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- SacTown Talks: Assembly member Cristina Garcia (2020-12-18)
- If I Couid Change One Thing (SDSU): Dr. David "Davey" Smith on Operation Warp Speed" and vaccinations (2020-12-02)
- 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 18, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners
- Higher ed
- LA LA land
- The Ahwahnee
- Cakeday and classifieds
Hello there! Sorry about the last few days, but my back was again acting up leading to more time in bed. We'll see how long it lasts today. As if 2020 couldn't get worse but it's better today.
CENSUS: This morning, in an unsigned opinion, the Supreme Court of the United States dismissed the case over President Trump's efforts to subtract undocumented immigrants from the 2020 Census for the purposes of reapportionment do not have standing or ripeness to file the case.
At present, this case is riddled with contingencies and speculation that impede judicial review. The President, to be sure, has made clear his desire to exclude aliens without lawful status from the apportionment base. But the President qualified his directive by providing that the Secretary should gather information “to the extent practicable” and that aliens should be excluded “to the extent feasible.” 85 Fed. Reg. 44680. Any prediction how the Executive Branch might eventually implement this general statement of policy is “no more than conjecture” at this time. Los Angeles v. Lyons, 461 U. S. 95, 108 (1983).
In short, a determination of the failure of the ripeness doctrine means that there isn't a current case and controversy for SCOTUS to hear the case.
EDD: For Politico, Jeremy B. White reports on a former EDD employee who pretended to be Senator Dianne Feinstein while milking the state for illegal unemployment insurance benefits.
A former California unemployment agency employee allegedly used Sen. Dianne Feinstein's identity to fraudulently claim $21,000 in unemployment insurance benefits this year, according to a newly unsealed federal criminal complaint.
The allegation is another black eye for California's unemployment insurance system, which has been beset by a drumbeat of fraud complaints — including a crime ring that allegedly obtained payments for inmates — even as out-of-work Californians complain they cannot access needed benefits.
Federal prosecutors believe that a former employee of the state's Employment Development Department, Andrea Gervais, used Feinstein's name as part of a ploy to wring unemployment money from the agency where she formerly worked. The complaint said a U.S. senator's name was used; a source with direct knowledge of the investigation confirmed that it was Feinstein's.
I knew that there were people who wanted Feinstein to be unemployed, but Kevin de León is not part of this story.
SD30 (Downtown LA-Culver City-South LA): The special election for Holly Mitchell's Senate seat was set by Governor Newsom. It will be March 2 with a May 4 runoff if no candidate receives 50% plus one. Assembly member Sydney Kamlager is the early favorite.
ICUs: A team at the Times reports that ICU capacity in Los Angeles County hit 0.0% yesterday and the situation will likely worsen.
With ICUs filled, hospitals will step up measures to ensure the sickest patients still get the highest levels of care possible. That often means moving some patients who would typically be in the intensive care unit to other areas of the hospital, such as a recovery area, or keeping them in the emergency room for longer than normal.
The patients are still getting intensive care, and that strategy can work to a point. But eventually, there may be too many critically ill patients for the limited numbers of ICU doctors and nurses available, leading to greater chances of patients not getting the specialized care they need. And that can lead to increases in mortality.
Once ICU beds are full, hospitals go into surge mode, which can accommodate 20% over usual capacity. Officials have also been training medical personnel who work elsewhere in hospitals to allow them to work in ICUs, and seeking nurses from outside the United States.
But the forecasted size of the surge of severely ill COVID-19 patients needing hospitalization in the coming weeks is now so large, it blew past projections issued just a few weeks ago. Officials were forced to redraw their charts to accommodate the enormous surges in projected ICU bed demand.
The statewide capacity yesterday was 3.0%.
THE AWAHNEE: The Chron's Michael Cabanatuan reports that the Awhnaee Hotel in Yosemite National Park held the usual Thanksgiving dinner gathering despite the pandemic.
While public health officials pleaded with people to avoid large Thanksgiving gatherings, the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park held a lavish holiday buffet in the majestic hotel’s grand dining room.
Hundreds of people attended the dinner over a six-hour period on Thanksgiving Day, enjoying a sumptuous repast in the rustic yet formal dining room with a 30-foot high ceiling, stone and wooden walls and tall windows with views of Yosemite Valley.
The event does not appear to have violated health orders issued by the state or Mariposa County, the county in which Yosemite Valley and the Ahwahnee are located, but it certainly conflicted with the advice from the state Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which begged people not to travel and to limit the size of their gatherings.
I miss my many great meals at The Ahwanee in my previous life although I would have skipped it in 2020.
LA-LA LAND: The LAT's Dakota Smith writes that Mayor Eric Garcetti is staying put.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Thursday that he plans to remain mayor, an announcement aimed at ending speculation that he might join President-elect Joe Biden’s administration.
He also announced at a briefing Thursday that his 9-year-old daughter, Maya, had tested positive for the coronavirus. Both Garcetti and his wife, Amy Wakeland, tested negative, he said.
Garcetti said he told the Biden team this week that he wanted to remain in Los Angeles. “There were things on the table for me,” Garcetti said.
HIGHER ED: In the LAT, Teresa Watanabe and Nina Agrawal report on enrollment at UC and CSU in the pandemic.
The coronavirus pandemic has led to a good news, bad news college application season, as the University of California drew a record number of applicants for fall 2021 while California State University tumbled — a disparity reflected nationally by robust growth at many selective institutions and struggles at less resourced ones.
Applications to UC’s nine undergraduate campuses soared to a record 250,000 — a 15% increase over last year, including significant rises among California Latino and Black freshmen applicants, according to preliminary data disclosed by UC President Michael V. Drake in a meeting this week with The Times editorial board. Campus-specific data will not be released until early next year.
“For all the challenges and all of the noise about is [college] worth it, we see more people looking to the University of California as a pathway to their future than ever before,” Drake said.
...COVID-19 numbers after the jump
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COVID-19: California added 379 deaths yesterday with a total of 21,860 since the pandemic began. Amidst the highest number of tests yet, the positivity rate is simply miserable.
-The toll: A team at the Chron reports on this week's awful numbers.
As California set a single-day record for coronavirus deaths, San Francisco imposed a 10-day quarantine on travelers arriving from outside the region.
New coronavirus cases hit a record high of 52,330 in a single day across California Wednesday, and the state recorded 51,209 new cases on Thursday. In the Bay Area, new cases topped 4,500 on Wednesday and 4,000 on Thursday, down from the bleak all-time high of 6,775 on Monday. The number of open ICU beds statewide fell to its lowest level Thursday, just 3%. That means just 1,260 intensive-care beds were available for the state’s medical emergencies, down from more than 4,500 in April.
Bay Area hospitals were doing better, but still hovered at dangerously low levels. ICU availability rose slightly to 13.1% Thursday from 12.9% the day before.
California also set yet another record for single-day deaths. Across the state, 394 people died of COVID-19 Wednesday, topping the previous highest count of 295 lives lost to the virus, set just a day earlier. On Thursday, an additional 288 people died of COVID-19 across the state.
-Vaccine: Meanwhile, the role-out of the Pfizer vaccine in California is going more slowly than originally expected, reports a team at The Bee.
California’s next shipment of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine will be about 40% smaller than expected, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office said Thursday.
Newsom had said Tuesday that California expected to receive 393,000 vaccine doses in the a shipment early next week. But the federal government has since told California to expect just 233,000 doses, Newsom spokeswoman Erin Mellon said.
“The numbers we provided for future shipments were projected estimates based on what the federal government had communicated to us,” Mellon wrote in an email to The Sacramento Bee. “The federal government delayed the number of Pfizer vaccines that California will receive in the next shipment – many states received new estimated shipment amounts.”
-Restaurants: Greg Moran and Pam Kragen report for the Union-Tribune that a San Diego Superior Court judge has blocked pandemic enforcement measures on restaurants and strip clubs.
A ruling by a San Diego judge that stopped state and local officials from enforcing COVID-19 shutdown orders against restaurants and live entertainment venues was met with a guarded response from local restaurants Thursday — and is now headed for an appeals court.
San Diego Superior Court Judge Joel Wohlfeil had issued an injunction Wednesday barring enforcement of rules that shut down live entertainment and in-person dining in the county. The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by two San Diego strip clubs — but not by any restaurants, which caused confusion among county officials and some restaurant owners after the ruling was issued.
On Thursday county lawyers asked Wohlfeil to clarify the ruling and in a brief hearing the judge made it clear: The injunction covers any restaurant.
“The court’s intention is all businesses which provide restaurant services in the county of San Diego are encompassed in the court’s order,” he said.
Shortly after that, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office said the state had filed notice it would appeal the ruling. It is unclear if the state will seek a delay — known as a stay — of Wohlfeil’s ruling while the appeal is taken up.
-Workplaces: The National Federation of Independent Business has sued the state over regulations on COVID-19 precautions, reports Jeong Park in The Bee.
-Tiers for fears: There were no changes to the tiers yesterday.
- Purple/Widespread=55 counties
- Red/Substantial=2 (Alpine, Mariposa)
- Orange/Moderate=1 (Sierra)
-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:
Northern California: Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity
ICU capacity as of 12/14: 25.8%
- Bay Area: Alameda*, Contra Costa*, Marin*, Monterey (Sunday 10pm), Napa, San Francisco*, San Mateo, Santa Clara*, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma*
ICU capacity as of 12/14: 13.1%
- Greater Sacramento: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo, Yuba
ICU capacity as of 12/14: 11.3%
- San Joaquin Valley: Calaveras, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Benito, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare, Tuolumne
ICU capacity as of 12/14: 0.7%
- Southern California: Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura
ICU capacity as of 12/14: 0%
*County has voluntarily adopted the state's Stay At Home Order
...cakeday and classifieds after the jump
CAKEDAY: Joining me in celebrating a birthday today are Barbara Baran, David Freeman, Jennifer Racadio, Tim Robertson, and Mark Taylor!
"Celebrating" has a whole new definition this year.
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Grants Program Director – California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency
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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.
Political Data Inc.
For 30 Years PDI has been California’s premier data vendor. Now, you can get live online trainings on the newest PDI software every week: