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LA To Stick With COVID-19 Test FDA Calls Faulty
JAN. 10 UPDATE: On Sunday, the L.A. County Health Department issued a statement that read, in part:
"As a precaution, the LA County Department of Health Services (DHS) will discontinue the use of the Curative COVID-19 PCR tests at our County-supported pop-up testing sites. The change, which will take place this week, comes after a review of the data that prompted the recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration alert about the possibility of false negative results."
ORIGINAL STORY: The city and county of Los Angeles will stick with a COVID-19 test by the company Curative despite an FDA alert this week saying the test poses a “risk of false results, particularly false negative results.” The agency didn’t specify the false error rate.
Local officials pointed out that no test is 100% accurate and even the most sensitive are expected to deliver a small percentage of false results. Most of the molecular tests authorized by the FDA, including the Curative test, are expected to catch upwards of 95% of COVID-19 cases.
San Dimas-based Curative has provided millions of tests for city and county sites throughout Los Angeles since last April.
The FDA did not say what triggered the alert; the information was the same the agency provided when it authorized the test for emergency use several months ago.
Curative said in a statement that its test is the most clinically sensitive one available and its performance has not changed since the FDA authorized it.
The FDA said in the alert that to reduce the risk of false negative results, Curative tests should only be given to people who have COVID-19 symptoms.
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti disagrees. He said yesterday that the city’s sites will continue to offer the tests to asymptomatic residents.
“This is something that has saved lives, will continue to save lives,” Garcetti said. “If we move away from it, I fear we would have a lot fewer people diagnosed, and even more spread.”
There is no issue with the test’s ability to detect positive cases, Garcetti noted. He said about 92,000 of the positive test results from the city’s program were from people without symptoms.
LAPD Investigating Trump Supporters’ Apparent Assault Of Black Woman In LA
A group of Trump supporters violently turned on a Black woman named Berlinda Nibo during a “Stop the Steal” rally near City Hall on Wednesday, according to photos, video and witnesses at the scene.
The LAPD says it’s investigating the alleged hate crime.
“One woman reached over and ripped her wig off of her head and began assaulting her,” said freelance photojournalist Raquel Natalicchio, who took still photos of the incident.
“People were hitting her with flagpoles — men specifically were hitting her with flagpoles — and punching her,” Natalicchio said.
In one of Natalicchio’s photos, someone appears to spray Nibo in the face with a chemical irritant.
Nibo told BuzzFeed News she feared the mob would beat her to death. She did not respond to our calls seeking comment.
Natalicchio said a number of LAPD officers who were stationed across the street did not intervene.
In another picture, a man is seen with his arms wrapped around Nibo from behind.
View this post on Instagram
In a statement, the LAPD said the man “appears to have been a good Samaritan” who “carried her away from the hostile crowd and let her go.”
But Nibo told Buzzfeed News that as the man carried her she was sprayed in the face again with the irritant.
And witness Di Barbadillo told us it was her and two others who actually brought Nibo to safety.
“If he intended to help her, I don’t think he was able to follow through with that,” said Barbadillo. “We grabbed her out of there and walked her across the street.”
The LAPD is asking anyone with information about the incident to contact Central Area Detectives at (213) 833-3750.
California Budget Proposal Expands Transitional Kindergarten, But Does Little To Support Child Care Industry In Crisis
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s budget proposal calls for a $500 million investment toward the long-term goal of universal preschool, but promises little immediate relief for parents and providers struggling to operate during the pandemic and lacks critical details on how the state will spend new federal dollars for child care.
Expanding transitional kindergarten to serve every 4-year-old and all 3-year-olds from low-income families is one of the goals outlined in the long-anticipated Master Plan For Early Learning and Care released in December.
“[I’m] not naive about the challenge, even if you wanted to do it, you couldn't spend all the money and provide the quality that's foundational in terms of the expansion, but now we have a plan,” Newsom said.
Here are a few highlights from today’s budget proposal related to early childhood:
- $44 million from marijuana tax revenue for 4,500 additional child care vouchers for low-income families
- $250 million in one-time funding to help public school districts expand their transitional kindergarten programs.
- $50 million for early educators professional development programs.
- $200 million to expand facilities for kindergarten and transitional kindergarten.
- $300 million for a grant program that funds special education services for infants, toddlers and preschoolers.
Critics of the plan and the budget proposal say it doesn’t do enough to prop up the state’s existing early care and education programs. Nearly 3,000 licensed child care homes and centers had permanently closed by the end of 2020; thousands more shut down temporarily.
“The system is in crisis and we can't wait any longer,” said Kristin Schumacher, a senior policy analyst at the California Budget and Policy Center.
She said $500 million to expand transitional kindergarten won’t address the needs of working families who need care outside of a typical school day or children under 3 years old.
The proposal includes $44 million of marijuana tax revenue for 4,500 additional child care vouchers for low-income families, but does not expand the number of preschool slots, like Newsom’s first two budget proposals did.
“We wish that there was more funds available to fund the whole system, but I think what this signals is that this is a starting point,” said Patricia Lozano, executive director of the nonprofit Early Edge California.
The most recent federal coronavirus relief package includes an estimated $1 billion for California child care programs, and while Newsom’s proposal calls the funds “profoundly significant,” it doesn’t include any details on how that money will be spent.
“For example, while the proposal dramatically augments federal investments in some other areas, it does not include significant new state investments for our fragile child care system, which is essential to getting our economy back on track,” Children Now President Ted Lempert said in a statement.
The state is currently negotiating its first ever contract with providers who care for children in their home through the state’s subsidy program for low-income children.
Child Care Providers United Chair Max Arias said while the proposal includes $500 million for public early education programs, those are still largely closed throughout the state.
“I think they need to rethink how they're going to make this investment to ensure that the people actually doing the work on the ground are the ones that are being supported at this stage,” he said.
WHAT HAPPENS NOW?
Newsom’s budget proposal is just that — a list of things he’d like to see the state spend money on. The state legislature now has until June 15 to pass the budget. In May, the governor will present his budget revision, called the “May Revise,” which gives us a better idea of the state’s economic future.
RELATED BUDGET COVERAGE:
- Newsom Proposes $61.3 Billion For K-12: More School Days And Grants For In-Person Classes
- Gov. Gavin Newsom Presents $227.2 Billion 2021 California Budget Proposal
- Gov. Newsom Proposes $4.6 Billion For Summer School, More Learning Time In 2021-22 Budget (EdSource)
MORE EARLY CHILDHOOD COVERAGE:
- Estimated $1 Billion For California Child Care In Federal Coronavirus Relief Package
- A 10-Year Plan For Early Childhood In California With Uncertain Next Steps
- Thousands Of California Child Care Providers Have Closed. A New Child Care Union Aims To Save The Rest
- Child Care Providers And Parent Anxiety Rises With Coronavirus Case Count
California City Podcast: State Adds Use Of Cell Phone Jammers to Complaint Against Silver Saddle
Three weeks ago, I reported allegations by a former Silver Saddle Ranch and Club employee that the desert land sales company used illegal cellphone jammers to prevent potential buyers from using their phones during sales presentations.
Now, the government agency that shut the company down after we first started investigating Silver Saddle has amended its complaint, citing "recently discovered facts."
The former employee told me that she found cell phone jammers beneath the sales pavilion, which is where Silver Saddle's sales agents persuaded people to invest.
The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (formerly known as the California Department of Business Oversight) had accused Silver Saddle Ranch and Club with securities fraud in September 2019.
The CDFPI alleged that Silver Saddle had made tens of millions of dollars in a desert real estate scheme that targeted Filipino, Chinese and Spanish-speaking consumers with little investment experience.
The state also alleged that Silver Saddle's sales agents used high-pressure sales tactics, made false promises, and deliberately misrepresented the value of the investment.
NEW TO THIS PODCAST?
In "California City" host Emily Guerin, a familiar byline for LAist readers, tells a story of money, power and deception. Deep in the Mojave Desert, there is a little town with a big name and a bizarre history: California City. For decades, real estate developers have sold a dream here: if you buy land now, you’ll be rich one day. Thousands of people bought this dream. Many were young couples and hard-working immigrants looking to build a better future. But much of the land they bought is nearly worthless.
A Lot Of LA Firefighters Aren't Getting Vaccinated. Will Cash Prizes Motivate Them?
Frontline health care workers and first responders are among some of the first in Southern California to be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, but some are hesitant, either because of possible side effects or concerns about the speed with which the shot was approved (you can read more about the validity of those concerns here).
L.A.'s firefighters are one group that's been expressing doubts.
LAFD Fire Captain Erik Scott explains:
"LAFD is a reflection of society at large, so most want the vaccine for obvious reasons. However, some are hesitant, and that's for a variety of different reasons. We've had a very strong start, you know nearly half of our membership have taken the vaccine within just four days of [it] being available to us."
As of Monday, however, only 48% of the department's 3,400 sworn members had been inoculated.
To incentivize the rest to get on board, the LAFD Foundation, a non-profit organization that raises money for the fire department, is now offering cash prizes to fire stations whose members all get vaccinated.
Individual prizes include bicycles, gift cards and home security cameras.
There are currently several covornairus outbreaks at LAFD stations. That makes sense, given that firefighters sleep there overnight, in close quarters; many of them are paramedic firefighters who work as EMTs.
The stations with the largest outbreaks are Station 1 near Dodgers Stadium and Station 78 in Studio City -- both have 11 total confirmed COVID-19 cases.
For First Time, LA County Reports More Than 300 COVID Deaths On A Single Day
Today marks yet another record-breaking day for COVID-19 deaths in Los Angeles County.
Officials reported 318 deaths, and that's without backlogged cases. That shatters a record set on New Year's Eve, when the numbers did include many delayed reports.
Since the beginning of the new year, more than 1,500 people in the county have died from complications of COVID-19. The virus remains the number one cause of death in L.A. County, according to the Department of Public Health's chief science officer, Dr. Paul Simon:
"To put this number in perspective, we have, on average, approximately 170 deaths each day in the county from all causes combined, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, car crashes, suicides, homicides, and all other causes of death. The scale of the tragedy associated with this pandemic is unfathomable -- even more so because so much of it has been preventable."
"In a sense, our fate has been sealed, here. This is reflecting activity from at least several weeks ago," Simon said.
Today also marks the one-year anniversary of the county's very first health alert about the coronavirus.
The first known case was confirmed just weeks later, on Jan. 26, 2020.
Since then, the county has confirmed more than 889,000 positive cases, and more than 11,000 deaths.
OVERALL LOOK AT LA COUNTY NUMBERS:
Here's a look at longer-term trends in the county. To see more, visit our California COVID-19 Tracker and choose L.A. or any other California county that interests you. These numbers are current as of Thursday, Jan. 7.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the date of the first coronavirus case confirmed in L.A. County. LAist regrets the error.
Former LA Councilman Tom LaBonge, 'Mr. Los Angeles,' Has Died At 67
Friends and colleagues are mourning former L.A. City Councilman Tom LaBonge, who has died at age 67. His death was first reported late Thursday by ABC7.
LaBonge was known as "Mr. Los Angeles" for his knowledge and love of the city.
He represented the 4th District from 2001 to 2015, when he was termed out. By then, he had worked for the city for nearly 40 years. Before running for office, he worked as a field representative or council aide to Councilmember Peggy Stevenson, Council President John Ferraro and Mayor Richard Riordan.
"Nobody loved this city more than Tom LaBonge and I don't know if anyone ever will," L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn said of LaBonge in a tweet. "May my dear friend rest in peace."
Today I directed the @LAColiseum torch be lit in honor of the life and legacy of Tom LaBonge.— Janice Hahn (@SupJaniceHahn) January 8, 2021
A fitting tribute for a man who loved Los Angeles with his heart and soul. We loved him back. pic.twitter.com/0hDOrgHEUY
LaBonge was legendary, Hahn said of her former city council colleague, for rolling up his sleeves to help with problems large and small — like clearing a blocked storm drain, pruning a tree or removing bulky trash from the curb.
LaBonge's greatest legacy may be Griffith Park, where he hiked every day and enthusiastically greeted tourists and locals making their way up dusty trails.
READ THE FULL STORY:
Newsom Proposes $61.3 Billion For K-12: More School Days And Grants For In-Person Classes
Nearly a third of the money in Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed state budget—$61.3 billion—is aimed at K-12 education.
The governor says he’s struggled to support his own young kids with online school during the pandemic, and personally understands other parents' concerns about distance learning.
“It’s very challenging,” Newsom said. “Those kids are falling through the cracks, and we have all the support in the world.”
The state money budgeted for public schools is unprecedented, Newsom says, as a result of the funding system put in place by Proposition 98, which sets education funding at a minimum level according to revenue from state and local property taxes. For years, that money has kept going up, largely on account of increased state revenue.
Here’s how the governor has proposed to spend the money.
Expanded Learning Time and Academic Interventions Grants — $4.6 Billion
Newsom is proposing $4.6 billion to compensate for learning loss during the COVID-19 pandemic by offering expanded classroom time, like summer school or extended school years. The details, Newsom says, would be flexible for each district.
“One size does not fit all. Different cohorts, different populations, different dynamics, different governments, different leadership,” Newsom said. “But we’ve got to invest in more time and attention to those most at need.”
Low income, homeless and foster youth, as well as English language learners are intended to be prioritized. The proposal could go before the state legislature on an earlier schedule than the budget as a whole.
In-Person Instruction Grants — $2 Billion
Late last year, Governor Newsom already proposed a $2 billion plan for reopening schools, and over the last week has faced pushback from some of the largest school districts in the state, including L.A. County districts.
The plan offers $450 per student to schools that reopen for in-person class, if the coronavirus case rate is low enough. To qualify, districts must draft a safety plan and get it approved by labor unions, county and state governments and health departments.
If high COVID-19 caseloads prevent a large district from opening, they will still be eligible for the full grant amount — once they reopen.
Deputy Superintendent of the L.A. County Office of Education, Arturo Valdez, says L.A. area schools are right to be concerned about that.
“You can’t have the largest county in California be left out of the loop,” Valez said. “It does not seem equitable in any way, shape or form.”
Newsom says he will meet with superintendents from California’s seven largest school districts on Monday to discuss their objections.
RELATED BUDGET COVERAGE:
- Gov. Gavin Newsom Presents $227.2 Billion 2021 California Budget Proposal
- California Budget Proposal Expands Transitional Kindergarten, But Does Little To Support Child Care Industry In Crisis
- Gov. Newsom Proposes $4.6 Billion For Summer School, More Learning Time In 2021-22 Budget (EdSource)
California's New Goal: Vaccinate A Million People In 10 Days
California now aims to immunize 1 million people within the next 10 days, state epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan announced this week.
Officials are recruiting dentists and other health professionals to become vaccinators, and Gov. Gavin Newsom asked state lawmakers to approve $300 million to support the vaccination push.
"We do need to move faster, especially in the middle of this surge."
Pan's announcement, made Wednesday at a vaccine community advisory committee meeting, came as coronavirus cases and deaths continue to surge and as a more infectious variant of the virus takes root. It was also an acknowledgment of the widespread criticism that the state has moved too slowly to vaccinate its first priority group of frontline health care workers and nursing home residents.
But many questions remain unanswered about how the next — and much larger — wave of Californians will be vaccinated, even as doctors and other health providers in the first priority group are complaining to state officials that they still can't get access to the vaccines.
READ THE FULL STORY:
Dear LAist: I Feel Overwhelmed By The News. What Can I Do?
The news has been intense, from the violent chaos at the Capitol in Washington D.C., to the surging pandemic in Los Angeles, to widespread unemployment, and the continued insidious effects of systemic racism.
We asked you how you’re doing, and many of you said you’re struggling to process so much difficult news.
“I have reached this heightened state of being overwhelmed, and I don’t like it,” David Fair of Hollywood shared with us. “It’s a really uncomfortable feeling.”
Very poorly, thank you!— Nicole Leigh (@heynicoleleigh) January 7, 2021
For Angelenos experiencing similar overwhelmed feelings, please know that help is out there. Start with our How To New L.A. Mental Health Guide, and there’s also the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, which is available 24/7 by phone at (800) 854-7771.
Mental health help comes in many forms — from psychiatrists, psychologists, crisis counselors, trauma specialists (and other types of therapists), to trusted family, friends, and community members.
We called up Lance Tango — who practices marriage, family, and what he calls “restorative engagement therapy” in Pasadena — for a big picture overview on dealing with feeling overwhelmed. He also gave us some tools to add to our mental health utility belts.
He acknowledges these are challenging times.
“I think the best thing that we can do for our bodies and our brains and our nervous systems is to pace out how we take in this information,” Tango told me. But that’s easier said than done.
If rabbit holes of distraction are your preferred form of self care, we’ve got you covered there. But Tango also had these additional suggestions for processing troubling news.
The body mechanics are a bit complicated, but the takeaway is this: stress affects more than our moods — it can affect us physiologically. When the body is stressed, it releases chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol, intended to prepare the body to react if necessary.
Tango’s suggestion: if you are able to do so safely, get moving – whether that’s taking a walk, working out, or even dancing. If you can break a sweat or move both the left and right sides of your body, he says that can help, too.
“By moving in this way, what we start to do is we start to use up the energy our body was building up ... preparing us for fight or flight,” Tango explained.
CHECK IN WITH YOUR SENSES
If you’re not able to be as active, Tango suggests doing an activity that involves a lot of your five senses, like cooking.
He also suggests focusing on each of your senses: What are you seeing? Hearing? Smelling? Feeling? Tasting?
“Anything that activates our senses can also help to remind our body that we're in an environment that's very different than the one that we were watching play out in front of our screens,” Tango explained.
INVENTORY YOUR FEELINGS
Tango suggested doing what he called an informal mental inventory of the past several years, “looking at all the moments that we felt hopeful, and all the moments that we felt hopeless, and seeing the ways in which that fluctuates up and down.”
Then, Tango said, you can ask yourself if there are certain events that could happen that would make you feel hopeful again.
“For most of us, there's something of all these different events that have been going on, that has impacted us personally,” Tango explained. “And the impact of that – I think we need to look at it carefully, and ask ourselves: is there any part of it that requires a certain grieving?”
Tango said grief can look different to different people, but can include self-reflection, acknowledgement of feelings, nostalgic things like certain foods or music, writing, or sharing your concerns with someone or a group.
ASK FOR HELP
Strongly consider reaching out to a professional for support if you’re seeing big changes in yourself, like these:
- Disruptions in sleep (either sleeping significantly more or less than usual)
- Big changes in appetite
- Panic attacks (which can feel like shortness of breath and an intense fear of dying)
- Depression, apathy, and/or numbness
- More agitation and confrontations in your relationships
- Increased dependence on substances like alcohol, marijuana, or prescription medications
- Here are 5 Action Steps for helping someone who may be suicidal, from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
- Ask these six questions to help assess the severity of someone's suicide risk, from the Columbia Lighthouse Project.
- To prevent a future crisis, here's how to help someone make a safety plan.
Below are additional resources and ways to get in touch with trained mental health professionals.
MORE MENTAL HEALTH REPORTING AND RESOURCES:
- How To Process A Scary Day For The Nation With Your Kids
- Need Some Mental Health Support? Start Here
- The Ultimate Mental Health Distraction Worksheet
- 'How Can I Help You?' Schools Try To Reach Students Struggling With Mental Health During Coronavirus
- Steinberg Institute website, links to mental health resources and care throughout California
- Institute on Aging's 24/7 Friendship Line (especially for people who have disabilities or are over 60), 1-800-971-0016 or call 415-750-4138 to volunteer)
- Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, 24/7 Access Line 1-800-854-7771
- The Crisis Text Line, Text "HOME" (741-741) to reach a trained crisis counselor.
- California Psychological Association Find a Psychologist Locator>>
- Psychology Today guide to therapists>>
Dodgers Legend Tommy Lasorda Has Died At 93
Tommy Lasorda, a legend of Dodgers baseball, has died at the age of 93, the team said today.
With huge personality, Lasorda was a kind of ambassador to baseball and served the franchise for seven decades. From a non-descript pitcher to a World Series-winning manager to special adviser (and major cheerleader), LaSorda's imprint on the team cannot be overstated.
He died of sudden cardiopulmonary arrest, according to the team.
He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Jo, their daughter, Laura, and granddaughter Tess.
We will have more on his life and legacy throughout the day.
A Proud Son Of Immigrants Reflects On His Family’s Past And Future, And 'The Process Of Becoming American'
Geovanny Martinez was born the year after his immigrant parents settled in Los Angeles. As he writes in his essay for Race in LA, his mother and father made the decision to leave central Mexico, where they grew up, with a specific goal in mind:
They began raising their young children — starting with my two older brothers — with the great hope that maybe, just maybe, they would grow up in a better place and in a healthier way than they did.
Their approach to reach this goal: to relocate to a country that “everyone knew had opportunities,” even though they knew the opportunities were not going to be for themselves. Or at least, that’s what my father told me.
They invested in the future, their children's future.
Geovanny's parents raised him and his siblings and fought to keep them safe, moving them away from danger in their South L.A. neighborhood as "we prioritized survival." But now, with merely surviving behind him, Martinez gets to contemplate something his parents could not: what he wants out of life for himself.
Now, it's up to this first-generation college student to complete his parents' American Dream.
READ THE ESSAY:
- In The Process Of Becoming American: A Proud Son Of Immigrants Reflects On His Family's Past And Future
MORE FROM OUR RACE IN LA SERIES
- 'Black Enough?' Mixed Musings On My Skin Color, Hair, and Heritage
- Please Do Not Call Me A 'Mutt' (Not Even You, Mom)
- Connecting Family Stories: A Latina Angeleña Explores Her Deep California Roots
- From 'Go Back To Your Country' To A Vice President-Elect Who Shares My Grandmother's Name
- My Mom Was A Black Entrepreneur. I Never Thought About It, Until Now
- How An Outsider Found Identity, Belonging In The Intangible Shared Spaces Of A Redlined City
- Perspectives on Artsakh from a Black Armenian Angeleno
- Our Heroes Got Us Into This Mess. We Have To Get Ourselves Out
- Surviving The Endless Waves: When American Dreams Aren't All They're Cracked Up to Be
- How A 'Secret Asian Man' Embraced Anti-Racism
- How To Participate In Our Series
Morning Brief: Helping Kids Process Violence
Good morning, L.A.
Wednesday’s events in Washington, D.C. and around the country won’t soon be forgotten, and local educators are already taking steps to make sure that students — most of whom are returning to virtual classrooms this week or next — have the tools to discuss and contextualize them.
The L.A. County Office of Education and the Long Beach School District have each put together resources for teachers. Both encourage adults to process their own feelings prior to addressing the issue with kids, then make space for their students to talk.
In Long Beach, suggestions include reminding students that “violence and hate are never solutions to anger,” and “history shows us hate only causes harm.”
Parents, caregivers and other adults are also responsible for helping young people process the events of this week, and their feelings and thoughts around them. But Brent Smiley, who teaches early world history and American history to middle school students at the Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies in Reseda, believes teachers are in a unique position.
“Sitting in every classroom is a professional teacher who knows their kids better than anyone else in the chain of command.” Smiley told my colleague Caroline Champlin. “The message to the teachers? Go teach.”
Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.
What You Need To Know Today
L.A.’s Surge: The oxygen delivery infrastructure is crumbling under pressure in L.A. and other COVID-19 hot spots, jeopardizing patients’ access to precious air and limiting hospital turnover.
Faulty Tests: The FDA says Curative's cheek swab test for COVID-19 — frequently used in L.A. — has a high risk for false negatives, meaning our case count could be even higher than we think.
The Housing Crisis: In a new report on deaths of homeless people in L.A. County, officials say they’re worried about a dramatic uptick in fentanyl overdoses.
California Kids: Six of California’s largest school districts, including LAUSD and Long Beach, say that Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan for reopening classrooms sets unrealistic deadlines for compliance and will unfairly penalize low-income communities.
Local Clashes: These photos show a group of Trump supporters who marched through downtown L.A. in solidarity with the violent mob that stormed the capitol in Washington, D.C.
Impeachment, 2021 Edition: Karen Bass says Trump should be kicked out, but that it's unlikely to happen given that his supporters in Congress are still under his “cult”-like spell.
There's a lot going on in the world right now, and it’s hard enough to keep up with our day-to-day lives, let alone to stay current on the news. But if you have some time this weekend, here’s what you may have missed:
Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital, which serves some of the L.A. neighborhoods that have been hardest hit by the coronavirus, has been pushed to the limit. (L.A. Watts Times)
The county is pushing for a “food handler” card, which would force delivery drivers to get certified. Some say it would hurt Black-owned businesses, and cause job loss for those who can’t, for a variety of reasons, take the certification course. (L.A. Sentinel)
L.A. Democrat Ted Lieu is a co-lead on the effort to (re-)impeach President Donald Trump. (L.A. Mag)
Some Boyle Heights residents are waiting for their next federal stimulus check, while immigrants in the area who don’t have legal status can’t receive the financial assistance at all. (Boyle Heights Beat)
A plant delivery service, hand-poured artisan candles and Thai comfort food are just a few local small businesses that have faced unique, considerable challenges over the past year. (Los Angeleno)
Latina/o and Black people, if stopped by the police in California, are more likely to experience the use of force or to be searched than other racial groups. (San Fernando Valley Sun)
The Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza sale was a back-and-forth of soap operatic proportions over the course of 2020. (L.A. Wave Newspapers)
Transportation was irrevocably altered by the pandemic — and some believe it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change things for the better. (Streetsblog L.A.)
Before You Go… Take A Breather From This Week
It’s been a week, immediately following a year. Self-care has become a bit of a joke these days, but it’s vitally important for all of us to turn our brains off, if at all possible, and think about something other than the horrific situations with which we’ve been bombarded since March of 2020.
In that spirit, here are some suggestions: View pop art inspired by films released in 1991, listen to a livestreamed Rufus Wainwright concert, learn about Oshogatsu foods for the Year of the Ox, and more in this weekend’s best pandemic-approved events.
Help Us Cover Your Community
- Got something you’ve always wanted to know about Southern California and the people who call it home? Is there an issue you want us to cover? Ask us anything.
- Have a tip about news on which we should dig deeper? Let us know.
The news cycle moves fast. Some stories don't pan out. Others get added. Consider this today's first draft, and check LAist.com for updates on these stories and more. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
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