Today’s Headlines: California’s other recalls
Gov. Gavin Newsom is staring at a recall. In California, he’s not the only one.
California’s Other Recalls
For months, attention has focused on the high-profile campaign to remove Gov. Gavin Newsom from office. But he is far from the only California politician fending off such a challenge.
Local recall attempts have flared across nearly every corner of the state in recent months, from rural Northern California to the southern border.
In the tiny industrial city of Vernon, south of downtown Los Angeles, two City Council members were ousted this month during the city’s first recall election in modern memory. Come September, Vernon’s 120 registered voters will decide the fate of two more council members in a second recall election on Sept. 14.
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The newest formal bid moved forward Wednesday, when L.A. City Councilwoman Nithya Raman was served with a recall notice outside her Silver Lake home. (A campaign to recall L.A. Councilman Mike Bonin, not to be confused with the 2017 campaign to recall him, has yet to file official paperwork.)
In Ventura County, five-term Supervisor Linda Parks is gearing up to fend off a recall. And in San Francisco, paperwork for five recall attempts has been filed this year — the same number filed there during the previous 15 years.
According to local election officials and experts, various likely factors drive this year’s frenzy of recalls. They cite publicity around the Newsom recall, as well as pandemic fallout and an increasingly combative national political atmosphere.
Defending the Assault Weapons Ban
California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta has filed an appeal to a federal court decision that overturned the state’s ban on assault weapons, arguing that the law is needed “to protect the safety of Californians.”
The appeal seeks to reverse Friday’s decision by U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez, who said the state’s three-decade ban on assault weapons is an unconstitutional infringement on the rights of California gun owners. Benitez reasons that the law “has had no effect” on curtailing mass shootings.
The implications of the case could affect gun laws beyond California. Six other states and the District of Columbia adopted their own assault weapons bans, and Congress enacted a ban in 1994, although it expired 10 years later.
California was the first state to ban assault weapons more than three decades ago after a shooting at Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton that killed five children and wounded 29 others.
-- A day after meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in England as part of an effort to renew the United States’ 80-year-old partnership with his country, President Biden headed to the Group of 7 summit in Cornwall in his much-watched international debut. Here are five things to watch at the summit.
— Former congresswoman Katie Hill is channeling her energy and infamy into an effort to make revenge porn a federal crime. That path just might take the Democrat back to the campaign trail.
— The Fresno City Council voted recently to observe LGBTQ Pride Month by flying the rainbow flag at City Hall. Mayor Jerry Dyer’s objection was not surprising, writes columnist Mark Z. Barabak. But once he heard tearful stories of gay, lesbian and transgender people being ostracized or cast aside by family and friends, he changed his mind.
Could California ask for better conditions in which to reopen its economy Tuesday?
For months now, the state has recorded one of the lowest coronavirus infection rates in the country, even as pandemic restrictions are lifted and new viral variants emerge. The data and the vaccine rollout have public health officials confident life can return to some kind of normal — without the surges that resulted the last times we tried.
California’s rate of vaccinations is one of the nation’s highest. Its daily case counts are lower than they’ve been since March 2020. So are hospitalizations.
Credit vaccinations, in large part — but with young children not expected to receive them before school begins, teachers in Los Angeles aren’t taking any chances. Under a tentative deal their union reached with the L.A. Unified School District, masks will remain on for students and staff, and testing will continue for all.
More Top Coronavirus Headlines
— Kaiser has launched a COVID-19 vaccine trial for children ages 5 to 11 in Northern California. Seventy-five children are expected to participate in the study conducted at Kaiser sites in Oakland and Santa Clara. It’s part of a nationwide effort involving about 4,600 children to evaluate a vaccine being developed by Pfizer-BioNTech.
— Theories about the origins of the coronavirus have spun into a blame game and a geopolitical battleground. But for scientists, finding the original source is key to understanding how to predict, prevent and contain future pandemics.
— Add cheap weed to California’s growing list of vaccination incentives. A Contra Costa County cannabis dispensary is offering select products for a penny to anyone with a valid COVID-19 vaccine card.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
In June 1966, 40 Black men were training for roles in an independent movie about the segregated 10th U.S. Cavalry of the late 1800s. Actors Bryan King and Woody Strode worked to turn city dwellers into horsemen using the same training regimen used by the 10th Cavalry.
The Los Angeles Times reported then: “Until eight weeks ago, most of them had never been close to a horse. But today, they sit a saddle with all the poise of a seasoned cavalryman … Plans are for the forty horsemen to appear in an independent movie production called ‘The Saga of the 10th Cavalry,’ to be produced by King and Strode.”
— With Pride ongoing this month and L.A. expected to reopen fully on June 15 after months of pandemic restrictions, here are our favorite places to eat and drink and celebrate.
— If you’re thinking about traveling in California this summer, we can help. Here are more than 100 trip ideas.
— Prepare your next week of meals like writer, recipe developer and cookbook author Dawn Perry with these recipes.
— Two Orange County extremists — a former police chief and his partner in organizing “Stop the Steal” rallies — have been indicted along with members of the Three Percenters militia for their roles in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.
— Homeless camps, trash and crime have transformed the Venice boardwalk. But as residents, law enforcement and officials seek to address the situation, easy solutions remain elusive. (This story is a Times subscriber exclusive.)
— Black city employees accuse Long Beach of racial discrimination in a class-action lawsuit. They allege a system of racial discrimination that held them back in their jobs.
— California leads the nation with the largest drop in spring 2021 college enrollment numbers. It’s largely due to a steep decline in community college students, who have particularly struggled with pandemic hardships, according to a new report.
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— Naftali Bennett — ultranationalist, erstwhile Benjamin Netanyahu protege, son of American immigrants — is in many ways an unlikely man now to be on the brink of becoming Israel’s next prime minister. But a combination of happenstance, perseverance and raw political opportunism seem poised to make the kingmaker a king.
— The United States’ image around the world has improved sharply since President Biden took office, according to new surveys conducted in 16 countries.
— U.S. authorities are running into a major obstacle in holding hackers responsible for an onslaught of ransomware attacks: The extortionists remain out of reach in Russia.
— The Anti-Corruption Commission under Myanmar’s military government has concluded that ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi accepted bribes and misused her authority in real estate deals. Suu Kyi’s supporters say they’re politically motivated charges.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
— British Pakistani actor Riz Ahmed has long been disturbed by Hollywood’s depiction of Muslims as terrorists. He wants to change it.
— The plot lines of the movie “In the Heights” are slightly different from those of the beloved Broadway musical. Here’s why.
— As the pandemic wanes in the U.S. and live theater inches closer to a full-scale reopening, Center Theatre Group’s longtime artistic director, Michael Ritchie, said he’s sure of two things: The American stage is poised for a post-pandemic rebirth, and he is not the one to lead the way.
— Soaring lumber prices are making new homes, renovations and even simple picnic tables drastically more expensive, shutting down projects during an already out-of-control real estate market.
— A new $56,000-a-year Alzheimer’s drug would raise Medicare premiums broadly, and some patients who are prescribed the medication could face copayments of about $11,500 annually. And columnist Michael Hiltzik writes that the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of it points to a broken drug approval system.
— For a moment in the third quarter, thanks to guard Reggie Jackson, it looked as if maybe the Clippers could even their NBA series. But then came a run by the Jazz that foretold another L.A. loss to Utah.
— The NFL has released its 2021 preseason schedule. It starts with the Hall of Fame game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys on Aug. 5 and wraps up with a slew of games Aug. 27-29.
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— Nothing galls taxpayers as much as hearing about people with far higher incomes who paid a lot less than they did to the Internal Revenue Service. The Times’ editorial board asks: What to do about billionaires who pay no taxes?
— California is sitting on a massive surplus. It’s time for Newsom to spend on gun control, columnist George Skelton writes.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
— “She died working for us”: Randy and Eric Park’s mother was among eight people killed in the Atlanta-area spa shootings. The two have been largely left to navigate the world by themselves. (The New York Times)
— “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” is ending. But its exploitation of Black women’s aesthetics continues. (TIME)
ONLY IN L.A.
Steve Terradot learned how to play pool in the back room at the Boulevard bar in Pasadena in 1981. He spent many nights relishing the feelings of safety and community the space provided. In 1985, he started bartending there. In 1999, he bought the bar. Over the years, the Boulevard became a safe haven for the gay community and an alternative to the West Hollywood bar scene. Business was good. Then the pandemic hit, and the fight to save the only gay bar in Pasadena began.
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