The Los Angeles program received $38 million from the city. A small portion of the money comes from private funds.

According to city data, one-third of adults in Los Angeles are unable to support their families on income from full-time work alone.

“When you provide resources to families that are struggling, it can give them the breathing room to realize goals that many of us are fortunate enough to take for granted,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said when the program began.

That breathing room came at an opportune time for Ms. Barajas. After graduating from high school in 2017, she pushed aside dreams of college and began working a string of retail gigs — Claire’s, Old Navy, Walmart. She set aside $300 from her paycheck each month to help cover her family’s rent.

“I had to work,” she said. “We had no foundation, no money in our pockets.”

Last year, Ms. Barajas, 22, received funds from an extension of the child tax credit. She used some of the money for essentials like clothes and food.

On a recent afternoon in Chatsworth, a Los Angeles neighborhood, Ms. Barajas reflected on how the money from the guaranteed income program was helping her stay afloat. She moved out of her mother’s apartment in April, after an argument. Since then, she and her daughter, now 15 months old, have slept on friends’ couches and sometimes stayed at pay-by-the-week motels.

For now, they are living at a 90-day shelter for women and children. Ms. Barajas hopes to attend community college this fall, but is focused first on finding a job. Many mornings, she scrolls her iPhone looking at postings before her daughter wakes up.

Most of the money from the guaranteed-income payments goes toward food, diapers and clothing, but she’s trying to save several hundred dollars, enough for a security deposit for an apartment she hopes to move into with a friend.

“I’m one emergency away from having to spend money and then live on the streets and become homeless,” she said. “A lot of people are just hanging on with the smallest amount of wiggle room financially.”

Zohna Everett, who was part of the Stockton program, knows how it feels to live within that razor-thin margin.

Before the program began in 2019, she was driving for DoorDash five days a week, bringing in about $100 a day. Her husband at the time worked as a truck driver, and the rent for their two-bedroom apartment was $1,000. To help earn gas money, Ms. Everett sometimes collected recyclables and turned them in for cash.

“The money was a godsend,” Ms. Everett said of the Stockton program, adding that while enrolled in it, she got a contract job at the Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif., on a production line.

Until then, Ms. Everett, 51, had been in a perpetual state of hustle, never stopping long enough to realize her exhaustion. After the payments started, she noticed she was sleeping better than she had in years.

“A weight truly was lifted from me,” she said.

The payments stopped during the pandemic, but she then received stimulus money from the federal government. She had started to save some money, but after a case of Covid left her with persistent fatigue and breathing problems, she recently took a leave from her Tesla job.

“With this pandemic, there is a lot of struggling,” she said. “There needs to be a permanent solution to help people.”


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California Officials Warn Of Possible Blackouts Due To Extreme Heat

California is experiencing a major heatwave that may cause a statewide blackout due to extreme temperatures.

California’s beaches are about the only bearable place to be as the state endures what is now a week of scorching, triple-digit temperatures.

The state’s electric grid operator anticipates its highest demand ever in the month of September. 

“This heat wave is on track to be both the hottest and the longest on record for this state and many parts of the west for the month of September,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom. 

Now leaders are increasing the urgency of their warnings to Californians about rolling blackouts if they can’t conserve enough electricity to avoid forecasted shortfalls. 

The operator said the state’s grid narrowly avoided outages Monday. 

They issued a level three alert Tuesday evening, just one step away from ordering rolling blackouts. 

“Just go out early in the morning, and then stay home. That is how I would describe it. It is hot,” said Marilyn Abrams, who is visiting Southern California.  

The temperatures have offered no help to firefighters battling more than a dozen blazes across the state. 

Near Los Angeles, the so-called Fairview Fire is now deadly and is blamed for two deaths. 

The fire is burning uncomfortably close to homes. 

Firefighters feared it would explode in the hot, dry conditions this week. 

The temperatures are not isolated to California. 

Medford, Oregon hit 105 degrees Fahrenheit Tuesday. 

And in Vegas? 112 degrees.  

In Sacramento it hit 114 degrees. 

In Utah, Salt Lake City is having its hottest summer on record. 

Fish are washing up dead in the Lost Creek Reservoir where a shrinking water level heats up faster during the day, and deprives fish of oxygen. 

“Less fish is always a bad thing, right?” said Tom Thomson, a Utah fisherman. 

“Hoping to see more snow and get more water here,” said Steven Randall, a Utah paddleboarder. 

Further east in Denver, students were released early as highs hit the upper 90s challenging older schools without A/C. 

It’s been a challenge to keep people safe and keep the power on in an oven-hot West. 



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Celebrities Are Overusing An Already Dwindling Water Supply

The Los Angeles Times obtained documents showing multiple celebrities are the biggest offenders when it comes to breaking water budgets.

The super-rich are way overspending their water allocations amid dire warnings about water use and restrictions on watering outside, and some of the biggest names in Hollywood are some of the worst offenders, according to the Los Angeles Times.

As water reserves dry up across the West, southern Californians are allowed to water outside only twice a week. Also, massive properties in the wealthy enclaves of Hidden Hills and Calabasas — near Los Angeles — have water allowances.

But documents the LA Times obtained show names like Dwayne Wade, Sylvester Stallone, Kevin Hart and Kim Kardashian smashing those limits, ending up with warnings from the utility.

Now the Las Virgenes Water District could put “flow meters” on their water lines to track their use and effectively shut off outdoor watering when they reach their limit.

It comes as states across the West try to curb water use, while Arizona takes the biggest hit with a federal government-imposed 21% cut to its water allowance. It’s a concern for the state’s leaders, who are worried about its agricultural output.

“If Yuma County doesn’t have the water it needs to grow produce, then that means that those products are gonna be more expensive across the country,” said Arizona Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly.

In California, basketball star Dwyane Wade and his wife Gabrielle Union told the Times they have been working to fix leaks in their pool and transition to drought resistant landscaping. They went over their limit by 90,000 gallons, which is more than 1,400% of their allowance.

Sylvester Stallone and his wife Jennifer Flavin went 230,000 gallons over their limit, using more than 533% of the allowance. Stallone’s lawyer told the LA Times the actor needs to water more than 500 trees on his property, and he has allowed some grass to die. 

Newsy reached out to representatives for Hart and Kardashian but didn’t get a response.

“Across the west, across the nation, we need to have a conversation about how we’re pricing water and how we’re using water, especially for aesthetic purposes,” said Kyle Roerink, executive director of the Great Basin Water Network.

The water district acknowledges many landscapes in the ritzy neighborhood aren’t built for drought and can’t survive under the restrictions in place.

A spokesperson said it takes time to adapt entire properties to drought-resistence, but it still has to be done.

In Colorado, cities are turning grasses over to more drought-tolerant varieties.

“The reason it doesn’t need any irrigation is because once the roots are established they grow deep enough that they pull water up from underneath,” said Luc Hatlestad, public information officer of Arapahoe County, Colorado. 

“There’s a lot of need right now to save water for the Colorado River,” said Austin Krcmarik, water efficiency lead of Denver Water. “We really need to figure out new strategies outside of what we’ve traditionally done on how we can play our part of making the landscapes work for us and save water.”

It’s an example to Las Vegas, where golf courses and casinos are apparently struggling to keep their water use down as resorts fill up again after the 2020 shutdown.

“They have removed approximately 900 acres of grass from their courses that has helped them to better manage their water resources,” said Bronson Mack, public information officer of the Las Vegas Valley water district.

The dwindling water supply out west is pressuring the rich to turn down the flow and deal with the consequences.

“We have got to be in a position to use a significant amount of water less than we’ve used in the past,” said Gene Shawcroft, Colorado River commissioner of Utah. “We simply cannot continue where we are.”



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Enrollments Down At Public Schools Around The Country

School enrollment is down significantly due to many parents homeschooling, and enrolling their children in private schools.

Around the country, some school districts will begin the school year wondering, “where is everybody?”

Daniel Anello is the CEO of Kids For Chicago. 

“At least in Illinois, I know many other states, less kids means less resources coming to your district,” said Anello.  

Enrollment is down for public elementary schools. An analysis of last year’s enrollment by AP and Chalkbeat found one in three Chicago schools now have fewer than 300 students. LA, New York and Boston are seeing similar trends in empty desks. 

Shrinking enrollment may force some districts in places like Denver, Indianapolis, and Kansas City, Missouri to close schools entirely. The Dickinson family in Wheaton, Illinois says they were hesitant to pull their daughter out of school. 

“The idea of taking Caroline out of school was frightening, but the idea of keeping her in the school, the way it was going with the just lack of, what’s the wording — the lack of communication, consistency, the way it was run, it was just like months wasted,” said Sarah Dickinson.  

They started home schooling when the pandemic hit; now they want to stick with it.    

“It’s been consistent, it’s been rigorous, she’s excelled and we couldn’t be happier,” said Dorian Dickinson. 

While the pandemic may have contributed to the decline in traditional public school enrollment, there’s more to this story.   

“COVID has had an impact in some places, but those are those are micro impacts compared to the fact that we just as a country have a lot less babies that are growing up to be students,” said Anello.  

Kids First Chicago has studied the schools’ slowdown. They say particularly in Chicago, enrollment declines are driven by the slowing growth of Latino families and a steady exodus of Black families out of the city. 

Another contributing factor is that kids just aren’t showing up, because of quarantines or other causes. 50% of students in LA were considered chronically absent. 

Hedy Chang is the executive director of Attendance Works.

“Chronic absenteeism has at least doubled nationwide. In some places, it’s increased even higher because there’s a lot of local variation,” said Chang.  

Chang says they define chronic absenteeism as missing 10% of school. Now they’re seeing students miss as much as 50% or more of school.  

“If you’re looking at signs, you start to see it happening. And chronic absence is an early warning sign that kids might not re-enroll the following year,” said Chang.   

Like so many, Chang is looking for a solution. 

“To keep kids in school, to keep kids staying connected, you really need to take what we call a tiered support that invests in prevention,” she said. 

Experts say growth is possible when families see schools as a place of community beyond the school day: A resource not just for education, but also for food and healthcare. 



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KMGH: As Mental Health Is More Widely Acknowledged, Men Still Struggle

By Daniel Grossman

August 22, 2022

A growing number of men are speaking up and spreading awareness about the importance of other men prioritizing mental health.

As the importance of mental health becomes more widely accepted in the United States, men are still battling the stigma that it should not be discussed.

But that changed recently when famous MMA fighter Paddy “the Baddie” Pimblett delivered a moving public message after a fight, saying he has been struggling himself.

In his post-fight speech, Pimblett spoke about a close friend of his who had taken his life only days before the fight. He urged men to talk about their issues.

“I’d rather my mate cry on my shoulder than go to his funeral,” he said.

The speech was an important message to men worldwide.

“I saw that clip of Paddy and I was just stopped. I had that sense of ‘finally,’” said Eric French, a psychiatrist at the Mind Spa in Denver. “[Men] have these conceptions about [themselves] that we’re supposed to be strong, stoic, press forward no matter what is going on, but we are human beings and that means there are aspects of ourselves that are no less real if we acknowledge them or not; that being our emotional state. And if acknowledging your emotional state makes you vulnerable, that’s not a bad thing.”

“I was always taught that a man is supposed to be strong, courageous. You bottle up all your feelings,” said Sam Peterson, a retired war veteran.

Peterson knows about that stigma firsthand. He was a bomb technician in Afghanistan for more than four years. The PTSD he developed from his time in the Army nearly led him to take his own life in 2014.

“It was very much like panic attacks, and, you know, I very nearly ended my own life because of it,” he said. “I had my .45 in my hand, you know, ready to pull the trigger and I got a text message from one of my very good friends and he’s like hey man come over. I sat down on the couch and I just bawled my eyes out for like three hours. Just letting it all out and it felt like someone had just taken my soul out of my body and just washed it in bleach and stuck it back in.”

After the speech by Pimblett, who is from the U.K., mental health clinicians in the region reported seeing more men coming to their practice for help.

“You have to have someone there who can hold up a mirror to your biases and help you break them down or you’re just going to be stuck in the same rut,” said Peterson.

“If you’re struggling and you get the sense that this feeling you’re having is not going away, it’s not going to go away,” added French. “It’s going to stay there until you face it.”

This story was originally published by Daniel Grossman on



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How Bach Parties Turned Into A Vacation

Bachelorette parties are starting to become more popular, leading more businesses to profit off of these celebrations.

A tradition that used to only last one evening has turned into its own vacation — bachelorette and bachelor parties.   

As social media has gained popularity, experts say these bach parties, as they’re commonly known, may have become a bigger and bigger deal thanks to the growing need for everything to be “Instagrammable.” 

According to data from The Bach, a popular app for bachelorette party planning, 42% of survey respondents planned to attend two or more bachelorette or bachelor parties in 2021. The average party spent $5,500-$7,000 in total on their trip. 

77% of people surveyed said they rented a home for their party. These are typically big groups of about 10 people, and half of travelers said they planned on spending $250 or more on housing each.  

Then there’s also all the other spending. From dining at local restaurants to shopping at local stores, these parties can be pricey. They can also include things like private chefs and transportainment — like party buses, pedal pubs and booze cruises.  

Newsy hit the streets of Nashville, Tennessee, the number one bach party destination, to speak with transportainment companies. They’ve experienced a lot of growth in recent years.  

Companies we spoke with said bachelor and bachelorette parties have been coming here for a while. But as Nashville has become a more popular bach party destination, these transportainment companies have really taken off. Honky Tonk Party Express was one of the first bus companies in Nashville and they operate 38 buses. 

Grant Rosenblatt is the owner of Honky Tonk Party Express.  

“We do 1,800 bachelorette individuals a weekend individual that equates any party comes between 12 and a half is a rough average per group,” Rosenblatt said. “There are other party buses and other in other cities like your Miamis or Austins, but there’s nothing that’s quite where this open air experience is. And when our company started in 2016, there was nothing like that in the country. Now, since then, it’s became so popular that other cities are emulating it.”

While many cities struggled with tourism throughout the pandemic, bach parties provided a boost to local economies. For instance, data from The Bach shows that in 2021, 13,000 bach parties were hosted in Nashville, and this year, 31,000 are planned there. The more parties, the more people are spending money in these cities. The Extreme Experience in Nashville actually launched during the pandemic. 

Parris McKinney Jr. is the owner of Extreme Experience.

“Extreme is designed to have your own club on the bus. So, as you say, you have a lounge. You have your bar and you have your dance floor. So, I came up with the concept as to, you know, you’re more safe on here than you are out there,” McKinney said.  

These types of activities got so popular, Nashville has worked on adding new regulations for these companies, like applying for permits and allowing alcohol only on enclosed vehicles, after complaints from local residents that some visitors were getting out of hand. 

Scottsdale, Arizona, is another popular destination to go to for these kinds of parties. It jumped from number five to number two on the bach travel trends report. 

We spoke with bachelorette party planning companies that offer services like decorating rental properties with popular themes, creating itineraries and stocking the fridge.  

Scottsdale Bachelorette is one of them. Casey Hohman started it in 2018 as a side hustle, but last year it became profitable enough to become his full-time gig.  

“Throughout the pandemic, you know, Arizona was one of the states and Scottsdale was one of those cities where there weren’t a lot of restrictions when it came to nightlife, when it came to restaurants, mask mandates, things like that. So, a lot of people actually detoured their bachelorette parties from other cities like Vegas and Florida to Scottsdale,” Hohman said. “This year we already have over 750 parties booked for this year and that’s up from about 300 last year. So, we’re thinking we’re probably going to end up tripling the business this year, just in one year, which is pretty awesome.”

Most parties come Thursday through Sunday. Scottsdale Bachelorette sees about 20 to 30 a week with services that cost anywhere from $800 to $1000.  

Girl About Town is another bachelorette party planning company in Scottsdale that sees about the same number of parties per week and with services that range from $175 to $2000. Meghan Alfonso, the founder of the company, says they, too, are benefiting from the increased popularity of bach parties in the city.  

“We already hit our goal or our last shared goal now. So, we already have had 400 plus parties that have come through right now, which is July, the end of July. And so, it’s just wild how fast the city has grown as well as how many people want to come here for their bachelorette. And so, each year we’re just anticipating almost double,” Alfonso said. 

There are also other cities on the list that are up and coming. Girl About Town has expanded their business to some of them, and is looking to continue expanding into more. 

“We’re also in New Orleans and Denver. And so, we have two girls that are in Denver that work it together. And then we have another girl in New Orleans who just does it by herself,” Alfonso said. 

Bachelor parties do come through some of these popular cities, too, but experts say they don’t tend to have all the decorations and services that bachelorette parties have.  

A survey from found that bachelor party guests tend to spend more on activities like golf or sporting events. These groups also tend to go to far-away places, making their costs of airfare higher.

“I think just in general, the wedding industry has really grown from just the wedding to all these other things that happened before that. I think bridal showers have gotten bigger, engagement parties have gotten bigger. Even if you look at like gender reveal party that didn’t exist before, you know, and now that’s like a big party. So, I think, especially post-pandemic and, just thinking about what a special time this is, people are extending that party from just the wedding to all these other fun things that they can do leading up to it,” Hohman said. 



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Why Are More States Requiring Personal Finance Education?

Fourteen states now require high school students to take a financial literacy course before graduating.

You’ve probably seen the memes by now, poking fun at how we learned concepts in math class that didn’t exactly prepare us to be financially responsible.  

But some schools, like West High School in Denver, Colorado, are listening. 

That’s where Daniel Walter teaches a financial literacy course, created at the request of parents in the wake of the pandemic.  

The demand for financial literacy education spans far beyond Colorado, though. In fact, a total of fourteen states now require students to take a course before graduating. 

Michigan, Georgia, and Florida are three of the most recent states to join this growing trend. 

Experts told Newsy that learning about financial literacy in school is a welcome step in the right direction. 

Experts also say this is something that students of all ages can learn about. But they point out that learning about the concepts of saving or investing alone can’t guarantee financial success.  

Requiring one course to graduate is a good start, but they’d like to see more. 



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