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Actors join writers on strike, shutting down Hollywood

The strike has already led to delays or dozens of projects killed, upending the Fall TV schedule & next few years of planned film releases

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SAG-AFTRA and WGA members walk the dual strike picket line in front of Paramount Pictures, July 14, 2023. (Photo by Rob Salerno)

By Rob Salerno | HOLLYWOOD – The Screen Actors Guild called a strike effective Thursday, July 13, joining the Writers Guild on the picket lines and bringing most of Hollywood to a halt. 

SAG represents 160,000 performers who appear in Hollywood film and television productions, including actors, musicians, puppeteers, stunt performers, voiceover artists, and dancers. They’re saying the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers – an organization representing the largest producers in Hollywood – has refused to be reasonable as working conditions for actors have deteriorated. 

The SAG’s demands are similar to the WGA’s demands – increased pay, better working conditions, and restrictions on the use of artificial intelligence to replace workers. 

In particular, SAG is looking for substantially increased minimum rates for the lowest-paid workers in the union, other minimum rates to keep up with inflation, increased streaming residual payments, and increased limits to contributions to health and pension funds by producers. 

SAG actors have said that the pay scales negotiated before streaming services fundamentally altered the industry are no longer sustainable. Streamers like Netflix are currently able to pay substantially less to union writers and actors in both fees and residuals. 

Actors also want regulations on self-tape auditions, which have become the industry standard since the beginning of the COVID pandemic. They’re looking for minimum turnaround times and limits to the number of pages that need to be prepared. 

Both the writers and actors unions want hard limits on the use of AI to replace workers. SAG is particularly concerned that studios may not use an actor’s likeness or performance in AI-generated content without the actor’s consent and compensation for each use. 

SAG President Fran Drescher – yes, the star of The Nanny – who had been criticized early in the contract negotiations for appearing out of touch with the majority of working-class actors, delivered a blistering speech Thursday, in which she laid the blame for the strike squarely at the AMPTP.

SAG-AFTRA’s President Fran Drescher and Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland announced the strike by the union after negotiations failed to produce an agreement.
(Photo credit: SAG-AFTRA/Facebook)

“We had no choice. We are the victims here,” Drescher said. “I cannot believe it, how far apart we are on so many things. How they plead poverty when they are giving hundreds of millions of dollars to their CEOs. The jig is up, AMPTP. We stand tall. You have to wake up and smell the coffee.”

Disney CEO Bob Iger drew headlines over the weekend for telling CNBC that the unions’ demands are “just not realistic.” The studios also drew strong rebukes after an unnamed executive was quoted in Deadline saying that their strategy was to allow the strike “to drag on until union members start losing their apartments and losing their houses.”

Financial analysis company Moody’s released a report Monday that said the annual cost of the WGA and SAG demands, coupled with additional concessions won by the Directors Guild of America in its recent negotiations could cost the studios between $450-600 million annually

To put that number in perspective, Warner Bros-Discovery CEO David Zaslav was compensated $498 million for the five-year period from 2018-22, according to a report from The Los Angeles Times. Variety has reported that the networks spent approximately $54 billion on creating streaming and linear television content excluding sports in 2022, and that number doesn’t include spending on feature films. That means the workers’ demands would represent less than a 1 percent increase in spending. 

Drescher said she appreciated that the strike is going to be hard on people who are out of work, but cautioned that if SAG didn’t fight now, employers were only going to demand more and more concessions.

“Our heart bleeds that we had to make this decision, but we can’t not get what these members deserve because it’s only going to get worse. This is where we drew the line in the sand,” she said.

The vast majority of SAG members are not wealthy or particularly well-known. They are background performers and featured or guest performers who used to be able to count on a decent working-class income from regular performance work but have noticed a marked decline in pay since the industry’s move to streaming. 

Actors have pointed out that 87% of its membership does not earn the $26,000 minimum that would qualify them for the union’s health insurance plan. And, that $26,000 minimum represents income before agent and manager fees and taxes.  

Openly gay character actor and dancer Anthony Marciona, who’s worked in Hollywood since the 1960s and is known for appearing in shows like Gaslit, B-Positive and Welcome to Chippendales, was picketing in front of Netflix Friday.

“We are striking because we haven’t been able to make a sustainable living for many moons. I made more money in my teens and 20s than I do as a senior,” Marciona says. “The producers used to be making millions of dollars and we’d be making thousands, but now they’re making billions and our wages aren’t even keeping up with the cost of living.”

Openly gay character actor Anthony Marciona, in front of the Netflix/KTLA 5 sign on the corner of Sunset Blvd. and Van Ness in Hollywood. (Photo by Rob Salerno)

Studios have offered some wage increases for performers in high-budget streaming that appear to be huge – like bumps of 76% for foreign residuals, or 58% for guest stars. But Marciona says these bumps are miniscule given how little actors receive from streaming now.

“Wages need to go up immensely. We’re just being gaslit,” he says. 

Out actor Stephen Guarino, known for memorable turns on broadcast and cable shows like ABC’s Happy Endings and HBO’s The Sex Lives of College Girls, worries that residuals could disappear as the industry moves increasingly toward streaming. 

Out actor Stephen Guarino/Instagram

“I still have a pretty good passive income from residuals, so I’ve never really worried about that, but we’re moving toward streaming so that could be going away,” he says.

Guarino is also known for playing Quincy on the queer Netflix series EastSiders, a role for which he was nominated for a Daytime Emmy.

  

“I get no Netflix residuals, so ironically the thing I have my Emmy nomination for I get no residuals,” Guarino says. 

Genderqueer actor Nicky Endres, who has appeared on shows such as Netflix’ One Day at a Time and CBS’ NCIS: Los Angeles, says these concerns are compounded by a lack of job security.

“Being a gig worker is hard enough, but all we sacrifice to be an actor, and what, we get covid and lose a job? AI being programmed to steal our voices and faces? It’s all too much,” they say.

Many Hollywood productions had already been shut down by the ongoing writers’ strike, which has been in effect since May 2, but the SAG strike brings to a halt any productions that were still ongoing featuring SAG members. That includes productions overseas where WGA was not picketing, voiceover recordings, and anything being produced from scripts that studios had banked in preparation for the writers strike. 

Openly gay character actor Anthony Marciona with WGA & SAG-AFTRA workers.
(Photo by Rob Salerno)

The writers have welcomed the actors joining their job action, which is now in its twelfth week. 

“It’s going to be great to have more actors officially on strike on the picket lines,” says Rob Forman, co-chair of the WGA LGBTQ+ Committee. “The biggest part of SAG going on strike is it is an immediate damage to the bottom line of the companies of the AMPTP. It really impacts what they thought were their strike-proof plans.”

“Hopefully it means a faster resolution or a better resolution for the writers and actors and all the unions who negotiate next.”

SAG has also advised members that they are not to participate in any promotion of work produced for the studios, including attending red carpets, appearing on talk shows, participating in award campaigns, or even posting about shows on social media. Disney held a red carpet event for its upcoming Haunted Mansion film on Saturday night, using costumed performers from Disneyland in lieu of the film’s stars. 

Out performer Oscar Montoya, who plays Richie in the cult hit television series Minx, which premieres its second season July 21, skirted the rules with an Instagram post just before the strike began. 

“We’re officially on strike which ABSOLUTELY HELL YES but being on strike means not posting anything about upcoming projects. So I’m taking the last hour of the day to gush about season 2 of @minxstarz! Every single person worked so hard and it’s such a labor of love,” he wrote.

The strikes are not only affecting the actors and writers who’ve walked off the job. The shut down on Hollywood productions has also cut back work for union crews, including the 168,000 members of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. IATSE represents a variety of trades on sets, including camera and sound operators, electricians, carpenters, prop and costume designers, and hair and makeup artists. IATSE has a contract with the AMPTP in place until May 2024.

The shutdown also affects film workers not represented by IATSE, such as producers and managers, who typically work on a freelance basis and are not members of a union. The Producers Guild of America issued a statement in support of the striking workers Thursday. 

“We believe that fair compensation and essential benefits, including access to health care—are a critical concern and the inherent right of every individual working in this industry. We stand in solidarity with our colleagues,” the statement says.  

Christopher Terrell has been working as an associate producer in both scripted and unscripted television production since he moved to Los Angeles, but he says he hasn’t been able to find work in television all year as studios preemptively postponed television shows out of fear they’d be disrupted by the strikes. 

While he supports the strikes and adds that workers in less glamorous jobs like production assistants also deserve to be paid more, he says he’s had to get work outside the industry to make ends meet.

“Right now, I’m working the front desk at a doggy daycare, and it’s cute, looks good on a resume, but you lose heart,” Terrell says. “To have to question the livelihood of being in entertainment, it blows. I’ve been out of the game and so disheartened in this period.”

Writer Nick Culbertson holding up a sign that says “We’re here, we’re queer, fucking pay us” on the picket line at The Old Warner Brothers Studio, now known as the Sunset Bronson Studios.  (Photo by Rob Salerno)

The Directors Guild reached an agreement with AMPTP in June, so while directors are not on strike, they’re also not working.

 “We are proud to stand with actors and writers in their fight to win agreements that address their unique and important concerns, just as they supported us in our negotiations. The Directors Guild is extremely disappointed that the AMPTP did not fairly and reasonably address the important issues raised by SAG-AFTRA in negotiations. Together, we are all in a shared fight for a vibrant, sustainable industry that fairly values all of our unique contributions,” DGA President Lesli Linka Glatter said in a statement.

WGA & SAG-AFTRA workers on strike, July 14, 2023. (Photo by Rob Salerno)

The lack of Hollywood productions also has ripple effects throughout the economy. Many ancillary businesses that service productions, including prop and costume warehouses, caterers, cleaners, camera and truck rental companies, and recording studios have already reported a drop in business. The WGA has estimated that their strike was costing the Southern California economy up to $30 million each day. But with the actors now striking, the slowdown in production will have ripple effects in other regions that have seen growth in film and television production. 

Mayor of Burbank Konstantine Anthony, who is also a SAG member joined the picket lines Friday in a show of solidarity with striking workers.

“At the end of the day, I have to remember that studios don’t vote. The workers who live here, who are residents of the city of Burbank, they’re the constituents,” he says. “If the studios aren’t showing up to the bargaining table and paying the workers the wages they deserve, that money is not going to stay here in Burbank. It goes to CEO pay, it goes to corporate pay, which leaves the local economy. But if they pay the workers fair wages, you have local mom and pops, dry cleaners, restaurants, the school district, all of these local institutions that thrive off the money in the pockets of the workers.”

The strike has already led Hollywood to delay or kill dozens of projects, upending the fall television schedule and the next few years of carefully planned film releases. The Los Angeles Times is reporting that if it’s not resolved by October, there may not be any new scripted shows until next year

That’s already put a freeze on season two of the Nickelodeon series The Really Loud House, in which Guarino plays one half of the network’s first live-action gay couple.

“They might come back. They’re waiting to see what happens with the actors’ strike. I’m hoping it happens not only for the representation, but also for my livelihood,” Guarino says. “I haven’t auditioned since March or April, and my agents don’t think I’ll have any auditions until September.”

Some production can still go ahead with SAG performers, because these are governed by different agreements than the one SAG has with AMPTP. SAG performers can still work in commercials, video games, reality television, variety shows, talk shows, game shows, soap operas, animation, and audio books. Of course, none of these productions can go ahead if they employ WGA writers.

********************************************************************************

Rob Salerno is a writer, journalist and actor based in Los Angeles, California, and Toronto, Canada.

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Los Angeles County

LA County Public Health: Mpox cases rise & data privacy breach

Ten new Mpox cases reported in Los Angeles County in past two weeks cause concern as agency reels from a successful phishing attack

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Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Public Health Director, L.A. County (Screenshot/LA County Channel)

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is alerting residents and health care providers about a concerning increase in mpox cases, with 10 new cases reported in Los Angeles County in the past two weeks up from an average of less than two cases per week during the preceding several weeks.

Mpox (previously referred to as Monkeypox) is mainly spread through close contact with body fluids, sores, shared bedding or clothing or respiratory droplets (kissing, coughing, sneezing). Symptoms include rash or unusual sores that look like pimples or blisters on the face, body and genitals, fever, chills, headache, muscle aches or swelling of lymph nodes. Early detection, testing and vaccination are vital to controlling the spread of this disease and protecting the health of Los Angeles County residents.

Given the recent increase in cases, Public Health strongly recommends the following actions:

Testing: Anyone who develops symptoms consistent with mpox, such as rash, fever or swollen lymph nodes should seek medical attention and get tested. Health care providers should be aware of the possibility of mpox and promptly report suspected cases to Public Health for appropriate testing and interventions.

Prevention: Vaccination is a safe way to prevent one from getting mpox and may also reduce symptoms. The following can help reduce the risk of getting and spreading mpox:

  • Ask partners if they have mpox symptoms or feel sick. Individuals should not have sex or other intimate contact if they or their partners have a new or unexplained rash or sores or feel sick until they see a health care provider.
  • Reduce the number of partners, especially those whose recent sexual history is unknown.
  • Make a habit of exchanging contact information with any new partner to allow for sexual health follow-up, if needed.
  • Limit going to sex parties, circuit parties and other spaces where people are having sex or other intimate contact with multiple people.
  • Use condoms and gloves:
    • Condoms (latex or polyurethane) may protect the mouth, penis anus or vagina from exposure to mpox; however, condoms alone may not prevent all exposures to mpox since the rash can occur on other parts of the body.
    • Gloves (latex, polyurethane or nitrile) may reduce exposure if inserting fingers or hands into the anus or the vagina. The gloves must cover all exposed skin and be removed carefully to avoid touching the outer surface.
  • Do not share towels, clothing, bedding, fetish gear, sex toys or toothbrushes.
  • Wash hands, fetish gear, towels and bedding. Sex toys should be washed after each use or sex act.

Vaccination: Vaccination is an important tool in preventing the spread of mpox. Jynneos is a two-dose vaccine developed to protect against mpox, and getting both doses provides the best protection against mpox. The vaccine is available to anyone, and individuals who identify with any of the following subgroups are highly encouraged to get vaccinated:

  • Any man or transgender person who has sex with men or transgender persons
  • Persons of any gender or sexual orientation who have sex or intimate physical contact with others in association with a large public event or engage in commercial and/or transactional sex
  • Persons living with HIV, especially persons with uncontrolled or advanced HIV disease
  • Sexual partners of people in any of the above groups

People in high-risk groups are urged to get fully vaccinated with two doses for the best protection. Second doses can be given no matter how long it’s been since the first dose. Residents can choose to receive the mpox vaccine subcutaneously (in the upper arm) or intradermally (under the skin on their arm or back). Vaccine boosters are not recommended at this time.

Public Health is collaborating closely with health care providers, community organizations and other stakeholders to address the mpox resurgence as swiftly and effectively as possible. Enhanced surveillance, contact tracing and outbreak investigations are underway to identify potential sources of the infection and prevent further transmission. Public Health’s mobile vaccination units are providing free vaccination at numerous Pride events this season, Public Health’s sexual health clinics found at http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/chs/sexualhealthclinics/ and other walk-up vaccine clinics can be found at https://myturn.ca.gov/.

A collective response is crucial in mitigating the impact of this outbreak. By increasing vaccination rates, the spread of mpox can be minimized within Los Angeles County to protect the health and well-being of its diverse communities.

For the most up-to-date information and resources, please visit ph.lacounty.gov/mpox or contact the Public Health Call Center at 1-833-540-0473.

Public Health Responds to Privacy Breach

Between February 19, 2024, and February 20, 2024, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health experienced a phishing attack in which a hacker was able to gain log-in credentials of 53 Public Health employees through a phishing email, compromising the personal information of more than 200,000 individuals.

Upon discovery of the phishing attack, Public Health disabled the impacted e-mail accounts, reset and re-imaged the user’s device(s), blocked websites that were identified as part of the phishing campaign and quarantined all suspicious incoming e-mails. Additionally, awareness notifications were distributed to all workforce members to remind them to be vigilant when reviewing e-mails, especially those including links or attachments. Law enforcement was notified upon discovery of the phishing attack, and they investigated the incident.

The information identified in the potentially compromised e-mail accounts may have included DPH clients/employees/other individuals’ first and last name, date of birth, diagnosis, prescription, medical record number/patient ID, Medicare/Med-Cal number, health insurance information, Social Security Number, and other financial information.

Affected individuals may have been impacted differently and not all of the elements listed were present for each individual.

Public Health is notifying impacted individuals by mail. For individuals where a mailing address is not available, Public Health is also posting a notice on its website to provide information and resources. Public Health is also notifying the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights and other agencies as required by law and/or contract.

In response, Public Health has implemented numerous enhancements to reduce exposure to similar e-mail attacks in the future.

While Public Health cannot confirm whether information has been accessed or misused, individuals are encouraged to review the content and accuracy of the information in their medical record with their medical provider. To help relieve concerns and restore confidence following this incident, we have secured the services of Kroll, a global leader in risk mitigation and response, to provide identity monitoring for one year at no cost to affected clients.

Additionally, affected individuals should review “Steps You Can Take to Protect Against Identity Theft and Fraud,” to help protect their information.

Individuals that would like to inquire if their information was impacted can contact the following established dedicated call center available toll free in the U.S. at 1-866-898-4312, from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time (excluding weekends and major U.S. holidays).

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New on the LA County Channel

You can watch on Channel 92 or 94 on most cable systems, or anytime here. Catch up on LA County Close-Up here

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Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

New on the County Channel

The Veteran Peer Access Network (VPAN) is the first community-driven support network serving veterans and their families in the U.S. Led by veterans for veterans, VPAN connects L.A. County Departments, nonprofits, the V.A., and L.A. City Programs to help veterans navigate often complicated systems to connect to resources. VPAN prioritizes hiring veterans as “battle buddies” and systems navigators to connect assist their fellow veterans.

You can watch more stories like this on Channel 92 or 94 on most cable systems, or anytime here. Catch up on LA County Close-Up here.

In Case You Missed It

Arts Internship Program – Apply Today!

LA County Arts and Culture Internships - Positions now open!

Positions for the 2024 Arts Internship Program are now available! This program will provide 228 university and community college students with paid on-the-job experience in the arts at over 160 nonprofit organizations across the LA region. What’s more, all Arts Internship Program internships provide 400 hours of work experience at $17.28 an hour.

Positions will continue to be posted on a rolling basis through July 2024. Visit the LA County Arts & Culture website to learn more!

At Your Service

The Works App

From reporting potholes to finding critical services, it’s LA County at your fingertips.

The Works App empowers you to report:

  • Issues like potholes, graffiti, overgrown trees, and blocked storm drains
  • Property-related concerns and suspected violations
  • Illegal dumping activities affecting our streets and environment
  • Maintenance needs of trails and facilities in County parks

Keep up to date with the County’s latest news on upcoming events. Locate the nearest LA County offices, libraries, shuttle buses, and other services.

Download The Works for iPhone or Android today and transform how you connect with LA County!

Out and About

Celebrating Juneteenth

Join LA County in celebrating Juneteeth at Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell’s 4th Annual Juneteeth Celebration and Resource Fair on Friday, June 21, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. This event features music, food trucks, live performances, access to County services, resources, fun activities, and more! All residents are welcome to attend this FREE event. We encourage you to register and forward this email to your friends and neighbors! Register here

To learn more about Juneteeth and find events and programming in your community, click here.

Photo Finish

Levitated Mass at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. (Photo: Los Angeles County)

Click here to access more photos of LA County in action.

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Los Angeles County

Parks make life better month- Culver City’s movies in the park

California’s “Parks Make Life Better!” recognizes the importance of equitable access to parks, recreation, trails, open space, & facilities

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Los Angeles Blade graphic

CULVER CITY, Calif. – July is “Parks Make Life Better!” month and the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department is celebrating with Movies in The Park every Saturday night, all month long! 

Bring your blankets, picnic baskets, and lawn chairs to see:

Gates will open at 7 PM and movies will begin at dusk. Admission is free. 

The California “Parks Make Life Better!” campaign recognizes the importance of equitable access to parks, recreation, trails, open space, and facilities for the positive development of all. Culver City PRCS invites you and your family to celebrate with us. 

PARKS MAKE LIFE BETTER MONTH

MOVIE SCREENINGS

WHEN

Saturday July 6, 13, 20, and 27

7 PM gates open, movie starts at dusk

WHERE

  • Veterans Memorial Park on 7/6
  • Syd Kronenthal Park on 7/13
  • Fox Hills Park on 7/20
  • Culver West Alexander Park on 7/27
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Los Angeles County

LA Metro: More frequent and reliable bus service

Bus ridership in the San Fernando Valley is growing faster than in any other Metro bus service area & improvements reflect ridership growth

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Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles/Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)

LOS ANGELES – Effective Sunday, June 23, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) announced that the agency will offer more frequent and reliable bus service and an improved travel experience on multiple routes based on direct feedback from customers and bus operators, and review of ridership and travel time data. 

Bus service improvements will update travel times so riders will wait less at stops. Added trips at peak travel times will provide extra capacity to move additional riders more efficiently during busy travel periods and some lines will be extended so riders can more easily reach major destinations. Several bus lines will operate more frequently on weekdays as outlined in the NextGen Bus Plan.

Metro is also improving peak hour frequencies weekdays on two San Fernando Valley bus lines as part of the North San Fernando Valley Corridor Transit Improvements project.

Route changes by region are as follows:

San Fernando Valley

Bus ridership in the San Fernando Valley is growing faster than in any other Metro bus service area. Metro is adding capacity on many lines to accommodate this growth in ridership.

As a first step in implementing the Measure M funded North San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor Improvements Project, Line 152 on Roscoe Boulevard and Line 166 on Nordhoff Street will begin operating service every 10 minutes during the busiest weekday peak periods both eastbound and westbound. On Line 152, 10-minute service will operate eastbound in the 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. hours and westbound during the 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. hours in the evening. Line 166 will operate 10-minute service westbound in the 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. hours and eastbound in the 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. hours. Each will add new weekday trips to the schedule. Seven new trips on Line 152 and eight on Line 166.

Line 158 will add 25 extra trips between the Southern terminal at Moorpark/Van Nuys and Van Nuys/Woodman to increase weekday frequency from 60 minutes to 30 minutes on the segment of Line 158 along Woodman Avenue.

Line 165 on Vanowen Street will add two additional eastbound trips during the 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. hours of weekday evening peak.

Line 169 on Saticoy Street will add one additional weekday trip during the 6:00 a.m. hour westbound and an additional eastbound trip during the 4:00 p.m. hour between Hollywood Burbank Airport and West Hills Medical Center for service every 30 minutes.

San Gabriel Valley

Line 76 routing will be modified to achieve faster access to and from Downtown LA and provide new direct connectivity via Alameda Street to the Little Tokyo/Arts District Station (A & E Lines). Line 76 will have new stops along Alameda Street for Union Station and will discontinue stops at Vignes Street at Cesar Chavez behind Union Station. Riders from Union Station will now board the bus on the Alameda Street side of the station.

Line 267 will be extended from Pasadena to Altadena, replacing Line 686 on Colorado Boulevard and Allen Avenue. Operating hours will be extended by an extra hour until 9 p.m. for Line 267 to maintain the same hours of service that Line 686 offers. Frequency will increase for the former Line 686 segment between Pasadena and Altadena on weekdays to every 30 minutes from every 60 minutes. Weekend service will remain at every 60 minutes.

Line 268 will improve bus service to the City of Sierra Madre in response to resident requests, by extending the route to Sierra Madre Boulevard via Baldwin Avenue, Sierra Madre Boulevard, and Sierra Madre Villa Avenue instead of Foothill Boulevard to and from Sierra Madre Villa Station. Metro Micro rideshare service will continue to be available in Sierra Madre. A second route change for Line 268 will improve access to the El Monte Metrolink Station with buses rerouted via Tyler Avenue, Valley Boulevard, and Santa Anita Avenue.

Gateway Cities

Line 265 on Paramount Boulevard will increase service from 60 minutes to 40-45 minutes on weekdays. Service will remain at 60 minutes on the weekends.

South Bay

Line 108 in the City of Commerce on Eastern Avenue will move its terminus location slightly north to Harbor Street due to Eastern Avenue being restored to two traffic lanes in each direction, preventing buses from safely parking at the existing terminus.

Westside/Central LA

Line 81 will relocate the northbound terminal at Eagle Rock Plaza from eastbound on Colorado Boulevard at Eagle Dale Avenue to westbound Colorado Boulevard at Eagle Dale Avenue to accommodate the Line 217 extension to Eagle Rock Plaza at the Colorado and Eagle Dale Terminal. This change will require that two stops relocate near Eagle Rock Plaza. Line 81 will also see two southbound trips added to the afternoon peak schedule weekdays in the 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. hours to accommodate increasing ridership.

Line 217 will extend from Vermont/Hollywood to Eagle Rock via Glendale to allow easier access for riders between Mid-City, Hollywood and Glendale. Lines 180 and 217 will each be scheduled to operate every 12 minutes daytime on weekdays and every 15 minutes daytime on weekends with coordinated schedules to maximize frequency on duplicated segments.

At Westwood, Metro Line 20, 602, and 720 buses will no longer be able to travel through the federal GSA building parking lot between Veteran Avenue and Sepulveda Boulevard. As a result, Line 602 will move from the existing terminus on Veteran Avenue to a new terminus location at Kinross Avenue west of Gayley Avenue and will discontinue use of the stop at Wilshire Boulevard and Veteran Avenue. Eastbound Line 20 and 720 buses starting trips from Veteran Avenue will instead travel via Veteran Avenue, Santa Monica Boulevard and Sepulveda Boulevard to reach Wilshire Boulevard.  

Metro will also adjust service levels slightly on many bus lines to better match ridership   levels and to accommodate the above improvements. This includes some changes to the first and last trips on some lines. Also, 49 weekday, 42 Saturday, and 41 Sunday bus lines will have revised schedules to improve their reliability. A complete list of the changes and links to new schedules can be found at metro.net/mybus.

Stay informed by following Metro on The Source and El Pasajero at metro.netfacebook.com/losangelesmetrotwitter.com/metrolosangeles,  twitter.com/metroLAalerts and instagram.com/metrolosangeles.

Bus & Rail Transit information
323.GO.METRO (323.466.3876)
6:30am – 7pm (Monday – Friday)
8:00am – 4:30pm (Saturday/Sunday)

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Los Angeles County

Culver City Pride Ride & Rally

You’re invited to Culver City’s 4th annual Pride celebration. The party will place on Saturday, June 29th, 2024

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Photo Credit: Culver City Government

CULVER CITY, Calif. – The Culver City PRIDE RIDE will start at 4PM on Saturday, June 29th, 2024, from Syd Kronenthal Park and make its way over six miles through the neighborhood streets of Culver City. RSVPs are required for attendees of the PRIDE RIDE. Metro Bikes will be available for those who want to ride and do not have a bicycle.

The Culver City PRIDE RALLY, which is an evening street block party with Drag Performers, local speakers, Live DJs, dancing, a Family Art Experience, and so much more! Located on Main Street in Downtown Culver City from 6PM to 9PM.

In a press release a spokesperson noted: “You’re invited to Culver City’s 4th annual Pride celebration. The party will place on Saturday, June 29th, 2024. This event is known throughout for bringing our community together to celebrate what makes us unique and the values that unite us.”

Consider taking the bus or using other mobility options to attend the event including the City’s Circulator that connects Downtown to the Culver City ELine (Expo) Station! Plan your trip by calling 310-253-6500, visiting the Culver CityBus website, or using the Next CCBus app that provides real time bus locations, trip planning and bus occupancy levels. Learn more about the parking in downtown Culver City and please avoid parking in residential neighborhoods. To take the circulator, look out for “Board Here” signs!

For exact times, use the NextCCBus app or visit CulverCityBus.com.

For more information about the events and to RSVP for the PRIDE RIDE, please visit the Culver City Pride website.

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Los Angeles County

Dive into Summer with LA County Parks & Recreation!

Enjoy free recreational swim, exciting games, fun giveaways, music, delicious food, and so much more! Visit LA County Parks & Recreation today

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Castaic Sports Complex Aquatic Center offers a splash pad, recreational swimming pool, and swim lanes. (Mayra Vasquez/Los Angeles County)

LOS ANGELES – Join us for an epic series of pool parties happening at all our pools to kick-off our summer aquatics programs!  Enjoy free recreational swim, exciting games, fun giveaways, music, delicious food, and so much more!

Check out our website: parks.lacounty.gov/aquatics and find a pool party happening near you!
Don’t miss out on the fun! Bring your friends and family and let’s make this summer unforgettable! 

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Los Angeles County

Boys & Girls Club of Malibu is raising mental health awareness

The Boys & Girls Club of Malibu (BGCM) members are taking a steps towards addressing youth suicide with the “1 in 5” campaign

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(Photo courtesy of The Boys & Girls Club of Malibu)

MALIBU, Calif. – The Boys & Girls Club of Malibu (BGCM) are taking a steps towards addressing youth suicide with the “1 in 5” campaign, a youth-led initiative to raise awareness about mental health.

In light of research indicating that 20% (one in five) of teens seriously contemplate committing suicide and 9% have attempted it, BGCM members are determined to combat this pressing issue through their new thought-provoking clothing line.

“1 in 5” Campaign

Diego Alvarez, a BGCM member for ten years, along with two friends from the club, started the “1 in 5” clothing line to spread the word and remove the taboo surrounding youth suicide and mental health. Alvares and Violet Way, the Director of Education at BGCM and an alumna of the club, gave The Blade an exclusive interview about their recent efforts. 

The “1 in 5” apparel line, is a series of crewneck sweaters featuring thought-provoking statements like “Tomorrow Needs You.” 

“We want to spread awareness and end the taboo surrounding the topic of suicide,” Alvarez told The Blade. “We wanted it to be something for everyone. We created something that was timeless and that could capture the message,” said Alvarez.

The unique apparel line was unveiled at BGCM’s Third Space storefront last month on May 14, coinciding with National Mental Health Awareness Month. Proceeds from the apparel sales support the BGCM Wellness Center, allowing it to continue to offer no-cost mental health counseling and social support services. 

Alvarez emphasized the importance of the campaign’s message: “We definitely want people to reach out.”

Irina C., a BGCM member and mental health advocate, emphasized the importance of addressing suicide openly: “After everything we have been through, I refuse to let suicide be a taboo topic any longer. The more hidden it is, the more stigma there is around it. I want to help people be comfortable enough to talk about it in order to be able to reach for help without fearing judgment, and ‘1 in 5’ will do exactly that.”

The Boys & Girls Club of Malibu

The BGCM Wellness Center serves as a vital resource for youth, families, and the aging population, providing comprehensive mental health services with a commitment to “no barriers to access.” This means that all students, from kindergarten to 12th grade, can access licensed clinical therapists and social workers every school day, free of charge. The clinical team also collaborates with educators to implement a social-emotional wellness curriculum, empowering students to understand and manage their mental health and recognize when peers may need support.

(Photo courtesy of The Boys & Girls Club of Malibu)

Alvarez, reflecting on his long-term involvement with BGCM, said, “It’s really a place I see as a safe space. You can be yourself.” The club, a nonprofit organization, offers a variety of services, including a completely free wellness center. Although there is a $90 fee for the school year, waivers are available, ensuring that everyone has access to its resources, regardless of whether they attend public school in Malibu.

As a child of immigrant parents, Alvarez acknowledges the gap in understanding the benefits of mental health wellness, particularly regarding suicide. “Parents don’t always know how to communicate with their kids and talk about this stuff,” he said. “I want people to know that even though it is hard to talk about, it is still possible to talk about.”

Way noted the club’s efforts to bridge this gap by providing services and workshops for parents, helping them better understand and support their children’s mental health. She also said she encourages open communication about mental health struggles. “It’s better to have a friend that is mad at you and alive,” she stated, emphasizing the importance of supporting friends who may be contemplating suicide and ensuring they feel safe to share their feelings.

BGCM encouraged community members to participate in National Mental Health Awareness Month by purchasing a “1 in 5” crewneck or making a direct donation to the Boys & Girls Club of Malibu Wellness Center.

The Wellness Center, a trauma-informed facility, offers no-cost mental health and wellness services to youth, families, and the aging population. Services include mental health counseling, crisis intervention, trauma-informed case management, social and emotional learning, healthcare assistance, parenting support groups, and student workshops. For more information or to request support services, visit BGCM Wellness Center.

(Photo courtesy of The Boys & Girls Club of Malibu)

For 24 years, the Boys & Girls Club of Malibu has enabled young people to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. With four sites, including a Wellness Center and three Clubhouses, BGCM serves a membership of 700 K-12th graders and 1,700 youth through outreach programs.

The Wellness Center provides free mental health, wellness, and social support services to all Malibu Public Schools and is available to the community at large. Currently, the club services over 200 individuals from over 100 zip codes. BGCM’s programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, healthy lifestyles, and social and emotional wellness.

To learn more about the “1 in 5” initiative and purchase the apparel online, visit Third Space Malibu at link: (Here).

Shop In-Store or Online

Third Space
23357 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, CA 90265

[email protected]
Phone: 310-359-3224

Store Hours:
Tuesday-Friday 11am to 6pm
Saturday 10am to 6pm
Sunday 11am to 5pm

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Los Angeles County

New on the LA County Channel

You can watch on Channel 92 or 94 on most cable systems, or anytime here. Catch up on LA County Close-Up here

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Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

New on the County Channel

The Los Angeles County Channel has been nominated for two LA Area Emmy® Awards. Hoop Dreams on a Roll was nominated in the Feature Segment category and Pathway Home was nominated in the Informational Series category. Check out the nominated segments here

The awards will be presented in July at a ceremony in Beverly Hills.

You can watch more stories like this on Channel 92 or 94 on most cable systems, or anytime here. Catch up on LA County Close-Up here.

In Case You Missed It

Celebrating Advocacy, Resiliency, and Empathy

The Los Angeles County Justice, Care and Opportunities Department is hosting a Father’s Day event on Sunday June 9 from 12:00 P.M. to 4 P.M. at Earvin Magic Johnson Community Center. There will be entertainment, Games, resources booths, food and more!

To RSVP click here.

At Your Service

Free Gun Safety Locks

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s Office of Violence Prevention, in collaboration with LA County Library, is distributing 1,000 gun safety locks to the public at five library locations across the County; free, no questions asked. An LA County Library card is not required to obtain a free gun safety lock.

To obtain a free gun safety lock online – please visit lockedandunloaded.org.

For more information about LA County Library’s gun safety lock distribution as well as other Library resources, visit LACountyLibrary.org/gun-violence-awareness.

Out and About

Beach Movie Nights Return!

Beach Movie Nights is returning to Dockweiler Youth Center on Fridays, starting June 7th!

Enjoy FREE family-friendly movie screenings on the sand, by the waves, and under the stars at the Dockweiler Youth Center, Friday nights this summer! Be sure to bring blankets and bundle up.

Click here to learn more.

Photo Finish

The Pride Lifeguard Tower in Hermosa Beach. (Photo: Los Angeles County/Mayra Beltran Vasquez)

Click here to access more photos of LA County in action.

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Los Angeles County

LA County Dept. of Public Social Services raises Pride flag

The Pride flag raising and display is part of the agency’s “continued focus on improving the delivery of services to LGBTQ+ customers

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Photo Credit: James Bolden/County of Los Angeles

CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) joined seven local advocate organizations in affirming its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, with the raising of the Progress Pride Flag at its City of Industry Headquarters.

According to L.A. County Dept. of Public Social Services spokesperson James Bolden, the Pride flag raising and display is part of the agency’s “continued focus on improving the delivery of services to customers who identify as LGBTQ+.”

Photo Credit: James Bolden/County of Los Angeles

L.A. County is home to the second largest LGBTQ+ youth and adult population in the nation. Pride Month, which began locally with the Christopher Street West Pride Festival in West Hollywood, has since grown to include many spirited community celebrations established countywide.

DPSS offices will join other County of L.A. facilities that will fly the Pride Flag throughout the month of June.

Sharing this year’s event theme, “Pride Begins with Us,” DPSS Director Dr. Jackie Contreras welcomed the advocate organizations and more than a hundred department employees who enthusiastically waved mini-Pride flags to demonstrate their support.

“Pride Month is more important than ever, and highly relevant to our important work,” said Contreras. She added that members of the LGBTQ+ community are often hesitant to apply for public benefits out of fear that they may face discrimination. “DPSS wants to make it clear that all are welcome, and no one should delay or forego services from us due to a fear of experiencing discrimination or intolerance.”

Photo Credit: James Bolden/County of Los Angeles

In 2022, as part of a cultural shift to help better engage and serve diverse communities across the County, DPSS implemented an internal Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and (Gender) Expression policy. The policy was a breath of fresh to many like DPSS manager Gladys Pulido who explained how living a life where you are public and proud of your queer identity, is an act of courage.

“My bisexuality is an integral part of who I am, and I didn’t want to hide that anymore,” Pulido said. “I wanted to bridge the incongruence I was experiencing and bring my whole self to work.”

Related

DPSS manager Maria Gorman described how her coming out as an adult caused chaos within her home and community life.  She emotionally described the experience of raising a son with her long-time partner. She hopes her story will make it easier for others to open up about their own unique families.

“Our child is lucky to grow up in a community where kids, teachers, and other parents don’t treat him differently for having two moms,” Gorman said. “We’re not the quote unquote ‘gay family,’ we’re just a family. Our journey may not fit the traditional mold, but what truly matters is the love, joy, and acceptance we share every day.”

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Los Angeles County

LA County offers free Hands-Only CPR Training in Long Beach

“What if it were them?” LA County: Helping to prepare the public to save their loved ones in case of cardiac arrest

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CPR Demo (Photo Credit: Los Angeles County Fire Department)

LOS ANGELES – LA County residents can learn how to save a loved one in cardiac arrest using Hands-Only CPR, during a free community event. Participants will receive one-on-one instruction from first responders and will practice on manikins. Hands-Only CPR – pushing hard and fast in the center of the chest until EMS arrives – is easy to learn, can be performed by anyone, and can help save lives during a cardiac emergency.

LA County’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Agency and the Fire Departments of Long Beach and LA County are teaming up with the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, and Long Beach area hospitals to provide free Hands-Only CPR training to LA County residents during the 2024 Sidewalk CPR event, part of National CPR & AED Awareness Week.

Cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the United States and early bystander CPR can triple the chances of survival. Less than half of the victims in cardiac arrest in LA County receive CPR before paramedics arrive. More than 70% of cardiac arrests happen at home, learning to recognize cardiac arrest, and taking immediate action can be truly lifesaving for the people you love.

WHAT:
Free Hands-Only CPR Training for CPR & AED Awareness Week

WHERE:
El Dorado Park West – Good Neighbor Park
2800 Studebaker Road, Long Beach, CA 90815
Enter off Studebaker Road

WHEN:
THURSDAY, JUNE 6, 2024
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

VISUALS:
First responders in uniform and fire truck. CPR manikins. Training booths where medical professionals will be teaching the public. Spanish, English, Tagalog, and Khmer CPR demonstrations.

WHO:

  • Nichole Bosson, Medical Director, Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Agency
  • Richard Tadeo, Director, Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Agency
  • Rex Richardson, Long Beach Mayor
  • Daryl Supernaw, Long Beach 4th District Council
  • Julia Mockeridge, Health Deputy, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Fourth District
  • Jeanette Christian, Long Beach Deputy, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Fourth District
  • Dennis Buchanan, Fire Chief, Long Beach Fire Department
  • Anh Pham, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Optum California, and volunteer expert with the American Heart Association
  • Steven Munatones, cardiac arrest survivor, and his son Skyler who helped save his life
  • John Zaragoza, cardiac arrest survivor, and his nephew Larry who helped save his life

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