Essential California: Arnold and his affair

Good morning. It is Thursday, June 25. When a bull got loose in Buellton, its owner called the California Highway Patrol, fearing the animal would end up on U.S. Highway 101. It did, and that was after taking a bullet from a CHP officer. Here's what else is happening in the Golden State:


Jailhouse beating

The guilty verdicts handed down by a federal jury Wednesday were the latest chapter in the FBI’s wide-ranging investigation into abuse in the L.A. County jail system. Two sheriff’s deputies and a sergeant were found guilty of beating up a man who tried to visit his brother in a county jail. They were also found guilty of lying to cover up their actions. According to the assistant U.S. attorney, the three defendants “thought if they all tell the same lie, they could get away with it.” Los Angeles Times

Dangerous water levels

The million-year-old Mono Lake is in serious danger. If its water level drops two more feet, state officials say the entire ecosystem at the base of the eastern Sierra Nevada could be in danger. In recent months, the Department of Water and Power has reduced what it takes from Mono Lake’s tributaries by two-thirds. “I’ll be terrified if the lake level drops another few feet,” said one biologist. Los Angeles Times 

When it rains ...

In Los Angeles, 10 billion gallons of water run through a vast network of storm channels and ultimately wash out to the Pacific Ocean. The Department of Water and Power will present a plan tonight to capture that water, which would ultimately reduce the city’s reliance on imported water. Part of the proposal calls for installing three major projects in the San Fernando Valley that could catch the rainfall and move it to the city’s main underground water source. Los Angeles Times 



Drought report card: Gov. Jerry Brown called for a 25% reduction in water use. How well is your water district doing? This report card allows you to punch in your address and see the results. Los Angeles Times

Fewer flowers: There are fewer wildflower species in Northern California thanks to drier, sunnier winters. “The species that were disappearing fastest were those with broad leaves, which are most susceptible to drought. The decline was correlated with less rain in mid-winter, more sun in fall and winter, and less humidity in the winter.” Los Angeles Times

On the bright side: There is a silver lining to the drought, according the U.S. Agriculture secretary. “This is going to spur innovation, it's going to spur creativity,” said Tom Vilsack. He hopes that innovation comes in the area of water efficiency. CNBC

Water rationing: The California drought is bad, but at least you’re not living in Puerto Rico. Officials there issued a state of emergency over the drought, which means residents can only pump water once every three days. It’s one of the worst droughts in the island’s history. Slate

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.



Lone critic: L.A. City Councilman Bernard Parks has never been shy about voicing his opinion, but now that he’s leaving the city after 50 years of service he’s really giving a piece of his mind. “If you hear some of the comments around the horseshoe, you'd be amazed. People are voting and then ask their staff, 'What did I just do?' This happens routinely,” he said, criticizing his council colleagues. LA Weekly

The homeless problem: Serious change is needed to help the men and women who live on Los Angeles’ streets, writes columnist Steve Lopez, and a new city law that makes it easier to confiscate their belongings isn’t likely to be that change. “Until the city invests seriously in all of that, encampments will be with us here in the land of below sea level wages and sky-high real estate.” Los Angeles Times

Stadium snacks: A challenge for Jason Tingley, the executive chef at Dodger Stadium, is keeping things simple. “I really want to knock things up a notch, and I kind of get a little carried away with some of the food,” he said. Food like the hot dog in the Stadium Club, which is deep fried and topped with cornichons, basil aioli and roasted baby heirloom tomatoes. Los Angeles Times



Personal problems: Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger talked to Howard Stern about the breakup of his marriage and the revelation that his affair had produced a child. “I had personal setbacks, but this was without any doubt the biggest setback and the biggest failure. Without any doubt,” he said. Howard Stern Show (audio)

Uber machine: How has Uber muscled its way into cities? By hiring 250 lobbyists and combining old-fashioned political influence with stunts like handing out free ice cream. Last year, it spent more than $684,000 on lobbying in California. Bloomberg



DUI deaths: On the night a 21-year-old Marine allegedly got drunk and drove the wrong way on Route 163, at least two people tried to convince him not to get behind the wheel of his car. That’s according to testimony a San Diego judge heard before finding enough evidence for Jason Riley King to stand trial. King’s night ended when he allegedly smashed into a car, killing two people and injuring three others. San Diego Union-Tribune

Membership dispute: A longtime member of the exclusive Club 33 at Disneyland is suing the happiest place on earth for revoking his membership. Joseph Cosgrove, 84, says park officials canceled his membership after one of his guest passes was auctioned off to charity. However, a Disneyland spokeswoman argues Cosgrove repeatedly abused his membership privileges. Orange County Register

Dude, where’s my car? It might be worth getting that LoJack. A new survey finds California is home to seven metro areas with the highest per-capita auto theft. The San Francisco area led the way with more than 29,000 car thefts last year. Older vehicles are stolen for parts while newer cars are often taken and sold overseas. Los Angeles Times



Endangered places: The National Trust for Historic Preservation is out with its annual list of endangered landmarks, and California is home to two of them. The Factory in West Hollywood was an important part of gay culture when it opened as Studio One in 1974. In San Francisco, the Old Mint was one of the few buildings to survive the 1906 earthquake. Gizmodo

Taco compound: That’s a lot of quesaritos. The Rancho Santa Fe compound that belonged to Taco Bell’s founder is on the market for $7.4 million. Glen Bell Jr. created the Irvine-based fast food chain back in 1962. Los Angeles Times



Clean water: California needs a lot of it, and until recently federal law written for the year-round streams and rivers on the East Coast was applied to the largely seasonal varieties in California. But two U.S. Supreme Court rulings over the last decade have muddied the waters, and as The Times’ editorial board notes, the federal government is proposing a rule change clarifying the protections that are so important to California’s clean water supply, especially during a drought. Los Angeles Times


Los Angeles will have clouds in the morning but sunshine and 81 degrees in the afternoon. Riverside will be sunny with a high of 94. San Diego will have clouds in the morning before reaching 71 degrees. San Francisco will have a foggy morning. Highs will reach 76 degrees.



What’s for dinner? Mule deer if you plan on joining mountain lion P-39 and her two kittens for a meal in the Santa Susana Mountains. (photo gallery)


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.