Newsletter: Bel-Air homeowners love their water

The East Gate entrance to Bel-Air at Beverly Glen and Sunset boulevards.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
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Good morning. It is Tuesday, Sept. 20. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio’s Malibu “bungalow” is on the market for $11 million. Here’s what else is happening in the Golden State:


For the record:

3:56 p.m. July 24, 2024An earlier version of this story incorrectly listed today’s date.

Risk of abuse


The death of a malnourished boy found battered in an Echo Park closet has prompted the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to consider a revamp of a program intended to measure children’s risk of abuse. Records show 11-year-old Yonatan Daniel Aguilar’s risk of abuse had been marked as “high” four times from 2009 to 2012 by the computerized program. But there are questions about whether officials did enough in the years before his death. Los Angeles Times

In play

Rep. Darrell Issa‘s once impenetrable GOP stronghold is now in play. Douglas Applegate, a retired Marine colonel and Iraq War veteran, has the Republican stalwart sweating out his bid for reelection. Los Angeles Times


Water, water everywhere: Remember the wet prince of Bel-Air? One of these seven millionaires and billionaires could be the culprit. Center for Investigative Reporting

In a new light: Marcia Clark lost the so-called trial of the century. But the miniseries on the O.J. Simpson murder trial has given her something of a comeback. New York Times


Wedding bells: Pasadena City Hall has become such a popular spot for wedding photos that city officials are laying down the law (including no wardrobe changes in public view). San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Here kitty, kitty: Crumbs & Whiskers, the city’s first cat cafe, will open later this month. For $22, you can hang out with 15 to 20 cute kitties for about 75 minutes. LAist


Ex parte communications: In a new lawsuit, five members of the California Coastal Commission are accused of violating transparency rules 590 times in the last two years. If a court agrees with the findings, the result could be millions of dollars in fines. A representative for the commission said the state attorney general’s office is reviewing the case. Los Angeles Times

Across the border: Record numbers of Roma are showing up at the U.S.-Mexico border to seek asylum. The uptick is the result of an anti-immigrant wave making its way across Europe. “People are getting desperate enough and trying to claim asylum here,” said Ethel Brooks, chairwoman of the Budapest-based European Roma Rights Centre. Bloomberg

Oil oversight: An engineer from Long Beach will oversee oil and gas operations for Los Angeles. The city has not had a full-time petroleum administrator for decades. Uduak-Joe Ntuk previously worked for Chevron in the San Joaquin Valley. Los Angeles Times


Gathering place: The apartment of Chinatown power broker Rose Pak became a gathering spot Sunday night as news spread of her death. Among the mourners were former Mayor Willie Brown and Supervisor Aaron Peskin. “This is a loss never previously felt by this community,” Brown said. SF Gate


Terror response: How police in Los Angeles and San Francisco are responding after the terror attacks in New York and New Jersey. Wall Street Journal

Tree maintenance: A 36-year-old woman who was paralyzed by a falling tree branch is suing the city of San Francisco for negligence. An attorney for Emma Zhou said the city’s Recreation and Park Department is to blame because staff improperly pruned the city’s trees. A representative for the city said officials are still investigating the accident. SF Gate

Gruesome crime: A 28-year-old Pomona man will spend the rest of his life in prison for killing his girlfriend. Earlier this year, Alexander Anthony Clever pleaded no contest to first-degree murder and the special circumstances of mayhem and torture. When police found the victim, Yvette Silva, in a shower in a Pomona motel, her right lung and heart had been removed from her body. Los Angeles Times

Lock ’em up: U-locks are no match for bike thieves on the BART trains. “As people get more savvy about how they lock up their bikes, others get savvy about how to break those locks,” said Robert Prinz, an outreach coordinator for Bike East Bay. Mercury News



Stick with skim: What’s the deal with almond milk? It’s usually got more sugar than almonds and it’s pretty bad for the environment. “Water conservation is essential during a drought, but growing almonds and producing almond milk isn’t exactly helping the dry California circumstances.” Mic

Under the sea: Volunteers found 6,000 pounds of trash in Dana Point Harbor during a semi-annual event to clean up the water. A new flat-screen TV, two sailboats and a bong were among the treasures picked up from the ocean. Orange County Register


In session: UC Berkeley will reinstate a controversial course on the history of Palestine. Critics have said the class promotes anti-Semitism and indoctrinates students against Israel. Los Angeles Times

First day: When should the Los Angeles Unified School District start classes? Students and teachers have to contend with the heat when the first day of school is in August. But the early start date also allows students to wrap up coursework before the winter break and can provide an advantage when it comes to Advanced Placement exams. Los Angeles Times



Hate speech: The Anti-Defamation League is boosting its presence in Silicon Valley amid reports of increased anti-Semitic trolling on social media, notably Twitter. Buzzfeed

No thanks: The Emmys made history for the diversity of the winners, but ratings continued their downward spiral. Los Angeles Times

Dry bar: Does a bar without alcohol serve any purpose? That’s what one reporter questioned in the lobby of Sunday’s Emmy Awards ceremony. Hollywood Reporter

Animal style: The Good Food Institute, based in Washington, D.C., is demanding that In-N-Out Burger offer customers a meat-free meal option. Good grief. Just order the grilled cheese off the secret menu. Orange County Register

Lost in the sand: A viral Facebook post has reunited a Del Mar man with his lost wedding ring. San Diego Union Tribune



San Diego will have a thunderstorm and a high of 80 degrees. Some spots in Riverside will also have thunderstorms. Los Angeles will have sunshine and a high of 84 degrees. There will be low clouds and a high of 69 in San Francisco. Sacramento will be mostly sunny and 88.


Today’s California Memory comes from Dennis Van Bremen:

“It was August 1973. My wife and I were returning to L.A. from a honeymoon camping trip. We were on Highway 1 near Bodega Bay. We had followed PCH from Astoria, Ore., camping along the way. She was a good sport and never complained until I suggested a greasy spoon place for lunch. That’s when I learned that she had her limits. But we found a nice place that met her approval, and we made peace. When we got back on the road, a wonderful version of Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 came on the radio, the perfect accompaniment as I sped too fast down the deserted, winding, fog-enshrouded road as we ended our drive at the Marin Headlands. The fog had lifted, and before us was the Golden Gate and San Francisco — magical, romantic, glorious.”

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.