Essential California: A higher ed love triangle

Good morning. It is Tuesday, Oct. 20. A popular Riverside haunted house is back with "Ghostbusters" and pyrotechnics. Here's what else is happening in the Golden State:


Forest destruction

The drought's damage could result in the loss of 120 million trees -- or as much as 20% of the state's forest. That's what biologist Greg Asner believes after spending three weeks flying out of Sacramento and Bakersfield to survey the situation. "California's drought-parched landscape was poised for a radical transformation. Much of the low-elevation forests near Mt. Pinos in the Las Padres National Forest and in Pinnacles National Park were going to disappear if trends continued." Los Angeles Times

Emergency response

The sheriff of Humboldt County will now oversee law enforcement for the Hoopa Valley reservation. The move could mean faster response times from police, but tribe members are concerned that the move will erode their independence. "As a tribal member, I don't like to see the county pull the agreement, because of our sovereignty. As a community member, I just want someone to respond," one tribe member said. Los Angeles Times

Settlement reached

A man who served 26 years in prison after he was wrongfully convicted of killing his mother has reached a settlement in his lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles. Neither Bruce Lisker nor the city attorney's office would comment on the size of the settlement. Los Angeles Times


A dry Halloween: The drought is hurting small farmers who typically host pumpkin patches this time of year. Even if they're able to grow pumpkins, there's not enough water for corn mazes and sunflowers. "I don't want to look like the guy down the road who has just a tent and is throwing pumpkins on the ground," one farmer said. Los Angeles Times

Still missing: A 67-year-old Kern County man who was swept away by mud and debris after last week's rains remains missing. "[Richard] Harvell went outside to move his truck before it was swept away when a 3-foot-wide rock went barreling down the mountain and struck his leg. As Harvell tumbled over, a wall of mud came rushing down and swallowed him." Los Angeles Times


Bike parking: It's apparently illegal to lock a bicycle to a parking meter in Los Angeles. Take that as yet another sign of how far the city has to go to become truly bike-friendly. For now, city leaders are considering adding hitches to meters in Westwood, which would make the practice legal and provide much-needed parking for the thousands of nearby UCLA students. 89.3 KPCC

L.A. musings: Five writers reflect on the love and hate relationships they've had with Los Angeles. "The other day, I was walking up Wilshire Boulevard from Ocean Avenue and I passed a handsome man in a suit. He had a conservative tie, a little gray in his hair and nothing in his hands. He was riding a skateboard, heading west," writes Helen Malmgren, a former news producer. Los Angeles Times

Visions for the city: Mayor Tom Bradley transformed Los Angeles into a cosmopolitan city, with skyscrapers, public transportation and a strong relationship with the federal government. Now, decades later, Mayor Eric Garcetti wants to make L.A. into a model for the world. "If Mayor Bradley had to drag Los Angeles from a narrow, constricting past to a more inclusive future, Mayor Garcetti has been trying to push L.A. further onto the cutting edge," writes Raphael J. Sonenshein, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at Cal State L.A. Zócalo Public Square


Short-term rentals: Sen. Dianne Feinstein is stepping up her opposition to Airbnb by backing Proposition F, a city ballot measure that would tighten the rules on home-sharing companies in San Francisco. Why is she so interested in the issue? Columnist Michael Hiltzik notes that local issues could be close to her heart, given her service on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Or, as Airbnb supporters note, it could be because she and her husband own a hotel in the city. Los Angeles Times

High-end fixtures: To say Gov. Jerry Brown is known for his frugality is putting it mildly. So it comes as a surprise to see that his new home -- the refurbished governor's mansion -- includes a $16,609 refrigerator and $12,139 gas range. State officials note that the high-end products were probably installed because the mansion serves as venue for large-scale events. Sacramento Bee

Club crackdown: Officials in Hollywood are planning to crack down on nightclub operators who violate the city's municipal code by overcrowding clubs, serving minors and doing construction without permits. "Hollywood must be a neighborhood that is safe, clean and hospitable to its residents," Councilman Mitch O'Farrell said. Los Angeles Times


Teenagers killed: Two high school sweethearts described as "18 and in love" were killed Sunday night when a car missed a stop sign, became airborne and hit their truck. George A. Steward and Sabrina Castillo graduated from Los Altos High School in Hacienda Heights in May. The crash is still under investigation. Los Angeles Times

Flight fight: A Southwest flight bound for San Francisco returned to LAX after two passengers got into a fight onboard. The "rapidly escalating situation" appears to have been over a reclining seat. Los Angeles Times

No charges: A Saudi prince accused of sexually assaulting a woman in his rented Beverly Glen compound will not face felony charges. The Los Angeles County district attorney's office said there was not enough evidence to charge Majed Abdulaziz al Saud with a crime. But three women have since sued the prince, alleging that he attacked them inside the home. Their suit claims that Al Saud inflicted "emotional distress, assault and battery, sexual discrimination and retaliation." Los Angeles Times

Accidental shooting: A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy inadvertently shot a fellow deputy in the leg while on a camping trip in Kern County. The Sheriff's Department is already investigating other accidental shootings by deputies, which have more than doubled in the last two years. Los Angeles Times


Three's a crowd: A love triangle between the dean of a business school and two professors sounds like the plot of a soap opera. Instead, it's playing out inside Stanford's prestigious Graduate School of Business. Now, Professor James A. Phills is suing the university over Dean Garth Saloner's relationship with his estranged wife. "His principal objective was never the dean's scalp, he says, but to expose the hypocrisy, dishonesty, cronyism, and bad character at a place charged with imparting ethical leadership to the next generation of moguls." Vanity Fair


Homeless summit: The secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will be in Los Angeles to meet with city and county leaders about the region's growing homeless population. A spokesman for Julian Castro described the meeting as an "exchange of ideas." Los Angeles Times

Future cities: "Smart growth" in the Central Valley could reduce air pollution and create more reliable water systems. But instead, communities that are short on cash are welcoming almost any development that could boost their tax bases. "Some of these new towns may wind up with problems that poor, unincorporated communities have lived with for years." City Lab


Lemons into lemonade: When a Sacramento bride's intended called off their wedding less than a week before the big day, she decided to turn her misfortune into an opportunity for others. Quinn Duane and her family donated the wedding dinner from the $35,000 event to the homeless. KCRA

Things you learn: Whether always carrying a light jacket or hating the Dodgers, here are some of the things you learn once you move to San Francisco. SFGate


San Francisco will be partly sunny with a high of 73 degrees. L.A. will be partly sunny and 81. San Diego could see a rain shower as highs reach 75 degrees. Riverside will have some clouds and a high of 80.


Today's California Memory comes from Joy Greenberg:

"When I was a child in the '50s and '60s, my family would go hiking in the nearby mountains on Sundays rather than go to church. We often went to the San Gabriel Mountains (now San Gabriel National Monument), including Crystal Lake and Mt. Baldy (Mt. San Antonio), the highest peak in the range at slightly over 10,000 feet. Several times during these hikes, we would pause to look out over the magnificent, pine-covered valleys and mountains, and my father would comment, 'This is what makes me believe in God.' I realize now that this is what initiated my nature spirituality." 

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.