19 pandemic: There is no obligation to wear facial coverings for those not in a building, he said.

Warszawski: I’m outraged by this Devin Nunes election ad — and Fresno voters should be, too

Fresno Bee

Devin Nunes wants you to think Black people are scary. What other possible takeaway can there be from the Tulare Republican congressman’s latest TV spot airing in the Fresno-Visalia market?

South SJ Valley:

CSUB, BC awarded a total of $6 million to prepare students for health care, improve community health

Bakersfield Califn

The Department of Education has awarded two five-year federal grants of $3 million to both Cal State Bakersfield and Bakersfield College aimed not just at preparing students for careers in the medical field but at improving the health of Kern County.

Thousands of COVID tests went uncounted, Kern officials report amid criticism of new state system

Bakersfield Califn

State officials have failed to account for all of Kern County’s coronavirus tests, according to local officials, potentially limiting the county’s ability to reopen businesses and schools. During Thursday’s weekly media briefing, the county said the state missed around 8,600 COVID-19 tests that were completed at a federal testing site at the Kern County Fairgrounds beginning in mid-July.

See also:

·       Mayor Goh releases video calling on community’s help to reach state COVID-19 reopening metrics Bakersfield Califn

Local congressional district race not just about McCarthy, Mangone

Bakersfield Califn

Only at its most basic level is Calif’s 23rd Congressional District race about the choice between incumbent Kevin McCarthy, one of the nation’s most powerful Republicans, and his Democratic challenger, U.S. Air Force veteran Kim Mangone.

Group seeks to delay Wed’s City Council vote to legalize backyard hens in Bakersfield

Bakersfield Califn

This might come as a shock to many Bakersfield residents, but the City Council is on the verge of allowing the vast majority of homeowners to raise hens in their backyards. At a vote scheduled for Wednesday’s meeting, the council could approve an ordinance that would let nearly anyone with a backyard raise up to 12 hens.

Valadao’s invocation of Obama shows delicate ‘dance’ in race against Cox

Bakersfield Califn

It was probably the most talked about campaign ad in one of the nation’s hottest political contests, the tight race for Calif’s 21st Congressional District seat. The name of former U.S. President Barack Obama was featured in a positive light as part of a TV ad for dairyman David Valadao, the Hanford Republican running against Democratic incumbent T.J. Cox of Selma. It said Valadao had worked with Obama to bring more water to the Central Valley.


Trump and Newsom: Political frenemies make nice amid Calif’s mounting disasters


The dynamic between Gov. Gavin Newsom and President Donald Trump has turned out to be a surprise during Newsom’s short time as governor, as he’s navigated an extraordinary spate of disasters requiring federal aid and diplomacy.

See also:

●     The young Republican lawyer taking on Calif’s governor CalMatters

Newsom wants to step up climate fight as wildfires rage. But will Californians pay up?

Sac Bee

When Gov. Gavin Newsom declared recently that “we have to step up our game” and accelerate Calif’s fight against climate change, it triggered a question in Chris Rufer’s mind: How much will this cost?

Californians who contract COVID-19 at work get additional help under new law

LA Times

Calif will relax the burden of proof to receive workers’ compensation benefits for some employees who contract COVID-19 on the job under a bill Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Thursday.

Calif workers to get stronger family leave protections under new state law

LA Times

Like many expectant parents, Kevin and Stephanie Zapata have been calculating how much time they can afford to take off work for the birth of their second child in late December.

Six Months After Stay-At-Home Orders, Californians Still Figuring Out Life Under COVID-19

Capital Public Radio

Sac County first advised residents on March 17  to stay in their homes unless absolutely necessary. The county followed that advisory up with a legal order on March 19, the same day Calif also issued its stay-at-home order.

Commentary: Here’s a bold plan for Calif to provide internet access to everyone


As COVID-19 continues to disrupt every aspect of our lives, leaders in Calif and around the country are sounding the alarm about a problem that is not new, but that the pandemic has made worse. There is a digital divide that is leaving many people, particularly minority and low-income earners, without broadband access.


Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies of cancer at age 87

Fresno Bee

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who rose from a modest Brooklyn upbringing to become the second woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court and turned into an unexpected pop culture celebrity, died from complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer Friday. She was 87.

See Also:

●     ‘We have lost a giant among us.’ Calif leaders react to death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Fresno Bee

●     Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Champion Of Gender Equality, Dies At 87 VPR

●     Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies, setting up nomination fight Stockton Record

●     Want to honor Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg? Show up to vote Nov. 3 LA Times

●     Ruth Bader Ginsburg dead: Giant of the Supreme Court was 87  LA Times

●     Ginsburg’s death will drive voter turnout. Will it help Democrats or Republicans? LA Times

●     Why Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death is unlikely to shake up the presidential race Roll Call

Pres Donald Trump pledges woman for court, pushes Senate to move on pick


President Donald Trump on Saturday promised to put forth a female nominee in the coming week to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, pushing the Republican-controlled Senate to consider the pick without delay.

See Also:

●     Trump’s possible Supreme Court nominees: Amy Coney Barrett considered lead contender, 3 other judges on shortlist abc30

●     President Trump says SCOTUS announcement by week’s end abc30

●     Kamala Harris, Dianne Feinstein key players in fight over Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat SF Chronicle

●     Majority of voters say Trump should not nominate a Supreme Court justice: poll The Hill

●     Pelosi: House will use ‘every arrow in our quiver’ to stop Trump Supreme Court nominee The Hill

●     Names to watch as Trump picks Ginsburg replacement on Supreme Court The Hill

●     Trump says he will nominate woman to the Supreme Court next week Wash Post

●     The tortured logic from right-wing media about replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg Wash Post

●     Election 2020 live updates: Ginsburg to lie in repose before Trump nominates replacement Wash Post

●     GOP Sen. Collins Says President Elected Nov. 3 Should Fill Supreme Court Vacancy WSJ

●     Trump to Make Supreme Court Nomination Friday or Saturday WSJ

●     Trump to Nominate Woman to Supreme Court Next Week WSJ

●     Potential Trump Supreme Court pick Barrett known for conservative religious views Reuters

●     How Republicans could fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat, explained PolitiFact

●     Trump weighs Barrett, Lagoa for Court seat Politico

●     Can Trump replace Ginsburg on the Supreme Court before the election? PBS

●     Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg death: What’s next for the Supreme Court? McConnell says Senate will vote on replacement abc30

●     Supreme Court’s legitimacy at stake in wake of Ginsburg’s death Roll Call

●     Explainer: How RBG’s death could shift the Supreme Court – and American life – rightward Reuters

●     GOP push to fill RBG’s seat could backfire spectacularly CNN

●     Replacing Ginsburg National Review

●     Is 8 enough? Court vacancy could roil possible election case AP News

●     Op-Ed: Democrats have a secret weapon to thwart a rapid Ginsburg replacement. They should use it LA Times

●     OPINION: The Ginsburg Vacancy WSJ

Wildfires and hurricanes disrupt final weeks of 2020 census

Bakersfield Califn

Already burdened by the coronavirus pandemic and a tightened deadline, the Census Bureau must now contend with several natural disasters as wildfires and hurricanes disrupt the final weeks of the nation’s once-a-decade headcount.

See Also:

●     OTHER VOICES: Weeks left to make a difference through Census Bakersfield Califn

Supreme Court Fight Complicates Coronavirus Aid Talks, Spending Bill


The battle over replacing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court has quickly overshadowed the rest of the agenda on Capitol Hill, complicating efforts to prevent a government shutdown and further narrowing the possibility of another coronavirus relief bill before the election.

Commentary: Women’s importance in enacting, implementing, and defending the Affordable Care Act


A decade after it was signed into law, the Affordable Care Act’s story is still being written. Currently, our nation is locked in a battle with COVID-19—over 190,00 Americans have died and some 40 million have lost their jobs.

Americans’ Views of Government: Low Trust, but Some Positive Performance Ratings


For years, public trust in the federal government has hovered at near-record lows. That remains the case today, as the United States struggles with a pandemic and economic recession. Just 20% of U.S. adults say they trust the government in Wash to “do the right thing” just about always or most of the time.

See also:

·       More say Democrats better able to handle ‘most important problem’ facing US: poll The Hill

U.S. Image Plummets Internationally as Most Say Country Has Handled Coronavirus Badly


Since Donald Trump took office as president, the image of the United States has suffered across many regions of the globe. As a new 13-nation Pew Research Center survey illustrates, America’s reputation has declined further over the past year among many key allies and

Coronavirus Trackers:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Calif

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

See also:

●     Calif Department of Public Health

●     Coronavirus (COVID-19) CDC

●     Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic – WHO

●     John Hopkins University & Medicine John Hopkins University

●     Tracking coronavirus in Calif LA Times

●     Coronavirus Tracker SF Chronicle

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

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

●     Coronavirus Daily NPR

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

●     Coronavirus in Calif by the numbers CalMatters

Trump contradicts CDC, pledging 100 million vaccines in 2020

Roll Call

President Donald Trump touted vaccine distribution plans in a Friday news conference and pledged 100 million vaccine doses by the year’s end, a promise that contradicts the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most optimistic projections.

Elections 2020:

Election 2020: How Trump and Biden Compare on the Key Issues


No matter who wins the Nov. 3 election, powerful technology companies are expected to face increased scrutiny. A Trump administration would likely maintain—and possibly accelerate—the broad-scale regulatory scrutiny of technology companies that marked his first term.

See Also:

●     Where Trump and Biden stand on the issues Wash Post

●     Biden’s $466 Million Bankroll Tops Trump by $141 Million Bloomberg

Disinformation in Local Elections: How to spot it and what you can do

Fresno Bee

America’s architects viewed the press as essential to our democracy, including it in the first article of our Bill of Rights. And yet today we are faced with consistent attacks on credible news and information. Factual, accurate reporting is literally being replaced by Russian bots feeding us false information via our social media feeds.

In ‘Tense’ Call, DeJoy Tells Election Officials That USPS Can Handle Mail Ballots


In a call that included a number of “tense moments,” Postmaster Gen Louis DeJoy sought to reassure a group of the nation’s top election officials Thursday that election mail will be his agency’s highest priority this fall, according to one state election official on the call.

See also:

·       Young Calif Voters Had Mail-In Ballots Rejected At Three Times Overall Rate, Study Shows Capital Public Radio

Find Your Vote Center and Dropbox Locations

Calif Secretary of State

Use our Vote Center and Dropbox Look-up Tool Or Visit your county’s Vote Center and Dropbox locations page: Madera, Napa, Nevada, Sac, San Mateo Or Visit to find Vote Centers and Dropboxes near you. You can also check the status of your voter registration, your ballot, and your party preference.

How to stay safe when hitting the polls this election season


With less than two months to go before the U.S. presidential election, many Americans are worried about voting safely during the pandemic.

What Calif’s COVID approach could teach the country if Joe Biden wins

Sac Bee

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and Calif Gov. Gavin Newsom share the same basic COVID-19 philosophy: The government must focus on fighting the virus before the economy can recover.

See Also:

●     Can Joe Biden save Calif unions? Here’s what they want to see if he’s elected Sac Bee

●     Liberals want blood. Joe Biden is sticking with bipartisanship. Politico

●     Fact-checking Joe Biden on a coronavirus vaccine PolitiFact

Few Trump or Biden supporters have close friends who back the opposing candidate


Supporters of Donald Trump and Joe Biden are divided not just in their views of the two presidential candidates and in their broader political beliefs and values. They are also largely divided in their personal relationships: Roughly four-in-ten registered voters in both camps say that they do not have a single close friend who supports the other major party candidate, and fewer than a quarter say they have more than a few friends who do, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in July and August.

Why are people sending the Biden-Harris campaign $19.08?

Roll Call

The notifications wouldn’t stop. It had been 24 hours since former Vice President Joe Biden announced that Sen. Kamala Harris would be his running mate in his quest to win the White House. Soon after, the phone of the Democratic Party’s chief fundraiser was buzzing every other minute, alerting him that the campaign had just received another donation of exactly $19.08.

OPINION: Judd Gregg: The Kamala threat — the Califization of America

The Hill

Much of what sets the tone in American culture has come from the west to the east. Hollywood for decades has enamored the American psyche. Electric cars, the Beach Boys, Napa wines — the list of things Calif has injected into our nation’s way of life is impressive and pervasive.

Biden Leads Trump Among Latino Voters, Poll Shows


Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden holds a significant lead over President Trump among registered Latino voters, garnering 62% of support, compared with Mr. Trump’s 26%, according to a new WSJ/NBC/Telemundo poll.

See Also:

●     Who is Hispanic? PEW

●     Biden Leads Trump by 8 Points in New WSJ/NBC News Poll WSJ

A dummy’s guide to Calif 2020 ballot measures


You’ve seen the ads. But you’re not sure what any of these Calif ballot measures actually do. Fear not! Here’s a handy, simple guide to each of the 12 Props on the Calif ballot for the November general election. From affirmative action to overturning the highly controversial gig worker bill (AB-5), there are plenty of significant measures Calif residents will be voting on this fall.

See Also:

●     Gimme Props 2020 Edition CalMatters

●     Endorsement: Yes on Prop 15. It’s one small step toward fixing Calif’s broken tax system LA Times

●     The L.A. Times’ endorsements in the November 2020 election LA Times

Commentary: Thousands of Calif voters will need language services to understand the November ballot


This year, thousands of Calif voters will be unable to cast an informed vote in the November election. It will not be for lack of interest in this election, or for lack of access to a physical ballot. It will be because government officials failed to provide them with the language services they needed to understand what and whom they are voting for.

Suburban blues: Where Democrats have gained most in Calif


Republicans are in rough shape in Calif, still trailing in third place behind not just Democrats but also those with no party. The GOP gained a bit on independents this summer, but primarily because more independents were re-registering as Dems.


The Media Learned Nothing From 2016

The Atlantic

We’re seeing a huge error, and a potential tragedy, unfold in real time. That’s a sentence that could apply to countless aspects of economic, medical, governmental, and environmental life at the moment. What I have in mind, though, is the almost unbelievable failure of much of the press to respond to the realities of the Trump age.

See Also:

●     Political Divides, Conspiracy Theories and Divergent News Sources Heading Into 2020 Election PEW

Support for Black Lives Matter has decreased since June but remains strong among Black Americans


As racial justice protests have intensified following the shooting of Jacob Blake, public support for the Black Lives Matter movement has declined, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. A majority of U.S. adults (55%) now express at least some support for the movement, down from 67% in June amid nationwide demonstrations sparked by the death of George Floyd.

8 facts about Catholics and politics in the U.S.


Every U.S. presidential election since 2004 has featured at least one Catholic candidate on one of the major party tickets. But if Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden wins this November, he will be only the second Catholic ever to assume the land’s highest office – John F. Kennedy was the first with a groundbreaking win in 1960.


Sunday, September 27, at 10 a.m. on ABC30 – Maddy Report: Calif Utility-Caused Wildfires: Who Pays? – Guests: Dr. Ross Brown, Calif Legislative Analyst Office. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

Sunday, September 27, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) – Maddy Report – Valley Views Edition: “Calif Wildfires: Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later” – Guests: Pedro Nava, Chair of Calif Little Hoover Commission and Dr. Ross Brown, Calif Legislative Analyst Office. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.


Fresno organization offers food to the hungry. The requirement? Take your mask off

Fresno Bee

A Fresno organization that offers food boxes to the hungry in Fresno’s Tower District is raising a controversy with its requirement that recipients first remove face masks. H. Stuart Barrett, of the Joint Military Assistance Command, freely admits that the requirement is a way of making a point about wearing masks during the COVID-19 pandemic: There is no obligation to wear facial coverings for those not in a building, he said.

CARES funding being offered to farmworkers impacted by COVID-19


Local farmworkers impacted by COVID-19 are being offered support services from a local job training company. Proteus Inc. has been helping farmworkers with support services such as rent and mortgage assistance, utility assistance and transportation help. The group says they are the sole distributor of CARES Act funding that was allocated for farmworkers in the Central Valley.

See also:

●     Harvest season boosts county employment Turlock Journal

●     County launches Healthy Harvest for Ag, farmworkers Porterville Recorder

●     ‘I Have To Work’: Ag Workers In The West Harvest Crops Through Fire Smoke  VPR

Meat Was Once in Short Supply Amid Pandemic. Now, It’s on Sale.


Meat prices are falling at grocery stores as last spring’s shortages fade and livestock clog farms, benefiting consumers but hurting meatpackers and farmers already hit by Covid-19 disruptions.



Fresno officer shoots man who reached for a gun in his waistband, police say

Fresno Bee

A Fresno police officer shot and wounded a 28-year-old man who was suspected of pointing a gun at another person outside of a convenience store Saturday night, Deputy Chief Michael Reid said. The shooting happened around 8:15 p.m. in the parking lot of the Super 7 mini mart on the southwest corner of Belmont and Maple avenues, just south of the Highway 180/168 interchange.

See Also:

●     Officer involved shooting in southeast Fresno Fresno Bee

Public Safety:

Crime continues to fall in Modesto. Police chief offers reasons behind downward trend

Modesto Bee

Crime data released this week by the FBI shows most reported crimes in Modesto have decreased in the first six months of this year compared to the same time period in 2019. Overall, violent crime is down 8.5% and property crime is down nearly 20%, according to the preliminary data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report.

Mental Health And Police Violence: How Crisis Intervention Teams Are Failing


Nationwide protests over police accountability and racial justice have reenergized longstanding efforts to fundamentally change how police departments respond to someone in a mental health emergency. Many are calling for removing or dramatically reducing law enforcement’s role in responding to those crisis calls unless absolutely necessary.

Justice Dept. targets Portland, New York and Seattle over protests

Wash Post

The Justice Department labeled the cities of Portland, Ore., New York and Seattle on Monday as jurisdictions “that have permitted violence and destruction of property,” targeting them for possible cuts in federal funding.


Creek Fire live updates: Shaver Lake waste facility damaged, causing re-population delays

Fresno Bee

Firefighters managed to contain a bit more of the Creek Fire even as the wildfire grew as containment reached 25% while the size of the fire expanded to 271,938 acres, Cal Fire announced Saturday night.

●     Creek Fire live updates: Blaze 7th-largest in state history; latest on SQF, Bullfrog fires Fresno Bee

●     Creek Fire live updates: Nearly 1,000 structures destroyed; air quality remains top concern Fresno Bee

●     Creek Fire evacuees anxious to see their homes Fresno Bee

●     Creek Fire: 278,368 acres burned with 25% containment, latest evacuations issued for Fresno, Madera, Mariposa counties abc30

●     Creek Fire getting contained Madera Tribune

‘Unstoppable.’ How the Bear Fire erupted into a deadly disaster for tiny Berry Creek

Fresno Bee

The Bear Fire looked like it would behave itself. It had been burning for three weeks in the Plumas National Forest, the result of a mid-August lightning strike, but hadn’t done any lethal damage. It was part of a complex of fires that was about 50% contained.

SQF Complex Fire: 135,802 acres burned, 14% contained; latest evacuation orders


The SQF Complex Fire has grown to 135,802 acres as of Sunday morning and is 14% contained. The Castle and Shotgun fires combined destroyed 150 structures and leave more than 3,000 threatened. Tulare County residents can now check the status of their homes in the fire zone.

New evacs ordered as Bobcat fire surges past 100,000 acres; nature center at Devil’s Punchbowl destroyed

LA Daily News

The nature center at the Devil’s Punchbowl Natural Area was destroyed by the growing Bobcat fire, and flames were still menacing homes in foothilll communities of the southern Antelope Valley on Sunday, fire officials said.

Skelton: To study wildfire prevention, Berkeley experts are looking to Baja. Newsom should too

LA Times

For proof that climate change is not the primary cause of horrific Western wildfires, look at Baja Calif, Mexico.

Calif May Need More Fire to Fix its Wildfire Problem


Calif is supposed to burn. Before settlers populated the region in the 1800s, about 5 to 12% of the land that now makes up the Golden State caught fire each year — more than has burned so far in 2020, the most destructive year in modern history.

A Calif Town’s Fire-Protection Plans Hit Red Tape, Then the Flames Came


As the smoke from the nearby fire-devastated town of Paradise cleared in 2018, local officials were trying to gain approval of forest-thinning projects to help this mountain community avoid a similar fate.



Outlook not improving for beleaguered US movie theaters

Bakersfield Califn

About three quarters of the country’s movie theaters are open, but Americans are not going back in significant numbers in the COVID-era, even with new films coming into the marketplace weekly.

B3K aims for shared prosperity through broad-based collaboration

Bakersfield Califn

Picture different players in the local economy — businesses, labor unions, lenders, community advocates, entrepreneurs — pursuing a common vision for creating jobs that offer decent wages and opportunities for advancement.

Calif unemployment is falling. But economy still in deep hole from COVID-19 shutdown

Sac Bee

Unemployment fell again in Calif last month, state officials announced Friday, but the economy has still recovered only one-third of the jobs that were lost to the COVID-19 pandemic. The state’s unemployment rate fell to 11.4% in August, down from 13.5% the month before, the Employment Development Department reported. Payrolls grew by 101,900 jobs, the EDD said.

Pandemic reopening battles loom


Opposition to Newsom’s new reopening guidelines is heating up. Today, San Diego County supervisors will consider suing the state over the county’s rising coronavirus case rate, which could push it into a more restrictive tier and force businesses to close for the third time.

Global Trade Returns Faster Than Expected


Global trade is rebounding much more quickly this year than it did after the 2008 financial crisis, lifting parts of the world economy and defying predictions the pandemic could send globalization into permanent retreat.

Commentary: Business need to stand up for equal justice too


Moments in which it is possible to affect historic change are infrequent, and when we arrive at one it is imperative that all individuals and institutions of good do what they can to make certain the moment is seized. We are at such a moment today.


Calif job growth is sluggish — and experts say it may get worse

LA Times

Calif’s job market improved slightly in August, but the state has regained just a third of the jobs it lost since the COVID-19 pandemic forced thousands of businesses to close. The state added 101,900 positions last month, mostly due to the temporary hiring of federal census takers, boosting state payrolls to about 15.87 million, state officials reported.

See Also:

●     Calif Employment Report for August 2020 Calif Center for Jobs & the Economy

New jobless data show a continuing trend in Stanislaus Co. It might surprise you.

Modesto Bee

Unemployment in Stanislaus County continues to fall, charting a course for a slow but long-term economic recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. August unemployment in Stanislaus County came in at 10.9%, down from 13.6% in July, and above the year-ago estimate of 5.8%, according to data released Friday by the state Employment Development Department.

Calif halting new unemployment claims for 2 weeks during ‘reset’ with staff, technology

Fresno Bee

Calif will not accept new unemployment claims over the next two weeks while the state’s Employment Development Department adopts new fraud prevention technology and works to clear out a backlog, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration announced late Saturday.

See Also:

●     Calif to ‘Pause’ Accepting Unemployment Claims Until Oct. 5 KQED

●     Calif’s troubled unemployment agency needs immediate overhaul, report says LA Times

●     Claims paused for 2 weeks CalMatters

He fought fires as an inmate. Now Fresno man hopes to start career, thanks to new law

Fresno Bee

Growing up in Richmond, positive role models were practically non-existent. Violence and poverty reigned and I found myself immersed in a world that I never imagined being a part of. I was introduced to the corrections system at the age of 15 when I served time in a juvenile hall. From there, my life only spiraled more out of control.

Extra $300 unemployment money is gone. How will people survive without it?

Sac Bee

Losing $300 a week in unemployment benefits means Pearl Jow has to live off $110 a week. It means Stephanie Hannah’s family could run out of money in three months. and Angelo Sebazzo is going to find it tougher to pay off his credit cards.

Federal judge tosses Uber lawsuit challenging AB5

SF Chronicle

A federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit in which Uber and Postmates challenged the constitutionality of AB5, Calif’s gig-work law. U.S. District Court Judge Dolly Gee in LA did leave the door open for Uber and Postmates to file a more limited lawsuit by Oct. 9 if they had new evidence that their rights were violated. Uber, which is in the process of buying Postmates, implied that it would do so.

Robots, veterans, apprenticeships: What’s next for Calif’s job market


It’s just one facet of Calif’s economic recovery, but the state’s unemployment rate is starting to drop after an unprecedented spike during coronavirus lockdowns. The state’s jobless rate fell to 11.4% in August, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, down from a record 16.4% unemployment this spring. The unemployment rate has dipped below the rate of the Great Recession a decade ago but remains more than twice the 3.9% rate in February.

Commentary: Give Job Applicants with Criminal Records a Fair Chance

Harvard Business Review

This new decade has forced us to confront some harrowing truths — namely, that Black people and people of color don’t have the same access to fundamental resources. Business leaders in particular have an opportunity right now to help address some of the cracks in America’s social system, while also building more equitable, diverse, and overall stronger workplaces.

Commentary: In many communities, COVID-19 will permanently kill jobs. Here’s how they can respond.


When a durable recovery strategy from the COVID-19 pandemic finally emerges, it will confront not just one badly damaged economy, but numerous fractured economies.



Fresno County school districts can now apply for reopening waiver


Fresno County remained in the COVID-19 ‘Purple tier’ but its case rate has dropped to well below 14 new cases per 100,000 people. Because of that reduction, sch

Despite court order, Fresno Co school still in session. Is enforcement action next?

Fresno Bee

Immanuel Schools in Reedley appears to be defying Fresno County officials and a Superior Court judge by continuing to provide in-person teaching on its campus. Judge D. Tyler Tharpe issued a preliminary injunction against Immanuel Schools on Tuesday, ordering them to halt in-person teaching because it violates a state coronavirus health order.

17 private schools in Kern County granted waivers to open

Bakersfield Califn

While the vast majority of students in Kern County continue to log on each morning to attend school virtually, each week more schools are beginning to open. Most of them are private schools.

General Shafter School is the first Kern County public school to open its doors for in-person instruction

Bakersfield Califn

If you close your eyes, Celeste Gonzalez’s kindergarten classroom sounds like a traditional kindergarten class. The General Shafter School teacher is conducting a lesson about counting numbers. Principal Sandra Johnson is gently reminding a student how to hold a pencil. Another student proudly announces “I’m done!” as he finishes his work page.

COVID Testing Of Teachers, Staff Hotly Debated As Calif Schools Reopen

Capital Public Radio

As schools throughout Calif tiptoe toward reopening, decisions about whether to routinely test teachers, staff and even students for the COVID-19 virus are proving controversial – and potentially costly.

President Trump’s ‘1776 Commission’ on Patriotic Education Is an Overdue Effort

National Review

America’s proud history is worth defending, and it is worth defending through government and politics. There are fair arguments about how best to go about that task consistently with a duly conservative skepticism about the proper powers of federal and local government, but conservatives should not shy away from conserving the core of our national history, ideals, and culture — a goal that not so long ago was neither partisan nor ideological.

Commentary:  No justice for high school ethnic studies bill; Newsom, Legislature should change that


This year could have truly been a remarkable year in which Calif made an ethnic studies high school graduation requirement a reality. Instead, the bill that received approvals of the state Senate and Assembly and now awaiting Gov. Gavin Newsom signature, was not only completely defunded, but also unnecessarily delayed an entire decade.

Commentary: 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.

Commentary: How courageous schools partnering with local communities can overcome digital inequalities during COVID-19


Across the U.S., “pandemic pods,” or quarantine learning bubbles, are being established to protect students and teachers from the coronavirus, or COVID-19, and limit possible exposure within the group. Homeschooling has become an increasingly viable option for parents who can offer the space, time, structure, and technology to their children.

Commentary: Schools can do better with the dollars they have


There used to be two sureties when it came to American K–12 education: Kids would attend school, and school leaders would demand more money. This fall, with half the nation’s schools shuttered and school districts paying bus drivers to drive empty routes, the first is no longer a given. But the budgetary demands continue unabated.

Higher Ed:

America needs thousands more auto tech workers. Can this Fresno college program fix that?

Fresno Bee

Automotive technology instructor Marty Kamimoto has a lot to be excited about. Over the summer, two new diagnostic computers showed up at the auto bays at Fresno City College, along with a brand new Toyota Camry and Tacoma.

See Also:

●     FCC partners with Toyota in launching program for students Fresno Bee

Fresno State rescinds job offer after candidate lies about Black, Cuban heritage

Fresno Bee

A graduate student who was offered a tenure-track job at Fresno State has now had that offer rescinded, after falsely claiming they were Black, according to the university and several Medium posts.

Fresno State starts preparation to return for fall football season

Fresno Bee

If the Mountain West Conference is able to start a fall football season Fresno State very likely will be on the field competing, which has been in doubt with the county in the state’s most restrictive tier of COVID-19 blueprint for a safer economy.

Wednesday: Dr. Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval to discuss ‘How COVID has changed learning’

Fresno State Campus News

Dr. Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, will participate in a panel discussion during a virtual forum from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (2 to 3:30 p.m. ET) on Wednesday, Sept. 23 about “The New Shape of Learning,” hosted by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

CSUB, BC awarded a total of $6 million to prepare students for health care, improve community health

Bakersfield Califn

The Department of Education has awarded two five-year federal grants of $3 million to both Cal State Bakersfield and Bakersfield College aimed not just at preparing students for careers in the medical field but at improving the health of Kern County.

Calif State Bar exam, delayed amid pandemic, becomes contentious

SF Chronicle

Samuel Humy graduated from Cornell Law School this year and moved to Calif. With a job lined up with the Santa Clara County Public Defender Office, he planned to take the Calif State Bar exam over the summer and start work in early August as a full-fledged lawyer.

Coronavirus precautions at UC system likely until fall 2021


Zoom classes will need to stick around for at least another year at the University of Calif, according to the system’s top health official. Dr. Carrie L. Byington, executive vice president of the sprawling UC Health system, said Wednesday that COVID-19’s impact on public health will require the university to continue its modifications, which include almost all classes done virtually and extremely reduced on-campus housing capacity,  through September of 2021, improving gradually each month through July of 2022.

See also:

●     Coronavirus-Induced Student Housing Levels Could Cost UC A Billion Dollars Per Year Capital Public Radio

How to make sense of affirmative action in UC admissions


Is affirmative action “the enemy of white people who are contractors and Americans of Asian descent who are trying to get into the University of Calif at Berkeley,” as one influential critic called it? Or is neglecting race as a factor in admissions denying the reality that many students endure racism as an impediment to academic progress?

See also:

●     Affirmative Action Returns To Calif’s Ballot Amid Demonstrations For Racial Justice Capital Public Radio



Enjoying the clean air in Fresno? Here’s why it may not last long

Fresno Bee

After weeks of living in a smoky haze, people in the Fresno area likely rejoiced Friday and Saturday when they awoke to healthy air quality, sunshine and patches of blue sky. Enjoy it, because it’s probably not going to last.

How Climate Change And Forest Management Are Contributing To A Historic Wildfire Season


For two weeks, the Creek Fire in the Sierra National Forest has been destroying property and pumping smoke and ash into the air. There’s also the Bullfrog Fire in the Dinkey Lakes Wilderness and the Sequoia Complex Fire, which is currently threatening the town of Three Rivers in Tulare County.

Trump dismisses climate change role in fires, says Newsom needs to manage forest better

The Hill

President Trump dismissed evidence pointed to by Calif’s governor of climate change’s role in the state’s continuing wildfires during a Fox News interview on Sunday, blaming the problem once again on poor management of state forests.

EDITORIAL: As Calif feels the heat of climate change, will Gov. Gavin Newsom do more than tweet?

Fresno Bee

Is Gov. Gavin Newsom a climate leader — or just a climate tweeter? In the aftermath of extreme, climate change-driven wildfires that have choked Calif’s air with smoke, Newsom has taken to making regular tweet declarations on the issue. Among his favorite refrains: “Climate change is real.”

See Also:

●     Commentary: Five solutions to Calif’s climate crisis Gov. Newsom should implement … right now CalMatters

Commentary: Clean air rebate program should be broadened for buying electric vehicles


As someone who worked on my city’s Climate Action Plan and is pretty familiar with our state’s environmental policies, I think both authors have hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately, our Legislature, the Governor, and the Calif Air Resources Board are sending mixed and confusing messages on our commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

OPINION: Calif, the Most Calamitous Place on Earth

New York Times

I’ve lived in the middle of Calif for more than 50 years, which is another way of declaring my share of natural disasters. I’ve seen the land around me dragged through four long droughts, five big floods, a half-dozen earthquakes of 7.0 or higher and three of the 10 deadliest wildfires in U.S. history.


Oil companies are profiting from illegal spills. And Calif lets them.

Stockton Record

In 2019, Calif banned certain inland oil spills, but there are no deadlines for stopping them and restoring the sites.

Commentary: Calif’s energy future must be shaped by facts, not fears


Clean air is a priority for everyone, especially the women and men working in oil and gas. The interests of oil and gas companies are focused on a sustainable energy future that supports the health of our people and the environment. We work regularly on improving public health.

Commentary: Working families should not subsidize renewable energy


Behind the current wildfires are record temperatures driven by climate change. The highest temperature ever recorded anywhere in the world was 130 degrees last month in Death Valley. Recent rolling blackouts remind us of Calif’s wrenching energy crisis 20 years ago.

Commentary: Tapping into solar-charged batteries could help prevent blackouts


Like many of you, I worried for my family, friends and constituents during the recent rolling power outages. Losing electricity during an oppressive heat wave should not happen, it’s simply unacceptable.



Calif coronavirus death toll passes 15,000 mark

Fresno Bee

Calif’s death count from the coronavirus surpassed 15,000 on Sunday even as the state saw widespread improvement in infection levels. A tally by Johns Hopkins University put Calif’s death toll at 15,026, the fourth highest in the country. New York has suffered by far the most deaths — 33,081 — followed New Jersey, which has about half as many. Texas is third.

See Also:

●     Pace of COVID-19 deaths slows in Fresno and nearby counties. See the latest data Fresno Bee

●     COVID-19 update: Tulare County reports more deaths, but lowering infection rates Visalia Times Delta

●     COVID-19 update: Active cases go back up Porterville Recorder

●     Kern Public Health reports 130 new coronavirus cases Sunday Bakersfield Califn

●     Case Counts Improve, Yet State Guidelines ‘Penalize’ Kern County – COVID-19 Update For Sept. 18 VPR

●     ‘A Very Serious Situation’: WHO Says Coronavirus Cases Are Rising In Europe Again VPR

●     Coronavirus update, Sept. 20: Stanislaus County surpasses 100,000 test results Modesto Bee

●     Coronavirus updates: Calif COVID-19 activity still on decline; poll shows concern Sac Bee

●     Coronavirus deaths in Calif top 15,000 LA Times

●     Calif COVID-19 hospitalizations fall to lowest rate since April The Hill

●     U.S. Nears 200,000 Dead; Global Vaccine Pact Grows: Virus Update Bloomberg

Fresno youth suicide attempts spiked in recent days. Here’s what adults should look for

Fresno Bee

Fresno County health officials are offering tips for parents, teachers and other adults to help see signs of mental distress in young people, as the county has seen an increase in suicide attempts in recent days.

Chief Medical Officer for United Health Centers passes away from COVID-19 complications


The Chief Medical Officer for United Health Centers of the San Joaquin Valley has died after a more than month-long battle with COVID-19. Dr. Robert Shankerman led clinical operations at 21 health centers in Fresno, Tulare and Kings counties since 2014 and saw patients twice a week at the Parlier Health Center.

Tiny particles from wildfire smoke follow ‘wind all the way down to your smallest air sacs’

Sac Bee

The potential health consequences of exposure to wildfire smoke can go well beyond the coughing, sore throats and the watery eyes that most Califns have experienced over the last few weeks.

See Also:

●     Calif fire activity ‘slowly picking up again,’ air quality worsens SF Chronicle

●     8 tips to protect yourself from unhealthy air quality Fresno State Campus News

Covid Grows Less Deadly as Doctors Gain Practice, Drugs Improve


Covid-19 continues to kill close to 1,000 Americans a day. But for those who develop dangerous cases of the infection, advances in medical care and the growing experience of doctors are improving the chances of survival.

Human Services:

Mental health drives held at Valley high schools to educate families


Whether you’re adjusting to working from home and socializing at a distance because of a national pandemic or feeling the impacts of the Creek fire, it’s important to know you’re not alone.

Online discussion to focus on mental health impact of distance learning

Turlock Journal

Parents, guardians, teachers and community members interested in how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the mental health of children are invited to attend a virtual community event called Distance Learning and Mental Wellness: Expert Help for Parents and Students.

With mental health services at capacity, Kern County looks to expand options with two new facilities

Bakersfield Califn

More and more people need mental health services in Kern County, so much so that Behavioral Health and Recovery Services plans to build two more treatment facilities on Workman Street in east Bakersfield. The two facilities, which will serve minors and adults, are meant to ease the burden on the county’s mental health safety net, which officials say has reached its maximum capacity.

HEAL Webinar Registration

Rural Health Equity and Learning Collaborative

The San Joaquin Valley is experiencing unique challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. HEAL partners would like to highlight Central Valley resident’s health in light of the pandemic, including the mental health of vulnerable communities, the barriers faced by migrant workers, community contact tracing for disease control, and the need to reshape public health infrastructure from the ground up in rural communities.

Should Calif Put $5.5 Billion Into Stem Cell Research? Voters To Decide With Prop. 14.

Capital Public Radio

A measure on the November ballot would allow Calif to issue $5.5 billion in bonds to fund stem cell research on treatments for cancer, Alzheimer’s and dozens of other diseases. Supporters say it’s a needed boost, but opponents say the move will unnecessarily increase Calif’s budget deficit.

U.S. Public Now Divided Over Whether To Get COVID-19 Vaccine


As efforts to develop and test a COVID-19 vaccine spur debate around the timing and release of a federally approved vaccine, the share of Americans who say they would get vaccinated for the coronavirus has declined sharply since earlier this year.

World Health Organization unveils plan for distributing coronavirus vaccine

Wash Post

The World Health Organization on Monday will announce which countries have signed on to its vaccine plan — and provide more details about how a vaccine, when it is developed, will be doled out.

The N95 shortage America can’t seem to fix

Wash Post

The patient exhaled. She lifted her tongue for a thermometer. She raised her finger for a blood sugar test, and that’s when she started coughing. One cough can send 3,000 droplets into the air, one droplet can contain millions of coronavirus particles, and now some of those particles were heading for the face of emergency department nurse Kelly Williams.

CDC reverses controversial guidance, saying tests are for anyone who contacts someone with covid-19

Wash Post

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday reversed a heavily criticized guidance it issued last month about who should be tested for the novel coronavirus.

See Also:

●     CDC reverses itself and says guidelines it posted on coronavirus airborne transmission were wrong Wash Post

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.


Newsom Signs Bill Expanding Tax Credits to Undocumented Workers

Capital Public Radio

While many undocumented immigrants pay taxes, they have been unable to get any tax benefits until now. That’s changing thanks to a bill signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom Friday. AB 1876 will extend tax breaks aimed at helping low-income individuals and families to those who file taxes with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) instead of a social security number.

See Also:

●     Undocumented workers now eligible for tax credit CalMatters

Commentary: Our Nation of Immigrants


Immigration is a foundation of America. No other nation has as large an immigrant population as does the United States. With the important exception of those descended from Native peoples and/or enslaved Africans, few people in this country cannot trace at least part of their ancestry to an immigrant—either recently or centuries ago.


Land Use:

As Fork Fire containment grows, officials reopen Eldorado National Forest

Fresno Bee

The Fork Fire, which has been burning for almost two weeks, reached 53% containment Saturday morning as U.S. Forest Service officials began reopening Eldorado and other national forests that were shut in an unprecedented move to prevent more wildfires from enveloping federal lands in Calif.

Calif wildfires smoke keeping Yosemite closed. Here’s where the fire is, what’s next

Fresno Bee

Calif’s wildfires blanketed parts the state in heavy smoke for much of the week, causing hazardous, or near hazardous, air quality in both cities and the state’s national parks. That includes Yosemite National Park, which remained closed Saturday due to the affects of the smoke.

Racial Justice Push Creates Momentum to Protect Black-Owned Land


In May, three sisters in Chicago got a surprise phone call: They owned 35 acres in Mississippi with a stand of mature timber worth more than $40,000. “They’d never been to Louisville, Mississippi, so they had no idea they owned property,” recalled Frank Taylor, leader of the Winston County Self Help Cooperative in Mississippi, who called the sisters.


County ready to put words into ‘action,’ address homelessness after Homekey award

Bakersfield Califn

After being awarded nearly $15 million in a program designed to rehabilitate housing for the homeless, Kern County is ready to put “action” behind its efforts to address homelessness, according to Stephen Pelz, executive director of the local housing authority.

Despite Pandemic, Median Home Price In Calif Tops $700,000

Capital Public Radio

Home prices in Calif continue to soar, even as the economy is battered by the pandemic. The median price for a house in Calif reached a record-high last month, topping $700,000, according to the Calif Association of Realtors.

Americans Want Homes, but There Have Rarely Been Fewer for Sale


The pandemic has aggravated the housing market’s longstanding lack of supply, creating a historic shortage of homes for sale. Buyers are accelerating purchase plans or considering homeownership for the first time, rushing to get more living space as many Americans anticipate working from home for a while.

Coronavirus Pandemic Threatens to Widen Racial Homeownership Gap


The housing market has led the recovery from the pandemic-induced economic downturn as Americans have rushed to buy homes amid a desire for more living space and record-low mortgage rates.


Calif Forum: The cost of living in Calif is too high. We must make it affordable to lessen poverty

Sac Bee

Congratulations Calif, you’ve done it again. The Census Bureau has once again found that Calif has the highest real-world poverty rate of any state, 17.2% over the previous three years and much higher than the national rate.

See Also:

●     WALTERS: High housing costs keep Califns poor CalMatters

WALTERS: Forty-two years later, another property tax battle


It’s been 42 years since Calif voters sharply altered the state’s political dynamics by overwhelmingly passing Prop 13 to slash property taxes, ignoring virtually unanimous opposition from leaders of both political parties.


Would you want to put your life on the line owning a Tesla in wildfire country?

Turlock Journal

Has the State of Calif bet on the wrong horse?

New study shows dangers of in-flight COVID-19 transmission

The Hill

One person with COVID-19 infected 15 others during a long-haul flight from London to Vietnam in early March, according to a new analysis. The study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which was released ahead of its final publication in November, is one of the first to analyze the dangers of in-flight transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

MTS Board Approves Plan for All-Electric Bus Fleet by 2040


The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System made a huge commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions today as its Board of Directors unanimously approved a transit plan to convert all of the agency’s 800 buses to zero emissions by 2040.


Names of Note: Tuolumne River Trust honors advocates. Ocean inspires another award

Modesto Bee

The Tuolumne River Trust will honor former Riverbank mayor Virginia Madueño at a virtual gala Oct. 1. A former U.S. senator will get an award, too. Madueño will receive the annual Community Water Champion award. The group called her “a tireless supporter of river recreation opportunities for communities along the lower river” in an online post.

Commentary: Water board must establish a state water budget that Calif can afford


Former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt writes that a “Grand Bargain” in Calif water is needed to end the “political culture of deferral” and allow major water projects to advance. On the contrary, what’s needed is an adult regulator that will make hard choices that water users refuse to make.

Commentary: Healing Calif’s rivers will take more than just water


The authors are correct, policymakers must incorporate the latest science into their recommendations to protect Calif’s rivers. Hundreds of millions of dollars and dozens of studies and projects have all led to the same conclusion reached by the two authors from the Public Policy Institute of Calif – healing our rivers and helping struggling fish populations takes more than just water.


La Boulangerie’s downtown Fresno cafe opens on Monday


After a year of construction, La Boulangerie is opening its patio cafe in Downtown Fresno. “We’ll have pastries, coffee, espresso drinks and later for lunch, we’ll have sandwiches. We’ll have our menu posted,” said La Boulangerie owner Mohit Ranu about the new eatery.

Bethany Clough: A coffee shop inspired by a Mexican artist – and her unibrow – is opening in Fresno

Fresno Bee

A new coffee shop inspired by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is opening inside a downtown business Monday. Frida Café opens at 7 a.m. Monday, Sept. 21 inside Los Panchos Mexican Restauranton Fulton Street near Tulare Street.

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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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