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Morning Brief: LA’s Ukrainian Culture Center, The Mayoral Race, And Agaves

A large painting in earth tones against a beige wall flanked by gold-painted columns.
A painting by local Ukrainian American artist Yulia Gasio on display at the Ukrainian Culture Center.
(Brian Feinzimer
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Good morning, L.A. It’s May 18.

Since the Russian invasion, L.A.’s Ukrainian Culture Center in East Hollywood has become an epicenter of support and a hub of resistance, reports my colleague Leslie Berestein Rojas.

The center, which was founded during World War II by Ukrainian immigrants, purchased its current location in 1959. Since then — and prior to the Russian invasion — it was a relatively small operation, run by an all-volunteer team of community members.

But Board President Laryssa Reifel said she knew that would change as soon as the Russian offensive started in February. She and other board members were on a conference call, and suddenly, “board members started dropping off the call saying, ‘We gotta go, the bombs have started flying in Ukraine,’” she said.

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They’ve since organized massive donations to be sent to Ukraine, stayed in regular contact with local and national politicians, and provided aid to Ukrainian refugees and families.

“I sort of looked at my phone and I thought, okay, here we go, here's the laundry list of things I've never been trained to do,” said Reifel. “And I have to learn how to do 'em.”

Read Leslie’s whole story here.

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

Before You Go ... Your Guide To Aloes And Agaves

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(Alborz Kamalizad

They’re hardy, require very little water, and even less fussing. So it’s easy to see why aloes and agaves generate millions of hashtags on TikTok and Instagram. We have your A-Z guide on these popular and lovely succulents.

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