Pala Today News – 9/18/20

Written by on September 18, 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.


A firefighter assigned to the El Dorado Fire near Oak Glen has died.  That’s the nearly 20k-acre wildfire started by a smoke-bomb at a gender-reveal party at a park in Yucaipa on September 5.  The victim’s name and circumstances of death were not released, but it happened yesterday.  Air crews began searching for a missing specially trained firefighter, or “hotshot” who’d hiked into a remote area to build a fire break.

The Bobcat Fire in Angeles National Forest is now more than 60k acres and still just 3% contained.  It’s moving towards Antelope Valley where several communities have been evacuated.  Crews worked overnight to keep the flames south of Pearblossom.  The fire also remains active near Mt. Wilson Observatory.

It’s going to be another scorcher today with many areas in or near triple digits.  It was 101 yesterday in Pala.  Humidity is low, but winds are not expected to be too much of a problem in most burn areas.  The full forecast is coming up. (below)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says wildfire smoke can make a person even more susceptible to lung infections including the virus that leads to COVID-19.  In Southern California, the South Coast Air Quality Management District has issued unhealthy to hazardous air quality alerts and smoke advisories for all six counties it oversees in the past three weeks.  Doctors are concerned this could once again overwhelm health care capacity as we head into flu season.  Historically, there is an increase in hospital admissions during wildfire and flu seasons.

Just today, the CDC has reversed its heavily criticized guidance saying symptom-free people who’ve had close contact with a COVID-19 patient don’t need testing.  The New York Times reports that the now-discredited recommendation came from political appointees in the Trump administration and skipped the agency’s usual rigorous review.

There were 174 new COVID-19 cases reported by San Diego County yesterday with 6 additional deaths.  Six new community outbreaks were reported – two in business settings, one at a grocer, one at a restaurant, one at a food processing center, and one at a residence.  Only 2% of the latest group of tests came back positive. But the improvement may be too little too late to maintain the county’s status in the state’s Red tier for reopening.  That will be known in the next state update on Tuesday. (SD County media release)

San Diego County health officials said yesterday that with the county possibly sliding back into the lowest tier of the state reopening guidelines within two weeks, that schools in the county that haven’t reopened by then will lose their chance to do so.  According to state guidelines, schools that reopen under Red tier county status can remain open under Purple.  Districts in Valley Center, Oceanside and Vista had announced reopening of classrooms, but not until next month.  If the county is in the Purple Tier at that time, reopening won’t happen.  While a number of restaurants and private businesses have declared they will openly defy any increased restrictions, school districts are too closely involved at the state level to go rogue.

173 more COVID-19 cases were reported in Riverside County yesterday along with 7 additional deaths. The county again had an unadjusted case rate and testing positivity rate below the threshold for the state’s Tier 1 (Purple), or most restrictive category for reopening, meaning that after maintaining those numbers for two weeks the county would be reassigned into the Red tier with additional reopening being allowed.

Lawmakers across the state are pushing the Governor to reopen playgrounds.  Even in the less restrictive tiers, playgrounds are not included in phased reopening plans.  Most letters to the Governor from state lawmakers aren’t asking for unconditional reopening, just guidance and establishment of a playground protocol.

The San Diego Rescue Mission and Oceanside’s Bread of Life Rescue Mission are merging, effective next month.  The two faith-based non-profits hope to accomplish more towards helping the homeless through combined efforts.  Bread of Life had operated as an annual winter shelter for up to 50 and had been considering expanding into a year-round shelter.  That plan was abandoned over the cost of rehabilitating its 40-year old leased headquarters.  The merger is expected to allow both organizations, which will each maintain their current names to grow.

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, Miami is halfway home rallying from 13 points down at the half to beat Boston 106-101 and taking a two games to none lead in the Eastern final.  The Western final begins tonight with Denver at the Lakers.  Game 3 in the East is tomorrow.

In hockey – In the NHL division finals yesterday in Edmonton, Tampa topped the Islanders 2-1 in overtime to win the Eastern final series four games to two.  The Stanley Cup championship series begins tomorrow with Dallas and Tampa.  One of those two cities will take the cup home from Edmonton, but after that, there is some question as to what will become of the longstanding tradition of the Stanley Cup going on tour and each member of the winning team getting to spend one day with it in a location of his choice.  Thousands of travel miles for the Cup and its Cup Keeper seem unlikely during the pandemic, not to mention all the usual kissing of the Cup and drinking from it while passing around from person to person.

In baseball – The Padres play the first of three away games at Petco Park tonight against the Mariners.  That’s nothing new for the Mariners who’ve now played several “home” games in other cities while the smoky air in Seattle remains unfit for outdoor exertion.  Yesterday the Giants beat the Mariners 6-4 in a Seattle home game played in San Francisco’s AT&T Park.  The Dodgers beat Colorado 9-3.  Tampa swept a double header from Baltimore.  That makes the Rays the second team to clinch a playoff spot.  The Angels beat Arizona 7-3.  The White Sox edged the Twins 4-3.  Chicago has also now clinched the playoffs.  Other winners included Boston, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Houston and both New York teams.

In the NFL – Last night in Cleveland, the Browns beat the visiting Bengals 35-30.  Rookie Joe Burrow quarterbacked for the losing effort but still managed to shine, throwing three touchdowns among a record 37 completions.  The Chargers will make their SoFi Stadium debut Sunday hosting Kansas City. They’ll do it without four-time Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey who’s been placed on injured reserve and will undergo season-ending hip surgery.  The Rams are at Philadelphia.  The Raiders host New Orleans Monday in Las Vegas.

In golf – At the U.S. Open in Mamaroneck, New York, Thomas Pieters and Justin Thomas were tied at 5 under par going into today’s second round.

In racing – NASCAR Cup racing at Bristol Motor Speedway tomorrow with Brad Keselowski starting in the pole position.


As of midday trading on Wall Street, stocks were down significantly.  The Dow was off by 1 1/3%.  The S&P was down 1.8%.  And the NASDAQ was down 2 ¼%.  Gold rose $12 to $1,962 an ounce.  Oil was down 30 cents to $40.67 barrel for West Texas Intermediate Crude futures.

Jobless claims fell in September for the first time in five weeks, but initial jobless claims are still high, pointing to ongoing business closures and cutbacks due to the pandemic.  New claims also fell for the first time in almost a month if self-employed workers who applied for benefits under a separate federal program are included.  Economists say the overall picture from claims shows the economic recovery won’t be quick.  Almost half of the 22m jobs initially lost this spring have been recovered, but it’ll be a lot harder to get the rest of them back.

Unemployment in San Diego County fell to 9.9% in August.  That’s a drop of 2 ½ points from July. The rate at this time last year was just 3.4%.

The federal government set Sunday as the day for cutting off new U.S. downloads of TikTok over national security and data privacy concerns.  But once again, measures against China may turn out to be more bark than bite.  The Commerce Department hasn’t offered details on enforcement or potential penalties for violations, but Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross did say the agency would order a full ban of TikTok in this country by November 12, the week after the elections.  Discussions continue for a deal involving Oracle and Walmart taking a significant stake in the company – possibly creating U.S. majority ownership.  Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri says a ban would be bad for his and other social media companies.  The actual impact of any sanctions on TikTok’s current Chinese owners would be minimal, since its U.S. operations only account for a small fraction of its overall worldwide activity.


Australia’s Qantas Airlines has found a use for at least one of its idle jumbo jets.  Since their international business is off by up to 97% since the pandemic began, they decided to do some local flying and have scheduled what they call a “Great Southern Land” joy flight in a Boeing 787 with departure and arrival both at Sydney.  About 130 Australians made this flight to nowhere one of the fastest selling flights Qantas has ever put on.  No need for baggage on the seven-hour non-stop flight which will fly as low as 4k feet to allow passengers a close-up view of the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru, Byron Bay, Bondi Beach and Sydney Harbor.  Economy tickets were $787, premium economy $1,787 and business class $3,787.  Based on the success of the promotion, some Asian airlines are considering their own flights to nowhere and Qantas says it will definitely look into scheduling additional scenic flights.

The City of Oceanside was awarded a $69m Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation loan from the U.S EPA to finance its Pure Water Oceanside project.  The loan will cover half the cost of the project.  Scheduled for completion in 2022, the PWO plant will provide about a third of the city’s water supply and become the first functioning advanced water purification facility in the county.  Oceanside’s goal is 50% local sourcing for the city’s water supply by 2030, reducing reliance on imported water from the Colorado River and other remote places.

On this day in music history – September 18,

  • 1968, The Beatles, working on new songs for what would become the “white album” recorded 20 takes of “Birthday”.  Band wives, Yoko Ono and Pattie Harrison contributed backing vocals and band roadie, Mal Evans added hand claps.
  • In 1970, Jimi Hendrix died in London after choking on his own vomit.  Earlier that night, he’d left a message for his manager saying, “I need help bad, man.”  Rumors flew about what happened.  Eric Burdon said it was suicide.  But others said Jimi was in a good frame of mind.  Some say it was the result of a government conspiracy involving his then-girlfriend, a German figure skater.  The most reasonable explanation seems to be that he’d had a lot of wine and took some of her sleeping pills.  Although they were a brand he was familiar with, he took a huge dose – nearly 20 times what a doctor would normally prescribe.  He was found unresponsive at about 10a the next day.  An autopsy concluded he’d died of asphyxiation around midnight.  Hendrix was 27.
  • In 1971, The Who scored their first #1 album with “Who’s Next”.
  • In 1976, one hit wonders Wild Cherry began the first of three weeks at #1 with “Play That Funky Music”.
  • In 1983, the members of KISS appeared without their makeup for the first time during an interview on MTV.
  • In 1991, lead singer for the MC5 died of a heart attack sitting in his car in his hometown of Berkley, Michigan.  The Motor City Five formed in 1965 and released their first album, “Kick Out the Jams” in ’69.
  • In 1996, Julian Lennon successfully bid just over $39k for the recording notes of “Hey Jude”, the song Paul McCartney wrote for him.
  • In 2006, Willie Nelson and four members of his band were charged with drug possession when police in Lafayette, Louisiana found marijuana and magic mushrooms on his tour bus.
  • In 2007, Britney Spears’ management company dropped the singer one month after signing with them.

Born on this day …

  • In 1933, Jimmie Rodgers who had the #1 hit “Honeycomb” in 1957.
  • In 1939, Frankie Avalon.
  • In 1950, Doobie Brothers drummer Michael Hossack.
  • In 1952, Ramones bass player Dee Dee Ramone – real name Douglas Colvin.

Other celebrity anniversaries today

  • Actor Robert Blake is 87
  • Singer, actor Frankie Avalon is 80
  • Comedian, actor Jason Sudeikis from “Horrible Bosses” and “We’re the Millers” is 45
  • Actress Jennifer Tisdale is 39
  • Actor, comedian Eddie “Rochester” Anderson was born this day in 1905
  • Cartoon voice actress June Foray was born in 1917
  • Actor Jack Warden was born 100 years ago today
  • Actor Fred Willard was born in 1933


Programming on Rez Radio 91.3 is made possible in part by the Pala Band of Mission Indians and donations from listeners like you. Call (760) 742-4200 or email for details on contributing to community radio in Pala.


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.


The Pala Band of Mission Indians has a number of part-time and full-time employment opportunities.


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Pala Weather – hazy sunshine with a high of 98 … 93 tomorrow … 89 Sunday … patchy morning fog Monday, clearing to sunny and 86 Monday and Tuesday … 89 Wednesday … back to 93 next Thursday … overnight lows, 63 tonight … 60 tomorrow night … upper 50s Sunday through Tuesday … 60 Wednesday night

(click HERE for current conditions in Pala)


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The Community Events and Casino Corner portions of this newsletter can be heard three times daily Mon-Sun on Rez Radio, at 7:25a, 12:25p (in Pala Today M-F), and at 5:25p as the “Pala Community Calendar”. Submit items for the calendar to at least a week before the event.

You can view the events on the Calendar page.


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The Pala Band of Mission Indians and Rez Radio gathered this list of resources as a courtesy and offers no guarantee of accuracy. Please contact us if you find an error or if any link needs to be updated.

Check out the list of information on our Resources page.

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