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California Policy & Politics Saturday Morning  

Official: California fixed glitch that backlogged COVID data -- A technical glitch that has plagued the data system the state relies on to make decisions about reopening businesses and schools has been fixed, but it could take up to 48 hours to get the numbers updated, California’s top health official said Friday. Amy Taxin and Janie Har Associated Press Dustin Gardiner and Catherine Ho in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Taryn Luna in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/8/20

California told counties about data flaw before Newsom, Ghaly apparently knew -- The California Department of Public Health at least twice informed county officials about Covid-19 data collection problems before the state's top health officer says he knew about the issue, according to emails obtained by Politico. Victoria Colliver Politico -- 8/8/20

Why the time to get back COVID-19 test results in Bay Area ranges from 2 weeks to 2 days -- Delays in coronavirus test results from some Bay Area sites worsened this week, taking up to 19 days in the worst cases and frustrating officials trying to contain the summer’s surge in cases. Mallory Moench in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/8/20

Judge issues order shutting down Ventura County church’s crowded, unmasked indoor services -- A Ventura County Superior Court judge Friday granted a temporary restraining order against Godspeak Calvary Chapel and pastor Rob McCoy, forbidding the church’s indoor services and demanding adherence to statewide and local health orders aimed at slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus. Jake Sheridan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/8/20

More children stricken with COVID-19 inflammatory reaction, 29 in California -- An increasing number of children are being infected with COVID-19 and more than 200 of them, including 29 patients in California, are suffering from severe inflammatory reactions that can be life threatening, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday. Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/8/20

Virus  

Frontline workers are forced to become COVID mask police. It’s stressing them out -- The alert went out to Johann Baqueiro: A customer was sipping her Starbucks coffee inside the Ralphs supermarket and she wasn’t wearing a face mask. Ronald D. White, Hugo MartÍn in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/8/20

Open anyway 

Pastor Rob McCoy to defy restraining order, hold indoor service at Newbury Park church -- A Newbury Park pastor said Friday night he will continue to hold indoor services at Godspeak Calvary Chapel hours after a Ventura County judge issued a temporary restraining order barring the church from doing so. Jeremy Childs, Kathleen Wilson in the Ventura County Star -- 8/8/20

Street  

Vallejo to seek change of venue, gag order in Monterrosa lawsuit -- Vallejo officials said Friday they will seek a change of venue and a court order silencing the attorneys and “any affiliated parties” connected to the police killing of Sean Monterrosa, whose family filed a wrongful death suit on Thursday. Lauren Hernández and Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/8/20

Officer at center of controversial arrest in La Mesa no longer employed by city -- The White police officer involved in the controversial, videotaped arrest of a young Black man in May is no longer employed by the La Mesa Police Department, a city official announced Friday. Alex Riggins in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 8/8/20

Policy & Politics 

Attorney general denounces murder charge over stillborn baby -- California’s top prosecutor has intervened in the case of a Central Valley woman who was charged with murder after she gave birth to a stillborn baby and authorities alleged her methamphetamine use was to blame. Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra on Friday filed an amicus brief in support of ending the prosecution of Chelsea Becker, saying his office believes “the law was misapplied and misinterpreted.” Alex Wigglesworth in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/8/20

Street  

Defund the police? Debate rages at SF General Hospital over use of sheriff’s deputies -- The San Francisco Department of Public Health is rethinking its two-decades-long relationship with the Sheriff’s Department guarding its medical facilities, leading to a drop in the number of deputies at city-run sites by three within the past month. Mallory Moench in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/8/20

Education 

California colleges can reopen with a ton of restrictions, limited dorms, online classes -- As California colleges and universities reopen this fall they must adhere to strict limits on in-person classes and greatly restrict dorm and campus life, state public health officials said Friday in long-awaited guidance for how campuses can operate amid a surge in COVID-19 cases. Teresa Watanabe, Nina Agrawal in the Los Angeles Times$ Beau Yarbrough in the Orange County Register -- 8/8/20

Stanford graduate students question university’s coronavirus policies as campus move-ins begin -- When Stanford University notified graduate student Tyler Benster in May that he’d have a new roommate Aug. 24, his first question was whether the person would be tested for the coronavirus prior to moving in. Sarah Ravani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/8/20

Inland students go back to school — to bring textbooks home -- Those in Murrieta and Rialto, for example, grab books and computers to prepare for online learning when lessons resume. Beau Yarbrough in the Riverside Press Enterprise$ -- 8/8/20

School Workplace   

SF teachers, district reach tentative deal for distance learning: At least 2 hours of live instruction -- San Francisco school district officials and teachers union representatives reached a tentative agreement Thursday for distance learning instruction for the upcoming school year. The deal comes scarcely more than a week before the start of classes on Aug. 17. Lauren Hernández and Emily Fancher in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/8/20

Stressed Business  

SF’s beloved small businesses say a sad, quiet goodbye as chance of quick economic rebound disappears -- They were the quintessential San Franciscans — upbeat, quirky artists who showed our flawed city in its best light, who donated proceeds to crucial causes and who became beloved centerpieces of their neighborhood. But soon Annie Galvin

and her husband and business partner, Eric Rewitzer, will not be San Franciscans at all. Heather Knight in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/8/20

74-year-old Bay Area sports bar faces closure amid pandemic -- A popular East Bay sports bar that has been called the capital of Raider Nation is facing closure amid the coronavirus pandemic. Ricky's Sports Theater and Grill in San Leandro first opened its doors in 1946 and has long been a spot for Raiders fans and others to drink beers and watch games in a space that claims to have more flat screens per square foot than any other sports bar. Amy Graff in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 8/8/20

Homeless  

SF homeless department is understaffed and unprepared to handle crisis, report says -- As the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage San Francisco’s economy and push more people toward poverty, a new city report says the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing is understaffed and unprepared to handle the swelling homelessness crisis. Trisha Thadani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/8/20

A judge commandeers L.A.’s City Hall in his campaign to curb homelessness -- With deaths from COVID-19 spiking in California, it might seem unsafe for nearly three dozen politicians, lawyers and activists to pile into a room for a legal hearing about homelessness. Benjamin Oreskes in the Los Angeles Times$ Elizabeth Chou in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 8/8/20

Also . . .   

College admissions scandal: Rick Singer’s employee to plead guilty to racketeering -- A woman employed by William “Rick” Singer, the Newport Beach consultant at the heart of the college admissions scandal, has agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to commit racketeering. Matthew Ormseth in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/8/20

POTUS 45  

Trump vows to nix student loan payments, interest ‘until further notice’ -- President Donald Trump said Friday that he is considering executive action that would “defer student loan payments and forgive interest until further notice.” Michael Stratford Politico -- 8/8/20

Beltway   

Postal Service overhauls leadership as Democrats press for investigation of mail delays -- Postmaster General Louis DeJoy unveiled a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s mail service, displacing the two top executives overseeing day-to-day operations, according to a reorganization memo released Friday. The shake-up came as congressional Democrats called for an investigation of DeJoy and the cost-cutting measures that have slowed mail delivery and ensnared ballots in recent primary elections. Jacob Bogage in the Washington Post$ Michael D. Shear in the New York Times$ -- 8/8/20

-- Friday Updates   

Scammers could be targeting unemployment benefits in California, state warns -- Many Californians are anxiously waiting for unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic, but James Myers was not happy when he received a letter from the state notifying him that his application for assistance had been approved. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/7/20

Eviction   

Evictions begin for 1,000 LA County renters with pre-COVID judgments -- Betty Ordaz, 55, isn’t sure where to go next. She sat in the driver’s seat of her packed SUV, parked near a North Hollywood street corner where the sound of low-flying airplanes landing at Hollywood Burbank Airport echoed. Ryan Carter, Jeff Collins in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 8/7/20

Eviction protections are expiring. What does this mean for struggling California tenants? -- Here’s a guide to how renters are faring and what elected officials may do to assist struggling tenants and landlords. Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/7/20

Smith: Facing a wave of evictions, California is about to make thousands of kids homeless -- Things weren’t great before COVID-19, but at least only about 570 families, hungry, broke and on the brink of homelessness, needed help from the volunteers at St. Joseph Center in Los Angeles. Today, that number is about 860. A month from now, it could be in the thousands — or even more. Erika D. Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/7/20

Should San Diego officials go through with the Dec. 30 rent repayment extension? -- San Diego City Council voted recently to extend the rent repayment period, under its eviction moratorium, to Dec. 30 for those struggling with financial stress related to COVID-19. Under its previous plan, renters would have needed to start paying back in late September. Phillip Molnar in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 8/7/20

Virus  

California officially passes 10,000 COVID-19 deaths, state confirms -- California’s death toll from the coronavirus has officially surpassed 10,000, as the state has seen the rate of average daily reported COVID-19 fatalities rise steadily for more than a month. The California Department of Public Health increased the tally to 10,011 with Friday morning’s reporting of 142 confirmed deaths. Michael McGough in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/7/20

After first being spared, rural California now being ravaged by the coronavirus -- It was once said that California’s coronavirus pandemic was hitting dense urban areas the hardest. Now, it’s rural, agricultural areas that are among the most severely affected. Alex Wigglesworth, Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/7/20

California’s 800,000 farmworkers are under siege from the coronavirus. Lawmakers urge relief -- As farming communities in California’s Central Valley face serious spikes in COVID-19, California’s estimated 800,000 farmworkers are among the most exposed. Kim Bojórquez in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/7/20

To slow coronavirus, a California county might pay the sick to stay home -- California officials are desperate to reduce the spread of coronavirus in the workplace, which has been one reason for a surge in cases. Could one solution be to pay people to stay home when they get sick? Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/7/20

San Diego Blacks and Latinos most likely to lose jobs and live in COVID hot spots, data shows -- The coronavirus pandemic has upended San Diego County’s once robust job market but the pain is not evenly spread across the region with Black and Latino communities hit the hardest. Phillip Molnar in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 8/7/20

California’s coronavirus response is in crisis mode, as computer glitch makes case data unreliable -- Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Gavin Newsom has said the state’s response would be guided by data. Now, a lack of accurate data has thrown that response into limbo. Dustin Gardiner and Erin Allday in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/7/20

California coronavirus cases may be dropping after weeks of higher COVID-19 rates -- California’s new case rate seems to have peaked and might even be going down, but recent problems with under-reporting in the state’s data and surveillance system has raised questions about those numbers. Average new cases have started to decrease over the past two weeks, after remaining relatively flat since July 10. Harriet Blair Rowan in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/7/20

Sacramento residents left home more often last month. Here’s what the tracking data show -- Sacramento metro residents went shopping, drove to work and visited parks much more often as COVID-19 cases and deaths spiked in July than they did in April, according to mobility data from Google. Phillip Reese in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/7/20

Children with disabilities are regressing. How much is distance learning to blame? -- The education of some 760,000 California children with disabilities has been inconsistent at best since campuses shut down in March. Parents’ worries have intensified as they see their children’s hard-fought advances diminishing — and fear that losses will be compounded with more distance learning ahead, said educators, parents and student advocates. Sonali Kohli in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/7/20

Prepared food vendors at farmers markets try to battle coronavirus ban -- The scent of freshly prepared food wafting through the Studio City Farmers Market used to entice customers every Sunday. But that aroma — of grilled hot dogs, stuffed pupusas, smoky barbecue and savory crepes — has disappeared since Los Angeles County health orders shut down vendors who prepare food on-site at farmers markets. Jake Sheridan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/7/20

Open anyway  

Roseville poised to fine SunSplash water park for staying open despite coronavirus orders -- Despite notices from the city, the amusement park has operated daily despite Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order to close outdoor water parks, among other businesses, due to the pandemic. The park’s operation has been openly advertised on television and social media as well. Molly Burke in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/7/20

Policy & Politics 

How California is preparing for in-person voting this year due to coronavirus -- Even as California elections officials prepare to mail ballots to all of the state’s 21 million voters this fall, they do so with the expectation that some portion of the electorate will still choose to participate in person during the pandemic, requiring a delicate balance between voting rights and public health. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/7/20

California’s agency for protecting workers can’t protect its own — even amid a pandemic, officials say -- Staffers at California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health have been frantically trying to keep up with an avalanche of workplace safety complaints ushered in by the pandemic. But even answering phones hasn’t been easy. In one office with no bilingual speakers on staff, an employee has had to use Google Translate to try to decipher complaints in Spanish. Jie Jenny Zou in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/7/20

L.A. could cancel real estate projects tied to City Hall corruption -- Los Angeles could revoke city permits and approvals for real estate projects if the City Council finds that developers or their representatives engaged in corruption, under a new ordinance proposed by City Atty. Mike Feuer. Emily Alpert Reyes, David Zahniser in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/7/20

Fox: The AG Brought Charges, But Will the Public Empathize with David Lacey? -- The California Attorney General charged the husband of Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey with a misdemeanor because he answered a 5 a.m. knock on the door of their home with a gun. News reports portray the incident as a political problem for incumbent Lacey in her hotly contested District Attorney race against progressive challenger, George Gascón. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 8/7/20

Street   

Defund the police? Debate rages at SF General Hospital over use of sheriff’s deputies -- The San Francisco Department of Public Health is rethinking its two-decades-long relationship with the Sheriff’s Department guarding its medical facilities, leading to a drop in the number of deputies at city-run sites by three within the past month. Mallory Moench in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/7/20

Prosecutors reviewing case in which L.A. man alleges LAPD officers planted gun -- Los Angeles County prosecutors are reviewing a case in which two city police officers allegedly lied about a traffic stop and planted a gun into evidence to justify a man’s arrest in 2018. Kevin Rector in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/7/20

State Lawmakers Propose Change To Compensation Rules For Victims Of Police Violence -- A bill making its way through the state assembly could allow victims of police brutality to seek compensation from the state’s Victim Compensation Fund without having to file a police report as currently required by state law. Tania Thorne KPBS -- 8/7/20

Immigration / Border / ICE   

Border agents stop car on Escondido freeway, find nearly $1M cash stuffed in gas tank -- About 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, agents pulled over a “suspicious” Volkswagen Touareg, which was south on Interstate 15 in Escondido, the agency said in a news release. Authorities did not say specifically why the SUV caught the agents’ eyes. Teri Figueroa in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 8/7/20

 

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