Another California theme park reopens for Halloween event

Legoland California will partially reopen without rides for a new Halloween event as shuttered California theme parks continue to find ways to swing open their gates while awaiting promised guidelines from the state that will allow them to return to full operations.

The new Halloween in Miniland event will run on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Oct. 2 to 31 at the Carlsbad theme park.

Sign up for our Park Life newsletter and find out what’s new and interesting every week at Southern California’s theme parks. Subscribe here.

SEE ALSO: Legoland to Gov. Newsom: Let California theme parks reopen

Advance online reservations are required so Legoland can maintain reduced capacity limits amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Knott’s Berry Farm and SeaWorld San Diego have also partially reopened for Halloween-themed events without rides, roller coasters or attractions. Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood and Six Flags Magic Mountain have been forced to cancel their annual Halloween events due to the pandemic.

SEE ALSO: Legoland California brings Lego Movie World to life with new themed land

The four-hour Halloween in Miniland events will feature seasonal décor, socially distanced character meet-and-greets, Lego pumpkin- building challenges and scavenger hunts for spooky minifigures in the New York City, Las Vegas and San Francisco areas of Miniland.

Seasonal fall foods will be available for purchase at the Smokehouse BBQ Restaurant, Ninja Kitchen and Granny’s Apple Fries. The Big Shop near the park entrance will be open for shopping.

SEE ALSO: Largest U.S. theme parks report no COVID-19 outbreaks since reopening

Kids get a bag of Halloween candy and a Lego minifigure when they leave the park.

Visitors can come dressed in costumes but must also wear a COVID-19 face covering.

Halloween in Miniland will be limited to four-hour blocks from 3 to 7 p.m. on Fridays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays.

Advance reservation tickets cost $13 for daily visitors and $8 for Legoland annual passholders. Parking is $5.

Read more about Another California theme park reopens for Halloween event This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. Irvine Shredding Service

Powered by WPeMatico

Justin Herbert sees constant pressure behind Chargers’ thin O-line

COSTA MESA — Many of Justin Herbert’s remarkable throws to start his career have stood out because of his ability to escape defenders.

The Chargers’ rookie quarterback hasn’t been rattled by pressure and his mobility and instincts have allowed him to keep his eyes downfield to make impressive throws, one being the touchdown dart he completed to Keenan Allen last week against the Carolina Panthers.

Herbert got away from Panthers pass rusher Brian Burns on the touchdown highlight, but Burns hit him in the first quarter for a strip sack. Herbert also had the wind knocked out of him in the fourth quarter after taking a shot to the ribs.

The No. 6 overall pick has displayed toughness in his first two career games, but he’s taken numerous hits. That was something Chargers coach Anthony Lynn was trying to avoid during Herbert’s rookie season.

Lynn was forced to start Herbert because of Tyrod Taylor’s ribs and chest injuries and it doesn’t help that the offensive line is depleted by injuries.

Herbert has completed 69.5 percent of his passes and reached 300 passing yards in the two starts, despite the constant pocket pressure. But it will only get tougher Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ stacked front seven, which includes Ndamukong Suh, Jason Pierre-Paul, Vita Vea, Shaquil Barrett and Lavonte David.

Herbert has played well enough to be the permanent starter, but Lynn has declined to go that far, and part of it could because he wants to protect him from taking more hits.

Lynn didn’t name a starting quarterback Wednesday for the Week 4 road game, but Herbert is on track to make his third consecutive start with Taylor missing another practice.

Right guard Trai Turner and right tackle Bryan Bulaga also didn’t practice Wednesday. The two linemen were brought in this offseason to give the Chargers one of the better right sides in the NFL, but they’ve only played one drive together.

That lone drive was also Herbert’s first career drive, and it was a memorable one, with Herbert scoring a 4-yard rushing touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 2.

Turner missed the first game against the Cincinnati Bengals because of a knee injury and was sidelined last week versus the Panthers because of a groin injury. Bulaga injured his knee on the first drive against the Chiefs and sustained a back injury versus the Panthers.

The Chargers’ four-time Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey was lost for the season before Week 1 because of a hip injury. That moved Dan Feeney from left guard to center and promoted offensive guard Forrest Lamp to the starting lineup.

“That’s football,” Feeney said Wednesday about the injuries to the offensive line. “People go down and people gotta fill in. The train is always going to keep rolling.”

Second-year lineman Trey Pipkins has filled in for Bulaga at right tackle and Tyree St. Louis and Ryan Groy have split time at right guard to replace Turner. St. Louis sustained a concussion versus the Panthers.

Sam Tevi playing left tackle is the only consistency the Chargers have had on the offensive line, but he’s also had his share of struggles this season.

The Panthers were the only team in the NFL without a sack after two games. They found their pass rush versus the Chargers’ shorthanded offensive line.

Carolina recorded 21 pressures versus the Chargers, according to Pro Football Focus. They also hit Herbert eight times and sacked him twice.

Those numbers could get worse against the Buccaneers’ talented front seven, especially if Turner and Bulaga are out Sunday.

“Under the circumstances, I think they’ve played OK,” Lynn said about the offensive line. “Obviously, I’d say great if we were 3-0 right now, but we’re 1-2. I think they’ve played OK under these circumstances.

“A lot of these young guys have had to step up and play. They’ve haven’t played before and they’re getting some valuable game experience, and this is going to help us as the year goes on because every man on the roster at some point is going to have to play this year.”

Lynn said the thin offensive line has held its own because they’re averaging 151.6 rushing yards per game and Herbert has completed nearly 70 percent of his passes.

Herbert might be forced into many quick throws if his top linemen aren’t healthy enough to play Sunday.

“It’s probably the most I’ve had in my life,” Lynn said about the offensive line shuffling. “But we’ve gotta make it work.”

OTHER INJURIES

Defensive end Joey Bosa missed Wednesday’s practice because of multiple injuries. He has played with a triceps injury, but he appeared on the Week 4 injury report with an ankle injury.

Wide receiver Mike Williams also didn’t practice. He injured his hamstring in the fourth quarter against the Panthers.

Running back Justin Jackson returned to practice and was a full participant with a quadricep injury.

Read more about Justin Herbert sees constant pressure behind Chargers’ thin O-line This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. Irvine Shredding Service

Powered by WPeMatico

Helitanker can drop 3,000 gallons of water on a wildfire

Fire authorities showcased on Wednesday, Sept. 30, a water-dropping helicopter with a 3,000-gallon capacity that will be available to combat the ever-growing blazes erupting in the region.

“This helitanker is a force multiplier,” Orange County Fire Authority Chief Brian Fennessy said at a press conference at the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos. “This literally is the largest tanked helicopter in the world.”

  • A pilot prepares a CH-47 twin-engine, tandem rotor helicopter during a press event at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Beach in Los Alamitos, CA, on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. The RADS (retardant aerial delivery system) on the VLHT (very large helitanker) allows pilots to adjust water/retardant flows based on speed an altitude. Ot can also fight fires at night. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Workers affix a new OCFA sticker to the side of a CH-47 twin-engine, tandem rotor helicopter during a press event at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Beach in Los Alamitos, CA, on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. The RADS (retardant aerial delivery system) on the VLHT (very large helitanker) allows pilots to adjust water/retardant flows based on speed an altitude. Ot can also fight fires at night. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Sound
    The gallery will resume inseconds
  • A pilot prepares a CH-47 twin-engine, tandem rotor helicopter during a press event in Los Alamitos, CA, on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. The RADS (retardant aerial delivery system) on the VLHT (very large helitanker) allows pilots to adjust water/retardant flows based on speed an altitude. Ot can also fight fires at night. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A CH-47 twin-engine, tandem rotor helicopter during a press event at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Beach in Los Alamitos, CA, on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. The RADS (retardant aerial delivery system) on the VLHT (very large helitanker) allows pilots to adjust water/retardant flows based on speed an altitude. Ot can also fight fires at night. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A Bell 412 demonstrates dropping water during a press event for the CH-47 twin-engine, tandem rotor helicopter demonstrates dropping 3,000 gallons of water during a press event at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Beach in Los Alamitos, CA, on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. The RADS (retardant aerial delivery system) on the VLHT (very large helitanker) allows pilots to adjust water/retardant flows based on speed an altitude. Ot can also fight fires at night. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A CH-47 twin-engine, tandem rotor helicopter demonstrates dropping 3,000 gallons of water during a press event at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Beach in Los Alamitos, CA, on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. The RADS (retardant aerial delivery system) on the VLHT (very large helitanker) allows pilots to adjust water/retardant flows based on speed an altitude. Ot can also fight fires at night. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Brigadier General Michael Leeney talks the CH-47 twin-engine, tandem rotor helicopter during a press event at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Beach in Los Alamitos, CA, on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. The RADS (retardant aerial delivery system) on the VLHT (very large helitanker) allows pilots to adjust water/retardant flows based on speed an altitude. Ot can also fight fires at night. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A CH-47 twin-engine, tandem rotor helicopter sits next to a Bell 412 during a press event at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Beach in Los Alamitos, CA, on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. The RADS (retardant aerial delivery system) on the VLHT (very large helitanker) allows pilots to adjust water/retardant flows based on speed an altitude. Ot can also fight fires at night. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A CH-47 twin-engine, tandem rotor helicopter during a press event in Los Alamitos, CA, on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. The RADS (retardant aerial delivery system) on the VLHT (very large helitanker) allows pilots to adjust water/retardant flows based on speed an altitude. Ot can also fight fires at night. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Orange County Fire Authority Chief Brian Fennessy talks about their new CH-47 twin-engine, tandem rotor helicopter during a press event at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Beach in Los Alamitos, CA, on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. The RADS (retardant aerial delivery system) on the VLHT (very large helitanker) allows pilots to adjust water/retardant flows based on speed an altitude. Ot can also fight fires at night. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Workers affix a new OCFA sticker to the side of a CH-47 twin-engine, tandem rotor helicopter during a press event at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Beach in Los Alamitos, CA, on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. The RADS (retardant aerial delivery system) on the VLHT (very large helitanker) allows pilots to adjust water/retardant flows based on speed an altitude. Ot can also fight fires at night. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A CH-47 twin-engine, tandem rotor helicopter demonstrates dropping 3,000 gallons of water during a press event at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Beach in Los Alamitos, CA, on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. The RADS (retardant aerial delivery system) on the VLHT (very large helitanker) allows pilots to adjust water/retardant flows based on speed an altitude. Ot can also fight fires at night. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The soak-it of a CH-47 twin-engine, tandem rotor helicopter during a press event in Los Alamitos, CA, on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. The RADS (retardant aerial delivery system) on the VLHT (very large helitanker) allows pilots to adjust water/retardant flows based on speed an altitude. Ot can also fight fires at night. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A CH-47 twin-engine, tandem rotor helicopter during a press event at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Beach in Los Alamitos, CA, on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. The RADS (retardant aerial delivery system) on the VLHT (very large helitanker) allows pilots to adjust water/retardant flows based on speed an altitude. Ot can also fight fires at night. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A pilot prepares a CH-47 twin-engine, tandem rotor helicopter during a press event in Los Alamitos, CA, on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. The RADS (retardant aerial delivery system) on the VLHT (very large helitanker) allows pilots to adjust water/retardant flows based on speed an altitude. Ot can also fight fires at night. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

of

Expand

During Wednesday’s demonstration, the twin-propeller aircraft dropped a massive 2,600-gallon curtain of water to the ground, far exceeding the drop made as comparison from a regular OCFA helicopter, which showered about 250 gallons.

Starting Oct. 1, the aircraft will be manned around the clock and be available to regions serviced by Southern California Edison, including Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

Edison has provided funding to help lease and operate the CH-47 Helitanker.

“This helitanker will help strengthen the daytime and nighttime fire suppression activities within (Southern California Edison’s) service area and beyond if needed,” SCE President and CEO Kevin Payne said during the press conference.

Fennessy said dropping water onto wildfires greatly helps slow down their spread and authorities hope to use the massive helitanker to combat the growing fires in the region: the El Dorado fire in the San Bernardino National Forest – which has claimed the life of a firefighter – and the Bobcat fire in Angeles National Forest, the second-largest blaze to ever burn in Los Angeles County, should they still be burning.

Read more about Helitanker can drop 3,000 gallons of water on a wildfire This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. Irvine Shredding Service

Powered by WPeMatico

$800 million payout for Las Vegas Strip shooting victims and relatives is OK’d by judge

By KEN RITTER | Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — A court on Wednesday approved a total of $800 million in payouts from casino company MGM Resorts International and its insurers to more than 4,400 relatives and victims of the Las Vegas Strip shooting that was the deadliest in recent U.S. history.

The action makes final a deal announced earlier this month and settles dozens of lawsuits on the eve of the third anniversary of the shooting that killed 58 people and injured more than 850 at an open-air concert near the Mandalay Bay resort.

Clark County District Court Judge Linda Bell, in her brief order, cited “near-unanimous participation in the settlement among potential claimants.”

  • FILE – In this Oct. 3, 2017, file photo, windows are broken at the Mandalay Bay resort and casino in Las Vegas, the room from where Stephen Craig Paddock fired on a nearby music festival, killing 58 and injuring others, on Oct. 1, 2017. A judge in Nevada has approved a total of $800 million in payouts from casino company MGM Resorts International and its insurers to more than 4,400 relatives and victims of the Las Vegas Strip shooting that was the deadliest in recent U.S. history. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

  • FILE – In this Sept. 30, 2018, file photo, Jim Strickland, of Oroville, Calif., writes a message on a cross at a makeshift memorial for the 58 victims killed in an Oct. 1, 2017, mass shooting in Las Vegas. A judge in Nevada has approved a total of $800 million in payouts from casino company MGM Resorts International and its insurers to more than 4,400 relatives and victims of the Las Vegas Strip shooting that was the deadliest in recent U.S. history. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

  • Sound
    The gallery will resume inseconds
  • In this Oct. 1, 2018, file photo, survivors return to the scene of a mass shooting on the first anniversary in Las Vegas. A judge in Nevada has approved a total of $800 million in payouts from casino company MGM Resorts International and its insurers to more than 4,400 relatives and victims of the Las Vegas Strip shooting that was the deadliest in recent U.S. history. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

of

Expand

Authorities said more than 22,000 people were attending an outdoor music festival when a gunman firing military-style weapons from windows on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay rained rapid-fire bullets into the crowd.

MGM Resorts, owner of the hotel and the concert venue, acknowledged no liability with the settlement. It will pay $49 million, while its insurance companies will pay $751 million.

“We are grateful that the decision brings families, victims and the community closer to closure,” the company said in a statement. It noted the anniversary of the Oct. 1, 2017, event, calling it “a time of great sadness and reflection.”

Memorial ceremonies are scheduled Thursday at several venues in Las Vegas, including a reading of the names of the slain beginning at 10:05 p.m. — the time the first shots rang out.

Attorney Robert Eglet, the plaintiffs’ lawyer who spent a year arranging the settlement with clients, legal firms and attorneys in at least 10 states, said amounts to be disbursed will be determined by two retired judges and he’s hopeful that payments will begin going out by the end of the year.

“There’ve been no objections and we expect no appeals,” Eglet told The Associated Press. “We’ll send out notices of the order. After 30 days the $800 million will be deposited.”

The case will be dismissed at that time, he added.

Eglet previously said that everyone involved “recognized there are no winners in long, drawn-out litigation with multiple trials where people and the community are reliving the event every time we try a case.”

A line-by-line list of victims, identified by their initials only, runs for more than 170 pages of a 225-page civil complaint filed Sept. 9 seeking compensation and punitive damages from MGM Resorts. It accused the casino company of negligence, wrongful death and liability in the 2017 shooting.

Millions of dollars could go to the most severely and permanently injured, Eglet said, depending on factors including age, number of dependents, type of injuries, previous and future medical treatment, and ability to work.

A minimum $5,000 would go to each person who filed a claim for unseen injuries and did not seek medical attention or therapy.

Administrators of the account will be retired Nevada Judge Jennifer Togliatti and retired California Judge Louis Meisinger, with help from the Virginia-based claims management legal firm BrownGreer.

Court filings in the case don’t mention the gunman, Stephen Paddock, who killed himself before police closed in.

Las Vegas police and the FBI determined the 64-year-old retired accountant and high-stakes poker player meticulously planned the attack and acted alone. They theorized he may have sought notoriety, but said they never determined a clear motive for the attack.

Read more about $800 million payout for Las Vegas Strip shooting victims and relatives is OK’d by judge This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. Irvine Shredding Service

Powered by WPeMatico

Economic forecast: California years away from jobs recovery

The California job market, which was at an all-time best level in February, appears to be years away from a return to the lofty heights it enjoyed before the coronavirus unleashed wide-ranging economic woes, a forecast released Wednesday says.

The outlook from the UCLA Anderson Forecast suggests California’s pre-coronavirus economic boom won’t reappear for at least two years.

It was just a few months ago, from August 2019 through February of this year, that the jobless rate in California was at a record low of 3.9%.

“A full recovery to pre-recession levels of economic activity is not expected until after 2022 in the state,” Leila Bengali, an economist with the UCLA Anderson Forecast, wrote in a report that sketched out the forecast’s outlook for California’s economy.

Although a noticeable improvement might begin to emerge by the end of 2020, the Anderson forecast made it clear that the road to a return to a pre-coronavirus economy statewide is in the 2023 timeframe.

“We project that the state’s economic outlook will improve substantially in the third quarter of this year, but that a full recovery will take us past the end of 2022,” said Anderson economist Bengali.

 

Read more about Economic forecast: California years away from jobs recovery This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. Irvine Shredding Service

Powered by WPeMatico

Rocket-ship traffic jam delays SpaceX launch at busy Cape Canaveral

HAWTHORNE — There’s a lot of traffic these days at Cape Canaveral in Florida, and the congestion forced a delay Wednesday in a planned launch by Hawthorne-based SpaceX of a U.S. Space Force GPS satellite.

The launch of the Falcon 9 rocket carrying the GPS III Space Vehicle 04 had been scheduled for 6:51 p.m. California time. But citing “a conflict on the range,” SpaceX reset the launch for 6:43 p.m. Friday.

The delay was due to another scheduled mission, a United Launch Alliance rocket carrying a satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office set for just before 9 p.m. Wednesday, also at Cape Canaveral.

In the meantime, SpaceX will attempt early Thursday to launch another batch of internet satellites. The company is targeting launch for 6:17 a.m. California time Thursday to launch a Falcon 9 rocket carrying 60 of its Starlink satellites into orbit.

The Starlink launch has been delayed multiple times, largely due to bad weather in Florida earlier this month caused by Hurricane Sally. It will be SpaceX’s 13th launch of Starlink satellites as part of the company’s effort to build a worldwide, low-cost broadband network designed to bring internet access to under-served areas around the globe.

Friday’s U.S. Space Force launch will be the third National Security Space Launch by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. As has become customary, SpaceX will attempt to recover the first stage of the rocket after launch so it can be reused in future missions.

The satellite will be added to an array that already includes 31 satellites orbiting at a rough altitude of 12,550 miles above the Earth.

“Our GPS III team is excited to be here once again,” Col. Edward Byrne, Medium Earth Orbit Space Systems Division chief, said in a statement. “Less than three months ago, we successfully launched GPS III SV03. Since then, the team has successfully delivered the satellite to its final orbit, performed on-orbit testing and delivered the satellite to operations, while executing a mature satellite production line. I can’t be more proud of everyone involved in this mission.

“The launch of GPS III SV04 will continue to modernize our GPS constellation by increasing our capabilities with advanced features for both our civil and military users across the world,” he said.

Read more about Rocket-ship traffic jam delays SpaceX launch at busy Cape Canaveral This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. Irvine Shredding Service

Powered by WPeMatico

California’s rent strike: Who pays and how it works

By | CalMatters

As the pandemic stretches into its seventh month, tenants and landlords have found themselves facing the same question: Who’s going to pay the rent if unemployment continues to hover north of 11%?

After the California Supreme Court’s eviction moratorium expired Sept. 1, Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers extended protections for residential renters and forestalled evictions until Feb. 1 for people who declared that they lost income due to the coronavirus pandemic. Without a larger national bailout, the state deal is essentially a short-term fix that will convert back rent to civil debt, meaning landlords will still be able to pursue repayment in small claims court.

What this means for renters is that while they get to stay in their homes, the debt keeps piling up.

The most radical strategy advocated by tenant advocates is a rent strike, a formerly fringe political tactic that’s getting mainstream attention. But what does that actually mean? How does it work? And who will end up paying?

What is a rent strike?

In theory, a rent strike is a collective action meant to force a change in living conditions. Tenants withhold payment, or part of their rent, if they don’t have access to clean water, if their apartment has an unresolved safety issue or to dispute a rent increase.

Rent strikes typically take place in multi-unit apartment complexes, where tenants collectively refuse to pay rent until a problem is fixed, essentially forming a union of tenants. But that could be changing during the pandemic as the threat of evictions looms over a far wider swath of tenants.

How would a rent strike work in a pandemic?

Tenant advocates say, first and foremost, those who can pay their rent should keep paying their rent. If they choose to withhold it even if they can pay it, they should put that money in a shared escrow account. But for people choosing between rent and food, advocates say the choice should be food and other living expenses.

They also caution that no one should commit a rent strike of one. That’s just refusing to pay your rent. Instead, by joining with other tenants and paying into a collective pot run by activists – in some cases, as little as $10 per month – the tenants will have support from housing attorneys and tenant advocates.

What’s also changing during the pandemic is a broader call for rent strikes among people who are not in multi-unit buildings. That could include people in single family homes, which would be unprecedented.

Who’s supporting this?

The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, a grant- and membership-funded left-leaning organizing group based in six California counties, is the primary driver behind the statewide coordinated effort.

The ACCE says it’s organizing tenants in Los Angeles and Oakland, among other cities, and one major Bay Area corporate landlord has 12 of their 18 multifamily buildings on a rent strike. The test of the rent strikes’ effectiveness won’t be clear until the end of local and statewide eviction moratorium, or until there is a larger federal or statewide solution for COVID-impacted tenants.

But in another wrinkle of the pandemic, rent strikes went from fringe political action to something seen as politically feasible by major labor groups. Alex Caputo-Pearl, president of the United Teachers Los Angeles union, joined the call for a rent strike in May.

What about landlords?

They’re worried. Beginning just a month after the pandemic, the California Apartment Association warned landlords that a general strike was on the horizon, and indeed that some of its members had already received notices from tenants on a rent strike.

The National Multifamily Housing Council estimates that more than 13% of tenants in America paid no rent by Sept. 13 in a survey of 11.4 million units. That’s up from 11% in April.

The apartment association says it recognizes that people are experiencing financial hardship and urges its members to work with tenants to find reasonable solutions. But landlords still conducted at least 1,600 evictions between Mar. 19 and the end of July in 40 counties, including more than 400 evictions since Newsom instituted an eviction moratorium on Mar. 27.

The apartment association argues many landlords can’t do needed repairs and maintenance without rental income, worsening the living conditions for people who may be protesting their living conditions to begin with.

Won’t people just get evicted?

That depends on who you ask. The apartment association’s answer is simple: Yes.

“Landlords whose residents withhold rent to advance a political agenda have no choice but commence an eviction action and work to collect the rent that is owed,” the California Apartment Association said in a statement to CalMatters. “This is an unpleasant step and not a decision an owner makes lightly.”

Tenant advocates hope to create such a large groundswell of rent strikers that state and local governments have to step in and bail out both struggling landlords and tenants (but not large corporate landlords). To pay for it? They say, tax the richest Californians.

And practically, they argue that if 20 units in a multifamily apartment building are withholding rent, it’s much harder to evict all 20, or to then fill all 20 empty apartments with new tenants.

What’s the goal? Free rent? Won’t people eventually have to pay their rent?

Not the way tenant advocates see it. Their goal is not forestalling rent to be repaid later, but rather rent forgiveness entirely for renters who have lost their income due to the coronavirus recession. Hence a popular slogan: “No Income, No Rent.”

They also call for more moderate solutions for people who still have some income, including an agreement from the landlord to not raise rent.

The rent strike movement, in their view, isn’t just withholding money; it’s using the sole leverage available to tenants to force political changes, whether that’s a potential federal bailout of landlords and tenants, or more bills like the pre-pandemic AB 1482, which capped rent increases. The first changes would likely happen on a local level, like the existing eviction freezes in Alameda and San Francisco counties.

What would mass rent strikes do to the housing market?

In addition to causing immediate pain to landlords who say they will face foreclosure without tenant income, the apartment association says rent strikes would do long-term harm to the plan of creating dense, multifamily housing to alleviate California’s housing crisis.

Sources: The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment and The California Apartment Association

This article is part of The California Divide, a collaboration among newsrooms examining income inequity and economic survival in California.

Read more about California’s rent strike: Who pays and how it works This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. Irvine Shredding Service

Powered by WPeMatico

Trump to Proud Boys: ‘Stand back and stand by’

By KATHLEEN RONAYNE and MICHAEL KUNZELMAN | Associated Press

President Donald Trump on Tuesday didn’t condemn white supremacist groups and their role in violence in some American cities this summer, branding it solely a “left-wing” problem and telling one far-right extremist group to “stand back and stand by.”

“Almost everything I see is from the left wing, not from the right wing,” said Trump, whose exchange with Democrat Joe Biden left the extremist group Proud Boys celebrating what some of its members saw as tacit approval.

He was responding to a question from debate moderator Chris Wallace, who asked the president if he would condemn white supremacist and militia groups that have showed up at some protests. Wallace specifically mentioned Kenosha, Wisconsin, where a white teenager was charged with killing two protesters during demonstrations over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man. Trump has repeatedly blamed “antifa,” which stands for the anti-fascist movement.


Members of the Proud Boys cheer on stage as they and other right-wing demonstrators rally, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Portland, Ore. Trump’s exchange with Democrat Joe Biden in the first 2020 presidential debate left the extremist Proud Boys celebrating what some of its members saw as tacit approval. (AP Photo/John Locher)

“I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace,” Trump said. “What do you want to call them? Give me a name.”

“Proud Boys,” Democrat Joe Biden chimed in, referencing a far-right extremist group that has shown up at protests in the Pacific Northwest. The male-only group of neo-fascists describes themselves as “western chauvinists,” and they have been known to incite street violence.

“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” Trump said. “But I’ll tell you what, I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left because this is not a right-wing problem.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray told a congressional panel last week, though, that white supremacists and anti-government extremists have been responsible for most of the recent deadly attacks by extremist groups within the U.S.

Trump, a Republican, has tried to tie incidents of violence that have accompanied largely peaceful protests to Biden and the Democrats, running on a “law and order” message that warns people won’t be safe under a Democratic president. It’s a message aimed squarely at white suburban voters, including women who voted for Trump in 2016 but may not do so again.

“What we saw was a dog whistle through a bullhorn,” California Sen. Kamala Harris, Biden’s running mate, said on MSNBC after the debate. “Donald Trump is not pretending to be anything other than what he is: Someone who will not condemn white supremacists.”

Proud Boys leaders and supporters later celebrated the president’s words on social media. A channel on Telegram, an instant messaging service, with more than 5,000 of the group’s members posted “Stand Back” and “Stand By” above and below the group’s logo.

Biden has said he decided to run for president after Trump said there were “very fine people” on both sides of a 2017 protest led by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a counterprotester was killed.

Trump said Tuesday that Biden was afraid to say the words “law and order” and pressed him to give examples of law enforcement groups that back his campaign. Biden didn’t name any, but said he’s in favor of “law and order with justice, where people get treated fairly.”

Biden called antifa “an idea, not an organization.” That’s similar to how Wray described it, though Trump has called on the federal government to characterize antifa as a terrorist organization.

At another point in the debate, when discussing a Trump administration move to end racial sensitivity training in the federal government, Biden directly called Trump a racist. He also accused him of trying to sow racist hatred and racist division in the country.

Read more about Trump to Proud Boys: ‘Stand back and stand by’ This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. Irvine Shredding Service

Powered by WPeMatico

Coronavirus: How the tier system impacts each county and business sector

If you find the state’s four-color system of tiers a little confusing, scroll for a  breakdown of what it means by business sectors.

The state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy explains:  Every county in California is assigned to a tier based on its test positivity and adjusted case rate. At a minimum, counties must remain in a tier for at least 3 weeks before moving forward. Data is reviewed weekly and tiers are updated on Tuesdays. To move forward, a county must meet the next tier’s criteria for two consecutive weeks. If a county’s metrics worsen for two consecutive weeks, it will be assigned a more restrictive tier.

How different are the tiers?

Purple is the most restrictive, especially for education. Schools in the Widespread (purple) tier aren’t permitted to reopen for in-person instruction unless they receive a waiver from local health departments for TK-6 grades.

Schools can reopen for in-person instruction once their county has been in the red tier for at least two weeks.

County breakdown  as of Sept. 29:

* Entering into a supportive engagement period with the California Department of Public Health.. Modoc will remain in the yellow tier. Lake held harmless will be held in the red tier.

** County was in tier adjudication with CDPH. Final determination places county in Orange tier for 09/29 assessment and retroactively for 09/22

***County underwent tier adjudication with CDPH after 9/22 tier assignment. County has been moved from Red to Orange tier.

Source: http://www.dof.ca.gov/Forecasting/Demographics/Projections/

Read more about Coronavirus: How the tier system impacts each county and business sector This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. Irvine Shredding Service

Powered by WPeMatico

Former Kentucky stars Anthony Davis and Bam Adebayo could define Lakers-Heat series

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. >> When a reporter asked Monday about a University of Kentucky connection with Pat Riley, Frank Vogel’s eyes brightened.

“A lot of us in this series!” he exclaimed.

The Wildcats are well represented on both sides. For the Lakers, there’s Vogel (a Rick Petino student manager and video coordinator) and Rajon Rondo (2004-06). For the Heat, there’s Riley (1964-67) and Tyler Herro, the sensational rookie guard.

But the true gem of the series, and a match-up that many observers are circling, is between the two Kentucky big men who both were one-and-done: Anthony Davis and Bam Adebayo. And even Davis, 27, said he is excited to see how that particular battle unfolds.

“I know a lot of people are looking forward to that matchup,” said Davis, never breaking a grin. “It’s going to put, I think, whoever wins that matchup, their team will probably have a better chance of winning the series.”

While both were lottery picks, Davis was seen as much more of a sure thing than Adebayo — in part because of his campaign through the NCAAs that led the Wildcats to a 38-2 record and Davis to multiple awards as the national player of the year. It was a springboard to becoming the No. 1 draft pick in New Orleans and now being a four-time All-NBA forward.

Adebayo took a path of slower growth. He averaged 13 points and 8 rebounds — not insignificant, but not star numbers — and the now-point-center averaged less than a rebound per game. The Heat selected him as a project at No. 14. In the playoffs three years later, he’s averaging a double-double as well as nearly five assists per game.

Kentucky coach John Calipari relished watching Adebayo’s development in the Eastern Conference Finals when he was taking Boston center Daniel Theis off the dribble possession after possession. The Wildcats didn’t use him as a point center in college, but Calipari said he saw some of the roots of what he’s become.

“Bam, when we got him, if anybody said they knew Bam would be what he is today, you’re smoking crack,” Calipari said. “But what we did know is that he could fight. He was competitive and he could guard five positions. He was way better with the ball than everybody knew, and we saw it.”

Spoelstra joked that he has had to select Kentucky players “because of my boss,” but added that Kentucky players have flourished in their vaunted player development program — possibly because of the competition against other high-level recruits in their college practices.

Calipari said he was proud of Davis for finally getting back in position to win a title for the first time since he was at Kentucky in 2012. Of Davis’ Game 2 winner against the Denver Nuggets, he saw growth there, too.

“It’s a different mindset to go in and make the big 3 that’s going to advance your team in the playoffs in the NBA,” he said. “He made that coming off with people chasing him and all over him and over a guy’s finger by that much, and that ball goes in. That’s the kind of stuff I want to see.”

Since the match-up was set, Davis said Calipari had texted and called him about it. Davis is in the midst of a historic playoff run, averaging 28 points, 9 rebounds, a steal and a block while shooting 57 percent. But he seemed to relish the chance to face another great center, who he compared to Denver’s Nikola Jokic with more mobility.

He handles the ball a lot, pushes them on the breaks for them, he makes great passes, scores,” Davis said. “He’s like their energy guy as well. So, it’ll be fun.”

Read more about Former Kentucky stars Anthony Davis and Bam Adebayo could define Lakers-Heat series This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. Irvine Shredding Service

Powered by WPeMatico