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Morning Briefing: LA’s 'Wet Markets' May Face Ban

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Many Americans probably hadn’t heard of so-called “wet markets” until recently, when a theory began going around that the coronavirus began at such a facility in China. And now, reports Yingjie Wang, city council might shut down those that operate within L.A.

There are only a couple dozen such markets in the city, where they function largely as butcher shops, slaughtering animals such as chickens and ducks onsite. No known food-borne illnesses have come from L.A. wet markets and, because of that, some owners think the recently proposed action is little more than thinly-veiled, coronavirus-related racism.

"This is my work, and I don't want to lose it," Merare Nataneal, a butcher at L.A. Fresh Poultry, told Yingjie. "It's an uncomfortable position knowing that they might want to close this type of business down."

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

Jessica P. Ogilvie

Coming Up Today, July 10

The coronavirus has forced the freezing of visitation hours at locked mental health facilities, including the 190-bed La Casa in Long Beach. Robert Garrova catches up with one mother who’s been cutting through bushes to talk with her son through his parking lot-facing window.

Organizers recently decided to cancel the 2020 Angel City Games, Southern California's premier adaptive-sports competition. They’re pivoting to a "Virtual Games" format, reports David Davis, and while adaptive athletes have fewer opportunities for competition than non-disabled athletes, they know how to adjust to unusual circumstances.

Despite receiving between $350,000 and $1 million in a bailout loan meant to protect jobs, the Upright Citizens Brigade laid off nearly its entire staff during the COVID-19 shutdown and has not put employees back on its payroll. Mike Roe has the story.

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The Past 24 Hours In LA

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Money Matters: Wealthier, whiter areas of L.A. County received far more Paycheck Protection Program loans than lower-income areas where residents are primarily Latino or Black. L.A. County’s sanitation department is offering rebates for some businesses that have been closed during coronavirus shutdowns. L.A. Assemblyman Miguel Santiago has co-authored a bill that would create a state-owned bank.

L.A.’s ‘Wet Markets’: Live animal markets (a.k.a. “wet markets”) fill a need for thousands of residents, but some L.A. city officials want to ban them.

Pending Cases: The L.A. Sheriff's Department says it has concluded that Robert Fuller hanged himself in Palmdale. The lawyer for the Sheriff's deputy who shot and killed Andrés Guardado says it was "self defense."

Coronavirus Ingenuity: In Orange County, one community clinic serving Korean immigrants took an Asian idea for COVID-19 testing and made it their own: a no-contact testing booth. L.A. County has committed to an ambitious COVID-19 recovery plan with the goal of quickly finding homes for 15,000 people experiencing homelessness.

Shelter And Air: More than half of California’s mobile home parks were not inspected by the state at all between 2010 and 2019, according to a recent audit. All those illegal fireworks from Fourth of July have given L.A. the worst air quality in a decade.

Here’s What To Do: Get your pop art fix, catch Atom Egoyan's latest movies, attend a virtual ball and more in this week’s best online and IRL events.

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Photo Of The Day

Abdel Salam Elhawary works the register at L.A. Fresh Poultry, his market that butchers animals onsite, near Virgil Village.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

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