Essential California: Better prepared for the Big One

Good morning. It is Saturday, May 9. Here are a few stories to keep you busy this weekend:


A different quake risk: Los Angeles has become the first city in the nation to enact seismic standards for new cellphone towers, part of an effort to strengthen communications infrastructure in preparation for the next big quake. There has not been a major quake in California since cellphones, smartphones and Wi Fi became ubiquitous. When the destructive 6.7 Northridge quake hit in 1994, landlines still ruled. Los Angeles Times

Anaheim rising: Chinese developers, who are making their mark in downtown Los Angeles, now are making a splash in Orange County as well. One developer is planning a nearly $500-million complex next to Angel Stadium --  including a condo tower, hotel, theater and indoor surfing park. Los Angeles Times 

About that acquisition...: How does San Diego feel about its big neighbor to the north buying its daily newspaper? Top officials seem less concerned about the Los Angeles Times buying the San Diego Union Tribune than about another deal. "I welcome Los Angeles acquiring our newspaper, but not our football team,” Councilman Todd Gloria said. "In all seriousness, combining the L.A. Times’ strong journalistic track record with the U-T’s local expertise and hard-working staff is good news for San Diego." Los Angeles Times

Some demographics don’t shift: Blacks make up a declining portion of Compton’s population as more Latinos have moved into the city. But blacks continue to account for an outsized share of homicides. Los Angeles Times


Navel orange queen: The remarkable life of the "queen" of California's citrus industry. She was a suffragist, abolitionist and spiritualist -- and she knew a lot about oranges. The Atlantic

Frozen assets: "If you peeked in on a recent party at the Viceroy Santa Monica, you might have noticed that the guests, almost all female, were chatting quietly, hesitantly, in pairs or trios," begins the story. "The women were there to consider an investment: spending thousands of dollars to retrieve and freeze their eggs." Los Angeles Times

Small talk: The tiny radio station -- by some measure L.A. County's smallest -- operates out of a Malibu bedroom. LA Weekly

The big picture: A sprawling look at what California might have to sacrifice as the drought continues. New Yorker 

Fun house:  In the "frat house," professional gamers get really serious. Says one: "I wanna get mad. I really do, but this is just the typical gamer lifestyle." Los Angeles Times

Surf culture:  A week of high surf has Robin Abcarian mediating on surf culture in Southern California. Part of it is real, but a lot of it is something aspirational that you don’t need a wetsuit to get behind. Los Angeles Times

Out of step with the times? Single-sex colleges are facing new challenges. Some see the all-male and all-female schools as endangered species. Los Angeles Times

The mayor’s murder: A racy back story emerges in the case of the small-town mayor allegedly killed by his wife. "Daniel Crespo, the mayor of Bell Gardens, bought one girlfriend a ring during a trip to Las Vegas for a faux wedding. He sent his wife an audio recording of him bragging to a co-worker about his dalliances. He rented out a six-bedroom home he owned, but kept one room empty so he could rendezvous there with women on his lunch breaks and after work." Los Angeles Times

Looking ahead

Shooting fallout: The controversial shooting of a homeless man in Venice is likely to come up at Tuesday’s Los Angeles Police Commission meeting.

Commencement season gets into swing: Actor Forest Whitaker and Maria Contreras-Sweet of the U.S. Small Business Administration will speak at Cal State Dominguez Hills; at USC, addresses are scheduled from financial guru Mellody Hobson, football coach Pete Carroll and Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris.

Another awards show? The "National Reality TV Awards" will be handed out Wednesday night in Hollywood.

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.