Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Thursday, May 25, and here’s what’s happening across California:
Everyone, get ready!
The Big One is going to happen, scientists say, no matter how much you want to deny it. Seismologist Lucy Jones, who has spent her career trying to understand public attitudes about earthquakes, says that California residents should stop fretting about when it will happen and prepare for it to happen. Los Angeles Times
Plus: What to do before — and during — a quake. Los Angeles Times
The not-so-brief battle over the 710 Freeway extension
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority board is set to vote Thursday on a motion that could effectively quash the long-debated proposal to build a 4.5-mile tunnel through South Pasadena that would connect the 710, which currently terminates in Alhambra, to the 210 Freeway. Since the 1960s, the debate over whether to close the gap in Los Angeles County’s freeway network has pitted preservation advocates in Pasadena and South Pasadena against cities in the San Gabriel Valley, where the 710’s abrupt terminus sends freight traffic spilling onto the streets. Los Angeles Times
Remember Devin Nunes?
Not so long ago Rep. Devin Nunes was tailed by packs of information-hungry reporters. But since he was forced to hand over the House’s Russia investigation, the Washington political world has moved on. The bigger question is what will happen with the probe into whether he leaked classified information to defend President Trump. Los Angeles Times
A changing L.A.: “Does everything have to be a Starbucks?” Times columnist Steve Lopez writes about Nick Metropolis and his one-of-a-kind collectibles corral on South La Brea Avenue, from which he might be evicted. Los Angeles Times
A mogul dies: Andrew Jerrold Perenchio, a man behind the curtain who deftly pulled the levers of power to create culture-defining media events, propel political candidates, collect masterpiece artworks and become one of the richest men in Los Angeles, has died. He was 86. Los Angeles Times
Deputies sue: Two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies say they were framed for lying about a drug bust and that prosecutors knowingly withheld evidence that would have spared them a trial, lost wages and public humiliation, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday. Los Angeles Times
A wild tale: Read here about the downfall of an ancient coin dealer, who says: “I’m a great numismatist. I didn’t suddenly become a treacherous villain.” LA Weekly
IMMIGRATION AND THE BORDER
How it’s playing in El Salvador? “The Trump administration’s push to deport more Central American gang members has alarmed officials here who fear the returning gangsters could exacerbate violence in one of the deadliest countries in the hemisphere.” Washington Post
POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT
Green energy going up: State regulators announced strong results from California’s cap-and-trade program on Wednesday, spurring analysts and supporters to say the system remains solid despite questions about its political future. Los Angles Times
Women outnumber men: California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White has appointed Sally Roush the new interim president of San Diego State, marking the first time that women outnumber men as campus presidents in the nation’s largest public university system. Los Angeles Times
Watch this: Marvin Mutch spent 41 years in prison for a murder he says he did not commit. “Now, 60 years old, he’s suddenly faced with freedom.” KQED
CRIME AND COURTS
Guru sought: A Los Angeles judge Wednesday issued an arrest warrant for Bikram Choudhury, the founder of Bikram yoga, who’s been ordered to hand over proceeds from his global fitness business to satisfy a $6.8-million judgment won by a former legal advisor. Los Angeles Times
Tarnished badge: Former deputy chief of the Fresno Police Department Keith Foster was found guilty of conspiring to distribute heroin and marijuana. Fresno Bee
Body-shaming incident: Playboy model Dani Mathers pleaded no contest Wednesday to invasion of privacy after she secretly photographed a naked, 70-year-old woman in an LA Fitness shower area and posted it on social media with a disparaging remark. Los Angeles Times
A fight in lock-up: Eight California prison guards and seven inmates were taken to hospitals after a fight between two inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison raged out of control Wednesday and required live ammunition to stop it, corrections officials said. Associated Press
Frustrating delay: Thanks to lingering snow, you’ll have to wait until June to climb Yosemite’s Half Dome. Los Angeles Times
A major change: Deep Springs College, the century-old school where young men read Plato and tend cattle, is on the verge of opening to women. California Sunday Magazine
The fight is over: Members of the Writers Guild of America have voted overwhelmingly to ratify the new three-year contract that was approved by the union’s leadership this month, after a nail-biting round of negotiations with the major Hollywood studios. Los Angeles Times
No so “La La”: “Of the top 100 highest-grossing feature films released in 2016, only 12 were primarily shot in California, according to a new analysis out Tuesday.” Los Angeles Daily News
Take a date: Long Beach’s latest tiki bar is in a mobile shipping container. LA Weekly
San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles area: partly cloudy Thursday and Friday. Sacramento: sunny Thursday and Friday. More weather is here.
Today’s California memory comes from Alison O’Neil:
“The word ‘California’ calls to mind lush beaches and towering redwoods, but I see the Central California hills as one of our state’s greatest treasures. Nothing compares to the sweet scent of the chaparral plants baking in the sun or the majesty of the lone oaks on the hillsides. My family used to take road trips to Solvang, where we would spend our days hiking the mustard-dotted hills and ‘pastry hopping’ from shop to shop, snacking on countless jelly-filled creations. We would finish these blissful days with tubs of cookies for the road home.”
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 Benjamin Oreskes and Shelby Grad. Also follow them on Twitter @boreskes and @shelbygrad.