Newsletter: Today: El Niño Lessons. Rainy-Day Budgeting.

I’m Davan Maharaj, editor of the Los Angeles Times. Here are some story lines I don’t want you to miss today.


Gov. Brown’s Rainy-Day Budget Making

The words “state budget” can inspire glee in policy wonks and make others’ eyes glaze over. No judgments here. But the budget shows the state’s priorities and provides a road map for the future. Gov. Brown’s proposal gives a boost to public education and makes an extra $2-billion payment into the state’s rainy-day fund, but provides only modest help to low-income families. For those wonks, here’s the 265-page document.


$1.85 Billion for the Homeless, but From Where?

Los Angeles has struggled for decades with homelessness, but the money to conquer it has been a key stumbling block. A new report from the city’s top budget analysts puts a price tag on the latest plans: at least $1.85 billion over the next 10 years for housing and social services. The report also offers dozens of options for raising the money. Now comes the hard part for officials.

China’s Year of the Bear? Not So Much in California

This week’s bad financial news out of China threw off stocks here and raised questions about whether it could destabilize economies around the world. The effect on California: It’s complicated, but the best scenario is the state could be an even more attractive target for investment in some areas. Here’s how everything from dried nuts to real estate is affected.

Lessons From El Niño, Round 1

As we were warned, this is only the beginning. Yet overall, Southern California held up fairly well after the first major El Niño rains of the season passed through. Officials are now studying the behavior of the storms and how the response to them went, as everyone prepares for more wet weather ahead. Here are some of the lessons.

Hollywood’s Golden Hour

Like those storms, awards shows keep coming as if they were on a conveyor belt in January and February. On Sunday, the Golden Globes hit. Though they rarely predict what will happen at the Oscars, the Globes still have interesting matchups. (The stranded-in-space tale “The Martian” is in the comedy-musical category? Yes.) Fill out your own ballot and check back for live coverage.


4th and Goal for the NFL in L.A.

NFL owners want to return to Los Angeles. How they get there is still a white-knuckler. This much we know: It could be the St. Louis Rams moving to Inglewood, or the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders in Carson, or some combination thereof. A meeting to decide the matter takes place next week, but the complications of each move are more intricate than an NFL playbook.


-- For Porter Ranch families seeking to escape leaking gas, the pace of relocation has not improved.


-- An Iraqi refugee was arrested in Sacramento on suspicion of lying about terrorism ties.

-- Three Chinese students agree to prison time in a San Gabriel Valley bullying case.

-- The estimated prize for Saturday’s Powerball drawing: $700 million. You have better odds of passing our quiz about the lotto.



-- A man with a knife was slain by French police on the anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo attack.

-- Starvation stalks a Syrian town: “It’s a modern-day nightmare.”

-- Cliven Bundy still owes the U.S. $1 million. What are the feds doing to collect it?

-- Burns, Ore. — the town of near the armed standoff — feels the strain.


-- Is Ted Cruz, born in Canada, eligible for the presidency? Legal experts say yes.


-- Video: Michael B. Jordan talks about starring and getting punched in “Creed.”

-- Opinion: Are we making too much of “Making a Murderer”?


-- Sheldon Epps will step down as artistic director at Pasadena Playhouse.

-- He won an Emmy for playing Schneider on “One Day at a Time”: Pat Harrington Jr. dies at 86.

-- A reality TV exec says the genre “is not going away.”



-- Macy’s woes could signal trouble for retailers.

-- David Lazarus: As Time Warner Cable crows, I’m cutting the cord.

-- A $200-million takeover bid would bring Dov Charney back to American Apparel.

-- United Airlines is fined $2.75 million over treatment of disabled fliers and tarmac delays.



-- KFWB’s surprise sale and expected format switch throws Clippers broadcasts into question.

-- Chris Erskine on the Oakland Raiders: Don’t need ‘em, don’t want ‘em.



-- President Obama’s op-ed about guns. (New York Times)

-- Multimedia: Explore the Amazon region in interactive graphics. (National Geographic)

-- Those adult coloring books? Their 1960s precursors were pretty subversive. (New Republic)

-- Do you hate poetry? Here are 10 suggested poems for poetry skeptics. (The Millions)



In the 2005 film “Kicking & Screaming,” Will Ferrell plays the dysfunctional coach of a boys soccer team. Now, he’s part owner — one of 26 — of the new Major League Soccer franchise, the Los Angeles Football Club. “This is not a joke,” said Ferrell, who added that he played soccer growing up in Irvine, his three sons play the game, and his wife, actress Viveca Paulin, played soccer at Pomona College. At least he does not plan to coach.

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.