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Essential California: Impeachment looms

Demonstrators protest outside the U.S. Capitol.
Demonstrators protest outside the U.S. Capitol during the first impeachment trial of President Trump on Jan. 23, 2020.
(Associated Press)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Monday, Jan. 11, and here’s a quick look at the week ahead:

On Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to bring a vote on a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence and Cabinet officials to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office. The vote will be an ultimatum: Pelosi said Sunday that if Pence doesn’t act, the House of Representatives will move forward on impeaching Trump for his role in inciting the violent insurrection at the Capitol last week.

On Sunday, a second Republican senator called on Trump to resign, with Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania joining Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski. My D.C. colleague Laura King reports that while Democrats from both chambers immediately rallied behind the idea of the president’s removal, Republican support for demanding he step down has built slowly.

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Also Monday: California’s state Legislature reconvenes. The Legislature was originally supposed to reconvene the week before, but the start date was postponed because of the coronavirus surge.

[See also: “California legislators will return to flurry of major pandemic response votes” in the San Francisco Chronicle]

Tuesday through Friday: Honestly, it’s anyone’s guess. Who knows what fresh horrors this week could bring?

The NFL divisional playoffs will be held on Saturday and Sunday.

And now, here’s what’s happening across California:

How much worse will the coronavirus crisis get in L.A. County? Here is what the next few weeks could look like. Los Angeles Times

California struggles with a backlog of bodies of COVID-19 victims: With hospital morgues overwhelmed by soaring numbers of bodies amid a surge in COVID-19 deaths, hard-hit parts of California are struggling to store the bodies of those who have died. Los Angeles Times

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L.A. STORIES

L.A. will be turning its massive COVID-19 testing facility at Dodger Stadium into a vaccine distribution site this week. According to a memo sent to employees staffing the site, the testing site at Dodger Stadium will be closed Tuesday through Thursday for remodeling and training, before reopening as a vaccine site on Friday. Los Angeles Times

In other coronavirus testing news, L.A. County will stop using the Curative coronavirus test after concerns from the Food and Drug Administration about its accuracy. The decision affects only a small number of county-supported mobile testing sites. As of Sunday night, the city of Los Angeles still planned to use Curative oral swab tests at its 10 drive-through testing sites. Los Angeles Times

“The 101 Coffee Shop was my diner around the corner — before COVID-19.” Columnist Nita Lelyveld on the beloved Hollywood haunt, which is closing for good. Los Angeles Times

The 101 Coffee Shop
The 101 Coffee Shop, located inside the Best Western Hotel on Franklin Avenue, is permanently shutting its doors after being in business for 20 years.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

The great birria boom: “How two Mexican-American birrieros made the beloved dish a sensation in America.” Eater

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POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

Arnold Schwarzenegger likened last week’s siege of the U.S. Capitol to Nazi attacks on Jews in Europe ahead of World War II in a scathing video in which the former California governor also called President Trump “the worst president ever.” Los Angeles Times

These Southern California officials rallied in Washington. Now they face calls to resign. Los Angeles Times

A pro-Trump crowd a stormed a meeting and threatened officials in rural California a day before the Capitol attack. Los Angeles Times

HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT

How “pharmacy deserts” could complicate vaccine access in the San Joaquin Valley. “The difference between living in southwest Fresno or Clovis could also determine how easily you can get a COVID vaccine.” Action News

CALIFORNIA CULTURE

Stripe will no longer process payments for President Trump’s campaign website. The San Francisco-based financial technology company handles card payments for millions of online businesses and e-commerce platforms. Wall Street Journal

Vogue is under social-media fire for its “disrespectful” Kamala Harris cover. The image — which shows the vice president-elect in a blazer, jeans and Converse sneakers — has been criticized for its backdrop, wardrobe direction and lighting, with many complaining that Harris’ skin tone appeared washed out. Los Angeles Times

A Fresno talk radio host was suspended after saying on air that some members of the media should be “hanged.” In a Facebook post on his page, conservative KMJ host Ray Appleton called his suspension “a first in 51 years of broadcast.” Fresno Bee

From the annals of a city desiccated by tech money: This 450-square-foot garage remade as a “cool urban studio” in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood rents for $1,775. (Renters beware, it is “NOT the brightest unit.”) SFGate

A poem to start your week: “American Sonnet for the New Year” by Terrance Hayes. Poem of the Day

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CALIFORNIA ALMANAC

Los Angeles: sunny, 73. San Diego: sunny, 70. San Francisco: partly sunny, 57. San Jose: partly sunny, 63. Fresno: partly sunny, 61. Sacramento: partly sunny, 57.

AND FINALLY

This week’s birthdays for those who made a mark in California:

Author Walter Mosley (Jan. 12, 1952), Amazon founder Jeff Bezos (Jan. 12, 1964), actress-writer-producer Issa Rae (Jan. 12, 1985) and actress-dancer-director Debbie Allen (Jan. 16, 1950).

If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, share it with us. (Please keep your story to 100 words.)

Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments, complaints, ideas and unrelated book recommendations to Julia Wick. Follow her on Twitter @Sherlyholmes.


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