Winston Gieseke here, philanthropy and specials department editor for The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, and I hope you had a great week. Here are some of the latest headlines from here in Golden State.
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Bank of America sued over EDD fraud in ‘pretty unique’ case
Bank of America is being sued in a federal lawsuit to allegedly neglected to secure thousands of unemployment cardsleading to theft of billions of dollars.
CalMatter’s reports that the lawsuit, filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, alleges the bank was negligent and proved “either unwilling or unable to stop criminals” from stealing money from debit cards, leaving Californians out of work, there were desperate for funds that do not have access to them.
Brian Danitz, a partner at law firm Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, told CalMatters “this case is quite unique … This is a $ 286 billion financial Goliath. CEO earns $ 25 million a year and they did not even provide basic security measures to protect EDD cardholders. ”
In an earlier statement to CalMatters, Bank of America said: “We work with the state and law enforcement to identify and act against fraudulent applicants, protect taxpayers’ money and ensure that legitimate applicants can access their benefits.”
The Trump administration announces 11-hour rewriting of the desert protection plan
The Trump administration on Wednesday revealed a significant rewrite of the desert renewable energy conservation plan, a landscape management strategy aimed at balancing the conservation, development of renewable energy and cultural resources across 10.8 million acres in the Southern California desert.
Falling just a week before President Donald Trump leaves office, the movement was quickly shattered by politicians and conservationists, while the renewable industry nourished it cautiously, arguing that the plan needs a new look.
Draft environmental impact statement proposes two alternatives to the current iteration of the plan: one would reduce protected lands by 1.8 million acres and would “modify or eliminate” 68 conservation management actions, while the other would reduce the protected area designation by 1.5 million acres.
Environmentalists argued that the draft, which neither they nor the renewable industry knew was coming, was a gift to the interests of mining. However, the Interior Ministry said it represents a much-needed update that will strengthen renewable energy.
San Francisco hopes to vaccinate 10,000 people a day
The City of San Francisco plans to open three major coronavirus vaccination sites hoping to eventually administer at least 10,000 doses a day, Mayor London Breed said Friday, with the first venue opening late next week on City College’s main campus.
Other sites, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, will be located on City College’s main campus, Moscone Center in SoMa and SF Market in Bayview. These places were chosen because of their proximity to neighborhoods hardest hit by the virus.
In addition, the public health department plans to administer vaccines at more than a dozen community clinics and at several pop-up windows throughout the city. The only problem with the plan is the state’s limited stockpile of vaccines, the distribution of which has been unpredictable.
“We are ready for more doses, we need more doses and we are asking for more doses,” Breed said at a news conference Friday. “We can increase and open these places the moment we have the vaccines. We mobilize the whole city. ”
As of Thursday, however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said California had only administered approx. 28% of the approx. 3.5 million doses it has received.
Beginning Tuesday, San Francisco residents can visit sf.gov/vaccinenotify to sign up to be notified by email when it’s their turn to be vaccinated.
In LA, Dodger Stadium reopened Dodger Stadium on Friday as a COVID-19 mass vaccination center, with Mayor Eric Garcetti saying it will eventually have
capacity to vaccinate 12,000 people a day. But for now, it will only cater
The U.S. Postal Service must remove mailboxes in LA, OC before potential protests
As a precautionary measure in the face of potential protests During the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday, the U.S. Postal Service said it would temporarily remove 14 blue mail collection boxes in Los Angeles and Orange counties.
According to a report from The Orange County Register, the postal service is one of many agencies across the country making plans for potentially violent protesters. On Thursday, Gavin Newsom asked the California Army National Guard to increase security at the State Capitol.
About a dozen mailboxes will be removed in Sacramento, and another dozen will be removed in San Francisco. Down south, boxes are being removed in areas known to attract protests: namely downtown Los Angeles, Van Nuys and Huntington Beach. Four collection boxes were designated for removal in the Civic Center area, with a further six in Van Nuys. In Huntington Beach, three crates were scheduled for removal.
“These are temporary measures to protect the Post’s property, employees and the public,” the postal service said in a statement. It is not known when collection boxes will be removed and when they will be returned.
Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King Jr.
And finally a big congratulations on the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Although we officially celebrate the legacy of Dr. King Monday, today is the actual day of his birth, dates back to 1929. His last Sunday sermon, delivered at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, on March 31, 1968, was called “Staying Awake Through a Great Revolution,” and his words seem especially relevant today:
“With this faith, we will be able to carve the stone of hope out of the mountain of despair,” he said, referring to the effects of the Vietnam War, quoted by kinginstitute.stanford.edu. “With this faith, we will be able to transform the clinking rift of our nation into a beautiful brotherhood phony.”
That was all folks. I hope you have a very safe and informed weekend. In California, take a break Monday to honor Dr. King, but will be back in your inbox on Tuesday.
In California is a summary of news from across the USA Today network editors. Also contributing: abc7.com, CalMatters, kinginstitute.stanford.edu, The Orange County Register
As a philanthropist and editor of special sections at The Desert Sun, Winston Gieseke writes about nonprofits, fundraising, and people giving back in the Coachella Valley. Reach him at [email protected]
This article was originally published in USA TODAY: In California: Bank of America sued for unemployment fraud;