Newsletter: L.A. gyms will be back in business

Ty and Randy Renner do a circuit training workout outside their house
Ty and Randy Renner do a circuit training workout outside their house in mid-April. Their gym had closed due to the pandemic.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Thursday, June 11, and I’m writing from Los Angeles.

It’s been at least a decade (or roughly two weeks) since we last focused on coronavirus reopenings. But here we are again, with another round of loosened rules that mark a major step in reopening the L.A. economy.

County officials announced Wednesday that gyms, museums, day camps, hotels for leisure travel and pro-league arenas without audiences in Los Angeles will all be allowed to reopen beginning Friday. Galleries, zoos, aquariums, campgrounds, RV parks and outdoor recreational areas including swimming pools will also be allowed to reopen then. Safety protocols for those businesses will be announced on Thursday, and operations that comply may reopen the next day.

[Read the story: “Gyms, museums, hotels, day camps, arena sports can reopen in L.A. County on Friday” in the Los Angeles Times]


Wednesday also brought major news for one of L.A.’s most prominent industries: Local health officials have given Hollywood the green light to resume film and TV production in the entertainment capital of the world as soon as Friday. But, as entertainment reporter Anousha Sakoui explains in her story, filming won’t resume immediately in L.A.

[Read the story: “Los Angeles County can restart filming despite coronavirus threat” in the Los Angeles Times]

However, as L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer made clear, the region is far from out of the woods, even amid the reopenings. “We are still in in the middle of the woods and we still have a lot of risk,” Ferrer said. The county remains the epicenter of the pandemic in California, and the coronavirus transmission rate here appears to be climbing again, as my colleague Colleen Shalby noted in her story.

[See also: “Who gets the blame if California sees major new coronavirus outbreaks with reopening?” in the Los Angeles Times]

Movie theaters, bars and nail salons remain closed in the county, and parties, gatherings and the mixing of households is still banned — with the exception of political protests and religious services.

Over in Orange County, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure are planning to open July 17, pending local and state governmental approvals. The theme park has been closed since mid-March.


But in Riverside County, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and its country music counterpart, Stagecoach, have been canceled for 2020.

And now, here’s what’s happening across California:

In rare agreement, the four major Sacramento-area counties will also allow major reopenings Friday in sync across the region. Schools, movie theaters, bars, campsites, casinos, day camps, gyms, museums, zoos, spectator-less sports, hotels and more will be allowed to reopen Friday in Sacramento, Yolo, Placer and El Dorado counties. Sacramento Bee

Amid police brutality protests, demonstrators target L.A. D.A. Jackie Lacey. Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in the sweltering heat in downtown Los Angeles to decry the practices of the city’s law enforcement and protest Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey, who has come under fire for not prosecuting more police officers for misconduct. Los Angeles Times


The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating 56 allegations of misconduct by officers during recent protests against police brutality. Seven officers have been taken out of the field pending the outcome of the investigations. Los Angeles Times

L.A. officials want more money for community policing. Activists say it misses the point. Los Angeles Times


Charlie Chaplin filmed here: A silent-movie historian is seeking recognition for an alley just off Cahuenga Boulevard where Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd filmed parts of their respective classics. The Hollywood Reporter

Support our journalism

Subscribe to the Los Angeles Times.


L.A.-area DACA recipients are bracing for a Supreme Court decision that could change their lives. The high court is expected to rule by the end of this month on the fate of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. LAist


Older voters put Donald Trump in the White House. Now some are having second thoughts. Seniors are the country’s most reliable voters. A shift away from Trump in key states like Arizona could cost the president reelection. Los Angeles Times

A plan to restore affirmative action in California clears a hurdle after an emotional debate: California voters would be asked to erase the state’s 24-year ban on affirmative action in November under a proposal approved by the state Assembly, with supporters arguing their effort is more important than ever amid nationwide protests for racial equality and justice. Los Angeles Times


San Francisco Dis. Atty. Chesa Boudin announced that the city will offer money to aid victims of police violence. Victims and witnesses of police violence will be eligible for funeral expenses, help with medical bills, counseling and other services under the new policy. Boudin is a former public defender whose ascent to the D.A.’s office last year was heralded as a victory for the “progressive prosecutor” movement. Associated Press


California’s judicial leaders rescinded an emergency coronavirus order that set bail at zero for defendants accused of low-level crimes. Judges will still have the flexibility to grant zero bail, however. Los Angeles Times


San Francisco’s police union tweeted that the city’s transportation agency should “lose our number” and look elsewhere for help when a crime occurs on one of its buses or light-rail cars. The social media spat came after Muni announced in a series of tweets that it would no longer “transport SFPD to anti-police brutality protests.” The police union chief later clarified to the Chronicle that his members would, in fact, continue to follow orders and respond to calls for service. San Francisco Chronicle

Fourteen California artists react through images to the killing of George Floyd, protests over police brutality and the issue of race in today’s America. Los Angeles Times

False claims spread online after a group of young, mostly Black entrepreneurs toured upscale Sacramento suburbs. The group’s leader took the college students and recent graduates to the neighborhoods as a “dream build” exercise and urged them to “envision yourself living the way we’re about to see, and envision yourself in the homes we are about to see.” Unbeknownst to them, neighbors took pictures of them walking around and posted them to social media, warning that carloads of rioters were arriving. Law enforcement also received multiple calls about the group. Sacramento Bee

“Bakersfield is a car town.” Local car enthusiasts are revving up their lowriders, muscle cars, hot rods and motorcycles for a new Friday night car cruise through downtown Bakersfield, which is set to reoccur biweekly. Bakersfield Californian


A poem to start your Thursday: “The Way One Animal Trusts Another” by Carl Phillips.

Free online games

Get our free daily crossword puzzle, sudoku, word search and arcade games in our new game center at


Los Angeles: sunny, 89. San Diego: sunny, 78. San Francisco: windy, 69. San Jose: windy, 85. Fresno: sunny, 102. Sacramento: partly sunny, 96. More weather is here.


Today’s California memory comes from Rhonda Cross:

I grew up in the San Fernando Valley in the ‘60s when there were still a few horse ranches dotted here and there. I used to ride my bicycle a few blocks to visit one on my street in Canoga Park, bringing the horses treats whenever I could, enjoying but not truly appreciating that I was the one getting a treat — a quiet moment worlds apart from busy life with a quiet majestic creature. What a privilege for a city girl. Those moments were magical; I learned and have never forgotten how stepping away from life to share a quiet moment with nature truly restores the soul.

If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, share it with us. (Please keep your story to 100 words.)

Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments, complaints, ideas and unrelated book recommendations to Julia Wick. Follow her on Twitter @Sherlyholmes.