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Mayor Garcetti Addresses Confusion Over State, County And City Stay-At-Home Orders In LA

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Published

Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke (virtually) to Angelenos tonight, to help us understand the three (yes, THREE) different sets of restrictions we're currently living under.

This comes after an abundance of confusion and frustration at his advice to not leave your home, unless you want to get your nails done or workout at an outdoor gym, in which case, enjoy!

Garcetti seems to understand that for the average person, let alone those of us who work in local news, figuring out exactly what is new and what's changed whenever the state, county or city issues a new set of restrictions is kind of like looking for five needles in five different haystacks. The haystacks in this scenario, though, are actually really long word documents with lists of occupancy percentages.

Public health messaging is more important than ever before -- we need clear, easy-to-follow guidelines that ideally, don't change every week. Or if they do change, we need simple instructions of what has changed. You have to know the rules to follow them, right? Understanding why the rules are being made would also be helpful.

"So often in this crisis, it can be so confusing. Orders come down from the state, from our county. We're not sure what they mean when they come into effect. Oftentimes, with no notice, our life just changes like that, what we can and can't do, what we're supposed and not supposed to do," Garcetti said. "And so each of these evening briefings I try to give you the hard truths, but also explain what's going on. And tonight, I'd like to do that."

Great! We could all use a little clarity. So what's changed?

Garcetti says, not a lot.

"Nothing has changed for L.A. yet," Garcetti said, referencing Gov. Newsom's announcement, that the state is now divided into regions, with different restrictions, based on the severity of hospitalization numbers. These regions by the way, are different than the colored tiers we were basing state restrictions on before (those were based on counties). Again, confusing.

Here's how it works: when and if the ICU beds in the Southern California region become 85% full, the mayor explained, new orders will be triggered. We don't know when that will happen but it could be as soon as this weekend or early next week.

IF WE GET TO THAT POINT, and only then, these new restrictions will go into effect:

  • Personal care businesses (nail salons, barber shops, etc.) will no longer be allowed to operate
  • Family entertainment centers (like zoos, aquariums, mini golf, museums) will close.
  • Capacity at essential businesses like pharmacies and supermarkets will be reduced from 35% to 20%.

Again, if we get to that point, where 85% of ICU beds are filled, the mayor said, there will be more closures ordered by the state, but "most of those closures already have occurred here in Los Angeles."

Garcetti made a point that all outdoor activites — like walking, hiking, running, biking — are still allowed and encouraged. "I encourage you to get out there, keep your space, wear a mask, but go for a walk, go for a bike ride, make sure you do those things that can help you get through this tough time. Don't just stay indoors," he added.

So there's your clarification. "Simple as that," Garcetti said.

When asked by a reporter if he regretted confusing the public with the city order, Garcetti said he did not have any regrets and that the confusion was a misunderstanding. He said some people thought he said that the city was banning walking — but that he never in face, said that. The city orders, he said, have always been nearly identical to the county orders to avoid confusion.

Go outside and stay home are of course, contradictory pieces of advice, but we think when the mayor says "stay at home" he really means, "stay safe and don't hang out with people." Not literally, "lock your doors and do not leave your home."

Screenshot of today's live briefing (Mayor's Facebook page)

The point, the mayor explained, is this: cases are rising. We need to do something to get it into people's heads that this is still serious. Today, L.A. County hit another record, "in a bad way," the mayor said. "Remember, cities can't open up more than what the county allows or what the state allows."

Garcetti noted:

"8860 cases, a number I can hardly believe, that just a few weeks ago would have been unimaginable. We're on the verge of reaching 10,000 cases daily with the numbers that we're seeing this week."

The city of L.A. also saw its highest case count so far in the pandemic, with 3,756 confirmed positive tests.

"If we stay on this case trajectory, L.A. is projected to reach half a million cases by the year's end," the mayor said, meaning and one out of every 20 people in the city will have had the virus.

The positivity rate is 1.14, which Garcetti says is "well above one, meaning that everybody who's infected is infecting more than one more person, which is why cases continue to rise. We need to get that number down below one."

MORE COVID NUMBERS:

  • 2,769 people are hospitalized, a 4% increase since yesterday.
  • In the past three weeks, our hospitalizations have tripled.
  • 644 patients are in the ICU
  • COVID cases among healthcare workers are up by 71%

MORE UPDATES

  • The county is adopting a new digital contact tracing program. If you test positive for COVID-19, you will get a message from Healthvana, and be prompted to enter the names and phone numbers of everyone you were in contact with. Those people will instantly and anonymously get text messaged notifying them that they have been exposed to the virus and should get tested. ". In the coming weeks we're going to make it possible for them to also get a free test by mail, so they don't even have to leave their house in order to see what their status is," Garcetti added.

  • A new city initiative will offer 4,000 restaurant workers one-time $800 stipends. Those who qualify can apply starting Monday at 9 a.m. (the application window lasts until Friday at midnight, and the time you apply shouldn't affect your changes of getting it). You can go to coronavirus.la-city.org/serve for applications and more info. The 4,000 recipients will be chosen at random, by lottery.

Correction: A previous version of this story said the restaurant worker stipend program was a county initiative, but it is actually a city initiative. LAist regrets the error.

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Federal Judge Orders Full Restoration Of DACA -- And That New Applicants Be Admitted

Updated
Published
DACA recipients and their supporters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court in June of this year. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

A federal judge in New York has ordered that the Trump administration restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to its status before the Trump administration attempted to end it in September of 2017.

The program, known as DACA, has been in limbo since then, kept alive by the courts, but not open to new applicants. DACA allows young immigrants who are in the U.S. without legal status but were brought here as children to live and work in the country legally.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this past June that DACA may continue, but the Trump administration pushed back with new restrictions. In July, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf issued a memo refusing to accept new applicants, and forcing DACA recipients to renew once a year instead of every two years, as the program had worked.

Last month, a federal judge issued a ruling invalidating Wolf's memo, concluding that the acting Homeland Security secretary was not properly appointed and did not have the legal authority to make these changes.

Today's ruling directs Homeland Security to open the program to new applicants and restore the two-year renewal period for DACA protection and work permits. From the ruling:

DHS is DIRECTED to post a public notice, within 3 calendar days of this Order, to be displayed prominently on its website and on the websites of all other relevant agencies, that it is accepting first-time requests for consideration of deferred action under DACA, renewal requests, and advance parole requests, based on the terms of the DACA program prior to September 5, 2017, and in accordance with this court's Memorandum & Order of November 14, 2020.

Luis Perez, director of legal services for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, said Friday that it remains to be seen how U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency that handles DACA applications, will respond.

"My fear is, this is great news, but we still need to see whether USCIS listens to the order of this federal court to start taking initial applications, because they've defied the Supreme Court when they were told to do so back in June."

This summer, after the Supreme Court ruling and before the Wolf memo was issued, the federal government did not provide guidance to would-be new applicants. Perez pointed out that there's also a pending legal challenge to DACA in Texas, where a hearing is set for later this month.

The Obama-era program, begun in 2012, protects hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation, including an estimated 200,000 in California. President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to reinstate DACA in his immigration plan.

*This story has been updated.

READ MORE ABOUT DACA:

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Over 1,800 City Jobs, Including 951 LAPD Officers, Could Be Cut Under New Budget Proposal

Updated
Published
Protesters at City Hall, June 6, 2020. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)

The city of Los Angeles is heading into the holiday season facing an enormous revenue shortfall, and a new report recommends eliminating more than 1,800 city jobs, including 951 sworn police officer positions.

In a Financial Status Report released Friday, budget analysts outlined a $675 million revenue shortfall that is likely to widen in the coming months.

City Administrative Officer Rich Llewellyn detailed additional proposals to help bridge the gap, including cuts to nearly every city department.

These reductions are difficult and will negatively impact City services,” the report acknowledged. “The need for immediate action, however, is critical to address the magnitude of this budget gap.”

HOW DID WE GET HERE?

The fiscal situation has gone from bad to worse as 2020 has unfolded.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate the tax base, L.A.’s spending on COVID-19 response isn’t slowing down. The city has already dug deep into reserves, and risks a damaging hit to its credit rating as more emergency funding is withdrawn.

The City Administrative Officer previously described a worst-case scenario of L.A. falling $600 million in the hole in the fiscal year that began July 1.

The Mayor has said layoffs may be necessary. In September, Garcetti asked department managers to find savings of 3% across the board, and to identify “non-critical” services and positions that could be eliminated.

After talks with SEIU and other labor unions, the city agreed to delay partial furloughs amounting to a 10% pay cut for close to 16,000 civilian city workers. Those are now slated to take effect in January.

City leaders are also asking some public employee unions to delay planned raises, including a pay bump of 2% for civilian workers and 3.25% for police officers starting next month.

But the union representing police officers has so far spurned negotiations with the city, arguing the LAPD already sacrificed enough in 2020 after the council voted to reallocate $150 million in department funding amid protests over police killings. Chief Michel Moore told reporters in a video Q&A this week that further cuts to his department “would be devastating to the safety of the city.”

City Councilmember Mike Bonin blamed the union representing LAPD officers for declining to budge on raises and benefits that they negotiated in 2019, pre-COVID, when the financial picture was rosier. The LAPPL could mitigate job losses by reducing or deferring raises, Bonin said.

"The refusal to come to the table has already caused a reduction in police patrols," Bonin said. "We are paying more for fewer officers and fewer patrols. We can either reverse that dynamic or double down on it."

The Mayor and City Council are still hoping for a bailout from Congress, but in the meantime say deep cuts to services and layoffs are likely their only recourse.

This story was last updated at 3:10 PM on Friday.

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Teachers Union Nears Agreement With LAUSD On Distance Learning

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In an update streamed on Facebook on December 4, 2020, UTLA president Cecily Myart-Cruz discussed the negotiations over hybrid learning. (Screenshot of UTLA Facebook update)

United Teachers Los Angeles is close to an agreement with the L.A. Unified School District that would extend an existing pact on distance learning, the union's president said in a video update this morning.

The current agreement, which was reached over the summer, was set to expire either when in-person classes resumed or on December 31, whichever came first.

With coronavirus cases surging in L.A. County and no chance that campuses will reopen by the end of the year, distance learning will have to continue in some form when the new semester starts in January.

Meanwhile, planning for and negotiations over an eventual return to school continue as families are asked to choose between in-person hybrid or online-only learning.

From our overview of those negotiations last month:

[UTLA president Cecily] Myart-Cruz said UTLA does not want its members to teach both in-person and online students at the same time, and seems to be against the version of hybrid learning that would bring one cohort of students on campus in the morning, and another in the afternoon.

As these negotiations continue, the district’s Communities of Schools have been convening town hall meetings for families, to walk through the “Return to Campus Family Guide” and to explain the next steps.

Even though the particulars of the hybrid model are still being negotiated -– like which times or days students might be on campus and when they’d switch -– the district is still asking parents to indicate on an online form if they’d like their student to return in the hybrid model or to continue the school year in online-only distance learning.

“Naturally, we would have preferred to have the final negotiations done and the specifics of the hybrid model... the days of the week, all of that important information,” Local District South Superintendent Michael Romero said in an interview. “But we made the decision to send it out with a generic hybrid model because we need to now have an idea of what our parents are thinking about. We have to have a feel, roughly, if the parents feel comfortable sending their kids back.”

In Friday's update, Myart-Cruz pointed to Los Angeles County's coronavirus purple tier status and high case numbers, and said "It's not a question of when, but if LAUSD schools will physically reopen during the second semester of the 2020-2021 school year."

We reached out to Los Angeles Unified for response to UTLA's comments on the ongoing negotiations. We will update if we hear back.

As these negotiations continue, parents are being asked to indicate their preference for in-person hybrid learning or online-only learning by Saturday. We'd love to hear from you about how you're making this decision. You can let us know by filling out this form.

RELATED:

California's 10-Year Plan For Early Learning Is Long On Proposals But Short On Funding

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Breakfast time at the toddler class at a Long Beach child care center on Monday May 4, 2020. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)

California announced an ambitious strategic plan to improve its system of early learning and care over the next decade but providers and advocates say it does little to address immediate challenges — like families who can’t access care or providers who lack the supplies and financial support to continue operating.

The Master Plan For Early Learning and Care, which was released by the state this week, would cost between $2 billion and $12 billion over the next decade. Advocates say the long-term goals are likely to take a backseat to the early childhood crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

"The immediate need is for an infusion of cash, dollars, to allow folks to go, you know, go to work and have their children well supported," Ted Lempert, president of advocacy group Children Now.

Even before the pandemic, only an estimated 6% of babies and toddlers who qualified for subsidized care in L.A. County received it, according to Advancement Project California.

An analysis of L.A. County child care providers found the gap between available public funding and the money needed to provide high quality care is between $4,000 to $8,000 a year per kid.

"The plan does recognize that while it is mandated to deliver a long-term plan, there is an immediate need for relief to families, children and the early learning workforce in the wake of COVID-19," Jesse Melgar, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s communications director, wrote in an email response to LAist’s questions.

He pointed to the $515 million in federal money the Governor and Legislature has allocated to purchase protective gear for providers, create emergency child care vouchers and waive families fees for low-income families who receive subsidized child care.

“We eagerly await additional federal funds to further help,” Melgar said.

In a briefing on Thursday, Kris Perry, deputy secretary of the California California Health and Human Services Agency, said the master plan is a starting point to reform longstanding problems in the child care system.

“We hope that you'll all take the plan in the spirit it’s intended, which is to find ways to move forward to build a better system for everyone, but most particularly children who have been left out of a system that has not served them,” Perry said.

READ THE FULL STORY:

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Crews Start Containing Bond Fire In Orange County; Some Evacuation Orders Lifted

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Published
Firefighters watch as an aircraft drops fire retardant to contain the Bond Fire in Modjeska Canyon near Lake Forest, on Dec. 3, 2020. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)

Jump to: Evacuations | Shelters | Closures | Air Quality | Maps | More Info/Resources

Dry conditions, warm temperatures and Santa Ana winds continue to fuel the Bond Fire in Orange County as it burns on its second day — but firefighters have begun containing it.

Some evacuation orders have been lifted although the canyon areas still remain under mandatory evacuation. All roads that were closed due to the fire have been reopened except for Santiago Canyon Road.

The Bond Fire started around 10 p.m. Wednesday night at a home in the 29400 block of Silverado Canyon Road. Fueled by strong winds from the northeast, it quickly spread to nearby vegetation.

Just two months ago, the fast-moving Silverado Fire traversed the same Loma Ridge that was threatened by the Bond Fire.

Captain Thang Nguyen with the Orange County Fire Authority said the current weather was a major cause.

"A big driving factor is that we have really low relative humidity, which made the fuel pretty susceptible to burning. And then in the canyons, we've got pretty strong winds, so that's what we're dealing with," Nguyen said.

Two firefighters were injured battling the fire Thursday afternoon. They were treated by paramedics and transported to a hospital for further care.

Firefighters work to contain the Bond Fire near Lake Forest on December 3, 2020. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)

THE BASICS

  • Acreage: 6,400 (downgraded from earlier figure)
  • Containment: 10%
  • Structures destroyed: unknown
  • Structures threatened: several, number unknown. "We know that a number of houses have been damaged, potentially destroyed," said OCFA chief Brian Fennessy. "They're being assessed."
  • Resources deployed: 500 firefighters, 11 air units
Bruce McDougal of Santiago Canyon explains how he protected his home from the Bond Fire overnight. (Brian Feinzimer for LAist)

EVACUATIONS

Mandatory: Mandatory evacuation orders are in effect for...

  • Baker Canyon
  • Black Star Canyon
  • Foothill Ranch East
  • Modjeska Canyon
  • Portola Hills South
  • Portola Hills North
  • Silverado Canyon
  • Williams Canyon

Voluntary: Voluntary evacuation orders or evacuation warnings are in effect for...

  • Holy Jim Canyon
  • Lemon Heights and Lemon Heights North
  • Live Oak
  • North Cowen Heights
  • Rose Canyon
  • Saddleback North
  • Trabuco and North Trabuco Canyon

Check this interactive evacuation map.

A map of the Bond Fire evacuations on the morning of Friday, Dec. 4, 2020.

EVACUATION CENTERS

For people:

Residents who need to evacuate are urged to stay with family, with friends, or in a hotel. The OCFA tweeted early this morning, "Due to COVID-19, no congregate shelter is offered."

  • The Red Cross has established a temporary evacuation center in Lot 2 of Santiago Canyon College (8045 E. Chapman Ave.). (TEMPORARILY CLOSED)
  • While the evacuation center at Santiago College is closed, the Red Cross has opened an evac center at El Modena High School (3920 E. Spring Street, Orange).
  • The El Toro High parking lot (25255 Toledo Way, Lake Forest) will be used as an evacuation center for the city of Lake Forest.
  • If you need evacuation due to medical, mobility or other reasons, contact the OC Sheriff's Department at 714-647-7000.

For animals:

  • Orange County Animal Care will accept small household pets (1630 Victory Road, Tustin). Please bring photo ID, vet records, special food, and meds with your pets.
  • The OC Fair and Events Center will accept large animals (88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa). Enter at Gate 5 off of Arlington Drive. Call 714-708-1588 for more info.
  • The Los Alamitos Race Course (4961 Katella Ave., Los Alamitos) will also accept large animals. Use main entrance off Katella and turn left toward stalls. Call 714-820-2800 for more info.

A public information hotline has been activated so residents can call for more information and resources at 714-628-7085.

Francie Jones and firefighters try to get a horse back on its feet to evacuate it as the Bond Fire burns in Modjeska Canyon near Lake Forest on December 3, 2020. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)

ROAD CLOSURES

  • Santiago Canyon between 241 and Jackson Ranch is closed except to emergency vehicles
Randy Stuchlik embraces a horse that had laid down and was likely dehydrated as he and firefighters try to get it back on its feet so they can evacuate it during the Bond Fire on December 3, 2020. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)

SCHOOL CLOSURES

The Irvine, Newport-Mesa, Saddleback Valley and Tustin unified school districts have announced school closures and temporary shifts to distance learning in response to the Bond Fire.

  • Irvine Unified -- Due to poor air quality that has compromised HVAC systems, all Irvine Unified School District schools will be closed Thursday. Students who receive in-person instruction will temporarily transition to distance learning.
  • Newport-Mesa Unified -- All schools in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District will transition to distance learning on Thursday.
  • Saddleback Valley Unified -- Foothill Ranch, Portola Hills and Trabuco elementary schools will be closed on Thursday. In addition, the following schools will offer distance learning:
    • Del Lago Elementary
    • El Toro High School
    • Gates Elementary
    • Glen Yermo Elementary
    • La Madera Elementary
    • Lake Forest Elementary
    • Melinda Heights Elementary
    • Olivewood Elementary
    • Rancho Canada Elementary
    • Santiago STEAM Magnet Elementary
    • Serrano Intermediate
    • Trabuco Hills High School
  • Tustin Unified -- District officials said all TUSD classes will be offered via distance learning on Thursday, citing the fires, poor air quality, possible power outages and regional evacuation orders impacting district employees.
An air quality map of smoke from the Bond Fire. (Fire.AirNow.Gov)

AIR QUALITY

The multiple fires that have broken out across Southern California over the past 24 hours have made air quality especially dangerous in some areas. Plumes of smoke from these fires are being pushed out towards the ocean by Santa Ana winds.

If it smells like a campfire outside and you're considering outdoor activities... DON'T. The mass amounts of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) burrow deep into your body, spread through your bloodstream and can cause internal problems.

Elevated levels of PM2.5 from fires have been linked to increased rates of heart attacks, strokes and arrhythmias. Those with medical conditions like asthma and COPD could see their symptoms exacerbated, and their likelihood of hospitalization increase.

Head to Fire.AirNow.gov to check the air quality in your area.

Firefighter Jerry Bewer from the city of Orange works the Bond Fire. (Brian Feinzimer for LAist)

WEATHER CONDITIONS

A spokesperson from the National Weather Service told LAist this week that the conditions right now are similar to the ones that caused the massive Thomas Fire a few years ago. That fire, which started in December 2017, burned through more than 280,000 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties , forcing more than 100,000 people to evacuate and causing $2.2 billion in damage.

Inland Orange County is under a red-flag warning until 10 p.m. Saturday for extreme fire danger due to high winds and low relative humidity.

GEOGRAPHY

Just two months ago, the fast moving Silverado Fire traversed the same Loma Ridge that's now being threatened by the Bond Fire.

A map of the Silverado Fire that burned earlier in 2020. (San Diego Super Computing Center/San Diego State University)

And 13 year ago, the Santiago Fire consumed nearly the entire area, just about up to Silverado Canyon.

A map of the Santiago Fire that burned in 2007. (San Diego Super Computing Center/San Diego State University)

That's sort of good news — although not from an ecological standpoint — because grasses and some of the heavier fuels have likely been cleared out. Hopefully, that will give firefighters a reprieve.

That said, there are also hills around Irvine Lake that haven't burned since the 1990s, and parts of Silverado Canyon that haven't burned in more than a century, at least according to available records. Meaning, heavier, harder to extinguish fuels are likely present.

BACKGROUND

The Bond Fire started around 10 p.m. on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at a home in the 29400 block of Silverado Canyon Road and quickly spread to nearby vegetation.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

For the latest information straight from local emergency officials, check the following websites and social media accounts:

  • @OCFA_PIO
  • @OCSheriff
  • A public information hotline has been activated so residents can call for more information and resources -- 714-628-7085.
Firefighters battle the Bond Fire in Orange County. (Brian Feinzimer for LAist)

FIRE RESOURCES

HOW WE’RE REPORTING ON THIS

This is a developing story. We fact check everything and rely only on information from credible sources (think: fire, police, government officials and reporters on the ground). Sometimes, however, we make mistakes and/or initial reports turn out to be wrong. In all cases, we strive to bring you the most accurate information in real time and will update this story as new information becomes available.


Brian Frank, Monica Bushman, Carla Javier, Julia Paskin, Jacob Margolis and Elina Shatkin contributed reporting.

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When You Are 'Half White And Half Mexican,' Checking Off Those Racial Identity Boxes Isn't Easy

Updated
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At a Rose Parade float display, Thomas Lopez compares profiles with the first president. (Courtesy of Thomas Lopez)

Thomas Lopez grew up identifying as "half white and half Mexican." One side of his family was in Orange County, transplants from Wisconsin. The other side was in El Paso, where he "literally had dozens of cousins." In his bicultural childhood home in the L.A. suburbs, he writes, bedtime "wasn't 'beddy-bye,' it was 'mimis' time."

Then he grew up, went to college, and had to start filling out forms asking for his racial and ethnic identity -- a task that even today leaves him scratching his head, especially as a parent.

Like when he had to fill out a racial identity form for his young son when he transferred schools. Lopez writes:

Completing this form was not easy. My son is multiracial Black, white, and Native American. I too am multiracial white and Latino. My wife and I are Mexican American.

From a biological standpoint, the answer for our son's identity would be different from ours, because our son is not ours biologically. But then again, that doesn't really matter, because race is a social construct. So, from an ethnic standpoint, he's being raised with some of the cultural norms of a Southern California Mexican American family.

...I couldn't help but think that this shouldn't be so hard.

In his essay for Race in LA, Lopez explores his journey toward becoming an advocate for multiracial Americans, and trying to make checking those boxes easier for those inclined to check more than just one.

READ THE ESSAY:

MORE FROM OUR RACE IN LA SERIES

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LAUSD Parents: How Are You Choosing Between In-Person Hybrid And Online-Only?

Updated
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At a November 10 meeting of the LAUSD Board of Education, district administrators discussed the 'Return to Campus' plan. (Screenshot from Board Meeting)

The Los Angeles Unified School District is continuing to prepare for the eventual — though not imminent, due to the ongoing surge of COVID-19 cases — return to school.

Sunday, Dec. 6 is a big deadline for this planning: it’s the last day families can submit the “Return to Campus - Program Selection Form” and let the district know if they’d prefer their students to return in the hybrid setting when in-person learning is permitted, or if the students would rather continue with online-only distance learning.

If families don’t fill out the form by Sunday’s deadline, the district will automatically place their kids in the hybrid model.

Under the hybrid model, students spend some of their time learning in-person at the school site, and some time learning online. The district says parents who choose that model can change their mind and go back to online-only at any point in the school year. But parents who pick online-only will only have select opportunities in the year to opt into the in-person hybrid learning.

With coronavirus cases in L.A. County continuing to rise, there’s no telling yet when the parents’ selections would actually go into effect.

The teachers’ union and the district have yet to announce an agreement over how the hybrid in-person learning would work.

On Thursday, Gov. Gavin Newsom introduced a regional stay-at-home order that could affect Southern California next week. Under that order, schools that had already reopened with a special waiver will be permitted to remain open.

At the same time, this semester, LAUSD reported more D and F grades for middle and high school students, and parents surveyed by advocacy groups say that students with special needs continue to struggle with receiving instruction and services online.

Given everything that’s going on, parents and guardians, we want to hear from you. In-person hybrid or online-only? How are you making this decision about your kids’ education?

You can let me know by filling out the form below.

READ OUR ONGOING COVERAGE OF THE REOPENING OF SCHOOLS:

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Morning Briefing: LA’s Three Stay-At-Home Orders

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A man rides his bicycle past a mural reading "Stay Home / Life Is Beautiful" during the coronavirus pandemic on April 3, 2020 in Los Angeles. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

Good morning, L.A.

Amid the city, county and state’s coronavirus surge, both L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and California Governor Gavin Newsom have announced new stay-at-home orders. The city’s went into effect Wednesday night, and the state’s will go into effect if a given region’s ICU bed capacity falls below 15%. Southern California is expected to hit that unfortunate milestone within the next few days.

Both orders come on the heels of L.A. County’s stay-at-home order, which went into effect last Friday.

This means many L.A. residents will soon be under three different stay-at-home orders. They are similar, but not not exactly the same. The good news, though, is that the orders boil down to essentially the same basic guidelines:

  • Stay home as much as you physically, emotionally and financially can.
  • Do not interact with people you don’t live with.
  • If you feel absolutely stir crazy, find an outdoor activity, not one indoors.
  • When you’re not at home, always – always – wear a mask.
  • Follow these rules for the next two months, or until you get vaccinated.

Is it possible that coronavirus numbers in California and L.A. might be rising at such an alarming rate because guidance from our government has been so confusing? Yes, it is! But, is that a reason not to follow common-sense safety protocols that we all know will help save lives? I don’t think so, but everyone is going to have to decide that for themselves.

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

Jessica P. Ogilvie


Coming Up Today, December 4

A new drive-in is opening in Los Angeles itself, rather than on the outskirts, and will be featuring indie movies. Mike Roe has the story.

Carla Javier examines a survey that asks LAUSD parents to commit now to either hybrid learning or online-only whenever schools are allowed to reopen.

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The Past 24 Hours In LA

Wildfires: The Bond Fire in Orange County, which started as a house fire, burned through 7,200 acres as of Thursday night, and forced mandatory evacuations.

Money Matters: Overwhelming demand has crashed the Los Angeles County website where struggling restaurant owners can apply for $30,000 grants.

Race In L.A.: Our Racism 101 panelists answered this week’s reader question: "Why do Americans focus on calling people by a color, 'I'm Black,' or 'I'm white,' like Crayolas? People from Colombia just say they are Colombianos."

Coronavirus Updates: Health officials reported an additional 7,854 confirmed coronavirus cases yesterday, topping a record that was set just two days ago.

Election 2020: Three House seats in Southern California were reclaimed by Republicans after the party lost them in 2018. How did the GOP pull that off?

Here’s What To Do: Help Dolly Parton ring in the holidays, watch arthouse flicks at a Hollywood drive-in, join comedian Jen Kirkman's dysfunctional Christmas, and more in this week’s best online and IRL events.


Photo of the Day

Randy Stuchlik embraces his neighbor's horse as he and firefighters from the Orange County Fire Authority try to get the horse, which had laid down and was likely dehydrated after the owners evacuated, back on it's feet to evacuate it during the Bond Fire near Lake Forest, California.

(Photo by Patrick T. Fallon / AFP via Getty Images)

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