Essential: In-N-Out to a moneyed empire, RIP old kitty

Good morning. It is Saturday, June 6. Here are some stories you don’t want to miss this weekend:

Political fortunes: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield has had one of the fastest rises to power in congressional history. The man who celebrated his first political victory at In-N-Out now spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on steakhouse dinners and private jets. "McCarthy excels at something else that has become key to leadership in Congress: recruiting candidates and raising money for them." Los Angeles Times

Guilty verdict: An LAPD officer who kicked a woman in the groin was found guilty Friday of assault under color of authority. Video footage showed the officer jab at Alesia Thomas' throat and threaten to break her arms. An attorney for Mary O'Callaghan said he would appeal the verdict. Los Angeles Times

Ezell Ford shooting: An investigation by the LAPD has determined that two officers were within department policy when they shot and killed Ezell Ford last year in South L.A. Scratches found on Ford, one of the officers and the officer's gun holster suggest that Ford did try to grab a gun, two sources told The Times. The LAPD's inspector general did fault the officers for the way they approached Ford in the first place. Los Angeles Times 

O.C.'s college town: Residents in Orange are concerned that Chapman University's plan to add 3,000 students and 17 acres of land could lead to more noise and trash problems. "At some point, residents have to stand up. Do we live in a town with a college, or do we live in a college town?” one neighbor asked. Orange County Register

Unexamined evidence: The San Francisco Police Department has hundreds of untested rape kits, but the chief has declined the district attorney's request to apply for grants that would help clear the backlog. The reason? Chief Greg Suhr says that his crime lab is in disarray and that the statute of limitations has passed for the kits in question. SF Gate

Losing gang colors: Gangs like the Bloods and Crips used to be defined by their colors. Wearing red or blue made their affiliations immediately known to fellow gang members and cops alike. But now, police find that the colors play less and less of a role in crimes. "Gang members don't wear their colors in public anymore, so those colors don’t tell as much about the individual," one LAPD detective said. Los Angeles Times

Newer and shinier DTLA: A dive bar in downtown Los Angeles was supposed to close down May 31, but in the midst of its final bash the DJ gave a rousing anti-gentrification speech and pledged to stay in the building. The experience of Bar 107 is best described as a second wave of gentrification. Ten years ago, just as the historic core was turning over, Bar 107 replaced a longtime gay bar. Los Angeles Times

Kitty heaven: The world’s oldest living cat died May 22 in Ocean Beach. Tiffany Two was 27 years old and apparently pretty tough. She and her longtime owner were separated in the 1990s when Tiffany Two ran away from home after moving to a new neighborhood. The cat returned home two years and eight months later. San Diego Union-Tribune


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This week’s most popular stories in Essential California

  1. These photographs of Lake Oroville in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada show just how devastating the state's drought has become. SFGate

  2. This map shows where Los Angeles' renters live (Hollywood, downtown) compared to its homeowners (the Valley and the hills). Curbed LA

  3. Disneyland is celebrating its 60th anniversary. This map shows how the park has changed through the years. 89.9 KCRW

  4. Two sheriff's deputies are cooperating with prosecutors after lying to the feds about a violent 2011 encounter in the Men's Central Jail. Los Angeles Times

  5. If you're going to publicly criticize celebrities for wasting water in the drought, at least make sure you're doing it right. Gizmodo


ICYMI, here are this week's Great Reads

California trainer gets his moment: At today's Belmont Stakes, American Pharoah could become the first horse since 1978 to win the Triple Crown. If that happens, his owners can thank Southern California trainer Bob Baffert. "I've seen a lot of great horses get to this point and lose," he said. Los Angeles Times

Over-the-top funerals: Ostentatious funerals are making a comeback in China. At the annual Asia Funeral and Cemetery Expo and Conference, vendors pitched turning ashes into diamonds, burning papier-mache offerings, and purchasing coffins with screens and speakers. Los Angeles Times

Science of soup: An American chef is having his 15 minutes of fame in China thanks to his exhaustive guide on soup dumplings. His "detailed dissection of dumplings has been greeted as something of a revelation in China, where food is generally regarded as art, not science." Los Angeles Times


Looking Ahead

-- The Los Angeles Police Commission is expected to discuss the Ezell Ford shooting.

-- The California Coastal Commission will get an update on the Santa Barbara County oil spill when it meets in Newport Beach on Wednesday.


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