Essential California: Drought reality check, murder mystery, support for standardized tests

Good morning. It is Monday, April 13. Here's what is happening in the Golden State:


Drought oasis

While much of California agriculture is suffering through the worsening drought, farmers and residents  in the Imperial Valley have all they need and more. The region is water-rich thanks to huge allocations from the Colorado River. But some wonder how long it can last. L.A. Times

Drought reality checks

One basic fact about the drought, writes George Skelton, is that the surface water rights held by various interests don't match the amount of water the state has available. “It's arguable whether California has enough water to meet its actual needs. But it clearly does not have enough to match people's expectations.” L.A. Times

Plus: Michael Hiltzik says the way many people think about the drought is wrong. And Cathleen Decker says the drought doesn’t have to be a civil war.



Wrongfully convicted?: Do rusted bullet casings given to an L.A. Times reporter 21 years ago by LAPD homicide detectives hold the key to a murder? Go inside a long-running legal drama that cost the city of L.A. $8 million. L.A. Times

Homicide rate: The once notorious Jordan Downs housing project in South L.A. went four years without a murder. But now, it’s once again dealing with a death. L.A. Times

High-speed casulity: Shock in San Francisco after a pedestrian is killed during a wild high-speed chase involving robbery suspect and city police. SF Gate



Sense of place: Merchants and city officials want to give downtown Santa Ana more of a Latino identity, similar to Little Saigon, Koreatown and Chinatown. Orange County Register

Finding a room: Pasadena doesn’t have enough hotels but that’s about to change. L.A. Times

Growing disparities: A grad student from MIT is turning heads with a theory: The real cause of San Francisco’s gaping inequality gap is all about real estate. Pacific Standard

Building in San Diego: A housing boom is taking shape in the backcountry of the northern San Diego County east of Fallbrook, where 7,000 homes are planned. San Diego Union-Tribune



Support for school exams: Latino parents support school standardized tests in larger numbers than white parents, according to a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll. Why? "Once a family has achieved a certain level of financial success, they have the luxury of worrying about their children's stress levels," said Dan Schnur, head of USC's Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics. "For families who haven't yet made it, they see the stress that comes with testing as an acceptable trade-off in order to more precisely measure progress." L.A. Times



Invasion of L.A.: If you are into apocalyptic L.A., you might like this “Star Wars” themed video of Imperial Forces invading L.A. YouTube

Double double Prius: You won’t believe this photo of one Toyota Prius on top of another, taken last week on an exit from the Hollywood Freeway. LAist


Downtown L.A. is the capitol the pedestrian traffic ticket, followed by Boyle Heights and Van Nuys. Why these a $197 tickets are considered so important as some parts of L.A. become more pedestrian oriented. L.A. Times

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