Aaron Read
Olson Hagel
Capitol Weekly
CA Leg Analyst

Updating . .   

This county knew coronavirus could ravage its farmworkers. Why didn’t officials stop it? -- As coronavirus cases began to grow in San Joaquin County in June, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs proposed requiring citizens to wear a mask in his city in the center of the fertile valley, where agriculture is king and poverty pervasive. Anita Chabria in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/25/20

Is it less dangerous to reopen elementary schools than high schools? -- As the start of the school year approaches, we are still largely in the dark about the relationship between the coronavirus and children, but there's growing evidence that it may be less dangerous to send younger children back to the classroom than tweens and teenagers. Amy Graff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 7/25/20

Schools can seek waivers to reopen from San Diego County but criteria is unclear -- There is a way some schools can get permission to reopen despite a state school closure order, but the exact criteria for getting that permission have yet to be finalized in San Diego County. Kristen Taketa in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 7/25/20

California had a plan to bring clean water to a million people. Then the pandemic hit -- The water is too contaminated to safely drink, but residents of this farmworker community in the Central Valley pay $74 a month just to be able to turn on the tap at home. Alexei Koseff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 7/25/20

Growing artists hub in the San Fernando Valley closes its doors, done in by coronavirus -- The sound system had been sold to a local museum. And the gallery t-walls, broken down by a demolition company into nothing more than wood pieces, were shipped out. Elizabeth Chou in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 7/25/20

Pro-business campaign criticizes ballot language on California property tax initiative -- A business-backed group fighting an initiative that would raise taxes on multi-million dollar commercial properties is criticizing how the measure is presented on the ballot language voters will see this fall, contending it obscures a tax hike. Matt Kristoffersen in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/25/20

Lopez: He had a box cutter, ignored commands, and a cop shot him six times. Were there better options? -- Ten years ago, after a controversial case in which an LAPD officer shot and killed a man armed with a knife, the department offered me a chance to virtually experience what it’s like to make a split-second decision about when to shoot. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/25/20

A boy walks to a corner store and is shot in the chest. ‘I don’t think we could ever heal’ -- The evening of July 3, Otis Rayjon Williams left his family’s apartment in the Florence-Firestone area, headed for the store on the corner of Central Avenue and Century Boulevard. Matthew Ormseth in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/25/20


California Policy & Politics Saturday Morning  

Newsom signals more protections coming for essential workers, including hotel rooms for farmworkers -- The new program, which will rely mostly on federal money, will provide hotel rooms for agricultural workers who test positive or were exposed to the coronavirus so they can safely isolate. Barbara Feder Ostrov CalMatters Kathleen Ronayne Associated Press Amy Graff in the San Francisco Chronicle Robert Salonga, David DeBolt, Harriet Blair Rowan in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 7/25/20

After Times investigation, Newsom says nursing home inspectors will be tested for coronavirus -- California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday that the state will start an aggressive COVID-19 testing regime for its health employees who inspect nursing homes. Brittny Mejia, Jack Dolan, Phil Willon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/25/20

Garcetti loosens banner restrictions after cafe gets fined for ‘we’re open’ sign -- After city building inspectors fined a struggling cafe for hanging an “open for takeout and delivery” sign, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti cut the penalty Friday and cleared the way for more businesses to put up banners. Jake Sheridan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/25/20

L.A. County reports 1,900 more coronavirus cases and 44 additional deaths -- Los Angeles County, which has carried much of the toll of the statewide surge of the coronavirus, reported more than 1,900 additional cases Friday and 44 new deaths related to the virus. Leila Miller in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/25/20

California, other states ‘are essentially three New Yorks,’ White House’s Birx says -- A surge in coronavirus cases has made California and other hard-hit states resemble “three New Yorks,” the epicenter of the nation’s COVID-19 crisis in the spring, but there are signs the wave is abating, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator said Friday. Alex Wigglesworth, Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/25/20

Alameda County’s coronavirus cases soar past 10,000, with Oakland party-goers infected most -- On Friday, public health experts and city officials focused on a different reason for the county’s soaring number of cases: Parties and gatherings that residents continue to hold at Lake Merritt and in other public spaces. Sarah Ravani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 7/25/20

Does California have enough nurses to fight the coronavirus pandemic? -- Could California face a shortage of health care workers during the coronavirus pandemic? That possibility has state and local officials worried, as case counts and hospitalizations in California skyrocket and more health workers are falling sick, or even dying, from the COVID-19 disease. Mallory Moench in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 7/25/20

Stressed Business  

San Francisco has suffered among the most COVID-19 business closures of all US metros -- Few local economies have been hit harder by coronavirus-induced closures than the Bay Area’s. And as the pandemic rages on, more of those temporary closures are turning into permanent ones, according to a new report this week. Evan Webeck in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 7/25/20


California workplace safety rules are likely to change due to coronavirus fears -- Legislators have proposed expanding workers’ compensation eligibility so that more employees will be covered if they are diagnosed with COVID-19, increasing the number of sick days for food service workers and requiring employers to pay a portion of utility and internet bills for teleworkers. Melody Gutierrez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/25/20

As the death toll passes 100, COVID-19 spreading into more workplaces in Sacramento County -- After weeks of virus infection increases stemming mainly from unsafe family gatherings, officials in Sacramento County and elsewhere say they are seeing new cases popping up at workplaces, including stores, restaurants, warehouses and agricultural areas. Tony Bizjak in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/25/20


Vallejo police release gruesome police video showing Sean Monterrosa in final moments -- A handcuffed Sean Monterrosa was bleeding from a bullet wound in the head and slowly moving his mouth when paramedics treated him outside of a Walgreens in gruesome and graphic body camera footage released Friday by Vallejo police. Lauren Hernández in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 7/25/20

San Jose police officer on leave after video shows him kicking, dragging woman -- A San Jose police officer who kicked and dragged a woman during an arrest was placed on administrative leave while the department investigates the use-of-force incident. Anna Bauman in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 7/25/20


Bat in Anaheim tests positive for rabies -- Rabies is spread by a bite from an infected animal or, in rare cases, from a scratch if an animal’s saliva penetrates the skin. Those exposed to rabies may receive a series of shots to prevent it from developing. Leila Miller in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/25/20

Also . . .   

USC’s former campus gynecologist pleads not guilty to new felony charges -- USC’s former campus gynecologist, who is accused of sexually assaulting 21 young women, pleaded not guilty Friday to a half-dozen new felony charges. Prosecutors filed the latest charges — five counts of sexual penetration of an unconscious person and one count of sexual battery by fraud — against George Tyndall on July 9. The item is in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/25/20

POTUS 45  

‘Make America Normal Again’: Trump backers plead for a virus plan -- President Donald Trump restarted the White House coronavirus briefings. He urged Americans to wear masks. He even scrapped his party’s convention. To many of his own allies, it’s still not enough. Anita Kumar Politico -- 7/25/20


Karen Bass rises as sleeper pick to be Biden's VP -- The California congresswoman has emerged as a surprise unity choice in the final stages of vetting. Christopher Cadelago and Natasha Korecki Politico -- 7/25/20


-- Friday Updates   

SF Muni driver beaten with bat after asking passengers to wear masks -- The three men reportedly boarded the bus at 11th and Division streets in SoMa without face coverings. The driver told the passengers they needed to put on masks if they wanted to remain on the bus, as required by San Francisco’s health order. Andrew Chamings in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 7/24/20

Coronavirus is killing more Californians than ever before, and cruel inequities are worsening -- California reached another bleak coronavirus milestone this week, recording more than 100 daily deaths in the worst fatality numbers since the pandemic began. But just as troubling, health officials and experts say, is how COVID-19 is stalking certain groups, such as essential workers, and those in institutions including nursing homes and prisons, at much greater rates than those who have the ability to stay home. Rong-Gong Lin Ii, Sean Greene, Priscella Vega, Maura Dolan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/24/20

ER Doctor Saw COVID-19 Devastate New York. Now, He's Doing It Again In California -- Dr. Louis Tran, an emergency physician, spent much of May in New York City ICUs treating patients with COVID-19. Now, he's back at home in San Bernardino County in California, fighting the same virus on a different coast. Christianna Silva NPR -- 7/24/20

LAPD officer dies after contracting coronavirus, sources say -- A Los Angeles police officer died of the coronavirus early Friday, the first sworn officer in the city to succumb to the deadly pandemic, law enforcement officials told The Times. The officer had been sick for at least a week, according to a flier for a fundraiser to aid with his medical bills. James Queally in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/24/20

‘Everywhere you go you’re at risk’: As coronavirus surges, Orange County struggles to pinpoint sources of infection -- Amid a recent surge in coronavirus cases, Orange County is struggling to determine precisely where residents are being infected, its top health official said this week. Luke Money in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/24/20

As coronavirus ravaged nursing homes, inspectors were not being tested -- But despite requiring routine testing of residents and employees, there’s one group California health officials have knowingly sent from nursing home to nursing home without first testing them for the lethal virus: state inspectors. Jack Dolan, Brittny Mejia in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/24/20

Officials slam ‘egregious’ errors by state’s COVID-19 testing lab, nurses at California prison -- Health officials in Lassen County said state contractors testing for COVID-19 in prisons have been using unreliable methods to collect samples, a misstep that officials worry could have exacerbated an outbreak in the rural California county. Jason Pohl in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/24/20

San Jose among 12 cities feds are tracking for worrisome COVID-19 uptick -- San Jose is among 12 cities the White House is closely tracking after worrisome COVID-19 outbreaks, a top federal health official said in a call Wednesday — although city officials here said they were not among those invited to participate, and were not aware of the Trump administration’s concerns about the rise in cases locally. Fiona Kelliher, Maggie Angst in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 7/24/20

This Tahoe county and town are asking tourists to stay away -- To help control the coronavirus pandemic, Placer County and the town of Truckee have come together to discourage tourists from visiting on weekends through August 17. Amy Graff in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 7/24/20

Bay Area parents rush to form ‘pandemic pods’ for the school year. The backlash is fierce -- The fear and desperation erupted just over a week ago as parents realized schools would not reopen in August as hoped, and their kids would be stuck in front of screens, again, learning to read and solve equations despite a largely disastrous two months of distance learning in the spring. Jill Tucker in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 7/24/20

Virus and Workplace  

With coronavirus surging, California workplaces come under greater scrutiny -- With coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths hitting new records this week in California, officials are pushing for greater enforcement of workplace safety rules as a key step in slowing the spread. Luke Money, Alejandra Reyes-Velarde, Paul Sisson in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/24/20

Working parents face a child-care crisis. Here’s how L.A. employers are handling it -- The scramble began in March. Offices shut down, then schools and day-care centers. Sam Dean in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/24/20

Workers face layoffs at Cal Expo after pandemic prompts State Fair cancellation -- Cal Expo plans to lay off at least half its staff after the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of the California State Fair and intensified what was already a difficult financial situation. Dale Kasler and Wes Venteicher in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/24/20

A COVID-19 death renews questions of Uber and Lyft’s responsibility to drivers -- Chuck Beckner begged his 71-year-old mother not to drive for Uber and Lyft during the pandemic. She didn’t listen. Then COVID-19 took Billie Sue Matchke’s life. Joshua Emerson Smith in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 7/24/20

Hundreds gather in Huntington Beach to be baptized with cold dunk in the ocean -- Last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered several types of businesses and houses of worship to close again because of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases. But the state orders do not preclude churches from having outdoor services as long as they take precautions, such as social distancing and wearing masks. Deepa Bharath in the Orange County Register -- 7/24/20

Policy & Politics 

Time to Begin Learning about Those Confusing Ballot Propositions -- For voters who don’t spend their days engrossed in policy issues, the uncomfortable initiative season is upon us. How to decide on the 12 propositions on the November ballot? Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 7/24/20


Glendale’s Poop Fairy returns, tells folks that it really stinks when you don’t wear a mask -- Glendale’s Poop Fairy is back. And she thinks it stinks when folks don’t wear masks in public. Ryan Carter in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 7/24/20

Preventable diseases could come back as coronavirus has parents skipping kids’ vaccines -- In April, at the height of the state’s strictest stay-at-home restrictions, childhood vaccination rates in California fell by around 50%, according to state data. The numbers ticked up in May and June, but remained significantly below 2019 levels. Claudia Boyd-Barrett in the Orange County Register -- 7/24/20


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