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Bay Area Headlines: Monday, 4/13/20, AM

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Case Updates / City Lights Saved / Fourth of July World One Festival Cancelled

COVID-19 Case Updates

As of last night, there were over 23,000 cases confirmed statewide. That’s about 7,000 more than Friday. In the Bay Area, there are more than 5,000 confirmed cases. That’s almost a thousand more on Friday as well. The number of patients hospitalized and committed to Intensive Care Units here in California has been steadily rising.

City Lights Saved

One of the world’s most famous independent booksellers, City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco, was in dire financial shape because of the coronavirus outbreak and asked for help. Help quickly arrived.

Within days of starting a GoFundMe campaign last week seeking $300,000, the store received more than $400,000 from nearly 9,000 contributors.

"Knowing that City Lights is beloved is one thing, but to have that love manifest itself with such momentum and indomitable power, well, that’s something I don’t quite know how to find words for," City Lights CEO Elaine Katzenberger wrote in a recent posting on the store's website. “The fiscal support we’re receiving here will help stabilize us for the next couple of months, and that will enable us to begin planning for the future.”

City Lights was co-founded in 1953 by the poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti and holds a special place in local and international literary history. The store and its publishing arm were essential in the careers of Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and other Beat writers and City Lights remains a favorite meeting place for progressive artists and thinkers. Ferlinghetti turned 101 last month.

Numerous stores around the country have been forced to shut down and have turned to GoFundMe campaigns to survive. Those include another San Francisco institution, Marcus Books, a black-owned store founded 60 years ago.

Fourth of July World One Festival Cancelled

The largest event of the year in El Cerrito, the annual Fourth of July World One Festival has been cancelled for 2020. The free event annually draws about 3,000 for music, games, rides, and other attractions was a victim of the shelter-in-place order and the city’s ongoing budget crisis. The city had been prepared to make more than $2 million in cost reductions — about 5% of its total budget. But the public health crisis means greater cuts must be made.