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California man died after police acted on him for 5 minutes, family say

When Maria Quinto-Collins began filming her son at her home in Antioch, Calif. On December 23, he was already on the floor, unresponsive.

In the footage, a pair of officers from the Antioch Police Department can be seen rolling the son, Angelo Quinto, from his stomach to the side. Ms. Quinto-Collins can be heard repeatedly asking, “What happened?”

Mr. Quinto, 30, never regained consciousness; He died three days later. Last week, her family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city. He said the two officers, who had responded to a call from Mr Quinto’s sister, knelt on Mr Quinto’s back for nearly five minutes to restrain him and that he was “deceased as a direct result. of unreasonable force used against him. “

The claim, which seeks punitive damages, was filed on Feb. 18 against Antioch, which is in Contra Costa County, about 45 miles east of San Francisco. The city has 45 days to respond.

Last week, the East Bay Times reported that police did not publicly share information about Mr Quinto’s death until the newspaper asked them about the case late last month . Since then, the case has gained national attention – in part because it seemed to echo the murder of George Floyd, who died in May after Derek Chauvin, a Minneapolis police officer, knocked his knee into his chest. neck for more than eight minutes, prompting protests against racism and police brutality.

John Burris, an attorney for Mr Quinto’s family, said on Wednesday Mr Quinto’s mother and sister were traumatized and grieving and questioned the decision to invite police to their home. “They thought they were calling the police for help,” Burris said.

He added that the family were awaiting the results of an autopsy from an independent medical examiner. “We are convinced that this is a case of asphyxiation,” he said.

Antioch police did not respond to a request for comment. But at a press conference on Wednesday – which was organized to share information about another man who died in custody early Wednesday morning – Tammany Brooks, chief of the police department, said the investigation into the death of Mr. Quinto continued.

According to the wrongful death complaint, Mr. Quinto suffered from anxiety and depression at times, and he appeared to be suffering from paranoia on the night of December 23. His sister, Isabella Collins, called the police, expressing her fear to the dispatcher.

When police arrived, Ms Quinto-Collins was holding her son in her arms to calm him down, according to the complaint. The police pushed him away and Mr. Quinto asked them not to kill him, according to the statement.

Then, according to the claim, he was restrained on the floor of his mother’s bedroom and handcuffed while officers – first one, then the other – placed their legs against his neck to press him down. . Blood stains appeared under Mr. Quinto’s face.

“At no time during his detention did Mr. Quinto resist physically or verbally,” says the complaint. “After being immobilized for almost five minutes, Mr. Quinto became lifeless.

It was around this time that her mother started filming. The footage shows rescuers looking for signs of life – Ms Quinto-Collins can be heard asking if her son has a pulse – then giving chest compressions.

The Contra Costa County coroner, who is part of the sheriff’s office, could not be reached on Wednesday, but told CNN the cause of death had not yet been disclosed.

The mayor of Antioch, Lamar Thorpe, told a press conference on Monday that he visited the Quinto family and offered them his condolences. “I don’t know all the details,” he says. “Full details remain to be seen, as the prosecutor’s office is currently conducting an active investigation.”

A spokesperson for the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office confirmed the case is under investigation, as is the protocol for every death involving law enforcement.

Mr Thorpe, who became mayor in December after campaigning on calls for police reform, announced a list of reform measures on Monday. They include the creation of a mental health crisis response team and the use of body cameras, which are not currently in use in Antioch.

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California takes another dark step


California surpassed 50,000 known coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, the first state to reach that frightening milestone.

The news comes as a grim reminder that the state’s recent progress against the pandemic may be fragile. Most of these deaths were recorded recently, during the winter wave, which followed a period of relatively low case counts and growing hope that the virus could be controlled until vaccines arrived.

According to a New York Times database, California, the country’s most populous state, averaged more than 560 deaths per day at its peak in January. In contrast, for much of November, it reported less than 50 deaths per day on average.

It took Los Angeles County nearly 10 months to reach 400,000 cases, but just over a month to add 400,000, from Nov. 30 to Jan. 2.

Although the state has reported more deaths in total than any other in the country, it is far from being the hardest hit relative to the size of its population. At least 30 states have reported more deaths per capita. New Jersey recorded twice as many.

[Track coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths in California.]

The statewide death toll also belies the virus’s uneven impact on poorer communities of color, particularly in the Central Valley and Los Angeles.

Latinos, who are more likely than other Californians to work in essential industries and less likely to have the resources or space to self-isolate if infected, have fallen ill and died at disproportionately high rates. . State figures show that Latinos, who make up 39 percent of the state’s population, accounted for 46 percent of deaths in California.

“We have created a separate and unequal hospital system and a separate and unequal funding system for low-income communities,” recently told our colleagues Dr. Elaine Batchlor, Executive Director of Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital of Los Angeles.

And so far California has failed to prevent the same inequalities from hampering the state’s vaccination effort, a process that has been criticized as chaotic and confusing.

In mid-November, as Thanksgiving approached, state officials warned another wave could be underway. As cases rose again, leaders pleaded with Californians to curl up and not take precautions. When they reimposed restrictions that had been lifted, the move added to a feeling of widespread exhaustion – another disheartening reversal of the pandemic.

Almost all of California’s roughly 40 million residents have spent the holidays under strict stay-at-home orders. Gatherings with people they did not live with were banned.

Despite these restrictions, the virus spread quickly and hospitals were overwhelmed.

Scenes like the ones that unfolded in New York in the spring – when testing was scarce and deaths were likely underestimated – have become commonplace in Southern California, dashing hopes of experts that they can be avoided. .

The region was at the center of the pandemic in the United States, just as the first vaccines began to be administered.

Doctors and nurses treated patients in hospital halls. Relatives watched from a distance as loved ones took their last breath. The health workers who held the screens for them are still struggling with the lingering effects of prolonged trauma.

“It’s really hard to put it all into words,” said Helen Cordova, an intensive care unit nurse at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, the first person in California to be vaccinated outside of a clinical trial.

On top of everything, researchers have confirmed that a variant of the coronavirus that is now spreading in California is more contagious than previous versions of the virus.

Nevertheless, there is hope.

California is now reporting half as many new cases per day, on average, than it was two weeks ago. Some counties have been allowed to lift the restrictions. Local officials say more reopenings are underway. State lawmakers approved a $ 7.6 billion relief plan this week.

And as Governor Gavin Newsom – whose political fortunes depend on getting children back to school and gunshots in the arms of a remote and diverse population – pointed out, California has administered many more doses of vaccines than any other state.

(This article is part of the California today bulletin. Register now to have it delivered to your inbox.)

  • Recall attempts are not unusual in California: recall petitions have been filed against every governor for the past 61 years. But the the pressure on Mr. Newsom increases, as efforts to recall it approach the question of putting the question at the polls. [The New York Times]

If you missed it, here’s what to know about the recall election process. [The New York Times]

  • Berkeley became the last city to adopt single-family zoning, voting unanimously to end the practice by the end of next year. “We cannot ignore that from the start the sole purpose of zoning was to separate by race, to the detriment of people of color,” said City Councilor Ben Bartlett. [The San Francisco Chronicle]

  • Disney’s California Adventure theme park to reopen from March 18 at limited capacity, with tickets starting at $ 75. [The Los Angeles Times]

  • A federal judge on Tuesday paved the way for California to enforce its Net Neutrality Law, denying a demand from telecommunications providers to delay state rules designed to ensure equal access to Internet content. [The New York Times]

  • Los Angeles City Council voted on Wednesday for support the so-called hero salary for grocery store employees, forcing stores to raise wages by $ 5 an hour for the next 120 days. Several other municipalities in the state have adopted similar measures. [The Los Angeles Times]

  • Deprived of cash by the pandemic, cities like West Covina uses its own property (in this case, their streets) as collateral to raise funds to pay their workers’ pensions. [The New York Times]

  • Silas Farley, former New York City Ballet dancer, will succeed Jenifer Ringer on July 1 as the person in charge of the dance program at Colburn school in Los Angeles. [The New York Times]

Fry’s Electronics, the well-known big box retailer with origins in Silicon Valley that has nurtured a generation of DIY tech fans, announced on Wednesday that it was winding down operations, effective immediately, as our reports reported. business colleagues. The retailer, which has 31 stores in nine states and has been in business for almost 36 years, blamed “changes in the retail industry and challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The chain was famous for its elaborate store themes: The Fry’s in Woodland Hills was a page from Alice in Wonderland, for example, decorated with figures up to 15 feet tall. Priya grew up near the Burbank location, which had a theme inspired by 1950s sci-fi movies. They often scoured the aisles looking for computer spare parts, like motherboards, before the rise of ‘Amazon, Newegg and other online retailers.

The retailer was particularly liked by executives in Silicon Valley, who found the stores to be a haven of nostalgia and a source of creative inspiration. “It was heaven for me,” one fan wrote on Twitter, amid a wave of nostalgia on social media.

California Today goes live at 6:30 a.m. PT on weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: Have you been forwarded this email? Sign up for California Today here and read each edition online here.

Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, graduated from UC Berkeley, and has reported statewide, including the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles – but she always wants to see more. Follow here or on Twitter.

California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from UC Berkeley.

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Video: California to reserve vaccine doses for teachers and school staff

new video loaded: California to reserve vaccine doses for teachers and school staff



California to reserve vaccine doses for teachers and school staff

Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Friday that starting March 1, California will set aside 10% of the state’s first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine for educators and school workers.

Thirty-five counties in the state of California are currently prioritizing the immunization of teachers and educators. We want this to become the norm for all 58 counties in the state. So as of March 1, not only are we doing this through our third-party administrator, but we are also setting aside 10% of all first doses, starting with a base of 75,000 doses each week that will be available and set aside for educators and educators who support our efforts to bring our children back to face-to-face teaching. This is as of March 1. And the reason we can do it more formally, even though we have allowed it in the past few weeks, is the window of visibility into the future with more vaccinations that we know are coming now. the Biden administration.

Recent episodes of Coronavirus pandemic: latest updates


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DNA points to single coyote in series of attacks in California

California wildlife officials believe a single coyote is responsible for a series of recent attacks on Bay Area residents.

DNA taken from the bites and clothing of the victims revealed that all four residents were attacked by the same coyote, California Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Captain Patrick Foy said on Wednesday.

The agency and police attempt to capture the coyote.

The latest attack took place at around 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday in Moraga, a suburban town of about 16,000 residents east of San Francisco.

A woman was walking with her 3-year-old daughter on a street when a coyote attacked and bit the girl, Chief Jon B. King of the Moraga Police Department said on Wednesday.

The woman pushed the coyote away, which then fled, he said. The girl, who received three bites, was treated at the scene and taken to hospital by her mother. After the attack, a neighbor took a photo of the coyote roaming the neighborhood, according to KPIX-TV in San Francisco.

“The four attacks are within two miles of each other, which is nothing for a coyote to come and go,” said Captain Foy.

On the morning of December 4, a coyote attacked Kenji Sytz while he was working on a high school field with friends.

“I went downstairs to do my last set of push-ups and I felt a sting that immediately turned into a sharp pain,” recalls Mr. Sytz, 45, in a telephone interview on Wednesday.

“I looked back in a push-up position and on my left leg, hooked up, there was a coyote,” he says.

“I shook my leg,” he continued. “He didn’t let go. I rolled onto my side and with a closed fist punched him in the nose and he released himself.

When the coyote did not immediately leave the field, Mr. Sytz screamed and raised his arms to scare him. With the help of a friend of his, the coyote finally retreated.

Mr Sytz went to the emergency room, where his four bite wounds – two in the shin and two in the calf – were cleaned and treated.

“He has helped me very well,” said Mr Sytz, adding that he received a series of tetanus and rabies vaccines in the weeks following the attack.

Mr Sytz, who grew up in Moraga, said he was used to seeing coyotes in the community and in the hills, but they usually don’t come close to humans.

The coyote he encountered was different.

“He wanted to continue to engage, the opposite of what an animal does in this situation,” he said.

Later that month, a coyote bit a grocery store worker on the lower leg behind the store in Lafayette, north of Moraga, Captain Foy said.

The man jumped up and screamed aggressively with two other people until the coyote ran away, he said.

And in July, a coyote bit a 2-year-old boy in the parking lot of a park. A nanny who looked after the boy used a bicycle helmet to hit the coyote and chase it away, Captain Foy said.

“In each of the attacks, we collected the victim’s clothes and dabbed the bite wound,” he said of DNA testing.

In December, the agency’s law enforcement division confirmed that the same coyote was involved in all three attacks.

Mr Sytz said his heart sank when he learned the same coyote was linked to this week’s attack, which took place near his home. “I immediately thought, what neighborhood kid was bitten?” he said.

Captain Foy said he was unsure why the coyote had been so aggressive towards people and that it was not clear what had triggered the rampage. He said there was no evidence to suggest the coyote had rabies.

“This will be one of the main objectives of the investigation, if we can get our hands on this animal,” he said.

Coyotes are unpredictable, said Chief King.

“These are wild animals,” he said, “and as we have more and more people living at the interface between urban and wild lands, these encounters are going to become more and more important.”

Coyotes are known to live in residential neighborhoods where they can survive on squirrels, mice, rabbits, and birds.

They have long been present in much of North America, but since 1900 their range has grown. In recent decades, they have settled in urban areas.

By nature, they are nocturnal and afraid of humans, and they try to stay out of sight.

“The vast majority of coyotes, you never see them,” said Captain Foy.

Attacks are generally rare, he said, but last year at least 10 coyote attacks were reported in California.

Captain Foy said he couldn’t explain the rise, but anecdotal evidence suggested more people were spending time in state parks and in the wild “because we’re all locked in our homes under quarantine. . “

On its website, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife offers safety tips for people when they encounter a coyote, such as making loud noises to scare it off or throwing stones at it.

“And if those things don’t work, then it’s a call to 911,” Chief King said.

Travel News

Storms in Texas, heat waves in California and ‘vulnerable’ utilities

In California, wildfires and heat waves in recent years have forced utilities to shut off power to millions of homes and businesses. Now, Texas is learning that deadly winter storms and severe cold can do the same.

The nation’s two largest states have taken very different approaches to managing their energy needs – Texas has aggressively deregulated, letting the free market thrive, while California has adopted environmental regulations. Yet both states face the same disturbing reality: They can be woefully ill-prepared for the increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters caused by climate change.

Power outages in Texas and California have revealed that power plants can be strained and taken offline by the kind of extremely cold and hot weather that climatologists say will become more common as greenhouse gases grow. ‘accumulate in the atmosphere.

The problems in Texas and California highlight the challenge the Biden administration will face in upgrading the power system to run entirely on wind turbines, solar panels, batteries and other zero-emission technology here 2035 – a goal President Biden set for himself in the 2020 campaign.

The federal government and energy companies may have to spend trillions of dollars to bolster power grids against the threat posed by climate change and move away from the fossil fuels responsible for global warming in the first place. These are not new ideas. Researchers have long warned that U.S. power grids, which are managed regionally, will come under increasing pressure and require major upgrades.

“We really need to change our paradigm, especially utilities, because they are becoming much more vulnerable to disasters,” said Najmedin Meshkati, professor of engineering at the University of Southern California, of the power outages in Texas. and California. “They always have to literally think of the worst case scenario, because the worst case is going to happen.”

Mr Meshkati, who has served on committees at national academies that have studied BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the Fukushima nuclear disaster, said Mr Biden should set up a commission to investigate the grid outages in Texas and in California and recommend changes.

But it’s unclear what Mr. Biden will be able to accomplish, given the federal government’s limited role in overseeing public services, which are primarily regulated at the state level. He might not even be able to muster a majority in Congress to push forward an ambitious climate plan given Democrats’ tight grip on the Senate and strong opposition by most Republicans to policies to cut gas emissions. Greenhouse effect.

In California and Texas, conservatives blamed renewables for power cuts, even as energy experts, grid managers and utility executives said solar and wind farm outages played a role less important than poor planning and problems with the supply of natural gas and other energy sources.

The fact that Texas and California have been hit the hardest makes it clear that simplistic ideological explanations are often wrong. Texas, for example, has relied on market forces to balance its power grid. If there is not enough supply, the price of electricity in its wholesale market rises, which aims to encourage businesses to generate more electricity and businesses and consumers to use less. California also has an electricity market, but it requires power producers to maintain excess capacity that can be called upon in an emergency. Yet both systems failed under extreme conditions.

The common theme across the two states is that many traditional power plants are much more sensitive to temperature changes than the utility industry has recognized, said Jay Apt, co-director of the Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center.

“Coal-fired power plants and gas plants have problems with heat and cold,” said Apt, who is also a professor at Carnegie Mellon University.

Last August, several natural gas-fired power plants stopped producing electricity as Californians turned on air conditioners because plant equipment malfunctioned in hot weather. Other plants were down for maintenance, which many experts found odd given that demand for electricity typically peaks in late summer.

Running out of power, as demand peaked, the California Independent System Operator, which manages the state’s grid, ordered utilities to carry out power outages until the system reaches equilibrium. The order came so abruptly that Gov. Gavin Newsom complained that the power outages “occurred without prior warning or sufficient preparation time.”

Separately, California utilities have also cut power to hundreds of thousands of customers over the past two years to prevent power lines and other equipment from starting fires on dry and windy days.

In Texas this week, many natural gas plants were shut down or had to downsize because their equipment froze. Others could not produce as much energy as they normally do because the pipelines that deliver gas to them were frozen or not receiving enough gas from the Permian Basin fields of West Texas and New Brunswick. Mexico, where operations were also hampered by sub-zero temperatures. .

The electricity industry generally looks at average annual temperatures rather than seasonal temperatures. Changing the distribution of energy sources according to seasonal temperatures could help avoid power shortages. For example, nuclear power plants generally perform well in the cold but become vulnerable to heat due to the need for cooling water, Apt said.

The extreme temperatures should not have surprised the utilities and the network operators. Historical weather data has shown a marked increase in very hot summer days over the past decades.

In addition, Mr. Apt pointed out that the United States has experienced five major cold snaps since 2011, including the polar vortex in 2014 which led to the shutdown of nearly a quarter of the electricity available on the most the country’s major energy market, PJM, which serves the mid-Atlantic region. In some factories, the coal mounds became unusable because they froze.

“These types of cold snaps aren’t particularly rare,” Apt said. “A Black Swan event – an unknown stranger – this was not the case.”

Some climatologists believe that the warming of the Arctic may be responsible for harsher winter storms even as winters generally become milder.

The Edison Electric Institute, which represents investor-owned utilities, acknowledged that the industry faces many challenges, but stressed that much of its work is closely overseen by state and federal authorities.

“It is important to stress that we are the most regulated industry in the country and the way we serve customers is determined by the various rules and regulations set by federal and state regulators,” said Brian Reil, Door – group speech.

Pedro J. Pizarro, chairman and chief executive officer of Edison International, the parent company of California’s second-largest investor-owned utility, said no Texas or California utility has anticipated the types of extreme weather conditions that hit both states.

“Let me start here and recognize that the Texas event and the California event are very good examples that we are all living with with climate change,” Pizarro said. “Power grid systems must be able to cope with the new normal.”

Mr Pizarro said his company is adding battery storage, which can help when demand increases in extreme weather. California has also asked its utilities to install more batteries, which typically deliver electricity faster than large power plants, although they only do so for a few hours at a time.

Lawmakers, residents and others have started demanding a clear account of what went wrong this week, as they did in California last summer, and how another multi-day electrical crisis can be avoided.

Some of them criticized the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which runs the state’s grid, for not doing more to force plants to prepare for freezing temperatures. To avoid more such blackouts, the board could learn from colder climate states where power plants and other equipment are wintered with insulation and heaters.

Some potential fixes would be useful in Texas and California. Neither state appears to have sufficient capacity to bridge the gap between supply and demand in extreme weather conditions. They may need to invest more in batteries and transmission lines to supply electricity to other states. Texas has always chosen not to have extensive ties with other states, to avoid federal regulation.

States could also require some natural gas plants to be ready to start quickly in an emergency with enough gas stored on-site to operate for several days to avoid reliance on pipelines. This addiction can be fatal, as Texas learned this week.

Some changes are already underway. In California, regulators had authorized the shutdown of some natural gas plants, although it was clear that the gap between supply and demand was narrow on the hottest summer days and late after. – midday when the sun goes down and the solar panels stop producing electricity. After the August power outages, the California Public Utilities Commission delayed the shutdown of several natural gas power plants.

Dan Reicher, founding director of the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford University, said utilities, grid operators and regulators need to become much better at planning for storms, heat waves and cold. “If we cannot reconcile our action with the American network, we will not solve the climate crisis.”

Travel News

Garbage truck driver accused of California fire that killed 2

A garbage truck driver accused of throwing a searing load of garbage that led to the fatal sandalwood fire in 2019 that killed two people and destroyed more than 1,000 acres of vegetation has been charged with two counts of manslaughter, California authorities said Tuesday. .

Driver Antonio Ornelas-Velazquez, 38, of Desert Hot Springs, who was arrested on Saturday, was also charged with unlawfully starting a fire causing serious bodily harm, prison records and a statement from Riverside County Fire Department.

If convicted on all counts, he could face a maximum sentence of 13 years in prison, according to John Hall, a spokesperson for the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office. Mr Ornelas-Velazquez has been released on bail and is expected to return to court in June, according to prison records.

Phone calls and Facebook messages left for Mr. Ornelas-Velazquez were not immediately answered Tuesday evening.

Credit…Riverside County Fire Department

The deadly blaze erupted on October 10, 2019, amid a period of dry and windy weather that had led authorities to warn residents of the potential fires. Mr Ornelas-Velazquez, authorities said, threw a load of burning garbage on the side of the road in Calimesa, Calif., Causing a blaze that quickly spread to a nearby field and threw black plumes in the sky.

While driving, Mr. Ornelas-Velazquez noticed smoke coming from his hopper, stopped “and compacted the hot load inside the hopper of the truck,” according to a statement in support of a arrest warrant for Mr. Ornelas-Velazquez of the California Department. Forestry and fire protection.

“The day was hot, dry and unusually windy,” he said. “The winds were blowing from the truck directly towards the dry scrub wilderness.”

While Mr. Ornelas-Velazquez was arrested, a driver of a Frito Lay truck stopped by his side and warned him “on several occasions of the danger of fire presented by high winds”, according to the statement. This driver asked Mr. Ornelas-Velazquez not to throw his garbage on fire in this area, he said. Another driver who stopped also warned him not to throw away the garbage, according to the report.

The blaze killed two people, destroyed more than 70 structures and reached the size of Central Park. The two victims were found inside the Villa Calimesa mobile home park, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

The fire was brought under control on October 14, four days after it started.

Sheelagh McNeill contributed to the research.

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Who is eligible for the vaccine in California right now?


The rollout of the coronavirus vaccine in California has continued to be a source of confusion, even as thousands of Californians join the ranks of those vaccinated. (As of Sunday, about 38.3 million people in the United States had received at least one shot.)

In recent days, state officials have unveiled a wave of new efforts to better track immunization efforts and school reopens, announced a change in eligibility requirements, and – after weeks of pledges – have detailed a deal with Blue Shield of California to be what the state describes as a “third-party administrator” of its vaccination campaign.

Here’s what you need to know today:

Who is eligible for the vaccine now?

Over the past two weeks, Gov. Gavin Newsom and other state officials have repeatedly stressed that the biggest barrier to immunization at the moment is a limited and unpredictable supply. (Los Angeles was forced to temporarily close five vaccination sites over the weekend because it faced a dose shortage.)

[Track the vaccine rollout in California compared to other states.]

In order to speed up distribution, the state essentially moved from a strict tiered system prioritizing certain essential workers to a system based more on broad age groups.

Last month, the state opened up eligibility to anyone 65 and over, in addition to those in certain essential jobs.

But on Friday, in response to widespread concern and outcry from activists, state officials announced that from March 15, people aged 16 to 64 with disabilities or sub-conditions serious conditions that put them at high risk in the event of contracting Covid-19 will be eligible for vaccination.

“I want the disability community to know, we’ve heard you, and we’re going to do more and more to provide access, even with the scarcity,” of vaccines, Mr Newsom said on Friday, visiting a vaccination site in mass at Moscone Center in San Francisco.

[Read more about the eligibility change.]

Depending on vaccine availability, the following groups may be vaccinated: healthcare workers, residents and nursing home staff, food and agriculture workers, educators and caregivers children, emergency service workers and Californians 65 and over.

How will Blue Shield of California change vaccine rollout?

State officials finally revealed details of a deal with Blue Shield of California to speed up the rollout of the vaccine on Monday that experts say was hampered by its reliance on public health services premises already overwhelmed.

Heads of state have also said for months that fairness – ensuring that members of disproportionately affected communities are on the front lines – will be a primary consideration.

But recently released demographics suggest these efforts have not yielded results; While Latin American communities in California have been devastated by the virus, accounting for 61% of cases statewide, only 16% of people who were vaccinated and whose ethnicity was reported were Latino, according to the State.

[Read more about unanswered questions in California’s pandemic response.]

The Blue Shield partnership also aims to address this issue.

Blue Shield will come up with an algorithm for assigning vaccine doses directly to healthcare providers and an algorithm for prioritizing appointments to vaccination sites, both of which should consider fairness. The company – which is not allowed to make a profit from the transaction, only covers costs – will also offer a system of financial incentives for suppliers who act quickly and meet their equity goals.

When the effort is operational, 95 percent of people are expected to be within 30 minutes of a vaccine in urban areas and within 60 minutes in rural areas.

The goal is to deliver three million doses per week by March 1, more than double the state’s current rate, and four million doses per week by April 30.

How are the school reopening going?

They still suffer from imbalances between rural and urban areas, and between private and public schools, as reported by CalMatters. But you can find a lot more information about open schools on the state’s new site,

(This article is part of California today newsletter. Register to have it delivered to your inbox.)

Read more:

  • Los Angeles County officials have allowed elementary schools to reopen for the first time in nearly a year, as rates of new cases of the virus decline and efforts to prioritize school staff for vaccinations progress. [The Los Angeles Times]

  • Palo Alto Unified School District Middle and high school students could return to class on March 1, making the district one of the first in the Bay Area to plan to reopen. [The Mercury News]

  • Some school districts are hoping to test children for coronavirus before they arrive on campus could allow them to return safely. [KQED]

  • As the pandemic has spread and the country’s unemployment agencies accumulate huge arrears, Reddit has become an unofficial hotline. [The New York Times]

  • The new Jalisco bar in downtown Los Angeles had been for decades a hotbed for the marginalized of the marginalized: queer Latinos. Like so many gay bars, it is struggling to survive the pandemic. And then there is gentrification. [The Los Angeles Times]

  • National Republicans backed Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recall effort, paying out hundreds of thousands of dollars. Supporters of the recall say they have secured enough signatures to move forward. [Politico]

If you missed it, here’s why there will likely be a recall election, but the governor is less likely to be actually recalled. [The New York Times]

  • As Californians go looking for cheaper homes, they’re bringing the state’s infamous housing crisis with them to places like Idaho and Texas. [The New York Times]

If you missed it, find out how Texas officials tried to woo people (like Elon Musk) and businesses vowing to leave California. [The New York Times]

  • For the first time, Modernism Week will include a discussion on affordable housing. [The Desert Sun]

  • San Francisco has clung to a paper-based building permit system, requiring in-person meetings even during the pandemic. Critics say it allowed corruption and cronyism to flourish unchecked in the Building Inspection Department. [Mission Local]

  • Fresno, a low-wage city that goes to a minimum wage of $ 15, could be the laboratory of an intensifying debate at the national level. [The New York Times]

Learn more about why warehouses are heading to Fresno. [The New York Times]

We are entering a year of pandemic life here in California. For many women who used to put on makeup before leaving home, the decision was easy to use that time for a skincare routine that could double as a meditative self-care time.

It was only a matter of time before the beauty and wellness industry realized that hyper-gendered marketing meant men were not encouraged to do the same.

But as my colleague Sandra Garcia reported, more and more men are starting to see the benefits of wellness, and brands are evolving to respond to them. (See: Pharrell Williams’ new skin care line, developed with his dermatologist, Humanrace.)

Read the full story here.

California Today goes live at 6:30 a.m. PT on weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: Have you been forwarded this email? Sign up for California Today here and read each edition online here.

Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, graduated from UC Berkeley and has reported statewide, including the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles – but she always wants to see more. Follow us here or on Twitter.

California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from UC Berkeley.

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Under pressure, Church of California postpones conference of thousands

“The county is very concerned about the public health impacts that could result from an event like this if it were to take place, especially as we continue to see a high number of cases and a large number of people. in hospitals that are infected with Covid-19, ”Dr. Muntu Davis, the Los Angeles County health official, told reporters earlier on Friday.

“Sun Valley and surrounding areas continue to have some of the highest rates of Covid-19 cases in the county, and have been for some time,” said Dr Davis, “and a rally of this magnitude will create additional opportunities for Covid-19. transmission, both to those attending this gathering and to others in the community.

In its lawsuit last August against Mr. MacArthur and Grace Community Church, Los Angeles County argued that it openly defied the rules against indoor church services.

The county pointed to an interview Mr MacArthur did with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson in which Mr MacArthur said he held a Sunday service for 3,000 people who “hugged each other and they weren’t wearing masks. and they sang songs. “

Mr. MacArthur had argued that government officials had no power to prohibit such services, indicating that the Scriptures stated that “no earthly state has the right to restrict, delimit or prohibit the gathering of believers. ”

Mr MacArthur also downplayed the severity of the virus. In a sermon last August, he drew applause when he said, “There is no pandemic,” and argued that the number of Covid-related deaths had been inflated.

“There is another virus roaming free in the world,” Mr. MacArthur said, “and that is the virus of deception.”

Last week, the United States Supreme Court partially lifted restrictions on religious services in California, blocking a total ban but leaving in place a 25% capacity restriction and a ban on singing and singing. The decision was a partial victory for churches that had argued that restrictions imposed by Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, violated constitutional protection for the free exercise of religion.

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How does the vaccine rollout in California compare to other parts of the country?

(This article is part of California today newsletter. Register to have it delivered to your inbox.)


On Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom presented his vaccination tour in San Diego, where he and local officials held a press conference highlighting the state’s progress from Petco Park, where the first mass vaccination site in the state vaccinated an average of 5,000 people per day. .

There, Mr Newsom said as part of the federal partnership he announced last week, another mass vaccination site was being prepared somewhere in the Central Valley – one of the hardest-hit regions of the state.

[See coronavirus cases, deaths and hospitalizations in California.]

“These sites are important and impactful,” he said. Yet, he said, “not only do we want rapid and efficient distribution, but also fair distribution. We know we have work to do.

Rolling out the vaccine is a pretty big effort for the Newsom administration – and not just because getting many of the state’s roughly 40 million people vaccinated is critical to stopping the spread of the virus.

For Mr. Newsom, widespread frustration with what Californians say is a confusing and piecemeal vaccination campaign is also a major political handicap.

So the governor was quick to point out the magnitude of the challenge in the state, the most populous in the country, and blamed California’s relatively slow progress early in the process to delays in reporting data, which he promised his administration would settle.

The Times has been tracking vaccination efforts across the country for weeks, including with a state-by-state ranking. I asked my colleague Amy Schoenfeld Walker, who worked on the tracker, to explain a little more what he can tell us about the California deployment.

[See the vaccine tracker here.]

Here is our conversation:

The governor has repeatedly referred to California’s ranking among states in the vaccine rollout, and he said part of the reason the state initially ranked low on the list was the delays in data communication. Can you explain how the ranking is made?

States report vaccinations to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the CDC publishes this information daily on its website. There may be reporting delays between healthcare providers, states, and the CDC

Many states, including California, also have their own immunization websites, which don’t always match CDC data due to these reporting delays. The Times uses CDC data on our vaccine tracker to provide a more in-depth comparison between jurisdictions.

How should people think about where California ranks relative to other states and the nation as a whole, especially given the size of the state?

We publish the number of people vaccinated as a percentage of a state’s population to remove state size from the equation. So while California has received and administered more vaccines than any other state, the share of its population that has received a vaccine is lower than 17 other states.

What should Californians remember from the percentage of doses used?

This measures the amount of vaccine administered that actually entered the guns. There are many reasons why this number is less than 100 percent, including delays in reporting by providers and over-allocation of doses to sites with lower vaccine demand. Many of these “unused” injections may also be brought up in some places, as appointments booked for vaccinations are not included in the “doses used” figure. Storing vaccines for mass immunization clinics can also reduce the percentage of doses used.

What are you following more closely in the future? Are there any numbers you hope you can track once states (presumably) start releasing more detailed data?

We hope to see more county-level figures in the coming weeks so we can look at vaccination rates in more detail. How does the deployment vary in different parts of California? We also closely monitor what states share about the race and ethnicity of those who have been vaccinated, as this information is often not collected when someone is vaccinated.

Are there any national trends that particularly worry you or give you hope?

President Biden recently said he is aiming for the country to administer 1.5 million doses of vaccine per day, and we are very close to achieving that goal. We will be watching to see if the United States can maintain or even exceed this pace in the days and weeks to come.

[Here are answers to all your questions about getting vaccinated.]

  • At the worst of the winter wave, nearly a quarter of patients hospitalized with Covid-19 died at Martin Luther King Jr. – by size, the hardest-hit hospital in the hardest-hit county in the state, which now leads the country in cases. This is despite advances in understanding the disease. [The New York Times]

Here’s another look at how the virus has unevenly hit communities in Los Angeles County. [The New York Times]

  • California and other states have moratoriums on evictions and other measures designed to protect vulnerable tenants. But that does not remove the rent arrears, and some of the people who need it most may miss help. [The New York Times]

  • San Francisco officials have sought to reassure residents shaken by violent street attacks on two older men, which left them both dead. One, which resulted in the death of Vicha Ratanapakdee, is of particular concern to members of the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community still rocked by a wave of incidents in 2019 and 2020. [The San Francisco Chronicle]

  • “I’m losing sleep over it.” Punjabi farmers living in the central valley – as in Yuba City, nicknamed “Mini Punjab” – rally with farmers demonstrating in India. [The Guardian]

Learn more about the reasons Indian farmers are protesting. [The New York Times]

  • A multi-year fight between Hollywood agents and TV writers on practices that the authors say created an unfair financial conflict of interest for officers. [The New York Times]

  • Hunter Biden and his family have reportedly moved into a three-story canal house in Venice. Earlier this month, Secret Service cars parked in the famous scenic (and notoriously expensive) neighborhood created “quite a buzz.” [Venice Current]

Friday is the Lunar New Year. But like, well, pretty much every holiday in the past year, the celebrations won’t look like they normally do.

Fortunately, even though the communities cannot come together at festivals and parades, there is always food available.

As Andrea Nguyen wrote for the Food section of The Times – in an article with lots of recipes – as the Vietnamese diaspora has grown, families have adapted Tet traditions.

“Although I don’t live in Vietnam or an enclave in Little Saigon, Lunar New Year remains strong in my DNA,” she wrote. “It’s a state of mind more than a medium.”

If you’re not ready to whip up a feast for a small group, you can support your favorite local restaurants by ordering take out. (The San Francisco Chronicle has this useful list of Lunar New Year promotions.)

And as the Orange County Register reported, there are still flowers.

California Today goes live at 6:30 a.m. PT on weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: Have you been forwarded this email? Sign up for California Today here and read each edition online here.

Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, graduated from UC Berkeley and has reported statewide, including the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles – but she always wants to see more. Follow us here or on Twitter.

California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from UC Berkeley.

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A new front in the fight against vaccines emerges in California

LOS ANGELES – An unemployed stand-up comedian from New Jersey. A conservative actor and podcast host in a white coat. A gadfly who led several unsuccessful campaigns for the Los Angeles Congress. And at least a few who were in Washington on the day of the Capitol riot.

They were part of the motley crew of so-called anti-vaxxers who recently converged on the entrance to the Dodger Stadium mass vaccination site to protest the distribution of a coronavirus vaccine.

The weakly formed coalition represents a new faction in the long-established California anti-vaccine movement. And the protest was the latest sign Californians have become unlikely standard bearers for aggressive vaccine critics even as cases of the virus continue to spread across the state.

California, which has recorded an average of 500 daily virus-related deaths over the past week, will soon become the state with the highest number of coronavirus deaths, overtaking New York.

For months, far-right activists across the country have rallied against mask-wearing rules, trade lockdowns, curfews and local public health officials, presenting the government’s response to the virus as an intrusion into individual freedoms. But as masks and lockdowns become an increasingly common part of American life, some protesters have shifted their anti-government anger to Covid-19 vaccines.

Last week, at Dodger Stadium, the same small but vocal group of protesters who had previously held anti-mask and anti-lockdown protests in the Los Angeles area disrupted a mass vaccination site that averages 6,120 shots per day. About 50 protesters – some carrying signs saying “Don’t be a lab rat!” and ‘Covid = Scam’ – walked to the entrance and forced Los Angeles firefighters to shut down the city-run site for about an hour.

The disruption illustrates the increasingly confrontational inclination of some of the state’s vaccine opponents, who have long argued that mandatory school vaccine laws are overbroad by the government. Many were already skeptical of the science of vaccines, having read disinformation sites online claiming childhood vaccines to be responsible for autism, a claim long disproved.

In California, the anti-vaccine movement has been popular for decades among Hollywood celebrities and wealthy parents, gaining momentum when state lawmakers passed one of the country’s toughest mandatory vaccination laws for children. in 2015. Previously, parents had chosen not to be vaccinated by requesting exemptions. claiming that the vaccines conflicted with their personal beliefs, but the law ruled out that option. The popularity of these exemptions has led to vaccination rates dropping to 80% or less in public and private schools and preschools in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and other affluent communities in the Los Angeles area.

“Anti-vaccine attitudes are as old as vaccines themselves,” said Richard M. Carpiano, who is a professor of public policy and sociology at the University of California at Riverside and who studies the anti-vaccine movement. “The other thing that has to do with that is the wellness movement, this idea that the natural is better. There is a broader type of distrust in Big Pharma, healthcare, and the medical professions. There is a real market of discontent that these groups can sort of grab hold of. “

During the time of Covid-19 in California, vaccine opponents increasingly aligned themselves with pro-Trump, working class people at times keen to adopt extreme tactics to express their beliefs.

Anti-vaccine campaigners in the state have been aggressive at times for a long time. But over the past two years and over the months of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been an increase in confrontational and threat tactics.

They assaulted a lawmaker in Sacramento and shed menstrual blood on lawmakers in State Capitol Senate chambers in 2019, and last spring they helped pressure the Orange County health official to quash ‘he resigns by publicly revealing the home address of the manager. Last month, two weeks before the stadium vaccination protest, a group of women threatened lawmakers during a budget hearing on Capitol Hill, telling senators they were “not shooting your bullet” and that they “hadn’t bought weapons for nothing”.

“I think what is of most concern is that they are escalating,” said State Senator Richard Pan, a pediatrician and Democrat who drafted an immunization law. Mr. Pan was punched in the back in 2019 by an anti-vaccine activist and was likely the target of the Senate chamber blood incident that year.

“This movement not only disseminates false or misinformed vaccine information or vaccine lies, which in itself can be harmful, but they also aggressively intimidate, threaten and intimidate people who try to share accurate vaccine information. “, did he declare.

Protesters who attended and helped organize the Dodger Stadium protest said they did not attempt to enter the site and did not block the entrance. They accused the firefighters of overreacting to their presence and shutting the doors, and said their aim was to educate those awaiting vaccinations, but not to prevent them from driving to the inside to get vaccinated.

One of the protesters, a 48-year-old actor whose first name is Nick and who asked that his last name not be released due to the death threats the group had received, said he did not believe that ‘none of the protesters were part before. anti-vaccine groups established in the state. “It’s all due to this whole Covid-19 crisis,” he said. “It started with wearing the mask and has evolved into concern about the vaccine now. It’s all about civil liberties.

Main organizer Jason Lefkowitz, 42, comedian and waiter at a Beverly Hills restaurant, said the catalyst for the stadium protest was the death of baseball legend Hank Aaron, who died aged 86 January 22. .

Mr Aaron was vaccinated against the coronavirus in Atlanta on January 5, and anti-vaccine activists including Robert F. Kennedy Jr. have used his death to make a connection. The Fulton County medical examiner said there was no evidence he had an allergic or anaphylactic reaction to the vaccine.

“I am not a violent person,” Mr. Lefkowitz said. “No one in my group is violent or physical or anything, but there are a lot of people who don’t want to take this vaccine or be forced into it.

No one was arrested, but city officials, including the police chief, were troubled by the symbolism and global headlines – that a small group of vaccine opponents had temporarily shut down one from the largest vaccination sites in the country and walked and chanted without a mask. among older residents waiting in their cars for their immunization appointments.

“The optic of this is that it turned out that the protesters may have symbolically interfered with that line, and I think we have a greater public responsibility to ensure that this symbolism is not repeated,” said the chef Michel R. Moore in Los Angeles. Police commission in a virtual meeting.

Protesters planned to return to Dodger Stadium and were more spurred on by the attention than disheartened by social media criticism. Mr Lefkowitz said after the fire department closed the doors, he immediately took this as a positive sign for his group.

“They’re helping us indirectly, because now I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s going to be in the news,'” Lefkowitz said.

The ease with which many protesters have shifted from anti-mask ideology to anti-vaccine ideology was highlighted in a Facebook livestream.

A protester at the site, Omar Navarro, a frequent Republican challenger to Representative Maxine Waters, Democrat of California, told his Facebook viewers that he was “ 100% sure ” that the electoral fraud led to the victory of the President Biden, touted the effort to recall the Democrat. California Governor Gavin Newsom and called Democrats a “real bug.”

“They want to cheat us,” Mr. Navarro said in the video. “They want to control us. They want to put this muzzle on our face, this mask, which I don’t use.

One of Southern California’s most prominent anti-vaccine activists, lawyer Leigh Dundas, spoke at a rally in Washington the day before the riot on Capitol Hill and posted videos to the media social as she stood in front of the building on January 6, shouting: “It’s still 1776!”

In May, Ms Dundas led a campaign to expel Orange County health director Dr Nichole Quick for his mask order, which was unpopular in the historically conservative county. Dr Quick has received death threats and received a security detail. During a supervisory board meeting, Ms Dundas ridiculed Dr Quick’s credentials, announced her home address, and said she was going to ask people to do calisthenics with masks at his front door, and when people start dropping like flies, and they do, I’m going to have every first responder within a 30 mile radius to roll the lights and sirens to his front door. entrance.

Dr Quick resigned almost two weeks later.

Kenneth Austin Bennett, the activist who attacked Mr. Pan, the state senator, has been charged with battery misdemeanor and was scheduled to be arraigned again in a few weeks. Rebecca Dalelio, who was arrested after shedding blood from the Senate gallery, has been charged with felony assault on a public official and criminal vandalism and has a preliminary hearing this month. A spokeswoman for State Senator Toni G. Atkins, president pro tempore of the Senate, said a report was filed with law enforcement after women made threatening gun-related remarks in January.

Dr Pan said the lack of arrests at the Dodger Stadium protest suggested anti-vaccine extremists would feel emboldened.

“There’s a story of people intimidating and intimidating, and there’s very little consequence in doing that, and so they escalate, and they escalate, and they escalate,” he said. .

Jan Hoffman contribution to reports.