Newsletter: Essential California: Race is on in Sacramento.

Good morning. It is Thursday, Oct. 29. Get into the Halloween spirit with a tour of the most haunted places in Los Angeles. Here's what else is happening in the Golden State:


Noise control

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, home to the USC Trojans, is too quiet. That's the finding from acoustical consultants, who believe a stadium that captures and holds more noise could create a more enriching fan experience and knock opponents off their game. The consultants' recommendations will be part of renovation plans expected to be unveiled later today. Los Angeles Times

Conservation concerns

Water officials are worried they won’t be able to meet Gov. Jerry Brown’s conservation goals as they head into the winter months. Customers tend to use less water in the winter, which means there are fewer opportunities for big savings. “Resigned to the fact I don’t think we’re going to do it,” said Don Zdeba, general manager of the Indian Wells Valley Water District. Los Angeles Times


Endangered species: The Chinook salmon is a step closer to extinction. For the second year in a row, young salmon appear to have been baked to death in the Sacramento River. “These numbers would have to improve very dramatically not to have a high level of concern,” said Maria Rea, a regional official of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Los Angeles Times

Falling short: Among the agencies that may not meet Gov. Brown's conservation goals is the Coachella Valley Water District. Even though the agency could be fined for excessive water use, the district’s board of directors declined to increase fees for customers. Desert Sun

Leave it to beavers: Could beavers rescue California from the drought? One woman thinks so, and she’s hoping to get a $100,000 grant to make her plan a reality by bringing North American beavers to L.A. County watersheds where they can build dams. Curbed LA


Creative solutions: Los Angeles is hiring an artist to help city departments find alternative ways to solve common urban problems. First up will be working with the Department of Transportation to reduce the number of cyclists and pedestrians who are killed by motorists. “I want somebody who can understand the issues and think of them in different ways,” said Seleta Reynolds, general manager for LADOT. Los Angeles Times

Poor animals: A nonprofit is helping low-income pet owners with the financial responsibility of caring for an animal. It used to be that animal welfare groups didn’t think pets should be part of families that struggled to pay the rent or didn’t know where their next meal might come from. But Found Animals believes pets can improve an owner’s physical and emotional health. Los Angeles Times

Dangerous roads: The Waze app identified the most dangerous intersections for pedestrians and cyclists in San Francisco and Los Angeles. “Each city determined an intersection’s danger using its own metrics. Some focused on the total number of accidents, others weighted their figures by traffic and flow, and still others took into account the nature of the accidents.” Quartz

Spell-check, please: What’s the problem? Just exit Los Fezil Boulevard. LAist


Mayoral campaign: The former leader of the state Senate will run for mayor of Sacramento. “Our community is on the cusp of something great,” said Darrell Steinberg. Councilwoman Angelique Ashby also declared her candidacy after incumbent Mayor Kevin Johnson announced he would not seek a third term. Sacramento Bee

Marijuana rules: The city of L.A. still can’t regulate legal pot shops. While just 140 dispensaries can legally operate in the city, officials renewed business tax registrations for more than 400 shops in the last year. Now, the Los Angeles City Council believes it should stop taking money from the illegal businesses. Los Angeles Times


Shot in the foot: A 9-year-old boy in San Jose took a bullet to the leg when his upstairs neighbor shot himself in the foot. Both were taken to the hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. Los Angeles Times

Extortion sentence: A porn actor convicted of extorting a wealthy tech tycoon was sentenced to six years in federal prison. Teofil Brank received $500,000 and a luxury car from Donald Burns and threatened to reveal Burns' hiring of male escorts. Los Angeles Times

Crash landing: Officials in the L.A. City Attorney’s Office discovered someone was hiding in their ceiling when he crashed through into the lunchroom. The shirtless man then ran to a retail store in the nearby underground mall. That’s where he was arrested by police. NBC4


Housing unaffordability: The starter apartment has gone extinct in San Francisco. A study finds that 91% of the city’s one-bedroom apartments rent for more than $2,000 a month. “While we already knew these were expensive places to live, this view of the vertiginous rents in San Francisco, New York and a handful of other cities paints a somewhat more useful picture of housing affordability.” Bloomberg

App for that: In San Francisco, one man is building an app to connect homeless individuals with services. Darcel Jackson is also working to get free WiFi into shelters and SROs. City Lab


Drug courts: Since Proposition 47 passed last year and reduced most drug offenses in California from felonies to misdemeanors, participation in drug courts has dropped. But Prop. 47 doesn’t have to mean the end of those programs, which offer addicts treatment instead of only incarceration. Rather, says Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Stephen V. Manley, the courts should adapt to Prop. 47 by serving lower-level offenders in addition to the serious addicts they have kept out of prison. Los Angeles Times


Kinda true stories: Allow Comedy Central’s “Drunk History” to explain the origins of the LAPD and how William Mulholland brought water to the city. Curbed LA

Harriet or Eleanor? Metro officials are looking for the perfect name for their new tunnel boring machine. They want Angelenos to weigh in via a poll that will be open until Dec. 1. Los Angeles Times


San Diego will have some clouds and a high of 77 degrees. Los Angeles will be partly sunny with a high of 83. In Riverside, there will be sunshine and 82 degrees. San Francisco will be mostly sunny and 70.


Today's California Memory comes from Arianna Z. Smith:

“My grandmother is 93 years old and was born in Kansas, though she has lived in California for a long time now. She was visiting Sacramento the day that World War II ended, and all the restaurants closed to celebrate so there was no place to eat. She talks about how she went over to the State Capitol and ate oranges from the trees in the park. I work at the Capitol now, and I always think of my grandma as a young woman when I see the orange 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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