Updating . .   

PG&E blackouts begin as fierce winds raise wildfire danger in Northern California -- Under scrutiny because of its wildfire safety record, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. started blacking out customers in portions of Glenn, Colusa, Tehama and Butte counties amid a red flag warning from the National Weather Service for much of Northern California. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ Jessica Flores in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Summer Lin in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 10/11/21

Potentially damaging onshore winds will hit San Diego County Monday -- Potentially damaging onshore winds will lash San Diego County late Monday and on Tuesday, gusting 30 to 40 mph at the coast and upwards of 60 mph in the region’s mountains, according to the National Weather Service. Gary Robbins in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/11/21

‘Running out of options’: Fight to protect giant sequoias has gotten experimental -- As flames from the KNP Complex threatened to race up a steep slope toward the remote Muir Grove of giant sequoias, officials at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks had to think fast. Lila Seidman in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/11/21

This Is What Fighting a Giant California Wildfire Looks Like -- To battle the nearly one-million-acre blaze, California launched a military-style operation. Some experts wonder whether that approach is sustainable. Brent McDonald, Sashwa Burrous, Eden Weingart and Meg Felling in the New York Times$ -- 10/11/21


250,000 pounds of oil debris collected from Orange County shores as beaches reopen -- In a sign of progress in the Orange County oil spill, Huntington Beach city and state beaches reopened Monday morning as cleanup crews continued their work combing the shores for vestiges of oil and tar. Robin Estrin in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/11/21

Huntington Beach boomed thanks to oil. Now, many see it as blighted barrier to future -- Strolling home from a beach yoga session near Lifeguard Tower 14, not far from the crews working to contain the massive oil spill from an offshore pipe, Julie Green passed a vestige of her city’s petroleum-steeped history. Christopher Goffard in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/11/21


Southwest Airlines flight woes extend to Monday with hundreds of cancellations, delays -- Southwest officials say the carrier is working to return flight operations to normal as they deal with a backlog of passengers from nearly 2,000 canceled flights and hundreds more delayed since Friday. The airline on Monday had 360 flights canceled and another 750 delayed, according to flight-tracking site FlightAware. Luz Lazo in the Washington Post$ -- 10/11/21


Merck asks US FDA to authorize promising anti-COVID pill -- Drugmaker Merck asked U.S. regulators Monday to authorize its pill for treating COVID-19 in what would add an entirely new and easy-to-use weapon to the world’s arsenal against the pandemic. Matthew Perrone Associated Press -- 10/11/21

COVID Vaccine  

Get vaccinated or get lost: Are employer mandates working? -- Experts who track vaccination mandates say it’s too soon to know definitively whether employer vaccine mandates, which are becoming more widespread in the public and private sector, are working. Catherine Ho, Katie Licari-Kozak in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/11/21

BART may require all employees to be vaccinated by mid-December under new proposal -- Under the measure introduced by BART board Vice President Rebecca Saltzman, all of the agency’s employees and board directors would be required to get fully vaccinated by Dec. 13, “with exceptions made only for those who qualify for a reasonable accommodation or a religious exemption.” The criteria for a “reasonable accommodation” is unclear. Ricardo Cano in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/11/21

Skelton: Forget ‘personal freedom.’ California’s statewide school vaccine mandate will save lives -- Look, if you’re not vaccinated, your chances of getting COVID-19 are eight times higher than if you had the shots. It gets worse: If you’re unvaccinated and test positive, your odds of being hospitalized jump by 13 times. And you’re 18 to 20 times more likely to die. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/11/21

Boosters Are Complicating Efforts to Persuade the Unvaccinated to Get Shots -- The number of eligible people still weighing whether to get a Covid vaccine has sharply dwindled, leaving an unvaccinated population that is mostly hard-core refusers. Jan Hoffman in the New York Times$ -- 10/11/21

COVID Economy  

COVID widened the chasm between Bay Area ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ -- New poll shows how remote workers benefited while essential workers struggled financially. Marisa Kendall in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 10/11/21

California economy, workers lose billions as unemployment payments shrink. Does it matter? -- The program helped independent contractors, gig workers and others traditionally not covered by regular unemployment insurance. It ended Sept. 4 and no payments can be made for weeks of unemployment after that date. David Lightman in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/11/21


California still won't make coronavirus workplace outbreaks public -- Supporters of a push to require companies to report workplace coronavirus outbreaks publicly say they plan to keep fighting despite recent setbacks that they say allow big businesses to keep outbreaks secret. Melissa Montalvo in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/11/21

Kaiser workers vote to authorize strike at Southern California hospitals, clinics -- Nearly 21,000 Kaiser Permanente nurses and other healthcare workers who say they’re understaffed and facing a new pay system that would fuel more shortages at Kaiser’s Southern California hospitals and clinics have voted to announce an authorized strike against the health care giant. Kevin Smith in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 10/11/21

Supply Chain  

They ordered brooms and got only sticks: New Bay Area restaurants scrambling because of supply chain problems -- When a new restaurant opened in Oakland’s historic Tribune Tower in August, it immediately made a splash for its ambitious food, a grand redesign and the impressive resumes of its owners. But almost two months after its debut, the walls at Tribune are empty. The dining room looks surprisingly bare. The promised outdoor patio isn’t open. And diners are starting to complain. Janelle Bitker in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/11/21


Human remains found in Yucca Valley amid search for missing woman -- Human remains have been found in the Yucca Valley desert near where Lauren “El” Cho, a 30-year-old New Jersey woman, went missing this summer, investigators said. Hayley Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/11/21

SDPD officer charged with exhibiting gun in alleged road rage incident in Clairemont -- On the day of the incident, police said a woman reported that another driver had displayed a gun in a threatening manner. The woman gave police the driver’s license plate information, leading officers to Carter Torres. Police said they determined Carter Torres had been driving his personal vehicle but provided few other details about the incident. David Hernandez in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/11/21

Finding affordable rent in Sacramento isn’t easy. Adding a criminal record complicates it -- In a crowded Sacramento housing market, it’s already difficult to find an affordable place to live. Add a criminal record — things get more complicated. And secure housing is a key factor in successful reentry post prison. Brianna Taylor in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/11/21


San Diego County prepares for influx of Afghan refugees -- The refugees include Afghan military members, interpreters for the U.S. military and others who assisted the U.S. during two decades of occupation in the country and who are now at risk of reprisal by the Taliban, officials said. Deborah Sullivan Brennan in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/11/21


The number of air monitors in the Bay Area has exploded. Where are they? -- Last summer, as wildfires raged across the state and smoke cloaked the Bay Area, East Palo Alto resident Mark Dinan did what many Bay Area residents were doing — he pulled up a map made by the company PurpleAir showing real-time air quality measurements. Yoohyun Jung and Danielle Echeverria in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/11/21


Rising rents spark buying frenzy among apartment investors -- Tenants in older buildings could face more rent hikes as investors bid prices per unit higher and higher, brokers say. Jeff Collins in the Orange County Register -- 10/11/21

Also . . .   

In search of a California dividing line, where Giantslandia starts and Dodgersville ends -- You know you’ve come to the right place when you walk in the door of the West End Bar & Grill on a night that will go down in baseball history. Maria L. La Ganga in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/11/21

3 US-based economists win Nobel for research on wages, jobs -- A U.S.-based economist won the Nobel prize in economics Monday for pioneering research that transformed widely held ideas about the labor force, showing how an increase in the minimum wage doesn’t hinder hiring and immigrants do not lower pay for native-born workers. Two others shared the award for developing ways to study these types of societal issues. Christopher Rugaber, David McHugh and David Keyton Associated Press -- 10/11/21

He befriended his brother’s murderer. In each other, they found healing -- Nearly 29 years had passed when Trino Jimenez decided to write to the man who murdered his brother, prepared to never hear back. Leila Miller in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/11/21

Knight: Two cyclists killed. Two drivers arrested. And in supposedly equitable S.F., two very different outcomes -- San Francisco bicyclists remember the evening with horror, some still choking up when they discuss it. On June 22, 2016, a pair of alleged hit-and-run drivers killed two women riding their bikes, less than three hours and 5 miles apart. Heather Knight in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/11/21



California Policy and Politics Monday Morning  

PG&E could shut off power to 25,000 in Northern and Central California due to high winds -- Thousands of Pacific Gas & Electric Co. customers in Northern and Central California could be without power starting Monday as fast-moving winds increase the potential for fire danger. Vincent Moleski in the Sacrßßamento Bee$ -- 10/11/21


City, state beaches to reopen in Huntington Beach as crews continue cleanup of O.C. coast -- If it weren’t for the hundreds of yellow-vested crew members combing the sand Sunday for coin-sized clumps of black tar, this dazzling October day would have looked like any other in Southern California. Robin Estrin in the Los Angeles Times$ Amy Taxin Associated Press -- 10/11/21

Policy and Politics  

Walters: Will new measures fix California’s colleges? -- As California’s population swelled in the post-Wold War II era, thanks to a flood of newcomers from other states and the postwar baby boom, it had a major impact on the state’s colleges. Dan Walters CalMatters -- 10/11/21

Quick Guide: New state law puts California’s Juvenile Justice System at a crossroads -- California’s juvenile justice system is at a crossroads. Its state-run youth prisons are shutting down in less than two years, and counties are now barred from sending any of their young people to those prisons, the result of Senate Bill 823, state legislation signed into law last year by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Betty Márquez Rosales EdSource -- 10/11/21


Mountain Empire school district cancels classes because of high winds forecast -- The Mountain Empire Unified School District in East County will cancel classes Monday because predicted high winds could make traveling in vehicles such as school buses “inadvisable,” the San Diego County Office of Education said. David Hernandez in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/11/21


Gunman kills woman on Metro train in Hollywood; suspect remains at large -- Witnesses told police officers that the gunman had been pacing the train in an agitated manner as it moved between stations and got into an argument with a woman seated near him in the car, the release said. Harriet Ryan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/11/21


Palm Springs feels the strain as neighboring cities place more restrictions on vacation rentals -- As other Coachella Valley cities enact stricter rules or outright bans on short-term vacation rentals, the pressure on Palm Springs continues to mount. The item is in the Palm Springs Post -- 10/11/21


Southwest cancels hundreds of flights over weekend, citing bad weather and air traffic control issues -- Southwest Airlines has canceled at least 1,800 flights this weekend, citing “disruptive weather” and air traffic control issues, although federal regulators attribute weekend service disruptions to airline staffing and aircraft issues. Luz Lazo in the Washington Post$ -- 10/11/21

Bay Area airports feel impact of Southwest flight cancellations -- Widespread cancellations and delays of Southwest Airlines flights, still not fully explained, continued to plague the carrier Sunday, with the impact felt at all the Bay Area’s major airports. Kellie Hwang in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/11/21

Also . . .   

As foul odor persists, Carson residents warned to close doors, windows -- Public health officials are recommending Carson residents keep their doors and windows closed as authorities work to address a foul odor that has plagued the city for nearly a week. Harriet Ryan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/11/21

There's a story behind the song the Giants played to chase away the seagulls at Oracle Park -- It happens like clockwork: the San Francisco Giants finish up a ballgame, then the people leave, and the seagulls arrive. Grant Marek in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/11/21



Sunday Updates   

Inside PG&E, executives race to get ahead of unending wildfire risk and put power lines underground -- PG&E Corp. leaders gather each week in the middle of a nondescript San Ramon office complex to talk about the company’s most pressing problem: wildfires. J.D. Morris in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/10/21

PG&E power shutoffs could hit North, East Bay counties on Monday -- The potential public safety outages — cuts that PG&E plans in order to prevent wildfires — are in response to dry, gusty winds forecast to begin on Monday morning. Danielle Echeverria in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Fiona Kelliher in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 10/10/21


Will oil in the ocean sway Orange County elections? -- Democrats have tried for years to make the environment a focus in Orange County elections, campaigning on the idea that combating climate change can be in voters’ long-term and short-term interests. Brooke Staggs, Andre Mouchard, Teri Sforza in the Orange County Register -- 10/10/21

California’s offshore oil rigs are decades old, and industry resists decommissioning them -- Amid a week of horror and heartbreak, outrage and demands for greater accountability, many Californians couldn’t help but question all the other oil platforms that have rusted and churned for decades just a few miles offshore. Rosanna Xia, Susanne Rust, Anita Chabria in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/10/21


As drought worsens, California farmers are being paid not to grow crops -- Green fields of alfalfa and cotton rolled past as Brad Robinson drove through the desert valley where his family has farmed with water from the Colorado River for three generations. Stopping the truck, he stepped onto a dry, brown field where shriveled remnants of alfalfa crunched under his boots. Ian James in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/10/21

Why Southern California fears too much water conservation -- As Gov. Gavin Newsom weighs new mandatory drought restrictions, Southern California leaders fear cuts in urban water use could force already sky-high water bills ever higher. Joshua Emerson Smith, Lauryn Schroeder, Karthika Namboothiri in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/10/21


Here's what Bay Area doctors say about how COVID affects the brain -- While driving recently, Cliff Morrison suddenly found himself lost in a forest. He pulled over, looked around and realized he was actually on a tree-lined street half a mile from his home in the Oakland hills, heading to the post office. Morrison, 70, did not have dementia. He had COVID-19. Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/10/21

Fully Vaccinated and Had Covid-19? No Rush for a Booster Shot, Experts Say -- Several studies suggest that people who have had Covid-19 and were fully vaccinated have strong protection, including against variants, and probably don’t need the boost, though the research is preliminary and data is incomplete, according to scientists who specialize in vaccines and immunology. Felicia Schwartz in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 10/10/21

Has COVID pushed Bay Area stressors to the breaking point? -- The maddening, deadly and ever-extending COVID-19 pandemic has laid another smothering layer of stress on an already stressed-out region — fundamentally changing how we feel about home and work, our community and safety, and the long-term prospects of living in the Bay Area, according to an exclusive new poll by the Bay Area News Group and Joint Venture Silicon Valley. Louis Hansen in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 10/10/21

California low-wage workers no longer have COVID paid sick leave. What happens next? -- That could leave the Central Valley’s low-income workers, including those who are employed by the region’s agricultural industry, in a vulnerable position in the months ahead, worker advocates said. Nadia Lopez in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/10/21

Policy and Politics  

Here are six impactful new California laws Gavin Newsom signed over the weekend -- From banning gas-powered leaf blowers to requiring gender-neutral children’s sections in large stores, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed off on a host of new California laws over the weekend. Dustin Gardiner in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/10/21

San Francisco poised for lower speed limits after Newsom signs legislation -- Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a bill that gives local cities greater freedom to reduce their speed limits, and the new law is primed to be put to use in San Francisco as the city struggles to meet its goal to end traffic fatalities by 2024. Ricardo Cano in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/10/21


High rents and low incomes: Sacramento is far short of its affordable housing needs -- Kristi Phillips, Anthony Slain and their three children have been on a waiting list for a Housing Choice Voucher, formerly known as Section 8, for over 11 years. Theresa Clift in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/10/21


Did you get an eviction notice in California? Don’t leave yet. Follow these steps -- Tenant protections put in place during the coronavirus pandemic are ending around the country, and increasing the potential for nonpayment-based evictions. Mila Jasper in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/10/21


San Diego Citizens Review Board leader wants to change the way it investigates deaths in custody -- The 11-member board has professional investigators who look into in-custody deaths, uses of force that result in great bodily injury and public complaints of misconduct involving sheriff’s deputies or probation officers. Jeff McDonald, Kelly Davis in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/10/21


UCSD students want to sever political connections with La Jolla to join heavily Asian council district -- A group of vocal UC San Diego students is lobbying city officials to sever the school’s longtime political and social connections to La Jolla so the university can align with the Convoy District and nearby areas with significant Asian populations. David Garrick in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/10/21


California man given prison over scheme to defraud Afghan government on US contract -- A Northern California man was sentenced to prison last week over a scheme to defraud the government of Afghanistan on a multi-million dollar U.S. energy contract. Vincent Moleski in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/10/21