Newsletter: A rock fest has Joshua Tree up in arms

Victoria GeVoian
Victoria GeVoian, executive officer of the Institute of Mentalphysics, walks through part of the 400-acre desert landscape used for meditation and group retreats.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning. It is Tuesday, Sept. 27. Californians will be allowed to break car windows if they see an animal trapped inside on a hot day. Here’s what else is happening in the Golden State:


Hot in here

As of Monday, the L.A. Unified School District had almost 700 unresolved complaints about broken or inefficient air conditioners. “For us, that’s a very modest backlog,” said Roger Finstad, L.A. Unified’s director of maintenance and operations. The district has about 30,000 classrooms, all of which are supposed to have working AC. In Long Beach Unified, about 40% of classrooms have air conditioning. Los Angeles Times


Drunk history

When Barney’s Beanery opened in 1927, it was surrounded by a field of poinsettias along Route 66. Through the decades, it has been known as a Hollywood hangout, an anti-gay establishment and now a place to watch football on the weekends. But plans to take it apart and put it back together with a new massive hotel have the city’s residents and politicians questioning development in the region. Los Angeles Times

Rock show

Folks in Joshua Tree are up in arms over concerts hosted by the Institute of Mentalphysics. Critics say the festivals threaten the area’s plants and wildlife, and disturb the chill vibe of the region. The executive officer of the institute calls the whole issue unfortunate. “What fascinates me is the meanness of our critics. We’re not doing anything wrong, just holding a few musical events,” said Victoria GeVoian. Los Angeles Times 



Surfin’ USA: Matt Warshaw is a leading surf scholar. “From all this, and from his own experience as a California beach rat, middling pro surfer, and surfing writer, he composed the idiosyncratic yet authoritative ‘Encyclopedia of Surfing.’ ” The New Yorker

All the leaves are brown: The challenges of finding fall colors in L.A. Curbed LA

Pet adoption: Fewer pit bulls are showing up in the city’s animal shelters. The reason may be shifting attitudes on the breed. “Pit bull advocates are working hard to show what great dogs pits and pit mixes are,” said Brenda Barnette, general manager of L.A. Animal Services. Eastsider LA

New voice: Dodger fans will hear a new voice next season. Meet Joe Davis, 28, who was hired last year to announce road games with former Dodgers Orel Hershiser and Nomar Garciaparra. “There’s something romantic about baseball broadcasting and how that story writes itself over the course of an entire season,” he says. Associated Press


Illegal fishing: State officials are going after poachers and others who illegally catch bass, yellowtail, lobsters and other types of marine life off the coast of California. Los Angeles Times

Hearing from critics: During a Q&A session on Facebook, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom received a wave of criticism for his support of Propositions 63 and 64, which address gun control and the legalization of marijuana. According to one Facebook poster, “Gavin please keep telling yourself this will stop bad people from getting guns and ammo. You live in some fantasy land.” Los Angeles Times


Age discrimination: A new state bill requires casting websites, like IMDB, to remove an actor’s birthday upon request. SAG-AFTRA lobbied for the legislation, arguing it would combat age discrimination in Hollywood. Variety

New strategy: There’s an experiment underway in San Francisco. If members of a homeless encampment can take care of their shacks and a portable toilet, they’ll earn gift certificates to local businesses. “My goal is to let people know I’m not the enemy here, to change the impression that we’re here to only police things. We’re actually here to help,” said police Officer Yvonne Moilanen. SF Gate

Info-tainment: When Funny or Die decided it wanted to make PSAs that people would actually watch, it opened an office in Washington, D.C., and hired Brad Jenkins, formerly of the Obama administration. “With ‘Between Two Ferns,’ the amazing thing is, people were Google searching ‘Between Two Ferns Obama.’ They were seeking out, in many ways, an advertisement for Obamacare. That’s the type of work that we want to be doing,” Jenkins says. 89.3 KPCC


Jail population: Los Angeles County has the largest jail system in the country. “In 2015, L.A. County housed 17,049 inmates daily on average. To put it another way, 31% more people were in the L.A. County jail than residing on campus at the nearby University of Southern California.” CNN

Rape investigation: Los Angeles police said they are investigating claims that NBA star Derrick Rose and two friends raped a woman while she was intoxicated. News of the investigation came to light as an attorney representing the woman made an appeal to keep the victim’s identity a secret. Rose and the other men say the encounter was consensual. Los Angeles Times

Child dies: A stray bullet killed a 3-year-old girl in Stockton on Sunday night. The child was in a car with her mother, grandmother and another family member when gunfire rang out. “This is a case of just being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said police spokesman Joseph Silva. Los Angeles Times



Shake, shake, shake: More than 100 small earthquakes struck the Salton Sea Monday. Three earthquakes had a magnitude great than 4. Such swarms of quakes are actually quite frequent in the area. Los Angeles Times

Home turf: The threat of wildfires has not stopped developers from pushing further into hillside areas with high fire dangers. Wall Street Journal

Fire weather: The Sawmill fire in Sonoma County expanded to 1,500 acres Monday, fueled by dry conditions and record-breaking heat. The fire started Sunday and prompted mandatory evacuations for residents in the Geysers area. Los Angeles Times


Home of the future: Take a look at the home of 2050. There’s no garage (because you won’t have a car), but there are lots of tech touches. There will be movable walls, rotating panels and a landing pad for your drone. Orange County Register


Math problem: Bay Area wages are soaring. But here’s the problem: They still can’t keep up with skyrocketing housing prices. Mercury News

At the fair: Attendance was up this year at the Los Angeles County Fair, and some say cooler weather is one factor. Los Angeles Times

L.A. lens: Boyle Heights native Anthony Hernandez transformed street photography in Los Angeles. His work is now on display at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Los Angeles Times

Car crash: A Google self-driving car was seriously damaged in a collision Friday in Mountain View. A representative for the tech giant said the crash occurred when another driver ran a red light and hit the customized Lexus. SFist

New product: A paparazzi shot of Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel revealed the company’s new product: a pair of video camera sunglasses. Will the product succeed where others have failed? Los Angeles Times

Possible deal: Disney is reportedly working with a financial advisor on a possible bid for Twitter. Bloomberg

Not gonna happen? Some people think In-N-Out is never going to offer a veggie burger. Here are seven other scenarios unlikely to happen in Orange County. Orange County Register


Los Angeles will be partly sunny with a high of 95. It will be 99 degrees and windy in Riverside. San Diego will be 90 and partly sunny. It will be 77 and mostly sunny in San Francisco. Sacramento will be sunny with a high of 96 degrees.


Today’s California Memory comes from Al Atlansky:

“As I entered California on Route One from Oregon after flying in from my home in New York, I saw this object miles away — and obviously gigantic. It was very close to the coast road and reaching to the sky! As I got within a few miles of it, I realized it was a tree. When at this marvel, I parked my rental car, got out and stood by this California redwood that reached the sky and was at least 2,000 years old. I counted my normal stride steps around the base, which was 30 full steps. Thought about all that happened since nature produced this miracle, looking down on our puny short lives. Moved to Santa Cruz immediately and will die amongst these dreams.”

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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