L.A. County offering money to renters affected by COVID-19 pandemic

Christel Deskins

Rodolfo Cortes, 30, of El Monte and other tenant rights activists assembled in March at El Monte City Hall to demand that the City Council pass an eviction moratorium during the COVID-19 pandemic. <span class="copyright">(Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times)</span>
Rodolfo Cortes, 30, of El Monte and other tenant rights activists assembled in March at El Monte City Hall to demand that the City Council pass an eviction moratorium during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles County renters who’ve suffered financial setbacks because of the COVID-19 pandemic can soon apply for thousands of dollars in assistance to help them get on top of their payments.

The application period for the income-based L.A. County COVID-19 Rent Relief program opens Monday and will remain open until Aug. 31. Up to $10,000 will be given to households that meet the program’s income guidelines.

The emergency rent relief is financed through $100 million in federal CARES Act money. Its goal is to help about 9,000 households.

Half of the available money will be directed to residents who live in specific ZIP Codes the county identified where residents are at higher risk

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We’re eating a lot more pizza during the pandemic. Why Domino’s is getting the biggest slice of the pie

Christel Deskins

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Once a week Brandi Johnson finds herself peeping through her red curtains, on the lookout for her favorite delivery—the one that means she doesn’t have to cook dinner. When the driver pulls around the corner and stops in front of her apartment, she runs upstairs to look out another window, this time to make sure the box is placed outside her front door.  

Like many Americans during quarantine, Johnson has been ordering a lot of pizza.

“Pizza is the perfect comfort food for me—not too messy, hard to mess up, good whether it’s hot or cold, and I don’t need silverware,” says Johnson. “It’s just a perfect guaranteed meal to have during such uncertain times.”   

Top pizza chains have benefited from the cravings of customers like Johnson. Papa

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Do kids still need vaccinations if they are learning online during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Christel Deskins

The 2020-2021 school year will soon begin the way it ended in South Florida: online.

And while your child may be temporarily learning through a computer screen instead of in a classroom, that doesn’t mean you should delay a trip to the doctor.

All public and private schoolchildren from kindergarten through 12th grade in Florida still need to get the necessary vaccines required to attend school — even if they are learning online, according to the Florida Department of Health.

And yes, this includes students who plan to remain in virtual school once kids can return to campus masked up for socially distanced learning.

Miami-Dade and Broward Public Schools are reminding parents that they need to make sure their children’s immunization records are up-to-date, or that exception requirements have been met, now that the school year is starting again, as usual.

School officials say Florida also hasn’t issued any waivers

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Interest in homeschooling has ‘exploded’ amid pandemic

Christel Deskins

MISSION, Kan. (AP) — As parents nationwide prepare to help their children with more distance learning, a small but quickly growing number are deciding to take matters entirely into their own hands and begin homeschooling.

Some are worried their districts are unable to offer a strong virtual learning program. For others who may have been considering homeschooling, concerns for their family’s health amid the coronavirus and the on-again, off-again planning for in-person instruction are leading them to part ways with school systems.

Mindy Kroesche, a freelance writer and editor from Lincoln, Nebraska, had been leaning toward homeschooling her 12-year-old son, who has autism and ADHD diagnoses that made middle school a challenge. But she always felt her 10-year-old daughter was “built for school.” Now with the pandemic raging, she is pulling them both out for the year.

“We just saw that with her wearing a mask for the entire day,

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Visualising tech billionaires’ wealth gains during the pandemic

Christel Deskins

Apple boss Tim Cook has joined the billionaire’s club after the coronavirus pandemic helped the technology giant’s share price hit record highs.

His new-found status comes just days after Mark Zuckerberg became the third member of the so-called “Centibillionaire Club” when his personal wealth rose to $100 billion (£76bn).

The Facebook co-founder follows Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates in reaching a 12-figure net worth, with the Amazon and Microsoft founders also seeing their fortunes rise considerably in recent months.

US tech billionaires now occupy seven places in the list of the top 10 wealthiest people in the world.

The wealth of Bezos in particular has shot up at an unprecedented rate, as lockdown orders around the world saw people turn to the online retailer for food and entertainment.

Since the start of the year he has increased his wealth by more than $75bn – more than the entire individual net

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Will the coronavirus pandemic end snow days forever?

Christel Deskins

Are there any two words more beloved by children than “snow day”?

If you grew up in a region of the country where flakes fall and blizzards come to town, then you no doubt remember that feeling of sheer, unadulterated glee when you found out school was canceled due to snow.

Who doesn’t recall being shaken from their slumber when the phone rang at 5 a.m. with a monotonous school recording informing parents that school will be closed that day? And who can forget trying to go back to sleep knowing there’s no school? The budding excitement over knowing what lies ahead on such a magical day kept us all awake.

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And, if that call never came, you’d keep your fingers crossed when you woke up that your school would be listed as closed

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Why Everyone Wants A Piece Of Shift72, Which Has Grown By 400% During The Pandemic

Christel Deskins

Many film companies have taken a battering during the pandemic. The opposite is true of Shift72.

Business for the New Zealand-based company, which builds and manages online video platforms for the industry, is “through the roof”, with new U.S. and international clients including major festivals and exhibitors and with interest growing among independent distribution companies.

More from Deadline

During the pandemic, the company has grown as festivals look to become hybrid online/physical events and some explore becoming year-round TVOD platforms and a viable home for PVOD releases for non-blockbuster titles. The company’s ScreenPlus label, which builds TVOD and PVOD platforms for exhibition chains, has seen business off the back of the AMC/Universal window crunch deal as cinemas move to future proof as best they can.

CEO David White founded Shift72 in 2008 with a background in online and traditional distribution and film marketing. Alongside him at the firm is company

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Pandemic to Create Strong Headwinds Against Holiday Spending This Year

Christel Deskins

With consumer behavior changing rapidly due to unprecedented times, industry experts and consultants expect this holiday shopping season to be a far cry from those past.

Due to the pandemic, consumers have experienced a vast amount of uncertainty — leading to fear, anxiety and conservative spending.

More from WWD

“Over 40 percent of Millennial and Gen Z shoppers expect to spend less this year, with a greater proportion of younger shoppers indicating this compared to older Millennials, according to our survey,” said Deborah Weinswig, chief executive officer and founder of Coresight Research, a global advisory and research firm specializing in retail and technology. “Younger shoppers are early on their jobs or are recent graduates and will be heading into the holiday season with a lower propensity to spend, given their low incomes compared to older shoppers. Savings rates in the U.S. are also on the rise, and younger shoppers are

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Disney World to Cut Theme Park Hours Due to Lower-Than-Expected Attendance amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Christel Deskins

Disney World will be reducing their operating hours in September amid lower-than-expected attendance due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Florida theme park shared its revised hours on the Disney World website over the weekend.

The Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios are both losing an hour of operation at the end of the day. Meanwhile, Epcot is cutting back by two hours and the Animal Kingdom is losing an hour in the morning and an hour at the end of the day.

RELATED: Splash Mountain Log Flume at Disney World Sinks Under Water During Ride in Viral Video

Disney World’s new hours set to begin on Sept. 8 are:

Magic Kingdom: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Epcot: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Hollywood Studios: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Animal Kingdom: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Disney World officially reopened on July 11 after shutting down all operations in mid-March

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How the pandemic may be widening the gender pay gap

Christel Deskins

Personal trainer and Cameroonian immigrant Simone Tchouke knows the importance of working hard. She used to train up to eight clients a day, until COVID-19 hit. 

“It was really it was really bad,”  Tchouke said. “We just kind of scaled down to, like, nothing. So enough to, like, pay your rent and pay food and that’s it.”

During the economic downturn brought on by the pandemic, women have suffered more job losses than men. In July, the unemployment rate for women was 10.5% while the rate for men was 9.4%. Women still in the workforce continue to face a grim reality — they make less than men. In 2018, the median earnings for women was $45,097 while men made $55,291. 

Tchoucke says she isn’t able to charge as much as male trainers with the same amount of experience she has. 

“It’s always so weird. Like, I don’t know why, but

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