Good morning, California. It’s Thursday, July 29th.
Virus, fire, infected birds
Just when it looked like it would be safe to go public again, the California summer began to resemble scenes from an Alfred Hitchcock film.
In light of rising COVID-19 rates, the state health ministry announced on Wednesday Recommended that all Californians wear face masks indoorsregardless of vaccination status. The department also warned that Birds infected with the West Nile virus could end dead in local residents’ courtyards two weeks later Confirmation of the first human death caused by the virus. Meanwhile, clouds of smoke from the monstrous Dixie fire – the 14th largest in the history of the state that has already burned an area larger than New York City – fell on Sacramento, Pushing air quality into unhealthy terrain.
Also Wednesday, California Governor Gavin Newsom and Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak toured the site of the Tamarack Firewhich is 59% contained and destroyed at least 23 buildings. Governors called for more fire-fighting help from the federal government, and Newsom stressed the importance of understanding the ongoing fire season in the West as a product of climate change.
- Newsom: “We have a historical framework that needs to be thrown overboard. You can’t look back a decade or two. The world is changing radically with climate change. You may not believe in science, you understood it with your own damn eyes. “
So far this year Forest fires charred 228,066 hectares in California – more than double the 104,711 acres burned in the same period last year in the state’s worst fire season on record. This is especially sobering when you consider the recently released statistics from last year’s fire season, Compiled by CalMatters’ Julie Cart: 4.2 million acres burned, 112 million tons of greenhouse gases pumped into the atmosphere, 11 million gallons of fire retardant released in the flames, $ 1 billion spent on emergency relief, and 31 lives lost.
Then there is the drought of historic proportions – The Californians are most likely to name the state’s top environmental problem a poll by the Public Policy Institute of California that was released late Wednesday night. Last year, residents named climate change as a top issue.
And then there’s the heat. Californians spent Wednesday under a flex alarm as the demand for air conditioning was putting a strain on the state’s power grid. The rapidly rising temperatures also posed a threat to outdoor and indoor workers – while the state labor protection agency took over the former sub a standard for the prevention of heat sickness, the latter is still not covered despite a state law that prescribes this until 2019.
Conclusion on the coronavirus: As of Tuesday, California had 3,822,551 confirmed cases (+ 0.2% from the previous day) and 63,849 deaths (+ 0.1% from the previous day), corresponding Status data.
Plus: CalMatters regularly updates this pandemic timeline to reflect the Everyday acts of the state. Goods as well Tracking State’s Coronavirus Hospital Admissions by County and Lawsuits Against COVID-19 Restrictions.
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Other stories to know
1. In Newsom’s Campaign War Chest
Newsoms biggest hurdle to overcome the recall can win voters, but he has no problem attracting rich donors. The main committee charged with defending him against his recall has so far risen US $ 39 million and counting – more than double the amount raised by the committees that dismissed and supported him the 46 candidates who want to replace him, combined. This is shown by a new analysis by Ben Christopher from CalMatters Newsom’s greatest financial lifeline comes from organized labor, which contributed a whopping 45% of the total – including $ 1.8 million from the teachers ‘union and $ 1.75 million from the prison guards’ union this week. Dan Schnur, a former chairman of California’s campaign finance watchdog and former strategist for Republican politicians, gives one reason workers groups might be motivated to give:
- Line: “This is a relatively painless way to strengthen your relationship with an incumbent governor.”
For example, the prison guards’ contribution could be interpreted as a kind of thank you. Though the guards are not reliable democratic allies, you scored a goal recently big raise by Newsom and Legislators over Objections from the State Legislative Analyst’s Office.
2. LA is cracking down on homelessness
The Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution on Wednesday a controversial regulation Prohibit homeless people from sitting, camping, sleeping, or storing personal property near schools, daycare centers, libraries, parks, homeless shelters, tunnels, bridges, freeway flyovers, and other important public areas. If signed by Mayor Eric Garcetti, the rule could be effective Almost half of the country is closed to the homeless – an abrupt change in policy, which the increasing pressure on politicians to solve a crisis the dimensions of which are only seemingly getting bigger. It remains to be seen whether the ordinance will actually have any effect: Before enforcement can take place at a specific location, the city council must agree – a process that could drag on for months. It is also unclear whether the city has enough accommodation or offers for all affected homeless people or how it deals with those who refuse to help. To make matters worse, each city council member is likely to apply the ordinance differently, creating a complex and contradicting patchwork of guidelines.
- Councilor Nithya Raman: “That brings us back to what we’ve been doing in Los Angeles for a very long time, which is 15 council members responding to homelessness in 15 different ways, and they’re really ad hoc.”
3. Will Payday Loans Use Last?
Government pandemic aid – including unemployment benefits, economic controls, rent benefits, and eviction moratoriums – may have helped Californians avoid expensive payday loans over the past year, although usage is expected to pick up again when aid programs expire, according to a new report from the State Ministry of Finance and Innovation. In the Golden State, 40% fewer payday loans were taken out in 2020 and almost half a million fewer people are dependent on the short-term, high-interest loans than in 2019. Erika Paz from CalMatters reports. However, experts say the decline in payday loans doesn’t necessarily mean Californians are better off financially.
Meanwhile, the payday loan industry in California remains largely unregulated, despite offering consumers some of the most expensive and financially dangerous loans. Interest rates, for example, are not capped – and last year they averaged a whopping 361%.
CalMatters columnist Dan Walters: Newsom and lawmakers’ decision to postpone his recall date could backfire.
Reassignment is more important than recall: Whose voices will be heard in the Halls of Power for the next 10 years is of the utmost importance. The name of the game until the 2022 elections is Redistribution, writes Darry Sragow, editor of the California Target Book.
Other things worth your time
California’s largest state workers’ union challenges Newsom vaccine order. // Sacramento bee
Stockton restaurant robot helper offers hand while owner is looking for new staff. // KCRA
Cal / OSHA board members call for transparency around California’s job breakouts. // East Bay Times
Activision Blizzard’s lawsuit and its possible implications on California labor law. // Washington Post
State fines El Super grocery chain $ 447,000 for failure to grant COVID sick leave. // Los Angeles times
Thieves target a Newsom-owned wine shop when attempting a break-in. // San Francisco Chronicle
The election chief of Felon Contra Costa keeps his pension serves time in Hawaii. // Mercury news
State working group recommends a public archive for digital campaign ads. // San Diego Union Grandstand
Marin births recover after the pandemic. // Mercury news
Exchange rates in the California health sector by 1.8% in 2022. // Associated press
In the course of climate change, alternative energy systems are becoming take a closer look at California. // Capitol Weekly
More “good fires” could help California control future disasters. // National Geographic
Who pays to protect Silicon Valley’s tech giants? from the rising sea? // KQED
See you tomorrow.
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