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People with old records deserve a chance to move forward
Where I live, in South Central Los Angeles, people long to feel safe. In part, this is because California’s decades-long over-use of incarceration has been making our community more dangerous. Research shows that jails and prisons are not effective at ending cycles of violence. They also leave a record—usually for mistakes committed early in life—that permanently limits a person’s access to jobs, housing, and other essentials for participating in our society. As a result, millions of people in California—along with their families—are stuck in some level of post-conviction poverty and subject to the desperation that often goes with it. [Article]
by , Orange County Register. 2022-07-01
 
Column: ‘CARE Courts’ are coming to address mental illness. Is California ready for them?
Thousands of people with mental illness live on the streets of California, and virtually everyone wants to find a way to help them. Proposals giving government more leverage to put some of them into court-ordered treatment are moving through the Legislature quickly with bipartisan support. But the near unanimity among lawmakers has not erased concern about whether enough resources will be there to make this work, or the larger foundational question about when it is appropriate for the state to curtail personal liberty in the interest of the individual and the public. Several bills seek to overhaul how mental illness is addressed across the state, but most of the discussion has been over two measures. One would create a legal process to put people into treatment through so-called CARE Court. The other would make it easier to place people under conservatorship, which is when a judge appoints a person or organization to care for adults who cannot care for themselves or manage their own finances. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposal for Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment Court was approved on a 39-0 vote in the state Senate last month and recently breezed through two Assembly committees. [Article]
by , San Diego Union-Tribune. 2022-07-01
 
Minimum wage rates go up Friday in LA city, unincorporated LA County
Minimum-wage workers in the Southland will get a modest pay boost starting Friday, July 1, with the hourly rate in the city of Los Angeles increasing to $16.04 and in unincorporated areas of L.A. County to $15.96. The minimum wage had been $15. [Article]
by , Los Angeles Daily News. 2022-07-01
 
San Diego homeless enforcement violates court orders, attorneys say
San Diego might be running afoul of court orders that dictate how city officials are supposed to clean homeless encampments, discard property and enforce a law about blocking a sidewalk, according to an inewsource analysis and two attorneys who fight for unsheltered San Diegans. [Article]
by , KPBS - San Diego. 2022-07-01
 
Coronavirus: L.A. County reported 5,763 new cases and nine more deaths, June 30
Los Angeles County public health officials reported 5,763 new cases of the coronavirus since Wednesday, bringing the total number of cases to 3,118,053 as of Thursday, June 30. Officials reported nine more deaths linked to the coronavirus since Wednesday for a total of 32,334 deaths since tracking began. [Article]
by , Los Angeles Daily News. 2022-07-01
 
Wildfire concerns prompt some SoCal park closures for Fourth of July
Concerns about increased fire danger sparked by the Fourth of July holiday have prompted the closure of at least two Southern California parklands. The 1,200-acre North Etiwanda Preserve in Rancho Cucamonga will be closed from 8 p.m. Friday until 6:30 a.m. Tuesday due to increased fire danger, officials said. The closure is necessary “to provide for public safety and prevent the ignition of a wildfire that can damage or destroy the natural resources of the region,” the city of Rancho Cucamonga said in a statement. Additionally, portions of the Angeles National Forest, including Millard Campground, will be closed from Friday through Thursday. The Chaney Road gate to the Millard Day Use Area and the campground will be closed to vehicular traffic those days. The closures arrive amid significantly dry conditions that have left many fire officials worried about the potential spread of flames. The first three months of the year were the driest ever recorded in California, leaving fuel moisture levels — or the amount of moisture in the vegetation — dangerously low. [Article]
by , Los Angeles Times. 2022-07-01
 
SANDAG gets $300 million from state budget to move tracks off Del Mar bluffs
The San Diego Association of Governments received more than $300 million from the state's budget to move train tracks off Del Mar bluffs, the agency announced Friday. [Article]
by , KPBS - San Diego. 2022-07-01
 
Minimum wage in L.A. rises to $16.04 an hour beginning today
Minimum wage workers in Los Angeles will see their pay increase to $16.04 an hour starting Friday, while a statewide initiative that would have increased pay to $18 an hour by 2025 failed to garner enough signatures to make the November ballot. Workers in unincorporated L.A. County will also see their minimum hourly wage rise, to $15.96, following an increase last year to about $15 an hour. Efforts to increase the minimum wage were spearheaded by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, who announced the city’s hike in February. This city’s increase is expected to benefit more than 600,000 L.A. residents, according to Garcetti’s office. “We fought to raise the minimum wage because hard work should always be met with the dignity, respect, and opportunity that fair pay brings,” Garcetti said in a statement announcing the decision. “Our decision to end poverty wages in L.A. caused a ripple effect across the nation, and this additional increase is the latest reason to celebrate today — and a reminder of how our fight for better wages is far from finished.” The raise affects any employee who works at least two hours a week within the geographic boundaries of the city of Los Angeles and is entitled to earn the California minimum wage, according to the city’s Bureau of Contract Administration. This includes full-time, part-time and temporary workers, regardless of immigration status. [Article]
by , Los Angeles Times. 2022-07-01
 
Several Southern California cities cancel fireworks shows
Multiple Southern California fireworks shows have been canceled following a state investigation into the company hired to provide the pyrotechnics. The cities of Lancaster, Palmdale, La Puente and Lynwood were among those forced to cancel or revise their shows after the California State Fire Marshal raided the warehouse of Exposhows Inc. in Kern County this week on suspicion of illegal activity, officials said. “This company had fraudulently contracted with nearly a dozen cities across the state to perform Fourth of July shows ... and now unfortunately those cities are left trying to find other fireworks companies,” chief Mike Richwine of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said during a news conference Thursday. Richwine said the company was unlicensed and in possession of fireworks that had counterfeit State Fire Marshal seals, as well as homemade explosives. “We believe they violated at least 15 various fireworks and explosives laws and regulations,” Richwine said. [Article]
by , Los Angeles Times. 2022-07-01
 
County, Paz Dominguez Reach $100k Separation Agreement
The county of Humboldt and embattled county Auditor-Controller Karen Paz Dominguez have reached an agreement that has her stepping down effective July 1 and receiving a  payment of just more than $92,000, including her salary and "payments in lieu of insurance benefits, and a flat amount of $15,000," according to an announcement. [Article]
by , North Coast Journal Weekly. 2022-07-01
 
Free transit fare pilot program for foster care youth goes into effect
A pilot program going into effect Friday will offer free transit fares for people 18 through 24 who have previously been in and exited the foster care system, or who are currently in Extended Foster Care. [Article]
by , KPBS - San Diego. 2022-07-01
 
LA Renters Will Get Stronger Eviction Protections Starting In July. Here’s What You Need To Know
Throughout the pandemic, navigating tenant protections in Los Angeles County has been a high stakes game. Losing puts you at risk of homelessness. But good luck figuring out the rules. They’re often incomprehensible — and constantly changing. For millions of Angelenos, those rules are about to change yet again. [Article]
by , . 2022-07-01
 
Victims of violence want California courts to prioritize child safety in custody cases
SACRAMENTO — In late February, a Sacramento man shot and killed his three young daughters during a court-ordered supervised visit at a church that their mother had asked a judge not to approve. A Los Angeles man is serving 25 years to life in prison for suffocating his 5-year-old son to death in his car seat in 2017, a move he admitted was to punish his estranged wife, the boy’s mother, who was fighting for full custody. Earlier this month, a 6-year-old boy and his mother were killed at their Baldwin Park home in a shooting that police say was connected to a domestic dispute with her boyfriend. In the aftermath of these and other tragedies, domestic abuse survivors — including the mothers of slain children — are pushing for reform of the California family court system when it comes to custody and visitation proceedings. In numerous cases, they say, judges and mediators dismissed their requests and ignored warning signs about violent spouses and guardians. Earlier this week, survivors of violent crimes stood alongside state Sen. Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) outside the Sacramento Capitol to call for the courts to better recognize signs of abuse and to err on the side of the child’s safety when it comes to custody deals. Currently, the court system is too focused on an even balance of custody with both parents, regardless of a history of one parent’s — usually the father’s — domestic abuse and violence, Rubio said. “The fact is victims and their children may be at greater danger during separation and when they have restraining orders,” Rubio said at a press conference Monday. “Their abusers are angry and will do anything to harm them, ruin them, assault them, kill them and go as far as killing their own children in retaliation. The system failed them.” [Article]
by , Los Angeles Times. 2022-07-01
 
Who is the FDA’s Juul ban supposed to help?
There’s something terrifying about a government so powerful that it can shut down your business overnight without even bothering to offer substantive arguments. Yet that’s what Food and Drug Administration bureaucrats just did to the e-cigarette company Juul. While Juul got a stay of execution from a court, the company is one of the many victims of the FDA’s counterproductive war on nicotine. Most of the other victims will be cigarette smokers. [Article]
by , Orange County Register. 2022-07-01
 
Monkeypox spread at two large parties in L.A. County, officials say
Los Angeles County officials have reported limited local transmission of monkeypox, with some recent cases involving people who attended large events here and infected people who haven’t traveled out of state. “There’s been some what we call ‘community transmission.’ That is, it’s not from travelers or people who went elsewhere and contracted monkeypox somewhere else. It’s actually they got monkeypox here in L.A. County, because it was transmitted from someone else here in L.A. County who had monkeypox,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said at this week’s Board of Supervisors meeting. Overall, there were 30 presumptive or confirmed monkeypox cases in L.A. County as of Thursday. No one in the county had been hospitalized or died from the disease as of last week. Meanwhile, the geographic impact of the monkeypox outbreak continues to expand. Orange County reported its first presumptive case Wednesday. Public health officials in Riverside and Santa Clara counties did likewise last week. Here’s what you need to know about the disease and its spread: Where is monkeypox spreading in L.A. County? “The majority of people who have been diagnosed here in L.A. County with monkeypox have been folks who attended two very big parties,” Ferrer said this week. “So we’ve done a lot of very specific outreach to the attendees at these events.” Among humans, monkeypox can be transmitted through sustained skin-to-skin contact with someone who has an active rash. In some cases in the current outbreak, during the early stages of illness, the rash has been found in the genital area and in or around the anus. Health officials have observed that some recent cases have been among men who have sex with men. But officials have emphasized that anyone can get or transmit monkeypox, including family and friends caring for those who are ill. The virus also can be transmitted through shared bedding and clothing. It’s also possible it can be spread through kissing and breathing at very close range. [Article]
by , Los Angeles Times. 2022-07-01
 
California Lawmakers Reject Ballot Proposal That Aimed To End Forced Prison Labor
Samual Brown was on the front lines of the pandemic, sanitizing and disinfecting prison cells. Diagnosed with asthma, Brown, 45, said he feared contracting the virus. He wanted to quit his prison job. He couldn’t. “My supervisor told me … I had to do this job,” Brown said. [Article]
by , . 2022-07-01
 
Child COVID-19 vaccination rates lag behind general population, county says
The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency was encouraging families Friday to get their children vaccinated against COVID-19 to counter inoculation rates that are lower than the general population for children ages 5-17. [Article]
by , KPBS - San Diego. 2022-07-01
 
Hearing date set for injunction designed to force changes in how San Diego County jails are run
From 2006 through 2021, 203 people died while in custody in San Diego County jails. Ten more have died so far this year. Now, activists who are trying to force changes in the way the jails are run have a court date. [Article]
by , KPBS - San Diego. 2022-07-01
 
Coronavirus cases jump at L.A. County workplaces
An upswing in coronavirus infections has spawned a rise in worksite case clusters in Los Angeles County, prompting health officials to recommend additional measures aimed at tamping down transmission, including reducing crowding and, if there’s a suspected outbreak, expanding remote work. “With the continued increase in cases, and now as you’re seeing the corresponding increase in hospitalizations … we’re really worried,” L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said of the region’s overall trends. “Our case numbers, they are staying pretty high,” Ferrer said. And she expressed concern about the rising numbers of even more contagious Omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5, at a time when more people have lowered their guard and shed their masks. Health officials have since April tracked a “fairly steady increase in reported worksite case clusters,” including 301 in the past week, up from 251 the week prior, according to Ferrer. That’s a 20% increase between those two weeks, worse than the prior week-over-week increase of 12%. A cluster means at least three coronavirus cases have been documented at a worksite within a 14-day period. Under the early-alert framework established by the county, officials consider that number of clusters to be at a level of high concern. The number of worksite outbreaks in a single week is at its highest level since early March. There are a number of factors likely fueling the increase, Ferrer told reporters Thursday. Those include fewer staff members and customers wearing masks, more meetings and events being held indoors on site and some employees coming to work even though they have COVID-19 symptoms. [Article]
by , Los Angeles Times. 2022-07-01
 
Inside Orange County Starbucks’ employees attempts to unionize
When a Starbucks in Buffalo, New York, voted to be the first in the coffee chain to unionize, it set off a catena of reactions across the country, including at several shops in Orange County. [Article]
by , Orange County Register. 2022-07-01
 
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