By Sammy Caiola, The USC Center for Health Journalism Collaborative In the outpatient waiting room at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, Spanish and Chinese chatter spills from pharmacy windows as other patients doze on chairs or play on their phones. When the overhead speaker beckons, they step forward with stacks of paperwork and walk out with brown paper prescription bags. The room is bustling with patients using Healthy San Francisco, one of California’s most comprehensive county health programs for people who don’t qualify for state or federal insurance because of their immigration status. Other counties cover fewer people, offer only basic services, or exclude the undocumented entirely. As California looks at how to care for its remaining uninsured, the shifting patchwork of local programs will play a bigger — or smaller — role depending on the success of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s expansion plans. And while comprehensive care is elusive for the … [Read more...] about California’s patchwork of care for the undocumented: Where you live matters
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Geisha Williams is stepping down as the CEO of PG&E Corp., the largest utility in the U.S., while potential liability over recent California wildfires drives the company into bankruptcy. PG&E announced Williams’s departure Sunday and its plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy a day later. Investigators found that the power utility had caused 17 major wildfires in 2017, and evidence suggests the company may be responsible for others in 2018 as well, The Wall Street Journal reports. (RELATED: Murder Charges, Sell-Off Or Bankruptcy Are All On The Table For California’s Biggest Utility After Deadly Wildfires) PG&E’s general counsel John Simon will serve as interim CEO until the board of directors finds a new head. The California Public Utilities Commission is considering breaking up the power company. “While we are making progress as a company in safety and other areas, the board recognizes the tremendous challenges PG&E continues to face,” … [Read more...] about California’s Largest Utility Plans Bankruptcy As CEO Makes For The Exit
California’s economy is expected to add more than 300,000 jobs this year and in 2020, but that will fall well below some of the more robust growth years the state experienced over the last half-decade. California will add 322,700 jobs this year and 318,500 next year, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.’s 2019 Regional Forecast and Economic Outlook predicts. By contrast, the state added 424,200 jobs in 2014, 474,000 in 2015 and 427,100 the following year. On the plus side, California’s average annual income will hit $52,447 in 2020, an annual increase of $7,572 from 2014. More good news: The state’s unemployment rate is headed down. Last year it stood at 4.2 percent. This year it’s forecast to be 3.7 percent and that’s expected to dip to 3.4 percent in 2020, the report said. “That will be one of the lowest rates it’s ever been,” said Somjita Mitra, director of the LAEDC’s Institute for … [Read more...] about California’s job growth to dip from more robust years, report says
INVERNESS, Calif. — At the height of California’s fierce wildfire season, the Sierra Nevada and North Coast forests are choked with tens of millions of dead and dying trees, from gnarly oaks to elegant pines that are turning leafy chapels into tinderboxes of highly combustible debris. Ground crews wielding chain saws, axes and wood chippers are braving the intense summer heat in the Sierra’s lower elevations, where most of the pine trees have died. The devastation and danger are greatest in the central and southern Sierra Nevada, where the estimated number of dead trees since 2010 is a staggering 66 million. Scientists say rarely is one culprit to blame for the escalation in the state’s tree deaths, and the resulting fire hazard. Rather, destruction on such a broad scale is nearly always the result of a complex convergence of threats to forest ecosystems. Chief among them is a severe, sustained drought in the Sierra Nevada that is stressing trees and disabling … [Read more...] about Like Tens of Millions of Matchsticks, California’s Dead Trees Stand Ready to Burn
California’s potentially immense clout as America’s most populous state is only rarely brought to bear in the nation’s capital. It’s remarkable what California’s 53 members of the U.S. House of Representatives can do when they decide to work together. This corps of politicians together make up almost one-eighth of the lower house of Congress, holding many influential committees and subcommittee chairmanships regardless of which party is in power. But California’s potentially immense clout as America’s most populous state is only rarely brought to bear in the nation’s capital because of ideological differences. The state’s impotence could best be seen this year on the House Intelligence Committee, where Republican Chairman Devin Nunes of Hanford released a report attempting to whitewash President Trump in the Russia election tampering scandal over the strong opposition of the ranking Democrat on the panel, Adam Schiff, who … [Read more...] about Why don’t California’s congressmen work together more?