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What You Need To Know Today: Beating The Heat, LAUSD Cyber Attack, Fighting Rent Increases In West Hollywood

Three people are silhouetted against a sunset. They all wear masks, the red sun behind them, walking down a dimly lit dusty trail with some plants visible behind them. They appear to be an adult female, a younger female, and an adult male.
The sun sets behind people walking an afternoon hike in Los Angeles on July 12, 2021.
(Frederic J. Brown
AFP via Getty Images)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Tuesday, September 6. Today in How to LA: How Angelenos are navigating the heatwave, Los Angeles Unified School District hit by "external cyber attack," how one man fought a massive rent increase in West Hollywood – and won.

The heatwave isn’t over yet. Temperatures don’t look to be cooling down much until the weekend. Los Angeles will be hovering around the 90s all week while places like Woodland Hills and Lancaster will remain in triple-digit territory for a few more days.

For better or worse, people are managing:

“It’s the Valley lifestyle,” wrote reader Phil Ressler over the weekend. “I live in Woodland Hills, often the hottest spot in LA County – 100° - 114° is not uncommon. In a few minutes I'll put on a Panama hat and sit outside in the shade with a tall cold drink for some extended reading. By 7p it will be a chilly 96°!”

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Nina Celina-Yandall is a lifelong Long Beach resident and has never felt the “Vegas-like” heat she felt this weekend. She wrote to us that her AC is broken but keeps five fans going on throughout the house and stays hydrated as much as possible. She said she also hops in her uncle’s pool to cool down. “We're all in survival mode at this point,” said Celina-Yandall. “Just experiencing this heat at its peak just feels like death."

“This heat is indeed brutal,” wrote Koreatown resident Jeff McCollister. “Our apartments and our homes are hot (even my faucet's COLD WATER comes out hot right now), the streets are hot, and we just have to be okay knowing that the second we step outside, we're going to be incredibly sweaty.” He added that while most of us “can cool off at home, drink a thousand gallons of water, take a shower, and if we're lucky, blast that AC,” unhoused Angelenos cannot. McCollister recommended freezing bottles of water and passing them out to people in need on the streets.

After a race to keep cooling centers open on the Labor Day holiday when public spaces tend to close down, Los Angeles County provided about 90 places people could use on Monday to stay out of the sun. Five free, public swimming pools were also open. In many ways, a spokesperson for the Office of Emergency Management told us, this heatwave is more manageable than the ungodly Labor Day heatwave of 2020 because things like movies theaters and shopping malls are actually open. Two years ago most air-conditioned public spaces were closed because of the pandemic.

Still, there are systemic fixes needed to help Angelenos navigate the extreme heat because we know that more of these super hot days are coming our way. My colleague Erin Stone recently wrote about the lack of protection people have against the heat. There are solutions being worked on, like a bill that would require indoor cooling standards in all buildings. The bill died in the state legislature this year but Erin reports that its backers plan to push a revised version during the next legislative session.

Keep staying cool my friends, and if you have air conditioning, don’t forget to set your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher and, if a Flex Alert has been issued, don’t use your major appliances between 4 p.m and 10 p.m.

As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below - just keep reading.

The News You Need After You Stop Hitting Snooze

*At LAist we will always bring you the news freely, but occasionally we do include links to other publications that may be behind a paywall. Thank you for understanding! 

  • The Los Angeles Unified School District's online systems were hit with an "external cyber attack," it was announced late Monday night. School will resume today as planned. 
  • Two people have died and one injured after a fire broke out near Hemet in Riverside County. Evacuation orders are in place. (The Press-Enterprise)
  • HVAC systems on the majority of Los Angeles Unified campuses have equipment that are at the end of its life or beyond. Schools all across California are experiencing something of an air conditioning crisis
  • Earlier this year, the L.A. City Council announced the city will ban new oil drilling and phase out oil drilling. Now they're developing the plan, and community members say waiting 20 years to phase out oil is too long. Meanwhile, the state legislature passed a bill to create buffer zones around new wells. This is what you should know.
  • Would you give up your car for $1,000? California lawmakers hope the answer is “yes.” A new bill awaiting Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature would offer tax incentives to households with zero registered vehicles
  • On Labor Day, Gov. Newsom announced he’d sign the bill creating a council to regulate wages and work conditions in fast food restaurants. Labor advocates say the law would give workers bargaining power in the industry
  • The sponsor of legislation that would have provided $400 million in additional funding to raise the academic achievement of Black students pulled the proposal hours before likely passage, after Gov. Newsom raised objections. The governor promised to target money next year for the lowest performing student group.
  • With a goal to boost home ownership in communities where people have struggled to buy a house, Bank of America launched a pilot program last week that foregoes the usual requirements for first time buyers – a down payment, closing cost, minimum credit score and mortgage insurance. Here’s the details.
  • For all of our Kendrick Lamar fans reading this, the rapper and producer will be performing this Wednesday night at the Honda Center in Anaheim. Joined by Baby Keem and Tanna Leone, this will truly be an unforgettable night. Here’s the info on this show and other events happening this week.

Wait! One More Thing…A Tale of Two Cities’ Approach To Rent Control

Brian Cunha stands in front of the West Hollywood apartment building where he successfully overturned a rent hike of $350.
Brian Cunha stands in front of the West Hollywood apartment building where he successfully overturned a rent hike of $350.
(David Wagner/LAist)
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Brian Cunha got a good deal on his rent when he moved into his West Hollywood apartment at the height of the pandemic. But when his lease came up for renewal he was hit with an almost 23 percent increase in the monthly rent.

He fought back — and won. Lucky for him he lives in the city of West Hollywood. He would not have won his case next door in Los Angeles. L.A.’s rent control law allows landlords to raise rents on discount clauses written into lease, even if the renter has no idea they were given a discount. West Hollywood has banned that practice. You can read more about that in my colleague David Wagner’s story here.