California Policy and P  olitics This Morning  

COVID vaccines: All Californians 16 and older are eligible starting Thursday – how to get yours -- Fourteen months after San Jose resident Patricia Dowd became the first person in the United States to die from COVID-19, the historic pandemic has killed more than 560,576 Americans — more fatalities than the U.S. experienced in World War I, World War II and the Korean War combined. Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury$ Rong-Gong Lin II, Colleen Shalby, Luke Money in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/15/21

30% of California adults fully vaccinated, 20% partially vaccinated against COVID-19 -- As the state sprints toward 24 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine given, California hit another pair of remarkable milestones Wednesday: more than 30% of its adults are now fully vaccinated, and over half have one dose of a two-shot inoculation. Michael McGough in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/15/21

Newsom: J&J pause won't undermine California's vaccine goals -- Gov. Gavin Newsom said the pause should not affect California’s goals of opening vaccine eligibility to most people this week and broadly reopening the economy in June. Victoria Colliver Politico -- 4/15/21

Nearly 50,000 COVID cases likely went unreported in a Northern California county -- A study with Stanford University to better understand the prevalence of COVID-19 in Placer County found that about 68% of cases went unreported. Molly Sullivan in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/15/21

'Breakthrough' cases of vaccinated people who get COVID may be key to unlocking immunity -- These cases should be rare — and are fully expected. The vaccines are not 100% effective, and with the virus still circulating fairly widely across California, a few cases in people who are fully vaccinated are bound to happen. California doesn’t yet publicly report breakthrough cases, but a survey of Bay Area counties found more than 100 confirmed or suspected. Erin Allday in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/15/21

Stanford enrolls children as young as 2 in Pfizer vaccine trials -- Stanford Medicine on Wednesday began administering shots to children ages 2 to 5 in a trial for the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, marking another step forward in getting younger children vaccinated. Catherine Ho in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/15/21

Deaths among Latino immigrants soared by 90% as COVID tore through this California county -- Pedro Cruz Mendoza developed a cough and fever in March. Yet he continued to toil in the Central Valley’s fields for four days, even as his symptoms worsened. Nadia Lopez in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/15/21

Gavin Newsom calls for full reopening of California schools by fall, urges extended class time -- Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday urged schools to prepare for “full, in-person instruction” this fall as coronavirus rates drop and vaccinations ramp up across the state, but he stopped short of saying he’d hand down an executive order to force open classrooms. Lara Korte in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/15/21

Open  

San Francisco releases huge, detailed list of new reopenings and expansions -- San Francisco is taking new steps in opening up the city, easing restrictions April 15 to allow indoor music concerts, graduation ceremonies, conferences and more to resume. Amy Graff in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/15/21

San Francisco reopens further with live shows, conferences and ‘masks on’ messaging -- San Francisco will allow indoor performances and private conferences and receptions to resume Thursday as coronavirus rates remain low and residents continue to get vaccinated. Maura Dolan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/15/21

Many Southern California churches to ease back into normalcy despite court ruling -- Several Southern California churches and faith leaders said Wednesday, April 14, they will take their time to ease back into normalcy even after the state lifted its limits on indoor worship services on Monday following U.S. Supreme Court rulings that struck down COVID-19 public health mandates. Deepa Bharath in the Orange County Register -- 4/15/21

PG&E  

California power regulators cast doubt on utility’s plans -- The anticipated rebuke from the California Public Utilities Commission Thursday would serve as official notice to PG&E that it hasn’t been doing enough to reduce the risks posed by a combination of crumbling equipment and overgrown trees susceptible to touching or toppling into nearby power lines. Mike Liedtke Associated Press -- 4/15/21

COVID Economy  

How will Hollywood get back to full speed? After the pandemic, some things may never return to normal -- In a business that spent the bulk of 2020 either in partial closure or inching toward recovery, there’s a palpable, if cautious, sense of optimism, although some of that was dampened on Monday when the owner of the popular ArcLight Cinemas and Pacific Theatres announced its locations would not reopen. Ryan Faughnder, Anousha Sakoui in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/15/21

Policy & Politics 

Windsor residents express outrage, level additional sexual misconduct allegations against Mayor Dominic Foppoli -- Windsor Mayor Dominic Foppoli told his Town Council colleagues that he would ignore their demands that he resign and then listened calmly as dozens of speakers strongly urged him to quit, some even cursing him, during an extraordinary emergency meeting held by the town Wednesday evening. Alexandria Bordas, Cynthia Dizikes in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/15/21

People injured by police would be eligible for crime victim funds under bill by Chino lawmaker -- Californians injured by police or family members of those killed in such encounters may qualify for financial compensation from the state crime victims fund under a controversial bill making its way through the state Legislature. Tony Saavedra, Joe Nelson in the Orange County Register -- 4/15/21

Is Kamala Harris 'missing at the border'? She says she's focused on where migration starts -- On opposite ends of Pennsylvania Avenue at the same moment Wednesday, Vice President Kamala Harris met with Latin America policy experts as House GOP leaders displayed to reporters a “missing” milk carton with her face on it. Tal Kopan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Noah Bierman, Tracy Wilkinson in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/15/21

Port of San Diego has ‘blown right through’ years of savings -- Once flush with proceeds, the Port of San Diego’s savings account is projected to nosedive to a far-lower-than-allowed balance by the end of the next fiscal year — or around $27 million less than what is required of the agency’s reserve fund. Jennifer Van Grove in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 4/15/21

Workplace  

Biden quietly reversed Trump’s ban on worker visas. Will it help or hurt the U.S. economy? -- Many pro-immigration advocacy groups had urged Biden to abolish the ban on so-called guest workers as soon as he entered the White House. Instead, without fanfare, Biden waited almost three months and let the ban expire at the end of March as scheduled. Don Lee in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/15/21

Street  

‘White Lives Matter’ rallies miss their mark. Hate groups still see chance to ‘fire up the base’ -- When white nationalists failed to turn out in threatening numbers Sunday at a Huntington Beach rally, many counterprotesters viewed it as a victory. Hayley Smith, Hannah Fry, Anita Chabria in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/15/21

Cathedral Catholic apologizes for football players’ racist photos aimed at Lincoln High -- One photo shows someone wearing a t-shirt that says “Catholics vs. Convicts III,” another shows Cathedral players making a gang sign. Kristen Taketa, John Maffei in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 4/15/21

Smith: There’s a fight over the direction of Black Lives Matter. The timing couldn’t be worse -- It’s unfortunate and yet somehow also entirely predictable that the airing of Black Lives Matter’s dirty laundry would happen during the trial of former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin. Erika D. Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/15/21

Uber passenger who coughed on driver in viral video pleads not guilty to assault charges -- The 24-year-old defendant, Arna Kimiai was arrested with her friend in March after their Uber driver, Subhakar Khadka, shared a video of the passengers hitting, coughing on and ripping off his mask after he ended the ride because one of the women was not wearing her mask. Annie Vainshtein in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/15/21

Dozens charged in massive investigation into illicit San Diego gambling parlors -- A massive investigation into dozens of illegal gambling parlors in San Diego ended with a series of morning raids Wednesday and charges against 47 people, according to a series of federal indictments. Kristina Davis in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 4/15/21

Former priest charged with sexually abusing children in Palmdale and Redondo Beach -- A former Catholic priest has been charged with sexually assaulting four children in Los Angeles County while serving at churches in Palmdale and Redondo Beach in the late 1990s and early 2000s, prosecutors said Wednesday. James Queally in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/15/21

Paul Flores killed Kristin Smart in dorm room during attempted rape, DA says. LAPD investigated local cases -- The grim details of how Smart is believed to have died while a freshman at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo came on a day when Flores was formally charged with first-degree murder in the case and accusations surfaced that he has assaulted other women in the decades after allegedly killing Smart. Matthew Ormseth, Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/15/21

Sheriff’s Dept. to announce jail deaths within 24 hours, after autopsies -- San Diego County policy change comes after news stories, complaints from deceased inmates’ relatives. Kelly Davis, Jeff MCDonald in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 4/15/21

Water  

‘A scary scenario’: Water bills in San Jose headed for costly, decade-long spike starting this summer -- The water district claims that the increases are necessary to purchase water during the state’s worsening drought and to complete maintenance and upgrades to its aging infrastructure. Maggie Angst in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 4/15/21

Education 

State's fiscal crisis team sounds alarm on the ability of CCSF to stay afloat -- City College of San Francisco is at risk of insolvency and a takeover by the state because it has lost control of its payroll expenses, a new report obtained by The Chronicle says. Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/15/21

UC San Diego plans to hold in-person graduation in June -- UC San Diego announced Wednesday that it will hold an in-person commencement in June, but all participating students and guests will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or show they recently tested negative for the virus. Gary Robbins in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 4/15/21

Why mental health is the key to dealing with learning loss -- The best way schools can help students catch up academically after a year of distance learning is to ensure they feel relaxed, safe and connected to their friends and teachers as they return to the classroom. Carolyn Jones EdSource -- 4/15/21

Homeless  

Oakland 'not adequately prepared' to deal with homeless encampments, city audit finds -- A city audit of how Oakland conducts homeless interventions found that the city lacked an effective strategy in dealing with a growing number of unsheltered residents living on city streets, and failed to give policy directions and adequate funding to handle the crisis. Sarah Ravani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/15/21

Rocks installed to discourage new homeless tents alongside Oceanside street -- City crews installed large rocks alongside South Oceanside Boulevard on Wednesday morning in an attempt to keep homeless people from erecting tents where a large encampment had been cleared the previous day. Gary Warth in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 4/15/21

Landlords and Tenants   

Proposed L.A. law banning landlords from harassing renters clears a key hurdle -- The proposed ordinance, which advanced through a key committee on Wednesday, would prohibit landlords from targeting renters in a range of ways, including threatening tenants with physical harm, telling others about their immigration status, falsely telling renters they have to clear out of a unit, and failing to follow standards to protect them from dust and asbestos. Emily Alpert Reyes in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/15/21

Also . . .   

Several Huntington Park finance employees put on leave, one arrested in data breach probe -- Almost the entire roster of Huntington Park’s Finance Department was placed on administrative leave and one staffer was arrested as part of an investigation into a records breach that has sparked competing claims of wrongdoing by city employees. Adam Elmahrek, Ruben Vives in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/15/21

 

Updates   

If you got the J&J vaccine, here's what experts say you should do now -- About 6.8 million Americans have received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, which federal health officials on Tuesday asked states to pause after six women in the U.S. developed serious blood clots within about two weeks of their vaccinations. Anna Buchmann in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/14/21

Scientists delve into clotting issues associated with J&J vaccine as pause disrupts local distributions -- Continue getting coronavirus shots, experts say: ‘Your chance of getting COVID and dying from it is worse.’ Teri Sforza in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 4/14/21

Newsom: J&J pause won't undermine California's vaccine goals -- Gov. Gavin Newsom said the pause should not affect California’s goals of opening vaccine eligibility to most people this week and broadly reopening the economy in June. The state will work to allocate Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna shots to the roughly 8,800 people who have signed up for J&J shots, he said. Victoria Colliver Politico -- 4/14/21

Will Johnson & Johnson woes make it harder to get COVID-19 vaccine in California? -- At first glance, the timing couldn’t be worse: thousands of COVID-19 vaccines going on ice at the same time California is preparing to make them available for everyone 16 and older. Luke Money, Rong-Gong Lin II, Taryn Luna, Laura J. Nelson in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/14/21

Only 30% of L.A. County men got COVID-19 vaccine, compared to 44% of women. Why the disparity? -- Throughout the pandemic, men worldwide have been far more likely to die from COVID-19 — because of a mix of biological and behavioral factors — but also less likely to have been vaccinated against the disease. Soumya Karlamangla in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/14/21

Which state is doing more for undocumented residents in COVID era? California or New York? -- Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, some Democratic-led states have sought to provide state-funded COVID relief for undocumented immigrants who were left out of federal stimulus aid. Kim Bojórquez in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/14/21

Policy & Politics 

Can Newsom recall be blocked from ballot? Ally will ask petition signers to change their minds -- Gov. Gavin Newsom’s supporters have one last weapon to try to derail a recall before the secretary of state certifies it for the ballot and a half dozen Kardashians announce their campaigns: They can ask people who signed the recall petitions to remove their names. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/14/21

‘Long time coming.’ Placerville council votes unanimously to remove noose from city logo -- The noose on the city’s logo is a symbol that is associated with the city’s Gold Rush-era name, Old Hangtown. Molly Sullivan in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/14/21

California politicians owe $2 million in campaign fines, don’t get punished -- California’s secretary of state’s office has failed to collect $2 million in fines owed by politicians, lobbyists and campaign donors who the office says filed disclosure reports late, a CalMatters analysis shows. It’s allowed some of the largest fines to languish for many years with no consequences to those who are supposed to pay up. Laurel Rosenhall CalMatters -- 4/14/21

Lost your job in California? New bill might force these employers to hire back workers -- California workers from an industry devastated by the coronavirus pandemic would have a chance to return to the jobs under a bill advanced by the state Assembly this week. Jeong Park in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/14/21

Second California prison to close due to dwindling incarcerated population -- Citing a dwindling number of people incarcerated in the state’s prison system, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced that it is closing a prison in Susanville — the second prison closure announced in a year. Michael Williams in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/14/21

COVID Economy  

Breed challenges San Franciscans to only patronize city's pandemic-battered small businesses -- Could you go an entire month without ordering anything from Amazon? Could you ditch Safeway in favor of your corner market? Could you skip ordering food from McDonald’s and bypass Target, Costco and Walgreens? Heather Knight in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/14/21

Street  

‘White Lives Matter’ rallies fizzled. Hate groups still see chance to ‘fire up the base’ -- When white nationalists failed to turn out in threatening numbers Sunday at a Huntington Beach rally, many counterprotesters viewed it as a victory. Hayley Smith, Hannah Fry, Anita Chabria in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/14/21

Protesters take to Sacramento streets in response to Daunte Wright’s killing by police -- Videos posted or live-streamed to social media show that the demonstration started with a crowd of about 200 at Cesar Chavez Plaza, peacefully protesting in response to the police killing of Daunte Wright, a Black man, during a traffic stop on Sunday. Michael McGough in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/14/21

How Wine Country's insular nature played a role in Dominic Foppoli's alleged misconduct -- In the days since a Chronicle investigation was published that detailed allegations of sexual assault by Dominic Foppoli, the public outcry has focused on removing Foppoli from his office as the mayor of Windsor. He has denied the allegations and said he will not resign. Esther Mobley in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/14/21

Smolens: Gloria pushes changes in SDPD amid national focus on law enforcement -- Mayor Todd Gloria seemed to be in the zeitgeist of the moment last week when he unveiled potentially sweeping changes in San Diego Police Department practices. Michael Smolens in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 4/14/21

California father suspected of DUI in crash that killed his 5-year-old daughter charged with murder -- Prosecutors charged a man suspected of driving while intoxicated when he crashed into a light pole in Colton, leaving his 5-year-old daughter dead and one other child injured, with murder, child endangerment and felony DUI, officials said Tuesday, April 13. Eric Licas in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 4/14/21

Capitol Siege  

Prosecutors: No charges for officer in Capitol riot shooting -- Authorities had considered for months whether criminal charges were appropriate for the Capitol Police officer who fatally shot Ashli Babbitt, a 35-year-old Air Force veteran from San Diego. The Justice Department’s decision, though expected, officially closes out the investigation. Eric Tucker and Michael Balsamo Associated Press -- 4/14/21

Education 

Black students in 14 L.A. County school districts face serious equity barriers, study finds -- Black students in Los Angeles County continue to face a multitude of barriers to an equitable education, including concentrated poverty, high suspension rates and housing insecurity, a UCLA report released Wednesday found. Melissa Gomez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/14/21

Homeless  

Death along river hits Sacramento homeless women hard. ‘They’re worried for their safety’ -- The staff and the guests at Maryhouse, a program for homeless women and children in Sacramento, did not know who Kathy Lynn Robbins was. But news of her death created a somber feeling there this week. Rosalio Ahumada in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/14/21

Calif. officials announce plan to house 75% of Bay Area's homeless population by 2024 -- Local and state leaders, housing experts, businesses and social justice advocates from all nine Bay Area counties have united to create a Regional Action Plan that aims to house 75 percent of the area's homeless population by 2024. Jana Kadah in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/14/21

Housing  

If you’re house shopping in L.A.’s hot market, prepare to pay way more than the price tag -- In Southern California, where home buyers are seasoned bidding-war combatants, demand lately has been pummeling supply so badly that some neighborhoods are seeing most homes fetch far more than owners were asking. Jack Flemming in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/14/21

Sacramento’s red hot real estate market storms into spring. Are we in a housing bubble? -- Sacramento’s home-buying frenzy continued through March and into April as buyers vied for a limited supply and home prices ratcheted up 6% in just one month – an increase that some thought might happen for the entire year. Tony Bizjak in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/14/21

Debate over $167 housing stipend for medical residents stalls talks between guild, UC Davis -- A disagreement over how much UC Davis Medical Center will pay to offset housing costs has stalled contract talks between the hospital and nearly 800 residents, fellows and interns who formed a union more than a year and half ago. Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/14/21

Also . . .   

The Bay Area went crazy for pandemic pets. What happens when we go back to work? -- Pepper is a very good dog. He’s rambunctious, but knows how to chill. He’s also a border collie and Australian shepherd mix, so he’ll occasionally try to herd his adoptive parents, Lloyd Brown and Alex Brandenberg, when they’re in the kitchen. Ryan Kost in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/14/21

Yosemite National Park to build new $10 million visitor center -- In a typical year, more than 4.5 million people visit Yosemite National Park, many of them first-time visitors from other states and countries who are looking to find their bearings and figure out how best to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of one of America’s most storied landmarks. Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 4/14/21

Scores of tule elk died at Point Reyes seashore in 2020. Are their days numbered? -- Tule elk are treasured creatures in California, and for years, animal rights groups have butted heads with the Point Reyes National Seashore over its practice of keeping elk fenced away from nearby cattle ranches. Susanne Rust in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/14/21

No, it's not illegal to pick a California poppy. Why does everyone think it is? -- Despite years worth of urban legends to the contrary, picking California’s state flower — something most Bay Area residents have been told never to do — is not technically illegal. Annie Vainshtein in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/14/21

Why flights from Central America often have the enticing aroma of fried chicken -- Norma Ramirez stepped off Delta flight 1903 from Guatemala City with a backpack, a blue neck pillow and an aromatic carry-on: chicken. Lots and lots of fried chicken. Brittny Mejia in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/14/21

The boba crisis is a perfect opportunity to try the superior tea topping: cheese foam -- My go-to order at my local boba shop doesn’t contain boba at all. Boba, or bubble tea, has become synonymous with the chewy balls from which its name is derived. David Deloso in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 4/14/21