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Morning Brief: Flat Top, Drones And Jellied Consommé

A wide view from the grassy hilltop at sunset. The cityscape of downtown Los Angeles is viewable in the distance.
On a clear day, it's possible to see Catalina Island at the Flat Top.
(Caitlin Hernández
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Jan. 20.

There’s a spot in Lincoln Heights that has flown under the radar among many who don’t live there. Flat Top, a small, grassy area on a hilltop just west of a bend in Thomas Street, offers a meditative space and a 360-degree view of the city, from Catalina Island to the San Gabriel Mountains.

It’s one of those places that’s becoming harder and harder to find in L.A.; a naturally occurring space that can be enjoyed by communities and families. But in a move that should surprise no one, developers have been circling Flat Top for years. Most recently, Duc Truong, the owner of the Trumika Corporation, is seeking approval for a 4,000 square foot single-family home.

Locals are already protesting the proposal. They argue that a mansion on top of the hill would strip the neighborhood of a communal space that’s been around for thousands of years; the state of California’s Native American Heritage Commission has a sacred lands file for the location.

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“You look at having a resource like that, in a low-income community of color like Lincoln Heights, it’s awesome that we have that,” said Dydia DeLyser, a longtime resident of Lincoln Heights and a professor of urban landscapes at Cal State Fullerton. “We are under-parked.”

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Truong’s associates, meanwhile, have put forth the somewhat questionable assertion that the proposed home — intended, to reiterate, for one (relatively wealthy) family — would somehow address the critical lack of affordable housing in L.A. In a zoning hearing, Trumika Corp. representative Ricardo Moura said the home would be “good for the city at large, given the housing crisis.”

The Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Council has opposed the Trumika Corp.’s plan.

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

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What Else You Need To Know Today

  • The LAPD has released a disturbing video of an officer fatally shooting a person having a mental health crisis.
  • L.A. County's ambulance response times are improving due to strike teams being sent by the state, as well as fewer ambulance workers calling in sick.
  • At least 40 California districts are requiring, or soon will require vaccinations for staff, students or both.
  • California is expanding its use of drones to identify methane leaks from oil and gas facilities. 
  • The Biden administration plans to send 400 million free N95 face masks to pharmacies and community health centers for public distribution.
  • Omicron has hit California’s teaching workforce so hard that many schools are weighing closure, and, in some cases, a usage of emergency days.

Before You Go ... Musso And Frank's Weirdest Old-Timey Dishes

The Musso & Frank Grill sign. (JonPaul Douglass)

From jellied consommé to flannel cakes to welsh rarebit, the legendary Hollywood joint is serving up some unexpected dishes that stand the test of time.

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