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Essential California: Where does an $80-million fortune go?

Good morning. It is Tuesday, Aug. 25. Did you know that California’s richest man owns a Hawaiian island full of cats? Here's what else is happening in the Golden State:

TOP STORIES

Budget matters

State leaders have their eyes on the markets. California receives half of its income tax revenue from 1% of residents, and a drop in capital gains could trigger a fiscal crisis. Gov. Jerry Brown doesn’t seem too worried yet, in part because he’s insisted on stockpiling cash in a rainy day fund. “The governor insisted on putting a good insurance policy in place," said H.D. Palmer, spokesman for the Department of Finance.Los Angeles Times

Continuum of care

Healthcare providers and insurance companies are trying a new tactic in the fight to lower costs -- community paramedics. They’re tasked with providing care to the patients who make frequent trips to the emergency room. In Glendale, for instance, community paramedics will visit patients with congestive heart failure within three days of their discharge from the hospital. They will try to make sure those patients -- who typically have high readmission rates -- are following their doctors’ recommendations and living in an environment that’s conducive to recovery.” Los Angeles Times

Pay discrepancies

Compton city officials could face criminal charges for paying themselves thousands of dollars to sit on commissions that sometimes met for just a few minutes. The Los Angeles County district attorney's office previously went after officials in Bell and Lynwood who boosted their pay by sitting on similar commissions. Compton’s leaders have denied any wrongdoing. Los Angeles Times

DROUGHT

Starting them young: The drought is helping one mom teach her 3-year-old twins not to waste water. “Our daughters' short lives have been shaped by water -- or the lack of it -- from potty-training to playtime to daily routines like brushing teeth.” Associated Press

Liberal policies: GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina says California’s drought might not have been as dire had Democrats built new reservoirs or a water conveyance system over the last 40 years. “So for 40 years, 70% of the rainfall has washed out to sea. That's pretty dumb when you know you're going to have droughts every single year. Or every three years let’s say,” she said. Meet the Press

Ghost forest: A new survey finds 6.3 million trees have died in the Sierra Nevada foothills between Placerville and Porterville. “I expect that in the really bad areas whole stands of pine trees may no longer be there and you'll probably a kind of ghost forest,” said a biological scientist for the U.S. Forest Service. KCRA

Man vs. animal: It’s not just the drought that is pushing wild animals out of their natural habits and into backyards in search of food. Experts say Californians are finally seeing the effects of developing rural areas and pushing animals out of their natural homes. “There are so many stresses on wildlife populations from things that are our responsibility that when drought comes along, it really slams them up against the ropes,” said the co-director of the Road Ecology Center at the University of California at Davis. Associated Press

L.A. AT LARGE

Tough times: Every month, 13,000 L.A. County residents who receive public benefits become homeless. That’s the finding of a new report. “The study said many systems, including disability screenings, mental health, foster care, criminal justice and the recession feed into the homelessness pipeline.” Los Angeles Times

Hot in here: Los Angeles will have a heat wave starting Thursday. The mercury could hit 103 degrees in the valleys and into the 90s in downtown. Los Angeles Times

Charitable giving: Actor Kirk Douglas, 98, and his wife, Anne, are giving away their $80-million fortune. The money will go to a children’s hospital, a shelter for homeless women, Culver City's Kirk Douglas Theatre and the Motion Picture & Television Fund. Hollywood Reporter

Dinner options: The Hollywood Bowl will have a new caterer beginning next summer. The Lucques Group will provide in-seat dining and picnic options, and provide food in the on-site restaurants. Los Angeles Times

POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

Bureaucratic tangle: In Long Beach, a group home for troubled teenagers is in chaos and residents, police and city leaders don’t know what to do. Children routinely escape from Bayfront Youth & Family Services, and when they return, they’re either locked out of the home or face violent mistreatment at the hands of staff. “This is no place for a kid to go,” said one neighbor. ProPublica

American demographics: Writer Gustavo Arellano, whose father came to the U.S. illegally, weighs in on all the political talk over birthright citizenship and the term “anchor babies.” “Numbers already show that American children will be majority-minority by 2020. By trashing immigrant kiddies, Donald Trump and his ilk think they can will this reality from happening,” he writes. The Guardian

Communication skills: The leader of the state Assembly is calling for better communication between state and federal authorities when it comes to the detention of immigrants here illegally. “The communication has to be there so we are protecting the public," said Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego). NBC 4

COURTS AND CRIME

Promoting rehabilitation: Many of the women serving time in California’s state prisons suffered traumas that moved them from victim to victimizer. As authorities move away from tough-on-crime policies to focus on rehabilitation, these women are able to undergo intense therapies that allow them to move forward. “Today, prison officials look to education, counseling and social programs to help provide the women their greatest opportunity to escape the cycle of violence.” Desert Sun

Armed robbery: Two masked and armed gunmen robbed a Rolex store at a Century City mall Monday. The men got away with an unknown number of watches. Los Angeles Times

Strange death: A man died on the estate owned by the CEO of Jelly Belly after he was crushed by a World War II-era tank. It happened during a family reunion in Fairfield. Los Angeles Times

CALIFORNIA CULTURE

Happy birthday: The man who founded Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort just turned 100 years old. “Everybody said it was impossible -- that Mammoth was too far away, it was too cold, it was too high. And the minute they said ‘You can’t,’ that’s when I decided I would,” said Dave McCoy. Sunset

Food prices: The price of a dozen eggs in California has increased 150% in the last year. An outbreak of avian flu and Proposition 2, which requires that California’s eggs come from chickens that can move around freely, are probably behind the price hike. NBC Bay Area

CALIFORNIA ALMANAC

San Diego will be partly sunny and 82 degrees. Riverside will have sun and 94 degrees. It will be partly sunny and 87 degrees in Los Angeles. San Francisco will have areas of low clouds and then sun and 71 degrees.

AND FINALLY

Today's California Memory comes from Patti Gagan:

In the 1960s, we took family vacations to a dude ranch called White Cottage Ranch in St. Helena. After horseback riding through the hills and chaparral, we would swim and fish for bluegill in the little lake. I saw my first rattlesnake and remember the scrubby brush on the trails and the fragrant water grasses and dragonflies on the lake's edge. These memories formed my impression of the quintessential California landscape.

If you have a memory or 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.

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