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Essential California: Oscar night in L.A., NFL plans for Southland, when did UCLA learn of superbug?

Essential California is a daily collection of the best reporting on the Golden State. This edition looks back on the major story lines of the week. The newsletter is brought to you by reporter Alice Walton and California editor Shelby Grad.


Suddenly, three NFL football teams in town?

Farmers Field, Hollywood Park, City of Industry and now Carson. That’s the list of possible sites for an NFL stadium should pro football ever return to the Greater Los Angeles Area. The San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders came together to propose a new stadium in Carson that the rival teams could share. The “Carson2gether” coalition is organizing a petition drive to get the stadium proposal on the ballot for voter approval. The St. Louis Rams, meanwhile, are staking their claim in Inglewood. Where does all this leave L.A.? “I still know the best place for it is here,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said of plans to build a stadium next to L.A. Live downtown. Getting the NFL back in the L.A. area is still far from assured, but some believe the chances now are better than they have been in years.

Timetable on the UCLA bacterial outbreak

UCLA medical officials started investigating a deadly bacterial outbreak in their hospital back in December but didn’t confirm that it came from a medical scope until the end of January. All of that came months after an 18-year-old patient’s diagnosis with the drug-resistant superbug CRE. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration concedes that the medical scope may be so poorly designed that it cannot be properly cleaned. But federal officials haven’t recalled the device, saying it’s a vital part of a life-saving procedure for hundreds of thousands of patients.

An independent Oscar night

Hollywood’s award season comes to an end Sunday at the Dolby Theatre when the Academy Awards are handed out. And if the prognosticators are to be believed, best picture could come down to a battle of two indies: “Birdman” and “Boyhood.” A “Boyhood” win would be a boost for IFC Films, the small independent studio that battles against bigger rivals. Fox Searchlight is winning praise for its marketing campaigns for “Birdman” as well as “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” The Oscars also have a way of making insiders out of outsiders. Mexican directors (and longtime friends) Alejandro G. Inarritu, Alfonso Cuaron and Guillermo del Toro talk about their films and what it would mean if two Mexican directors in a row win the Oscar. And is there a rebellion underway on the red carpet?

The ghost of John Deasy and the LAUSD

John Deasy has left the Los Angeles Unified School District, but his legacy looms large. On Friday, his successor as superintendent, Ramon Cortines, signaled a reversal of Deasy’s ill-fated plan to provide iPads to all students. "I don't believe we can afford a device for every student," Cortines said. "Education shouldn't become the gimmick of the year." Deasy has become an easy punching bag in school board campaigns, though few mention his achievements as schools chief.

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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