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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)

Day 2 of Kwanzaa

The Nooner for Sunday, December 27, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • Federal pandemic relief
  • Isn't that special? SD30 and AD79
  • COVID-19
    -the numbers
    -post-holiday surge?
    -regional stay-at-home
    -tiers for fears
    -La Scala in Beverly Hills
  • Cakeday, farewell, and classifieds 

¡Buenos días mis amigos y amigas! Who would have thought what the Sacramento Kings needed to break their 7-year losing streak in home openers was no crowds with cowbells? Another great game last night.

It was a chilly morning at farmers market and many of my favorite vendors weren't there. Nevertheless, I got my salad mix, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, and apples. The only vendor on protein row was Passmore Ranch from Sloughhouse so it'll be mostly sturgeon this week. No complaints and it's fitting leading up to the New Year.

As most of you know, in normal years I go to the Buddhist Church of Sacramento, founded in 1899 and of the Japanese jodo shinshu sect. New Year's a very important holiday and there is usually a wonderful service on New Year's Eve. It'll be virtual this year (and has been all year even when indoor services were allowed) on Facebook Live at 7pm. I'll be doing lots of cleaning this week as that's another important tradition to start the New Year anew.

I don't know about you, but I'm ready for the spiritual tune-up and restart that comes Thursday-Friday. The maternal side of my family has a Zoom call for New Year's Day as we did for Thankgiving.

Meanwhile, the gingerbread monolith in Corona Heights park overlooking San Francisco has collapsed and is gone after lots of visitors took a nibble.

FEDERAL PANDEMIC RELIEF: AP's Alexandra Olson and Jill Colvin report on the standoff between Capitol Hill and President Trump:

President Donald Trump appeared no closer to signing an end-of-year COVID relief and spending bill Sunday as unemployment aid expired, the government barrels toward a mid-pandemic shutdown and lawmakers implored him to break the impasse he created after Congress approved the deal.

The fate of the bipartisan package remained in limbo after Trump blindsided members of both parties with a demand for larger COVID relief checks and complained about “pork” spending, even as help for millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet lapsed overnight. The federal government will run out of money at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday if Trump refuses to sign the bill as he spends the holidays in Florida.

In the face of economic hardship and spreading disease, several lawmakers urged Trump to sign the legislation immediately, then have Congress follow up with more relief.

“What the president is doing right now is unbelievably cruel,” Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont said Sunday. “So many people are hurting.”

Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania also said Trump should sign the bill, then make the case for more. “We’ve got a bill right now that his administration helped negotiate,” he said. “I think we ought to get that done.”

That point was echoed by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican who’s criticized Trump’s pandemic response and his efforts to undo the election results. “I just gave up guessing what he might do next,” he said. Hogan and Sanders spoke on ABC’s “This Week,” Toomey on “Fox News Sunday.”

ISN'T THAT SPECIAL? I wrote on December 18:

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.

Well, we already have an independent expenditure committee supporting Kamlager's candidacy -- "Californians for Sydney Kamlager for Senate 2021, sponsored by Healthcare Providers, Insurance, Energy, and Housing Suppliers." Already, the California Dental Association has anted $25,000 and Farmers Insurance has put up $20,000. And, we've seen this coalition many times more and know that there is far more money where that came from.

Two other individuals have filed a Statement of Intent for SD30--Culver City councilmember Daniel Lee (D) and Renita Duncan (R).

Now, with the nomination of Dr. Shirley Weber to fill Padilla's role as Secretary of State, there will be a special election for her San Diego-area seat if she his confirmed by both houses of the Legislature (simple majority). Yesterday, her daughter, Akilah Weber, M.D. announced that she will be running for the seat in a special is called. Akilah is a La Mesa councilmember. From her council biography:

A native San Diegan, she graduated from Gompers Secondary School. By the age of 26, Dr. Weber had received her bachelor and medical degrees, from Xavier University of Louisiana and The University of Rochester Medical School. She completed her residency in Obstetrics & Gynecology at Chicago Cook County Hospital and a fellowship in Pediatric & Adolescent Gynecology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Currently she is the Director of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology Division at Rady’s Children’s Hospital in San Diego, and an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at UCSD.

COVID-19, cakeday, farewell, and classifieds after the jump...


Sorry for the nags, and I know it's irritating, but I also know you're seeing them across media properties. 

COVID-19: California added 235 deaths yesterday for a total of 24,224 since the pandemic began. Many of these, such as 131 in Los Angeles County, were carried forward from Christmas Day. Many county health departments were closed, while LA County had an internet outage. That will likely continue into the early days of the week, which is why 7-day and 14-day averages are important. According to the California Department of Public Health, in the last 14 days, average daily cases have increased 20% to 39,374 and average daily deaths have increased 49% to 224.

-Post-holiday surge? A team at the Times looks at the fears of public health officials of a post-holiday surge.

Los Angeles County health officials are warning of a possible surge in COVID-19 cases following family gatherings and out-of-town trips during the holidays, despite pandemic guidelines that asked the public to stay home.

Under one scenario, experts predict there could be a boost in new coronavirus cases by mid-January, a surge in hospitalizations by late January and early February, and another burst of deaths by early to mid-February.


Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, a medical epidemiologist and infectious disease expert at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, said a person who is exposed to COVID-19 at a Christmas gathering could be infectious by New Year’s Eve.

However, the individual may be asymptomatic, go to a New Year’s Eve party and unknowingly spread the disease, he said.


[Dr. Ali] Mokdad said that his model, run out of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, shows that most of the state’s surge is being led by indoor gatherings.

His data suggests that California’s cases will peak in mid-January.

Another concern that has been expressed by Dr. Barbara Ferrer, public health director for LA County, is shopping malls. Several malls have been fined by the county for not enforcing the county order (which is aligned with the state), including the Glendale Galeria, The Grove, and the Citadel Outlets.

Ferrer also said county inspectors will be scrutinizing malls over the post-Christmas weekend on whether malls are getting too crowded, increasing the risk for virus transmission.

Under the state’s regional stay-at-home orders, shopping malls are supposed to be capped at 20% of capacity, but it’s clear that those limits are not being followed.

“We’re going to take a hard look this weekend at the shopping malls because the pictures we’ve been seeing are … another little mini disaster,” Ferrer said Thursday. “The occupancy is supposed to be down to 20%. But when you look around, they look way more crowded than 20%. And that just means a complete breakdown of what we are requiring.”

-Regional stay-at-home 

--Stay-at-home documents:

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

--Update on 12/07:

--Dr. Ghaly update on 12/08:

--Governor Newsom update on 12/18:

-the regions: Here are the regions with the latest ICU capacity (available physical beds and necessary staffing). The benchmark to avoid falling under the stay-at-home order is 15% capacity.

  • Northern California: Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity
    ICU capacity as of 12/27: 28.3%
  • Bay Area: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma
    ICU capacity as of 12/27: 11.1%

  • Greater Sacramento: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo, Yuba
    ICU capacity as of 12/27: 17.8%
  • San Joaquin Valley: Calaveras, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Benito, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare, Tuolumne
    ICU capacity as of 12/27: 0.0%

  • Southern California: Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura
    ICU capacity as of 12/27: 0.0%

-tiers for fears: There are no changes to the tiers that counties in theory will return to after regional stay-at-home orders are lifted.

  • Purple/Widespread=55 counties
  • Red/Substantial=2 (Alpine, Mariposa)
  • Orange/Moderate=1 (Sierra)

-enforcement: For Kaiser Health News, Angela Hart reports that California's enforcement of state and local health orders has mostly focused on education over penalties.

Nearly six months since Gov. Gavin Newsom promised to target businesses that are flagrantly violating public health orders to control the spread of COVID-19, California regulators have issued just 424 citations and suspended two business licenses as of Monday, according to data from 10 state regulatory and law enforcement agencies.

Instead of strictly penalizing businesses for violations, the Democratic governor and businessman with a portfolio of wineries, bars and restaurants under the brand name PlumpJack, has relied on educating owners about infectious disease mandates. State agencies have contacted establishments primarily by email, sending them 1.3 million messages since July 1 to urge them to comply with state and local public health rules.

Enforcement at bars and restaurants where alcohol is served, identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as among the highest-risk environments for COVID transmission, has been limited, data shows. The state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, which can issue criminal misdemeanor citations, fine businesses and revoke liquor licenses, has issued just 45 citations against bars and 119 against restaurants since July. No fines have been issued or licenses revoked for the 94,000 businesses it regulates. [emphasis mine]


“I’m not coming out with a fist. We want to come out with an open heart,” Newsom said July 1. “We have, I think, a responsibility at the same time to go after people that are thumbing their nose, that are particularly being aggressive and reticent to do anything.”

The state’s lenient enforcement policy has put enormous responsibility and pressure on cities and counties struggling to gain compliance with COVID measures. Local government leaders are preparing for deep budget cuts and can’t find resources to undertake a coherent enforcement strategy of their own. Many are also fighting intense political battles over mask mandates, curfews and other COVID safety measures.

As a result, some counties enforce the rules and some don’t. And because the state hasn’t stepped in to assist with adequate enforcement, some local officials say, businesses are often free to ignore the rules, allowing the virus to run rampant.

Governor Newsom has said that federal Coronavirus Relief Funds have been withheld from recalcitrant local governments have been held back per the State Budget Act, but I haven't seen any list or narrative examples. The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors has been criticized for sending $49.6 million of its allocation to the Sacramento County Sheriff's Office and county probation office. Sheriff Scott Jones has publicly said that his deputies will not enforce the county health order. After that, of course he tested positive.

-La Scala in Beverly Hills: While the Beverly Hills City Council has not been happy about countywide health orders and have asked to be excised, it sounds like city officials have put the kibash on a planned "speakeasy-style" indoor New Year's Eve dinner and party at the tony La Scala restaurant. On Christmas Day, freelance writer Alissa Walker tweeted:

Merry Christmas everyone! La Scala’s Beverly Hills location is tucking these invitations to an indoor New Year’s Eve dinner in their takeout bags: “Please keep this discreet, but tell all your friends.” 💀💀💀

Here is the note slipped into take-out bags:

La Scala

Great (scary) thing about the sometimes asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 spread is that it can be discreet. Tell all your friends!

We suspend professional sports players for doing stuff like this...

-tattoos: In the LAT, Lila Seidman reports that some tattoo parlor owners are relying on an old court ruling to challenge the state and county restrictions on remaining open during the pandemic. Last week, a federal judge denied three Southern California parlor owners to lift the restriction.

For public health purposes, the state lumps tattoo parlors into the personal care services category that includes nail salons and barbers — all requiring prolonged, close contact with clients.

But unlike nail and hair styling, tattoos are considered a form of constitutionally protected free speech in some jurisdictions.

About a decade ago, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers California and other Western states, ruled in a case involving an Hermosa Beach shop that a “tattoo itself, the process of tattooing, and even the business of tattooing are ... purely expressive activity fully protected by the 1st Amendment.”

In her Wednesday ruling, U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer said state officials did not specifically target the speech expressed by the tattooing. The state’s public health interest in containing the coronavirus trumps the tattoo parlors’ free speech interest, she said.

Of course the old Ninth Circuit Case was about city zoning. Protected speech doesn't preempt government restriction on it. However, the test is strict scrutiny, meaning that there must be a compelling state interest and there is no less restrictive means to meet the interest. Zoning is very different than health restrictions in a pandemic. You also can't yell "FIRE!" in a crowded theatre.

While not the guarantee speech but rather the First Amendment guarantee of free exercise of religion, this is the same reason government can require vaccinations for school children. See Jacobson v. Massachusetts 197 U.S. 11 (1905).

Anyway, sample of First Amendment ConLaw for your Sunday consumption.

Cakeday, farewell, and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: No birthdays that I know of today!


  • Virginia Ellis, retired Sacramento Bureau Chief for the Los Angeles Times (1943-2020) [John Myers story]
  • Dean Murakami, longtime community college faculty leader and psychology professor at American River College (1952-2020) [obituary]


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

Grants Program Director – California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency

Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council Division

Monthly salary: $8,173.00- $9,280.00

Application Deadline: Tuesday, December 22, 2020.

Expert in grant management directs all operations of grant programs, including developing and delivering public facing interactions with eligible grantees to provide technical guidance and evaluating data related to grant programs for the purpose of reporting and influencing statewide policy.

For more information about this position and to apply online please visit:

For questions contact:

Debbie Gutman
CPS HR Consulting

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.

Full announcement

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: