Jacob’s Journal – Weekly News Rewind (09/06-09/12)
California’s Central Valley Overwhelmed by COVID-19 Delta Surge
Wednesday, September 8 (Los Angeles Times) – The fourth surge of the COVID-19 pandemic has hit California’s Central Valley especially hard, and many hospitals are overwhelmed with critically ill patients. Some patients must be transported over 100 miles because local intensive care units are full. These trends are affecting the San Joaquin Valley, Sacramento, and rural Northern California. Monthly COVID-19 deaths here have tripled between July and August and the number of ICU patients in the region is expected to increase through September.
In Fresno County, the hospitalization rate is more than double that of the state, with 41 hospitalized patients for every 100,000 residents (for California, it is 14 per 100,000). As of Monday, available ICU beds were below 10% for the seventh-straight day. Under COVID-10 hospital surge protocols, acute care hospitals must accept transfer patients if they have the room and it is “clinically appropriate”. And with the intense demand, ambulances have been told not to transport patients to hospitals unless they meet specific criteria.
Amidst the nursing shortage, Fresno County officials have been paying as much as $200 to $250 an hour to recruit traveling nurses. Staffing help from federal and state agencies has been hard to come by. Officials have expressed concern that the number of coronavirus tests far exceeds that of vaccinations. About 63% of county residents ages 12 and older have had at least one dose, far less than Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Santa Clara Counties. Due to the ongoing surge fueled by the Delta variant, many California counties are recommending/requiring face coverings to be worn in indoor public places.
One Dead in Alameda After Two Cars Collide, One Hits House
Wednesday, September 8 (The Mercury News) – A crash involving two cars in Alameda on Monday killed one man and seriously injured another. One of the vehicles ran into a home, according to police, after the wreck, which happened on Cambridge Drive near Fernside Boulevard, just after 8:00 p.m. Alameda police say they haven’t determined the cause of the crash. It is not known whether anyone was inside the home or what type of damage the crash caused.
California Senate Passes Bill Reining in Amazon Labor Model
Wednesday, September 8 (The New York Times) – The California State Senate approved a bill on Wednesday, at 26-to-11, that places limits on production quotas for workers at Amazon warehouses. It was written partly in response to high injury rates at Amazon facilities. Overall, the legislation prohibits companies from imposing quotas that prevent workers from taking state-mandated breaks or using the bathroom. While Governor Gavin Newsom hasn’t indicated whether he’d sign the bill, his staff was working to soften provisions to get it passed.
According to experts, the bill focuses on regulating quotas tracked by algorithms. Business groups opposed to the bill say it will lead to costly litigation and have rippling effects across the industry. So far, Amazon hasn’t commented on the bill, which would require productivity quotas to be disclosed to workers and regulators and let workers sue to eliminate quotas that prevent them from taking breaks and following safety protocols. It’s unclear how the bill would affect Amazon’s operations, but the company claims to have spent more than $300 million on new safety measures this year. Unions and other groups have been putting increasing pressure on Amazon over its labor practices.
Newport Beach Crash Shuts Down Coast Highway, Snarling Labor Day Beach Traffic
Wednesday, September 8 (The Orange County Register) – The Coast Highway in Newport Beach was shut down in both directions Monday, shortly after 5:00 p.m., after a single-vehicle crash, according to local police. A police spokeswoman said a male driver was the sole occupant of the vehicle and was transported by ambulance to the hospital for injuries. CBS Los Angeles reported the car has having gone “airborne” and landing on an embankment near the Back Bay Bridge. Eastbound lanes reopened shortly before 7:00 p.m., while police continued to investigate the scene and what led to the crash.
California Lawmakers Drop Worker Vaccination Mandate
Wednesday, September 8 (KOMO News) – Lawmakers in California have dropped bills that would require workers to be vaccinated or be tested weekly for coronavirus to stay on the job. That includes a measure by Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks. A bill by Assemblyman Evan Low was also shelved; it would have ensured state law protected businesses that choose to require workers be vaccinated. Over a thousand people protested vaccine mandates at the state Capitol on Wednesday. In addition, KOMO News provided an update on coronavirus trends, including positivity rates, percentage of people tested, and 14-day case and death trends, at the state level.
California’s Extra Sick Leave Pay for COVID-19 on the Way to Expiration This Month
Wednesday, September 8 (San Francisco Chronicle) – California’s COVID-19 sick-leave policy is set to expire September 30. The policy has helped many low-income workers sustain themselves during the pandemic. Raising fears of disruptions to those disproportionately affected by the coronavirus, the cutoff would eliminate a requirement for an extra two weeks of paid sick days as the Delta variant has increased transmission and hospitalization rates. This would primarily affect low-income workers that regularly interact with the public, who could face financial loss if they stay home while infected. To keep the policy going, the state Legislature would need to act by Friday, although an extension measure was not released publicly by the Tuesday night deadline to be eligible for a vote.
Agreement Giving Lawyers ‘Sole Discretion’ to Settle Client’s Case Violates Ethics Rules, Appeals Court Says
Tuesday, September 7 (ABA Journal) – Last week, the Fourth Appellate District in the California Courts of Appeal ruled the provision of a contingent-fee agreement violated attorney ethics rules. The court voided the provision that allowed attorneys from Jolly Berry Law to accept a settlement despite an objection by the client, Sayedeh Sahba Amjadi. Amjadi objected when her lawyer, Kevin Jolly, accepted a $150,000 settlement offer on the morning of her automobile crash trial, after the trial judge denied a motion filed by her attorneys to be relieved as counsel. Jolly and two other former lawyers for Amjadi have been referred to the State Bar for potential discipline. Amjadi’s new lawyer, Peter DiDonato, has filed a malpractice suit against her former lawyers and told Law360 he hopes the State Bar will consider the ethics of any provision authorizing lawyers to settle personal injury cases without the client’s consent.
Car Semi Accident in Cimarron County
Thursday, September 9 (KSCB News) – An accident involving a 2008 Honda occurred on US-287 thirteen miles north of Boise City, Oklahoma, at 12:30 a.m. Thursday. The name of the person injured in the crash was not released, pending next of kin notification. The Honda was driving southbound when it crossed over into the northbound lane; Oscar Rodriguez, 44, of Highland, CA, tried to avoid the car, but it struck the 2012 Freightliner semi he was driving. The Honda came to rest in a ditch and its driver was taken to Cimarron County Memorial Hospital by Boise City EMS. He was then flow to Northwest Texas Hospital in Amarillo, Texas, to be treated for internal injuries. Rodriguez was treated and released from Cimarron County Memorial while the passenger in the semi, Junior Rodriguez, 23, was not injured.
Police: Driver Runs Off After 3-Car Crash that Kills 1, Injures 2 Near Downtown San Jose
Friday, September 3 (The Mercury News) – A Hayward, CA, man was killed and two others seriously injured when the driver of a BMW caused a three-car wreck near downtown San Jose. The driver fled the scene of the Thursday night accident, which was reported at 10:32 p.m. The collision involved a 2005 BMW sedan traveling westbound on East Santa Clara Street that ran a red light, hitting a gray 2010 Nissan SUV traveling southbound on 10th Street, causing it to hit a sidewalk barrier and storefront. A black 2012 Acura SUV stopped at the light was then struck by the BMW. According to police, Ravneel Vilash, 22, who was in the Nissan, died at the scene, while the driver and another passenger sustained moderate to major injuries and were taken to the hospital.
The crash marked the 42nd traffic death in San Jose, and its 12th fatal hit-and-run collision, in 2021.
Ranking the Top Three-Point Shooters on the Los Angeles Lakers Roster
Wednesday, September 8 (Fansided) – The Los Angeles Lakers roster has changed since last season, as the team traded for Russel Westbrook. Narratives around the Lakers have stressed the need for three-point shooting. The top-five three-point shooters are ranked according to how they’re expected to do in 2021. In fifth place is Kendrick Nunn as the primary backup point guard, and in fourth place is Carmelo Anthony, who is considered a future Hall of Famer. Malik Monk is in third place and has been scoring plenty of three-point shots since early in his career, including with the Charlotte Hornets. In second place is Wayne Ellington, one of the Lakers’ most volatile players. LeBron James takes the number one spot; while not known as a great three-point shooter, he could come close to beating a franchise record if he stays healthy.