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What Does Defunding the Police Look Like? CAHOOTS Finds Out

What does defunding the police actually mean?  Roy Wood Jr. investigates how one Oregon city is putting alternative public safety to the test with a crisis assistance program called CAHOOTS. #DailyShow #TrevorNoah #RoyWoodJr

Please visit First Responders First – to help provide medical and psychological treatment for first responders on the front lines of fighting COVID.


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Solano County reports 14 previously unreported COVID hospitalizations

By Roger Straw, Thursday, February 25, 2021

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

Thursday, February 25: 43 new Solano cases overnight, no new deaths.  Since February 2020: 29,968 cases, over 890 hospitalized, 164 deaths.Compare previous report, Wednesday, February 24:Summary

[See Sources.  Daily archive of BenIndy Solano updates: Excel ARCHIVE
    • CASES – Solano County reported 43 new cases overnight, a total of 29,968 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 17 more active cases today a total of 335 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 335.  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 no change in the number of currently hospitalized cases, total of 45.  However, the County executed its occasional “catch-up” of hospitalizations previously unreported, adding 14 new hospitalizations among the age groups, a total of 892 hospitalized in all age groups since the pandemic began.  Today’s report added 1 person aged 18-49, 6 persons aged 50-64, and 7 of us over 65.  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 back into the YELLOW DANGER ZONE at  29% available same as yesterday. The State’s COVID19-CA.GOV reports that Solano County had only 13 available ICU beds yesterday, February 24, (down from 18 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 58% of ventilators available, same as yesterday, and down substantially from last summer’s reports of 82-94% available.
Positive Test Rate: Supposedly only 5.7% – no clarification as to Tuesday’s sudden drop by over half!

Solano County reported 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 6.2% to 5.7%.  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 2.9% today, down slightly from 3.1% 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 – only 2 new cases overnight, total of 3,499 cases, representing 11.7% of the 29,968 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 – 26 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 1 new hospitalization 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 – only 8 new cases overnight, total of 6,261 cases.  This age group represents 20.9% of the 29,968 total cases.  The County reported 6 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 7 new cases overnight, total of 3,668, representing 12.2% of Solano’s 29,968 total cases.  The County reported 7 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 1 new case overnight, total of 848 cases since the outbreak began.
  • Dixon remained steady today, total of 1,751 cases.
  • Fairfield added 13 new cases overnight, total of 8,148 cases.
  • Rio Vista remained steady today, total of 320 cases.
  • Suisun City added 8 new cases overnight, total of 2,029 cases.
  • Vacaville added 5 new cases overnight, total of 7,886 cases.
  • Vallejo added 15 new cases overnight, total of 8,898 cases.
  • Unincorporated areas added 1 new case 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.


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

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.

Center For Biological Diversity submits comment letter – opposing gas drilling in Suisun Marsh

By Roger Straw, February 26, 2021

The Center For Biological Diversity submitted the following letter commenting on the proposed Hunters Point gas well drilling exploration in Suisun Marsh.  The letter is sent on behalf of The Center and 11 other Bay Area groups: Friends of the Earth, Fresh Air Vallejo, Sunflower Alliance, San Francisco Baykeeper, Sierra Club Redwood Chapter, Climate Protectors, Benicians for a Safe and Healthy Community, 350 Bay Area, Communities for a Better Environment, Good Neighbor Steering Committee of Benicia, and Natural Resources Defense Council.

The two-page cover letter addressed to the San Francisco District Army Corps of Engineers, is followed by 30 pages of detailed comments, downloadable here as a PDF.  The letter opens with the following summary comment:

…Approving new gas development would cause significant harm to air and water quality, the surrounding ecosystem, and the climate. Issuing permits for new fossil fuel development is fundamentally incompatible with a safe and healthy future. We urge the Army Corps to consider the attached comments, which discusses why the application for this Project is grossly inadequate and does not meet the minimum standards of state and federal environmental laws. We strongly urge the Army Corps to reject this dangerous and short-sighted Project and work instead to protect communities and the environment from industry pollution. At minimum, the Army Corp must not approve this Project without a full environmental impact study, at least one public hearing, and further opportunities to submit comments on this harmful Project. […continued…]

Center For Biological Diversity – Comment letter opposing gas drilling in Suisun Marsh

ALERT – TIME SENSITIVE! Need to send letters to stop drilling project in Suisun Marsh

By Kathy Kerridge, February 24, 2021


Proposed Sunset Exploration Exploratory well – Latitude: “N 38.158096” Longitude: “W -122’059177”

Do you want to see a gas drilling operation in the Suisun Marsh?
I know I don’t.

The Army Corps of Engineers is in the process of evaluating a request for exploratory drilling in the marsh. There is an existing well, which has been plugged, that Sunset Exploration would like to do exploratory drilling in. Of course if the exploration shows that the gas is worth pursuing then that would involve putting in a bigger drilling operation and putting in an 8,821 foot pipeline to connect with an existing pipeline.

I don’t think either of these things are appropriate in the biggest marshes on the West Coast.

Your comments on this project are due on February 26.  More info below.

BACKGROUND:  Here is the link to the project description:  This is the public notice for the gas drilling project before the Army Corp of Engineers.

You can download my sample letter with the required information for comments. I suggest that everyone oppose this and ask for a public hearing. You don’t have to use my words. Some variation may be appropriate.  I have also attached a letter from Monica Brown.

Here is where to send the comments:

Your comments must include the following:

Project: Hunter’s Point Natural Gas Well Drilling Project
Applicant: Robert Nunn of Sunset Exploration located at 10500 Brentwood Boulevard, Brentwood, California, through its agent, Hope Kingma of WRA, Inc.
PUBLIC NOTICE DATE: January 25, 2021
COMMENTS DUE DATE: February 26, 2021

The project also needs approval from the Executive Officer, California Regional Water Quality Control Board, San Francisco Bay Region, 1515 Clay Street, Suite 1400, Oakland, California 94612, Your comments can be directed to them by the close of the comment period, February 26.

Approvals will also be required from other agencies including Solano County, but wouldn’t it be nice to stop this dead in its tracks.

Public interest factors which may be relevant to the decision process include: conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, cultural values, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shore erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, considerations of property ownership, and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people.

Comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest in the project.
Your comments may include a request for a public hearing on the project prior to a determination on the Department of the Army permit application; such requests shall state, with particularity, the reasons for holding a public hearing.

Kathy Kerridge