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Around California - page 3

No Fluff

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Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused millions of people around the world to die, and many more to suffer. Arguably, the most unnerving part is how this time period will affect generations to come.

That said, I don’t want to see some fluffy reflection on COVID-19.

I don’t care that you switched your wardrobe to be more comfortable while you worked from home, or that you successfully made sourdough bread. In this country alone, over half a million people have died directly from COVID-19, not to mention those dead from medical complications indirectly related to the virus.

People are feeling down, suicides and overdoses are up, and depression is damn near expected. Children are falling behind in their studies, and elders are spending their golden years in solitude. You want the world to know about the beauty of an air fryer? Save it.

The homicide count in a number of U.S. cities, including San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and Stockton, has risen by significant percentages over the year prior.

Continue Reading on KQED

ETHNIC BUSINESS LEAD DOWNTOWN MAKEOVER

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Take a stroll down the 100, 200 and first part of the 300 blocks of East Yosemite Avenue.

This is where you will see the future of downtown Manteca driven not by consultants, planners, and those that want to imprint on the Family City what has popped up in revitalized suburban Bay Arras downtowns such as Pleasanton and Livermore.

There is a thriving market, Super Altena that does a brisk business in staples as well as ready-to-eat Mexican food to go. Across the parking lot in the former hole-in-the-wall A&W drive-in that for years housed a Thai restaurant there are plans to open the seafood restaurant dubbed Las Delos Camaromes. Next door is the United Paleteria y Neveria ice cream shop. Almost directly across the street is Panderia La Laurita, a Mexican bakery that has been in business for more than two decades.

This is also where you will find other dining spots such as Hats & Boots as well as the Iron Horse Deli. Specialty stores include Rocky Mountain Chocolate, Fashion Health Care Apparel, German and German Glas Werks. Also gracing the street the 2½ blocks are American Furniture, Spin Cycle, Leonard Photography Bank of America, Financial Center Credit Union and the American Legion Hall.

Continue Reading on Manteca Bulletin

How to escape a pandemic: It involves a converted Suburban and heading home

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My plan was to escape COVID-19 in 2021 by converting my dad’s old Suburban into a camper van, then travel to Seattle. I learned that while you can’t drive away from a global pandemic, it is possible to make a home anywhere.

After a year of not going anywhere, and feeling a lot like a hamster on a wheel to nowhere, I just needed to get out. I wanted to mark the start of 2021 with something crazy, unforgettable, different.

COVID-19 has both trapped us at home and also taken away our homes. Before contracting the virus in March, 2020, in my tiny flat in England, I researched international human rights law as a graduate student. Every day, I was involved in conversations about the legal rights of asylum seekers, international relations, the plight of the environment. I was marching, protesting, participating in Extinction Rebellion and volunteering in refugee camps.

Continue Reading on The Sacramento Bee

CVS Expands COVID Vaccination Sites To 272 CA Locations

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CALIFORNIA — The rollout of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccination triggered an expansion of inoculation sites in the Golden State, and there are still a number of CVS locations with appointments available this week.

CVS Pharmacy was already administering vaccines as part of the Federal Pharmacy Program, which means they receive doses directly from the federal government separate from the California allocation and now has begun receiving shipments of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Eligibility

  • People age 65+
  • Teachers K-12, Daycare and preschool workers, and staff
  • Health care workers, food and agriculture workers
  • Long-term care residents and staff

Continue Reading on Patch

Vallejo City Unified School District in planning stages for hybrid learning

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Charlonie Smith dances on the hood of a car as it rolls through the graduation celebration at Jesse Bethel High School in 2020. (Chris Riley—Times-Herald)

Getting students back in the classroom was the focus of Wednesday night’s Vallejo City Unified School District’s Governing Board meeting, where board members set a target date of April 12 for a new-look, hybrid form of of instruction for students returning from spring break.

“We have been focused on a phase approach to bringing back students for a number of reasons,” said Cheri Summers, the district’s chief academic officer. “We want the opportunity to test and adjust things with smaller groups of students, as well as to provide time for our families and our students to adjust to very new safety protocols, as well as new ways of teaching and learning.

“At this point is the planning phase,” Summers continued, “we’ve been engaged with gathering information from our families about what preferences and decision-making they are going to have to be involved with, in terms of the selection of returning their students to hybrid learning or staying in distance learning. We know that hybrid learning is going to be a shift — not only for our families, but our teachers. So we’re engaging our principals in conversations in what kind of supports we need to provide as we transition to hybrid learning.”

Continue Reading on Times Herald

Parents, district officials react to state’s school reopening plan

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – Governor Gavin Newsom and the California legislature are offering billions of dollars in funding to school districts across the state as an incentive to get students back inside the classroom by the end of the month.

Many parents say they’ve been ready for their children to go back to school.

“They are depressed. They have gained weight. They are missing out on their childhood,” said local realtor and mom Veronica Sukkary. “For kids their age, a year is like eternity.”

Continue Reading on Fox 40

California prison agency failed to notify employees exposed to COVID-19, regulator says

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California’s workplace safety regulator has fined a state prison agency $24,300 for failing to enforce COVID-19 protections.

The state’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, known as Cal/OSHA, cited the California Prison Industry Authority for three “serious” violations related to a June 21 COVID-19 exposure at a metal fabrication and vehicle outfitting warehouse, according to the citation

The warehouse is located at California State Prison-Solano, in Vacaville.
The prison agency, which manufactures goods and products for state agencies using inmate labor, failed to do contact tracing, notify employees or provide medical evaluations after the exposure, according to the Feb. 24 citation.

The agency also failed to fit-test employees for N95 masks from October through February, according to the citation.

Continue Reading on The Sacramento Bee

Gov. Newsom Says Deal To Reopen Schools Is Close

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP/CBS13) — As the vast majority of California students approach one year of distance learning, Gov. Gavin Newsom vowed Tuesday that classrooms will reopen “very, very shortly.” But his forecast was called into question by Los Angeles teachers who continue to insist that the state’s largest school district won’t open without more vaccinations.

“The pressure building to return to schools is political. It is not science,” the United Teachers Los Angeles said in a statement. The union said it will vote next week to refuse resuming in-person classes unless certain demands are met, including that all returning staff get access to vaccinations and COVID-19 case numbers in the county continue to decrease.

For weeks, Newsom has been negotiating with lawmakers on a deal to reopen schools and salvage what’s left of this academic year. Most of California’s 6 million public school students haven’t seen a classroom since the state’s first shutdown in mid-March of 2020. A state lawmaker submitted a $6.5 billion proposal last week aimed at reopening schools by this spring, but Newsom said the timetable was too slow and suggested he could veto it.

Continue Reading on CBS Local

BUSD takes step toward building affordable housing for teachers, staff

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The front entrance of the Berkeley Adult School where Curative runs a COVID 19 test facility using one of Gehl’s custom made kiosks to streamline the efficiency of testing. Nov. 23, 2020. Photo: Pete Rosos

Cornelius Smith pulls into the parking lot at Oxford Elementary at 8 a.m. He leans the driver’s seat back to get some shut-eye, two hours before his shift starts.

By day, Smith works as a school safety officer at the high school. By night, he is an armed officer at the Federal Reserve in San Francisco. He sleeps when he can, crashing for a few hours in the evening at his cousin’s place in Emeryville or at his parent’s in Hercules, and in his car in the mornings. The drive home to Antioch takes up to an hour and a half, depending on traffic, and he makes it back only on the weekends.

Smith would love to live in Berkeley, but with the sky-high cost of housing, “it’s way too expensive.” Many teachers live paycheck to paycheck, and classified staff like Smith earn even less. School safety officers at Berkeley Unified make as little as $29,000 each year, and the median salary for district employees is $45,833.

Continue Reading on Berkeleyside

With California left behind on indoor dining, here’s what Bay Area restaurants can hope for next

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To the surprise of some in the restaurant industry, San Francisco on Tuesday failed to secure state permission to reopen limited-capacity indoor dining, with the county falling short on one of three key metrics to move to a higher Covid tier.

With other states, including New York, recently relaxing restrictions and permitting the return of some indoor dining as infections fall, California appears to stand alone as the only state in the U.S. where indoor dining remains effectively off-limits. While a handful of rural counties are in the red and orange tiers and can allow indoor dining, as of Tuesday, 99.8% of the state’s population lives in purple-tier counties where only outdoor dining, takeout and delivery are permitted.

So how close are we?

To move from purple into the red tier — which allows indoor dining at 25% capacity — counties need an adjusted case rate of between 4 and 7, a test positivity rate between 5% and 8%, and a health equity metric between 5.3% and 8%. They must meet all three — and hold those numbers for two weeks straight before they can move up.

Continue Reading on San Francisco Business Times

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