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Essential California: Rethink that Vegas trip

Good morning. It is Saturday, July 18. Here’s what you don’t want to miss this weekend:

Brown lives matter: Half of the people shot by police in Los Angeles County are Latino and yet that community’s reaction to such events is muted compared to what happens in the African American community. A number of factors contribute to this: Latinos are represented in law enforcement; families are more likely to fear immigration officers than police; and in the black community, churches can play a part in organizing protests, something the Catholic church typically does not do. Los Angeles Times

Fire danger: It was a dramatic scene on the 15 freeway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas Friday afternoon as a fast-moving brush fire overtook cars, trucks and even a boat. Television helicopters over the Cajon Pass captured the damage as helicopters from fire departments made water drops. Dozens of cars were abandoned as drivers sought safety, making it difficult for emergency vehicles to maneuver. The fire is still burning. Los Angeles Times

Data breach: The medical data of 4.5 million patients in the UCLA Health System was hacked in a cyberattack, hospital officials said Friday. Hackers gained access to birthdays, Social Security numbers and patients’ diagnoses and treatments. The patient information that was hacked was not encrypted. Los Angeles Times

Miracle rain: The rainfall that hit Lake Mead in May is being called a miracle by water officials. The precipitation came just as Lake Mead’s levels were hitting lows not seen since the Hoover Dam was built in the 1930s. “May offers us some breathing room,” said Jeffrey Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District. Los Angeles Times

Land sale: This week, 50 properties that are remnants of the Community Redevelopment Agency went up for auction. Some of the properties are home to famous L.A. landmarks, like the Colburn School downtown and the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. It’s hard to put a value on those parcels, which have long-term lease agreements with existing buildings, but some come with “air rights” that would allow a developer to build a taller building elsewhere. Los Angeles Times

Honoring a legend: Dolores Huerta’s leadership  in the farm workers’ movement in California’s Central Valley is being recognized with an exhibition at the Smithsonian’s Portrait Gallery. “Dolores Huerta has not gotten her due for the pivotal role she played in the farmworker movement, especially when compared to César Chávez’s notoriety,” said Taína Caragol, curator of the museum’s Latino art and history. Smithsonian

Shortest rail line: There’s a new petition to reopen Angels Flight, the tiny funicular railway that operates between 3rd and 4th streets in downtown Los Angeles. It was shut down two years ago after a car derailed. Angels Flight opened in 1901 as a way to help Angelenos up the 33 degree incline of Bunker Hill. LAist

Cash only: In April, a quarter of all people who purchased a home in Orange County paid cash instead of taking out a loan. “Cash sales are seen as an indicator of investor and foreign buyer activity, since they are the buyers who purchase homes without a mortgage most frequently.” Orange County Register

Famous estate: Bob Hope’s Toluca Lake estate is on the market for a steal. The seller wants $12 million, which is about half the listing the last time it was on the market. Hope and his wife moved here in 1939 when the area was still rural. Today, it includes a one-hole golf course and putting green. Curbed LA

This week’s most popular stories in Essential California

1. The inside story on the relationship between actors Clark Gable and Loretta Young, which became one of Old Hollywood’s greatest scandals. Buzzfeed

2. The Chandelier House in Silver Lake is one of the most romantic places in Los Angeles. Now, you can rent a room there. It’s the perfect spot to view strangers’ marriage proposals. LAist

3. The drought may be the reason there’s more roadkill and spiders creeping around California. Live Science

4. Do you long for your college dorm room? Well, maybe not the room but the close quarters? Then you’re in luck as micro-dwellings are becoming all the rage. Orange County Register

5. The image of the perfect California home is about to change as state water officials crack down on how much grass can be planted around new buildings. Los Angeles Times

ICYMI, here are this week’s Great Reads

Drought road trip: Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Diana Marcum and photographer Robert Gauthier are road-tripping across California to see firsthand how the drought is transforming the landscape of the state. “We’ll strike up conversations, hike to lakes that are disappearing, follow the rivers that are still running. We’ll take a detour or two when someone tells us there’s something we just have to see. It’s summer, and we’re out to roam the drylands,” she writes. Los Angeles Times

Learning to see: In Long Beach, one group is teaching the visually impaired to use clicking noises to “see” the world around them. “Their students learn to better perceive the space before them, sending out sonar, like dolphins or bats, to get an acoustic read on their surroundings — a human form of echolocation.” Los Angeles Times

Looking Ahead

Monday: The  Los Angeles Times and #EmergingUS will screen the documentary “White People” in downtown L.A.; L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti will switch on new light poles at LAX to welcome the Special Olympic athletes.

Tuesday: Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will speak at the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda; the L.A. County Board of Supervisors is expected to discuss a proposal to increase the minimum wage; the Department of Water and Power is expected to discuss more water conservation efforts for Los Angeles.

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.

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