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An L.A. homeless man fights to keep his compound

An L.A. homeless man fights to keep his compound
“This should be a landmark,” says Ceola Waddell Jr., a.k.a. "Mr. Dice," in his elaborate compound under the 110 Freeway near the Coliseum. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning. It's Friday, Nov. 25, and here's what's going on around California:



One man's castle

There's a standoff between authorities and a homeless man who has built an elaborate, high-designed home for himself under the 110 Freeway. The living space has gone viral on social media, but officials have taken it down more than once, only for him to rebuild it. Los Angeles Times

Retrofit push

The Hollywood fault runs through the heart of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood. Now, all three affluent Westside cities are considering sweeping ordinances that would require property owners to retrofit thousands of buildings that could collapse in a major quake. The actions would give a major boost to the effort to better protect buildings from quakes, one that began in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Los Angeles Times

Who would have thought it?

A sensational tale of dog droppings, a prominent judge, a legendary detective and allegations of wrongdoing deep inside L.A.'s criminal justice system. Los Angeles Times


The call: They finally talked. And President-elect Donald Trump expressed his support for Los Angeles' 2024 Olympic bid during a phone call with Mayor Eric Garcetti on Wednesday. Los Angeles Times

Giving thanks: A lesson in grace on Thanksgiving from Holocaust survivor Ernest Braunstein, who lives in Reseda. "I never thought that I am going to achieve this kind of age after a concentration camp. ... God gave me a long life and I can consider it also a lucky life." Daily News

A river runs through it: The head of the crusade to preserve the L.A. River is stepping aside as the group's president. He leaves quite the legacy. Los Angeles Times


Step to the center: The moderates appear to have taken hold of the famously liberal San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and that could be a boon for Mayor Ed Lee and his agenda. SFGate

Haves and have-nots: California is in the midst of another school building boom, but poorer school districts might be left behind. CALmatters

Red in a sea of blue: In the suburbs of the East Bay, a Republican assemblywoman was victorious in a district where Trump lost badly to Clinton. Sacramento Bee



Fatal shooting: Police say a 16-year-old died after being caught in car-to-car crossfire as she was on her way home from church with her family in Lynwood. Los Angeles Times

Laid to rest: An emotional service was held this week for fallen lawman Dennis Wallace, the Stanislaus County deputy fatally shot in the line of duty several weeks ago. KCRA

Found: A Northern California woman who had been missing for three weeks was released by her captors, authorities say. When she was found along Interstate 5 on Thanksgiving morning, the mother of two was still bound by restraints. Los Angeles Times


"I know you'd rather be in bed. But just like any major sports team, we have to practice before the major event."

– Atwater Village Best Buy manager Art Jamgochian, pumping up his employees for the big day.

Know before you go: Google will tell you how crowded those stores are. Silicon Valley Business Journal

Free range: California's state parks might have the best Black Friday deal — free admission. But you have to get a pass, and many are sold out. San Diego Union-Tribune

Deals and duds: A cheat sheet for surviving Black Friday — and not getting ripped off. Los Angeles Times

Protect yourself: With all that online shopping, it's a good idea to make sure your security measures are tip-top. Wired

Now you see it...: How "pop up" shops went from the fringes into the mainstream. Los Angeles Times


A lovely lady: Florence Henderson, who played Carol Brady, the mom in "The Brady Bunch," died Thursday night at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. The 82-year-old actress suffered heart failure, according to her manager. Los Angeles Times

What happened? San Diego's first transgender police officer, who had helped plan the Transgender Day of Awareness event at the city's LGBT Community Center, was asked to leave because her police uniform could upset others in attendance. When center leaders learned what had happened, they apologized. San Diego Union-Tribune

Moving south: For years, Mexican immigrants helped run a small chain of restaurants in San Francisco. But the flow of immigration into California slowed. Now, some key staffers are moving back to Mexico, including a star employee of Tacolicious. Wall Street Journal


Christmas joy: Santa's Village, the kitschy, beloved venue near Lake Arrowhead, will reopen in December after 18 years. KPCC


Southern California will be sunny and in the 70s today, with rain possible this weekend. The Bay Area will be cloudy and in the 60s; rain is possible Sunday. In Sacramento, expect it to be cloudy and in the high 50s, with rain Saturday.


Today's California memory comes from Alice Scott:

"In the 1970s, I was shopping in Beverly Hills one day and, as I got to Gearys, a limo pulled up and two mesomorphs helped out tiny, fragile-looking Mae West. At the next corner, a well-dressed man stepped off the curb in such a jaunty manner that I looked at him a second time and realized it was Fred Astaire. Ten minutes later, I was in Saks waiting to take an elevator upstairs. When one arrived, the door opened and Ann Miller flew out. Just another ordinary day in L.A."

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 Shelby Grad.