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Morning Briefing: The Battle Keeps Moving

Storm clouds loom large over downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2019. (Richard Vogel/AP)
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First, it was beaches. Then it was salons and barbershops. Now, the battle over coronavirus regulations is happening at party houses.

Located in some of L.A.’s wealthiest neighborhoods, party houses are rentals or Airbnbs that function like nightclubs, hosting hundreds of people over the course of an evening. Recently, residents of those areas have reported that the houses are still up and running, despite the fact that huge parties with strangers are exactly the opposite of what we’re supposed to be doing to slow down the pandemic.

The city is acting swiftly; a motion was introduced to come down harder on the owners of the homes, and Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that the DWP will shut off power at properties that continue to host these events.

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Both are good and necessary steps, but they don’t address the root of the problem — that some people apparently still don’t understand the urgency of stopping COVID-19, or don’t care, or don’t want to care. And that is deeply worrisome, whether the lights are on or off.

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

Jessica P. Ogilvie

Coming Up Today, August 6

As one veteran firefighter told Jacob Margolis, fire season "is not an easy thing by any stretch of the imagination." What happens when you add the stress of COVID-19? Jacob talked to fire officials about the reality on the ground and will have the story.

Peep crazy cult movie art, attend the online PaleyFest, catch a screening of Queen & Slim with Lena Waithe and Dev Hynes in person, and more. Christine N. Ziemba has this weekend’s best online and IRL events.

Namaste Spiceland is an Indian restaurant and market that caters to a diverse clientele but still feels like it is run by and for Indians -- and that's no easy trick. Virali Dave has the story.

Today’s episode of the LAist Studios podcast, California Love, tells the story of the Compton Cowboys, who have chosen horse riding as a way to avoid gangs and violence in one of the most stigmatized cities in the world, and how they may hold the answers for salvation and redemption for the city. Host Walter Thompson-Hernández reports.

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The Past 24 Hours In LA

Pay Gap: A new audit from the L.A. Controller's office shows that male city employees comprise 72% of the workforce, take home 91% of overtime, and hold 98% of the highest-paid jobs.

City Hall Scandal: Suspended L.A. City Councilman José Huizar will have to prove he needs a federal public defender before his corruption trial can proceed, a judge said today.

Party Houses In The Hills: District 4 L.A. Councilman David Ryu introduced a motion to crack down on rowdy party houses in L.A.'s ritzy hillside neighborhoods, which are still functioning despite the threat of spreading COVID-19. In the meantime, the city will shut off power at those properties if they’re found to be hosting such events. L.A.’s public health director said that the partying is preventing the city from recovering.

Rent Control: Advocates of rent control collected 7,749 signatures to put a ballot measure on the issue before voters in Burbank this November.

That Masked Man: Photographer Kevin Scanlon usually shoots celebrities, but has opened his driveway to anyone willing to help him document this strange time via a series of masked portraits.

Photo Of The Day

George Guzman, photographed in a mask by Kevin Scanlon as part of his ongoing portrait series.

(Kevin Scanlon for LAist)

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The news cycle moves fast. Some stories don't pan out. Others get added. Consider this today's first draft, and check for updates on these stories and more. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

This post has been updated to reflect changes in what's coming up for today.


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