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LA County hospital beds continue to fill, topping 4,500 patients, as omicron’s toll widens
Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 rose on Monday, Jan. 17 to a mark not seen since early February, as the omicron variant of the coronavirus continued its relentless toll on the population. [Article]
by , Daily Breeze. 2022-01-18
Black residents in California trail in homeownership, mortgage approvals
Buzz: In a nod to Martin Luther King Day, let’s acknowledge that a Black household in California is 43% less likely than a White family to live in a home they own and rejected for a mortgage at a 48% faster rate. Sources: Ownership data from 2019 U.S. Census Bureau and Zillow’s analysis of federal loan rejection data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act from 2020. [Article]
by , Daily Breeze. 2022-01-18
Ballot proposal would raise billions for electric cars, charging stations
Several billion dollars annually for new electric-vehicle incentives and new charging stations could be coming down the pike if a proposed “Clean Cars and Clean Air Act” qualifies for the ballot and gets the thumbs up from voters. The proposal, which would also raise hundreds of millions for wildfire prevention measures, would generate the money one of two ways: increasing taxes on personal income over $2 million or increasing taxes on corporate net income over $20 million. [Article]
by , Daily Breeze. 2022-01-18
Majority of US states pursue nuclear power for emission cuts
As climate change pushes states in the U.S. to dramatically cut their use of fossil fuels, many are coming to the conclusion that solar, wind and other renewable power sources might not be enough to keep the lights on. [Article]
by , Daily Breeze. 2022-01-18
US plans $50B wildfire fight where forests meet civilization
The Biden administration plans to significantly expand efforts to stave off catastrophic wildfires that have torched areas of the U.S. West by more aggressively thinning forests around areas called “hotspots” where nature and neighborhoods collide. [Article]
by , Daily Breeze. 2022-01-18
Rural California Residents Confront Growing Risks From Extreme Weather
The lights have turned back on in this community in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, more than two weeks after a large snowstorm knocked out power in the longest blackout anyone here can remember. Alta Sierra, located 60 miles northeast of Sacramento, generally only gets a few inches of snow each winter. But on Dec. 27, snow piled up to 3 feet high and knocked an estimated 2,000 trees onto power lines, causing blackouts for some 200,000 customers of PG&E Corp. across a four-county area. Officials with California’s largest utility said they restored power to about half those customers within the first 24 hours. It took weeks to restore the rest because of issues including snow-blocked roads and toppled poles and lines on many streets. U.S. electricity customers experienced an average of about eight hours of power interruptions in 2020, compared with four in 2016, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Much of the difference stems from events such as hurricanes, wildfires and snowstorms, the government agency said. Federal scientists and other researchers say such events are happening more frequently due to climate change. “Generally speaking, we are in an era of amplified extreme events in terms of cost, frequency and diversity,” said Adam Smith, a climatologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. [Article]
by , . 2022-01-18
Site to request free at-home COVID-19 tests soft-launched by White House
The Biden administration on Tuesday quietly launched its website for Americans to request free at-home COVID-19 tests, a day before the site was scheduled to officially go online. [Article]
by , Daily Breeze. 2022-01-18
Activists Want A Pause on Encampment Sweeps As COVID Surges In Homeless Shelters
Homeless services providers and advocates are calling on L.A. leaders to put encampment cleanups on hold as COVID-19 outbreaks surge in shelters. [Article]
by , . 2022-01-18
LA Fire Chief Is Retiring, Making Way For The Department's First Female Leader
Los Angeles Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas is retiring after almost 40 years with the department. Mayor Eric Garcetti has nominated top deputy Kristen Crowley as the city's first female fire chief. [Article]
by , . 2022-01-18
Workers Are Calling Out Sick In Droves, Leaving Employers Scrambling
Omicron has left employers around the country short of workers. Sometimes very short. At United Airlines, CEO Scott Kirby said nearly a third of the workforce called out sick on one day alone at Newark Liberty International Airport. At MOM's Organic Market, some of its East Coast stores have had to deal with 15 out of 50 workers out on a single day. And at the community health center Mary's Center in Washington, D.C., half of the COVID-19 Response Team tested positive for the virus over the past few weeks. And yet, doors remain open. The show must go on. [Article]
by , . 2022-01-18
L.A. County logs nearly tenfold increase in coronavirus cases
Los Angeles County on Monday reported more than 31,500 new coronavirus cases — marking a nearly tenfold increase from the number of new cases tallied a month ago and offering a stark reminder of the lasting power of the highly contagious Omicron variant. Officials announced 31,576 new cases Monday, as well as 27 related deaths, compared with 3,360 new cases reported on Dec. 17. Monday’s figures, officials cautioned, might be undercounts because of reporting delays over the weekend and holiday. “On this national holiday where we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, we remember his deep commitment to health equity,” said L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer. “As Reverend King memorably said, ‘Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and the most inhuman because it often results in physical death.’” And that tragic reality, Ferrer said, has played out again and again throughout the pandemic. [Article]
by , Los Angeles Times. 2022-01-18
Problems persist in L.A. County jails despite federal oversight
Many inmates with serious mental illnesses in Los Angeles County jails continue to suffer in isolation and with little treatment, more than six years after the Sheriff’s Department reached a settlement with the federal government. The county remains out of compliance with the settlement’s main requirements — ensuring that inmates with serious mental illnesses receive regular treatment, out-of-cell time and safe housing, according to a court-appointed monitor. In Men’s Central Jail, many cells were overflowing with garbage, and filth was spread on the walls, with a pile of razors abandoned in a hallway, the monitor, Nicholas E. Mitchell, said in a report. Last June, about 40% of inmates in the nation’s largest county jail system were diagnosed with mental illness — 5,620 in all. [Article]
by , Los Angeles Times. 2022-01-18
'Gimme Shelter': What to expect in California housing in 2022
Californians started this year with a major change in housing development. On Jan. 1, a new state law began allowing property owners to build at least duplexes on nearly all residential parcels, ending the dominance of single-family home-only zoning that has shaped the state’s building patterns. What will happen in housing this year? On this episode of “Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Podcast,” we discuss Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plans to pump $2 billion more into homelessness prevention efforts, why lawmakers might turn away from further zoning changes and how the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to affect tenants and landlords in Los Angeles and elsewhere. Our guest is Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland), who is the new chairwoman of the Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development. Wicks discusses her priorities and how she plans to shape the state’s response to its affordable housing challenges. [Article]
by , Los Angeles Times. 2022-01-18
California surpasses 7 million coronavirus cases
California has recorded more than 7 million coronavirus cases, after its fastest accumulation of reported infections in the history of the pandemic. The unprecedented count, recorded in California’s databases late Monday, comes one week after the state tallied its 6 millionth coronavirus case. Even during last winter’s disastrous wave, new infections increased more slowly. It took a little over three weeks for California to get from its 2 millionth cumulative coronavirus case to its 3 millionth. The stunning speed of new infections is a testament to the Omicron variant’s transmissibility, believed to be two to four times more contagious than the Delta variant, which in turn was more infectious than earlier strains that pummeled California last winter. California’s daily COVID-19 death rate has also risen dramatically. For the seven-day period that ended Sunday, the state was recording 103 deaths a day; that’s roughly double the last week of 2021, when 55 deaths a day were tallied. At its worst, California’s COVID-19 death rate over a weekly period was 545 deaths a day, reached during late January 2021. [Article]
by , Los Angeles Times. 2022-01-18
Op-Ed: In the Omicron surge, I am my family's anger translator
My 88-year-old Latina mother, triple vaxxed and a diligent mask wearer, is struggling with COVID. Two weeks ago, I sat outside her apartment in my camping chair as her blood pressure plunged 40 points in one day, her heart rate dropped to 50, and her hacking cough prevented her from getting any sleep. We couldn’t get her in for treatment in an emergency room, nor could we access any of the antiviral drugs or monoclonal antibody treatments we’ve heard so much about. I couldn’t even get a her a telemedicine appointment with a doctor — any doctor — for three days. And my mom is one of the fortunate who has full medical coverage through Kaiser Permanente, but that’s not enough when the healthcare system is under siege to the point that the governor calls in the National Guard to help. It took eight hours just to get a call back from a nurse to learn whether she could be seen in the ER. This, it seems, is what “learning to live with COVID” looks like. As she struggles with COVID infection and my extended family grapples with COVID confusion, I am their anger translator. [Article]
by , Los Angeles Times. 2022-01-18
Coronavirus: 24,639 new cases reported over long holiday weekend in Orange County
The OC Health Care Agency reported 24,639 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, Jan. 18, increasing the cumulative total since tracking began in the county to 455,314. The count was from Saturday to Tuesday, and averaged of about 6,159 cases per day over the long holiday weekend. [Article]
by , Orange County Register. 2022-01-18
Disneyland and Disney World profits forecast to rebound in 2022 and spike in 2023, analyst says
Profits at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts are expected to rebound in 2022, spike in 2023 and jump higher in 2024 as Disney’s U.S. theme parks bounce back from pandemic closures that damaged the bottom line, according to a new analyst report. [Article]
by , Pasadena Star News. 2022-01-18
Parents Across Orange County Keep Tense Watch as School COVID Dashboards Soar
COVID dashboards at schools across Orange County are showing positive cases soaring so fast that one local district last week temporarily shut theirs down with a top official there questioning the accuracy of other school dashboards. [Article]
by , Voice of OC. 2022-01-18
Fullerton to Explore Ditching its Fire Department to Join Regional Authority
Fullerton is hosting one of the first major discussions about potentially disbanding their fire department and joining the regional Orange County Fire Authority on Tuesday night.  [Article]
by , Voice of OC. 2022-01-18
New County Supervisor Voting Map Gives Stronger Voice to OC’s Latino Community
For the first time in Orange County’s history, Latino voters will be a majority in a county supervisor’s district – a legally-required change that’s expected to bring a greater voice and representation on approaching key issues like public health and homelessness. [Article]
by , Voice of OC. 2022-01-18
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