Orange County Planning To Open COVID-19 Vaccine Sites At Senior Centers

SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — Orange County officials announced Friday that some senior centers would be utilized as vaccination sites to help inoculate the elderly against COVID-19. “We’ve got to get mobile out into the neighborhoods and take the vaccine to them,” Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley said. But, without a large supply of available vaccine doses, local mayors said the plan cannot yet be implemented. The county currently has about 20,000 doses available for the public, with up to 35,000 doses expected to arrive in the coming week. And while a supersite has opened in the parking lot of Disneyland Resort for people over the age of 65, the slow delivery of vaccines was preventing the opening of additional locations, officials said. RELATED: Orange County Reports 3,158 New COVID-19 Cases, 82 Deaths But the short supply was not the only issue facing those in Orange County, with demand overwhelming the county’s online reservation system and problems with connectivity preventing some seniors from even signing up for appointments. “We already have, you know, about 10,000 households that don’t have access to the internet,” Santa Ana Mayor…

Erbes Fire In Thousand Oaks Nears Containment Friday

THOUSAND OAKS (CBSLA) – The cause of a wildfire in Thousand Oaks remained under investigation Friday as firefighters worked closer to containing the blaze. Despite strong wind gusts, full containment on the Erbes Fire was expected by Friday evening, according to Ventura County fire officials. Up to 250 acres have been charred in the fire. The Erbes Fire burns in Thousand Oaks, Calif., on Jan. 14, 2021. (CBSLA) The Erbes Fire broke out at about 5 p.m. Thursday on the north side of Erbes Road, near Sunset Hills Boulevard by the 23 Freeway. About 70 homes were evacuated. However, the evacuation order was lifted a little before 9 p.m. Thursday. Ventura County Fire Department crews prevented the flames from reaching any homes, and no one was hurt. “We are gonna go out and get some Starbucks for them (the firefighters), at least, all we can do, you know” grateful Thousand Oaks homeowner told Enrico Soracco Friday morning. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Bonita Fire: Forward Progress Stopped, 5% Containment

MOUNTAIN CENTER (CBSLA) – Some residents in the San Jacinto Mountains community of Mountain Center were allowed to return home Friday afternoon after being evacuated due to a brush fire. Jan. 15, 2021. (OnSceneTV) The 600-acre Bonita fire was reported at 1:15 a.m. in the 28000 block of Bonita Vista Road, according to the CAL Fire Riverside County Fire Department. Evacuation orders have been issued for all residents of Mountain Center, CAL Fire reports. It’s unclear if any homes have been destroyed. At least 250 fire personnel were battling the blaze on the ground and in the air at one point. An evacuation center has been set up at the Banning Community Center at 789 N. San Gorgonio Ave. This is the second major fire to break out in the region. On Thursday, the Erbes Fire erupted in Thousand Oaks, also forcing evacuations. Forward progress on that blaze has been stopped and evacuation orders were lifted.

New Research Out Of British University Believes Mindfulness Courses Can ‘Improve Mental Health’

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – New research out of Britain suggests mindfulness courses can improve mental health, but may not be for everyone. The popular form of meditation is practiced around the world. “For most people, in most settings, it will improve depression, anxiety, stress, and well-being,” said Dr. Julieta Galante of the University of Cambridge’s Department of Psychiatry. A University of Cambridge study looked at data from 29 countries and found while community mindfulness courses can improve mental health, in at least one in 20 trial settings it did not help anxiety and depression. “In some cases, a few cases, it may not be beneficial. It may just not have an effect,” said Dr. Galante. Researchers followed almost 12,000 participants, including in the U.S.  Most were women who took part in classes at work or college. They found mindfulness, compared with doing nothing, boosted mental health. “We did find a slight advantage of the mindfulness courses that have an element of physical activity in them,” Dr. Galante said. British body coach Joe Wicks of The Body Coach TV says fitness and mindfulness work hand in hand.…

Ralph Lauren cuts ties with golfer Justin Thomas for using anti-gay slur

The Ralph Lauren Corporation is cutting ties with golfer Justin Thomas over his use of a homophobic slur. Thomas apologized for the incident, which occurred at a PGA Tour tournament in Hawaii last Saturday. “There’s no excuse,” Thomas told the Golf Channel in an on-air apology immediately after his round. In a statement, the company said it was discontinuing its sponsorship of Thomas because of his use of the slur, which the company said inconsistent with its values. “While we acknowledge that he has apologized and recognizes the severity of his words, he is a paid ambassador of our brand and his actions conflict with the inclusive culture that we strive to uphold,” a statement from the corporation said. Thomas uttered the slur after he missed a par putt during the Sentry Tournament of Champions’ third round in Hawaii and his words were caught by television microphones. “I’m an adult. I’m a grown man. There’s absolutely no reason for me to say anything like that. It’s terrible. I’m extremely embarrassed. It’s not the kind of person that I am … But unfortunately I did it…

South Korea is cracking down on digital sex crimes. Has it done enough?

Between the ages of 11 and 14, South Korean teenager Ji-o was threatened, stalked and pressured into taking sexually explicit photos of herself by men on the internet. She joined Twitter in 2015 as a lonely 11-year-old elementary student, hoping to make friends, according to Choi Yunu, from non-governmental organization Mental Health Korea. As she interacted with people on the platform, she read about a way to make pocket money. People online would send her vouchers for snacks, and all she had to do was share pictures of her breasts. But the exchange was a trick — ultimately, those uploads were used to blackmail her into accepting an exploitative pattern of abuse. One man claiming to be a 36-year-old father threatened to tell Ji-o’s parents what she was doing if she didn’t take explicit pictures for him. Another man set up a rule that she needed to respond to his messages within two minutes or he would send men to beat her up, although it’s unclear whether he knew where she lived and if so, how he had that information. Terrified of missing a notification,…

Omnitrans dodges takeover, but endures service cuts and layoffs

A power struggle over control of San Bernardino County’s largest public transit agency may be over, but survival of Omnitrans now and post-coronavirus remains a question mark. The bus agency, serving 1.5 million residents within a 480-square-mile area of the county, from Yucaipa to Montclair, with about 30 fixed routes, dodged a bullet last fall, when a report concluded being swallowed up by the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority was a bad idea. Now, with its literal existence assured, its new CEO/general manager must steer the bus agency through a global pandemic that has shrunk ridership 60%, cut into its workforce by 20% and reduced its budget by about 22%. Erin Rogers was named CEO/general manager of Omnitrans, the bus agency circulating buses in a 480-square-mile area in San Bernardino Valley, in July 2020. She’s trying to reduce the budget and increase ridership through the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo courtesy of Omnitrans) “Long-term funding remains uncertain,” Erin Rogers, Omnitrans CEO/general manager since early July, said Thursday, Jan. 14. Rogers was deputy CEO under Scott Graham and when he retired in November 2019. She’s the first female…

Corona-Norco’s plan to reopen elementary schools still on hold

The Corona-Norco Unified School District’s plan to reopen elementary schools will remain on hold because of new state guidelines issued earlier this month. The district’s waiver application was approved by state and local health officers in November, but the school board struggled with a decision on when to return. The initial waiver is now invalid, as new guidelines for the reopening of schools were set when Gov. Gavin Newsom recently unveiled a Safe Schools for All plan. The earliest that Corona-Norco elementary schools could return is now Feb. 15, but Riverside County’s adjusted coronavirus case rate must drop significantly. Kindergarten and elementary schools can reopen if their county’s adjusted case rate is at 25 or lower. Riverside County’s adjusted case rate this week was 127.5. “We still do have every intention to get our students back as soon as possible,” Superintendent Sam Buenrostro said. “Unfortunately, at this time, the community spread remains high and the parameters for reopening are in flux. The target date to return might’ve changed, but our goals and focus have not.” The district’s pursuit to reopen schools has been a rollercoaster.…

How to see Riverside Philharmonic’s ‘Wilbur, the Waltzing Pig’

Allen Savedoff, playing the contrabassoon, provides the voice of Wilbur in the Riverside Philharmonic’s performance of “Wilbur, the Waltzing Pig” by the orchestra’s music director Tomasz Golka, recorded in November 2020 at the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena. (Courtesy of the Riverside Philharmonic) Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Riverside Philharmonic was not able to present its annual holiday concert, but it produced a video performance instead. The orchestra’s brass quintet recorded classic holiday music, including a French solo of “O Holy Night” and trombone solo of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and shared the recording on the Riverside Philharmonic’s YouTube channel. The orchestra followed that recording with Riverside’s version of the annual Vienna New Year’s concert. Rather than a traditional Strauss waltz, the orchestra performed “Wilbur, the Waltzing Pig,” a whimsical take on the classic waltz composed by Tomasz Golka, the Riverside Philharmonic’s music director. The video included original images by Riverside artist Kim Cobb, owner of The Lovely Bug, portraying the dancing pig. Wilbur’s “voice” was provided by Allen Savedoff, playing a contrabassoon. “With many families staying home, celebrating together instead of going…

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