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Officials Pause Distribution of a Vaccine Batch Linked to a Cluster of Possible Allergic Reactions

Six individuals who received their COVID vaccinations at Petco Park in San Diego all experienced what may have been allergic reactions to the shots. All six received their doses from a single batch of the Moderna vaccine. While authorities investigate the unusual cluster of reactions, they are advising providers to hold back the entire batch from distribution.

The shots administered at Petco Park that triggered reactions all came from lot number 41L20A, a batch that included more than 300,000 doses of the vaccine. Those doses were distributed to 287 providers at locations around California, and a number of doses were administered at facilities other than Petco Park without reports of significant adverse response.

For now, the doses from that particular lot are just being set aside, but not thrown out or destroyed. With proper storage, they will not expire until July, the San Francisco Chronicle reports, so if authorities determine the batch is safe, it will be available to return to the distribution stream.

“It’s probably prudent to hold them, but every time a vaccine isn’t given out, it’s slowing us down,” Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease physician at UCSF, told the Chronicle.

Six allergic reactions within 24 hours at a single test site is “slightly higher than expected,” according to San Diego County Director of Epidemiology, Dr. Eric McDonald, who advised the pause on Lot 41L20A “in the possible event” of a problem with the entire batch.

While it has been reported that the possible reactions did require medical attention, details are not immediately available about the specific nature of all six incidents.

One patient, Diana Cannizzo, told NBC San Diego that, during the standard 15 minute monitoring period after receiving her shot, she experienced neck pain and could not feel her tongue.

“They gave me 50 milliliters of Benadryl and then they started monitoring me even closer,” she said.

Nonetheless, Cannizzo told the station that she hopes the attention on her cluster will not deter others from getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

“I don’t want anyone to hear my story and decide, ‘Oh, I don’t want to take that vaccine because of what happened to her,’” she said. “I did have some underlying conditions from other medications. I don’t know if that came into play; maybe it did, maybe it didn’t but anybody that has a lot of allergic reactions, just maybe think about it and talk to their doctors.”

One batch of a vaccine could potentially cause reactions even when many other batches of the same vaccine from the same company do not, because vaccines vary slightly between lots. Some have speculated that Lot 42L20A could have a minutely elevated amount of polyethylene glycol. PEG is the ingredient that was investigated as possibly related to a small number of allergic reactions to the Pfizer vaccine.

“It’s is called PEG,” allergist Dr. Michael Welch told NBC San Diego. “It’s an uncommon allergy, but it does occur out there.”

Besides vaccines, PEG appears in other medications, including the over-the-counter constipation aid Miralax, as well as certain processed foods, cosmetics, and other consumer products.

According to a statement from Moderna, the company is aware of the reports of possible allergic reactions, and is fully cooperating with a California Department of Public Health investigation into the matter.

RELATED: Here’s What You Need to Know About When and How to Get a COVID Vaccination in L.A.

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L.A. Expected to Expand Vaccine Eligibility to Residents 65+ This Week

UPDATE: JANUARY 18, 2021 – Los Angeles County will join the California jurisdictions expanding vaccine eligibility to all individuals 65 and older on January 21. The update to the county’s vaccine distribution guidance comes following an executive order issued today by L.A. County Board of Supervisors chairperson Hilda Solis.

“If we are to ever get out of this dark winter, it is critical that we make headway vaccinating people 65 years of age and older as soon as possible,” Solis wrote in a statement. “That is why I signed an executive order today directing the County’s Department of Public Health to make COVID-19 vaccinations appointments available to residents 65 years of age and older, beginning on January 21, 2021–this is to allow for public health officials to adequately prepare for the rollout of the vaccine to this population.”

Previously, the vaccination of general individuals 65 and up was not to begin until all health care professionals had the opportunity to receive a vaccination. That process is expected to continue for several more weeks.

Even as eligibility expands, the ability to actually receive a shot will depend on the supplies available. Currently, there is not enough on hand for all of the county’s nearly 1.5 million seniors to immediately receive the vaccination. Healthcare workers, first responders, and others at very high risk are also vying for the same small pool of possible doses.

Public health officials plan to hold an online “town hall” about vaccine distribution on Tuesday.

Long Beach, which has its own health department, has already begun administering vaccine to those 65 and older. Pasadena, which also has an independent health department, has begun taking reservations for future allotments from individuals aged 75 and up, with plans to expand to the 65 and up group as supply allows.

JANUARY 13, 2021 – In a move designed to speed the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, California officials announced today that counties are now authorized to begin administering the vaccine to all residents aged 65 or older.

“There is no higher priority than efficiently and equitably distributing these vaccines as quickly as possible to those who face the gravest consequences,” Governor Gavin Newsom stated. “Individuals 65 and older are now the next group eligible to start receiving vaccines.”

Authorizing vaccinations for all individuals in that age bracket is a change from the previous system, which would not have reached individuals aged 65 to 74 who are not high-risk workers until phase 1B. The announcement comes shortly after the CDC updated their guidance for distribution.

“The states are being told immediately they need to expand to 65-plus as well as those under 65 with comorbid conditions,” a CDC official told CNBC yesterday regarding the update.

It will now be up to counties to decide how they allocate the vaccine doses they have available in accordance with today’s authorization by the state.

Newsom’s statement on Wednesday did not specifically address when younger individuals who have those underlying health conditions would be included, but noted that the goal is to accelerate the overall rate of distribution as much as possible.

“To those not yet eligible for vaccines, your turn is coming,” he said. “We are doing everything we can to bring more vaccine into the state.”

Next week, officials say, the state will launch a new opt-in system designed to notify California residents by text message when their opportunity to get a COVID vaccine comes up.

California has been criticized for a faltering rollout of the vaccine, so far giving out only around a quarter of the doses the state has received, even as staggering numbers of residents are infected and hospitalized with the virus.

“With our hospitals crowded and ICUs full, we need to focus on vaccinating Californians who are at highest risk of becoming hospitalized to alleviate stress on our health care facilities,” said Dr. Tomás Aragón, Director of the California Department of Public Health and the State Public Health Officer, said today. “Prioritizing individuals age 65 and older will reduce hospitalizations and save lives.”

RELATED: L.A.’s Largest COVID Testing Site Will Now Become its Largest Vaccination Center

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Amid a Rotten Year for Retail, L.A. Got Some New Places to Shop

COVID has wreaked havoc on the city’s retail scene. Some local faves, like Trina Turk, were forced to downsize, closing several locations across the city, while others, like Glossier and Planet Blue, have permanently shuttered all of their storefronts. According to a recent Yelp survey, more than 15,000 Los Angeles-area businesses have closed, with half of them going under for good. But despite the grim outlook, a few L.A. brands and major retailers have opened new outposts. We’ve rounded up some newbies breaking ground and notables extending their empires.

Elyse Walker

The fashionista favorite known for its just-off-the-runway pieces and hard-to-find designer labels is adding another store to its roster of shops in Pacific Palisades, Lido Marina Village, and Newport Beach. Walker’s latest storefront is set to open in Calabasas this spring, conveniently located next to a cluster of Kardashians. 4799 Commons Way, Calabasas. 

Herman Miller

Until recently, if you coveted one of Herman Miller’s timeless office chairs or desks, you had to track down one of the city’s few authorized dealers or take your chances purchasing online. But the modern American furniture design house has just opened a sprawling showroom in Century City, where style-conscious customers can test-drive its entire line. Westfield Century City Mall, Century City.

Jonny Cota

The artful, upscale streetwear label Skingraft (known for outre items like its vaguely Fifty Shades of Grey leather holsters and Elizabethan-style feather ruffs) has been a fixture on L.A’.s cutting-edge fashion scene for over a decade. Now the brand’s designer, Jonny Cota, has launched his own label. His first boutique just opened at the ROW DTLA. 767 S.
Alameda St., Ste. 158, downtown.

Jennifer Fisher

The Santa Barbara-born USC-schooled jewelry designer, buoyed by her nomination as a finalist in the 2020 Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards, will open her first boutique in Beverly Hills this spring. She’s counting on her famous classic gold hoops and enamel charms to lure the tourists off of Rodeo Drive. 450 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills.


Since his line debuted in 2014, designer Mike Amiri’s California-skate-culture-meets-rock-’n’-roll aesthetic has been a favorite of L.A.’s well-heeled hipsters. The cool kids could previously only find Amiri’s distressed tees and embellished jeans at high-end stores like Maxfield. But in February, Amiri will finally open his own shop. 461 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills.

This sleek neighborhood food market and housewares boutique serves up stainless-steel straws, ceramic to-go containers, and bamboo dish brushes, while cutting out extraneous packaging. Tare also offers on-site personal shoppers and home delivery. 5046 York Blvd. Highland Park.


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Petit Parisien

Co-owner Barbara Mahler-Delouye was a social worker in France who introduced immigrants to French culture. Her new Burbank boutique helps match local Francophiles with Nat & Nin leather bags, Moulin Roty toys, and Opinel knives, perfect for slicing into a wheel of brie at a picnic in the park. 3601½ Magnolia Blvd., Burbank. 

Sole Folks

The Leimert Park nonprofit is a two-story wonderland for shoe devotees willing to wait hours for the latest kicks. Sneaker repair and cleaning services are available, and the shop hosts outdoor workshops, live music, film events, and co-op spaces for future footwear designers. 4317 Degnan Blvd., Leimert Park.

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A New Art Series Celebrates the Vibrant Life of Dr. Martin Luther King

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was so much more than a quote to post on Twitter–and a new art series curated by Patrisse Cullors and Noni Limar of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation attempts to remind us of just that. The series asked artists to share images of and reflections on Dr. King in moments of rest, joy, and celebration.

“This MLK day, BLMGNF is centering life, love, joy, rest, and pleasure. We will not allow white supremacists violence to deter us from the dignity and humanity of Black life,” says Cullors, who is also cofounder and executive director of the foundation. “Every artist in this series was handpicked because each of them center love as part of their work. We know MLK believed in love as the center of his work and at the center of the civil rights movement. Join us in honoring his legacy through this beautiful and transformative artist series.”

The series launches today with works from six artists, Derrick Adams, Shaina Simmons, Christian Scott, Nikki Blak, Rodney Diverlus, and Melanie Jean Baptise Charles, who work in a variety of media, including poetry, dance, music, and visual art. BLMGNF will be sharing more from the series on the foundation website and on Instagram.

“We need a day to dream. A day to center life and leisure,” says co-curator Limar. “We, who believe, like MLK did, in the radical relentless pursuit of freedom, must also stop to dream, to be, to live.”

Derrick Adams 

MLK’s Tropic Interlude (Martin and Coretta)
 2021 (mixed media on paper)

This work is inspired by a 1967 Ebony Magazine article titled, MLK’s Tropic Interlude. Martin Luther King, Jr. was in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, for three weeks working “most of the day until way into night” to finish his book, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? During the last week of his stay, his wife Coretta joined him, and they enjoyed moments of leisure: lounging by the ocean, cooling off in the pool, and dining at a cliffside terrace. The images are important because the most familiar images of MLK show him during his fight for our civil rights. These rare images from Jamaica are a necessary reminder that during our challenging work towards equality, we must also spend time in restorative self-reflection and regeneration, in order to continue and thrive.” – Derrick Adams

Nikki Blak 


I was honored to create this commissioned piece in honor of one of the most outstanding movement leaders and thinkers of our era, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. As the descendant of a child of the civil rights movement of the 1960s, not only do I reap the socio-political benefits of the foundation laid by King and his peers, but I am like so many also incredibly inspired by his legacy. In these times of radical social change, it’s only right that we would reflect on and honor the work of such an iconic leader and movement.” – Nikki Blak

Rodney Diverlus

meditation \ improvisation \ dance party / MLK


Simply, an improvisation, a meditation, and a dance party with and for MLK. Using his final ‘mountaintop’ speech in 1968, and Ravyn Wngz’ viral press intervention in 2020 as acts of remembrance, of solemnity and release.” – Rodney Diverlus

Concept/Performance: Rodney Diverlus; Phone Camera Assistance: @Tory_a_; Words from: Martin Luther King, Jr (1968) & @ravynwngz (2020)

Christian Scott

Adjuah Bow

Chief Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah is a two-time Edison Award winning and five-time Grammy Award nominated musician, composer, and producer. For the series, he premieres the new Adjuah Bow, inspired by “MLK, the beauty of Black history and traditions, reevaluation in the era of misinformation, and love and reverence for Black women.”

Melanie Charles

Chill in Love

“Brooklyn-based singer, songwriter and producer Melanie Charles continues her sonic journey to Make Jazz Trill Again with a meditation on Martin Luther King’s message delivered in his speech, Where Do We Go From Here? In a letter to her higher self, she flows into a mantra to “chill in love” reinforces the need for Black joy, care and relaxation along the road to freedom.” – Melanie Charles

Shot an produced by blue feedback; edited by Rena Anakwe

Shaina Simmons

Twerk on Washington

“Twerk on Washington is a declaration of freedom and healing. Advocating for the decolonization of oversexualizing Black women’s bodies to reclaim an ancient sacred dances of liberation and wellness. Sampling the “I Have a Dream” by the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The shame of traditional African practices is not ours. Trauma is kept in the body, shake it off.” – Shaina Simmons

Produced by Chandel/@mynameischandel; videography by Deondre/@deondres.gallery

RELATED: Fury, Exhaustion, Hope: Black Photographers Turn Their Lenses on the Protests

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L.A. County Temporarily Lifts Limit on Cremations Because So Many People Are Dying

The pandemic death toll has so overwhelmed Los Angeles County that environmental rules limiting the number of cremations that can be performed each month are being temporarily lifted so that hospitals, funeral homes, and crematoriums can deal with the unprecedented influx of bodies.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued a ten-day moratorium on the cremation regulations Sunday at the request of the Los Angeles County Medical-Examiner Coroner and the county Department of Public Health.

“The current rate of death is more than double that of pre-pandemic years, leading to hospitals, funeral homes, and crematoriums exceeding capacity without the ability to process the backlog of cases,” the regulatory body said in a statement.

According to the Los Angeles Daily News, crematoriums that plan to exceed pre-COVID limits must provide written notice to the air quality district, be within 15 percent of reaching or exceeding one or more “applicable limits,” while keeping records of all operations exceeding limits and meeting other requirements.

Limits vary per facility and are based on emission factors and calculations at the time of permitting.

L.A. County has reported 13,848 deaths since the pandemic hit, including another 108 deaths reported on Sunday, while the county has reached more than 1 million cases overall.

Funeral homes and cemeteries have had to turn away so many grieving families as deaths continue to mount that even the nation’s largest cemetery, Rose Hills Memorial Park and Mortuary in Whittier, is having a hard time meeting the rising demand, ABC 7 reports.

At 2,500 acres, Rose Hills is receiving twice its usual number of phone calls, and the burial process now takes at least a month where it used to take a week at most. Some families report waiting hours before someone at the cemetery answers their calls.

RELATED: Some L.A. Ralphs Stores Briefly Administered Vaccines to People Who Aren’t Yet Eligible

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An ‘Apolitical’ Rabble-Rouser Is at the Center of a Right-Wing Campaign to Blame the Capitol Riot on the Left

‪John Sullivan made his first appearance in federal court on Friday on charges he took part in a pro-Trump riot timed to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden as the nation’s next president. “He thrives on chaos,” federal prosecutor Bryan N. Reeves told a judge, arguing that the 26-year-old provocateur should remain behind bars while his case works its way through court.

‪“Activist John” identifies not as a Trump supporter but a militant Black activist and citizen journalist. But he attracted the attention of the FBI when a video of the riot he posted online included recordings of him cajoling police officers to abandon their posts and exhorting trespassers roaming the hallways to “burn this shit down.”

‪Sullivan was accompanied on the Capitol rampage by L.A.-based photojournalist Jade Sacker, who is making a documentary about John and his brother James, a Black Republican activist in Utah allied with the Proud Boys. The brothers, who are Black, were adopted as boys by a devout Mormon father who is a retired lieutenant colonel. “[John’s] just angry,” Sacker told journalist Max Blumenthal of the Gray Zone. “And he says it in a lot of his videos—‘Fuck the system, burn it down.’ He doesn’t think it can be reformed. Like he kind of wants his civil war.”

‪Prominent Trump supporters, including the President’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, have seized on Sullivan’s prior involvement in protests for racial justice to claim that “antifa” and left-wing groups infiltrated and steered an otherwise peaceful protest toward violence. (The FBI has said there is “no indication” that antifa took part in the U.S. Capitol riot.)

‪Sullivan’s video begins with him on the Capitol terrace and ends 40 minutes later with the shooting of San Diego-based Trump supporter Ashli Babbit by Capitol police. The 26-year-old has claimed that he was there to document the riot, but the federal affidavit paints a picture of a person instigating violence then standing back and watching it on a camera.

‪“Bro, I’ve seen people out there get hurt, I don’t want to see you get hurt,” he tells an officer guarding the Speaker’s lobby. Then, “Go! Go! Get this shit!” when the officers retreat, and the mob tries to break out the glass in the entry door windows. Babbitt is killed moments later and Sullivan films it.

‪“I didn’t think that she deserved to die,” he later told Rolling Stone. “She didn’t have a weapon. She didn’t have anything.”

‪Sullivan had plans to return to the Capitol on Inauguration Day, say federal prosecutors who want him to remain locked up awaiting trial. “The defendant uses messaging apps to set up meetings and set up riots,” Reeves told the judge.

‪Sullivan’s charges in connection with the attack on the U.S. Capitol came six months after he was charged in a bloody riot in Utah. In June, he formed his own group, Insurgence USA, and began attending racial justice protests, the first of which was an hours-long street blockade that resulted in a motorist being shot. At another protest, he invited Proud Boys to address the crowd. The founder of the Utah chapter of Black Lives Matter, Lex Scott, says Sullivan was a dangerous provocateur and told The Washington Post, “He came in to chase clout and get those media headlines.”

‪Racial justice organizers in Utah, Portland, and Washington, DC, have for months condemned Sullivan as a dangerous provocateur. In fact, Scott says Sullivan was “blackballed” from the group for reckless agitation and putting supporters in harm’s way.

‪“If there’s violence to instigate, he will raise it to another level. But he’s not the one that does it,” Sean Michael Love, a DC-based BLM activist and publisher of Blackhouse News, said of Sullivan to the Gray Zone.

‪Magistrate Judge Daphne Oberg ordered Sullivan to stay off of social media, surrender his passport, and be on house arrest. His next virtual hearing in connection with the Capitol riot will be held on January 22.

RELATED: The Woman Shot and Killed While Storming the Capitol was Reportedly a San Diego Air Force Vet and QAnon Believer

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Danny Trejo Got Clean in Prison. This L.A. Recovery Center Helped Him Stay that Way


While spending most of the 1960s in prison on drug and robbery charges, Danny Trejo managed to become a champion boxer at San Quentin—and he kicked heroin. Set free, Trejo stayed clean with the help of a new addiction treatment center in L.A. called CRI-Help. Five decades later, Trejo has nearly 400 acting credits to his name and is still working with the organization to help other people get sober, including his own children. Now, as CRI-Help gets set to celebrate its 50th anniversary in May, Trejo spoke with Los Angeles about his long relationship with the non-profit, and why the pandemic may be “the best damn time” to work on recovery. Trejo will be an honored guest and the main speaker at a gala planned for the fall; there will be a virtual event in May.

How did you first find CRI-Help?

I got clean in the pen. I did ten years. In 1968, I got clean, and I stayed clean up until 1969 when they let me out. There was a place that CRI-Help was born from called Reprieve House and, for me, being an addict and being fresh out of the penitentiary, hanging out at a recovery house was great. I got to meet people who were clean, you know what I mean? I was hanging out at a recovery center where everybody was trying to stay clean.

Then when Reprieve House closed they opened CRI-Help. At that time if you had a car you could go and pick up some guys and take them to a meeting—and even [CRI-Help CEO] Jack Bernstein was [doing it] back then. He was a godsend. He’s got a special place in heaven, shit. He’s a great guy, he’s helped a lot of people, a lot of destitute people that I worked with, and guys that were just coming out of the pen and shit, and he was always like, “Yeah, yeah, bring them down. We’ll get them in.”

 With all the places to try to get clean around L.A., what’s special about CRI-Help?

I love CRI-Help. it’s always been at the top of my list as far as people who I take into rehab, and they seem to have more success. Now, any rehab is good, you understand. If somebody’s going to rehab, thank God they’re going to rehab. Good, bad, or indifferent, they’re at least thinking about rehab. CRI-Help just happens to have one of the best success rates.

I’ve used all of them. I mean, I’ve had millionaires say, “No, no I have to go to Malibu.” And so, they do that, spend [thousands of] dollars for eight months or something and, you know, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But the best success rate I’ve had has been with CRI-Help. Sometimes you can get a free bed. They’re more diverse.


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You also took your kids there?

My addiction was heroin and so was theirs. I took my son [Gilbert, 32]. My son detoxed in CRI-Help, thank God, and he’s got six years clean right now. A lot of people don’t make it the first time. My son was a hardhead, but he started his rehab at CRI-Help. My son was like a little star and everybody fucking knew him, and so he had a lot people coming by, and CRI-Help tried to keep him out and stuff, but finally he just split and started using again. But that got him the foundation. That’s what they’re good at—giving you a foundation.

So whether you make it or not, you’ve got that foundation. And once you go through CRI-Help, it ruins your using.

How does it ruin your using?

Because it’s like you’ll run into people that you were in CRI-Help with and they’ll start talking about how great it was—and, you know, you’re waiting for a connection. And then, even when you start getting depressed, that’s what you think of. What a drag, but that’s what you think of. You think, “Wow, I remember how good I felt when I was there.”

What happened with your daughter?

My daughter [Danielle, 30] almost died. I was in Germany. Thank God her mom and my secretary took her to CRI-Help. She finished the program at CRI-Help and she’s got seven years now. [My kids] got clean and they’re doing bitchin’.

What do you tell people who say the pandemic isn’t a good time for rehab?

Well, I gotta say that right now is probably the best damn time to get clean because it’s so hard to move around and you’re locked up. So if you don’t got dope, you ain’t getting none, so detox and CRI-Help are like the best things going.

“You’ve gotta remember, the thing about CRI-Help is that they keep people moving.”

What do you say to people who feel like they’re climbing the walls?

You’ve gotta remember, the thing about CRI-Help is that they keep people moving. If you keep people in group and keep them moving and doing stuff, they don’t have time to start thinking about, “Woe is me,” and, “What am I doing here?”

How does CRI-Help keep them moving during the pandemic?

People are still doing activities in the facility, on the grounds. You don’t have to stop walking. Your group, you’re always with them, everybody gets tested. Right now the only people I associate with are the people that are with me all the time.

They’ve got a lot of stuff to do there. You’ve got to go to group. You’ve got to participate. You’ve got to participate in everything. That’s the one thing about dope fiends: They’re not real participators.

[A note from CRI-Help: CRI-Help remains fully operational during the pandemic with regular COVID testing for clients and staff, PCR testing and a quarantine period for new residents, individual and small group therapy, telehealth services for family therapy, socially distanced outdoor recreation activities (eg. cornhole and access to basketball hoops), and access to virtual 12-Step self help meetings.]

How has the pandemic affected your professional life?

I work all the time. God, let me see. Two weeks ago I was a cartel member, then after that I was a sailor, then after that I was a vampire, then I was a cartoon character, then I was a cartel member again.

I do a lot of Cameos, too. That’s fun, I love that. I can do them right from home. “Hi! I’m Danny and your husband Bob wants to wish you a happy, happy New Year and thank you for being such a great wife! “

Thank God they pay me. So I’m still keeping busy.

What are the new rules on set?

Well, when I’m on the set, everybody that comes on the set has been tested. They test you before and they take your temperature. So, you know, it’s like our wonderful Governor Newsom and our beautiful Mayor Garcetti… It’s like, you’ve got to wear a mask, social distance, be tested, and you’re safe. It’s like right now there’s a pandemic for all the fools who don’t wanna wear a mask. Shit, I wear gloves and a mask when I touch myself.

If the world had been like 2020 when you got sober, do you think you would have made it?

I got clean in the pen and when I came out, like I said, I thank God that I had a place to hang out and go to meetings and meet some people. And, God, I’ve loved Jack since he got clean. So I had friends. And, you know, a drug addict—you never really have friends for any length of time because they either go to prison or die. And now, you know, I’ve had these friends for 50 years, for 30 years, and I think that’s one of the things that really helped me—the fellowship.

And that’s the thing about CRI-Help. My daughter still keeps in touch with her counselor at CRI-Help and she has been out of CRI-Help for seven years. …

I just love CRI-Help because CRI-Help doesn’t look at your bank account coming in. You could be on Medical, thank God.

So anybody can get help at CRI-Help?

Absolutely. That’s the first place I’d take somebody. I don’t care how much money they have—Boom! Let’s go! Because at least, even if you don’t stay clean, what they give you is that foundation. That’s what happened to my son. Once he left he said, “Fuck, I can’t stop thinking about the people I met and what they were saying.”

So, thank God.

CRI-Help asks that anyone seeking treatment should visit cri-help.org/fight to get started.

RELATED: A New Documentary Goes Inside Danny Trejo’s ‘Crazy’ Transformation

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How to Watch the 2021 Presidential Inauguration

It would be impossible–and maddening and tragic, though occasionally beautiful–to list all of the ways in which the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be unusual and historic. But, suffice it to say, it’s certainly going to be a day that many, many people have been eagerly awaiting. While the in-person affair will lack some of the traditional trappings, we can at least watch the public proceedings from wherever we are.

When Can I Watch the Biden Inauguration? 

Since the adoption of the 20th Amendment in 1933, the Inauguration of the President and Vice President of the United States always takes place on January 20. The term of the outgoing office-holders ends at noon that day, and the swearing in of the newly elected individuals takes place shortly thereafter.

Pretty much every news channel will have their teams in place starting around 7 a.m. our time (10 a.m. in Washington) and will be continuing through the day. C-SPAN will have a live, free feed, and if you want to get into the spirit early, they have footage of historic Inaugural addresses available to watch right now.

History note: Presidential Inaugurations long took place in March. But, between the election of Abraham Lincoln in November 1860 and his inauguration in March, 1861, secessionists staged a number of attacks on federal facilities. Looking back on the time a few decades later, politicians felt the Civil War might have been prevented or at least handled more effectively had the new president been in power a bit sooner. The date was officially moved from early March to January 20 when the 20th Amendment was ratified in the 1930s.

What Will There Be to Watch?

The swearing in ceremony and formal address from Biden are expected to take place outside the Capitol, as is traditional.

That event will include:
» Invocation by Jesuit priest Father Leo J. O’Donovan
» The Pledge of Allegiance read by firefighter Andrea Hall, one of the few Black women to become a fire captain in America
» Lady Gaga singing the National Anthem
» Poetry reading by National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman, an Angeleno
» Musical performance by Jennifer Lopez
Musical performance by Garth Brooks
» Benediction by Reverend Dr. Silvester Beaman, pastor of the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church of Wilmington, Delaware, and a longtime friend of the Bidens

Following the ceremony, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and their spouses will participate in the Pass in Review, a formal military proceeding that reflects the peaceful transition of power, a tradition which dates in its current form to 1873.

After that, the new President and Vice President will proceed across the river to Arlington Cemetery, where they and their spouses will be joined by former Presidents and First Ladies Obama, Bush, and Clinton, to honor military personnel.

There will be no real parade, but in its place will be a “virtual parade” with remote appearances. “The parade will celebrate America’s heroes and reflect on the diversity, heritage and resilience of our country,” the Inaugural Committee says.

Actor Tony Goldwyn (Scandal) will host the parade; other participants include Jon Stewart, and athletes Nathan Chen, Allyson Felix, and Katie Ledecky. The New Radicals, a band which has not played together in 22 years, will reunite for a performance, and Nathan Apodaca aka Doggface208 from the skateboard TikTok, will make an appearance. There will also be marching bands, dance troupes, and other performers representing all 56 states, territories, and the District of Columbia.

When Does ‘Celebrating America’ Happen?

In lieu of the usual parties, the Inaugural Committee has organized a televised event named Celebrating America. Starting at 5:30 p.m. (8:30 in Washington), the event will salute “American heroes who are helping their fellow Americans through this crisis, including frontline workers, health care workers, teachers, citizens giving back, and those who are breaking barriers.”

The show, which will be carried on ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, and MSNBC, as well as streamed, will be hosted by Tom Hanks and feature remote performances by Bruce Springsteen, Justin Timberlake, Jon Bon Jovi, Ant Clemons, the Foo Fighters, Demi Lovoto, and John Legend. Kerry Washington and Eva Longoria, who popped up as hosts of the virtual DNC last summer, will also participate.

Is Anything Else Happening? 

Lots of things, actually. And this year, you’ll be able to “attend” since they’re being streamed to everybody at bideninaugural.org, where you can also find a full schedule, which includes a Martin Luther King, Jr. tribute and a memorial for lives lost to COVID-19.

On Sunday, catch the We The People Concert hosted by Keegan-Michael Key and Debra Messing. The show will feature performances from James Taylor, Carole King, Ben Harper, Will.i.am, and Fall Out Boy. Fall Out Boy’s bass player, Pete Wentz, has a special connection to Joe Biden: His parents met while working for the then-Senator in the 1970s.

RELATED: Answering Your Questions About How to Vote in Los Angeles

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Morning Brief: The More Contagious U.K. Variant Has Been Detected in L.A. County

» L.A. County has confirmed its first case of the so-called “U.K. variant” of COVID-19. The strain, officially known as B.1.1.7, is one of several newer mutations of the virus now circulating around the globe. [KTLA]

» An immigration policy plan from the incoming Biden administration would immediately ask Congress to create a pathway to legal status for an estimated 11 million people. “This really does represent a historic shift from Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda,” said one immigrant rights advocate.  [AP]

» Two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies are accused of violently abusing and attempting to kidnap a young man. The deputies involved are the same officers implicated in the shooting death of Andres Guardado. [Los Angeles Times]

» A group of local officials in the foothill cities are proposing chopping down “specimen trees” which have been growing at the L.A. County Arboretum and Botanic Garden for decades to install a water treatment system. Arboretum officials say the project would destroy hundreds of rare and “irreplaceable” trees. [Los Angeles Times]

» Phil Spector, convicted murderer and one-time music producer famous for the “Wall of Sound,” has died at 81. He died in prison, serving a sentence for shooting actress Lana Clarkson in 2003. Spector’s cause of death wasn’t stated, but he was believed to have been receiving treatment for COVID-related complications.  [Variety]


» Culver City’s First-Ever Black City Councilman Is Running for Holly Mitchell’s State Senate Seat California Senate District 30 candidate Daniel Lee is putting the push for single-payer health care front and center

» Some L.A. Ralphs Stores Briefly Administered Vaccines to Customers Who Aren’t Yet Eligible For a short period this week, local pharmacy locations were giving out shots to people who aren’t healthcare workers

» Ed Buck’s Trial Has Been Postponed Again, and Further Delay Could Follow As the families of Buck’s alleged victims await justice, COVID-19 considerations have temporarily taken precedence


L.A. Mag Local Love: Stories Books & Cafe

The pandemic has been devastating for local businesses, so each week we’re highlighting a neighborhood favorite that’s at risk of shuttering. Up first: Stories Books & Cafe in Echo Park. Learn more about the shop and how you can support them.


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The Generation That Broadcasts Its Breakdowns

When Emma Chamberlain posts a selfie or YouTube video, there’s a good chance it will be in reference to a “mental breakdown.”

“So basically, I had a mental breakdown yesterday, let’s just keep it plain and simple,” the YouTuber and social media star says in a September YouTube video titled “RECOVERING FROM A MELTDOWN LOL.”

“The reasoning for my mental breakdown was basically I just have really, really bad anxiety.” A few months later, Chamberlain posted crying selfies on Instagram. “Yes i like taking selfie after i cry. who cares,” the caption read.

If there’s a queen of sad-girl aesthetics, it’s a Doc Martens-clad Chamberlain posing for the camera with one hand flipping it off and the other holding an iced coffee to help fuel the breakdowns. And her fanbase—and Gen Z in general—seems to have followed her lead. Crying selfies and crying videos have become a trend among Gen Z social media users and influencers. When you’re having a mental breakdown, snap a quick selfie and let your followers know that you too deal with mental health issues. When you just finished a sad movie, it’s not enough to tweet that it was sad, you need photo evidence of your tear-stained face in the movie theater. See a cute dog that makes you weep? Snap and suddenly you’re so relatable.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Gen Z is crying and posting about crying. According to the American Psychological Association, nine out of ten Gen Z adults reported feeling “at least one physical or emotional symptom because of stress.” And according to a survey from the Manifest, Gen Z spends about ten hours per day online. Of course they’re uploading photos of themselves with runny mascara—they’re depressed and very online.

Connor Blakley, the 21-year-old founder of Youthlogic, a marketing agency that helps brands connect to Gen Z, says he sees depression everywhere in Gen Z.

“It’s cool to be depressed,” he says sarcastically. “Being down and being mopey and complaining has somehow become cool.”

It’s appealing to brands, he says, because if an online influencer can be that vulnerable with their audience, then they will have an easier time selling a brand’s products.

“If someone is comfortable enough with themselves and has enough of a connection with their audience and is vulnerable in a real way, then that’s how you create real fans,” he says. “So if someone is doing that, odds are they have real relationships with their fans in an era of fake followers and engagement and all of that bullshit. That is a very truetell way to go and find out who’s got real fans and who doesn’t.”

He believes people take crying selfies to make themselves feel better about crying. When a group of people sees you crying, it’s embarrassing. When you tell a group of people you cried, it’s empowering.

Katie McNally says she takes crying selfies to make fun of herself.

“Later on, I’ll look back and think, why did I cry during that picture,” the 20-year-old says. “And then I realize it wasn’t even a big deal at all.”

McNally says her two older sisters, ages 30 and 24, are perplexed by her weepy selfies since they, like many people, prefer to project the impression they have their lives together. While other generations may suffer from mental illness, Gen Z seems to be the most aware of theirs, McNally says. The American Psychological Association says Gen Zers are more likely to report receiving treatment for mental health issues.

“Older generations have too much stigma against mental health, so I think Gen Z is more open and able to talk about it in a more comfortable conversation than older generations,” McNally says.

If posting about your mental breakdown can help someone else, then perhaps it was all worth it. That’s the case for Miranda Eliason, an 18-year-old college student. She posted a meltdown to TikTok after she found out her dad wouldn’t pay for her college. People commented “I felt this so hard” and “heyyy I’m crying while watching this.”

“I had this one guy DM me randomly where he was like, ‘Hey, I’m going through a rough time,’ and I was like, ‘Ugh, I’m sorry, I totally get it,’” Eliason says.

TikTok may be known for dance videos and comedy bits, but breakdowns flourish there too. While other users were posting about how much they’d changed over the course of six months, Chloe Chin posted how much she’d changed in six seconds: she went from crying to smiling.

“I cope with my depression through humor,” she says, “and I guess a lot of people on TikTok could relate to it.”

RELATED: Move Over, Kardashians: TikTok Families Are the New Reality TV Families

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