September 18, 2020



North SJ Valley:

Modesto City Council District 6 candidates discuss issue

Modesto Bee

Jessica Gonzalez, Kelsten Obert, Hunter Sauls and David Wright, vying for a seat on the Modesto City Council, answered questions from The Modesto Bee’s Editorial Board on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020.

Opinion: The Modesto Bee’s 2020 election candidate forum videos

Modesto Bee

The Bee takes its role as a provider of local journalism seriously, and that’s why we focus so much on elections. We have an important one coming in November, and for The Bee, it’s more about what’s happening here in Stanislaus County than the noise coming from Washington.

Central SJ Valley:

Robert Costa (PBS Washington Week) Returns to Discuss 2020 Election in Virtual President’s Lecture Series (Free)

Fresno State

Costa will be the featured speaker for a first-ever virtual version of the President’s Lecture Series at Fresno State, less than a month before the 2020 presidential election.  The President’s Lecture with Costa is scheduled from 6 to 7:15 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8. It’s free to participate, by visiting Zoom at the time of the event.

Fresno CA council asks Gov. Newsom to allow indoor dining

Fresno Bee

A split Fresno City Council, California, decided Thursday to send a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom to ask for permission to open indoor dining.

See also:

Are delivery apps gouging Fresno restaurants? City Council limits fees during COVID-19

Fresno Bee

The Fresno City Council placed a moratorium on evictions for small businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday, and set limits on fees from apps used to order food. The moratorium on evictions, which also applies to home renters, is in place until 90 days after the city repeals its emergency orders related to COVID-19.

Coronavirus updates: Case rate slows; Fresno launches free grocery program for seniors

Fresno Bee

Fresno County reported 80 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county total to 27,312 since the pandemic’s outbreak. The update in new cases on Wednesday was a slight increase from Tuesday’s daily number of 36, but overall the county has been steadily decreasing in daily new infections. 

City Council Votes to Expand Sphere of Influence

Clovis RoundUp

The Clovis City Council met for the second time this month on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. One of the main items on the agenda that had much public interest was the expansion of the city’s sphere of influence for future urbanization north of Shepherd Avenue.

Bredefeld Covid-19 Resolutions Nixed From Fresno City Council Agenda

Business Journal

The Fresno City Council voted Thursday to remove a slate of measures related to Covid-19 business closures introduced by Councilmember Garry Bredefeld. The four resolutions would stop code enforcement from citing businesses out of compliance with emergency orders and compel the city to sue the state for enforcing its guidelines, among other measures.

South SJ Valley:

Salas’ emergency audit of EDD moves forward

Hanford Sentinel

On Tuesday, Assemblymember Rudy Salas, chair of the Joint Legislative Committee, forwarded the State Auditor his request for an emergency audit of the Employment Development Department, the state agency responsible for providing unemployment insurance benefits to Californians.

Little headway made on food truck ordinance

Hanford Sentinel

The Hanford City Council met Tuesday and attempted to tackle the issue of establishing a food truck ordinance in the city. It was clear by the end of the discussion, which occurred during a study session meeting before the regular meeting, that this issue will need to be brought back to council several more times before any official ordinance is put in place.

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. 


California governor signs laws to protect workers from virus

Fresno Bee

California companies must warn their workers of any potential exposure to the coronavirus and must pay their employees workers compensation benefits if they get sick with the disease under two laws that Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Thursday. Newsom, a Democrat, signed the laws over the objections of business groups, who have said they are “unworkable.”

See also:

Pregnant women in prison could see health care improve under House legislation

Fresno Bee

Pregnant inmates face unique challenges which congressional lawmakers say have not been adequately documented or addressed, so the House plans to vote on legislation aimed at improving their prison medical care.

California correctional officers union criticized for ad with crosshairs on Black lawmaker

Sac Bee

A Black California lawmaker has requested an investigation over a California Correctional Peace Officers Association ad that showed crosshairs over his photo. The political ad represented a threat to him and his family and constitutes “potentially criminal conduct” under a law protecting elected officials, Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles, said in a letter to Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

Can You Handle The Truth?: PolitiFact California On Trump’s California Visit, And A Postcard Confusing Voters

Capital Public Radio

The card landed in mailboxes last week. And it advises people to “plan ahead” if they want to vote by mail — which is definitely good advice. But it also asks voters to request their mail-in ballot 15 days before Election Day. This ‘caused confusion’ because a new state law in California already requires counties to automatically send out mail-in ballots. 

Californians divided along racial, income lines on coronavirus fears and public restrictions

SF Chronicle

Worries about the coronavirus and support for continuing and even increasing state and local restrictions are highest among the state’s poor and communities of color, while concerns are far lower among white residents and the better-off, according to a new poll.

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


In a year when the coronavirus pandemic upended every aspect of normal life, the impact in the California Capitol was also dramatic. Lawmakers took an unprecedented two-month pause in the spring, when Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statewide order for people to stay home to prevent the spread of the virus.

Three bills signed into law


As California enters its sixth month of the pandemic and coronavirus outbreaks rip through garment factories, meatpacking plants, fast-food chainsand strawberry fields, Gov. Gavin Newsom and other state agencies took action Thursday to expand worker protections.

California Family Rights Act Significantly Expanded by New Legislation


Commencing January 1, 2021, California school and community college districts and county offices of education will have to provide 12 workweeks of unpaid family leave with benefits for more reasons and to more employees.  On September 17, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 1383, significantly expanding the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) in line with recent changes to paid “kin care” leave.

EDITORIAL: Trump, Harris pose different solutions to California’s wildfire problem. They’re both right

Fresno Bee

President Trump, who traveled to California this week to learn about the devastating wildfires that have scorched much of the state, told Gov. Gavin Newsom that dead trees and leaves were primarily to blame for the infernos.


Judge blocks United States Postal Service changes that slowed mail


A U.S. judge on Thursday blocked controversial Postal Service changes that have slowed mail nationwide, calling them “a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” before the November election.

See also:

Trump bounces attacks on coronavirus and more back at his foes

LA Times

After battling months of withering criticism for his response to the coronavirus crisis, President Trump is relying on a new defense — it was Joe Biden, not him, who failed during a pandemic.

William Barr under fire over comparison of coronavirus lockdown to slavery

LA Times

U.S. Atty. Gen. William Barr drew sharp condemnation Thursday for comparing lockdown orders during the COVID-19 pandemic to slavery. In remarks Wednesday night at an event hosted by Hillsdale College, Barr called the lockdown orders the “greatest intrusion on civil liberties in American history” since slavery.

New York and neighbors take California travelers off their quarantine lists

LA Times

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have removed California from their lists of quarantined states, which means that travelers from California now can head east without facing a required 14-day quarantine.

House postpones vote to decriminalize marijuana until after election

Roll Call

House Democrats’ plan to vote on legislation decriminalizing marijuana before the November election went up in smoke Thursday, as leadership decided to postpone consideration of the measure amid concerns about the political optics. 

McCarthy focused on election, not Freedom Caucus push to remove Pelosi

Roll Call

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Thursday dodged a question on whether he will bring a motion to vacate to remove Speaker Nancy Pelosi from her post, an effort the Freedom Caucus was urging him to pursue.

Trump alleges ‘left-wing indoctrination’ in schools, says he will create national commission to push more ‘pro-American’ history

Wash Post

President Trump pressed his case Thursday that U.S. schools are indoctrinating children with a left-wing agenda hostile to the nation’s Founding Fathers, describing efforts to educate students about racism and slavery as an insult to the country’s lofty founding principles.

Charge that Trump fumbled the pandemic is strongly supported by available evidence

Wash Post

At the center of the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic is a small group of officials who, under Vice President Pence’s leadership, worked to address the emergence of the threat. Among them was Olivia Troye, a senior adviser to Pence, who attended the coronavirus task force’s meetings for months.

See also:

Lawmakers Close In on Spending Deal to Avert Shutdown


Lawmakers are aiming to unveil Friday a bipartisan spending bill averting a government shutdown next month, but Democrats and Republicans remain at an impasse over another round of coronavirus relief despite President Trump’s renewed interest in a deal.

For Trump, It’s Not the United States, It’s Red and Blue States

NY Times

President Trump argued this week that the death toll from the coronavirus was actually not so bad. All you had to do was not count states that voted for Democrats. “If you take the blue states out,” he said, “we’re at a level that I don’t think anybody in the world would be at. We’re really at a very low level.”

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:

Elections 2020:

Joe Biden wants to be unions’ ‘best friend.’ What does that mean for California?

Fresno Bee

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is courting union members with what California Labor Federation spokesman Steve Smith described as “the strongest platform to support workers since FDR.”

See also:

Trump’s Social Security-illegal immigration attack on Biden misses its mark

Wash Post

This is a confusing ad. The core of it is a misleading clip from Biden in the mid-1990s. But the tagline — “Now Biden’s promising your benefits to illegal immigrants” — is a head-scratcher.

See also:

Majority Of Central Valley Voters View Police Use Of Force During Protests As Appropriate, Survey Results Show

Kern Sol News

A majority of Central Valley voters view police use of force during the Black Lives Matter protests as appropriate and a majority do not view the issue of police violence as a systemic problem, according to a recent study.

Bringing back affirmative action has little support among California voters, poll shows

Merced Sun-Star

A November ballot initiative that would reinstate affirmative action policies long banned in California has slim support among likely voters, according to a new Public Policy Institute of California poll.

See also:

Commentary: Think we should scrap the electoral college? Here’s why that’s a bad idea.


Let’s squarely face an ugly possibility: President Trump could get elected a second time without winning the popular vote. Indeed, according to most experts, that’s the only way he could be re-elected. This would surely prompt another chorus of calls to scrap the Electoral College. I think that would be a mistake.

Commentary: New PPIC Poll on Propositions: One Anticipated Outcome, One Surprise

Fox & Hounds

The Public Policy Institute of California’s September poll measured the current standing of two ballot measures: Proposition 15, the property tax increase on commercial property, and Proposition 16 to rescind the ban on affirmative action. As expected, the Prop 15 battle is going to be close with a slim majority in favor at the present time.


Philanthropy Must Act as Nation Faces Potentially Unprecedented Election Crisis

The Chronicle of Philanthropy

For the first time in modern American history, a sitting president is openly flouting American election norms. What can foundations and donors do about it?


Sunday, September 20, at 10 a.m. on ABC30 – Maddy Report: Countdown to the 2020 Census – Guests: Laura Hill with the Public Policy Institute of Calif., Taryn Luna with the Sacramento Bee, Dan Walters with CALmatters, SOS Padilla, Sarah Bohn- PPIC and John Myers, LA Times. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler. 

Sunday, September 20, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) – Maddy Report – Valley Views Edition: “Census & Immigration: Distinctly Different Issues Intersect.” – Guests: SOS Padilla, Sarah Bohn- PPIC and John Myers, LA Times. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler. 


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.

Creek Fire: Farm work goes on amid smoky conditions


Despite the smoky conditions, the work never ends on Valley farms. The lemongrass crop had to be cut and packed so orders could quickly be filled. But because of the layer of smoke hovering, crews on David Sarabian’s farm were all wearing N95 respirators.

Horse Ranch needs volunteers to care for hundreds of displaced animals 


Fire evacuees and their livestock are finding refuge in their new home away from home in Fresno County. “This is a safe place, and it’s a peaceful place,” said evacuee Lori Harshman. The Double S Horse Ranch outside of Clovis on Highway 168 has transformed into a livestock center, caring for 500 animals from horses to pigs and more.

Trump announces another $13B in aid to farmers affected by COVID-19

The Hill

President Trump announced another $13 billion in aid for farmers, who’ve financially suffered due to the coronavirus pandemic, during his Wisconsin rally on Thursday. “I’m proud to announce that I’m doing even more to support Wisconsin farmers,” Trump said during the rally in Mosinee, Wis.



California’s cash bail system favors the rich. Would replacing it help people of color?

Fresno Bee

At 34, Isaac Miller’s future looked bleak. He was facing detention, a seven-year prison sentence, and a $50,000 bail. Without his family’s savings, he said he didn’t know how he would have paid his way out, which meant he could have lost his job and the ability to find a good lawyer.

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.

Public Safety:

More than 1,000 reports of anti-Asian racism in California since March, data show

Fresno Bee

The Stop AAPI Hate Reporting Center received 1,116 reports of anti-Asian discrimination in California between March and July this year, according to a Thursday report. As of Aug. 5, 2,583 incidents of anti-Asian discrimination nationwide have been self-reported to the Stop AAPI Hate Reporting Center since March.

Youth advocates say this Fresno program helped build trust in police. What happened to it?

Fresno Bee

Fresno’s Mayor-elect Jerry Dyer said he plans to form a youth advisory commission when he takes office early next year. Around five years ago while he was Fresno’s police chief, he did something similar with the Police Department. But the young people who were part of the Police Chief’s Youth Advisory Council say they were left disappointed and with questions.


Creek Fire live updates: More than 1,000 families forced to evacuate; their animals, too

Fresno Bee

The Creek Fire that has burned parts of the Fresno and Madera counties’ foothills in the Sierra National Forest has caused the displacement of 2,672 people, according to Fresno County administrator Jean Rousseau.

See also:

Dolan Fire grows more than 3,000 acres as Highway 1 closure changes

Fresno Bee

San Luis Obispo County had a break from all gray skies early this week, but more smoke might be headed this way. The U.S. Forest Service said air quality around the Dolan Fire has continued to improve day by day. However, a shift in winds was expected to move the smoke south once again.

‘Erratic’ fire behavior possible on North Complex as Northern California winds pick up

Fresno Bee

After days of calmer weather conditions in the north Sierra Nevada foothills, where the deadly North Complex wildfire continues to burn, crews are bracing for more gusty winds Thursday and Friday that will have the potential to again flare up fire activity.

SQF Complex Fire: 122,835 acres burned, 12% contained; latest evacuation orders


The SQF Complex Fire has grown to 122,835 acres as of Thursday morning and is 12% contained. The Castle and Shotgun fires combined destroyed 150 structures and leave more than 3,000 threatened. Firefighters are focusing stopping the wildfire from spreading to the west. Overnight, fire crews were working to strengthen contingency lines in the area.

Six ways California can reduce dangerous wildfires


Experts on wildfires say the safety of California’s nearly 40 million residents will require a multipronged approach, including thinning overgrown forests, better community planning and adapting to a warming climate.

California wildfire update


Gusty winds forecast through tonight in the Sierra Nevada could exacerbate the North Complex wildfire, the fifth-deadliest and sixth-largest in state history, state fire officials said Thursday. The news comes as 17,400 firefighters battle 26 major wildfires, including the Bobcat Fire in Los Angeles, which forced additional evacuations Thursday.

As Wildfires Rage, California Presses Insurers to Cut Rates

NY Times

Faced with the twin climate crises of historic wildfires and spiraling insurance costs, California on Wednesday laid out new rules to make insurance more affordable in fire-prone areas. But the changes could backfire, experts say — pushing insurers to stop offering insurance in those areas and further imperiling communities on the front lines of climate change.



‘I’m just concerned.’ Fresno County economy faces uncertainty due to COVID-19, wildfires

Fresno Bee

The Fresno County Board of Supervisors this week approved a $3.9 billion budget amid uncertainty over the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new budget reflects a 7% increase from the previous budget. It is aided partly by federal relief handed to local governments for the coronavirus pandemic, known as CARES Act relief.

U.S. Stocks Lower as Fed Outlook Rattles Investors


U.S. stocks fell Thursday, hurt by weakness in the labor market as uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic continues to weigh on hiring. The S&P 500 dropped 0.8% to 3357. The Nasdaq Composite declined 1.3% to 10910, pushing the tech-heavy index further into negative territory for the month. 

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.

Commentary: California tourism industry pushes for safe, responsible travel


To those who’ve heard it, the history of the Zanger family business represents the quintessential American success story: Italian immigrant family prospers through decades of hard work, innovation and luck.

Commentary: America’s pre-pandemic economy demonstrated the continued power of productivity-driven market capitalism


For believers in “late capitalism” — the idea that we’ve reached the terminal phase of the planet’s dominant socio-economic system — the new Census Bureau numbers should have been unsettling. Data for 2019 show median US income rose nearly 7 % to $68,703. “Rising employment and broad-based wage increases in 2019 helped drive that uptick” is how officials explain the increase, according to The Washington Post.


CalPERS board supportive of move to restrict investments by top staff

Fresno Bee

CalPERS board members expressed support Wednesday for a proposal to limit personal investments by future chief investment officers. The board weighed in on a plan that would force its chief investment officers to divest from some or all of their investments or place them in a blind trust as a condition of employment. They expect to consider a specific proposal from the system’s staff in November.

California paid leave law among nation’s broadest

Bakersfield Califn

A new law in California lets more people than almost anywhere else in the country take up to three months off from work to care for a family member thanks in part to a nursing mother who brought her baby to work with her on the final day of the state legislative session to vote for it.

California’s unemployment agency was warned about identity theft risks in 2019

Sac Bee

California’s auditor warned the state’s unemployment agency 18 months ago that its use of Social Security numbers on some mailed documents “continues to put some Californians at risk of identity theft.”

Cal/OSHA will create emergency COVID workplace safety rules

LA Times

After months of discussion, California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health will move forward with emergency statewide standards to address what worker advocates have been calling “an occupational health emergency.”

COVID-19 danger continues to drive joblessness in U.S.

LA Times

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week to 860,000, a historically high figure that reflects economic damage from the coronavirus outbreak.

Late: strike team’s unemployment department solutions


Something I’m keeping an eye out for next week: a roadmap of solutions for the various problems confronting California’s unemployment department, which Newsom said would be shared within 45 days of forming a “strike team” on July 29

WARN ACT + Unemployment Data Update: March through September 17, 2020

California Center for Jobs & the Economy

Initial claims for both the regular Unemployment Insurance Program and the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program for the self-employed basically returned to previous trends following a surge at the end of August. While easing, the continued high level of claims reflects the lengthening of the current economic disruption due to the shutdown orders.

California Enacts Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Law for Large Employers, Emergency Responders, and Health Care Providers


On September 9, 2020 Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1867 (“AB 1867”), which requires private sector employers with 500 or more employees in the United States to provide up to 80 hours of COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (“SPSL”).

See also:

Commentary: New details about California’s rise in pandemic unemployment assistance claims


A new report published by the California Policy Lab on September 15 adds important detail to the dramatic rise in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims in California in recent weeks. Last week, California officials suggested “a big part” of the state’s recent rise in PUA claims “is linked to fraud.” 



Pine Ridge Elementary offering support for students after Creek Fire devastates community


Several school districts are working on getting back on their feet after the Creek Fire displaced thousands of families and left many staff and students without a place to call home. Driving down Auberry Road, Superintendent Steve Rosa said he was amazed to see Pine Ridge School still standing.

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.

Knights Ferry first public school district in Stanislaus to get OK for TK-6 return

Modesto Bee

The Knights Ferry Elementary School District on Wednesday became the first public school district in Stanislaus County to have its reopening plan for TK-6 in-person education approved. The one-school district has students in transitional kindergarten through eighth grade, but the waiver approves bringing back only the 122 enrolled up through sixth grade.

For California’s new head of special education, ‘nothing is insurmountable’


Special education in California may face vast challenges — funding shortfalls, teacher shortages and distance learning, to name a few — but Heather Calomese is undeterred. Calomese, the state’s newly appointed director of special education, has an ambitious vision to improve equity and outcomes for the state’s 800,000 students enrolled in special education.

Op-Ed: Why remote learning is hard — and how to make it easier

LA Times

We knew in March that students wouldn’t learn much during lockdown, and they seem to be in for more of the same this fall. The problem isn’t just that teachers lack experience with remote instruction. For reasons scientists only partially understand, it’s demonstrably harder to learn via video than in person.

Commentary: Competition among schools is healthy, especially in a pandemic


With so many public school districts starting the year with 100 % remote learning, parents are scrambling. Driven by economic necessity or desperation for quality educational options, untold numbers of parents are looking for in-person learning options wherever they can find a spot: from private and charter schools to the learning pods that have sprung up this fall. But in some school districts, the resulting competition to keep these families enrolled is not sitting well.

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 Where Money Magazine Ranks Fresno State Among Most Transformative Colleges In U.S.

Fresno State News

Ali Abdullah is a biology major at Fresno State with dreams of going to medical school to become a plastic surgeon in the Central Valley, helping those with deformities or emergency reconstruction needs.

Washington Monthly Ranks Fresno State Among Top 30 Universities For Fifth Consecutive Year

Fresno State News

Fresno State is ranked among Washington Monthly’s top 30 national universities that best serve the country in the areas of social mobility, research and civic engagement. The magazine announced Monday that Fresno State ranked No. 26 out of 389 private and public universities. Fresno State is joined in the top 30 by six Ivy League institutions, seven University of California campuses, MIT and top-ranked Stanford University.

Charitable Giving Increases 19% In 2019-20 To Second-highest Amount In Fresno State History

Fresno State News

Marina Morningstar spent the summer at home in Vancouver, Washington splitting her days between being a Fresno State Dog Days orientation leader virtually and working at a local restaurant to pay for school. As the oldest of three children, finding a way to help her parents pay for her college is always top of mind — especially this year.

U.S. News Ranks Fresno State In Top 3 For Graduation-rate Performance 5 Years In A Row

Fresno State News

For the fifth consecutive year, Fresno State is ranked among the top three of the nation’s best public universities for graduation-rate performance in U.S. News and World Report’s 2021 Best College rankings issued today.

Scccd Saves Money Through Bond Refinancing

Business Journal

The State Center Community College District (SCCCD) issued $205 million in “new money” general obligation bonds to fund capital projects at college campuses throughout the district. The funding comes from Measure C in 2016.

School of NSME receives $3 million grant


With a global pandemic shining a spotlight on the field, the importance of health professionals has never been more evident. California State University, Bakersfield’s School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering (NSME) has received a $3 million, five-year Title V grant from the Department of Education that will launch students on paths toward a variety of health careers and develop a new major in public health, so needed in the local community.

Graduate student who claimed to be Black loses faculty job offer at Fresno State

LA Times

Fresno State University has rescinded a faculty position offer to a graduate student candidate who allegedly misrepresented their identity, university officials said Thursday.

UC should prepare for online classes, limited dorms beyond fall, UC Health chief says

LA Times

The University of California’s top health executive has told UC officials to prepare to continue online learning and limited access to campus beyond the fall as the COVID-19 pandemic will probably cause at least another year of disruption to university operations.

UC bans race-based quotas for admissions and hiring, setting limits for possible return of affirmative action

LA Times

University of California regents banned the use of quotas based on race and gender in admissions, hiring and contracting Thursday — underscoring their intent to limit how they would restore affirmative action if state voters approve its use again.

Best Colleges 2021: Explore the Full WSJ/THE College Ranking List


Examine the full list of nearly 800 U.S. colleges and universities and look at the metrics behind the rankings. Create personalized rankings based on the factors that matter most to you, and use tools to sort and filter the data.

Which U.S. Colleges Are the Most Diverse?


Public universities may not dominate the top of The WSJ/Times Higher Education College Rankings or stand out in matters of finance, but they shine when it comes to campus diversity.

Valley Voices: Here is why Proposition 15 matters to State Center Community College District

Fresno Bee

For 27-year-old Gaby, the daughter of farm workers, completing her nursing associate degree at Fresno City College six years ago altered the course of her life and that of her family. By the time she became a registered nurse, her income was three times what her parents made — combined.



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. 

Rarefied air: Taking a healthy breath is now a luxury in California

Wash Post

The California wildfires have wreaked havoc on the students in Jesusita Rivera’s fifth grade class in East Palo Alto, Calif., a lower income neighborhood surrounded by Silicon Valley’s wealthiest Zip codes.

What Trump’s Environmental Rollbacks Mean for Global Warming

NY Times

President Trump has made dismantling federal climate policies a centerpiece of his administration. A new analysis from the Rhodium Group finds those rollbacks add up to a lot more planet-warming emissions.


County prepares final version of critical oil and gas review

Bakersfield Califn

An environmental review critical to Kern’s frustrated efforts to streamline local oil permitting has cleared another hurdle as it heads for what could be a final vote of the county Board of Supervisors by the end of this year.



New study in China suggests eyeglasses can help protect against COVID-19


A new study suggests eyeglasses could help protect against COVID-19 after researchers noticed an odd trend in China. Researchers found that people in Wuhan, China, who wore eyeglasses at least eight hours a day had a lower chance of getting the virus, according to the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Opthamology.

Creek Fire: More Valley kids experiencing respiratory issues since wildfire started


The Central Valley was already home to one of the dirtiest air basins in America. Add to that smoke from the Creek Fire and SQF Complex Fires and you have people struggling to catch their breath. Rebecca Magdaleno of Selma said she was ‘having trouble breathing’.

Kern County confirms 72 new COVID-19 cases Thursday

Bakersfield Califn

The Kern County Public Health Services Department announced 72 new COVID-19 cases Thursday morning. Kern’s total virus case count is now at 31,158 since the first was announced locally six months ago. There have been 340 virus-related deaths during that time in Kern.

See also:

Hopes for Covid-19 Vaccine Spark Partisan Fight Over Safety, Timing


A debate over the safety and timing of a possible Covid-19 vaccine has become a flashpoint in the presidential campaign and within the Trump administration, as well as in a key Senate race that could determine control of the chamber next year.

See also:

Rapid test for COVID-19 shows improved sensitivity

Broad Institute

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers at MIT and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, along with their collaborators at the University of Washington, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Ragon Institute, have been working on a CRISPR-based diagnostic for COVID-19 that can produce results in 30 minutes to an hour, with similar accuracy as the standard PCR diagnostics now used.

Commentary: What values and priorities mean for health reform


Political slogans paint stark choices for health care reform: “Medicare for All” or “Free-Market Competition.” These slogans are designed to be simple and appealing — but vague enough to obscure the trade-offs involved, allowing listeners to fill in their own notions and masking varying beliefs.

Human Services:

California recalls N95 masks obtained through $90M contract with Santa Clara-based company

Fresno Bee

California is recalling N95 masks obtained through a $90 million contract with Advoque, a company based in Santa Clara, after federal regulators revoked certification for the masks last week.

Get vaccinated to avoid flu and COVID-19 ‘double whammy’, doctors say


As health care providers work to develop a safe and effective vaccine to fight COVID-19, Fresno County is ramping up its efforts to administer as many flu shots as possible this season.

Free prostate screenings scheduled for Saturday at Kern Medical

Bakersfield Califn

Free prostate screenings will be held from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday at Kern Medical, 3551 Q St. Contact Gloria McCormack at 326-2278 to schedule an appointment.

Free COVID-19 mobile testing site to be held at Bakersfield College on Tuesday

Bakersfield Califn

The Kern County Latino COVID-19 Task Force, Kern County Public Health Services Department and Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will host a free COVID-19 mobile test site on Bakersfield College’s Panorama campus on Tuesday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

DIY air filters can be safe, simple and inexpensive. Here’s how to make one

LA Times

With the reddish-orange skies and smoke-filled air, Californians who had previously never heard of PM2.5 pollution are quickly learning about the Air Quality Index and what they need to do to protect themselves from wildfire pollution.

How disaster relief has adapted to two horrors: Wildfires and coronavirus

LA Times

James Wood checks his clipboard and bangs on the door at a Motel 6. The air is thick with smoke. “Red Cross,” he calls, loudly, through his heavy, protective mask. “Dinner!” His gloved-and-masked partner places four white foam boxes on the ground. They are filled with chicken tacos, compliments of the Salvation Army. The motel door swings wide.

Doctors and Hospitals Are Better Prepared to Treat Covid-19 This Fall


U.S. hospitals expect to be better prepared if a second wave of Covid-19 cases hits in coming months, doctors and administrators say, after gaining a better understanding how to triage patients, which drugs to use and what supplies are needed.

Why Did Covid Overwhelm Hospitals? A Yearslong Drive for Efficiency


Banner Health had figured out how to get ahead in the modern health-care industry. The Phoenix-based nonprofit hospital system relentlessly focused on costs. It trimmed labor, the largest expense for any hospital. Last year, it carried 2.1% fewer employees for every bed filled, compared with the year before.

Commentary: COVID outcomes update: Health and employment impacts in the US compared to other countries


In the past three to four months, the U.S. economy has recovered somewhat from the COVID-19-induced employment troughs observed in April, while the virus caseloads and deaths at first declined and then surged again, starting in June. However, the partial recovery of U.S. labor markets in the late spring and summer, and more recent trends in virus cases and deaths, do not change the fundamental fact that both employment and health outcomes for the U.S. during the pandemic have been worse than in almost any other high-income country in the world.


Alleged unwanted hysterectomies and other abuses at ICE facility prompts investigation

USA Today

Members of Congress are pressing the administration for further inquiries after the Department of Homeland Security announced this week it is looking into a whistleblower complaint that claimed federal immigration detainees underwent unnecessary gynecological surgeries — including full hysterectomies — without their consent.


Land Use:

Sequoia National Park closed due to California wildfire

Fresno Bee

California’s Sequoia National Park has been fully closed due to a nearby wildfire in the Sierra Nevada wilderness. The action this week came after the park headquarters and the community of Three Rivers at the park’s southern entrance were put on evacuation notice, according to a statement.

Yosemite National Park closing due to smoke, hazardous air caused by California wildfires

Fresno Bee

Yosemite National Park will close at 5 p.m. Thursday due to smoke and hazardous air quality caused by California wildfires, officials announced. Kings Canyon National Park to the south also announced it will close at the same time. Sequoia National Park, which shares a border with Sequoia, closed to visitors Tuesday in response to the Castle Fire on the SQF Complex

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Real Estate World Reels At Prospect Of 1031 Repeal

Business Journal

The world of real estate tax law may seem convoluted and isolated, but some fear a proposal from presidential candidate Joe Biden has the potential to upend a delicate balance of investments, jobs and rent — while others feel closing a loophole has been a longtime coming.

California sets median home price record — again


The median price of a California home shot up to a record $706,900 in August — breaking the $700,000 mark for the first time while also smashing previous records set in June and July — as home sales reached their highest level in more than a decade, according to a Wednesday report from the California Association of Realtors

Renter Protections and Foreclosure Risk in the Era of COVID-19


The pandemic downturn has amplified housing instability in an already volatile sector, and while policy action in California has focused on renters, homeowners and landlords also risk financial consequences due to the virus.

Millions Are House-Rich but Cash-Poor. Wall Street Landlords Are Ready.


Americans with mortgages have accumulated nearly $10 trillion in home equity thanks to a decade of rising home prices. Yet millions of them have fallen behind on mortgage payments and risk losing their houses.

California Aims To Add Housing Away From Wildland Urban Interface 


NPR’s David Greene talks to Wade Crowfoot, California’s secretary of Natural Resources, about this year’s wildfire season, and what can be done to prevent or control them.


Momentum for Basic Income Builds as Pandemic Drags On


When the idyllic upstate city of Hudson, New York, launches its basic-income pilot program in late September, it will become one of the smallest U.S. cities to embrace a policy once seen as far-fetched or radical.


California to Receive More than $493M in Additional Transportation Funding


Caltrans announced Monday that the state will receive more than $493 million in additional transportation funding from the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) annual August redistribution.

Congressional Transportation Leaders Back One-Year Extension of FAST Act

Transport Topics

A soon-to-expire federal law that governs the country’s highway policies appears to be headed toward a yearlong extension. Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), the top transportation policy authorizers on Capitol Hill, have indicated support for extending the provisions in the 2015 FAST Act highway law for a 12-month duration.


Water company withdraws desalination proposal as battle over environmental justice heats up

LA Times

Amid mounting controversy and concerns over environmental justice, California American Water on Wednesday withdrew its application for a desalination project in the small Monterey Bay town of Marina.

MWD Board Approves Budget Cuts in Response to COVID-19

California Water News Daily

In response to lower water sales and concerns about the financial impacts of COVID-19 on its

member agencies and the public, the board of directors of the Metropolitan Water District of

Southern California today voted to approve a cost-cutting plan to reduce district expenditures.


Bethany Clough: La Boulangerie is (finally) opening its new bakery in Fresno. Here’s what’s on the menu

Fresno Bee

It’s been a long time coming, but La Boulangerie de France’s second location is scheduled to open Monday. La Bou, as locals call the bakery’s original Fig Garden Village location, is opening a walk-up window with sidewalk seating in downtown Fresno.

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Listening to KVPR Classical Digital Station


KVPR Classical is Valley Public Radio’s all-new radio station dedicated to playing timeless classical music, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Hear the same Classical 24 hosts you’ve enjoyed on FM89 on the new KVPR Classical stream, in crystal clear all-digital sound.

What’s showing? At Central Valley drive-ins opened because of coronavirus, plenty

Modesto Bee

For more than a decade, if you wanted to see a movie at a drive-in in the Central Valley you had to travel more than 70 miles to Madera. But now, in the age of coronavirus, the region has multiple drive-in options to choose from for safe family fun.

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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 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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