Topanga New Times, July 31, 2020

Welcome to the seventh issue of the Topanga New Times! Join us as we take a virtual tour of Los Angeles museums ( page 6); visit the kitchen of Canyon Bakery’s Patrice Winter (page 10); and check out Pine Tree Circle’s two newest entrepreneurs (page 14).  And don’t miss TNT’s own new video feed, TNTV, debuting on Vimeo and Facebook with two brand new, original nature-themed videos! Visit www.facebook.com/TopangaNewTimes/ or www.vimeo.com/topanganewtimes.com

The dog days of summer are right around the corner but there’s no end in sight for COVID-19. July ends on a somber note, as the number of cases in California and around the world continue to climb. Angelenos have been cautioned that if the numbers don’t stabilize soon, another shut down may be needed. Social distancing and face coverings remain mandatory and essential.

 In response to the pandemic, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has passed a motion to extend the County’s Eviction Moratorium. Renters impacted by the COVID-19 crisis will receive a reprieve from eviction through September 30.

In a rare bit of good news from Congress, two important pieces of legislation were recently approved. The Great American Outdoors Act was approved by both houses of Congress with bipartisan support. The $2.8 billion plan to maintain and improve national parks and public lands in the United States will draw nearly $2 billion of that total a year from offshore oil and gas drilling royalties. National Parks, including the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, are chronically underfunded, and many have decades of deferred maintenance. 

The Senate also passed the Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act, a bipartisan bill to phase out harmful, large-mesh, drift gillnets utilized in federal waters off the coast of California, the only place the nets are still used in the United States. These nets—some more than a mile long—are left in the ocean overnight to catch swordfish and thresher sharks, but end up catching and killing more than 60 species of animal, including whales, dolphins, sea lions, and sea turtles.

Look for hot weather—and elevated fire risk—to arrive in August. Remember to beat the heat by scheduling outdoor activities early, staying hydrated, and making sure pets and people have someplace cool to retreat from the heat. The Red Cross is seeking volunteers to prepare for peak wildfire season. Blood donations are also needed, and donors are eligible to receive COVID-19 antibody screening for a limited time

With the November 3 general election just three months away, this is a good time to make sure you are registered. It’s easy to check online at the Los Angeles County Registrar Recorder’s voting website, or by calling (800) 815-2666. All registered voters in California will receive a mail-in ballot automatically this year. It’s important to make sure that home addresses are up to date. 

We would like to clarify that the amazing human peace sign on our July 17 cover was photographed, designed, planned and facilitated by Topanga Canyon Outpost owner Chris Kelly.

We love to hear from our readers. Suggestions, comments, and ideas are always welcome. Email us at hello@topanganewtimes.com, and follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @topanganewtimes.

Stay safe, be well!