I'm Davan Maharaj, editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles Times. Here are some story lines I don't want you to miss today.
Kobe's Hollywood Ending
He shot 50 times, scored 60 points and led the Lakers to a 101-96, come-from-behind victory over the Utah Jazz. Celebrities swooned. Twitter crashed. Too bad, given the team's dismal season, the game's outcome didn't matter. Still, for Kobe Bryant, it was a storybook ending to a career that had five championships and its dark chapters too. "Man!" he said after the game. "I can’t believe how fast 20 years went by." See the photos from the final game, and tell us your thoughts on Facebook.
L.A.'s Not So Grand Bazaar
Jeans. Baby toys. Power tools. Couches. Just about everything is for sale on and around Figueroa Street in South L.A. With rents rising and incomes not, people have turned to street vending to make ends meet, sometimes selling off their personal possessions. Read on for more about "a shopping bazaar of last resort for people living on the margins," as Ruben Vives writes.
It's Not Easy Being Green
Some call them a "dumping ground" for industry. Others call them home. Now, L.A. city officials are designating Boyle Heights, Wilmington, Pacoima and Sun Valley as "green zones," where special regulations will kick in to make them cleaner. Read on to see why some call the new rules groundbreaking — and why businesses aren't happy.
Putting the Squeeze on ISIS
President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and other senior U.S. officials visited CIA headquarters for briefings as they weigh a deeper role in the war against Islamic State. The president is considering sending 200 more members of U.S. special operations forces to Syria's northern border, where air attacks have already increased.
The Voter ID Law That Won't Die
Texas' voter ID law from 2013 puts "unforgiving burdens on the poor," according to a three-judge panel in Washington. A federal district court judge said it discriminates against minorities. Yet it remains in effect. Read on to see how the Supreme Court's decision three years ago to strike down a key part of the Voting Rights Act keeps the Texas law alive.
USC Passes the Ball
When Pat Haden announced he would step down as USC's athletic director, the school said it would conduct a national search for a successor. Given the Trojan Family tradition, though, it's not surprising an alumnus will get the job. Lynn Swann becomes the third consecutive former USC football player to lead the program. But some are scratching their heads about Swann's lack of major college administration experience.
-- A federal judge is barring L.A. from improper seizures of homeless people's property.
-- Proposed legislation would make California the first state to ask the federal government to allow undocumented immigrants to purchase health insurance through a state exchange.
-- Katy Perry wins a legal victory in the battle to buy a nuns' convent in Los Feliz.
-- Batten down the hatches: Strong winds are headed for L.A. before a warm weekend.
-- Russian fighter jets repeatedly buzzed a U.S. Navy warship in the Baltic Sea.
-- As Clinton and Sanders prepare to debate tonight, New York polls are very stable.
-- How Pope Francis' exhortation on love is (and isn't) changing the Catholic Church.
-- "Affluenza" teen Ethan Couch has been sentenced to nearly two years in prison.
-- Taiwan accuses China of abducting its citizens.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- They're baaack: Coachella reunions of N.W.A and GNR promise a flashback to the angry '80s in L.A.
-- Roman floor mosaics with violent scenes pack a punch at the Getty Villa.
-- How director Karyn Kusama got her indie groove back with "The Invitation," a film about a dinner party that goes off the rails.
-- What's your chance of a pay raise? It helps if you are in high tech.
-- Federal health regulators seek to revoke the license of Theranos Inc.'s California blood-testing lab.
-- The L.A. Kings' Jeff Carter has stepped up his leadership on the team and as a dog daddy.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- The fiction of farm-to-table restaurants in Tampa Bay. (Tampa Bay Times)
-- The 160-pound bulldog on the plane: Service animal registrations rise. (The Hollywood Reporter)
-- Will "The SpongeBob Musical" be the next great Broadway musical? (New York Post)
ONLY IN L.A.
Spiders and snakes and squirrels. Oh my. The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is enlisting "citizen scientists" to inventory and collect specimens of all urban wildlife in the region. "There's a misconception that Los Angeles is a concrete jungle," said one museum official. Read on to see how 43 new fly species have been discovered in L.A. in the last year alone.
Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.