The Golden Globes are back. But after a shattering controversy, will viewers return?

A series of Golden Globe statuettes
Golden Globe statuettes make their return tonight. Will viewers tune in to the ceremony?
(Matt Sayles / Associated Press)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Tuesday, Jan. 10.

I’m Rachel Schnalzer, an audience engagement editor at The Times, which means I work each day to deliver our journalism to readers like you in a clear, captivating way. This involves posting our stories on social media, brainstorming headlines … and sometimes, writing newsletters.

I also regularly answer readers’ questions about L.A. and California. Why is L.A.’s skyline far from the beach? What’s the history of the nickname “Cali”? You can check previously answered questions here. (Send me yours using this form.)

Speaking of questions, the Golden Globes is set to return tonight — and it’s unclear how audiences will respond after the award show’s reputation-shattering controversy nearly two years ago.

In February 2021, a Times investigation revealed a lack of diversity within the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., the organization that holds the awards. The investigation highlighted concerns about the association’s financial practices and ethics, and in May 2021, NBC announced it would not air the Golden Globes in 2022.

The HFPA has undergone significant reforms since 2021. Changes include banning gifts, establishing a misconduct hotline and adding six Black journalists to its ranks. For more than 20 years, the organization did not have a single Black member.


But many in the entertainment industry remain skeptical of the organization and the Golden Globes.

Times columnist Mary McNamara is one of them. “Having finally been called out, the emperor can put on some clothes if he wants, but that doesn’t negate the fact that he was walking around naked for years — and gaslighting everyone in the kingdom about it,” she wrote in December.

Todd Boehly, interim chief executive of the HFPA, says he understands that skeptics remain.

“I have nightmares where it doesn’t work too, you know?” Boehly told The Times. “I get it, you can’t convince all of the people all of the time of anything. … We know we have to add value and we know that we have to be part of the solution.”

For a list of tonight’s nominees, click here. Need a full refresher on our Golden Globes investigation and the aftermath? We’ve got you covered.

And now, here’s what’s happening across California:

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Above choppy waves, a chunk of a road is missing as people walk by
A portion of West Cliff Drive fell into the Pacific Ocean in Santa Cruz on Jan. 8, 2023.
(Melina Mara / Washington Post via Getty Images)

Southern California is again facing heavy rains, dangerous winds and flooding threats, triggering evacuations in Montecito, Carpinteria, Summerland and Santa Barbara “due to threats to life safety caused by the ongoing storm,” according to the Montecito Fire Protection District. Los Angeles Times

In Northern California, strong winter storms and heavy rains spurred widespread flooding in Santa Cruz County and beyond. Several rivers reached or surpassed their flood level Monday. Los Angeles Times

California’s subsidized child care programs reach just a small number of the families who need aid. And a large portion of the money that is set aside for child care goes unused. San Diego Union-Tribune

Will a gondola linking Union Station to Dodger Stadium exist by the 2028 Olympics? The proposed 1.2-mile lift’s future is far from certain, with looming legal challenges and other potential hurdles. Mayor Karen Bass’ position on the electric-powered gondola remains to be seen. Los Angeles Times

Wrong-way drivers are one of California’s worst highway problems. Now, San Diego has become a testing ground for possible solutions. San Diego Union-Tribune

Check out "The Times" podcast for essential news and more

These days, waking up to current events can be, well, daunting. If you’re seeking a more balanced news diet, “The Times” podcast is for you. Gustavo Arellano, along with a diverse set of reporters from the award-winning L.A. Times newsroom, delivers the most interesting stories from the Los Angeles Times every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.



California geneticists are imagining a new type of sanctuary. Researchers are working to pinpoint and protect areas that are home to plants and animals with strong levels of genetic diversity. “What we need now are protected areas for species with the genetic resilience to survive the extremes of climate change,” said Brad Shaffer, evolutionary biologist and director of UCLA’s La Krantz Center for California Conservation Science. Los Angeles Times

Two-thirds of the world’s glaciers will be gone by 2100, if climate change continues at this rate, according to a new study. But we can stanch the damage by limiting future warming and meeting climate goals. Associated Press

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The use of therapists on film sets is relatively rare — but this may be changing. To support stressed-out and overburdened film workers, more producers are thinking about offering on-set and virtual therapy services. Los Angeles Times.

For this minister and trauma psychologist, spirituality and psychology go hand in hand. “The overarching theme of my work is healing,” said Thema Bryant, the new president of the American Psychological Assn. and one of several ministers at First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles. Los Angeles Times

Water — and swimming — is a powerful refuge for artist, actress, writer and climate justice organizer Andrea Cañizares-Fernandez. Don’t miss her touching words and art that illustrates the stabilizing force swimming plays in her life. Los Angeles Times.


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Los Angeles: 60, rainy San Diego: 62, rainy San Francisco: 56, rainy San Jose: 58, rainy Fresno: 59, rainy Sacramento: 56, rainy


We’re trying something new! We asked you to send us photos and descriptions of California landmarks that mean something to you.

Today’s landmark love: The mosaic walls of LAX, submitted by Rafael Chavez of Sherman Oaks.

A wall made up of green and brown mosaic tiles in a florescent-lit hallway at LAX
A mosaic wall at LAX
(Rafael Chavez )

Rafael writes:

“The mosaic walls at LAX have become an iconic landmark welcoming airline passengers to our wonderful city. They bear no message, no advertising, but to many of us travelers, they say, ‘Welcome Home.’”

What are California’s essential landmarks? Fill out this form to send us your photos of a special spot in California — natural or human-made. Tell us why it’s interesting and what makes it a symbol of life in the Golden State. Please be sure to include only photos taken directly by you. Your submission could be featured in a future edition of the newsletter.


Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments to