Hello! I’m housing, health and agriculture reporter Kate Cimini for The Salinas Californian with your daily headlines.
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Newsom orders curfew in purple-tiered counties
Starting Saturday and extending through Dec. 21, Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered all purple-tiered counties (currently 41 of the state’s 58) to shutter non-essential work, gatherings and movement between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. amid a sudden and rapid surge of COVID-19 cases.
In the last 10 days, new dailycoronavirus cases have doubled across California, hitting the 1 million-case mark as it did so. More than 18,000 have died from the virus.
In some places, patients are testing positive for both COVID-19 and influenza, the Visalia Times-Delta has reported. But Redding’s police chief and other law enforcement officials have said they do not plan to enforce the curfew.
The state has blamed the increase in cases mainly on people who have grown fatigued coping with the virus and have ignored public health warnings to not socialize with friends and family members. Those warnings have been more forceful in advance of Thanksgiving next week.
“The virus is spreading at a pace we haven’t seen since the start of this pandemic and the next several days and weeks will be critical to stop the surge. We are sounding the alarm,” said Newsom. “It is crucial that we act to decrease transmission and slow hospitalizations before the death count surges. We’ve done it before and we must do it again.”
“We may need to take more stringent actions if we are unable to flatten the curve quickly,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. “Taking these hard, temporary actions now could help prevent future shutdowns.”
The order does not apply to individuals experiencing homelessness or essential workers. Wondering if you can go to the grocery store or walk your dog after 10 p.m.? Check out our extensive Q&A about the curfew.
With Thanksgiving fast approaching, The Desert Sun has suggestions for how to safely celebrate the holiday. Long story, short: get tested, keep it small and keep it local.
Monterey County DA won’t charge Biden sexual assault accuser with perjury
Despite finding that the woman who accused President-elect Joe Biden of sexual assault did not tell the truth about her credentials under oath, the Monterey County District Attorney has declined to charge her with perjury.
Earlier this year, Tara Reade accused Biden of assaulting her while she worked as an aide for him at the U.S. Capitol in 1993. She served as an expert witness for the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office between 2006 and 2019 in domestic violence cases.
She misled the court about her education and whether she had taken the California Bar exam, said Berkley Brannon, chief assistant DA.
Prosecutors have declined to charge her because they don’t have enough evidence she knowingly deceived the court or that her testimonies would have affected the trial outcomes, he said.
Stockton mayor who championed guaranteed-income pilot program concedes election
Michael Tubbs, the Stockton mayor who gained national attention after starting a privately funded program to give poor people $500 a month in guaranteed income, conceded that he lost his bid for reelection Wednesday to Republican Kevin Lincoln, the Stockton Record reported.
Four years after winning his seat with more than 70% of the vote, Tubbs lost by more than 10 percentage points. Wednesday, the Democrat was down more than 12,000 votes, with fewer than 12,000 votes left to be counted.
In 2019 Tubbs started the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED), a program that gave 125 Stockton residents $500 a month for two years. Recipients could spend the money however they wished. Since SEED’s inception, mayors in 25 other cities have pledged to start their own guaranteed income programs.
Police-led training on ‘crime-free housing’ disproportionately targeted Black and Latino renters
The L.A. Times investigated “crime-free housing” in more than a thousand cities across the country and found the collection of policies was routinely was used to exclude Black and Latino renters from communities.
The programs vary by jurisdiction but are aimed at empowering landlords to evict or exclude tenants who have had brushes with law enforcement. The journalists found a pattern: As Black people and Latinos moved to the suburbs in search of safer neighborhoods and cheaper housing, crime-free housing policies often came soon after. In the Golden State at least 147 cities and counties have adopted these policies.
Crime-free housing training manuals referred to criminals as “weeds” and “the two-legged urban predator.”
The libraries that shaped an L.A.-grown sci-fi legend
The L.A. Times has published a visual exploration of the local libraries, bus routes and bookstores that shaped science fiction writer Octavia E. Butler’s works. The first science fiction writer to receive the MacArthur Fellowship, Butler published 15 books spanning multiple series as well as short stories, essays and speeches. Butler, who died in 2006, won both the Hugo and the Nebula multiple times for her contributions to the genre.
In 2020, her “prophetic” works such as “Kindred” have taken on new meaning for readers, rushing to the top of the bestseller list and bookclub reading lists.
The scrolling visuals include copies of bus passes, pages from her daily planner (some of which just say in all-caps, “WRITE,”) and photos of her book slips from the public library.
Other Golden State stories of note
- The San Francisco Public Defender’s Office has launched a tool called Copwatch, believed to be among the first in the nation that allows the public to search police records of misconduct, shootings, civil suits and certain complaints, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Wednesday.
- The Associated Press reported California’s unemployment agency opened up an unknown number of people to potential identity theft this year when it sent out 38 million pieces of mail that contained Social Security numbers, a state audit found.
- “Forever chemicals” that cause cancer have tainted nearly 200 drinking water wells in the state tested over the past year, CalMatters reported. These industrial chemicals have been linked to cancer and other serious health conditions.
A lighter note
Last, but not least, Monterey County resident Brian Mack ‘relished’ snapping a shot of the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile as it made its way across Big Sur’s famous Bixby Bridge. Mack shared it in a local Facebook group to aBUNdant praise.
In California is a roundup of news from across USA Today network newsrooms. Also contributing: L.A. Times, San Francisco Chronicle, CalMatters and The Associated Press.
Kate Cimini is a journalist for The Californian covering ag, housing and health. Share your story at (831) 776-5137 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.Subscribeto support local journalism.