Newsletter: NBA season will begin with all eyes on the West Coast

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Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Monday, Oct. 21, and here’s a quick look at the week ahead:

Major League Soccer will be in Sacramento on Monday for a “major announcement” alongside Gov. Gavin Newsom and Mayor Darrell Steinberg. Sources have previously told the Sacramento Bee that the city is expected to be awarded the league’s 29th franchise.

The 2019-2020 NBA season begins on Tuesday with the Los Angeles Lakers facing off against the L.A. Clippers in Los Angeles. (The World Series will also begin on Tuesday, but the Dodgers are out, so who cares?)

On Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify before the House Financial Services Committee about Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency.


On Thursday, the Golden State Warriors will have their first regular season game at the new Chase Center in San Francisco. They will be playing against the L.A. Clippers.

Also Thursday: The Los Angeles Philharmonic will have its centennial concert, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the philharmonic’s first performance.

On Saturday night, Grand Park and Self Help Graphics will present a traditional Noche de Ofrenda (night of altars) ceremony at downtown L.A.’s Grand Park. The Día de los Muertos event will feature a large-scale community altar and more than 30 smaller altars produced by artists and community organizations. The altars and art installations, which are curated by Self Help Graphics, will remain on view through Nov. 3.

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


Southern California was back on fire watch over the weekend amid winds and warm temperatures, with Southern California Edison warning of possible preventive power outages. Los Angeles Times

After Newsom bans pot use in limos and for hospital patients, cannabis advocates are angry. Newsom led the campaign to legalize marijuana in California three years ago but has since angered some in the industry. Los Angeles Times



The nightlife outlaws of East Los Angeles: Club Scum, a monthly party that embraces punk and drag, is a distillation of the fringe-friendly gay underground on the Eastside. New York Times

Learning Spanish at a Boyle Heights hair salon reminds columnist Steve Lopez of what he loves about L.A. Los Angeles Times

Want to own a piece of Blue Line history? Some classic Metro signage from the soon-to-be-renamed light rail line to Long Beach will be up for auction this week. LAist

They came to L.A. to chase a Hollywood dream. Two weeks later, they were homeless. Columnist Nita Lelyveld talks to the young couple from Detroit whose journey began with great hope. Los Angeles Times


The center of the NBA universe has shifted to Los Angeles, as the Golden State Warriors’ reign is challenged by the Lakers and Clippers. New York Times

Speaking of the Lakers and Clippers: Who will win the battle for Los Angeles? Los Angeles Times

A man sprayed demonstrators with bear repellent during a scuffle between supporters and protesters of President Trump on the Santa Monica Pier. Los Angeles Times

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Gov. Newsom promised unprecedented action to solve California’s housing affordability problem. But nearly all of his highest-profile initiatives have stalled or failed. Los Angeles Times


Modesto is investigating its city manager, city attorney and a councilman after the city clerk made allegations against them. No one will say what the allegations are. Modesto Bee

San Francisco voters will weigh a $600-million affordable housing bond, the biggest in city history. San Francisco Chronicle

San Gabriel Valley cities will soon be able to band together to seek local, state and federal funding to build housing and fund services to reduce homelessness across the region. Pasadena Star-News


The city of Sacramento will probably be sued over an April incident in which police officers placed a “spit mask” over a 12-year-old African American boy’s head while they detained him. A video of the incident went viral internationally. Sacramento Bee

California is bracing for a deluge of child-sex-assault lawsuits under a new state law that allows victims more time to report allegations of abuse and to take legal action. Los Angeles Times


Orange County residential care homes will pay $1.1 million in back wages and penalties to 66 workers in a federal lawsuit settlement, as experts cite widespread abuses in the industry. Los Angeles Times


Pacific Gas & Electric Co. warned that power shut-offs could continue for a decade. California officials don’t like it. Los Angeles Times

Marin County health officials are scrambling to identify medically fragile residents before the next PG&E emergency power shutdown. Marin Independent Journal

A sprawling homeless camp has overrun a public trail in west Santa Rosa and become the latest flashpoint over government response to homelessness in the area. Santa Rosa Press Democrat



For those in search of seasons: Fall colors are almost at peak in Big Bear Lake, two hours north of downtown Los Angeles. Los Angeles Times

Does a “Forever Marilyn” statue with an upturned skirt belong in the #MeToo era? Some women say no. Desert Sun

Du Tu Le, the beloved Vietnamese poet who came to U.S. as a refugee, died at his home in Garden Grove, leaving behind 77 volumes of poetry — one for each year of his life. Los Angeles Times

Can Bakersfield take tourism lessons from Clarksdale, Miss.? A columnist wonders whether the town that’s become an essential Mississippi Delta Blues pilgrimage site can offer a blueprint for drawing visitors to the home of the Bakersfield Sound. Bakersfield California

“Wine caves” are apparently a thing on the Central Coast. Here are five of the best underground experiences from Santa Maria to Paso Robles. San Luis Obispo Tribune



Los Angeles: sunny, 91. San Diego: sunny, 85. San Francisco: sunny, 74. San Jose: sunny, 81. Sacramento: sunny, 87. More weather is here.


This week’s birthdays for those who made a mark in California: TV personality Kim Kardashian West (Oct. 21, 1980), the late writer Ursula K. Le Guin (Oct. 21, 1929), actor Jeff Goldblum (Oct. 22, 1952), Rep. Brad Sherman (Oct. 24, 1954), rapper Drake (Oct. 24, 1986), former Rep. Mary Bono (Oct. 24, 1961) and singer Katy Perry (Oct. 25, 1984).

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.