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  • Writer's pictureNewsmakers with JR

Panel: Scary Loma Fire Spurs Council Move on Encampments Plus: Vaccine Lottery, 101, BLM

Updated: May 29, 2021

Although the Loma Fire allegedly was ignited by a lone arsonist, the frightening speed with which it tore up TV Hill near Westside residential neighborhoods triggered concern by city council members about the spate of recent blazes breaking out in homeless encampments.

In this week's episode of Newsmakers TV, City Hall reporter Josh Molina explains how the urban conflagration led to a big hearing this week on the growing problem of fires in homeless camps, now nearly one a day, and identifies the sites the city is considering opening up for a sanctioned campground with water, bathroom, security and other facilities.

Jade Martinez-Pogue, his Noozhawk colleague, has the latest on the never-ending controversy over the 101 widening project, as a suddenly-flush-with-cash state government has come up with $50 million to speed up construction of a key part of the local highway scheme.

The panel also breaks down the latest on the pandemic -- including Gov. Gavin Newsom's Oprah-like giveaway program to get more people vaccinated, a demand by Healing Justice/Black Lives Matter advocates for half-a-million dollars in city money for a Black/African American Cultural Resource Center and the issuance of a (yet another) strategic plan for economic development.

If it's Friday, it's Newsmakers TV -- all here right now.


Check out the show via YouTube below or by clicking through this link. The podcast version is here.


Images: Pacific Media Workers Guild; Drew Dernavich for The New Yorker.

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