Updating . .   

Bank of America sued over EDD unemployment debit card fraud -- A new federal lawsuit takes aim at Bank of America for failing to secure the unemployment debit cards of thousands of jobless Californians, part of the lax processing that has made the Employment Development Department the target of widespread fraud. Lauren Hepler CalMatters -- 1/15/21

Why veterans of the military and law enforcement joined the Capitol insurrection -- An Air Force veteran from Southern California and ardent conspiracy theorist bent on war against the government. An Army psychological operations officer at Ft. Bragg, N.C. A decorated, retired Air Force officer of 18 years from Texas who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. Jaweed Kaleem, Kurtis Lee in the Los Angeles Times$ George Avalos in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/15/21

Sacramento GOP activist surfaces in video boasting of role in U.S. Capitol siege -- Jorge Riley, who is seen on a video posted on Reddit.com wearing a Sacramento Republic FC shirt, described breaking into the Capitol with others on Jan. 6 for a “peaceful, physical takeover of the Capitol.” “We breached through there, we broke windows, we went into the door, we pushed our way in and then we just kept going further and further,” he said on the video, adding that this was his first visit to Washington, D.C. Sam Stanton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/15/21


Vaccine reserve was already exhausted when Trump administration vowed to release it, dashing hopes of expanded access -- When Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced this week that the federal government would begin releasing coronavirus vaccine doses held in reserve for second shots, no such reserve existed, according to state and federal officials briefed on distribution plans. The Trump administration had already begun shipping out what was available beginning at the end of December, taking second doses directly off the manufacturing line. Isaac Stanley-Becker and Lena H. Sun in the Washington Post$ -- 1/15/21

They’re the most likely to die from COVID-19, but hardly any have been vaccinated -- As of Sunday, only about 5% of long-term care facility residents in the statewide vaccination program — including people in skilled nursing homes and assisted living centers — had been vaccinated, according to California Department of Public Health data obtained by The Times. Jack Dolan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/15/21

Busy phone lines and crashed websites: Bay Area seniors hit hurdles in race to get vaccinated -- Kaiser Permanente patients reported receiving a message that they would have to wait as long as four hours to speak to anyone who could schedule an appointment. They had better luck than Sutter Health patients, who said they found the phone lines were down, along with the health care provider’s website. Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/15/21

Bay Area counties are begging the state for more vaccine doses -- Bay Area county officials expressed major frustration this week at how the state has allocated precious vaccines, saying they aren’t receiving enough doses and the supply is unpredictable. Trisha Thadani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/15/21

LA County strives to step up vaccines, but seniors told they’ll have to wait until February -- County officials say they simply don’t have enough vaccines to widen the program now. But that didn’t stop many seniors from calling their pharmacists or tying up phone lines on Thursday looking for answers. David Rosenfeld, Bradley Bermont in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 1/15/21

Why can’t I get an appointment in OC? And more questions about COVID-19 vaccinations -- The news this week that the COVID-19 vaccine can now be given to anyone 65 and older in Orange County was met with a mad rush of people hoping to get their shot, but for many of them, it was a struggle to get an appointment or even get the designated app and website to work. Alicia Robinson in the Orange County Register -- 1/15/21

How soon you get COVID-19 vaccine may depend on where in California you live -- Some counties are beginning to offer the vaccine to older residents. But others, including Los Angeles County, say they need to finish giving shots to first responders and medical workers first. Hayley Smith, Colleen Shalby, Sara Cardine, Jonathan Wosen in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/15/21

L.A.’s big bet: Turning Dodger Stadium into mass COVID-19 vaccine site -- State residents 65 and older are now eligible for the vaccine, but in Los Angeles County, they can’t receive it until officials finish vaccinating at least 500,000 healthcare industry and nursing home workers. Officials hope to begin vaccinating seniors by early February, along with teachers and workers in child care, emergency services, food and agriculture. Maya Lau, Laura J. Nelson in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/15/21

Back to School  

State tightens rules for reopening schools as high COVID-19 rates hold districts back -- Governor Gavin Newsom has made changes to his plan to reopen schools, including a small decrease in the case rate that would allow elementary students to campus for in-person classes. Paloma Esquivel in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/15/21


Fear over COVID-19 variant grows as L.A. County mulls closing malls, gyms -- Los Angeles County and the rest of the nation are in a race against time to vaccinate as many people as possible against the coronavirus before a variant thought to be even more contagious takes hold. Rong-Gong Lin II, Luke Money in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/15/21

At Lake Tahoe, unfurling the statewide welcome mat is ‘awkward’ as pandemic rages -- For many, the most jarring issue is the varying restrictions between California and Nevada: While the three California counties that flank the western basin of the lake were previously under some of California’s most restrictive coronavirus orders, across the state line, indoor restaurants, gyms, bowling alleys, casinos and movie theaters are open, albeit with limited capacity. Susanne Rust, Luis Sinco in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/15/21

Why one of the Bay Area’s biggest coronavirus outbreaks hit a horse racing track -- This incident highlights the turbulence at Golden Gate Fields, where close quarters created a precarious situation, and raises questions about whether the track did enough to prevent one of the Bay Area’s biggest outbreaks — more than 300 cases, including the death of a widely respected trainer. Ron Kroichick in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/15/21


Diaper masks, close quarters: Fast-food restaurants have struggled to protect workers from COVID-19 -- In the crowded kitchen of a McDonald’s outlet on a working-class commercial stretch of Oakland, it was as though the coronavirus didn’t exist. Lance Williams in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/15/21


Racial bias in California courts could force judges to reconsider sentences under proposed law -- Californians with past criminal convictions would gain a new avenue to clear their records if they can show racial bias affected their arrest or sentencing under a proposed law sponsored by a former public defender. Hannah Wiley in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/15/21

Covid Relief  

Flush with surplus, California government could gain billions more in Biden’s COVID-19 plan -- California state and local government could benefit from billions of dollars in new federal financial support if President-elect Joe Biden can convince Congress to pass a $1.9 trillion stimulus plan he unveiled Thursday. Sophia Bollag and David Lightman in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/15/21

Also . . .   

Crowley: Charles Johnson’s ownership is a shame for the San Francisco Giants -- The San Francisco Giants laid off 10% of their workforce while their principal owner, Charles B. Johnson, was donating millions of dollars to controversial causes including QAnon. Kerry Crowley in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/15/21

San Diego firm joins rush to capitalize on hotels’ financial woes in wake of pandemic -- The newly formed Torrey Pines Hotel Group will join a Los Angeles-based firm to buy up financially distressed hotels at discounted rates and also manage them long-term as travel eventually rebounds once vaccinations become more widespread. Lori Weisberg in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/15/21

Beyond Meat signs a big lease. The rest of L.A.'s office market struggles -- Demand to rent offices has withered, fresh data show, as the pandemic has left Los Angeles County business owners wondering when employees will be able to return. Roger Vincent in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/15/21

Smith: Just when they need it most, 800 Compton residents are about to get free money -- For five years, Georgia Horton had worked to rebuild her life, no easy task for a Black woman who spent years in prison. Erika D. Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/15/21


California Policy and P  olitics Friday Morning  

Exhausted Health Care Workers Feel Betrayed by Those Who Ignore COVID Rules -- The onslaught has exhausted them, but many also use the word "betrayed" to describe their feelings toward the public, and they have grown angry at people for skirting safety rules because they know much of the suffering is avoidable. Lesley McClurg KQED -- 1/15/21

California braces for highly contagious new coronavirus variants as vaccinations lag -- As California struggles to get potentially lifesaving vaccines into as many arms as possible, concern is mounting that the rapid spread of multiple, highly contagious variants of the coronavirus around the world could lead to another, perhaps deadlier surge. Tatiana Sanchez and Erin Allday in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/15/21

Hospitals teeter on edge of ‘last-resort’ guidelines for care -- COVID-19 is continuing to put immense strain on healthcare systems throughout California, pushing some hospitals perilously close to a tipping point where officials may have to decide which patients should receive scarce resources, and which shouldn’t. Luke Money, Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/15/21

UC San Diego reports big surge in COVID-19 infections among students returning from holidays -- UC San Diego says that 245 of its students have tested positive for COVID-19 since the winter quarter began on Jan. 4 — the kind of surge the university avoided last fall through a major testing and education campaign called “Return to Learn.” Gary Robbins in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/15/21

More COVID-19 restrictions on malls, gyms possible in L.A. County -- A decision hasn’t been made on whether closures or additional restrictions on capacity are needed. But settings that may be scrutinized could include outdoor gyms — which have been allowed to be open at 50% capacity — and indoor malls and retail, which are supposed to be open at only 20% of capacity, Garcetti said. Rong-Gong Lin II, Hayley Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/15/21


'Welcome back to paradise': Everything frustrating about the pandemic is happening in South Tahoe -- In South Lake Tahoe, the California-Nevada state border cuts the town in half. Here, the state border is not a highway sign welcoming you to California or Nevada. Rather, it’s a loud, obvious convergence of casinos, crowds, traffic, hotels, nightclubs, a ski resort, tourist gift shops and breweries. Julie Brown in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/15/21


California far short of Newsom’s goal of 1 million vaccinations in 10 days -- As California enters the final stretch of its 10-day sprint to inoculate a million more people against COVID-19, the state is far short of its goal — another potential blow to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s rollout of the coronavirus vaccine. Alexei Koseff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/15/21

Five key reasons for California’s slow COVID vaccine rollout — and how it could be fixed -- More people live in California than in any other U.S. state by far, and its population of nearly 40 million is very diverse socioeconomically, racially and politically, Swartzberg said. And the two available vaccines from Pfizer and Modern require two doses, with specific intervals between shots. Kellie Hwang in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/15/21

Soaring demand among California seniors for COVID-19 vaccines causes chaos -- Hours after debuting their respective COVID-19 vaccination appointment offerings on Thursday, two of California’s largest health care providers were inundated with a crush of anxious vaccine seekers, pushing their systems to the breaking point and raising questions about rollout readiness in the state. Maggie Angst, Joseph Geha in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/15/21

L.A. County tells providers not to throw away unused COVID-19 vaccine -- Los Angeles County leaders Thursday evening issued a statement clarifying an apparently confusing rule in the county’s vaccine plan: that healthcare providers should not throw away doses of COVID-19 vaccine that they opened for people who don’t show up for their appointments. Jaclyn Cosgrove in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/15/21

Why can’t I get an appointment in OC? And more questions about COVID-19 vaccinations -- The news this week that the COVID-19 vaccine can now be given to anyone 65 and older in Orange County was met with a mad rush of people hoping to get their shot, but for many of them, it was a struggle to get an appointment or even get the designated app and website to work. Alicia Robinson in the Orange County Register -- 1/15/21

California county giving first-come, first-serve alerts for excess COVID vaccine doses -- Earlier this week, El Dorado County set up a web portal letting residents sign up for notification alerts to be sent when there are surpluses of shots available. Michael McGough in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/15/21

Busy phone lines and crashed websites: Bay Area seniors hit hurdles in race to get vaccinated -- But on Thursday, they were greeted not with needles or appointments, but with busy phone lines, overwhelmed websites and physicians who said they had little idea when they’d be able to give their senior patients vaccinations. Information seemed more scarce than the vaccine itself. Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/15/21

Bay Area counties say vaccine supply from state is insufficient and unpredictable -- Bay Area county officials expressed major frustration this week at how the state has allocated precious vaccines, saying they aren’t receiving enough doses and the supply is unpredictable. Trisha Thadani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/15/21

California Counties ‘Flying the Plane as We Build It’ in a Plodding Vaccine Rollout -- In these first lumbering weeks of the largest vaccination campaign in U.S. history, Dr. Julie Vaishampayan has had a battlefront view of a daunting logistical operation. Anna Maria Barry-Jester California Healthline -- 1/15/21

No uniform system for California’s mass vaccine rollout -- demand for the coronavirus vaccine vastly outpacing supply, California’s efforts to methodically plan who gets a vaccine and when are quickly being thrown out the window. Kathleen Ronayne Associated Press -- 1/15/21

California Counties, Lawmakers Call For More Organized, Better-Funded COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout As Cases Continue To Climb -- Governor Gavin Newsom has publicly acknowledged that the rollout is happening more slowly than expected, due to hold-ups with supply from the federal government, the paperwork necessary to certify doctors to give the vaccine and confusion around whether counties can vaccinate multiple priority groups at once. Sammy Caiola Capital Public Radio -- 1/15/21

Bay Area stadiums are prepared to become mass COVID-19 vaccination sites. No one knows when they’ll open -- Bay Area professional sports franchises are eager to see their stadiums turn into mass COVID-19 vaccination sites, but neither team nor local officials seem to know if and when this will happen. Kerry Crowley in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/15/21

How to sign up to find out when it’s your turn to get the vaccine in L.A. County -- If you’re a healthcare worker or a nursing home resident or staff in Los Angeles County, you are eligible for the vaccine now. It’s no longer limited only to frontline medical workers: Healthcare workers like chiropractors, speech therapists, acupuncturists, and people who provide care in mortuaries, pharmacies, dental offices and more are now eligible. Jessica Roy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/15/21

California urged to move inmates to front of vaccine line -- Attorneys representing California inmates are urging state and federal officials to advance about 1 of every 10 prisoners to the front of the line for coronavirus vaccinations, saying it would help ease the burden on hospitals while helping control outbreaks inside state lockups. Don Thompson Associated Press -- 1/15/21

Covid Rent Relief  

Federal rent relief is coming. Here’s what to expect in California -- The stimulus law passed by Congress in late December includes $25 billion in rental relief funds, with an estimated $2.6 billion coming to California. Andrew Khouri in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/15/21

Policy & Politics 

Newsom pledges more security as State Capitol speakers threaten California lawmakers -- One woman decried vaccinations before noting that Americans had purchased millions of guns in recent weeks and ominously asking, “What do you think they’re going do with them?” Another spoke of a “new world order” and told legislators they are “going to be the first to go.” “We didn’t buy guns for nothing,” the woman said. Jeremy B. White Politico -- 1/15/21

Who is David Valadao, the lone California Republican who voted to impeach Donald Trump? -- To understand why David Valadao became the only Republican in California — and one of 10 in the House of Representatives — to vote in favor of impeaching President Trump this week, look no further than the shade of the dairy farmer’s sprawling Central Valley district: It’s gone purple. Emily DeRuy in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/15/21

California high court: ABC test for gig workers is retroactive, in blow to Uber, Lyft -- Prop. 22 does not shield the gig companies retroactively. They are facing a range of lawsuits over employment classification, from both government agencies and their own workers. Carolyn Said in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/15/21

New poll shows San Diego County residents think Trump is one of worst presidents ever, want him gone -- Nearly 60 percent of San Diego County residents consider Donald Trump one of America’s worst presidents, and 52 percent think he should be impeached and removed from office, according to a new San Diego Union-Tribune/10News poll conducted by SurveyUSA. David Garrick in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/15/21

Nine inmates charged in massive unemployment benefits scam -- Charges against the inmates are the first in San Diego Superior Court in a massive statewide fraud scheme where prison inmates are suspected of defrauding the unemployment benefits fund of more than $400 million. Greg Moran in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/15/21

Mexico exonerates ex-defense chief implicated in scrapped U.S. drug prosecution -- A former Mexican defense minister who was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport last year on a U.S. drug-smuggling indictment and later returned to Mexico for possible prosecution will not face any charges here, authorities here said Thursday. Patrick J. McDonnell in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/15/21

Utilities commission sides with community energy program over SDG&E -- The California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday sided with the soon-to-launch San Diego community energy program in a dispute it had with San Diego Gas & Electric. Rob Nikolewski in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/15/21

Capitol Siege  

Newsom orders National Guard protection for California’s state Capitol -- Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday activated 1,000 members of the California National Guard to help protect the state Capitol, adding to an already robust response by law enforcement following FBI warnings that armed demonstrators may target statehouses in events similar to last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol. Phil Willon, Anita Chabria in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/15/21

FBI arrests California man in siege of U.S. Capitol -- Hunter A. Ehmke, 20, was part of a crowd that burst through police barricades outside the building on Jan. 6 as a joint session of Congress was certifying the results of the presidential election, according to the U.S. Capitol Police. Michael Finnegan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/15/21

Union Concessions   

L.A. firefighters union offers financial concessions in deal to avoid budget cuts -- The union that represents more than 3,600 Los Angeles city firefighters has agreed to push back a 4.5% raise scheduled for this summer, the latest concession offered up by a labor group as the city seeks to address a major budget crisis, according to a union bulletin sent Thursday. David Zahniser in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/15/21

Google Union  

New Google Union Triples in Size in First Week, But Faces Formidable Challenges -- The new union at Alphabet, the parent company of Google, launched publicly last week with around 225 workers. Now, according to union leaders, its ranks are north of 700, and growing. Sam Harnett KQED -- 1/15/21


California details plan to track school cases, reopening -- California officials Thursday ordered schools statewide to begin reporting new coronavirus cases within 24 hours and their reopening status every two weeks as part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s broader effort to spur a return of kids to the classroom. John Woolfolk in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/15/21

LAUSD says it has no intention of suing over Newsom’s school reopening proposal -- Although the school board had, during its meeting this week, granted Superintendent Austin Beutner permission to explore all options — including legal actions — for seeking government reimbursement for the 30 million meals the district has provided to needy adults in the community since the coronavirus pandemic began, it did not authorize the district to sue the state over the Safe Schools for All proposal, the district explained in a statement correcting the record. Linh Tat in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 1/15/21

Will California students have to take standardized tests at home? Educators are wary -- California’s top education officials are struggling with how — or even if — millions of students should take annual standardized tests at home amid ongoing school closures and the hardships of surging COVID-19 rates. Melissa Gomez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/15/21

San Diego Unified will stay closed indefinitely while vaccinations, testing scale up -- San Diego Unified officials again held off on setting a potential date for reopening schools, because COVID-19 cases and deaths continue their relentless growth. Kristen Taketa in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/15/21

Newsom opens one-stop Covid information ‘hub’ on reopening schools -- Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday the creation of one online spot where school districts can find technical information and resources, and parents can find answers and lodge concerns on reopening schools during the pandemic. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 1/15/21

Windfalls will allow two CA private colleges to expand opportunities for women and students of color -- One year ago, Journee Bradford launched a petition drive urging Whittier College, the school she attended, to observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day. That led to other demands for more diverse faculty and improving enrollment and retention for the few Black students on campus. Ashley A. Smith EdSource -- 1/15/21


2020 ties 2016 as hottest year on record, even without warming boost from El Niño -- Global warming pushed temperatures into record territory in 2020, in effect tying 2016 as the hottest year on record, according to data released Thursday by U.S. science agencies. Tony Barboza in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/15/21

Also . . .   

Pioneer of the L.A. look: Paul R. Williams wasn’t just ‘architect to the stars,’ he shaped the city -- Buried beneath a weather report and an investigation into a regional planning commissioner, a brief news item appeared in The Times about the death on Jan. 23, 1980, of architect Paul Revere Williams at the age of 85. Carolina A. Miranda in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/15/21

Disneyland is scrapping its annual pass program -- The popular multitiered ticketing system, which shifted the culture of the two Anaheim theme parks in a way that it became a daily, weekly or monthly hangout for many Southern Californians, is being axed. Todd Martens in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/15/21

Mother sentenced to more than 14 years for toddler’s death in a hot car -- A Rancho Palos Verdes woman whose toddler died after being left in a hot car has been sentenced to 14 years and eight months in state prison, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office announced Wednesday. Erin B. Logan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/15/21

POTUS 46  

'A call for unity': Biden lays out vast federal expansion of pandemic response -- President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday night broke sharply with the Trump administration on fighting the coronavirus pandemic, unveiling a new plan for a robust federal role in everything from testing to vaccine delivery. Alice Miranda Ollstein and Adam Cancryn Politico -- 1/15/21

POTUS 45  

Trump impeachment trial to focus on his attacks on election -- In pursuing conviction, House impeachment managers said Thursday they will be making the case that Trump’s incendiary rhetoric hours before the bloody attack on the Capitol was not isolated, but rather part of an escalating campaign to overturn the November election results. Lisa Mascaro and Mary Clare Jalonick Associated Press -- 1/15/21

-- Thursday Updates

Mass confusion over new COVID-19 vaccine rollout, as L.A. senior citizens face weeks of delays -- The hoped-for rollout of COVID-19 vaccine to people 65 years and older in Los Angeles County was met with chaos and confusion Thursday with the county saying it could be weeks before that group can be vaccinated. Hayley Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/14/21

CHP denies permit for pro-Trump rally, 6-foot-high fencing added at California Capitol -- With officials bracing for the possibility of civil unrest and armed conflicts at state capitols nationwide following last week’s siege at the U.S. Capitol, California Highway Patrol officials have denied a permit for a rally in Sacramento that had been set for Sunday and cleared its calendar of permitted events for the weekend. Sam Stanton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/14/21

An L.A. councilman lied to the FBI. Probation officials say he deserves no jail time -- It was the first blockbuster case to surface in the federal corruption probe of Los Angeles City Hall — a multi-count indictment accusing former Councilman Mitchell Englander of taking envelopes of cash, lying to the FBI about that money and obstructing its investigation. David Zahniser, Michael Finnegan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/14/21

California fighting endless war with unemployment fraud. Why state is a prime target -- Criminals are still brazenly attempting to steal millions in COVID-19 benefits from California’s beleaguered unemployment agency, but now they’re operating from the four corners of the globe and targeting the state with cyber-weapons. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/14/21

Coronavirus relief may shortchange Bay Area landlords, renters -- With U.S. rental assistance on the horizon for struggling landlords and tenants, Bay Area housing advocates say the region could be shortchanged in a federal distribution that favors population more than costs and number of renters. Louis Hansen in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/14/21

These Californians don’t get stimulus checks — why advocates want Newsom to do more for them -- Gov. Gavin Newsom last week unveiled a budget proposal that if passed would dole out billions of dollars in aid to taxpayers affected by the coronavirus pandemic, sometimes in the form of direct cash payments. Kim Bojórquez in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/14/21

Some California jobs lost to COVID will never be the same. Here’s what experts say -- Jobs such as restaurant staff may shift away from cities and into suburbs as more people work from home. Younger workers may find themselves competing for a job against people thousands of miles away because of companies’ embrace of virtual offices. Jeong Park in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/14/21

Here’s what you’re paying for Prop. 22 -- Gig companies told California voters that rides and deliveries would cost more unless they passed Proposition 22, a measure that keeps drivers and couriers as independent contractors. It did pass, but many gig companies are still charging more in response. Carolyn Said in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/14/21

After abuse reports, California approves $8 million for youth returning from troubled treatment programs -- California will spend more than $8 million to find safer homes for children returning from troubled out-of-state residential programs, in response to a Chronicle and Imprint investigation into rampant reports of abuse at the facilities. Joaquin Palomino, Cynthia Dizikes and Sara Tiano in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/14/21


‘They’ve been hidden too long’: report details LA Sheriff’s deputy gangs and violence toward communities of color -- For the past several years, Sean Kennedy, a Loyola law professor and his students noticed a troubling pattern forming within the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and its well-documented deputy gang problem. A sheriff downplays or denies the problem of the deputy cliques. Jonah Valdez in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 1/14/21


Don’t expect fast rollout of COVID-19 vaccine for elderly as California faces logistical woes -- In many areas of California, it is going to take time and patience before residents over 65 years old have access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Melody Gutierrez, Colleen Shalby in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/14/21

Where, when and how can you get a COVID vaccine in Sacramento? Key questions answered -- When, where and how will you get your COVID-19 vaccine shot? That’s the biggest and most confusing question in the Sacramento region and California. Tony Bizjak and Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/14/21

Is the COVID vaccine less effective in older adults, and should I worry about which one I get? -- According to an analysis of the Moderna vaccine trial in the New England Journal of Medicine, patients 18 to 65 years showed an efficacy of 95.6%, while the rate was 86.4% for those older than 65 years. Pfizer, on the other hand, reported that efficacy was over 94% in individuals older than 65 years of age. The item in in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/14/21

1 in 3 L.A. County residents have been infected by coronavirus, new estimate shows -- One in three Los Angeles County residents have been infected with the coronavirus, according to new estimates by county scientists, an astonishing sign of how rapidly the virus is spreading in the hard-hit region. Luke Money, Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/14/21

Deaths among Latinos in L.A. County from COVID-19 rising at astonishing levels -- As the coronavirus spreads relentlessly through Los Angeles County, poor neighborhoods and the region’s Latino and Black communities continue to bear the brunt of illness and death, according to data released Wednesday. Rong-Gong Lin II, Luke Money in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/14/21

Chaotic COVID-19 vaccine rollout leads to more deaths, experts say -- As roughly 4,000 Americans die each day from COVID-19, public health and medical experts are aghast that the vaccines that could save them remain beyond reach — due to multiple governmental failures involving planning, coordination and public communication. Maura Dolan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/14/21


2020 rivals 2016 for hottest year on record — we got fires and other disasters in return -- The year 2020 was either tied for the hottest on record or second hottest, depending on how the federal government chooses to crunch global temperature data. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/14/21