Counties across the state are shutting back down as they set new records when it comes to cases of coronavirus and hospitalizations. And the Golden State Killer admits killing and kidnapping over two dozen people. Plus: Stick around for an Election Day preview of what’s coming to a ballot near you.
It’s Arlene Martínez, back from furlough and ready to jumpstart your “COVID-19 cases are soaring so keep those masks handy” week.
But first, the Starbucks barista in San Diego who refused to serve a customer without a face covering has racked up over $90,000 in tips. Donors found out about him via the customer’s outraged Facebook post intended to shame him.
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Bars ordered to close in Riverside County, where ICU occupancy rate hits 99%
A surge of cases in Riverside County has translated into 99% of intensive care beds being occupied — a 19% increase over the last two weeks. That means there are just five empty ICU beds remaining countywide.
So health officials are preparing to implement their surge plan, which means converting hospital beds to ICU beds. Of the 380 ICU patients in Riverside County, 28% are confirmed COVID-19 patients.
As cases of the coronavirus spike, health officials order bars to close Tuesday: “People don’t social distance well after a couple drinks.”
Los Angeles, Fresno, San Joaquin, Kings, Kern, Imperial and Tulare counties are also under a mandatory bar closure order.
Citing profitability and safety concerns,some Coachella Valley businesses never reopened.
In neighboring L.A. County, officials confirmed 22 new coronavirus-related deaths and 2,903 new COVID-19 cases Monday, the highest single-day totals since the pandemic hit the U.S.
‘Guilty.’ ‘I admit.’
Former police officer Joseph DeAngelo, dubbed the “Golden State Killer,”pleaded guilty to killing 13 people during a decades-long crime spree of terror that spanned Ventura, Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Contra Costa, Orange, San Joaquin, Yolo, Alameda and Stanislaus counties.
- Among the victims were Charlene and Lyman Smith, whose daughter was in the room as DeAngelo admitted bludgeoning the couple to death in 1980 with a fire log in Ventura.
- On Sunday, the first of a six-part documentary on the violent predator’s life premiered on HBO.
Bribes, masks and NASA on Native America pictographs
LA City Councilman José Huizar allegedly received $1.5 million in cash and other benefits from developers to help get their projects approved. LA Mag went through the 116-page affidavit: Here are some of the scandalous, made-for-TV highlights.
A woman who refused to wear a mask at Trader Joe’sin North Hollywood yelled “Democratic pigs” and profanities as she was escorted from the store. We fact-checked her and others’ claims that masks cause breathing problems. In short, no.
NASA wants the sprawling Santa Susana Field Laboratorydeemed a cultural site to protect ancient Native American pictographs. Some San Fernando Valley residents see it as a ploy by NASA to avoid spending $500 million to clean up decades of nuclear and other hazardous waste.
In cramped living spaces, heightened COVID risks
Detained immigrants in the Mojave Desert say staff is spraying hazardous materials in poorly ventilated areas to disinfect their living space, causing people to develop bloody noses and burning eyes and to burst into coughing fits.
A coronavirus outbreak at a farmworker housing facilityin Ventura County has infected at least 95 residents there, and test results are pending for another 100 people. The county’s caseload is soaring, with 404 new cases reported and 70 patients hospitalized Monday.
- The state has asked county health officials to shut down its bars, but it’s not part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s mandatory order. County officials say they never allowed alcohol-only establishments to reopen in the first place.
“If you want social distancing, don’t come to work”: For low-paid farmworkers who have no safety net, there wasn’t a choice to work, even as impossible distancing conditions made the spread of the coronavirus inevitable.
What else we’re talking about
Police unions in Los Angeles and other cities give millionsto lawmakers now looking at reforming their departments.
The Ventura County Star asked its six law enforcement agencies where they stood on eight use-of-force policies linked to fewer deaths of civilians in places they’re implemented. They do about half of them, the analysis found.
Already topped by activists in San Francisco and Los Angeles, the city of Ventura will hold two public meetings to determine the fate of its statue of Father Junipero Serra, the Spanish priest who helped establish California’s Catholic mission system in the 18th century and who is also accused of abuses (including enslavement) against Native Americans.
As Confederate statues and symbols are removed nationwide, activists are calling for monuments of those who contributed to the genocide of Indigenous people to be toppled as well.
Netflix in July: Comings and goings.
For the people, by the people (and special interests)
As Golden State voters take to the ballot this November, they’ll be voting on much more than whether President Donald Trump will spend another four years running the country.
CalMatters put together what else they’ll weigh in on the ballot. Here are a few highlights (but there are many more!):
Fire and real estate lobbyists got together to do two things on residential property taxes. The first allows homeowners over the age of 55 (and a limited number of others) to take a portion of their Prop. 13 tax rates with them if they move, potentially freeing up housing inventory. The other lets people inherit homes and keep the Prop. 13 tax base only if they plan to live there and only up to $1 million of its value (we’re the only state that passes on tax breaks, by the way).
Remind me how Prop. 13 works: It caps property taxes by 2% per year so long as ownership of a property doesn’t change, which particularly benefits longtime owners (You might remember how actor Jeff Bridges and his siblings pay $5,700 in annual property taxes for the coastal Malibu home their parents bought in the 1950s).
Why is fire involved? A version of this failed big last year when it was on that ballot; this version sends revenue collected from this to the state’s fire coffers, which is why the union supports it.
Teacher and service public-sector unions worked on the other proposed change to Prop. 13, this one to raise property taxes only on commercial landlords with over $3 million in holdings.
The bail bond industry put on the ballot a measure to restore cash bail, which was eliminated. In its place, judges could decide whether someone arrested posed a big enough risk to themselves or others they should be jailed.
Law enforcement groups put onto the ballot measures that would reinstate some of the penalties for certain misdemeanors and violating parole earlier ballot measures repealed.
Lyft, Uber and Doordash want to repeal a major part of AB 5, the “gig worker” law that turned most of its drivers into employees. They want them classified as independent contractors and the companies offered some minor other benefits (like a stipend for health insurance).
That’s it for today. See you on Tuesday.
In California is a roundup of news from across USA TODAY Network newsrooms. Also contributing: The Guardian, The Daily News, Los Angeles Times, CalMatters.
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