TODAY’S ESSENTIAL NEWS
» Will California’s Newly Proposed COVID Bills Pass? With Gov. Gavin Newsom taking a milder stance on COVID-19 protocol and counties statewide seemingly reluctant to implement new mask mandates, the slew of ambitious COVID-related bills proposed by the California legislature’s vaccine working group are looking more and more far-fetched as the legislative deadline on August 31 closes in. This includes one that would have required all school children to be vaccinated. [NY Times]
» After Years Of Community Efforts, Will Anaheim Put Little Arabia On The Map? For decades, a relatively small but densely packed enclave— home to roughly 100 businesses— between Crescent and Katella Avenues in Anaheim has been informally known as Little Arabia. Now, the city wants to officially designate the community by that colloquial moniker to promote local business and celebrate cultural identity. [LAist]
» ‘Joker’ & ‘Rebel Moon’ Sequels Among Projects Set For California Tax Credits In order to bring film production revenue back to Hollywood, California’s new tax credit program has selected 18 film projects in its latest round. The films are projected to rake in about $915 million in overall production spending across the state, as well as employing hundreds of actors and thousands of crew members.[Deadline]
» California’s Fast Food Bill Could Link Chains To Wage Theft And Other Workplace Violations Assembly Bill 257, currently passing through the state legislature, would help establish more equitable relationships between major corporate food chains and their employees, holding the companies liable for minimum wage violations or unpaid overtime, rather than individual franchise owners. [CalMatters]
» Concord Named ‘Happiest City In The U.S.’ In Recent Instagram-based Study Residents of Concord, which lies just north of San Francisco, have apparently got something to smile about. Using Microsoft’s facial recognition program, analysts from HouseFresh looked at 100 U.S. cities to see which were the happiest, based entirely on how much they smiled in Instagram selfies, and Concord, California came in on top. [FOXLA]
» How A Homeless Woman And Her ‘Emotional Support Duck’ Survive On The Streets Of L.A. For 33-year-old Autumn McWilliams, who has endured countless hardships after being homeless for almost half her life, an unlikely friendship with a Peking duck named Cardi D has been a blessing. “Everyone in my life that I love goes away,” she says, watching her web-footed companion. “Hopefully she’s able to make it.” [LA Times]
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In Photos: A Cosplay Fantasia at DTLA’s Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade Ball
Over the weekend in Downtown Los Angeles, the veil between worlds once again became thin, with the mortal and faerie realms bleeding into one another. This occurs for two nights annually, in August when the Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade Ball is held, as its 24th edition was at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel on Friday and Saturday nights.
The grandiose event was established by art director-producer Shawn Strider in 1997 when he asked himself, “What if the ball in Jim Henson’s 1986 fantasy classic Labyrinth was real and held in Southern California?”—and then threw one in San Diego for about 150 guests.
It has grown year over year, moving around to New Orleans and Santa Monica, and stands now as one of the largest masked balls worldwide; about 5500 fans of both the David Bowie-Jennifer Connelly film and elaborate fantasy cosplay were in town from across the country and abroad to take part in the always-sold-out event.
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