Essential California: Are bears digging in your trash can too?

Good morning. It is Thursday, June 11. Here's what is happening in the Golden State:


New era for LAPD

The Los Angeles Police Commission's decision in the Ezell Ford case represents a new way of assessing whether a shooting was justified. Here, the civilian panel looked beyond the moment an officer pulled the trigger and considered everything that led up to the shooting, including whether the police should have stopped Ford in the first place. That could create new problems for rank-and-file officers. "They feel that the Police Commission abandoned them for a suspect who basically tried to take an officer's gun," said the president of the police unionLos Angeles Times 

A move for affordable housing

Tenants and landlords have come together to support the legalization of bootlegged apartments. It's an effort to address the city's lack of affordable units. The proposal would affect only apartment buildings for now because it's easier for inspectors to confirm if there are illegal units there to begin with. Los Angeles Times

Tax code reform

State Controller Betty Yee wants to reform the state's tax base by collecting from more Californians and relying less on the super-wealthy. At the same time, Yee believes that the state should spend more money on low-income and middle-class families. "She's boldly sticking her neck out on a continuous issue bound to cause grief," writes columnist George Skelton. Los Angeles Times 



Long-term solutions: There are a lot of people offering quick solutions and instant analysis about California's drought. Gov. Jerry Brown is not one of them. Times political columnist Cathleen Decker notes that Brown is trying to take the long view, arguing that issues like farming practices and water rights will take time to sort out. "Consensus takes time," he said Tuesday at The Times' California Conversation event. "We are on a pace to forge good policies going forward." Los Angeles Times

Beware of bears: Some of California's 35,000 black bears will probably show up in residential neighborhoods this summer. That's because the drought has killed off 12 million trees, and bears need to venture out to find food, even if that food is last night's dinner sitting in your trash can. Officials with the Department of Fish and Wildlife say black bears will leave you alone just as long as you leave them alone. Time

Sinking feeling: As the drought drags on, more Californians are drawing water from underground aquifers. Because of that, the state is slowly sinking. The U.S. Geological Survey has photographs that show where farmers would have been standing at various times in the last 90 years. Mother Jones

Long Beach under water: This isn't the Golden State's first brush with sinking lands, writes D.J. Waldie. Oil production in Long Beach was booming in the first part of the 20th century; by 1943, it was clear that the city was sinking. Homes and bridges flooded, sewer lines backed up, and the port's docks went under water. So, how was the problem solved? KCET

Nursing back to health: Warming ocean waters make it difficult for sea lions to find enough food. They become so malnourished that they wash up on Southern California beaches. This video shows what it takes to capture and rehabilitate a sick animal. Vice News

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New home for veteran: When students at Lancaster High School learned the horror of war from a young veteran paralyzed by a roadside bomb, they decided to do something. They raised $350,000 to build a new home for Jerral Hancock and his children. This video offers a glimpse into Hancock's life. Los Angeles Times

Identity crisis: The city's fight over legalizing street vendors is about more than food or business. It's about Los Angeles' identity and Mayor Eric Garcetti's plans to get Angelenos out of their cars. City Lab

Three-hour travail: This woman's experience is a reminder of why it is a terrible idea to drive from Santa Monica to the Hollywood Bowl on a weeknight. And then try to park at the Bowl. And, much later, try to park back on the street in Santa Monica. LA Weekly



A vote for easier balloting: The state's top election official wants to dramatically change the way Californians vote. Secretary of State Alex Padilla is proposing that all voters be mailed a ballot. He would also open voting 10 days before an election. Just 31% of registered voters participated in the November 2014 statewide election. Los Angeles Times

This ban may bounce back: Australia wants California to end its ban on importing kangaroo leather. The ban was enacted in 1971, but since 2007, the state has not enforced it. That moratorium is set to expire this year. Animal rights advocates want to see the ban remain in place, arguing that to do otherwise could jeopardize endangered species of kangaroos. Los Angeles Times



Attention, shoppers: German discount grocer Aldi is breaking into the Southern California grocery market. The company plans to open 45 stores, a regional headquarters and a distribution center in what is considered the biggest food market in the country. Aldi's pitch is simple: quality products at deep discounts. Los Angeles Times 



Rising cleanup bill: The cost to clean up the May 19 oil spill near Refugio Beach has reached more than $60 million -- and it's expected to continue climbing. Plains All American Pipeline, which is responsible for the broken pipe, has 1,000 workers cleaning up a 96.5-mile stretch of the coast. Los Angeles Times



When Dali met Disney: A new exhibition explores the friendship between Walt Disney and artist Salvador Dali. The two once collaborated on a cartoon, but after that project fell apart, the men "traveled to each other's homes, swapping fishing stories and periodically discussing plans to make a movie based on 'Don Quixote.' " Orange County Register

Silent film relics: Director Cecil B. DeMille filmed "The Ten Commandments" at the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes back in 1923. When filming wrapped, DeMille left behind the entire set, which was eventually covered over by sand. Excavation of the site began in 1990, and today a 92-year-old headless sphinx lives in a house near the San Luis Obispo-Santa Barbara county line. The Tribune



Los Angeles will be cloudy in the morning with temperatures reaching 78 degrees. Riverside will have clouds before clearing and reaching a high of 82. San Diego will be cloudy through midmorning with a high of 70. San Francisco will be sunny and 74.



San Francisco water officials are betting that sex sells in promoting conservation. Here's hoping that "Go Full Frontal" and "Make It a Quickie" will make you think of front-loading washers and short showers.


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.