Essential California: Hollywood for Hillary, L.A. County to hire more social workers, San Diego water officials appeal cuts

Good morning. It is Saturday, April 11. Here are a few stories to keep you busy this weekend:  

Hollywood for Hillary: Hillary Clinton will officially announce her presidential campaign tomorrow. She already has the support of Hollywood’s political kingmaker, Jeffrey Katzenberg. Eight years ago, Katzenberg backed Barack Obama in the fierce fight between the two Democrats. "The center of power in the Democratic Party in terms of money really has moved to Katzenberg," according to one political strategist. Hollywood Reporter

Hiring more social workers: When L.A. County’s budget proposal is released next week, it will call for hiring more than 500 social workers. The Department of Children and Family Services is often criticized for not having enough social workers, and overloading the ones they do have. L.A. Times

Early warning system: The GPS sensors in smartphones may be sensitive enough to detect a magnitude 7 earthquake before it hits.  A major challenge, however, would be that phones are often in motion. Real-world tests are expected next year. L.A. Times

Violent ends to pursuits: The violent end to a horseback-pursuit in Apple Valley was just the latest example of the "feeding frenzy" that can occur at the end of a chase. Such endings can lead to multimillion-dollar payouts to suspects and sometimes, a change in police procedures. Many times those changes come from clashes caught on tape. L.A. Times

Protesting water cuts: San Diego officials are protesting orders from the state to cut water use by 20%. They say the demand does not take into account conservation efforts the region implemented years ago. LA. Times

Transgender acceptance: For months, tabloids have speculated that Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner is beginning the transition to living as a woman. The coverage, often mocking and salacious, is a step backward, according to the transgender community. "The message it sends, especially if you don’t know anyone else who is trans, is that you are a joke and you are a freak show," said one transgender activist. Jenner is expected to talk about the issue later this month with ABC’s Diane Sawyer. L.A. Times

Standard of living: The housing market in San Francisco has gotten so out of control that a rat-infested place that was home to a hoarder and a mummified body could sell for $2.5 million. "The people looking at hoarder houses are developers or investors, so the fact that someone passed away — whether mummified or not — it doesn’t bother them a bit," said one real estate agent. San Francisco Chronicle

Magic dispute: The family behind Los Angeles’ famous Magic Castle is fighting over money now that the revenue is increasing. The 83-year-old co-founder and his niece are expected to be in mediation next week in hopes of avoiding a public trial. Hollywood Reporter

Interactive art: San Francisco has a sculpture that observers can control with their mind -- really. "Neuroflowers" is connected to a headset, which can tell when the user concentrates or relaxes focus. That causes the flower to change colors and move. City Lab

Big honor for two DJs: KROQ’s Kevin Ryder and Gene "Bean" Baxter were so surprised by their induction into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame that they thought they were being pranked by former sports anchor Jimmy Kimmel. "Honest to God, I feel like if Vin Scully is a part of something, I shouldn’t be anywhere near it," Ryder said. Orange County Register


This week’s most popular stories in Essential California


  1. Sorry, East Coast -- In-N-Out doesn’t have any plans to expand. Business Insider

  2. Visiting San Diego? You may need a phrasebook for these 18 words. Buzzfeed

  3. This chart will tell you which foods are the biggest water hogs. L.A. Times

  4. Expo Line trains are finally running west of Culver City (even if it’s just a test). Metro

  5. Wealthier cities are falling behind when it comes to water conservation. L.A. Times


ICYMI, here are this week’s California Great Reads

Maverick sheriff: In Kern County, Sheriff Donny Youngblood bucks the state’s prevailing attitudes toward immigration policy. L.A. Times

Capturing the Valley: The L.A. Public Library is archiving tens of thousands of photographs that show how the San Fernando Valley grew from the 1940s to 1970. L.A. Times

Two bars: They’re side-by-side, but these two bars in Boyle Heights are really worlds apart from one another. L.A. Times


Looking Ahead

--The Metropolitan Water District will take up a water rationing plan for its members.

--California water agencies await a court decision on the legality of tiered rates designed to spur conservation.

-- Sprinkles Cupcakes will celebrate its 10th anniversary Monday by handing out free cupcakes.

-- The Star Wars Celebration convention will start Thursday in Anaheim.


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