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    BY LIL KALISH | CalMatters California’s task force on reparations has begun putting dollar figures to potential compensation for the various forms of racial discrimination, generational pain and suffering Black Americans experienced in the state. The rough estimates by economic consultants may mean that hundreds of thousands of dollars could be due to Black Californians who are descendants of enslaved ancestors. However some politicians on the task force indicated the reparations would be a difficult case to make. Task force member and state Sen. Steven Bradford, a Democrat representing South Los Angeles, told an audience at public meetings in Los Angeles over the weekend it would be a “major hurdle” to pass any reparations plan in the Legislature. “For a state that didn’t have slavery, don’t think they’re going to be quick to vote on this final product of this task force,” he said. “We need to stay unified, we need to be together. We aren’t always going to agree, but we have to put forth a unified front.” Meeting in the California Science Center Friday and Saturday, the nine-member...
    As California's power grid gets hit amid a relentless heatwave, it turns out that a text message sent to 27 million residents played a crucial role in helping to avoid rolling blackouts.  On Tuesday, energy demand amidst the record-shattering heatwave hit a record 52,061 megawatts, prompting grid manager California Independent System Operator (CAISO) to issue a level 3 Energy Emergency Alert, its highest, at 5:17 pm. The agency made it clear that rolling blackouts could happen.  At 5:45 pm, the Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) issued a cell phone alert - that went out to about 27 million residents in 26 counties - in English and Spanish that said:  'Conserve energy now to protect public health and safety. Extreme heat is straining the state energy grid. Power interruptions may occur unless you take action. Turn off or reduce nonessential power if health allows, now until 9pm.' On Tuesday, energy demand amidst the record-shattering heatwave hit a record 52,061 megawatts, prompting grid manager California Independent System Operator (CAISO) to issue a level 3 Energy Emergency Alert Above: People wait...
    Q: Hola, Gary. I write to interest you in a new policy at the DMV that few people know about, but one that can impact thousands of Californians. Here goes: In February 2020, my former extern at the Superior Court, who went on to become an amazing appellate attorney in SF, was being treated for an aggressive form of breast cancer. When her driver’s license expired, she had lost all of her hair, was practically bald, and understandably, did not want to have her photo taken for her license renewal, a requirement at the time. She asked that the DMV use her existing photo (pre-cancer treatment). The DMV refused. So, she launched a one-woman campaign to get the California DMV to change its policy to allow drivers whose physical appearances had changed due to medical treatments (e.g. radiation, chemotherapy) to use their existing photos on file when renewing their licenses. On February 1, 2021, the DMV changed its photo policy to do just that. That policy has been in effect for just over a year now, but practically no one knows...
    by Eric Lendrum   Of the 360,000 Californians who have fled the deep-blue state in the last year alone, a significant portion are moving to a rather surprising destination to find cheaper costs of living: Across the border in Mexico. According to the Washington Examiner, California remains one of the most expensive states to live in, with a median housing price of $787,470. In most cities, the yearly property tax is at least $14,000. As a result, many households have failed to pay their property taxes, with at least 2 million delinquent homes in Los Angeles County alone. In Mexico, however, most properties rent at an average of $400 per month, which would save the average Californian around $100,000. “We were able to cut our budget in half, which allowed us to really focus on our careers and the things we wanted to do artistically without having to just hustle, and hustle and hustle, every day, every week, to just meet the bare minimum,” said Travis Grossi, who moved from Hollywood to Mexico. Other woes plaguing the Golden State include...
    Housing prices and rampant inflation under the leadership of President Joe Biden and Gov. Gavin Newson (D-CA) are driving thousands of Californians to search for a more affordable life in Mexico. “I would say at least half are coming down from California,” Darrell Graham of Baja123 Real Estate Group told CNBC. “Suddenly the cost of taxes, the crime rates, the politics, all the things that people are unhappy with in California are coming down to Mexico.” Roughly 200,000 people commute between California and Mexico every day because “many of them work in California and live just below the border in Baja California due to its proximity,” according to the report, which called the phenomenon: the “California exodus.” “It’s a lot of people commuting who actually live in Mexico who actually work in the states. So it’s like thousands and thousands of people just crossing daily. It’s a lot of people,” said Toni Smith, a coach and personal trainer at Southwestern Community College who works in San Diego and lives in Tijuana. California Gov. Gavin Newsom greets U.S. President Joe Biden...
    More than 34,000 Californians could have their electricity intentionally shut off this week as cold, gusty winds increase the potential for fire danger throughout the state. Southern California Edison over the weekend began warning about 9,100 customers in Los Angeles, Ventura and Kern counties that their power might be cut by Tuesday afternoon, said Gabriela Ornelas, a spokeswoman for the utility. Most of those customers are near Santa Clarita and Simi Valley. In Central and Northern California, Pacific Gas and Electric began cutting power on Monday, said Deanna Contreras, a utility spokeswoman. About 25,000 customers in portions of 22 counties — stretching from Santa Barbara County northward to Shasta County — could experience blackouts, she said. The controversial “public safety power shut-offs” have become common in California in recent years, with the state’s largest utilities de-energizing hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses to prevent disaster as climate change drives record-setting wildfire seasons. Electric utilities turn off power circuits when forecasts predict strong wind and dry conditions that could cause trees to fall on power lines or damage other...
    An estimated 4,300 Californians got the wrong dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, whistleblowers have revealed.  Workers at the Oakland Coliseum mass vaccination site told FOX2 KTVU that they were sent a type of syringe that traps a small portion of vaccine in its plastic chamber from the national stockpile.  Usually, these syringes leave about .05 mL to 0.1 mL of vaccine stuck in the plunger.  The correct dose of Pfizer vaccine is 0.3 mL - so the Monday morning patients probably got about two-thirds of that, or 0.2mL.  It's unclear exactly how many people received the lower dose, but one of the EMTs who revealed the short-dosing to KTVU said as many as 4,300 doses might have been given out before the problem was discovered.  Oakland's vaccination site was giving out the Pfizer shot on Monday. At the correct dosage, two shots are about 95 percent effective, but there is little data on how much protection a lower dose offers.  'It's very likely that these people have a decent immunity already and I wouldn't want them all to...
    FRESNO, Calif. -- Those in need of financial assistance must now hold on longer, before receiving benefits from the Employment Development Department, California's unemployment agency.EDD officials say this latest delay is a result of "programming infrastructure" issues.RELATED: Thousands of fraud victims get income tax bill for jobless benefits paid to scammersApplicants must now wait until March 7 to re-apply for benefits."We actually believe it is going to be weeks and weeks longer than that," said Assemblyman Jim Patterson. "They are going to have to start processing and we know how their processing goes."On a daily basis, Patterson's office works to help countless Central Valley residents with their claims.VIDEO: EDD official talks fraudulent claims, busy phone lines, identity verificationEMBED More News Videos One year after the pandemic began and forced millions out of work, things haven't gotten much easier for those looking for unemployment benefits in California. He says he's just as frustrated as they are with how the EDD has handled the pandemic.Patterson believes the EDD knew about its tech issues last month but waited until February to make it...
    (CNN)Residents across nine California counties could be without power Tuesday as officials aim to reduce fire risk from the powerful Santa Ana winds expected to roar through the region.A Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) could affect at least 280,000 customers -- mostly in Los Angeles and Ventura counties but extending to customers in Fresno, Kern, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, and Tulare counties -- the utility company Southern California Edison (SCE) warned Monday.According to SCE, "When there is a high risk for a wildfire, we may temporarily shut off power to your neighborhood to prevent our electric system from becoming the source of ignition."California prepares for damaging winds Dry, hot and windy conditions combined with problems with power lines have contributed to massive fire outbreaks in the recent past, including the deadly 2018 Camp fire. Tuesday's forecast conditions prompted the Storm Prediction Center to issue a Critical Risk zone for nearly 6 million people in Southern California.Read More"With nearly 80% of the Western US experiencing drought conditions, the area is akin to a tinderbox," CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri said.The...
    Inspections to equipment began Monday, as did the return of power to thousands of Northern California residents who lost electricity because of a PG&E public safety power shutdown, officials with the utility said. PG&E was unable to say Monday afternoon whether any of those restorations were occurring in Napa County, where it turned off power Sunday to 288 residents because of prime fire conditions caused by a Bay Area heat wave and accompanying strong winds. The warning proved prophetic when the Glass Fire broke out Sunday night in Napa and Sonoma counties, where it consumed about 11,000 acres by 9:30 a.m. Monday. Overall, 17,000 customers in Sonoma County and 11,000 in Napa County were without power Monday, PG&E spokeswoman Tamar Sarkissian said. All but the 288 in Napa County were without power at the request of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to keep fire crews safe, Sarkissian said. The utility company has not filed an electrical incident report in the wake of the Glass Fire and has yet to receive any information that the fire can be...
    Evacuation orders have been lifted for tens of thousands of people in the Western U.S. state of California as firefighters continue to make progress in bringing wildfires across the state under control. Officials with the state fire agency, Cal Fire, said Friday that in the past two days at least 50,000 people were allowed return home in the San Francisco Bay area and nearby wine country. Hundreds of fires have raged across California this month killing at least seven people and burning thousands of square kilometers during a historic heat wave. Much of the destruction was caused by three groups of fires that burned forest and rural areas in the northern part of the state. Another blaze swept through parts of San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties while in central Tulare County, a blaze burned in Sequoia National Forest. The fires came months earlier in the season than expected, sparked by soaring temperatures and dry air. When the heat wave eased this week, more humid temperatures help to slow the spread of the fires. Firefighters say a large blaze east...
    SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — Thousands of Northern California residents forced to evacuate their homes due to wildfires were allowed to return Thursday after firefighters made progress. Officials were working on plans to repopulate other evacuated areas. Cooler weather and higher humidity, along with an influx of equipment and firefighters, continued to help hard-pressed crews fighting some of the largest fires in recent state history, burning in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. “We’ve had a lot of good success,” Mark Brunton, a state fire official at a blaze in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties south of San Francisco, said early Thursday. ALSO READ: LNU Complex Fire Jumps Highway; Strike Teams From Oregon & Idaho Help On Front Lines Solano County, north of San Francisco, began allowing people back home on Thursday. In the heart of wine country, evacuation orders in Napa and Sonoma counties were lifted Wednesday for about 35,000 people who had been told to leave after lightning ignited dozens of blazes last week. Firefighters and utility workers were clearing areas for returning residents after crews increased containment...
    Hundreds of thousands of Californians could be hit with preemptive blackouts after a record-breaking heatwave rolled in Friday. As temperatures in the state tipped 112 degrees, the corporation that runs its electric grid announced rolling blackouts beginning at 6:30 p.m. for up to 250,000 homes and businesses in the northern and central areas of the state. It marks the first time such rotating blackouts were implemented since the state faced its energy crisis nearly 20 years ago, the San Fransisco Chronicle reported. Officials have urged Californians to conserve energy and keep thermostats at 78 degrees or higher as the state braces for more than a week of brutally hot weather. Residents were asked to not use any major appliances between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. “We’re going to experience record-breaking temperatures, as the case in any jurisdiction on the globe, that means we could all do well just to be thoughtful of our electricity and energy consumption,” Gov. Gavin Newsom warned Friday. The grid manager, the California Independent System Operator, issued the emergency, “after extreme heat drove up electricity...
    Hundreds of thousands of Californians could be hit with preemptive blackouts after a record-breaking heatwave rolled in Friday. As temperatures in the state tipped 112 degrees, the corporation that runs its electric grid announced rolling blackouts beginning at 6:30 p.m. for up to 250,000 homes and businesses in the northern and central areas of the state. It marks the first time such rotating blackouts were implemented since the state faced its energy crisis nearly 20 years ago, the San Fransisco Chronicle reported. Officials have urged Californians to conserve energy and keep thermostats at 78 degrees or higher as the state braces for more than a week of brutally hot weather. Residents were asked to not use any major appliances between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. “We’re going to experience record-breaking temperatures, as the case in any jurisdiction on the globe, that means we could all do well just to be thoughtful of our electricity and energy consumption,” Gov. Gavin Newsom warned Friday. The grid manager, the California Independent System Operator, issued the emergency, “after extreme heat drove up electricity demand...
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