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Youth Homelessness Increases In Los Angeles

Homelessness on Skid Row, photographed on June 30, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (James Bernal/LAist)

The L.A. Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) released the results of its 2020 youth homeless count, which shows a 19% increase across Los Angeles county from the year before. The “youth” count surveys young adults between 18-24, unaccompanied minors, and family units where the parent is under 24 who are experiencing homelessness.

The hard number is 4,775 young people experiencing homelessness on any given night in Los Angeles County. They are included in the county’s overall total of more than 66,000 unhoused individuals.

But the press briefing on Thursday also included a presentation made by Dr. Jennifer Kottke, of the Los Angeles County Office of Education.

In her presentation, Kottke said that, using a different definition of homelessness than LAHSA, her office found that there were more than 57,700 homeless K-12 students in L.A. County when LAHSA performed its annual homeless count.

The giant difference between the education numbers and the LAHSA estimate comes down to whether or not people couchsurfing, living in hotels, or families doubled or tripled up in a single housing unit, count as “homeless.”

Schools use a definition of homelessness set by the federal Department of Education that does count those situations as “homeless.” LAHSA’s definition of homelessness, set by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, doesn’t count those situations as “homeless.”

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Sheriff’s Alleged Harassment Of County CEO Prompts $1.5M Settlement, Private Security Deal

L.A. County CEO Sachi Hamai at the 2019 LA Promise Fund's "Hello Future" Summit. (Rachel Murray/Getty Images for the Summit)

In an unusual move, L.A. County has agreed to provide outgoing CEO Sachi Hamai with full-time private security and $1.5 million to settle claims she brought regarding "severe and pervasive harassment, defamation, malicious prosecution and hostility" by Sheriff Alex Villanueva, according to a county attorney and a legal settlement obtained by LAist.

The settlement — approved by the county's Board of Supervisors — lists several instances of Villanueva’s alleged wrongdoing, including "falsely telling the press Hamai had denied first responders their salaries, inciting individuals to threaten to post her home address and harm her there."

County litigation counsel Skip Miller confirmed that the county will provide Hamai with security through the end of Villanueva’s first term or until she and the security company agree to end it, whichever comes first. He told us the county has been providing Hamai with security since earlier this year.

In a confidential letter to the supervisors that we obtained, Miller said "malicious attacks" have led to threats against the CEO on social media, such as: "Wait till Hamai fears for her life and the life of her family;" and "A crime at her house may end up in the unsolved case file before the ink dries on the report."

The settlement also said the sheriff had publicly accused Hamai of "having committed a felony for having a 'financial interest' in a County matter, which he knew was false." This refers to statements Villanueva made about the CEO serving on the board of United Way of Greater Los Angeles, which voted to back a November ballot measure to redirect funding from the Sheriff’s Department to other services. Hamai stepped down from the board before it voted, and said she hadn’t been aware of United Way’s work on the initiative.

Villanueva issued a statement Thursday evening blasting the settlement, saying, "[s]ome would describe this as a backdoor way to give someone a 'golden handshake' after they leave their position."

He added: "Settling CEO Hamai’s allegations without a legitimate inquiry, bypassing standard procedure, gives the appearance of an illegal gift of public funds." The sheriff said the episode raises a series of questions, including whether Hamai ever filed a formal complaint or lawsuit, and how much will her security arrangement cost taxpayers.

Villanueva also asked: "How is it not a conflict of interest for County contract attorney Skip Miller to have represented both the CEO and the Board in the same transaction?"

Hamai issued a statement Thursday, saying, "it is so disheartening that I have been subjected to a hostile and toxic work environment created by a fellow department head."

"As I leave County service, it is my sincere hope that no other County employee, male or female, in any part of our great organization, should have to face hostility of this kind, let alone from a department head in a position of power and public trust."

Hamai, who worked for the county for more than three decades and served as CEO for the last five years, is retiring on Monday.

Villanueva has clashed repeatedly with Hamai and the Board of Supervisors since he took office in late 2018. In one high profile confrontation, when the sheriff re-hired a deputy who had been fired over allegations of domestic violence and lying, the board went to court to block him.

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This Comedian's Working Out His Fictionalized Family Problems On Zoom

Dylan Brody talks The Corona Dialogues with us via Zoom. (LAist)

Dylan Brody's Web series The Corona Dialogues uses fake Zoom conversations to tell a darkly comedic story, a character study on family dynamics. And the family is one that Brody, the show's writer/creator and co-star, finds very familiar.

It's not exactly his family, but he's spent decades writing fictionalized versions of those family members. They started in Brody's award-winning play Mother May I, evolving into the versions seen in the new show.

Brody's a humorist (and a KPCC friend who appeared on our show Off-Ramp for years), performing on TV and writing for the Tonight Show monologue. But as Zoom meetings took over all of our lives, Brody wanted to use the new format to create something new. It feels like a new medium to him, and one he thinks might be here to stay.

You can watch the whole series for free online, and find out more in our interview with him.


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The Best Live And Livestreamed Events This Weekend: Aug. 28-30

Learn the Argentine tango from Ilona Glinarsky through the Music Center's Digital Dance series. (The Music Center)

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.

Watch live music -- from a virtual distance -- performed by Los Lobos, Dawes, Gavin Turek and AK Dan Gwang Chil. Explore the Chicano Moratorium at several events, from discussions to performance. Attend the Inside Lands festival from your living room. Get outside and pick tomatoes. Pretend it's the early aughts and watch David Spade and Rob Schneider do comedy.

Friday, Aug. 28; 4 p.m. PDT

Women to the Polls: A Virtual Suffrage Film Screening
The UCLA Film & Television Archive celebrates the centennial of the 19th amendment with a screening of Mothers of Men, a 1917 silent film that focuses on a female elected official and her misogynistic enemies. The event is followed by a panel discussion with Ellen Dubois, Virginia Kase, Belinda Robnett and Virginia Wright Wexman.

The band Dawes plays a rooftop show in L.A. this weekend that you can watch from the comfort of home. (Clara Balzary)

Friday, Aug. 28; 6 p.m.

The L.A.-based band plays a livestreamed show from an L.A. rooftop straight to your laptop. The concert benefits independent music venues that have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The performance will remain available for ticket holders through Aug. 30 at
COST: $14.99 - $49.99 (includes merch); MORE INFO

David Spade and Rob Schneider attend the world premiere of 'Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser' at Sony Pictures Studios in 2015 in Culver City. (Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Crackle)

Friday, Aug. 28; 8 p.m.

David Spade and Rob Schneider
Ventura County Fairgrounds
10 Harbor Blvd., Ventura
Spade and Schneider deliver their comedy live at this drive-in experience. An extra tall 360-degree stage and screens should help the viewing experience as you sit in your car. Sound will be distributed via FM radio, so bring a radio if yours isn't working. Ticket prices are good for one car; the number of passengers can't exceed the number of safety belts/seats. Attendees must wear masks any time they leave their vehicles.
COST: $99 - $299; MORE INFO

The director and cast of the Fountain Theatre's 2010 play 'The Ballad of Emmett Till,' including Lorenz Arnell as Till, return for a reading. (Ed Krieger)

Friday, Aug. 28; 4 p.m.

The Ballad of Emmett Till
The original director and cast from the Fountain Theatre's 2010 production reunite for an online reading on the 65th anniversary of Till's murder. Based on real events that occurred in Mississippi, Ifa Bayeza's play recounts the story of a young Black man who was murdered by a white mob after a white woman claimed he had whistled at her. He hadn't.

Friday, Aug. 28 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 29 at 3 p.m.

Chicano Moratorium Events
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes offers two En Casa con LA Plaza virtual programs (on Zoom and Facebook Live) that explore the Chicano Moratorium, an anti-war movement that culminated on Aug. 29, 1970, with more than 30,000 protestors in East L.A. On Friday, tune into Songs of the Chicano Moratorium with writer and editor Agustín Gurza as he explores protest songs composed and performed by Mexicans, Mexican Americans and Chicanos. On Saturday, listen to a conversation with activist and writer Rosalio Muñoz, one of the organizers of the peaceful march of Aug. 29, 1970. The day ended in tragedy as marchers were attacked and tear gassed. Four people died including journalist Rubén Salazar.

Friday, Aug. 28 - Saturday, Aug. 29

Inside Lands
Outside Lands, the annual summer festival at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, has been cancelled. So organizers created Inside Lands, a virtual festival streaming over Twitch. It includes archival sets, exclusive live musical performances, interviews with artists and features about the festival. Confirmed artists include Gorillaz, LCD Soundsystem, J. Cole, Jack White, Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, Above & Beyond, Haim, Major Lazer, Leon Bridges, Louis the Child, alt-J and Cage The Elephant, as well as artists that are part of the Outside Lands 2021 festival lineup (Kehlani, ZHU, Beach House, Brittany Howard, SOFI TUKKER and Sharon Van Etten).

Friday, Aug. 28; 6 and 7:30 p.m. PDT

Rosé and Clay
Still Life Ceramics, ROW DTLA
1320 E. 7th St., M2 Deck, downtown L.A.
This one-hour, outdoor pottery class runs participants through the basics of throwing on the wheel and how to make a pot in the process. Afterwards, enjoy a free glass of rosé at nearby oyster bar Rappahannock. (You may have to wait because of limited outdoor seating.) Bowls will be ready for pickup in two weeks. If this week's class is full, Rosé and Clay is offered on subsequent Fridays.

Friday, Aug. 28; 5 p.m. PDT

St. Paul and The Broken Bones
The eight-piece soul band from Birmingham, Alabama plays a live show at an empty Brooklyn Bowl Nashville. Join the concert via Zoom and help the band pick songs for their set list.
COST: Pay-what-you-want ($10 minimum); MORE INFO

Friday, Aug. 28 - Monday, Aug. 31

The Lizzie Borden Murder House
Enjoy an interactive look at the Lizzie Borden House in Fall River, Massachusetts. On August 4, 1892, the hacked up bodies of Abby and Andrew Borden were found in their home. Lizzie, their 32-year-old spinster daughter was the number one suspect. She was acquitted by an all-male jury who believed a woman couldn't be responsible for such a crime. The immersive experience investigates the crime, presents alternative suspects and also searches for any ghostly activity at the location.

Friday, Aug. 28 - Sunday, Sept. 6

Reading of August 29
Latino Theater Company streams the reading of August 29, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Chicano Moratorium and the death of journalist Rubén Salazar. The play, which was written and first produced in 1990, and was supposed to open this month but has been rescheduled for 2021. In the meantime, there's this reading, directed by Alberto Barboza and starring Brenda Banda, Robert Beltran, Raul Cardona and Alicia Coca, among others The reading will be available for on-demand viewing through Sept. 6.

Learn the Argentine tango from Ilona Glinarsky through the Music Center's Digital Dance series. (The Music Center)

Friday, Aug. 28; 7 p.m.

Digital Dance DTLA: Argentine Tango
Grab a rose and a partner because it takes two to tango. The Music Center's online dance series continues this week with a 45-minute basic Argentine tango lesson from instructor Ilona Glinarsky. Music will be provided by pianist Matias Piegari. (Please note: Instructors are dancing with members of their family or immediate household. The Music Center encourages participants to dance with those in their "bubble.")

Saturday, Aug. 29; 2 - 7 p.m.

Mash Gallery
1325 Palmetto St., Suite 130, downtown L.A.
The exhibition features more than 20 undiscovered artists, curated from nearly 200 submissions by gallery founder and artist, Haleh Mashian. The opening will feature music in the street and will follow health and safety protocols. View works by artists including Moises Ortiz, Terri Lloyd, Laura Hull, Jacob Roo, Dan Litzinger and Alex Chiu.

Korea's AK Dan Gwang Chil (ADG7) performs along with Gavin Turek as part of the Skirball Stages series. (Naver Onstage)

Saturday, Aug. 29; 8 p.m. PDT

Skirball Stages
Watch virtual concerts with a world music twist via the Skirball's YouTube channel. The new series opens with sets by L.A. native Gavin Turek and AK Dan Gwang Chil hailing from South Korea.

Saturday, Aug. 29; 5 - 6 p.m. PDT

Latin Sounds: Meet the Musicians Live!
While LACMA's summer music concerts are on hold, the museum offers virtual experiences featuring performers planned for the 2020 season. The events include interviews with the musicians, live performances and video clips from the artists. This week's guest is Brazilian vocalist Kátia Moraes. So grab a snack, something to drink and drop in on Zoom.

Pick your own Roma tomatoes at Underwood Family Farms in Moorpark this weekend. (Amanda Slater via Flickr/Creative Commons)

Saturday, Aug. 29 - Sunday, Aug. 30; 6 a.m. - noon

Pick Your Own Romas
Underwood Family Farms - Moorpark Farm
3370 Sunset Valley Rd, Moorpark
Pick your own Roma tomatoes and take part in a farm tradition that's been happening for more than 40 years. If you pick them yourself off the vine, the tomatoes are 35 cents a pound; already picked Romas are 60 cents per pound (and must be ordered and pre-paid). If you bring your own containers, they must be weighed and not hold more than 50 lbs. If you can't make it this weekend, the tomato picking also takes place next weekend (Labor Day Weekend). Masks are required for check-in/checkout and social distancing should be followed.

Saturday, Aug. 29; 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Family Sketch Play
The Elysian Valley Arts Collective in Frogtown launches a series of virtual family-play art workshops. Participants receive prompts while exploring the medium of sketching. Under the guidance of teacher and children's book author Kait Walsh, students are encouraged to collaborate with family members to create something all their own. For this week's Zoom workshop, participants need paper, pens, pencils and coloring materials.

Sunday, Aug. 30; 2 - 5 p.m. PDT

A Celebration of Black Joy: 10th year of Day of the Ancestors: Festival of Masks
Leimert Park's annual festival goes virtual. Watch the celebration of African culture, heritage and Black joy. Enjoy the world premiere of 8:46, Dance of the Queen Mothers by choreographer Nzingha Camara; a healing ritual performed by Shine Muwasi; a virtual tour of Leimert Park's Black-owned businesses; and performers from across the African diaspora including Wezi (Zambia), Kuenta (Aruba/Curacao), Adunni (Nigeria), Viviam Caroline (Brazil), Voices of Creation (Leimert Park). Register for tickets to participate via Zoom or watch on Youtube.

Sunday, Aug. 30; 6 p.m.

Los Lobos (Livestream)
The East L.A. band performs live from the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach. The VIP ticket package includes a limited-edition T-shirt and a $5 raffle ticket.
COST: $20-$30; MORE INFO

Sunday, Aug. 30; 4 p.m.

Jody Armour in Conversation
The Los Angeles Review of Books presents a discussion about race in America, featuring Armour, professor at USC's law school and author of the forthcoming book, N*gga Theory: Race, Language, Unequal Justice, and the Law. He'll be in conversation with Dr. Melina Abdullah, professor and former chair of Pan-African Studies at Cal State LA, discussing monuments, Confederate flags, BLM and defunding the police, among other topics. The talk takes place via Zoom.

To Protect & Serve? is an exhibition at the 18th Street Arts Center's Airport Gallery that features 50 years of posters protesting police violence. (alter Cruz, #SAYHERNAME, 2016. Black Lives Matter, digital print. New York, NY. Courtesy of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics.)

Through Friday, Oct. 2

To Protect & Serve? Five Decades of Posters Protesting Police Violence
18th Street Arts Center's Airport Gallery
3026 Airport Ave., Santa Monica
18th Street Arts Center presents an exhibition that features five decades of posters protesting police violence. The works address political repression, racial and gender profiling, the school to prison pipeline, immigration raids, the militarization of law enforcement and organizing resistance. The exhibition may be viewed by appointment only at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Monday to Friday or by request. On Sept. 17 at 4 p.m., there are virtual walkthroughs and a panel discussion.


Video Series: The View From Here
The A+D Museum releases a series of conversations with Black American designers and artists who discuss how Black neighborhoods have influenced creative work. A partnership with Unearthing the Black Aesthetic led to questions about how the built environment affects aesthetics and creative output. The first episode of the series features artist Renee Rutherford.

This sushi box 1 is available from Sushi Ginza Onodera in West Hollywood. (Sushi Ginza Onodera)

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.

  • Thursday, Aug. 27, is National Banana Pudding Day and Magnolia launches its first Gluten-Free Banana Pudding. The pudding features Kinnikinnick gluten-free vanilla wafers, creamy vanilla pudding and bananas.
  • Vinovore in Virgil Village has opened a wine window where customers can now order a glass or bottle for socially distant shopping (h/t We Like LA). Plus, their next Winesplaining online tasting takes place on Sunday at noon, when owner Coly Den Haan hosts Ntsiki Biyela, the first black, female winemaker in South Africa. 100% of the proceeds from the tasting will be donated to Biyela's own Pinotage Youth Development Academy.
  • West Hollywood's two Michelin star Sushi Ginza Onodera is now on TOCK, adding more options and seasonal specials. In addition to the beautiful chirashi box and assortment of Edomae-style nigiri sushi, there is rare seasonal fish and seafood like Shinko (young gizzard shad) and Shin-Ika (baby cuttlefish), available until September by special order.
  • This greasy spoon goes al fresco. Echo Park's The Brite Spot is now open for limited service on the patio and parking lot for limited hours from Thursdays to Sundays.
  • The Mediterranean-inspired Bacari West 3rd teams with the Korea Agro-Fisheries and Food Trade Corporation (aT America) to offer a new, limited-time menu centered around key ingredients in Korean cuisine including kimchi, garlic, omiberry and yuja.
  • Spago Beverly Hills teams with Veuve Clicquot for 2.5-hour "glamping" experiences on Canon Drive, Aug. 28-30 and Sept. 4-5. For either $125 or $295 per person, guests can enjoy Veuve Yellow Label or Grand Dame with a food purchase (which is not included in the ticket price).

Morning Briefing: Feeding The Community, One Fridge At A Time

The Lincoln Heights community fridge is decorated with a sunny motif and the words "every body eats!" (Chava Sanchez/LAist)

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By now, you’ve probably heard of the phenomenon of community fridges – functioning refrigerators placed on sidewalks that provide free food for anyone who needs it. But what you might not know is that some city officials have been working to shut these fridges down, instead of finding a way for them to operate legally.

In Compton, officials cited a community fridge for not having a safety latch, then for having a safety latch. In Highland Park and Long Beach, community fridges were closed after being cited for health and safety violations.

Some activists wonder if the effort against fridges, many of which are set up in primarily Black or Latino communities, has deeper underpinnings.

"If you look at all the fridges coming up, almost all of them in New York and Los Angeles are run by Black and Latinx folks," said Ernst Oehninger, who co-founded the community fridge network Freedge at UC Davis. "I wonder, how much does white supremacy stop fridges from happening?"

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

Jessica P. Ogilvie

Coming Up Today, August 27

Watch live music — from a virtual distance — performed by Los Lobos, Dawes, Gavin Turek and AK Dan Gwang Chil, explore the Chicano Moratorium at several events, attend the Inside Lands festival from your living room, and more. Christine N. Ziemba has this weekend’s best online and IRL events.

LAPD Chief Michel Moore, L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villaneueva and other officials held a news conference regarding "significant crime arrests" made by the multi-agency SAFELA Task Force, which was formed to investigate crimes that occurred during protests and demonstrations in May and June. Caroline Champlin speaks with the ACLU and protesters who disagreed with the task force.

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The Past 24 Hours In LA

Community Efforts: Community fridges have become popular during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they exist in a legal gray area. A round up of L.A.-related Black Breastfeeding Week (virtual) events and resources. City Councilmember David Ryu has introduced a motion to make temporary outdoor dining rules a permanent fixture on the city's streets ... and sidewalks ... and parking spots.

California Kids: LAUSD is going to provide on-campus child care for 3,000 children of employees — and maybe later to student families California public schools can invite small groups of the most at-risk students to return to campuses for in-person instruction.

Party House Problems: The LAPD is investigating the second fatal shooting this month at a party house in the Hollywood Hills.

Coronavirus Updates: Things are (finally) looking up in the local fight against COVID-19 – but the good news isn't a free pass to see friends and family without proper precautions. L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva responds to the Inspector General's criticism that many deputies are not wearing masks. Gov. Newsom announced a new deal to double California's coronavirus testing, with results guaranteed to come in 1-2 days.

Photo Of The Day

A community fridge in Mid-City.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

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