California Policy and P  olitics Thursday Morning  

California reports 3,100 ‘breakthrough’ COVID cases among the vaccinated -- Between Jan. 1 and April 28, California public health officials recorded 3,084 breakthrough cases of COVID-19 in people who were fully vaccinated. That’s out of 12.9 million people who were fully vaccinated. Ken Carlson in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/6/21

61 migrant children at Long Beach, Pomona centers are being treated for COVID-19 -- "The cases are either all asymptomatic or very mild symptoms," said Zhan Caplan of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "The children are getting excellent care from UCLA Health, our medical provider." The item is in the San Bernardino Sun$ -- 5/6/21

As yellow tier arrives, some LA County coronavirus rules remain tougher than state’s -- Striding into the least-restrictive yellow tier of the state’s economic-reopening blueprint, Los Angeles County will deploy its loosest business restrictions since the pandemic began on Thursday, May 6. But some rules in the county’s public health ordered will remain tougher than the state’s, including a 75% capacity cap at grocery and retail stores. The item is in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 5/6/21

California to spend $33 million to combat vaccine hesitancy, reach more communities -- California plans to shift its strategy for COVID-19 vaccination, as demand has been slowing while more than one-third of adults still have not received a first dose. Michael McGough in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/6/21

Will you stop wearing a mask outdoors? Here's what 4 COVID experts say they're doing -- As of Monday, those who have been fully inoculated against COVID-19 are no longer required to wear masks outdoors, except in crowded settings like performances, sports events and festivals. Annie Vainshtein in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/6/21


Caitlyn Jenner to critics: ‘I move on’ she says in interview -- Caitlyn Jenner, a Republican whose campaign for California governor has elicited angry reaction from some members of the LGBTQ community, said Wednesday that “I move on” when it comes to her critics. Michael R. Blood Associated Press -- 5/6/21

Jenner: 'I am all for the wall' at the border -- Republican reality TV star and former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner told Fox News that she is "all for the wall" — former President Trump's controversial southern border effort — and called it crucial to control illegal immigration. Carla Marinucci Politico -- 5/6/21

In Fox interview, Caitlyn Jenner declares herself ‘outsider’ in California governor race -- In her first major interview as a candidate for California governor, Caitlyn Jenner sought to appeal to Trump Republicans – telling Fox News’ Sean Hannity she’s an “outsider” looking to “disrupt” politics as usual. Maanvi Singh The Guardian -- 5/6/21

Policy & Politics 

Michelle Steel apologizes to GOP supporters for working on bipartisan bill -- Republican Rep. Michelle Steel is facing backlash after video from a recent political event shows her apologizing to GOP supporters for working with Democrat Katie Porter on a resolution condemning hate crimes against Asian Americans. Brooke Staggs in the Orange County Register -- 5/6/21

Court upholds California governor’s use of emergency powers -- California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s use of emergency powers to make far-reaching policies during the pandemic was upheld Wednesday by state appellate judges who rejected a lower court finding that the Democrat had done too much unilaterally. Don Thompson Associated Press Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Maura Dolan in the Los Angeles Times$ Lara Korte in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/6/21

S.F. shifts $3.75 million from law enforcement budgets to support Black business communities -- Mayor London Breed on Wednesday announced the distribution of a $3.75 million award intended to support training, technical assistance and neighborhood revitalization in San Francisco’s historically Black and African American small business communities. Vanessa Arredondo in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/6/21

Federal immigration officials moving to deport Omar Ameen back to Iraq -- Iraqi refugee Omar Ameen is facing deportation proceedings despite a Sacramento judge’s ruling last month that there was not enough evidence to extradite him back to his home country to face trial in the slaying of a police officer there, officials confirmed Wednesday. Sam Stanton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/6/21

Scripps Ransomware  

State regulator watching Scripps Health ransomware attack closely -- The California Department of Public Health confirmed Wednesday that it is monitoring the ransomware attack that has severely impacted Scripps Health facilities throughout San Diego County, but has thus far determined that emergency procedures under way since Saturday have been adequate to ensure patients are safe. Paul Sisson in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 5/6/21


Sacramento Bee sues city seeking release of records in Darell Richards police killing -- The Sacramento Bee is suing the city of Sacramento for failing to release documents regarding the police killing of Darell Richards, more than two years after the shooting. The city is withholding the documents despite a law the California Legislature passed in 2018 that requires their release, The Bee alleges. Theresa Clift in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/6/21

Photojournalists sue LAPD, L.A. County sheriff over alleged abuses at protests -- The lawsuits come amid heightened tensions between local police and the media after a year in which reporters and photographers have repeatedly alleged abuses by officers — including verbal harassment, physical assaults and baseless detentions and arrests — as they’ve sought to cover street demonstrations. Kevin Rector in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/6/21

Suspect in shooting of off-duty LAPD officer had been arrested twice in past three months -- A 24-year-old “transient” has been charged with attempted murder after he allegedly broke into an off-duty Los Angeles police officer’s vehicle and shot him with his own service weapon, court records show. James Queally, Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/6/21

Mother who survived Orange mass shooting but lost two children leaves hospital -- Blanca Tamayo was dying when she arrived at UCI Medical Center. She had been shot in the head five weeks ago and her two children and ex-husband were among the four killed in a mass shooting in Orange. Ruben Vives in the Los Angeles Times$ Roxana Kopetman in the Orange County Register -- 5/6/21

Huntington Beach latest to create non-police team to handle mental health, homeless issues -- Come summer, Huntington Beach is expected to launch a mobile crisis response team to handle a variety of mental health and behavior-related calls for service, rather than dispatching police when no crime, violence, or event involving a weapon is unfolding. Theresa Walker in the Orange County Register -- 5/6/21

LAPD officer arrested on child pornography charges -- A veteran Los Angeles police officer was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of possessing child pornography and distributing obscene images of a minor, according to the Long Beach Police Department. Kevin Rector in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/6/21


Minimum-wage workers say Oakland should do more to stop labor violations -- Despite Oakland’s adoption of worker protections before and during the pandemic, two Latina women say they experienced labor violations that the city hasn’t resolved. Shwanika Narayan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/6/21

California hospitality workers celebrate right to return to work -- SB 93 guarantees about 700,000 laid-off housekeepers, cooks, waiters and bartenders an opportunity to return to their jobs. Jacqueline García in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/6/21

Alameda County is legalizing home kitchen restaurants -- The ordinance creates a process for cooks to get permits for what are known as “Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations,” or “MEHKOS,” which were mostly illegal throughout California until a state law was passed in September 2018. Annie Sciacca in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/6/21

Job postings are slow in tech hubs like the Bay Area, but not because of a lack of tech jobs -- The data suggests what has been suspected for months, that businesses relying on the traffic of tech sector employees saw a decrease in business as tech companies closed their offices and allowed workers to telecommute from home. Chase DiFeliciantonio in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/6/21


Here’s where Oakland wants to build new homeless housing -- Oaklanders could soon see tiny homes, yurts, RV parks and more pop up everywhere from Lake Merritt to East Oakland after the City Council this week proposed a range of new ideas using vacant lots to house the city’s homeless residents. Marisa Kendall in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/6/21


Federal charges filed against alleged boat captain in deadly smuggling wreck -- A man accused of piloting the boat that broke up on the rocks of Point Loma in a deadly human smuggling attempt has been charged in San Diego federal court, according to a complaint filed Wednesday. Kristina Davis in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 5/6/21


Marin County is first in region to limit outdoor watering with mandatory rules -- The Marin Municipal Water District is imposing more mandatory water restrictions on residents, with the goal of reducing overall water use in the district by 40%. Amy Graff in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/6/21


Woman charged with starting 63,000-acre Delta wildfire in 2018 -- The charges related to the Delta fire include two counts of arson that caused great bodily injury during a state of emergency and 16 counts of arson of a structure, property or forest land during a state of emergency. Leila Miller in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/6/21

Also . . .   

Mays is overflowing with youthful memories, but focuses on kids' futures -- To sit and talk with Willie Mays is to walk into the Polo Grounds or Candlestick Park, hang with Monte Irvin or Bobby Bonds, lose your cap running first to third, and make a basket catch or three. John Shea in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/6/21

Kobe Bryant crash photos didn’t violate Vanessa Bryant’s privacy, county argues -- There was no invasion of Vanessa Bryant’s privacy amid allegations that Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies shared grim photos of the helicopter crash that killed her husband, Kobe Bryant, their daughter Gianna and seven others, Los Angeles County lawyers said in seeking to dismiss a lawsuit by her. Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/6/21

Yosemite: Giant sequoia grove reopens after 100 mph winds topple 15 ancient trees -- Mariposa Grove, a landmark of Yosemite National Park first set aside for protection by Abraham Lincoln in 1864 and visited by millions of people since then, reopened to the public Wednesday, more than three months after a raging storm with 100 mph winds toppled giant sequoia trees, felled dozens of others and wrecked facilities. Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/6/21

There are only about 200 California condors in the wild. About 10% landed on one woman's deck -- The birds, one of the largest flying birds in the world — their wing span can extend beyond 9 feet, showed up sometime over the weekend at the Tehachapi home, Mickols’ daughter told The Chronicle. The rare raptors have been troublesome guests ever since. Matthias Gafni in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/6/21

Wednesday Updates   

State appeals court upholds Gov. Newsom’s emergency powers during pandemic -- The three-judge panel of the Sacramento-based 3rd District Court of Appeal said the California Emergency Services Act grants the governor such powers during a crisis. The panel also decided the 1970 emergency services act was constitutional. Maura Dolan in the Los Angeles Times$ Don Thompson Associated Press -- 5/5/21

Hope grows for an L.A. summer economic boom as COVID-19 fades, tourists return, businesses recover -- Los Angeles County is seeing new signs of a resurgent economy, with plummeting coronavirus cases allowing for a faster-than-expected reopening of bars and expanded capacity for restaurants and other businesses. Luke Money, Faith E. Pinho, David Zahniser, Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/5/21

In dramatic shift, California COVID-19 hospitalizations are lowest since pandemic’s start -- In another dramatic sign of how rapidly California is recovering from COVID-19, the state recorded its lowest hospitalization rate since the first few weeks of the pandemic, according to data reviewed by The Times. Rong-Gong Lin II, Luke Money in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/5/21

What the biggest L.A. County reopening yet allows you to do -- Los Angeles County and San Francisco County have reached a threshold to enter California’s most lenient yellow COVID-19 tier this week, setting the stage for the economy to be unshackled to the widest extent currently possible. Rong-Gong Lin II, Luke Money in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/5/21

How growers had to sidestep county and state programs to vaccinate farmworkers -- As harvest season approached, growers begged county officials to vaccinate their workers. But the state and counties didn’t prioritize vaccine doses for farmworkers in February. So the growers and doctors stepped in and set up their own clinics. Caitlin Antonios CalMatters -- 5/5/21

Hospitality workers celebrate right to return to work -- Hundreds of thousands of California workers are hoping they will benefit from the passage of a hospitality rehiring bill signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom last month. This is a great relief, employees say, for them to continue contributing to the state’s economic recovery. Jacqueline Garcia CalMatters -- 5/5/21


We asked these Bay Area vaccine holdouts what it would take to change their minds -- A 69-year-old UC Berkeley public health graduate who voted for Bernie Sanders. A 28-year-old Fremont digital designer and COVID-19 survivor. An immigrant from India, 26, who fixes phones in a Fairfield mall. Nanette Asimov, Aidin Vaziri, Meghan Bobrowsky in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/5/21

CVS now offering walk-in COVID vaccinations in Bay Area -- The company did not specify how many locations in the Bay Area are offering walk-in appointments, but customers can check which pharmacies near them have vaccines available on the chain’s vaccination webpage. Vanessa Arredondo in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/5/21

Policy & Politics 

California firefighter union withholds support for Newsom on recall, citing pay cuts -- The president of California’s state firefighter union was notably absent from a press conference Tuesday in Sacramento during which two firefighter labor organizations announced they would support Gov. Gavin Newsom in the upcoming recall election. Wes Venteicher in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/5/21

Smith: What a fight over a noose says about the coming clash of red and blue California -- Mike Saunders thought the fight was over. For almost a year, he’d made it his mission to persuade the city of Placerville — perched in the remote Sierra foothills, not far from Lake Tahoe — to change its official logo from a noose swinging from a tree. Erika D. Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/5/21

He said a California local health officer should be ‘shot.’ Now he’s back on the air -- Days after reports surfaced that a Yuba-Sutter area podcaster told his listeners that the local health officer “should be set up against a wall and shot,” he appears to have secured a new gig: hosting a talk show on a conservative radio station in Marysville. Michael McGough in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/5/21

Facebook board upholds Trump ban, just not an indefinite one -- Four months after Facebook suspended Trump’s accounts for inciting violence that led to the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the company’s quasi-independent oversight board upheld the bans. Matt O'Brien and Barbara Ortutay Associated Press -- 5/5/21

Knight: Is San Francisco more conservative than Moscow? Top San Francisco official says yes -- Jeffrey Tumlin has worked in cities around the world — from Los Angeles to New York, from Vancouver to Wichita, Kan. He’s worked in Seattle, Portland, Ore., and Moscow, too. Heather Knight in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/5/21


Southern California warehouse boom a huge source of pollution. Regulators are fighting back -- Roxana Barrera realized air pollution was a problem in her San Bernardino neighborhood when her son Leo got really sick just before his first birthday. He was wheezing so much she had to rush him to urgent care. Tony Barboza, Gina Ferazzi in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/5/21


Fish or farmers? Newsom drought declaration would trigger new war over California water -- When a bipartisan group of state legislators held a press conference last week to demand that Gov. Gavin Newsom declare a statewide drought emergency, they assembled at a withered farm field east of Fresno, complete with piles of dead trees in the background. Dale Kasler and Ryan Sabalow in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/5/21

Smolens: Drought-tolerant San Diego won’t go thirsty in the dry stretch ahead -- Years of adding new water sources — and spending a lot to do it — should give the region ample supply. Michael Smolens in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 5/5/21

EDD Backup  

California’s jobless claim backlog is growing again, sparking opposition to proposal for new agency -- State lawmakers on Tuesday rejected a proposal by the governor to create a new state agency to improve working conditions in California, with opponents saying the state should first resolve serious problems that have delayed payment of unemployment benefits to many of those left jobless by the COVID-19 pandemic. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/5/21

Summer Power  

California blackouts this summer? State offers ‘guarded optimism’ the lights will stay on -- Still reeling from two nights of rolling blackouts during last August’s heatwave, state officials say they’ve fortified the power grid against more outages but acknowledge that another extraordinary surge in temperatures could spell trouble. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/5/21


Sacramento City Council says police shall only use deadly force ‘as a last resort’ -- The Sacramento City Council on Tuesday night adopted new policy language requiring police officers to only use deadly force “as a last resort.” But it’s not the exact language submitted by a citizen oversight group, which will have a chance to weigh-in on the change to its recommendation for police reform. Rosalio Ahumada in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/5/21

Former fugitive accused in 2001 eco-terror case faces arraignment in Sacramento court -- Twenty years after suspected eco-terrorists set fire to a horse corral at a federal facility near Susanville, a one-time international fugitive charged in a case alleging numerous arson attacks nationwide is set to be arraigned Wednesday in Sacramento federal court. Sam Stanton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/5/21

Who should police California’s troubled jails? State wants more inspectors — with power -- California is moving to strengthen its power over how county sheriffs are running their local jails, amid a national debate over accountability for law enforcement and ending ‘inhumane’ conditions in lockups around the state. Jason Pohl in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/5/21


A Black fifth-grader was falsely accused of stealing at Safeway. His S.F. school is fighting back on his behalf -- Ja’Mari Oliver walked into the Safeway on Market Street to buy a sandwich for his lunch, which he would eat at school for the first time in more than 14 months. Jill Tucker in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/5/21

COVID Stressed Health Care  

Kaiser just laid off hundreds. Are more job cuts coming in the health care industry? -- More than a year into a deadly pandemic that has pushed health care workers to the brink, Kaiser Permanente announced last week it was laying off more than 200 workers. Earlier this year, Sutter Health made similar reductions. Emily DeRuy in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/5/21

Landlords and Tenants  

San Diego County passes strict eviction ban, rent cap to ease strain on renters during pandemic -- The new ordinance takes effect in early June and lasts until sometime in August. Landlords under the new law can no longer evict tenants for “just cause” reasons, such as lease violations, and can only be removed if they are an “imminent health or safety threat.” This makes it one of the strictest anti-eviction laws in the state. Phillip Molnar in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 5/5/21

Federal judge strikes down CDC’s national moratorium on evictions -- Renters have been protected against eviction by a patchwork of state and federal laws. That means in many places tenants who’ve fallen behind on rent may still be covered by other measures. David Yaffe-Bellany and Noah Buhayar Bloomberg -- 5/5/21


Giant sequoia tree in Sequoia National Park still burning from last summer's wildfires -- A giant sequoia tree in Sequoia National Park that caught fire last summer during a wildfire was recently found to be smoldering nine months later. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/5/21