Joann Lo admitted that, in recent weeks especially, she’d found a silver lining to the coronavirus pandemic. Perhaps it was more of an ironic silver lining though, for when asked about how the steady stream of news reports about Asian American and Pacific Islander residents being targeted by harassment or violence was impacting her family, Lo found a bit of comfort in the need to stay at home and minimize trips out into the public. “In a way, it’s kind of a relief,” the Glendale mother said in a recent interview, “because we’re not out there in spaces to be subject to these comments or attacks.”
For the next four months, employees at the larger grocery and drug store outlets in Glendale will be paid an extra $5 per hour, under an urgency ordinance dictating “hero pay” to those workers. The City Council approved the policy on Tuesday, after which it immediately went into effect. The discussion of the ordinance throughout March was borne of other cities throughout Southern California also implementing the hazard pay, which has politically been coined as “hero pay” because of the necessity of grocery stores and drug stores throughout the coronavirus pandemic. “They have been there since the very beginning of this pandemic,” Councilwoman Paula Devine said during last week’s initial debate, noting that grocery employees have had the highest uptick in workplace mortality. “That is extraordinary and scary. Imagine going to work and knowing that you could die. Very easily, you could become infected and be one of the workers that loses their life over this.”
The City Council affirmed its commitment to fostering a city that is inclusive of its diversity this week, unequivocally condemning a national surge in hateful rhetoric and violence toward Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in a resolution. The condemnation was issued a week after a 21-year-old white man killed eight people in a shooting spree in Atlanta-area spas, six of whom were Asian women. That tragedy followed a year in which Asian and Pacific Islander residents across the country have reported a rise in harassment and attacks by others, a trend corresponding to the coronavirus’ origins in China. In recent months, these attacks have grown increasingly violent and deadly.
On a night in October, a young Glendale girl said she was engaged in the usual social media scroll when she noticed something disturbing, enough for her to hesitantly broach it with her parents and contact the police about it. While using Snapchat — an image- and video-sharing app — the girl told Glendale police later that night that a number of accounts she followed were reposting another user’s content of explicit images and videos involving other underage girls. The posts were sometimes listed with the names of their Glendale middle or high school. Not long after a police detective began working on this investigation on Oct. 18, another officer reached out about a separate report regarding these same posts. Two days later, the Glendale Police Department was granted a search warrant on Snapchat’s databases based on at least 15 underage girls — ages 13 to 17 — whose nude or partially nude photos were shared by at least one account.
The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner ruled this week that Narineh Avakian died from hypothermia and environmental exposure sometime after embarking on a solo hiking trip in the Angeles National Forest two Sundays ago. The coroner also ruled the manner of Avakian’s death to be accidental. Although it remains unclear when she died, the 37-year-old Glendale woman’s body was located Saturday, March 13, off the Mt. Waterman Trail in the Angeles National Forest, north of La Canada Flintridge. Teams had been searching the area since Thursday last week, when her car was finally located parked at the Buckhorn Day Use Area just off Angeles Crest Highway. She’d been reported missing by her family on Monday, March 8.
The City Council plans to consider Tuesday whether to impose a “hero pay” requirement to food and medication retailers in Glendale, a trend that is taking off throughout Los Angeles County as the coronavirus pandemic has passed its anniversary this month. A number of cities in Southern California have enacted a hero pay ordinance in recent months, including Los Angeles, Long Beach, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Irvine and Costa Mesa. Additionally, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors enacted a hero pay ordinance on national grocery retailers that are in the unincorporated parts of the county. Councilwoman Paula Devine asked last week for a report on possibly implementing hero pay in Glendale, with Councilman Dan Brotman offering the endorsement necessary to make it happen.
He left the actual destruction to the professionals, but Rod Hanners, the interim CEO of Keck Medicine of USC, officially broke ground — er, wall — Thursday last week on what will be a new IR cath lab at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital. Before taking the ceremonial swing with a sledgehammer, Hanners touted the IR cath lab — short form for interventional radiology catheterization laboratory — as being a game-changing addition to the Glendale-based hospital’s ability to treat cardiovascular issues. To say the least, it’s an important ability to have — cardiovascular diseases are the top cause of death worldwide, killing nearly 18 million annually according to the World Health Organization.
Roubik Golanian will continue his decades-long career with Glendale after the City Council confirmed him this week to be the permanent city manager moving forward. Golanian — who was the assistant city manager under his predecessor, Yasmin Beers, since May 2018 — is now tasked with continuing to guide the city through the end of the coronavirus pandemic, improving the efficiency of the city’s bureaucracy and with implementing the council’s myriad policy goals, which range from ramping up affordable housing construction, developing sustainability practices and modernizing the city’s transportation infrastructure. He had been keeping the seat warm as interim city manager since October, when Beers retired.
The glinting reflection of thousands upon thousands of paper ingots will shine through the windows of Glendale’s Central Library for the next several months, each in memoriam of a Los Angeles County resident who succumbed to the coronavirus this past year. The gold and silver decorations — each hand-folded into almost a tube shape from square pieces of joss paper — are ordered on long cuts of rope, each of which are now festooned from the ceiling in the library. The dreamy sight will remain through at least June, and whether doors open at the library in the meantime, they are quite viewable from outside. (In fact, officials suggest a night viewing might be ideal.)