Newsletter: Film festivals, the L.A. County Fair and more in the week ahead

A parade makes its way through the L.A. County Fair at the Fairplex in Pomona.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Monday, Aug. 26, and here’s a look at the week ahead:

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On Monday, disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein will be arraigned in a New York courtroom on an indictment containing a new allegation that has not yet been made public. While the content of the grand jury indictment will remain secret until Monday’s hearing, the Manhattan district attorney’s office recently launched an effort to add to a formal criminal allegation from “Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra that she was raped by the mogul in 1993. Weinstein has already been charged with sexually assaulting two women in 2006 and 2013.

Also Monday: Golden State Warriors President and COO Rick Welts will lead media on a first-look tour of the new Chase Center in San Francisco.

On Wednesday, the Music Center in downtown Los Angeles will reopen its plaza after a 20-month, $41-million renovation. This week’s civic ceremony will be followed by free programming for the public throughout Labor Day weekend.


(See also: “L.A.’s Music Center was built as an aloof city on a hill. Can a remade plaza change that?” in the Los Angeles Times)

Also Wednesday: The Venice International Film Festival opens in Venice, Italy. Here’s a look at the lineup.

The Los Angeles County Fair will open on Friday in Pomona and run through Sept. 22. Here are seven ways to get in for free.

(See also: “Can extra shade and fried chimichangas draw more visitors to the L.A. County Fair?” in the Los Angeles Times)

Also Friday: The Telluride Film Festival will open in Telluride, Colo.

The Taste, the Los Angeles Times’ annual celebration of Southern California’s culinary scene, will take place Friday and Saturday at Paramount Studios. (Get tickets here.)

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



Authorities say a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy falsely claimed he was shot by a sniper last week at the Lancaster sheriff’s station. He’ll now be the subject of a criminal investigation. The dramatic twist in the case came after days of fruitless searches for a gunman. The incident prompted the manhunt and massive police response, with much of the focus on an apartment building next to the station. Los Angeles Times

A brush fire erupted in Eagle Rock on Sunday afternoon, clogging freeways, threatening homes and sending up a large plume of smoke that could be seen across the Los Angeles Basin. Los Angeles Times


How Snapchat changed social media — and Venice Beach. “People are coming here still for the freak show and I have to break hearts and say, ‘Sorry, the freak show is closed.’” New York Times

For “Old Town Road” video director Calmatic, the ride begins in South L.A. Los Angeles Times


The Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles is attempting to become the first fully solar-powered art museum in the United States. Artforum

An illustrated guide to Southern California breeze blocks, one of the grooviest features of Midcentury Modern architecture. Curbed LA

Amid a measles warning for Disneyland and other L.A. tourist spots, here’s what you need to know. Los Angeles Times

How photos from David Geffen’s yacht became the ultimate Hollywood status symbol. The Hollywood Reporter

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Denial rates for high-skilled worker visas have quadrupled since 2015, a trend that makes it much harder for companies that rely on these workers to find and retain talent. San Diego Union-Tribune


Can a Silicon Valley entrepreneur fix California’s troubled DMV? Gov. Gavin Newsom is banking on it. Los Angeles Times

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer and Fresno County prosecutor Andrew Janz will face off for mayor in the March primary election, but some say “the powers that be” in Fresno have already chosen the next mayor. Fresno Bee

An Arcadia city councilman’s remark that basketball courts attract an undesirable “type” to the city drew an immediate uproar from residents in attendance at the meeting. Pasadena Star-News



A former USC gynecologist charged with sexually abusing patients posted bail Friday and was released from jail. Los Angeles Times

The forced removal of transgender women from a downtown L.A. bar is being investigated as a possible hate crime. Los Angeles Times


Is Sacramento the sunniest place on Earth? An analysis of historical weather data shows that California’s capital holds the distinction for four months out of the year. San Francisco Chronicle

Air district officials say that the rotten-egg smell coming from the Salton Sea will probably remain in the Coachella Valley through Monday. (Now this is a description: The gas, which is caused by an excessive concentration of hydrogen sulfide in the air, “smells like something crossed between rotten eggs, manure and rancid water.”) Desert Sun

The San Francisco Peninsula’s most popular open space preserve was closed this weekend because of a family of mountain lions. Mercury News



The events staged in opposition to a planned “straight pride” rally in Modesto drew hundreds more people than the actual straight pride event, which ended up being attended by only a few dozen people. The protesters and counter-protesters faced off at a tense but peaceful rally. Modesto Bee

Co-living rental platform HubHaus wanted its users to form a community. And they did — after being evicted from their shared San Francisco home. Mission Local

“Not broke enough”: How surging child-care costs are hurting Sacramento families. Sacramento Bee

What happens when the car you’re living in is towed? Salinas homeless say they struggle to stay safe. Salinas Californian

The Paradise High football team brought smiles and tears in its first game since the Camp fire. Los Angeles Times

Lukas Hartley, second from right, and the Paradise High football team return to field for first time since fire leveled the town last year.
(Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times)

In Santa Cruz, a clandestine food bank draws hundreds of farmworkers who are fearful of immigration enforcement and turning to an underground network. Mercury News

A 100-pound pig terrorized residents of a Riverside County neighborhood before being shot with a tranquilizer dart. It was not immediately clear if the pig, which was charging at people in a residential neighborhood, was a wild boar or just a very wild pet on the loose. Riverside Press-Enterprise

A fatal collision in Gerlach, Nev., blocked traffic headed to Burning Man almost entirely on its first day. Sacramento Bee

It may be “Surf City,” but Huntington Beach is also home to a thriving skate scene. Orange County Register



Los Angeles: partly sunny, 87. San Diego: sunny, 79. San Francisco: partly sunny, 74. San Jose: sunny, 91. Sacramento: sunny, 101. More weather is here.


This week’s birthdays for those who made a mark in California: Rep. Julia Brownley (Aug. 28, 1952), Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg (Aug. 28, 1969), filmmaker David Fincher (Aug. 28, 1962), Van Morrison (Aug. 31, 1945), L.A. Police Commissioner Steve Soboroff (Aug. 31, 1948) and actress Zendaya (Sept. 1, 1996).

If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, share it with us. (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, ideas and unrelated book recommendations to Julia Wick. Follow her on Twitter @Sherlyholmes.