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Morning Brief: This Week’s Rain Relieves LA’s Dangerous Drought

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Good morning, L.A.

You probably noticed that it rained over the weekend.

It was hard to miss; for most of Saturday, the city got a good dousing. The rain is expected to lift today and tomorrow, then come back at its heaviest on Tuesday night or Wednesday.

I happen to love rainy days, so if you’re like me, the weather needs no justification. But if even the slightest droplet is an affront to your Southern California sensibilities, take comfort in this: In early December, the National Weather Service warned that SoCal’s dryness was comparable to the conditions that caused the 2017 Thomas Fire, which burned nearly 300,000 acres and destroyed more than 1,300 structures in and around Ventura County.

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That comparison comes at a time when experts are openly acknowledging that wildfire season in California is turning into a year-round event.

In early January, things weren’t looking much better. When the heat wave hit earlier this month, my colleague Jacob Margolis reported that our region had seen only about 30% of our average rainfall — and that dry, powerful Santa Ana winds would only make things more dangerous.

So this week’s showers are something to celebrate, even if you don’t necessarily love having to put on a raincoat or drive extra carefully while conditions are at their worst.

And if you can’t soldier through by resigning yourself to some cozy Netflix viewing, consider the suggestion of NWS meteorologist Adam Roser. Tomorrow’s break between storms, he said, will likely be “a beautiful day to go see the snow in the mountains.”

Take advantage if you can.

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

What Else You Need To Know Today

  • The FBI is investigating vandalism and an explosion at El Monte’s First Works Baptist Church, which is known for its anti-LGBTQ stance.
  • A new vaccine distribution supersite is open at Soka University in Orange County.
  • Local researchers are working to turn the COVID-19 vaccine into an easy-to-deliver skin patch.
  • The new Netflix documentary series, Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer, goes in-depth on the search for, and ultimate capture of, Richard Ramirez.
  • Initial wait times for vaccinations at Dodger Stadium were high in part because many people showed up without an appointment.
  • At Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital in Willowbrook, the pandemic is preying on the inequities that disproportionately hurt Latino and Black communities.
  • The historic Rose Garden Tea Room at The Huntington is getting a $7.5 million facelift.

Before You Go … Cheech Marin Brings Chicano Art To Fans

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Cheech Marin, top left, during a recent Zoom event in affiliation with the Riverside Art Museum.

Cheech Marin (Cheech & Chong, Born in East L.A.) is one of the world's leading collectors of Chicano art, and he’s now one step closer to sharing his collection with other fans.

The actor, best known for his comedic performances alongside Tommy Chong, is working with the Riverside Art Museum and the City of Riverside to open The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art and Culture, which will house the works he owns, in addition to other exhibits.

To generate enthusiasm and spread the word about his project, the museum has been hosting virtual conversations with artists, musicians and performers, including Carlos Santana, Estevan Oriol, Mister Cartoon and others.

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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 for updates on these stories and more. Follow us on Twitter,Facebook and Instagram.

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