California Policy and P  olitics Friday Morning  

'Worry With Me': California Health Secretary Urges Limiting Nonessential Travel -- California Health Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly began a press briefing Friday with a refrain he tells patients: “When I’m worried, I’ll tell you so that you can worry with me," he said. "And we're there." Lakshmi Sarah KQED -- 11/14/20

Hospitals ready for wave of patients as coronavirus cases surge in L.A. County -- The messaging from public health officials has been consistent all along. The increases in daily new cases, they said, would soon lead to more hospitalizations and ultimately deaths. And this week that started to play out. David Rosenfeld, David Downey in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 11/14/20

The Bay Area’s latest COVID-19 spike underscores the risks of holiday gatherings -- The Bay Area has seen a significant rise in coronavirus cases in past weeks, with one activity consistently cited by health officers as the main factor driving the spread. From Napa to San Mateo to San Francisco, numerous public health officers are concerned about an increase in social gatherings and clusters. Annie Vainshtein and Erin Allday in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/14/20

Much of Bay Area moves to shut down indoor dining amid spiking cases -- On Friday, with hours left for restaurants in San Francisco to cease indoor operations under an order announced earlier this week, Santa Clara, Contra Costa and Marin counties joined in the ban on indoor dining, in addition other new local restrictions. Evan Webeck in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 11/14/20

‘If I don’t go to work, I don’t get paid’: Pandemic still hitting California housekeepers -- It was mid-March when Maria Hernandez, a house cleaner in San Francisco, received a slew of text messages from her clients canceling her weekly services. Kim Bojórquez in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/14/20

Why Bay Area Counties Are Beating Coronavirus While San Diego Struggles -- On March 16, 2020, San Francisco Mayor London Breed had a press conference indoors, without a mask on and several officials huddled around her. That seems crazy today, but at the time the benefits of masks and social distancing hadn’t become apparent. Claire Trageser KPBS -- 11/14/20

Local Restaurants, Gyms, Sue San Diego County And State Over COVID-19 Shutdowns -- The businesses allege that San Diego's increased case numbers are not a result of exposures at restaurants, gyms and other types of businesses that will be impacted by the impending closures. The lawsuit cites recent figures indicating restaurants/bars, retail businesses, places of worship, schools and gyms make up a small percentage of confirmed community outbreaks. KPBS -- 11/14/20

New Coronavirus Restrictions Hit San Diego County This Weekend -- Because of the rising numbers of COVID-19 infections, San Diego County restaurants, gyms, churches and movie theatres have to stop indoor operations by Saturday. Matt Hoffman KPBS -- 11/14/20

Sacramento Pushes To Get Flu Shot To Underserved Communities As A ‘Dry Run’ For Potential COVID-19 Vaccine -- From social media posts to bilingual help lines, Sacramento County health officials are making efforts this season to make sure the hardest-to-reach people know how to get a flu shot. Sammy Caiola Capital Public Radio -- 11/14/20

Worried about crowds while shopping for holiday meals? One Bay Area grocery store is offering reservations -- The Mission District store first offered the after-hours service last Saturday, capping it at 30 to 35 customers, who probably wanted a quieter, less hectic, and possibly safer experience, according to Cody Frost, Rainbow’s marketing coordinator. Shwanika Narayan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/14/20

•  Chronicle Coronavirus Tracker


More Bay Area counties rollback openings -- Following in San Francisco's footsteps, more Bay Area counties announced Friday that they are tightening rules regarding high-risk indoor activities that can spread the virus more easily. Contra Costa, Marin and Santa Clara counties are closing indoor dining, beginning Tuesday, officials said. Amy Graff in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 11/14/20


Placer school district closes for two weeks amid COVID-19 spike -- Placer Union High School District announced it will return students back to distance learning for two weeks as COVID-19 cases spike in the region. Sawsan Morrar in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/14/20

LAUSD reaches agreement with administrators group on hybrid learning -- The Los Angeles Unified School District and Associated Administrators of Los Angeles have reached an agreement regarding how to bring students and staff back to campus for in-person instruction, one of several agreements the district has been negotiating with its employee groups. Linh Tat in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 11/14/20

Covid on Campus  

UC Davis expands COVID-19 tests for students and staff without coronavirus symptoms -- More University of California, Davis students and employees who don’t have coronavirus symptoms can now get tested after a rapid saliva-based COVID-19 test developed by UC Davis was officially validated, campus officials said. Rosalio Ahumada in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/14/20

Covid Layoffs  

Layoffs hit Golden Gate National Recreation Area’s nonprofit partner -- The nonprofit that supports the Golden Gate National Recreation Area says it will lay off more than a quarter of its staff, or about 108 employees, because of the coronavirus pandemic. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/14/20

Open anyway 

Judge to allow witnesses in COVID contempt hearing against Grace Community Church -- A judge said Friday he will allow pretrial discovery and the calling of witnesses in a contempt hearing against Grace Community Church and its pastor for holding indoor services in alleged violation of a September court order issued over coronavirus concerns. The item is in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 11/14/20

Policy & Politics 

Supreme Court agrees to hear California grower’s challenge to state farm labor law -- The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Friday to hear a property rights challenge to a 45-year-old California labor law that allows union organizers to go on farmland to speak with workers at the start of their day or during a lunch break. David G. Savage in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/14/20

S.F. DA Chesa Boudin says department is understaffed and overwhelmed by caseloads -- San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin said his office is inadequately funded and unable to fully staff units that investigate homicides and domestic violence cases — a situation, he said, that has reached a “tipping point.” Trisha Thadani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/14/20

Harris’ husband, Doug Emhoff, poised to break stereotypes -- In the Biden White House, the first lady wants to keep her job teaching and the second gentleman plans to quit his law firm to support the vice president’s career. When it comes to political marriages, we’ve reached a new moment. Kathleen Ronayne Associated Press -- 11/14/20

Bay Area Trump voters, like the president, cling to claims of voter fraud as hope dwindles -- This week, the neighborhoods of Fairfield bore little evidence of the excruciating presidential election that had been called just days earlier. Campaign flags and signs were purged from lawns with few exceptions, prompted by either a city-enforced deadline or a general sense it was time, at last, to move on. Megan Cassidy and Alexei Koseff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/14/20

OC jail phone vendor again records confidential calls between inmates and their attorneys -- The telephone vendor for the Orange County jail system — already embattled for inadvertently recording nearly 34,000 confidential attorney-client phone calls before repairing the system in 2018 — is again breaching protected calls, according to court papers. Tony Saavedra in the Orange County Register -- 11/14/20

Mental health courts cut costs, inmates, but lack oversight, data -- San Francisco attorney Jennifer Johnson views her life and legal trajectory as “life before and life after” a devastating 2016 homicide case that forever changed her view of how the courts treat defendants who are mentally ill. Sigrid Bathen Capitol Weekly -- 11/14/20

Ignoring Mega-Flood Risk — Like California Did With Wildfire Prevention — May Spell Disaster, Experts Say -- The Sacramento region is not prepared for a mega-flood and won’t be for nearly a decade, says Rick Johnson, executive director of the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency. Ezra David Romero Capital Public Radio -- 11/14/20

Reparations for slavery discussed at community forum -- The author of a new state law to study options for potential reparations to descendants of enslaved people led a virtual conversation Thursday evening about how to calculate and reckon with society’s debt. Morgan Cook in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 11/14/20


Oakland ballots not counted after voters wrongly told they were receipts, civil rights groups say -- A coalition of civil rights and voting advocacy groups lashed out Friday at Alameda County elections officials after poll workers wrongly told more than 150 voters that their paper ballot was only a receipt and that it could be taken home, leading to the votes not being counted. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/14/20

GOP captures second Democratic US House seat in California -- Republican Young Kim defeated U.S. Rep. Gil Cisneros on Friday in a Southern California district, the second GOP candidate to snatch a Democratic-held seat in the state this year. Michael R. Blood Associated Press Stephanie Lai in the Los Angeles Times$ Brooke Staggs in the Orange County Register -- 11/14/20

Inside California's Pandemic Election: How COVID-19 Changes Could Shape the Future of Voting -- Election officials across California are breathing a sigh of relief: An election that combined unprecedented changes and unmatched scrutiny amid a global pandemic resulted in historic levels of participation and few widespread issues. Guy Marzorati KQED -- 11/14/20

Donald Trump just broke California’s record for most Republican votes -- Donald Trump has just made history — in California, no less. There was never any doubt that Joe Biden would win the Golden State’s 55 electoral votes. But the sitting president has now secured more votes than any Republican candidate in state history, surpassing George W. Bush and even California’s own Ronald Reagan. Emily DeRuy in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 11/14/20

Also . . .   

Scott Peterson to stay at San Quentin as judge mulls retrial -- No one outside of San Quentin State Prison will be seeing Scott Peterson in person anytime soon as officials consider if he should face a new trial in the headline-grabbing slayings of his pregnant wife and unborn child, a California judge decided Friday. Don Thompson Associated Press -- 11/14/20

Lori Loughlin’s Dublin prison faces ‘dangerous’ COVID-19 outbreak -- So much attention has been focused on Lori Loughlin, who surrendered to the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin on Oct. 30. But since then, the prison has grappled with an outbreak of COVID-19 that has infected “numerous” inmates and created conditions that are crowded, “dangerous” and legally questionable, attorneys and prisoner advocates say. Martha Ross in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 11/14/20

San Diego Meth Deaths Increase To Record Number; Arrests, Hospitalizations Also Rise -- The San Diego County Methamphetamine Strike Force released data Friday confirming a record number of San Diegans died from meth last year, breaking the previous high set in 2018. KPBS -- 11/14/20

Enlow Ose, noted Sacramento developer and philanthropist, dies at 96 -- Ose and his wife, Melena Adams Ose, donated millions of dollars over the years to charitable and educational organizations in Sacramento and elsewhere following a successful career as a real estate broker, developer and investor. Sam Stanton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/14/20

POTUS 46  

Biden Implores Trump to Confront a Surging Pandemic -- President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. demanded on Friday that President Trump do more to confront the coronavirus infections exploding across the country, calling the federal response “woefully lacking” even as Mr. Trump broke a 10-day silence on the pandemic to threaten to withhold a vaccine from New York. Michael D. Shear in the New York Times$ -- 11/14/20

Who Needs a Call From Your Opponent When the Pope Is on the Phone? -- Joe Biden’s first week as president-elect included conversations with world leaders, a little time at his beach house and paying minimal attention to the president who refuses to concede. Thomas Kaplan and Katie Glueck in the New York Times$ -- 11/14/20

POTUS 45  

Trump, for once, listened when aides told him to lay low -- America finally got something it essentially hasn’t had since 2015 — a week without Donald Trump’s voice. No rally. No sparring with reporters. No unwieldy Fox News interviews. No unscripted moments with world leaders. Nancy Cook Politico -- 11/14/20

-- Friday Updates   

Schools could face a hard shutdown if the COVID-19 surge worsens, officials warn -- Campuses at public and private schools in Los Angeles County could once again be forced to shut down completely for in-person instruction if the current COVID-19 spike continues to worsen, health officials warned school leaders Thursday. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/13/20

It started with one sick woman in San Jose. Now, the coronavirus has spread to 1 million Californians -- Back in January, when Patricia Dowd became sick with flu-like symptoms and had to cancel plans to go to a funeral, it would be impossible to fathom what her illness foretold for California and the rest of the nation. Soumya Karlamangla in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/13/20  

Newsom attended French Laundry party with more households than California advises during pandemic -- Gov. Gavin Newsom attended a birthday party for one of his political advisers last week that included people from several households, the type of gathering his administration has discouraged during the coronavirus pandemic. Alexei Koseff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/13/20

Warriors’ groundbreaking plan to have fans tested for coronavirus faces big hurdles -- The Warriors have spent the past several months working on a groundbreaking plan to allow spectators to attend games at Chase Center during the upcoming season, but the proposal faces significant hurdles as coronavirus cases spike across the country. Ron Kroichick and Trisha Thadani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Shayna Rubin, Wes Goldberg in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 11/13/20

Sacramento County may fine bars, gyms that violate COVID-19 restrictions -- Faced with record numbers of COVID-19 cases, Sacramento County health officials will ask the county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to approve an urgency ordinance that would allow the county to fine businesses that refuse to adhere to state and local virus safety rules. Tony Bizjak in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/13/20

Why this week could be the start of a rough winter for Sacramento restaurants -- Al fresco dining kept Sacramento-area restaurants afloat this spring and summer. As temperatures dip into the low 30s, al frigid seems like a more apt term for eating outside. Benjy Egel in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/13/20

California issues travel advisory ahead of holidays as COVID-19 surges -- With coronavirus infections continuing to surge in California ahead of Thanksgiving, state officials are urging residents not to travel out of state for the holiday and recommending that those who do quarantine when they return. Luke Money in the Los Angeles Times$ Alexei Koseff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ John Woolfolk in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 11/13/20

Coronavirus & high school sports: Frustrated with governmental inaction, local coaches convene with a plan -- A group of more than 100 California high school coaches convened over Zoom this week to draw out their mission: After months of waiting out the coronavirus pandemic, they want student-athletes back playing organized sports again. Shayna Rubin in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 11/13/20

Policy & Politics 

Diverse California pushes Newsom to choose sides in Senate pick -- Here's the only thing certain about California Gov. Gavin Newsom's pick to fill Kamala Harris' Senate seat: it won't be a straight white man. Carla Marinucci Politico -- 11/13/20

Fox: Picking Senator Harris’ Replacement After Proposition 16’s Defeat -- Once again, I offer a solution to the governor to avoid this dilemma. Appoint a grizzled California veteran pol to hold the Harris seat until the next election, then all the interests that want to see someone from their group get the job can run for the open seat. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 11/13/20

California prison guards’ union spent big and lost with tough-on-crime message -- A major backer of tougher laws in both eras has been the California Correctional Peace Officers Association. This year, after president Glen Stailey announced a new push to regain the union’s former political might, some of the group’s most expensive efforts fell short. Wes Venteicher in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 11/13/20

How Uber and Lyft persuaded California to vote their way -- Six weeks before election day, Proposition 22 was in trouble. Suhauna Hussain, Johana Bhuiyan, Ryan Menezes in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/13/20

Young Democratic Socialist, progressive candidates sweep into office across Peninsula -- All in their 20s, three progressive candidates have upset two incumbents and won narrow victories for open council seats. Aldo Toledo in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 11/13/20

How LGBTQ climate activist, age 21, toppled longtime South S.F. incumbent -- James Coleman, a climate activist and Harvard University student, didn’t anticipate winning when he decided to run for City Council in South San Francisco’s District Four. But he ended up unseating Rich Garbarino, an 18-year incumbent who is the current mayor. Annie Vainshtein in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/13/20

Smith: The story you haven’t heard about that viral image of Kamala Harris and Ruby Bridges -- Gordon Jones rattles off, in an almost perfunctory tone, the many things that he has been in life: a boat captain. A private pilot. A marketing representative for Xerox in Houston. A caregiver, sadly, for his dying father in Sacramento. Erika D. Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/13/20

White supremacists killed an Ethiopian man. His son ‘pursued the dream of his father’ -- The California lawyer who for years made sure white supremacist Tom Metzger made payments on a judgment for his role in the killing of an Ethiopian man studying in the U.S. took no money for himself from the case but ended up with something priceless: a son. Elliot Spagat Associated Press -- 11/13/20


An 800-mile firebreak once traversed California. What happened? -- Nearly lost to history and nature, the Ponderosa Way, which spanned from Mount Shasta to Bakersfield, was one of the largest projects of the Depression era. It still holds lessons for a fire-stricken California. Matthias Gafni in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/13/20


Falling rents, a result of pandemic, lure bargain hunters back to S.F. -- Even as thousands of Bay Area residents flooded Lake Tahoe resort communities in search of rustic lodgings to escape the pandemic over the past eight months, Truckee resident Scott Ehlert was up to something very different. J.K. Dineen in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 11/13/20

L.A.'s rejection of a 577-unit housing project violated state law, judge finds -- A Superior Court judge has ordered the city of Los Angeles to give the go-ahead to a 577-unit residential complex planned in South L.A., saying its previous decision to reject the six-story project violated state housing law. David Zahniser in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/13/20

Also . . .   

Detective’s ‘end run’ to seal autopsy deepens divisions between L.A. County sheriff and coroner -- A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department homicide detective quietly approached a Superior Court judge late last month with an unusual request: He wanted the judge to bar the county’s coroner from releasing the autopsy report on a man killed by sheriff’s deputies. Alene Tchekmedyian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 11/13/20