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Essential California: Harvey Weinstein throws Hollywood into crisis

Film impresario Harvey Weinstein has been forced out of his company. All six chapters of "Dirty John" are now available. Reports of domestic violence have declined among Latinos living in some California cities. At Dodger Stadium, he's known as 'Peanut Man.'

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It's Monday, Oct. 9, and here's what's happening across California:



Harvey Weinstein throws Hollywood into crisis

Harvey Weinstein reigned for years as one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, inspiring loyalty and fear as he changed the movie business in ways good and bad. With films such as "Pulp Fiction," he pumped up American independent cinema, while his all-out Oscar campaigns turned awards season into an often-nasty and increasingly expensive public brawl. Now, after sexual harassment allegations, Weinstein is finding that few in Hollywood want to be on his side. Los Angeles Times

-- President Trump weighs in. Los Angeles Times

-- And then Weinstein was fired from the company that bears his last name. Los Angeles Times

-- This is not shocking, columnist Robin Abcarian writes. And that's a big problem. Los Angeles Times

-- How could it take this long for the media to expose these allegations? New York Times

A cruel end

He had come to San Quentin State Prison as a heroin addict and burglar. He had transformed himself over more than 16 years into a beloved leader and living, breathing symbol of hope and redemption. His death, outside the prison walls, came as a shock. Los Angeles Times

What's old is new

In a trend that would have been unimaginable only a few years ago, historic downtown L.A. office buildings are being returned to the office market instead of converted to apartments, condominiums or hotels, which has been common for the last decade and a half. The pattern reflects tenants' changing tastes in office space and the comeback of downtown. It also reveals a silver lining to what has been widely regarded as one of the worst planning decisions in the city's history — the wholesale removal of the aging Bunker Hill residential neighborhood in the 1950s and '60s to make way for what was then called "urban renewal." Los Angeles Times

Horror show

An initiative connecting young students in Southern California with children in the Philippines through arts and crafts has spawned shocking allegations and a federal investigation. Authorities are trying to determine if some of the flutes used in the program were contaminated with semen. Los Angeles Times


Following the money: Janitors who vouched for L.A. schools leader Ref Rodriguez in his school board race have been named in his money-laundering case. Los Angeles Times


Dodgers guy: Robert Sanchez's mom told him to get a job. He was going bowling all the time, and it was costing her some serious dough. So, the 16-year-old from Lincoln Heights walked to Dodger Stadium and picked up a gig hawking peanuts. That was 43 years ago. He hasn't left. Los Angeles Times

Ugly air: There's a dust storm in Pasadena's richest neighborhoods, and many blame Caltrans. Pasadena Star-News

Surf's up: "Today's not the day, dude." A weekend of big waves along the Southern California coast. Daily Breeze


DACA update: The White House is demanding a lot to save the "Dreamers." Top Democrats are already saying it's not what they and President Trump agreed to last month. Los Angeles Times

Common ground: Even in California, some people think Trump is doing just fine as president. Steve Lopez talks to one Trump supporter, Dana Martin. "More than ever, we are a divided nation. But Martin and I did reach full agreement on one thing. We'll meet again next year, but it'll be somewhere in Temecula. And alcohol will be involved." Los Angeles Times

Plant kill: A California Energy Commission committee is urging the state to reject a proposal to build a new natural gas plant in Ventura County. The recommendation follows Los Angeles Times investigations that showed the state has overbuilt the electricity system, primarily with natural gas plants, and has so much clean energy that it has to shut down some plants while paying other states to take the power California can't use. The overbuilding has added billions of dollars to ratepayers' bills in recent years. Los Angeles Times

Is she in? California Sen. Dianne Feinstein is staying coy about whether she'll run for election for the sixth time in 2018, although she continues to drop strong hints she plans to do so. Los Angeles Times

Donor clues: A sweeping effort designed to give Californians more information about the biggest donors to ballot measure campaigns was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday, a major victory for groups that insist the current system fails to help voters make an informed choice. Los Angeles Times


San Diego inquiry: Under investigation by the district attorney isn't a good place to be when launching into a reelection year, particularly if you're a city councilman who is being talked up as mayoral timber. But that's where Chris Cate finds himself. San Diego Union-Tribune


HIV law: Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that lowers from a felony to a misdemeanor the crime of knowingly exposing a sexual partner to HIV without disclosing the infection. The measure also applies to those who give blood without telling the blood bank that they are HIV-positive. Los Angeles Times

Gun show: The Las Vegas massacre resonates at an Orange County gun show. Los Angeles Times

Crime story: The strange California connection to the D.B. Cooper mystery. Mercury News

Four dead: Authorities said street racing may have been involved when a speeding car crashed into a tree in Northridge late Friday, killing all four occupants. Los Angeles Times


Sour note: A Berkeley rapper is paying tribute to his old neighborhood, quickly disappearing amid gentrification. San Francisco Chronicle

Going, going, gone? A tiny mountain hamlet in the canyons of Orange County is stuck in a time warp, and that could mean the beginning of the end. Orange County Register

Big meal: The secret annual meal that draws more than 100 people to an alley in San Francisco. SF Gate

Tom Petty tribute: Vampire goths want to honor Tom Petty with a march through the San Fernando Valley. L.A. Daily News

Too far? Have smartphones hijacked our minds? Wall Street Journal


Los Angeles area: Sunny and 85. San Diego: Sunny and 78. San Francisco area: Sunny and 78. Sacramento: Sunny and 82. More weather is here.


This week's birthdays for those who made a mark in California:

Author Earl Ofari Hutchinson (Oct. 8, 1945), Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (Oct. 10, 1967), comedian Julia Sweeney (Oct. 10, 1959), Rep. Ed Royce (Oct. 12, 1951), Clippers Coach Doc Rivers (Oct. 13, 1961) chef Thomas Keller (Oct. 14, 1955).

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.