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Essential California Week in Review: A new type of vaccine to fight a rapidly mutating enemy

Essential California Week in Review: A new type of vaccine to fight a rapidly mutating enemy

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It is Saturday, July 9th.

Here’s a look at the best stories from the past week

A new type of vaccine developed by Caltech aims to ward off new coronaviruses even before health authorities are aware of their existence. When tested on mice and monkeys, it trained the animals’ immune systems to recognize eight viruses simultaneously – and induced immunity to viruses they had never encountered. The findings could lead to a powerful tool against a virus that mutates too quickly to be kept inside with current vaccines. An international vaccine foundation has pledged $ 30 million to start clinical trials of the experimental human vaccine.

Meanwhile, super-infectious subvariants pushed LA coronavirus cases to their highest level in five months. The county’s case percentage peaked over the weekend of July 4, a disturbing sign of how the Omicron tribes are creating conditions for a hectic summer. The subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 have become dominant on a national basis, and they seem to be among the most contagious to date.

Large parts of Northern California received only two-thirds of the normal rainfall in the last three years. Some places, like Ukiah, Santa Rosa and Mount Shasta City, made it even worse, logging about half or less of the normal rainfall. In other drought news: LA won a fight with Mono County when a state appellate court overturned a judge’s ruling that would have required the LA Department of Water and Power to conduct an environmental review before making annual decisions on water supplies to pastures it owns east. of Yosemite – a decision that scared both environmentalists and ranchers. California regulators have also begun restricting water rights to many farms and irrigation districts along the Sacramento River.

A California federal judge has thrown out Trump-era reversals of endangered species. The judge eliminated the rules even though two wildlife agencies under President Biden reviewed or repealed the Trump-era regulations. Under the former president, officials rolled back the protection of the northern spotted bullet, gray wolves and other species, actions that Biden promised to undergo.

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Tax cuts and other reforms are coming to the cannabis industry in California. The authorities aim to renew a system that companies, growers and others say has been hindered by regulation. A bill signed by Governor Gavin Newsom cuts a cultivation tax levied on cannabis growers and shifts tax collection from distributors to retail businesses, according to an industry group.

California airports are set to receive $ 100 million to upgrade terminals and roads. The grants were announced in Los Angeles by US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. LAX will receive $ 50 million for a multi-year project to increase passenger capacity by reconfiguring and restoring roads around the airport, along with upgrading the entrance to the central terminal area’s car park. In addition, Long Beach Airport will receive $ 10 million; San Diego International Airport, $ 24 million; and San Jose International Airport, $ 10 million.

LA County overseers are ready to ask voters for power to remove sheriffs from office. Pursuant to a proposed amendment to the county’s statutes, which would need the approval of voters in November, the board will take over the authority to force a sitting sheriff if four of the five supervisors agree that the sheriff is unfit for office. The move highlights how bitter and dysfunctional the relationship between Sheriff Alex Villanueva and county leaders has become.

Lack of labor has hit California’s public basins. When the heat hits, public swimming pools become important havens for tens of thousands of families, many with modest means. However, due to bureaucratic bureaucracy and the aftermath of pandemic closures, many pools across the country do not have enough lifeguards. If the pools are closed, families will take their dives in rivers or lakes where there are no lifeguards, say some security experts, and drowning may increase. California is also hampered by certification requirements that do not easily allow “Bay Watch” lifeguards to become “Pool Watch” lifeguards. A bill would allow lifeguards to work by public pools during the low season.

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Is this the beginning of a road revolution? Los Angeles officials have temporarily closed a stretch of Griffith Park Drive, which cuts through the heart of the park – and eliminates car traffic in an effort to improve safety for cyclists, runners, hikers and riders.

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USC and UCLA have dropped out of the Big Ten. Here’s a look at questions about moving, including: Which football divisions will UCLA and USC fit into? Is Big Ten really a better basketball conference than Pac-12? Is there any way to avoid all the frequent miles associated with a coastal conference? What you need to know.

Newsom launched its first TV commercial for the parliamentary election. But not in California. The ad was sent thousands of miles away, in Florida, and aroused speculation that he wants to run for president – or at least to troll the state’s Republican leaders. In the ad, Newsom contrasts the policies of California and Florida while flashing images of former President Trump and Governor Ron DeSantis, potential presidential candidates in 2024.

Newsom pardoned Sara Kruzan, who was imprisoned as a teenager for killing the man who traded her. Since leaving prison, Kruzan has become a national advocate for changing the way the criminal justice system treats children and for reforming laws that ignore the abuse of sex trafficking in sentencing.

A group of social and computer scientists developed a machine learning tool that they hoped would better predict crime. The researchers say they succeeded, but their work also revealed poorer police protection in poorer neighborhoods in eight major U.S. cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The oldest Magellanic penguin in the San Francisco Zoo died at the age of 40. Captain Eo was one of the oldest penguins living under human care in the world. The species is expected to live for 20 to 30 years. Captain Eo was the last remaining founding member of the zoo’s Magellanic penguin colony.

Close-up of a penguin.

Captain Eo at the San Francisco Zoo.

(Associated Press)

ICYMI, here are this week’s great readings

One billion pounds of California almonds are stranded in ports. About 7,600 farms in the state produce 82% of the world’s almonds. But they do not get paid until their product is delivered in robust markets such as the EU, China, India and the United Arab Emirates. “We are entering a supply and cash flow crisis,” said an industry leader. “If we can not cope with this problem, our products will be replaced with something else.”

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OC’s Vietnamese homeless feel like an outcast in a family and achievement culture. A silly group – many of whom lived through the devastation of the Vietnam War and came to the United States as refugees in their teens – have converged on Little Saigon, attracted to familiar food and the ease of communicating in their mother tongue. They lie on sidewalks or in alleys. In a culture rooted in family ties, career achievements and a strong work ethic, they are outsiders. Unemployed, often alienated from loved ones, they beg for dollars or banh mi sandwiches. Shame can deepen their isolation.

Today’s week-in-review newsletter was curated by Amy Hubbard. Tell us what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments, complaints and ideas to [email protected]

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