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Essential California: Dodgers fans are feeling blue

Essential California: Dodgers fans are feeling blue
The Dodgers watch the Astros celebrate the World Series title. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It's Thursday, Nov. 2, and here's what's happening across California:



Dodgers fans are feeling blue

It was a crazy run, but in the only Game 7 of the World Series ever held at Dodger Stadium, the boys in blue did not rise to the occasion when the Houston Astros did. The 5-1 loss "will haunt the Dodgers," Times reporter Andy McCullough writes. "During the long months before the next spring dawns, they will ruminate over how close they came, and how far they remained." One player not likely to be back: pitcher Yu Darvish, who surrendered five runs in less than two innings. Los Angeles Times

Too soon: "After waiting 29 years for their championship moment, Dodgers fans watched their hopes disintegrate Wednesday night in about 29 minutes," says columnist Bill Plaschke. But all is not lost. Los Angeles Times

The fans: Those rooting for Houston were elated with the franchise's first championship in its 55-year history; Dodgers fans, devastated. "It's gonna be a sad day in L.A. tomorrow," said one. Los Angeles Times

And: Some terrific photos of the Dodgers' World Series run. Los Angeles Times

Six women accuse Brett Ratner of sexual harassment, misconduct

The sexual harassment allegations roiling Hollywood have focused on producer Harvey Weinstein, director James Toback and numerous other powerful men. Now director-producer Brett Ratner is in the spotlight. In interviews with The Times, six women have accused Ratner of a range of sexual harassment and misconduct that allegedly took place in private homes, on movie sets or at industry events. As is often the case, none of the women reported the allegations to the police. Ratner denies any wrongdoing. Los Angeles Times

The fallout: Warner Bros. is severing ties with the embattled filmmaker. Los Angeles Times

Plus: An allegation against Dustin Hoffman has prompted an apology from the veteran actor. The Hollywood Reporter

Silicon Valley is put on notice

Lawmakers leveled blistering criticism at Facebook, Twitter and Google on Wednesday for failing to act aggressively to block Russian use of their social media platforms to sow division before and after last year's presidential election. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-San Francisco) warned the California-based companies that they needed to be more aggressive in stopping secret foreign use of their technology — or Congress would step in. Los Angeles Times

Sizing up the situation: By some measures, five huge tech companies control the world. Is this a huge danger, or does it give regulators more control? New York Times

And: Why Facebook is likely to become an even bigger player in political advertising. Los Angeles Times



100 years of magic: Wednesday marked the centennial of Mt. Wilson's 100-inch Hooker telescope. When it gathered its first light on Nov. 1, 1917, it overtook its 60-inch neighbor and became the largest telescope in the world — a position it held for more than three decades. In the San Gabriel Mountains, astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered that the universe existed far beyond the edges of the Milky Way galaxy. Later, with a former mule driver named Milton Humason, he discovered that the universe was not static, but was in fact expanding. Los Angeles Times

Mall walk: Will turning the shopping mall into an art gallery help retail fortunes? We're about to find out in Canoga Park. L.A. Daily News

Skid row south: Orange County will begin enforcing public access hours Friday on a stretch of the Santa Ana River trail between Huntington Beach and Anaheim, a move that is expected to displace a large population of homeless people who have set up camp along the river. Officials fear the area is becoming a "skid row." Los Angeles Times

Plus: Los Angeles is considering employing homeless people to clean litter and trash from streets, sidewalks and alleys. Los Angeles Times


O.C. centered: More than half of the money raised for the most contested House races in California is going to candidates in Orange County, another indication of its starring role in the Democratic effort to win back control of the House next year. Los Angeles Times

PG&E suits: More than 100 lawsuits have been filed against PG&E after the wine country firestorms, and attorneys expected more than 1,000 as more property owners join it. It remains unclear, though, whether PG&E lines caused the fires. Press Democrat

Impeachment politics: Billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer says his online petition asking Congress to impeach President Trump garnered more than 1.1 million signatures in its first week. Los Angeles Times


Birth woes: Fresno County has the highest preterm birth rate in California, and officials are trying to figure out how to deal with the crisis. Fresno Bee


Joshua Tree mystery: After what has been called the murder-suicide of a couple who got lost in Joshua Tree, a key question remains: Why was one of them carrying a gun? Orange County Register

New accusation: A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy who was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting two female inmates inside a county jail this year is now accused of attacking another woman inside the same facility, authorities said. Los Angeles Times


Fire aftermath: With the first major storm of autumn threatening to dump snow and rain over Northern California this weekend, environmental officials are scrambling to contain potentially toxic runoff from the ash and debris of wine country burn zones. Los Angeles Times

Toxic beach: Officials in Imperial Beach said Wednesday that sewage flowing up the coast from Tijuana fouled miles of shoreline over the weekend, severely sickening surfers and other beachgoers. San Diego Union-Tribune

Too hot: Rising temperatures are evaporating more water along the Colorado River, a key source for Southern California. SCPR


Hang 10,000: How a California surfer made a surfboard out 10,000 cigarette butts. Lonely Planet

Perfect friend: Can Silicon Valley create for you an artificially intelligent friend for when you need someone to call on? San Francisco Chronicle

Lighting the way: Artists and city officials hope a lighted "sonic runway" can jazz things up in downtown San Jose. Mercury News

Tree tale: The moving story of a tree in Modesto — something special that came out of tragedy. New York Times

Using the force: Disney is laying down the law to theater operators ahead of the latest "Star Wars" movie, including demands that the studio get 65% of the ticket receipts. Wall Street Journal


Los Angeles area: Partly cloudy and 69. San Diego: Partly cloudy and 68. San Francisco area: Partly cloudy and 63. Sacramento: Partly cloudy and 68. More weather is here.


Today's California memory comes from Will Shelby:

"One of my fondest memories of growing up in L.A. on 131st and Avalon in the mid-'60s was a great bike ride to Athens Park to play summer baseball. Traveling down 132nd toward Main Street, you traveled through the neighborhood of humble homes. After crossing the street, you were in the midst of dairy farms, cows, horses and those pasture smells. They seemed to go on forever to the south. For a brief moment, you felt like you were a country kid in a big city."

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.