If you don't see images in this message, click "Display Images" or the equivalent.
Having trouble viewing this email? Click here
Receive this as a forward? Get the Nooner in your e-mail box.
To be removed from The Nooner list, click here.
- Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): Misogyny of the on-line attacks on Vice President Kamala Harris and political women in general (2021-02-25)
- Then There's California (Senate Democratic Caucus): Senator John Laird (D-Santa Cruz), who makes a return to the Legislature (2021-02-24)
- Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): GOP political consultant Rob Stutzman (2021-02-22)
- Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos @ KQED): Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside) on His Family's Internment History and His Agenda for Military Veterans (2021-02-18)
- The McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific
- Executive Director of Government Relations: California State University, Fresno
- California School Boards Association - Public Affairs & Community Engagement Representative (San Diego)
- McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific
The Nooner for Friday, February 26, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners
-tiers for fears
- AD79 (E. San Diego)
- Law and disorder
- Highway 1
- HB Ruby's
- Sandy Eggo
- Cakeday and classifieds
Good chilly Friday morning to you! I slept in this morning and didn't reach my desk until 6:30. While a bit rushed today, I can't really complain.
On to what's piqued my interest today. If anything else comes up, I'll include it in This Week in Nooner at the end of the day, along with the Chris Micheli podcast.
COVID-19: California added 401 deaths yesterday for a total of 51,393 since the pandemic began. From yesterday's CDPH release, "The 7-day positivity rate is 2.9% and the 14-day positivity rate is 3.1%." We haven't seen a positivity rate below 3% since October.
-IHME model: We haven't looked at the model from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington since December. However, since some claim the models are hyperbole to justify government-ordered restrictions, let's look at the the chart updated on December 22.
The current count of deaths at 51,393 lands right between the "current projection" and the "universal masks" (defined as 95% mask use) projections. Current mask use is estimated at 81%.
So, let's look at the latest chart, which was updated yesterday.
The good news is that the curve is now expected to flatten as we see new cases fall and more people vaccinated, although 18.7% more deaths are forecast by June 1 with most coming in the next 45 days. However, these data are based on an actual of 48,585 on February 19, where the solid orange line ends above, and a forecast for yesterday of 50,541. However, with the reporting of Los Angeles on Wednesday of 806 additional deaths that largely occurred during the big surge between December 3, 2020 and February 3, 2021, the next IHME update will likely have a larger total number of deaths, although the curve should not be affected.
-tiers for fears: Here are the statuses of California's 58 counties.
You can see what the restrictions mean here, although local health orders may be stricter than the state's orders.
- purple (widespread): 47 counties
- red (substantial): 9 counties (Del Norte, Humboldt, Marin, Mariposa,
Plumas, San Mateo, Shasta, Trinity, and Yolo)
- orange (moderate): 2 counties (Alpine and Sierra)
-testing: For KQED, Polly Stryker reports that California has ended its coronavirus testing contract with Verily.
The life sciences company, based in South San Francisco, is a subsidiary of Alphabet, the parent company of Google.
A spokesperson for Verily said the California Department of Public Health told the company it wants to streamline resources with one vendor, OptumServ.
State health officials contracted with Verily in March 2020 to help provide coronavirus testing when it was scarce. But questions arose around access to the tests for people who don’t speak English or lack an internet connection or smartphone, issues that Verily says it worked to address. The cost of the tests was also a factor.
- vaccines shipped to California: 10,897,085
- vaccines delivered to administering entities: 10,545,410
- vaccines administered: 8,003,120 (many of the "delivered" above are reserved for second doses)
- J&J: The single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine may be approved by the FDA as early as today and distributed to states within the next week.
- location, location, location: Soumya Karlamangla and Colleen Shalby report for the Times that where you live often determines whether or not you have access to a vaccine.
Though the nation’s vaccine availability will probably improve substantially in the coming months, officials at this moment are wading through what could be the most contentious phase of the rollout — a collision of relentless demand and constrained supply.
“We’ve got to take care of the most vulnerable,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a recent news briefing when asked about priority for individuals with disabilities and underlying conditions. “I’m committed to do that, but I fear that whatever we do won’t be enough until supply is adequate.”
Desperate attempts to fairly distribute the scant supply have created 48 different vaccine eligibility lists across 50 states, with some giving early access to incarcerated people, hospitalized psychiatric patients or people living in multi-generational households, according to data collected by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
In California, there are as many as 61 more vaccine priority lists, as local health departments are allowed to deviate from Newsom’s rules as they deem appropriate.
“When you get your place in line really ends up depending on where you live,” said Jennifer Tolbert, an author of the Kaiser foundation report. “There honestly are no good decisions when you’re in a situation of so many people needing the vaccine, and just not enough doses.”
On Thursday, California health officials released a detailed roadmap with priorities for how and which school employees can get vaccines first, starting with those already back in-person and those with plans to return back to campus in about three weeks.
The number of vaccines that each school district or childcare organization receives will be determined by a formula that prioritizes districts with a high portion of low-income students, as well as those that have been hit hard by Covid-19.
The plan released by the California Department of Public Health this week was in response to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recent announcement that 10 percent of vaccines, or approximately 75,000 vaccines a week, would be reserved for teachers and other school staff beginning March 1. Until now, it was unclear how Newsom’s proposed allocation plan would be implemented.
In addition to ongoing vaccinations being led at the county level, the state is also partnering with FEMA to launch vaccination days specifically for educators at the Oakland Coliseum and Cal State L.A.
Meanwhile, employees of the University of California, San Diego have had priority over local teachers with its dedicated vaccine supply. Paul Sisson reports for the SDUT.
- documentation: In the LAT, Colleen Shalby writes that some Californians are having difficulty proving eligibility for early access to a vaccine:
When Christine Yano got in line at the COVID-19 vaccination site at the Forum earlier this month, she came armed with proof of her eligibility.
Though only 33 years old, Yano qualified because she is the mother of 15-month-old triplets with chronic lung disease.
She showed staffers a letter from the Department of Developmental Services, and another from one of the agency’s regional centers. In her arms, she held a stack of medical records that offered more proof, including a prescription for her children’s oxygen.
But workers at the site denied her the shot. The letters, they said, could be fake.
As California prepares to open up eligibility to millions of people with disabilities or underlying health conditions, confusion over paperwork could become a big problem at the front of the vaccine line.
Eligibility requires proof, but state and local officials have yet to establish what documents will be needed, or a straightforward way to sort phony documents from real ones.
At vaccine sites staffers have routinely encountered people using forged documents to try to get shots.
- internet: PPIC has a new blog post that finds that lack of broadband access for seniors is impeding equitable distribution of the vaccination.
Under pandemic conditions, access to public resources like libraries—where many seniors may go to use free computers or internet—has become even more limited. The most recent federal stimulus package included $3.2 billion emergency broadband relief to help eligible families cover up to $50 per month toward subscriptions. But the average monthly broadband cost is $68 across the US.
The federal funding is welcome support and could help expand existing local efforts to bring internet services to more seniors and more California communities. However, these strategies so far have tended to be fairly small-scale —and therefore may affect relatively few people—or carry limitations on duration or eligibility.
Governor Newsom issued an executive order in August 2020 that requires state agencies to work together to bridge the digital divide; the resulting coordination should enable the state to take full advantage of that federal support. Ensuring Californians have reliable access to broadband is crucial to a smooth rollout of the vaccines—and both endeavors will demand cooperation among agencies as well as coordination between federal- and state-level efforts.
- Elk Grove: In the Bee, Sawsan Morrar reports on the return of Elk Grove Unified School district, the largest in the Sacramento region, to in-person instruction starting with early grades.
Some students in preschool through third grade will return as soon as March 16.
Elementary aged students on Track A, middle schoolers and high schoolers will return to campus on April 1 and 2.
Associate Superintendent David Reilly said the multiple calendars and various return dates were a result of differing year-round track schedules district schools are on. Middle school and high school students are scheduled to return later than elementary students because they travel from class to class.
Students will not return to campus five days a week. A hybrid model will still be in effect in which students will return two days a week for shorter in-person instruction. The MOU, which includes details for each school schedule, can be found in the school board meeting agenda packet.
“Considering the roll out of vaccines, new guidelines from local, state and federal agencies, rapidly declining case rates leading us to be in the red tier shortly, and all the health and safety mitigation that will be in place, the conversation between EGEA and EGUSD led us to explore setting specific dates for the return to in-person instruction under the concurrent model,” said Rick Stancil, president of the Elk Grove Education Association.
Only TK-6 are allowed in person while Sacramento County is in the purple tier.
- Oakland: The Chron's Jill Tucker writes that Oakland Unified may bring back the lowest grades within weeks.
In other words, the district sent a letter to parents that hints that they need to put pressure on the union to reach a deal with the district.
The goal is to reopen the first schools by mid- to late March, according to a letter the school board sent to families Wednesday.
The district’s desire to reopen within the next month comes amid a growing call for schools to bring students back to class given the negative academic and mental health impact of distance learning for many students. In recent weeks, there have been protests, lawsuits and legislation in California aimed at encouraging or requiring district and labor leaders to resume in-person learning. More Bay Area districts are starting to bring students back though some teachers and staff have resisted reopening, saying they’re fearful of returning until they’re fully vaccinated.
“This has been a stressful time with countless challenges, but we have seen many school systems across the country successfully open with sufficient precautions in place to educate students safely,” according to the letter. “It seems that everyone has come to appreciate like never before how much students benefit from being together in a classroom.”
A return to classrooms is predicated on the district reaching an agreement with the teachers union.
School board President Shanthi Gonzales said the board felt it was important “to share we know students are really suffering and it’s time.”
“We really have to make some movement to get some students back on campus,” she said.
-workplace regulations: The Chron's legal eagle Bob Egelko writes that a judge has turned down a claim by business groups that COVID-19 requirements are too onerous and unnecessary.
A challenge by retailers and growers to the state’s emergency workplace regulations for COVID-19 — requiring employers to have prevention programs, provide protective equipment, test anyone who may have been exposed, and provide paid leave to ailing employees — was emphatically rejected Thursday by a San Francisco judge.
In seeking to block regulations issued Nov. 30 by the state Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board under Gov. Gavin Newsom, the business groups provided only claims, without evidence, that the rules were unnecessary and financially burdensome, along with a far-fetched argument that no emergency existed, said Superior Court Judge Ethan Schulman.
Other than a handful of rulings by the Supreme Court and others easing states’ restrictions on in-person religious services, no court in the United States has interfered with emergency rules to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and “this court will not be the first,” Schulman said. “Lives are at stake.”
The regulations were the state’s first overall protective measures for workers in the pandemic. Adopted by the board after a day-long pubic hearing in November, they are due to remain in effect through the end of September 2021 unless modified or lifted earlier. They apply to all employees except those already covered by special protective regulations for such particularly vulnerable worksites as hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters, and those working from home.
Lawsuits were filed in December by business groups led by the National Retail Association, and by farming organizations led by the Western Growers Association. They argued that the work safety board had no evidence that workplaces in California had been “a vector for the spread of COVID,” and contended the board should have submitted the rules to the public for months of comment, rather than adopting them as emergency measures shortly after the public hearing.
Schulman called those arguments “fatuous.”
When you encounter the crossword clue "Silly and pointless" for a seven-letter word, consider F-A-T-U-O-U-S.
-hazard pay: For Courthouse News Service, Martin Macias Jr. reports that a federal judge has denied a challenge to a pandemic boost for grocery workers.
A federal judge denied a bid by the California Grocers Association to block a city of Long Beach ordinance providing a $4 an hour boost in hazard pay for grocery workers, finding there’s no evidence the policy is preempted by federal labor law.
The Southern California city requires grocery stores to pay the extra $4 per hour for at least 120 days to workers who face “magnified risks of catching or spreading the Covid-19 disease because the nature of their work involves close contact with the public,” according to text of the ordinance approved Jan. 19.
-gyms: Meanwhile, a federal judge has similarly denied a challenge to limits on indoor operations at gyms, reports the City News Service.
A federal judge Thursday denied a request from 25 San Diego County gyms and fitness centers that sued to resume indoor operations despite COVID-19 restrictions.
Like other, similar lawsuits challenging pandemic restrictions, the gyms argued in their suit against the state and San Diego County that public health officials have arbitrarily considered some sectors essential.
But “gyms and fitness centers, places where people go to maintain and improve their physical and mental health, have been deemed `non-essential,”‘ according to the lawsuit.
U.S. District Judge Cathy Bencivengo issued her ruling during a virtual court hearing, which stemmed from the suit filed late last year.
It was unclear whether the gyms would file an appeal.
I don't offer legal advice, but don't waste your money on an appeal. Hopefully your attorneys tell you that rather than have dollar signs in their eyes. Exercising indoors is not in the First Amendment and San Diego County will be in the red tier soon.
much more after the jumpity jump...
#METOO: In The Bee, Gil Duran follows up on the story of Catalina Sanchez, a former Capitol staffer who was fired after telling police that another staffer raped her.
In 2020, she ran for a seat on the city council in Gridley, population 7,224. Her campaign was a tough slog against a slate of white male incumbents. Facebook trolls spread racially-tinged rumors, casting the daughter of Mexican immigrants as a George Soros-funded Black Lives Matter activist from Sacramento who wanted to “convert Gridley into another Chico,” Sanchez said.
She deflected the attacks with a grassroots campaign centered on “economic freedom” — an astute messaging choice in a conservative county. She won.
In early December, Sanchez took the oath of office. Three incumbent councilmen lost their seats to challengers in 2020. Sanchez and another candidate, J. Angel Calderon, became the first Latina and the first Latino to get elected in a city where Latinos make up approximately 45% of the population.
Sanchez, a 32-year-old Chico State University graduate, is now the sole woman on the council.
Sanchez’s policy knowledge will prove advantageous as she helps to govern her city. But her time in the California State Legislature nearly ended in her death.
She arrived at the Capitol as an intern. After graduation, she was hired as a legislative aide for Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont. Immersed in state politics, Sanchez felt at home in the corridors of power and planned a long career there. When Wieckowski won a seat in the state Senate, she went with him.
It all came crashing down on Friday, Dec. 16, 2016. After going out for drinks with colleagues from work, Sanchez alleged she was raped by an acquaintance who worked for another Democratic legislator. In shock and unsure of what to do, Sanchez said she waited two days to seek medical attention. The clinic administered a rape kit and called the Sacramento Police Department.
Sanchez, who said she was a virgin until that night and believes one of her drinks may have been drugged, told me she asked to press charges during a police interview in January 2017. But on March 25, Sanchez said, a Sacramento police investigator told her the case was closed.
Sanchez’s desire to pursue charges against her alleged attacker seems clear because, days after hearing from the police, she filed a complaint with the California State Assembly. The Assembly launched an investigation into her allegations against the man, who worked for Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, at the time.
Yet Sanchez said the Assembly’s investigators made her feel accused and ashamed. Traumatized, she struggled at work. On April 29, 2017, after what she described as harsh interrogation conducted by an Assembly investigator, she attempted suicide.
She survived, ending up in a hospital. On June 26, the Assembly notified Sanchez that the investigation had found no evidence that her alleged rapist had violated Assembly policies. A letter signed by Assembly Human Resources Director Tosha M. Cherry informed Sanchez that her allegations “could not be substantiated.”
She tried to put her life back together. In Sept. 2017, however, Wieckowski’s office fired Sanchez for what she called “minor work performance issues.” Her firing came just one month before rape allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein, along with social media posts from celebrities like Alyssa Milano and Rose McGowan, sparked the global #MeToo movement. It created a new sense of public awareness about rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment.
AD79 (East San Diego): In the race to fill the vacancy left by Dr. Shirley Weber's elevation to Secretary of State, SEIU California has gone with a dual endorsement of both labor organizer Leticia Munguia and Shirley's daughter, OB/GYN and La Mesa council member Dr. Akilah Weber.
Well, that's one way to handle an ugly race that involves allegations of racism and a vibrant debate of whether labor or social justice issues should be the highest priority.
LAW AND DISORDER: In The Bee, Wes Venteicher reports that the FPPC is investigating whether a state law enforcement union has failed to report money spent on politics.
An extensive complaint filed by the anti-union Freedom Foundation says the California State Law Enforcement Association has spent more than $100 per member on politics each year, which should have triggered reporting requirements that the union didn’t follow.
In addition, the union — which represents about 8,000 state employees including alcohol and beverage control agents, dispatchers and fish and game wardens — reported political contributions to the Secretary of State through organizations that aren’t registered with the Internal Revenue Service, according to the complaint.
“They’re acting as if they don’t have to abide by those reporting requirements,” said Sam Coleman, a Freedom Foundation spokesman.
Highway 1, HB Ruby's, Sandy Eggo, cakeday, and classifieds after the jump...
HIGHWAY 1: In the LAT, Christopher Reynolds reports that Caltrans believes it can reopen Highway 1 in Big Sur this summer. The popular scenic route along bluffs above the Pacific suffered significant damage at Rat Creek on January 28 during the large storm.
In a news release Thursday, Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin said, “We’re focused on restoring travel on this section by early summer.” The repair cost is estimated at $11.5 million, involving “the manipulation of tens of thousands of cubic yards of material.”
However, officials also warned that more wet weather could slow the work.
“We know that seasonally, March is a heavy-rain month, and we’re moving a lot of dirt around,” Caltrans spokesman Kevin Drabinski said. Still, he added, “We estimate that by the middle of summer it will be open.”
The highway has been closed since the washout, beginning with a 23-mile shutdown. But workers have gradually reduced the number of closed miles.
What the what?!? The road literally crumbled and went out into the ocean and there is no land where pavement sat a month ago. Meanwhile, it's going to take the entire year to add lanes to the W-X portion of Business 80/Highway 50, displacing my farmers market and taking away one of my most anticipated events of each week.
If only the Sacramento Central Farmers Market were a tourist attraction.
HB RUBY'S: The Register's Susan Christian Goulding writes that the Ruby's at the end of the Huntington Beach pier closes today -- forever. While we've seen many restaurants close permanently over the last year, this has nothing to do with the pandemic.
“The facility was purchased by a new ownership group out of a bankruptcy proceeding,” Huntington Beach City Manager Oliver Chi said Thursday night.
Operators of the Ruby’s Diner, then a 32-restaurant chain, filed for bankruptcy in 2018.
“It’s our understanding that the restaurant location will be closed while the new ownership group works through permitting efforts,” Chi said.
SANDY EGGO: The San Diego Union-Tribune's Michael Smolens writes that San Diego City Council president Jennifer Campbell will rely on her medical expertise to fight back a recall effort.
She’s frequently called “Dr. Jen” by supporters, friends and many other people.
If any voters in her coastal district aren’t aware San Diego City Council President Jennifer Campbell is a medical doctor, they will be if the attempt to recall her qualifies for a special election.
Constituents who want to remove Campbell from office list several grievances, but chief among them are that she ushered through a compromise that they contend allows for too many short-term vacation rentals and supported lifting the height limit in the Midway District that surrounds the sports arena.
The challenge for Campbell will be to defend those policies that are popular citywide but not in her district, where many residents want short-term rentals essentially banned and less than a majority voted to scrap the height limit.
Sounds familiar to all of the housing debates, where coastal residents fight to keep others out and hate density.
With the attention to the Newsom recall effort, expect more to pop up. Already, parents in San Francisco have threatened school board members with recall over the slow pace of school reopenings.
CAKEDAY: In addition to my Mom, who we're Zooming with tonight, happy birthday to Amy Alley and Allison Gallagher!
Add your classified now both in The Nooner and online
for $50/week or $150/month by emailing
email@example.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]
The McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific
In addition to a well-respected JD, the McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, offers the Master of Public Administration (MPA) and the Master of Public Policy (MPP) degrees. Both full-time students and those earning a professional degree while working succeed in the program. Our focus on the interconnections of law, policy, management, and leadership provides unique competencies for your success. Students gain a foundation in statutory interpretation and skills in public policy making and implementation. Learn at a beautiful campus three miles from the State Capitol:
Executive Director of Government Relations: California State University, Fresno
Reporting directly to the President, the Executive Director of Government Relations is responsible for all local, state and federal governmental and advocacy programs for Fresno State. The Executive Director is principally responsible for the development and management of strategies to inform and influence public policy at the local, state and federal levels on issues and in areas of interest to Fresno State and to advise Fresno State on legislative matters that may affect it. Equal Opportunity Employer.
For more information and to apply, visit: https://apptrkr.com/2149578
California School Boards Association - Public Affairs & Community Engagement Representative (San Diego)
Serve as CSBA’s liaison to local schools and county boards of education, key decision makers, and the community-at-large. Execute grassroots strategies designed to build relationships with, train, and mobilize local school board members and communities to advance CSBA’s legislative and statewide ballot measure advocacy priorities. Coordinates and executes fundraising events. Salary based on experience. This is a remote position based in San Diego County. Please apply at: https://www.csba.org/About/Careers
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, Online.McGeorge.edu, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: