California Policy and P  olitics Tuesday Morning  

L.A. County closer to new stay-home order as COVID cases hit new high -- The specter of another COVID-19 shutdown is looming over Los Angeles County, as another record-high number of daily coronavirus cases Monday pushed the region over its self-set threshold for issuing a new stay-at-home order. Luke Money, Rong-Gong Lin Ii, Alex Wigglesworth in the Los Angeles Times$ Brian Melley and Christopher Weber Associated Press -- 11/24/20

COVID deaths on the rise across California. Can Bay Area avoid a major uptick? -- Deaths from COVID-19 have started to increase statewide, a harbinger of what could be a deadly holiday season if cases spike as expected from Thanksgiving get-togethers, public health experts warned Monday. Erin Allday in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/24/20

Newsom: Up to 2.4 million California health care workers could get coronavirus vaccines as soon as December -- California could start administering coronavirus vaccines to as many as 2.4 million of the state’s highest-priority health care workers in early December, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday. Catherine Ho in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/24/20

Supervisor Barger, others want to keep outdoor dining open in LA County -- The Board of Supervisors will meet on Tuesday, in tandem with county health officials, to discuss the recent health order and where to go from here. Sunday’s stunning order inspired the challenge from Barger, who represents the county’s Fifth District, on Monday. Bradley Bermont in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 11/24/20

Pasadena will allow outdoor dining to continue despite L.A. County health order -- Pasadena has its own Department of Public Health that has the authority to issue health orders independent of Los Angeles County. Its orders have generally followed those of Los Angeles. As of Monday, Pasadena has reported 3,405 coronavirus cases and 132 deaths. Ruben Vives in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/24/20

After two COVID-19 exposures, Newsom and his family will quarantine until Dec. 5 -- Gov. Gavin Newsom and his family will spend Thanksgiving in quarantine after his children were exposed in two separate incidents to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, cases that the governor said Monday prompted an informal lockdown of his Fair Oaks estate over the weekend. Taryn Luna in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/24/20

Judge says no to letting San Diego County restaurants, gyms reopen indoors amid rise in coronavirus cases -- Local businesses had filed suit seeking a temporary restraining order that would have overturned county and state orders that restaurants and gyms be limited to outdoor-only operations. Lori Weisberg in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 11/24/20

As virus spreads among federal inmates in downtown L.A., court hearings and visitations are halted -- A coronavirus outbreak at a federal detention center in downtown Los Angeles has left more than 200 inmates infected and forced prison officials to cancel detainees’ court appearances as part of a lockdown of the facility. Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/24/20

Don’t Call It a Curfew: California's New, Less Restrictive Stay-at-Home Order Still Draws Backlash -- Gov. Gavin Newsom telling me to stay at home? Across California, some residents are bristling at the thought. Hundreds of people gathered Saturday night in Huntington Beach to protest the state's recent stay-at-home order, which prohibits nonessential trips between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. A smaller protest in Fresno drew about 50 disgruntled residents. Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez KQED -- 11/24/20

Open anyway 

Noted conservative activist speaks at packed California church, defying COVID-19 rules -- A large Pentecostal church in Northern California with a history of defying state and local coronavirus restrictions did so again this past weekend in a big way, holding a trio of packed indoor services Sunday with prominent conservative activist Charlie Kirk as a guest. Michael McGough in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/24/20

Policy & Politics 

Feinstein won’t seek to keep top Senate Judiciary Committee post -- California Sen. Dianne Feinstein will not seek the top Democratic position on the high-profile Judiciary Committee in the next Congress, a move that comes after some progressives said she had not been tough enough on GOP nominees. Dustin Gardiner in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Andrew Sheeler in the Sacramento Bee$ Felicia Sonmez and Seung Min Kim in the Washington Post$ -- 11/24/20

Pressure rising on Newsom about who will replace Kamala Harris in Senate -- As Gov. Gavin Newsom weighs who should replace Sen. Kamala Harris, private lobbying has burst forth into public campaigns by groups hoping to sway the governor’s decision. Alexei Koseff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/23/ 20

Walters: Poll confirms Californians’ sour mood on higher taxes -- Proposition 15 would have been the largest tax increase in California history and its defeat this month was, by any definition, a huge setback for its sponsors, primarily public employee unions. Dan Walters CalMatters -- 11/24/20


After decades of quiet, Bay Area prosecutors seek to hold police accountable for on-the-job killings -- For decades, prosecutors in the Bay Area rarely charged police officers who killed civilians while on the job. Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/24/20


Purple tier delays reopening timelines for some school districts -- Some districts, including Poway Unified and Santee Elementary, had already reopened to some degree for part-time, in-person instruction, but they are voluntarily delaying bringing back more of their students or starting full-time instruction due to the purple tier. Kristen Taketa in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 11/24/20

Fewer internships for Bay Area high school seniors to boost college apps -- With college application deadlines right around the corner, thousands of California students are still in virtual school, making it harder for them to network, complete extracurricular activities and get critical internships they hope will get them into the colleges of their choice. Laurence Du Sault CalMatters -- 11/24/20

With classrooms closed, scientists take over virtual STEM lessons in LA Unified -- Field trips and hands-on lessons are an integral part of K-12 science instruction — at least they should be in normal times. But they have virtually disappeared this school year as a result of students learning from home. Sydney Johnson EdSource -- 11/24/20


Newport-Mesa teachers union urges district to return secondary schools to distance learning -- The teachers union in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District requested on Monday, Nov. 23, that its middle and high schools return to distance learning because of the recent rise in coronavirus cases in Orange County, the upcoming holidays and concerns with the hybrid model. Dan Albano in the Orange County Register -- 11/24/20


Holiday Travel Creating Long Lines At San Diego COVID-19 Testing Centers -- Despite a travel advisory, people are still packing their bags and flying out of San Diego International Airport. “I am flying home to Denver for the holidays just to be with my family for Thanksgiving,” said Kayte Livran, an SDSU student. For her, booking a plane ticket also meant booking a COVID-19 test. Two, in fact. Tania Thorne KPBS -- 11/24/20


Do California ag counties hold solutions to Monterey County farmworker housing crisis? -- In 2019, Monterey County sold more than five billion dollars worth of agricultural products, from cannabis to strawberries to leaf lettuce. It is, by far, the largest industry in the county. Kate Cimini CalMatters -- 11/24/20


San Diego may create California’s first city-sanctioned cannabis trade association -- San Diego officials are proposing California’s first city-sanctioned trade association for cannabis dispensaries, to help the industry fight black market operators, coordinate lobbying and help low-income people enter the industry. David Garrick in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 11/24/20

Second marijuana dispensary sues Chula Vista over its license application process -- A second cannabis company is suing Chula Vista after the city rejected its busines license application. If successful, this lawsuit could prevent the city from awarding any licenses to storefront dispensaries and further stall a lengthy permitting process that began nearly two years ago. Gustavo Solis in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 11/24/20

California officials improperly allowed cannabis billboards along highways, court rules -- State officials improperly allowed hundreds of billboards advertising cannabis products along California highways even though the billboards were banned under the 2016 initiative that legalized the sale of pot for recreational use, a judge ruled last week. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/24/20

Also . . .   

Pliny the Younger nixes its hyped up Sonoma County brewpub release due to COVID -- For the first time in a decade, there will not be crowds of thousands lining up on Santa Rosa’s Fourth Street this February. They will not be shivering outside in the often cold, rainy weather as they await the chance to taste Pliny the Younger, the triple India Pale Ale from Russian River Brewing Co. that is one of the world's biggest cult favorites. Esther Mobley in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/24/20

Lime adding 1,000 S.F. scooters after city approval -- Earlier this year, Lime acquired scooter company Jump and its permit to operate 1,000 scooters. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency approved the transfer of that permit to Lime last week. Chase DiFeliciantonio in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/24/20

14 charged in alleged ‘sham’ school scheme -- Fourteen Southern California residents have been charged with involvement in two “sham” schools allegedly funded with fraudulent workers compensation claims that cost insurance carriers more than $22 million, prosecutors said. Colleen Shalby in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/24/20

Muslims reel over a prayer app that sold user data: ‘A betrayal from within our own community’ -- Five times a day, tens of millions of phones buzz with notifications from an app called Muslim Pro, reminding users it’s time to pray. Johana Bhuiyan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/24/20

Christmas cocktail pop-up Miracle is back in S.F. but outdoor seats are almost all booked already -- The pandemic can’t stop over-the-top joyous Christmas cocktail pop-up Miracle, which returns this week to San Francisco bar Pacific Cocktail Haven and Petaluma beer garden Brewsters. Janelle Bitker in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/24/20

POTUS 46  

Biden’s nominees have pushed policies that Trump used to fuel his rise -- Biden’s top picks, announced Monday, in the past helped push for trade deals, aimed to sign international treaties and advocated for foreign wars, positions that after Trump’s victory in 2016 triggered widespread soul-searching among Democrats over how they had misread the sentiments of voters on whose support they had long counted. Matt Viser, John Hudson, Karen DeYoung and Carol Morello in the Washington Post$ -- 11/24/20

POTUS 45  

Trump relents as administration begins Biden transition -- The General Services Administration on Monday finally acknowledged Biden as the apparent winner of the 2020 presidential election, allowing his team to get working on the logistics of the transition. Matthew Choi, Gabby Orr, Meridith McGraw and Nancy Cook Politico -- 11/24/20


The secretive consulting firm that’s become Biden’s Cabinet in waiting -- The website for WestExec Advisors includes a map depicting West Executive Avenue, the secure road on the White House grounds between the West Wing and the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, as a way to show what the consulting firm can do for its clients. Bryan Bender and Theodoric Meyer Politico -- 11/24/20

-- Monday Updates

California COVID-19 lockdown measures are met with skepticism but may offer the best hope -- With coronavirus cases surging to unprecedented levels in California, state and local officials are rapidly adding new restrictions in hopes of slowing the infection rate. Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/23/20

L.A. County restaurant owners fear they won’t survive another COVID-19 shutdown -- For Jacob Shaw and other restaurant owners in Los Angeles, the holiday season was going to be a welcome boost to business. Matt Hamilton, Jenn Harris, Garrett Snyder, Alex Wigglesworth, Gale Holland in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/23/20

Outdoor-dining ban and late-night restrictions: Here are the latest COVID rules for L.A. County -- In the latest effort to slow the unprecedented rise in COVID-19, Los Angeles County officials said outdoor restaurant dining would be temporarily restricted beginning Wednesday. It’s just the latest in a string of new orders issued in the last week as coronavirus infections have raged. Alex Wigglesworth, Luke Money, Matt Hamilton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/23/20

Sacramentans are flying to Thanksgiving meals despite dire COVID-19 warnings. Here’s why -- The Simpermans are among perhaps hundreds of thousands in California this week who are doing exactly what national health officials have been asking them not to do - travel long distances to gather with extended family for days of holiday visits amid a national surge of COVID-19 cases. Tony Bizjak in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/23/20

S.F. study could bring U.S. closer to fast, reliable coronavirus tests that report results in minutes -- A small study by San Francisco researchers could bring the U.S. a step closer to having reliable and fast coronavirus diagnostic tests that generate results in minutes, instead of hours or days. Catherine Ho in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/23/20

As coronavirus cases surge again, ICE leaders push to detain more immigrants -- At a federal court hearing last week, Moises Becerra, a top official with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, discussed a plan to safely repopulate the Mesa Verde immigrant detention facility in Bakersfield. Last summer, a COVID-19 outbreak spread to more than half of the detainees and a quarter of the staff. Andrea Castillo in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/23/20

San Francisco’s empty hotels have little to celebrate during coming holidays -- To see the sorry state of San Francisco’s once dynamic hospitality industry right now, just pay a visit to the lobby of the Hotel Nikko near Union Square — you’ll need to ring a bell to get in, and when you step into the lobby, it’s empty. Phil Matier in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/23/20

Policy & Politics 

Apple exec indicted for alleged role in Santa Clara pay-to-play gun permit scandal -- The head of global security for Apple was indicted Monday for what prosecutors said was his role in an alleged bribery scheme to obtain gun permits in exchange for political donations, the Santa Clara District Attorney’s office said. Nora Mishanec in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Robert Salonga in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 11/23/20

Newsom’s French Laundry dinner shows how lobbyists get access to power in Sacramento -- When he dined at the French Laundry in Yountville this month, Gov. Gavin Newsom enjoyed not only fine cuisine at a three-star Michelin restaurant but also the company of several influential figures with regular business before his administration. Alexei Koseff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/23/20

French Laundry snafu reignites longshot Newsom recall drive -- Gov. Gavin Newsom’s pandemic group outing to the French Laundry and his decision to send his kids to in-person private school are reigniting talk of a recall that was once relegated to the fringes of conservative groups in deep blue California. Carla Marinucci in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/23/20

GM flips to California’s side in pollution fight against Trump -- General Motors says it will no longer support the Trump administration‘s legal efforts to end California’s right to set its own clean-air standards. Tom Krisher Associated Press -- 11/23/20

Divided Washington will test House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s prowess next year -- Next year could put House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s reputation as a master legislator to the greatest test of her career, with Washington poised to enter one of its most sharply divided periods in a generation. Tal Kopan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/23/20

Will state stick ‘Team Biden’ firm with $35 million tab after Yee balks at Padilla vote contract? -- Documents obtained by CalMatters reveal a behind-the-scenes look at a controversial no-bid contract — and a showdown between two of California’s most ambitious politicians. Emily Hoeven CalMatters -- 11/23/20

Biden picks Alejandro Mayorkas for Homeland Security secretary -- President-elect Joe Biden on Monday named Alejandro Mayorkas as his Homeland Security secretary, a move that could make the Cuban American and former federal prosecutor in California the first Latino to serve in the Cabinet post. Molly O’Toole in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/23/20

A 40-year conflict over a state park: Has it finally reached a breaking point? -- Enjoying nature while preserving it is an age-old conflict in California, but nowhere is it more fraught than at Oceano Dunes. Can off-roading and endangered species coexist? Julie Cart CalMatters -- 11/23/20

Policy & Business  

The fossil fuel industry wants you to believe it’s good for people of color -- The letter to Mexico’s energy minister offered a glowing review of a fossil fuel project in Baja California. Sammy Roth in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/23/20

Fox: Business and Jobs Task Force Quits Ahead of Likely Additional Business and Job Closures -- It is more than ironic that the governor’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery closed down just as businesses and workers face the prospect of more restrictions and closures with a surge of the coronavirus. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 11/23/20


Coronavirus outbreak at Concordia University infects 49 students, 16 employees -- A coronavirus outbreak at Concordia University in Irvine has infected more than 60 students and employees, prompting campus officials to cancel athletic practices and urge against out-of-state travel for Thanksgiving. Luke Money in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/23/20

California is still debating ethnic studies in public education. Can the state finally get it right? -- After more than a year of roiling controversies over how to teach ethnic studies in K-12 through college classrooms, discord erupted anew last week over course content and how to meet legal requirements, with many wondering: Can California get it right this go-round? Nina Agrawal in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/23/20

Distance learning stokes fears of excessive screen time -- Christine Whalen has a spirited 5-year-old who started kindergarten in the fall. It’s not going well. Ella gets so bored on Zoom that she quickly squirms, wiggles and tries to flee. Karen D'Souza EdSource -- 11/23/20

Landlords & Tenants  

Rent is falling in Los Angeles. Head east, you’ll find the opposite -- Estimated rent for a vacant apartment has fallen 5.3% since the beginning of the year in Los Angeles County, according to one measure, as landlords try to fill vacant units in a down economy. In the Inland Empire, apartment hunters are encountering a stark difference. Andrew Khouri in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/23/20


In a first for San Francisco, DA Chesa Boudin will charge police officer who shot Keita O’Neil with homicide -- San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin will announce on Monday that he is filing manslaughter charges against the police officer who fatally shot 42-year-old Keita O’Neil during a chase in 2017 — the first time in modern history that the city's top prosecutor has charged a police officer with homicide. Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/23/20

San Diego police mandate solid-colored masks with no logos to appease concerns -- The order comes after some community members raised concerns over masks that depict the thin blue line flag. David Hernandez in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 11/23/20

Killings in L.A. spike dramatically, leaving families shattered, communities reeling -- Beneath a highway overpass in South Los Angeles on Saturday night, a detective clicked his flashlight on and off as he carefully placed a yellow evidence marker in the middle of the street and then another closer to the curb, near the pooled blood of a 17-year-old boy. Kevin Rector, Nicole Santa Cruz in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/23/20