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Stanford calls off plans to bring students back to campus

This excerpt is from the Chronicle of Higher Education’s coronavirus blog:

Stanford University has spiked plans to bring freshmen and sophomores back to campus for the winter quarter, a day after announcing that 43 students had tested positive for Covid-19 in the past week, The Stanford Daily reported. That number was nearly four times the previous week’s case number.

In December the university had affirmed plans to bring students back, and last week some had begun moving in. But citing the strain on area hospitals caused by a ten-fold increase in county cases since the week before Thanksgiving, university officials said only resident assistants and students with special circumstances could stay. 

The announcement expressed hope that juniors and seniors could return as planned for the spring semester. But officials cautioned that those plans “as always, are subject to the conditions of the pandemic.”

California says no to reinstating affirmative action programs

The next time you hear that California will support any so-called liberal idea, remember what voters have said about affirmative action.

As the Chronicle of Higher Education reports,

Though California is a progressive state, plenty of residents do not support race-conscious admissions programs. In particular, the debate over Prop. 16 revealed a stark divide among the state’s Asian Americans. Within that large, diverse community, there was plenty of support for the amendment — but also plenty of scorn. Some opponents worried that the reinstatement of race-conscious admissions in the University of California system would harm Asian American applicants, who are overrepresented at UC relative to their share of the state’s population.

In the end, the failure of Prop. 16 just might reflect the nation’s complicated relationship with affirmative action. Most Americans support the broad concept: In a 2019 Gallup poll, 61 percent said they favored affirmative-action programs for racial-minority groups, up from 54 percent in 2016.

Yet a majority opposes the consideration of race in admissions. 

Small business owners in Los Angeles lurch toward an uncertain future

Many of you reading this blog know I lived in Southern California for almost 20 years. And those were my formative years, including high school (St. Francis, 1985) and college (USC, 1989).

When I left in 1995, it was because the cost of living and the quality of life I wanted no longer seemed within my reach. Mind you, I was in my late 20s and single, and I wanted to get my Master’s elsewhere; however, who knew what that planned one year in Ohio had in store!

Nevertheless, a part of me will always call Los Angeles home. And a story in today’s Los Angeles Times hit me hard because many people who are in my age bracket and who stayed there face a precarious future because of the economic fallout from coronavirus. As one person said,

“Sometimes you get caught up in what I call sweeps of history, and it doesn’t make any difference how smart you are or how strong or well-financed … You can be swept away by a tidal wave. We’re in a pandemic and it’s a tsunami.”

Yes, I know small business owners in all parts of the country are under threat because of coronavirus, the convenience of e-commerce and the cost of doing business (to name just three), but reading about them in a place where I called home — and where part of me always will be found — was an important reminder that they are the backbone of every community and city.

Take them away and you’re left with lots of closed doors, unemployed people and a decline in the character of the place you call home. Los Angeles likely will never be home again, but I still love it, and, oh, it has such rich character.

Small business owners in Los Angeles lurch toward an uncertain future

Many of you reading this blog know I lived in Southern California for almost 20 years. And those were my formative years, including high school (St. Francis, 1985) and college (USC, 1989).

When I left in 1995, it was because the cost of living and the quality of life I wanted no longer seemed within my reach. Mind you, I was in my late 20s and single, and I wanted to get my Master’s elsewhere; however, who knew what that planned one year in Ohio had in store!

Nevertheless, a part of me will always call Los Angeles home. And a story in today’s Los Angeles Times hit me hard because many people who are in my age bracket and who stayed there face a precarious future because of the economic fallout from coronavirus. As one person said,

“Sometimes you get caught up in what I call sweeps of history, and it doesn’t make any difference how smart you are or how strong or well-financed … You can be swept away by a tidal wave. We’re in a pandemic and it’s a tsunami.”

Yes, I know small business owners in all parts of the country are under threat because of coronavirus, the convenience of e-commerce and the cost of doing business (to name just three), but reading about them in a place where I called home — and where part of me always will be found — was an important reminder that they are the backbone of every community and city.

Take them away and you’re left with lots of closed doors, unemployed people and a decline in the character of the place you call home. Los Angeles likely will never be home again, but I still love it, and, oh, it has such rich character.

San Francisco already seeing flu cases

Fall arrives in a few hours. Unfortunately, flu arrived earlier.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that city already is dealing with flu. And with the coronavirus pandemic still looming, the potential for crisis is obvious.

“Even a mild flu season is disastrous on top of what is already an uncontrolled pandemic,” said Dr. Charlies Chiu, head of UCSF’s infectious diseases division. “We’re not handling COVID-19 very well. A few thousand flu cases could be enough to overwhelm our hospital system.”