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The Nooner for Thursday, November 26, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

In today's Nooner:

  • COVID-19
  • Budget
  • No juice for you
  • Feeling crabby 

Happy Thanksgiving, turkey day, or Tofurky Day.

Just a few quick notes today.

My back is still a pain in the, well, lumbar! At least I am out of bed.

Coincidentally, there is a news story about asthma, steroids, and bone density loss. In 1987, I was actually in an episode of 20/20, which shot at the National Jewish Center for Respiratory Medicine, considered the top hospital for severe asthma in the nation. Anyway, 6 months in 1987 and three months in 1989. Of course, my life was also Children's Hospital of Orange County and St. Joseph's in Orange. The great thing was knowing that you could write things not on the daily menu. Since most of the people at CHOC had cystic fibrosis who needed max calories, this was encouraged.

That's why I didn't graduate from high school. I was known as the guy on the highest recorded dose of IV corticosteroids after a stay in the ICU. Solumedrol was my drug of choice. In 89, I got into a trial with Sandoz human immunogammaglobulin, which I flew to Denver for once a month for infusions. My last hospitalization was in 1991, but the effects will last.

COVID-19: Yesterday, 101 deaths were recorded in the state, bringing the total to 18,980. Yesterday, the death toll in the U.S. hit its highest since May. The LAT reports:

  • New cases are surging. Over the last seven days, the state has averaged 13,624 cases per day, a 116.9% increase from two weeks ago. Roughly 6.5% of tests this past week have come back positive.
  • Hospitalizations are also increasing. There are now 6,188 patients statewide with a confirmed case, 92% more than two weeks ago.
  • Higher death tallies are expected. The state has averaged 73.7 daily deaths over the last week. When case counts increase, the death toll typically rises soon after.

-Retail: In the Times, Suhauna Hussain writes that retail workers fear exposure during the frenzy on Black Friday.

For retail workers, Black Friday is, as Hernandez puts it, the “most dreaded day of the year.” But this year, the day they hate has also become one they fear.

With coronavirus infections rising across much of the United States, what is historically one of America’s busiest shopping days brings real risk. Some regions have established occupancy restrictions, including California, where the average number of new coronavirus cases has tripled in the last month alone. But even here, where safety rules are more stringent than in many states, workers are bracing for a high volume of shoppers and the danger that comes with the traffic.

NO JUICE FOR YOU: Haley Smith writes in the Times that many Southern Californians are facing a very dark Thanksgiving with a public safety power shutoff with wildfire concerns, affecting areas to the north and east of Los Angeles.

As many as 76,000 Southern California Edison customers could spend Thanksgiving without power because of elevated wildfire risk, the utility company said Wednesday.

Communities from Hemet to Ventura may lose power as part of a “public safety power shut-off,” intended to keep electrical systems from becoming a source of wildfire ignition, as forecasts call for gusty Santa Ana winds and dry conditions across the Southland.

The National Weather Service said the powerful winds are expected to begin Thursday and last through Friday evening.

In Simi Valley, my sister is considering putting her Thanksgiving dinner in the back of the fridge for a literally brighter day.

So fitting for 2020.

THE BUDGET: George Skelton writes that legislators should control themselves wit a surprising budget windfall.

The lawmakers’ chief nonpartisan policy advisor, Legislative Analyst Gabriel Petek, recommends a prudent 50-50 approach: Use half for rebuilding cash reserves or paying off internal debt, and the other half for one-time expenditures, such as pandemic relief.

That makes sense if it can be done without the governor and legislators sneaking some bucks into pet projects.

[LAO Gabirel] Petek delivered the unexpected package of surplus money last week, projecting a $26-billion tax windfall this fiscal year.

This came after Newsom and the Legislature thought they were facing a horrific $54-billion pandemic-induced shortfall when they adopted the state’s $202-billion annual budget in June.

FEELING CRABBY: The commercial crab season has again been delayed, now until December 16, creating another year of economic despair for fishermen and coastal communities. Tara Duggam reports in the Chron:

Dungeness crab season is delayed yet again. On Tuesday, the state announced that the commercial crab fishing season from Point Arena in Mendocino County to the Mexican border would be pushed back a second time, to Dec. 16, to prevent endangered whales from getting entangled and injured in fishing gear.

The state had already delayed the opening of the season from Nov. 15 to Dec. 1 for the same reason, disappointing Bay Area seafood lovers, who traditionally like to have Dungeness crab on Thanksgiving, and the local crab fishing fleet, which makes most of its income from the busy Thanksgiving and holiday season. Because of new rules established this month, the state has the authority to close certain fishing areas when there is evidence of a certain number of humpback whales, blue whales or Pacific leatherback sea turtles in crab fishing areas.

Recent aerial surveys have shown that there are still whales in fishing grounds, California Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Charlton H. Bonham said in a statement announcing the latest delay. The state also recently announced it would delay the Dungeness crab season in the northern region, from Mendocino County north to Del Norte County, from Dec. 1 to Dec. 16, but the reason was different: Crabs in that area failed meat quality tests, or basically didn’t grow meaty enough to catch.

The marine animals began staying in fishing zones more often starting with the marine heat wave, sometimes known as “the blob,” that began in 2014, and started getting entangled in the lines that connect crab pots to buoys at the ocean’s surface. That led to a lawsuit from the an Oakland environmental group Center for Biological Diversity in 2017, which caused the state to take stronger action to prevent the injuries.

Damn, I miss those crabs, which is one of the most sustainable fisheries. A crab and mushroom risotto, crap chowder, or crab salad are gum smacking as are a lots of recipes.

While obviously disappointed, crabbers on the advisory committee supported the delay. There is a huge environmental issue of endangered whales not feeding enough over the summer in Alaskan waters and stopping off the California coast for mid-migration feeding. It sounds like scientists are perplexed, but speculate that warmer waters in Alaska are causing less growth of plankton, hurting both baleen whales and feeder fish that meat-eating whales need to thrive.

Probolsky Research

 

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Ray Bishop, Dustin Call, Pete Conaty, Walter Hughes, Edie Lambert, Jason Murphy, Bart Reed, and Samantha Samuelsen!

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