Newsletter: Essential California: The boy who will climb Mt. Everest

Good morning. It is Saturday, Oct. 3. Here's what you don't want to miss this weekend:


Understanding crime: The rise in gang crime in South Los Angeles suggests the limits of community policing, writes columnist Sandy Banks. And Mayor Eric Garcetti's suggestion that gang intervention workers can persuade shot callers to agree to a truce shows a total lack of understanding. "If only the bargain was that easy to strike and the process that civil. These days even gang interventionists have targets on their backs," Banks writes. Los Angeles Times

Education policy: U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced Friday that he would leave the Obama administration. What did his tenure mean for California? He "had a sometimes stormy relationship with California, despite its status as a stronghold of support for Democrats and the Obama administration." Los Angeles Times

Wage delay: Santa Monica's City Council members like the idea of increasing the minimum wage, but they're not quite ready to do it. Politicians there want more details on tips, sick leave and possibly exemptions before they sign off on a higher wage. Santa Monica Daily Press

Preparing for snow: Operators at California's ski resorts are hoping that this winter's El Niño dumps plenty of snow on their mountain tops. But if it doesn't, they're preparing for discounts and other incentives. Visits to the state's ski resorts have dropped 40% since 2010. "The past few seasons have been tough, and visitors are apprehensive about purchasing a season pass. We want to give them the confidence they need to make that purchase and know they got a good value no matter what the weather does," said the chief marketing officer for Mountain High in Wrightwood. Los Angeles Times

Water restrictions: There have been lots of mixed messages on the best ways to save water outside. Here are five tips on how you can save water and your landscaping. "People are trying to do the right thing, but they're not sure how to do that," said Paula Henson, a partner in the rainwater management landscape design firm Urban Water Group. Los Angeles Times

Young mountaineer: An 11-year-old from Yorba Linda is getting ready to climb Mt. Everest. If he is successful, Tyler Armstrong will be the youngest person to climb the mountain. He's used to setting records, having done so on trips up Mt. Whitney, Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina. His goal is to be the youngest person to trek the Seven Summits and raise $1 million for Duchenne muscular dystrophy in the process. Orange County Register

Iconic street: Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles is one of the top five great streets in America. That's the finding of the American Planning Assn. "Family-owned storefronts and cafes have been around for nearly 100 years and are evidence of the deep roots many have on Olvera Street," according to the group. LAist

Fashionable choice: Are kilts making a comeback? A store specializing in the garment just opened in Pasadena. "We can put you in a kilt for construction work, we can put you in a kilt for office work, we can put you in a kilt for the golf course or basically anything in between," said the shop's owner. 89.3 KPCC


1. The top water user in California lives in Bel-Air and used a whopping 8 million gallons. The homeowner’s annual Department of Water and Power bill probably came to $90,000. Center for Investigative Reporting

2. A Corona del Mar homeowner had some adorable visitors show up in backyard. The bobcat kittens decided that the grassy lawn was the perfect spot for a play date. Los Angeles Times

3. Many older immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally are accustomed to living quietly and doing their best to avoid interactions with government officials. Their children, however, are shouting their status and challenging the country's immigration laws. Los Angeles Times

4. Visitors from the Middle East help keep the Beverly Hills economy afloat, but two recent high-profile crimes in the area are bringing new attention to what it means to cater to tourists. Los Angeles Times

5. How did a mountain lion get himself on top of a 35-foot utility pole near Cougar Buttes? The Daily Press


Homes for the unwanted: In Los Angeles County, there are more than 800 children in a foster care system that is overseen by probation officials. These are young people who have committed a crime and been abused or neglected. "Few are placed in foster homes, and adoptions are even rarer: Only seven such children have ever been adopted in California, despite stepped-up efforts by some probation agencies to find more permanent homes." Los Angeles Times

Political outlook: Race is not something that state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris talks about very often, even as the child of immigrants from Jamaica and India. "I don't wear my experiences on my sleeve. But my experiences do inform my perspective on the work I do, and on what I believe is possible," she said. Los Angeles Times


Tuesday: Loyola Marymount University will install a new president.

Friday: Musician John Lennon’s 75th birthday will be celebrated on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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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