Essential California Week in Review: A new mask mandate for LA?


Hello and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. He is Saturday July 16.

Here’s a look at the top stories from the past week

LA County is about to mandate an indoor mask. Sustained jumps in cases and hospitalizations fueled by the hyper-infectious BA.5 subvariant pushed Los Angeles County to the high level of the COVID-19 community on Thursday, a shift that could trigger a new indoor mask mandate public by the end of this month unless conditions improve.

The stunning spread of BA.5 shows why this wave is so different. The proliferation of the coronavirus subvariant becomes a increasing focus of scientific scrutiny, with experts claiming it could replicate much more efficiently than earlier versions of Omicron. Meanwhile, weekly COVID-19 deaths reported in LA County rise quickly.

LA’s water use drops a record 9%. Efforts to monitor water use and tough new rules appear to be working, with city residents’ demand for water falling from the same month last year. It was the lowest water consumption for any month of June checked in.

California opens door to lawsuits against gun makers. After the U.S. Supreme Court rules against restrictions on carrying guns in public, Governor Gavin Newsom signed at least three major gun control measures. The last authorizes lawsuits against companies that violate new state standards.

California’s flawed recycling system makes cans hard to find. About 73% of an aluminum can comes from recycled waste. As demand for canned beverages has skyrocketed in recent years, the state’s patchwork of recycling centers and salvage facilities just couldn’t keep up.

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Dogs in LA animal shelters go weeks or months without being walked. The lockdown is the result of longstanding practices at Los Angeles Animal Services, critics say. The department relies heavily on unpaid volunteers to walk and exercise the dogs – a system that is stressed as more and more dogs arrive.

The Emmy nominations are in. Emmy Nominations were announced Tuesday morningand with 754 programs vying for recognition, the free-for-all to win a seat at the table has been intense. There was full of surprises and rebuffs.

California cities ban new gas stations. Without realizing they were start a movement, several Bay Area cities have banned new stations to help fight climate change. Now, leaders in California’s most car-centric metropolis are hoping to apply the climate-conscious policy to Southern California.

How a California Mental Health Funding Plan Collapsed. Nearly two decades ago, California voters passed a landmark tax on millionaires that was seen as a game-changer for mental health. But despite the improvements, it is clear that the results have well below the original promise.

Dramatic New 6th Street Viaduct Opens, Delivering ‘Love Letter’ to Los Angeles With its 10 pairs of sloping arches, it is the largest and most expensive bridge the city has ever erected, connecting downtown to Whittier Boulevard and replacing a beloved Depression-era bridge which was demolished in 2016.

LAPD killed a man they believe pointed a gun at an officer. But the body camera video tells a different story. The video injected more uncertainty into the incident by failing to resolve a crucial question: did Marvin Cua cause the shooting by pointing a gun he was carrying at the officers, as claimed by the LAPD?

ICYMI, here are this week’s good reads

A town in California ran out of water. Then the fire came. The San Joaquin Valley’s water well problems stem from a complex mix of infrastructure failure, contamination, and record-breaking drought conditions. In East Orosi, the water cut off on a Tuesday afternoon. A temporary solution allowed water to flow sporadically on Wednesday, but by then a family had lost their home in a fire they had no water to fight.

“The best of Hollywood”. Mckenzie Trahan had lived on the streets of Hollywood since she was 13. At 22, she was nearly seven months pregnant and staying in a tent in the dirt above the 101 freeway. She would struggle to find and keep a home to raise her baby. In the process, she should leave the street life behind.

Journalist Gale Holland, photographer Christina House and videographer Claire Hannah Collins tell Mckenzie’s stories; his mother, Cynthia “Cat” Trahan; and her case manager, Leslie Kerr. Follow their journey.

Today’s newsletter of the week was curated by Laura Blasey. Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send your comments, complaints and ideas to [email protected]

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