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Essential California: Your TV habits are hurting the media giants

Good morning. It is Friday, Aug. 7. The peafowl population in Rancho Palos Verdes has exploded. The peacocks and peahens are becoming such a nuisance that city officials are looking into relocating the birds and hooking them up with birth control. Here's what is happening in the Golden State:

TOP STORIES

Local control 

Now that Ontario is regaining control of its local airport, the big question is whether officials there can jumpstart traffic at regional airports. Part of that job will be convincing airline carriers that it is a financially-viable hub, even though it’s unlikely to have many first class or business travelers. If airport officials can do that, travelers from Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange counties, as well as folks in the eastern part of L.A. County, may find Ontario Airport a better option that flying out of LAX. Los Angeles Times

Child abuse

Teenagers who attended a behavioral boot camp in San Luis Obispo suffered beatings, broken fingers, bruised throats and emotional abuse -- and at the hands of police officers, an attorney for the teens alleges. Getting the youngsters to even open up to authorities about what had happened took time. “This sort of thing undoubtedly will affect these children forever,” the attorney said. Los Angeles Times

Stock slide

It’s being called a “media meltdown.” Viewers' decisions to cut their cable in favor of things like Netflix or Roku are finally having a real impact on media companies. Stocks for Viacom, Time Warner, Fox and Disney are all down. “One sentence from Disney and nearly $60 billion in market value gets wiped out,” said Doug Creutz, a media analyst with Cowen & Co. “Can you say panic?” Los Angeles Times

DROUGHT

Turf rebates: The name and addresses of property owners who benefited from the Metropolitan Water District’s turf rebate program will remain private for now. A Los Angeles superior court judge delayed the release of that information until at least November. The San Diego Union-Tribune had requested the information to see how $450 million in public funds were spent. Los Angeles Times

Expensive fires: It’s getting more expensive to fight wildfires like the Rocky Fire in Northern California. New figures from the U.S. Forest Service show that more and more of the agency’s budget is going to wildfire management. That trend will likely continue as the drought drags on. BuzzFeed

Climate changes: Those fires should serve as a warning to people about the dangers of climate change, Gov. Jerry Brown said. “This is a real wake-up call. It’s a new normal,” according to the governor. Los Angeles Times

L.A. AT LARGE

Horse country: The equestrian community in Atwater Village is concerned that plans to build townhouses along the Los Angeles River will cut off riders from easy access to bridle trails. “The real question for L.A. is, as we develop the river, are we invested in keeping one teeny, tiny historic equestrian district intact as the jewel of the river?” said Jackie Sloan with The Children’s Ranch Foundation. Los Angeles Magazine

Cause of crash: A faulty carburetor caused actor Harrison Ford’s vintage plane to lose power shortly after taking off from the Santa Monica Airport back in March. The plane crashed on its way back to the airport. Ford was seriously injured but no one on the ground was hurt. Los Angeles Times

That pink Corvette: She’s an L.A. icon who paved the way for reality television and social media stars. Angelyne is also a pretty savvy businesswoman who always has her own financial interests in mind. Want a picture of her face? That will be $10,000. Hollywood Reporter

Case of the plague: A child from Los Angeles County contracted the plague during a family camping trip in Northern California, according to health officials. The state’s last diagnosed case of the plague was in 2006. Los Angeles Times

POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

Women’s choices: In Paso Robles, one of the only doctors in America who will perform a third-trimester abortion reflects on what it means when women are empowered to make the best decisions for their families. “As she did frequently during our conversation, (Susan) Robinson recalled one of (the late Dr. George) Tiller’s many mantras: ‘Women are spiritually, emotionally and intellectually capable of struggling with complex ethical issues and arriving at the correct decision for themselves and their families.’” Los Angeles Times

COURTS AND CRIME

Homeless ordinance: Attorneys with the U.S. Department of Justice are citing a Los Angeles law in asking a judge in Boise to block that city’s anti-camping law. The rationale is that if homeless men and women do not have anywhere to go, like a shelter, the city cannot penalize them for sleeping outside. Los Angeles Times

Mystery victim: Police are digging in a La Puente backyard but they won’t say who they are looking for. The investigation is related to a 2009 missing person’s case. The dig is expected to continue today. Los Angeles Times

New prosecutor: Eileen Decker is the new U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles and while it’s a big job, Decker is likely to keep a low profile. Observers are eager to see how her prosecutorial decisions are influenced by her time as a deputy mayor in L.A. City Hall, where she saw firsthand the benefits of focusing on crime prevention. “I don’t know that prior to becoming deputy mayor I really saw the benefit, firsthand, of the prevention model,” Decker said. 89.3 KPCC

Drugs seized: A U.S. Coast Guard crew in Northern California found $181 million worth of cocaine and four crew members when they confronted a partially submerged vessel in the Pacific Ocean. The men were arrested and most of the drugs brought onto the fed’s boat. As the vessel was being towed to shore, it sank and took with it the remaining 4,000 pounds of cocaine. Los Angeles Times

EDUCATION

Gender identity: Beginning this fall, students applying to the University of California will have six options to choose from when asked about their gender. Beyond male and female, applicants may identify as trans male, trans female, gender queer/gender non-conforming and different identity. Los Angeles Times

CALIFORNIA CULTURE

Art direction: The San Diego Art Institute has a new director who is tasked with bringing new life to the Balboa Park museum. “A year and half later, (Ginger Shulick Porcella) has earned the attention of highly regarded, established artists who never paid attention to the SDAI before. And the SDAI has also become a magnet for emerging San Diego artists too, as recent exhibitions have demonstrated.” KCET

GOLDEN STATE PERSPECTIVES

Report card: In the latest installment of The Times editorial board's "Grading City Hall" series, see the report card for L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti. Los Angeles Times

Watts and MLK hospital: After the 1965 riots, L.A. County leaders committed to bringing better services to poverty-plagued South L.A. In 1972, Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital opened, bringing medical care to a community that had for so long gone without it. The hospital’s decline into “Killer King” and eventual closure in 2007, says The Times’ editorial board, represents the promises made and broken after the Watts uprising 50 years ago. Los Angeles Times

Uber drivers: As the revelation that Uber allowed four people with criminal background to become drivers in Southern California shows, the ride-sharing company’s vetting system isn’t foolproof. But neither are those of the cab companies that oppose Uber, notes The Times’ editorial board. Legislators shouldn’t take the bait dangled by taxi companies to prevent Uber and other ride-sharing companies from competing; rather, they should look for ways to better protect riders. Los Angeles Times

CALIFORNIA ALMANAC

San Francisco will have a morning thunderstorm. Highs are expected to reach 72 degrees. In Los Angeles, there will be low clouds before the sun pokes through and temperatures hit a high of 81. Riverside will have low clouds and sun and a high of 90 degrees. San Diego will start with clouds and 77 degrees.

AND FINALLY

SeaWorld executives say business still hasn’t recovered from the “Blackfish” documentary, which looked at the captivity of Orca whales. The company saw an 84% drop in income during the second quarter compared to the same time last year.

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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