Good morning. It is Saturday, Dec. 31, New Year’s Eve. Here’s what you don’t want to miss this weekend:
Crime watch: Violent crime increased in Los Angeles for the third straight year as police tried to stem a rash of homicides and gang-related shootings while dealing with a growing homeless population. With more than 290 people killed in the city this year, homicides also rose for the third year in a row. Still, the city remains far safer than a decade ago, when 480 people were killed and there were 46% more robberies than this year. “It is like fighting fires — spot fires,” one official said. “We have a finite number of resources, and at the end of the day, the LAPD isn’t going to fix this.” Los Angeles Times
Illegal parties: An inside look at the illegal concert scene in Los Angeles’ warehouse districts and why it generated so little scrutiny from public officials. Los Angeles Times
First Dog: Sutter Brown, the charismatic corgi who seemed to soften the rough edges of Gov. Jerry Brown and in the process became a social media sensation as California’s first dog, died Friday. Los Angeles Times
Overhead: A dramatic virtual flyover of the Crenshaw Line, which will bring rail service to a whole new swath of L.A. LAist
Hope floats: For the first time, the Union Rescue Mission on skid row will make its first appearance in the Tournament of Roses Parade. It’s a touching tribute to the act of giving and to the idea of remembering the less fortunate. Daily News
Here’s an irony: Silicon Valley, San Francisco and other parts of the tech-obsessed Bay Area have lousy cell service. Why carriers are struggling with this wireless traffic jam. Mercury News
A gamble: Southern California casino operators are preparing for the unexpected as Donald Trump, who has deep roots in the gambling industry, becomes president. “Guessing what Trump’s going to do is an exercise in futility,” said casino owner Larry Flynt. “We have to take it as it comes. I don’t think there’s a strong appetite to have people [online] gambling at home. Technology has brought about a lot of changes and Internet gaming is one.” Daily Breeze
Warm beer: Did the City of Industry put this brewery out of business, or was it poor business management? A legal battle will decide the question. Los Angeles Times
Four eyes: Are those Snapchat Spectacles something special or bound to go the way of Google Glass? Los Angeles Times
Flip or flop: Beware! House flipping is back with a vengeance as California’s housing market goes red-hot again. Wall Street Journal
THIS WEEK’S MOST POPULAR STORIES IN ESSENTIAL CALIFORNIA
1. How will California’s new laws for 2017 affect you? Los Angeles Times
2. A batch of bad masa ruined people’s Christmas tamales. Los Angeles Times
3. Inside the dead mall of Woodland Hills as it awaits redevelopment. Daily Breeze
4. The professional gambler who took down a betting and drug ring. San Diego Union-Tribune
5. A town debates whether grizzly bears should be reintroduced into the Sierra Nevada. Los Angeles Times
ICYMI, HERE ARE THIS WEEK’S GREAT READS
Danger below: To live in earthquake country is to live in denial. But that’s difficult once you study the Hayward Fault, a ticking time bomb that runs under some of the Bay Area’s densest areas and is ready to blow. The New Yorker
Science in the kitchen: From his small kitchen in San Francisco, a shy, unassuming man with a PhD in English literature revolutionized cooking, bringing serious science and fine cuisine together. The California Sunday Magazine
Bilingual: How one L.A. family learned Spanish, the hard way. Los Angeles Magazine
Urban suburban: Denser development is coming to Southern California’s suburbs, and it’s providing some cheaper home buying options. One tightly spaced “infill” development of townhouses squeezed into just two and a half acres is aimed at young families who can’t afford bigger homes in the area. Los Angeles Times
Fighting mean: Is a guy who calls himself Captain James T Kink the answer to online trolling? BuzzFeed News
Sunday: The Rose Bowl Game Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Sunday: The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange County marks World Peace Day with a ceremony in Garden Grove.
Monday: The Rose Parade and Rose Bowl game in Pasadena.
Friday: Jeff Bridges gets his hand- and footprints in cement outside the TCL Chinese Theatre.
Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments, complaints and ideas to Shelby Grad.