Essential California: Arrests at Venice High School, L.A.'s new Jewish traditions, will Jerry Brown run for president?

Good morning. It is Saturday, March 14. If you’re planning to watch tomorrow’s Los Angeles Marathon, here are some tips on where to eat along the way. Plus, a few more stories to keep you busy this weekend:  

Students arrested in Venice: Fourteen male students at Venice High School, including some members of the football team, are accused of committing sex crimes against two female classmates. School district officials called police Tuesday to report that a student was believed to be the victim of a sexual assault. “I want you to know that no sexual misconduct of any kind by students or staff will ever be tolerated in L.A. Unified,” said LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines. L.A. Times

L.A.’s new Jewish traditions: Many young Angelenos are finding that traditional Jewish enclaves in the Fairfax District and San Fernando Valley don’t speak to them religiously, politically or culturally. The self-described “East Side Jews” are popping up in Los Feliz and Silver Lake and adding their own twist to traditional rituals like Shabbat dinner. L.A. Times (needs link; me-eastside-jews)

Brown for president? Gov. Jerry Brown was in Washington, D.C. Friday when he was asked whether he will run against fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016. “Running against Hillary is like running against Jerry Brown in California,” he said. Washington Post

SoCal’s conservative voice: Southern California conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt is the go-to pundit for Republicans -- and even some Democrats. He’s described as an “intellectual's ideologue” and later this year, he will get to question Republican presidential candidates during a debate co-hosted by CNN. National Journal


This week’s most popular stories in Essential California


  1. President Obama came to town this week and readers really wanted to know which streets to avoid as he traveled from LAX to Burbank, Hollywood, Santa Monica and Century City. Columnist Steve Lopez drove into the belly of the #Obamajam beast and went so far as to help direct traffic. L.A. Times

  2. If you’re free this weekend, head to the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve. Southern California’s wildflowers are enjoying an exceptionally fine season. Curbed LA

  3. “Murderous” and “inbred” is how a family of mountain lions is being described. One website decided to map out the family “shrub.” “The results reveal interfamily drama along the lines of a reality show plus a telenovela.” Curbed LA

  4. An Oakland family is publicizing its unusual structure in the hopes of educating others on polyamory. The three adults -- two women and one man -- together share two newborns. SF Gate

  5. Filmmaker and trainer Dirk Shafer was found dead in West Hollywood. His rise to fame started in 1992 when he was a centerfold in Playgirl magazine. L.A. Times


This week’s California Great Reads

Story of “banished” adoptees: Thousands of adults who were adopted from Irish homes by American families have embarked on journeys to find their biological families. L.A. Times

Chance for change: Dorsey Nunn with All of Us or None is working to improve the lives of formerly incarcerated men and women. L.A. Times

South American gridlock: What happens with a major metropolis like Sao Paulo doesn’t invest in public transportation? Its residents end up with one of the longest commutes in the world. L.A. Times

Smoking the DEA’s marijuana: One Florida stockbroker has smoked 10 joints a day for years -- and it has all been on the federal government’s dime. L.A. Times


Looking ahead

-- The 30th Los Angeles Marathon will be held on Sunday. It will start a little earlier this year in the hopes that runners will finish before the mercury hits 90 degrees.

-- Orange County will hold a special election to fill the state Senate seat formerly held by Mimi Walters, who was elected to Congress last fall.


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