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Essential California: Victory for the California raisin

Good morning. It is Tuesday, June 23. What happens when you stick a Go-Pro on a pug and let him loose at Dodger Stadium? You get a darn cute video. Here's what else is happening in the Golden State:

 

TOP STORIES

California raisins: A U.S. Supreme Court decision Monday was a victory for raisin growers but a defeat for one of the last remaining New Deal programs. The court ruled that a government-backed agriculture board couldn't seize farmers' raisin crops without compensating them in some way. The arrangement, which was one of the last farm programs from the New Deal era, allowed the board to control farmers' crops as a way of propping up market prices. California produces 99% of America's raisins. Los Angeles Times

Police shooting: Were L.A. police officers correct to assume that a man who acted aggressively and pointed his towel-covered arm toward them may have had a gun? That's the question after officers shot the unarmed man in the popular Los Feliz neighborhood. "Try and put yourself in the officers' shoes. This is about what happened pre-shooting, not after the shooting. Let's find out the facts, just like every other shooting," said Steve Soboroff, president of the Police Commission.  Los Angeles Times 

Vaccines bill: A leader with the Nation of Islam is warning African American state lawmakers not to vote for a bill that would mandate vaccinations for California's children. Minister Tony Muhammad cited a widely rejected study that suggested autism rates may be higher among African American boys who received the MMR vaccination. "That is a traitorous act. They will not be welcome in the black community if they vote like that," Muhammad said. Los Angeles Times

 

DROUGHT

Water consolidation: California is home to thousands of special districts that allow small governmental bodies to regulate everything from cemeteries to mosquitoes to sewers. In northern San Diego County, two small water districts may finally merge in an effort to save money and streamline the region's water delivery system. San Diego Union-Tribune

Grooming habits: Are you willing to skip a shower or two to help California save water? Apparently some folks are as sales for dry shampoo increase. There's a precedent for this -- Brazilians are showering 15% less because of water shortages in that country. Bloomberg

Firefighting tab: The cost to fight the fire burning near Big Bear, which was sparked by the drought’s dry conditions, has reached $6.8 million. About 1,900 firefighters have tried to put out the wildfire, which is the largest so far in one of California’s national forests. Los Angeles Times

Calling in reinforcements: An Israeli water expert has come to California to help state officials conquer the drought. Israel has five desalination plants and half of its water is artificially produced. Voice of America

Sign up for the Water and Power newsletter, the  Los Angeles Times' guide to the drought. We'll bring you the latest news, introduce you to the important players, provide analysis and separate drought fact from myth. Sign up here.

 

L.A. AT LARGE

Unreasonable search: L.A. motel owners scored a victory in the U.S. Supreme Court Monday. The justices found that a city ordinance that allowed police to review the guest logs for motels was a violation of the 4th Amendment because business owners couldn’t object to the searches. Attorneys for the city argued that the law was needed to weed out prostitution. Los Angeles Times

Biking on the beach: Santa Monica is expected to get its first bike-share in just a few weeks. The service will be called Breeze, and it's expected to be in 75 stations by the end of the year. The challenge for the city council this week will be coming up with a price structure that requires as little money from the city as possible. Curbed LA

 

POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

Memorialized in bronze: California is the bluest of blue states now, but on Monday one of its most famous Republicans was honored with a statue in the Capitol rotunda. Ronald Reagan ran for governor in 1966. Though he was elected on a conservative platform, Reagan did things that today might seem unusual for a member of his party, like increasing taxes and signing a marquee environmental law. Capital Public Radio

Sin tax: There's a renewed fight to tax cigarettes. A group that includes healthcare workers, the California Medical Assn. and American Cancer Society wants a $2-per-pack tax, which would fund health programs for Medi-Cal patients. The move is actually part of an ongoing campaign over Medi-Cal reimbursement payments. Sacramento Bee

Where the sidewalk ends: Just how bad is Oakland's infrastructure? Mayor Libby Schaaf was spotted in a blue cast after tripping and falling on a city sidewalk. SFist

 

COURTS AND CRIME

Hollywood's lawyer: He’s one of the most feared litigators in Hollywood because Neville Johnson has made career out of suing studios that are shortchanging actors and writers on their royalties. Over the last 40 years, he won $350 million for clients by diving into the murky world of entertainment accounting. "The companies are ruthless and rapacious and are going to do everything that they can to squeeze profits and that comes at the expense of talent," Johnson said. Los Angeles Times 

Campus police: Rapper Sean "Diddy" Combs was arrested at UCLA Monday for allegedly assaulting a football coach with a kettlebell. Combs' son is a member of the university's football team. Los Angeles Times

 

HOUSING

Housing woes: One urban planner says San Francisco is not to blame for the city's outrageous rents. Rather, it falls on the shoulders of suburbs that opted for commercial and industrial properties over residential housing in an effort to boost their tax bases. Slate

 

CALIFORNIA CULTURE

No right on red: To help improve traffic, San Francisco is considering a plan to restrict turns on Market Street. Drivers could lose 14 intersections where turns are currently allowed.  City Lab

 

GOLDEN STATE PERSPECTIVES

Right to die: Terminally ill Californians cannot legally end their lives using medication prescribed by a doctor for that purpose. SB 128 in the state Legislature would change that, and after sailing through the Senate it faces its toughest hurdle so far in the form of an Assembly Health Committee hearing. The Times' editorial board, which supports the bill, warns critics that stopping SB 128 could result in a ballot measure passing with fewer patient protections built in. Los Angeles Times

 

CALIFORNIA ALMANAC

Los Angeles will be sunny with a high of 79 today. In San Diego, there will be patchy fog in the morning before clearing. Temperatures will reach a high of 72. It'll be sunny and 92 in Riverside. San Francisco can expect fog and clouds. Temperatures will reach a high of 67.

 

AND FINALLY

There's a powerful new crew in the state Senate -- the Bow Tie Caucus. So far, the only members are Sens. Isadore Hall and Steve Glazer. The group's first act of business will be to bring back Bow Tie Thursday.

 

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.

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