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Essential California: Donald Trump's popularity in Orange County

Good morning. It is Saturday, Aug. 8. Here’s what you don’t want to miss this weekend:

River designs: Architect Frank Gehry’s mark can be seen around Los Angeles and now he’s been brought in to develop plans for the L.A. River. Details aren’t available yet but sources say he’s reworking a master plan adopted by city officials in 2007. Some activists are expressing concern about the secrecy surrounding Gehry's work and the near-total lack of public input to date on such a far-ranging blueprint for the river's future. Los Angeles Times

Wrong for the job: One writer believes Frank Gehry is the wrong architect for the job. “It’s just that Gehry’s work so rarely provides true public space and doesn’t show any gestures to the natural environment — both of which are the most important things the river will need to do,” writes Alissa Walker. Gizmodo

Drug dangers: Officials spent months planning for the medical needs of 122,000 people who attended the HARD Summer music festival in Pomona. The planning was needed: Inside the emergency room of the Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, the pace was heart-poundingly faster than usual. Ravers came in with drug-induced seizures. Some were so irate they had to be sedated for their own safety. Los Angeles Times

Renovating history: The Wilshire Royale in Koreatown has been acquired by a Sherman Oaks real estate developer. MWest Holdings plans to spend $2 million to renovate the Beaux Arts building, which was built by Olive Philips of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union in the 1920s. Los Angeles Times

Changing neighborhoods: The 1965 Watts riots didn’t just change that neighborhood -- they also transformed nearby Inglewood. At that time, Inglewood was predominantly white but that changed as African-Americans left Watts and South L.A. “Some people were like: ‘We’ve got to get the hell out of here. The black people are coming in!’ They were the ones who took off right away. Others started dribbling out to Torrance, Valencia, Calabasas.... They were steadily leaving, and more black families were coming,” remembered Richard Rankin, who grew up in the city during the 1960s. Los Angeles Times

Trump’s supporters: GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s debate performance was a big hit with Orange County Republicans. And even voters who don’t plan to support the businessman understand his appeal. “They say they like him because he speaks his mind and he’s not beholden to anyone,” said one volunteer at a debate viewing. Orange County Register

Race relations: A new documentary on the late L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley shows how the city’s first African American mayor was able to build a coalition across ethnic and religious lines “for one brief shining moment,” writes Bill Boyarsky. “He forged a coalition of blacks, Jews, Latinos and Asians that ushered in an era of multi-ethnic politics that lasted until the early 1990s. Years later, Barack Obama followed that path.”  LA Observed

Tight market: This shouldn’t be much of a surprise. A new UCLA study finds L.A. County is the least affordable place in the country to buy a house. Stagnant wages and rising home prices are to blame. Curbed LA

This week’s most popular stories in Essential California

1. The National Park Service is tracking two new mountain lion kittens and they’re adorable. Biologists have been checking out the animals during the day while mom, presumably, is hunting. National Park Service

2. As the water levels drop in California’s lakes, long-buried treasures are making their way to the surface. Abandoned towns, cars, trees are all among the findings. Los Angeles Times

3. This chart shows how residential water use stacks up against the needs of golf courses and ski resorts. Mother Jones

4. This week, the Rocky fire jumped the 20 Highway in Northern California. This time-lapse video shows the movements of the fire. Sacramento Bee

5. The Coliseum is the only venue willing to temporarily house a professional football team should the NFL return to the L.A. area. Los Angeles Times

ICYMI, here are this week’s Great Reads

Undercover course: With a bulldozer and a stack of old photographs, one golf course designed set out to uncover the golf course of a bygone era. Underneath the Los Angeles Country Club’s golf course was an older course from the 1920s. Following the discovery, the U.S. Open announced it would return to the city in 2023, making it the first time a major championship would be in Los Angeles in more than 75 years. Los Angeles Times

Film mysteries: In a small Art Deco theater built into the side of a mountain, film buffs congregate to identify films clips from the silent movie era. “The 125 films screened over three days in June were mere fragments — five- to 10-minute clips — mostly from movies so obscure that even top film archivists could not decipher the titles, name the actors, or determine the year they were made.” Los Angeles Times

DWP vs. dog: Just when you thought the Department of Water and Power couldn’t be more unpopular comes the story of one employee smacking a dog with a wrench. It happened after the utility worker checked a meter in a Pacific Palisades backyard. Los Angeles Times

Corner of the city: Columnist Steve Lopez writes about a magical intersection in Echo Park. “You can learn a lot about people, they said, by whether they think a dinner of $1 tacos at a carwash is an appropriate date.” Los Angeles Times

Superbug: How did doctors at UCLA Medical Center unravel the mystery of a “killer” on the loose? Los Angeles Times

Looking ahead

-- Thousands of cyclists and pedestrians are expected to flock to Venice Boulevard in West L.A. tomorrow for CicLAvia.

-- A judge may decide whether the names of L.A. residents and businesses that got turf rebates should be released publicly. 

-- Disney's D23 Expo 2015 will kick off in Anaheim on Friday.

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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