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In Los Angeles, Newsom convenes inaugural CARE Court roundtable

CARE Court provides individuals with clinically appropriate, community-based & court-ordered mental health & substance use disorder treatment

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Governor Newsom meets current Kress House resident Zackary Wright (Photo Credit: Office of the Governor)

LOS ANGELES – Governor Gavin Newsom today visited a residential facility in Los Angeles, where he met with clients, health care and service providers, and local and judicial officials to discuss his CARE Court proposal.

Unveiled by the Governor last week, CARE Court is a new policy framework for providing community-based mental health and substance use disorder treatment services to Californians with the most acute challenges, many of whom are experiencing homelessness. 

Today’s roundtable is the first in a series of statewide convenings that the Administration will host, bringing together Californians who would benefit from the new framework, health care providers, first responders, outreach workers, representatives from the courts, local officials and other stakeholders.

“With new tools and a focus on accountability, CARE Court will empower communities to help those in the greatest need get critical services to put them on a path to recovery and healing,” said Governor Newsom. “In the weeks ahead, we’ll be hearing firsthand from everyday Californians and their families, service providers, health care professionals, first responders, members of the judiciary, local officials and other stakeholders whose partnership is foundational to our community-based approach.”

Governor Newsom convened today’s roundtable at Kress House in Los Angeles, a residential housing facility that provides comprehensive behavioral health services for justice-involved individuals.

Governor Newsom and Dr. Ghaly meet with clients, health care and service providers
(Photo Credit: Office of the Governor)

The Governor today also announced the launch of a new CARE Court website by the California Health and Human Services Agency, which will serve as a one-stop resource for the public and stakeholders to learn more about the framework, provide their input, and keep abreast of developments.

The Governor was joined today by Kress House residents, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly, Medical Director for the Los Angeles County Office of Diversion Dr. Kristen Ochoa, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Holly J. Mitchell, Executive Director Herbert Hatanaka of Special Service for Groups, the non-profit operating Kress House, and other roundtable participants.

CARE Court, which must be approved by the Legislature, would require counties to provide comprehensive treatment to the most severely impaired and untreated Californians and hold patients accountable to following their treatment plans. The framework will provide an opportunity for a range of people, including family members, first responders, intervention teams, and mental health service providers, among others, to refer individuals suffering from a list of specific ailments, many of them unhoused, and get them into community-based services.

The CARE Court framework was created using the evidence that many people can stabilize, begin healing, and exit homelessness in less restrictive, community-based care settings. The plan focuses on people with schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders, who may also have substance use challenges, and who lack medical decision-making capacity, and advances an upstream diversion from more restrictive conservatorships or incarceration.

CARE Court would provide individuals with a clinically appropriate, community-based and court-ordered Care Plan consisting of culturally and linguistically competent county mental health and substance use disorder treatment services. These include short-term stabilization medications, wellness and recovery supports, and connection to social services, including a housing plan. In addition to a full clinical team, the client-centered approach includes a public defender and a supporter to help individuals make self-directed care decisions. Services would be provided to the individual through an outpatient model while they live in the community.

In the event that a participant cannot successfully complete a Care Plan, the individual may be referred for a conservatorship, consistent with current law, with a presumption that no suitable alternatives to conservatorship are available. All counties across the state will participate in CARE Court under the proposal. If local governments do not meet their specified duties under court-ordered Care Plans, the court will have the ability to order sanctions and, in extreme cases, appoint an agent to ensure services are provided.

CARE Court builds on Governor Newsom’s $14 billion multi-year investment to provide 55,000 new housing units and treatment slots and nearly $10 billion annually in community behavioral health services. The Governor’s approach focuses on quickly rehousing unsheltered individuals with behavioral health issues, all while new units come online, while also transforming Medi-Cal to provide more behavioral health services to people struggling the most.

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Southern California

Triple A: Drivers asked stay alert & drive carefully as kids go back to school

Distracted driving is especially dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists. Non-drivers account for nearly 1 in 5 distracted driving deaths

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Photo Credit: Automobile Club of Southern California

LOS ANGELES – This month Southern California students are returning to classes on foot, bicycles, as well as in cars and school buses. To prevent traffic-related injuries and fatalities to students this school year, the Automobile Club of Southern California reminds drivers to slow down and stay alert in school zones and in other areas where children might be present.

Crashes are the leading cause of death for children and adolescents. The problem escalates during the months kids are in school, and the afternoon school hours are particularly dangerous. Nearly one-third of child pedestrian fatalities occur between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Kids are particularly vulnerable because they are small and less visible to drivers, are not always able to make sound and safe decisions near streets and can be easily distracted when around other kids. Children are not adults, so it is up to drivers to compensate for these differences. AAA’s School’s Open – Drive Carefully! awareness campaign began in 1946 to help reduce child pedestrian fatalities and injuries. Today, this effort is more important than ever due to the prevalence of drivers with smartphones and the increase in distracted driving on our roads.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,138 people died in distracted-related crashes in the U.S. in 2020, accounting for 8.1% of all roadway fatalities. That’s an average of 9 people killed each day in crashes that are totally preventable. Additionally, another 400,000 people are injured each year in distracted-related crashes. However, the true numbers of deaths and injuries are likely much higher because distracted driving is often underreported or difficult to determine as the cause of a crash.

Distracted driving is especially dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists. Non-drivers account for nearly one in five distracted driving deaths. Nationally in 2020, there were 480 pedestrians, 83 bicyclists and 14 other non-occupants killed in crashes that involved a driver who was reported to be distracted. It is unknown how many of these pedestrians, cyclists and other non-occupants were also distracted at the time.

“School-aged children will soon be going to and from campuses, so drivers should prepare for them,” said Auto Club Corporate Communications & Programs Manager Doug Shupe. “If you drive distracted you are “intexticated” behind the wheel, and you could cause the same tragedies as a driver who is impaired by alcohol or drugs. So, make it a habit to put smartphones out of sight and stay alert on the road, especially in school zones, in neighborhoods, around parks, and near bus stops,” said Shupe.

To keep kids safe this school year the Auto Club reminds drivers to:

  1. Eliminate distractions and put down the cell phone. Children often cross the road unexpectedly and may emerge suddenly between parked cars. Research shows that taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your chances of crashing.
  2. Slow down. Speed limits in school zones are reduced for a reason. A pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling 25 mph is nearly two-thirds less likely to be killed compared to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling just 10 mph faster. A difference between 25 mph and 35 mph can save a life.
  3. Talk with teens. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, and more than one-quarter of fatal crashes involving teen drivers occur during after-school hours.
  4. Come to a complete stop. Research shows that more than one-third of drivers roll through stop signs in school zones or on neighborhood streets. Always come to a complete stop, checking carefully for children on sidewalks and in crosswalks before continuing.
  5. Watch for bicycles. Children on bikes can be inexperienced, unsteady, and unpredictable. Slow down and allow at least three feet of passing distance between your vehicle and the bicycle. If your child rides a bicycle to school, require that they wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet on every ride.
  6. Watch for school buses. Yellow flashing lights indicate the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Drivers should slow down and prepare to stop. Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate the bus has stopped and children are getting on or off. Drivers MUST stop and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop-arm withdraws, and the bus begins to move before they can start driving again.

Parents and guardians are also key to keeping children safe during the trip to and from school. Adults should walk with children to familiarize them with the route to school and point out potential traffic hazards.

Students walking to and from school should:

  • Wait until you get to your destination before calling people, texting or gaming.  If you must text or make a call while walking, stop and find a safe location.
  • Avoid using hands-free devices while walking – Hang up and walk!
  • Remove your headphones or turn down the volume of your music so you can hear what’s going on around you.
  • Watch out for cars while crossing the street. There are a lot of distracted drivers out there so look all around you while in and around crosswalks.
  • Be a role model – pay attention while you walk and if you see your friends and family distracted while they walk – speak up.

For more information about the Auto Club’s traffic safety initiative, “Don’t Drive Intoxicated. Don’t Drive Intexticated,” visit aaa.com/dontdrivedistracted to read real stories of lives impacted by distracted driving, watch PSAs, and view a new distracted driving documentary called “Sidetracked.”

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Southern California

Triple A:  Gas prices post biggest one-month drop in 10 years

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $5.54, which is 12 cents lower than last week

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Screenshot/YouTube KCAL CBS LA

LOS ANGELES – Southern California gas prices are now down by 70 to 75 cents from a month ago in many areas, which is the biggest one-month drop since 2012, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch.

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $5.54, which is 12 cents lower than last week. The average national price is $4.14, which is 13 cents lower than a week ago.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $5.58 per gallon, which is 12 cents lower than last week, 71 cents lower than last month, and $1.20 higher than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $5.51, which is 11 cents lower than last week, 70 cents lower than last month, and $1.16 higher than last year.

On the Central Coast, the average price is $5.67, which is eight cents lower than last week, 55 cents lower than last month and $1.34 higher than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $5.45, which is 15 cents lower than last week, 75 cents lower than last month and $1.15 higher than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $5.75 average price is 13 cents lower than last Thursday, 57 cents lower than last month and $1.43 higher than a year ago today.

“The last time gas prices dropped so steeply in a one-month period was from October to November 2012 after the state resolved a summer-blend gasoline supply crisis by allowing stations to begin selling winter blend a few weeks early,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. “Even though average gas prices are now well above $5 a gallon in Southern California, most metro areas now have several stations priced under $5 a gallon and we encourage consumers to seek those out using a tool like the free AAA Mobile app.”

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on Aug. 4, averages are:

Aug 4 22
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Southern California

Triple A: Gas prices continue racing downward due to economic concerns

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $5.66, which is 16 cents lower than last week

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AAA Spokesman Doug Shupe (Screenshot/YouTube KCBS LA)

LOS ANGELES – Southern California gas prices continued dropping significantly for the sixth straight week and are now 70 to 80 cents lower than their record levels reached in June, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch.

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $5.66, which is 16 cents lower than last week. The average national price is $4.28, which is also 16 cents lower than a week ago.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $5.70 per gallon, which is 17 cents lower than last week, 64 cents lower than last month, and $1.34 higher than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $5.62, which is 17 cents lower than last week, 65 cents lower than last month, and $1.29 higher than last year.

On the Central Coast, the average price is $5.75, which is 13 cents lower than last week, 54 cents lower than last month and $1.44 higher than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $5.60, which is 16 cents lower than last week, 64 cents lower than last month and $1.32 higher than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $5.89 average price is 13 cents lower than last Thursday, 43 cents lower than last month and $1.62 higher than a year ago today.

“Los Angeles wholesale gasoline prices rose about 15 cents since last week from a four-month low point, but oil prices continue to stay lower due to economic concerns and rising interest rates,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. “Prices are continuing to drop locally and there are now several dozen stations in Southern California with prices below $5 a gallon. Make sure to use a tool like the free AAA Mobile app to find the cheapest gas station near you.”

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on July 28, averages are:

Jul 28 22
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