Newsletter: Essential California: What’s next for cops in Ezell Ford shooting?
Good morning. It is Wednesday, June 10. The culinary masters at Dodger Stadium are cooking up a pizza with a Dodger dog stuffed in the crust. The only way that dish could be more outrageous is if they added ketchup to the hot dog. Here's what else is happening in the Golden State:
Ezell Ford case: The commission rules
The Los Angeles Police Commission found that one LAPD officer was out of policy when he shot Ezell Ford, an unarmed African American man killed last year. Whether and how that officer will be disciplined will be up to Chief Charlie Beck. Mayor Eric Garcetti said the finding by the civilian commission shows that reforms implemented in the last two decades are working. Los Angeles Times
Members of the California High-Speed Rail Authority listened to seven hours of attacks on the state's rail project. The $68-billion project has already met resistance in the Bay Area and Central Valley, but opposition is heating up now that the bullet train proposal has reached densely populated Southern California. Los Angeles Times
A retreat on graduation standards
The L.A. Unified Board of Education backed off more rigorous graduation requirements that would have mandated that students receive a C or better in college prep courses necessary for admission to four-year state universities. The reason: concern that large numbers of students would fail to earn diplomas. Los Angeles Times
Living elegantly: In a wide-ranging talk with the Los Angeles Times' publisher Tuesday, Gov. Jerry Brown said Californians must find a way to live more frugally when it comes to the state's water supply. Doing so could allow California to support an additional 10 million residents, he said. "You have to find a more elegant way of relating to material things. You have to use them with greater sensitivity and sophistication," Brown said. Los Angeles Times
Drought funds untapped: Even in a crisis, government can be slow to act. More than a year after Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency, more than $320 million set aside for drought relief remains unspent. "The issue is not that this is taking longer than it should. It's taking longer than the voters have been led to expect," said the head of the Center for California Studies at Sacramento State University. Associated Press
Challenging the cuts: In a new lawsuit, Riverside city officials contend that they shouldn't have to cut water consumption by 25%, because they have ample groundwater supplies and don't import water. Riverside Press-Enterprise
Clouded view: The California drought could be getting worse because of changes in summertime clouds above cities. Low cloud coverage gives plants more time to use the water they've stored. As temperatures rise, so do the clouds, and that exacerbates the drought. KQED
Walking for a cause: One man is walking 116 miles around the Salton Sea to draw attention to its falling water levels. Randy Brown, who spent 14 months training for his trek, will probably face triple-digit temperatures and thunderstorms. Daily Bulletin
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L.A. AT LARGE
Behind closed doors: The way the city of Los Angeles handles officer-involved shootings is "transparent as mud." That's what one policing expert told Times columnist Steve Lopez after Tuesday's closed-door hearing on what happened when officers stopped and then later killed a South L.A. man. Although the Police Commission found one cop should be punished for his role in the 2014 shooting, just what that disciplinary action will ultimately be will remain a secret. "It's not a process anyone can trust," Lopez writes. Los Angeles Times
Debating HIV treatment: Public health agencies in big cities across America are distributing a drug that could reduce the risk of contracting HIV by 99%, but Truvada, also known as PrEP, is not available through the L.A. County health system. Health officials say that's because of opposition from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and its leader, Michael Weinstein. Weinstein says he's not to blame, though he believes Truvada is a "party drug" that will lead to reckless behavior and new HIV infections. BuzzFeed
Jail plan on hold: L.A. County officials agree that conditions inside the Men's Central Jail are abysmal, but just what they should do about it now appears up in the air. Two county supervisors want to reassess how many nonviolent offenders could be diverted from jail. But representatives with the Sheriff's Department warned that a delay could jeopardize $100 million in state funding for jail projects. Los Angeles Times
They do: Seven gay and lesbian couples from China were married Tuesday in a ceremony in West Hollywood. The weddings were part of an all-expenses-paid trip the couples won through a contest. Same-sex marriage is not legal in China, but the couples' unions are recognized in the United States. Los Angeles Times
POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT
Remaking Prop. 13: Two Democratic state senators will introduce legislation Wednesday to overhaul Proposition 13. The proposal would allow for regular assessments of commercial properties so that they can be taxed at a rate closer to market value. Supporters say the change, which could be on the ballot in November 2016, would help raise as much as $9 billion for local and school governments. Los Angeles Times
Rainy-day forecasting: Is the state of California doing enough today to prepare for a future economic downturn? That's one of the questions as Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers try to reach a budget agreement by Monday. "Is the state prepared for a medium recession?" one economist asked. "State government is not." Los Angeles Times
CRIMES AND COURTS
Husband convicted: A Huntington Beach man was convicted of killing his wife in a botched murder-suicide attempt that took place just days before their first wedding anniversary. According to prosecutors, in the days leading to the murder, Nelson Tuiolosega said of his wife, "If she ever leaves me, I’ll kill her." Orange County Register
Stuck behind bars: Bail for a former LAPD officer accused of murder was increased to $10 million Tuesday. Henry Solis evaded authorities for months by fleeing to Mexico and staying with family. Prosecutors said that showed that Solis is a flight risk. Los Angeles Times
Growing pains: It has taken just seven years for Airbnb to expand from three air mattresses on the floor of a San Francisco apartment to a $20-billion company with 1.2 million rental listings worldwide. But that's thrown the company into a gray zone of regulations as it disrupts both the rental and hotel markets. Airbnb has responded by hiring powerful lobbyists and community organizers. Los Angeles Times
Fun with fins: Yes, in Los Angeles you really can attend Mermaid School. And the program is open to mermen too. The only requirements are that you must be at least 6 years old and know how to swim. LAist
Manson saga, continued: The man who prosecuted Charles Manson died over the weekend. For their roles in the 1969 Tate-LaBianca murders, Manson and his followers were sentenced to death. The courts later reduced those sentences to life in prison, and now many of those players have outlived deputy D.A. Vincent Bugliosi. Los Angeles Times
There's a 20% chance of thunderstorms in San Francisco this morning. It will then be mostly cloudy with a high of 69. Los Angeles will be mostly sunny with a high of 79. San Diego will have patchy fog before 11 a.m. as temperatures reach 71 degrees.
San Francisco authorities would not like to buy the world a Coke. They voted Tuesday to slap warning labels on advertisements for sugary drinks. It's unlikely anyone in the Bay Area believes that soda is part of a balanced diet. But just in case, the warnings will remind consumers that added sugars can lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay.
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