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LAUSD’s Youngest Learners Log On To New School Year

An Adventist Health White Memorial volunteer hands 3-year-old Zayla a backpack filled with school supplies at an Aug. 14 distribution. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

The start of the school year in the Los Angeles Unified School District includes virtual instruction for about 22,000 young children in early education programs such as preschool and transitional kindergarten.

“Let's get ready. Let's be calm. And let's go ahead and make sure that we can reach every parent.” That was Principal Claudia Araujo’s message to staff at Sylvan Park Early Education Center this week.

When distance learning replaced in-person classes in March, early childhood educators such as Araujo found themselves faced with a particular challenge — a lot of early learning is focused on social skills, figuring out how to handle emotions and following routines that will later help kids be successful in school. Those lessons aren’t easily delivered online.

Early education students are scheduled for at least 90 minutes of live virtual instruction a day. Araujo said, since March, they’ve learned that kids really pay attention to video lessons when there’s physical activity involved.

“If we're counting, we're clapping,” Araujo said. “We’re, you know, constantly moving.”

She’s also seen students use Zoom’s annotation tools — basically a virtual marker — to play games such as I Spy with their teachers and classmates.

Another challenge: the benefits of those engaging lessons are lost when an Internet connection fails in the middle of class.

Araujo tells teachers: “If that happened, let's call home and find out was it an intentional drop off or something happening with the Internet.”

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Pasadena Police Release Video Of Fatal Shooting By One Of Its Officers

An Aug. 17 protest in Pasadena over the killing of Anthony McClain. (Brian Feinzimer for LAist)

Body-worn and dashboard video released by the Pasadena Police today show an officer shoot 32-year-old Anthony McClain in the back as he runs away from a traffic stop. McClain died later in the hospital.

The department said McClain was holding a gun in his left hand as he started to run away, and that he looked in the officers' direction over his shoulder, which prompted the officer who shot him to fear that McClain was turning to shoot. But those details are not clear in the videos.

An unidentified officer shot McClain about four seconds after he started to run away. The video shows McClain continuing to run for some time until he collapsed. Caree Harper, attorney for McClain's family, said today:

"Unless Mr. McClain had pistols pointing from his back, he should be alive and well and with his children. A bullet shot to the back is rarely, if ever, justified. And it is not justified in this case.”

According to Pasadena police, the officer who shot McClain did not have his body cam turned on. The department on its website released an edited video with narration, along with dashboard video, body cam video from three officers, and video from a nearby surveillance camera.

The department said McClain threw his gun away during the chase, and officials have published photos of a gun authorities say was recovered nearby.

Authorities said McClain was on probation for a previous robbery conviction and was prohibited from possessing a weapon.


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Some O.C. Schools Get Permission To Reopen, And A San Bernardino County School Welcomes Students Back To Campus

Lucerne Valley Unified staff drew circles on the grass to keep younger students physically distanced while they wait to enter the school. Courtesy of Lucerne Valley Unified

If you want to know what it takes to get approved to reopen a school campus, look at Lucerne Valley Unified in San Bernardino County, which got its waiver approved last week and held its first day of in-person instruction at Lucerne Valley Elementary School today.

The school is using a hybrid model, which means half of the students will attend one day while the others learn via distance learning, then they’ll switch. Three days will be distance learning for all students.

Superintendent Peter Livingston was on campus today. He said it felt different than your usual back-to-school day.

“The excitement was there and you could see the love between the staff and the kids,” he said. “But the hugs were air hugs. They weren't real hugs.”

Lucerne Valley Unified staff drew circles on the grass to keep younger students physically distanced while they wait to enter the school. (Courtesy of Lucerne Valley Unified)

Livingston said parents weren’t allowed to accompany students to their classrooms. Instead, circles were drawn on the grass to help keep kids apart while they waited to be brought in by a teacher.

The school is able to reopen even though it’s in a county on the state’s COVID-19 watchlist for its high case rate because its application was approved by both county and state public health officials.

Livingston said he believed being a small rural district –- with an enrollment of about 5,400 district-wide and 445 at the elementary school -– made it “a little easier to act than a large district.”

“As we found we needed things, we'd order 1,000 of something instead of maybe 20,000 of something, so that makes it a lot easier,” he explained. “And we have the capability, you know, to use some of our reserve money to do that, before waiting for money to come in or waiting for the state to act.”

Meanwhile, in Orange County, the local health care agency says 24 private schools and one public school district with six elementary schools — Los Alamitos Unified — have now been approved by county and state public health officials to reopen for in-person instruction.

This means more than 9,000 elementary students in Orange County can now return to school -– literally, in person.

We’ve mapped the school campuses here (the dark green markers indicate approval). Almost all of the first two waves of approved schools identified as private, independent, or faith-based schools, with the exception of the six Los Alamitos Unified campuses.

Jake Hollatz, principal of St. John’s Lutheran in the city of Orange, said Acting Health Officer Clayton Chau called to deliver the news of the approval yesterday afternoon.

St. John’s Lutheran started its school year online this past Tuesday, and will welcome about 550 students –- or about 85% of those enrolled -– back into classrooms full-time, five days a week starting on Monday. The other 15% will continue with online-only learning for 10 weeks.

“We’ve tried to be really transparent in our process, letting parents know that it’s completely acceptable to have fear, it’s completely acceptable to be concerned. But when it comes down to it, we’re providing options,” Hollatz said. “Whether we’re learning face-to-face, or whether we’re learning online, we’ve provided options for our kids and our community and our families to continue to be connected through our school.”

In a statement, Chau said while some parents, staff, and community members have reached out to the agency expressing concerns about the waivers, the agency “has done our due diligence.”

“We understand that there are risks, but the majority of applications have large staff and parent support,” Chau wrote in the statement. “We weighed the risks and the benefits of having in-person education.”

We’ll continue to report on these waivers and the school reopening process. Know something we should know? Email me, reporter Carla Javier.


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Chinese Herbalists Can't Keep Up With Demand During Coronavirus

Lianhua qingwen capsules sent by Sinong Lin's family. (Courtesy of Sinong Lin)

As COVID-19 cases in L.A. County approach 250,000 and the death count has topped 5,000, those numbers remain low in the San Gabriel Valley, where a considerable portion of the population is Chinese or Chinese American. Hospitalization rates in Chinese communities are also low.

Experts have a few potential explanations: early awareness of COVID-19, increased adherence to physical distancing protocols, low testing rates and, maybe — maybe — Chinese herbal remedies.

Despite skepticism in the United States around these herbs, and around traditional Chinese medicine in general, many people — native and foreign-born — swear by them. Several Chinese herbalists told LAist they've seen a massive uptick in the sale of certain herbs, which Chinese doctors and the Chinese government believe are effective in treating symptoms of COVID-19.

When these herbs became scarce around here, some Southern California residents had their families ship them from Asia.


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Lien Ta Of LA Restaurant All Day Baby Makes An Appearance At The 2020 DNC

Restaurateur Lien Ta speaks in the video "America Recovering: Stories of Survival," played at the 2020 Democratic National Convention. (Screengrab)

If you caught any of the Democratic National Convention's third night on Wednesday, you might have spotted Los Angeles restaurateur Lien Ta, owner of All Day Baby in Silver Lake and the recently shuttered Here's Looking At You in Koreatown.

Ta was featured, along with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and other officials, in America Recovering: Stories of Survival. The video documents the struggles of small business owners during the coronavirus pandemic.

"It's always really hard for restaurants to begin," Ta says in the clip. She notes that the same day the virus was announced as a global pandemic, All Day Baby received a positive review in the Los Angeles Times.

She says the first decision she had to make was to furlough all of her employees.

"At this point, I don't even see myself in business next month," Ta goes on to say.

In the video, Garcetti also talks to All Day Baby bartender Jorge Figueroa, who says, "It's more difficult, a lot more work. I'm going to do everything possible to save the restaurant."

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The Best Things To Do This Weekend: Aug. 21 - 23

Watch a special program on Alvin Ailey's iconic "Revelations," featuring special guests and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. (Paul Kolnik)
Gabba Gallery presents 'Remix: The Art of Music,' a virtual group art show featuring dozens of artists creating music-inspired works. ("Material Girl" by Jules Muck)

Coronavirus is wreaking havoc on schools, stores, businesses and events. With in-person concerts, talks, comedy shows, food festivals and other gatherings cancelled, we have turned our events column into a "nonevents" column. It will remain this way as long as social distancing and stay-at-home orders are in effect.

During this difficult time, please consider contributing to your local arts organizations or to individual artists and performers.

Check out a mini-golf course with queer vibes. Head to the desert for an Alejandro Jodorowsky double-bill. Watch a special Alvin Ailey dance program online. Get married at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater. Catch flicks at the American Black Film Festival online or Method Fest. Peruse the works at a music-themed group art show.

Friday, Aug. 21 - Sunday, Aug. 30

American Black Film Festival Goes Virtual
The 24th edition of the ABFF, which takes place online this year, opens with the HBO Short Film Competition and continues with narrative features, documentaries, international features and web series. Noncompetitive categories highlight emerging filmmakers and pride films. Spotlight screenings include Son of the South, directed by Barry Alexander Brown, and Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn, directed by Muta'Ali Muhammad. There's ample time for networking, conversations and panels. This year, the fest will bestow the first John Singleton Award for Best First Feature for a director.
COST: Registration for the free community pass or Industry pass opens Friday, Aug. 21; MORE INFO

Friday, Aug. 21; 7 p.m. PDT

The Legends of Motown
This comedy slam stars Rudy Moreno, Carlos Oscar, Willie Brown and Woody, Vicky Love as Aretha Franklin, Jammin Jay Lamont and Sherwin Arie with spoken word by Alexander James and jazz by Mark Allen Felton. Hosted by Rev Monty B Sharpton (TBNs Comedy Specials). This is a Facebook Live Event and you must have access to a Facebook account to view the show on a private group page. The show streams through Friday, Aug. 28.
COST: $10 per Facebook account; MORE INFO

Friday, Aug. 21 - Sunday, Aug. 30

The Method Fest Independent Film Festival
Westfield Fashion Square
14006 Riverside Dr., Sherman Oaks.
Showcasing the art and craft of acting for film, this festival runs over two consecutive weekends. The schedule includes 26 independent and foreign language features as well as one studio classic, Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven, which will be screened at a drive-in atop Westfield Fashion Square in Sherman Oaks.
COST: $20 - $295; MORE INFO

The Chance Theater in Anaheim holds a series of cyber chats discussing theater productions and the shared experiences of performance. (© 2020 Disney )

Friday, Aug. 21; 8 p.m. PDT

Chance Cyber Chat Series
The Chance Theatre hosts a live discussion on the artistry and themes of Hamilton (available to watch on Disney+). Join the Zoom to meet and chat with Chance artists, fellow theater lovers and Hamilton fans. Host Casey Long is joined by Jisel Soleil Ayon, Miguel Cardenas, Monika Peña, Andrew Puente, Zoe-Raven Wianecki and Linn Tang.

Friday, Aug. 21 - Saturday, Aug. 22; 8 p.m.

Alejandro Jodorowsky 2-Night Drive-In Double-Feature
Joshua Tree Lake RV & Campground
2601 Sunfair Rd., Joshua Tree
The Frida Cinema in Santa Ana presents two nights of Jodorowsky double features in the desert. The screenings celebrate the 4K restorations of the selected films as part of a new boxed set by ABKCO Music & Records, Inc. The director's 2019 documentary, Psychomagic, A Healing Art, is paired with The Holy Mountain (1973) on Friday night and El Topo (1970) on Saturday night.
COST: $30 per car; MORE INFO

Friday, Aug. 21; 12 p.m.

Under the Hood series
The Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard has developed a five-part YouTube video series to watch from home. Under the Hood airs every Friday and allows visitors to examine the engines of the French automobiles in the museum's collection. This week highlights the 1931 Bugatti Type 50S.

Friday, Aug. 21

Burning Bright
Kino Lorber opens three new French festival favorites in virtual Laemmle L.A. cinemas. This weekend, watch The Bare Necessity, a romantic comedy with Fanny Ardant; Burning Ghost, which won the Prix Jean Vigo; and Wonders in the Suburbs, which marks the directorial debut of French actress Jeanne Balibar.
COST: $8 each film; MORE INFO

Friday, Aug. 21

NFMLA Panels
NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) and Film Liaisons in California Statewide (FLICS) present two discussions. At 3 p.m., Eve Honthaner, deputy director of the California Film Commission moderates Filming Around the State of California. At 5 p.m., Jazz Tangcay, artisans editor at Variety moderates Back to Production: A Talk With the Producers. A third panel, Scripted Series Development with Freeform & Dinh Thai, rounds out the evening at 7:15 p.m.
COST: $10 each panel; MORE INFO

There are four new solo exhibitions premiering online at the Corey Helford Gallery on Saturday. (Okuda San Miguel's 'Love in Pandemia')

Saturday, Aug. 22; 2 - 4 p.m. PDT

Corey Helford Gallery Shows
The Boyle Heights gallery hosts a virtual opening on Instagram Live for several shows including The New Digital Love from Spanish painter and sculptor Okuda San Miguel, Birds of Paradise from Australian pop surrealist Marie Larkin, A Rebrousse-Poil from U.K.-based painter Bruno Pontiroli and Through A Glass Darkly from Ontario, Canada-based surrealist painter Troy Brooks. The artists will also drop into the event during the afternoon. Works will remain on view through Aug. 26.

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Saturday, Aug. 22

Elopement Pop Up
Bob Baker Marionette Theater
4949 York Blvd., Highland Park
If you and your significant other have been waiting to say "I do" through the pandemic, the Short + Sweet production team hosts a day of two-hour weddings (or renewal of vows) at the theater. Each couple can have up to four guests at the wedding which can also be livestreamed to 100 devices. Each ceremony takes about 20 minutes, with time for cake and champagne, photos and certificate signing. There are only four slots available because of rigorous cleaning practices in between each ceremony.

Saturday, Aug. 22; 2 - 7 p.m.

Wonder Holes: Queer Art Mini Golf LA
4356 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake
Queers are hitting the clubs on Saturday -- the (mini)golf clubs. There's a socially distanced mini-golf course in Akbar's parking lot with the theme, LA Queer Vibes. This is a socially distanced, hand-sanitized, mask-enforced, open-air artsy experience with timed entry. Each ticket is good for four people (who you should already be hanging with in close proximity). Your group shouldn't cross paths with other groups and masks are required the entire time. Tickets raise money for Gender Justice LA.
COST: $40 (for four); MORE INFO

Watch a special program on Alvin Ailey's iconic "Revelations," featuring special guests and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. (Paul Kolnik)

Sunday, Aug. 23; 2 - 3 p.m.

INSIDE LOOK: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Get a closer look into "Revelations," an iconic work from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. This special Music Center virtual presentation features an introduction by associate artistic director Matthew Rushing followed by a performance of the piece along with with "I Been 'Buked," "Wade in the Water" and the finale, "Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham." Dancer and choreographer Hope Boykin breaks down the moves, giving viewers a chance to learn the modern dance choreography. The event streams for free through Sept. 30.

Matinee idol Rudolph Valentino (1895-1926), circa 1923. (General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)

Sunday, Aug. 23; 2 - 4 p.m. PDT

Rudolph Valentino A 125-Year Celebration
The "Latin Lover" of the silent film era was an Italian actor who led a fascinating, albeit short, life. Historian Donna Hill discusses Valentino using rare photos from a newly expanded edition of her book, Rudolph Valentino: The Silent Idol, which will be available through the Hollywood Heritage Museum Store. Sunday marks the 125th anniversary of his passing.
COST: $7.50 - $15; MORE INFO

Sunday, Aug. 23; 10 p.m. PDT

The Vow
A nine-part documentary on controversial self-improvement group NXIVM -- some call it a cult -- begins on Sunday. Directed by Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer, the show takes a deep look into the lives of the participants as they search for meaning and why the group's top members had criminal charges brought against them.
COST: Varies (subscription); MORE INFO

Dancers and musicians wear traditional masks in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. November 1972. (STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images)

Sunday, Aug. 23; 11 a.m.

Nigeria | Day of the Ancestors: Festival of Masks
LA Commons holds a series of events, presentations and workshops leading up to the annual Festival of the Mask later this month. (It's traditionally held in Leimert Park.) On Sunday, there's an online Diaspora Dialogues session with musicians Jimetta Rose and Adunni (Orobiyi Motunrayo Abiodun) from Adunni & Nefertiti, livestreaming from Lagos, Nigeria.

Sunday, Aug. 23; 3p.m. PDT

Puttin' on the Ritz: Harlem Renaissance Fashion
The Art Deco Society of Los Angeles presents a virtual conversation with cultural and fashion historians Camara Holloway and Elizabeth Way, discussing Harlem's cutting-edge style during the Jazz Age. The event examines what people wore during the Harlem Renaissance -- from flapper dresses to Zoot suits -- and its influence on fashion. Nonmembers need to set up a free login on Agile ticketing when the ticket is purchased as the program will be streamed on the secure Agile platform.
COST: $10 - $14; MORE INFO

Through Sunday, Sept. 20

Remix: The Art of Music
Gabba Gallery's annual music-themed art show opens at 11 a.m. on Aug. 20 online. Dozens of artists, including Olga Ponomarenko, Christina Ramos, RISK and Shepard Fairey, are participating. View imagined album covers, portraits of rock idols or paintings inspired by classic songs. The purchase of works benefits Adopt the Arts, an L.A.-based arts education nonprofit.

Through Monday, Aug. 31

Up All Night
ArtCenter presents a series of street-facing window exhibitions in downtown L.A. and Pasadena. Video installations "Face Time," "Dream Time" and "Great Writers/Orators/Artists: A Typographic Narrative" are best viewed at night from outside ArtCenter DTLA (114 W. 4th St., downtown L.A.), Mullin Gallery (1111 S Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena) and the Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography (950 S Raymond Ave.). The works are by a mix of well-known artists and students.

An assortment of dishes at Sky's Tacos. (Courtesy of Sky's Tacos)

Dine & Drink Deals

Who doesn't miss going out to eat or stopping by a bar for a drink? Here are a few options from restaurants and bars as we work our way back toward normal.

  • Sky's Gourmet Tacos, founded by Barbara "Sky" Burrell in 1992, opens its first downtown L.A. location on Friday. To celebrate, the new outpost is offering its taco Tuesday special from Friday through Tuesday. That's $2 tacos (chicken, ground beef, ground turkey, carnitas or potato and cheese) available via several delivery platforms. You'll find the DTLA location at 358 West 38th St., inside the DTLA Cloud Kitchen.
  • Sushi TAMA opens at 116. N. Robertson Blvd., helmed by chef Hideyuki Yoshimoto (who spent more than 10 years at the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo). The restaurant currently offers outdoor dining on its patio and sidewalk. For takeout, Tama offers a temaki kit for DIY assembly and an accessible omakase ($45).
  • Longtime WeHo hangout The Abbey has introduced a new outdoor dining experience, aptly named "Abbey Road." Located in the adjacent alley, the cafe offers familiar menu items and tons of cocktails, mocktails, beers and wines.
  • After temporarily shuttering in March for the pandemic, Pink's Hot Dogs reopened last week. New cleaning and safety measures are in place, and only three customers are permitted inside at a time. The hours are currently 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • At the Hotel Figueroa's Mexico City-inspired outdoor eatery, Veranda Al Fresco, chef Adrian Garcia has created a new dessert menu that includes housemade frozen paletas in various flavors: cucumber-lime ($3), hibiscus and basil ($3) and a boozy tamarind-mango-tequila option that's sprinkled with Tajin ($4).
  • The Santa Monica Proper hotel debuts a new outdoor dining space: Olea Garden. Al fresco dining is available on Fridays and Saturdays, featuring a California-inspired sushi and sake dinner menu. Brunch is available on Saturdays.
  • After five months, La Casita Mexicana, a staple of Southeast L.A. for 25 years, has reopened. Not sure what to get? Erick Galindo has a few suggestions and an interview with chefs and owners Jaime Martin del Campo and Ramiro Arvizu.

Pandemic Relief Options Running Out For Some Immigrants, Hopes Pinned On State Emergency Food Bill

L.A. day laborers, supporters lined up in April for a "Caravan for Essential and Excluded Workers'' to call on Gov. Gavin Newsom to ensure COVID-19 related federal aid reaches day laborers, workers without legal status. (ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

During the pandemic, federal stimulus money and unemployment benefits have helped some households get by. But immigrants who lack legal status can’t access either.

Community advocates are pinning hopes on an AB 826 from Assemblymember Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles, which would provide emergency food assistance to all struggling workers, regardless of immigration status.

The bill was voted out of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday, and heads for a vote before the full Senate next. The Legislature has less than two weeks to act on the bill before it adjourns for the year.

Chris Sanchez, an advocate with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, said the bill would be a great help to immigrants, especially those in domestic work and the hospitality industry, who were hit soonest and hardest. Most are non‐citizen immigrant women, about a third of whom have lost their jobs, according to a report by the University of California, Merced.

“Their stomachs are empty, and their plates of food have nothing on them,” Sanchez said.

Help came for a while from California’s $75 million Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants fund, but that’s been depleted. A current effort to get cash assistance to immigrants is being run by the non-profit Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR). Foundations have given about $42 million dollars to the California Immigrant Resilience Fund be distributed to 240,000 individuals by dozens of community groups around the state.

But it only goes so far: Californians lacking legal immigration status are estimated at more than 2 million.

Meanwhile, GCIR continues to raise money for the California Immigrant Resilience Fund in hopes of meeting a $50 million goal. Efrain Escobedo, who co-chairs the GCIR board, said that fundraising has slowed down as foundations are deluged by requests for help, but his group's effort will keep going.

“We don't have a hard fix end date like the state did,” Escobedo said. “This is about really helping families at whatever pace is needed.”

3 p.m. This story was updated to include information about AB 826 being voted out of the Senate Appropriations Committee.


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Morning Briefing: Lightning, Fires And Heat Waves

Firefighters work to extinguish hotspots from the Lake Fire in the Angeles National Forest on August 13, 2020. Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images

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

At the moment, in case you hadn’t noticed, California is under a number of weather-related strains. There are the 100-plus degree temperatures here in SoCal, the lightning strikes up north, and the hundreds of fires burning across the state.

Unsurprisingly, then, some of the state’s resources are being taxed. Gov. Gavin Newsom said that officials expect residents to use almost 10,000 more watts of power some days this week than is typical, which was the reason for the mandated power outages over the weekend. It’s also the reason authorities are asking all of us to do our part by keeping energy use down during the peak hours of 3 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Meanwhile, Cal Fire is also feeling the pressure. The department has 6,900 firefighters currently deployed to battle the blazes throughout the state, and recently reached out to other firefighting units across the U.S. for backup.

These incidents, and their proposed solutions, are just more reminders that human beings aren’t meant to brave the world in silos; we do need each other to survive.

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

Jessica P. Ogilvie

P.S. Wear a mask.

Coming Up Today, August 20

A public-private fund for undocumented immigrants adversely affected by the pandemic stopped taking applications more than a month ago, reports Josie Huang, but the NGOs working with California can still steer those in need toward money collected by the philanthropies involved.

What will distance learning in LAUSD look like this fall? Kyle Stokes breaks down the details of the new agreement with the teachers’ union, and checks in on Canoga Park Elementary teacher Daisy Leon about how distance learning went for her last spring … and about her thoughts going into the new school year.

Check out a mini-golf course with queer vibes, head to the desert for an Alejandro Jodorowsky double-bill, watch a special Alvin Ailey dance program online, and more. Christine N. Ziemba has this week’s best online and IRL events.

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The Past 24 Hours In LA

Money Matters: KPCC reporter David Wagner answered your questions about unemployment benefits.

City Hall Scandal: Suspended L.A. City Councilman José Huizar will be waiting a while for his corruption trial, as a federal judge ordered a new start date of June 22, 2021.

Homelessness In L.A.: A group of plaintiffs who are currently unhoused say L.A. has violated an injunction stating that the city can’t enforce certain laws that have led to homeless people losing personal property.

California’s Resources: This week’s high temperatures have put pressure on the state's energy supply. Among the more surprising recommendations from LADWP to save energy are to turn off pool pumps, and not charge electric vehicles between 3 and 10 p.m. Cal Fire’s resources are at risk of being depleted as massive blazes continue to burn throughout the state.

Photo Of The Day

A Riverside firefighter at the Lake Fire in the Angeles National Forest.

(Photo by APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images)

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With LAUSD Classes Resuming Today, What One Teacher Learned About ‘Daily, Live’ Lessons

A 7-year-old second grader in Bartlett, Ill., completes a distance learning lesson on May 1, 2020. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

I met Daisy Leon last March — two weeks into the lockdown that closed her school, Canoga Park Elementary, and sent her 28 fifth-graders home.

Recently, I called Leon to ask how the rest of her year went. We talked a lot about what she learned from teaching online.

Today, as the L.A. Unified School District begins a new year of online classes after two days of orientation, I wanted to put together a story about what Leon learned.

This school year, a new distance learning agreement with LAUSD’s teachers union will aim to ensure more consistent, real-time interactions between teachers and students. Leon made live Zoom check-ins with her class a daily feature:

“They looked forward to it. Even though they’re fifth graders and they wouldn’t want to admit it, you could tell they were excited.”

But last year, live video lessons weren’t mandatory and expectations weren’t always clear. The evidence suggests this confusion led to huge inequities. Have these been corrected going into the new year?


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