Pala Today News – 9/15/20

Written by on September 15, 2020

The following items are part of the award-winning “Pala Today” newscast heard this day at noon on PALA REZ RADIO™ 91.3 FM in Pala.

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Air quality remains unhealthful and will probably remain that way for several more days due to smoke from wildfires.  As bad as the air is in California, it’s worse in Oregon where they’re getting firefighting support from as far away as Michigan and ten people are dead with 22 more unaccounted for.  Western wildfires are so pervasive that smoke is now affecting the air as far away as New York.  Scientists at UCLA note that long-term exposure to the tiny smoke particles that cause the current haze lead to an increased risk of asthma, lung disorders, heart attack and strokes.  But even short-term exposure can lead to respiratory problems.  It may be weeks before the air clears region-wide from current major wildfires.

San Diego County’s one current major fire, the Valley Fire is still at 17,665 acres with 87% containment.  Evacuations were lifted Friday.  Campgrounds at Lake Morena and Potrero reopened Saturday.  But the entire Cleveland National Forest remains closed to the public until further notice.

There were 208 new COVID-19 cases reported by San Diego County yesterday with no additional deaths.  The county’s state-calculated, unadjusted case rate is 6.9 and the current testing positivity percentage is 4.2%.  Both metrics place San Diego County in the state’s Red, or Tier 2 category for reopening. There were no new community outbreaks reported yesterday.  There have been 14 reported in the past seven days.  (SD County media release)

48 additional cases were reported yesterday at San Diego State University, bringing the total there to 648.  So far no faculty or staff have tested positive.

A study by KPBS shows that nightlife hotspots are also COVID-19 outbreak hotspots.  The zip code 92101, which includes San Diego’s Gaslamp district, Little Italy and the East Village has had 14 community outbreaks – more than any other zip code in the county.  More than one third of all outbreaks in the first five months of the pandemic were in that and three other zip codes.  The other hot zips were 92109 which includes Mission Beach and Pacific Beach, and two zips in the South Bay where outbreaks have been mostly in food processing and manufacturing facilities.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the Pala zip code remains at 75.

693 new cases of COVID-19 and 15 additional deaths were reported yesterday for the weekend in Riverside County. Riverside County is currently in the state’s Tier 1 (Purple), or most restrictive category for reopening.

There was a 3.1 magnitude earthquake last night at 10:09p east of the Banning pass near Morongo.  It was lightly felt as far away as Oceanside.

Interfaith Community Services of Escondido will buy the America’s Best Inn & Suites motel on Centre City Parkway near 5th to provide temporary housing for homeless people discharged from hospitals but still in need of recuperation and for graduates of Interfaith’s addiction treatment programs.  The cost of purchase and renovations will be about $10.1m.  $6m of that will come from a county grant.

Two San Diego County acts will compete head to head on tonight’s semifinals episode of “America’s Got Talent” on NBC television.  Casino security guard from Escondido, Celina Graves will compete against San Diego’s Voices of Our City Choir.

Rez Radio provides a daily updated bulletin board of resource links and current status of local businesses during the pandemic.  It’s in each day’s e-newsletter and at our website, www.RezRadio.FM .


In basketball – in the NBA playoffs, there were no games yesterday.  Game seven of the Western semifinal between Denver and the Clippers is tonight.  The Eastern finals also begin today between Miami and Boston.

In hockey – In the NHL division finals, Dallas eliminated Vegas four games to one, winning 3-2 in overtime last night.  The Stars now wait to see who they’ll face in the Stanley Cup finals.  Their Eastern opponent could be decided tonight as the Islanders and Lightning play Game 5 of their division final.  Tampa leads three games to one.

In baseball – The Padres win streak is at eight.  They beat the Dodgers 7-2 last night at Petco Park and now trail the team with the best record in baseball by just 1 ½ games.  San Diego’s Dinelson Lamet struck out 11 in seven innings pitched for the win.  Kershaw got pulled in the seventh as the Padres rolled up five of their runs that inning.  Same two teams tonight. No other games in the NL West yesterday. The Angels were idle.  It was mainly a catch-up day in the league with Cincinnati sweeping a double header from Pittsburgh.  The A’s and Mariners split a pair in Seattle.  St. Louis and Milwaukee split a double header in Milwaukee.  One major rout – Baltimore clobbered the Braves in Atlanta 14-1.  Tonight, the Angels host Arizona.  San Francisco is at Seattle.

Billionaire hedge fund investor Steven Cohen is still trying to buy the Mets franchise.  The team announced yesterday, he’ll succeed this time.  He pulled out of a deal in January but had his latest bid for the team accepted this time.  The Mets are valued at $2.4b.  Cohen will get 95% ownership with current owners Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon retaining the rest.  The current ownership group will likely remain in control at least through the end of the season and the deal still requires the approval of at least 23 of the other 29 team owners.  That wouldn’t come until November.  Past securities accusations without charges ever being filed could muddy the water for approval.

In the NFL – The Steelers had a decisive 26-16 win over the Giants last night.  And Tennessee beat Denver 16-14 in an exciting 4th quarter in the mile-high city.  Kicker Stephen Gostkowski hit a 25 yard field goal with 17 seconds left for the win.

San Diego State University announced today that the Aztecs will play all their 2021 home games at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson while construction continues on the new stadium in Mission Valley.  This season’s games will be sometime this spring with the regular 2021 season beginning in the fall.  The seven spring home games will be against Utah, Boise State, Fresno State, New Mexico, Nevada, New Mexico State and Towson.  The exact schedule has yet to be announced.  Today’s relocation announcement clears the way for earlier demolition of the old San Diego Stadium this spring and makes official the suspicion that there will be no more games or events held in the 52-year old stadium before it’s torn down.


As of midday trading on Wall Street, stocks were up across the board.  The Dow was up a third of a percent.  The S&P was up 8 tenths of a percent.  The NASDAQ was up 1 ½%.  Gold rose fifty cents to $1,964.20 an ounce.  Oil was up over a dollar to $38.31 a barrel for West Texas Intermediate Crude futures.

Stock in Sony dropped sharply yesterday after cutting its estimated production for PlayStation 5 by 4m units to about 11m this year.  The company cited production issues with its custom-designed system chip for the new console.  Sony had hoped for especially strong holiday sales as people spend more time at home during the pandemic.  Rival Microsoft put more pressure on the situation by revealing aggressive pricing for its Xbox Series S at $299 and Series X at $499.  Orders for the new Xbox will be taken beginning next Tuesday.  Sony is expected to reveal its PlayStation launch and pricing tomorrow.

Amazon renewed its hiring spree yesterday, announcing it would recruit 100k more workers to meet growing online shopping demands.  The jobs will be at 100 package sorting centers and other facilities the retail giant is opening this month.  All jobs are at least $15 an hour and Amazon is offering $1k signing bonuses in some cities.  Shares in Amazon are up 70% this year. Sales were up 40% in the second quarter.

Retail gasoline prices are stable at $3.20 per gallon in San Diego County – within a penny of where they’ve been for the past month.  Same for Riverside County at an average of $3.15.  Nationwide, the average price is exactly a dollar less.  Today’s lowest local price is $2.65 at the Mohsen station on Mission Avenue in Oceanside.  In southwest Riverside, it’s $2.82 at Murrieta Sam’s Club.  Rincon Travel Plaza and La Jolla Trading Post are both $2.80.


Apple announced its new product lineup today.  The new Apple Watch Series 6 will include a blood oxygen sensor that takes real time readings every 15 seconds.  The always-on screen will be brighter and a GPS-enabled model will sell for $399.  There will also be a lower-priced model SE which will have a more limited selection of apps for $279.  The current Series 3 watch will continue to sell for $199.  Older models required their own iPhone for pairing.  New ones can be can be set up and managed by one person within a “family”.  Preorders can be made today.  Availability is set for Friday.

Forbes magazine is reporting that President Trump saying at his rally in Minden, Nevada on Saturday that he plans to “negotiate” to run again for a third term in 2024 if he wins reelection this November.   He made the same claim in August at a rally in Wisconsin saying he deserves and extra term because “They spied on my campaign” – an apparent reference to his unproven “Obamagate” theory.   It’s the latest in a series of comments that have alarmed critics who say Trump has little regard for Constitutional boundaries.  The 22nd amendment to the constitution, ratified in 1951 after Franklin Roosevelt’s unprecedented four terms prohibits a President from seeking more than two terms.  It would take an act of Congress with a two-thirds majority, or for two-thirds of the state legislatures to call a Constitutional convention to get that rule overturned.  It could be academic.  RealClearPolitics currently shows Joe Biden leading Trump nationally by 7 ½% – the average of nine major national polls, all of which show Biden with the current advantage.  Biden’s advantage had been almost 10% right after the Democratic National Convention.

Alternative fuel vehicle maker Nikola yesterday admitted its prototype Nikola One big rig truck with battery and hydrogen power, which was announced as fully functional in 2016 and shown driving in a video posted 13 months later, was in fact not functional at the time and never did work.  In the video, the truck was actually rolling downhill, not under its own power.  But the company now has a successor, the Nikola Two which IS functional.  Further, it was announced last week that GM will build the Nikola-designed Badger pickup truck using existing GM battery technology.  Nikola’s main claim to fame these days is that it has supposedly figured out how to cut the cost of hydrogen fuel from today’s market price of around $16 per kilogram to below $4.  If that’s true, the company could build a network of hydrogen filling stations similar to Tesla’s SuperCharger network.  But with few technical details being revealed and Nikola’s history of exaggeration, investors are viewing the latest claim with skepticism.

On this day in music history – September 15,

  • In 1956, Elvis Presley began the first of five weeks at #1 with “Don’t Be Cruel”, which ended up being the biggest-selling single of his career, helped along by the B-side being “Hound Dog”.
  • In 1961, The Pendletones had their first professional recording session at Hite Morgan’s studio in LA. They recorded a song called “Surfin’” and in keeping with the theme, changed their name to The Beach Boys.
  • In 1962, The Four Seasons were at #1 for the first of five weeks with “Sherry”.
  • In 1965, still unknown outside R&B circles, Otis Redding released his third studio album, “Otis Blue”. It was mostly cover songs by more popular R&B and Soul artists.
  • On the same day, the Ford Motor Company became the first carmaker to offer an 8-track tape player as an option across its entire line of vehicles. The tapes were initially only available at auto parts stores.
  • In 1967, filming continues on The Beatles’ “Magical Mystery Tour” with impromptu lunch at a Taunton, Somerset fish & chips shop being filmed and later included in the movie.
  • In 1968, The Doors had to perform as a trio at a concert in Amsterdam after Jim Morrison collapsed while dancing during Jefferson Airplane’s lead-in performance.
  • In 1970, U.S. Vice President Spiro Agnew said that the youth of America were being “brainwashed into a drug culture” by rock music, movies, books and underground newspapers.
  • In 1975, Pink Floyd released their 9th album, “Wish You Were Here” exploring the themes of absence, the music business and the mental decline of former band-mate Syd Barrett. It went to #1 and spent a total of 84 weeks on the chart
  • In 1979, Led Zeppelin began the first of 7 weeks at #1 with their final album of new material, “In Through the Out Door”.
  • In 1990, Steve Miller’s “The Joker” hit #1 in the UK 16 years after its original release when it went to #1 in the U.S. It holds the record for longest gap between transatlantic chart toppings.  Its late success in Britain was due to its use in a Levi’s ad.
  • On the same day in the U.S., Wilson Phillips had their second #1 single with “Release Me”.
  • In 1997, a 34-year old man was awarded about $35k from a French court after losing his hearing from standing too close to loudspeakers at a U2 concert four years earlier.
  • In 2004, Ramones guitarist Johnny Ramone (real name John Cummings) died after a five-year battle with prostate cancer.
  • In 2008, Pink Floyd keyboardist and founding member Richard Wright died of cancer at age 65. Wright, Syd Barrett, Roger Waters and Nick Mason were the lineup on the group’s first album “Piper at the Gates of Dawn” in 1968. David Gilmour joined the band just after its recording and ended up replacing the unstable Barrett.
  • In 2019, Ric Ocasek, former lead singer with The Cars was found dead in his apartment at the age of 75. Ocasek went solo in the late 80s and produced albums for others including Weezer and No Doubt.

Born on this day …

  • In 1941, Signe Anderson, original lead singer for Jefferson Airplane. She was replaced by Grace Slick before the group’s second album.
  • In 1946, Ola Brunkert, drummer for ABBA.
  • In 1960, Michel Dorge, drummer for Crash Test Dummies.


Other celebrity anniversaries today

  • Comedian Norm Crosby, famous for his mangling of the English language is 93
  • Actor Tommy Lee Jones is 74
  • Humorist, writer, actor and member of the Algonquin Round Table, Robert Benchley was born this day in 1889
  • Country singer Roy Acuff was born in 1903
  • Actress Penny Singleton who played the title role in the “Blondie” movie series and was the voice of cartoon character Jane Jetson was born in 1908
  • Actor, director Jackie Cooper was born in 1922
  • The late character actress Wendie Jo Sperber from “Bosom Buddies”, “Private Benjamin” and “1941” was born in 1958


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Call the Pala Fire Department at (760) 742-1632 before starting any open fires to get the day’s Cal Fire and APCD recommendations. Fire Department permits are required for any burning on Pala tribal land.


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Pala Weather – The haze from wildfire smoke is now expected to be with us for another two days … otherwise sunny and 96 today … 97 tomorrow with possible wind gusts up to 20 miles an hour … 96 Thursday … 94 Friday … 90 Saturday … about 87 Sunday and Monday … overnight lows in the low 60s this week … upper 50s this weekend

(click HERE for current conditions in Pala)


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