Newsletter: Essential California: How to help L.A.'s homeless

Homeless man sleeping on a bridge above the freeway in downtown L.A.
L.A. County supervisors are looking toward a possible “millionaires tax” to fund anti-homelessness programs. Above, a man sleeps on a bridge over a downtown freeway.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning. It is Wednesday, May 11. How should you pronounce Los Angeles? There are many thoughts on the subject. Here’s what else is happening in the Golden State:


Deputies charged

Two Alameda County sheriff’s deputies were charged with multiple felonies Tuesday for an alleyway beating that was caught on surveillance footage. Last November, the deputies, Luis Santamaria and Paul Wieber, chased suspect Stanislav Petrov and then tackled him, punched him and beat him with their batons. “This truly was the worst videotaped beating since Rodney King,” said Michael Haddad, who is representing Petrov in a legal claim filed against Alameda County. Los Angeles Times


L.A.’s homeless

Columnist Steve Lopez has a five-point plan for addressing homelessness, which has increased 11% in the city. “It’s time for [Mayor Eric] Garcetti, and [Supervisor Sheila] Kuehl, and other city and county officials, to start campaigning for a reliable source of funding — a sales tax, a bond measure, or fees on new development. Who has the courage and compassion to lead the way?” he writes. Los Angeles Times

Guilty plea

The father of Rep. Ami Bera (D-Elk Grove) pleaded guilty Tuesday to illegally funneling a quarter of a million dollars to his son’s campaigns in 2010 and 2012. Babual Bera could face as much as 30 months in prison when he is sentenced in August. Appearing before a Sacramento judge, the 83-year-old retired engineer said, “I have, in fact, done the crime.” Los Angeles Times



Water allocations: Cities and water districts that get water from the Metropolitan Water District will no longer be subject to allocations or punitive surcharges.” All of our member agencies met the water-savings targets we set, which is why we are confident that lower water use will continue into the future,” said MWD General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger. Los Angeles Times

Gone dry: There’s no water available to refill the Silver Lake Reservoir. It would take 400 million gallons to fill the reservoir, and that’s a resource L.A. just can’t spare in the drought. The reservoir was drained last year so the Department of Water and Power could install new pipes. Curbed LA


Homeless funding: Los Angeles County officials are considering a new tax on millionaires to pay for homeless services. However Supervisor Hilda Solis, one of three liberal members of the board, wants more information before county officials lobby for the state legislation. “As we move forward, I don’t want the first district to be short-charged,” she said. Los Angeles Times

Vote early, vote often: On the first day of early voting, 57 people showed up to the L.A. County Registrar’s Office — a “tsunami of civic engagement” compared with the 12 who showed up for the presidential primary four years ago. There are 1.65 million voters in the county who are expected to vote in the June 7 primary by mail. Daily News

Come on ride the train: In a little more than a week, passengers will be able to get from Santa Monica to downtown Los Angeles in 50 minutes. It’s all thanks to the new Metro Expo Line. “In addition to providing an alternative for soul-crushing rush-hour traffic on the city’s freeways, these new rail lines are psychologically knitting the city back together.” Gizmodo

Behind the wheel: A new survey finds Los Angeles is the worst city for road rage. Drivers are at peak rage at 6 p.m. and on Fridays. LAist



Trump delegate: A white nationalist appeared on the list of delegates for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump Tuesday. “I can be a white nationalist and be a strong supporter of Donald Trump and be a good example to everybody,” William Johnson, chairman of the American Freedom Party, told Mother Jones. The Trump campaign says the name appeared in error. Los Angeles Times

Spirited debate: Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris came under attack during a fiery debate among the candidates running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Barbara Boxer. Former state Republican Party Chairman George “Duf” Sundheim accused her of putting political ambitions ahead of serving Californians. Harris sharply defended her record. Los Angeles Times

Civic projects: Orange County’s proposed $6.1-billion budget includes funds for a year-round homeless shelter and a multimillion-dollar animal shelter. The county paid off its 1994 bankruptcy debts last year, freeing up discretionary funds for new projects. Orange County Register


Unusual attack: A 17-year-old Long Beach boy who wanted his pregnant girlfriend to miscarry allegedly engaged two other teens to attack the girl, officials said. The three teens each face two counts of attempted murder, two counts of conspiracy to commit murder, one count of kidnapping and one count of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury. The victim was 13 weeks pregnant at the time of the March attack. Both she and the fetus were OK. Los Angeles Times

Discrimination lawsuit: A white woman is suing the Getty Foundation for allegedly deterring her from applying for an internship program intended for underrepresented minorities. For more than 20 years, the Multicultural Undergraduate Internship program has funded thousands of internships at cultural organizations throughout L.A. County. “I don’t know of cases that have involved a situation like this, a private foundation using its own money,” said Erwin Chemerinsky, dean at UC Irvine’s School of Law. Los Angeles Times

House fire: San Bernardino firefighters responded to a house fire Tuesday — and it wasn’t the first time they’ve been there. The same abandoned house caught fire in February, officials said. “We’ve responded to multiple fires in this home in the last year. By the end of the day, this home will be a pile of rubble on the ground,” said Battalion Chief Grant Hubbell. San Bernardino Sun


Cost of executions: The drugs needed for lethal injections may cost the state of California hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to documents obtained by the ACLU of Northern California. “There was no indication that the state purchased the drug, which would have cost about $718,632 for 18 executions in addition to unspecified fees.” Los Angeles Times


Understanding L.A.: The L.A. Times’ architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne talks about the “Third L.A.” “We have the first chance since the 1880s to really catch our breath and think about how to consolidate our gains — and about what kind of place we want to be. So that’s the basic framework,” he says. Boom

Channeling spirits: The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose will host a séance next week for the first time in 40 years. James Van Praagh, a self-identifying clairvoyant and co-producer of the CBS drama “Ghost Whisperer,” will lead the ceremony. SFGate

Time for Dodger baseball: “Pull up a chair.” Let’s talk about everyone’s favorite Dodger — announcer Vin Scully. Sports Illustrated

Basketball’s MVP: Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors is the league’s first unanimous most valuable player. Curry took home the honor for the second year in a row. The Warriors set an NBA record this year with 73 regular-season wins. Los Angeles Times

Why we can’t have nice things: Someone destroyed the small pool artist Alfredo Barsuglia hid in the desert. “People found it, by conventional means and via detective work. People cared for it for many months, and ultimately people chose to ruin it.” LAist


San Francisco will have low clouds followed by sunshine and a high of 69 degrees. Sacramento will have sunshine and a high of 87. In Los Angeles, clouds will make way for sunshine, as highs reach 74 degrees. Riverside will have a mix of sun and clouds with a high of 84. San Diego will have clouds and a high of 72.


Today’s California Memory comes from Kathy Meier:

“My first visit to Los Angeles was in July 1973 as a 15-year-old from Wisconsin with “California Dreamin’” on her mind. It was my first flight, and as soon as we landed and were picked up by my aunt and uncle, I begged to see the ocean. Upon arrival, I immediately ran across the beach, stuck my hand in the water and tasted it. It was true! Salty! The entire two-week trip was amazing and is my No. 1 best memory to this day.”

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.