Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It's Tuesday, Nov. 14, and here's what's happening across California:
What they knew and when they knew it
Complaints about Dr. Carmen Puliafito's drinking began to reach
An FBI informant dubbed "Captain America" helped build a corruption case against L.A. County sheriff's officials. But Albino Mendoza wasn't the man investigators thought he was. Los Angeles Times
Meet the Clampers!
America is full of memorials for epic battles and soaring monuments and somber cradles of famous historical figures. The men of E Clampus Vitus — a.k.a. the Clampers — don't bother with those. "We believe in the absurd," said Gene Koen, a Clamper from Oroville. In Truckee, the group paid homage to the Tin Can bar from the early 1900s and Dot's Place, a brothel. In Mono County, a Clampers plaque honors the Legend of June Lake Slot Machines: illegal machines said to have been tossed in the lake in the 1940s and sought by cold-water divers. In a kind of running theme, the Clampers seem to celebrate a fair number of places overtaken, biblical-like, by water. Los Angeles Times
Fake signs? Amid the stress of L.A. traffic, fake street signs aim to help people chill out and get Zen. Los Angeles Times
On the horizon: The Tartine group is roasting its own coffee, and they're opening a roasting facility in downtown Los Angeles with a coffee lab. Los Angeles Times
POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT
Bringing in help: In a break with its longstanding practices that signals growing pressure to forcefully address sexual harassment allegations at the state Capitol, the California Senate will soon take steps to hire outside attorneys for any abuse investigation involving either staff or lawmakers. Los Angeles Times
Gearing up for bankruptcy: Once a darling of the Mojave aerospace start-up scene, space plane builder Xcor Aerospace has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Los Angeles Times
Hate crimes are up: "The number of hate crimes reported in California jumped about 11 percent in 2016, a spike some experts who monitor such bias activity say has a correlation to the election of President Trump." San Francisco Chronicle
Good profile: "
CRIME AND COURTS
See you in court: The Supreme Court will hear an antiabortion group's free-speech challenge to a California law that requires "crisis pregnancy centers" to notify patients that the state offers subsidies for contraception and abortions. Los Angeles Times
Another settlement: The Marlborough School has reached a settlement with an unnamed former student who was sexually abused by Joseph Koetters, her English teacher. Los Angeles Times
Weekend shooting: Investigators have identified two people who died in an apparent murder-suicide at an El Segundo park on Saturday night. Los Angeles Times
New allegations: "Actor Tom Sizemore was told to leave a Utah film set in 2003 after an 11-year-old actress told her mother that he had touched her genitals." The Hollywood Reporter
A fight in Monterey: "Saying they want to capture much-needed water that flows over Lake Nacimiento's spillway, Monterey County officials are planning to build an underground tunnel that would move some of its water to Lake San Antonio farther north." The Tribune
More Ratner fallout:
Go Cody! The Dodgers' Cody Bellinger has been named the
An apology: Dave Becky, comedian Louis C.K.'s former manager, is apologizing for his behavior and explaining his side of the story in the sexual misconduct scandal that enveloped the Emmy-winning comedian last week. Los Angeles Times
Valley talk: The dramatic imbalance in pay and power in the technology industry "has created the conditions for abuse. More and more, women are pushing for change." The New Yorker
Los Angeles area: Partly cloudy, 76, Tuesday. Partly cloudy, 77, Wednesday. San Diego: Partly cloudy, 73, Tuesday. Partly cloudy, 76, Wednesday. San Francisco area: Sunny, 62, Tuesday. Rainy, 63, Wednesday. Sacramento: Partly cloudy, 64, Tuesday. Rainy, 59, Wednesday. More weather is here.
Today's California memory comes from Chris Ungar:
"In November 1961 I was a fifth-grader at UCLA's University Elementary School. During recess we noticed smoke coming from the hills to the north of the campus. It was the start of the devastating Bel-Air Fire. Soon fire engines were racing down Sunset Boulevard in a futile attempt to halt the blaze. Later, my friend Fritz, who lived in Bel-Air, and I wandered the streets near his (saved) home. That charred lot was, Fritz said, 'Alfred Hitchcock's home.' "
If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, share it with us. Send us an email to let us know what you love or fondly remember about our state. (Please keep your story to 100 words.)