Will the dream (or is it nightmare?) of the Griffith Park Gondola ever come true? Also today: the L.A. County CEO gets a fat settlement on her way out the door and the City Attorney looks to file charges against party houses in the Hills. Finally, what does a homeless sweep actually look like? First, some stories from around Los Angeles.
Morning News Rundown
Will a Griffith Park gondola project ever take flight? The City of Los Angeles is prepping a feasibility study for a possible aerial tram system inside the 4,200-acre park, which it hopes would ultimately increase mobility and decrease congestion at some of the most crowded tourist attractions in the city. There are four major routes being considered in the study, and from the looks of it, none of them would readily hook up with existing public transit. That seems… problematic. Keep in mind we are still VERY early on in this process, and public input is welcome over the next few stages of the study. [Urbanize LA]
It seems shutting down utilities didn’t send the message, so now City Attorney Mike Feuer announced the City of Los Angeles will file criminal charges against the party houses in the Hollywood Hills that violated a city ban on big gatherings. However, it’s not clear at this point what the specific charge will be. [ABC 7]
The COVID-19 death rate among Latinos has increased five-fold over the past three months, according to a new UCLA School of Medicine study. Among the three age groups studied, the mortality rate was highest for Latinos between 50-69, with an average of 54.73 deaths per 100,000. [ABC 7]
Sachi Hamai, the soon-to-be retired chief executive of Los Angeles County, is walking away with a hefty settlement as she departs her job. The County has agreed to pay Hamai $1.5 million in exchange for waiving her right to sue over allegations of defamation and harassment by Sheriff Alex Villanueva. The Sheriff, it’s alleged, took exception to being ousted as the head of the county’s emergency operations center during the early days of the pandemic. [LA Mag]
Officer Samantha Fiedler has filed a lawsuit against the LAPD alleging that the department enforced a quota system for arrests of gang members. Officers who met quotas were rewarded, while those who failed to meet the numbers were punitively reassigned, according to Fiedler. [KTLA]
Homeless Sweep in Action
What does a homeless sweep actually look like? Daily News reporter Elizabeth Chou captured a confrontation between police and activists over a homeless encampment sweep yesterday near a new shelter that just opened earlier in August. Chou counted 14 LAPD officers at the scene. According to one witness who works nearby, this was the first time he’d seen this many officers at such a sweep. (Read the thread here.)
Remember that for several months, the city paused certain encampment cleanup activity, aligning with CDC guidance on decreasing the spread of COVID-19 among the unhoused population. Last month, the City Council voted to resume the sweeps near “A Bridge Home” facilities, such as the one in Van Nuys referenced in Chou’s reporting.