Newsletter: Dodgers in the playoffs, Nobel prizes and more in the week ahead

Joc Pederson
Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson homers against the Washington Nationals during Thursday’s playoff game in Los Angeles.
(Associated Press)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Monday, Oct. 7, and I’m writing from Los Angeles.

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On Monday, the Dodgers will face off against the Washington Nationals in Game 4 of their National League Division Series. After a 10-4 victory Sunday night, the Dodgers have a chance to advance.

[Subscribe to the Dodgers Dugout newsletter for in-depth coverage.]


Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year, will be observed on Wednesday. The holiday begins at sundown the previous night.

On Thursday, not one but two Nobel Prizes for literature will be awarded in Stockholm. The Swedish Academy will unveil honors for both 2018 and 2019, after last year’s award was postponed amid a sexual abuse and financial misconduct scandal at the academy. The winner of the Nobel Peace Prize will be announced Friday in Norway. (The Nobel prizes in physiology or medicine, physics and chemistry will be awarded earlier in the week.)

The Desert Daze music festival will be held this weekend at Moreno Beach in Lake Perris. The Flaming Lips, Ween, Devo and Wu-Tang Clan are headlining.

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


Mental illness, substance abuse and physical disabilities are much more pervasive in Los Angeles County’s homeless population than officials have previously reported, a Times analysis has found. The Times examined more than 4,000 questionnaires taken as part of this year’s point-in-time count and found that about 76% of individuals living outside on the streets reported being, or were observed to be, affected by mental illness, substance abuse, poor health or a physical disability. Los Angeles Times

With the election just weeks away, San Francisco Mayor London Breed made waves in what was set to be the first open San Francisco district attorney race in more than a century, when she named a candidate as interim D.A. The city’s outgoing D.A., George Gascon, who is not running for reelection, announced he would be stepping down from his position early to explore a challenge against Los Angeles Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey. Breed then named Suzy Loftus, the candidate she had endorsed, as the interim district attorney. The announcement was met with protest and accusations of a “power grab” and “political cronyism” from the three other candidates, and the ACLU issued a statement blasting the appointment as a “tilting of the scales” in a tight election race. San Francisco Chronicle



Disney will no longer accept ads from the streaming giant Netflix on its general entertainment TV channels. It comes as Disney makes a major push into the streaming space. Los Angeles Times

The L.A. vape shop scene was booming. Those days are over. Los Angeles Times

It’s fall, which means it’s prime plant sale time in Southern California. Here are some of the major events ahead. Los Angeles Times

Inspired by Buddhist monks and taqueros, this new pop-up stand in West L.A. brings Thai sticky rice to the streets. L.A. Taco

Plans for the San Pedro waterfront have advanced, with a groundbreaking now slated for spring 2020. The new public market will replace the famed (and now demolished) Ports O’ Call Village. Long Beach Press-Telegram

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Meet the “fixers” of Tijuana: These locals help visiting foreign photojournalists and reporters navigate the complexities of Tijuana, sometimes at the risk of their own safety. San Diego Union-Tribune


Should President Trump be impeached? Here’s where California House members stand on an inquiry. The state vote is currently split along party lines, save for one Republican who has not taken a public position. Los Angeles Times


An actor’s death was ruled an accidental drowning. His widow and private investigators suspect foul play. Los Angeles Times


After transformer blasts injured five at Oktoberfest in Huntington Beach, many ask: What caused them? Los Angeles Times

A pregnant, sick mother was mistakenly kicked off Medi-Cal. Experts say she’s not alone. Fresno Bee

Moderate Santa Ana winds are expected to start late Wednesday evening in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, bringing hot, dry conditions to the region and increasing the risk for fast-moving wildfires. Los Angeles Times


The quiet heroes among us: There is a six-inch square of missing carpet on the floor of a government building in downtown Modesto, and every day this county employee fills that carpet hole with a different felt art installation, which she handcrafts at home. Modesto Bee

Why some pet owners are turning to CBD to treat their ailing animals. California is the only state that has passed legislation specifically allowing veterinarians to initiate a discussion about cannabis with clients. Los Angeles Times

The homecoming queen is also a football player: Samantha Segura-Veliz is breaking barriers at Elsinore High. Riverside Press-Enterprise

The new face of Sacramento’s affordable housing crisis: College students forced to drop out. Sacramento Bee

The Las Vegas A’s? The baseball commissioner tells Oakland it could happen. San Francisco Chronicle

Congratulations to New York Times Los Angeles correspondent Jose Del Real, who got married in Yosemite last week! New York Times


Los Angeles: sunny, 84. San Diego: sunny, 78. San Francisco: sunny, 78. San Jose: sunny, 89. Sacramento: sunny, 89. More weather is here.


This week’s birthdays for those who made a mark in California:

Author Earl Ofari Hutchinson (Oct. 8, 1945), Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings (Oct. 8, 1960), singer Jackson Browne (Oct. 9, 1948), Gov. Gavin Newsom (Oct. 10, 1967), comedian Julia Sweeney (Oct. 10, 1959), Rep. Ed Royce (Oct. 12, 1951) and Clippers Coach Doc Rivers (Oct. 13, 1961).

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.