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Essential California: An ugly day for Uber, and what it says about Silicon Valley culture

Travis Kalanick, Uber’s co-founder and chief executive, will take an indefinite leave from the company after a months-long investigation.

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It's Wednesday, June 14, and here's what's happening across California:



Uber founder takes leave

Travis Kalanick, Uber's co-founder and chief executive, will take an indefinite leave from the company after a months-long investigation into allegations of pervasive harassment inside the ride-hailing firm. Los Angeles Times


-- To make matters worse, an Uber board member resigned Tuesday after making what he called an "inappropriate" comment about women at a companywide meeting that was aimed at addressing the harassment of women and other unprofessional conduct. Los Angeles Times

-- How serious a threat do the various scandals pose to Uber's future? Wired

-- Inside Uber's "frat boy" culture. Wall Street Journal

-- Is Uber's problem really Silicon Valley's problem? Time

-- And is there a lesson in this for Donald Trump? BuzzFeed News

Not the movie 'San Andreas' … worse

Get ready to get scared. No, this isn't some farcical horror movie, it's what's happening on the dusty slopes of the San Gorgonio Pass. The pass sits at a key geological point, separating the low desert from the Inland Empire, and, beyond that, the Los Angeles Basin. California earthquake experts believe what happens at the San Gorgonio Pass during a major rupture of the San Andreas fault could have wide-ranging implications for the region and beyond. Los Angeles Times

Let's make a deal

Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers unveiled a final state budget deal Tuesday, settling disputes over how to spend tobacco tax dollars and boosting the bottom line of California's largest public employee pension fund. Los Angeles Times

The state heats up

Holy smokes, it's about to get super-hot in California. Starting Thursday, a heat wave will grip the mountains, deserts, valleys and major cities for several days as temperatures soar into the 90s and 100s. Los Angeles Times



Imagine the possibilities: With malls as we know them dying out, Times columnist Steve Lopez wonders if they can be used to make L.A. better. He welcomes your thoughts. Los Angeles Times

Above the 405: On Tuesday, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti raised a new idea to relieve traffic congestion on the busy freeway: a monorail. Los Angeles Times

Coming out of retirement: Vin Scully will take two days off from retirement to lend his remarkable voice to a historic composition in American history — live at the Hollywood Bowl. Los Angeles Times

A sign setback: Local groups that want Los Angeles to reopen a popular access point to a Hollywood sign trail were dealt a setback in court Tuesday. Los Angeles Times


That doesn't sound right: "Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants have been granted work permits by the Trump administration under an Obama-era deferred-action program that President Trump had promised to end on his first day in office, according to federal data." Washington Post

Get ready: During congressional testimony, the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement said that people here illegally "need to be worried." The Huffington Post

Some interesting testimony: Guadalupe Plascencia told state lawmakers on Tuesday that she was frustrated and humiliated when she was handcuffed and detained in March by immigration authorities in San Bernardino, despite having become a U.S. citizen about 20 years ago. Los Angeles Times


Harris the interrogator: Sen. Kamala Harris and Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions faced off Tuesday over his refusal to answer questions before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Los Angeles Times

Becerra weighs in: "California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said Tuesday that he supports a proposal for California to adopt a single-payer health plan and believes it will eventually be enacted because consumers will become 'fed up' with the current system that he said is unaffordable to many." Los Angeles Times

New coroner appointed: The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday appointed a new coroner to take the helm of an agency that has been plagued by autopsy and toxicology backlogs. Los Angeles Times


Sex ed protest: "More than 1,600 parents in Palo Alto, Calif., have signed a petition to stop their school district's sex education program until it's changed." The Daily Beast


The saga continues: The Orange County grand jury said Tuesday that it had found "no definitive evidence" of a structured, wide-ranging informant program in the county's jails, completing a months-long review sparked by conversations between a confessed mass shooter and a prolific jailhouse snitch. Los Angeles Times

Gang roundup: "An extensive six-month investigation has culminated in the arrest of eight gang members in connection with three murders and two attempted murders in the Pasadena area." CBS LA


Changes made: The Trump administration announced Monday that it has canceled proposed limits on the number of endangered whales, dolphins and sea turtles that can be killed or injured by sword-fishing nets on the West Coast. Los Angeles Times

New gig for Brown: "California Gov. Jerry Brown will serve as a special envoy to states at the next United Nations Climate Change Conference, further elevating his international profile on climate change as President Donald Trump backs away." Los Angeles Times


An institution ends: KPCC and longtime host John Rabe announced on Monday that the weekend show he created 11 years ago, "Off-Ramp," will end its run on July 2. LA Observed

About that campus: The plan for Google's proposed campus in downtown San Jose keeps growing and growing. The Mercury News

Take a peek: Go inside Carrie Fisher's home to see what will soon be up for auction. Los Angeles Times

Why it flopped so bad: Here's why the "Mummy" reboot unraveled in the U.S. and what it means for Universal's monster plans. Los Angeles Times


San Diego and Los Angeles area: sunny Wednesday and Thursday. San Francisco area: sunny Wednesday, cloudy Thursday. Sacramento: sunny Wednesday, partly cloudy Thursday. More weather is here.


Today's California memory comes from Robert A. Benowitz:

"My wife and I, as newlyweds, moved to Newport Beach from Atlanta in 1974. There were many local attractions we were drawn to such as Corona Del Mar Beach, Balboa Island, and at the tip of Balboa Peninsula, the world-famous body surfing beach … the Wedge. Giant 25-foot waves formed as the swells came in against the rocks that made up the channel to Balboa Harbor and broke directly on the beach with a thunderous roar. The Wedge was not for the faint of heart, and only the most skilled body surfers could navigate these watery behemoths. The sight of these crashing waves at the Wedge is a true California memory."

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.