Updating . .   

Newsom condemns attack on U.S. Capitol and cancels press conference to protect his staff -- Gov. Gavin Newsom condemned the mob of extremists supporting President Donald Trump who took over the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday and canceled a previously scheduled press conference in Sacramento as a measure to protect his own staff. Kim Bojórquez in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/6/21

Angry Trump supporters clash with police in downtown L.A. as violence erupts in Washington -- A crowd of around 200 gathered near Los Angeles Police Department headquarters, waving American flags and chanting, “Do your job,” as officers tried to control the crowd. Police declared an unlawful assembly of the gathering around 1 p.m. Erin B. Logan, Kevin Rector, James Queally in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/6/21

Clashes in downtown Sacramento as pro-Trump mob invades U.S. Capitol -- Several hundred supporters of defeated President Donald Trump gathered Wednesday to rally outside the state Capitol building in Sacramento as mob chaos in Washington, D.C., derailed Congress’ plan to affirm the Electoral College vote win for President-elect Joe Biden. Rosalio Ahumada, Sam Stanton, and Jason Pohl in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/6/21

Photos: Protesters supporting Trump storm US Capitol -- Protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021. The protesters delayed Congress from holding a joint session to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. A group of Republican senators said they would reject several states' electoral votes unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. Douglas Zimmerman in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/6/21

Pence rushed out of Senate chamber as protesters storm Capitol -- Vice President Mike Pence was swiftly ushered out of the Senate chamber on Wednesday after protesters supporting President Donald Trump breached the Capitol amid Congress' certification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory. Quint Forgey Politico -- 1/6/21


Rep. Michelle Steel, who questioned need for a mask mandate in Orange County, tests positive for coronavirus -- Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Seal Beach), who previously expressed skepticism about the need for a mask mandate in Orange County, tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday. Steel, 65, learned that morning that she had been in contact with someone who tested positive. She sought a test in the afternoon “out of an abundance of caution,” and it came back positive, according to a statement released by her office. Hannah Fry in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/6/21

Newsom proposes $600 payments to Californians in need and extending COVID-19 eviction moratorium -- With a state law protecting California tenants from pandemic-related evictions expiring at the end of this month, Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed Wednesday to extend the protections and expedite distribution of $2.6 billion in federal rental assistance for low-income tenants. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ Alexei Koseff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Sophia Bollag in the Sacramento Bee$ Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury$ Nigel Duara CalMatters -- 1/6/21

Thousands of L.A. healthcare workers sickened by coronavirus, worsening crisis in hospitals -- The astronomical coronavirus surge in Los Angeles has infected thousands of healthcare workers in recent weeks and exacerbated the strain on hospitals struggling to care for critically ill patients. Soumya Karlamangla in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/6/21

L.A. officials allowed dozens without medical credentials to get COVID-19 vaccine early -- Los Angeles County’s vaccine distribution effort hit a rocky patch this week, as officials administering Moderna shots at pop-up sites allowed some people who are not healthcare workers to skip the line and get immunized weeks or months before they are eligible. Laura J. Nelson, Maya Lau, Joel Rubin in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/6/21

L.A. hospitals postpone surgeries, plead for staffing aid as COVID pressure rises -- Conditions at Los Angeles County hospitals are worsening by the day, forcing officials to take increasingly desperate measures to prevent the healthcare system from crumbling under a crush of COVID-19 patients. Rong-Gong Lin II, Luke Money in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/6/21

Dozens more cases of highly contagious COVID-19 variant identified in San Diego County -- County health officials have confirmed what they’ve suspected from the start — the more contagious variant of the coronavirus known as B.1.1.7 has infiltrated San Diego communities. And it’s spreading fast. Lyndsay Winkley, Paul Sisson in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/6/21

Central Valley hospitals brace for oxygen shortages, lack of space for bodies -- Officials in Fresno County are scrambling for oxygen-making machines to care for the rising tide of those sick with COVID-19, as the number of bodies has placed greater pressure on funeral homes. Rong-Gong Lin II, Luke Money in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/6/21

Will COVID spur California to ease food stamp applications? -- In a state that has long struggled to get federal food assistance to those who qualify, one senator is hoping that the third time’s a charm for his bill to ease application hurdles for CalFresh. Jackie Botts CalMatters -- 1/6/21

Granite Bay party that broke COVID rules ‘wasn’t supposed to be a big affair,’ lawyer says -- The host of a New Year’s Eve party at actor Eddie Murphy’s former mansion in Granite Bay never intended to have 100 people in his house, the man’s lawyer said Wednesday. “It wasn’t supposed to be a big affair,” said Mark Reichel, the attorney for Gabriel Watters, who lives at the home. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/6/21

Fact check: Sacramento Sheriff Scott Jones casts doubt on COVID stats in Facebook post -- Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones hasn’t been shy about it: He is not fond of California’s stay-at-home restrictions in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Michael McGough and Hannah Wiley in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/6/21

Policy & Politics 

US Capitol breached as Trump supporters clash with police -- The U.S. Capitol locked down Wednesday after protesters breached barricades amid violent clashes between President Donald Trump’s supporters and Capitol police. Both chambers of Congress abruptly recessed as they were debating the Electoral College vote that gave Joe Biden the presidency. Ben Fox, Ashraf Khalil and Michael Balsamo Associated Press -- 1/6/21

‘I’ll never concede’: Trump speech incites mob -- President Trump vowed to “never concede” at a gathering of his supporters in Washington, leading an extraordinary protest of the final ratification by Congress of Joe Biden’s electoral college victory, claiming that the peaceful transfer of power in 13 days amounts to “the country being destroyed.” Eli Stokols in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/6/21

California Republicans’ choice: Respect election results or honor Trump -- Wednesday’s congressional vote to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory is putting California Republicans in a no-win position. Either they’re with President Trump — whom California voters overwhelmingly rejected — or they’re against him. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/6/21

What a Democratic Senate means for California: $2,000 payments, budget relief likely -- But the Democrats’ narrow margin of control in Washington, made possible by their apparent sweep of Tuesday’s U.S. Senate elections in Georgia and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ tiebreaking vote in the Senate, is expected to bring other benefits to Californians: Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/6/21

Race, gender would factor in promotions for California state workers under proposed law -- A new proposal in the California State Legislature would force state departments to factor race and gender into decisions about who gets promoted. Wes Venteicher in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/6/21


California schools need more than Newsom’s $2 billion to reopen, superintendents say -- Leaders of seven large California school districts argue in a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom that his 2 billion plan to reopen classrooms falls woefully short of ensuring equitable access to education for students of color and those in low-income communities during the coronavirus pandemic. Hannah Wiley in the Sacramento Bee$ John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ Kristen Taketa in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/6/21


4 arrested in attempted burglary of Dr. Dre’s home while music mogul hospitalized -- While Dr. Dre was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for a possible brain aneurysm Tuesday night, four men were arrested after they allegedly tried to burglarize the music mogul’s Brentwood mansion, police said. Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/6/21

'Screaming as loud as I've ever screamed': Armed robbers assault SF woman, steal 5-month-old puppy -- San Francisco resident Sarah Vorhaus says she was walking her two dogs in Russian Hill on Tuesday evening when she was assaulted at gunpoint. Four people reportedly stole Vorhaus' 5-month-old French bulldog, Chloe, and she's sharing her story in hopes of getting her dog back. Amy Graff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Joan Morris in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/6/21

Also . . .   

Price tag nearly doubles to $2.5 billion for huge new dam project in Santa Clara County -- In a major and potentially fatal setback for plans to build the largest dam in the Bay Area in more than 20 years, the price tag to construct a new reservoir in southern Santa Clara County near Pacheco Pass has nearly doubled, from $1.3 billion to $2.5 billion. Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/6/21


California Policy and P  olitics Wednesday Morning  

Millions in California coronavirus jobless benefits sent to out-of-state prisoners -- In the latest revelation of potential criminal fraud involving California jobless benefits, an analysis has found that more than $42 million in claims went to out-of-state prison and jail inmates, giving more clarity to what officials now estimate could be $4 billion in scammed coronavirus relief funds. Anita Chabria, Richard Winton, Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/6/21

Walters: Employment Development Department another name for titanic disaster -- “Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic” is an overworked cliché, but it certainly applies to California’s Employment Development Department. Dan Walters CalMatters -- 1/6/21

California imposes new health order forcing hospitals with available capacity to accept transfer patients -- The California Department of Public Health on Tuesday ordered counties with available intensive care capacity to accept transfer patients from overwhelmed regions, a stop-gap measure intended to relieve pressure on facilities buckling under the strain of the latest surge. Nora Mishanec in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Brian Melley Associated Press -- 1/6/21

Newsom proposes $4.5 billion in state help for businesses and jobs affected by COVID-19 -- Promising to help small businesses and unemployed Californians hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday previewed a $4.5-billion stimulus program that includes a variety of grants and tax incentives, many of which would require swift legislative approval to take effect. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ Sophia Bollag in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/6/21

L.A. County could mandate ‘hero pay’ for some grocery, drugstore workers -- Grocery and retail drugstore employees who work in unincorporated Los Angeles County could see a pay bump of $5 an hour if the county Board of Supervisors approves a “hero pay” ordinance later this month. Jaclyn Cosgrove in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/6/21

A Bay Area supermarket held a maskless holiday party for staff. Now, one has COVID-19 -- The Christmas Eve dinner first elicited controversy after photos posted online showed unmasked employees of the grocery store sitting and eating near each other. Joshua Bote in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/6/21

1 in 17 people in Los Angeles County currently has COVID-19, model projects -- A leading COVID-19 model cited by the New York Times, FiveThirtyEight and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projects that roughly 1 in 17 people in Los Angeles County are currently infected with the virus. Eric Ting in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/6/21

Rise in coronavirus cases has slowed, but San Francisco braces for holiday spike -- San Francisco’s rise in coronavirus infections and hospitalizations for COVID-19 has slowed, but a new spike may occur in mid-January because of holiday gatherings, the city’s public health director said Tuesday. Maura Dolan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/6/21

New, potentially more contagious variant of the coronavirus spreads in California -- Officials in San Diego County on Tuesday reported a cumulative total of 32 cases of the new, potentially more contagious variant of the coronavirus that has also spread rapidly in England. Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times$ Lyndsay Winkley in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/6/21

Airbnb is asking guests for a new requirement before booking stays in California during pandemic -- The move follows a five-day shutdown of new reservations in the Lake Tahoe area by the San Francisco company last week. Officials there had raised concerns about tourists booking short-term rentals through Airbnb and VRBO during the health crisis. Gregory Thomas in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/6/21

Airlines call for COVID testing for all international travelers to the U.S. -- With travel demand expected to slow in the next few months, the nation’s airlines have pressed the Trump administration to replace sweeping restrictions on inbound international travel with a COVID-19 testing requirement for all visitors arriving from foreign countries. Hugo Martín in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/6/21

USNS Mercy won’t be deploying for COVID-19 relief anytime soon -- The 1,000-bed hospital ship is presently in a shipyard in Portland undergoing scheduled maintenance. The maintenance was planned before the ship’s LA deployment, but deferred. Erika I. Ritchie in the Orange County Register -- 1/6/21


More Bay Area restaurants are protesting to bring back outdoor dining -- On the Peninsula, a brewery recently drew about 80 people to a peaceful protest. In Marin County, one restaurateur got more than 5,000 signatures in support of a petition, arguing outdoor dining should be reinstated. Meanwhile, a Napa restaurateur openly defied restrictions by hosting diners indoors as recently as New Year’s Day. Janelle Bitker in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/6/21

'Slammed': Many California Casinos Are Still Open, and Some Workers Are Worried -- Tribal resorts and casinos in California operate under federal law on federally protected sovereign land known as rancherias – so they're not required to comply with orders issued by Gov. Newsom or county officials. Lakshmi Sarah KQED -- 1/6/21

In the Bay Area, casinos still offer on-site dining as lockdown continues -- Under the Bay Area’s current shelter-in-place order, it would seem there is nowhere in the nine regional counties you can legally sit down and be served in a restaurant. Yet there are a few exceptions: Bay Area casinos located on tribal land that are not subject to state law or COVID-19 restrictions. Tara Duggan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/6/21


Amid slow federal rollout, some Bay Area counties taking on vaccination of senior care homes -- But so far the vaccine rollout for the state’s most vulnerable population has resulted mostly in frustration — and now some counties are offering vaccinations to nursing homes and assisted living facilities from their limited supply rather than continue to wait for the federal vaccination program. Emily DeRuy, Annie Sciacca in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/6/21

Here’s why Sacramento’s COVID vaccine rollout has been so slow -- Cindy Mallory, a 71-year-old resident of the Pioneer House senior living facility in downtown Sacramento, finally got what she’s wanted more than anything this past month — a coronavirus vaccine shot. Tony Bizjak and Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/6/21

U.S. vaccination campaign runs far behind schedule -- Despite months to prepare, the distribution effort appears to be buckling under the weight of bureaucracy. Sign-up hotlines and websites have crashed. The massive demand is also evident in the long lines of seniors camped out at health clinics. Emily Baumgaertner, Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Richard Read, Jaweed Kaleem in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/6/21

Only 60% of LAPD officers, employees willing to take COVID vaccine, internal survey shows -- About 20% of the 9,500 respondents to the unscientific internal poll said they first needed more information about the vaccines, which experts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say are safe. The remaining 20% said they would decline vaccinations, LAPD Chief Michel Moore said Tuesday. Kevin Rector in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/6/21

Some health care workers snub COVID vaccines in campaign’s sluggish start -- About half of hospital workers in Riverside County are passing on the vaccine for now, county spokeswoman Brooke Federico said. In Orange County, health providers report that some 30% of workers are holding back, said Dr. Clayton Chau, O.C. Health Care Agency director. Teri Sforza in the Orange County Register -- 1/6/21

Only half of Fresno County health care workers want COVID vaccine. Why isn’t it more? -- In terms of why only about half of Fresno County heath care workers who’ve been asked have accepted the offer to get vaccinated, Prado said a common hesitation was related to the vaccine being rushed. Thaddeus Miller in the Fresno Bee -- 1/6/21

Policy & Politics 

This Orange County investor is the man backing Newsom recall effort with his money -- John Kruger is the man behind Prov 3:9 LLC, the elusive corporation that donated $500,000 to the campaign to recall Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, an officer for the company said Tuesday in a statement to KQED News. Kruger, an Orange County-based investor, is opposing the governor for his actions limiting religious gatherings during the pandemic. Lara Korte in the Sacramento Bee$ Jeremy B. White Politico -- 1/6/21

San Diego County to weigh new approach to COVID-19 with focus on equity -- The county Board of Supervisors will consider a new approach to battling the COVID-19 pandemic, with more funding directed to communities hardest hit by the disease and more cooperation with state and county health officials. Gary Warth in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/6/21

At least 2 California congressmen are objecting to Biden’s victory. Will others join them? -- Republicans in both the House and Senate say they will object to certifying election results in certain swing states on Wednesday, attempting to deny President-elect Joe Biden’s election win — but California GOP House members are so far reluctant to say they’ll go along. Kate Irby and David Lightman in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/6/21

To object or not to object? Here’s where some local GOP House members stand on Electoral College vote -- A day before perhaps the most consequential vote of their political careers, Republicans representing Southern California in the U.S. House of Representatives offered a variety of answers — or no answer at all — for why they will or won’t object to Electoral College results that deliver Democrat Joe Biden the presidency. Jeff Horseman, Brooke Staggs in the Orange County Register -- 1/6/21

San Diego charity Faulconer created to support mayor’s office will dissolve -- After serving 10,000 children and an untold number of community organizations, One San Diego issued a public thank you to its partners, donors and supporters and said it would close its doors by the end of this month. Jeff McDonald in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/6/21

Battered, California GOP struggles to maintain toehold -- Consider the California Republican Party. Or, what’s left of it. Not long ago, California Republicans slugged it out with Democrats in competitive statewide campaigns and threw considerable weight into legislative policy debates. A.G. Block Capitol Weekly -- 1/6/21

Judge rules Prop. B illegal in lawsuit seeking to invalidate 2012 pension-cut measure -- A judge ruled Tuesday that 2012’s controversial Proposition B pension cut measure was illegal, delivering the latest victory to city labor unions seeking to invalidate a measure that made San Diego the only city in the state to eliminate pensions for most newly hired workers. Alex Riggins in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/6/21

Cash Bail   

California Supreme Court takes a step toward abolishing cash bail at hearing -- Two months after California voters refused to abolish cash bail, the state Supreme Court appeared ready Tuesday to take a step toward abolition by requiring pretrial release without bail unless a defendant was likely to commit violent acts or flee. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/6/21


This activist says voting is just one tool to improve Black lives -- Helen Jones knows her work to improve Black lives is a long term project. She firmly believes that voting is one way to ensure change. Michael Lozano CalMatters -- 1/6/21

Gig Work  

Hiltzik: In wake of Prop. 22, Albertsons is converting its home delivery to gig work -- Those who warned that California’s anti-labor Proposition 22 would hasten the destruction of good jobs and the rise of gig work have a new data point to cite, courtesy of the Albertsons grocery empire. Michael Hiltzik in the Los Angeles Times$ Joshua Bote in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/6/21


As Statewide COVID-19 Tenant Deadlines Loom, Sacramento Takes A Hard Look at Its Renter Protection Program -- After four years of living uneventfully in a Victorian-style apartment building in Midtown Sacramento, Bobby Castagna says he never thought he'd be out of a place to live. But that changed this past summer, when Castagna and his eight neighbors got an eviction notice. Sarah Mizes-Tan Capital Public Radio -- 1/6/21


Coronavirus pandemic keeping San Francisco apartments empty, rents low -- San Francisco’s rental housing market is starting the new year much as it ended the old one: Rents are dropping, vacancies are climbing, and landlords and tenants alike are muddling through the pandemic’s ninth month without knowing when — or if — life and work will return to normal. J.K. Dineen in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/6/21


Man shot by officer outside Modesto church was not armed, police say. Video released -- The man fatally shot by a Modesto police officer last week was not armed, the department said in a video released Tuesday night. The man was identified as Trevor Seever, 29, who was shot outside the Church of the Brethren on Woodland Avenue just before noon Dec. 29. John Holland in the Modesto Bee$ -- 1/6/21


Richmond sued over plan to develop site laden with pollutants -- Richmond’s approval of 4,000 housing units on a site polluted for decades by chemicals and other contaminants was challenged in a lawsuit Tuesday by environmental and community groups, who said the East Bay city ignored scientific evidence of dangers to residents. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/6/21

Also . . .   

Dr. Dre admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after signs of a possible brain aneurysm -- The legendary rap artist and producer turned music mogul was considered to be in stable condition at the Los Angeles hospital after undergoing testing, according to one of the sources who asked not to be named because the person was not authorized to discuss the medical matter. Richard Winton, August Brown in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/6/21

Rose Ochi, trailblazer for civil rights and Japanese American causes, dies at 81 -- Rose Matsui Ochi, a trailblazing Los Angeles attorney who tapped far-flung political networks from City Hall to Congress in her fierce advocacy of civil rights, criminal justice reform and Japanese American causes, has died at 81. Teresa Watanabe in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/6/21

A ‘fierce advocate’ for Native American culture, Marshall McKay dies from COVID-19 -- Marshall McKay spent most of his life dedicated to preserving Native American arts and culture in California, supporting education and sustainable land-use practices at University of California, Davis and protecting the rights of all indigenous people. Rosalio Ahumada in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/6/21

POTUS 46  

Biden camp girds for Wednesday’s culminating electoral dispute -- While President-elect Joe Biden plans an outward show of calm heading into the final major challenge to his election victory, his aides are deploying a behind-the-scenes strategy with Senate allies to derail and marginalize the objections to be raised by rebellious Republican lawmakers. Annie Linskey and Michelle Ye Hee Lee in the Washington Post$ -- 1/6/21

POTUS 45  

Trump privately admits it’s over, but wants to brawl for attention -- Donald Trump has privately acknowledged he lost the presidency. He knows Joe Biden will replace him. He recognizes Congress will formally certify the results on Wednesday. To one person, Trump even confided he was “just disappointed we lost.” Anita Kumar Politico -- 1/6/21

-- Tuesday Updates

New, extreme precautions urged for L.A. County residents because COVID is ‘everywhere’ -- About one in every five people getting tested for the coronavirus are positive — a quintupling since Nov. 1. And conditions are expected to worsen in the coming weeks as people who got infected during the winter holidays get sick. Rong-Gong Lin II, Luke Money in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/5/21

California cases jump to over 70,000 in a day as state braces for post-holiday surge. ‘This week is critical’ -- Gov. Gavin Newsom said to brace for a “surge on top of a surge” of post-holiday coronavirus cases, and on Monday that grim prediction appeared to take shape: California reported more than 70,000 cases, the most in any one day since the pandemic began. Erin Allday in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Rong-Gong Lin II, Luke Money in the Los Angeles Times$ Evan Webeck in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/5/21

Short on equipment, ambulances and oxygen, L.A. County hospitals face darkest month -- The coronavirus crisis battering Los Angeles County’s medical system is reaching increasingly desperate levels, with healthcare providers running low on equipment, ambulance operators being told not to bring patients who have virtually no chance of survival to hospitals, and officials scrambling to ensure they can provide enough lifesaving oxygen for critically ill patients. Luke Money, Rong-Gong Lin Ii, Soumya Karlamangla, Andrew J. Campa in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/5/21

Just 1% of Californians immunized amid slow vaccine rollout -- Distribution hiccups and logistical challenges have slowed the initial coronavirus vaccine rollout in California, setting a pace that’s “not good enough,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said. Kathleen Ronayne Associated Press -- 1/5/21

Congress is at the front of the line for COVID vaccines. Which Californians are taking it? -- Many have taken their first does, but others are choosing to wait, saying they don’t want to receive it before seniors who are more likely to die from the novel coronavirus. Kate Irby in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/5/21

Free Airbnb with your COVID-19 vaccine? Firefighters offered prizes along with priority access -- How about an Airbnb gift card with your high-priority COVID-19 vaccine? Or a home security system? A new bicycle? Or a free ride from Lyft? Those are some of the prizes dangled by top brass at the Los Angeles Fire Department seeking to entice an unexpected group: firefighters unwilling to get the shots. Ben Welsh in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/5/21

Why CO2 monitors and indoor ventilation may be a key to curb COVID spread -- Linsey Marr, an engineering professor at Virginia Tech who specializes in the airborne transmission of viruses, likes to think of the virus in another way. “It behaves like cigarette smoke,” she said. “If you can imagine that you’re in the room with a cigarette smoker, the smoke can build up in the air. But if the room is really well-ventilated, then the smoke will be removed.” Annie Vainshtein in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/5/21

Knight: Overdoses, struggling businesses and kids stuck at home. Can S.F. tackle crises overshadowed by pandemic? -- In 2020, San Francisco used laser-like focus to accomplish a major feat: enduring the COVID-19 pandemic with the lowest death rate of any major American city. Heather Knight in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/5/21


Palm Springs police exposed to coronavirus after man spits on them -- The officers, wearing masks and gloves, were responding to calls about a man throwing things at vehicles and running in traffic in downtown Palm Springs, according to a police department press release. Faith E. Pinho in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/5/21

Back to School  

Roseville high school students return to campuses for live, in-person instruction -- Roseville Joint Union High School District voted unanimously in December to bring its 11,000 students back on campus for a full week of learning. Students are returning for 70 minutes per class for a total of 280 minutes a day; meanwhile the coronavirus pandemic surges in both Placer and Sacramento counties. Sawsan Morrar in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/5/21

Policy & Politics 

Next secretary of state aims to teach Californians “how fragile the democracy is” -- Seventy years ago, sharecroppers David and Mildred Nash refused to back down in a dispute with a white farmer, and fled from a lynch mob in Hope, Arkansas. With their 2-year-old daughter in tow, they found a new home out west in a place so different her grandfather, who would die without ever being able to vote, called it a “foreign land.” Ben Christopher CalMatters -- 1/5/21

What’s at stake for California in Georgia vote to determine Senate control -- The results of the U.S. Senate elections in Georgia Tuesday will ripple through California — especially if Democrats sweep the two races. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/5/21

An ‘epidemic of lawsuits’ due to COVID? Businesses want protections, setting up 2021 battle -- Manuel Cosme has been providing help to small businesses for 35 years. He’s never seen such worry and confusion as he has in the past few months. David Lightman in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/5/21

Walters: Court upbraids Jerry Brown on ballot measure -- A political saga that began more than four decades ago came full circle last week when the state Supreme Court, including four Jerry Brown appointees, indirectly upbraided the former governor. Dan Walters CalMatters -- 1/5/21

California is scrambling to avoid blackouts. Your refrigerator could help -- Sometime next summer, there’s a decent chance a heat wave will bake the American West, and California’s power grid will again be stretched to its limits. Sammy Roth in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/5/21

Arellano: Trump takes to meditating by the Pacific and other surefire 2021 California predictions -- As this terrible, horrible, no-bueno, muy bad year stumbles to an end, I offer hope for 2021 with this revelation: I can predict the future. And I see great times ahead for us. Call me Gustradamus. No, seriously. Gustavo Arellano in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/5/21


How big was San Francisco's pandemic exodus? Look at U-Haul traffic -- California suffered the steepest outflow of residents via rental truck among all 50 states in 2020, with San Francisco the epicenter of the Bay Area’s pandemic exodus for DIY movers, new data show. Kellie Hwang in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/5/21