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California Policy & Politics Friday Morning  

Los Angeles County public defender dies from COVID-19 -- A Los Angeles County deputy public defender died earlier this week, just a few days after testing positive for COVID-19, officials confirmed late Thursday. It marked the first coronavirus death in the ranks of the L.A. County public defender’s office, and it comes as courts across California chart a path to reopen services and ease restrictions. Matt Hamilton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/29/20

Sonoma County cases rise weeks after allowing some services, holds off on in-store retail -- Several weeks after it began lifting restrictions on some businesses, Sonoma County is holding off on reopening other services largely due to a recent rise in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, according to its health officer. Matt Kawahara in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/29/20

Sonoma County Sheriff Says He Will No Longer Enforce County Health Orders -- In a Facebook post on Thursday afternoon, Sheriff-Coroner Mark Essick told residents he could no longer continue to enforce the county's shelter-in-place order without further explanation from county health officials. Michelle Wiley KQED -- 5/29/20

Gov. Newsom’s speedy reopening plan leaves Bay Area counties perplexed as coronavirus cases grow -- Faced with a ruined economy and mounting political pressure, Gov. Gavin Newsom has opted for a speedy reopening of the state after two months of sheltering in place. The decision has not been universally embraced, leading to a patchwork of policies among counties as life resumes in the shadow of the coronavirus. Erin Allday and Alexei Koseff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/29/20

Virus cases spur California county to stall reopening -- All it took was a single infection that spread to four other people before Lassen County, home to 30,000 people living in pine-covered mountains and the high desert of Northern California, temporarily rescinded reopening orders. Dining at restaurants, in-store shopping, hair cuts and religious services are now barred for at least seven days. Kathleen Ronayne and Brian Melley Associated Press -- 5/29/20

Bay Area churches grapple with reopening and defying region coronavirus orders -- Just two months ago, Reverend Johnnie Clark, a 72-year-old pastor from East Oakland who considers preaching and praying his life’s calling, was in an induced coma, unable to breathe on his own as he fought for his life against the deadly coronavirus. Maggie Angst in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/29/20

Policy & Politics 

California’s coronavirus budget crisis leaves Newsom and lawmakers at odds -- A sharp political and public policy rift emerged Thursday between Gov. Gavin Newsom and his fellow Democrats in the California Legislature over how to navigate the bleak economic road ahead after a state Senate panel rejected more than half of the spending cuts in the $203.3-billion proposed budget he unveiled two weeks ago. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ Hannah Wiley in the Sacramento Bee$ Adam Beam Associated Press -- 5/29/20

New effort to legalize sports betting in California cites coronavirus’ attack on state economy -- Ballparks, arenas and ice rinks have sat empty to limit the spread the coronavirus, but a pair of Northern California legislators are betting that legalizing sports wagers will help the state's economy recover from the economic shutdown. Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Don Thompson Associated Press Guy Marzorati KQED -- 5/29/20

Regulators approve PG&E bankruptcy plan despite safety fears -- California power regulators on Thursday unanimously approved Pacific Gas & Electric’s $58 billion plan for getting out of a bankruptcy caused by a series of deadly wildfires, despite ongoing worries about the utility’s ability to safely operate its crumbling electrical grid. Michael Liedtke Associated Press -- 5/29/20

Garcetti, Martinez call on L.A. City Councilman Huizar to resign -- Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Council President Nury Martinez on Thursday called on Councilman Jose Huizar to step down amid an ongoing corruption investigation at City Hall centered on bribes and real estate development. Dakota Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/29/20

Obtaining police body camera videos and other electronic records just got easier -- In a victory for the news media and others seeking electronic records from public agencies in California, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the government cannot require them to pay the cost of removing confidential material from the records. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/29/20

Trump’s attack on Twitter is all about running against California liberals -- President Trump’s executive action aimed at social media companies like Twitter isn’t so much about Twitter. It is about getting re-elected — and there are few better ways to rally his base than to rail on California liberals in Silicon Valley. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/29/20

No pay hikes for California lawmakers, officials amid budget pains -- Gov. Gavin Newsom, other state elected officials and legislators won’t be getting a raise this year, and the chair of the panel that sets their pay urged them to give back some of their salaries. John Wildermuth in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/29/20

California’s top court limits what government may charge for public records -- California’s Public Records Act prohibits the government from charging people for the cost of editing out exempt material in public records they’ve requested, the California Supreme Court decided unanimously Thursday. Maura Dolan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/29/20

GOP lawyer fights California governor on stay-at-home orders -- Long before Harmeet Dhillon became the leader of the legal fight against California’s stay-at-home order, she was a new elementary school student in North Carolina uncomfortable because she didn’t know the Christian prayer her classmates recited every morning. Kathleen Ronayne Associated Press -- 5/29/20

KQED Political Breakdown -- Tom Steyer, chair of Gov. Gavin Newsom's Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery, talks with Scott and Marisa about the work ahead to rebuild California's economy. He also discusses what he learned on the presidential campaign trail and shares the story behind his bulk purchase of tartan ties. Link here -- 5/29/20

Hospital Capacity 

More than 60 Imperial County coronavirus patients are being treated at Riverside County hospitals -- Riverside County hospitals are receiving coronavirus patients from Imperial County because its two hospitals have reached capacity, according to officials. As of Wednesday, 63 patients from Imperial County were being treated at Riverside County hospitals, said Brooke Federico, the county’s public information officer. Kailyn Brown in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/29/20

Mass Masking 

Major new San Francisco health order requires masks or face coverings outside -- Under the new mandate, which is scheduled to take effect at 11:59 p.m. Friday, face coverings are now generally required — with a few exceptions — when someone is exercising within 30 feet of another person, walking past someone else on a sidewalk or preparing food or other items for people who are not part of their household. Alejandro Serrano in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/29/20

Can’t stay 6 feet away? Masks or face coverings now a must, OC health order says -- To mask or not to mask? Orange County has made it simpler to answer that question with a public health order that requi res masks or cloth face coverings for everyone when they’re in public, in a store, restaurant or office, or anywhere else that they can’t keep a distance from people outside their family or household. Alicia Robinson in the Orange County Register -- 5/29/20

Virus Economy 

‘Shock in the labor market’: California, nation see no end to unemployment deluge -- “The size of the shock in the labor market is really breathtaking,” said Scott Anderson, chief economist for Bank of the West. “Even though it’s been dropping since the peak, the drop has been slower than we thought. Claims just keep coming.” Carolyn Said and Chase DiFeliciantonio in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/29/20

It cost $7 million to build Hakkasan. Now coronavirus has closed S.F. restaurant for good -- San Francisco’s spacious and glitzy Hakkasan — notorious for its expensive $7 million build-out — has permanently closed after eight years in business. Janelle Bitker in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/29/20

L.A. shopping malls reopen. The feel is more ghost town than Black Friday -- The scene underscored that it is going to take some time for the economy to restart even as stay-at-home orders are eased. Only 25 of the 130 stores at Citadel Outlets in Commerce opened their doors Thursday in a mellow first step back for the Assyrian-style icon alongside the 5 Freeway. Doug Stevens, Stephanie Lai in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/29/20

How California farms can survive the post-pandemic world -- Growers will need to find new ways to market their products, such as shipping farm boxes directly to consumers. Kate Cimini Calmatters -- 5/29/20

Virus Workplace 

Globe turns private homes into WeWorks; SF says that’s a no-no -- With Starbucks, libraries and WeWorks closed, San Francisco startup Globe says it has an alternative for people who need temporary offices during the lockdown because their homes are too crowded or noisy. It rents out work space in private residences by the minute. Carolyn Said in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/29/20

Sacramento nursing home workers move to strike over ‘continued negligence’ with PPE, testing -- Employees at Windsor Care Center of Sacramento have authorized a strike because the nursing home’s management has not provided personal protective equipment and coronavirus testing, the union representing said Thursday. Elaine Chen in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/29/20

Virus and Worship   

Synagogues in L.A. can reopen, but many rabbis are holding off -- When Young Israel of Century City reopens, it will hold satellite services in backyards following social distancing protocols. Fewer people will be in close contact with the Torah. There will be limited singing and no sermons. Leila Miller in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/29/20

Larger Southern California churches struggle with state’s coronavirus reopening guidelines -- Southern California megachurches are grappling with elaborate guidelines from the state that they say will make it impractical — and in some cases, impossible — to reopen their sanctuaries for in-person services. Deepa Bharath in the Orange County Register -- 5/29/20

States battle churches’ lockdown challenges at SCOTUS -- Focus turns to California worship limits as Illinois makes all religious restrictions voluntary. Josh Gerstein and Shia Kapos Politico -- 5/29/20

Virus in Jail  

Inmate labeled as ‘recovered’ from coronavirus dies at Terminal Island -- A ninth inmate infected with the coronavirus at the federal prison on Terminal Island in San Pedro died this week after authorities said the man had previously recovered from the illness. Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/29/20

700 Chino inmates to be transferred as coronavirus sweeps prison -- Amid a growing coronavirus outbreak at the California Institution for Men in Chino, nearly 700 vulnerable inmates will be transferred to a dozen other prisons around the state, officials said. Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/29/20

Amid new jail infections, South Bay activists push for more releases -- Entire minimum-security jail camp in Milpitas is being screened for COVID-19 after two inmates test positive in consecutive days. Robert Salonga in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/29/20

Virus in Court  

Sacramento Superior Court to resume jury trials next month. Here are the precautions -- The court’s safety precautions include: Stay home; anyone who is sick or has COVID-19 symptoms will not be allowed to enter court facilities. Reducing the number of jurors asked to report for jury duty at any one time, and there will be staggering arrival times throughout the day. Jurors are encouraged to follow the steps outlined in their jury summons. Court employees, jurors and members of the public will be required to wear facial coverings in court facilities. Rosalio Ahumada in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/29/20

Testing  

UCSF’s testing program in SF’s Bayview and nearby neighborhoods will gauge coronavirus spread -- Residents of San Francisco’s Bayview, Sunnydale and Visitacion Valley — low-income neighborhoods hit hard by the pandemic — will be able to get a free coronavirus test through a new UCSF four-day testing project aimed at collecting data. Anna Bauman in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/29/20

Trust barriers pose challenge for coronavirus testing, tracing among black and Latino Californians -- In the city of Oakland, when census workers call residents, they’re on a dual mission. Not only do they ask if the individual has filled out a census card, they also ask whether that person wants to get tested for the coronavirus. If so, do they know where to go? Ana B. Ibarra Calmatters -- 5/29/20

Reopen     

L.A. County officials hope reopening plan is approved by Friday -- Los Angeles County officials are hoping to find out as early as Friday whether they’ll be allowed to reopen restaurants for in-person dining, along with barbershops and hair salons. Jaclyn Cosgrove, Colleen Shalby in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/29/20

San Francisco to allow outdoor dining, exercise classes and spectator-free sports in coming weeks -- San Francisco Mayor London Breed on Thursday unveiled a plan for reopening the city, including allowing outdoor dining and permitting customers inside retail stores on June 15. Maura Dolan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/29/20

Napa’s Caymus Vineyards files lawsuit against Newsom to reopen tasting room -- California’s plan for reopening nonessential businesses is discriminatory against Napa Valley wineries, alleges a lawsuit filed by Caymus Vineyards against Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state public health officer. The complaint, filed on Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, seeks permission for Napa Valley wineries, including Caymus, to reopen now. Esther Mobley in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/29/20

SF releases timeline for schools, sports, gyms, restaurants to reopen -- So long as the city continues to limit the transmission of the virus and suppress the numbers of new cases and hospitalizations, it will shift to the next phase of reopening starting June 15, when most indoor retail sales, outdoor restaurant dining, nonemergency medical appointments and professional sporting events — without fans in the seats — will be allowed to resume. Dominic Fracassa in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/29/20

Yolo County ditches its local shelter in place order, but state order remains -- Yolo County lifted its shelter-in-place order Thursday, but stressed that county residents must still comply with the state’s stay-at-home order. Cindy Carcamo in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/29/20

San Clemente removes controversial beach fencing amid pressure from county sheriff -- Access will be a little easier for beachgoers visiting San Clemente this week after city leaders voted to reopen parking lots and remove fencing that prompted community outcry and a stern rebuke from the county’s top law enforcement official. Hannah Fry in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/29/20

Giants’ hopes of training in San Francisco boosted by new city order -- Chances that the Giants will hold a second spring training at Oracle Park rather than Arizona grew significantly Thursday with the city’s decision to allow sports practices to resume Monday and games without fans to begin June 15. Henry Schulman in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/29/20

Beachgoers can sit on sand beginning next week -- Beachgoers will be able to sunbathe and sit on the sand with others in their households beginning Tuesday, as county health officials relax another restriction on outdoor activities in San Diego County. Gary Warth in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 5/29/20

School Reopen

California students to wear masks, get daily temperature checks under Newsom rules -- Gov. Gavin Newsom’s reopening guidelines for schools include recommendations that students and teachers wear face coverings and receive daily temperature checks, according to a summary of the not-yet-released state guidance. Mackenzie Mays Politico Jill Tucker and Dustin Gardiner in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Louis Freedberg EdSource -- 5/29/20

Tahoe Travel Ban  

A Tahoe county removes travel ban, but California still doesn’t allow tourism to the lake -- California’s stay-at-home order may still be active, but health officials in El Dorado County have a simple request after rescinding a travel ban into the Lake Tahoe basin: Please don’t visit unless absolutely necessary. Alejandro Serrano in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/29/20

Nursing Homes  

Families call for shutdown of Vallejo nursing home with 102 COVID infections, 13 deaths -- Nearly a quarter of all COVID-19 cases in one Bay Area county can be linked to a single location, a skilled nursing home in Vallejo where more than 100 residents have tested positive for the coronavirus and 16 have died. Now relatives are demanding that the facility be shut down. Hayley Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/29/20

Education 

California college students fear pandemic will derail graduation, new poll shows -- An Education Trust poll, released Thursday, found 77% of college students nationally and 75% of California students had concerns about staying on track to graduate because of the coronavirus. And nationally, 84% of black and 81% of Latino students said they were worried. Ashley A. Smith EdSource -- 5/29/20

Oakland Unified helps seniors overcome graduation challenges -- Amid pandemic fears and distance learning challenges, school districts throughout the United States are finding ways to help as many high school seniors as they can do what they need to do to graduate this year. Theresa Harrington EdSource -- 5/29/20

Cash-strapped Bay Area school district braces for cuts in state funding -- The financial fallout from the coronavirus is threatening the budgets of all California schools, but cash-strapped districts like West Contra Costa Unified may be hit the hardest. Ali Tadayon EdSource -- 5/29/20

Also . . .   

Protesters return to downtown Los Angeles to decry police killing in Minneapolis -- Protesters filled the streets of downtown Los Angeles for the second evening in a row Thursday, with demonstrators gathering outside Los Angeles Police Department headquarters to decry a black man’s death in police custody in Minneapolis. Matthew Ormseth in the Los Angeles Times$ Jonah Valdez, Elizabeth Chou in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 5/29/20

3 alleged L.A. gang members arrested in fatal shooting of single mom -- Magali Alberto, a 28-year-old single working mom, was driving home on Manchester Avenue in South L.A. after a small birthday party when she pulled up to a red light in her red Dodge Charger. That’s when “three local gang members drove up alongside her vehicle and indiscriminately fired,” said Los Angeles Police Capt. Stacy D. Spell. “Unfortunately, she suffered several gunshot wounds and did not survive.” Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/29/20

City audit finds Oakland Police Commission falls short of duties, has too much responsibility -- A blistering city audit of the Oakland Police Commission found that the civilian watchdog group has not completed several of its City Charter requirements, lacks organizational structure and suggested it wields too much power in its ability to fire the police chief. The 66-page audit, which The Chronicle obtained before its official release, comes as council members weigh a new ballot measure that would fortify the commission’s authority. Megan Cassidy in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/29/20

POTUS 45  

Twitter: Trump's Minnesota tweet violated rules on violence -- Twitter said Friday morning that a tweet from President Trump in which he threatened shooting in response to civil unrest in Minneapolis violated the company's rules. The company said it was leaving the tweet up in the public interest. Ina Fried Axios -- 5/29/20   

 

-- Thursday Updates   

Coronavirus cases spiked after these counties reopened. Now, officials are scaling back -- Sonoma County was one of the first regions in California to begin reopening after months of restrictions aimed at controlling the spread of the coronavirus. Hannah Fry in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/28/20

San Francisco unveils reopening timeline, sets dates for schools, sports, gyms, restaurants to reopen -- So long as the city continues to limit the transmission of the virus and suppress the numbers of new cases and hospitalizations, it will shift to the next phase of reopening starting June 15, when most indoor retail sales, outdoor restaurant dining, non-emergency medical appointments and professional sporting events — without fans in the seats — will be allowed to resume. Dominic Fracassa in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/28/20

Why the Bay Area isn’t relaxing its lockdown orders yet -- The Bay Area is growing increasingly isolated in its commitment to enforcing strict lockdown orders meant to stop the spread of coronavirus, as the United States on Wednesday recorded its 100,000th death from COVID-19 and California passed 100,000 confirmed cases of the illness. Nico Savidge in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/28/20

Bay Area churches keep services online, though state allows them to reopen -- The end of the Easter season will most likely be celebrated this Sunday in the same fashion as it began — with Bay Area churches offering online celebrations but nothing that invites people inside the hallowed walls of church sanctuaries. Sam Whiting and Joaquin Palomino in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/28/20

Reopening California could easily backfire into second wave without masks and distancing, officials warn -- “There is a lot at stake as we reopen,” Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Wednesday. “More people being around one another can result in more transmission of COVID-19 — just more cases and likely more hospitalizations and deaths. This is why it couldn’t be more important for us to take care of each other when we’re out of our homes.” Hannah Fry, Rong-Gong Lin Ii, Cindy Chang in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/28/20

Rural California county see 1st virus cases, slows reopening -- A rural Northern California county that had been one of the state’s two counties without any reported coronavirus cases now has at least five, prompting the county to temporarily rescind its orders allowing the reopening of restaurants, shopping and other services. Lassen County, home to about 30,000 people, had reported no coronavirus cases until May 22. Associated Press -- 5/28/20

California reopening speeds up even as state hits 100,000 confirmed coronavirus cases -- Even as California surpassed 100,000 confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday, many communities continued to push forward with reopening the economy with the hope that social distancing and other safety measures would prevent new outbreaks. Phil Willon, Hannah Fry in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/28/20

Policy & Politics 

California Senate plan would reject most of governor’s cuts -- The California Senate’s plan to make up the state’s estimated $54.3 billion budget deficit rejects Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed cuts to public education and health care programs — and instead takes more money from reserves and delays billions of dollars in payments to school districts. Adam Beam Associated Press -- 5/28/20

Fox: Demystifying the Legislative Process -- California’s legislative process may not follow the normal structure in these abnormal times. How the process works out—including the Senate’s possible use of remote voting and the Assembly’s meeting as a committee of the whole—is taking shape to deal with the threat of the coronavirus. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 5/28/20

More Testing  

California requires universal testing at nursing homes, overruling L.A. County -- California’s health department has issued new instructions to all skilled nursing facilities to test everybody in their facilities in hopes of slowing the spread of the coronavirus, a move that overrules a more lax testing policy allowed by Los Angeles County. Jack Dolan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/28/20

CVS adds these 42 drive-thru coronavirus testing sites in LA and Orange counties -- Patients must register in advance at CVS.com beginning Friday to schedule an appointment. Patients will be required to stay in their cars and will be directed to the pharmacy drive-thru window or a location in the parking lot at a few stores, where they will be provided with a test kit and given instructions, and a CVS Pharmacy team member will observe the self-swab process to ensure it is done properly. The item is in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 5/28/20

Virus Economy 

Coronavirus ravages poorer L.A. communities while slowing in wealthier ones, data show -- In mid-April, while officials urged people to stay home, limit shopping trips and wear masks, infection rates in poor communities for the first time overtook wealthy ones, a Times analysis of county health data shows. Tony Barboza, Ben Poston, Ryan Menezes in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/28/20

SF to pay low-wage workers who get COVID-19 to stay home and isolate -- San Francisco officials rolled out a program Wednesday that seeks to provide some relief to workers who contract COVID-19, but can’t afford to miss a paycheck while in self-isolation. Dominic Fracassa in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/28/20

‘Shock in the labor market’: California, nation see no end to unemployment deluge -- A reopened economy? Not for the 2.1 million Americans who filed new unemployment claims last week. Carolyn Said and Chase DiFeliciantonio in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/28/20

Gavin Newsom wants to close prisons as coronavirus shreds California’s budget -- The coronavirus pandemic and state budget woes are pushing California toward its first prison closures in nearly two decades. In a revised budget plan unveiled this month, Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed shuttering two state prisons within the next three years, ultimately saving the state about $400 million annually. Alexei Koseff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 5/28/20

These lenders didn’t make it easier to find homeowner relief, watchdog says -- Millions of American homeowners who are eligible for relief under the CARES Act were provided inconsistent or confusing information by more than two dozen banks that hold federally backed mortgages, a federal watchdog has found. And even after federal officials contacted some of the banks, they failed to change their messaging. Erin B. Logan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/28/20

Virus Workplace 

Amazon won’t say how many workers have gotten COVID-19. So workers are tracking cases themselves -- Jumpp and Doan, who until this week worked at a store in Tustin, a city in Orange County, say they do this because their co-workers don’t feel safe; they aren’t able to gauge the risk of reporting for work to their warehouse or store because Amazon won’t tell them how many people are believed to have gotten infected there. Suhauna Hussain in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/28/20

‘I had to do something’: Black barbers and stylists go underground as L.A. salons stay shut -- Dondae Settles felt he had no other choice. State and local officials had forced him to shutter his South Los Angeles barbershop to slow the spread of the coronavirus. With rent on his commercial spaces due on the first of the month, the 44-year-old said he needed to find a way to bring in money. Angel Jennings in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/28/20

San Diego salons are open — and expecting an avalanche of business -- Salons and barbershops are officially allowed to reopen in San Diego County, stirring an emotional reaction from hairstylists and salon owners throughout the region. But good luck getting an appointment any time soon. Brittany Meiling, Lauren J. Mapp in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 5/28/20

Reopen 

Record crowds trash Ventura County waterfall with litter, human waste -- The closure of Paradise Falls in Wildwood Regional Park — located in northwestern Thousand Oaks — will be in place until further notice, according to the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency. Luke Money in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/28/20

Sunbathing, lounging now allowed at Ventura County beaches -- Residents are again able to sprawl out and soak up some rays in Ventura County as officials further ease restrictions that had allowed only active recreation in parks and along the shore in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. Luke Money in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/28/20

Asserting Sovereignty, Indian Casinos Defy California’s Governor and Reopen -- It was a high-stakes gamble: a chance to win big at the slot machines but risk getting infected with the coronavirus. Braving a cold drizzle last week, hundreds placed their bet, lining up for hours in front of the Viejas Casino and Resort, a glass-and-stone Indian casino east of San Diego that was reopening despite pleas from California’s governor, Gavin Newsom. Thomas Fuller in the New York Times$ -- 5/28/20

Also . . .   

Photos: Black Lives Matter-LA joins national protests over the the death of George Floyd -- Outrage over the the death of George Floyd, a black man killed after a white Minneapolis police officer pinned him to the ground with his knee, spurred demonstrators to take to the the streets of downtown Los Angeles. Organized by Black Lives Matter-LA, hundreds of demonstrators briefly blocked the 101 Freeway and marched around the Civic Center. Gabriella Angotti-Jones, Dania Maxwell, Jason Armond in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/28/20

Vandalism during heated L.A. protest over George Floyd death sparks concern from police -- In a statement, the LAPD said: “We hear your anger & your pain. We will always facilitate freedom of speech. Period. All we ask is that protests are held in a safe & legal manner.” Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said Wednesday night that he was also “troubled by the violence on the freeway.” Richard Winton, Matthew Ormseth in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/28/20

Trump continues to claim broad powers he doesn’t have -- Threatening to shut down Twitter for flagging false content. Claiming he can “override” governors who dare to keep churches closed to congregants. Asserting the “absolute authority” to force states to reopen, even when local leaders say it’s too soon. As he battles the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump has been claiming extraordinarily sweeping powers that legal scholars say the president simply doesn’t have. Jill Colvin Associated Press -- 5/28/20