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Essential California: What former Sheriff Baca told investigators

Good morning. It is Saturday, Feb. 13. Here’s what you don’t want to miss this weekend:

TOP STORIES

Lying to investigators: In a confidential interview with federal prosecutors, former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca portrayed himself as a hands-off manager who knew nothing about any attempts within his department to thwart a federal investigation into corruption and brutality by deputies in the county’s jails, according to a recording of the interview. Baca admitted this week in federal court that he lied during the April 2013 interview. Los Angeles Times

App for that: California scientists want to use your mobile phone to help detect earthquakes. An app announced Friday could one day alert you to a quake, giving you seconds of warning before the shaking begins. The app underscores how mobile technology is becoming a big force in seismic safety. Los Angeles Times

At the grocery store: Some new Whole Foods 365 markets — such as the one opening soon in Silver Lake — could include unusual features. Tattoo parlor? Record store? Los Angeles Times

Contamination cleanup: L.A. City Councilman Jose Huizar says he’s astounded that the state agency overseeing the cleanup of soil contaminated by a now-shuttered battery plant hasn't acted more quickly. As many as 10,000 homes in Vernon need assistance. “Our residents are in danger of toxic contamination — yet the state goes at a snail’s pace to do anything about this,” Huizar said. Los Angeles Times

Autopsy report: A 26-year-old knife-wielding San Francisco man who was killed by police in December was struck by at least 21 bullets, according to an autopsy report. Mario Woods was under the influence of methamphetamines at the time of his death. Protesters have said that race — Woods was African American — was a factor in the shooting, which was caught on tape. The U.S. Department of Justice is now conducting a review of the San Francisco Police Department. Los Angeles Times

Hot day: Marathon runners looking for respite from the heat will be disappointed this weekend as temperatures are expected to reach nearly 90 degrees before dropping next week. Los Angeles Times

Access for all: The Coastal Commission is the latest agency to try to crack down on a surfer gang in Palos Verdes that for years has blocked access to a prime beach from outsiders. Los Angeles Times

THIS WEEK'S MOST POPULAR STORIES IN ESSENTIAL CALIFORNIA

1. The Sixth Street Bridge is no more. Here are the before and after photos showing what it looked liked when it crossed the 101 Freeway. Los Angeles Times

2. A man in a San Francisco homeless shelter claimed to be a nuclear power expert who went to college with Mayor Ed Lee. It turned out to be an unlikely — but true — story. San Francisco Chronicle

3. Everyone loves a cup of coffee, but at $15? No, thank you. BuzzFeed

4. This UCLA gymnast's floor routine went viral on the Internet but that’s not what makes her interesting. Check out Sophina DeJesus’ story. Los Angeles Times

5. Call it the calm before the storm. New color photos show what Disneyland looked like just before it opened to the public. Curbed LA

ICYMI, HERE ARE THIS WEEK'S GREAT READS

Violent act: A 1-year-old girl is shot in the head while in her crib, and Compton is reminded of dark times many residents thought were behind them. Los Angeles Times

NFL in LA: The long, twisting struggle to bring pro-football back to Los Angeles. ESPN

Music scene: How the Los Angeles Beat Scene is setting the future of modern jazz and making waves in the world of hip hop. California Sunday Magazine

Public beaches: Columnist Steve Lopez took a drive up the coast to reflect on what it means to keep California’s beaches open to the public and to see what would happen when the Coastal Commission took up the performance of its executive director. “If the commissioners think they can shrug through the anticipated flood of public comments at the hearing and then retreat into cowardly closed session, sign his walking papers and slip out the back door … well, I suspect that they won't be able to hide for long,” he writes. Los Angeles Times

LOOKING AHEAD

Sunday: Runners will make their way across Los Angeles, from the stadium to the sea, for the L.A. Marathon.

Monday: The USS Iowa will celebrate its birthday and Presidents' Day in San Pedro with presidential impersonators and military re-enactors.

Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments, complaints and ideas to Alice Walton or Shelby Grad.

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