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The Great Outdoors, Back to School & FocusFish 

Topanga New Times, August 13, 2020

Welcome to our end-of-summer outdoors issue of the Topanga New Times, with features on mountain biking (page 11), wildlife (pages 8 and 14) and trails (page 13). This is also back-to-school week for many local families. Don’t miss our special back to school resource guide on page 16, with tips for online learning. We know this is an incredibly challenging time for our school families. TNT will continue to research and share educational resources with our community. Suggestions are welcome and we are always happy to include community-serving classes and programs in our calendar. Please reach out to us at

Eight Things to Know

1. Los Angeles County’s COVID-19 cases continue to climb and most students are beginning the fall semester from home instead of in classrooms, but there are some signs that California’s COVID-19 infection rate may be leveling off. For now, with the number of confirmed cases in the Topanga area edging up towards 100, masks and social distancing remain essential. 

2. Los Angeles County will be distributing nearly $100 million in rental relief funds. The application period begins August 17. Applicants will qualify based on income and must show that they have struggled to pay rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those eligible can apply for rental subsidies up to $2,000 a month, and up to $10,000 in back rent.

3. The L.A. County Board of Supervisors also recently approved a motion that will explore using county parks and libraries in unincorporated areas as “safe spaces children can spend the school day if they cannot do their distance learning at home.”

4. Coronavirus isn’t the only hazard at the moment. Fire season is here. The city of Malibu has a new disaster handbook that is helpful for all residents of high-fire-risk areas. It’s available online. The Topanga Survival Guide was published in 2017 but is still firmly relevant. There’s a bit of good news on the fire front this month: the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s two new S70i Sikorsky Firehawk helicopters have arrived and are now in service, just in time for wildfire season.

5. Assembly Bill (AB) 1788, the California Ecosystems Protection Act, which would limit the sale of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides, is back, and headed for the Senate Appropriations Committee. Coauthors Senator Henry Stern and Assemblymember Richard Bloom are optimistic that the bill can pass, but support is needed. Read the text of the bill. Contact the committee.

6. Students are heading back to school but summer isn’t over yet, and drive in movies are back in style. The Topanga Community Center’s first ever drive-in movie screening on August 7 was a tremendous success. Tickets for The Goonies sold out fast. Visit TCC’s Facebook page for upcoming drive-in movie events.  For more drive-in movie fun, check out the schedule at King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas—including Jurassic Park, on September 7, and Disney’s Coco, on September 18.

7. A famous former Topangan was in the news this week. Musician Neil Young has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, for the repeated unlicensed use of his songs “Rockin’ in the Free World” and “Devil’s Sidewalk” at Trump rallies. Young is seeking up to $150,000 in statutory damages for each infringement. The suit was filed in Manhattan federal court.

8. And finally, don’t miss “Plague Punk – Steampunk goes Viral,” artist Kit Plumridge’s surreal and whimsical exhibit of masks and musical instruments, on display at the Topanga Canyon Gallery through August 16.

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