Two dose version of Johnson & Johnson vaccine 94% effective against Covid-19, study finds

By Maggie Fox | CNN

A two-dose version of Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine provides 94% protection against symptomatic infection, the company said Tuesday — making a two-dose regimen of J&J’s Janssen vaccine comparable to a two-dose regimen of Moderna’s or Pfizer’s.

Plus, the company said, adding a booster dose to a single shot of the vaccine raised immunity even more, and should also protect people strongly against infection.

The company released some details of three studies looking at various aspects of its Janssen vaccine, and said that, taken together, they showed the vaccine provided long-lasting protection that could be boosted with an extra shot.

“Our large real-world-evidence and Phase 3 studies confirm that the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine provides strong and long-lasting protection against COVID-19-related hospitalizations,” Dr. Mathai Mammen, global head of Janssen Research & Development, said in a statement.

“Our single-shot vaccine generates strong immune responses and long-lasting immune memory. And, when a booster of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is given, the strength of protection against COVID-19 further increases.”

Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine was given emergency use authorization by the US Food and Drug Administration on February 27. It has been given to about 14.8 million Americans, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The company’s ongoing Phase 2 trial of a two-dose regimen showed giving two doses 56 days apart provided 100% protection against severe Covid-19 and 94% protection against moderate to severe Covid-19 in the United States. Globally, the two-dose regimen provided 75% protection against moderate-to-severe Covid-19, the company said.

A second study showed people given a booster shot six months or longer after their first dose had a 12-fold increase in antibodies — compared to a four-fold increase for people who got a second dose at two months. So protection should be stronger if people get boosters later, Dr. Dan Barouch, head of Beth Israel Deaconess’ Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, told CNN.

“If you wait longer and have boost at six months or later then you likely will have better boost,” said Barouch.

Third, the company said a real-world evidence study of 390,000 people in the US, using health insurance records through July — so covering the Delta variant — showed the one-shot J&J vaccine was 81% effective at preventing hospitalizations.

“The Johnson & Johnson single-shot COVID-19 vaccine showed vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19-related hospitalizations at 86% for participants younger than 60 years, and 78% for those 60 years and older,” the company said.

“Among 390,517 vaccinated and 1,524,153 matched unvaccinated individuals, vaccine effectiveness 79% for COVID-19 and 81% for COVID-19-related hospitalizations,” the Janssen-led research team wrote in a study posted online in a preprint.

“In high-Delta-incidence states, rates of observed COVID-19 were higher in both groups than in the national cohort,” they added.

“In these states, vaccine effectiveness for observed COVID-19 was 79% overall and 78% during June and July, the months where Delta variant incidence was highest,” they added.

Barouch, who has worked with Janssen to test the vaccine but who was not directly involved in the three studies, said people who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should be reassured by the data.

“All the vaccines in the US have shown robust and durable protection against severe disease and hospitalization,” he said.

“Ultimately, the job of a vaccine is to keep you from being sick and keep you from going into the hospital and to keep you alive, and all of the vaccines are doing that.”

Data on the J&J vaccine has come later than data about the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines because J&J’s was authorized around two months later. Johnson & Johnson has said it will submit all of this data to the FDA for potential consideration for adding a booster dose, and perhaps for consideration to authorize a two-dose regimen.

The Janssen vaccine is made using a different technology from Moderna’s and Pfizer’s vaccines. They deliver messenger RNA or mRNA directly to the body wrapped in compounds called lipids. The J&J vaccine is made using an adenovirus, a common cold virus, that’s been engineered so it can get into cells, but then stops. It delivers genetic instructions that way.

Barouch said there is room for a variety of approaches.

“A single shot gives robust and durable protection over a substantial period of time of time with minimal evidence of decline,” Barouch said.

“I think the single dose vaccine is a reasonable option for people and for countries that want a simple and convenient vaccine that can be administered quickly,” he added.

“For outstanding protection, then a second shot can be given at any time between two months and eight months — and the longer you wait, the better.”

That, he said, is because the body mounts a variety of immune responses. Antibodies — immune system proteins that can either flag an invader or directly attack and neutralize it — build up quickly but can wane over time.

The body also produces cells called B cells and T cells, and these contribute to longer-term protection. Stimulating B cells with a boost after time — after they have become less active — appears to cause them to generate fresh antibodies more effectively, he said.

Barouch said the J&J vaccine may appear less effective in countries outside the United States because it was tested in many countries when variants were circulating that can evade the protection offered by vaccines.

The Beta or B.1.351 variant is an example — it has so-called escape mutations that help it hide from the immune response. It circulated widely in South Africa but has been outcompeted in the US by Delta, which does not appear to escape immune protection as well.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

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Covid-19 vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds is safe and shows ‘robust’ antibody response, Pfizer says

By Amanda Sealy | CNN

In a highly anticipated announcement, Pfizer said on Monday a Phase 2/3 trial showed its Covid-19 vaccine was safe and generated a “robust” antibody response in children ages 5 to 11.

These are the first such results released for this age group for a US Covid-19 vaccine, and the data has not yet been peer-reviewed or published. Pfizer said it plans to submit to the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization soon.

The trial included 2,268 participants ages 5 to 11 and used a two-dose regimen of the vaccine administered 21 days apart. This trials used a 10-microgram dose — smaller than the 30-microgram dose that has been used for those 12 and older.

“The 10 microgram dose was carefully selected as the preferred dose for safety, tolerability and immunogenicity in children 5 to 11 years of age,” Pfizer said in a news release.

Participants’ immune responses were measured by looking at neutralizing antibody levels in their blood and comparing those levels to a control group of 16- to 25-year-olds who were given a two-dose regimen with the larger 30-microgram dose. Pfizer said the levels compared well with older people who received the larger dose, demonstrating a “strong immune response in this cohort of children one month after the second dose.”

“Further, the COVID-19 vaccine was well tolerated, with side effects generally comparable to those observed in participants 16 to 25 years of age,” the company said.

A Pfizer spokesperson also confirmed that were no instances of myocarditis, a type of heart inflammation that has been linked with mRNA vaccines.

Pfizer said these data will be included in a “near-term submission” for EUA and the companies will continue to accumulate the data needed to file for FDA approval for people ages 5 to 11.

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is currently approved for people age 16 and older, and authorized for use in people ages 12 to 15.

Pfizer said it is expecting trial data for children as young as 6 months “as soon as the fourth quarter of this year.”

“Since July, pediatric cases of COVID-19 have risen by about 240 percent in the U.S. — underscoring the public health need for vaccination. These trial results provide a strong foundation for seeking authorization of our vaccine for children 5 to 11 years old, and we plan to submit them to the FDA and other regulators with urgency,” Albert Bourla, chairman and chief executive officer of Pfizer, said in the statement.

Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock and Dr. Peter Marks, director of FDA’s Center for Biologics Research and Evaluation, said in a statement this month that the agency would review data for a vaccine for younger children “as quickly as possible, likely in a matter of weeks rather than months,” once it was submitted for authorization.

“However, the agency’s ability to review these submissions rapidly will depend in part on the quality and timeliness of the submissions by manufacturers,” they wrote.

Calls for a Covid-19 vaccine for younger children have grown louder in recent months as cases surged among children.

Coronavirus infections have risen “exponentially” among children across the United States, and now account for nearly 29% of all cases reported nationwide, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported last week.

Still, US health officials have emphasized that children are not just small adults, and even those approaching age 12 should not be given the larger vaccine dose available for older people.

“We don’t want children to have adverse effects. Granted, we want them to be able to get vaccinated as quickly as possible, but let’s do it right,” FDA’s Marks said in a fireside chat hosted by the ResearchAmerica Alliance last week.

“There is a difference here because they’re not just getting the same-old, same-old dose as a 12 and up person will. They have to get a reduced dose. And that’s why it’s not a good idea for doctors to take things in their own hands at this point.”

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

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The recall failed because the GOP lost its way

The recall was never going to be close.

It closed out election night losing by around 30 percentage points. As the days went by, that narrowed slightly.

I know what a few polls said, but many more said otherwise. Maybe it should have been closer, but still not close.

And that’s not because of voter fraud, not because of ballot harvesting, not because of the media or any of the other common scapegoats.

It’s because Californians loath Republicans.

Harsh, I know — I’m a Republican and I hate writing it. But don’t take my word for it, simply listen to our fellow Californians.

Republicans continue to get blasted in statewide elections. And in down-ballot partisan races, like congressional and legislative, the long-term trend shows Republican elected officials continuing to slip away. And as for Republican voters, the registration numbers speak for themselves.

Californians are talking loudly, why aren’t Republicans listening?

Republicans used to thrive in California. Republicans were governors for most of the 20th century and were elected statewide regularly.

Over time though, the state changed in many ways, few of which were helpful to the Republican cause, and instead of adapting and becoming a viable alternative to Democrats that works for California, Republicans have increasingly gone in the opposite direction of the state.

In public polling, Republicans are usually on the wrong side of the top issues from the majority of Californians. COVID and the environment are perfect examples where Californians want one thing, and Republicans want something completely different.

Many of my fellow Republicans think things will snap back sooner or later once Californians get sick of one party rule.

Quaint, but probably not going to happen.

First, there’s the problem of voter registration — it doesn’t mean everything, but partisanship is one of the best predictors of voter behavior.

Republicans are around one quarter of the electorate. In 2003, a month before former Gov. Gray Davis was recalled, Republicans were 11 percentage points higher.

That’s a huge drop. But in raw numbers, it’s even more pronounced. Since 2003, the deficit has grown from approximately 1.3 million voters to almost 5 million — Democrats basically outnumber Republicans 2 to 1.

In other words, Republicans begin every statewide contest down 5 million votes.

If a statewide election were a basketball game — the average NBA team scores 111 points per game — Republicans would begin the game 111 points behind.

Instead of seeing the obvious math problem, many make up excuses like voter fraud.

But the truth is that California Democrats don’t need to commit voter fraud — they will almost certainly win regardless. But it’s easier for con artists to claim fraud because the alternative would be to admit Californians aren’t buying what they’re selling and that they need to do something different.

Yet Republicans don’t want to do something different; Republicans just want to YELL LOUDER!

The sad thing is that Californians agree the direction of the state needs to change. In a recent poll conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California, a plurality of voters said the state was headed in the wrong direction.

What’s the problem? As much as Californians don’t like Democrats, they really hate Republicans.

While a very slim plurality of voters have an unfavorable view of the Democratic Party (49 percent), a whopping 69 percent of voters have an unfavorable view of Republicans.

To put it another way, fewer people believe in vampires (18 percent) than believe in Republicans, which is encouraging. But Republicans poll way behind the belief of the existence of alien UFOs (41 percent).

In theory, it’s a straightforward fix: Register more Republican voters, broaden our appeal by choosing great candidates and have the party dump a bunch of money in a charm offensive.

Except it’s not that simple. There’s a limited market for unsalable goods.

And even if there was an effective rebranding strategy, Republicans would never agree on it because what we think of as the Republican Party is actually two parties: The establishment and the populists (think: Sen. Mitt Romney and former President Donald Trump).

While these two groups have a lot in common, they are worlds apart on both substance and style, making cohesion nearly impossible.

It’s working in places like Ohio, but in California, where Republicans need to win independent voters and disaffected Democrats in order to compete statewide, the differences seem impossible to reconcile.

What excites the populists, repels persuadable voters — things like conspiracy theories, fealty to Trump, allegations of voter fraud, defying public health recommendations, opposing kneeling in the NFL and saying outrageous things to troll liberals.

And while the populists are running the show, centrist Republicans like me — who still read National Review and are more concerned with stable, solution-oriented governing, low taxes, good schools, opportunities for all and the Constitution and generally don’t read wack websites that condemn FDA-approved vaccines but support animal de-worming medication or whatever — are caught in the middle.

The late William F. Buckley famously said: “I’d be for the most right, viable candidate who could win.” That formula worked for a long time as Buckley and his brand of conservatism dominated American politics for around half a century.

But candidate viability is either something populists no longer value or it is not something they have any ability to determine.

Of course, establishmentarians get it wrong at times. But the establishment didn’t lose an unbelievably safe Alabama Senate seat by nominating an alleged pedophile.

I’ve been personally told by populist activists that the Republican Party would be better off if they could get rid of all the moderate Republicans. The populist delusion is that they’ll win with fewer voters.

If anyone wants to break the Democratic one-party rule that is objectively failing to solve many problems in the state, then the solution isn’t doubling down on unelectable candidates or another recall tantrum. The solution would be to become more electable.

Maybe that’s not possible. You can’t change what’s in people’s hearts. And you certainly can’t get them to stop talking about it.

But many of us are prepared for the hard work and compromise required to build a winning coalition that could succeed in California and improve this state we love so much.

Maybe a lot of people who call themselves Republicans aren’t up for that; maybe they should hurry up and Idaho and get out of the way.

Matt Fleming is a member of the Southern California News Group’s editorial board. You can follow him on Twitter @FlemingWords.

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California needs an alternative to the GOP

The outcome of the recall election was Gavin Newsom 64%, Donald Trump 36%.

A similar result can be expected next year as well. Donald Trump will be the Democrats’ opponent in every race in the state, from governor to United States senator to the California Legislature — and, as a result, the Democratic Party will keep its monopoly position over all statewide offices in California and its two-thirds control of both houses of the Legislature.

This is not healthy for California — especially for Democrats. The voices of reform within that party will be silenced by the decibels of anti-Trump noise.

Many California Democrats worry that their children have to move out of state to afford a home or to find a job whose pay can keep up with state taxes and cost of living.

Many Democrats are grateful for Prop. 13 so that the taxes on their homes don’t skyrocket, jeopardizing their retirement in California.

Many Democrats want the public schools to focus on fundamentals that will train their children for quality careers, rather than a curriculum that checks off the boxes in a politically correct agenda.

Many Democrats want to be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin, in admission to state colleges or getting a job in state or local government.

Many Democrats want California’s roads fixed quickly, efficiently and permanently — whether or not by a union construction firm.

Many Democrats want the money we approved for water bonds to be used to build water storage as was promised.

Many Democrats see California’s windfall budget surplus squandered in one-time transfer payments to favored groups instead of replenishing the rainy-day fund to cushion the next economic downturn.

Many Democrats doubt they get the highest value for paying the highest taxes in the country.

Many Democrats care about the homeless living in unsanitary conditions along San Francisco’s Market Street and Los Angeles’ underpasses — and they care, as well, for the small businesses and law-abiding citizens whose daily life and work takes them by those encampments.

Many Democrats are concerned about the crime that causes neighborhood convenience stores to close up, raises worry about the security of their homes and causes them to look out on the street when a car alarm starts to sound.

California has been judged the most hostile of all 50 states (and even the District of Columbia!) by leaders of companies who decide where to expand and to hire people, in poll after poll over the last 20 years. Democrats care deeply about that. Without a healthy business environment, there is a shortage of good paying jobs, union and non-union.

All of these concerns will be submerged next year, as they were during the recall election.

The winning formula for the majority party, in California politics, is to ignore all of these issues because Donald Trump is such a perfect opponent. Unchallenged, the elites who run the Democratic Party will replicate the decisions they’ve made that have led us to our deep discontent. They have no reason to change because they’re winning.

As for the California Republican Party, its label is irretrievably tarnished. Elected leaders have cowered before the threat of losing in a primary. These timid souls deserve the characterization hurled at them: clones of President Trump. Against their better judgment, they have been silent or complicit in policies that have ballooned deficits, stifled international trade and withdrawn from alliances — positions that would have shocked Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan. The role of constructive critic has given way to uncivil, name-calling firebrand.

Grievance politics has taken over the Republican Party. Identity politics has taken over the Democratic Party. Californians need a new party, a party “for the rest of us,” the Common Sense Party. Our membership includes twice as many former Democrats as former Republicans. All who care more about solving problems than demonizing opponents are welcome to join.

Tom Campbell is a professor of law and of economics at Chapman University. He was a congressman, California state senator and finance director of California. He left the Republican Party in 2016 upon its nomination of Donald Trump. He is in the process of forming a new political party in California, the Common Sense Party.

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SCOTUS has wrongly usurped the state legislative process on key issues

A couple of years after the end of World War II, a U.S. Supreme Court justice expressed concern that the court was picking and choosing which parts of the Bill of Rights would be binding on state governments and which would not.

“Some are in and some are out, but we are left in the dark as to which are in and which are out. Nor are we given the calculus for determining which go in and which stay out,” wrote Justice Felix Frankfurter. “If the basis of selection is merely that those provisions of the first eight Amendments are incorporated which commend themselves to individual justices as indispensable to the dignity and happiness of a free man, we are thrown back to a merely subjective test.”

That was 1947, in a concurring opinion in the case of Adamson v. California. Adamson was appealing his murder conviction and death sentence, arguing that his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent had been violated at his trial, because state law allowed the prosecutor and judge to tell the jury that his refusal to testify might indicate guilt. By a vote of 5-4, the justices ruled against him.

“It is settled law that the clause of the Fifth Amendment, protecting a person against being compelled to be a witness against himself, is not made effective by the Fourteenth Amendment as a protection against state action,” the majority opinion declared.

At the time, it actually was settled law that the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution could be completely violated by state laws, except for the exceptions carved out by the Supreme Court. That’s what prompted Justice Frankfurter’s concern that the court’s rulings risked becoming “merely subjective.”

And here we are. In the past week or so, three U.S. Supreme Court justices have expressed concerns about the public perception that they are partisan politicians in black robes. Justice Amy Coney Barrett told an audience at the University of Louisville McConnell Center that media reports do not accurately depict “the court’s reasoning” as the basis for decisions, instead portraying the justices as “acting in a partisan manner.”

Justice Clarence Thomas, speaking at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, said the justices do not make decisions based on “personal preferences.” He, too, complained about the media, saying the characterization of the justices as being “like a politician” is a problem that is “going to jeopardize any faith in the legal institutions.”

Justice Stephen Breyer recently voiced similar sentiments. In an interview while on a book tour, he sought to push back against the view that the justices are “junior league” politicians.

The comments appear to be something of a campaign against proposals to increase the number of justices on the Supreme Court, as a presidential commission studies the issue. Justice Thomas warned that “we should be really, really careful” before “destroying our institutions.”

But it’s the “merely subjective test” problem identified by Justice Frankfurter in 1947 that has put the institution at risk of destruction. A close look at American legal history reveals that the U.S. Supreme Court has spent nearly the last 100 years selectively “incorporating” parts of the federal Bill of Rights into the Fourteenth Amendment, which bars any state from denying liberty to any person. This process began in the 1920s, long after the Civil War. As recently as 1900, in the case of Maxwell v. Dow, the Supreme Court said the first ten amendments to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, “were not intended to and did not have any effect upon the powers of the respective states.” That decision was not an outlier. “This has been many times decided,” the court pointed out.

Over the decades, the justices invented subjective balancing tests with names like “strict scrutiny” and “intermediate scrutiny” to determine when and how far a state law may infringe a particular provision of the Bill of Rights. The final effect of these decisions is to place the justices in the position of creating policy.

Whatever the merits of the policies so created, this process has had an extremely distorting effect on our politics. For example, confirmation hearings for federal judges are politically contentious because they are now the last chance for Americans to have any say at all about what the law will be on many issues that once were decided by elected, accountable state representatives.

Abortion is one of those issues. In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of Roe v. Wade and sharply limited state power to restrict abortion. There is no constitutional amendment protecting the right to privacy, which was interpreted into existence by the Supreme Court in the 1965 case of Griswold v. Connecticut. Anything that’s interpreted into the Constitution can be interpreted out again.

That may happen. On September 1, by a vote of 5-4, the Supreme Court said it could not order a temporary halt to a Texas law that bans abortion after approximately six weeks of pregnancy. The decision was portrayed by the president, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and nearly all media coverage as the certain death of Roe v. Wade.

When news of that September 1 ruling broke, people were voting by mail in California. It may have been a significant factor in energizing Democratic voters to turn out and defeat the recall.

Because the Supreme Court has usurped the state legislative process on so many controversial and important matters, politicians have had a free pass to go to the extreme edge of issues without worrying about building a coalition to pass legislation. This is great for fundraising and television appearances. It is also the untold story behind the deep partisan division in our country today.

Write Susan Shelley: Susan@SusanShelley.com and follow her on Twitter: @Susan_Shelley.

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JSerra freshman Brynn Garcia and teammates show they belong with the elite at Woodbridge Invitational


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NORCO — On the final day of the Woodbridge Cross Country Invitational on Saturday, several county athletes proved they belong in the same races as the top runners in the state.

The prestigious meet was staged over two nights on a lighted course at the SilverLakes Sports Complex, with the best runners competing in the final four races of the 52-race meet.

Freshman Brynn Garcia of JSerra finished first among county runners and 26th overall in the girls division of the Bob Day Sweepstakes Race, considered the elite event of the meet.

“I’m so happy I’m able to push myself with these amazing runners, and specifically my amazing team,” Garcia said.

Garcia (17:04.9) led the Lions to an eighth-place finish as a team, also No. 1 among county teams.

  • The JSerra girls cross country team finished eighth as a team in the sweepstakes race at the Woodbridge Invitational on Saturday at the SilverLakes Sports Complex in Norco. (Photo by Lou Ponsi, Contributor)

  • Melanie Falkowski of Laguna Beach placed 10th overall in the Girls Rated Varsity Race at the Woodbridge Invitational in Norco on Saturday, Sept. 18. (Photo by Lou Ponsi, Contributor)

  • Beckman senior Christopher Keyler finished seventh overall and first among county runners in the Boys Rated Varstiy Race at the Woodbridge Invitational. (Photo by Lou Ponsi, Contributor) 

  • JSerra’s Brynn Garcia finished seventh in the sweepstakes race at the Woodbridge Invitational on Saturday in Norco. Garcia led the Lions to an eighth-place finish as a team. (Photo by Lou Ponsi, Contributor)

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“We come here to race against good teams,” said Lions coach Chase Frazier, who is in his second year at JSerra.  “We want to be one of the best teams in California, so we’ve got to show up at this race and put ourselves in the fastest one. We don’t want to be in a slower race just to win. We want to be in a race like this and do as well as we can.”

In the boys sweepstakes race, Aliso Niguel’s Brennan Foody (14:26.3) led county runners on the fast course with an 11th-place finish, more than a minute faster than his winning time in last week’s Division 1 Senior Boys race at the Laguna Hills Invitational.

In the Girls Rated Varsity Race, just a notch below the sweepstakes race in terms of times, Melanie Falkowski of Laguna Beach crossed the line in 10th place overall and was first among county runners.

“I felt really nervous going into it,” said Falkowski, who finished second at last season’s Sunset League finals. “I also felt controlled and happy that I was making my way up because I’ve never been in a race like this. It was such an amazing experience.”

A week after setting records on her home course in the Laguna Hills Invitational, Golden Hawks freshman Holly Barker made her mark on a bigger stage.

On Friday, the first night of competition, Barker won the red division varsity race in 16 minutes, 27.4 seconds, the second-fastest time for a freshman in the history of the prestigious meet.

Barker also beat her winning time from the freshman race at Laguna Hills by more than 30 seconds.

The mark was also the best ever in a Friday race since Woodbridge expanded to a two-night event in 2011.

“I didn’t believe that time,” Frazier said of Barker’s performance. “I thought it was a mistake because it was so fast.”

Beckman senior Christopher Keyler clocked 14 minutes, 47.2 seconds to lead county athletes with a seventh-place finish in the Boys Rated Varsity Race.

 

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Battle over sports betting in Calfiornia shapes up

More than two dozen states have already legalized sports betting following a 2018 Supreme Court ruling that struck down a federal ban, and now California gaming interests are stepping into the arena for a heavyweight fight.

Native American tribes have qualified an initiative for the November 2022 ballot that would legalize on-site sports betting at tribal casinos and horse-racing tracks. However, other types of licensed gambling businesses, such as card rooms, would be prohibited from offering sports betting, and the initiative authorizes private lawsuits to enforce the law.

That didn’t sit well with the card rooms. Joining with city officials, they filed their own initiative in August, now called the “California Solutions to Homelessness, Public Education Funding, Affordable Housing and Reduction of Problem Gambling Act.” The measure calls it “unconscionable that illegal operators are reaping hundreds of millions of dollars in profits from California consumers without providing any tax revenue to support the needs of our state residents for public services and improving our economy.”

The card rooms’ initiative promises a “safe, legal online and mobile sports wagering market that is honest, regulated and taxed” at the rate of 15% plus 1% of the gross, plus a hefty licensing fee. Eligible operators would include “but are not limited to” racing associations, federally recognized Indian tribes, licensed gambling establishments and professional sports teams—Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, NBA, NFL, WNBA and Major League Soccer teams would be allowed to offer online or mobile wagering.

Now a third initiative to legalize sports betting has been filed. Backed by major gaming companies including DraftKings, BetMGM, FanDuel, and Bally’s, it’s called the “California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act.” The proponents say it complements the initiative from the Native American tribes by legalizing online wagering, but only if the operator has partnered with a tribal casino or horse-racing track. The measure sets up a new fund in the state treasury to collect the tax revenue and split it 85-15 between the “Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Account” and a “Tribal Economic Development Account.”

You can bet on this: if the state’s experience with legalizing marijuana is any guide, high taxes and excessive regulation are sure to keep the illegal bookmakers raking it in.

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Servite football sparked by Fifita and McMillan in victory over Sierra Canyon

CHATSWORTH — Quarterback Noah Fifita and Tetairoa McMillan connected for a 46-yard touchdown just before halftime to give Servite a boost of momentum, and it went on to dominate the second half and defeat Sierra Canyon 44-22 on Friday night in a matchup of two of the top teams in the state.

The Friars (4-0) took a 28-16 lead into halftime with the TD reception by McMillan, which gave them some breathing room.

Servite had given up a touchdown and a safety in the second quarter, allowing Sierra Canyon (2-2) to pull within 21-16.

  • Servite’s Keyan Burnett drags Sierra Canyon tacklers into the endzone for a touchdown Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

  • Servite quarterback Noah Fifita runs for yardage against Sierra Canyon Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

  • Servite running back Houston Thomas breaks a long run for a touchdown against Sierra Canyon Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

  • Servite running back Houston Thomas lifted up by Oskar Madrigal after Thomas’ touchdown against Sierra Canyon Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

  • Servite quarterback Noah Fifita, left, and Tetairoa McMillan shake hands after a touchdown against Sierra Canyon Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

  • Sierra Canyon quarterback Daniel Duran passes against Servite Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

  • Servite running back Houston Thomas has his jersey stretched during a tackle by Sierra Canyon Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

  • Servite receiver Tetairoa McMillan is tackled by Sierra Canyon’s Carmel Crunk, Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

  • Servite quarterback Noah Fifita laterals the ball during a run against Sierra Canyon Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

  • A referee backs away as Servite receiver Tetairoa McMillan runs for yardage against Sierra Canyon, Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

  • Servite’s Keyan Burnett (88) and Tetairoa McMillan (4) celebrate a touchdown by Burnett against Sierra Canyon Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

  • Sierra Canyon head coach Jon Ellinghouse talks to officials during their game against Servite Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

  • Servite quarterback Noah Fifita is sacked by Sierra Canyon for a safety Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

  • Sierra Canyon’s Jason Jones is tackled by Servite’s Josiah Laban Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

  • Sierra Canyon’s Aidan Bretthauer (50) carries the flag as they come onto the field for their game against Servite Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

  • Sierra Canyon’s Alonzo Contreras runs for a touchdown against Servite Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

  • Servite comes onto the field for the second half against Sierra Canyon Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Pierce College. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

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But the second half was all Servite, as it built up its lead to 44-16 early in the fourth quarter.

Fifita, a junior who is committed to Arizona, finished with 238 yards passing and two TDs, and he had two rushing TDs.

McMillan, a junior who is committed to Oregon, had 11 receptions for 163 yards and one TD.

Houston Thomas gave Servite a 21-7 lead in the second quarter with a 46-yard scoring run. He finished with 118 yards on 20 carries.

Keyan Burnett caught a 20-yard pass from Fifita to put Servite ahead 14-0 in the first quarter.

The Friars are ranked No. 9 in the nation by MaxPreps.com and No. 3 in the state, behind Mater Dei and St. John Bosco.

Sierra Canyon, which was coming off a 35-14 loss to Centennial of Corona, is ranked No. 6 in the state.

 

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Records broken as Orange football defeats Capistrano Valley in 67-47 shootout

MISSION VIEJO — Multiple school records were shattered Friday when Orange beat Capistrano Valley 67-47 in a nonleague football game at Capistrano Valley High.

Orange quarterback Zachary Siskowic threw for a school-record 477 yards and seven touchdowns. The transfer from Crespi also ran for 81 yards and a touchdown. Earlier in the day, he received a scholarship offer from Portland State.

“I feel great. I have to give all the credit to my linemen and receivers,” Siskowic said. “They (Capo Valley) came out and gave us exactly what we prepared for and wanted, so we took advantage of that.”

  • Orange quarterback Zachary Siskowic carries the ball during a quarterback keeper play during Friday’s nonleague game against Capistrano Valley on September 17, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • Orange running back Kobe Boykin carries the ball during a nonleague game against Capistrano Valley on Friday, September 17, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • Orange defender Jett White makes an interception that he carried back for a 90-yard touchdown during a nonleague game at Capistrano Valley High School on Friday night, September 17, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • Capistrano Valley quarterback Trey Kukuk throws the ball while on the run on a 2-point conversion attempt during a nonleague game against Orange on Friday, September 17, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • Capistrano Valley quarterback Trey Kukuk throws the ball during a nonleague game against Orange on Friday, September 17, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • Capistrano Valley players celebrate a touchdown by wide receiver Owen Taylor during a nonleague game against Orange on Friday, September 17, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • Capistrano Valley defender Kayden Pascua sacks Orange quarterback Zachary Siskowic during Friday’s nonleague game between the two teams on September 17, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • Orange receiver Jonathan Smith Jr. makes a leaping catch during a nonleague game at Capistrano Valley High School on Friday, September 17, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • Capistrano Valley wide receiver Owen Taylor carries the ball after a catch during a nonleague game against Orange on Friday, September 17, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • Capistrano Valley wide receiver Owen Taylor carries the ball after a catch during a nonleague game against Orange on Friday, September 17, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • Capistrano Valley wide receiver Owen Taylor carries the ball after a catch during a nonleague game against Orange on Friday, September 17, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • Orange quarterback Zachary Siskowic throws the ball during a nonleague game against Capistrano Valley on Friday, September 17, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • Capistrano Valley quarterback Trey Kukuk throws the ball during a nonleague game against Orange on Friday, September 17, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • Capistrano Valley wide receiver Dane Benedix carries the ball after a catch during a nonleague game against Orange on Friday, September 17, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • Capistrano Valley quarterback Trey Kukuk throws the ball during a nonleague game against Orange on Friday, September 17, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • Orange quarterback Zachary Siskowic throws the ball during a nonleague game against Capistrano Valley on Friday, September 17, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • Orange quarterback Zachary Siskowic throws the ball during a nonleague game against Capistrano Valley on Friday, September 17, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • Capistrano Valley’s homecoming princesses stand together during the halftime show at Friday’s football game against Orange on September 17, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • The Capistrano Valley Cougars take the field for their nonleague home game against Orange on Friday, September 17, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • Capistrano Valley students cheer on the Cougars during Friday’s home football game against Orange on September 17, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • Capistrano Valley marching band members perform on the field before the start of Friday’s football game against Orange on September 17, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

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“This is exactly where we thought he would be,” Orange coach Robert Pedroza said. “We know how good he is. Tonight, he was special.”

On the other side of the field, Capo Valley receiver Dane Benedix had a school-record 299 yards receiving on 13 receptions with three touchdowns.

The momentum of the game flipped in Orange’s favor late in the second quarter. Capo Valley (3-2) had a 14-13 lead and was driving into the red zone. Orange’s freshman cornerback, Arron “Jett” White, intercepted a pass and ran it back 90 yards for a touchdown to put Orange (2-2) ahead 19-13.

Shortly after, Siskowic threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Kobe Boykin to give Orange a 25-13 lead at halftime.

The floodgates opened from there for Siskowic and the Orange offense. Early in the third quarter, Siskowic threw a 72-yard touchdown pass to Jonathan Smith Jr. to extend the lead to 32-14.

After the Orange defense made a goal-line stand, Siskowic threw a 96-yard touchdown to Corbin Hale to put Orange up by 25 points. Hale caught five passes for 163 yards and three touchdowns.

Capo Valley quarterback Trey Kukuk then rushed for a 7-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 19 points. Kukuk had four passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns.

Siskowic threw a 59-yard touchdown pass to Smith to put Orange back in front 46-20. Smith had a team-high 168 yards on four catches with two touchdowns.

Capo Valley responded immediately with a 35-yard touchdown pass from Kukuk to Benedix.

Cougars kicker Dylan Fingersh recovered his own onside kick and Kukuk capped the short scoring drive with a quarterback sneak to cut Orange’s lead to 46-33.

Siskowic threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to Boykin and at that point, his last five completions were touchdown passes.

On the ensuing kickoff, Jaden Cassidy returned it 87 yards for a Capo Valley touchdown.

Boykin and Siskowic each ran for touchdowns in the fourth quarter to ensure the victory. Boykin rushed for 137 yards and had 112 yards receiving with three total touchdowns.

“It’s nice to have these games that are good, competitive and close,” Pedroza said. “Hopefully that prepares us for later on. It’s a big win. It’s a great environment here and that’s a great football team. Anytime you get a road win at a place like this, it’s a huge program win.”

Kukuk, who was the county’s leading passer entering Friday, completed 18 of 42 passes for 318 yards with four touchdowns. His six total touchdowns are a career-high.

Capo Valley will host Cypress on Friday, Sept. 24.

Orange has won two consecutive games after an 0-2 start. The Panthers will host undefeated Foothill on Thursday at El Modena High.

 

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Los Alamitos boys water polo sinks Santa Margarita to open South Coast Tournament

COSTA MESA — Los Alamitos’ boys water polo team might not be part of a high-profile league or have much recent experience in the Division 1 playoffs but the Griffins showed Thursday that their scrappy style can knock off a heavyweight.

Attacker Caleb Francisco and Nicholas Keane each scored five goals as the No. 9 Griffins defeated reigning Trinity League champion and No. 8 Santa Margarita 13-9 in a first-round match at the South Coast Tournament at Costa Mesa.

Los Alamitos (2-2) later fell to top-seeded Huntington Beach 16-7 in the second round but the Griffins showcased a strong press and dedicated counterattack against the Eagles (3-3).

The reigning Wave League champion Griffins forced at least five turnovers in each period and led for the final 21 minutes, 34 seconds of the match.

Francisco added three steals to help lead the defense. Junior goalie Tomas De Luca added six saves in his matchup against Santa Margarita goalie Zach Cwertnia (seven saves).

Los Alamitos led 9-4 at halftime before Santa Margarita trimmed its deficit to 9-7 in the third. But the Griffins called timeout and received a steal and breakaway goal from sophomore Cole Francisco to end the Eagles’ surge.

Keane then scored the first two goals of the fourth, converting a strike from center and power-play chance to give the Griffins a 12-7 lead.

Junior Nick Leung added two goals for Los Alamitos, which competed in the Division 2 playoffs in 2019 and 2018.

Nicholas Ohlson scored three goals to lead the Eagles while Spencer Averitt added four assists and played strong 2-meter defense.

In the quarterfinals Friday at 6 p.m., Huntington Beach will face Surf League foe Laguna Beach, which beat The Bishop’s 12-10 in the second round.

In other results, Mater Dei defeated Loyola 13-8 to advance to the quarterfinals to take on Trinity League rival Orange Lutheran, 14-8 winner against Oaks Christian.

Newport Harbor also reached the quarterfinals and will play host Harvard-Westlake.

Sacred Heart Prep and Cathedral Catholic will meet in the other quarterfinal at Foothill.

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