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Good evening. Here are a few notes from this afternoon to clear some items from my notepad so I can start anew. Each morning I wake up fearing that I won't have anything to write and then end up never making it to my notepad from the night before. Actually, I didn't even look at newspapers this morning! Thus, I include a few articles below as well as other developments from the day.

  • #NewsomAtNoon: Seemingly, as folks look for something to watch during the noon hour, Governor Gavin Newsom has gained quite an audience of people who likely have never watched a State of the State speech before. Not only is he one of the best looking governors, but he's fact-packed with an optimistic yet caring attitude when delivering tough news.

    On topic with (not because of) my writing earlier today and yesterday, he showed a bit more optimism today in a "flattening of the curve" in The Golden State that should reduce the stress placed on the state's health care system. Here is his press conference today which includes press Q&A (Facebook | ). As always, you don't need an account on either service to watch.
  • MENTAL HEALTH: Today is World Health Day and, after appearing with Governor Newsom at the midday press conference, California Surgeon General Nadine Burke Harris hosted a Q&A on Twitter.
  • HEALTH CARE WORKERS: From the SFChron: "3:51 p.m. California health care worker infections reach 269: The number of health care workers in California who have tested positive for the coronavirus has risen to 269, the state health department reported on Tuesday. That's up from 212 [from] a day earlier, and more than double the figure of 127 reported six days ago, on April 1."
  • WEST COAST, BEST COAST: Also from the SFChron: "4:27 p.m. Birx: Lower infection rates on west coast shaping national response: Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the U.S. coronavirus response, said at a White House briefing Tuesday that the U.S. is able to funnel supplies to areas of the country hardest-hit by the coronavirus in part because of low infection rates in California, Washington and Oregon. Birx said New York state is averaging seven cases of the virus per 1,000 people, including a rate nearly twice that in New York City, followed by New Jersey (four cases per 1,000 people) and Louisiana (three). Birx said states on the west coast are averaging lower rates including California at less than .5 cases per 1,000 people. 'It's those states where there's large populations, because of the enormous work that they're doing to prevent expansion and spread of the virus, it's allowing resources to go to these states and these communities and these counties that need more support,' Birx said."
  • SACTOWN: The Sacramento County Public Health Officer has officially extended the county-wide public health order to 12:01am on May 1. While many folks (including me) have said "through April," the statewide order is still "until further notice." The new order also limits familial gatherings at residences to essential only, while the previous order allowed gatherings of up to 6 family members. It further limits outdoor activity to things like walking and biking but forbids use of playgrounds, park BBQs, and outdoor gym equipment.
  • TO (LOCAL) TAX OR NOT TO TAX: While my write-up today was limited to the state budget and school districts since illiquidity of them fall on the state, Joel Fox looks at the dire financial situation facing local governments and the question many are considering right now. Is the November ballot a good time to ask for local voters to support a tax increase because of the threat of service cuts or are people too jittery about their own personal finances to agree to pay more now?
  • BALLOT MEASURES: For Capitol Weekly, Lisa Renner looks at the challenge of signature gathering for ballot measures in during the "Stay at Home" order.

    While organizations technically have until April 21 to turn in signatures to qualify for the November ballot, the shutdown effectively means that those that didn't collect enough signatures by mid-March probably won't make it. At best they can hope for possibly qualifying for November 2022.

    "I've never seen anything like this and I've been doing this for 35 years,' said Fred Kimball, owner of Kimball Petition Management.

    On topic, Dustin Gardiner reports for the SFChron that backers of general obligation bonds to keep the state's stem-cell agency are asking supporters to print out the 16-page petition and mail it in with signatures.

    I remember one of the tribal gaming initiatives mailing out petitions with a return envelope, but I don't recall a large-scale campaign to get supporters to print out petitions and mail them in themselves.
  • CRIME: We are largely locked down. So, what's happening with crime in California? The Public Policy Institute of California has a new blog post looking at the data in Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego, and San Francisco.

    Overall reports of violent crime dropped from a weekly average of about 1,880 in February to about 1,360 in the last week of March'a 28% decrease. Oakland experienced the most dramatic drop -- from about 200 to 70. The number of reported assaults dropped from 1,430 to around 1,100 (22%). The overall decrease in robberies -- from about 350 to 260 --was driven largely by the Bay Area.

    There are some notable exceptions to this downward trend. While reports of domestic violence are down overall for the four cities, Los Angeles saw an uptick in the last two weeks of March, and the weekly number of reported robberies in San Diego were also up somewhat. More broadly, a slight increase in reported commercial burglaries across all four cities suggests that burglars may be shifting from residential to commercial targets now that so many people are at home at all times of day.

    It is too soon to draw firm conclusions about recent trends, but it will be important to track and monitor crime data so that we can identify vulnerabilities in our communities and determine whether new approaches are needed to maintain public safety in these challenging times.

Okay, well, I've cleared a few items off my notepad and we'll start anew tomorrow morning (actually I already have a few items but I figure I've given you enough for tonight. I hope you have a pleasant evening and that you, your family, and other loved ones are doing well. Thank you all for your kind words about my dad! I wouldn't be writing you without him, and I don't say that in solely the biological sense.