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Los Angeles Times


Photo sent before Naya Rivera disappeared may help search

Los Angeles Times

The search for the body of actress Naya Rivera, who is believed to have drowned last week while boating with her young son on Lake Piru, resumed early Monday with crews focusing on a section of the water where they suspect she was swimming. Divers, helicopters, drone aircraft and cadaver dogs have been searching for six days. The 33-year-old actress, who gained fame for her role on "Glee," was reported missing Wednesday after her 4-year-old son was found asleep in a rental boat on the Ventura County lake by himself. Authorities later learned that Rivera and her son were swimming together in the lake and that he was able to get back on the boat, but she had not. On Sunday, search teams checked cabins and outbuildings surrounding the lake, as well as the shoreline, to ensure that she hadn't made it out of the water on her own, officials said. All of those areas were also searched the afternoon Rivera went missing.


Should you send your child back to school? Parents are stressed and divided

Los Angeles Times

Weeks before the start of school, Californians are deeply split over whether campuses can safely reopen amid the ongoing coronavirus surge -- caught in a collective moment of uncertainty and anxiety also reflected among teachers and education leaders. Parents, as indicated in a new statewide poll, are grappling with the prospect of stressful, less effective learning at home -- not to mention continued child care woes -- and fears that children exposed at school could bring COVID-19 and its potentially deadly risks into their home. Similar concerns among school workers are expected to crystallize in Los Angeles on Friday morning when the teachers union will recommend a delay in reopening campuses tentatively planned for Aug. 18. For now, learning from home -- in place since mid-March -- should continue, union leaders said. The California Teachers Assn. on Thursday made a similar but less explicit statement, saying that conditions for keeping students safe have not been satisfied statewide.


Santa Cruz becomes first U.S. city to ban predictive policing

Los Angeles Times

Nearly a decade ago, Santa Cruz was among the first cities in the U.S. to adopt predictive policing. This week, the California city became the first in the country to ban the policy. In a unanimous decision Tuesday, the City Council passed an ordinance that banishes the use of data to predict where crimes may occur and also barred the city from using facial recognition software. In recent years, both predictive policing and facial recognition technology have been criticized as racially prejudiced, often contributing to increased patrols in Black or brown neighborhoods or false accusations against people of color. Predictive policing uses algorithms that encourage officers to patrol locations identified as high-crime based on victim reports.


California summer fun collides with coronavirus danger as hospitalizations, new cases keep rising

Los Angeles Times

The California tradition of summer fun -- barbecues, garden parties, group excursions to beaches and mountains -- is colliding with the state's desperate efforts to prevent new surges of coronavirus cases as the economy opens up and people begin freeing themselves from months of stay-at-home rules. Confirmed coronavirus cases have continued to climb as California allowed many businesses to reopen. But on Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom said COVID-19 hospitalizations are also beginning to rise again statewide, a troubling shift that raises new questions about whether the reopening might need to be slowed. "Those that suggest we're out of the woods, those that suggest this somehow is going to disappear, these numbers tell a very, very different and sobering story," Newsom said. The number of people hospitalized with confirmed coronavirus infections in California was up 16% over the last two weeks, rising to 3,702 as of Sunday.


Rose Bowl says no to fireworks but yes to drive-in movies amid coronavirus outbreak

Los Angeles Times

As the coronavirus continues to alter summer plans for many Southern Californians, the Rose Bowl is nixing some events while adding others. The annual July 4 celebration, AmericaFest, has canceled its in-person festivities and will swap its typical daylong tailgate for a one-hour virtual program this year. The event will include music from cellist Cecilia Tsan and colorful light displays courtesy of "Sunstar," a prismatic art installation at Mt. Wilson. For more information about the event, or to register, visit RoseBowlLive.tv. Complaints are up, but illegal explosives are easy to get and hard for police to stop.


Law barring disclosure of actors' ages violates 1st Amendment, appeals court rules

Los Angeles Times

A federal appeals court on Friday struck down a California law that barred internet sites from disclosing the ages of screen actors. The 2017 law, which the Screen Actors Guild had sought as a means to reduce age discrimination, violates the 1st Amendment, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided unanimously. The law was challenged by the Internet Movie Database -- IMDb.com -- a free website that provides information about movies, television shows and video games and offers encyclopedic profiles of actors. In addition to its publicly available site, IMDb has a subscription-based service for the entertainment industry, known as IMDbPro, which the court described as "Hollywood's version of LinkedIn." Actors, writers, set designers, makeup artists and others create resumes by uploading head shots, prior jobs and biographical information to the site.


A coronavirus mystery: How many people in L.A. actually have COVID-19?

Los Angeles Times

One of the most pressing questions public health officials are trying to answer about the coronavirus is how many people actually have been infected by it. Have a relatively significant portion of Californians been infected with the virus but survived without much problem? Or has the virus touched only a tiny sliver of California, suggesting the chances of serious illness are greater if you're infected? In April, controversial studies out of Stanford University and USC suggested the coronavirus has circulated much more widely than previously thought in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles County. Almost immediately, there have been questions from other epidemiologists around the country about whether those estimates were too high.


Hype and science collide as FDA tries to rein in 'wild West' of COVID-19 blood tests

Los Angeles Times

"Save your business while saving lives," reads the website of Because Health, a Seattle tech start-up selling two types of tests to employers willing to pay $350 a pop to learn whether their workers have been infected with COVID-19. The company's "Workplace Health" plan includes not only nasal swab tests to detect infection, but also blood tests aimed at determining whether workers have developed antibodies to the virus -- and, possibly, future protection. "There's a tremendous consumer demand," said Dr. Lars Boman, the firm's Boston-based medical director. "Can they return to work? Can they return to life?"


Column: I got tested for COVID-19. Should you?

Los Angeles Times

The last time I traveled along Stadium Way I was headed to a Dodger game, but on Monday afternoon I drove to the fire training center near the ballpark for a much less enjoyable experience. Just a cotton swab and a five-minute drive-through, with results to follow in a few days. I was conflicted about being tested, for two reasons. First, while we definitely needed to ramp up testing back at the beginning of this crisis, I'm wondering if the county has now gone overboard in offering free testing to all residents, whether or not they have symptoms. Second, I'm pretty sure that my minor allergy-like symptoms are just that: allergies.


LAPD arrests Santa Monica woman, seizes 61 unapproved coronavirus test kits

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Police Department detectives arrested a Santa Monica woman on suspicion of peddling tests for the novel coronavirus that were not approved by federal regulators. Detectives who specialize in commercial and intellectual property crimes took Ying Lien Wang into custody Tuesday afternoon and seized 61 test kits that lacked approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the LAPD said Wednesday. None of the kits have been tested by the federal agency and "could pose a risk to anyone using them," the LAPD said. Public health officials warn that unauthorized tests can produce false negatives and cause people to eschew treatment or not isolate themselves to prevent the virus from spreading. Wang, 39, advertised the kits on Craigslist and sold them on three occasions to undercover investigators with the LAPD and Homeland Security Investigations, according to the LAPD.