Hello. I'm Davan Maharaj, the editor of the Los Angeles Times. Here are some story lines you shouldn't miss today.
New War, Old Lessons
Saudi Arabia may be about to learn hard lessons about the limits of airstrikes. It says Shiite Muslim rebels now are on the run in Yemen, and slick daily briefings are upbeat. Two weeks after sorties began, however, fierce fighting rages on. Aid groups warn of a humanitarian calamity. Sectarian divisions are widening. What next? A Saudi general tries to explain.
Use Less, Pay More
Residents of Southern California have had to cut back on water use. Now they're about to feel it in their wallets. The region's water wholesaler is expected to decide next week to ration supplies to the 26 Southland water districts and cities it serves. Those local agencies will have to pay more for increased water usage, which means their customers will too. Expect even more strict conservation requirements and even bigger bills for excessive water use.
Ferguson, Mo., has faced ugly realities since a white officer killed an unarmed black teen last fall: rioting, national disgrace and a federal finding of patterns of racism and "unconstitutional policing" by the town's mostly white leaders against its black majority. This week, that majority gets a chance to redress some of the imbalances in a city election. Are they up to it?
Newsom's Pot Shot
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is a known risk taker. As San Francisco mayor, he was out front -- too far out for some fellow Democrats -- on gay marriage. Now, he wants to legalize marijuana for recreational use. It's an intriguing stance as Newsom prepares to run for governor, but he bristles at suggestions that it's a political gambit. He says it's a matter of criminal and social justice.
Beer, Wine and Change
You've heard of gentrification. Here comes "gentefication," a play on the Spanish word for people. Our Great Read today takes a look at the old-school Las Palomas and the hipster-friendly Eastside Luv wine bar, two Boyle Heights watering holes. Brittny Mejia writes: "The two bars sit side-by-side like an immigrant father and his Americanized son, springing from the same root, but not quite always getting each other." Read why the Luv's owner says: “If we are going to experience gentrification then it might as well be from people .... that are familiar with this Mexican American community.”
-- Democratic state legislators are unveiling a slew of immigration-related proposals today.
-- The theory and the hope behind L.A.'s new "simplified" parking signs.
-- Sandy Banks shares intriguing feedback on her column about an uneasy hug from a stranger in a subway station.
-- City Beat: Self-styled actors take a lively show on the road to show the elderly how to slam the door on scammers.
-- North Carolina prosecutors will seek the death penalty in the killing of three Muslim college students in a parking dispute.
-- Jurors begin deliberations in the trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
-- Kenya launches airstrikes on Shabab in Somalia days after the Islamist militant group attacked a university, killing 148.
-- Amnesty International says Afghanistan is failing in its obligations to protect women's rights activists from harassment and violence.
-- Hollywood joins a last-ditch push to back President Obama's proposed Pacific Rim trade pact.
-- Low-paid workers are winning more wage-theft cases. Getting their back pay is another matter.
-- Herbalife is making its products available online from the company website.
-- OPENING DAY: Dodgers beat the Padres. Angels lose in Seattle. Columnist Bill Plaschke sums up the scene in the Ravine.
-- Duke defeats Wisconsin 68-63 to win the NCAA men's basketball championship. NCAA final tournament bracket.
-- UCLA's Kevin Looney declares for the NBA draft.
-- The latest scores and stats.
-- George Takei, "Star Trek's" original Mr. Sulu, is still a force to be reckoned with. Just ask Indiana.
-- The Federal Trade Commission is asked to investigate whether the new YouTube Kids app exposes youngsters to an unwanted barrage of ads.
Passings: Robert Burns Jr., 64, founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Jenny Wallenda, 87, matriarch of the famed aerialist family. The Rev. Gardner C. Taylor, 96, a leading voice in the civil rights movement.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- The gentlemen's agreement that ended the Civil War.
-- Avoidable failure: The Columbia Journalism Review report on Rolling Stone's fraternity rape investigation.
-- Why politicians need science.
-- Alex Rodriguez returns as the Yankees' designated attention-getter.
ONLY IN L.A.
Opening-day tailgating at Elysian Park is sacred for fans who bleed Dodger Blue. This year, some got a sobering surprise: lots of cops, and citations for drinking in public. Parties around Dodgers Stadium were getting too hard on the neighborhoods, so officials cracked down. Another change: two-hour street parking limits. What's a Dodgers fan to do? Have fun anyway.
Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.