Around The Capitol

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  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): Becerra: Another Bright Spot For California And The Rest of The Country (2020-12-10)
  • Then There's California (Senate Democratic Caucus): State Senator Maria Elena Durazo, the new Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus, talks about public policy, health, and social justice priorities for our Latinx communities in 2021. (2020-12-09)
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Vaccines are coming with Dr. Dean Blumberg, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, UC Davis School of Medicine and Acting Chief, Pediatric Infectious Disease Section, UC Davis Medical Center. (2020-12-07)
  • Look West Podcast (Assembly Democratic Caucus): Introduction to new Assembly Democrats (2020-12-07)
  • KQED's Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): Dr. Anthony Fauci on California's New COVID Restrictions and Lessons from the HIV/AIDS Epidemic (2020-12-04)

The Nooner for Friday, December 11, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • Senator Feinstein
  • Governor's Office
  • Hunger games
  • Do you recall?
  • Child abuse
  • Budget
  • Unemployment insurance
  • Poll position
  • COVID-19
    -The numbers
    -Twenty feet instead of six?
    -Tiers for Fears
    -Stay at Home
    -LA County
  • Cakeday and classifieds 

For ATCpro readers, this is the second one you are receiving as I was waiting on the state COVID-19 regional data. There are some additional items and the Hunger Games item has been corrected. David Rosen was played by Joshua Malina ("The West Wing's" Will Bailey!) in "Scandal," while Jeff Rosen is the Santa Clara County DA. The ICU capita data was just updated and is included below.

First night of Hanukkah

Hanukkah sameach!

Happy Statement of Vote day! Today, the Secretary of State will officially certify the November 3 election results by publishing the Statement of Vote. After that, I will finalize the ATCpro spreadsheet of closely watched races and share it with all Nooner readers.

Also today, the Supreme Court of the United States will likely announce whether or not it will hear Texas v. Pennsylvania et. al, the case by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to block the electors from Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin from participating in Monday's Electoral College vote. Supporting the effort via an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief are 106 Republican members of the House of Representatives, including Ken Calvert (R-Corona), Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove in Ami Bera's CA07) and Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) from California. Notably, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) did not sign on.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra along with 21 other states signed on to an amicus brief filed by the District of Columbia opposing the effort by Texas's Paxton.

Meanwhile, and this is real, Nevada attorney Robert E. Thomas, III of Pahrump filed an amicus brief on behalf of "New California" and "New Nevada" supporting Texas's case. He's actually a member of the State Bar of California and graduated from University of San Diego School of Law.

Because of the Emergency Nature of this Action, this Amici has not been able to secure the consent of all parties.

Ummm, because there aren't any? Ostensibly, it is this group which has some of the worst swag on the interweb.

New California State and New Nevada State are directly impacted by the arbitrary and capricious changes in election laws and procedures occur with unfortunate regularity in the current States of California and Nevada.

Part of the reason for the formation of New California State and New Nevada Sate is to stop the lawless actions of Governors Newsome (California) and Sisolak (Nevada). An opinion by this Court affirming a national, uniform rule of law reestablishing the supremacy of The Electors Clause of Article II, § 1 of the United States Constitution will resolve some of the complaints causing the establishment of these new States.

Speaking of Pahrump, I just love saying that city's name, particularly during the holidays. Pahrump pum pum.

Disputes between states are one of the very limited cases for which the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction meaning that a plaintiff isn't required to go through lower courts. Most legal observers believe that SCOTUS will not take the case up. It take four justices to vote to hear a case.

Back to New California, their site explains the Legislature they envision. 

New California State Legislature came into existence July 21, 2018 at the 1st New California State Constitutional Convention at Harris Ranch, California. The Legislature consists of a bi-cameral legislature where there is an Assembly and a Senate.

The Assembly

The New California State Assembly consist of 2 Assembly members from each of the Counties of New California State and are Selected/Elected as members from their respective counties. Assembly Members are selected/elected to represent the interest of the people.

​The Senate

The New California State Senate consists of 1 Senator from each of the Counties of New California State and are Selected/Elected as members from their respective counties. Senators are selected/elected to represent the interest of all people and all interests including business, legal, commerce, borders, trade et al.

The above is subject to change pending congressional approval.

...which will never happen.

New California folks need to read Reynolds v. Sims 377 US 533 (1964), which held that state legislative districts must be of roughly equal population. Lassen and Los Angeles can't each have two state legislators.

SENATOR FEINSTEIN: Will Gavin Newsom have four key appointments including to United States Senators? That's the question everyone is asking after the Jane Mayer of the New Yorker yesterday wrote that Capitol Hill is increasingly concerned about the abilities of Dianne Feinstein to continue at age 87.

In a hearing on November 17th, Dianne Feinstein, the senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, who, at eighty-seven, is the oldest member of the Senate, grilled a witness. Reading from a sheaf of prepared papers, she asked Jack Dorsey, the C.E.O. of Twitter, whether his company was doing enough to stem the spread of disinformation. Elaborating, she read in full a tweet that President Trump had disseminated on November 7th, falsely claiming to have won the Presidential election. She then asked Dorsey if Twitter’s labelling of the tweet as disputed had adequately alerted readers that it was a bald lie.

It was a good question. Feinstein seemed sharp and focussed. For decades, she has been the epitome of a female trailblazer in Washington, always hyper-prepared. But this time, after Dorsey responded, Feinstein asked him the same question again, reading it word for word, along with the Trump tweet. Her inflection was eerily identical. Feinstein looked and sounded just as authoritative, seemingly registering no awareness that she was repeating herself verbatim. Dorsey graciously answered the question all over again.

Social media was less polite. A conservative Web site soon posted a clip of the humiliating moment on YouTube, under the headline “Senator Feinstein just asked the same question twice and didn’t realize she did it,” adding an emoji of someone covering his face with his hand in shame, along with bright red type proclaiming “Time to Retire!!” Six days later, under growing pressure from progressive groups who were already outraged by her faltering management of Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing, Feinstein released a statement announcing that she would step down from the Democrats’ senior position, while continuing as a non-ranking member of the committee. Feinstein’s office declined to comment for this article.

Next in line for the ranking member spot is Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont.

Mayer continues:

Some former Feinstein aides insist that rumors of her cognitive decline have been exaggerated, and that video clips taken out of context can make almost anyone look foolish. They also bridle at singling out her condition, because declining male senators, including Strom Thurmond, of South Carolina, and Robert Byrd, of West Virginia, were widely known by the end of their careers to be non-compos mentis. “For his last ten years, Strom Thurmond didn’t know if he was on foot or on horseback,” one former Senate aide told me. The former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, of Nevada, is said to have snapped at a staffer who claimed to be relaying what Byrd thought. “Knock it off,” Reid supposedly said. “Everyone knows it’s what you think.” In contrast, one former aide to Feinstein argues that, even if her faculties are diminished, “she’s still smarter and quicker than at least a third of the other members.”

I have said for awhile that Feinstein likely wouldn't serve the entire term ending in 2024. Throughout this year, I've said that Kamala's seat would likely be filled by a Latino, but if a second seat were vacant, it would open the door for Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) or Katie Porter (D-Irvine). However, now with the slim House majority for Democrats, that would be frowned upon by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), even if it were Schiff, who comes from a safe Democratic district. It would likely be 6 months for a special primary and general to fill the seat. Of course, we've talked about the challenge with Porter, whose seat would likely flip to Republican in a special.

There are lots of great nuggets in Mayer's article and I highly recommend the read.

GOVERNOR'S OFFICE: Former White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers is joining Governor Newsom's administration as senior adviser to Newsom and director of the Goveror's Office of Business and Economic Development, reports Carla Marinucci for Politico. The Politico Playbook California team writes:

Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic — and the avalanche of social and economic problems that’s come with it, along with some damaging headlines — it’s been many long, difficult months since the California governor has been able to “drink from the keg of glory,” to use a phrase from “West Wing.”

A new adviser, Dee Dee Myers, may be just what he needs for a reboot. Long familiar on cable TV as a top-notch political analyst, Myers is a seasoned political warrior who broke the glass ceiling as the first female (and second-youngest) presidential press secretary in history, during the Clinton administration. She was the model for tough-but-fair fictional White House press secretary C.J. Cregg, played by Allison Janney on “West Wing” — a show for which Myers served as a consultant for six years and 119 episodes.

But not too many know her chops as an executive and board member in business sectors critical to California’s future. She was an executive vice president for five years at Warner Brothers, a $25 billion revenue company and one of the world’s “big five” movie studios, a post she left earlier this year. Myers also served as a board member with Nevada-based Wynn Resorts, the hospitality, restaurant and hotel giant. Prior to that, she was a top manager for the Glover Park Group, a powerhouse D.C.-based communications shop that has handled clients like the NFL.

Tapped by Newsom chief of staff Ann O’Leary earlier this year, Myers volunteered to assist Newsom’s team on strategy, crisis communication and the setup of his business and economic task force. Newsom’s team has lacked a key business and economic point person since Lenny Mendonca resigned last April, and with O’Leary soon leaving her post , Myers’ expertise in business and politics and her solid reputation could help his whole team navigate out of the rough waters of 2020.

She spoke to Carla about the challenges ahead — and the post she will take on starting today.

If you aren't signed up for the Politico California Playbook, you should be.

Meanwhile, Governor Newsom has appointed Luis Céspedes as legal appointments secretary. He succeeds Martin Jenkins, who Newsom appointed to the Supreme Court of California. From the release:

“Luis Céspedes has championed the cause of civil rights, equal justice, diversity and inclusion throughout his storied legal career,” said Governor Newsom. “From his days as a 15-year-old going on strike with the United Farm Workers alongside César Chávez, to his time as a Capitol staffer and decades as a lawyer, Luis’ resilience and compassion have touched countless lives and earned the respect of countless others. I am proud to have him join our team and look forward to his counsel as we continue to build a bench that reflects the rich diversity of California.”

Luis Céspedes, 68, of Carmichael, has been an Attorney at Law for the Law Offices of Luis A. Céspedes since 1982. He was a Partner at Céspedes, Namba & Nakagawa from 1992 to 1994 and Principal Consultant for the California State Assembly Committee on Health from 1980 to 1982. Céspedes was Administrative Assistant to State Assemblymember Vic Fazio from 1975 to 1977, Senior Consultant for the California State Assembly Office of Majority Consultants in 1975 and a Law Clerk and Case Analyst at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from 1971 to 1974. He is a member of the Sacramento County Bar Association, the Schwartz Levi American Inn of Court, the Emerging Latino Leadership Foundation and the Cruz Reynoso Bar Association. In 2018, Céspedes was named “Distinguished Attorney of the Year” by the Sacramento County Bar Association. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and a Master of Arts degree in urban studies from Occidental College. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $207,000. Céspedes is a Democrat.

Yea for the Schwartz Levi Inn of Court! I very much enjoyed my years participating in the group.

HUNGER GAMES: I am told by several sources that another name to add to the lengthy list of possible Attorney General picks is Jeff Rosen, Santa Clara District Attorney. Also added to the list is attorney and former FPPC chair (and FEC member) Ann Ravel.

Of course, there's only a vacancy if Xavier Becerra is confirmed as HHS Secretary, which is not a certain thing in this political environment.

DO YOU RECALL? For Capitol Weekly, Chuck McFadden looks at the prospects of the latest attempt to recall Governor Gavin Newsom.

Backers of the recall have until March 17, 2021 – a Superior Court judge last month gave them an extension — to collect at least 1,495,709 verified signatures on petitions. That number, required by law, is equal to 12% of the vote for governor in 2018. They say they want to collect 2,000,000 signatures for insurance, and claim they have 5,000 volunteer petition circulators.

It marks the sixth attempt by various Republicans to oust Newsom – the other five fizzled. Few veteran political observers give this one any chance of success, either, although California politics is full of surprises.

“I’m very skeptical,” said veteran political strategist Rob Stutzman. “The effort is real, and they say they have 800,000 signatures and want two million, but it would take millions of dollars to get all the signatures they need. Who’s going to fund that?”

And as the political fallout continues from the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, a difficult economy, a widening fraud scandal in state jobless benefits and the governor’s maskless dinner at a posh Napa Valley eatery, recall proponents feel they are getting some traction, especially among Trump voters, and that several groups were getting involved in the effort.

“Finding a Trump voter in this state who would be unwilling to sign a recall petition would be a tough job,” Ann Hyde, the founder of Newport Beach-based Capitol Campaigns, noted in a Nov. 19 pitch letter to potential backers. “The Davis recall in 2003 had several independent committees working to gather petitions, and that result is history. Will history repeat itself?”

CHILD ABUSE: The Chron has a special report entitled "Far From Home, Far From Safe" on the abuse of troubled children sent to by courts to out-of-state facilities owned to facilities owned by a for-profit company.

Run by Sequel Youth & Family Services — a for-profit, $450 million company backed by Bay Area investors — Lakeside had promised to put the boys “on a pathway to lead healthy and successful lives.”

Instead, the teens, sent to the Michigan facility by California judges, quickly learned they had landed in a place where children said staff choked, hit and slammed them to the ground.

On April 29, the danger turned deadly when seven employees piled atop a 16-year-old boy who had thrown bread in Lakeside’s cafeteria, suffocating him as he cried out, “I can’t breathe,” according to surveillance footage and a civil lawsuit. Cornelius Fredericks died of cardiac arrest two days later.

In the aftermath, brawls erupted and residents ran away. Dozens of children at the California-certified campus in Kalamazoo tested positive for the coronavirus before Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Office of Emergency Services ordered the $200,000 flight that brought them home on May 9.

At the time, one-third of the roughly 120 children at Lakeside were from California. But they should never have been there in the first place.

California officials have sent more than 1,240 boys and girls to Sequel-run facilities in the last six years to receive help for mental health and behavioral issues despite state laws that forbid sending youth to for-profit residential programs, a San Francisco Chronicle and Imprint investigation has found.

At these institutions in Michigan, Iowa, Wyoming, Arizona and Utah, the teenagers, who were disproportionately Black, suffered everything from broken bones to sexual assault at the hands of employees, records show.

Fantastic work by the Chron and a great yet troubling read.

BUDGET: In the Chron, Carolyn Said reports on the good budget news in 2020 from initial public offerings.

There’s good news for those who didn’t invest in or work at Airbnb, DoorDash, or others of the dozens of Bay Area startups that went public this year. Your fortunes will still be boosted from 2020’s record-breaking crop of Wall Street debuts.

Those who live in California will see benefits from blockbuster initial public offerings from the likes of Airbnb and DoorDash as the state fills depleted coffers with tax revenue from all the newly minted billionaires, millionaires and hundred-thousandaires. The state and cities will also reap economic benefits as those folks spend their newfound riches.

The main benefit to the state comes through income taxes. California taxes capital gains — the profits made from sales of stock — as ordinary income. Initial public offerings result in extraordinarily high compensation for employees, executives and investors. When they exercise options, sell shares or vest stock awards, they will owe taxes, likely at the top rate of 13.3%.

“With state revenue being down, (the stock windfalls) will certainly help meaningfully,” said Jon Ekoniak, a partner at Bordeaux Wealth Advisors in Menlo Park. “The initial predictions of California budget shortfalls won’t be nearly as big as we’d feared.”

In many cases, the income bumps don’t occur until six months after an IPO because a lock-up period prohibits insiders from cashing out too soon. But San Francisco vacation-rental Airbnb, which enjoyed the year’s most successful offering on Thursday, ending the day worth a cool $100 billion, was more liberal. Its employees and others were allowed to sell up to 16.8 million shares on Thursday.

As I wrote yesterday as part of the school daze item, California already has a $26 billion windfall as of the time the Legislative Analyst's Office put out its November Fiscal Outlook.

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE: Jeong Park reports for The Bee on what the state is saying about overpayments to recipients of unemployment insurance payments and why it wants the money back. It has to do with reporting of gross vs. net income by independent contractors such as gig workers.

POLL POSITION: And we continue with PPIC's new statewide survey looking at the results on questions of race. The data come from the following documents: All adults crosstabslikely voters crosstabslow-income adults crosstabsall adults time trends, and likely voters time trends.

How big of a problem is racism in the U.S. today? Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, a small problem, or not a problem at all?

  All adults Likely voters Low-income adults
Big problem 53% 56 56
Somewhat of a problem 30 26 31
A small problem 11 11 8
Not a problem 7 7 5
Don't know [vol] 0 0 0
1) Low-income adults are respondents earning less than $40,000 annually.
2) Fieldwork for the poll was November 4-23, 2020. 
3) Numbers may not total 100% due to rounding.

How big of a problem is racism in the U.S. today? Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, a small problem, or not a problem at all?

All adults African Americans Asian Americans Latinos Whites
Big problem 71% 48 62 45
Somewhat of a problem 18 41 27 31
A small problem 6 5 5 17
Not a problem 5 6 5 8
Don't know [vol] 0 0 0 0
Notes: see notes in first table

Was there a time in the last twelve months when you felt you were treated unfairly at your place of work because of your racial or ethnic background?

  All adults Likely voters Low-income adults
Yes 8% 8 13
No 91 92 86
Not applicable [vol] 0 0 1
Don't know [vol] 0 0 0
Notes: see notes in first table

Was there a time in the last twelve months when you felt you were treated unfairly at your place of work because of your racial or ethnic background?

All adults African Americans Asian Americans Latinos Whites
Yes 15% 9 13 3
No 85 91 87 97
Not applicable [vol] 0 0 0 0
Don't know [vol] 0 0 0 0
Notes: see notes in first table

How much do you think that racial and ethnic discrimination contributes to economic inequality in this country?

  All adults Likely voters Low-income adults
A great deal 34% 39 33
A fair amount 38 35 44
Not too much 20 19 17
Not at all 8 8 7
Don't know [vol] 0 0 0
Notes: see notes in first table

How much do you think that racial and ethnic discrimination contributes to economic inequality in this country?

All adults African Americans Asian Americans Latinos Whites
A great deal 63% 32 36 29
A fair amount 31 47 40 35
Not too much 2 17 17 26
Not at all 4 4 7 10
Don't know [vol] 0 0 0 0
Notes: see notes in first table

Tomorrow, we'll look at responses relating to wildfires.

...COVID-19 after the jump


COVID-19: Yesterday, 172 deaths were reported in the state, bringing the total to 20,639. Yesterday, Los Angeles County reported the first death of a child under 18 years old. From the daily release:

The child was hospitalized for multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) and had severe underlying health conditions. The child that passed away is also the first MIS-C associated death in L.A. County.

MIS-C is the inflammatory condition associated with COVID-19 that can damage multiple organ systems, require hospitalization, and be life-threatening.

To date, Public Health has confirmed 45 children with MIS-C in L.A. County. All were hospitalized and 50% of the children were treated in the ICU. Of the children with MIS-C, 27% were under the age of 5 years old, 38% were between the ages of 5 and 11 years old, and 35% were between the ages of 12 and 20 years old. Latino/Latinx children account for 73% of the reported cases.

MIS-C symptoms include fever that does not go away and inflamed body parts, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. If you believe your child is displaying MIS-C symptoms, contact your primary care provider. If you do not have a primary care provider, dial 2-1-1 and L.A. County will help connect you to one.

Meanwhile, the positivity rate amidst more testing is awful. More testing should reduce the positivity rate.

COVID tests and positivity

The 14-day positivity rate of 9.0% on December 9th is the highest since April 21st, when it was 12.6%. However, on that day, there were only 8,641 test results. On December 9th, there were 282,261. It is more than triple the rate on October 17th, when the 14-day average was 2.5% with 135,351 test results.

Positivity should be going down with more testing.

TWENTY FEET INSTEAD OF SIX? I missed this article on Tuesday in which the LAT's Victoria Kim reports on a disturbing new study out of South Korea. [h/t Doug Morrow]

The results of the study, for which Lee and other epidemiologists enlisted the help of an engineer who specializes in aerodynamics, were published last week in the Journal of Korean Medical Science. The conclusions raised concerns that the widely accepted standard of six feet of social distance may not be far enough to keep people safe.

The study — adding to a growing body of evidence on airborne transmission of the virus — highlighted how South Korea’s meticulous and often invasive contact tracing regime has enabled researchers to closely track how the virus moves through populations.

“In this outbreak, the distances between infector and infected persons were ... farther than the generally accepted 2 meter [6.6-foot] droplet transmission range,” the study’s authors wrote. “The guidelines on quarantine and epidemiological investigation must be updated to reflect these factors for control and prevention of COVID-19.” other words, we may have been doing this wrong all along first with limited-occupancy restaurants and then outdoor dining, both of which involves a mask-free activity.

-Tiers for fears: There were no changes to the tiers yesterday.

  • Purple/Widespread=54 counties
  • Red/Substantial=3 (Alpine, Inyo, Mariposa -- total DOF est. population: 37,793)
  • Orange/Moderate=1 (Sierra -- total DOF est. population: 3,201)

-Stay at home: I am not including all of the main points and restrictions of the new stay at home order. You can find them in The Nooner for December 5, or read the state order or state guidance.


--Update on 12/03 with Governor Newsom and HHS Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly:

--Update on 12/07:

--Dr. Ghaly update on 12/08:

--Regions and numbers: Here is the latest ICU capacity by region, which is from this state page.

  • Northern California: Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity
    ICU capacity as of 12/10: 26.6%
  • Bay Area: Alameda*, Contra Costa*, Marin*, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco*, San Mateo, Santa Clara*, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma
    ICU capacity as of 12/10: 16.7%
  • Greater Sacramento: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo, Yuba
    ICU capacity as of 12/10: 14.8%
  • San Joaquin Valley: Calaveras, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Benito, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare, Tuolumne
    ICU capacity as of 12/10: 4.5%

  • Southern California: Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura
    ICU capacity as of 12/10: 6.2%

*County has voluntarily adopted the state's Stay At Home Order

Cite: COVID19.CA.GOV: About COVID-19 restrictions (Under "Regional Stay Home Order")

Here is a look at how each region got to where it is since the Stay At Home Order was issued Thursday, December 3.

ICU capacity by region

ICU Bed Capacity by Region*
Region 12/03 12/04 12/05 12/06 12/07 12/08 12/09 12/10 12/11
Northern California 18.6% 20.9% 24.1% 26.5% 28.2% 25.0% 27.1% 30.3% 26.6%
Bay Area 25.3% 21.2% 21.7% 24.1% 25.7% 24.5% 20.9% 17.8% 16.7%
Greater Sacramento 22.2% 21.4% 21.4% 18.2% 20.3% 18.8% 14.3% 13.3% 14.8%
San Joaquin Valley 19.7% 14.1% 8.6% 6.6% 6.3% 5.6% 4.2% 1.9% 4.5%
Southern California 20.6% 13.1% 12.5% 10.3% 10.9% 10.6% 9.0% 7.7% 6.2%
*Beginning December 4, PICU and NICU beds were removed and adult ICU beds were standardized.  
Source: California Dept of Public Health,  

--Local orders: Some people have asked why counties and cities are issuing their own public health orders when the state has one. It comes down to enforcement. The state order itself has no enforcement mechanism. The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control can suspend or yank a license from an establishment and licenses may be suspended or revoked of individuals such as a barber by a state board. However, local fines for not wearing a mask or on businesses operating outside the limits of the order require a local ordinance.

 --SacTown: Here are the available ICU bed numbers for the Greater Sacramento region:

Greater Sacramento Region
Available ICU Beds
  12/6 am 12/7 am 12/8 am 12/9 am 12/10 am 12/10 pm
Alpine 0 0 0 0 0 0
Amador                  1 1 2 2 2 2
Butte 15 9 15 13 7 6
Colusa 0 0 0 0 0 0
El Dorado 6 6 6 5 4 4
Nevada 5 1 5 2 4 2
Placer 25 21 21 23 20 18
Plumas 0 0 0 0 0 0
Sacramento 73 65 76 78 67 55
Sierra 0 0 0 0 0 0
Sutter 0 0 0 0 0 0
Yolo 5 7 4 2 2 2
Yuba 5 3 9 7 3 4
Total 135 113 138 132 109 93

-Hospitals: In the Register, Ian Wheeler and Roxana Kopetman report on the struggle by some Orange County hospitals to accept incoming patients, instead leaving them in ambulances.

The rising flood of coronavirus patients has prompted Orange County’s Health Care Agency to warn that emergency room backups have had some ambulances waiting “hours” to offload patients and the county’s critical care network “may collapse unless emergency directives are implemented now.”

The grim assessment was sent to Orange County’s 26 emergency receiving centers, as well as ambulance companies and 911 paramedic providers, late Wednesday, Dec. 9, by Dr. Carl Schultz, director of the agency’s Emergency Medical Services.

“The health care system in Orange County is now in a crisis resulting from an overwhelming increase in the number of COVID-infected patients,” Schultz wrote.

In some cases, ambulances are being diverted from full emergency rooms, forcing them to transport their patients elsewhere, with paramedics waiting at least an hour one day this week to get their patients from their vehicles into the ER, county health officials said.

-Restaurants: A team at the Times writes that while restaurant owners including Food Network star Guy Fieri are pleading for outdoor dining to reopen, public health experts have differing views.

Restaurants have argued that public health officials have not provided evidence that outdoor dining spreads COVID-19 significantly and that they have taken precautions to make eating outdoors safe. They say they are being treated unfairly, especially considering that shopping mall remain open as well as many indoor businesses.

Of course, the difference is that masks are mandatory in retail (although I personally believe it should have been curbside pick-up like before except for grocery and drugstores but nobody asked me), whereas they obviously must be taken off for eating and drinking.

Even top federal health officials have dueling points of view. The assistant secretary for health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Adm. Brett Giroir, said on Fox News that “I don’t know of any data that says you need to shut down outdoor dining.”

L.A. County Superior Court Judge James Chalfant said county public health officials must conduct a risk-benefit analysis if they want to extend the ban.

The L.A. and Beverly Hills city councils have passed resolutions opposing the ban and asking the county Board of Supervisors to reconsider.

Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, on CNN backed the broad outlines of the stay-at-home order in effect for 33 million Californians, which includes the ban on outdoor dining.

“I have been in discussion with the health authorities from the state of California who called me and asked, you know, they said, ‘We feel we need to do this, what do you think?’ And I said, ‘You know, you really don’t have any choice.’ When you have the challenge to the healthcare system, you’ve got to do something like that,” Fauci said.

The L.A. County director of public health, Barbara Ferrer, was asked to respond to Giroir’s comments Monday at a news conference.

“The data is really crystal clear at every single level that you look at it: That wearing a mask is one of the best protections you have from preventing [coronavirus infections],” Ferrer said. “I don’t think there’s any debate: That where people are in close proximity with other people, not in their household, not wearing masks and mingling for extended periods of time ... there’s increased risk of transmission.”

-Juvy: The LAT's Leila Miller reports that more than half of the kids in Los Angeles County Juvenile Hall were in quarantine this week after an outbreak among staff.

According to the department’s Dec. 8 daily report on coronavirus in its facilities, 272 of its 521 youths in juvenile halls and camps were in quarantine due to possible exposure to COVID-19. Ten youths were also in isolation after testing positive.

During a Probation Commission meeting Thursday, Tom Faust, acting chief deputy of juvenile services, said that like Los Angeles County, which has seen a rapid rise in cases, there’s been a spike of positive tests among staff. The quarantines, he said, are based on a staff member testing positive “much more so than a youth.”

As of Thursday morning, about 35 probation officers from the juvenile detention facilities were in isolation because of positive results on COVID-19 tests. Juvenile Court Health Services has taken the approach of placing an entire building in quarantine even if staff worked in only one area of the living quarters.

-LA County: While much of the talk has been appropriately about the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on the Latino community, Rong-Gong Lin II and Luke Money report in the Times that COVID-19 is also hitting affluent suburbs in LA County.

It’s the latest sign that the unprecedented surge of the virus is increasing the risks to a wide swath of the population. On Thursday, L.A. County recorded an alarming 12,741 new cases of the coronavirus, shattering the single-day record by nearly 3,000 cases, and 74 deaths, the fourth-highest single-day total of the pandemic. The rising infections are going to put more pressure on already overburdened hospitals across Southern California, where capacity of intensive care beds continued to shrink to critical levels.

“This is the most dangerous time,” said L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer.

L.A. County officials this week released data showing big jumps in coronavirus cases in dozens of communities in the San Gabriel Valley, South Bay, the Westside and central L.A. Communities that saw a more than 200% increase in coronavirus cases between late September and late November include Silver Lake, Claremont, Rosemead, San Gabriel, South El Monte, Hawthorne, Palms, Westchester, Lennox and parts of South Los Angeles.

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McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific

Built on the foundation of nationally ranked and world class programs, McGeorge School of Law offers an online master (MSL) degree for individuals seeking in depth knowledge of law and policy, but who do not require a traditional law degree. Our MSL’s two concentrations in Government Law & Policy and in Water & Environmental Law offer students the flexibility to work while they learn and still engage in a highly interactive master’s program. To learn more and to sign up for our monthly webinars, please visit our website,, or contact us at

Statewide Coalition Manager – Preschool Development Grant

Are you a relationship builder? Do you love policy analysis? Do you have a background in public policy, public administration, child development, or a similar field? Do you want to work somewhere that makes a difference in the lives of children across the state? Then YOU’RE the person we’re looking for! Come join us at Child Care Resource Center as our new Statewide Coalition Manager!

You will work in partnership with regional Resource and Referral (R&R) hub agencies throughout the state of CA to nurture and build out the partnerships of Regional Hubs and their local R&R partners. This position will focus on expanding regional and local relationships and building regional strategies for the delivery of early childhood services, including Parent Café and Early Childhood Café programs, throughout California, and will also coordinate the development of other regional partners including California Quality Consortia, California County Offices of Education and Tribal partners appropriate to each region. Reporting to the Chief Strategy Officer, this position utilizes a high level of collaboration and relationship building to create effective internal and external relationships, communicate the CCRC Mission, Values and Vision to external stakeholders, and work in collaboration with other CCRC Departments and organizational partners.

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