LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 12: Cars line up at a COVID19 test site at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020 in Los Angeles, CA. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)
Cars at the drive-through coronavirus testing site at Dodger Stadium on Aug. 12. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

In Monterey County, 26% of the county’s COVID-19 cases are in East Salinas, a largely Latino community of farmworkers, service employees and others living in crowded conditions as they work on the pandemic front lines.

It’s a very different story in the county’s wealthy seaside communities, including Monterey, Carmel and Pacific Grove. Combined, these locales have a population that slightly exceeds that of East Salinas — but they have only about 2% of the county’s coronavirus cases.

In Los Angeles County, Bell, a city that is 93% Latino, has had more than 4 times the number of cases as Manhattan Beach, which has about the same number of residents but is 81% white.

Until last week, these sorts of stark differences would not have stood in the way of a county’s

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Campaign finance records fall quickly these days, as big money gets bigger and new records are set each election cycle. Still, what’s happening in 2020 is staggering.

According to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, over $3 billion has been raised so far for the presidential race, breaking previous records, and “dark money” groups whose largesse is harder to track are spending “unprecedented amounts of money to influence the 2020 election.” Deep blue California won’t see Donald Trump or Joe Biden on this year’s campaign trail, but its deep-pocketed donors from both parties are playing huge parts in the race for the White House.

And it’s not just federal spending charting new territory. Money to sway voters on statewide ballot measures is also flowing fast, with more than a half-billion dollars spent so far, according to an analysis by this news organization — the bulk of that on just three

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The ballot measure, known as Proposition 22, would establish drivers as an independent class of workers with access to limited job benefits, along with wage and worker protections they’ve so far lacked under the gig economy model. Labor groups and many of driver advocates say the companies’ efforts, however, do not go far enough to protect workers and are merely an attempt, cloaked in friendly marketing materials, to quash a new law that would guarantee drivers access to the minimum wage, employer-provided health care and bargaining rights.

Drawing on a more than $186 million campaign war chest that Uber, Lyft, food delivery app DoorDash and other tech companies have raised, they are seeking to convince California voters that the ballot initiative reflects the will of drivers. They’ve cited limited survey data saying the vast majority of drivers want to remain contractors.

But critics see the measure as a last-ditch effort

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This episode contains strong language.

Jack Nicas, a technology reporter for The New York Times, moved to Oakland, Calif., five years ago. When he arrived, he set out to find a bar of choice. It quickly became the Hatch.

Unpretentious, cheap and relaxed, the Hatch was a successful small business until the coronavirus hit.

After the announcement in March that California would order bars and restaurants to shut down, Jack decided to follow the fortunes of the Hatch. Over six months, he charted the struggle to keep the tavern afloat and the hardship suffered by its staff.

“I can’t afford to be down in the dumps about it,” Louwenda Kachingwe, the Hatch’s owner, told Jack as he struggled to come up with ideas to keep the bar running during the shutdown. “I have to be

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By JOHN ROGERS, Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California’s first-of-its-kind state program to fund stem-cell research is running out of money and supporters want voters to provide a $5.5 billion infusion.

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine has doled out nearly $3 billion for research since the non-profit was created in a 2004 ballot question supported by 59% of voters. New stem-cell labs were created around the state and grants were awarded to Stanford University, the University of California, Berkeley, and other prominent institutions.

In the years since, clinical studies have been launched to determine how stem cells might treat a variety of diseases, including Alzheimer’s, cancer and Parkinson’s, as well as such conditions as spinal paralysis and auto-immune deficiencies.

Proposition 14’s supporters are hoping voters will again support the program, although some acknowledge that with the state caught in a pandemic-infused economic crisis it’s hard to guess how

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By Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – California’s health secretary on Friday agreed to hear more input from theme park operators before issuing reopening guidelines, a step that further delays Walt Disney Co’s plans to welcome visitors back to Disneyland.

Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger also resigned from a California task force on reopening businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, the Sacramento Bee newspaper reported late on Thursday. No reason was given and Disney did not respond to requests for comment.

Earlier this week, Disney said the continued closure of Disneyland had exacerbated the financial strain on its parks division from the pandemic. The company, which is in the process of laying off 28,000 employees, has urged California to let Disneyland reopen.

On Thursday, a trade group that represents Disneyland, Comcast Corp’s Universal Studios and others, said it had reviewed California’s draft guidelines and then asked the state to hear more

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This week, Disney announced that it planned to downsize about 28,000 workers in its California U.S. parks division after failing to come to a reasonable agreement with the state to keep the business open. Bob Iger, executive chairman of the Walt Disney Company and former CEO, resigned from Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom’s economic recovery task force after receiving the state’s edict. 

On Wednesday, it was reported, “Emblematic of the Covid-19-related struggles and tensions between state officials, medical professionals and businesses, Walt Disney reported that it had no other choice but to lay off roughly 28,000 employees from its Disney Parks, Experiences and Products segment.” 

Disney, according to the Wall Street Journal, placed the blame on California’s government and asserted that the closure was “exacerbated in California by the State’s unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen.”

Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, attempted

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Roughly 1.6 million Californians could soon begin to see months of unpaid unemployment benefits finally reach their bank accounts.

Their arrival will be thanks to the state’s Employment Development Department’s task force initiative to comb through some 600,000 jobless claims that have been stuck in processing for 21 days or more. The EDD will also work to clear payments to another 1 million workers who received at least one benefit payment during the pandemic-induced recession, but due to various certification issues stopped receiving benefits without warning and have been waiting for months for the EDD to resolve eligibility and restore payments.

California’s task force report says outdated technology and staffing shortages are the biggest concerns slowing down benefits processing. Nearly 4.6 million Californians filed jobless claims between March and May — 2.4 million more workers compared to the peak unemployment level from the fallout of the Great Recession. 

An unprecedented

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California will reportedly announce reopening guidelines this week for allowing theme parks to resume business after more than six months of pandemic safety measures keeping them closed.

Jesse Melgar, press secretary for California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomCalifornia approves task force to consider paying reparations for slavery End it, don’t mend it: Legislative ‘fix’ to California’s AB 5 is a disaster OVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA questions legality of California’s move on gas-powered cars | COVID-19 relief bill would require aided utilities to suspend shutoffs | Trump offshore energy pause includes wind MORE (D), said reopening measures for parks would be delivered this week, The Orange County Register reported.

The guidelines will be offered by the state’s Department of Health.

The coronavirus outbreak caused theme parks like Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood and other popular attractions to shutter in mid-March.

The move comes as state lawmakers and industry associations have called on the

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SACRAMENTO — Gov. Gavin Newsom has vetoed a bill that would have authorized California to give low-income immigrants $600 to buy groceries.

The bill was aimed at helping people, including those living in the country illegally, who have been impacted by the coronavirus but are not eligible for other state and federal assistance programs.

It’s unclear how much the program would have cost, with estimates ranging from the tens of millions to hundreds of millions of dollars.

But while the bill would have authorized the program, it would not have paid for it. The bill said the program can only happen if the Legislature funds it or if the governor pays for it by using some of the emergency funding he has access to.

California lawmakers had to plug an estimated $54.3 billion shortfall in this year’s operating budget brought on by the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

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