• A regional analysis shows that 85% of Bay Area cities still have not passed their Housing Element, well past the February 1 deadline. Some jurisdictions do have their Housing Element drafts under state review, while some cities are still struggling to get their Housing Element draft passed among local officials, but nearly 50 are simply out of compliance, inviting potential builder’s remedy lawsuits galore. [Chronicle]  
  • While hatching season is going beautifully for the Berkeley falcons, one of their previous offspring Sequoia who headed to San Jose has disappeared, and his new mate Shasta is confirmed dead from avian flu. Sequoia and Shasta had been camped atop San Jose City Hall, and a biologist who watched the falcons says on Facebook “Shasta's remains were HPAI positive. This means her cause of death was likely Avian Influenza. This is sobering news and the closest to home this new strain of HPAI has hit so far. Some of us may wonder if Sequoia also contracted the virus. It is certainly possible.” [Berkeleyside]
  • The international uptick of the omicron subvariant XBB.1.16, believed to be “the most transmissible yet” may be causing conjunctivitis (pinkeye), but more troublingly, may cause another COVID-19 surge before next winter. “A lot of people weren’t expecting to see another surge until next winter,” he said. “XBB.1.16 threatens to shatter that. It may make us reevaluate whether we’ve reached the endemic phase.” [Chronicle]
  • Pacific Heights Chinese restaurant Gourmet Carousel, which closed in July, has been reopened by the previous owner’s daughter. [SFGate]
  • Elon Musk has also launched some kind of AI company in Nevada, which will reportedly compete with OpenAI, which Musk tried to but failed to take over in 2018. [KRON4]
  • A strike is looming for film and TV writers’ Writers Guild of America starting May , recalling their 100-day strike in 2007. [Bay Area News Group]

Image: The San Jose City Hall Falcons via Facebook