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DAILY TRACKER: Updates on L.A. County’s COVID-19 Cases

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Coronavirus Cases Los Angeles, Update 8/5/2020:

Below is the current breakdown of coronavirus cases as of 8 p.m. on August 4. Data is incomplete due to a delay in the state’s electronic lab reporting system.

There are now 197,912 total confirmed cases (+2,347 from prior day). There have been 4,825 deaths (+68 from prior day). The regions with the highest rate of infections per capita are Saugus, Castaic, and City of Industry. The most deaths have been recorded in Glendale (142), Westlake (124), and El Monte (99).

Novel Coronavirus Cases in Los Angeles County, by Neighborhood
Acton 46
Adams-Normandie 178
Agoura Hills 120
Agua Dulce 20
Alhambra 955
Alsace 278
Altadena 491
Anaverde 8
Angeles National Forest 6
Angelino Heights 52
Arcadia 422
Arleta 1028
Artesia 239
Athens Village 172
Athens-Westmont 1155
Atwater Village 169
Avalon 5
Avocado Heights 204
Azusa 1479
Baldwin Hills 469
Baldwin Park 2103
Bassett 487
Bel Air 61
Bell 1194
Bell Gardens 1439
Bellflower 1757
Beverly Crest 87
Beverly Hills 547
Beverlywood 119
Bouquet Canyon 2
Boyle Heights 3380
Bradbury 4
Bradbury 13
Brentwood 217
Brookside 3
Burbank 1047
Cadillac-Corning 93
Calabasas 207
Canoga Park 1358
Canyon Country 86
Carson 1331
Carthay 176
Castaic 1865
Central 1672
Century City 94
Century Palms/Cove 1179
Cerritos 437
Chatsworth 508
Cheviot Hills 49
Chinatown 86
Claremont 265
Cloverdale/Cochran 234
Commerce 424
Compton 2983
Country Club Park 231
Covina 1318
Covina (Charter Oak) 238
Crenshaw District 242
Crestview 148
Cudahy 847
Culver City 330
Del Aire 51
Del Rey 268
Del Sur 7
Desert View Highlands 29
Diamond Bar 404
Downey 3110
Downtown 566
Duarte 472
Eagle Rock 497
East Covina 4
East Hollywood 506
East La Mirada 76
East Los Angeles 4786
East Pasadena 53
East Rancho Dominguez 496
East Whittier 53
Echo Park 171
El Camino Village 114
El Monte 3294
El Segundo 97
El Sereno 902
Elizabeth Lake 5
Elysian Park 78
Elysian Valley 197
Encino 405
Exposition 61
Exposition Park 987
Faircrest Heights 26
Figueroa Park Square 247
Florence-Firestone 4435
Gardena 899
Glassell Park 522
Glendale 2466
Glendora 1004
Gramercy Place 187
Granada Hills 871
Green Meadows 730
Hacienda Heights 757
Hancock Park 175
Harbor City 372
Harbor Gateway 706
Harbor Pines 14
Harvard Heights 446
Harvard Park 1248
Hawaiian Gardens 388
Hawthorne 1508
Hermosa Beach 152
Hi Vista 5
Hidden Hills 6
Highland Park 851
Historic Filipinotown 339
Hollywood 894
Hollywood Hills 230
Huntington Park 2175
Hyde Park 603
Industry 27
Inglewood 2107
Irwindale 54
Jefferson Park 205
Kagel/Lopez Canyons 26
Koreatown 887
La Canada Flintridge 129
La Crescenta-Montrose 120
La Habra Heights 30
La Mirada 646
La Puente 1109
La Rambla 72
La Verne 354
Ladera Heights 64
Lafayette Square 68
Lake Balboa 720
Lake Hughes 1
Lake Los Angeles 145
Lake Manor 14
Lakeview Terrace 439
Lakewood 933
Lancaster 2222
Lawndale 485
Leimert Park 238
Lennox 502
Leona Valley 15
Lincoln Heights 855
Little Armenia 334
Little Bangladesh 383
Little Tokyo 54
Littlerock 57
Littlerock/Juniper Hills 7
Littlerock/Pearblossom 57
Llano 3
Lomita 176
Longwood 94
Los Feliz 150
Lynwood 2518
Malibu 83
Manchester Square 134
Mandeville Canyon 18
Manhattan Beach 272
Mar Vista 249
Marina del Rey 61
Marina Peninsula 27
Maywood 1055
Melrose 1487
Mid-city 241
Miracle Mile 129
Mission Hills 553
Monrovia 612
Montebello 1695
Monterey Park 662
Mt. Washington 412
Newhall 6
North Hills 1322
North Hollywood 2535
North Lancaster 18
North Whittier 143
Northeast San Gabriel 259
Northridge 1041
Norwalk 2448
Pacific Palisades 100
Pacoima 2490
Padua Hills 2
Palisades Highlands 18
Palmdale 2766
Palms 440
Palos Verdes Estates 75
Palos Verdes Peninsula 3
Panorama City 2032
Paramount 1804
Park La Brea 85
Pearblossom/Llano 18
Pellissier Village 19
Pico Rivera 1796
Pico-Union 1450
Playa Del Rey 20
Playa Vista 104
Pomona 3929
Porter Ranch 245
Quartz Hill 123
Rancho Dominguez 63
Rancho Palos Verdes 229
Rancho Park 61
Redondo Beach 418
Regent Square 22
Reseda 1654
Reseda Ranch 85
Reynier Village 28
Rolling Hills 5
Rolling Hills Estates 31
Roosevelt 6
Rosemead 628
Rosewood 16
Rosewood/East Gardena 14
Rosewood/West Rancho Dominguez 68
Rowland Heights 493
San Dimas 379
San Fernando 646
San Gabriel 433
San Jose Hills 532
San Marino 58
San Pasqual 9
San Pedro 1587
Sand Canyon 5
Santa Catalina Island 7
Santa Clarita 2274
Santa Fe Springs 386
Santa Monica 658
Santa Monica Mountains 90
Saugus 15
Saugus/Canyon Country 1
Shadow Hills 41
Sherman Oaks 758
Sierra Madre 58
Signal Hill 192
Silver Lake 496
South Antelope Valley 1
South Carthay 87
South El Monte 659
South Gate 3475
South Park 1585
South Pasadena 224
South San Gabriel 136
South Whittier 1257
Southeast Antelope Valley 11
St Elmo Village 109
Stevenson Ranch 121
Studio City 195
Sun Valley 1087
Sun Village 102
Sunland 346
Sunrise Village 38
Sycamore Square 4
Sylmar 2397
Tarzana 505
Temple City 416
Temple-Beaudry 954
Thai Town 114
Toluca Lake 83
Toluca Terrace 17
Toluca Woods 14
Torrance 1068
Tujunga 285
Twin Lakes/Oat Mountain 10
University Hills 45
University Park 599
Val Verde 46
Valencia 36
Valinda 564
Valley Glen 425
Valley Village 404
Van Nuys 2055
Venice 211
Vermont Knolls 568
Vermont Square 264
Vermont Vista 1450
Vernon 8
Vernon Central 2327
Victoria Park 158
View Heights 35
View Park/Windsor Hills 108
Walnut 213
Walnut Park 542
Watts 1414
Wellington Square 92
West Adams 699
West Antelope Valley 3
West Carson 297
West Covina 2193
West Hills 394
West Hollywood 440
West LA 36
West Los Angeles 391
West Puente Valley 283
West Rancho Dominguez 19
West Vernon 1735
West Whittier/Los Nietos 713
Westchester 301
Westfield/Academy Hills 4
Westhills 8
Westlake 1996
Westlake Village 22
Westwood 267
White Fence Farms 36
Whittier 1667
Wholesale District 1945
Willowbrook 1113
Wilmington 1233
Wilshire Center 872
Winnetka 928
Wiseburn 101
Woodland Hills 668
Under Investigation: 4270


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


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Multiple Firearms Seized During FBI Raid of Jake Paul’s Calabasas Home

UPDATE: AUGUST 5, 4 P.M. – Multiple firearms were found at Jake Paul’s home in this morning’s raid. The FBI’s sweep has been confirmed to have been in connection to an incident that took place at an Arizona shopping mall.

ABC 7 reports that weapons were found “scattered across the Calabasas property.” One long gun appeared to have been propped up against a hot tub.

“The FBI is investigating allegations of criminal acts surrounding the incident at Scottsdale Fashion Square in May 2020,” an official statement reads. Connected search warrants were also executed in Las Vegas and Arizona.

While Paul denies any wrongdoing in the Arizona incident–insisting he was only at the scene “documenting, not engaging”–he was present when the situation at the Scottsdale Fashion Square mall was declared an unlawful assembly. Thefts and vandalism were reported at the mall during the event.

Paul was initially charged with criminal trespass and other charges, along with two other men, Arman Izadi and Andrew Leon. The Times reports that local charges for all three have been dropped, but the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona and the FBI are coordinating a federal investigation.


AUGUST 5, 10 A.M. – YouTube personality and public nuisance Jake Paul got a surprise visit from the FBI this morning, and it looks like it was no joke. Video footage published by TMZ shows law enforcement officers in helmets and fatigues departing Paul’s Calabasas mansion by the armored-carload after agents served a federal search warrant.

Details are scarce, but the FBI says the warrant is part of an “ongoing investigation.”

“The affidavit in support of the search warrant has been sealed by a judge and I am, therefore, prohibited from commenting as to the nature of the investigation. No arrests are planned,” the FBI said in a statement.

Paul—who rose to fame on Vine before being cast on a Disney Channel show, trying professional boxing, and launching the “Financial Freedom Movement”—has been under fire for continuing to host blowout parties at his home amid the pandemic. In an interview with Insider, he was unapologetic, saying, “I personally am not the type of person who’s gonna sit around and not live my life.” Calabasas’ mayor told that publication that the city would begin issuing “financial penalties” if Paul kept hosting ragers.

In June, Paul was charged with two misdemeanors in Arizona for participating in “riots and looting” at Scottsdale Fashion Square mall. Paul later denied participating in any looting. In a statement posted to Twitter he said, “We filmed everything we saw in an effort to share our experience and bring more attention to the anger felt in every neighborhood we traveled through; we were strictly documenting, not engaging.”


RELATED: A Look at Jake Paul’s Platform to Train Teens to Become Influencers Instead of People Who Went to School


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A Brawl Between 60 to 100 People Broke Out at a Disneyland-Area Hotel

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Anaheim police responded to reports of a brawl at the Cambria Hotel & Suites this afternoon which, authorities say, involved 60 to 100 participants. Two individuals were arrested, and several are being treated for minor injuries. At least two people were stabbed.

According to witnesses, the thing that triggered the melee was a poolside mishap between children. An 11-year-old reportedly pushed his cousin in a playful manner, but the cousin accidentally fell onto an unrelated group of children nearby.

“It was just an accident,” Raymond Brown told KTLA about the altercation. “Then that’s when they tried to fight us and they all went to the basketball court and then we got in the hotel and they just started throwing bottles and stuff at us.”

From there, the fight appears to have escalated dramatically. By the time police arrived, they reported finding people brawling outside and in the lobby of the hotel.

“The officers arrive and were immediately met with about 40 people fighting outside,” Anaheim P.D. Sargent Shan Carringer told the Orange County Register. Inside, another “50 to 60” individuals were observed, in a scene he describes as “pandemonium.”

“It was men and women, adults, and juveniles,” Carringer noted. “It sounds like people had broomsticks and whatever objects they could find in the hotel.”


RELATED: Disneyland Employees Want Daily COVID Testing, but the Company Shot Down the Idea


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TV and Film Production Is Ramping Up Again in L.A.

FilmLA, the official film office for Los Angeles, announced Wednesday that it has received 577 film permit applications for 422 unique productions since it reopened remotely on June 15 after being forced to close in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The agency says permit applications have risen from 14 per day in late June, when limited shooting was allowed to resume in L.A. County and the City of Los Angeles, to 18 per day in early August.

“This is around 34 percent of the application count FilmLA would expect under normal conditions, upheld principally by activity in the advertising industry (still photography and commercials),” the agency said in a statement.

Variety reports that commercial productions make up nearly two thirds of the current applications and that film and TV shoots comprise just nine per cent of the total.

Although FilmLA warns that “overall activity will remain low until scripted television and feature production pick up,” it expects to see that uptick “in early September.”

Some of the few scripted shows getting to work are Freeform’s Love in the Time of Corona, Big Shot on Disney+, and FX’s Snowfall, while reality shows Botched and The Masked Singer are also back in production.

Films currently shooting include Michael Bay’s pandemic thriller Songbird (after getting off to a rocky start), Netflix’s The Prom, and Broken English Productions’ 7th & Union.

FilmLA President Paul Audley said in a statement Wednesday, “It is not an exaggeration to say that there are few other industries seeking to reopen as responsibly as the film business. Hundreds of smaller projects have successfully applied safe set practices as outlined in state and local public health orders. Meanwhile, continuing dialogue between studio and labor representatives is driving focused attention to cast, crew and vendor safety and compliance.”


RELATED: Cinematographers Guild Releases COVID-19 Protocols for Returning to Work


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Updated! All of L.A.’s Pop-Up Drive-In Movie Nights of Summer

There may be a pandemic, but you don’t have to give up summertime outdoor movies–or at least not entirely. Clever pop-up series have shifted from crowding parks with viewers on picnic blankets to setting up massive parking-lot screens inspired by classic American drive-in movie theaters. Sure, the logistics will be a little more challenging, but these pop-up drive-in movie series might just be the biggest entertainment events of the season.


Electric Dusk Drive-In

One of L.A.’s favorite pop-up drive-ins—one that predates the pandemic—is back with a new Glendale location atop the old Sears parking garage at 236 N. Central Avenue.

August 7, 8:15 p.m. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off / The Breakfast Club
August 8, 8:15 p.m. Vacation / Weird Science


San Fernando Valley Summer Drive-In Nights

For the last few summers, this pop-up series was already offering the drive-in experience, so we’re happy to see they returned this year. The films are typically Valley-centric in content or filming locations. In addition to the August run, organizers say they hope to run Halloween movies in October. Screenings take place at the Westfield Fashion Square mall in Sherman Oaks.

August 13, 8:30 p.m. The Sandlot
August 14 , 8:30 p.m. Grease 
August 15, 8:30 p.m. Jurassic Park
August 16, 8:30 p.m. La Bamba


PCH Movies & Moonlight

A bummer about all these pop-ups? They sell out fast. This Long Beach pop-up drive-in, which is parking itself atop the Whole Foods parking deck at the 2nd and PCH shopping center, offers stand-by tickets on a first-come, first serve basis. Note that times vary based on sunset.

August 4 Trolls World Tour
August 14  Guardians of the Galaxy
August 21, Hairspray
August 28 Moana
September 4 Selena
September 11 A Dog’s Purpose
September 18 The Princess and the Frog
September 24 The Fast and the Furious


Street Food Cinema

The biggest annual summer outdoor movie series didn’t let us down, pivoting to a program of in-car entertainment. The schedule is reduced this year, but still includes multiple venues, and there will still be food trucks on site. Street Food Cinema is also a cohost of the Level 8 Drive-In series at the Americana, listed below. (SFC will also rent you the gear for your own drive-in screening or larger-than-life projected wedding ceremony.)

August 8, 8:30 p.m. The Princess Bride (Lakeview Park, Orange County)
August 8, 8:30 p.m. The Princess Bride (Lakeview Park, Orange County)
August 9, 8:30 p.m. Grease (Brandeis Bardin Campus, Simi Valley)
August 14, 8:30 p.m. The Breakfast Club (King Gillette Ranch, Malibu)
August 15, 8:30 p.m. Jerry Maguire (King Gillette Ranch, Malibu)
August 15, 8:30 p.m. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Brandeis Bardin Campus, Simi Valley)
August 16, 8:30 p.m. Mean Girls (King Gillette Ranch, Malibu)
August 29, 8:30 p.m. The Big Lebowski (Brandeis Bardin Campus, Simi Valley)
August 30, 8:30 p.m. The Breakfast Club (Brandeis Bardin Campus, Simi Valley)
September 4, 8:30 p.m. Bridesmaids (King Gillette Ranch, Malibu)


Level 8 Drive-In

Enjoy the views from atop the garage of the Americana at these screenings. In addition to the family-friendly flicks, you’ll have access to classic movie concessions including free popcorn, and the option to buy special meal packs from the complex’s restaurants.

August 6, 8:30 p.m. 500 Days of Summer 
August 7, 8:30 p.m. The Princess and the Frog
August 13, 8:30 p.m. Citizen Kane
August 14, 8:30 p.m. Moulin Rouge!
August 27, 8:30 p.m. Love and Basketball
August 28, 8:30 p.m. A Star Is Born


Summer Weekend Drive-In at the Roadium

The 15-acre Roadium in Torrance opened in 1948 as a drive-in cinema, but by the ’80s the space was mostly used as a swap meet (specifically, the swap meet where, legend has it, a record seller introduced Eazy-E to Dr. Dre). Now the space is going back to its roots for occasional pop-up movie nights.

August 7 & 8, 7 p.m. School of Rock
August 14 & 15, 7 p.m. American Graffiti
August 21 & 22, 7 p.m. Beethoven
August 28 & 29, 7 p.m. Twister
September 4 & 5, 7 p.m. Grease


Amazon Presents A Night at the Drive-In

Curated by actor Michael B. Jordan (and featuring several of his starring roles) this Amazon-sponsored series of double-features takes place at City of Industry’s full-time drive-in movie theater, the Vineland Drive-In. Refreshments are on Amazon, all purchased from diverse-owned local businesses.

August 12, 8:30 p.m. Do the Right Thing / Get Out
August 26, 8:30 p.m. Coming to America / Girls Trip


Melrose Rooftop Theater

Not actually a drive-in series (more of a walk-up?) but we’re including here as it’s one of the very few outdoor movie options this summer that aren’t vehicle-based. In an attempt to comply with COVID protocols, a small number of guests will be able to purchase seats for these screenings, and the seats will be placed several feet apart. Additional protocols and guidelines can be found on the website. As in previous years, the series takes place on the roof at WeHo’s E.P. & L.P. and includes food and drink upgrades available for purchase.

August 5, 8:30 p.m. Bohemian Rhapsody
August 6, 8:30 p.m. Jurassic Park
August 9, 8:30 p.m. The Big Lebowski
August 10, 8:30 p.m. La La Land
August 11, 8:30 p.m. Boyz n the Hood
August 12, 8:30 p.m. The Gentlemen
August 13, 8:30 p.m. 10 Things I Hate About You
August 16, 8:30 p.m. The Goonies
August 17, 8:30 p.m. Bridesmaids
August 18, 8:30 p.m. Ghost
August 19, 8:30 p.m. Kill Bill: Vol 1
August 20, 8:30 p.m. The Fifth Element
August 23, 8:30 p.m. Get Out
August 24, 8:30 p.m. Drive
August 25, 8:30 p.m. Grease
August 26, 8:30 p.m. Almost Famous
August 27, 8:30 p.m. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off


Ventura Movies In Your Car

Located at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, this series is run by the same organizers who are also using the venue for drive-in concerts from Third Eye Blind, Fitz and the Tantrums, and other acts. More showings to be announced.

August 10, 7 p.m. Toy Story 4
August 11, 8 p.m. The Princess Bride
August 24, 7 p.m. Frozen II
August 25, 8 p.m. Edward Scissorhands
August 26, 8 p.m. The Sandlot
August 31, 7 p.m. The Lion King
September 1, 8 p.m. Die Hard


The Frida Cinema Drive-Ins

Orange County’s non-profit art house cinema is hosting drive-in nights at Anaheim’s Zion Lutheran Church & School. The two July dates scheduled so far have both sold out, but the org recommends subscribing to their newsletter to get announcements about more dates to come. Check out Frida’s “virtual cinema” streaming fundraiser, too.

August 8, 8:30 p.m. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
August 9, 8:30 p.m. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
August 12, 8:30 p.m. Time Bandits
August 13, 8:30 p.m. NeverEnding Story
August 20, 8:30 p.m. Stop Making Sense (First American School, Santa Ana)


Drive-In at the Park Presented by Tailgate Fest

Country music festival Tailgate Fest may not be happening this August as they originally planned, but the organizers have put their car-partying expertise into a new venture: a series of drive-in movie nights, with dates scheduled at Whittier Narrows Regional Park in South El Monte, Castaic Lake Park in Castaic, and Calamigos Ranch in Malibu.

August 7, 8:20 p.m. Frozen / The Secret Life of Pets (Castaic Lake Park)
August 8, 8:20 p.m. Frozen / The Secret Life of Pets (Castaic Lake Park)


Sagebrush Cantina Movie Night

Sagebrush Cantina is offering micro-drive-in nights outside its Calabasas restaurant. In addition to a $25 pass for the car, you’ll need to spend at least $15 on food and drink from the restaurant during the show.

August 19, 8:30 p.m. Pulp Fiction
August 26, 8 p.m. The Goonies


Cinema Pop-Ups

This national series has announced two SoCal locations, San Juan Capistrano and Woodland Hills, which schedule a limited run of films. Check the website for announcements of additional dates.


RELATED: Movie Theaters Are Still Closed, but These Drive-Ins Are Open for Business


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How Public Transit Riders Are Managing Their Metro Commutes During the Pandemic

For Marisela Norte, commuting to work at a Mid-Wilshire museum three days a week in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic means careful observation, a knowledge of alternate routes, and allowing for more travel time than she once did. Norte takes the 720 Rapid, the notoriously crowded bus line with the bulk of its route traversing Wilshire Boulevard. Even with ridership down across Los Angeles Metro as a side effect of the pandemic, the 720 isn’t an easy ride.

“You’re living in that constant state of trying to manage how are you going to get to work,” Norte says. Sometimes, if a bus is already fairly full and there’s a crowd waiting, the driver won’t stop. When one does open its doors, Norte will count to see how many people are on board. If there are fewer people exiting than boarding the bus, she’ll hang out for the next one. She’ll notice whether or not there are available seats. “If there are already people standing, then I know that I can’t get on because it’s not safe,” she says. Sometimes, it’s a 20- to 30-minute wait for a 720 with enough room to maintain proper social distance. Other times, she’ll walk to take an alternate route.

For public transportation riders, the pandemic has brought up a lot of questions about travel. How safe is it to be caught in the rush hour squeeze in and out of subways cars, trains, and buses? Months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the message is still mixed.

In early June, reports from both France and Japan indicated that the virus didn’t appear to be spreading via public transportation. As Bloomberg CityLab pointed out, while that could mean that people aren’t contracting COVID-19 in these spaces, it may also be a reflection of how difficult it is to trace clusters back to public transportation. Also in early June, Los Angeles Metro announced the death of a bus driver from COVID-19 complications. A security guard, who worked as a contractor for Metro, died of the disease in April. At press time, there have been 257 confirmed cases cases of COVID-19 amongst employees, contractors and vendors.

I talked to 11 Metro riders for this story. Some have continued to ride during the pandemic. Others have stopped for a variety of reasons, including concern for their own health or that of someone in their household, as well as job changes that eliminated their commutes.

Victor P. Corona, a sociologist and professor at Emerson College and Cal State Los Angeles, stopped using Metro temporarily when his classes were moved online, both because he was no longer commuting for work and because he was concerned about the virus. For about ten weeks, he stayed in his Koreatown neighborhood. Since then, though, he’s used Metro for a few essential trips.

“Frankly, as a sociologist of urban culture, I was curious about how people were interacting in these very confined spaces,” he says. “I was expecting a lot of paranoid behavior and then some people that were maybe very defiant and not wearing masks, but I haven’t seen any of that. I’ve seen people who need to ride mass transit who need to get to their jobs or other places, sitting and looking at their phones and listening to music like they would on any other day.”

Others have noticed a few changes in the experience of riding Metro. “Any time I step on the Gold Line, even though I have my mask on, you can smell the cleaning product once you step on the train,” says John Perry of Pasadena. Those riding the B Line (aka the Red Line) have noticed that it’s been quieter. “There’s no musical entertainment on there anymore,” says Ernest Gordon of Venice in reference to the buskers who would often play inside subway cars.

Norte notes that the way bus riders are communicating with each other has changed. There are fewer conversations during the commute, she says. “We’re just communicating with our eyes right now,” Norte adds. “Right now, the eyes are saying, ‘Please don’t sit next to me.'”

For those who have stopped riding Metro, the question of when and if they will return remains and it’s often dependent on both the virus and how well safety measures are enforced. Prior to the pandemic, April Ingram, who lives in East Hollywood, used Metro at least five days a week. She has been concerned about masks, which have been mandatory since May, noting that the most frequent comments she sees on social media are about people not wearing them. She also recently saw a maskless person boarding a bus. For that reason, if Ingram is called back to her job in Echo Park soon, she’s considering walking instead. “I want them to have a strict enforcement of the masks,” she says, suggesting a “mask monitor” to keep those without them from boarding, or to hand out free ones.

“We’re just communicating with our eyes right now. Right now, the eyes are saying, ‘please don’t sit next to me.'”

Romy Meyerson, a vet tech from Reseda who commutes to West Hills, also suggests that someone monitor mask usage on the Metro. While Meyerson has been getting rides from co-workers often during the pandemic, she does still use public transportation when necessary. Like most of the current riders interviewed, she says that, overall, people have been following the mask rules. There was that one bus ride, though, where someone wasn’t wearing one.

“We are doing everything possible to maintain a healthy and safe system for both our customers and employees as we navigate this grave public health threat,” says Metro spokesman Dave Sotero. “We’ve bolstered our cleaning regimes, added capacity to many of our modified bus services, required face coverings for all riders, and are now evaluating new technologies to combat the virus.”

In recent weeks, Metro has added service for select bus lines, including the 720. Still, the bigger question is the one that also impacts every other aspect of pandemic life: How willing are we to look out for each other?

“I honestly believe that if people looked out for their fellow man—no matter who they were—I think that would make a lot of a difference,” Meyerson says.


RELATED: Is it Safe to Ride Metro? Tips for Taking Public Transit During the Coronavirus Outbreak


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Morning Brief: The L.A. Health Department Bans Parties and Gatherings

» After a deadly shooting drew attention to a massive party at a rented mansion on Mulholland Drive, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has issued a “legally binding health officer order that prohibits gatherings, including parties, during the coronavirus pandemic in order to protect the health and lives of county residents.” Violating the order is a crime punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both. [NBC Los Angeles]

» The 2020 Census will stop counting efforts a month earlier than planned. As it stands, roughly four of every 10 households has not been counted, with undercounts particularly concentrated among immigrants and renters. [NPR]

» A whistleblower has come forward to claim that the L.A. County Sheriff’s station in Compton has been infiltrated by a “violent gang” known as the Executioners. There are alleged to be around 20 “inked members” of the group sporting matching tattoos of “a skull with Nazi imagery, holding an AK-47.” [NCB Los Angeles]

» Parking restrictions will remain relaxed in L.A. through August 18. The city may choose to extend again after that date. [KTLA]

» Mulan will debut directly on Disney+, rather than waiting for a theatrical premiere, as had previously been planned. Unlike other Disney+ releases, though, the feature will require a $29.99 rental fee to watch.  [The Hollywood Reporter]

» Neil Young says he’s suing Donald Trump for playing his songs at campaign events. “Rockin’ in the Free World” and “Devil’s Sidewalk” have been on the presidential playlist. [Rolling Stone]


TOP STORIES FROM L.A. MAG

» Multiple People Were Shot at a Mulholland Drive Mansion Party A massive celebration amid the COVID-19 pandemic ended in tragedy

» Investigations Continue into a Party Sources Have Linked to the L.A. Sheriff’s Department “If you’re so concerned, why don’t you call the police,” a guest identified as a police officer told a reporter at the scene

» DA Jackie Lacey’s Husband Is Being Charged for Pulling a Gun on BLM Protesters The incident in question took place a day before the March 3 primary election


ONE MORE THING

wildfire

Wildfire Season Is Projected to Be Bad This Year. Here’s How to Prepare

Fire has always been part of Southern California’s ecosystem, but today’s wildfires are more intense, more frequent, and more dangerous than ever. This year’s projections look particularly bad, with a La Niña system in the forecast, and a wildland fire potential outlook of “above average” starting in October. Here are some tips for making your home more fire-resistant, and getting prepared in case a blaze breaks out.

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Will Karen Bass’s Past Tank Her Shot at Becoming Biden’s VP?

James Clyburn, the influential South Carolina congressman and Joe Biden confidant, is palpably annoyed. “It bugs me that people want to pit these two Black women against the other,” Clyburn complained to the Washington Post over the weekend, referencing the emerging narrative of a potential vice presidential slugfest between his colleague and good friend Representative Karen Bass and Senator Kamala Harris. “It is messier than it should be.”

Clyburn, the Majority Whip and a singular voice within Biden’s inner circle, is hardly the only Democrat ticked off by the seemingly endless pageant that has a select group of dynamo women battling to become Biden’s pick.

Bass and Harris may be two of the most powerful African-American women in U.S. politics, but their similarities pretty much begin and end with the state they represent. Unlike Harris, who rose to prominence as San Francisco District Attorney and later California Attorney General, Bass began as a grassroots activist and founder of the Community Coalition, with a mission to tackle drug addiction and poverty in South L.A. She quietly served in the state legislature from 2004 to 2010, rising to Speaker in the last two years, and was easily elected to Congress in November 2010. Despite representing the 37th House District—a massive swath of Los Angeles that spans from the 110 Freeway to the Westside—Bass has kept a much lower profile than her Bay Area compatriot. Though she’s popular with House leadership, until a few weeks ago when she made Biden’s short list for VP, Bass was neither famous nor on the national radar.

Harris’s trajectory, on the other hand, has been a clean space launch from DA to AG to Senator to presidential candidate. She is now, arguably, the front-runner in the race to be Biden’s VP. But that race is officially a marathon slog—and with no winner expected to snare the trophy before August 15, anything can happen.

How did Bass leapfrog onto the VP finalist list?

Turns out being a congenial team player who happens to head up the Congressional Black Caucus at a moment when race is dominating the national conversation is a game changer. About two weeks ago, Bass, 66, suddenly sprinted to the front of the pack with boosts from congressional colleagues—including Nancy Pelosi—and other Democratic kingmakers like former California Democratic Party chairman John Burton.

Then the big shoe dropped: Cuba—the Third Rail of U.S. politics and presidential elections.

First reported were her ill-chosen words upon the death of Fidel Castro in 2016, she opined, that “the passing of the Comandante en Jefe is a great loss to the people of Cuba.” Ouch! But politically survivable.

Far more damaging was news that that Bass first visited the island while, in college, at age 19, in 1973 with the Venceremos Brigade, a group popular with leftwing student radicals and social progressives that organized and ferried Americans to Cuba to cut sugar cane and build homes—in defiance of the U.S. Embargo and policy. She would take eight trips with the Brigade during the 1970s alone; her fascination with and ties to the island have been steadfast ever since. In recent years, Bass has backed visas for Cuban doctors working in L.A.’s underserved neighborhoods, ending the US Embargo, and normalizing relations with Cuba.

Indeed, as chronicled in the L.A. Times, the Los Angeles Police Department under Daryl Gates famously infiltrated the Brigade (identifying Bass as a “leader” in 1973). One of the twelve LAPD undercover officers encouraged and trained some in the group, including Bass, to use firearms, previously unheard among the group. Bass was one of a hundred-plus plaintiffs who joined a ACLU lawsuit against the department, that eventually prevailed.

As a reporter covering Cuba-Miami since 1991, I can’t figure why Bass’s Venceremos Brigade history is such a bombshell. Her frequent-flyer status to the island has hardly been a secret. Bass has been well known in the American expat scene in Havana for decades and counts dozens of friends, including some Party officials, on the island. When she accompanied President Barack Obama to Cuba for his historic 2016 trip restoring relations with Cuba, she even tweeted a pic of herself in a red bandana from her Venceremos days.

That said, there is really no way to soft pedal the fact the Brigade was cofounded by the Castro government and Students for a Democratic Society, and was born of the marriage of the student Left and the Cuban Communist Party, then much under the influence of the Soviets. At the moment, another cozy relationship with a communist is getting ink. On Tuesday, Politico dredged up a eulogy Bass penned to honor the passing of Communist Party organizer Oneil Marion Cannon in 2017.

While having had a radical past isn’t a big deal in California politics, it has long been a disqualifier in any presidential race.

One word, as veteran journalist Tim Russert oft intoned: Florida, Florida, Florida.

On Saturday, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, the Trump administration’s go-to Cuban-American surrogate, blasted Bass: “She will be the highest-ranking Castro sympathizer in the history of the United States government.” The tone and vitriol was more incendiary on popular Cuban exile radio stations in Miami and blogs like Babalu. 

Important Democratic power players in Miami like state senator Anette Taddeo, a Colombian, urgently warn that Bass would be “a game changer” that could cost Biden Florida; Cuban-American pollster Fernand Amandi, who knows how to crunch the numbers of every Cuban-American vote, agrees.

Certainly, the Dems could respond to such red-baiting by pointing out that Republicans have been struck mute by Trump’s slavish devotion to Vladimir Putin. But in any case, Bass’s supporters believe that Biden is now popular enough in the state to survive an onslaught by the anti-Castro opposition. A new generation of Cuban-Americans is much less likely to share the anti-Castro obsessions of their parents or grandparents.

Bass has no illusions about her Cuba baggage and talked candidly with me on the subject, just hours after she left the John Lewis memorial in the Capitol, where she spoke with Biden there.

Regardless of her Cuba issues, I told her I am skeptical that the Dems can carry the state. Bass agreed that the state is a thorny challenge and noted that “the new wave of Venezuelans”—all fiercely anti-communist—“are also now a factor.” She added that Biden’s camp had told her of an internal Florida poll showing him up 15 points over Trump. I said I found that hard to believe and she offered a warm laugh and an ambiguous “whatever!”

My two cents is that a Biden-Bass ticket would have to bank on a national landslide sufficient to lose Florida. But, by all accounts, Biden’s campaign is prepared to wage an all-out battle for the Sunshine State and its game-changing 29 electoral votes.

Despite Trump’s declining fortunes in Florida, winning the state will be a tall order, and not because there are a lack of sufficient Democratic votes to prevail in a clear, clean election. Consider the fact, that it is more partisan now than when I covered the infamous Bush vs. Gore fiasco of 2000. While Democrat voters outnumber Republican ones in the state, it is governed by an intensely partisan GOP, including Trump-acolyte governor Ron DeSantis; its two senators, Rubio and former governor Rick Scott; and a Secretary of State, Laurel M. Lee—a worthy rival to Katharine Harris—who ultimately decides which ballots are counted.

While the Scientology flap isn’t a deal breaker, being a former Brigadista likely is. The possibility of leaked photos of a young, naïve Bass posing for pictures with Cuban officials (and they do love taking photos of visiting Americans) could tank the Biden ship.

But Castro isn’t the only controversial tyrant getting in Bass’s way. The congresswoman has also been criticized for ill-advised comments about Scientology guru L. Ron Hubbard at the 2010 inauguration of the Ideal Org building in Hollywood. In a video surfaced by right-wing website the Daily Caller, Bass says, “….That is why the words are exciting of your Founder L. Ron Hubbard, in the creed of the Church of Scientology: That all people of whatever race, color or creed are created with equal rights.”

Bass was the speaker of the California State Assembly at the time, but Scientology whistleblower Tony Ortega says the building wouldn’t have been in her district, as Bass has claimed. The congresswoman has defended her attendance with the requisite political politesse, saying she was just seeking some commonality with a church not her own.

While the Scientology flap isn’t a deal breaker, being a former Brigadista likely is. The possibility of leaked photos of a young, naïve Bass posing for pictures with Cuban officials (and they do love taking photos of visiting Americans) would tank the Biden ship.

For now, while Bass is enjoying the support of a host of powerful Democratic insiders, Harris is still the one to beat. But the 55-year-old Senator is facing her own headwinds stemming from her record as SF’s district attorney. During the primaries, progressive activists pointed to her law enforcement record as proof that she was too conservative for the party. Ironically, in a general election, her GOP critics will undoubtedly argue the opposite. In an incident that is now largely forgotten, Harris provoked a firestorm in California in 2008, when she passed on the death penalty for MC-13 Salvadoran gang member Edwin Ramos for the murders of a father and two sons in a drive-by shooting that Ramos said was a case of mistaken identity.

Four years prior, she’d raised right-wing hackles when she announced she wouldn’t seek the death penalty for gang member David Harris for the assault-rifle murder of popular San Francisco police officer Isaac Espinoza.

Still, it may prove to be a helpful counter-narrative to the “Kamala is a cop” tag that has scored traction among some Black activists.

While the showdown between Harris and Bass has rubber-necked political junkies it’s aggravated Democratic power players—and both women.

Last week at John Lewis’s memorial in Selma, Alabama, Bass and Harris went off on their own for a private schmooze. “It was all good,” Bass later told an interviewer. “[Harris] said ‘We ain’t doing that.’ It was fine.” Bass added: “I’m not the anti-Kamala.”

No matter who snags the VP slot, Bass is looking at a huge career upgrade. If Kamala gets the nod, her Senate seat opens up if the Dems prevail on November 3. Or come 2024, a 94-year-old Dianne Feinstein will almost certainly not run again.

Senator Bass? Sounds about right to me.

Ann Louise Bardach, a PEN Award-winning reporter, is the author of Without Fidel and Cuba Confidential.


RELATED: Two Californians Are on Joe Biden’s VP Shortlist. What Are Their Chances?


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Katy Perry Roars to the Defense of Ellen DeGeneres

As allegations about the behind-the-scenes world of Ellen DeGeneres’s talk show continue to mount, some in Hollywood have made public statements about their own uncomfortable dealings with DeGeneres, and many others appear to be laying low about the matter–but not Katy Perry. The pop star came strongly to Degeneres’s defense in a pair of tweets posted around midnight.

Perry has been a frequent guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, dropping by 13 times since since 2008. Many on Twitter quickly responded to Perry’s messages by pointing out that it is possible that the experience of a high-profile celebrity guest of a talk show might be different than that of the staff that produces that show.

DeGeneres doesn’t have many outspoken supporters at this point, but Perry isn’t totally alone. Diane Keaton and comedian Kevin Hart have also made statements on behalf of the controversial host.


RELATED: Upward of 300,000 L.A. Households Could Be at Risk if the State’s Eviction Ban Expires Next Month


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