Gavin Newsome’s soft on crime approach is causing people to leave Oakland


Important Takeaways:

  • Rising crime risks turning Oakland into a ‘ghost town.’ Newsom is sending in reinforcements
  • Violent crime and other felonies fell in 2023 in America’s biggest cities. They increased in Oakland.
  • Robberies grew 38% last year in Oakland, according to police data. Burglaries increased 23%. Motor vehicle theft jumped 44%. Roughly one of every 30 Oakland residents had a car stolen last year, according to a San Francisco Chronicle analysis.
  • On Tuesday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he was taking action, deploying 120 California Highway Patrol officers to Oakland and the surrounding area to conduct a law enforcement surge operation. The aim: to crack down on crime, including vehicle theft, retail theft and violent crime.
  • “What’s happening in this beautiful city and surrounding area is alarming and unacceptable,” Newsom said in a statement.
  • Business owners have been pleading for help for months.

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Newsom signs law requiring K-12 schools have gender-neutral bathrooms by July 2026


Important Takeaways:

  • “Each school district, county office of education, and charter school” is required to have at least one gender-neutral bathroom on campus on or before July 1, 2026
  • In addition, the gender-neutral bathroom may only be temporarily closed if there is a documented student safety concern, an immediate threat to student safety or for the bathroom to be repaired.
  • “These measures will help protect vulnerable youth, promote acceptance, and create more supportive environments in our schools and communities,” Governor Newsom said
  • Senate Bill 760 is part of a cluster of bills aimed at expanding access to LGBTQ+ Californians, according to the governor, who applauded the state as having some of the most “robust laws in the nation when it comes to protecting and supporting our LGBTQ+ community.”
  • “This year the LGBTQ Caucus took up the important work of protecting our communities in the face of vile anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric, discriminatory laws across the country, and hatred,” Chair of the California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus, Senator Susan Talamantes Eggman, said in the press release

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California Dreaming? More Americans are Leaving

Revelations 13:16-18 “Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.”

Important Takeaways:

  • Gavin Newsom addresses California exodus, tells Americans ‘don’t count us out’
  • California lost 117,552 people between Jan. 1, 2021 and Jan. 1, 2022, according to the state’s Department of Finance, bringing its population back to where it was in 2016.
  • In 2022, Florida saw the biggest rush of new residents migrating from predominantly blue states with steep taxes, with about 319,000 Americans making the move there, according to data from the National Association of Realtors. That amounts to a population increase of nearly 2% – well above the 0.4% national growth rate recorded in the U.S. between July 2021 and July 2022.
  • California attributed its population slump to reduced births, immigration, an increase in deaths and people moving to other states.
  • But one complaint that seems to stick around the Golden State is its high cost of living.
  • California’s state income tax currently sits at 13.3% with the top 1% of Californians paying roughly half of the state’s bill

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Many in California running out of food, water as Governor Newsom declares State of Emergency

Luke 21:25 ““And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves

Important Takeaways:

  • ‘There are roofs collapsing everywhere’: Thousands of Californians are running low on food and water as California Governor Newsom declares state of emergency in 13 counties after historic winter storms dump seven feet of snow
  • Newsom deployed the national guard on Wednesday to assist residents, especially in San Bernardino County, where some have been trapped in their homes for days
  • Wind, freeze and winter storm warnings were issued by The National Weather Service throughout the sunny state effective until Thursday as temperatures hit sub-freezing lows down to 26 degrees Fahrenheit in certain areas.
  • Southern California mountain ranges have been hit by several feet of snow and residents are begging the governor for help to clear the roads as food and water supplies run low.
  • The counties named in the emergency declaration include Amador, Kern, Los Angeles, Madera, Mariposa, Mono, Nevada, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Sierra, Sonoma and Tulare.
  • The storm left about 100,000 homes and businesses in the state without power as of Wednesday.

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6.4 Northern California Earthquake has had 80 aftershocks, Gov. Newsom declares State of Emergency

Earthquake damage

Luke 21:11 There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.

Important Takeaways:

  • Humboldt County earthquake: Gov. Newsom declares state of emergency in wake of deadly NorCal quake
  • FERNDALE — Two elderly residents died, 12 others injured and businesses and homes were damaged when a 6.4 magnitude earthquake followed by nearly 80 aftershocks rocked the Humboldt County coastline Tuesday.
  • Tens of thousands were left without power following the initial quake.
  • “Damage assessments are currently underway, with significant structural damages, including gas and water lines, observed in the Rio Dell community and moderate damages to properties throughout the Eel River Valley,” officials posted.
  • The sheriff’s office issued a boil water advisory for Rio Dell and parts of Fortuna

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Multiple fires in California as Newsom declares national emergency

Revelation 16:9 “They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory.”

Important Takeaways:

  • Western flames spread, California sees its largest 2022 fire
  • The McKinney Fire was burning out of control in Northern California’s Klamath National Forest, with expected thunderstorms a big concern
  • “The fuel beds are so dry and they can just erupt from that lightning,” Freeman said. “These thunder cells come with gusty erratic winds that can blow fire in every direction.”
  • The blaze exploded in size to more than 80 square miles (207 square km) just two days after erupting in a largely unpopulated area of Siskiyou County
  • The cause was under investigation.
  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency Saturday as the McKinney Fire intensified.
  • A second, smaller fire just to the west that was sparked by dry lightning Saturday threatened the tiny town of Seiad
  • A third fire, which was on the southwest end of the McKinney blaze, prompted evacuation orders for around 500 homes
  • The McKinney fire “remains 0% contained,” the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said
  • In northwest Montana, a fire sparked in grasslands near the town of Elmo had grown to about 17 square miles (44 square km) after advancing into forest
  • In Idaho, the Moose Fire in the Salmon-Challis National Forest has burned on more than 75 square miles (196 square km) in timbered land near the town of Salmon. It was 21% contained by Sunday morning

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Lightning-sparked fires rage across California, tens of thousands flee

By Steven Lam

VACAVILLE, Calif. (Reuters) – A firefighting helicopter pilot was killed in a crash, and scores of homes burned in California on Wednesday as hundreds of lightning-sparked blazes forced tens of thousands of people to flee their dwellings.

Nearly 11,000 lightning strikes were documented during a 72-hour stretch this week in the heaviest spate of thunderstorms to hit California in more than a decade, igniting 367 individual fires. Almost two dozen of them have grown into major conflagrations, authorities said.

Multiple fires raced through hills and mountains adjacent to Northern California’s drought-parched wine country, shutting down Interstate 80 at Fairfield, about 35 miles (56 km) southwest of Sacramento, as flames leapt across the highway, trapping motorists caught in a hectic evacuation.

Police in the nearby town of Vacaville reported that advancing flames had prompted the evacuation of a state prison there and a medical facility for inmates.

Four residents whose communities were overrun by flames hours earlier in the same area suffered burns but survived, though the severity of their injuries was not immediately known, said Will Powers a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire).

He said thousands of residents were under mandatory evacuation orders in a four-county area stricken by a cluster of nine wind-driven fires collectively dubbed the LNU Complex, triggered by lightning on Monday.

In central California, a helicopter was on a water-dropping mission in Fresno County about 160 miles (258 km) south of San Francisco when it crashed, killing the pilot, a private contractor, CalFire said.

As of Wednesday night, the LNU complex of fires had burned largely unchecked across 124,000 acres (50,000 hectares), with zero containment, destroying at least 105 homes and other structures and leaving another 70 damaged, CalFire said. Several of the fires had merged by nightfall.

Wearing a singed nightgown, Diane Bustos said her husband abandoned their car as it caught fire and then blew up on the west side of Vacaville early Wednesday morning. She lost both her shoes when she and her family ran for their lives.

“I made it, God saved me,” Bustos told television station KPIX.

There were social media accounts of people trapped in the blaze, but CalFire’s Powers said authorities had no reports of anyone missing.

A Reuters reporter saw dozens of burned-out homesteads and houses in the Vacaville-Fairfield area, dead livestock among torched properties and some animals wandering loose.

“We are experiencing fires the like of which we haven’t seen in many, many years,” California Governor Gavin Newsom told a news conference, adding he had requested 375 fire engines from out of state to help.

He declared a statewide fire emergency on Tuesday.

The last time California experienced dry lightning storms of such devastating proportions was in 2008, said CalFire spokesman Scott Maclean.

Fanned by “red-flag” high winds, the fires are racing through vegetation parched by a record-breaking heat wave that began on Friday. Meteorologists have said the extreme heat and lightning storms were both linked to the same atmospheric weather pattern – an enormous high-pressure area hovering over America’s desert Southwest.

The largest group of fires, called the SCU Lightning Complex, had scorched at least 102,000 acres some 20 miles east of Palo Alto, while a third cluster, the CZU August Lightning Complex, grew to more than 10,000 acres and forced evacuations around 13 miles south of Palo Alto.

(Reporting by Steven Lam in Vacaville, Calif.; Additional reporting by Jane Ross and Steve Gorman in Los Angeles and Sharon Bernstein in Sacramento. Writing and reporting by Andrew Hay in Taos, New Mexico; Editing by Stephen Coates, Sandra Maler and Lincoln Feast.)

California governor says COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, trending down

By Dan Whitcomb

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The rates of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions were all trending downward in California in the latest counts, the governor said on Monday.

Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, said that despite that good news, the state’s Central Valley agricultural region was still being hit hard by the coronavirus. He said the data had yet to reach a point for lifting pandemic restrictions.

“This virus is not going away,” Newsom said at a daily coronavirus briefing. “It’s not going to take Labor Day weekend off or Halloween off or the holidays off. Until we have a vaccine we are going to be living with this virus.”

California, the country’s most populous state with some 40 million residents, has recorded a total of 514,901 confirmed COVID-19 infections and 9,388 deaths, according to the governor’s office.

The state’s seven-day average of infections has dropped more than 21 percent, compared to the previous period, Newsom said, and hospitalizations are down 10 percent in a 14-day average.

California has administered more than 8 million tests for COVID-19, and the rate of positive results has declined to seven percent over the last 14 days, compared to 7.5 percent in the previous two weeks.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Sandra Maler and Howard Goller)

Ravaged by COVID-19, California’s Central Valley gets 190 federal healthcare workers

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) – Nearly 200 federal healthcare workers have been deployed to California’s Central Valley agricultural breadbasket, where hospitals are overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases and new infection rates are soaring, Governor Gavin Newsom said on Monday.

(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Kids, safety and schools: A pandemic debate plays out in California county

By Sharon Bernstein

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) – In Sutter County in California’s bucolic Sacramento Valley, coronavirus cases are rising, but Mike Ziegenmeyer wants his kids back in the classroom.

Unlike big-city school districts that plan to offer only remote learning this fall as COVID-19 rages through the state, several school districts in this agricultural region – once part of the 19th century gold rush – intend to accommodate that wish.

“I want my kids in school,” said Ziegenmeyer, a county supervisor and political conservative. “I think they need the social interaction.”

Ziegenmeyer, at least for now, will get his wish. The tiny Brittan School District where his three children attend class plans to bring students back to the classroom.

But opposition by some other parents in the county shows how Sutter County is a microcosm of a debate raging across California and the United States of whether it is safe to reopen schools amid a resurgent wave of coronavirus cases.

Cases started rising sharply in Sutter, as elsewhere in California, at the beginning of June and have continued to climb, increasing from about 75 cases to nearly 700. At least 17 people from Sutter, with a population of 97,000 and just a few hospital beds, were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of July 16, and 378 are currently ill, county data show.

Like so many of the controversies related to the pandemic, the school issue has become increasingly politicized. Republican President Donald Trump has been urging a return to regular school schedules, while many Democrats advocate a more cautious approach, such as continuing with the virtual lessons widely introduced when the spreading pandemic forced a sudden shutdown of schools in the spring.

Ziegenmeyer resents what he says is a heavy-handed approach by Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom, who early this week put the brakes on the reopening of California’s economy as he reversed orders that had allowed many businesses to open their doors again. On Friday Newsom will release new guidelines on reopening schools.

Ziegenmeyer is also concerned parents will suffer economic harm if they can’t work because children are home from school.


In California, many large urban districts, including Los Angeles, San Diego and Sacramento, have said they will begin the academic year with remote instruction. But plans vary from county to county, and from one school district to another.

The board of the Yuba City Unified School District, Sutter’s county seat and its largest municipality with 67,000 residents, voted last week to reopen with traditional instruction, five days per week.

The move, which was against the superintendent’s recommendation, stunned parents and teachers expecting either remote learning or a hybrid model, under which children attend small classes for part of the week, with strict social distancing. The teachers union began tense negotiations on Thursday over the plan.

“It is my hope that they will change their minds,” said Dina Luetgens, president of the Yuba City Teachers Association, which wants a hybrid model under which only half the district’s students would be on campus at a time.

In-person instruction, even under such a model, would require careful planning and protective gear for teachers as well as students, she said. Without that, teachers and children would be safer studying remotely from home, she said.

The school district did not respond to requests for comment. But Superintendent Doreen Osumi told the local Appeal-Democrat newspaper the district would have to implement social distancing guidelines and require children to wear face coverings. Parents who do not wish to send their children back to school will be allowed to choose a remote learning plan, although it was not immediately clear how it would be organized.

Sutter County is no stranger to not following the crowd. In May, Sutter, neighboring Yuba and Modoc counties defied state restrictions aimed at controlling the coronavirus spread and allowed restaurants, retail stores and fitness centers to reopen even though it was prohibited by state guidelines.

The guidelines Newsom is expected to release on Friday could upend plans to reopen school campuses. But even if reopening continues, Leslie Gundy says she will not send her two children back to school in Yuba City.

“We are in no way prepared to do that,” said Gundy, whose husband is a teacher in the district. “There’s been too little communication about their plan and how they are going to keep my children safe – and our teachers safe.”

(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Bill Tarrant and Leslie Adler)