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The Owner Of Bludso’s Bar & Que Has Some Advice For Juneteenth 2020

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Kevin Bludso. (Courtesy Bludso's Facebook page)

Kevin Bludso, the owner of Bludso's Bar & Que on La Brea in mid-city, has advice for people recognizing Juneteenth this year: "It's a celebration. Enjoy it — like I enjoy the Fourth of July."

Born and raised in Compton to parents who were Texas transplants, Bludso spent summers with his grandmother, Willie Mae Fields, in Corsicana, Texas where she ran a weekend barbeque stand.

Bludso told KPCC's Take Two that Juneteenth was "huge" for his grandmother, especially because she knew people who learned they were freed on June 19, 1865.

The night before the holiday, she’d stay up all night cooking a brisket. It’s a talent he learned from her. "We took cuts of meat... and made them into works of art," he says.

How does Bludso feel about the current civil rights movement tear down systemic racism and support Black lives?

"I'm feeling confident because I'm looking at the marches. The marchers are a melting pot, you know. You got White, Black, Hispanic, Asians out there marching, and I see hope. I mean, you hate [that] somebody had to die. You hate [that] people have to die. I feel for the families. But I feel confident seeing this next generation because, just look at them! I mean, it's almost equal [amounts] of different races out there marching like, Hey It's enough It's enough! Until my problem becomes your problem, it's not gonna get no better. That’s the way it’s been. This next generation is saying, 'My problem is your problem.'"

LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE:

San Bernardino Sheriff's Dept. Says No Foul Play In Hanging Death Of Malcolm Harsch

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Candles and signs are placed beneath the tree where Malcolm Harsch, a 38-year-old black man, was allegedly found hanged in Victorville, California. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)

Authorities have ruled out "foul play" in the death of Malcolm Harsch, a 38-year-old Black man who was found hanging from a tree near a library in Victorville on May 31.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department says they used surveillance video of the incident, along with other evidence, to reach that conclusion. Detectives obtained the surveillance video from a vacant building near the location where Harsch's body was found.

Detectives have already met with Harsch's family and showed them the video, per their request, according to the public advisory issued by the department.

The incident began with a 911 call shortly after 7 a.m. on May 31 from a woman who said her boyfriend had hanged himself. Harsch was pronounced dead at the scene by Sheriff's Department personnel, after attempts to revive him with C.P.R.

Despite the declaration of no "foul play," there is still no official cause or manner of death from the coroner's office (Harsch's death was initially ruled a suicide until community members demanded an investigation). The Sheriff's Department says they are still investigating the death and a forensic pathologist assigned to the case is still waiting for toxicology results. The results of the autopsy were released on June 12.

Members of local media were allowed to see the surveillance video, which has not been released to the public. LAist has reached out to the Sheriff's Department for more information.

Harsch's death came two weeks before the hanging death of another black man, 24-year old Robert Fuller, about 50 miles away in Palmdale. Fuller's death sparked protests there last Saturday.

An investigation into Fuller's cause of death is still underway, but Black Lives Matter founder Melina Abdullah told KPCC's public affairs show AirTalk today that she does not believe it was a suicide.

"It's important that we remember that we can't rely on police to tell us what is a suicide," she said.

Harsch's family members said they didn't think his death was a suicide, either.

"He didn't seem to be depressed to anyone who truly knew him," Harsch's family told reporters. "Everyone who knew our brother was shocked to hear that he allegedly hung himself and don't believe it to be true. The explanation of suicide does not seem plausible."

People hold up placards during a protest over the death of Malcolm Harsch, a black man who was found hanging from a tree, June 16, 2020, in Victorville, California.(Valerie Macon / AFP via Getty Images)

Details of Harsch's death didn't get public attention until they were linked to Fuller's death by multiple activists and members of the public, due to the fact that both men were Black and found hanging in public parks. Protestors in Palmdale called Fuller's death a lynching, questioning why a Black man would choose to end his life in such a racially charged way that evokes America's frought history with lynching.

On Sunday, June 14, Palmdale County and state officials asked for an investigation from California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. And on Wednesday, June 17, Victorville residents demanded answers from their city council about Harsch's death, and said the public should have been alerted sooner.

"For a man to be hung and we not know about it for 13 days, it's horrible, that's just horrible," community member Collette Harris said. "Why would it take so long for us to know that this man was hung on May 31st and we don't find out until June 13th?"

Both Fuller and Harsch's deaths happened amid a national conversation about racism in the United States in the aftermath of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis. The circumstances of both deaths evoke the country's sordid history of lynchings.

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Family Of Man Slain In Gardena Questions Why LA Sheriff's Deputy Opened Fire

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A poster of Andres Guardado at Friday's news conference. (Frank Stoltze/LAist)

Family and friends of an 18-year-old security guard fatally shot by an L.A. County Sheriff’s deputy in Gardena last night are questioning why the deputy opened fire.

It happened around 6 p.m. near an auto body shop where Andres Guardado worked security.

Sheriff’s officials say Guardado produced a handgun in view of deputies on patrol and ran away, and that after a brief chase, one of them opened fire.

They say he was not wearing a security uniform, that a handgun was recovered at the scene, and that it was not registered.

According to an older sister, Jennifer, Guardado lived with her and their parents in Koreatown. She said he graduated last year from Belmont High School and that he wanted to attend nursing school.

“He was a loving man," she said. "He loved to go to school and work out. He was fit, healthy. This was an injustice.”

Guardado said she doesn’t believe her brother was armed and accused the deputy of shooting him in the back.

The coroner will conduct an autopsy; sheriff's investigators can place a hold on the results until their work is done, a process that could take months.

The deputies did not have body cams; the Sheriff's Department is the last large law enforcement agency in the U.S. that doesn't use them. That is set to change; the department is scheduled to outfit its first batch of deputies by October.

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Unemployment In LA Rises To Nearly 21 Percent

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Closed storefronts in L.A's fashion district. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)

California's unemployment rate for May was 16.3% according to new numbers released Friday by the state's Employment Development Department (EDD).

The state's unemployment rate remains much higher than during any past recession on record. But it actually ticked down slightly from April's revised figure of 16.4%.

Jobs in food service and manufacturing began picking up again. Construction posted the largest gains.

"Those sectors that reopened early on are doing the best," said employment attorney and former EDD director Michael Bernick.

However, government employment in California declined dramatically as state and local budgets were squeezed by declining revenues related to business closures. The state's public sector lost 95,800 jobs over the month.

In Los Angeles County, unemployment increased slightly from 20.8% in April to 20.9% in May. The L.A. area has been slower to reopen than other parts of the state, and its economy relies heavily on industries that have been hit hard, such as hotels and entertainment.

Paul Ong, director of the UCLA Center for Neighborhood Knowledge, said many immigrants and workers of color are not receiving unemployment benefits. As they start to run out of money, Ong said the ripple effects will be felt throughout the local economy.

"We will face problems with property owners not being able to keep up with a mortgage," Ong said. "We certainly will face problems of renters being evicted, we will probably face problems in terms of homelessness."

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LA Juneteenth Celebrations Are Still Going Strong Today

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A man looks at the Juneteenth sticker on his t-shirt during a demonstration to ask for the removal of District Attorney Jackie Lacey in front of the Hall of Justice, in Los Angeles, California, on June 17, 2020. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)

Today is Juneteenth, the anniversary of the day in 1865 that slaves in Texas finally learned they were free, a mere two years after the Emancipation Proclamation officially ended slavery in America (news traveled slowly back then, thanks in part, to the many slaveholders in Texas who were not pleased with said news).

Celebrations of the holiday are bigger than ever this year across the country, given the timing of the many Black Lives Matter movement protests for racial justice, sparked by the police killing of George Floyd.

The streets of downtown Los Angeles are alive with several gatherings, marches and rallies today.

Students at LA Trade-Technical College marched from Flower and Washington to Downtown LA's Grand Park this afternoon. Jocelyn, who didn't want to give her last name, lives in Boyle Heights. She isn't a student, but felt inspired to join.

"I believe it's important to just be out here and, you know, be part of the movement, show your support," she told KPCC/LAist. "Because this is what's needed right now."

Today's celebration isn't just about mourning the loss of Black lives, however. Activist and musician Elevn St. James said it's also a much needed moment of respite from the hate and suffering going on in the world right now.

"Everything has been so heavy," James told KPCC/LAist's Libby Denkmaan. "The Black community has been in a collective state of grieving. We need a moment to celebrate our voices, celebrate our stories and have some joy.”

LAist Visual Journalist Chava Sanchez is at the Juneteenth event in Leimert Park. Here's how he described the mood:

"This is definitely a celebration, but at the same time, you see the effects of the last several weeks. You see the iconography of the Black Lives Matter movement, like images of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and various other people who have been killed by the police."

We will be updating this story with more from Juneteenth in L.A. Stay tuned tomorrow for a photo re-cap.

READ MORE ABOUT JUNETEENTH EVENTS IN L.A. TODAY:

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The Magic Castle Cancels Plans To Match $50,000 In Members' Social Justice Donations

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Magic Castle members and people from the community at a June 4 protest. (Lexis-Olivier Ray for LAist)

The Magic Castle offered its parking lot as a staging ground for law enforcement during the protests over the killing of George Floyd. Members were upset, leading the dinner-and-a-show performance venue/clubhouse for magicians to issue a statement in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. It also offered to match member contributions to social justice causes up to a total of $50,000.

However, the nonprofit that operates the Magic Castle has since told members that it won't be matching those donations, instead saying that it will spend up to $50,000 to form an ad hoc Diversity and Inclusion Committee. In a post to a private members Facebook group, the board of the Academy of Magical Arts said it had been advised by counsel that it could not legally proceed with the matching fund. The reason was not immediately clear, but may be related to the Academy's nonprofit status.

Some members of that private Facebook group had expressed dissatisfaction with the board's initial decision to match donations to political causes.

One member, a regular headlining performer, told us in an email that the new committee could be a big step in the right direction, but added, "I don’t believe the [Academy of Magical Arts] is working as hard as they could be towards their stated goals of advancing the art of magic and supporting the #BlackLivesMatter movement."

The member asked to remain anonymous to protect their relationship with the Magic Castle.

The committee will develop ways to expand the diversity of the Magic Castle, according to the post, and to bring magic to underserved communities in the greater L.A. area. The board promised it will soon provide members with information about how to join the new committee. The Magic Castle did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The board also recently told members in a post that it's working with an outside law firm to investigate former employees' allegations of workplace misconduct. The board said the investigation is expected to take several weeks.

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You Can Once Again Visit Relatives In LA Nursing Homes — But There’s A Catch

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A resident in the COVID-19 unit at Buena Ventura Post Acute Care in East L.A. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)

After a three-month ban, people with friends and family at nursing homes in L.A. County can once again visit their loved ones — but only if it’s been four weeks since the facility has detected any COVID-19 cases.

That could mean a lot more isolation for many nursing home residents, says Mike Dart, a lawyer with California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform:

“For many facilities, especially in metropolitan areas, it may be many months, it may be a year before they consistently have no residents or health care workers testing positive.”

Dark says the problem is compounded by two factors: Some nursing homes are admitting new residents who have COVID-19; and there are staff who rotate among several different facilities.

He advocates paying health care workers higher wages so they don’t have to work at multiple nursing homes.

The new visitation rules also say the nursing home must have a two-week supply of personal protective gear, and visitors must wear a cloth face covering, maintain physical distancing, and use hand hygiene while in the facility.

Nursing homes have been a major coronavirus hot spot: As of today, 1,437 residents of these facilities have died; that’s 47% of all virus-related deaths in L.A. County. And while the average number of daily nursing home deaths has been trending down, about 17 residents are still dying every day from COVID-19.

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COVID-19 Deaths Top 3,000 In LA County; Next Phase Of Reopenings In The Works

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Los Angeles County Public Health director Barbara Ferrer speaks at a press conference in March. (Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

Los Angeles County's coronavirus task force delivered its daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic. Read highlights below or watch the full video above.

Starting today, another phase of business reopenings is in effect in L.A. County. It includes:

  • Nail salons
  • Tattoo shops
  • Bars

The county is working on guidelines for the next phase of the recovery plan, County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said. It includes:

  • Wedding and special events venues
  • Competitive youth sports
  • Family entertainment venues
  • Amusement parks
  • Community festivals

She added:

"The state has authority on when many of these sectors will be able to reopen — during this process, we are committed to representing our communities and businesses while keeping our residents safe."

BY THE NUMBERS

County officials reported 1,414 new confirmed cases of coronavirus today, bringing the total to at least 79,609 cases countywide. That increase is due in part to “a large backlog” in case reporting from one lab, according to County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer. In total, 2,888 cases have been reported in Long Beach and 1,099 in Pasadena (those two cities operate their own health departments).

County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer also reported 38 new deaths of COVID-19 patients. The total number of deaths countywide now stands at 3,063 people.

So far, 93% of those who have died had underlying health conditions, Ferrer said.

The death toll at institutional facilities in L.A. County continues to climb. Ferrer reported that 1,618 residents at those facilities have died, and nearly 90% lived in nursing homes.

"SIGNIFICANT DISPROPORTIONALITY" AMONG SOME ETHNIC GROUPS

Ferrer provided an update on the rates of death among ethnic groups in L.A. County.

"While the number of deaths has decreased slightly over time [and] daily death has decreased slightly across all groups, there continues to be significant disproportionality," Ferrer said.

She provided one dataset of rates per 100,000 residents in each ethnic group, which showed that Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, Latinos and Latinas, and Black Americans are dying from COVID-19 at a higher rate than in other communities.

(Courtesy Los Angeles County via YouTube)

DECLINE IN DAILY DEATHS

One metric that county health officials point to as an encouraging sign is the decrease in the average daily number of deaths.

Ferrer said we've come down from a high of 45 or 46 per day to "between 20 and 30 each day" in early June.

(Courtesy Los Angeles County via YouTube)

WEAR A MASK

This week, following the mask backlash in Orange County (where health officials rolled back a requirement that residents there wear face coverings) California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a new mandatory mask order that superseded counties' rules.

Ferrer had a simple message for people who aren't wearing masks because they think they don't need them: "It's not about you."

"It's about all the other people that could be around you. We just have to take care of each other. We're in the middle of a pandemic — nothing like we've ever experienced... We're just going to need to continue to wear face coverings for weeks to come. So I ask us all to do our part there, because you get to do your part. That's the good side of this: you can do something to save lives. You don't have to be a health care worker, you don't have to be the hero, you just have to wear your face cover and keep your distance, wash your hands, stay home if you're sick. We all have things we can do to slow the spread, and I know so many people are doing it, or we would not be where we are today."

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MORE ON CORONAVIRUS:

FilmWeek: Our Reviews Of ‘Miss Juneteenth,’ ‘Disclosure,’ ‘My Dear Vivian’ And More

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A still from the drama "Miss Juneteenth." (Vertical Entertainment)

Every week, Larry Mantle, who also hosts our newsroom's longtime public affairs show AirTalk, and KPCC film critics spend an hour talking about new films.

This week, Christy Lemire, Tim Cogshell and Peter Rainer join Larry to review this weekend’s new movie releases and share some of their recommendations:

“Miss Juneteenth”

  • Drive-in theaters (Mission Tiki, Van Buren, Vineland) & digital (iTunes, Google Play, FandangoNOW, Vudu)

Here’s Tim’s review:

“This is what one might call a thoughtful entertainment -- well done, full of meaningful content, the history of Juneteenth, it tells us a mother-daughter-baby daddy story. But none of it ever feels truly dire. It’s no Beale Street. But there’s a bit of drama. It’s perhaps a little familiar, a little tried-and-true, and it has its little histories it wants to tell you. I didn’t mind them at all, and I love the time and place of it.”

“Disclosure”

  • Available on Netflix

Christy said this:

“Very enlightening, and it makes you go back and revisit movies and TV shows through a totally different prism and realize ‘Oh, maybe that wasn’t all that funny after all.’ Things like ‘Silence of the Lambs,’ and part of [Buffalo Bill’s] villainy was taking on a woman’s form…and then the history of comedy and putting a man in women’s clothing and how that’s instantly a buffoonery. It’s never a source of strength, it’s a source of ridicule. It’s kind of dizzying -- so many different angles and voices -- and I learned a lot.”

“My Darling Vivian”

Peter’s review:

“It’s a sort of reclamation project to restore [Johnny Cash’s] first wife [Vivian Liberto] to some kind of prominence and not just an asterisk in his career. The one lack of this movie, despite all of the tremendous amount of letters and home footage and videos and an amazing trove of archival stuff is you don’t hear her voice at all except at the very end, on an interview in a newsreel. Given that we all know what Johnny Cash sounds like, it seems very negligent that we don’t hear her voice till the very end.”

Listen above to hear more in-depth reviews of these films and more:

ABOUT OUR CRITICS:

WANT MORE PICKS?

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After Looting And Fire, Mozza Waitresses Restart Restaurant Comedy Show

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Co-hosts Elyssa Phillips and Jen Eden on Mozza Mealtime. (Courtesy Mozza Mealtime)

As the L.A. restaurant Mozza was closed down due to the coronavirus, two of its waitresses started hosting a streaming comedy show trying to bring the restaurant's community together: Mozza Mealtime. It was a haven for staff, regulars, and other extended friends of the Mozza family.

During the protests over the death of George Floyd, the Mozza restaurant complex was hit by looters. Restaurant windows were tagged, doors broken down, computers and wine stolen. There was even a small fire inside one of the restaurants.

After the fires and the looting, the hosts of Mozza Mealtime chose to take a break, making space for other voices. Since then, the restaurant has reopened, and they're back to work. And they're preparing to bring the show back in a new format, with their first lunchtime episode next week. Read the full story for more on what the show has meant to those who love the restaurant, what Mozza means to the hosts, and making comedy during difficult times.

READ THE FULL STORY:

LA Mayor Signs Order To Reinstate Affirmative Action Pending Voter Approval In November

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti today signed an executive order directing the city to:

  • Study racial disparities within local government
  • Prepare an affirmative action plan for hiring and contracting.

After weeks of protests and calls for racial justice following the police shooting of George Floyd, the mayor said city government must confront systemic racism and take the lead to "ensure that the starting line is the same for everyone."

"The system of racism was set up as just that — a system that started with slavery, that continued through Jim Crow, that exists in boardrooms, and in workplaces, it exists in schools, it exists in government and in policies and procedures that have been with us for centuries."

Executive Directive 27 would create a charter amendment "on a future ballot" to allow L.A. to implement affirmative action. The amendment would need to be approved by voters, and if ratified, would allow the city to give preference to minority-owned businesses and other underrepresented groups.

However, most of the measures spelled out in the directive cannot go into effect without the repeal first of Proposition 209, the voter-approved California ballot measure that effectively outlawed affirmative action in the state.

The state Assembly recently approved a constitutional amendment that would do just that. The Senate is scheduled to take it up on June 25. If approved, the final decision will rest with California voters in November.

The University of California has endorsed the measure, and Garcetti said he would be campaigning for Prop. 209's repeal. He said he wants the city to be prepared to immediately implement its affirmative action plan should such a ballot measure pass in November.

If implemented, Garcetti said, the executive order would:

  • Require every department head and general manager to name a racial equity officer, who will be tasked with developing and overseeing the department's racial equity plan
  • Require racial equity plans to spell out existing policies around recruitment and hiring, training, retention, promotions, and contracting, and describe efforts to attract, promote, and hire from a "robust pool of qualified candidates"
  • Encourage city offices and departments to consider a wide range of factors in hiring, including adversities that a candidate has overcome, the first-generation graduate status in their family, neighborhood demographics and circumstances, and leadership potential
  • Form a racial equity task force made up of the racial equity officers and representatives from the offices of the mayor and city council
  • Require every city employee to participate in annual implicit bias training
  • Create the city's first chief equity officer, a role which will be filled by the deputy mayor of economic opportunity, Brenda Shockley

Garcetti said the city will begin by undertaking "a rigorous study of any disparity in hiring, promotion and contracting, which is required by federal law, prior to implementing affirmative action."

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LA County Sheriff's Deputies Shoot And Kill 18-Year-Old In Gardena

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L.A. County Sheriff's deputies shot and killed a young man identified by family members as 18-year-old Andres Guardado on Thursday, June 18, 2020. The family says Guardado worked as a security guard. (Screenshot courtesy of NBCLA)

A young man was shot and killed by a Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy near Gardena Thursday night, and an investigation is underway Friday morning.

The shooting happened just before 6 p.m. on West Redondo Beach Boulevard near Figueroa Street.

Family members have identified the man as 18-year-old Andres Guardado, who they say worked as a security guard, according to our media partner NBCLA. Television footage showed a tense standoff at one point between locals and deputies across yellow crime scene tape.

Officials say deputies were patrolling the area and spotted Guardado. They say he saw the deputies, pulled out a gun and began running. Deputies chased him on foot and ultimately shot him. Guardado was pronounced dead on scene.

Lt. Charles Calderaro with the L.A. County Sheriff's department told NBCLA that Guardado was not wearing a security uniform and that a handgun was recovered at the scene.

Guardado's boss says he ran because he was scared.

No deputies were injured.

UPDATE:

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LA County Bars Can Reopen — With These Rules

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A strawberry martini. (daspunkt/Flickr Creative Commons)

Well, it finally happened. L.A. County said bars, breweries, brewpubs, tasting rooms, craft distilleries and wineries could reopen at 50% capacity starting June 19, but dancing there is prohibited — along with karaoke, trivia, open mics, bowling, billiards, board games, drinking games, contests and other forms of revelry. Yes, we are living in Footloose.

Also, you can't stand and drink. Customers are not allowed to buy or consume beverages while standing.

You can order and drink at the bar if you stay seated and six feet away from other patrons as well as the bartender. You cannot order and pick up drinks at the bar and then walk them to your table. Drinks ordered at your table will be brought to you.

If you're at a winery, brewery or distillery tasting, you should get a new glass for each pour and there won't be any communal dump bucket.

BONUS: If you've got old people ears (it us!) or you simply hate shouting as you're trying to have a casual conversation in a bar, you're in luck. Venues must lower the volume of their music so wait staff can hear customers without leaning toward them. It's all part of the goal of "reducing person-to-person interaction."

As part of that, venues will be operating at reduced capacity to ensure physical distancing. Don't get cranky if you are asked to wait in line before you can enter your favorite watering hole. The venue is probably trying to ensure it doesn't have too many patrons.

You'll also see more mobile ordering, contactless payment and texting on arrival for seating.

Once you do get in, bars will be instituting a variety of protocols to maintain physical distancing -- both between customers and staff and between different groups or tables of customers. Those protocols might include different seating arrangements, physical barriers and hermetically sealed antiseptic pods. Okay, probably not that last one. But everything else. Be patient.

Also, all wait staff and other employees must wear face shields, which companies are required to provide for their workers.

We've heard anecdotal reports of some customers mocking servers for their facemasks. Yes, really. If that is even in the realm of something you might do... STOP IT. Go home, think long and hard about your life, and try to be a better human.

OFFICIAL GUIDANCE:

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Young Immigrants Now Hope To Join DACA, Feds Silent About New Applicants

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CHIRLA staff put a banner on a vehicle before a pro-DACA car rally begins in Los Angeles on Thursday. (Chava Sanchez/ LAist)

After the Trump administration rescinded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA, in 2017, the program stopped accepting new applicants.

Since then, thousands of young immigrants have turned 15, the age at which they were eligible to apply under the original Obama-era rules.

DACA currently gives temporary legal status to hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that the Trump administration failed to make a case for rescinding DACA, would-be applicants are eager to enter the program.

Legal experts believe they can do this, but federal officials have yet to make it clear.

READ THE FULL STORY:

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This Window Decal Says: My Business Takes Coronavirus Seriously

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San Bernardino County's COVID-Compliant window decal. (Source: San Bernardino County website)

What if there was a window decal that let you know if your favorite restaurant or hair salon was taking coronavirus precautions seriously? Well in San Bernardino County, there is.

The COVID-Compliant Business Partnership Program gives small businesses two important things in exchange for complying with state public health guidelines: $2,500 and a window decal.

"People are really concerned about their health," said Felisa Cardona, a public information officer with San Bernardino County. "And we know that if they see a sign from the county that says this business is COVID-19 compliant, it gives them the confidence they might need to shop there."

Heather Perry, whose family owns Klatch Coffee, a small roaster and café with locations in the Inland Empire, Orange County, Pasadena and San Francisco, says the window decal helps employees feel empowered to ask customers to wear masks.

"Our goal is to make everybody feel comfortable when they come in. And that sign helps to signal, 'hey, we take this seriously, we’re going to ask you to take these precautions and we’re going to take these precautions, as well,'" she said.

San Bernardino County has already approved nearly 3,000 small businesses for the program, and is still accepting applications. The program is funded with $30 million from the CARES Act, the federal coronavirus stimulus package.

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Morning Briefing: It's Juneteenth In LA

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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater dancers perform a scene from "Ode" during a dress rehearsal December 10, 2019 in New York. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

Never miss a morning briefing. Subscribe today to get our A.M. newsletter delivered to your inbox.

In the second instance of state officials blatantly overruling Orange County officials during the coronavirus pandemic, California public health experts announced yesterday that face masks will be mandatory throughout the state. The new guidance states that:

"Over the last four months, we have learned a lot about COVID-19 transmission… The use of face coverings by everyone can limit the release of infected droplets when talking, coughing, and/or sneezing, as well as reinforce physical distancing."

Last week, officials in OC declared that face masks were strongly recommended but not mandatory. At a rally to reinstate a mask mandate in the area, demonstrators were shouted down by anti-maskers.

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in Southern California today, and stay safe out there.

Jessica P. Ogilvie


Coming Up Today, June 19

Two servers have been trying to bring the Mozza restaurant community together with an online comedy show since coronavirus broke out, reports Mike Roe. They did their last show on the night looting and a fire hit the restaurant.

As the school year comes to an end, Marina Peña and Chava Sanchez have been hearing from high school students about how they've been adjusting to life during the pandemic.

Photographer Sam Comen examines how high school graduates are celebrating this milestone in the age of coronavirus and physical distancing in a multimedia photo essay.

LAist contributor Eric Craig writes about being taught early that as a Black man, he’d have to look, dress and speak better than anyone else to be taken seriously. But even so, it never seems to be enough.

Emily Guerin reports on a "COVID compliant business" program in San Bernardino County, which allows businesses to apply for funding to retrofit their stores to meet their industry's health and safety guidelines.

L.A. County released new guidelines for visitors to nursing homes, reports Jackie Fortiér, after months of no visits allowed.

The Supreme Court announced Thursday that DACA can stay for now. Erick Galindo spent time with a food truck owner who is also a DACA recipient, and who was expecting the worst; the loss of his work permit, or possible deportation. What happens next?

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The Past 24 Hours In LA

Support For Dreamers: The Supreme Court voted 5-4 to uphold DACA, keeping so-called DREAMers safe from deportation for now. Many SoCal students are feeling relief in the vote’s wake.

Celebrate The End Of Slavery: With protests still happening throughout Los Angeles, the slow but steady mainstreaming of the phrase "defund the police" and America's reckoning with its racist past, this Juneteenth has taken on special meaning. Here’s how people are celebrating.

L.A.’s Unhoused: More than 1,000 people without homes died in 2019 in Los Angeles County. The City and County of Los Angeles have agreed on a plan to shelter several thousand homeless people who live near freeways.

Policing The Police: L.A. Metro officials are rethinking the roles of armed law enforcement on the county transit system.

Coronavirus In CA: Gov. Newsom announced today that wearing masks in public would be required throughout the state.

Here Are Some Things To Do, L.A.: Peep the summer solstice at Stonehenge, head to the drive-in for socially distanced cinema, score Father's Day takeout deals and more in this week’s best online and IRL events. LA's drive-in movie theaters are roaring back to life thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. Guess what, there are professional mini-golfers, and a national TV show is trying to share the sport with the masses.

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Photo Of The Day

DACA supporters drive around Macarthur Park honking and chanting during a rally celebrating the Supreme Court's decision to let the program continue for now.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

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