Newsletter: Essential California: LAPD killing called unjustified

Good morning. It is Wednesday, April 13. There’s a new baby giraffe at the San Francisco Zoo. The calf is already more than 6 feet tall. Here’s what else is happening in the Golden State:


Out of policy

An LAPD officer violated the department’s policy when he fatally shot a homeless man in Venice last year, the Police Commission decided Tuesday. Officer Clifford Proctor had previously said he fired at Brendon Glenn because the man was grabbing for his partner’s gun. However, security footage at a nearby bar didn’t show Glenn’s hand “on or near any portion” of the holster, the report said. Earlier this year, police Chief Charlie Beck recommended Proctor be criminally charged for the shooting. Los Angeles Times


Contaminated soil

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed what the state already knew — the soil around homes near the old Exide plant has lead in it. Out of 500 homes there tested, all but eight will require cleanup. County officials undertook their own tests after residents complained about the slow pace of the state’s testing. “I feel as if we’re David, and we’re up against some very big lobbying guns up there,” said Supervisor Hilda Solis. Los Angeles Times

Animal rescue

Julia Di Sieno is a licensed rescuer in Solvang who is now fighting to prevent the state from euthanizing a badly injured coyote. The animal, named Angel, was blinded by a gunshot wound and would have died of cardiac arrest had it not been for the work of Di Sieno. Days after that rescue, Angel gave birth to pups. Now, Di Sieno believes Angel can act as a surrogate mother to other animals she rescues. Los Angeles Times



Mountain snow: The snowpack in the Sierra Nevada is looking great, but that doesn’t mean Southern California can stop worrying about the water supply. “We’ll be getting more rain and less snow here. That means less snowpack storage and faster runoff,” said Roger C. Bales, a professor at UC Merced and a principal investigator with the Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory. New York Times


Calling in sick: A Los Angeles City Council committee wants to require private businesses to give their employees six paid sick days a year. The vote follows the city’s decision to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next four years. “It doesn’t do an employee good to receive a higher wage only to risk being fired because they have to take time off to care for themselves or a loved one,” said Councilman Curren Price. Los Angeles Times

Tricky commute: A space shuttle external fuel tank will begin its journey through the streets of Los Angeles on May 21. It’s expected to take 16 to 18 hours to get from Marina del Rey to the California Science Center. These graphics show just how it will get there. Los Angeles Times

Outrageous real estate: There’s a spec house in Holmby Hills that’s on the market for $150 million. The house is on the same street as Fleur de Lys, which sold for $102 million, and the former Walt Disney estate that went for $74 million. Wall Street Journal

Local hangouts: Here’s the neighborhood guide to skid row from its unofficial mayor. “Whether someone has been here three hours or three decades, the subconscious thought processes are one in the same — to survive,” says General Jeff Page. Curbed LA



Crime and punishment: California lawmakers are considering a bill that would remove the statute of limitations on when charges can be filed in sexual abuse cases. The move is motivated in part by the dozens of accusations made against comedian Bill Cosby. Most of those allegations will not be pursued because too much time has passed to file charges. “A victim should always have the hope that they will be able to have justice,” said state Sen. Connie Leyva (D-Chino). Los Angeles Times

Celebrity endorsements: Who are your favorite celebrities voting for in the presidential race? Los Angeles Times

Return to sender: Riverside County Dist. Atty. Mike Hestrin will return $51,000 in campaign contributions that came from an auto shop owner accused of defrauding customers. It was not immediately clear whether Hestrin’s campaign account has enough money to refund the donations, which were first reported by the Desert Sun. Desert Sun

Into the wild: The regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency is leaving his Northern California office to hike the Pacific Coast Trail for the next four months. “Hopefully, what I’m leaving behind is a stronger agency that is able to deal with the complex challenges of the future,” said Jared Blumenfeld. SFGate


Unusual weapon: A woman broke into a San Francisco home Monday and bludgeoned the homeowner with a frozen turkey, police said. The victim was hospitalized while the suspect fled with the turkey and a silver Lexus. Los Angeles Times

Round ‘em up: Authorities arrested 43 people in a two-day sex offender compliance check in Sacramento. Some of those arrested were in violation of the sex offender registration requirements while others had outstanding warrants, authorities said. Sacramento Bee

Missing man: A Canadian man has been missing since January and authorities believe he is somewhere in Orange County. Ryan Robichaud has been spotted a couple of times since leaving Burlington, Ontario. In January, LAPD officers found Robichaud and dropped him off at LAX so he could fly home, but the 23-year-old never got on the plane. Los Angeles Times



Pay day: Tuesday was Equal Pay Day, something invented by activists to draw attention to the pay disparities between men and women. In California, one study estimates men make $8,000 a year more than women. A reason? Women typically work in lower-paying fields and don’t negotiate as aggressively as men. Los Angeles Times


Art circuit: More than a dozen artists were selected to participate in Los Angeles’ first public art biennial. “The ‘Current:LA Water’ exhibition will consist of temporary outdoor installations that will go up throughout the city this summer, all focused on the theme of water.” Los Angeles Times

Curb your dog: The Silver Lake Neighborhood Council is stocking up on 12,000 plastic bags so dog owners’ can pick up after their pets. It’s an effort to keep the paths along the reservoir clean. Eastsider LA

Danger ahead: A giant sinkhole swallowed up basketball courts at Linda Esperanza Marquez High School in Huntington Park. ABC 7


San Francisco will have sun and a high of 61. Sacramento will have some clouds as temperatures reach 60 degrees. Los Angeles will have low clouds and a high of 73. Riverside will have low clouds with temperatures reaching 77 degrees. San Diego will be cloudy with a high of 69.


Today’s California Memory comes from Joan Cardellino:

“I grew up in San Jose in the 1960s when it was known for its abundant orchards of apricots and peaches. Two blocks from my house was an apricot orchard that to me seemed like a huge, dark forest, fun and scary to play in as a kid. Our neighbors had a wonderful apricot tree in their yard, and every summer my mother would can apricots, make jam and pies. I now have my own home in Oakland, with a large apricot tree in the backyard. Even in the drought the tree produced abundant fruit, and I am happy to see that from last week’s blossoms, I now have tiny green apricots appearing among the leaves. It’s easy to forget that California’s early riches came from agriculture, so I appreciate my backyard reminder.”

If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, share it with us. Send us an email to let us know what you love or fondly remember about our state. (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 and ideas to Alice Walton or Shelby Grad.

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