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Essential California: Inside the San Bernardino car chase

Good morning. It is Monday, Dec. 14. This year, L.A. architecture was dominated by two very different museums: The Broad and Petersen Automotive Museum, according to at least one architecture critic. Here's what is happening in the Golden State:

TOP STORIES

Terror endgame

“This is too crazy. How could this really be them?” That’s what a Redlands police sergeant thought when he began pursuing a black SUV. Inside were Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik. They had just killed 14 people and were now on the run. It’s the inside story of the car chase and gun battle that ended the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001. Los Angeles Times

Key electronics

How close were any ties between the San Bernardino shooters and Islamic terrorist groups? Investigators believe the answer might lie in the electronic equipment the attackers tried to destroy. Divers spent days looking for a hard drive and other computer components in a San Bernardino lake. Los Angeles Times

Mystery man

Enrique Marquez, who was childhood friends with Syed Farook, has emerged as a focus of both intrigue and mystery in the terror investigation. What did he know? Was he involved? One man who knew him is skeptical: "He couldn't fight his way out of a wet paper bag." Los Angeles Times 

DROUGHT AND CLIMATE

Drought fight: House GOP members are blaming Sen. Dianne Feinstein for not inserting their plan into a spending bill. It would authorize storage, desalination and water recycling projects, and increase how much water could be pumped south from the delta area. Feinstein’s staff responded that negotiations were still ongoing when Republicans made the request. Los Angeles Times

Snow and rain: Another major storm barreled through Northern California, bringing heavy rain to the Bay Area and more snow in the Sierra. It’s the third major storm in a week -- and that’s even before El Niño emerges. CBS SF Bay Area 

L.A. AT LARGE

Food for thought: "The meals were down home soul food: black-eyed peas, short ribs, collard greens. The rules were old-school and inviolable: no drugs, no groping the ladies, no casual clothes. The cook and the enforcer at black Los Angeles' legacy nightspot were its owners, a pair of German emigres," writes columnist Sandy Banks. Los Angeles Times

Hip church: Can Hollywood make churchgoing “cool” with a dash of pop culture, social media and Coachella-esque vibe? Mosaic “doesn’t adhere to a specific strain of Christianity and encourages followers to unleash their creative spirits.” New York Times

Public fight: Gadflies and elected officials often come into conflict at public meetings, but L.A. County Supervisor Shelia Keuhl’s exchange with John Walsh -- captured on video -- might be one for the record books. LAObserved

Best eats: Pomelo salad. Bone-marrow dengaku. Clam-lardo tacos. Foie gras funnel cake. All made the list of Jonathan Gold’s best L.A. dishes of the year. Los Angeles Times

Rose Parade: How much does it cost to build a Rose Parade float? “Some at bottom end can start as low as $80,000, but we’ve also had floats get as high as $350,000,” according to the president of Fiesta Parade Floats in Pasadena, one of four Tournament-approved float builders in the Pasadena area. Daily Breeze

POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

“Rudy” moment: In the wake of the San Bernardino terrorism attack, no elected official has so far had his or her Rudy Giuliani moment. “In size, San Bernardino was more akin to the mass shootings that have become part of American life, and that have prompted officials to respond mostly with partisan fights over gun control,” writes columnist Cathleen Decker. Los Angeles Times

Obsessed with immigration: In the heart of liberal Venice, a onetime left-leaning blogger is leading a different kind of campaign against illegal immigration. “The answer is that no one is speaking for the actual voter — except, it turns out, for Donald Trump,” says Mickey Kaus. Buzzfeed

Democratic battle: There’s a potentially ugly Democratic civil war brewing in the San Gabriel Valley as Assemblyman Roger Hernandez takes on veteran Rep. Grace Napolitano. Both have some fodder for negative ads. Los Angeles Times

GOP registration: For the first time in Orange County’s history, the Republican Party’s share of voter registration has fallen below 40%. At the same time, more and more voters there are registering without an official party preference. But it’s not all bad news for the party. “While Republican registration is declining, Democratic turnout is declining,” said Raphael Sonenshein of the Cal State Los Angeles Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs. Orange County Register 

CRIME AND COURTS

Tale of the tapes: A video emerged Saturday night showing L.A. County sheriff’s deputies fatally shooting a man as he walked away from them. But on Sunday, officials displayed photos and a video appearing to show the man holding a gun just before he was killed. They also say he fired his gun in the air and was waving it around on a busy street. Los Angeles Times

Conflicting accounts: San Francisco police said they shot and killed Mario Woods after he threatened an officer with a knife, but new video shows the barrage of bullets hitting Woods as he held his arms at his side. His family has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city. SF Gate

Case work: There could be more trouble ahead for Orange County prosecutors involved in the jailhouse snitch scandal. OC Weekly

Right to work: Members of a K-pop group were denied entry at LAX last week because they lied about the purpose of their visit -- and not because they were mistaken for sex workers, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. Management for the band Oh My Girl told reporters the performers were mistaken for “working women.” But customs agents say the members did not have the proper visa to work in the country. Los Angeles Times

CALIFORNIA CULTURE

Go Trojans: Columnist Bill Plaschke says it’s time for USC athletic director Pat Haden to hit the road. “He needs to walk away before he becomes the sort of distraction he was hired to eliminate, before his presence threatens the very stability he was hired to restore,” he writes. Los Angeles Times

Golden parachute: How much severance would Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer receive if her tenure at the company came to an end? Estimates vary, but she could be looking at a $59-million payday. Los Angeles Times

Disney’s way: Don’t expect a bunch of high-rise buildings to emerge around Disneyland. Walt Disney didn’t want outsiders to have views of his park, and Anaheim zoning rules have complied with this request. Orange County Register

Musical search: Seeking clues to the Velvet Underground’s early days in California. New Yorker

CALIFORNIA ALMANAC

San Francisco will have clouds and a high of 55 degrees. In Los Angeles, it will be partly sunny and 61. Riverside will be partly sunny and windy at 58 degrees. San Diego will have sunshine and wind with a high of 61.

AND FINALLY

This week’s birthdays for notable Californians:

Rep. Steve Knight (Dec. 17, 1966), director Steven Spielberg (Dec. 18, 1946) and actor Brad Pitt (Dec. 18, 1963).

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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