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Newsletter: Essential California: Controller fatigue at LAX

Good morning. It is Wednesday, Nov. 4. A 26-year-old Sacramento native is making her way in the world as a cartographer. Molly Roy hopes to one day create an atlas of her home city. Here's what else is happening in the Golden State:

TOP STORIES

A win for Airbnb

The Bay Area is home to one of the country's toughest housing markets and some of the wealthiest tech tycoons. On Tuesday, those worlds collided as San Francisco voters rejected Proposition F, a ballot measure that would have capped short-term rentals at 75 days a year. It also would have allowed tenants and landlords to sue companies like Airbnb and VRBO for violating the city's laws. Airbnb spent $8 million to defeat the measure; supporters raised about $800,000. Los Angeles Times

Controller fatigue

Los Angeles International Airport is undergoing a multibillion-dollar renovation to provide passengers with upscale dining options, luxurious shopping experiences and brand-new runways. But in the traffic controllers' booth, employees are working more than ever before. The dropout rate among trainees is as high as 60%, and that has many worried about fatigue. "It is in the best interest of everyone, especially the flying public, that the staffing and overtime issues get resolved," said Mike Foote, an LAX air traffic controller. Los Angeles Times

Audit requested

The L.A. County Board of Supervisors is calling for an audit of the Los Angeles County Fair Assn. after a Times investigation found that managers were highly paid even as the organization lost money. "Look at the excessive, generous compensations. It doesn't make for good business practice, be it a private company or a public company," said Supervisor Mike Antonovich. Los Angeles Times

SPECIAL REPORT

Who's hungry? Times food critic Jonathan Gold's 101 best restaurants in Los Angeles is online. Subscribers can get the full list here. There's also a top 20. Los Angeles Times  

DROUGHT AND CLIMATE 

Toxic shellfish: There is a major question mark hanging over the start of Dungeness crab season: Are the crabs safe to eat? Warmer waters linked to the coming El Niño caused toxic bloom that produces domoic acid. "We've gone through droughts before and El Niños before. None of it's a big shocker to guys that have been doing it awhile," said Larry Collins of the Crab Boat Owners Assn. San Francisco Chronicle

Early warning: The U.S. Geological Survey is working on an early warning system that would alert Californians to landslides. The project comes as the state prepares for what is likely to be a wet winter. "We wanted to be in a position where we could answer the questions of what rains cause widespread landsliding before they're asked," said Jonathan Stock, a USGS geomorphologist. SFGate

Unexpected consequences: A homicide investigator believes that storms from El Niño could reveal more human remains in the Angeles National Forest. "We may see an uptick in stuff that washes down the hill or is unearthed. It's hard to say what is out in the hills," said Lt. Victor Lewandowski of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department. Los Angeles Times

L.A. AT LARGE

Gang life: Father Greg Boyle's famous saying at Homeboy Industries is "nothing stops a bullet like a job." But as the Jesuit priest reflects on decades of helping Los Angeles gang members, he believes that there's something more than that simple thought: "I can see that it's about healing." Los Angeles Times

Discrimination alleged: Seven passengers were kicked off a Spirit Airlines flight out of LAX on Monday night, and some say the move was racially motivated. The disturbance started over a double-booked seat. "I'm really humiliated just for the simple fact that you hear about this type of stuff happening in America, discrimination issues and stuff like that, but to actually experience it firsthand," passenger Alexandra Wright said. Los Angeles Times

Store opening: Is this the pinnacle of downtown L.A.'s gentrification? A 41,000-square-foot Whole Foods will open today with a restaurant, bar and prepared foods from chef Roy Choi. Los Angeles Times

POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

Wage proposals: Two factions of the Service Employees International Union hope to qualify competing minimum wage proposals for the November 2016 ballot. Each measure would increase hourly wages to $15, though only one would double the state's mandated sick leave. "With competing initiatives, there's a very strong possibility that the voters will be so confused that they'll vote 'no' on both. We've seen it before," said Larry Gerston, a professor emeritus of political science at San Jose State University. Los Angeles Times

Gifts investigation: The Fair Political Practices Commission may launch an investigation into an anonymous allegation that state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris received gifts from the company of an interior designer that exceeded legal limits. A spokesman for the state agency described its action on the matter as routine. Los Angeles Times

Healthcare refunds: Blue Shield of California and Anthem Blue Cross will have to pay millions in refunds for overstating which doctors were available to patients covered by the Affordable Care Act. Because the listings were not updated, some patients ended up with thousands of dollars in out-of-network bills. Los Angeles Times

CRIME AND COURTS

Police boycott: Director Quentin Tarantino told The Times that police unions have misrepresented remarks he made at a police brutality protest in an attempt to draw attention away from the shootings of unarmed suspects. At a rally in New York 10 days ago, Tarantino said, "If you believe there's murder going on then you need to rise up and stand up against it. I'm here to say I'm on the side of the murdered." Police groups across the country are calling for a boycott of his new movie, "The Hateful Eight." Los Angeles Times

Haunted house: In Los Feliz sits a house that has remained virtually empty since the 1950s. Back then, it was the site of a murder, and today it's a necessary stop on tours of haunted places. Now, the tale of the house on Glendower Place is being developed for a movie. Medium, The Wrap

Uber attack: A former marketing manager for Taco Bell was charged in connection with an attack on an Uber driver in Costa Mesa. Benjamin Gold, 32, faces four counts of assault, battery, battery on a public transit employee with injury and assault on public transportation property. Los Angeles Times

CALIFORNIA CULTURE

Surfers' deaths: The mood is somber at Swami's in Encinitas after the deaths of two surfers. "For many of its regulars, Swami's presents a kind of alternate environment from their workaday lives. Friendships are formed and thrive at Swami's but are not followed when surfers return inland." Los Angeles Times

Protesting a saint: A woman and her son are walking to all of the California missions in protest of the Vatican's canonization of Junipero Serra. "Before we can do any kind of reconciliation we need to have someone admit to an injury. It was an ugly time for our people," said Caroline Ward Holland. Orange County Register

New leader: The former chairman of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, David Bohnett, is the new chairman of the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. "The main thing I've learned is that first and foremost, across these institutions, it's the quality of the programming that drives everything," Bohnett said. Los Angeles Times

Island life: This snapshot of life in Avalon on Catalina Island includes golf carts, cover bands and an $8-million house for sale. Curbed LA

CALIFORNIA ALMANAC

San Diego will be sunny with a high of 70 degrees. It will be mostly sunny and 69 in Los Angeles. Riverside will be partly sunny and 65. In San Francisco, there will be plenty of sunshine and an expected high of 64 degrees.

AND FINALLY

Today's California Memory comes from Victoria Seidel:

"I was born and grew up in Southern California in the '50s and '60s. One of my favorite memories is from when I was a freshman in college and they had just opened up the 605 Freeway. I had just bought my first car, and I took it on the 605 at night, and there was barely any traffic. I kept getting on and speeding down for a few miles, getting off and getting back on and speeding back the other way for a couple of hours. I'm surprised I wasn't stopped or arrested. It was great fun and the fastest I ever drove on a freeway."

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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