Essential California: Why so few women directors in Hollywood?

Good morning. It is Wednesday, May 13. In San Francisco, you can now have your medical marijuana delivered to you on demand. Here's what else is happening in the Golden State:


Women in Hollywood

The ACLU spent two years looking into gender discrimination in Hollywood and now it wants state and federal agencies to investigate the treatment of women directors. A study from USC found women represented 1.9% of directors of the top-grossing 100 films in 2013 and 2014. Los Angeles Times 

Legal problems

When the Water Replenishment District was sued over its water pumping rates, it brought in the big guns of the legal community. But the decision to hire Latham & Watkins meant the district was soon drowning in legal fees -- more than $5 million in just 10 months. Los Angeles Times

Support for marijuana

Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) and Sam Farr (D-Carmel) are backing a California man facing prosecution for selling medical marijuana. The two authored an amendment last year that prevents the U.S. Department of Justice from using money to interfere with the way states enforce their own marijuana laws. Los Angeles Times 



Rain expected this week: Los Angeles County is expected to have rain by the end of the week. The rainfall could become snow in the mountains at about 5,000 feet. However, it’s unlikely to make a dent in the state’s drought because 80% to 90% of it will end up in storm drains that flow out to the ocean. Los Angeles Times

Unconventional conservation: In Redwood City, one car wash is using just one cup of water to get cars clean. KPIX

New water park: Despite the ongoing drought, work continues on a new water park hotel in Garden Grove. OC Weekly

Reasons not to conserve: For California’s farmers, using less water can be a tough call. “Many farmers fear if they take less groundwater now, the baselines set for them will be smaller.” NPR

Arizona’s drought: Lake Mead is at a record low, which means that while California may be the epicenter of the drought, Arizona will likely bear the brunt of a water shortage. Slate



What to say: Homelessness is up 12% in Los Angeles County. That has prompted columnist Steve Lopez to write what he would like to hear politicians say about the crisis. “If the count is up, the shame oughta be, too. And there’s plenty of it to go around,” he writes. Los Angeles Times 

Reliving history: San Pedro’s “Sunken City” could soon officially reopen to the public. The community was once home to bungalows overlooking the Pacific Ocean. In 1929, it began sliding toward the ocean and today the ruins include old sidewalks and Red Car tracks. Daily News

No stars: A restaurant owner in Thousand Oaks had some harsh words for a woman who left him a negative review on Yelp. “Ignorant, disgusting, miserable” were among some of the nicer things the owner of Sunset Terrace Restaurant & Bar had to say. Los Angeles Times

NBA Playoffs: The Clippers couldn't put away the Houston Rockets and lost, 124-103, in Game 5 of the NBA Western Conference semifinals Tuesday night. L.A. leads the best-of-seven playoff series three games to two and will play host to Houston Thursday night at Staples Center. Los Angeles Times

Airbnb crackdown: Homeowners in Santa Monica will no longer be able to rent out their properites for fewer than 30 days at a time. The move is a crackdown on services like Airbnb and VRBO. Home-sharing that is limited to renting out a room will still be allowed as long as landlords register with the city and pay taxes. Los Angeles Times



Earthquake safety: More than $6.4 billion was spent to improve the seismic safety of the Bay Bridge. However, signs are slowly emerging that the bridge may not be able to withstand the “Big One.” SF Gate



Criticizing judges: The debate continues as to whether an Orange County judge should be recalled for the sentence he imposed on a 20-year-old man who sexually assaulted a 3-year-old relative. The mandatory minimum was 25 years, but Judge Marc Kelly gave the defendant 10 years behind bars. 89.9 KCRW

Car returned: A brand new Maserati that was stolen from a La Jolla dealership two weeks ago has been recovered. The white 2015 Ghibli, which retails for about $80,000, was found in the same condition it was stolen. U-T San Diego



Performance art: One mother may have been outraged that a UC San Diego class requires students to make a “nude gesture” -- either literal or figurative --  but it’s hardly the first time professor Ricardo Dominguezs work has grabbed people’s attention. He has engaged in “electronic civil disobedience” and developed “virtual sit-in technologies.” Los Angeles Times

LAUSD election: The teachers’ union and a charter school group hope to oust incumbents in next week’s LAUSD school board election. And they're using the district’s iPad debacle to motivate voters. “Both groups view the iPad issue as key to victory, although it isn’t necessarily the subject they care most about.” Los Angeles Times 



L.A.’s wages: A proposal to increase Los Angeles’ hourly minimum wage to $13.25 in 2017 should be approved by the city council, with some additional consideration given to nonprofits and small businesses. “Raising the minimum wage is the right thing to do because it will help lift people out of poverty.” Los Angeles Times

Funding public transit: Anaheim should do all that it can to cut costs associated with the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center. During the first three months of the year, just 821 passengers a day passed through the station. Orange County Register



Love for Moz: It’s a blow-by-blow of Mexrrissey’s final performance of its tour. Los Angeles Times

On location: On Sunday’s “Mad Men,” it appeared Don Draper was in an Oklahoma motel. Actually, he was in La Crescenta. LAist



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 Francisco will be partly sunny with a high of 58 degrees. There’s a 30% chance of showers in the evening.

There’s also a chance of drizzle for folks in San Diego. During the day, temperatures should reach 66 degrees. Los Angeles will also be on the lookout for drizzle, with rain expected on Thursday. Temperatures will be in the low 70s.



Ready to go glamping this summer? The Bay Area’s Belcampo Meat Co. is offering up Meat Camp at its Shasta Valley farm. The experience, which will include butchery workshops, is open only to women and gay men. SFist



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.