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- 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 - MPA/MPP
- 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 - Masters of Science in Law
- SD06 (Sacramento): added pastor/author Tecoy Porter (D)
- Essential Workers United for Sydney Kamlager for Senate 2021, Sponsored by the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO reports $25,000 from the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union
- Frontline Healthcare and Essential Workers Supporting Dr. Akilah Weber for Assembly 2021 reports $100,000 from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
- Los Angeles County Democratic Party - Issues & Advocacy Committee reports $62,440 from Southwest Regional of Carpenters Political Action Fund
- Nurses and Educators for Sydney Kamlager for Senate 2021 sponsored by labor organizations reports spending $36,085 on TV
- State of Opportunity, Assemblymember Phil Ting's Ballot Measure Committee reports contributing $5,000 to Caregivers and Californians United Against the Recall of Gov Newsom, sponsored by the National Union of Healthcare Workers
The Nooner for Saturday, February 27, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners
-tiers for fears
- Do you recall?
- UCD Health and $$$
- The OC
- LA-LA land
- SacTown soccer
- Not a cougar, but a wolf
- Cakeday and classifieds
Happy Saturday to you! Yes, Sacramentans took a ride on Burkle's Air F*** One, and we'll get to that at the end before today's cakedays.
Not really a Nooner topic, but I hope resources are dedicated to investigating the arson and vandalism of the Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple in L.A.'s Little Tokyo. Fortunately, the damage seems modest, but the symbolism at this time of increased malevolence toward Asian-Americans can't be ignored.
Anyway, quick Saturday Nooner for you, which I'm sure that you welcome.
COVID-19: California added 412 deaths yesterday for a total of 51,805 since the pandemic began. The 14-day positivity rate in testing is 2.9%, which has finally reached the level of October 26 after the post-holiday peak of 14.0% on January 8. [state dashboard]
-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)
From the latest CDPH release:
- vaccines reported as shipped to California: 11,186,365
- vaccines delivered to administering entities: 10,868,910
- vaccines administered: 8,243,711 (many of the "delivered" above are reserved for second doses)
- on the road again: Yesterday, Gavin Newsom visited a mobile vaccination site in the Central Valley with actor/comedian George Lopez, posts First Lady Jennifer Siebel Newsom on Instagram.
- private schools: The LAT's Howard Blume looks at how private schools found ways to jump ahead in the vaccine line. Illegal? Probably not.
At least three private schools in Los Angeles County offered their teachers and other staff a way to get COVID-19 vaccinations during a time of limited supplies — one school urging them to use restricted access codes and two others certifying that their staff were responsible for healthcare-related duties.
The actions of the three schools — Alverno Heights Academy in Sierra Madre, Westmark School in Encino and Mirman School in Brentwood — are laid out in school emails, meeting minutes and letters provided to The Times by multiple staff members at the schools.
The administrators’ actions to quickly secure staff vaccinations during a time of severely limited doses — a critical issue for all public and private campuses — show how some private schools have been willing to boldly interpret rules in their quest to bring students safely back to school and protect employees.
It also offers another example of the tough choices playing out as essential workers, people 65 and older and educators vie for vaccines available in California.
- distribution: For CapRadio, Ibarra, Rodd, and Hooks look at the upcoming takeover of the state's distribution of vaccines by Blue Shield of California.
Blue Shield, which received a no-bid contract with the state worth up to $15 million, is expected to take full responsibility of the state’s distribution network by the end of the month. Until then, the company will gradually work with counties to get them acclimated to the new network, including using California’s MyTurn website, which will soon be the main source for the state’s residents to sign up for appointments.
The state says more than 500,000 vaccinations have been administered through MyTurn and more than 1.6 million people are signed up. About 40 million people live in California.
“The use of My Turn will also help the state have greater visibility into who is getting vaccinated and how to better fine tune equity-focused allocation and outreach efforts,” the state wrote in a press release. “This will be a key component of the state’s continued focus on vaccine equity.”
But there have already been issues with the state’s website.
A report from the Los Angeles Times found people who were not yet eligible to receive the vaccine were getting shots reserved for Black and Latinx communities that have been hit hard by COVID-19. The program sent out access codes to community organizations to give to residents in underserved neighborhoods, but those codes made it into the hands of some of LA County’s wealthy residents.
Several other counties in recent days have complained of poor communication with Blue Shield and a delayed transition to the new statewide system.
more after the jumpity jump...
CPAC: The Bee's Lara Korte and Kate Irby follow the California-bashing taking place at the Conservative Political Action Committee convening in Orlando. Yes, that's the Darwin-fest where attendees literally booed organizers when it was announced that masks were required to be worn per the contract with the venue. Korte and Irby write:
Chief among the critics was Richard Grenell, a Californian and former cabinet member under President Donald Trump who delivered remarks on Saturday morning at the conference in Orlando.
Grenell is well-known within Trump circles and first served the administration in 2017 as the U.S. Ambassador to Germany. In 2020 he briefly served as acting director of national intelligence.
In recent weeks, there’s been speculation over whether he will run for California governor in the event of a recall. Politico this month reported that Grenell was scoping out a team for a possible gubernatorial run. On Saturday, he dropped a not-so-subtle hint as he closed his CPAC remarks
“In my three decades in American politics, I have never seen a better case for a recall than there is right now in California,” he said at CPAC Saturday. “And of course, if a public official is still failing to deliver on their promises and you can’t limit their term, or recall them in time, there’s always another option: you can run against them yourself.”
Apparently, dude literally just opened his eyes. I've been in this town with four governors and could name several other points with a "better case."
And while French Laundry is the lede, remember that Napa County was in the orange tier at the time and, while the subject dinner was outside, even indoor dining was allowed. Bad optics and stupid? Indeed. Against a state or county order? Nope.
“If you want the best case possible for a recall campaign, take a look at my home state of California,” he said. “California used to be Reagan country, the shining example of business innovation, and middle class success. But now when you think of California, you think of out-of-control wildfires of rolling blackouts, of schools still closed, of shuttered businesses, of bans of fracking, and wealthy people jumping the vaccine line.”
“Did you know that Gavin Newsom, the California governor, originally purchased $1 billion of masks and other protective equipment from a Chinese company, when American companies with the same equipment were based in California?” he added.
California has been a consistent target among CPAC speakers, who point to the state as evidence of failed Democratic rule and over-regulation, especially during the pandemic.
DO YOU RECALL? In the Times, Taryn Luna looks at how Governor Gavin Newsom has pivoted as it looks increasingly likely that he will face a recall election this fall.
Newsom flatly rejects the suggestion that politics have played a role in his pandemic decisions and has not publicly acknowledged the recall effort even as he shifts to campaign-style events in major media markets across the state. But his aides have acknowledged the obvious: Newsom’s chances of beating back the effort would be higher if schools are open and Californians are widely vaccinated before a possible election, allowing fatigued voters to resume their daily lives.
The timing of Newsom’s Dec. 30 announcement of a $2-billion package of incentives to reopen schools — after insisting for weeks that he had provided enough guidance on the matter last summer — was widely interpreted among political observers in Sacramento as a reaction to the recall effort, a possible attempt to appeal to parents as winter break came to a close with no end to distance learning in sight.
The governor unveiled his proposal just one day after news that a $500,000 donation had been made to the GOP campaign working toward a recall election this year. Newsom’s public image had been battered for weeks after he attended a lobbyist’s birthday party at the upscale French Laundry restaurant in Napa Valley despite advising Californians to avoid similar gatherings.
And then he took to the road, replacing vaccination announcements with local officials rather than midday updates from the bunkers of his Fair Oaks home or the state's emergency operations center in Rancho Cordova.
UCD HEALTH & $$$: If you wonder why healthcare in the United States is so damn expensive, I'm sure it has nothing to do with our next story. The UC Davis Medical Center is planning a $3.75 BILLION overhaul of its Sacramento hospital center as they ride the wave of the pandemic. Cathie Anderson reports for The Bee:
To meet California’s seismic standards by a 2030 deadline, UC Davis Health System is proposing to replace its current Sacramento hospital buildings as part of a $3.75 billion project that would boast an expanded 16-story tower and five-floor pavilion.
“While there is an overall reduction in the need for hospital beds across the region, we are uniquely planning for more beds,” said Dr. David Lubarsky, the chief executive officer of UC Davis Health, in a prepared statement.
In the preliminary proposal, UC Davis is recommending an increase in the number of licensed beds, growing to 700 from the 625 it has today. Because there will be more private rooms, the proposed structure will be double the square footage of the current hospital in Oak Park, UC Davis officials said. A number of studies have shown that private rooms cut down on patients’ stress, making it easier for them to sleep and reducing the time needed for recovery.
I slept fine during my time in neurosurgery ICU as I think my roommate was out cold.
Lubarsky predicted that, in the future, patients who don’t need acute care will be able to seek treatment in settings other than hospitals. will more likely be diverted to other of the future will not see as many patients the number of patients.
In addition, he said, a lower proportion of the population will need to be admitted to hospitals because of evolving health technologies, same-day surgeries, telehealth visits and remote monitoring.
But, the number of beds are increased by only 75 in the proposal. From my cursory read of the proposal, it appears that UCD Health is seeking more elective procedures and recovery with more selective, comfortable private rooms that yield far more dollars per night.
For Nooner readers not familiar, the UC Davis Medical Center is in Oak Park, the most economically downtrodden part of Sacramento in the south area of the city. A beautiful new edifice to accept the area's gunshot victims will not be received well.
THE OC: The LAT's Hannah Fry looks at the rise of MMA fighter Tito Ortiz to the Huntington Beach City Council on an anti-masking agenda.
Huntington Beach — a largely conservative city that’s gained national attention as a hotbed of rebellion against COVID-19 restrictions, including mask-wearing — is experiencing its own skirmish in the larger GOP battle over the future of the party post-Donald Trump. To many, the 46-year-old Ortiz is a local version of Trump, a larger-than-life celebrity who speaks through social media, shares right-wing conspiracy theories and has garnered a legion of fiercely loyal fans.
He sails through Huntington Harbour on his boat with “Tito” and “Trump” banners flying. His campaign slogan was “Make Huntington Beach Safe Again.” When the ballots were counted in November, Ortiz received more than 42,000 votes — the most in a council race in the city’s history.
“We’ve got to be on the right side of history, the good side of history,” Ortiz told a crowd of Trump supporters during a “Stop the Steal” rally in December protesting the election of President Biden. “This is good versus evil. I don’t want a communist country.”
Wow, with Joe Biden at the helm, it certainly feels like 1949 China and Stalinist Russia. The only difference is that the lines are for vaccines rather than bread.
LA-LA LAND: In the Times, David Zahniser writes that there is a plus-side of the cutbacks of street sweeping by the city of Los Angeles -- parking tickets.
Angelenos received a respite from those tickets for seven months last year, after the beginning of the pandemic and the stay-at-home orders that followed. They could receive another break starting Monday, when the city is set to cut its street-sweeping schedule in half, holding the cleanings every other week instead of weekly.
That could mean a big reduction in parking citations in the coming months — but only if car owners know which weeks are the right ones to safely park.
This got me thinking about Sacramento. There are no parking restrictions posted. As I learned this morning, there is very little street sweeping in California's capital city.
City streets are swept approximately every six weeks from February through October. In the Downtown-Midtown area, where parking restrictions are in place, and as part of storm water runoff permits, sweeping occurs once a month February through October. During Leaf Season in November, December and January, street sweeping staff assist with leaf collection.
No wonder the streets in "tree city" often look so bad. Meanwhile, gardeners blow all the crap on to the street year round, once a week.
SacTown soccer, not a cougar but a wolf, cakeday, and classifieds after the jump...
SACTOWN SOCCER: Well, the hopes of a Major League Soccer franchise in Sacramento fell in an overtime shootout yesterday, as billionaire and major political player Ron Burkle backed out. Jeff Carlisle reports for ESPN:
Major League Soccer announced on Friday that the expansion team set for Sacramento, California, scheduled to begin play in 2023, is now on indefinite hold after Ron Burkle, the primary investor of the proposed team, informed MLS officials that he has "decided not to move forward with the acquisition of an MLS expansion team" in the city because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Multiple sources with knowledge of the situation cited increasing costs associated with building a stadium at the Downtown Railyards site as the primary reason Burkle, who also co-owns the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League, decided not to move forward. One source said that the costs for the Sacramento stadium went from $300 million to $400 million, while infrastructure costs increased from $27 million to $47 million. On top of those increases, the ability to raise funds from the projects' limited partners, all in the middle of a pandemic, fell roughly $60 million short of what was anticipated
"After working for many years to bring an MLS team to Sacramento, the League continues to believe it can be a great MLS market," MLS said in a statement. "In the coming days, the League will work with Mayor Darrell Steinberg to evaluate possible next steps for MLS in Sacramento."
MLS announced the team in Sacramento to much fanfare in October 2019, but the deal was complicated. Not only did Burkle and co-investor Matt Alvarez need to put up a $200 million expansion fee, plus the costs of the stadium, but Burkle and Alvarez also needed to acquire USL Championship side Sacramento Republic from owner Kevin Nagle. That part of the deal was also not completed.
So, Burkle got the publicity and never put up any significant money.
And thus, we must turn to the 2008 Vanity Fair article by Todd S. Purdum:
Burkle’s usual means of transport is the custom-converted Boeing 757 that Clinton calls “Ron Air” and that Burkle’s own circle of young aides privately refer to as “Air Fuck One.”
Well, Sacramentans, I hope you enjoyed your flight.
NOT A COUGAR, BUT A WOLF: As some of you (like me) thought online dating sucked, we have this consolation from The Bee:
[A] wolf from an Oregon pack had traveled more than 8,700 miles as she looked for a mate for months across California as far south as Interstate 80 and Lake Tahoe, with forays into Nevada and back into Oregon.
CAKEDAY: Light the candles for Cynthia Moreno and Alyssa Selogie!
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