Tenants Protest Mosser Capital by Staging a Protest at CEO Neveo Mosser’s Home

Tenants living in several buildings owned by real estate investment firm Mosser Capital, created a car caravan to “call on their landlord to commit to no evictions, no rent increases and to end tenant harassment for the duration of the pandemic,” according to a press release from May 23.

The caravan was part of a national day of action calling on Congress to shift the burden of pay to corporate landlords such as Mosser Capital and provide financial support to smaller property owners. Tenants from 12 of the 20 buildings owned by Mosser Capital are on rent strike as a result of the current pandemic.

CEO Neveo Mosser was previously sued by the City of San Francisco for forcing single-room occupancy (SRO) tenants to move rooms, thus preventing them from gaining tenants rights. Activists say Mosser is making questionable use of Oakland’s Capital Improvements loophole to sharply increase rents.

Mosser Capital did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

— Lakshmi Sarah (Lakitalki)

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In SF Town Hall, Pelosi Urges Senate to Pass COVID-19 Relief Package

On a day when the number of deaths from COVID-19 passed 128,000 nationwide, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had sharp words for Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who is threatening to withhold federal education dollars from school districts that do not reopen for the fall.

The Speaker was responding to a caller's question during a San Francisco town hall meeting about K-12 schools reopening.

Before asking Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the city's Department of Public Health, to answer the question, Pelosi scolded the Trump administration, saying DeVos is "guilty of malfeasance talking about our children that way. We all want our children to go back to school. We can only do that if our children are safe." 

In addition to Dr. Colfax, attorney and civil rights activist Eva Paterson and Rev. Susan Hendershot joined Pelosi on the 65-minute town hall.

The stated focus of the gathering was to promote the HEROES Act, a $3 trillion Democratic-sponsored economic stimulus bill passed by the House two months ago as a follow up to the $2 trillion CARES Act passed in late March.

With key provisions of the CARES Act including unemployment and food benefits set to expire at the end of July, Pelosi said it was imperative for Congress to act quickly. "We just can't let that happen," she said.

"(Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell said we needed a pause. Well, we did need a pause, but we certainly don't need one any longer because hunger didn't take a pause and they haven't helped us with food stamps and other emergency food initiatives. The rent doesn't take a pause" Pelosi said.

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Noting that the House bill includes $1.2 billion for San Francisco and $50 billion for California to meet the costs of the pandemic, Pelosi acknowledged the high price tag but said it compared favorably with the 2017 Republican tax cut bill.  

"It's one half — all of it added together — of what they had in their tax scam to give 83% of the benefits to the top 1%, while adding $2 trillion dollars to the national debt," Pelosi said. "This is about fairness all around. It's about lives and livelihoods and the life of our democracy."

— Scott Shafer (@scottshafer)

Bay Area Air Regulators Call on Companies to Extend Remote Work Options Post-Pandemic

Santa Clara County leaders and air regulators are calling on Bay Area companies to sign a pledge to extend working at home options after shelter-in-place orders are lifted.

According to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the average commute time for a Silicon Valley resident has risen by 25 percent in the last 15 years.

The agency and President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors Cindy Chavez, say they want to reduce that number by asking companies to sign the "Cut the Commute" pledge.

Officials say longterm teleworking would reduce traffic congestion and air pollution, as well as improve work-life balance.

By signing on, employers would commit to increase remote work options by at least 25 percent for eligible employees and include telework as part of their employee benefits package.

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— Shannon Lin

Seven Bay Area Counties Now on State Watch List

As COVID-19 cases continue to surge in California, Alameda and Sonoma are the most recent counties in the Bay Area to be added to the state’s county monitoring  list. Counties on the list face increased restrictions for reopening.

With the addition of Alameda on Sunday, seven of the nine Bay Area counties are now on the state's list, which also includes Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma counties.

Alameda County has the highest number of cases in the Bay Area, and hospitalizations have tripled over the past month.

County health officials say social interactions without face coverings or adequate physical distancing, outbreaks at nursing homes and congregate care facilities, and transmission to health care and other frontline workers likely contributed to the uptick.

Governor Gavin Newsom ordered counties on the state’s watch list Monday to close indoor activities at fitness centers, malls,  salons and houses of worship. Onsite office work, unless essential, is also prohibited.

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The Governor also extended closures of bars and indoor actives at restaurants, movie theaters, wineries, zoos, family entertainment centers and museums, which were previously only prohibited for counties on the watch list, to the entire state.

Counties on the watch list will receive assistance from the California Department of Public Health to identify the drivers of coronavirus spikes and to strategize plans to mitigate them.

— Peter Arcuni (@peterarcuni)

Newsom Orders Statewide Shutdown of All Bars, Indoor Restaurants, Entertainment Centers

With COVID-19 cases continuing to rise in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday ordered all counties in the state to shut down bars and cease indoor services at restaurants, entertainment centers and a spate of other indoor businesses.

Newsom said the order, effective immediately, was driven by data showing a steady increase in cases of the coronavirus statewide, with an average of 8,200 Californians testing positive each day over the past week. Hospitalizations have also increased by 28% over the past two weeks, he said, noting that while plenty of ICU beds are still available statewide, some rural hospitals are running out of critical care space. The data suggest not everyone is using common sense, he added.

"It is incumbent on all of us to recognize soberly that COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon until there is a vaccine and/or an effective therapy," Newsom said.

The list of businesses required to shut down across the state includes wineries, zoos, museums, cardrooms, movie theaters and family entertainment centers (like bowling alleys and batting cages). Additionally, he ordered 30 counties — comprising about 80% of the state's population — to close indoor operations at fitness centers, places of worship, non-essential business offices, personal care services, malls, hair salons and barbershops.

The announcement expands the governor's July 1 order, initially requiring 19 counties to close bars and indoor operations at restaurants, wineries, zoos, museums and movie theaters.

— Marisa Lagos (@mlagos)

Highly Rated California Nursing Home Hit Hard by Coronavirus

A Northern California nursing home hit hard by a deadly outbreak of the coronavirus is a highly rated facility. But even with a good track record, it wasn’t prepared to combat the virus when it arrived.

It is the deadliest nursing home outbreak in Northern California and among the worst COVID-19 clusters in the state.

At least 17 people died and dozens of staff members got infected after a housekeeping employee tested positive April 2 and was the first confirmed to have the virus at Stollwood Convalescent Hospital, a nonprofit nursing home in Woodland that received high marks from inspectors and a national accreditation bureau, the Sacramento Bee reported Saturday.

“We put him there thinking he would be safe,” said Donna Scully, whose 71-year-old father was the fifth person at the facility to have died from COVID-19 complications. “And he wasn’t.”

Interviews and emails reviewed by the newspaper reveal nursing home and county health officials struggled behind the scenes to curb the virus. The documents detail a frantic, sometimes slapdash effort to ramp up testing at the nursing home and roll out ever-changing rules from California’s health department.

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Although the outbreak at Stollwood seems over — no one has died in more than a month — CEO Sean Beloud said he still struggles to understand how the virus found its way into the facility. He said the staff followed every guideline that was put forth to prevent the spread of the disease.

Associated Press

Fremont Plans to 'Fully Distance' School in the Fall, Will Go Virtual

When school resumes in the fall, students of Fremont Unified School District won't be immediately returning to campus.

The school year is set to begin with a “fully distance model” in which instruction will be conducted virtually.

Three out of five members of the Fremont Board of Education voted on Friday to allow students back into classrooms only when Alameda County goes seven days with no new cases of COVID-19.

But two board members expressed concerns for students who may not have reliable access to technology or parents who can stay home to look after them, including board president Desrie Campbell.

“I want to make sure that we’re doing distance learning equitably across the district, and that there are some students and some families that it's not going to work for," Campbell said.

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The board plans to look at groups of students who may qualify for exemptions. School districts have been closely monitoring their county’s number of COVID-19 cases to plan for the fall.

Alameda County was added to the state’s monitoring list Sunday citing “elevated” increases in viral transmissions.

— Julie Chang (@BayAreaJulie)

Revised Health Order for Contra Costa County Includes Stricter Rules on Face Coverings

Contra Costa County is reversing some of its reopening plans. Starting Monday, indoor religious services will be prohibited again, and there will be stricter rules around wearing face coverings.

The county saw an 8% spike in positive COVID-19 cases over the past eight days.

As a result, the county’s health director updated the health guidelines to minimize the spread of the virus. Indoor religious services will be temporarily banned again.

Outdoor services can continue as long as people keep their faces covered and maintain social distance — including during all outdoor activities.

For dining, patrons will be required to wear face coverings at all times except when eating and drinking at their table and masks will have to be worn when ordering or waiting for food.

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Contra Costa is currently on the state’s list of counties being monitored due to increasing numbers of COVID-19 patients in local hospitals. Further information on the health order can be found here.

— Julie Chang (@BayAreaJulie)