Newsletter: Essential California: Inmate turns himself in after jail escape

Good morning. It is Saturday, Jan. 30. Here’s what you don’t want to miss this weekend:


Escapee surrenders: A 43-year-old man who broke out of an Orange County jail last week surrendered to police Friday. Bac Duong turned himself into Santa Ana police after a friend or acquaintance called authorities. Two other inmates remain at large. On Thursday, an ESL teacher who worked in the jail was arrested on suspicion of helping with the escape. Newly discovered letters show a close relationship between Nooshafarin Ravaghi and one of the inmates, according to police. Los Angeles Times

NFL in San Diego: The San Diego Chargers are staying put — for now. The team will play in San Diego for the 2016 season while looking for a long-term stadium solution. That announcement, however, came after Chargers officials reached an agreement with the Rams to share a planned stadium in Inglewood. Los Angeles Times


Political fight: The intraparty fight that was expected to play out over a San Diego state Senate seat won’t happen. Incumbent Marty Block will not seek reelection, he announced this week. That clears the way for outgoing Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, who entered the race with more campaign funds and higher name recognition. Sacramento Bee

Big time: Gustavo Dudamel of the L.A. Philharmonic will direct the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles at the Super Bowl halftime show. “Let this begin a new national dialogue about the unique role that art and culture can play in bridging the divide between the haves and have nots. That really would be big news.” Los Angeles Times

New goals: Sacramento-area water agencies could soon get a break on conservation targets. The state Water Resources Control Board will consider a plan Tuesday to reduce conservation mandates. “We definitely needed an adjustment for climate, and even though this is not ideal ... it is an adjustment,” said Amy Talbot of the Sacramento Regional Water Authority. Sacramento Bee

Call for action: In an op-ed, L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis says regulators must do more to clean up the lead contamination around the shuttered Exide plant in Vernon. “So long as these residents continue to suffer harm based on where they can afford to live, we must all join them to get the help that they need,” she writes. Huffington Post


Schoolyard fight: Members of the Disney family are in a legal dispute with an infamous Silver Lake preschool. Tim Disney, grandson of Roy Disney, and his wife allege that their 4-year-old daughter was expelled from Camelot Kids after they “engaged in free speech” and “free association.” Fights between the preschool’s owner and parents have repeatedly played out on Facebook and various blogs. Los Feliz Ledger


1. Earthquakes. Traffic. In-N-Out. Here are 29 sentences you’ll only hear in Los Angeles. BuzzFeed

2. Los Angeles city officials spent 10 years trying to get a grocery store to South L.A. It was finally about to happen thanks to the promise of federal funds and a cheap lease. Why did it all fall apart? Los Angeles Times

3. The Playboy Mansion is on the market. Before it was occupied by Hugh Hefner, the home was known for its high society ties. Curbed LA

4. This photo gallery shows the old Victorian homes of Bunker Hill, after they were owned by millionaires and before they were torn down to make way for skyscrapers. LAist

5. These hailstones look like they would be incredibly painful if they ever made contact. CityLab



Financial instability: More and more Americans are too poor to retire. At 79, Dolores Westfall is living out of an RV and driving around the country looking for work. Los Angeles Times

Watts hot spot: Food critic Jonathan Gold went to Watts to check out Locol, the newest restaurant from chefs Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson. Together, the two “aim to do nothing less than revolutionize the system of fast food in America, to bring delicious, nourishing food into the areas that need it most,” Gold writes. Los Angeles Times

Public access: Columnist Steve Lopez checks in on why some members of the Coastal Commission want to oust the executive director. Is this a sign that more development could be headed for the coastline? “I fell in love decades ago, and I’m still very protective of California’s greatest natural asset, and very particular about preserving access to it,” he writes. Los Angeles Times


Sunday: El Niño storm forecast for Southern California.

Tuesday: L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and airport officials will hold an unveiling for Terminal Two at LAX.

Friday: The NAACP Image Awards will be held in Pasadena.

Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments, complaints and ideas to Alice Walton or Shelby Grad.