Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Friday, Oct. 18, and I’m writing from Los Angeles.
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Yesterday marked the 30th anniversary of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, which shook Northern California as Game 3 of the World Series was about to begin at Candlestick Park. The devastating quake killed at least 63 people and hospitalized hundreds. The shaking collapsed a portion of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and flattened a double-decker section of Interstate 880 in Oakland.
The anniversary comes amid a week of earthquake headlines, beginning with the magnitude 4.5 quake that rattled the Bay Area late Monday night. The ground shook again in Northern and Central California on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the governor’s office announced that a statewide earthquake early warning app was, at long last, ready. The app was unveiled on Thursday, as Great ShakeOut drills took place across the state. Thursday also brought news that a major California fault capable of producing a magnitude 8 earthquake had begun moving for the first time on record, a result of this year’s Ridgecrest earthquake sequence destabilizing nearby faults. And, as if on cue, there was a magnitude 3.8 quake near Ridgecrest on Thursday night and a magnitude 3.7 quake centered in Compton shortly after midnight.
So, amid the nonstop earthquake notifications, we’re interested to learn more about whether you’ve been feeling (or have ever felt) earthquake anxiety. How does it manifest? What do you do to cope? Shoot us an email and we’ll share some of the responses in a future newsletter.
And now, here’s what’s happening across California:
More on that newly active fault: The 160-mile-long Garlock fault is on the northern edge of the Mojave Desert. It has never been observed to produce either a strong earthquake or even to creep in the modern historical record. But new satellite radar images now show that the fault has started to move, causing a bulging of land that can be viewed from space. Los Angeles Times
A wind-driven 443-acre brush fire burning west of Santa Barbara prompted evacuations and a short closure of a section of the 101 Freeway. Los Angeles Times
Light rail to Long Beach will reopen soon — but it won’t be called the Blue Line. We will now be expected to refer to it as the A Line, although the route will still be shown in blue on system maps. Los Angeles Times
Ed Buck, who has now been federally charged in connection with the overdose deaths of two men, was known for his abrasive behavior. But politicians still took his money. Los Angeles Times
The advice column answer that doubles as a thoughtful, lyrical meditation on living in L.A.: The advice-seeker moved to L.A., got her dream job in a TV writers’ room and is still miserable. “Ask Polly,” the advice-giver, responds with some wonderfully woven, unlikely truths about the Angeleno psyche. The Cut
How Los Angeles replaced New York as the NBA’s media capital: With the Lakers’ and the Clippers’ superstar-stacked rosters, L.A. has pulled the league’s center of gravity westward. The Ringer
In college football, UCLA’s losing streak against Stanford is finally over. The Bruins snapped an 11-game losing streak against the Cardinal that was their longest against any team in their 100 years of football. Los Angeles Times
An initiative to name a square in Tujunga-Sunland after Armenian American author William Saroyan has not been met with open arms by everyone in the community. There’s controversy between local residents who have claimed the initiative will overshadow the corner’s existing historical significance and those who believe the opposition is grounded in ethnic discrimination. Glendale News-Press
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IMMIGRATION AND THE BORDER
POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT
Fresno has a new, full-time police chief. For the next year, anyway. Fresno Bee
CRIME AND COURTS
A Stockton woman who livestreamed a deadly crash was arrested again after another crash, police say. Merced Sun-Star
Two Los Angeles police officers face criminal charges over an off-duty incident at a restaurant last October. Los Angeles Times
HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT
At least 25 students in the Coachella Valley were sickened by smoke from a dump fire that began on Monday. Federal authorities have since ordered the closure of the recycling center in question, which has seen a number of fires. Desert Sun
How Loma Prieta changed earthquake science: What happened in the days, months and years after Oct. 17, 1989, rewrote our understanding of how the ground moves and what we need to do to stay safe. KQED
Cheating, protests and outrage have upended the otherwise buttoned-up world of pharmacy in California. California officials have invalidated more than 1,000 pharmacists’ test scores because of cheating on a state exam, a move that has caused an uproar among pharmacists who say they have lost wages and job opportunities as a result. Los Angeles Times
The seminal San Franciscan designer experiencing an unlikely surge of attention at 91: Barbara Stauffacher Solomon, who is primarily associated with the pioneering supergraphics she designed for Northern California’s Sea Ranch, is the subject of two new shows. Architectural Digest
Marin City was historically an African American enclave, but the African American population there has since dwindled to less than 30%. Oshalla Diana Marcus, a third-generation Marin City native, launched a membership-based arts collective to build community and provide support networks for African American artists with Marin City ties. Marin Independent Journal
How bad teeth and a lack of dental care can lead to discrimination and poverty: A deeply reported look at the challenges Medi-Cal patients face to getting adequate dental care, and the devastating consequences. Fresno Bee
A Napa synagogue celebrates the history and contributions of Jewish vintners. “There have been Jewish vintners since the early days.” Napa Valley Register
Weedmaps abruptly laid off a quarter of its workforce, two months after the online cannabis directory promised it would stop listing illicit marijuana businesses. Orange County Register
Los Angeles: sunny, 78. San Diego: sunny, 74. San Francisco: partly sunny, 65. San Jose: partly sunny, 70. Sacramento: sunny, 74. More weather is here.
Today’s California memory comes from Bob Crittenden:
“We were driving north from San Diego in the early 1950s to spend the weekend with our immigrant Scottish aunts and a cousin who all retired from the textile industry and lived in South Central L.A. in a very small cottage. It was Friday night and we were driving north on the one lane each way 101, winding by a long line of headlights heading to San Diego and Tijuana and driving by the mission at San Juan Capistrano — and the next day walking around Aunt Emma’s neighborhood on a cool — almost foggy — L.A. morning.”
If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, share it with us. (Please keep your story to 100 words.)