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DATE: Thursday, March 12, 2020, 5:45 PM
TO: The Left Coast Crime Community
FROM: LCC National Standing Committee

3/12/2020 3:33 PM PDT

County Public Health Officer Announces Restrictions, Prohibits Mass Gatherings

According to the County of San Diego’s Health and Human Services Agency, effective immediately all gatherings of more than 250 people are directed to be postponed or cancelled across the county. This includes concerts, conferences, and professional, college, and school sporting events. Smaller events can proceed only if organizers can implement social distancing of six feet between participants. These restrictions will remain in effect at least through the end of March.

DATE: Thursday, March 12, 2020, 11:20 AM
TO: The Left Coast Crime Community
FROM: LCC National Standing Committee

Wednesday night, California Governor Newsom said that gatherings of more than 250 people should be postponed or canceled.

There have been a lot of cancellations but Left Coast Crime 2020 is underway with over 400 people already here and more on the way. As always, the LCC community is having a great time. Speed dating was a great success this morning, and we're getting ready for panels to start.

We are constantly reviewing the situation, but at this point the Marriott is still holding us to the contract terms, as is their right. This means that if the convention were cancelled absent a direct order from the state or county, Left Coast Crime would be liable for the cost of the block of rooms held for LCC attendees. When attendees cancel their rooms, the convention is on the hook for that money, along with unmet food and beverage commitments, for a potential liability over $200,000.

If we are forced to cancel, we feel a strong obligation to return at least a portion of registration fees paid by people who are here, as well as those who have cancelled in the last 10 days. Left Coast Crime conventions are run by dedicated volunteers, as you all know, and historically we have operated by passing the torch from year to year with balanced budgets but minimal reserves. The rainy day funds we have saved over the last few years are not adequate to put much of a dent in the potential liabilities.

DATE: Sunday, March 8, 2020, 11:00 AM
TO: The Left Coast Crime Community
FROM: LCC National Standing Committee

Left Coast Crime 2020 will take place as scheduled. The convention committee, along with the national board, has this crucial matter under constant review. At this time, our best information on the situation in the San Diego area was reported in yesterday's San Diego Union-Tribune:

As of Friday night, no one in San Diego County has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. And Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer, says that she will not move to shut down community events unless that changes. “Closing large gatherings, that is not something that is prudent at this time,” Wooten said. “It certainly is something that we might have to do in the future if COVID-19 was in the community, but it’s not a strategy that’s warranted at this time.”

At last count, approximately 650 people are on the roster to attend LCC in San Diego. We always expect about a 10% cancellation rate, for a variety of reasons, mostly involving health or accidents, or important family events such as weddings and funerals. But this year is unique and there have been a significant number of cancellations since the end of February due to concerns about COVID-19.

Whether it is best for any of you to cancel your attendance is a personal decision. Only you can evaluate your own situation, taking into account your health, risk factors, and travel plans, and we fully respect and accept that.

In light of these unique circumstances, the usual refund deadline of January 31 has been suspended. If you want to cancel and receive a refund, just send an email to registrar Kathy Krevat [] and you'll be placed in a Refund Pool. After the convention, we will decide what refunds can be issued, taking into consideration the full extent of the convention's financial loss in light of contractual obligations to the hotel and other vendors.

As you know, Left Coast Crime is an all volunteer organization. There will be some delay in processing registration refunds, so please bear with us. Our treasurer Corey Lynn Fayman and registrar Kathy Krevat will be doing most of the heavy lifting, way beyond what anyone anticipated when they innocently volunteered two years ago. Our hats are also off to the co-chairs, Lisa Brackman, Kim Keeline, and Maryelizabeth Yturralde, and the rest of the volunteer committee who have put this convention together, as well as the scores of attendees who help out in a myriad of ways during the event. Finally, our deep appreciation to all of you who have created and sustained the Left Coast Crime community since the first convention 30 years ago, and a special welcome to the 150 first-timers attending this year. Our best wishes to you all!