Newsletter: Today: SoCal’s Seismic Calm Is Over

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake rattled Southern California on Thursday, the largest temblor to hit the region in nearly two decades.


The largest earthquake in Southern California in two decades marks the end of a quiet period in the state’s seismic history.


SoCal’s Seismic Calm Is Over


It was a tranquil Fourth of July morning, well before the boom of fireworks officially took over, when the ground moved: A magnitude 6.4 earthquake, centered in a remote area about 125 miles northeast of Los Angeles, rattled communities from Las Vegas to Long Beach. It left residents near the epicenter in Ridgecrest and Kern County shaken, where there were reports of some moderate injuries, damage to stores and structure fires. For most of Southern California, the largest earthquake in two decades ended a period of seismic calm — and served as a reminder to be prepared for the next one. For some, it raised questions why L.A.’s early warning system didn’t send an alert (answer: the shaking wasn’t that strong in L.A.). And for Barbara Butler, 90, who rode this one out in a Dollar Tree and recounted experiencing the 1933 Long Beach and 1952 Tehachapi earthquakes, it was another seismic event to take in stride: “I’ve been through ‘em.”

Pomp, Politics and Protests

Fourth of July celebrations in Washington usually bring Democrats and Republicans together to mark the national holiday while taking a break from partisan politics. Not this year. With tanks on the streets of the nation’s capital, military jet flyovers and a presidential address on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, President Trump injected his trademark over-the-top style into the traditional fireworks display at the National Mall — albeit without his usual combative language.

More Politics

-- Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, the only Republican in Congress to support the impeachment of Trump, says he is leaving the GOP because he has become disenchanted with partisan politics and “frightened by what I see from it.”

-- Sen. Kamala Harris says that busing students should be considered by school districts trying to desegregate their locations — not the federal mandate she appeared to support in criticizing rival Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden last week.

The Bat Killer

A mysterious fungus that has killed millions of bats in the eastern United States and left caves littered with their tiny carcasses has arrived in Northern California and appears poised to spread throughout the state. Government biologists say the germ that causes white-nose syndrome has been found in a number of bats found near Lassen Volcanic National Park. The fungus has devastated North American bat species in some regions and pushed the natural pest controllers toward extinction.

How the Durian King Was Crowned

Durian is sometimes known as the king of fruit. But what defines it is its overpowering sulfuric smell. These days, the global market for raw durian is growing rapidly and expected to reach $25 billion by 2030, with much of the demand from China. More and more of the fruit is coming from Malaysia, where one man is known as the Durian King. Our latest Column One tells his story.

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On this date in 1935, the Hollywood Bowl was getting a new coat of paint thanks to Martin Sipma, who had already painted the shell of the outdoor stage twice since it was built in 1927. In the photo below, Sipma is seen using a spray gun as workmen steady his ladder.


-- Property owners and residents of shelters on L.A.’s skid row are going to court to block a contentious legal settlement that restricts the city’s ability to clear homeless encampments in the heavily blighted downtown district.

-- After meeting with Jewish leaders, Assemblyman Tyler Diep (R-Westminster) has apologized for political mailers that appeared to employ ethnic stereotypes.


-- Restaurant critic Bill Addison says that at the stunning new Auburn, you can choose your own dining adventure.

-- Want a bumper crop of tomatoes? Listen to this guy.

-- If you want to talk to the animals, volunteer at one of these places.

-- Tour Frank Lloyd Wright homes in California that rarely open to the public.


-- Times film critics Kenneth Turan and Justin Chang give their favorite films of the year so far.

-- Why Paul Simon’s “American Tune” is the anthem for our troubled nation — again.

-- MAD magazine says it will stop publishing new material outside of its end-of-year specials.


-- As tales of wretchedness and overcrowding in government border detention facilities abound, one group of migrants is particularly vulnerable: teen moms and pregnant girls without parents of their own.

-- Officials say a boat from Libya carrying 86 migrants sank in the Mediterranean and left only three survivors, after an airstrike on a detention center near the Libyan capital killed dozens of others.

-- First Hong Kong protested. Now it’s Wuhan, China. What makes it Beijing’s latest headache?


-- The humble pea has suddenly become in demand because of the alt-protein craze fueled by the likes of Beyond Meat Inc. and the Impossible Burger.

-- Louis Vuitton’s chief executive calls L.A. “the culture capital of the world.”


-- Mike Trout has taken on a difficult role during a devastating time for the Angels.

-- Carli Lloyd has adapted to her role as a reserve forward on the incomparably deep U.S. women’s World Cup team, but that doesn’t mean she likes it.


-- Gov. Gavin Newsom needs to keep pushing for much more change in housing laws if California is going to finally end the shortage.

-- America spent billions to put a man on the moon 50 years ago. Was it worth it?


-- Many of America’s landmarks seem to have lost their allure. (Politico)

-- Why is Mars producing so much methane gas? (The Atlantic)

-- Professional bull rider Keyshawn Whitehorse’s ride to the top as rookie of the year started in Navajo Nation. (The Undefeated)


It was built in the 1920s as California’s first seismology station — and is said to be where Charles Richter developed research that turned into the Richter magnitude scale. Today, it’s a Mediterranean home with a detached guesthouse and working vineyard. And it just sold for its full asking price of $6.885 million. See it here free of charge.

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