Hello. I'm Davan Maharaj, the editor of the Los Angeles Times. Here are some story lines you shouldn't miss today.
Not So Black-and-White
The mayor is black. So are the school superintendent, the police chief and most of his officers. That casts the violence in Baltimore in a different light from, say, Ferguson, Mo., where white leaders have run a mostly black town. "It's not about race" is an oft-heard phrase in the streets of West Baltimore. Read what many think it's really about.
Official Paid Attendance: 0
The eeriest place in strife-torn Baltimore on Wednesday must have been Camden Yards. The Orioles and Chicago White Sox took the diamond, ballpark music blared and an ump waved at the stands -- which were empty. The game was closed to the public as a safety precaution, a first for Major League Baseball. The Orioles won, but some think Baltimore lost.
California emits a tiny fraction of the world's greenhouse gases, but Gov. Jerry Brown seems intent on making it a major player in the fight against global warming. He ordered tough new goals on slashing the state's emissions by 2030. They align California's standards with those of the European Union. Brown hopes to get the attention of the rest of the country -- and China.
Good Morning, Pendleton
Forty years ago today, Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese and the Vietnam War was over. Thousands of Vietnamese who fled to a tent city that sprang up overnight at Camp Pendleton had lost not only a war, but a country. Times reporter Anh Do spent her first days in America at Pendleton. Decades later, she finds two women who also came there, scared and confused, as children. Here's her moving story.
A Rumble at the Music Center
It’s unusual for arts institutions to break into open warfare with their fundraising arms, but that seems to be what’s happening at the Music Center -- home of Disney Hall, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Mark Taper Forum and the Ahmanson Theatre. Carla Sands, president of the center’s Blue Ribbon fundraising auxiliary, says the paid administrators botched the Music Center’s 50th anniversary gala Dec. 6 -- missing a chance to reel in big corporate donations and putting on an unspectacular show to boot. Music Center officials concede there were “challenges” and say they’ve had to trim staff because of fundraising shortfalls. Read more here.
-- Gov. Jerry Brown plans to substantially trim the amount of fish and wildlife habitat to be restored in a project to replumb the heart of California's water system.
-- Another L.A. Fire Department class of recruits is all male after four female candidates depart.
-- Years of drought are taking a toll on California's air quality, the American Lung Assn. says.
-- George Skelton: Gov. Jerry Brown's soak-the-rich tax regime is raising plenty of money. Here's why we shouldn't rely on it.
-- Hope of finding more survivors fades as the Nepal earthquake death toll tops 5,500.
-- Saudi Arabia's leadership shakes up the line of succession.
-- The Supreme Court upholds state laws that bar elected judges from asking for money to support their campaigns.
-- In court, victims of the Colorado theater rampage recount the sights and sounds of death.
-- Noting slow economic growth, the Fed keeps an interest rate increase on hold.
-- Pimco adds some luster, bringing former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke on as an advisor.
-- "Everyone has to bet this fight." The Mayweather-Pacquiao showdown looks to set records in Vegas.
-- Character counts, but how much? A look at some risks in tonight's first round of the NFL draft.
-- Kentucky Derby: Bob Baffert-trained Dortmund and American Pharoah draw favorable post positions.
-- The latest scores and stats.
-- Mary McNamara: A Baltimore mom smacks some sense into her son, and the rest of us too.
-- Movie review: "Avengers: Age of Ultron" is full of thrills but quickly forgettable.
Passings: Jack Ely, 71, vocalist on the Kingsmen's "Louie Louie." Calvin Peete, 71, pro golfer who won a dozen PGA tournaments.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- How they became us: Orange County was changed forever after the fall of Saigon.
-- The pope and climate change: a green wearing white?
ONLY IN L.A.
For 23 years, a vacant lot at Vermont and Manchester in South L.A. has festered like an open wound. It was at the center of rioting that rocked the city, the site of the ABC Swat Meet that was among the first of many businesses to burn. Years of efforts to transform it have come to naught. Now -- just maybe -- a new project is taking hold that could help erase old wounds.
Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.