Essential California: SoCal's cleaner air, Uber at the airport, what happened to L.A.'s weather?

Good morning. It is Thursday, March 5. Is your Thin Mint crunchy or smooth? It makes a difference whether you get your Girl Scout cookies in Los Angeles or Orange County. Here's what else is happening today in the Golden State:


Cleaner air, healthier kids

A study two decades in the making has linked cleaner air with stronger lungs in children. Researchers tracked public school children in five of the most polluted cities in Southern California. “The strongest evidence yet that years of government regulations to reduce air pollution in California and across the nation are paying off with measurable improvements in children’s health.” L.A. Times

Tuesday's big winner

The biggest winner in Los Angeles’ municipal election may have been City Council President Herb Wesson. Not only did he win reelection, but two of his chosen candidates won and voters approved his charter amendments to consolidate city elections with state and federal races. ”He was a strong council president before, but he’s way above that now.” L.A. Times



Leaning to the left: L.A. City Councilman-elect Marqueece Harris-Dawson will shift the politics of the council even farther to the left when he’s sworn in. He’ll be taking over the seat occupied by termed-out Councilman Bernard Parks, a fiscal conservative who frequently sides with the business community over big labor. LA Weekly

What's next for LaBonge? He’s not a statesman, he’s a councilman and a councilman picks up garbage. That’s how Tom LaBonge describes himself and his job. So, what is he going to do when he leaves office this summer? “Perhaps he could be the official greeter at LAX, welcoming visitors as they arrive and debriefing them as they depart on what they think L.A. should do better,” writes Patt Morrison. L.A. Times

That '70s feeling: Pharrell Williams testified Wednesday that he may have been channeling the "feel" of Marvin Gaye and the late 1970s but did not copy him when writing "Blurred Lines." Gaye’s family is claiming  copyright infringement in a case being closely watched in the music industry. L.A. Times

Tomorrow's South Bay: D.J. Waldie writes about what politicians and urban planners must consider in designing the South Bay of the future. “I wonder how its residents are supposed to make good decisions about the future of the South Bay if their imaginative conception of it no longer reflects what the South Bay is becoming. And how are we to imagine L.A. if it's no longer exactly L.A. anymore?” KCET

The fog rolls out: Los Angeles has less fog than it did 60 years ago and scientists say it’s because of urbanization. It’s a problem because fog can bring water to the region and keep summertime temperatures from skyrocketing. CityLab

Ticket quotas: Whittier cops say they were under orders to fill ticket and arrest quotas. L.A. Times



Airport pickup: You can now get an Uber or Lyft at John Wayne Airport in Orange County. That’s thanks to a new agreement from the Board of Supervisors, which is also working with taxi companies to make them more competitive with ride-sharing apps. Orange County Register

Sky-high rent: High rents in Silicon Valley have forced one mother to raise her young daughter in a converted garage. She pays $1,000 a month. CNN

Public school donations: All donations to San Francisco public schools, such as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s $120-million gift, will now funnel through the city’s Chamber of Commerce. Volunteer efforts will also be organized through the chamber. SF Gate

Sex on campus: High school students should learn “yes means yes” when it comes to consenting to sexual activity. That’s according to Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles). “We’ve created a culture that’s become so ... anti-young woman. It has gotten to the point where young men are going to have to stand up.” The Guardian



In Wednesday’s Essential California, we asked what election officials could do to increase voter turnout. Reader Sally Diggs: “If national election days were holidays that might improve voter turnout. Voting on weekends would also help.”

Today, we want to hear what you think about all the different proposals to bring the NFL back to Southern California. Supporters of a stadium in Carson, which would be home to the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders, filed paperwork to get the issue on the ballot. Do you want professional football back in the Southland? Is Carson the right spot -- or what about downtown? Inglewood?

Tell us by tweeting with the tag #EssentialCalifornia or sending us an email: reporter Alice Walton and California Editor Shelby Grad.



Members of the Los Angeles City Council may each represent about a quarter-million people, but it doesn’t take anywhere near that many votes to get elected As the L.A. Times reports, incumbents won Tuesday with: L.A. Times

-- Nury Martinez: 5,344 votes

-- Paul Krekorian: 6,704 votes

-- Herb Wesson: 7,002 votes

-- Jose Huizar: 11,081 votes

-- Mitch Englander: 11,224 votes


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.