Essential California: The rise of Snapchat, expense of homelessness, in defense of almond farmers

Good morning. It is Friday, April 17. Laker Kobe Bryant is selling his Newport Beach home, and the sale could set a record in the Pelican Ridge community. Here's what is happening in the Golden State:


Cost of homelessness: The city of Los Angeles spends $100 million a year on homelessness. About $87 million of that is related to arrests and police services. "There appears to be no consistent process across city departments for dealing with the homeless or with homeless encampments," City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana wrote in a report. L.A. Times

Start-up rivals television: The Venice-based company Snapchat was once known for short videos and pictures sent between lovers. Now major companies are looking to partner with the start-up, which has drawn an audience of 40 million viewers. Snapchat's reach, advertising industry analysts say, is big enough to siphon ad dollars otherwise spent on television and YouTube. L.A. Times

Almond farmers speak up: When did almonds become the enemy? Writer Robin Abcarian visited almond farmers outside Bakersfield to talk about the state drought. "People need to understand that everything you eat takes water," explained a fourth-generation farmer. L.A. Times



A younger LACMA: The trustees at the L.A. County Museum of Art used to represent the city’s "old money" families. Now, one-third of the 53 trustees have Hollywood ties. The change started 10 years ago, when Eli Broad and the late Nancy Daly decided to bring new energy to a museum that some felt had become complacent. L.A. Times

Mental health pioneer: The first psychologist hired by the Los Angeles Police Department back in 1968 has died at age 87. Martin Reiser is credited with treating officers involved in traumatic events. He also responded to hostage situations and helped establish a psychological profile of the Hillside Strangler. L.A. Times

Lingerie staple closes: Frederick’s of Hollywood is shutting down its brick-and-mortar locations. The company, which started with catalogs, now will live just on the Web. L.A. Times



How a bill becomes a law: In Sacramento, some lawmakers are perfectly happen to turn over their legislative duties to lobbyists. "There are no rules in either house of the Legislature for disclosing either the existence of sponsors or what work they did — including writing every word of the proposed law in question." KQED

When a loss is a win: Carly Fiorina says her unsuccessful 2010 bid for the U.S. Senate is a source of inspiration as she runs for president. "She painted her win in a three-way [California] GOP primary as a significant success, injecting more drama in that primary victory than many saw at the time." The piece notes Fiorina barely registers in most presidential polls. L.A. Times

California Democrats meet-up: Sen. Elizabeth Warren will headline the state Democratic Party’s convention next month in Anaheim. The Massachusetts senator will be joined by former Rep. Barney Frank. Sacramento Bee



Murder case: Suge Knight will stand trial for murder and attempted murder. That decision comes even as one of the victims recanted parts of his story to investigators. When he took the witness stand earlier this week, Cle "Bone" Sloan said he didn't want to be a "snitch" and be the person who sends Knight to prison. L.A. Times

Age of consent: A proposed state bill would close a loophole that allows defendants in civil cases to argue that a minor consented to sex with an adult. The bill is a response to a case where attorneys for the L.A. Unified School District argued that a 14-year-old student shared responsibility for a sexual relationship with a teacher. Associated Press

Cause of death: The cellmate of former NFL player Lawrence Phillips died of strangulation. That’s according to the coroner in Kern County. Phillips is a suspect in the case. L.A. Times



Delta tunnels: A look at Gov. Jerry Brown's $25-billion project intended to make it easier to get water from Northern California to Southern California. "It’s just the latest attempt to solve a problem that has vexed the state for well over a century: How to move water so it satisfies all of California’s demands and desires." Wired

Beating up golf courses: Are beautiful, green golf courses fair targets in California's ongoing efforts to conserve water?  "The industry can be a major consumer of local water supplies, especially in places like the Coachella Valley." KCET

Brown and patchy: Writer Joe Mathews wants you to know his lawn looks terrible. The drought has turned this eyesore into a point of pride. "Some of us need an intervention, but not in my household," he writes. Zocalo



New inquiry into iPads: The federal Securities and Exchange Commission opened an informal inquiry into whether the L.A. Unified School District acted properly in using bond money for its $1.3-billion iPad program. The contract has since been canceled, and the district is attempting to get a refund from Apple. L.A. Times



Rent is too darn high: The average rent for an apartment in Orange County is now $1,800. Rents there have steadily increased for the last four and a half years. Orange County Register



Naked and not afraid: A naked man jumped off the Venice Beach pier in the middle of the night -- on a dare. Police were not impressed and arrested him when he returned to shore. LAist

D-chip: A West Virginia woman is suing Disneyland, accusing the happiest place on Earth of implanting a chip in her body without her consent. SF Gate

Approve this message: Mayor Eric Garcetti and musician Steve Aoki are teaming up to host a free concert in downtown Los Angeles. Twitter


A flashback to the first time Hollywood Boulevard was shut down for a film shoot.


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