Local Briefs

State Mandates School Vaccines

10/1: In the first such action in the nation, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a mandate Friday requiring all eligible public and private schoolchildren in California to be vaccinated against COVID-19, a policy the state expects to affect millions of students.

The mandate would take effect for grades 7 through 12 the semester following FDA’s full approval of the vaccine for children ages 12 and over.

Students in kindergarten through sixth grade would be phased in after the vaccine is formally approved for younger children.

The mandate could take effect for students 12 and older as early as January 2022 if there is full federal approval for a COVID-19 vaccine for that age range, the governor said in remarks at a San Francisco school.

"There’s still a struggle to get to where we need to be," Newsom said about the effort to contain the pandemic. "And that means we need to do more, and we need to do better.”

Currently, only individuals 16 or older are eligible to receive a vaccine that has full approval from the FDA. Children as young as 12 have been able to receive the vaccine under emergency authorization.

OP Cafe Closes After 42 years

9/30: On Sunday, the popular breakfast spot OP Cafe in Ocean Park said goodbye to its customers after 42 years.

"It's kind of sad. It's a good metaphor for the restaurant closures for all the people over the last 18 months. It's pretty sad it shows no sign of stopping," Longtime customer Ross Everly told KABC News.

Different owners have run the bright yellow cafe over four decades.

"The main driver for this concept, because of its location, is the business park across the street and a lot of those businesses have moved out and a lot of them are working remotely," said Matt Spiersch of OP Cafe.

Many restaurants have struggled during the pandemic, facing a shortage of employees, fewer customers as well as changing Covid restrictions.

Calls to House Vets on San Vicente

After the second killing of one homeless man by another at a homeless encampment on San Vicente on September 14th, local officials said they would redouble efforts to house the veterans elsewhere.

The identical tents are on San Vicente just north of Wilshire Blvd in West LA. Veterans who agree not to use drugs or alcohol are given identical tents to inhabit on the VA property itself. But those who will not take the pledge must live pitch their tents just off the grounds, on the San Vicente sidewalk.

About 40 unhoused U.S. military veterans now live at the encampment, according to VA officials. Most receive or have received services at the West VA campus, including the victim and suspect in last month's stabbing

“I kind of beat myself up about it last night,” said Lieutenant William Kitchin of the Sheriff’s Homeless Outreach Services Team, or HOST, the day after the killing. Kitchin told KCRW that Sandoval wasn't threatening to hurt himself or anyone else, and was asleep by the time the deputies left. “It’s an unfortunate incident that I don’t think could’ve been prevented or foreseen.”

Rain Year Ends at 6.25 Inches

Los Angeles County received just 6.25 inches, less than half the 14.25 inches of rain received in an average year.

This is the third year in a row of below average rain. Almost all of California is facing detrimental drought conditions, with 50 of the state's 58 counties under emergency orders.

Along with Ventura County, northwest Los Angeles County, most of Kern County and the eastern portion of San Bernardino County are also in the federal report's highest range, signifying “exceptional drought.”

Southern California gets most of its water from Lake Mead on the Colorado River. The drought and is so severe, that Lake Mead is over 143 feet below normal — a drop roughly the height of the Statue of Liberty without its base.

Train Service to San Diego Resumed

Metrolink says it will resume passenger rail service on Monday, Oct. 4, to the Oceanside, San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano stations along the Orange County and Inland Empire-Orange County lines.

Amtrak and Metrolink suspended service south of the Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo Station on Thursday, Sept. 16 after it was determined that a landslide caused the tracks south of the San Clemente Pier to become misaligned. The regional rail agency immediately began efforts to stabilize the toe of the slope by placing boulders – known as riprap – adjacent to the track. Approximately 12,000 tons of rip-rap boulders will be in place and the tracks will be realigned so that service can resume by Monday.

“As a precautionary measure to ensure the ongoing safety of the track, train speed restrictions will be in place along the project area beginning Monday morning. Those speed restrictions may initially result in service delays,” Metrolink warned in a press release.


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