Morning Brief: California Approves $7.6 Billion in Pandemic Relief

Also labor activists call for a boycott of Food 4 Less and Ralphs, and more

» California has approved a $7.6 billion pandemic relief package. The package includes $2.1 billion in grants and fee waivers for small businesses, and $600 stimulus checks for qualifying state residents.  [Los Angeles Times]

» Labor activists are calling for a boycott of Ralphs and Food 4 Less. The grocery chains’ parent company, Kroger, has been criticized for its treatment of staff during the pandemic and, recently, closing locations in Black and Latino neighborhoods of Long Beach in protest of that city’s “hero pay” ordinance.  [ABC Los Angeles]

» TIME’S UP leaders say there should be “no comeback” for film director Brett Ratner, who has been accused of sexual harassment and misconduct by multiple women. The statement was made in response to an announcement that Ratner is already working on a new film.  [Hollywood Reporter]

» One person was wounded in a shooting near the Hollywood & Highland shopping center on Monday afternoon. Police are searching for a suspect who fled the scene.  [Los Angeles Times]

» Lisa Vanderpump’s restaurants PUMP and Villa Blanca are being sued for unpaid debts to a produce vendor. West Central Produce claims the restaurants took in thousands of dollars worth of fruits and vegetables without paying for them in full.  [TMZ]


» LAUSD Expects to Resume Some In-Person Instruction Next Week Superintendent Beutner says “a more complete reopening of schools” is slated for April 9

» A Pasadena Company Has Developed a Fast, Cheap, At-Home COVID Test–but the FDA Has Been Slow to Approve Innova’s rapid test kits are being shipped off to 20 countries, but haven’t yet received approval to be sold in the U.S.

» A New Book Takes a Long Overdue Look at the History of Native Americans in Comedy Comedy historian Kliph Nesteroff chronicles 150 years of Native comedy, from the days of Wild West shows to the internet age



john dolphin
Photo via Dolphin’s Of Hollywood Entertainment

Black History Month Spotlight: Record Store Owner and Label Founder John Dolphin

Originally from Oklahoma, John Dolphin (1902-1958), nicknamed “Lovin’ John,” was a pioneering producer, music label founder, and owner of the legendary South Los Angeles 24-hour record store Dolphin’s of Hollywood.

A major creative hub in the early days of rock ‘n’ roll and R&B, Dolphin’s radio show would introduce hits, including the Penguins’ “Earth Angel,” to fans across the country. He also promoted the music of Sam Cooke, Charles Mingus, and many other new Black artists. Dolphin was active in the civil rights movement, organizing Black business owners against police intimidation and racism.

Tragically, he was murdered in his office in 1958 by a disgruntled musician, but the music he helped create lives on.


Want the Daily Brief in your inbox? Sign up for our newsletters today.