Aaron Read
Olson Hagel
Capitol Weekly
CA Leg Analyst

Updating . .   

‘Underserved and underfunded’: Inside California’s county hit hardest by COVID-19 -- The high infection rates can make it feel like nearly everyone knows or knows of somebody who has contracted COVID-19 or died from it. As most of California begins a second shutdown over the pandemic, no place has been hit as hard as Imperial County. Ruben Vives in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/28/20

Coronavirus ravages California’s Central Valley, following a cruel and familiar path -- The demographics of those getting sick in the rural hamlets of America’s famed agricultural zone are the same as those who have been hit hard in big cities and suburbs: Essential workers — many of them Latino — who cannot stay home for financial reasons when they fall ill on the job and also have a hard time isolating in housing that can be crowded and multigenerational. Rong-Gong Lin II, Melody Gutierrez, Anita Chabria in the Los Angeles Times$ Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/28/20

Researchers identify six different ‘types’ of COVID-19 -- Symptoms developed within the first week of the onset of a COVID-19 infection can determine the likelihood of a patient requiring serious medical attention by the end of week two, according to researchers at King’s College in London. Evan Webeck in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 7/28/20

Church services move to California beaches, sparking fears of coronavirus outbreaks -- With the coronavirus continuing to surge in California, officials imposed limits on indoor church services in many areas. But now, there are concerns about several large church services being held on beaches. Alex Wigglesworth, Paul Sisson in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/28/20

Hobo and Dreamer: A homeless man and his dog hoped to finally go home. Then COVID-19 arrived -- Leland “Hobo” Goodsell might have just been another homeless man on the streets of Goleta, Calif., but he had gained something of a reputation over the 14 years he’d lived there. Tiffany Wong in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/28/20

Even Silicon Valley startups are struggling during the pandemic -- By all appearances, Sri Ramaswamy was doing everything right. She founded an AI company in Silicon Valley when it had one of the hottest economies in the world to help insurance companies with fraud detection and litigation. By early March, she had three clients and was set to raise her first outside funding, $1 million from angel investors. Leonardo Castañeda in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 7/28/20

As pandemic upends childcare plans, here are ways Sacramento families make do -- With schools closed since mid-March, some parents working from home and others busier than ever as essential workers, the pandemic has been a complicated time for childcare. Jasmine Kerber in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/28/20

For Biotech Firms, Keeping Up With COVID-19 Testing Demand Is A Daily Struggle -- The first stop in a La Jolla laboratory’s COVID-19 testing process is Bootes. Named for the star constellation and pronounced like the footwear, he’s an automated liquid handling platform developed by the company Hamilton. Tarryn Mento KPBS -- 7/28/20


California sues Trump over census policy that could exclude 2 million residents from count -- California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced on Tuesday a new lawsuit against the Trump administration over a memorandum it released last week that aims exclude undocumented immigrants from the 2020 Census formula used to calculate the number of congressional seats each state is given. Kim Bojórquez in the Sacramento Bee$ Jeremy B. White Politico -- 7/28/20

Policy & Politics 

Hundreds of cases involving LAPD officers accused of corruption now under review -- Hundreds of criminal cases involving three city police officers charged earlier this month with falsifying evidence are now under review by prosecutors after corruption allegations sparked questions about whether their past police work could be suspect. Kevin Rector, James Queally, Ben Poston in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/28/20

In L.A. race, is this incumbent a ‘progressive fighter’ or a knockoff? -- When L.A. City Council candidate Nithya Raman pledged not to accept any political donations from police unions, she tweeted a photo of herself, head bowed, signing the document. Emily Alpert Reyes in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/28/20

California will be on the ballot, too, if Kamala Harris or Karen Bass is Biden’s VP pick -- Joe Biden has said he’ll pick a running mate as early as Saturday, and two Californians — Sen. Kamala Harris and Rep. Karen Bass — are on his short list. If he chooses either one, it will be the first time a California Democrat has been on the party’s national ticket. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 7/28/20

Also . . .   

Mysterious seed packets, possibly from China, arriving in Southern California mailboxes -- Mysterious, unsolicited packets of seeds possibly from China are arriving in some Southern California mailboxes, prompting state officials to urge recipients to refrain from planting them. Scott Schwebke in the Orange County Register -- 7/28/20


California Policy & Politics Tuesday Morning  

California may offer $600 a week in extra jobless benefits if Congress doesn’t act -- If Congress doesn’t act to extend an extra $600 in weekly benefits for unemployed Californians, state legislators say they’re ready to jump in to prevent benefits from plunging during the pandemic. Dustin Gardiner in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 7/28/20

The new hot spot: Newsom targets Central Valley for $52 million coronavirus aid -- Eight Central Valley counties will get help with staffing, testing and contact testing to try and slow the virus’ deadly spread, particularly among essential workers. Ana B. Ibarra CalMatters Melody Gutierrez in the Los Angeles Times$ Sophia Bollag in the Sacramento Bee$ Rachel Treisman NPR -- 7/28/20

Latinos worry more than other Californians about how the coronavirus will affect them, poll says -- Latinos are much more anxious that they will become sick or affected financially by the novel coronavirus than their fellow Californians, according to a new poll by the Public Policy Institute of California. Alejandra Reyes-Velarde in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/28/20

Military medical teams arrive at two Los Angeles County hospitals -- The Department of Defense sent the Air Force teams last week to Los Angeles County-USC and Harbor-UCLA medical centers, said Brian Ferguson, a spokesperson for the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. Jake Sheridan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/28/20

Southern California’s hospitalizations, coronavirus spread start to plateau after steady resurgence -- Dr. Charles Bailey, medical director for infection prevention at two Providence hospitals in Orange County, sees the current influx of patients sweeping into hospitals across the Southland not as a second wave of coronavirus infections, but the first wave they had been preparing for all along. David Rosenfeld, Nikie Johnson, Ian Wheeler, Jeff Horseman, David Downey in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 7/28/20

San Francisco won’t cite Catholic archdiocese after church wedding -- It appears San Francisco officials won’t take further action against the Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco following revelations that Saints Peter and Paul Church in North Beach hosted a wedding in early July, after which at least 10 attendees tested positive for the coronavirus, including the newlywed couple, two guests said. Dominic Fracassa in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 7/28/20

Why is San Mateo the only Bay Area county not on state watchlist? -- San Mateo County stands alone in the greater Bay Area, an island surrounded by others whose surging coronavirus cases landed them on California’s COVID-19 monitoring list that requires closure of everything from indoor classrooms, offices and shopping malls to gyms, churches, hair salons and barbershops. John Woolfolk in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 7/28/20

Landlords & Tenants  

San Diego City Council President To Propose Extending Rent Payment Period -- San Diego City Council President Georgette Gomez Tuesday will propose extending until March the deadline for residents to make up rent payments missed due to economic hardship brought on by the coronavirus. KPBS -- 7/28/20

Virus Outdoors  

How safe are outdoor gatherings? Bay Area struggles to find the balance -- Is the risk of coronavirus transmission lower outside? Health experts have said ye s, but as the virus continues to tear across the Bay Area, officials are asking residents to cut back on public gatherings. Aidin Vaziri in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 7/28/20

Oakland, awash with COVID-19, struggles to keep people away from popular Lake Merritt -- As coronavirus cases topped 10,000 in Alameda County last week, Oakland officials started telling residents to avoid Lake Merritt, one of the city’s most popular gathering sites. Maura Dolan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/28/20

Beach gathering Sunday draws scrutiny from health officials Monday -- A large beach gathering Sunday with most in attendance worshiping shoulder-to-shoulder without masks drew concern from the region’s top public health official Monday. Paul Sisson in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 7/28/20

Virus and Business  

Big South Bay malls cope with shutdown shifts -- Three big retail malls in Silicon Valley are taking wide-ranging steps to remain accessible to as many customers as possible at the same time the commerce hubs seek to help combat the coronavirus. George Avalos in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 7/28/20

Coronavirus stalls housing construction in SF, and lull may last a while -- In late June the developer Strada started construction on a major project: the first of six buildings that will add about 600 units next to the Local 38 Plumbers hall at Market and Franklin streets. J.K. Dineen in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 7/28/20

LA County closes three more businesses -- Insisting that compliance with health orders and infection-control measures can slow the spread of the coronavirus, Los Angeles County public health officials said Monday that three more local businesses have been shuttered, due to large-scale outbreaks and failure to comply with operating protocols. Ryan Carter in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 7/28/20


Oakland mayor, Black Lives Matter allies warn that vandalism plays into Trump’s hands -- The latest peaceful protest to morph into late-night acts of vandalism in Oakland has unleashed a furious response, but this time the torrent of blame didn’t come from President Donald Trump. Angela Ruggiero in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 7/28/20

Protest calls for SF police union to stand down in blocking any department reforms -- Outside of the San Francisco police union headquarters Monday, a coalition of about 25 workers and labor leaders gathered to denounce incidents of racism and brutality in policing and call on the union representing the city’s officers to stand down in attempting to block reform efforts. Brett Simpson in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 7/28/20

LAPD expands community policing program, appoints Black female deputy chief -- As part of a reimagining of law enforcement after the killing of George Floyd, the Los Angeles Police Department is expanding its signature community policing program. Cindy Chang in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/28/20

Update: 14 charged with trespassing at Gov. Newsom’s home after protesting prison conditions -- The California Highway Patrol on Monday arrested 14 protesters who chained themselves together in front of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Fair Oaks home, imploring him to release prison inmates and halt transfers from prisons to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody. Kim Bojórquez in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/28/20

Policy & Politics 

Rendon cancels Assembly hearings to address 'imbalance' between houses -- Frustration between the California Assembly and Senate flared as lawmakers returned to the Capitol on Monday — culminating with the cancellation of Tuesday hearings in the lower house, which underscored the enduring challenges of making policy during a pandemic. Jeremy B. White Politico -- 7/28/20

California Democrats unveil $100 billion coronavirus stimulus plan. Here’s what’s in it -- Top California Democrats announced on Monday a $100 billion stimulus plan that would borrow money from the federal government, expand tax credits for low-income Californians and offer help for small businesses in an attempt to prop up the state’s economy as the coronavirus-induced recession drags on. Hannah Wiley in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/28/20

California’s newest union: 45,000 childcare workers to be represented in contract talks -- Tens of thousands of California childcare providers are now eligible to join a union following a vote to create a bargaining unit that will represent them in negotiations over pay and working conditions. Matt Kristoffersen in the Sacramento Bee$ Zaidee Stavely EdSource -- 7/27/ß20


Corona del Mar High families, teachers protest Newport-Mesa Unified for change in curriculum plan -- More than 200 parents, students and teachers turned out at Corona del Mar High School on Monday, July 27, to protest a recent Newport-Mesa Unified School District decision to teach middle and high school students in longer blocks. Erika I. Ritchie in the Orange County Register -- 7/28/20

UCSD, USD Investigating Social Media Accounts Posting Hate Speech -- UC San Diego on Monday denounced an Instagram account claiming an affiliation with the university that posted "hateful, racist content" on its page, while a similar investigation was underway at the University of San Diego. KPBS -- 7/28/20

Richmond area students talk about what they'll remember from this year of protest and Covid-19 -- Black Lives Matter and the coronavirus have etched deep memories, as well as life lessons, this year for Richmond area students. Valeria Echeverria, Ronishlla Maharaj, Karina Mascorro, and David Sanchez EdSource -- 7/28/20


Smoke from Navy ship fire in San Diego contained toxic chemicals -- The blaze aboard the Bonhomme Richard released elevated but relatively low levels of benzene and other hazardous chemicals, regulators say. Joshua Emerson Smith in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 7/28/20

Big Sur tribe regains land 250 years after being removed -- Nearly 250 years ago, when Spanish soldiers built a military outpost in Monterey and Franciscan padres founded the Carmel, Soledad, and San Antonio missions nearby, the Esselen tribe — who had lived in the area for 8,000 years — was decimated. Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 7/28/20

Federal Bill Could Mean Huge Investment In California National Parks And Improved Access For Communities Of Color -- Congress passed perhaps one of the largest conservation bills in the past 75 years last week. The Great American Outdoors Act, if signed into law, would help prop up national parks and repair deteriorating infrastructure. For areas like Lake Tahoe this could mean upgrades for recreational facilities and more public access to the lake and trails. Ezra David Romero Capital Public Radio -- 7/28/20

POTUS 45  

One question still dogs Trump: Why not try harder to solve the coronavirus crisis? -- Both President Trump’s advisers and operatives laboring to defeat him increasingly agree on one thing: The best way for him to regain his political footing is to wrest control of the novel coronavirus. Ashley Parker and Philip Rucker in the Washington Post$ -- 7/28/20

Trump Announced, Then Canceled, a Yankees Pitch. Both Came as a Surprise -- The president’s announcement that he would pitch at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 15 startled the team’s officials, who had not scheduled such an event. Katie Rogers and Noah Weiland in the New York Times$ -- 7/28/20


Trump national security adviser O’Brien tests positive for coronavirus. He’s the highest-ranking administration official known to be infected -- Trump said Monday that he had not seen O’Brien recently, but the White House did not respond to questions about their interactions, whether other White House employees might have been exposed or the timing of O’Brien’s illness. Anne Gearan and John Wagner in the Washington Post$ -- 7/28/20

Biden Tax Plan Targets Profitable Companies That Pay Almost Nothing -- Democrat’s proposal would require Amazon, others to pay at least 15% of reported profits. Richard Rubin in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 7/28/20


-- Monday Updates   

Protesters chained to governor’s home as prison deaths mount -- Demonstrators chained themselves to a fence outside Gov. Gavin Newsom’s home on Monday, calling for mass inmate releases and an end to immigration transfers because of the coronavirus pandemic, as deaths mounted at a San Francisco Bay Area prison. Don Thompson Associated Press Kim Bojórquez in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/27/20

Gov. Newsom says Californians need to ‘wake up’ to spread of coronavirus -- Nearing the end of one of the most disheartening months for California’s coronavirus response, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday once again implored Californians to take the pandemic seriously. Wes Goldberg, Maggie Angst in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 7/27/20

A passing of an era: Former Sacramento Councilman, cop Robbie Waters dies from coronavirus -- Robbie Waters, who served on the Sacramento City Council for 16 years after a long career in law enforcement, including one term as county sheriff, died in the pre-dawn hours Monday after recently testing positive for COVID-19. Marcos Bretón in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/27/20

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia’s mother, Gabriella O’Donnell, dies at age 61 from coronavirus -- Two weeks ago, Garcia announced that both his mother and his stepfather had contracted the virus and were on ventilators at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center. Garcia’s stepfather, Greg O’Donnell, is still on a ventilator, Garcia said in a Monday statement. Hayley Munguia in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 7/27/20

L.A. County nears state’s safety threshold for positive coronavirus infections. Will it last? -- California continues to see a surge in COVID-19 cases and related hospitalizations in hotspot counties, while some areas have seen signs of stability over the last week. But as July nears its end, it’s unclear in which direction the state as a whole will veer. Colleen Shalby in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/27/20

California vs. New York: One state's pandemic has been deadlier, but the numbers are more complex than case counts -- Their journeys began at about the same time, but California and New York immediately diverged down two very different paths during the coronavirus pandemic. Erin Allday in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 7/27/20

The coronavirus surge is back. California hospitals face familiar worries about PPEs and beds -- Look at nearly any point on the map in California and you can see an area that has a hospital with a battle on its hands. Cathie Anderson and Darrell Smith in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/27/20

California desperate for signs of turnaround after stunning coronavirus setbacks -- Coronavirus cases surging. Hospitals filling up. Reopening of schools postponed. Battles over wearing masks in public intensifying. July has brought a month of grim COVID-19 headlines for California, with a state once seen as a model of prevention enduring a new surge in cases as the economy rapidly reopened. Rong-Gong Lin Ii, Maura Dolan, Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/27/20

How SF’s Laguna Honda averted coronavirus disaster -- In the early days of the pandemic, the prospect of a deadly coronavirus surge at Laguna Honda nursing home in San Francisco seemed terrifying — and inevitable. Sarah Ravani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 7/27/20 -- 7/27/20

CalPERS got 10,000 calls about retirement as California leaders talked about pay cuts -- A surge of California public workers called CalPERS to check their retirement options as Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state Legislature talked about pay cuts last month, according to call data. Wes Venteicher in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/27/20


Here’s homeschool parents’ advice for surviving another round of online learning -- With the coronavirus keeping millions of California school children stuck at home when the new school year starts, it’s good to know there are some parents out there who not only survive the experience on a year-round basis, but purposely choose it. Daniel Wu in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 7/27/20

What are ‘pandemic pods,’ and how will they help California parents teach their kids this fall? -- When Sacramento-area schools were ordered to start the next school year online, Lauren Davis of Folsom knew she had to take action. Sawsan Morrar in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/27/20

These California moms were never going to send their kids to school in a pandemic. Here’s why -- Sacramento mom Erin Gottis knew she wasn’t going to send her 9-year-old son Mason back into the classroom this fall well before his school district announced plans to start the academic year with distance learning. Mason has severe asthma and Type 1 diabetes. Hannah Wiley in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/27/20

Should I quit my job? California parents grapple with education in a pandemic -- As the majority of schools across the state prepare to start the school year teaching remotely, parents have started investigating their options for how they can maintain their child’s education while still holding down a job. Ricardo Cano and Lauren Hepler CalMatters -- 7/27/20

Also . . .   

Sheriff’s sexist slur and accusations of ‘blood money’ ramp up feud with L.A. County supervisors -- During a recent broadcast on Facebook, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva spent several minutes criticizing Supervisor Hilda Solis for her comments earlier that week on systemic brutality and racism by police toward people of color. Alene Tchekmedyian, Jaclyn Cosgrove in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/27/20

Developers allegedly bribed an L.A. councilman. What happens to their building plans? -- Federal officials have charged Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar in an ongoing pay-to-play probe, accusing him of running a criminal enterprise fueled by bribes from real estate developers seeking to build in his downtown district. Emily Alpert Reyes in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/27/20

Hollywood ‘kowtowing’ to China takes heat from Washington. But why now? -- After a half year of uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 crisis, China’s beleaguered movie theaters reopened last week with films that ranged from local patriotic blockbuster “Wolf Warrior 2" to Pixar’s “Coco.” For Hollywood, the return of the film industry’s most important foreign market was cause for cautious optimism. Ryan Faughnder in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/27/20

LA volunteers place free-food fridges around town for needy -- Money has been tight for Susana Martinez since the coronavirus pandemic hit and her employer slashed her hours. When the Los Angeles woman heard there was an unlocked refrigerator stocked with food outside a South Los Angeles grocery store, she rushed to have a look. John Rogers and Aron Ranen Associated Press -- 7/27/20

Fox: Taking Care of Workers; What About Businesses? -- Governor Gavin Newsom announced additional worker protection proposals on Friday to confront the spread of the coronavirus. While these additional protections along with pending legislation the returning legislature will consider are aimed at offering benefits for workers, not enough has been offered for employers who struggle to keep their businesses open. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 7/27/20


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