Newsletter: Essential California: L.A. launches a temporary homeless shelter plan

Javier Franco, 50, who lives out of a tent perched on Arcadia Street in downtown Los Angeles, dismisses the city’s plan for a nearby shelter. He wants permanent housing.
(Irfan Khan/ Los Angeles Times)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Thursday, Sept. 6, and here’s what’s happening across California:


With a cluster of trailers on a downtown parking lot, the city of Los Angeles is launching the first in a string of multimillion-dollar shelters designed to relieve hundreds of homeless people while sweeping away squalid street camps that threaten Mayor Eric Garcetti’s political legacy. The $2.4-million shelter is set to open Monday for 45 homeless people in the El Pueblo historic district, as part of the city’s A Bridge Home crisis housing project. Officials hope to open 15 of the facilities by mid-2019, with a boost from one-time state homeless aid that could bring the program’s budget to $75 million. Los Angeles Times

Plus: A federal appeals court ruled that homeless people in California and other Western states cannot be prosecuted for sleeping outside if shelter access is lacking. Los Angeles Times


In D.C.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill questioned top executives at Facebook and Twitter on Wednesday about their companies’ ability to thwart foreign interference, and hinted that industry regulations may be coming. The “size and reach of your platforms demand that we, as policy-makers, do our job, to ensure proper oversight, transparency and protections for American users and for our democratic institutions,” Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said in his opening remarks. “The era of the Wild West in social media is coming to an end.” Los Angeles Times

Looking back at his masterpiece

Ahead of the L.A. Phil’s centennial celebration, The Times sat down with Frank Gehry to discuss the architect’s original vision for Disney Hall and the building’s now-iconic status — not to mention an imminent art project that includes exterior building projections.“I just love doing concert halls,” he says. “I like the culture of the musicians, all the kinds of people that are involved. I think it’s a magic thing.” Los Angeles Times

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In August, National Park Service researchers discovered a litter of four mountain lion kittens (two male, two female) in a remote area of the Santa Monica Mountains. The mother is P-19.
(National Park Service)


Paying it back: A federal judge in San Francisco has signed off on a $480-million settlement in a class-action shareholder lawsuit over Wells Fargo’s unauthorized-accounts scandal. The deal, granted preliminary approval late Tuesday, would compensate Wells Fargo & Co. shareholders for losses they suffered after the bank in 2016 acknowledged it had created perhaps millions of accounts without customers’ authorization. Los Angeles Times

Cute! Four newborn mountain lion kittens were discovered in a remote part of the Santa Monica Mountains in early August. Los Angeles Times

#TBT: The glory days of Los Angeles transit, mapped. L.A. Taco

Keeping it all straight: Everything you need to know about scooters, bike share and dockless bikes in Los Angeles. Curbed LA


Fireworks at FAIR: After seven months of contending with what he described as racist slurs, discrimination and harassment, Joe Gomez has filed a complaint against his former employer — the right-wing Federation for American Immigration Reform. Los Angeles Times

Perspective: Now Trump is targeting Vietnamese refugees. Los Angeles Times


More on Hunter: The indictment of Rep. Duncan Hunter is also shedding some light on the congressman’s “personal relationships.” Los Angeles Times

Budget boost: “In a session that stretched into the early morning hours on Wednesday, the Long Beach City Council passed a roughly $3 billion budget for 2019 that boosts funding for areas including public safety, language services, youth and arts program and legal defense for undocumented immigrants.” Long Beach Post

The California experiment: “A healthcare laboratory with mixed results.” California Healthline

Off to Ohio: Mayor Eric Garcetti is headed to Cincinnati to test the presidential waters. Cincinnati Enquirer


Settlement reached: Goop has agreed to pay $145,000 in civil penalties and offer refunds to some customers to settle a lawsuit brought by 10 California counties claiming that the company’s advertisements for jade and rose quartz eggs were not backed by competent and reliable scientific evidence. Los Angeles Times

Scary stuff: Authorities launched a homicide investigation early Wednesday after a man’s body was discovered inside a burned car in an industrial complex in Westminster. Los Angeles Times

See you in court: Four former student athletes have sued the Anaheim Union High School District, alleging its negligence allowed two water polo coaches to sexually abuse the girls. Los Angeles Times

Charged: A former Fullerton police sergeant was charged Tuesday with filing a false report in connection with a 2016 drunken driving crash involving then-City Manager Joseph Felz. Los Angeles Times


The big picture: “How Jerry Brown can seal his legacy as a climate champion.” New York Times

Expensive: Fixing the Oroville Dam spillway wrecked by storms in 2017 will cost $1.1 billion — a $455-million hike from initial estimates — the state Department of Water Resources announced Wednesday. Los Angeles Times

Fire update: “While the state’s biggest and most destructive wildfires have been extinguished or largely encircled, firefighters continue to battle blazes in mostly rural areas of Northern California.” San Francisco Chronicle


Interesting development: WarnerMedia, the parent company of Hollywood studio Warner Bros., announced Wednesday a company-wide policy aimed at increasing diversity and inclusion in front of and behind the camera. The initiative, established in partnership with actor Michael B. Jordan, is to apply to all productions going forward, beginning with Jordan’s “Just Mercy.” Los Angeles Times

RIP: Ann Sonne, a reporter who covered L.A.’s growth as a cultural center, has died at age 86. Los Angeles Times

Checking in on the tickers: Why is San Diego’s heart-attack rate 20% lower than the rest of the state? San Diego Union-Tribune

Important interview: “It’s a Golden Age for women documentary filmmakers. Or is it?” The Hollywood Reporter


Los Angeles area: partly cloudy, 80, Thursday; sunny, 85, Friday. San Diego: partly cloudy, 77, Thursday; partly cloudy, 79, Friday. San Francisco area: partly cloudy, 65, Thursday; sunny, 68, Friday. San Jose: sunny, 80, Thursday; sunny, 84, Friday. Sacramento: sunny, 90, Thursday; sunny, 96, Friday. More weather is here.


Today’s California memory comes from Phil Humphries:

“My most vivid memory is riding the Larkspur ferry from San Rafael to San Francisco every morning, then home again around 6 p.m. The full bar was open on the ride home and the hardcore regular travelers used to sit in the ‘warm room’ in the Larkspur parking lot waiting for the cars to clear out carrying their ‘traveler’ of vodka in a plastic glass off the ferry. The walk up Market Street from the ferry terminal each morning to work was invigorating. We walked past an early opening hole-in-the-wall restaurant advertising ‘Bacon and eggs, hash browns and double martini ... $1.99’! Those were the days, my friends! About the early ’80s as I recall.... Also lunch at Breen’s ... steam table at one end of the longest mahogany bar in downtown SF. They offered a tequila sunrise for lunch as well — so strong, you could see through the glass — for about a buck! Oh, I nearly forgot…. We had to wear not only shirt and tie and suit to work but also a hat! Very happy I no longer live and work in the Bay Area but do miss Herb Caen’s column!”

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.