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RECENT PODS:

  • If I Could Change One Thing (Gary Rotto @ SDSU): Dr. Andrea Dooley, SDSU VP of Student Affairs and Campus Diversity on what the campus is doing to support students during COVID-19 (2020-11-12)
  • SacTown Talks (Jarhett Blonien): California Hospital Association CEO Carmela Coyle  Apple Podcasts | YouTube (2020-11-09)
  • This Week in California Education (EdSource): Election post-mortem on Propositions 15 and 16 (2020-11-07)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): California And The Nation: Record Turnouts, Tight Races (2020-11-05)
  • POLITICALish (David Quintana): Los Angeles city councilmember and former Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León YouTube (2020-10-30)
  • California State of Mind (Chris Nichols @ PolitiFact): TMI: On Social Media Disinformation And 2020’s Ballot Battles (2020-10-30) 

The Nooner for Thursday, November 12, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • Election 2020
  • COVID-19
  • From the Desk of the Dean: voting
  • Prop. 15
  • Prop. 19
  • Prop. 22
  • Garcetti
  • Wildfires
  • Mental health courts
  • Cakeday and classifieds

Happy Thursday! You're almost there! Whatever "there" means as counties tighten up pandemic restrictions, with movie theaters shutting and restaurants returning to take-out and delivery only. Nevertheless, Cal plays at Arizona State and UCLA hosts Utah. Unfortunately, both are at 7:30pm on Saturday.

Thank you to folks renewing their ATCpro/Nooner subscriptions and particularly those who have added an additional amount. I am working on thank you emails! 

I continue to be down $2,800 per month in advertising through drops in both display and classified advertising (as are other media properties). Until the Legislature returns, I don't see either picking it up again and subscription and donation revenue is more important than ever to keep the bills paid.

Let's get to it! Lots going on and if you think this is a morning workload, you have no idea. These are very long days on the election, other political, and pandemic fronts. I'm not complaining as it would be much worse if nothing was going on although I wish we had more positive SARS-CoV2-19/COVID-19 news.

ELECTION 2020: Through last night, 1,484,033 ballots have been counted. Yesterday was a slow counting day because of the holiday. Nevertheless, Imperial, Marin, Monterey, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, San Joaquin, and San Mateo counties reported a total of 123,141 ballots.

-Tallied turnout: 74% of registered voters / 70.6% of eligible voters

-Possible turnout: Around 79.5% of registered voters, 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 Tuesday (not updated yesterday due to the holiday), 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:

  • No lead changes in congressional and state legislative races in yesterday's reporting. 
  • Yolo County hasn't updated its results since last Friday, so longtime West Sac Mayor Christopher Cabaldon maintains a 122-vote lead over labor-backed councilmember and challenger Martha Guerrero.
  • Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs trails businessman and pastor Kevin Lincoln 36,615 (53.8%) to 31,460 (46.2%).
  • Former state senator Joel Anderson now leads Poway Mayor Steve Vaus 143,839 (50.01%) to 143,754 (49.99%).

-Closely watched races:

  • CA21 (Coalinga-Lemoore-South Bakersfield): David Valadao (R): 72,350; *TJ Cox (D): 68,324 (Diff: 2.9%)
  • CA25 (Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley): *Mike Garcia (R): 165,178, Christy Smith (D): 165,019
  • CA39 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton-Yorba Linda): Young Kim (R): 168,858, *Gil Cisneros (D): 164,813 (Diff: 1.2%)
  • CA48 (Orange County beach cities): Michelle Steel (R): 199,760, *Harley Rouda (D): 192,012 (Diff: 2.0%)
  • SD21 (Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley): *Scott Wilk (R): 182,813, Kipp Mueller (D): 178,175 (Diff: 1.3%)
  • SD23 (Rancho Cucamonga-Redlands-Hemet): Rosalicie Ochoa Bogh (R): 172,414, Abigail Medina (D): 159,590 (Diff: 3.9% ⬆️ 0.6%)
  • SD29 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton): Josh Newman (D): 208,886, *Ling Ling Chang (R): 198,336 (Diff: 2.6% ⬇️ 0.1%)
  • SD37 (Anaheim Hills-Irvine-OC beach cities): Dave Min (D): 268,138, *John M.W. Moorlach (R): 255,826 (Diff: 2.3% ⬇️ 0.1%)
  • AD13 (Stockton): Kathy Miller (D): 56,572, Carlos Villapudua (D): 54,272 (Diff: 2.1% ⬇️ 0.3%)
  • AD74 (OC Beach Cities-Costa Mesa-Irvine): *Cottie Petrie-Norris (D): 132,571, Diane Dixon (R): 129,799 (Diff: 1.1% ⬆️ 0.1%) 

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) 43.2%
Proposition 17 (voting: parole) 58.8%
Proposition 18 (voting: primary for 17yos) 44.3%
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, 34 deaths were added in California for a total of 18,108 since the beginning of the pandemic. With 4,697 new cases reported yesterday, California could cross the 1 million cases mark today.

-The winter outlook: In the LAT, Maura Dolan and Luke Money look at what experts are saying may be facing California in the coming months.

A UC Berkeley infectious disease expert said he believes the coronavirus is likely to swamp California in December and parts of the state economy will have to be shut down.

Dr. John Swartzberg said in an interview that the virus is spreading through travel from states where it is out of control, and California will not be spared.

“Within a month after Thanksgiving, the number of cases is going to be up significantly,” Swartzberg said. “California is going to be very worried, and we will start to see things close down.”

He said requiring quarantines for travelers to and from states with high infection rates would probably discourage travel, but there might be a backlash from Californians already angry at the number of restrictions.

Swartzberg likened humans to fuel and the virus to fire.

“As long as there is fuel around, the virus is going to get there,” he said. “The virus doesn’t know whether it is Nevada, California or Wisconsin. … You are going to see this virus go everywhere, and there is plenty of fuel in California.”

He said the state may have to start enforcing its mask mandate with fines.

Cue people losing their ish in 3...2...1...

-Workplace outbreaks: For CalMatters, Laurence Du Sault reports that while Oregon posts workplace novel coronavirus outbreaks, there are no such plans to do so in California.

But eight months into the public health crisis, the neighboring states have made starkly different choices on tracking and reporting workplace outbreaks — decisions that shape how much the public knows about the spread of coronavirus as hotspots appear at meat-packing plantsstadium construction siteswarehouses and other essential worksites.

Since May, Oregon has used a centralized tracking system, which has enabled health officials there to release weekly reports that list the names and addresses of every known business with at least 30 employees where five or more positive COVID-19 cases are identified. For outbreaks of more than 20, the Beaver State issues special daily reports.

California, in contrast, doesn’t post workplace outbreaks. The state lets its 58 counties handle coronavirus data, with wide variety in how each county tracks and reports workplace outbreaks. The distinction has workers and public health experts worried.

“It’s fundamental data that should be readily available,” said Dr. Melissa Perry, epidemiologist and chair of the Environmental and Occupational Health department at George Washington University. 

-Placer and Tiers for Fears: As I wrote yesterday, the Placer County Board of Supervisors says that it won't abide by the state guidance after the county moved from the orange to more restrictive red tier. In a 10-minute Facebook video, BOS chair Kirk Uhler calls the guidance limiting business activity "horse crap," and suggests the restrictions are politically motivated by using the presidential election results. He points to Los Angeles County, which has remained in the purple tier with increasing cases.

"I'm done hearing this crap about the death toll in our Republican areas..."

For Nooner readers not in the Sacramento region, Placer is a fast-growing county east of Sacramento. Roseville is the largest city and large bedroom community for lots of folks who work in downtown Sac as well as a shopping destination with the decline of the city of Sacramento's shopping malls (although retail was hurting there pre-pandemic as well).

Here are a few data charts for Placer.

COVID cases by day in Placer COVID positivity rate in Placer
COVID hospitalizations by day in Placer
Source: California Department of Public Health

Uhler and other Placer County leaders have long been critical of state-guided restrictions during COVID-19, with the supervisor saying in June that masks were just "for show." In May, he said:

“It is not up to the governor at this point to say what the rules are. We are not in a state of emergency. Get out of our way,” said supervisor Kirk Uhler.

Uhler said Newsom is overstepping his authority by continuing to hold counties to the statewide order as businesses suffer.

“In Placer County we’ve lost two people for every 100,000 residents. We’ve lost 7,000 jobs for every 100,00 residents. This can not go on,” Uhler said.

Of course, the state doesn't provide orders but rather guidance as public health orders are generally issued locally and the governor likely doesn't have the authority to mandate restrictions without legislation. However, the State Budget provides that federal CARES Act funding can be withheld from counties that don't implement the state guidance.

The biggest consumer-facing changes in moving from orange to red are:

Restaurants, wineries, and bars:

Substantial (red)

  • Restaurants: 
    • Indoor with modifications
    • Capacity must be limited to 25% or 100 people, whichever is less.
  • Wineries: Outdoor only with modifications
  • Bars, breweries, and distilleries (without full meal service): Closed


Moderate (orange)

  • Restaurants: Indoor with modifications
    • Capacity must be limited to 50% or 200 people, whichever is less
  • Wineries:
    • Indoor with modifications
    • Capacity must be limited to 25% or 100 people, whichever is less
  • Bars, breweries, and distilleries (without full meal service): Outdoor only with modifications

Retail:

Substantial (red)

  • Open with modifications
  • Retail capacity must be limited to 50%

Moderate (orange): Indoor with modifications

Gyms and fitness centers:

Substantial (red): Indoor with 10% capacity
Moderate (orange): Indoor with 25% capacity

Movie theaters and Family Entertainment Centers:

Substantial (red)

  • Movie theaters: 
    • Indoor with modifications
    • Capacity must be limited to 25% or 100 people, whichever is less
  • Family entertainment centers: Outdoor only with modifications for activities like kart racing, mini golf, batting cages
  • Playgrounds: Outdoor only with modifications

Moderate (orange)

  • Movie theaters: 
    • Indoor with modifications
    • Capacity must be limited to 50% or 200 people, whichever is less
  • Family entertainment centers: 
    • Outdoor with modifications for activities like kart racing, mini golf, batting cages
    • Indoor with modifications for naturally distanced activities, like bowling alleys, and escape rooms
    • Capacity must be limited to 25%
  • Playgrounds: Outdoor only with modifications

In a close race, Kirk Uhler lost his reelection bid in March to Granite Bay resident Suzanne Jones after 18 years on the board. Jones will be sworn in January 4.

From what I can tell, Placer County Department of Public Health is no longer issuing orders, unlike Sacramento County, which issued a new order within an hour of the state's tier changes announced Tuesday. Instead, Placer points businesses to the state's guidance.

In September Placer County Public Health Officer Dr. Aimee Sisson quit after the Board of Supervisors reversed her public order. Several public health officers, including Orange County's Nichole Quick in June, have similarly resigned over political interference by the boards that hire them.

-Sandy Eggo School Daze: For the SDUT, Kristen Taketa looks at the divide between the access of public and private school students to in-person instruction.

Out of 462,752 public and private school students reporting, about two-thirds are learning online-only while only 6 percent are attending school in-person full-time. The remainder are in hybrid learning in which students learn in-person part-time and online part-time.

The rates of in-person versus online learning during the pandemic become more skewed when looking at the type of school.

About 84 percent of private school students are attending school in-person to some degree, compared to just 32 percent of district public school students and 16 percent of charter students. Charter schools are public schools run independently of school districts.

In San Diego Unified, about 3,000 students — or 3 percent of the district’s total enrollment — are coming to campus for partial in-person services as part of the district’s Phase One reopening plan. District officials previously said up to 12,000 elementary students would qualify for Phase One because they have high needs.

FROM THE DESK OF THE DEAN: VOTING: The LAT's George Skelton writes in support of the idea to make the statewide mail-in ballot with vote centers permanent, as to be introduced by Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto) and suggestive support from Governor Newsom.

The pandemic produced one good thing: mail ballots for every California voter. And regardless of our fired president’s nonsensical claims, they were cast without a scent of fraud.
That was anticipated based on the history of clean mail balloting. And it was forecast by practically everyone except pugnacious President Trump and his Republican lemmings.

Regardless of their moaning about potential corruption, Republicans actually came out ahead in much of the California voting. They picked up some congressional seats and beat back a few Democratic ballot measures.

Virus or no virus, California should continue to send every active registered voter a mail ballot in future elections. It makes voting much easier. And there are plenty of protections against fraud.

Skelton also argues for the idea of moving ballot measure title and summary crafting from the Attorney General's Office to a nonpartisan entity such as the Legislative Analyst's Office.

PROP. 15: Ricardo Cano reports what will and won't happen immediately for schools with the failure of the split roll property tax initiative.

Faced with a potential 10% cut to the state’s main school finance artery, the Local Control Funding Formula, Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Legislature protected school budgets this year by deferring $11 billion in state funding for schools. That move held schools’ funding flat by delaying payments to schools into the next fiscal year – some installments coming as late as seven months – but also means the state will have to confront a potentially taller school finance cliff starting next year.

“Yes, Prop. 15 would’ve helped in the long run, but it wouldn’t have fixed this short-term problem that the Legislature’s going to face in the coming spring,” said Bruce Fuller, a professor at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education.

As state education funding increased over the latter part of the decade, so too have fixed costs such as employee pension contributions and support services for growing populations of students in the state who have special needs or are English learners.

For The Bee, Hannah Wiley looks at the impact Proposition 15 may have had on state legislative races.

Republicans usually run anti-tax campaigns in California, a state notorious for its high cost of living. But Proposition 15 handed vulnerable Republicans extra political ammunition in tight purple-district races.

“Protecting Proposition 13 isn’t a red or blue issue. It’s an issue that’s color blind,” said California Business Properties Association President Rex Hime during a press conference celebrating Proposition 15’s failure. “I think the core belief in Proposition 13, what it protects and what it’s about, is systematically ingrained in California.”

[AD35 (San Luis Obispo) candidate Dawn] Addis never endorsed Proposition 15, but soundbites from her interview were more than enough for Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham’s campaign to work with.

The incumbent Republican representing Assembly District 35, a Central Coast seat, leveraged the radio spot to claim that Democrats like Addis would raise property taxes for Californians, with Proposition 15 on the ballot as his proof.

Meanwhile, Joel Fox writes that the failure of Proposition 15 shows that Californians still hold Proposition 13 (1978) in high regard.

Homeowners were concerned that Proposition 15 was the first step in dismantling Proposition 13 for residential property.

What was revolutionary about Proposition 13 was the certainty it provided taxpayers. Before Proposition 13 passed, that certainty belonged to the tax collectors. After Proposition 13, certainty in property taxation was in the hands of individual taxpayers. They knew what they had to pay and how much the tax bill would go up year to year. No surprises.

...

Proposition 13 preserves tax certainty for voters.

Proposition 13 defeated Proposition 15.

PROP. 19: Liam Dillon reports for the Times on what the passage of Proposition 19 means for older homeowners.

California voters have approved a new property tax break for older homeowners in the state, easing their tax burdens if they move.

The success of Proposition 19 means that those 55 and older will be able to blend the taxable value of their old home with the value of a new, more expensive home they purchase, resulting in property tax savings that could reach thousands of dollars a year.

As part of the measure, children who inherit their parents’ houses will no longer receive a property tax break if they intend to keep it as a second home or rent it out.

...

Before Proposition 19‘s passage, older homeowners had a one-time opportunity to retain their existing tax benefits if they moved to a home of equal or lesser value within the same county. They could do the same when moving between Los Angeles and nine other counties. If they didn’t meet those requirements or moved to a more expensive home, they would have had to pay the full amount in property taxes.

Now, older homeowners will receive a property tax benefit when they buy a more expensive home anywhere in the state — up to three times. Homeowners with disabilities will be able to do the same, and victims of wildfires and other natural disasters will be able to do so after their home is damaged.

PROP. 22: The Bee's Jeong Park and Hannah Wiley look at what's left of AB 5 after the passage of Proposition 22, the measure to exempt transportation network companies like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash from the bill codifying Dynamex.

Despite the passage of Proposition 22, which exempts hundreds of thousands of gig drivers from the act that regulates who gets to be an independent contractor, supporters say they will protect what’s left.

“AB 5 still stands, and we’ll ensure it’s still defended by the state,” said Assemblyman Ash Kalra, D-San Jose, who chairs the Committee on Labor and Employment.

But Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, R-Rocklin, vows to repeal the law, saying he will introduce a bill in January to do so. If his bill won’t succeed, he said he may try to put AB 5 on the ballot in 2022.

“I think voters empathically rejected the premise of AB 5,” Kiley said. “If people are going to deny the efforts to repeal the rest of AB 5, they will have to answer why they are defying the will of the voters.”

GARCETTI: In the LAT, Dakota Smith writes about the possible remaking of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in a Biden White House.

Less than two years ago, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti took the stage at an L.A. Live club to announce a tourism milestone: A record number of visitors were coming to the L.A. region, flocking to the city for its restaurants, art museums and hip neighborhoods.

It marked a high point not just for the city but also for its mayor, who had won a landslide reelection and was riding a wave of interest in L.A. that had Garcetti pitching himself as a possible presidential contender.

Today, the nightclub remains closed because of the pandemic. The nearby Los Angeles Convention Center, which has doubled this year as a field hospital and a staging ground for the National Guard, is now being eyed as a homeless shelter.

Tourism has dried up, homicides are rising, and Garcetti and other political leaders are grappling with plunging revenues for City Hall and the possibility of layoffs of city workers.

...

While the city is in crisis, Garcetti is also facing a personal crossroads.

If he leaves L.A. for a possible position in President-elect Joe Biden’s administration — as there is widespread speculation he might — the mayor would exit the city at a moment of profound crisis.

But if he stays put — and finishes out his two years in office — he could be giving up a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work alongside Biden, a longtime friend. A move to Washington would give him new opportunities for advancement yet also affect his legacy at home.

WILDFIRES: Elizabeth Castillo reports for CalMatters what the closure of the inmate firefighting camp in Modoc County means for wildfire control efforts in the state's remote northeastern region.

Without the inmates, local officials say fires will burn longer as the area waits for resources to arrive from more than 100 miles away. Worrisome questions remain about who will create fire breaks and clear fuels.

California faces financial woes stemming from the coronavirus pandemic so Gov. Gavin Newsom’s budget required the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and Cal Fire to consolidate the fire camps that have crews below capacity and to prioritize the closure of camps with other fire resources nearby.

When California implemented reforms that landed fewer people in prison, fewer inmates were eligible for the fire camps. The eight camps selected to lose their inmates are half full at most.

Statewide, nearly 350 inmates will most likely be moved to the other 35 camps that will remain open.

The camp in Modoc County once housed around 130 inmates, but the numbers have steadily declined. It now houses 45. By the end of next month, that drops to zero.

MENTAL HEALTH COURTS: For Capitol Weekly, Sigrid Bethan looks at the different approach to criminal justice in Santa Clara County for offenders with mental health challenges in the first of a two-article series.

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Stephen Manley refers to defendants in his courtroom as “clients” – an indication of the unusually informal and conversational tenor of the Behavioral Health Court he created more than two decades ago.

“It tends to break through a barrier,” Manley said in a recent interview with Capitol Weekly. “Defendant is the word of the court. Client or patient is the word of treatment. Stigma is still a major issue. . .They all know they’re defendants. If we act like they’re ‘bad’ or charged with a serious crime, the focus is only on the negative. Obviously, there are consequences, but I try to get them to focus not solely on their criminal charge, but on treatment and changing behavior. ”

In practice, he added, “I generally use their first names.”

Established in 1998, four years after he created a similar drug treatment court, Manley’s behavioral health court was the first such court in California, one of the first in the country, widely described as the “gold standard” for mental health courts nationally. His unusual – and highly successful – approach to keeping mentally ill defendants out of the criminal justice system has been adopted throughout California and in other states. Manley has received widespread news coverage and multiple local, state and national awards from criminal-justice and mental-health groups.

Designed to break the tragic pattern for people whose mental illness underlies their crimes — too often landing them, repeatedly, in jails and prisons ill-equipped to help them – Manley’s courts now serve 1,500-2,000 mentally ill offenders annually. Nearly 70 percent of them successfully completed their requirements and many charges were dismissed, according to Manley’s recent report to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors..

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Marcos Bretón, Christopher Cabaldon, Wendy James, Karen Keeslar, Sharon Reilly, and Avelino Valencia!

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.

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