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What You Need To Know Today: How Monkeypox Vaccine Pop-Ups Help, More Bills Become Law in CA, ‘The Woman King’ Hits Big At Box Office

People walk past a sign on the ground advertising free monkeypox vaccines at DTLA Proud.
Hundreds of people received the monkeypox vaccine over two days at DTLA Proud.
(Jackie Fortiér)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Monday, September 19.

Today in How to LA: Pop-up vaccination sites play a big role in county’s monkeypox battle, Los Angeles Unified School District rescinds suspension of teacher who refused to censor her student journalists’ work, aspiring kids chefs can play pretend in a Mexican kitchen 

Good News: The number of monkeypox cases is declining in Los Angeles County. There’s a few reasons why health officials think this is: one, people who are high-risk are more aware and are changing their behavior to reduce exposure and two, there are a lot more vaccination sites.

My colleague Jackie Fortiér visited a pop-up vaccination site held last month at DTLA Proud. Previously, it had been a challenge for folks to even figure out where to find the vaccine. But Jackie reports that LGBTQ+ events like this one have played a big role in raising awareness and providing spaces for Angelenos to more easily get the shots.

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Jackie spoke with Annie Loren who was in line to get vaccinated. She was finally able to do so because the pop-up was held on the weekend. Working full time during the week had made it hard for her to make an appointment. Even though she doesn’t know anyone with monkeypox, she’s been able to talk to her sexual partners about it and that makes her feel safe. 

“Being bisexual means I also sleep with men who are also bisexual, so you know I have to kind of ask, ‘How are you feeling about the monkeypox stuff?’ And just making sure it’s part of the conversation,” she said.

L.A. County has the highest number of monkeypox cases in the state and, last week, the nation’s first death from monkeypox was confirmed here. NPR reports that, as of last month, there was a 1 in 750 chance of catching the virus in the U.S. if you are a man who has sex with men. The risk is higher if one has multiple sex partners.

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Jackie has more information in her story about what it takes to run these pop-up vaccine sites. And to get a better understanding of where the virus stands now and who is still most at risk, Jackie joined Brian De Los Santos and guests on the How to LA podcast to answer additional questions.

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

The News You Need After You Stop Hitting Snooze

  • Last year, high school journalism teacher Adriana Chavira was suspended because she refused to censor her students’ work, which had reported their school librarian did not comply with LAUSD’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate. But on Friday, Chavira’s suspension was rescinded. Here’s the backstory. 
  • Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William Ryan blocked the Sheriff’s Department from searching confiscated computers from LA Metro that are part of an unusual corruption investigation. Judge Ryan has questions about the warrant. 
  • There’s some new chefs in town…and many of them don't even know how to read. Take your own little future chef to an interactive exhibit at Pretend City Children’s Museum where they can serve up plastic chilaquiles and tacos. It’s a mini version of Pocha LA in Highland Park.  
  • Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a couple new bills before the weekend. One allows renters to apply to multiple rental units using one credit report they can resubmit, avoiding multiple credit application fees. Another requires social media companies to disclose harassment policies, thanks to the Anti-Defamation League’s push for the bill. 
  • As we approach our third pandemic winter, some infectious disease experts suggest COVID-19 may be less lethal than the flu since so many people have gained immunity after catching it. But some experts, including White House medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci, disagrees.
  • It’s a brand new week full of fun things to do. As a kid, I used to LOVE going to Knott’s Berry Farm. Unfortunately, I was a huge scaredy-cat, so I never attended Knott’s Halloween attractions. But, if you or your kids love getting creeped out, check out Knott’s Scary Farm, which opens on Thursday. It costs $59, but I’m sure it’ll be worth the scare…if you dare. If this doesn’t interest you, we have a whole list of great events here.

Wait! One More Thing...Top Three Tea-Sipping Trends

President Biden in a deep blue shirt and tie looks down at a lectern with two mics. A U.S. flag is behind him.
On Sunday, President Joe Biden announced an emergency declaration for Puerto Rico.
(Stefani Reynolds
AFP via Getty Images)
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THREE - The Controversy over The Woman King 

Have you seen The Woman King yet? As a HUGE movie buff, I just knew I had to see the movie on opening day. And what better way to see an action-packed war film than at Hollywood’s Chinese Theatre. I cried and clapped multiple times during those two hours in the theater.

The Black women-led film garnered $19 million in ticket sales, debuting No. 1 at the box office. While many critics had glowing reviews, the film wasn’t without a little controversy. Some critics said the film was a “miscarriage of history” due to the role that the Dahomey tribe played in the Atlantic slave trade. Some people on Twitter wanted to boycott the film before it was released. Director Gina Prince-Bythewood responded by saying “There’s an assumption we’re not dealing with it and we are dealing with it. So I have to live in that confidence.”

TWO - International sensation and Puerto Rican musician Bad Bunny is taking over both on the charts…and on speaking up about socioeconomic and political issues in Puerto Rico 

Unless you’ve been hiding in a radioactive cave the past few years, you know that Bad Bunny is THAT DUDE. He’s trending. He has so much cultural relevance, especially for Latinx millennials, Gen Zers as well as those in the LGBTQ+ community around the world. Recently, the Latin trap and reggaeton artist hit a new record – most weeks at the top of the Billboard 200 list since 2016.

But what really got people buzzing on social media this weekend is his new music video for ‘El Apagon’, which addresses some of the socio-economic issues of Puerto Rico, where he was raised. The rapper also released an 18-minute documentary to raise awareness of the political troubles and crises in the United States territory, including issues with the power grid. Bad Bunny’s call comes at a crucial time, as yet another Hurricane (Fiona) hits the island, taking out its power (see below).

ONE - Tropical Storm Fiona has made landfall in Puerto Rico. President Joe Biden Calls for an Emergency. 

On Sunday, President Joe Biden announced an emergency declaration for Puerto Rico. According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center yesterday, the hurricane continuously sustained winds of 85 mph. Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi said that the damages they are seeing are catastrophic.

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