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News

A.M. Brief: Review Finds Racial Disparity in L.A. County Vaccine Rollout

February 9, 2021 by Brian Champlin
View of Downtown Los Angeles from Kenneth Hahn Recreation Area
View of Downtown Los Angeles from Kenneth Hahn Recreation Area. Photo by Christina Champlin / We Like L.A.

For your morning reading: Health officials raise alarm over inequities in the vaccine rollout, Gascón’s reform efforts get a stiff rebuke, a new finding in the Kobe Bryant crash, and controversy bubbles up over a possible new homeless shelter in the Northwest Valley. It’s Tuesday. Here is your morning news brief. Take it!

Morning News Rundown

Los Angels County has administered more than 1 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to-date, but a review of who’s getting vaccinated shows an alarming racial disparity. Black residents constitute about 8% of L.A.’s population, yet have received only 3.5% of administered doses. Meanwhile, only 14% of Latinx residents 65 or older have been vaccinated. [LB Post]

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Newly elected L.A. District Attorney George Gascón has tried to make good on promises of reform by forcing prosecutors to seek shorter sentences in hundreds of cases and to drop cases involving sentencing enhancements. In response, a union of frontline prosecutors filed a lawsuit against the policy directive. Yesterday, a Superior Court judge issued a preliminary injunction that stops Gascón’s policy in its tracks. [LAist]

The National Transportation Safety Board released findings this morning that the pilot in the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash violated federal aviation standards by flying through clouds and likely became disoriented right before impact. The fatal incident in January of last year took the life of Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others on board. [CBS Los Angeles]

The Skateland roller rink in Northridge is slated to become a shelter for unhoused people by November of this year. However, the transition from local hangout of yore to homeless service center has come with predictable scrutiny. Some unhoused individuals say they won’t stay at the shelter, while some nearby residents say they recognize the need for homeless services, but don’t want the old roller rink to be the new hub. [KCRW]

Korean is now the fastest growing language of study at the University of California Los Angeles, a trend one professor attributes to a rising interest in Korean pop culture among the school’s student body. In response, the existing European studies department is now looking at how to make its program feel more relevant to younger people, including a reframe of its curriculum into urgent issues including immigration, racism, and human rights. [L.A. Times]

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