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Life After 'Snowmaggedon' (And Other Headlines)

A man with a short white beard stands in an open doorway. Behind him is a sagging eave and in the background a snow-covered deck.
Twin Peaks resident Thomas McKenzie was evacuated from his home for 15 days after part of the roof cracked. Now he's struggling to navigate the process to get it fixed.
(Jill Replogle
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Our record-breaking winter woes from earlier this year may be over, but residents in areas hardest hit by “Snowmageddon” are still holding their breath.

Rebuilding After A Destructive Winter Season

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For one, those storms caused a great deal of costly property damage.

My colleague Jill Replogle looked into what San Bernardino mountain communities are facing in the aftermath. In some areas, storms produced more than 12 feet of snow, contributing to public and private losses of nearly $380 million. On top of that, the spring tourism season was dismal.

With most of the snow melted and those losses realized, residents and business owners now have to deal with rebuilding their lives. Many are hoping for a better summer.

There’s Tricia DuFour, owner of Pine Rose Cabins. She has to make sure cabins are fixed up before the wedding season kicks off.

There’s Lake Arrowhead resident Michael Irion who is trying to get repairs done on his home. He is looking into all the resources that are available to him outside of his slow-moving insurance company.

There’s also Juan Alvarado who is trying to get a Small Business Administration loan for repairs to the building that houses his flooring company.

And those are some of the easiest fixes.

Read Jill’s article about the challenges San Bernardino mountain residents are facing, what resources are available (residents and businesses have to apply for federal aid by June 5) and the reasons why some residents are upset about the government’s initial response during the winter storms.

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

We’re here to help curious Angelenos connect with others, discover the new, navigate the confusing, and even drive some change along the way.

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More News

(After you stop hitting snooze)

  • Time is flying by. It’s already Day 16 of the Writers Guild of America strike. The latest update: the strike is now impacting the fall television season. 
  • Looks like the warmer days are here to stay. It’s expected to hover around the 80s in the middle of L.A. while, predictably, the coast stays cooler and the desert gets a whole lot hotter. Get the details here. 
  • Gloria Molina was recognized as the barrier-breaking Latina lawmaker who defied the status quo in California politics. But Molina was also an avid quilter. My colleague Julia Barajas wrote an article about her passion for the craft as a co-founder of a quilter’s group.
  • Gov. Gavin Newsom is setting aside $1 million for mandatory dyslexia screening and teacher training. EdSource’s Carolyn Jones wrote about how one of the few states that doesn’t mandate dyslexia screening for students will now develop a screening tool. California hopes to screen students for dyslexia beginning in the 2025-26 school year. 
  • What does Sunset Boulevard have to do with the podcast WILD Season 2: I Think I’m Falling In Love? Co-host Erick Galindo has a lot of memories on the strip, cruising it with friends, emulating celebrities and looking for fun. It’s a right of passage for an L.A. kid but Erick had his ups and downs hanging out on the Boulevard. In his latest essay he reflects on that past and contemplates some of the deeper history of the land on which Sunset sits.
  • *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! 

Wait! One More Thing...

The Rise And Fall Of Hot Donna's Clubhouse

A crowd of people close together in doors. In the center of the photo are two people with light skin tones hugging and smiling. The person facing the camera has blue-green hair, a rainbow wristband and their arm in the air.
Attendees at a pole dancing night at The Virgil.
(Courtesy of Julia Kinkela)

It’s become a common lament: there’s a dearth of clubs for lesbians and trans people in Los Angeles. That’s why Hot Donna’s Clubhouse caused such a stir when it came on the scene a couple years ago. It filled a huge void and was viewed as a safe, inclusive space for people in LGBTQ+ communities.

So when it abruptly ceased to exist, it created a different kind of stir.

At the heart of the controversy is the founder of the clubhouse, Lauren Richer, a casting director who worked on TV series like Succession. She had promised a future for Hot Donna’s and people got behind that idea with support and investments. But then the events stopped and Richer disappeared.

My colleague Caitlin Hernández delved into how trust was shattered between Richer and those who had invested in Hot Donna’s. Read more about what happened to the money raised for this inclusive bar and what the community of folks who yearn for this safe space are going to do next.

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