Essential California: The end of "Sábado Gigante"

Good morning. It is Saturday, April 18. Here are a few stories to keep you busy this weekend:  

End of a TV era: The long-running staple "Sábado Gigante" is going off the air after 53 years. Mario Kreutzberger, better known as Don Francisco, was the program’s ringleader. It aired for 3,000 Saturday nights without interruption. Los Angeles Times

DOJ gets cameras: State Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris says the Department of Justice will be the first statewide agency to adopt a body camera program. "There is work that we continually need to do to rededicate ourselves to excellence," she said. Sacramento Bee

Warehouse wasteland: With traffic up at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the Inland Empire has become a key link in the global supply chain. It's there that warehouses full of minimum wage employees move goods from trucks on to their final destinations. Los Angeles Times

Measles' political hangover: Public health officials say the measles outbreak that began at Disneyland is over, but the political ramifications remain. When 131 Californians and about two dozen others contracted the disease, it set off an intense and emotional debate over vaccinations. "A proposal that would require more children to be vaccinated in California faced objections from critics who said it would force thousands of non-immunized students out of public schools." Los Angeles Times

Policing water wasters: Water cops with the Department of Water and Power patrol the streets of Los Angeles, looking for anyone violating the city's water use restrictions. ABC News

By any other name: A California woman who allegedly stole the identities of people working on film sets operated under 74 different aliases. Cathryn Parker was convicted of mail fraud in 2000 after she used Jenny Craig Corp.’s corporate travel account to buy and resell plane tickets. Los Angeles Times

Former Laker's surgery: NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar underwent a quadruple coronary bypass earlier this week. Doctors at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center said he's expected to make a full recovery. Los Angeles Times

Time for new name?: The mountain lion P-22 is a celebrity, especially after his decision to hang out at a Los Feliz home earlier this week. But now some folks think he could use a name that's a bit more personal. 89.3 KPCC


This week’s most popular stories in Essential California

  1. It's a bizarre sight -- two Priuses stacked on top of each other on an off-ramp from the Hollywood 101 Freeway. Curbed LA

  2. Lots of fast-food restaurants have secret menus, but In-N-Out's might be the best one. Eater LA

  3. What's behind San Francisco's growing inequality problem? One man says it's housing. Pacific Standard

  4. California is in the fourth year of a drought, but in the Imperial Valley, water remains plentiful. Los Angeles Times

  5. The onetime companion of former Clippers owner Donald Sterling will have to turn over the key to a $1.8-million duplex the billionaire bought for her. Curbed LA


ICYMI, here are this week’s Great Reads

Surviving mental illness: When a mentally ill son doesn’t get the proper care, it can destroy the entire family. Los Angeles Times

Blogger vs. blogger: The "Science Babe" is taking on "Food Babe" and her interpretation of nutrition and medicine. Los Angeles Times

Extreme cases: In El Salvador, strict abortion laws mean women are ending up in prison for having miscarriages or stillbirths. Los Angeles Times


Looking Ahead

-- State water officials are scheduled to provide updated water use restrictions Saturday.

-- Funeral services will be held for Crystal Cathedral founder Rev. Robert Schuller on Monday.

-- MoveLA will host its seventh annual Transportation Conversation at Union Station starting Wednesday.


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.