I’m Winston Gieseke, philanthropy and special sections editor for The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, with the latest news from California this Wednesday.
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California offers COVID-19 vaccines to people 65 and older
Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Wednesday that California allow residents 65 and over to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, effective immediately.
Decision puts seniors in line with emergency workers, teachers, child care providers, and food and agriculture workers, even as counties complain they don’t have enough doses for everyone.
“There is no higher priority than effectively and equitably distributing these vaccines as quickly as possible to those facing the most serious consequences,” Newsom said. “For those who are not yet eligible for vaccines, your turn is coming. We are doing everything we can to bring more vaccines to the state. “
Health workers and workers in nursing homes and collective living centers can continue to be vaccinated; state officials are simply expanding the program to include those 65 and over, as they are at the greatest risk of hospitalization and death.
According to Dr. Tomás Aragón, director of the California Department of Public Health and state public health official, “prioritizing people aged 65 and over will reduce hospitalizations and save lives.”
California reported another 589 deaths on Wednesday, bringing the total to 31,102. It also recorded 33,751 new infections, some of which will likely lead to more hospitalizations and deaths.
Several other states already allowed older people access to the vaccine, including Floridians aged 65 and older and residents 75 and older in New York City, North Carolina, Tennessee and Mississippi.
Celebrities criticized in impeachment hearing
During Wednesday’s impeachment hearings on Capitol Hill, Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) Accused celebrities Robert De Niro, Madonna and Kathy Griffin of “instigating violence before the Jan. 6 Capitol uprising,” reports the Los Angeles Times.
Buck spoke out against Democrats, whom he blamed for last week’s murderous uprising, and to make his point, he recounted violent anti-Trump statements made by celebrities.
“[T]Hollywood socialists have joined their allies in Congress, ”the conservative politician said in the House. “Robert De Niro said he wanted to punch the president in the face. Madonna thought about blowing up the White House. Kathy lee griffin [sic] held up a picture of the president’s decapitated head, and my colleagues didn’t say anything at that time.
Buck recounted comments De Niro made in 2016 in unused footage for a #VoteYourFuture ad: “It makes me so angry that this country has come to this point that this fool, this bozo, has ended up where he is. Said the actor. “Does he say how he would like to hit people in the face?” Well, I’d like to punch him in the face.
In 2017, shortly after Trump took office, Madonna said she had thought “a lot about blowing up the White House” but knew it wouldn’t change a thing. She later said the comment was “taken out of context.”
That same year, Griffin was photographed by Tyler Shields holding a decapitated likeness of Trump, a move that has prompted a number of celebrities, sponsors and networks to socially and professionally distance themselves.
Griffin’s response to the prosecution via Twitter suggested she was delighted to be mentioned in the same sentence as the pop icon, while reps for De Niro and Madonna did not comment.
On a random personal note: I have been writing professionally for over 25 years and have never seen or used the word “foment” more than I have in the past two weeks.
Unemployment fraud in California is 4 times worse than originally reported
Bank of America last month revealed that $ 2 billion had been paid in fraudulent unemployment claims by the California Division of Employment Development (EDD).
But abc7.com reports that Robert Lapsley of the California Business Roundtable says that number isn’t even close. He says that of the $ 106 billion in benefits paid by EDD in 2020, about $ 8.5 billion went to fraudulent claims.
According to Lapsley, California mismanaged the pandemic early on and did not do enough to prevent fraud. Conversely, he said, the state of Pennsylvania should be commended for cracking down on fraud early by working with other states to identify new methods of fraud before they get out of hand in their state.
Pennsylvania state officials, however, say their problems mirror those in California.
“Just when we felt like we were in control, the fraud epidemic began,” said Jerry Oleksiak, Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Labor and Industry.
Here in California, the state says it has managed to reduce the number of fraudulent claims by 30%.
Oakland greets Kamala Harris with virtual inauguration ball
The city of Oakland is clearly proud of Kamala Harris, the native who is due to be sworn in as the 49th Vice President of the United States on Jan.20. The city is planning a big celebration to commemorate her victory at the city’s commemorative virtual inauguration ball.
The Mercury News reports that “Oakland Salutes,” presented by the Oakland Symphony, will run at 3 p.m. on January 17 and will also be available on demand.
“We’re all very proud to have a native of Oakland, Calif., As the 49th vice president,” said Michael Morgan, program curator, Oakland Symphony music director. “The Oakland Symphony has brought together so many members of the Oakland arts community to celebrate this historic occasion, and we are thrilled that people in this country and around the world are learning more about its hometown and its citizens.
In addition to the Oakland Symphony and Symphony Chorus, the program will include performances by the Oakland Symphony Youth Orchestra, Jazz Mafia, pianist Tammy L. Hall, singer Tiffany Austin, Oakland Ballet dancer Ashley Thopiah and many others.
The Sacramento Zoo will reopen on Friday
Tuesday, the Sacramento area has had his stay at home order lifted. On Wednesday, abc10.com announced that the Sacramento Zoo will reopen to the public on Friday.
Guests are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance, reserve time to visit and read, and adhere to the zoo’s COVID-19 guidelines, which include wearing an appropriate face cover at all times and maintaining six feet between your party and others. .
Tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. on Thursday.
Cat fears to have perished in 2018 Montecito landslides found alive
In the news of the super happy animals, Patches, a calico cat who is believed to have died with his guardian in the 2018 Montecito landslides, has been found alive, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Patches have been missing since January 9, 2018, when rain devastated the hillsides of Montecito, killing 23 people, including his guardian, Josie Gower.
Last month, she was brought into the Santa Barbara County Animal Shelter Assistance Program as a stray; her identity was revealed by her microchip and she was reunited with Gower’s partner, Norm Borgatello, on New Years Eve.
“While we don’t know exactly what she’s been doing with her life for the past three years, we can see that Patches and Norm are thrilled to be reunited,” the shelter said in a Facebook post.
That’s all for this glorious Wednesday. Look for more California titles in your inbox tomorrow.
In California, a roundup of news from the editorial staff of the USA Today Network. Also contributing: abc7.com, Los Angeles Times, The Mercury News.
As the Philanthropy and Special Sections Editor of The Desert Sun, Winston Gieseke writes about nonprofits, fundraisers and people giving in the Coachella Valley. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.