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The Nooner for Wednesday, November 11, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • Election 2020
  • COVID-19
  • Pardon me
  • Cabinet Californians?
  • LA transit
  • Cakeday and classifieds

Happy Veterans Day Dad!Happy Veterans Day Dad!
United States Navy
United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

always a radio man

Thank you to all who have served our country and protected our security and freedoms.

Today, the news is starting to balance out between the election and COVID-19. Shockingly, the virus did not go away by Election Day "like magic," but rather the number of new cases hit a record high yesterday in the United States (133,000) and Sacramento County (484). And, while as we refamiliarize ourselves with these data, I've seen on social media claims that the new cases (increase in 46 states including California over the last two weeks) are just about more testing. However, the United States posted a record number of hospitalizations yesterday. The AP reports:

The U.S. hit a record number of coronavirus hospitalizations Tuesday and surpassed 1 million new confirmed cases in just the first 10 days of November amid a nationwide surge of infections that shows no signs of slowing.

The new wave appears bigger and more widespread than the surges that happened in the spring and summer — and threatens to be worse. But experts say there are also reasons to think the nation is better able to deal with the virus this time around.

“We’re definitely in a better place” when it comes to improved medical tools and knowledge, said William Hanage, a Harvard University infectious-disease researcher.

Newly confirmed infections in the U.S. were running at all-time highs of well over 100,000 per day, pushing the total to more than 10 million and eclipsing 1 million since Halloween. There are now 61,964 people hospitalized, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

Several states posted records Tuesday, including over 12,600 new cases in Illinois, 10,800 in Texas and 7,000 in Wisconsin.

Deaths — a lagging indicator, since it takes time for people to get sick and die — are climbing again, reaching an average of more than 930 a day.

CNN had a very good segment this morning on why deaths are going down while hospitalizations are going up. The earliest wave was among the most vulnerable sick and elderly, the health care system has learned how to better triage and treat COVID-19 patients, and therapeutics such as Remdisivir and monoclonal antibodies are becoming more available. However, there are concerns about long-term physical and mental impairments seen in COVID-19 survivors.

Anyway, sorry to start out on gloomy news, although it sort of fits the weather at Nooner Global HQ. Don't get me wrong, a good rainstorm would make me as happy as a clam at high tide. We had a drizzle the other day -- just enough to move the dust and ash around on flat surfaces.

On to the gnus that fits (my clock)...

ELECTION 2020: Through last night, 16,229,771 ballots have been counted. Yesterday, 728,989 ballots were tallied among 32 counties.

-Tallied turnout: 73%

-Possible turnout: Around 79.5%, depending on validity of provisionals and conditional voter registration provisionals and any ballots postmarked by Election Day and received after the last report.

-What's left? From the unprocessed ballots report, updated at 5:00pm yesterday, estimates:

  • Vote-by-mail: 1,126,592
  • Provisional: 61,124
  • Conditional Voter Registration Provisional: 224,381
  • Other (damaged, write-ins, etc): 71,936
  • Total: 1,484,033

-Topline notes:

  • Kings County has temporarily suspended ballot counting because of a COVID-19 exposure. Affected in this is CA21 (Coalinga-Lemoore-South Bakersfield), where Rep. TJ Cox (D) trails former congressman  David Valadao (R) by 4,026 votes (2.9%). Valadao currently leads Cox in Kings County 62.1%-37.9%. The county plans to resume counting on November 21, which is the day following the last day for ballots postmarked by Election Day to arrive.
  • CA25 (Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley): Rep. Mike Garcia (R) took the lead back yesterday from Assembly member Christy Smith (D) after the opposite happened in Monday's tally.
  • CA39 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton-Yorba Linda): While to my knowledge first-termer Rep. Gil Cisneros (D) has not conceded, the consensus among independent observers is that he has lost to challenger former Assembly member Young Kim (R). Dave Wasserman of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report has this Twitter thread

Wasserman tweets

  • CA48 (Orange County beach cities): First-termer Rep. Harley Rouda (D) conceded to OC supervisor Michelle Steel (R).

-Closely watched races:

  • CA21 (Coalinga-Lemoore-South Bakersfield): David Valadao (R): 72,350; *TJ Cox (D): 68,324 (Diff: 2.9% ⬇️ 0.6%)
  • LEAD CHANGE: CA25 (Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley): *Mike Garcia (R): 165,178, Christy Smith (D): 165,019
  • CA39 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton-Yorba Linda): Young Kim (R): 168,485, *Gil Cisneros (D): 164,325 (Diff: 1.2% ⬆️ 0.2%)
  • CA48 (Orange County beach cities): Michelle Steel (R): 199,133, *Harley Rouda (D): 191,341 (Diff: 2.0% ⬆️ 0.2%)
  • SD21 (Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley): *Scott Wilk (R): 182,813, Kipp Mueller (D): 178,175 (Diff: 1.2% ⬆️ 0.2%)
  • SD23 (Rancho Cucamonga-Redlands-Hemet): Rosalicie Ochoa Bogh (R): 154,429, Abigail Medina (D): 144,436 (Diff: 3.3% ⬆️ 1.7%)
  • SD29 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton): Josh Newman (D): 205,049, *Ling Ling Chang (R): 194,195 (Diff: 2.7% ⬇️ 0.2%)
  • SD37 (Anaheim Hills-Irvine-OC beach cities): Dave Min (D): 266,872, *John M.W. Moorlach (R): 254,688 (Diff: 2.4%)
  • AD13 (Stockton): Kathy Miller (D): 55,122, Carlos Villapudua (D): 52,523 (Diff: 2.4% ⬇️ 0.4%)
  • AD74 (OC Beach Cities-Costa Mesa-Irvine): *Cottie Petrie-Norris (D): 132,051, Diane Dixon (R): 129,306 (Diff: 1.0% ⬇️ 0.2%) 

As it currently stands (this changes with lead changes):

  • California congressional delegation: 42 Democrats, 11 Republicans (R+4 from 2018 -- CA21, CA25CA39, and CA48, while retaining the CA50 vacancy).
  • The State Senate: 31 Democrats, 9 Republicans (D+2 -- SD29, SD37).
  • The State Assembly: 60 Democrats, 19 Republicans (R+1 -- AD38), and one NPP (AD42).

Here are the current ballot measure results, which will likely reflect the final results:

Proposition 14 (stem cell bond) 51.1%
Proposition 15 (split roll property tax) 48.2%
Proposition 16 (affirmative action ban repeal) 43.3%
Proposition 17 (voting: parole) 58.9%
Proposition 18 (voting: primary for 17yos) 44.4%
Proposition 19 (property tax base transfer) 51.1%
Proposition 20 (criminal justice) 38.0%
Proposition 21 (rent control) 40.3%
Proposition 22 (transportation network AB 5 exemption) 58.5%
Proposition 23 (dialysis) 36.4%
Proposition 24 (consumer privacy) 56.1%
Proposition 25 (bail referendum - yes upholds SB 10) 43.9%

COVID-19: Yesterday, 71 deaths were added in California for a total of 18,074 since the beginning of the pandemic.

-Flu: The good news is that influenza activity in the United States remains low. California is currently minimal and the only state with moderate activity is Iowa.

-Tiers for Fears: Below is where the counties currently fall on the reopening guidance after yesterday's changes I emailed to you as a Nooner extra. Visit this page to find out how a tier affects a specific industry or activity. After a tier demotion, a county must have data on the three metrics (cases/100,000, positivity, health equity) in the less-restrictive tier for three weeks before moving back. Look up a county here.

  • Purple (widespread): Imperial, Los Angeles, Madera, Monterey, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, Shasta, Sonoma, Tehama, Tulare
  • Red (substantial):  Amador, Contra Costa, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Lake, Mendocino, Merced, Orange, Placer, San Benito, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Stanislaus*, Sutter, Ventura, Yolo, Yuba
  • Orange (moderate): Alameda, Butte, Colusa, Del Norte, El Dorado*, Inyo, Lassen, Marin, Modoc, Mono, Napa, Nevada, Plumas, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Siskiyou, Trinity, Tuolomne
  • Yellow (minimal): Alpine, Calaveras, Humboldt, Mariposa, San Francisco, Sierra

*seeking adjudication of data and county practices that would move it to the higher tier

-Restaurants: For The Bee, Benjy Egel looks at what Sacramento County restaurants are facing with colder and wetter weather approaching with no indoor seating. This is particularly troubling in the holiday luncheon and evening parties season although, even in the red tier, those technically wouldn't be allowed either.

-Theme parks: In the Register, Brady MacDonald writes that the California Attractions and Parks Association released a statement stating that the current guidance for large theme parks will keep them closed indefinitely, hurting employees and regional economies.

“We continue to urge the Newsom Administration to reconsider the impact of their Tier 4 sentence for California’s major theme parks,” CAPA executive director Erin Guerrero said in a statement. “The current guidance will keep theme parks closed indefinitely and leave thousands of theme park workers in poverty.”

...

California issued separate reopening guidelines for small and large theme parks. Small theme parks with a capacity of fewer than 15,000 visitors can reopen in the orange/moderate tier 3 while large theme parks can return in the yellow/minimal tier 4. CAPA has pleaded with the Newsom administration to allow large California theme parks like Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood to reopen in the less-restrictive orange/moderate tier 3.

“There are real people suffering economic instability, worried about putting food on the tables for their families,” Guerrero said in a statement. “The Newsom administration’s Tier 4 designation means that park employees will continue to suffer even when we reach the moderate Tier 3 and many other parts of the economy are allowed to reopen. Parks are ready to reopen responsibly in Tier 3 with significant modifications that protect the health and safety of both employees and guests.”

As you see at the top, I have an ad from CAPA. I would include this item regardless. I've been writing about the Anaheim economy (particularly hotel taxes) since March 14, before the state's initial shutdown on March 19. At that time, Disneyland was going to be closed for the month of March. Meanwhile, 242 days later, here we are. And, its not just Anaheim but Buena Park, Orange and other cities that are affected by the closure of Disneyland and Knott's. While not as much of tourist destinations, that impact is felt across the state around other large parks, many of which are in regions near mostly shuttered convention centers.

Meanwhile, one smaller theme park allowed to reopen with restrictions under the orange tier will be shuttered again, reports the OCR's MacDonald.

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk will reclose after Santa Cruz County moved back to the red/substantial tier 2 risk level under Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The Beach Boardwalk reopened roller coasters and thrill rides on Nov. 7 and 8 after the county moved into the orange/moderate tier 3 risk level.

“While we are disappointed to close rides and attractions, we anticipated the likelihood Santa Cruz County might move back and forth within the tiers and have prepared to adjust our operations accordingly,” Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk spokesperson Kris Reyes said in a statement. “The health and safety of our guests and employees is of the utmost importance during these challenging times and this will remain our priority in the weeks and months ahead.”

-Sacramento: The county Department of Public Health was quick to get out an updated public health order, which takes effect at noon on Friday.

-Los Angeles: From yesterday's Los Angeles County Department of Public Health press release:

There are 888 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 28% of these people are in the ICU. The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 each day increased to over 800 this past week and now nears 900. A month ago in early-October, the daily number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 was between 650 and 725 patients.

Throughout this pandemic when we have seen a surge in cases, it is followed by increases in hospitalizations and deaths.

It is very important businesses understand, implement and continue to comply with protocols and directives, as they can contribute to increased community transmission when COVID-19 spreads among their employees and customers.

-Sac County: From Benjy Egel's Bee article above "Sacramento County reported a record 484 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, part of a nationwide spike since late October. Halloween parties seemed to exacerbate the problem, Sacramento County Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye told The Sacramento Bee."

-Placer County: After sliding back to the red tier, the Placer County Board of Supervisors says that the county will not be enforcing the statewide guidance, which technically is issued by county health officers with state-directed money at risk. Anna Giles reports for CBS Sacramento:

Placer County slid back into the red tier Tuesday, meaning tighter restrictions on how many people businesses can have indoor operations. Restaurants are supposed to be at 25 percent capacity.

But Placer County leaders are promising a standoff approach. Supervisor Kirk Uhler said the message from the county board is clear.

“We as a county are not enforcing any of the governor’s mandates. Pure and simple,” Uhler said. ”Do what you need to do to stay in business. Run your businesses. If your customers want to come in, accommodate them.”

As businesses in other counties get hit with fines for thousands of dollars, Placer County health officials said they’ll focus on an educational approach.

Supervisor Kirk Uhler is the son of longtime anti-tax activist Lew Uhler.

-San Francisco: The Chron's Erin Allday reports that San Francisco will shut down indoor dining and pause high school reopenings even while the city and county remains in the least restrictive tier.

San Francisco will shut down indoor dining this Friday and is pausing plans to reopen high schools after reporting an alarming spike in coronavirus cases that is pushing the city toward a coronavirus surge that could surpass the summer peaks, city and public health leaders said Tuesday.

The city remains in the least restrictive, yellow tier in California’s reopening plan, but public health officials said Tuesday that they were imposing immediate, aggressive new restrictions because of the “rapid and significant” increase in cases, including a 250% jump since Oct. 2.

If the current pace holds, the city could report 300 a cases a day by the end of December, officials said. It’s currently reporting 100 or fewer cases a day.

San Francisco’s announcement came as 11 California counties, including Contra Costa and Santa Cruz, were bumped back to more restrictive tiers in the state’s pandemic reopening plan on Tuesday, and as the coronavirus stampedes over much of the United States.

Also as part of the new order, effective Friday, SF movie theaters can operate at 25% capacity which is lower than the 50% previously allowed, reports Lily Janiak in the Chron.

San Diego: In the SDUT, Lori Weisberg and Phillip Molnar write that many San Diego County businesses fear for their survival after the county returned to the most restrictive purple tier.

From restaurants, bars, gyms and movie theaters, which will soon be limited to outdoors-only service, to shops and malls where indoor capacities will drop to just 25 percent, the news Tuesday that San Diego County will enter the most restrictive tier of the state’s reopening system is yet another financial blow to both the owners and their workers.

Businesses are yet again preparing to make the gut-wrenching decision to let employees go or sharply reduce their hours while they contemplate the possibility of closing their doors — either temporarily or for good.

Some still are hopeful they can make a go of it over the next several weeks, while still others are weighing the risks of flouting the new rules, scheduled to go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, and remain open for indoor service.

So much for those two strip clubs that got that restraining order last week to prevent the county from keeping them shuttered while under the red tier restrictions.

PARDON ME: Yesterday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced 22 pardons, 13 commutations and four medical reprieves. Several are legal residents who came from Southeast Asia as minors, have completed their sentences, but are under threat of deportation. 

CABINET CALIFORNIANS? In today's NYT, a list of possible cabinet appointments in the Biden Administration is curated. The Californians who appear on the list are:
  • Attorney General: Xavier Becerra, CA Attorney General
  • Health and Human Services: David Kessler, former FDA Commissioner, co-chair of Biden COVID-19 Task Force, and UCSF professor of pediatrics, Rep. Karen Bass
  • Homeland Security: Alejandro Mayorkas, former Deputy Secretary of DHS for Immigration and Citizenship Services and federal prosecutor for the Central District of California
  • Housing and Urban Development: Rep. Karen Bass
  • Labor: Julie Su, CA Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Agency
  • Treasury: Janet Yellen, former Fed Reserve chair and UC Berkeley economist

LA TRANSIT: Los Angeles's Metro system has seen a significant drop in ridership and it's not just COVID-19 to blame, reports Elijah Chiland for Curbed LA.

Metro’s rail network is back to full strength after a long year of repairs, construction, and station closures—and a $2.1 billion train line is expected to open in the year ahead.

So where did all the riders go?

In November, ridership plunged 14 percent year-over-year. Passengers took 300,924 trips on Metro’s train lines on a typical weekday. That was nearly 50,000 fewer rides per day than in November 2018. Compared to one year ago, ridership is down on all train lines.

Some lines are carrying fewer riders than they have in years, and for the past few months, the Gold Line has been emptier than it's been since it began traveling to Azusa.

...

Ridership drops have been most pronounced on Metro’s buses, which carry more than two-thirds of the system’s daily passengers. As the agency poured billions of dollars into expanding its rail network, extensions to the Gold and E (formerly Expo) lines offset some of those losses by attracting more commuters to the system.

But last year, rail ridership dipped 4.2 percent after two years of solid gains.

In 2019, a further decline was almost inevitable given scheduled shut-downs of parts of the A (formerly Blue) and E lines. Both lines have fully reopened—but ridership hasn’t rebounded.

...

At least half of the A Line’s route was closed for most of the year. The full train line finally reopened on November 2, with Metro leaders promising faster travel times and a smoother rider experience.

Despite upgraded tracks, stations, and train cars, mechanical issues and delays afflicted the 29-year-old train line during its first weeks back in operation.

During the entire month of November, the line served an average of 44,578 weekday riders, down almost 30 percent from 63,463 riders in November 2018—two months before the southern half of the route shut down.

Prior to the shutdown, Metro had promised ride times on the train would drop to 48 minutes from end to end—down from 58 minutes. Now, agency staffers are working on getting trains to consistently hit a 53-minute goal, only five minutes faster than the scheduled travel time before the closures.

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Matthew Bajko, Jenny Berg, Diane Dixon, Jenny Kao, former state senator Fran Pavley, Senator Richard Roth, David Wolfe!

Classifieds

Add your classified now both in The Nooner and online for $50/week or $150/month by emailing scottlay@gmail.com, 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]


California School Boards Association - Legislative Director

CSBA is seeking a Legislative Director to lead our Governmental Relations team to shape legislative and political strategy for CSBA’s statewide agenda. You will act as a liaison between legislative, educational, and public communities. If you are interested in leading a team of legislative advocates to influence opinion in favor of public education, please apply through our website. Position is located in West Sacramento. Learn more and apply here: https://www.csba.org/About/Careers

Offices available for sublease: Meridian Plaza

Between 1-3 offices are available for sublease in the Meridian Plaza office building, 1415 L Street, two blocks from the Capitol. The offices are approximately 150 SF each. Internet, gym, partially furnished (desk, chair, bookcases) are included. 24/7/365 key card access; floor-ceiling windows facing Sierras; professional offices. One year lease preferred. $1,500 per office. Contact Jane at admin@stoneadvocacy.com or (415) 577-9734 with questions.

Photos: 1 | 2 | 3

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