Newsletter: What led to a deadly tour bus crash near Palm Springs?

Tour bus crash
Authorities said 13 people were killed and 31 injured Sunday morning when a tour bus crashed into the back of a big rig near Palm Springs.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning. It is Monday, Oct. 24. The attorney who shaped California’s consumer protection laws has died at the age of 87. Today you can thank Herschel Elkins for the state’s Lemon Law. Here’s what else is happening in the Golden State:


Bus crash

A horrific story line is emerging about the crash of a tour bus returning to Los Angeles from a casino near the Salton Sea, which killed more than a dozen people. “I was awakened by the sounds of people screaming for help,” said passenger Ana Car, 61. “I noticed a heavyset woman lying in the center aisle to my right yelling, ‘My legs! My legs!’” Los Angeles Times


Also: What it was like inside the bus. Los Angeles Times 

Veterans’ pay

Lawmakers are condemning a Pentagon effort to force thousands of California National Guard soldiers to repay enlistment bonuses improperly paid to them. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) said there would be an investigation after The Times reported that the Pentagon was demanding repayment from soldiers, many of whom served multiple combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. “I signed a contract that I literally risked my life to fulfill,” Robert Richmond said. “We want somebody in the government, anybody, to say this is wrong and we’ll stop going after this money.” Los Angeles Times

On the left


He was a 1960s radical who went on to serve in the California state Legislature. Tom Hayden was famous for his opposition to the Vietnam War (and his marriage to actress Jane Fonda). He died in Santa Monica at the age of 76. Los Angeles Times

Merger mania

There is perhaps one overriding theme of the proposed mega-merger of AT&T and Time Warner: How to deliver content to younger consumers who are turning away from traditional media. And it’s all about the small screen. Los Angeles Times


Prop. HHH: Airbnb, the home-sharing company that has been accused of helping to take thousands of units out of the tight Los Angeles rental market, has become a major contributor to the campaign to build new homeless housing. Los Angeles Times

Truth in advertising: An ad for Measure M, the tax measure that would fund public transit and freeway projects, says it would reduce the time commuters are stuck in traffic by 15%. What the ad fails to mention is that that relief wouldn’t come until 2057. “It’s not exactly right,” said David Yale, a senior executive officer with Metro, “but it’s not a big leap of faith to dumb it down, if you will, like that.” Los Angeles Times

Two stories: Reimagining the stories of two very different L.A. pioneers: Biddy Mason and Henry Huntington. L.A. Review of Books



Financial oversight: Six California cities are being watched by state auditors for financial fraud. The goal is to prevent another corruption scandal like the one in the city of Bell. “You don’t want situations like you had in Bell, where there was extremely large salaries or large cases of fraud because it destroys the confidence in government,” said Kinney Poynter, executive director of the National Assn. of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers. Los Angeles Times

Good to be in office: How state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris and, to a lesser degree, Rep. Loretta Sanchez have used their current political offices to get media attention as they run for U.S. Senate. Los Angeles Times

Pollution credits: The future of cap-and-trade in California could be in jeopardy. Daily Breeze


Aftermath of a shooting: How quickly should officers return to the streets after a fatal shooting? That’s the question being asked after one LAPD officer fatally shot two people just 12 days apart. “The case raises questions about how much training and psychological help the LAPD provides officers who fire their weapons and whether they spend enough time away from the job after a deadly encounter.” Los Angeles Times

Fighting parole: The former mayor of San Juan Capistrano is fighting to keep her son’s killer behind bars. “What bothers me is if he gets out and hurts somebody else again, I’m going to feel guilty because we didn’t do our job to keep him in,” said Collene Campbell. Orange County Register

Deadly blaze: Remembering the five firefighters killed in the Esperanza fire a decade ago. The Press-Enterprise

Dangerous conditions: Fraternities and sororities at UC Berkeley will voluntarily ban all parties after two sexual assaults were reported at off-campus fraternity parties. “These are grave acts of violence that are occurring. They have no place anywhere in this country, let alone on college campuses,” said Interfraternity Council President Daniel Saedi. Associated Press


Forgive? The case for pardoning John Walker Lindh, the notorious “American Taliban” who grew up in Marin County. New York Times

Violent past: L.A.'s Chinese American Museum will commemorate the lynching and torture of 18 Chinese men in Los Angeles 145 years ago. SCPR


Talking about the issues: Water is playing a major role in this Central Valley congressional race. “California’s often scarce water supply has pitted a wide array of powerful forces —big cities, the agriculture industry and conservationists — against one another.” Los Angeles Times 

Getting it flowing: By the end of the month, a stretch of the San Joaquin River is expected to start flowing again for the first time in 60 years. The goal of bringing back native salmon to the area, however, remains out of reach. “Restoring the state’s second-largest river was never going to be a cakewalk,” said  Doug Obegi, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. Associated Press


When cars fly: The municipal airport in rural Hollister was abuzz over reports that Google co-founder Larry Page was testing his “flying car” concept there. Mercury News

Virtual city: Is San Junipero in the Netflix series “Black Mirror” the ultimate California fantasy land? The Atlantic

Margaritaville: One last party of Jimmy Buffett fans at the soon-to-be-demolished Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre. Orange County Register


San Diego is expected to have brief showers and a high of 75. Los Angeles will be 74 and partly sunny. Riverside will be 80 degrees with the possibility of a morning shower. San Francisco will be 66 degrees with an afternoon shower. Sacramento will be 70 and mostly cloudy.


This week’s birthdays for notable Californians:

Rep. Brad Sherman (Oct. 24, 1954), singer Katy Perry (Oct. 25, 1984) and author Steve Almond (Oct. 27, 1966).

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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