A disbelieving Bay Area priest calls on parishioners to be holier. A state taxpayer group sues state Attorney General Xavier Becerra for failing to call a tax increase a tax increase. Plus: Inadequate testing is one of the reasons Latinos have been more impacted by COVID-19, a USA TODAY Network investigation finds.
It’s Arlene. Let’s dive right in.
But first, 19-year-old quintuplets from Ventura County decided to each try and sink a basketball shot from various parts of their backyard. They nailed it, and the feat went viral.
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Hard school choices, and the end of unemployment relief?
Should I send my child back to school? USA TODAY explored the latest science on coronavirus and kids to answer pressing questions, like what happens to kids who develop COVID-19, how it could spread in classrooms and the impacts of social isolation on children.
The latest proposed federal stimulus package includes another $1,200 in relief for individuals ($2,400 for qualifying couples). Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he wants the deal finalized by Friday.
But a plan to expand the expiring extra $600 weekly in unemployment benefits appears unlikely. “We’re nowhere close to a deal,” Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, told reporters after leaving talks with top congressional Democrats late Wednesday.
Without the extra $600, California’s average unemployment benefit drops to $338 weekly. The state Legislature said it plans to plug the gap if the feds don’t act, though no deal has been finalized.
Condors, luxury timesharing and city sued over controversial statue
Happy to hear California condors returned to Sequoia National Park after a generation? Thank the Endangered Species Act, writes Noah Greenwald of the Center for Biological Diversity.
The Chateau Marmont, a Hollywood legend in its own way, is being converted into a type of timeshare, where members pay to maintain the property in exchange for owning a piece of it.
A newly formed group calling itself the Coalition for Historical Integrity is suing the city of Ventura for taking down a controversial statue of Spanish missionary Father Junipero Serra from in front of City Hall. The group disputes the finding that the statue wasn’t a historical landmark, which means an environmental review didn’t have to be done before it came down last week.
150,000 COVID-19 deaths, and the disbelievers
A San Francisco Catholic priest who believes the coronavirus is a political ploy accused parishioners of putting fear over faith and “safety above sacraments.”
His condemnations were published days ahead of a grim milestone reached Wednesday: Over 150,000 have died from the coronavirus in the U.S., as the three most populous states – California, Texas and Florida – set seven-day records for virus deaths this week.
Experts say the increase in cases and deaths is largely because of states easing restrictions and reopening their economies too soon.
“We were not careful and it became like a domino effect,” Dr. Anne Rimoin, epidemiologist and director of UCLA’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Initiative, told USA TODAY.
She added: “Everybody rushed back to normal when what we really needed to be doing was doubling down.”
In Los Angeles County, 4,825 new coronavirus cases and 91 deaths were reported Wednesday, a new daily record for fatalities.
Quit playing around, state Legislature, and get down to passingvitally needed legislation to protect suffering Golden State families, writes the Desert Sun’s editorial board.
Super spreaders, and woman sentenced for coughing on shoppers
Frat and tailgating parties can be “super-spreading” events so avoid them, health experts say.
Also a good spreader event? Bench-clearing brawls at Major League Baseball games, like the one Tuesday night that resulted in the suspensions of Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Joe Kelly and manager Dave Roberts.
A Shasta County woman who intentionally coughed on shoppers in a grocery store will serve a year in prison. Police say she is a chronic offender, generating 40 calls so far this year.
A testing failure puts Latino lives at risk
It was mid-June in the Central Valley, and Dr. Patricia Iris was alarmed.
Every COVID-19 patient at Lodi Memorial that day was Latino, even though Latinos make up only 39% of the city’s population. Testing surveillance in San Joaquin County should have warned Iris that this was coming. But testing in Latino communities was so limited, it missed the oncoming wave.
Hospital beds swelled with Latino patients. On June 1, the county had just 23 patients hospitalized with COVID-19. By the end of the month, there were 140. Most, according to Iris, were Latino.
The same dynamic has played out across the nation as the virus silently spread among Latinos from workplaces to homes to the community. Latinos bore the brunt of the virus. And, experts and advocates say, inadequate testing is one of the reasons.
In 20 of 27 states that reported positive coronavirus cases by ethnicity, growth among Latinos has outpaced overall growth since Memorial Day, according to a USA TODAY analysis. Nationwide, Latinos have been four times as likely as whites to be hospitalized.
AG’s ‘creative writing,’ an analysis of mental health systems and Harris as veep
The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association is suing state Attorney General Xavier Becerra for what it says is a failure to provide an impartial analysis on Proposition 15, a split-roll initiative that would raise taxes on most commercial and industrial properties. Among other things, Becerra never calls it a tax increase, referring to it as a “changing” of impacted properties’ tax assessment.
This isn’t the first time Becerra has used “creative writing” to advance ballot measures Democrats favor, writes Dan Walters of CalMatters.
The problem isn’t that too few people are involuntarily committed for mental health conditions, it’s the way those in the system are treated and what programs are offered (or not), a new state report finds.
“Do not hold grudges.” “Campaigned with me & Jill.” “Talented.” “Great help to campaign.” “Great respect for her:” Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s talking points on California Sen. Kamala Harris, as seen on a note he carried. She’s still on the short list to be Biden’s VP.
I’ll leave you today with a list of 96 mystery, romance, young adult and other reading suggestions by Black authors. “Racism is not the only thing to know about what it means to be Black,” romance author Jasmine Guillory writes in TIME. “Our joys, our sorrows, our love, our grief, our struggles to fit in, our families, our accomplishments and our triumphs—these things also matter.”
In California brings you top news and analysis from across USA TODAY Network newsrooms. Also contributing: Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Time, Good Reads, New York Times.
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