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LA Parks Will Be Closed (Completely) On Easter Sunday

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No, you're not supposed to be taking a stroll through the park right now. We're under stay-at-home orders from every level of government as we plod through what local officials have called a "critical week" in the coronavirus pandemic.

But every day, and every weekend, people defy those orders. Because a lot of people make it a tradition to visit the park on Easter Sunday, the city and county are shutting parks down completely, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in his nightly coronavirus update.

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You thought parks were already closed? Yes, but in general those closure orders apply only to the facilities and trails. This closure is total. No walking through the park, and no accessing facilities (with the exception of those experiencing homelessness and who need to use the bathroom). Police and park rangers will be patrolling. But of course they can't cover the whole city, so Garcetti said he was asking for the good will of the public to help stay away from the parks for one day.

The closure will last from Saturday evening through Monday morning, and Los Angeles County is doing the same thing for parks, lakes and botanical gardens.

And — pay attention — after Sunday, facilities and trails will still be closed.

Here are some other takeaways from tonight's address:

  • 1,069 beds at 15 hotel sites have been secured to provide temporary shelters where the homeless can wait out the pandemic (there could be an option to extend these rooms beyond the COVID-19 crisis)
  • Garcetti named Jon Vein, president of the city's Convention and Tourism Development Board of Commissioners, as an ambassador to hotels as the city attempts to secure more rooms faster
  • Garcetti announced a new effort called L.A. CARES Corps to help small business owners apply for loans. You can visit the website or call 833-238-4450 to obtain assistance from trained loan counselors on how to apply and what to apply for.
  • Garcetti also joined other mayors in calling on the state to extend the California Earned Income Tax Credit to all residents regardless of immigration status. He called immigrants an integral part of the economy and said such a move could provide 600,000 people with much-needed relief. More info at caleitc4me.org.
  • He called for federal support for rent and mortgages, both to help renters make rent and to help "mom-and-pop landlords" pay their mortgages while their income is reduced because their tenants can't pay.
  • The city is meanwhile investigating complaints about predatory practices from landlords.
  • The mayor sought to set the record straight on landlord-tenant disputes during the coronavirus pandemic:
    • Landlords cannot force you to provide documents of lost income or hardship
    • You are not required to sign any payment agreements
    • You can get more information at HCIDla.lacity.org
    • Garcetti reminded people to communicate with their landlords, noting that landlords may be struggling, too.
    • But he also reminded people they should not be leaving their homes, even if they're asked to sign documents or deal with eviction notices (despite the moratorium).
  • The city is also cracking down on unlicensed short-term rentals. Garcetti said the city has received "disturbing reports" of property managers running un-permitted short-term rental operations that violate city law in apartment buildings, including some illegal units being used for parties in defiance of the Safer at Home order.
  • The city has filed a 26-count criminal case for substandard conditions against Ellison Suites in Venice, along with a civil suit to prohibit the property from being used as a hotel.

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