Essential California: Revisiting Camp Pendleton's 1975 tent city

Good morning. It is Thursday, April 30. Two great white sharks were spotted off the coast of Seal Beach. Officials say the young sharks were probably just looking for a bite to eat. Here's what else is happening in the Golden State:


SoCal’s tent city

When the Vietnam War ended 40 years ago, 100,000 refugees were brought to America and set up in tent cities. One such city was at Camp Pendleton. The Los Angeles Times reconnects with some of those refugees, who were just small children when they were brought to a new country for an uncertain future.

Just the guys

The Los Angeles Fire Department’s latest class of recruits is entirely male, despite calls from Mayor Eric Garcetti that the LAFD include more women, reports the Los Angeles Times. The class of 43 started with four women but all have since left. “Every time one of these women gets hurt or gets fired or quits, it breaks your heart,” said Capt. Tamara Chick.

Money troubles

The Music Center is coming under fire from its biggest fundraising ally, the Blue Ribbon. There’s concern that programs and staff are being cut because the Music Center’s leadership hasn’t capitalized on fundraising opportunities, according to the Los Angeles Times. 



Stick or carrot: Are fines the right way to go when it comes to encouraging Californians to conserve water? That’s what some are asking now that Gov. Jerry Brown has said he wants water wasters to fork over $10,000 a day, per the Los Angeles Times. 

Dirty air: California’s air quality is worsening as a result of the drought, according to the American Lung Assn. In 2013, the Central Valley between Fresno and Modesto had some of the country’s unhealthiest air, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Dangerous future: The Little Hoover Commission is looking into the “environmental disaster” that is the Salton Sea, reports the Desert Sun. Once the largest lake in California, the Salton Sea is drying up, and that has major implications for nearby residents and property owners.

California’s future: Grist argues the drought won’t doom the future of California. It will, however, change it quite a bit. “Californians need to be forced to work out these problems if they are going to find a future that doesn’t suck. The state isn’t imperiled by the drought; it needs the drought.”



Patient dumping allegation: The city of Los Angeles is suing Gardens Regional Hospital in Hawaiian Gardens for allegedly abandoning a schizophrenic patient on skid row with nothing more than a pair of paper pajamas. “It is possible for a healthcare facility to adopt humane and decent treatment,” said City Atty. Mike Feuer, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Crowded streets: Waze can be a useful app when you want to avoid traffic but L.A. City Hall officials think it might be a bit too helpful, reports City Lab. Councilman Paul Krekorian is concerned that the app is sending commuters through residential neighborhoods that are not designed to handle heavy congestion.

Livestock crash: Firefighters rescued sheep and cows after the trailer they were in overturned on the 210 Freeway in Sylmar, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Food inspections: L.A. County health officials are not inspecting restaurants as often as they should, and some patrons are getting sick as a result, reports KNBC-TV Channel 4. Customers may think they’re OK if a restaurant has an “A” rating in the window, but it turns out the grade doesn't mean the restaurant has been recently inspected.



Anger over spending: Residents in Hawthorne are calling for Mayor Chris Brown’s resignation, reports the Daily Breeze. They’re upset over his spending and personal debts. Brown spent more than $22,000 attending conferences around the country and an additional $20,000 to remodel his City Hall office. He owes $27,000 in unpaid rent to two landlords.



Smuggling narcotics: Federal agents uncovered a 230-foot- long tunnel from Mexicali, Mexico, to Calexico, Calif. The tunnel was discovered after four men were captured on surveillance tape trying to bring drugs into the country, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Federal monitors: Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies in the Antelope Valley have to start treating suspects with respect. Not because it’s good manners, but because it’s part of a federal settlement. Deputies have been accused of unfairly targeting African American and Latino residents in the area. The settlement will also provide $700,000 to people who have been mistreated by deputies, reports the Los Angeles Times. 

Police shooting: The family of a man shot and killed by police on skid row has filed a $20-million claim. The shooting of Charly Keunang was captured on tape by a bystander. Police said they shot Keunang after he tried to grab an officer’s gun, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Suspect wanted: Police have released a sketch of the man they say raped a student from Loyola Marymount University following a Halloween party last year. The man is hard to miss -- he’s wearing a top hat in the sketch, per LAist.



Old transit lines: Los Angeles Magazine revisits the routes of the city’s old Yellow Cars.

Religious foods: A rundown of the California monasteries and abbeys that make and sell cakes, oils and wines, courtesy of KCET.

NorCal battle: What’s cooler than Oakland? Thrillist says it’s Sacramento.

Double-chin drug: A company based in Westlake Village says it has a drug to get rid of double chins. The Food and Drug Administration just approved the injectable, which can help patients lose chin fat in just two to four visits, according to the Los Angeles Times.



Is there something we missed in today’s Essential California? Drop us a line and we’ll include your link (and a credit) in tomorrow’s edition. Share your thoughts with us on Twitter with the tag #EssentialCalifornia or send us an email: Alice Walton and Shelby Grad.



San Diego is going to have a bit of fog until midday today. Highs are expected to reach 79 degrees. In San Francisco, it will be 74 degrees and sunny. Los Angeles’ heat wave will continue, with the city reaching about 89 degrees.



The Parking Spot says it will no longer act as the de facto LAX shuttle to In-N-Out. You and your luggage will just have to make the half-mile walk if you want a post-flight burger.



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.