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Headlines: L.A. Metro Station Plays Loud Classical Music to Try to Keep Homeless Away

Welcome to L.A. TACO’s daily news briefs, where we bring our loyal members, readers, and supporters the latest headlines about Los Angeles politics and culture. Stay informed and look closely.

—Westlake: Loud classical music is being used to drive the unhoused and drug dealers from Westlake/MacArthur station. “The idea is to create an atmosphere that is comfortable for spending short amounts of time transiting through our station, but not conducive to hours-long loitering,” said Metro in a statement about their piping of classical music into Westlake/MacArthur Park Station. [Press-Telegram]

— A judge has indicated he is inclined to allow a coalition of street vendors suing the city of Los Angeles over its no-vending zones to proceed with a legal challenge to the ordinance. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James C. Chalfant stated in a tentative ruling that he is leaning toward overruling the city's first legal challenge to the petition brought on December 7th by three community groups. Community Power Collective, East Los Angeles Community Corp., Inclusive Action for the City, and two sidewalk vendors, Merlin Alvarado and Ruth Monroy. ... Chalfant is scheduled to hear arguments Thursday before issuing a final decision.

—A senior staff attorney with the ACLU reacted to the latest LA Times piece about Metro ridership being down due to drug use on red line trains. In a Twitter thread the ACLU affiliate, who also sat in Metros Advisory Committee, criticized the paper for not providing enough context in their report, mispresenting data, and "fearmongering." [Mohammad Tajsar]

—Anaheim: An 37-year-old Anaheim tax preparer has pleaded guilty for her part in an unemployment insurance scam during the COVID-19 pandemic involving four
state prisoners. ... Sandra Pineda pleaded guilty to 72 felony counts that include perjury, false statement, conspiracy, and money laundering. She also
admitted sentencing enhancements for aggravated white-collar crime exceeding $500,000. Pineda was scheduled to be sentenced on May 19th. [City News Service]

—The union representing roughly 30 thousand Los Angeles Unified School District cafeteria workers, bus drivers, custodians, special education assistants, and other workers has set Tuesday as the date to begin a three-day strike. ... United Teachers Los Angeles, which represents the district's teachers and others, totaling another roughly 30 thousand workers, said its members would honor picket lines if Service Employees International Union Local 99 called a strike. ... On Monday, L-A-U-S-D Superintendent Alberto Carvalho sent a message to district parents and staff saying that a walkout by more than 60,000 workers would likely mean a closure of all schools in the district. [City News Service]

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