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Coronavirus: L.A. County reported 135 new cases and two new deaths, June 14
Los Angeles County public health officials reported 135 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases to 1,246,436 as of Monday, June 14. Officials reported two new deaths linked to the coronavirus, for a total 24,415 deaths since tracking began. There were nine fewer hospitalizations reported since Sunday, decreasing the official count of hospitalizations to 212, with 18% in ICU. [Article]
by , Los Angeles Daily News. 2021-06-15
 
Hours ahead of eased coronavirus rules, LA County makes pre-July 4 vaccine push
Hours before most COVID-19 restrictions are lifted across the state, Los Angeles County health officials on Monday, June 14, made another push for residents to get vaccinated, particularly with the Fourth of July holiday on the horizon. The county Department of Public Health noted that unvaccinated residents who get the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot by Sunday will be fully vaccinated by July 4. People who opt for the two-dose Moderna or Pfizer vaccines are too late to be fully vaccinated by the holiday, but getting the first dose will at least provide some protection, officials said. [Article]
by , Los Angeles Daily News. 2021-06-15
 
LA County business owners, employees cautiously optimistic as COVID-19 restrictions largely end today
Life is returning, for the most part, to pre-pandemic normalcy in Los Angeles County and across California — and folks are feeling a mix of apprehension and excitement about it. All but a few of the state’s coronavirus-induced restrictions, which have limited indoor capacity in businesses and required residents to wear masks and keep a safe distance from those outside their household, lifted Tuesday, June 15. [Article]
by , San Gabriel Valley Tribune. 2021-06-15
 
Pasadena Leads State in COVID-19 Vaccination Rate: Report
Pasadena leads the state in terms of COVID-19 vaccination rate, according to a report by ABC. [Article]
by , . 2021-06-15
 
June 15 Will Be A Soft Reopening For Many LA Restaurants And Bars
On June 15, California will ditch its county-by-county, tiered reopening system. Back in April, Governor Gavin Newsom said he thought this was when the state would be ready to "fully reopen." But what does that phrase actually mean? [Article]
by , . 2021-06-15
 
L.A.'s main Chinese drag awaits California COVID reopening
As California prepared to fully reopen, business at YungHo, a Taiwanese breakfast cafe on Valley Boulevard in San Gabriel, was almost back to normal. Customers streamed in to pick up fried turnip cakes, rice porridge and youtiao, a churro-like fried dough, to go. A science teacher placed a large order of black sesame mochi and warm soy milk to celebrate her last Zoom class. But the phone constantly rang with people asking questions that hinted at the upheaval of the last year: “Are you open for indoor dining?” “What items are still on the menu?” In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Valley Boulevard was a “complete ghost town,” the cafe’s manager, Andrew Zhang, recalled. As vaccinations picked up and case counts dropped, Valley slowly came back to life. Locals started to gravitate back to their favorite noodle eatery or dim sum diner. The state’s reopening on Tuesday is further cause for optimism. But it is far from certain whether Valley will regain its old bustle and sense of possibility. And the boulevard will emerge in a new form altered by the pandemic, with some changes, such as stricter hygiene standards and a reliance on delivery apps, likely here to stay. [Article]
by , Los Angeles Times. 2021-06-15
 
Column: For families of COVID victims, an agonizing wait
Roughly 600,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 — a tragedy of monumental proportions. But spare a thought as well for the living. Specifically, family members and others tasked with burying the dead and putting the affairs of the deceased in order. I hadn’t really thought about these challenges before speaking the other day with Christine Bramhall, whose brother, Robert Avila, died in February at the age of 76. “Everyone assumes it was COVID,” the Culver City resident told me. “But I don’t know for sure. I don’t have the death certificate.” I don’t know how to say this delicately, so I’ll just say it: The massive death toll of the pandemic caused a traffic jam at cemeteries and mortuaries, and a months-long backlog in the issuing of death certificates. This backlog, in turn, has rippled through society as bereaved families struggle to resolve the estates of loved ones without the documentation necessary to put matters to rest. “After my brother died, I was told it would take two or three weeks to get his death certificate,” said Bramhall, 74, the executor of his will. “That was four months ago,” she said, the emotion in her voice still raw. Authorities say most of these logistical issues have been worked out. But delays persist. [Article]
by , Los Angeles Times. 2021-06-15
 
Falling COVID rents are behind us. Expect prices to rise
The era of pandemic rent declines appears to be over. After falling through much of the COVID-19 crisis as people relocated to suburbs or moved in with relatives, rents in big cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York are now on the rise. And experts say that prices are likely to keep swinging upward. “Landlords are really eager to charge more rather than charge less,” said Rob Warnock, research associate with Apartment List, whose data show the median rent in Los Angeles is up 3.6% from the bottom. He said he expects the rise to continue, taking until the end of summer for prices in the city to hit February 2020 — or pre-pandemic — levels. In Los Angeles, the median rent for a vacant apartment hit a low of $1,717 in January and has risen ever since, according to data from rental website Apartment List. Other data sources also show a steady increase since the beginning of the year, which analysts attributed to job growth and returning demand for city life as the pandemic ebbs and the economy reopens. Rents fell last year as people moved out of apartments in big cities, because they wanted more space and bought a house or because they lost their jobs and decided to move in with family. At the same time, the typical inflow of people coming for new jobs and college fell. Landlords said they were forced to cut rents to fill an increasing number of vacant apartments. In Los Angeles County, rents fell most on the high end of the market but declined somewhat on the lower end, in typically older, more run-down buildings, according to several data sources. [Article]
by , Los Angeles Times. 2021-06-15
 
California offers $100 million to aid legal cannabis industry
The California Legislature on Monday approved a $100-million plan to bolster California’s legal marijuana industry, which continues to struggle to compete with the large illicit pot market nearly five years after voters approved sales for recreational use. Los Angeles will be the biggest beneficiary of the money, which was proposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to be provided as grants to cities and counties to help cannabis businesses transition from provisional to regular licenses. “California voters approved Proposition 64 five years ago and entrusted the Legislature with creating a legal, well-regulated cannabis market,” said Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), the chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee. “We have yet to reach that goal.” Many cannabis growers, retailers and manufacturers have struggled to make the transition from a provisional, temporary license to a permanent one renewed on an annual basis — a process that requires a costly, complicated and time-consuming review of the negative environmental effects involved in a business and a plan for reducing those harms. [Article]
by , Los Angeles Times. 2021-06-15
 
Skelton: California's assault weapon ban is in legal peril
Gov. Gavin Newsom thinks the federal judge who tossed out California’s assault weapons ban is “a wholly owned subsidiary of the gun lobby and the National Rifle Assn.” Last year, the same judge blocked California’s attempt to require background checks for ammunition buyers. The fact that San Diego-based U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez chose National Gun Violence Awareness Day to release his latest pro-gun ruling “says everything about his character,” the governor asserted last week at a San Francisco news conference as state Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta served notice he’s appealing the case. “Shameful. Shameful in every way, shape or form.” OK. Those are harsh words — unusually strong by a governor attacking a judge. They vented steam and pleased gun control advocates at a time when Newsom is trying to shore up his liberal base to fend off a conservative-led recall attempt. But the tough rhetoric is essentially powerless. The judge’s written opinion, although it began with a nutty comparison of a Swiss Army knife to an AR-15 assault rifle, may be on solid ground concerning a basic point: that what we call assault weapons have become so commonplace they now are protected by the 2nd Amendment. “The banned ‘assault weapons’ are not bazookas, howitzers or machine guns,” the judge wrote. [Article]
by , Los Angeles Times. 2021-06-15
 
Cyber-espionage hack blamed on China hit multiple targets
A cyber-espionage campaign blamed on China was more sweeping than previously known, with suspected state-backed hackers exploiting a device meant to boost internet security to penetrate the computers of critical U.S. entities. Among the suspected targets was the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which provides water to 19 million people and operates some of the largest treatment plants in the world. The hack of Pulse Connect Secure networking devices came to light in April, but its scope is starting to become clear only now. The Associated Press has learned that the hackers targeted telecommunications giant Verizon, and security analysts say dozens of other high-value entities that have not yet been named were also targeted as part of the breach of Pulse Secure, which is used by many companies and governments for secure remote access to their networks. News broke earlier this month that the New York subway system, the country’s largest, was breached. The MWD said it found a compromised Pulse Secure appliance after an alert about the hacking campaign was issued in April by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA. Rebecca Kimitch, a spokeswoman for the MWD, said that the compromised appliance was immediately removed from service and that none of the agency’s systems or processes was known to have been affected. [Article]
by , Los Angeles Times. 2021-06-15
 
Coronavirus: 67.8% of Orange County residents 65 and older fully vaccinated as ofJune 14
The OC Health Care Agency says it will only post COVID-19 case count data on weekdays for the remainder of June, and it will taper off to once-a-week reporting in July. Beginning July 1, OC data will be updated on Tuesdays by 5 p.m. The data will continue to be tracked by CalREDIE’s disease reporting and surveillance system, officials said. As of Monday, June 14, the cumulative total in the county was 255,663 cases since tracking began, with 75 new cases reported from over the weekend. [Article]
by , Orange County Register. 2021-06-15
 
In Orange County, more vaccines, keeping to new rules will help after state’s reopening today
Across California, pandemic restrictions in place for more than a year lifted today, June 15, allowing businesses to open their doors without capacity limits, vaccinated people to go without masks in most situations and large events to resume with fewer rules. The state’s easing of COVID-19 restrictions today comes as roughly 66% of Orange County’s vaccine-eligible population has received at least one dose, inching the county closer to its goal of getting 70% of people at least partially vaccination before July 4, said Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong, OC Health Care Agency’s deputy health officer. The county saw “a lot of progress” this past weekend in people lining up to get a vaccine, boosting numbers one percentage point, she said. [Article]
by , Orange County Register. 2021-06-15
 
San Diego County reaches key benchmark: herd immunity
State workers arrived at Palomar Medical Center Escondido Monday to begin removing the beds, ventilators and other equipment that have filled two floors of the hospital since April 2020, when it looked like California might see the same deadly surge as New York. Coming, as it did, on the eve of June 15, the day that most pandemic restrictions will fall, dismantling the federal medical station at Palomar is the ultimate signal of confidence. Pulling that gear out and trucking it back to warehouses in Sacramento is a clear sign of confidence from the California Office of Emergency Services that it is not likely to be needed any time soon. This spring, noted Mel Russell, Palomar’s chief nursing officer, the plan was to keep the equipment in place through the end of the year. “It’s nice to know that they want to get the stuff out of there a little early,” Russell said. “We’re getting back to normalcy, and this is just another sign of that, I think.” [Article]
by , San Diego Union-Tribune. 2021-06-15
 
California’s life science industry isn’t known for diversity. It’s pledging to change that
California’s life science sector is publicly committing to promote diversity, equity and inclusion after a year marked by national discussions around racial injustice. Biocom California, a trade group that represents 1,400 life science companies across the state, announced its pledge Monday morning. The organization’s commitments include diversifying its board and partnering with schools, professional associations and other groups to support people of color entering the biotech industry. The trade group is calling on member companies to step up, too, asking them to pledge to build a diverse workforce, foster inclusive environments and track and report their progress. These aren’t just idle words, says Joe Panetta, Biocom’s president and CEO. “This has to be a proactive commitment. It has to be meaningful and ongoing, and it has to be measurable,” Panetta said. “And we, Biocom, the association, have to have a major stake in helping to move forward.” [Article]
by , San Diego Union-Tribune. 2021-06-15
 
S.D. supervisors describe investments in mental health, parks spending at budget meetings
San Diego — San Diego County Supervisors described changes to mental health systems, workplace justice and parks in their proposed $7 billion budget for fiscal year 2021-22, and they listened to public feedback on spending priorities at virtual meetings. On Thursday, Supervisor Nathan presented highlights of the proposed county budget at an online town hall. And Monday, the Board of Supervisors held a meeting to receive comments on the changes. The Board will host another public hearing at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday to seek public input. “Our county is in a period of great transition,” Fletcher said at the meeting Thursday. “We have a new Board of Supervisors, we are tackling new issues, we are funding new things. I am very excited about this budget and excited about all of the new opportunities.” [Article]
by , Del Mar Times. 2021-06-15
 
Opinion: We need to make higher education in San Diego more equitable. This bill will help
Undoubtedly, the COVID global pandemic has impacted us all in ways we never imagined. However, it also shed light on many inequities that already existed — inequities in compensation, in access to resources and in availability of opportunities. As our society focuses on a post-pandemic recovery, we must make some systemic changes to provide equitable access to higher education. For a sustainable economic recovery in San Diego County and throughout the state, it is essential that we foster inclusive economic development and invest in San Diego’s diverse talent pipeline. For a complete recovery, we must commit to lifting all segments of society. In San Diego County, approximately one-third of existing jobs typically require a college degree or credential at the entry level. The need for qualified workers is expected to increase in the next decade, when nearly 42 percent of new jobs will require a degree or credential. Meanwhile, the number of San Diego County residents with college degrees does not currently meet the demands of the innovation economy, and demographic trends suggest the gap will widen. In San Diego, Hispanics represent nearly half of the future local talent pool and yet statistically have the lowest higher education degree or credential attainment. Currently, research shows Hispanics are glaringly underrepresented in many of San Diego’s fastest growing fields. [Article]
by , San Diego Union-Tribune. 2021-06-15
 
Redistricting could force some San Diego cannabis dispensaries to close
Some cannabis dispensaries in San Diego could be forced to close if new City Council district boundaries shake up how many dispensaries are within each district, prompting leaders of the local cannabis industry to lobby for a solution. Each of the city’s nine council districts are limited to four dispensaries under the 2014 city law that allowed legal dispensaries in San Diego for the first time. Three of the nine districts have already reached that cap. If new council district boundaries being drawn this year move some dispensaries into different districts, some districts might then exceed the cap of four. City Attorney Mara Elliott said dispensaries in a district where the cap is exceeded would not have to close immediately, but she said they would likely have to close when their five-year conditional use permits expire. [Article]
by , San Diego Union-Tribune. 2021-06-15
 
Unsafe at Work: A look at harassment, discrimination inside San Diego County's largest employers
Louise LaFoy, a longtime secretary at the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, was exiting an elevator during a routine trip to the Kearny Mesa headquarters when she crossed paths with Assistant Sheriff Richard Miller. When she said hello, he put his arms out for a hug. Despite her discomfort, LaFoy felt she couldn’t refuse. The two were alone, and no one saw him slide his hand down onto her buttocks, she said in a lawsuit. LaFoy was mortified and rushed away. Her mind was racing. Miller was a supervisor. He should know better. For years after the 2014 incident, LaFoy did what she could to avoid the assistant sheriff. But in 2017, Miller showed up at her office for a meeting. While directing him to a nearby conference room, he again drew LaFoy in for a hug. She said she hoped the presence of a nearby co-worker would protect her. But he groped her again, her lawsuit said. It took LaFoy months to work up the courage to report being fondled, she said in her suit. [Article]
by , San Diego Union-Tribune. 2021-06-15
 
San Diego County's Remaining Vaccination Super Stations Closing By End Of The Month
San Diego County's remaining vaccination super stations are getting ready to close. [Article]
by , KPBS - San Diego. 2021-06-15
 
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