Updating . .   

Sundowner winds stymie fire crews as Alisal fire grows to more than 14,000 acres -- The Alisal fire in Santa Barbara County swelled to 14,500 acres on Wednesday, threatening the former vacation home of President Ronald Reagan and becoming Southern California’s first major wildfire of the season. Hayley Smith, Lila Seidman, Al Seib in the Los Angeles Times$ Jessica Flores in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/13/21

Delta mobile home park fire nearing full containment after fierce winds finally abated -- The fire that destroyed more than 40 structures at a mobile home park in Isleton in the southwestern area of Sacramento County is 90% contained as of Wednesday morning, according to fire officials. Mila Jasper in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/13/21

Why PG&E’s wildfire safety triggers are sparking controversy instead of deadly blazes -- During this tinder-dry wildfire season, a change to Pacific Gas & Electric’s power lines has dramatically reduced the risk of sparking calamitous and killer blazes. But every time a rogue squirrel gets zapped, hundreds of rural residents are suddenly plunged into darkness – for hours, sometimes days. Lisa M. Krieger in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 10/13/21


Investigators examine role of unprecedented port gridlock in O.C. oil spill -- Investigators are probing possible issues with the way ships are anchoring or drifting off the coast in long lines caused by skyrocketing consumer demand and disrupted supply chains during the pandemic. Hannah Fry, Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/13/21


COVID lungs: Transplants are last resort for many California patients -- Ten percent of people who have undergone transplants this year in California had their lungs wrecked by COVID-19. Doctors worry there are more transplants to come, and that non-COVID patients will be waiting longer for new lungs. Ana B. Ibarra CalMatters -- 10/13/21

Pregnant women were kept out of clinical trials. That left them vulnerable to COVID-19 -- As the fast-spreading Delta variant filled the University of Washington Medical Center with COVID-19 patients this summer, Dr. Linda Eckert was struck by something: More pregnant patients were hospitalized with the disease than at any other time during the pandemic. Amina Khan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/13/21

'COVID is never going to go away,' California scientist says, even as case numbers improve -- Even as the rate of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continues trending downward in California, health experts on Tuesday cautioned that the hard times may not be over. Aidin Vaziri in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/13/21

COVID Vaccine  

Sacramento school district votes to mandate COVID vaccines for students and staff -- The mandate, which requires full vaccination, will go to into effect on Nov. 30, and also includes all dependent charter schools and adult education centers. Sawsan Morrar in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/13/21

Policy and Politics  

Gavin Newsom vetoes bill that sought to promote more diverse California state workers -- California Gov. Gavin Newsom last week vetoed legislation that would have required the California Department of Human Resources to develop employee “upward mobility goals” that would factor in race, gender, sexual orientation, veteran status and physical and mental disabilities. Andrew Sheeler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/13/21

California announces changes to ease the thorny problem of fire insurance for vintners, farmers -- As this year’s wildfire season approached, many vintners and farmers in California found themselves unable to secure wildfire insurance for their properties, as private insurers raised their premiums by as much as 300%, or in some cases canceled their policies altogether. Esther Mobley in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/13/21


Leader of California’s largest union resigns amid tax fraud, embezzlement charges -- The executive director of SEIU California, the biggest labor union in the state, is resigning after the attorney general’s office charged her and her husband with multiple counts of tax fraud, embezzlement, perjury and failure to pay unemployment insurance taxes. The office filed its charges against Alma Hernández and her husband, Jose Moscoso, on Oct. 4 in the Sacramento County Superior Court. Jeong Park in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/13/21

Hollywood crews say they will strike next week if there is no agreement -- Ratcheting up pressure on the major studios, the union representing Hollywood crews announced Wednesday that its members will go on strike on Monday if they can’t reach agreement on a new contract. Anousha Sakoui in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/13/21

Google employees allowed to sue tech giant for bans on talking about wages, working conditions -- The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way Tuesday for current and former Google employees to sue the Mountain View tech giant for allegedly forbidding them to speak to the news media or prospective employers about Google’s wages and working conditions. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/13/21

Trans Netflix employees will stage walkout to protest controversial Chappelle special -- Transgender Netflix employees and co-workers will stage a walkout next week protesting the streaming giant’s decision to release Dave Chappelle’s latest comedy special, multiple Netflix staffers have confirmed to the Los Angeles Times. Christi Carras in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/13/21

Port truckers win $30 million in wage theft settlements -- One of the world’s largest trucking companies, XPO Logistics, agreed Tuesday to pay $30 million to settle class-action lawsuits filed by hundreds of drivers who said they earned less than minimum wage delivering goods for major retailers from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Margot Roosevelt in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/13/21


No law north of the Klamath.’ Dysfunction, scandal plague California sheriff’s office -- Locals still mention the saying — which dates back to the unruly 19th-century Gold Rush — when they talk about the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office. Ryan Sabalow and Jason Pohl in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/13/21


This Silicon Valley county is trying to end a 'hidden epidemic' of homeless families. Will it work? -- After years of rent hikes and instability for South Bay families like Castañeda’s, Santa Clara County officials last week launched a new effort to house 1,200 homeless families in the next year. Lauren Hepler in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/13/21

Man dies from burns after sleeping bag allegedly was set on fire in San Francisco -- Police responded to a reported “aggravated assault with fire” in the area of 25th Street and South Van Ness Avenue at about 5 a.m. Friday and found a 43-year-old man who said he woke up to find his sleeping bag aflame, according to a police news release. Andres Picon in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/13/21


Are immigrants getting left out of California’s rent relief? -- Non-English speaking immigrants face some of the biggest hurdles to receiving California rent relief. Advocates say informal leases, lack of technology access and language barriers are getting in the way. Manuela Tobias CalMatters -- 10/13/21


This summer was California's driest on record in more than 100 years - here's what that means -- The effects of the drought can already be seen throughout the Bay Area — this week at Lake Tahoe, for example, the water level is expected to sink below the basin’s natural rim, or the point at which the lake pours into the Truckee River. Parched land and vegetation are also a driving factor in why wildfires across the state are exploding so quickly. Danielle Echeverria, Yoohyun Jung in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/13/21

Also . . .   

This Bay Area city plans to ban cars, expand outdoor dining for good along its ‘crown jewel’ -- Even as some Bay Area cities pull dining tables off of streets and reopen their downtown strips to motorists for the first time in 18 months, Mountain View leaders have no intention of doing away with what they see as one of the silver linings of the COVID-19 pandemic. Maggie Angst in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 10/13/21



California Policy and Politics Wednesday Morning  

Alisal fire threatens homes and burns more than 13,000 acres. 101 Freeway remains closed -- A fast-moving brush fire that broke out Monday afternoon north of Santa Barbara, burning more than 13,000 acres and shutting down the 101 Freeway, had firefighters on the defensive for much of the day Tuesday. Dubbed the Alisal fire, the blaze has displaced thousands of residents and is threatening roughly 100 homes and ranches, fire officials said. Lila Seidman, Hayley Smith, Gregory Yee in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/13/21

PG&E warns of another power shut-off affecting up to 29,000 customers; Santa Ana winds continue to pick up -- Cleanup efforts are underway after powerful winds swept through Southern California Monday night, toppling trees, stirring up dust storms and causing power shut-offs for thousands. Laura Anaya-Morga in the Los Angeles Times$ Amy Graff in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/13/21

Photos: Alisal fire burns in Santa Barbara County -- A stretch of Highway 101 in Santa Barbara County remained closed in both directions Tuesday due to the Alisal fire, which broke out Monday. The closure cut off traffic to Los Angeles. The item is in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/13/21

Exodus Ready   

Vast majority think life in Bay Area getting worse, want to leave, poll finds -- A new poll paints a stark picture of life in the Bay Area and its residents' discontents. Joint Venture Silicon Valley, in partnership with the Bay Area News Group, polled 1,610 registered voters across five Bay Area counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara. Michelle Robertson in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/13/21


COVID: Contra Costa supervisors catch flak for declaring misinformation about virus, vaccines a ‘public health crisis’ -- Misinformation about COVID-19 and the vaccines developed to protect against it constitutes a “public health crisis,” the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors declared Tuesday, drawing a backlash from numerous residents. Shomik Mukherjee in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 10/13/21

COVID Vaccine  

LAUSD stands firm on staff vaccine mandate -- Los Angeles Unified School District employees who don’t receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Friday won’t be allowed to return to campus on Monday, a district official said during the Tuesday, Oct. 12, school board meeting, where he also urged patience as schools work through staffing issues next week. Linh Tat in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 10/13/21

University of California issues mandatory flu vaccine order for students and staff -- The 10-campus university is allowing people to opt out of the vaccine by Nov. 19 as well. Anyone opting out must wear face masks on campus through the end of the flu season even if COVID-19 requirements are relaxed by the respective county or university system. Sawsan Morrar in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/13/21

Policy and Politics  

Biden will announce expanded operations at Port of Los Angeles as supply chain crunch continues -- The Port of Los Angeles will begin operating around the clock as the White House pushes to clear supply chain bottlenecks threatening the holiday shopping season and slowing the country’s economic recovery from the global pandemic, senior Biden administration officials said. Chris Megerian, Don Lee in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/13/21

Newsom’s vetoes: Why did the governor block California bills? -- Gov. Newsom had his reasons for blocking California bills passed by the Legislature: cost, duplication and some politics. Overall, he signed 770 bills into law and vetoed 66, or about 8%. Laurel Rosenhall CalMatters -- 10/13/21

Walters: California bullet train funds stalemated -- While Gov. Gavin Newsom signed 770 bills passed by the Legislature this year, he couldn’t approve a big one that he wanted badly — a $4.2 billion appropriation to shore up the state’s much-delayed, increasingly expensive and obviously mismanaged bullet train project. Dan Walters CalMatters -- 10/13/21


Walgreens closing 5 San Francisco stores due to 'organized retail crime' -- The drugstore chain hopes to relocate employees from closing stores to other nearby locations. “Organized retail crime continues to be a challenge facing retailers across San Francisco, and we are not immune to that,” said Walgreens spokesperson Phil Caruso. Tessa McLean in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/13/21


LAUSD board approves pandemic-era pact with teachers -- The Los Angeles Unified school board voted unanimously Tuesday, Oct. 12, to ratify an agreement with the teachers union on matters related to quarantine instruction, COVID-19 health-and-safety measures and employee compensation. Linh Tat in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 10/13/21

Universal Transitional Kindergarten | Quick Guide -- Championed by Gov. Gavin Newsom and many lawmakers, the new $2.7 billion universal transitional kindergarten program is being hailed by many experts as a game-changer for families in a state with almost 3 million children under the age of 5. Karen D'Souza EdSource -- 10/13/21


US to reopen land borders in November for fully vaccinated -- The U.S. will reopen its land borders to nonessential travel next month, ending a 19-month freeze due to the COVID-19 pandemic as the country moves to require all international visitors to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Zeke Miller Associated Press -- 10/13/21


Mosquito that can carry Zika virus found near south Sacramento park, local officials say -- The mosquito that can carry the Zika virus, dengue fever and other serious illnesses has been detected near Camelia Park in south Sacramento, according to a Tuesday notice from the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District. Cathie Anderson in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/13/21


Port of San Diego adopts sweeping new clean air plan -- The strategy could lead to all diesel vehicles being replaced by electric-powered vehicles by 2030, five years before the state requires it. Erik Anderson KPBS -- 10/13/21

Chula Vista electric school buses charged to help the environment -- There are 10 new buses rolling out everyday as the first zero-emission, electric-powered buses in the district’s fleet. They were paid for with grant money from the California Energy Commission. M.G. Perez KPBS -- 10/13/21


Brookfield, undeterred by city’s missteps, has a new plan for San Diego sports arena site -- “Discover Midway” centers around housing for all income levels, acres of parks and green space, and a reimagined sports arena. Jennifer Van Grove in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/13/21

Also . . .   

‘Climb immediately’: Santee plane crash investigation underway; friends, family mourn victims -- A federal investigation into what caused a small plane to crash into a Santee neighborhood got underway Tuesday, a day after two people were killed, and two homes and a UPS delivery truck were destroyed. Teri Figueroa, Karen Kucher, Alex Riggins in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/13/21

UPS driver killed in Santee plane crash honored with moment of silence -- The UPS driver who was killed when a plane crashed Monday afternoon into a Santee neighborhood was honored with a “moment of silence” observed by UPS employees nationwide, a company spokesman said Tuesday. Karen Kucher, Teri Figueroa in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/13/21

Plaschke: Never-give-up Dodgers show longtime rival Giants they’re built for elimination games -- A night after they whimpered, they wailed. A game after being blown to the brink of elimination, they gusted and swirled and whipped. Bill Plaschke in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/13/21

Giants' Game 4 loss sets up the biggest game ever in their rivalry with Dodgers -- Two wins apiece in the series. One hundred and nine wins each on the season. And one game to decide it all. The most epic game in the 132-year history between the two teams. Ann Killion in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/13/21

Biotech lab in Tustin takes unusual donations at $75 a poop -- So when Castro saw a promotion on Instagram for a Tustin medical lab collecting — and paying for — stool samples, she signed up. Now she does her daily duty there several times a week for $75 per visit. “It’s my poop dreams come true,” she said. Susan Christian Goulding in the Orange County Register -- 10/13/21

California Hall of Fame inducts Bay Area notables Jerry Garcia, Ruth Asawa, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon -- Three activists and three artists, including rock titan Jerry Garcia, are the latest Californians to be celebrated in Golden State history as new inductees to the California Hall of Fame, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday. Andres Picon in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/13/21

They blazed a trail for gay marriage. Now they’re in California’s Hall of Fame -- Gov. Gavin Newsom and First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom inducted the late lesbian rights activists and married couple Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin into the California Hall of Fame during a virtual Tuesday ceremony honoring six Golden State icons. Hannah Wiley in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/13/21


Tuesday Updates   

Alisal fire explodes to 6,000 acres, closing 101 Freeway, as gusty winds continue -- A brush fire that broke out Monday afternoon north of Santa Barbara has exploded in size, burning 6,000 acres in less than a day and shutting down the 101 Freeway as firefighters struggle to contain the growing blaze. Gregory Yee, Lila Seidman in the Los Angeles Times$ Jessica Flores in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/12/21

PG&E begins restoring power for Bay Area customers -- The utility company said they were given an “all-clear” from meteorologists late Monday to start restoring power in some areas that were impacted by the scheduled public safety power shut-offs — an effort to reduce the chance of their equipment toppling over and potentially sparking a wildfire amid gusty conditions. Jessica Flores in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/12/21

Thousands of California residents will have no power. How the medically vulnerable will be impacted -- Severed from electricity, elderly individuals and people reliant on electrical medical devices — motorized wheelchairs, ventilators, respirators, apnea monitors and more — often experience the worst impacts of these wildfire safety blackouts, which leave thousands scrambling to secure emergency oxygen tanks, find backup generators or conserve dwindling battery power. Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/12/21

30 structures destroyed, 20 threatened in wind-driven Delta fire at Isleton mobile home park -- A fire burning in a mobile home park in the Delta town of Isleton destroyed 30 structures and threatens 20 more but is expected to be contained by Tuesday’s end, according to the River Delta Fire Protection District. Mila Jasper in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/12/21

Replanting the Camp Fire burn scar to withstand a changing climate -- Sixteen major wildfires have burned in Butte County over the last two decades, including the 2018 Camp and 2020 North Complex fires, major blazes that together burned more than 470,000 acres. Julie Johnson, Yoohyun Jung in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/12/21


The O.C. oil spill could have been a much bigger disaster. Here is what went right -- But a combination of luck, favorable weather conditions and aggressive response from officials who had learned from previous oil spills resulted in a less severe crisis than was originally feared. Hannah Fry, Robin Estrin in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/12/21

Photos: A week after oil spill, Huntington Beach reopens -- Visitors were once again taking to the water a week after an oil spill caused beach closures. While cleanup continued near Huntington Beach Pier, both city and state beaches reopened on Oct. 11. Al Seib in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/12/21

Morrison: You thought the oil spill was bad? In L.A., toxic waste is everywhere -- In a bad way, a very bad way, the Huntington Beach oil spill is the enviro-disaster equivalent of the giant panda. Patt Morrison in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/12/21

COVID Vaccine  

Many Latino Californians waited to get a COVID vaccine. Why they’re rolling up their sleeves -- When COVID-19 hit close to home, infecting her two brothers and sending an acquaintance to the hospital, Gabriela Aguilar made up her mind to finally get a vaccine to protect herself against the virus. Kim Bojórquez in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/12/21


San Jose: Sheriff’s office in standoff involving armed person, hostages -- Santa Clara County sheriff’s deputies have been in an overnight standoff with an armed person who reportedly has hostages inside an East San Jose home, authorities said. Robert Salonga in the San Jose Mercury$ Michael Cabanatuan, Jessica Flores in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/12/21


How hot is it inside Southern California’s warehouses? Ask the workers at Rite Aid -- When Rite Aid Corp. decided to build a giant warehouse to serve its Southern California stores in 1999, it chose an isolated stretch of the Mojave Desert where the air vibrates with heat in the summer. Anna M. Phillips, Genaro Molina in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/12/21

A record number of workers are quitting their jobs, empowered by new leverage -- The phenomenon is being driven in part by workers who are less willing to endure inconvenient hours and poor compensation, quitting instead to find better opportunities. Eli Rosenberg and Abha Bhattarai in the Washington Post$ -- 10/12/21

Policy and Politics  

Confronting the myth: L.A. moves to make amends to Indigenous people -- The city of Los Angeles was founded 240 years ago by a group of 44 settlers who had traveled overland from Mexico, or so the story goes. Julia Wick in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/12/21

Newsom signs new laws to ease California's strict criminal sentencing system -- California’s sentencing laws, which have been among the most severe in the nation, are being relaxed somewhat under the latest legislative measures signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/12/21

Bretón: Why would Newsom veto a popular bill to help farm workers organize? His business interests -- But unless one understands the nature of wealthy entitlement in California, it probably seemed surprising that Newsom vetoed a bill that would have enhanced organizing rights for farm workers by allowing them to do what other union workers do — vote by mail in union elections. Marcos Bretón in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/12/21


Lake Tahoe has fallen to an alarmingly low level. Here's what the impact could be -- This week, a historically dry period in California will come to bear at Lake Tahoe, where the water level is expected to sink below the basin’s natural rim. That’s the point at which the lake pours into its only outflow, the Truckee River. Gregory Thomas in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/12/21


Southwest CEO Says Airline Recovering After Slew of Weekend Cancellations -- Southwest canceled 89 flights, or 2% of its schedule, Tuesday morning, according to flight tracking site FlightAware, compared with roughly 1,900 canceled flights over Saturday and Sunday, and another 350 Monday. Jennifer Calfas and Alison Sider in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 10/12/21

Also . . .   

San Diego lottery for short-term rental licenses should give priority to ‘good actors,’ council insists -- Long-term hosts, Airbnb rail against staff proposal that City Council members say ignored their direction months ago to give preference to San Diego’s most responsible vacation rental operators. Lori Weisberg in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/12/21

McGeorge School of Law receives historic donation, plans to provide scholarships for students of color -- McGeorge School of Law received a $30 million dollar donation from Eglet Adams, a law firm based in Las Vegas, Nevada. The donation comes from Robert T. Eglet, a 1988 graduate of the McGeorge School of Law, and his wife and partner Tracy A. Eglet. Marcus D. Smith in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/12/21

Bell: Maria Shriver takes her Alzheimer’s campaign to unusual venue in San Diego -- When it comes to delaying Alzheimer’s disease, could playing poker be one of the best medicines? Diane Bell in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/12/21

A Big Hollywood Premiere That Was a Long Time Coming -- The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures was over budget and years behind schedule, and some feared it would be a flop. Its new director, Bill Kramer, helped get it back on track. Adam Nagourney in the New York Times$ -- 10/12/21