Posts tagged with "Gavin Newsom"

Tree illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

California – New State Parks Program

California State Parks, First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom and the Natural Resources Agency today announced the opportunity for fourth graders to apply for a free California State Parks Adventure Pass. Effective today, they can apply for the pass that will give them the opportunity to explore 19 select state parks free for a full year.

“The California State Park Adventure Pass is an incredible new program that will help promote a healthier, more equitable California for all—a California where every child has the opportunity to explore, learn and benefit from our state’s natural wonders,” said First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom.

Championed by the First Partner, whose California for All Kids initiatives support children’s physical, mental and social-emotional well-being, the California State Park Adventure Pass Program expands the opportunity for fourth graders and their families to enjoy the benefits of connecting with nature, with each other and with their communities.

Applying for the free pass online is simple. All that is needed is a name, address, phone number and an email address. For individuals who do not have access to a smartphone, computer or printer, and/or do not have an email address to use when applying online, they can still apply for a pass by visiting a State Parks Pass Sales Office—click here for a list of locations—or by calling (800) 444-7275. For detailed information on the program and the list of participating park units, please visit parks.ca.gov/AdventurePass.

Assembly Bill 148, signed by Governor Newsom in July, established the California State Park Adventure Pass Program, a three-year pilot program that waives day-use entrance fees to 19 state parks for fourth graders and their families for a full year. Earlier this year, the governor also signed Senate Bill 129, legislation that includes $5.6 million to fund the new Pass program. 

When determining which park units would be selected to participate in the pilot program, State Parks reviewed several factors including a diverse list of park units that span the state geographically. By spreading the park units throughout the state, the department will be able to maximize participation by limiting the distance that would need to be traveled to the nearest participating park. State Parks was also mindful of including a diverse collection of park units in terms of park features. The final list includes beaches, museums, redwoods, off-highway vehicle recreation, hiking trails and important cultural history.

The State of California believes in the right of all Californians to have access to recreational opportunities and enjoy the cultural, historic and natural resources found across the state. Too many Californians cannot access the state’s parks, beaches and outdoor spaces, nor the state’s array of museums and cultural and historical sites. Given this, the California Natural Resources Agency and California State Parks are prioritizing efforts to expand all Californians’ access to park, open space, nature and cultural amenities. This priority requires reshaping funding and programs to expand opportunities to enjoy these places. Doing so advances Governor Gavin Newsom’s strong personal commitment to building a “California for All.”

illustration by Samantha Miduri for use by 360 Magazine

California Recall Candidates Debate at Nixon Library

Candidates competing to replace Gavin Newsom as Governor of California will face off in a televised debate at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, August 4, 2021, from 6:00 – 7:30 PM PT.

John Cox, Kevin Faulconer, Kevin Kiley, and Doug Ose will take the stage in a debate that will be broadcast live by Fox 11 Los Angeles.

Hugh Hewitt, president of the Richard Nixon Foundation, will moderate the debate along with panelists Christine Devine and Elex Michaelson of Fox 11 News and former U.S. National Security Adviser Ambassador Robert C. O’Brien.

Governor Gavin Newsom was invited to participate but did not respond to the invitation. Candidate Caitlyn Jenner was invited to participate but is unable to attend due to a prior commitment. Candidate Larry Elder’s campaign cleared the date but subsequently identified a conflict. The invitation to all three remains open and organizers are hopeful one or more will make the debate. The debate is being aired on Fox 11 Los Angeles, KTVU Fox 2 San Francisco, other Fox TV affiliates statewide, and on the Salem Radio Network and other radio stations. 

The Nixon Foundation is holding spots for Newsom, Jenner, and Elder if any of those candidates decide to participate.

California voters will head to the polls on September 14 to decide whether Newsom should remain in office as Governor of California.

The Nixon Foundation is planning a second debate during the week of August 23 and has invited the same candidates to participate.

Debate participants were selected by applying the Richard Nixon Foundation’s proprietary internal metrics that the Foundation has used to select speakers and debate participants at the Nixon Library for more than 30 years. 

Press must be credentialed to cover the debate. Audience tickets are limited and only available from the Nixon Foundation by request. There will be a designated press gallery room with Wi-FI and TVs to watch the debate. That space will double as a spin room if the candidates or campaigns choose to make themselves available for press.

The Richard Nixon Foundation, a nonprofit educational institution that co-operates the Nixon Library, is hosting both debates as a civic service to voters in order to highlight issues facing California today. Questions and topics will be decided among the moderator and panelists and will not be shared with the candidates in advance.

COVID 19 by Symara Wilson for 360 Magazine, Covid Travel restriction

Coronavirus Mutations × U.S. Travel Restrictions

By: Emily Bunn

A breaking news article featured in The New York Times announced that the United States will be imposing a mandatory requirement for negative COVID-19 test results from all incoming, international travelers. The requirement for proof of a negative test in order to fly will begin Tuesday, January 25th.

The CDC has ordered for all travelers to provide proof of a negative test taken no more than 3 days before their travels. Without documentation of a negative test or documentation of recovery supplemented with a letter from a health care provider or public health official, passengers will be prohibited to fly.

The United States is not the only country to be putting in place tighter travel regulations. Due to new mutations of the virus, many countries are adopting stricter border protocol. The New York Times reports:

“Even as the United States moved to impose travel restrictions, citing the danger of the fast-moving variants, a case of the variant spreading in Brazil was identified in Minnesota.”

Variations of the virus in Brazil and South Africa, due to international travel, both pose the threat of COVID-19 mutating. If the virus does mutate, it is potential that the new strain of such will be unreactive to current vaccination efforts.

The New York Times reports that Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, an adviser to President Biden, has commented: “With the world travel that you have, and the degree of transmissibility efficiency, it’s not surprising.” Further, President Biden has broadcasted a ban on travel by all non-citizens into the United States from South Africa, the U.K., Ireland, and 26 other European countries.

An article published today on AP News reported that in attempts to increase vaccination efforts, President Biden announced that his administration is planning to purchase 100 million doses of each of the approved coronavirus vaccines–Pfizer and Moderna. Vaccination deliveries to states will be surged for the next three weeks. The Biden administration has announced that they plan to vaccinate 300 million citizens by the end of summer, as reported by The New York Times.

The President, in a White House briefing on January 26th, commented on importance of increasing vaccination supplies to help Americans:

“And to a nation waiting for action, let me be clearest on this point: Help is on the way.  We can do this if we come together, if we listen to the scientists.”

These efforts come at an especially critical time, as the global number of coronavirus cases has surpassed 100 million, reports The Wall Street Journal. However, that has been recent speculation regarding the accuracy of that number. In New York, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration has been accused of undercounting the amount of coronavirus deaths that occurred at nursing homes. A report released by Letitia James, the Attorney General of New York, shows that the coronavirus death count appears to have been cut by approximately 50 percent. The report compares the number of facility deaths publicized by the Department of Health–1,229 deaths, versus the number of facility deaths reported the Office of Attorney General–1,914 deaths. This staggering discrepancy between reported deaths has spurred suspicion against Cuomo, and the Office of Attorney General (OAG) is conducting an on-going investigation concerning the cause of these variances.

However, there is still hope. In Los Angeles, Governor Gavin Newsom rescinded the county’s stay-at-home order this past Monday, reports The Los Angeles Times. This new jurisdiction will allow for all counties in California to return to the four-tier, colored-coded system of assessing coronavirus risk. Lifting the imposed stay-at-home order could allow for the reopening of personal care services and outdoor dining. While LA has been particularly hard hit by coronavirus, the city actually has a higher vaccination rate than most other comparable cities in the U.S. The New York Times reports that “83 percent of the doses the city has received have been administered, compared with 74 percent in New York City; 52 percent in Bexar County, which includes San Antonio; and 58 percent of the doses ordered in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix.”

While the coronavirus situation is still being closely tracked and monitored, hospitalizations and the number of patients in ICUs have been steadily declining. With hospitalizations at their national lowest since December 13th and an increase in vaccination efforts, there is progress to be recognized, despite current setbacks and uncertainties.

Despite progress in vaccination efforts and decreasing corona virus cases, new virus mutations pose critical cause for concern. In countries across the Asia-Pacific region, a new, more infectious variant–the Delta variant–is causing stay-at-home orders to be again put into place. This new variant was first identified in India, and has quickly been spreading. As restrictions begin yet again, countries across the globe are grappling with the harrowing fate that the pandemic is far from over.

In some major Australian cities, such as Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, and Darwin, residents have been forced into strict lockdowns. Flights are even being banned due to the new threat, with Hong Kong barring British entry. Indefinite stay-at-home orders were extended by the Malaysian government on Monday. In Malaysia, the new variant is especially threatening, as only 6% of the country’s residents are fully vaccinated, reports the New York Times.

India has faced a devastating, major second wave of coronavirus due to the Delta Plus variant, a sub-lineage of the Delta variant. This past spring, the dangerous variant caused thousands of deaths per day, and forced residents into partial stay-at-home orders, yet again. Much like in Malaysia, in India only 5% of the population is fully vaccinated. In fear of a third wave of the virus, Maharashtra’s chief minister, Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray, has authorized the use of a fourth vaccine in an attempt to increase vaccination supplies.

In good news, the Covid-19 vaccination is largely effective against the new Delta variant. However, this Delta variant is 50 percent more contagious than several of the other variants of concern, such as the Alpha variant.

As countries continue reopening, people look toward high vaccination rates to change the coronavirus game. In the U.S. and Britain, officials are planning to, or already have, lift most pandemic restrictions. White House secretary, Jen Psaki, recently announced that the United States would send two million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to Peru. Additionally, the U.S. looks to send 2.5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine to Pakistan. A third shipment of 1.5 million Moderna vaccination doses will be sent to Honduras from the United States.

Looking ahead to this weekend, July 30-Aug 1, 2021, the return of  a major musical festival threatens a super-spreader event. The highly infectious variant of COVID-19 has again created a surge in the number of recent coronavirus cases. As festival fans migrate to Chicago for Lollapalooza – the first of which held since 2019 – the Windy City braces for the potentially devastating impact.

Fortunately, the festival is taking several precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. All attendees must be fully vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of event entry. However, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns that not all guests will be honest about meeting these requirements.

The head of the BBB, Steve Bernas, warns of the potential for festival scammers who fabricate fake vaccine cards and negative test results. “We anticipate a double whammy this year not only the tickets but also the vaccine cards,” Bernas said in a statement. “The scammers will be out in full force.” He continues, cautioning ticket buyers to be on high-alert: “Just like finding tickets, there are countless ways for consumers to find vaccinations cards online, with online marketplaces, ticket sellers, resellers and the like…and unfortunately, some of them are rip-offs”

One of Chicago’s top coronavirus experts, Dr. Emily Landon, also weighed in on the weekend’s festivities. She argues that Lollapalooza’s 72-hour testing window is too lenient, and that the city is inviting in a massive spike of cases by holding the concert. NBC Chicago reports that Dr. Emily Landon commented, “Lolla has let us down with respect to how vigorously they’re restricting people based on the things that they sort of initially told us (about how) ‘we’re going to be really strict’ and now it’s like they’ve lightened up quite considerably on checking vaccines and negative tests.”

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady expressed concerns similar to Dr. Emily Landon’s. Recognizing the importance of getting vaccinated, she commented the following in a coronavirus update last week: “We want people to have a good time and we want this to be as safe as it can be…And so certainly we’ll be watching that just as we do any other gathering, but I am more concerned about the many people who have not chosen the COVID vaccine.”

Still, Chicago’s mayor and top doctor still haven’t wavered their support for the much-loved music festival. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot expressed her desire the event to occur as safely as possible, though she didn’t comment on the recent uptick in case numbers and coronavirus hospitalizations. NBC 5 Chicago reports on the current coronavirus statistics in the city:

“Chicago’s average daily number of new cases rose to 130 per day early Monday – a 76% jump compared to last week. The city’s average daily case rate was at 90 per day last week and 41 per day the week before that, meaning it’s more than tripled in roughly three weeks. However, it is still significantly lower than the more than 700 cases per day the city was seeing earlier this year and last, before vaccines were widely available.”

Additional safety measures, including mandatory mask-wearing on public transport, will also be enforced. The Chicago Transit Authority is offering reduced ticket rates this weekend for Lollapalooza travelers.

As Summer winds down, COVID-19 cases are beginning to rise yet again. Several virus variants, including the new Lambda variant, are causing major concern among Americans. In an attempt to quell concern, several cities have launched vaccine passport programs.

Across the United States, metropolitan hubs including New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans are requiring residents to show proof of vaccination before entering indoor spaces. That means that visiting gyms, concerts, restaurants, and more will require citizens to have both of their required vaccination shots. Vaccine passports are not being put in place to stop public gatherings, but are intended to creater safer enviroments outside of one’s home.

However, many Americans are opting to stay indoors yet again, thanks to new variant threats. The Lambda variant, which was first detected in Peru and is quckly spreading through South America, is causing concern among citizens. The New York Times reports that “On June 14, the World Health Organization designated it as a “variant of interest,” meaning, essentially, that experts suspect it could be more dangerous than the original strain.

However, it has been reported that the Lambda variant is likely not as contagious as other deadly virus mutuations, like the Delta variant. And fortunately, the Lambda variant is able to be combatted by the vaccines that have currently rolled out across the U.S. The New York Times records the climbing numbers of the Lambda variant, “As of mid-June, Lambda had been reported in 29 countries, territories or areas, according to a June 15 update from the W.H.O. The variant had been detected in 81 percent of coronavirus samples sequenced in Peru since April, and 31 percent of those in Chile to date, the agency said.” However, assessing the virus has been difficult due to Latin America’s limited ability to conduct geonomic surveillance and follow-up laboratory studies, reports the NYT. Scientists and medical professionals around the world are currently conducting research to better understand this new variant and its implications.

HotelPlanner’s Delta Variant Coverage:

America’s comeback is in jeopardy. The Delta variant is surging, prompting concerns that we need another lockdown. Travel executives are already huddling, discussing potential next steps to both protect guests and their businesses’ bottom lines. Americans were traveling in record numbers, and people are wondering if this could slow down the sector. How could the Delta variant, and other emerging variants, impact travel?

“We are watching the rapid uptick in Delta variant case infections closely, says Tim Hentschel, Co-Founder and CEO of HotelPlanner. “Although some families may choose to curtail their summer travel plans, we remain confident that the vast majority of Americans who were planning to travel this summer will keep their plans, while exercising more caution with crowds and destination selection. For those who are already vaccinated, the Delta variant shouldn’t be a deterrent to summer travel because they should be protected.”

ABOUT HOTELPLANNER

HotelPlanner is a leading travel technology company that combines proprietary artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, and a 24/7 global gig-based reservations and customer service network, to quickly and seamlessly serve all traveler hotel & accommodation needs from a single platform.

HotelPlanner is one of the world’s top providers of individual, group, and corporate travel bookings, specializing in unique “Closed User Group” discount rates.

Founded in 2004, HotelPlanner has enduring partnerships with the world’s largest Online Travel Agencies, well-known hotel chains, individual hotels, online wedding providers, ancillary lodging providers, corporations, sports franchises, universities, and government agencies.

Presidents Illustration for 360 Magazine by Maria Soloman

Safe and Secure Use of Ballot Drop Boxes in CA

California will make ballot drop boxes more widely available in the November 2020 election than in any previous election.California Common Cause supports this unprecedented expansion in voting access because voters in the the November 2020 election must contend with dual threats:

1. The pandemic, which will make many uneasy with voting at a polling place or vote center.
2. Decaying trust in the United States Postal Service and the vote-by-mail process, because of sustained but unsubstantiated attacks from loud voices in our national politics.

Ballot drop boxes solve both problems. They give voters a safe, secure method to return a vote-by-mail ballot that is controlled and operated by the county elections office, without requiring voters to visit an in-person site or use the mail.

California voters should use official ballot drop boxes with confidence. County-run ballot drop boxes are tamper-proof, are governed by a strict set of safety protocols, and are required to meet language and disability access requirements. Ballots picked up from ballot drop boxes are managed with tight chain-of-custody controls.

Voters should look up official, county-operated ballot drop boxes located near them

Unfortunately, the California Repubulican Party has created informal or unofficial ballot drop boxes that may confuse or mislead voters and create distrust in official ballot drop boxes.

Background and context are important. In 2016, California passed a law expanding voters’ ability to transmit their ballot to a third party for return. Previously, only a family or household member could return a voter’s vote-by-mail ballot. Under revised law, any third party trusted by the voter can return the voter’s vote-by-mail ballot, provided that the third party is not paid to do so on a per-ballot basis. A relevant example would be a resident of a care home, who can authorize a trusted staff member of the home to return the resident’s ballot on their behalf. The California GOP has argued that its informal drop boxes are legal under this expanded ballot return law.

More importantly for California voters, informal ballot collection sites that are disguised as official ballot drop boxes may trick community members who wish to return their ballot at an official ballot drop box. These unofficial “official” ballot drop boxes create confusion about and erode trust in voting procedures. Interfering with voters’ ability to cast their ballots is unlawful under California law.

California Common Cause encourages every California voter to:

  • Look up where official, county-operated ballot drop boxes are located near them
  • Sign up for Ballot Trax, to get email and text alerts about the status of their ballot, and to confirm that their ballot is counted

Voters in California have several options for returning their ballots. In addition to using an official ballot drop box, voters can return their vote-by-mail ballots by mail or at any voting site on Election Day or in the early voting period. Voters can also vote in person, on Election Day or in the early voting period. County voter information guides and county elections websites should list in-person voting locations.

Kaelen Felix illustrates wildfire article for 360 MAGAZINE.

Wildfires Rage Across California

By Elle Grant

What should have been a pleasant Labor Day weekend, a last stretch of summer, has quite literally gone up in flames. Multiple wildfires now burn with increasing force across the state and show no signs of stopping. Three fires have consumed California’s attention this holiday weekend, the Creek Fire, the Valley Fire, and the El Dorado Fire.

The El Dorado fire started during a gender-reveal party, reports say. A “smoke generating pyrotechnic device” used at the party caused the El Dorado Fire in San Bernardino County, Cal Fire said in a press release. The fire started Saturday at 10:23 a.m. at the El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa and spread from the park north on to the park’s ridge. It has since grown to past 7,000 acres as of Monday morning. No charges have yet been made in this particular case and the fire is reportedly only 5% contained.

Evacuations have been ordered for the communities across the area. More than 500 personnel have been deployed to the fire, along with 60 engines and four helicopters. Weather in California is expected to remain hot and dry with a relative humidity of 20%, San Bernardino National Forest said in its evening update on the fire. Winds will also continue at three to five miles per hour with gust up to 10 miles per hour, resulting in “active fire behavior throughout the night.” Such weather will continue to fan the wildfire flames and continue its spread. Temperatures during the day were well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, hampering the efforts of firefighters to stop the flames. While communities have been evacuated, currently no known homes or lives have been taken by the fires.

Governor Gavin Newsom of California has declared a state of emergency in response to the situation, specifically in regard to fires in the High Sierras, trapping campers visiting for the long weekend. It took an incredibly arduous rescue operation by military helicopters to evacuate them from the Mammoth Pool Reservoir area, authorities said. The lack of cellphone reception in the area made rescue efforts even more difficult. While lives were saved, twenty were injured, with two in serious condition from burns including a fourteen-year-old girl.

Residents across the state are preparing to make evacuations from their homes due to the various fires. “It looks like it’s 8:30 at night,” said Carrie Lightfoot said of the darkness from the fire. Ms. Lightfoot is a resident of Bass Lake, an area significantly threatened by the potential spread of the Creek Fire. “You can taste the smoke,” she said. “You can see red coming up the mountain. It just looks like the end of the world.” Other witnesses relayed similar harrowing visuals, including driving through flames to escape and describing their experiences in evacuation helicopters.

As aforementioned, a state of emergency has been declared in California and the California National Guard have been mobilized. The story on current wildfires raging through California continues to develop.