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Essential California: USC and the allegations against a gynecologist

Essential California: USC and the allegations against a gynecologist
Dr. George Tyndall was allowed to continue seeing student patients for years despite accusations of inappropriate behavior during exams. (USC)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It's Wednesday, May 16, and here's what's happening across California:

TOP STORIES

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A Times inquiry has found that Dr. George Tyndall, a gynecologist at USC for nearly 30 years, had been accused repeatedly of misconduct toward young patients but was allowed to continue practicing. An internal USC investigation determined that Tyndall's behavior during pelvic exams was outside the scope of current medical practice and amounted to sexual harassment of students. But in a secret deal last summer, The Times found, top administrators allowed the doctor to resign quietly with a financial payout. Tyndall denies wrongdoing. Los Angeles Times

A fight over doctor-assisted suicide

A judge has overturned a landmark California law that allows terminally ill patients to request lethal medications from their doctors. It's been the subject of fierce and emotional debates since it was approved in 2015. The judge found the California Legislature violated the law by passing the End of Life Option Act during a special session dedicated to healthcare issues, but gave the state attorney general five days to file an appeal to keep the law in place. State officials vowed to do so. Los Angeles Times

L.A. STORIES

Activist dies: In the heart of L.A.'s harbor, he fought for decades to preserve nature. Daily Breeze

More from the harbor: Amid rising trade wars, L.A.'s ports are seeing a booming export business. Wall Street Journal

Deadly blast: A woman was killed in an explosion that rocked an Aliso Viejo medical office building Tuesday afternoon that officials said appears to have been intentionally set. Los Angeles Times

Tour time: Los Angeles Unified School District's new superintendent, Austin Beutner, kicked off his first day of work Tuesday with a choreographed tour of the nation's second-largest school district, from the San Fernando Valley to Carson. Los Angeles Times

Mixed use: Next to the Grove, retail is being replaced by housing. Curbed Los Angeles

Taking action: How one Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf dealt with a man who was seen criticizing a Muslim woman in its store. Press-Enterprise

CRIME AND COURTS

Weed clearing: San Francisco is working with a nonprofit organization to create a program that would automatically clear eligible marijuana convictions under California's new marijuana legalization law. The program, created by Code for America, will allow the district attorney's office to use new technology to determine eligibility for record clearance under state law, automatically fill out the required forms and generate a completed motion in PDF format. Los Angeles Times

Big change: As Uber continues its makeover from Silicon Valley bad boy to good corporate citizen, the ride-hailing giant announced that it will no longer require that drivers, employees or customers who allege sexual assault or harassment go through arbitration instead of suing the company. Los Angeles Times

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Say what: A man was arrested for leaving his car idling. Is that legal? Sacramento Bee

Closing arguments: "His fundamental problem, the reason we're all here … is he hated women, he believes they are whores and he likes killing them," a prosecutor said during closing arguments in the trial of a man on trial for allegedly killing five women. Orange County Register

POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

Yuck: The state attorney general has joined San Diego's regional water regulators in pressuring the White House to do more to address sewage from Tijuana that routinely spills over the border fouling beaches as far north as Coronado. San Diego Union-Tribune

GSK aftermath: Less than a month after police arrested a man suspected of being the Golden State Killer — one of California's most prolific serial rapists — state lawmakers in Sacramento on Tuesday said they want to ensure all sexual assault kits are counted and swiftly tested. Los Angeles Times

Willie Brown speaks up: California needs to accept that Donald Trump is more popular than a lot of the haters are willing to admit. San Francisco Chronicle

CALIFORNIA CULTURE

RIP: Remembering the life of Tom Wolfe, who reveled in worlds where people stood tall and acted with extravagance and swagger. Los Angeles Times

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Plus: Wolfe's wild California adventures. City Journal

Party with a purpose: A white woman called police on African Americans having a barbecue at Lake Merritt. In protest, Oakland residents plan a huge cookout. SF Gate

Hard math: It's not so easy to move to cheaper cities when you get priced out. Here is why. New York Times

Going up: The price of a meal in San Francisco. SF Gate

Foodie alert: "Los Angeles boasts not only a Chinatown and a Koreatown but also a Thai Town, a Filipinotown, a Little Tokyo, and a Little Bangladesh, not to mention suburbs dense with destination Szechuan palaces and Cantonese seafood halls." Is it now ready for David Chang?The New Yorker

Oscar! Oscar? It's only May, but there is already early Oscar talk for "Black Panther." Los Angeles Times

CALIFORNIA ALMANAC

Los Angeles area: sunny, 71, Wednesday; sunny, 70, Thursday. San Diego: partly cloudy, 67, Wednesday; partly cloudy, 65, Thursday. San Francisco area: partly cloudy, 63, Wednesday; partly cloudy, 61, Thursday. Sacramento: scattered showers, 71; Wednesday. partly cloudy, 78, Thursday. More weather is here.

AND FINALLY

Today's California memory comes from Frank Sheffield:

"Dropped off at La Jolla Cove, San Diego, my friend and I walked home to Torrance, along the beach, camping with a WWII-surplus pup tent. Well, not all the way home, nor all along the beach: At Camp Pendleton we hitched a ride. It was 1952 or '53. Can you imagine 15-year-olds even getting permission to start such a hike today?"

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.)

Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments, complaints and ideas to Benjamin Oreskes and Shelby Grad. Also follow them on Twitter @boreskes and @shelbygrad.

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