Newsletter: Essential California: Can you find Bob Hope Airport?

Good morning. It is Friday, July 10. For his debut at Comic-Con, actor Bill Murray made sure to eat a hearty breakfast. “Bagels and then tequila,” he told the crowd. Here's what else is happening in the Golden State:


Second-generation California

Now that California has a Latino plurality, it is the most diverse state in the country’s history. Statistics show that Latinos often have lower incomes, education and job skills than the average Californian, but that’s changing as second-generation children attend college and become more politically involved. “We need to move forward together as a group. If we care too much about our self-identities we’re going to be like crabs in a tank trying to pull each other down as we try to climb over each other,” said one Whittier businessman. Los Angeles Times 

Tearing out turf

So many Californians ripped out their lawns to conserve water that the state’s largest lawn removal program ran out of money. The Metropolitan Water District is shutting down its program after it went through $350 million in rebates. Now, there are questions whether homeowners will continue turning over their lawns to drought-tolerant plants. “We didn’t predict just how popular turf rebates would become,” said Jeffrey Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District. Los Angeles Times 

Research dispute

USC and UC San Diego have locked horns over a nationwide study on Alzheimer's disease. Since 1991, the study has been based in and managed from San Diego, but when the director of the study left for USC he essentially took the study with him. The dispute, which is now before a judge, involves “millions of dollars, institutional reputations and the pace of progress in finding ways to treat dementia.” Los Angeles Times



Prisons’ conservation: The only way California prison inmates can shower every day is by using an outdoor shower in the prison yard. Those are now shut off as the state tries to conserve water. That means 121,000 prisoners will be restricted to three, five-minute showers a week. Los Angeles Times

Sandy feet: Showers at 38 state beaches will also be shut off to save 18 million gallons annually. Los Angeles Times 

Thirstiest crop: In the Imperial Valley, one alfalfa farmer was able to cut his water use in half thanks to drip irrigation. The system only works, however, in the right type of soil. “Drip irrigation is not the answer for everything,” said one irrigation advisor with the  University of California Cooperative Extension in Imperial County. KPBS

Dry to the bone: One photographer set out to see how infrastructure has been affected by California’s drought. “When I received this assignment to photograph varying aspects of the man-made infrastructure put in place to control every last drop of water coming from the river, I was blown away by the sheer scale of it all,” said Michael Friberg. ProPublica (photo gallery)

Fighting for water: Local water officials want to know how their projects will square with Gov. Jerry Brown’s vision for tunneling under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. “Those tunnels would cost everyone who uses delta water. MWD customers would foot a large share of the bill. San Diego ratepayers could pay an extra $8 to $10 each month, it's estimated. For that, they could build another desalination plant that would produce more water,” writes columnist George Skelton. Los Angeles Times



Tentative settlement: Actor Tom Selleck and a local water district have reached a settlement over allegations that the “Magnum P.I.” star stole water from a fire hydrant. Details of the settlement are confidential for now. To document the case, the Calleguas Municipal Water District paid a private investigator $22,000. Los Angeles Times

Mysterious house: How did a mansion end up in the middle of a Los Angeles oil field? The mystery begins in 1896. 89.9 KCRW (audio)

Water damage: It’s been almost a year since a water main burst and soaked Westwood with 20 million gallons of water. The tab for UCLA, which suffered extensive damage, was $13 million, according to university officials. Los Angeles Times



Unknown dangers: California’s regulatory agencies don’t fully understand the effects of hydraulic fracking because they don’t know what oil companies are doing. That’s what a state science panel was told Thursday. It’s unknown how the toxic chemicals used for fracking may affect wildlife, crops and water supplies. Los Angeles Times

Public monies: The city of West Covina in the San Gabriel Valley lost millions of dollars through sloppy bookkeeping and questionable spending, according to a new state audit. “We identified numerous contracts and transactions that raised questions about the reasonableness and proper use of public funds,” per the audit. Los Angeles Times

Too much solar: The California Independent System Operator has less than 10 years to figure how the state can get one-third of its electricity from renewable sources without frying the grid. “If California is going to meet its renewables goals, Cal-ISO needs to be prepared to stave off a disaster.” Pacific Standard



Assigning investigators: A San Francisco murder case is prompting questions about how police prioritize investigations. On June 27, police received a report that a gun had been taken from a car belonging to a U.S. Bureau of Land Management ranger. The case was not assigned an investigator. Four days later, that gun was used in the killing of a 32-year-old woman on Pier 14. SF Gate

Gun ownership: Do dangerous Californians own guns? State officials aren’t sure. The state Department of Justice is backlogged with reports that could identify whether people with a severe mental illness or criminal history are purchasing firearms. Los Angeles Times

Grizzly discovery: The body of a woman who disappeared six years ago was discovered in the wall of her Lomita apartment. Police went to the apartment after a tipster called Raven Campbell’s family. Los Angeles Times



Boys in blue: How did Magic Johnson and Guggenheim Partners beat out two other bidders to purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers? And at $2.15 billion, did they overpay for the team? A new book provides insight into the 2011 sale. Vanity Fair



Surfing USA: In California, it’s anything but laid back. When a reporter and photographer tried to surf off Palos Verdes, they were met by “Bay Boys,” a group of men who mark their surfing territory by terrorizing outsiders. When the two returned to their car, they found it was covered in eggs and surf wax. Guardian

Buzz word: How many times did the Realtors of “Million Dollar Listing San Francisco” say “tech” on the most recent episode? Here’s a hint: more than a baker’s dozen. Buzzfeed

Loving California: One writer’s view of California as seen from the window of a train. “A place can reward you, dazzle you, make you think it loves you,” she writes. Medium

Bored? From concerts to movies to a trip down the L.A. River, it’s a rundown of essential summer activities in Los Angeles. Mashable



Los Angeles will have low clouds clearing to sun later in the day. Temperatures downtown will reach 74 degrees. Riverside will gradually become sunny and 79 degrees. San Diego has a 10% chance of rain. It will be cloudy and 66. San Francisco may have clouds before noon and a high near 66.



Where is Bob Hope Airport?

If you don’t know, you’re not alone. Airport officials want to drop the Bob Hope name and refer to the airport as Los Angeles Burbank Airport as a way to market to travelers outside the Golden State. The name change isn’t sitting well with the Hope family or Burbank politicians.


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.