Hello. I'm Davan Maharaj, the editor of the Los Angeles Times. Here are some story lines you shouldn't miss today.
Unsafe and Exposed in Kenya
Survivors of last week’s attack by Somali militants on Garissa University College in Kenya are emerging from the horror and asking bitterly why they were left exposed to the extremists only 90 miles away across the border. For months students and their families staged demonstrations asking the government and army for more security. Many students tried to transfer unsuccessfully. “When you got your letter to Garissa some people were saying it wasn’t safe to go,” one student said. “This thing was being predicted.”
How to Lose a Cool $10 Billion
U.S. defenses against North Korean missiles depended on this: a giant white ball reaching some 26 stories high and floating on a rig in the Pacific Ocean. That contraption served as a radar for incoming enemy missiles. But the so-called SBX program and three other systems from the U.S. Missile Defense Agency have proved to be mostly useless, by many accounts. Taxpayers were left with the $10-billion bill. Read the Los Angeles Times' investigation on some expensive flops that stemmed in part from a climate of anxiety after Sept. 11, 2001.
Stepping Up to the Stump
April is the month when would-be presidential candidates begin raising money in earnest before the summer campaign reporting deadline arrives. While Ted Cruz has already stated his intentions and Rand Paul and Marco Rubio are expected to soon follow on the Republican side, Jeb Bush is not expected to declare his candidacy this early. If he waits he can continue to collect donations and take advantage of campaign finance laws that inhibit current senators and members of Congress from soliciting funds because of conflict-of-interest rules. Unlike her GOP counterparts, Hillary Rodham Clinton is not expected to face much opposition in the Democratic primaries, so she can bide her time before pursuing the big money.
Fast, Furious -- and Believable
In the new film "Furious 7," cars tumble from the bellies of airplanes, land on terra firma and keep going. If you think that's not possible, blame it on the limits of your experience. Still dubious? Here's Steven Zeitchik's opening line about the credentials of one believer: "Matthew Kleban holds a doctorate in physics from Stanford, conducted postdoctorate research at Albert Einstein’s alma mater the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and is now part of the research group at NYU’s Center for Cosmology and Particle Physics." The movie set box-office records this weekend.
Pitching a TV Shutout on Opening Day
The Dodgers open their season this afternoon just as they did last year -- playing to a packed stadium and a pathetically small television audience. More than 70% of the homes in Greater L.A. will not be able to tune in, owing to a major-league business dispute between Time Warner Cable and other pay-TV providers. What are the prospects for a break in the logjam? Not good. Even though Time Warner Cable has been paying the Dodgers fees of more than $200 million annually -- and absorbing losses that exceed $100 million a year. To keep up with how the team does on the field this season, sign up for our newsletter, which delivers all the Dodger news you care about to your email inbox.
--Owners of small, independent businesses in unincorporated L.A. County consider the consequences of a proposed minimum-wage increase.
--George Skelton's Capitol Journal: Gov. Brown fends off suggestions that the state should dictate which crops farmers can grow during a drought.
--Whether it was attending church services or hunting for colored eggs, L.A. residents celebrated Easter Sunday.
--Palliative-care specialist Ira Byock explains what he means by "Dying Well."
--In Tin City, Alaska, the U.S. Air Force monitors Russian activity across the Bering Strait.
--Rolling Stone retracts its controversial story about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia.
--Buses can be sweltering and taxis are expensive in Yangon, Myanmar, so commuters hop into bicycle sidecars.
--A new crisis has emerged at the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp near Syria's capital.
--Patient advocates can help make sense of otherwise overwhelming medical bills.
--Some consumers still want a human travel agent.
--Tonight's NCAA men's basketball final pits Duke against giant-killer Wisconsin.
--Brittany Lincicome won the first LPGA major tournament of the year in a playoff at Rancho Mirage.
--Passings: Billy DeLury, a link to Brooklyn Dodger days, dies at 81.
--Can Jay Z's new Tidal streaming service persuade consumers to pay for the music they want to hear?
--Times music critic Mark Swed reviews flutist Claire Chase's performance at UCLA’s Schoenberg Hall, a large-scale call and response with dozens of other instrumentalists.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
--Some people like lists. Here is Artnet's list of 10 Los Angeles art power couples.
--Jeanie Buss takes stock of the Lakers' dismal season, via Grantland.
--Think you're too busy to read? How to find time to read.
ONLY IN L.A.
The New (Old) Family Pharmacist
Pharmacists are moving out from behind store counters and seeing patients in new ways. Why is that needed? In the United States, between a third and a half of patients don’t take their medicines properly, which -- along with poor prescribing and diagnoses -- costs the healthcare industry as much as $290 billion a year. In Los Angeles, pharmacists in a USC pilot initiative call insurance companies and drug manufacturers to make sure people are getting the care they need. Here's one measure of success: "Someone is taking the time to sit with the patient.”
Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.