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Essential California: Trump's logging proposal is more kindling for controversy

Essential California: Trump's logging proposal is more kindling for controversy
Holy fire in Cleveland National Forest (National Weather Service San Diego)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Tuesday, Aug. 7, and here’s what’s happening across California:



Logging has for decades been among California’s most divisive environmental issues — and the controversy shows little chance of cooling as the Trump administration backs new efforts to thin forests. The federal government is moving to allow commercial logging of healthy green pine trees for the first time in decades in the Los Padres National Forest north of Los Angeles, a tactic the U.S. Forest Services says will reduce fire risk. It’s an idea President Trump appeared to endorse in a tweet inaccurately linking wildfire to state water management. Los Angeles Times

-- The Mendocino Complex fire has become the largest blaze ever recorded in California. Los Angeles Times

-- A fast-moving fire broke out Monday in the Cleveland National Forest, burning more than 4,000 acres and forcing evacuations in two Orange County canyons. Los Angeles Times

-- Dramatic drone images released Monday offered a grim record of the devastation in Shasta County, where the Carr fire destroyed more than 1,000 homes. Los Angeles Times

-- Columnist Michael Hiltzik’s take: In a strikingly ignorant tweet, Trump gets almost everything about California wildfires wrong. Los Angeles Times

Campus safety

Los Angeles schools are at risk because of inconsistent campus safety measures, thinly spread mental health services and inadequate coordination with other agencies, according to a new report that the city attorney released Monday. Los Angeles Times

Santa Monica Crossroads forward Shareef O'Neal goes up for a dunk during the Roadrunners' victory against Birmingham for the Division II regional title on March 17.
Santa Monica Crossroads forward Shareef O'Neal goes up for a dunk during the Roadrunners' victory against Birmingham for the Division II regional title on March 17. (Steve Galluzzo / For The Times)


On the horizon: The U.S. Census Bureau stands to undercount millions of Californians across the state in its 2020 survey, an error that could result in less federal funding or the loss of a congressional seat, according to a new analysis by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California. Los Angeles Times

Keeping track: The various scandals engulfing USC. LAist

No interviews: UCLA’s Chip Kelly is a private man in a very public role. Los Angeles Times

New man on campus: UCLA announced Monday that it had signed Shareef O’Neal, the son of former Lakers great and Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, as part of its freshman class. Los Angeles Times


#longread: “How Trump Radicalized ICE.” The Atlantic


Central American turmoil: A political crisis sends Nicaraguans fleeing. New York Times


Follow the money: Track the millions flowing into California’s race for governor. Los Angeles Times

That big train project: The most ambitious rail project of California’s future is increasingly dependent on the cooperation of the very railroad that shaped the state’s past — and there are signs their relationship is growing strained. Los Angeles Times

Who is an employee? A new standard for 2 million workers spurs a clash at the state Capitol. Sacramento Bee


Crash victims named: Four Contra Costa County residents and a Los Angeles man have been identified as the victims in the crash of a twin-engine plane that left five people dead near a Santa Ana shopping center on Sunday, officials said. Los Angeles Times

Suspect dies: A 77-year-old man accused of fatally shooting a Long Beach Fire Department captain during an emergency call at a high-rise housing complex for seniors has died of a “preexisting illness,” authorities said. Los Angeles Times

Possible hate crime: A well-known member of the Stanislaus County community was brutally beaten while placing campaign signs, and police are investigating it as a hate crime. CBS 13

Big moves: Leading gig-economy companies including Uber and Lyft are quietly lobbying California’s top Democrats to override or undermine a court ruling that could turn many of their contract workers into employees. Bloomberg



Uh-oh: California farmers could face more restrictions on how they combat crop-eating insects after a state report concluded that one class of pesticide poses a significant risk to bees that pollinate almonds and other crops. Los Angeles Times


More data, please: Facebook Inc. wants your financial data. The social media giant has asked large U.S. banks to share detailed financial information about their customers, including card transactions and checking-account balances, as part of an effort to offer new services to users. Wall Street Journal

In theaters this week: The movie “Crazy Rich Asians” could be a watershed moment for representation in Hollywood. Vanity Fair

Hollywoodland: DreamWorks Animation founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and onetime Hewlett-Packard Chief Executive Meg Whitman have placed an audacious bet on bringing Hollywood-style filmmaking to the world of short-form video for mobile devices. Los Angeles Times

Great story: “The LeBron James interview about bicycles.” Wall Street Journal

Transformation plans: For the last decade, the transit center that will replace San Francisco’s Transbay Terminal has been the subject of grand plans and controversies, including struggles to stay on schedule and squabbles over costs. San Francisco Chronicle


Los Angeles area: Sunny, 95, Tuesday. Sunny, 92, Wednesday. San Diego: Sunny, 88, Tuesday. Sunny, 85, Wednesday. San Francisco area: Sunny, 65, Tuesday. Partly cloudy, 64, Wednesday. San Jose: Sunny, 84, Tuesday. Sunny, 86, Wednesday. Sacramento: Partly cloudy, 98, Tuesday. Sunny, 98, Wednesday. More weather is here.


Today’s California memory comes from Michael Katz:

“In 1954, when I was 7 years old, our family relocated to Southern California from Dayton, Ohio. My parents bought our home in a tiny new neighborhood then being developed on the former ’32 Olympics polo field, bordered on the south by Riviera Country Club and on the north by Paul Revere Jr. High. Summers were for camping, for visiting national parks, for exploring the Golden State. One of our most memorable day trips was also one of our first. On one day, we drove first up into the cool pine forests above Tehachapi — where patches of snow still remained — then down to the Mojave Desert, America's driest region, whence out to the coast to finish the day at the beach. Throughout our daylong road trip, my dad sang the praises of our new home state, of our unique opportunity to have such geographical diversity so nearby. ‘Skiing? Surfing? Camping? How lucky we are!’ ”