Newsletter: Essential California: How a tsunami someday might hit without warning


Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Tuesday, Oct. 2, and here’s what’s happening across California:


Along the California coast and across the world, dozens of deep-sea sensors are a first line of defense warning a devastating tsunami is coming. When an earthquake strikes off shore, the movement of the ocean waters is captured by the sensors, giving authorities precious time to alert residents to move to higher ground. But the tsunami that hit Indonesia highlights a critical blind spot to the systems. If a big quake hits too close to shore, that detection system does not work. Experts said California’s coast faces many of the same risks. Los Angeles Times

-- Things go from bad to worse in the Indonesia quake zone. Los Angeles Times


-- Examining the San Andreas’ “deep creep.” Weather Channel

Gnarly, dude

In a significant win for beach access rights in California, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a Silicon Valley billionaire’s appeal to keep Martins Beach to himself. The lawsuit was considered the biggest challenge to California’s landmark coastal protection laws. Had the court heard the case, it could have dismantled a law that declares that access to the beach is a fundamental right guaranteed to everyone. Los Angeles Times

Even gnarlier, dude

Some parts of the parched Southern California region are expecting up to an inch of rain as two storm systems converge over the area. But the winners Monday were the surfers. Waves ranged from 6 to 10 feet at some popular surf spots in Newport Beach. Sets in some areas reached up to 15 feet. Los Angeles Times

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New allegation: A prominent Pasadena obstetrician is facing the possible loss or suspension of his medical license following an accusation by state regulators that he made inappropriate comments about a patient’s appearance and sex life. Los Angeles Times

Strike! Truck drivers and warehouse workers who serve the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach began striking Monday morning in front of warehouses serving the ports, protesting the classification of drivers as independent contractors. Los Angeles Times

Be safe out there: Does L.A. really have the nation’s worst drivers? Well, it’s complicated. Los Angeles Times

-- Gas prices are on the rise again, approaching $4 a gallon. Los Angeles Times

-- What one person learned traveling the California coast. “That my path here was switchbacked but perfect, and that you don’t have to be born someplace for it to be home.” New York Times


Life in the fast lane: L.A.’s top planner said urban life is changing so quickly it’s hard to keep up. Just look at the rise of scooters. Curbed Los Angeles

Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado, left, hugs Chris Taylor as Enrique Hernandez and Joc Pederson embrace after defeating the Rockies to win the NL West at Dodger Stadium.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Go Blue: The Dodgers’ stressful season needed extra innings, but they’re back where they were supposed to be, writes columnist Bill Plaschke. Los Angeles Times


Blood, drugs, theft and tacos: A beloved Sacramento Mexican restaurant finds itself in the center of a bizarre legal battle and allegations of criminal behavior. Sacramento Bee

Painful decisions: While reporting domestic violence can be difficult for any woman, immigration status can make the decision more difficult. Some unauthorized immigrant women struggle to speak up because they’re worried about being deported themselves. Many refugee women with violent husbands want the abuse to stop but fear their spouses may be deported back to the violence-stricken countries they fled. San Diego Union-Tribune


Filing a claim: A woman who was arrested in connection with a stabbing death at a Rolling Hills Estates mall — and was later released — says Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell and other officials falsely named her as a suspect as part of what she alleges was a racially charged homicide investigation. Los Angeles Times


Vetoed: Gov. Jerry Brown has rejected a bill that would have given survivors of childhood sexual assault in California more time to file suits against those who could have stopped their abuse. Los Angeles Times

Not good: Climate change could result in the worst year yet for Valley fever. Central Valley officials are struggling with what to do. Bakersfield Californian

Ethical dilemma: Don’t expect native remains to be returned from UC Berkeley. Here’s why. San Francisco Chronicle



Treasure hunt: Artist Janna Ireland is on a hunt across Southern California for Paul R. Williams. For nearly two years, she’s searched out buildings to photograph — mansions and housing projects, churches and banks designed by the African American architecture genius whose work is growing in importance. Los Angeles Times

Plus: What the architecture of the Southern California home tells us about politics, history and even the role of women. Boom California

Hollywoodland: “Mad Men” creator Matt Weiner returns to a different Hollywood, with different rules. Can he survive? Vanity Fair

Frieze! “Los Angeles is a place where desire, fantasy and commerce come together, yet contemporary art has traditionally been overshadowed by the star power of Hollywood. Still, the city has quietly emerged as an important contemporary art hub — a process that has been decades in the making.” Is this why a famed London art fair is coming to L.A.? New York Times

Up, up, up: Sure, there are jogging, surfing and cycling. But do you have what it takes to climb to the top of L.A.’s tallest building? LAist

“Lodge 49”: Capturing Thomas Pynchon’s bleak California. The New Yorker


Paying tribute: From the wreckage of the wine country fires, art emerges. Santa Rosa Press Democrat


Los Angeles area: Partly cloudy, 79, Tuesday. Scattered thunderstorms, 72, Wednesday. San Diego: Partly cloudy, 76, Tuesday. Scattered thunderstorms, 73, Wednesday. San Francisco area: Rain, 71, Tuesday. Partly cloudy, 66, Wednesday. San Jose: Partly cloudy, 79, Tuesday. Partly cloudy, 72, Wednesday. Sacramento: Partly cloudy, 82, Tuesday. Partly cloudy, 75, Wednesday. More weather is here.


Today’s California memory comes from Velear Hernandez:

“Yosemite and camping could be considered synonymous; you can’t think of one without the other coming to mind. Camping in the 1960s and watching the fire-falls at night and the waterfalls by day were beyond the meaning of contentment. The traditional hike up to June Lake was a yearly adventure to ice-cold water on a hot summer day. The rainbow trout caught fishing was a perfect supper once back to camp. There would be camp stories, songs and games with the images that bounced off nearby hanging blankets. A lifetime of memories of pine trees, fresh water and granite mountains.”

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.