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Today: Incendiary rhetoric and water hogs

I'm Davan Maharaj, editor of the Los Angeles Times. Here are some story lines I don't want you to miss today.

TOP STORIES

True Believers

Protesting and heckling are not unusual tactics during stump speeches, and most Democrats and Republicans urge restraint and self-control. Not so Donald Trump. When a supporter punched a protester in the face during a recent rally, the candidate raised the stakes by saying that he might pay the man’s legal fees. Critics believe the rhetoric is more than just dangerous.

Michigan on Steroids

Tuesday's primary in Ohio has become a toss-up for Democrats who hope to learn whether Bernie Sanders' stunning upset over Hillary Clinton in Michigan last week was a fluke or a tipping point. No one dares predict the outcome in a state known for its precarious mix of blue-collar anger, young voter enthusiasm and African American strength.

The Water Hogs of the 90210

Comedian Amy Poehler, developer Geoff Palmer and philanthropist David Geffen, among others, recently received letters from the city of Beverly Hills, targeting them for wasting water during the drought. It's the latest step for a city whose approach to conservation has done little to stem usage among residents. “In Beverly Hills,” said one official, “for whatever reason, people are not motivated.”

Remembering 'Mama Naka'

In 1956, Katherine Banks opened Naka’s Broiler in Compton, just across the street from Centennial High School. Watching those students, Banks once said, made her feel like her deceased daughter, Joy La Nell, was still in her life. Sixty years later, students and patrons are celebrating Banks' legacy and her commitment to fighting racism and helping teens.

La Comunista

Ada Caso is often teased for supporting Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, but the Long Beach resident is used to being out of step with her relatives, who favor Marco Rubio and Donald Trump. With a population of just 41,000, Cuban Americans are a distinct minority in Southern California, yet their mixed allegiances reflect the evolving character of this immigrant community.

OUR MUST-READS FROM THE WEEKEND

— Donald Trump has masterfully played to the aggrieved minority of his party, but will that be enough in the general election?

— What might raise a few eyebrows in the rest of the country doesn’t faze voters in Miami who view Marco Rubio’s foibles as par for the course.

— Depending upon the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Texas law regulating abortion clinics, women in the Rio Grande Valley might have to drive 230 miles to exercise their right to terminate their pregnancy.

— When Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown from San Bernardino didn’t support Gov. Jerry Brown’s climate-change bill, she believed she was best representing her constituents. Then the protests began.

— A weekend storm brought several feet of snow to the Sierra Nevada. The March Miracle is coming true.

He’s clearly no pig-whisperer. Cesar Millan defends himself over allegations of animal cruelty after a French bulldog mix bit a pot-bellied pig.

— Workers celebrate a milestone in the raising of L.A.’s newest skyscraper, soon to be the tallest in the West. The views are nothing less than stunning.

— Fifty years ago, Paul Van Doren started selling shoes out of a storefront in Anaheim, and today his company, Vans, is a global brand.

CALIFORNIA

— Flint, Mich., isn't the only municipality concerned about dirty tap water. Residents in Gardena started complaining last year about the brown or black water that came out of their faucets. Officials say the quality has since improved, but some residents remain skeptical.

George Skelton: State Sen. Jeff Stone votes his conscience and breaks ranks with fellow Republicans to increase the legal smoking age and regulate electronic cigarettes.

NATION-WORLD

— The Pentagon's $2.7-billion program to use radar-carrying blimps is jeopardized as two senators refuse a funding request.

— The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race turned violent when a snowmobiler ran into two mushers, killing a dog and injuring two others.

— A federal immigration judge, speaking as an expert witness, declares that unaccompanied minors do not need legal counsel during deportation hearings.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

— The Long Beach Opera is known for staging ambitious productions, and its latest, "Fallujah," presents not only the horrors of war but also its savage beauty.

Christopher Hawthorne: The renovation of an old flour mill into DTLA's new art gallery, Hauser Wirth & Schimmel, falls flat. Could something greater have been achieved with this space?

Afghan graffiti artist Shamsia Hassani risks working on the streets of Kabul to beautify the city and bring contemporary art to its residents.

BUSINESS

— Famed New York restaurateur Danny Meyer is bringing Shake Shack to West Hollywood. Can a Big Apple burger joint survive in the birthplace of McDonald's and In-N-Out?

— A Chinese insurance company has acquired the historic Hotel del Coronado near San Diego and the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel for $6.5 billion.

"Zootopia" grosses $50 million during its second weekend in release, besting the J.J. Abrams-produced thriller "10 Cloverfield Lane."

SPORTS

March Madness promises to be even more unpredictable this year. Blame the new 30-second shot clock and a shift in officiating.

— "I'd kind of like to do that," says Dodger pitching ace Clayton Kershaw on watching other players win the World Series.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

— A writer reflects on his life in the Mojave Desert and its lonely sentinel, the Joshua tree. (Beacon)

— All cast-iron skillets come with their own pedigree, but the best hail from South Pittsburg, Tennessee. (The Bitter Southerner)

— A rabbi from Toronto explains his love for a rock 'n' roller from the Jersey shore. (Jewish Journal)

ONLY IN CALIFORNIA

You’ve heard of a murder of crows, a flight of swallows, even a scourge of mosquitoes. How about a stampede of dolphins? That’s what Dave Anderson, owner of Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari, called the phenomenon he witnessed last Thursday in the water off Dana Point. Repeatedly leaping from the water at speeds of up to 25 mph, the dolphins turned the ocean into a frothy, high-speed wonderland.

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.

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