Welcome to the weekend! I’m Winston Gieseke, philanthropy and special sections editor for The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, where the sun is always shining and the pool towels are oh, so fluffy. Here are some of the latest headlines from this amazing state of ours.
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Newsom attends dinner party, regrets decision
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After the San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday that California Gov. Gavin Newsom and his wife attended a dinner party on Nov. 6, Newsom is admitting that he should have set a better example for the state, which just exceeded 1 million coronavirus cases.
The outdoor dinner for 12, which took place at The French Laundry in Yountville in Napa County, was a 50th birthday celebration for Newsom’s longtime friend and political adviser Jason Kinney.
Newsom, who has pleaded with California residents to avoid social gatherings that mix households, said in a statement Friday that “while our family followed the restaurant’s health protocols and took safety precautions, we should have modeled better behavior and not joined the dinner.”
According to state guidelines, it’s strongly advised to limit gatherings, defined as “social situations that bring together people from different households at the same time in a single space or place,” to no more than three households. However, it’s not clear if this rule applies to restaurants, which follow different requirements.
While the California Republican Party tweeted that the governor “seems to be talking out of both sides of his mouth,” Molly Weedn, a representative for Kinney, said all party guests followed safety protocols. Nathan Click, a spokesman for the governor, meanwhile, added that the couple paid for their own meals.
State urges residents to avoid non-essential travel
While we’re on the subject of advisory warnings, it’s not just multi-household dinner parties that Californians are being asked to avoid — non-essential travel is also considered unwise by state guidelines.
Governors of California, Oregon and Washington issued travel advisories Friday imploring people to avoid traveling outside the state or country and suggesting that those entering or returning self-quarantine in the hopes of slowing down the spread of the coronavirus.
“California just surpassed a sobering threshold — 1 million COVID-19 cases — with no signs of the virus slowing down,” Newsom wrote in a statement. “Increased cases are adding pressure on our hospital systems and threatening the lives of seniors, essential workers and vulnerable Californians.”
Considering we’re less than two weeks away from Thanksgiving, you’re likely wondering whether or not holiday travel