Morning Briefing: Vin Scully: 'Above All, Try To Smile'
The coronavirus is personal; it infiltrates families, friend groups and communities. So, we’re getting personal, too — we’re bringing you the story of "Jack," a warehouse worker who’s scared for his safety on the job. We’re bringing you the story of street artists who are risking their health to create. And we’re bringing you the stories of Olympic athletes staying focused, grassroots fundraising for hospital workers, and a message from Vin Scully, the man L.A. has turned to for decades as a voice of wisdom, humanity… and hope.
Here’s what happened in the past 24 hours:
- L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti reminded residents that the stay-at-home order is just that — an order, not a suggestion, as L.A. County reported 1,465 COVID-19 cases as of this morning. The U.S. has just over 97,000 COVID-19 cases, and more than 586,000 cases have been confirmed worldwide.
- There’s "a great big digital divide" among LAUSD students, says Superintendent Austin Beutner — and it’s hampering the way many of them can learn during the coronavirus shutdown.
- Vin Scully, street artists and these Olympic athletes have messages of hope.
- All Los Angeles County public beaches — including bathrooms, piers, promenades, and bike paths — are being closed until at least Apr. 19, and at least three assisted living facilities in the area reported coronavirus outbreaks. Meanwhile, here’s how you can help support local restaurants and health care workers at the same time.
- County officials are also pressing Southern California Edison to stop cutting off power to homes and businesses to accomplish power system upgrades while people are staying at home
- Drive to the San Gabriel Valley, and you'll find grocery stores with full shelves, short lines and, yes, plenty of beans. Some residents in Silver Lake are rallying together in another way — by cheering out windows and doors at 8:00 p.m.
- Erick Galindo talked to a scared warehouse worker for this week's Mis Ángeles column. "Jack” is a father, a husband, a friend, and among the thousands of warehouse workers that are putting in long hours at great risk to their health so that we are safer from COVID-19. This is his story.
- Governor Gavin Newsom issued an order halting evictions through May 31 for renters affected by COVID-19, then welcomed the Navy hospital ship Mercy at the Port of Los Angeles. Renters in California are struggling to pay on time due to lost wages from the coronavirus shutdown, but confusion over eviction regulations is putting them on edge.
- The California Department of Motor Vehicles has closed all its field offices, effective today, and all existing appointments at those offices have been canceled.
- It will likely be months before one-time stimulus relief payments to Americans hit people's bank accounts, despite promises from Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that they’ll be distributed "within the next three weeks." The stimulus package could, however, go a long way towards helping small businesses.
- Let's play a game: Tell us what Groundhog Day day you're living in right now.
Here’s what we’re covering today:
- Elina Shatkin explains what we do and don't know about the transmission of coronavirus via food.
- Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area park rangers will lead a virtual discussion on mountain lions to mark the recapturing of P-19, a 10-year-old mountain lion, to replace her GPS radio-collar.
- Now that most trails and recreation facilities throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties are closed to the public (this is why we can't have nice things), Southern Californians, people will have to explore the outdoors vicariously, through live camera feeds like these, rounded up by Christine N. Ziemba
Here are some non-COVID-19 reads:
- In 1968, Harriet Glickman wrote to “Peanuts” creator Charles Schulz asking him to do something remarkable at the time: integrate his famous comic strip. She died Friday at her home in Sherman Oaks, at the age of 93.
- Federal prosecutors said today that former L.A. City Councilman Mitch Englander has "agreed to plead guilty to a federal criminal charge stemming from his obstruction of a public corruption investigation."
- Judge David Carter is interested in expanding Mayor Eric Garcetti’s plan to use city recreation centers as shelters for the homeless, by using public park space around the centers as de facto safe-camping zones for homeless people.
And now, your moment of Zen:
Hummingbirds feed at Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, with downtown Los Angeles as their backdrop on Friday.
Help us cover your community:
- Got something you’ve always wanted to know about Southern California and the people who call it home? Is there an issue you want us to cover? Ask us anything.
- Have a tip about news on which we should dig deeper? Let us know.
The news cycle moves fast. Some stories don't pan out. Others get added. Consider this today's first draft.
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