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Morning Briefing: South L.A.’s New Bookmobile

(Photo by Kimberly Farmer via Upsplash)
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Claudia Cataldo learned something remarkable while teaching 12th graders remotely: after months behind screens, some of them were tired of their electronics.

"It turned out they were actually getting bored on their devices and screens, which is, you know, extraordinary," Cataldo told KPCC’s Mariana Dale.

In response, Cataldo converted her Honda Accord into a roving bookmobile, handing out hard copies of reading materials to anyone who wants them. She’s now giving away free books all across town, and has set up shop at the Central Avenue market, the Crenshaw Farmers Market, and the occasional library. Among her most popular titles, she said, are Harry Potter, Diary of Wimpy Kid, Captain Underpants – and Shakespeare.

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Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and enjoy a good book if you get the chance.

Jessica P. Ogilvie

Coming Up Today, August 12

HBO's "Perry Mason" reboot, which recently finished its first season, depicts Los Angeles in the 1930s. Look closely in one of those episodes and you'll see a billboard promoting the "Colored Air Circus." That wasn't some production designer's fanciful invention; it was a real and revolutionary event. Hadley Meares has the story.

Josie Huang takes a deeper dive into the life of Hee Sook Lee and the impact of the BCD Tofu House chain, which she founded. Launched in the heart of Koreatown, BCD Tofu House (named after a neighborhood in Seoul) brought the joys of soondubu (bowls of spicy, bubbling, silken tofu soup) to a broader segment of Angelenos. Lee passed away in mid-July.

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The Past 24 Hours In LA

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Policing The Police: A video of L.A. County Sheriff’s deputies holding three teenagers at gunpoint in Santa Clarita has gone viral.

Coronavirus Updates: Residents and staff at some nursing homes in L.A. County weren’t tested until months into the pandemic, and family members are now grappling for answers. The California Judicial Council’s statewide order essentially pausing all evictions has been extended to Sept. 1. Here’s how board game cafes are navigating the ban on… board games.

L.A. Kids: An effort by Claudia Cataldo, a 12th grade teacher in South L.A., to deliver books directly to students’ homes has grown into a free bookmobile. LAUSD board members narrowly voted to approve a policy that has alarmed charter school advocates.

Census 2020: Already hampered by the coronavirus, Census Bureau workers are now scrambling to visit households that haven't filled out a 2020 census form. The bureau has begun deploying census enumerators in neighborhoods across Southern California.

Photo Of The Day

Yandel Morales, Aylen Arrendondo, Yahir Morales, and their aunt Bonnie Morales hold a sign they made for Claudia Cataldo's bookmobile.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

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