Essential California: Shooting aftermath, hail on the beach, the wealthiest Californians

Good morning. It is Tuesday, March 3. It’s Election Day in Los Angeles County. Not sure where to vote? The registrar-recorder/county clerk can help with that. Here’s what else is happening today in the Golden State:


The skid row shooting: LAPD Chief Beck speaks

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck says a man was shot and killed on skid row only after he and police struggled over a probationary officer’s gun. It was “a very intense situation and a brutal, brutal fight,” he said. The officers in Sunday’s shooting were part of the Safer Cities Initiative, which provides specialized training on how to deal with people who may have mental health issues. L.A. Times

Lessons from the shooting: ‘Our own complicity’

Columnist Sandy Banks says the shooting on skid row is a chance to reflect on how Los Angeles cares for its homeless population: “The attention this very public shooting is bound to draw ought to lead us to examine our own complicity. It’s time to stop with the platitudes about ending homelessness and actually bring relief to the broken people forced to live on the streets.” L.A. Times


A tough day for ‘Suge’ Knight: During a bizarre courthouse appearance Monday, rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight recited a laundry list of ailments before he was taken to the jailhouse infirmary. It’s the third time he has been hospitalized since he was charged with running over two men with his car in Compton. One, Terry Carter, 55, died. L.A. Times

For a former mayor, L.A. is still the place: Former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who last month announced that he would not run for U.S. Senate (and a chance to shop for D.C. real estate), has new digs in the Hollywood Hills. The $2.5-million house offers views of the Hollywood sign and Griffith Observatory. L.A. Times

Hail, hail, it’s winter! That's right, a winter storm brought hail to the beaches of Southern California. The pea-sized hail was an inch deep in Huntington Beach. L.A. Times


Santa Barbara’s recipe for water: The coastal city will spend $40 million to modernize a desalination plant that was built -- but never used -- more than 20 years ago. Despite the state’s continuing drought, experts say, it’s unlikely California will see a major push for more such plants because desalination is expensive and energy-intensive. L.A. Times

West Hollywood melodrama: West Hollywood Councilman John Duran acknowledged Monday that he hired a man to be his council deputy after the two had met on Grindr and had an intimate encounter. Nevertheless, Duran said, he hired Ian Owens because of his qualifications. Owens was suspended in January for allegedly bugging a fellow deputy’s office. L.A. Times

To drill or not to drill? Voters of Hermosa Beach have a tough decision to make: Should they allow an energy company to drill for oil or pay a hefty fee to continue to ban the practice? “There have been voter initiatives to restrict oil drilling, particularly fracking, up and down the California coast, but none seem to have quite the complications and emotions associated with the one here.” New York Times

Scaling back Jessica’s Law: A blanket ban on where registered sex offenders can live was struck down by the California Supreme Court. The justices, ruling on a challenge to the law by parolees in San Diego County, said it was too restrictive, ultimately leaving offenders homeless and making it difficult for parole officers to monitor their whereabouts. L.A. Times

The billionaires next door: California has a lot of billionaires -- 131 to be exact, or more than any country other than the United States and China. The wealthiest Californian: Oracle founder Larry Ellison, with a net worth of $54.3 billion. Forbes


In Monday’s Essential California we asked why you love California. Or why you just can’t stand it. Here is what two of you had to say:

“What I love about California ... that we don't have Scott Walker as governor.” -- Ron Monteleone

“Too ‘me-based,’ too many rude people, too liberal with too high a tax rate. Too discouraging for small businesses. Too many frivolous lawsuits. Too irresponsible with water. Too many gangs and drugs.” -- Pamela Poco

For today’s Talk Back, it’s Election Day, so we want to hear what issues are motivating you to get out and vote. Do you see voting as a civic duty? Is there one candidate you really believe it? Tell us by tweeting with the tag #EssentialCalifornia or sending us an email: reporter Alice Walton and California Editor Shelby Grad.


Four decades of Disneyland memorabilia went on the auction block over the weekend. The Story of Disneyland auction brought in more than $1.7 million, the L.A. Times reports. Among the most expensive items:

-- Animatronic bird from Enchanted Tiki Room: $153,400

-- Pirates of the Caribbean skeleton: $129,800

-- 1965 Pirates of the Caribbean concept painting: $70,800

-- 1954 concept drawing of Tomorrowland: $55,460

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.