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Morning Briefing: The Battle Of The Beach

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After Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner interrupted Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Wednesday press briefing to defend OC's decision to keep its beaches open despite crowds of thousands over the weekend, Newsom responded by closing down all state and local beaches – in Orange County only.

"I believe that this is a profound mistake," Wagner told Larry Mantle, host of KPCC's AirTalk. "I think it is an overreach, and I think it's going to undermine the very exemplary voluntary compliance we've seen here in Orange County."

While some Californians fight for their right to sunbathe, though, others are fighting a different battle: trying to find child care while they're at work providing essential services. For those folks, the state has finally set up a website where users can enter their location and see a list of child care providers that are still open.

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It's not a perfect solution, but it's a step towards one. But much like the disproportionately high coronavirus deaths among low-income communities and people of color, concern over opening beaches versus concern over accessing child care shines yet another spotlight on the inequalities we're seeing as this pandemic unfolds – and in this case, each community's priorities, too.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you tomorrow morning.

Jessica P. Ogilvie


Coming Up Today, May 1

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Some students with no place else to live have been told by Cal State to leave their dorms. Now they face an even tougher challenge keeping up with their studies. One tells Adolfo Guzman-Lopez he's giving up.

Sharon McNary profiles employees in the DWP’s upholstery shop, who generally spend their days repairing torn seats for vehicles; they’ve now shifted to sewing fire-resistant face covers for the utility’s thousands of workers.

Since all reported COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County are among adults so far, Aaron Mendelson crunched some numbers to get a closer look at death rates in communities of color. Mendelson also looks at the ongoing confusion around eviction moratoriums, some which are now being lifted.

Erick Galindo talks to a woman in Lynwood who lost her job and benefited from a local collection. With it, she bought pozole ingredients, and turned that into a new micro-business.

AirTalk's regular Filmweek critics share their picks for what to stream at home while theaters are closed.

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Alyssa Jeong Perry talks to a man who has helped deliver food aid during some of the biggest crises the country has faced. He says this is worse.

Paramedics and EMTs can now work in nursing homes, reports Jackie Fortiér. The county's move to change the guidelines comes as many nursing homes deal with staff shortages due to COVID19 outbreaks.

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The Past 24 Hours In LA

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L.A., California, The World: There are now at least 23,182 coronavirus cases and 1,111 deaths in L.A. County. There are at least 49,840 cases and 2,014 deaths in California. Worldwide, there are over 3.2 million cases and more than 233,000 deaths. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti used Thursday’s daily address to speak to the class of 2020.

Money Matters: Some spouses of immigrants have filed suit over their inability to receive federal stimulus checks. People who have exhausted their unemployment benefits for the year are supposed to get an extension – but that's not happening. Insurance companies say their policies were never meant to cover viruses, especially a once-in-a-century epidemic. An analysis of about a month's worth of unemployment claims between March and April estimates that California's unemployment rate has hit 20%.

Unequal Outcomes: California's population of Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians is small, but state health data shows they are suffering from COVID-19 disproportionately. Despite investing more than any other state, California's response rate to the 2020 Census is off by more than 10% from the final 2010 count.

Digital Connections: After years of planning, a state web site to connect parents with child care providers is up and running. Will "digital contact tracing" really be effective, and is it worth your privacy?

Just Beachy: Gov. Newsom announced the closure of Orange County beaches, although the battle rages on.

Couch-tertainment: Have fun but stay home with Guelaguetza's Cinco de Mayo party, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes’ En Casa con LA Plaza Latinx Zoom Sessions, and Salvadoran cooking classes. Or, watch DragCon via livestream!


Your Moment Of Zen

Echo Park Lake is full of baby geese! Digital Producer Gina Pollack captured this #squad.

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(Gina Pollack / 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 LAist.com for updates on these stories and more. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


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