Digital sex crimes devastate South Korean women, report finds

Digital sex crimes devastate South Korean women, report finds

On the streets of tech-savvy South Korea, the newest and most chopping-edge devices flash in people’s fingers the prompt they come to be offered.

Considerably less seen are miniature spy cams that in the latest several years have led to a reckoning more than web-centered sexual intercourse crimes that have devastated women’s lives, spurred scandals and ignited large offline protests. The cameras lurk in clocks, apparel hooks, coffee cups and calculators, capturing females on the subway and in the bedroom.

Electronic sex crimes involving secretly recorded or faked intimate visuals, dispersed or sold without having the subject’s consent, have driven ladies in South Korea to suicide, pressured them to shift abroad or still left them with lifelong trauma, a leading human legal rights team discovered in a report launched Wednesday.

A lot of victims been given inadequate guidance from regulation enforcement or counseling solutions, even as cases versus their perpetrators were typically dropped or resulted in disproportionately light-weight sentences, according to Human Rights View.

The 90-web page report is an unsparing encapsulation of the truth fundamental a series of electronic sex criminal offense scandals that have roiled the country in new yrs, prompting soul-hunting about deep-rooted sexism and setting off an unprecedented rise in feminist activism, and a intense backlash to boot.

In 2018, tens of hundreds of girls marched in the road versus spy cam recordings, rallying all over the cry: “My life is not your porn.” In 2019, K-pop stars ended up disgraced and jailed after revelations they’d secretly recorded women of all ages and exchanged the clips. In 2020, the nation figured out of a “sextortion” ring that blackmailed women, numerous of them minors, into delivering sexually express substance that was sold in an anonymous chatroom that experienced as numerous as a quarter of a million subscribers.

“This challenge has develop into additional critical more rapidly in Korea than wherever else I can feel of,” mentioned Heather Barr, interim co-director of the Women’s Legal rights Division at Human Rights Observe who authored the report. South Korea, she said, provides “important lessons for the total world.”

The crimes spotlight the double-edged character of South Korea’s significantly-lauded technological prowess, boasting of some of the world’s swiftest world wide web speeds and highest fees of smartphone use. As the region has become far more wired, crime involving spy cams amplified a lot more than thirteenfold from fewer than 600 in 2008 to a lot more 7,730 by 2015. They have been on a downward pattern in latest a long time with increased recognition and detection endeavours, with 5,168 reported past 12 months.

Even so, only 2% of the conditions in 2017 resulted in prison sentences, according to the report. Previous year, 4 out of 5 of these convicted been given only suspended sentences or a wonderful.

One particular woman interviewed for the report was gifted a clock from her boss that she stored in her bed room, only to later find out it was outfitted with a hidden digicam. Another’s previous boyfriend photoshopped her encounter to semi-nude photos of other gals, and posted them on the net with her handle and make contact with facts. Still a further stated she’d taken to sleeping in a tent inside of her residence just after obtaining been secretly recorded through a window, in accordance to the report.

Propelling the crimes is an ingrained culture of inequality and sexist attitudes in which guys cavalierly share illicit visuals amongst themselves. In a modern society steeped in a patriarchy that needs women stay “sexually pure,” victims are remaining with ongoing trauma, the legal rights team explained.

“It’s like a murder, even nevertheless he didn’t use a knife or a weapon. It’s like a murder to someone’s identity or mentality,” a single of the victims, who had odd adult men displaying up at her household and get the job done right after her ex-boyfriend posted visuals of her, informed Human Rights Watch.

As is the case in other countries, South Korea’s regulations, institutions and norms have struggled towards a quick-altering online landscape wherever cruelties exacted in cyberspace are infinite in geographical reach and almost certainly in no way to be deleted from the online.

“Once a nonconsensual picture has been shared as soon as, or the target just fears it might be shared, the dread of the image appearing or reappearing hangs more than the survivor indefinitely,” the report’s authors wrote. “Any nameless viewer can save, upload and distribute the screenshot on any web page or internet websites — from which it may spread uncontrollably.”

A police detective cited in the report recounted one particular higher education student who dropped out of school and moved to the U.S. just after a movie of her having sex with a boyfriend spread on the web. But she was identified by Koreans in her new dwelling. She had plastic operation to adjust her overall look, still even then was not able stay a normal lifetime, in accordance to the report.

In what amounts to a tech edition of a whack-a-mole sport, victims explained seeking for illicit illustrations or photos of on their own on line to collect as proof and publishing specific requests at every internet site for them to be taken down.

“I acquired 1 deleted and 10 a lot more posts” would exhibit up, a person woman instructed the team.

Following past year’s sextortion scandal, legislators handed a legislation growing punishments for possession of nonconsensual pictures, and holding services companies responsible for checking and deleting illicit substance.

Whether or not the legislation will final result in a reduction of on the internet sexual intercourse crimes remains to be found. In current months, a substantial school instructor, an air pressure personnel sergeant and a McDonald’s staff have just about every been caught on suspicion of secretly recording ladies.

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Will insurance cover businesses damaged by looting?

Sean Wotherspoon spent Saturday night in his Los Angeles home, viewing live as his organizations have been ruined.

He watched as safety-digital camera feeds showed individuals shattering the plate glass windows of his Round Two retail store on Melrose Avenue and walking out with a lot more than $250,000 really worth of significant-conclude avenue wear. He saw them make off with about as substantially inventory from his vintage shop upcoming doorway. He watched as the Spherical Two site on the other aspect of the place in Richmond, Va., was hollowed out by fire.

6:48 AM, Jun. 01, 2020
An earlier version of this article involved an incorrect deal with for a Round Two retail store. It is found on Melrose Avenue, not North Fairfax.

“I’ve been robbed prior to, but nothing like this,” Wotherspoon reported.

Protests over the law enforcement killing in Minneapolis of George Floyd ongoing in towns across the state Sunday evening, and countless numbers of Angelenos took to the streets to voice their outrage at the evident impunity of police who kill or brutalize black Individuals.

Looting has accompanied some of the protests. Among the initial corporations to be burglarized was a Minneapolis Focus on near the law enforcement precinct of Officer Derek Chauvin, who has been charged with third-diploma murder and manslaughter soon after killing Floyd by kneeling on his neck as he struggled for breath. In the days considering that, national chains and community firms have been burglarized, which include some in downtown Los Angeles, the Fairfax district, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica’s beachfront commercial zone.

Quite a few companies have been now battling with slashed profits and dismal earning prospective clients underneath the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

But how and whether or not they bounce again from shattered windows, stolen merchandise and burned-out structures hinges on just one factor: their insurance coverage procedures.

As Wotherspoon invested his Sunday examining the losses to his outlets, he admitted that he wasn’t exactly confident irrespective of whether his plan would defend him from these varieties of damages.

“We are insured, but I really do not know what we are coated for, and I do not know no matter if we are protected for losses” in a civil disturbance, he stated. “We may possibly not know for a 7 days or so.”

Enterprise insurance policies is comparable to consumer car or truck coverage: Essential liability is demanded by a lot of landlords (while not all) in a lease arrangement, protecting proprietors in the celebration that they confront lawsuits from shoppers who are hurt in their merchants, amid other authorized statements. But it might be up to the unique enterprise owners to make your mind up how significantly insurance policies they want to obtain to protect their inventory and equipment in case of theft, fireplace and other eventualities.

Massive chains this sort of as Focus on, Starbucks and Apple use their deep pockets to buy subtle insurance policies that protect the complete chain for losses stretching into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to Janet Ruiz, director of strategic interaction at the Insurance policy Information and facts Institute.

But for lesser corporations, the amount of money of coverage can vary commonly in conditions of deductibles and greenback limits, depending on the form of business enterprise, the price of the inventory and the depth of an owner’s pockets. Due to the fact not all landlords require enterprises to insure their inventory and gear towards loss, some neighborhood house owners will end up having to include all of the losses and maintenance fees on their possess.

On the other hand, for enterprises that purchase assets protection, it ordinarily consists of losses from civil disturbances. For these who are insured, packages that involve liability and residence protection can price tag on average $1,200 a 12 months for a little business enterprise with up to 100 workforce and $5 million revenue, Ruiz explained, introducing that “it relies upon on how a lot they are keen to devote if they have a decline.”

Places to eat, whose kitchens pose fireplace risks, could have to pay out for insurance coverage covering their products at a greater charge than retail merchants the place customers peruse racks of dresses.

The losses suffered by business enterprise thanks to the pandemic are excluded from normal organization guidelines, although some carriers begun offering them following the SARS pandemic in 2003, Ruiz explained.

“There had been firms that crafted them, and they did not market,” she stated of such procedures. “It’s high-priced.”

Fraser Ross, proprietor of the Kitson chain of clothing and gift boutiques on Robertson Boulevard in West Hollywood, recorded video clip from across the avenue as persons moved on from burglarizing the MedMen retailer close by, smashed the windows of his outlet store and started out hauling out clothing, equipment and what money was in the sign-up. He estimates that $300,000 really worth of products was stolen but believes all of it will be coated by his insurance policy, while he nevertheless desires to test with his lawyer.

“In 2002 we were robbed at gunpoint for $35,000 in watches,” Ross stated. “Everything was protected.”

Following the citywide coronavirus lockdown forced Ross to near his doorways in late March, he said, the only bills he saved paying out had been for his Shopify on-line shop, simple utilities and his insurance policies plan. He fears some of his neighbors in the shopping district may have canceled their insurance policies guidelines for the duration of the lockdown.

In regular situations, Ross says, he would not be on the hook for replacing the home windows — many insurance coverage companies present plate glass coverage as a rider on their guidelines. But since he was technically amongst leases with his landlord, Ross is probably heading to have to pay back for repairs.

A couple miles east of Kitson, crowds broke the glass doorway and windows at Chi Spacca, the upscale Italian cafe that had been working as the Mozza to Go takeout operation in the course of the coronavirus lockdown.

As soon as inside, they took all the restaurant’s wine, electronics, an empty money sign-up and some chef’s knives threw plates and lit a pool of lighter fluid on fireplace on the floor. Next doorway at Osteria Mozza, looters took a 3rd of the liquor from the bar and some large-conclusion champagne, in accordance to Kate Greenberg, director of operations for the restaurant group.

“I hope it’s all covered” by insurance plan, Greenberg said. “I really don’t see why we would not be.”

Mozza’s team invested Sunday photographing the problems and designs to just take a 3D graphic on Monday to show the insurance plan adjusters the extent of the hearth destruction. “Whether it was a salad thrown out or something, we’re taking a photo of it all,” Greeenberg claimed.

Now, to test and protect against further more destruction, small business entrepreneurs throughout the city are boarding up exhibit home windows and eradicating as considerably useful stock as they can. Ross claimed he boarded up his Kitson retailers Sunday and went to a pop-up location in Beverly Hills and loaded up his vehicle.

“I did not know what to just take, so I only took the most valuable stuff,” Ross reported, this kind of as jewelry and sun shades.

Significant organizations also organized for much more problems Sunday. Goal closed or adjusted the hours of 175 spots throughout the region in response to the protests, together with 49 shops in California. Whole Foodstuff destinations in and all over Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Chicago remained shut Sunday, and Walmart and Apple introduced that lots of of their outlets would shutter across the nation.

Until eventually this weekend, the two most high priced civil disturbances in the nation’s record transpired in Watts in 1965 and Los Angeles in 1992, pursuing the acquittal of four law enforcement officers in the beating of African American motorist Rodney King.

The 1992 unrest was the most high-priced in U.S. record, producing an estimated $1.4 billion in house problems in today’s pounds, according to the details analytics company Verisk Analytics and the Insurance Facts Institute. The Watts unrest resulted in $357 million in problems, similarly accounting for inflation.

The charge of this week’s unrest has nonetheless to be tallied — but in a lot of instances, insurers will likely be stuck with the invoice.

California Insurance plan Commissioner Ricardo Lara referred to as on insurers to transfer promptly to assistance affected corporations recuperate from the riots.

“Commissioner Lara is expecting adjusters to be on the ground as before long as possible to enable any looted firms quickly obtain their insurance policies gains,” reported Michael Soller, spokesman for the point out insurance plan section.

Lara also will be building a perseverance on no matter whether to difficulty an emergency declaration that would allow insurers to use out-of-state adjusters to velocity the process, he said. This was carried out in 2018 adhering to the Camp and Woolsey fires, when the scale of the harm overwhelmed insurers.

Since of the COVID-19 crisis, Lara purchased insurance coverage providers to refund a part of business premiums for firms affected by the pandemic by means of May and requested they prolong grace intervals for paying premiums by means of mid-July.

Enterprises influenced by looting ought to get hold of their insurance coverage corporations about the grace periods and premium rebates. Mainly because of the commissioner’s actions, they should have a lot more time to spend premiums and can qualify for lessen charges they can make contact with the Office of Insurance policies for assistance in publishing claims or with concerns about their coverage.

Moments cooking editor Genevieve Ko contributed to this report.

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Boardwalk closed. University closed. Santa Cruz met the moment, but at a huge cost

The white decide-up truck commenced rolling down Boardwalk Beach front late Friday morning. Dozens of people experienced spread out on the sandy expanse, and some splashed in the drinking water, experiencing the mid-70s weather as a lady with a wand blew bubbles into the gentle breeze.

It was a working day before Memorial Day weekend, and there was only a fraction of the crowd Santa Cruz generally sees just before the kickoff to summer months. The Santa Cruz Seaside Boardwalk sat eerily vacant, closed earlier this calendar year for only the 2nd time in its 113-yr heritage. In the length, waves rolled into Steamer Lane, the famed browsing place off West Cliff Drive.

About 11 a.m., the Santa Cruz Law enforcement Ranger introduced that the beaches ended up officially shut from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. below the countywide shelter-in-location buy. Individuals taking part in drinking water pursuits could keep, the ranger stated, but anyone else experienced to leave.

Rick Tracewell and Debi Tipple packed up their issues, and together with other beachgoers, exited the strand they had traveled so much to pay a visit to.

“I’m thankful that there are hours that we can come out right here,” claimed Tracewell, who arrived with Tipple on Thursday from Sacramento and discovered about the seashore closures though on the generate down.

Felipe Romero Perez combs the vacant beach with a metallic detector as the Beach Boardwalk sits vacant remaining closed to attendees in Santa Cruz.

(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Occasions)

Santa Cruz County, residence to 273,200 men and women, involves some tech organizations and other industries, but its financial motor mainly is dependent on seasonal tourism and the income produced by the 19,000 pupils and hundreds of school and staff at UC Santa Cruz. That campus is now shut, and metropolis and county have been urging customer they after welcomed to remain away, at the very least for now.

The demanding steps have without doubt served the town and Santa Cruz County retain their COVID-19 cases and fatalities lower in a area strike challenging by the virus. Santa Cruz County has documented two coronavirus-associated fatalities and 212 conditions. In comparison, its neighbor Santa Clara County is reporting 141 deaths and additional than 2,700 conditions. Alameda County has additional than 3,200 circumstances and 95 fatalities.

UC Santa Cruz student Brooklyn White talks on her phone at the closed Beach Boardwalk.

Brooklyn White, a fourth-12 months college student at UC Santa Cruz, talks with a close friend on the cellular phone at the shut Beach front Boardwalk in Santa Cruz.

(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Instances)

But the county should now weigh how quickly it will reopen to retain corporations alive and residents harmless, provided that they have properly flattened the curve a lot quicker than their neighbors. County Public Overall health Officer Dr. Gail Newel issued a new get, productive Wednesday, permitting in-retail outlet retail buying and religious expert services to resume.

On Friday, the county Board of Supervisors held a meeting on no matter if to approve moving further into the next phase of reopening less than the governor’s street map. The board unanimously approved the hard work, and Newel claimed a supplemental wellbeing get will let indoor and out of doors dine-in at eating places and barbershops and salons to reopen. She also warned the county will most likely see an boost of cases and urged individuals most vulnerable to retain keeping house.

As Northern California counties reported growing figures in mid-March, Santa Cruz County joined 6 others in the larger San Francisco Bay Area in issuing a shelter-in-position get. The city of Santa Cruz already planned to close city facilities in anticipation of unfold, Mayor Justin Cummings stated.

An empty Pacific Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz

An vacant Pacific Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz has properly bent the curve of scenarios and fatalities from COVID-19 just after sheltering in position early.

(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Occasions)

In early Might, Cummings employed his Sunday column in the Santa Cruz Sentinel to remind citizens they could not “rush the street to restoration.” He wrote of the next raise of situations and deaths in San Francisco from the Spanish flu in 1918 soon after the city re-opened far too swiftly.

The county community health and fitness division introduced May perhaps 22 an investigation into 4 independent clusters of COVID-19 situations, attributed to family members gatherings as the county eases some restrictions. While their numbers stay fairly minimal, reopening could present a challenge.

“It’s terrific that we’re in the place that we’re in,” Cummings reported in an job interview. But “if we start viewing our figures likely back again up, we’re likely to probably shut points again down once again.”

Early projections predicted the county could have in between 200 and 400 fatalities, reported Ryan Coonerty, a Santa Cruz County supervisor.

The financial affect has been harming — the county’s unemployment charge hit 17.4% in April, up from 8.1% in March, in accordance to the California Work Improvement Department. People and business enterprise entrepreneurs, who mostly complied with the shelter-in-put order, are now inquiring when they can restart right after shutting down for so very long, Coonerty reported. But there is no effortless remedy for a location like Santa Cruz, whose fate is linked to its neighbors.

“We’re seeking to figure out what our route ahead is for the reason that we only command element of our location,” he said.

 Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County

Neighborhood volunteers and the California National Guard distribute foodstuff to an believed 1,100 people at the Boardwalk area for The Second Harvest Foods Lender of Santa Cruz County.

(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Situations)

On Friday, the Second Harvest Foods Bank held its weekly travel-as a result of decide on-up at one particular of the Boardwalk’s parking a lot. Beach Flats resident Antonia Hernandez, 46, and her partner, Felipe Ruiz, 42, arrived by foot, pushing a tiny cart to have their products.

Ruiz dropped his work at a panaderia as a outcome of the pandemic. This was their 3rd time choosing up choices from the food stuff bank — they obtained foodstuff weighing approximately 50 pounds — and Hernandez stated she hoped to see the neighborhood financial state open up all over again, cautiously, so they can pay for to pay their charges and hire.

“This is not a match,” she claimed, teary eyed as she spoke about the toll of the virus. “It’s so unhappy, all the things that is likely on. We never want this [virus].”

On Pacific Avenue, the city’s downtown, neighborhood storefronts doors ended up broad open up but blocked by tables, a indication of curbside pick-up. The sidewalks, which would’ve been bustling on a common Friday, were primarily empty with an occasional pair strolling by.

Marla Reckart and her daughter Sara Cronin picked up a pair of textbooks from Bookshop Santa Cruz in advance of they stopped by Pacific Trading Co., a women’s clothing boutique, to acquire a pair of pajamas. Soon after coordinating the choice with co-proprietor Anandi Heinrich, who held up possibilities via the glass windows until finally they permitted a single with thumbs up, they relayed the payment by telephone, and Heinrich hung the bag on 1 close of a metallic rack, inched the door open and pushed it by means of so Cronin could get the bag.

Jason Cohen delivers a book to a customer at curbside at the Bookshop Santa Cruz

Ebook vendor Jason Cohen delivers a reserve to a consumer at curbside at the Bookshop Santa Cruz.

(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Situations)

Curbside choose-up is challenging for a garments retail store. Heinrich reported she sets up digital appointments and sends customers dwelling with a box of garments to choose from.

“We hope to be reopening in a way that helps make perception,” explained Heinrich, who selected to near the retail store on March 15, prior to the formal purchase. “But we also come to feel careful in that we want to make certain that we’re executing it in a way that is harmless for our consumers and for our team.”

At Bookshop Santa Cruz, a longtime neighborhood hub, proprietor Casey Coonerty Protti shared a identical sentiment. On Friday, dozens of curbside orders ended up fulfilled by the hour as the bookstore’s information heart was transformed into a central workstation, with workforce weaving amongst shelves to maintain their distance. Puzzles have been spread out on the floor for easy entry the celebration space now featured tables included in items for care packages.

Protti, carrying a Harry Potter-themed mask, spelled out their new workflow: No far more than 10 personnel worked inside of at the very same time, in unique elements of the 20,000-sq.-foot retail outlet. And with a confined ability reopening expected in months, the retail outlet will be restructured to accommodate curbside choose-up, in-shop expert services and on the web orders.

Marla Reckart, left, and daughter Sara Cronin pick up books outside Bookshop Santa Cruz.

Marla Reckart, remaining, of Santa Cruz and daughter Sara Cronin of Philadelphia select up publications at curbside at the Bookshop Santa Cruz.

(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Periods)

Even with a continuous stream of consumers, the retailer is undertaking only 60% of normal revenue, she mentioned. But Protti, whose brother serves on the county Board of Supervisors, a seat beforehand stuffed by their father, stated she is on the aspect of restrictive measures to avoid a second increase in circumstances.

“I recognize why folks are itching to reopen, and the amount of money which is at stake in phrases of the economic system and employment and people’s livelihoods,” mentioned Protti, who was equipped to provide again her 40-plus team just after getting a Paycheck Defense Method bank loan. “But I’m likely to be entirely driven by science.”

When they are all set to reopen, she reported she believes the community will be there, rallying around community corporations.

“I do imagine folks are heading to appear back,” she claimed. “I definitely do.”

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Sequoia & Kings Canyon to start reopening amid coronavirus

Big sequoia groves and the backcountry will reopen Thursday at Sequoia & Kings Canyon Countrywide Parks in the western Sierra. It is the most recent countrywide parks in California to begin welcoming website visitors with new safety rules all through the coronavirus pandemic.

Park entrances, roadways, parking tons, restrooms, picnic spots and trails, which includes paths foremost to the preferred Basic Sherman Tree, will open up for the initially time considering that March 25, in accordance to a park assertion.

Hikers with reserved wilderness permits will be authorized to continue in the backcountry wander-up permits won’t be issued this summertime.

Campgrounds for overnight stays aren’t expected to reopen right until following the Fourth of July. Customer centers, bookstores, ranger stations as properly as lodgings, eating places, marketplaces and gift shops continue to be shut also.

Park officers really encourage website visitors to avoid crowds at parking plenty and on trails, and to talk to the park newspaper available at the entrance for far more information on what is open and what’s closed. Readers are requested to remain 6 toes from one particular another at parking lots and on trails and to use deal with coverings when social distancing isn’t feasible.

Amenities will be cleaned much more regularly, and signals about safe techniques will be posted at path heads and restrooms. Right now, the parks will not acquire the $35 entrance fee for every car which is excellent for 7 days. When fees resume, readers ought to pay back on-line prior to their stop by.

Other California parks have started out opening in phases, such as Joshua Tree, which opened to tenting prior to Memorial Working day Lassen Volcanic National Park and Redwood National and Condition Parks. Nationwide, large parks this sort of as the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone had restricted reopenings that they then expanded to accommodate seasonal crowds.

On the other hand, Loss of life Valley Nationwide Park will not reopen until finally California will allow leisure journey, which is set for Stage 3 in the state program. Yosemite National Park also stays closed. The park has offered a draft strategy that contains restricting the number of visitors to half of regular crowds and necessitating prepaid tickets to enter.

Facts: Sequoia & Kings Canyon Countrywide Parks

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Nikola to go public. Founder shares traits with Elon Musk.

It’s a 7 days just before Nikola, the electric truck start out-up, debuts its shares on the general public current market. Time to spin up the hype machine. For some explanation its founder and chief executive, Trevor Milton, would like to converse about how significantly he loves Tesla.

You’d feel he’d count Tesla as a rival, if not an enemy. Every aims to seize the industry for very long-haul diesel vehicles. Each seeks to assert the mantle of amazing inventor Nikola Tesla, who served convey electrical energy to the masses by championing alternating current technology. Each time the subject will come up, Tesla Main Govt Elon Musk dumps on Nikola’s main technology, electric gas cells, considered by Musk as irredeemably inferior to Tesla’s individual lithium ion battery electrical power systems. “Fool cells,” he calls them.

But here’s Milton, blowing kisses. “There are possibly no more substantial followers around the world than Nikola workers. Glance at our parking ton. Teslas all above the area,” he mentioned.

“We’re big followers and the explanation is this: Tesla paved the way for EVs” while regular vehicle providers “talked trash on them all working day, each and every working day. But they got it done.”

It is uncomplicated to see why Milton, 38, could want to invoice his organization as the second coming of Tesla. Nikola’s place is very similar to Tesla’s when the electric-vehicle maker began out in the early 2000s: a renegade start off-up advertising and marketing untried engineering to drive internal combustion incumbents out of the driver’s seat.

Like Tesla, Nikola also need to increase masses of cash to fund functions and money charges from traders ready to bear calendar year following year of losses.

It is worked for Tesla: Appear at its jaw-dropping stock value. The firm has under no circumstances attained an yearly profit, its progress amount is slowing and a viral plague has pushed the entire world economy into deep economic downturn. Nevertheless Tesla buyers stay so optimistic they’ve pushed the stock to pretty much $900, supplying the business a market capitalization of about $150 billion. If you were being Milton, would not you want in on that sort of motion?

Both Milton and Musk have turn into billionaires many thanks to new expenditure dollars flowing into their firms, not on company income. Nikola’s income is negligible, a handful of hundred thousand pounds a yr from engineering contracts. Considering the fact that its founding in 2015, it has lost a cumulative $188.5 million. The place as Tesla experienced debuted a vehicle right before its IPO in 2010, the small-manufacturing Roadster, Nikola has but to provide a one truck.

Glory times could lie in advance, but the only vehicles either firm has to show are prototypes. Both have introduced bold timelines while boosting funds and then permit the schedules slip.Nikola claims $10 billion value of “orders” for 14,000 semi trucks, but authorities filings make obvious that people are a lot more like expressions of curiosity, cancelable, with no deposit cash needed. Musk says there is sturdy need for the Tesla Semi, but hasn’t released any purchase or reservation figures at all. He also has claimed developments in battery technological innovation that will allow its major-rig haulers to journey 500 miles involving prices, but hasn’t yet shown this kind of functionality in genuine lifestyle.

One more parallel: Milton and Musk have both been criticized for the way they’ve sophisticated their have passions during the COVID-19 crisis. Musk restarted production at its Fremont assembly plant May perhaps 11, defying orders from the Alameda County general public health and fitness department.

Milton, meanwhile, was taken to task on CNBC for declining requests to return $4 million in federal Paycheck Defense Program forgivable financial loans intended to enable tiny enterprises. This, irrespective of $85 million hard cash in Nikola’s lender account as of the stop of 2019, and with a go-general public deal in the will work that will present Nikola with $735 million in new capital.

About that offer, which shareholders are predicted to approve now: It is all becoming financed by a complicated financial arrangement that avoids a standard original general public giving, or IPO. Basically, a shell enterprise was created and mentioned on Nasdaq. That company will invest in Nikola and fold it into the shell in what is acknowledged as a reverse merger, elevating the company’s implied valuation to $10 billion, up from $3 billion just previous drop.

Milton defended his PPP haul by noting that Nikola, with 350 workforce, fulfilled all financial loan application demands. Reminded he’d not long ago acquired a $32.5-million ranch, a person of the priciest real estate discounts in Utah background, and then requested what he’d tell mother-and-pop merchants or lawn-care staff having hassle receiving loans, Milton observed he’d started off five organizations and unsuccessful at two. “I lost every thing twice,” he claimed. “I even sold all my guns, everything I had…. There is no a person who appreciates what they’re heading through a lot more than me.”

For all the criticism leveled at them, Milton and Musk have every single laid out daring visions for transportation ecosystems that purpose to do absent with fossil fuels, and have committed their time and power to making them authentic.

At Tesla, Musk is making out a all over the world network of firm-owned charging stations for the electrical cars and trucks it sells — with designs to develop into truck charging.

Milton’s tips are a lot more bold in some approaches, and riskier. Because the storage batteries utilized in virtually all electric powered motor vehicles are heavy, present-day technological know-how limits big-rig vehicles to less than 300 miles. Nikola’s hydrogen gasoline-mobile electrical power procedure, appreciably lighter, will boast a assortment of 700 miles or more, Milton suggests. Their only waste product or service is water vapor.

Couple of doubt Nikola will be equipped to make gas-cell vehicles. The technology is effectively comprehended. Welsh attorney and inventor William Grove pioneered the technology in 1839. Vehicle makers have been experimenting with gas cells for many years. Hyundai and Toyota are leasing gasoline-cell vehicles.

The basic difficulty with gasoline cells: No location to refuel. You can install a large-voltage charger in your garage, but you just cannot refuel with hydrogen at dwelling. A few dozen condition backed hydrogen fuel stations serve gasoline-mobile autos all over the point out. For weighty vehicles, they do not exist. Nikola will have to make them.

“How before long can they get that community up? Which is the problem,” claimed Antti Lindstrom, a trucking analyst at IHS Markit.

Nikola’s organization strategy phone calls for 34 stations by 2024 and 700 in 8 to 10 years, lots of with their have electrolysis plants to make hydrogen gas. That is an strength intense approach, but Nikola options to use solar, wind, nuclear and other greenhouse gas-free of charge electricity resources. The cost for each and every station: $15 million to $20 million. The initially 10 to 12 will go up in California, partly financed by point out subsidies for hydrogen stations courtesy of California taxpayers.

“This will revolutionize the trucking planet — if it happens,” Lindstrom claimed. Without the need of a elementary breakthrough in battery technologies, he stated, a lot more range translates into extra bodyweight, which usually means considerably less freight on board: in the U.S., regulations restrict loaded vans to 80,000 lbs. More batteries also imply much more recharging time, with a entire demand getting several hours. A gas-cell refill requires about 15 minutes, about the similar as diesel gas fill up. “Hands down, this is a greater option for long haul vans than batteries,” he reported.

Instead than promote just the vans, Nikola will lease its semis in a bundle that incorporates company and routine maintenance and a prolonged-time period gasoline contract that locks in price ranges — adding possibility and possibly excellent reward for Nikola, dependent on how effectively it runs the operation. Overall value of ownership will be the same as for diesel vans or a lot less, Nikola claims.

Many major-title corporations have signed on as companions. Ryder will service and preserve vans for Nikola shoppers beneath the lease system as a result of its extensive provider community. Bosch is pitching in on mechanical design and style. Anheuser-Busch states it will acquire as a lot of as 800 vans to prolonged-haul Budweiser and other beers. The initially Nikola hydrogen station will be set up close to the Budweiser bottling plant in Van Nuys.

Tesla and Nikola announced their large-rig strategies in 2016. Musk reported Tesla would commence marketing its Semi in 2019. Now it’ll be at minimum 2021. Nikola announced a 2021 introduction for its gasoline-cell vehicles, but that has been pushed out to 2023.

The corporation does system to put a lithium ion battery delivery truck on the market place following yr, created in Germany and in the beginning marketed in Europe. “We can roll that out now and start out to crank out income,” Milton claimed. The deal includes a joint venture with CNH Industrial. That company’s Iveco unit, centered in Italy, will operate the German plant, and aid Nikola develop a new manufacturing unit in Coolidge, Ariz., outdoors Phoenix. That manufacturing unit will manufacture the gas-cell large rigs. Building is set to begin this 12 months.

Nikola plans other items, too: a hybrid pickup truck working with a typical battery and a gas cell, an off-highway electric powered dune buggy-design motor vehicle, and a battery-electric variation of the Jet Ski.

Milton’s satisfied to chat about all of them. In a common IPO, he would be barred from pumping the firm in progress of a inventory presenting. The reverse merger will allow him to stay clear of the silent interval and speak up the offer.

Chatting a great sport is yet another trait the two CEOs share. Like Musk, Milton has been accused of marketing “vaporware” that either never appears or underperforms on promises. “The best way to prove all those critics completely wrong is to set your products out,” he mentioned.

Even superior if you can generating a gain on it.

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Why coronavirus won’t stop ‘The Last of Us Part 2’ after all

“The Previous of Us Component 2,” a game in which a fatal virus has wrecked humanity, is coming this summer after all. Sony unveiled this early morning that the PlayStation 4, video game, one particular of the most predicted of 2020, would release on June 19.

As release dates on significant movies keep on to be pushed due to the closure of cinemas around the globe, the online video game business has been equipped to have on with fewer publicly pronounced effects. Game titles, soon after all, are presently geared to a remain-at-property life style, and a lot more surface to be wakening to the medium’s inherent social nature, as evidenced by the methods in which “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” has come to be a gathering house and very last week’s use of “Fortnite” by hip-hop celebrity Travis Scott to launch a new one.

Sony’s announcement concerning “The Final of Us Element 2″ will come right after the video game purportedly leaked on YouTube. Not remarkably, heated arguments about what could or might not be the game’s twists have erupted on the internet.

Santa Monica-dependent Naughty Pet dog released a statement Monday expressing dismay at the leak.

“We know the past couple days have been extremely tough for you,” study the statement, attributed to the studio. “We really feel the very same. It is disappointing to see the launch and sharing of pre-release footage from improvement. Do your most effective to prevent spoilers and we question that you do not spoil it for other folks.”

The footage has been dissected throughout social media and video clip video game discussion boards, some of it showing pivotal narrative scenes with implied results for vital characters. The studio urged admirers to see everything in context of the entire video game right before passing judgment.

“’The Past of Us Component 2’ will be in your fingers quickly,” continued the statement. “No make any difference what you see and hear, the final knowledge will be worthy of it.”

The video game, a tweak on the zombie formulation, was originally owing Might 29, which itself was a press from its unique Feb. 21 release. In April, Santa Monica-centered video game developer Naughty Puppy stated “The Last of Us Section 2″ was practically finish and cited “the global crisis” associated to the coronavirus outbreak.

“Logistically,” wrote the activity publisher in a tweet, “the worldwide crisis is stopping us from delivering the launch knowledge our players have earned.”

Sony at the time recommended no possible launch day, indicating only that the video game, a sequel to a person of the industry’s most well known titles, would be delayed “until even further detect.”

Right now, however, Sony also introduced that its impending action-adventure “Ghost of Tsushima,” a sport established in feudal Japan, would launch July 17. The samurai sport experienced in the beginning been established for June 26. “Iron Person VR,” because of in May possibly and also postponed, was not given an current release day currently.

“The Very last of Us Aspect 2″ is one particular of the most hotly expected online games of 2020. The initial video game, released in 2013, has been stated by Sony to have topped 17 million copies offered. It was not long ago introduced that a series based on the sport was in growth for HBO.

The sequel focuses on the character Ellie, who in the very first match spent her childhood and early teen a long time surviving the zombie-like apocalypse. Now 19, Ellie is defending a Wyoming encampment from contaminated humans and dealing with emotional turmoil she’s suffered.

“We all have individuals moments in which our head tips in this very primitive, most likely prehistoric way in which we survive,” mentioned the game’s director, Neil Druckmann, in an job interview with The Instances soon right after extended scenes had been previewed for the push in September. “It felt like we could make a video game that explores the distinctive sides of what that implies.”

Druckmann worked intently with writer and actress Halley Gross, who was earlier a tale editor and writer for HBO’s “Westworld.”

Gross explained “The Very last of Us Part 2” provided her an option to go deep on the lasting results of trauma, specially as it pertains to a younger girl.

“It is this hostile environment it is this spot where by there are no guidelines,” she said. “When you have to combat for your existence every single day, and you cannot go to treatment and you just can’t get support, how do you deal with that and how does that corrupt you? Or help you save you?”

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IRS website hack for coronavirus stimulus checks: All caps

Getting a “payment standing not available” error when you’re making an attempt to discover the standing of your IRS coronavirus stimulus test? Try this one particular unusual trick that seriously operates: Enter your street address in all caps.

Indeed, genuinely. The IRS web site experienced a significant update this week, so it’s achievable the site only just ported more than your info and will permit you log in now without having getting to shout at it. You’re welcome to test typing out your road deal with the regular way. But if that does not do the job, really do not despair: Many men and women, like this reporter, have found that getting into their road tackle in all money letters was the vital to receiving in and currently being ready to enter their lender account info in purchase to have their stimulus funds deposited electronically instead of ready for a examine in the mail.

There is a technological rationale for this involving expertise of arcane programming and the federal government’s aversion to investing in resolving its tech credit card debt. But the “why” does not make any difference very so significantly as the “whoa” below, which is: Whoa, this operates?

Immediately after I saw a friend publish about it on Facebook in excess of the weekend, my husband Joe and I tried out it, wondering “no way.” Indeed way. I posted about it on Twitter, wondering it’s possible some mates and co-staff would see it and be able to get by means of. To my shock, hundreds of retweets afterwards, it’s however likely potent, with a extended thread of replies testifying to its efficacy.

Some men and women truly feel a little upset about needing a existence hack to get the IRS software to get the job done.

Other folks produced wry comments underpinned by how the IRS has very long relied on out-of-date pc units.

In any circumstance, if you’re battling to log in and enter your financial institution account details, it’s really worth seeking again in all caps. If that functions for you, you can sit back again and seem forward to obtaining a letter prominently signed by the president about it.

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Coronavirus: Hawaii extends stay-at-home order through May

Hawaii doubled down on its remain-at home buy Saturday. With Ga and a couple of states starting up to reopen corporations, Hawaii’s Gov. David Ige went in the reverse course. He extended the state’s stay-at-property get until finally May possibly 31, trying to keep beaches closed to sunbathers and swimmers and other businesses shut.

The purchase closed condition parks and monuments as well as historical web sites and recreation places to stop the unfold of coronavirus.

Ige’s order prolonged necessary quarantine procedures also. Anyone traveling to the islands will have to quarantine at home or at their hotel for 14 days. As of Sunday, Hawaii reported 606 instances and 14 deaths, according to its health and fitness department’s website.

Readers need to quarantine in their lodge rooms or other lodging. “You can only leave your specified quarantine site for medical emergencies or to search for health care care,” the initial March 25 purchase said.

“With the the greater part of Hawaii’s COVID-19 scenarios joined to journey, it is important that we further more mitigate the unfold of the virus by each people and readers who are coming from out-of-state,” Ige reported in his buy.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority also has explained to travelers to stay away much too.

“While we’ve often welcomed people to Hawaii with open arms, wellness and security is our initially precedence,” a assertion posted on Facebook stated. “So it is with a large heart that we’re advising vacationers not to pay a visit to the Hawaiian Islands at this time. [The governor] has questioned that all trips be postponed for 30 days, in mild of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

While seashore parks are shut, some are nevertheless accessing the ocean. “City officers confirmed that the beach front parks are closed, but they can not restrict men and women from likely into the h2o,” Hawaii Information Now reported immediately after the March get. “People heading for a swim are technically authorized to walk by the park to attain the water’s edge, but the city is hoping every person will heed local community leaders’ orders to continue to be dwelling.”

Amid the spread of the coronavirus to all 50 states, Hawaii and Alaska had previously established quarantine rules for locals and arriving travellers. As of April 24, Alaska commenced to reopen dine-in dining places, hair salons and barbershops and fitness centers while holding social-distancing regulations in location.

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What’s open and closed this week: Beaches, parks and trails in Southern California

So long as Southern Californians remain close to home and wear masks outdoors, they can still exercise outdoors without violating Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order. But as the fight against the pandemic evolves and the weather gets warmer, the rules at many beaches, parks and trails have been changing.

Los Angeles County’s beaches are still closed through May 15 under the county’s current Safer at Home order, and local, state and federal agencies throughout the region are severely limiting access to hundreds of beaches, parks, trails and forests. Yet many public agencies are easing restrictions, including Orange, Ventura and San Diego counties.

And some coastal areas are looking for ways to reduce the number of nonresidents along the shore. The Newport Beach City Council will consider closing beaches on the weekends of May 2-3, May 9-10 and May 16-27.

Here’s an update on what’s happening where. If you do go outside for a walk, remember these tips for keeping safe. Local and state officials stress the need to take greater care in maintaining a distance of at least six feet from others.

Los Angeles city parks, beaches and markets

City Recreation and Parks officials say most most park areas “remain open for walking and running.” But they are enforcing a broad range of restrictions. Among them: All public hiking trails and trailheads in the city of Los Angeles have been closed since March 27.

Also closed are all public beaches, public beach parking lots, beach bathrooms, piers, beach access points and the Venice Boardwalk and Ocean Front Walk (with limited access to essential businesses).

All recreation centers, aquatic facilities, golf courses, skate parks, tennis courts, playgrounds, baseball fields, soccer fields and basketball courts are also closed, as are other “indoor and outdoor sport amenities.”

In Griffith Park, authorities have closed all facilities and trails, including the Observatory, Travel Town, train rides, the pony rides, the merry-go-round and some roads.

Elsewhere, the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro remains closed, as is the Sherman Oaks Castle, the Expo Center in Exposition Park; and the Silver Lake Meadow. Since April 11, walkers and joggers have been required to travel counterclockwise on the 2.2-mile loop trail around the Silver Lake and Ivanhoe reservoirs.

Visitors practice social distancing at the beach in Ventura on Saturday.

(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Some 24 farmers markets remain open in the city, including the Sunday Hollywood Farmers Market, after the city tightened safety and social-distancing requirements in early April.

Henry Brown, 42, exercises in MacArthur Park in the Westlake District of L.A. on March 31.

Henry Brown, 42, exercises in MacArthur Park in the Westlake District of L.A. on March 31.

(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles County trails and beaches

Since March 27, L.A. County officials have enforced the closure of trails, trailheads, beaches and other public lands. All of the county’s park play and sports amenities, including golf courses, are also closed.

Los Angeles County’s beaches, piers, beach bike paths, beach access points, public trails, trailheads and tennis courts are also closed, under an order that covers beaches in every coastal city and unincorporated area of the county.

Parks officials noted on their website that “you can still enjoy time outdoors at your local park for passive use, such as walking, jogging, or leisure time outdoors for individuals or families. Social distancing is still required, and group gatherings are prohibited by the health order.”

Since March 23, the county has forbidden use of its multiuse trail system, a network of more than 220 miles that includes the popular Eaton Canyon Trail; all interior trails at Vasquez Rocks; all interior trails at Placerita Canyon; the Loop Trail, Devil’s Chair and South Fork Trail at Devil’s Punchbowl; the San Dimas Nature Trail; the Schabarum-Skyline Trail; and dozens of other popular routes.

Los Angeles County beach cities and Catalina Island

• In Santa Monica, city beaches, the beach bike path and Ocean Front Walk closed March 27 as part of the countywide order to shut down beaches. The city’s Palisades Park, which overlooks the beach and pier, is also closed.

• In Hermosa Beach, the pier, Strand and beach itself are closed as part of the countywide beach closure.

• In Redondo Beach, too, the pier, Strand and beach are closed. City officials also closed the Esplanade area; Veterans Park and nearby parking areas; all public walkways, stairways, ramps and paths to the beach; and a coastal bluff trail between Knob Hill Avenue and George Freeth Way.

• On Catalina Island, the Catalina Chamber of Commerce is urging non-residents to stay away. The Catalina Express, which normally runs boats to the island’s Avalon and Two Harbors landings from Long Beach, San Pedro and Dana Point, has cut its service back to two round-trips a day between Long Beach and Avalon. At the Catalina Flyer, which normally offers one departure daily from Newport Beach to Avalon, a phone recording warned that the boat has suspended service until further notice. The Catalina Island Conservancy has closed its visitor facilities, services and trails.

State parks in L.A. County

On March 18, state parks officials closed all state campgrounds. On March 29, they tightened restrictions further, closing vehicle access to the entire state park system — 280 parks, including off-road vehicle areas.

Since then, the state has fully closed dozens of parks, banning pedestrians as well as vehicles. Among them: The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve; more than a dozen state parks and beaches in L.A. County; San Clemente State Beach in Orange County; seven state beaches in San Diego County; and four state beaches and parks in Ventura County.

At Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area in the Baldwin Hills area of L.A., officials said in a statement that the park is closed to vehicular access but “remains open for locals who wish to walk, hike and bike (in parks with bike trails) in the park, provided they practice social/physical distancing of six feet or more. This is not the time for a road trip to a destination park or beach.”

San Gabriel Valley

In the first week of April, Pasadena city officials closed the Rose Bowl Loop, a popular 3.1-mile-long walking path around the famed stadium.

The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino is closed through at least May 15.

Descanso Gardens in La Canada Flintridge is closed until further notice. The L.A. Arboretum in Arcadia is open, with advance reservations required to prevent crowding.

Santa Monica Mountains

The National Park Service has imposed weekend closures on all Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area trails, trailheads, restrooms, overlooks and pullouts in Ventura County. Authorities said those areas will remain open on weekdays, when crowds are thinner.

Those weekend closures begin at 2 p.m. Fridays and reopen at 6 a.m. Mondays “until further notice,” an NPS release said.

That policy covers Rancho Sierra Vista (including the Wendy Trailhead); Cheeseboro Canyon Trailhead; the Deer Creek area; and all trails within Circle X, which includes Sandstone Creek, Mishe Mokwa, the Grotto Trail, the trails and overlooks along Yerba Buena Road and the Backbone Trail along the spine of the Santa Monicas.

As part of the earlier L.A. County-wide closure of hiking trails, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area had already shut down all of its trails and restrooms in L.A. County.

Also, the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority on March 23 closed all of its parklands, trail and facilities — close to 75,000 acres of parkland, including all parks owned by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.

The authority’s busiest parks, now closed, include Wilacre Park in Studio City; Temescal Gateway Park in Pacific Palisades; Franklin Canyon Park off Mulholland Drive, Beverly Hills; Ed Davis Park in Towsley Canyon, the Santa Clarita Valley; all the overlooks on Mulholland Drive; Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve at the west end of Victory Boulevard; and Escondido Canyon Park in Malibu.

Ventura County

• Ventura County has allowed the opening of county-managed beaches, golf courses and bike shops among various modifications to its Stay Well at Home order. That order, which continues to close campgrounds, gyms, swimming pools and many other facilities, is effective through May 15.

•The City of Ventura on April 20 reopened its beaches, pier, promenade and parks, subject to requirements that people keep their distance and don’t linger.

• The City of Port Hueneme, experimenting with a “soft reopening,” has reopened its beach (and a parking lot) to walking, running, biking and solo surfing and paddleboarding, but said it would discourage sunbathing or any “stationary presence” on the sand. Its pier, restrooms, playground and street parking remain closed.

Orange County

On Saturday and Sunday, many of the county’s shores, especially Huntington Beach, were crowded with people. Orange County’s Board of Supervisors on Tuesday cleared the way for public and private golf courses to open.

Still, parking lots at all county beaches, regional and wilderness parks remain closed. So are parking spaces at all trailheads; parking lots at Irvine Lake; parking along Black Star Canyon Road; pedestrian access points at Thousand Steps, Table Rock, West, Camel Point and Treasure Island beaches; restrooms; playgrounds; exercise equipment; shelters and trailheads. Pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians were permitted.

Orange County also banned vehicular traffic to Carbon Canyon, Clark, Craig, Irvine, Laguna Niguel, Mason, Mile Square, Tri-City and Yorba regional parks. Pedestrians, bicyclists and equestrians were permitted.

Among individual Orange County coastal cities, north to south:

• Seal Beach has closed its beach, pier and many park amenities. But green space within its parks remains accessible with social distancing required.

• Huntington Beach’s pier and beach parking lots have been closed since late March, followed by closure of street parking along Pacific Coast Highway April 16 and closure of Huntington Harbor beaches on April 17. But other beaches and park areas remain open, and some golf courses have reopened in recent days.

• Newport Beach has kept its beaches open through the crisis so far but on Tuesday its City Council will consider closing beaches on the weekends of May 2-3, May 9-10 and May 16-27. The city on March 25 closed its beachfront parking lots and piers, and later added its Oceanfront Boardwalk on the Balboa Peninsula and the Balboa Island Bayfront Walkway to the forbidden list. On April 10the city banned surfing at the Wedge between 10 a.m and 5 p.m., citing large numbers of surfers attracted by growing swells.

• Laguna Beach has closed all city beaches, all basketball, volleyball and tennis courts; all playgrounds; its community pool; parking lots at Aliso Beach; and three beach-adjacent city parks: Main Beach city park, Heisler city park and Treasure Island city park.

• In Dana Point, city, county and state beach and harbor public parking lots are closed, as is Dana Cove Beach and many coast-adjacent streets. (Others are limited to local traffic only.) Noting that police recently wrote 158 parking citations in one weekend, city officials said in a statement, “If you have to use your car to get here, there is nowhere to park.”

• San Clemente on April 24 reopened beaches, though many other facilities remain closed. On April 1 it closed tennis courts, ball fields and picnic areas as well, but the city’s trails remained open.

Throughout Los Angeles County

The Safer at Home order from Los Angeles County Public Health officials, issued March 21 and updated April 10, prohibits all public and private group events and gatherings through May 15. It also says that individuals and families are not prohibited from “hiking, walking, biking or shopping at [e]ssential [b]usinesses,” so long as they keep their distance from others.

The order also notes that if local entities (like municipal governments) choose to impose stricter limits, the county order does not supersede them.

Los Angeles County has closed all indoor and outdoor playgrounds, along with indoor shopping centers and all swap meets and flea markets.

Inland Empire

• In San Bernardino County, the Mt. Baldy Resort reopened for skiers on Wednesday, saying its new limits would allow for proper social distancing.

• Also, San Bernardino County on April 25 reopened county parks, lakes, rivers and recreation areas. “Private and city-owned parks, trails, lakes and golf courses also opened on a limited basis,” the L.A. Times Luke Money reports. Big Morongo Canyon Preserve and Mojave River Forks Regional Park are still closed.

• Riverside County leaders last week cleared the way golf courses to reopen.

San Diego County parks and beaches

Under a vote by San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors on Friday, that county’s ocean reopened Monday morning to swimming, surfing, kayaking and paddle-boarding but not group activities, sunbathing or boating.

The cities of San Diego, Coronado and Oceanside have taken similar actions, as has the Port of San Diego, which controls 34 miles of the county’s waterfront. Most beach parking lots and boardwalks remain closed, as do state beaches.

In Carlsbad, Del Mar, Solana Beach, beaches remained closed Monday until further notice.

Most of San Diego County’s parks and preserves have remained open for pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians, but their parking lots and many facilities and amenities are closed.

National forests in Southern California

The U.S. Forest Service on March 26 closed campgrounds, picnic areas, bathrooms and other developed recreation sites in its California forests through April 30 and left Southern California’s four forests — Angeles, Cleveland, Los Padres and San Bernardino — to make their own decisions on trail access and parking.

• In the Angeles National Forest, authorities on April 3 closed 23 well-used San Gabriel mountain trails, four popular trailheads and 19 roads through at least April 30.
This map shows the affected areas. The closures include the Millard Canyon above Altadena, San Antonio Falls, Icehouse Canyon and North Devil’s Backbone trailheads.
The forest order shuts routes to Echo Mountain and Mt. Lowe, such as the Sam Merrill Trail, above Altadena, as well as others leading to Mt. Wilson, San Gabriel Peak, the Rim Trail and other routes in the San Gabriel Mountains.

• In the San Bernardino National Forest, whose 680,000 acres include four mountain ranges in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, a spokesman said trails, trailheads, staging areas that function as trailheads and parking areas at trailheads remain open. Hikers should practice social distancing, sticking to wide fire roads instead of single-track trails that are too narrow, the spokesman said.

• In Los Padres National Forest, which includes roughly 1.95 million acres reaching north from Ventura County into Central California, spokesman Andrew Madsen said trailhead parking and trails remain open, as do dispersed camp sites in the backcountry.

In Cleveland National Forest, which reaches into San Diego, Riverside and Orange counties, the list of sites closed through April 30 includes all trails and picnic areas where an Adventure Pass is normally required.

In the forest’s Trabuco ranger district, a spokesperson said closures include: El Cariso north/south picnic area; Hot Springs trailhead; San Juan loop trailhead; Tenaja trailhead; Trabuco creek picnic area; Wildomar staging area; Maple Springs day-use area.

In the forest’s Descanso Ranger District, closures include Agua Dulce; Bear Valley OHV (off-highway vehicle) area; and Corral Canyon.

In the forest’s Palomar Ranger District, closures include: Crestline; Henshaw scenic vista; Inaja Memorial; Kica Mik Overlook; Palomar Mountain Interpretive Station; San Luis Rey Picnic Area; Fry Creek Trailhead; Observatory Trailhead; and Barker Valley Trailhead. The popular Cedar Creek Falls and Three Sisters Falls trails have been closed since March 21.

National parks in California

The National Park Service closed Yosemite National Park March 20; Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks on March 25; Joshua Tree National Park on March 31; and Death Valley National Park (except for State Route 190 and Daylight Pass) on April 4.

Meanwhile the NPS’s federal cousin the Bureau of Land Management has left open much of Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area. A BLM spokeswoman estimated 9,000 visitors brought dune buggies and dirt bikes there during the week after Easter, but attendance is expected to dwindle as temperatures rise.

The Eastern Sierra

California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife director, Charlton H. Bonham, has postponed the start of the trout season in Alpine, Inyo and Mono counties. Once set for April 25, the season is now set to open May 31.

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