Around The Capitol

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  • Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos @ KQED): Dr. Mitchell Katz, head of New York City's public hospitals, on the coronavirus outbreak in New York City, the health system's greatest need, and what is necessary to restart the economy. (2020-04-09)
  • SacTown Talks (Gibran Maciel): State Senator Bill Dodd (2020-04-03)
  • Then There's California (Senate Democratic Caucus): State Senator Bill Dodd and CA Dept. of Health Director (Emeritus), Dr. Karen Smith, MD, discuss the medical, statistical and personal impact of life in California during a pandemic, and how following the advice of health care professionals during this time, can save lives. (2020-04-01)

The Nooner for Monday, April 20, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • COVID-19
  • Legislature
  • Los Angeles
  • Cakeday and Classifieds 

Thank you for the kind words and support. It means a lot even if I don't respond to each email as I usually try to.

My Bluetooth keyboard is scheduled to arrive Thursday. the issue with my MacBook keyboard can only be done in-house by Apple, according to several third-party service providers I have talked to. Please don't lecture me about Apple right now, as I know and am having enough headaches already.

Using the iPad in the WYSIWYG editor I use for The Nooner is insufferable, such as creating links, bolding, and italicizing. Also, if I don't remember to save it before switching tabs, I lose all my work, as just happened. I just lost 1.5 hours of work, but fortunately it is only 6:45. And it will take me twice as long  to reconstruct. I'm guessing I am not alone in learning new things daily in this alternate universe.

I am also not criticizing iPads. It is just how it works with my JavaScript WYSIWYG editor. Believe it or not, The Nooner is quite complex, with dozens of scripts from editing to distribution.

I also know that my problems are nothing compared to those of health care workers and first responders. And there is lots of pain in families who have lost loved ones to those who have battled the virus and recovered.

I'm dealing with a lemon of a MacBook that won't keep its keys on its body.

Meanwhile, I have a roof over my head. I am healthy physically and mentall.I have a nice yoga mat and can stream classes on my tv. I am eating well (probably healthier than if I was eating out). I planted tomatoes on my balcony garden yesterday, which already has plentiful greens

I am working on my sleep, but lots of people I talk are working on the same thing right now. I take my melatonin and Benadryl, but am fully knowledgeable of the problem which you can guess. I don't turn of devices and read an hour before bed. Occupational hazard. I did get six hours last night!

Life is all relative now and must be taken in that perspective. Life is good.

It's a wild time. In our minds, we are redecorating the homes of late-night hosts and other TV personalities that trudge on. There is even a Twitter account that provides cheers and jeers of such remote broadcasters. Unfortunately, I can't find it this morning and I need to recreate the work that I just lost.

Through Thursday, I'll likely be a bit shorter, but I'll be here. There will be more typos since I can't spellcheck in the normal manner. While I am normally a touch-typist, I am typing with my two index fingers or two thumbs as I alternate how I am holding my iPad. And then there is that damn auto-correct, which doesn't happen out of iOS. It's not at all like typing even on my phone because the "keys" are far apart.

I'll be here, because many of you have been with me with words, love, and financial support during my more than five years doing this full-time (and many far longer). Thank you.

COVID-19: It seems silly to have this as a separate item since everything I have today relates to COVID-19, but this will be a few bullet points.

  • California confirmed cases: 33,445 (both of these numbers are SFChron, as CA Dept of Public Health didn't update over the weekend. The Chron uses official releases from counties)
  • Califormia conoir end deaths: 1,175
  • The first inmate death in California was reported yesterday at the California Institute for Men in Chino.
  • PPIC is out this morning with a new blog post looking at the state's reserves and the impact of COVID-19 on the state's most budget.

LEGISLATURE: The Legislature is scheduled to return on May 4. However, under The White House three-phase protocol for reopening (which is not controlling) it is pretty clear that California won't be even in Phase One by that date, which requires fourteen consecutive days of a reduction in new cases. Los Angeles is a particular hotbed right now, and we still have one of the lower per capita rate of testing.

Beyond The White House's "phases," the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins just released a thorough publication of guidelines for governors on how to reopen their states That involves 4 phases. It literally came out while I am writing this, but will be a great afternoon read. To the extent it is followed, the "new normal" will change life far more than the great wars.. It also recognizes the art of the possible given the technological shifts to the way we live and work. It is scary for many who may feel like they will be left behind, but that is not who has been protesting or have been protesting for. At this morning's rally in Harrisburg, PA, an unmasked (like most) protestor held a sign saying "Obey God. Ban Homo marriage."

The report breaks down venues to child care facilities by contact intensity and the ability to adapt that's. Best report I have seen to date.

The influential IHME/UWash model projects that social distancing restrictions may be relaxed on May 18, but that was before the latest spike in Los Angeles County--105 deaths this weekend. The growth in Southern California has been expected (and they were preparing for it) as the hard-hit Bay Area was the first with strict physical isolation and stabilized. As someone who grew up there and who worked with local government during my time with community colleges, Southern Californians are also a bit less likely to accept government edicts, which is why the city was filling the Venice skate park with sand over the weekend. A couple of weeks ago, a surfer got a ticket because he refused to get out when asked to by law enforcement.

Trust me, cops don't want to write tickets for this, but if people actively defy, you can't place blame.

Clearly, the Legislature can define itself as an essential service. Even the governor likely can't prescribe the Legislature given ithe separation of powers in under Article IV of the state constitution.

However, under The White House criteria, vulnerable individuals should shelter in place with no exception for essential services.

There are 14 members of the State Senate 65 or older. In the State Assembly, it is 13. No, I am not naming them for you. There are also staff meeting the age or underlying condition criteria.

The State Senate has adopted rules to allow for remote legislating. The State Assembly, however has gotten legal advice that it may not. I can see how it is easier for the Senate because of size, but my head explodes trying to figure it out for the Assembly technically and in compliance with Prop 2, which is in Article IV, Section 7 of the state constitution.

It sounds like the Assembly may come to Sacramento while the Senate works remotely until coming to Sacramento in June.

The key date is June 15, by which a budget must be approved or legislators' paychecks stop.

Other deadlines can be waived with a two-thirds vote.

Nobody, including legislators I have talked to, knows for certain what is going to happen. However, there are many in the media ready to show video on the nightly news of examples of the Legislature not practicing social distancing while viewers are at home.

I don't envy the job of legislative leadership, and the quandary is happening in Washington, D.C.

On that note, protestors are expected to rally today at the State Capitol calling for a full reopening of the state. You've seen the other state rallies over the last several days, so that should be a lot of fun.

I of course won't be there today because, like 27 legislators, I am considered high-risk with my lungs and am sheltering in place--likely for a few months if California follows The White House phase-in approach.

That and of course Mom's order.

LOS ANGELES: In his State of the City address yesterday, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that unpaid furloughs are coming to city employees given the projected fiscal impact of COVID-19 on the nation's second-largest city. The LAT's muni team reports:

In a remarkable State of the City address, one that comes five weeks into the shutdown of many businesses, government buildings and other facilities, Garcetti declared that the city is “under attack” from the coronavirus and the economic fallout that has come with it.

“I’ve never before hesitated to assure you that our city is strong,” he said. “But I won’t say those words tonight. Our city is under attack. Our daily life is unrecognizable.

“We are bowed and we are worn down. We are grieving our dead,” the mayor continued, choking back tears. “But we are not broken.”

This will be coming to cities and counties around the state that don't have the reserves the state does. even with healthy reserves, there will be pain. such pain may be reduced if there is state and local assistance in a future federal stimulus bill, but the call for $500 billion by the bipartisan National Governors Association is not in the brewing bill that may be agreed to today (for a vote later this week).

San Francisco mayor London Breed has already warned of a $1+ billion shortfall in the current year as hotels and the convention center lay empty. In Anaheim, the hotel tax accounts for 40% of tax revenues--the largest share. This week, Disney stopped paying 100,000 employees, formally converting them from paid leave to furlough. I don't know the share in California, but it is a lot--Disneyland Resort, ABC, Walt Disney Studios...

Many if not most of those will be filing with EDD as early as today to be added to the state's swelling unemployment rolls. Furloughed employees (and gig workers are now elegible for unemployment benefits.

Speaking of unemploymen, another legal change is needed. Legally, to be eligible for the benefit, you must be actively seeking a job. Well, that is absurd right now. I digress.

Disney CEO Bob Iger is on Governor Newsom's task force on the economic impact and how to reopen. He will have a lot to share.

i don't say that to criticize Disney even with its wealth. But, Disneyland could be closed much longer than its planned reopening of June 1 and nobody knows when movie and television shoots will resume.

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research


CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Jaime Huff, Sam Oh, Garry South, and Mark Torres!



Add your classified now both in The Nooner and online for $50/week or $150/month by emailing, with a headline, a summary of up to 200 words, and what you'd like the end date to be. You can attach a PDF or provide a link for a bigger job description/info to apply. [Other advertising options]

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