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Morning Brief: A Detonation Gone Wrong, SCOTUS EPA, Big Screen Cat Videos

A home is boarded up.
A home on 27th Street in South LA a year after a botched detonation of fireworks blew out windows in many homes
(Caroline Champlin/LAist)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s July 1.

Natalie Quintanilla remembers everything. Last year she was living in an apartment on 27th street in South LA with her three kids. On the evening of June 30th, she heard a bit of a commotion. “So I wake up. I open the curtains and I'm like, what is going on. I see, like, four or five officers.”

An officer with the Los Angeles Police Department told her they found a bunch of fireworks in one of her neighbor’s homes and that a bomb squad would detonate them there on the street in a special containment vehicle.

“They told us there was going to be a loud noise…not to get scared,” she says. “They just told us we were going to hear a big ol’ bang, boom.”

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The police told Quintanilla to evacuate so she told her kids they had five minutes to get their shoes on. They went shopping and ate some Chinese food. Then her family went to the lavanderia on her block to wait it out with her neighbors.

Then, says Quintanilla: “I just seen like a big wave of fire of orange. It was something out of a movie.”

The denotation went terribly wrong. The fireworks tore through the containment vehicle, flipped a nearby car and broke the glass in the lavanderia. The explosion injured 17 people and damaged several homes in the neighborhood, displacing roughly 80 people. One year later, some of the people affected still haven’t been able to move back. Read up on the latest HERE

— Caroline Champlin and Brian De Los Santos contributed reporting to this story.

As always, try to stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below the fold.

What Else You Need To Know Today

  • The Supreme Court sided with the coal industry in a ruling that will limit the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to regulate carbon emissions. As with other recent Supreme Court decisions, the implications go far beyond this case. But experts say California is safe.
  • If you’re one of the many people who have been hit by the summer wave of COVID in L.A., what to do if you’re still testing positive after 10 days? Here’s what the experts say.
  • In November, Californians will be voting on whether to add the right to abortion and contraception in the state constitution. My colleague Jackie Fortiér explains what that actually means.
  • ICYMI in somewhat earth-shattering sport news, USC and UCLA are moving from the Pac-12 to the Big Ten. That play starts in 2024. 
  • Sumaiyya Evans once lived on the streets of Venice, cut off from her family and friends. Evans turned her life around, and says that with the right support, there’s hope for other unhoused people too.
  • More people became reliant on the services provided by L.A. nonprofits during the pandemic, and many nonprofits expect that number to keep rising. According to a new report, that may not be sustainable
  • Leslie Ramirez, LAUSD’s police chief, announced her retirement. Gomez was the first female police chief and the third chief in three years to step down from the position.

Before You Go ... For A Break From July 4 Celebrations, Watch Cat Videos For A Cause

A crowd watches a darkened stage with one person in the spotlight.
Pop-up Magazine returns to L.A. this week, bringing its Spring 2022 edition to the Theatre at ACE Hotel.
(Jenna Garrett)
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We have a full list of events on LAist for what else to do this July 4th weekend.

Looking to upgrade from watching cat videos picked by your TikTok algorithm to cat videos hand-picked for you on the big screen? Head to Cat Video Fest 2022 at The Frida Cinema in Santa Ana this weekend. The best part is, the fest raises money for cats in need through partnerships with local charities, animal welfare organizations, and shelters.

The Cat Video Fest screens at the Frida on Saturday, July 2 and Sunday, July 3 at 2:30 p.m.

— Anandita Bhalerao contributed to this newsletter.

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