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Don't underestimate the L.A. River

Don't underestimate the L.A. River
A Metro Gold Line train crosses the Los Angeles River near downtown L.A. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning. It is Wednesday, Oct. 19. Here's what is happening in the Golden State:

TOP STORIES

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Flood zone

Urban planners have envisioned transforming the gritty, concrete-walled Los Angeles River into the backbone of a new kind of city, but Los Angeles this week received a stark reminder that the river that cuts through the region — much of the year just a trickle — can become a dangerous torrent during periods of intense rain. A new U.S. Army Corps of Engineers report found that more than 3,000 parcels north of downtown Los Angeles in neighborhoods such as Atwater Village and Elysian Valley could be submerged by an average of 5 to 10 feet of water in the event of a 100-year storm. Los Angeles Times

Housing help

The L.A. Unified School District took to building housing for teachers after officials learned many educators were fleeing the district over outrageous housing prices. Now, eight years later, two developments have been built and leased but not a single LAUSD teacher lives there. Why? New teachers make too much money to qualify for the units. Los Angeles Times

Driverless cars

Why Beverly Hills, the land of stretch limos and Ferraris, wants to be a center of the self-driving car movement. Los Angeles Times

L.A. AT LARGE

Helping others: "Mama Lucy" has spent 35 years nurturing children who have been abused and abandoned and find themselves at Hillsides in Pasadena. "It's just a day of recognition for a woman who has been a comforting presence for hundreds of children whose lives have been traumatic in countless ways," Steve Lopez writes. Los Angeles Times

Famous stretch: West Hollywood is trying to figure out a future identity for the Sunset Strip, which is seeing a boom in development that is changing the legendary district. WEHOville

Self-reflection: Some great quotes about L.A.'s dark side: "Pick your enemies carefully or you'll never make it in Los Angeles." –Rona Barrett. "It's like paradise with a lobotomy." –Neil Simon. "There are two modes of transport in Los Angeles: car and ambulance." –Fran Lebowitz. LAist

Leaders in innovation: L.A.'s engineering talent has long made it an innovator in transportation. "It's no surprise that prominent engineers, investors and entrepreneurs are proactively building their transportation ventures in LA." TechCrunch

Two down, two to go: The Dodgers are two victories away from their first World Series berth since 1988 after blanking the Chicago Cubs, 6-0, at Chavez Ravine on Tuesday. Los Angeles Times

POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

Political muscle: The AIDS Healthcare Foundation and its leader, Michael Weinstein, are fighting for two ballot initiatives this election season — Proposition 60 and Proposition 61. "We're doing things on a scale that we haven't before," Weinstein said. Los Angeles Times

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Fun facts: Metro CEO Phil Washington participated in a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" on Tuesday. It turns out Metro steams its cloth bus seats every day. And Metro lines transport about 25% of the people who go to Rams games. Curbed LA

Legalize it: Rapper Jay Z endorsed Proposition 64 in a new video. He also took the opportunity to call the war on drugs "an epic fail." Los Angeles Times

Party affiliation: Many Vietnamese Americans are switching their party affiliation from Republican to Democrat. That shift is due, in part, to a generational divide. "When I go out into the community, I keep it a secret," Nam Nguyen, publisher of Báo Calitoday, said of his party affiliation. FiveThirtyEight

Political protest: Donald Trump supporters held a protest outside of Gloria Allred's office. Daily News

Debate time: Tonight is the final presidential debate. Get insight and analysis from John Myers, Christina Bellantoni and Seema Mehta of The Times' political team at the Los Angeles Times Debate Watch Party, tonight at the Ace Hotel. RSVP here.

CRIME AND COURTS

Closing arguments: The civil rape trial of NBA player Derrick Rose and two friends came to an end Tuesday with closing arguments. An attorney for the basketball star portrayed the victim as a liar who's out for money while the woman's attorney called the three defendants "sexual deviants." Los Angeles Times

DROUGHT AND CLIMATE

Capture rain: Google was just issued a patent for a system of boats that could collect rain water. "Since a significant amount of rain falls over the world's oceans, it would be desirable to have a system for collecting rainwater in the open ocean," according to the patent document. Mercury News

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CALIFORNIA COAST

Building boom: Pescadero and other hamlets along the Pacific Ocean between San Francisco and Santa Cruz have remained isolated despite the tech boom. But Silicon Valley has now discovered this lost coast, and big homes are beginning to pop up. Longtime residents are not happy. Mercury News

CALIFORNIA CULTURE

Free speech: Silicon Valley leaders aren't sure what to do with venture capitalist Peter Thiel, who gave $1.25 million in support of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. "How can they loudly disavow Trump's behavior but continue doing business with someone who sees that behavior and writes a seven-figure check?" BuzzFeed

Musical honor: Should rapper Tupac Shakur be included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Sacramento Bee

On location: Revisit the 20 Los Angeles places made famous in these music videos. LA Weekly

Foodie background: Guy Fieri talks about how his upbringing in Northern California is reflected in his food. Wall Street Journal

SAN BERNARDINO

L.A. Times editors and reporters will be in San Bernardino this week to host a community event and donate to student journalists the entire prize money from The Times' Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the December 2015 terrorist attack. The ceremony starts at noon Thursday at the Cal State San Bernardino student union and is open to the public.

CALIFORNIA ALMANAC

San Francisco will be 71 and sunny. It will be sunny and 75 in Sacramento. Los Angeles is expected to have a high of 94 degrees. It will be 95, sunny and windy in Riverside. San Diego will be 86 and breezy.

AND FINALLY

Today's California Memory comes from Lucie Galvin:

"I remember being a little girl in a family of six with a brief, annual, thrilling vacation stay at the Bahia, Mission Bay. (Seals in the pool by the café!) Returning home to the Palisades up the 405. Windows down. No seat belts. No traffic. Radio playing. Time stopped. My mother's shock. Announcement of Elvis' passing."

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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