Newsletter: The Super Bowl of East L.A.

The crowd at the 2014 East L.A. Classic.
(Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Friday, Nov. 1, and I’m writing from Los Angeles.

Fires continue to dominate the California narrative, but life also marches on across the state. Before we get back to the flames, here’s a brief dispatch about a generations-old football rivalry that will be at this center of conversation for many on L.A.’s Eastside this weekend:

Both teams are undefeated in league games, and nothing less than destiny will be riding on the padded shoulders of the Roosevelt Rough Riders and the Garfield Bulldogs come Friday night.


The East L.A. Classic — the “85th annual” battle between Boyle Heights (Roosevelt High School) and East L.A. (Garfield High School) — represents one of the most storied high school football rivalries in the country. The Classic, which serves as the homecoming football game for both schools, attracts generations of alumni to Weingart Stadium.

The event is “the Super Bowl of East L.A.,” as a then-Garfield football player told The Times in 1980.

The room was “a bit tense” Sunday at Stevens Steakhouse in Commerce, where the opposing teams broke bread together at the pregame “Beef Bowl.” That’s according to Boyle Heights Beat reporter Ahiti Juárez, who — full disclosure — is a student at Roosevelt. “Sunday’s annual dinner could only signify the beginning of one thing,” Juárez writes. “Classic Week.”

The intervening days have been dominated by hall decorating, pep rallies, senior events and deep school pride on both campuses.


There are a lot of bragging rights attached to the outcome of this game. Garfield High, which was immortalized in the 1988 movie “Stand and Deliver,” has dominated the rivalry for nearly a decade, winning the last nine Classics. But in the long wash of time, Roosevelt still has the upper hand. The Rough Riders hold a 41-39-6 lead in the series.

The first East L.A. Classic was played in 1925. By 1935, this very paper was already referring to Garfield as Roosevelt’s “ancient enemy of the East Side.” And the rest, as they say, is history. (For those doing the math on 1925 and “85th annual,” you’re correct, it does not add up. The Classic went on a nearly decade-long, World War II-induced hiatus from 1939 to 1948.)

The Dodgers are out and the Lakers are away, noted Roosevelt head coach Aldo Parral at a news conference Wednesday. So, on Friday night, “the focus of the world is going to be on us, two little Mexican schools.”

“At the end of the day, they want to win. We want to win,” Parral said.


The reasons, according to the coach and Roosevelt alum, are very simple: On Friday night after the game, people are going to roll up to King Taco. “Whether you’re wearing blue or red, there’s going to be a lot of smack-talking going on,” he said.

And, after nine long years of Garfield running the show, they want to be the ones doing the smack-talking.

Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. in Weingart Stadium on the East Los Angeles College campus.

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



In Northern California, the worst of the Kincade fire appears to be over and PG&E has restored power to the vast majority of customers. As of Thursday night, the Kincade fire was about 65% contained, but more than 90,000 structures still remained under threat. Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle

See also: What does it mean for a fire to be “contained”?

Fierce winds that whipped up early Thursday sparked new fires across Southern California, including a destructive blaze known as the Hillside fire that tore into neighborhoods in north San Bernardino, consuming homes and forcing residents to evacuate before dawn. Los Angeles Times


Crews were also battling the Maria fire, a fast-moving brush fire that erupted Thursday evening in Ventura County. Los Angeles Times

A late-night police pursuit in Jurupa Valley that ended in a crash sparked a fire in a field that quickly spread to 300 acres, damaging several buildings and forcing evacuations. Riverside County officials declared a state of emergency over the 46 fire. Los Angeles Times

See also: 46, Easy, Hillside? This is how wildfires get their names.

The unusually long Santa Ana wind event is expected to ease Thursday evening. And with it, the fire risk will be reduced as well. But there is not much good news on the horizon, with forecasters seeing little chance of rain in the next few weeks. Critical fire weather warnings have also been extended through Friday night for the windiest spots of Los Angeles and Ventura counties, continuing red-flag conditions for an additional 24 hours. Los Angeles Times


The Times is offering fire coverage for free. Please consider a subscription to support our journalism.


Most Getty fire evacuations have been lifted, but some residents still remained under evacuation in Brentwood as firefighters continued to work on containment of the fire, which has burned 12 homes and 745 acres. Los Angeles Times

The California haters are back. And once again, as columnist Steve Lopez observes, they get us all wrong. Los Angeles Times


A mumps outbreak at L.A. Men’s Central Jail has left nearly 400 inmates quarantined. Los Angeles Times


Baja California’s new governor was to take office at 1 a.m. Friday, after a Supreme Court justice declined this week to issue an injunction stopping his inauguration. Jaime Bonilla won the election ahead of his nearest opponent by more than 27 percentage points, but his victory is being contested by members of opposing political parties. San Diego Union-Tribune

GitHub is trying to quell employee anger over its ICE contract. It’s not going well. Los Angeles Times



Dolores Huerta’s son is running for a Kern County supervisor seat. Emilio Huerta, who serves as general counsel for the Bakersfield-based nonprofit organization that bears his mother’s name, will challenge 4th District Kern County Supervisor David Couch next year. Bakersfield Californian

Rudy Giuliani went to a San Francisco Apple store to unlock his iPhone after he forgot the password, despite serving as a cybersecurity advisor to the president. Experts say his actions call his understanding of basic security measures into question. “There’s no way he should be going to a commercial location to ask for that assistance,” said E.J. Hilbert, a former FBI agent for cybercrime and terrorism. NBC News



A Missouri theme park is suing a guy in Orange County who built a homemade dark ride in his garage for Halloween over who owns the trademarked name for a theme park attraction. Orange County Register


Clean water is a fight for many Californians. Will Gov. Gavin Newsom’s law fix the waiting game? Fresno Bee

Sacramento County saw an alarming rise in STDs. What’s behind the big increase? Sacramento Bee



Did the number of people trying to dress up as Elizabeth Holmes for Halloween create a black turtleneck shortage in the Bay Area? Quartzy

Disgraced Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes famously always sported a signature black turtleneck while at the helm of her now-defunct company. Her "uniform" was said to be inspired by Steve Jobs' commitment to wearing the same thing everyday.
Disgraced Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes famously always sported a signature black turtleneck while at the helm of her now-defunct company. Her “uniform” was said to be inspired by Steve Jobs’ commitment to wearing the same thing everyday.
(Andrew Burton / Getty Images)

“Buck Delventhal dies, and San Francisco loses its most capable guide.” The former deputy city attorney helped guide San Francisco’s path for nearly 50 years. Mission Local


Blue Bottle Coffee’s California roasting operation will relocate to Sacramento from its longtime Oakland HQ. The move signals the end of an era for the coffee giant, which up until now has been identified as a homegrown Oakland business. Mercury News

This park is Sacramento’s first to offer free Wi-Fi. The city says more are coming. Sacramento Bee

A Finnish tech entrepreneur-turned-artist wants to convert a former Berkeley school into a 50,000-square-foot home and artist colony. Berkeleyside

How long will it take Steph Curry to return from his hand injury? The Golden State Warriors’ star point guard broke his hand in a game Wednesday night. SF Gate


Pasadena’s architectural heritage will be on full display during the 28th annual Craftsman Weekend, which starts Friday. Pasadena Star-News

Rattlesnakes have had a busy year. Same for the people who catch them for a living. Los Angeles Times


Los Angeles: sunny, 83. San Diego: sunny, 75. San Francisco: sunny, 69. San Jose: sunny, 75. Sacramento: sunny, 72. More weather is here.



“The final story, the final chapter of western man, I believe, lies in Los Angeles.”

–Phil Ochs

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.