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Larger-Than-Life Hollywood Mogul Sumner Redstone Has Passed Away

Sumner Redstone, the powerful, controversial media mogul who was the longtime controlling shareholder of CBS and Viacom—now merged into ViacomCBS—passed away at 97 on Tuesday, August 11, though his passing wasn’t disclosed until Wednesday. Redstone, who’d been in declining health for a number of years, was at his 15,000-square-foot mansion in the Beverly Park private gated community off Mulholland Drive when he died. While some have assumed he became stricken with COVID-19, The Hollywood Reporter says that wasn’t the case.

Redstone was born in Boston in 1923 to a family of meager means; in his 2001 autobiography A Passion to Win, he claimed their apartment didn’t even have a toilet. Later on, his salesman father Mickey got a $50,000 loan from a Boston mobster and used the money to start buying theaters and nightclubs in Boston and on Long Island. Sumner attended college at Harvard, where he did so well that he got involved with cracking Japanese codes during the second World War. After law school, a San Francisco judge hired him as a clerk, contributing to his later legal acumen. He went on to work for a U.S. attorney, then practiced law on his own.

Redstone grew tired of working in law and took up with his father’s movie exhibitor business in the mid-1950s; it wasn’t long until he started buying up movie theaters on the East Coast. During that period, he nurtured his famous credo about success in film: “Content is king.”

As Redstone began to interact with studio heads, he became adept at entertainment biz deal making and was named CEO of his father’s company, National Amusements. In the late ’80s, Redstone added to the portfolio by purchasing Viacom, then Paramount Pictures. Redstone’s company also then owned Madison Square Garden, the New York Knicks, the New York Rangers, and even divisions of the book publisher Simon & Schuster. In 1999, he bought CBS from Westinghouse for a cool $37 billion.

Along the way, there were high-profile lawsuits and feuds galore with studio chiefs and titans like Barry Diller, Mel Karmazin, and John Malone. Redstone credited his background in law and legal matters for a lot of his subsequent successes in court.

Redstone ran his media empire with an iron fist, old-school style, not unlike business titans William Randolph Hearst or J. Howard Smith II, feared by many and with a reputation for litigiousness. Forbes reports that his net worth was $3 billion as of August 10. Redstone’s landmark accomplishments mostly revolve around his fierce business practices and tough-guy persona, which included surviving a 1979 hotel fire and sustaining third-degree burns over 45 percent of his body. In the ’50s, he became known in Hollywood for suing to break up the studios’ hold on theatrical movie distribution.

During his long tenure running Viacom and Paramount, Redstone oversaw the making of everything from the Transformers franchise to Al Gore’s landmark environmental documentary An Inconvenient Truth. He’s also credited with pushing forward the careers of Martin Scorsese and the Coen Brothers.

Innumerable anecdotes about Redstone have become the stuff of Hollywood lore. One story involves Redstone actually firing Tom Cruise from Paramount Pictures in 2006 after blowing up over Cruise’s famous, freaky couch jumping during an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show. At the time he said, “[Tom’s] behavior was terrible,” and said the actor was getting paid “ten million, on the lot, for doing nothing.” They eventually reconciled.

In his later years, Redstone became more infamous for his relationships with women—and their relationships with his money—than for his hard-charging leadership style. He’d been married twice, to his first wife for 50 years and his second one for seven. For years, two of Redstone’s girlfriends, Manuela Herzer and Sydney Holland, battled with Redstone’s daughter, Shari Redstone—now chairman of the board of ViacomCBS—over control of the elder Redston’e empire. In 2015, The Hollywood Reporter published a notorious story by Tim Jensen, who worked for Redstone as a driver and confessed that a huge part of his job was delivering large envelopes stuffed with cash to a variety of women all over town, which added up to about a million dollars.

In 2015, Herzer filed a lawsuit challenging Redstone’s mental competence, a judge dismissed the case when Redstone submitted video testimony saying he didn’t want anything to do with the woman, and repeatedly referring to her as a “fucking bitch.”

In his autobiography, Redstone penned a line that might sum up his entire career: “When your life depends on it, you must wage war.”

Redstone’s only trustee is said to be daughter Shari and her son Tyler.


RELATED: Once Dismissed as a Lightweight, Shari Redstone Is Now the Most Powerful Woman in Town


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The New Live Performance Series ‘With Love From L.A.’ Brings Local Indie Artists to the World

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On March 12, musician and DJ Mark de Clive-Lowe was heading to San Francisco with Hailey Niswanger of the band Mae Sun, where the two were set to play SF Jazz. The following night, he was set to bring his long-running party Church to Oakland. But a few hours into the drive from Southern to Northern California, they pulled over to the side of the road and watched as emails arrived one after the next with news that their upcoming gigs were canceled.

“[Musicians] were amongst the first to lose work,” de Clive-Lowe says via phone call from his home in Echo Park. He had a realization that touring wasn’t going to return, at least not in the way it existed before the pandemic. “I feel like this is a turning point, in history, really,” he says. While de Clive-Lowe admits that’s a pessimistic response, it also led to his more optimistic recent project.

With Love from L.A., which launches on August 12, is a new online series that brings live performances and interviews with Los Angeles-area musicians to viewers across the globe. Each month will host two episodes dedicated to a featured artists. On the second Wednesday of the month, the series will broadcast a live interview session. The following Wednesday is reserved for the concert. In August, the guests are drummer Jamire Williams and guitarist Jeff Parker, who will be performing as a duo. “They are both some of the best jazz-adjacent creative improvisers I’ve ever heard,” says de Clive-Lowe. Other guests will be announced over the course of the series and range from jazz to experimental to electronic artists.

The project is being funded through the City of Glendale Library, Arts and Culture Department’s “Art Happens Anywhere” program and, because of that, the musicians will be paid. For de Clive-Lowe, part of the goal is to build a model where live streaming is considered paid work for artists as well as opportunity to connect with fans and new audiences.

Raised between New Zealand and Japan, de Clive-Lowe learned classical piano as a child and gravitated toward hip-hop and late ’80s/early ’90s scenes like New Jack Swing as he hit adolescence. “I grew up straddling these worlds between wanting to be a jazz piano player and wanting to make cool beats,” he says. “Over my life, that’s been the theme. It’s taken me a lot of places.”

He moved to Los Angeles in 2008, after spending a decade in London, and has been active in both the jazz and electronic music scenes as a pianist, DJ, and producer. In addition to releasing numerous solo albums and organizing his own events, de Clive-Lowe has worked steadily as a touring musician. “My life is usually in a suitcase, on a plane, in a hotel, taking gear around the world,” he says. The great gig cancelation of 2020 forced him to rethink how he approached his work.

In the midst of the pandemic, de Clive-Lowe became a founding artist-in-residence for La Ceiba Fest, where he remixed musicians live from his home. “I pretty much moved from going 3,000 miles to play a gig to going to my bedroom to play a gig, which is amazing,” he says. “I’ve never had that experience before.”

The loss of live work in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic shines a light on a major fault within the 21st century music industry. For years, musicians have been reliant on tours to make ends meet, with recorded music serving as a means to keep the artists on the road, rather than a primary source of revenue. That fraction of a cent that Spotify pays out per stream isn’t cutting it. “That’s a broken industry,” says de Clive-Lowe. “We got to this point where touring was the primary income.”

“That’s a broken industry. We got to this point where touring was the primary income.”

With live streaming, de Clive-Lowe says, “The question has always been, how do you make money?” In the case of With Love From L.A., the grant has taken care of that part for the first six months.

But there’s also a secondary question that might be just as important: How do you approach a live performance when the audience isn’t with you in the same room? “For any musician who has played on live TV, that’s the closest, I think,” says de Clive-Lowe, “but on live TV you’re guaranteed that there’s an audience. With streaming, you don’t even know if there’s an audience.”

That can be a challenge for musicians live streaming for the first time. “As musicians, if we’re streaming, I think it’s important to remember that you can’t see the audience, you can’t hear the audience,” he says, “but you’ve got to trust they’re there and they’ve tuned in because they want to hear what you’re doing.”

It won’t be the same as the club or the concert hall or the festival field, but that doesn’t mean that live streaming won’t become its own special experience with a future.

“Nothing is the same. Everything is different now,” says de Clive-Lowe. “I think it’s exciting to explore as a technology and platform. In five years, ten years time, live streaming is going to be a different beast.”


RELATED: What Will Be Left of L.A.’s Music Scene After the Pandemic?


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Everyone From Karen Bass to TV’s Veep Congratulates Kamala Harris

After months of feverish speculation, Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that California Senator Kamala Harris will be his running mate in the 2020 election. Harris will be the first Black woman and the first person of Indian heritage to ever be nominated for national office by a major party.

The historic nature of her selection was cause for widespread celebration on social media. Progressives who already aren’t pumped about Biden’s candidacy and are suspicious of Harris’s record as a District Attorney and Attorney General bemoaned the pick, but the figurehead of their movement, Bernie Sanders, was quick to congratulate his fellow senator. “She understands what it takes to stand up for working people, fight for health care for all, and take down the most corrupt administration in history,” Sanders wrote. “Let’s get to work and win.”

Los Angeles Congresswoman Karen Bass, who was among Harris’s fellow vice presidential frontrunners, issued a thread of tweets calling Harris “a great choice for Vice President,” adding that her “tenacious pursuit of justice and relentless advocacy for the people is what we need right now. I worked closely with her when I was in Sacramento and she was the District Attorney in San Francisco. I continue to work closely with her here in Washington, DC as we push to reform our nation’s policing system.”

Bass concluded, “California is better because of her work as Attorney General and stronger because of her work as Senator. Now all Americans will benefit from her work as Vice President. I will do everything I can to help her and @JoeBiden win in November.”

Other reported VP hopefuls also voiced their support, including Amy Klobuchar, who said on Twitter that she was “filled with joy,” and Elizabeth Warren, who posted a lengthier statement to Instagram in which she calls Harris “an inspiration to millions of women who see themselves in her.”

Locally, Mayor Eric Garcetti, who was on Biden’s Vice Presidential search committee, tweeted from his personal account to congratulate his “dear friend,” continuing in a subsequent tweet that he’s proud that the selection process “elevated so many women qualified to lead our country,” adding, “We worked to build a team that puts women at the table, reflects America, and that will lead our country forward.”

Delaware congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester, who was also on the search committee, said, “I know first-hand what an exceptional Vice President [Harris] will be. Now let’s get to work to make it happen.”

Plenty of Hollywood Dems tweeted their support for the official ticket. Actress Gabrielle Union made Harris her “woman crush Wednesday,” saying, “I met her during President Obama’s first inauguration party with mutual friends and I found her whip smart, easy to talk to, and passionate about creating change.” Director and vocal Hollywood progressive Rob Reiner said, “Finally a Presidential ticket that looks like America!! Now we all go to work to restore the soul of our Nation. VOTE!!!!” And actress Julia Louis Dreyfus, aka Selina Meyer on HBO’s Veep, shared a photo of herself on Instagram holding up a copy of today’s New York Times, headlined, “Harris Joins Biden Ticket, Achieving a First.”

The person everyone wanted to hear from was even more concise. Maya Rudolph, who’s currently nominated for an Emmy for impersonating Harris on Saturday Night Live, simply said, “Oh shit.”


RELATED: If Kamala Harris Becomes VP, What Happens to Her Senate Seat?


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Orange County Declares August 24 Kobe Bryant Day

Orange County’s Board of Supervisors voted yesterday to declare August 24 Kobe Bryant Day, a nod to the late Lakers legend’s now-retired jersey numbers “8” and “24.”

The declaration calls Bryant a “basketball legend [who] inspired so many globally to pursue their dreams and taught us that hard work truly pays off,” and encourages the community to celebrate by engaging in community building, helping young people in need, encouraging aspiring youth to follow their dreams, and living by Bryant’s words: ‘The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they could be great in whatever they want to do.'”

Bryant lived in the O.C. community of Newport Beach when he passed away in a catastrophic helicopter crash last January. The crash killed a total of nine people, including the helicopter’s pilot and Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna.

Supervisor Don Wagner referenced the “challenges” Bryant faced, saying, Kobe, like all of us, faced challenges, challenges of his own making and challenges thrown at him by life, that he overcome. Today, we celebrate the effort in overcoming those challenges.”

Bryant would have been 42 on August 23.


RELATED: Kobe Bryant Embodied the Soul of Los Angeles Like No One Else


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Morning Brief: Salton Sea ‘Quake Storm’ Ups the Chances of a Bigger Earthquake

» The Salton Sea quake storm could increase chances of a bigger earthquake within the week. USGS says there is an 80 percent chance the small temblors will continue–and a 19 percent chance of a larger San Andreas Fault event. [CBS Los Angeles]

» Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have reportedly purchased a home of their own in Santa Barbara. The couple recently visited Montecito to celebrate Markle’s birthday, and appear to have decided to set down roots in the area.  [Page Six]

» Colleges in the ‘Pac-12’ will postpone all sports through at least the end of 2020. That grouping includes USC, UCLA, and other western universities. [ESPN]

» Prosecutors say the LAPD framed a pair of brothers as MS-13 gang members. The young immigrants from Guatemala were reportedly stopped by officers who told them they “looked like gang members.”  [Los Angeles Times]

» Even though air travel has plunged, TSA has collected three times the typical number of firearms from passengers attempting to board airplanes while armed. The vast majority of the guns were fully loaded while going through security. [NPR]


TOP STORIES FROM L.A. MAG

» If Kamala Harris Becomes VP, What Happens to Her Senate Seat? Political insiders are already speculating about who might take her spot

» Uber and Lyft Have to Start Classifying Their California Drivers as Employees, a Judge Says A ruling says the companies have failed to comply with AB 5, the state’s gig economy legislation

» L.A. Hot Dog Landmark Pink’s Is Reopening After Almost 5 Months ”It’ll be the original Pink’s experience … except with Plexiglass”


ONE MORE THING

perseid meteor shower
Perseid Meteor Shower

Benjamin Schaefer/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

The Best Places to Watch the Perseid Meteor Shower Around L.A.

The Perseid meteor shower, one of the most impressive meteor shower shows of the year, peaks this week. To get the best view, you may need to drive a bit out of the city in search of darker skies. We’ve got your guide to the best places to catch a glimpse of some shooting stars.

 [FULL STORY]


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Afternoon Update: LAPD Officer Sued for Allegedly Groping a Dead Woman’s Breasts

» The family of Elizabeth Baggett is being represented by celebrity attorney Gloria Allred in a civil suit against LAPD officer David Rojas, who is accused of groping Baggett’s breasts following her death of a reported overdose. According to prosecutors, who last year charged Rojas with felony contact with human remains without authority, the act was captured on his body cam, which has a two-minute buffering period after it’s been turned off. [BuzzFeed News]

» Trump advisor—and Santa Monica High School graduate—Stephen Miller has had an outsize influence on the Department of Homeland Security since 2016. According to The Nation, “The department has become a partisan weapon largely detached from its mission of protecting homeland security.” [The Nation]

» Christina Miller, Mayor Garcetti’s top advisor on homelessness, is reported to be resigning at the end of the month. “It has been an incredible journey and unique privilege to serve under Mayor Garcetti who has been and continues to be deeply committed to solving homelessness in our region,” she wrote in an email announcing her departure. [Los Angeles Times]

» Now that we know Kamala Harris is Joe Biden’s VP pick, everyone wants to know when Maya Rudolph will reprise her role as the California Senator on SNL. In July, Rudolph was nominated for an Emmy for her Harris impression. [Deadline]


RELATED: Joan Collins Opens Up About Her Sexual Assault and Hollywood’s Grim Realities 


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If Kamala Harris Becomes VP, What Happens to Her Senate Seat?

California’s junior Senator has been tapped as Joe Biden’s running mate. So, who will replace Kamala Harris in the Senate if she becomes Vice President? Insiders are already tossing around names of rising political starts who might be up for the job.

In the event of a Biden-Harris victory, she would vacate her Senate seat–and it would fall to Governor Gavin Newsom to appoint someone to serve out the rest of her term. That individual would then run in 2022 as the incumbent.

Among the names being mentioned as contenders are California’s Secretary of State Alex Padilla, Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Lieutenant Governor Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis, or Representative Karen Bass–who had been floated as a VP pick herself.

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti could get a look for the gig, though Politico notes his star may have dimmed recently amid criticism of his handling of the pandemic, homelessness, and other city issues.

Dolores Huerta, the firebrand co-founder of the United Farm Workers, is a long shot, though a source identified as a “top insider close to Newsom” reportedly told Politico that her name has come up–with the assumption that the 90-year-old would serve the remainder of Harris’s term as something of an honorary placeholder, and then opt not to seek reelection.


RELATED: Kamala Harris Selected as Joe Biden’s Running Mate


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

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Coronavirus Cases Los Angeles, Update 8/11/2020:

Below is the current breakdown of coronavirus cases as of 8 p.m. on August 10. Data may be incomplete due to a delay in the state’s electronic lab reporting system.

There are now 211,808 total confirmed cases (+1,440 from prior day). There have been 5,057 deaths (+63 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 (145), Westlake (128), and El Monte (113). The seven-day average positivity rate is 6.5 percent.

Novel Coronavirus Cases in Los Angeles County, by Neighborhood
Acton 54
Adams-Normandie 203
Agoura Hills 126
Agua Dulce 21
Alhambra 1014
Alsace 287
Altadena 513
Anaverde 9
Angeles National Forest 7
Angelino Heights 55
Arcadia 460
Arleta 1133
Artesia 254
Athens Village 188
Athens-Westmont 1239
Atwater Village 184
Avalon 5
Avocado Heights 223
Azusa 1594
Baldwin Hills 512
Baldwin Park 2290
Bassett 509
Bel Air 61
Bell 1289
Bell Gardens 1553
Bellflower 1894
Beverly Crest 90
Beverly Hills 568
Beverlywood 126
Bouquet Canyon 4
Boyle Heights 3593
Bradbury 17
Brentwood 223
Brookside 3
Burbank 1114
Cadillac-Corning 102
Calabasas 213
Canoga Park 1466
Canyon Country 97
Carson 1433
Carthay 184
Castaic 1870
Central 1760
Century City 99
Century Palms/Cove 1256
Cerritos 464
Chatsworth 546
Cheviot Hills 57
Chinatown 95
Claremont 293
Cloverdale/Cochran 248
Commerce 460
Compton 3213
Country Club Park 250
Covina 1432
Covina (Charter Oak) 247
Crenshaw District 259
Crestview 161
Cudahy 900
Culver City 344
Del Aire 57
Del Rey 290
Del Sur 8
Desert View Highlands 35
Diamond Bar 436
Downey 3280
Downtown 599
Duarte 509
Eagle Rock 534
East Covina 4
East Hollywood 531
East La Mirada 84
East Los Angeles 5169
East Pasadena 58
East Rancho Dominguez 526
East Whittier 60
Echo Park 181
El Camino Village 126
El Monte 3606
El Segundo 104
El Sereno 974
Elizabeth Lake 6
Elysian Park 82
Elysian Valley 216
Encino 429
Exposition 67
Exposition Park 1056
Faircrest Heights 26
Figueroa Park Square 264
Florence-Firestone 4729
Gardena 965
Glassell Park 548
Glendale 2659
Glendora 1054
Gramercy Place 201
Granada Hills 952
Green Meadows 780
Hacienda Heights 803
Hancock Park 182
Harbor City 394
Harbor Gateway 764
Harbor Pines 16
Harvard Heights 468
Harvard Park 1322
Hawaiian Gardens 425
Hawthorne 1640
Hermosa Beach 167
Hi Vista 5
Hidden Hills 6
Highland Park 892
Historic Filipinotown 355
Hollywood 950
Hollywood Hills 240
Huntington Park 2317
Hyde Park 655
Industry 29
Inglewood 2303
Irwindale 59
Jefferson Park 218
Kagel/Lopez Canyons 27
Koreatown 942
La Canada Flintridge 136
La Crescenta-Montrose 127
La Habra Heights 30
La Mirada 688
La Puente 1181
La Rambla 75
La Verne 380
Ladera Heights 75
Lafayette Square 73
Lake Balboa 784
Lake Hughes 2
Lake Los Angeles 158
Lake Manor 17
Lakeview Terrace 459
Lakewood 996
Lancaster 2465
Lawndale 527
Leimert Park 249
Lennox 559
Leona Valley 15
Lincoln Heights 889
Little Armenia 344
Little Bangladesh 407
Little Tokyo 55
Littlerock 59
Littlerock/Juniper Hills 7
Littlerock/Pearblossom 62
Llano 3
Lomita 194
Longwood 102
Los Feliz 156
Lynwood 2648
Malibu 86
Manchester Square 144
Mandeville Canyon 18
Manhattan Beach 284
Mar Vista 261
Marina del Rey 63
Marina Peninsula 28
Maywood 1142
Melrose 1560
Mid-city 257
Miracle Mile 135
Mission Hills 595
Monrovia 652
Montebello 1826
Monterey Park 735
Mt. Washington 441
Newhall 6
North Hills 1418
North Hollywood 2775
North Lancaster 18
North Whittier 158
Northeast San Gabriel 279
Northridge 1117
Norwalk 2652
Pacific Palisades 103
Pacoima 2676
Padua Hills 3
Palisades Highlands 20
Palmdale 3084
Palms 458
Palos Verdes Estates 76
Palos Verdes Peninsula 3
Panorama City 2213
Paramount 1946
Park La Brea 86
Pearblossom/Llano 19
Pellissier Village 23
Pico Rivera 1928
Pico-Union 1539
Playa Del Rey 21
Playa Vista 110
Pomona 4310
Porter Ranch 273
Quartz Hill 134
Rancho Dominguez 65
Rancho Palos Verdes 242
Rancho Park 61
Redondo Beach 470
Regent Square 25
Reseda 1758
Reseda Ranch 88
Reynier Village 29
Rolling Hills 5
Rolling Hills Estates 33
Roosevelt 7
Rosemead 670
Rosewood 16
Rosewood/East Gardena 14
Rosewood/West Rancho Dominguez 72
Rowland Heights 535
San Dimas 406
San Fernando 712
San Gabriel 460
San Jose Hills 576
San Marino 62
San Pasqual 9
San Pedro 1678
Sand Canyon 5
Santa Catalina Island 15
Santa Clarita 2503
Santa Fe Springs 421
Santa Monica 689
Santa Monica Mountains 94
Saugus 21
Saugus/Canyon Country 1
Shadow Hills 49
Sherman Oaks 815
Sierra Madre 62
Signal Hill 206
Silver Lake 527
South Antelope Valley 1
South Carthay 93
South El Monte 711
South Gate 3688
South Park 1688
South Pasadena 233
South San Gabriel 149
South Whittier 1377
Southeast Antelope Valley 12
St Elmo Village 118
Stevenson Ranch 131
Studio City 202
Sun Valley 1186
Sun Village 108
Sunland 362
Sunrise Village 40
Sycamore Square 5
Sylmar 2598
Tarzana 516
Temple City 431
Temple-Beaudry 1003
Thai Town 128
Toluca Lake 85
Toluca Terrace 17
Toluca Woods 14
Torrance 1155
Tujunga 322
Twin Lakes/Oat Mountain 10
University Hills 46
University Park 623
Val Verde 50
Valencia 38
Valinda 607
Valley Glen 460
Valley Village 423
Van Nuys 2209
Venice 232
Vermont Knolls 609
Vermont Square 278
Vermont Vista 1571
Vernon 10
Vernon Central 2474
Victoria Park 179
View Heights 36
View Park/Windsor Hills 119
Walnut 222
Walnut Park 569
Watts 1515
Wellington Square 99
West Adams 732
West Antelope Valley 4
West Carson 313
West Covina 2307
West Hills 417
West Hollywood 452
West LA 39
West Los Angeles 416
West Puente Valley 300
West Rancho Dominguez 19
West Vernon 1851
West Whittier/Los Nietos 770
Westchester 321
Westfield/Academy Hills 4
Westhills 9
Westlake 2081
Westlake Village 23
Westwood 274
White Fence Farms 36
Whittier 1820
Wholesale District 2024
Willowbrook 1195
Wilmington 1377
Wilshire Center 921
Winnetka 994
Wiseburn 106
Woodland Hills 704
Under Investigation: 4295


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


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L.A. Hot Dog Landmark Pink’s Is Reopening After Almost 5 Months

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The grills will be fired up again Wednesday morning at Pink’s Hot Dogs in Hollywood, nearly five long months since they closed due to COVID-19 regulations. The stand, which had never before shuttered in its 81-year history, has implemented changes including closing the inside dining room, placing larger tables on the patio, and employing a bathroom attendant to clean between visitors and a “front door ambassador” responsible for enforcing a rule that customers wear masks. Phone orders and delivery will begin at the end of the month.

The company hired an environmental firm to deep clean the entire property, place six-foot space markers on the ground, and was able to bring back all of their employees, some of which have been working at the restaurant for decades. Orders will be taken behind a plastic shield. “So it’ll be the original Pink’s experience,” says co-owner Richard Pink. “Except with Plexiglass.”

The landmark on La Brea Avenue started as a pushcart run by Paul and Betty Pink in 1939. The couple expanded into their current building in 1946 and the Pink family now operates more than a dozen locations from Miami to Manila. Each of them should know how to make all 40 varieties on the menu, including the celebrity tribute dogs famous at Pink’s, from the Marlon Brando (chili, mustard, and onions) to the Giada de Laurentiis (peppers, onions, and mozzarella), to a “dawg” named after late TV host Huell Howser (two wieners in one bun).

When the Brando dog was launched, the store gave a free wiener to anyone dressed like a character from one of the actor’s movies, one of countless stunts on the sidewalk that the store is famous for. That, and the delicious dogs, old-time beverages (Yoo-Hoo and Dr. Brown’s?), and the frenetic excitement of lining up for a dog in the middle of the night.

“When nightlife comes back to L.A.,” says Pink. “We’ll be here until 2 in the morning.”


RELATED: Why Every Angeleno Should Go to Pink’s at Least Once


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Kamala Harris Selected as Joe Biden’s Running Mate

California Senator Kamala Harris will join Joe Biden on the Democratic ticket. The announcement brings to a close an extended, closely watched running-mate selection process. She will be the first Black woman, and the first person of Indian heritage to ever be nominated for national office by a major party.

While Harris was a fierce competitor to Biden during the primary campaign, the former rivals have reportedly remained on good terms in spite of the debate barbs. According to The New York Times, some have even suggested that her willingness to take him on as she did impressed him and he viewed her debate performance “as more of a potential asset to his ticket than as a source of lingering grievance.”

If Biden and Harris win the election, it will be up to Governor Gavin Newsom to fill Harris’s vacant Senate seat.


RELATED: Would Kamala Harris Make a Good President? Men Apparently Need the Most Convincing


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