Newsletter: Essential California Week in Review: New earthquake early warning app

Cranes surround the Cypress Structure on Interstate 880 in Oakland after the 1989 temblor.
(AFP/Getty Images)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It is Saturday, Oct. 19.

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

Top Stories

Early warning. In a major advance for seismic safety, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the release of a statewide earthquake early warning app Thursday. MyShake, built by UC Berkeley, will deliver earthquake warnings, from any corner of the state, to all Californians who download the app on iOS and Android phones. Here’s what to know.

Also, a California fault capable of producing a magnitude 8 earthquake has begun moving for the first time on record.

School start times. California will become the first state in the nation to mandate later start times at most middle schools and high schools. The law, signed Sunday night by Gov. Gavin Newsom, has touched off mixed reactions.

New hire. World Series-winning manager Joe Maddon, an employee of the Angels from 1975 to 2005, will return to usher in the next era of baseball in Anaheim. The Angels have experienced four losing seasons in the last five years.

Salton Sea lithium. Companies have tried for decades to extract lithium, a key ingredient in batteries that power electric cars and store solar power, from the super-heated underground fluid at the southern end of the Salton Sea. One company now says it’s figured it out.

Real estate record. The Bel-Air home of financier Gary Winnick has twice set the record for highest price of a residential real estate sale in the U.S. Now, it’s for sale at $225 million, making it the most expensive home publicly listed in the United States.

Ride-hailing company wages. Los Angeles lawmakers on Tuesday took the first step toward a minimum wage for tens of thousands of Uber and Lyft drivers, approving a study of how the law would work and how it would be enforced.

Forceful arrest. Attorneys representing the family of a 12-year-old boy who was forcefully arrested in April have filed a claim against the city of Sacramento, Sacramento Police Department and the involved officers. Video showed the then-11-year-old being forced to the ground by police, who placed a “spit mask” over his head before arresting him.

Body part procurement. A Times investigation found that dozens of death investigations, including more than two dozen in Los Angeles and San Diego counties, were complicated or upended when transplantable body parts were taken before a coroner’s autopsy was performed.

Attacks on homeless people. Unknown assailants have repeatedly attacked homeless camps with fire or incendiary devices since late August, leaving people dead or injured and entire encampments scorched across the Los Angeles area. In at least eight different incidents, flammable liquids or makeshift explosives have been lobbed at homeless people or their tents.


Blacklisted. San Francisco is blacklisting 22 states that have restrictive abortion policies, saying that it will no longer do business with those states “because of their severe anti-choice policies.”

L.A. Noir. Los Angeles is the seething, sexy capital of noir. It is an illicit urge — a trick of possibility — slinking like a con man’s ruse into a novelist’s imagination. Writers and readers have many takes on what makes the definitive L.A. crime novel; here are just a few.

1. Why are these L.A. people sleeping in stacked pods? It’s not just the cost of housing. Los Angeles Times

2. These are the surviving beach shacks of Los Angeles. Curbed L.A.

3. Want in at the Bay Area’s hottest dance party? You’ll need to bring a baby. Los Angeles Times

4. Need an emergency kit list? Take this pro’s advice. Los Angeles Times

5. Scotty Bowers, “Male Madame” to the stars, dies at 96. The Hollywood Reporter

ICYMI, here are this week’s great reads

Following the Moniker Trail: Hobo graffiti and the strange tale of Jack London, Skysail, and A-No. 1. Boom


The writer as influencer. “This was the summer of Caroline Calloway’s Instagram-memoir infamy but also huge book launches from the likes of Jia Tolentino and Taffy Brodesser-Akner, turning the authors into lifestyle celebrities. Are writers and influencers so different after all?” Study Hall

South Korea born, East L.A. bred: A Seoul taqueria for a homesick chef. Los Angeles Times

Looking ahead

Saturday Recommendation: This cocktail at Lanea in Santa Monica

Jungle Bird Scooter cocktail at Lanea.
(Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times)

According to senior food writer Jenn Harris, Los Angeles is having a mezcal moment. She recommends the Jungle Bird Scooter at Lanea, the new bar in the former Copa d’Oro space around the corner from the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. Here’s what she had to say about it:

“The drink that feels the most right-now is a riff on the classic tiki cocktail Jungle Bird (typically dark rum, lime, pineapple and Campari). Lanea’s version is called, fittingly for this tech-centric part of town, the Jungle Bird Scooter.


“It’s a potent concoction that combines mezcal and Campari with ingredients commonly found in immunity-boosting juices: ginger, lemon, turmeric and cinnamon. It’s smoky, tart and endlessly refreshing, and pairs well with a taco: East L.A. barbacoa specialist Barba Kush sets up shop inside Lanea nightly.” Learn how to make it here.

Lanea is located at 217 Broadway in Santa Monica. (424) 265-7437. Want 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.)