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Today’s Headlines: University of California’s new tuition math

Students at UC Berkeley
UC regents voted Thursday to increase tuition at Berkeley, above, and the system’s other campuses in 2022.
(David Butow / For The Times)

Here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:

TOP STORIES

University of California’s new tuition math

University of California regents, citing the need for financial stability and more grant aid, approved a tuition increase after widespread student protests and two years of debate.

The 4.2% increase in tuition and fees — $534 added to the current annual level of $12,570 — will apply only to incoming undergraduates entering in fall 2022 and stay flat for up to six years for them. Successive undergraduate classes would get a similar deal — one increase tied to inflation in their incoming year with tuition frozen for six years.

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The undergraduate tuition increase includes a 2% surcharge for the incoming class next year, declining for subsequent classes until it is phased out by 2026. Graduate student tuition would be adjusted annually by the rate of inflation.

The plan aims to bring financial predictability to families, help struggling campuses maintain educational standards, and make a UC education more affordable for many low-income students by raising more revenue for financial aid, UC President Michael V. Drake said.

He oversaw a similar tuition plan at Ohio State University before taking the reins at UC last year and said it had increased financial aid, lowered student debt levels, and increased student diversity. Under the plan, 45% of tuition revenue raised from California students would be returned to them through financial aid.

The regents’ action marked UC’s second tuition increase since 2011 and came after two years of discussion. It was set for a vote last July but shelved with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

L.A. coronavirus surge worsens

With coronavirus cases reaching levels in Los Angeles County not seen since the waning days of the winter surge, public health officials say that even those vaccinated should take precautions, given how widely the virus is circulating.

This surge is predominantly hitting people who have not been vaccinated. But with the highly infectious Delta variant racing through the region, additional measures — like wearing masks inside crowded public places — can further armor everyone against transmission.

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“Vaccines are like our umbrella: excellent protection on most rainy days. But when the rain gets really intense, for example during a bad thunderstorm, we might also throw on a raincoat,” L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said.

But, “When you have a more infectious variant that’s circulating and you see what we see now, lots of community transmission, you can expect exactly what we’re seeing: lots more people getting infected, including more people who are fully vaccinated,” she added.

That mathematical reality is now playing out. According to Ferrer, out of all coronavirus cases confirmed countywide in June, 20% occurred in residents who were fully vaccinated.

The figure is not as alarming as it first appears. Currently, 53% of L.A. County residents are fully vaccinated. County health officials reported 2,767 additional cases Thursday, the second straight day with more than 2,000 newly confirmed infections.

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The spread of the coronavirus has increased to such a point that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now considers L.A. County to have “high” community transmission — the worst classification on the agency’s four-tier scale.

More top coronavirus headlines

— U.S. pro sports leagues are struggling to get their COVID-19 vaccination rates to 85%, a threshold considered high enough to curtail the spread of the disease.

Misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines is costing people their lives. We separate the myths from reality.

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— A small number of COVID-19 “breakthrough” cases are expected after vaccination, and health officials say they’re not a cause for alarm.

For more, sign up for Coronavirus Today, a special edition of The Times’ Health and Science newsletter.

CBS ousts two station managers

In a sweeping shake-up, CBS has ousted two senior managers responsible for its television stations in Los Angeles and Chicago.

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Jay Howell, general manager of KCBS-TV Channel 2 and KCAL-TV Channel 9 in Los Angeles; and Derek Dalton, the head of the company’s Chicago station, WBBM-TV Channel 2, were ousted Thursday after a six-month investigation into alleged wrongdoing within CBS’ stations’ group.

The moves extend a dramatic management makeover at CBS News and network’s stations’ division in the wake of a Los Angeles Times investigation, which uncovered alleged misconduct, racism and misogyny at a handful of CBS-owned stations. In April, CBS tossed out the head of its flagship New York station, Peter Dunn, who led the group of 28 CBS-owned TV stations for more than a decade. The company also ended the employment of Dunn’s top lieutenant, David Friend, responsible for the chain’s news operations. Both men have denied wrongdoing.

CBS on Thursday did not disclose the reasons behind Howell’s and Dalton’s departures but acknowledged the moves were related to an external investigation that has been underway since The Times’ report in late January.

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FROM THE ARCHIVES

For years, Verna Fields learned her craft working on smaller projects. But she developed ties with George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Peter Bogdanovich. In a July 24, 1975, Los Angeles Times article, Mary Murphy reported on her success:

A skillful film editor can make all the difference between a movie that doesn’t work and a movie that does.

In the past few years, film editor Verna Fields has pulled together such films as “What’s Up, Doc?” “Paper Moon” and “Daisy Miller” for Peter Bogdanovich, “American Graffiti” for George Lucas, “The Sugarland Express” for Steven Spielberg and her most recent, and perhaps best-editing accomplishment, Spielberg’s “Jaws.”

“I had to make a choice between editing ‘Jaws’ or ‘At Long Last Love.’ Because of an impending actors’ strike I picked ‘Jaws,’ ” says Fields, with nothing less than a massive grin on her face.

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In appreciation for her work on “Graffiti,” Lucas, who had studied with Fields, gave her a cranberry red BMW. Spielberg, in a gesture of recognition, asked her to produce his next film. Bogdanovich sent her a letter saying that when he realized he would be making his next film without her, he burst into tears.

With an impressive list of movies already to her credit, film editor Verna Fields recently added the blockbuster “Jaws.”
July 1975: With an impressive list of movies already to her credit, film editor Verna Fields recently added the blockbuster “Jaws.”
(Joe Kennedy / Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA)

POLITICS

— Senate Democrats are raising new concerns about the thoroughness of the FBI’s background investigation into Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh after the FBI revealed that it had received thousands of tips and had provided “all relevant” ones to the White House counsel’s office.

Mississippi urges the Supreme Court to use an abortion case to overturn Roe vs. Wade next term.

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Kamala Harris’ laugh may provide the ultimate gauge of how she is perceived. While many people just hear levity in her laugh, those on the right react with heckles and attacks, a difference that says as much about the divisive, personally vicious state of politics as any debates over policies.

Sign up early for our California Politics newsletter, coming in August, to get the best of The Times’ state politics reporting, including full coverage of the recall election and the latest action in Sacramento.

YOUR WEEKEND

— Eleven best bets for your weekend: Groundlings in person, a DTLA dance party and more.

— There are millions of acres of deserts to explore within driving distance of L.A. Here are the 14 best desert hikes in Southern California.

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Okra is so much more than its slimy reputation. Here’s how to cook it well.

— It’s cocktail hour. It’s hot. You want a drink with the taste of summer this weekend and a bit of a kick to restore your spirit. We have recipes to quench your thirst.

CALIFORNIA

— A review of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California found no systemic problems in how the agency handled complaints of harassment, racism and other alleged discrimination.

— As researchers unpack the precise dangers of wildfire smoke, one study pointed to particulates from burned homes that made smoke from the Camp fire particularly noxious and another linked wildfire smoke to an increased risk of contracting COVID-19.

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— A bill advancing through the California Legislature to allow for denser home building in single-family zones would be likely to produce an uptick in the state’s housing supply, but so-called upzoning probably won’t cause mass redevelopment, according to a report published Wednesday.

— Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s deputy communications director, Alex Comisar, has told reporters that Garcetti has “zero tolerance” for harassment. Now, two former Garcetti staffers have testified in separate, sworn depositions that Comisar himself complained about the behavior of an advisor to the mayor who is facing allegations of sexual harassment.

Pacific Gas & Electric plans to bury 10,000 miles of its power lines in an effort to prevent its grid from sparking wildfires when electrical equipment collides with millions of trees and other vegetation.

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NATION-WORLD

— The Biden administration announced a new round of sanctions against the Cuban government for its violent crackdown on demonstrators.

— As the remaining rubble from the collapse of a Miami-area condo tower was cleared away, a Florida judge said victims and families who suffered losses will initially receive a minimum of $150 million in compensation.

— Church bells rang out across Norway, marking 10 years since the country’s worst-ever peacetime slaughter. On July 22, 2011, a right-wing Christian extremist killed 77 people, many of them teenagers.

— Attorneys in the upcoming murder trial of three men accused in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery clashed in court over limits on testimony that the defendants acted in self-defense and were in a neighborhood that was on edge because of crime.

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HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

— At least in the public imagination, Jon Stewart is the person most responsible for “The Daily Show’s” improbable rise. But focusing on the hosts overlooks the contributions of two women essential to the series’ success: its creators. On the show’s 25 anniversary, here’s how it became the most influential late-night comedy.

Michaela Coel, star of “I May Destroy You,” has been cast in Marvel’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” Fans suspect she’ll play Storm from “X-Men.”

— In one word, social thriller mastermind Jordan Peele effortlessly encapsulates what living the last year has felt like for us all: “Nope.” The Oscar-winning filmmaker behind “Get Out” and “Us” revealed that title via social media, and also debuted the poster for the upcoming horror movie, set to be released in theaters in IMAX on July 22, 2022.

M. Night Shyamalan gets lost with the wildly unhinged thriller “Old,” but the result is strangely fascinating.

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BUSINESS

NBCUniversal is banking on a big Olympics boost for streaming service Peacock. Will they get it?

— The COVID-19 pandemic is giving workers leverage over employers. How long will it last?

SPORTS

Kenley Jansen blew his third straight save as the Giants rallied again to beat Dodgers. “I’m not reconsidering his role,” Dodgers general manager Dave Roberts said.

— In May 2020, Major League Rugby announced that L.A. had been awarded a professional rugby union franchise: the Giltinis. A little over a year later, the team has reason to raise a glass with the league’s best record entering this weekend’s start to the postseason.

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OPINION

Climate change is driving extreme floods, wildfires and heat. The Times’ editorial board asks: Will the world meet the moment?

White extremists have long found a home in the diverse border city of San Diego. For those who dream of being white heroes at the edge of darkness, what better place than the literal frontier with brownness — so close to the “other side” and its hallucinated boogeymen, but in a comfortable coastal city, writes opinion columnist Jean Guerrero.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

— Dozens of nooses have shown up on U.S. construction sites. The culprits rarely face consequences. (The Washington Post)

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Sharmadean Reid is one of 10 Black female entrepreneurs in the U.K. this past decade who’s raised VC. Her business aims to empower entrepreneurial women. (Insider)

ONLY IN L.A.

It’s not just you — finding therapy in L.A. isn’t easy. Meet Christy Desai, the woman trying to change that. Desai is a licensed marriage and family therapist who thinks she has a solution to make securing therapy even slightly less hellish. She’s starting with a bricks-and-mortar location for Okay Humans, but going into the physical office is just about the only old-school thing about it. We caught up with Desai to chat about her new venture and the changing world of therapy.

Today’s newsletter was curated by Daric L. Cottingham and Laura Blasey. Comments or ideas? Email us at headlines@latimes.com.


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