Daily Brief: Oscars Break Down; Tenants Want Head of L.A. Housing Department To Move Out

Also, artists are honoring SPʘT, the producer who shaped L.A.’s early punk scene, following his death in early March.


» Biden Says Banking System Is Safe, Promises Accountability For Silicon Valley Bank Failure After the failure and federal seizure of Silicon Valley Bank this week, President Biden criticized former President Trump, the banking industry, and Silicon Valley in a speech on Monday. He accused Trump of damaging trust in democracy and dividing the country while blaming the banking industry for the 2008 financial crisis and Silicon Valley for spreading misinformation and hate speech. Biden emphasized the need to hold corporations accountable for their actions, particularly those that engage in predatory lending or allow harmful content online.  [L.A. Times]

» California Court Rules For Uber, Lyft In Ride-hailing Case California voters have decided that companies such as Uber and Lyft can classify their drivers as independent contractors, rather than employees. In 2020, California voters passed Proposition 22, which exempts “gig economy” companies—where people earn income by providing on-demand work, services or goods—from a state law that would have required them to treat their workers as employees with benefits such as minimum wage, workers’ compensation, and sick leave. However, the California Supreme Court has now ruled that the state’s minimum wage law does apply to Uber and Lyft drivers, as they are performing work that is part of the companies’ regular business. The decision could lead to further legal challenges over the classification of gig economy workers and their employment rights. [AP]

» Free Rides For Students On L.A. Metro Transit Are A Hit The Los Angeles Metro Transit has received a huge response from students after announcing free transportation passes for those aged 18 and under who attend schools in the Metro area. Since the initiative was launched in February, over 20,000 passes have been distributed to students. The move aims to help reduce the transportation costs of low-income families, encourage student attendance, and support a greener environment by reducing traffic congestion. Funded by Measure M, the initiative represents a half-cent sales tax, which was approved by L.A. County voters in 2016 to raise funds for transportation projects. The Metro Transit agency hopes to expand the program in the future. [CNS]

» California Cancels Salmon Fishing Season As Population Dwindles The Golden State’s 2023 salmon fishing season has been canceled due to drought conditions that have affected the state’s rivers and waterways. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife made the decision after determining that the numbers of salmon in the state’s rivers were too low to support a full fishing season. The cancellation will have serious economic impacts on fishing communities, which rely on the season. The decision highlights the ongoing challenges of managing natural resources in the face of climate change and the need for sustainable practices. [CBS]




Remembering SPʘT, Who Shaped and Chronicled L.A.’s Early Punk Scene

“SPʘT was not punk rock, and that’s a beautiful thing,” says Keith Morris, founding singer for the raging and hugely influential L.A. hardcore band Black Flag (and, later, the Circle Jerks and OFF!).

SPʘT, the record producer-engineer whose given name was Glenn M. Lockett, died on March 4 at age 71 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He was a central figure in the creation of ground-breaking recordings by Black Flag, Minutemen, Misfits and Hüsker Dü (among many others) at the start of the Southern California punk rock movement; Morris remembers him as a crucial “set of ears coming in and creating the time capsule.”

“When I look back on it now, it wasn’t really a style of music,” says Minutemen bassist Mike Watt of the punk scene. “It was kind of a way of doing things.”


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