Author: Ryan Carter

Will LA County comply with coronavirus vaccination orders? Ferrer has ‘confidence’

On the eve of a revised coronavirus public health order requiring proof of vaccination to enter certain indoor spaces in Los Angeles, the county’s chief public health official voiced hope Thursday, Sept. 16,  that the region’s business would step up and comply, amid mixed signs of a slowly easing surge among adults and children but red flags of the potential for more oubreaks to come.

The mixed picture emerged amid more troubling daily data reflecting the daily human toll: 28 newly confirmed coronavirus deaths and 2,023 new cases in the county. The numbers bring the total 25,775 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic in the county, and 1,439,011 total confirmed cases.

Public health officials remain stymied. meanwhile, over a hoped-for uptick in vaccinations in recent weeks — but the statistics refuse to comply.

The county’s dashboard shows 67% of eligible residents 12 and older have been vaccinated. But even though 5,899,901 have gotten fully jabbed, it’s not enough, said Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer.

Ferrer warned this week that if the region cannot ramp up its vaccination pace, the county faces “an endless cycle” of surges as the fall and winter approach. Much like the flu, that’s when the virus is expected to be more transmissible as people gather more indoors.

The good news: Case rates are falling, along with hospitalizations. Statewide this week, LA County officials were touting the fact the fact that California has fallen out of the Centers for Disease Control’s “widespread transmission” risk level to “substantial transmission.” It was taken as a sign that beefed up efforts to encourage masking  and vaccinations were working.

Over the last three weeks, cases declined in all child-age groups by 40%, according to the Public Health Department. Officials touted that number, given that so many thousands of children have gone back to school across the county in recent weeks.

The decline prompted the department to ease off on its strict school quarantine protocols, allowing schools the option “under certain conditions,” to allow an unvaccinated student with an exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case to continue in-person instruction at school during their quarantine, while restricting their activities outside of the classroom.

Among adults and children, hospitalizations fell by 29, to 1,156 total in the county.

These were good signs that recent efforts to encourage people to honor common-sense health rules and wear masks in public are having an effect, officials said.

Still, an enduring reluctance toward vaccines, coupled with what is still a high risk of transmission in this county, has prompted officials into a strategy they hoped they wouldn’t have to employ: stepped-up mandates. While the county’s case rates and hospitalizations are falling, officials are trying to get ahead of what the variant — or other variants — could bring later in the year and in January.

So on Friday, they will post a revised public health order that will require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test starting Oct. 7 for outdoor large concerts, sports events and other activities of 10,000 people or more. It will also will mandate customers and employees at the indoor areas of bars, nightclubs, breweries and lounges to show verification of at least one vaccination dose by Oct. 7 and a second by Nov. 4.

Ferrer expressed confidence on Thursday that businesses would comply. The bottom line: Everyone knows what’s at stake against a virus that has forced businesses to constantly adapt.

“We spent 20 months together as an L.A. community really relying heavily on everybody understanding the reasons for the rules and abiding to the best of their ability to what they’re being asked to do,” she said. “And I want to give a lot of credit to our bars, our nightclubs, our lounges, our restaurants, our businesses, our large event venues who have been with us on this journey for many, many months with many different requirements placed on them depending on what we were seeing in terms of transmission.”

“So I have a lot of confidence we will have high compliance with these requirements,” she said, noting that inspectors with the health department will work with businesses to encourage compliance.

The alternative, she said, was the potential of a virus on repeat, she said:

“We’ve issued very few citations, so I think that really speaks to the level  of cooperation in this together,” Ferrer said. “Frankly, at this point, everything we can do to avoid getting ourselves positioned for another disastrous surge in the winter is something we’re all going to unite behind.”

 

LA County will likely require proof of vaccination at bars, lounges, nightclubs, breweries

Los Angeles County’s chief public health officer said the county will likely amend its health order soon to require “targeted” vaccine verification at certain businesses, warning that the region will face “endless cycles” of coronavirus surges every few months without more vaccine coverage across the region.

The amended order, which could come later this week, would require customers and employees at indoor portions of bars, nightclubs, breweries, lounges to show verification of of at least one vaccination dose by Oct. 7 and a second by Nov. 4, said Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer.

“This is a reasonable path forward that can position us to break the cycle of surges,” Ferrer said on Wednesday, Sept. 15, noting that the county faces virus surges every few months without great vaccination across the county.

Ferrer addressed the Board of Supervisors on Wednesday, laying out the county’s current coronavirus scenario.

L.A. County reported another 37 COVID-19 deaths, along with 1,930 new cases on Wednesday.

According to the most recent numbers, 75% of eligible county residents age 12 and over have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 66% are fully vaccinated. Among the county’s overall population of 10.3 million, 65% have received one dose and 57% are fully vaccinated. That population figure includes roughly 1.3 million people under age 12 who are ineligible for shots.

More to come

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No major polling problems reported as LA County heads to the polls for recall vote

  • Tara Robinson voted but her dog Leo got to wear the sticker in the California recall election at a polling center set up at El Camino Real high school in Woodland Hills, CA Tuesday, September 14, 2021. Tuesday is the final day of voting in the California recall election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Voters sign in to cast their ballots in the California recall election at a polling center set up at El Camino Real Charter High School in Woodland Hills on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Voters enter the polling center at El Camino Real Charter High School in Woodland Hills on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, the last day for voters to cast their ballots in the California recall election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • A voter heads int the polling center set up at El Camino Real high school in Woodland Hills, CA Tuesday, September 14, 2021. Tuesday is the final day of voting in the California recall election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Voters cast their ballots in the California recall election at a polling center set up at El Camino Real Charter High School in Woodland Hills on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Voters wait for the polling center to open Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, at El Camino Real Charter High School in Woodland Hills. Sept. 14 is the final day for voters to cast their ballots in the California recall election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • A poll worker places voting signs at the polling center at El Camino Real Charter High School in Woodland Hills on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, the last day for voters to cast their ballots in the California recall election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • A poll worker sorts documents at the polling center at El Camino Real Charter High School in Woodland Hills on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, the final day for voters to cast their ballots in the California recall election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Poll worker Gerald Weinman give voters hand sanitizer as they line up to cast their ballots Tuesday, Sept. 14 2021, in the California recall election at a polling center at El Camino Real Charter High School in Woodland Hills. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Voters line up to cast their ballots in the California recall election at a polling center set up at El Camino Real Charter High School in Woodland Hills on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Voters cast their ballots in the California recall election at a polling center set up at El Camino Real Charter High School in Woodland Hills on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

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Throngs of voters made their way into vote centers and ballot drop-off boxes all over the region as Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, became only the fourth governor in U.S. history and the second in California to face a recall. No major issues were reported at poling places in Los Angeles County, according to election officials,

In the early afternoon, the line of voters flowing in to the L.A. County vote center at Plummer Park was long, but orderly and flowed briskly.

Earlier Tuesday, county election officials released an election worker at the site who appeared in a photo posted on social media wearing a Trump 2020 hat and a t-shirt that appeared to reference President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter.

Local resident Frank Santoyo said he snapped the shot on his iPhone while he voted Monday night as the poll worker gave him his ballot.

“I was taken aback,” Santoyo said. “I was just so blown away.”

State law prohibits such attire under electioneering codes.

“Electioneering” means the visible display or audible dissemination of information that advocates for or against any candidate or measure on the ballot within 100 feet of a polling place, a vote center, an elections official’s office, or a satellite location…” according to the statutes.

“The election worker was contacted and advised that the attire was inappropriate and unacceptable,” read a statement from Sanchez.  “Based on his response and reports that other workers had previously counseled him on this, he was released and is no longer working at the vote center.”

David and Sarah Ber voted at the El Camino Real Charter High School vote center in woodland Hills, accompanied by baby Jordan. They said the experience went smoothly, a contrast to reports during the early voting period that at that site some voters said they were told the computers displayed that they’d already voted, even though they had not. Elections officials reported that there was technical problem with the equipment, which was fixed.

Boosters of both sides of the issue worked to rally voters on Tuesday.

As David Lawrence left the vote center, he declared that it was time for Newsom to go.

Lawrence said he was frustrated by a state that he said has been mismanaged to the point where such crises as homelessness have blighted communities.

“I don’t care if it’s a Democrat or a Republican. I just want someone to manage the state,” he said.

Meanwhile, volunteer canvasser Patrick Meighan, with West L.A. based Grassroots Democrats HQ, walked through Westwood, knocking on doors in a last-minute pursuit to get his fellow Democrats to the polls.

The thought of a candidate winning with a minority of votes on the ballot’s second question… “That’s just not democracy,” Meighan said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Challenger Larry Elder barnstorms through Southern California in final recall push

  • Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder talks about his agenda at Philippe’s in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder meets with media outside of his recall bus in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder campaigns at Philippe French Dipped Sandwiches in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder campaigns at Philippe French Dipped Sandwiches in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder at Philippe’s in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder thanks supporters at Philippe’s in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder talks about his agenda at Philippe’s in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder meets with lunch patrons at Philippe’s in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder poses with patrons at Philippe’s in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder poses with patrons at will Philippe’s in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder waves to lunch patrons at Philippe’s in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder talks with supporters Connie Bissell and Patsey Jones at Philippe’s in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder is swarmed by media at Philippe’s in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder gets a hug from supporter Jean Woodward at Philippe’s in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder waves to lunch patrons at Philippe’s in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

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On the eve of California’s recall election, it came down to a French dip sandwich and pastrami for Larry Elder on Monday, Sept. 13.

Elder, the conservative talk radio host turned frontrunning GOP challenger to Gov. Gavin Newsom, made an appearance at the icon Philippe the Original eatery in Downtown Los Angeles.

The lunchtime crowd got more than it bargained for: A candidate barnstorming through the L.A. area fully mindful that the Democratic establishment would take aim at him later in the day when President Joe Biden was scheduled to swoop in to Long Beach to buoy Newsom in the final hours before Election Day.

“Of course I’ve given him a target,” said Elder, pausing from a walk through the downtown landmark, hugging and chatting with buzzing supporters — some who knew he was coming, some who didn’t.

“My name is Larry Elder, I’m the frontrunner,” he told the crowd. “I think I’ve energized the state. I think I’ve energized the party. That’s why they’re bringing in this heavy lumber… Because they’re scared. They’re afraid.”

Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder gets a hug from supporter Jean Woodward at Philippe’s in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

On the diner’s sawdust-covered floors, Elder’s visit became a kind of mini-news conference, where he offered a laundry list of grievances against Newsom, ranging from the economic impact of pandemic shutdowns, crime rates, the homeless and affordable housing crises, how the state has managed the drought and the state of California’s schools.

“I can’t think of any front in the last two years where Californians’ lives have been better,” said the conservative radio host.

It was a campaign message that he would echo at three other L.A. areas stops on Monday…

–From Monterey Park, where he’d attend a medal presentation to a Chinese-American World War II veteran…

–To a gathering at San Pedro’s Deane Dana Friendship Park and Nature Center in the L.A. Harbor Area…

–To a final rally scheduled in Costa Mesa in the evening.

Just about the same time the self-styled “Sage from South Central” was expected to be working that Orange County crowd, Biden was scheduled to touch down a couple dozen miles away in Long Beach.

The 69-year-old syndicated commenter, author and attorney entered the recall race late in the game, but swiftly secured the front-runners’ slot, should voters oust Newsom.

On Monday, he was greeted by chants of  “Larry! Larry!” in Downtown L.A. Despite the supermajorities he’d face in Sacramento should be snag victory on Tuesday, his supporters were eager to grant him the governor’s chair.

“It’s time for a change,” said Robert Monaghan, of L.A., a fan of the talk show host Elder, who he says is ready to govern. “I think he’d be a great person  to turn the state around.”

“I don’t want to move but I feel like my future under the current administration I’d have to start thinking about it,” said Alan Parks, of Altadena, accompanied by his wife Dottie. The couple happened to be sitting in a room at the restaurant enjoying a couple of sandwiches when Elder strode in with an entourage of supporters and media.

While he’d be up against a Legislature unlikely to greenlight his legislative priorities, Elder said he would immediately use his executive authority. His first act would be to repeal state mandates on vaccinations, testing and masks at businesses, he said. He would also declare states of emergency on housing and water.

Not all of the folks snagging a Philippe’s lunch, however, were Elder faithful.

“I refuse to put a B-list radio show host in charge of the world’s fifth-largest economy,” said Whittier resident Manny Rodriguez, enjoying a couple of sandwiches and soda popwith his wife, Virginia.

Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder waves to lunch patrons at Philippe’s in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Rodriguez lamented what he said was Elder’s alignment with the style and substance of the conservatism framed by former President Donald Trump’s era. He said the GOP would be better off to wait and run a “viable candidate” in the formal gubernatorial election next year.

The couple acknowledged that not everything Newsom has done in the midst of the pandemic has been perfect. State protocols could have been more consistent, they said.

But it’s a pandemic, they said. Policies aren’t going to please everyone. It’s “A catch-22,” said Virginia Rodriguez.

Elder’s opinions have been widely broadcast for years and some past words have become campaign issues.

The media and his fellow candidates have scrutinized his past statements that he doesn’t believe there’s a gender-based wage gap or a glass ceiling for women, that welfare “incentivizes women to marry the government” and that Trump motivated obese women to “get off the couch” when they marched against him in 2018.

Elder has cast aside such criticism, saying he’s anything but extreme. At the core of his policy prescriptions, he said, have been basic economics and contemporary logic. He said his common-sense approach has been glossed over by “left-wing media” and other cynical cultural observers.

Also, his former fiancee has claimed that he emotionally mistreated her and once brandished a gun in front of her — allegations that Elder has vehemently denied.

None of the criticism, however, appears to have diluted his core supporters’ enthusiasm.

Elder is not alone, however, on the ballot stocked with folks who aim to snag Newsom’s seat — though he consistently leads polls by double digits among the 46 challengers.

Many were also counting down the final hours of their challenge, chiming in on the campaign trail and the twittersphere.

Democrat Kevin Paffrath is leading Democratics in the polls, though trailing Elder. Republicans Kevin Faulconer and John Cox are the closest Republicans behind Elder, according to pollsters.

Also hosting rallies in the last days of the campaign were GOP hopefuls Assemblyman Kevin Kiley and former Olympian and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner, among others.

Like Elder, former San Diego Mayor Faulconer dismissed Biden’s planned visit.

“Washington, D.C., is not going to save Gavin Newsom,” Faulconer said. “He wants to make it about anything else but him. This recall is a referendum on Gavin Newsom’s failure. That’s why so many Californians not only signed the recall petition, but that’s why Californians in all parts of the state, all party registrations, are ready for a change at the top.”

Paffrath was firing off tweets in recent days, slamming Newsom.

“Newsom’s policies for California are like fly tape someone put over a pile of poop. Rather than remove the poop, Newsom cheers that he caught a few flies,” he wrote in one post.

Cox has touted himself a political outsider who will bring a business-like administration to Sacramento. Newsom “and his political insiders in Sacramento have driven California into the ground,” Cox said. “Vote yes to (recall Newsom) and elect a businessman with a proven track record of getting things done.”

If any of the challengers gets the nod, however, they must first get past the first of only two questions on the recall ballot: whether voters want to recall Newsom in the first place. As the final hours loomed, the latest polls indicated that voters’ preference is to allow Newsom’s to stay.

Regardless of the outcome, Elder has vowed not to relinquish the state’s political spotlight. He says Democrats know quite well that he’s built considerable clout in the past few weeks.

“I’m going to get Black and Brown voters to connect the dots and they’re going to now question their loyalty to the Democratic party in ways they never did before,” he said. “That’s why they are afraid.”

City News Service contributed to this story.

Challenger Larry Elder barnstorms through Southern California in final recall push

  • Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder talks about his agenda at Philippe’s in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder meets with media outside of his recall bus in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder campaigns at Philippe French Dipped Sandwiches in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder campaigns at Philippe French Dipped Sandwiches in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder at Philippe’s in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder thanks supporters at Philippe’s in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder talks about his agenda at Philippe’s in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder meets with lunch patrons at Philippe’s in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder poses with patrons at Philippe’s in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder poses with patrons at will Philippe’s in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder waves to lunch patrons at Philippe’s in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder talks with supporters Connie Bissell and Patsey Jones at Philippe’s in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder is swarmed by media at Philippe’s in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder gets a hug from supporter Jean Woodward at Philippe’s in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder waves to lunch patrons at Philippe’s in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

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On the eve of California’s recall election, it came down to a French dip sandwich and pastrami for Larry Elder on Monday, Sept. 13.

Elder, the conservative talk radio host turned frontrunning GOP challenger to Gov. Gavin Newsom, made an appearance at the icon Philippe the Original eatery in Downtown Los Angeles.

The lunchtime crowd got more than it bargained for: A candidate barnstorming through the L.A. area fully mindful that the Democratic establishment would take aim at him later in the day when President Joe Biden was scheduled to swoop in to Long Beach to buoy Newsom in the final hours before Election Day.

“Of course I’ve given him a target,” said Elder, pausing from a walk through the downtown landmark, hugging and chatting with buzzing supporters — some who knew he was coming, some who didn’t.

“My name is Larry Elder, I’m the frontrunner,” he told the crowd. “I think I’ve energized the state. I think I’ve energized the party. That’s why they’re bringing in this heavy lumber… Because they’re scared. They’re afraid.”

Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder gets a hug from supporter Jean Woodward at Philippe’s in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

On the diner’s sawdust-covered floors, Elder’s visit became a kind of mini-news conference, where he offered a laundry list of grievances against Newsom, ranging from the economic impact of pandemic shutdowns, crime rates, the homeless and affordable housing crises, how the state has managed the drought and the state of California’s schools.

“I can’t think of any front in the last two years where Californians’ lives have been better,” said the conservative radio host.

It was a campaign message that he would echo at three other L.A. areas stops on Monday…

–From Monterey Park, where he’d attend a medal presentation to a Chinese-American World War II veteran…

–To a gathering at San Pedro’s Deane Dana Friendship Park and Nature Center in the L.A. Harbor Area…

–To a final rally scheduled in Costa Mesa in the evening.

Just about the same time the self-styled “Sage from South Central” was expected to be working that Orange County crowd, Biden was scheduled to touch down a couple dozen miles away in Long Beach.

The 69-year-old syndicated commenter, author and attorney entered the recall race late in the game, but swiftly secured the front-runners’ slot, should voters oust Newsom.

On Monday, he was greeted by chants of  “Larry! Larry!” in Downtown L.A. Despite the supermajorities he’d face in Sacramento should be snag victory on Tuesday, his supporters were eager to grant him the governor’s chair.

“It’s time for a change,” said Robert Monaghan, of L.A., a fan of the talk show host Elder, who he says is ready to govern. “I think he’d be a great person  to turn the state around.”

“I don’t want to move but I feel like my future under the current administration I’d have to start thinking about it,” said Alan Parks, of Altadena, accompanied by his wife Dottie. The couple happened to be sitting in a room at the restaurant enjoying a couple of sandwiches when Elder strode in with an entourage of supporters and media.

While he’d be up against a Legislature unlikely to greenlight his legislative priorities, Elder said he would immediately use his executive authority. His first act would be to repeal state mandates on vaccinations, testing and masks at businesses, he said. He would also declare states of emergency on housing and water.

Not all of the folks snagging a Philippe’s lunch, however, were Elder faithful.

“I refuse to put a B-list radio show host in charge of the world’s fifth-largest economy,” said Whittier resident Manny Rodriguez, enjoying a couple of sandwiches and soda popwith his wife, Virginia.

Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder waves to lunch patrons at Philippe’s in Los Angeles Monday, September 13, 2021. Elder has established himself as the frontrunner should voters recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s election. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Rodriguez lamented what he said was Elder’s alignment with the style and substance of the conservatism framed by former President Donald Trump’s era. He said the GOP would be better off to wait and run a “viable candidate” in the formal gubernatorial election next year.

The couple acknowledged that not everything Newsom has done in the midst of the pandemic has been perfect. State protocols could have been more consistent, they said.

But it’s a pandemic, they said. Policies aren’t going to please everyone. It’s “A catch-22,” said Virginia Rodriguez.

Elder’s opinions have been widely broadcast for years and some past words have become campaign issues.

The media and his fellow candidates have scrutinized his past statements that he doesn’t believe there’s a gender-based wage gap or a glass ceiling for women, that welfare “incentivizes women to marry the government” and that Trump motivated obese women to “get off the couch” when they marched against him in 2018.

Elder has cast aside such criticism, saying he’s anything but extreme. At the core of his policy prescriptions, he said, have been basic economics and contemporary logic. He said his common-sense approach has been glossed over by “left-wing media” and other cynical cultural observers.

Also, his former fiancee has claimed that he emotionally mistreated her and once brandished a gun in front of her — allegations that Elder has vehemently denied.

None of the criticism, however, appears to have diluted his core supporters’ enthusiasm.

Elder is not alone, however, on the ballot stocked with folks who aim to snag Newsom’s seat — though he consistently leads polls by double digits among the 46 challengers.

Many were also counting down the final hours of their challenge, chiming in on the campaign trail and the twittersphere.

Democrat Kevin Paffrath is leading Democratics in the polls, though trailing Elder. Republicans Kevin Faulconer and John Cox are the closest Republicans behind Elder, according to pollsters.

Also hosting rallies in the last days of the campaign were GOP hopefuls Assemblyman Kevin Kiley and former Olympian and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner, among others.

Like Elder, former San Diego Mayor Faulconer dismissed Biden’s planned visit.

“Washington, D.C., is not going to save Gavin Newsom,” Faulconer said. “He wants to make it about anything else but him. This recall is a referendum on Gavin Newsom’s failure. That’s why so many Californians not only signed the recall petition, but that’s why Californians in all parts of the state, all party registrations, are ready for a change at the top.”

Paffrath was firing off tweets in recent days, slamming Newsom.

“Newsom’s policies for California are like fly tape someone put over a pile of poop. Rather than remove the poop, Newsom cheers that he caught a few flies,” he wrote in one post.

Cox has touted himself a political outsider who will bring a business-like administration to Sacramento. Newsom “and his political insiders in Sacramento have driven California into the ground,” Cox said. “Vote yes to (recall Newsom) and elect a businessman with a proven track record of getting things done.”

If any of the challengers gets the nod, however, they must first get past the first of only two questions on the recall ballot: whether voters want to recall Newsom in the first place. As the final hours loomed, the latest polls indicated that voters’ preference is to allow Newsom’s to stay.

Regardless of the outcome, Elder has vowed not to relinquish the state’s political spotlight. He says Democrats know quite well that he’s built considerable clout in the past few weeks.

“I’m going to get Black and Brown voters to connect the dots and they’re going to now question their loyalty to the Democratic party in ways they never did before,” he said. “That’s why they are afraid.”

City News Service contributed to this story.

‘They finally came home’: LA Rams play in front of a SoFi crowd for the first time

  • Rams fan Jay Sotelo, from La Mirada, puts fresh carne asada on the grill as he tailgates in the SoFi Stadium parking lot in Inglewood on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 prior to the Rams first regular season home game with fans in the new $5 billion stadium. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Rams fans take a selfie with “Ramses” as they tailgate in the SoFi Stadium parking lot in Inglewood on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 prior to the Rams first regular season home game with fans in the new $5 billion stadium. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Josh Cano (left), from El Monte, grills up peppers and onions as his father Ron (right) as they tailgate in the SoFi Stadium parking lot in Inglewood on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 prior to the Rams first regular season home game with fans in the new $5 billion stadium. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Rams fan Steven Alcala (right), from Alta Loma, pulls chicken off the grill as he tailgates in the SoFi Stadium parking lot in Inglewood on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 prior to the Rams first regular season home game with fans in the new $5 billion stadium. Alcala, a construction worker, helped install expansion joints in the stadium while it was under construction. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Fans tailgate in the SoFi Stadium parking lot in Inglewood on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 prior to the Rams first regular season home game with fans in the new $5 billion stadium. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Rams fan Eric Pendleton, 12 from Newbury Park, plays catch in the parking lot as he wears the jersey of new starting quarterback Matthew Stafford in the SoFi Stadium parking lot in Inglewood on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 prior to the Rams first regular season home game with fans in the new $5 billion stadium. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Chicago Bears fan Jesus Cervantes (right), from Long Beach, along with other Bears fans guzzle down shots of tequila as they tailgate in the SoFi Stadium parking lot in Inglewood on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 prior to the Rams first regular season home game with fans in the new $5 billion stadium. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Rams fans tailgate in the SoFi Stadium parking lot in Inglewood on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 prior to the Rams first regular season home game with fans in the new $5 billion stadium. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Fans tailgate in the SoFi Stadium parking lot in Inglewood on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 prior to the Rams first regular season home game with fans in the new $5 billion stadium. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Rams fan Quinn Dawson, from Anaheim, shows off his tattoo as he tailgates in the SoFi Stadium parking lot in Inglewood on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 prior to the Rams first regular season home game with fans in the new $5 billion stadium. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Rahim Abdallah, from Los Angeles, chugs a beer with Chicago Bears fans as they tailgate in the SoFi Stadium parking lot in Inglewood on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 prior to the Rams first regular season home game with fans in the new $5 billion stadium. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • A fan plays catch with a football as others tailgate in the SoFi Stadium parking lot in Inglewood on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 prior to the Rams first regular season home game with fans in the new $5 billion stadium. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Fans tailgate in the SoFi Stadium parking lot in Inglewood on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 prior to the Rams first regular season home game with fans in the new $5 billion stadium. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Long time Rams fans Abel Magana (left), from Downey, and Sammy Reyes (right), from Los Angeles, tailgate in the SoFi Stadium parking lot in Inglewood on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 prior to the Rams first regular season home game with fans in the new $5 billion stadium. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Chicago Bears fan Jesus Cervantes, from Long Beach, lets his allegiance be known as he tailgates in the SoFi Stadium parking lot in Inglewood on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 prior to the Rams first regular season home game with fans in the new $5 billion stadium. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • A band plays for Rams fans as they tailgate in the SoFi Stadium parking lot in Inglewood on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 prior to the Rams first regular season home game with fans in the new $5 billion stadium. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

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Sammy Reyes stood under a popup canopy in the parking lot of Inglewood’s SoFi Stadium Sunday afternoon, Sept. 12, and took stock of the party that surrounded him.

Reyes is from East L.A. But despite the miles he traveled to get there, Reyes, a lifelong Rams fan, didn’t feel like a visitor.

“It’s home,” he said.

Reyes joined thousands of other football fans in converging on SoFi on this late summer day to celebrate the first Los Angeles Rams game of the 2021-22 NFL season.

But it was more than that.

It was, in a way, a homecoming. And a long-awaited one at that.

The regular season kick-off between the Rams and the visiting Chicago Bears marked the second campaign the Los Angeles football team has played in in SoFi, a 70,000-seat, technologically marvelous stadium years in the making. Last season, however, was played without fans because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But those fans, many of whom stuck with the franchise through relocation after relocation — LA to Anaheim to St. Louis and back to LA — finally got a chance to be with their team. And root for them in person.

And they partied. Or rather, tailgated. Hip hop and mariachi music created a cacophony. The aroma of barbecue filled the parking lot. Smartphones put in overtime taking photos of the moment.

“They finally came home,” said Joe E. Hernandez, of Whittier.  “It’s like when you find someone you love, and then they leave but then come back. You know it was meant to be.”

Sunday’s game was a long time coming.

It had a direct lineage back to at least to 2013, when St. Louis Rams owner and Chairman Stan Kroenke met with Inglewood Mayor James Butts. The meeting was supposed to last 15 minutes. Instead, they huddled for two-and-a-half hours, plotting “an action plan” to make a stadium happen.

The Rams returned to Los Angeles in 2016, taking up temporary residence in their old stomping grounds, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

And plans moved forward for a $5 billion project that officials say is transforming a city that just nine years ago was on the verge of bankruptcy. SoFi, on the former Hollywood Park racetrack property not far from LAX, is part of a larger 298-acre sports and entertainment destination being developed.

The stadium normally sits about 70,000 — the Rams sold 70,455 tickets for Sunday — but can expand to 100,000. A 70,000-square-foot video board — a dual-sided techno-marvel — seems to float over the field.

The Rolling Stones play here in October.

But the stadium, as the fans would say, is the Rams’ house.

As the 5:20 p.m. start time neared, fans slowly left the parking lot and went inside their new cathedral. And even those wearing the wrong colors were impressed.

“It’s awesome,” said John Dyer, from Chicago. He attended the game with his son and his brother, Kevin Dyer. Kevin Dyer’s reaction was similar:

“Amazing.”

The cheer and reverence inside and outside SoFi was a stark difference from the surreal 2020 season.

Last year was supposed to be the Rams homecoming. And they did play in SoFi.

But county health orders designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus kept fans away. The seats were empty, except for fan cutouts on both ends of the field. The team’s first home game also opened amid historic social unrest in the nation, and in L.A., where the outcry against racism was seen on the field, with several players taking a knee during the national anthem.

The coronavirus is still around, causing some health orders — such as masking — to return.

But that didn’t seem to dampen spirits.

In the parking lot, fans played catch. They drank and played games. They played drinking games. They chanted.

“Whether we’re masked or not,” said Palm Springs resident John White, “we’re going to show up.”

There was some grumbling, however.

Long lines of vehicles filled the narrow thoroughfares into the stadium’s lots, with fans complaining about hour-plus-long waits on surrounding streets just get into SoFi once they arrived off local freeways. Those gameday complaints about echoed preseason rumblings over traffic, spotty WiFi and the need for more concession offerings — something the Rams said they would work to improve.

Still, the frustration was countered with the angst of youngsters and old-timers wanting to see stars like quarterback Matthew Stafford and cornerback Darious Williams perform.

Finally, inside the packed stadium, the game got underway — and thousands cheered for the Rams.

The Rams scored early when quarterback Matthew Stafford hit Van Jefferson for a 67-yard touchdown — the Rams’ longest pass completion since 2018.

Sandra Marie Ramirez said her dad,  Manuel Ignacio Valle, would have pleased.

Ramirez’s father, an El Monte resident and lifelong rams fan, died last year.

So his daughter came from Las Vegas to be at Sunday’s game for him.

“My heart is for my dad,” she said.

As the fourth quarter wound down, the Rams had a comfortable lead.

The Rams have seven more games at SoFi this season, not counting the playoffs.

That’s seven more chances for their fans to come home.

At last.

Sign up for The Localist, our daily email newsletter with handpicked stories relevant to where you live. Subscribe here.

‘They finally came home’: LA Rams play in front of a SoFi crowd for the first time

  • Rams fan Jay Sotelo, from La Mirada, puts fresh carne asada on the grill as he tailgates in the SoFi Stadium parking lot in Inglewood on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 prior to the Rams first regular season home game with fans in the new $5 billion stadium. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Rams fans take a selfie with “Ramses” as they tailgate in the SoFi Stadium parking lot in Inglewood on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 prior to the Rams first regular season home game with fans in the new $5 billion stadium. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Josh Cano (left), from El Monte, grills up peppers and onions as his father Ron (right) as they tailgate in the SoFi Stadium parking lot in Inglewood on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 prior to the Rams first regular season home game with fans in the new $5 billion stadium. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Rams fan Steven Alcala (right), from Alta Loma, pulls chicken off the grill as he tailgates in the SoFi Stadium parking lot in Inglewood on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 prior to the Rams first regular season home game with fans in the new $5 billion stadium. Alcala, a construction worker, helped install expansion joints in the stadium while it was under construction. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Fans tailgate in the SoFi Stadium parking lot in Inglewood on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 prior to the Rams first regular season home game with fans in the new $5 billion stadium. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Rams fan Eric Pendleton, 12 from Newbury Park, plays catch in the parking lot as he wears the jersey of new starting quarterback Matthew Stafford in the SoFi Stadium parking lot in Inglewood on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 prior to the Rams first regular season home game with fans in the new $5 billion stadium. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Chicago Bears fan Jesus Cervantes (right), from Long Beach, along with other Bears fans guzzle down shots of tequila as they tailgate in the SoFi Stadium parking lot in Inglewood on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 prior to the Rams first regular season home game with fans in the new $5 billion stadium. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Rams fans tailgate in the SoFi Stadium parking lot in Inglewood on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 prior to the Rams first regular season home game with fans in the new $5 billion stadium. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Fans tailgate in the SoFi Stadium parking lot in Inglewood on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 prior to the Rams first regular season home game with fans in the new $5 billion stadium. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Rams fan Quinn Dawson, from Anaheim, shows off his tattoo as he tailgates in the SoFi Stadium parking lot in Inglewood on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 prior to the Rams first regular season home game with fans in the new $5 billion stadium. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Rahim Abdallah, from Los Angeles, chugs a beer with Chicago Bears fans as they tailgate in the SoFi Stadium parking lot in Inglewood on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 prior to the Rams first regular season home game with fans in the new $5 billion stadium. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • A fan plays catch with a football as others tailgate in the SoFi Stadium parking lot in Inglewood on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 prior to the Rams first regular season home game with fans in the new $5 billion stadium. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Fans tailgate in the SoFi Stadium parking lot in Inglewood on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 prior to the Rams first regular season home game with fans in the new $5 billion stadium. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Long time Rams fans Abel Magana (left), from Downey, and Sammy Reyes (right), from Los Angeles, tailgate in the SoFi Stadium parking lot in Inglewood on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 prior to the Rams first regular season home game with fans in the new $5 billion stadium. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Chicago Bears fan Jesus Cervantes, from Long Beach, lets his allegiance be known as he tailgates in the SoFi Stadium parking lot in Inglewood on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 prior to the Rams first regular season home game with fans in the new $5 billion stadium. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • A band plays for Rams fans as they tailgate in the SoFi Stadium parking lot in Inglewood on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 prior to the Rams first regular season home game with fans in the new $5 billion stadium. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

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Sammy Reyes stood under a popup canopy in the parking lot of Inglewood’s SoFi Stadium Sunday afternoon, Sept. 12, and took stock of the party that surrounded him.

Reyes is from East L.A. But despite the miles he traveled to get there, Reyes, a lifelong Rams fan, didn’t feel like a visitor.

“It’s home,” he said.

Reyes joined thousands of other football fans in converging on SoFi on this late summer day to celebrate the first Los Angeles Rams game of the 2021-22 NFL season.

But it was more than that.

It was, in a way, a homecoming. And a long-awaited one at that.

The regular season kick-off between the Rams and the visiting Chicago Bears marked the second campaign the Los Angeles football team has played in in SoFi, a 70,000-seat, technologically marvelous stadium years in the making. Last season, however, was played without fans because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But those fans, many of whom stuck with the franchise through relocation after relocation — LA to Anaheim to St. Louis and back to LA — finally got a chance to be with their team. And root for them in person.

And they partied. Or rather, tailgated. Hip hop and mariachi music created a cacophony. The aroma of barbecue filled the parking lot. Smartphones put in overtime taking photos of the moment.

“They finally came home,” said Joe E. Hernandez, of Whittier.  “It’s like when you find someone you love, and then they leave but then come back. You know it was meant to be.”

Sunday’s game was a long time coming.

It had a direct lineage back to at least to 2013, when St. Louis Rams owner and Chairman Stan Kroenke met with Inglewood Mayor James Butts. The meeting was supposed to last 15 minutes. Instead, they huddled for two-and-a-half hours, plotting “an action plan” to make a stadium happen.

The Rams returned to Los Angeles in 2016, taking up temporary residence in their old stomping grounds, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

And plans moved forward for a $5 billion project that officials say is transforming a city that just nine years ago was on the verge of bankruptcy. SoFi, on the former Hollywood Park racetrack property not far from LAX, is part of a larger 298-acre sports and entertainment destination being developed.

The stadium normally sits about 70,000 — the Rams sold 70,455 tickets for Sunday — but can expand to 100,000. A 70,000-square-foot video board — a dual-sided techno-marvel — seems to float over the field.

The Rolling Stones play here in October.

But the stadium, as the fans would say, is the Rams’ house.

As the 5:20 p.m. start time neared, fans slowly left the parking lot and went inside their new cathedral. And even those wearing the wrong colors were impressed.

“It’s awesome,” said John Dyer, from Chicago. He attended the game with his son and his brother, Kevin Dyer. Kevin Dyer’s reaction was similar:

“Amazing.”

The cheer and reverence inside and outside SoFi was a stark difference from the surreal 2020 season.

Last year was supposed to be the Rams homecoming. And they did play in SoFi.

But county health orders designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus kept fans away. The seats were empty, except for fan cutouts on both ends of the field. The team’s first home game also opened amid historic social unrest in the nation, and in L.A., where the outcry against racism was seen on the field, with several players taking a knee during the national anthem.

The coronavirus is still around, causing some health orders — such as masking — to return.

But that didn’t seem to dampen spirits.

In the parking lot, fans played catch. They drank and played games. They played drinking games. They chanted.

“Whether we’re masked or not,” said Palm Springs resident John White, “we’re going to show up.”

There was some grumbling, however.

Long lines of vehicles filled the narrow thoroughfares into the stadium’s lots, with fans complaining about hour-plus-long waits on surrounding streets just get into SoFi once they arrived off local freeways. Those gameday complaints about echoed preseason rumblings over traffic, spotty WiFi and the need for more concession offerings — something the Rams said they would work to improve.

Still, the frustration was countered with the angst of youngsters and old-timers wanting to see stars like quarterback Matthew Stafford and cornerback Darious Williams perform.

Finally, inside the packed stadium, the game got underway — and thousands cheered for the Rams.

The Rams scored early when quarterback Matthew Stafford hit Van Jefferson for a 67-yard touchdown — the Rams’ longest pass completion since 2018.

Sandra Marie Ramirez said her dad,  Manuel Ignacio Valle, would have pleased.

Ramirez’s father, an El Monte resident and lifelong rams fan, died last year.

So his daughter came from Las Vegas to be at Sunday’s game for him.

“My heart is for my dad,” she said.

As the fourth quarter wound down, the Rams had a comfortable lead.

The Rams have seven more games at SoFi this season, not counting the playoffs.

That’s seven more chances for their fans to come home.

At last.

Sign up for The Localist, our daily email newsletter with handpicked stories relevant to where you live. Subscribe here.

On 9/11, Alex Padilla awoke as LA’s acting mayor. Here’s what he remembers

Just 28 with a promising political career ahead of him but still much to learn, City Councilman Alex Padilla hadn’t given much thought to serving as acting mayor of Los Angeles.

Little did he know when he woke up in his northeast L.A home, a series of unspeakable attacks would strand Mayor James K. Hahn in Washington D.C. and leave newly minted politician Padilla in charge. The Pacoima native was at the helm of the nation’s second-largest city.

The date: Sept. 11, 2001.

As the moments of that fateful morning unfolded, so did a mammoth leadership challenge: Trying to maintain calm and clarity in his city in the wake of the sorrow, the questions and the anger spurred by the deadliest-ever day on U.S. soil.

“It took all of about a half a second to realize,” said Padilla, “that Jim Hahn, mayor, was out of town, out of state, and that … wait a second … he’s actually in Washington.”

Like most Americans, Padilla watched the horror unravel on live TV — the towers, the Pentagon, Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles city charter was kicking in — making the City Council president the acting mayor.

Flash forward 20 years and Padilla is now California’s junior U.S. senator. But on Friday, Sept, 10, the day before the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, the memory of the moment when he realized this was no ordinary emergency is just as crisp as ever.

Padilla recalls an ominous scroll across the bottom of a TV screen: “Four planes unaccounted for headed for Los Angeles.”

“Is that real? Is it not real? You can’t assume it’s not. That sort of unleashed the adrenaline,” he said.

“The chatter among the news folks was if our nation’s under attack and we don’t know by whom, it’s only natural, Washington D.C., New York, who’s the next target, right? New York is the financial capital of the country, Washington is the government capital of the country, but Los Angeles is the second-largest city in the nation,” said Padilla.

This was a morning like no other for Padilla.

Phones! Get Police Chief Bernard Parks on the line. Start making calls. Lots of them. Shower.  Get to City Hall. “Ditch” the car in front of the Cathedral. Sprint to the office.

After consulting by phone with Hahn, Padilla formally activated the city’s Emergency Operations Board, connecting regional first-responders and major city department chiefs.

The city’s residents would soon get an around-the-clock view of their acting mayor. Padilla urged residents to give blood. He showed them how to get traffic information at the city’s website. He’d helm constant press conferences, in English and Spanish.

In his mind’s eye, he can still see Fire Chief Bill Bamattre and an urban search and rescue crew — among the most elite in the nation — requesting to get to New York. And fast.

“I looked into the eyes of the firefighters — women and men — and clearly saw not just a willingness to go, but a desire to go,” Padilla said.

Padilla had to act fast — as mayor, do you keep them in L.A. or do you send them to the center of the attack? After learning there was “no credible threat” in L.A., he approved the trip.

Their flight was the last flight to go before the FAA grounded all air travel, Padilla said he later learned. Within 24 hours, they were on the ground at Ground Zero.

“There were a lot of theories as to who was behind it before we really knew,” he said. “Any Arab-looking individual was all of a sudden viewed with suspicion to many people. But Los Angeles is not that way… Let’s not jump to conclusions. Let’s not stereotype. Let’s not scapegoat.”

It wouldn’t be long before he found himself at the Islamic Center in the mid-Wilshire district with fellow councilman Dennis Zine, imploring Angelenos not to embrace hatreful stereotypes in the wake of the attacks.

His three-day L.A. mayorship was non-stop activity and instant decisions, he said. He recalls the constant influx of information, the faces of his Angelo peers, the vigil at City Hall.

Nonetheless, Padilla squeezed in a trip to Tommy’s,  the city’s iconic hamburger spot. The goal: Project a sense that things were OK in L.A.

Padilla paused to remember when, days later, when the L.A. firefighters who went to Ground Zero came home.

“That was an emotional moment,” he said.

Political newcomer Padilla had a rocky start as council president. According to reports from the time, he’d irked advocates of San Fernando Valley secession by removing valley cityhood supporter Hal Berson from a study panel. And some council members were not thrilled about some of his committee appointments.

Suddenly, though, buzz emerged that the three days may have boosted Padilla’s political trajectory.

Padilla shrugged off such talk.  Padilla said was just honoring the L.A. charter. Just trying to help his fellow Angelenos during three tough days.

“I was in that position at that time, when this happened,” he said. “You’re either stepping up to the job or I’m not.”

Ultimately, he said he learned the value of planning and communication.

He learned that the time to question such efforts is not in the midst of an unprecedented crisis.

“The middle of the emergency,” he said, “is not the time to question the plan.”

It also affirmed something a Little League coach taught him as a kid.

Trust in teamwork.

“You don’t have to strike everybody out,” he said. “You’ve got a catcher in front of you and seven teammates behind you. Everybody plays a role.”

Flight 93 heroes’ lives echo anew in tower of chimes designed by L.A. architect

  • Los Angeles-based Paul Murdoch was the architect for the Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania. Photo: Eric Staudenmaier Photography and Paul Murdoch Architects

  • Paul Murdoch, the architect for the Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania, is photographed next to the 9/11 Memorial in Beverly Hills on Friday, September 3, 2021. (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

  • Los Angeles-based Paul Murdoch was the architect for the Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania. Photo: Eric Staudenmaier Photography and Paul Murdoch Architects

  • Los Angeles-based Paul Murdoch was the architect for the Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania. Photo: Eric Staudenmaier Photography and Paul Murdoch Architects

  • Los Angeles-based Paul Murdoch was the architect for the Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania. Photo: Eric Staudenmaier Photography and Paul Murdoch Architects

  • Los Angeles-based Paul Murdoch was the architect for the Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania. Photo: Eric Staudenmaier Photography and Paul Murdoch Architects

  • Los Angeles-based Paul Murdoch was the architect for the Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania. Photo: Eric Staudenmaier Photography and Paul Murdoch Architects

  • Paul Murdoch, the architect for the Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania, is photographed next to the 9/11 Memorial in Beverly Hills on Friday, September 3, 2021. (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

  • Since 2004, L.A.-based Architect Paul Murdoch designed and worked closely with the National Park Service and the families of Flight 93 to build out the 2,200-acre National Memorial at the Flight 93 crash site. (Photo by Eric Staudenmaier, Courtesy Paul Murdoch))

  • Since 2004, L.A.-based Architect Paul Murdoch designed and worked closely with the National Park Service and the families of Flight 93 to build out the 2,200-acre National Memorial at the Flight 93 crash site. (Photo by Eric Staudenmaier, Courtesy Paul Murdoch))

  • Since 2004, L.A.-based Architect Paul Murdoch designed and worked closely with the National Park Service and the families of Flight 93 to build out the 2,200-acre National Memorial at the Flight 93 crash site. (Photo by Eric Staudenmaier, Courtesy Paul Murdoch))

  • Since 2004, L.A.-based Architect Paul Murdoch designed and worked closely with the National Park Service and the families of Flight 93 to build out the 2,200-acre National Memorial at the Flight 93 crash site. (Photo by Eric Staudenmaier, Courtesy Paul Murdoch))

  • Since 2004, L.A.-based Architect Paul Murdoch designed and worked closely with the National Park Service and the families of Flight 93 to build out the 2,200-acre National Memorial at the Flight 93 crash site. (Photo by Eric Staudenmaier, Courtesy Paul Murdoch))

  • Since 2004, L.A.-based Architect Paul Murdoch designed and worked closely with the National Park Service and the families of Flight 93 to build out the 2,200-acre National Memorial at the Flight 93 crash site. (Photo by Eric Staudenmaier, Courtesy Paul Murdoch))

  • Since 2004, L.A.-based Architect Paul Murdoch designed and worked closely with the National Park Service and the families of Flight 93 to build out the 2,200-acre National Memorial at the Flight 93 crash site. (Photo by Eric Staudenmaier, Courtesy Paul Murdoch))

  • Since 2004, L.A.-based Architect Paul Murdoch designed and worked closely with the National Park Service and the families of Flight 93 to build out the 2,200-acre National Memorial at the Flight 93 crash site. (Photo by Eric Staudenmaier, Courtesy Paul Murdoch))

  • Since 2004, L.A.-based Architect Paul Murdoch designed and worked closely with the National Park Service and the families of Flight 93 to build out the 2,200-acre National Memorial at the Flight 93 crash site. (Photo by Eric Staudenmaier, Courtesy Paul Murdoch))

  • Since 2004, L.A.-based Architect Paul Murdoch designed and worked closely with the National Park Service and the families of Flight 93 to build out the 2,200-acre National Memorial at the Flight 93 crash site. (Photo by Eric Staudenmaier, Courtesy Paul Murdoch))

  • Since 2004, L.A.-based Architect Paul Murdoch designed and worked closely with the National Park Service and the families of Flight 93 to build out the 2,200-acre National Memorial at the Flight 93 crash site. (Photo by Eric Staudenmaier, Courtesy Paul Murdoch))

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Their voices echo — in Paul Murdoch’s chimes.

Murdoch has been back to the Flight 93 crash site memorial in rural Pennsylvania many times over the years.

It’s a pilgrimage that never fails to prompt contemplation for the Los Angeles architect, stirring a hope he holds for anyone who visits the once-obscure site, now etched into American history forever.

The place now hosts the culmination of his design: A 2,200-acre national park — the Flight 93 National Memorial — that honors the 40 passengers and crew members who died that day when the plane went down at the edge of a distant field.

This year, the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Murdoch’s visit won’t be all about what he sees.

It will be about what he hears.

If the wind is just right amid the stillness, he’ll hear the 40 chimes that reside in the memorial’s Tower of Voices, a 93-foot-tall cylinder rising near the park’s entrance.

As they echo through the northeast air, their sounds will at once represent the dissonance of Flight 93’s individual passengers that day — 40 individuals who started the day just wanting to get San Francisco.

But on another octave, harmony will ring out, too — the harmony of everyday human beings who united in their final moments to divert an airplane from its hijackers’ intended target — thought to be the U.S. Capitol or the White House.

Aboard the hijacked plane, the 40 discovered that jets had been flown into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon. The passengers and crew struggled to wrest control of the aircraft from the terrorists. The aircraft crashed into a field, leaving no survivors — a sacrifice President George W. Bush called one of the most courageous acts in U.S. history.

Their efforts were believed to have stopped a catastrophic crash that could have killed scores more, including elected American leaders.

It’ll be the first time Murdoch will have heard the tones at the site — where the tower joins open walkways, restored meadows, groves and wetlands. They form a kind of harmonious whole.

The tower was dedicated in 2018 — the final phase of a project Murdoch designed and ushered through, with stakeholders including the National Park Service and the families of the victims.

“That would be special,” said a soft-spoken Murdoch, who says he is still compelled by the actions of the passengers that day in the skies above his native Pennsylvania.

The journey to the tower this week will have been full of defining moments for Murdoch, as well as his wife and architectural partner Milena, and the team of civil engineers, graphic designers, landscape artists who ultimately would help develop the monument.

Who could have imagined  building this tower — essentially a giant musical instrument — amid the empty fields of a crash site that was once a reclaimed strip mine and industrial scrap yard?

Answer: Murdoch, an architect who taps his instincts for fusing natural topography and open landscapes with structural design, biology. He brings together the natural, the symbolic and the poetic.

In 2004, Murdoch’s firm won a contest to design the memorial. It started with 1,100 entries and ended with his — and an overriding mission that has stuck with the architect ever since:

“A common field one day. A field of honor forever.”

That phrase became a kind of “preamble” for Murdoch and his team.

It became about “about healing the land, while also being a healing place for visitors to come,” he said.

Murdoch, like so many Americans, recalls just how “helpless” he felt when the attacks happened.

“One of the things that we picked up on right away was the scale of the site, which was quite large,” he said.

Given that scale, he set out to create a memorial “using the power of the land and the qualities of the landscape to embody the heroism of those 40 passengers and crew members,” he said.

The first phase, dedicated in 2011, included the site’s entry road, the re-grading the site’s “field of honor,” and the memorial features that surround the site.

A second phase was dedicated in 2015, a visitors center that includes memorial walls, an entrance that parallels the plane’s flight path, a “comfort station” and learning center with groves and a bridge over wetlands that have been restored.

His team let the land speak for itself, Murdoch said.

That took a thoughtful re-shaping of the landscape, as well as a restoration of its wetlands.  What was once an open-pit coal mine is now the site’s Field of Honor.

The plane crashed at the edge of an open field in front of a grove of hemlock trees, which were consumed by fire, Murdoch said. The trees inspired design cues throughout the memorial, and the Hemlock Grove itself — the one that “absorbed” the blaze — serves as the backdrop to the site, he added.

But it’s the tower, at the site’s entry, just off Route 30, that transforms the visual  memorial into something not just seen, but heard, said Murdoch.

The architect brought together a cadre of consultants — among them a musician, a chimes artists, an acoustical engineer, and consultants on wind and sails — to design the complex’s 40 chimes. Their song areas are structured but also somewhat random — they remain subject to the wills of the wind.

The team had to select just the right number of notes within a specific octave range to tune the chimes to the variability of the wind. To get the sound shape from the chimes just right required lessons in fluid dynamics, wind tunneling and acoustics.

It was all about harmony. And dissonance. But also continuity, and perhaps a reminder that in the reflection, said Murdoch, who ultimately hopes the monument ties generations to what happened that day.

A nightmare was born that day. But amid the sweeping tragedy, a polarized society came together on many levels.

“That’s part of the power of recalling on the anniversary. How we came together. It’s an important moment for us,” Murdoch said. “These are 40 people who just got on a plane one day going about their lives, from all walks of life. They were somehow able to evaluate what was happening that morning and collectively came together to take a stand and took this collective action, knowing pretty much their own peril, to prevent what would have been an unspeakable tragedy in the Capitol.”

It’s a moment Americans should always remember. Murdoch forged a site where they embrace the moments with sight and sound.

“It’s something that needs to continue to inform us,” he said, “how people can come together and do something extraordinary.”

Flight 93 heroes’ lives echo anew in tower of chimes designed by L.A. architect

  • Los Angeles-based Paul Murdoch was the architect for the Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania. Photo: Eric Staudenmaier Photography and Paul Murdoch Architects

  • Paul Murdoch, the architect for the Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania, is photographed next to the 9/11 Memorial in Beverly Hills on Friday, September 3, 2021. (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

  • Los Angeles-based Paul Murdoch was the architect for the Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania. Photo: Eric Staudenmaier Photography and Paul Murdoch Architects

  • Los Angeles-based Paul Murdoch was the architect for the Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania. Photo: Eric Staudenmaier Photography and Paul Murdoch Architects

  • Los Angeles-based Paul Murdoch was the architect for the Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania. Photo: Eric Staudenmaier Photography and Paul Murdoch Architects

  • Los Angeles-based Paul Murdoch was the architect for the Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania. Photo: Eric Staudenmaier Photography and Paul Murdoch Architects

  • Los Angeles-based Paul Murdoch was the architect for the Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania. Photo: Eric Staudenmaier Photography and Paul Murdoch Architects

  • Paul Murdoch, the architect for the Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania, is photographed next to the 9/11 Memorial in Beverly Hills on Friday, September 3, 2021. (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

  • Since 2004, L.A.-based Architect Paul Murdoch designed and worked closely with the National Park Service and the families of Flight 93 to build out the 2,200-acre National Memorial at the Flight 93 crash site. (Photo by Eric Staudenmaier, Courtesy Paul Murdoch))

  • Since 2004, L.A.-based Architect Paul Murdoch designed and worked closely with the National Park Service and the families of Flight 93 to build out the 2,200-acre National Memorial at the Flight 93 crash site. (Photo by Eric Staudenmaier, Courtesy Paul Murdoch))

  • Since 2004, L.A.-based Architect Paul Murdoch designed and worked closely with the National Park Service and the families of Flight 93 to build out the 2,200-acre National Memorial at the Flight 93 crash site. (Photo by Eric Staudenmaier, Courtesy Paul Murdoch))

  • Since 2004, L.A.-based Architect Paul Murdoch designed and worked closely with the National Park Service and the families of Flight 93 to build out the 2,200-acre National Memorial at the Flight 93 crash site. (Photo by Eric Staudenmaier, Courtesy Paul Murdoch))

  • Since 2004, L.A.-based Architect Paul Murdoch designed and worked closely with the National Park Service and the families of Flight 93 to build out the 2,200-acre National Memorial at the Flight 93 crash site. (Photo by Eric Staudenmaier, Courtesy Paul Murdoch))

  • Since 2004, L.A.-based Architect Paul Murdoch designed and worked closely with the National Park Service and the families of Flight 93 to build out the 2,200-acre National Memorial at the Flight 93 crash site. (Photo by Eric Staudenmaier, Courtesy Paul Murdoch))

  • Since 2004, L.A.-based Architect Paul Murdoch designed and worked closely with the National Park Service and the families of Flight 93 to build out the 2,200-acre National Memorial at the Flight 93 crash site. (Photo by Eric Staudenmaier, Courtesy Paul Murdoch))

  • Since 2004, L.A.-based Architect Paul Murdoch designed and worked closely with the National Park Service and the families of Flight 93 to build out the 2,200-acre National Memorial at the Flight 93 crash site. (Photo by Eric Staudenmaier, Courtesy Paul Murdoch))

  • Since 2004, L.A.-based Architect Paul Murdoch designed and worked closely with the National Park Service and the families of Flight 93 to build out the 2,200-acre National Memorial at the Flight 93 crash site. (Photo by Eric Staudenmaier, Courtesy Paul Murdoch))

  • Since 2004, L.A.-based Architect Paul Murdoch designed and worked closely with the National Park Service and the families of Flight 93 to build out the 2,200-acre National Memorial at the Flight 93 crash site. (Photo by Eric Staudenmaier, Courtesy Paul Murdoch))

  • Since 2004, L.A.-based Architect Paul Murdoch designed and worked closely with the National Park Service and the families of Flight 93 to build out the 2,200-acre National Memorial at the Flight 93 crash site. (Photo by Eric Staudenmaier, Courtesy Paul Murdoch))

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Their voices echo — in Paul Murdoch’s chimes.

Murdoch has been back to the Flight 93 crash site memorial in rural Pennsylvania many times over the years.

It’s a pilgrimage that never fails to prompt contemplation for the Los Angeles architect, stirring a hope he holds for anyone who visits the once-obscure site, now etched into American history forever.

The place now hosts the culmination of his design: A 2,200-acre national park — the Flight 93 National Memorial — that honors the 40 passengers and crew members who died that day when the plane went down at the edge of a distant field.

This year, the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Murdoch’s visit won’t be all about what he sees.

It will be about what he hears.

If the wind is just right amid the stillness, he’ll hear the 40 chimes that reside in the memorial’s Tower of Voices, a 93-foot-tall cylinder rising near the park’s entrance.

As they echo through the northeast air, their sounds will at once represent the dissonance of Flight 93’s individual passengers that day — 40 individuals who started the day just wanting to get San Francisco.

But on another octave, harmony will ring out, too — the harmony of everyday human beings who united in their final moments to divert an airplane from its hijackers’ intended target — thought to be the U.S. Capitol or the White House.

Aboard the hijacked plane, the 40 discovered that jets had been flown into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon. The passengers and crew struggled to wrest control of the aircraft from the terrorists. The aircraft crashed into a field, leaving no survivors — a sacrifice President George W. Bush called one of the most courageous acts in U.S. history.

Their efforts were believed to have stopped a catastrophic crash that could have killed scores more, including elected American leaders.

It’ll be the first time Murdoch will have heard the tones at the site — where the tower joins open walkways, restored meadows, groves and wetlands. They form a kind of harmonious whole.

The tower was dedicated in 2018 — the final phase of a project Murdoch designed and ushered through, with stakeholders including the National Park Service and the families of the victims.

“That would be special,” said a soft-spoken Murdoch, who says he is still compelled by the actions of the passengers that day in the skies above his native Pennsylvania.

The journey to the tower this week will have been full of defining moments for Murdoch, as well as his wife and architectural partner Milena, and the team of civil engineers, graphic designers, landscape artists who ultimately would help develop the monument.

Who could have imagined  building this tower — essentially a giant musical instrument — amid the empty fields of a crash site that was once a reclaimed strip mine and industrial scrap yard?

Answer: Murdoch, an architect who taps his instincts for fusing natural topography and open landscapes with structural design, biology. He brings together the natural, the symbolic and the poetic.

In 2004, Murdoch’s firm won a contest to design the memorial. It started with 1,100 entries and ended with his — and an overriding mission that has stuck with the architect ever since:

“A common field one day. A field of honor forever.”

That phrase became a kind of “preamble” for Murdoch and his team.

It became about “about healing the land, while also being a healing place for visitors to come,” he said.

Murdoch, like so many Americans, recalls just how “helpless” he felt when the attacks happened.

“One of the things that we picked up on right away was the scale of the site, which was quite large,” he said.

Given that scale, he set out to create a memorial “using the power of the land and the qualities of the landscape to embody the heroism of those 40 passengers and crew members,” he said.

The first phase, dedicated in 2011, included the site’s entry road, the re-grading the site’s “field of honor,” and the memorial features that surround the site.

A second phase was dedicated in 2015, a visitors center that includes memorial walls, an entrance that parallels the plane’s flight path, a “comfort station” and learning center with groves and a bridge over wetlands that have been restored.

His team let the land speak for itself, Murdoch said.

That took a thoughtful re-shaping of the landscape, as well as a restoration of its wetlands.  What was once an open-pit coal mine is now the site’s Field of Honor.

The plane crashed at the edge of an open field in front of a grove of hemlock trees, which were consumed by fire, Murdoch said. The trees inspired design cues throughout the memorial, and the Hemlock Grove itself — the one that “absorbed” the blaze — serves as the backdrop to the site, he added.

But it’s the tower, at the site’s entry, just off Route 30, that transforms the visual  memorial into something not just seen, but heard, said Murdoch.

The architect brought together a cadre of consultants — among them a musician, a chimes artists, an acoustical engineer, and consultants on wind and sails — to design the complex’s 40 chimes. Their song areas are structured but also somewhat random — they remain subject to the wills of the wind.

The team had to select just the right number of notes within a specific octave range to tune the chimes to the variability of the wind. To get the sound shape from the chimes just right required lessons in fluid dynamics, wind tunneling and acoustics.

It was all about harmony. And dissonance. But also continuity, and perhaps a reminder that in the reflection, said Murdoch, who ultimately hopes the monument ties generations to what happened that day.

A nightmare was born that day. But amid the sweeping tragedy, a polarized society came together on many levels.

“That’s part of the power of recalling on the anniversary. How we came together. It’s an important moment for us,” Murdoch said. “These are 40 people who just got on a plane one day going about their lives, from all walks of life. They were somehow able to evaluate what was happening that morning and collectively came together to take a stand and took this collective action, knowing pretty much their own peril, to prevent what would have been an unspeakable tragedy in the Capitol.”

It’s a moment Americans should always remember. Murdoch forged a site where they embrace the moments with sight and sound.

“It’s something that needs to continue to inform us,” he said, “how people can come together and do something extraordinary.”