Newsletter: Essential California: Black Lives Matter gets cool reception from some black churches

The McCarty Memorial Christian Church congregation comes together to embrace a man who recently lost his brother at the hands of police.
The McCarty Memorial Christian Church congregation comes together to embrace a man who recently lost his brother at the hands of police.
(Harrison Hill / Los Angeles Times )

Good morning. It is Monday, Aug. 29. Steven Gerrard of the L.A. Galaxy just had his first In-N-Out burger. How was it? “Life changing.” Here’s what else is happening in the Golden State:


Civil rights movement

For decades, African American churches have played a central role in Los Angeles’ civil rights fights, but many preachers have been slow to embrace Black Lives Matter. And the movement’s members have turned to street protests and social media rather than the pulpit to communicate their message. “The black church, or at least the faith-based community, has not embraced Black Lives Matter because it doesn’t seem to have that central direction where people of responsibility can make the decisions and 99% can follow that,” said Pastor J. Edgar Boyd of First AME. Los Angeles Times


Political gifts

L.A. County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey has received more than $10,000 worth of gifts over the last four years from criminal defense attorneys, police unions, prosecutors and business owners, state records show. Lacey declined to comment, but the gifts raise questions of impartiality. Public officials “have extraordinary power to destroy people’s lives. And you want them to act in a disinterested way, not with an eye toward profiting,” said Bruce Green, director of the Louis Stein Center for Law and Ethics at Fordham Law School. Los Angeles Times

Goodbye to baseball

The Bakersfield Blaze is going out of business. There’s a lot of affection for the quirky baseball stadium there, but the team has ranked last in Class A California League attendance for the last 10 years. “To have baseball there that long and then to take it away, what is the city left with?” said Dodgers pitcher Jesse Chavez, who played there in 2005. Los Angeles Times


Readers, we always love hearing from you. You can keep up with Alice and Shelby during the day on Twitter. Follow @TheCityMaven and @ShelbyGrad.


The call: Kelli Peters was the perfect PTA mom in the safe, tony town of Irvine. Who would want to do her harm? This is the first chapter in reporter Christopher Goffard’s six-part series titled “Framed.” Los Angeles Times



False alarm: Reports of an active shooter sent passengers at multiple Los Angeles International Airport terminals into a panic Sunday night, but authorities confirmed that those reports were false. Flight operations on two runways stopped temporarily because passengers ran onto the restricted airfield. Los Angeles Times

Singer passes: Juan Gabriel, an icon in the Latin music world, died Sunday at the age of 66. “He has passed on to become part of eternity and has left us his legacy through Juan Gabriel, the character created by him for all the music that has been sung and performed all around the world,” according to a statement from his office. Los Angeles Times

What a dump: “Torture.” That’s how San Fernando Valley residents are describing the smell coming from the Sunshine Canyon Landfill. Those comments came Saturday during a South Coast Air Quality Management District hearing on controlling the odor from the dump. “As a result of the odors emanating from the landfill, a considerable number of persons living in the community and attending [its] elementary school have been forced to remain indoors,” said Nick Sanchez, an attorney for the SCAQMD. Daily News

Honoring a legend: Vin Scully is about to begin his final month of broadcasting for the Dodgers, a job he began in 1950. Players, coaches, managers and umpires are paying their respects to the man who has such love and affection for the game. “When you think of the Dodgers, you don’t just think about all the greats that played for the Dodgers, you think of Vin Scully as well,” said Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals. New York Times



Campaign donations: Donald Trump will be in the Bay Area today for political fundraisers. The GOP presidential nominee will be in Napa Valley and then at an undisclosed location on the Peninsula for a $25,000-a-person event. He’ll be in Tulare County on Tuesday. SFist

Latino voters: Dozens of Latino supporters for Trump rallied in Anaheim on Sunday. “He speaks the language of the heart. He can reach people who have been disenfranchised,” said Marco Gutierrez, a co-founder of Latinos for Trump. Los Angeles Times

Pot futures: Will Latino voters support the legalization of marijuana in California? And if Proposition 64 passes, will people of color share in the new riches? Columnist Robin Abcarian explores the issue. Los Angeles Times


Housing problem: Los Angeles’ “granny flats” are in legal limbo. “The legal dilemma centers on a clash between city and state law: Years ago, California passed a law that was meant to smooth the way for granny flats, one that conflicted with city rules that gave planning officials discretion to determine which units would be allowed.” Los Angeles Times

Close ties: Talks are underway to change up the relationship between members of the California Public Utilities Commission and utility executives. But critics say the reforms don’t go far enough in breaking up the cozy relationship between industry insiders and regulators. “The amounts of money are so huge and the potential for abuse is so great that even just a pinkie on the scale can mean millions or tens of millions” of dollars, said consultant Robert McCullough.Los Angeles Times


Asset forfeiture: California is looking to make it more difficult for police to seize the assets of people suspected of committing a crime. Under SB 443, law enforcement could receive a share of the forfeited property in federal cases only if it obtains a conviction or if the property is $40,000 or more in cash. “Police shouldn’t be able to ‘sweep and keep’ your private property simply by saying they suspect a crime connection,” said state Sen. Holly J. Mitchell (D-Los Angeles). Buzzfeed


Teen killed: A teenager was shot and killed in the parking lot of a Riverside church early Sunday morning, police said. The victim, who was identified as either 17 or 18 years old, was walking with friends about 1:15 a.m. when there was some sort of confrontation and fight. The suspected shooter fled the scene. Los Angeles Times


Road trip: Columnist Steve Lopez wraps up his 1,100-mile trip down the California coast. Los Angeles Times

Cleaner waters: California’s drought may be making the region’s waters less prone to bacteria, meaning cleaner beaches. Los Angeles Times



Burger competition: Meet CaliBurger, the In-N-Out imitator direct from China. Can it take on the original? Washington Post

Boom and bust: The behind-the-scenes story of how one L.A. start-up went bankrupt. Los Angeles Times

Train repairs: At Knott’s Berry Farm, engineers spent a year putting together Engine No. 340, the “Green River.” “We had to rely on what was left behind by the mechanics over the past 60 years,” said roundhouse mechanic Woodrow Gilreath. Orange County Register



San Francisco will be cloudy with a high of 68 degrees. It will be mostly sunny and 88 in Sacramento. Los Angeles will start the day with clouds, as temperatures reach a high of 87. Riverside will have a high of 101. San Diego will have clouds and a high of 79 degrees.


This week’s birthdays for notable Californians:


Boxer Timothy Bradley Jr. (Aug. 29, 1983), actress Cameron Diaz (Aug. 30, 1972), L.A. Police Commissioner Steve Soboroff (Aug. 31, 1948), cartoonist Jhonen Vasquez (Sept. 1, 1974), attorney Robert Shapiro (Sept. 2, 1942), actor Mark Harmon (Sept. 2, 1951), historian Kevin Starr (Sept. 3, 1940) and actor Charlie Sheen (Sept. 3, 1965).

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.