Newsletter: Amid a surge in San Bernardino crime, one family looks to get out

Regina Bejarano comforts her granddaughter Honestie Diaz, 10, at her home in San Bernardino.
Regina Bejarano comforts her granddaughter Honestie Diaz, 10, at her home in San Bernardino.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning. It’s Wednesday, Nov. 30, and here’s what’s going on around California:


Toll of violence

One San Bernardino family must decide whether it is too dangerous to live in their neighborhood amid a surge in crime. The area has long struggled with violence, but 2016 has been one of its bloodiest years ever. In this city of about 216,000 residents, 60 people have been killed — already more than in any year since 1995, when 67 people were slain. Los Angeles Times


Trump’s Hollywood connection

Steven Mnuchin, a wealthy Wall Street executive and Hollywood movie producer, is Donald Trump’s choice to be the next Treasury secretary. Mnuchin has served as chairman of a Pasadena-based bank that has been criticized for a large number of foreclosures and hit by allegations of discrimination against minorities. He also helped finance high-profile films such as “Suicide Squad,” “American Sniper” and “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Los Angeles Times

How super is this majority?

California Democrats once again have supermajority status in the Legislature. But how much will this actually change the power structure in Sacramento? If history is any guide, the Democrats might find wielding their power easier said than done. Los Angeles Times



Health crisis: Air quality officials are taking enforcement action against two metal-processing plants they believe are contributing to alarming levels of cancer-causing hexavalent chromium discovered recently in Paramount. Los Angeles Times

Boulevard battle: Hollywood Boulevard is the site of a pitched battle over mobile vending trucks. Merchants claim the trucks are taking businesses way from them at a time when the famed boulevard is seeing a major revitalization. Los Angeles Times

L.A.’s social media power: Los Angeles isn’t always a sports town, especially when its teams are losing. But it’s a pro-sports social media powerhouse. About 50 million people follow top pro-sports teams in L.A. on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter alone. Daily News


Alpaca-cide: State officials said that a mountain lion known as P-45 is strongly suspected of breaking into two ranches in the hills above Malibu over the weekend and killing nearly a dozen alpacas and a goat. Los Angeles Times


Soldiers’ pay: House and Senate negotiators have reached a compromise that would permit the Pentagon to forgive debts owed by thousands of California National Guard soldiers who received improper bonuses during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Los Angeles Times

Fighting for immigrants: Leaders of California’s three systems of public higher education sent a joint letter to President-elect Trump on Tuesday urging him to allow students who are in the country illegally to continue their education without fear of deportation. Los Angeles Times


Empathy gap? After the election, Silicon Valley has come under a lot of criticism. One concern: Does the valley have enough empathy for the people left behind by all that disruption? The New Yorker

Traffic help: A sweeping project to improve traffic and commuting along Northern San Diego County’s coast is set to begin — one that will bring more train tracks and freeway lanes. San Diego Union-Tribune

Street car desired: Despite a series of setbacks, downtown L.A. could still have a street car by 2020. Or maybe not. Curbed Los Angeles



Killer sentenced: A former U.S. Marine was sentenced to life in prison without parole Tuesday for the murder of a pregnant woman whose body was found in the bottom of an abandoned mine shaft outside Twentynine Palms in 2014. Los Angeles Times

Plea deal: Former NFL player Darren Sharper was sentenced to 20 years in prison for drugging and raping two women in Los Angeles. Last year, Sharper pleaded guilty or no contest to drugging and raping a total of nine women in multiple states, although a judge said a pre-sentencing report indicated there were as many as 16 victims. Los Angeles Times

Vandalism overdrive: A persistent vandal spent six hours smashing, scratching and jumping up and down on a single parked car in Koreatown on Thanksgiving Day as bystanders and surveillance cameras documented the holiday spectacle, according to authorities. Los Angeles Times



Celebrate, a little: More encouraging rain news — at least for Northern California. Los Angeles Times


Warrior win: The Golden State Warriors won a big legal victory in their bid to move the basketball team to San Francisco’s Mission Bay area. SFGate

Disney’s historian: Meet Dave Smith, keeper of the Walt Disney legacy. Los Angeles Times


Animal style: Today’s social media stars are animals. And there’s a major hunt among tech companies for the perfect pitch-creature. San Francisco Chronicle

Scotchy scotch scotch: Kitschy local news is finally getting a watering hole: An “Anchorman”-inspired bar is opening in Hollywood, at least for 10 days. Eater LA

L.A. Utopia: There was a time when L.A. was filled with communes and utopian communities. Not any more. Los Angeles Review of Books



Los Angeles area: Highs in the mid-60s with clouds arriving on Thursday. Bay Area: Cloudy skies Wednesday with highs in the mid-50s. Sacramento area: A combination of clouds and sun with highs in the mid-50s.


Today’s California memory comes from Carol Ray:

“I have many memories of L.A. and especially Griffith Park. As a teenager I rode my horse all through the park and knew it very well. I remember the first zoo and in fact knew the zoo director — and even married his son later in life. LOL!”


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.