L.A. Now

Essential California: San Bernardino's urban woes

Good morning. It is Monday, June 15. Here's what’s happening in the Golden State:



Broken city

When the recession hit, the “All-American City” of San Bernardino fell apart. Residents didn’t have jobs. Their homes went into foreclosure. The 2010 U.S. Census found it was the second-poorest big city in the country. San Bernardino is “a distillation of America’s urban woes.” Los Angeles Times 

Meth spa

Compounding San Bernardino’s problems is methamphetamine, which an officer with San Bernardino’s police narcotics team describes as ubiquitous. “People sleeping in Meadowbrook or in San Bernardino’s weedy lots, abandoned homes and cheap motels head out in the morning to steal and collect metal to recycle, and in a couple hours have the $10 for a dime bag and a good day’s high.” Los Angeles Times 



Adapting to the future: Gov. Jerry Brown needs to find faster, simpler solutions to the state’s drought, writes columnist George Skelton. “I haven't noticed the governor adapting much in order to confront California's modern challenges. His record is spotty at best,” he writes. Los Angeles Times

Conserving at home: Here are 43 ways to save water without ripping out your lawn. Los Angeles Times

Not all equal: Some of California’s wealthy residents are balking at having to conserve water in the drought. “We pay significant property taxes based on where we live. And, no, we’re not all equal when it comes to water,” said one man living in Rancho Santa Fe. Washington Post

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Political style: Some observers are questioning Mayor Eric Garcetti’s low-key style in the wake of two high-profile police shootings. The mayor skipped an emotionally charged community meeting held in response to the shooting of an unarmed man in Venice. Asked about it, the mayor said he had had a family obligation, but his calendar later showed he was hosting a cocktail party and attending the opening of a new business. In the case of Ezell Ford, Garcetti called the victim’s mother after she told a television station she was exasperated with his disengagement. Los Angeles Times

Planning for the future: The neighborhood of Frogtown, near the L.A. River, is trying to fight off gentrification through “strategic planning dialogue.” “What would it take for traditionally disenfranchised populations to become real partners in guiding neighborhood change?” L.A. Review of Books

DWP’s lodge: Out in the Mojave Desert, the Department of Water and Power owns a seven-bedroom lodge where a caretaker is always on hand to serve a five-course dinner to guests. But in the last five years, just 18 people have spent the night. Instead, the utility spends $500,000 to house employees at nearby hotels. Daily News

Editor’s death: The former editor of the Los Angeles Times who led the paper to 13 Pulitzer Prizes in five years died this weekend. John Carroll was 73. Los Angeles Times



Budget talks: Lawmakers are expected to vote on the state budget tomorrow, but their proposal still includes revenue projects that exceed Gov. Jerry Brown’s estimates. ”The ruling Democrats said their budget makes crucial investments in government programs for needy Californians, and they reject concerns from Republicans and the governor that their proposed spending would reach unsustainable levels.” Los Angeles Times

Standard of care: The state’s largest nursing home company is under scrutiny by regulators who say their investigators have witnessed “flagrant disregard for human life” in the homes. Between October and January, three care facilities were decertified by the federal government. The man behind the nursing homes argues his relationship with regulators soured after a dispute over delinquent paperwork. Sacramento Bee



New trial: Two legal heavyweights are now pitted against each other in the case of an actor who was convicted of raping two women. When attorney Robert Shapiro defended Robert Aaron Stephens in his first trial, he made the decision not to show a videotape of Stephens having sex with one of the victims. A judge says that made the defense “ineffective.” The actor’s new lawyer is another boldfaced name -- Mark Geragos. Los Angeles Times

Defending decision: The vice president of the L.A. Police Commission is defending the panel’s decision to look at Officer Sharlton Wampler’s actions leading to the fatal shooting of Ezell Ford. “The pre-shooting actions taken by the police, come into consideration, and that changed everything,” said Paula Madison. (Video) NBC 4



Gigantic opening: Universal’s “Jurassic World” took in $204.6 million at the domestic box office this weekend. That made it the second-largest North American opening weekend ever. Los Angeles Times

Priced out: If he were alive, would Walt Disney recognize his theme park and its prices? “For America’s middle-income vacationers, the Mickey Mouse club, long promoted as ‘made for you and me,’ seems increasingly made for someone else.” Orange County Register



Case against wage increase: In a Los Angeles Times op-ed, Councilman Mitch Englander explains why he voted against increasing the city’s minimum wage. “This wage increase may hurt the very people it is designed to help,” he writes. Instead, he calls for tax reforms to make Los Angeles more business-friendly and pull more people into the middle class. Los Angeles Times



Painted desert: It took half a million gallons of paint to create Salvation Mountain at the entrance of Slab City, a squatting community out in the desert. Arriving at the mountain “felt like crossing into a Dr. Seuss story — if Dr. Seuss stories were set in a searing desert commune and surrounded by fancifully painted, derelict vehicles.” Buzzfeed

What’s for dinner: 10 essential San Francisco food trucks for the summer. Eater SF



Los Angeles will be cloudy, with a high of 79. San Diego will start out cloudy and then become sunnier at 70 degrees. San Francisco will have patchy fog in the morning and a high of 68.



The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department has seen a rise in accidental discharges ever since deputies were issued  Smith & Wesson M&P9:


-- 2012: 12

-- 2013: 18

-- 2014: 30


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