Huntington Beach protest

Coronavirus: Hundreds Flock to Huntington Beach to Protest Beach Closure

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Friday, May 1, 2020

An eventful May Day as stay-at-home order protesters hit Huntington Beach and L.A. City Hall and essential workers hold a sick-in.

Gov. Gavin Newsom alludes to discussing next steps to re-open California within days during today’s press conference. — KTLA 5

After Gov. Newsom ordered closures at all California beaches, crowds flocked to Huntington Beach today to protest the closure, many without masks and not complying with recommendations to maintain a 6-foot distance. The city plans to sue. — The O.C. Register

In our own neck of the woods, crowds gathered at City Hall in downtown L.A. to protest stay-at-home orders. — L.A. Daily News

While stay-at-home order protests have garnered the majority of the attention today, many essential workers from Amazon and Trader Joe’s to Whole Foods and Target are on strike, demanding better pay and protections. — WIRED

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Tensions flare in the Southland as Orange County officials push back against state mandate to close beaches.

L.A. County officials today announced 55 new deaths due to COVID-19, bringing the total to 1,111 fatalities. They also announced 733 new positive cases, bringing the total confirmed number to 23,182. — LAist

GOV. TO OC: POUND SAND. In a surprise announcement, Gov. Gavin Newsom said all beaches in Orange Countyand nowhere else in California — must temporarily close. — FOX 11 Los Angeles

Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner disagrees with the governor. “Medical professionals tell us the importance of fresh air and sunlight in fighting infectious diseases, including mental health benefits,” he said. “Orange County citizens have been cooperative with California state and county restrictions thus far. I fear that this overreaction from the state will undermine that cooperative attitude and our collective efforts to fight the disease, based on the best available medical information.” — KTLA

It took a while (and a lawsuit), but today, the Dodgers said they will give refunds to fans who bought tickets for games that have been canceled. Fans can also choose to receive an account credit plus 10% if they don’t want their money back. Folks who would like a refund can dial 866-DODGERS. No word yet on what the other MLB team in Anaheim will offer. — CBSLA

And here’s a view of Dodger Stadium this week.

Murder suspects, among others, are being represented by a coalition of prisoners’ rights organizations who have sued L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva demanding the releases of any inmates at risk of dying from COVID-19, regardless of what their crimes are. — FOX 11 Los Angeles

AMC, angry at Universal for making “Trolls: World Tour” available to streaming services, will be boycotting the studio’s future films, including the “Fast and Furious” sequel. The boycott also serves as a message to other studios that if they bypass screening their films in theaters, their slate of films will be boycotted too. — LAist

The U.S. Postal Service is hiring. Its South L.A. distribution center is the busiest in the country. “Right now, we’re processing more packages than we did during Christmas, can you believe that? More packages, 40% more,” said Daniel Hirai with USPS. “It’s just week after week, we’re just experiencing more and more volume and we need your help.” — ABC 7

A cruise ship was not allowed to let its 800-member crew disembark in L.A., following orders from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “I’ve been at sea for 45 days, and I’m ready to go,” said Melinda Mann, Holland America youth program manager. “I’m a U.S. citizen, I’m not sick; I’m healthy. I’m willing to quarantine, I’m willing to be tested for COVID, but they can’t keep me here forever.” She has remained in her cabin for 21 hours a day. The ship is now headed to Mexico. — Axios

The Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza is being sold to the developer who brought us Hollywood & Highland. It plans to transform the area into a mix of stores, restaurants and office space. The sale does not include the mall’s Macy’s store, or the nearby IHOP, but does involve most of the 40-acre property, including the vacant Sears and Walmart stores. — ABC 7

California’s rollout of a new unemployment program for self-employed workers is off to a rocky start. And Californians who’ve run out of benefits are still shut out of the system. — LAist

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti was on CNN last night and told Chris Cuomo, “I appreciate what you said about masks. I don’t know if it’s a guy thing, but real men wear masks and we shouldn’t be afraid of being seen with masks.” — Real Clear Politics

How could a man get arrested four times in three weeks? Last month, the county implemented a zero-bail requirement for most misdemeanors and low-level felonies. In the first 30 days after the policy went into effect, the LAPD arrested 213 individuals multiple times, with 23 being arrested three or more times. They account for about 5% of all of those booked on misdemeanors or felonies. LAPD Chief Michel Moore is calling for a reexamination of the policy. “I think repeat offenders need to be off the streets,” he said. — L.A. Times

Sorry conspiracy theorists — U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that the new coronavirus was “not manmade or genetically modified” but say they are still examining whether the origins of the pandemic trace to contact with infected animals or an accident at a Chinese lab. — AP

While meat might become scarce in other parts of the U.S., California probably won’t feel the pinch. The Golden State isn’t immune to pork, beef and chicken supply issues, but it does have its own food ecosystem, which includes an abundance of fish and the availability of regional beef and chicken. That could keep the state’s appetite for protein satiated in the weeks to come. — NBC News

A 42-year-old man tested positive for COVID-19 for 40 days and 40 nights even after he stopped showing symptoms of the deadly disease. — L.A. Times

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Los Angeles becomes the first city in the U.S. to offer residents free coronavirus testing.

Los Angeles County officials reported 1,541 new coronavirus cases and 56 additional deaths, bringing the county’s totals to 22,485 cases and 1,056 deaths. This is a sharp increase since yesterday when the county reported 597 new cases. But that is being attributed to an increase in COVID-19 testing capacity, as well as some lag from reporting over the weekend, according to L.A. County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer. — FOX 11 Los Angeles

A T-shirt designed by Mister Cartoon is now for sale to benefit the Mayor’s Fund. Credit: L.A. Clippers

The Clippers have again partnered with the world-famous Mister Cartoon (who is the subject of the fine Netflix doc “LA Originals“). This time, the NBA team joined forces with the artist to create a T-shirt, and 100% of the proceeds generated in sales will go to the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles supporting emergency relief for the COVID-19 crisis. Earlier this season, Mister Cartoon designed the Clippers’ stark black-and-white City Edition jerseys that were seen on the cover of Sports Illustrated. — LA Relief

Laguna Beach will reopen city beaches on weekday mornings from 6-10 a.m. starting Monday for walkers, joggers and swimmers. No sunbathing, sand-sitters or loungers will be welcomed. Must. Keep. Moving. — KTLA

Nurses and community members protested outside Santa Monica’s Providence Saint John’s Health Center for the second time in two weeks. They are asking hospital officials to provide hotel rooms so health care workers can prevent spreading the coronavirus to their families as they continue to fight the pandemic. — Santa Monica Patch

Terminal Island in San Pedro is reporting that 443 of the prison’s 1,055 inmates have tested positive for the coronavirus in what has become the nation’s worst outbreak in a federal penitentiary. — KTLA

The San Francisco Bay Area is experiencing consecutive weekly declines in new COVID-19 cases. Meanwhile, in L.A. County we are suffering through a sad uptick in cases. — L.A. Times

The pandemic has caused a massive reduction in oil use, forcing oil tankers to float in limbo near the Port of L.A. Helicopter pilot Micah Muzio flew over the odd spectacle on Sunday:

In the wake of several animals contracting the Rona, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now saying that pets should follow social distancing guidelines too. “We are still learning about this virus, but it appears that it can spread from people to animals in some situations,” read a statement on the CDC’s website. — CDC

Starbucks thinks next week is a good time to reopen “a significant number” of stores. — CNBC

Disneyland and other California theme parks can’t reopen for months, possibly until an as-of-yet-undeveloped coronavirus treatment becomes available, according to state government officials. — Los Angeles Daily News

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson on the red carpet of the 92nd Oscars on Feb. 9, 2020. Credit: AMPAS

Yesterday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that the Oscars would change their rules, temporarily, to include films that weren’t screened in movie theaters due to the pandemic. But that doesn’t mean every movie on every streaming platform would suddenly be considered for film’s top prize, as THR’s Scott Feinberg learned when he talked to the academy CEO Dawn Hudson:

Feinberg: What prevents you from getting 5,000 submissions this year? Given that there will probably be fewer distinguished films in the running, why wouldn’t every Lifetime or Netflix movie that was originally intended for TV now enter the Oscar competition?

Hudson: The Oscars require films that were meant for theatrical exhibition — that is the core heartbeat of the academy, that your intention was to make a theatrically released film. This year, we will look at the schedules that we already had for theatrical releases, and also contracts — when you make a film, you make it under the theatrical rules of the DGA, and if you’re non-union your intention can also be made clear. So that’s not a difficult determination. — The Hollywood Reporter

One of the things Dodgers fans are missing due to the lack of baseball this spring is hearing the talented Dieter Ruehle tickle the electronic ivories. So here he is covering a classic L.A. band:

Headline of the day: Poop may tell us when the coronavirus lockdown will end. — L.A. Times

The U.S. economy shrank by 4.8% last quarter, as the coronavirus pandemic shut down much of the country and began triggering a recession that will end the longest expansion on record. — NBC Los Angeles

DTLA’s Bon Temps is forced to shutter permanently less than a year after it opened to critical acclaim. “We’re a new place, and regardless of how well we were written about, it was a big build-out, and the costs have been formidable in the first year,” owner Lincoln Carson told the L.A. Times. “In an industry with notorious margins, the expenses have only become tighter and tighter. I looked hard at our fixed costs and saw this prolonged closure wasn’t something we could come back from.” — L.A. Times

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

While online retailers, grocery chains and delivery services profit during the coronavirus pandemic, workers say earnings come at the expense of their well-being and plan to strike on May 1 to demand more protections and benefits.

Los Angeles County has now seen 1,000 total deaths due to COVID-19 and 20,976 total cases. There have been 59 new deaths and 597 new cases reported in the last day. — ABC 7

One of the local fatalities was a nurse at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center who died just two days after testing positive. “It was definitely heartbreaking … She passed away alone, without family by her side,” said John Marcos, son of the victim. “The hospital she was admitted in, it was also the hospital she was working in, so at least there were coworkers who knew her.” — KTLA

You’ll never be able to go back to Amoeba on Sunset Boulevard ever again. — Amoeba

AEG, Live Nation/Ticketmaster and other giant concert promoters and venue managers have joined together to ask for a federal bailout. “Our businesses were the first to close and will be the last to reopen,” reads the memo, dated April 2020. “Without immediate financial assistance, the future of the public entertainment and event industry is in question. Accordingly, Congress must act now to address the severe impact that governmental closures orders have had on this industry.” — Billboard

A family shares a raw moment as they say goodbye to their grandmother over Facetime in a move to spread awareness of the pain caused by losing someone to COVID-19. “You can protest and deny the existence and risk of this virus, but at the end of the day…that won’t bring my [grandmother] back,” said Highland Park native David Lopez. — L.A. Taco

More than 1 million Americans have contracted the coronavirus. — KTLA

Over the last few weeks, the major studios held meetings internally and with production service professionals to assess what a return to film and TV sets might look like. Shoots may return sooner in countries less hard-hit by the virus, such as Iceland, or that have less restrictive shutdowns and no post-travel quarantines such as Sweden or Denmark.L.A. Times

A company in El Segundo will broadcast weddings via livestream so couples can get hitched in this era of social distancing. — CBS Los Angeles

California’s State Bar exam will be postponed until this fall and may take place online, under an order from the state Supreme Court. — Santa Monica Patch

A Federal Reserve program expected to begin within weeks will provide hundreds of billions in emergency aid to large American corporations without requiring them to save jobs or limit payments to executives and shareholders. Critics say the program could allow large companies to reward shareholders and executives without saving any jobs. The program was set up jointly by the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department. — Washington Post

Workers from Amazon, Instacart, Walmart, Target, FedEx and Whole Foods are planning a walk-out strike on May 1 to protest poor health and safety conditions. “These workers have been exploited so shamelessly for so long by these companies while performing incredibly important but largely invisible labor,” said Stephen Brier, a labor historian and professor at the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies. “All of a sudden, they’re deemed essential workers in a pandemic, giving them tremendous leverage and power if they organize collectively.” — The Intercept

Several Eastside nursing homes report some of the highest death counts in the county. Hollywood Premier Healthcare Center, for example, has had 12 COVID-19 deaths while Virgil Convalescent Hospital, also in East Hollywood, has 11 fatalities as of April 27, according to county coronavirus statistics. Meanwhile, the Garden Crest Rehabilitation Center in Silver Lake has had 10 deaths while Huntington Healthcare in El Sereno reports 10 deaths. — Eastsider L.A.

Local street artists turned boarded-up windows in DTLA into works of art. “I’ve noticed that a lot of other cities have recently utilized their boarded-up buildings for artist,” said Jeremy Novy, a street artist. “So I wanted to bring it here, and Art Share LA was amazing in getting the project moving forward really quickly.” — ABC 7

LAUSD’s Grab & Go program is incredible. How can they hand out millions of meals and how can they afford to do it? — LAist

Sorry kids, the governor says California could begin the new school year as early as July.L.A. Times

Counterpoint: LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner says the school district can’t reopen without widespread testing and contact tracing. “We closed school facilities on March 13 so our schools did not become a petri dish and cause the virus to spread in the communities we serve,” Beutner said. “That has worked. We do not want to reverse that in a hasty return to schools.” — NBC Los Angeles

Hot enough for ya? Here are 13 ice cream shops from the Westside to Pasadena scooping out refreshment during this crazy ass time. — EaterLA

Monday, April 27, 2020

As stay at home orders drag on, Mayor Eric Garcetti says the city could re-open in the next 2-6 weeks following ‘baby-steps’ to avoid a spike in coronavirus infections.

Here are the current COVID-19 numbers by county:
Los Angeles County: 19,528 confirmed cases, 913 deaths
Orange County: 2,074 cases, 39 deaths
Riverside County: 3,563 confirmed cases, 118 deaths
San Bernardino County: 1,751 cases, 82 deaths
Ventura County: 497 cases, 17 deaths
San Diego County: 3,043 cases, 111 deaths

Gov. Gavin Newsom was unhappy with the crowds that flocked to beaches like those in Ventura and Newport Beach over the weekend. “Those images are an example of what not to see … what not to do,” he said, warning that “the only thing that will slow down our capacity to begin reopening our economy is our inconsistent behavior.” — FOXLA

Newport Beach called for a special meeting yesterday as the city considers closing beaches for the next few weekends to keep visitors at bay after tens of thousands of sun-worshipers left their homes to go to the beach these last few days. — KTLA

Mayor Eric Garcetti said L.A. could re-open with “baby steps” in the next two to six weeks. “It’s not really about a date, or how few cases you have — it’s about the infrastructure you have to handle opening up,” he said on KPCC’s “AirTalk.” “The good news is the bad news here. The good news is … what we’ve been doing has worked. It has saved thousands of lives. But the bad news is that means according to the USC prevalence study, we have about 96% of us that could still get this, and if we open up the wrong way, we could have, by August 1, 95% of us with COVID-19. And I don’t have to tell you the tens of thousands of deaths that would cause. — LAist

The City of Carson now offers free drive-thru testing for all of its residents. — FOXLA

After several meat processing plants across the U.S. have been forced to temporarily close due to outbreaks of COVID-19, the chairman of Tyson Foods warned that “The food supply chain is breaking.” John H. Tyson wrote in three newspapers yesterday, that “farmers across the nation simply will not have anywhere to sell their livestock to be processed, when they could have fed the nation. Millions of animals — chickens, pigs and cattle — will be depopulated because of the closure of our processing facilities.” — CNN

Beyond Beef stock soars amid fears of beef and pork shortage. — Bloomberg

A new California program will pay restaurants to deliver food to seniors who are staying at home. Participating establishments will be reimbursed up to $16 for breakfast, $17 for lunch and $28 for dinner, providing much-needed revenue to ailing restaurants whose dining rooms have been shuttered for weeks as a result of ongoing social distancing restrictions. — EaterLA

LAUSD could be stuck with nearly $200 million in bills for its emergency coronavirus response unless federal, state or local governments bail them out. Also, nearly 30% of elementary students don’t have the devices they need to take part in distance learning. — LAist

The school district got some good news today when it received a $250,000 grant from television writer/producer Chuck Lorre to support its Grab & Go food centers. “The fact that over 13 million meals have been served to students and their families by the Los Angeles Unified community is both staggering and inspiring,” Lorre said. — City News Service

The Lakers, the eighth-most valuable sports franchise in the world — valued at $3.7 billion — received $4.6 million from the Paycheck Protection Program. The team returned the money. “Once we found out the funds from the program had been depleted, we repaid the loan so that financial support would be directed to those most in need. The Lakers remain completely committed to supporting both our employees and our community,” the team said in a statement. — ESPN

The NBA targets May 8 as the earliest day to allow some limited workouts in some cities. The following restrictions would apply: No more than four players would be permitted at a facility at any one time. No head or assistant coaches could participate. Group activity remains prohibited, including practices or scrimmages. Players remain prohibited from using non-team facilities such as public health clubs, fitness centers or gyms. —

The Orange County Fair has been canceled for this year, the first time it has shuttered since World War II. The fair netted about $11.8 million last year and draws about 1.3 million visitors. — FOXLA


Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva unveiled a decontamination center he said can disinfect up to 30,000 much-needed N95 masks daily and save the county more than $18 million. — City News Service

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