Benicia City Council to consider whether to discuss BUSD recall effort

By Roger Straw, February 28, 2021

Here’s an opportunity to voice your opinion on the misguided and ridiculously expensive recall effort of two Benicia School Board members.

This Tuesday, March 2, Mayor Steve Young and Vice Mayor Tom Campbell will ask the Benicia City Council to consider whether the City Council should take a position on the proposed Benicia City School Board recall effort.

The Council agenda will allow for public comment before Council members discuss the request and provide direction to staff on whether or not to schedule this topic for future Council discussion.

Please call or email Council members before Tuesday’s Council meeting, and if you can, attend the meeting and let the Council know that School Board members Sheri Zada and Mark Macelli need our support.  (Email addresses and zoom instructions below.)

Mayor Young and Vice Mayor Campbell are submitting the request and will support the measure.  Please email the three other Benicia City Council Members, Christina Strawbridge, Lionel Largaespada and Trevor Macenski, to let them know that the City and its residents will oppose this $300,000 effort to target and remove two excellent School Board members.

Zoom instructions and how to comment are available on the City Council’s March 2 AGENDA.

From the March 2 Agenda:

ITEM 14.D – TWO-STEP REQUEST TO CONSIDER WHETHER THE CITY COUNCIL SHOULD TAKE A POSITION ON PROPOSED BENICIA SCHOOL BOARD RECALL EFFORT (City Manager)

Vice Mayor Campbell and Mayor Young submitted a two-step process request for Council’s consideration of whether the City Council should take a position on the proposed Benicia School Board recall effort.

Recommendation:
Discuss the request and provide direction to staff on whether or not to schedule this topic for future Council discussion.

Solano reports 56 new COVID-19 cases overnight, no new deaths

By Roger Straw, Friday, February 26, 2021

COVID spread has slowed some, but it’s still spreading and dangerous in Solano County – stay safe!

Friday, February 26: 56 new Solano cases overnight, no new deaths.  Since February 2020: 30,024 cases, over 890 hospitalized, 164 deaths.Compare previous report, Thursday, February 25:Summary

[See Sources.  Daily archive of BenIndy Solano updates: Excel ARCHIVE
    • CASES – Solano County reported 56 new cases overnight, a total of 30,024 cases since the outbreak started.
    • DEATHS – the County reported no new deaths today .  A total of 164 Solano residents have died with COVID since the pandemic began.  42 COVID deaths were reported here in Solano County just since February 1.  COMPARE: In the month of January, Solano recorded a total of 24 coronavirus deaths.  Combining the two months to date, a total of 66 deaths, or 40% of Solano’s 164 COVID deaths occurred since January 1!  While many other COVID stats are improving, the recent surge in deaths is no doubt the final sad result of our holiday surge.  And we may see another surge in cases and deaths following the Super Bowl.
    • ACTIVE cases – Solano reported 37 fewer active cases today, a total of 298 active casesCompare: Solano’s average number of Active Cases during October was 284, average in November was 650, in December 1,658, in January 2,185 – and TODAY we are at 298.  Much better, but still, is the County equipped to contact trace all these infected persons?  My guess is we just sit back and wait for a voluntary 10 day quarantine to expire.  Who knows?  To my knowledge, Solano has offered no reports on contact tracing.
    • HOSPITALIZATIONS – (See expanding ICU capacity and ventilator availability below.)  Today, Solano reported 8 fewer currently hospitalized cases, total of 37.  Among the age groups, the County has reported no new hospitalizations today, a total of 892 hospitalized in all age groups since the pandemic began.  Accuracy of the County’s hospitalization numbers cannot be certain.  [For the numbers used in my manual calculation of total hospitalizations, see age group stats belowFor COVID19-CA.GOV numbers, see BenIndy page, COVID-19 Hospitalizations Daily Update for Solano County.]
    • ICU BEDS – In late January, Solano hospitals expanded their ICU capacity [see BenIndy, Jan. 25]  Even with the expanded ICU capacity, Solano County has fallen in and out of the YELLOW DANGER ZONE, and came in at 37% available today up from 29% yesterday. California’s COVID19-CA.GOV reports that Solano County had only 7 available ICU beds yesterday, February 24, (down from 13 the day before).  (For COVID19-CA.GOV info see BenIndy page, COVID-19 Hospitalizations Daily Update for Solano County, and for REGIONAL data see COVID-19 ICU Bed Availability by REGION.)
    • VENTILATORS available – Today Solano hospitals have 54% of ventilators available, down from 58% yesterday, and down substantially from last summer’s reports of 82-94% available.
Positive Test Rate: 5.6% – still no clarification as to Tuesday’s sudden drop by over half!

Solano County reported on Tuesday that our 7-day average positive test was cut by more than half overnight, down to 5.9% from 12.4% on Monday.  Today the County remained in the same range, falling from yesterday’s 5.7% to 5.6%.  It seems totally unlikely for a 7-day average to drop so precipitously overnight.  I’ll let you know if I get an explanation.  Currently, Solano has come in under the State’s purple/red tier threshold of 8%.  Even so, DON’T EXPECT A QUICK MOVE DOWN TO THE RED TIER: the State requires a county to meet criteria for the next less restrictive tier (in test rate measures AND case rate measures) for the prior two consecutive weeks in order to progress to the next tier.  The much lower and more stable California 7-day average test rate was at 2.7% today, down from 2.9% yesterday(Note that Solano County displays past weeks and months in a 7-day test positivity line graph which also shows daily results.  However, the chart does not display an accurate number of cases for the most recent days, as there is a lag time in receiving test results.  The 7-day curve therefore also lags behind due to unknown recent test results.) 

By Age Group
  • Youth 17 and under – 4 new cases overnight, total of 3,503 cases, representing 11.7% of the 30,024 total cases.  No new hospitalizations were reported today among this age group, total of 18 since the outbreak began.  Thankfully, no deaths have ever been reported in Solano County in this age groupBut cases among Solano youth rose steadily over the summer, from 5.6% of total cases on June 8 to 11% on August 31 and has remained at over 11% since September 30.  Youth are 22% of Solano’s general population, so this 11% may seem low.  The significance is this: youth are SERIOUSLY NOT IMMUNE (!) – in fact at least 18 of our youth have been hospitalized since the outbreak began.
  • Persons 18-49 years of age – 10 new cases overnight, total of 16,529 cases. This age group is 41% of the population in Solano, but represents 55.2% of the total cases, by far the highest percentage of all age groups.  The County reported no new hospitalizations among persons in this age group today.  A total of 246 are reported to have been hospitalized since the outbreak began.  Solano recorded no new deaths in this young group today, total of 10 deaths.  Some in this group are surely at high risk, as many are providing essential services among us, and some may be ignoring public health orders.  I expect this group is a major factor in the spread of the virus.
  • Persons 50-64 years of age – 11 new cases overnight, total of 6,272 cases.  This age group represents 20.9% of the 30,024 total cases.  The County reported no new hospitalizations among persons in this age group today, a total of 240 reported to have been hospitalized since the outbreak began.  No new deaths were reported in this age group today, a total of 26 deaths.
  • Persons 65 years or older – only 5 new cases overnight, total of 3,673, representing 12.2% of Solano’s 30,024 total cases.  The County reported no new hospitalizations among persons in this age group today, a total of 388 hospitalized since the outbreak began.  No new deaths were  reported in this age group today.  A total of 128 of our elders have died of COVID, accounting for 78% of Solano’s 164 total deaths.
City Data
  • Benicia added 3 new cases overnight, total of 851 cases since the outbreak began.
  • Dixon added 4 new cases overnight, total of 1,755 cases.
  • Fairfield added 19 new cases overnight, total of 8,167 cases.
  • Rio Vista added 3 new cases overnight, total of 323 cases.
  • Suisun City added 4 new cases overnight, total of 2,033 cases.
  • Vacaville added 11 new cases overnight, total of 7,897 cases.
  • Vallejo added 12 new cases overnight, total of 8,910 cases.
  • Unincorporated areas remained steady today, total of 88 cases.
Race / Ethnicity

The County report on race / ethnicity includes case numbers, hospitalizations, deaths and Solano population statistics.  This information is discouragingly similar to national reports that indicate significantly worse outcomes among black and brown Americans.  Note that all of this data surely undercounts Latinx Americans, as there is a large group of “Multirace / Others” which likely is composed mostly of Latinx members of our communities.

  • Asian Americans are 14% of Solano’s population, and account for 12% of cases, 13% of hospitalizations, and 18% of deaths.
  • Black Americans are 14% of Solano’s population, and account for 11% of cases, but 17% of hospitalizations, and 19% of deaths.
  • Latinx Americans are 26% of Solano’s population, but account for 16% of cases, 21% of hospitalizations, and 12% of deaths.
  • Multi-race / Others are 7% of Solano’s population, but account for 33% of cases, 19% of hospitalizations, and 16% of deaths.
  • White Americans are 39% of the population in Solano County, but only account for 28% of cases, 31% of hospitalizations and 34% of deaths.

More…

The County’s Coronavirus Dashboard is full of much more information, too extensive to cover here on a daily basis.  The Benicia Independent will continue to summarize daily and highlight significant portions.  For more, check out the Dashboard at https://doitgis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=055f81e9fe154da5860257e3f2489d67.

Source
Source: Solano County Coronavirus Dashboard (posted on the County website late today).  ALSO see important daily updates from the state of California at COVID19.CA.GOV, embedded here on the BenIndy at Cases and Deaths AND Hospitalizations AND ICU Beds by REGION.

This Saturday on zoom – BENICIA CITY COUNCIL GOAL-SETTING WORKSHOP 2021

Email from Elizabeth Patterson, February 26, 2021


The Goal Setting Workshop is an annual opportunity for the City Council to discuss and set its priorities for the next fiscal year. The City Council will be joined by the City’s Executive Management Team, composed of the City Manager, City Attorney, department directors and selected division managers, in a process designed to review the current work plan of projects and initiatives, conduct a review of strategic priorities, conduct a strengths / weaknesses / opportunities / threats (SWOT) examination, and ultimately determine the areas of focus for the next fiscal year, 2021-22.

RECOMMENDATION: Engage with staff and Council colleagues in discussion about priorities, then provide staff direction with Council consensus of a list of high priority projects and initiatives, ranked in order of importance by the Council. The list will then be used as a work plan for Fiscal Year 2021-22.

P.S. There are three pages to the Updated Work Plan with brief explanation of status of implementation and funding. Click on the link above for the three pages. I’d like to note that the effort to get a climate action coordinator has taken five years. The results of NOT having the coordinator is telling in that we did not qualify for any of the Beacon Awards which we received on an annual basis until the majority of the council did not renew the then existing contract. As predicted, without the dedicated climate coordinator, there simply is not enough staff time to do what is necessary. The funding for a part-time coordinator was approved last year for implementation in 2020. The summary Work Plan indicates that the coordinator will be hired soon.


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Appointments available! COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Saturday, Solano Fairgrounds, Vallejo

From Nextdoor Benicia, City of Benicia, Communications, Teri Davena February 26, 2020 just before noon

COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Saturday.  Appointment slots are still available for tomorrow’s vaccination clinic at the Solano County Fairgrounds! Saturday, Feb 27, 2021 Solano County Fairgrounds Expo Hall 900 Fairgrounds Dr, Vallejo, CA To sign up & see eligibility: www.bit.ly/sccovax0227 or call 707-784-8655 for scheduling assistance.

May be an image of 1 person and text that says 'COVID-19 VACCINE CLINIC Saturday, February 27 2021, By Appointment Only Solano County Fairgrounds Expo Hall Available to Solano County Residents eligible in current distribution tiers including Older Adults (65-74 with underlying medical conditions and 75+), Healthcare Workers, and First Responders TO SIGN UP: www.bit.ly/ sccovax 0227 OR CALL: 707-784-8655 TGETHER SOLANO PUBLIC WE CAN HEALTH'