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Local carjacking victim shares frustrations over search for justice
“Give me your keys.”  The first time Shannon Dave heard the suspect, she thought it was a joke, and didn’t recognize the gesture the teen was making toward his waistband.   [Article]
by , . 2021-07-30
 
2 prosecutors file retaliation lawsuits against LA County DA George Gascón
Two veteran Los Angeles County prosecutors who refused to carry out a controversial sentencing enhancement directive from District Attorney George Gascón have filed lawsuits claiming their boss banished them to offices where they have less high-profile assignments and little chance of promotion. [Article]
by , Pasadena Star News. 2021-07-30
 
Fueled by unrelenting Delta variant, LA County’s homeless endure spike in COVID-19 cases
With the Delta variant fueling an unnerving  rise in coronavirus cases in Southern California, officials reported a corresponding rise in the disease among the Los Angeles County’s unhoused population, on Friday, July 30. Los Angeles County Public Health reported that the number of cases among the homeless has risen by 21% in in a matter of a few weeks. From July 19 to July 25, there were 111 new cases among the homeless and 92 last week, according to a COVID-19 update from the Department of Public Health. [Article]
by , San Gabriel Valley Tribune. 2021-07-30
 
Just how much hotter and drier is Southern California’s ‘new normal’ weather?
Hotter and drier — those are the new normals for Southern California. Hotter especially in the late summer and fall months, and drier especially in November and March, traditionally the start and end of the region’s rainy season. More triple-digit temperatures each year, too. [Article]
by , San Gabriel Valley Tribune. 2021-07-30
 
Delta variant contributes to rise in COVID-19 cases in LA County
The rate of new COVID-19 cases is increasing in Los Angeles County, largely because of the spread of the delta variant among unvaccinated populations. [Article]
by , . 2021-07-30
 
A California city raised essential worker pay — and their expectationsPOLITICOSearchSearchClose
LOS ANGELES — Tony Campanello, who runs the frozen food section at a Ralphs supermarket in Long Beach, has worked in nearly every department of the store since taking the job nearly 44 years ago. [Article]
by , . 2021-07-30
 
Metro Moves to Revive Canceled High Desert Freeway Project
Remember that High Desert freeway project? The one that Caltrans canceled in 2019 due to legal pressure from environmentalists? It’s back. Kind of. [Article]
by , LA Streetsblog. 2021-07-30
 
New Delta variant concerns as L.A. COVID surge worsens
The coronavirus surge fueled by the Delta variant in Los Angeles County continues to worsen, according to new data released Thursday. The Los Angeles County Public Health Department announced 3,248 new cases, adding that the daily average case rate rose to 15.7 per 100,000 people, compared with 12.9 cases per 100,000 people last week. Still, officials said this week’s COVID-19 growth is slower than last week and officials reported a small increase in the number of people getting vaccinated. Public health experts are hoping L.A. County’s reinstated requirement that people wear masks in indoor public places can help slow the spread. The state Wednesday urged everyone — even those fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — to wear masks indoors while in public, joining a renewed national push to increase protection amid an ongoing spike in cases. But the ultimate goal is to persuade those who have not been vaccinated to get their shots, which experts say is vital to reversing the surge. [Article]
by , Los Angeles Times. 2021-07-30
 
Damaged Hyperion plant releasing partially treated sewage
More than two weeks after a flood of raw sewage inundated the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant and triggered a massive discharge into Santa Monica Bay, the damaged facility has continued to release millions of gallons of partially treated wastewater into the Pacific Ocean, in violation of its environmental permit, The Times has learned. Responding to repeated inquiries from The Times, Los Angeles city sanitation officials confirmed that the facility has violated multiple state and federal water pollution limits since an emergency discharge sent 17 million gallons of raw sewage into the waters off Dockweiler and El Segundo beaches July 11 and 12. The surge of wastewater sent workers fleeing for their lives and has left the plant in a damaged state. Sanitation officials said in emails that the facility has exceeded levels for solid particles in the wastewater as well as levels for biological oxygen demand and turbidity, or water clarity, all of which are used to measure the degree of organic pollution during the treatment process. [Article]
by , Los Angeles Times. 2021-07-30
 
COVID vaccines important as L.A. 'breakthrough' cases rise
Los Angeles County has seen a rise in “breakthrough” coronavirus cases as of late, but data continue to show those who are vaccinated for COVID-19 enjoy vigorous protection — even from the contagious Delta variant — and are far less likely to be hospitalized should they become infected. The latest figures underscore how the county’s recent coronavirus surge is different from the pandemic’s earlier spikes, both in terms of who is getting sick and how the virus is spreading countywide. In June, fully vaccinated residents made up 20% of all confirmed coronavirus infections in those 16 and older, according to figures from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. However, that same month, they accounted for only 8% of all COVID-19 hospitalizations. [Article]
by , Los Angeles Times. 2021-07-30
 
LAUSD to require COVID-19 testing of students and staff
All students and employees of the Los Angeles Unified School District will be required to take weekly coronavirus tests regardless of their vaccination status, under a new district policy announced Thursday. The district had previously required such testing only for those who are unvaccinated. The announcement was made by interim Supt. Megan K. Reilly in a letter sent to parents. “We are closely monitoring evolving health conditions and adapting our response in preparation for our full return to in-person learning on August 16,” Reilly said in the letter. Baseline testing for students returning to campus begins Aug. 2, she added. Families have the option to remain off campus — and to avoid coronavirus testing — by choosing distance learning. Officials, however, are encouraging students to return, saying that, for the vast majority of students, the best learning takes place in a classroom. [Article]
by , Los Angeles Times. 2021-07-30
 
Watts Riots: Traffic stop was the spark that ignited days of destruction in L.A.
It all started with a traffic stop. On Aug. 11, 1965, California Highway Patrol Officer Lee Minikus responded to a report of a reckless driver in the Watts section of Los Angeles. Shortly after 7 p.m., he pulled over 21-year-old Marquette Frye near 116th Street and Avalon Boulevard. Frye failed sobriety tests as a crowd of about 50 people began to gather nearby. Police were going to tow Frye’s car, so his older stepbrother, Ronald, brought their mother, Rena, to the scene to claim the vehicle. When she got there, Rena Frye began berating her son for drinking and driving, according to police and witness accounts. Marquette Frye had been talking and laughing with Minikus and other officers who had reported to the scene, but after his mother’s arrival he began “cursing and shouting that they would have to kill him to take him to jail,” according to a report later issued by a state panel. With tensions rising, the CHP officers attempted to handcuff Marquette Frye, but he resisted. His mother jumped onto an officer’s back. [Article]
by , Los Angeles Times. 2021-07-30
 
Jelani Cobb's "Essential Kerner Commission Report" on racism
On the evening of Aug. 11, 1965, five days after then-President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, police in Los Angeles pulled over 21-year-old Marquette Frye on suspicion of reckless driving. In the ensuing argument, the white police struck Frye in view of residents, who responded by throwing things at the officers. The confrontation metastasized into six days of civil unrest that left 34 people dead and large swaths of South L.A. in ruins. In response to what happened in Watts and dozens of other disturbances between 1964 and 1967, LBJ formed the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders — popularly known as the Kerner Commission after its chairman, Illinois Gov. Otto Kerner Jr. — to examine what happened and why and to figure out how to prevent it from recurring. In the 53 years since the Kerner Commission issued its report, awareness of its findings has ebbed and flowed in the public consciousness. At times, it’s been treated as something of a Rosetta Stone in the debate about race in America — especially since the 50th anniversary of its publication in 2018 and after George Floyd’s murder last year. [Article]
by , Los Angeles Times. 2021-07-30
 
Californians' faith in gun control slips in new poll
Amid a surge in shootings this year, a majority of California voters say that they believe gun control laws are effective in reducing violent crime, but confidence in them has slipped, according to a new UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times. The poll released Thursday found that 56% of the state’s voters surveyed believe stronger laws restricting the sale and possession of guns help make their communities safer, but the number is down from 60% who felt that way three years ago. The poll also found that 57% of California voters say it is more important to place greater controls on gun ownership than it is to protect Americans’ rights to own guns under the 2nd Amendment, but that number is down from 64% who felt that way in 2018. The decline in confidence in gun laws is a response to what people are seeing in their communities, said Mark DiCamillo, director of the Berkeley IGS Poll. [Article]
by , Los Angeles Times. 2021-07-30
 
Vaccinated People May Spread the Virus, Though Rarely, C.D.C. Reports
In yet another unexpected and unwelcome twist in the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released on Friday a report strongly suggesting that fully immunized people with so-called breakthrough infections of the Delta variant can spread the virus to others just as readily as unvaccinated people. The vaccines remain powerfully effective against severe illness and death, and the agency said infections in vaccinated people were comparatively rare. But the revelation follows a series of other recent findings about the Delta variant that have upended scientists’ understanding of the coronavirus. In the new report, which was intended to explain the agency’s sudden revision to its masking advice for vaccinated Americans, the C.D.C. described an outbreak in Provincetown, Mass., this month that quickly mushroomed to 470 cases in Massachusetts alone, as of Thursday. Three-quarters of the infected were fully immunized, and the Delta variant was found in most of the samples that were genetically analyzed. Vaccinated and unvaccinated people who were infected carried high levels of the virus, the agency reported. [Article]
by , . 2021-07-30
 
Orange County’s number of fentanyl deaths is skyrocketing each year
The number of fentanyl-related deaths in Orange County more than doubled in 2020, with Orange County coroner’s officials attributing 432 deaths to the potent opiate then compared to 165 fatal overdoses the year before. Just six years ago, there were 16 such deaths, with each annual figure since then skyrocketing. Those killed by fentanyl are the young to the old from across Orange County, said Sgt. Todd Hylton, a Sheriff’s Department spokesman. [Article]
by , Orange County Register. 2021-07-30
 
What explains the California exodus?
Walt Disney Co. recently announced that 2,000 workers in California will be relocated to Florida. Many of these workers are part of Disney’s innovative “Imagineers,” a Disney unit often credited with creating the “magic” in the Magic Kingdom. In a letter to employees, the chairman of Disney Parks, Josh D’Amaro, cited Florida’s “business-friendly climate and its lower cost of living with no income tax” as reasons for the move. Disney’s announced move of some of its most talented and creative workers to Florida should not be taken lightly. It’s part of a California exodus that began at least ten years ago. [Article]
by , Orange County Register. 2021-07-30
 
Irvine To Spend $13.8 Million on Wild Rivers Parking Lot in Great Park
The City of Irvine is looking to spend $13.8 million on a parking lot in the Great Park for the Wild Rivers Water Park that will be open roughly four months out of the year, while city staff expects the amusement park to payoff in about 10 years.  [Article]
by , Voice of OC. 2021-07-30
 
In Orange County, Anti-Vaccine Activists Attack Top Elected Official For His Vietnamese Heritage
hroughout the pandemic, anti-vaccine activists have attended meetings of the Orange County Board of Supervisors to rail against shots, mask requirements and stay-at-home orders, likening them to decrees issued under Nazi or Communist regimes. [Article]
by , . 2021-07-30
 
OC ethnic studies panel lacks diversity and expertise, says CSUN professor after dropping out
Theresa Montaño, Chicana/Chicano Studies professor at Cal State Northridge, was supposed to be part of an ethnic studies forum created by the Orange County Board of Education. But she dropped out abruptly this week, saying the invitation to form the interdisciplinary study of race and ethnicity was a “deception.” [Article]
by , . 2021-07-30
 
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