Essential California: How to get out of bankruptcy

Good morning. It is Tuesday, May 19. A sushi chef in Santa Monica who served his customers whale meat was sentenced to probation and community service. Here's what else is happening in the Golden State:


Mourning climbers

Those close to Dean Potter and Graham Hunt are contemplating what their lives -- and deaths -- meant just days after they both died in a BASE-jumping accident at Yosemite National Park. “It’s getting to do the most awesome thing in the world in the most awesome place in the world. ...The pursuit of human flight is universal. Doesn’t everybody want to fly,” said one climber. Los Angeles Times 

More Dean Potter

Why extreme athletes take those risks. Los Angeles Times

Watch a collection of his jumps and climbs. Los Angeles Times

Bankruptcy recovery

If a judge approves San Bernardino’s bankruptcy plan, the state’s pension system could be a big winner. Officials say they’re willing to pay CalPERS because they believed the state would sue if they failed to meet their obligations. The move could mean higher taxes for residents and a cut in health benefits to retirees. Los Angeles Times 



Aid for farmers: The U.S. Department of Agriculture will allocate $21 million to help California farmers install new irrigation systems and plant cover crops. Los Angeles Times

Measuring consumption: How much water are California’s wealthiest residents using? No one knows. Nearly 20 years ago, the state Legislature weakened the public records law to make water records private. Mother Jones

When water shuts off: Along the state’s citrus belt, life can become very frightening when the water runs out. “In this corner of the scorched Tulare Lake Basin, where lives and livelihoods depend on water that comes from the ground, a human crisis is accelerating amid California’s unrelenting drought.” Sacramento Bee

Politics of water: California Republicans are gaining some traction in criticizing Democrats for their handling of the drought. “Republicans have pressed the Brown administration and Democratic lawmakers to approve more water storage facilities, while excoriating Democrats and their environmentalist allies for reduced water deliveries to protect endangered fish.” Sacramento Bee

New restrictions: Supervisors in Stanislaus County will consider a measure tomorrow that would limit outdoor watering to two days a week. Modesto Bee

Turn on the tap: One writer argues that Californians should give up bottled water, and not just because of the drought. “Clean, safe drinking water that flows freely out of our faucets is a feat of engineering that humans have been perfecting for two millennia. It is a cornerstone of civilization.” Gizmodo



Patrol units: In the Boyle Heights area, LAPD officers are ditching their squad cars in favor of foot patrols. “LAPD officials say they're hoping the officers truly embed themselves in the community and dedicate themselves to small neighborhoods while working on foot.” Los Angeles Times

How to die: In San Pedro, Angelica Bloomquist is a woman living with ALS. As her life comes to an end, Bloomquist wants control over how and when she will die. That puts her squarely in the state’s debate over end-of-life decisions. Los Angeles Times

Crowd control: As it celebrates its diamond anniversary, Disneyland will be testing out new crowd control measures. An estimated 44,000 a day visit the happiest place on earth. Los Angeles Times 



O.C.’s animal shelter: It’s one of the wealthiest areas, but Orange County continues to house its lost and abandoned cats and dogs in a disgusting World War II-era building. For more than 30 years, county officials have tried but failed to build a new animal shelter. Orange County Register



Film restored: The anti-Muslim film “Innocence of Muslims” can once again be viewed on YouTube. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals determined a lower court erred when it ordered Google to remove the clip. Los Angeles Times

Attorney arrested: An Irvine attorney who represents Chinese parents who want their babies to be born in America was arrested for allegedly engaging in witness tampering. Ken Z. Liang is accused of accepting $6,000 in exchange for helping a witness in a “birth tourism” case flee the country. Los Angeles Times



Defining hate: Rabbis and faculty members are encouraging UC President Janet Napolitano to adopt the U.S. State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism because they say too often protests against Israel have anti-Semitic overtones. Los Angeles Times



More housing: San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee could free up $500 million to build 3,000 affordable housing units. The money would come from bond issues. San Francisco Examiner

Wildfire preparedness: In North Tustin, one family is described as among the country’s most prepared for a wildfire. The family home includes a fireproof roof and siding and a yard that is designed to be “a place where embers go to die.” Orange County Register



NFL stadium: A mayoral committee in San Diego unveiled plans for a $1.1-billion NFL stadium. The Chargers would have to kick in $300 million, and $242 million would come from San Diego city and county. Los Angeles Times

Calling it quits: San Francisco 49ers’ defensive lineman Justin Smith will retire. Last season, Smith had a team-high 39 quarterback hits and 56 pressures to go with five sacks. San Jose Mercury-News



Judging judges: An editorial suggests Orange County supervisors should not have taken a position on the recall of Judge M. Marc Kelly. “The essence of the American justice system is that rulings are made by judges who are shielded from the heat of public emotion and pressure of politics.” Los Angeles Times

Housing for farm workers: In an op-ed, law professor Robert Solomon makes the case for building and maintaining more housing units, even if they are substandard units. The situation is particularly dire for farm workers, who work in often-brutal conditions for meager wages. Los Angeles Times



Lots of bunnies: What’s it like to grow up in the Playboy Mansion? Cooper Hefner leads a tour. Business Insider

Concertgoers hurt: Eight people were injured at a weekend concert featuring DJ Steve Aoki. The concert was organized by Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office to promote the mayor’s volunteer corp. LA Weekly

Outdoor flicks: Here’s a schedule of all the outdoor movies you can check out this summer in San Diego. Thrillist

Economic hardships: A new survey finds 59% of college-educated Latinos say they have trouble covering monthly expenses. Despite their degrees, this population finds itself in a “fragile financial state.” Los Angeles Times



San Francisco will be mostly cloudy with temperatures in the high 50s. Los Angeles is expected to be partly sunny with temperatures around 68 degrees. San Diego will be 64 degrees and partly cloudy.



In San Francisco, the mayor can ask donors for lots of money that isn’t subject to campaign finance rules as long as it is for a specific project. Mayor Ed Lee received $10 million this way. That includes $580,000 for a party.



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