A.M. Brief: Burbank Restaurant Reopens in Defiance of Dining Ban

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Honda Plaza Little Tokyo Outdoor Dining Picnic Tables
Public picnic tables at Honda Plaza in the Little Tokyo. Photo by Christina Champlin.

With a lack of aid for the food service industry and daunting dining restrictions, restaurant owners in the county are making hard choices about their future, including at least one man who said he has “nothing to lose.” Also this morning: Another record day in COVID-19 reporting, the DMV suspends behind-the-wheel tests, and a new study says Angelenos are not a very satisfied bunch. Finally, a KCRW investigative report focuses on the budgetary shenanigans of one affordable housing project in Westlake. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, but this is your news. Take it!

Morning News Rundown

Facing what he says is a “last fight” with “nothing to lose,” Tinhorn Flats manager Lucas Lepejian reopened his family’s Burbank bar and restaurant for outdoor service yesterday in defiance of the state health order. Tinhorn Flats could theoretically lose its health permit or liquor license, but Burbank PD has said it will defer to County Public Health on whether to enforce the dining ban. [ABC 7]


In another record day, Thursday’s Public Health update confirmed 12,819 new cases of COVID-19 and 74 new deaths, including a child. This is the first time a child under 18 has died in L.A. County due to the virus. County officials said yesterday they hope to begin distributing the first shipment of the vaccine, about 83,000 doses, next week. [Public Health]

Starting this Monday, the California DMV will suspend behind-the-wheel driving tests for at least two weeks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. At the same time, senior drivers age 70 and over will now be able to renew their licenses online. [ABC 7]

Does this mean you? A new study of cities across the world reports that residents in Los Angeles are the least satisfied among respondents from U.S. cities, ranking 31 overall on a list of 186 global cities. The study took into account factors like emotional and physical well-being, income and employment, community, and environment. Earlier this year, a research report by Purdue University estimated it takes a household income of $204,855 to achieve maximum happiness in the city of angels. [LA Mag]

A father and son stand of a robbery spree that hit 18 Trader Joe’s locations in Southern California over the last four months. According to TJ’s, the losses from the robberies totaled in the ballpark of $57,000. [CBS Los Angeles]

A new investigative report by KCRW details how $30 million in city funding has been spent on a single unfinished affordable housing project in Westlake, including the developers’ scheme to pump up the project’s budget by re-selling the property to themselves with an $8 million premium. [KCRW]


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