Newsletter: Why construction in downtown L.A. is booming

A Chinese firm is erecting the four-tower Metropolis, left, by the 110 Freeway and north of Staples Center. It will have 350 hotel rooms and more than 1,500 condos.
(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning. It’s Monday, Jan. 9, and here’s what’s going on around California:



Downtown Los Angeles is undergoing its largest construction boom in modern times — an explosion juiced by foreign investment that’s adding thousands of residences, construction jobs and a multitude of shops and restaurants. But unlike past booms, this one is about residential and retail, not corporate offices. Since 2010, 42 developments of at least 50,000 square feet have been built. An additional 37 large projects are under construction. Los Angeles Times


Goodwill prevails

Latinos have surpassed whites as the largest group in California. But Siskiyou County, like other sparsely populated and mostly rural parts of the state, is mostly white, with a strong conservative streak. Trump won about 55% of the vote in Siskiyou County, yet many Latinos who live in far northern California don’t feel much alienation and find the political divides are not such a big deal. Los Angeles Times

Storm watch

The worst of a series of powerful storms moved through California on Sunday, dumping a lot of rain and snow and causing flooding along many Northern California rivers. We’re not done yet. More rain is coming to Northern and Southern California in the days ahead. Los Angeles Times


Plus: How do they try to prevent deadly avalanches in Mammoth? By using a vintage howitzer, of course. Los Angeles Times

And the winner was...

The Golden Globes helped clarify the Oscar race, or at least that’s what the pundits think. Here’s our complete coverage. Los Angeles Times


Fight back: Can you really evict 90-somethings — including some Holocaust survivors — from their old-age home in Westwood? Steve Lopez joins the “Old Lives Matter” movement. Los Angeles Times

Op-ed: How L.A. became the “bad jobs” capital of the United States — and how it might be able to do better. Los Angeles Times

First person: She got swept up in the California gay marriage boom. Now this Los Angeles woman regrets it. New York Times

Most expensive? By this measure, Santa Monica had higher average rents for a one-bedroom apartment than San Francisco or New York in November. LAist



Red-blooded: It might seem like a tall order in blue California, but GOP activists are trying to turn the energy that propelled Donald Trump to the White House into gains for Republicans here. “If we can get Donald J. Trump to be president of the United States, certainly we can get Californians registered to be Republicans.” Los Angeles Times

Capital crimes: California voters in November legalized marijuana, approved a plan to reduce the prison population and enacted gun controls.  But on one key issue — the death penalty — the liberal tide shifted. Voters rejected a measure to ban capital punishment and instead approved an initiative intended to hasten executions. Los Angeles Times

Border closed: Continuing unrest over gasoline price increases in Mexico flared up at the Tijuana border crossing Saturday night as a large protest prompted U.S. authorities to block access into Mexico from San Ysidro for nearly four hours. Los Angeles Times


Mall fights: A series of fights staged by dozens of teenagers outside the Westfield Culver City mall Saturday evening sparked panic among patrons at the shopping center and prompted a social media frenzy.  Los Angeles Times

Party’s over: This party bus ended up getting involved in a robbery, and police detained 80 onboard. Orange County Register

Drive-by shooting at vigil: Police are trying to figure out what’s behind a violent weekend in Pasadena. San Gabriel Valley Tribune



Culture clash: Has Hollywood lost touch with America? An extensive examination by Times critics and arts writers about culture in the Trump era. Los Angeles Times

Uncalled for? The great debate over a scathing New York Times review of Roy Choi’s Locol restaurants, meant to bring quality food to low-income neighborhoods, raises a larger question: Are some eateries unreviewable? Los Angeles Times

Unintended consequences: Across California, companies reliant on Chinese factories and suppliers are mulling over what it means if the incoming Trump administration makes good on threats to slap new tariffs on Chinese goods. The president-elect and his surrogates have floated the idea of import taxes as high as 45% and as low as 5% to punish China for undervaluing its currency, a charge many economists say is outdated. Los Angeles Times

Playbook: Looking at the numbers as the Chargers must decide soon whether to come to L.A. or stay in San Diego. San Diego Union-Tribune


Los Angeles area: Scattered showers with highs in the mid-60s. San Diego: Rain with highs in the low 60s. San Francisco area: Showers with highs in the mid-50s. Sacramento: Scattered showers with highs in the mid- to low 50s. 


Today’s California memory comes from Wayne Warner:

“My first visit to California came when I crossed the border — the California-Oregon border. And it came courtesy of taxpayers during the Korean War. At Fort Ord we soon learned that we were in a deadly war, and we trained hard, double-timed and marched all over the base. Every day we looked at newspapers as nations discussed a truce while men and women continued to die. Fortunately for us, but not for many others, warring nations signed the truce a week before we finished basic. I enjoyed my four months in California — everything, that is, outside Fort Ord’s imposing gates.” 

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.