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Mark Ridley Thomas Returns to City Council with Homelessness Top of Mind, How Firefighters Prepare on 'Red Flag' Days, Sundance Film Fest Goes on the Road




Mark Ridley-Thomas speaks at the opening of the farmers market as LA County Supervisor back in 2017
Mark Ridley-Thomas speaks at the opening of the farmers market as LA County Supervisor back in 2017
Emily Dugdale/KPCC

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HOMELESSNESS REMAINS A TOP PRIORITY FOR MARK RIDLEY THOMAS AS HE JOINS CITY COUNCIL - AGAIN

Mark Ridley Thomas is going from the LA County Board of Supervisors to the LA City Council - where he also served in the nineties. A Martinez talks to him about what he will do in his new position to provide relief to his constituents during the pandemic and how he'll continue to tackle LA's growing crisis of homelessness.

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FIREFIGHTERS PREPARE FOR THE WORST ON "RED FLAG" DAYS

Conditions are ripe this week for massive, uncontrollable wildfires, as strong Santa Ana winds batter our extremely dry Southern California hills, which haven't seen substantial rain since last spring. The National Weather Service in Oxnard has not only issued a red flag warning, but called the conditions "particularly dangerous", likening them to the conditions of the Thomas Fire in 2017. In anticipation, the Los Angeles County Fire Department is sending out strike teams to problem areas so that they can respond quickly to any fire that starts. But what's it like to be on the front lines, waiting for the worst? Last year, KPCC science reporter Jacob Margolis visited one team to find out.

VETERANS STEP UP TO PARTICIPATE IN COVID-19 VACCINE TRIALS 

More than 50 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers are involved in trials to test vaccines and treatments for COVID-19. The agency is calling on vets to volunteer, but it's not so easy. Stephanie Colombini reports for the American Homefront Project.

ONE SO CAL SCHOOL DISTRICT THRILLS ITS YOUNGEST STUDENTS BY REACHING OUT THROUGH THE MAIL DURING THE PANDEMIC 

Schools throughout Los Angeles are relying on technology like Zoom to reach even the youngest students at home during the pandemic. But as KPCC's Mariana Dale reports one San Gabriel Valley district is also using an old school method of communication. 

SUNDANCE IS COMING TO YOU - AND ED ASNER SUES SAG-AFTRA OVER BENEFITS 

The Oscar-nominated star of the 2007 movie "Juno" came out as trans this week and the Emmy-winning actor Ed Asner sues SAG-AFTRA, and the Sundance Film Festival won't be staying in Utah this year.  For this and more Hollywood news A Martinez talks with Rebecca Keegan, Senior Editor of film for The Hollywood Reporter in our weekly segment On The Lot.

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FINALLY ...A PODCAST...IN SPANISH

It’s time in the week when we visit with Nick Quah, the go-to journalist covering the podcast industry and host of LAist Studio’s podcast Servant of Pod. This week he travels-- virtually-- beyond the bounds of the US to meet the duo behind a Chilean podcast. It’s called Las Raras and it’s a narrative documentary show that’s almost completely in Spanish. 

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