» LAPD union officials have, after a protracted negotiation, agreed to a deal that postpones raises for hundreds of cops. In exchange, Mayor Garcetti agreed to table his other option for reducing the department’s budget: cutting officer jobs. [Los Angeles Times]
» Three people were critically injured in an explosion on a film set in Santa Clarita. The explosion sparked a grass fire, but the fire was contained. [ABC Los Angeles]
» Trader Joe’s will voluntarily extend a $4 per hour “Thank You Pay” raise to frontline workers. The move comes as other grocery chains have bristled at local government attempts to press them to compensate store staff for the high risk associated with working amid the pandemic. Trader Joe’s has also stated it will pay workers for time taken off to get vaccinated. [CBS Los Angeles]
» Community Land Trusts are becoming a popular instrument to help residents keep their homes and fight displacement. The trusts operate as non-profits that step in to buy buildings before developers can get their hands on them and increase costs. Now, L.A. County is expanding a pilot program in publicly-funded CLTs. [LAist]
» CVS is the latest pharmacy to begin distributing COVID-19 vaccine in Los Angeles. The chain has been allotted an initial 81,900 doses to administer at locations across the county. [Patch]
TOP STORIES FROM L.A. MAG
» As Gov. Newsom’s Approval Rating Craters, Would-Be Candidates Line Up to Replace Him As a recall effort rolls on, here are the people who’ve inserted themselves into the conversation
» Fans Ejected from Lakers Game After ‘Courtside Karen’ and LeBron James Trade Sideline Barbs King James laughed off the spat with some worked-up Atlanta fans
» How Vanessa Prager Captures the COVID-19 Era on Canvas “I wanted to simulate blankets and furry hugs and comfort,” the L.A.-bred artist says of her richly textured oil paintings
ONE MORE THING
Black History Month Spotlight: Maria Rita Valdez Villa, African-Mexican Foremother of Beverly Hills
In the 1830s, Maria Rita Valdez Villa, the formidable granddaughter of Luis and Maria Quintero and great-granddaughter of an enslaved African, was granted the approximately 4,500-acre El Rancho Rodeo de las Aguas—which we now know as Beverly Hills. From her adobe at what is now Alpine Drive and Sunset Boulevard, Maria Rita ran cattle ranching, farming, and gardening operations, and was well known for holding a yearly celebratory rodeo under a famous eucalyptus tree at what is now Pico and Robertson boulevards.
In 1852, three Native Californian outlaws attacked the rancho, culminating in a shootout amongst a grove of walnut trees at what is now Benedict Canyon and Chevy Chase drives. Done with the dangers of rancho living, in 1854 Maria Rita sold the rancho to investors Henry Hancock and Benjamin D. Wilson for a whopping $4,000.
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