Newsletter: Essential California Week in Review: Reforming college sports

Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a bill that will allow California athletes to earn money from the use of their names, images and likenesses.
(Eric Gay / Associated Press)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It is Saturday, Oct. 5.

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Here’s a look at the top stories of the last week:

Top Stories

Newsom signs SB 206. California became the first state to require major financial reforms in college athletics on Monday after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a measure that allows players to receive endorsement deals, despite the National Collegiate Athletic Assn. calling the move unconstitutional.

Frequent fliers, beware. Los Angeles International Airport will soon ban ride-hailing companies from picking up passengers outside its terminals, LAX officials said Thursday. Passengers who were told they can take shuttles to a ride-hailing area were less than pleased, saying that “it will probably take a lot longer to get home.”

Fireproofing your house. As California’s wildfires have become more destructive, many homeowners are individually spending thousands of dollars on systems to protect their homes. But the real key to avoiding the next catastrophic fire, experts say, is group immunity. Looking to fireproof your own home? Here’s our 3-D animated guide on how to begin.

Standardized tests out? University of California leaders are considering whether to drop the SAT and ACT as an admissions requirement. Standardized tests are increasingly seen as an unfair admission barrier to students who don’t test well or don’t have access to pricey test preparation.


Chanel Miller’s words. Three years after she was attacked by Brock Turner, Chanel Miller and her words are at the center of a clash between Stanford students and administrators.

Santa Cruz CEO kidnapped. A Santa Cruz tech executive was forced from his home in the middle of the night and then killed this week, leaving authorities with few clues but plenty of questions.

Vaping ban debate. With multiple cities and states cracking down on vaping in recent weeks, spurred by a wave of mysterious illnesses and deaths, some public health advocates are warning of unintended consequences. The vaping illnesses sending people to hospitals, they point out, have been largely linked to marijuana, particularly THC cartridges purchased illegally.

Tire-tainted water. Driving is not just an air pollution and climate change problem. It turns out our cars’ tires just might be the largest contributor of microplastics in California coastal waters.

Gentrification in South L.A. A South L.A. renaissance is driving up housing costs and homelessness, sparking worries about the future of one of California’s last black enclaves. These issues have dominated the campaigns of the eight candidates in the race to replace a seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Forever 21 bankruptcy. Los Angeles fast-fashion company Forever 21 Inc. joined the growing numbers of apparel retailers that have filed for bankruptcy. Its list of 178 U.S. stores slated for possible closure includes 41 in California, 26 of them in Southern California.

1. Here’s the story behind Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s viral Emmys photo. The Hollywood Reporter

2. For this Idaho candidate, the enemy is the California exodus. East Bay Times

3. The first-ever “House Hunters” couple recalls their “horrific” experience. Vice


4. “None of us are prophets”: After a turbulent year, L.A. rabbis wrestle with the politics of faith. Los Angeles Times

5. A homeless singer has a viral moment on the L.A. subway and, suddenly, new prospects. Los Angeles Times

ICYMI, here are this week’s great reads

Nipsey Hussle was killed next to a school. His death still haunts students. Los Angeles Times

The rise of the “Getting Real” post on Instagram: A meditation on the advent of a very specific genre. New Yorker

On NextDoor, the homeless are the enemy. The platform built for neighborhood news often scapegoats the most disadvantaged communities. OneZero

“Why Karen Carpenter matters.” For one brown, queer Filipino American, Karen Carpenter’s music anchored her to her musical family’s past while helping chart her path in their adopted Southern California. Longreads

Looking ahead

Saturday Recommendation: Boba at One Zo in Monterey Park

The Tiger Tea at One Zo in Monterey Park. It's brown sugar milk tea with brown sugar boba and, as an add-on, black sesame boba.
The Tiger Tea at One Zo in Monterey Park. It’s brown sugar milk tea with brown sugar boba and, as an add-on, black sesame boba.
(Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times)

This past summer, cooking editor Genevieve Ko’s teenage daughters slurped countless cups of boba across the San Gabriel Valley. They found their favorite — mostly indie — spots, and here’s what Ko had to say about One Zo, a Monterey Park favorite:

“This pioneer of on-site house-made boba balls is the hands-down winner for the best tapioca pearls. They have flavor beyond sweetness all the way through their not-too-chewy, not-too-soft spheres. My favorites were the black sesame and chrysanthemum options.”

One Zo is at 500 N. Atlantic Blvd., No. 168 in Monterey Park. (626) 782-7886.

Read the full guide to San Gabriel Valley boba here. Want for more food stories delivered to your inbox? Sign up for the Tasting Notes newsletter, written by restaurant critics Patricia Escárcega and Bill Addison.

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. (And a giant thanks to the legendary Diya Chacko for all her help on the Saturday edition.)