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What You Need To Know Today: Navigating Wildfires, Saying ‘No’ To Utility Shut-Offs, The History Of MARS FM

A helicopter flies near the Hollywood sign as a firefighter sprays waters on burned terrain.
Firefighters quickly got a fire under control near the historic Griffith Observatory and the iconic Hollywood sign on July 10, 2018.
(Mario Tama
/
Getty Images)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Wednesday, September 28.  

Today in How To LA: How to prepare for the next big California wildfire; plus some Angelenos demand the Department of Water and Power stop shutting off utilities for nonpayment. 

I’m going to be honest. I didn’t really give much thought to California wildfires. I live in a metropolitan area far away from the forest and wilderness.

But reading Rene Lynch’s story about how wildfires affect all of us showed me how much I need to care. In this day and age, wildfires are now happening inside city limits. And even though we are miles and miles away from a fire, we are still at risk of breathing in smoky air that can damage our lungs.

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It’s time we start taking charge and facing the fact that wildfires have become more dangerous and destructive. So get out a pen and notepad and let’s get to taking notes.

One of the sections Rene drills down on is how to stay safe from the smoke.

The most important thing to do when you’re faced with poor air quality from a wildfire, and you see orange skies and ash on car hoods, is to ensure that you keep those who are vulnerable safe. That’s grandma, your children, your cousin with asthma, and your pregnant sister, too. Make sure that everyone is inside and all the doors and windows are closed. It is extremely important to limit activity, run air purifiers and wear N95s or K95s, especially if outdoors.

Rene talks to several experts for this beginner’s checklist that will keep you and your loved ones safe. Other sections include:

  • Prepping for power being out 
  • Ready your home and your family 
  • Preparing to evacuate 
  • Taking it step by step
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Lastly, check out our new podcast, The Big Burn: How To Survive the Age of Wildfires. Our science reporter Jacob Margolis shares personal stories that bring to light how we ended up here…and why we are still, unfortunately, in this mess.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. He also gives us tips on how we can survive, and quite possibly thrive in a world increasingly affected by climate change and poor decisions by policymakers.

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

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! 

  • The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors earlier this month voted to end COVID-19 protections that shield renters from eviction. But yesterday, the Board moved forward on a proposal that would allow renters to be late on a month’s worth of rent and not lose their home.  
  • The L.A. County of Board of Supervisors also passed a motion, unanimously, to create “non-correctional” mental health facilities for incarcerated people with serious mental health needs.
  • It’s not easy to make ends meet in L.A. and many folks struggle to just get by. That’s why an alliance of Angelenos are demanding the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to not shut off utilities if people can’t afford them. 
  • UCLA just made the largest land investment in their history with the $80 million purchaseof the defunct Marymount California University in Rancho Palos Verdes and San Pedro. 
  • As a former teacher, I can’t imagine teaching these last few years. Not surprisingly, a recent survey found thousands of California teachers are stressed, burned out and overwhelmed in their jobs after two-plus years of a pandemic. 
  • California’s reparations task force is now looking at actual dollar amounts when it comes to compensating Black Californians who have dealt with the state’s racism over the course of decades. Black Californians could be owed hundreds of thousands of dollars according to rough estimates by economic experts. 
  • Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a package of 12 abortion protection billsyesterday. One thing that could change? More abortion clinics in the state’s network as more people come to abortion safe havens like California. 
  • There could be some short-term headaches for California’s most vulnerable populations with the state’s new strategy to make its Medicaid program Medi-Cal better. Some low-income residents may have a disruption to coverage and have to switch health insurers. 
  • Up to four people could be criminally charged in the ‘Rust’ shooting, according to the Santa Fe County District Attorney’s office. One of those people could include actor Alec Baldwin, who starred and co-produced the movie. 
  • Challah is often a staple for meals during the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah, but many people enjoy it all year. Get to know the story of one L.A. baker and how she made her passion for baking a social media side-hustle.
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Wait! One More Thing...Inside L.A.'s Underground House And Techno Rave Scene

Today for our L.A. history trip, we’re going to get in the time machine and go back to a time many of us are familiar with: the 90s. So sit down in your recliner, turn that dial on your radio and hit play as we go on this journey through time and space (Yes, as you can see, I’m a big Twilight Zone fan) back to the 103.1 MARS FM days…

Where were you in the 1990s? If you were a party animal who liked techno, house and rave music, you were likely listening to the short-lived radio station 103.1 MARS FM.

According to L.A. radio vet and music director Swedish Egil, the station was the first to play techno and house music in regular rotation.

When you do that, you really make a station because the identity, the sound, the feel of the radio station is so prominent.
— Swedish Egil

It launched on May 24, 1991 with Freddy Snakeskin as the program director. He found a group of radio stars and newcomers to become his crew, and they developed a sound based on what was happening in the local nightlife scene.

The rest is simply history. Read more about it here.

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