Good morning and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Friday October 2nd and I’m writing from Los Angeles.
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Just before 1 a.m. in Washington early Friday morning, the President of the United States sent a tweet that quickly sent shock waves around the globe.
President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the coronavirus. The president tweeted that he and the first lady would “begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately.”
[Read the story: “Trump and first lady test positive for the coronavirus” in the Los Angeles Times]
His positive test came just hours after the White House announced that Senior Adjutant Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus after several trips with the president this week, including the first presidential debate in Ohio on Tuesday and a campaign rally in Minnesota had Wednesday. Vice President Mike Pence tested negative on Friday morning.
The president traveled to New Jersey for re-election Thursday and appeared at a fundraiser at his Bedminster Golf Club. According to the New York Times, White House officials have been aware of Hicks’ likely diagnosis since Wednesday night, though she reportedly didn’t receive her positive test until Thursday.
News of Trump’s diagnosis comes just a month before the US presidential election and seven months into a pandemic that has killed more than 200,000 Americans and changed almost every aspect of life across the country. The president has repeatedly downplayed the severity of the coronavirus threat and refused to adhere to public health guidelines.
Trump is 74 years old and has a higher risk of serious complications from the coronavirus. According to the Associated Press, this is the most serious known public health fear a sitting US president has encountered in recent history. Several other world leaders, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, have previously contracted the coronavirus.
And now this is happening across California:
Dangerously dry and windy conditions will challenge the crews battling the glass fire in California’s wine country in the coming days as officials warn that gusts of wind could potentially drive the fire towards communities in Napa County. Los Angeles times
Disney’s Bob Iger resigns from Governor Gavin Newsom’s task force as tensions mount over theme park closures: the Los Angeles Times
California Adds a COVID-19 Equity Requirement: California’s major counties will only be allowed to further open their economies if they reduce coronavirus infections in the hardest-hit locations where poor, black, Latin American and Pacific islanders live. Los Angeles times
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Mega donors and police unions have poured nearly $ 12 million into the LA District Attorney’s race. Incumbent Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey’s campaign was largely backed by law enforcement unions, while wealthy lawyers primarily focused on the Bay Area provided much of the funding for challenger George Gascón. Los Angeles times
After a disastrous election in March, LA County faces a “major challenge” in November. It will be the first choice since the troubled debut of the county’s new $ 300 million electoral system that officials have been trying for months to fix. Los Angeles times
In these Koreatown stores, kimchi is everything and more. Independent kimchi stores try to focus on quality and specific flavor in order to stand out from the crowd. Los Angeles times
Traditional Baechu Kimchi and Baek Kimchi surrounded by a range of raw materials from Kae Sung Market in Koreatown.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)
[See also: “Your guide to the must-try kimchis of L.A.” in the Los Angeles Times]
Dodgers Advance: The Dodgers battled the Milwaukee Brewers in the best-of-three wildcard round at Dodger Stadium and moved to the National League Division Series to face either the St. Louis Cardinals or the San Diego Padres . Los Angeles times
POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT
Trump’s war on electoral integrity “follows a racist playbook used in Orange County in the 1980s.” Columnist Gustavo Arellano advocates historical comparisons. Los Angeles times
The government has attempted to intimidate the department into keeping a Foster Farms poultry factory open despite the coronavirus outbreak at the facility, according to the Merced County’s director of public health. CBS News
CRIME AND COURTS
A federal appeals court upheld Newsom’s coronavirus restrictions on indoor worship during the pandemic. A majority in the U.S. 9th appeals court said California’s church health ordinances did not discriminate against religious expression. Los Angeles times
HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT
One reason for the terrible fire season in Northern California? Less rain than in Southern California. Los Angeles times
A ranger station in Sequoia National Forest was wrapped in foil like a “big baked potato” to protect it from wildfire. “Only one chimney stuck out, making the structure look like a big, badly wrapped Christmas present.” Fresno bee
California’s Deepening Crises: Santa Cruz County Lost Nearly 1,000 Homes To The CZU Lightning Complex Fires. The real estate crisis is now worse than ever. San Francisco Chronicle
The workers quietly come back to the offices in Southern California. About 25% of the country’s employees already come to the office regularly – not five days a week, but at least two or three days, according to research by Newmark Knight Frank broker Ryan Harding and his colleagues. Los Angeles times
Alexandra Rousso, foreground, left, and Carly Kinnan, background, left, receptionists at Hudson Pacific Properties, a large Los Angeles office rental company, work behind security partitions to protect themselves from the coronavirus.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
Desperate for art and culture IRL? Here are six shows in Southern California to see in person. Los Angeles times
A poem to start your Friday: “Pan Dulce” by Jose Hernandez Diaz. Poetry Foundation
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Los Angeles: sunny, 96. San Diego: sunny, 84. San Francisco: partly sunny, 78. San Jose: partly sunny, 93. Fresno: sunny, 98. Sacramento: sunny, 100. More weather is here.
Today’s California memory comes from Hap Freund:
In 1978, Claudia, the woman I eventually married, I moved from a house in eight acres of woodland and pasture overlooking Puget Sound to Santa Monica while she was attending law school in Los Angeles. I started my job in Ventura and commuted on the Pacific Coast Highway for the first few weeks. Every morning I was excited to see little black figures in the water as I drove north; I came home every evening to tell Claudia about the seals I saw. Until I finally discovered, embarrassed, that they were surfers in wetsuits.
If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, share it with us. (Please keep your story to 100 words.)
Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments, complaints, ideas, and unrelated book recommendations to Julia Wick. Follow her on Twitter @Sherlyholmes.