Essential California: Courting LAX's wealthy passengers

Good morning. It is Saturday, Aug. 15. Here’s what you don’t want to miss this weekend:

Top stories

New city: N.W.A made Compton famous, but it also made the city synonymous with violence and gang crimes. That history is being revisited in the new film “Straight Outta Compton,” but Mayor Aja Brown wants people know that it’s just that -- history. Today, the city is safer and it is attracting businesses that once refused to open there. “People think of Compton as a very dangerous place. But when we look at the statistics and the feel of the city and we talk to people who live here, it's a different city from 25 years ago,” Brown said. Los Angeles Times

More Compton: A look at how filmmakers re-created the 1992 L.A. riots. Vanity Fair

Tree-related fatalities: Two young people were killed Friday in Yosemite National Park when the branch of an oak tree fell on their tent as they slept. Their deaths are under investigation. Officials do not know why the branch fell, but the state’s drought has killed off 12 million trees, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Trees that remain may be weakened and susceptible to bark beetle infestations. Los Angeles Times

More tree problems: The drought, a lack of strong roots and a burst of heavy rain are likely why a tree fell over in Pasadena last month, injuring 33 children. Los Angeles Times

L.A. Times in 1960s: When the Watts riots broke out 50 years ago, the Los Angeles Times didn’t have any African American reporters on staff. They found Robert Richardson in the advertising department and put him to work. But what happened to Richardson after the riots shows that there was a much sadder side to this urban legend. Los Angeles Times

LAPD shooting: South L.A. residents want to know what happened in the moments before LAPD officers shot and killed a woman Wednesday. The woman is accused of robbing a pharmacy in Baldwin Hills but so far there haven’t been any details on whether the woman threatened officers or was a danger to others. It’s the 25th time this year that Los Angeles police have shot someone. Los Angeles Times

Tech support: The reelection campaign of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is picking up support from the CEOs of tech firms like Yelp, Dropbox, Twitter, Weebly, Pinterest, Eventbrite and Y Combinator. “Lee has very publicly cultivated a strong relationship with tech companies and what you see is support for him from leaders in the industry,” said Corey Cook, a former politics professor at the University of San Francisco. San Francisco Chronicle

Illegal dumping: An analysis by The Times found Angelenos received dramatically different levels of street-cleaning services depending on their neighborhoods. Complaints in affluent parts of the city were responded to 99% of the time. In contrast, thousands of complains regarding illegal dumping in South, Central and Northeast L.A. went ignored. Los Angeles Times

Recycling resources: Demand has jumped in California for gray-water systems that recycle household water and use it to irrigate lawns and outdoor plants. “We thought it was crazy to let that water go to waste,” said one homeowner who spent $160,000 on gray-water and rainwater systems. Wall Street Journal

It’s so hot: Is Woodlands Hills always the hottest part of the San Fernando Valley? It’s as far from a sea breeze as L.A. can get, according to one meteorology professor. “In fact, Woodland Hills is almost as far as the nearest beach to the west as Santa Monica is to West Covina in the hot spot known as the San Gabriel Valley.” LA Weekly

1% customers: Airlines are fighting over the wealthy passengers at LAX. Because no airline dominates the Los Angeles airport, American Airlines, United and Delta are all splurging on new cabins, lounges and check-in facilities to attract those passengers who will fly first class or pay for added amenities. Bloomberg

Call for change: In an op-ed, L.A. City Councilman Joe Buscaino blasts the slow pace of renovations at the Jordan Downs housing project. The councilman blames the Housing Authority for missing two opportunities to get a federal grant that would have helped the development. ”There is no excuse for the failure to obtain these funds. I'm calling for new leadership at the Housing Authority; a new president and chief executive must make Jordan Downs a priority,” Buscaino writes. Los Angeles Times

Neighborhood support: A look at how Hawkins House of Burgers survived the riots of 1965 and 1992. “Over the years, the Hawkinses had built a reputation for open-handed hospitality, not just for customers, but for those in need.” NPR

Nice view: This latest drone footage goes beyond the Hollywood Hills and the Griffith Observatory to capture the city’s murals, museums and even Felix the cat. Curbed LA

This week’s most popular stories in Essential California

1. You know these people. In fact, maybe you are one of these people. It’s the 10 NIMBYs you’ll find in Los Angeles. L.A. Weekly

2. This photo gallery of the damage from the 1997-98 El Niño should be all you need to start making preparations for this winter’s storm system. Los Angeles Times

3. Water officials wrapped the famous rooftop sign at Randy’s Donuts in an ad that reminds Californians to conserve their water. LAist

4. These black and white photos show what life is like in the Central Valley now that water has become such a scarce resource. Boom

5. Lana Turner’s testimony in the 1958 inquest into her boyfriend’s murder can be considered the performance of a lifetime. Those inquests may be making a comeback. Los Angeles Times

ICYMI, here are this week’s Great Reads:

No more kids: One unintended consequence of the drought could be the Head Start programs set up for the children of migrant farmworkers. A lack of water means a lack of jobs and now there might not be enough children to sustain the programs. Los Angeles Times

On the ground: This piece wraps up the people and places the #drylandsCA road trip team found on their journey to discover how the drought is shaping California. Los Angeles Times

Press freedoms: Twenty-five years ago, the people of Mongolia only had state-run television and a Russian station. Now, there are 111 newspapers, 90 magazines and 72 radio stations-- and 138 television stations. But those figures hide all sorts of problems. “Many stations have for years pirated content from Hollywood and elsewhere, quickly dubbing the hottest films and TV shows into Mongolian and sending them out in prime time.” Los Angeles Times

Looking Ahead

Sunday: Poets, writers and fans mark the 95th anniversary of famed L.A. chronicler Charles Bukowski in San Pedro.

Tuesday: Zócalo Public Square and UCLA will host "Can We Engineer Our Way Out of the Drought?'' at Grand Central Market.

Wednesday: Groundbreaking for a $418-million renovation of the Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center.

Saturday: The fifth annual Los Angeles Taco Festival will kick off.

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.