Essential California: New COVID-19 restrictions may loom for L.A.

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Monday, Nov. 16, and here’s

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Monday, Nov. 16, and here’s a quick look at the week ahead:

Silicon Valley will get another grilling from Congress on Tuesday, when Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testify before the GOP-led Senate Judiciary Committee. The topic will be censorship, “suppression of news articles” and the companies’ handling of the 2020 election, per a news release.

The NBA draft will be held virtually Wednesday. Here’s a look at where we think things could be headed when the draft is held from Times basketball writer Dan Woike.

Also Wednesday: The winners of the National Book Awards will be announced. Several Californians are among the finalists, including Charles Yu (“Interior Chinatown,” fiction), Claudio Saunt (“Unworthy Republic,” nonfiction), Natalie Diaz (“Postcolonial Love Poem,” poetry) and Anthony Cody (“Borderland Apocrypha,” poetry).

Major League Soccer playoffs begin on Friday.

On Saturday and Sunday, the G20 Summit of leading rich and developing nations will be held virtually.

And now, here’s what’s happening across California:

A fresh surge of coronavirus cases over the weekend has alarmed Los Angeles County officials, who say they may consider imposing a curfew and other health measures in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19. Amid the increase, the county Department of Public Health is expected to propose a set of recommendations for the Board of Supervisors this week. Los Angeles Times

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Summer-like heat in Southern California just keeps coming back: Some places in the region will be 20 degrees above normal on Monday, according to the National Weather Service. But L.A. temperatures will return to the low 70s later in the week. Los Angeles Times

In L.A., not every moral crusade over real estate is Darth Vader versus Luke Skywalker. Columnist Gustavo Arellano wades into the complicated future of a 1931 Spanish Revivalist structure in Boyle Heights that long housed a legendary nonprofit. Los Angeles Times


The head of the Department of Homeland Security didn’t have authority to suspend DACA, a judge says: A federal judge ruled Saturday that Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, assumed his position unlawfully, a determination that invalidated Wolf’s suspension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which shields young people from deportation. Los Angeles Times


Calls intensified Sunday for the start of a formal transition to the administration of President-elect Joe Biden, as President Trump continues to balk at conceding electoral defeat and public health experts forecast a horrific new phase of the pandemic ahead. Los Angeles Times

President Trump on Sunday appeared to acknowledge for the first time that President-elect Joe Biden won the White House, but made clear he would not concede and would keep trying to overturn the election result. Associated Press

Gov. Gavin Newsom took major heat for attending an outdoor dinner at the French Laundry with people from multiple households. At least 12 people, including Newsom and his wife, attended the 50th birthday dinner for longtime Newsom friend and advisor Jason Kinney at the three-Michelin-star Napa restaurant. California’s COVID-19 safety guidelines limit the number of households at an outdoor private gathering to three but do not explicitly impose those same rules on restaurant patrons. Regardless of whether the governor skirted any actual violation of the rules, the optics are bad — particularly because he pointed to private gatherings as a factor in driving cases up at a public briefing just a few days later. San Francisco Chronicle

The exterior of the famed French Laundry restaurant in Yountville, Calif.

The famed French Laundry restaurant in Yountville, Calif., where Gov. Gavin Newsom recently attended an outdoor birthday dinner.

(Peter Merholz )

The backstory: I was deeply curious about how the story landed at the Chronicle — Did someone who knew someone who knew a reporter happen to be dining at the French Laundry that night? Or perhaps a stray social media post? — so I called up Chronicle state Capitol reporter Alexei Kosoff for the details.

He said news of the dinner actually came by way of someone who reached out to the paper after corresponding with a guest at the party. Per Kosoff, the tipster had been rankled not just by the governor’s presence there, but also Kinney and his wife’s social media posts about the big birthday. (In one since-deleted tweet, Kinney made a point of advertising that he planned to stay home.)

In California’s Indian American community, Kamala Harris supporters see special meaning this year in Diwali. The holiday celebrates the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness and the defeat of ignorance through knowledge — themes used by both sides in the recent election. Los Angeles Times


A thief allegedly took up a downtown Fullerton pizzeria’s offer to build your own pie — right in the middle of burglarizing the restaurant. Orange County Register


Former Dodgers manager Tom Lasorda has been hospitalized. Lasorda, 93, attended the Dodgers’ championship-clinching win over the Tampa Bay Rays in Arlington, Texas, on Oct. 27. He was admitted to the hospital nearly a week ago, the team said. Los Angeles Times

Bay Area sports fans are grieving after the death of Ricky Ricardo, owner of popular San Leandro sports bar Ricky’s Sports Theatre and Grill. SF Gate

Sacramento celebrates its best-known artist: Wayne Thiebaud turned 100 on Sunday. Sacramento Bee

A poem to start your week: “You Mean You Don’t Weep at the Nail Salon?” by Elizabeth Acevedo. Poetry Foundation

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Los Angeles: sunny, 88. San Diego: sunny, 79. San Francisco: sunny, 70. San Jose: partly sunny, 73. Fresno: sunny, 70. Sacramento: sunny, 70. More weather is here.


This week’s birthdays for those who made a mark in California:

Rep. Eric Swalwell (Nov. 16, 1980), RuPaul (Nov. 17, 1960), Olympic sprinter Allyson Felix (Nov. 18, 1985), Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey (Nov. 19, 1976), actress Bo Derek (Nov. 20, 1956), President-elect Joe Biden (Nov. 20, 1942) and tennis player Billie Jean King (Nov. 22, 1943).

If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, share it with us. (Please keep your story to 100 words.)

Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments, complaints, ideas and unrelated book recommendations to Julia Wick. Follow her on Twitter @Sherlyholmes.

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