Updating . .   

Vaccine mandates are working in California. Here’s what the numbers show -- Three major Sacramento-area healthcare systems say vaccination rates among employees are now higher than the general population. Lara Korte in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/2/21

Q&A: What California’s new student vaccine mandate means for your child -- Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday that students will soon need to be vaccinated against the coronavirus to attend school in person in California. Here’s what you need to know about the new vaccine mandate. Emily DeRuy in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 10/2/21

School vaccine mandate cranks up strong feelings in Orange County -- Some love it; others hate it so much they might change their children’s education in order to resist it. Andre Mouchard, Alicia Robinson in the Orange County Register -- 10/2/21

Two studies suggest that newer variants of the coronavirus are better at traveling through the air -- Newer variants of the coronavirus like Alpha and Delta are highly contagious, infecting far more people than the original virus. Two new studies offer a possible explanation: The virus is evolving to spread more efficiently through air. Apoorva Mandavilli in the New York Times$ -- 10/2/21

Policy and Politics  

Environmentalists protest Rep. Scott Peters’ vote against $3.5 trillion spending plan -- Environmentalists demonstrated outside the office of Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, Wednesday night to protest his committee vote against advancing the Democrats $3.5 trillion infrastructure and social spending package. Deborah Sullivan Brennan in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/2/21

In the race to become San Jose’s next mayor, candidates look to shed labels -- Though the San Jose mayoral election is eight months away, it’s already shaping up to be a competitive primary as well-known and established contenders enter the race, looking to blur the line between business and labor interests that have long divided South Bay politics. Maggie Angst in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 10/2/21


Hollywood faces new crisis in strike threat from off-screen workers who keep productions running -- They never appear on-screen, but Hollywood couldn’t function without the set builders, costume designers, video engineers and other behind-the-scenes workers who keep the lights on and cameras rolling for the stars. Erica Werner in the Washington Post$ -- 10/2/21

Landlords and Tenants  

A dating coach, an eviction standoff and the coming reckoning for Bay Area landlords -- Ruth Schwartz knew things had gotten out of hand when a tiny house suddenly appeared in her front yard last summer. Lauren Hepler in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/2/21


Marijuana megacampus with 45 greenhoupses is going up on the Bay Area shoreline. Will it become the 'Apple of cannabis'? -- Richard Treiber had the epiphany in December 2015, while ambling down a busy road in Richmond. Squinting at the northern shoreline, he saw a bare stretch of land and knew exactly how to fill it: with cannabis. Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/2/21


The Colorado River Is in Crisis. The Walton Family Is Pushing a Solution -- Walmart heirs have spent heavily to promote their view that water markets are the best way to deal with a dwindling supply. Scott Patterson in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 10/2/21

Also . . .   

Coastal erosion in San Clemente threatens railroad tracks, pricey homes -- Each day after the tide went out, workers piled enormous rocks onto the sandy beach. They were rushing to dump at least 11,000 tons to keep the ocean at bay and reopen a picturesque stretch of railroad track in San Clemente. Anh Do in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/2/21

After 15 years as a San Diego tourist draw, rusty Soviet sub is headed to the scrap yard -- The outer skin of the 1970s-era Foxtrot-class vessel has been deteriorating for some time, its once sleek black profile disfigured by holes, rust and orange protective netting. Salt water and the occasional severe storm have not been kind. John Wilkens in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/2/21

This Bay Area neighborhood is surrounded by tech yet residents face high barriers to entry -- StreetCode is fighting to bridge the technical divide. Jesse Bedayn in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 10/2/21

Port of San Diego helps with Los Angeles cargo ship backlog -- The Port of San Diego doesn’t have the same capabilities as the bigger ports, but Borossay says it is equipped to handle some freighters and they’ve been helping LA where they can. “We’ve received 4-5 vessels specifically in the last 2-3 months but then we’ve had a host of all types of vessels since February,” he said. Alexandra Rangel KPBS -- 10/2/21


California Policy and Politics Saturday Morning  

San Diego parents, district officials share mixed reactions to new vax mandate -- Yet the announcement met with mixed reactions in San Diego, with district officials embracing much of it and some parents applauding it, while other parents and s ome activists vowing to challenge the new rules. Kristen Taketa, Morgan Cook in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/2/21

California parents cheer and jeer vaccine mandate for kids -- Some welcomed the move as a way to keep children safe and classrooms open for learning and to try to put the pandemic behind. Others blasted the decision as premature, noting there is still no vaccine approved for children under 12 and there were more questions than answers about the potential impacts of the shots, and need for them, for youngsters. Terence Chea and Amy Taxin Associated Press -- 10/2/21

‘Freaked out’: Fresno-area parents respond to Newsom’s student COVID vaccination rule -- After Gov. Gavin Newsom’s announcement Friday morning that school children could be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as Jan. 1, some Fresno parents were fearful, while others felt relieved. Ashleigh Panoo and Isabel Sophia Dieppa in the Fresno Bee -- 10/2/21

National Guard activated to assist beleaguered hospitals in rural California -- The California National Guard has dispatched medical teams to three beleaguered hospitals in Northern California and the Central Valley, where exhausted healthcare workers are weathering another surge of COVID-19 cases and deaths. Connor Sheets, Laura J. Nelson in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/2/21

Merck's anti-COVID pill cuts hospitalizations 50% in trials -- Proffering what could become the first pill to treat the COVID-19 coronavirus, drug maker Merck announced Friday that its experimental oral antiviral drug halved the risk of COVID hospitalizations and deaths in a new study. The company aims to seek emergency-use authorization from the government to treat patients as soon as possible. Catherine Ho in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/2/21

COVID Vaccine  

What we know about vaccine safety for schoolchildren as California sets mandate -- The mandate could take effect for students between grades 7 through 12 as early as January if there is full federal approval before then for a COVID-19 vaccine for children age 12 to 15. Once it’s in effect, students will not be allowed to attend classes in person without being vaccinated or receiving an exemption. Luke Money, Rong-Gong Lin II, Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/2/21

Will California’s student COVID vaccine mandate have exemptions? -- But there will be an exemption process. And, at least for now, the range of accepted exemptions will be broader than for other mandatory childhood vaccinations, such as measles, mumps or chickenpox. Michael McGough in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/2/21

COVID Economy  

Remote work's downside: Empty offices mean S.F. could lose millions in tax revenue -- In its early days, the pandemic seemed like it might displace our way of life for a few weeks. But as weeks turned into months, and more, many workers realized a return to the office wasn’t on the horizon and began cramming desks into living spaces and bedrooms as proof that the virus had changed working life — maybe for good. Chase DiFeliciantonio in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/2/21


KNP Complex fire triggers flurry of new evacuations, as flames threaten more giant sequoia trees -- The KNP Complex fire tearing through the Sequoia National Park triggered a flurry of evacuations Friday morning, as flames — spurred by a drying trend — threatened communities and burned toward more giant sequoias. Lila Seidman in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/2/21

How Dixie Fire got so big — and what that means for future blazes -- Following is a breakdown of the reasons why the Dixie Fire got so big. Some of these drivers will be around for years — even decades — meaning future fire seasons could very well see more of the same large infernos. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/2/21

Policy and Politics  

S.F. Ethics Commission finds 'problematic' gifting at city departments -- Several San Francisco city departments have accepted gifts from restricted organizations — groups with which the city does business — and distributed those gifts to city employees, actions that undermine the city’s rules regarding gifts, according to a new report by the city’s Ethics Commission. Lauren Hernández in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/2/21

Allensworth, California's first Black-founded town, hosting dedication day to honor its history -- For many Californians, a Central Valley town that has played a monumental role in 20th century Black life has been hidden away in the cracks of history. Annie Vainshtein in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/2/21


Young mother shot by Long Beach school officer to be taken off life support -- The family of an 18-year-old mother who was left brain dead after she was shot by a Long Beach school safety officer said Friday that she would be taken off life support in the next few days and called for the officer to be criminally charged in the case. Richard Winton, Hayley Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/2/21

Homicides increased in Bay Area major cities in 2020 -- Oakland’s homicide rate increased at about the same rate as that of major U.S. cities overall in 2020. But so far in 2021, homicides are spiking in the city at a much higher rate than most other cities. Susie Neilson in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/2/21


S.F. Supervisor Preston wants 'eviction free zone' in his district -- Preston kicked off a tenant outreach campaign on Friday in the Fillmore, which he represents, to educate area residents about ways to avoid eviction and obtain rental assistance. Roland Li in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/2/21


Investigation finds CBP inappropriately targeted some U.S. citizens at border -- A federal investigation found that border officials in San Diego in 2018 likely violated agency policies by placing alerts on certain U.S. citizens linked to a caravan of Central American asylum seekers — subjecting them to unnecessary inspections, causing at least one person to be denied entry into Mexico and compromising sensitive personal information by sharing it with the Mexican government. Kristina Davis in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/2/21


Sacramento just set a record for longest stretch without rain -- Thursday marked 195 consecutive days without measurable rainfall (0.01 inch or more) downtown, the National Weather Service’s Sacramento office said this week. It last rained more than a trace amount on March 19. Michael McGough in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/2/21


Funding and vaccine holdouts are clouding the future of Muni's expanded service -- For months, leaders of San Francisco’s transportation agency have said they lack the funding and manpower to bring back Muni service to pre-COVID levels by the end of the year. Ricardo Cano in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/2/21

L.A. community college and K-12 students can ride Metro trains and buses free -- Students from participating school districts, including the Los Angeles Unified School District, and colleges will receive TAP cards from their institutions this month. The program, which will cost about $49.9 million, covered largely by federal funds, will run through June 2023. Melissa Gomez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/2/21


Inside the Bay Area's biggest-ever marijuana bust: gym bags stuffed with cash, 40 Rolexes and $1,000 bottles of wine -- An Alameda County sheriff’s deputy revved up a chain saw and began hacking through a thicket of marijuana plants — enough to fill several rooms of a warehouse in San Leandro and, eventually, scores of garbage bags. Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/2/21


State park renames headlands in Humboldt County to remove controversial name -- The California Department of Parks and Recreation renamed a small park in Humboldt County on Thursday — the first in what the agency has signaled will be a broader renaming of public lands and geographic places across the state. Gregory Thomas in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/2/21

Also . . .   

Silicon Valley startup Ozy Media says it's shutting down -- Ozy Media, the digital media company headquartered in Mountain View, announced Friday that it would shutter days after the New York Times published an article spotlighting problems at the company. Dominic Fracassa in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/2/21

The Blue Angels are returning to San Francisco for Fleet Week -- With their deafening roar and death-defying aerobatics, the Blue Angels are the signature of Fleet Week for many Bay Area residents. They are returning for this year’s event after the pandemic moved the celebration online in 2020. Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/2/21

‘Gilligan’s Island’ harassment case ends with suspended jail sentence for Bill Gross -- An Orange County judge held billionaire Bill Gross and his wife in contempt of court Friday for once again blaring music that bothered their Laguna Beach neighbors — ordering them jailed for five days but then immediately suspending the sentence. Laurence Darmiento in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/2/21

In Deepest Mendocino, Rebuilding a Life in Wine -- Wells Guthrie made fine wine, but financial challenges diverted his attention. Now he’s got a new label and a second chance, without distractions. Eric Asimov in the New York Times$ -- 10/2/21



Friday Updates   

Newsom orders COVID vaccines for eligible students, the first K-12 school mandate in nation -- In the first such action in the nation, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a mandate Friday requiring all eligible public and private schoolchildren in California to be vaccinated against COVID-19, a policy the state expects to affect millions of students. Howard Blume, Rong-Gong Lin Ii, Taryn Luna in the Los Angeles Times$ Olga Rodriguez and Adam Beam Associated Press Hannah Wiley in the Sacramento Bee$ Alexei Koseff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ John Woolfolk in the San Jose Mercury$ Jennifer Calfas in the Wall Street Journal$ Moriah Balingit in the Washington Post$ Shawn Hubler in the New York Times$ -- 10/1/21


18 months into pandemic, a rural California county records its first COVID-19 death -- Alpine County, sparsely populated and tucked into the Sierra Nevada, has no hospitals, no ventilators and no ICU beds. Until last week, California’s least-populous county also had no COVID-19-related deaths. Robin Estrin in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/1/21

COVID Burnout  

Nurses have had a tough year (and then some). How they’ve stayed resilient -- Emotional exhaustion was the most common answer when healthcare workers were asked what had changed for them recently — followed by trouble sleeping, physical exhaustion and work-related dread. Karen Garcia in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/1/21

California workers lose paid COVID sick leave. What happens now? -- Ana Maria Gonzalez doesn’t know what she would have done if she didn’t have California’s COVID-19 paid sick leave, which expired at the end of September. Jeong Park in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/1/21

COVID Vaccine  

Most California health workers got vaccinated, but holdouts could be fired -- California’s aggressive push to vaccinate millions of healthcare workers against COVID-19 appears to have been mostly successful, with many hospitals and other healthcare facilities reporting overwhelmingly high rates of inoculated employees by the Thursday deadline. Laura J. Nelson, Connor Sheets in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/1/21

Federal agencies can start enforcing Biden’s vaccine mandates next month, administration says -- Early next month, federal agencies can start enforcing President Biden’s vaccine mandates on federal employees who resist the order without an exemption, the administration said Friday. Eric Yoder in the Washington Post$ -- 10/1/21

COVID Pill  

Merck says its COVID-19 pill cuts hospitalization, death by 50%. Here’s what we know -- Pharmaceutical company Merck took the internet by storm when it announced Friday morning that findings from a recent study showed its experimental oral pill molnupiravir reduced COVID-19 related hospitalizations and deaths by 50%. Merck and partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics plan to seek emergency use authorization in the U.S. as soon as possible. Brianna Taylor in the Sacramento Bee$ Catherine Ho in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Jared S. Hopkins and Betsy McKay in the Wall Street Journal$ Rebecca Robbins in the New York Times$ -- 10/1/21

COVID Misinformation  

Meet the California teens who are fighting COVID misinformation in the Latino community -- She is among seven “promoteritos” — named after promotoras, or adult community health workers — across Fresno who are working to dispel misinformation about COVID-19 and encourage their peers, relatives and neighbors to get vaccinated. Nadia Lopez in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/1/21

Koch-backed group fuels opposition to school mask mandates, leaked letter shows -- The document offers a rare glimpse into the inner workings of a well-financed conservative campaign to undermine regulations that health authorities say are necessary to contain the coronavirus. Isaac Stanley-Becker in the Washington Post$ -- 10/1/21

COVID Economy  

After $300M loss, San Diego prepares for onslaught of (vaccinated) cruise ship passengers -- Take a stroll along San Diego’s Embarcadero these days, and you’ll find little evidence of a pandemic that banished indoor dining for months at a time and for nearly a year shut down waterfront attractions and scenic harbor tours. Lori Weisberg in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/1/21

Staying Afloat  

California sending out 705,000 stimulus payments of $600-$1,100 next week -- California’s Franchise Tax Board on Tuesday, Oct. 5 will begin distributing $480 million in Golden State Stimulus II payments to qualifying residents who make under $75,000 in adjusted gross income. Samantha Gowen in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 10/1/21

Policy and Politics  

Venture capitalist wanted to split California into six. Now, he wants to gut public unions -- A proposed California ballot measure — filed by a Silicon Valley billionaire venture capitalist who had once proposed splitting the state into six — aims to end collective bargaining for public sector workers. Jeong Park in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/1/21

Women’s rights activists to march in cities across Southern California Saturday -- Protesters are set to flood the streets of Southern California this weekend, joining activists across the nation for the fifth annual Women’s March, which will happen in the aftermath of a restrictive Texas abortion law and ahead of a U.S. Supreme Court case on Mississippi’s abortion laws — a key moment that, pro choice advocates say they fear, could overturn Roe v. Wade. Pierce Singgih in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 10/1/21


How a Black lawmaker from L.A. won a ‘mammoth fight’ to oust bad cops -- In 2019, Fouzia Almarou was speaking at a police reform rally at Rowley Park in Gardena when a man she didn’t know made her a promise she didn’t quite trust. Anita Chabria in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/1/21

Criminal justice reform panel scores legislative wins -- An obscure committee examining California’s penal code saw more than half its recommendations go to the governor. Byrhonda Lyons CalMatters -- 10/1/21

New program allows incarcerated students to get bachelor’s degrees alongside peers on the outside -- Fifteen years ago, Kenny Butler was at a low point. He had just been sentenced to life in prison. Now Butler, 47, is on track to earn his bachelor’s degree through a new program at Pitzer College, a small private liberal arts school in Southern California. Meghan Bobrowsky CalMatters -- 10/1/21


UC could add 20,000 seats for students by 2030 to meet surging enrollment demand -- The University of California is seeking to add 20,000 seats for students by 2030, the equivalent of a new campus, to help meet surging demand for a UC education and college graduates to fill the state’s growing need for highly skilled employees. Teresa Watanabe in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/1/21


Can I be evicted? L.A. County tenant protections explained -- California’s COVID-19 eviction moratorium expired Thursday, but there are still some protections in place for tenants whose finances were affected by the pandemic. Jaclyn Cosgrove in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/1/21


New California law meant to ease housing crisis likely won’t help much in Sacramento -- The new law — Senate Bill 9, which Gov. Gavin Newsom signed last month — allows some single-family homeowners to split their lots and build a duplex on each side. The new law could result in 9,500 new units in the city of Sacramento, based on what is financially feasible, according to a report from the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley. That’s about 4.7% of total housing units in the city. Theresa Clift in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/1/21


Sacramento just set a record for longest stretch without rain. When will the streak end? -- Sacramento is now officially in its longest dry spell ever, breaking a record that stood for more than 140 years. Thursday marked 195 consecutive days without measurable rainfall (0.01 inch or more) downtown, the National Weather Service’s Sacramento office said this week. It last rained more than a trace amount on March 19. Michael McGough in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/1/21