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It's time to start paying attention to seismic forecasts

It's time to start paying attention to seismic forecasts
Salton Sea earthquake (Los Angeles Times)

Good morning. It is Friday, Oct. 21. It's impossible to look at the school picture for this Northern California 3-year-old and not smile. Here's what is happening in the Golden State:

TOP STORIES

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Earthquake forecast

Some earthquake experts are encouraged that social media seems to be drawing more attention to "operational earthquake forecasting." Think of it as an earthquake forecast. The practice, however, remains controversial among scientists. "We're really talking about a probability increase from 'practically impossible' to 'extremely unlikely,'" said Kelin Wang, a research scientist with the Geological Survey of Canada. "I don't think it's very useful." Los Angeles Times

Comforting the dying

At night, these nuns stand vigil over the dying. "Sometimes, she said, her patients ask her questions she can't answer. Why me? Why am I suffering? 'God has a better purpose for you,' she tells them." Los Angeles Times

L.A. AT LARGE

Live in V.R.: Can Los Angeles become the capital of virtual reality? That's the buzz in Hollywood and Silicon Beach. LA Weekly

Look out below: Deep in the San Gabriel Mountains, hikers bungee off the Bridge to Nowhere. It's a famous activity that critics say has no place in a national monument. They're worried about public safety, the environment, sewage and, because this is Southern California, parking. Los Angeles Times

An art conspiracy theory: Was this print secretly done by the street artist Banksy? Los Angeles Magazine

Off to the Windy City: The Dodgers will return to Chicago on Saturday trailing in the National League Championship Series 3-2 against the Cubs. The team will turn to pitcher Clayton Kershaw to stave off elimination. If the Dodgers win Game 6, Rich Hill will start Sunday in the finale. Los Angeles Times

We are the champions: The Los Angeles Sparks defeated the Minnesota Lynx to win the franchise's third WNBA championship and its first since 2002. Los Angeles Times

POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

Stronghold no more: Will Donald Trump become the first Republican presidential nominee to lose Orange County since 1936? "The model suggests that several traditionally Republican suburban locales with diversifying and highly educated electorates could be poised to flip and support the Democratic presidential candidate." FiveThirtyEight

Swing state: The four counties in the Sacramento region have voted for a winner in every presidential election since 1972. If the area were its own state, it would probably have five or six electoral votes. Sacramento Bee

Ready to run: State Treasurer John Chiang is getting attention for severing ties with Wells Fargo. And that's a potential boost to his 2018 gubernatorial campaign. "The question for him is can that really make a difference between now and June 2018, when we're voting in the primary," said Ruth Bernstein, a pollster at EMC Research in Oakland. Bloomberg

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Out of the mouths of babes: Comedian Jimmy Kimmel held his own post-debate focus group … with children. YouTube

CRIME AND COURTS

New safety standards: Nearly five months ago, UCLA went into lockdown when a former doctoral student shot a professor before turning the gun on himself. A report on the shooting recommends adding locks, using faster emergency communications and helping students and faculty to identify when someone is in mental distress. Los Angeles Times

Free speech defense: The operators behind Backpage, a classified ad website, are asking a judge to dismiss the criminal charges brought by state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris. The men say they're protected by the 1st Amendment and federal law. Prosecutors allege the company receives 90% of its revenue from its "adult" section including thinly veiled ads for the prostitution of women and minors. Los Angeles Times

BUSINESS

It's not over: Two U.S. senators are pressing Wells Fargo about how much its new chief executive, Timothy Sloan, knew about the scandal that led to his appointment. Los Angeles Times

Housing prices: Silicon Valley has become ground zero in a battle over rent control. Wall Street Journal

DROUGHT AND CLIMATE

Food and water: A look at how California's drought is driving investments in water and agriculture. "Companies cashing in on water scarcity aren't always viewed favorably among the public — and that extends beyond the water rights issue to other business investments in water." KQED

Here comes La Niña: It looks to be a warm and dry winter in Southern California. "It's probably going to take a couple of wet winters in a row to put a big dent into this drought now," said weather service drought expert David Miskus. Los Angeles Times

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Drought map: A new map shows California's drought. U.S. Drought Monitor

TECHNOLOGY

Self-driving movement: Going forward, all cars produced by Tesla will have the hardware to support fully autonomous driving. In announcing the news, Chief Executive Elon Musk called out journalists for reporting on crashes involving Tesla's Autopilot driver assist systems. "You effectively dissuade people from using autonomous vehicles, and you're killing people," Musk said. Los Angeles Times

CALIFORNIA CULTURE

Boo! With Halloween just a week and a half away, it's time to catch up on the ghost stories of the California missions. Mission San Buenaventura in Ventura County is even said to have ghost cats. "Sometimes, on stormy nights, the sound of padding feet can be heard about the old mission and the spectral wailing of the four cats can be faintly heard." Curbed LA

Quality you can taste: Is California's love of In-N-Out Burger more cultural than about the culinary superiority of the burgers themselves? Business Insider

Building boom: Cranes are beginning to pop up in Disneyland as construction begins for the much anticipated "Star Wars" land as well as other attractions coming to the park complex. Orange County Register

Dog fight: There's a beef between Pink's Hot Dogs in L.A. and The Wiener's Circle in Chicago. Ketchup. Celery salt. Things are getting messy. LAist

CALIFORNIA ALMANAC

Sacramento will be sunny with a high of 81 degrees. It will be sunny and 71 in San Francisco. It will be 94 and sunny in Los Angeles. Riverside will be sunny with a high of 96. It will be 88 and sunny in San Diego.

AND FINALLY

Today's California Memory comes from Sandy Aguiar:

"This first-generation Latina was living the Hollywood dream very early in life. It was the early '70s, and I was 5 years old in a leased duplex with squeaky hardwood floors and sycamore trees one block from probably the most famous hot dog stand in the U.S.A. I lived on Sycamore and Willoughby, and it was my father's tradition to walk brother and me to Pink's on Sunday. Not church, which is probably what he should have been doing, but Pink's! Forty-five years later, a great group of employees arranged an office social and farewell luncheon catered by Pink's. The sweet memories."

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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