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Essential California: Politicians load up on car washes despite drought

Good morning. It is Thursday, Aug. 27. Do you want to get your heart racing this morning? How about a ride down the hidden slides in San Francisco's Seward Mini Park? Here's what else is happening in the Golden State:

TOP STORIES

Language of immigration 

The term "anchor babies" has taken over the 2016 presidential race. It's being used as a pejorative term that ignores the different factors that could motivate someone to come to the United States. The conversation comes at a time when Southern California "maternity hotels," which cater to Asian women who give birth in America and then typically return home, are getting more attention.Los Angeles Times

The coach and the fallout

Did USC appropriately discipline football coach Steve Sarkisian for showing up to the annual "Salute to Troy" pep rally apparently intoxicated? Students and faculty seem split. One substance abuse counselor suggests that USC missed an opportunity to talk about the dangers of alcohol on college campuses. "If you give him a pass and let it go, it's not bringing it to the forefront. If you suspend him, it will start the discussion of what's really going on here," said Shelley Klipp, a certified addiction specialist. Los Angeles Times

DROUGHT

Farmers persevere: It seems counterintuitive, but in the last year California's farmers have enjoyed near-record revenues. Employment during the peak season also increased by 3,100 jobs. Those figures can be attributed to more efficient uses of water and a decision to switch to higher-value crops. Los Angeles Times

A loss for gardeners: One reason Laguna Beach lost all its nurseries -- drought. Los Angeles Times

Cause and effect: Californians could be hurting the worm, insect and butterfly populations every time they rip out their lawns. "Nobody thought this out. Like everything for the past 30 years when it comes to water in California, they chose by knee-jerk reaction," said UC Riverside's Donald R. Hodel. LA Weekly

Too clean? L.A. County's politicians missed the memo that said a dusty car is a status symbol during the drought. Service records show that most of the supervisors have their take-home cars washed two or three times a week. And the county-run carwashes do not use recirculated water. Daily News

L.A. AT LARGE

Wage gap: Columnist Steve Lopez paid a visit to Disney to examine how income inequality affects employees, from Chief Executive Bob Iger to workers earning little more than minimum wage. "In Walt Disney's day, back in 1965, the CEO-to-worker pay ratio was 20 to 1. It peaked at 376 to 1 in 2000, and is currently at 303 to 1,” Lopez writes. Los Angeles Times

Fake stuff: Tucked away in northeast Los Angeles is one of Hollywood's largest prop houses. "If you do it wrong, everybody is going to crucify you. If you do it right, nobody notices," Gregg Bilson Jr. said of his work. California Sunday Magazine

Midnight showing: Khloe Kardashian thought it would be a good idea to have a full-scale fireworks show for her boyfriend's birthday after a yacht party Tuesday night. Based on 911 calls, tweets and complaints to local politicians, it seemed that the midnight show woke up most of the Westside. "This was just a really disrespectful and insensitive thing to do," said L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin, who used the hashtag #stupidrude to sum up his feelings. Los Angeles Times

POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

Bid on hold: Members of the L.A. City Council delayed a vote on an agreement to pursue the 2024 Olympics, saying they needed more time to review the budgetary implications and consider how developments might affect their districts. Los Angeles Times

Brown 2016: If Gov. Jerry Brown were a younger man, he would probably be running for president this election cycle. And if he hadn't been so antsy in 1976 and 1980, he might have found himself to be in a better position to win the White House in 1992, writes columnist George Skelton. "Maybe -- probably -- Brown couldn't get elected president in 2016. But there has never been a wider opening for him. It's the opportunity of his lifetime. If only," Skelton writes. Los Angeles Times

COURTS AND CRIME

Equipment upgrade: Starting Monday, more than 800 LAPD officers will be equipped with body cameras. The city plans to deploy more than 7,000 cameras in the coming months. Officers will be allowed to review the footage before filing reports or speaking to internal investigators. Authorities don't plan to make the footage available to the public. Los Angeles Times

Bad idea: A Lake Elsinore man may lose his hand after he was bitten by a rattlesnake while trying to take a selfie with the reptile. The man told paramedics that he was attacked while working, but his mother ratted him out to the media. Los Angeles Times

California connection: The man suspected of killing two Virginia journalists Wednesday live on camera was originally from Oakland. Vester Lee Flanagan II, who was also known as Bryce Williams, started his career at KPIX-TV in the Bay Area. Authorities identified him as the sole suspect in the shooting deaths of Alison Parker and Adam Ward. A third victim was wounded. Flanagan later died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds. SF Gate

TRANSPORTATION

We're not No. 1: L.A., in fact, does not have the worst traffic congestion in America. That honor goes to Washington, D.C. Drivers there spend an average of 82 hours a year in traffic. Los Angeles Times

Transit designs: A lot of thought and creativity went into designing the "M" for Metro, according to the transit agency's creative director. "Everything you feel about Metro comes into play once you know it's a Metro thing. That's what logos for the most part do. They identify who is speaking," Michael Lejeune said. City Lab

HOUSING

Counting the homeless: A new interactive map shows exactly where the homeless are living in San Diego. About 15% are in the downtown area, according to a recent survey. In total, the tally found 8,742 people homeless people in the area. San Diego Union-Tribune

CALIFORNIA CULTURE

Writing his own obit: Broadcaster Larry King is preoccupied with his grand finale: Death. "I would like the ceremony to begin, 'Today we are honoring a 160-year-old man who was caught in bed by an irate husband. And the funeral is late because it took six days to wipe the smile off his face,' " he said. New York Times Magazine

Sacramento stars: California's capital is getting its own Walk of Fame. Blue stars will be installed on downtown's sidewalks as a way of honoring famous Sacramentans. City leaders hope that will boost tourism. Sacramento Bee

GOLDEN STATE PERSPECTIVES

Games of chance: Los Angeles city officials should take their time in reviewing a contract to possibly host the 2024 Olympic Games, former county Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky writes in a Times Op-Ed article. "Circumstances and assumptions can unexpectedly change, transforming a projected profit into a sure deficit. The city's leaders -- the mayor, the City Council -- have a fiduciary responsibility to protect the treasury and the taxpayers,” he writes. Los Angeles Times

Crime surge: What could be behind the sudden reversal in Los Angeles' years-long decline in assaults and robberies? "A new Gilded Age of obscene wealth, stunning, low-wage income disparity and grinding poverty have come together to make ghetto and barrio life ever more desperate. As a result, the steam is once again pressing against the engine cap," Joe Domanick writes in a Times Op-Ed article. Los Angeles Times

CALIFORNIA ALMANAC

San Diego will have areas of low clouds and then sunshine and 85 degrees. In Riverside, it will be sunny and 102 degrees. Los Angeles will be 94 degrees and sunny. San Francisco will be partly sunny and 78 degrees.

AND FINALLY

Today's California Memory comes from Sandra Goodwin:

I was 7 or 8 when my mother and I rode the train into Union Station in Los Angeles in 1950. The first thing I noticed was the short, squat palm trees. "Look, Mommy," I said. "Pineapple trees!"

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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