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The LAPD Arrested 500 Protesters in DTLA on Friday Night

On Friday, a third night of protests against racism and police violence following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis resulted in “mass arrests” in Los Angeles. According to the Los Angeles Times, more than 500 people were arrested and several downtown stores were vandalized, including a CVS and a Whole Foods. Four police officers were reportedly hurt; no tally of injured demonstrators has been provided.

At around 9:30 p.m., the LAPD ominously tweeted that it was declaring an “unlawful assembly” throughout downtown because of “repeated acts of violence.” “Residents should stay inside. Businesses should close. Those on the street are to leave the area.” As commenters pointed out, downtown’s many unhoused residents wouldn’t have the option of clearing the streets or staying inside.

“It’s unsafe. It’s an unlawful assembly,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore told ABC 7 news in an interview on Friday evening. “It’s dangerous for all the residents and others. So it’s unfortunate. It’s a dark day in our history, that we have to do this, but this is what’s going to save lives and this is going to save property.” Police reportedly used flash bangs, tear gas, and rubber bullets on the crowd of demonstrators, referring to some who looted businesses as “opportunists,” who were using the protest as an excuse to make off with some free stuff.

Yesterday evening, Black Lives Matter cofounder and native Angeleno Patrisse Cullors tweeted, “Something like 35 cities are uprising tonight. The collective is tired and full of rage. Let’s be ready for the shift. Can’t wait to live in a world where we are free.” Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted to ask for a “peaceful end to a painful night,” saying “We respect every Angeleno’s right to protest, but violence and vandalism hurts all.”

The uprisings relating to George Floyd’s death and police violence against people of color have coincided with the City of Los Angeles releasing its proposed 2020-21 budget, which allocates 54 percent of the city’s revenues—about $5.4 billion—for the LAPD. That’s an increase of 7.1 percent to the department’s budget, as the Housing and Community Investment Department and the Department of Animal Services face cuts of 9.4 and 14.5 percent, respectively.

Furthermore, as many City Hall employees face pay cuts, college-educated LAPD officers are set to collect bonuses totaling $41 million for “education incentives.” “Now is not the time to ask our front-line first responders to renegotiate contacts in the middle of a pandemic,” Garcetti’s deputy chief of staff Szabo told the L.A. Times.


RELATED: Two Protesters Were Reportedly Injured During George Floyd Demonstrations in DTLA


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Bills Before the California State Legislature Aim to Make Voting in 2020 Safer

While it might have faded from the fore of your mind amid the daily drumbeat of pandemic news, there is still a very big election coming up in November. But how, exactly, ballots will be cast in that election remains the subject of some question. By November, we could be seeing a powerful new wave of the outbreak. Many residents will be unwilling to risk their health to stand in crowded lines and touch voting machines used by hundreds of strangers. California is already pushing to make vote-by-mail the default for all registered voters, but some residents will still need to use in-person voting centers. Two new bills before state legislature attempt to set guidelines for how all of these issues can be addressed.

Introduced in the State Senate by Thomas Umberg of Orange County and in the Assembly by Marc Berman of Menlo Park, AB-860 and SB-423 seek to make a special amendment to existing voting laws in the state in time for the November election. The pair, who chair the elections committees of their respective chambers, also sent a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom, in which they laid out concerns for ensuring access to the right to vote while also protecting public health.

“While mailing voters a ballot is a start, it doesn’t eliminate the need for in-person voting,” the letter reads. “Millions of Californians will need a safe in-person voting location this November because they never received a ballot, lost or damaged their ballot, need language or voting assistance, or need to register to vote.”

One of their proposals is to offer in-person voting centers at a ratio of no less than one center per 10,000 voters across the state, open for at least four days prior to Election Day. The goal will be to spread voters out over those days to avoid any unsafe gatherings at the polling sites. Materials will be sent out to voters saying that, if they cannot submit a vote-by-mail ballot, they should try to avoid in-person voting at peak times. The Senate version of the bill also specifically encourages local officials to establish drive-through ballot drop-off points (and authorizes setting up voting centers in “locations whose primary purpose is the sale and dispensation of alcoholic beverages” where needed).

Running these facilities safely will require setting them up to accomodate physical distancing, educating poll workers on health concerns as well as election rules, and issuing adequate disinfectant and PPE supplies to every poll center. Those costs and others taken on by local agencies to carry out the election would be reimbursed by the state.

For those who can submit their ballot by mail, the bills would require officials in every county across California to automatically mail ballots to every voter registered for the November 2, 2020 election. Those ballots would go out by 29 days prior; under the proposed law, election official would be able to begin tabulating the results as soon as they received them, though no information about the tally could be released prior to 8 p.m. on Election Day. The bills would also extend the deadline for accepting the ballots until the 20th day after Election Day or two days prior to the certification of results in the presidential race, whichever date is later.

Even if the bills pass, their own authors admit, pandemic conditions might mean the governor has to take executive action to override the legislation at the last minute. “Uncertainty about the status of the pandemic may remain well into November and beyond,” reads the letter from Umberg and Berman. “If the pandemic persists or resurges, nothing would prohibit you from taking dramatic steps to adjust in-person voting requirements at the last minute if public safety requires.”


RELATED: City Attorney Mike Feuer Tells Us About His ‘Neighborhood Centered’ Run for Mayor


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In L.A., Race and Income Remain Major Factors in Coronavirus Deaths

A new report by the Los Angeles County Office of Public Health reveals that Black and Latino residents are still far more likely to die from the coronavirus than white Angelenos.

The study found that while there are 14 deaths for every 100,000 white residents, the coronavirus mortality rate among Black residents is double that, with 26 out of 100,000 dying from the infection, the Los Angeles Times reports. Black people make up 8.2 percent of L.A. County’s population, but they represent 13 percent of COVID-19 related deaths. And while 27.6 percent of the county is white, they make up 29 percent of the death toll.

Latinos are also at a higher risk than whites. With 22 deaths for every 100,000 residents, Latinos make up 40 percent of the population and 49.3 percent of all deaths. By comparison, Asian Americans make up 14.5 percent of L.A. County and 17 percent of all deaths.

Poverty also remains a significant risk factor. The study finds that people who live in high poverty areas are nearly four times more likely to die from coronavirus than residents in low poverty areas. In impoverished communities, 41 in 100,000 succumb to the virus, while the toll in more affluent areas in 11 in 100,000.

The study confirms a disturbing trend first reported last month about the correlation between wealth, race, and death in California as L.A. struggles to recover from the pandemic.

“The data remains deeply disturbing and it will require a lot of collaboration and work with our partners to address the inequities,” director of public health Barbara Ferrer said.

Another leading factor in survival is a person’s health before they become infected. Of all COVID-19 deaths here, 40 percent of the victims were adults under 65 with underlying health conditions—a criteria met by 35 to 40 percent of all L.A. County residents.

“I know sometimes folks think there’s a very tiny group of people who are at an elevated risk of serious illness from COVID-19. But here in L.A. County, it’s one out of three of us who has an underlying health condition that can put you or your loved one at a much higher risk for serious illness related to COVID-19,” Ferrer said.


RELATED: What We Know About L.A. County’s COVID-19 Cases


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UPDATED: What We Know About L.A. County’s COVID-19 Cases

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Coronavirus Cases Los Angeles, Update 5/29/2020:

Below is the current breakdown of coronavirus cases as of 8 p.m. on May 28. There are now 51,562 total confirmed cases (+1,824 from prior day). Of the cases, 6,430 have been hospitalized and there have been 2,290 deaths (+50 from prior day). The regions with the highest rate of infections per capita are Saugus, West L.A., Little Armenia, and City of Industry. The most deaths have been recorded in Glendale (82), Westlake (72), Pico-Union (57), and Inglewood (55).

Novel Coronavirus Cases in Los Angeles County, by Neighborhood
Acton 11
Adams-Normandie 51
Agoura Hills 35
Agua Dulce 8
Alhambra 195
Alsace 49
Altadena 146
Anaverde 1
Angeles National Forest 1
Angelino Heights 16
Arcadia 90
Arleta 279
Artesia 33
Athens Village 27
Athens-Westmont 225
Atwater Village 51
Avocado Heights 25
Azusa 229
Baldwin Hills 166
Baldwin Park 325
Bassett 83
Bel Air 36
Bell 319
Bell Gardens 285
Bellflower 382
Beverly Crest 37
Beverly Hills 138
Beverlywood 37
Bouquet Canyon 1
Boyle Heights 718
Bradbury 3
Brentwood 78
Burbank 395
Cadillac-Corning 30
Calabasas 61
Canoga Park 489
Canyon Country 37
Carson 407
Carthay 78
Castaic 442
Central 409
Century City 34
Century Palms/Cove 267
Cerritos 120
Chatsworth 188
Cheviot Hills 21
Chinatown 21
Claremont 40
Cloverdale/Cochran 67
Commerce 71
Compton 554
Country Club Park 95
Covina 219
Covina (Charter Oak) 43
Crenshaw District 69
Crestview 88
Cudahy 219
Culver City 147
Del Aire 16
Del Rey 78
Del Sur 2
Desert View Highlands 6
Diamond Bar 63
Downey 679
Downtown 147
Duarte 133
Eagle Rock 177
East Hollywood 225
East La Mirada 16
East Los Angeles 968
East Pasadena 4
East Rancho Dominguez 49
East Whittier 9
Echo Park 45
El Camino Village 33
El Monte 516
El Segundo 34
El Sereno 166
Elizabeth Lake 3
Elysian Park 16
Elysian Valley 56
Encino 125
Exposition 9
Exposition Park 248
Faircrest Heights 4
Figueroa Park Square 37
Florence-Firestone 972
Gardena 256
Glassell Park 181
Glendale 965
Glendora 145
Gramercy Place 67
Granada Hills 317
Green Meadows 166
Hacienda Heights 139
Hancock Park 79
Harbor City 96
Harbor Gateway 139
Harbor Pines 9
Harvard Heights 134
Harvard Park 299
Hawaiian Gardens 57
Hawthorne 395
Hermosa Beach 29
Hi Vista 1
Hidden Hills 1
Highland Park 198
Historic Filipinotown 132
Hollywood 272
Hollywood Hills 82
Huntington Park 483
Hyde Park 145
Industry 10
Inglewood 583
Irwindale 4
Jefferson Park 38
Kagel/Lopez Canyons 7
Koreatown 265
La Canada Flintridge 50
La Crescenta-Montrose 29
La Habra Heights 8
La Mirada 167
La Puente 124
La Rambla 10
La Verne 35
Ladera Heights 20
Lafayette Square 18
Lake Balboa 199
Lake Hughes 1
Lake Los Angeles 29
Lake Manor 4
Lakeview Terrace 108
Lakewood 181
Lancaster 574
Lawndale 118
Leimert Park 58
Lennox 97
Leona Valley 2
Lincoln Heights 241
Little Armenia 194
Little Bangladesh 134
Little Tokyo 19
Littlerock 14
Littlerock/Juniper Hills 2
Littlerock/Pearblossom 20
Llano 1
Lomita 51
Longwood 23
Los Feliz 52
Lynwood 582
Malibu 35
Manchester Square 20
Mandeville Canyon 1
Manhattan Beach 77
Mar Vista 82
Marina del Rey 14
Marina Peninsula 13
Maywood 264
Melrose 549
Mid-city 57
Miracle Mile 41
Mission Hills 149
Monrovia 177
Montebello 381
Monterey Park 152
Mt. Washington 105
Newhall 1
North Hills 446
North Hollywood 686
North Lancaster 5
North Whittier 12
Northeast San Gabriel 53
Northridge 329
Norwalk 426
Pacific Palisades 57
Pacoima 704
Palisades Highlands 3
Palmdale 724
Palms 188
Palos Verdes Estates 42
Panorama City 749
Paramount 324
Park La Brea 20
Pearblossom/Llano 2
Pellissier Village 1
Pico Rivera 502
Pico-Union 538
Playa Del Rey 3
Playa Vista 24
Pomona 447
Porter Ranch 90
Quartz Hill 44
Rancho Dominguez 18
Rancho Palos Verdes 93
Rancho Park 18
Redondo Beach 139
Regent Square 4
Reseda 558
Reseda Ranch 31
Reynier Village 10
Rolling Hills 2
Rolling Hills Estates 14
Rosemead 100
Rosewood 5
Rosewood/West Rancho Dominguez 28
Rowland Heights 130
San Dimas 55
San Fernando 191
San Gabriel 138
San Jose Hills 59
San Marino 22
San Pasqual 1
San Pedro 901
Santa Catalina Island 2
Santa Clarita 734
Santa Fe Springs 65
Santa Monica 267
Santa Monica Mountains 22
Saugus 4
Shadow Hills 10
Sherman Oaks 227
Sierra Madre 10
Signal Hill 26
Silver Lake 181
South Antelope Valley 1
South Carthay 35
South El Monte 89
South Gate 596
South Park 381
South Pasadena 123
South San Gabriel 34
South Whittier 151
St Elmo Village 45
Stevenson Ranch 34
Studio City 78
Sun Valley 301
Sun Village 18
Sunland 148
Sunrise Village 3
Sycamore Square 1
Sylmar 797
Tarzana 162
Temple City 156
Temple-Beaudry 321
Thai Town 30
Toluca Lake 19
Toluca Terrace 6
Toluca Woods 3
Torrance 368
Tujunga 122
Twin Lakes/Oat Mountain 4
University Hills 11
University Park 192
Val Verde 23
Valencia 7
Valinda 93
Valley Glen 127
Valley Village 207
Van Nuys 690
Venice 66
Vermont Knolls 145
Vermont Square 84
Vermont Vista 321
Vernon 3
Vernon Central 603
Victoria Park 58
View Heights 10
View Park/Windsor Hills 34
Walnut 44
Walnut Park 126
Watts 297
Wellington Square 21
West Adams 215
West Antelope Valley 2
West Carson 101
West Covina 344
West Hills 135
West Hollywood 179
West LA 23
West Los Angeles 80
West Puente Valley 45
West Rancho Dominguez 5
West Vernon 456
West Whittier/Los Nietos 148
Westchester 93
Westlake 714
Westlake Village 6
Westwood 67
White Fence Farms 6
Whittier 326
Wholesale District 675
Willowbrook 208
Wilmington 238
Wilshire Center 236
Winnetka 286
Wiseburn 18
Woodland Hills 158
Under Investigation: 1,970


RELATED: Gavin Newsom Explains What It Will Take to End Stay-at-Home


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Netflix Has Officially Purchased the Historic Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood

It’s unclear when moviegoers will again be seeing films on the big screen, but streaming platform and nascent Oscars-dominant production studio Netflix is investing in the theater experience all the same. Today, upward of a year after news of the plan first broke, Netflix announced that it has purchased the historic Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, which means it now has its very own venue at which to showcase its original content.

American Cinematheque, the organization that previously owned the theater, said in an email to members and patrons, “The Cinematheque was honored to bring the Egyptian Theatre back to life with an extensive renovation in 1998. We are now incredibly excited to announce a collaboration with Netflix to continue to preserve this space as a movie palace and to restore it once again for a new generation of film fans to experience movies on the big screen.”

American Cinematheque will continue to curate the theater’s programming on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, while Netflix will “own the theatre and invest in the theatre’s renovation and use the revitalized space for special events, screenings, and premieres during the week (Mon-Thurs).”

The Cinematheque will still own and operate the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica.

Deadline first reported a sale was in the works back in April 2019, explaining that American Cinematheque had struggled with cash flow, and stood to benefit from selling the historic building to Netflix.

Scott Stuber, head of Netflix films, says, “The Egyptian Theatre is an incredible part of Hollywood history and has been treasured by the Los Angeles film community for nearly a century. We’re honored to partner with the American Cinematheque to preserve the theater’s storied legacy and continue providing remarkable film experiences for audiences. We look forward to expanding programming at the theater in ways that will benefit both cinema lovers and the community.”


RELATED: Beyoncé’s Homecoming Documentary Hits Netflix Next Week


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Los Angeles Restaurants and Hair Salons Can Start Reopening

Los Angeles County restaurants may soon be able to resume dine-in service, and hair salons and barbershops can start taking customers. With those reopenings, the region takes a significant step forward in the resumption of normal economic activity.

Much as retail outlets and shopping malls have been allowed to reopen with crowd size limitations and distancing requirements, restaurants that wish to offer dine-in service will be expected to comply with numerous new protocols. Spaces will require frequent deep cleanings, and restaurants will have to find ways to keep customers and workers physically distant from one another.

Businesses that are ready to comply with the new guidelines will be able to start operations almost immediately, but it’s not clear how many business owners are going to seize the opportunity right away.

“I don’t think we’re going to scramble to open,” Jon Yao, chef-owner of Kato, told the Los Angeles Times. “I think our timeline is going to be more in line with how we combat the disease instead of what the city says is OK.”

Permission to reopen the county’s dining rooms and some grooming services comes after supervisors requested a special variance from the state earlier this week. The variance had already been granted for 47 of California’s counties at that time.

“Regional data shows we have flattened the curve, indicating our readiness to move forward in phased recovery,” Supervisor Kathryn Barger wrote in a statement. “This will put Los Angeles County on a level playing field with surrounding counties, which have already been granted variances.”

Along with the county’s request, it was required to supply a pandemic mitigation plan. In that plan, public health officials acknowledge that they are pressing ahead with reopening even though they anticipate “additional waves of cases at varying levels of severity will occur over the next 18 to 24 months,” the Los Angeles Times reports.


RELATED: Guidelines Offer a Glimpse at What L.A. Restaurants May Look Like When Dine-In Service Returns


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Could You Use a Cocktail? Here Are Some Tiki Drink Recipes Courtesy of Universal Studios

The slogan for Universal Studios Hollywood used to be Ride the Movies, but nobody has been able to fly around with Harry Potter or get spit on by the Dilophosaurus in Jurassic World: The Ride since the park shuttered in March. The boat ride was only eight months old when it had to go dark, so to keep the momentum going, Universal is hosting a virtual boozy Jurassic World watch party on Friday, May 29, at 5 p.m. The #UniversalAtHome experience involves fans watching the movie, drinking cocktails, and then tweeting about it.

So let’s see. First you mix up a batch of Bird of Paradise and Tiki Tai cocktails like the ones you can get at the Isla Nu-Bar next to the ride (recipes here), then everyone hits play on their personal copy of the movie all at the same time, then you go on Twitter (here) to… type screams at the scary parts?

May I also suggest having family members rock your chair back and forth, lightly mist you with water bottles, and maybe pop out of the darkness wearing a T-Rex mask once in a while? There have been so many families hungry for the theme park experience that many of them turned to making their own dark rides at home this spring. Check out #HomemadeDisney for some doozies.

“I mean. I love that they are trying to bring fun home to people. It’s a great way to promote their properties and keep people excited about the parks,” a die-hard roller coaster enthusiast who used to work the ride at Universal tells me, with mild enthusiasm. “But, for me personally, it holds little appeal.”


Tiki Tai

Ingredients:
1.0 oz White Rum
0.5 oz Pineapple Rum
1.0 oz Pineapple Juice
0.5 oz Lime Juice
0.5 oz Passion Fruit Purée
0.5 oz Orgeat Syrup
1.0 oz Dark Rum

Instructions:
1. Mix everything except the Dark Rum in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously for five seconds.
2. Pour the shaker into your favorite tiki glass and top with additional ice as needed.
3. Float the Dark Rum on top and enjoy!
4. For a little extra flair, you can garnish it with a pineapple leaf just like we do at Isla Nu-Bar.

Bird of Paradise

Ingredients:
1.5 oz Passionfruit Rum
0.5 oz Silver Rum
0.5 oz Passionfruit Purée
1.0 oz Guava Purée
0.5 oz Lime Juice
0.5 oz Orgeat Syrup
2 Dashes of Angostura Bitters
1.0 oz Spiced Rum

Instructions:
1. Similar to the Tiki Tai, you’re going to mix everything except the Spiced Rum in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously for five seconds.
2. Pour the shaker into your favorite tiki glass and top with additional ice as needed.
3. Float the Spiced Rum on top and enjoy!

Mai Tai (Non-Alcoholic)

Ingredients:
2.75 oz Pineapple Juice
1.25 oz Orange Juice
0.25 oz Grenadine
0.75 oz Lime Juice
0.75 oz Orgeat Syrup

Instructions:
1. Mix everything in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously for five seconds.
2. Pour the shaker into your favorite tiki glass and top with additional ice as needed.


RELATED: Tiki Drinks Are Everywhere Right Now–Here’s Where to Get the Best Ones


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Are Drive-In Concerts the Last, Best Hope for Live Music in 2020?

Even as retail, dining, and other industries rumble towards reopening, the live entertainment business lags far behind. Large concert venues and music festivals are expected to be among the very last phases of the recovery, due to the risks of having crowds gather, particularly indoors. Musicians have jumped to stage livestream concerts during quarantine, but many fans and performers crave the in-person experience–even if it comes in a modified form. Drive-in concerts appear poised to offer the next-best-thing to a traditional concert for the time being.

Drive-in concerts have already caught on in Korea and Europe as quarantine-weary audiences seek alternatives to completely staying at home. Series in Denmark and Germany bring out hundreds of cars for shows; one German dance club even staged a “drive-in rave” in its own parking lot this month, with crowd members honking horns and flashing headlights along with the music in place of dancing and applause.

Now that drive-in movie theaters cleared for operation by public health officials across Southern California, one local event producer figured it was about time for the region to see its first drive-in concert.

“My production company has been around for 12 years and we produce large-scale concerts and music festivals,” CBF Productions founder Vincenzo Giammanco says. “When you own a company that thrives off social settings, and then all of a sudden you can’t do things in social settings, we had to ask, ‘Well, what’s next?’ And we came up with this idea.”

That idea became Concerts in Your Car, an event series launching at the Ventura County Fairgrounds in June. Concerts will offer 500 carloads of fans at a time the chance to watch a live, in-person performance. Shows will take place at a pop-up venue built at the fairgrounds, that includes not only a stage and system to transmit the performance to car radios, but also an elaborate lighting rig and massive video monitors to provide visual entertainment that can be seen from any parking spot, among other high-tech tricks.

“This is a completely new experience,” Giammanco says. “You’re not a drive-in movie theatre. But it’s not your traditional concert, either. It’s something that is going to be a pretty epic experience.”

Two shows featuring Super Duper Kyle on June 12 and 13 kick off the series which, Giammanco hopes, will continue through the end of August. While the dates and headliners of upcoming shows have not yet been announced, he promises a mix of genres, perhaps also including stand-up comedy as well as music.

He says he hasn’t had trouble finding artists willing to get over the strangeness of playing a show to an audience of parked cars. “Every day my lists gets longer of artists that want to work,” he says. “And this is a historic event. This will probably go down in the history books as such a unique time, and we’re going to remember this unique thing we did to adapt to entertain during it.”

In addition to the musicians and production crews getting to ply their trades, Giammanco estimates that the series could put a million dollars into the local economy in Ventura. Much of that stimulus, he hopes, will come from concert-goers picking up food and beverage from local vendors to picnic in their cars during the show. Health rules don’t allow for any food or beverage service at the venue, but a directory of nearby partner restaurants offering takeout packages will be offered to all ticket buyers.

In addition to the Ventura Fairgrounds series, Giammanco’s company is looking at expanding to other venues around the region, pending conversations with local health officials and some other logistical challenges. But, even as his project grows, the circumstances make any success a bit bittersweet.

“I hope that what I’m creating is a temporary solution to a temporary problem,” he says. “Ultimately, we want to go back to how it used to be, 10,000 people in a venue, that’s how we thrive.”


RELATED: Legendary West Hollywood Music Venue the Troubadour Is in Trouble


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Daily Brief: Twitter Restricts Trump’s Threat to Minneapolis Looters

» Hours after he signed an executive order regarding social media “fairness,” Donald Trump ran afoul of Twitter’s community standards, tweeting about “thugs” in Minneapolis and threatening that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” a throwback to language used in 1967 by a Miami police chief cracking down on “slum hoodlums.” According to Twitter, Trump’s tweet was restricted “based on the historical context of the last line, its connection to violence, and the risk it could inspire similar actions today.” Trump was already up in arms about Twitter’s efforts to fact-check his misleading statements about voter fraud. [New York Times]

» Facebook won’t be following Twitter’s lead in offering independent fact-checking of political speech. Mark Zuckerberg just doesn’t feel like that’s his job. [NBC News]

» Paradise Falls in northwestern Thousand Oaks has been closed after huge crowds descended, filling the delicate environment with trash and human waste. Park managers noted that since they reopened mid-May, visitors have “behaved differently.” [Los Angeles Times]

» The union representing meatpacking workers is calling for the closure of the Farmer John plant in Vernon. The facility, known for producing the official ‘Dodger Dog,’ has seen at least 153 employees test positive for COVID-19. [Reuters]

» The COVID-19 pandemic is triggering a mental health crisis in the U.S. Experts warn that mental health facilities are unprepared for a historic spike in depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicides. [The Washington Post]

» CBS News has been hit with layoffs, cutting an estimated 50 staffers. While execs pinned these cuts on pandemic, the merger of CBS and Viacom resulted in around 450 layoffs since January. [The Hollywood Reporter]

» Sporting events won’t have crowds in the stands any time soon, but that doesn’t mean fans can’t cheer their teams on. A new app developed in Japan could allow for “remote cheering” at empty games.  [The Guardian]


TOP STORIES FROM L.A. MAG

» Evidence Mounts that There Will Be No Coachella 2020 Sources say that artists from the lineup are being asked to play in 2021 instead

» Guidelines Offer a Glimpse at What L.A. Restaurants May Look Like When Dine-In Service Returns Expect limited hours, frequent deep cleaning, and physical distancing

» ‘It’s What Keeps Me in Business’: WeHo Gay Bars Brace for a Year without Pride Crowds Already hurting, the people who make L.A.’s queer nightlife scene run will miss out on their biggest weekend of the year as the celebration goes virtual


ONE MORE THING

tito's tacos delivery take-out

After 60 Years, Tito’s Tacos Is Offering Something New

Tito’s Tacos, the beloved Culver City taco stand, will reopen on June 1 after a temporary closure. When they come back, not only will they be serving up the same hardshell tacos and other throwback dishes they’ve sold since 1959, but they’ll launch an online ordering system and local delivery service.

 [FULL STORY]


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After 60 Years, Tito’s Tacos Is Offering Something New

Tito’s Tacos, the beloved Culver City taco stand, will reopen on June 1 after a temporary closure. When they come back, not only will they be serving up the same hardshell tacos and other throwback dishes they’ve sold since 1959, but they’ll launch an online ordering system and local delivery service.

Not content to simply sign up with one of the third-party apps, Tito’s Tacos has partnered with another small L.A. business, StreetSmart Messengers. Before a messenger is allowed to carry orders from the cafe, they’ll need to complete a California Certified Food Handler training course and a custom course developed just for Tito’s by a specialized food safety consultant. Orders will be packed into tamper-proof packaging.

tito's tacos delivery take-out

That peace of mind comes at a price, of course. Delivery fees start at $10 for orders within five miles of the restaurant, and increase by $2 per mile outside that radius. If you’re farther afield, the new online ordering platform will also allow customers to order ahead for pick-up.

Inside the restaurant, customers will notice some additional health and safety upgrades. Floors will be marked with six-foot physical distancing markers for customers and workers in the kitchen, and Tito’s is installing two state-of-the-art plasma ion currency sterilizers for cash transactions. The same food safety consultant who designed the training protocols will also be making drop-in random inspections of the operation at least twice each week.

“We’ve served the Los Angeles community for over 60 years and worked tirelessly to adapt to be able to serve our customers,” says Lynne Davidson, the current owner of Tito’s Tacos, which was founded by her grandfather. “We hope that our food offers a bit of normalcy and comfort to our fans who continue to support us.”


RELATED: These Local Restaurants Are Taking Delivery and Take-Out Orders So We Can Self-Isolate Deliciously


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