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What You Need To Know Today: High Pressure On The Electrical Grid, Dyslexia and Early Detection, Chinatown Farmers' Market

An illustration of three people reading.
Educators say unaddressed learning disabilities overwhelm and frustrate students, sometimes leading to behavioral problems.
(Dan Carino )
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Good morning, L.A.

It’s Wednesday, September 7. Today in How to LA: How undiagnosed dyslexia can affect learners’ whole lives, exploring serious maintenance issues in Twin Towers jail, a new farmers' market offers one step toward a solution to Chinatown's food desert

I know it’s still really hot out there, and I hope you are able to find some sort of relief. Please just watch the AC. We made it through the night without rolling blackouts, but energy demand hit an all-time high in California on Tuesday, breaking a 16-year record.

LAist is taking your questions about September’s heat wave. Text HEATWAVE to 73224 to ask us your questions, and to receive our latest news on these outrageous temps, directly to your phone.

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Now for a break from the heat, let's dive right into the latest installment of LAist’s series on dyslexia. This week's story examines how the lack of early detection of such learning disabilities can set students up for failure in life.

Irving Álvarez always had trouble with school but he couldn’t quite explain what it was that challenged his learning, and the teachers didn’t help. Álvarez didn’t have a name for it until he was an adult and incarcerated in the California State Prison system. He spoke with a mental health specialist who helped him figure it out.

In my colleague Robert Garrova’s latest article, he reports on how unaddressed learning disabilities can lead to behavioral problems in schools. Those behavioral problems often lead to bigger problems like incarceration.

Kelly Rain Collins, a supervising advocate with L.A. County’s Juvenile Mental Health Court, had a quote that really stuck with me:

“If the learning disability is not effectively addressed, which is what we see very frequently…by junior high, these kids are starting to give up, they are starting to become truant,” Collins said. “By high school, they are feeling like, ‘why bother?’”

Did you know that California is one of 10 states that doesn’t mandate dyslexia screening in schools? According to Robert’s reporting, California does not even require training for new teachers to help them better address dyslexic students’ needs. If a child ends up in the school to prison pipeline, they might arrive still struggling with learning how to read. Though federal prisons are required to test for dyslexia, California prisons are not.

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There is so much more to understand about this issue. You can read Robert's entire in-depth story.

As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below - just keep reading.

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The News You Need After You Stop Hitting Snooze

*At LAist we will always bring you the news freely, but occasionally we do include links to other publications that may be behind a paywall. Thank you for understanding! 

  • It's been more than 24 hours since we learned the Los Angeles Unified School District was hit with a cyber attack. Here's what happens next.
  • A flood in the elevator shaft of Los Angeles’s Twin Towers Correctional facility created chaos last month. Some of the elevators are still inoperable, highlighting the many maintenance issues that plague Los Angeles county’s jail system.
  • Rolling blackouts were declared a likely possibility in the state after energy use hit an all-time high Tuesday. Here's some advice on how to prepare if the lights go out. (Los Angeles Times
  • Two right lanes of the northbound 5 Freeway between Lake Hughes Road and Templin Highway in the Castaic area are closed following damage from the Route Fire. Here's what you should know to avoid the closures.
  • Years after the death of legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix, we've got a new album — the 1969 live recording of Hendrix playing at the Forum.
  • This year’s Telluride Film Festival embraced the theme of “not all good movies make you feel good,” focusing, instead, on the emotional impact on the audience that the chosen films could make. Here’s a few of the standout titles that wowed audiences.
  • Brendan Fraser’s newest film “The Whale” marks the beginning of his highly anticipated comeback. His fans are thrilled — the filmreceived a whopping six minute standing ovation at Venice Film Festival — but the film's premise has drawn some criticism.

Wait! One More Thing...How A New Farmers' Market Aims to Satisfy Chinatown's Food Desert

Colorful bunches of vegetables like carrots, chard, corn and kale spread across a table and cardboard boxes with the words "organic farms" on it.
A produce stand at the LA River Farmers' Market near Chinatown
(Evan Jacoby )

Chinatown has been without a full service grocery store since 2019, leaving the neighborhood’s many elderly residents without a consistent source of fresh food and produce. Enter the LA River Farmers’ Market, which opened in May in the Los Angeles State Historic Park with a goal to provide the community with what its been missing for three years: fruit, vegetables and even fresh baked treats.

It does not promise to be a solution but merely a step toward solving the food desert issue in the area. This market is also the only place in Chinatown that allows residents to use their EBT to buy fresh produce. The How to LA podcast team recently visited the market recently to see how it's come together. Listen here. You can also read my colleague Evan Jacoby’s story and learn more about a whole effort that even involved California Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo and $250,000 to make it happen.

Check out the L.A. River Farmers Market every Thursday at the L.A. State Historic Park from 3:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

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