Newsletter: Essential California: Jerry Brown’s science mixes with religion

Good morning. It is Wednesday, July 8. Feeling a little antsy this summer? Take a trip down memory lane … as in Route 66. Here's what's happening in the Golden State:



End of End of Life bill

Heavy lobbying from the Roman Catholic Church in predominantly Latino districts torpedoed an aid-in-dying bill in the state Assembly. The bill, which had already passed through the state Senate, was modeled on an Oregon law that allows doctors to prescribe life-ending drugs to terminally ill patients. Polls showed most Californians supported the bill. Los Angeles Times

Nonprofit indictments

Three executives with an East Los Angeles nonprofit are accused of embezzling and defrauding L.A. County to the tune of $8.5 million over 12 years. Decades ago, the Chicana Service Action Center helped launch the political career of former Supervisor Gloria Molina. She says she was unaware of any wrongdoing when she lobbied L.A. County to give the group more money. Los Angeles Times 

Spiritual and political 

In politics, science and religion are often painted at being at odds with each other. But for Gov. Jerry Brown, his religion is almost the foundation of his work on climate change. “Religion deals with the fundamentals. When you deal with the fundamentals of what makes the atmosphere, and the weather, and whether that permanently or radically changes, that’s very similar to a fundamental principle of right and wrong,” Brown said. Los Angeles Times 



South of the border: With Baja California relying on the Colorado River for its water, contingency plans are being put in place for a possible water shortage. However, without mandatory conservation measures established, the seriousness of the situation hasn't yet sunk in for most residents. Los Angeles Times

Changes in the kitchen: The state’s water shortage is slowly finding its way into California’s kitchens. Strawberries and basil arrived early this season. Chefs are finding new ways to make cheese and tofu. And there’s more steaming -- less boiling -- on the stove. New York Times

Saving the salmon: State water officials are slowing the pace at which Folsom Lake is being drained. The drawdown is part of a complicated plan to rescue Chinook salmon. Slowing the flow out of Folsom Lake should “provide peace of mind to everybody who’s watching this,” said Les Grober, assistant deputy director of the State Water Resources Control Board. Sacramento Bee

Turf war: Soccer fields in Los Angeles will soon be artificial turf. The move is expected to save 1 million to 3.5 million gallons of water annually per field. But the move is not entirely welcomed by soccer players, as the turf can lead to more injuries. LA Weekly

Spread of disease: West Nile virus has been detected in more California counties this year compared with last year. The drought may be partially to blame as mosquitoes search for more sources of water. Daily News



Future of L.A.: Los Angeles is shortly becoming a playground for the wealthy where average, middle class folks can’t afford to buy a house or send their kids to a good school. That’s according to one writer in a Los Angeles Magazine essay. Right now, L.A. mainly appears attractive to those who live abroad, as another writer expressed in his piece for Boing Boing. The question of livability in Los Angeles is one that Angelenos should address head on, writes The Times' Carolina A. Miranda. “It's great that culture types are reveling in this moment in which our city's output is drawing interest at an international level. But let's be honest about the limits of this so-called boom — and who it might be benefiting,” she writes. Los Angeles Times

Unfriendly welcome: It’s one of the most iconic images of Los Angeles, but neighbors have had it with tourists trekking up their streets to get a glimpse of the Hollywood sign. Beachwood Canyon residents are now suing the city, saying officials need to do something about the traffic they say has overtaken their community. Los Angeles Times

Power structure: When the East Coast puts together a list of the 25 most powerful Angelenos, is it any surprise that almost all of those people are in the entertainment industry? That makes this a list of powerful Hollywood insiders and not a true reflection of the city’s power structure. New York Observer



Whose gun? The gun used to fatally shoot a woman at a popular San Francisco tourist site belonged to a federal agent. The man who allegedly pulled the trigger said he found the gun wrapped in a T-shirt and it accidentally fired when he touched it. Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez pleaded not guilty to a murder charge. Los Angeles Times

Sheriff’s testimony: Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens testified Tuesday that she did nothing wrong when she laid off top commanders who had worked under former Sheriff Mike Corona. The testimony is part of a lawsuit brought by five former officials who say they were improperly tied to Corona, who was indicted on corruption charges and later convicted of witness tampering. Orange County Register

Wealth-adjacent: In the state’s third largest city, there isn’t enough money to staff every firehouse. That may be surprising since San Jose seems to be in the heart of Silicon Valley and its wealth. But the city is actually heavy on housing and light on jobs, which means huge numbers of its residents spend their days, and tax dollars, in other nearby cities. KQED

On leave: The Compton fire chief was placed on administrative leave after The Times reported his department did not comply with county regulations on the use of defibrillator machines. “We owe it to the citizens to report out on what is happening inside our Fire Department,” Councilwoman Janna Zurita said. Los Angeles Times



More graduates: Cerritos College is an example of a community college that has focused on its Latino students and successfully increased their graduation and transfer rates, according to a new study. School officials improved their success rates by opening a tutoring center and teaching students study skills and time management. Los Angeles Times 



New route: Heavy rainstorms stripped away 800 cubic meters of rock from the face of Half Dome last week. That has altered a popular climbing route in Yosemite National Park. Los Angeles Times

Secret society: Is the second season of “True Detective” based on a secret society based in Northern California? Bohemian Grove has been an exclusive club for wealthy men for 130 years. And there are five reasons to think it may play a part in the HBO series. Vanity Fair

Nuts and bolts: Every part of attending Comic-Con, from getting a ticket to booking the hotel to waiting in line, is a challenge. The convention starts in San Diego on Thursday. iO9



Patchy drizzle and fog in Los Angeles this morning, with a high of 75. Riverside could also see some morning showers before temperatures reach 79 degrees. In San Diego, there will be drizzle and clouds with temperatures around 70. San Francisco will be 64 degrees. Expect patchy fog and some light showers before 11 a.m.



The U.S. soccer team celebrates its victory in the Women's World Cup at L.A. Live's Microsoft Square on Tuesday. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Many thanks to everyone who took a few minutes to respond to our survey yesterday! 

-- Shelby and Alice