Newsletter: Essential California: What if California gave up the car?

Good morning. It is Tuesday, Aug. 11. Here's what's happening in the Golden State:


Olympics reboot

Mayor Eric Garcetti wants Los Angeles to be America’s bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. Doing so would come at a price of $4 billion, and L.A. would be responsible for any cost overruns. That provision is what cost Boston its bid two weeks ago. “I think it is right for this city. I think it's who we are,” Garcetti said. Los Angeles Times

Immigrants’ rights

Is there such a thing as California citizenship? That’s effectively what state lawmakers have created with a host of new laws that provide immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally with more rights. The latest example is the state’s decision to remove the word “alien” from its code. “This is not an academic debate on the U.S. Senate floor about legal and illegal and how high you want to build the wall. ... [The state] doesn't have the luxury of being ideological. … The undocumented are not going anywhere,” said Mike Madrid, a Republican strategist. Los Angeles Times

Step forward, step back

Columnist Sandy Banks looks at what “progress” means to residents in Watts 50 years after the community exploded. “The 1965 uprising exposed rampant disadvantage and raging anger — and spawned a host of programs that were supposed to remedy both. But once the fear and sympathy of outsiders faded, the remedies evaporated. Over the next few decades, optimism was snuffed out by murderous street gangs and the scourge of crack cocaine,” she writes. Los Angeles Times


Heat wave: Temperatures in Los Angeles will soar to triple digits later this week. Woodland Hills and Burbank could be especially hard hit. Temperatures will be about 10 degrees higher than average. Los Angeles Times

Why conserve: The drought is bringing to light the challenges of getting renters to conserve water. Many don’t have individuals meters so they don’t actually know how much water they’re using. And they might not think about conservation since many campaigns are focused on outdoor water use, something that typically doesn’t apply to these tenants. CityLab

Proper irrigation: The typical Sourthern California landscape only needs to be watered once a week. That’s according to a botanical consultant with the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden. “ People have been overwatering their landscape since the ‘60s. I think it’s because a lot of people aren't from here and they are used to compulsively watering their landscape,” Frank McDonough said. Los Angeles Times



An earlier version of this newsletter mischaracterized Frank McDonough's irrigation advice. He said the typical Southern California landscape only needs to be watered once a week, not the California lawn.



Changing neighborhood: Longtime Venice residents are feeling steamrollered by their new neighbors, tech giants Google and Snapchat. One of the casualties of Snapchat’s expansion in the area was Teen Project, which provides housing for homeless young adults. As a consolation, a Snapchat executive offered to buy the group a new broom to clean the sidewalk. “You could have just slapped me in the face at that point,” said the group’s director. Washington Post

Through the cracks: The case of Trishawn Carey highlights how much work the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office and Sheriff’s Department must do to help mentally ill inmates. Carey was arrested raising a nightstick during the March 1 shooting of a homeless man on Skid Row. Her release from jail was contingent on entering a treatment program. Instead, officials dropped her off at a county emergency room and she eventually made her way to skid row. Los Angeles Times

Campaign rally: Independent presidential candidate Bernie Sanders held a rally Monday night at the L.A. Sports Arena. The packed venue mirrored the crowds he’s attracting in cities across the country. His populist message, which includes calls for a higher minimum wage and tuition-free college, are resonating with liberal voters who are looking for an alternative to Hillary Clinton. Los Angeles Times


Reviewing the evidence: In a 1958 inquest, actress Lana Turner gave the most important performance of her life: what happened the night her boyfriend Johnny Stompanato was stabbed to death in her home. “That night, April 4, 1958, her status as a Noir icon was sealed in blood.” Los Angeles Times

Suspended license: San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi has had a suspended driver’s license since February because he failed to file a damages report following a car crash. The 2014 crash occurred when the sheriff was still on probation for a domestic violence case involving his wife. He is running for reelection in November. San Francisco Chronicle

Privacy lawsuit: Former Clippers owner Donald Sterling is suing his former girlfriend V. Stiviano and the entertainment website TMZ over audio recordings that captured the billionaire making racially insensitive comments. Sterling says the recordings violated his privacy. Los Angeles Times

Drug trafficking: There’s a huge influx of cocaine coming via the Pacific Ocean. Over the last 10 months, the U.S. Coast Guard has seized 119,000 pounds of cocaine far off the coast of Latin America -- more than what was collected in the same area between 2012 and 2014. San Diego Union-Tribune


No parking: What would Oakland look like if developers were allowed to stop digging parking garages? That’s what one developer is considering as it builds new housing for tenants who are more likely to bike or take BART. East Bay Express


Dangerous consequences: This Q&A explains why some emergency room doctors want Los Angeles County to clamp down on drug-fueled raves. Los Angeles Times

In demand: A former New York investment banker moved to L.A. and became one-half of a winemaking duo that quickly gained cult status. How did Jeff Tanner do it? “When we started it we didn’t have a plan. We were making a small enough amount that we didn’t treat it like a commodity; we treated it like a project,” he said. LA Weekly

Vintage footage: A batch of photographs taken by L.A. firefighters when they responded to the Watts riots in 1965 were discovered only last year. They’ve been compiled into a YouTube video to mark the 50th anniversary of the unrest. YouTube

Real thriller: Moviegoers in Newport Beach thought they were under attack from either a gunman or a chainsaw-wielding mad man. In fact, it was a group of men who tried to scare the crowd by revving the motor of a leaf blower. Los Angeles Times


Watts from behind the badge: Author and former LAPD sergeant Joseph Wambaugh pens a harrowing piece on patrolling Watts 50 years ago on the day unrest gave way to anarchy. The violence was so unrelenting, he writes, that police stopped trying to quell it and instead focused on their own safety. Los Angeles Times

Watts, before and after the revolt: The story of the 1965 uprising isn’t one of violence and anarchy spontaneously arising in an urban wasteland, writes UCLA historian Robin D.G. Kelley. In fact, before the revolt, a dynamic civil society that included concerted activism for the cause of black rights had formed in Watts despite institutional action to do away with it: “The desire for a functional, free, even beautiful community existed well before the first Molotov cocktail was thrown and continued long after the last arrest.” Los Angeles Times

The car, no longer king: Removing several miles of car lanes is a small price to pay to become a city that prioritizes forms of transportation other than driving, as Los Angeles’ new Mobility Plan 2035 would do, says The Times’ editorial board. The plan is worth supporting, says the board: “It’s time for L.A. to shed its traditional automobile-centric approach and evolve into a modern, multimodal city.” Los Angeles Times


San Francisco will have low clouds and a high of 69 degrees. Los Angeles will also start with low clouds and reach 81 degrees. Riverside will be mostly sunny and 91. San Diego will have clouds that break for sun. Temperatures are expected to reach 76 degrees.


Today's California Memory comes from Doug Clark:

I remember taking the Red Car Trolley from Long Beach to Los Angeles with my grandmother to shop at the Broadway department store. I got to ride the escalator!! Such excitement! The highlight of the day was lunch at Clifton's Cafeteria and throwing pennies in their wishing well.

If you have a great memory or fun story about the Golden State, share it with us. Send us an email to let us know what you love or fondly remember about our state. (Please keep your story to 100 words.)

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.