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Essential California: End of an era for the LAPD

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It is Saturday, Jan 20. Here’s what you don’t want to miss this weekend: TOP STORIES Early retirement: Charlie Beck, the son of a police officer whose own career with the Los Angeles Police Department spanned four decades, will retire...

  • Man suspected of shooting LAPD officer is charged with attempted murder

    A man suspected of firing on two Los Angeles police officers last week and striking a rookie officer in the leg was charged Wednesday with attempted murder, prosecutors said. Ivan Castillo, 27, was charged with two counts of attempted murder of a peace officer and two counts of assault on a peace...

  • L.A. trash customers say pickup deal stinks

    L.A. trash customers say pickup deal stinks

    L.A.’s new recycling program has some laudable goals, but the execution doesn’t look so hot in the underground parking lot of a condo building on Hazeltine Avenue in Van Nuys. Hovsep Hajibekyan walked me into the trash room there Tuesday morning, and a big blue bin overflowed with a mini-Mt. Everest...

  • L.A. could exempt many nonprofits from revealing lobbying

    L.A. could exempt many nonprofits from revealing lobbying

    When Los Angeles lawmakers have weighed hotly contested issues such as whether to hike the minimum wage or how to regulate street vendors, nonprofits have frequently piped up in the debates ringing through City Hall. Now L.A. could exempt many of those groups from revealing whom they lobby in local...

  • Trying to get through on L.A.'s 311 hotline? You're probably waiting longer on hold

    Trying to get through on L.A.'s 311 hotline? You're probably waiting longer on hold

    Two years ago, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti celebrated a milestone in his campaign to make City Hall more efficient. Time spent on hold during calls to the city’s 311 phone service fell to just about a minute, from the nearly four-minute wait before Garcetti took office. “By going back to the...

  • L.A. and its trash haulers are quarreling over customer bills in the city's new recycling program

    L.A. and its trash haulers are quarreling over customer bills in the city's new recycling program

    The honeymoon could soon be over between Los Angeles and the trash companies picked to carry out the city’s huge new recycling program. Over the last three months, the city’s Bureau of Sanitation and the refuse haulers have been at odds over the hefty new fees showing up on customers’ bills — including...

  • Living in a parking lot amid Santa Barbara's wealth is a kind of middle-class homelessness

    Living in a parking lot amid Santa Barbara's wealth is a kind of middle-class homelessness

    Kathy is a senior citizen, Marva is a nurse, Santiago is a chef and Luis is an eighth-grade student. All of them live in Santa Barbara with one thing in common. When night falls, they head to designated parking lots and sleep in their vehicles, all clients in the region’s Safe Parking program. ...

  • This police chief can only be fired if he commits a crime. It has to be a felony

    This police chief can only be fired if he commits a crime. It has to be a felony

    The employment contract for Baldwin Park’s police chief includes a provision that would make him almost impossible to terminate, no matter how bad a job he does. Michael Taylor can only be fired if he commits a felony.

  • Essential California: Inside Disney's blockbuster deal

    Essential California: Inside Disney's blockbuster deal

    Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Friday, Dec. 15, and here’s what’s happening across California: TOP STORIES Major media moves Disney CEO Bob Iger’s audacious bid to buy much of the media empire Rupert Murdoch built represents a big bet that the Burbank company...

  • Mayor's Fund releases 2016 spending report

    Mayor's Fund releases 2016 spending report

    A nonprofit created by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to fund local civic programs slowed fundraising efforts in its third year and sped up spending, according to tax records set to be filed Friday with the federal government. The Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles raised $3.4 million and spent $8 million...

  • Bel-Air fire displays L.A.'s extremes of wealth and misery

    Bel-Air fire displays L.A.'s extremes of wealth and misery

    Sunbaked and wind-battered Los Angeles, blessed and burdened city of extremes, is home to those with everything and those with nothing. Last week, the two worlds intersected when a cooking fire at a homeless encampment destroyed six homes and damaged a dozen others in Bel-Air, where affluent residents...

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