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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Has Died at 87

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died at the age of 87, due to complications from cancer. As a justice and throughout her career, Ginsburg was a tireless advocate for the rights of women, the LGBTQ+ community, people of color, and other historically repressed groups. Ginsburg was an icon whose reach went beyond the legal world and reached into popular culture.

“Our nation has lost a justice of historic stature,” Chief Justice John Roberts said. “We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her, a tireless and resolute champion of justice.”

In her waning days, she dictated a statement to granddaughter, Clara Spera, to be delivered after her passing. In that statement, she Ginsburg issued what is thought to be her final request of the country which she served for so many years: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”


RELATED: There Are a Lot of Lessons to Be Learned From the Life of the Notorious RBG


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Outmoded Tech Is Making Mountains of Waste. Is There Any Stopping ‘Upgrade Culture’?

Nearly a decade ago, artist Julia Christensen was in India working on a project when she visited an e-waste processing center and was shocked by the sheer amount of trash she saw.

“I immediately was struck by the question of what is it with our relationship with this stuff that is perpetuating this crazy environmental disaster,” she says over a Zoom call from her studio in Oberlin, Ohio. “I started thinking about our human relationships with electronics and recordable media and thinking about those complexities in order to more broadly understand the e-waste crisis.”

upgrade culture
Patch cables, Mustafabad Market (Delhi, India), 2015, from the series Technology Time
(2011–ongoing).

Courtesy the artist

Christensen’s solo exhibition, Upgrade Available, is open now at the Peter and Merle Mullin Gallery at ArtCenter College of Design. The show, which runs through December 20 and will be presented as a virtual exhibition until the gallery reopens, presents a portion of the work that Christensen has made as a result of that trip to the e-waste site. In June, her book of the same name was released through Dancing Foxes Press.

Since 2011, Christensen has been exploring what she calls “upgrade culture,” the collective desire to continually invest in new gear that’s led to a monumental haul of electronic garbage. And, in that time, new generations of cell phones, tablets, and computers have hit the market in relatively rapid succession as the old ones are tossed aside. “Question marks remain,” she says of recycling processes where, maybe, a small portion of the old devices is recycled. “Very often, a lot of the item are trashed.”

She adds, “I just think that the public, in general, hasn’t gotten to the point where we’re thinking critically about this on a mass global scale.”

Christensen considers how the quick pace of technological advancements impact our personal lives. What does this need to obtain the latest gadgets and the latest media formats say about us and our memories? She also looks at how this phenomenon impacts cultural institutions like the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where she was awarded an Art + Tech Lab Fellowship in 2017. For a museum like LACMA, the archives have been stored using decades of the latest technology. “In the institutional archives, there is every kind of media technology that you can imagine, lots of which is now obsolete,” says Christensen. In the new exhibition, she included a few photos of what she found in those archives.

CyberGuard Robot Sensor (Ahmanson Gallery, LACMA), 2020, from the series Smart Buildings (2017–ongoing).

Courtesy the artist

Through photography, Christensen captures both the physical media used to hold on to memories and archival footage, as well as e-waste. “I think that it’s interesting to look at these photographs juxtaposed next to each other because it’s the same stuff,” she says, “but, depending on the context, the material has totally different financial and cultural value.”

Through LACMA, Christensen was able to connect with scientists and engineers from the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena. They’re now collaborating on technology with a long enough lifespan to possibly support lengthy space missions. One concept presented in her exhibition is an antenna system that uses living trees.

Upgrade Available will also include an installation called “Burnouts,” that’s built with now-obsolete models of iPhones and iPads that display animations of constellations that have been retired. “It turns out that every now and then, astronomers determine that certain constellations are no longer relevant to the study of the night sky. They retire them from star maps,” says Christensen. “I thought it was so interesting that the stars are still there. They are still shining perfectly well, but because we can’t see them as well, because of changes on our own planet, usually light pollution, they’re no longer relevant to us.”

So, why should people be thinking critically about upgrade culture? “Clearly, the environmental disaster that is being wreaked upon our planet is critical,” says Christensen. On the micro-level, though, Christen says that it’s important to think and talk about how much control we have over our relationship with electronics. “So much of this upgrade culture, it feels like it’s forced upon us,” she says. “As a consumer public, I hope that, increasingly, we have more agency over what that looks like.”

In the course of her work regarding upgrade culture, Christensen has learned how complicated the relationship is between consumers, electronic equipment, and related media.

“I think that it is important for us to think about that in our personal lives,” she says. “Why do I need this stuff? How can I fulfill those needs without upgrading all the time?”


RELATED: Kenny Scharf Is Pissed and This Pile of Plastic Toys Is Proof


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‘Cheer’ Fan Favorite Jerry Harris Accused of Producing Child Porn

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Jerry Harris, a breakout star on the Emmy-winning Netflix docuseries Cheer was arrested and charged with producing child pornography in U.S. District Court in Chicago Thursday.

Harris, 21, is accused of “enticing an underage boy to produce sexually explicit videos and photos of himself.”

According to court records, Harris, who did not enter a plea Thursday, admitted to federal agents that he solicited and received explicit messages on Snapchat from ten to 15 people he knew to be minors, had sex with a 15-year-old at a 2019 cheerleading competition, and paid a 17-year-old for nude photos, USA Today reports.

Seeking to keep Harris detained, prosecutor Christopher Parente said Harris had committed “a crime of violence” and was a danger to the community. The judge ordered Harris to remain in custody until a Monday morning hearing, when the court will consider if can be released on bond.

On Monday, the mother of 14-year-old twin boys who claim Harris had been soliciting them online and at cheerleading competitions starting when they were 13 filed a lawsuit against Harris. A rep for Harris said at the time, “We categorically dispute the claims made against Jerry Harris, which are alleged to have occurred when he was a teenager. We are confident that when the investigation is completed the true facts will be revealed.”

“We are grateful that the U.S. Attorney and the FBI have taken swift action to protect children by investigating, arresting and charging Jerry Harris,” the family’s attorney, Sarah Klein, said in a statement. “This was made possible because our clients’ mother had the courage to report Harris to the FBI as well as the Fort Worth Police Department and provided evidentiary proof of the manipulation, sexual harassment, abuse, and exploitation that her sons had suffered.”

If convicted, Harris faces 15 to 30 years in federal prison.

Cheer has already won two Emmys this year and is up for Outstanding Unstructured Reality program at Saturday’s virtual Creative Arts Emmy Awards.

Coach Monica Aldama said in an Instagram post that her “heart has been shattered into a million pieces” by the news.

[Instagram url=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CFRQsuygh2z/” hidecaption=true]

In a statement to CNN, a Netflix spokesperson said, “Like everyone we are shocked by this news. Any abuse of minors is a terrible crime and we respect the legal process.”


RELATED: Netflix Breaks Records at the 2020 Emmy Nominations


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The U.S. Will Start Banning New TikTok Downloads on Sunday

SEPTEMBER 18, 2020 — The U.S. Department of Commerce announced on Friday morning that starting Sunday, September 20, Americans will be banned from downloading Chinese-owned apps TikTok and WeChat, which the Washington Post is calling a “seemingly unprecedented move that will sharply raise tensions with Beijing.” According to Politico, WeChat will basically have to stop operating on Sunday, but TikTok will still be useable until mid-November (aka just after the election) by people who’ve downloaded it prior to the ban.

According to the Department of Commerce, the move—which was set into motion by an August executive order signed by Donald Trump—is intended to protect Americans from having their personal data “maliciously” collected by the Chinese government. “Today’s actions prove once again that President Trump will do everything in his power to guarantee our national security and protect Americans from the threats of the Chinese Communist Party,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a statement. It’s unclear how banning new downloads while still allowing current users to continue their activity on the app will achieve that goal.

Earlier this week, database and cloud tech company Oracle presented a proposal to the U.S. Treasury department to become TikTok parent company ByteDance’s U.S. partner, a role that had previously been pursued by both Microsoft and Walmart.

Although the Oracle deal—which is apparently still being reviewed—would mean user data would be stored by a U.S. company, ByteDance would still have majority control of the app, which Trump opposes.


SEPTEMBER 14, 2020 — Database and cloud tech giant Oracle will partner with Trump-teasing media platform TikTok in a deal to keep the video app operating within the U.S. Though some analysts had expected TikTok’s Chinese owner ByteDance to sell its U.S. operations to Microsoft, Oracle’s co-founder and chairman just happens to be GOP fundraiser Larry Ellison—one of Trump’s closest, and most generous, pals.

As the Los Angeles Times reports, Oracle said in a statement Monday that it “will serve as the trusted technology provider” for TikTok, adding, “Oracle has a 40-year track record providing secure, highly performant technology solutions.”

Earlier this summer, Trump signed an executive order that would forbid individuals and companies in the U.S. from using TikTok starting September 20 if ByteDance did not divest TikTok’s U.S. operations. TikTok is suing to block the order, calling it unconstitutional, but if the ban goes into effect the video service could be dropped from Apple’s and Google’s mobile app stores, causing TikTok’s 1,500 U.S. employees to lose their jobs, and forcing untold numbers of L.A. influencers to rebuild their brands on other platforms.

The Trump administration has cited “national security” as its reason for the ban, saying that TikTok could be sending user info to the Chinese government—an accusation TikTok has repeatedly denied. The order, however, was issued shortly after TikTok users in America employed the app in a series of publicly humiliating pranks on Trump.

In June, for instance, the users tricked Trump’s team into announcing that more than a million people would be at his rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where only 6,200 people actually showed up. Days later, the pranksters setup an elaborate hoax to temporarily shut down Trump’s online tchotchke shop.

Oracle employees and locals alike protested in February, when Ellison hosted a fundraiser for Trump at his Coachella Valley estate, with tickets ranging from $100,000 to $250,000.

And that’s just one of the fruits of the cozy relationship.

In December, 2016, Oracle Chief Executive Safra Catz joined Trump’s transition team while still keeping his position at Oracle, Reuters reports. Catz has also donated more than $130,000 toward Trump’s reelection and, in 2019, Oracle gave between $500,000 and $999,999 to Trade Works for America, a Republican operation to support Trump’s NAFTA replacement bill.

And it’s more than just money that Ellison has gifted Trump. This March, it was Ellison himself who informed Trump about the wonders of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19. He also reportedly offered to have Oracle help collect data about the drug, free of charge.

On Monday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the deal would be a win for everyone that would “create TikTok global, as a U.S. headquartered company, with 20,000 new jobs.”

Oracle shares shot up by 10 percent with the news Monday, but some experts believe that even Ellison’s warm presence may not be enough to quell Trump’s fears.

“They could control the inflows and outflows from a national security perspective,” Daniel Ives, an analyst with Wedbush Securities, told the Times. “If that’s enough of a stamp for the White House to have comfort with the deal, that is something that remains to be seen.”


RELATED: Oracle Boss Larry Ellison’s Coachella Valley Trump Fundraiser Protested by Employees and Locals Alike


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Who Built That Spooky-Looking Witch’s House in Beverly Hills?

For answers to more of your burning questions, visit the Ask Chris archive.


Q: Who built that scary-looking storybook house on Walden Drive in Beverly Hills?

A: People like to call it the “Witch’s House,” but it was originally built as a movie studio in Culver City for 28-year-old mogul Irvin Willat, who ordered a fantasy mash-up of 18th century Swiss, Belgian, and English cottages that could also be used as a logo for his production company. Five years, four films, and a movie star wife later—and with a lucrative offer to direct at Paramount—he sold the house to producer Ward Lascelle, who loaded it onto a truck and relocated it to Walden Drive and Carmelita Avenue. Be sure to visit on Halloween, when hundreds of trick-or-treaters line up for big candy and a big show.

Q: Is Mel’s the only restaurant with carhop service?

A: L.A.’s carhop culture has come roaring back with curb service at Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank, Cafe 50s in West Los Angeles, Route 66 Classic Grill in Canyon Country, and Miguel’s in (eek!) Corona. My favorite is Tam O’Shanter in Atwater Village, one of the first spots in the country to offer the service when it opened in 1922.

Q: How was L.A. quarantined during the Spanish flu?

A: Angelenos who got sick in 1918 were marked with a scarlet letter. Well, actually, a white card with blue letters that was posted on every home where someone was reported ill. The LAPD enforced the stay-at-home rule but let stores and workplaces remain open. Some of the flu victims were sent to Barlow hospital, makeshift facilities at Ascot Park racetrack, or the Dispensary for Public School Children. I’m guessing they wiped down the dispensary afterward.


RELATED: What Happened to That Monorail That Ran Through a Brewery in Van Nuys?


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Morning Brief: A Deep Dive into the Ed Buck Case

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» The New York Times takes a deep dive into what happened at Ed Buck’s West Hollywood apartment. At least two men died at the residence, conspiracy theories have flourished, and many questions remain.  [The New York Times]

» Gavin Newsom has signed a bill that will allow Californians to file workers’ comp claims if they catch COVID-19 on the job. Another bill signed into law Thursday will require employers to explicitly warn employees of the threat of infection they face by coming to work.  [KTLA]

» Multiple members of the Civilian Oversight Commission have issued public calls for the resignation of Sheriff Villanueva. Commissioners cite his refusal to enforce policies forbidding deputy gangs, the department’s lack of transparency, and his own dysfunctional relationship with the Board of Supervisors.  [Los Angeles Times]

» A coalition of environmental and community organizations has filed a lawsuit against the City of L.A., asserting that the city is allowing port pollution control rules to slide in violation of state law. The complaint alleges that the city has failed to demand the China Shipping Container terminal at the Port of Los Angeles uphold certain clean air rules. [Courthouse News Service]

» Police in Beverly Hills have arrested 44 individuals in connection with unemployment benefit fraud worth $2.5 million. The group likely represents only a fraction of those responsible for the widespread benefit fraud reported during the pandemic. [Los Angeles Times]


TOP STORIES FROM L.A. MAG

» Three East Coast States Remove California from Their Travel Quarantine Lists California residents will no longer be required to to undergo mandatory quarantine upon arrival

» Inspector General Says the Sheriff’s Department May Have Made False Claims About a Reporter’s Arrest The LASD is not cooperating with an investigation into the arrest of Josie Huang, the I.G. reported to the Civilian Oversight Commission

» The Best Things to Do This Weekend A music fest for voting rights, virtual performances at the Broad, and more


ONE MORE THING

clippers los angeles championship nba

This Was Supposed to Be the Clippers’ Season—What the Hell Happened?

Long-suffering Clippers fans are slapping their foreheads in the wake of an ugly meltdown on Tuesday night that ended what at one point seemed like a promising season. As fan Jon Regardie writes, “The return of the NBA has been simultaneously a diversion from the dark times and a reminder that life will return to normal. And history shows that the Clippers disappointing performance is, sadly, normal.”

 [FULL STORY]


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Former Employees Claim Chateau Marmont Is a House of Horrors

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Former staffers of Chateau Marmont are alleging that, for employees, the legendarily debauched hotel is a hotbed of racism and sexual harassment at the hands of both management and guests, with little to no oversight by human resources.

Already strained relations between workers and upper-management soured considerably when owner Andre Balazs laid off 248 employees at the start of the pandemic in March, and then announced plans to turn the Chateau into a private timeshare in July—both moves the employees see as Balazs’s attempts to bust their unionizing efforts.

More than 30 ex-Chateau workers told Gary Baum of The Hollywood Reporter about their experiences working at the hyper-exclusive celebrity enclave, many anonymously for fear of reprisal or due to nondisclosure agreements.

Upon hearing the allegations in the report, one longtime Balazs business associate told THR, “I’m reconsidering the Chateau through a totally different lens now. All of the talk of it being a ‘playground,’ of it exalting ‘privacy.’ It really was just a system that protected white men in power.”

Among the accusers is longtime housekeeper Sonia Molina Sanchez, who told THR that six years ago a male guest began masturbating while she was cleaning his room. Although she reported the incident to her manager in hopes that the man would be barred from the hotel, he continued to visit.

“[Management] made me believe that they were going to deal with it, but they didn’t do anything,” Sanchez said. “They made me feel unsafe at work. Every time I saw him, I was reliving my experience. I felt abused again.”

Many of the Chateau workers claim that there was effectively no HR department to handle such complaints, as the majority of those responsibilities have allegedly been passed down to low-level supervisors with little experience, who then report to the hotel’s managing director, which workers say left them afraid to blow the whistle on misconduct.

In one example, a restaurant supervisor allegedly slung ethnic slurs at a group of Latino kitchen workers on a regular basis for years, but the kitchen staffers felt they would suffer retribution if they reported it.

“[The management structure] was too close to HR,” one of them said.

Adrian Jules, a Black guest relations employee, had been at the Chateau for three years when, in October, he said he received a series of unsolicited, sexual text messages from a drunk, white female colleague, including an image of a used condom along with the words, “I’d just appreciate some more compassion.”

Jules told THR that when he complained, he became the victim of “constant ghosting” that went from his direct supervisor to the managing director to another young staffer who by then had been handed the reigns of HR.

“You have to think, as a man, and a Black man specifically, if you get a message like that, you’re immediately terrified,” said Jules, who has reportedly hired a lawyer and intends to file an employment discrimination suit against the Chateau. “What would have happened had I sent text messages like that to her? You do what the employee handbook tells you to do, and nobody listens.”

Balazs said in a written statement to The Hollywood Reporter: “I have never condoned, and the Chateau Marmont’s ‘Code of Conduct’ in conjunction with the ‘Employee Handbook’ specifically prohibits, any unwanted sexual contact with, or any verbal or physical abuse of, anyone at any time. If, for any reason, our exceedingly clear ‘Code of Conduct—which everyone must read and sign as a pre-condition of their employment—has been violated, it is my first, singular and moral obligation to correct it—and I will!”

Staffers claim the racial prejudice starts with Balazs himself, as whiteness, they contend, best suits his preferred aesthetic.

“I simply was treated differently,” Gina Steffe, a white server who was at the Chateau for six years before the pandemic, told THR. “I was favored there: given unwarranted opportunities, privileges, sections, and shifts that my colleagues of color were not. Apparently, I fit a certain ‘look’ that Andre and the upper management preferred.”

Balazs responded, “I view the curation of a boutique hotel as similar to hosting a delightful dinner party, the secret to the sauce is ‘in the mix’—the success of this recipe allows for no discrimination based on race, color, creed, sexual orientation, gender, age, or even the slightest hint of such bias.”

Employees claim that even the hotel’s Black and Latino celebrity guests are given second-class status, such as Blackish showrunner Kenya Barris and actress Tiffany Haddish, who were reportedly stopped, questioned, and challenged on arrival at the hotel.

“There’s an inconsistency to how that’s dealt with,” said one Black restaurant worker. “If it’s not intentional, it’s at the least a lack of care.”

Haddish’s representative confirmed that it happened twice, while Barris declined to comment.

Meanwhile, Balazs says he’s still working on a documentary about Chateau Marmont that he started five years ago.

“We’ve filmed hundreds of hours of footage with people like Gore Vidal,” he told Variety last month. “Jane Fonda told me, ‘Oh my God, André, let me give you all the footage I have. I used to live here.'”


RELATED: The Chateau Marmont Is Set to Flip to a Private Club


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Things to Do (Inside and Outside) in L.A. This Weekend

This summer is a weird one. Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are getting worse, not better, and any early-pandemic hopes that we might be celebrating with friends and family by now have long ago been dashed. Nonetheless, it’s the weekend, and it’s best spent in the company of household-sharing loved ones, distancing out in nature, or enjoying some great entertainment at home. Here are our picks for things to do this weekend. Have fun, but be safe.


L.A. Intersections: Music, Language, Movement at the Broad 

Thursdays beginning September 17

It’s probably not quite how the museum expected to celebrate its fifth anniversary, but they’re making the most of their empty exhibition spaces by inviting musicians, poets, and dancers inside for a three-part performance series airing on YouTube and the Broad’s Instagram. Features music by San Cha & Mx. Matías, Georgia Anne Muldrow, serpentwithfeet and Sudan Archives; poetry from Shonda Buchanan, Luis J. Rodriguez, and Amy Uyematsu; and site-specific dance performances by d. Sabela grimes, Jermaine Spivey & Spenser Theberge, Rosanna Tavarez, and Mike Tyus.

Rise Up at Wonzimer Gallery

September 18

British photographer Alex James is displaying and selling the images he captured during the recent Black Lives Matter protests in Los Angeles, and donating 100 percent of the profits to 9 Dots, a non-profit that teaches kids in underserved communities how to write code.

Fair Fight Fest

September 19 & 20 

We’re in the midst of a global pandemic, and for some reason (note: we know the reason) certain politicians seem to be making it harder for people to vote. Beloved L.A. promoter Sid the Cat is bringing a gigantic lineup of musicians together for Fair Fight, an organization that promotes fair elections all over the country. Day one features Hiss Golden Messenger, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Chris Cohen of Deerhoof, and more; day two features Julia Jacklin, Fruit Bats, Another Bummer, and more. Set times TBD.

Brian Posehn Live: An Evening with Grandpa Metal

September 19

Brian Posehn marries his love for comedy and heavy metal in a livestreamed show to celebrate the release of his new album of standup. The Sarah Silverman Program alum special guests Scott Ian, Brendon Small, and Joe Trohman.

Montana Avenue Al Fresco Shop & Dine

Saturdays through October 31

The air is (a little bit) clearer, and the shops and restaurants along Montana Avenue in Santa Monica are hosting a series of special outdoor events. Look for sidewalk sales and special outdoor seating arrangements for diners, and don’t forget your face mask.

Hola Mexico Film Fest

Through September 20

See 20 great movies for the bargain price of $4.99 at this year’s (virtual) Hola Mexico Film Fest. It’s all streamable through the Pantaya platform.

dineL.A. Restaurant Week

Through September 18

It’s definitely not business as usual at L.A. restaurants, but this twice-annual restaurant week is still on. Restaurants across the city are offering special menus for on-site dining, take-out, and/or delivery for lunch and/or dinner. Take a spin through the directory for all your options.

Malibu Bike Tours

Beginning September 3

Need to step away from the computer and get outdoors—safely? Now you can take a spin around Saddlerock Ranch and vineyard on an electric bike, and take in some fresh air and a view. Oh and there’s wine too.

Pop-Up Drive-Ins and Outdoor Movies

Ongoing

We just updated our guide to summertime movies with a fresh batch of drive-in and rooftop screenings. This weekend’s offerings include Alien, Clueless, and Batman.

Vineland, Paramount, and Mission Tiki Drive-Ins

Ongoing

Movie theaters are still closed and all of those pop-up screenings sell out fast, but the L.A. area’s stationary drive-ins don’t require advance tickets and have plenty of great movies to check out—and double features galore. It’s a throwback that’s become very welcome during the era of social distancing.

Stream away …

Ongoing

It feels like we’re living through one interminable Monday under this global house arrest, but it technically is the weekend. So why not take a break from the news and the glitchy Zoom meetings and watch something fun? Check out what we have in this week’s roundup of streaming recommendations because sometimes the best things to do are the most low-effort of all.

Looking for even more things to watch, eat, and do during the COVID-19 outbreak? Check out our Inside Guide.


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Three East Coast States Remove California from Their Travel Quarantine Lists

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SEPTEMBER 17, 2020 – Since June, travelers heading from California to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut have been required to undergo a two-week quarantine upon arrival on the East Coast. Now, as trend lines appear to indicate California is coming out of its summer surge, that rule has been lifted.

While automatic quarantines are no longer required, any traveller visiting New York is still required to submit a traveler health form, available from the state. The online document logs traveler details, and could be used for contact tracing should an outbreak occur.

California is among only a small group of states to move off of the New York area quarantine list–and the state could easily be added back on. The threshold for mandatory quarantine is a seven day rolling positivity average of 10 percent or greater.


JUNE 30, 2020 – Anyone planning a trip from California to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut must now build two weeks of quarantine into their plans before going out into the community, according to a new order issued by those three states today. California has been added to that region’s existing list of high-risk states as local coronavirus cases here continue to swell.

According to the new quarantine order, any traveler from California, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, or Utah attempting to travel to the New York region will have to self-quarantine for at least 14 days upon arrival. Failure to comply with the mandatory quarantine will be considered a violation of public health orders and subject to substantial civil penalties. In New York state, NBC 4 reports, that penalty could include fines up to $10,000 per violation.

New York and New Jersey were among the states hit hardest by the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic–but now their local conditions appear to be moving toward stabilization. While California avoided the worst impacts of the outbreak early on–some public health experts even termed it the “California miracle”–the situation has changed quickly as commercial reopening escalated starting around Memorial Day.

Several other states have quarantine orders in place for non-residents visiting from any other state. Maine, Hawaii, Alaska, New Mexico, and Vermont are among those that require most travelers arriving in the state to either isolate for 14 days upon arrival or produce documentation of a negative COVID-19 test result. Oklahoma has a origin-specific rule similar to the New York region rule, which also lists California as a high-risk state, triggering quarantine orders.

There are currently no travel restrictions in place for visitors coming to California from other states. Internationally, the European Union formalized rules today which bar any travelers from the United States and a handful of other countries from entering.


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


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Inspector General Says the Sheriff’s Department May Have Made False Claims About a Reporter’s Arrest

UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 17 – In a meeting with the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission on Thursday, L.A. County Inspector General Max Huntsman reported that Alex Villanueva’s department has failed to cooperate with his office’s investigation into LASD deputies’ arrest of LAist reporter Josie Huang. Huntsman also says evidence suggests the department has been making false claims about the incident.

“My office is investigating recent Sheriff’s Department actions which may violate the United States constitution’s guarantee of freedom of the press,” Huntsman told the oversight body. “In these investigations we have requested the cooperation of the sheriff’s department, and not received it.”

The Inspector General’s office has run up against resistance from the LASD before. Huntsman pointed to another recent investigation, stemming from an incident at a press conference about Dijon Kizzee’s killing by deputies, with which the department has also been unwilling to participate.

In both matters, Hunstman reports that the LASD is using social media, PR staff, and even Villanueva personally, to provide inaccurate and misleading information regarding pertinent details of the incidents.

“All evidence we have currently gathered suggests that significant parts of the claims made by the department may have been false,” Huntsman said.

Those details include claims that Huang failed to identify herself as a reporter, which is directly refuted by video, and that she lacked “proper” press credentials.

Further, the Inspector General says, booking Huang for obstruction of a police officer as she was on the night in question, would appear to be at odds with Penal Code Section 148 which states explicitly that making a video recording of an officer is not considered obstruction.

“It’s funny that Ms. Huang was arrested for obstruction of justice, or obstruction of arrest. Meanwhile, it seems that the Sheriff’s Department is the one that’s engaging in the obstruction,” oversight commission member Priscilla Ocen told KTLA. Ocen added that she believes the department frequently applies strong-arm tactics, and Huang’s status as a reporter has simply shined a light on a widespread problem.


SEPTEMBER 14 – Josie Huang, a reporter for public radio station KPCC and its website LAist, was arrested by L.A. County Sheriff’s Department deputies on Saturday night while covering a small protest outside the Lynwood hospital where two deputies were being treated for gunshot wounds. The arrest has raised outcry from First Amendment advocates, but Sheriff Alex Villanueva says he stands by his officers’ actions.

In the course of what KTLA describes as a “violent arrest,” the deputies tackled, injured, and restrained Huang–ultimately detaining her for five hours and charging her with obstructing a peace officer.

An initial LASD tweet about the situation claimed she did not identify herself as a reporter, but multiple videos of the incident, captured both by Huang and other journalists and observers at the scene all appear to directly contradict that assertion. Huang reports wearing a media identification around her neck, and on the videos she can repeatedly be heard yelling “I’m a reporter” and “I’m with KPCC.”

In an interview with KTLA today, Villanueva stated “We could’ve probably done things differently,” but ultimately appeared to blame Huang for her own treatment, saying “If you’re right up in the business of the deputies and they can touch you, that means you’re way too close.”

Villanueva said that his staff were justified in their behavior because, he claimed, they have observed people who “try to pass themselves off as journalists” at protests.

Further, he claimed that Huang could not reasonably expect deputies to be familiar with her employer, a leading public radio station in Los Angeles.

“She’s yelling ‘KPCC, KPCC,’ but unfortunately, that’s not a household name,” he said. According to audience metrics listed on KPCC’s website, the outlet has an estimated monthly audience of nearly 4 million individuals.

The incident with Huang came only a day after LASD deputies, dressed in riot gear, appeared at a press conference at which activists were criticizing the department’s handling of the killing of Dijon Kizzee. At that event, a deputy grabbed a legal observer, and others ordered reporters to leave the area where the press conference was taking place.

“Those two incidents are of concern to us because First Amendment rights are absolutely critical to the public’s respect of law enforcement,” L.A. County Inspector General Max Huntsman told the Los Angeles Times. “And so we feel that requires immediate investigation.”

Hunstman says he has begun the process of a probe, though he expects to run up against challenges from Villanueva’s office.

“We have requested information from the Sheriff’s Department. They have of late not cooperated in investigations of themselves so we do not anticipate their cooperation, and that makes things more difficult,” he told the Times.


RELATED: Meet Sheriff Alex Villanueva, the Donald Trump of L.A. Law Enforcement


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