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Essential California: Will L.A. make money on the Olympics?

Good morning. It is Wednesday, Aug. 26. It's four days until Burning Man. To get you in the mood, here's "Burning Man: the Musical.Here's what else is happening in the Golden State:

TOP STORIES

A new path from LAX

Fans of Uber and Lyft may soon be able to activate their phone apps and hail rides from Los Angeles International Airport. The vote on Tuesday by the L.A. City Council, which allows the ride-hailing firms to apply for permits to pick up LAX passengers, is a setback for the taxi industry. Twenty-four other airports already allow drivers from the start-up services to pick up passengers, and not just drop them off. Los Angeles Times

First draft of L.A.'s Olympic bid

A new proposal breaks down the $4.1 billion that Los Angeles expects the 2024 Olympic Games to cost if it is selected as the host city. Ultimately, Mayor Eric Garcetti believes, the Games could provide a $161-million surplus, though the city would probably be responsible if that's not the case and there are cost overruns. Los Angeles Times

Behind the camera: Lack of diversity

Female and minority directors are still largely missing from television, even with the rise of Internet networks such as Netflix and Amazon. Those are the findings of a new report from the Directors Guild of America. During the 2014-15 TV season, women directed 16% of shows, a slight increase from the previous season. Los Angeles Times

DROUGHT

Bottle battle: Neighbors and activists are suing Crystal Geyser Water Co. and Siskiyou County over a proposal to open a bottling plant near Mt. Shasta. Officials believe that the plaintiffs don't have a right to sue because the site is already zoned for heavy industry. Los Angeles Times

Agriculture vs. salmon: Water districts that supply farmers want a judge to step in to prevent water from a Trinity River reservoir from being used to help salmon. The Westlands Water District and the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority believe that the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation lacks the authority to help the fish because they're not on the endangered species list. Associated Press

Water history: A new book explores the history of water in California. Author Les Standiford talked about "Water to the Angels" in this Q&A: "There's a kind of 'Chinatown' syndrome that implies [William Mulholland] was a crook or at least in league with crooks or looked the other way. The enormity of his accomplishment has been overlooked. That made me want to tell the story." Christian Science Monitor

L.A. AT LARGE

Downtown rarity: Apartments in the Title Guarantee Building in downtown L.A. rent for as much as $6,100 a month, but the owner of the Art Deco structure believes that he can make more money converting the units to condos and selling them. Downtown last saw a condo conversion in 2006. Los Angeles Times

Housing crunch: In Los Angeles, there are 8,000 people on a waiting list to get Section 8 help for housing -- and the list has been closed to new applications for 15 years. Even when renters get help, they might not be able to use it. Just 3% of L.A. apartments are available to rent. 89.3 KPCC

Trash complaints: L.A. City Council members want sanitation officials to address why thousands of complaints in the city's poorer communities have been ignored. An analysis by the Los Angeles Times found that one-third of complaints about illegally dumped trash in central, northeast and South L.A. were ignored while other parts of the city had a 99% cleanup rate. "I want to be fair with them, but I want to be very clear that we cannot have a city that provides services for the most affluent at the cost of the most needy," Councilman Gil Cedillo said. Los Angeles Times

They speak hipster there: Is there such a thing as a northeast L.A. accent? One amateur linguist thinks so. LA Taco

COURTS AND CRIMES

Man wanted: Police are looking for a Santeria spiritual healer who they believed killed a woman who went missing in 2009. This month the remains of Maria Delrefugio Chavez were found buried behind a San Gabriel Valley home. Pablo Pinto Mata has been missing since 2013, when he was accused of raping a teenager who went to him for so-called healing rituals. Los Angeles Times

Case upheld: Former celebrity private eye Anthony Pellicano will remain in jail. On Tuesday, he lost most of the challenges to his convictions for illegal wiretaps and running a criminal enterprise. He is scheduled to be released from prison in 2018. Los Angeles Times

Under scrutiny: Was a social worker really attacked with acid outside her Santa Fe Springs office? County officials are now suspicious of her allegations that a substance was thrown on her arms after a man and woman pulled up in a car and asked whether she was a social worker. Los Angeles Times

John Doe lawsuit: A Los Angeles man who signed up for AshleyMadison.com, a dating website for married people, filed a class-action lawsuit against the company after the personal information of 37 million users was exposed in a data hack. The man claims that he suffered emotional distress and harm. Los Angeles Times

TRANSPORTATION

Feeling buried: Business owners near the construction of the Central Subway in San Francisco aren't sure how long they can hold on. The construction has limited cars and pedestrians from getting near the shops. "We have been here since 1980, and this is the worst year since we've opened. Summer is our bread and butter. And now the season is finished," said the owner of a jazz club. San Francisco Chronicle

Getting off the bus: Orange County residents ditch public transit, such as buses, as soon as they can afford a car. That's one of the findings of a new survey of onetime bus riders. Transit officials also believe that the expense of living in Orange County has driven away many lower-income residents who would use the bus. Orange County Register

EDUCATION

College readiness: New test results show that an achievement gap persists between white and Latino students who took the ACT college exam in California. "I find it really disturbing," said Mark Schneider, a vice president at American Institutes of Research. Los Angeles Times

All-star reader: Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook returned to his old stamping grounds at 75th Street Elementary in South L.A. to open a reading room and donate 1,200 books. "I went to this school. I grew up in the neighborhood around here, so this is home for me," he told students. Los Angeles Times

By the numbers: While enrolling his son in school, writer Joe Mathews found frustration in having to provide data to prove his residency while the state does little to collect data on student achievement. "A database provides the best chance to judge how the state is preparing tomorrow's workers, and help teachers identify ways to improve. A good database might even relieve parents of the hassles of providing so much information each fall," he writes. Pasadena Star-News

CALIFORNIA CULTURE

The more you know: Eight facts that will make you proud to be a Californian. BuzzFeed

One-star wilderness: The great outdoors aren't so great, according to visitors who took the time to give national parks poor reviews on Yelp. On Death Valley: "I paid $20 for nothing but nasty rock and salt." On Yosemite: "We drove into the park and were unable to find parking ANYWHERE." Mother Jones

Our urban oasis: It's easy to forget just how large Griffith Park is, even though it's more than 4,200 acres. New maps compare the size of the park to the size of major cities (and even some islands). Curbed LA

In the vernacular: It's a telltale sign you're from Northern California if "hella" is a part of your vocabulary. Here's how the word took root in the Bay Area. KQED

CALIFORNIA ALMANAC

San Francisco will have low clouds and then sunshine and 73 degrees. Riverside will be partly sunny and 98 degrees. It will be mostly sunny and 90 degrees in Los Angeles. San Diego will be partly sunny and 84 degrees.

AND FINALLY

This photo gallery shows Orange County -- from above.

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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