Newsletter: Essential California: Verdict for Marvin Gaye family, hospital merger collapses, waiting for the Big One

Good morning. It is Wednesday, March 11. Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris will be in Castaic this morning to talk about a recidivism reduction program. Here's what else is happening today in the Golden State:


‘Blurred Lines’ verdict

A song from musicians Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams ripped off the 1977 song “Got to Give It Up,” a jury decided. It awarded $7.4 million in damages to the family of the late singer Marvin Gaye. L.A. Times

Waiting for the Big One

The chances that California will have an earthquake of at least magnitude 8.0 in the next three decades has increased from 4.7% to 7%. The U.S. Geological Survey attributes that jump to the finding that an earthquake may start on one fault and then jump to another. L.A. Times

Hospital merger collapses

Plans for Prime Healthcare Services to buy six cash-strapped Roman Catholic hospitals have fallen apart. Hospital executives said conditions imposed by Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris were too onerous. The future of Daughters of Charity Health System now appears uncertain. L.A. Times



Renting out AirBnB: Los Angeles is already a tough rental market, and now it’s getting worse with the explosion of AirBnB units. Some landlords are making more money renting to tourists for a few days at a time than to full-time tenants who sign a lease. “Airbnb is a corporate vampire sucking rent-controlled units out of our affordable housing stock,” said Larry Gross of the Coalition for Economic SurvivalL.A. Times

DWP has lost millions: The Department of Water and Power missed out on millions of dollars in billings because of its disastrous new computer system. The billing system contributed to a $681-million shortfall in revenue. The city of Los Angeles is suing  PricewaterhouseCoopers, which was hired to oversee the launch of the billing program. L.A. Times

Assault arrest: The president of the Beverly Hills school board says he bumped into his 18-year-old neighbor because he felt as if she was holding him hostage in an elevator. But police say Brian Goldberg knocked her to the ground after a dispute, and they arrested him on suspicion of misdemeanor battery. L.A. Times

30th L.A. Marathon: This weekend’s Los Angeles Marathon will include 178 “legacy runners.” Those are runners who have competed in every L.A. Marathon since it was started 30 years ago. They’ll have a commemorative start Sunday just ahead of the men’s elite division. L.A. Times



O.C. body cameras: The weekend shooting of a 43-year-old woman is believed to be the first in Orange County to be captured by police officers’ new body cameras. Monique Jenee Deckard was killed by Anaheim police after she allegedly stabbed a woman at a laundromat. Orange County Register

Racking up police shootings: One Vallejo police officer was involved in three fatal shootings over the course of just 21 weeks. Instead of being disciplined, he was promoted. In 2012, the Bay area town had 20 homicides, and six of those people were killed in officer-involved shootings. BuzzFeed

Railway dangers: Nearly 100 times in the last three years, people have tried to kill themselves on the Caltrain railroad tracks on the San Francisco Peninsula. San Jose Mercury News

Sheriff’s policy on driving: L.A. County sheriff’s deputies should no longer use their computers while they’re driving. That’s the word from headquarters in response to crashes involving distracted deputies. L.A. Times



Looking at California 2115: “California will become a living, breathing Korean taco: Mexican in structure, Asian in essence, wholly American, and spicy as hell.” -- Gustavo Arellano Boom

Movie night at the castle: William Randolph Hearst must be rolling over in his grave. The classic film “Citizen Kane” will be screened in his private theater at Hearst Castle for a fundraiser. The masterpiece, of course, is a not-so-thinly-disguised movie of the newspaper man. L.A. Times

Remote attractions: Stuck in a windowless office? Live webcams can still give you killer views of your favorite landmarks. Curbed L.A.

Experiment in speed is scrapped: An experiment to turn a Ruby’s Diner in Costa Mesa into a fast-food restaurant has been scrapped after customers complained about the lack of table service. Orange County Register



A few Republican state lawmakers want to put a measure on the 2016 ballot that would prohibit state-funded colleges and universities from banning the display of an American flag. It’s a response to a handful of students at UC Irvine who wanted to take down all national flags.

Take the Los Angeles Times poll: Does California need to amend its Constitution to stop flag banning on campus?

And share your thoughts with us on Twitter with the tag #EssentialCalifornia or send us an email: Alice Walton and Shelby Grad.



California is the only state that has hosted both the Winter and Summer Olympics -- Squaw Valley in 1960 and Los Angeles in 1932 and 1984.


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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