Essential California: UCLA's medical devices, LAUSD's upcoming election, a new NFL proposal

Essential California is a daily collection of the best reporting on the Golden State. The newsletter is brought to you by reporter Alice Walton and California editor Shelby Grad.


More on the UCLA superbug

Federal officials admit that the medical scope believed to be linked to a deadly bacteria outbreak at UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center may be flawed in a way that prevents it from being properly cleaned. Safety advocates say the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which has known about the problem for two years, isn’t giving enough guidance to doctors who use the scope. One FDA official, however, says the medical device is still a key part of a lifesaving procedure. L.A. Times

Another NFL proposal

The San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders are coming together to develop plans for a $1.7-billion NFL stadium in Carson. Under the proposal, the two teams would share the stadium. In the meantime, representatives for both teams will continue to pursue public subsidies for new stadiums in their home cities. L.A. Times

All over one guy?

With many West Coast ports shut down by a strike, is the main stumbling block over a single, low-level official who rules on disputes involving dock workers? That’s what some exasperated politicians are saying.  “It’s crazy, and you can quote me,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Thursday morning, after spending the previous day in San Francisco trying to help move the talks forward. L.A. Times

Isla Vista investigation

Elliot Rodger was a lonely, angry young man who became withdrawn from the world around him at the same time he became increasingly obsessed with violence. That’s the conclusion of a long-awaited report on the man behind last year’s Isla Vista rampage near UC Santa Barbara. Sheriff’s officials say he planned the attack for two years, slowing purchasing guns and ammunition and searching the Internet for information about killing, terrorist attacks, weapons and Nazis.  L.A. Times


LAUSD election: School board challengers all seem to be running against the same guy -- former Superintendent John Deasy, who resigned under pressure last fall. LAUSD candidates in three races want to remind voters about Deasy’s divisive leadership style and troubled iPad program, which is under investigation by the FBI. But what is left unsaid is that under Deasy’s leadership, more students graduated, fewer students were suspended, and test scores improved. L.A. Times

South L.A. politics: Director J.J. Abrams lives in the Pacific Palisades but he’s jumping into South L.A.’s politics by hosting a fundraiser for city council candidate Marqueece Harris-Dawson. It’s unusual to see Hollywood get involved in a local race but Abrams and his wife, who are considered “shrewd spotters of political talent,” have known Harris-Dawson for years thanks to his work with the Community Coalition. Rep. Karen Bass, a mentor to Harris-Dawson, is expected to attend the Feb. 27 event. Hollywood Reporter

"50 Shades of Grey": The film looks like it will be at the top of the box office this coming weekend. But how about overseas? The sex drama has been banned in Kenya and Malaysia. But in France, children as young as 12 can see it. L.A. Times

USC construction: It’s been about five months now since USC broke ground on its massive USC Village project just north of the campus. Once completed, the site will have dorms, an exercise center and a Trader Joe’s. The university put together a video of aerial footage from the site. Curbed LA


Diversity in medicine: Under the Affordable Care Act, more Latinos are signing up for health insurance and receiving medical care. However, an analysis published in the journal Academic Medicine found there’s a shortage of Latino doctors who can connect with those patients. “It’s not affirmative action. It’s an issue of quality of care,” said David Hayes-Bautista, director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. L.A. Times

Catholic hospitals: The state attorney general must decide today whether to allow the sale of Daughters of Charity Health System, a non-profit hospital, to Prime Healthcare Services. At stake are 8,000 jobs and the healthcare of hundreds of thousands of patients. L.A. Times

Mega-mansion architect: When wealthy Californians want to build a mega-mansion with features like a moat or in-home spa, they call Richard Landry. The architect has designed homes for superstar athletes, movie stars -- even a handbag mogul, though critics are quick to call him “king of the tasteless mega-mansion.” The New York Times

Oregon snow: California’s persistent drought and lack of snow are now spreading north to Oregon. SF Gate

Year of the goat:  Asian-American communities across California are welcoming in the lunar new year. This is the year of the goat (or ram or sheep) and folklore says some animals of the zodiac are well suited for one another while others will only face conflict. An interactive graphic to help find your perfect match: L.A. Times


Los Angeles Times cartoonist David Horsey gives his take on Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony.


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.