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California

Newsletter: Cookie Monster finds himself a long way from Sesame Street

Stephanie Bahena takes a photo of her daughter with Adam Sandler dressed as Cookie Monster outside the Los Angeles Zoo.
Stephanie Bahena takes a photo of her daughter with Adam Sandler dressed as Cookie Monster outside the Los Angeles Zoo.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times )

Good morning. It is Saturday, Oct. 15. Here’s what you don’t want to miss this weekend:

TOP STORIES

Police shooting: Prosecutors allege a Long Beach police officer turned a simple call into a deadly shooting, but he won’t face charges.The killing of Hector Morejon, 19, led to a $1.5-million legal settlement by the city and was one of several controversial shootings of unarmed people by Long Beach police in recent years. Los Angeles Times

Not suitable for children: A harmless character or something more sinister? In a city where people dress as characters like Spider-Man and Chewbacca for tips, the Griffith Park Cookie Monster is far from singular. But some call this character a serial troublemaker from New York to San Francisco and now L.A. He has been captured on video delivering anti-Semitic rants, gotten caught up in an extortion case involving the Girl Scouts and been accused of threatening to beat up another Cookie Monster. Los Angeles Times

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Great in theory: Tiny homes may be all the rage on HGTV, but the reality of building one and parking it on some land is full of challenges. “It’s not a bust, but there is certainly no boom as far as many builders are concerned.” Los Angeles Times

Hiring practices: A Silicon Valley start-up says the federal government misinterpreted how it was hiring employees. Palantir is suing the Department of Labor because, it says, officials erred when they found Asians had been discriminated against during the hiring process. “The filing also said that Palantir had hired outside experts who reviewed its practices and found no discrimination, and noted that several members of its senior leadership, as well as hiring managers, were themselves Asian.” New York Times

Women in tech: Gender, Silicon Valley and Marissa Mayer: It’s complicated. Mercury News

Self-identification: Moving from Nebraska to San Francisco allowed this writer to explore her birth country — South Korea. “In the streets of Nebraska, I had stood out as the only minority. But now, for the first time in my life, I felt at ease, because I blended in with those around me,” she writes. CityLab

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Us vs. them: A report from the Association of State Correctional Administrators found guards at High Desert State Prison saw themselves united in a battle against inmates and bureaucracy. “Guards rarely interact with inmates unless violence erupts, tacitly allowing illegal activities like gambling among inmates as a way of keeping the peace, the review team found.” CBS Bay Area

Guilty verdict: The former wrestling coach for a South Bay high school was found guilty Thursday of molesting 25 students. Thomas Joseph Snider will face 73 years to life in prison when he’s sentenced later this month. Los Angeles Times

It’s time for …: How’s Vin Scully enjoying retirement? “I went to the hardware store.” Los Angeles Times

THIS WEEK’S MOST POPULAR STORIES IN ESSENTIAL CALIFORNIA

1. A young woman was found dead in Griffith Park in 1968. Forty-eight years later, an amateur genealogist set out to identify her. Daily News

2.The ugly story of what happened when Angelenos turned their lush lawns into gravel pits. Bloomberg

3. Photographer Dorothea Lange’s pictures of a Depression-era Los Angeles. LAist

4. Ballots started arriving in some California mailboxes this week. Here is a guide to the statewide propositions. Los Angeles Times

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5. A 53-year-old hiker was attacked by a bear. Game wardens think he may have unknowingly interrupted a mating session. Los Angeles Times

ICYMI, HERE ARE THIS WEEK’S GREAT READS

Gentrification threat: Why art galleries have become public enemy number one in some parts of Boyle Heights. Los Angeles Times

All politics is local: Leonardo DiCaprio is a big name in the environmental movement. But he’s getting some push-back for his support for a slow-growth measure on the L.A. ballot next March. Curbed LA

Campaign funds: Where corporate interests are spending their money in California this election year. CALmatters

As seen: Los Angeles’ Latino subculture is finally getting its due. “The Story of Los Angeles that’s put out there comes through Hollywood. It’s the story of the Dogtown Boys or Beverly Hills 90210 or reality TV shows in the O.C. That becomes the story of young people in LA.” The Guardian

LOOKING AHEAD

Tuesday: Memorial services will be held for the two Palm Springs police officers killed in the line of duty.

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Wednesday: The Los Angeles Times will host a debate viewing party at the Ace Hotel in downtown.

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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