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Morning Brief: A Sheriff’s Exodus, Blue Boy, And Speaking LA

The entrance to the East LA Sheriff's Station. To the right is a sign that says East Los Angeles Station at the top, has a large sheriff's badge in the middle, with gold on the edges, a blue circle, with orange inside the circle and a bear on the orange background. Underneath the badge, it says "Sheriff." To the left of the sign are glass windows and double glass doors.
The entrance to the East L.A. Sheriff's station.
(Frank Stoltze/LAist)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Nov. 1.

L.A. City and County officials are cracking down on unvaccinated employees but Sheriff Alex Villanueva is pushing back. 

In an open letter to the county’s Board of Supervisors, Villanueva said that he could “potentially lose 44% of my workforce in one day” if county officials follow through with firing or suspending employees who don’t get their shots by mid-December, unless they have a medical or religious exemption.

The letter, which was published on the Sheriff’s department’s website late last week, went on to say that such a loss would cause an “imminent threat to public safety,” since many terminated employees would be sheriff’s deputies.

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Villanueva has been critical of the vaccine mandate since it was announced in August. In last week’s letter, he wrote that “an individual who served the community tirelessly before there was a vaccine should not now be fired because they made a decision about their own body.”

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Despite his strongly worded missive, it’s not clear where Villanueva’s 44% figure came from. His staff acknowledged they don’t have data to back up that claim. Department spokesperson Deputy Alejandra Parra called the number a “projection” and added that the department is “unsure of the exact vaccination rates at this time.”

Since the announcement of a vaccine mandate for city and county employees, the deadline has been extended a few times while their respective unions negotiated exemptions for religious and medical reasons.

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A., and stay safe out there.

What Else You Need To Know Today

  • Angelenos began applying for L.A.’s basic income pilot program. 
  • The armorer in charge of the weapons on the film Rust, where actor/producer Alec Baldwin fired a gun that fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, said she has "no idea where the live rounds came from."
  • At the Huntington Museum of Art, artist Kehinde Wiley has reimagined Thomas Gainsborough's 18th-century painting Blue Boy as a young Black man from the 21st century.

Before You Go ... How To Speak LA

From the Laura Schlesinger Gallery's 'Small Paintings Group Show,' Rob Rizk, 'Talk.'

The question of how to pronounce some of L.A.’s street names, neighborhoods and destinations is much more complicated than it should be. That’s because it’s hard to nail down how they originated, so there’s no “right” answer.

Is Los Feliz lahs-FEE-luss or lohs-feh-LEEZ? Is Angeleno an-jeh-LEE-noh or an-jeh-LAY-noh? To find out whether we, as a city, could come to a consensus, we asked around. Here’s what we learned.

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